USA: Stop the Police Terror!

Defend our black brothers and sisters against the murderous police-state! Defeat chauvinism in the workers’ movement and win it over for the struggle against oppression!

 

By Johannes Wiener and Yossi Schwartz, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 11.7.2016, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

After the recent murders of two black brothers – Philando Castile and Alton Sterling – by white policemen, the task for revolutionaries in the US is to intensify the struggle against police violence. The Revolutionary Communists International Tendency (RCIT) sends it sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the murdered, and warmest greetings to all those who are fighting against racism and police violence in the US.

 

We want to say clearly that the police and the (in)justice system in the US are waging a war against the masses of black people and, to a somewhat lesser degree, against the Latinos and poor whites. This war means that (statistically) nearly every day police kill a black brother or sister; 30% of all people who are killed by the police are black (while they represent only 13% of the total population). In the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, police in the US killed nearly 1,000 black brothers and sisters. (1) In addition to these murders, we also must pay serious attention to the daily harassment of blacks and Latinos in “traffic controls,” stop and search operations, and the terror of prison. Police in the US are not security forces, but rather an army of occupation in the black ghettos! And their behavior is not very different from that of regular armies of occupation in colonies.

 

 

 

The Dallas Shooting

 

 

 

In response to the horrific ongoing police violence against blacks, last week a black brother, Micah Xavier Johnson – in an act of counterproductive individual bravery – shot and killed five white policemen in Dallas, before he himself was killed by a police-robot. As revolutionaries, we understand that individual terrorism (the isolated killing of policemen, soldiers, bosses or politicians) is counterproductive to the cause of the revolution and black liberation. We maintain this not because we have any sympathy with the racist state apparatus, the function of which is to ensure that the rich stay in power, the prisons are filled with our black and Latino brothers and sisters, and the masses of the poor are too afraid to fight for their rights.

 

Why are such acts counterproductive to the cause of liberation? Because we need to smash the whole state, its entire repressive apparatus, and not merely eliminate a small part of it. And the capitalist state apparatus can only be smashed by the masses of the working class and the oppressed (blacks, Latinos and poor whites) – and not by a small armed group. Therefore, all actions of liberation fighters must be directed towards strengthening the political consciousness and the self-organization of the working class. Individual terrorist acts don’t serve this goal.

 

The rich and powerful only exploit such acts of isolated heroism as a pretext for enacting more reactionary laws against the masses of the people and the black liberation and revolutionary movements. We are fighting for the day when we can dissolve the police and the army as a whole; but such counterproductive acts are just pushing this day further into the distance.

 

Nevertheless, we express our sympathy for this brave brother, Micah Xavier Johnson. His lone act expresses how weak the revolutionary movement is in the US, in that it provides no constructive outlet to such dedicated fighters who, while their hearts are in the right place, cannot be convinced to dedicate their energy for a long and successful struggle. We must also to pay close attention to the fact that Micah suffered from the psychological effects of having participated in the US-imperialist occupation of Afghanistan. This personal experience seems to have had a very negative impact on his personality. Like many other young men from poor backgrounds, he was mentally destroyed by the same US military machine that physically destroys the masses of the Afghan, Syrian and Iraqi peoples.

 

 

 

 

Israeli Training and Consultation for US Police

 

Following the murder of 18 years Michael Brown by Ferguson police in Missouri the local police dressed in combat soldiers rampaged through the streets of Ferguson, pointing assault rifles at unarmed residents and firing tear gas into people’s front yards from behind armored personnel carriers, all bringing to mind the occupied West Bank. Noteworthy, is the revelation that many of the policemen who were deployed in Ferguson were trained by Israel security forces using their own experience of terrorizing the Palestinians.

 

Political commentator John Miranda recently stated that police brutality is directly linked to the training some officers receive in Israel.

 

“As for the increase in police brutality within the United States, I think this definitely can be pointed towards the Israeli training that the Department of Homeland Security is giving all of American police officers. Some police officers are actually being flown to Israel for the training, not all of them but some, and then those that are flown to Israel, they come back home and they train the head officers in the training that they’ve gotten in Israel. All these incidents, it is not just happening to African Americans. Police are literally being brutal with all Americans.”

 

Right-wing Americans blame president Obama for the killing of the police officers in Dallas. For his part, during a press conference in Spain, instead of attacking racist police killings, President Obama stated “whenever those of us who are concerned about fairness in the criminal justice system attack police officers, you are doing a disservice to the cause.”

