Over 500 Dead in Bangladesh

The capitalist class loves to go on and on about the war on terror. But their class is the real terrorist organization. Imagine the effects of the fertilizer factory that blew up half a small town in Texas on the school around it and everyone around if it had blown up in the middle of the day. It would have dwarfed the Boston attack even more than it already has. The terrorism of the capitalist class continues.

A building complex collapsed in Bangladesh due to the lax building codes and the need to maximize profit.  Over five hundred dead. Let that number sink in. How many thousands and thousands of children, of brothers, sisters, mothers, lost a child, a sister, a friend, a wife or a husband? How many?

Capitalism. The need to take capital and make profit out of it. Maximum profit is the name of the game. Any less than maximum and the capitalist will get eaten by a more ruthless capitalist.

Over five hundred dead workers with more being pulled out of the rubble every day is what happened when capitalists in Bangladesh put profits before the working class. The workers died being overworked producing cheap clothing for clothing chains in Europe and North America.

The US is ratcheting up fascism as a response to three dead from the Boston bombing, yet how many does capitalism kill every day. These workers died so that that profit could be made for the bosses and retail chains that peddle the clothes.

As workers in Bangladesh die by the thousands every year in the interest of profit and affordable fashion, the war in Syria rages on. Obama is now conveniently discussing the fact that chemical weapons have been used in Syria. This was his red line that Syria was not to cross. There is the coincidence that this allegation is coming as Russia and China backed Assad’a forces are in the process of rolling back the Al-Qaeda saturated “rebel” ironically named Free Syrian Army. The other dilemma is that it may have actually been the rebel forces that used the gas. 

The dilemma of arming and training the Al-Qaeda in the Levant, formally Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria but now merged, is patently absurd. The US should have learned their lesson in Afghanistan and then again in Libya, but this is not the case. It is interesting that Assad is inviting the UN inspectors in, because that does imply that it may have been the US backed “good guys” who did this. The same scum who use car bombs in crowded areas to hit one target. Following the blue prints of the biggest terrorist organization in the world, the US, why shouldn’t the FSA wantonly blow people up in order to hit one possible target?  The US does it all the time as they double tap civilian targets with their drone bombings.

This May Day saw millions around the world march as a sign of the working class’ might and against the constant injustice, exploitation, brutality, barbarism, and sheer absurdity of Capitalism. Unfortunately this May Day did not see a Communist revolution. PLP in the US, the Levant, and in Bangladesh will continue to build. The mass protests that have shaken BD to the core need PL’s Communist leadership in order to fight back against the imperialist needs of Capitalism’s hyper profitable fashion industry. 

2011: Crisis-driven Bosses Attack, But Class Struggle Alive and Well

The events of 2011 served to remind us of two important aspects of capitalist society. First, the bosses of the world, caught in a sharpening struggle against their rivals and a spreading financial crisis, always have their knives out to assault the working class. Attacks intensified against our jobs, education, health, homes and families. The myths of democracy, fairness and opportunity for workers were exposed by a worldwide reality: we live under the bosses’ dictatorship. The past year made clear that regardless of national boundaries, no matter the “race” or gender of the boss, the ruling class will eagerly consign workers to hell on earth for the smallest gain in profit.

The ultimate expression of the boss’s callousness to sacrifice the lives of workers is imperialist war, of which there was no shortage in 2011. The U.S., still the main capitalist power in the world, continued its racist massacres in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in hopes of securing the Middle East’s oil and natural gas. Without the growth of a new worldwide communist movement, the prospects for 2012 and beyond are not much better.

While the U.S. remains the dominant power, other rivals, most prominently China, are gaining power — militarily, economically and politically. This challenge does not go unnoticed by the U.S. ruling class. The recent announcement by President Obama (the Nobel Peace Prize winner) that U.S. Marines will be stationed in northern Australia, alongside the recent diplomatic overtures to Myanmar, which borders China, signal a future where direct military conflict between the U.S. and China will be increasingly likely.

But the deadly maneuvering of the ruling class is only one side of the story of 2011. The second lesson, clearly visible from a quick look back through the pages of any of the bosses’ newspapers, is that workers are not meekly accepting these attacks. Class struggle is alive and well.  The list of places where large-scale rebellion rocked the bosses this past year is a long one: Algeria, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, England, France, Greece, Israel/Palestine, Libya, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, Syria, the U.S., and more.

