This Sunday working people and communities of color will rally at Berkeley to protest the fascist rally called under the “No to Marxism in America” slogan.

By Workers’ Voice – US

 

It is going to be an important rally for several reasons, the first one being that it is organized by an impressive coalition of socialist groups, unions, community and faith groups, that believes that those manifestations of white supremacy and anti-worker ideologies cannot go uncontested. Fascist and alike need to be defeated politically, with our massive numbers and a clear message to those thinking that racism, fascism, sexism, and homophobia will find any room in our cities, workplaces, campuses, and communities are doomed to fail. So on Sunday, we will show not only our numbers but also our political determination to confront those ideas and those who want to oppress or attack us.

The coalition “Unite for Freedom from Right Wing Violence in the Bay Area”, which was started by socialist groups committed to build an inclusive united front while maintaining our independence from corporate parties and elected politicians, managed to gather a real labor support, especially from key unions, many active in Labor Rising. Let’s mention them because they were brave to take this on: like the UAW 2865 (teaching assistants at the university), UC-AFT (librarians and lecturers at the university), AFSCME 3299 (custodial workers at the university), UPTE-CWA 9119 (technical workers in the university), BFT (K-12 teachers in the city) and SEIU 1021 (public workers of the city). Other unions joined in later like the community college teachers (PFT, AFT 1603), the post-docs (UAW 5810), the Tech Workers Coalition, the Undergraduate Workers Union and the Alameda and San Francisco Labor Councils. Furthermore, ILWU Local 10 also called a strike and march for the SF protest.This is what an alternative to the existing AFL-CIO leadership could look like, and this is why we need to support and push further this key steps some unions are taking in showing leadership and taking the right side on a key issue that divides the working class: racism and white supremacy. It has also been key to have in our coalition, since the beginning, some of the Muslim (CAIR) and Black (BSU) and Jewish (Jewish Voices for Peace) organizations, and that very important ones joined in the middle of the planning after Charlottesville, like Anti-Police Terror Project in Oakland, which has an important base in the Black community in Oakland. Today more than 100 Bay Area unions, community, and left organizations have endorsed our rally, this is unprecedented. This is what a united front looks like.

The coalition discussed since the beginning that the priority was to reach mass mobilization and shift the political framework of the rally: we, the socialist, Marxist, unions, community folks are the defenders of democratic and civil rights, we have been historically and will continue to do so. The “alt-right” which gathers new-nazis and many other fascists and reactionary forces are the opposite, they oppress, torture, kill, deport people, support genocides etc. The entire world needs to know who they are, how dangerous and violent they are and how much we are determined to defeat them. This is why we always called for a peaceful demonstration and have democratically built our own security force, independent from the police that protected the fascist in the past, in order to enforce the peaceful character of the demonstration. But we also know that history has proven that words and arguments are unfortunately not enough to defeat fascist fanatism. If they persist and continue their attacks after being defeated politically, like it happened in Boston, we the socialists are determined to defeat them militarily. On Sunday some of us will organize a peaceful march from our rally point to where the fascist are, to show them we are not afraid and that we believe in our right of self-defense from their attacks everywhere and anytime.

Finally, this Sunday rally is very important because it has shown where the mayor of the city, Jesse Arreguin, a supposedly “progressive Democrat” stands. Our coalition never asked for his permission to organize a peaceful counter-mobilization, we did what we think is right. The mayor initially strongly opposed it and warned us that our gathering was illegal and urged people to stay home on Sunday to be “safe”: The best response for those seeking to safeguard our community is to stay away. Doing so prevents those on the fringe from garnering attention to their causes, which is their primary goal.” The labor unions, however, thought this attitude of neutrality towards white supremacist violence was unacceptable, and they met with the Mayor who was defeated and had to authorize our rally. Now he is promoting it, and while we welcome that he finally acknowledges our constitutional right of free assembly, we want to make very clear to everyone, that in the fight against racism, white supremacy, fascism and union-busting attacks, we the working people will have to rely on ourselves. We cannot rely on the Democratic or Republican Party, we need to patiently build from below, and show our unity in action, because yes, we can and will defeat them.