Protest at the 2024 Democratic National Convention
Interview with Frank Chapman, executive director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Fight Back!: The Democratic Party has announced that their convention will be held in Chicago, August 19 through 22, 2024. The National Alliance was part of the March on the Democratic National Convention Coalition in Milwaukee in 2020. Will you march again at the Chicago convention?
Frank Chapman: I think it is absolutely necessary for us to march again, given what has happened from 2020 until now. The crisis in democracy at this point is deeper and broader, involving everything from the continued struggle that we've been waging around community control of the police, and while nothing's been done about the George Floyd bill in Congress.
With the attack on abortion rights, there has been a great leap backwards in the rights of women; there are also attacks on the LGBTQ community. There has been no progress in Washington in the rights of immigrants. There is also a renewed struggle for the rights of workers to organize and to strike to change the deplorable working conditions under which they work. This includes a the drive for new unionization both at Starbucks and Amazon. Biden betrayed the railroad workers unions in their demands for safe working conditions.
All of these issues have matured and gotten deeper, and so we have to address those issues with the people's agenda.
The Alliance, if you don't mind me mentioning this, is a defense organization. It is our duty and our responsibility to defend the democratic rights of the people. And when we say defend the democratic rights of the people, what are we talking about? We are specifically talking about defending the democratic rights of the people to organize, protest and bring about the systemic changes necessary to better their lives.
Fight Back!: What about the demands of the peace movement?
Chapman: Of course! It's directly related to racist and political repression. Why do I say that? What happened to Biden’s great Build Back Better legislation? What happened to the great renewal we were supposed to have after the COVID epidemic?
It's been gobbled up by the war in Ukraine, which is a proxy war that our country is waging with Russia. So, we see something that we've seen before. We saw it with the Vietnam War. We saw it with these police-like interventions in other countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The military budget deprives us of the means of making the social reforms that are necessary to improve the life of the people in our country. And so, we have to be opposed to that.
Also, the military feeds the repression in our cities with regard to the police because they feed the police weapons, including tanks, sniper equipment, and all kinds of things,
We have to be opposed to the war because first and foremost, what war does, as Dr. King pointed out years ago, it takes the ability of the government to address much needed social reforms in this country. It puts guns before bread and butter.
Fight Back!: Any final thoughts that you want to share with the readers?
Chapman: Yes. Some people are going to say, why protest the Democratic Party? Shouldn't you just protest the Republican Party? That's who the real enemy is.
And what we're going to say in response to that is that, as a movement, we have an unalienable democratic right to make demands of whoever is in power, whether it's a Democratic Party or the Republican Party. And in this era in which we talk about the billionaire class and all of that, I think they're both in service to the billionaire class. So, hell yeah, we're going to make demands of them.