Letters to the Editor

Getting Ready for the G8/NATO Meeting in Chicago

By Joe Johnson

The Mayor of Chicago is buying, for his “little army of 13,000 cops,” 500 new, super pumped-up police cars at the cost of $7.5 million. While they are cutting out schools for lack of funds he is paying big millions for super cars. And 100 of them will be before the G8/NATO meeting. He says they are to protect his police. He is correct in this. His police do need protection from the people of Chicago. While in Minneapolis I spoke to and discussed at length with the leaders and fighters in the 1934 Minneapolis strikes. Also I have checked out other such strikes. One thing that stands out in all such militant strikes—THE POLICE ARE DRIVEN OFF THE STREETS!

Now this is not 1934 and the police of the big cities of the U.S. have been given more arms, more pay, more training, etc. But if you check it out you find that the reason the police were driven off the streets was not lack of guns or lack of numbers, but rather, lack of will.

Cops are like prison guards. They are paid a little more to do an unpleasant job. Yes. They are very willing and able to pepper spray some one who is sitting; or break the heads of peaceful protestors...some of them even enjoy their work. But few have the will to carry on any real fight. Right now they are planing on how to not be at work in May.

In the Minneapolis strikes the workers did not just protest, or even just defend themselves. I spoke at length to Harry DeBore who was in charge of the “flying squids” that went to the scab trucks to stop them. If the driver would stop and turn back—fine no trouble. But if he would not his truck was put out of action and often himself as well.

This, I think is a very good time for Socialist Viewpoint to bring the question of violence up and answer it not from a abstract idealist point of view but from a Marxist, materialist point of view.,

Also, I believe the one-day or two-day general strike is a poor tactic in most situations.

—February 26, 2012