By Mike Talavera
Wednesday evening, a group of US Marshals surrounded 20-year-old Brandon Webber and opened fire on him as he tried to escape, killing him. The sound of the gunfire rang throughout the mostly Black North Memphis neighborhood of Frayser, and as word spread the community rallied in response to the shooting of one of their own.
The same government that has totally failed the people of Memphis, where a quarter of the population lives in poverty, had stalked and murdered another one of its youth. The repeated attacks, not just the twenty-two times police have shot at people this year in Tennessee, but the evictions, the unemployment, and the day-to-day oppression had become too much bear, so the residents of Frayser armed themselves with bricks and rocks and took to the streets.
Images from Wednesday night show dozens of police in their tactical riot gear cowering and retreating down the street as they are pelted with projectiles by a crowd of hundreds, sending six to the hospital and injuring thirty-six in total. One man wielding a chair was seen fearlessly walking up to a squad car before smashing its windows to pieces. Eighteen police vehicles were damaged.
Some members of the crowd can be seen mourning Webber’s death, while many yelled angrily towards the cameras that the police did not control their neighborhood block – the people did. Fully aware of how the bourgeois media has depicted Black uprisings over the past five years, the crowd did not spare the bourgeois journalists who had come to twist the story, injuring two.
Although people eventually dispersed, the night ended in what was clearly a victory for the community who had shown initiative and clearly asserted themselves by taking the offensive against the police.
The next day, the Memphis Police Department announced that it would be going on high alert, with all officers reporting for duty to repress the masses.
Almost three years ago, in July 2016, more than a thousand people from Memphis shut down Interstate 40 for four hours as part of the larger Black Lives Matter movement that had enveloped the country. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland condemned those protests at the time for their illegality, and he condemned this week’s rebellion as “unacceptable,” choosing to defend and applaud the murderous police instead.
The confrontation Wednesday night did more than damage dozens of police officers and vehicles. It brought into sharp relief, once again, the divide between the Black nation and the imperialist US government. For all the wishes of the bootlickers like Strickland, the sellout Black Lives Matter activists, or the phony socialists like the Democratic Socialists of America and others, the Black nation will never be at peace with the United States.
No reform, vote, or dialogue can resolve the oppression of a nation. The people of Memphis have demonstrated what it means to fight against that oppression and have set a precedent for other communities to follow.