Category Archives: Soldiers

MAY DAY!!! Fight For Communism!

May Day’s Communist Roots Belie Rulers’ Reform Sham

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 11:56AM

May Day has always had two sides to it: one that demands reforms, and the revolutionary side that organizes to destroy capitalism. May Day commemorates a massive strike wave in the U.S., and the particular battle in Chicago’s Haymarket Square in 1886. The movement’s leaders demanded an 8-hour day, but also advocated the “abolition of the wage system.” Six of them were hung by the rulers for their allegiance to the working class and defiance of capitalism. Then and now the capitalists feared this revolutionary side to May Day.

In 1848, Marx and Engels wrote in the Communist Manifesto, “A specter is haunting Europe, the specter of Communism.” By 1886, the rulers of Chicago saw this specter. “The newspapers and industrialists were increasingly declaring that May 1, 1886 was in reality the date for a Communist working-class insurrection modeled on the Paris Commune. According to Melville E. Stone, Head of the Chicago Daily News…a ‘repetition of the Paris Communal riots was freely predicted’ for May 1, 1886” (Page 90, “Labor’s Untold Story,” Boyer and Morais).

In December 1886, San Francisco transit workers joined this rising strike wave. They demanded a workday reduction from 13-15 hours to 12 hours (then 7 days a week), and for a pay increase from $2.25 to $2.50 a day. “Strike-breakers were hired, and there was a great deal of violence. Cars were damaged, strike-breakers were beaten, and one person was killed.” Newspapers reported eight instances of the use of dynamite by the striking workers. In March 1887, the Governor signed a bill “limiting gripmen, drivers, and conductors to a 12-hour day.” (“Transit In San Francisco” published by SF MUNI RR Communications Department.)

In the 1880’s the early leaders of the American Federation of Labor were somewhat radical — it was actually an AFL delegate’s report to the Marxist-led International Workingmen’s Association that led to the call for the first May Day.

But by the 1920’s the pro-capitalist AFL leadership, fearing the growth of communist ideas in the working class, collaborated with the U.S. government to subvert May Day. At the 1928 AFL Convention, the Executive Council supported a Congressional resolution to make May 1 “Child Health Day.” They said, “May 1 will no longer be known as either strike day or communist labor day.”

The revolutionary side of May Day dominated when the communist movement was strong. During the peak of the communist organizing of the CIO’s industrial unions in the 1930’s and ‘40s, May Day was celebrated in the U.S. As many as 250,000 would march to New York’s Union Square. However, with the advent of the Cold War, and U.S. imperialism’s launching of a worldwide anti-communist offensive, the bosses’ government in Washington helped oust communists from union leadership by making it illegal for them to hold union office. With the triumph of business unionism and anti-communism, organized labor discarded May Day and recognized Labor Day in September.

However, in 1971 PLP resurrected the annual May Day march from its abandonment by the old U.S. Communist Party. PLP has marched in many cities every year since.

From the Haymarket battle in 1886, revolutionary workers spread May Day around the globe. But history is written by the conquerors, and many workers born here know nothing of the contribution that the U.S. working class, with the support of the international working class and communist movement, made to the development of this revolutionary holiday. Today May Day is the official Labor Day in most countries, but the leadership of these marches demand reforms, and stress the “common goals” of labor and capital.

PLP has learned from the triumphs of the communist movement in the USSR and China, and from their failure to fight directly for communism. We advocate “Abolish the Wage System” as part of changing the relationship of workers and work in a new communist society.

The abolition of money, of production for sale and profit and of the wage system is absolutely necessary to establish communism. When the international working class wins and holds control over all economic, political and cultural institutions of society, it will unleash a creative power that will propel the human race to its highest accomplishments in all fields of endeavor. We call this the dictatorship of the proletariat. We need a mass revolutionary communist party to achieve this. The capitalists will use every means — including mass, fascist terror and war — to prevent it.

For the last several years some groups now want to “Reclaim May Day.” They want to reform the “evils” of capitalism, but disconnect May Day from its communist roots. PLP seeks to keep May Day as a revolutionary international working-class holiday; to advance and popularize communist production for need as the future of the human race; to develop a strong and healthy class hatred that will destroy wage slavery and fascism everywhere.

Long live the 1st of May, the revolutionary, international, working class holiday! Fight for communism!

plp.org

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A Tale of Five Shootings

Four Shootings have happened in the recent past that have had seismic effects on the working class.  Though many other of our working class brothers and sisters have been shot due to rotten capitalist ideology or the kkkops’ bullets, these five bring out the contradictions of contemporary capitalism in relief.  The first two are young Black males, one in Florida and one in the Bronx.  They were the victims.  One was shot by a group of kkkops in his home, the other was shot by a fellow member of the working class who was the leader of a fascist organization.  The other three did the shooting.  One was a White Christian White Supremacist trying to spark a race war by killing Socialists.  One was a US Marine slaughtering women and children in Afghanistan echoing Mai LaiThe other is a young Muslim shooting Jewish students.

All of these shootings show how Capitalist ideology and state violence brutalize the working class.  The young man who was saturated with Al Qaeda’s rotten ideology is the perfect bogeyman for the French ruling class to wield against the French Working class as it revives the specter of terrorist bombings that marked the uprisings in Algeria.  Even though their intelligence agencies are coming under fire for not being effective enough, this criticism will be the backbone of further attacks on Middle Eastern and North African workers in France.  Sarkozy is wasting no time in making this a part of his platform and is whipping up a frenzy of racism within the working class.

Parallel this to the young shooter who killed or wounded over 90 young adults and children at a Socialist youth camp in Norway.  Where was the outcry and the cracking down on White Supremacist and fascist organizations around the world?  This is not some example of white skin privilege; this is racism.  Racism is used to divide the working class, and this murderer is part of an ideology that the ruling classes can use to preserve their power.  It is advantageous for them to use organizations to divide the working class.  The ruling class media fell all over themselves to paint this murderer as a mentally unstable “lone wolf”, while ignoring his ties to fascist organizations, yet they are doing whatever they can to dehumanize the French shooter and tie him in to Al Qaeda.  Whatever ideological slant the ruling class needs to spin their information to help their wars is what they’re going to do.

