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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LOS ANGELES, CA, January 23—Tens of thousands of education workers led a strike for six school days for the learning conditions students deserve. They called for reduced class sizes, more school personnel such as librarians, nurses, and counselors, to create “community schools” which serve the communities who have the most need, regulate charter schools, decrease testing, and pay teachers a living wage. Parents, students, and community members showed solidarity by joining picket lines, rallies and actions across Los Angeles for six working days.
As communists, we understand that class struggle is a critical aspect to winning the working class to have confidence that we can overthrow capitalism and replace it with a society that is run for and by the workers. With this in mind, we met to plan our involvement in this massive strike.
Progressive Labor Party here supported the picket lines at 10 different schools around the City. We distributed a PLP leaflet and CHALLENGE. We led militant chants and some scab confrontations. We also made dozens of new contacts with school workers and supporters. Strikers appreciated the contributions we made to the struggle.
No one crosses the picket line
At one high school where a PL’er works, a strike committee was formed to prepare for the upcoming actions. The teachers on this committee were able to get many teachers, students, parents, and friends to rally. They received support from the community. During the week, teachers worked together to come up with plans on how to prevent scabs from crossing their picket line and how to keep their unity in the struggle.
Initially, the situation was very tense. Some teachers were unsure if they were willing to trust other teacher leaders. But, things quickly changed.
Two teachers placed their cars in front of the faculty parking lot to stop scabs from entering the building. They refused to move their cars unless they knew the staff coming into the parking lot. When the school administrators and security guards realized the striking teachers were not going to back down, they called the Los Angeles Police Department. These strikers still did not back down. They received citations for illegal parking. This later turned into a fundraiser to support those who received the fine.
Class struggle builds trust and unity
After this militant action, there was a stronger sense of trust and unity among the teachers and staff. One teacher who had previously sent out an angry, anti-communist email later sent an email encouraging the staff on strike to remain unified
and work together.In another incident, a scab tried to get into the parking lot and six teachers held the gate shut while security tried to open the gate. These teachers screamed “Scab Go Home!”
Actions like these continued for three days. On day four, three out of four scabs did not show up for the rest of the week, for fear of the strikers. This was a small victory at this school because it demonstrated the power of working-class unity.
Schools out, learning still in session
Not all teachers were yet won to taking such militant action, but they still found ways to contribute by talking to the parents dropping their kids off. They explained to parents and students about the teachers strike. Out of 1,300 enrolled students, less than 100 showed up to school by the end of the week. Some students came to school but were later picked up by their parents. Instead, many parents have supported the teachers and have sent their kids to join us in the morning rally.
Dozens of teachers have come to respect the leadership of this PL’er after he’s led more militant action on the picket line. No matter how sharp the class struggle becomes, only by leading with communist politics will we be able to grow and sustain growth. This strike has given us all the opportunity to deepen relationships while also discussing our ideas with hopes of bringing one or two teachers closer to Party.  
The inherent racism of LAUSD
That is just one school, but similar fights are happening throughout the city. Education workers are talking about how Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) refusal to spend their $2 billion reserve is callous. We moved the politics to the left by calling out the racist nature of these “austerity measures.” Although the LAUSD budget is the same for all schools, clearly the conditions within schools are not the same. Wealthy neighborhoods can fundraise for the needed personnel, but poor schools in Black and Latin neighborhoods are forced to accept LAUSD’s horrible policies, which include 42 students a class and a nurse only one day out of the week.
Education workers all around the city have wanted better learning conditions for years and are now saying they are ready to hold the picket lines for as long as necessary. When workers organize and fight back together, they get a taste of the power they have when they unite and fight back. We don’t have to accept the way things are. We can fight and we can win!
Mass support for strike
In fact, after multiple marches throughout the city of over 50,000 people each, the entire city is talking about the problems of this education system. According to a survey conducted by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at LMU, over 80 percent of Los Angeles County supports the teachers’ strike (My News LA 01/19). Indeed, support has come in from all over the world. This shows us the need the working class has for examples of fight back and mass militant action against the ruling class and their racist education system.
After six days of striking, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union presented its first contract to education workers. “The deal includes caps on class sizes, and hiring full-time nurses for every school…a librarian for every middle and high school in the district by the fall of 2020…Next year a committee will develop a plan to reduce the number of assessments by half. The pro-charter school board agreed to vote on a resolution calling on the state to cap the number of charter schools. Teachers also won a 6 percent pay raise, but that was the same increase proposed by the district before the strike” (New York Times, 1/22).
As the LA strikers prepare to go back to school, education workers in Denver, Colorado and Oakland, Calif. are preparing to vote to strike.
More fights ahead
This strike forced the hand of LAUSD to provide some of what education workers were demanding (see full analysis of strike next issue). These hard-won gains by the education workers do not come close to providing what our working-class students deserve. The gains themselves expose the limits of capitalism: this system can never fulfill our demands for optimal learning conditions. If the strikers take what they learned from this class struggle to organize for the fightback ahead, this indeed is a victory!
The strikers feel empowered in this moment. It is our job now to take the contacts we made during the strike and strengthen the communist side of these new relationships.
The Progressive Labor Party will remain on the front lines of these struggles. We know the working class, as the producer of society, holds more power than the leeches of society, the ruling class. By fighting together, we will eventually abolish capitalism and build a youth- and worker-run society, communism.

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