Monthly Archives: October 2007

‘Flush the system down the drain’

anti war demo

NEW YORK CITY, October 27 — “We don’t care about the rain! Flush this system down the drain!” chanted dozens of workers and youth led by Progressive Labor Party’s young members at the anti-war march here. It’s good thousands marched despite the rain, but while the rulers are preparing for wider wars (including attacking Iran), the anti-war marches are getting smaller and are still mainly older and white.

Although many speakers distanced themselves from the pro-war Democrats, the leadership of the anti-war movement won’t break with the Dems. As election time nears they will support whoever runs against the GOP (Hillary, Obama, Edwards or even Gore if he decides to jump into the circus). Our chant, “Bush/Democrats no solution! Fight for communist revolution!” and the CHALLENGE (10/31) front-page article exposing Democrat Gore’s war crimes pointed out the futility of these dreams. A thousand marchers took our papers.

The U.S. bosses’ oil war has already killed over a million in Iraq. Ending this genocidal system will save the lives of millions of workers worldwide who die every year from hunger, curable disease and imperialist war. Waiting for the Democrats or “marches for peace” won’t do that. We need to build an anti-imperialist, anti-racist communist-led movement to smash the war-makers. This is the message we must bring back to our workplaces and schools. This is the lesson we must learn from the Bolshevik revolution that turned World War I into a massive revolution 90 years ago.

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SMASH GROWING FASCISM ON CAMPUS

“SHUT DOWN “ISLAMO-FASCISM WEEK”

Download the leaflet

Are you ready to be drafted? Ready to die in the Middle East so some oil boss can keep on living in the lap of luxury? No? Then you must come out to oppose and protest the racist events of “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” (starting 10/22) on our campus. This appalling act represents a deliberate effort to incite hatred against our Muslim and Arab sisters here and brothers across the globe, while shoring up support for the enormously unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under the guise of “fighting terror,” these racist want to win students and workers to anti-Arab racism to justify more imperialist profit wars in the Middle East.

The racists sponsoring this “Awareness Week” are the same College Republicans that brought the anti-immigrant Minutemen fascists to campus last year. The man behind the week is David Horowitz, a well-known right-wing ideologue and racist. A report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center points out that Horowitz blamed slavery on Africans and Arabs, and “attacked minority ‘demands for special treatment’ as ‘only necessary because some blacks can’t seem to locate the ladder of opportunity within reach of others.’”

Now Horowitz & Co. want to use the magic of smoke and mirrors to convince you the “war on terror” is about some bogus “clash of civilizations” between the “civilized West” and the “barbarian Muslim hordes.” That hides the reality that the “war on terror” is just another war of terror against the whole working class. Of course the oil companies behind the Iraq war have performed an even greater trick: turning working-class blood into record-breaking profits.

This is the prime motivation behind the war: tightening the U.S.’s control over its rivals’ access to Mid-East oil reserves. But since “oil profits” doesn’t exactly sell a war, the section of the ruling class Horowitz serves uses anti-Arab and anti-immigrant racism to provide a simpler “justification.” “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” is the same old anti-Arab racism repackaged to make you believe these profit wars are in your interest, when they really only benefit a handful of fat, greedy billionaires who couldn’t care less about you.

Horowitz’s masters aren’t stupid. These racist scumbags are on tour because they know public support left for their bloodbath in Iraq is quickly eroding. The rulers have always been able to use racism to split the working class. Aside from the profits it generates by paying one section of the working class less than another, it also ensures we’re too busy fighting each other to fight our common oppressor.

