Demonstrations and statements of denunciation expose the unjust system national oppression and state repression
People around the globe have been horrified by the video images of 46-year-old African American George Floyd being executed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
Darnella Frazier, a 17-year-old African American woman, captured the horrendous act on her cellphone later posting the footage in social media which soon went viral.
Immediately mass demonstrations and rebellions erupted throughout the United States where hundreds of thousands of African Americans and their allies are taking to the streets in righteous indignation demanding the immediate halt to police brutality and all forms of racist violence.
These protest actions both nonviolent and violent are prompting an international outpouring of condemnatory messages decrying the systematic state-sanctioned repression which is a hallmark of U.S. policy. In fact the militaristic foreign policy of Washington and Wall Street is reflected domestically in the growth of the criminal justice system which disproportionately targets, arrests, prosecutes and imprisons African Americans and other oppressed communities of color.
The wars of aggression waged against the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Venezuela, Cuba, etc. are motivated in part by a contrived sense of superiority and manifest destiny as it relates to the oppressed nations which continue to be exploited by the imperatives of imperialism.
As a direct result of U.S. military operations and the implementation of draconian sanctions, the number of refugees and internally displace persons has risen to a level not witnessed since the conclusion of World War II. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic crisis has been thrust upon the entire capitalist world rendering tens of millions to joblessness and financial ruin.
Consequently, many African Americans and progressive forces are welcoming the mass demonstrations, critical statements, slogans, banners and artistic representations against U.S. racist violence which are spreading rapidly throughout the world. These popular manifestations are complimented by institutional and editorial support for those victimized by the racist system.
On May 31, thousands rallied and marched in central London opposing the racist violence perpetuated by the U.S. government. Demonstrators gathered at Trafalger Square and later moving to the American embassy chanting “No Justice, No Peace” and “How Many More?”
The gathering was a clear violation and challenge to the orders issued by the British government in response to the impact of COVID-19. The police surrounded the U.S. embassy although they did not intervene to halt the demonstration.
Another protest was held in Copenhagen, Denmark where people gathered at the U.S. embassy saying “Stop Killing Black People.” Berlin, Germany was the scene of a demonstration on May 30 where protesters rallied outside the U.S. embassy and later marched through the Kruzberg area of the city. Activists advanced slogans such as “Silence is Violence,” “Hold Cops Accountable,” and “Who Do You Call When Police Murder?”
Editorially, European newspapers are publishing columns condemning racist violence carried out by the police in the U.S. The Associated Press reported that one of the leading media outlets on the continent wrote a scathing criticism of domestic policy emanating from Washington emphasizing: “Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper on Sunday (May 31) carried the sensational headline ‘This killer-cop set America ablaze’ with an arrow pointing to a photo of now-fired police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with third-degree murder in Floyd’s death, with his knee on Floyd’s neck. The newspaper’s story reported ‘scenes like out of a civil war.’” (https://apnews.com/37d16fa47a8cbc13e12552eb8516cc61)
This same above-mentioned article went on to note that: “In Italy, the Corriere della Sera newspaper’s senior U.S. correspondent Massimo Gaggi wrote that the reaction to Floyd’s killing was ‘different’ than previous cases of black Americans killed by police and the ensuring violence. ‘There are exasperated black movements that no longer preach nonviolent resistance….”
Governmental and Institutional Condemnation of U.S. Domestic Policy
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been a major focus of animus by the Trump administration. The anti-China rhetoric is not limited to the Republican Party and its leader. The Democrats are also vying with their political competitor to see which grouping can heap more scorn on Beijing.
