"Black people shackled, slaughtered...we've been silent too long"

Challenging the Non-indictment of Minneapolis Pigs Who Killed Jamar Clark

April 4, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

Jamar ClarkJamar Clark

On March 30, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that no charges would be filed against two Minneapolis police officers in November’s fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old Black man, within one minute of their arrival on the scene.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published a commentary from a reader that captured the tone of the outrageous announcement by Freeman: “To be honest, it felt like you were talking about vermin and were troubled by having to spend so much time on the case. Your purpose seemed to be to repeat a story that is getting old—scary, violent black criminal causes well-meaning, innocent policeman to fire. You don’t seem to have really grasped that a human life was lost.”

The non-indictment was immediately challenged in reality—both by protest and by the incredulous statements of the many witnesses to this cold-blooded murder. This included televised testimony of the woman who was reported by the police and media to be Jamar Clark’s girlfriend, who called for help because she was supposedly being attacked by Jamar. She contradicted the whole premise and pretext for the police intervention and murder of Jamar, saying that she was not Jamar’s girlfriend and he didn’t attack her. She only called paramedics—not police—for an accidental ankle injury that happened almost two hours prior to her call.

Protesting the decision to not prosecute police for murder of Jamar Clark. Photo:Fibonacci Blue

Protesting the decision to not prosecute police for murder of Jamar Clark. Photo:Fibonacci Blue
Protesting the decision to not prosecute police for murder of Jamar Clark, Minneapolis, March 30. Photos: Fibonacci Blue

The evening of Freeman’s announcement, hundreds protested the non-indictment at the county courthouse. Many of the protesters marched back to the North Side site of Clark’s shooting for a late-night gathering. Later, the tone turned angrier, with some protesters swarming toward the front door of the Fourth Precinct headquarters. Outside, protesters burned an American flag that bore the names of Black men killed by police.

Demonstrations continued through Friday, April 1, again at the Hennepin County Courthouse, continuing through the downtown business complex, with a vigil in the evening at the North Side site of Jamar Clark’s murder. A Stolen Lives banner was taken to the front of both protests. In the evening, an activist read every one of the names and captions of the 44 pictures of unarmed people killed by police, plus a photo of Jamar, with the crowd chanting after each name, “That ain’t right!”

“I could be part of this. Black people shackled, slaughtered... we’ve been silent too long.” This was the response of a Black man in Minneapolis who lived through the upheavals of the 1960s, after reading this statement from Bob Avakian (BA):

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

Near the memorial for Jamar Clark, Minneapolis
Near the memorial for Jamar Clark. Photo: @excelhiphop

This same man recruited several young people to be in touch with the revolution, and told them about the National Student Day of Action to STOP Police Terror on April 21 being called by students and by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

Palm cards with the statement above by BA, and on the other side “What we need is an actual revolution—and if you are serious about an actual revolution you have to get seriously into BA,” were distributed widely on April 1, along with Revolution newspaper. Many people are asking about where all this protest is going, and what to do next.

In the short time I had in Minneapolis, I used the orientation concentrated in this quote from BA about the new synthesis of communism that he has brought forward:

There is an urgent need for this new synthesis to be taken up, broadly, in this society and in the world as a whole: everywhere people are questioning why things are the way they are, and whether a different world is possible; everywhere people are talking about “revolution” but have no real understanding of what revolution means, no scientific approach to analyzing and dealing with what they are up against and what needs to be done; everywhere people are rising up in rebellion but are hemmed in, let down and left to the mercy of murderous oppressors, or misled onto paths which only reinforce, often with barbaric brutality, the enslaving chains of tradition; everywhere people need a way out of their desperate conditions, but do not see the source of their suffering and the path forward out of the darkness.
(From The Science, the Strategy, the Leadership for an Actual Revolution, and a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation, and cited in the Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA)

In struggling with an activist in Minneapolis about what is the actual nature of the system, the role of the state, and how to actually end police murder and everything that goes along with it, it was apparent that there were some changes in her thinking going on. Instead of thinking that the movement should focus on “abolishing the prison and police system,” she’s seriously grappling with the fact that the whole system of capitalism needs to be uprooted at the base through revolution, along with all the institutions that enforce capitalism.

Some of the activists who are involved in planning “what next?” in Minneapolis were eager to get into Revolution with its article on a whole new society embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. We also challenged students that they need to bring the tour with Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor—An Invitation... to Meet the Revolution—to their campus.



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