Going viral: Socialist comments and letters during the coronavirus crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic is a world social crisis which touches every aspect of life. The iniquities and failings of the capitalist system are being exposed, and workers and communities are organising in response.

Send us your comments, reports, anecdotes and thoughts, in not more than 200 words (we reserve the right to shorten letters), to [email protected].

George Floyd

A mural of George Floyd in Mauerpark, Berlin, photo Singlespeedfahrer/CC

A mural of George Floyd in Mauerpark, Berlin, photo Singlespeedfahrer/CC   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

The horrific, brutal, racist murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery add more fuel to those elements of a civil war situation developing in US society. There is huge class polarisation and anger, amid economic depression, which the ruling class will seek to undermine and divert through repression and whipping up poisonous division.

Demands around working-class community control of the police and justice against racism should be explicitly linked to a united fight against the common misery of job losses, lack of access to healthcare and social security, food poverty, and homelessness and evictions.

For all the unions’ current weaknesses, organised labour – where all workers can organise together in struggle – can play the key role. A fundamental break with the two-party system is needed, with a mass campaign for a workers’ party. These are the most effective methods of battling the racist Trump administration and the US ruling class.

Matt Dobson, Glasgow, Scotland

The US is a tinderbox: on top of huge poverty, there’s a yawning wealth gap, and now mass joblessness among a generation which has been thrown out of precarious working contracts by the Covid shutdown. Then there’s the increasingly authoritarian and anti-democratic course of President Trump.

The video capture of the racist murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police only set light to the touchpaper.

President Trump appears content to fan the flames, and has repeatedly indicated his willingness to send in the National Guard. The Democrats, themselves complicit in racist government for decades, are largely absent from the field.

This moment is pregnant with dark possibilities. We must stand in solidarity with all those who are putting themselves in the line of fire in the fight to end racism and poverty, and for fundamental change.

Donal O’Cofaigh, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

What’s happening in the US is what happens when you throw a match on top of decades of racist police brutality, poverty, austerity, and a succession of presidents who have all sided with capitalism over improving the lives of the poorest in the US – disproportionately black.

Riots are what working-class rage with little working-class leadership looks like. But let’s hope this is just the beginning of a movement, and united working-class struggle in the US.

Amy Cousens, Leeds, Yorkshire

School reopening

The Tories trying to open up the schools to more children, and two weeks later open up more shops and businesses, is designed to act like a pincer movement on working-class parents.

Their bosses will put pressure on them to send their children back to school. They will lose their furlough pay, potentially.

School staff and parents must collectively stand together to resist the Tory plans. Lives in our communities depend on our success. There is a huge tidal wave of support. Stick together. Collectively we can keep our communities safe.

Heather Rawling, Saddington, Leicestershire

Food riots

Apparently, my paternal grandparents were in the Birkenhead riots. These were the food riots that emerged out of the mass unemployment of the 1930s. The working class didn’t just accept what was meted out to them by diseased capitalism.

‘Idle Hands, Clenched Fists’ by Stephen F Kelly depicts the fightback. When you think about the mass youth unemployment that could emerge in post-Covid times, we need to make sure that we fight for work that pays and gives working-class communities dignity and pride.

Riots are not the methods of Trotskyists. However, when communities do rise up and don’t accept their fate, it is better than just acquiescing and accepting never-ending poverty. We shouldn’t accept another decade of austerity, poverty and want. Join the Socialist Party, and fight for a world without hunger.

Nancy Taaffe, Walthamstow, east London