It is, in my opinion, very dangerous to see what is happening in Ferguson as “more of the same.” I’ve been alive long enough to see many cases of police getting off free after committing murder, but never, never has there been this degree of provocation. 1000 cops, plus National Guard troops, were mobilized a week before the decision, and the contempt for the law shown by the prosecutor has never, never been this blatant–they publicized the result, they let us see that there is no justice, then stood there behind the militarized police and said, “What are you going to do about it?” We are being challenged.
Of course, it could be simply coincidence that this happens at a time when there is the greatest degree of economic inequality since the Depression. Oh, wait–no, it couldn’t. The ruling class knows very well what happens when there is that much inequality, when so many working class families are threatened with losing everything–those who still have something to lose. They know we will fight, because they’ve seen it again and again. With their right hand, they pull out military force, and with their left, they insist racism is the only issue* and try to channel our rage into harmless support for the Democratic Party–the same Democratic Party that is led by the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, while those National Guard troops were called out by a Democratic Party governor.
What will be the result? That depends on what we do–on how we fight. But being clear on what is happening is the first, important step.
“The masses are long-suffering, but they are not clay out of which you can fashion anything you want to. Moreover, in a revolutionary epoch they learn fast.” — Trotsky
*I am aware that there are those on the right who deny racism is an issue in this at all. In my opinion, these people are not worth the trouble of arguing with.