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Statement from the People’s Tribune
On September 24, the FBI raided seven houses and an office in Chicago and Minneapolis. The FBI handed subpoenas to testify before a federal grand jury to eleven anti-war and solidarity activists in Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. The FBI also attempted to intimidate activists in California and North Carolina. The FBI said it was seeking “evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism.” Within days of the raids, protests were held in some 30 cities in response. The People’s Tribune expresses its solidarity with the activists who were targeted by the FBI.
We should see these raids and the related grand jury investigation in the context of the times. The deepening economic crisis is a crisis of the capitalist system itself. The transformation of the economy represented by the electronic age is setting the stage for class struggle. A growing mass of workers who used to be stably employed are replaced by technology. They are losing everything and are pushed into the ranks of the destitute. Once loyal supporters of the system that buttered their bread, they will eventually be forced to fight for a new society that will guarantee them the necessities of life.
The needs of the people can no longer be met by a system based on private ownership of the means of production. Yet the capitalists’ economic interests demand that they maintain an economic system based on private property. The looming clash of class interests means the capitalists cannot allow any sort of democracy. For the capitalists and their corporations, the situation demands that they move the country toward fascism. FBI raids are nothing new. They happened in the ’20’s with the “Red Scare” and mass deportations. They happened in the ’30’s with the building of the Industrial Unions. They happened in the ’40’s and ’50’s with the anti-communist witch-hunts. The difference is that then the fascist political tendencies could not stabilize because there was no consolidated fascist economic foundation. There were still large sections of the capitalist class in opposition to consolidation of the government and corporate power. Today, all opposition, such as the small farm and independent manufacturing, has become part of the corporations and corporate domination of the government is complete. The ruling class knows that as the economy continues to deteriorate, there will eventually be a political upsurge by a broad section of the people and they are moving to contain it. Today, these raids signify the motion toward a stable fascist political take-over on a stable fascist economic foundation.
This situation creates both danger and opportunity. The danger is that a large section of the people will be won over to fascism. The opportunity is to give the people a vision of the new society that is possible through the wonders of automation-a society at peace and free of poverty and oppression. The task of revolutionaries is to make the people see that they are engaged in a fight for the political power to build that new society. We should sharpen our efforts to educate the people while there is still time.