Black Community Response to Vigilante and Police Violence
By: Black Autonomy Federation
Originally Published on February 17, 2014
Yet another Black child has been murdered by racist cops or vigilantes. Until we have a revolution to dismantle this entire government, overturn white supremacy and police state rule, we will continue to have the racist results as in the Michael Dunn murder trial and others, if indeed a legal prosecution is what we were even seeing, instead of a Southern lynching show trial.
We will have to begin to arm ourselves, and to demand "Stop Police and Vigilante Murder!" It is clear that we need to violently overthrow and wipe out white vigilantes, while we overthrow the state. Damn capitalist law and order!
If it doesn't mean anything to them, why should it mean anything to us? Stand your ground laws are actually the same kind of lynch laws that existed before the civil rights movement to restrict Black rights and authoritize white violence against us.
If you look at the history of Southern lynch law in this country, the appeasement and excuse of the murder of Jordan Davis, by a white supremacist who has written letters bragging about it, is par for the course. It is insane white jury nullification to not convict this man of murder, and to engage in such behavior to try the murder victim in public while this murderous fascist can shout the most vile racist garbage in the media.
We cannot depend on the legal system and colonialist laws for our justice. No doubt it is clear to most of us, at the very least, that we still need an anti-lynching/anti-racist movement in this period, but that we need to rebel over this shit! No doubt this ridiculous result comes from the racist show trial given George Zimmerman to let him walk last year . Don't mourn, organize!
We, grassroots people, have to do it ourselves if we are to ever get on the road to freedom. Do what, you ask? Build a Black Partisan militia to patrol our communities. We must organize self-defense units to protect the Black community and its organizations, its youth and people. It is the police and the government who are the main perpetrators of violence against Black people.
They in turn encourage white vigilantes to kill and lynch Black people, with promises of lenient treatment if they do so. Every day we read of the police murdering and maiming the people in our community, all in the name of "law and order." This police brutality has included the use of deadly force against children as young as five years old and elderly persons 107 years old!
After years of mass organizing, we must then begin to disarm and demilitarize the police and force them to leave our community. Perhaps this can be done after a rebellion or insurrection drives them out, by creating a neighborhood militia, or perhaps they will have to be driven out by a street guerrilla force. We have no way of knowing exactly until we effectively organize armed opposition. We just know that they have to go. They are an oppressive occupying army, are not of our community, cannot understand its problems and do not identify with its people and their needs. Further, it is the corruption of the cops that protects organized crime and vice in our community in the first place, and Capitalism with its exploitative economic conditions which is responsible for all crime anyway.
Existing police forces should be replaced with the Black community’s own self-defense force, the Black Partisan Militia, made up of members of our community elected or appointed by their neighbors to that position, or from an existing street guerrilla force or political organization if the people agree.
They are not Black vigilantes or a drop squad who attack people just because of their race or neighborhood. It is important that the gun be under the control of the people and their political organizations, and any unjustified militia attack would be subject to immediate recall and dismissal of the armed force by the Community Control boards of an area if they abuse the people themselves.
This is so that we will have community control of the self-defense force, can begin to deal with fratricidal “Black-on-Black” crime and be able to defend ourselves from white racist or police attacks. With the increase of white racist violence today and the possibility of white mob action in the future, usually in the name of "law and order,” this community self-defense force is most important. The only question is: can we do this now?
We exist now under conditions of nominal legality and civil rights, but those gains are being rolled back by a succession of conservative governments. And after we do effective organizing to create armed self-defense and revolutionary violence, at some stage in the process of building up our community-based forces, it is inevitable that the white power structure will recognize the danger to itself represented by such a free Black commune and will then try to repress it. We must have the self-defense capability to resist. This concept of organizing a self-defense force accepts any level of violence that will be necessary to enforce the demands of the people and workers.
Yet these self-defense forces would not an elite “party vanguard,” a police force, or even a standing army in the usually thought of sense; they would be a neighborhood-based Black community militia, self-managed by the community itself: in other words, the people-in-arms. These militia organizations will allow us to engage in offensive or defensive actions, either in general community defense, or as part of an insurrection or underground resistance. If we have the right to govern ourselves, then clearly we have the right to defend our struggles, and is thus a form of limited revolutionary violence or "armed propaganda."
But what do we do right now in conditions of legality, to reclaim our community from violent racist cops? Do we sit around and debate the appropriateness of military preparation, when the enemy is in our community now, committing rape and murder of Black people, or do we hit back? How do we even get the idea across to our people, some of whom accept the police even if they criticize them?
How do we start to train the community for paramilitary operations? Black Autonomy believes we will have to educate the people about self-defense from the standpoint of it being essential against racist attacks and for self-determination. They should be made to understand we couldn't obtain our freedom or have social peace without the ability to defend our community projects and ourselves. Many Black people already have guns for their personal defense and thus are not pacifists, but they are also not organized.
We are facing extinction from class or race warfare. This government is capable of wiping us out if we just stand by and let it happen. So we must organize the masses of people into a Black Partisan militia. We need to have large scale neighborhood militia action to push out the police. The central task is for Black control of the Black community right now, its politics and economy. Not power for us as a movement, but to put that power in the hands of the people themselves, which is controlled right now by the white power structure.
We have to take over the cities, establish municipal communes and exercise self-government, as a vital step for independence. We are the majority in many of the major cities of this country and we should be able to control our own affairs (or at least obtain some autonomy), but as we should now be aware we won't ever get this community social power by voting for some Black Capitalist politician, or from passively depending for "salvation" on leaders of one sort or another.
We need self-governing community control of the Black community. The issue here is really that of a political confrontation between classes, one of the powerless poor against the rich and their police dogs. As long as we do not rule over our own affairs, others will continue to rule over us. These cops are recruited to beat and kill the poor and workers who begin to demand their rights and to dismantle this system. They are an occupying army in the Black community. Most people simply do not understand this; they persist in believing that there are “good cops” who will just impartially do their jobs. No such luck.
We must therefore build grassroots anti-racist/anti-cop movements to not only destabilize the state over their police misconduct, but also to educate the masses of people active in those struggles that it is an illusion to depend on the government for any justice, unless it is compelled through a resistance struggle. If you look at the situation now, only when the government is convinced there will be a “riot” or massive rebellion will they rein in and perhaps prosecute their racist, killer cops. It is not just to do simple justice. That’s why we fight and organize our own self-defense force.