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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College forum: when will CUNY go on strike?

During a forum discussion about the recent outbreak of teacher strikes, a Bronx college student asked “Yes, but when will we go on strike here at CUNY?” Whether raising tuition every year or paying poverty wages to part-time instructors, these attacks are racist as they target students and faculty that are disproportionally Black and Latin. But militant, multi-racial, student & faculty fightback is growing on a number of campuses. We are organizing forums, conferences, rallies and “grade-ins.”
 Whether organizing to oppose tuition hikes or demanding better pay for part-time instructors, Progressive Labor Party (PLP) members are there, fighting hard now but also for a better future. And that future is communism where the workers and students fighting back today run all of society in the future.
CUNY runs on part-time (adjunct) labor. More than 60 percent of the courses are taught by adjuncts, many of whom make approximately $3,000 a course. An adjunct teaching the maximum number of courses (which is never guaranteed) at this salary makes a yearly salary of around $33,000 per year. This is a poverty wage in New York City! This two-tier system of full-time and part-time faculty has allowed CUNY to get away with running its 20 campuses on the backs of low wage faculty, who are disproportionately Black and Latin.
But let’s be clear, even though the current fight is to improve the wages of part-time faculty, we can never forget that the primary targets of racist attacks at CUNY are the students. The majority of students at CUNY are Black and Latin and the racist attacks on them come from every direction. Their instructors struggle with poverty wages and they are overworked, often having to travel long distances between campuses. Student’s books become more and more expensive and the buildings where they attend classes crumble around them, and their tuition keeps going up.
To build unity between faculty and students, we have invited students to our union meetings. This has strengthened the connections between faculty and students revealing, for example, that many of our students and some adjuncts are Uber drivers. Students see the adjunct struggle as part of their struggle and they are also the most willing and ready to fight.
In a significant development, more than eight campuses passed resolutions last spring endorsing militant actions, including a strike. However, due to the dead-end politics of the union leadership, the 25,000 members of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) union are not prepared for a strike. Instead of seriously planning for a strike the union leaders plan endless, useless trips to the state capitol to lobby politicians or spend time and energy figuring out how to shame the CUNY Board of Trustees. As if any of the CEOs who launch these racist attacks on our faculty and students have any shame!
Nonetheless, while we realize that we may not be in a position to just “go on strike” we know we have to try to expand the limits of what’s possible at CUNY. That means getting to know people, joining committees, and getting people to trust one another, all the while organizing collective actions. Many rank and filers and PLP members are involved in this kind of work. At a recent conference led by a rank and file group, over 100 people attended to share experiences about the strike wave and make plans for future actions. One PLP comrade spoke about the “traveling strike panel” where students go from class to class talking about a strike. Another spoke about the need to make the fight against racism a central theme in our organizing.
 PLP members have many plans to continue participating, learning, and leading in these struggles. In our staff and student organizations, we are involved in many activities- from social evenings at the movies to hosting a forum on U.S. policy in Venezuela. We are participating in a rally at the Bronx Borough President’s Office where student leaders will denounce racist plans for tuition hikes and fare hikes and demand higher pay for adjuncts.
PLP is fighting hard for the worker-student alliance, challenging the divisions that exist between students and teachers. As we get closer to May Day, we plan to organize a CUNY contingent that reflects this sense of urgency and class struggle. We want to be clear in our study groups and meetings that we participate in these struggles not only to win some reforms and make life a little better under capitalism, but we also fight for a better future, communism. With the dynamic students and young adjuncts we are working with, the future is bright!

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