The US Marine had served 3 tours in Iraq and was then on his 4th in Afghanistan.  This illustrates the crisis that US rulers find themselves in – lots of wars and not a whole lot of workers to fight and die in these wars.  The children and women that he murdered, most likely with help and air support, are part of the vast number US imperialism has murdered in its quest for oil and resources.  His bullets echo the cries of the innocent in Mai Lai, where US soldiers gunned down a village as punishment.  The US doesn’t just kill innocent children in Afghanistan though.  Their thugs also kill young men in their homes in the Bronx.

The young man killed in Florida causes a difficult paradox, as many well-meaning people are calling for the arrest of the man who did the killing.  The fact that the man who did the killing was Hispanic is an example of how racism isn’t about who pulls the trigger, but who is affected by the action.  The working class must not be lead into believing that we can ever have some form of “Community Control” of the police.  Their job is to oppress us and brutalize us in order to protect the social order.  Though justice is a great ideal, it cannot be gained in the capitalist’s courts.  This outcry is part of the larger outcry against the growing fascism in Florida and the brutal manner that the kkkops and their paramilitary lackeys are attacking the black workers in Florida.

These shootings, theses murders, these young people who either had their lives snuffed out or did the snuffing are all interwoven in the web of capitalism’s violence.  Capitalism needs violence against the working class in order to sustain itself.  It uses its ideologies, particularly racism, to divide the working class and get us to kill each other.  We must fight racism with multi-racial unity.  PLP is organizing within these struggle so that we can grow and end racism once and for all with Communist Revolution.

Capitalism’s Crisis and Obama’s Broken Heart

There’s so much work that needs to be done in this world, yet capitalism can’t afford to hire us to do the work. There is 51% youth unemployment in Greece!   Capitalism has failed them like it has continued to fail the working class.  Over half the youth are unemployed while the working class needs so much to be done.  Greece was the birthplace of “Western Civilization” with its ancient slave state of Sparta and Athens, and with the assault on it by the world’s capitalist class, massive working class anger, and even some armed struggle, the irony of it being the birthplace of a new society is quite a delicious irony.  PL friends in Greece and Spain have many opportunities to build the Party.

Obama’s hypocritical broken heart over the women and children that the young US soldier killed in Afghanistan just highlight how much of a liar he is. I guess all of the women and children murdered by US smart bombs and shrapnel from cluster bombs don’t count as tragedy. It must be that hundreds of villagers being murdered at wedding parties by a bomb dropping on them from a stealth predator drone is just par for the course of imperialist war.  Apparently, it’s only an embarrassing and tragic event when a soldier empties his clip of bullets into people. If he had manipulated a joystick like some sanitized video game and then pushed the button to blast them from an air-conditioned bunker under a beautiful blue Arizona sky, well then, that’s just the tragic cost of war.

All the radioactive depleted uranium dust blowing down from the mountaiontops and causing unknown horrors to the working class in Afghanistan is a tragedy that is just the cost of war for conquest and strategic oil pipelines. That fascist piece of garbage lying puppet Obama had the audacity to say that the young soldier will be punished while he has death squads killing union leaders in Columbia, while he has Martelli recruiting children to fight replete with pink shirts as part of the ton ton mercouts return, while he is helping to drive how many thousands of workers out of work in order to make a more competitive workforce like his great “success” in Detroit.

The hundreds of thousands of workers taking to the streets in Greece and Spain point towards the path of resistance. Fascism’a first battleground was Spain, and now the need for Communist revolution is more urgent than ever. Obama’s alligator tears should outrage us as much as Butcher al Assad’s crimes or any other of the bourgeoisie’s thugs. They clearly illustrate the lengths the capitalists will go to in order to protect their state power.  And, this should create an urgency within all of us to tear down their state by building the PLP and starting an armed insurrection for real communist worker’s power.

Asia: Coming Battleground in U.S.-China Rulers’ Dogfight

“The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action,” writes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the current issue of Foreign Policy magazine. In the article, “America’s Pacific Century,” she announces a major change in U.S. foreign policy, a “pivot to new global realities,” that sets its sights among the three giants of the Asia-Pacific: China, India and the U.S.

Crucial in this strategic turn to maintain U.S hegemony is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a vast trade network spread across the Asia-Pacific rim promoted by Obama at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum in November. Currently being negotiated by nine countries, the TPP is essentially a U.S. thrust to exploit the markets, cheap labor and raw materials of the world’s fastest growing region and is also a move to contain China, the main threat to U.S imperialist aims.

In 1997, then Chinese Premier Jiang Zemin likened a similar strategy to having China “play Gulliver to Southeast Asia’s Lilliputians, with the United States supplying the rope and string.” But China is no sleeping giant. The Chinese Global Times warned that, “any country which chooses to be a pawn in the U.S. chess game will lose the opportunity to benefit from China’s economy.”

Obama urged the nine Beijing neighbors to join this “landmark 21st-century trade deal,” noting China’s trade barriers, high tariffs and taxes on foreign investors. Chinese Premier Wen countered that the region’s countries share interests as developing nations with dynamic economies, unlike the West which, “lacks momentum,” and is “plagued by serious financial and debt crises.”

But these threats and promises of economic gains and losses veil serious intentions to control the region’s economy, militarily if necessary.

In November China hosted a meeting of its regional security/economic bloc, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) whose members, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, frequently hold joint military exercises.

At the meeting Wen called for developing multilateral trade and economic ties between its members and recommended Iran, (currently U.S. enemy #1), and Pakistan for membership. India and Turkey have observer status.

Obama makes no bones about U.S. intentions to back up its capitalist interests with military force. On his recent visit to Australia he announced the deployment of 2,500 Marines to Darwin, (the Australian port closest to China) and stated that the U.S. was “here to stay” as a Pacific power.

Hammering the point home, Clinton symbolically chose to speak from the deck of the guided missile cruiser U.S.S. Fitzgerald in Manila Bay, Philippines: “We are making sure that our collective defense capabilities and communications infrastructure are operationally and materially capable of deterring provocations from the full spectrum of state and non-state actors.”

Central to keeping China at bay in the Asia-Pacific is the U.S. backing of puppet regimes in Thailand and Malaysia, strengthening alliances with the Philippines, Japan, South Korea and Australia and pursuing “broader, deeper, and more purposeful relationships” with India and Indonesia.

These events come at a time of heightening tensions in the South China Sea over the oil-rich Spratly Islands, whose energy reserves may rival those of Kuwait, and which are claimed by China, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations. At a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders, (ASEAN) in Indonesia, the U.S. and China disagreed about how to handle the claims, with Wen issuing a warning to the U.S., saying “outside forces” had no excuse to get involved in the complex maritime dispute.

