JOHNSTOWN, PA. July 2 — Last week, two white Johnstown KKKops opened fire on a group of unarmed black men, killing one, Rasheed Simms, and seriously wounding another, Lontell King. Though these mad dog cops had no real reason for murdering and wounding these black men, they were placed on paid leave until a so-called investigation could determine if they acted with excessive force — as though killing a guy could be labeled anything else.
The people did not take this lying down. While the local media is attempting to sweep this murder under the rug, on June 30 there was a militant anti-racist, multi-racial protest against the actions of these Killer Kops, calling for justice for the two victims. The wounded man was at the protest and showed his wound to the local news station. One young black man stated that the whole incident was caused by racism and most agreed with him.
Racism is no stranger to this city. It’s been reported that the local Klan has nine Klaverns in the Johnstown area. However, anti-racism is no stranger either. Some years ago, when the local Klan attempted to hold a rally in Johnstown’s Central Park, they were driven from the park by a group of multi-racial protestors.
Johnstown is not a large city but due to the closing of most steel mills, there aren’t many decent-paying jobs. The black community has been especially hard hit. The unemployment rate for black youth is quite high, and the police force is clearly racist.
Two CHALLENGE readers at the rally made the point that incidents like this were the product of growing U.S. fascism. Of course, the killing of black and Latino men by the cops takes place throughout this capitalist-imperialist society. This is all part and parcel of life in the capitalist U.S. It will take a communist revolution led by the PLP to put an end to racism and this sort of racist murder.