Editor’s note: Thank you to the many photographers who contributed photos for this page. We hope the images give our readers a sense of the vision of a new America that is emerging. We regret that we were unable to use all of the photos we received.
On January 21, millions of women, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, families with men pushing babies in strollers, and young people, turned out to protest in cities across America and the world. By one estimate, over 5 million marched worldwide, including more than 1 million in Washington, D.C. They marched for women’s rights, against poverty and hate, and for unity, equality, democracy, the environment and peace. They marched for everyone’s rights.
Underneath all of it—underneath the elections and the polarization of our society—are huge historical forces that are throwing the whole of humanity into crisis. Globalization and technological change are wiping out the jobs and driving down wages worldwide. In the age of robotic production, a tiny billionaire class—at the moment led by Trump— is fighting to dominate and maximize profits in a shrinking world market. Production without human labor is creating an obscene wealth alongside of growing poverty among workers of all colors and nationalities, including those who had previously been economically secure.
This is not the poverty of the past. Automated production is destroying the jobs. Those whose lives are being destroyed include the marginally employed and permanently unemployed; it includes those of us who are just getting by, and people who are already homeless and destitute.
The existing system based on buying and selling of our ability to work is dying. The people have no choice but to fight for a whole new society, where the means of producing our necessities of life—food, housing, healthcare, etc., —are publicly owned, and what we need to live is distributed according to need—a society where the government serves us, and not a tiny class of billionaires.
The billionaires, on the other hand, need an increasingly repressive society where the democracy that we once knew is replaced by dictatorship. Sections of workers are now being targeted. This is the rulers’ entry into imposing a dictatorship on us all, if not stopped, and many people can see this.
The first step in the creation of a new world is for all of us to unite around the demands of the poorest among us. Why? Because to survive, those with the least are forced to fight for everyone’s necessities and human dignity. The struggle is against a corporate-controlled system that is the real enemy of us all. We are not in a fight to reform a dying system. We are fighting to get the power to build a whole new world.