Progressive Labor Party on Race & Racism



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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With Student & Parent solidarity, Teachers STRIKE, Defy BOSSES

WEST VIRGINIA, March 7—33,000 education workers shut down schools in a two-week strike, shaking the entire state, and inspiring workers nationwide to gear up for a similar fight.
In a period when strikes are at a historic low, and class anger has been steered towards the bosses’ Democratic Party or participating in passive marches, the education workers in West Virginia flexed their workers’ power and set an example for their 270,00 students.
This mainly-women workers’ rebellion have not only combatted the state politicians and defied their laws (striking and collective bargaining is illegal in the state), but they have also defied their union misleaders who tried to put a quick end to the strike.
The state conceded to a five-percent raise and a hold on raising health insurance costs.
Workers, students, parents, and communists in Progressive Labor Party should use this momentum to build multiracial unity. We can point to the student-parent-teacher unity as a germ of collectivity. We can win people to the communist idea that the working class doesn’t need the bosses, union leaders, or politicians to run society.
Poor working conditions mainly hurt students
Students stood in solidarity with education workers and organized under the hashtag #SecureOurFuture. Many bus drivers refused to go to work, forcing schools to cancel classes. State Senate President Mitch Carmichael tried to shame workers when she said teachers were “leaving the students out in the cold.”
One striker said, “There is nothing that we don’t do for our kids here if they need. So, to insult us that we don’t care about our kids is way over the line.”
The working conditions in schools are students’ learning conditions. By rebelling against the bosses’ state, workers are teaching students a profound lesson: accepting capitalism’s retched conditions cannot be an option. We must fight back.
While the demands and outlook for the strike are for basic reforms, the militancy and leadership among the strikers show us the potential the working class has in truly becoming a revolutionary force in the class struggle.
Despicable conditions for mainly white workers
West Virginia is a “Right to Work” state, which means workers can refuse to be a union member. The state, 93 percent white, has one of the lowest standards of living in the country. At a starting salary of $31,000/year, education workers here are among the lowest paid. After deducting health care costs, many teachers make less than $15 an hour. “I worry constantly about how I am going to afford my medicine,” said a teacher with 20 years on the job. This goes to show that white workers are no exception to the rule of exploitation. It is in our class interest to fight with multiracial unity.
Rank and file defies union misleaders
Shortly after the strike began, union misleaders from the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) tried to stop the strike based on a “promise” by Governor Jim Justice. The workers weren’t having it.
“Initially we thought we won…And then the union leaders…talked to us and we realized really quickly we did not win anything. The crowd turned very angry very quickly,” one teacher said. Rank and file members, defied their union leaders and continued to strike.
Learning from miners
West Virginia was the site of the largest labor uprising in U.S. history— the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921. Some 1,000 armed miners battled strikebreakers and private cops. The president sent in the army. Class struggle is nothing new to workers here.  
One teacher said, “The union wars, they originated [here] in…Mingo County. We believe we’re following in their footsteps.”
The Coal Wars saw thousands of coal miners engage in armed struggle against federal troops and strike breakers just to win a union. They wore red neckerchiefs, the original “red necks.”
Clearly, winning a union is not enough, important as that may be. As long as the bosses hold power, no victory is ever secure. It will take communist revolution to end the profit system that thrives on war, racism, and poverty.
Strike fever
It appears that “Strike Fever” may be spreading. 1,400 Frontier Communications workers, members of the Communications Workers of America, went on strike on March 4 in West Virginia and Virginia, after ten months of failed contract negotiations. Since Frontier acquired Verizon’s landlines in West Virginia in 2010, the company has cut over 500 jobs.
Teachers in New Jersey and Oklahoma have authorized their union leader to call a strike and have begun making plans. Arizona and Kentucky teachers are also feeling the urge to fight back. The bosses had hoped to keep workers focused on elections in November. A multiracial workers’ strike across the country would strike fear into the hearts of this imperialist ruling class.  
It is true that many striking workers are thinking about raising their standard of living, not about the potential political might of workers. However, this strike does show the potential of our class to become leaders. Workers will rise to the occasion. With an infusion of communist politics into the struggle, these rebellions can become schools for communism that win more workers to smash capitalism.
Workers will strike again, and every PLP area should be ready to fight in solidarity. We can help connect the dots on the need to build the revolutionary PLP.


Interview with Parent Reveals Worker-Parent Unity

The following report is from an interview on March 5 with a West Virginia parent involved in the strike.
Thousands of the state’s striking teachers who massed at the State Capitol today were on line for three hours trying to get into the building and ringed it with a human chain. By noon nearly 9,000 had managed to rally inside. Some stayed over Sunday night to be able to enter today. They are demanding a living wage and fully paid health insurance. A special education teacher with a Master’s Degree and 15 years seniority is paid $45,000 a year. Meanwhile, the state legislators draw the seventh highest salary of all state legislators in the country.
In Cabell County, whose teachers were the first to go out and have been on strike for eight days, over 50 percent of children live below the poverty line. Middle School teachers have traditionally organized food and clothing pantries, and on Fridays send those kids home with ready-to-heat meals to eat on weekends. Many of them are served breakfasts at the start of the school day. Meanwhile, teachers gather leftover untouched meals in the backpacks of low-income students. Teachers deliver meals on school bus routes year round.
In Cabell County, teachers spread out on street corners with signs to give parents and other teachers the latest news on the progress of the walkout. Initially the strike started in this county when the local communications director sent messages via phone to teachers and parents about a “work stoppage,” alerting them that the schools would be closed until the government agreed to the teachers’ demands.
Teachers, parents, and children are all struggling here, where a large number of schools are in rural areas. This is the first time they all have experienced such a strike.

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