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

Washington D.C.:
Baghdad on the Potomac

Apr 14, 2008

In March, Washington D.C.’s mayor and police chief jointly announced a program called “Safe Homes.” They tried to push it as an answer to the horrible crime problems in three of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, and specifically as a way to get guns out of the hands of young people.

They said police would go door-to-door carrying out searches of people’s homes for guns and drugs. Of course, the police tried to sweeten the move, by saying they would first ask residents’ permission. And they claimed that if they found any drugs or guns, they wouldn’t prosecute anyone–unless the gun was found to have been used in the commission of a crime.

Needless to say, their proposal was met with suspicion, skepticism and especially outrage.

For who would trust the police, let them into their house and allow them to do whatever they want? Who knows what they would do? Or who they might shoot? And who knows what the police mean when they say they will ask permission? What will they do if they don’t get permission? Will they find an excuse in order to come back and make an example of that family?

No, the “Safe Homes” program is little more than a thinly disguised version of what the U.S. military is doing in Iraq–carrying out door-to-door searches in order to terrorize the population. And the police and city officials are trying to use the fear some people have of poor young people–even their own children–as a way to get people to go along with this terror

And the federal government is no exception. They are apparently pushing “Safe Homes” programs all over the country. One is supposed to be in the works for Philadelphia. And police and local authorities in Boston recently tried to introduce one–so far with the same reactions.

People don’t want it. And for good reason.