Black Struggle

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.

The racist capitalist system has yet again produced the same tragedy—right down to the pleading final words shared by both George Floyd and Staten Island’s Eric Garner. This has sparked some of the largest protests the Minneapolis area has ever seen, and similar actions have already spread to other cities like Los Angeles and Memphis.

On 4 April 1968, Martin Luther King Jnr. was assassinated: shot in cold blood whilst standing on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. 50 years on, speaking at the recent Revolution Festival in London, Fred Weston looks at Martin Luther King's life and ideas, and discusses the way forward today in the fight against racism and for liberation.

50 years ago, on 4 April 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – the leader of the civil rights movement in America – was shot dead in cold blood. On that day, Dr. King was in Memphis, Tennessee, to lead a demonstration and rally in support of a three-month-long fight for trade union recognition by 1,300 local refuse collectors.