Build a movement to stop genocide from Los Angeles to Gaza

John Parker (right) speaks on May Day in Los Angeles. Photo: Unión del Barrio – Los Angeles

Talk given at the 2024 Los Angeles May Day march by John Parker of the Socialist Unity Party and Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice.

We remember George Floyd. We remember white knees on Black necks. We remember that on April 18, Frank Tyson was murdered by that white knee on his Black neck in Ohio. And the last thing he said was, “I can’t breathe.” 

How many times have we heard that? We’ve heard it many times, and it’s just part of the genocide that has been going on. It’s been beating records every year in terms of police killings of Black and Brown people.

We’re well aware of the murder of immigrants at the border, at detention centers and the denial of health care for immigrants that is currently causing more deaths. 

With so much genocide going on here that we can see with our own eyes, why would anyone be tolerant of genocide overseas in Gaza? We can see the denial of health care and homes and food that is afflicting all of the working class. 

When we talk about genocide against people of color, we also have to remember that during the height of the COVID pandemic, the likelihood of death for Black and Brown people was sometimes three times higher. 

And what did Biden do when federal funds were supposed to go to the states for pandemic relief? He told people like New York City Mayor Eric Adams, “Don’t worry about using money for COVID. Use it to hire more police.” He said that during another record year of police killings. 

We know that the genocide will continue until the movement for justice is strong enough to stop it. 

How do you stop genocide by building a movement? By making it so powerful that business as usual will not be possible. That’s what we’re going to do. We’re doing it right now and we’re going to do it tomorrow and we’re going to do it until those bombs that are falling on children in Gaza finally stop.

Palestine will be free, from the river to the goddamn sea!

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