Submitted to It’s Going Down
Reflecting on the report back about police brutality and Socialist Alternative co-option at the SEATAC Muslim ban protest posted earlier, I decided to submit a short summary of their recent fuckery in Boston.
On the night of J20 Socialist Alternative called an anti-Trump march in Boston. Not surprisingly, thousands showed up. It’s not like they had to do any organizing. Boston is a mix of elitist yuppie liberalism, Marxist academics, green party members, gruff ex-industrial proles, and disillusioned anti-capitalist youth. Bob Avakian’s cult RevCom could have put out a call and reeled in thousands of angry people to any public spot in the city. Anyways, SAlt did it’s typical thing where they rolled out the token members to talk about various issues, though surprisingly none of them talked about LGBT issues despite the large numbers of us in the area. And of course right before the march they gave the whole spiel,”Capital has two parties, we need a party for the working class!”
Black Bloc was present in case of any fascists showing up to gloat. We actually have an avid Milo fanboy (a cis gay white man who thinks Rand Paul is an anarchist) around who organized a pro-Trump counter protest at which at least a handful of people of color and one trans-femme white person showed up to show their support (that cognitive dissonance).
At one point the police snatched a black bloc’er who straggled behind the group. A few people dashed to the front where SAlt was leading the march with a slow moving banner-bedecked truck and asked for them to halt the march so we could deal with the police and get our Friend back. SAlt said no and kept the march moving. Luckily black bloc in Boston is extra scrappy so with a cacophony of angry shouts from the group the cops fearing a clash let the straggler join the throng without ID’ing them. SAlt cared more about driving their LARPy substitute tank than they did about people being arrested and possibly harmed by the police.
Boston is an immigrant city both historically and presently. Almost one third of the city is foreign born. We also have a large number of black and Latinx immigrants: Dominicans, Haitians, Salvadoreans, Guatemalans, and Cape Verdeans especially. Anarchists, especially people in Black Rose Federation, have been organizing with Latinxs in East Boston and the region for over a decade now. One of the central anti-capitalist spaces is centered around immigrant organizing.
Socialist Alternative does not organize among immigrant groups. The last I checked the only presence they had in the city was on a few college campuses, no doubt for the student activity funding, printing services, and office space the universities provide. So when SAlt called for a pro-immigrant rally in the Common we knew they were going to piggy-back off the years of organizing and work that anarchist, labor, immigrant, and faith-based groups have been doing for decades.
An immigrant group (the name escapes me) also called for a rally on the same day SAlt did. They were both meeting in the Common, a very large park that can accommodate a few thousand. SAlt refused to invite the immigrant group to speak at the bandstand, for which they had the permit to. The bandstand is where most rallies center so naturally more people were drawn to the SAlt speakers at the bandstand than to the immigrant group who were rallying in another part of the Common.
SAlt didn’t care that the other group was one of and for immigrants whereas SAlt is largely middle class white college students. SAlt has proved time and again in Boston, and elsewhere, that they care more about building their ranks and selling newspapers than they do about fighting against capitalism, the state, and the many-headed hydra of government: white supremacy, patriarchy, etc.
With groups like the ISO, RevCom, SAlt, PSL (and their front groups: ANSWER coalition and Mass Action, to name just a few), doing little work to fight against the dispossession while constantly attempting to piggy-back off of other groups it’s no surprise that so many groups, BLM for example, refuse to collaborate with them. The only use for cultish groups like these is to show our friends the dangers of ideological party-centered radical organizations.