ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN ROL, USA NEWSLETTER
#107 & #108 MARCH-APRIL AND MAY-JUNE, 2018
A MAY DAY 2018 Greeting and Salute
to the High School Youth Protesting Violence in Public Schools and Communities Across the USA
— from RAY LIGHT and CINDY SHEEHAN —
We are encouraged that tens of thousands of high school youth left their schools and took to the streets to protest the fact that, even in school, our youth, holding the future of our country in their hands, are not safe from an epidemic of violence that is sweeping across the USA. The youth are finally beginning to get the message, the wisdom, that Martin Luther King, Jr. had come to realize and courageously shared in the year before his assassination fifty years ago: “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government.” (MLK Speech at Riverside Church, April 4, 1967)
Many thousands of Afro-American youth, Latinos and other youth of color and many white youth had already realized that their lives are not being sufficiently protected, defended, nurtured and cherished by the current adults among the 99% who make U.S. society run. But, seduced by the phony democratic rhetoric of slick and demagogic and lying (mostly Democratic Party) politicians, almost all the youth bought the idea that the U.S. monopoly capitalist system was the best political-economic system possible and that somehow they as individuals would get through OK. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, this big lie even infected the Afro-American and Latino youth, with their mass incarceration and dead-end jobs and with the epidemic of internal community violence as well as police occupation violence.
On Valentine’s Day this year, a 19 year-old murdered 17 students and school personnel at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. It was just the latest in the epidemic of mass school shootings in the USA in recent years. This Valentine’s Day Massacre showed the real murderous heart of this country and it was a heartbreaking discovery for many!
In 2016 Parkland, FL, a city of 31 thousand, had been voted “Florida’s safest city.” It was a privileged city with a privileged youth. And yet – it “could happen here!” Indeed, after six decades of U.S. imperialist global hegemony and the creation of “an Evil Empire,” it is only “natural” that the USA would be the most violent country on earth. In the tragedy’s aftermath, Parkland, Florida’s high school students recognized that the powers that be in the USA do not care about them. Even more disturbing, they recognized that their parents and adult family members and community leaders were too compromised to really fight the powers that be, even in defense of their own children!
For, after President Trump bragged in his campaign that he could shoot someone down in cold blood and still be elected, becoming a cheerleader for the epidemic of violence as well as for stirring chauvinist ethnic enmity, he had indeed been elected by these adults. So, too, the “Republicrats,” the Democrats and Republicans elected to the U.S. Congress, clearly showed their unwillingness to stand up to the National Rifle Association, the NRA, and the gun manufacturers
behind them. And they refused to resist the massive bribery and corruption associated with the military-industrial complex and its interconnection with imperialist war abroad and the militarization of U.S. society at home.
Now, in the aftermath of Parkland’s tragedy, many high school youth of the USA have expressed some initial “independence” from the two corporate political parties that represent the Wall Street ruling class and its global U.S. Empire and this includes the Trump Empire too. While this is extremely positive, in reality, it is only a small step politically.
It is noteworthy that, after Republican George W. Bush unleashed the U.S. war of terror on the world in the name of avenging the Twin Towers, it was the Democratic Barack Obama Regime that retained Bush’s Secretary of Defense and continued Bush’s terror war. Obama/Clinton carried out the barbaric overthrow of the Gadafi Regime in Libya, the first major U.S. military incursion against the peoples of the African continent. Yet, many of the youth now designated as “leaders” of this spontaneous upsurge are spouting the Democratic Party line, trying to channel all this justified outrage into the dead-end street of voting for Democrats in the Fall.
A tremendous mobilization of Afro-American youth in the Black Lives Matter Movement rose up all over the USA after the unprovoked murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida and then the powerful emergence of the Ferguson, Missouri movement following the police murder of Michael Brown. And the Black Lives Matter Movement certainly laid the basis for the massive protest of high school youth of all ethnicities following the Valentine’s Day Massacre in Parkland, FL. But the Black Lives Matter Movement never linked up with the oppressed peoples of the rest of the world against the U.S. government’s imperialist wars on the peoples of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. It never took to heart Martin Luther King’s wisdom and courage in opposition to the U.S. war in Vietnam: “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government.”
So, Afro-American youth, living in desperate conditions and with meager prospects for the future continued to join the U.S. military, the international force that is policing, occupying and oppressing the peoples of color all over the rest of the world. And, where hired, they continued to join the local police forces directly oppressing/occupying their own communities, police departments oftentimes armed with military weapons given outright to them by the bloated U.S. military that has so much money that it cannot spend it fast enough.
With the new upsurge of high school youth against violence, it
is time to take the step to discourage participation in the armed services, which are also the main source of domestic police recruits and to reject and oppose Wall Street’s imperialist wars, the most important source of the violence that afflicts our society from top to bottom.
MAY DAY celebrates the solidarity of the working people of every nation of the world. Led by the international working class, it is a celebration of human solidarity, of LOVE for humanity. Together with The Revolutionary Organization of Labor-USA we invite and encourage the awakening high school youth of the USA to join the nearest celebration of MAY DAY by labor unions, anti-imperialist organizations and/or revolutionary working class organizations in your area.
In the Spirit of May Day–
Let’s Oppose U.S.-led imperialist wars abroad and the epidemic of violence at home!
Workers of the World and Oppressed Peoples Unite!
We Have Nothing to Lose But Our Chains – We Have a World to Win!
The Revolutionary Organization of Labor-USA
(April 17, 2018)