Tag Archives: Police Murder

Protesters Battle the KKKops In Ferguson

The Progressive Labor Party salutes the working class in Ferguson who engaged in armed struggle with the police. The racist ruling class tried to fool the primarily Black working class by putting a Black police officer in charge, but the appearance did not change the essence of racism at the heart of capitalism. As more and more evidence comes out, it appears much clearer that Michael Brown was shot execution style while holding his hands aloft. It appears more and more likely that the KKKops made up a story and tried to justify their murder of a young member of the working class.

Molotov cocktails were used against the police who are trying to impose a curfew on the working class. The fascist ruling class only allows free speech when it’s hate speech or pushes one of their rotten ideologies. When it’s angry Black workers demanding an end to the fascist conditions they’ve been exploited under for centuries, the ruling class takes off its kid gloves and unleashes the kind of hell they’re used to unleashing in the rest of the world. The kind of brutality they are able to unleash on any part of the working class as part of their imperialistic drive allows them to further brutalize their home ruling class.

The national guard called to the border in Texas against undocumented mostly children fleeing the conditions US capitalism created in South and Central America is also the national guard called into Missouri against the Black workers who have had enough. Basta Ya! Enough is enough in any language. It is about time the working class fought back against the violence of the state with armed struggle. As many a protester shouted, “they’ve got guns and we’ve got guns.” The ruling class was terrified because many young men were willing to die that night fighting against the racist injustice of capitalism.

Regardless of whether or not this working class violence against the state brings the racist police officer Wilson to some kind of discipline or reprimand, it won’t change the racist nature of the capitalist system. It will be only a matter of time before the KKKops kill another young black working class teenager. PLP wants to eradicate racism, and in order to do so, we must eradicate capitalism. The police, the courts, and the KKK are all a part of capitalism, and reforming it by indicting and disciplining one police officer, though it is a minor victory, will not fundamentally change the nature of the capitalist system.

The ruling class slipped their fascist hand in Missouri. They showed us workers what we can expect when we even peacefully use our first amendment guaranteed right to peacefully assemble — in a scene right out of Falluja, heavily armed KKKops masquerading as combat troops attacked and restored the order of capitalism. This is a clear reminder that the only rights the working class have under capitalism is what we are able to force the ruling class to give us. This is why we need state power. The working class needs to organize the PLP in Missouri so these gains and armed struggle are not lost. How great would it be if every time a racist pig gunned down a worker, an uprising occurred that none of the bosses’ stooges, not Sharpton nor pastors, could pacify. Justice will be served when the KKKop that killed that young man is turned over to the working class. By building PLP, and eventually a Communist revolution to put the working class into state power, justice will finally be served because there will no longer be capitalists protecting their murderous thugs in blue.

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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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Fascism Grows In The USA, Ukraine, Gaza, And All Over The World

Racism is the other side of the coin of patriotism. Patriotism and nationalism are synonymous and are the ideological foundation that motivates the working class to kill themselves in the interests of their own bosses. Whether it is small nation nationalism or big nation nationalism, borders are artificial and divide the working class. Borders do not stop capital investments from flowing; they just keep the working class producing at the lowest wages possible. When the workers try to flee the harsh economic conditions that US imperialism creates, they are then scapegoated and used to facilitate anti-immigrant racism, thereby dividing the working class and turning it against itself.

The Party recently marched and rallied against anti-immigrant racism in Murrieta, CA. Since we were not defenseless women and children nor liberal pacifists, they did not confront our militant, multi-racial, multi-gender march against the fascist organizing going on. Towns like Murrieta are important to the bosses because they allow them to whip up the kind of hysteria that their fascist designs need with more wars looming against Russia and China.

In Ukraine, hundreds of dead workers litter fields as one group of IMF/EU/US backed workers battles against Russian backed workers. The dead women, men, and children of flight MH17 and the recent victims of Israeli colonial style racism in Gaza are actually victims of capitalism. Russia is pointing out that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter was trailing the Malaysian plane. Whether or not a Russian made BUK missile is to blame or an air-to-air R-60 is doesn’t change the fact that innocent workers have died in a war zone between rival imperialists trying to geostrategically divide the world. The working class suffering and dying in Gaza is also part of the crimes of modern day capitalism.

How many children does capitalism kill each day? How many children are right now dying of thirst in the desert because they can’t live due to the highly profitable drug wars being fought by destitute working class youth organized into gangs in places like Honduras and Mexico where their blood fuels vast profits in banks that make money from the money laundering.

Today, July 21, is also the one year anniversary of Kyam Livingston who was murdered in a Brooklyn cell. The same racism that killed her took another victim, Eric Garner, last week as a man was murdered by the police for selling loose cigarettes. The same racism that is build and fueled by deporting undocumented workers and their children is the cutting edge of fascism that is being wielded relentlessly on the black working class.

