The following is a Nov. 24 solidarity statement from the 2016 presidential campaign of Workers World Party candidates Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly to the Black Lives Matter movement in Minneapolis.
The Moorehead/Lilly 2016 election campaign condemns in the strongest terms the shootings of Black Lives Matter activists at the hands of white supremacists in Minneapolis, Minn., at 10:45 p.m. Nov. 23. This attack happened outside the Fourth Precinct Police Station where a protest was taking place demanding justice for Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old unarmed Black man who was fatally shot in the head by the police on Nov. 15 while he was handcuffed.
Once the shooting took place, almost on a daily basis, a Black-led vigil has been held directly outside the police station to protest the shooting. Activists have organized demonstrations, including shutting down streets and a major interstate despite being sprayed with mace, arrested and subjected to general harassment by the police. One of the BLM’s demands is for the police to release the videotape showing the Clark shooting. They are also demanding that those responsible for the shooting of the activists be arrested and brought to justice.
What is going on in Minneapolis is a reflection of what is going on across the country. While the police continue to escalate their racist war against Black and Brown people, especially the youth, with a judge-jury-executioner mentality, that war has also been extended to the anti-racist movement, especially the organized Black Lives Matter upsurge, be it in the community or on campus.
Make no mistake about it: The cops and white supremacists work hand in hand, whether they wear a badge or an expensive three-piece suit like Donald Trump. Racist state repression boils down to domestic terrorism, all rooted in the current capitalist economic crisis. This repression cannot be separated from the terrorism that Muslims, Arabs and immigrants face after being displaced by war and occupation initiated by the U.S., France, Belgium and other imperialist countries.
The cowardly attack on the Black Lives Matter struggle in Minneapolis is an attempt to send a dangerous message: that any protest against police brutality is subject to be demonized and even shut down under the phony guise of “fighting terrorism.” The powers-that-be are using everything at their disposal — the police, bourgeois media, neofascistic mouthpieces like Trump, mass incarceration and more — to intimidate and push back the Black Lives Matter movement.
But as the great abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, said, “Repression breeds resistance.” And resistance will result in broader anti-racist solidarity from the progressive movement and the workers.
Jamar Clark’s life matters. The life of Laquan McDonald, the 16-year-old Chicago youth slaughtered by 16 police bullets, matters. The lives of the Black activists shot in Minneapolis matter. ALL Black Lives Matter!
Let’s continue to organize independently and fight back against all forms of white supremacy and all forms of bigotry!!