The massive demonstrations rocking U.S. cities from coast to coast are loud and visible reflections of the deep anger and antipathy rising up against the long and bloody train of police terrorism.
If you have read my writings or listened to my commentaries, you know that I describe the police violence as what it is: terrorism, not ‘brutality’.
For the aim of all police violence is to instill terror in Black populations, just as was the aim of white terrorists of the past, like the Ku Klux Klan, which lynched Black men, women and yes- children.
And although these protests by young people across the country are remarkable, we must remember that cop violence against African American communities ain’t a new thing.
It was Dec.4, 1969 – 45 years ago, when cops raided the Monroe Street apartment building of young Black Panthers, including Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton, of Chicago. There, police, armed with submachine guns, shot Capt. Mark Clark, of Peoria, Illinois, and Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton, as he slept in his bed, next to his pregnant wife. Both Mark and Fred were killed; at least 7 other Panthers were wounded by police gunfire – as they lay in their beds.
Not a single cop was ever charged with these murders or these attempted murders and aggravated assaults on members of the Illinois Black Panther Party.
Next spring marks the 30th anniversary of the MOVE Bombing – where cops dropped bombs from a helicopter, and killed 11 men, women and children – members and relatives of the Black Naturalist group, MOVE.
Eleven people burned and/or shot to death – and 2 city blocks in Philadelphia turned to glowing red bricks and ashes. And again, not a single cop ever even charged with anything. Only MOVE survivor, Ramona Africa would ever get to prison – for Riot! 7 years.
The movement protesting police terrorism is a remarkable thing; but it didn’t begin yesterday.
Police terrorism is decades long, and it ain’t about ‘rotten apples’ nor ‘broken windows’. It’s about blocking a popular freedom movement, and protecting a system of repression.