Once again the slaughter of a young Black man in New York City in a hail of police bullets has triggered an uprising of protest.
Police have sought to justify their killing of 16 year old Kimani “Kiki” Gray in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, on the night of March 9 by claiming he pulled a gun on them, but so far the only witness that has spoken out has explained that she had a clear view of the events and is “certain he didn’t have anything in his hands.” Police have also sought to justify the killing by claiming that Gray was a gang member, but that wouldn’t justify the cops acting as judge, jury and executioner. In contrast, the principal of his school wrote a beautiful letter describing how well he was regarded by both teachers and students alike.
Beyond this terrible incident, however, broad truths about poverty, racism and police brutality are beyond doubt. As the capitalist economy slides toward depression it offers working-class youth a bleak future of minimum wage labor or unemployment, along with harassment by police whose job is to keep them in their place. In this racist system, all these blights are visited upon Blacks, Latinos and immigrants first and foremost.
The NYPD’s “Stop and Frisk” program of daily harassment of young people of color on the streets continues despite a growing protest movement against it. And immigrants have faced an unprecedented assault by the government under the Obama administration. Record numbers have seen their lives ruined by incarceration and deportation, with over 400,000 deported in 2012 alone.
The League for the Revolutionary Party continues to participate in protests demanding justice for Kimani Gray and an end to racist police harassment and brutality – including vigils and marches at 55th Street and Church Ave. in Brooklyn and this Sunday’s “March for Justice for Kimani Gray” to the 67th Police Precinct.
Among our fellow workers inside the city’s unions, LRP supporters are working against the resistance of the union bureaucracy to win support for the struggle against police injustice. We believe that such struggles are an integral part of uniting the working class against all the attacks on our lives and living standards that are being driven by capitalism and its deepening crisis. Examples of this work can be seen in the current special edition of Revolutionary Transit Worker newsletter, with its editorial condemning the transit union leadership’s inaction in response to the protests against Kimani Gray’s murder, and its motions for union meetings calling on the union to act.