Oakland, Calif. — “Socialism and the Black Liberation Struggle” was the topic of the forum held in Oakland on Feb. 11, which opened the Black History Month California Tour sponsored by Workers World Party. Monica Moorehead, WWP’s 2016 presidential candidate and a managing editor of WW newspaper, is the tour’s featured speaker.
Moorehead explained: “Capitalist bourgeois democracy in the U.S. has proven incapable of resolving the 20th century crisis of the ‘color line,’ to quote W.E.B. Du Bois, which is white supremacy as well as other forms of oppression. Capitalism had the opportunity to redeem itself a century and a half ago since Black Reconstruction but failed miserably.”
Discussing the current situation, Moorehead said: “The productive forces are overripe for socialism in the U.S. but have to be extracted from private hands. Winning socialism in the U.S., through revolutionary solidarity with the most oppressed, will cause a huge rippling effect throughout the world in terms of washing away all forms of inequality, war and exploitation worldwide.”
Pierre LaBossiere, leader of the Haiti Action Committee, opened the forum. He talked about the historical role Haitians played in the struggle to overturn slavery, not just in Haiti, but throughout the Americas. He expressed concern about how the ongoing struggle for democracy in Haiti — with daily demonstrations in the streets — is largely ignored by mainstream media and much of the “progressive” media, too.
LaBossiere pointed out that Haitians in the U.S. have been involved in the working-class struggle here, but now face deportation because Trump rescinded the temporary protected status agreement. TPS was originally provided after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Jeremy Miller, of the Idriss Stelley Foundation and the Last 3 Percent of San Francisco, closed the forum. He described the influence of Black socialist leaders in the struggle in the U.S., including in Black churches in the late 1800s. Miller raised the role of Black workers in the workers’ struggle here and explained how the absence of higher-paid jobs for Black workers affected their role in that struggle.
The tour moves on to Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. at the Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice, 5278 W. Pico Blvd.; and then to San Diego on Sunday, Feb. 18 at noon at UNITE HERE Local 30 at 2436 Market St.