LOS ANGELES, CA. –– The working class is no stranger to racist killer cops, especially in the recent multiple murders involving the LAPD and LA County Sheriffs. PLP members attended a candlelight vigil for Christian Portillo, who was gunned down by the murderous cops in Lennox. Recalling PLP’s response to Sean Bell’s murder in New York, we decided to bring revolutionary politics to these events and received positive responses from the working class there.
As the vigil progressed, there was a call by community leaders for a march toward the Sherriff’s office that was to remain calm and collected. White flags were passed out along with signs calling for an end to police murder. Similar to the misleaders in New York, leaders of this march called for exposing the “bad” cops and respecting the “good” cops. These misleaders called for peace and increased participation in the system. Once Party members saw reformist politics leading the march, we mobilized to circulate more CHALLENGES and literature. One comrade began chanting “Policia cochina, racista y asesina!” (Police, pigs, racist and murderous!) that was warmly received and picked up by our working-class brothers and sisters.
The workers’ anger, especially that of Christian Portillo’s brother, grew. The march became a picket line and eventually PLP pushed to move down the block in front of the Sheriffs’ station. PL members’ chants got louder and more militant. Then, Portillo’s brother tacked a flier attacking these racist murderers on the station wall. One comrade took a bullhorn and gave a speech linking the murder of Christian Portillo to the capitalist system that would continue to flourish with reformist politics. This comrade called for workers to fight back and join our fight for communism. At the end of the march, the misleaders continued their call to work within the system. Another comrade jumped on the bullhorn and gave another speech in Spanish reminding the crowd of the 1992 rebellions in response to the Rodney King beating. He called for joining PLP and building for communist revolution on the job, in the schools, and in the streets.
The most important lesson we learned is that we should never underestimate our class. Our initial hesitation to be militant at a vigil based on the fear of being seen as “opportunist” (taking advantage of the situation) was wrong. The actions of the working class in Lennox and especially some of the Portillo family members reminded PL’ers of the responsibility they have to build the fight for communism. PLP made contacts here and will continue to build the relationships needed for the long-term fight for revolution! Only revolution will end these brutal police murders and the terror that is capitalalism! J
Protesters Charge Cops With Racist Killing of Latino Worker
Workers PLP met at the Lennox vigil (above) called and invited us to another rally which we attended in Compton the next week against the police killings. Family members of the several victims of racist police terror actively led chants, as they continue being under police surveillance and intimidation. The rally got support from cars passing by and honking.
PLP members led the chant “Black, Brown, Asian, White — to smash racism we must unite!” Later, when Christian Portillo’s sister spoke, she echoed these sentiments, saying that we all need to unite against racist cop terror. Portillo’s friends and family all took CHALLENGE and were interested in reading it along with our leaflet linking the racist police murders of Portillo and Kevin Wicks in Inglewood with the rulers’ drive to make the working class pay for their wars and economic crisis. One person we had met at the first rally asked us for the new CHALLENGE. She had read the previous one and liked it. She noted that this was the sort of thing that started the civil war in El Salvador. We agreed and could see why the Summer Project which just ended was so important.
By expanding CHALLENGE networks and organizing workers in the factories, in the military and in schools, PLP is laying the basis to lead the fight against racist police killings around revolutionary communist politics and to build the fight to end racist terror once and for all, not with dead-end reforms but through the long term fight for communist revolution.