On Tuesday July 31st, two of our comrades were violently murdered, Tsega Tsegay and Alex Mahan.
On Tuesday night, Tsega was beaten to death by her husband. We remember Tsega as such a loving person, she was vibrant, enthusiastic, a constant and unforgettable presence in our camp at OG Plaza. When things were hard at the camp, Tsega would still be running up on the stage and dancing singing and laughing, and telling everyone she loved them. She called Occupy her Family and we will never forget her. Our bitterness, sorrow, grief, and rage run strong, we know Tsega’s murder is part of the way our society works – through terrorizing and murdering women everywhere. Tsega was not just the victim of a bad man, she was the victim of a violent, patriarchal society that destroys the lives of women, transpeople, queers, people of color, the poor, and everyone else who is not rich, white and a (cis) man. We call this system of gender violence ‘patriarchy’, but it doesn’t matter what you call it, what matters is if you are willling to get up every day and fight it.
Alex Mahan, a Stockton comrade, was killed in a driveby shooting the same evening. Everyone remembers Alex as very kind, energetic, and totally committed to the struggle we have all been building together. He never missed an opportunity to fight for the world he believed in. We all remember him coming up with the Stockton crew, to join us in Oakland, often with his Anonymous Mask. He and his comrades planned on how to bring the struggle to Stockton, which they did! He was an unwaivering comrade and friend and will be painfully missed. Like Tsega, Alex’s murder was not just the result of a few bad people. It was the result of a society structured on violence, a society where brown and black young men are murdered every day with no notice from society at large. It was the result of a violent economic system which forces whole communities in deprivation, with no options but to fight each other, and a violent political system that leaves us in constant fear of incarceration or death at the hands of the police and the state. These structural forms of violence are the foundation of the violence we experience every day, the violence that took Alex from us.
May the memories of our fallen comrades be fuel for our fire – fuel that helps us burn down this disgusting system that’s taken you from us and build a better one, together. You committed yourselves to this struggle and we will continue with you in our hearts always.
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