Which is more dangerous: a wolf, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? There’s no question Horowitz and his neo-con capitalist handlers are dangerous. In fact, part of what makes him so dangerous is the way his open campaign for an American Thousand Year Reich obscures a much deadlier threat: the one posed by the liberal wing of the ruling class, who know they’ve got to do something to get military recruitment back up. This is the only way to get more boots on the ground in Iraq to “stabilize” it. They know the Bush regime is trying to build fascism and empire on the cheap at the expense of the long-term interests of a huge section of the ruling class. By contrast, liberal rulers hope they can avoid re-instating the draft, but know the only way to do this is to replace the naked fascism of Horowitz and the right with a more seductive, disguised fascism dressed in “melting pot” patriotism and commitment to “national service.” The liberals’ proposed “DREAM Act” would offer immigrants citizenship if they served two years in the military–or deportation. But, at a time when the liberals are trying to win workers and students to this deadlier nationalism and patriotism, Horowitz and the Bush gang are ruining it by reminding everyone that this country is just as racist as ever!

The same racist logic of capitalism is being used to justify Columbia’s expansion in Harlem; mass murder in Iraq; the CIA-run torture chambers of Guantanamo; the secretive mass-roundup and deportation of thousands of Muslim workers; the open mass-deportations of Latino workers; a sweeping government surveillance network that spies on us for “our own safety”–all aspects not of “Islamo-fascism,” but actual fascism.

But there is an alternative to capitalist oppression and its rotten culture of racist, sexist violence: a society that produces for need, not profit; a society where the working class of all “races” can determine their own destiny; where we can stamp out capitalism with its selfishness, racism, sexism, killer cops, “workfare,” profit wars, prisons, deportations and national borders; where people like Horowitz will be ground into the dust under the feet of millions of united workers and students. That society is communism, and Progressive Labor Party is serious about organizing to make that world a reality–but we need your help!

Remember: the real enemies aren’t Arabs, Muslims, or any other part of the international working class–it’s the filthy-rich ruling class, both liberal and conservative. It’s them, not Muslims, who want to march you off to fight and die in Iraq for their oil profits without a thought. Stand together and shut down Horowtiz’s racist attack–but when it’s over, join the bigger fight against capitalism, the system at the root of racism and war. We can’t end it without you! Join us and help smash the anti-worker terror, poverty, and racist oppression of the capitalist system once and for all! Same enemy, same fight–workers of the world unite!

ISSUED BY PROGRESSIVE LABOR PARTY

Progressive Labor Party is a revolutionary communist party dedicated to eliminating capitalism with communist revolution as the only way to end imperialism, racism, sexism and class inequality.
For more information, see http://www.plp.org or cd188@juno.com

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Teachers Defy Edict Limiting Students’ Anti-Racist Activities

BROOKLYN, NY, October 16 — Yesterday teachers at our high school won a small but significant victory, staging a “work-in” that defied an administrative edict which would limit our after-school (especially anti-racist) activities. One of the last remaining large schools with a fairly active union chapter, a student body that has often fought back and a group of teachers who work closely with Progressive Labor Party, we have faced continuous attacks in the past few years.

Last year we won many important anti-racist victories. Students and teachers organized a mass campaign against racism, including assemblies and forums. Volunteer trips to New Orleans supported workers there. A sharp struggle defended a teacher threatened by the administration for involvement in these trips. Eventually the administration was forced to back down, but not for long.

This year students and teachers returned to discover that the school would be closing early and activities would be limited. Even staff members who stayed late to work would be considered “trespassing.” Many students are on late schedule, so according to this new policy they’d have less than an hour to participate in after-school activities. Interestingly, clubs that would be most limited by this rule are those which have been fighting racism and building student unity. We’ve had several mass meetings and are planning a teach-in about the Jena 6. Over 40 students packed a classroom two weeks ago to hear college students report on their trip to Jena.

So to answer the administration’s new policy we organized a “work-in” and encouraged teachers to stay late to test the waters. Earlier we had been warned that we’d be considered “trespassing” and “violating school policy” if we stayed late. However, not surprisingly, when groups of teachers did stay late in their respective offices, we were commended for working so hard and told that “special security” would be provided for us that day! The administration backed down pretty quickly.

