Palestine and the US elections: bipartisan hypocrisy

Protesters in the US accuse Joe Biden of genocide

With the 2024 US presidential elections fast approaching, the primary elections  confirmed that the US is once again set to see Donald Trump running against Joe Biden. The Democrats with US President Joe Biden as their increasingly senile, inept, and racist figurehead, are scrambling to recover from their historically low approval rating of 38%. Palestine has made the contradictions and hypocrisy, and limitations of the US electoral systems, more glaring than ever. There is an unprecedented shift among the young population of the US, and growing opposition to the Democratic Party and Biden, who have unceasingly bankrolled and condoned Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people. As the elections approach we are watching the ruling class employ their usual tactics of fearmongering, gaslighting, propaganda pushing, and full on censorship as their last ditch efforts to maintain the facade of ‘US Democracy’.


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Straight from the horse’s mouth: US scrambles to preserve dollar dominance

US dollars

In FRFI 294 we reported on the growing trend of countries seeking to find alternatives to the dollar with the share of the US dollar in global currency reserves dropping from 73% in 2001 to 47% in 2022. Red warning lights continue to flash for the US economy. As US debt to GDP reaches 130%, more countries are selling off their US treasury bonds – with China selling off $174bn last year alone. Selling treasury bonds is a principal mechanism for the US government to fund budget deficits and secure access to cheap imports. Compounding the problem, foreign investors have been further shaken by the collapse of a string of US banks and the 'debt ceiling' crisis which saw the US government debt surpass its previously agreed $31.4 trillion limit in early 2023. Congress scrambled to agree to lift the debt ceiling until 2025, postponing the crisis. Though the ceiling is a self-imposed limit, it has been raised over 100 times since its establishment in 1917, and indicates a growing balance of payments deficit. Only the primacy of the US dollar in global finance can allow such levels of debt to be sustained without seriously downgrading the US credit rating and therefore the value of its bonds. With the writing clearly on the wall, on 7 June,  the US congress held a bi-partisan hearing entitled 'Dollar Dominance: Preserving the US Dollar’s Status as the Global Reserve Currency'. 


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United States attack on black socialists

Chairman Omali Yeshitela (left), African People's Socialist Party

Three members of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) have been indicted with ‘conspiring to covertly sow discord in US society, spread Russian propaganda and interfere illegally in US elections.’ No evidence has been presented to back up these indictments, which could lead to sentences of up to 15 years. This follows violent raids by the FBI last July on APSP’s venues in Florida and Missouri, as well as the APSP’s chairman’s home. 

The corporate media have promoted the government line that they were ‘Russian agents’, since they took a principled stance against US imperialism’s warmongering in Ukraine, showing the US state and capitalist class’s antagonism to freedom of speech. The US has never tolerated black organisations and people fighting against racism and imperialism, with a long history of frame-ups, sabotage, and assassinations. All socialists and progressive people need to defend those who stand against racism and imperialism. 

The Revolutionary Communist Group stands in solidarity with the comrades facing these charges. 

Hands off the Uhuru 3! Drop the charges now! 

You can donate to the defence fund at: 

David Hetfield


US attack on immigrants

People gather at a fence on the southern border of the United States

Despite the rhetoric during his presidential campaign, stating ‘Offering hope and safe haven to refugees is part of who we are as a country’, Biden continued Donald Trump’s use of Title 42 of the Public Health Services Law to fast-track the deportation of migrants from Central America whilst Covid-19 restrictions were in place. President Biden even extended the restrictions to migrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Haiti. With pressure from the capitalist class to remove all Covid-19 mitigation measures, not for any health reasons, but due to it being an impediment to maximising profits, Title 42 also had to go. Before the deadline of 11 May the US state wasted no time and added further restrictions to Title 8 (the section of the US code of laws that deals with Immigration and Nationality), to make it more difficult for people from Latin America and the Caribbean to get into the US. US Homeland Security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas (a Cuban exile, whose family left shortly after the revolution) stated ‘Let me be clear, our border is not open and will not be open after May 11’. He backed this up by boosting the US-Mexico border with 24,000 armed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) guards, 1,500 US troops, and augmenting the border with new layers of razor wire. Piling on, the reactionary Texas governor Greg Abbott added 2,500 Texas National Guard troops.


