The following are excerpts from remarks by Doug Nelson, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor of Minneapolis, addressing how a working-class movement against cop brutality can be built and the recent blows against constitutional rights registered in the trial and conviction of Derek Chauvin, the cop charged with killing George Floyd.
Days before he was killed, Malcolm X explained in a speech that he was for any tactic “as long as it’s going to get some results … as long as it’s intelligent, as long as it’s disciplined.”
Leon Trotsky, a leader of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the military commander of the Red Army, said, “All methods are good which raise the class consciousness of the workers, their trust in their own forces, their readiness for self-sacrifice in the struggle.
“The impermissible methods are those which implant fear and submissiveness in the oppressed before their oppressors, which crush the spirit of protest and indignation or substitute for the will of the masses — the will of the leaders; for conviction — compulsion; for an analysis of reality — demagogy and frame-up.”
Compulsion and demagogy has been the stock in trade of liberals and left radicals in service of the U.S. ruling class as they scramble to recoup the blows dealt by the mass, popular character of the protests — to deflect the moral outrage of the brutality of their police, which goes hand in glove with the anti-working-class contempt and cynicism of cop mentality.
This has included calls to impose harsher punishments on officer Derek Chauvin than the evidence and standards of due process would normally allow. The prosecution over-charged the case, bringing the capitalist state power down like a ton of bricks, while dealing blows to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and the standard of proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Ultimately their blows to constitutional protections are aimed at the working class.