Socialist Worker

‘We can beat back the fascists,’ says US socialist

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2737

Protesters with United Against Hate in the US last year (Pic: Bay Area Stands United Against Hate)


Socialists in the United States are vowing to double down on their efforts to stamp on the fascist and racist threat, after the occupation of the Capitol building in Washington DC last week.

“We are convinced and confident that we can beat back the fascists through our politics and through our organising,” said Marx 21 member Virginia Rodino.

“The working class is the force that can outmanoeuvre and overpower fascist groups. It is our ideas that must win over the millions of Americans who are in crisis and who don’t feel they have anywhere to turn—who don’t have unions and who are left behind”.

Virginia was addressing the annual conference of the Socialist Workers Party just days after thousands of Trump supporters stormed on the Capitol building. 

Armed

Trump supporters, some armed and in military gear, were given an almost free rein by security forces.

“Videos show officers stepping aside, taking selfies, and seemingly ushering white nationalists into the building they were supposed to guard,” said Virginia.

“It seems apparent to any ordinary person on the street that this could have been stopped. Our arguments about the long connected history and kinship between police and white nationalists seems to bear out as well.”

Far right protesters are drawing support from some quarters of the police force.

Police chief David Ellis attended Trump’s “Save America” rally but attempted to distance himself from the end result, claiming, “That wasn’t the way to handle things."

John Catanzara, presidents of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, defended the actions of the protesters, and claimed there was no violence among the crowd.

“There was no arson, there was no burning of anything, there was no looting, there was very little destruction of property,” he said.

But activists can point to how Black Lives Matter, including in Washington, were subject to sustained police repression throughout the anti-racist uprising this summer.

People protesting against a racist, murderous, police force were subject to rubber bullets, tear gas, punitive curfews and further violence from cops.

Yet despite of weeks of warning from Trump supporters, they were permitted to run rampant.

Virginia said, “It’s impossible to think that climate justice, anti-war, or racial justice protesters could have so openly discussed their tactics or intent, without being stopped with arrests and imprisonment.”

Virginia said the fight against the far right threat and the conditions that breed it remain crucial for socialists across the US. She added that poverty and decades of austerity have “become the fertile ground that grew the ripening populist sentiment”.

“The Trump administration has so deliberately misdirected this at immigrants, people of colour, rather than the destructive fiscal policy that only benefits the very rich.”

Spurt

And she said the growth of the far right during Trump’s four years in office has also led to a spurt in anti-racist organising.

She said members of Marx 21, a sister organisation to the Socialist Workers Party, were fighting for “a political space to initiate and grow a united front”.

United Against Hate is a “broad active resistance against violent racist and far right groups and the threat of fascism in the US”.

The coalition draws together anti-racist organisations, religious groups and trade unions. It is planning on mobilising for the international day of action against racism on 20 March.

“Throughout the Trump administration, it has created an energy to organise against Trumpism,” said Virginia.

“We are building a permanent movement to protect democracy and we’re bringing together a broad active resistance against violent racist and far right groups and the threat of fascism in the US.”


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