by Marc Hangler, Youth Organization RED*REVOLUTION (Austria), 15th August 2014, www.redrevolution.at
Ferguson, Missouri. On the 9th of August, Saturday night Michael Brown was shot by a police officer. The black youth walked on the street, and was met by an armed officer. According to his attending friend, Dorian Johnson, and other eye witnesses, Michael had his arms up as the officer shot him several times.
The murder of Michael Brown is a case of pure racist injustice, and even more an example of how youths must fear the brutality of the police. Dorian Johnson describes the circumstances of the crime as the youths “bringing harm to nobody”, while the officer shot more than 3 times. (1)
Since then black youths took to the streets and clashed with police. Night by night, since then, protests were threatened by police. The demonstrators demand full clarification and a stop of police brutality. Police Chief Thomas Jackson hided the name of his killer-cop-colleague for five days and at the same time promises to be part of the solution of the case. However the United States are obviously uncomfortable with the situation, sending State Police into the city. Wednesday night in Ferguson police fired tear gas to whip black youths off the streets, who ignored their order to disperse. Obama said that "There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting.” (2)
Many protestors were arrested for their actions of solidarity. The police want to criminalize the solidarity-movement of blacks, youths and progressive activists. Even SWAT-Units were present at many rallies against police brutality. Tear gas was used against the protestors, actually at the very beginning of the demonstrations.
This shows once more that the police is an armed tool of the capitalist state and can never be an instrument for a progressive change in the society. The working class and the youth can only rely on themselves and their own armed organizations.
No black youth is safe from police
This is not the first case of violence against blacks. Trayvon Martin for example was one of the previous prominent victims. We have to see that the black working class and urban poor, and black youths in particular, live a harsh and dangerous life in the US. 11.5% of all Afro-Americans are unemployed. (3) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, black youth in the USA unemployment rate is about 24.8%. (4)
The black masses – as well as the workers and poor from the Latino, white and other communities – demand jobs, affordable housing, real equality and an end of the police harassment. The capitalist system will never meet these demands. The only answer of the imperialist state is repression and state violence. Unsurprisingly, as we see currently in Ferguson, this method leads to an outrage of the oppressed.
This outrage is absolutely legitimate. But we need to go further and to change the living conditions of the working class and fight for a socialist system. For this we need the multi-national unity of the working class, the poor and the youth. Black, Latino, White, and Asian workers and youth should fight together against the capitalist exploitation and racist and national oppression.
No Justice, no Peace!
The youth organization RED*REVOLUTION says that the protestors in Ferguson are absolutely correct to say: “No justice, no peace!” as this was correct in the case of Trayvon Martin and all the other cases of murder by the racist system. (5)
But justice will not come automatically but must be fought for. Therefore we call for:
* Immediately release of all jailed protesters! Stop the persecution of working and poor youths!
* Instead of calling for “peaceful protests”, the community leaders should help to organize the resistance against the police violence!
* Build self-defense committees! Such committees should be elected in the neighborhoods and communities, and should organize the defense of blacks, youths and other oppressed against the real criminals – the police.
* No trust in any police and state investigation! For a popular tribunal elected by workers organizations, black community and neighborhood leaders, who are trusted by the black workers and poor! They should find out about the concrete circumstance of the murder. Only such a tribunal has the legitimization to decide what really happened and which penalty should follow.
* Michael Brown will not be the last of us to die by police brutality – we need to organize ourselves against the capitalist system to gain real justice and equality. We should build an international revolutionary youth organization in order to fight the problems which are the reasons for oppression and exploitation, such as racism, oppression of women, the imperialist great powers and the capitalist system. In the end only socialism can give us a real future!
We need to fight police brutality by any means necessary – this is what RED*REVOLUTION fights for! Join us!
(1) For the interview see: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/12/us/missouri-teen-shooting/
RED*REVOLUTION is the youth organization of the RKO BEFREIUNG (Austrian section of the RCIT)