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Last night and this morning, thousands of white supremacists flooded our city for a rally in support of the president, emboldened by Trump’s refusal to concede the election and the silence from his enablers in Congress. Metro D.C. DSA is disturbed and horrified by today’s events and the abject failure of our local and federal leaders to respond to this attempted coup. Washington, D.C., spends hundreds of millions of dollars per year on police and has the most law enforcement per capita in the country, yet an armed, unmasked mob of right-wing insurrectionists was able to walk freely into the Capitol building while Congress was in session. The disenfranchised working class of our district, predominantly people of color, have been left to face the threat of fascist violence as well as greater exposure to COVID-19.
While President-elect Joe Biden took this opportunity to extoll American exceptionalism and emphasize that this is “not who we are,” the videos and photographs from the past several hours have revealed what our movement has always known: the weight of the law is only brought to bear against those who threaten the interests of the ruling class and will always serve to perpetuate and uphold white supremacy. In these same streets a few months ago, during a summer of protests demanding justice for Black lives, tens of thousands of residents were met with kettling, tear gas, brutalization, and rubber bullets. Just three years ago, Capitol Police dragged ADAPT activists from their wheelchairs for the crime of fighting for a just health care system. To know that the same police force would politely hold the door for fascists inciting violence and terror is one thing; to witness it is another.
This outburst of white supremacist violence is the culmination of the agitation, dog whistles, and romanticized appeals to nationalist violence at the heart of the modern conservative movement. Frank Wilhoit wrote, “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” We know that the state’s monopoly on violence is turned toward people of color, activists, and organizers who challenge the status quo, and calls for “unity” and “decency” are hollow rhetoric. Our only weapon in the face of horrifying injustice, violence, and mass death is organization. Our strength and power lie in a mass movement that values people’s lives and safety over property and profit. The state has shown that it will not and cannot combat white supremacy and the death cult of capitalism, even in the name of protecting democracy — only a mobilized working class can do that.
That is why we must continue to organize and fight, not only by mobilizing against the extremist right but also by putting forward an alternative to the empty promises and performative politics of the Democratic Party establishment. We call on everyone to join us in the streets on January 20 to demand that the incoming government make progressive legislation and D.C. statehood their top priority. With control of the House and Senate, Democrats must pass vital legislation that will lift millions of people out of crushing poverty and build working class power, such as canceling rent and passing the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and the PRO Act. We call on everyone to join Metro D.C. DSA at the Capitol on Inauguration Day to demand the future we deserve.