Fighting Chicago police violence and the fight for a new society

Protest of Chicago police killings on Michigan Avenue on Christmas Eve. Photo/Frank James Johnson

Protest of Chicago police killings on Michigan Avenue on Christmas Eve.
Photo/Frank James Johnson

CHICAGO, IL — The execution in 2014 of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago cop has sparked the city’s worst scandal in decades and growing calls for “Mayor 1%” Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to step down.

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy was fired, sacrificed by a mayor who insisted he would not leave office.

Emanuel and some of his City Council allies lamely attempted to frame the cover-up of the dashcam video of McDonald’s killing as merely a problem of “bad apples” and dysfunction in the police department.

The problem is not just bad apples. The problem is the whole apple tree—root, trunk and branch. This means the entire economic and political system, controlled by a billionaire corporate class, who are the owners of the giant corporations that have taken over our government. The police are the guardians of their private property. For this reason, we fight police violence every step of the way, understanding that we can’t stop the rising police state without getting rid of the capitalist system.

Emanuel’s official title is mayor, but his real role is to be an agent of the corporate class who have backed him. Their vision is a “world class” Chicago, but only for themselves and a small, highly skilled work force.

That is why, for example, Emanuel and his billionaire masters are wrecking public education in order to privatize it. Chicago used to be a mighty industrial center that employed millions of workers. But now those jobs are gone. The billionaires who own the industries do not need today’s children as tomorrow’s workers and so they will not pay to educate them. Robots are today’s workers.

As far as Emanuel and the capitalist elites are concerned, the unemployed, the underpaid, the homeless and the sick—regardless of race—can all go jump in the lake.

Or, just get the hell out of Chicago so it can be developed into a private, gated paradise. If the police violence worsens, the poverty deepens and life in the working-class neighborhoods gets so bad that the poor will just give up and flee, that is fine with the ruling class. The poor are not wanted here.

Increasingly, the city’s mass movements against Emanuel have noted this reality and see Laquan McDonald’s murder in this light. They are bringing their answer to the doorsteps of the rich. Literally.

This and other actions show that people are beginning to understand that the murder of Laquan McDonald and the political cover-up did not happen in a vacuum. It is connected to the crisis of a dying capitalist system.

As we celebrate the departure of McCarthy and look forward to the fall of Emanuel and his henchmen, we know we will have to fight for our survival under any new administration. To end forever the freedom to murder our children, we will have to fight for a new society where the people make the decisions and where the abundance the robots make possible belong to us all.

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