The issue is the shoot to kill policy says de Menezes campaign

Pickets were demanding yesterday that the Gate Gourmet boss Siegel should be sacked as a troublemaker
Pickets were demanding yesterday that the Gate Gourmet boss Siegel should be sacked as a troublemaker

THE family of Jean Charles de Menezes, murdered by police on the Tube on July 22, have called for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, to resign and for those responsible for the murder to be prosecuted.

Yasmin Khan, from the Jean Charles de Menezes’ Family Campaign, said there were three issues to consider, the first being the ‘shoot to kill policy’ and the second the ‘incompetence of the police on the day’.

‘Thirdly, the attempted cover-up and misleading by Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police and with government officials colluding with this,’ she said.

Sir Ian Blair responded to the press conference by refusing to resign.

Alessandro Pereira a cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes made a number of charges against the police at the same press conference in Stockwell.

He said: ‘For three weeks we have had to listen to lie after lie about Jean and how he was killed. . .

The police know Jean was innocent and yet they let my family suffer.’ He said lies had been told about his cousin such as that he was a suspected terrorist, that he looked like a suicide bomber, that he was wearing a big jacket and that he ran from police.

And the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said Scotland Yard ‘initially resisted’ the regulator’s attempts to launch an investigation into the shooting.

IPCC deputy chairman John Wadham said: ‘Scotland Yard initially resisted us taking on the investigation – but we overcame that. It was an important victory for our independence.’

Commissioner Blair’s supporters replied that there was no victory because the police did not seek to prevent the IPCC taking on the investigation.

Here we have two contending sides. On one side, the ruling class, its state apparatus and its media, trying to justify the unjustifiable, and on the other, the mass of the people, one of whose number has been killed in cold blood by a police death squad.

What has happened – the essential story behind the story – is that the aggressive imperialist war waged by the US and UK ruling classes in Iraq and Afghanistan, directed at stealing the oil and gas resources of the Middle East and Central Asia, has resulted in reprisal attacks on the UK.

These make it necessary for the British ruling class to use civil war methods to retain control of the situation. Seven shots in the head to destroy some innocent person’s brain is one of these civil war methods. The ruling class has been forced, by the results of its own policy, to reveal the real nature of its state apparatus to a shocked population.

The emergence of the state in its true role is not just the result of a foreign war that has gone very badly. The Iraq war has resulted in runaway oil prices. Half of British industry has been bankrupted – we just don’t know the particulars as yet, but the explosive struggle at Gate Gourmet is a good indication of the struggles that are going to erupt throughout UK industry.

In this situation a strong state, that demonstrates publicly just how it is going to deal with any threat – with seven shots to the head – is an essential for the bourgeoisie.

And once the deed is done there is no going back.

With the wrong man murdered the whole of the state and its media rushes to try and cover over what has taken place with a mountain of lies.

No going back means that the police death squad members will not be charged with murder. This would cause a mutiny of the state forces without which the ruling class could not rule.

There can be no question of police chief Blair resigning, or the government resigning, since the shoot to kill policy has to be continued. Only a revolutionary general strike can bring them down.

In fact, there is only one way to get justice and deal with this capitalist state that is tooled up for killing.

That is to smash it, and break it up with a socialist revolution that will prepare the way for a socialist society.

The vehicle for this historic change is the mobilisation of the working class for a socialist revolution.

The class division over the right of the state to shoot to kill and then to defend the killers is just the beginning of the revolutionary confrontation that is emerging throughout society.