As fascism is being built in the US and around the world, it will be the working class that fights and dies for the super rich to get super richer. WWI saw the world get re-divided as a decaying empire, Britain, had to fend off its rival upstarts in Germany allied with the dying empire of the Ottoman Turks. Communist Revolution caused a quick ending to WWI and gave state power to the working class in The Soviet Union. They fought for Socialism then, and though great advances were made, Socialism will never lead to a Communist transformation of the capitalist economic system as it requires the market, retains the wage system, and does not abolish classes. The Progressive Labor Party knows that with the oncoming World War, the potential for Communist revolution grows. We need to be in it to win it, and we need all workers to join the PLP and help build it where they’re at.

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Following the racist tradition of police brutality in DC and Prince George’s County, cops have killed two unarmed suspects in two days. In Prince George’s County, the cops chased a man through woods and shot him as he tried to climb over a fence. The 7 year veteran of the police force claimed he feared for his life.  Of course!  No weapon was found at the scene—other than the cop’s gun.

In a gross display of brutal overkill, the Secret Service and the Capitol Police shot 17 times and killed an unarmed mentally ill young black woman who apparently tried to first crash the White House and then tried to crash the Capitol. The cops declared that there was “an active shooter incident”, but the only shooters were the trigger-happy cops. In fact, the chief of police boasted that the bollard barriers to both the White House and Capitol, put in place after 9/11, worked perfectly.  If that was the case, there was absolutely no reason to gun down the erratic driver. But in the Washington area, it seems that if you’re black, the cops shoot first and ask questions later.

The “war on drugs” by the government and cops made blacks an even bigger target of police repression, and the “war on terror” has unleashed military style attacks against any “threat to the homeland”. The working class is enduring ever greater fascist terror.  It is time to resist and fight back!

Workers and students in the Peoples Coalition in Prince George’s County recently rallied to demand the indictment of the Prince George’s cops who killed Archie Elliott, 3rd as he sat handcuffed in the front seat of a police cruiser in 1993. The States Attorney finally agreed to meet with the Peoples Coalition, but brought the message that there was no way that her office would re-open the 20 year old case. Now there are two more bodies that the killer cops have given us.  The struggle will continue, and workers’ revolution will finally bring justice that can never be attained in a racist capitalist system!

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oaklandOAKLAND, CA, January 12 — On January 1, Oscar Grant, an unarmed 22-year-old black man, was murdered by a racist BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) cop. Grant cried to the cop, “Don’t shoot me! I have a four-year-old daughter!” whereupon the cop shot him in the back while he lay on the ground, sparking hundreds of youth to rebel.  This state-sponsored execution-style murder is one of the latest examples of “business-as-usual” under the racist capitalist system.

On January 7, workers and youth held a protest rally at BART where the murder occurred. As anger grew, up to 500 people eventually marched from that BART station to downtown Oakland where a rebellion occurred. Youth attacked police vehicles and businesses along the route.

The murdering BART cop is part of a force for which Homeland Security allotted millions of dollars specifically to transit police in the rulers’ “war on terror,” now being turned into a racist war against black and Latino youth.
Many of the young people who marched for immigrant rights on May Day last year were present. The united anger of young people from all backgrounds was inspiring. Some held signs with Oscar Grant’s picture, linking his murder to the massacre in Gaza as the latest examples of state-sponsored terror. When Oakland’s black mayor Ron Dellums showed up, he was booed. When he pleaded for “calm” later at the rebellion, he was ignored. PLP’ers brought our class analysis and internationalism to the protest and distributed CHALLENGES.

The rally’s open mike heard most speakers call for a calm protest, requesting a “police oversight commission.” But angry youth called for action. One youth declared, “This isn’t just a black thing, all of Oakland needs to unite and do something about it.”  Another young man said he “would personally organize a riot if the cop wasn’t convicted.” Thuyen Tran, 24, of Vietnamese descent, despite the damage to his family’s business, said he understood the protesters’ anger: “It doesn’t make sense,  using brutal force. It doesn’t feel good because No.1, I’m a minority, and No 2, I’m a young kid.” (NY Times, 1/8/09)

All these comments contained the seed of a class analysis about the difference between state-sponsored, institutional violence from the police and violence among youth due to being saturated with divisive capitalist ideas. They present an opportunity for PLP’ers to raise with co-workers and friends that pacifism towards the police won’t stop cops’ violence (nor gang violence). Only developing class consciousness among young working-class people will do that, understanding that they are all in the same boat, and have a common, often violent, class enemy that controls the government and uses the police to repress workers’ opposition to ruling-class oppression.

Whether through unemployment or underserved schools and resources, capitalism has always marginalized black and Latino youth. The large, militant response to this murder shows that these youth are a potential force for rebellion. However, they need to see the connection to the overall capitalist system, which depends on racist super-exploitation for super-profits.

It is precisely these angry youth who the ruling class wants Obama to divert away from rebellion against racist oppression into patriotic “national service” to fight in U.S. imperialist wars. (See editorial front page.)
As the bosses’ economic crisis deepens, continued attacks here and abroad will intensify. The current massacre in Gaza reflects what this system has in store for the working class worldwide.

