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Workers Vanguard No. 1068

15 May 2015
The closing date for news in this issue is 12 May.

Workers Vanguard

Break with the Democrats! For a Multiracial Workers Party!

Baltimore: Racist Cop Terror and Capitalist Decay

The filing of charges on May 1 against six Baltimore cops involved in the killing of Freddie Gray was aimed at putting a lid on the seething discontent of the majority black city, which had erupted in an elemental outpouring of rage four days earlier. The capitalist ruling class and its black Democratic Party frontmen got some blowback against their system of immiseration and racist cop terror; now they hope that things can go back to normal. But for most people in the inner-city slums of Baltimore, normal life means intolerable poverty, urban decay and state violence.

After Gray’s funeral on April 27, riot cops had swarmed into West Baltimore’s Mondawmin neighborhood. The cops blockaded roads and stopped buses as they corralled youth into the area of the Mondawmin Mall. Pent-up ghetto fury exploded in the face of these cop provocations. A few stores were trashed and a CVS pharmacy was burned. The state was quick to send in the National Guard and a curfew was imposed. We said: “National Guard out now! Down with the cops’ state of siege! Free all those arrested and drop all charges!” (“Black Baltimore’s Justified Rage,” WV No. 1067, 1 May).

The Guard has now been withdrawn, a portion of the nearly 500 arrested have been released and the curfew has been lifted for adults. (Baltimore still maintains one of the strictest youth curfews in the country—kids younger than 14 have to be indoors by 9 p.m.) However, charges are still pending against many and the Baltimore police threaten that those arrested and released could still face charges.

The disparity between the treatment of the perpetrators of cop terror and their victims was seen by the fact that the six cops were all immediately released on bail. In contrast, Allen Bullock, an 18-year-old protester who allegedly smashed a traffic cone through a police car’s windshield, was held in jail for nearly two weeks. It took his parents that long to raise the money for his bail, which was set at $500,000—higher than that for any of the killer 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!