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Commentary :: Human Rights : Labor : Media : Organizing : Politics : Race : Social Welfare : War and Militarism
"No Safe Age": Mumia on the Sean Bell murder
14 Dec 2006
Unleash labor's power to free Mumia Abu-Jamal!

Avenge Sean Bell!
"No Safe Age": Mumia on the Sean Bell murder
No safe age
By Mumia Abu-Jamal from death row

It's boys' night out, and a group of brothas are having a bachelors' party at a strip club. One of them is particularly thrilled because his marriage to the woman he loves is just hours away. But he will never marry, because a pack of wild undercover cops will execute him, and unleash a deadly rain of 50 bullets on him and his friends.

The crime? Cruising while Black. Sean Bell, unarmed, is 23.

And the corporate media merely explain it may have been a case of "contagious shooting." One cop fires, two cops fire, three cops-get the picture? It's a kind of social illness, like alcoholism.

But neither Sean Bell, Trent Benefield, nor Joseph Guzman was armed. According to some reports, one of the men said he was armed.

Like the madmen who launched a pre-emptive war on the unsubstantiated suspicion of weapons of mass destruction, undercover cops launched an urban war on unarmed Black men, reportedly based on unsubstantiated suspicions. Fifty shots, death, and serious injury. No cell phones, no wallets, no candy bars, for such trifles are no longer deemed necessary. In America, Blackness is sufficient.

Even maleness isn't required, as shown by the recent shooting of an elderly woman who allegedly allowed a drug dealer to use her home. The woman, having lived almost nine decades, was shot to death while trying to defend her home after it was attacked by undercover cops. According to a neighborhood snitch, he never claimed her house was a drug site, despite police pressure to do so. No significant quantity of drugs was found at the home.

What was her crime? Trying to survive to 90 while Black? What's more dangerous-drugs, or undercover cops kicking in doors allegedly on a drug raid? How many of these armed maniacs will ever see the inside of a cell? How many will reach the confines of death row?

We know the answer, because we've seen this movie before. Paid leave, which amounts to paid vacation; a whitewash of an investigation; and a "they were just doing their jobs" is all that ever happens.
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Protest in NYC this Saturday and this Thursday, and my thoughts
14 Dec 2006
This Saturday the 16th, and again on Thursday the 21st there will be protests in New York City against this latest racist atrocity. Working Class Emancipation will be at both protests in solidarity with Sean Bell and all victims of the racist police state. Contact us if you want to travel with us from the Providence, RI area.

The NYPD and the city authorities are showing the true face of their hyped "sensitivity," terrorizing the black community in Jamaica, Queens, in a desperate search for a phantom "fourth man" in Sean Bell's party, whose presence and alleged possession of a weapon supposedly gave the cops the license to murder.

Now more than ever we need effective mass working-class action to defend the black community and punish the racist city authorities for their crimes. Instead, the foremost goal of the organizers of both upcoming protests is to allow the workers and oppressed to let off steam while giving the do-nothing Democratic city officials and their fake-socialist hangers-on a platform from which to pose as radicals. Just like it will take more than peace parades to kick the US out of Iraq, it will take more than marches to end the oppression of blacks in the US.

Lately, the Stalinists of the Workers World Party have been expounding on the need to unite the struggle against war with the struggle against exploitation and oppression at home. How could anyone oppose this noble cause? The problem is that Workers World intends to "unite" these movements by chaining them both to the tail of the Democratic Party, dissolving them into nothing more than demands for changes in the budget priorities of the imperialist government - "money for this and that, not for war." We revolutionaries on the other hand recognize that the struggles to defeat US imperialism in Iraq and to disband the racist bosses' goon squad known as the NYPD are one and the same, and that the Democratic Party is not the least bit interested in doing either one of these things.

As we pointed out in the leading article in this month's Working Class Emancipation, the city-stopping TWU 100 strike one year ago, the historic May Day general strike movement last spring, and last month's heroic walkout at Smithfield Foods are three examples that, while they have not yet been allowed to develop in a revolutionary direction, show the way to fight back against the latest atrocities of police brutality. To accomplish an action of this type we need to build a workers' party with branches and influence in the major industries and unions, a party that won't accept any half-way reformist compromises on the issue of black liberation, opposition to imperialist war, or political independence for the working class. Only a socialist revolution can emancipate all the oppressed!
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