The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Why Does This Country Need Cops Like This?

Jul 27, 2020

Excerpted from a statement by Sam Johnson, first posted on the Working Class Fight website,

Some people watching the cops kill George Floyd yelled, “Get up off him.” And he said himself, “I can’t breathe.”

Those four cops were doing something to harm him and didn’t care what happened. One guy didn’t put him on the ground, they all were involved in that, all went along with killing him.

You wouldn’t do that. Why do the cops act that way? They are trying to send a message to other black people, letting us know, “If you don’t watch it, it’s going to happen to you.”

They attack us, black people, to reinforce the divisions among the working class. It’s been like that, since slavery, and it’s still that way.

Last hired, first fired, pay us less for what we do. Pay us less, keeps that division.

This upper class, this one percent needs division to keep working people divided, so they can keep their profits going. They’re looking at their profits, that’s what’s behind this, and they are trying to take back everything black people won, everything all working people won.

How did we get all of this we have today, everything they are trying to take back? It’s the fight black people made. Over time. Young people need to know that to have what they need in their life, it will take them making a fight. They need that history so they can continue the fight, and not get stuck.

We can’t leave it where it was left in the 60s. We have to understand, and get a bigger picture than what people had in the 1960s. We have to get an understanding of history to see what has to be done.

How did we get what we got? We fought. We fought in the streets, in the neighborhoods, together with everyone we knew, along with our families. Black workers fought in the factories, bringing after us people we didn’t know, white workers, immigrant workers.

Once we had people stand up together and fight, we got things we needed. We got more money. Cities like Detroit got black mayors and black politicians and black cops. But not enough people understood that the fight couldn’t just stop there. And so everything started going back in the 70s.

Working people have the power to stop what’s happening today. Our force makes this whole country run. Working people made this country turn, black and white. We can make it stop turning until we get what we need.

The main thing we all need is a decent paying job. Everyone of us. With decent paying stable jobs, we can have decent housing, decent neighborhoods, decent schools for our kids.

Why do cops act like they do today? Why are they violent? To keep us from fighting for what we need. But that’s what we have to do. That’s how we can bring the decent cops along with us.

For that we need a direction for our fight. We should all be fighting to spread out the work that exists, fight for decent wages for everyone, no matter what job they have.

Fight for what we need now—knowing that to really get it and keep it, we will have to fight to get rid of this whole system, and the police along with it.

More of us have to understand that. We won’t have the current situation of not knowing what to fight for or fighting in a way that is going to cause a bigger problem. We need more people who know where to direct the fight that’s happening today, the bigger fights that will break out tomorrow. When struggles break out, we need people who know where to direct the fight.