the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist
“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx
Dec 7, 2020
In the summer of 2019, Sam Johnson gave the following speech, responding to concerns that a number of people had raised about the growth of violence coming from the government, the police and the extreme right, insisting that working people had the means of dealing with this. Today, as the right continues to make itself heard, what Sam had to say is even more relevant.
Well, those violent attacks the brother was talking about, I’ve been through some of that, I know what it will take to stop it. Working people have to come together to stop it.
We have to stand up and bring our forces together. The police, troops, all that, they’re part of the working class. When we fight, we can bring them together with us. We can bring those forces they use to protect them, we can bring them with us.
We can stop those right-wing maniacs from shooting at us. I know what happened with the KKK. They were in Alabama when I grew up. My family had a problem with them. My auntie had a juke box, people came over to listen to it, have a drink. The KKK told her to get rid of it. She said, it’s not going to happen. They told her, when we come back that better be out of there. When they came back, my family was organized—family and friends around the family. They were organized in a two-block area around my auntie’s house, waiting on the KKK to come back. My family was there with their rifles and their shotguns. But the KKK had got the message what was waiting for them. Unh, un, no, they didn’t come.
I’ve known about those fights. I know it will take a fight again. In California, I was there in ‘65 in the rebellion. Two years later, I came here, I was here only two months, and Detroit blew up. I was living right there, in the area where it started, we were living right there, my nephews are still living there. I saw what people did, how the cops backed off.
That’s what we have to understand about those people shooting at us. We’ve got the forces to stop that. They’re not going to want to come close to us, when we’re organized.
But now, some people are just sitting back waiting for some politician, some Democrat to do something about this violence. Get rid of Trump they say. Yes, get rid of Trump, but then what? They say put a Democrat in office. But what’s going to happen? The Democrats are going to have the same old policy they had before. And we’re going to have the same problems we have now and worse.
If we understand all that, then we understand that when we come together, we can stop all the problems we’re having today. We’ve got the power and the forces that can do that. We can do that. We can take back everything they’re taking from us. That’s what I know, we have the power to do that.
We have to understand where the problems come from. They come from that capitalist class that wants to keep raising their profits, put their profits before our lives.
Well, how did we get what we have today? No one gave it to us. Workers really fought against the companies. That’s how we got what we’ve got, jobs, pensions, medical care. It’s how we got schools for our kids.
So if we know problems come from what the capitalist class is doing, we’ll know what we have to do—stop waiting for the politicians that run this government to help us. That’s their politicians, the capitalist class politicians. The president runs it for what the capitalists need, to push their profits up.
Most times, workers today say there’s nothing we can do. But there is something we can do, we are the majority of the population. We are the ones who make this whole country run, but we make it run for what the capitalists want. We can see that it ain’t right, and we’ve got the forces to stop it. But we’ve got to bring our forces together.
Myself, I came up in the auto plants in the ‘70s. We were able to bring different groups together, black, white, Yugoslav, Albanian, Arab, Polish. That division they created among us, we could get past that. When we did, we didn’t stop everything, but we backed the bosses up.
I’ve been around quite a while, I may have slowed down somewhat, but in my mind, I know what it takes.
That’s why I talk to young people. Once they get it, if they talk to other young people, they can deal with it. They’re faster than me, and I know they’ll fight. They fight all the time now, in neighborhoods just about all over the country. But they don’t know what to fight for. They’re fighting each other, killing each other, putting up gangs to fight each other. But those gangs can come together. We’ve got to come together. We can stop all this. But we’ve got to come together. That’s what it will take. To deal with the real problems. Once we do that. We can stop it from happening again.
We’ve got the forces to protect ourselves, to stop the violence from happening. Once we get the bigger picture, we’ll know what we can do. We don’t need to worry about what’s going to happen. The ones causing the problems for us, they’re going to worry about what’s going to happen to them. But we’ve got to stand up and fight. That’s what we have to do, we definitely have to fight.
That’s what I want the younger people to understand what’s happening. Once they get the bigger picture, they can spread it. And that’s what it’s going to take, the next generation, two or three generations after me. Coming together. Let’s do it.
Are you tired of it and don’t want all this violence? Don’t want it to happen? If you understand why it’s happening, let’s do it. Let’s get together. Let’s do it NOW!