To advance the cause of communist revolution, the international Progressive Labor Party has joined and led some of these militant struggles. In the pages of CHALLENGE, these battles and many other reports of class struggle were presented with a communist analysis.  If we are ever to defeat the murderous bosses and end their reign of terror, the working class must transform these narrow reform struggles into a fight for the working class to take state power — a fight for communist revolution.

The International PLP Advances

In New York City, the working class took on the racist Department of Education and its plan to impose Jim Crow-style segregation at the John Jay Campus high schools. In Israel/Palestine, a Summer Project participated in the fight against racist evictions and the housing shortage gripping workers there. In Haiti, we struggled to help rebuild a shattered society with communist principles of international solidarity and equality.

PL’s Summer Project in Haiti included a “Freedom School” for the discussion of communist principles. “Serve the working class” became more than a motto; it was put into practice when Party members created a clinic to serve the medical needs for Haitians in tent camps. The racist health care system was also a focus for comrades in the U.S. In New York we fought against the racist closing of Brookdale Hospital. Comrades and friends in Philadelphia fought to prevent the firing of a trusted hospital coworker. In Chicago, where hospital bosses tried to give patients a death sentence by transferring them to a decrepit facility, PL and others fought back.

Chicago was also the battleground for the heroic efforts of students and parents (primarily mothers), supported by the Party, to prevent the racist closing of the Whittier School library. Providing an example for the Occupy movement to follow, the parents (primarily mothers) and students at this majority Latino school, supported by the Party, seized the building and renamed it “La Casita.” For nearly a month, they held off the racist dogs of the Chicago Department of Education from carrying out their plan. Our comrades helped in many ways, from medical care to overnight guard duty. All the while they pointed out that whether we won or lost this particular battle, the bosses would still have state power. Our job is to fight not only “our” bosses, but bosses everywhere.

In Pakistan and Bangladesh, communists infused labor struggles in garment factories and universities with a vision of a society based on need rather than profit. In Mexico, where flooding threatened to destroy a community of 200,000 people, the Party explained that if our communist predecessors in the Soviet Union could move entire factories over the Ural mountains in three months during World War II, we could protect their city — if we had state power.

In these places and others around the world, CHALLENGE was ever-present. It consistently hammered home the point that it is only when we take on capitalism itself — when we transform battles against corrupt dictators, greedy bankers and fascist school boards into a world-wide communist movement — will we achieve workers’ liberation.

Arab Spring and Wall Street Occupy Working Class’s Imagination

Perhaps the most significant expressions of working-class fight-back were the upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East, collectively dubbed the Arab Spring, and in the Occupy Wall Street movement, a worldwide rage at the inequality of wealth that is the hallmark of capitalism.

The Arab Spring began with a rebellion in Tunisia that followed the self-immolation of a desperate young worker. But the uprising was fueled by a 13% official unemployment rate (about 30% for youth), skyrocketing prices for food, and political corruption. Similarly, in Egypt, while the bourgeois media focused on Cairo’s Tahrir Square and the struggle for “democracy,” the real battles were over rampant unemployment and the price of food. Strikes at Egypt’s textile mills, pharmaceutical plants, chemical industries, the Cairo airport, the transportation sector, banks, ports and the Suez Canal are the primary source of revolutionary optimism.

Workers throughout the world cheered on scenes from Tunisia and Tahrir Square, which makes the outcome of these battles all the more painful. In Egypt, ruthless dictator Hosni Mubarak was first replaced by a ruthless military and now in addition by the even more ruthless Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists (see CHALLENGE, 10/19). In Tunisia, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted and elections were held in October, but unemployment still crushes the youth there. This is the essence of reform struggles. However militant it may be, any struggle that fails to attack the entire capitalist system will simply replace one set of bosses with another. For workers, the promise of a new society has been met with the reality of continued joblessness and misery.

Nonetheless, the international working class proudly looked on as workers in Tahrir Square held up signs reading, “We are all Wisconsin,” a reference to the 100,000-strong protest against the attack on public sector workers in that state. Months before anyone occupied a park near Wall Street, thousands of workers occupied the state capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin.

Just as in Cairo, however, the brave workers of Wisconsin have been misled, this time into backing electoral politics and the Democratic Party. In the midst of this struggle, the Party brought forward the idea that both the fascist Governor Scott Walker and the supposedly “heroic” Democrats were all defenders of capitalism — and were all therefore enemies of the working class. This communist idea attracted many workers in Wisconsin and around the world.