We should be clear that these new rules are mainly an attack on students, as well as on the movement we seek to build. Hopefully, this small act of resistance is just the beginning of larger things to come. We must take on the administration at every juncture and point out that their interests are opposite from ours — they keep the school open for various events when they see the need, but are ready to kick students and teachers to the curb on a daily basis. Unity of students, parents and teachers to fight these attacks is crucial. We plan to step up this struggle, increase our CHALLENGE sales and organize more actions and struggles this semester.

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PL’ers Organize vs. Rulers’ Anti-Immigrant Raids

LOS ANGELES, CA. — The Migra (Immigration Customs Enforcement — ICE) and local police have been carrying out raids against immigrant workers and their families across the U.S. Under the pretext of “deporting criminals,” these agents of terror break down doors of homes at 4:00 AM with guns drawn. They also search, arrest and deport workers at their jobs. In many U.S. counties, the open racists try to pass anti-immigrant laws to force immigrants to leave. This racist attack aims to divide and terrorize our class, laying the basis for sharper future attacks on citizens and immigrants.

Meanwhile, representatives of the racist liberal bosses are “defending” their wage-slaves. Recently a Federal Judge in San Francisco temporarily halted the sending of letters to bosses telling them to fire workers with non-matching social security numbers. New York’s Governor is proposing drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants. All bosses want to exploit and oppress all workers. The liberals want loyalty to U.S. rulers.

The top bosses need low-paid, patriotic workers in the U.S., especially for war production. They also need soldiers willing to kill and die in U.S. imperialist wars. The Pentagon is pushing the Dream Act. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) plans to introduce it as part of upcoming military appropriations bills. He said, “This [Hispanic immigrants] is a potentially very recruitable group….The Dream Act will help solve the recruitment crisis we face today.” (Wall Street Journal, 9/21) Only one in 20 undocumented youth are able to attend college, so the Act is primarily a military recruitment bill with a “humanitarian” cover.

The latest raids run counter to the plans of the top imperialists to win the hearts and minds of immigrant youth and workers. While the raids could also push many youth to join the military to escape deportations, under these conditions immigrant youth would potentially be all the more open to rebelling against the racist warmakers.

Mass Deportations — Big problem
for U.S. Bosses

Recently, the U.S. government signed a new treaty, NAFTA Plus, with Canada and Mexico, giving the U.S. bosses more control over commerce, energy and security. The reactivation of Plan Puebla Panama, along with the NAFTA Corridor, aims for U.S. control of resources, new hydroelectric plants and a huge super-highway from Canada to Mexico and Central America for transporting goods quickly.

This plan is meant to counter Venezuela’s Chavez and help prepare for wider war. The new Plan Mexico will militarize that country, supposedly to “fight terrorism and narco-traffic,” but mainly to repress any movement that risks the flow of Mexico’s oil to the U.S. The U.S. will spend over $1 billion to launch the plan — for planes, helicopters, and the transport and U.S. training of Mexican military personnel. Equipment and personnel would mainly protect oil pipelines, but would be ready to crush rebellions opposing U.S. bosses and their Mexican partners.

Massive deportations of Mexican workers would mean more instability in Mexico, endangering the government of U.S. “friend” Felipe Calderon, with possibly more Oaxaca-like uprisings. This would deprive U.S. imperialists of needed future soldiers and arms producers. That’s why the bosses’ rag, the NY Times, laments ICE’s storm-trooper tactics and why the conservative Wall Street Journal printed a letter (10/13) attacking the “deportationists,” which drew a careful distinction between “protecting the border” and mass deportations.

PLP is organizing to unite workers and students to oppose both the anti-immigrant raids and the liberal racists’ war plans. In recent meetings with comrades from Mexico, Central America and the U.S., we made plans to expose and fight the bosses’ growing fascism and imperialist war. We discussed building PLP in the class struggle, from farmworker organizations in El Salvador to teachers’ unions and schools in Mexico to factories in Los Angeles and New York. We will participate in marches, protests, strikes and meetings, focusing on increasing CHALLENGE networks and winning workers, students and soldiers to see clearly the capitalists’ game and the need for communist revolution to eliminate borders, imperialist war and exploitation.

