The Communist Party of Canada stands in full solidarity with the ongoing rebellion against racist murders by police. We salute all those standing against racism and demanding justice for those murdered by police forces who are allowed and encouraged to act with impunity.
In the United States, the videotaped extrajudicial murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department, is only the latest killing. Police services across Canada do not have a better record. Last week, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a Black-Indigenous woman, fell to her death in the presence of Toronto police. In early April, D’Andre Campbell, a Black man, was shot by police inside his home after being tased in Brampton, Ontario. Also in early April, Winnipeg police shot and killed Eisha Hudson, a 16 year-old Indigenous girl, and Jason Collins, an Indigenous man, in separate killings. We extend our deepest sympathy and solidarity to the families of all those affected by police murders and violence across the country.
Sadly, the families, friends and communities of the victims cannot expect justice from the police, “police oversight” bodies, the courts or capitalist politicians, without a massive fight. When murders occur and the perpetrator wears a uniform, the police and courts fail to press charges in almost all cases, especially if the victim is an Indigenous, Black or racialized person.
More broadly, racist policing also includes practices such as beatings, sexual assaults and racist harassment through “carding”, “street checks” and “stop and frisk” policies. Racist over-policing of low-income and racialized communities, often acting and trained as a militarized occupation force, is one of the main reasons for the massive over representation of Indigenous and racialized peoples in Canadian prisons. Indigenous peoples make up 30% of the prison population while Indigenous identified people make up 5% of the population. Black Canadians make up 8.6% of inmates while it is estimated that Black Canadians make up 3% of the population.
The current pandemic and capitalist economic crisis have further exposed the structural racism embedded in the United States and also in Canada. In both countries, it is working-class racialized and immigrant communities, especially women, who are on the front lines as essential workers. These workers are being infected and dying at a disproportionate rate, with corporations and governments failing to protect them.
The Communist Party of Canada extends our solidarity and support to all those struggling for racial equality and justice across Canada and the US. Hundreds of thousands have stood strong demanding an end to racist police impunity and continue to do so. We demand an end to the vicious repression, including the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and batons. We demand an end to the escalation of violence by ultra-right and fascist forces, including politicians such as Donald Trump who has threatened to “shoot the looters” and engaged in red baiting tactics. Statements such as these are not only irresponsible but are criminal and will result in more murders by police.
The Communist Party of Canada demands immediate far-reaching reforms to end racist policing and move towards full equality. We demand:
- police officers who commit murder be charged and convicted of these crimes;
- police forces across Canada and the RCMP be put under real independent civilian control;
- CSIS, Communications Security Establishment, and undemocratic “anti-terrorism” legislation be abolished;
- ban racial profiling and eliminate the police practice of “carding”;
- demilitarize police forces and disarm most police units;
- slash police budgets and military spending – fund social spending;
- sharply reduce incarcerations and fund healthcare, mental healthcare, education, housing, childcare and social services;
- enact and enforce pay and employment equity laws for Indigenous peoples, women, people with disabilities, and people from racialized and 2S/LGBTIQ communities;
- strengthen enforcement and penalties for hate crimes and hate speech, ban hate groups, and increase funding for anti-oppression and equity-seeking programs.
Despite the widespread belief perpetuated by politicians and media that structural racism is a uniquely American problem, the facts are clear that racism is on the rise in Canada.
It is also clear that this is not just a case of a “few bad apples” in the police. It is the capitalist system itself that uses and perpetuates white supremacy to further its drive towards deepening exploitation. Capitalism in what became Canada was developed through the genocide of Indigenous peoples and two hundred years of chattel slavery. Racist immigration policies, access to housing and education, racist portrayals in media, the fostering of ultra-right and fascist ideologies, and government policies of militarizing and allowing the police to act with impunity are all symptoms of a racist political system.
The struggle for socialism is a struggle for a system built, not on exploitation, but on the common ownership of wealth by the working people who create it. On this basis, we can build a society where racism and oppression have no place.
The current movement against racist policing has already united hundreds of thousands of working people from different communities across the continent. The CPC stands united with racialized and Indigenous peoples fighting racist police violence and calls on the labour and democratic movements across Canada to build the struggle against racism and for equality and justice.