WSWS

Demagogs cover for Trump’s coup d’état
Andre Damon, WSWS, Jun 3 2020

Trump flanked by riot police in Lafayette Park after it was cleared using tear gas
for the president’s Monday press event outside St John’s Church across from
the White House Monday, Jun 1 2020. (Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP)

Following Trump’s announcement that he would deploy the military to crush protests against police violence throughout the country, the Democrats are working to cover up and downplay Trump’s illegal and unconstitutional coup d’état. Trump has operationalized his efforts to establish a presidential dictatorship, based on the military and the police, through a massive military deployment in Faschingstein, which is under his direct control. He is also escalating pressure on states to crack down on demonstrations after his threat on Monday to send in the military if they do not respond aggressively enough. Late Tuesday night, Trump singled out NYC, writing on Twitter:

That is, the deployment of the military, under the president’s control. In innumerable public statements, Demagog Congress critturs, governors and mayors commenting on Trump’s actions ignored the fascistic and authoritarian character of Trump’s actions, focusing instead on declarations that Trump is not being “helpful” in controlling the demonstrations. “Let’s not overreact,” said Demagog Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, calling Trump’s statements “bluster.” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who was asked if she would request military intervention, replied that this would only be necessary “because they’ve thrown a lot more gas on a fire that was burning.” In contrast to the heroism of the demonstrators, who showed up by the tens of thousands in defiance of Trump’s threats, the Demagogs have responded with their typical display of fecklessness, cowardice and complicity. Biden delivered a 30-minute address on Tuesday full of mournful moralizing. He declared his wish that Trump had read the Bible, as he “could have learned something” and criticized Trump for fomenting “fear and division.” Biden effectively equated the actions of protestors with the actions of the fascistic president and the police rampage he has incited:

There is no place for violence. No place for looting or destroying property or burning churches, or destroying businesses. Nor is it acceptable for our police, sworn to protect and serve all people, to escalate tensions or resort to excessive violence.

Biden avoided the central political issue: that the President is engaging in illegal actions and seeking to overthrow the Constitution of Pindostan. Pelosi and Schumer issued a perfunctory four-paragraph statement on Trump’s Rose Garden speech which did not include the word “military.” They said:

At a time when our country cries out for unification, this President is ripping it apart. We call upon the President, law enforcement and all entrusted with responsibility to respect the dignity and rights of all Pindos.

Mirroring Trump’s own photo-op in Washington following his speech, Pelosi clutched a Bible before cameras while giving a two-minute address Tuesday morning. Pelosi concluded:

We would hope that the POTUS would follow the lead of so many presidents before him, to be a healer-in-chief and not a fanner of the flame.

Only four months ago, the impeachment campaign of the Demagogs concluded in the House of Representatives, which was presided over by Pelosi. The House approved articles of impeachment against Trump for “high crimes and misdemeanors” that centered on a phone call with the president of Ukraine and allegations that Trump withheld military aid to the country in its war against Russia. Trump was ultimately acquitted by the Thug-controlled Senate. While the Demagogs considered the Ukraine call a basis for removing the President, they pass over in silence the attempt to deploy the military on Pindo soil against domestic protests. Neither Pelosi nor any other Demagog has called for a reconvening of the House and the introduction of a new motion for Trump’s removal from office. Trump’s demands that opposition to his government be “put down” by deployment of active duty military personnel is blatantly illegal. As Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman commented last year:

From the founding onward, the Pindo constitutional tradition has profoundly opposed the President’s use of the military to enforce domestic law. A key provision, rooted in an 1878 statute and added to the law in 1956, declares that whoever “willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force” to execute a law domestically “shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years,” unless “expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress.”

As the WSWS has noted repeatedly, the aim of the Demagogs in their opposition to Trump over the past three-and-a-half years was to carry out a palace coup. From the beginning of his administration, the Demagogs worked to suppress and derail broad-based mass opposition to Trump’s fascistic policies, channeling it behind their own reactionary, anti-Russia campaign. Now when there is a mass popular movement against Trump, the Demagogs devote themselves to the futile effort at calming the situation. When they criticize Trump for “fanning the flames,” they are expressing their fear of a massive social eruption in the working class. For the past three and a half years, the Democrats have worked with Trump on the essential elements of the domestic policy of the financial oligarchy. Amidst the expanding coronavirus pandemic, they unanimously endorsed the multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and are helping to enforce the back-to-work campaign spearheaded by the Trump administration. Absolutely nothing good will come from the Demagog Party. It is a party of Wall Street and the military-intelligence agencies. It is thoroughly hostile to the sentiments that are animating the massive and expanding protests against police violence and the broader social anger among workers that is behind them. The struggle against the Trump regime can only be taken forward through the independent political mobilization of the working class, in opposition to the Demagogs, Thugs and the entire political apparatus of the corporate and financial elite. The fight against police violence and Trump’s moves to presidential dictatorship must be fused with the struggle against inequality, exploitation and the capitalist system.

