Defending constitutional freedoms from attack by the capitalist rulers is at the center of the class struggle. That fact is borne out by the latest attack on Donald Trump, barring him from the Colorado and Maine ballots.
The unqualified defense of basic freedoms is at the heart of a resolution adopted by the Socialist Workers Party, reprinted in The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us: The Socialist Workers Party Looks Forward by party leaders Jack Barnes, Mary-Alice Waters and Steve Clark.
“Class conscious workers,” they write, “must unconditionally oppose anti-constitutional assaults by the government on freedom of worship and speech; freedom of the press, association and assembly; prohibition of ‘unreasonable search and seizure’; and other liberties needed and used by the toilers.”
These freedoms are needed whenever workers mobilize to defend ourselves. They’re being used today by striking bakery union workers in Memphis, Tennessee; at actions defending Israel’s right to exist as a refuge for Jews; and at protests demanding an end to Washington’s economic war against Cuba’s socialist revolution.
Democrats are mounting an unparalleled number of court actions against Trump, seeking to deprive working people of the right to vote for the candidate of their choice, whoever that might be. Among the indictments are violations of thought-control conspiracy and espionage laws, and statutes used by the rulers to target opponents of Washington’s wars, labor leaders and socialists.
“Under conditions of the bourgeois regime, all suppression of political rights and freedom, no matter whom they are directed against in the beginning, in the end inevitably bear down upon the working class, particularly its most advanced elements,” Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky wrote in 1939. “That is a law of history.”
Overall the U.S. Constitution codifies the class rule of the capitalists who exploit working people. But protections against government attack were won by struggles of working people and two great revolutions, in 1776 and the Civil War.
These freedoms are under serious assault. “Bourgeois and upper-middle-class political forces, organized especially in the imperialist Democratic Party today, are seeking to disenfranchise those the liberals and the ‘left’ scorn as benighted working people, whom they increasingly fear as well,” the SWP resolution explains.
The Socialist Workers Party is running its own candidates. They present a program for the working class to fight for our own class interests and point the road toward taking political power into our own hands.