This year closes out with the jubilation of feminists taking to the streets to celebrate a hard-fought win for abortion rights in Argentina. The mask-wearing crowds stand as a symbol of the two outstanding features of 2020: enormous hardships and extraordinary resistance.
Government mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic exposed capitalism’s inhumanity on a grand scale as billionaires profited, especially in the United States, and everyday people suffered. At the same time, it became clear how undervalued are the essential workers — so many of them female, of color, immigrant, and queer — who keep society running. Amazon employees, healthcare workers, and many more drove the point home and stood up for themselves with wildcat strikes, walkouts, and other protests over working conditions.
Another epidemic, namely the scourge of cops murdering Black people, produced even more dramatic resistance. Millions took part in Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the U.S., demanding radical change in policing and the justice system. The strongly multiracial nature of the protests showed an instinct for solidarity and a shift in awareness about racism unprecedented in recent times. The incredible size and militant energy of this movement, combined with the continuing violence of the police, mean that it will live on.
Notwithstanding all the drama over elections in 2020, electoral contests are not what matter most for the future of the working class, in the U.S. or around the world. It is the actions of exploited and oppressed people on their own account, like those noted above. The struggle continues, la lucha continúa. And the workers of the world go forward into 2021 more conscious, more resolved, and more battle-tested.
For the Freedom Socialist Party, 2020 was a year of growth, as it was for our sister organization, Radical Women, and the international organization we are part of, the Committee for Revolutionary International Regroupment. FSP is deeply grateful to the people who supported us with donations, volunteer help, expressions of solidarity, and more. We look forward to another year of growth while we push for the things that working people need, including massive jobs and training programs to provide full, socially useful, adequately protected employment.
We invite you to join us. The challenges facing the working class — economic, environmental, physical — can seem daunting. But the size of the opportunity to shake up the status quo, to make radical change, is directly proportional to the size of the challenges. FSP believes that by confronting the challenges together, working people can make the year 2021 one for the history books of the socialist future.