It is critically important that the broad progressive movement, which has dealt the Trump administration its first setback, understand that the Democratic Party did not lead this struggle, and in fact, supported Trump as he prepared to impose the Executive Order that would keep out people from predominantly Muslim countries. Our movement must absolutely expose not only Trump but also the Democrats who have been 100 percent complicit with Trump until now.
This is important, because now that the people have secured this partial victory, the Democratic Party leadership is trying to jump in front and opportunistically take advantage of the peoples’ struggle.
The Democrats voted for and not against the confirmation of Gen. John Kelly as the head of the Department of Homeland Security, the agency which at this moment is enforcing and still championing this illegal order. The vote for the confirmation of Kelly was 88-11 in the US senate. The Democrats knew what Trump was planning with this Executive Order. He had repeated his promise to do this over and over again.
The Democrats could have insisted in confirmation hearings with Kelly that he repudiate any support for such a racist and unconstitutional executive order before they would support him. Instead, Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), who is today holding a press conference to try to appear in opposition to Trump, actually endorsed Kelly just one week ago. “I looked at their records…and I think they’d be very good,” Schumer said of Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis and John Kelly.
Fighting racism and bigotry with solidarity
On Jan. 28, tens of thousands of people took action in airports around the country against Trump’s racist anti-Muslim ban on refugees and immigrants. Taxi workers in NYC struck, joining the struggle. That combined mass action had an immediate impact — within hours a federal judge had ruled that the individuals who already landed here, and those in transit, would not be sent back. Approximately 200 detained people who were in transit yesterday will be freed as a consequence.
In addition, we salute the progressive lawyers in Boston, Ma., mostly women, who raced to court late on Jan. 28 and won a more reaching temporary stay against Trump’s Executive Order, more reaching than the order that had been achieved in New York.
“The ruling, according to the attorneys, states that no approved refugee, holder of a valid visa, lawful permanent resident or traveler from the seven majority-Muslim nations can — for the next seven days — be detained or removed due solely to Trump’s executive order anywhere in the United States.”(WBUR). Those outside the U.S. who were targeted by the ban still cannot travel.
The ruling is temporary. It is an indication of mass pressure and the true illegality of the executive order. Legality is fluid and it is the mass mobilization of the people that has at least temporarily destabilized the administration’s plans.
This is evidenced by new, public waffling from the White House on Jan. 29 about the terms of this heinous act. New contradictions are emerging with each passing moment.
The overall Executive Order remains in place, however. We have to keep packing the streets, jamming up the airports and the courts to turn this partial victory into a full victory. The people saw a glimpse of their collective power this evening. But the ruling class saw it too. Now we have to keep showing them that power, and for everyone who marched tonight there were far more at home cheering the action. As we keep marching, there are millions more who will swell our ranks.
There can be no business as usual. In the face of these bigoted attacks, the people must become ungovernable. We will not retreat — they must retreat. Keep fighting until victory!