Workers need medical attention; cops respond with violence
Friday, April 5, 2019 at 11:33AM
Challenge_DesafĂ­o

NEW YORK CITY, March 26—Outside of City Hall, 25 protesters marched and chanted to oppose police being the first responders to those in mental health crisis. Since June 2015, the racist New York cops have killed 14 people whose neighbors or family called for assistance. All but one of those killed were Black or Latin. Racism infects every aspect of working people’s lives.
We are demanding that teams of mental health workers be the ones who answer such calls, and that they be reached by a system separate from 911, which goes right to the police.  Several churches, the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP), No New Jails, and Jewish Voice for Peace, and Progressive Labor Party (PLP) participated. Mental health professionals would tend to be compassionate toward their fellow workers. Cops are thugs for the bosses. They protect the bosses and their capitalist system. Their tendency is to shoot.
Overall, the racist police kill about 1,000 people a year in the U.S., of whom a quarter are mentally ill. Black, Latin, and indigenous workers are much more likely to be killed than white workers, and the police hardly ever suffer any consequences for their actions. So blatant is this behavior that the American Public Health Association, after a four-year struggle by young members, declared police violence to be a public health issue (endingpoliceviolence.com). Next week, the Mayor’s task force on the issue is planning to announce their solution to the problem—training all police on how to respond to such calls.
This will never work. Police are trained to be violent, to behave in a military manner, and their racism and mistreatment of workers is ignored or supported by the bosses and their politicians. In fact, police are the arm of the capitalist state designed to control and intimidate workers and perpetuate the racist divisions that are necessary for U.S. capitalism to maintain its empire and profits. In several communities that have tried the Mayor’s approach, it has failed because cops cannot be turned into caring ‘social workers’. Certainly more community mental health treatment is needed but that issue is not even being addressed.
We chanted and passed out leaflets for 90 minutes and made several contacts. Representatives of every group present made speeches. The No New Jails speaker told of their campaign against the new jails being planned in each of the five NYC boroughs, saying the money should be invested in social services, jobs, education, and health care. The Progressive Labor Party speaker talked about the role of police in capitalist society and our upcoming May Day March. At May Day we will promote a vision of a communist world run by the working class for our needs with no exploitation and profiteering. Every participant and about 100 others received CHALLENGE. Our campaign will continue next week when we attend the Mayor’s announcement of his bullshit plan.

Article originally appeared on The Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party (http://www.plp.org/).
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