>Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2000 04:22:22 -0400 >From: "Lorenzo Ervin" <email@example.com> >Subject: (en) THE REST OF THE NEWS COLUMN > >THE REST OF THE NEWS by Lorenzo Komboa Ervin > >POLICE DEATH SQUADS > >Police death squads in American cities are a sign of the times. Every year >in the USA anywhere about 800-1,000 persons are killed in police custody. >Like the nine people in Detroit this year, Amadou Diallo in NYC, Tiyesha >Miller in Riverside, California, and many others whose names we don't know, >they were undeniably slaughtered by the police. But these were no accidents, >idle acts of racism, or even isolated vigilante actions by crazed cops. No, >these death squads are carrying out *government policy* to rid the cities of >"undesirables". In that sense, they are little different than the death >squads in Latin America, who kill poor people and street kids in Brazil, >Leftists and labor leaders in Guatemala, or police goon squads in any >military dictatorship. > >This killing is consistent government policy, and part of a policy to seize >control of and maintain the "peace" in the cities. This is all happening in >the face of serious urban decay, and inner city demolition. The government >of all major cities want to reclaim the inner cities for the rich and their >corporations, they want to move the poor out and they want to move their >white middle class workers in. It's already this way in most parts of >Europe, the suburbs are for the poor, while the more valuable inner city is >reserved for the rich. > >Since the 1960's, the government has had various plans: urban renewal, >spatial deconcentration, and others designed to remove the poor, the Black >community (and the barrios of the urban SouthWest), and cripple our ability >to resist in the inner cities like we did in Detroit and Watts during that >time. Mostly though this government scheme has failed, as it has been >resisted, and we have refused to be moved and held on to the urban >landscape. But if you couple today's police terror, with the current >destruction of low income housing projects, the thefts of low income housing >tracts by government-financed and supported land speculators, the >destruction of rent control, and mass imprisonment of the poor, you begin to >get a picture that the military model of policing is designed to uphold a >new order of austerity and official criminality. > >Then when we realize that it is the government which is responsible for the >drug epidemic in our communities, we understand that we have an enemy which >is destabilizing our homeplace; this stuff is not just happening without >cause. These SWAT teams, Tactical police, and new drug paramilitary police >units are clearly being used for military repression in the inner city. > >I don't believe in conspiracies, or more precisely the idea that somehow the >American government's latest crimes, whether police racial profiling or CIA >drug pushing, are somehow disconnected from their past treachery. No, they >are part and parcel of *one scheme* of historical oppression and economic >exploitation. Lynchings in one historical period, police murders in another. >How many Black, Brown and other poor people dying from police gunfire does >it take before we start understanding all this? > >What bothers me is that I don't see very much of any kind of organizing >against it, whether so-called nonviolent demonstrations or the creation of >militias in the Black community. I am not advocating just taking the cops on >with gunplay, or some type of macho posturing, but rather taking it to the >people who are more ready than we might imagine to resist...by any means >necessary! We must teach them to stop these police murders with every means >at our disposal. We must make it impossible for the rich and their murderous >cops to rule over us and our communities, make ourselves ungovernable like >the Palestinian people have been doing for the last 15 years in the Occupied >Territories with their Intifada. > >Like Bro. Malcolm X, I believe that we must bleed this government >economically with boycotts and with armed street resistance, but we cannot >sit idly by and do nothing. We must make sure that these 21st century >lynchers get a dose of their own medicine. I ain't "advocating violence", >I'm talking common sense for our survival. Hell, thousands of right-wing >White folks are organizing militias in the state of Michigan, in every one >of the 83 counties of this state counties. What are we thinking? > >I know that the white government will put forward sellouts like Jesse >Jackson or Al Sharpton, "responsible Negro leaders", who tell us we can >depend on Attorney General Janet Reno and the Department of (In)Justice to >stop unlawful police murders, and that we should not "turn to violence." >Well, I believe that we must turn against these so-called "national Negro >leaders" as well as local traitors like the Uncle Tom preachers and corrupt >politicians like Archer in Detroit or "Uncle Bob" Jones in Kalamazoo who >tell us just to sit passively by, waiting on some puppet "citizen review >board" or the Negro Mayor to save us from these cops. > >Ain't nobody saving us but ourselves, and our communities, which if properly >organized can stop police brutality. Police Death squads are a sign of the >times, but the times have to be changin!
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