Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ferguson. Oath Keepers and committees for the defense of working people and youth.

Ferguson workers defend store against looting. 
by Sean O'Torain.

Richard M. in his very good post on the Oath Keepersstatement in Ferguson writes: "We support armed defense of our communities including the community businesses. But these defense groups must arise out of the working class and the communities in which we live and work.  We do not support outside armed defense groups acting on our behalf. In fact during the looting earlier this year there were young black men from the community who stood in front of a store they’d worked at as teenagers defending it from looters.  Have the Oath Keepers reached out to them? Have they made an attempt to link up with the community against police abuse and the conditions in these communities?" See insert above of local Ferguson workers defending their workplace against looting. 

Richard and the authors of this blog understand that US capitalism is increasingly in crisis. In particular it faces a situation where it can no longer afford its vast military apparatus abroad and at the same time allow its own working class at home to continue with the same living standards. It can no longer afford guns and butter. So it is taking away the butter. This is what has been happening over the past decades in the US. In order to do this the US capitalist class, that is the huge corporations which run the country and run the government have been militarizing the state apparatus as never before. In passing ,one thing groups such as the Oath Keepers must learn is that the government which they are always posing as the enemy is but a stooge for the corporations which are the real enemy and which in fact run the country. 

At the time of the occupy movement, at the present time with the movement against the killing of young African American people, we have seen as if from nowhere in every city large numbers of cops in full body armor backed up with huge military vehicles. The US corporations, that is the US capitalist class, which runs the government and the politicians, are preparing to take on the US working class. This is the big picture. It is in this context we have to see the events in places like Ferguson, in movements like Occupy and BLM. The corporations are gearing up to put the US working class on rations so they can continue to afford their huge military apparatus internationally which defends their wealth and property throughout the globe. 

It in this context we have to see the actions of and the way in which the Oath Keepers and other such militia type  groups think and act. As Richard says where will they stand when the class struggle in this country reaches even greater intensity. This is the decisive question. When this happens the capitalist class will seek to mobilize all the forces it can to put down the US working class. It will also play the divide and rule card turning people against each other on the basis of race and gender and sexual orientation. Unfortunately the pathetic cowardly leadership of the trade union movement will not act and put their 13 million members on to the streets and take united action against racism and repression and all forms of division. Because these union leaders will not act this leaves a vacuum into which groups like the Oath Keepers can step. 

As Richard has said the authors of this blog give no support to the cops or the capitalist state apparatus. These represent the big corporations. However we do and most emphatically support  armed defense of working class communities. But it is very important how this comes about. We do not support armed groups from outside coming in to communities armed to the teeth and setting up shop. Here is what we support. We support the democratic election of armed defense groups. Concretely this means elected committees in every community made up of elected delegates from every workplace, every neighborhood, every school and colleges, every small business. This will provide a democratic structure that will represent the interests of working people and which also can bring together people of all racial and ethnic and gender backgrounds.

If groups such as the Oath Keepers are genuine in what they say in their recent statement then their members can run for election for positions in their workplace, neighborhoods etc where they live and work; just like everybody else. If they get elected that is fine. But to act from the outside and with their own discipline rather than being under the democratic discipline of the working class in the committees as explained above is not acceptable. It opens the door to these organizations being used by capitalism against the working class. 

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