Nonetheless, China has a long history of solidarity with the African American people dating back at least to the 1960s when the Communist Party under the Chairmanship of Mao Zedong issued several statements of support. Black revolutionaries fleeing from persecution in the U.S. such as Robert F. Williams spent several years in China where he was awarded the status of a representative of the African American people. (http://marxists.catbull.com/subject/china/peking-review/1966/PR1966-33p.htm)
A recent editorial in the Global Times from June 2 says of the current situation in the U.S.: “People see the U.S. falling into disgrace. As the novel coronavirus sweeps across the world, the U.S. ranks No.1 in terms of confirmed cases and deaths. As anti-racist protests surge, the government and Congress should have taken quick action to comfort their people, but have instead exacerbated confrontation and led to the spread of the chaos. What is more irritating is that U.S. political elites have played hypocrisy and barbarism. The hooligan nature of Washington makes it a complete nuisance…. The U.S. remains the strongest power in the world, but its strength is not enough to support its ambition of reshaping the global order. The country has too many urgent domestic issues. U.S. failure in containing the COVID-19 epidemic has exposed severe deficiencies in the country’s governance. The ongoing unrest exposes the deep-rooted problem of inequality and a lack of justice, reflecting the anger of the people at the bottom and the destruction when such anger is vented in the internet era.” (https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1190337.shtml)
The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has issued an appeal calling for calm and restraint in the U.S. On May 28, which we cited in a previous report, the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) under Chairwoman Michelle Bachelet criticized the police execution of George Floyd as well as other victims of racist violence.
In the June 1 press release from the Secretary General’s office it stresses: “The killing of Mr. Floyd has rocked Minneapolis and other cities across the country, with mostly peaceful daytime demonstrations turning violent as night fell, with many curfews being imposed, and largely ignored. Throughout the weekend, reports reverberated of shootings, lootings and vandalism in a host of American cities, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, riot police fired tear gas and pepper bullets to try to disperse crowds and according to news reports, at least 4,400 people have been arrested. By some accounts, the country is experiencing the most widespread racial turbulence and civil unrest since civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King, was assassinated in 1968.” (https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/06/1065262)
In the Republic of Zimbabwe in Southern Africa the government’s foreign and information ministries have refuted allegations made by the National Security Advisor of the U.S. that Harare is working in conjunction with the Islamic Republic of Iran and China in coordinating anti-racist demonstrations now rocking the social stability of the world’s leading imperialist state.
A June 2 editorial on the unrest in the U.S. taken from the state-run Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe articulates that: “[W]e know the thugs in our parts of the world will have no cause at all but to effect regime change on behalf of the U.S. Doesn’t what goes around come around? And, yet at this particular moment in the U.S., the protesters against the government’s heavy-handedness on black people is justified. The U.S. must move out of the racial cocoon and get real. It must treat its citizens, black or white, equally before preaching human rights to other nations. Racial discrimination has pricked the U.S. society on its most tender flesh. The pain is all over.” (https://www.herald.co.zw/little-zim-among-the-gods-of-world-politics/)
International Solidarity as an Important Component in the Liberation Struggle
Historically when African Americans and their allies rose up against injustice, the world inevitably took notice. The events since May 25 when Floyd was brutally murdered in the streets of Minneapolis illustrate that the people around the world can be galvanized to support the centuries-long struggle to eradicate institutional racism and national oppression.
The most effective means of maximizing the political impact of international support is the self-organization of the oppressed themselves. This is the central task moving forward in the months and years to come. Without revolutionary organization, the racist capitalist system can undermine, appropriate and misdirect the long term goals of the oppressed.
If the methods of subverting the movement through negative propaganda and psychological warfare fail at being effective, the iron might of the racist state can and will be exercised. The world has witnessed the teargassing and pepper spraying of peaceful demonstrators standing outside the White House on June 1. Curfews have been imposed in the major cities throughout the U.S. amid the deployment of thousands of National Guard troops and Federal Police. Several people have been killed without provocation in the cities of the U.S. during demonstrations since late May and early June.
The racist capitalist system in the U.S. cannot be reformed. In order to eliminate inequality and state repression there must be a fundamental transformation of society where discrimination and exploitation are outlawed and those perpetuating such practices will be prohibited by the organized will of the people.
By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Tuesday June 2, 2020