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!


« Splits in U.S. ruling class shake EU, intensify global volatility | Main | Chicago’s capitalism, a health hazard »


Chicago, July 14—Screams and chants filled the air—along with bottles and debris—as workers from the South Shore neighborhood rebelled after the Chicago Police Department’s racist killing of Harith “Snoop” Augustus, a 37-year-old barber and father of a five-year-old daughter.
Harith was stopped by police for “exhibiting characteristics of an armed person.”  CPD body cam footage shows Harith talking to a cop on the sidewalk. According to a witness interviewed by the Chicago Sun-Times, they were arguing over whether Harith was selling loose cigarettes. As the dispute escalated, a swarm of cops descended upon Harith. One grabbed his wrist. When Harith pulled away, his holstered weapon was revealed. He began running into the street and stumbled as Chicago’s killer cops opened fire and shot him in the back.
It’s the same old capitalist story: Chicago police murdered Harith Augustus.
This is the second racist murder of a young Black worker and father at the hands of the CPD in as many months. On June 6, in the Bronzeville neighborhood, the cops cut down 24-year-old Maurice Granton, shooting him six times in the back. Both Bronzeville and South Shore are historically Black neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side. They are being rapidly gentrified amid development in nearby Jackson Park of the Obama Presidential Center, a three-building complex including a library and museum. The Obama Foundation has refused to sign a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) that would bar displacement of longtime community residents because of the development. Barack Obama himself has been silent about these latest racist murders in his adopted hometown.
The South Shore rebellion ignited almost immediately after Harith was murdered. Police swarmed the neighborhood to try to intimidate the working class. But the workers didn’t back down. In the resulting standoff,  the CPD attacked unarmed workers and activists with batons. The cops arrested four activists, primarily from the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), an organization founded shortly after the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012. Incubated at the University of Chicago and funded by the Ford Foundation, two elite institutions of the U.S. ruling class, BYP100 began as a research project to examine “the attitudes, resources, and culture of African American youth ages 15 to 25” in regard to civic engagement (blackyouthproject.com). The bosses’ nonprofit reform groups can never be revolutionary organizations dedicated to the liberation of the working class. Progressive Labor Party is the tool of the working class to liberate ourselves from the noose of capitalism.
After the arrests, BYP100 correctly called on everyone to march to the police station where the four people were being held, the same station where the cop who murdered Harith is based. About 70 of us immediately took the street and started to march. At two points along the way, after BYP leadership heard that their members had been freed, they stopped the march and “asked” the other marchers: “Should we keep going (to the station) or turn around?” Each time, workers disagreed with the idea that they stop. On the second occasion, an older Black worker from South Shore came to the front and said, “Y’all asked us to march and we followed you. Ain’t no turning back now, y’all can go back if you want.”
PLP immediately went up to the worker and said he was right and that we would be following his leadership moving forward. We called on the crowd to keep going and most folks came with us, including the BYP100 members. This was another example of why we must have confidence in workers to make the right decisions. In some instances, PLP will have the opportunity to lead our class; in others, we will follow their lead.
In the days following Harith’s murder, there have been more protests and demonstrations. On Sunday, July 15, PLP joined a demonstration, got out copies of CHALLENGE, and made contacts. The following day, more than 500 Black, Latin, white, and Asian workers and youth marched to protest both the murder of Augustus and the cops’ brutal attack on the demonstrators. It was called by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, a mass organization that some comrades are working in. The group’s response to the torture and murderous history of the racist CPD is to demand an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). They say their goal is to give the community “control” over the police and their contract—yet another dead-end reform.
Since 1948, Chicago has had a long history of “civilian oversight” and “police accountability” boards that have consistently failed to stop—or even properly investigate—racist police murders. An elected CPAC would mean more politicians—the capitalist bosses’ stooges—overseeing a ruling-class institution whose very purpose is to control and terrorize the working class.
At another rally that ended at the barbershop where Harith worked, a speaker called for the community to put its arms around Harith’s family and to contribute toward funeral expenses. Again, hundreds of CHALLENGE’s were distributed.
At the monthly police board meeting, Black police chief Eddie Johnson was confronted about Harith’s murder. There was also a demonstration at the home of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has tried to pacify workers by asking them to “lower their voices and listen to other voices” (abc7chicago.com, 7/17).  
But the anger among Black workers in Chicago goes far beyond this latest killing. They are rebelling against the devastation and dismantling of communities that are riddled by racist unemployment and racist school closings. There is only one solution for our class sisters and brothers: communist revolution!
Our Party must grow and become active in our communities as we fight to build a culture of multiracial working-class unity. We must denounce divisions based on nationalism, voting wards, gang lines, or race. We are fighting for an international working class that has yet to imagine its potential. We have a world to win!

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>