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Poster of the Week – Ramsey Clark, Daunte Wright & Community Control of Police

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Ramsey Clark (1927 – 2021), U.S. Attorney General under President Lyndon Johnson (1967 – 1969), was the most progressive Attorney General in U.S. history. Among his many accomplishments, he helped bring about voting rights for African Americans, school desegregation, and the 1968 Civil Rights Act. Judge Julius Hoffman refused to let Clark testify for the defense in the conspiracy trial of the Chicago 8. Clark also ordered a moratorium on federal executions and prison construction, and opposed U.S. wars and interventions from Viet Nam to Panama and from Yugoslavia to Iraq. For more than half a century, he opposed police violence, and was quoted in the above poster. Clark died on April 9. Two days later, Daunte Wright (2001 – 2021) was killed. Another victim of police violence. Another unarmed Black man, killed by a Minnesota police officer. For a moving violation. For having expired plates. For having an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror. For driving while Black. The shooting took place 10 miles away from where the trial of another (former) police officer is taking place for having murdered George Floyd less than a year ago. Another unarmed Black man. The eyes of the world are on the US for the ongoing epidemic of racism and police shootings of people of color. If anyone doubts the omnipresence of institutional racism, look no further than the institution of law enforcement. Police know they are under scrutiny but the killing continues. Because racism permeates how they were raised. How they were trained. How they see the world. They cannot stop themselves. They are rarely held accountable. CSPG’s Poster of the Week was made 50 years ago to protest police violence and demand community control of the police. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense formed in 1966 in response to police violence against the Black community. In 1971, a BPP-inspired ballot measure to put Berkeley’s police under neighborhood control, qualified for the ballot. This poster supported that ballot measure, which was defeated. The community must control the police! Sources: Ramsey Clark, Former Attorney General of the United States and Principled Critic of the U.S. Warfare State, Dies at 93 Ramsey Clark, Attorney General and Rebel With a Cause, Dies at 93 Berkeley to Vote on Curb of Police Berkeley’s Establishment of a Police Review Commission Chicago 7 Judge Bars Ramsey Clark As Defense Witness The Minnesota officer who killed Daunte Wright was charged with manslaughter Daunte Wright called his mother right before he was shot. This is what he said

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