Jordan Neely’s death calls out for radical change

Interior NYC subway car
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The murder of Jordan Neely on a subway train is another stark reminder of how the working class and poor, especially Black and Brown people, face increasing attacks and bear the brunt of the brutal living conditions under capitalism.

It is no coincidence that this cruel event has happened while repressive rollbacks on voting, reproductive, and gender identity rights are taking place. They are all rooted in an economic system that is in crisis and scapegoats people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, immigrants, workers and the poor. At the same time, the working class is rising up and building its power through the formation of new unions and challenging the labor bureaucracy to fight alongside rank and file members for better benefits, pay and work conditions.

The cutting and destroying of social services by the powers that be directly creates an environment of economic and social chaos for the working class. In reaction to movements like Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and the wave of labor upsurges, the overt attacks – physical and legislative – have escalated through the hands of law enforcement, right-wing groups and media that target the victims of poverty and discrimination. And in Neely’s case, there is no doubt that Mayor Eric Adams’ fearmongering and unleashing of the NYPD on the unhoused emboldened the ex-marine who put Neely in a chokehold and those who helped restrain him.

Racist, misogynist, anti-queer and anti-trans attacks by vigilantes and law enforcement alike will continue to rise in a climate created by capitalist lawmakers in which homicide gets substituted for housing and healthcare. We are seeing this same dynamic with the “anti-woke” agenda and laws criminalizing people who get an abortion or access reproductive healthcare. These institutions aim to bolster hate propaganda to counteract the rise of workingclass power that can bring forward the needed transitional reforms and revolutionary change.

In New York State, the local government is encouraging steep rent hikes along with the recent rise of evictions and homelessness. We need community control of housing and expansion of safe and decent shelter for everyone.

Although the police did not kill Neely, the chokehold is a measure of deadly force commonly used by the police on unarmed Black people. Mayor Adams and the police released and protected the three men who killed Neely. The working class needs to continue to fight for independent and empowered oversight bodies to fire cops who commit murder. We need elected civilian review boards paired with an independent prosecutor.

Justice for Jordan Neely! Prosecute the three men who killed him!

Housing, healthcare, social services and jobs for all!

Hold police and corrupt scapegoating politicians accountable!

Build multiracial united fronts to defend the working class!

Issued by the Freedom Socialist Party