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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The wildcat underground: Workers & students defy school bosses and union

Oakland, CA—At least 75 out of 90 teachers, students, and community members defied both the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and the Oakland Education Association (OEA) union.
Oakland High School workers and students led the charge, demanding high wages, smaller class sizes, and more student services (The Hill, 12/11).
 They are fed up after years of stalled negotiations and shenanigans between OUSD and OEA. They called themselves the “Wildcat Underground,” wildcat being the name of the school mascot.
They held a rally in front of the campus to publicize the demands, and then marched to the school district headquarters in downtown Oakland, chanting loudly along the way. The administrators refused to come out to meet with them, or even make a comment.
After arriving at City Hall, where city leaders, including the liberal mayor Libby Schaaf, who hid in her office—actually closing her blinds—refused to address the fearless crowd. A group of students and staff went in to confront the city officials and were highly disappointed by their empty responses.
Progressive Labor Party salutes this working-class defiance of the bosses’ laws. Education workers must put the needs of working-class students at the forefront of the struggle.
Illegality, for who
Outside, John Sasaki, director of communications for OUSD, awkwardly fielded questions from the crowd. He started by repeating the threat that this was an illegal, non-union sanctioned action and that teachers could be punished and lose a day’s wages. Yes, the teachers’ strike was not organized by the union at all.
Teachers quickly responded that OUSD illegally breaks contracts all the time with oversized class sizes and not enough seats.
Teachers also reminded him that years of lost wages due to increasing cost of living makes one day of threatened punishment seem like nothing. He was ridiculed for being an overpaid goon for the district. Sasaki’s transition from a local Fox affiliated reporter to communications director for a continually exploitative District shows you something about what capitalism rewards; people who tow the bosses’ line over teachers who teach critical thinking and are prepared to disrupt the status quo.
Teaching our students by example
Teachers, students and community members told stories and sang before the whole group joined up again and concluded with a rally in front of the cowardly District office. One teacher spoke about the decision to leave the classroom: Teachers had not “abandoned” their students with this action; they were developing the curriculum that students needed to fight for a better future.
Shut it down
There was another amazing outcome of the wildcat walkout: at least two other high schools, Fremont High (in East Oakland) and Madison Park (6-12th grade) also caught wind and joined the action with Fremont sending at least two thirds of its 60 teachers. The loud chants could be heard as the Fremont High contingent joined us in front of City Hall. Community college teachers, who teach in the High School Programs, also joined. Personal-political connections between teachers at different schools helped make this happen.
Hopefully this unity will inspire community college teachers in the Peralta Federation of Teachers (PFT), especially part-time workers and students.
A multiracial fightback
Progressive Labor Party members who participated, observed that this multiracial, multigenerational, militant group reminded us of PL rallies over the years. It had the same outrage and refusal to be controlled by fear.
The ability to see through liberal politicians’ lies and see that the union was unwilling or unresponsive was the big takeaway. To see rank-and-file workers take control and successfully organize the shutdown of three schools, despite the bosses’ threats, shows a glimpse of what’s possible.
When teachers and students fight for their common needs, we see the small steps that prelude building a more collective world where teaching conditions are students’ learning conditions.
Many learned that despite fearing lack of preparedness, the working class was indeed ready to stand up and flex its collective muscle. Stay tuned.

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