MES – PSOL
Our task – political parti\es’, workers’ and the youth’s – is to join forces to defeat imperialism and fascism, against any military intervention on the continent and in defense of the sovereignty of Venezuela.
The events in Charlottesville made the polarization against extreme-right the center of the international conjuncture . A neo-Nazi group, self-identified as “white supremacist”, held a march through the city in the state of Virginia. “Joining the right”: this was the slogan wielded by the neo-Nazis of all kinds, Ku Klux Klan at the front line, led by names like Richard Spencer and David Duke. It was a rally planned months in advance. Important characters of the extreme right headed Friday’s march, with torches in their hands and shouting watchwords against blacks, Jews, LGBT and general leftists. The march had as central objective protesting against the removal of the General Robert E. Lee’s statue, a military commander of the slave-based south, in the trenches of the Confederate States which fought against abolitionist north along the American Civil War (1861-1865).
The conflicts took place at the park where the statue lies, which originally received the general’s name, but was renamed “Emancipation Park .” Three people died in Charlottesville. The most brutal crime was the murder of Hearter Heyer by the right extremist Alex James Fieldes. In a deadly assault with his car, the killer ran over dozens of protesters, victimised Hearter Heyer, a known leftist militant, popular lawyer and Sanders’ supporter. Heyer was 32, died fighting fascism, marched in the IWW column and can be considered a martyr of the struggle for rights and against the American right. Two policemen also died after a helicopter fell. The events in Charlottesville were a turning point for building the resistance to the new fascist sectors that now are encouraged to raise their heads.
The primary responsibility for such extreme-right’s daring is directly Donald Trump’s. His election victory had a strong nationalist content, relying on backward middle sectors and in the parts of the working class penalized by unemployment. His slogan “Make America Great Again” is the same of several extreme right . Steve Bannon, currently one of the main strategists of the White House, is a name of the “Alt-Rigth”, the “alternative right”, which is nothing more than a new articulation of the extreme right that gathers fascists, white supremacists, homophobic, anti-Semite and all kinds of radical reactionaries. As Breitbart News website editor, Bannon gave visibility and organized the far-right positions in the midst of Trump’s electoral growth. In the course of more than six months of his term, Trump has been encouraging racist , sexist and xenophobic positions on every new post on Twitter.
Trump’s positions about Charlottesville deepen his responsibility in the face of hate crimes. His first reaction was blaming “both sides” for “excesses”, worried about not giving any condemnatory opinion about the fascist groups. After much public pressure, Trump tweeted, 48 hours later, a statement contrary to supremacists. The delay caused the resignation of several executives who were part of his “council of entrepreneurs”, including Merck’s, Intel’s, Alliance of American Manufacturing’s and Under Armor’s CEOs. The main central union in the country, the bureaucratic and powerful AFL / CIO, also resigned from the board in repudiation of Heater’s death.
Trump again stunned the world when he rectified his condemnation of the fascists, stressing that ir was “both sides’ fault”. He also bashed the left, blaming “radicals” for the violence in the rally. He even compared Lee’s statue to George Washington. Immediately, David Duke came out in support of Trump, thanking him for his words and courage to tell the “truth” about Charlottesville.
Trump’s popularity reached its lowest level. With only 34% positive rating, which is quite a negative index compared to the history of the country, Trump is on a level only compared to that of presidents who were in recession or war times.
The polarization in the United States has brought major clashes in the streets. As a form of resisting to civil and institutional racism, the Black Lives Matter movement boldly entered the political and social scene. DSA, which was with Jabari Brisport (running for New York City City Council) live broadcasting Charlottesville process, has also played a key role in quickly leading a response, calling marches that brought hundreds of protesters in the main cities of the country throughout this week. New initiatives are being organized and may continue shaking the political scene in the upcoming days. For all of this, it is important to stress that although Trump is president and the polarization appears strongly on the streets, the fascist positions are a minority in the United States. DSA, ISO and the IWW, who faced the fascists in Charlottesville, have the best policy so that the far right can not move forward.