The stakes are high. Half the world’s tonnage passes through the South China Sea. Control of its sea lanes is a necessity for U.S capitalists eager to invest for super-profits and for China, whose economy relies heavily on sea transportation for its import and export trade, including Middle East oil, vital for its industry.

The U.S. is aggressively attempting to weaken China’s growing economic relationships, such as between China and Pakistan which are involved in the development of a deep-sea port, heavily financed by China, at Qwadar on the Arabian Sea in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. The project came under heavy attack by Baluchi separatists, secretly funded by the CIA and Britain, slowing down completion of the port and forcing the Chinese to work under the protection of the Pakistani Army.

Pakistan is facing increased attacks from U.S. intelligence and military forces in what many see as an attempt to destabilize and break up the nation (composed of four main provinces). An independent Baluchistan (and possibly Khyber Pakhtunkwha) would cut off China’s Gwadar port, leaving the sea lanes under U.S control and give the U.S. access through Northern Pakistan to Afghanistan and the oil and gas fields of the Caspian Basin.

New U.S. relations with India, which Obama calls “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, rooted in common values and interests,” is further straining the Pakistani-U.S. strategic partnership and sharpening tensions between China and India. The U.S. is helping India become a leading military power, selling it uranium and providing nuclear know–how. India, world’s largest weapons importer, accounts for 9% of the world’s arms transactions. They buy warships, destroyers and nuclear submarines to build a navy rivaling China’s.

Finally Russia, another player in the area, threatened to retaliate militarily if Washington goes ahead with a planned missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. America’s Pacific Century is quickly shaping up into a battleground between superpowers and would-be superpowers. But class struggle is also heating up. Globally the working class is taking to the streets in increasing numbers, in Russia, China, the Arab countries, Asia, Europe and the U.S. It’s time for the world’s workers to unite in a communist revolution, led by the ideas of PLP, to overthrow these bloodthirsty imperialists and wipe out the hell of capitalism with a society run by and for the international working class.

2011: Crisis-driven Bosses Attack, But Class Struggle Alive and Well

The events of 2011 served to remind us of two important aspects of capitalist society. First, the bosses of the world, caught in a sharpening struggle against their rivals and a spreading financial crisis, always have their knives out to assault the working class. Attacks intensified against our jobs, education, health, homes and families. The myths of democracy, fairness and opportunity for workers were exposed by a worldwide reality: we live under the bosses’ dictatorship. The past year made clear that regardless of national boundaries, no matter the “race” or gender of the boss, the ruling class will eagerly consign workers to hell on earth for the smallest gain in profit.

The ultimate expression of the boss’s callousness to sacrifice the lives of workers is imperialist war, of which there was no shortage in 2011. The U.S., still the main capitalist power in the world, continued its racist massacres in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in hopes of securing the Middle East’s oil and natural gas. Without the growth of a new worldwide communist movement, the prospects for 2012 and beyond are not much better.

While the U.S. remains the dominant power, other rivals, most prominently China, are gaining power — militarily, economically and politically. This challenge does not go unnoticed by the U.S. ruling class. The recent announcement by President Obama (the Nobel Peace Prize winner) that U.S. Marines will be stationed in northern Australia, alongside the recent diplomatic overtures to Myanmar, which borders China, signal a future where direct military conflict between the U.S. and China will be increasingly likely.

But the deadly maneuvering of the ruling class is only one side of the story of 2011. The second lesson, clearly visible from a quick look back through the pages of any of the bosses’ newspapers, is that workers are not meekly accepting these attacks. Class struggle is alive and well.  The list of places where large-scale rebellion rocked the bosses this past year is a long one: Algeria, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, England, France, Greece, Israel/Palestine, Libya, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, Syria, the U.S., and more.

To advance the cause of communist revolution, the international Progressive Labor Party has joined and led some of these militant struggles. In the pages of CHALLENGE, these battles and many other reports of class struggle were presented with a communist analysis.  If we are ever to defeat the murderous bosses and end their reign of terror, the working class must transform these narrow reform struggles into a fight for the working class to take state power — a fight for communist revolution.

The International PLP Advances

In New York City, the working class took on the racist Department of Education and its plan to impose Jim Crow-style segregation at the John Jay Campus high schools. In Israel/Palestine, a Summer Project participated in the fight against racist evictions and the housing shortage gripping workers there. In Haiti, we struggled to help rebuild a shattered society with communist principles of international solidarity and equality.

PL’s Summer Project in Haiti included a “Freedom School” for the discussion of communist principles. “Serve the working class” became more than a motto; it was put into practice when Party members created a clinic to serve the medical needs for Haitians in tent camps. The racist health care system was also a focus for comrades in the U.S. In New York we fought against the racist closing of Brookdale Hospital. Comrades and friends in Philadelphia fought to prevent the firing of a trusted hospital coworker. In Chicago, where hospital bosses tried to give patients a death sentence by transferring them to a decrepit facility, PL and others fought back.

Chicago was also the battleground for the heroic efforts of students and parents (primarily mothers), supported by the Party, to prevent the racist closing of the Whittier School library. Providing an example for the Occupy movement to follow, the parents (primarily mothers) and students at this majority Latino school, supported by the Party, seized the building and renamed it “La Casita.” For nearly a month, they held off the racist dogs of the Chicago Department of Education from carrying out their plan. Our comrades helped in many ways, from medical care to overnight guard duty. All the while they pointed out that whether we won or lost this particular battle, the bosses would still have state power. Our job is to fight not only “our” bosses, but bosses everywhere.

In Pakistan and Bangladesh, communists infused labor struggles in garment factories and universities with a vision of a society based on need rather than profit. In Mexico, where flooding threatened to destroy a community of 200,000 people, the Party explained that if our communist predecessors in the Soviet Union could move entire factories over the Ural mountains in three months during World War II, we could protect their city — if we had state power.

In these places and others around the world, CHALLENGE was ever-present. It consistently hammered home the point that it is only when we take on capitalism itself — when we transform battles against corrupt dictators, greedy bankers and fascist school boards into a world-wide communist movement — will we achieve workers’ liberation.

Arab Spring and Wall Street Occupy Working Class’s Imagination

Perhaps the most significant expressions of working-class fight-back were the upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East, collectively dubbed the Arab Spring, and in the Occupy Wall Street movement, a worldwide rage at the inequality of wealth that is the hallmark of capitalism.

