People Get Ready: There’s a Bad Moon on the Rise
by Michael Novick, Anti-Racist Action-LA (https://antiracist.org)
As you read this, there is barely a month to election day. What are you doing to prepare for the possible outcomes and their consequences? Given recent realities, including vehicles being driven at racial justice protesters here in L.A., the murder of two protesters in Kenosha, exposures of organized racist violence being planned in Portland, the repeated refusals by Trump to say he will commit to a peaceful transfer of power, it does not require superpowers to foresee white nationalist violence and state repression in almost any eventuality.
If Trump loses but refuses to concede, or if he ekes out an electoral college victory again while losing the popular vote as he did in 2016, he will be in charge of, and guaranteed to try to use, repressive federal agencies as he did after the murder of George Floyd. If the Biden-Harris ticket wins uncontestably, the reactionary and racist forces Trump has encouraged throughout his presidency are still likely to unleash further violence, if they have not already done so by that point in an attempt to disrupt the election and suppress votes against Trump. Are we prepared to defend ourselves? The GOP, and increasingly the corporate Democrats, have demonstrated that there is no shit they will not eat. How can we build real resistance and exercise people’s power?
Whatever the electoral results, all the underlying crises and contradictions of the empire will remain. Unless the Dems display more backbone than they have ever done, there is likely to be a 6-3 reactionary majority on the Supreme Court to cap a federal judiciary which is already overwhelmingly stocked with similar appointees. COVID and its economic consequences will still be raging. In those circumstances, what level of real resistance, of no-business-as-usual massive disruptive street protests are we prepared to engage in, if Trump is returned to office by the white supremacist, anti-democratic Electoral College or by some sort of palace coup sanctified by the Senate or the courts?
Even more to the point, how will the movements respond to a Biden-Harris win? We cannot afford to demobilize for a moment, either before or after the inauguration. The demands to defund the police, or to guarantee workers’ safety and right to organize, the struggle to leave fossil fuels in the ground, the effort to free prisoners from mass incarceration, which has become a virtual death sentence under COVID, must all be intensified, not relaxed.
War-mongering against Russia and China will not abate under a Democratic administration, nor will the Pentagon’s plans to militarize space and to engage in cyber-warfare. Nothing either of the politicians on the Democratic ticket has said or done makes defunding, let alone abolishing, the police any more likely. Nor do they provide any basis for thinking that indigenous treaty rights and sovereignty will be respected. Despite the GOP claim that Biden’s a socialist, they are clearly and expressly opposed to eco-socialism or any other form of collective social control and ownership of productive resources, or even to such social-democratic measures as Medicare For All.
So if your preparation for Nov. 3 doesn’t go beyond getting out to vote or getting others to, you are not preparing enough. We need to be thinking and organizing now for mutual aid, for the serious prospect of a general strike, and for make a qualitative leap forward in the capacity of popular movements to shape the political and economic agenda. Otherwise we are setting ourselves up to be quashed and squashed by a repressive and racist steamroller.