Solidarity message to ‘Relevance of Anti-fascism’ round table in St. Petersburg

Dear comrades,

As communists and anti-fascists fighting in the belly of U.S. imperialism, we send greetings to the participants in the round table meeting initiated by the United Communist Party (OKP) on “The Relevance on Anti-fascism,” taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia, on September 11, 2016.

We are encouraged to see our comrades and friends in Russia and the former Soviet Union, homeland of the great anti-fascist victory of the 20th century, take up the problem of how to combat the growth of neo-Nazi tendencies in Europe and the former Soviet republics, and confront those who would accommodate them. As the call for the round table states, the current anti-migrant campaign is an especially dangerous development.

The timeliness of your meeting is also shown by the tragic deaths of 17 migrant workers, mostly women from Kyrgyzstan, at a factory in Moscow on August 27. These workers were forced to live in the factory and kept under lock and key like slaves. Wherever capitalism rules, migrant workers and refugees – the most vulnerable members of our class – are on the front lines of the class struggle.

Since February 2014, Ukraine has become a tragic example of how the U.S. and European imperialists are willing to employ the most reactionary forces to further their aims of profit and military expansion – fueling the war against Donbass, the disappearances and murders of journalists and political activists, and the recent pogrom against Roma people in the Odessa region.

Here in the U.S., too, we are confronting a rise in neo-fascist political movements and violence, targeting African American people, Muslims, immigrants from Mexico and the Middle East, refugees from Central America, and others. The historic origins of fascist movements in the U.S. are somewhat different than in Europe, rooted in the history of slavery, land theft and genocide on a continental scale. But the outcome is the same: division of the working class on the basis of nationality, race and religion; use of violence to smash workers’ organizations and communities; all to preserve the rotten capitalist system in a period of deep crisis.

The neo-liberal program of U.S. imperialism has meant decades of deepening poverty, state repression, and war. As a result, the competitors to lead the government of the U.S. ruling class – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – are two sides of the same coin. Clinton is the paragon of “establishment” war and police violence. Trump is a racist demagogue fueling fascist violence and divisions among the workers – the classical precursor to more war, more repression. Together they spell disaster for the workers of the U.S. and the world.

And here, too, there are those who flirt with the fascist danger – who call themselves “anti-imperialists” or even “anti-fascists,” but dismiss the danger of Trump and his ilk to the working class while putting faith in his isolationist demagogy concerning Russia. But Trump is not aloof from the Wall Street barons who have a vested interest in carving up the former USSR. No racist demagogue in history has ever brought peace; no ultra-right oligarch who exploits and divides has ever benefited the cause of the workers.

For our part, we will continue to participate and help lead the fight against fascists and their apologists wherever they rear their heads, as we join with the Black Lives Matter movement, the September 18 march of the International Migrants Alliance in New York, the October 7-10 convergence in solidarity with immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border, and the mobilization of Indigenous peoples defending their land and water at Standing Rock.

We wish you great success and look forward to working with you to raise the international anti-fascist struggle to new heights and victories.

In solidarity,

Greg Butterfield
On behalf of the International Bureau
Workers World Party (USA) –

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