[Marxism] Fwd: My response to Trump's address

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Mar 2 16:31:30 MST 2017

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	My response to Trump's address
Date: 	Thu, 2 Mar 2017 23:29:06 +0000
From: 	Kshama Sawant <kshamasawant at movement99.org>
Reply-To: 	Kshama Sawant <kshamasawant at movement99.org>
To: 	lnp3 at panix.com

My response to Trump's address

/Below is the speech I delivered in response to Trump’s first 
congressional address.  As I said, Trump can be defeated  - but *it’s 
going to take a massive escalation of the resistance. *

Myself, Movement for the 99%, and Socialist Students are building on the 
tremendously successful student walkouts and demonstrations we organized 
in over 16 cities and in collaboration with our sister organizations in 
at least 45 countries on Trump’s inauguration to help *build the largest 
protest actions across the country on May 1st, up to and including mass 
strike action.*Chapters from New York City to Chicago to Seattle are 
energetically stepping up to organize actions. But to build for May Day 
we need to raise $25,000 to print picket signs, rent sound equipment, 
produce thousands of posters and fliers, and support full time 
organizers. Please donate $25, $50, or $100 today to support building 
the biggest possible actions on May 1st. 

To watch a video of the speech, go here 

Sisters and Brothers,

In just five weeks, Donald Trump has unleashed a series of vicious 
attacks on one group of Americans after another: From his Muslim ban to 
the ramping up of ICE raids; to his anti-trans executive order; to his 
budget proposal to slash vital public services; and more.

The ruling class is sharply divided about Trump. Capitalist strategists 
are horrified by the growing popular revolt and the damage his reckless 
policies and conduct will inflict on their system. Yet much of big 
business is salivating at the prospect of Trump’s corporate tax cuts and 
radical deregulation.

But amongst millions of working people like us, there is a growing 
unity, that we want no part of Trump’s bigoted, misogynist, 
anti-immigrant, racist agenda. We’re seeing *a mood of rebellion* on a 
scale not seen since the Vietnam war.

*Trump can be defeated.* The protests in this first month were a 
tremendous starting point, but far more will be needed.  We need to 
disrupt business-as-usual through peaceful mass civil disobedience. 
Shutting down airports, highways, ICE offices, and prominent businesses.

*On March 8, International Women’s Day, a “Women’s Strike” has been 
called by the organizers of the January 21 marches. Let’s take this up, 
and build for the largest actions possible.* May 1, or “May Day,” is 
International Workers’ Day, and has long been a day of working class 
action globally.

Donate $25 today to send a clear message to Trump and the Billionaires’ 
that you stand with immigrants by building the largest protest and 
strike actions on March 8th and May 1st. 

In 2006, immigrants brought the tradition of May Day back to the United 
States. Millions marched, many went on strike, and helped force back 
egregious anti-immigrant legislation. This year, facing Trump’s brutal 
attacks, immigrants are again organizing en masse.  Discussions are also 
underway about strike and protest action in the labor movement, which is 
facing unprecedented attacks, with national “right to work” laws coming 
down the pike.

Working people have enormous potential power to fight Trump by *shutting 
down the profits of big business*. This can be done through traditional 
strikes by the majority of workers at a workplace, but also by many 
non-union workers through taking the day off, calling in sick, or 
through other creative means.

Bottom line: *We want the largest possible show of force on May 1st*, 
while keeping in mind that some actions would be too risky for some 
workers to participate in. To be successful, however, we cannot limit 
our movement to purely playing defense against Trump.

*We need to also fight offensively for concrete gains* that can inspire 
the broader working and middle class. We must not only oppose, for 
example, the attacks on women’s rights and Planned Parenthood, but also 
fight to extend reproductive care, for it to be free and accessible to 
all women. For paid family leave, for affordable childcare, and for a 
national $15/hour minimum wage.

I supported Bernie Sanders’ call for nationwide protests to defend the 
positive aspects of Obamacare, and to demand Medicare-for-all: a 
universal single-payer healthcare system. This approach offers a real 
potential to undermine Trump’s own base, but the problem is this: Most 
of the Democratic Party leadership completely rejects this idea, because 
of their ties to the insurance industry and Big Pharma.

