[Ed. – Emphasis in original.]
A variety of groups, both local and imported, have shown up in the streets leading to some tense encounters. The video footage running pretty much non-stop on CNN today includes a few images which seem to indicate a not terribly subtle shift in the message. One of the ones which really stood out to me was a group of marchers holding a banner which read, “Smash Racist Cops with Communist Revolution.”
Where did that come from? I noted one protest leader interviewed by CNN which might give us a hint.
“We are here to demand the justice that our people have died for,” chanted protest organizer Montague Simmons of the local group Organization for Black Struggle. “We are here to bring peace, to bring restoration, to lift our banners in the name of those who’ve been sacrificed.”
…Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) is hardly a “local group” as is being reported. They’ve been around for decades, and their web site lays out their chief goals, beliefs, objectives and methods. Among their founding documents is the Black Freedom Agenda, introduced with the Black Radical Congress in 1998. Among a litany of various objections and objectives, it includes the following principle.
3. We will fight to advance beyond capitalism, which has demonstrated its structural incapacity to address basic human needs worldwide and, in particular, the needs of Black people.
Guided by our belief that people should come before profits, we will fight to maximize economic democracy and economic justice:
a. We seek full employment at livable wages, public control of private sector financial operations, worker control of production decisions, and a guaranteed annual income for the needy; …
d. we seek laws mandating public ownership of utilities, and mandating federal and local budgetary emphases on programs for the general welfare– health care, education, public transportation, recreation and infrastructure; …
g. we seek a fair, equitable, highly progressive tax system that places the heaviest taxes on the wealthiest sector, and we seek expansion of the earned income tax credit.
At this point you may be wondering what the heck most of that has to do with Michael Brown or relations between police and the black community. The answer is pretty much nothing.