«Racial» riots in the u.s. over the past 50 years

(«Proletarian»; Nr. 12; Autumn - Winter 2015)

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July 1964:

After the murder of a young black of 15, by a policeman (who was not even on duty) riots broke out in Harlem and extended for 10 days and to other neighborhoods in the metropolis of New York: Manhattan , Brooklyn, Bedford and also to the city of Rochester. Savage repression by the police left 7 dead, 800 wounded, with over 1,000 arrests.

28-31 August 1964:

A riot broke out in Philadelphia after a rumor about the murder of a woman by a policeman. There were more than 300 injured, over 700 arrests, 225 shops looted or destroyed.

11-17 August 1965:

Riots in the black neighborhood of Watts in Los Angeles (California): 34 dead, 1,032 wounded, 3,775 arrested after the intervention of the National Guard. The police chief of the city (LAPD) compared the black rioters to «monkeys in a zoo ...»

January-March 1966:

2 dead, 20 injured, 19 buildings burned in Watts.

Summer 1966:

Riots and protests in 43 cities with a total of 11 dead, over 400 injured, 3,000 arrests

12-17 July 1967:

Riots in Newark (New Jersey): 27 dead, 2,000 injured, 1,500 arrests, 300 fires.

23-28 July 1967:

Riots in Detroit: 43 dead, 2,000 injured, 7,000 arrests. The protests later spread to 128 cities. During 1967 the total number of dead amounted to 83.

4-11 April 1968:

After the assassination of black pacifist leader Martin Luther King, riots broke out in 125 cities. President Johnson used a US Army elite unit to come to the reinforcement of police and National Guard in Washington, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, Newark, etc. The repression left 46 dead, 2600 injured, with 21 thousand arrests.


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Riots in Miami.

Throughout the 80’s riots broke out several times in Greater Miami (Florida); the most important were:

May 17-20, 1980:

Three days of riots resulted in 18 deaths, over 400 injured and 1,100 arrests in the black neighborhood of Liberty City. The violence erupted after the acquittal of four white police officers charged with the beating death of a black motorcyclist who ran a red light the previous year.

28-30 December 1982:

2 dead, 25 injured, 38 arrests.

16-18 January 1989:

6 injured, 351 arrests, 30 buildings burned after the murder of a biker by the cops.


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April 29 - May Day 1992:

After the acquittal of the LAPD officers who had beaten Rodney King, a Black accused of speeding, riots broke out in Los Angeles suppressed at the cost of 59 dead and more than 2,328 injured. The riots spread beyond the black neighborhood: a white protester exclaimed: «this is not blacks against whites, it is the rich against the poor.» The protests spread to other California cities including Oakland, San Francisco (where martial law is decreed for the first time since the 1906 earthquake!) and San Diego, as well as Seattle and Las Vegas. Demonstrations were also held on the East Coast: New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta etc., without resulting into riots.


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April 9, 2001:

A young Black man of 19 years, Timothy Thomas was killed in Cincinnati by a white police officer during a pursuit. There followed four days of violence in which 70 people were injured. Calm returns after the establishment of the state of emergency and a curfew.

10 August-November 2014:

After the assassination of the young Black, Michael Brown, repeated riots take place in Ferguson (suburb of St. Louis, Missouri). A state of emergency was declared and the National Guard was called in as reinforcement. Hundreds of people were arrested, including 16 journalists.



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