January 6, 2021 at 10:35 p.m. PST
Labor and Community for an Independent Party (LCIP) condemns the January 6, 2021 actions of right-wing, confederate-flag-waving protestors who demonstrated and violently entered the Capitol as a response to POTUS Donald Trump’s call to “take back the country.” While the U.S. Congress met to certify the Electoral College votes in the recent presidential election, the protestors stormed the Capitol, broke windows, and forcibly entered the building in an effort to occupy the Capitol. Never before in U.S. history, until today – not even during the Civil War – has the confederate flag, a symbol of White Supremacy, racism, and slavery, been paraded through the U.S. Capitol as it was today.
The actions of these protestors were an attempted coup encouraged by POTUS and enabled by some Capitol police, who, in an extreme contrast to how peaceful Black, immigrant, labor and other progressive protesters are usually treated, allowed these armed and violent protestors to enter the Capitol grounds. If they had been people of color, they would not have been allowed to breach the barriers; they would have been shot on the spot.
However, irrespective of what the Democratic Party pundits are saying, today’s events are a crisis within the capitalist ruling class and the U.S. two-party system – not a crisis of democracy. The Electoral College is one of the most undemocratic institutions in this country, a holdover of the deals struck at the Continental Convention in the early days of the Republic. Without in any way supporting the Electoral College or the two-party system, LCIP denounces those who stormed the Capitol today and tried to subvert the basic right to vote.
The right-wing riots in Washington, D.C. took place at a time when the U.S. Congress was meeting to certify the votes of the Electoral College, a standard process in U.S. presidential elections. However, in 2016, Donald Trump lost the election to his opponent by more than 3 million popular votes, and his opponent, Hillary Clinton, also won the popular vote 48% to 46%. Clearly, the popular (mass) vote favored Donald Trump’s opponent, but Donald Trump received 307 EVs (electoral votes) and Hillary Clinton received 227 EVs – and the electoral vote determines the winner in U.S. presidential elections. In 2016, Congress met, as usual and without interruption, to certify the Electoral College votes. In a supposedly “democratic” election in 2016, we had the Electoral College, yet again, deciding the presidency and not the masses of U.S. voters!
LCIP calls for the building of an independent working-class party rooted in the trade unions and oppressed communities. It has taken a clear stand against voter suppression in the U.S. and against all attempts to “find” votes or rig elections! LCIP supports the calls by trade unions and other working-class organizations nationwide to organize peaceful mass actions, including strikes, to defend the hard-won right to vote in opposition to continued attempts to disavow the popular votes cast in the recent presidential elections. Consistent with this stance, LCIP calls for peaceful mass protests everywhere in opposition to any attempted coup and to protect the votes cast by the masses of U.S. voters, counted multiple times, and certified by each state’s election commission.
Independent, mass working-class action is needed now more than ever in order to push back against new outbreaks of reactionary violence against the right to vote. All those responsible for today’s fascist aggression must be held accountable, and this includes Donald Trump.