THE WORKING class internationally has risen up in anger over the police murder of George Floyd in the US. The burning issue over police killings and the Black Lives Matter movement has rapidly spread around the United States and around the globe. In Australia yesterday, the capitalist government declared this weekend’s Black Lives Matter protest illegal, threatening fines and arrests. They see it rightly as a threat to Australian capitalism.
Defence of the Black Lives Matter movement has gripped the masses because they know that the bosses have a complete disregard for the lives of all workers, whatever their colour or religion, and that an injury to one is an injury to all. All the bosses are concerned about is making profits while their repressive state murder machines maintain order.
In the US, the billionaire President Trump has created the situation where 110,000 have died of coronavirus, and 40 million workers have been sacked and pauperised. In the UK, Tory PM Johnson has created the situation where over 50,000 have died from the virus, while companies like BA have sacked 42,000 and are dictating the terms for reemploying 30,000 at cut rates. No workers’ lives matter as far as the capitalists are concerned.
Next week, is the third anniversary of the horrific Grenfell Tower fire, where 72 men, women and children were burnt to death. There are still hundreds, if not thousands, of buildings still wrapped in flammable cladding, with residents living in fire deathtraps. Making these buildings safe would cut profits!
As far as capitalism is concerned, workers’ lives only matter when the bosses are making their profits out of them, otherwise they are scrapped, and become the object of police attacks.
Trump is so desperate to reopen the US economy he is forcing US workers back into crowded factories where infection is rife. In the last few weeks, there have been mass strikes of American Amazon workers after hundreds of corona infections were found in their warehouses. Strikes have spread across the US of McDonald’s workers denied adequate protection.
The US working class has been brought into direct conflict with Trump and American capitalism. The killing of George Floyd has been the catalyst for an eruption of revolutionary anger against the entire capitalist sytem by workers of all colours and nationalities worldwide.
Here in Britain, 1,741 people have died in police custody since 1990, Rashan Charles, Jean Charles De Menezes, Harry Stanley, Azelle Rodney, Sean Rigg, Smiley Culture, Roger Sylvester and Mark Duggan to name but a few.
Tory PM Johnson’s actions have ensured that after the US, Britain now has the highest deaths from the coronavirus crisis in the entire world.
Johnson is now determined to reopen schools in order to force the parents back to work. This is despite angry warnings from teachers that it is unsafe to do so. Everyone knows that the Tory government are putting the capitalist economy and its profits before people’s safety and that they are willing to put all workers into danger so that UK capitalism can start making profits again. They only care about profits!
Yesterday, it came to light that an exercise carried out in Scotland, in March 2018, simulated an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (Mers-CoV). It was carried out to assess NHS Scotland’s readiness to respond to an outbreak. The drill, dubbed ‘Exercise Iris’, was held at a hotel in Stirling.
It found that NHS Scotland was totally unprepared for such an outbreak as there was nowhere near enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like gloves, gowns and face masks to keep staff safe. A similar exercise in 2016, codenamed Cygnus, tested the NHS ability as a whole to handle a viral outbreak across the entire country.
The Tories have been attempting to keep the results of these exercises a secret. However, leaks show that these concluded that the NHS would collapse under the strain. The Tories proceeded to hack and slash at the NHS, closing A&Es, maternity units, children’s wards and entire hospitals across the length and breadth of the country, with deadly consequences.
This is why the working class supports the black workers who are under attack by murderous US police. In defending them, they are defending themselves.
This is why the working class is as one in its determination that Black Lives Matter. There is only one way forward. The workers of the UK and the US must unite to bring down the Trump and Johnson regimes and go forward to socialism.