ON WEDNESDAY afternoon thousands of US president Donald Trump supporters rallied in Washington before storming the US Congress to put a stop to the official affirmation of Joe Biden as the next president of the USA.
They were spurred on by a speech from Trump in which he urged the mob to march from the White House to the Capitol to ‘save our democracy’ by preventing Biden from being confirmed as president.
Having whipped up the frenzy of the mob, and despite his promise to march with them, Trump immediately rushed back to the White House to follow his coup attempt on TV.
When they arrived at the gates of the Capitol building, where the US Congress meets, instead of a ring of steel they were confronted by a token police guard.
Unable to believe their luck, hundreds of these pro-Trump right wingers forced their way in to the seat of the US government and proceeded to wander the building aimlessly for several hours not knowing what to do next.
Senators and members of Congress, meanwhile, locked themselves in rooms and hid. What was striking was the ease with which they were able to storm the citadel of US ‘democracy’. In fact, they were practically invited in!
For months, Trump has been promising to carry out a coup and his preparations for Wednesday’s failed attempt were known by everyone.
The fact that this mob of extreme right wingers were allowed to storm and take over the seat of the US government with ease demonstrates conclusively that for the American ruling class this mob is not the enemy or threat to the capitalist state but rather potential lumpen foot soldiers to be used against the real enemy – the US working class.
Contrast this friendly treatment towards them with the brutal treatment meted out to peaceful Black Lives Matter protests last year.
The thousands of people who marched to protest at police brutality were met with rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition from police and national guards mobilised to drive them from the streets.
They were denounced as ‘thugs’, anarchists and anti-fascists who threatened American ‘democracy’ while Wednesday’s mob were hailed as ‘patriots’ by Trump.
As for the Democratic president-elect Joe Biden, his reaction to the coup attempt was to call on Trump to urge his followers to go home peacefully. No demand for Trump to be thrown out immediately; instead, an appeal for reconciliation with the very forces that tried to overthrow him.
Biden is content to leave Trump with all his presidential powers until January 20th during which time he is free to declare war on anyone, or any country, and wreak as much carnage as he likes.
Trump’s coup may have failed as it fizzled out with its great leader hiding in the White House but what is clear is that it is up to the organised American working class to deal with Trump and the political crisis that is tearing American capitalism apart.
When Trump made clear his intention to overthrow the result of the election last year Richard Trumka, president of the American trade union AFL-CIO federation (the US equivalent of the TUC), issued a statement that the unions would take action if Trump refused to leave office.
This was taken up by union federations across America who stated they were ready to call a general strike to force Trump out. Immediately following Wednesday’s failed coup Trumka issued another statement denouncing Trump’s attempted coup and concluding: ‘The labour movement will not stand for it. Not today. Not ever.’
Workers must demand that the unions make good on Trumka’s words by the trade unions organising strikes across America to force Trump out now, not leave him in power for nearly two weeks.
Workers must force the trade union leadership to break with the bourgeois Democratic Party and go forward immediately to build an independent US Labour Party to fight for the interests of the working class with a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International playing a decisive role in this party in the struggle to smash the US capitalist state and advance to a Socialist United States of America.