In April 1967, one year before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at a protest in New York against the Vietnam War. He said: “The security we profess to seek in foreign adventures we will lose in our decaying cities. The bombs in Vietnam also explode at home; they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America.”
Since Dr. King’s death, the U.S. military, police and prisons have swollen beyond belief. The Congress and the presidents, both Republicans and Democrats, have used murderous, racist, fascist movements to seize power in many countries, from Libya to Ukraine to Bolivia. Today, just as Dr. King said in 1967, those violent forces unleashed abroad have returned to haunt poor and working people here.
The rich and powerful are playing a dangerous game with fascist, white supremacist movements around the world. They want to use them to crush the workers and oppressed, to get their hands on more profits and spread their military power. But sometimes, they get out of control. And sometimes, one faction of the rich ruling class uses these modern day klansmen against the other factions, as we saw on Jan. 6 at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
The growth of military and police power has fueled the growth of fascist movements in the U.S. Those who led the attack on the Capitol were not the buffoons we see on the news, but retired and active duty military and police.
Many of those who march with heavy weapons on state capitals or come out to threaten Black Lives Matter protests were trained by the U.S. military. Many of those in Congress, whose lives were threatened on Jan. 6, and those who will enter the White House on Jan. 20, including President-elect Joe Biden, have a long history of supporting and funding military and police expansion.
We cannot stand aside when white supremacists and neo-Nazis march through the streets of Washington, a Black city, or anywhere else. We cannot rely on the military and police, who are the breeding ground for fascism, to protect our communities. We cannot trust politicians to fight fascism when they have used the military against our sisters and brothers abroad to help Wall Street get its way.
So what can we do? We must take a lesson from Dr. King, from Malcolm X, from the Black Panthers and the Young Lords. We must organize the grassroots: our communities, our fellow workers and students, our unions and tenant organizations. We must unite and rely on ourselves rather than looking to politicians to save us. We must organize ourselves to effectively fight back against the bosses, the military and the fascists. We must organize to defend ourselves.
If we make this our goal, as a movement; if we share a vision of a future based on cooperation and solidarity, a socialist future — then we can push back the white supremacists, the police and the war makers. We can win gains for our class and help people around the world get the U.S. boot off their necks.
Jail Trump, his fascist mob and killer cops! Impeach the military and police state!