The Global Popular Uprising against Racism and Police Violence


This is a turning point ending the global counterrevolutionary situation. But workers and oppressed need to prepare for an ongoing reactionary offensive of the ruling class!


Theses of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 8 June 2020,




1.             Another wave of popular uprisings is shattering the capitalist world order. This process started in Lebanon and Iraq in late April, followed by Hong Kong in late May. In addition, there have been a number of food riots in Africa as well as in Latin America because of the dramatic poverty resulting from the reactionary Lockdown regime of the ruling class under the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the decisive breakthrough has been the unprecedented mass protests in the U.S. – the heart of the imperialist beast – after the cold-blood murder of George Floyd by the police. Since the end of May, a pre-revolutionary situation has opened up in the most powerful capitalist state which is now politically paralyzed by the largest popular uprising this country has ever seen since the civil war in 1861-65 and, more recently, the black power mobilizations in the 1960s. [1] This has provoked an international wave of mass demonstrations against racism and police violence with hundreds of thousands people on the streets in several countries of Western Europe, Ukraine, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria and Australia. Even in Occupied Palestine, Israeli Jews join Palestinians to hold small demonstrations protesting the execution-style killing of Eyad Hallaq, an unarmed and helpless Palestinian with severe autism, by Israeli soldiers. In addition, mass protests in Dakar and Touba – with youth fighting against the police and building barricades in poor neighborhoods – have forced the regime in Senegal to ease the coronavirus curfew.


2.             While the concrete issues of protest differ, in most cases they share a general theme: the rage against racism and police violence, the exploitation and humiliation of the poor and oppressed by authoritarian regimes. In other words, the democratic question is in the forefront of the mass struggles. This confirms the RCIT’s thesis of the central importance of the revolutionary democratic struggle in the current period as we outlined in our program adopted in 2016 [2] and re-emphasized in our analysis of the current global counter-revolutionary offensive under the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic. [3]


3.             The current global wave of mass protests is highly impressive not only because of the fast speed with which it is spreading throughout the world. It is also particularly remarkable because in most countries these mass struggles take place in direct violation of the reactionary Lockdown rules imposed by the capitalist governments all over the world. In many countries people are still not allowed to freely leave their houses and in those countries where they are allowed to do so, the governments have still banned all larger public gatherings. Hence, the masses are collectively marching on the streets despite these anti-democratic banns and despite the constant spreading of fear since months by the bourgeois regimes, their media as well as the reformist leaders. In short, the advanced sectors of the working class, the oppressed and the youth are actively tearing down the wall of the Lockdown regime. This is a tremendous step forward in the global class struggle! It fully confirms the validity of the RCIT’s thesis that given the dramatic shift of the ruling class towards repression and state bonapartism, the key slogan is the transformation of the state of emergency into a popular uprising.


4.             In the RCIT Manifesto on the COVID-19 Counterrevolution (adopted on 21 March) we explained that the bourgeoisie had launched a major global counterrevolutionary offensive which ended the wave of popular uprisings which began in the second half of 2019. We stated that “a global counter-revolutionary situation has opened up.” However, we also elaborated the following prognosis: It is not possible to predict how long this situation will last. It might be a matter of only a few months. However, what is clear is that the counter-revolutionary offensive of the ruling classes will create explosive political contradictions. Sooner or later, it will be difficult for the state-bonapartist regimes to justify their massive attacks on democratic rights. It will become soon obvious that while they give billions of dollars to the big capitalists, many workers face unemployment and wage cuts. (…) Likewise, a massive increase of global tensions between the Great Powers is inevitable. In other words, the global counter-revolutionary offensive can only temporarily cover up the accelerating political and economic contradictions between the classes and the states. Sooner or later, this will result inevitable in new and massive political explosions, probably in the form of major domestic crisis, wars as well as revolutionary uprisings – in the Global South as well as in the imperialist states of the West and the East. [4]


5.             Such a “major domestic crisis” is now taking place in the most powerful imperialist state and is spreading to other countries. For this reason we can state that the global counter-revolutionary situation which began in the first half of March has ended by early June. It has ended because the popular masses have re-entered the streets tearing down the reactionary Lockdown rules imposed by the ruling class. Most decisively, these mass protests have opened a pre-revolutionary situation in the U.S. which is inspiring many millions works, oppressed and youth around the world. [5]


