Brian Richardson looks at the hope for real change raised by BLM
I t has often been observed that the US vice-president is just a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. Constitutionally the post holds little power. Indeed one incumbent, John Nance Garner is reported to have described it as “not worth a bucket of warm spit”. Given the age and obvious infirmity of Biden, there is a very real possibility that Kamala Harris will be more than merely a ceremonial VP. Much has been made of the fact that she is the first woman and the first Asian-American to be elected to the post.
Democrats were lifted to victory by the mass movements that swept the US during the Trump years, writes Virginia Rodino. Virginia Rodino is part of Marx 21
Baltimore/DC; Maryland Green Party co-chair; Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Maryland convenor.
Donald Trump’s threat to challenge the results and to illegally occupy the White House was met with a galvanisation of hundreds of liberal and progressive groups across the country, including Labor and the Movement for Black Lives (BLM). At the moment of writing, all legal means to challenge the validity of the elections have been exhausted by Team Trump. Since 3 November, there has been a wave of celebration by liberals who had lifted up Biden and Harris throughout the race. There was a justified sigh of relief by most of the Left, since Trump is and continues to be such a horror show.
In November 2018, 92 year old Christine Jordan, a cousin of Martin Luther King and herself a veteran civil rights campaigner, went to in the election vote for Governor of Georgia. She went to the same polling station she had voted in since 1968, but ‘this time…they threw her out…they had no record of her’. She was not alone. Tens of thousands of would-be voters were turned away. How did this happen? Greg Palast has, among other things, been investigating voter fraud in the US for the past twenty years.
“We, the Palestinians, are losing our shadow!” These are the words of 32-year-old Sanaa abo Gazal when I asked her to describe what life is like today in Gaza, the world’s largest prison. The people there simply cannot get out from under the 13-year siege imposed by Israel and Egypt. “They are waiting for their soul to come out of their body,” Sanaa says. “Two million are under siege. Two million are in curfew. No food. No electricity all day. No water every week. Some of us are waiting for the mercy of the Gulf states, dreaming of having the $100 from Qatar.”
Donald Trump is set to nominate a successor to liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died on 18 September. His declaration speaks volumes about the opportunism of the ruling elite. Trump is proposing Amy Coney Barrett, described as a “social conservative”. She is pro gun, anti immigration and against abortion. His calculation is that he can increase his appeal among women that support the religious right’s reactionary agenda. Any nomination must be ratified by the Senate and it is here that the cynicism is most clearly exposed.
When US sports stars led an unofficial walkout over the police shooting of Jason Blake, the season was over. Then Obama intervened, and that’s the problem with the Democrats, writes Virginia Rodino
Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old African-American man, was shot seven times in the back in front of his children by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on 23 August. The bullets wounded his arm and damaged his stomach, kidney and liver. He remains paralyzed in hospital. Three days later Milwaukee Bucks, a professional team in the National Basketball Association (NBA), were inspired to collective action and decided not to play, in protest at the attack. The move came as a surprise to the rest of the league.
Could the unbelievable happen and Trump win a second term in the White House? The game changer will be the radicalisation of the protest movements, not the campaign for Biden, writes Lewis Nielsen
After four years of his bigotry, racism, climate change denial and attacks on working-class people, is it really possible that Donald Trump could be reelected in November? To answer these questions, we have to understand the extent of political polarisation taking place in the US. In 2020 alone we have seen both the hope and horror that has defined the country at the heart of neoliberal capitalism. Let’s start with the horror. In California and Oregon wildfires have destroyed an area equivalent to the size of Wales.
The death of George Floyd catapulted the demand to abolish the police into the mainstream of US politics, writes Thomas Hummel. It is a call that all socialists support, but the changes do not run deep enough.
The roots of the police in the United States reach back in two directions. On the one hand, their formation is directly connected to pre-Civil War slave patrols. These armed groups of white men would hunt down runaway slaves trying to make their way north. On the other, their origin traces back to the growth of large industrial centres in the north. With the rapid expansion of these cities the rich needed to protect their wealth and property from the poor immigrants they employed who lived in conditions of deprivation.