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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Oakland strike builds confidence for future battles

BAY AREA, March 20—Teachers in the Oakland Education Association (OEA) went on strike and settled a new contract. Oakland public schools are a product of the same racism addressed in the recent LA, Denver, West Virginia and Charter school strikes. This strike was a mass school for pro-communist ideas.
Progressive Labor Party (PLP)members participated in picket lines at seven schools, worked with friends and co-workers before the strike to build consciousness and solidarity, participated in the mass actions organized by the OEA, and distributed leaflets and literature. PLP teachers were embedded in the picket lines and the on-site organizing and decision-making at their schools.
For many young workers, this was their first strike. It was an eye opener. Many questions surfaced: from tactical issues of how to run the picket line, and what is the role of school administrators who appear friendly, to the strike, to who runs the OEA and the deeper issues about capitalism.
Now that the contract passed and teachers are back to work the burning question remains: what will teachers do? Will they continue to be active? Some high school campuses have formed on-going committees. Will some teachers make the leap from fighting around immediate conditions to building a long-term revolutionary movement to get rid of capitalism? After this experience, will some conclude that the unity they built can grow and abolish the capitalist ruling class?  This would indicate a growth in class-consciousness.
As one PL’er discussed on the picket line: “All across the globe, workers are flexing their power through organizing strikes to demand better learning/working conditions and higher pay. I know there is no true stability for our class under capitalism. This system is designed to commodify all aspects of our lives, and then leave us in the cold when we can’t afford to fund our own survival. This process of turning all things and experiences into items that are bought and sold absolutely includes education; take it from an undergraduate who is $25,000 in debt with student loans. In the Bay Area, we have been witnessing that the contradictions of extreme wealth and extreme poverty grow deeper over the last decade.”
Strike ends, fight begins?
When the strike ended, 42 percent voted against ratification, which is a big no-vote since the leadership was pushing this as a win-win. Nurses told the bargaining team they needed lower workloads to serve the student needs (not cash bonuses). They distributed a flyer urging a no vote.
The OEA demands were built around securing teacher and student needs; zeroing in on the particular racist attack on students in Oakland’s low-income areas (Black, Latin, and immigrant students) where most school closings are scheduled. The wage demand focused on the fact that a 20 percent annual turnover of teachers was due to the inadequate wages,and inability of teachers to live where they teach due to predatory real estate profiteering (gentrification). Turnover and underfunding has caused great instability in the schools. There were student-teacher centered demands for smaller class sizes, more resources for students like nurses, counselors, and special needs services.
Working-class solidarity on display
This strike showed a lot of strength, unity, and multi-racial fight against the institutional racism in education. There was working-class solidarity. Teachers, students and community residents picketed in the morning and afternoon. There were mass demonstrations downtown, an occupation of the state building and a demonstration against a charter school organization.
The Oakland United School District (OUSD) school bosses tried to intimidate the fighters and break the strike. Teachers set up alternative “strike schools.” Teachers in other districts adopted an Oakland school, joined the picket lines, and held a sickout action.
Strike fever spread to colleges
In the duo-lingual program, both the Laney Administrators and the “strike-friendly” Oakland High principle tried to intimidate both teachers and students to have “alternatives” (i.e., to create scab classes off campus). Instead, the strike energy spread to Laney Community College where students and teachers started a campaign to publicize and fight the conditions facing part-time teachers, adjuncts who are 70 percent of the teaching staff in a campus of mainly working class, Black, Latin, Asian, and immigrant students.
First day back
Monday, the first day teachers went back to work, the OUSD School Board voted for $22 million in austerity cuts which included staffing cuts, cuts to student services, and decimation of libraries. As communists, we see this struggle as a step in building a revolutionary movement. Organization at schools sites and many mass actions show workers can run things based on collectively figuring out what we need as a working class. These are the seeds of a communist society were life is organized based on the needs of the working class not the profits of the capitalists. Many PLP members and friends commented that this battle deepened friendships with families and teachers for the battles ahead.

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