Filed under: Analysis, Anarchist Movement, The State, US
WHAT WE ARE FACING
Donald Trump has been elected the forty-fifth President of the United States. As revolutionaries we are committed to a world that has no place for the likes of Trump or Hillary Clinton. We know that Clinton would have continued making a world for the ruling class and would likely have done nothing of substance for common people. However, it’s impossible to deny that Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence represent a virulent force of racism, misogyny, and authoritarianism that must be absolutely resisted. They recall the memories of the dictators of history, particularly the German and Italian Fascists, having been propelled to victory by an insurgent racist turnout at voting booths around the country.
Although these are trying times, we cannot afford to withdraw into despair and sorrow for long. We must fight the fear that grips us, and the fear that Trump will perpetuate.
There is no way around it. We MUST organize.
Trump has been clear. He will use the movement that gravitated towards him to advance a white supremacist platform. He will dismantle the victories won by workers and oppressed people. He and Pence are sworn enemies of women, people of color, undocumented immigrants, queer people, and the left and progressives generally. They will not respond to the ecological crises of climate change and species extinction, except by adopting policies that make these much worse.
Although Clinton promised continuing deportations, expanded wars, rising income inequality, police murders, theft of indigenous land, and all of the chronic ills of neoliberal capitalism, we can expect new and stronger dangers from Trump. Migrants will face dangers on all fronts – even though Obama deported more migrants than all of the presidents of the 20th century combined. There are promises to ramp up into a massive violent anti-immigrant campaign, targeting especially Mexican, Muslim and Arab immigrants. While neoliberalism has largely been discredited, it remains to be seen if Trump will be able to replace the current economic regime with his reactionary racist agenda, or if the capitalist class will fight him back on that. Yet we can clearly expect the weak environmental protections that exist to be undone, resulting in spiraling climate change, bringing more energy companies to further destroy indigenous land in the immediate future, and accelerating the possible extinction of life on our planet by decades. We can expect abortion rights to be rolled back. We can expect many more poor people to die from lack of adequate healthcare with a repeal of Obamacare. We can expect a harsher climate of repression against social movements like Black Lives Matter coming from Trump’s Department of Justice. We can expect Trump to integrate with the international alliance of authoritarian statists and far-right populists – from Vladimir Putin to Golden Dawn in Greece, Marine Le Pen in France, and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands – and to worsen Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, collaborate with Bashar al-Assad to crush the Syrian and Rojava Revolutions, and unleash wars without precedent that may well pass the nuclear threshold.
Perhaps one of the most important changes is that under Trump’s presidency the far-right will continue growing into a more organized and powerful movement, and will have the space to take action. Racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic, and xenophobic violence will rise as they receive state sanction. With large numbers of white people won over in a terrifying way to a strong allegiance to whiteness, there is fertile ground for the fascist right to expand.
War is not an option, as it is happening to us as we speak. Our only choice is whether or not we will fight back.
OUR NEXT MOVES
Revolution cannot be an abstract idea or distant-goal bandied around by out-of-touch intellectuals. It must be a living, breathing movement that brings hope and victories to our communities, workplaces, and schools. Our revolution will not be a single spectacular event, but instead it is a process that has already begun. Community meetings, marches, strikes, blockades, occupations, physical defense of abortion clinics, and physical resistance to racists and neo-Nazis are just some of the tactics we can employ. The important part is for regular everyday people to come together, to build power from below that does not rest in the hands of any corrupt Washington party in any way.
Our strategy relies on the unity of these direct actions, as the ballot box is no defense against fascism and hatred, nor is the Democratic Party. We are seeing that victories we have won through hard struggle could very well be reversed. Our only chance is to build a movement that relies on the power of the people.
A strategy to defend our communities and to challenge Trump begins with us, the exploited workers. Together we hold the solution to Trump and to the bigger problems of capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy. Some sections of the ruling classes may share our desire to get rid of Trump, but only so that they can put another capitalist in the White House and then have us go through this cycle of crisis all over again. While we may end up marching with these people in the streets for the next four years, we know that our allies are those who also work to build the independent power of the exploited classes, not those who want us to pin our hopes on political candidates.
We must push for greater unity of working-class social movements. We need to reach out to others who are doing organizing in our areas and talk to them about working together. We should push for social movement organizations that we are part of – like labor unions, Black Lives Matter chapters, immigrant rights organizations – to organize city-wide summits to plan how to support each other and how to coordinate opposition to Trump. Between now and January 20th, we should organize as much national discussion and coordination between social movements and revolutionary organizations as possible. We should plan for mass protests on Trump’s inauguration day, and we should see these protests as organizing tools to continue building unity and to draw people into the day-to-day organizing in our communities where we will really be building the long-term power that we need to be a threat to the state.
Our organizing should be building spaces where people can have open political discussions, begin taking control, and create their own democratic mass movements. We should be striving to organize neighborhood and community assemblies: bases for our collective power against the state and capital.
Meanwhile, we need to be confronting far-right violence; seeking out and shutting down fascist organizing wherever it rears its head. In the long term, though, we will need to do much more to undercut the political base for Trump and the far-right by organizing white workers to abandon their support for white supremacy in favor of class solidarity. That means that white revolutionaries need to focus their efforts more on organizing white people, and on rebuilding social movements that can organize white people not only around the needs that they share with working class people of color, but also around people of color’s demands for freedom. Right now most of our comrades are concentrated in liberal, highly-educated, urban centers. In the long term we must put more resources into developing bases for revolutionary politics in rural areas, in the south, and in the midwest.
We need to build the people’s power from below, to resist Trump’s policies directly, to create spaces where his directives will not be obeyed. If we sit idly by, we can only expect further generations of people like Donald Trump.
As we organize against Trump, we must also fight the tendency to want to resolve this problem through electoral politics. If anything, this election has proven that the neoliberal Democrats are obsolete, that they can never give us what we need. Let us leave them behind. Looking forward, we cannot afford to have any more false hopes, and we cannot ever again accept the lesser of two evils – because this is where it has gotten us. The best chance we have is to turn towards our communities, schools and workplaces and start building popular power.
Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation alone cannot make this movement, but we can be a part of it. On Tuesday, Trump won the election, but now the people must win back their hearts and peace of mind.
With Love and Anger!
Statement by Black Rose Anarchist Federation/Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra (US/EE.UU)