It’s necessary to crush fascism
As a product of the capitalist crisis we’ve been living since 2007/08, the growth of fascist positions should alert us. Fascism is, as Trotsky said, the organization of the “hopeless party”, through which the petty bourgeoisie uses and recruits demoralized elements of impoverished sectors for further militarization of their actions. Fascism is not like any other phenomenon because it turns against the working class and its organizations. In the United States, fascism has an intense characteristic of racial supremacy. In this case, it is worth to quote Mandel about fascism, in Fascism theory in Leon Trotsky :
“The rise of fascism is the expression of the serious capitalist social crisis in mature age, of a structural crisis, which, as in the years 1929- 1933 can match a classic economic crisis of overproduction, but goes far beyond an oscillation of the situation. It is fundamentally a capital reproduction crisis, namely the inability to pursue a ‘natural’ accumulation of capital, given the competition on the world market (current level of real wages and labor productivity, access to feedstocks and markets). The historical function of the seizure of power by the fascists is to change by force and violence the capital reproduction conditions in favor of the key groups of monopoly capitalism. “
In the US case, we have the most advanced pole of this phenomenon, which is combined with legal political tendencies with mass influence, in which feature semi-fascist characteristics, although they can not be completely defined as UKIP in Britain and FN in France.
In Brazil, the extreme right seeks to get stronger in terms of organization and ideas disputes, with Jair Bolsonaro as a spokesman. Several groups advocating military intervention seek identification with Trump and his allies on the other pole of the continent. With increasing polarization levels, it is necessary to fight fascism relentlessly. Face them on the streets, as done by the left, by the BLM and all who’ve been to Charlottesville.
The best method is to build the isolation of the fascist positions, supported by mass mobilization in society, dialoguing with the entire population. And in the realm of ideas, demonstrating that the intolerant positions of the extreme right target blacks, women, LGBT people, immigrants, and in Brazil, often people from the Northeast.
An unified front between various social movements is a first-priority task to defeating and crushing fascism. In the United States, the struggle that unites the anti-fascist sectors and BLM creates conditions for defeat and isolate the aggressive attempts by fascists.
Stop Trump’s offensive against the peoples
Following the “awakening” of the extreme right, Trump’s reactionary turn finds correspondence in foreign policy. After important and bitter defeats in his own backyard, such as the withdrawal of his project of reforms in the health system, Trump targets immigrants and peoples of the world. His line has been increasingly aggressive against North Korea and Venezuela.
In his dispute against the authoritarian regime of Pyongyang, the White House’s fiery wants to measure forces in a nuclear tension around the Guam islands. Beyond the rants, the escalation of his strategy becomes increasingly dangerous. After a noisy relationship with Russia, on which today hover controversies about Trump’s commercial and political relations with Putin’s staff.
In Latin American land, Trump presented his willingness to face Maduro by “all means” not discarding the possibility of military intervention. Given this statement, although not the most likely scenario, we must put ourselves against any imperialist interference in Venezuela, without giving political support to Maduro’s government. The vice president Mike Pence initiated a sequence of visits to South American countries, in a clear warning to our neighbors. At the same time, the conviction of Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, an US military intervention in Venezuela shows that Latin American bourgeoisie has rejected this hypothesis.
Build solidarity without borders
The Charlottesville attack had important consequences: many neo-Nazis were identified through social networks in a campaign coordinated by the social movements, getting them to be punished for them. The movement to bring down the racist and segregationist leaders statues grows in the United States. This is a result of an unprecedented polarization in the political situation of the country. In the right field, groups like KKK and the whole constellation of “Alt-Rigth” appear. In the left field, as a continuation of the Sanders phenomenom, the flourishing of socialist ideas. The recent congress of the DSA was an expression of this new pulse. Several activists of the DSA, alongside the IWW and the ISO were, as said, at the head of the resistance against the Nazis in Virginia. The note by the national executive directorate of PSOL correctly pointed out:
“Organizations such as DSA, ISO, IWW, BLM, among others, were the front line of the battle and an example of the left unity to stop the growth of fascist reaction. Unfortunately a young woman of 32 years was violently hit and dozens of protesters were injured. We express our full solidarity with comrades before this brutal event. Only with unity in the struggle we can defeat racism and Nazism and the capitalist system that reproduces these.”
Our task – political parties’, workers’ and the youth’s – is to join forces to defeat imperialism and fascism, against any military intervention on the continent and in defense of the sovereignty of Venezuela.