The following is a statement from All Out Atlanta, on the recent repression and clamp down of #OccupyICE and the path ahead for revolutionaries.
In the last week, many people put their bodies on the line and occupied the Atlanta City Detention Center as a part of a nationwide movement against the criminalization of undocumented peoples and in support of the right to free movement. The 3 day occupation was raided by police and brutally repressed.
4 days later, on Sunday morning in Atlanta, many of us awoke to an image of the #OccupyICESF camp in San Francisco shared on social media. The image shows a barricade reinforced with pallets, chain link fences, barbed wire and a banner that says ‘No More Waiting.’ A futuristic skyscraper looms in the background, mingling with the clouds in the sky above. Images like this inspire us to share our experiences as a contribution to the movement against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The past week has been tremendously insightful for us in Atlanta For many, the occupation at the Atlanta City Detention Center was the only joyous moment in a year of constant distress. On the one hand, the occupation was a brief interruption of the devastating state of affairs in this country, characterized by authoritarian leaders, the rise of racism, dire poverty and now, concentration camps for immigrants. On the other hand, the occupation was a continuation. A continuation of something that swept the nation last year as tens of thousands of people took to the streets after the deadly “Unite the Right” demonstration in Charlottesville The movement to abolish ICE is the culmination of a 9 year long cycle of autonomous movements that consists of university occupations, Occupy Wall Street, NoDAPL, Black Lives Matter and the many smaller movements organized by everyday people against wage theft, gentrification, and ecological ruination.
We are unphased by the violent police eviction of our occupation. We were willing to throw everything on the line and risk losing the encampment. Revolutionary movements don’t rely on camps to grow, and occupations are just brief confrontations in a long-term struggle for freedom. As the occupations of ICE facilities spread, it is evident that the vast majority of Americans are ready for something much more radical than the collaborationist rhetoric offered up by the Democrats, who in preparing for the upcoming midterms will pay lip service to the #AbolishICE movement to try and make significant gains.
The task of revolutionaries is to make the continuation of capitalism seem undesirable, short-sighted, and frivolous. We are the realistic ones, the ones who know nothing good can come from the electoral spectacle. Revolution isn’t something that just falls from the sky. In the coming years, we will have to fight with everything we have. We will continue to put everything on the line, we have no choice. All Out Atlanta organizes outside of a framework of electoral politics so that we can include undocumented people, felons, and youth in our movement. We should never make compromises in our struggle to abolish borders, prisons and all forms of tyranny. Yet we must also pause and take a moment to recognize our strength and praise the courage of the well-known revolutionary movement sweeping the continent
We have begun/ We will continue,
All Out Atlanta