Call to Arms: What Working People Need to Do in the U.S.by Bob Day, Detroit, with additional comments by Linda, Cincinnati
Feb 23, 2011
I think the big job is still to break the hold of the Democratic Party on the working class and the unions. AFSCME’s [the largest union representing public employees--Ed.] entire strategy has been to elect Democrats instead of organizing workers to fight. We are in a class war and are getting our asses kicked. Elections won’t turn this around. Direct action by the workers will. The workers who are occupying Madison, Wisconsin, are doing more to fight back than 1,000 elections. The bosses want to keep us in election mode, because they control the elections. Obama wants people in Egypt to get off the streets, stop the strikes and wait for elections. This will be a defeat for the hopes of revolution in Egypt. The Tea Party in Wisconsin said elections gave them the right to bust the unions and attack workers. To hell with their elections! Workers’ rights will be won or lost in the streets and in the workplaces, not in any elections. I think workers fighting to take control of their workplaces and communities is the right direction, and we have to fight the Democrats and the Republicans to accomplish this.
Role of U.S. Imperialism
U.S. imperialism propped up Mubarak in Egypt for 30 years and now props up the military dictatorship there. Workers in the U.S. need to support working people in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, and elsewhere by opposing U.S. imperialism and demanding an end to U.S. support for the rotten dictators and monarchs. Tear gas canisters used against protestors in Cairo were made in the USA and said so right on the canisters. The guns and bullets used to kill demonstrators in Bahrain are made and provided by U.S. and Great Britain. The other side of this is that the billions of dollars used to fund the U.S. military budget are billions used to protect the interests of oil companies and others to maintain control in the middle east and elsewhere.
The "Budget Crisis"
This is where the immediate answer to the so-called budget crisis lies. Stop funding U.S. imperialism and stop spending billions to protect oil companies’ interests and oppressing working people in the middle east! And we will have plenty of funds to pay for schools and services and jobs and decent conditions for workers in the U.S.
Last point on shared sacrifice. AFSCME and the Democrats say workers are willing to pay more for pensions and medical benefits up to a 10% pay cut for workers in Wisconsin so long as they can keep collective bargaining rights. Most workers don’t go along; they’ve built these unions and are fighting to defend them. But I’ve seen many interviewed who say they can’t afford $500 or more less each month in pay; they can’t get by now. I saw a Democrat saying every family in America has to cut their personal budget because of the crisis, so government and workers have to do the same. Bullshit! Edsel Ford and his family aren’t cutting the family budget. Bank of America and its owners aren’t cutting their budgets. If they want to talk about shared sacrifice, let those who can afford sacrifice, start the ball rolling; otherwise, it is just useless talk.
What We Should Do
I’m for trying to build organizations and united fronts among people who agree on basic ideas; independent, direct action by working people; working people fighting for direct control of their workplaces and communities; working people fighting independently for control of the economy and society and building organizations that can fight for control. Just some thoughts.
Additional Comments--Linda, Cincinnati
The ruling class and their puppets; Democrats and Republicans - just killed the 60-year labor peace. i think workers need concrete steps to fight for our jobs, our unions, our wages, for a better world; for world peace. my girlfriend wants to fight back; she's a professional; came from a lower middle class family; was on welfare; got an education; went to obama's inauguration and says obama's not giving her anything; says democrats and republicans the same. we need concrete steps to fight. living wage and jobs for all; make wall street and banks pay for the economic mess they got all of us in; not working people who've always paid; make wall street pay taxpayers back for the trillions of dollars the government stole from us. moratorium on foreclosures; moratorium on any rent hikes; moratorium on ever increasing gas and food hikes. A trillion dollar public works project to hire unemployed and underemployed with a living wage to rebuild housing and infrastructure and for public services. A living minimum wage! omg, I could go on. Bring US troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan; no more US warring against the people in the Mideast. another girlfriend who supports obama is passing around an email to reform congress; get rid of their high pay, high health insurance; their high pensions. The lid is off! Equal pay for equal work! Equal rights and dignity for all! - linda