Workers and youth of all color: unite in struggle! For self-defense committees against the police! Organize a general strike now!
Statement by the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 30 May 2020, www.thecommunists.net
1. Darnella Frazier, a 17-year-old(!), Afro-American woman showed incredible bravery when she not only filmed but also published a video of the brutal killing of our brother, George Floyd. Darnella Frazier received many threats and insults since the publication of the video and it is the highest duty of every revolutionary to defend and protect her against any attacks. However, it is her bravery that allowed the world to see the truth behind the events of the 25th May. It is her bravery that sparked a new wave of protests against the racial violence of the police forces.
2. George Floyd, a 46-year-old Afro-American, was killed by the white police officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. George Floyd said repeatedly that he can not breath and that he will not resist the arrest. The last 2 minutes and 53 seconds it was obvious that he has lost consciousness. Bystanders pointed out to Derek Chauvin and the three other police officers (Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng) who helped fixating George Floyd that he is not responsive and demanded from the police officers to check his pulse. The Minneapolis officers finally called the ambulance and unsurprisingly George Floyd was declared dead at the hospital. The official reason for the arrest was the allegation by a deli-employee that George used a 20 Dollar bill that was counterfeit money. In the police report written by the four killers in uniform it is claimed that George Floyd was drunk, aggressive and that he resisted the arrest. It is only because of Darnella Frazier's video that in this specific case of yet another murder by racist police violence, irrefutable evidence exists which also make Derek Chauvin and all the other three killers out to be liars.
3. In most cases police reports are seen as the truth by all authorities irrespective of what testimonies of eyewitnesses, recorded audio and other evidence is saying. This is especially the case if the eyewitnesses themselves are Afro-American. We should not forget that our sister Breonna Taylor, an Emergency Medical Technician was killed on the 13th March this year in her own home by police officers while she was sleeping. However, no video exists on this killing and the authorities have tried to keep information about the brutal murder of our sister (like in so many other cases) under lock and key. It is highly urgent that all cases in which our brothers and sisters were injured respectively killed while dealing with police officers become easily accessible for the public immediately.
4. The killing of George Floyd is just another brutal murder in the very long history of police violence against our brothers and sisters. Aiyana Mo'Nay Stanley-Jones (7-years old), Tamir Rice (12y), Kendra James (21y), Michael Brown (18y), Rekia Boyd (22y), Timothy Thomas (19y), Gabriella Nevarez (22y), Oscar Grant (22y), Korryn Gaines (23y), Sylville K. Smith (23y), Breonna Taylor (26y), Freddie Gray (25y), Sandra Bland (28y), Eric Garner (43y), Atatiana Jefferson (28y), Keith Lamont Scott (43y), Kathryn Johnston (92y) are just some of the known cases of murder by brutal police force. We, as the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) stand in full solidarity with all victims of racist police violence and their families, friends and colleagues.
5. It is of ridiculous irony that the ruling classes all around the world have enforced lockdown methods during the COVID-19 pandemic with the claim to protect lives while its repression apparatus was and is killing our brothers and sisters. Even in Minneapolis a curfew at 8pm was enforced which is rightly ignored by activists. No wonder that with the release of the video which shows the brutal murder of George Floyd, massive protests have resurged in Minneapolis and all around the United States.
6. The protests in the wake of the brutal murder of George Floyd are plenty and become more and more militant. Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles and Louisville have seen the biggest rallies so far. Police vehicles and even police buildings were set on fire. This is mostly a reaction to aggressive police force which is directed even against peaceful demonstrations. Even Omar Jimenez, an Afro-American CNN reporter and his film crew were arrested by the Minneapolis officers while they tried to report on the arrest of an activist. Associated Press published quotes by three different anonymous sources that the Pentagon ordered the army to prepare military police units to head to Minneapolis if the clown with the orange hair who answers to the name of Donald Trump gives his order. The quick developments have brought Minneapolis and other cities on the verge of a dual power situation and revived the mass mobilizations in the United States.
7. It is the combination of many factors that creates an extraordinary situation: Trump's Administration as one of the most incompetent bourgeois leaderships in the history of the United States, the experiences of the Black Lives Matter Movement, the bonapartist oppression during the COVID-19 pandemic in combination with the highest death tolls, the crisis of the U.S. health system and last but not least the worst economic slump since 1929. The Capitol in Michigan was stormed by armed Anti-Lockdown protesters a month ago who have proven again the world’s strongest, but declining, imperialist power faces a dramatic domestic political crisis. Against the background of these developments, both progressive and reactionary forces are mobilizing and it is only a matter of time before they clash. A 19-year-old activist at the current Black Lives Matter rallies was already killed by an anonymous attacker who shot at the protesters from his van.
8. The RCIT calls all militants and all progressive organizations to participate in the current spontaneous protests and to organize further solidarity actions. It is crucial to transform the current spontaneous local protests spread over the whole country into an organized national struggle. The goal must be to organize a general strike and to drive the police out of the communities wherever this is possible. For this, it is essential to hold mass meetings and assemblies in workplaces and neighborhoods to discuss and to plan how to evolve these spontaneous protests into an organized movement. Such meetings should also organize armed self-defense units in order to protect the protests against attacks by the police, army or racist respectively fascist forces. These self-defense units must consist of workers and oppressed who are trusted by their communities and who can be replaced if necessary. It is of highest importance to reject any demobilization of this movement, may it be in the name of peace, security or the fight against the pandemic. Quite the contrary, activists should demand from community organizations, trade unions and all progressive forces that the support such a plan of struggle!
9. We demand justice for George Floyd and all other victims of police violence. But we also demand justice for all of our brothers and sisters who were killed by white supremacists like Ahmaud Arbery, Meshon Cooper, Trayvon Martin and many others. We demand justice for all our brothers and sisters who experienced violence because of their skin color. Cases like the one of the police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who raped at least 13 women while on duty (most of them Afro-American women) show that the life of our brothers and sisters is permanently put under danger. As long as these offenders expect that the racist law will acquit them of a charge if they face any charge at all, they will keep attacking us. The RCIT demands that all cases of violence (including murder) against Afro-American people and people of color in general must be reviewed and renegotiated by a jury appointed by the labor movement and the communities. Such a jury must consist of Afro-Americans and other people of color, it must consist of women and youth. Only an organ of our people is able to judge.
10. Finally, it is obvious that the oppression of black people does not begin with police violence and racist attacks. It is the capitalist system that incorporates racism resulting in super-exploitation of Afro-American labor. Our brothers and sisters receive lower wages for the same work. Although they make a big part of the so-called essential workers, they are in bigger danger to become ill because of cheap food with little to no nutritional value, huge stress at work and little to no access to health care. Even wealthy Afro-Americans receive worse medical care than white people. The capitalist-racist system is not only responsible for the regular killing of our brothers and sisters by white supremacists and police. It is also responsible for many deaths of Afro-Americans because of health issues they developed, the poverty they faced, the maltreatment they received and the stress they were put under. The RCIT says: the only road to black liberation is to annihilate racism by smashing the underlying capitalist system. This can be only achieved via a socialist revolution of the working class and the oppressed. We call activists in the U.S. and all over the world to join us in building a revolutionary party dedicated to achieve this goal!
The RCIT calls all militants and progressive force to demand justice for our killed brothers and sisters – NOW!
International Bureau of the RCIT