USA/Canada

Trump: Crimes in 2020-21, plans to dominate in 2022-24

Donald Trump is “our own American war criminal”, said writer Carl Bernstein, famous for his Watergate journalism, on 25 July. Bernstein cited Trump “fomenting a coup to hold on to office” and his “homicidal negligence” (not mistakes) over Covid which led to extra “tens of thousands of people” dying. Trump’s Covid demagogy still weighs heavy, as the Delta variant sweeps the USA. In areas where only about 20% voted for Trump in November 2020, 60% of the population is fully vaccinated; in areas where 80% voted for him, only 30%. Mark Milley, chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has not disputed...

What is the purpose of socialist organisation?

India Walton, prospective mayor of Buffalo, New York Two news stories from the USA this week grabbed my attention. The first was the astonishing victory of a woman named India Walton in a Democratic Party primary in the city of Buffalo. With no Republican opponent anywhere in sight, Walton is almost certainly going to win the general election in November and become the mayor of New York’s second largest city. As the Guardian reported, she would be “the first self-declared socialist to lead a major US city … since 1960, when Frank Zeidler stepped down as Milwaukee’s mayor.” A day later, the BBC...

Tulsa: the legacy of the massacre

Third of a series of articles. Part one here and part two here. Particularly given who the last US President was, it’s not insignificant that Joe Biden has spoken out very publicly about June 1921, when a racist mob destroyed the black district of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by burning and bombing from the air, and killed hundreds. We told the story in Solidarity 595 and 596. “This was not a riot”, Biden told a crowd of survivors and their families in Tulsa on 1 June, the anniversary of the bloodshed’s climax. “This was a massacre.” He condemned the effective cover up of the slaughter for...

Statue wars: some should go up

Some people — and by that I mean some Tories — have whipped themselves up into a frenzy over the issue of statues. The pages of newspapers like the Daily Mail and Daily Express are full of “rage” about the statues of Edward Colston in Bristol, or Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College in Oxford. Colston’s statue was toppled and tossed into the water. Rhodes’ statue remains in place, due to the college’s reluctance to take it down. This week protests have taken place in east London demanding the removal of a statue of slave-ship owner Robert Geffrye, which stands outside a museum in Shoreditch. The...

The first time planes bombed a US city: Tulsa, 1921

Second of a series of articles on the Tulsa Massacre of June 1921. Part one here and part three here. “The night of the massacre, I was awakened by my family. My parents and five siblings were there. I was told we had to leave and that was it. “I will never forget the violence of the white mob when we left our home. I still see black men being shot, black bodies lying in the street. I still smell smoke and see fire. I still see black businesses being burned. I still hear airplanes flying overhead. I hear the screams. I have lived through the massacre every day.” That was Viola Fletcher, 107...

Republicans decry "woke capital"

There is an interesting subplot to the US struggle over voting rights covered in Solidarity 590 and 593. Many corporations have come out against restrictions on voting rights — and been attacked by Republican leaders for getting involved in politics! In March the voting rights debate ramped up when the important swing state of Georgia passed new restrictions. Activists pressured Georgia-based corporations that made supportive noises during the Black Lives Matter protests to speak out — and a number did, including Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and Home Depot. Then in April hundreds of companies and...

Racist war in the USA, 1921: the Tulsa Massacre

The first of a series of articles on the Tulsa Massacre of June 1921, and events which led up to and surrounding it. Part two here and part three here. In June 2020, at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Donald Trump announced an election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma: his first real-world public campaign event since the outbreak of the pandemic, and while infections were still running very high. Despite the Trump campaign’s embarrassing failure to come anywhere near filling the venue, the rally did result in a spike, with new cases in...

US battles over voting and union rights

The Republicans want to reduce the number of people voting; strengthen the US political system’s existing biases towards allowing them to rule with minority support; and shift the country further towards an authoritarian regime. Following the Trumpist campaign to claim the 2020 Presidential election was “stolen”, Republican-controlled states in the USA have enacted 25 new laws restricting voting in 2021, compared to 14 in 2019 and 2020 combined. They build on past measures. US election turnout is famously low not just because of voters being unmotivated, but because it is harder then in Europe...

Thoughts towards strategic organising

It’s important that labour and the left learn from the Bessemer Amazon experience. After all, we’ve seen a series of defeats in the South from Volkswagen to Nissan and now Amazon.

Socialism vs sleaze

More and more leaks and side-channels from the pump of plutocracy are becoming visible. Tories are falling out among themselves. Dominic Cummings has denounced Boris Johnson’s behaviour as “mad and totally unethical”. 50% of those polled say there is a “culture of sleaze” in the government. Socialists work to switch off the pump as well as fixing the leaks. The core process of capitalist plutocracy is the transaction in which, though economic compulsion, we sell our labour-power to a capitalist, endowed with riches and control of the means of production. They pay out as meagre a “living wage”...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.