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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 September 2020

Latest US police shooting outrage...

Fight racism, Trump and capitalism

The recent police shooting of unarmed black man Jacob Blake in Wisconsin is a brutal reminder of the oppressive policies of Donald Trump's administration and also the toxic racism built into the 'DNA' of US capitalism.
An outpouring of angry, predominately young black and white people onto the streets of US cities following the shooting has been cynically twisted by Trump into a 'law and order' issue, to whip up reactionary forces and further his presidential election ambitions.
The Independent Socialist Group in the USA, co-thinkers of the Socialist Party in England and Wales, argues below for a socialist programme to unite the working class and fight back against division arising from the profit-driven capitalist system.
Black Lives Matter protesters, Hyde Park, 3.6.20, photo Socialist Party

Black Lives Matter protesters, Hyde Park, 3.6.20, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

On 23 August, Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times by police in Wisconsin. The shooting has left him paralysed.

Why was Blake shot? Because he was walking away from a fight he tried to de-escalate until police arrived. Yet when the police arrived, the situation became tragic.

On the night of 25 August, amid protests denouncing the shooting, a member of a pro-police militia, Kyle Rittenhouse, shot three protestors, killing two of them.

Trump has publicly defended his actions and other violence by far-right militias.

Despite being thanked for his armed presence by officers before the shooting, and attempting to turn himself in after, Rittenhouse was not arrested until the next day. Further information released shows Kenosha Police Department actively collaborating with the right-wing militia group during the protest, including Rittenhouse.

The police's kid-glove approach to Rittenhouse and other right-wing forces committing actual violence stands in stark contrast to the numerous acts of racist police violence that sparked the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

This movement has faced repression from local police as well as federal agents. It has raised demands to slash bloated police budgets and enforce real civilian control over public safety.

Both the Republicans and Democrats continue to utilise racist 'law and order' rhetoric, and to collaborate to increase mass incarceration and expand police presence in many communities of colour, even in the midst of this historic BLM movement.

From the constant criminalisation of poverty and workers of colour, to continued extra-judicial murders during a national anti-racist uprising, it is clear that the role of the police - and corporate politicians - is to enforce racism in the interests of the capitalist class.

The capitalist class and its politicians are terrified of the current movement that has united workers and youth of all backgrounds in a common struggle to fight against systemic violence and injustice. They fear the momentum of this movement may lead working people and youth to fight for more far-reaching change.

This is a major reason why many cities under Democratic administrations are responding so brutally to the current protests. We cannot rely on the Democrats or Republicans for meaningful change.

We must ditch the two-party system and organise a party of our own that can help initiate and unite mass protest movements, including an unshakable commitment to fighting police brutality and systemic racism.

The Independent Socialist Group enthusiastically supports the ongoing anti-racist movement, including justice for Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all victims of police and racist brutality.

We call for the following:


Socialist Party & Unison NEC member   Hugo Pierre (centre), alongside others, taking part in the 8 August health workers' protests for a 15% pay increase. Photo Sarah SE

Socialist Party & Unison NEC member Hugo Pierre (centre), alongside others, taking part in the 8 August health workers' protests for a 15% pay increase. Photo Sarah SE   (Click to enlarge)

Hugo Pierre, Unison national executive council (personal capacity) and Socialist Party member

"What have been significant in response to the latest US police shooting of an unarmed black man, are the actions of sports professionals - striking in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM).

But what if the millions-strong trade union movement got together behind BLM and campaigned to unite working-class people across the USA to fight racism and Trump? This means the unions fighting for a programme of jobs, pay, healthcare, safety, and all the things that matter to the majority.

I believe that here, in the UK, the trade unions must also show a way forward by ending their 'lockdown' on activity and give full support to BLM around the demands of 'jobs, homes, safety - not racism'."

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 2 September 2020:


News

Tory schools chaos - unions must fight for safety

Eviction ban extension not enough: make it longer, forgive the arrears!

Don't blame asylum seekers for Tory cuts

News in brief


Disability and Covid

Capitalism cause of disproportionate disabled deaths and isolation


No going back series

Welfare after Covid-19


Workplace news

Demand a fightback from the TUC and unions

Tate strike: "Coronavirus - no reason to fire us!"

B&Q worker reinstated: Organised response successfully challenges unfair dismissal

West Midlands journalists strike against pay and job cuts

Support Ikea workers - reinstate Richie Venton

London bus drivers poised for strike action


Join the socialists

Socialism on the rise


International

Fight racism, Trump and capitalism

Mass protests in Israel demand Netanyahu's resignation

Trotsky online rally - watched across the world


Campaigns

No Covid penalty on our future

Black Lives Matter: Fighting injustice, fighting for our rights

Nottingham: Socialists and anti-racists oppose right-wing march

No to polluting incinerator, dumped in working-class Edmonton

Scrap hospital parking charges

Liverpool: Support 15% pay rise for NHS

Lincoln: Save Drill Hall

Fundraising: An example to follow


Reviews

TV: Once Upon a Time in Iraq

Manctopia: billion pound property boom


 

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Related links:

Racism:

triangleHorrific murder in Paris: fight intolerance and racism!

triangleSouthampton: Coxford community condemns racist attack

triangleFree Siyanda Mngaza

triangleNon-fiction: 'Why I no longer talk to white people about race'

triangleSocialist Party Wales: Capitalism = Crisis, War & Racism

Police:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The police and the state

triangleMembers of Democratic Socialist Movement in Nigeria (a sister organisation of the Socialist Party in England/Wales) on the streets in Abuja during the current protests

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleNigeria: Mass protests force government to disband killer cop unit

Shooting:

triangleFully fund hospices to care for vulnerable children

triangleSocialists respond to shooting tragedies

triangleUnited States: young people demand change after latest mass shooting

Racist:

triangleBLM: Socialist alternative to racist capitalism

triangleTowards an anti-racist school curriculum

Black Lives Matter:

triangleVideo game developer attacks Black Lives Matter

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