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Bay Area IWW Statement on the Murder of Oscar Grant
To get rid of a system that relies on murderers, the workers of Oakland and the entire world have to develop a revolutionary form of unionism, one that recognizes the inherent opposition between workers and bosses and which wants to end exploitation
About the Murder on BART:
The Irrational Brutality of the Police Reflects the Brutal Irrationality of Capitalism
The cameraphone videos which have surfaced on YouTube seem like a scene out of some futuristic movie. But the cold-blooded murder is all-too real, and is one more tragic body in the capitalist carnage that is already hundreds of years old.
Police brutality and racism are just as much parts of capitalism as the real estate brutality that we are all facing. The ruthlessness and seeming irrationality of the BART murder is no different that that of a broker who evicts a family that can't pay their mortgage. Capitalism is the only social system that sees overproduction as a problem – when too many people have homes, they must be evicted until houses become profitable again. It is the same with us the workers, who have to sell our labor to live and can only live as long as we can sell our labor. Capitalism has always seen us, not as human beings, but just as one more thing to be bought and sold. This is why it has been starving the workers, especially those from ethnic minorities, in all the industrial cities of America for the last thirty years. It is the same kind of “market adjustment” that is happening with houses right now. They are both done with the same ruthlessness and they both require armed thugs called police.
The capitalist media will claim that this is a case of particularly bad cops, just as they claim that the economic crisis comes from bad bankers. But bad cops and bad bankers will always exist as long as there are cops and bankers, and there will always be cops and bankers as long as we allow ourselves to be robbed at work, as long as those who rob us need men in ties to invest their stolen wealth and thugs to protect it. Also, since our exploiters are only a tiny minority of society, they must divide up the majority. In the US, this , this means racism first and foremost. As Malcolm X said, “You can't have capitalism without racism.”
To get rid of a system that relies on murderers, the workers of Oakland and the entire world have to develop a revolutionary form of unionism, one that recognizes the inherent opposition between workers and bosses and which wants to end exploitation. The Oakland General Strike of 1946, and the workers occupation of Republic Windows in 2008 both give us a glimpse of how powerful we really are.
We want to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Oscar Grant, and on the issue of this police execution, we call for the immediate arrest of the police involved on charges of first-degree murder.