Defend the Leaders of Our Class, Fight for a Vision of a New World
Trumped up charges of “vote fraud” against Reverend Edward Pinkney, a long-time resident and anti-corporate activist in Benton Harbor, and community leader James Cornelius, show that this country is crossing a nodal line. We are no longer able to challenge our own elected officials without fear of being arrested or imprisoned.
The movement in Benton Harbor has been fighting the fascist Emergency Manager law and its corporate allied officials for years. The latest “vote fraud” charges are for leading an effort to recall Benton Harbor’s mayor, a puppet for the Whirlpool Corporation which is based there.
The Emergency Manager law in Michigan is emerging as the center of the fascist assault sweeping the nation. It is a harbinger of the future of America if people do not act. Reverend Pinkney has become the face of resistance – resistance to the notion that the working class has no rights that the corporations are bound to respect.
The Emergency Manager law dispatches unelected “managers” to designated cities and school districts and issues edicts that fast track the sale of precious public assets to bondholders, banks or other corporate interests, privatize public services, dismantle collective bargaining agreements and more. They are empowered to even dissolve municipalities and school districts, all the while replacing local elected officials. Under the Emergency Manager law even the limited democracy we have had is forced to give way to the dictatorship of the corporations.
The attack on the movement and its leaders in Benton Harbor – those fighting for justice against the corporations – is not an isolated case. What is happening in Benton Harbor, and the Rust Belt in general, is part of a larger process that is taking place in America today. The fascism we are facing is the result of the changes that are taking place in the economy and the inability of the rulers to provide for the people.
That the rulers are resorting to naked violence and repression everywhere – from Michigan to the Moral Monday movements to the police attack on the undocumented and the homeless and others – is not a sign of their strength. It is a sign of their weakness. Advanced technology means that they no longer need the labor of millions of us. The ruling class has nothing to offer the people – no jobs, no safety net, no future. All they can do is attack. Their purpose is to prevent the workers from uniting around their common cause.
The rulers and the revolutionaries understand that the new technology makes possible an entirely new society, even as it destroys the old. A powerful movement is arising to challenge the fascist attacks and repression taking place around the country. This movement is striving for a new society, one where true democracy, equality and the welfare of all are the guiding principles. When we defend the leaders of our class we defend that movement, that vision, and we take another step toward building the forces that will one day make that vision a reality.
Donations to help with the defense can be sent to Banco, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, 49022 or make donations at bhbanco.org.
For more analysis, read these Rally,Comrades! articles.
“Detroit: One Year a Slave”, March/April 2014
“Detroit: City on the Edge of Forever”, September/October 2014
“Michigan: Race and the Drive to Dismantle Democracy”, March/April 2013
“Benton Harbor, Michigan: Ground Zero for the Future”, May/June 2012
“Michigan: Front Line in the Fight for Democracy”, June/July 2011
The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011