February 21—Today, people here in Pasco, Washington, rose up and took over a major four-lane bridge over the Columbia River connecting Pasco and Kennewick. They were about a hundred strong, with many others there looking to them and supporting them. They were jubilant in this power, gaining hope and inspiration in the fight for justice and resistance in the face of the murder of Antonio Zambrano-Montes.
The Pasco police murdered Antonio, an orchard worker originally from Mexico, in cold blood on February 10. A cell phone video clip showing the cops killing Antonio, who was unarmed, has over 1.75 million views on YouTube as of today. (See “In the Streets vs. the Police Murder of Antonio Zambrano-Montes” for more on the murder.)
In the face of the defiant bridge takeover, for once the oppressive Pasco cops completely backed off. As the line of marchers advanced, many of the cars backed up behind them actually tooted their horns in a rhythmic beat, communicating enthusiasm and approval. A statement from Occupy Tri-Cities (which includes Pasco) started with the words “Today was very profound and historic…”
Earlier in the day, people had rallied, and speakers included those who have lost loved ones to police murder. A message to Antonio’s family from Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby was read aloud. (Uncle Bobby’s message can be found here at the Stop Mass Incarceration Network website.) A long march through the streets followed, with die-ins and other actions. During all this, word of the upcoming April 14 National Shutdown against police murder got out to many.