Statement by the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 31 May 2020, www.thecommunists.net
1. Unprecedented developments are shaking the U.S. and the world. The brutal murder of George Floyd by the U.S. police has triggered a wave of mass protests in all major cities. In the course of the last five days these protests have transformed into a popular uprising. People are chanting “No Justice, No Peace!” and there are popular slogans directed against the police like “The Enemy is Blue!”. Many demonstrators are not afraid to confront the police, reflecting that people are losing pacifist illusions. They are burning police cars and even torched a Minneapolis police station. In addition, mass anger and poverty as a result of the worst economic slump since 1929 have provoked a series of lootings.
2. It is a key characteristic of this uprising that it is not only black people demonstrating but people of all color including many white youth. This reflects that while protest against racism and police violence are the immediate causes of this uprising, there can be no doubt that the dramatic impoverishment (36 million people are currently unemployed) and the ultra-reactionary and equally ultra-incompetent Trump Administration are crucial underlying reasons for the current events.
3. The authorities try to crackdown the mass demonstrations with utmost brutality. Several demonstrators have been already killed, police vans drive recklessly into demonstrations, journalists are attacked, shot at or arrested, etc. Curfews have been imposed in all major cities which however fail to stop the protests. The National Guard and the Military Police have been put on short notice so that they can intervene within hours. And President Trump has already threatened to send federal troops in order to smash the popular uprising. Such a move would without doubt provoke an open civil war. All these developments confirm the RCIT’s thesis that there has been a global shift towards authoritarianism and state bonapartism. In such a political environment, the police – and the capitalist state apparatus in general – is emboldened to viciously attack the popular masses and even the media.
4. At the same time, the power of this uprising has resulted in what seems to be cracks within the repressive state apparatus. There have been spectacular scenes in Flint (Michigan), Camden (New Jersey), Santa Cruz (California), Kansas City (Missouri), Fargo (North Dakota) and Ferguson (Missouri) were police either joined the protests, hold banners in solidarity (“End Police Brutality”[!], “Standing in Solidarity”) or kneel in Floyd’s memory. While it would be criminal to have any illusions in the possibility to reform the capitalist police, such individual acts are important signs of demoralizations within the ranks of the enemy. Revolutionaries should call individual police to refuse orders directed against the popular uprising.
5. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) repeats that the most important tactics now are the organizing of popular assemblies and the formation of committees of action in workplaces, neighborhoods, schools and universities. Such committees should decide about the demands and the course of action. They should also elect delegates so that there can be a regional and national coordination. They should also demand from community and popular organizations, trade unions, the DSA etc. to unconditionally support the movement. Such assemblies should also form armed self-defense committees in order to defend the communities against the enemy in blue and to drive the police as much as possible out of the communities. Most importantly, the movement should orientate towards organizing a general strike.
6. In the RCIT statement published yesterday we already pointed to dramatic character of this popular uprising. We wrote that the “quick developments have brought Minneapolis and other cities on the verge of a dual power situation”. However, the spectacular events in the last 30 hours have resulted in a profound escalation of this explosive crisis so that we can state now that a pre-revolutionary situation has opened up in the U.S. Any further escalation, e.g. Trump ordering federal troops to impose a bloody crackdown could immediately open revolutionary situation and a civil war.
7. It is needless to say that these events have a profound significance not only for the U.S. but for the whole the world. This is already reflected in the fact that thousands of people march in solidarity in London, Berlin, Copenhagen and many other cities. However, since the U.S. is a decaying but still the most powerful imperialist state, a pre-revolutionary development in the heart of the imperialist world order has by its very nature a profound global character. The next days and weeks will allow a more precise analysis. But what we can already say now is the following: after the global counter-revolutionary shock-and-awe offensive of the ruling class in the past 2-3 months under the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen already a renewed popular uprising in Lebanon and Hong Kong. However, the current events in the U.S. are by far the most significant strike of the masses against the global counter-revolutionary offensive. This development is not surprising since this global counter-revolutionary offensive takes place within a historic revolutionary period characterized by the decline of capitalism and the acceleration of the contradictions between the states and classes. In such a period, sudden turns in the world situation are inevitable and reactionary attacks only prepare future political explosions. We have no doubt that the current events in the U.S. are not the last example for this development.