The Arab Spring began with a rebellion in Tunisia that followed the self-immolation of a desperate young worker. But the uprising was fueled by a 13% official unemployment rate (about 30% for youth), skyrocketing prices for food, and political corruption. Similarly, in Egypt, while the bourgeois media focused on Cairo’s Tahrir Square and the struggle for “democracy,” the real battles were over rampant unemployment and the price of food. Strikes at Egypt’s textile mills, pharmaceutical plants, chemical industries, the Cairo airport, the transportation sector, banks, ports and the Suez Canal are the primary source of revolutionary optimism.

Workers throughout the world cheered on scenes from Tunisia and Tahrir Square, which makes the outcome of these battles all the more painful. In Egypt, ruthless dictator Hosni Mubarak was first replaced by a ruthless military and now in addition by the even more ruthless Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists (see CHALLENGE, 10/19). In Tunisia, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted and elections were held in October, but unemployment still crushes the youth there. This is the essence of reform struggles. However militant it may be, any struggle that fails to attack the entire capitalist system will simply replace one set of bosses with another. For workers, the promise of a new society has been met with the reality of continued joblessness and misery.

Nonetheless, the international working class proudly looked on as workers in Tahrir Square held up signs reading, “We are all Wisconsin,” a reference to the 100,000-strong protest against the attack on public sector workers in that state. Months before anyone occupied a park near Wall Street, thousands of workers occupied the state capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin.

Just as in Cairo, however, the brave workers of Wisconsin have been misled, this time into backing electoral politics and the Democratic Party. In the midst of this struggle, the Party brought forward the idea that both the fascist Governor Scott Walker and the supposedly “heroic” Democrats were all defenders of capitalism — and were all therefore enemies of the working class. This communist idea attracted many workers in Wisconsin and around the world.

In September, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement began in New York City before spreading to more than 1,500 cities worldwide. OWS captured the attention of workers who were tired of seeing banks get trillions of dollars in bailouts while education, transportation, health care, wages and jobs are slashed. One chant especially reflected this anger: “Banks got bailed out; We got sold out!” Throughout 2011, the Party participated in many of these occupations, picket lines, schools, churches and job sites, armed with leaflets and CHALLENGE.

PLP continues to strive to replace the dead-end reform tactics of the old communist movement with the fight for revolutionary communism for billions of workers in the world.

May Day

This past year was the 140th anniversary of the Paris Commune, the first time workers took control of the state. In this spirit, we celebrated May Day with marches, dinners and songs. From Colombia to El Salvador, in Los Angeles and New York, in Haiti and Palestine, we raised the red flag honoring our revolutionary ancestors. This year our May Day celebrations grew in size and better reflected the international character of the working class.

Turning Fascist Oppression into Communist Organizing

The working class continues to suffer from the racist exploitation and oppression that capitalism requires. In their increasingly desperate competition for dominance, the various national ruling classes outdo one another in making workers homeless, sick, maimed or killed in pursuit of profit. Frantic about “sovereign debt,” collapsing banks, currency disasters (notably the euro) and the industrial crisis of overproduction, the world’s bosses are peeling back their thin masks of “democracy” to reveal the bloody maw of a fascist monster. Meanwhile, the fight over Central Asian and Middle Eastern oil and natural gas appears to be careening toward broader military conflicts.

As we move into 2012, the battles against our capitalist enemies will continue to rage. The workers of the world will continue to fight back, in ways large and small. Everything we do as workers and communists counts: every march or picket line or discussion strengthened by  communist ideas, every time we help another worker and demonstrate how we can build a society without the parasitic bosses. By doing these things and more, the Party will help the working class move closer to ushering in a classless society that produces for need, not profit. Communist ideas are essential for this crucial advance. A mass, international, revolutionary party is necessary to lead the way. PL is that party. Now is the time to join!

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Draft on the Way: Obama’s War Budget Makes Workers Pay

The U.S. ruling class’s “debate” over raising the debt limit above $14 trillion and cutting the budget is all a cover to hide the goal of forcing the working class to foot the bill for U.S. imperialism’s global wars that are slaughtering workers internationally.

Wars for control of Mid-East oil and gas and for strategic footholds against China and Russia cost U.S. imperialists a fortune — $3.7 trillion so far in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. But, as battlefields widen to Libya, Yemen, Somalia and beyond, the current depression leaves U.S. rulers with inadequate ready cash. So Obama and the major capitalists he serves are pushing a budget plan that shoves even more war burden onto the backs of workers.

Obama’s proposal for 2012-2020 slashes $655 billion from the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits workers have earned. (White House Budget, published in 2010) This includes lowering Social Security benefits and gradually raising full retirement benefits from age 65 to past 66 and eventually to age 69. Consequently, millions more workers will die on the job before they can retire.

Meanwhile, the needs of struggling U.S. imperialism belie his promise to curb the military budget by 7%. In fact, the imperialists themselves demand a whopping 67% boost. (See CFR’s Sebastian Mallaby quote below.) The only significant “cost-cutting” move likely at the Pentagon, one now pushed by the highest brass, is restoring the draft. Most draftees, unlike career enlistees, get rock-bottom pay and no pension.

Lying Obama Promises Tea Partiers Pentagon Cuts; Bigger Bosses say ‘Forget about ‘em’

Obama’s phony Pentagon pruning aims solely at appeasing obstructionist, anti-tax Tea Party elements in Congress. The latter front for smaller domestically-minded U.S. capitalists who don’t directly benefit from the bigger bosses’ expensive and expanding war agenda. But the main U.S. imperialists, whose profits depend on war, and who bankrolled Obama into office and fill his cabinet, reveal the intentional hollowness of his rhetoric.

Max Boot is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), U.S. imperialism’s leading think-tank, representing the Rockefeller-dominated wing of U.S. rulers, such as Exxon Mobil and JP Morgan Chase. They seek to undermine Obama’s cheap talk and rally Republican imperialists, the socially-liberal and fiscally-conservatives like Senators John McCain and Maine’s two Senators, part of the old Nelson Rockefeller wing of the G.O.P.

Boot wrote in the conservative Weekly Standard (7/18/11), “Obama’s proposed cuts…would seriously impair the military’s ability to meet its global commitments.” Boot then lets loose a flood of rhetorical questions that pretty much lay out his bosses’ money-burning order of battle for the near term:

“Should we completely pull out of Afghanistan? Even with the overly hasty withdrawal of surge forces ordered by Obama, we still will have 70,000 troops there at the end of next year, costing at least $70 billion. Pulling out troops even faster risks giving jihadists their biggest victory since 9/11.

