The Diallo uproar: An excuse to strengthen democratic mystifications

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This was a social outrage. A demonstration beyond doubt of the license to kill that has been granted to the police to kill ‘suspects’

This man who was murdered was an immigrant to the United States from Africa

The Diallo killing is not the only incident in which police have clearly used inexcusable force in situations where there was not crime taking place

It is one of the most highly publicized, blatant incidents. The complete exoneration in a jury trial is a warning to the population at large

We understand and share the outrage. But outrage is not enough. The ruling class is turning the outrage of workers against the working class itself by unleashing a campaign of democratic mystification. The slogan of ‘no justice, no peace’ is senseless. Under capitalism there can never be justice nor peace. The campaign for better police--minority relations, the calls for more black or Hispaniccalls for more black or Hispanic cops, for more sensitivity training, for more ‘community meetings’ is designed to steer the outrage into meaningless campaigns to reform capitalism’s most hideous aspect--its repressive apparatus. As before, capitalism kills and uses its cops to do so. To end police brutality, we must end capitalism

Diallo was a victim of a ‘street crimes group’ within the police department under Mayor Giuliani’s administration. What is important to understand is not just the anger of so much of the population in New York, not just the fear among the people in the city. It is not just the recognition that the police and the government in one of the largest cities in the world support the shooting of citizens ‘suspected’ of criminal intentions

What is crucial to understand is the connection of the government, the state, to the general population and in particular the working class. The government, despite all the rhetoric of democracy and service to the people, is not in place to be the friend and advocate of the vast majority of the population. The working class and the poor can have no realistic expectation that their needs will be addressed by the state. Only the corporations and the bureaucrats and the wealthy can have such expectations fulfilled under the current system

For all the talk of the victory of freedom and democracy which has been around since the collapse of the old Russian bloc... for all the talk of America as ‘the land of liberty’.... what is happening as the living and working conditions continue on their downward spiral, even as the stock markets, riding high on speculation, go up and up, is that the majority of the population in general, neither shares in the wealth nor feels safe walking the streets in the cities of America, big or small

This is not simply an American problem, although Americans on a daily basis are aware of crime in their community, and what seems worse, the violence perpetrated on the population by the so-called defenders of law and order

The continuing and genuine economic crisis of world capitalism, most often masked by the media reports via television, radio and the press, which glamorize the wealthy who make money on the roulette wheels of speculation

The situation for the vast majority in the US and around the world, even including most of the strongest economies in the world, continues in a downward direction, in terms of real income and in living conditions

Violence perpetrated among the poor and ‘lumpenized’ population may be real, as desperate people strive to survive, but the greater violence comes from the greater violence comes from the government, from the state, which launches teams of armed men and women in uniforms and in plain clothes to keep the people in line through intimidation and violence. The population of major cities in the US are not simply afraid of violence on the streets, today in cities, like New York, are afraid of those so-called friends and defenders of the people, the police, who regularly shoot and beat people who are in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time.’ The working class needs to have no illusions in the police. They are armed bands of men and women in service to the state, which does not represent the needs of the vast majority, but defends the interest of the ruling class

We must never let ourselves acclimate to the police terror of the state.

-- E. Fischer