In the USA there is an ongoing revolutionary process. The masses have taken the streets and squares and fought police repression, in a gigantic anti-racist movement, after the murder of George Floyd.
IWL-FI Statement on the U.S.
This movement, by its scope and radicalism, has no historical precedents. There is a revolutionary process in the USA, with features similar to those that appeared in semi-colonial countries like Chile, Colombia, Iraq and Lebanon, but also critical differences… among them, it is happening in the most powerful imperialist country in the world.
What the world always had as a model society now shows its true face twice: the grotesque capitalist domination.
First, because the most powerful country in the world is going through a brutal crisis because of the combination of racism, police repression, pandemic and economic recession.
Second, because the U.S. masses have arisen. The example set by these demonstrations, which happen amidst the apex of the pandemic, is a beacon for the oppressed and exploited across the entire world. Imperialism is weaker right now. It is possible to fight back and challenge capitalist domination.
This is an extremely important stimulus in the moment when the world reels because of the brutal crisis of the pandemic and economic recession combined. In the very moment that the possibility appears of the reemergence of revolutionary processes that shook the world in the beginning of the year, the example of the U.S. may help ignite other countries.
The King is Naked
The rage against racism and police brutality were hugely empowered by the economic crisis and the effects of the pandemic.
The U.S. have right now the highest figures of infected and killed by Covid-19 in the entire world. The 115,000 deaths so far are the double of U.S. casualties in Vietnam. The mass graves in New York are part of the same barbarism of the dead laying in the streets of Guayaquil, Ecuador. The absence of a public health system has affected the poor directly. It is not by chance that Covid-19 mortality rate among the Black is the double of whites.
The global recession that begins shows figures in the U.S. that approach the 1929 depression, and may be even worse. The economy will drop an estimated 14,2% in the first six months of this year. More than 40 million people have sought unemployment benefits. There are 70,000 homeless people in New York. African-Americans wages are a third lower and unemployment larger than those of white Americans.
Police brutality on Blacks is the expression of an omnipresent racism in the USA. The tremendous struggles against racial segregation, particularly in the Sixties, managed to abolish the segregationist laws, but not racism itself. The U.S. State as a whole is extremely repressive with the largest carceral population in the world who are disproportionaly Black. The struggle against racism is inseparable from the struggle against capitalism. As Malcolm X said, “There is no capitalism without racism.” The bourgeoisie resorts to racism to increase exploitation and pit white workers against Black ones.
We must fight back racism and seek to unite Black and white workers as a single body in this struggle against exploitation and oppression. The example of the white youth in the demonstrations in the U.S. is yet another lesson we must learn from.
What is erupting now in America has been accumulated through decades of exploitation and oppression. It is capitalism that attacks the masses, in a powder keg that the combination of pandemic, recession and racism have set aflame. The king is naked. The “American dream” turns into the capitalist nightmare.
An Enormous Movement… which is not Under Control of the Democratic Party
A spontaneous, gigantic movement took over the main cities of the country after George Floyd’s murder by a white cop. In the streets, people improvised posters, organized small rallies. Those who were not in the streets applauded from their windows. In some places, the people seeking food looted supermarkets.
Blacks are 13% of U.S. population. The crowds in the streets included Blacks, Latinos and Asians. The white Youth went en masse, frequently going to the front of the protests to stop police officers from continuing to kill Blacks. The explanation for this is not only the sentiment against racist oppression, but also the brutal social crisis in America which affects the impoverished masses.
The bourgeoisie was frightened. An irate Trump demanded more repression from governors and mayors, threatened to give orders to kill, said he would place the Army on the streets. Governors and mayors of the Democratic Party said they understood the protestors’ motives. They tried to channel the furious struggle of the masses to the November elections. It did not work. They sent the police and imposed curfews, exactly like the Republicans. The police arrested thousands and even killed. People still did not leave the streets.
The White House was surrounded by furious demonstrators, with a scenery of destruction in the surrounding blocks. The crowds in the streets defeated the curfews in many cities. A police department and dozens of police cars burned around the country. The situation went out of control.
The repressive apparatuses gave clear signs of being in crisis. Leaders and ex-leaders of the Pentagon, including several generals, stood against Trump, questioning his plan of sending troops against the people.
In many cities, mayors withdrew the curfews. The police had to retreat many times against crowds willing to fight. Popular indignation against police repression grew by leaps. In many places, police officers started to join the demonstrations, kneeling in a reflection of Colin Kaepernick’s anti-racist stance in 2016. The repression partially withdrew, as result of the strength of the streets.
The crisis of both the U.S. administration and the regime are consequences of the power of this movement. This will not go away in a while, even if right now the demonstrations are shrinking because of weariness and the lack of a revolutionary leadership.
In many countries, particularly in Europe, huge demonstrations in support of the struggles in the U.S. took the streets. That is no coincidence. There are many similar situations in these countries: pandemic, repression and oppression against both Blacks and migrants.
The Main Issue of Leadership
Unlike most movements in the past, the current struggles in America are not lead by the Democratic Party. The spontaneity of these movements, as has happened in many revolutionary processes these past few years, is their main virtue. That is why they go out of control by union bureaucrats and representatives of the Democratic Party. Yet, not having a revolutionary leadership, being unorganized, having no program and not pointing to a definite perspective is also their main weakness.
Already there are signs that the Democratic Party (DP) is trying to channel the process to Parliament and the November elections. The Democrats have presented a program in Congress to limit police repression. Many local parliaments are presenting bills for defunding the police. The city council of Minneapolis passed the extinction of the current police and the creation of a new one. The sector of Black Lives Matter movement coopted by the DP has also presented a limited, electoral program. Joe Biden, the Democrat wishful has overtaken Trump after all this, and promises to change everything if elected.
If they manage to channel these struggles to the parliaments and the electoral process, the Democrats will once again sterilize a tremendous movement.
We need to advance the self-organization and self-defense in neighbourhoods and demonstrations to fight back repression. We need to advance in rank-and-file workers’ self-organization against the bureaucracy! We must bring the unionized working class and Youth to join street demonstrations.
We need an emergency program, which begins with the struggle against racism and repression, and advances to a revolutionary answer to the pandemic and the economic crisis.
We must fight strongly to defeat the Trump administration through the masses’ direct action without waiting for the elections, without trusting the Democrats. We must fight for a workers’ government in the U.S.!
We must build a new revolutionary leadership in the course of the struggles in the U.S. and across the world!
[Translated by Miki Sayoko]