August 12, 2014
On Aug. 9, Michael Brown was murdered by the police in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. The African-American youth was only 18 years old. He was unarmed and committed no crime, yet was brutally shot by the police after they stopped and harassed him while he walked to his grandmother’s house. Michael had a bright future ahead of him, as he was set to start classes at Vatterott College just a few days later. His family was proud of their son.
Two witnesses say that Michael had his hands up in the air when the police officer fired several shots, killing him. After murdering him, the police left his body for hours on the street, showing a total lack of respect. The next day, during a candlelight vigil, clashes broke out once again in Ferguson. The people’s rebellion lasted late into the night. The police had wrongly murdered a community member and the people of Ferguson wanted justice.
The murder of Michael Brown, as well as the murder of others like Eric Garner, Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, shows that the system of national oppression is alive and well in the U.S. The police are the day-to-day enforcers of this system and they remind us of this with every Black man they murder.
Just as one of the foundations of the U.S. economy was profits from slavery, the U.S. legal system began with a constitution that said that African Americans were only three-fifths of a person. In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that African slaves and their children have no rights in the U.S., in the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford. Then in 1896, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation was constitutional in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson. And early last year, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, opening the door for racist local and state governments to exclude Black and Brown voters from the polls.
Even though an African American man has been elected president and there is a Black Attorney General, the law, the police and the courts are not about justice. They are there to protect the property, privilege and power of the monopoly capitalists – the richest 1% who own and control the companies and government that dominate the economy and society. They enforce the national oppression that African Americans face: the all-around, social, political and economic inequality of oppressed nationalities in the U.S.
The struggle for full equality and liberation by African Americans has been a powerful force for progress in the U.S. The sit-in by four African American college students at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter on Feb. 1, 1960 started a national movement of direct action to desegregate the South and to fight for Black political power. This movement, and the organization that arose out of it, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), was an inspiration to other oppressed nationalities, especially Asian Americans, Chicanos, Native Americans and Puerto Ricans, as well as the women’s movement, and the struggle of LGBTQ people.
Our experience has shown us that justice does not mainly come from the courts or elections. Nor does it mainly come from economic struggles, like boycotts. The fight for justice advances when the masses of working class people organize and show their power in the streets through militant mass actions such as rallies, marches, pickets, occupations, strikes, etc.
The way to get justice for Michael Brown lies through these militant mass actions. The Freedom Road Socialist Organization is calling for rallies and marches to demand justice for Michael Brown and to demand that the murderous cop be jailed. The people, not the police, are the makers of history and they will make their justice in the streets.
Stop Police Terror!
Jail the Killer Cop!
Justice for Michael Brown!