Tag Archives: Boston Marathon bombings

Boston Under Siege By US Police State On 238th Anniversary of British Blockade

Police state? The U.S. is not a police state!  Homepage of Boston Globe website, 19 April 2013

Police state? The U.S. is not a police state! Homepage of Boston Globe website, 19 April 2013

There are a lot of people in the US – and especially in the New England area – who are less than happy when what should be a near-sacred national holiday – Patriot’s Day – gets turned into just another Monday holiday.  This year, Patriots Day – the day on which, 238 years ago today, the American Revolution began in earnest with the “shots heard ’round the world” at Lexington and Concord – was celebrated in Boston on Monday, April 15th.  It’s taken as an insult to all historians and history buffs, and “true patriots” who revere the heroes of the American Revolution.  And this year, of course, the fake Patriots Day celebrations were shattered by a brutal act of senseless terrorism in the twin bombings of the Boston Marathon.   Those reprehensible acts of terror, intended to maim whoever happened to be unlucky enough to have been in the vicinity of the bombs, were perpetrated by people whose own love for their fellow man has been destroyed somehow.  God knows that these terrorists maight well have been inspired by the many, many hideous acts of state terrorism carried out by the United States Government and its puppets in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Afghanistan and Pakistan – to name but a few!  But instead of directing their attacks at some kind of symbol of or the reality of despotic US Government police or military power – the US Government of Barack Obama has, after all, “legalized” the assassination of US citizens! – they were simply directed at the population at large.  Thus, any political “message” that might have been intended was completely discredited and degraded in an act of savagery.

But leave it to the US Government and its police state to create their own “tribute” to the start of the American Revolution by placing the entire metropolitan Boston area on lockdown – on the 19th of April, no less! – in order to “send their own savage message” to the population of Boston:  THE CITY IS HEREBY CLOSED FOR THE DURATION OF THE SEARCH FOR THE BOMBING SUSPECTS!  STAY OFF THE STREETS! WE ARE IN CONTROL!

In one of the most brazen, full-scale deployment of an actual, existing police state apparatus ever seen in Boston since the British blockade in 1775, hundreds upon hundreds of heavily-armed cops swarmed across the Boston Metro area, “advising” the citizenry to remain indoors and “suggested” that the citizens not even open their doors to anyone except the cops!

Mass Governor 'advises' Bostonians to stay home - [Source: Massachusetts Governor's Office website]

Mass Governor ‘advises’ Bostonians to stay home – [Source: Massachusetts Governor’s Office website]

Mass. Emergency Management Agency says stay at home - and what if we don't? [Source: MEMA website]

Mass. Emergency Management Agency says stay at home – and what if we don’t? [Source: MEMA website]

And if that’s not crazy enough – under WHAT LAW do these insane cops think they have the right to make such a demand? – THE CITIZEN-SLAVES OF BOSTON COMPLIED WITH THIS ILLEGAL ORDER!  This is the tribute we see being played out on the 19th of April of ’13, on the 238th anniversary of the colonists’ triumph over the British police state!  Talk about “sending a message”! On the one hand we have the US capitalist class’ police state ‘advising’ the population to obey undeclared martial law, and on the other we see the craven, slavish citizens OBEYING THAT ‘SUGGESTION’ – in BOSTON on the anniversary of the start of the American Revolution!

Of course, there is no possible legal justification for the City, state or federal authorities’ closure of several cities and towns, with a population of over one million people, in order for the police to locate one human being.  The assassination of  Osama Bin Laden was carried out with a handful of soldiers – the hunt for these two young suspects in the Marathon bombing is being carried out by THOUSANDS of cops and state police, using armored vehicles and military helicopters – and who knows what else.  The cops spent the better part of today surrounding one building in Watertown – supposedly the refuge of 22-year-old Massachusetts high school state champion wrestler Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – with military rifles pointed at all the windows and doors of the building as if to be ready to kill anything that moves near any window!  This is what the cops mean by “hunting a suspect”.  “Innocent until proven guilty”?  Forget about it!  The US is a police state!  It’s more like the law of the wild west: “Wanted: Dead or Alive”!  How on Earth could this man surrender to these cops if he wanted to?  Waving a white flag out the window could be all the ‘provocation’ those trigger-happy, cowardly cops would need to fill him full of bullet holes.