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Ana Belen Montes released

On 8 January, Ana Belén Montes was released after serving 21 years of a 25- year prison term in a US federal prison. Montes was sentenced in 2002 for spying on behalf of the Cuban state, a charge to which she pleaded guilty. In her trial, she stated openly: ‘I obeyed my conscience rather than the law. I believe our government’s policy toward Cuba is cruel and unfair, profoundly un- neighbourly, and I felt morally obligated to help the island defend itself from our efforts to impose our values and our political system.’

A Puerto Rican citizen of the US, Montes began working with Cuban intelligence in 1984. She applied for a job at the Defence Intelligence Agency and eventually rose to be its principal analyst on El Salvador, Nicaragua and Cuba. She briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Council on Cuba’s military capabilities; at the same time, she memorised classified documents and typed them up to send to Cuba. These helped Cuba defend itself against US-based plots.

Montes’ principled stance in defence of sovereignty, with no expectation of reward or recognition, is an extraordinary example of solidarity.


Republican or Democrat: same racist immigration policies

US immigration detention centre

On 5 January, US President Joe Biden announced changes to immigration rules which extended Title 42 restrictions to people from Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti, having applied it against migrants from Venezuela since last October, and implemented the ‘Safe Third Country’ policy for those seeking asylum. This essentially tightens the US southern border with Mexico against migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean.


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US capitalist class imposes deal on rail workers

US freight train (Photo: Doran J Clark)

While Joe Biden describes himself as the ‘most pro-labour president in American history,’ his deeds show him to be a typical representative of the capitalist ruling class. In December 2022, when Democrats still had a majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, the US government rushed through legislation to impose a settlement and stop rail workers from going on strike.


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US midterm elections: the ruling class stays in power

Police cross-armed with polling station sign

As the last of the midterm election results trickle in, it looks likely that the Democrats have retained control of the Senate, but the Republicans will have a slight majority in Congress. As with all bourgeois democracy it is a foregone conclusion that the ruling class will stay in power. With these results, there will be bi-partisan support for US imperial interests, especially support for Israel, containment of Russia and China, and the plundering of resources from the oppressed nations, along with worsening conditions for the working class in the US.


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US: The fight for democracy

A man wearing a 'MAGA' hat

On 1 September, US president Joe Biden used a prime-time speech in Philadelphia to warn of the imminent threat to democracy from Trump and his ‘Make America Great Again’ (MAGA) Republican supporters, referring to their movement as ‘semi-fascism’. Biden is no anti-fascist or progressive; the Democrats are panicking about the mid-term elections in November.


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US Supreme Court attacks abortion rights

Women in the US protest for reproductive rights

On 2 May the US political news website Politico published a leaked draft opinion by one of the powerful Supreme Court Judges currently considering a case which will have a deep and far-reaching effect on women across the US. For five decades the 1973 case of Roe v Wade has provided a legal basis for women’s right to abortion. Without safe access to pregnancy termination millions of women will be at risk from ‘back-alley’ abortions, pregnancy complications, or being trapped in unsafe domestic situations. This is part of a global attack on women as capitalism falls deeper into crisis. ANNIE O’CONNER reports.


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Amazon workers vote to unionise

Campaigners for a vote for unionisation (photo: Liberation News)

On 30 April 2022 the workers at Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, New York, voted 2,654 to 2,131 in favour of the Amazon Labour Union (ALU). This is the first successful organising effort in Amazon’s history in the US. This victory, led by Christian Smalls and his black and Hispanic colleagues, could mark an historic upturn in US trade unionism which has been in sharp decline. Over 60% of hourly-paid workers at the Staten Island warehouse are black or Hispanic while most managers are white or Asian.


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United States: regression and reaction

Biden's state of the Union address 2022 (photo: White House/Twitter)

On 1 March, one year into his presidency, Joe Biden’s State of the Union address ripped up what was left of his 2020 election campaign’s progressive façade. With inflation out of control and Covid-19 unchecked, the president used war in Europe as chauvinistic cover for the failure of his party and presidency to meet working class demands.


