For five years the American Party of Labor’s Haymarket Martyrs Division has worked alongside the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.
In this capacity we have helped organize several key rallies, such as the August 29 march on City Hall in 2015 and the Black Friday Boycott actions in 2016, as well as mobilized for many other actions in solidarity with the besieged Black communities of Chicago and those wrongly imprisoned. Our fellow Midwestern comrades in Michigan have printed hundreds of signs with the demands for Community Control, which are used at every Alliance rally.
Our youth and students have worked with their local Black Lives Matter campus chapters and Students for a Democratic Society to build solidarity with the demand for Community Control of Police, holding educationals and bringing out students from different campuses as a show of solidarity.
We have helped to win concrete victories for the people, as the Alliance of which we are a part is responsible for seeing to it that victims of police crimes are freed, as in the cases of Howard Morgan, who was freed after the Alliance made demands of the Governor in 2015, or Robert Almodovar who was freed after the Alliance made demands of the State’s Attorney in 2017.
Many others remain wrongfully imprisoned, or uncompensated from the torture and terrorism they have experienced at the hands of the Gesetapo-like Chicago Police Department.
How did we come to support this struggle?
The fight for Community Control of the Police has its origins in the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. It was envisioned as a Service to the People Program alongside many others, however, while the Free Breakfast Program and many others have been institutionalized by the capitalist state in order to blunt their effect as a tool for mobilizing oppressed peoples, the Community Control of Police program remains capable of mobilizing people, activiating new layers of supporters, and consequently, remains subversive in the eyes of the ruling circle.
This is because the Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) is not simply a reform of the current system, as many phony “Police Accountability” reforms proposed by the Chicago Mayor have been. In fact, the Civilian Police Accountability Council would completely replace whole parts of the bourgeois state apparatus and place them in the hands of the community.
What CPAC is designed to replace is the “Independent Police Review Authority” meaning, instead of the Police investigating themselves for their own crimes, the people of the wards being policed would democratically elect their own representatives to investigate and prosecute police crimes in their communities.
The liberal establishment considers this so radical as to be a pipe dream, whereas the ultra-left deviation of the socialist movement considers it fruitless because of the possibility of being co-opted by the establishment once we get CPAC. In other words, both right-wing liberals and ultra-leftists are united in opposition to our struggling for justice.
Our Haymarket Martyrs Division got involved in the Alliance because we wish to serve the people. Freedom for the wrongly incarcerated is nothing to scoff at; justice for the victims of torture is nothing to scoff at. If the people are to fight back they must first be allowed to live.
We will see this fight through to the end, but we can’t win without political power and that is why we support CPAC, which takes the power out of the hands of the elite and puts it in the hands of the people.
SEIZE THE TIME!
DEMOCRATIC COMMUNITY CONTROL OF POLICE NOW!
FORWARD EVER! BACKWARD NEVER!