THE US town of Ferguson, Missouri erupted yesterday after a grand jury decided not to bring charges against a white policeman, Darren Wilson, over the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown on 9 August.
St Louis County police chief, Jon Belmar, said violence in the suburb of St Louis, Missouri, was ‘probably much worse’ than on any night since the teenager’s death. He said that rioters had fired 150 shots.
He added that the fabric of the community had been ‘torn apart’ in Ferguson, which is a predominantly black community held down by a mainly white police force.
‘I didn’t see a lot of peaceful protest out there tonight, and I’m disappointed about that,’ Belmar said. ‘Unfortunately this has spun out of control.
‘I don’t think we were underprepared,’ he added. ‘But I’ll be honest with you, unless we bring 10,000 policemen in here, I don’t think we can prevent folks who really are intent on destroying a community.’ In fact it is the US state that is bent on destroying a community, just as it is destroying thousands of communities in the state, cities and towns throughout the USA.
The Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon began the mass mobilisation of state forces in Missouri by calling up the National Guard ahead of the grand jury’s decision. Now, no doubt, it will be used to impose martial law on the people of Ferguson, beginning with a deployment to clear the streets of demonstrators and impose a curfew.
The National Guard intervention will see US reserve soldiers using the same weaponry and equipment that the US army used during its occupation of Iraq against US workers and youth.
Already US workers are comparing the fighting in Ferguson with the occupation of Iraq, with this time the enemy being at home!
However the killing and the resistance in Ferguson is not a local issue – it is a national issue, as the weekend’s police killing of a 12 year old child, holding a toy gun in Cleveland made clear, and, as does the rapid spread of solidarity demonstrations with Ferguson throughout the USA.
In fact, the situation in the US is like one huge Ferguson, with enough dry tinder around to start a national conflagration at any time.
Giant cities like Detroit are bankrupt – the inner city has been reduced to farmland, thousands of homes have been boarded up, while public sector workers have lost their jobs or had wage cuts and seen their pensions slashed.
Detroit, the motor car capital of the world, has been brought to its knees by the aftermath of the 2008 crash of Lehman Brothers.
There is consternation, even in the ruling class, that the new jobs that have been ‘created’ are in the main low paid and part-time ‘don’t call us we’ll call you types of jobs’, that allow workers to eke out an existence and offer no future.
There is a revolution already taking place amongst the low paid with a massive Walmart strike due to take place, alongside a surge of fast food workers strikes, with very young workers battling for a minimum $15 an hour basic wage.
This revolution is being extended into the southern states with the UAW and other industrial trade unions battling to organise the motor and other factories that have been set up in the previously non-union south by German and Japanese firms.
The American working class and youth have begun to do battle with the US ruling class and its constellation of billionaires for a future for the working class and youth.
The wipe-out of the Obama Democrats at the US mid-term elections was in fact a message from the working class to its own trade union leaders, that they must break with the Democratic Party and begin a real battle for the future of the US workers and the youth.
There is not the slightest doubt that the working class of the US will take strike actions to support the workers of Missouri as they fight for ‘justice’.
The US workers will also tell their leaders that they must form a Labour Party that will fight for socialism in the USA.
In fact the need of the hour is a US section of the Fourth International be established to lead forward the struggle of the US workers for a socialist USA as part of the struggle for world socialism.