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(en) US, Twin Cities IWW African People's Caucus - For An Anti-fascist, Revolutionary Unionism

Date Thu, 6 Apr 2017 10:35:09 +0300

Fascism is a concept that has grown a lot of particular interest since the election of Donald Trump and the failure of neoliberalism. While we don't consider Trump himself to be a fascist but a right wing populist, we do recognize that he has mobilized a broad coalition of the right, which includes some fascists. However, reactionary violence is nothing new to black and African people living in the United States. Our communities have seen first-hand the terror campaigns of proto-fascist groups such as the KKK, and other kinds of organized white supremacist violence. Our oppression and exploitation have been central to the establishment of modern capitalism in the Americas. This also means we have been fighting back since we were brought here. Our stake in anti-fascism is not an academic question.

Fascism needs to be defined for our context: right now this is a smaller
element participating within a popular front of the right wing. Most
notable of this multi-tendency white nationalist milieu is the alt-right,
who believe in atrocities such as "white" ethnic cleansing, misogyny,
violence against a perceived "other" (minorities, refugees, Muslims,
women, lgbtqia, Jews), and overwhelming worship of authority and class-based
hierarchies. What allows this to spread is that neoliberal economic
policies under capitalism cause the working class to suffer, and they are
given scapegoats and offered false and authoritarian solutions. The
reactionaries' influence within the State will be strengthened, which will
increase the suffering of black and African people at the hands of the
police, prison, and poverty.

While fascism sometimes spreads using political opportunists like the
electoral right wing, it is also an independent movement of the insurgent
right wing and has an agenda separate from and opposed to the current
state. Fascists also recruit through entryism into popular cultures and
subcultures (music, arts, internet groups, faith-based, etc). Today's
fascists have improved the ability to hide within "legitimate"
conservative political and social groups. Its spread is international and evident in
the western turn away from neoliberalism towards economic nationalism,
Islamophobic motives surrounding Brexit, and the State literally
assassinating drug users in the Philippines. Trump is a big piece of this,
but definitely not the only one. In addition to being aware of fascists
attempting to turn the repressive state apparatus against us, we also have
to prepare to defend ourselves against reactionaries like George Zimmerman
and Dylann Roof, who have terrorized us with direct extralegal violence
since we got here.

It's important that we not let our history of struggle be claimed by the
liberal narrative that the civil rights era was built on a dogmatic
commitment to "nonviolence". Black and African people have had to
physically, mentally, and emotionally defend their communities from State
and white supremacist terror, and it was organized. Groups like the
Deacons for Defense, Black Liberation Army, and Black Panther Party understood why
a self-defense approach in the face of police and reactionaries was
necessary. If a person knows the bloodshed that occurred at the height of
the labor movement, one must also acknowledge there has been consistent
violence against black and African people for centuries.

Labor organizers and specifically the IWW have long-opposed class traitors
like the Ku Klux Klan. White supremacists despise the radical left because
of their commitment to solidarity with all oppressed people. The IWW will
remain a target of the State and the far right, especially as our activity
gains momentum and size. The General Defense Committee has been and can
continue to be an excellent vehicle to grow the anti-fascist movement.
Anti-fascism needs to grow into an extremely popular movement in order to
win. Communities that build their capacity for organized defense against
the State and organized hate will be major contributors in the fight
against capitalism.

We black and African workers face this threat in many places within and
beyond our workplaces, and a fascist threat to any of the working class is
a threat to the entire class. We have no choice but to confront organized
white supremacists, just as we have no choice but to struggle against the
bosses in our workplaces. We are calling on our comrades in the IWW and
elsewhere, to join us in confronting white nationalists organizing to
direct further violence against our people. We are calling on the General
Administration to give our rank and file militants the support we need to
organize in defense of ourselves and our class on the ground. We believe
that the slogan "an injury to one is an injury to all" should also be
demonstrated by our white comrades who feel as though confronting fascism
is optional or of little importance.

For an anti-fascist, revolutionary unionism!
Twin Cities IWW African Peoples Caucus

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