World domination by U.S. rulers is being challenged by the bosses of Russia, Iran and China. This sharpening rivalry is displayed in many ways. Pick up a mainstream U.S. newspaper any time and the message you most likely receive is that China is evil. News sources reported all year about the dangerous or poisonous products of China: from pet chow to toothpaste, from toys to sea food. The mouthpieces of the ruling class were determined to paint China as the devil, even though U.S.-owned companies produced the goods in question.
A communist analysis tells us that the bosses’ reason for this is not concern for our safety. They fear China’s growing ability to compete with the U.S. as an imperialist power, and they need to build up anti-China sentiment in workers in anticipation of future armed conflict.
The U.S. rivalry with China and other growing powers drove many of the events of the year, either directly or indirectly. The Save Darfur movement is being built among students and workers in order to oppose China’s interests in Africa. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is able to call George Bush names without much fear, partly because of his ties to imperialists in China, Russia and elsewhere. Over a million people have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan waged by U.S. bosses to prevent rivals from gaining access to Mid-East oil.
The year 2007 saw the outbreak of rebellions by Arab and Muslim youth in France and mass strikes in France, South Africa, Peru, Italy and the Dominican Republic and a general strike in Greece. Workers in the United States have fought back with strikes in war plants at Northrop-Grumman in Pascagoula, Mississippi and at Navistar. Although those workers struck for economic reasons, striking war plants shows that they did not fall for the boss’s patriotism. PLP supported these strikers and helped expose the pro-boss union hacks still holding back our class. PLP’ers have also been organizing in the military and in subcontracting plants serving the war industry.
The lead-up to the next presidential election was big news as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton jockeyed for the Democratic Party nomination, each hoping to convince workers of their anti-war stance while assuring Big Oil that they would do a better job than Bush at securing control of the Middle East. Both Obama and Clinton have openly supported pre-emptive strikes against al Qaeda in Pakistan and the Iranian rulers respectively.
In mass events, PLP’ers — through chants, speeches and sales of CHALLENGE — have consistently exposed the liberal politicians as more dangerous as they try to win worker support with their lies while deepening the wars their “conservative” counterparts started.
Meanwhile, the current government used the “war on terror” to excuse increasingly fascist tactics in oppressing the workers. We saw a rise in the use of video cameras everywhere, from schools to buses. Police murdered black and Latin young people in every major city like Kiel Coppin in NYC, Francisco Mondragon in LA and Aaron Harrison in Chicago. Brutal crackdowns on immigrants, like the raid at a plant in New Bedford, Mass., separated families through deportation at the same time that immigration “reforms” like the DREAM Act promise citizenship to those who would join the military to fight in the Middle East. The bosses have worked hard this year to build fear and passivity in the workers, but they face a major contradiction: they are attacking the same people they need to be patriotic and fight their imperialist wars.
PL was there to lead militant, multi-racial protests against gutter racists like the Minutemen. We stood up against racist right-wingers like David Horowitz with his Islamo-Fascism week and against military and CIA recruiters on our campuses.
The local courts in Jena, LA, viciously punished young black students who fought back against racists who hung nooses at their school. Since then the media has reported that racist attacks are on the rise. As the NY Times reported (11/25), “…this country has seen a rash of as many as 50 to 60 noose incidents. The level of hate crimes in the U.S. is astoundingly high — more than 190,000 incidents per year.” Masses of black workers and students converged on Jena, LA, to protest the racist events there. PL members brought communist politics to these anti-racist events.
The rulers left workers to suffer in many ways while they struggled to keep control over their imperialist interests. The sub-prime mortgage crisis meant many workers, disproportionately black and Latino ones, lost homes and financial security. Bridges collapsed, miners died in cave-ins, homes and lives were lost to fires and floods, earthquakes from San Diego to Tabasco, Mexico, to Peru, the Caribbean and Bangladesh. The wreckage left in the wake of hurricane Katrina is in even worse shape after two years of the bosses’ “recovery effort.” The bosses have decided to demolish the public housing which were totally livable.
No matter how much the bosses abandon all responsibility for our safety, workers take care of each other. Students, teachers and workers are still traveling to the New Orleans area to lend support to their class brothers and sisters there. PLP contingents made the trip several times during the year, organizing our friends to help in schools, churches, community groups and workplaces.
High school students spoke to the Delegate Assembly of the New York teachers’ union for the first time, demanding that their voices be heard against imperialist war. On the West Coast, high school and college students spent their summer building unity with industrial workers.
Even as the bosses try to beat us down and win us to their nationalist ideas, the workers’ anger is still there. It’s the job of communists to give this anger at the system a revolutionary direction. We don’t want to rebel fruitlessly, but to build a movement that will be able to challenge and destroy capitalism. Then workers will be able to run the world according to our class interests. PLP is leading the way towards that communist future.