College conference breaks borders
Thursday, November 22, 2018 at 11:00AM
Challenge_DesafĂ­o

NEW JERSEY, November 10—More than 65 workers, students, teachers, and community members from Puerto Rico, New York and New Jersey convened at this year’s Progressive Labor Party college conference about internationalism and smashing borders. Those in attendance represented immigrants from West Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Black, Latin, Asian and white students and workers born in the U.S. Along with the help of more experienced communist fighters, a new and younger group of working class organizers led this conference and committed to spreading the Party’s ideas as we organize for communist revolution (see letters).
Break down concepts, break down borders
A new comrade opened the conference, highlighting the importance of breaking down the meaning and power of concepts like working class internationalism, exploitation and fascism for newer people being introduced to communism and PLP. There are no borders for capitalists as they span the globe fighting wars and looking to exploit workers and raw materials. Meanwhile, workers are held  prisoners by these same borders, and used as cheap labor and cannon fodder in the bosses’ wars. This conference focused on building multiracial unity to smash all borders.
The panels that followed linked historical, communist-led working class fightback against capitalist oppression to three modern day struggles where PLP is active. The conditions arising from imperialist intervention in Yemen and Palestine have sharpened the class consciousness of community college students in New York fighting against racism on their campus. Similarly, the imperialist interventions in Latin America and the Caribbean have left working class people in Puerto Rico with a crumbling infrastructure and massive insecurity. This has produced the forced migration of undocumented workers to places like New Jersey, where they are forced to drive without a license and are in constant danger of state violence.
Same enemy, Same fight!
Given the chance to choose internationalism or nationalism through the panel presentations and the small workshop discussions, many in attendance were especially driven by the connections made between the students from the Middle East and the workers from Puerto Rico. One of the students from Yemen described the horrible details of famine that forced her family to migrate, while another student from Palestine described concentration camp-like conditions in that nation. One worker from Puerto Rico was involved in PLP’s October Brigade, a summer project meant to initiate a new wave of international communist fight back. This worker warned that the government slogan of “Puerto Rico will rise again” was a just a message to capitalist investors. The government has no interest in investing in the workers of Puerto Rican so they can live and thrive again. He also explained how many workers and children have been drinking contaminated water, died from lack of medical access and at the hands of the state by isolation and suicide.
After the conference, many who have not yet joined PLP expressed how inspired they were by our young leadership and the commitment to put our revolutionary Communist Party in the hands of the world’s working class by fighting for an internationalist outlook. They shared the desire to go back and continue organizing with the communist fighters and friends in the Progressive Labor Party—learning together in both study groups and local organized struggles.

Article originally appeared on The Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party (http://www.plp.org/).
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