HOLLYWOOD, CA, June 21 — Hundreds of workers –– Asian, black, Latino, and white –– expressed their anger at the memorial for Usman Chaudhry, next to the bushes where racist LAPD officers woke him up, handcuffed him, then assassinated him. Chaudhry was 21 years and had autism. Even though the kkkops had his identification the police didn’t notify Chaudhry’s family about his death for 21 days.
The event was also a protest against over thirty such executions since the beginning of 2008 that include Michael Cho who was killed by La Habra police and Brian Moore, 23, in Compton. Just five days later, all charges were dropped against the cops who killed Cho. The memorial challenged the climate of fear that hangs over this block and many others like it. “It was a good event,” said a regular CHALLENGE reader who lives in the neighborhood, “because people really came together, at all levels.”
On the one hand, we mourned with Usman’s parents, sister, and brother, all of whom spoke, and with friends and family of Cho, Michael Bayoune, and others murdered. But the barely-suppressed anger of the crowd broke out during the closing candlelight vigil, with raised fists and chants –– led by PLP’ers –– of “No Justice, No Peace –– No Racist Police!” CHALLENGE and leaflets were warmly received by nearly everyone.
Workers and youth are up against a racist profit system that purposely uses police terror to force workers to submit to intensified exploitation in preparation for wider wars, and eventually World War III. Workers and soldiers have nothing to gain and lots to lose from these wars, beyond those killed and wounded. One in three homeless men are vets, and three-quarters of all vets have substance abuse or mental health problems. They come home to inadequate care and systematic police abuse.
PLP members criticized demands made by leaders of sponsoring organizations for federal investigations or police reform. Voting for Democrats is no solution. In the midst of budget cuts to health and education, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants more money for cops. Barack Obama has called for building up the U.S. military for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and maybe Iran.
The coalition that sponsored the rally is planning for more such events in neighborhoods across the city this summer. PLP plans on bringing Summer Project volunteers to fight back against these racist attacks by organizing on the job and in the schools to build class unity. Imagine if each police murder were met with on-the-job protests as well as thousands marching in the streets. And then imagine the power of such a movement, based in the industrial working class and led by communist ideas, to take on the capitalist system that’s killing us.