Monday, August 25, 2014

From Palestine to Ferguson


1) The brutal bombardment of Gaza by the illegitimate colonial-settler state of Israel has been authorized by U.S. imperialism and in particular by the Democratic Party leadership in order to prevent the Palestinian masses from launching the next intifada. Such an uprising is both the logical and a pragmatic step by the Arab masses toward uniting the workers and oppressed across MENA in struggle. Inevitably the struggle to accomplish the unfinished tasks of the national democratic Arab revolution come up against the restraints of the imperialist order and the emerging proxy war that traps the toiling masses between the dominant USA/EU imperialist bloc and the emergent China/Russia bloc. The Arab Spring, the Syrian revolution, the spread of the counterrevolutionary ISIL across Syria and Iraq and the massive mobilizations today in Pakistan are products of the unresolved contradictions of imperialist domination of the Near East. 

The US is facing defeats on all fronts abroad because of the unpopularity of these failed adventures in the military occupation and oppression of the masses abroad to solve the US crisis of overproduction. This proves that imperialism cannot project the class war with impunity abroad without exacerbating the class contradiction at home.The militarisation of US imperialism is now being used to subdue its domestic population. The police in Ferguson are outfitted with army surplus gear and its high command is trained in Israel. Zionist Israel is the child of its imperialist master and its existential crisis foreshadows that of its master. The defeat of Israel is political, as its democracy is run by the military and war resisters are thrown in jail. Its legitimacy as a capitalist democracy is blown apart with the bodies of the children of Gaza. It is no accident that the global refrain “we are all Palestinians” is now one of the chants of the mass protests in Ferguson. Just as the Palestinians refuse to negotiate their submission to a colonial settler state, the black working class masses in the US are not prepared to submit to curfews and executions.

2) Long ago pacifist leader Martin Luther King observed that the USA could not maintain a militarist foreign policy without that same violence coming home and exploding in the cities of the USA. Today the unresolved and unfinished tasks of the American democratic revolution are exploding in Ferguson and the internationalist connection is not lost on the youth, on the African-American community, on the Palestine solidarity movement and even on foreign governments (even the brutal Egyptian dictatorship weighs in against the American racist brutality-obviously to cover for its own murderous suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood.) We see the international economic crisis exploding in brutal police repression of marginalized and disenfranchised communities of black and brown people across the United States. The Malcolm X grass roots movement has taken the lead in cataloging and popularizing the fact that every 28 hours American Police kill a black or brown person somewhere in the “home of the free”! This level of special oppression is required by the capitalists to keep the black and brown population in check. Every objective analysis of the conditions of the oppressed in the ghettos, in the devastated urban centers like Detroit, and increasingly in the suburbs where affordable housing can be found, catalog the predictable results of decades of declining educational opportunities, pauperization, de-industrialization, criminalization of entire populations (including immigrant children and families), the profitable growth of the private prison industry populated by victims of the capitalist crisis and fed via an attack on public education and unionization both in public and private industry. 

It is no surprise that Ferguson has exploded!   The ruling class had their warning after Oscar Grant’s murder at the Fruitvale BART Station. The political class and their police skated by after the response to the murder of Trayvon Martin was pacified by time and a Teflon racist criminal justice system tied to the corporate media and acting as an integral tool in the ruling class system of defusing public outrage while slandering the victims and violating their human rights by regularly portraying the victim as a criminal and protecting and excusing the armed thugs of the state. So in the immediate aftermath of the police murder of Michael Brown a police-edited videotape was broadcast on all major corporate media purporting to show Michael Brown robbing a convenience store. The Purpose of this racist hatchet job was as always to taint all possible jury pools in favor of the police lies, thereby making impossible the bringing of murder charges against any cop by any Grand Jury. This is an old police trick dating from before the electronic age.

After the Occupy Movement of 2011/2012 and the response to Trayvon Martin in 2013 we witnessed the enhanced proliferation of military hardware, moving from the stockpiles of Iraq to the inner cities in the USA. This is nothing less than a Bonapartist preparation to suppress the righteous uprisings of the masses and we watch them spread from Fallujah to Aleppo, to Gaza, and now to Ferguson.

3) The ruling class long ago understood that in order to delegitimize the claims to, and righteous demands for social-economic justice and equality for the black and brown community, black and brown leaders would need to be “whitewashed” and turned into their imperialist puppets and tools. The “Post Racial” America had to be declared and feted just a little more quickly than the “Post Misogynist” America in order to maintain the status quo in the face of what was about to unfold in the economic realm. For ruling class media, political elites and even among left and “culturalist” academics the “class question” was put to rest as the “End of History” was feted in 1989. Yet with the black and brown population still oppressed and drowning at the bottom end of the economy and with economic collapse on the not so “distant” horizon (as the “irrational exuberance” and reified Ayn Randism was collapsed by the concrete reality of the crisis of overproduction of capital and the implications of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall.) A heavy hand would be required by imperialism both at home and abroad to smash the uprisings of the workers and oppressed. The capitalist class saw the writing on the wall.   Their most astute observers knew economic crisis would quickly deflate the speculative party and Obama was elevated mid stream over Hillary. Post Racialism became the order of the day! And today in “post racial” America the class contradictions are exploding in what look like revolution and counter-revolution in the “show me” state! We remember Dred Scott! We remember John Brown! We have no illusions in the fake post racial America. We know it is a construction of the ruling class and another one of their myriad tools of pacification.

