Metro Atlanta DSA stands with the nationwide anti-racist uprisings
Over the past few days, Atlanta has seen an organic, spontaneous working class uprising inspired by the uprisings in Minneapolis and elsewhere around the country. Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms has joined forces with Governor Brian Kemp to launch a brutally authoritarian crackdown on the protests, invoking the national guard and hostile military tactics. This looks like war because it is war. This is class war being waged by the ruling capitalist class and their jackboot cronies against Atlanta’s Black working class.
The Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America (MADSA) unequivocally supports the working class uprisings developing in Atlanta and across the country led by the anti-racist Black working class. We support the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the efforts of the leading Black working class to defeat mass incarceration and the neo-fascist police state. We stand in solidarity with George Floyd, may he rest in power, with his family, and with the millions of Black people who fear death because of the violence of white supremacy in the United States.
The racist and white supremacist institutions of capitalism that oppress people of color must be immediately dismantled, and they can only be dismantled by a mass movement. Over the past few days, our members have been on the ground working to build this movement, standing side by side with the working class in its struggle for Black liberation and racial equality. Over the coming weeks, we will do our best to play a principled and helpful role in this non-violent anti-racist movement.
The images and videos of police officers brutalizing Atlanta workers are sickening. No amount of “administrative leave” can change the inherently oppressive nature of the Atlanta Police or the police at large. There is a pattern of injustice and impunity that’s survived decades of elections, all under Democrats. The racist policing system itself must be totally upended.
We demand that Mayor Bottoms and Governor Kemp immediately:
- Remove the National Guard
- End the city curfew
- Restore MARTA services
- Release everyone arrested during all protests
- Demilitarize, disarm, and defund the police
The sign outside the CNN Center has already been repainted, but the life of George Floyd can never be replaced. Instead of addressing the needs of the Black working class, Mayor Bottoms has chosen to lecture the people of this city about property rights. She has shown that she values property over human life, and that her allegiance lies with the ruling class, not the working class majority of Atlanta.
We’re exhausted with the blame games. “Outside agitators,” organized crime, “thugs,” even foreign intervention! We are living in unprecedented times but this isn’t a gaudy spy novel. There is no sinister plot – we are seeing the natural, organic response of the working class to capitalism in crisis. Of course there are uprisings when there is nearly 30% youth unemployment and when the police are wantonly killing innocent people.
All footage of the protests clearly show that the police are the instigators of violence, in Atlanta and elsewhere across the country. The killings of George Floyd and so many others are inexcusable. The brutally militaristic police response to peaceful protests is unjustifiable. In the face of state violence, the working class is simply defending itself. The only way for this violence to stop is for the police to stop being violent.
Unfortunately our rulers are determined to make us disbelieve our own eyes and ears. They are inventing boogeymen and scapegoats. They demand more brutality against the people whose labor makes the world run. They threaten arrest, imprisonment, disfigurement and death to people across every age, race, and gender who just want to live in peace and be free of police brutality.
Atlanta has a history with the civil rights movement, but the struggle for civil rights and racial equality is clearly unfinished. We have a chance now to write our own history and set an example for unity and clarity in a time of injustice and uncertainty. We strive to build a new world rooted in justice, liberty, and peace for all people.
The Metro Atlanta DSA has officially endorsed and calls on our members to attend the Protest March & Rally for Justice for Black Lives on Sunday, June 7th at 12pm. We echo the organizers’ demands:
- Pass the Hate Crimes Bill
- Repeal the Citizen’s Arrest Law
- Bring Killer Cops and Lynchers to Quick Justice
- Criminal Punishment Reform
- Stop Police Brutality & Militarized Policing
No Justice, No Peace
Metro Atlanta DSA Executive Committee
Photo credit: Steve Eberhardt