Tag Archives: Police Brutality

The Uprising in Missouri Illustrates the Need for Communism

With all that is happening in these dark days of the dark night that the working class is being brutalized under, there is a general feeling of powerlessness: the “what can I do about it?” syndrome. This passivity-bred powerlessness is vital to the interests of the ruling class. All of the massive problems facing the working class today are primarily caused by inter-imperialist rivalry. This passivity was smashed by the murder of a young man, Michael Brown, in St. Louis by the racist police. The murder of the young Missouri teen and father in Staten Island by racist pigs illustrates how before a ruling class can attack its rival ruling class, it must attack its own working class even more viciously. The purpose if these attacks is for the ruling class to discipline us in order to wage war, and this process is called fascism.
The uprising in Missouri, though inspiring, parallels the peasant uprisings that would rage like a firestorm until they were extinguished.

The killing has drawn comparisons by some civil rights leaders with the 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a Florida neighbourhood watch organiser who was acquitted of murder charges. PLP supports these rebels who are angry with the racist police, and we would have liked to see and have participated in this same action initiated by Garner’s death in Staten Island. We find it welcoming to see angry Black workers opening fire on the KKKops at the injustice of the racist system. In contrast to the narrative the police constructed in order to blame the teenage victim, Dorian Johnson, who said he was with Michael Brown, gave a different version of the police murder:

He told local broadcaster WALB a police officer told them to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk, and when they continued walking, the officer confronted them.
Protesters have called for the police officer to be prosecuted with murder…

A resident on the street where the shooting occurred told the Associated Press news agency Brown had his arms raised but the police officer stood over him and shot him (execution style).

The major contradiction inherent in this uprising is that the violence against the state, the petty bourgeoisie, and the reappropriation of products, called “looting” by the press, though inspiring to the working class, will not lead to Communism. It may lead to a temporary reform where the pigs may hesitate a bit more before murdering another black member of the working class, but it will not fundamentally alter the nature and role of the KKKops as the protectors of private property and inequality.

We must take to heart that in order for us to make systemic and lasting change, we must build revolution where we are. We need to build the Progressive Labor Party so that we can make a concrete and lasting change, not just rise up like a firestorm and then be put down. PLP condemns the racist police and the ideology of racism that justifies their action. We were born in the heart of the Harlem uprising and fully support workers rising up and fighting back, but the PLP must grow if we are to change the daily misery and exploitation of inter-imperialist rivalry.

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Anti-Racist Fight vs. Police Murders Continues

LANGLEY PARK, MD, September 24 — “Fight Back!” chanted PLPers at a rally against police brutality today. Over 150 people gathered here, led by CASA de Maryland (an immigrant workers’ rights group) and supported by the People’s Coalition for Police Accountability. Protesters spoke out against the police murder of Manuel Jesus de Espina, the lynching of Ronnie White by prison guards (officially a homicide according to the coroner’s report), and the SWAT attack on the mayor of Berwyn Heights. Dorothy Elliott reminded protestors of the long struggle for justice, which she has been seeking for the murder of her son by police in the 1990s.

PLP members brought a message of militancy and revolution to this gathering, distributing over 40 CHALLENGES to fellow protestors. Many in the crowd appreciated the more militant spirit. A Guatemalan man eagerly took DESAFIO and said, “we need a society where everyone is equal — these police will continue the brutality until we have a new system.” He liked PLP’s international organizing and outlook, and planned to show the paper to his friends and family. A worker from El Salvador was visibly angry, declaring “the police are without shame; they come in the community and want our help, then they turn around and kill our friend. On top of that, when we stay on the corner looking to work, they kick us off the corner with threat of arrest, when I am only just trying to feed my family.”

With the exception of the poignant personal stories and the revolutionary line of the PLP, this event was only a symbolic rally that had the effect of quelling any sense of fight-back. It is almost as if the organizers were saying: “Come out, light a candle, think about the victims, then go home and continue your lives as wage slaves and you will be lucky if you are not targeted by the police.” Many workers were optimistic that the rally might lead to justice. But we need to build a fighting spirit of anti-racist militancy in the spirit of John Brown and Harriet Tubman and swell the ranks of the PLP to advance this struggle beyond symbolism.

The reality of the situation is that under capitalism, police protect the bosses and their property and use racist terror against workers. The long history of police brutality will not be ended by rallies alone. At a time when the bosses’ financial meltdown will lead to more oppression of workers, the bosses will need to control fight-back with brutality and intimidation. Only the development of a mass militant anti-racist movement, ultimately leading to a revolution against capitalism, can stem the tide of police brutality.

