Venezuela’s ALBA Chapter
“We deplore this atrocious crime, which has spilled over the glass of tolerance. The people are tired of racist repression,” said the Venezuela chapter of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) in a Wednesday statement.
“The recent acts of protest in the United States have exposed the profoundly racist character of the American state. The supremacist government of Donald Trump has further deepened this evil historically present in American society, and in the presence of the assassination of George Floyd it has only fanned the flames of violence against protestors,” ALBA said.
“However, we cannot forget that racism in the United States is structural, historical and systemic,” the statement continued, “which means that Republicans, Democrats, corporations and the mass media have fed a society where the plundering, appropriation of labor and the stripping of all rights from African American, Latino, indigenous and migrant communities has been the basis of capitalist accumulation in that country.”
The ALBA statement noted that like black Americans, the US state has declared war on Venezuela and Cuba as well, as the US “represses and murders Black and Latino communities if they do not allow themselves to be plundered and stripped of all that capital needs to reproduce itself in an expanded way.”
“We declare our solidarity and our commitment to these people who are fighting in the streets today. They must know that their struggle is also ours, against racism, against fascism, against capitalism,” the group noted. “Today we are united in our struggle against the same government.”
On May 30, the Palestinian BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) National Committee also spoke up in defense of the Movement for Black Lives, saying it “stands resolutely in solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters across the US who are calling for justice in the wake of the latest wave of insufferable police murders of black Americans, including George Floyd in Minneapolis, Tony McDade in Tallahassee, and Breonna Taylor in Louisville.”
“As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, the ‘great stumbling block’ in the stride by black Americans toward freedom is not the KKK, ‘but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice,’” the BDS committee noted.
“We call on the Palestine solidarity movement in the US and elsewhere to stand with the Movement for Black Lives and other black-led organizations in their righteous struggle for justice, and for an abolitionist approach to police reform, reparation, and liberation,” the committee said, noting it would support a similar approach to its own for ending support for businesses and institutions “that are implicated in the system of racial injustice.”
On Wednesday, African Union Chairperson and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also came out in support of the protests against the killing of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in Minneapolis Police Department custody last week after four officers held him down, one of whom put his knee on Floyd’s neck.
“As countries that have borne the brunt of racial discrimination over centuries, we need to work together to end the scourge of racial violence, wherever it occurs. By working together, we can build a peaceful, just, healthy, and prosperous global community,” Ramaphosa said.
South Africa’s ANC and EFF
However, the South African president’s statement only came after days of prodding from his party, the African National Congress, which led the fight by black South Africans against the racist Apartheid system that held sway there until 1994.
“We urge our government, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, to engage with the American government through established diplomatic channels to diffuse racial tensions and build social cohesion among different races,” the ANC said on Tuesday.
In its own statement, the ANC said it was “deplorable that almost 70 years since racial segregation was abolished in America, people of color are still routinely slaughtered for the color of their skin. The ANC fought and defeated racial supremacy and will not be cowed to remain silent in the face of the lynching of black people wherever they manifest.”
“While we note the action taken by American authorities in charging one of the officers who was caught on camera kneeling on an unarmed Floyd, it is equally concerning that incidents of police brutality against African-American citizens are on the increase,” the ANC statement continued. “The cascade of recent cases – Ahmaud Arbery jogging while black, Breonna Taylor sleeping while black and Floyd encountering police while black – has sharpened the focus on inescapable realities that American society places a perilously low value on black lives.”
South Africa’s left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party said on Wednesday that "the murder of Floyd represents a deep tradition of racially inspired violence against African Americans by law enforcement in the US dating as far back as the Jim Crow era."
"The effective lynching of George Floyd presents a perverted culture of anti-black racism that is perpetuated by law enforcement in the US, " the EFF said. "Floyd joins the likes of Sandra Bland, Michael Brown and the 12-year-old Tamir Rice in a long list of black people who have been victims of unwarranted and racially inspired police killings. Although African-American males constitute only 2% of the population in the US, an unarmed African-American male is four times more likely to be shot than an unarmed white male."
In 1961, Martinican-Algerian psychiatrist and revolutionary Frantz Fanon wrote in “The Wretched of the Earth,” his seminal text on the anti-colonial uprisings then sweeping the globe, “When we revolt it's not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe.”
It seems little coincidence that “I can’t breathe” were the final words of Floyd on May 25, whose death sparked the protests sweeping the US, nor that the demonstrations should elicit such sympathy from the parts of the world in revolt when Fanon wrote.
In the US, 10,000 people have been arrested in two weeks of continuous mass protests that have taken place in every US state and the District of Columbia. Nationwide, some 67,000 National Guardsmen have been activated to deal with the protests, and US President Donald Trump has threatened to use active-duty soldiers as well.
While all four officers connected to Floyd’s death have now been charged, the protests continue to grow, decrying the entirety of racist police and vigilante violence against black Americans.