Photo: Various acts of vandalism against Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign offices around the US
By Jakob Stein
On Thursday, Michael Bloomberg’s Austin presidential campaign office was seen entirely covered with red and yellow graffiti, including revolutionary slogans such as ‘Elections No! Revolution Yes!’, hammers and sickles, and multiple smashed windows. The action against Bloomberg’s Austin office comes after a wave of vandalism against his campaign’s offices across the country, expressing the fury of the people against the imperialist billionaire.
In response to the Austin action, a campaign representative stated “These attacks against Mike Bloomberg 2020 offices in Texas and around the country are a clear attempt to intimidate and scare our hardworking team and volunteers from getting out the vote for Mike,” and told local media they’re not sure the office will be cleaned up before the March 3 primary election.
As an imperialist with a net-worth of nearly $60 billion, any claim of intimidation from Bloomberg or his campaign amount to a poorly calculated ploy for exposure, drawing further attention to the fact that both he and his campaign are widely hated by the masses and completely impotent in the face of their anger. This is all despite the fact that Bloomberg has spent massive amounts on advertising, plastering his ads across virtually every social media platform, online streaming service, and anywhere else where attention can be bought.
Bloomberg’s own campaign has given a platform to the nationwide actions, tweeting each incident in a bid for sympathy. In Salt Lake City, an entire row of front windows were broken and shattered with a total of 50 rocks found in the office. In Chicago, the office was tagged with ‘Racist, Sexist, Oligarch.’ In Flint, Michigan, a poster with ‘Eat the Rich’ was taped to a window.
Even the mildest forms of protest such as a taped poster have earned hysteria from the Bloomberg campaign, and Bloomberg has blamed the rhetoric of fellow Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for supposedly inspiring the actions. On the other hand, many Sanders supporters have implied online that the slew of vandalism across the country is a ‘false flag’ operation, coordinated by the Bloomberg campaign itself to discredit Sanders’ supporters. Both camps demonstrate how out of touch they are with the US working class, seeing graffiti and broken windows as shadowy conspiracies rather than material expressions of how people feel about bourgeois politicians.
The former Mayor of New York and founder of the Bloomberg media empire, Bloomberg is known for spending millions of dollars to influence and buy politicians across the country, first as a Republican, then as an Independent, and now as a Democrat. His moves from one side of the aisle to the other is a great demonstration of how little the political party leading the US government matters to imperialists. Both parties are guaranteed to represent imperialist interests generally, and with large campaign contributions to individual politicians, their loyalty to specific policies and corporations can also be ensured.
Bloomberg has also touted his twelve years as Mayor of New York City as a major credential in his presidential campaign. During his tenure, Bloomberg championed the practice of “stop and frisk,” which gave NYPD free rein to profile and harass poor and working-class Black and Latino people based on any subjective ‘suspicion.’ While he did not start the practice himself, during his tenure the amount of police stops increased by 600%. He continued to defend the racist and oppressive policy until November 2019, one week before he launched his presidential campaign.
As the head of Bloomberg Media group, numerous women employees have made allegations of sexism and workplace harassment, but upon receiving settlements, were pushed into signing Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) that would invite litigation if they spoke out. Bloomberg’s history with women mirrors that of President Donald Trump, both of them bourgeois philanderers who express total contempt for women.
Bloomberg, also like Trump, has pointed to his history as a ‘successful businessman’ as further proof that he would be a good president. In this sense, he is correct that making billions of dollars in facilitating finance capital at the expense of working people around the globe is great preparation for the office of the Presidency, which is the head manager of US imperialism, the world’s sole hegemonic superpower.
Imperialists such as Bloomberg or Trump can claim that they have not been ‘bought’ by any single capitalist or special interest, but this does not mean they represent the masses. Their massive wealth simply means that they can cut out the middleman and replace the corrupt politician, beholden to wealthy imperialists, with a direct representative of imperialist finance capital.
As the people are constantly bombarded with advertisements from Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, they have seen through the paper-thin attempt to buy legitimacy and instead chosen to rebel against the slimy imperialist on the walls and windows of his campaign offices.