4) The ruling class has known for decades the day of the black President would be necessary. The black “true patriot” (imperialist Colin Powell) and “black conservative justice” (misogynist Clarence Thomas) were elevated in the post- 60’s backlash period both as a counter to the legacy of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and the anti-imperialism of the Black Panthers, Brown Berets, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, and the various “movement” and working class anti-imperialists. Clarence Thomas was elevated to their top court to further denigrate and disempower the women’s liberation movement (and in particular to attack it where it overlapped with the working class and Black movements). But the elevation of model conservative black politicians to positions of power did not change the actual material conditions. The Clinton administration brought about the “end of welfare as we know it” and the brutal attack on the condition of poor and black and brown women with the odious (and sometimes even fatal) requirements of the “welfare to work” programs. Millions of black and brown men were relegated to prison labor for pennies an hour, increasingly for private prison-industrial complexes, one of this depression’s few growth industries. Meanwhile black and brown women were chased off welfare into poverty and menial work in order to qualify for the minimally available social assistance.   All the while, the class of model ’Negroes’, those trained to talk standard corporate dialect and endorse and abide the parameters of the capitalist rule, those referred to by pre-eminent black intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois as the Black Bourgeoisie, were prepared and elevated to catch the flack and defuse the situation when the inevitable fightback hit the streets.

5) This layer contains the most commercial spokespersons, the most renowned moralists, as well as countless preachers, poverty-agency operatives and hack politicians who know how to ride a wave. Today they are tasked with defusing Ferguson. At the executive level arch-hypocrite Obama says we will go to any lengths to bring to justice anyone who kills Americans, yet the Ferguson police department escorted Michael Brown’s murderer out of town to a safe undisclosed hideout. We watch what looks like an occupying army standing in formation with guns aimed at masses of unarmed civilians, many with arms in the air. No doubt ‘whitewashed’ black commentators will accuse some outside agitators of using them as human shields while they created mayhem!   The governor stepped in and sent the state police with a black chief spokesperson, but his credibility faded quickly…..then the National Guard was sent in but they were not tasked with protecting the people, but only with protecting the police command headquarters.   We call upon all worker militants on the scene to fraternize with the National Guard enlisted ranks to convince them not to follow any orders to commit state violence and to revolt should they be given. Back to the barracks and home!

Then the FBI showed up with all the authority of the Obama White House, but contrary to all logic the fact of 6 bullet wounds, two to the head, has not resulted in the immediate arrest of the murdering cop. So the FBI stands around with no real role other than to be the token serious Federal interest in the case, and the protests just get bigger naturally enough. So now Attorney General Holder is sent in to promise a “thorough and independent investigation.” We would like to know how there can be an independent state investigation of the state. The bench is getting thin and folks can see through it. The bourgeoisie increasingly sees no way out except crushing the suburban uprising. Crushing this uprising before it becomes a St. Louis uprising or even the Mississippi River uprising.   Even the black President cannot put Humpty Dumpty together again. So the “Post Racial” era comes to an end. We knew it had never been initiated, that there were clues along the way (every 28 hours!) but now the brave youth of Ferguson have stood up and say NO MORE! The Communist Workers Group stands with them!

6) While it is clear to revolutionary Marxism that the daily slaughter of workers and oppressed is the consequence and cost of decaying capitalism, that the systemic problem is not the fault of any one individual or group of individuals who can be identified and replaced, and that the open defenders of this decaying class system are little more than puppets acting with limited independence from their puppet masters to enforce the right of the 0.1% to own and control the wealth of the planet, there are layers of enforcers among the communities of the oppressed and working classes that are more insidious than the likes of Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, Barack Obama and Eric Holder.   There are those who evoke Martin Luther King and tell us to back down and turn the other cheek. But we put our arms in the air and they shoot at us. What do you expect? We have black state police officers who admonish the youth for provoking violence with looting and Molotov cocktails, conveniently forgetting that only a week ago “Big Mike” was shot down, unarmed with his arms in the air! The political class, the moralists, the pacifists, all want to gather you inside the church and get you back off the street and back into the bourgeois political process in order to make good the deal with Hillary that she would be next in 2016, under the threat of an even worse Republican boogey man. 

