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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On Strike! Fight segregated learning conditions

CHICAGO, February 18—Working-class educators, students, and parents were able to secure a hard-fought reform victory from the racist bosses today. After nine days on the picket lines, teachers from Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS) and their employer have agreed on a tentative contract for the network that limits class sizes, provides protections to counselors and social workers, and guarantees teacher raises.
The CICS struggle was the second charter school strike in the city within three months, and is part of a growing anti-racist education movement taking place across the U.S. Comrades from Progressive Labor Party (PLP) were honored to be a part of this struggle, offering daily support and communist politics on the front lines. In the classrooms and in the streets, our Party remains eager to keep fanning the flames of working-class fightback and international revolution.
Segregated learning conditions
On February 5, nearly 200 workers from four different CICS schools, responsible for educating over 2,000 students, began their strike. Their decision to strike was motivated by the need to fight back against the racist learning and working environments inside their schools. According to the CICS website, some 96 percent are non-white  (chicagointl.org, 2/19). Because of the inherent racism of capitalism, these overwhelmingly Black and Latin students chronically lack resources such as up-to-date textbooks, internet and computers, proper heat in the classrooms, and support staff such as paraprofessionals.
In Chicago, one of the most segregated cities in the world, these striking teachers were able to organize lively multiracial, multi-generational picket lines that incorporated music, dancing, chants, parents, and community members. Even as temperatures on the picket dropped below freezing most mornings, morale was high. Working-class solidarity was alive in the form of donated food and coffee, hand warmers, and honks of support from workers driving nearby.
Beyond the school campuses, the racist education bosses were also targeted in their luxurious downtown corporate offices, as the strikers and their supporters found more ways to apply pressure. On February 13, they held a sit-in and shut down the lobby and elevators at 1 Wacker Drive, a large office tower housing the offices of the CICS Board President and Treasurer, for two hours. The next day, racist Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office was targeted during a visit to City Hall.
Racist police bully students & strikers
Bringing the fight on multiple fronts and enlisting a broad base of working-class support throughout the city were no doubt critical in winning the strike. PLP comrades stressed the role of the kkkops in protecting the interests of the capitalist bosses.
On one of the first days of the strike, the police were called in to threaten picketers at a south side school where students and teachers are mostly Black, but not at the more diverse, and less integrated, north side schools.  Many strikers correctly interpreted this as a racist attack.  The cops went so far as to tell the picketers they couldn’t talk to the parents on the public sidewalk and threatened to arrest them.
What’s more, the cops escorted scabs across the picket line. The police play the role of paid racist goons on the side of the capitalists. Although some of the strikers disagreed with this communist outlook at the time, it provided an opportunity to sharpen the discussion on class struggle in later interactions.
Charter schools: racist capitalist scheme
Charter holders in Illinois are required to be not-for-profit organizations.But they take millions in public taxes (money that came from workers) for management fees.CICS has a charter for 14 schools. But they don’t manage any of them. Instead, they subcontract to for-profit management companies that are actually their wholly-owned subsidiaries.Then these companies take more money for managing the schools.
CICS pays their CEO, Elizabeth Shaw, over $200,000 per year to not run 14 schools. CICS has $36 million in on hand reserves, but prior to the strike had refused to spend any of it to improve the schools. At the same time, CICS raised its management fees by $1.2 million in this year alone (ctulocal1.org, 2/14).  This money alone is enough to meet the workers’ contract proposals.
Charter schools for many years have been touted as an alternative to the failing public education system under capitalism. But in reality, they represent a way for the bosses to increase inequality for working-class students and to undermine unionized teacher workforces in the public schools. Many charter schools act as fascist prison-like facilities for their mostly Black and Latin student populations, pushing intense discipline in an effort to prepare working-class youth for war.
In the end, they end up failing the majority of working-class youth, like their public school counterparts. Education under capitalism will always serve the interests of the bosses, serving to indoctrinate workers on the “virtues” of the system instead of providing the tools for liberation.
Learn to fight, fight to learn
Within the past year, working-class teachers in the U.S. have been teaching valuable lessons about the class struggle against the racist and sexist bosses. From West Virginia to California, to Arizona and Illinois, the movement against racist attacks in education has been growing in size and intensity as more workers grasp their potential class power.
PLP will continue to support and provide leadership to these struggles whenever possible. Beyond just a “fair” contract or a moratorium on charter schools, we will advocate communist revolution and a worker-run collective society as the only means to ensure an education worthy of unlocking the true potential of our children.

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