 

 

 

 

Oppression of Black People and Social Injustice

 

 

 

In addition to calling violence against police a “reprehensible crime,” Obama also cautioned Black Lives Matter against extreme rhetoric.

 

If we paint police in broad brush, without recognizing the vast majority of police officers are doing a really good job and are trying to protect people and do so fairly and without racial bias, if our rhetoric doesn’t not recognize that then we’re going to lose allies in the reform cause,” he explained. “In a movement like Black Lives Matter, there are always going to be people who say things that are stupid or are imprudent or are overgeneralized or are harsh.”

 

And this is coming from a president that during his term in office young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers. According to the findings of the British Guardian study there were 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers in 2015. (3)

 

This should not surprise us as under President Obama:

 

  • 25% of black households live below the poverty line as compared to eight percent for white households.

 

  • One out of three black children lives in poverty.

 

  • Blacks are twice as likely as whites to be unemployed.

 

  • Blacks earn $13,000 less per year than their white counterparts.

 

  • The unemployment rate of African Americans has consistently been twice as high as for whites over the last 50 years.

 

  • For every $100 in wealth of a white household, the black household only has $6 in wealth.

 

At the same time the capitalist class is becoming richer under Obama and the income inequality worse under Obama than George W. Bush. “In the 2009-2010 period, a time of modest economic growth, the top 1 percent of U.S. earners captured 93 percent of all the income growth in the country. Got that? Now compare it to how the mega-rich made out during the Bush upswing years of 2002 to 2007. During that time, the top 1 percent of earners captured just 65 percent of all the income growth.” (4)

 

 

 

How Best to Counter Police Violence?

 

 

 

We need to develop a successful strategy against police terror. What we need are not appeals to President Obama, who at the time of the shooting in Dallas was attending a meeting of the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world – NATO. Obama condemned the killing of the policemen in Dallas calling it a “vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement”. (5) It is absurd that Obama has the gall to make such a statement at the same time that he is planning with other imperialists how to conduct vicious, calculated and despicable attacks on civilians in a number of countries. How can Obama expect to be taken seriously by any sane human being when US troops harass the masses in Afghanistan and their bombers terrorize the people of Iraq and Syria – all under the pretext for fighting against terrorism? We need to kick out of the movement for black liberation all the “leaders” of the black community who stir up illusions of the good intentions of this cynical enemy.

 

Whenever someone is shot or mistreated by the police, we need to set up an independent investigation conducted by a jury comprised of members of the victim’s local community. This jury should be assisted by experts who have the trust of the community. The individual cases of all persons incarcerated in prison need to be reviewed by a similar jury. All prisoners who have been jailed for minor non-violent drug offenses, or for stealing from corporations and the rich (while at the same time not harming the poor), or for other minor, non-violent offenses, should be freed immediately.

 

At the same time, we should begin an independent investigation of all police departments. Police officers who have killed or mistreated people should be jailed immediately. We need to set up action committees in all neighborhoods which are open to all those who want to resist police terror. We need to have eyes and ears everywhere, both to immediately help the attacked brothers and sisters along with documenting the police brutalities. We need to form self-defense groups which will convince the police to stay peaceful in a language that they really understand. Such self-defense groups should be elected by the community and be responsible for keeping our neighborhoods safe from all criminals who mistreat the masses of the people (whether in uniform or not).

 

In addition to this, it is urgent that we struggle for the full equality of black, Latino and migrant workers in the workplaces. Down with both Clinton and Trump – both are enemies of our class and will just introduce more attacks against our rights!

 

It is crucial to fight inside the workers’ movement – in particular the trade unions – against all forms of chauvinism and for solidarity with our black brothers and sisters.

 

The RCIT calls for the formation of an independent revolutionary mass movement for black liberation. Such a movement should focus on winning over black workers and the impoverished masses of the ghettos for a joint struggle with all oppressed people – Latinos, white workers, Asians, Muslims and Native Americans! In addition, we need to build a multinational revolutionary party which can lead and coordinate the struggle against the racist, oppressive capitalist states; against unemployment and for decent housing; which can put an end to the wars and occupations directed towards other peoples, as well as against the black people inside the US! Down with US-imperialism – There’s no liberation without revolution!

 

 

 

No justice – no peace! Long live black liberation – down with police terror!

 

 

 

Footnotes:

 

(1) http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/

 

(2) http://thefreethoughtproject.com/u-s-police-routinely-travel-israel-learn-methods-brutality-repression

 

(3) http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database

 

(4) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/income-inequality-obama-bush_n_1419008.html

 

(5) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/09/us/politics/obama.html?_r=0

 

 

 

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About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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