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!



Strikes Spread, Players Scab While: World Cup Showcases Imperialism and Nationalism

On June 11, the World Cup of Soccer began in South Africa. It is the world’s largest sporting event, watched by billions around the globe. Ideologically, the World Cup is fueled by the deadly nationalism of the imperialist epoch. Imperialism has left its mark all over the event. The biggest imperialist powers’ soccer teams are overwhelmingly filled with players from their former colonies and the African teams are all coached by Europeans.

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France: Strikers Hold Boss Hostage, Demand Severance Pay for Co-Workers  

PONTCHATEAU, FRANCE, June 18 — Striking factory workers here held the Bobcat France chairman, four other Directors and a court bailiff hostage all day until management agreed to an extraordinary meeting of the works council.

The 297 workers are fighting for higher layoff compensation for 130 co-workers scheduled for layoff this month. The workers are demanding $76,740 for each worker plus $3,960 for each year of seniority; the company is offering one-fourth of that. These workers, who make telescoping forklifts, have already suffered 19 months of short time.

Bobcat France is a subsidiary of the Bobcat Company, a U.S.-based subsidiary of the South Korean conglomerate Doosan Infracore International. Doosan’s annual report boasted having “recently acquired Bobcat, which enjoys the world’s highest competitiveness in compact construction equipment.” But Doosan reported a $245.8 million net loss in fiscal 2009 so it plans to make its workers pay.

Doosan claims its “business philosophy” is to do “our part to care for communities [and] protect life.” But it seems that such “care” and “protection” doesn’t extend to its workers. Indeed, Doosan’s strategy for Bobcat is to raise competitiveness “by constantly reducing fixed costs, raising operational efficiency, maximizing productivity, and improving business fundamentals.”

Consequently, Bobcat France plans relocating its research and development department to the Czech Republic, where average annual income in 2004 was roughly one-third of that in France.

The militancy and solidarity that leads workers to break the bosses’ laws and take them hostage is positive, but it takes communist leadership to break the bonds of reformism and aim for workers’ power and communist revolution — the only goal that will eliminate the bosses and these attacks for good. 


Iron Man II: Building Support for U.S. Imperialism

Within the first five minutes of the movie “Iron Man II,” Tony Stark declares that his wonderful suit of iron has guaranteed world peace. In doing so, he pushes one of the foremost lies that form the foundation of capitalist ideology: that true peace for workers can exist alongside the profit motive. In this grotesque film, which is filled with sexism, the glorification of the U.S. military and Cold War anti-communism, this deception is perhaps the worst. Capitalism only offers ceaseless violence, from domestic abuse to nuclear war, for the world’s workers. No “Iron Man” can do what communist revolution can: consign capitalism to the dustbin of history and usher in a society based on workers’ needs and hopes.

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Latin America: Local Bosses, Imperialist Masters Profit Off Workers’ Misery

Since their founding by Spain and Portugal the history of Latin American states has been a history of imperialism. Today Russia, China, and the European Union (E.U.) all fight over the abundant natural resources of the region, challenging the traditional dominance of the U.S. ruling class. The opportunist native bosses in Latin America have begun to re-orient their economies and populations to reflect this struggle, choosing their favored imperialist master.

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The Great Soweto Uprising in South Africa  

English and Dutch Boers (Afrikaners) colonized South Africa and, in 1948, subjected black Africans to a formal racist system called Apartheid, an Afrikaner word meaning “apart.” This system was based on a combination of U.S. slavery and its successor Jim Crow, with no equality politically, economically or culturally.

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PL’ers Lead Multi-Racial Action Exposing Racist Tea Party  

WORCESTER, MA, May 12 — PLP led a multi-racial demonstration of 150 workers and youth to oppose a racist Tea Party rally that was defending Arizona’s fascist anti-immigration law.

Prior to a May 11 City Council vote not to discuss a boycott of Arizona for that law targeting immigrants from Latin America, PLP members and friends formed a coalition of groups to present a resolution to the Council to boycott Arizona (see letter, page 6). Meanwhile the ACLU and the Mayor sent their versions of an anti-Arizona boycott to the City Clerk.