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Texas abortion ban: more attacks on women

Portland March for Reproductive Rights; October 2nd 2021 (photo: Sabrina Gröschke on flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

On 1 September, Texas’ new abortion law was enshrined in the state’s law making it illegal to have an abortion more than six weeks after conception. The six-week limit has been imposed because this is the date at which a ‘foetal heartbeat’ can supposedly be heard. In fact, what can sometimes be heard at the six-week mark is not a heartbeat, but a group of cells firing electrical signals. The Bill also enshrines into law that anyone who receives an abortion, provides one, or is otherwise complicit in the process, can be brought to court and hit with a $10,000 lawsuit.


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George Jackson: the rage undammed

George Jackson

‘The monster they’ve engendered in me will return to torment its maker, from  the grave, the pit, the profoundest pit. Hurl me into the next existence, the descent into hell won’t turn me. I’ll crawl back to dog his trail forever. They won’t defeat my revenge, never, never. I’m part of a righteous people who anger slowly, but rage undammed. We’ll gather at his door in such a number that the rumbling of our feet will make the earth tremble.’


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US: whistling in the dark

When President Biden signed his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill into law on 12 March 2021 it was greeted as a game changer. Commentators heard echoes of Roosevelt’s New Deal from the 1930s and Lyndon Johnson’s 1960s Great Society reforms. The Financial Times announced: ‘It cements a leftward shift in US politics and economics that has gained traction during the coronavirus crisis, affording government a far bigger role in solving problems in society than it has enjoyed in recent decades’ (13/14 March 2021). The spending package was described as intended ‘to make the world’s largest economy more equitable … the $1.9 trillion bill reveals and reinforces a new enthusiasm for the state’. Farewell, then, to neo-liberalism and the paeans to private enterprise and the free market that have guided government policy since Thatcher and Reagan in the 1980s. TREVOR RAYNE reports on the American Rescue Plan.


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Mumia Abu-Jamal has Covid-19 – step up the struggle to free all political prisoners!

Free Mumia! Free all Black Panther prisoners! End the racist death penalty! Free all political prisoners! No Justice! No Peace! (Artwork: @shelbyxstudios)

On 3 March 2021, revolutionary journalist, broadcaster, author and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal was diagnosed with Covid-19, after experiencing severe breathing difficulties since late February. At time of writing his condition is stable after having received treatment for excess fluid on the lungs and congenital heart failure at the infirmary of State Correctional Institute (SCI) Mahanoy. Now aged 66, Mumia has faced declining health after decades of medical neglect at the hands of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections; his liver cirrhosis, hepatitis C and high blood pressure make him especially at risk from Covid-19. His lawsuit against the same SCI Mahanoy for medical neglect that caused his cirrhosis is still pending.


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US Capitol invasion: a lightning flash across the political landscape

Protesters storm the steps outside the US Capitol building

The US has a new President in Joe Biden. Vice-President Kamala Harris is the first woman, the first Black American and the first Asian American to occupy that office. The new administration has selected a slew of candidates for Cabinet positions. Trump is gone. The FBI is steadily mopping up participants in the 6 January coup attempt which sent shudders through sections of the US ruling class. STEVE PARKER reports. 


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Shock and awe in Washington DC

US Capitol with 'Trump 2020' flag in foreground

‘Things’ in the US have ‘gone too far’, as the British ruling class so delicately like to put it, and ‘have gotten out of hand’. As everyone knows by now, as Representatives and Senators were meeting on 6 January 2021 to validate the Electoral College votes, a mob of Trump’s fascist supporters broke into the Capitol building in Washington DC, where the US Congress meets. They killed a police officer, smashed windows, broke into politicians’ offices, took selfies, threw papers around and generally trashed the place. Someone was seen strolling through the building sporting a large Confederate flag – the flag of the Southern slave states that started the US Civil War. This is like someone wandering through the Houses of Parliament brandishing a Swastika flag. Some carried bundles of zip ties, which can be used as handcuffs – perhaps to take politicians hostage. Several were armed.


