By Moratorium Now Coalition of Detroit, Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement, Peoples Alliance Bay Area
Join a virtual meeting to discuss the crisis of Trump’s attempted coup. Monday, January 11 at 7 P.M. ET, 6 P.M. CT or 4 P.M. PT hosted by the Moratorium Now Coalition of Detroit. Register for this meeting at the link found at Moratorium-MI.org.
An analysis of January 6 demands that progressive people must prepare now to confront fascist violence locally and nationally. The fact that many in that crowd were carrying Confederate flags should not be overlooked. We cannot depend on the “proper authorities” to protect our rights and our persons. Biden and Harris are not Trump, but they are agents of the same capitalist ruling class that Trump served over his four year term. It is almost certain that the incoming administration will use the January 6 events to strengthen and expand police forces and police powers, which will most surely be turned against Black Lives Matter, labor union struggles and other mass progressive movements as they inevitably emerge.
Discussions must not wait for another crisis. It is time for united front planning locally and nationally. Labor unions must expand their initial discussions and make concrete plans for strike action, including general strikes to confront future fascist mobilizations. The building of Labor-Community Self Defense formations must also be considered.
The right-wing mob attack on the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. should come as no surprise to anyone. It shouldn’t be any surprise that thousands of racists and fascists would converge in D.C. and follow Trump’s directions. More important to ask is why did the many Washington police agencies conspire to allow the mob such easy access to what is normally an unapproachable building during protests. The rampage through the Capitol Building could only have occurred with the cooperation, if not planning, of the highest levels of the police, the FBI and Homeland Security.
Even local demonstrations are monitored over social media and often infiltrated by police spies. Oftentimes police are sent out in massive numbers, heavily armored and with precise instructions. Protest leaders are often precise targets for arrest, brutality or both. Demonstrations in Washington, D.C. normally have ten times this police preparation under the purview of many different police agencies. Everyone knew that the crowd coming on January 6 would be thoroughly right-wing with large numbers from fascist organizations, like the Proud Boys. Why then were the Capitol police, who number 2,000, understaffed, without their riot equipment and without any serious reserves stationed nearby?
USA Today (Jan. 7) reported that: “One video posted to social media showed several people in D.C. Capitol Police jackets removing barriers outside the Capitol building, allowing rioters to pass through to the building.”
This is what makes January 6 most alarming. On their own right-wing groups and individuals may create some havoc, even death and destruction, such as the suspicious explosion in Nashville on Christmas day, which knocked out communications and the internet for the entire region. But with high ranking police and military support they can pose a real threat. It should not be assumed that January 6 was the last gasp for Trump. He and his supporters may still be planning further outrages.
Even if the January 20 inauguration goes off without major incident, Trump and his minions, along with their hidden backers, may be mobilized at any time. It is no accident that the police reinforcements handled the insurrectionists with kid gloves. Only a few dozen were arrested. Thousands defied the 6 PM curfew with no threats or arrests. Many have commented on what would have been the fate of such protesters if they had been African American, Latinx, Muslim or anti-war activists. To ask the question is to answer it.
Just compare the repressive preparations made in the small city of Kenosha, Wisconsin.on the same day as the storming of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The authorities in Wisconsin feared demonstrations might erupt after they refused to bring charges against the cop who shot seven bullets into the back of Jacob Blake. Blake, an African American, was walking away from the officer after an argument. Five hundred national guard troops, along with local police and armored cars were sent into Kenosha. But of course, that is how they respond to anti-racist protests.