Oakland

March against violence: Another sign of coming movement?

 

some of the protesters in Oakland. Do they represent a new movement struggling to be born?

Thousands gathered in downtown Oakland today to protest against gun violence. As is to be expected, the range of politics was all over the place – from Black Lives Matter supporters and opponents of US imperialism to committed Democrats. But the main thing was the fact that it was not entirely just the usual suspects; there were many faces in the crowd who clearly weren’t the long time “protesters”.

Even the presence of the liberal representatives of the Democratic Party is significant. What seems to be happening is that this wing of the corporate party is growing increasingly worried about Trump and the far right seriously destabilizing society. The latest act of Trump is the appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor. Bolton is an unreconstructed neo-conservative who believes that the answer to all problems US capitalism faces around the world is military action. From war abroad to uncontrolled gun violence at home, this is stirring up the pot.

So, this wing of the Democrats is moving to ramp up their support, including by starting to bring people out onto the streets. Yes, of course, they will do all in their power to control things. But given all the combustible material in US society, they will not be able to do so completely.

When we add this to the years-long Black Lives Matter movement and the women’s marches and now the teachers’ strike in West Virginia (see video) – and likely coming similar strikes in Oklahoma and Kentucky – we have to ask if these are all signs of a new movement struggling to be born.

There were plenty of signs that referred to other issues in US society

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democratic Party supporters were present also.

 

Categories: Oakland, United States, youth

2 replies »

  1. I went to the antigun march in Washington, DC today and can testify that it was nothing more than a big Democratic party rally, with over a million people obsessed exclusively with gun control legislation and electing a Democratic Party congress in November and nothing else. Sadly,the only hint of a broader movement here was one lone man carrying a placard reading “Socialism or Barbarism.”

    If this is intersectionalism, it intersects at every point with Clintonism, and will prove incapable of permanent social transformation on any level.

    The American ideology is one of the permanent gut-check and the instinctive substitution of private moral indignation for social and political revolution. Sadly, these illusions were the animating force behind today’s rallies. This force, intense as it can be, is incapable of becoming revolutionary in any deep structural social sense and in fact is counter-revolutionary in the long run. All it can do is place more power in the hands of the state as it is currently defined, which will remain the tool of the one percent, reforms or no reforms.

    The Democratic Party never has been and never can be the agent of systemic social change. These rallies represent the triumph of a Frank Capra/Mr. Smith view of social change that is intrinsically defective.

    • Thank you for your report on the rally in Washington, DC. What you say about the Democratic Party has been shown to be true for many years. There was definitely some of that element present in Oakland. But the fact that there were many people there who were new to any sort of movement is a hopeful sign. Of course confusion with reign at first. And of course many, maybe most, will be led down the path of putting more Democrats in office as the solution. Let’s not forget that in West Virginia, the teachers treated the Democratic legislators – as well as the Republican governor – as conquering heroes. But if these different events are signs of a new movement, then things will be clarified over time.

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