Building PLP means exposing bosses’ agents like Mexico’s Lopez Obrador and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. These fake leftists only use the masses’ growing anger to try to take control of the oil profits, electricity, etc. and sell them to the highest bidder, whether it be the USA, China, India or the European Union. This creates serious problems in U.S. imperialism’s backyard. Workers’ power will defeat all bosses — from Calderon to Obrador to Bush and Clinton.J

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New Auto Contracts: Great Leap Backwards

DETROIT, MI October 11 — If the tens of thousands of black youth marching in Jena, La. on September 20 was a glimpse of revolutionary potential — the future — then the 2007 auto contracts are a grim reminder of the long, dark night in which the working class finds itself without revolutionary communist leadership.

the same day the four-year UAW-GM contract was ratified, Chrysler and the UAW reached a new agreement. Ford’s next.

A two-day “strike” at GM and a 6-hour “strike” at Chrysler give new meaning to the term “staging a strike.” These actions were called to rally the membership behind a transformation in auto that will be a Great Leap Backwards for generations of industrial workers. More than one-fourth of the workers never struck because their plants were already on temporary shut-down due to a huge backlog of unsold vehicles.

The media is focused almost exclusively on the transfer of health care from the auto bosses to a union-run trust fund. This lifts almost $100 billion in health care commitments from GM, Ford and Chrysler which they can now claim as profits. But the real news lies in the rollback of wages and benefits for workers about to be hired.

Starting wages at GM, Chrysler and soon Ford, will be slightly over $14-an-hour, the 1990 rate — when a gallon of gas was 80 cents! For the moment, new hires at UAW factories in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio will earn less than non-union workers at Honda, Toyota and Daimler plants in Mississippi and Alabama! Healthcare, pensions, work rules and job security will further decay.

The London Financial Times reports (10/17) that while under the old contract a GM worker cost the company $78 an hour in wages and benefits, under the new contract, a new worker will cost $25.66 an hour. Three-fourths of the workers under the higher rates will retire in the next four years.

Creation of new multi-tiered, “non-core” workers will drop wages and benefits even further. At Chrysler, 11,000 of the 45,000 current jobs are “non-core.” Wages will sink and many jobs will be farmed out. The UAW agreed to the elimination of more than 100,000 jobs and more than 40 plant closings at GM, Ford, Chrysler and Delphi a year before contract talks even started. These union leaders worked hand-in-glove with the bosses and never fought the racist layoffs which initially fell most heavily on black workers. This laid the basis to hit white workers as well. Racism hurts all workers.

All this results from the sharpening competition among the world’s auto billionaires, as well as the collapse of the old communist movement. In this period of heightened conflict and increased attacks, workers have no mass revolutionary center or leadership to guide them in the class struggle. This is the bosses’ greatest weapon in their ability to survive every threat, challenge and crisis.

Even against these odds, more than one-third of GM’s workers rejected the contract. The union left Ford for last because they expect the most problems here, from both the company and the workers. Chrysler and Ford workers should reject these contracts and begin organizing joint strike actions and a mass march on Solidarity House. We should appeal to auto workers worldwide to support our struggle.

From Baghdad to Soweto, from Bogotá to Detroit, the bosses and their flag-waving union leaders are getting away with murder. They want us to believe the answer lies in one election after another. But the answer lies in the patient, steady building of a mass revolutionary communist movement.

We will turn the tables on the bosses when industrial workers make communist ideas mass ideas. By fighting the bosses and union leaders on this contract, increasing the readership of CHALLENGE and deepening our personal and political ties with our co-workers, we are paving the road to communist revolution.

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French Fascists on Racist Rampage vs. Immigrants

PARIS, October 13 — The French government is on a racist anti-immigrant rampage. France’s gendarmerie — the national police force, organized along military lines — is on a war footing to hunt down undocumented immigrants.

