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Workers Vanguard No. 1064

20 March 2015
The closing date for news in this issue is 17 March.

Workers Vanguard

Ferguson, Madison, Nationwide

Capitalist Rule Means Racist Cop Terror

In front of a crowd commemorating the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama, President Barack Obama offered a rehash of the bald-faced lie that racism is no longer “endemic” to America. This tune is to be expected from the black overseer of a system that criminalizes young black men as part of maintaining the racial oppression that is woven into the fabric of American capitalist society.

Obama declared that “what happened in Ferguson” is “no longer sanctioned by law or custom,” as it was before the 1950s-’60s civil rights movement. In fact, under its liberal leadership, that struggle, while leading to the dismantling of legal segregation in the South, could not challenge the systemic police violence, poverty and misery that define life for the black masses. Within days of Obama’s speech, killer cops had taken the lives of more unarmed black men, including Tony Robinson, a 19-year-old recent high school graduate in Madison, Wisconsin, who viewed himself as biracial, and Anthony Hill, a mentally ill Air Force veteran gunned down outside Atlanta, Georgia.

Each new killing by the police, as usual, comes with an official stamp of approval. The city of Cleveland pointed the finger at 12-year-old Tamir Rice for failing to “avoid” being blown away, while a Justice Department investigation gave a free pass to Michael Brown’s killer, Darren Wilson. Such is par for the course in, to use Obama’s phrase, “fair America,” where a filthy rich elite lord it over working people, the black masses and the rest of the downtrodden. Indeed, terrorizing the poor and oppressed, as well as violently suppressing workers struggle and social protest, is what the capitalist rulers pay the cops to do. The thugs in blue have not resorted to planting “throwaway guns” on these victims; the law sanctions deadly force by police against any threat they perceive—and in this racist society black youth are widely perceived, especially by the cops, as lawbreakers. Harassment, or worse, for driving/walking/breathing while black is a daily reality.

Ferguson’s black residents and anti-police brutality activists were back in the crosshairs after two cops standing guard were shot and wounded during a protest outside police headquarters the night of March 11. City authorities and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder blamed protesters for the “ambush,” paving the way for heightened repression as county and state police again descended on the small community. After a huge manhunt, a 20-year-old black man was arrested. Whatever happened the night of the protest, the ongoing violence-baiting of protesters is a clear message: they deserve whatever they get from the marauding 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 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!