6.             How can this sudden shift in the world situation be explained? Trotsky once observed that “the imperialist epoch (…) has been one of sharp turns, in which politics has acquired an extremely mobile character.” [6] This is particularly relevant in the current historic revolutionary period which opened up in 2008. Concretely, the events in the past two, three months have dramatically accelerated the contradiction between the classes and the states. The Lockdown policy imposed in numerous countries worsened the economic slump which already began in late 2019. Within a few weeks millions and millions of workers lost their jobs and large sectors of the world population suffered heavy losses in their incomes. This was combined with a dramatic expansion of the bonapartist state apparatus. With one stroke, the capitalist state machinery forced people to stay home, expanded the executive power of the repression apparatus and implemented vast surveillance technologies (Corona Apps, drones, AI, etc.). In addition, the ruling class in many countries proves to be incapable in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. These combined factors have resulted in a massive accumulation of popular hatred against the ruling class. This explains why events like the murder of an Afro-American man by the police – something which has happened numerous times before – provoked such an explosive popular outcry, not only among black but also among the white masses.


7.             It is characteristic for the nature of the current historic period that we have seen three sharp turns in the last 12 months. In the second half of 2019, a pre-revolutionary world situation emerged characterized by a global wave of popular uprisings from Hong Kong to Chile, from Iraq to France and from India to Catalunya. [7] This wave of class struggles ended with the opening of a global counterrevolutionary situation in the first half of March 2020. And currently we see the emergence of a new world situation provoked by the uprising of the workers, oppressed and youth in the U.S. as well as other countries. In other words, we have seen in the past 12 months a rapid supersession of global situations characterized by diametrically opposed nature. Given the deep crisis of world capitalism and the acceleration of contradictions between the classes and states, we can expect similar developments in the foreseeable future. In other words, we are in a period of period of highest volatility, full of revolutionary possibilities and reactionary dangers.


8.             In addition, these last three episodes of the world situation have in common that they all share a highly globalized characteristic. The developments in all three situations were marked by a single common global feature which connected many countries and which influenced each other – the global wave of class struggles in the second half of 2019, the counterrevolutionary offensive under the cover of COVID-19, and now the world-wide protests against racism and police violence. This demonstrates the highly internationalized nature of world politics and the class struggle – something which underlines the significance of Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution as well the Marxist conception of the revolutionary party as an international – and not as a national-centered – organization.


9.             The current popular mobilizations all over the world consciously breaking the rules of the Lockdown regime are a powerful demonstration of the fact that the militant sectors of the masses are more advanced and have a higher consciousness than the opportunist Lockdown Left. Numerous reformist and centrist organizations (Stalinists, left populists, left social democrats, pseudo-Trotskyists, etc.) praise the lockdown as the supposedly only effective protection against the COVID-19 pandemic. It didn’t bother them that the countries with the highest number of COVID-19 death per capita were all such which had imposed a lockdown. Likewise they ignored that various countries which did not impose a lockdown experienced either none or at least no dramatic excess mortality (e.g. Sweden, Japan). [8] Irrespective of all this, the Lockdown Left called for the imposition of the Lockdown regime which by definition implies the banning of public assemblies and demonstrations. They did do so because by their very nature they opportunistically adapt to the liberal middle class and the reformist labor bureaucracy (which in turn adapts to sectors of the monopoly bourgeoisie). These sectors of the ruling class were determined to impose the Lockdown policy because it has allowed to suppress democratic rights as well as to confuse people with fear and insecurity in times of collapse of the world economy. This Lockdown policy opened the road to expand the bonapartist state apparatus and, at the same time, it offers gigantic business opportunities for capitalist corporations in the drugs, biomedicine, IT, security etc. industries. Hence, these “leftist” organizations and parties adapted to state bonapartism under the cover of “socialist” phrases. Hence, the Lockdown Left are social-bonapartists.


