Monday, January 20, 2020

Settler Cowboys, White Nationalists, Fascists. Protest in Richmond VA

They like to dress up.
Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

We have not seen too much of it on the highly censored and controlled US mass media, but French workers took to the streets by the thousands the past couple of months in a general strike. Using their real power as workers at the point of production, they have forced a (temporary) halt to the attack on pensions by the capitalist state. Weeks of disruptions, deadlock, halting of profit taking Organized power did this.  Real social power not macho posturing.

Meanwhile here in the US on a holiday to celebrate Martin Luther King, some 50,000 white nationalists of various stripes are protesting in Richmond Virginia for the right to buy more than one handgun a month. Militia members, white nationalists, fascists and those ever present remnants of the Anglo American colonial settler community that are here by the grace of God according to them, are hoping to bully the Virginia legislature in to reversing gun control laws the Democratic controlled legislature has pledged to introduce.

There have been threats of violence and calls for the second American Civil War
Lee Carter a Virginia state legislator, who claims to be a socialist, says in the Guardian that, “A lot of people [have been] saying, ‘We’re going to kick off the second American civil war,” he said. “This guy is going to be the first one to die. Make sure you show up armed.”

The US Predator in Chief is jumping on the bandwagon appealing to his racist white nationalist base to protect the Second Amendment and vote for him. As usual, this is another one of his lies as no politician is calling for the banning of guns or taking guns from people.  When I bought my first handgun, the guy at the counter asked me if I was of a sound mind and I replied that I was. That was it. No sane person objects to equally sane laws about firearm possession

Virginians overwhelmingly support background check and red flag laws, and gun extremists are in the minority: On election night, Virginians sent a clear message: the time for common-sense gun safety legislation is now. Gun safety was the number one issue for voters in Virginia, and in November both chambers flipped to gun sense majorities — even in the NRA’s own backyard. And just this week, new polling by the Center for Public Policy at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University continued to show that a bipartisan majority of Virginians favor gun safety laws, with large majorities supporting background checks and red flag laws. Source: Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense

The National Rifle Association (NRA) Trump and various right wing racist organizations have appealed to supporters from other states to attend the rally, happening as I write.

From reports I have read Antifa is marching with the right wingers and neo Nazis which should reduce the chance of violence. This I hope is not the case. Defending the right to own guns is not an issue we need to march with fascists for in any shape or form. 

The election of Trump has emboldened these forces that have always been here. The instances of hate crimes and racist and homophobic attacks have mushroomed since the Predator was placed in the White House by the undemocratic Electoral College.

My inclination is that there will not be violence there. The law allows open carry in many states and they will take advantage of this. But in my opinion, just like their approach on the Internet, they like to remain fairly anonymous. The feeling of a gun on their hip is pleasure enough for them, they wouldn’t want to ruin it.

This does not mean that there will not be some serious violence in the US in the coming period as the era in which the two parties of capitalism dominated US political life for over 100 years is coming to an end. We are in a new phase in the US and throughout the world. It is hard for many workers in other countries to grasp the level of censorship in the US mass media. There is considerable isolation here although the Internet has changed that.

A study released just yesterday published some interest results. It found that “globally, 56% of respondents said that capitalism in its current form does more harm than good. In the U.S., that percentage was slightly lower at 47%. In several other developed economies, distrust of capitalism was higher, for instance at 53% in the U.K. and 69% in France. Fewer than 20% polled globally said the system was working for them personally.” Wall Street Journal

This is why we are seeing huge protests throughout the world against austerity and the capitalist offensive. Lebanon, Chile, France, a General Strike of some 200 million in India. Iraq, Iran, Ecuador, China, throughout the world a global movement is trying to find its feet. The US working class has a rich militant history in its struggle against the most ruthless ruling class on the planet.  From the European invasions and Native resistance, the opposition to slavery, the battles to build the unions in the second half of the 19th century, the women’s movement, the CIO and industrial unionism in the 1930’s and the Civil Rights battles that followed, we have a lot to be proud of.

The US workplace is more integrated than ever before. The US military is somewhere around 40% minorities and women. There are more interracial families than ever before. The trade union leadership with their 14 million members in crucial industries as is usually the case, say nothing. And it is their disastrous role that has not only delayed the eventual movement of the US working class on to the scene but also contributed greatly to the rise of Donald Trump. But that will not last.

It is not a time to despair.

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