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UNITED STATES: STATEMENT ON BALTIMORE UPRISING AND POLICE REPRESSION [IWW GMB BALTIMORE]

We the undersigned declare our solidarity with the struggle for justice in the case of Freddie Gray and all other victims of police brutality. While we celebrate the May 1st announcement that the six police officers responsible for the death of Freddie Gray will face criminal charges (an outcome that would not have happened if not for the massive resistance in the streets of Baltimore and other cities) we also recognize that this is only a tiny step toward addressing the underlying causes that led to this injustice. As long as entrenched poverty, institutional racism, lack of educational and recreational opportunities, and an unaccountable and increasingly militarized police force continue to exist, there will be no justice or safety for people of color or the working class in general in Baltimore or anywhere else. We believe that these root causes must be addressed both in the streets and in the workplace. Workers and the unemployed must unite around these crucial issues or the labor movement will become irrelevant.

As for the immediate situation in Baltimore, we the undersigned endorse the following demands:

  • An immediate end to the curfew and the “state of emergency”
  • The immediate withdrawal of all National Guard troops, state police and other occupying forces
  • The immediate release of everyone arrested in connection to the Baltimore Uprising and the restoration of habeas corpus
  • Full amnesty for everyone arrested in connection to the Freddie Gray protests, including two IWW members who were arrested for peacefully defying the curfew on May 1st
  • Fair restitution for protesters injured by the police, including an IWW member who sustained visible injuries as a result of being beaten by police during his arrest

We call on the Baltimore Police Department, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to implement these demands at once.

An injury to one is an injury to all!

In solidarity, Industrial Workers of the World–Baltimore General Membership Branch

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