....Longshore workers in Longview, Wash., members of ILWU Local 21, are also “criminals” in the eyes of the bosses and their police, courts and government on the local and federal level. For defending their union, ILWU demonstrators were attacked by cops and some 200 were slapped with criminal charges. The union has been cited and fined thousands of dollars. The capitalist media has smeared them as criminals and thugs. The Barack Obama administration’s National Labor Relations Board imposed an injunction on behalf of EGT against the union and tried to ban peaceful picketing to further tie these fighters up in red tape. EGT’s first shipment expected in January will be escorted by vessels and helicopters from the U.S. Coast Guard.
In the words of ILWU International President Robert McEllrath, they are “being methodically and maliciously prosecuted for exercising our free speech rights.”
While those who resist the capitalist exploiters become special targets, the propertied rulers’ police, courts and government are aimed at the entire working class and designed to keep us “in our place.” The job of their cops is to serve as an anti-working-class armed force of repression. The purpose of their courts is to railroad hundreds of thousands of working people to prison and probation as well as slap injunctions, fines and restrictions on workers’ struggles. Their methods include the frame-up, coerced confession, plea bargain and increasingly severe sentencing guidelines. If you’re working class, particularly if you are Black, you are in fact guilty until proven innocent.
When working people stubbornly fight against this routine injustice, as some are doing in Chicago (see page 5), we can expose the class morality of the capitalist system and push them back.
The capitalists’ state is always used against us. And the ruling class constantly seeks opportunities to strengthen the hand of their state power by seizing on abhorrent and violent acts. They used the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as a pretext to pass the USA Patriot Act and eviscerate basic constitutional protections. Somali immigrants today are standing up to the government’s use of the Act to stop them from supporting their families in Somalia. In the United Kingdom, a 1993 racist murder was recently used to erode the presumption of innocence and double jeopardy protections.From the point of view of the working class, which values human solidarity and life, the capitalist system itself is criminal on a worldwide scale. Our answer is to count on our own collective power to resist it and to fight for our political rights and the space to do so.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
The Wall Street state: a dictatorship of capital
From the latest Militant newspaper editorial: