Monthly Archives: April 2008

May Day Archive

Beside all the great things Progressive Labor Party has written about May Day, the Marxist Internet Archive has compiled historical resources to give the day various voices.

Check it out:

Marxist Internet Archive

Advertisements
Tagged ,

SEAN BELL KILLERS SET FREE BY RULERS’ COURTS

While the liberal bosses prance around and pat themselves on the back for “making change” and proclaiming the end of racism in the U.S., three cops have been set free for the murder of Sean Bell in November 2006. Seems like the cops and the courts never got the memo.

Bell and two friends were shot at by plainclothes kkkops after leaving a bachelor party at a bar in Queens, NY. The cops claim that Bell and his friends first tried to run them over and that one of the men inside the car appeared to be grabbing for a gun in his waist. The cops then wasted no time shooting 50 BULLETS into the car, killing Bell and injuring his friends.

The bosses enlisted the ex-FBI informer and pacifier of black workers’ anger, Al Sharpton. Our class should not be led by this bosses’ agent who pervasively sells  the snake oil of justice under capitalism. He’s done it before with Amadou Diallo who was shot 41 times by the fascist police, and Patrick Dorismond in Manhattan and countless others. The cops’ main role is to protect and serve the bosses’ private property and terrorize workers, especially black and Latino youth, so that they do not turn their anger into rebellion.Bosses\' Henchmen

With the coming elections the bosses need to win black, and all  workers, to U.S. imperialism to stay ahead of their rivals like China, Russia and Europe. Barack Obama and the bosses need to give them hope that the system can work for them in the face of years of slavery, Jim Crow racism, segregation, police terror, poverty like in New Orleans and after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Workers and students should organize their friends and co-workers to expose the cops’ role in the racist system of capitalism. No court will guarantee workers justice.

MARCH ON MAY DAY AGAINST POLICE TERROR,

RACIST CAPITALIST SYSTEM

MAY 3rd 12 p.m.

NEW YORK CITY, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO

for more info, cd188@juno.com or write to this blog

Tagged , , , , , ,

May Day: Fight Bosses’ Wars and Racist Terror

Workers of the World, Unite

On this May Day, International Workers’ Day, the international working class is under sharpening fascist attack while the drums of global war beat louder and slaughter millions. World capitalism pushes its economic crisis onto workers’ backs with mass racist unemployment, wage-cuts, soaring food prices and resulting starvation. Yet masses of workers are fighting back, with general strikes and food rebellions from Greece to Egypt to Haiti to Russian Ford and Romanian Renault auto workers to Detroit’s Axle strikers.

This May Day we must stand as one class, with one interest: to destroy the capitalist murderers with communist revolution and build a communist 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, especially as they use the attacks on the world’s 200 million immigrants to attack ALL workers.

Capitalism has spawned this migration across all borders. We say smash all boss-created borders. We are one class, internationally.

Capitalism created the working class, a class with nothing but its labor power to sell in order to survive. Early on, the capitalists moved millions of Africans as slaves from that continent to wherever they could produce the most profit. With capitalism’s global expansion, immigration is now a worldwide phenomenon.

Capitalism’s unrelenting drive for maximum profits uproots hundreds of millions of workers, forcing them into the squalor of sprawling mega slums, from Brazil to Nigeria to China, where 80 million Chinese-born migrant workers are branded as illegal. Many die crossing deserts and oceans from Africa to Latin America trying to reach jobs in the U.S. and Europe, as well as from starvation, malnutrition and curable diseases. Ten thousand died trying to cross into Spain from Africa in the last five years.

Those migrating to the more industrialized countries are not only super-exploited but are used as scapegoats, blamed for capitalism-created problems, and paid slave wages to lower the wages of all workers.

In the past, immigrant workers were on the front lines of class struggle. With global capitalism, the bosses — by forcing this mass migration — have internationalized the working class even more, providing the opportunity for a communist-led working class to forge the unity necessary for communist revolution. Immigrant workers are now positioned geographically and socially to help lead this fight worldwide.

Their role will become even more crucial as the imperialists’ rivalry for world domination intensifies, particularly in the U.S., a declining power fighting desperately to hold its position as top imperialist while it gears up for wider Middle Eastern wars and eventually world war versus the rising powers in China, Russia and the European Union.

The U.S. rulers’ fight over immigration reform concerns the tactics and strategies on how and when to wage these wars. One sector thinks these wars can be waged cheaply with a small, technologically superior military. These bosses opposing immigration reform just want to terrorize immigrant workers with deportations to continue super-exploiting them.

The liberal imperialist sector, however, needs an immigration reform that builds patriotism among immigrants through a 12-year-long path to citizenship. This is in exchange for recruiting millions of soldiers as cannon fodder in their imperialist wars and to maintain a workforce of millions of super-exploited workers for their war industries.

That’s why their liberal politicians attack Homeland Security’s “scattershot workplace raids” as bad economic policy. And their newspapers like the LA Times and NY Times criticize Congress and the Bush administration for endangering the ability of the bosses to achieve these aims.

These liberal rulers also use their state power to rein in their opponents like California’s Orange County Sheriff Carona — indicted for some of his many crimes in the county where the racist Minutemen were born — and Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County, Arizona, who terrorizes day laborers.

But the vitriolic anti-immigrant stance of their opponents also serves the liberal bosses, creating the terror and despair that drives immigrant workers into the arms of their liberal politicians — and their leaders in the pro-immigrant organizations, churches, unions and community groups — with their pacifism and dead-end electoral politics. The main organizing slogan of the pro-immigrant organizations is, “Today we march, tomorrow we vote!”

Their leaflet announcing the Los Angeles May 1st March praises the bosses’ immigration reform and DREAM Act, aimed at forcing undocumented youth into the military under the farce of “helping them go to college,” which they can’t afford. This “Green Card army” will eventually become the army of all, via the draft or some militaristic “national service” scheme. The slave-like conditions and low wages of indentured immigrant workers will be extended to all workers.

With Democrats Obama and Clinton, and Republican McCain, supporting their comprehensive immigration reform bill and the DREAM Act, the liberal bosses will win no matter who becomes president. But their needs are forcing them to bring together two of the most oppressed, potentially militant and rebellious sectors of the working class: black workers and youth, crucial in industry and the military — possessing a rich history of fighting the U.S. bosses’ racism — and immigrant workers with a long history of fighting U.S. imperialism.

With PLP building international unity and a base for rebellion and revolutionary communism among industrial workers, soldiers, and students —  black, Latino, white, Asian and Arab, immigrant and citizen, men and women — we can fight the bosses’ racism, nationalism and patriotism, and unite the world’s workers to destroy the scourge of capitalism forever.

The fire of May Day burns brightly in a vibrant and growing internationalist PLP! Workers of the World Unite! Fight to end racism and wars for profit. Smash all bosses’ borders! Spread CHALLENGE, the internationalist, revolutionary communist newspaper! Fight for communism! Join us!

Tagged

Pope Heils Anti-U.S. Europe-China Bloc

Obama got it wrong. Embittered workers don’t “cling” to religion by choice. The ruling class he serves shoves it down their throats, as the media’s non-stop coverage of the pope’s visit reveals. The Catholic passivity Benedict preaches is — like all faiths — so useful to capitalists in stifling working-class anger that they made his every utterance and gesture front-page, prime-time “historic events.” But nevertheless, the pope’s visit is a mixed blessing for U.S. rulers. While they benefit from his spreading religious ideology among workers, they must also win mass political support for their widening wars. And, just as he did as a Hitler Youth in pre-World War II Germany, Benedict represents European bosses increasingly at odds with U.S. imperialism.

RULERS AIM SCANDAL AT CHURCH FOES OF U.S. BOSSES

His predecessor John Paul II mildly criticized the 1991 invasion of Iraq by a U.S.-led coalition that included large European contingents. At the time, Catholic bishops in the U.S. cooked up a theological justification for that war. Europe’s oil majors, like Total of France and Eni of Italy, scored big deals with “rescued” Kuwait. But by the 2003 invasion, when it became clear the U.S. would not share Iraq’s oil spoils with European firms, the prelates defied the Pentagon. Late in 2002, the National Council of Catholic Bishops declared, “We…find it difficult to justify the resort to war against Iraq….[W]e fear that resort to war, under present circumstances…would not meet the strict conditions in Catholic teaching for overriding the strong presumption against the use of military force.”

U.S. rulers punished the Catholic leaders severely for their heresy. Starting with the Boston Globe that year, the bosses’ media let loose a flood of exposés detailing sexual abuse of children by priests, pointedly blaming bishops for enabling and protecting pedophiles. Hardly breaking news — sex abuse has been rampant in the church for centuries. But imperialist U.S. rulers played it up to rob pro-European clergy of all credibility. Referring overtly to the abuse scandal but implicitly to geopolitics, a New York Times editorial (4/17/08) reminded pope-struck readers of “stunning failures of the overwhelming majority of U.S. bishops.”

VATICAN COZYING TO CHINESE RULERS

Now, as its European backers cement ties with China’s rulers, the church is following suit, increasing the likelihood of an armed U.S.-China clash over U.S. protectorate Taiwan. The London Sunday Times (2/17/08) reports,  “Tempted by the prize of a historic visit to China by Pope Benedict XVI, the nation’s leaders have authorised a renewed effort…to heal their rift and inaugurate diplomatic ties….

[T]he Vatican is prepared as part of an eventual settlement to move its embassy from Taipei to Beijing.” The Times quoted a senior Vatican official, “There is no problem with breaking relations with Taiwan….we have a duty to spread the values of the gospel.” Those “values,” no doubt, embrace China’s recent purchase of a $2.8-billion stake in French oil giant Total.

But U.S. rulers tolerated and even welcomed Benedict because religion hinders a rational analysis of the world’s two opposing classes and prevents workers from fighting back accordingly. “Pie-in-the-sky” promises of heavenly rewards and meaningless, mystical concepts of “good” and “evil” devoid of class content can help lead workers into militaristic patriotism. Parochial schools preaching “Church and Country” furnished millions of recruits for the U.S. war machine in the last century.

Grossly underpaid teachers in one New York Catholic school union have the right response to papal pandemonium — strike. Our Party’s goal is to organize working-class militancy like this into a mass communist party that will eliminate the warmakers and their religious apologists.

Tagged ,

Will Cops Go Free for Sean Bell’s Murder?

While the liberal bosses prance around and pat themselves on the back for “making change” and proclaiming the end of racism in the U.S., three cops might very well be set free for the murder of Sean Bell in November 2006. Seems like the cops and the courts never got the memo.

Bell and two friends were shot at by plainclothes kkkops after leaving a bachelor party at a bar in Queens, NY. The cops claim that Bell and his friends first tried to run them over and that one of the men inside the car appeared to be grabbing for a gun in his waist. The cops then wasted no time shooting 50 BULLETS into the car, killing Bell and injuring his friends.

The bosses enlisted the ex-FBI informer and pacifier of black workers’ anger, Al Sharpton. Our class should not be led by this bosses’ agent who pervasively sells  the snake oil of justice under capitalism. He’s done it before with Amadou Diallo who was shot 41 times by the fascist police, and Patrick Dorismond in Manhattan and countless others. The cops’ main role is to protect and serve the bosses’ private property and terrorize workers, especially black and Latino youth, so that they do not turn their anger into rebellion.

With the coming elections the bosses need to win black, and all  workers, to U.S. imperialism to stay ahead of their rivals like China, Russia and Europe. Barack Obama and the bosses need to give them hope that the system can work for them in the face of years of slavery, Jim Crow racism, segregation, police terror, poverty like in New Orleans and after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Workers and students should organize their friends and co-workers to expose the cops’ role in the racist system of capitalism. No court will guarantee workers justice.

Tagged , , , ,

Marine Vet: U.S. Imperialists Are War Criminals

SOUTHWESTERN CAMPUS, April 3 — “War crimes? Heck, the whole war is a crime!” exclaimed a student and Marine veteran of the Iraq war, summing up his contempt for the U.S. imperialist agenda.
Over 175 students, teachers and campus staff applauded enthusiastically. Foregoing classes, many stayed over three hours to hear testimonials from four members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and one from Military Families Speak Out (MFSO).

One army veteran/student quoted from Nazi butcher Hermann Göring at the Nuremberg Trials, exposing how all the rulers think: “Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in England, nor America, nor in Germany….But…it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along….Tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

He should have said, “any capitalist country” because Soviet workers were won to fight the Nazis in their own class interests. This vet said Göring’s statement brought a “chilling familiarity to our experience since 9/11.”
This vet quoted Marine General Smedley Butler: “War is just a racket….It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.”

Urging soldiers to abandon blind pride, the vet noted the growth of anti-imperialist war activism, citing “the growing number of active-duty IVAW chapters.”

Vets revealed their painful understanding of war crimes and the contradictions that soldiers fighting an imperialist war face daily. One ex-Marine in charge of detainees explained how he attempted to protect them from casual abuse by other soldiers. Another witnessed a whole town storm his platoon’s position.
Current reports of corruption and of Iraqi recruits refusing to fight and turning over their weapons to Shiite insurgents mirrored one Marine’s description of outright corruption of Sunni commanders who sold weapons to insurgents. This Marine was disgusted with the “dog and pony show” of the Iraqi military, which is clearly not motivated to defend U.S. imperialism. These experiences provoked him to ask, “What the hell am I doing here [in Iraq].”

The MFSO parent noted how his son couldn’t make a decent living after high school and thus enlisted. This anti-racist MFSO member expressed dismay that after boot camp his son was trained to “hate people he never met.” He said 85% of those killed in Iraq are civilians. His son suffers from PTSD after one tour in Iraq where, on burial detail, he had to collect body parts of deceased soldiers with whom he had trained. This parent stressed the need for everyone to actively oppose the war by reaching out to active-duty soldiers.

The Q and A session revealed the uneven development among these vets. One panelist opposed the war in Iraq but not Afghanistan. Asked about the draft, one vet answered, “Draft all college-age Republicans,” which drew a laugh. Several vets supported a draft as a “wake-up call.” That position is based more on frustration than a real commitment to national service of any kind that’s promoted by the current presidential candidates. A few vets attacked imperialism as a system and opposed any wider wars or military call-up.

The potential for a revolutionary worker/soldier/student alliance was evident during these three brief hours. The panelists are part of the movement against imperialist war, which will ultimately require the fight for a world devoid of profiteers and exploitation. Such forums for political struggle are steps toward that goal.

Tagged , ,

Fight Racist Destruction of Harlem

NEW YORK CITY, April 12 — Hundreds of Harlem residents and their supporters formed a human chain across several long cross-town blocks and then marched on the NY State Office Building, battling the gentrification of East, Central, and West Harlem, which will displace thousands of working-class residents and many small businesses. The cops tried to pen the demonstrators into a small area on the street, but they immediately broke through the barricades and took over the sidewalk. Almost all the passing motorists honked in support.

Having recently approved the take-over of West Harlem by Columbia University, the City Council’s zoning subcommittee has now voted to rezone Harlem’s main thoroughfare, 125th Street, and two surrounding blocks all the way across Manhattan, for luxury housing and businesses. Central Harlem is home to mostly low-income and working-class African-Americans, averaging below $25,000 annually. It’s also a cultural center, home to generations of black writers, performers and artists. East Harlem (El Barrio) is a mainly Latino neighborhood, also providing housing for mainly low-income workers. This demonstration marked the first time in recent history that groups from all these areas have marched together.

For two decades, gentrification has been underway, with the renovation of old brownstones and houses, attracting African-American professionals and a growing white population. As local property values rise, Harlem can be totally gentrified within the next decade. Tenant activists estimate that half of all Harlem residents may be forced to move.

Although this show of militancy and unity was heartening, a weakness of the movement has been its looking for “good “politicians to turn things around. Some hope the new black governor, David Patterson (who replaced Eliot Spitzer), will protect their interests. But Patterson is closely tied to the other prominent black NY politicians, ex-mayor David Dinkins and Rep. Charles Rangel, who are deeply embedded with developers. Some hope City Council members will carry their banner, but the Harlem representatives have long supported gentrification. A few involved fighters are nationalist, and see this attack as only against “their own group.” Most have welcomed the support of all.

Several comrades have been active in a Harlem church and community groups. We’ve pointed out how only a movement of rank-and-file workers and students can be relied upon to have our interests at heart, and that all politicians can only survive by doing the bidding of capitalist profiteers.

This attack on all of Harlem is based on racism of the foulest sort, hoping that not only will all NYC workers not back Harlem’s struggle, but will even welcome “racial cleansing.” We emphasize the role that racism plays and the necessity of multi-racial unity.

Most importantly, we must win our friends to see that gentrification, like the housing and financial crisis, the growing income gap and widening war and fascism are all part of capitalism, and therefore all our efforts should be linked to the fight against this racist system. We will continue to distribute CHALLENGE and bring some new friends to May Day.

Tagged , ,

NYC YOUTH VOW MAY 1ST WALKOUT

Brooklyn, NY April 16  — More than 70 students from six different high schools in Brooklyn, Harlem and the Lower East Side joined together and held an after-school conference about billionaire Bloomberg’s promised budget cuts and how to oppose them. Six young black and Latino women representing a school’s student government led the conference and electrified its closing moments unifying walkout proposals from across the room into a call for a city-wide walkout at noon on May 1st!

Students showed up ready to organize against not only the budget cuts but the increased police presence and criminalization of students that has run rampant in NYC schools. An opening talk set the political tone of the event by reminding us that the capitalist system is based on theft of the value workers produce on the job every single day. Most participants in the conference took CHALLENGE and everyone got a copy of the PL leaflet describing how debt service means that billionaires always get paid whether schools face cuts or not.

“These cuts are racist! Eighty percent of NYC school children are black and Latino, can’t nobody tell me these cuts aren’t racist!” one student shouted. “Bloomberg has 16 billion dollars; if he wanted to he could fix the schools’ budget problems,” one student stated in her speech. “The government is trying to put us down before we even get up,” another student shouted. One student talked about being arrested and verbally abused by cops just for having her head outside of the window while watching a crime scene. We live in a period of growing fascism.

After breaking up into groups, students made lists of ways they can fight back against the cuts. Writing a petition, having rallies, getting the word out to more schools, letters to Bloomberg and having student walkouts were prominent on most lists. The plan is to link up with the immigrants’ rights march in Union Square on May 1st.

Some students made the connection that the money that is being taken out of the schools’ budgets is being used to fund the bosses’ imperialist wars and burgeoning police state. PLP students spoke of learning about communism in the classroom and thinking it is a good idea. Communist politics helped defeat the all-too-common liberal error of blaming these cuts on the war alone.

Students left the room with the message that capitalism itself is to blame and that communism remains a real alternative worth fighting for. The task now is to mobilize these same young people to be organizers for PLP’s May Day events this year on May 3rd and, over time, as another generation of young fighters for a communist future.

Tagged , ,

Ex-Marine Links U.S. Racism, Katrina and Iraq War

BOSTON, April 14 — Students, faculty and staff at Roxbury Community College (RCC), a mainly black and immigrant working-class school here, showed considerable interest in an anti-war event marking the 5th anniversary of the Iraq war. It highlighted the recent Winter Soldier testimony that publicized veterans’ criticisms of the war. (See CHALLENGE 3/12)
Thirty-five in attendance heard the stirring remarks of two veterans and a speech explaining that U.S. rulers went to war to control Mid-East oil. One ex-Marine said Hurricane Katrina exposed the true nature of U.S. imperialism, which allowed mostly black workers to die in New Orleans while it was killing working people in Iraq. As a black man of Haitian descent, he declared that the racism of Katrina punctured his belief in U.S. patriotism and his willingness to “serve my country.”

We watched some of the recorded testimony of other veterans who described the atrocities the U.S. committed in Iraq. It was inspiring to see how Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is helping to transform soldiers — damaged by their experiences — into anti-war organizers. However, although IVAW is introducing veterans to anti-war politics, the organization is also injecting patriotic content into those politics, undermining an understanding of imperialism, the real cause of the Middle-East wars. This builds a movement which the capitalist class can easily manipulate as they plan wider war to protect their strategic interests in the region.

Because PLP understands the crucial role of soldiers and students in the growth of a revolutionary communist movement, we played a pivotal role in this function. Some students who had attended our May Day dinner a week earlier helped to organize the event, distributing leaflets on campus.

The speech that presented a class analysis about the war helped people make more sense of the veterans’ testimony by putting their personal tragedies into a political context. Soldiers are being forced to kill and maim Iraqis in a genocidal war so that U.S. capitalism can maintain its control over oil.

This analysis inspired one veteran to expound on his previous talk. “It’s RCC students and Bunker Hill Community College students who are fighting this war,’ he said, “not students from Harvard and Milton Academy.” Then, he called for students and soldiers to “revolutionize” themselves as a necessary step in fighting back.

By understanding the class character of the war, working-class students can see the many ways imperialism is attacking them and their loved ones, and their role in organizing resistance. This event made it clear that PLP needs to sell CHALLENGE more consistently and expose students to a communist analysis about both world events and their own reality at RCC.

Tagged , ,
%d bloggers like this: