#JusticeforGeorgeFloyd: Minnesota: Anti-War Committee demands justice for George Floyd
Fight Back News Service is circulating the following June 4 statement from Twin Cities based Anti-War Committee.
The police killing of George Floyd has ignited a rebellion that has spread across the entire United States. Minneapolis is the epicenter for this movement, and the people of the Twin Cities are committed to ensuring that George Floyd is the last life stolen by police in Minnesota. We in the Anti-War Committee stand with the movement for Black lives as we demand Justice for George Floyd. We stand against the war waged on Black and brown communities by police forces all across the country, and we stand with other organizations demanding community control of the police.
George Floyd was murdered in broad daylight in front of witnesses, who videotaped the crime. This extrajudicial killing of another black man was carried out by Officer Derek Chauvin and three accomplices from the Minneapolis Police Department. On May 26th, one day after the killing, 20,000 people of all nationalities and ages marched through the streets of South Minneapolis, and included large numbers of youth of color. Tens of thousands of Minnesotans have taken to the streets every day since then. The Anti-War Committee has been a part of protesting every day, and many of our members have purposely broken curfew as an act of civil disobedience.
The Anti-War Committee is one of the founding group-members of TCC4J — The Coalition for Justice for Jamar. We have been in the streets protesting the police killings of Terrance Franklin, Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, Thurman Blevins, Isak Aden, and Marcus Golden. According to the Star Tribune, the Minneapolis Police Department has killed 195 people in the last two decades alone, a disproportionate number of them, Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
We denounce the deployment of the Minneapolis Police Department, the Saint Paul Police Department, the Minnesota State Patrol, and especially the Minnesota National Guard in their attempts to suppress our democratic right to protest this unjust system. We also reject the curfew that has been imposed to further limit the ability of the people of the Twin Cities to stand for peace and justice. We stand with all protestors and uphold the democratic right to protest!
City, state, and law enforcement officials have attempted to delegitimize this uprising as the work of “outside agitators” and “white supremacists.” The “outside agitators” and “white supremacists” currently terrorizing our communities are the members of the Minneapolis Police Department, and the other police and military forces currently invading our communities. The truth of the matter is that these forces are not coming to stop attacks on people of color by white supremacists. They are directing their efforts towards assaulting protesters, journalists, and bystanders, while prioritizing protecting private property. We agree that there has been an uptick in white supremacist organizing since Trump’s election, and stand vigilant against it, but we don’t condone using this increase in hate activities to justify a police state. Despite the white supremacist political climate, the people of the Twin Cities are resolute in our home-grown grassroots struggle against this unjust and racist political and economic system.
The killing of George Floyd has caused national and international outrage. We likewise see the connections between the racist militarism of the local police in Minneapolis and the love affair of the U.S. and its global allies, including Israel in particular, with militarism. All four Minneapolis officers involved in the murder of George Floyd had participated in local fear-based “warrior training” which teaches officers to consider everyone a threat. But Minneapolis police officers, along with police from around the Midwest, also participated in a 2012 conference hosted by the Israeli consulate in Chicago to learn from the violent techniques used by the Israeli Defense Forces against Palestinians, while other police departments have travelled to Israel for training.
Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation have long dealt with the kind of brutality being enacted by some US police officers against African-Americans. Palestinians report many instances of similar choke holds to the one that killed George Floyd used by Israel occupation forces. Similarly Palestinians are subjected to military occupation, tear gas and curfews as methods of control. It is no surprise that the U.S. police that learn these maneuvers abroad are now using those same techniques at home. We call on the Minneapolis Police Department to stop cooperating with Israeli security forces.
We call on our members of Congress to stop transferring surplus military equipment from the Pentagon to local law enforcement. During the RNC in 2008, in Ferguson in 2014 and repeatedly around the country every day, we see military equipment and armed soldiers on our streets. These armaments do not make us feel safe and are used to try to intimidate us from gathering together and demanding real change.
We commend both the University of MN and Minneapolis Public Schools for ending their contracts with the Minneapolis Police Department. We urge both these and other institutions not to perpetuate the problem by simply adding private security or other public police forces. Our society, and our schools in particular, need to re-consider the entire concept of policing and security in its handling of confrontation and problems among students and residents, and develop a more equitable system of justice. We join students and teachers in demanding community control of any police force, in investing in counselors, educators and early intervention specialists, and less police on our campuses!
The Anti-War Committee recognizes that the United States government utilizes imperialist warfare to commit atrocities all over the world, and right here in our own communities. The US’’ racist war on Black, Indigenous, Chicano, and other oppressed communities must come to an end.
To further this cause, we demand:
– Justice for George Floyd: Jail, indict, and convict the killer cops and all assisting officers
– Community control of the police now!
– The immediate withdrawal of the Minnesota National Guard from the Twin Cities
– The immediate release of all political prisoners and victims of police torture
– Drop all charges against arrested protesters