Immigrants have been so terrorized that they’re jumping from windows to escape the police. On September 21, Mrs. Chulan Zhang Liu became the fifth immigrant worker in two months to die after leaping from a window.

Ivan, a 12-year-old Russian boy, was seriously injured in late August when he fell from a window during a police round-up in Amiens.

This terrorism has steadily increased over the past five years. On January 11, then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy crowed that, “We deported 24,000 illegal aliens in 2006, which represents an increase of 140% compared to 2002.” His target is deportation of 25,000 immigrant workers this year.

Anthropologist Emmanuel Terray compared the anti-immigrant round-ups to those of Jews in Nazi-occupied France. “Once they’ve decided they want to stop and question people who haven’t committed any particular crime, except that of being here, or else that of being a Jew in 1942,” said Terray, “they…look for them where they are; they set traps for them. You’ve got to know that, at the Belleville metro station, operations of this type take place practically every week. According to what the local people tell me, one week it’s the Chinese, another it’s the Arabs.”

On the police union website, cops have admitted that “the only people who are stopped in these operations are those who are likely to be illegal aliens because of the color of their skin.” (Le Monde, 9/25)

The French government estimates there are up to 400,000 undocumented immigrants in France. Most are workers, especially in construction and restaurants.

The rulers have become so barbaric that, for the first time in ten years, sick people are being deported to countries where they cannot get treatment. Last June, an immigrant worker suffering from hepatitis C was deported against a doctor’s orders.

The National Assembly and the Senate have just passed the Hortefeux law, imposing drastic conditions on family reunification. Under this law, anyone who wants to enter France under the family reunification procedure — including spouses of French citizens — must first pass a French language and “values” test. The legal resident or French citizen with whom they’re being re-united must have an annual income of at least $21,783.

The law also provides that family members from “countries where many documents are fakes” (code language for Africa) must submit to a DNA test to prove they’re related to the person here. People are mobilizing against this racist terror. Last year Marseilles primary-school teacher Florimond Guimard participated in an anti-deportation rally. He followed a police car hauling away a deportee. For that, he was charged with “group violence with an arm” (the “arm” being the car Guimard was driving). He risks three years in prison and a $64,000 fine.

The defense of Guimard has become the rallying cry of the anti-deportation movement. On October 20, there will be nation-wide anti-deportation rallies. But beyond fighting racist deportations, we must destroy the capitalist system that brands some workers as “undocumented immigrants.” That can only be accomplished through communist revolution.

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Back Jena 6 in Union and in Boeing, Subcontractor Plants

SEATTLE, WA — “It has to be brought to light,” insisted a white Boeing machinist as more than a dozen union members — black, Latin and white — prepared an anti-racist resolution to support the Jena 6. “I was just talking with my son about the way high schools are organized. Racism is everywhere.” The resolution now sits in the union’s executive board, but the struggle continues on the shop floor.

Before we entered the meeting, we knew we were in for a fight. We were not disappointed!

One low-level official described how he would shake his head at the roadblocks the union mis-leaders put up anytime our left-led, rank-and-file group raised racism. (He actively supported anti-racists during the battle to get the union to participate in last year’s May Day March calling for international unity.) “How can you run an organization like that!” he bemoaned.

Even as the resolution was tabled until next month’s meeting, debates broke out throughout the hall and in the corridors outside. “I don’t want to be a jerk, but what has this to do with the union?” asked one. We replied that anti-racism was crucial to answering the economic and political attacks on our members, like racist subcontracting. We pointed to the parts of the resolution calling for anti-racist, multi-racial solidarity in the upcoming contract struggle. The question of the class necessity of anti-racism was front and center at this overwhelmingly white union meeting.

We wanted to do more than engage in this useful debate. We planned beforehand to use this resolution to jump-start struggle on the shop floor. Jena 6 defense collections are now being taken in a number of buildings.

These “shop-floor” collections — in alliance with the collections taken among non-union subcontractor workers — can lead the way. There are many more black and Latin workers in the plants than at union meetings. Still more black and Latin workers suffer super-exploitation at the hand of vicious subcontractors.

