Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Civil Unrest & Tools to Win
The attacks on unions and working people are pushing people to the brink of civil resistance just like the 1920s and 1930s when there was a strike or work shut downs every day which involved shootings, killings. It was stopped by people who worked with unions and the creation of the National Labor Relations Board (NLBR), which was a board formed to settle differences between labor and corporations. However, the NLBR has been decimated and no longer works for the workers. The next place for workers—the last stop—is the U.S. Supreme Court, which has been subverted by the anti-worker GOP-backed, Bible-thumping, and biased-in-favor-of-oligarchies justices: Scalia, Alito, Thomas, Roberts and Kennedy. So where do the workers go? They will go back to what works: civil resistance. It will succeed because the diverse base of participants can outlast the armed struggles used against them. Oligarchies think they have the upper hand because they can buy others to attack the resisters, but this will create an unsustainable cost to the oligarchies. No single civil resistance campaign is the same; consider Gandhi and Martin Luther King’s peaceful protests, but the ones that work all have three things in common: mass participation; produce regime defections; and employ flexible tactics. Today, there are tech-savvy scholars, such as Patrick Meier and Mary Joyce, who have updated Gene Sharp’s book “198 Different Tactics” to include tactics linked to new technologies, such as using social media to report repressive actions in real time and even using small drones to monitor police movements. What workers must remember this fight is just not a union vs. the anti-union people. This is a fight of all workers against the anti-workers, the 99 percent vs the 1-2 percent. The anti-union people want to break the unions, because the unions are the only organization with money, which usually supports the Democratic Party, who sometimes supports unions. But, the larger war is workers vs. the 1-2 percent and when large numbers of people engage in acts of civil disobedience and disruption, shifting between concentrated methods, such as protests and dispersed methods, boycotts and strikes that even the most brutal opponent has difficulty cracking down. The fight for $15 to $18 an hour minimum wage and free education and healthcare must go on. In our spare time we must defend against the attacks of the union-busting GOP against our post office and the Longshoremen, which are coming up soon. These are the two largest unions left in the U.S. that the GOP dreams of destroying. After these two unions are gone, the GOP will continue its assault on the teachers’ union and then polish off the public service employees’ union. Yes, it is a war on workers, but we do have the tools—just short of the leadership—and waiting for the tipping point, which will come.