Babies in America go hungry while 442 billionaires wallow in wealth. A powerful movement for food, housing, water and other necessities is arising. Everywhere, the people are coming into conflict with a murderous police state that stands in the way of the movement achieving its demands.
Michigan is an example. Here, the once stable working class cities are shattered by automation and globalization. As the people struggle for their needs, thepolice, the watchdogs of the private property of the billionaires—who are the owners of the corporations that have taken over the government and our nation—rear their head.
In Detroit, running water for thousands of families too poor to pay the skyrocketing price is shut off. Water, this basic human need, is step by step being privatized so the corporations can profit. When the community protested at the gate of the private company the city hired (to the tune of over $5 million) to turn off the water, demonstrators were roughed up and jailed.
In Benton Harbor, where 42.5% of the population live in poverty, an uncompromising leader of the people, Reverend Edward Pinkney was imprisoned for up to ten years on phony charges. His crime was standing up for the poorest workers against Whirlpool, the giant corporation that rules the area.
Michigan also shows how the rulers utilize the “race” card to try to stop the people from coming together in a common struggle. Their tactic is to attack Black-majority cities first, painting them as incompetent to run their own affairs. Then they impose dictatorial emergency managers on them. These unelected officials, operating in the service of the bankers and corporate owners, usher in the attacks on necessities such as water and pave the way for privatization of all of a city’s public assets.
The largely Black cities are the starting point for the dismantling of democracy, but the real target is the whole working class and the whole of society. Already the emergency manager system has reached 17 municipalities and school districts in Michigan. Now, this model is appearing in other states, too.
Today, the economy is destroying the lives of so many workers it is possible to forge a new kind of unity. Working class unity in the fight for our necessities and for a new cooperative society where everyone’s needs are met, and where the police state is a thing of the past, is the only force that can save humanity.
We must take the battles for our lives out to all of the towns and cities where the new poverty makes our practical economic class interests identical, regardless of color. This is part of the struggle for the power necessary to build a new society run by and for the people.