COSATU supports the peaceful protests by Americans against the killing of unarmed black people by the police

The Congress of South African Trade Unions joins millions of people all over the world who are outraged at the extent to which racism is deeply entrenched and vicious in the US, particularly against blacks and other minority groups in a country purporting to be the world’s leading democracy.

We wish to clearly state our unequivocal support for the inspirational and peaceful protests by Americans against the killing of black people by police officers across the country. We also fully endorse their legitimate demand for urgent reform of the American law enforcement institutions.

For years young unarmed African American males have died at the hands of the police. Recently George Floyd another African American male was killed by the police in the full glare of watching public. Most of these incidents and cases of police brutality end up with perpetrators released without conviction. This points to a lack of a programmatic approach in dealing with racism and violence directed at black Americans by the police.

It is the duty and responsibility of all progressive forces to support the struggle of the African Americans in their quest for justice and equal treatment. The struggle against racism in the US, in Israel, in parts of Europe and everywhere else, is our struggle. It is a domestic issue in South Africa, as it is on the whole African continent. Its all our struggle for equality and human dignity everywhere.

We encourage the working class in America and throughout the world, to unite and support this campaign against police brutality. The ruling capitalist class – a minority – maintains power by creating divisions in the working class – a majority.

We are also alarmed by the recent concerted counter-revolutionary measures by US government to not only delegitimise progressive politics but to want to use state institutions to suffocate it. This is deeply worrying and must be condemned. These attempts by the US administration warfare state to declare an open and full-scale war against progressive forces in the US speak to an unsettling emergence of dictatorship tendencies in America and around the world.

We have seen this being done by Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, etc. This deterioration in democracy and offensive against progressive politics is a recipe for disaster and requires stronger working-class solidarity and unity. It further exposes the false veil of capitalist claims for freedom and equality for all.

Despite its undemocratic structures, the United Nations remains the single most important world authority on international multi-lateral relations amongst states and peoples.  UN decisions of the General Assembly and other charters are supreme laws binding to all national states regardless of military power or wealth. We, therefore, call on the UN to condemn the open lynching of unarmed black civilians in the US by the police and the Trump Administration’s attempts to use state institutions to fight political battles for survival and power.

Issued by COSATU

 Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794