Monthly Archives: May 2008

Racist Anti-Immigrant Gangs Betray Anti-Apartheid Fight

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, May 19 —

“Shock” is the expression being used after the eruption of violence on a scale not seen since the end of apartheid. “Anger at substantial immigrant populations — fellow blacks mainly from Zimbabwe and Mozambique — has seen at least 22 people killed in the past week since the first incidents in the northern Johannesburg township of Alexandra. The killing has now spread through the country like wild-fire…” (London Times online, 5/19)

The violent anti-immigrant pogrom has been fueled by the same lies directed against immigrants in Europe and the U.S. — they “steal jobs, cause crime,” etc.  Racist gangs have employed the weapons used against traitors during the anti-Apartheid era, like “neck-lacing” (burning tires around victims’ necks).
This racist violence is not “shocking” if we understand the real cause. Racism and inequality are universal aspects of capitalism, from Paris to London to New York to Johannesburg.

Since the African National Congress (ANC) took power following the dismantlement of the old apartheid regime, the lives of some black politicians and petit-bourgeois elements have improved, but life is harder for the majority of black workers. Last year, mass workers’ strikes reflected this situation. “People are having to find scapegoats, this is about competition for diminishing resources…. President Mbeki has tried to de-racialise the economy but only a very small number at the top have really benefited,” said Sipho Seephe, President of the South Africa Institute of Race Relations. (London Times) “Some 40 percent of the population — 80 percent of which is black — is little better off than at the end of apartheid in 1994.”

Another important lesson is that there is no half-way solution to the evils of a worldwide capitalist system involved in endless wars, continuing economic crises and the need to divide and super-exploit more and more workers to reap super-profits. Once the imperialists and capitalists realized the old apartheid regime couldn’t control South Africa’s angry workers and youth, the ANC came to power. Nelson Mandela, Mbeki and Jacob Zuma (the next President) — supported by the “Communist” Party of South Africa (with a substantial base among its most militant workers and youth because of the “C”P’s role in fighting apartheid) — became capitalism’s managers. They provided some cosmetic changes but without changing the essence of racist exploitation.

Zwelinzima Vavi , leader of the COSATU union federation, spoke at a protest organized by the ANC-CP-led federation outside parliament. He said it’s not the Zimbawean exiles causing the problems for poor South Africans, even blaming capitalism. But only 100 people protested, showing the lack of credibility of COSATU, which since 1994 has supported the ANC governments and its free-market capitalist policies, and now backs the new ANC President Zuma.

The racist gangs are murdering immigrant workers in the same townships where heroic battles against apartheid were waged in the past, a direct product of these sellouts’ pro-capitalist policies. Now the struggle to build a society without racism and capitalism is now more difficult than ever. But it’s the only struggle which will eventually extricate workers here and worldwide, out of this capitalist-created hell.

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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!

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Protest Fascist Minutemen at DePaul U

CHICAGO, May 19 — PLP brought several dozen workers and students to the rally against the racist Minutemen founder Chris Simcox at DePaul University here. Simcox was invited by the right-wing DePaul Conservative Alliance. Liberal pro-immigrant students organized students to protest his appearance. But only PLP tied the Minutemen’s racist ant-immigrant attacks to the bigger picture of U.S. capitalism in crisis.

The rally’s high point came when a new younger friend of the Party led the crowd to denounce a sign-carrying racist who stood near us, leading the cops to whisk him away to save his skin.

Our contingent distributed almost 200 CHALLENGES and 500 leaflets, as well as making six contacts.

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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.

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Coal Barons, Gov’t Guilty of Murdering Miners

When six miners died in the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah last August 6, it was no “accident” — it was deliberate murder for profit. Ten days later three more workers died from a tunnel collapse while trying to rescue those six. All nine deaths were completely avoidable.

The mine owner, Robert Murray, claimed it was due to an “earthquake.” This lie was exposed in a recent Congressional report, but don’t hold your breath expecting anything will be done by the bosses’ politicians to prevent future murders.

Murray’s operation practices “retreat mining.” This method involves removing the massive coal pillars that support the mine’s roof. As miners move backwards towards the entrance, this allows sections of the mine to collapse, “the technique of doubling back to carve final profits from the coal pillars that brace the mine.” (NY Times, 5/9) With coal prices soaring, the mine owners find it extremely profitable to extract every last bit of coal, over the dead bodies of the miners who dig out the coal.

In March 2007, a similar collapse occurred in the same mine, but the pillars and mine roof didn’t fall on any miners. However, the Crandall bosses played down that incident, which should have led to the banning of retreat mining.

