Friday, May 1, 2015

A Mayday victory for Freddy Gray

Freddy Gray, kidnapped, tortured, murdered by the Police
by FFWP Admin

Thank you and congratulations to all the protesters, youth and workers who forced the state to take action against the Baltimore cops that participated in the murder of Freddy Gray. This activity is what forced Baltimore’s top prosecutor to file charges against all six cops who were involved in illegally kidnapping and imprisoning Freddy Gray, in the process breaking his neck and killing him. This is a major victory. 

This has to be the message from all working people, trade union members, African Americans and specially oppressed minorities in this country. Thank you and congratulations to the young people and not so young people who took to the streets in Baltimore, Ferguson and throughout this country over the past period. All working people gain from this victory.

This is also a blow against the increased militarization and brutalization of mostly black and brown people by the US state apparatus that has intensified since the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999 and the Occupy Movement that followed and is directed against all workers.  US capitalism is bogged down in predatory wars and occupations throughout the world and is forced to cut living standards of all workers at home in order to pay for the plunder of weaker nations backed up by military might.

Thank you also to the majority of the people in this country who did not take to the streets but who knew that the cops had killed Freddy Gray and this was not right. The decision of the Baltimore and national elite who so far appear to be backing the prosecutor in her decision to prosecute the cops, took into account this widespread feeling across the country, that these cops killing young African American males and also young and not so young people was wrong.

This US ruling class became worried that the whole country would explode, that things might get beyond their control.  They are well aware of the anger that simmers beneath the surface of US society. So while celebrating this action against these six cops we must have no illusions in the justice system or state representatives.  The prosecution only came about because of the protests and the fear of the so called authorities of what would happen if they came out and announced they were letting them off. Their fear of a generalized movement developing is real.

Marilyn Mosby
Neither the state or its prosecutors can be depended upon to protect working people and the specially oppressed minorities. Despite Marilyn Mosby, the prosecutor saying that  "no one is above the law," we know that is not true and that the decision to file charges, even if it comes from a woman or person of color, does not change the nature of the system.

It is only mass pressure from below that can bring this about. This is what Baltimore showed. It was not the African American preachers and politicians and their whining for calm that won this victory. It was the protesters who defied the cops and the illegal curfew, in reality defied the martial law, who won this victory. 

The cops in Baltimore and the so-called Fraternal Order of Police, had a special law written for them. This allows them ten days before they comment on any incident in which their members are involved. In other words ten days to get a story concocted and agreed to. The head of this cop organization. Gene Ryan, has stated that none of the six cops now charged were responsible for Freddy gray's death. This is incredible.

So if it was not the cops who murdered Freddy Gray who did?  One of their members has been found to have lied that Freddy Gray had a switchblade knife and this was why he was arrested. But it was not a switchblade knife; it was a legal knife. These cops are liars. The so-called, Fraternal order of Police is is perpetuating these lies. There was no justification for stopping him or arresting him

There needs to be a discussion opened up on cop’s organizations. Are they unions or are they not unions?  Engels the great socialist leader said the state was armed bodies of men whose purpose it is to defend capital and private property (not our right to a home unfortunately). Today we would also say women. Is this still not true?

If it is so then should they be allowed to have a union as most workers understand the term?  Perhaps the solution is that they are allowed to have a union but with certain restrictions. They can never be used to break strikes. They can never be used to impose a curfew or martial law. They have to give up all their military vehicles. The members of the cops have to live in the areas in which they work. They have to wear body cameras at all times.

There are undoubtedly other restrictions that should be imposed. But perhaps this will help to initiate a discussion on this topic. The one thing is certain, the cops and state apparatus cannot be allowed to carry on as they are. The so-called cops unions cannot be allowed to continue as they are, more like a mafia sworn to silence than a union. 

In the last analysis, public safety cannot be under the control of the capitalist state apparatus.  Public safety can only be genuine public safety if these bodies are composed of workers that live in the community, are elected by members of the community and not sworn to uphold laws made by politicians who represent the material and financial interests of the 1%.

Thank you again to all who stood up to the cops who murdered Freddy Gray, who defied the illegal curfew, in reality martial law. This is a victory for all working people and youth, for all specially oppressed minorities and women.

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