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SEAN BELL KILLERS SET FREE BY RULERS’ COURTS

While the liberal bosses prance around and pat themselves on the back for “making change” and proclaiming the end of racism in the U.S., three cops have been set free for the murder of Sean Bell in November 2006. Seems like the cops and the courts never got the memo.

Bell and two friends were shot at by plainclothes kkkops after leaving a bachelor party at a bar in Queens, NY. The cops claim that Bell and his friends first tried to run them over and that one of the men inside the car appeared to be grabbing for a gun in his waist. The cops then wasted no time shooting 50 BULLETS into the car, killing Bell and injuring his friends.

The bosses enlisted the ex-FBI informer and pacifier of black workers’ anger, Al Sharpton. Our class should not be led by this bosses’ agent who pervasively sells  the snake oil of justice under capitalism. He’s done it before with Amadou Diallo who was shot 41 times by the fascist police, and Patrick Dorismond in Manhattan and countless others. The cops’ main role is to protect and serve the bosses’ private property and terrorize workers, especially black and Latino youth, so that they do not turn their anger into rebellion.Bosses\' Henchmen

With the coming elections the bosses need to win black, and all  workers, to U.S. imperialism to stay ahead of their rivals like China, Russia and Europe. Barack Obama and the bosses need to give them hope that the system can work for them in the face of years of slavery, Jim Crow racism, segregation, police terror, poverty like in New Orleans and after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Workers and students should organize their friends and co-workers to expose the cops’ role in the racist system of capitalism. No court will guarantee workers justice.

MARCH ON MAY DAY AGAINST POLICE TERROR,

RACIST CAPITALIST SYSTEM

MAY 3rd 12 p.m.

NEW YORK CITY, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO

for more info, cd188@juno.com or write to this blog

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Will Cops Go Free for Sean Bell’s Murder?

While the liberal bosses prance around and pat themselves on the back for “making change” and proclaiming the end of racism in the U.S., three cops might very well be set free for the murder of Sean Bell in November 2006. Seems like the cops and the courts never got the memo.

Bell and two friends were shot at by plainclothes kkkops after leaving a bachelor party at a bar in Queens, NY. The cops claim that Bell and his friends first tried to run them over and that one of the men inside the car appeared to be grabbing for a gun in his waist. The cops then wasted no time shooting 50 BULLETS into the car, killing Bell and injuring his friends.

The bosses enlisted the ex-FBI informer and pacifier of black workers’ anger, Al Sharpton. Our class should not be led by this bosses’ agent who pervasively sells  the snake oil of justice under capitalism. He’s done it before with Amadou Diallo who was shot 41 times by the fascist police, and Patrick Dorismond in Manhattan and countless others. The cops’ main role is to protect and serve the bosses’ private property and terrorize workers, especially black and Latino youth, so that they do not turn their anger into rebellion.

With the coming elections the bosses need to win black, and all  workers, to U.S. imperialism to stay ahead of their rivals like China, Russia and Europe. Barack Obama and the bosses need to give them hope that the system can work for them in the face of years of slavery, Jim Crow racism, segregation, police terror, poverty like in New Orleans and after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Workers and students should organize their friends and co-workers to expose the cops’ role in the racist system of capitalism. No court will guarantee workers justice.

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France: Black and Arab Youth Rebel Against Cops’ Terror

100 COPS INJURED:
“THEY WON’T STOP ’TIL THEY BURN DOWN A POLICE STATION”

VILLIERS-LE-BEL, FRANCE, Nov. 28 — Black and Arab youth have rebelled against the racism they face every day. Two police stations were attacked and 100 cops were injured in several nights of violent protest that rocked this Paris suburb. Angry youth have shot at the hated cops with hunting shotguns. The rebellion has spread to Toulouse.

The rebellion began after a police car deliberately struck and killed two Arab youth on a mini-motorcycle. The racist cops then fled. When the police failed to investigate the “accident,” the neighborhood exploded.

Le Monde, a French newspaper, quoted Younès B., a resident of Villiers-le-Bel: “A second police team came to pick up their colleagues. But they left the two kids without doing anything.”
The rebellion followed on the heels of two weeks of labor and student struggle (see page 3). On Nov. 27, while the Socialist Party Student group (UNEF) was trying to sell out the student and teachers’ struggle, riot cops attacked protesting students in Nantes. One 17-year-old high school student suffered a serious eye injury when riot cops aimed point blank at his face.
Meanwhile in this Paris suburb where the rebellion began, the father of one of the slain Arab youth, Larami, 16, said his son had been threatened by police last week.