In fact, before the August disaster, miners — including one of the six who died — reported that sections of the mine floor had been buckling up from the intense pressure placed upon it. They said the mine bosses knew about the problem but continued operations anyway.

Then, on August 6, a series of pillars burst apart, causing a mine cave-in so powerful it registered 3.9 on the Richter scale. It killed the six miners, entombing them in the mine. Their bodies were never recovered. Three were immigrants from Mexico, forced by the bosses’ racism to work on the more dangerous, unsafe jobs, a condition which then spreads to all workers. Ten days later, three more miners, working to reach the six who were trapped, were killed as well when a 1,500-foot section of the tunnel collapsed on them.

If the company had stopped this “retreat mining” after the March 2007 collapse, all these miners would be alive today. But the owners concealed the extent of that incident, leading to the August murders.

Now a big hue and cry is rising, from the Congressional report to NY Times’ editorials, calling for a “criminal inquiry” and new safety laws. But the report itself upholds the legitimacy of “retreat mining.” And the Mine Safety and Health Administration is notorious for being run by pro-industry appointees, who have done next to nothing about enforcing current laws. The “worst” that happens is a slap on the wrist for mine owners’ violations.

Some coal bosses say domestic coal could become an “alternative” fuel to the U.S. rulers’ dependence on imported oil from war-torn regions and anti-U.S. governments. Daydreaming! Modern industry and armies can’t run without oil. Besides, the biggest U.S. bosses, like Exxon-Mobil, make multi-billion-dollar profits from oil; the Pentagon itself is geared to preventing U.S. imperialist rivals from grabbing control of the flow of oil. But — oil or coal — capitalist industries’ main goal is reaping maximum profits. Killing workers, including ignoring their safety, is part of that process. Only a communist society, where workers’ lives are the first priority and the fruit of their labors will be shared by the whole working class, not a few profiteers, will end this carnage.

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FRANCE: Teachers’ Strike in 130 Cities Against Gov’t Cuts

PARIS, May 16 — Yesterday, according to the government’s understated figures, 860,000 public workers struck against job cuts and government policies dismantling public services, demonstrating in over 130 cities. It was particularly strong in education, with over half of junior and senior high school teachers and nearly two-thirds of primary school teachers on strike. Large contingents of high school students livened up the protests.

In Marseilles and five other cities, teachers’ general assemblies voted to renew their strike on May 19, in some cases over the opposition of the union leaders. They hope to spark a break with the ritual 24-hour protest strike.

Longer and more intense strikes are needed to force the government to back down from the 22,900 education job losses programmed in the 2008 budget. Indeed, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s reaction to yesterday’s walkout was to propose new strike-breaking laws to “protect” the “right to work.”

The government’s onslaught on public workers — which includes last year’s elimination of special retirement plans for mainly rail workers performing particularly hard jobs — is not driven solely by budget-balancing needs, after giving the rich tax breaks of 222 million euros ($350 million) in 2007 (to increase this year). Privatizing public services is also part of the bosses’ strategy to cut wages and benefits for ALL workers.

France’s 5,000,000 public workers cannot be laid off or fired for union activity as easily as private-sector workers. They form the core of the French trade union movement. About 15% of public workers belong to unions, as against 5% of private-sector workers.

Given that French bosses are competing with rivals worldwide, they need to smash the French labor movement in order to maximize profits. For instance, while from 1996 to 2007, labor costs in Germany fell 5%, they rose 20% in France. (Charlie Hebdo, 5/7/2008) Nevertheless, with inflation, real wages in France have fallen 4.2% in the private sector and 7.0% in the public sector since 1994. (Council on Employment, Income and Social Cohesion)

Furthermore, French bosses are participating in on-going wars to re-divide the world. The French expeditionary force in Afghanistan now numbers 3,200 soldiers, and France is suspected of having tried to overthrow Sudan’s government (Le Canard Enchaîné, 5/14/08). The bosses need a docile workforce on the home front.

Successful extension of the teachers’ strike movement would build the May 22nd national strike called by all the major unions to protest government plans to increase the number of work-years needed for a full retirement pension. Previous pension “reform” laws have already led to a 30% relative fall in pensions as against wages. Air France and rail-worker unions have joined the strike call.

