Those of us who re-founded (in 2019) the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and I am not talking about just those on the left, perceived the Black, Chicano and Puerto Rican liberation movements as democratic and revolutionary movements. So, we did not see ourselves as solely a mass defense organization for the Black liberation movement. We stood then and now in defense of all national liberation movements in the U.S.A. and in solidarity with all anti-imperialist, national liberation movements throughout the world.
We believed then and now that the bedrock in the fight for democracy under capitalism/imperialism is the working-class struggle against the capitalist bosses; therefore, we have always stood in defense of the rights of workers to organize and strike. It is so important that as the struggle for national liberation and the class struggle heats up in this era of the pandemic, of a deepening economic crisis and increasing racist and political repression that we focus in our mass defense work on uniting the national liberation movements with the trade union movement. We have achieved this to some extent already though united actions like the struggle for Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) Ordinance and the National Alliance (through its branches) consistently acting in solidarity with striking workers on the picket line.
With regard to the Black led rebellion of 2020 or any rebellion against police tyranny and racist repression we maintain that we have an inalienable right to rise up against this inhuman criminal justice system, period. This is not an issue to be debated but an issue that will be decided in the dirt and blood of mass struggle. This struggle will be spontaneous and organized, violent and non-violent, moral and physical and ultimately about political power. The powers that be from the White House to the State House have no moral authority to tell us when, where and how to protest while they refuse to hold the police accountable and address the economic devastation of our communities.
We are obviously in defense of the right to rebel by the oppressed. But quickly we must move on to the fact that this rebellion of May 2020 was the spark that inflamed the masses to a new level of organized resistance, and conscious political struggle. And just exactly what is it that these rebellions, agitated into existence by police violence, individual acts of racist violence and racist repression, are demanding? Community control of the police, defunding the police and demilitarization of the police. Our people want justice, we want an end to police murdering and brutalizing us with impunity. We want killer cops arrested, convicted, and sent to jail. And we are demanding our democratic right as a people to hold the police accountable for the crimes that they commit against us. Specifically the Black youth led uprisings and survivors of police crimes are demanding justice, an end to the wanton murder of Black people with impunity by law enforcement, an end to the racist criminalization of Black, Brown and LGBTQ people and mass incarceration; to create real public safety of our people and a shift in budget priorities that calls for cutting police budgets (in Chicago the police budget is about 40% of the City budget and still the Mayor wants to increase it) and releasing the resulting funds from these cuts for education, housing, jobs, etc.
These demands reflect the economic and social conditions of oppression and the heightening of organized resistance to that oppression. These demands also reflect a level of political consciousness that understands the connection between racist police violence and the systemic nature of our oppression. That is why our youth are calling for the abolition of the police and the prison system. Although these calls for abolition for the most part have not been clearly connected to our struggle for community control of the police, we must treat them as an organic part of our demands. We must give leadership and educate the people to the fact that the political struggle for community of the police, which we are now conducting 13 cities stretching from the East coast to the West coast, is the only pathway to ending police repression of our movements and giving the organizing space needed for our movements to bring about the systemic changes needed to end the present era of racist and political repression and the current role the police, the courts and prisons play in maintaining this regime of repression.
We use the word “pathway” advisedly because not until a political revolution overthrowing the present older will the people have the power to abolish police and prisons as the agents of oppression. Being consistently engaged in organizing our people at the grass roots level we see revolution as a process, it is not an event but a movement. Community control of the police is a critical part of that movement because it helps to clear the road to Black, Chicano and Puerto Rican liberation and a much broader democratic front of struggle, including organized labor, to defend the right of the people to protest and organize for radical systemic change.
Executive Director Frank Chapman.