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International Communist Workers Party

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What the Working Class Needs Now:

Political Strikes Against Racist Police Murders and for Communism

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Workers around the world have poured out in outraged protest against the racist, but not-so-surprising killings of black workers in the US: Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, MN. Much less reported were the police murders of Vinson Ramos, Anthony Nuñez, and Pedro Villanueva in California since July 4th.
Mass protests have shut down streets throughout the US and as far away as Berlin and London. Church leaders are demanding police reform: a special prosecutor to handle these cases whenever an officer-involved shooting occurs.  In Dallas, Texas, a lone gunman took it upon himself to kill cops with his assault rifle in retaliation for police attacks on black workers. Many of our friends see it as pay-back, but individual violence is useless. Instead, we need the mass violent overthrow of capitalism.
This capitalist system—based on racism and exploitation—has to be ripped up by the roots in order for us to sow the seeds of change and a better tomorrow for the working class. That’s going to take mobilizing the masses for communism—a system without wage slavery, bosses, borders or cops. We can’t be derailed from that goal through reforms or reactionary tactics.
Communism will eliminate the material basis for racism and for cops themselves by eliminating capitalist wage slavery.
The capitalist wage system, based on competition, needs racism to keep us pitted against each other. We need a job to pay bills and the bosses know it. So we’re always struggling to survive. The bosses use that to divide the working class, keeping wages low and weakening our united resistance to exploitation.  
Communism is based on cooperation. No one will get rich off of someone else’s labor. We’ll produce collectively what we need to take care of each other. There won’t be any money. Instead of bosses hiring and firing us we’ll work together, planning, organizing, and doing what needs to be done. No one will have to worry about being thrown out on the street because they lost their jobs. No one will be forced to hustle (sell CDs in front of a convenience store) to survive.
A society divided between rich and poor needs cops. Communism, eliminating that division, will eliminate the need for cops. By ending the biggest robbery of them all, the theft of our labor, and organizing society to meet workers’ needs, we’ll eliminate most of the basis of street crime.  In a communist society, if there’s a problem, we’ll call our neighbors and deal with it directly.
Capitalism needs racist police terror because the capitalists—one tenth of 1%—own the factories, transportation systems and media and get rich off the work of our class This same tiny minority controls the state apparatus—the government institutions including the army, schools, courts, and cops—and uses it to maintain their rule.  Racist terror—from lynch mobs to the modern day lynching of police murder—and the criminalization of an entire generation by the new “Jim Crow” of mass incarceration (see article page x) are vital elements of their class rule.
Policing in the US was violent and racist from the beginning. Modern policing grew out of the slave patrols which hunted down runaways from chattel slavery, as well as from the Pinkerton Agents hired by the capitalists to violently crush strikes against wage slavery. Cops have always been an arm of the capitalists against workers, “free” and enslaved.

US cops have killed more than 500 people this year. While most of them were white, black people are more than twice as likely to be killed by the cops than whites, closely followed by Native Americans and Latinos. But all of them were members of the working class.  The cops don’t shoot down the Donald Trumps of this world.
That’s how racism works. By intensifying attacks on black, Latino, and Native American workers, they cheapen all our lives. And in this period of capitalist crisis, the bosses need a cheaper working class to compete against their rival bosses around the world.
This police terror takes place around the world: the lynching of the Dalits in India, the killing in teachers in Mexico and Zimbabwe, devastation in Gaza, murders in the favelas of Rio.
We are one class with the potential to unite to overthrow the bosses, take power and organize a communist society based on human need. Then capitalism and its reign of racist police terror will be a thing of the past.
We must build a revolutionary communist party—International Communist Workers’ Party collectives on the job, in our schools, neighborhoods and barracks. These collectives can do the day-to-day work of mobilizing the masses for a communist revolution.
Part of that process is organizing political strikes against racist police terror and for communism. Shutting it down every time a worker is killed by a cop will help build the class solidarity and consciousness that we need.
We call on MTA workers to organize a massive strike in which all busses stop for 5 minutes to all day the next time the police kill one of our class brothers or sisters.
We urge students to walk out of class when they hear the news.
We call on industrial workers, at Boeing, in garment shops in Los Angeles, Bangladesh and El Salvador, in the auto plants in Mexico, in the mines and metal shops in South Africa, to turn off their machines and down their tools.
Go into the streets with the demonstrators with the slogans “Eliminate Racist Police Terror by Eliminating Capitalism! Mobilize the Masses for Communism.”

And we invite all workers to distribute Red Flag and to join ICWP to create what we need—a communist revolution.