Protesters defy Trump’s threats, expand nationwide movement against police killings
Jacob Crosse, WSWS, Jun 3 2020

The Trump administration and state governors are continuing to deploy tens of thousands of police and troops against peaceful demonstrations in over 200 cities in Pindostan. Curfews, mass arrests and police terror have not quelled the powerful movement of youth and workers of all races and ethnicities in response to the May 25 police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If anything, Trump’s fascist tirade from the Rose Garden on Monday, in which he asserted dictatorial powers and threatened to illegally deploy the military to crush the protests, has stiffened the resolve and heightened the anger of the hundreds of thousands marching in cities across the country. Trump accompanied his repudiation of the Pindo Constitution on Monday with the mobilization of hundreds of military police to spearhead an unprovoked attack on peaceful demonstrators well ahead of the 7 pm curfew declared by Faschingstein’s Demagog mayor, Muriel Bowser. The demonstrations are expanding internationally. Protests and marches have been held in London, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Dublin, Auckland, Sydney, Tehran, Halifax, Idlib (Syria) and many more cities. In Houston, over 60k joined George Floyd’s family in a march against police murder. Drums played as tens of thousands, some on horseback, moved through downtown Houston. The march ended in front of City Hall with protesters holding signs reading:

I Can’t Breathe! No justice, no peace!

In NYC, beginning at 2 pm, thousands marched across the Manhattan Bridge towards Manhattan in an attempt to meet up with another group of marchers. At the Manhattan end of the bridge, protesters encountered a wall of police, forcing them to remain on the bridge. For two hours, protesters waited for the police to let them pass before deciding to turn around. Upon reaching the other side, the group came face-to-face with another wall of cops. For two hours the police refused to let anyone off the bridge. As word spread on social media of the cops’ thuggish tactics, the police were forced to relent and let the marchers pass. In southern California, over 20k workers and youth braved scorching temperatures to march throughout LA and Hollywood. These peaceful demonstrations were juxtaposed with the sight of heavily armed National Guard troops and Humvees deployed all along the famous boulevard to safeguard private property. Demonstrating the widespread opposition to police violence, which takes place in every working-class community, protests have sprung up in rural towns such as Glasgow, Kentucky. This town of 14k people in south central Kentucky, in which 86% of residents identify as “white,” turned out 400 protesters on Tuesday afternoon. Despite the overwhelmingly peaceful nature of the protests, governors, mayors and local officials have imposed curfews on over 60m people living in 200 cities in 27 states. This includes a countywide 6 pm curfew for LA and an 8 pm curfew in NYC. The entire state of Arizona in under a curfew. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Demagog, imposed an 11 pm curfew on Monday which led to over 700 arrests. Not satisfied with this level of police repression, Trump ranted:

Taking Trump’s message to heart, in an extraordinary press conference on Tuesday, Cuomo characterized the NYPD’s response to the protests as a “disgrace.” He warned Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Demagog:

The looting, the criminal activity must be stopped immediately, period. Especially in NYC. We’ve had activity all across the state, all manageable, except in NYC. Now, from the state’s point of view, I have offered all the mayors of the cities support, state police support or National Guard or both. We have 13k National Guard who are on standby who can be deployed. We have the state police mobilized all across the state. They can be deployed anywhere in this state. State police are working with many cities in upstate New York. NYC has said they don’t want or need the National Guard, which would be a large-scale support network that we could bring to NYC… The mayor of NYC says he doesn’t need the National Guard, and he doesn’t think they would be helpful, and he can do it with the NYPD. First, the NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night. I believe that. Second, you have 38k NYPD people. It is the largest police department in Pindostan. Use 38k people and protect property… Look at the videos. It was a disgrace. I believe that. I believe the mayor underestimates the scope of the problem. I think he underestimates the duration of the problem, and I don’t think they’ve used enough police to address the situation, because it’s inarguable that it was not addressed last night. What happened in NYC was inexcusable… My option is to displace the mayor of NYC and bring in the National Guard, as the governor in a state of emergency, and basically take over. You would have to take over the mayor’s job. You would have to displace the mayor, right. A, I don’t think we’re at that point. B, that would be such a chaotic situation in the midst of an already chaotic situation. I don’t think that makes any sense.

