Socialist Worker

Anti-racist movement is new crisis for Trump

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2568

45,000 anti-fascists vastly outnumbered a tiny group Nazis and racists in Boston on Saturday

45,000 anti-fascists vastly outnumbered a tiny group Nazis and racists in Boston on Saturday (Pic: Tim Carter)


The movement against Donald Trump is marching forward—and forcing key figures in Trump’s administration out of the White House.

Mass demonstrations against fascism and racism have swept the country following the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville.

The White House’s entire Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned last Sunday in protest against Trump’s refusal to condemn the Nazi rampage in Charlottesville.

Earlier in the week Trump had to disband three business committees after a slew of resignations. He was also forced to sack key adviser Steve Bannon on Friday of last week.

In a recent interview Bannon had advocated a trade war with China. “The economic war with China is everything,” he said.

Racist, sexist US president Donald Trump is feeling the pressure

Racist, sexist US president Donald Trump is feeling the pressure (Pic: Gage Skidmore)


But his removal is unlikely to result in an immediate shift in US policy towards China.

Before Trump, Obama’s “pivot to Asia” policy was designed to hold back China militarily and economically. The methods may change but this aim will continue.

Nevertheless, Trump’s supporters in the administration are becoming thin on the ground.

Trump has announced tax handouts to the rich to placate his enemies in the Republican Party.

Those who resigned felt no need to do so when Trump announced his racist border wall or his infamous Muslim ban, or boasted of sexually assaulting women.

So why leave now?

Pressure

Establishment politicians and public figures are feeling the pressure from the movement from below.

Some 45,000 people turned out to oppose 25 pathetic far right “free speech” protesters in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday of last week. Organisers had expected half as many.

Nicole from Boston Feminists for Liberation told Socialist Worker, “The turnout was a combined effort from the left, though a lot of the credit goes to Black Lives Matter and the network it has built over the years. There was an amazing amount of left unity on display.”

That unity has the potential to feed into a national movement against racism and police brutality.

“I think this definitely represents a turning point, not just in terms of the far right but in terms of movements against police brutality in the north east,” said Nicole. “Every day people stood up to fascists and violent cops in a way we haven’t seen before in Boston.”

On the protest in Boston

On the protest in Boston (Pic: Tim Carter)


Solidarity protests with Charlottesville also happened internationally, with some 200 people in London.

In Berlin up to 500 Nazis were met by 1,000 anti-fascists.

Although Nazis have been emboldened by Trump, the movement that has exploded in response to the Charlottesville attack is pushing them back.

The next dates in the anti-racist and anti-fascist calendar are 26 and 27 August, when Nazis and racists have announced mobilisations in Berkeley, California.

Anti-fascists have called a Bay Area Rally Against Hate counter protest.

Some 70 organisations have backed it.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 branch has voted to walk off the job as part of the anti-fascist mobilisation.

Trump is under pressure and an anti-racist movement which is beginning to mobilise the organised working class could be a nail in his coffin.


More troops deployed in Afghanistan

Donald Trump announced a significant escalation of the continuing US war in Afghanistan on Monday night.

“My original instinct was to pull out,” said the racist US president. But instead he indicated that the longest war in US history could continue for years to come.

Trumps National Security Adviser general HR McMaster

Trump's National Security Adviser general HR McMaster (Pic: US Army Public Affairs/Wikicommons)


“We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities,” he said.

Some have argued that the new position is a response to the increasing strength of the military within the Trump administration.

Key White House positions are filled by generals.

Steve Bannon’s departure means figures such as the National Security Adviser general HR McMaster may get more of a hearing.


Tear down the statues that celebrate black slavery

Confederate statues celebrating the pro slavery side of the American Civil War have become the latest symbol of racism that activists are targeting to tear down.

City bosses took down four statues in Baltimore on Tuesday of last week in the face of public outrage after the fascist rampage in Charlottesville. The University of Texas has followed suit.

The mayor of Richmond, Virginia, has also called for five Confederate statues in the town to be taken down. “I wish they had never been built,” he said.

Demand

Protests have been called across the US, particularly in the Southern states, to demand statues be taken down.

Sonya Patrick from Wilmington, North Carolina, told Socialist Worker, “Across the country they are protesting.”

Confederate statues in Wilmington have been vandalised, mirroring what has happened across the US.

Sonya said, “National Black Leadership Caucus and Black Lives Matter went to the mayor a few years ago.

“It was 60 days before the former governor passed a bill saying none of the statues can be removed in North Carolina. However, the new governor has called for their removal since Charlottesville.”


Hypocritical Democrats won’t defend migrants

Trump’s attacks on migrants haven’t let up while the movement against him rages.

There’s broad agreement with him among his political opponents in the establishment, both Democrats and Republicans, about his immigration policy.

Alan Dicker from the Texas Detained Migrants Solidarity Committee in El Paso, Texas, told Socialist Worker, “Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol have definitely been making things harder for us. But that’s more the result of orders from the top than far right mobilisation.”

Hypocrisy

The hypocrisy of the Democrats is most naked around the question of migrant rights which they refuse to defend.

A recently proposed Republican bill is designed to cut immigration to the US in half within the decade.

It specifically targets the families of people already granted citizenship and those who can’t speak English.

Trump has faced rebellion within the Republican Party over some of his legislative agenda.

Alan said the chances of the new immigration bill passing without any amendments are “probably pretty good considering the Democrats are extremely weak when it comes to actually opposing those measures”.


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