This statement was issued by the Texas Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee. We call on all Texas educators, parents and students to join our committee at wsws.org/edsafety . Attend and help build for our next meeting this Sunday, January 24, at 1 p.m. Central Time.
The Texas Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee calls on educators and other workers to create and join rank-and-file committees across the United States in preparation for a general political strike to remove and investigate all of the coup plotters involved in the January 6 coup attempt, which was planned in advance and coordinated by Republican officials as well as fascist sympathizers within the military-intelligence apparatus and police.
Texas politicians played a central role in the lead-up to Trump’s attempted coup. They must be exposed and held accountable for their assault on the democratic rights of the working class.
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz opposed the certification of the election in the four states in which Trump was trying to overturn the results and repeated false allegations of election fraud. Joining Cruz, many Texas Republican congressional representatives voted against certifying the results of the election in Arizona and Pennsylvania. The list includes Louie Gohmert, Pat Fallon, Lance Gooden, Ron Wright, August Pfluger, Ronny Jackson, Randy Weber, Pete Sessions, Jodey Arrington, Troy Nehls, Roger Williams, Michael Burgess, Michael Cloud, John Carter, and Brian Babin. Beth Van Duyne voted against certifying Pennsylvania.
Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, is also implicated in the coup plot, along with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Abbott repeated the false charges of election fraud circulated by Trump and the Republicans. He denounced the vetting by the FBI and Department of Defense of National Guard soldiers sent to the Capitol from Texas, tweeting on January 18: “This is the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard. No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard. I authorized more than 1,000 to go to DC. I’ll never do it again if they are disrespected like this.”
Within two days, 12 National Guard soldiers were removed from protective detail in Washington, DC, after investigators found that they had ties to right-wing extremist organizations or espoused their views. Abbott has issued no retraction of his statement.
In December, Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas—who has carried out an unrelenting assault against Texas educators—filed a brief to the Supreme Court asking it to overturn the results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and hand the appointment of electors to the Republican-controlled state legislatures in each state. After this, Paxton incited a fascist mob in a speech at the “March to Save America” rally, where Trump himself stated, “we will never concede.” Paxton has worked in Texas to force schools to reopen, tying school funding to in-person education when there were already over 500,000 cases in Texas.
When Texas’s openly anti-constitutional attempt at mass voter disenfranchisement failed, state GOP Chairman Allen West called for the formation of a secessionist movement, stating, “Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.”
On January 8, Chair of the State Republican Executive Committee and Texas Senator for Senate District 12 Jill Glover issued a press release titled “Legislative Priorities,” providing a glowing account of the January 6 rally, which she attended.
The statement reads in part: “Coming home from Washington, D.C., yesterday on the plane, I began trying to write this report and was simply unable to come up with anything to say that wouldn’t sound trite. Everything about the trip was surreal. Most of the people on the flight were Texans who had also attended the rally, including many of our wonderful activists from around the state. Representative Kyle Biedermann sat behind me, and we chatted about where we go from here. I told him I wasn’t sure what to say, and he [sic] reply was, ‘Just tell the truth.’”
Who are these people that Glover calls “our wonderful activists,” about whom she clearly has knowledge? Who among them breached the capitol walls? Who had knowledge of the bombs that were planted, caches of rifles, and plans to kidnap and kill congressmen? What are their ties to the political establishment in Texas? Such questions need to be answered before the masses, not in a closed investigation in which essential truths about the role of top officials in the attempted coup will be hidden—or never take place.
There is overwhelming mass opposition to the coup attempt, with a joint ABC News/Washington Post poll stating that “Nine in 10 Americans oppose the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.” The poll found that 71 percent believe Trump bears at least some responsibility for the attack.
In spite of this opposition and the overwhelming public evidence of the roles played by high-ranking Republicans, the Democrats and all the unions—including, in Texas, the Texas AFT and the Texas State Teachers Association, who claim to “represent” teachers—have ordered no strike nor made a call for the removal and prosecution of all the coup conspirators. In fact, none of the unions in Texas or the rest of the US have issued any call for action whatsoever.
Trump’s departure from office is not the end of the anti-democratic machinations of the American ruling class, and workers cannot have any illusions that a Biden presidency will either stop the growth of the far right or bring an end to the deadly pandemic. The incoming administration, whatever its promises regarding mask mandates and ramping up vaccine distribution, is openly committed to reopening schools and keeping workers in workplaces regardless of spiraling COVID-19 deaths and infections.
The attempted coup of January 6 was directly connected to the government’s homicidal “herd immunity” policy, which is in endorsed by both big business parties. Enraged by even the limited shutdowns imposed when the coronavirus first hit, over the course of the past nine months the most right-wing sections of the Republican Party openly cultivated fascist forces that they hoped could be used to overturn the November election and block the implementation of any public health measures providing even the most minimal protections.
In the face of this assault, the Democratic Party has preached “unity” and passivity, and called for “reaching across the aisle.” They are more afraid of a mass movement of workers in opposition to the ruling class’s response to the pandemic and the entire profit system than they are of the far right. And they too understand that coercion, force, and intimidation will have to be used to “keep the economy open” so that, above all, massive profits can continue flowing into the hands of the super-rich.
In opposition to the soporifics of the Democrats, the Texas Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee calls for the fullest investigation into the high-level connections between Texas Republicans, the Trump administration, and the far-right and fascistic groups that coordinated the January 6 coup attempt.
We urge educators, parents, students and all workers in Texas and throughout the Southwest to take up this demand as part of a broader struggle to close all schools and nonessential workplaces until the pandemic is fully contained. Join and help our committee by signing up today at wsws.org/edsafety, and spread the word about this Sunday’s meeting!