Monthly Archives: May 2011

Pakistan’s Sanitation Workers Fighting Bosses and Open to PL Ideas

PAKISTAN, May 13 — Sanitation workers are the most exploited workers in Pakistan. They live in miserable conditions with slave wages, no security, no pension and no benefits. Parents and children live together in small mud-made dwellings covered with leaves, with one room consisting of a kitchen, living and bedroom. Sanitation workers also suffer special prejudices — they are prohibited from eating or drinking with other people if they do not bring their own cups and dishes. Strikes have begun against these conditions.

They start work early morning and labor for 18 hours for slave wages, without proper equipment like gloves or boots. Permanent workers are paid only 5,000 Pakistani Rupees (PKR) (59 US$) per month; temporary workers get PKR 4,000 (47 US$). If they have an on-the-job accident, they cannot get medical treatment and can be fired anytime. Female domestic workers face violence and sexual attacks. There are no weekends or holidays in their lives —they live just to serve.

Many sanitation workers thus suffer from health problems produced by working conditions. Some suffer from blindness. Skin and breathing problems are very common but there is no free medical treatment or any other benefit. When sick they cannot remain in their small dwellings; if they do not work they cannot eat.

The sanitation workers are labeled “minorities.” Their “representatives” in parliament are the wealthy who never visit their dwellings. The religious institutions are also silent about these workers’ wretched exploitation. Both the politicians and religious officials just protect the interests of the rich bosses.

Organizing A Union to Fight Back

A small Pakistani town contains 220 families (about 2,000 people). Many have been attacked by landowners, chasing them from temporary living areas. About five years ago, the workers formed the Sanitation Workers Association (SWA). They began organizing strikes and sit-ins to get a piece of land on which to live. Despite brutal torture and starvation they maintained these strikes and won a 15×15-yard piece of land for each family. However, this land is about 1.6 miles away from the town and has no electricity, water or road, making it difficult to reach the town where they work. Of course, without water and electricity they cannot live there. They demanded infrastructure but the administration refused, saying the government has no money. We must organize strikes and militant actions against this special type of fascism.

After the October 2005 earthquake, the SWA won an allotment of 57 houses but these houses cannot resist severe weather, another example of the corruption of the politicians and authorities. Workers are organizing a strike against the district administration which is controlled by corrupt politicians.

PLP is struggling with these workers to understand that without smashing the exploitative capitalist system, workers cannot rid our class of this poverty and homelessness. A comrade and a few friends of the Party have distributed a leaflet linking this misery facing these sanitation workers to the need for a communist revolution to change the situation.

Such an international communist revolution is no easy task; it needs the firm commitment of workers to an international communist party, PLP

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PLP Brings Red Fervor to NYC May Day

NEW YORK CITY, May 1 — “Asian, Latin, Black and White — Workers of the World Unite!” chanted industrial workers, students, teachers and soldiers as Progressive Labor Party marched into Foley Square where the city labor mis-leaders had gathered to honor May Day.

Our international, multi-racial group stood out as we marched into the rally while these labor fakers were giving hypocritical speeches about workers’ power. The union-led rally was significantly smaller than last year’s because of these same mis-leaders’ refusal to fight the severe attacks on their own membership.  As we marched in rank-and-file workers turned their attention away from the podium, joining our chants and snatching up red flags and CHALLENGES.

Upset that the workers were more interested in us than them, the union leaders called for us to turn off our sound system to allow the workers to stand quietly listening to their speeches. This request made a mockery of the history of May Day, a holiday born out of class anger, not patient attention to politicians. When we continued to chant, they sent their racist buddies, the NYPD, to turn off our bullhorn. But PLP members and friends do not give in to capitalism on our day. Our contingent was large and loud enough to make us heard by the workers even without amplification. Workers around us joined in as we chanted, “The cops, the courts, the Ku Klux Klan, all a part of the bosses’ plan!”

This was not the first time the police had tried to shut us down this May Day. As we had rallied in Chinatown before marching to the main protest, we were told that such a large number of people could not congregate in that location.

No problem — groups broke off onto many corners to distribute CHALLENGE, allowing us to meet even more workers.

As the march ended, we left with our red flags raised high and many contacts of workers and students who were impressed by our militancy. Over the coming weeks and months we will work to turn the friends we brought to MAY DAY and the ones we met to recognize and join the fight for the only viable future for the working class — communist revolution.

After our spirited march that gave workers an alternative to liberal and labor mis-leadership, over 700 comrades and friends from Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, New Jersey, and New York gathered for our May Day celebration dinner.

Internationalism, multi-generational, and multi-racial, unity was enthusiastically present during this year’s dinner as the emerging cultural committee captured the growth and evolution of the Progressive Labor Party over the past 50 years. The walls were decorated with front pages of CHALLENGES from as early as 1964. A photo exhibit exemplified decades of a fighting PLP.