The cops’ story seems to be full of holes itself.  Last night (18 April), in a whirlwind of activity by the US’ out-of-control police state, the cops went on a frenzied chase through several towns after… someone.  The National Post of Canada put together this timeline of events:

Cops' timeline doesn't add up

Cops’ timeline doesn’t add up – IWPCHI  [Source: The National Post, Canada]

Here, you can see that the three events that supposedly took place between 11:00 PM, when the two suspects supposedly hijacked a car on the far east side of Cambridge, Mass., and 11:18 PM, when one of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was seen at a Bank of America ATM – don’t make a lot of sense.  First the two men are together, then they separate, then they are together again, and they travel a long distance in 18 minutes in typically horrible Boston traffic.

Also, what actually happened to Tamerlan?  The Post says he was run over by his little brother, who is driving… a second car?  But the cops have told reporters that he blew himself up with a suicide vest; and the doctors who treated him claim that he was shot several times and had shrapnel wounds – no mention of him having been crushed by a car or having any injuries consistent with being hit by a car.

Then, the cops are running around chasing this one remaining suspect in two widely separate locations: in Watertown, where they surround a house and reinforce their dragnet with hundreds of cops and remain there for 12 hours or more, only to find out (we have just learned) that the suspect was not even there!  And, at the same time, in front of a hospital blocks away, the crazed cops are frantically screaming for people to “get down, active shooter!”  They’re lucky they didn’t kill anyone!  And there was no one there at all.

Of course, as we all know: whenever a cop gets shot, the cops turn from their typically vicious, racist selves into a racist death squad.  And of course, we all know just how stable and responsible the Boston Police are when they are under pressure to locate a suspect in a high-profile murder case.  Remember the Charles Stuart case?  And we don’t have to go that far back in history to find more stellar “police work” the Boston Police, like cops in every major US city – most run by Democrats –  have a long list of victims of their frenzied manhunts.

As if all of this isn’t shocking enough – a brazen overreaching and naked exposure of the very real, existing threat to our civil liberties by the US police state – we have the sad spectacle of the citizens of Boston and the surrounding towns very willingly surrendering their rights to this frenzied mob of racist cops and their outrageous “advisory” that 1,000,000 Massachusetts citizens stay home! An illegal “suggestion”, that only needs to be a suggestion because there is no need to declare martial law in the United States any more: the slavish US citizens will stupidly obey any illegal order issued by the police!

[UPDATE: Today (20 April, 2013) we are finding out that the FBI had these men under surveillance for perhaps as long as 5 years and decided that they were not a threat and ended their ‘investigation’.  And Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect, after apparently passing the FBI’s security analysis, obtained his US citizenship on 9/11/2012 – the anniversary of the September 11 attacks!]

This story can only get weirder.

IWPCHI

[Sources: The National Post (Canada); ABC News (U.S.); Massachusetts Governor’s Office website;  Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency website;  Metro Boston Homeland Security website; Reuters via Yahoo News]

Leon Trotsky: “Why Marxists Oppose Individual Terrorism”

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Boston, we wish to make clear that the revolutionary socialist workers movement – of which we are a part – is now and has always been opposed to the philosophy of terrorism as a means of revolutionary change.  This early essay by the great Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky is an excellent outline of the revolutionary Marxist attitude towards terrorism.

IWPCHI

**************************************
Leon Trotsky
Why Marxists Oppose Individual Terrorism
(November 1911)

Originally published in German in Der Kampf, November 1911.
Originally transcribed for the Philisophy/History Archive, which is now the Philosophy Section of the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Proofread by Einde O’Callaghan, November 2006.

