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May 06
13:38 2015

United National Antiwar Coalition

Statement in Support of Baltimore Protests

In the United States every Black man, woman and child risks becoming the victim of an extra judicial killing. Because the government does not record these inconvenient facts, activists are left to determine that police kill at least 1,000 people every year. While chattel slavery ended 150 years ago, the U.S. still has a very active slave patrol system and it is carried out by police officers around the country. When they injure and kill they do so with impunity.


The medical examiner in Baltimore, Maryland ruled Freddie Gray’s death in police custody a homicide. The filing of charges against six officers by the State Attorney is a necessary step but by no means assures justice in this case or a change in regard to a deep and systemic problem.


The system of mass incarceration began to take shape as a direct reaction to the liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It results not just in imprisonment but police brutality and murder and not just in Baltimore but across the country.


The death toll from police violence went unnoticed until people rose up as they did in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, New York and in countless other cities. The inspiration from the people of Ferguson led to thousands of protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. However that movement has yet to lead to the successful prosecution in a case of police brutality.


The United National Antiwar Coalition supports the right to protest against police murder. Calls for non-violence cannot be used as a smoke screen to silence the right to demand redress. People in the U.S. are encouraged to support uprisings around the world if they are sanctioned by our government, yet are told to condemn any protest taking place in their own country. There will be no end to police violence if there is not a loud and unified cry for justice. That cry is only heard when thousands of people march in the streets.


The Obama justice department has declined to pursue federal prosecution in the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford or any of the hundreds of other cases of Black homicide at the hands of police. While the president claimed a previously unknown right to assassinate American citizens, and did so, the justice department also claims that the legal bar is “too high” to bring police to justice when they assassinate at will.


The mass movement spawned in Ferguson and now taking shape in Baltimore must be clear in its demands. The federal government must prosecute killer police and every community, particularly those of color which are disproportionately victimized, must have direct control of their local police departments.


Politicians can no longer be allowed to hide behind useless “police/community relations” gimmicks which provide no protection from police brutality. Black faces in high places as mayors, district attorneys and police chiefs are also not a means of ending the criminalization of Black life. Reform is just another word for inaction and for maintenance of the status quo which grants the right to kill without fear of punishment. Any call for yet another panel or blue ribbon commission is useless if it does not also discuss community control, and with it the right to hire, fire and if need be prosecute local law enforcement.


The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) stands with the people of Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago, Staten Island, North Charleston and every other locale where a Black person has been killed by police.


Black lives matter!

End mass incarceration!

Community control of police!

Prosecute police brutality!




Shocking Facts About Baltimore
Baltimore is a city of 622,000 that is 63 percent African American.   A quarter of the city’s inhabitants live in abject poverty.


148,000 people, or 23.8 percent of the people in Baltimore, live below the official poverty level.


56.4 percent of Baltimore students graduate from high school.  The national rate is about 80 percent.


Official unemployment is 8.4 percent city wide. Most estimates place the unemployment in the African American community at double that of the white community. The official national rate of unemployment for whites is 4.7 percent, for blacks it is 10.1.


White babies born in Baltimore have six more years of life expectancy than African American babies in the city.  African American babies in Baltimore are nine times more likely to die before age one than white infants in the city.  There is a 20-year difference in life expectancy between those who live in the most affluent neighborhood in Baltimore versus those who live six miles away in the most impoverished.


92 percent of marijuana possession arrests in Baltimore were of African Americans, one of the highest racial disparities in the US.


Over $5.7 million has been paid out by Baltimore since 2011 in over 100 police brutality lawsuits. Victims of severe police brutality were mostly people of color and included a pregnant woman, a 65-year-old church deacon and an 87-year-old grandmother.


Taken from AlterNet article by Bill Quigley.
Another little known fact:  At least 300 high-ranking sheriffs and police from agencies large and small – from New York and Maine to Orange County and Oakland, California – (including Baltimore & Ferguson PD) have traveled to Israel for privately funded seminars in what is described as counterterrorism techniques.

Source: Official UNAC newsletter

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