Continuing from our convention in 2010 new and young leaders led the way in planning the march and dinner. Three young women comrades hosted the event, which saw a rousing performance of “Ol’ Man River” that inspired the waving of red flags and red towels. Then came the state of the world speech.

What makes PLP the revolutionary communist party, among other reasons, is our dialectical analysis of the world. The bosses are vehemently executing more and more fascistic policies that attack, and murder our class. They do so not because they are evil and require a “change of heart,” but because they are fundamentally required to do so by the laws of capitalism. Capitalism requires divisions of the working class along racial, gender, and “legal” lines to continue reaping super-profits from all workers. Yes, fascists appear as Nazis and cops, but they also come dressed as politicians and labor ‘leaders,’ who ultimately lead workers to support divisive tactics such as the anti-immigrant laws that support the bosses’ imperialist agenda.

‘…we don’t merely talk about fighting the bosses, we fight the bosses!’

The PLP fight-back section of the dinner was the most momentous as one speaker gave short recounts of the Party fighting for communism in Palestine, Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, Pakistan and another 18+ plus countries and counting. Then came live reports from Washington, D.C. transit workers continuing the fight against the attacks on transit workers and riders.

Students from the John Jay Campus spoke about their continuing struggle against the Department of Education’s growing apartheid in NYC high schools. A professor still in the heat of the battle gave a report of fighting on his campus against the administration for attacks on cafeteria workers (present at the dinner). It is amid these worldwide struggles, small and large, of our Party that our friends see that we don’t merely talk about fighting the bosses, we fight the bosses!

Welcome Comrades

In the segment on “why I joined,” a young student described how he came to know why the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same fascist coin. He said the only party that represents him is the PLP and “through the unification of the proletariat,” we can win the war against capitalism.

Another student took us through her journey in joining PLP. In the Pizza & Politics discussion club, she was shocked to learn that capitalism still exists. She said, “I thought capitalism ended when [legal] slavery was abolished.”

She said she was brought up to believe in Christianity but “how could I when my ancestors were enslaved under the name of Christianity…I knew I had to organize, I had to agitate.” Through the struggle of fighting police brutality on her campus alongside PL’ers she saw the fight for communism as something she should dedicate her life to. Several others at the dinner took her lead and joined our movement for communism. Welcome Comrades!

MAY DAY strengthens our commitment in building the fight against capitalism and all its evils and boosts comrades’ and friends’ confidence in the working class and the Party in the fight for communism

SAN FRANCISCO: ‘Workers’ Struggles Have No Borders!’

PL’ers a rallied before the May Day March of over 1,000 workers here. Old and new friends sought out our contingent as they identified with our emphasis on the international working class, armed revolution and on our open advocacy of communism. Our enthusiasm came from confidence in the working class worldwide because we knew that our comrades were marching around the world for communism.

Our banner read, “Workers, Soldiers and Students, Fight for Communism!” as we led chants in the March and distributed CHALLENGE and leaflets. The literature focused on how capitalism attacks all workers; whether they be immigrants, public workers, or workers in other countries. We addressed the local battles of SF MUNI (public transit) drivers, the growth of racism with the jailing of millions of black and Latino youth, anti-immigrant attacks and U.S. Imperialism. One unifying demand was “Smash All Borders!” We chanted with many: “Workers’ Struggles have no Borders, Fight for Communism!” One immigrant worker asked to carry our red flag and spoke at length with a PL’er about why we need a party.

The March itself was organized by a Coalition Immigrants Rights group and others opposing imperialist war. Immigrant rights issues such as amnesty, ending the federal Secure Communities program, fighting low wages and exploitation of immigrant workers related to the needs of many workers who watched the march.

Although the San Francisco Central Labor Council did endorse the March, and both the Teachers Union and ILWU Local 10 had speakers at the rallies, the unions did not mobilize their members. This is one more sign that the leadership of the labor movement leaves its members defenseless in the face of divisive racist, anti-immigrant attacks.

At the final rally, we confronted the MinuteMen who had police protection and a “legal” permit to broadcast their racist program of attacks on immigrant workers. While the March organizers advocated ignoring the fascists, we were able to attract support from some of the marchers as we chanted:” Death, Death, Death to the Fascists; Power, Power, and Power to the Workers.”

A week earlier, PLP held a May Day event. We worked collectively to honor the Haymarket martyrs who gave birth to May Day and 120 years of May Days around the world, including the Marches organized by PLP before the immigrant rights’ movement was mainstreamed.

Members presented speeches on the devastating state of capitalism, on the varied forms of resistance occurring worldwide and on what kind of party the PLP represents to the international working class. There was traditional music from the Andes and poetry and songs in English and Spanish, which struggled with the contradictions that impact workers’ minds.

