UNAC Statement on Police Murder
The war here at home is epitomized by police murder, with more than 1,100 victims every year. One of those three persons who are killed every day will be an African American. The deaths of two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castille, were seen on video by millions of people and prompted outrage and protest in this country and around the world.
The same week that the daily domestic carnage became temporarily visible, the NATO summit convened in Warsaw, Poland. President Obama used that venue to make a statement replete with platitudes and insincere expressions of condolences. The president has failed to use his authority to prosecute any of the police who kill, even in the presence of video evidence.
While the justice department pleaded impotence in bringing justice to Tamir Rice or Eric Garner or Michael Brown, the president invented a previously unknown right to assassinate American citizens for any reason without charge or trial. He exercised that self-granted authority when he ordered the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son in 2011.
NATO is the weapon of American aggression abroad. It was the apparatus used to destroy the nation of Libya, kill thousands of its citizens and murder that country’s president. The same rationales of a spurious right to protect is still being used to wage war against Syria. The wars against those two countries created an ongoing humanitarian crisis as millions of people have been displaced.
The lack of justice for victims of police murder subsequently created even more death. A Dallas, Texas army reservist was the named suspect in the shooting deaths of five police officers in that city. His motivation is unknown because he was killed by police explosives without charge or trial and his purported last statements come from the people who took his life.
The same president who presided over the NATO summit used words like “vicious” and “dastardly” to describe the shooter but the words surely apply to him and his cohorts. In addition to deadly interventions in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan, NATO continues to expand in eastern Europe and is now making plans to maintain a force of 31,000 troops on Russia’s borders. NATO risks real war and the possibility of a nuclear conflict in an effort to uphold an imperialist system in crisis.
Micah Johnson, the dead suspect, was deployed in Afghanistan, and like many before him came home a changed and damaged man. He was part of the vicious, dastardly and endless war against that country. Presidents Obama and Bush rushed to pay homage to the dead police officers while they have the blood of thousands on their hands.
The protests against police murder have been met with new
repression. Activists have been arrested across the country for practicing the
right to protest. Local and federal law enforcement are also making arrests
based on statements made in social media.
Piecemeal "reform" and calls for police training are promoted by individuals and forces who don't really want to make change. The police are well trained in the dictates of white supremacy as they protect and serve the interests of the ruling classes. They are the domestic militarized force used to maintain the laws, order, and the assets of the 1% and the racist system of state violence they depend on. That is why we must work towards black community control of the police, with the right to hire, fire, prosecute and investigate.
Police surveillance and brutality are used to feed the system of mass incarceration which makes America the world’s worst jailer. U.S. military expenditures dwarf those of the rest of the world, and are equivalent to the next seven largest defense budgets combined. Virulent racism at home and the drive for American hegemony abroad are killing thousands of people and eroding civil and human rights around the world. President Obama blandly said of the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille, “We can do better.” He has often called America exceptional. Right now it is exceptionally brutal and unjust to people all over the world.
Stop the wars at home and abroad!
Justice for victims of police murder!
Community control of the police!
No to NATO, no to war!