Hundreds of demonstrations continue to sweep the U.S. since the police murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014. These demonstrations, punctuated by acts of civil disobedience of varying degrees of disruptive power, have escalated since the St. Louis grand jury refused to indict Darren Wilson, the police murderer of the 18-year-old Brown.
Immediately following on the heels of the act of the St. Louis grand jury, a grand jury in New York refused to indict the armed killer cop who, with the assistance of a gang of like-minded domestic colonial military forces, called police, cruelly abused Eric Garner and choked him to death in July, three weeks or so before the murder of Mike Brown.
As though anticipating the pitifully inadequate and disingenuous response by U.S. president Barack Hussein Obama that calls for body cameras for U.S. police, Garner’s murder was videoed and viewed by millions throughout the U.S. and the world.
The rapid crescendo of mostly spontaneous demonstrations by Africans and others that are increasingly swelling in number and intensity, has forced the U.S. and its army of supplicants and State-related media outlets to acknowledge the murder and terror inflicted on the African and other colonized communities within the U.S.
National marches and regional dialogue conferences are being called for Obama and his more than willing sycophants like Al Sharpton of the National Action Network.
This is an attempt to give the impression of movement toward resolution of the profound contradiction between the police and judiciary system and the colonially dominated African community.
It is an attempt to take advantage of the general lack of political education within the growing movement of Africans and others newly pushed into political consciousness by the heroic resistance of Africans in Ferguson, Missouri.
The narrative being constructed by defenders of the existing social order and the colonial domination of African people would obscure the fact that it is Africans who are being murdered and oppressed in the streets of the U.S. and that this is the issue that must be addressed.
Even the wounded families of the murdered victims of police murder are being coached by Sharpton and the media to proclaim that there is nothing “racial” about the murder of their loved ones.
They are also influenced, sometimes obviously by Sharpton and his crew, to denounce revolutionary violence and hatred of our class enemies and national oppressors as represented by the arm of the State commonly recognized as police.
Additionally ruling class media organs are pointing out on every occasion that the demonstrators are of every “ethnic” group. This is an attempt to liquidate the colonial question that is currently attempting to burst the American lie at the seams.
This is accompanied by the growing assertion by the U.S. apologists that the protest demonstrations and civil disobedience are simply acts by America to “heal” itself in a manner consistent with a mythological nonviolent American tradition – an obvious appropriation of the stance of the struggle against U.S. oppression by the U.S. government and general white population.
The lack of experience, organization and political development by most of the masses of people, along with the U.S. proxy demonstrations braying the same message, contribute to the efforts by the government to hijack the movement of the people before it achieves clarity and coherence.
This is where the role of the Party is critical. This is where the locus of the experience, history, organization and advanced revolutionary theory of the people is centered. This is the meaning of 42 years of revolutionary history by the African People’s Socialist Party.
While we continue to be a small, but growing Party, we must show the way.
We must struggle to give the movement of the people against the police, the first line of defense of the colonial status quo, strategic coherence.
First, we must help the people to understand that the police in any country is an arm of the State, an organ of coercion. So are the court and grand jury. So are the Justice Department and all its arms. So are the prisons, jails, juvenile centers, etc.
The State is an organization that is made necessary by the divisions in society between the haves and have-nots, between those who live at the expense of those who are constantly and systemically stripped of ability to enjoy the products created by our labor. The State protects the monopoly of power and resources by the ruling class.
All states are oppressive. But the colonial State, the State that came into existence with capitalism born of slavery and colonialism, is the most vicious and oppressive state.
This is because the colonial State reduces its primary victim to status of the “other,” thereby even winning citizens of the State to willing participation of oppressing the colonized, sometimes as a popular extension of the colonial State.
Killing 12-year-old Africans and other young people in the U.S. is not different from how the U.S. colonial state functions in Afghanistan or Iraq or how its military outpost, Israel, functions in Palestine.
These are not accidents, none of them. These are acts of a colonial State doing what it must do to protect the status quo.
This is what we must explain. We must say it over and over and over until the people are able to understand and their actions can be so informed.
In addition, we must help the people to understand that we will never know real freedom as a people until we have defeated the oppressive colonial State power and replaced it with black people’s State power in the hands of the African working class.
The demand that we should raise through the length and breadth of the U.S. at this time, when the attention of the people is focused on the oppressive colonial State, is Black Community Control of the police!
That’s it. This is our response to the reality, constantly mentioned by the ruling class press, that the mobilizations don’t have a message. This idea of a non-message facilitates the ongoing efforts by the ruling class and its hirelings like Sharpton to define and lead this genuine outpouring of the people for an end to police terror against our people.
Black Community Control of Police is a demand that, although reform, initiates a struggle to deconstruct the colonial State presence in our community.
Black Community Control of the Police is a democratic demand in that it places control of the police directly in the hands of those most affected by police behavior. Moreover, there is no legitimate reason to be offered by the ruling class or State for why the people should not have control of the gun-wielding forces in our community.
This means the power to hire, fire, discipline, fund and train police would be in the hands of African people. We can create community councils that would have this responsibility.
This means the police will cease to be an invading force that comes to the African community looking for trouble, but would have to live in the community and share in solving all the contradictions of the community, including poverty and joblessness, poor housing, poor and poisonous education, poor or no healthcare, etc.
This means the role of the police would have to change. Their uniforms would also change – from the military, storm trooper outfits and gear that are designed to instill fear and function to remind the people that we are under occupation.
This will not be the easiest campaign. Partly because many of our people will have a problem conceiving of black power, power in the hands of the people. Already, since we have begun pushing the issue in earnest we hear people who are attempting to take up the call, but who almost every time modify the demand for Black Community Control of the Police to accommodate real power remaining in the hands of the colonial State.
That can change. It can change with the relentless public pursuit of the demand in every venue and using all forums and methods of struggle to make it change. It can change with the persistence of the Party and the realization by growing numbers of African workers of the responsibility to build the African People’s Socialist Party.
We are winning!