“It’s not enough to pray, much more is needed…”; “When people rise up and real change is made

You will say, along with me, it was not enough to pray.”

The hall was decorated with a poster exhibit illustrating the internationalism of May Day. It honored the working class around the world,depicted women workers in armed resistance, emphasized armed struggle, and graphically presented the unity of the working class across all lines of heritage, tradition or ethnic identity

Chicago: Honor 125th Anniversary Where May Day Was Born

“The kkkops, the kkkourts and the minutemen, all a part of the bosses’ plan!” shouted high school students as Progressive Labor Party (PLP) marched to commemorate the 125-year anniversary of May Day. In this immigrants rights march, 3,000 Asian, Latino, black and white workers marched through the streets of the Pilsen neighborhood surrounded by cops. Despite the presence of the bosses’ thugs, hundreds of CHALLENGES and leaflets were distributed to marchers and workers on the street.

Fake leftist groups were there en masse. One young friend of PLP asked, “What’s the difference between those groups and PLP?” They chanted, “The people, united, will never be defeated,” while we chanted, “The workers, united, will never be defeated.” The weakness in their chant is that bosses are also “people,” but they are only interested in exploiting workers, especially super-exploiting others.

Another group opposed federal spending on war in favor of jobs and education. All imperialist wars must be opposed, but the working class needs state power, not temporary jobs or mis-education from the bosses. Yet another group pushed the line of their individualistic leader. The young friend felt more assured that he marched with the party that had the best line.

During a time of rising fascism, it was unfortunate to see so few workers marching on our holiday. This reminds us of the need for PLP. With a communist analysis, we continue to build a base in the working class to fight the onslaught of the murderous bosses.

At our May Day dinner, young comrades took leadership, organizing the event, reciting poetry and re-enacting the pro-communist Langston Hughes play “Scottsboro Limited.” Other speakers highlighted the bosses’ attacks on black and Latino communities citing the deep cuts in Chicago Public Schools and Cook County Hospital. Local mothers spoke about their continued struggle against schools CEO Ron Huberman to keep their community center open. The speakers inspired the audience with descriptions of their PLP-led fight-back against the racist attacks.

Later that night, it was announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed. Obama claimed that terrorism has, therefore, been weakened. However, the biggest terrorists, the capitalists, continue to oppress, exploit, and murder the working class. Only with international working-class solidarity under PLP’s communist leadership of an armed revolution will we ever be able to celebrate May Day with the bosses off our backs

CUNY Profs, Students Blast Bloomberg’s Budget Cuts

NEW YORK CITY, May 5 — Over 800 members of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) union and City University students rallied at City Hall today to protest planned budget cuts by billionare Mayor Bloomberg. Chanting “Tax the rich, not the poor, stop the war on CUNY!” they marched across lower Manhattan to the Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

At BMCC union members and students addressed the crowd. The main PSC speaker stated that they would not accept the austerity budgets of Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Cuomo, nor an austerity contract. Increased class sizes, shortage of counselors and other staff would severely impact on the quality of CUNY education. “Our working conditions, are your learning conditions,” she told the crowd.  We are faced with “not a crisis of capital, but a crisis of capitalism,” meaning that it’s not a crisis of government funding, but of the capitalist system.

Students described how racist tuition increases were affecting them.  Some are working longer hours to pay for school and to contribute money to their families because their parents are unemployed.  Many fellow classmates have been forced to drop out of school.

20 members from UNITE-HERE, Local 100 arrived to express solidarity with the PSC in its struggle and was warmly welcomed. As reported previously in CHALLENGE, PSC members in the Bronx have been supporting laid-off UNITE cafeteria workers who are fighting to get their jobs back.

As more and more workers are becoming critical of the capitalist system and seeking to build a united working-class movement, PL members on the campuses must step up our efforts to put forth our political line in a mass way. Capitalism can’t be fixed; it must be eliminated once and for all and replaced by communism, a society where the workers are in charge.

HAITI: Launch ‘DEFI’ — CHALLENGE in Kreyòl

PORT-AU-PRINCE — The May Day march here was very spirited, stopping traffic by occupying a main intersection in the Champ de Mars (the principal city square) for half an hour. Marchers called on the tent-city residents filling the square to join them and fight for housing: (“People of the Champ de Mars, O, it’s by struggle that we’ll get housing.”) Some young camp-dwellers came out to look on as the marchers rounded the square at a run, forming circles at intersections to perform street theater skits pillorying MINUSTAH (UN) troops, college deans and other bosses.

The circle songs and chants in some cases went back centuries into the voodoo rituals that feed the Haitian culture of resistance. As the circle drew in tighter to bring things to a close, a group of U.S. marchers, there in solidarity with workers and students in the struggle, started a chant in English: “Same enemy, same fight; workers of the world unite!”

