Auto workers against racism
Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 5:17PM

NEW YORK CITY, September 7 – One hundred and fifty members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union brought the message of international working-class solidarity to the NYC Labor  Day Parade. Comrades from Progressive Labor Party (PLP) were active in the contingent, pushing the demonstration to the left by attacking the capitalist system.
The weakness of this march was its unquestioning acceptance of the Democrats and liberal bosses. President Trumps deportation machine was developed by the presidents before him, going back to the Clinton era. A workers’ movement that does not attack both political parties and bosses has no fighting chance to change the world.
Although the union remains weakened by the poisonous politics of liberalism and nationalism, PLP is making modest gains in winning more workers to a more anti-racist, internationalist, communist line. Slowly but surely, we are fighting to connect our local struggles to the wider movement for workers’ liberation, and call on our class to reject the bosses’ election traps and build the fight for revolution.
Bring an anti-racist, communist line to the masses
As the liberal misleaders organize these larger marches and work hard to water down any militant struggle, it’s essential to bring a sharper anti-racist message to win workers to a better line. The lead nationalist banner read, “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA!” and another read, “Solidarity Has No Borders, No Ban – No Wall!”
As our delegation marched up 5th Avenue, we stopped at Trump Tower and held a brief rally against the author of the racist Muslim ban inspired by Obama era policies, advocate of the anti-refugee atrocities at the U.S./Mexico border, and the current head of U.S. imperialism.
Two years ago, we held a similar action after the racist Nazi-riot in Charlottesville, Virginia where a deranged racist drove his car into a crowd of protestors. Recently, we also marched after the racist mass murder in El Paso, Texas by yet another emboldened racist killer, egged on directly from the White House.
Our small delegation stood out from the massive march that must have included well over 10,000 workers from almost every union in NYC (which has the highest union density in the U.S.). There were many U.S. flags, a few bagpipe marching bands and one contingent was led by two military Humvees with camouflage-uniformed National Guard members inside. Although PLP has been active in this union for many years, struggling with many workers around major aspects of our line, especially internationalism and anti-racism, we still are confronted with the bosses’ garbage ideas within the mass movement.
But by participating in many struggles, large and small, both against the bosses and the International UAW leadership, we have earned the confidence of our sisters and brothers and have been able to influence the larger union that represents around 14,000 workers in the NYC metropolitan area. Through this slow-moving difficult process, we have also established a small but regular readership for CHALLENGE.
Don’t vote–fight for communist revolution
For us, the main lesson is that we can do much better. The racist profit system has nothing to offer but growing wars, poverty, and terror. “Capitalism” has become a dirty word to millions of workers who are searching for answers, especially young workers. It’s essential to win these workers to the truth that the problems confronting our class did not start with Trump, nor will they end once he’s out of office. We need to expose the liberal wing of the ruling class as they try to win a new generation of workers to fight and die for the needs of U.S. imperialism. We need to explain that their rivalry with the bosses in China and Russia is leading us to a third world war.
With the 2020 elections already starting to consume the unions, we will have to fight harder and smarter to help workers avoid the trap of “lesser-evil” politics and choose the long road to communist revolution.

Article originally appeared on The Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party (
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