Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Cops at the Capitol — Racist Mob in Our Ranks!

The labor movement must unite against fascists and police, who are enemies of the working class and oppressed. Below is a statement from SEIU Drop the Cops regarding the attack on the Capitol.

Left Voice

January 18, 2021
Facebook Twitter Share
Cop taking selfies with the right-wing mob at the Capitol.

The January 6th storming of the Capitol by a right-wing/white supremacist mob at the instigation of Donald Trump shocked the world and laid bare the social and political crisis in the United States. Rather than the result, specifically, of Trump and Trumpism, the events of the 6th were decades in the making, and the latest symptom of the past 40 years of bi-partisan neo-liberal attacks on workers, the poor, oppressed, and BIPOC. 

From Reagan’s attack on the air-traffic controllers union in 1981, Clinton’s ending of “welfare as we know it,” to the Biden/police collaboration on the 1994 crime bill, and Obama’s threat to use the National Guard on a Longshore Workers strike in 2012 — workers and BIPOC have been on the defensive to protect the social, economic, and political gains won in struggle. Meanwhile, the dominant political system serving the 1% continues its incessant attacks of progress made by social movements of the past 100 or more years which won the 8-hour work day, Social Security, womens’ right to vote, a powerful union movement, the end of Jim Crow laws, access to reproductive justice, gay marriage, and more. 

The 2020 Floyd protests awakened 16-24 million anti-racist fighters who made history by demanding a new world, one re imagined by limiting to totally abolishing police, who, for 300 years, have terrorized BIPOC communities, workers, and any and all movements fighting for a world based on justice, democracy, and equality. 

It is no surprise, given their shared dominant ideology of white supremacy and other retrograde views, that police collaborated with the right-wing mob on January 6th. We find no comfort, therefore, that the entire labor leadership endorsed Joe Biden, who, in the midst of the Floyd protests and the massive economic crisis borne by workers and BIPOC, has called for $300 million for the police, with self-described “Top Cop” Kamila Harris at his side and Obama gas-lighting the movement for demanding police defunding. 

Tech barons who control modern day social media communication have deplatformed Trump and some of his acolytes, but this points up the unchecked power of a handful of billionaires whose censorship has already been leveled against left-wing critics of today’s system. It’s a slippery slope. We believe that in order to challenge right-wing attacks and white-supremacist violence, the movement must out-mobilize right-wing forces by organizing workers and the millions of anti-racist fighters from this past summer. The future of our struggle resides in our own power, not the power of the 1%. 

SEIU Drop the Cops, born out of the inspiring Floyd mobilizations, demands that SEIU’s leadership turn away from organizing the purported 15,000 police in our union’s ranks. If the murder of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta by two SEIU/NAGE members was not enough, witness the massive mobilization of armed and violent police throughout the country against the largely peaceful anti-racist protesters this past summer. Witness the police in Kenosha, WI collaborating with white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse, who murdered two anti-racist protesters. Meanwhile, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry on November 7th told one of our siblings that her focus is on trying to get police to address racial injustice. “I’m not giving up on them,” she said. SEIUDtC wonders what happened to her statement this past June in which she said police in our ranks was a “which side are you on?” moment and that expelling police union from the labor movement “has to be considered.” Democratic participation among the rank and file must be central for this critical decision. 

In times of economic crisis, Democrats and Republicans alike have historically turned to austerity measures against working people to pay for trillion-dollar bail outs of the rich. And when working people fight back, police are deployed against our just strikes, like we witnessed during the 2020 SEIU/California Nurses Association strike against the Alameda Health System system for Covid-19 job safety and other demands. Police protected buses full of scabs. When our homes need to be safe havens against the pandemic, the looming eviction crisis will come at the barrel of police pistols. 

It’s clear to SEIU Drop the Cops and our like-minded siblings in the AFL-CIO that police have never been on the side of workers: every single action by organized labor since it’s inception has been opposed, often violently, by the police, who serve only to protect the private property of the rich, from the slaveocracy’s chattel, to the slumlord’s tenement. 

The police are enemies of the working class and not one more day should they remain in our ranks. We need reinvigorated unity among organized labor and oppressed groups in a politically independent mass movement to fight the rise of the white supremacy and fascism. 

Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

Labor Movement

Cargo ship crashing into a bridge in Baltimore on March 26, 2024.

Baltimore Bridge Collapse Reveals Unsafe Working Conditions for Immigrant Workers

Six Latine immigrant workers died in the March 26 bridge collapse in Baltimore. The accident exposed how capitalism perpetuates dangerous working conditions for many immigrants, and funds genocide over crumbling public infrastructure.

Julia Wallace

April 4, 2024

Self Organization and the Mexican Student Strike 

Left Voice member speaks about the massive 1999 Mexican student strike and the role of assemblies.

Jimena Vergara

March 30, 2024

“Our Big Push Was for Union Democracy and a Plan to Win”: An Interview with the Amazon Labour Union Democratic Reform Caucus

Two years after the historic victory at JFK8, Amazon workers voted in a referendum in their union. They want to hold new elections and revise the constitution, as part of a struggle to make ALU more democratic and militant. Left Voice spoke with two organizers to discuss the struggle in ALU.

Luigi Morris

March 20, 2024
A banner reads "Real Wages Or We Strike" at a rally for CUNY, which is experiencing cuts from Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul.

CUNY Faculty and Staff Have Gone One Year Without a Contract — It’s Time to Strike

CUNY workers have been without a new contract for a full year and the university has yet to make any economic offers. It's time to take action.

Olivia Wood

February 29, 2024


Thousands of Police Deployed to Shut Down Congress on Palestine in Berlin

This weekend, a Palestine Congress was supposed to take place in the German capital. But 2,500 police were mobilized and shut down the event before the first speech could be held. Multiple Jewish comrades were arrested.

Nathaniel Flakin

April 12, 2024

Liberal Towns in New Jersey Are Increasing Attacks on Pro-Palestine Activists

A group of neighbors in South Orange and Maplewood have become a reference point for pro-Palestine organizing in New Jersey suburbs. Now these liberal towns are upping repression against the local activists.

Samuel Karlin

April 12, 2024

“We Shouldn’t Let this Stop Us”: Suspended Columbia Student Activist Speaks Out

Aidan Parisi, a student at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, was recently suspended and has been threatened with eviction from their graduate student housing for pro-Palestinian activism on campus. Aidan talked to Left Voice about the state of repression, the movement at Columbia, and the path forward for uniting the student movement with the labor movement and other movements against oppression.

Left Voice

April 11, 2024

Fired by a German University for Solidarity with Palestine — Interview with Nancy Fraser

The University of Cologne canceled a guest professorship with the philosophy professor from The New School. In this interview, she speaks about Germany dividing between "Good Jews" and "Bad Jews," her politicization in the civil rights movement, and her time in an Israeli kibbutz.

Nathaniel Flakin

April 10, 2024