ATLANTA — Fighters against police brutality came from Thomaston and Savannah to speak at a Militant Labor Forum of some 30 people here Nov. 1. The event was an opportunity for those involved in struggles across Georgia to get to know each other.
“We want you to know that the fight is not yours alone,” Rhondalynn Traylor (speaking), president of the Thomaston Improvement Association, told Penny Nelson, mother of Charles Smith. Smith was shot five times and killed by Savannah police Sept. 18 while handcuffed in the backseat of a police car. Also at the program were his sisters Janie and Katherine Smith.
“There is a broad-based campaign of intimidation” against Smith’s family and supporters, aimed at blocking further protests and whitewashing the police killing,” Smith family attorney Chadrick Mance told the audience.
“Police brutality is part of maintaining the privilege and power of the capitalist class. It’s not a question of a few ‘bad apples,’” said Dave Ferguson from the Socialist Workers Party, who took part in protests against police brutality in Thomaston and Savannah and in Ferguson, Missouri.