We are writing to lodge our most emphatic protest against the presence of two Federal Marshals at the "Labor & Community Speak Out Against Police Brutality", held on the evening of October 3, 1997 in New York City, and sponsored by The National People's Campaign and Workfairness, two groups closely associated with the Workers World Party.
The Marshals, both of whom were black, were present with the approval of the sponsors of the event, supposedly to add their voices to the speak-out against police brutality. When we and others protested their presence, the organizers of the meeting attempted explicitly to justify it, saying that they welcome the support of "anti-racist" police. This disgusting apology for the perpetrators of police brutality prompted us to walk out of the meeting in protest, along with the Spartacist League. To pretend, as did the organizers of this event, that members of a force responsible for acts of brutality against minorities, immigrants and leftists can somehow be part of a campaign against that same brutality is a bitter insult to all their victims. The Marshals' presence could also have posed an immediate danger to many of those attending the meeting.
Members of all police forces--local, state or federal--are agents of the capitalist state. They can never be the friends of workers and minorities, whatever their ethnicity or color. To welcome them to a protest gathering is not merely politically wrong--it is an act of betrayal for which the organizers of this meeting must be held responsible before all those genuinely attempting to fight back against the latest police crime wave.