Socialist Studies Society
June 2, 2020
As hundreds of thousands mobilise against white supremacist police states, the Society for Socialist Studies stands in solidarity with Black communities in their struggles against the racial oppression endemic to capitalism. Together with Black communities we seek justice for Regis Korchinski-Paquette (who fell to her death after police entered her home), George Floyd (murdered in cold blood by police) and Breonna Taylor (the Black Emergency Medical Team worker executed by police shooting her 18 times in her own home). We convey our sincere condolences to their families and renew our commitment to work toward deep systemic change.
In the US and Canada, Black communities have long struggled against state violence that is a historical continuation of anti-black plantation logics and colonial genocide. Police state violence against Black and Indigenous people is constitutive of capitalism, and is evidenced by murder, maiming, criminalization and incarceration. Years of neoliberal policies have widened and racialized poverty gaps, including gaps in access to public health and social security systems. At the same time, we have seen an increase in public spending on policing, surveillance, carceration and border imperialism.
Policing, surveillance and carceral logic have become increasingly integrated into health, education and social services. That the current uprising against white-supremacist policing is happening during the Covid-19 crisis reveals how anti-blackness and colonialism are reproduced during pandemic management. For example, Chicago’s Black residents accounted for an astonishing 72% of deaths from Covid-19, despite making up only 30% of the population. Moreover, across the U.S., the vast majority of social distancing summons and fines have been issued to Black people. Black people continue to be over exposed to the Convid-19 virus as precariously employed front line health and essential service workers.
In the U.S., Trump has now called on governors, under the threat of military intervention, to mobilize the National Guard to ‘dominate the streets’ in order quell protests. The situation will continue to change on the ground.
In light of recent events, we demand that:
- An independent criminal investigation take place into the police execution of Breonna Taylor, a Black Emergency Medical Team Worker who was shot in her own home.
- An independent investigation (other than the SIU) take place into the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquette who fell to her death after police entered her home.
- All four police officers be charged with the murder of George Floyd, who was murdered by police
- Militarized repression of protests cease and desist
- Protesters arrested or in custody be immediately released
- White supremacist capitalist policing be defunded and replaced with collective safety that is community controlled and democratically determined, and that
- The money disinvested from the police state be redirected to Black and Indigenous communities in the US and Canada
- Black and Indigenous communities be supported in their self-determination, including non-punitive and transformative justice
- We collectively receive support toward building decarceral societies that centre economic equality, and Black and Indigenous justice.
No justice, no peace.