Stella D’Oro Strikers Face Bosses’ System and Its State
BRONX, NY, April 1 — On a rainy, cold afternoon, chants of “Scabs in blue! Scabs in blue!” rang out as the bosses’ cops stopped Stella D’Oro strikers and their supporters from marching from their picket line to a local supermarket. They wanted to urge neighborhood workers to support this strike by boycotting Stella D’Oro products. As a PL’er addressing the rally explained, Stella strikers are fighting not just their own bosses but the capitalist system and its state. The strikers very much liked the front-page article in the April 8th CHALLENGE championing their struggle — one of the very rare strikes in the U.S. today showing multi-racial, working-class unity against the bosses’ attacks.
Sometimes strikers talk with cops at a picket line or demonstration. Cops, however, are not neutral. They serve to protect the interests of the bosses and their system. Has a cop ever arrested scabs for dangerously racing their cars through a picket line or arrested bosses for falsely accusing strike leaders of harassment? Hell no! Has a judge ever issued an injunction to prevent bosses from hiring scabs to break strikes? Never.
At today’s picket line the cops invented laws to limit the effectiveness of strikers and their supporters. First they said we couldn’t cross the street in front of the factory. Then they said if we left the picket line in front of the factory, we couldn’t return to resume picketing. Finally when we tried to march on another route, they said that we couldn’t walk on the sidewalk to the supermarket because we needed a march permit.
Although the multi-racial group of over 150 strikers and supporters wanted to press forward, a score of cops with guns at their sides were able to stop us. Later, at a closing rally for today’s action, a strike supporter from the Professional Staff Congress (college teachers’ union) declared that if the cops didn’t protect the Stella bosses, the workers might have won this strike long ago. Like the speaker said, “We’ll be back!”
While the Stella D’Oro strike is about trying to maintain prior levels of pay and benefits, this strike has proven that the capitalist system benefits only the bosses. What we need is to smash the bosses’ system with communist revolution!