In September, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement began in New York City before spreading to more than 1,500 cities worldwide. OWS captured the attention of workers who were tired of seeing banks get trillions of dollars in bailouts while education, transportation, health care, wages and jobs are slashed. One chant especially reflected this anger: “Banks got bailed out; We got sold out!” Throughout 2011, the Party participated in many of these occupations, picket lines, schools, churches and job sites, armed with leaflets and CHALLENGE.

PLP continues to strive to replace the dead-end reform tactics of the old communist movement with the fight for revolutionary communism for billions of workers in the world.

May Day

This past year was the 140th anniversary of the Paris Commune, the first time workers took control of the state. In this spirit, we celebrated May Day with marches, dinners and songs. From Colombia to El Salvador, in Los Angeles and New York, in Haiti and Palestine, we raised the red flag honoring our revolutionary ancestors. This year our May Day celebrations grew in size and better reflected the international character of the working class.

Turning Fascist Oppression into Communist Organizing

The working class continues to suffer from the racist exploitation and oppression that capitalism requires. In their increasingly desperate competition for dominance, the various national ruling classes outdo one another in making workers homeless, sick, maimed or killed in pursuit of profit. Frantic about “sovereign debt,” collapsing banks, currency disasters (notably the euro) and the industrial crisis of overproduction, the world’s bosses are peeling back their thin masks of “democracy” to reveal the bloody maw of a fascist monster. Meanwhile, the fight over Central Asian and Middle Eastern oil and natural gas appears to be careening toward broader military conflicts.

As we move into 2012, the battles against our capitalist enemies will continue to rage. The workers of the world will continue to fight back, in ways large and small. Everything we do as workers and communists counts: every march or picket line or discussion strengthened by  communist ideas, every time we help another worker and demonstrate how we can build a society without the parasitic bosses. By doing these things and more, the Party will help the working class move closer to ushering in a classless society that produces for need, not profit. Communist ideas are essential for this crucial advance. A mass, international, revolutionary party is necessary to lead the way. PL is that party. Now is the time to join!

May Day, the Historic Struggle of the Intern’l Working Class

On this May Day, the international working class is under sharpening fascist attack while the drums of inter-imperialist rivalry beat louder and millions are slaughtered in widening war. World capitalism is pushing its economic crisis onto workers’ backs with mass racist unemployment and wage-cuts, and throwing hundreds of thousands of workers out of their homes.

We can’t be misled by Obama’s promise that the stimulus package will help workers survive this crisis. Capitalism doesn’t work for the working class and cannot be reformed to change that. Masses of workers are fighting back around the world. From general strikes and militancy against the bosses across Europe to strikes in Guadaloupe and Martinique to the fight against budget cuts in Los Angeles and the ongoing 9-month-long Stella D’Oro workers’ strike in the Bronx, workers are saying “make the bosses take the losses.”

May Day (May 1) is the working-class’ international holiday. This year, millions of workers around the world will march to commemorate this important day. It is the day when the world’s working class “holds a review of its forces, mobilized for the first time as One army, [under] One flag…[to] make the capitalists and landowners of all lands realize that today the proletarians of all lands are, in very truth, united.”

May Day was born in the heroic struggle for the 8-hour day when 350,000 Chicago workers went out on a general strike on May 1, 1886 and shut down the city. On May 3 the cops murdered six McCormick Reaper Works strikers. The next day thousands of workers marched in protest into Chicago’s Haymarket Square. A bomb was thrown by a police agent, killing four workers and seven cops, and wounding 200 workers in what became known as the Haymarket Massacre. Nine demonstration leaders were framed for “instigating a riot.” Four were hanged. In 1891, the then Illinois Governor freed those still imprisoned, declaring they had been convicted unjustly.

At the 1889 meeting of the Second International -— a working-class organization patterned after the First International led by Karl Marx — the world’s workers decided to honor the Chicago strikers and martyrs by mobilizing as “one army, with one flag.” May Day had begun. Ever since, with communist leadership, it has symbolized workers’ demands and class interests, united in the fight against capitalism.

