There are 574 people already assassinated this year. 140 of them were black
The past 5th of July in Louisiana, Alton Sterlin, who was selling CDs in the street, was brutally assassinated by the police. Barely after 24 hours, the police stopped Philando Castile’s car for having a broken tail lamp and strike him 4 shots in his chest while he was trying to catch his driving license. All this was happening in front of his 4 years old daughter and his wife, who recorded what occurred and spent the night isolated in police custody.
These horrible murders have arisen a repulse wave which travels around United States against the institutional racism and police violence, and that has been materialized in protests, rallies, roadblocks and highway blocks in as important cities as Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore or Phoenix, among many others.
A unilateral war against poor people
Nowadays, worker families in United States bear with the highest inequality rates since the second decade of the 20th century. According to official data1, unemployment covers 7,8 millions of people and other 47 million of people earn misery salaries. This scourge hits specially immigrant and black population: unemployment among black people doubles the one between white people, and normally black people take the worst paid seats and their conditions are more precarious. In addition to all this, black population of the poorest neighborhoods lives constantly under the pressure of police harassment: 1 in every 3 black people will be imprisoned at least once in their lives – 1 in every 17 for white people2.
The most reliable data base about police violence in the United States3 have registered 3.500 dead people in the last 15 years because of police brutality, closing 2015 with 1.135 dead people. The vast majority of them have been caused by police guns, though other causes are caused by guns such as Taser, knock downs, hit until dead or suffocation. However, data base is incomplete, and according the acknowledgment of some authors the real number of murders could rise to 10.000. Furthermore, according to a study of The Guardian, young black people are 9 times more likely to be murdered by the police, and there are at least 574 dead people so far this year – and it rises everyday4 – of which 140 are black:a 24% of the total number of murders, when Afro-Americans scarcely represent a 13% of the whole population.
A rebellion of North American workers. Black lives matter!
The murders of Alton and Philando have feed the rising social strain which United States lives. The rejection of police brutality is general in workers neighborhoods and, since the new was known, a ton of protests were made as repulse. The Dallas sniper has served as an excuse to militarize the police response: military kind cars, smoke bombs and tear gas have been combined with a constant police provocation, which pursues a justification to more than 270 arrested5 in the 5 first days of pacific protests.
At the same time, a campaign very keen on comparing the situation of defenselessness that black population suffers with the police’s one. A campaign which has taken up all international newspapers, with presidential declarations included. Evidently, the murders of Dallas’ policemen are a terrible fact that should have never been done, which, besides, will only give excuses for more racist policemen in defense of brutality and future murders alleging the fear of being murdered by black citizens. However, little or nothing at all has been talked about the real and palpable fear these days which millions of people, especially black, suffer each time a police stop them on the road or in the street. Images themselves, which we all have seen on television of beatings, shootings, strangles and brutality of all kinds reflect the complete impunity that exists about this. Everything is recorded! Every news broadcast publish them, the numbers are bloodcurdling and, despite all this, the murders continue and murderers are exculpated. That’s why the staging that the media try to do doesn’t matter: it’s not true that everybody suffer in the same way the fear, the discrimination, the insults and the beatings. Those who suffer are poor, in poor neighborhoods, where there are some who believe that they can act as western sheriffs in its worst meaning and do what they want, including murdering, without any consequence. They are black people, latin people, immigrants from all over the world and white poor workers who live in these neighborhoods, the ones who suffer this horrible situation. They don’t only have to put up with unemployment, misery jobs and terrible living conditions imposed by 1% of the population who enrich at their expense. Apparently, they have to pay for it, renouncing to their dignity, allowing to be treated as second class people, without rights, and, if applicable, die bombarded without saying a word.
This police brutality and the defenseless of the more oppressed in front of it forced young people and workers to make their own fight tools such as the movement for the defense of the civil rights with the Black Lives Matters platform heading it: movement originated after the dead of Trayvon Martin – a 17 years old young man at the hands of police who, after the trial, was free from responsibility – and that, after police brutality took also the live of Mike Brown in Ferguson, became even more stronger and a reference in all United States. In fact, among the arrested people after this weekend we can find DeRay MsKesson, one of the recognizable leaders of the movement, now released.
A true political revolution in United States
Capitalism is a criminal system which has nothing to offer to workers. Not even in United Stated, the first world power, the flagship of the system. The recurring “story” that we have heard so many times about the “American dream” has given way to the precarious reality, the poverty and the most brutal repression. And precisely the daily fight of American workers against the scarcity of life, for a public healthcare and quality education, or the fight against police brutality is what feed the political revolution which has made possible events such as Bernie Sander’s one. This rebellion which is gestating among North American population, which connects to their revolutionary traditions, which formed Occupy Wall Street, which denounce that 1% of the population denies what it’s necessary for the 99% remaining, which defends the rights of immigrants, black people and the whole body workers and which has nurtured a historic campaign to a possible presidential candidate who defends socialism…all this is what American establishment fears, which trust in their reactionary police as the last guarantee to maintain the stability.
From - Sindicato de Estudiantes - (Students Union in Spain) we feel inspired by the fight of Black Lives Matters and of all black workers, whites, immigrants who are filling the streets for millions and facing police brutality, against the impunity that these kind of criminal actions enjoy , which only take their anger on those who are more humble. We send all our support and solidarity in a fight that we understand as ours.
Enough police brutality!
Black Lives Matters!
1.- Bureau of Labor Statics, United States Department of Labor: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
2.- American Civil Liberties Union: https://www.aclu.org/issues/mass-incarceration/racial-disparities-criminal-justice
3.- Mapa de la brutalidad policial: https://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/171579-mapa-nivel-brutalidad-policial-eeuu
4.- The Counted, people killed by police in US: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database
5.- The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/10/micah-johnson-dallas-gunman-explosives-attack?CMP=share_btn_link