For the working class of West Africa, Ebola is a crisis. But for U.S. imperialists, the viral outbreak is an opportunity — to extend their military influence, expand their domestic war powers, and fuel the racism that exploits and divides workers throughout the world. U.S. rulers are using Ebola to accelerate their move to fascism, the stage of capitalism where the veneer of social democracy gives way to the naked reality of the bosses’ dictatorship. Only by imposing fascism on the working class can the rulers militarize the U.S. and prepare for the global war to come. Only through fascism can they hope to stave off the challenge of imperialist rivals like China and Russia.
Brooklyn, NY, October 10 — Over 200 high school students, parents, teachers and community members filled the cafeteria at John Jay Campus in Park Slope tonight for a town hall against racism. Student after student spoke of the daily attacks they faced, mainly from the New York Police Department and school safety officers. The event was sparked by the latest “crime” of Hanging-Out-While-Black-or-Latin on a street corner in this gentrified, mostly white neighborhood.
NEW YORK CITY, October 16 — Fighting back against the fascist jailing of 39 young people arrested in a violent police raid on the Grant and Manhattanville public housing projects last June, over a 100 protesters, including 60 Columbia students and about 40 others, showed up at the court hearing today. There were so many, the hearing was shifted to a smaller courtroom at the last minute, just to keep them out!
STATEN ISLAND, NY, October 17 — “You haven’t answered any of my questions!” an angry nurse shouted at Mary Bassett, the New York City’s health commissioner. The subject was Ebola — and the surge of racism that is scapegoating immigrants for the failures of capitalism in containing this disease.
At an overflow town hall meeting in “Little Liberia,” home to thousands of residents from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, many spoke of how teachers were sending their children home merely for being West African, or refusing to ride in the same elevator. Some local healthcare professionals have called for an indefinite ban on flights from the three affected countries, or a quarantine of the entire neighborhood!
As soon as I got off the plane from Los Angeles in St. Louis for the Ferguson October weekend, I was picked up and taken straight to the demonstration against racism. Over one hundred were marching and we in Progressive Labor Party (PLP) were there with a large bullhorn, a vivid banner and militant chants.
Chants like “Who do we want? Darren Wilson. How do we want him? Dead. They left Mike Brown dead” were yelled.
NEW YORK CITY, October 21 — “They say cut back, we say fight back!” “What do we want? A raise! When do we want it? Now!”
Workers of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) of City University of New York (CUNY) packed the Board of Trustees meeting on September 29. To enter, they first had to be stopped-and-frisked by campus police, a policy too familiar for black and Latin students. Chairman Benno Schmidt, known nationally for his defense of “freedom of expression,” threatened the protesters with being removed by campus cops if they continue to speak out. The meeting proceeded. Fifteen minutes later, PSC president Barbara Bowen signaled for the 100 protesters to chant and walk out. They rejoined 800 protesters outside the building.
MEXICO, September 30 — Students from different colleges that are part of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico went on an indefinite strike and led a large demonstration of more than 60,000 students and workers from several universities to support this struggle. On September 24, the former General Director of the IPN had imposed new study guides and regulations, which not only undermine IPN student rights but also open the door to make higher education more technocratic and reduce the quality of education at the intermediate level. In addition, these changes not only affect students but also teachers and workers in general.
Fifty students, professors and community members rallied on October 20 at City College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY), to demand that the Morales-Shakur Center be returned to students who had it stolen from them. One year ago today, without notice, university police seized the Center — which for years had been an important meeting space for students who fight back — as well as thousands of dollars worth of personal property, which still hasn’t been returned.
DETROIT, MI, October 10 — Today, Wayne County, which includes the city of Detroit, announced it would initiate tax foreclosures on almost 80,000 homes in the city. This follows a racist massive water shut-off for tens of thousands of residents which began last summer and continues today as a judge has lifted a moratorium on the shut-offs despite international outcry from human rights organizations.
Book review of Blood Lies: The Evidence That Every Accusation Against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union in Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands Is False, by Grover Furr
Since the days of Karl Marx, capitalists everywhere have tried to convince the global working class that communism is our enemy. For those who refuse to swallow that fiction, they tell us it’s impossible — because human nature is inherently selfish.