The civil war in Syria has U.S. rulers in a quandry. They are targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in line with their perpetual need to secure Middle East oil and gas. Only by limiting arch rival China’s access to energy for its growing economy and military can the U.S. bosses maintain their imperialist advantage.
At the same time, U.S. capitalists are concerned that a Syrian invasion could repeat their fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan — especially in light of U.S. workers’ skepticism and lack of support for the next war for profit. Zbigniew Brzezinski, a national security advisor to Jimmy Carter and other U.S. presidents, told Bloomberg Television that military involvement in Syria would risk “a large-scale disaster for the United States.”
Last August Obama warned Syria it would be crossing “a red line” and inviting U.S. intervention if it used chemical weapons. Amid recent reports that both Assad and his Syrian opposition may have used poison gas (New York Times, 5/6/13), Obama must choose between unpopular military force and a loss of credibility. A lead front-page Times article (5/5/13) said Obama was “reluctant to become entangled in another war in the Middle East, and, well aware that most Americans oppose military action, the president has deliberately not explained what his ‘red line’ actually is.”
CHICAGO, March 27 — PLP marched with teachers, students, parents and workers to stop school closings and the layoffs of 2,000 teachers. We brought a message that only communism can give our children a real future.
In late March, the Chicago School Board announced that 61 schools would be closed before the opening of the 2013-2014 school year. Most are located in black and Latino neighborhoods of the South and West sides of the city. These racist attacks will hurt black, white, Asian and Latino working-class students. When confronted about these racist closings, the Chicago school CEO stated: “It’s not racist to close schools in those neighborhoods.”
AL-ARAQEEB, April 20 — A group of Jewish women and a PL’er met with the women of this “unrecognized” Bedouin village to show solidarity with their struggle against the government’s moves to uproot them and steal their land. Most outsiders talk only with the men here, but we needed to hear the village’s women as well. The meeting was initiated by the “Unrecognized Village Team” of the broad left Tarabut movement.
Last week, “the only democracy in the Middle East,” as Israel likes to present itself, demolished Al-Araqeeb for the 49th time since the summer of 2010. This vicious policy exposes Israel as a racist state that serves Israeli and U.S. capitalists, never the working-class residents of Israel-Palestine.
WASHINGTON, DC, April 20 — More than two hundred people gathered at Howard University to build the fight against the racist U.S. injustice system, which jails black and Latino people far out of proportion to their numbers in the population.
Organized by the Howard University chapter of Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI), the two-day national conference gathered people from five other campus chapters. Students and friends from the community joined to learn, debate, and plan actions against the abusive, racist prison system. Progressive Labor Party members distributed more than 200 CHALLENGEs and called on people to join the May Day march in New York.
“Racist cops, you can’t hide. We charge you with Genocide!”
“Black cop, White cop, all the same. Racist terror is the name of the game.”
As PLP marched through Flatbush, Brooklyn, these chants filled the air. They expressed opinions held by many in this working-class, black neighborhood, which is not new to police murder. But every police murder leaves a fresh wound on the community, and these wounds never heal. The murder of Shantel Davis had roused the community. The recent murder of Kimani Gray pushed some into open rebellion. PLP was there on both occasions to give direction to the anger.
Our march was among the many marches we’ve had in Flatbush over the past eight months. But this march was about more than ending police brutality. It was about smashing this racist system. It was about creating a new world, a world where young people aren’t shot down in the streets, a world worth fighting for.
The working class needs a revolutionary communist leadership. Members and friends of PLP participated in a May Day demonstration. We distributed 250 copies of DEFI (Creole edition of CHALLENGE), calling for workers in the factories, fields and public sector, and students to build a mass PLP and end the misery of capitalism and imperialism.
We passed out 600 flers exposing the role of union hacks, reformists pseudo leftists in trying to deliver workers and their unions in Haiti to the local and international bosses. Increasingly, PLP is giving revolutionary leadership to the workers’ struggles here.
PL’ers and friends marched carrying red flags and singing the “Internationale” and “Bella Ciao,” while groups of electricians, teachers, and students who were marching close to us picked up our slogans and chants.
Seeing the energy of our small but daring group, a couple of youth joined our contingent and took one of our banners. We called on workers to get organized in a non-electoral party to fight for a communist revolution to destroy capitalism and its crises and imperialist wars.
The parade of the trade unions, which mostly control production industries, was at 8 am. Around 10 am was the march of the thirty thousand members of dissident unions, which mostly represent teachers, electricians, university workers and service industries. In total we distributed ten thousand flyers amongst the two contingents.
Thousands of workers, including PL’ers and friends, marched here with red flags and banners that read “Workers of the World Unite!” to commemorate May Day. We stood in defiance of the increasingly fascist Israeli ruling class and its virulent anti-communist rhetoric. Slogans called for a revolution and the overthrow of the government. Thousands called for social justice, freedom, and equality. While the leadership of this march was, as in the last few decades, in the hands of pseudo leftists, this year huge masses of workers came to celebrate the ideas of May Day.
“It comes down to: who do I trust with my life? It sure isn’t the capitalists. I trust you all.”
This closing sentiment from a young comrade at our annual May Day dinner received a round of applause.
As everyone clapped in the colorfully decorated hall, one could see why he would put his life in our hands. The room was filled with women and men workers of all backgrounds, united in a common goal. It was an inspiring sight!
The love and camaraderie people showed for one another made it obvious that we should trust each other and trust the working class as a whole to create a better society for everyone.