Friday, April 5, 2019 at 11:34AM

TEXAS, March 19—Hundreds of workers and students from San Antonio and Austin, Texas protested at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters over the racist denial of a “discretionary extension of time” before deportation for three people, including a child. Recently, these three immigrant workers took so-called sanctuary inside of a church in Austin, militantly sending protestors instead of appearing themselves for their ICE appointments.
ICE officials said that arrest warrants would be issued, highlighting ICE’s increasingly fascist new plan to refuse to grant or extend the discretionary extension of time—meaning to delay deportations—for most people. It means that the Donald Trump administration seeks to arrest and deport nearly all asylum-seekers, escalating anti-immigrant racism from the already-increased Barack Obama-era levels.
Yet a revolutionary communist Progressive Labor Party grows deep in the heart of Texas, fighting both to help protect these three workers and to ultimately protect our class with communist revolution!
No “sanctuary” under capitalism
The Sanctuary Movement in Austin and San Antonio, and many other church groups and social justice groups organized the protest at the ICE headquarters. At least one speaker raised the role of anti-immigrant and other forms of racism in keeping both immigrants and citizens increasingly exploited. Among the crowd of students and workers, the need for solidarity and some kind of radical change was clearly felt. Despite the mood of the masses, the politics of the organizers failed to connect increasing ICE terror to the world situation, and they neither offered any critique of capitalism, nor called for any kind of systemic change or revolution.
Some speeches were in Spanish, and approximately 50 immigrant workers facing deportation showed their support for the protest, but were afraid to join for fear of retribution at their hearings. Finally, a member of the Progressive Labor Party moved into the crowd to speak with some of the waiting immigrant workers, and all expressed interest in learning how to participate to build the movement to smash ICE and its racist, fascist terror.
Only PLP called for a revolutionary workers’ movement in the factories, fields and army that could destroy racist ICE terror’s capitalist source, instead of pleading for mercy and electing more Democrats. The Sanctuary organizers have no long term plan to address the needs of all immigrant workers in the area—let alone the needs of the international working class. Their movement is focused only on the exemplary, but short term, action of the three brave workers who took sanctuary in the church and spoke out politically.
The task of communists in PLP is to expose the reality that the storm clouds of World War III are getting closer as the imperialist rivalry between the U.S., Russian, and Chinese bosses sharpen. Wider imperialist wars threaten to murder millions of workers, and there can never be any “sanctuary” for workers under capitalism.
Nonviolence vs fighting back
The bosses’ strategy of using racism, nationalism, and sexism to divide the international working class is enabled by many of these church-based groups like Sanctuary. On the one hand these groups attract many honest and committed antiracist workers and youth who aspire to become fighters and serve their sisters and brothers. It was clear from conversations that the workers and youth at the rally were open to antiracist, internationalist and anti-imperialist ideas.
Sanctuary’s political leadership, on the other hand, is at best misguided, or at worst misled by the bosses’ stooges when they insist that elections and a moral commitment to pacifism and nonviolent civil disobedience will solve our problems. Their insistence on these strategies actually puts the safety of workers like the three taking refuge inside the church at risk. PLP presents another strategy: organizing masses to fight back, and to fight for communism.
From dark night to red morning
The bosses try to divide and confuse our class with ideas like voting or that capitalism can be reformed, while terrorizing us with open racist police and ICE terror. But for all the bosses’ money and cops, and as hopeless as our situation may seem, proof that this dark night will end is everywhere.
Even at this rally, the bosses could not stop the 50 immigrant workers facing possible deportation from being joined, shoulder to shoulder, by their native-born working class sisters and brothers. One of the Sanctuary ministers reminded the gathered workers and students of another dark night when the working class fought through and won- when thousands of immigrants were secretly sheltered from the Nazis by working-class families during World War II.
PLP fights to inherit the legacy of that mass working class anti-fascist resistance, as well as the legacy of the worker-led Red Army that ultimately smashed Nazi fascism and won the war. As workers have proven from the Paris Commune to the Bolshevik and Chinese revolutions, what the bosses fear most is a united working class armed with revolutionary communist politics. We will continue to fight alongside our sisters and brothers in groups like Sanctuary, making friends, building for May Day and,soon enough, building our own Red Army to smash this racist, terrorist capitalist system once and for all. This May Day, join us!

Article originally appeared on The Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party (
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