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
Feb 14, 2022
Truckers have been tying up transport services on both sides of the U.S./Canadian border. The protests have interfered with “business as usual” in the capital city of Ottawa in Canada. It began as a demonstration against vaccine mandates that were demanded by the Canadian government.
The mandates require that drivers, delivering or picking up goods in Canada, are vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandates mean that there are drivers on both sides of the border who cannot work because they are not vaccinated. And all this at the very point that supply chain problems are disrupting both economies, and the bosses are crying about a shortage of workers.
Drivers have grown tired of the delays and interruptions caused by the mandates. They understand better than the capitalists who employ them, that they are essential. So, they began parking trucks and vehicles, tying up transportation hubs. In doing so, they have shut down production in plants across Canada and the United States that require the parts and products they are moving. They have very quickly demonstrated the power working people have in an economy that depends on their willingness to work.
In their pursuit of profits, the capitalists on both sides of the border have done almost nothing to prevent the continuing pandemic from taking its toll on all of us. Their complete failure to move quickly to isolate and control the virus worldwide has resulted in a never-ending cycle of viral mutations that rises and falls in waves of infection. The price is being paid by the working class and poor worldwide. It is more than an inconvenience. Workers have been forced to remain on the job, getting sick and watching loved ones sicken and die while the capitalists’ political parties support policies created to keep profits rolling in at any cost.
While vaccines have proven to be a protection for individuals who seek them, they cannot substitute for the failures of the capitalist class to invest in a real public health system that would get rid of, and protect against, viruses on a world-wide scale.
There are no borders when it comes to viruses. And above all, there are no borders when it comes to the record profits Wall Street has pulled down for a handful of billionaire families. Profits that should have been directed toward massive efforts to fight the virus on a world-wide scale, to serve and protect the world population.
Like the majority of us, the truckers are sick of it! They are showing the power that we, the working population, have to say, “No!” “Enough!”
In the course of their protests, the truckers are finding other demands to put forward. Is it any surprise that these demands are mostly in the direction of their own individual interests, as truck drivers and owners?
In the absence of any real, militant leadership in the working class, is it any surprise that some of the truckers have adopted right-wing slogans and behavior? When the right wing appears militant, and the left wing supports the Democrats, who mumble, make excuses, and fail to fight against this disaster?
Until now, the working class of the U.S. and Canada, the core of production on this continent, has remained quiet, accepting a certain level of discipline that keeps us producing goods and profits while our own situation gets worse. But, as the working class, we have the potential to stand and fight and put forward real social demands that can take us out of this lousy situation we are in. We can build organizations that give all those oppressed by capitalism a real hope, a real perspective.
We can turn defensive fights against job loss and restrictions like mandates into a fight for real solutions, real improvements, not only for the working class but for all of humanity.
We should, by now, realize that the profits sitting in the banks are OUR earned income, OUR stolen pension and benefit money, the wealth WE produced from our labor. Money that has to be used to meet the needs of the majority, not the few.
As the truckers demonstrated, to hell with “business as usual!” Capitalism has to be gotten rid of to unleash the potential for a decent life for all of us.