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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Tupelo Summer of ’79: Fight racism like a red!

Worldwide, the summer months are a time of training for Progressive Labor Party. As we gear up for a summer of learning, it’s helpful to reflect on past Summer Projects. We will look at the Tupelo Project of ’79. Lessons include:

  • In the face of the Ku Klux Klan and the racist capitalist government, we must be bold and have confidence in the working class to take the lead of communists.
  • Multiracial unity is our class’s weapon, and the bosses’ greatest fear.
  • To sustain our gains, we must grow the Party and train more Black, Latin, Asian, and white young people in leadership.

Significance of Mississippi
To many who remember the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s, Mississippi symbolizes the most extreme racism, the most brutal murders of Black workers, antiracists, and the stronghold of the Ku Klux Klan.
For Progressive Labor Party, Mississippi signified a base for revolution among Black and white workers, spreading the ideas of multiracial unity and the fight for communist ideas in the South. Today, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Tupelo Summer Project of ’79. About one hundred communists and friends—Black, Latin, Asian, and white—took part in this struggle.
Though relatively small (population of  20,000), Tupelo was an industrial center with over 14,000 workers. The South was of great importance to the ruling class as an industrial area because its carefully-nurtured tradition of racism has made it the citadel of low-wage non-union labor, where the bosses have been able to keep the working class divided and weak in order to extract extra profits.
The main lesson PLP learned in Tupelo, as everywhere, is to be bold. The bolder we were, the more seriously people took us and the more willing they were to respond to us. Workers understand that the system will come down hard when you try to fight it. They are also ready to understand that you only win on the offensive. Below is an edited excerpt from PL Magazine (Fall 1979) analyzing an aspect of the Tupelo Summer Project:
The great July demonstration
Sixty five antiracist marchers, organized by Progressive Labor Party and its [then-mass organization] International Committee Against Racism (InCAR), were marching through the streets in Tupelo, Mississippi chanting, “Death to the Klan.”  
Shots rang through the air.
As the bullets grazed two marchers, , a disciplined group of people, Black and white, rushed out of line, isolated the racist who wielded the gun, and beat him to the ground. In the fight that ensued with this Klansman, or Klan supporter, the antiracists broke his neck. While this was happening, the marchers, maintaining a tight discipline that won them the respect of Tupelo’s working class, continued the march. The marchers, encouraged by the friendly faces that lined the streets and by the workers who joined the march, were able to withstand the menacing threat of the Tupelo police, who aimed their cocked guns at them.
From the start, it was clear that the racist local rulers wanted to stop this march. A new ordinance was created by the city government banning sound devices (in response to successful PLP-led rallies in the past); the police and their flunkies systematically tore down posters in the housing projects; and a permit for the march was not granted until the very last minute. As the march gathered in front of the courthouse, the bosses’ seat of power, a militant rally began, attracting a lot of attention from workers in the area. A few minutes after the march began, the racist Klan member named Brasil shot into the demo. By the time the antiracist and antifascist fighters got hold of him, they were surrounded by cops who prevented them from finishing the racist off. The cops then grabbed one of the fighters, Floyd Banks, an InCAR member from Galveston, Texas and arrested him for “attempted murder.” The march, meanwhile, regrouped and continued to lead workers in the area who joined the march in chanting, “The cops, the courts, the Ku Klux Klan, all a part of the bosses’ plan.”
'Before I was scared, now I’m mad’
Many militant workers in Tupelo have come to see InCAR as the main mass organization that can lead workers in the fight against racism and the resurgence of  fascist groups like the Klan. One Black woman worker said, “Before I was scared, but now I’m mad.” This represents the feeling of many people here, that there is no longer the luxury to sit back and watch the ruling class and its flunkies hold power, that they have to get active and build a movement that has as its goal the destruction of ruling class ideas of racism and fascism, and in the final analysis, the ruling class itself. The political climate is changing rapidly in the South, and only groups like PLP are prepared to respond to the changes, to give leadership and organize the multiracial, antiracist fightback that is necessary to move workers to the left. The United League, a Black reformist group, recently cancelled a march scheduled for Okolona (a town not far from Tupelo) today, because its leader Skip Robinson, essentially chickened out of the struggle. More and more people are realizing that the leadership of UL cannot stand up to the rigors of the class struggle.
Workers put themselves on the line
Respect for PLP is growing here. Two residents of Tupelo put up their houses as collateral so that Floyd Banks could be bailed out of jail. When the two marchers who had been wounded were treated in the hospital, they were warmly received and treated by white doctors and other hospital workers. After the march stopped to rally, hundreds of Black workers surrounded the marchers to protect them from the cops (who would have been only too glad to be trigger happy.)
This is the first time a racist has been beaten by an antiracist march in Tupelo. The leadership of the UL always guaranteed the safety of the KKK and the cops by holding back the anger and hatred of Black workers in the fight to liberate themselves from the racism they face every day. The bosses think that they can destroy this movement by getting its leaders, but little do they know that leaders always spring up in the midst of struggle, and that there are many, many people right here in Tupelo, and other cities North and South, who can develop working-class leaders in the fight against racism and fascism, and they are being trained by Progressive Labor Party.
This was readily proven by the response not only of the marchers, in their determination to continue the march, not to be intimated by the cops’ harassment, but also by the tremendous support of the local people. Over 200 copies of InCAR Arrow and CHALLENGE were sold, 4 people joined InCAR on the spot. Another demonstration is being organized for August 4.

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