Thursday, July 13, 2017

Youth battle cops at the G20. The working class is absent. This must change

The world's most efficient killers meet in Hamburg. The working class has the power to shut down the G20
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

We should point out that in the street battles in Hamburg as leftists and anarchists fought riot police, workers have to take sides. The big business press labels them hooligans, extremists and thugs. The WSJ yesterday morning said they “unleashed devastation rarely seen in Germany.”. How absurd is that? Inside the G20 meeting were some of the world’s most efficient killers, representatives of US, British, Russian capitalism along with their colleagues from every continent who have unleashed a devastation on the peoples of the world and the environment that makes the street battles in Hamburg look like a block party.

As for devastation “rarely” seen in Germany perhaps the name Dresden might come to mind, capitalist violence par excellence. The colleagues, relatives, class ancestry of those at the G20 are unequaled when it comes to devastation in Germany or anywhere else.

Those opposing the G20 are calling them what they are, murderers and thieves. The people at that meeting are a threat to humanity and the world in which we live and we want our children to grow up in. While we may not agree with all the methods of those opposing these lords of the market, they are on the right side of history. What is missing is the working class. Germany has a very powerful working class. We will see the French working class take to the streets soon as Macron is well on his way to introducing his pro-corporate reform agenda that undermines workers power and workplace protections. These battles cannot be limited by national boundaries. Capital is global, so must we be.

The working class of Europe alone could stop the G20 from happening.  This is the force that was missing in Hamburg and is absent internationally. The official trade union movement has some 200 million workers in it. The “official” leadership of these bodies is bankrupt. Rather than attacking those that battled the police we need to point out that the immense power of the working class is absent and it is this we must correct. The G20 meeting in Hamburg would not have been possible if this were so. The working class can halt transportation, communication, and all necessary services can be shut down. This is not a utopian idea, it is very real and what has to happen if we are to put an end to the rule of gangster capitalists.

Throughout the world workers are fighting back. Indigenous people from Latin America to Indonesia and here in the US and Canada are waging a war against capital to save their traditions and our earth. The immense power of the industrial working class is what is missing and over 50% of this huge industrial army is women and mostly in Asia.  In place of a G20, a meeting of the top global capitalists to decide the fate of a few billion people, workers need our own international meetings, a G180, as one comrade put it, which is the estimated number of nations on earth.

The leadership of the traditional parties of the working class has held back this development, an international working class movement that can confront global capitalism. The Greek working class was left alone in the struggle against the Troika, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF that imposed the present conditions on them.  This was another opportunity lost for a Europe wide offensive against global capitalism as despite the Greek workers making it clear they were willing to fight through a referendum,Tsipras and the Syriza leadership betrayed them 48 hours later.  The Hamburg protests have so shocked the international bourgeois that they are considering taking their meetings to countries where protests are not allowed at all. In these countries, workers are most severely oppressed. Places like the Gulf states where workers from around the world are imported and treated like slaves basically working under the most horrific conditions. The struggle against the G20 is the struggle to defend and organize these workers in to a global movement.

Back in the 1980’s I recall Jack Henning, the head of the California Labor Federation that represents some 2 million workers, calling for “Global Unionism to Fight Global Capitalism. Back then, to hear prominent members of the labor officialdom use the term “capitalism” was rare. It was more common for the Pope to use the term, even today, the Pope is to the left of the labor hierarchy when it comes to language at least. Henning was a powerful speaker, and eloquent. That his remarks were not the opening salvo of a movement but liberal posturing doesn’t making them any less significant.

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