Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Justice for Malik Jones--No More Stolen Lives! (2001)

Editor's Note: Statement by Carl Dix read by his representative in New Haven, CT commemoration for Malik Jones on April 14, 2001
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Today we mark the 4th year since Malik Jones was taken from us at theage of 21 by a white East Haven cop. 21 years old! Malik was in the prime of life. He should be here with us today looking forward to decades more of life, but he was snatched from us by a killer cop.

On that day 4 years ago Malik was unarmed, riding with his friend and doing nothing wrong. Yet the cop who killed him remains unpunished to this day! The local authorities refused to put him on trial. And the feds, after dropping hints that they were going to bring charges, also found that this cop had committed no crime. What are they telling us when they rule that those who are sworn to protect and serve can murder a young man like Malik Jones and walk away without even having to face a trial?

It is bad enough that the system turned a deaf ear to the cries for Justice for Malik. What makes it even worse is that Malik is only one of many. Here in this book, Stolen Lives, the Oct 22nd Coalition has documented 2000 cases of loss of life at the hands of police and other law enforcement agents in the US in the 1990's! That's 2000 people in the space of less than 10 years. And these were just the ones we were able to find out about. Most of these victims were young, and most were Black or Latino. Most of them were unarmed and not involved in any criminal activity when they were killed by police. And in the overwhelming majority of cases, the cops who did the killing walked away scot free, just like the cop who blew away Malik.

So the murder of Malik Jones was no isolated incident or just a tragic accident. It was standard operating procedure for law enforcement in this country. Cops see 2 young Black men riding in a car and decide that they are suspicious. What was suspicious about Malik and his friend? Nothing but their Black skins! And because the rulers of this country have empowered cops to treat people who are young and Black as criminals, Malik Jones, and so many other young brothers (and some sisters too) are dead. What is the system telling you when those who are sworn to protect and serve can act like they got a license to kill our youth? They're telling you that the system isn't set up to work in your interests. That it's set up to work against you. It's no accident that cops who brutalize and kill seldom if ever get more than a slap on the wrist, if they get that much, while the jails are filled to the bursting point with our people.

How long is this kind of stuff going to go on? It's going to keep on going on till we do something about it! The cops aren't going to clean up their act. When they get caught carrying out brutality on our people, they almost never get punished, so why would they change how they operate? The courts aren't going to change any of this. The DA's and judges are part of the criminal justice system that criminalizes our people and lets killer cops walk. The politicians sure aren't going to change any of this. Many of them are out there cheerleading for brutal, murdering cops. It's up to us to do something about police brutality and police murder.

What do we have to do? I have to answer that question on 2 levels. On one level we have to organize mass resistance. An excellent example of what I mean is what Emma Jones is doing. Since the murder of her son, she has ceaselessly hounded the authorities. She's exposed what they did to her son, and she has mobilized people to join with her in fighting for justice, not just for her son, but for all the victims. Parents like her are the real heroes of this fight, and as a national organizer for the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, I've had the honor of working with dozens of parents like her in cities across the country. It hurts me to my heart to think about the agony these parents have to go thru, and it inspires me to see them stand up and fight back in the face of that intense agony. If you're somebody who's for justice, you have to support them in the fight to stop police brutality and you have to join this fight. It's going to take people like us taking to the streets and resisting in other ways. We're going to have to involve people of different races and nationalities in this fight, and people from
different backgrounds. It's going to take a massive and determined movement of resistance to put police brutality in check.

But we need to go beyond putting police brutality in check. We need to get to a point where cops can no longer murder young people and get away with it. We need to end police brutality once and for all. We need to end a situation where one country can send its military thousands of miles around the world to spy on other countries and bully them and then claim that it's the injured party when something happens to one of its spy planes. We need to end everything foul that this system brings down on the people, here and around the world.

Doing that is going to take a revolution. People on the bottom of society getting others from different backgrounds who also got problems with this set up to join with them in rising up to get rid of this system thru armed struggle. And then going on to build a whole new world on the ashes of this messed up one. A world where there's no longer a handful of rich bloodsuckers running things, getting richer by squeezing the majority of the people. A world where whites no longer lord it over people of color. A world where men no longer dominate and suppress women and where one country doesn't run the whole damned world.

This kind of world is possible sisters and brothers. The Revolutionary Communist Party has a draft programme coming out on May 1st. This programme will be a battle plan for fighting and winning revolutionary war in a country like this. If you've had it with the way the capitalists who run this country exploit and oppress people, you need to get down with the Revolutionary Communist Party and join the fight to bring this kind of world into being.

If you're someone who hates seeing a mother having to bury her child because some killer cop has blown him away and gotten off scot free, then you need to join the fight to stop police brutality. If you live here in Connecticut, you can work with Emma to build resistance to police brutality, and wherever you live, you can work with the October 22nd to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation because it's fighting to achieve the same goal. Making it so no more parents have to bury children they've lost at the hands of killer cops.

Let me leave you with this one thought. We may not win justice every time we fight for it, but we can surely say that if we don't fight for justice, we won't get any.