By Ajamu Nangwaya

The police operate in the neighbourhoods like an occupation army.

http://thestar.blogs.com/.a/6a00d8341bf8f353ef0133f1dfdd5f970b-pi

As we come close to the 50th anniversary of the Watts Rebellion (August 11-17, 1965) in the city of Los Angeles, it makes for a suitable background to examine police violence in Toronto against African-Canadians. The working-class constitutes the vast majority within this group and the collaboration between white supremacy and class exploitation tend to tag them as a threat to the social order. The police are the agents of the state who interact with this community on a daily basis. The cops are the coercive arm of the state that force people to abide by the laws of the ruling-class. It is not hard to see the basis for conflict between an oppressed community and the cops.

The Watts Rebellion's immediate cause was police brutality against Marquette Frye, an African-American man, who lived in the community of Watts. After the arrest of Marquette and his mother and brother, over 10,000 residents of Watts came out in protest against the police. Their action led to this pivotal moment of urban uprising in the United States. This civil disturbance could be seen as the opening salvo of the Black Power Movement with its militant resistance that moved beyond the non-violence stance of the Civil Rights Movement.

The telling element about the Watts Rebellion and other major uprisings by African-Americans is the role of police violence as the immediate cause of these insurrections. Nonetheless, these revolts have social, economic and political oppression as the ultimate factors. Unemployment, poor educational facilities, inadequate housing, and the lack of government investment in the social and physical infrastructure in the community serve as some of the specific issues that ignite these uprisings.

When people think of racially-inspired police violence in North America, they instinctively focus on the United States. Canada is normally ignored and seen as a welcoming place. However, police brutality against African-Canadians has been a longstanding experience.

According to writer-activist Xinavane Mawu Kush, "I can even go back farther to the generation of my grandparents, around the 1910s and 1920s when the Toronto Black community was the size of a blip and we were said to be a very law-abiding group, yet, there were ongoing complaints of systemic, unfair treatment by cops."

Read more at: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Unmasking-Police-Violence-Against-African-Canadians-in-Toronto--20150721-0014.html

Ajamu Nangwaya is an organizer, educator and writer. He is an organizer with the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence.

Ajamu Nangwaya is an organizer, educator and writer. He is an organizer with the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: 
"http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Unmasking-Police-Violence-Against-African-Canadians-in-Toronto--20150721-0014.html". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english Ajamu Nangwaya is an organizer, educator and writer. He is an organizer with the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence. This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
"http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Unmasking-Police-Violence-Against-African-Canadians-in-Toronto--20150721-0014.html". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english
Ajamu Nangwaya is an organizer, educator and writer. He is an organizer with the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: 
"http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Unmasking-Police-Violence-Against-African-Canadians-in-Toronto--20150721-0014.html". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english