Tear Down Babylon is CollectiveMedia.LA’s follow-up to the now infamous “Radicalized” documentary (IndieRightsMovies2016). It’s slated for a 2018 release.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck will formally step down on June 27th. Motivated at least in part by BLM-LA’s #DeColonizeLACityHall action. His predecessor (former LAPD chief/former NYCPC) William Bratton got his walking papers handed to him in Manhattan in 2016 around that same time as former Los Angeles County Sheriff (convicted felon) Lee Baca was wrapping his head around how to best avoid incarceration. The trifecta of corruption and abuse of power now on permanent paid vacation, the future looks anything but bright in the U.S. where cops shot and killed 1,000 people in 2017.
Those killed by law enforcement in the U.S. are disproportionately Black, Brown and other People of Color.
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 AngelesPolice 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.
Tear Down Babylon spans the 53 days of the #DecolonizeLACityHall action. An extensive interview with activist Jasmine Abdullah is the spine of this piece, stitching ideology, experience and perspective to imbue the viewer with a sense of it’s deeper meaning.
“I’m about to change this shit. Or die trying.” -Jasmine Abdullah.
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