THE eruption of a mass movement in over 100 US cities condemning the clearing of George Zimmerman for the murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin has shaken the Obama-led establishment. The brazen use of racist ‘stand your ground’ laws to allow the murder of a young black boy has infuriated millions.
The masses of protesters know that if Zimmerman was black and Martin white no number of ‘stand your ground’ laws would have been able to keep him from the electric chair or the lethal injection.
The scale of the movement has even forced Obama to remember his skin colour, and memories of occasions when he had been racially profiled and abused as a young man.
Demonstrators are now demanding that federal charges are brought against Zimmerman, 29, over the February 2012 murder of the 17-year-old.
There is no doubt that the masses of the people are determined not to allow this openly racist killing to restore the times when this was the standard way of dealing with uppity minorities.
Workers and youth will continue to rally and march, and even strike, since they know that they have the power to force Obama to take acton, despite the fact that his position of being in charge of the drone-led murder squads in Afghanistan and Pakistan have made him somewhat thick-skinned as far as murder is concerned.
What is happening in the United States is that as the capitalist crisis deepens, so are class tensions. Racists are becoming more agitated, there are major strikes taking place to defend jobs and fight wage cuts all over the US, and large numbers of young people are getting organised and joining trade unions to fight for a job and a living wage.
In fact, the US crossed its rubicon when the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy, a disaster that will be followed by scores of other cities as the crisis deepens.
In Detroit, already 70,000 people have lost their homes, over a million people have left the city, and those that remain stand to lose their jobs, their pensions and their rights as the full consequences of the 2008 sub-prime mortage crisis and the banking collapse it touched off on a world scale works itself out.
All over the US workers are on the march to defend their jobs, wages, pensions and their basic rights.
They know that Obama has already sold them out, and that he is in fast retreat even over his meagre healthcare reforms, after having agreed multi-billion dollar cuts in Medicare and Medicaid.
Obama is now presiding over the Quantitative Easing programme that is adding to the indebtedness of the US through printing $85bn a month.
This is being pocketed by the big banks, while the great US cities go bust and millions lose their homes. There is not even a glimmer of a better life for US workers.
Even the bourgeois authorities admit that the new jobs that they say have been created are all either part-time or low-paid as the bosses take advantage of the crisis.
Now Bernanke and co, who said that they would begin the ending of Quantitative Easing this September, are verbally trying to deny this prospect after a shares collapse greeted their last pronouncements on the issue.
Workers can see that the Obama second term is if anything worse than his first, and that his priority is securing the US capitalists, something that can only be done at the expense of the working class.
They know that he has presided over mass murders abroad while making them pay for the crisis at home, to prop up the banks and the bosses.
They know that he had to be forced to speak about the Trayvon Martin murder after seeking to keep quiet over the issue, and they now know that just changing presidents doesn’t change the US, and that the Republicans and the Democrats are the twin parties of the US ruling class.
What is required now is that the US trade unions break with the Democrats and set up a Labor Party that will organise the US workers and youth to fight for a socialist USA.
Central to this struggle must be the organisation of workers councils made up of local unions, and community and youth organisations to take over the running of bankrupt cities like Detroit, repudiating their debts to the state-sponsored banks, and refusing to accept all job cuts, wage cuts, pensions cuts and mass sackings.
Industries that the banks seek to close must be occupied and kept open, with no job losses, and put under workers control.
The trade unions must be prepared to call a general strike to halt the non-stop attacks that are taking place on workers and the poor.
A section of the International Committee of the Fourth International must be built in the US now, to guide the struggle for socialism forward. The crisis of US capitalism is destroying the US, its future lies in socialism.