Black Struggle

In March of this year, three Louisville police officers broke into Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend’s home after midnight. The cops fired 32 shots in the apartment, killing Taylor in a barrage of bullets. In its recent ruling, the capitalist courts did not indict a single officer for this extrajudicial murder. The announcement was met with outrage and brought tens of thousands back into the streets in at least a dozen cities across the country.

Another unarmed black man has been shot by police, this time in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The now-viral video of the shooting begins with Jacob Blake walking around his car to open the driver’s side door to get in, tailed immediately by two cops. One of the police grabs the back of Blake’s shirt, pulling him backwards to prevent him from getting into his vehicle, and almost immediately begins shooting at close range, firing seven shots into Blake’s back. Not shown in the video were Blake’s young children sitting in the backseat. Blake was admitted to the hospital, and his father says he is now paralyzed from the waist

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For weeks on end, the George Floyd protests against racism and police violence shook America. Support for the movement overflowed all demographic boundaries as an estimated 10% of all American adults—some 25 million people—participated in at least one protest. However, although mass gatherings have continued unabated in some cities, in most of the country the torrential river has inevitably receded into its banks as it was deprived of a revolutionary outlet—for now.

The Black Lives Matter movement has helped to shine a light on Britain’s own racist, colonial history. Fiona Lali looks at the origins of British capitalism, which came into being – in the words of Marx – with “blood dripping from every pore”.

Watch this livestream by John Peterson, editor of Socialist Revolution. The racist murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police has ignited a movement of enormous proportions, unleashing decades of accumulated discontent, and even reaching insurrectionary levels in many cities. As the conditions for revolution rapidly mature in the US, there is an urgent need for the movement to grapple with some serious questions: What role do police play under capitalism? What will it take to abolish this institution?

This document on the Black Struggle and the Socialist Revolution was passed at the 2008 National Congress of the Workers International League, the US section of the International Marxist Tendency (now Socialist Revolution). It was originally published on 25 June, 2008. We republish it today, as the arguments it raises are more relevant than ever. 

In recent weeks, the US has come closer to an outright revolutionary upheaval than at any time in living memory. The racist murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police has ignited a movement of enormous proportions, unleashing decades of accumulated discontent, and even reaching insurrectionary levels in many cities. The wave of protests has multiplied exponentially over the last two weeks, with nearly 1,400 cities, towns, and suburban areas seeing rallies and demonstrations.

Hundreds of thousands marched in hundreds of cities across the US on the weekend in the largest demonstrations since the racist police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May. Worldwide, there were also protests in hundreds of cities involving hundreds of thousands of youth and workers, demonstrating against racism and police violence, both locally and in solidarity with the mass movement in the US.

A social explosion is brewing in Britain. The pandemic, Brexit, and now the Black Lives Matter movement are throwing the Tory government from one crisis to another. The rottenness of the whole capitalist system is rapidly being revealed.

Alan Woods comments on the uprising in the USA, which was sparked by the police murder of George Floyd, and has become the catalyst for an explosion of anger by the downtrodden in America that has sent shockwaves throughout the world. What is the way forward?

The protest movement sparked by the brutal police murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis has spread around the world. In over 20 countries, workers and youth marched and demonstrated against racism, both in the USA and locally. Comrades of the IMT have been participating in these protests, raising slogans for the revolutionary overthrow of the inherently racist capitalist system.

Over the last two years, more Americans were killed by police than Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan over the last 18 years. ‬More Americans were killed by police in the last three years than people were killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks. ‪Combine this with a devastating economic crisis and pandemic, and it is easy to understand why a tipping point has been reached, as the accumulated rage and humiliation of centuries spills over onto the streets.

The cold-blooded murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police is yet another horrific act of racist violence against an unarmed black man in broad daylight. This has yet again sparked protests across the country, showing that people are fed up with the systemic racism of the capitalist system. When the great revolutionary martyr Malcolm X said, “You can’t have capitalism without racism,” he summed up a profound truth about the world we live in. This racist brutality is hardwired into the capitalist system. This Saturday at 7PM ET, Antonio Balmer (Socialist Revolution editor) will speak on racism, police violence, and the need for revolution.

The police murder of George Floyd—an unarmed black man, who was handcuffed by four police officers in Minneapolis before being choked to death—has unleashed a wave of protests across the country, escalating out of control in several cities. Following the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, this latest in an endless string of police killings was the straw that broke the camel’s back, unleashing a tsunami of pent-up fury at all the injustices in American society. Necessity has been expressed through accident – although Floyd’s murder was no accident.