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Progressive Labor Party (PLP) fights to destroy capitalism and the dictatorship of the capitalist class. We organize workers, soldiers and youth into a revolutionary movement for communism.

Only the dictatorship of the working class — communism — can provide a lasting solution to the disaster that is today’s world for billions of people. This cannot be done through electoral politics, but requires a revolutionary movement and a mass Red Army led by PLP.

Worldwide capitalism, in its relentless drive for profit, inevitably leads to war, fascism, poverty, disease, starvation and environmental destruction. The capitalist class, through its state power — governments, armies, police, schools and culture —  maintains a dictatorship over the world’s workers. The capitalist dictatorship supports, and is supported by, the anti-working-class ideologies of racism, sexism, nationalism, individualism and religion.

While the bosses and their mouthpieces claim “communism is dead,” capitalism is the real failure for billions worldwide. Capitalism returned to Russia and China because socialism retained many aspects of the profit system, like wages and privileges. Russia and China did not establish communism.

Communism means working collectively to build a worker-run society. We will abolish work for wages, money and profits. Everyone will share in society’s benefits and burdens. 

Communism means abolishing racism and the concept of “race.” Capitalism uses racism to super-exploit black, Latino, Asian and indigenous workers, and to divide the entire working class.

Communism means abolishing the special oppression of women — sexism — and divisive gender roles created by the class society.

Communism means abolishing nations and nationalism. One international working class, one world, one Party.

Communism means that the minds of millions of workers must become free from religion’s false promises, unscientific thinking and poisonous ideology. Communism will triumph when the masses of workers can use the science of dialectical materialism to understand, analyze and change the world to meet their needs and aspirations.

  Communism means the Party leads every aspect of society. For this to work, millions of workers — eventually everyone — must become communist organizers. Join Us!

 

 

 

 

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Thursday
Nov092017

Oakland Workers Fight Racist Rent Hikes 

OAKLAND, CA—Twice, Oakland workers and their children invaded the wealthy enclave of Piedmont to confront racist slumlord Steven Kalmbach at his $4 million mansion. This battle is centered in East Oakland, a predominately Black, immigrant and working-class area.
For weeks, up to a dozen Oakland families and friends fought back against Kalmbach who doubled rent, from $1200 to $2400/month. According to a notice, the tenants must pay the new rent or move. This is basically an eviction notice.
Capitalist investors salivate over “opportunities” to profit from the “housing stock” there. Police terrorizing of Black and Latin youth, and Immigrant Customs Enforcement activity work hand in glove with these investors. Progressive Labor Party is uniting with local antiracist fighters and building a base for communist politics.
Bosses Profit Off of Housing Crisis
Starting with the foreclosures in 2008, the racist removal of many families is now in full gear. Kalmbach is the Northern California Director of Pulte Homes; a parasitic investment company specializing in buying “distressed property” as foreclosures at fire-sale prices during the housing crisis of 2007-2009. Even at $1200/month, Kalmbach is making a profit on his investment especially since he does almost nothing to maintain the property.
But modest profit is not enough for these blood-sucking capitalists, as they seek to maximum profits off the “hot” Bay Are housing market. He had the audacity to say he needed the money to send his son to college and  make a return on his investments, and might “negotiate” smaller rent increases for individual families but eventually, he would raise the rents to “market rate.”
Workers’ Solidarity Leads the Way
The workers responded with collective actions and are involved in a local non-profit to plan the fightback. This organization’s direct actions recently succeeded in preventing foreclosures, evictions and rent increases for several working class families. Tactics varied from direct action picketing, to email/calling blasts, and coverage in local liberal media. There are Oakland and Statewide movements to pass laws for reforms in housing and rent control. Their demands include:

  • Providing relocation funds to tenants facing rent increases over 10 percent.
  • Prevent discrimination due to a tenant’s immigration status.
  • Make single-family homes covered by rent control.
  • Find socially conscious investors to set up a Land Trust to buy property and rent it as affordable housing or provide a path to home ownership.
  • Secure funding for housing for the homeless.

The bosses are attacking the livelihood of mainly immigrant workers and families. Many tenants have school-age kids, and work as housekeepers, bussers, landscapers and in other low-paying jobs. The battle for decent housing is related to the battle for better wages and benefits.
Their homes are mainly small two bedroom bungalows. Some families have been living there for ten years. Even at $1200/month these low-paid workers struggle to make ends meet. Therefore, the proposed rent increases are essentially an eviction notice and an invitation to join the ever-increasing number of displaced and homeless in the Bay Area. Twenty-five percent of Oakland’s homeless have jobs. Of course, this is all legal and approved by the capitalist government: “Single-family homes aren’t covered by rent control because they are exempt under Costa-Hawkins, a state law passed in 1995 that limits local rent control efforts” (East Bay Times, 9/29). As the fight continues, it is important to show whose interests the government protects.

No Safety Under Capitalism
At a debrief, organizers and lawyers encouraged people to get involved in legislative campaigns. A PLP member active in this fightback said it was “outrageous that one man in a $4 million mansion could dictate the lives of dozens of working-class family members, giving them the choices of poverty or homelessness. As long as homes could be owned for private profit that we will never have justice, equality, or a secure place to live.”
Kalmbach sees “housing stock” as “an investment opportunity”.  PLP sees that these houses are full of living; breathing families who need decent shelter and have the capacity to organize and fight back. We will continue to fight and learn to more confidently promote a communist future for the working class.

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