While it’s necessary to fight against job cuts and for decent pensions, as long as capitalism exists so will the bosses’ drive to increase exploitation and launch imperialist wars.      That’s why workers here and worldwide must go beyond struggles to “reform” capitalism and organize for communist revolution to destroy capitalism. J

BULLETIN  May 19 — About 40,000 teachers and their supporters demonstrated in Paris yesterday. An inter-trade union federation meeting today proposed no action except to renew the call, initially launched by the French PTA, for a demonstration on May 24. It also ignores the high school students’ protest movement. In short, most of the union “leaders” are doing everything they can to alienate the teachers’ potential allies and keep the movement “manageable.”
In such a situation, communists put forward organizing the widest possible support for striking teachers, forging the links necessary to help develop the revolutionary potential of the working class.

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Anti-War Solidarity Actions Sweep CUNY Campuses

NEW YORK CITY, May 19 — On May Day, PLP members participated in events upholding workers’ solidarity at multiple CUNY campuses. One of the campus unions, the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), held rallies to celebrate the West Coast longshoreman’s (ILWU) plan to organize an eight-hour work stoppage against the war. We were excited by this opportunity to show how class-conscious industrial workers can fight for more political demands (for a critical analysis of the ILWU May Day work-stoppage see report on the May Day activities in the Bay Area, CHALLENGE, May 21, 2008).

At the events, we participated in various anti-war activities — bullhorn rallies, teach-ins, film showings and literature tables — and distributed CHALLENGE, which linked the war with the CUNY budget cuts. On one campus a dozen union members unfurled a 15-foot-long banner, “US Out of Iraq…No Attack on Iran!” in front of the cafeteria. As speakers explained the real reasons for the war on Iraq along with conditions here at home, a student called out, “What about the war in Palestine?” We invited him to join our discussion.
During another rally, a letter received early that May Day morning from the General Union of Port Workers of Iraq was read aloud (see box). Inspired by ILWU’s actions in the U.S., the Iraqi unionists were planning to stop work in Umm Qasr and Al Zubair.

On a third campus, the administration refused to grant a sound permit. When speakers began to use a handheld bullhorn, campus security backed up by city cops swarmed in, threatening to arrest the chapter chair and the speaker. So much for free speech on campus.

After these city-wide campus events, many students and union members went together to the Immigrants’ Rights Rally in Union Square.

From these successful May Day actions the potential exists for building a strong worker-student alliance and to recruit new members to PLP. We will continue to be involved in struggles on our campuses to make this happen.

(Excerpts from the May Day message from the Port Workers in Iraq to West Coast U.S. dock workers.)

In solidarity with the ILWU, the General Union of Port Workers in Iraq will stop work for one hour on May Day in the ports of Umm Qasr and Khor Al Zubair.
Dear Brothers and Sisters of ILWU in California:
The courageous decision you made to carry out a strike on May Day to protest against the war and occupation of Iraq advances our struggle against occupation to bring a better future for us and the rest of the world as well….[which] will only be created by the workers…. We in Iraq are looking up to, and support you until the victory over the U.S. administration’s barbarism is achieved.
Over the past five years the sectarian gangs who are the product of the occupation have been trying to transfer their conflicts into our ranks.  Targeting workers, including their residential and shopping areas, indiscriminately using all sorts of explosive devices, mortar shells, and random shooting, were part of a bigger scheme that was aiming to tear up the society…. We are struggling to defeat BOTH the occupation and the sectarian militias’ agenda….
Long live the port workers in California! Long live May Day! Long live International solidarity!”

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FASCIST PARTY OUT IN PARAGUAY, BUT CAPITALISM REMAINS WITH A LIBERAL FACE

Ex-Bishop Fernando Lugo won the presidential elections in Paraguay, ending the 61-year reign of the fascist Colorado Party.  Lugo won with the help of the Patriotic Alliance for Change, including the center-right Liberal Party, center-left parties, as well as several socialist parties including PMAS (Party of the Movement Towards Socialism, Hugo Chavez’ allies) and several social movements of farmers and indigenous groups (including Tekojoja).

Many workers and activists believe that the working class will benefit from this ouster of Colorado. Not true! Lugo’s win signals a change in the style of the oppressor, nothing more. His politics resemble those of Chavez in Venezuela and Lula in Brazil, who have the image of being pro-working class, but are really just another face of the ruling class.  Lugo owes a debt to many capitalist elements among his allies in the Patriotic Alliance for Change and is not likely to be able to even accomplish modest reforms. Face it –– capitalism is bigger than any one candidate, no matter how sincere he or she may be about social change.

It’s the same in the U.S. with Obama, Clinton and McCain. Rather than build illusions in the system, workers and activists should follow the policy of “Don’t Vote! Revolt!”

