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Workers Vanguard No. 1097

7 October 2016
The closing date for news in this issue is 4 October.

Workers Vanguard

Charlotte, North Carolina

Black People in Cop Crosshairs

Break with the Democrats! For a Workers Party!

On September 20, Keith Lamont Scott became one of the latest victims of the racist executioners in blue. The 43-year-old father of seven was gunned down by the police in broad daylight in the parking lot of the suburban apartment complex where he lived with his family, just minutes from the campus of the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. The small portion of the cops’ own video footage that was released after days of protests shows Scott walking slowly backwards from his parked vehicle with his hands by his sides. He is then shot four times by a black undercover officer who is off camera. Contrary to the police lie that Scott “posed an imminent deadly threat,” he was quite simply killed for the “crime” of sitting in his own car while waiting for his son to get off the school bus.

Keith Scott is one of over 800 people killed by the police in the U.S. so far this year; roughly one in four were black. Only a few days before the Scott killing, 40-year-old Terence Crutcher was shot dead by a Tulsa, Oklahoma policewoman as he held his hands above his head. On September 27, Ugandan immigrant Alfred Olango was blown away in El Cajon, a San Diego suburb, for holding an electronic cigarette. On September 30 and October 1, two black men, Reginald “Junior” Thomas and Carnell “CJ” Snell, were killed in the Los Angeles area. The bitter reality is that in a country whose capitalist economy was founded on chattel slavery, black lives don’t matter to the ruling class. The cops are armed thugs enforcing a system in which workers are brutally exploited and the mass of the black population is forcibly segregated at the bottom of society. This is why the fight against racist cop terror must be linked to the fight for the working class to overthrow this whole rotten, capitalist system through socialist revolution. A team of comrades from Workers Vanguard traveled to Charlotte the weekend following the killing of Keith Scott to distribute our Marxist propaganda and argue for this revolutionary perspective with those who had taken to the streets in protest.

The cops in “open carry” North Carolina didn’t even bother to pretend that a black man might have the same rights as a white man to carry a firearm, immediately justifying their shooting of Keith Scott by claiming he was armed. They later announced that Scott drew their attention while they were waiting to serve a warrant on someone else because he was supposedly rolling a marijuana “blunt” inside his vehicle, demonstrating that the racist “war on drugs” is a license for the cops to kill black people. Scott’s wife and other witnesses to the shooting all maintain that he was not armed. When our team visited the memorial set up for Scott in the parking lot where he was killed, we heard a neighbor who was lighting candles on the memorial ask who people were supposed to believe, the neighbors who were there, or the cops? (read on)

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About the ICL

V.I. LeninLeon TrotskyThe International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is a proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist tendency committed to the task of building Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international. Our aim is the achievement of new October Revolutions—nothing else, nothing other, nothing less. The ICL bases itself on Marxist historical, dialectical materialism and seeks in particular to carry forward the international working-class perspectives of Marxism developed in the theory and practice of the Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and L. D. Trotsky and embodied in the decisions of the first four Congresses of the Communist International as well as key documents of the Fourth International such as the Transitional Program (1938) and "War and the Fourth International" (1934). We also look to James P. Cannon, a leader of the early American Communist Party who was won to Trotskyism and went on to become a principal founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), working in close collaboration with Leon Trotsky. The origins of the ICL are in the Spartacist League/U.S., which began as the Revolutionary Tendency in the SWP and was bureaucratically expelled in 1963. Our ICL "Declaration of Principles and Some Elements of Program" was modeled on the Declaration of Principles adopted at the 1966 founding conference of the SL/U.S.

Adopted at the Third International Conference of the ICL in early 1998, the declaration presently exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Greek, Korean and Tagalog. In this post-Soviet period, marked by a deep regression of proletarian consciousness, we continue to be guided by Trotsky's statement that "the task of the vanguard is above all not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow; it must swim against the current." Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!