by Ajamu Nangwaya
“Organization is the weapon of the oppressed.” – Kwame Ture (aka Stokely Carmichael)
Racialized working-class communities and indigenous peoples know the daily reality of police violence and containment. We do not need the intervention of civil liberty organizations, criminology courses or exposure to police violence at a G20 Summit to become conscious of the fact that when the police serve and protect, we are not included within that protective cloak.
We are quite aware of the fact that the police serve and protect the interest of socially dominant groups, based on our experience of colonialism, white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalist exploitation. Our teachers are the scars, the memories of loved ones and comrades maimed or killed, the very presence of the police in our communities as an occupation army.
The killing of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman, after a trial in Florida, inspired outrage and mobilization among Afrikan people and others of good conscience across North America. So did the Toronto police killing of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, a case that reeks of excessive use of force against a racialized and mentally distressed youth.
The killing was caught on tape and widely circulated in the media. This killing has mobilized Toronto’s youth and others in the street and on blogs, Facebook pages and walls and twitter.
However, mobilizing around each case of police violence and then sitting down when the issue in no longer showing up in our Facebook newsfeed and in the mass media will not do much to tackle this oppressive behaviour. We need to organize on a 24/7 basis against police violence.
Members of the Latin American community in Toronto rallied with supporters in Toronto on July 24 at Trinity-Bellwoods Park in front of the statue of Latin American liberation leader Simon Bolivar – namesake for the ‘Bolivaian’ socialist current sweeping Latin America – on the occasion of Boliva r’s birthday (July 24, 1783) and also to celebrate that of the late Comandante Hugo Chavez (born July 28, 1954).
The date was seized upon by social movements throughout South America to call for the support of recently-elected President Nicolas Maduro and to advance the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela started more than two centuries ago by Bolivar and advanced under the Chavez government when it began its path towards socialist development in 1998. Read more…
by Niraj Joshi – BASICS Issue #18
We are told that the massive American, Canadian and United Nations military deployment to a battered and broken Haiti after the earthquake is for security. But the greatest threat to the life and limbs of Haitians following the massive earthquake was the unconscionable delay in search and rescue due to prioritizing military needs versus recovery and medical needs. Credible aid organizations have reported no difficulties working unguarded among a population that they say displayed remarkable calm and solidarity in the midst of chaos; and the military-led framework for delivery of humanitarian assistance has been a tragic and indisputable failure. Read more…