The big issue that Lugo will take on is renegotiating contracts involving two hydroelectric plants  –– Itaipu (with Brazil) and Yacyreta (with Argentina).  The Paraguayan government receives less than the typical world price for the electricity they sell and  Lugo has promised that the revenue received from better deals with Brazil and Argentina will help fund social programs, including health care. (Dengue and yellow fever are now common in Paraguay). We have seen, however, time after time, that such reform promises rapidly go out the window after a “reformer” is elected, as the ruling capitalist class asserts its needs over those of the masses.
Immediately after winning the election, Lugo spoke with Hugo Chavez and said that he intends to join UNASUR, an economic bloc formed by Chavez. Then he declared his desire to meet with China, signaling an opening to Chinese imperialism to play off against U.S. imperialism and curry favor with his socialist backers in the Patriotic Union for Change. But trading one imperialist for another is not progress!

Paraguay is a geopolitically strategic country finding itself between Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Bolivia, while at the same time sitting on top of one of the world’s largest supplies of fresh water –– the Guarani Aquifer. Many large and small imperialists, including Brazil, the U.S., Venezuela, China and the European Union, want a piece of Paraguay’s resources and labor! Instead of playing ball with imperialists, revolutionary workers should break with all politicians and build the PLP, an independent revolutionary communist party that calls for the complete destruction of capitalism.  No deals — Lugo is just another puppet of the capitalists and their elites — Workers must build the PLP and make revolution if the future is going to be bright!

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U.S. Oil War Sends Vets Back Jobless, Homeless, Suicidal and Dead

Politicians in both parties are constantly waving the flag over the dead and wounded bodies of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, boasting about the “outstanding job” they’re doing, after having been put “in harm’s way” by the ruling class’s vicious imperialist war for control of Mid-East oil.

These vets are workers, so the “harm’s way” doesn’t stop when they return — IF they return — to be attacked by a capitalist class which forces workers to pay even more for their economic meltdown and wars.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ, 3/25) and the Boston Globe report surging joblessness, low wages, inadequate and denial of medical treatment and huge homelessness.

The military paper “Stars and Stripes” cited a U.S. Veterans Affairs Dept. study reporting 18% of veterans being jobless.

One quarter of all vets are earning less than $21,840 per year.

The WSJ wrote, “The [above] report found that most of the returning veterans were unable to find civilian jobs that matched their previous military occupations.” So much for the recruiters’ promises of joining the army and “learning a skill.”

The Military.com website released a survey showing 81% of discharged vets did not “feel fully prepared… [to] enter the job market.” According to Black Veterans for Social Justice, “Typically…young adults who go into the military at 17 or 18, when they return home, the same kind of economic conditions that forced them [to enlist] …still exist or have gotten worse.” (OneWorld News service, Nov. 2007) And that’s what the still-to-be-passed DREAM Act (supported by the liberals and the Pentagon) has in store for immigrant youth who join the military if they come home alive — an economy of rising unemployment, sinking wages and racism on all fronts especially affecting black, Latino and immigrant youth. Talk about “harm’s way”!

To make job matters worse, the percentage of amputees is the highest since the U.S. Civil War. Up to 36% of the 1.5 million veterans of the current wars are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder — an astounding half a million patients! Outstanding claims by vets rose from 254,000 to 378,000 between 2003 and 2006. Average waiting time for treatment is 183 days.

Is it any wonder that 1,784 returning vets committed suicide in 2005 alone?
Finally, “194,254… [are] homeless…on any given night.” (Boston Globe, quoting The Alliance to End Homelessness)

These are the fruits of imperialist war. The bosses send youth off to oil-rich lands to kill other youth, and workers — over a million in Iraq — only to send 4,000 back (plus 500 from the Afghan war) in body bags and tens of thousands suffering amputated arms and legs, brains shattered by explosions and post-traumatic stress, racist police terror,  jobless or earning poverty wages and living on the streets.

However, working-class youth will continue to join the military, and eventually millions will be forced into the armed forces when the rulers bring back some form of the draft to wage their wider wars against their imperialist rivals
So organizing for revolution among soldiers and vets, not voting for these bosses’ hypocritical, disgusting politicians, is the road to follow.

U.S. WAR CASUALTIES: 655,000 AND RISING

An April 17 RAND Corporation study as detailed in “CounterPunch Diary” (5/2) by Alexander Cockburn, reports that, “The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have thus far produced 300,000 psychological casualties, 320,000 brain injury casualties, plus 35,000 (probably understated) officially reported ‘normal’ casualties. This adds up to 655,000 US casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, and average of just under 101,000 Americans killed or wounded every year since the wars began.” This excludes the million Iraqi; dead from U.S. imperialism’s invasion. Talk about blood for oil!

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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!

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