But yesterday, the racist Council voted not even to discuss it, even though it had previously voted on resolutions such as divesting from Darfur and passed a “no-hate” resolution against anti-Semitic graffiti. However, in this case the Latino community was raising its concerns about racial profiling and how it was targeting Latinos.

We continued to organize for a rally in front of City Hall. But when we heard that the Tea Party and the racist paramilitary MinuteMen would hold a counter-demonstration to support the fascist Arizona law, we fought for a large turnout to demonstrate against the Tea Party.

Many working people in the city were outraged that the Tea Party would show up so they brought their friends to the action. As usual, the TV and press never interviewed any anti-Tea Party groups, covering only the Tea Party and the City officials.

On the rally day, PLP’ers arrived at City Hall a half hour before the Tea Party and two of us established ourselves in the middle of the Plaza, forcing the Tea Party off to the side. Some wore confederate flags and seemingly included MinuteMen thugs.

The Tea Party racists began yelling at our comrades and friends, saying we were “illegal” and to “go back to Cuba.” We called them Nazis and yelled “death to fascist laws.” More and more people came, swelling the anti-racist boycott crowd to 150, overwhelming the 30 out-of-town Tea Party racists.

When the Tea Party gang saw us using our sound system, they tried to provoke us by pointing their bullhorn one foot from our ears. One of our comrades boldly blocked a Tea Party racist from harassing an anti-racist speaker on our open microphone with a sign that read, “Death to fascist laws!”

We continued to label them fascist and racists, while calling for multi-racial unity and for a worker-run society. We chanted, “Asian, Latin, black, and white, against racism we must unite!”; and, “Same enemy, same fight, workers of the world unite!” which many workers liked. We also chanted, “Working people have no nation! Smash racist deportations!”

The workers in the crowd became energized when one of our friends led a chant in Spanish, “Aqui estamos y aqui nos quedamos!” (“Here we are and here we’ll stay!”), a chant undocumented workers used in New Bedford, MA, when federal immigration cops raided a factory and arrested them. Many people said later that although the Tea Party intimidated them, they felt stronger when PLP members and friends stood up to the fascists.

The confrontation and the City Council’s racist vote caused such anger that people stepped up to call for a community meeting two days later to continue the fight against racism.J


Israel-Palestine: PL’er Raises Red Flag vs. Fascism

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, June 2 — Following the massacre on one of the supply ships headed to Gaza earlier this month, the Israeli fascist group “Im Tirtzu” organized a rally at the entrance of the Tel Aviv University in support of that deed and of the Israeli army. The fascists were supported by the Student Council and managed to attract a large crowd of students to their rally.

Various left groups, as well as a significant number of Palestinian nationalists, staged a counter-demonstration in front of the fascist rally, calling Israel a fascist state. Unfortunately, most of them followed a nationalist line, either calling for a two-state “solution” or raising Turkish flags. Nationalism — including that of oppressed nations such as the Palestinians — is a dead-end ideology. It serves the bosses by convincing workers that they have more in common with the bosses from “their” country, than with workers around the world. Nationalist slogans are also ineffective in repelling the rising fascist tide in today’s Israel. An internationalist, communist line is needed.  The only way to rid the world of racist, capitalist attacks is for all workers to unite worldwide to overthrow capitalism and establish communism.

One of our comrades took part in this counter-demonstration, and brought along a red flag with the PLP symbol on it, proudly making a stand for communism and against nationalism. When he was asked by one of the nationalists what the flag had to do with the demonstration, he replied “communism is the only way to smash fascism once and for all.”

Later the fascist horde, supported by the cops, charged the counter-demonstration and tried to beat up the demonstrators; one counter-demonstrator was arrested. But our comrade carried out our Party line and fought valiantly against the attack.

We have many lessons to learn from this demonstration, but the most important is about the urgency of building a mass communist party in Israel/Palestine in particular and in the entire world in general. If we had a larger contingent of communists at that demonstration, for example, we could have smashed the fascists. So we will double our efforts towards building the Party. Join Us!

