The “Ice Bucket Challenge” has gone certifiably viral. Countless videos showing people dousing themselves with buckets of ice water have flooded social media. Everyone from GW Bush to Will Smith to Britney Spears to your next-door neighbor to half your High School classmates are joining in the late-summer antics and nominating someone else to do it. If the challenge is not met within 24 hours, the nominee is supposed to donate to the ALS Association. Some people donate no matter what. Others donate to non-ALS charities. Others just want to have a bit of fun. In theory, this is all being done to “raise awareness about ALS.” As a result of this campaign, an estimated 740,000 people have donated $42 million to the ALS Association since June 29. But what does it all mean? Is “raising awareness” enough? Do most people even know what ALS is? Is this really a way to “create a world without ALS”?
As the protests in Ferguson, MO, enter their 12th day, following the shooting of Michael Brown by local police, the Workers International League (US section of the IMT) continues to intervene in this spontaneous upsurge, in Ferguson itself, and on the campuses in the area. These events mark a qualitative turning point in the class struggle in the United States. It is already being recognized as an event for which there will be a “before” and an “after,” even by the talking heads in the media and the representatives of the capitalist political establishment.
Leaflet for demonstrations against police repression in Ferguson, MO can be downloaded here.
The shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, followed by the breaking up of a protest march by police in riot gear and dogs, has let loose the pent-up anger and frustration of black youth in the otherwise quiet working class St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, which saw a night of looting and vandalism. These events above all show that huge pressures are building up in US society, just one scratch below the surface.
We are living in an epoch of crisis, war, revolution, and counterrevolution. However, revolutions are nonlinear processes; they do not unfold in a single act. From the perspective of the working class, the objective conditions and class balance of forces have never been as favorable. However, given the confusion and limited options of the bourgeois, the class-collaborationist policies of the labor leaders, and the lack of a mass revolutionary party—the subjective factor—this process will necessarily have a prolonged character. There will be many starts and stops, periods of advance and retreat, inspiring victories and demoralizing defeats. But through it all, the workers will learn, and we will steel and expand our forces. We must prepare our comrades and periphery for this perspective.
Today the World Cup opens in Brazil, but with a very different atmosphere to what usually accompanies such an event, as the widespread protest movements and strikes taking place in the country clearly demonstrate. Here we publish an article by comrades of the Esquerda Marxista [Marxist Left] that highlights the enormous social and class contradictions that have surfaced around the tournament.
Page 1 of 124