CHALLENGE sales and mailings have increased modestly, spreading the revolutionary politics necessary to marshal this multi-racial force. We’re mobilizing to raise this resolution at various other meetings and conferences during the next month. We can measure the lasting value of this battle through the expansion and consolidation of our CHALLENGE networks here and among the subcontractors. Stay tuned!

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‘Reforms’ Prepare China’s Rulers for Showdown with U.S. Bosses

The “Communist” Party of China’s (CCP) 17th Congress on October 15 was scheduled to discuss its program for the next generation of leaders as put forward by Hu Jintao, CCP General Secretary and the country’s President and commander-in-chief. The Congress is occurring during China’s emergence as a more powerful imperialist country challenging the U.S., Japan and India. The Congress will concretize a “new stage” of China’s reforms, which — according to Hu Jintao — will generate a new model of “harmonious” and “scientific” development.

Jintao, in control since the 2002 Congress, will remain in power for a second and final term. His second in command, Wen Jiabao, will also retain his post. But a shake-up looms in the Politburo’s Permanent Committee, with Jintao possibly reducing the top leadership group from nine to five. Even Jintao is trying to avoid a bitter power struggle with those in other top leadership factions. The NY Times (9/14) quotes China expert Bo Zhiyue of St. John Fisher College: “I think he knows that real power lies in his position….He also knows how to balance different groups.” Jintao is bringing to the top leadership Li Keqiang, Party chief in the Northern province of Liaoning, who might succeed Jintao after 2012 when he steps down. (Secretary-Generals can only serve two terms.)

In a June 25 speech at a Party Central School, Jintao outlined the second important aspect of the Congress. He stated that China is in a “new phase” of its reform process, having great strategic opportunities while confronting many internal and external challenges. China’s “reforms” began with Zhu Enlai following defeat of the Cultural Revolution, helped by the Gang of Four, which later paid for its opportunism. Deng Xiaoping, considered a capitalist roader by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, accelerated the capitalist reforms in 1978 after Mao died and the Gang of Four was crushed.

U.S. imperialists were delighted with these “reforms,” seeing China not only for its investment potential but also as a counterweight to the former Soviet Union. In a way, China was the great savior of world capitalism. However, China’s new bosses would not be content to forever play second fiddle to U.S. or Japanese imperialists. China is now a more powerful imperialist country, with much money to invest in Asia, Africa, Latin America and even in the U.S. and European Union. It’s also developing its own military power, including a “blue water” navy to challenge U.S. naval power in Asia and eventually beyond. It’s also becoming a major player in space technology, just behind the U.S. and Russia.

Domestically, China is moving beyond being the “world’s workshop,” whose industries are just mainly used for cheaply-produced consumer goods for the world’s major imperialist corporations. The Congress will discuss “scientific development” to turn Chinese industry into leaders in the hi-tech, heavy industry (auto, steel, etc.) and military fields.

The Congress will also try to deal more with localized corruption, which alienates many workers and peasants — one of the main causes of protests and struggles by workers all over China. Already thousands of corrupt local leaders have been jailed. Of course, corruption and China’s gross inequality won’t be solved by capitalist reforms.

Finally, China’s main challenges include Taiwan and the need for secure oil supplies, not controlled by Exxon-Mobil, BP, et al. This will intensify inter-imperialist rivalry and will eventually impel direct military confrontation with the U.S., Japan or India.

The “C”PC doesn’t represent the class interests of China’s workers and peasants, but rather of the capitalist class enemy. There are now thousands of those enemies, bosses who are members of the Party. China’s workers need another revolution, not more reforms, but this time to eliminate all forms of capitalism.

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Mass Outrage vs. Noose Hanging, Racist Columbia U.

