Monday, June 9, 2014

"Fake socialists" in California politics

2014-06-09 from Stephen Argue of the Revolutionary Tendency (Santa Cruz):
I've debated the mayor, Mike Rotkin, or former mayor now, who claimed to be a socialist, but was the most vocal supporter of the city's anti-homeless laws, including one that makes it illegal for the homeless to sleep at night.
Yes, sometimes when left wing politics are popular, the right claims the that mantle in order to continue the status quo. When I ran for city council in Santa Cruz I said I would use my position to rally the working class to fight to double the minimum wage. In response, fake socialist and establishment Democratic City Council member, Mike Rotkin, responded to my campaign saying it was impossible for a municipality to raise the minimum wage. In addition, Mike Rotkin claimed that if it was possible, they [the city council) would have done it long ago. Rotkin was lying on both counts. As I knew when I ran, municipalities can raise minimum wages. In addition, when an initiative was placed on the ballot to increase the minimum wage, Mike Rotkin campaigned against it.
Similarly, small businesses in Santa Cruz see homeless people as a problem and the Santa Cruz City Council, working on their behalf, directs the police to harass the homeless, in part under laws that make it illegal for homeless people to sleep at night, cover up with blankets, pitch a tent, sleep in a car, or sit on a sidewalk.
It will take a higher level of working class consciousness, organization, and resistance to set these things straight, in the meantime, those who rule have a lot of cards up their sleeves, including fake socialists to do their bidding.