40th Anniversary of the 1965 Watts Rebellion: A Clarion Call to the World

Revolution #013, August 28, 2005, posted at revcom.us

Forty years ago this month, the Watts Rebellion rocked Los Angeles and sent shockwaves around the world. Tens of thousands of Black people rose up in anger and defiance. The police had to put 46.5 square miles of the city under military-enforced curfew, mobilizing 21,000 cops and National Guard troops. More than 30 Black and Latino people were shot to death, and 5,000 were injured or busted. But even with all this, it took the authorities six long days to bring the Rebellion to an end.

The authorities called the Rebellion an irrational "riot." In fact, the rebellion was a just and righteous action of the masses against oppression. It was a very political act against the whole brutal, racist setup in society. It marked the opening of the urban-based Black liberation struggle that rocked the U.S. in the late 60s and early 70s.

Forty years after the Watts Rebellion, many things have changed in the situation of Black people and other oppressed nationalities. But the basic reality of barbaric racism and injustice still confronts the masses of Black and other oppressed people. And for the proletarians at the very bottom of society, the situation has actually gotten worse.

Today, 40 years later, the need for a real solution--for revolution--cries out more than ever. But while the Black liberation struggle of that time ebbed, there is a Party that came out of that time with a leadership, a programme and plan--and that is prepared to lead today, all the way to revolution.