In an earlier press conference on Tuesday, de Blasio slammed his fist on the table as he decried “vicious attacks on police officers.” While dozens of social media videos have depicted NYPD thugs bashing, beating, gassing and attempting to run over protesters in the last 96 hours, de Blasio embraced the police and said:

Anyone who attacks a police officer attacks all of us.

At the press conference he announced an extension of the curfew through the weekend. While de Blasio had plenty of words for “violent outsiders,” he did not mention the vicious beating NYPD delivered to 32-year-old hospital worker Rayne Valentine after his shift ended Saturday night at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn. In an interview with the Daily Beast, Valentine described walking home from work when he came upon a group of officers chasing a young person. Valentine began to record the encounter as officers swarmed the individual. The police then turned to him, warned him to “get back” and began assaulting him. The beating forced Valentine to undergo two CT scans and receive 7 staples to close a gaping head wound. Valentine recalled yelling to the officers beating him as he lay on the ground:

I’m just trying to go home!

One of the cops responded:

Well, you picked the wrong time to do that.

As of this writing, governors in 28 states and the District of Columbia have activated thousands of National Guard soldiers. In addition to the 45k Guard troops already activated in the previous months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 20.4k Guard soldiers have been deployed against the protests, with thousands more on standby. While the bulk of this force is in Minnesota, nearly 2k have been activated in California. Currently, 1.2k soldiers are deployed in LA, 100 in Long Beach and 530 in Sacramento. On Tuesday, Illinois Governor J B Pritzker, a Demagog, activated 250 Guard troops and deployed them to Chicago. At a press conference, Pritzker reassured his ruling-class constituents. Bluntly addressing the chief concern of the ruling class, he promised:

We’ll continue to deploy as needed. We are doing and we will do everything we can to protect private property.

In Faschingstein, soldiers have been deployed around national monuments. Three massive A4 tanker trucks able to transport 2.5k gallons of fuel rolled through city streets in preparation for the arrival of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment out of Tennessee. Ordered to deploy on Tuesday, the 1k soldiers are expected to arrive in the capital by Saturday. ACR units are known as “hunter-killer” units. From the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers from the 278th will be occupying the capitol in Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Featuring explosive reactive armor, a 25mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun, TOW anti-tank missiles and a M240 machine gun, the Bradley’s battlefield purpose is to destroy light armor and scout out enemy tank positions in order to draw them out for the larger M1A1 battle tanks.

There is a glaring contrast between the response of the Trump administration and the ruling class to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and their response to the mass protests. In the case of COVID-19, nothing was done for weeks as the White House, senators and congressmen sought to downplay the threat, while they prepared a multitrillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street. The malign neglect of the ruling class has resulted in tens of thousands of preventable deaths, with more to come. In the case of the protests, within hours thousands of police were mobilized and then quickly supplemented by state troopers and the National Guard. This massive repression against the demonstrations includes the targeting of journalists and photographers. According to data provided by Trevor Timm, executive director of Freedom of the Press Foundation, there have been 211 “press freedom violations,” including over 33 arrests, 148 assaults (118 by police) and 30 instances of equipment or newsroom damage. In the Philadelphia neighborhood of Fishtown, police still have no answers as to why officers abetted a group of 70 fascist thugs, armed with baseball bats, sledgehammers and axes. The roving band was given free rein to violate curfew in order to harass and beat protesters, including local television producer Jon Ehrens of WHYY. Ehrens was taken to the hospital Monday evening after he and his girlfriend were attacked by the group for recording them as they assaulted a protester. Even though the police precinct is on the street where the assault happened, and multiple cops were less than a block away, no one has been charged or arrested in connection with the assault.

