Austin: Activists and Community Protest Police Killing of Mike Ramos

By Ed Dalton

Dozens of revolutionary activists and community members assembled on Saturday to protest the police murder of Michael Ramos. Ramos was gunned down by Austin Police Department Friday night, he was unarmed and had committed no crime. This demonstration followed the first protest which took place immediately after Ramos’ death.

Shortly after activists called for Saturday’s protest, Gavino Fernandez Jr., a leader with the non-governmental organization (NGO) League of United Latin-American Citizens (LULAC), attempted to take control of the demonstration in an effort to promote their image. Fernandez had a megaphone ripped from his hands which he had tried to take from militant activists. In the past, Fernandez has been investigated for human trafficking and is a vocal defender of the former Southwest Key CEO Juan Sanchez, who operates infamous child detention centers.

The community can no longer tolerate backward elements seizing control of their movements for justice. The police already convened at the murder site soon began to fall back as the protesters approached. A security guard at the complex was surrounded by protesters after he called the police on the demonstration. A reactionary with Infowars was chased from the scene as well.

Children from the neighborhood and surrounding apartment complexes made signs reading, “FTP, Fuck The Police!” and “APD killed Mike Ramos.” Revolutionary activists educated those in attendance on the collaborative role between NGO’s and the police as a counter-revolutionary relationship against them. Activists displayed a large banner reading, “APD murdered Mike Ramos, Combat and Resist!”

Despite the fact that the protest was called for by militant activists and organized by community members, the ruling class media attempted to only allow the NGO’s to spin the narrative. NGO’s blame training, or consider individual cops to be the problem, this view which centers police corruption cannot look at the big picture, that is that the police as a whole exist to protect the rich from the poor, to protect those who have private property from those who do not. The police as a repressive organ of the state exist to protect exploitation by oppressing the community, and killing innocent people like Michael Ramos. Their behavior is not an oversight, it is part of keeping the community in fear.

On Wednesday, community members and activists with the Mike Ramos Brigade held a fundraiser for his family, where participants marched from from his memorial at the site of his murder, to the intersection of Pleasant Valley and Riverside and back. At major intersections the demonstrators agitating against the police with speeches and chants like “Wheres the weapon? Wheres the crime? Why’d Mike Ramos have to die?” and “we all saw, we all heard, APD are murderers!” Activists and community members also solicited donations from pedestrians and passing vehicles, ultimately raising over $500 for the Ramos family.

Activists vow to continue the struggle against APD in honor of the life of Michael Ramos, taken from his friends and  family by no fault of his own. He had committed no crime and chose to drive away from the antagonism and harassment of the police, and for this they shot him down with a military grade rifle. Had Ramos been armed, he would have been right to shoot back and claim the life of any murderous pig who got in his way.