Solidarity with Syrian toilers,
refugees key for working class
Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, fleeing slaughter at the hands of the Bashar al-Assad regime, are facing riot police, razor wire fences and other dehumanizing treatment on the part of the continent's capitalist rulers.
It's a pressing question for the working class today to fight to organize these men and women as part of the class struggle, in whatever country they end up. Organize all workers into the unions! Fight for government-funded programs to provide jobs at union wages for native-born and refugees alike, building infrastructure, schools, hospitals and other things workers need. Fight against the rulers' attempts to criminalize or deny civic rights to refugees and other immigrants! No to discrimination and thuggery, whether at the hands of the border patrol or rightist gangs!
The labor officialdom in the United States and the different capitalist countries in Europe have refused to carry out the fight for working-class unity over decades, instead joining with each of their bosses' governments in advancing a nationalist and protectionist course. Workers everywhere have to chart a new road forward.
It's different than a general call to "open the borders," as an editorial in last week's Militant put forward. That's a utopian demand, and, if adopted under capitalist rule, would lead to increased competition among workers, unemployment, lower wages and social misery.
Workers worldwide also need to extend the hand of solidarity to the embattled people in Syria, the vast majority of whom, including most workers and farmers, remain within the country or have been forced to seek refuge in surrounding nations. Nearly 8 million are displaced inside the war-torn country; another 4 million are in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and elsewhere in the region.
Demand an end to the brutal assaults of the Assad government and other enemies of the toilers in the region.
The one place in Syria where the masses have produced a capable fighting force and successfully defended themselves is in the Kurdish-dominated areas, where they have beaten back Assad's army and Islamic State alike. Workers around the world need to back the Kurds' struggle for national rights and a homeland and oppose assaults against them by the rulers of Syria and Turkey, backed by Washington.
The crisis in Syria is a product of the defeat of the 2011 uprising against the Assad regime, and its continuing slaughter in the years since; the emergence of the reactionary Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, filling a vacuum of working-class leadership left by decades of betrayals by Stalinist and nationalist misleaderships; and the effects of Washington's wars and occupation of Iraq.
It is exacerbated by the unraveling of the imperialist order forged by the victors of the two World Wars, principally Washington, and the efforts of the imperialist rulers and capitalist governments in the region today to maintain a grip. It is accelerated by the Barack Obama administration's drive to seek a strategic accommodation with Moscow and Tehran in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere with the futile hope of achieving stability for U.S. imperialism in the Mideast and beyond.
It's through fighting for working-class solidarity and organization — in the U.S., the Mideast and across Europe — that working people can begin to break with the capitalist rulers and organize ourselves politically, advancing the interests of all the toilers on the road toward taking power out of the hands of the capitalist exploiters and war makers.