Capitalism creates a world in which workers and youth, infants and the elderly, are dying in unprecedented numbers from hunger, poverty, curable disease, war, death squads, police terror and a poisoned environment. Poverty, racism and war do not spontaneously lead workers to communist revolution, or the red flag would fly over most of the world. Communist revolution can only come about when millions of workers are politically conscious of how the world works and how to change it. This can only be accomplished by the efforts of a mass, international, and revolutionary communist party.

In 1971, the Progressive Labor Party picked up the red banners of May Day in the U.S. It has organized May Day marches and activities in many countries for 39 years, to unite workers around their universal demands, regardless of capitalist-created borders. These include opposing imperialist war, racism, the special oppression of women, wage slavery and fascist police terror, while championing unity of all workers — immigrant and citizen, Asian, Latin, black and white.

This May Day we must stand as one class, with one interest: to destroy the capitalist murderers with communist revolution and build a world based on production to fulfill the needs of our class. On this May Day, international workers’ solidarity must meet the bosses’ assault head-on. With PLP building international unity and a base for rebellion and revolutionary communism among industrial workers, soldiers, and students we can fight the bosses’ racism, nationalism and patriotism, and unite the world’s workers to destroy the scourge of capitalism forever. PLP is marching to win workers, soldiers and youth to realize our great potential to overthrow the war-makers and build a communist world based on serving the needs of the international working class! Join the march and join PLP! J Assemble with

PLP: NY- May 2, 11 am, Linden Blvd. & Flatbush Ave.

LA- May 1, 11 am, Olympic & Broadway

Seattle- May 1, 3:30 pm, Judkin Playground

Building for May Day Amid Capitalist Carnage in Detroit

DETROIT, April 6 — “Why are we marching? What are we going to get out of it?” she asked. A PLP member responded, “We’re marching to build a movement. We’re marching to show the workers in NYC, and those we bring, that there’s a movement growing that’s out to overthrow this system and fight for communism, equality, no bosses and no profits.”

“YES!” shouted the American Axle worker from the couch. “That’s what we need!”

That exchange captured the mood of the May Day committee meeting here last week. Bringing a busload of workers and youth to march on May Day will be our answer to the overwhelming racist oppression that has laid waste to Detroit and stolen the future from our youth. This is our answer to the bankers and auto bosses who grab billions in salaries and bonuses while destroying jobs and boarding up homes.

Here, more than 50% of all black males are unemployed and the jails are full. There are no supermarkets or movie theaters but there are curfews against our youth and plainclothes cops harass students inside the schools. Forty thousand homes are boarded up, more empty homes than homeless people, because under capitalism if the bosses can’t sell it for a profit, it can’t be used, no matter what the need.

We met in the shadow of GM world headquarters, while the Obama auto task force, led by two former investment bankers, was forcing chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner into a retirement worth about $23 million. With the global financial crisis deepening, the federal government is taking direct control of the fascist restructuring of the shrinking auto industry. GM was given 60 days to come back with a bigger list of plant closings and job cuts, and still more wage, health care and pension cuts from the UAW. Chrysler was given 30 days to form a partnership with Fiat. These conditions must be met in order to get more government money. If not, both companies will be forced into that financial chop shop known as bankruptcy court.

The ruling class is using Obama to whip the auto industry into fighting shape after having been routed on their home turf. CEO Wagoner’s ouster means an even more fascist crackdown on GM workers who should realize they are in great danger. GM’s pro-capitalist UAW “partners” will be asked to deliver even deeper wage and benefit concessions, including retiree health benefits. The message to the workers is clear: if you don’t give it up, we’ll take it in bankruptcy court. Many illusions that auto workers have in Obama are being challenged, if not smashed.

Fiat said it was eager to merge with Chrysler, especially after Obama said he would bless the deal with $6 billion in federal aid. G.M. said it would “take whatever steps are necessary to successfully restructure the company.” So far, all is quiet at UAW headquarters at Solidarity House, as these miserable low-lifes finally face their own mortality. They hitched their wagon to U.S. imperialism 50 years ago, and now they are feeling every bit of the decline of their masters.

Unlike them, we shed no tears for the bosses. We will build a new communist world on their graves. We fight for the laid-off truck driver and his family, the high school students, the hospital, county and hotel workers, the American Axle worker and his partner and their 8-month old baby boy. After the four-month American Axle strike in the winter of ‘07-’08, two-thirds of the workers lost their jobs, and wages were cut in half. At the ratification meeting at King H.S., workers tore up the contract and shouted down their leaders. One year later, the flicker of communist revolution still burns. This May Day it will burn a little brighter.

