State of Emergency in Ferguson


Another poor black shot; the fire this time

by Akpan Edet

One year after the killing of 18-years old Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri erupted once again in flames this August. Demonstrations had been held to commemorate the first anniversary of the brutal murder of Brown by the police. The white officer who killed the defenceless youth had been cleared of any wrongdoing resulting in waves of protests last November, of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

The response of the police was again horrible and bloody. Another 18-year old poor black youth, Tyrone Harris, who also graduated from Normandy High School, which Michael Brown had attended, was shot, and was in an unstable critical condition; hanging on to life, at the time Socialist Worker went to press. He has also been charged for assault by the state, whilst in this condition!

This outrageous turn of events provoked fury on the streets of Ferguson. Demonstrations that had been peacefully assembled were charged at by anti-riot police with teargas, backed up with armoured personnel carriers. A state of emergency was promptly declared by the governor of the state of Missouri.

Police brutality and killings in general and shooting down black youth from poor working class backgrounds in particular, have become rampant in the United States. Last year 1,106 persons were killed. And so far this year, not less than 734 persons have been killed by the police.


Almost all of those killed were from poor working class backgrounds. That is the face of democracy in the capitalist United States. There is no real equality before the law or its enforcement arm. The lives and properties of the rich matter to the state, the police guard them. But the lives of poor people without wealth and properties do not count. They are rather killed and more often than not the police get away with such murders.

The preponderance of black youth amongst those killed by the police is precisely because more blacks are poor and destitute. To defeat racism, black youths in the United States must see the roots of the murderous oppression they defy. This is the reality of the exploitation of the working masses by the rich 1%, and the state that only represents and defends the rights of the rich.

Ending racism and the violent onslaught of the police against poor black youth of necessity requires the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a United Socialist Sates of America, as part of the world-wide anti-capitalist revolution and socialist re-construction of society.



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