NEW YORK CITY, July 16 — “Fight Back!” could be heard ringing through the streets as Progressive Labor Party marched in Harlem to arouse the working class. We had a flyer that denounced Obama as a racist puppet of the U.S. ruling class. Our militancy, multiracial unity, and revolutionary politics won many workers to pump their fists, clap their hands, and chant along with us. This final march of the Summer Project illustrated our success and power to win workers to PL’s communist ideas.
The NYC Project began with an orientation that included over 50 young people — teachers, workers, soldiers, students, parents; women and men; black, Latino, Asian, and white — the backbone of our Party and its friends. We discussed why PLP was having the Project.
A group of largely undocumented workers spoke in Spanish about unemployment; a PL soldier outlined the role of imperialism. Racist health care was analyzed as well as PLP’s organizing among transit and hospital workers (see CHALLENGE 7/20). PL brought young people together from all over the U.S. — Chicago, LA, Baltimore, and beyond — to both recognize that we’re fighting the same enemy and that the working class is facing similar conditions everywhere.
Racist Cop’s Threats Fail
Tuesday started off bright and early as we surrounded an unemployment center in Trenton, NJ (see page 7). We rallied outside and handed out flyers. A racist cop almost drove his car into a group of disabled people in his rush to try to intimidate us. He waddled out of his car wearing a bulletproof vest, hoping to scare us, but did not succeed. He would be the first of the bosses’ attempts to shut down our rally.
The unemployment center’s security force confiscated CHALLENGE from all the workers who walked into the building. The state will always break its own laws whenever it chooses to prevent workers from hearing communist politics. New Jersey’s fascist governor Christie is spearheading attacks on the working class’s education, health care and aid checks, the latter amounting to only $140 a month! How are workers and their families expected to live on such a pittance? Our rally could have been a spark in a tinderbox; the bosses fear the potential of the working class to rise up and smash them.
‘Give me a CHALLENGE….They took mine…’
A black woman health care worker came angrily out of the building towards us saying, “Give me a CHALLENGE; they took my copy and I want one.” She was mad about their confiscating her paper.
On Wednesday, we headed to the Bronx. Comrades there did an excellent job organizing our site, ensuring that food and drinks arrived. Young people from LA performed a great skit: some comrades acted the role of bosses; another group were communists; and a much larger group acted as the working class. A debate ensued which helped raise the awareness of all to understand and contrast the bosses’ arguments with the ideas of communism. An enriching discussion followed on what it means to build a base in the working class.
Force Shutdown of Recruiting Center
After the study group, we all moved in a disciplined manner to a military recruitment center in the Bronx where we distributed 400 CHALLENGES on the surrounding corners and picketed the center. The recruiter became so upset when we showed up that he shut down the center. Speeches in Spanish and English condemned U.S. imperialism.
After the rally, the HBO film “No Contract, No Cookies” and another “independent” film on the Stella d’Oro strike were screened, with about 10 former Stella d’Oro workers present. A sharp discussion followed, illustrating how the strike was both a school for communism and an inspiration to us in the class struggle.
Thursday was Harlem Day. After individual groups sold the paper in the morning, we picketed the military recruitment center there. We distributed a flyer denouncing Columbia University’s racist expansion, exposing Obama’s racism and attacking U.S. imperialism. The racist KKKops showed up and began following us, “escorting” us over a 10-block march. They told us to turn off our bullhorn. As one young person put it, “I was scared of the police, so I chanted louder to not have to think about them.” When we arrived at the Columbia employment agency, we condemned them for not providing jobs and for stealing homes from black workers.
Afterwards, we attended a forum on anti-communism based on Grover Furr’s book “Khrushchev Lied,” which exposed deceitful questions on the New York High School History exam. We also heard about the attack on PL teachers at Brooklyn’s Clara Barton H.S. The forum helped us sharpen our arguments against those who spread the bosses’ lies about the history of the world communist movement. They spend billions of dollars to portray Stalin as a “mass murderer” because they fear his communist ideas.J
Summer Project Impressions
(The following are three expressions of volunteers’ experiences.)
“I really enjoyed the diversity of the Summer Project and how hospitable the host-comrade was. It inspired me in ways that no other experience could. The rallies we held had an outcome that I did not know was possible from an organization that is frowned upon as much as the PLP. The anti-communism forum was one of the most helpful in teaching us on how to defend communism. It showed how far the bosses and pigs go to make sure their despicable way of living prospers.”
“The NY Summer Project was different in atmosphere and surroundings, but in some ways similar to the LA Project making you realize the struggle is the same everywhere, like the issues with the government. The NY project was a fun experience.”
“My experience during the Summer Project was inspiring, and I learned more about what is going on in the world. My comrades taught me how to be strong and fight for what is right. We are the workers and we will not let the bosses rule us.”
(Write to CHALLENGE with your Summer Project experience.)