As Economic Crisis Looms Over Contract Fight: Forging Communist Base Among LA Transit Workers

LOS ANGELES, April 6 — “One of the first things I do each day is put CHALLENGES or leaflets in my backpack,” said a PLP member. “I think about who I’m going to get the paper to today or what kind of political discussion I’ll try to develop. I am motivated by a deepening anger against the storms of crisis, war and fascism that confronts our class, an anger that is growing in many of my co-workers.”
Building a base of communist workers for the Party means knitting together a network of CHALLENGE readers, organizing study groups, forums, and personal social and political visits, as well as becoming part of class struggle. It also involves our own families, in trying to have the time and space for all this. Ideally it means integrating our family’s participation in this process.
We’ve been working in the transportation industry for 10 years. Our PLP club now regularly distributes 55 CHALLENGES — having six veteran members, four new members and another five readers who help distribute one or two papers each.

We’ve worked with many workers over time. Some have responded immediately. Later, when they understand the seriousness of the situation, they may pause to think about it. Others are more cautious from the beginning and slowly get closer to us. Others want our literature and to help the Party in some way, without committing themselves completely. Others have joined and are advancing, taking more leadership.

Recently we’ve organized four forums involving 30 different workers —Latino, African American and white, and some from Russia and the Middle East. The forums concerned the history of the working class and the need for PLP and the fight for communism as the only viable alternative to the world-wide crisis of capitalism, imperialist war and fascism.

There’s a great potential to recruit new members in a short time. Building a communist base requires patience and urgency — patience because it’s not so easy to change workers’ minds. Much consistency and persistence are needed.

Consistency: we can’t just take people CHALLENGE once and then, after a few months, bring them another one. We have to take the political development of each worker seriously and follow up, but without being mechanical. Many times we want to force the process of development because we’re not viewing things dialectically. If you plant a fruit tree, you can’t expect to be eating mangos in one month. It won’t happen! Then you could decide to abandon it and leap to a new one, and on and on, without success.

We’re involved in the class struggle. We’re forming a strike committee, with PL’ers, readers and co-workers to fight around the contract this summer. Three years ago, during the last contract fight, we formed a committee that gave communist political leadership during the strike, organizing protests, meetings, leafleting, articles and CHALLENGE sales, and bringing other workers and students to the picket lines. The current economic crisis — which our contract fight is a part of — is an opportunity to expose the capitalist system and show workers the vision of a new communist world.

Besides inviting all the CHALLENGE readers to the May Day Dinner, we’re also struggling with them to invite their friends and families. May Day offers the chance to clarify PLP’s communist ideas, enabling us to build a mass communist party of the working class. To achieve that, we need many communists, and for that we need an expanding network of CHALLENGE readers that becomes a mass network.
These advances come from sharpening the political struggle inside the club and the leadership to spread PLP’s communist politics.

“When are we going to talk about politics?” a transit driver asked a CHALLENGE seller at a work site. “I’ve got a lot to say and some questions to ask you.” In the past, this driver occasionally took a paper. He was friendly but not particularly interested in PLP’s communist ideas. Today that’s changed. He, his wife and two children are all victims of capitalism’s crisis. In the “tender” phrase of the bankers, this family is “underwater” — they owe substantially more on their house than it’s worth, even after paying $100,000 down. He’s one of millions being sacrificed to bail out the billionaire swindlers. Stung by the betrayal of his “American Dream,” we hope this driver and more like him will come to the May Day Dinner where he can learn about the historic battles against capitalism and begin to participate in the current movement. We plan to involve him in PLP activities during the contract struggle and upcoming Summer Project.

Now, even before the contract expires, the collapsing U.S. economy is falling on our heads and on the rest of the world’s workers. The bosses’ media complain about the speed of the collapse of manufacturing, but transit workers could be next on the chopping block if they need us to transport fewer workers to the factories. The economic meltdown increases our opportunities to win these workers to PLP’s politics while fighting the attacks on our co-workers’ and riders’ lives.

During the last contract struggle we encouraged drivers and riders to unite, held social events and explained that “Contracts only spell out the terms of our oppression; they don’t stop exploitation.” Some transit workers who participated in these activities became more interested in the long-term possibility of communist revolution.