It was an unforgettable moment as the other marchers warmly embraced the U.S. comrades. “To the final victory,” a March leader murmured into the ear of a U.S. marcher as they hugged.

The march was smaller this year because of a split in the trade union movement. One union held an indoor conference to celebrate May Day, where a PL’er asked for the mic and sang the May Day song from the mid-’70s PLP album, “May Day is the workers’ day, May Day,” to great applause.

This May Day was marked by the launching of DEFI, the Kreyòl version of CHALLENGE ( to be posted on The ten-page Vol. 1, No.1 included the international May Day editorial and poetry and articles written locally, on the history and meaning of May Day, and on the recent elections (“People Deceived, Bosses Happy”). In addition to PLP’s Statement of Principles, the paper had an article from Colombia on Party organizing among construction workers, and a tribute to three comrades recently gone from the struggle: Janil Louis-Juste and Jean Filbert Louis, both assassinated in Haiti last year, and Luís Castro, long-time editor of CHALLENGE.

At a May Day dinner, plans were made for distribution of DEFI and for readers’ networks. Despite weaknesses in the mass organizations, the appearance of DEFI begins a new stage, a challenge launched into the dark night of one of the most oppressive capitalist societies

PALESTINE: Workers Defy Heavy Rain, Red Flags Fly

NAZARETH — Despite a sweeping downpour and muddy, flooded roads, several thousand workers from Nazareth, and other places in Palestine, marched with red flags to mark May Day. As usual, the rally was conducted one day earlier, on Saturday, in order to allow more workers to participate (the weekend under Israeli law is only Saturday, not Sunday.) The workers brought red flags, drums and a lot of enthusiasm, and defied the harsh weather to commemorate May Day.

The May Day rally here was organized and led by the revisionist Israeli “Communist” Party, which has a strong presence in this city and many supporters there. They raised very mild slogans, in some cases nationalist Palestinian ones and in other cases reformist ones, except for two radical slogans — “Smash Fascism” and “People  Arise in Revolt!”

A group of PL’ers attended this rally. Despite the fact that most participants were I”C”P supporters, members and “Communist” Youth members, our materials were received with interest; one demonstrator even came to the rally wearing a PLP t-shirt he bought earlier.

Despite the reformist and nationalist slogans, this was a very powerful rally. It showed the strength of the working class to stand firm despite harsh conditions and raise the red flag. We are looking forward for more activity throughout the year and raising the red flag again next May Day in Jerusalem and Nazareth.

U.S. Rulers: History’s Biggest Terrorists

The U.S. ruling class claims it is engaged in a “war on terror” against al Qaeda, symbolized by the killing of Osama bin Laden. But as terrorists go, al Qaeda is small change compared to U.S. rulers’ 200 years of murderous attacks on workers and youth, both in the U.S. and abroad. The U.S. ruling class is the biggest terrorist in world history, responsible for the deaths of tens of millions, especially black and Latino workers and youth because of racism.

But that’s only one side of the story. Wherever these butchers have engaged in this carnage they have been met with heroic resistance and rebellion from the international working class (see p. 7). The class struggle is a history of ruling-class capitalist, imperialist repression and working-class fight-back. Below is a (partial) list of U.S. rulers’ terror, followed by workers’ struggle against that terror.

• Centuries of slavery embedded in the U.S. Constitution enslaved millions of black people on southern plantations, toiling in the fields from sun-up to sundown, suffering torture, punishment by hacking off limbs and the mass rape of thousands of black women slaves.

• Following post-Civil War “emancipation,” a Ku Klux Klan terror rampaged throughout the South and in some northern cities, keeping millions of black people in virtual slavery through laws barring equal rights, arresting and jailing thousands of black men right off the streets to become prisoner-slaves “rented out” to plantation owners, right up to World War II.

• An untold number of Native Americans were removed or wiped out in the 18th and 19th century by the U.S. Army’s genocide, including the infamous “trail of tears” that marched the Cherokees from the Carolinas to Western reservations, virtual concentration camps, thousands dying on the way, a “heritage” that has produced the most impoverished section of the U.S. working class, with a 90% unemployment rate.

• 1898: Spanish-American War; Kill 3,000 Filipinos in seizing Philippines.

• 1898: U.S. troops occupy Cuba, former Spanish colony, and then institute the Platt Amendment which authorized U.S. intervention into Cuba any time it felt necessary, effectively subjecting Cuba to U.S. control.

• 1898: U.S. troops occupy Puerto Rico, former Spanish colony until 1900 and then annexed it, to be subject to U.S. corporate exploitation, paying workers below U.S. minimum wages.

