An Open Letter to Volvo Truck Workers in Dublin, Virginia

To the members of UAW Local 2069:

I don’t think you can realize how much of an inspiration you are to how many people.

The battle you’re fighting goes far beyond the immediate issues. We’re living in a world where you can’t open your eyes without seeing a cause for despair: the pandemic, first of all, with the refusal of public officials to keep schools and factories closed to prevent the spread. But it doesn’t stop there: endless war, abuse of immigrants, climate catastrophe, cops who commit murder with impunity, attacks on voting rights.  War criminals walk around free, while Julian Assange, who exposed them, remains in Belmarsh Prison. I could go on and on.

We look for political solutions, and what do we see? The Republicans are moving toward becoming an openly fascist party, while the Democrats, more frightened of mass resistance to fascism than of fascism itself, do everything they can to stifle opposition to the Wall Street bloodsuckers. And the Unions, which I grew up believing were the means of defense of workers right, are now entirely under the thumb of the very corporations they should be defending us against.

And this is when you stand up and say, “No, we’ll take you all on, the corporation, the corrupt union, and the political toadies.” It is inspiring, it is uplifting.

From my position, I can’t know how this battle will turn out—if this is the spark that ignites other auto workers, and from them, those in other industries both here and abroad, as you’ve already inspired your brothers and sisters in Belgium. But I’m watching, and hoping, and so are many, many others.

I’m a supporter, though not a member, of the Socialist Equality Party, and I read the World Socialist Web Site to help me get a handle on what’s going on in the world and what it means, which is how I’ve been following your fight. But what I’m saying to you now is not coming so much from a political stand, as an intensely personal one: You are giving me, and others like me, hope, and you ought to know that.

Warmest Regards,

Steven Brust

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I play the drum.

10 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Volvo Truck Workers in Dublin, Virginia”

  1. I guess it is very different where you live. In PA the schools were closed for a year. And in many parts of the country, especially the urban ones, my understanding is many of the public schools are still closed, or just starting to reopen.

  2. Not looking to detract from your larger point, with which I wholeheartedly agree, but I feel like you could pick a better example than Assange to juxtapose with unjailed war criminals. Not only were his methods of exposing corruption problematic, but he allied with some truly dangerous interests antithetical to his stated ideals, and is very credibly accused of some fairly heinous personal crimes – which are the actual proximate cause of his imprisonment, not anything to do with his role exposing cover-ups.

    Chelsea Manning would make a more just comparison, if not as pithy since she isn’t behind bars right now (for the moment – she may well suffer further persecution, and she’s sure as hell suffered far more direct harm than Assange).

    Reality Winner would make an even better one, though her whistleblowing was over quite different acts of corruption.

    Im just saying Assange really doesn’t deserve to be accorded hero-status.

  3. Sure, we can talk about that. Assange is the perfect counterpoint, because he is in jail exactly because he exposed those war crimes and for no other reason, and he’s been the subject of such a massive smear campaign that there are sincere and well-intentioned people who believe such utter rubbish as that he supported Trump, or was working for Putin. These slanders could not have gained such a wide hearing if it were not for a massive disinformation campaign, and that campaign took place because of his work exposing US war crimes.

    If you’d like a detailed breakdown of the various smears and why they’re nonsense, this is a good source.

  4. I think Assange gets portrayed as a Trumper unfairly because some of the leaked diplomatic cables hurt Hilary Clinton.

    Assange is a hero for doing so. Both Trump and Hilary Clinton are devoted servants of the .01%.

  5. Does openly fascist require accepting the label? Because I’ve found that they refute the term, but love all the component pieces of it.

  6. No, it doesn’t. One element of fascism is that (unlike military dictatorship or junta or other forms of right wing authoritarianism) it bases itself on a mass movement, and you cannot create a mass movement by yelling, “More money for Wall Street!” or “We want to take away your freedom!” Since that’s what fascist means to masses of people now, they’ll avoid the term, even while building a movement to carry out those policies.

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