We say everyone can help fight for communism. A retired comrade, no longer driving, has helped circulate CHALLENGE and communist leaflets to transit workers. Not being tied to the time clock, he can visit drivers and mechanics on all shifts. Guys ask him, “How is retirement?” He replies, “I love not being a wage-slave, but this system is after us old folks too. A pension based on capitalist investments is a contract written on toilet paper. The contract struggle will involve retiree issues. The company will try to play active transit workers against retirees by saying there isn’t enough money for both with this budget deficit. Sure, I retired from the company but you can’t retire from the class struggle and the fight for communism.”

One thing is certain. The capitalist crisis will continue to push workers “underwater.” As bosses under Bush allowed workers to drown in Hurricane Katrina, the bosses under Obama will not, and cannot, rescue our class from the ravages of this economic hurricane. PLP’s goal of communist revolution is the only lifeline in these storms.

NYC Youth Maintain May Day Momentum

BROOKLYN, NY, May 24 — A multi-racial crowd of nearly one hundred teachers, students and their families gathered in a local park to share food, fun and politics as we try to build on the excitement of May Day in preparation for summer activities. This weekend barbeque is a tradition in our area, and was the largest in several years.

After the food ran out due to the bigger-than-expected attendance, speeches highlighted the key role of industrial workers in the revolutionary process. We called on guests to join this year’s Summer Projects in Seattle and Los Angeles. One college graduate explained his decision to work in the transportation industry. Two high school seniors, both valedictorians at their respective schools, described how the Party helped guide them along a path of struggle in school, rather than passivity.

Our multi-racial and inter-generational crowd once again made an impression, this time on several parents at the cookout. They’re now considering sending their teenagers to the West Coast this summer.
Young people who had led walkouts in their schools and marched on May Day together used their recently-honed organizing skills to bring friends and family to kick back and enjoy this day of food and sports.

PL’ers in the NY Urban Debate League are planning a city-wide forum on the Sean Bell case and on criminalization of youth in schools. This will help us stick to our plans of keeping our red ball rolling from May Day right into the summer and the next school year.

The winning of youth into our Party and its anti-racist activities demonstrates the important role young students and workers play in our movement. It also shows youth that instead of fighting and shooting each other (a rash of which has erupted in the city), we should be fighting for a society that eliminates the racist warmaking bosses who cause the social problems workers and youth suffer.

Texas May Day Shows Workers Need Unity, Not Borders

TEXAS — May Day was a modest success for our group in this state. Our May Day dinner was organized by young teachers, workers and students with a program of speeches and music, good food and lively discussion that focused heavily on the role of education under capitalism. Later, many of us attended our city’s Immigrants Rights march, where we had an opportunity to show how communist ideas and action make possible a true education in working-class politics.

At the rally we distributed over 300 flyers exposing the liberal rulers’ tactics of using promises of citizenship to recruit immigrants as cannon fodder for U.S. imperialism. Our leaflet became the leading source of information for all participants and onlookers at this reformist march for immigrant rights. More importantly, as we marched with our friends, we discussed the need to smash capitalism’s borders worldwide and struggle for communist revolution.

I was joined at the march by one of my students and her sister. We talked about the capitalist purpose of borders and the need for workers to unite across them. The heavy police presence also sparked discussion of police brutality and why cops were enemies of the working class; they ultimately act in the interests of the bosses, killing thousands of workers worldwide in order to instill fear and hopelessness in working people.

Afterwards we went to dinner where we sharpened our understanding of the history of the U.S./Mexico border. During dinner someone mentioned the ruling-class propaganda that, without borders, millions of Mexicans would flood “our” streets and steal “our” jobs. I explained how the existing border had been created out of the southern U.S. slaveholders’ effort to push slavery further west during an historical period when Mexico had outlawed slavery. We finally concluded that what was labeled independence by the ruling class was also the enslavement of the Mexican and black workers in the South.

During the march we had received a flyer announcing a protest at a prison in another city that jails immigrant families and many U.S.-born children. My student wanted to join the protest and is currently organizing others within the school to join us. These students are writing a leaflet calling for the need to unite workers and smash the bosses’ borders. It will be really exciting to travel alongside my students in support of immigrant rights and ultimately communist revolution!

