[Marxism] "Antifa", the working class movement and the far right

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Thu Aug 31 12:37:10 MDT 2017


The role of antifa at the anti-fascist/anti-Trump supporters demonstration
in Berkeley on August 27 is getting wide attention. But that role can only
be understood in its more general political context.

Earlier in the week leading up to the equivalent counter demonstration in
San Francisco set for Saturday, Aug. 26, the ILWU Local 10 had voted to
shut down the ports and mobilize against the “Patriot Prayer” event at
Crissey Fields. That would have been huge, had that happened. Consider:


*Missing: The Unions*In almost all the protests against racism, against the
police, and against Trump (e.g. at the airports after Trump’s Muslim
exclusion orders) the unions have been missing in action. Their absence has
been so constant that hardly
<https://oaklandsocialist.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/qt-lot-crowd.jpg>

*Ferguson community gathering at the QT lot after Michael Brown was killed.*
*A UAW member commented that his local leadership had told him “this is not
our battle.”*

anybody even notices it anymore. There are two main reasons for that: First
is that the “progressive”/liberal wing of the Democratic Party does not
want the social disruption of these protests. They also support the police.
And the union leadership takes its political marching orders from this wing
of the Democrats.

The second reason is that these same union leaders are granting concessions
after concessions to the employers. They are doing their best to suppress
any desire of the members to fight for their own interests. So they have a
contradiction: How can they mobilize their members to fight the right if
they are facilitating cuts to their members’ living standards at the same
time? (That is exactly what we found when we raised the issue among union
members of mobilizing against the racists as explained in this article
<https://oaklandsocialist.com/2017/08/25/trump-the-military-and-the-role-of-the-working-class/>
.)


*“Representing” the thousands*In place of mobilizing their members, the
union leadership will sometimes send a few of their representatives to
speak at protests like the one in Berkeley. Invariably, these union leaders
boast about how they “represent 10,000 members”, or some such. This is met
with great cheers, but the real question is: “*So, why didn’t you try to
mobilize them*?”


*Failure to Discuss this Question*Unfortunately, even the socialist left in
general refuses to discuss this role of the union leadership. They never
raise it when they speak and they don’t raise it in their newspapers.
Instead, the speakers usually content themselves with thunderous
condemnations of racism, sexism, income inequality and sometimes even
capitalism itself. What never gets raised is: What is the general path, the
general trajectory, that the movement has to follow if it is to advance?
What are the next concrete steps to be taken along that path?

Full article:
https://oaklandsocialist.com/2017/08/31/antifa-the-working-class-movement-and-the-far-right/

-- 
"No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them."
Asata Shakur
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