“Perhaps we [U.S. rulers] should stop fighting pirates off the coast of Africa? Stop fighting in Libya so that arch-terrorist Muammar Qaddafi can claim a victory over the West? Stop targeting al Qaeda in Pakistan and Yemen and elsewhere? Stop deterring China, North Korea, or Iran? Stop patrolling the Persian Gulf through which much of the world’s oil flows? Stop fighting cyberattacks emanating from China and Russia?”

Obama’s Ruling-Class Handlers Want Massive 67% Boost, not Mini 7% Cut, in War Funding

Of course, all this call to expansion of U.S. rulers’ wars means mass murder of untold numbers of workers in these countries. Boot obviously seeks a “No” answer to the military cut question. His colleague, CFR fellow Sebastian Mallaby, goes much further, urging drastically increasing war funding and reducing workers’ living standards. In a piece entitled, “American Power Requires Economic Sacrifice (CFR website, 7/7/11) he says:

“…[I]f the U.S. has the will to allocate a rising share of GDP [Gross Domestic Product] to the Pentagon, it can sustain its global dominance for a long time to come. After all, defense claimed more than a 10th of U.S. GDP during the 1950s, compared with just below 6 per cent today. But military budgets on the scale of the 1950s entail social and economic sacrifices.”

Mallaby refers unmistakably to reducing health care’s 17% share of U.S. GDP. Furthermore, his demand to revert to 1950 military budget allocations of one-tenth (10%) from the current 6% means a two-thirds increase, or 67%.

Anti-Worker Draft Coming Back
as ‘Money-Saver’

From the Korean War in the 1950s to the Vietnam War in the 1960s and ’70s, U.S. rulers maintained the draft. Today, massive unemployment and under-employment of over 30 million workers forces job-seeking youth to enlist, which may help make recruitment adequate for U.S. bosses now. But that won’t be the case if rebellion reaches Saudi Arabia, Big Oil’s biggest energy source, and sets the whole Middle East aflame or if armed conflict breaks out with Iran’s or China’s bosses. Then the U.S. “all-volunteer” forces won’t be able to cut it, economically or politically.

With pay raises, benefits and pensions, the volunteer force costs the bosses too much. And only a shrinking segment of the population, increasingly poor white workers, seems won to enlisting. So here comes conscription again, in the guise of “economizing.” The Air Force Times (7/14/11) reported that, “The Pentagon is considering massive changes to the force — including a draft — amid fears that new and far deeper budget cuts are looming just over the horizon…. It quoted General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “You may just shift the balance of the services from active to Guard or reserve or to — the dirty word — a draft. Those are all different characters and they have different costs that you can manage.’”

A new draft would force millions of U.S. youth into a war machine that would kill them and millions of our sister and brother workers worldwide. (World War II saw 14 million in the U.S. armed forces, with half the current U.S. population.) But, at the same time, in laying bare to millions the horrors of capitalist war, it would also expand the opportunities for communist revolutionary anti-imperialist organizing in the military.

Historically, the two great communist-led revolutions in the last century, in Russia and China, arose out of the imperialist World Wars I and II.

With our lives, labor, declining wages, and ever-diminishing living conditions, workers have paid for capitalists’ wars for centuries. Aside from the incalculable money loss, their harm to our class amounts to billions of human beings impoverished and murdered. We must turn the tables on the profit-driven killers by building for communist revolution to destroy them.

Our Progressive Labor Party works towards this goal, as is evident from PLP’s immersion in, and helping to lead, class struggles: for a community library (page 7); among transit workers in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. (page 6); for client-worker unity against budget cuts in New Jersey (page 7); among hospital workers in NYC (page 1) and in Chicago (page 6). PLP joins and leads these battles to be able to raise revolutionary communist ideas and recruit these workers to build a mass Party.

Comrade Milt Rosen, 1926-2011 Founding Chairperson of PLP, Great 20th Century Revolutionary

In the fall of 1961, Milt Rosen convened a small collective that would soon leave the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) to form the Progressive Labor Movement. Four years later, Comrade Milt became the founding chair of the Progressive Labor Party. He served our organization and the working class in that capacity until 1995.

On July 13, Milt died of Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 85. He is survived by family, friends, and thousands of comrades — and by a revolutionary communist party deeply rooted in the international working class.

Since PL’s birth half a century ago, many left organizations have withered and died. Others have decayed into the living death of electoral politics or a fake Marxism which allies with “progressive” sections of the ruling class. PL is the exception because it never stopped evolving. Milt grasped the essence of dialectical materialism, the philosophy of communism: that the objective world is ever-changing, and that the Party must continue to learn from its own experience and those of the courageous but flawed workers’ movements that preceded it. He was staunchly principled, but never rigid.

Sparked by Milt early on, PL exposed both counter-revolutionary revisionism and “revolutionary” nationalism as death traps of worker-boss unity. It indicted the state capitalists of the Soviet Union as far back as 1966, and then broke with the ones ruling the People’s Republic of China. Those failed revolutions led PL to advance beyond Marx’s two-stage theory that socialism was a first step toward communism; history had shown that socialism inevitably led back to the exploitation of capitalism. And unlike any other group on the landscape, the Party emphasized the importance of the fight against racism as a basic communist principle, not a mere tactic. It understood that all struggles are essentially anti-racist struggles. Most important, it saw that capitalism cannot survive without racism dividing groups of workers, and that racism injures and exploits the entire working class.

PL stayed vital and relevant because Milt and other comrades refused to shrink from struggle or to compromise our communist politics to make expedient alliances. The Party stood apart from others parading as “left” groups; Milt called that separation “glorious.” He knew that our unity, first and last, must be with the working class.

Over decades of action and analysis, the Party was built by Milt and by people he directly influenced and developed. They steered PL to its early growth amid the opportunities of mass movements and the threats of government attacks. Then they kept us on course through the “dark night” of rising fascism. As Milt noted in “Jailbreak,” his down-to-earth booklet on dialectics, “We must be able to combine urgency with patience.”

The Progressive Labor Party is now growing on five continents. It continues to sharpen its practice and its political line to overthrow capitalism and build a communist future. That struggle endures today. It is PL’s living history, and Milt’s legacy to all of us.

