See the video of Dan Piper’s commentary on the abductions by federal agents:
By DAN PIPER
For days now federal troops without visible ID have been using unmarked vans to abduct people without explanation or charges, at times covering their captives’ eyes, keeping them from knowing where they are taken. And so far, federal agencies have refused to comment on any specific arrests.
Homeland Security and Donald Trump are applauding these wildly illegal kidnappings and have declared that they will be used across the United States, as will expanded use of federal troops in policing.
This is one of the most extreme attacks on basic rights of free speech and due process that I have seen in my lifetime. It is an attack on all social movements, all working people and all oppressed groups. And it comes during the largest social uprising in this country since perhaps reconstruction.
These kidnappings are an attempt to terrorize the movement against police violence and push it out of the streets. They are also part of a long-term ambition to expand state powers for intimidating workers and chilling dissent. It is not accidental that Customs and Border Patrol are central in these kidnappings. These tactics build upon those used against immigrants and Muslims over many years where people have been detained without charges and even disappeared. This new practice of publicly spiriting away protesters is just one step away from the disappearances used by U.S.-backed dictatorships that have murdered hundreds of thousands of people.
On June 1 Trump called for protests around the country to be quelled by the military and National Guard, but he couldn’t do it because support for the movement was too great, and so the establishment in its majority called for a different approach. This included CIA veterans, police chiefs and prominent generals. The difference was not based on principle or morality. The difference was over tactics. They disagreed over how to best get people out of the street.
Now Trump and others are hoping to chill the movement through cowardly and illegal tactics that target individuals. Again, a division has emerged among officials. But again, the difference is not over principle or morality, but tactics. Local officials think it is wiser to wear down and tame the movement with more politically legitimate means. If Trump’s camp succeeds in pushing back the movement, if he uses these tactics without meeting significant opposition, we can expect these practices to become acceptable and popular among everyone in power. Just as deportations of immigrants and entrapment of Muslims carried out by Bush only grew under Obama. Just as locking children in cages is no longer a problem for the Democratic Party, even during a global pandemic. If this experiment in disappearing people is to be defeated, working and oppressed people must do it themselves.
And the kidnappings can be stopped. They can be stopped if we show that these illegal attacks do not intimidate us and do not weaken our movement. They can be stopped if, instead, the movement against police violence only grows in response and finds ever more new allies. In Portland this fightback has already begun, where thousands have taken to the streets against the disappearances. We must follow their lead across the country and show our solidarity for those under attack. Those in power want people to feel alone and weak every time we hear about these troops. We need to show people that they are not alone, and they are not weak, and that they still can move the wheel of history.
If you organized a demonstration in the past two months – or ever – we all need you to organize one now. If you have ever attended a demonstration. We need you to attend one now. And I would like to suggest, you might want to consider organizing one, too.
And I also want to say, as a member of a union, we union members must do a better job in supporting this movement, and we are needed in this fight against state abductions. The union-sponsored actions for Black Lives on July 20th were an important step forward, and we need to build on that. We should learn from the workers in Oakland who shut down the ports on Juneteenth and the bus drivers in Minneapolis, New York and D.C. who refused to transport arrested protesters. The state abductions are an attack on all workers’ rights to strike, to picket, to rally, to even take issue over working conditions or to organize or even to join a union. The fight against these kidnappings is a matter of survival for the union movement and we should be out there in the streets in our millions.
My name is Dan Piper. I am the Socialist Resurgence candidate for General Assembly in Connecticut’s first district.
Stop all state abductions now! Federal troops out of our cities and towns now! End the assault on the movement for Black Lives! Arrest, charge and prosecute all agents, police and government officials involved in illegal kidnappings.
Defund the police! Disarm the police! Abolish ICE and the CBP! And abolish the police! Thank you.