Biden's Initial Actions and People's Resistance
January 27, 2021. Action
in Washington, DC on the fourth anniversary of the ban by
then-President Trump on foreign nationals from seven predominantly
Muslim countries visiting the U.S.
Biden has become the 46th president of the United States at a time of
widespread discontent with government. Resistance and demands for
justice, equality and accountability persist, including in cities like
Seattle, Portland, New York City and Washington, DC.
President, Biden has a responsibility to preserve the Union, the United
States, as a united whole, while also preserving a constitutional order
that keeps the people out of power. His Inaugural Address and initial
actions are aimed at precisely this. They are addressed to the vying
factions among the rulers whose conflicts remain unresolved through the
means of the election. Impeachment, Congressional gridlock and talk of
having to "fight the enemy within" are indications of the sharp
conflicts within and between the ruling factions. For their part,
working people continue to speak in their own name with slogans such as
"The Vote is Over, the Fight Goes On," banner drops and organized
actions in defence of rights which include the demand for a decisive
say in setting the direction of the economy and the country.
January 2021. Organizing
in Kansas City against evictions.
In his inaugural
address, Biden made repeated reference
to the Civil War. Such references are also repeatedly made by members
of the House of Representatives, such as in their impeachment
documents, by Senator Ted Cruz, and many others. Biden spoke to the
"resilience of the Constitution" and its "we the people who seek a more
perfect union." He appealed to the vying factions to unite: "We can
join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature, for without
unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury... No nation, only a
state of chaos." He repeatedly expressed this demand for unity among
the rulers, going so far as to make it sound like a threat: "Yet hear
me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion."
is not manifested among the people, who across the country have shown
their united stand, such as in the actions in city after city, south
and north, east and west, after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna
Taylor and others. Disunion is a fear the rulers have that their "more
perfect union" will again end up in violent civil war. It is the morbid
preoccupation they have with defeat and death -- that U.S.-style
democracy will "die on our watch," as Biden put it. And further, that
without that unity among the rulers, today's government of police
powers, with its well-known violence and lawlessness, will be unable to
suppress the determined resistance of the people, over COVID-19
concerns, evictions, unemployment, hunger, education, and more.
When Biden talks of the "common objects" that "define us
as Americans," he refers not to the demands of the majority for human
rights, equality and peace, but to the old promise of "opportunity,
security, liberty..." This is accompanied by another threat, this time
against the people who are told it is a "duty and responsibility as
citizens, as Americans," to "honour our Constitution and protect our
What then of the striving of the
people for governing arrangements that permit them to exercise control
over policing and budgets, that empower them to speak in their own name
and take the decisions on all the matters that affect their lives? Are
their demands to be considered "extremist" and "unAmerican"?
initial actions using Executive Orders on
immigration, COVID-19 and the environment are clearly intended to
"lower the temperature" of the resistance and anger which exists from
one end of the United States to the other. These Executive Orders,
along with a $1.9 trillion bill related to COVID-19 and one on
immigration, seek to line up the fighting forces behind him, especially
nurses, teachers and immigrant rights organizers, as well as all those
fighting to make sure Black Lives Matter. All have been organizing
independently and directing their attention to defending rights and
rallying the general public. Biden seeks instead to divert and limit
resistance to supporting his actions.
January 26, 2021.
Protest by essential workers in New York City.
month into his presidency, Biden does not appear to be succeeding.
While some welcome the Executive Orders and legislation as a possible
"start," they also express their lack of confidence that the promises
made will materialize. Nurses and other frontline workers have said
Biden can do far more by invoking the Defense Production Act
to quickly provide all the personal protective equipment (PPE) and
testing materials necessary for the health and safety of all. Immigrant
rights organizers have persisted with their demands for equal rights
and status for all, which Biden's bill does not begin to provide.
Similarly, some unions, rights organizations and youth are organizing
to strengthen resistance together at the local and state levels.
The general sentiment remains that government cannot be
counted on to deliver and that it is the people's forces, that are
decisive in bringing about the change required. Biden's reliance on the
old ways of promising to deliver "racial justice" and end "growing
inequity" by taking a few initial actions will not overcome the broad
lack of confidence in government among the people.
Vote is Over, the Fight Goes On."
January 30, 2021. St.
This article was published in
Volume 51 Number 2 - February 7, 2021
Biden's Initial Actions and People's Resistance