By Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement
“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.” — Comandante Assata Shakur, (“Assata: An Autobiography”, p.151, Zed Books Ltd.)
After the horrific murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, people of all nationalities have righteously taken to the streets in the millions around the world. When the people of all ages and nationalities defend themselves by any means necessary against the capitalist system that is literally killing them, as is their human right, the police in the most violent way attempt to crush them.
The rich, their political servants and the capitalist media howl in hollow indignation when some property might be destroyed, some goods are liberated by the masses or other forms of self-defense are employed by the people resisting. But what’s rarely mentioned in the area now known as the United States – even in the middle of a pandemic where well over 100,000 people (mostly workers) have died – is how the capitalists and imperialists violently plunder and loot the world 24/7. And even rarer still is when those racist Wall Street and Pentagon vultures are exposed person-by-person and their crimes against humanity detailed in depth.
The area now known as Wisconsin: A Right Wing Base & Model
During the so-called re-open “rallies” in the midst of the current pandemic, right-wing anti-worker racists attempted to organize white supremacist shock troop recruitment events in the area now known as Wisconsin and elsewhere. (Note: Indigenous Nations never agreed to the forced European invasion and carving up of their ancestral homelands. Thus the phrase ‘the area now known as ‘Wisconsin’).
In the attempted re-opening process, the shock troops for Wall Street attempted to use the heroes of the Civil Rights movement (Mrs. Rosa Parks et. al) to justify their cause and consolidate their forces. (Note: In Wisconsin the Supreme Court eventually allowed a complete re-opening of the state putting in jeopardy the health and lives of millions both within the state and beyond.) The right-wing white supremacists are no heroes and certainly no Mrs. Rosa Parks. The heroes – most prominently the courageous youth – are in the streets right now every day fighting police terror and other capitalist atrocities.
The righteous protests unfolding for days in the midst of a pandemic have laid bare the so-called “democratic” capitalist system in the United States for all the world to see. From Trump on down, most political servants of the rich say that the masses are on their own, fend for yourself. If not for the self-sacrifices of workers themselves assisting each other, demanding necessary PPE and engaging in direct actions, we’d be in a much worse situation. Many workers are now suffering from how austerity enacts death and destruction after the cutbacks of direly needed services such as public health agencies/supplies. Wisconsin in the recent period has been a leader in this.
In Wisconsin tens of thousands across the state in cities, towns and villages have risen up for days and are still in the streets demanding justice for George Floyd and all those murdered by the police. Through this process a deeper questioning and analysis is being discussed, debated and analyzed. Such as: Why are the police acting so violently against “peaceful protesters?” Whom do the police really protect? What about class? Aren’t the same Wall Street forces that oppress and exploit Black and Brown Milwaukee the same ones that exploit white workers in northern Wisconsin and other semi/rural areas of the state (albeit to different degrees)?
Many white youth and their families supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in the streets are beginning to experience just a little of what oppressed nationalities have experienced for over 500 years in North America after the European invasions, legalized slavery, Jim Crow etc. And some white youth/workers are beginning to realize that it was the police, the sheriff’s and other cops from the repressive capitalist state that attacked them at the state capitol while protesting Act 10, right-to-work (for less) etc. These white youth/workers are beginning to realize that every time they protest, demand money for human needs etc. the cops are always on the side of the bosses and their right-wing political servants to protect profit/property over the people.
In Wisconsin the right-wing’s goal, as former Governor Scott Walker once stated, was to “divide and conquer.” This rabid political servant of Wall Street and the Pentagon thus stated what the ruling class understands: although there might be different factions among them, their mission is to ensure profits at all costs worldwide. The super-exploitation of oppressed nationalities is much worse than for white workers but under capitalism the rich need both. And of course the rich prefer to not have these workers have organizations such as unions so they can’t fight back more effectively. And the police and other repressive forces of the capitalist state are used to keep this system in place to ensure Wall Street profits.
Over the past 10 years in particular in Wisconsin, the right-wing servants in the state legislature and Scott Walker have done the bidding of their rich backers. They’ve instituted a scorched earth austerity (similar to Puerto Rico) which has wiped out the majority of gains poor and working people have won in the state in the past 100 years. Who’s behind these compradors (as the great African leader Kwame Nkrumah called those political actors controlled by Wall Street?)
During the organizing of the “re-open” recruitment “rallies” it became known that leaders and members of the capitalist “think tanks” were instrumental. “Think tanks” such as the Americans For Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, the Mackinac and the Wisconsin Institute For Law and Liberty all funded in part by the $900 million extreme right-wing Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation either supported or directly or indirectly funded these “rallies.”