“We’re fed up with the lack of respect,” said Ikram, 23, who used to live here. He predicted the uprising would continue. “The young people won’t stop until they’ve burned down the Sarcelles police station,” he said. Youth anger at the cops and the racist system they serve is very justified.

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Rulers’ Wars Intensify Racist Police State

Amid escalating war in the Middle East, and threatening inter-imperialist clashes (see page 2), the rulers must impose wartime discipline on the home front — FASCISM. With the liberal, imperialist wing of U.S. capital leading the effort, a full-blown police state exists for black, Latino and immigrant workers and those of Arab and Muslim background:

•Chicago: In August, the police went on a racist rampage and brutally murdered four young black men in cold blood, in four separate incidents. This year the police have murdered at least 31 workers.

•Atlanta: Undercover cops shot and killed a 92-year-old black grandmother, Kathryn Johnston, in her own home.

•Cleveland: In May 2007, police killed three black people – Aaron Steele, Steven Ray and Ira Mitchell – within three days.

•Conneaut, Ohio: On Nov 17, Immigration Customs Enforcers (ICE) arrested an immigrant mother breast-feeding her child.

•North Carolina: Police shot and killed Phillipe McIver, a 23-year-old black man.

•Los Angeles: LA cops murdered Francisco Mondragon a 24-year-old schizophrenic.

• Minnesota: Law enforcement agents have killed five black people in the first half of 2007.

•New York City: Nov. 25 marked the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Sean Bell, a 23-year-old unarmed black man, murdered with 50 shots from NYPD gunmen. On Nov. 7, the same NYPD assassinated 18-year-old Khiel Coppin, shot 13 times (see box). Since then, they have killed at least ten more people.

•Jena, LA.: Six black youth are being legally lynched for standing up against the racism of fellow students who hung a noose under a “whites only” tree. On September 20, over 50,000 people marched in Jena, protesting this racism and supporting the six youth.

•Since then over 60 incidents of noose hangings have occurred nationwide. (NY Times, 11/24)

•Thousands of Muslim workers have been detained in the U.S. and the Middle East and imprisoned and tortured in concentration camps in Guantánamo and “secret” CIA jails.

On the road to waging imperialist wars to control the flow of oil, the U.S. war machine has been tripping over a few roadblocks. Two of the main ones are their troop shortage and the fact that a crumbling economy hits most heavily on the super-oppressed black and Latino workers and youth. On the one hand, they need to win black, Latin and immigrant workers to fight and die in their wars. But since racism is inherent to capitalism, it inevitably shoots and harasses black and Latin workers while using the threat of deportation to terrorize and persecute immigrant workers. This racist terror undermines many of these workers’ loyalty to the system.

As a result of such racism, 2.2 million people are imprisoned nationwide, 70% of them black or Hispanic. Every twelfth black male between 25 and 29 languishes behind bars; the figure for whites is 1 in 100 (Bureau of Justice Statistics). Liberal misleaders and reformers have been working overtime to try to solve this insoluble contradiction: the system’s inherent racism oppressing black and Latino workers and their need to super-exploit them for super-profits, versus needing to use them as cannon fodder in their wars. They try to divert workers’ anger into such reform efforts as “community policing,” “civilian review boards” and their election campaigns. But to fight police murders we can’t fall into this trap!
The only way to smash the Klan in blue is to smash the racist system — capitalism — that uses them to terrorize working-class communities. Communism — the system of workers’ power, a society run for need, not profit — will sweep away these new night riders and their politician masters, crushing them like the cockroaches they are. To achieve this, we must organize!

POLICE TERROR

There is an alternative to capitalist oppression and its rotten culture: a society that produces for need, not profit; a society where the workers from all backgrounds can determine their own destiny as one united class; where we can stamp out selfishness, racism, sexism, killer cops, “workfare,” profit wars, prisons, deportations and national borders; where this system will be ground into the dust under the feet of millions of united workers and students.

That society is communism, and Progressive Labor Party is serious about organizing to make that world a reality. Join us!

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‘WANTED FOR MURDER: CHICAGO KKKOPS!’

