Protesters in New York City have shown how to effectively combat Trumpism: on the streets, argues Jamal Elaheebocus
Anti-fascist protesters marched in New York City on Sunday in a protest organised by United Against Racism and Fascism.
The march was organised to counter a far-right march which was organised by Proud Boys and other far-right groups for Sunday. However, the mobilisation of anti-fascists and anti-racists in New York meant that the organisers of the far-right march cancelled theirs.
There were lines of protesters with riot shields and helmets on to protect themselves from violence from far-right protestors or the police. People held Black Lives Matter flags, signs saying “Trump/Pence Out Now” and “Disarm, Defund, Abolish NYPD”. One protestor was also spotted in a mock police uniform with a pig’s head on, asking other police if they were members of the Proud Boys.
The protest comes after clashes in San Diego where about 100 Trump supporters had gathered on a pro-Trump march in Pacific Beach, with antifascist protesters arriving to counter-protest.
Police were seen firing pepper ball rounds into the anti-fascist crowd, in contrast to their behaviour towards the Trump supporters, who they allowed to march again in the evening after they dispersed the counter-protest.
There was a stark difference between the police presence and the police’s treatment of protesters at anti-fascist demonstrations in New York and San Diego compared to the Capitol Hill riots, where the few police officers there were seen opening the gates to rioters and taking selfies with them when they broke into the Capitol Building.
At the same time as anti-fascists and leftists take to the streets to oppose the far-right, Democrats in Congress are attempting to cut short Trump’s final days in office.
Democrat lawmakers are bringing a resolution asking Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment, declaring Trump unfit for office, and remove him for the last week and a half of his presidency. They have also filed articles of impeachment which will be debated on Wednesday.
But Trumpism can’t be legislated away. The life that Trump has breathed into the far right can only be thwarted by mobilisation of the left. The New York protest is a good example of this, but the left has to be at the forefront of making this happen on a much bigger scale and across the country.
The politics of corporate, centrist Democrats and the failure of their policies to address the needs of working class people has given space to the far-right, which was utilised by Trump after the disappointment felt by so many after the Obama administration.
Therefore it is vital that the left, independent of the Democrats, is present on the streets, as it was over the weekend, to counter the far-right demonstrations and make clear that a different way is possible. This will be especially important under the Biden administration, which will undoubtedly lead to further polarisation and the danger of a resurging far right.
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