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Chicago: Police District Council elections outcome a historic win in fight to stop police crimes

By staff

Frank Chapman.

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from Executive Director Frank Chapman of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, on the results of the Police District Council elections in Chicago.

On the 28th of February, for the first time in the history of this country, the people of Chicago elected Police District Councils in 22 police districts to serve as community representatives with the power to hold police accountable for what they do and don’t do.

We have been fighting for years to create the democratic option to say who polices our communities and how they are policed, and now it is a reality. This past Tuesday, we won a decisive majority in the Police District Councils. In each district, representatives could be elected to three seats. We won all three seats in 7 districts and 2 of the 3 seats in 6 districts, meaning the people’s movement won a total of 13 districts across the city outright. We were overjoyed to see that as our candidates won in 13 districts across the city, Brandon Johnson secured his spot in the run-off election for mayor, another historic accomplishment of the progressive people’s movement.

Winning this majority in the District Councils required continuous struggle. The Fraternal Order of Police sought to get candidates elected who would distort and undermine the purpose of the District Councils as stated in the law. Those attempts failed.

We supported these District Council candidates in every way possible. Through months of work on the ground, we were able to get 71 candidates on the ballot in 21 districts across the city. The Fraternal Order of Police only managed to get 17 candidates on the ballot. And of those 17, only 8 of their candidates were elected. They hold a majority in only three districts, and there is not one district where they hold all three seats.

In short, we knocked the FOP out. And we did it with people. Our candidates were grassroots people who had no campaign office, no big donors, and no independent field operations. All they had was the movement, the support of their communities, the support of the ECPS coalition and the Brandon Johnson campaign. The working class and oppressed people in the Black and brown communities who make up the newly elected District Councils won their votes door by door and block by block.

This decisive victory for the people of Chicago represents the culmination of decades of continuous struggle in the fight to stop police crimes and bring about community control of the police. From fighting for CPAC to passing ECPS to implementing it, we mobilized hundreds of thousands of working-class and oppressed people moved by the demand for justice.

This struggle, sparked by the murders of Rekia Boyd and Laquan McDonald, has been guided from its outset by survivors of police crimes and their loved ones. Our people, through self-organization, have, by way of legislative fiat, enhanced their capacity to hold the police accountable for the crimes they commit against us. Fundamentally, this is a great step forward, and moves us in the direction of community control of the police. Now, in this moment following the Black-led rebellion that put 25 million people in the streets, we can rightly claim that we are the blossom bloomed from the seeds of this rebellion.

It’s only through the power of the people that we can end the police tyranny in Black and brown communities and bring about justice for the people. These councils are a tool to consolidate that power. People across this city should celebrate this victory, knowing it will bring us that much closer to the city we deserve.

All Power to the People!

#ChicagoIL #PoliceBrutality #ChicagoAllianceAgainstRacistAndPoliticalRepression