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US elections: Trump fired

Anti Trump protest in Baltimore. Placard reads 'White supremacy is terrorism'

It was clear very soon after Election Day on 3 November that the Democrats, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, had won enough delegates to the peculiar US institution of an Electoral College required to be elected as President and Vice-President. After holding out for three weeks, defiantly tweeting ‘I WON THE ELECTION!’, and flatly refusing to accept that he had lost, Trump finally approved the start of the transition process, conceding in deed – though not in word – that he’d been fired. He continued to insist that ‘Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!’ The Biden-Harris ticket received over 80 million votes, compared to Trump’s nearly 74 million, giving them 306 Electoral College votes, against 232 for Trump. A large section of the ruling class exhaled a sigh of relief that, at last, ‘the adults are back in charge’ and US imperialism could resume ‘business as usual’.


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A critical moment in the fight to free Mumia Abu-Jamal

Free Mumia! Artwork by Grace Kress

‘World renowned journalist. Former Black Panther. Political activist. Political prisoner. One of our foremost teachers.’ These are some of the ways Mumia Abu-Jamal was introduced at the November 2020 Freedom and Abolition press conference. Mumia’s case represents a decades-long systemic struggle against racist policing, the relentless US attack on black activists and a deep level of corruption within the Philadelphia police department. GRACE KRESS reports.


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US election: the biggest ‘deal’ in the world

George W Bush


‘The American presidency is a very big deal. In electoral politics there’s no bigger deal in the world’. Hugo Young, The Guardian

‘Tweedledum and Tweedledee agreed to have a battle; For Tweedledum said Tweedledee had spoiled his nice new rattle’. Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

Few looking on cannot have admired the splendour of the US democratic system in action. What more unlikely places than Palm Beach and the Florida Supreme Court to demonstrate Marx’s dictum that hitherto philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point however remains to change it. For what is it if not the concerns of philosophy brought to life by the deliberations of the Florida courtrooms and US constitutional law. For example, what is a vote but also when is a vote not a vote and when is it a chad. Florida can tell us. If X voted for candidate A then they cannot have voted for candidate B or C would seem to be the rule. However, may there not be circumstances when a vote for A is not a vote for A but a vote for B — and vice versa of course? And who is to tell us what those circumstances may be and when they may occur? Florida can. And may such circumstances not be the exception but so common in fact for A to be B and B to be A and presto — here is the next President of the USA? Such is the stuff of Plato and Aristotle, Wittgenstein and Russell, George W Bush and Al Gore.


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Free Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz and all US political prisoners!

Theresa Shoatz, daughter of Russell “Maroon” Shoats, stands with Chuck D in front of a banner demanding Maroon’s freedom (Photo: Prison Activists Resource Center)

Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz is a revolutionary veteran of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army. Other than two daring escapes in 1977 and 1980, he has been incarcerated since 1970. While behind bars, Shoatz has studied and written on resistance against slavery, especially the organisational methods used by maroon communities of Amerindian and formerly-enslaved-African descent. In 2019 he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer and in November 2020 Shoatz tested positive for Covid-19, which is rife in the US prison system.


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US Border Control: an instrument of oppression

Protest against family separation (Photo: Michael Fleshman (CC))

The inhumanity of the US government’s border controls has once again been laid bare, by the separation of migrant families under the Trump administration’s so-called ‘zero tolerance’ policy that has left at least 666 children unable to reunite with their families, following their parents’ deportation.


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US election: rigging the vote

Philly SAVE OUR POSTAL SERVICE Rally, 23 June 2020

The flimsy foundations of US democracy are being tested to breaking point by the Trump administration in the run-up to the 3 November election. Amid political and economic crises, the administration is desperate to maintain power, even as sections of the ruling class look to the more dependable reactionary Joe Biden.

In July, Trump suggested delaying the election, and has claimed he ‘deserves’ a third term in office, violating the US constitution’s two-term limit, because he says the 2016 election was spied upon. Trump repeatedly says he will not accept electoral defeat. Asked on 23 September whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election, Trump replied, ‘We’re going to have to see what happens. You know I have been complaining very strongly about the [postal] ballots. And the ballots are a disaster.’ Senior figures in the Trump campaign have called on supporters to arm and prepare for retributory violence. They are using methods of overt and covert voter suppression.


