Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

The U.S. Working Class Must Organize against the Reactionary War in Ukraine!

When we attended Labor Notes last summer we called on the growing labor movement to organize against the war in Ukraine. As the war continues to escalate, we reissue our call for the working class and labor activists to intervene against this reactionary war.

Left Voice

January 20, 2023
Facebook Twitter Share

It’s been nearly one year since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, starting a war that has brought death and destruction and displaced millions. NATO powers, especially the United States, have used the invasion to justify their proxy war to militarily weaken Russia. NATO’s interests are not with Ukrainian workers. NATO seeks to advance Western capital in Eastern Europe and pursue historic rearmament. Meanwhile, Putin’s invasion violently pits Russian workers against Ukrainian workers in an attempt to reestablish Russia as an imperialist power. This escalating war is plunging workers around the world into a future of uncertainty, poverty, and carnage. We are now facing the greatest risk of nuclear war in years.

Against U.S. and NATO, against Putin, against the Zelenksyy regime, and for the international working class, labor must oppose this reactionary war.

This Is No War for Democracy

Joe Biden has built support for rearmament of NATO and U.S. imperialism by framing this proxy war as one of democracy vs. autocracy. While the Russian government is indeed autocratic and reactionary, the Ukrainian government is no better, itself going so far as to ban opposition parties, ruthlessly crack down on labor rights, and stoke anti-Russian hatred. The U.S. government doesn’t care about freedom or democracy in Ukraine or anywhere else.

Right now in the United States, women and trans people are facing the most vigorous anti-democratic attacks in years, their basic bodily autonomy and human rights under threat. Throughout history, the U.S. government has used its police and military to infiltrate, attack, and suppress social and labor movements — from militant labor strikes to movements of the Black freedom struggle. Militarism abroad goes hand in hand with repression at home.

As the most powerful country in the world, the United States has one goal only: to maintain itself at the head of the international world order so that it can guarantee the best conditions for its capitalists.

An Attack on Workers of the World

The Russian invasion is clearly an attack on the people of Ukraine, and workers and the oppressed in Russia, Ukraine, and across the world face the worst burden. This is why we stand against Putin’s invasion and with the Russian people who are protesting this reactionary war. But the blood is not solely on Russia’s hands. NATO expansion over decades has escalated the capitalist competition to the point of war.

The U.S. and EU sanctions are punishing the Russian working class for a war it does not control. Meanwhile, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is fueling an economic crisis around the world. As this war continues, the working class in the Global South faces hunger and famine while workers here in the U.S. face ever-increasing costs of living. We are being told to sacrifice — by tightening our belts — while Biden and co. spend billions on war!

How Can Workers End the War?

Just as solidarity is key to fighting the boss and improving our lives here, solidarity must extend beyond any arbitrary borders. U.S. bosses collaborate among themselves to keep unions weak, and capitalist interests — the billionaire class — do the same thing on the world scale: collaborating to drive down wages, keep workers atomized, and ensure stable, pro-business governments.

The war is the latest chapter in which capitalist powers fight over control and influence of the world’s territories, spelling only misery for workers around the world. But our fight is not against the workers and oppressed in Russia or Ukraine — it is against the system that exploits us. Putin, Zelenskyy, and the U.S. government, none of whom care the slightest bit about working people, do not deserve our support.

Generation U — for union — must organize not only for workers in the U.S. but also against reactionary war and U.S. imperialism. A decade or more ago, the AFL-CIO, as well as independent unions like the dockworkers of the ILWU, passed resolutions against the hated U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Workers joined mass anti-war protests and, in some cases, even took anti-war workplace action — like the ILWU’s port shutdown on May Day 2009.

Today, activists of Generation U must build on the radical anti-war traditions of our movement: challenging union support for NATO, opposing U.S. arming of Ukraine, and extending a hand of solidarity to working people everywhere. Ultimately, workers in the United States could join with our union siblings in Belarus, Greece, and elsewhere who refused to handle Russian and NATO arms.

We demand Russian troops out of Ukraine, U.S. troops out of Europe, an end to NATO, no sanctions, and not one more penny to the military or police.

The working class in the U.S. must stand up against our imperialist government, which oppresses our class siblings in Palestine, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Iran, Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, and the rest of the world. The pandemic showed us that it is us workers who make the world run. As workers in the heart of the imperialist beast, we must use all our strength to fight to end this reactionary war and ring the death knell for U.S. imperialism.

Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

Ideas & Debates

#AllthatsLeftPod: Three Years Since the George Floyd Uprising:

In this episode of the podcast, we reflect on the 2020 George Floyd uprising, which began three years ago. We discuss how to turn the energy of a mass uprising into a sustained movement, and the kind of revolutionary leadership that's required to do so.

Left Voice

May 25, 2023

Fight Capitalism, Fight for Neurodivergent Liberation

Neurodivergent and disability liberation will have to come from the overthrow of capitalism and the building of a socialist system which values different forms of human behavior and directs resources to meeting human needs.

Sam Carliner

May 23, 2023

Eleven Shades of Skepticism and Electoralism: A Debate On the French Left and the Uprising

Our French comrades and members of our sister site and organization Révolution Permanente respond to a debate published in Contretemps and translated to English and published in Jacobin.

Juan Chingo

May 10, 2023

#AllThatsLeftPod: UPS Workers Prepare for a Strike

In this episode of the podcast, we discuss the contract fight at UPS, and what's at stake for the Teamsters and the labor movement.

Left Voice

May 2, 2023


Image by the Economist, Satoshi Kimbayashi

The Debt Ceiling Agreement is an Attack on the Working Class and on the Planet

Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy’s deal to raise the debt ceiling is a handout to the military industrial complex and an attack on the working class and the planet. Rather than just raising the debt ceiling, a relatively standard practice that allows the U.S. to pay the bills for spending that already happened, this debt ceiling deal caps discretionary spending on everything but “defense” and fast-tracks the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Image in The Stand

SCOTUS v. Labor Movement: The Court Rules Against Workers

The Supreme Court issued a ruling which aims to weaken strikes. It is no coincidence that this comes at a time when unions have massive support among the general population. The labor movement must fight back against the state's attacks on our collective power.

Luigi Morris

June 3, 2023

This Pride Month, There is Hope In Fighting Back. Pride is in the Streets.

Pride is in the streets. It is the history of our community, it is the history of our struggle. Let us do them honor.

Ezra Brain

June 2, 2023
A rainbow display at the supermarket Target during Pride Month 2022.

Target Doesn’t Care about LGBTQ+ People

At Target and Anheuser-Busch, policies of inclusion and diversity have clashed with profit ambitions.

Pablo Herón

June 2, 2023