10.          As a result, the Lockdown Left called people to stay home in times when they suffered the worst economic and social attacks since nearly a century! However, while the social-bonapartist left supported the Lockdown regime and called the people to stay home, the militant sectors of the masses proved to be much more advanced than these opportunist “leftists”. The masses broke the lockdown rules and the banning of demonstrations on the streets and started a fight back against the state bonapartism. In short, when the Lockdown Left urged the masses to “Stay at Home”, the advanced sectors of the masses did exactly the opposite – they decided to “March on the Streets”! This is a powerful lesson which confounds the idea that the so-called left resembles the most progressive sector of the society or that it is a milieu towards which revolutionaries should orient themselves. Quite the opposite, the treacherous support for the Lockdown regime shows once more that authentic revolutionary policy is only possible by a sharp demarcation from the opportunist left and by systematically fighting against all trends of social-bonapartism and social-imperialism within the workers and popular movement.


11.          The end of the global counterrevolutionary situation does not mean an end of the reactionary offensive of the ruling class. Such an idea would be a dangerous illusion. The Xi regime in China is determined to bloodily crush the democratic mass movement in Hong Kong. In the U.S. and many other countries governments have deployed the police and army against mass protests. All over the world, the ruling class has started imposing gigantic surveillance technologies. Add to this the wave of chauvinism and militarism which the governments – and most of all the rulers of the two largest imperialist powers U.S. and China – are instigating. It is nearly unavoidable that the ruling class all over the world will at one point in the near future declare a second wave of the COVID-19 (or any other) pandemic. They will again try to confuse the consciousness of the masses and provoke fear and insecurity as a cover for imposing additional surveillance technologies and other anti-democratic attacks.


12.          For these reasons authentic revolutionaries must intervene in the current struggles with a program which emphasis the defense of democratic rights and combines this with an emergency program against the economic and the health crisis. This means consistent opposition against all lockdown measures, against the expansion of the police and surveillance state, for nationalization of the core sectors of industry, service and finance under workers control, for expansion of the public health care sector under workers and popular control, free mass testing, etc.). Revolutionaries have to agitate for the formation of workers and popular committees in workplaces, neighborhoods and villages as well as of self-defense guards. This must be combined with a socialist perspective fighting for workers and popular governments all over the world. Most importantly, Marxists need to explain that such a program “does not fall from heaven” but has to be systematically fought for by a revolutionary party. The RCIT calls all authentic revolutionaries to unite on the basis of such a program so that we jointly build a Revolutionary World Party!




International Secretariat of the RCIT




[1] See all RCIT documents on the popular uprising in the U.S. on a sub-page on our website:

[2] The struggle for democratic rights has become one of the most important issues in this age of capitalism in decay. In this context, the ruling classes inevitably violate and trample on democratic rights and strive to replace even limited bourgeois democracy by capitalist Bonapartism and dictatorship.” (RCIT: Manifesto for Revolutionary Liberation (2016), p. 12,

[3] The fundamental anti-democratic character of the current global counter-revolutionary offensive and the consequential importance of the struggle against the chauvinist state bonapartism point to the centrality of the democratic question in the new era which has opened up. While the latest developments have definitely given additional weight to the democratic question this does not come out of the blue. In fact, the current chauvinist state bonapartism represents a qualitative higher stage of an anti-democratic development which has already taken place since a number of years.” (Michael Pröbsting: The COVID-19 Global Counterrevolution: What It Is and How to Fight It. A Marxist analysis and strategy for the revolutionary struggle, RCIT Books, April 2020, p. 69,

[4] COVID-19: A Cover for a Major Global Counterrevolutionary Offensive. We are at a turning point in the world situation as the ruling classes provoke a war-like atmosphere in order to legitimize the build-up of chauvinist state-bonapartist regimes, 21 March 2020,;

[5] It is highly telling that in the current situation even such an arch-conservative newspaper like the Washington Post asks the question “Are we on the brink of revolution?”. In this article the author demonstrates the parallels between France before 1789 and the U.S. today. (See Christine Adams: Are we on the brink of revolution? Washington Post, June 4, 2020,

[6] Leon Trotsky: The German Catastrophe: The Responsibility of the Leadership (May 1933), in: Leon Trotsky: The Struggle Against Fascism in Germany, Pathfinder Press, New York 1971, p. 391,

[7] See on this e.g. RCIT: World Perspectives 2020: A Pre-Revolutionary Global Situation. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, 8 February 2020,

[8] For more details on this see chapter „The Lockdown was not directed against the pandemic“ in the essay by Michael Pröbsting: The Police and Surveillance State in the Post-Lockdown Phase. A global review of the ruling class’s plans of expanding the bonapartist state machinery amidst the COVID-19 crisis, 21 May 2020,