Working-class outrage is mounting as the cops murder more and more Black workers. But U.S. rulers and their figureheads — from Barack Obama to Al Sharpton — are frantically trying to divert this anger away from its just target: the profit system. While racist violence hits Black workers hardest, it harms our entire class. State-sanctioned terror has propped up capitalism since the days of the slave trade. The super-exploitation of non-white workers nets the bosses super-profits (see box) and enables them to lower wages and living standards for all.
Ferguson, MO, November 30 — More than forty Progressive Labor Party members and friends from New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles traveled here this weekend to express solidarity with the workers of Ferguson and demonstrate against racist police terror. In the wake of the grand jury’s refusal to indict racist killer kkkop Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown, young members of Progressive Labor Party learned how to organize under pressure. We met the escalation of police repression with an escalation of our own, training a significant number of new fighters and recruiting more than a dozen — mostly Black, Latin, and Asian women — to the Party.
The rebellion of the workers in Ferguson has led and inspired the international working class. They have shown us a glimpse of the power of multiracial fightback under militant Black leadership. The weekend’s impact went far beyond its relatively modest scope. It showed that when communists put forward a revolutionary line in bold defiance of the bosses and police, workers respond and unite with PLP into battle.
Los Angeles, November 27 — Hundreds shut down freeways, confronting the LAPD as Progressive Labor Party, friends, and other protesters took the streets following the announcement that Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the murder of Michael Brown. We maintained that multiracial unity is crucial in the fight against racist police terror.
Starting in the Crenshaw District we marched to the Police Department headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. Along the way, with our banner, signs, and bullhorn PLP helped lead the march chanting “Indict, convict, send those killer pigs to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The PLP has been in the streets repeatedly to protest police murder, from Ayotzinapa, Mexico to Ferguson, from New York City to Oakland. We are outraged by the capitalist system’s murder of our youth and we are inspired by the fightback. We are discussing the events with our co-workers, classmates, and friends, and we aim to take advantage of the situation to expose the system and radicalize the working class.
When the radical students of Ayotzinapa were disappeared by the Mexican government, we distributed a leaflet and protested at the Mexican consulate in San Francisco. Our leaflet linked the state violence in Ayotzinapa and Ferguson. A capitalist system that provides no future for its youth is relying more and more on state terror to keep the working class in line. At the rally we chanted in English and Spanish, “Drug war, No! Class war, Yes!” (Guerra del narco, No! Guerra de clases, Si!)
BROOKLYN, NY, November 25 — About thirty students and staff rallied in front of Tilden High School the day after the grand jury decided not to indict racist killer cop Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO. Today began with dozens of students and staff grabbing up PLP’s antiracist buttons to put on their shirts and book bags.
Students made signs throughout the day that said “I am Mike Brown”; “Racism Means Fight Back”; and “NYPD KKK” in preparation for the rally. There were lots of discussions around students’ experiences with police harassment and brutality. This issue hits close to home with a lot of students in this school who knew Kimani “Kiki” Gray well. Kiki was the unarmed, sixteen-year-old who was gunned down by racist NYPD in March of 2013, just a few blocks from the school.
BROOKLYN, NY, December 3 — Progressive Labor Party rallied in the Flatbush neighborhood today in the wake of both the Mike Brown and Eric Garner no-indictment decisions. We had organized a small uprising here in response to the murder of 16-year-old Kimani “Kiki” Gray last year. Progressive Labor Party has been fighting against racism in Flatbush for five decades. Throughout our presence, we have been connecting the dots between racist cop murders and the need to carry the fight for justice all the way to communist revolution.
Across the country and around the world, workers and students are moving from calls for reform to raising slogans like “indict the system.” As Obama rushes to purchase fifty thousand body cameras, the clear-as-day video evidence of the determined effort to take Eric Garner’s life by NYPD kkkops reveal the futility of such reforms to bring an end to racist murder.
Washington, DC, November 25 — Over 1,000 marchers — Black, white, Latino, and Asian — closed down Chinatown in DC’s central business district as outrage grew over the non-indictment of killer cop Darren Wilson. PLP youth led the communist contingent in the march, with masses of students and workers taking up the militant class-conscious chants sounding over the bullhorn. Over 300 CHALLENGEs and 200 PLP flyers were eagerly taken by protesters. Multiple contacts were made. The night before at midnight, three hours after the verdict, hundreds of Howard University students marched to the White House and then to Congress to protest the racist travesty of justice.
NEWARK, NJ — The struggle over police terror has sharpened here and it has provided an opportunity for more working-class youth to give leadership. Over the past two weeks, multiracial demonstrations have shut down the main streets in the city and have gotten a lot of support from passing drivers. During one demonstration, after kkkop Daniel Pantaleo got away scot-free with the murder of 43-year-old Black worker Eric Garner, workers left the bus stops and the sidewalks to join the march as it went down Broad St.
On the campuses, students are making plans for more militant actions across the city. As a result, we are starting to see a relationship forming between the college and high school students in the city. This is an improvement for the student movement. While most of the demonstrations have been about education, organizing an antiracist fight against police terror will bring the movement to a higher level.
Brooklyn, NY, November 21 — Today the Justice for Kyam Livingston Committee held the latest monthly demonstration in its campaign to hold the racist prison kkkops accountable for the death of this 37-year-old Black woman in a Brooklyn Central Bookings holding cell.
Kyam’s family and the committee have guaranteed that each month there has been some action to mark the date of her death. Although there are similarities in the monthly actions, change has occurred as well. A core leadership has formed closer political and personal ties.
In our Brooklyn PLP club, we’re constantly struggling to get all workers the chance to live with dignity. An opportunity came during the first week of December when, along with a mass organization in which we are active, we participated in the fast food workers’ strike. There were nearly 2,000 people in the rally and demonstration we attended very early in the morning in Manhattan, where we distributed CHALLENGE.
The speakers focused on their rejection of the miserable salary we earn which barely covers our necessities, arguing that workers need $15 an hour and the right to unionize to get benefits.