NEW YORK CITY, October 10 — Mimicking the racism in Jena, Louisiana, racists hung a noose symbolizing lynching on the door of a black faculty member, Madonna G. Constantine, at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Today, a couple hundred students, faculty and members of the Harlem community demonstrated on the steps of Teachers College to protest this racist act. After several speeches, the demonstration turned into a march around the campus that culminated in a forum of about 600 inside the college. PLP’ers joined the march, sold CHALLENGES and distributed leaflets. Many of the marchers carried signs linking the racism of this incident to that of the attack on the Jena Six.

Although students and professors were outraged and surprised at this noose hanging, there should be no surprise. This incident followed anti-Arab graffiti found in Columbia’s SIPA building, stating that “AMERICA is for WHITE EUROPEANS!” That was swept under the rug. Since the noose hanging, anti-Semitic graffiti was found in a university bathroom. President Lee Bollinger’s e-mail about it said we should just ignore such racist terror. But the noose incident was too blatant to ignore.

Columbia has a long racist history. Its faculty included W. H. Sheldon, who “theorized” that “Negro intelligence . . . [comes to a] standstill at about the 10th year,” and that “Mexican intelligence” stops at age 12. It also included Henry Garrett, who wrote pro-segregation literature for the White Citizens Councils in the South. During the Vietnam War, Columbia’s racist weapons research helped slaughter Indochinese peasants. It seized part of a park in a black working-class neighborhood to build a gym for Columbia students. Current Columbia child psychiatrist Gail Wasserman carried out a variety of racist “violence-in-the-genes” research on black and Latin youth to “predict anti-social behavior.”

Today, Columbia pushes its racist eminent domain expansion into Harlem. It sponsors anti-Arab speakers, including David Horowitz, Sean Hannity, Phyllis Chesler, and Ibn Warraq as part of their so-called “Islamo-fascism Awareness Week.” It used the invitation to Iran’s president to provoke blatant anti-Muslim racism. The latest string of hate crimes simply flows from this racist history.

Meanwhile, the university tries to diffuse anti-racist action. It hides other racist incidents, requires multicultural “sensitivity” training and pushes “dialogue” to bury united militant action.

“White skin privilege” is pushed on white students while black and Latino students are saturated with divisive identity politics. Racism is portrayed as simply an “aberration” that can be “undone” if people are just “educated” enough. There’s no mention of racism being a means to class exploitation. Racism is a major weapon against the whole working class.

Columbia’s divisive propaganda is reflected in one discussion of the noose hanging when an Arab student complained about a lack of concern regarding anti-Arab racism. A black student countered that “foreigners” just don’t “get it” — “we must address anti-black white racism first and deal with all the rest later.” But this simply hands power to the same racists who hung the noose in Teachers College. The bosses love nothing more than working-class people fighting amongst themselves and focusing on their supposed “differences” instead of uniting to smash their common oppressor. Historically black workers and students have been in the forefront of fighting racism that has won victories for the entire working class.

Racism can’t be ignored, reformed or discussed away. Columbia students need multi-racial unity and mass militant action to answer these racist scum, not more talking and internal division.

The capitalist system that creates a culture like the noose incidents is the same one dropping cluster bombs on Iraqi children and gunning down immigrants on the U.S.-Mexican border. Racism is the tool of a system that is an enemy to all workers, students, teachers and soldiers. Uniting to end this blood-drenched profit system and its imperialist wars through workers power — communism — will mean the bosses’ days are numbered.

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Gore Wins Nobel War Prize

Just two days before Al Gore won the Nobel “Peace” Prize, the NY Times ran a full-page “Draft Gore” ad urging him to run for president. The prize and the award both reflect an increasing need felt by U.S. rulers for a wartime leader who can militarize the nation.

Neither the prize nor the ad fell from the sky. The Norwegian government handpicks the Nobel committee. A key U.S. ally in the Cold War, NATO stalwart Norway houses several U.S. military bases and has sent troops to Afghanistan. Norway does not belong to the European Union. U.S. companies are the largest single destination for the Nobel foundation’s considerable investments. U.S. war criminals Henry Kissinger, who advised Nixon to bomb his way out of Vietnam, and Jimmy Carter, who’s “Doctrine” about U.S. control of world oil led to the current Mid-East carnage, also received Nobels.

