BRONX, NY, July 28 — On July 19, hundreds rallied and marched on Bronx’s 47th precinct demanding the conviction of Richard Haste, the cop who murdered black teenager Ramarley Graham in his own home on February 2. This was the 18th consecutive weekly vigil commemorating each of the years young Ramarley was alive. Once again Ramarley’s parents were militantly out front.
Due to consistent mass, multiracial pressure, Bronx District Attorney Johnson finally indicted Haste, but only on manslaughter charges. The masses have been demanding murder indictments, not only for Haste but for all racist kkkops who supported him.
PLP comrades and others have also called sharply for indictments of Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly, the primary ruling-class architects of the racist terror that has slaughtered one black worker every other month in NYC since last November!
Beginning with our brother Ramarley’s funeral, week in and week out a growing number of PL’ers and friends have become deeply involved in working closely with workers in the neighborhood and in mobilizing our friends for regular mass actions. Because of the trust we’ve developed, we’ve been increasingly able to raise our ideas for multiracial unity against fascist terror, reliance on the working class, not politicians and for communist revolution as the only solution.
Each week PLP distributed CHALLENGEs and PLP leaflets en masse while also regularly carrying a Party banner. During most marches people have often shouted, “Give the teacher the mike!” and one young comrade has led chants against fascist genocide and for fight-back uniting women and men, workers and students, black, Latino, Asian and white.
But nationalists, pseudo leftists, lawyers, preachers and politicians have also constantly hammered various pro-capitalist, opportunist positions, confusing many honest protesters. In effect, they’re laying down the gauntlet for us to widely expand our own leadership in class struggle, with mass CHALLENGE sales and deepening ties with everyone we bring to and meet in the struggle.
This final vigil, march and rally showed clearly how the bosses are working overtime to co-opt and derail anti-fascist struggle. The Nation of Islam speaker urged everyone to kiss the backside of the system: “Do not be disrespectful to those in power above us. We need more strong politicians.” And, in effect, he complimented our work and presence with blatant anti-communism: “We are here only for young Ramarley and his family. Do not try to attach your agenda to this
The New Black Panther Party speaker passionately summoned black people alone to rise up in self-defense, ending with the chant, “Black Power, Black Power,” picked up by some in the crowd. But that refrain rang particularly hollow, given the thoroughly multiracial make-up of the hundreds rallying outside Ramarley’s home.
However, PLP’s deepening involvement in this fight and principled struggle for PLP’s ideas guaranteed our opportunity for rebuttal. Immediately one young PL’er spoke, contradicting virtually every reactionary point the nationalist had pushed! He concluded with a call for unity with the lockout of Con Ed workers, then leading the sharpest fight against the ruling class that organizes fascist terror. He challenged every anti-racist present to join the protracted struggle for communist revolution.
After the rally at the precinct, many participants marched to the Graham family’s church for another rally where capitalist bigwigs were the featured speakers. Led off by the bosses’ media personality Al Sharpton — who years ago informed on black leaders for the FBI — they focused on diverting us into the suicidal gutter of electoral politics. Brooklyn Councilman Williams warmly introduced City Comptroller Liu who unabashedly pushed his mayoral bid.
These are the same politicians who hadn’t shown their faces previously or at the demonstration that night and had pushed for a silent Father’s Day demonstration on 5th Avenue. Imagine if that march had had the militancy of those led by Ramarley’s family!
However, ultimately the working class is very sharp. If we redouble our efforts, more and more will respond to PLP’s ideas and join to bury this racist ruling class. While listening to the crap emanating from the pulpit, a comrade quietly slipped a CHALLENGE and a PL leaflet into the hands of a middle-aged black worker. During several speeches he quietly read the entire leaflet, then folded it carefully, placed it in his backpack along with the CHALLLENGE and walked out of the church with his cane — another of the system’s victims who may join capitalism’s gravediggers for the most joyful funeral in history.