Revolution #139, August 10, 2008

Spread the Truth Far and Wide:

The Murderous Rampage by
the Chicago Police Must Be Stopped!

There is an official hysteria and media blizzard in Chicago over “crime” and youth in oppressed communities shooting each other. And in the name of responding to this, Police Superintendent Weis is talking about a more “militarized” police. They’re talking about police checkpoints, use of helicopters, and roll calls on street corners where they amass police to sow terror and intimidation. The media is calling this a police “surge”—deliberately evoking the U.S. military occupation in Iraq.

But what the authorities and the media are NOT talking about—and what most people in the city don’t know about—is the wave of brutality, terror, and murder being carried out by the Chicago police. Just between June 11 and July 5, Chicago police shot 12 people (all Black and Latino), killing 6. At least 6 of the victims were shot in the back. Jonathan Pinkerton, 17 years old, lies in a hospital bed, paralyzed by a police bullet in the back—instead of looking for colleges, which was his plan for this summer. 39-year-old sanitation worker Shappell Terrell, shot 14 times in the back, left 7 kids behind. Luis Colon, 17, was armed, but witnesses say he was trying to surrender when the cops shot him 6 times in the back.

This situation has spread a lot of confusion among different sections of the people, as to who is to blame for youth violence directed at other youth. But the truth is that both the police shooting spree and the conditions that have driven youth into desperate means of survival are the results of this system. In the 1960s, when many youth were getting out of the bad shit they were into and into revolution—the police and the FBI lashed out by vicious repression, including outright murder, against revolutionary movements and leaders. It was the system that moved jobs out of the inner cities and flooded the ghettos with drugs. It is the system that has enforced apartheid-like segregation for a whole section of Black masses. It is the system that has forced the youth to internalize the message they receive daily through the crumbling schools, degrading conditions, and brutalizing police—that they have no future except through gangs and fighting against each other. It is the system and its relations of capitalist exploitation that is the source of the dog-eat-dog, look-out-for-number-one morality that the youth are internalizing and are caught up in.

Flooding the oppressed communities with more cops and “militarized” operations—and more police shootings and brutality—cannot in any way be a solution to the intolerable situation the people face!

A statement from the forming Chicago Revolution Club has called on people to fight the power through mass political resistance, with these demands:


There was a beginning but very important resistance on July 25 when people in Chicago’s South Side stood up righteously and courageously against a police attack, sending a message that the police “surge” is not going to be allowed to go down like this. This initial resistance has to be built on and spread much further—creating a whole different dynamic in the city. Many, many more people need to be made aware of how the Chicago police have shot 12 and killed 6 in just 4 weeks.

What is happening in Chicago concentrates what is happening overall in this country—the intensification of oppression of Black people, through stepped-up police brutality and in other ways, including an ideological offensive blaming the people themselves for the terrible situation they are in. And this is part of the push by the rulers to take society as a whole toward a fascistic police state. People from all walks of life—from various strata and neighborhoods—need to come together to take up this political battle, in the streets and in many different ways, such as emailing and posting Revolution articles on the struggle in Chicago and spreading the truth far and wide. A different tone has to be set where the outrages and abuses by the police, especially in the oppressed communities, are not tolerated or accepted. And those who are attacked by the system for standing up must be defended.

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.

What Humanity Needs
From Ike to Mao and Beyond