FRSO statement on the conviction of Derek Chauvin

by Joint Nationalities Commission

Tears of joy and cries of justice spread from the family of George Floyd in the Minneapolis courtroom to people across the country and around world upon hearing the news that Floyd’s killer, Derek Chauvin, was convicted on all counts of murder.

This rare event, that a police officer was charged and convicted of murder, was a result of the millions upon millions of people who took to the streets following the killing of George Floyd. The prosecutors did their job, but not from a commitment to justice. They were afraid of the anger of the righteous masses who burned down the police station and confronted police last May. The armored vehicles, barricades, and National Guard troops showed the fear and weakness, not the strength, of the system.

Even as Derek Chauvin was on trial, we heard of the police killing of Daunte Wright in Minnesota as he tried to drive away. We saw the video of the police killing of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old who turned with his empty hands up right before being shot down in Chicago. For almost 100 years, racist vigilantes, many of them local police or sheriffs, put on their hoods and sheets to lynch African Americans to enforce a system of Jim Crow segregation. Jim Crow is gone, but the system of national oppression – the economic inequality, de facto segregation in housing, separate and unequal schools, lack of political rights, and police terror remain.

We of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization understand that at the root of national oppression is the system of monopoly capitalism where a handful of billionaires dominate the economic and political life of this country.

The United States was founded on the genocide and theft of the lands of Native Americans. The slave trade and southern slave plantations sucked the blood, sweat and tears of millions of Africans, creating both a new African American people and profits for Wall Street.

After the Civil War, the Rockefellers and other robber barons, who monopolized the oil, steel and other new industries, preyed upon immigrant workers from Europe to enrich themselves and the financiers of Wall Street. They unleashed the police and militias, now the National Guard, on striking workers, to try to crush their efforts to fight back. When federal troops we taken out of the South after reconstruction, the white planter class regained power – while the departed troops and state militias were used to suppress workers in the North.

The rollback of the post-Civil War reconstruction led to the formation of an African American nation in the Black Belt South. Around the same time Mexicans in the Southwest were forged into a new Chicano nation. And as the U.S. monopoly capitalists joined the race for colonies by European and Japanese imperialist nations, it overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii and brought into being another oppressed nation in our borders, the Hawaiian nation. We uphold the right to self-determination, up to and including political secession for oppressed nations in the United States.

The FRSO believes that an alliance of African Americans, native Americans, and other oppressed nationalities such as Chicanos, Latinos, Asian and Arab Americans, as well as other indigenous peoples such as native Hawaiians and Alaskan natives on one hand, with the multinational working class on the other, is needed. This strategic alliance will be at the center of a broad united front to topple the system of monopoly capitalism and bring about socialism.

But we can only win this fight by struggling side by side with all those who fight for justice, including the families of those taken from us by police crimes, and those fighting for community control of police. We unite with those fighting deportations and the incarceration of Central American children at the border – we support Legalization for All! We fight with Asian American communities being hit by a wave of racist violence; with workers on strike, fighting for a living wages and safe working conditions; with the unemployed and urban poor, with women, with queer and trans people, with students, with Arab Americans and Native Americans. And we fight in solidarity with countries, nations and peoples around the world who are struggling to be free of U.S. economic, political and military domination.

We fight for justice for all, we fight for socialism.