More May Day Reports from Around the World

OAXACA, MÉXICO
A PLP group participated in the annual May Day march held in downtown Oaxaca. Thousands marched, particularly teachers and farmworkers, showing their disgust with the government and the capitalist system it represents.
Our group distributed 600 flyers with our communist analysis of capitalist exploitation, and we put up 100 posters walls around the march reading “A system that creates inequality, wars, racism and exploitation must be destroyed.” We also distributed 50 copies of DESAFIO.
Our participation was modest, but we are already making plans to increase our efforts in future activities, including May Day 2009. The working class and its allies here, and worldwide, need a revolutionary alternative to a system which only breeds hunger, wars among drug cartels and a dim future for humanity.

PAKISTAN
Greetings from revolutionary communists in Pakistan. Our PLP group had a great May Day here, with comrades involved in many activities. Our communist ideas were well-received. We made new friends as more and more workers and their allies are becoming disillusioned with the fakers on the “left” who offer no solutions to a capitalist-imperialist system breeding endless wars for profits under the cover of religion, “democracy,” etc.

Speech from May Day

Good evening to all. Thanks for joining us at this dinner to celebrate May Day, the International Workers’ Day. Tonight, I’ll talk a little about the international situation, which means talking about what’s happening in the two great armies that are locked in a fight to the death—the army of the bosses and the army of the working class. The bosses are fighting to maintain their system of exploitation and murder—where every year more than 100 million of our class, 32 million of them children, die of hunger or diseases that could be prevented or cured for less than $1 per person. This is the system that the bosses say is the “best” system in the world, where more than 2 billion workers live with less than a dollar a day, while the bosses pocket millions of dollars a day from our exploitation. Our class fights for a better world, a communist world where we’ll produce to meet the needs of the international working class, a system where we can live with dignity and develop ourselves as useful, productive, and creative members of a society that knows no borders, racism or exploitation.

In the capitalist camp, all is not peace and love. There’s a rivalry between them for control of markets, natural resources, and cheap labor of the world. Capitalism’s relentless competition for maximum profit means this rivalry always lead to war: local wars, regional wars and eventually world wars. Even though the bosses and many others say the contrary, we are living in the build up to WWIII.

With this war the imperialists try to solve their crisis and decide who will dominate the world. We can’t predict exactly when it will start but we can definitely say that it is inevitable and that it is getting closer. We won’t go into detail to prove this analysis – but be it enough to say, as Lenin said, that since capitalism developed into imperialism the world entered an epoch of world wars and working class revolutions. The two world wars of the last century prove this, as do the workers revolutions in Russia and China.

On our side, the working class needs to respond to greater exploitation and to the capitalist crisis with demonstrations, protests, strikes, walkouts and rebellions. We need revolution. But revolutions only happen if there’s a communist party with the correct communist political line and a big enough political base inside our class. That’s why it’s important to review our forces. How are we doing in confronting and coming out victorious in the face of this great challenge that history presents us? How can we convert the attacks on our class and the coming world war into a class war for communism?

For now we don’t have the millions needed to make the kind of revolution that the workers need. The old international communist movement has died—a hard blow for our class. The new communist international that we’re building has made modest but important advances—since PLP is organizing in the US and in Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, Spain, and Pakistan—but it needs to grow in many more countries. In the face of this gigantic task and our current conditions, it may seem impossible to achieve our goal. But as the capitalists attack harder, if we lead the fight against them with our communist line out front, workers will join us. Many of our class internationally dedicate their lives to the fight for a better world. But, others become apathetic, get demoralized, abandon the struggle or don’t want to join it because they don’t yet see big advances. That’s why it would be good to give a brief history of the struggles of our class to see how the revolutionary communists who preceded us overcame these obstacles.

At the beginning of the last century, like today, capitalism entered a deep crisis and World War I could be seen threatening on the horizon. The international communist movement had suffered big reversals. Many of its leaders betrayed the working class by supporting their own bosses in the approaching war. In 1912, the Russian revolutionary communists, the Bolsheviks, only had some 300 members in St. Petersburg, their main concentration—in a city of over 2 million people.  They had some hundreds more in all of Russia that had at the time 166 million inhabitants. In the armed forces, they had a modest group of members doing serious organizing. In 1914, World War I began.

How to convert imperialist war into a civil war for workers’ power? How did they convince a good part of the 14 million soldiers in the armed forces– the majority “apolitical” farm workers—that they have to turn their guns around to fight for socialism—which is what the Russian communists at the time fought for? How to convince workers of this when the Russian bosses had launched massive propaganda accusing Lenin and his party of being traitors to the “nation”, German agents, who wanted to sabotage the war effort so the Germans could conquer Russia?

