by Sara Flounders ,published on Workers World, February 3, 2024
Flounders is a contributing editor of Workers World newspaper and co-director of the International Action Center. She presented these remarks at the International Assembly against Imperialism and in solidarity with Palestine on Jan. 21, in New York city. Flounders began her talk, on which this article is based, with the following announcement:
We are functioning in a period when social media algorithms, set by their corporate owners, decide what can be said, what news can be covered, what names and organizations can be discussed and who will be banned, doxed, blocked, closed down.
This is a meeting that we have pursued with great determination. We are determined to not be shut down.
We have messages sent to us by resistance organizations in Palestine, in Lebanon and in Yemen. We are proud to share these messages and global messages in solidarity with this heroic Palestinian struggle.
We agree wholeheartedly that this is a crime of genocide, as stated in the suit brought by South Africa to the International Court of Justice.
So every person who has listened to this suit has a moral obligation to act.
We assert that we have a political, legal and moral right to hear and discuss and meet with these resistance forces who are right now, as we meet, under U.S. bombs supplied to Israel.
Also, we have a separate stream to the new Workers World channel on Telegram, so if the program is suddenly blocked, just switch and link to Telegram, Workers World Party channel. While I mention Telegram, I hope anyone linking to Telegram will join the Resistance News Network, for the coverage of the Palestinian struggle as it is unfolding.
We are in complete solidarity and defense of the Palestinian resistance and the right to resist.”
Weld workers’ struggle with that of colonized peoples
Welcome, comrades and friends, to this International Assembly Against Imperialism and in Solidarity with Palestinian Resistance. This meeting will revive lessons of V. I. Lenin on the centrality of welding together the workers’ struggle with the struggle of colonized peoples.
We recognize that we are meeting on the homeland of the Lenape (Lenapehoking) Nation, who were violently displaced as a result of European settler colonialism.
We are meeting at a dangerous moment. U.S. threats and bombs are expanding. U.S. imperialism is determined to continue its looting.
Solidarity with Palestinian resistance has sparked a global upsurge that has exploded into a movement and challenge to corporate power. No attempt to block it has succeeded.
In a dying capitalist system, this resistance means life itself is possible.
Resistance always changes the equation of power. The world today has changed. The balance has shifted. The old order is collapsing!
The U.S. stranglehold is slipping. Its global hegemony and its ability to assert that U.S. power alone is the decision maker are being challenged by a revolutionary people kept totally imprisoned in a desperate position.
The audacity of the coordinated Palestinian resistance, which began with a surprise operation on October 7, was not only a shock to the Zionist military machine, it sent shockwaves throughout the U.S. empire.
Both Israel and the U.S. rulers are now relying on brute force. But brute force can’t reverse this political blow.
More U.S.-supplied weapons for massive destruction only clarifies the U.S. role — and will further arouse the hatred of the millions of people in the Global South.
Drive U.S. out of West Asia!
The Israeli myth of “invincibility” will never recover from the blow. U.S. imperialism is being driven out of West Asia.
The relentless bombing of Gaza is a sign of Zionist desperation and wild revenge. So are the raids and mass kidnappings in the West Bank and bombing of Lebanon.
In response, Yemen has taken the boldest action. No ships to Israeli ports while Israel bombs Gaza.
The Zionists claim this is an “existential crisis.” That is true.
The continued existence of this Zionist, colonial outpost is at stake. Washington considers Israel a “strategic partner,” crucial to U.S. “regional security,” even as the U.S. occupation of Iraq was unraveling and plans to overthrow the Syrian government also failed, and as the U.S. was kicked out of Afghanistan.
The U.S./NATO war in Ukraine failed to turn the Russian ruble to rubble, as Biden promised. Now the Kiev regime is running short on weapons and funding.
Some 40 countries around the world, comprising one-third of the world’s population, have faced decades of devastating U.S. sanctions. Applying these sanctions has made it acceptable to starve a whole population, create artificial famine, withhold medicine, cut off electricity and fuel, and create hyper-inflation.
In response, countries of the Global South are finding new trade and financial mechanisms. They refuse to submit to threats.
On my own past visits to Gaza, I saw the impact of years of U.S./Israeli sanctions, Zionist bombing and destruction again and again and again, long before the October 7 events.
A threat to capitalist rule
The mobilization of millions of people around the world, now on a daily basis, is a threat to the capitalist political order. The sheer size, scale and speed with which huge events have come together is breathtaking.
Here in the U.S., workers marched in millions and acted in solidarity with Palestine. That act of solidarity is unprecedented. Solidarity is the most necessary ingredient in the class struggle and class consciousness.
The U.S. ruling class dominated using division, racism, elitism – divide and conquer on a world scale.
There are many struggles and issues and forms of oppression that are deliberately calculated to divide the working class, nationally and internationally. The union movement for decades hasn’t challenged this division.
The two imperialist parties, Democrats and Republicans, are united to support imperialist war and have always been the strongest supporters of the Zionist state, because it is intended to divide the working class of West Asia. But the Palestinian resistance unites oppressed and working people.
As a revolutionary leader of the first workers’ state, Vladimir Lenin pulled the working-class movement – centered in the West, in Europe and the U.S. – to shift gears. He insisted it recognize, unite with and defend the oppressed and colonized Global South of Asia, Africa and Latin America, who were challenging imperialist domination.
Workers and Oppressed of the World Unite! became the unifying slogan.
It still is today: From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
*Featured Image: Speakers from more than 45 organizations in 30 countries on five continents expressed their solidarity with the liberation of Palestine at the International Assembly Jan. 21, the centennial of V.I. Lenin’s death, in NYC. (WW Photo: Joe Piette)