This protest showed the need for communist leadership to develop this kind of analysis among these youth. We must step up our participation in the community organizations in and around Oakland and build our influence on our jobs, in our unions and in the schools and not be caught off guard. Calling for strikes on the job against these police-state murders is more relevant in light of this rebellion.

Just as we saw in Greece, where the working class was already in motion against austerity measures and was inspired by the action of young people, this rebellion here shows that the working class is smoldering and impatient, that working-class-wide unity is possible.

The door is wide open in these events when we go with our friends and co-workers. Oscar Grant’s murder has outraged vast numbers worldwide who know the intimate details from the internet. To go from outrage and rebellion to class-conscious, planned, working-class-led revolution is a long process. It requires a communist party — PLP — active among workers and youth to lead to this goal.

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Relying on Politicians Won’t Stop Racist KKKops

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD, Aug. 20—Hundreds of workers, mostly Latino, attended a vigil to protest the brutal killing of plumber Manuel Jesus de Espina by a Prince George’s County cop. Manuel and his son were drinking in the stairwell of his apartment building, celebrating his 40th birthday. The cop, known for his swaggering brutality, claimed he feared for his life because Espina grabbed for his gun (or was it his baton? The story kept changing), but working-class eyewitnesses reported that Espina did not resist arrest but was beaten, blinded with pepper spray and then shot. Who do you believe? PLPers brought the message of militancy, anti-racism, multi-racial unity and the need for communist revolution to this gathering.

Under communism, there won’t be cops protecting rich people’s property, because there won’t be any rich people or private property. The communist leadership of the new society will resolve conflicts in a comradely way, jail racists and build a unified working class. The role of cops under capitalism is to terrorize workers and protect the bosses and their system. As anti-immigrant racism grows, the cops will increasingly brutalize and murder immigrant workers to fulfill this mission.

Today we are still exploited by capitalism and murdered by racist cops. In Prince George’s County, 14 workers have been shot by the cops since January 2008, several fatally. Twenty years ago, cops beat Gregory Habib, a Ghanaian student, to death here after he failed to stop at a stop sign. The cops were exonerated. “Going through channels,” advocated by leaders of the vigil, has never worked to hold cops accountable, and never will end this racist, fascist intimidation.

We are already campaigning against the lynching of Ronnie White (almost certainly by cops or prison guards) in his jail cell two months ago (CD, 30 July). Then came the needlessly brutal SWAT attack on the home of a Mayor Calvo of Berwyn Heights, and now Espina is murdered in Langley Park. These blatant attacks are just the latest in our area’s long history of police violence, racial profiling and murder. The grassroots People’s Coalition for Police Accountability (PCPA), led mainly by black workers in the County, launched resistance to police brutality over ten years ago, and the 2005 PLP Summer Project in D.C. joined that struggle.

Local politicians and some community activists called for patient reliance on the very system that oppresses all workers. They urged attendees not to “take matters into their own hands.” The wife of State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey (charged with investigating and prosecuting the lynchers of Ronnie White) hugged family members, spoke of justice for Mayor Calvo, but did not mention Ronnie White. She gave Mayor Calvo’s dead dogs killed by the cops more play than a lynched young black man! Politician Victor Ramirez, Delegate to the Maryland House of Representatives, actually blamed Manuel for his own death, saying that he may not have led the most perfect life, and then quickly added that violence never solves anything, so rely on the “justice” system and don’t fight back.

In addition to politicians, representatives of several African American organizations spoke out in solidarity as well. PCPA leader Dorothy Elliott spoke eloquently both about Ronnie White, and her son Archie Elliott, who was murdered 15 years ago by the cops as he sat handcuffed in a police cruiser. The translator never translated her words about Ronnie White!

The lack of militancy did not sit well with the hundreds of angry workers, who rushed to our militant bilingual signs charging PG County cops with racist murders, and linking the attacks on African American Ronnie White and Latino Manuel de Espina with the slogan, “Workers, United, Will Never Be Defeated.” Several new friends offered to help hold these signs, and hundreds more eagerly took CHALLENGE-DESAFIO as over 250 papers flew out of PLPers’ hands.

The organizers invited friends and coworkers of Manuel to speak after the politicians. In the beginning, they mostly spoke of what a great and loving father Manuel was. But then workers’ anger came out and stories of police brutality and intimidation rang out over the crowd. The organizers only let that go on for two or three speakers and then shut down the rally, fearing the growing militancy of the crowd.

PLPers spoke afterwards with workers. One man said, “It isn’t just here that this happens. It happens all over. As long as there is money in a system there will always be oppression and wars.” Another cited the importance of multi-racial and multi-gender unity in the common fight against our common exploiters. Several contacts were made and all were invited to our next events, including the annual PLP Crab Feast and the PCPA forum scheduled for September 9. Our fight against racism, police brutality and for the working class will continue until the exploitative system of capitalism is crushed by workers’ power.

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France: Black and Arab Youth Rebel Against Cops’ Terror


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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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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