No Ban, No Wall – Full Citizenship Rights for All!
Internationalist contingent in January 29 New York City march that brought out tens of thousands to protest Donald Trump's Mexico border wall and ban on refugees and travelers from Muslim countries. Democratic Party bigwigs try to cash in on outrage, Trotskyists call to break with Dems and all capitalist parties.
On Wednesday (January 25), the White House let it be known that President Donald Trump would sign an executive order to ban Syrian refugees as well as those from other predominantly Muslim countries, and to begin building his infamous border wall with Mexico. That evening there were mass protests in New York City and elsewhere. On Friday, Trump issued his decree, prohibiting entry of anyone, even permanent U.S. residents, from those countries. As the Border Patrol began implementing the order on Saturday, stopping travelers returning home, thousands rushed to the airports, from JFK in New York City to LAX in Los Angeles. Huge crowds stayed for hours chanting “Refugees are welcome here” and “LET THEM IN!”
These are the seeds of popular revolt against the brutal xenophobic (anti-foreigner) policies of the Trump regime. Democratic politicians tried to climb on the bandwagon. But it was the policies of the Democratic Party that pushed people into the arms of Republican Trump. Trump wants to build a wall – Bill Clinton began construction of the wall in the 1990s. Trump threatens to deport millions – Barack Obama deported over 5.5 million during his two terms as president, earning him the nickname of “deporter in chief.”
On Saturday night, as hundreds protested outside the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, a federal judge issued an emergency stay of Trump’s decree. This may temporarily let in scores of travelers held at the airports, but it will not stop construction of the wall or the raids of the hated Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) cops. All working people, all potential targets of racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic attack, and all defenders of democratic rights must come out now. First they came for the Muslims!
Expressions of popular outrage are vital, but they are not enough. Occupy Wall Street brought out thousands to protest against inequality – and achieved nothing. Black Lives Matter protests had tens of thousands in the streets denouncing racist police murder – and the killer cops keep on killing. It is necessary to bring to bear the enormous power of the multiracial working class, including millions of immigrants (documented and undocumented), together with African Americans, Latinos, Asians and students.
The Internationalist Group, which since its inception has organized immigrant workers, calls to prepare concrete workers action to stop deportations and racist attacks. There are secret, unmarked immigration jails in various locations in New York and other cities. The IG calls for mass action to drive I.C.E. jails out of NYC and all major urban areas. We need to set up phone trees, social media networks and other measures for rapid response to flood the streets to block I.C.E. raids and deportations.
Class Struggle Education Workers (CSEW) has called for committees in every school to defend immigrants and all threatened students. Any deportation attempt should be met by calling an ongoing assembly shutting down the school and mobilizing union-led action citywide. On Saturday, the Taxi Workers Alliance in New York declared it would not pick up passengers for an hour at JFK in solidarity with the protests there. This is the first taste of the kind of action we need.
Above all, we must fight politically. Today, Trump is the CEO of American capitalism, yesterday it was Obama who ordered U.S. troops to bomb Syria, return to Iraq and continue the occupation of Afghanistan – all in the name of “fighting terrorism.” Yet the bloodiest terrorist of all is U.S. imperialism, which has slaughtered millions from Korea to Vietnam and the Middle East. On Wednesday, NYC public advocate Letitia James called on the crowd to “resist, resist, resist!” The population of every major city in the U.S. is strongly opposed to the racist gang that now holds complete sway in Washington. But to defeat the racist Trump it’s necessary to break with the Democrats, Republicans and all capitalist parties.
As the Trabajadores Internacionales Clasistas (TIC – Class Struggle International Workers) say: “Ni ilegales, ni criminales, somos obreros internacionales!” (“We are neither illegal nor criminal, we are international workers”). Our watchword is: “Asian, Latin, black and white – workers of the world unite!”
The IG, CSEW, TIC and CUNY Internationalist Clubs say: You can’t fight Trump with Democrats. We call for: “NYC Labor: Use Your Muscle NOW to Smash the Racist Ban!” We need to Build a revolutionary workers party! ■