Portland DSA condemns the police murder of our community member yesterday in Lents Park.
The brutality of policing is an everyday horror perpetrated against the most marginalized people in our society — and it is a tool of capitalism to maintain inequality.
Last year, Portlanders mobilized alongside millions of others around the country to protest racist police violence. Our demonstrations forced the Portland City Council to take action: they voted to defund the Portland Police Bureau by $15 million and remove police presence from schools and public transit. But we must not only prevent this funding from being reinstated — we must go further and strip the police of their power to terrorize and kill with impunity.
This most recent murder by the police happened in the pilot zone of the Portland Street Response. This clearly demonstrates that it’s not enough to create an alternative to the police if nothing is done to decrease the power, scope, and size of the Portland Police Bureau.
To do that, we need an organized mass movement of working class people capable of challenging the police and the ruling class interests they serve. Through coordinated, strategic mass action, we can build the power required to transform the system.
Socialists believe in a world where everyone is guaranteed a home and health care — not a military occupation masquerading as “safety.” We must divest from policing and use those funds to support essential public services that directly address the root causes of poverty, crime, and violence. True safety means dismantling the systems that perpetuate injustice, including the police and the prison industrial complex, and reinvesting in our communities.
That’s why we won’t stop fighting to defund, disarm, and disband the police. That’s why we demand justice for the victim, his family, and the community. And that’s why we demand accountability from Zachary Delong, the officer responsible for the public execution of a member of our community, as well as the Portland Police Bureau and every other police officer and department in this country.
The Clackamas County branch of the Portland Democratic Socialists of America calls for the resignation of OR-District 5 representative, Kurt Schrader. His comments on Friday, January 8th comparing possible impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump to a “lynching” show his disregard for our country’s history of violence against Black Americans, and are completely unacceptable and indefensible.
This is just one of many incidents in which Schrader has abdicated responsibility for his working class constituents. In December, he voted no on a $2,000 stimulus check that would have provided much-needed relief to residents of Oregon’s 5th District during a pandemic and after devastating wildfires in the area. A member of the “Problem Solvers Caucus” and a self-described, “Blue Dog Democrat,” Schrader has made it clear that he sides with the ruling class, not the working class which needs relief from COVID and Donald Trump. We call on Kurt Scharder to resign. If Governor Brown must find a replacement for him, we hope that she appoints someone who will fight for the working class, unlike Schrader.
The Clackamas County Branch of the Portland Democratic Socialists of America also calls for the immediate resignation of Clackamas County Commissioner Mark Shull. It has been made public that he has made repeated statements in the recent past espousing hatred for Muslim, Black, and transgender members of our community. These xenophobic views are abhorrent, and he is incapable of representing residents of Clackamas County. Our Muslim, Black, immigrant, refugee, and transgender residents have always endured discrimination and hate, which has been amplified by Donald Trump’s hateful and racist rhetoric since 2016. We stand in solidarity with our community members and call on Mark Shull to resign so that he can be replaced with someone who is not a proponent of hatred and division.
Portland DSA calls for the immediate impeachment and removal of Trump from office, the expulsion of all members of Congress who aided this coup attempt, and the beginning of a nationwide commitment to antifascist praxis by socialists of all tendencies.
We are witnessing an attempted coup in real time. It is already too late to reverse the damage done to our country, damage that was inevitable after a century of US coups in foreign nations and the buildup of white supremacist police forces across the nation. Imperialism is coming home to roost.
Now is the critical time to cease collaborating with and assuming good faith of the right wing in this country. We must finally rid ourselves of liberalism’s fairytale belief in compromise with the right. Those in the Republican Party supporting this attempted coup are leading their party down a road to fascism.
Radical action is needed from those who hold state power. The Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and the President-Elect must act swiftly to root out right-wing extremism from their own halls and from the state capitals in the US. Democrats must not allow a fascist movement to metastasize.
Across the US, socialists must commit to an antifascist praxis that confronts fascists when they come into our communities, prevents them from organizing and operating with impunity from police, and roots out the inequities of Capitalism that allow them to recruit to their fatalistic cause.
Only fierce action can meet a rising fascist threat. It is clear that the US is becoming a failed state, and we are on the precipice of imperialism advancing to another, far more brutal stage. We must be vigilant and uncompromising in our response. There is no excuse for weakness.
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