In the Shadow of the Gun: #MarchForOurLives Critical Discussion
Cover photo: A member of Redneck Revolt takes aim. Source: ABC
Millions of people took part in both walkouts and #MarchForOurLives demonstrations over the past week, with some poles showing that 1 in 5 teenages stated that they planned to take part in the mobilizations. But the protests and heavily discussed events in the media clearly lacked any radical critique of everyday life in America, much less a discussion on where anti-social violence was coming from, and even less so on the systematic and State sanctioned violence our society is founded upon. Moreover, the #MarchForOurLives ‘movement,’ sought to re-solidify the power of State, and re-legitimize its violence in the form of the police and the military, claiming that only police and soldiers should be able to own and use assault weapons.
But moreover, the role of the Democratic Party was made clear, from the involvement of various groups from MoveOn.org to the Women’s March, to wealthy celebrities which have been long time DNC donors. While grassroots students in the walkouts only weeks before had at times sought to link together the demands of striking teachers across the US with the emerging student movement, these class based demands for an end to austerity measures, as well as cries to demilitarize and disarm the police were brushed aside, and instead we were left with empty calls for this or that specific reform, such as banning bump stocks or ARs.
Josh from Millennials Are Killing Capitalism podcast.
Wanting to get at the heart of many of the critiques that people have put forward about the march as well as gun control in general, we sat down with Josh from the Millennials Are Killing Capitalism podcast and Dwayne Dixon from Redneck Revolt, to pick their brains about the current social and cultural terrain.
Our discussion is long and broad, starting off with looking back at the anti-Black origins of gun control, and centering on the case of the Black Panthers and the role of the Mulford Act in stopping them from legally open carrying in California. We then turn towards both the proposals of March for Our Lives, as well as how the ‘movement’ has played out over the past few weeks. We discuss both its Centrist politics, as well as the fact that far from being ‘crisis actors,’ a select few of the Parkland students were allowed to become cause célèbres by institutions aligned largely with the Democratic Party. While much of the substance and energy of the early walkouts we found to be inspiring, the ending result of March for Our Lives seemed to foreclose on the movement deepening its politics and becoming anything more than a ‘Rock the Vote’ drive for the November mid-term elections.
Dwayne Dixon of Redneck Revolt
We then dive into discussion on what a revolutionary approach to ending gun violence would actually look like and if there can be such a thing as an anti-racist and anti-colonial ‘gun culture?’ This discussion left us with no easy answers and only more hard questions, but comes at time when struggles across the US are being forced to decide if they break with the Democrats, or put their hopes once again in bureaucrats which have sold us out repeatedly and helped create the industrial neoliberal world we see around us.
Moreover, we discuss how Centrism and liberalism can be simply the other side of the coin of Trump’s populist-nationalism; representing yet another approach at reaffirming and redefining white democracy in the 21st Century.
This post was written by It's Going Down