• 1904 to 1913: U.S. builds Panama Canal under horrific health conditions; 25,000 workers die from malaria, yellow fever, small pox, typhoid, dysentery, intestinal parasites and accidents.

• 1917 to 1925 — U.S. armed forces invade the Soviet Union, along with 16 other imperialist countries, to try to bury the first socialist system, free of capitalist profits; 4.5 million Russians die. (Churchill: “Strangle the baby in the cradle.”)

• 1914 to 1933: Marines invade Mexico, Haiti, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and China and half a dozen Central American countries.

• 1930s to 1947: U.S. arms fascist dictator Chang-Kai-Shek against Chinese Red Army, killing millions until Revolutionaries seize power in 1949.

• In 1941, hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans were summarily evicted from their neighborhoods and herded into “internment” concentration camps throughout the entire World War II, being cited as a “threat” to the national war effort by the Roosevelt Administration, following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

• 1945: U.S. drops Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 250,000 civilians after indiscriminate fire-bombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities killing another half-million civilians, leaving 13,000,000 homeless.

• 1953: CIA organizes overthrow of Iran president Mossedegh, installs fascist Shah in power, trains Shah’s secret police in methods of torture, killing thousands of communists and left-wingers.

• 1954: U.S. organizes overthrow of Guatemala’s elected government, installs dictatorship that lasts for three decades, killing 100,000 opponents.

• 1961: CIA assassinates Patrice Lumumba, leader of the Congo, installs dictatorships lasting for 30 years.

• 1963 to 1973: U.S. invasion of Vietnam results in 3,000,000 deaths and 2,000,000 more in Laos and Cambodia plus 58,000 GI’s. Drops more bombs on North Vietnam than tonnage dropped in all of World War II.

• 1965: U.S. arms Indonesian dictator Suharto to massacre one million communists; CIA gives list of 5,000 communist leaders to be killed and “checks them off as they are executed.”

• 1973: CIA and U.S. Secy. of State Henry Kissinger arm Chile’s General Pinochet to seize power from Allende-elected government on 9/11/73 and kills, tortures thousands of opponents in fascist reign of terror.

• 1979: U.S. president Carter has CIA organize a jihad from Pakistan to oust Russians from Afghanistan in $30 billion, 10-year operation, training among others Osama bin Laden, leading to emergence of the Taliban’s seizure of power.

• 1980s: CIA trains and arms Contras to ravage Nicaragua and El Salvador attempting to defeat rebel forces, including training of death squads in Ft. Benning, Georgia to maintain dictatorships in Latin America.

• 1980s — U.S. supports fascist Apartheid in South Africa to enable U.S. corporations to profit from exploiting black workers in the mines and factories.

1980 to1988 — U.S. encourages Saddam Hussein to invade Iran, supplying U.S. weapons, cluster bombs and intelligence reports on where to bomb Iran; 8-year war ended in a stalemate, leaving one million dead.

• 1989: Bush, Sr. government invades Panama with 27,000 U.S. troops, killing up to 6,000 innocent civilians, using flamethrowers to burn dead bodies and bury them in mass graves. General Noriega ousted for alleged “drug trafficking.” Although he had been the on CIA payroll, he gave too much leeway to Japanese banks.

• 1991: Gulf War I; U.S. planes kill thousands of fleeing conscripted Iraqi youth on the ground in a “turkey shoot” from the air and tanks roll over them burying hundreds alive.

• 1990s: Clinton orders sanctions against Iraq and no-fly zone, causing the deaths of 500,000 children and 500,000 adults due to lack of medicines, food, and other essentials (according to the UN’s World Health Organization).

• 2001 to present: U.S. invades Afghanistan with a current total of 100,000 soldiers (50,000 from Bush and 50,000 from Obama), killing untold numbers of innocent civilians on the ground and from the air, destroying infrastructure, homes and villages in what is now the U.S.’s “longest war.”

• 2003 to present : U.S. invades Iraq with “shock and awe” leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, displacing 5,000,000 from their homes (20% of the population), leveling many villages.

• “Plan Columbia” sends over a billion dollars of U.S. weapons to the country’s military to be used against workers and peasants in the fields.

• 2010 to 2011: Obama orders drone attacks into Pakistan to kill al Qaeda but kills many more civilians as “collateral damage.”

• CIA sends “suspects” in rendition program to countries using torture as “interrogation” method, many of whom turn out to be innocent.

• U.S. arms Israeli rulers in the billions of
dollars, used to enslave Palestinians.

• U.S., as the world’s largest weapons supplier, including land mines still exploding and killing hundreds, to back up fascist dictators worldwide.

Workers Fight Back Worldwide

• 1600s to 1800s: 400 slave revolts against slaveholders, including Nat Turner Rebellion.

