Gantry 5


United States: the protest movement is maintained and strengthened

Two months after the death by asphyxiation of George Floyd, the protest movement does not weaken and is rebounding strongly. In Portland, federal police took to the streets to quell protesters. Dockworkers or bus drivers went on strike in solidarity.

Trump seeks, in vain, to break the movement and only rekindles anger; all over the country in Los Angeles, Seattle, Richmond...the demonstrations are massive, riots have resumed, barricades are rising where demonstrators clash with the police using rubber bullets and tear gas. Trump threatens that other cities would also come under federal intervention with the deployment of 75,000 federal police officers in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland and Albuquerque…
The demonstrators, their demands, do not only contest the role of the police, they are much broader. The crisis is deeper and the Trump administration expects an outbreak of social protests. He is preparing a massive repression. He has declared himself president of "restored order", threatening to invoke the 1807 insurgency law so as to label those protesting against police violence as "domestic terrorists."
Our media are silent on the situation. The United States is a social and political powder keg. The pandemic has exposed the dysfunctions in American capitalist society and its political institutions with all their consequences.
The relentless pursuit of profit and wealth created the conditions for revolt.
But even as the virus spreads and the death toll rises, the Trump administration is insisting that workers stay or return to work and that schools reopen, regardless of the consequences for teachers and students.
*Every day more than 1,100 deaths from covid 19. In Texas, Florida, California, Arizona and other states, hospitals are overwhelmed.
Private insurance companies dictate the terms. Care and drugs are so expensive that health spending is higher than in any other rich country; the pandemic puts a tragic spotlight on inequalities and the consequences of the lack of a collective health system.
* More than 27 million Americans still have no health insurance, i.e.8.5% of the population.
* The people most at risk have suffered the full brunt of the government's willful inaction and this shows the fragility of the US health system subjected to capital’s demands.
* The US economy dropped by 32.9% in the second quarter. The economic crisis is hitting and weakening the most precarious people who are at the forefront of recession and mass unemployment.
* The unemployment figures for June surprised the economists: the unemployment rate had "fallen" to 11.1% in June, against 13.3% in May but remains well above the 3.5% at the start of 'year. Donald Trump welcomed the figures, even organizing an impromptu press conference. "Our economy is starting to roar again," he said. “We're going to have a great third quarter. The good thing is these numbers are going to come out right before the election, so people will be able to see them! "
* The layoffs recorded in the spring were so massive that the 4.8 million job gain in June still leaves millions of Americans without work. A total of 17.8 million people were unemployed in June, 12 million more than in February. Economists estimate that the real unemployment rate will be above 16%.
* The moratorium on evictions has expired, threatening millions of people. 23 million American families, behind on rent payments due to the pandemic, face eviction from their homes by the end of September; evictions could take place in nearly 30% of rental housing in the country. In West Virginia, nearly 60% of tenants are at risk of eviction.
* Millions of families will fall into poverty, homelessness and starvation. For the unemployed, August marks the end of a crucial aid of $ 600 a week, implemented in April, as part of the US stimulus package. “This could result in a substantial loss of income for some 30 million Americans,” said economist Ernie Tedeschi. According to his calculations, this measure could lead to a fall of 30 to 50% of the incomes of millions of unemployed.
* Thousands of workers who have been on short-time working since the spring are now facing a dilemma. Called back in recent days by their employer, they are reluctant to return to work for fear of being infected. If they refuse: "they risk losing their unemployment benefits," recalls the California daily. “People have to choose between their pay and their health,” summarized health policy expert Laura Stock, interviewed by the Los Angeles Times.
* An estimated 16 million American workers have lost employer-provided health insurance.
* While the coronavirus crisis has dealt a blow to the global economy, it is benefiting a few. Between March 18 and May 19, 2020, the net worth of America's 600 richest people increased by $ 434 billion. This represents 398 billion euros, and a jump of 15% in just two months. The net worth of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos rose 30.6% during the Covid-19 pandemic, now reaching $ 147.6 billion (just below the GDP of Hungary), he is the biggest beneficiary of the crisis.
The top five American billionaires, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison, alone have earned $ 75.5 billion (69.3 billion euros).
“While millions of people risk their lives and livelihoods as front-line workers, these billionaires benefit from an economy and a tax system that is hardwired to funnel wealth to the top,” said Chuck Collins, director of the inequality program at the Institute for Policy Studies.
The billionaires have taken advantage of the crisis to make enormous profits, while the great mass of the population is faced with an absolutely desperate situation.
Class antagonisms come to light in the capitalist system.
A hundred days from the presidential elections, Trump is struggling to rally around himself; defections follow one another, such as Colin Powell’s, former secretary of state and army chief of staff, Republican, who supports the Democratic candidate. But in Congress, Democrats and Republicans easily agreed in March on a plan worth more than $ 2,000 billion, the equivalent of 10% of US GDP, to bail out the capitalist economy but nothing on financial support necessary for households. Republican or Democrat, they are at the service of capital.
Capitalism dominates the world. The result is striking, the situation is the same in all the countries. The imperialist powers, be they US or European, intend to maintain their domination over the peoples to continue the capitalist system of exploitation.
Workers and young people, the peoples, have every reason to lead the fight against this system.
Our party stands in solidarity with this struggle of the American people, a bearer of the demand for a new world.