Draft Gore claims to be a grassroots operation. But it gained momentum after a May meeting of Gore “alumni” donors and aides at the Washington home of Peter Knight, a Gore fund-raiser who now toils for Shroders, an imperialist bank based in London.

A host of senior military officers, serving and retired, joined liberal pundits in lambasting Bush & Co.’s failure to mobilize enough troops for Iraq and Afghanistan. With wider Mid-East and global wars looming, U.S. rulers are turning to Gore. They hope the massive pro-capitalist, pro-government movement he leads against global warming can provide recruits for the armed forces and popular support for foreign interventions.

U.S. generals and admirals have already linked climate change to global security and demonized China as the worst polluter. Thomas Friedman, one of the Times’ many cheerleaders for U.S. imperialism, gushed over Gore’s award but concluded, “We still need a vision, a strategy, an army and a commander in the White House who can inspire young and old — not only to meet that challenge but to see in it the opportunity to make America a better, stronger and more productive nation.” (NYT, 10/14)

Gore is now getting rich by partnering with a bunch of ex-Goldman Sachs execs in an investment firm. “Gore is a multimillionaire who has built a media and high-tech empire around himself and his environmental work….and is the chairman of…a cable network with 38 million subscribers…. He receives up to $175,000 per speaking appearance….Fast Company magazine has estimated his net worth at more than $100 million.” (NYT, 10/13)

Gore may not want to forgo this cash for a White House bid. Whether he runs or not, however, the rulers’ war needs will persist and worsen. The Boston Globe (10/7/07) reports, “Defense Department statistics show the number of young black enlistees has fallen by more than 58 percent since fiscal year 2000.” Poor black workers have long been a main source of the U.S. military’s cannon fodder. But the blatant racism of current U.S. wars hinders this economic draft.

side boxes . . .

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: CROOKED RACIST, IMPERIALIST MONEY-GRUBBER

Gore, while appearing to help the masses, learned to serve the capitalists’ war aims (and make a buck) from his father. Al Gore, Sr. entered Congress from Tennessee in 1939 and immediately championed the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a vast federally-owned electric power company proposed by President Roosevelt to help industrialize the South. With Gore Sr.’s help, the TVA became the prime power supplier to an Alcoa aluminum factory near Knoxville, the world’s largest, that churned out aircraft components in World War II.

Later on, the elder Gore served Occidental Petroleum magnate Armand Hammer, helping Hammer’s Island Creek mines become the TVA’s top coal source. So Hammer made Dad Gore chairman of Island Creek at $500,000 a year, when he left the Senate.

Gore, Sr. blessed the U.S. genocide in Vietnam. He voted for the Tonkin Resolution, the lie advanced by President Johnson that U.S. ships had been attacked, which became the excuse for a massive U.S. invasion. Gore, Sr. voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 but for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, thus wanting to maintain segregation but eager to lead black workers down the dead-end road of electoral politics, especially if it meant votes for Democrats.

BIGGEST, BLOODIEST BOSSES BACK GORE

Global warming, caused by capitalists’ profit-driven dependence on coal and oil, is a genuine problem. But the campaign Gore heads is a liberal fascist movement that pushes patriotic service to the state. Militarists and financiers run the show.

The Alliance for Climate Protection, the umbrella group Gore formed last year, has as co-directors Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who advised Bush, Sr. in Iraq Gulf War I, and hereditary imperialist Theodore Roosevelt IV, a managing director at Lehman Brothers bankers. Teddy IV also chairs the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Its backers include such heavyweights in U.S. capitalism’s (and its British junior partners’) worldwide empire as Alcoa, BP, Citigroup, DuPont, GE, IBM, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Shell and United Technologies. The profits of all these phony “friends of the earth” — many of whom have polluted it for over a century — depend heavily on U.S. military action in the Middle East and elsewhere.

 

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