Anti-racist movement must call mass protests nationwide
Of the Louisville police officers responsible for the death of Breonna Taylor, only one has been charged, 4 months after her killing. That officer is charged with “wanton endangerment” for firing rounds that hit a neighboring apartment. Two officers have had their actions ruled as “justified” and will not face charges. The capitalist criminal “justice” system has demonstrated clearly that property is more important than human life. Over the days preceding the decision, the city of Louisville fortified the courthouse and National Guard were mobilized, evidence that the ruling class knew the decision in advance, and knew it would provoke protest.
The killing of Breonna Taylor was entirely avoidable and displays the rotten nature of policing in capitalist America. Serving a warrant for a different person who did not live at Taylor’s residence as part of the “war on drugs”, the non-uniformed police used a battering ram to break into the apartment without announcing themselves, prompting Kenneth Walker, Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend and a licensed firearms owner, to fire in self-defense. The police fired 32 rounds, 7 of which hit Breonna Taylor. The police report was full of lies and errors, and Kenneth Walker was initially charged with attempted murder for firing a warning shot to defend himself! No knock warrants are incredibly deadly and are representative of the trends towards police militarization and occupation of working class communities. We must put an end to no knock warrants, the racist War on Drugs, police militarization, and we must subject the police to genuine democratic control of the communities being policed.
Protests in Louisville and across the country were organized after the killing and have continued regularly over more than 100 days. They will undoubtedly grow in size and anger as black and working people everywhere respond to the further cover-up. The movement so far has done much to raise the consciousness of broad sections of workers and youth, but it is clear that the ruling class believes it can outlast the anti-racist movement and get away with inaction. It is crucial that now, more than ever, the movement steps up the pressure and scale.
Members of the movement around the country must immediately:
- Organize committees of democratically elected leaders, activists, organizers, and community members. These committees can develop a far reaching program made up of demands designed to fight police brutality and poverty, and to bring in people from all sections of the working class. These committees should organize the supporters of the movement into a disciplined force that can carry the struggle forward. Communities should link up across cities, states, and regions to form coordinated networks of resistance.
- These committees must organize protests, decide tactics, and prepare communities to counter police and right-wing violence. These protests can only succeed as large, sustained, regular actions, reaching out to and bringing in broader and broader sections of the working class. Openly, democratically, and with huge numbers they can use tactics of civil disobedience, occupation, strikes, and self-defense to apply pressure to the ruling class and bring in more supporters.
- A serious effort must be made to reach out to the rank-and-file of the labor unions to win them over to the movement. Workplace actions are a powerful tool that can be brought to bear on the capitalist class and its representatives in the courts and government. Workers already involved in the movement should discuss with their coworkers to draw them into the movement as well, and organize to bring the anti-racist struggle into the workplace.
- Identify members of the community and movement to run for political positions, independent of the Democrats and Republicans. These campaigns must base themselves resolutely on an anti-racist, pro-worker platform, all of which is fundamentally opposed by both of the capitalist political parties that continue to enforce and expand systemic racism.