PL’ers Bring Red Ideas:Wisconsin Workers in Class War vs. Bosses’ Attacks

MADISON, WISCONSIN, February 25 — Tens of thousands of workers flooded and encircled the State Capitol building here in a continuing protest against Governor Walker’s wage- and benefit-cutting proposals hitting State workers which would deny them collective bargaining rights and effectively bust their unions. The bill has already passed the State Assembly.

The exhilarating demonstrations included teachers, students, plumbers, postal and iron workers, firefighters, state workers and their supporters — black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American, women and men, young and old, able-bodied and in wheelchairs. The multi-racial crowds were joined by workers from Chicago, Iowa, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ohio, Minnesota and Texas. Entire families participated along with sign-wearing dogs with “Tax the Rich!” posters. Over half the signs were hand-made, reflecting the rank-and-file nature of the protestors.

The militant workers slept overnight in the State House, packing the 4-story structure solid, hanging banners over the upper floors while thousands more rallied outside. The crowd of 10,000 protestors on February 14 grew to 70,000 within four days.

The demonstrators’ militancy has inspired workers worldwide. They cheered the picture of a worker from Egypt holding a sign in Cairo’s Tahrir Square proclaiming, “Egypt Supports Wisconsin Workers!”

This attack on government workers is a part of the assault on workers internationally as the world’s capitalists try to “solve” their general crisis on the backs of the working class, with racist unemployment mounting into the tens of millions; wage-cutting; pension reductions; slashing health care; and home foreclosures throwing even more workers into homelessness.

This onslaught falls especially heavy on black, Latino and Asian workers who, because of the system’s racism, suffer double rates of unemployment, home foreclosures and healthcare cuts, but inevitably affects the rest of the working class. Racism splits and weakens our entire class in our efforts to fight the bosses.

U.S. rulers use the trillions of dollars stolen from the working class in this crisis to finance their imperialist wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and interventions in Somalia, Yemen and the rest of the Middle East. They are in a death fight with their competitors in Europe, Russia, China and Japan to preserve their control of oil and its distribution, without which their profit-driven societies and armies cannot function.

PLP members and friends from Chicago and Minnesota joined the demonstration and held a bullhorn rally adjacent to the line of workers marching around the Capitol building. They distributed 220 CHALLENGES and 1,700 leaflets, emphasizing that it was a communist paper and that workers need a communist revolution. They were greeted with a markedly positive response. One teacher reacted to our call for a widespread strike saying she thought “the whole country should be shut down!”

A high school teacher asked for extra PLP flyers to take back to her co-workers and willingly gave her contact information as did a Chicago librarian on the bus to Madison after taking our literature and hearing us speak at the rally. PL’ers led mini-rallies and discussed the Party’s ideas with protesting workers. Many conversations centered on the role of the Democratic legislators who have put themselves in the leadership of the struggle.

While the workers rightly resist the bosses’ assault, they unfortunately fall into the trap laid by their union misleaders who say we must rely on the Democrats to “fight the Republican onslaught.” These labor fakers have already agreed to cut pensions and benefits when actually workers should be fighting to maintain and raise them as food and gas prices skyrocket.

The Democrats have brought us Obama who has appointed all the bankers who helped create the economic crisis to run the economy. That’s like allowing the fox to guard the chicken coop. While the Republicans want to smash the unions altogether, the Democrats think the working class can more easily be controlled by using the union “leaders” to divert workers’ militancy into voting for them.

Well, the Democrats won the 2006 and 2008 elections, and look where that brought us. This is the old shell game, with the G.O.P. playing “bad cop” and the Democrats playing “good cop.” They both represent different sections of the same ruling class which owns and runs the country.

The Governor claims he has to cut state workers’ wages and benefits and destroy their unions in order to “solve” the state budget “deficit” of $137 million. In serving the capitalist class (as do all politicians), Walker buries the fact that the entire “deficit” was caused by Wall Street’s bankers who created the real estate bubble that crashed the economy in the first place, and which reduced government revenues, now labeled a “deficit.”

The capitalists’ drive for maximum profits grows out of their need to compete against each other to stay afloat. It is inherent in capitalism and will press the bosses to push the workers against the wall with wage and budget cuts and mass racist layoffs. PLP says, “Make the bosses take the losses!”