Milt Meets Stalin

Milt’s first brush with the enormous power of communist ideas came as a 17-year-old soldier (he had lied about his age) in Italy in World War II. Each morning he would see a name in fresh red paint on the buildings’ walls: “STALIN.” The anti-fascist partisans, knowing they risked execution if caught, had come out at night with their paint cans to raise morale.

After the war in Italy ended, Milt, now a sergeant, was in charge of a motor pool. His unit was ordered to break strikes led by communist resistance fighters, the soldiers’ former allies. Milt led “search-and-avoid” missions, as they later became known in the Vietnam War. His troops would board the trucks and set off, but they never found a strike. Instead they’d get “lost” on the winding mountain roads.

In and Out of the CPUSA

After returning home to Brooklyn from the Army, Milt joined the Jewish War Veterans, the first of many mass movements he would enter. Influenced by his future wife, Harriet, he then joined the Communist Party of the United States.

In the 1950s, Milt went to Buffalo, New York, to organize fellow workers at a steel mill. He soon became a local union leader. Citing the mill’s status as a “war plant,” management said they had to fire Milt because he was a communist — otherwise, they said, they’d lose their government contracts. They gave each worker a letter stating they were sure Milt would “want” to be fired rather than cost everyone else their jobs. As the workers came off shift, they walked past a fire in a steel barrel and dropped their letters into the flames. As a result of their unity and struggle, Milt got “unfired.”

Milt rose to become the CP’s leader in Erie County, centered in Buffalo, a platform he used to advance the politics that ultimately created PL. In 1957, when the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) brought its witch hunt to Buffalo to destroy communist influence among industrial workers, Milt and Mort Scheer (later the vice-chairperson of PLP) led the charge against it. They turned HUAC’s hearings into a political battleground. Rather than hiding behind the Fifth Amendment, which the CP used to avoid “self-incrimination,” comrades in Milt’s collective proudly espoused their communist beliefs and attacked the committee’s fascist inquisitions. Meanwhile, Milt and Mort organized mass demonstrations outside the hearings and marshalled mass support. HUAC fled town, discredited. Milt was both teaching and learning a valuable lesson: that communists must fight back against fascism, no matter what the risks.

The industrial work in Buffalo became both PL’s foundation stone and Milt’s point of departure from the old Communist Party. By the late 1950s, in retreat from McCarthyism, the CPUSA had abandoned any effort to organize the working class for revolution. It hid its most advanced ideas from workers and plunged into the sewer of electoral politics, running its own candidates and supporting “lesser-evil” liberals for office. Socialism, the CPUSA leaders declared, could be achieved by reforming capitalism. On the international stage, they joined with fellow revisionists in the Soviet Union in calling for “peaceful coexistence” with the U.S. and its capitalist bloc — an impossible strategy, given the fight-to-the-death reality of imperialism.

By contrast, Milt (by then the CP’s industrial organizer for New York State) defied the old party’s directives and openly called for communism and the need for mass, violent revolution to achieve it. He and his comrades saw that the future of communism lay in negating the old movement — in preserving its progressive elements while discarding what had become outworn or harmful. In January 1962, they published the first issue of a monthly magazine called “Progressive Labor.” In July of that year, in a meeting at the Hotel Diplomat in New York City, they formally broke with the CPUSA and established a new Marxist-Leninist organization called the Progressive Labor Movement, or PLM.

Others split with the CPUSA around the same time, over essentially the same ideological disagreements. One new group, Hammer and Steel, had 500 members; PLM began with 12. Yet our movement grew while the others all dwindled away. Why were we different? PLM’s strategy, as originally put forward by Milt, was to turn away from the organization that had given it birth. Milt could see dialectically that the old CP had reached the end of its historical process.

While Hammer and Steel tried to pull the
CPUSA to the left, a hopeless and sectarian pursuit, PLM reached out to non-communist workers and students and led them in militant class struggles. The wisdom of that strategy soon became obvious.

The Hazard, Kentucky Miners

In one of its first mass activities, PLM stood behind 500 wildcatting, armed coal miners in Hazard, Kentucky, who were locked in an all-out war with the coal barons to win decent conditions and wages. Milt convinced one PLM member, a railroad worker and local union president, to take two weeks off to mobilize solidarity for this fight. Out of this was born the Trade Union Committee to Support the Hazard Miners. A relief campaign raised critical funds and sent truckloads of food and clothing to the strikers. When the miners’ rank-and-file leader came to New York City, PLM organized a mass meeting of a thousand people to hear him.

Milt saw the need to highlight the role of industrial workers as a crucial force for revolution. PLM made the Hazard strike a national cause. For the ruling class, it was an equation for big trouble: wildcatting strikers + armed violence against the bosses + communist ideas. Reformist forces moved into the Committee to seize its leadership and destroy it, but not before countless workers and students came to see the world with new consciousness.

As Mao said, “To be attacked by the enemy is a good thing.” Milt was not discouraged. He realized that we couldn’t control the content or ultimate direction of reform movements. Our power came from expressing our revolutionary ideas within these groups and winning workers to communism.

The Struggle Against Revisionism

In October 1963, before PLM’s National Coordinating Committee, Milt delivered a comprehensive report on the fight against fake Marxism, or revisionism. After months of discussion, the report was published in March 1964 as “Road to Revolution.” A devastating ideological assault upon the old communist movement, it begins:

“Two paths are open to the workers of any given country. One is the path of resolute class struggle; the other is the path of accommodation, collaboration. The first leads to state power for the workers, which will end exploitation. The other means rule by a small ruling class which continues oppression, wide-scale poverty, cultural and moral decay and war.”

PLM and the Anti-War Movement

As of early 1964, active opposition to the growing U.S. war in Vietnam was limited to a few pacifist groups. PLM chose to break through the existing limits and organize a militant, anti-imperialist movement to demand immediate U.S. withdrawal. In March of that year, Comrade Milt sat on a panel at Yale University with representatives of supposedly left organizations, most of them Trotskyite. The panelists were arguing heatedly about “democracy” in Cuba when Milt changed the subject in his characteristic style: “You guys are full of shit. We should be talking about building a movement against the war in Vietnam. Our organization, the Progressive Labor Movement, is doing just that.”

While Milt acknowledged the critical importance of theory, he always taught that practice was primary. That conference was a case in point. Before an audience of more than 500 students and faculty, he focused on the Vietnamese revolution and the efforts of U.S. imperialism to crush it — and what we could do to help the Vietnamese working class fight back.