A Comrade in Israel/Palestine

(see eyewitness letter, page 6)


U.S. War Machine’s Phony ‘Anti-Terror’ Masks Obama’s Wider War  

The U.S. war machine kills workers openly to control Iraqi oil fields and a projected Afghanistan pipeline. While Obama’s brass claims to be aiming at Islamic extremists and drug traffickers, their main objective is guarding U.S. imperialism, especially its control of global energy supplies. Under liberal “peace candidate” Obama, secret assassinations, torture, and intimidation by terror surpass atrocities ordered by avowed warmonger Bush. “Obama, one senior military official said, has allowed ‘things that the previous administration did not.’” (Washington Post, 6/4)

But Obama is also promoting less obvious forms of murder for profit. “[T]he Obama administration has significantly expanded a largely secret U.S. war against al-Qaeda and other ‘radical’ groups, according to senior military and administration officials. Special Operations forces...are deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of last year. In addition to units that have spent years in the Philippines and Colombia, teams are operating in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.” (WP article)

To win U.S. workers to back this war operation, Obama & Co. are using various prosecutions of alleged terrorist “bombers” to foment mass racist terror against Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. They also propagandize U.S. troops with anti-Arab/Muslim racism to demonize the “enemy” as less than human.

Their purpose is to divert workers’ anger over racist unemployment, foreclosures and racist budget cuts which affect the entire working class while falling heaviest on black and Latino workers. The money saved from these cuts and mass layoffs can then be used to fund their imperialist wars. Given the ruling class’s many-sided operation, it behooves PLP’ers to go on a war footing ourselves to meet these attacks.

Major Oil Sources and Routes
Focus of U.S. ‘Anti-Terror’
Clandestine Violence

Somalia’s Horn of Africa — second only to the Persian Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz as a strategic chokepoint for exports of Mid-East crude — draws special attention from the Pentagon’s clandestine wing. “Commanders are developing plans for increasing the use of such forces in Somalia, where a Special Operations raid last year killed the alleged head of al-Qaeda in East Africa.” (WP article)

To help sway public opinion against a Somali “terrorist menace,” on June 5 the FBI and NYPD arrested two men they said were headed to a “jihadist” training camp in Somalia. Yemen lies across from Somalia on the eastern side of the shipping lane. U.S. rulers justify intervention there by alleging ties between a fundamentalist Yemeni cleric and the incompetent “Christmas underwear” and Times Square bombers as well as the deadly, deranged Ft. Hood shooter.

“Plans exist for preemptive or retaliatory strikes in numerous places around the world, meant to be put into action when a plot has been identified, or after an attack linked to a specific group.” (WP article) Widespread hatred of U.S. imperialism, largely misguided into Islamic sects, gives Obama & Co. plausible, secret targets, aimed at protecting oil and gas supplies and pipelines.

An earlier leak to the NY Times (5/24) revealed that top U.S. general Petraeus “has ordered a broad expansion of clandestine military activity in an effort to disrupt militant groups or counter threats in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries in the region.” Saudi royalty control the world’s greatest oil reserves and make a huge part of them available to Exxon Mobil in a sweetheart deal. Since Bin Laden and other non-royal Saudis were shut out of the scheme, it motivated these competing capitalists to organize al Qaeda and the resulting 9/11 attacks. U.S. enemy Iran also has both oil and nuclear dreams of dominating the Mid-East.

Obama/Gates Attack on Military Industrial Profiteers Aims at More Lethal Conventional Forces

U.S. rulers, meanwhile, are striving for greater killing power under the guise of saving taxpayers’ money. A key feature of the Pentagon’s Base Realignment and Closing Program, which is supposed to save billions, is building a new 8,000-strong Navy/Marine base on the Pacific island of Guam. U.S. strategists hope expanding the outpost, which will have a pier for aircraft carriers, will give them an extra edge in confronting the challenge of China’s growing blue-water fleet which can patrol the world’s oceans to secure its own energy supplies.

