San Marcos: Rent Strike SMTX Demands Justice for Justin Howell

By Noah Long

While protesting in front of Austin Police Department Headquarters, Texas State student Justin Howell was shot in the back of the head with a ‘less lethal’ round, fracturing his skull. Seeing him in critical condition, five protesters and medics attempted to carry his body towards police headquarters but were then fired upon by Austin Police with multiple bean-bag rounds, injuring at least one of the medics. Justin is currently in a hospital with brain damage and a long road to recovery.

In solidarity with Justin Howell, Rent Strike SMTX marched to Texas State University Police Department’s headquarters to denounce their treatment of students and SMPD’s treatment of working class people throughout the city.  A friend of Justin’s spoke his strong character and that people must fight back against police brutality in San Marcos. 

The marchers’ chants of “Fists up, Fight back!” and “Who shot Justin? APD” drew support from passing cars as they made their way to campus.  Once in front of UPD headquarters members of Rent Strike SMTX and Brown Berets of San Marcos as well as community members gave speeches on the necessity for unity in combatting police oppression and demands for concessions like the dissolution of SMPD. At the end of the speeches, an American flag was burned as the people cheered “One Solution; Revolution!”