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Missak Melkonian: The mask is off: fascism is here

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To many, the headline of this article is sensationalist and offers no real analogy to the social and political developments of our times. To others, they experience cognitive dissonance upon confronting the fact that the United States, supposedly the land of freedom, liberty, and justice is a fascist nation predicated on genocidal violence since its inception in 1776. Make no mistake: fascism is alive and well in the so-called United States.

Just last night a correctional officer named Thomas Woodworth used his truck to ram through peaceful protestors outside the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls. Protesters were promptly pepper-sprayed immediately after. The action was part of a wider mobilization against the Trump regime’s policy of ethnic cleansing. The demonstration was led by Never Again Action (Jews taking direct action against ICE) in conjunction with a number of different local organizations such as AMOR, FANG, and Fuerza Laboral to name a couple.

Twitter has been in a storm since the incident occurred last night, with a video of the truck-ramming having over half-a-million views. Looking through the comments you could find people wondering why Mr Woodworth was not immediately arrested by the police, and arguing that he should be immediately be charged with attempted murder with a deadly weapon.

These calls for state intervention cannot continue. The correctional officers at the Wyatt are represented by the Fraternal Order of Police, the national police union. When has the FOP ever thrown one of its own under the bus? Does anyone seriously believe, especially in the post-Ferguson era, that the government at the local, state, and federal level will take action to ensure Mr Woodworth receives anything besides a slap on the wrist and perhaps a paid suspension (vacation)? One of the many pitfalls of liberalism is this view of the state as a neutral entity. We must rid ourselves of this naive view. The state has never been a neutral party acting in the interests of the masses. No, instead, the state is a massive repressive apparatus used to squash dissent, enforce white supremacy, and ensure capitalist exploitation of workers.

Not much needs to be said about the obvious correlation between the use of the fascist tactic of ramming protesters with vehicles, a trend started by a neo-Nazi during the white nationalist march in Charlottesville two years ago. There is no doubt that the violence perpetrated by the state last night in Central Falls came as a shock and surprise to many of the attendees or the Twitter masses. I am arguing that starting immediately, we no longer can be caught off-guard by this sort of wanton violence the state and it’s bootlickers can immediately produce without consequence. They’re taking their masks off and people aren’t prepared for this level of state violence because they’re still reliant on assumptions about the efficacy of moral suasion, liberal civil rights protections, and tactics of non-violent civil disobedience. It is completely irresponsible to believe that the state and self-deputized agents of white supremacy will be nonviolent with you! Appealing to an opponent’s conscious when they have none is futile. We must prepare our communities and movements to physically resist the terror of the state and the racist massacres that have become a routine part of daily life in America. Our social movements must be capable of thwarting this sort of violence if we want to actually change this miserable system. Do not kid yourself thinking the ruling class will allow this to happen through voting or moral suasion! A mass movement that is combative, militant, abolitionist, and anticapitalist with a directly-democratic character must be built! We must end fascism and racism by any means necessary!

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