White House Coronavirus Task Force effectively ended by Trump
Bryan Dyne, WSWS, Jun 3 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in the United States, the Trump administration has begun to roll back its White House Coronavirus Task Force. This has in effect ended even token efforts at the federal level to contain the disease now that all fifty states have begun to reopen. The last time there was a press briefing on the pandemic was on May 22, when there were 1.6m officially confirmed cases in the country and 97.6k deaths. The last time the task force was assembled, led by Pence, was May 28, when there were more than 1.7m cases and at least 103k deaths. As of today, the coronavirus has infected nearly 1.9m people and killed more than 108k men, women and children in Pindostan. Trump himself has largely stopped talking to his public health advisers. Anthony Fauci, the director of the NIAID, last spoke to Trump on May 18 in a call with the governors on the disease, according to CNN. In an interview with Stat News, Fauci noted that the president has not been interested in discussing the progress in fighting the pandemic or making a vaccine for the virus in the past few weeks. He said:

As you probably noticed, the task force meetings have not occurred as often lately. And certainly, my meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased.

The abandonment of the task force comes in the wake of Trump’s touting of hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and Moderna’s vaccine, as well as ingested bleach as cures for the deadly contagion. In each case, Trump was forced to walk back claims that some sort of “miracle drug” had been found in the face of opposition from his own team as well as the medical industry itself. The rising case numbers and death toll are a warning that, despite the claims at the end of April that the country had succeeded in “flattening the curve,” the pandemic is ongoing. Since mid-May, the number of newly confirmed infections has not been going down nationally but holding steady at an average of 20k new cases each day, along with an average of at least 1k new deaths. The pandemic has in particular begun spreading in the Pindo South and West, which had not been initially as hard hit as New York, New Jersey, Michigan, California and Illinois. Now, however, the disease is rapidly spreading in all regions of the country and the case counts per capita in each state are becoming more equal than they were a month ago. The situation is similar if not worse internationally. The number of new cases each day has been rising since the middle of last month and spiked above 125,000 on May 29. There have been at least 100k new cases globally each day for the past seven days, bring the total number of cases to well over 6.4m. There are at the same time more than 381k deaths caused by the pandemic internationally, a number that is poised to accelerate as the virus continues its deadly course.

Despite the increasing dangers from the disease, every state in Pindostan has reopened its economy in some form, pulling back measures that were implemented in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Auto plants, Amazon warehouses and meatpacking factories, along with a whole host of other industries where the virus transmits easily from worker to worker, have forced their employees back to work with little to no personal protective equipment. There have already been reports of workers contracting the disease and dying as a result, with no doubt many more instances that have gone suppressed by the corporations and unreported in the MSM. As a result of these reopenings, numerous scientific models of the pandemic now estimate that the number of cases in Pindostan could soar as high as 4.3m by the end of the summer, or 5.4m if physical distancing rules are fully relaxed. The number of dead could rise to 293k in this time frame. By the end of the year, there could be as many as 1.2m dead in Pindostan alone. Moreover, no-one in the political establishment has made serious mention of the fact that the nationwide protests against police violence will inevitably be followed by a rise in cases of COVID-19 despite efforts by organizers to promote social distancing and the wearing of face masks. The mass gatherings sparked by the murder of George Floyd will certainly spread the virus further, exacerbating an already dire public health crisis.

A further danger is that there is still not a clear understanding of the actual extent of the pandemic in the country. Estimates of the excess deaths in Pindostan, particularly those attributed to pneumonia, indicate that the true tally so far caused by the pandemic is about 50% higher than what is currently acknowledged. The spread of the disease has been similarly noted as being an undercount. That the spread of the pandemic is not known is due to the dearth of testing in Pindostan, even now after more than four months of fighting the disease in the country. While Pindostan has performed the most tests in the world, it currently ranks 35th on a per capita basis. In addition, because of the nation’s large population and massive spread, it was estimated in early May by researchers at the Harvard Global Health Institute that the country as a whole needed to ramp up testing to more than 900k a day by May 15 to be able to confidently know where the contagion is present. In the month since these predictions were made, the Pindo CDC report that, at most, half that are being done each day. The Harvard team explicitly noted that as physical distancing measures are relaxed, the number of tests performed each day will need to grow. Multiple states as well as the CDC were also recently forced to revise the number of tests it had performed downward after it was uncovered that they had been counting the number of tests for the disease itself and tests for antibodies of the disease as essentially the same thing. While both are necessary for tracking the spread of the virus, counting them together artificially inflates the actual number of active coronavirus cases.

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