The results are in, and the truth hurts. Rahm Emanuel will sit in the mayor’s office on the fifth floor of Chicago’s City Hall four more years. Despite fudging police stats to make murders disappear, despite stonewalling on police torture and atrocities, despite deliberately shortening red light camera intervals to raise revenue for his buddies, despite closing and privatizing more than 50 public schools, almost exclusively in black and brown neighborhoods, than anywhere in the country, and despite his facing a solid progressive Democrat challenger, Rahm Emanuel carried every single ward in black Chicago, not by big margins, but by enough. Continue reading →
Eight months after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson triggered raucous protests around the country and transformed the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter into a nascent movement, the political scene in Ferguson, Missouri where the shooting took place has changed dramatically. Continue reading →
Democrat (and former self-described advocate of “democratic socialism“) Bill de Blasio has been mayor of New York City for one year having won 73% of the vote (roughly 700,000 votes) in the 2013 mayoral race. The same election saw the city council’s Progressive Caucus double in size and with the council’s 48-to-3 Democratic-to-Republican majority, de Blasio has been able to get a lot done during his first year in office. Assessing these achievements and understanding what de Blasio and his administration represent politically is critical to correctly orienting to the actually existing class and political struggle at the local level. Continue reading →
If Michael Brown’s death is to lead to meaningful change, if he is not to become another Abner Louima or Amadou Diallo — shot by cops, protested about, and ultimately nothing changed — the struggle in Ferguson must become political, that is, it must develop a fighting electoral wing.
In the 20 years since the Rodney King beating inaugurated the citizen’s video camera as a new weapon in the fight against police brutality, there has been little to no meaningful police reform in the United States because such fights never developed such a wing. Continue reading →