New York City During “Primary Week”

Five More Reasons That This System Must Be Overthrown

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


New York was split-screen TV last week. On one side Clinton and Sanders competed to promise deliverance from, among other things, the police terror and mass incarceration that they voted for. And on the other side? Unrelenting police terror and mass incarceration, directed against Black people and other people of color. During just the past week, as people went to the polls, the following happened:

Akai Gurley

Akai Gurley (Photo: YouTube)

1. “Akai’s Life Didn’t Matter.” These were the bitter words of Akai Gurley’s aunt when Akai’s killer walked free into the sunlight of election day, Tuesday, April 19. Akai Gurley, a 28-year-old Black man, was doing absolutely nothing wrong on November 20, 2014, when cop Peter Liang shot him in a housing project stairwell, failed to give him CPR and neglected to call an ambulance. Of course, that kind of killing happens all the time. What made this different was that many people, including many people who lost family to pigs, had voted for Kenneth Thompson for DA. And Thompson had prosecuted Liang and even convinced the jury to convict. Yet Thompson turned around and requested no jail time, and the judge went one further and reduced the guilty verdict to a lesser charge.

2. Cops Take Revenge Against Totally Innocent Black Man. The very next day, on Wednesday, April 20, two NYPD detectives were charged with felony and misdemeanor assault for beating 26-year-old Karim Baker, a mailman in Queens. Baker says the cops have been harassing him since 2014. Why? Because Baker gave street directions to a total stranger in December 2014, who then ended up killing two police officers. After this, Baker was stopped by the police about 20 times over 10 months. A video shows one incident where detectives kicked, beat, and dragged Baker from his car. This vicious, illegal vendetta is designed to send a message: even if you unwittingly had something to do with harming a cop, especially if you’re a Black man, you will be threatened, hounded, harassed, and BEATEN wherever you go. You will be treated like a runaway slave.

Jahmal Lightfoot

3. Nine Guards Stomp Defenseless Prisoner, Fracture His Eye Sockets and Nose. Beatings, torture, sadistic guards and murder are NOT rare at the Rikers Island jail complex. In 2014, guards at Rikers reported using force 4,074 times, an average of 11 incidents a day, ranging from pepper spraying to throwing punches. What is rare is any guard being punished for such crimes. Over an 11-month period in 2014, 129 prisoners suffered serious injuries from guards, 80 percent beaten after being handcuffed. Not a single guard involved in these incidents was prosecuted for anything. But while Clinton and Sanders and the Republican lunatics yammered, nine Rikers guards stood trial for the brutal beating of a prisoner, Jahmal Lightfoot, who on July 11, 2012, was left with two fractured eye sockets and a broken nose and, as a result of the attack, later experienced headaches and dizziness for months, spitting up blood from internal injuries.

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February 1, 2016 (First compiled online September 2007)

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4. Once Again, Pigs Murder a Black Man for the “Crime” of Open Container. April 17, two days before people exercised their right to suggest who would rule over them and supervise this madness, 32-year-old George Tillman was killed by NYPD cops in Queens. The cops say Tillman was parked in his car with an open bottle of alcohol and then ran away when they approached him. The cops say Tillman “reached for a gun in his waistband,” that this is when they opened fire on him. Yeah, right. Why should anyone believe this tired old story? And why do these cops get away over and over again with harassing and brutalizing and then murdering someone for the “crime” of drinking from an open container of alcohol? Oh, yeah—and why is this almost ONLY enforced in Black and Latino communities?

5. “Oh, Sorry, We Didn’t Mean to Intensify Mass Incarceration and Police Terror... Except That We Did.” Now that people have woken up and risen up against police terror and mass incarceration, politicians like Clinton and Sanders want to back off the fact that they supported the notorious Clinton administration 1994 “crime bill” that accelerated this horror, and that Hillary Clinton in particular was an architect and fighter for that genocidal program. But then this week, Bill Clinton, representing his wife in Philadelphia, defended the notorious bill and bared his fangs against protesters from Black Lives Matter.

All this in just one week. And all this just the tip of the iceberg in that week. Stop putting your faith in these two-faced politicians and the system they represent. START working for something real: revolution. Overturning this system, uprooting these relations, and putting something radically new—and far better—in its place. Go here to find out why this keeps happening, here and here to find out how to make revolution, and here to learn what to replace it with.


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