PEOPLES STRIKE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY STATEMENT
We have now endured over a year of the COVID-19 pandemic and are approaching the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN and the rebellion it ignited. In the wake of the recent guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin and amidst unrelenting violence, it is certain that above all the system is guilty.
It is clear that the ruling class is committed to keeping the capitalist system intact, even as the Biden regime eases some of racial capitalism’s deep economic dispossession. It is even clearer that in order to sustain the social order, the ruling class will sacrifice a few of their operatives from time to time to keep things as they are and to stop resistance. The conviction of Chauvin is the direct outcome of the rebellion that brought millions of people into the streets. No one should think otherwise. Rebellions extract concessions from repressive systems, sometimes significant ones. However, rebellions do not dismantle repressive social orders, and the (re)productive systems they rest upon. Only social and productive revolutions can do that. We need a revolution to dismantle capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, white supremacy, and heteropatriarchy.
We will not be satisfied with the token concessions and reforms that the system has on offer. Not only are they not enough, but we cannot continue to live within a system that attacks and relegates so many of us to death. The recent treatment of Mumia Abu-Jamal and ongoing untenable treatment of elder Panthers who have contracted Covid-19 such as 84-year-old Sundiata Acoli and cancer-ridden Russell Maroon Shoatz, are symbols of the unending violence committed against our communities and especially of political prisoners by the carceral state.
Since the Chauvin trial and verdict, a number of people have been killed by the police, mostly Black and Brown men, some women, and people with mental health issues. Five hundred or more people were arrested for protesting police violence in the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright on April 11. He was killed in Brooklyn Center, MN by cop Kim Potter. Protests also happened in Portland and other cities. These were highly militarized assaults on protesters. At least 5,000 people have been flash-banged, tear-gassed & blasted with so-called “non-lethal” munitions which are becoming increasingly common. At the same time lethal forces are being developed in more elaborate and advanced ways. Alongside this, dozens of community and independent media have been brutally targeted by law enforcement, reinforcing their sense that they can do whatever they want. This further demonstrates the proliferation of security, police and national guard forces throughout the country. Thirty-four states are currently considering or have passed anti-protest legislation.
In spite of all this, we recognize that with growing state violence and reactionary forces, movement organizing is intensifying and spreading. Beyond the countless mutual aid networks that continue to provide support and sustain communities through the pandemic, city after city witnessed communities coming together to organize and defend each other. Whether it be against evictions, countering fascist and white supremacist violence, or protesting the violence of the state and its forces, our voices are rising up, getting louder and gaining strength. Indigenous peoples and allies continue to intensify the Line 3 struggle against extractivism, building a movement for environmental justice and ecosocialism which crosses borders and defies sectarian divides. These communities are making the connections between these struggles, abolition, rank and file organizing, and excluded workers. Throughout the world, protests against “vaccine apartheid” and growing authoritarianism increase by the day. From Palestine to Colombia and beyond, people are demanding economic and political change in the wake of violent state repression. Peoples Strike is committed to rebuilding the anti-war and anti-imperialist struggles wherever they are happening.
Now more than ever it is clear that we must go beyond rebellion. Peoples Strike began in the days leading up to May Day, this call to action is as crucial as it was then. Things can’t go back to “normal.” Capitalism must be dismantled, and we must fight! Until then, we will continue to build for a general strike. We understand the general strike as a core method needed to ignite the revolutionary change which the whole world deserves. We continue to fight and build for one another.