• 1791 to 1804:  Rebellion against slavery in Haiti ousts French colonialists and established first free republic of ex-slaves.

• 1859: John Brown led abolitionist movement against U.S. slavery, killing pro-slavery forces; led raid on federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry to attempt to seize weapons to be distributed to slaves.

• 1871: Paris Commune: Workers in Paris in armed overthrow of autocratic French government and erect first state of workers’ power, workers’ councils ruling city from March to May.

• 1875: Battle of Little Big Horn: Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arajaho Native American tribes unite to rout 700 of U.S. General Custer’s 7th Cavalry Regiment, annihilating five of seven companies, killing Custer and 268 U.S. soldiers.

• 1877: First national railroad strike in U.S. history, turns into general strike after Pittsburgh militia refuses to fight workers and hands over their arms, used to rout Philadelphia militia. Railroad and steel workers seize and run Pittsburgh for four days (the “Pittsburgh Commune”).

• 1917: Russian Revolution: Workers and peasants led by Lenin’s Bolshevik Party overthrow dictatorial Czarist government, seize all foreign imperialist holdings and establish first communist-led workers’ state.

• 1918 to 1925: Soviet workers’ Red Army defeats invasion by 17 capitalist countries attempting to overthrow first workers’ state.

• 1919: Great Steel Strike of 350,000 steel workers, centered around Pittsburgh, led by communist William Z. Foster, organized the first industry-wide shutdown of the steel industry, uniting immigrant workers from 17 countries, setting the precedent which eventually unionized steel 18 years later.

• 1922: 10,000 West Virginia coal miners engage in largest armed workers’ struggle in U.S. history, using military tactics learned in World War I, march to unionize non-union coal mines in the state’s southern region in battle against thousands of company gunmen, state troopers and sheriffs.

• 1932: One million jobless workers take to the streets across the U.S. demanding unemployment benefits and jobs, organized by the communist-led National Unemployment Councils, later uniting with employed workers, joining their strike picket lines.

• 1936: Sit-down strike of General Motors auto workers in Flint, Michigan, led by communists, occupies GM plants for 44 days, sparking hundreds of similar actions across the U.S. Rout cops and counters National Guard with support of 40,000 workers from four states surrounding the plants. Leads to unionization of 4,000,000 workers in four years, sparking mass movement that wins the 8-hour day, 40-hour week, unemployment insurance and Social Security.

• 1930s to 1949: “Long March” by Chinese Communist Party led by Mao Tse-Tung, sets up base from which Red Army launches battles against — and eventually defeats — the occupying fascist Japanese war machine as well as the U.S.-backed Chang-Kai Shek dictatorship.

• 1941 to 1945: Soviet Workers’ State led by Josef Stalin and its Red Army engages 80% of Hitler’s armies, defeats the Nazi invaders and smashes Hitler fascism,  costing 27 million lives, moving all their factories east of the Ural Mountains to produce the weapons of war. It defeats the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad, producing the turning point of the Second World War, routing the Nazi hordes all the way to Berlin.

• 1959: Rebels overthrow the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship in Cuba, confiscating $1 billion worth of U.S. corporate factories used to exploit the workers and farmers over 60 years.

• 1962: Fifty workers and students meet in New York City to form the Progressive Labor Movement, forerunner of the 1965 Progressive Labor Party, to eventually establish a new revolutionary communist movement after its abandonment by the old Communist Party.

• 1963 to 1973: U.S. invasion of Vietnam is defeated by workers’ and peasants’ People’s War, aided by millions protesting worldwide and GI’s fragging of officers, sabotage of six U.S. aircraft carriers, underground opposition and desertion of 503,000 GI’s, causing what a Marine historian defined as “The Collapse of the U.S. Army.”

• 1964: Harlem Rebellion: Workers and youth take to the streets to protest the police murder of a black teenager, battle cops, demand jobs and march with PLM’s newly-published  CHALLENGE newspaper as their “flag” (PLM is the only group in the city to back the rebels); this uprising is the forerunner of rebellions that spread to Newark, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit where the 82nd Airborne Division is diverted from Vietnam to quell that rebellion.

• 1968: Workers and students in France organize general strike with a sit-down occupying one aircraft factory and spreads to ten million workers shutting down the country for ten days, demanding job security and reform of school system, impelling president Charles DeGaulle to ask for German troop support to stop the uprising.

• 1970: Workers’ nation-wide strike shuts down U.S. postal system, begun in NYC when group of young black workers leap to the stage at a union meeting and force union misleaders to flee, amid chants by thousands of “Strike! Strike! Strike!”

• 1973: PL organizes first sit-down strike in the auto industry in 37 years, leading 200 workers to shut Chrysler’s Mack Avenue Detroit plant.