Milt electrified the crowd. When he proposed a nationwide mobilization to protest U.S. aggression in Vietnam, the conference overwhelmingly voted its approval.

On May 2, 1964, under PLM’s leadership, the first major demonstrations against the Vietnam War were staged in cities around the country. In New York, one thousand people attended a rally at 110th St. and Central Park West, where they heard PLM speeches about the necessity of communist revolution. Breaking a police ban on demonstrations in midtown Manhattan, the marchers wound through Times Square to the United Nations for a second rally.

To sustain its fight against the Vietnam War along with students and other non-communists, PLM founded the May 2nd Movement and built chapters on a number of college campuses. As the war expanded, liberals and fake leftists grabbed the leadership of the broadening anti-war movement. Even so, our anti-imperialist politics and militant leadership led to a period of rapid growth for PLM on campuses nationwide. More young people were drawn to our organization when we broke the U.S. government’s travel ban on Cuba and brought 134 students there over the summers of 1963 and 1964.

CHALLENGE-DESAFIO

In June 1964, PLM began publishing CHALLENGE-DESAFIO. At a time when bilingual publications were unheard of, and despite our organization’s small size and limited funds, Milt fought for a paper in both English and Spanish. We had no choice, he said; we had to make communism available to the many New York workers from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere who spoke mainly Spanish.

As our movement expanded into Chicago and Southern California, which had large numbers of workers from Mexico and Central and South America, an English/Spanish newspaper became even more important to organize workers for communism on a multiracial, internationalist basis. Years later, DESAFIO would also pave the way for our work in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Fighting Racism

From its very beginning, Milt led the struggle within PL to see racism as the ruling class’s primary tool to divide workers. He helped us understand how the capitalists’ racist ideology poisons every facet of workers’ lives, from unemployment to police terror to the eugenic pseudo-science pushed on college campuses. Given this analysis, it became clear that the key to communist revolution was to build a mass, multiracial, anti-racist movement. PL could not lead the working class without masses of black and Latino workers and youth as members and leaders.

“POLICE WAR ON HARLEM” was the front-page headline of the first issue of CHALLENGE, over a photo of a man who had been beaten by a cop’s billy club. The article described the growing anger that would lead to the Harlem Rebellion one month later, when the police shot 15-year-old James Powell in the back, killing him.

New York’s mayor placed Harlem under virtual martial law, and more than eighty “left” and civil rights groups agreed not to demonstrate.  Milt had a different idea. He proposed that PLM print thousands of posters: “Wanted for Murder, Gilligan the Cop.” They became the anti-racist flags of Harlem residents in their struggle against police brutality.

When PLM members stepped out of their Harlem clubhouse to start a march, they were immediately arrested. One leader was charged with “sedition” for “attempting to overthrow the State of New York,” and faced up to 20 years in prison. Others were rounded up in predawn raids and jailed for contempt of court after refusing to testify. Even the printers who produced the Gilligan posters were jailed! Nothing scares the capitalists more than multiracial unity under communist leadership, and they were quick to suspend their so-called “freedoms” to squash us. But the bosses’ legal terror backfired. As a result of its activity in Harlem, PLM gained respect among black workers throughout the country.

Throughout this inspiring period, Milt helped to give our members the confidence to “dare to struggle, dare to win.” He understood that the main threat to a communist movement was not ruling-class terror, but our own timidity.

From Movement to Party

In April 1965, two hundred comrades met in New York and took a bold step forward: the founding convention of the Progressive Labor Party (PLP). The transformation from a movement to a party signified greater unity over our politics, greater trust and confidence in our members and the working class, and greater commitment to organizing for communist revolution.

Milt was chosen as the first chairperson of PL because he was unafraid of struggle. He’d led the internal fight that transformed the Buffalo CP into a red force, in sharp contrast to the CP’s national leadership and its accommodation to capitalism. PLM was born out of that internal struggle, as was Milt’s analysis in “Road to Revolution.” Milt himself had been steeled in class struggle, from his experiences in World War II to his vanguard communist work in Buffalo’s steel industry.

Work in Mass Organizations

Following the massive Washington anti-war rally in the spring of 1965, Milt saw that Students for A Democratic Society (SDS) had grown into the center of radical student politics. He proposed that the May 2nd Movement be dissolved and that our student members move into SDS, which had potential for far greater growth. Some PLM members felt comfortable in M2M, and fought against this change. Some even left our organization when their view did not prevail.

This internal struggle was an early battle over the need to work in mass organizations, which are invariably led by the ruling class. Despite their limits, these groups connect communists to large numbers of workers and students. They allow us to bring our revolutionary ideas to people even as we fight alongside them for reforms. From the beginning of our movement, Milt was a firm advocate for working in unions, community groups, churches, and academic organizations.

From 1966 to 1968, PL would do its largest-scale political organizing among students. We recruited hundreds of members by building the Worker Student Alliance, which became the majority caucus within SDS. Many of those students joined the Party, and Milt led the push to send large numbers into the factories, where our work continues today. We also organized students to waive their deferments, enter the draft, and join the military to build our movement there. With three U.S. imperialist wars now raging, that work is more important than ever. As Milt liked to say, “You’ve got to be in it to win it.”

Turning the Tables on HUAC

In the summer of 1966, the House Un-American Activities Committee launched an investigation of “subversive activities” in the movement against the Vietnam War. They subpoenaed the movement’s leaders, including five student members of PL. Comrade Milt and other Party leaders and members seized the opportunity to mobilize 800 people to pack the Washington, D.C. hearing room, disrupt the proceedings, and demonstrate outside Congress. Some were arrested, and at least one student joined PL while in jail.

Once again, our comrades openly advocated communism when questioned by the Committee. We “took the offensive and exposed the racist HUAC members for the Nazis that they are,” as Milt wrote. We turned the hearings into an attack on capitalism and on the liberal Johnson Administration, accusing it of mass murder in Vietnam and racist policies at home. Those hearings were a major step toward the abolition of HUAC.

“Build a Base in the Working Class”

At our 1968 Party convention, Milt gave a speech that was subsequently published as one of the Party’s most durably important statements. “Build a Base in the Working Class” advanced the necessity to develop close ties with industrial workers, on and off the job, and to immerse ourselves in their lives. In this way, a party could be built from tens to hundreds to thousands — eventually to a mass party of millions, capable of seizing state power from the rotten capitalist class. Milt’s vision was the polar opposite of the bosses’ vicious caricature of communists as isolated terrorists.

