The rapid spread of a new form of coronavirus across the world, has meant for the states of developed capitalism for a new escalating attack on the lower classes, in the form of emergency measures. By stating this, we are in no way neglecting the fact that due to the pandemic we are amidst an unprecedented situation with an increasing number of infections and deaths.
. We concluded that capturing this discussion is useful in finding new communication pathways to reach out to those who also wonder what is going on, and are not just satisfied with the “stay home” prompt, but instead look for possibilities to exist within it, to transcend it, and to return once more to public space. In any case, this is time for redefining of actions, methods, goals, and practices.
How can we win? The first wave of uprising that spread around the world in 2018-2019 was the premise of a new revolutionary cycle. Today, this cycle has reopened, right in the belly of world capitalism: the USA.
“I can’t breathe.” No phrase could have better summed up the situation the U.S. proletariat has been going through since the beginning of the pandemic. Pronounced by George Floyd as a cop was choking him to death, it became the expression of a revolt that has spread throughout the United States in less than a week.
This student rebellion, by itself, may not be aimed towards any valid goal. As Malissa explained, it’s just a joke. And its immediate effect, most of the time, is to give headaches — and more work — to teachers and other school staff workers. At the same time, it is through this insubordination that students maintain a margin of autonomy. And it is precisely in this space of action outside the control of the school authorities that the possibilities for political confrontation resides.
“Ordinary people that can’t eat if they don’t work (the majority of the population) must rise up against these measures just as they did in October. Indeed: We must make a new revolt, folks, because these measures are worse than the ones in October”
Corona has taken over. Despite the fear and panic (or even denial) that has taken hold, one thing is for sure: the cracks of the system are emerging for all to see. How can the Left respond in a way that dodges the minefield of strengthening the State, while at the same time ensuring that people are put before profits? How can self-organised activity, like the community groups that are popping up to help vulnerable people, be stimulated and, most importantly, be used as vehicles to get our demands met? It’s always good to reiterate demands, such as universal basic income, as well as push for new ones, such as full-pay sick leave from day one. But the question always is: how do we impose them?
I am writing this testimony to show how teleworking, while augmenting our teaching workload, also reduces our ability to fight; through the example of a struggle of temporary workers in France in which I took part.
This article is a short description of what’s going on in Brazil. While I was writing these lines we exceeded 11,000 deaths in Brazil, and I hope that quarantine will soon be imposed, and that those who have to provide for themselves will be financially supported during the lockdown through help from the federal government. For now, unfortunately, that is not what is happening.
“Before, if you finished work you could go home. But now it’s a private company, and they’re sticking to the schedule. I mean, to get away from work, because we have to fight to get paid for overtime hours. But right now, with these sanitary conditions, it’s silly to keep people in when they’re done working.”