• 1970s to 1990s: PLP leads attacks on Klan and neo-Nazis in series of confrontations involving over 100,000 anti-racists in the U.S.

• 2003: Ten million demonstrate worldwide against coming U.S. invasion of Iraq, largest global protest in world history.

• 2011: Millions of workers, youth and others take to the streets against dictatorships throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

U.S. Imperialism Attacks Rival Terrorist

The U.S. ruling class killing of Osama bin Laden — who was trained by the CIA (see box p. 2) — does nothing to help the international working class. It won’t stop one budget cut. It won’t let up on the attacks on workers’ wages and pensions worldwide. And it certainly won’t provide a single job for the 30 million unemployed in the U.S.

Firstly, it only increases the wasting of workers’ lives in a U.S. war zone that now stretches from Pakistan to Libya. Secondly, U.S. rulers will use it to intensify racism against Muslims in general and especially workers from Pakistan, as well as against immigrants. Thirdly, it is being used to foster extreme patriotic nationalism on behalf of U.S. bosses among the U.S. population.

Emboldened by their Abbottabad “triumph,” Obama & Co. are stepping up slaughter in Pakistan. On May 6, a CIA drone killed 15 people, some civilians, in North Waziristan.

Meanwhile, bin Laden’s death spurs retaliation by his Taliban allies. On May 7, with a string of suicide bombings, they launched a “spring offensive” for Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second biggest city and a future site along the pipeline U.S. oil interests want to build from Central Asia. And on May 8, a Baghdad prison revolt left 18 guards and inmates dead, including a senior commander of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

Obama’s Hit on Bin Laden Could Backfire

Worse bloodshed awaits if bin Laden becomes a martyr, an anti-U.S. rallying focus throughout the turbulent Arab world. Obama’s hit on bin Laden could backfire into a “redirection of the Arab Spring… turning against the West,” worries Ed Husain of the Rockefeller-led Council on Foreign Relations. (CFR website, 5/4/)

The Exxon Mobil/JP Morgan Chase wing of U.S. imperialists bankrolling CFR can’t afford any further slippage in its control of the region’s energy supplies. They showed no hesitation to intervene militarily in Libya, a secondary oil source. Imagine how violently U.S. bosses would respond to a pro-bin Laden uprising in his homeland, Saudi Arabia, oil’s grand prize.

Grave dangers of wider war also arise from the nuclear Pakistani bosses’ open hostility to U.S. imperialism, laid bare by their harboring of bin Laden. Anthony Cordesman, a leading U.S. policy planer now embedded at the Rockefeller-funded Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), warned:

“As the events surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden make all too clear, Pakistan is passing through one of the most dangerous periods of instability in its history. This instability goes far beyond al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the war in Afghanistan….[T]hese broad patterns of violence in Pakistan have serious implications for Pakistan’s future, for regional stability, and for core U.S. interests.” (CSIS website, 5/4)

Ever since President Jimmy Carter’s war doctrine, “core interests” has been a code for oil and gas.

Pakistan A Loose Cannon in Future Global Conflict

Bin Laden-loving Pakistani bosses have the A-Bomb and a military 1.4-million strong. The country straddles key energy supply routes from the Persian Gulf and Caspian regions to burgeoning India and China. Pakistan’s generals, despite billions in U.S. aid, have not aligned decisively with Washington in matters relative to coming regional and global conflicts.

Pakistani ruler’s cooperation with U.S.-led NATO operations in Afghanistan becomes less supportive by the day. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s prime minister Gilani “looks forward to upgrade our status as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as soon as possible.” (Daily Times [Pakistan], 11/26/10) China and Russia lead the anti-U.S. SCO. Loose cannon Pakistan encompasses both the U.S.-proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline (through Kandahar) and the directly competing Iran-Pakistan-India project.

War-Bent U.S. Liberal Rulers Boost ‘U-S-A’ Blood Lust

Wishful thinking about militarizing masses for larger U.S. wars pervades liberal media coverage of anti-bin Laden celebrations. Drunken frat boys (almost all white) and racist cops shouting “U-S-A,” won’t win workers to the army recruiting offices.

However, the New York Times, U.S. liberal imperialists’ leading daily mouthpiece, hopes they can. The Times (5/8) trotted out a pro-war University of Virginia professor, Jonathan Haidt, to say, “Last week’s celebrations were good and healthy….In the communal joy of last week, many of us felt, for an instant, that Americans might still be capable of working together to meet threats and challenges far greater than Osama bin Laden.”

Clinton’s Hart-Rudman Commission determined that it would take a “Pearl Harbor-style attack on U.S. soil” to mobilize the public for the anti-Arab/Islamic oil wars needed by faltering U.S. rulers. The latter want to win the working class to even greater patriotic loyalty to their war plans, especially if any possible future al Qaeda attack should occur.