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US heads towards civil war

Members of the Huey P Newton Gun Club practise drills

We have arrived at a critical point in US history. The US population is irreparably divided politically. There are uprisings across the country, led by black Americans. All three arms of government are in crisis: the Executive, headed by President Donald Trump, is destroying anything remotely progressive in US society; the Legislature – Congress – is almost completely paralysed, split between the two parties; in the Judiciary, the Court’s conservative majority has been entrenched by the death of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

A polarised people, riots in the streets, a crisis-torn government – all in the middle of a deadly pandemic, with the presidential election just weeks away: these are the ingredients needed for a ‘perfect storm’ – that combination of circumstances that suddenly and drastically aggravate a situation.


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Marx and Engels on the US Civil War: ‘a struggle between revolution and counter-revolution’

Joseph Weydemeyer (1818-1866) was a military in Preußen and the USA, journalist, politican and marxist revolutionary.

The US Civil War was fought between the northern states, who were loyal to the Union, and southern states that seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. It resulted from the escalation of conflict over the right to extend slave-ownership.

Marx and Engels exchanged letters enthusiastically following events as they unfolded in North America from 1861 to 1866. In addition, between 1861 and 1862, Marx wrote regularly about the civil war for the radical New York Daily Tribune, which had a circulation of 200,000, and was also published in the Vienna Presse. His purpose was inform readers in Europe, the US and Britain about the progress of the war and to analyse the emerging class forces on both sides of the Atlantic in what he regarded as the most significant struggle of the day.


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US imperialism and endless war

US tank

On 1 July 2020, the Joint Democratic and Republican House Armed Services Committee unanimously approved a record $740.5bn for military spending in the next year. This is three times more than China spends on its military and 15 times more than Russia; and it is more than the combined military spending of the next 15 countries.


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US anti-racist rising faces state terror

Protest at federal courthouse, Portlannd 22 July 2020 (photo: Tedder,  CC BY-SA 4.0))

Following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on 25 May, the New York Times estimates some 2,500 protests sweeping across the US, drawing in tens of thousands of demonstrators. Horrified, President Trump said US cities are ‘far worse than Afghanistan’, and announced, ‘We’re sending law enforcement. We can’t let this happen to the cities.’ The anti-racist movement is heading for a major confrontation with the state and will feel the full force of the state’s tools of repression.


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US: coronavirus takes a deadly toll

US coronavirus cases as of 4 July 2020

Amidst historic social upheaval, the US is also experiencing a nationwide surge in Covid-19 cases following the decision to push millions of working class people back into work. The ruling class’ directive to reopen the economy at the end of April has led to an unmitigated disaster for workers. On 12 July, the state of Florida reported the nation’s highest single leap in cases: over 15,000 confirmed in a single day. This has not stopped profit-hungry executives reopening Disneyland resorts in the state. 15 July saw more than 71,000 cases reported across the US, with a total of 3.8 million confirmed cases since the crisis began, and 1.9 million active cases. 1 in 100 Americans has now been infected and the official death toll currently stands at 143,000. Each of these deaths is a tragedy, and in the richest country on Earth, could have been avoided. This act of class warfare cannot be considered the result of incompetence, but rather a concerted effort to put profits ahead of the lives of the working class. A deadly gamble by the capitalist state now threatens to buckle the nation.


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Miami: the fight goes on

Police car burning in Miami (photo: Camera Press)

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No.6, September/October 1980

From May 17th through the 21st, the Black people of Miami revolted in the largest single violent rebellion since the 1960s. As with so many of the previous ghetto rebellions, the Miami uprising was sparked by an explosion of anger against racist courts and police, in this specific case, the acquittal of four white policemen accused of the murder of Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance executive. As was also the case in the previous rebellions, this particular point of anger tended to concentrate all of the other pressing issues faced by the Black communities, and by the American working class in general, especially the intolerable climbing unemployment which is ‘officially’ put at 10% in the area where the uprising took place.


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US pandemic sharpens contradictions

The US now has almost a third of the world’s total confirmed Covid-19 cases (1.77 million), and more than a quarter of all deaths. At the time of writing, official fatalities are over 104,000. Anthony Fauci, prominent member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, claimed the real death toll is likely to be far higher. The crisis has sharpened the contradictions of US capitalism, which is incapable of dealing with this sustained crisis. Amidst lost profits and a historic economic downturn, the ruling class is gearing up to have workers shoulder the burden of the pandemic.


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