The rulers, led by Obama, say the economic crisis can only be “solved” by everyone “sharing the sacrifice.” This “sharing” has Wall Street’s biggest investment house, Goldman Sachs, issuing its brokers $16 billion in bonuses while 33 million U.S. workers — and hundreds of millions worldwide — walk the streets jobless. Their record profits are a result of stealing most of the value produced by the working class without whose labor society could not function.

Meanwhile, the bosses’ media tells us government workers are the cause of their banker-created “deficit” and tries to set them apart from the millions of private-sector workers who are told that the government workers are “getting fat” off the backs of the rest of the working class. But instead of forcing government workers “down to the level of non-government workers” — a difference which is a statistical fraud — workers must unite to fight for all workers to resist the attack on our living standards and take back what the bosses are stealing from our entire class.

This ruling class divide-and-conquer tactic must be exposed. It was the solidarity of the working class in the Great Depression during which a mass movement of the employed and unemployed, led by communists, organized the industrial unions, won the 8-hour day, unemployment insurance and Social Security. And in fact, it was that mass class struggle in which the workers fought in the streets against the bosses’ state apparatus — the police, the National Guard, the Army and the courts — that created what the bosses call “the American standard of living.”

Unfortunately those same communists who led that struggle fell prey to the idea of supporting the “liberal” Democrats who posed as the “lesser evil” against the “reactionary” Republicans.

PLP says we must unite our class in militant struggle against the entire ruling class, represented by their servants among the Democrats and Republicans.  We must fight not for the crumbs they dole out to us — which they then take back every chance they get — but fight to destroy their entire profit system, the cause of all workers’ misery.

PL’ers must immerse ourselves in all these class struggles, including organizing and leading them — which we are doing in many areas — and turn them into “schools for communism”: using them as opportunities to win workers to the understanding that only a communist-led workers’ revolution will solve the problems created by capitalism. Building the PLP in these class wars is the road to creating a society run by and for the working class.

 

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The anti-government worker campaign in Wisconsin is being financed by the billionaire Koch brothers whose money helped elect the Governor leading the charge and whose legislation will give the Koch’s a possible stranglehold on Wisconsin’s state-owned utility system.

Under the headline, “Billionaire Brothers’ Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Budget Dispute,” the NY Times reported (2/22) that a “non-profit” group “created and financed…by the secretive…Charles and David Koch….was one of the biggest contributors to the election campaign of Gov. Scott Walker.” Furthermore, “the Koch brothers are using their money to create a façade of grass-roots support for their favorite causes.”

While Walker has lumped the cuts on state workers’ benefits with destroying their collective bargaining rights, the unions and the Democrats have said they will agree to the cuts as long as the bargaining rights are retained. They will then claim that as a “victory” if Walker agrees to such a “compromise” in order to get Senate Bill 11 passed. But well-hidden in that Bill is Section 44 that says the State “may sell any state-owned heating, cooling and power plant…with or without solicitation of bids for any amount” that the State “determines to be in the best interests of the state.”

That would enable Walker to sell the state-owned utility system to the Koch brothers “for pennies on the dollar.”  Website: http://mother jones.com/mojo/2011/Wisconsin-scott-walker-koch-brothers

The Koch’s already own a 4,000-mile pipeline system all across Wisconsin as well as Flint Hills Resources (a leading refining and chemical company whose products are distributed through Koch’s pipelines) and the C. Reiss Coal Company, a leading supplier of coal used to generate power.

Combine that with control of the state’s utility system and the Koch’s will have achieved a virtual monopoly on Wisconsin’s gas, oil and electric power.

Should all this transpire, they will also have spread anti-working-class lies, slashed workers’ benefits and reaped a fortune of profits on the backs of all government and non-government workers in the state.

Capitalism is wonderful — for the bosses.

2 thoughts on “PL’ers Bring Red Ideas:Wisconsin Workers in Class War vs. Bosses’ Attacks

  1. Created Our Biggest…

    […] for any amount” that the State “determines to be in the best interests of t […]…

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  2. Congratulations. Keep up the great work in Wisconsin. For those of you who are Reds let me suggest you download a copy of the 2011 version of ABC’s of Communism (http://www.abcsofcommunism.info)it should be of assistance to you in answering questions from the masses you are working to educate.

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