How should workers respond to right wing voter intimidation?
An ultraright militia group called the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia, in an effort to suppress minority voting in the Wisconsin election, is planning to show up armed at polling places in majority Black precincts. The so-called Poll Watcher Militia wants to help reactionary Governor Scott Walker gain re-election.
“The group is trying to get African-Americans who may have outstanding warrants arrested in order to keep them from voting. The group wants people to report those they suspect of having warrants out on them to the police on election day, “Do the community a favor and keep an eye out for people wanted on warrants and report them to the police on election day.”
The “poll watchers” also plan on harassing and following people who they suspect of being wanted on warrants to their homes. The plan seems to be to use the police to intimidate African-Americans into not voting in November’s election”
Ultraright militia groups are apparently not satisfied with terrorizing immigrant workers and small children from Central America and seem bent on an armed confrontation with the state. Earlier this year, militia groups rushed to the aid of the reactionary and racist rancher, Cliven Bundy. After the mass uprising in Ferguson, MO, fascist groups feel emboldened and are trying to capitalize on white fear.
Voter intimidation based on race is a violation of the voting rights act but this is no guarantee that the government or the Democrats will mobilize to guarantee the right to vote. That said, past elections have seen massive voter intimidation and suppression without much reaction beyond feeble protests from the Democrats.
Workers and the oppressed can’t rely on the courts, cops or capitalist politicians to save us or protect our hard-won democratic rights. The answer is mass counter-mobilization of unions and community organizations to protect polling places from this proto-fascist scum. Unions and community organizations should organize defense guards and openly challenge these reactionaries in the streets.