We just heard Donald Trump say that healthcare “is complicated,” but we 
have a simple solution. Many Democratic Governors, including Governor 
Inslee in Washington state, have been denouncing Trump’s attacks on the 
Affordable Care Act. But why don’t these Democratic Governors 
immediately move to implement single-payer systems in their own states?

California is already discussing such a plan. Our own state of 
Washington, along with Oregon, could come together in this effort. 
Along this “blue” West Coast we can develop a joint, single-payer 
alternative to the dysfunctional private health insurance system.

*To most effectively fight the Right, we need an opposition party that 
is 100% against Trump and the Billionaire Class – a party that helps 
organize mass movements from below.*

The Democratic Party leadership is completely opposed to such an 
approach, as we saw yet again this past weekend in the DNC chair 
election.While the Democratic establishment has stood against Trump, 
their opposition has been unreliable and far from sufficient.

To the extent that the Democrats have opposed Trump, it has been 
grassroots pressure that has dragged them into it. This is due to their 
multi-faceted links to big business, their pro-capitalist program, and 
their conservative outlook.

Tens of thousands of people, primarily young people, are joining 
socialist organizations like Socialist Alternative, but particularly the 
Democratic Socialists of America. We need to build this emerging 
socialist movement towards a new socialist party. It is very clear there 
is a space for such a force of 50,000 members to develop rapidly.

Such a new left party can be a forerunner to a mass workers’ party at a 
later stage.

This new left party will need to work alongside the larger number of 
anti-corporate workers and youth who are still looking towards 
progressive Democrats in their fight against the corporate 
establishment.  We need to work together.

But if Democratic Party activists do not succeed in fundamentally 
transforming the Democratic Party – and I do not believe that they will 
succeed in that mission – they should draw all the necessary 
conclusions, and leave the Democratic Party to work to build a new mass 

Because, sisters and brothers, *we know that this is not only about 
Trump. It is this predatory system of capitalism, in decline and in 
crisis, that has given rise to Trumpism.* Oxfam recently reported that 
eight people now own more wealth than half the world’s population. This 
is the reality of the failed system of capitalism.

*We need fundamental change.* We need an overturning of the capitalist 
oligarchy through a political, economic, and social revolution which 
puts power in the hands of the overwhelming majority: The workers, the 
youth, and all those marginalized by this oppressive system.

Sisters and brothers, the wealth of these eight richest billionaires – 
and I just heard that Bill Gates is on his way to becoming the world’s 
first trillionaire – the wealth of these eight richest people needs to 
be confiscated and democratically allocated for the needs of the majority.

*Wall Street and the big fossil fuel companies represent an existential 
threat*to the future of humanity and our environment. As you just heard, 
Trump extolled the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline – 
he’s boasting about it. These fossil fuel companies also must be brought 
into democratic public ownership, and their resources deployed for 
socially necessary production, including a massive expansion of 
renewable energy.

Sisters and brothers, let’s take the energy that has been building 
against Trump within the first month of his presidency to build the 
largest possible action next week for the March 8 International Women’s 
Day rallies throughout this nation, including here in Seattle.

And* let’s use March 8 as a springboard to build the largest possible 
actions on May 1, with strike actions and every other creative idea* 
that we can use, in order for workers around America, young people, 
students on campuses, and more, to show that we are absolutely feeling 
the urgent need to disrupt business-as-usual.

Donate $25 today to send a clear message to Trump and the Billionaires’ 
that you stand with immigrants by building the largest protest and 
strike actions on March 8th and May 1st. 

And let us tie our message for massive actions to the call for 
solidarity among the 99%, based on a movement that runs on what is 
needed for us to fight Trump, and not what is acceptable to the 
corporate Democrats.

Let us tie our struggle, also, to the idea of socialism itself. Because 
socialism is not only possible, it is necessary. *Our fight is not only 
against Trump and the right wing, but for a different kind of society* 
*– for a world based on equality, democracy, and environmental 
sustainability*: In other words, a socialist world.


Please contribute. 




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