Once again the hour of tragedy strikes for another Black family, in another Black community caught in the grip of the pandemic crises of COVID-19 and racism.
First of all, we want to express our solidarity with the traumatized family of Jacob Blake, and the protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Sometime after 5pm on Aug. 23, 2020 Jacob was returning to his car, unarmed, after attempting to break up a fight between two women. The police arriving, guns drawn, were pleaded with by bystanders not to shoot, yet they shot Blake 7 times as he was opening his car door. They shot him while his 3-, 5- and 8-year old were screaming. Blake was taken to the hospital where he still struggling for his life. This morning, his father announced that he is paralyzed from the waist down.
Protesters gathered at the site of the shooting, agitated by the militarized aggressive actions of the Kenosha Police Department, began to express their anger. They chased cops away and some police cars were burned. This uprising was greeted by SWAT team trucks and rioting cops resisted by people with arms locked, standing firm and chanting “No Justice No Peace!”
It’s the same old tired pattern of state-sanctioned racist violence where the police wantonly murder us in the streets and when our people in justified anger rebel they call out the militarized police, the national guard and set the stage for mass arrests with curfew.
What should be our response? To put more people in the streets in organized protests. We don’t reject rebellion, we call on all the various strands of the peoples movement, every friend and ally we have in the struggle for justice to join with the protesters in Kenosha and throughout this country to take it to the streets. Here are our demands:
- We demand that the National Guard deployed by Governor Tony Evers to brutalize protesters be recalled.
- We demand the Kenosha cop who shot Jacob Blake be immediately arrested, charged, and convicted.
- We demand real police accountability through an all elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) establishing community control of the police, shifting police funding to essential public services like education and regulating police to address the real demands for safety of the people.
- We must protest until all the demands of the movement are met, until we have our unalienable democratic demand to determine who polices our communities and how our communities are policed.
No justice, no peace! No racist police!