Our class enemies are in the habit of complaining about our terrorism. What they mean by this is rather unclear. They would like to label all the activities of the proletariat directed against the class enemy’s interests as terrorism. The strike, in their eyes, is the principal method of terrorism. The threat of a strike, the organisation of strike pickets, an economic boycott of a slave-driving boss, a moral boycott of a traitor from our own ranks—all this and much more they call terrorism. If terrorism is understood in this way as any action inspiring fear in, or doing harm to, the enemy, then of course the entire class struggle is nothing but terrorism. And the only question remaining is whether the bourgeois politicians have the right to pour out their flood of moral indignation about proletarian terrorism when their entire state apparatus with its laws, police and army is nothing but an apparatus for capitalist terror!

However, it must be said that when they reproach us with terrorism, they are trying—although not always consciously—to give the word a narrower, less indirect meaning. The damaging of machines by workers, for example, is terrorism in this strict sense of the word. The killing of an employer, a threat to set fire to a factory or a death threat to its owner, an assassination attempt, with revolver in hand, against a government minister—all these are terrorist acts in the full and authentic sense. However, anyone who has an idea of the true nature of international Social Democracy ought to know that it has always opposed this kind of terrorism and does so in the most irreconcilable way.

Why?

‘Terrorising’ with the threat of a strike, or actually conducting a strike is something only industrial workers can do. The social significance of a strike depends directly upon first, the size of the enterprise or the branch of industry that it affects, and second, the degree to which the workers taking part in it are organised, disciplined, and ready for action. This is just as true of a political strike as it is for an economic one. It continues to be the method of struggle that flows directly from the productive role of the proletariat in modern society.

Belittles the role of the masses

In order to develop, the capitalist system needs a parliamentary superstructure. But because it cannot confine the modern proletariat to a political ghetto, it must sooner or later allow the workers to participate in parliament. In elections, the mass character of the proletariat and its level of political development—quantities which, again, are determined by its social role, i.e. above all, its productive role—find their expression.

As in a strike, so in elections the method, aim, and result of the struggle always depend on the social role and strength of the proletariat as a class. Only the workers can conduct a strike. Artisans ruined by the factory, peasants whose water the factory is poisoning, or lumpen proletarians in search of plunder can smash machines, set fire to a factory, or murder its owner.

Only the conscious and organised working class can send a strong representation into the halls of parliament to look out for proletarian interests. However, in order to murder a prominent official you need not have the organised masses behind you. The recipe for explosives is accessible to all, and a Browning can be obtained anywhere. In the first case, there is a social struggle, whose methods and means flow necessarily from the nature of the prevailing social order; and in the second, a purely mechanical reaction identical anywhere—in China as in France—very striking in its outward form (murder, explosions and so forth) but absolutely harmless as far as the social system goes.

A strike, even of modest size, has social consequences: strengthening of the workers’ self-confidence, growth of the trade union, and not infrequently even an improvement in productive technology. The murder of a factory owner produces effects of a police nature only, or a change of proprietors devoid of any social significance. Whether a terrorist attempt, even a ‘successful’ one throws the ruling class into confusion depends on the concrete political circumstances. In any case the confusion can only be shortlived; the capitalist state does not base itself on government ministers and cannot be eliminated with them. The classes it serves will always find new people; the mechanism remains intact and continues to function.

But the disarray introduced into the ranks of the working masses themselves by a terrorist attempt is much deeper. If it is enough to arm oneself with a pistol in order to achieve one’s goal, why the efforts of the class struggle? If a thimbleful of gunpowder and a little chunk of lead is enough to shoot the enemy through the neck, what need is there for a class organisation? If it makes sense to terrify highly placed personages with the roar of explosions, where is the need for the party? Why meetings, mass agitation and elections if one can so easily take aim at the ministerial bench from the gallery of parliament?

