Three days after the killing of Daunte Wright by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, the Atlanta branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation organized a protest in Atlanta in solidarity with Minneapolis.The protest demanded justice for Daunte Wright, George Floyd, and all victims of racist police terror. It was attended by hundreds of people.
On April 11, Brooklyn Center Police officer Kim Potter killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright. This took place just 10 miles from where killer cop Derek Chauvin is currently standing trial.
After 26 years on the force, Potter’s excuse for shooting is that she mistook her taser for her handgun. Twelve years ago, Oakland police used the same excuse to justify the murder of Oscar Grant.
Unsurprisingly, people in Minneapolis, were already outraged watching Derek Chauvin’s trail unfold. Uncertain if Chauvin would even be convicted despite the overwhelming evidence against him, protesters took to the streets the same night of Daunte’s murder. Protests were held at the Brooklyn Center in the following days and were met with violent repression from the police.
Although killer cop Potter was not fired and instead resigned from the police force, it was this public pressure — the fear of another nation-wide rebellion being sparked — that led to her being charged with second degree manslaughter.
On April 14, the Party for Socialism and Liberation in Atlanta united with other local organizations, including Community Movement Builders, Atlanta Justice Alliance, Absolute Justice Now, and Movement for Black Lives, to mobilize and organize working class people in solidarity with Minneapolis.
The protest started at the corner of Centennial Olympic Park near the CNN building, where the uprisings in Atlanta began last summer — as part of the nationwide rebellion. A diverse crowd — in nationality, age, and gender — came together to protest this injustice.
“Rain or shine, Atlanta stands with Minneapolis,” said Party for Socialism and Liberation organizer Vicente Contreras, “rain or shine, we come out here to fight racism!” Even in rainy, windy weather, many came out to protest and march.
During the national uprising of the summer of 2020, the PSL marched alongside countless others in protest of numerous racist murders by the police — Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and so on. The people demanded killer cops be jailed and police be defunded.
One year later, one infamous killer cop is on trial as the world watches and President Joe Biden has supported increased funding for police. The message remains the same: the people want killer cops jailed and police departments defunded — nothing less is acceptable.
The protest led to a march through the streets of downtown Atlanta, reminiscent of the marches of the previous summer. State Patrol and Atlanta Police resumed their previous intimidation tactics towards protesters, making their presence clear with lights and sirens as they came close to the protest.
People joined in as the protest went on. Many cars stopped and honked in support. People recorded videos as the marchers passed by. Many speakers spoke to the necessity of organization among the working-class and oppressed and encouraged attendees to join revolutionary organizations.
Last summer, the nationwide uprising gave us a glimpse of the revolutionary potential of the working-class. The key to harnessing that radical energy and channeling it to uproot the racist system is building an organized class-conscious mass movement.
Several speakers echoed the words of Malcom X, “We’re not outnumbered, we’re out organized!” These words ring just as true today as when they were first uttered.
Even a guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin would not absolve the capitalist system of its guilt in the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Daunte Wright, Oscar Grant, Adam Toledo, or the countless others slain by the police.
The system needs a conviction of killer cops like Chauvin as proof that the system can hold racist murderers accountable for their actions. Although rare, convictions—concessions to the movement in the streets—are welcome.
But the people see that for every convicted killer cop, many more walk free. The whole system is guilty. Real justice will require us fighting for a whole new system.