The Spark

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

Solidarity with All Refugees

Apr 11, 2022

The images of Ukrainians crowding onto trains, looking for some way to escape the devastation of war, have filled the media. More than four million Ukrainians have fled the country since the Russian invasion began, in addition to about 6 million people who have been forced out of their homes within the country—a massive humanitarian disaster.

These join the tens of millions of people around the world already displaced by violence—many by U.S. wars. According to a study by The Costs of War Project at Brown University, over the last two decades the U.S. wars in the greater Middle East forced at least 38 million people from their homes. Millions more are fleeing the poverty and daily violence of gangs and police in parts of the world that the U.S. dominates, like Haiti, Mexico, Honduras, or Guatemala.

The U.S. let in almost none of the refugees created by its own wars in the Middle East. Most are stuck in camps or impoverished slums in their own country or a nearby country that is almost as poor. Nor does it let in many of those fleeing the violence and poverty bred by U.S. domination in Latin America and the Caribbean. Over just the last two years, the U.S. expelled about 1.7 million migrants who crossed the southern border, without even allowing them to apply for asylum.

If Biden promises to accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees today, it’s because it is useful for the U.S. government to use the Ukrainian refugee crisis to prepare the U.S. population for a new war. In this way, politicians like Biden aim to use our solidarity with those driven from their homes against us.

But workers’ solidarity can extend to those driven from their homes by U.S. bullets and bombs, as well as Russian ones. After all, workers here are also victims of this country’s imperialist wars. Real solidarity with those fleeing violence, whether in Ukraine, the Middle East, or Latin America, would mean refusing to support the next U.S. war, already being prepared against Russia. It would mean fighting this capitalist system that continues to make huge swaths of the globe unlivable.