from ASR 80
As this issue of ASR was getting ready for press a massive uprising against racism and police brutality erupted across the United States in the wake of the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by cop Mark Chauvin on May 24. Led largely by black youth, multi-racial crowds ignored the dangers of possible contagion by Covid-19 to expose and confront the equally deadly plague of racist police violence that has taken the lives of so many black workers over the decades. Amadou Dialo, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Rekia Boyd, Lacquan McDonald, Eric Gardner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Eric Gray, Breonna Taylor, Amaud Arbery and on and on and on, all murdered by police or vigilantes because their killers considered their lives worthless.
Floyd’s murder, viewed online and on television by millions, thanks to the courageous action of a 17-year-old who had the awareness to record the murder on her phone, was the final straw for many. Beginning in Minneapolis, demonstrations have spread to all 50 states and internationally. Not surprisingly, protests were often followed by rioting and widespread looting which the plutocratic press were quick to highlight and condemn. The bogeymen of the “outside agitator,” “anarchists,” “criminal elements” hijacking “peaceful protests” were trotted out, including by liberal and progressive politicians, to justify curfews and the harsh repression unleashed by police and National Guard. Still, people continued to come out on the street to denounce police brutality, racism, and social and economic inequality.
As this is written it has been 10 days since pig Chauvin murdered George Floyd and people are still in the streets from sea to shining sea, despite tear gas, pepper balls, flash-bangs, rubber bullets and even live ammunition (killing some) – even in the face of threats by Trump to send federal troops to crush the uprising.
We don’t know how long this uprising will last or what direction it will take. All we know is that people are fed up with this miserable racist, capitalist, statist system. All that can be done is push it as far as the people are willing to take it and preserve any gains and lessons that come out of it. Stay tuned.