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Editorial: Death to fascism, power to the working class!

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09 May 2024 642 hits

The genocide in Gaza is bringing two conflicting world trends to the forefront: the surge of fascist depravity and the rising movement for an egalitarian world. Inspired by the courageous resistance of the working class in Palestine to the Israeli rulers’ barbaric ethnic cleansing, young people around the world have responded with mass campus protests. As they witness the carpet bombing of civilians and the “full-blown famine” in northern Gaza (npr.org, 5/4), they are recoiling in horror from the capitalist bosses’ business as usual. Most important, they are fighting back.

Over the last two weeks, more than 2,500 college students have been arrested across the U.S. (New York Times, 5/7). In solidarity with the millions of displaced workers and children in Gaza, the student encampment movement has spread to Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. At the same time, the forces of rising fascism have viciously attacked the students. Given the choice of supporting peaceful protests or the mass murder of innocents, the capitalists’ mouthpieces and front people have made their position clear. From the mainstream media and liberals in the White House and Congress to Donald Trump’s MAGA zealots, the rulers’ stooges have come down squarely on the side of the U.S.-funded genocide. They have decided that protest must be crushed, that dissent will not be tolerated—a brutally clear message in a time of worldwide capitalist crisis. As inter-imperialist rivalry sharpens and the next world war approaches, the bosses are compelled to do all they can to try to pacify and intimidate the international working class.

But the bosses will not have the ultimate say. The fightback of workers in Gaza, and the unity of millions around the world to defend them, shows that our class can and must take our future into our own hands—by putting the bloodthirsty capitalists out of business with communist revolution.

How the bosses lie about violence

From Genocide Joe Biden's press secretary to House Speaker Mike Johnson to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the bosses' stooges have hyped a bogus narrative about "violent" protests and “rampant” anti-Jewish racism on the campuses. Strategically, Progressive Labor Party supports mass revolutionary violence to smash the violent capitalist state and put an end to the daily violence of the profit system. We also support the right of student protesters to defend themselves with force, as they did at UCLA, against the violence of the kkkops or gangs of pro-Zionist thugs. It’s good training for the bigger fights to come. 

In reality, though, the campus protests have been overwhelmingly nonviolent--akin to the sit-ins of the U.S. civil rights era, which were also met with violence from both the Ku Klux Klan and the Klan in blue. As college presidents have sicced the police on students for the crime of pitching tents on lawns, the cops have predictably resorted to chemical warfare and potentially lethal rubber bullets (Newsweek, 5/2).  At UCLA, videos showed dozens of pro-Zionists “attacking students…beating them with sticks, using chemical sprays and launching fireworks as weapons….[V]iolence ebbed and flowed for nearly five hours, mostly with little or no police intervention” (NYT, 5/2). Three days later, none of the thugs had been arrested for the assault. 

The bosses won’t hesitate to use violence against rebellious workers because they know they can’t survive without it. As a system defined by the theft of value from the many by the few, capitalism is built upon force and coercion. It is violent by its nature. As the bosses’ liberal democracy proves increasingly less able to keep their system afloat, they are moving steadily toward fascism. The liberal ruling class of finance capital, the main-wing bosses who back Biden and fund the Ivy League universities, are wantonly heaving out the so-called anchors of democracy, the phony freedoms of assembly, speech, and the press. At Columbia University, the citadel of liberal journalism, the cops rounded up student reporters and locked them inside a building to stop them from observing the scene of the police attacks (New York Magazine, 5/1). At UCLA, the coordination among university officials, cops, and fascist thugs represents a new development in the U.S. in this period, one reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

The false narrative of anti-Jewish racism 

Doubtless some despicable anti-Jewish sentiments have been voiced on or near campuses over the last several weeks. But for all the outraged hand-wringing in Congress and by the rat-fink college presidents, we have yet to see a single account of a Jewish student physically harmed because they were Jewish. (On the other hand, many Jewish protestors have been injured by cops and campus security because they were anti-genocide.) And we've certainly seen nothing to compare to the racist shootings of three Palestinian college students last November in Vermont (AP News, 11/30/23). 

Egged on by Biden, against virtually all of the evidence on the ground, the bosses' media and the pro-genocide Zionist pressure groups keep cynically conflating the students’ anti-Zionism with antisemitism.  In fact, these are two completely different things. Anti-Jewish racism—like anti-Arab racism and anti-Muslim racism—divides workers and hurts the entire working class. Anti-Zionism—like all attacks on nationalism--helps the working class, including Jewish workers and students. The mid-2oth-century Zionists were a group of Jewish bosses who cut a deal with the British imperialists to create a “Jewish state” where they could exploit Jewish labor and super-exploit Arab labor. The birth of the settler colonialist state of Israel in 1948 expelled 700,000 Arab workers from their homes, a foreshadowing of the flight and displacement of nearly two million Palestinians in Gaza (Aljazeera, 4/23). The very concept of a Jewish state led to the racist apartheid we see today in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. Like all states, the state of Israel must be smashed by communist revolution. 

The working class responds with international solidarity

The heroism and perseverance of workers in Palestine is moving workers and students around the world to rally to the defense of our class. Mass anti-genocide demonstrations have erupted across Europe, in Australia, in Mexico City, and—despite government crackdowns—in the Middle East. Fifteen hundred people have been arrested in Jordan alone (NYT, 4/29). In Paris, students at the elite Sciences Po—the alma mater of President Emmanuel Macron—occupied buildings, were battered by police, and forced the closure of the main campus (Barrons.com, 5/2). In Spain, Britain, Germany, and Australia, thousands of students have established anti-genocide encampments, demanding that their universities divest from any ties to Israel’s war machine (NYT, 5/3). In some cases, as in the U.S., these protests have been joined by anti-genocide workers—the “outside agitators” called out by compulsive liar Eric Adams. In the spirit of the Freedom Riders who organized against racist segregation in the U.S. in the 1960s, our Party calls for more agitation, from inside and out, to stop the mass murder in Gaza. All workers’ struggles belong to the whole working class. When workers and students unite in multiracial unity to fight back against state violence, they become a powerful force. Join PLP to smash capitalist terror and stop the bosses’ genocides for all time!