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Chelsea Manning and the Coming Movement

The commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence has to be welcomed. But it also has to be understood in its context.
The context is the coming movement against Trump and the role of the Democratic Party and their water carriers – the union leadership and the nonprofiteers.
Take the protests scheduled for Inauguration Day (January 20) and the one scheduled for the day after (Jan. 21) – the “Million Women’s March”. The second one is more or less called by the liberal women’s groups, including the non-profits (who function as one of the wings of the Democratic Party). The union leadership is getting in on the act, too. For example, even the Carpenters Union leadership, whose president says he wants to try to work with Trump, has called members in the region to come to the January 21 protest. Why did they schedule it for the day after inauguration? Why not on Inauguration Day? The reason is that the protests on that day will necessarily be far more confrontational. They might actually somewhat disrupt all the pomp and ceremony of the inauguration. Battles in the streets, even maybe tear gas – imagine how that would make the famous “American democracy” look!
But to stay out in front of the movement, they have to have some credibility, and Obama has lost a lot over the years. With this one act, he has helped himself and his party regain some.
So, yes, we should welcome the commutation of Chelsey Manning. We should also redouble our efforts for the release of political prisoners like Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu Jamal. But we should also not be confused. This commutation, and other similar feints to the “left” by the Democrats, are only done to ensure that the anti-Trump movement doesn’t move towards building its own, mass radical, working class party and that it doesn’t threaten the stability of US capitalism, that it doesn’t question capitalism itself. And to those who say that moving in that direction is a distraction from winning some gains in the immediate future, we say: The further we go down that road – towards working class independence and towards socialism – the more concessions the capitalists will grant.
Build an independent, working class movement!
Fight for socialism!

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