Milt’s analysis linked selfishness and individualism to revisionism, anti-communism, and lack of confidence in the masses. It advocated “serving the people” through a long-range outlook and a lifelong commitment to fighting for communism. It stressed the need for collectivity and for criticism and, especially, self-criticism.

“I believe that all the weaknesses displayed by party members are also exhibited by myself,” Milt said. “Even after 22 years of trying to help build a revolutionary movement, I believe that one of my main motives still is self-serving. That is, I do my work more to satisfy something within me than to serve the people. Nonetheless, I would say that the biggest reason that I have been able to do the little I still do…is that I really believe the working people will, eventually, defeat imperialism.”

With PL members worldwide doing communist work within mass organizations, it would be useful to study this speech in our Party clubs and study groups, and to spread its ideas to workers and students with whom we are involved in class struggles.

Road to Revolution IV

In 1982, after a year of discussion within PL and its base, Milt led the struggle to adopt “Road to Revolution IV” as the political line of the Party. RRIV analyzed the return to capitalism in the Soviet Union and China. It concluded that fighting for socialism as a preliminary stage before communism — a core principle of the international communist movement since Karl Marx — was fatally incorrect. This theory had led inexorably to a reversal of all the gains from the heroic struggles of millions of workers. RRIV, by contrast, called for winning the working class to fight directly for a communist society. This was a qualitative leap for PL and  for the international working class.

Great Revolutionary Leadership

Milt Rosen, through his leadership of the Progressive Labor Party, made ground breaking contributions to an international movement that began with the Communist Manifesto of 1848. Marx and Engels showed how capitalism exploits the working class — and how the capitalists will be destroyed by the workers they have brutalized. Lenin organized the communist party that led to the first seizure of power by the working class in the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Stalin consolidated workers’ power in the Soviet Union, and led the proletariat to smash the Nazis in World War II. In 1949, Mao advanced the concept of a people’s war with a mass base to overthrow the U.S.-backed fascist regime in the Chinese revolution.

As another link in this historical chain, Milt was the first to expose the weaknesses of socialism as a halfway house back to capitalism. Where Lenin, Stalin and Mao had viewed nationalism as a stepping stone toward communism, Milt was the architect of a new concept: one international working class with one international communist party, leading workers directly to communism. Milt clarified the contradiction between reform and revolution, and how communists must function as revolutionaries within the reform movement. And it was Milt who led the fight against the “cult of the individual,” showing how it prevented workers from becoming communist leaders and thinkers.

‘No Chairperson for Life’

Milt believed that the only way our Party could grow was to constantly train new leaders, especially black, Latino, and women comrades. Milt believed that fighting both racism and sexism was an integral part of the class struggle, and he ensured that much of the Party leadership would be in the hands of women. One of the Party’s early militant struggles grew out of its organization of mothers on welfare, who united with welfare workers to demand services for their children. As the Party immersed itself in class struggles in the garment districts of New York and Los Angeles, in the grape fields of the San Joaquin Valley, and in the Stella D’oro cookie factory in the Bronx, we learned that unity between men and women workers was essential to building our movement.

In all previous communist parties, the chairmen (and virtually all were men) stayed on as party leaders until they died, were too sick to continue, or were thrown out. Milt suggested to our Central Committee that this was a dangerous practice. Staying on as chair forever implies indispensability, and no individual communist can be indispensable. Therefore, in 1995, Milt stepped aside as Party chairman. He remained active in other ways, in meetings and fund-raising. “Communists don’t believe in retirement,” he said. “We contribute as long as we can.”

A Communist Forever

After stepping down as Party chair and before becoming too ill to function, Milt continued to make vital contributions to PL and the international movement. Among his most significant lessons was the need to understand the character of our historical period. Shortly after the events of 9/11, he spoke of how he’d underestimated the impact of the old communist movement’s demise, and how far it has set back the class struggle. This failing, he pointed out, could lead to one of two devastating errors: false optimism   or despair over the formidable difficulties in building a mass communist party. Milt’s self-criticism reminded us that the old movement’s defeat may have left us in a “dark night,” but the working class has lived and fought through dark nights before.

While the end of the old movement was the worst setback we’ve ever suffered, it isn’t the end of history. It’s not the end of class struggle. Our Party exists all over the world, and small though it may be, it is growing. With words and by example, Milt taught the vital importance of a long-term outlook. More clearly than most, he knew there were no shortcuts to revolution. He embraced it as the commitment of a lifetime.

More than anything, he taught us never to give up

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Palestine: Racist Israeli Rulers Steal Workers’ Land

AL-WALAJA, EAST JERUSALEM, June 8 — A group of PL’ers visited the village of al-Walaja guided by a village council member. The village is near the Har Giloh neighborhood and the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), and is home to 2,600 workers in Palestine. There is a separation wall between the village and its fields. There is a separate entry gate for Israeli settlers to al-Walaja and Beit Jallah. These settlers from Susya occasionally come to attack the village – to close the water line, poison the vegetation or burn trees. Across the apartheid-style “separation” wall, there is a new Israeli settlement called “Givat Yael”; this is the Zionist dream of “Greater Jerusalem”  — stealing land all over the place.

Until the wall was built in April 2010, al-Walaja was open to Jerusalem. It is still relatively easy to get to al-Walaja from the Knesset, but when the wall is completed, access will be permitted only through an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) checkpoint.

There is also a bridge connecting Giloh to the Israeli settlements, which can only be used by Jews. Last year, this was brought to court because it was built on private Palestinian land. Its racist exclusion of Palestinian vehicles could not be justified by “security” excuses.  The main reason it exists is to freeze Palestinian land development and push Palestinians away from their homes by making their lives intolerable.

One third of al-Walaja’s houses were demolished or heavily fined due to alleged “construction permit violations!” Half of the village is within Jerusalem’s municipal jurisdiction, while the other half is controlled by the IDF’s “Civil” Administration. The residents of al-Walaja have Palestinian IDs and thus no civil rights under Israeli law, despite the fact that they could prove that they lived on their lands since before the 1948 war. Al-walaja needs two schools, but in practice there is only one. The infrastructure is also terrible.

The only solution is the dictatorship of the proletariat worldwide. In a communist state, workers will receive according to need and work together to build a better future for everyone. The capitalist racist Israeli regime is colonial by definition: it enforces the exploitation and division of the working class, both Jews and Arabs. Therefore, it must be replaced by communist workers’ state

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.

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