Montag, 25. August 2014

Ferguson, Missouri, U.S.: Righteous rebellion against police murder and martial law

18 August 2014. A World to Win News Service. An 18-year old black man named Michael Brown was gunned down in cold blood by a white police officer as he and a friend sauntered down the street on 9 August in Ferguson, a working class suburb of Missouri's largest city, Saint Louis. Ferguson is about two-thirds Black, with a police force that is almost entirely white. Police murders of young Black and other minority youth are a common occurrence in the U.S. And people have had enough. In Ferguson they stood up and stood their ground, righteously rebelling against Brown's killing, the vicious militarized police repression and the authorities' refusal to indict the officer. The people's defiant response to this brutal execution in full public view has riveted the attention of U.S. and world news. Social media are exploding with angry comments and debates. A woman carried a sign during the late-night protests that read "Making history". A report filed by a Revolution newspaper correspondent described the scene on 14 August: "Ferguson is under siege. Even though they don't say it, it is martial law, straight up. The city has been cut off from the rest of the surrounding area. Police vehicles have set up blockades at many intersections using military personnel carriers and riot police. The U.S. government has given military hardware to local police and they are using it against the people to try and intimidate them. "There is a no-fly zone over the city, and drones are being used to enable the authorities to focus on the protesters. Police helicopters have been hovering above the protest, streaming bright lights all over the protest area. There is the feeling of a war zone and the use of war tactics being brought down on the people in this city. But people have not backed down..." Brown's killing comes two and a half years after the widely covered murder in Florida of another black youth, Trayvon Martin, by a neighbourhood vigilante who was found innocent by the U.S. justice system despite months of furious nationwide protest. As the rebellion continued in Ferguson, in South-central Los Angeles people shouting the same slogan, "Hands up, don't shoot", marched to demand justice for the murder of Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old Black man with mental illness shot dead by the infamously racist LA police department in early August. These same police had beat 37-year-old Omar Abrego to death nine days earlier. A black-middle aged man, Eric Garner, was recently strangled to death by New York City police while being arrested for selling cigarettes. All these are just a few of the many victims of U.S. police brutality. The situation in Ferguson is changing rapidly as the different contingents of the ruling class try to figure out how to handle and control this mass outrage – using despicable lies to slander Brown and sending out Black representatives of other law enforcement agencies, Black church spokesmen and "liberal" politicians (all the way up to Obama) to plead with the people to stop their struggle, while they intensify the repression. As we go to press the National Guard had been called out on 18 August but protesters continued undeterred that night, and several arrested. More information at revcom.us. Following is an editorial dated 17 August in Revolution, newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. One week into the struggle for justice for Michael Brown and everything has changed – and nothing has changed. Everything has changed: people stood up and fought back and refused to back down in the face of bullets and tanks, scolding and phony sympathy, and everything else. Fighting back and simply demanding justice for Michael Brown and that these pigs stop murdering young Black men. Simply demanding that the humanity of millions of youth be recognized. And when they did – when they went right up against the dogs and the gas and the bullets – they got sympathy from all over the world, they inspired others to stand up, and they put this question squarely on the agenda and changed the terms in which everybody thought and talked about it. People stood up and showed that the people who run this are NOT all-powerful, and that the force they use against the people is NOT legitimate. This is real progress, and it is solely due to determined struggle. At the same time, nothing has changed. There is no justice at all – whatsoever. The pig who murdered Michael Brown still walks around uncharged. In fact, we don't even know the number of bullets that he fired into Michael! We don't even know why these pigs let Michael lie in the street like a dog for FOUR HOURS after he was shot and who made that ugly, horrible decision. And that damn chief of pigs who released the video designed to assassinate Michael's character still has his job. There is not even a whisper of consequence for any of these pigs. God DAMN this shit! Right now is no time to stop the struggle, or try to turn it into some bullshit voting thing or some demands on some lying politicians somewhere else. Right now is time to redouble the struggle, to take it to a HIGHER level. These righteous demands – to indict and jail this pig, to fire the pig chief, to give a full accounting ASAP – these have to be met now, not next week or next year. Don't tell us that "it takes time to charge someone" – it doesn't take time to charge and indict a Black or Latino youth who they think might have done something. Hell, it doesn't take time to kill them, when they don't get onto the side-walk fast enough or stop selling cigarettes or just look the wrong way. We don't need promises about how the Department of Justice is gonna take care of it – the Department of Justice is the Department of IN-justice. The only thing it takes care of is protecting this goddamn system. Let's be real clear: if people had listened to those at the middle of the week who said "trust in Ron Johnson" [the Black state police chief sent in to "calm" the situation]... if people had listened to those who said "okay, be angry but don't be too angry"... if people had stayed out of the streets when the pigs told them to... then none of any of the progress that HAS been made would have been made. This struggle has to keep going and it has to go higher and broader, involving more people. And as we keep on struggling, ask yourself this: WHY does this keep happening? WHY, after all the years of voting, of trying to get an education, of "doing all the right things" and all that... WHY? Because it's a system – and right now this system has no more use for millions of Black and Latino youth and they are penning them in, locking them down, and killing them off. They are demonising and dogging these youth to justify all that. We need a revolution to deal with this – one that dismantles all their state power and brings in new power, which really does serve the people in getting emancipated, and contributing to emancipation all over the world. We don't need people telling people to vote, to trust in the Justice Department, and all that mess. We don't need people saying that they're militant, then acting like deputies and junior cops. We need unity, demanding justice – NOW! Indict and jail the killer cop! Fire the police chief! Full accounting of what happened: immediately! Fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution!

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