This would seem an apparently impossible task to achieve with a small group of revolutionaries. But the Bolsheviks did not retreat in the face of these rebuffs, attacks, and even physical attacks by bosses’ agents and even some backward workers or soldiers. Under repressive conditions they concentrated their efforts in the factories, especially arms factories, and the bosses’ armed forces, waging the struggle against the capitalists and the struggle to ideologically convince the masses of workers and soldiers. Their newspaper, Iskra, had a mass readership.

They maintained their unbreakable confidence in the working class, and the workers responded. By 1917 they had 32 thousand members in St. Petersburg—240 thousand nationally and by the end of that year they were taking power—establishing for the first time in history workers’ rule–the dictatorship of the proletariat. This was the most important event in the last century. The working class had achieved the impossible!

Clearly this didn’t fall from the sky. It was the result of almost thirty years of political work, in which many Bolsheviks were exiled, many went to prison, and others executed, but they never stopped fighting shoulder to shoulder with the workers in their daily struggles in the factories, their demonstrations and strikes,  and with the soldiers in the barracks and the trenches, showing them that the enemy was the capitalists, not German workers. This is what gave them unbreakable confidence in the working class and in turn the working class’ great confidence in them.

CLASS STRUGGLE, IDEOLOGICAL STRUGGLE, AND CONFIDENCE AND MORE CONFIDENCE IN THE WORKING CLASS. This and a correct political line, and only this, will guarantee our triumph, however impossible it seems today. As the bosses’ attacks increase, if we organize the fight against them, with our politics in the lead, the workers will join us.  The changes that are coming will put hundreds of millions of our class in motion. They will awaken politically and be open to radical solutions. If we keep firmly to our convictions, if we deepen our political ties to our fellow workers, especially industrial workers, and with soldiers and students, give leadership in daily struggles, build mass distribution networks of CHALLENGE, and if we recruit to our party, what today seems like a dream, tomorrow the working class will make into reality.

There are many examples of supposedly “impossible” achievements by our class, but we don’t have time to tell them all. The task that history presents us isn’t easy—but we have the advantage of having learned from the great achievements and the errors of those who came before us. They knew they would make mistakes. We have too and we’ll make more. We have to be a fighting party—all the time! That’s why Lenin said, “Our children will fight better than us and they will win!” We say the same thing. But now, we are the children of the old international communist movement, inheritors of their great revolutionary tradition but also the great responsibility, that we cannot and must not evade, of organizing and leading the working class in its struggle for communism—throwing out the goal of socialism with its concessions to capitalism that was the great error of  our predecessors.

But this requires a fighting communist Party that has enormous confidence in the working class together with perseverance, patience and urgency. The bosses are not sleeping, they are fighting us for the loyalty of our class—they want to win them to patriotism, racism and fascism, to support their imperialist wars. That’s why they’re pushing Obama and Clinton so much. On which side the workers fight depends on us. Our class has shown that with communist leadership it is willing to fight to the death against the bosses and will not break, sell out or surrender. On this May Day, let us renew, and redouble our historic commitment to our class. Join the Progressive Labor Party! Long live May Day! Long live the international working class! Long live communism! Power to the workers!

May Day Sees PL’s Ideas Growing in Spain

SPAIN, May 1st — “I knew the PLP in the United States,” said a Spanish youth when he got a PLP leaflet. He was happy to find out that communist political work is a lot bigger throughout the world than he thought. “Long Live May Day! Long live the working class!,” we chanted today. Here and in all parts of the world, the work of the Progressive Labor Party is clear: spread the true ideas of communism far and wide.

The Workers’ Commissions unions Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) and the General Union of Workers (UGI in Spanish) in Spain organized a May Day march for workers from all over, but in reality workers know that these reformists and revisionists are part of the capitalist system and that the only thing they’re good for is to try to pacify the masses. We won’t rest. We’ll keep working hard to bring the workers the real revolutionary struggle, not like these sellouts.

It was a real celebration. There were workers from all parts of the world, and we passed out many communist leaflets in the march. I believe that with a lot of concentration, our work will grow a lot. We have made ties with workers and have vowed to bring them CHALLENGE and other material to be able to build the fight to destroy this capitalist system that kills the working class and finally to implant the only solution for the international working class: THE COMMUNIST SYSTEM!