The devastation and chaos workers face in Ukraine as a result of the ongoing fight between pro-Russian forces and Ukranian troops reveal what the bosses have in store for the international working class. While the fighting is confined for the moment to eastern Ukraine, increasingly hostile rhetoric by both sides and their imperialist financiers, the U.S. and Russia, threatens armed combat throughout Eastern Europe and beyond.
Cumberland COUNTY, NJ — For a lesson in Racism 101, you don’t need to take a college course. You can just take a trip to Cumberland County in southwestern New Jersey. In the wake of workers’ outrage to the non-indictments for police who murdered Michael Brown and Eric Garner, videos went viral of a police murder last December of Jerame Reid in Bridgeton, New Jersey.
Washington DC, March 14 — Over 40 public health workers and students attended an anti-racist gathering today. It was led by three Black workers who addressed disparities in mental health and solitary confinement for incarcerated Black and Latin workers, racism and police terror, and the upcoming arbitration hearing in June on the DC transit system’s racist background checks.
LOS ANGELES, February 26 — Fifteen thousand teachers and supporters rallied in front of Los Angeles City Hall today to demand smaller class sizes, full staffing in the schools, and salary increases. Class sizes in regular subjects are now around 42 students per class, up to 55 in some specialty subjects.
Many schools have nurses only two days a week, and counselors are asked to take up to 500 students each semester. Working-class Black and Latin parents in segregated schools are unable to supplement the school budget, and students are hit even harder. Extremely segregated schools and decades of racist policies against Black and Latin schools and communities, have resulted in large disparities in education and an excuse for the bosses to continue super-exploiting the Black and Latin working class.
Most working people have heard of Hitler and Nazi Germany, and the concentration camps like Auschwitz, which occurred under fascist rule in Germany. Workers in the United States will have definitely heard of the Ku Klux Klan’s reign of terror, and witnessed the police terror unleashed on Black workers in Ferguson, Missouri and in cities across the U.S. Klan and police terror, like the Nazis, reveal capitalism’s true face, with the mask of capitalist democracy removed. “Fascism,” a word that is used often and rarely defined, is a vital concept that enables us to understand capitalist rule in its most racist, violent form.
Tel-Aviv, March 17 — Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister since 2009 (and before that between 1996 and 1999) was re-elected once more to the office of prime minister. This open fascist servant of the U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adleson won the election by warning his voters that “Arabs are going to the polls en-masse.” This racist ploy drove many racist Israelis to vote for him rather than the competing right-wingers, bringing him a victory against the Zionist Camp —the so-called “left-wing” party based on the old Labor party and elements of the now-defunct Kadima list.
NEW YORK CITY — Never let it be said that the liberal politicians and their appointees don’t serve the needs of the ruling capitalist class as well as or better than the conservatives. William Bratton, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s choice for police commissioner, is a perfect example of this.
Under capitalism, we are taught that the job of the police is to protect “society” from serious crime. But because capitalism is based on the exploitation of a large group of workers by a tiny minority of bankers and bosses, the rulers need a group of armed cops to help them enforce their aims. The real role of the police is to protect private property and serve the capitalists. This includes using terror to intimidate sections of society which are dissatisfied with the status quo of a few billionaires dictating to the rest of us.
NEW YORK CITY, March 18 — I joined several comrades at the City Univeristy of New York Graduate Center to hear a professor from Mexico. He was representing the parents of the 43 students from a rural teachers college who were kidnapped in September 2014 and never found. Since tens of thousands of disappeared people have turned up dead in the last decade, the parents dread they will never see their children again.
The teachers college, in the town of Ayotzinapa in the state of Guerrero, admits students from poor backgrounds, trains them to become teachers, and sends them back to their community to educate others. The college views teachers not simply as transmitters of knowledge, but as agents of social change who will join with workers and peasants to demand a better life. When they were kidnapped, these students had been rallying for more funding for their college, just as students and faculty at CUNY are demanding more funding now.
NEW YORK CITY, March 17 — Monday night, my friends and I had a dinner and discussion about sexism. This is part of a series of study groups for college students leading up to May Day. We began by looking at clippings from ruling-class newspapers. One “news” article was about pop-star Taylor Swift insuring her legs for $40 million. Another was about the systemic starvation of women in India, a country where kids are shorter, smaller, and more likely to be malnourished than the world’s poorest countries: Congo, Zimbabwe, or Somalia.
We then watched clips of PLP’s “The Fight against Sexism” educational documentary. We learned that sexism is the super-exploitation of women and the gendered division by the bosses for profit. It also includes the brutal ideas and practices that justify this oppression. Some target culture and religion as the origin. We agreed that human nature is not the cause of sexism.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent speech to Congress and the drama surrounding it highlight geopolitical shifts and internal divisions dogging U.S. imperialists. As U.S. foes Iran, Russia, and China get stronger, the two main factions of the U.S. capitalist class are competing to assert control over U.S. foreign policies concerning oil and nuclear-rich Iran.