The Bradley Foundation along with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and others wrote the “flexible” blueprints for implementing “charter schools,” “welfare reform,” and “union reforms,” – all with a eugenics/Jim Crow base (Bradley funded “The Bell Curve…,” a fundamental right-wing movement text although it’s been debunked worldwide as unscientific.) Bradley’s Board of Directors is a who’s who of personnel from Wall Street, the Pentagon and union busting law firms.
Bradley personnel have also spent decades (and hundreds of millions of dollars) directly or indirectly grooming, training and funding their servant politicians – both Democrat and Republican – such as Robin Vos, Scott Fitzgerald, Scott Walker et. al. and right-wing initiatives such as the “tea party movement.” And developing relationships with southern ruling class forces in particular from North Carolina (Art Pope is the Chair of the Bradley Board) and Virginia.
Bradley’s program in short is capitalism with the gloves off approach: Reducing or shredding social safety nets and regulations and attacking unions at every turn all of which has led to what we’re now facing during this COVID-19 pandemic. And of course supporting the repressive forces such as the cops and as necessary for them extra-legal forces.
A short list of the right-wing/Wall Street/Pentagon violent full court press austerity in Wisconsin since 2011 (that is now law or instituted in some form ‘legally’)
- Act 10;
- Right-To-Work (for less);
- Elimination of residency rules;
- Increasing funding for the prison-industrial complex;
- The gutting of environmental regulations;
- Attacks on women’s reproductive freedom;
- Bigoted attacks on the LGBTQ community;
- Reduction of Civil Service and Tenure protections;
- Attacked migrants/the undocumented by removing opportunities to obtain drivers licenses, to access worker protections and more;
- Supporting the Pentagon budget and bank bailouts and giving more debt service to finance capital;
- Numerous attacks on Unemployment Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid;
- Wage cuts for public sector workers whereby workers have to pay more of their take home pay for pensions and healthcare;
- Relaxed or eviscerated hundreds of regulatory laws, statutes and codes for corporations and banks in Wisconsin;
- Eviscerated environmental resource protections and reduced the Department of Natural Resources (also placed science denier functionaries in this state department and others)
- De-funding Planned Parenthood and other health care services for women and LGBTQ people;
- Eliminating or de-funding social safety net programs;
- De-funding and attacking the world renowned University of Wisconsin System and the Wisconsin Technical System;
- Eliminating numerous supports including resource centers for K-12 and higher education students within public education;
- Increasing funding for the police and not for living wage jobs and other direly needed services;
- Massive wage cuts (BILLIONS since 2011) for public sector workers annually as per Act 10 even if a union is “re-certified” that union can only bargain over wages up to the rate of inflation;
- Deepening austerity by defunding public education and other public services;
- Destroying regulations in the healthcare industry and elsewhere;
- Billions more to the banks in “debt service” and other austerity mechanisms;
- And much more ….
- Now these right-wingers – in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic no less – claim they care about us the workers and our communities and our small businesses. We know the racist rich only care about one thing: profit! Through these “re-open” recruitment rallies, the Wall Street vultures – with the open assistance of the Trump administration – are attempting to consolidate an even deeper right-wing white supremacist base by activating their networks, alliances and politicians such as Scott Walker – and to try and divide white workers from their real class allies.
The right-wingers actions in attempting to use the Civil Rights movement in their opportunistic and debased way also shows their great fear – and their understanding of the potential power of the internationalist Black Freedom Struggle and the uniting of this with other people’s movements, migrants struggles, unions, progressive student organizations, etc. We are seeing this in the streets all over the country right now.
Thus the reason the Bradley Foundation (and other right-wing forces) ensures their servants such as Vos, Fitzgerald, Scott Walker et. al are trained on the “divide and conquer” tactics and strategies. And why their media attempt to take the focus off of these real issues by attacking those protesting capitalist atrocities as “violent” and “looters” when in reality Wall Street and the Pentagon are the real looters. (Note: Since just the 2008 financial crisis caused by the banks, Wall Street has been bailed out with trillions of taxpayer monies which could have gone for people’s needs).
Some ideas for moving forward: Building a serious people’s united front with independent organizational infrastructure that’s imbued with an internationalist program. Self-defense mechanisms such as workers and community defense guards now during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Research of who’s who so, as Malcolm X said, we don’t be hoodwinked, bamboozled and sold out! Supporting the youth in the streets that are fighting back and building a better world in the process.
We the real people’s movements will not be divided and conquered! Justice for George Floyd and all those murdered by police! Union YES!, Jim Crow, NO! All power to the people! Stop the war on Black and Brown America! Money for free healthcare and other people’s needs – not bank bailouts, wars and racist laws/policies! Smash the racist and fascist minded servant politicians and their Wall Street masters! Make the banks pay! People’s Needs Not Racist Anti-Worker Austerity! No Pasaran!