Ross Mirkarimi: Shill for the Ruling Class


Fake leftist politician plays the family card like all the rest!

Fake leftist politician plays the family card like all the rest!

Protecting the capitalists’ right to extract surplus value from workers requires not only underemployment, stagnating wages, cuts in social programs and pensions, overpriced housing and increased medical insurance rates.  Its protection results in an increasing gap between the rich and poor and thus requires greater and greater security for the 1%, as well as protection for the 7% that found a spot as the 1%’s lapdogs, in the form of exclusive communities. And indeed, a big chunk of San Francisco has become one of these Toney havens.  Today capitalism requires private security, privatized transit, militarized police forces on one side and over-crowded prisons, non-functional schools and dead-end jobs on the other.  To hold it all together, this criminal surplus value extraction enterprise, celebrated by its benefactors by its right name-capitalism, requires willing enforcers. And fake leftists have, for decades, found their niche in the San Francisco sheriff’s office, keeping the working poor and outcast and oppressed communities in check and under threat of lock up.  Ross Mirkarimi’s predecessor, Michael Hennessey rode a “progressive” wave in liberal San Francisco for a 32-year reign as sheriff, bringing condoms to the jails, building two new jails, with 100% visibility for the screws, while playing up his “progressive” programs and increasing the Sheriff’s department influence protecting dignitaries and giving this tool of the state repression a veneer of liberal respectability.

 For Ross Mirkarimi, aco-founder of the capitalist Green Party in California, it was a logical trajectory to return to the fold, join the Democratic Party and win election as sheriff of San Francisco in 2011.[1]  The politics of the Green Party, which ostensibly desires a greener, kinder, gentler capitalism, are not qualitatively different than that of Democratic Party “progressives.”   As part and parcel of “progressive” politics, in October, former Green Mirkarimi asked the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to approve a funding request for a new jail![2]  This has provoked “criticism from community members who’d prefer more rehab programs, and fewer jail cells” as “many counties are spending money to expand the jails instead of finding community-based alternatives to confinement.”   This request comes at a time when the “jail population continues to decrease without an increase in crime” and the development of “alternative sentencing and other non-jail options for people arrested.[3]  A recent Board of Supervisors analysts’ report “…states that the city’s jail population has dropped by 30 percent since 2008 – largely because of a decrease in drug-related arrests and city policies that promote alternatives to incarceration.”[4]

 Mirkarimi was able to snooker leftists and labor in his 2011 election campaign for sheriff. Not only was he endorsed by the SF Green Party, but also by the San Francisco Labor Council, UniteHere! Local 2, the California Nurses Association and SEIU Local 1021.[5] Now he wants to build new jails to provide profit for developers and lock up working people and the oppressed.  Mirkarimi plays the role of the “progressive” face for the ruling class in order to help contain social outrage of those who either cannot cope with or outright refuse to accept wage slavery at sub-living wages in an increasingly brutal system of exploitation.

 What is the sheriff position that he wanted so badly?  Most workers experience of the sheriff is the muscleman for the landlords.  The sheriff throws your household effects out on the street when you can’t pay the rent.  What progressive person would ever want this job?  A fighting workers/labor party will never run a candidate for sheriff or for D.A. either.  We take our stand on the position of workers’ self-defense.  This has two major components.  The constabulary-style police departments in the USA are only pro-active when the bourgeoisie sees its interests or property threatened, and then it is used for repression.  Otherwise, a constabulary police force guards no one’s property and waits for crimes to be committed before they ever act.  Even orders of protection prevent no murders, no robberies, or brutalizing.  The champions of the working class want a better arrangement which will be self-organized by the working class and oppressed and responsible to all.  Such a force would represent all racial and ethnic groups, communities and localities in place of today’s racist “good-old boys” in blue.

Rodney King, Oscar Grant, John Deng, Alan Blueford, Richard Rodriguez, Kenneth Harding Jr., Mario Romero, Jared Huey, Jeremiah Moore, Anton Barrett, Ernesto Duenas, Guy Jarreau, Kimani Gray…there is a war against the Black and Brown communities by all the racist police institutions of the state taking guidance from killer cops like Johannes Mehserle etc., racists like George Zimmerman declare open season on black youth.  Then racist ciopycats get into the act.  Witness the police killing of Andy Lopez about which the “progressive” Democrats remain silent accomplices looking the other way, and while their President has been deporting immigrants in record numbers! Consider Obama’s the drone murders of civilians including U.S. nationals in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan, the never-to-be closed extra-judicial prison at Guantanamo and Big Brother NSA spying, and you have an increasingly Bonapartist and repressive police state.  The decaying American capitalism requires racist police terror and incarceration to hold it together in the face of long-term joblessness, increasing poverty and endless war as it festers.  As stated in an Al Jazeera America editorial: “The U.S. now doles out longer, harsher sentences than nearly all economically and developmentally comparable nations, but those sentences have not actually resulted in lower crime rates than our peers.”[6] A large percentage of those arrested and incarcerated are charged with non-violent drug offenses under racist laws that put the wind in the sails of the racist police targeting the Black and Brown communities.  The “war on drugs” has to do with furnishing slave labor for the prison-industrial complex rather than with the drug trade.  The CIA (Cocaine Importing Agency) has done more than a little drug trafficking in their pursuit of US imperialist interests.[7] 

Labor activists give left cover for fake left  sheriff

Labor activists give left cover for fake left sheriff

Workers and the oppressed have no interest in building new jails!  Indeed not long ago the forebears of today’s “progressives” could be heard singing along with Joan Baez, “We’re gonna raze, raze the prisons to the ground…,” but alas, that was just a song.  Today were gonna raise the rate of exploitation of the poor and if they refuse the starvation wages and fall on hard times were gonna lock their asses up! And while you’re away, the “progressive” Mirkarimi will put your furnishings out to the curb.  This is the legacy of the Obama Democrats, who Mirkarimi has joined as one of his willing enforcers, objectively Mirkarimi’s job is to hold the working class back from finding their political independence and fighting for a workers government.

 For its very survival the working class needs to unite and organize with the oppressed Black, Brown and immigrant communities, liberate the poor who are imprisoned and launch political strikes to fight for and win the social programs that are needed, such as free, quality mental healthcare and facilities and drug and alcohol rehabilitation, rather than incarceration.  It is Mirkarimi, along with the SF billionaires and the mayor and his suite of crooks, who after receiving a fair hearing at a workers’ tribunal, should serve jail time for their crimes. Workers and the poor need their own party to fight for jobs for all, free quality healthcare, education and housing, not the new jails the Democrats provide.

For its very survival the working class needs to unite and organize with the oppressed Black, Brown and immigrant communities, liberate the poor who are imprisoned and launch political strikes to fight for and win the social programs that are needed, such as free, quality mental healthcare and facilities and drug and alcohol rehabilitation, rather than incarceration.  It is Mirkarimi, along with the SF billionaires and the mayor and his suite of crooks, who after receiving a fair hearing at a workers’ tribunal, should serve jail time for their crimes. Workers and the poor need their own party to fight for jobs for all, free quality healthcare, education and housing, not the new jails the Democrats provide.


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