AFTER the announcement of the resignation of the chief of police in Ferguson, St Louis, an evening and midnight demonstration and celebration outside the police station saw two policemen shot and seriously wounded, with the police station itself put under armed siege.
The masses of Ferguson are doing in practice what Obama’s Attorney General, Holder has been threatening to do – that is disband the Ferguson police force after the police murder of Michael Brown.
‘It is with profound sadness that I am announcing I am stepping down from my position as chief of police,’ Tom Jackson said in a statement, earlier in the day.
His resignation came just one day after the Ferguson City Council unanimously agreed to terminate John Shaw from the position of city manager, in the wake of last week’s Department of Justice report into Brown’s murder. Jackson told the media: ‘My resignation will be effective March 19, 2015 to provide for an orderly transition of command.’
Meanwhile, the City of Ferguson issued a statement calling Jackson’s resignation ‘a mutual decision,’ adding that he will receive severance pay for one year as well as health insurance. In a press conference, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said the severance pay amounts to ‘roughly $100,000’.
Asked if all the recent resignations are an admission that the Justice Department report was valid and that the problems described in it were real, Knowles reiterated that Jackson’s resignation was a mutual decision and officials have not admitted wrongdoing.
Asked about the possibility that leadership of the police force would be moved beyond the city’s control – Attorney General Eric Holder recently said dismantling the agency is possible – Knowles said the city is keeping the department under its control.
However, the evening celebration and the overnight shootings put the issue into its correct context – that the masses have taken upon themselves the task of the dismantling of the police force!
This is after the 105-page Justice Department report uncovered ‘a pattern or practice of unlawful conduct within the Ferguson Police Department that violates the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and federal statutory law’.
United States Attorney General Eric Holder said he was ‘shocked’ by the probe’s findings after its release became public, and told reporters that he would be willing to dismantle the city’s police force if necessary.
Holder also warned that while the problems found in the report in Ferguson were ‘acute’ they were ‘not confined to any one city, state, or geographic region’.
Holder described Ferguson as a community where officials used law enforcement to generate revenue and did so disproportionately against African-Americans because of racial bias.
He says: ‘Amid a highly toxic environment, defined by mistrust and resentment, stoked by years of bad feelings, and spurred by illegal and misguided practices – it is not difficult to imagine how a single tragic incident set off the city of Ferguson like a powder keg.’
Bearing in mind that Holder said that these conditions were USA-wide, the correct evaluation of this situation is that the USA itself is a powder keg, where the oppression of blacks, Mexicans and other sections of the working class exists side by side with an increasing exploitation of the working class as a whole.
This has seen tens of millions of workers fighting for a minimum wage of $15 an hour, while important and powerful sections of the US workers, such as the oil refinery workers, and the Longshoremen on the West Coast are and have been defying the employers and the government.
These eruptions are taking place in a situation where the Obama-led Democratic Party has failed to bring in a better life for ordinary Americans and where the Republican Party has swung rapidly to the right, calling for war with Iran and war with the American trade unions, declaring that they are the same as ISIS!
The decision of the masses in Ferguson to take a hand in the disbanding of the police force is the signal that the US itself is on the road to major revolutionary upheavals. Now is the time to build the revolutionary party in the USA to fight for the organisation of the American socialist revolution.