The Chicago August 29 demonstration to stop police crimes and to establish community control over the police is nothing short of a historic step forward for the movement against racist discrimination and national oppression, and an advance in the fight for freedom, equality and liberation.
A key demand advanced by the march is for the creation of an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) that would have the power to investigate and punish police crimes, and that would have real power to determine how policing is carried out in Chicago. The struggle for this demand to extend democracy has U.S.-wide implications and it deserves the consideration and support of everyone who is working to end police terror.
The growing movement for community control of the police comes in the context of new upsurge in the African American liberation movement. During the last great upsurge in the late 1960s, the Black Panther Party demanded the community should control the police. Today, the rebellions against police terror and against police crimes in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, the rise of the Black Lives Matters movement and the mass protests against police terror in cities across the country are clear signs that community control of the police is an idea that’s time has come.
The police in general, and Chicago police in particular, have made a name for themselves with a reign of killings, beating and torture centers that are disproportionally aimed at the African American, Native American, Chicano/Mexicano and Latino and other oppressed nationalities.
The United States today is not about equality. It is about oppression. At the top are the 1% – the wealthy exploiters – and those who answer to them. The system is working very well for them, but for oppressed and working people it is a failure, a complete failure.
Social services are being cut back and our labor unions are under attack. Good jobs are disappearing, and at every step the Black, Latino and other oppressed communities are hardest hit. There is no justice and the ‘peace’ that is imposed upon the communities is the ‘peace’ of police occupation and violence.
The broad support generated by the August 29 march is the shape of things to come. There is yearning for change and the motion is there for real and concrete change. The time is now for a Civilian Police Accountability Council. We need community control of the police. The trade union backing CPAC, including the support of Karen Lewis, president of Chicago Teachers Union, is an encouraging development. Unity, a strategic alliance between labor and the Black, Latino and other oppressed communities is a powerful force for change.
Across the country the crimes of the police are being challenged. The movement against inequality and racist discrimination is growing. Nothing can hold back those who are determined to fight for justice and freedom!