8. The RCIT has emphasized from the beginning of the current counter-revolutionary offensive that the lockdown in fact is not directed against the pandemic but rather as a preventive anti-democratic attack of the ruling class. We said that in order to fight a pandemic the popular masses do not need state repression but a serious health program (protective equipment, mass testing, free hospitalization, free mass testing, expansion of the public health sector under workers and popular control, etc.) We denounced the treacherous Lockdown Left which supported the lockdown and the anti-democratic banning of public assemblies and demonstrations. What we see now is a powerful confirmation of our analysis. Wherever the workers and oppressed want to fight for their rights, they have to break the lockdown regime and the so-called “social distancing” rules. This has been the case in Lebanon, Iraq, Hong Kong and the U.S. It is evident that the fighting masses are much more progressive than the opportunist Lockdown Left which adapts to the pressure of the liberal middle class and the reformist labor bureaucracy (which in turn adapts to sectors of the ruling class). The developments of the past 2-3 months are a powerful lesson: the Lockdown Left supports the counter-revolutionary offensive under the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic. The militant sectors of the masses break and ignore the lockdown regime! The RCIT and all authentic revolutionaries are on the side of the fighting workers and oppressed and denounce the treacherous Lockdown Left.
9. Furthermore, the current events are also a powerful confirmation of the RCIT’s slogan which we have elaborated in our documents. We said that given the dramatic shift of the ruling class towards repression and state bonapartism, the key slogan will be the transformation of the state of emergency into a popular uprising. The events of the past weeks in Lebanon Hong Kong and now the U.S. are a powerful confirmation that this slogan reflects the objective dynamic of the current period. Finally, we also point out that the mass protests in the U.S. (as well as in Hong Kong) confirm the RCIT’s thesis that the democratic question is a key feature of the current class struggles. Naturally, such struggles are often connected – directly or indirectly – with economic issues.
10. Comrades, brothers and sisters! Two months ago, we published an Open Letter with the title “Act Now because History is Happening Now!” Can anyone doubt that this has been an accurate characterization of the current world situation and the corresponding tasks?! We call revolutionaries to unite and to join us in the most important task to build a Revolutionary World Party. Only such a party can finally organize an international socialist revolution and the liberation of humanity from exploitation and oppression! We desperately need such a party because, as we have seen, the majority of the so-called left opportunistically adapts to state bonapartism or to one or the other imperialist power (e.g. China, Russia, EU). We need an international organization, free from such opportunism, social-bonapartism and social-imperialism. And we need it NOW. Comrades, brothers and sisters, let us join hands in working for such a historic tasks! Join the RCIT!
International Bureau of the RCIT
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We refer readers to the following RCIT documents:
USA: Justice for George Floyd! Workers and youth of all color: unite in struggle! For self-defense committees against the police! Organize a general strike now! 30 May 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/north-america/usa-justice-for-george-floyd/
China / Hong Kong: Down with the National Security Law! Organize and mobilize against the looming counter-revolutionary onslaught by the Stalinist-Capitalist regime!, 23 May 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-hong-kong-down-with-the-national-security-law/
Lebanon and Iraq: Forward with the Popular Uprising! 12 May 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/forward-with-the-popular-uprising-in-lebanon-and-iraq/
For our analysis of the global COVID-19 crisis we refer to numerous documents, including a new book, which have been collected at a special sub-page in our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-2019-corona-virus/; see in particular our new book by Michael Pröbsting: The COVID-19 Global Counterrevolution: What It Is and How to Fight It. A Marxist analysis and strategy for the revolutionary struggle, April 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-covid-19-global-counterrevolution/; see also the RCIT Manifesto: 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, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-a-cover-for-a-major-global-counterrevolutionary-offensive/.