BOLO (Be On the Lookout For) Alert…
Jeff Sessions’ “Strategic Plan”: Unrestrained Police Brutality; Ethnic Cleansing; Amping Up the Death Penalty

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | (HuffPo) recently published an important article on what they said was a leaked draft of the Department of Justice (DOJ) five-year strategic plan. HuffPo did not publish the draft itself, but quoted from it and characterized key features; the DOJ has confirmed their characterization as broadly accurate.

While we must wait to see the final plan to make a full analysis, some key features revealed by HuffPo show that this is a “strategic plan” for escalating police brutality and murder, for ethnic cleansing of foreign-born people, and for accelerating the ongoing slow genocide against Black people.

As such, it forms a central pillar of the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

Unleashing Police to Be Even More Brutal and Murderous

In a sharp break with the recent past, the plan does not include a focus on “criminal justice reform.”

During the Obama years, exposure and protest erupted against rampant police murder (and the potential for this to continue to burst to the surface is evidenced in the current outrage over the murder of unarmed Stephon “Zoe” Clark in his grandparents’ backyard in Sacramento.) And a movement grew against the mass incarceration of 2.3 million people—mainly Black and Brown, and mainly for nonviolent offenses.

The Obama DOJ paid some lip service to this. It issued critical reports about unjust “patterns and practices” of policing in some cities and towns and made a big show of paltry reforms, such as “consent decrees” that were supposed to limit police abuse.

These in no way put a stop to, nor substantially diminished, the oppression of Black and Brown people. And in the cases of police murdering Black and Brown people that brought forward major protests—Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Ramarley Graham, Keith Scott, and many, many more—the DOJ had a “pattern and practice” of either refusing to take them up at all, or of promising justice and investigations to get people off the streets, and then months later quietly exonerating the killer cops. In fact, there were zero DOJ indictments for any of the thousands of police murders that occurred on Obama’s watch.

Nevertheless, the fact that the DOJ even acknowledged that there was a problem with “police-community relations,” that there might be some “bad” cops, and that policing needed to be “reformed” conceded some legitimacy to the protests of thousands and the outrage of millions.

Under Sessions even this minimal concession is being flipped completely. Sessions falsely claims that the DOJ’s modest reforms “cost more lives by handcuffing the police instead of the criminals.” A DOJ spokesman declared that the DOJ “will never negotiate or sign a consent decree that could reduce the lawful powers of the police.”

This is fully in line with Donald Trump’s notorious call to cops around the country to “please don’t be too nice” to the masses who are in fact victimized by these pigs day in and day out.

As Carl Dix, for decades a leader and fighter against police brutality and murder1 and a spokesperson for the Revolutionary Communist Party, said:

“With this five-year DOJ plan, Sessions is sending an ominous message—that the police terror that disproportionately targets Black and Brown people will continue AND that the DOJ won’t even make a show of doing anything about it. Instead it will give its backing to the pigs who inflict this murder and brutality This means the slow genocide that has been enforced on Black and Brown people will not only continue unchecked but will be intensified as part of hammering fascist rule into place. This shows why it is urgent that everyone who doesn’t want to live in a society where people are subjected to horrors like this has to join in driving this regime from power as soon as possible. And it points to the need to ultimately make revolution to get beyond a situation where this kind of savage oppression is built into the normal workings of society.”

Opening the Gates to New Levels of Ethnic Cleansing Against Immigrants

A major focus of the plan is “enhancing immigration enforcement,” which wasn’t previously even part of the DOJ’s domain. (The Border Patrol, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, are part of the Department of Homeland Security, not the DOJ.)

So what will the DOJ be doing on this front? One major component will be attacking “sanctuary jurisdictions” (cities, states, universities, and other entities that provide some protections for undocumented people) or even prosecuting public officials who stand with immigrants, as Sessions threatened to do with the mayor of Oakland.

A second, even more chilling element is (according to HuffPo) to “prioritize” efforts to “denaturalize those who obtained citizenship fraudulently.” [Emphasis ours.] Thus, even as the U.S. is slamming the door on and sending home hundreds of thousands of refugees from Haiti, Central America, and elsewhere, even as it is carrying out raids around the country aimed at driving all the estimated 11 million undocumented people out of the U.S., it is opening up a new front—stripping citizenship from foreign-born people who have already obtained it. While the DOJ claims this is aimed at those who obtained citizenship fraudulently, in the hands of this regime of immigrant-hating xenophobes this looms as the potential and basis to turn into a witch hunt, where every real, alleged, or imagined mistake on an immigration form or any minor misdeed will be “justification” to “denaturalize”—and deport—people.

Cranking Up Mass Incarceration, and Dramatically Expanding the Death Penalty

This plan calls for amping up violent repression in Black and Brown communities under the banner of the “War on Drugs,” which has been the official pretext for mass incarceration, stop-and-frisk, and police murder for over 40 years. Illegal drugs are a huge business controlled by large-scale international capitalist entities (cartels) as well as (in the case of the opioid epidemic) major “legitimate” pharmaceutical companies. But the prisons have been filled to overflowing with users and street-level dealers, most of whom are either youths desperately trying to survive, or addicts seeking to secure their own supply.

HuffPo says the “draft document calls for a ‘strategic and targeted’ plan to incapacitate violent criminals and says the DOJ will partner with other law enforcement agencies to dismantle drug trafficking organizations.”

Sessions has already rolled back Obama-era policies of not seeking extremely harsh sentences for small players in the drug economy—instead, Sessions ordered U.S. Attorneys to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense.” And Sessions is bitterly opposed to the decriminalization of marijuana, threatening to carry out federal arrests even in states that have legalized pot. Marijuana arrests are a major way in which millions of Black and Brown youths have been criminalized and incarcerated.

Even more ominously, in recent weeks both Sessions and Trump have begun calling for the death penalty against “drug dealers.”

Trump made this a major part of his recent “campaign KKK rallies” and of his proposal for dealing with the opioid epidemic. And Trump has praised Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (and other despots), who brags about ordering the street executions of thousands, mostly poor people in the slums as well as some of Duterte’s high-level political enemies, for supposed “drug dealing,” murders openly carried out by police and by fascist vigilantes. Now Sessions has ordered U.S. Attorneys to examine the ways that they could use existing laws to obtain death sentences for drug dealers.

Think about this: right now there are about 90,000 people in federal prisons alone for drug dealing, and around 480,000 people in state and federal prisons for drug crimes. Black and Brown people are about 56 percent of those prisoners, even though drug use is fairly evenly distributed among different nationalities. Promoting the death penalty as the “answer” to the drug problem opens the door to genocidal levels of state murders of oppressed people, and a broader demonization of Black and Brown people that can unleash extra-legal murder on a mass scale, à la the Philippines.

There is more in this plan, including moves to create new “freedom” for Nazis and fascists on college campuses while repressing anti-fascist forces, defending the “right” of Christians to discriminate against LGBTQ people, and efforts to clamp down on those forces still within the U.S. government apparatus who aren’t fully down with the fascist program.

We will have more on this outrageous plan once we see the full document.

1. Carl Dix is a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party and a follower of and advocate for Bob Avakian, his leadership, and his visionary new synthesis of communism. He is a courageous freedom fighter from the 1960s who went on to become a revolutionary fighter and a communist. Dix spent two years in military prison for refusing to fight in the unjust Vietnam War. He emerged unrepentant and went on to become a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), USA, dedicating his life to the emancipation of all humanity. Carl is a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism. He co-founded, with Cornel West, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN), and initiated Rise Up October that brought thousands into the streets in New York City in 2015 demanding a stop to police terror.  [back]


Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.