Among this layer of operatives, moralists and pacifists are the very “socialists” who help to maintain the rule of the capitalist class by elevating the capitalist Democratic Party to the level of the essential and only pragmatic solution and road forward and away from reaction in every election cycle. The Communist Party, the Democratic Socialists of America, through and alongside the Trade Union bureaucracies, construct the American popular front in which the political independence of the working class and oppressed is subordinated to imperialism with a promise of a seat at the table. Thus we see the International Socialist Organization calling upon all workers in their orbit to follow the Reverend Al Sharpton and the New York Labor bureaucracy in a “We Will Not Go Back March” exactly to canalize and dam up worker frustration with murderous police tactics. Irrespective of the nominal intentions of Messrs. “Socialists”, Sharpton and the bureaucrats are stone Democrats and identify their interests with bourgeois class rule. Where workers live in the lower-rent suburbs the “seat at the table” is in the last row of the waiting room at the unemployment office!

7) The leaderships that hide the workers’ historic program for socialism from the masses do the work of the ruling class. What the uprising in Ferguson shows us is that decaying capitalist imperialism will have to take up arms against the oppressed not only in Fallujah, Rio de Janeiro, Gaza, Aleppo and Donetsk, but that not even the USA can resolve the crisis at home without unleashing class war. The leaders of the workers movement who talk socialism and workers power and Black Nationalism and women’s liberation on Sunday and on Holidays, on the morrow tell you not to organize your fighting workers/labor party, not to organize your own community assemblies, not to organize your own collective self-defense, and not to organize class struggle caucuses to revive your unions! No, they tell you to elect a new crop of ‘white washed’ progressive Democrats. Take Seattle, Washington where fake socialist Kshama Sawant tells workers that the police are workers too and endorses the new police chief as a progressive! Take Richmond, California where fake socialist mayoral candidate Mike Parker withdraws from the campaign, telling workers they have no need for political independence and should vote for the capitalist Democratic “progressive” candidate Tom Butt. There are already many preachers out on the street trying to contain the masses and bring them back to the fold, but that system is broken. Occupy may have withered away from misleadership, but the contradiction of decaying capitalism drives the masses into the streets out of sheer necessity.

8) The solution that is missing is the coalescence of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic revolutionary workers’ party that charts a course for independent working class political action, which forms up the popular democracy in every workplace, community and school and which will develop and assert the workers’ historic program through mobilizations, strikes, occupations, and direct challenges for power, as the power of the capitalists to rule effectively becomes increasingly less tenable and more and more dependent on the overt violence of the state.
9) So while the world is in flames and the CWG comrades participate in their trade unions and community organizations, they have marched on the Ports of Oakland against the Zionist slaughter, they organize against those in the union who deny workers their independent party, they have mobilized in the anti-fascist and anti-Klan actions, they have stood with the workers and oppressed of Brazil, Korea, the Ukraine, Syria and Egypt as they have had to rise up against the imperialists over the last year. And again today in the USA we take our program of political independence and working class labor-black-brown self defense to the beleaguered and oppressed communities who daily suffer the violence of the state. We say there can be no end to police brutality under capitalism. Thus we oppose the advocacy of civilian police review boards; they are not a solution. When, in the 1960’s, these review boards were demanded by the Black Panther Party and SDS, this represented for them a break to the left away from liberalism, although not a qualitative one as is usual with the ultra-left. Today, after the experience the working class had with such “independent” review boards such as John Lindsay’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, the raising of this demand by the Freedom Socialist Party, the Chicago Socialist Campaign, and Sawant’s Socialist Alternative, amount to a sop to liberalism and an assurance to the bourgeoisie of the utterly pacifist intentions of these groupings. The bourgeois state killers in blue cannot be made accountable to any other class but the capitalists. To think otherwise is to invite bloodshed on our side of the class line, until pacifist illusions can no longer be held.

We oppose the police unions being considered part of the labor movement; police are not workers and we do not defend them or welcome them as any part of the solution. We explain the police “protect and serve” big capital at your expense. They do not arrest Chevron for poisoning your air, they do not arrest BP for spoiling the Gulf and killing workers, they do not arrest the fossil fuel industry or the bankers who are poisoning the planet and they certainly do not arrest their own for killing you! In fact to end the rule of the capitalist class, the police and national security state must be arrested and only the mobilized masses of the workers and oppressed can do that.

Drop the charges against arrested protestors! We know who the real criminals are! 

300 dead black and brown workers a year and no cops arrested and punished. This capitalist system has no intention of seeking justice. We do demand the arrest of killer cops, However this is a transitional demand, because only popular tribunals of the workers and oppressed which organize their own defense guards can “Jail Killer Cops” and bring justice to the workers and oppressed.   

No faith in the bosses’ courts! Build organizations of labor and the oppressed to enforce justice!

Communist Workers Group/USA.