The NY Times (6/3) reported that, “Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has ordered the military and the Pentagon’s civilian bureaucracy to find tens of billions of dollars in annual savings to pay for war-fighting operations....The goal is...3 percent real growth each year, beyond inflation, in the accounts that pay for combat operations.” Gates wants to rein in costly, dubiously useful, weapons programs to shift expenditures to projects expanding deadly U.S. force. This deadliness-enhancing, “more-bang-for-the-buck” program also involves basing forces where they are most likely to fight.

The purpose of the coming U.S. offensive for Kandahar is to ensure U.S. presence in that city, a strategic point along the projected TAPI pipeline to run from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to the Indian Ocean.

Finally, the U.S. military is, in fact, prolonging the occupation it pretends to be winding down in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. (see page 8) As U.S. ground troops leave, the USS Iwo Jima is scheduled to arrive. The Iwo Jima is not a hospital ship but an amphibious assault vessel with 2,000 heavily-armed Marines aboard.

Their continued military presence encircling Haiti aims at exploiting the vast oil and gas reserves under the Caribbean Sea which Russia and China are already eyeing. Both countries sent their presidents to Cuba to negotiate financing of projects whereby they could beat U.S. Big Oil to the punch here.

Yet despite their seeming ability to kill anywhere at any time with vastly superior weapons, U.S. rulers face a perilous future militarily. Shaky “ally” Israel, unstable foe North Korea and/or strategic adversaries Iran, China and Russia could in a flash provoke a global conflict causing more casualties — on all sides — than Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

We, as revolutionary communists, should expose the bosses’ aggressive militarizing, like Obama’s burgeoning death squads, and put ourselves on a wartime footing. 


Racist Court Frees Cop Who Murdered Black Teenager  

GARY, IN, March 31 — No question about it; the racist U.S. court system does not serve the working class.  Levi Randolph, a Gary cop, was acquitted of reckless homicide charges by the Lake Superior Court.  In January 2006, Randolph murdered Vincent Smith Jr., a 16-year-old black youth, by shooting him in the back of the head as the teen fled his cousin’s house.

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PL’er Exposes U.S. Racism, DREAM Act Scam at Prayer Vigil  

CHICAGO, May 15 — Today, a multi-racial group of workers converged on the office of a national politician in an effort to expose and protest his indifference to the plight of workers currently suffering racist terror in Arizona. The reform group we have been working in planned a prayer vigil and press conference in the parking lot just outside his doors. While we, as members of the PLP, know that electoral politics and faith in religion ultimately betray the working class, we attended this demonstration and supported our friends who organized it. In addition, we saw this as an opportunity to inject a communist analysis to the event.

While many spoke of reform and the power of prayer, some gave strong historical, economic and working-class analyses. They spoke about how racism is at the core of SB-1070, the new Arizona law, and how black, Latino and white workers need to unite instead of letting superficial differences keep us divided.

While a lot of the day was good, it had its weaknesses. The purpose of the event was to “pray” for a reform. The leadership’s goal is to further the DREAM Act and have Obama pass comprehensive immigration reform. This faith in the system and Obama is a death sentence for the working class. The DREAM Act would use the promise of “legalization” to trick these youth into giving eight years and maybe their lives to the military. Any reform passed will not have our best interest at heart; rather, it would be a vehicle for perpetuating our exploitation.

A Party member spoke and exposed the racist history of the United States. She also spoke to the importance of having faith in our fellow workers, and not politicians or even a “god.” She also exposed the racist link between the current financial crisis and the scapegoating of Latino workers, falsely blaming them for “taking away” the jobs of citizens. Lastly she stressed the importance of militant political action. Her analysis was well-received, and many wanted to hear more.

The purpose of working in these groups is not to win the reform; but to grow as communists and build ties with other workers. This is the only way to build the fight for communism, an anti-racist society where all workers would work together for our common needs. Lenin once said, “Unions are schools for communism.” Groups like this are similar to unions, because they give us the opportunity to fight the bosses, meet other workers, and share communism with them. We look forward to further struggle with these new friends. J