Tear Down Babylon is the anatomy of a 53-day direct political action dubbed “Decolonize LA City Hall” by Black Lives Matters – Los Angeles on July 12th, 2016, that held the mayor captive for 2 months, demanding he fire the police chief, in response to the Los Angeles Police Commission’s ‘in policy’ decision in the Los Angeles Police Department killing of Redel Jones in 2015.
Tear Down Babylon is a film about women that plays out in a field of profound grief and resilience. The narrative is best articulated by it’s subjects; women. “Women in the space of women as the creators of the movement,” Melina Abdullah says. Jasmine adds, “It’s us women, fighting it out. Men too… but it’s us women.” The fight, an ongoing battle with the LAPD, who “kill more of it’s citizens than any other law enforcement agency in the country,” Melina says. Those killed are disproportionately black and brown. The larger issues of institutionalized racism and state sanctioned violence are a through line of the action and the film.