Posted on January 15th, 2021
Breitbart News, a notorious far-right digital tabloid co-owned by the climate-change-denying mega-Trump-donor Mercer family, has placed Councilmember Kshama Sawant on a list of “Seven Prominent Twitter Accounts Still Active After Promoting Violence and Disinformation”.
The article laments that Twitter has banned Donald Trump from their website while allowing other figures who have “spread disinformation and explicitly called for violence” to keep their social media accounts. Under a section detailing the dangers of “antifa”, the article calls the peaceful CHOP/CHAZ protest of last summer “a bona fide act of violent insurrection,” and includes a screenshot of Kshama’s tweet in support of the call from grassroots Black Lives Matter activists to turn the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct into a center for community and restorative justice.
The right wing sees Kshama as a threat because of her continued leadership in building mass movements to win major progressive victories. Help ensure that we keep her voice on the City Council by donating now to the Kshama Solidarity Campaign!
In addition to Kshama, the article also targets professional athlete and Black Lives Matter activist Colin Kaepernick, claiming that his courageous calls for justice for George Floyd also amount to “spreading disinformation and calling for violence”.
Breitbart labels “antifa” – a general pejorative the far right uses for all progressives and socialists – as “violent domestic terrorists.” This dangerous false narrative is being leveled by the far right at Black Lives Matter, socialists, and working-class movements across the country, including here in Seattle.
It’s not just far-right publications like Breitbart making these sorts of attacks. The right-wing Recall Campaign against Kshama Sawant also targets her for role in the Black Lives Matter movement. Two of the recall charges are directly linked to her involvement with the protests of last summer. The Recall Campaign has also put forward the absurd claim that Kshama’s protesting peacefully against police brutality amounts to promoting “lawlessness.”
Just like with winning the Amazon Tax, the $15 minimum wage, and the ban on police use of chemical weapons in Seattle, the only way to effectively fight back against the right is by building broad working-class movements. After the horrific events in Charlottesville in 2017 where activist Heather Heyer was killed, the far right was momentarily stopped in its tracks when it was massively outnumbered by 40,000 peaceful protesters in Boston. Last week’s terror on the Capitol building in Washington DC is an ominous sign that the far right is getting further organized, and should be a wake up call for progressives and the left.
Here in Seattle, the right wing is getting organized through their billionaire-backed recall campaign against Kshama. That’s why we’re building a movement to fight back. It’s critical that we defend Kshama’s Council office from this attack. If big business and the right wing are successful in recalling Kshama, they will use it as a springboard for further attacks on socialists and the left nationally.
Our fight against the recall is tied to building the movement for comprehensive COVID relief paid for by increasing the Amazon Tax, a guaranteed jobs program, and Green New Deal programs to create affordable housing and massively expand transit. Kshama’s office is currently fighting to extend the eviction moratorium through the end of this year and for renters to have guaranteed right to legal counsel, as urgent measures to prevent what economists predict will be a tsunami of evictions as debt piles up during the COVID crisis.
When we fight to win bold, concrete gains like these, we can sway disaffected people away from right-wing ideas, and toward solutions that truly benefit all working and oppressed people.
Can you help us defeat the right-wing recall and fight for a bold program by making a donation to the Kshama Solidarity Campaign? A donation of $15, $50, or $500 all help to ensure that we have the resources we need to build our grassroots movement.