Revolution #211, September 12, 2010

Statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party, Los Angeles Branch


For several days and nights, the people of Pico Union have been in the streets demanding justice for Manuel Jaminez Xum (Manuel Jaminez).  The outpouring of righteous anger over his murder by LAPD is telling the world Basta Ya! No More!  This determined resistance has inspired people everywhere.

Manuel Jaminez was 37 years old, an immigrant from Guatemala known by many people in the neighborhood.  Like so many others, he left his two young children and wife to come to El Norte in search of the American dream, only to find the reality of the American nightmare.

The cold-blooded murder of Manuel Jaminez by the LAPD on Sunday, the complete disregard for his life by cops who shot him in the head only 40 seconds after they confronted him, is a screaming injustice.  Adding further insult, they left his body in a pool of his blood on the sidewalk for 4 hours.  Like a dog.

It was such a total outrage that - this time - people would not allow it to go down quietly and unanswered.  Immediately, crowds surrounded the killer cops and chanted “Asesinos!”

There is a sense broadly that the police murder of Manuel Jaminez is part of the epidemic of police brutality, especially aimed at Black and Latino people all across this country - from Harlem to Pico Union to Oakland.  There is a sense that this is part of the fascist atmosphere and attacks against immigrants unleashed by laws like Arizona’s SB1070.

In a climate where immigrants are demonized, denied basic human rights, dragged away and deported at any moment, brutalized by sadistic border patrol agents, attacked by a fascist anti-immigrant movement, viciously exploited at every turn – the protests in the streets demanding justice speaks for millions and is a breath of fresh air. 

In the past few days, the people have repeatedly and bravely gone into the streets demanding justice and to say that the police do not have the right and legitimacy to come into the neighborhood and assassinate someone like Manuel.  People have refused to be silenced in the face of lies and threats from the authorities, from the police chief to the mayor to their riot cops.  People are refusing to accept this crime committed by the LAPD.  The lies and threats cannot cover up the truth that they all knew their killer cop, Frank Hernandez, had a long and ugly history of brutalizing people, shooting two other people before this. 

This complete disregard for Manuel’s life is not an isolated incident.  This whole system acts as if the life of ordinary people such as Manuel is not even worth the bullet that killed him.  Their whole damn system is guilty.  As it says in the Message and Call from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA “The Revolution We Need… The Leadership We Have”:

It is a system of capitalism-imperialism…a system in which U.S. imperialism is the most monstrous, most oppressive superpower…a system driven by a relentless chase after profit, which brings horror upon horror, a nightmare seemingly without end, for the vast majority of humanity: poverty and squalor…torture and rape…while here in the USA itself the police harass, brutalize and murder youth in the streets of the inner cities—over and over again—and then they spit out their maddening insults, insisting that this is "justified," as if these youth are not human beings, have no right to live, deserve no respect and no future.

The continued upsurge of resistance in Pico Union to demand justice for Manuel Jaminez - to demand a stop to police brutality and murder, to demand to be treated as human beings - has brought hope to millions.  It is a hope that the world can be different, that the people do not have to accept being constantly abused and degraded by this whole system and their enforcers like the LAPD and ICE.  It is a hope that a better world is possible.  From the RCP’s Message and Call “The Revolution We Need… The Leadership We Have”:

The days when this system can just keep on doing what it does to people, here and all over the world…when people are not inspired and organized to stand up against these outrages and to build up the strength to put an end to this madness…those days must be GONE. And they CAN be.

The recent protests in the streets of Pico-Union have answered, YES!

Justice for Manuel Jaminez!
Indict and Jail the killer cops! 
Drop the charges on all protesters!
No raids or deportations!

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