CHICAGO, Nov. 16 — Students from Chicago State University, Purdue University-Calumet in Indiana, PLP members and other community members took part in a rally against police brutality on 87th and the Dan Ryan Expressway. The Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) long history of racist murder was repeated in August when cops killed Aaron Harrison and three other young black men and even more recently with the murder of rapper Freddie “Latee” Wilson. Protesters carried signs reading “Police Kill!!!!,” “Victims Must Have Justice,” and “Wanted for Murder: Chicago KKKops!” and chanted “No justice, No peace. No racist police!!!” and “Hey pigs what do you say? How many kids did you kill today?”

We distributed dozens of CHALLENGES and flyers to workers getting off the El train and to young high school students who talked about how the cops would stop and harass them and their friends in the neighborhood. We made many contacts and will be talking to them in the future about communist ideas and building a PLP base within the community.

To date, in 2007 the Chicago police have shot 31 people. Community misleaders like the Rev. Ira Acree of the Leaders Network and 28th Ward Alderman Ed Smith want an Independent Review Board to pacify angry workers and let the killer KKKops off the hook, but the protesters at the 87th street rally have some understanding that racism and police brutality cannot be ended by any “independent” board. We in PLP must win more anti-racist workers and youth to our communist politics to build the fight against capitalism, the real cause of racist police terror.

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Racist Cop Torturers: Chicago’s Abu Ghraib

CHICAGO, IL, October 26 — Yesterday a majority of the City Council asked a federal judge for access to the names of hundreds of Chicago cops who have multiple citizen complaints against them for brutality and false arrests. The Chicago Police Department (CPD) has lacked a superintendent since April and the current interim chief said that the current scandals are “eroding confidence” in the department. A former FBI official and president of the Chicago Crime Commission said, “Suspicion is running very high as to who you can trust, as far as officers.” (NY Times, 10/26)

This follows a series of crises that have rocked the racist CPD, starting with the ongoing investigations into the torture cases involving Jon Burge & Co. From 1973 to 1991, long before Abu Ghraib, detectives under Burge’s command used what the City’s own lawyers called, “savage torture” to get confessions from suspects. Ninety people complained of the use of electric shock with portable hand-cranked generators, suffocation, burnings on very hot radiators, the use of cattle prods on the genitals, severe beatings and mock executions.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor who convicted Cheney’s errand boy Scooter Libby, has taken over after the County’s four-year investigation found a long history of racist torture and brutality against black workers. It also found that Assistant State Attorneys never properly investigated the torture charges and that those who prosecuted the victims are now the very judges denying them appeals! The investigation also found that Mayor Daley, then a State’s Attorney, knew of the torture complaints and did nothing.

The statute of limitations has run out so the torturers, from Burge to Daley, cannot be prosecuted. The feds are investigating perjury allegations against police and others. The city is spending millions on attorneys, including Burge’s lawyers, to delay settlement of the civil torture cases.

More recently, the Special Operations Section (SOS), an “elite” anti-drug/anti-gang unit, was dissolved due to its own crime wave of robbery, false arrests, kidnappings, brutality, and murder. One cop is charged with hiring a hit-man to murder another cop who was willing to testify to save himself.

This past August, the police went on a racist rampage and brutally murdered four young men in cold blood, in four separate incidents. West Side workers and youth marched and confronted the police over the murder of 18-year-old Aaron Harrison. PLP was active in this fight-back and met many angry residents. They’re being invited to this month’s CHALLENGE dinner.

Last week, two cops were found guilty in a civil case of sodomizing a young black worker with a screwdriver, after having been “cleared” by the Office of Professional Standards. (OPS “investigates” citizen complaints). That will cost the city $4 million. Another jury awarded another black man $2 million for being framed and falsely arrested.

Like many politicians, CEO’s, bankers and union leaders, personal corruption has hurt the CPD’s ability to implement the rulers’ plans for war and fascism. To regain control of the police, the City is working with the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a “progressive” police think-tank that includes NYPD chief Ray Kelly and LAPD chief Bratton, and follows George Kelling’s community policing model.

Now Al Sharpton has opened up shop here to maintain control of masses of angry workers and youth, taking advantage of Jesse Jackson’s silence about the rise in racist police terror. Sharpton criticized Daley for not handling the SOS scandal. He’s calling for a civilian review board over the police.

But review boards won’t stop these racist killer-torturers from doing the bosses dirty work of terrorizing us into accepting a future of wider wars and poverty wages. Review boards won’t stop racist cutbacks in mass transit and public health to finance the endless oil wars. The racist murderers and torturers and the entire capitalist system they protect must be destroyed with communist revolution!

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