15 January 2016

Drop Charges Against Black Labor Activist Mike Elliott!

We print below a January 7 letter of protest to the Cook County prosecutor, Anita Alvarez, from the Partisan Defense Committee, a class-struggle, non-sectarian legal and social defense organization associated with the Spartacist League.

The Partisan Defense Committee condemns the arrest of Michael Siviwe Elliott, a retired member of United Auto Workers Local 551 and former Chairman of its Education Committee, well known for his activism in the union and against racism and police brutality. He is also the Labor Committee Chair of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

On December 29th, while riding on a Metra commuter rail line, Michael Elliott was arrested and then falsely charged with battery on a Metra police officer and reckless conduct in retaliation for using his cellphone to record the cop’s manhandling of a woman passenger. The Metra police also outrageously seized Elliott’s phone and turned it over to the Chicago cops infamous for both the destruction of evidence and spying on blacks, labor and leftists. This blatant act of retaliation comes after the brutal killing of black youth Laquan McDonald by the Chicago Police and the subsequent cover-up, particularly the suppression of a video recording of the police killing.

We demand that the charges be dropped against Michael Siviwe Elliott and that his cellphone be immediately returned.

* * *

(reprinted from Workers Vanguard No. 1081, 15 January 2016)

Workers Vanguard is the newspaper of the Spartacist League with which the Partisan Defense Committee is affiliated.