On May 1st, the day bin Laden died, our Party celebrated May Day, International Workers’ Day, not with class-betraying patriotism to the bosses but by organizing for communist revolution, both in Pakistan (see article p. 1) and across the globe (see inside pages) that will ultimately bury the war-making billionaires and their agents forever.

PAKISTAN, May Day: Workers March Against Capitalism

PAKISTAN, May 1 — May Day was celebrated in its historic manner but now the working class here is full of fury. The May Day marches sent a loud and clear message to the Pakistani bosses that workers won’t stand for miserable conditions. These demonstrations proved that the working class is the strongest power in the world if it decides to fight.

This year workers’ chants were more radical, their slogans more revolutionary, filled with red ideas, signifying they know who’s responsible for all their hardships. The opportunist, fake-left trade unionists were surprised at this anger and realized they’re losing control. When one May Day procession was transformed into a huge meeting in one town, the sellout union “leaders” rushed to sit on the stage but a group of workers pulled them down, saying you have no right to sit there. These chairs are not for people like you with your expensive cars, homes and clothes; they’re for the workers wearing torn cloths, living in miserable conditions with worn hands from hard work and tiring labor.

Price hikes, unemployment, layoffs, closed plants, shortages of electricity and gas, rising poverty levels, terrorism, anti-worker laws, lack of the free medicines in government hospitals, lousy schools, the increasing gap between poor and rich, privatization, corruption, nepotism, target killings, racism and fascism — all this confirms that the bosses have nothing to offer us as they shift their bank accounts to Switzerland, the UK and the U.S.

Puppet trade unionists tortured airline workers on strike at Pakistan International Airline (PIA) but workers’ actions proved they can win despite this and state oppression, in PIA and on the Railways.

Electricity and gas shortages stem from corrupt government officials getting commissions from private contractors in exchange for privatization. They spend billions to import power plants but no electricity is included in a national grid. In most cities there’s no electricity for 12-18 hours. In villages it barely lasts for the blink of an eye. This affects the daily lives of all wage workers.

The May Day marches also signified that the political parties are just playing a shell game, while they exploit the workers, trying to keep the decaying capitalist system alive. Most are either capitalists or feudalists, both organizing cartels to increase prices; landlords increase rents while never increasing the workers’ wages. From this they reap trillions.

Our Party is still very small but communists are painstakingly committed to revolution, capable of organizing strikes, demonstrations, marches, shut-downs and sit-ins. On May Day, our comrades and friends succeeded in winning more and more workers to these celebrations. We made plans to increase participation, distribution of Party literature and what to discuss. In big and small cities we gave out the pamphlet “Why We Fight for Communism” and leaflets about May Day, related to the workers’ miserable conditions.

In our speeches, our comrade and friends explained our politics and gave reasons why we struggle directly for communism and why we need to build an international communist party. We showed how all other political parties support the imperialist drive for profits and how the politicians are mouthpieces of international fascist capitalism. In Pakistan the ruling class is hiking the electricity tariff, directed by the International Monetary Fund, while the World Bank has recommended termination of all subsidies won by the working class.

Comrades and friends also emphasized that the bosses are living in luxurious homes while workers have no shelter. Even dwellings made of mud and leaves are being demolished; landlords and the government prevent them from occupying the lands “that don’t belong to them.” Police attack workers forced to spend nights in parks and are accused as “terrorists” so accusers can get rewards. The rulers ride in bullet-proof cars under heavy police and army escort while workers are killed in terrorist attacks.

The different racist, nationalist and fundamentalist parties enable target killings of poor workers just because of their language, color or sect, even if they have no tie to any party — all this to create fear and to prove their power!

The bosses need cheap labor for maximum profits so they’re making education more expensive. Therefore, working-class children can’t go to school while bosses force them into child labor. Such children get 35¢ to 47¢ for 12 hours. This child labor helps the phony unionist-led NGOs get money from the International Labor Organization.

These fake trade unionists are a tool of different political parties; they use them to avoid strikes, sustain bad working conditions and low wages. We’ve got to get rid of these “pocket unions” to make any advances. Low wages, no insurance, long working hours, layoffs, no benefits, no security, and no pensions or any other assistance if injured or killed — all pushed by these opportunist and puppet unionists. We must organize ourselves under the true communist leadership of PLP to build a base in these small fights to be able to win workers to see the need for international communist revolution.

Our comrades’ speeches are warmly welcomed by the workers, to huge applause. Many workers rushed to our comrades to obtain their contact numbers soon after they finished the marches and speeches. During all these activities we make good contacts. Now it’s our task to convert these contacts into recruits to the rank-and-file of our Party. We are confident we can win millions of workers to struggle to establish a classless society under the red banner of our international revolutionary communist party — PLP

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