New York — The capitalist class held an event at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on Oct. 7-8 called the World Business Forum. Five thousand of the richest CEOs and bankers met there to share their experiences in how to slash benefits, lower wages and bust unions.
Outraged by this display of vast wealth in a time of prolonged crisis for the working class, Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST), a militant youth organization, decided to cut to the heart of the issue and called for a march against the entire system that allows for such crimes — capitalism itself.
Young revolutionaries from New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore met in Columbus Circle before the march with signs, banners and flags. Notable were several flags from the former Soviet Union and even one from the anti-fascist group Union Borotba, which is currently fighting in eastern Ukraine. Some protesters held up images of Che Guevara to honor this revolutionary internationalist on the anniversary of his death. Some signs read, “The real enemy is on Wall St.!”
Carried out as a people’s class on Marxism and anti-imperialism in the streets, the march traveled to eight different locations around midtown Manhattan, including statues of Simon Bolivar and Jose Marti, Chase Bank, Fox News and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Activists spoke out about national liberation struggles in Latin America, represented by the statues of Simon Bolivar and Jose Marti. These two are heroes in their countries, Venezuela and Cuba, respectively, and offer inspiration for revolutions against imperialism.
Chase Bank, one of the largest private banks in the world, is an icon of finance capital and thus a natural target for the march. Speakers discussed the role of the imperialist banks, how they have come to dominate the capitalist economy, subordinating all other industries and causing wars.
Supporting the banks in their drive for wars to secure profits are the corporate news outlets and media. Among the most jingoistic and reactionary of these is Fox News. Interestingly, their headquarters is only one block away from Chase’s own headquarters, illustrating who they really take their orders from. Speakers denounced wars of aggression and the hypocrisy of so-called freedom of the press under capitalism, while underscoring the need for socialist revolution.
The institution of the Catholic Church, represented by St. Patrick’s Cathedral, has for centuries been a bastion of misogyny and homophobia. Activists spoke on the issues of reproductive rights, the inequality of women in the church, and the church’s history of violence and bigotry against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people.
At the conclusion of the march, activists converged on a rally held by the New York People’s Power Assembly in front of Radio City Music Hall. Demands were raised for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and a union for all workers, as well as rights for immigrants and an end to police terror.
The young revolutionaries who took part in the march were energetic and determined to end this criminal capitalist system and build a better world. When protesters were taunted by bankers at Chase, they stood defiant and laughed. They knew that for each protester on that day there would soon be 10,000 more, and they wouldn’t only be holding signs and chanting. They would be seizing those very same banks, taking back all the wealth that had been stolen, and building a new world based on human needs, not capitalist greed.