While the US ruling class clamps down on the freedom of migrants seeking asylum and survival in the US, ordinary people are mobilizing to liberate the incarcerated. These protests have taken many forms. Immigrant rights organizations educate immigrants about their so-called legal rights to avoid detention, communities and religious institutions provide sanctuary, lawyers negotiate to stop the police from sharing arrest records with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of Homeland Security), and activists confront anti-immigration institutions with direct actions.
In recent weeks (Summer 2019), there have been more direct actions and civil disobedience to stop detentions. Direct action protests and civil disobedience can use illegal or legal disruptive tactics to change conditions and policies. Instead of negotiations and voting, they include strikes, demonstrations (think Yellow Vests in France), mutinies, prison rebellions, attacks on right wing rallies, urban rebellions, and sit-ins. They are instrumental in securing reforms and making revolutions. While individuals can use direct action, such as assassinations or suicide bombings, they are not effective and usually harm co-workers or the public. Successful, militant protests involve large numbers of participants, unity, collective outrage, and organization.
Imagine if thousands of anti-racists operating in a planned cohesive manner opened the prisons and released the children and individuals held in these camps! Are we headed for this? Would this strategy succeed?
This article explores the value of direct action and civil disobedience, and recent and historical examples of workers defending their brothers and sisters. We welcome your examples.
In Bring the War Home, University of Chicago History Professor Kathleen Belew presents a picture of the broad and coordinated nature of the white power movement, which ultimately aims to destroy the U.S. Government and establish an all-white state. She provides convincing evidence that many supposedly “lone wolf” attacks are actually part of this grand conspiracy, most notably the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Builing in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people and for which Timothy McVeigh was executed. She documents that federal agencies have long been aware of the mass character of the white power movement, and yet law enforcement and justice agencies have not responded in proportion to the threat, and the media has almost completely ignored its cohesive character. Although the author sees violent white power at home as a consequence of a violent foreign policy, what she does not consider is whether the growth of such a mass racist movement is useful to those in power. Nor does she contrast the undersized response to it with the aggressive targeting of foreign-inspired terrorism or left-leaning opponents of racism. She also does not discuss the extent and success of anti-racist opposition to white power activities. Continue reading “A Book Review: ON THE MATTER OF WHITE POWER IN THESE UNITED STATES”
The struggle for women’s
suffrage was long and admirable but it wasn’t without serious flaws. For the
most part, it did not overcome racism or fear of foreigners or recognize the
class basis of sexism. Despite universal suffrage today, white women workers still
earn about 77% of the wages of white men, and black women workers earn about
61% of the wages of white men. All women suffer sexism on the job, and black
women also suffer racism. We will examine the history of the women’s suffrage
movement in detail and discuss what has been won, how the movement could have
been stronger, and whether true equality is possible under U.S. capitalism.
Although no form of racism in the US can compare to the barbarism of black chattel slavery and its consequences that persist to the present, racist practices and ideas have cruelly affected other groups. One such is Asians, whose immigrant history is little known today. Moreover, there is a prevalent notion that Asian-Americans no longer suffer discrimination, and that they in fact fare better than many whites.
We live in a nation totally beholden to racism. Founded on racism, built on racism, surviving by virtue of racism. From the near total eradication of Native Americans by disease, slaughter, and death marches; to the enslavement of 12 million Africans and the continued oppression, imprisonment, impoverishment and wanton killing of their descendants; to the exploitation and deportation of immigrants; to the Jews and Irish and Italians being eventually admitted into invented whiteness in order to turn them anti-black, but still maligned; to the wars fought against “gooks” and “ragheads” to increase rich men’s profits – US capitalism survives on racism. And the US that survives this way is not beneficial to any of its working people, tearing us apart from each other, impoverishing our souls and our pocketbooks, depriving us of health and learning and peace needed by all and the strength we could have in our oneness. Separated, we are likely to be led down the road to fascism. Continue reading “MORE RACIST MURDERS, IN A SYSTEM THAT SURVIVES ON RACISM”