In our eyes, individual terror is inadmissible precisely because it belittles the role of the masses in their own consciousness, reconciles them to their powerlessness, and turns their eyes and hopes towards a great avenger and liberator who some day will come and accomplish his mission. The anarchist prophets of the ‘propaganda of the deed’ can argue all they want about the elevating and stimulating influence of terrorist acts on the masses. Theoretical considerations and political experience prove otherwise. The more ‘effective’ the terrorist acts, the greater their impact, the more they reduce the interest of the masses in self-organisation and self-education. But the smoke from the confusion clears away, the panic disappears, the successor of the murdered minister makes his appearance, life again settles into the old rut, the wheel of capitalist exploitation turns as before; only the police repression grows more savage and brazen. And as a result, in place of the kindled hopes and artificially aroused excitement comes disillusionment and apathy.

The efforts of reaction to put an end to strikes and to the mass workers’ movement in general have always, everywhere, ended in failure. Capitalist society needs an active, mobile and intelligent proletariat; it cannot, therefore, bind the proletariat hand and foot for very long. On the other hand, the anarchist ‘propaganda of the deed’ has shown every time that the state is much richer in the means of physical destruction and mechanical repression than are the terrorist groups.

If that is so, where does it leave the revolution? Is it rendered impossible by this state of affairs? Not at all. For the revolution is not a simple aggregate of mechanical means. The revolution can arise only out of the sharpening of the class struggle, and it can find a guarantee of victory only in the social functions of the proletariat. The mass political strike, the armed insurrection, the conquest of state power—all this is determined by the degree to which production has been developed, the alignment of class forces, the proletariat’s social weight, and finally, by the social composition of the army, since the armed forces are the factor that in time of revolution determines the fate of state power.

Social Democracy is realistic enough not to try to avoid the revolution that is developing out of the existing historical conditions; on the contrary, it is moving to meet the revolution with eyes wide open. But—contrary to the anarchists and in direct struggle against them—Social Democracy rejects all methods and means that have as their goal to artificially force the development of society and to substitute chemical preparations for the insufficient revolutionary strength of the proletariat.

Before it is elevated to the level of a method of political struggle, terrorism makes its appearance in the form of individual acts of revenge. So it was in Russia, the classic land of terrorism. The flogging of political prisoners impelled Vera Zasulich to give expression to the general feeling of indignation by an assassination attempt on General Trepov. Her example was imitated in the circles of the revolutionary intelligentsia, who lacked any mass support. What began as an act of unthinking revenge was developed into an entire system in 1879-81. The outbreaks of anarchist assassination in Western Europe and North America always come after some atrocity committed by the government—the shooting of strikers or executions of political opponents. The most important psychological source of terrorism is always the feeling of revenge in search of an outlet.

There is no need to belabour the point that Social Democracy has nothing in common with those bought-and-paid-for moralists who, in response to any terrorist act, make solemn declarations about the ‘absolute value’ of human life. These are the same people who, on other occasions, in the name of other absolute values—for example, the nation’s honour or the monarch’s prestige—are ready to shove millions of people into the hell of war. Today their national hero is the minister who gives the sacred right of private property; and tomorrow, when the desperate hand of the unemployed workers is clenched into a fist or picks upon a weapon, they will start in with all sorts of nonsense about the inadmissibility of violence in any form.

Whatever the eunuchs and pharisees of morality may say, the feeling of revenge has its rights. It does the working class the greatest moral credit that it does not look with vacant indifference upon what is going on in this best of all possible worlds. Not to extinguish the proletariat’s unfulfilled feeling of revenge, but on the contrary to stir it up again and again, to deepen it, and to direct it against the real causes of all injustice and human baseness—that is the task of the Social Democracy.

If we oppose terrorist acts, it is only because individual revenge does not satisfy us. The account we have to settle with the capitalist system is too great to be presented to some functionary called a minister. To learn to see all the crimes against humanity, all the indignities to which the human body and spirit are subjected, as the twisted outgrowths and expressions of the existing social system, in order to direct all our energies into a collective struggle against this system—that is the direction in which the burning desire for revenge can find its highest moral satisfaction.

[Source: Marxists Internet Archive]