Black people in US ‘subjected to brutality and death in the interests of the ruling class’

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Demonstrators in the US demanding ‘Defund the Police’

AN African American journalist and political analyst has said that ever since the inception of the police in the United States African people have been ‘subjected to brutality and death in the interests of the ruling class.’

Abayomi Azikiwe, an editor at the Pan-African News Wire, made the remarks in a TV interview on Saturday while commenting on new reports of police violence against Black people.
An Ohio police officer fatally shot an unarmed Black man within a second of opening his bedroom door early on the morning of Tuesday august 30, during an attempt to serve an arrest warrant.
People on Friday took out to the streets in Columbus, Ohio, to protest against the killing.
Protesters, including family members, friends, and community members of 20-year-old Donovan Lewis, rallied in the Columbus Division of Police Headquarters to demand justice for him and other Black victims of police brutality.
‘These attacks on the African American people have not stopped. The emphasis on the unjust policing tactics resulting in injuries and deaths has been taken off the national media outlets in order to create a false notion that the problems of law-enforcement misconduct has declined significantly,’ said Azikiwe.
‘The administration of President Joe Biden denounced the idea of defunding the police and called for additional resources for law-enforcement agencies. In cities like Detroit the police already drain the municipal budget by 30%.
‘Unfortunately, the police are being given American Rescue Plan monies which are designed as Covid-19 relief assistance from the federal government.
‘The brutal police action in Columbus that took the life of Donovan Lewis is representative of the character of racism and national oppression that African Americans experience daily,’ he added.
Black people dying at the hands of US police have ignited widespread protests against racism and demands for police reform.
Azikiwe pointed out: ‘These demonstrations, which peaked during the summer and fall of 2020 in the aftermath of the brutal execution of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police, were historic.’
‘Since this time period, there has been a national election where a new administration has taken over the institutions of authority. Yet fundamental change has not occurred. The Biden administration has not delivered on any of the needs and desires of the African American people,’ he added.
A man with mental issues died an hour after he was confronted by Salt Lake City police in the US state of Utah in another case of US police violence.
‘At present, Biden is pointing to the excesses of the ultra-right forces represented by former President Donald Trump,’ Azikiwe continued, adding:
‘However, the current administration has ignited a full-blown war in Ukraine involving the Russian Federation.
‘Biden and the Congressional leadership are provoking a military conflict with the People’s Republic of China over the status of Taiwan among other issues.
‘The Biden administration must be held politically accountable for the current recession which was spawned by high rates of inflation. Biden has not imposed any effective anti-inflation measures.
‘The bill which passed Congress and the Senate last month is a convoluted series of minor initiatives which will not effectively end inflation, reduce the cost of most prescription drugs or stem climate change,’ he said.
When asked by the interviewer how he thought racial injustice and police brutality against African Americans would come to an end, Azikiwe said:
‘Such an end will be the result of a complete transformation of United States society.’
‘There needs to be guarantees in the areas of housing, environmental quality and education which takes into account the actual history and social conditions in the US,’ he said.
‘Any law-enforcement structures must be created by the people and for their interests. Since the inception of the police in the US African people have been subjected to brutality and death in the interests of the ruling class.
‘The radical shift in law-enforcement will ensure that African Americans and everyone else will not be victimised by the police,’ he concluded.

  • US space agency NASA has aborted its second attempt to launch the debut test flight of its massive, next-generation rocket that marked the first mission of its moon-to-Mars Artemis programme, citing another fuel leak.

The latest attempt to launch the 32-storey-tall Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and its Orion crew capsule into lunar orbit with test dummies was called off on Saturday following repeated attempts by technicians to correct a leak of super-cooled liquid hydrogen propellant being pumped into the vehicle’s core-stage fuel tanks.
The first attempt earlier in the week was also marred by escaping hydrogen, though those leaks were elsewhere on the 322-foot rocket – the most powerful ever built by NASA.
There was no immediate word on when NASA might try again. After Tuesday, a two-week launch blackout period kicks in. Extensive fuel leak repairs could require that the rocket be hauled off the pad and back into its hangar, possibly pushing the flight into October.
Launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson and her team tried to plug Saturday’s leak as they did the previous time – by stopping and restarting the flow of super-cold liquid hydrogen in hopes of removing the gap around a seal in the supply line, local news outlets reported.
Blackwell-Thompson finally halted the countdown after three to four hours of futile efforts, leading to an announcement by NASA’s launch commentator, Derrol Nail, that ‘we have a scrub for the day.’
NASA intends to send the crew capsule atop the rocket around the moon, pushing it to the limit before astronauts get on the next flight. If the five-week demo with test dummies succeeds, astronauts could fly around the moon in 2024 and land on it in 2025.
Astronauts last walked on the moon 50 years ago.
The local weather cooperated early on Saturday – after days of stormy weather – as the launch crew began loading nearly one million gallons of fuel into the Space Launch System rocket.
Minutes into the operation, however, hydrogen fuel began seeping from the engine section at the bottom of the rocket, violating safety rules.
During the launch attempt on Monday, hydrogen fuel escaped from elsewhere in the rocket. Technicians tightened up the fittings over the past week, but Blackwell-Thompson cautioned that she wouldn’t know whether everything was tight until Saturday’s fuelling.
But even more of a problem on Monday, a sensor indicated one of the rocket’s four engines was too warm, but engineers later verified it actually was cold enough. The launch team planned to ignore the faulty sensor this time around and rely on other instruments to ensure each main engine was properly chilled.
Mission managers accepted the additional risk posed by the engine issue as well as a separate problem – cracks in the rocket’s insulating foam. However, they acknowledged that other problems, such as fuel leaks, could prompt yet another delay.
The $4.1 billion test flight is the first step in NASA’s Artemis programme of renewed lunar exploration, named after the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology.
Twelve astronauts walked on the moon during NASA’s Apollo programme, the last time in 1972.
Artemis – years behind schedule and billions over budget – intends to establish a sustained human presence on the moon, with crews eventually spending weeks at a time there. It is considered a training ground for Mars.