On January 6th, supporters of the Roger Stone crafted “Stop the Steal” agenda invaded the Capitol building in Washington DC. The protestors were demonstrating against the basic democratic functioning of the United States government. Whether or not consciously desired by individuals at the protests, the attempt to deny U.S. citizens the right to vote is in direct continuity with the policies of big business through organizations including American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
The real meaning of the “Stop the Steal” protests, not just in DC but all over the country, is an attempt to invalidate the democratic rights of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous peoples. The coming together of open fascists, paleoconservatives, “alt-right” and traditional white nationalists, and COVID denialists in the streets reflects the attacks from government and industry on oppressed people, immigrants, and workers that have been carried out by both of the bosses’ parties for far too long.
In Connecticut, these far-right same forces were mobilized to denounce the election results and vaccine roll-out. The racist nature of these demands was shown clearly when a “Stop the Steal” protester spit on a leader of the Black rights organization, Power Up CT.
The relatively hands-off state response to the anti-democratic “Stop the Steal” demonstrators compared with Black Lives Matter protests fighting police terror and for expanding civil rights highlights the urgency to remove police unions from labor organizations and officers from schools. The general support of Chicago FOP President John Catanzara underscores the fact that police unions have no place in our fights for justice.
Organized labor has an obligation to ensure that anti-democratic, xenophobic, and other far right forces are not emboldened by Trump supporters theatrical penetration of the Capitol. Similarly, the labor movement must lead organized, unorganized, employed, and unemployed, in the fight to extend basic democratic rights to people who are currently disenfranchised. The only way to really defend democracy is for working people to fight to expand it by enfranchising current and formerly incarcerated people, ending the war on immigrants, and abolishing the Electoral College, which is a holdover from slavery.
Connecticut Workers Crisis Response stands for a nationwide organizing call of labor and social justice groups to plan a series of actions around developing a workers’ response to the pandemic and organizing our defenses against the possible expansions of right-wing violence.
Illustration by General Strike Graphics