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!



Graduation Lesson: Protest Racist Governor’s Racist Cuts  

NEW YORK CITY, May 28 — The administration of Bronx Community College fully displayed its contempt and disregard for our students by inviting Governor David Paterson to speak at graduation. In doing so, it also revealed the tremendous danger that nationalism and racism hold for the working class and the absolute necessity for their defeat, along with all other capitalist ideas, by communist revolution.

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Bronx Co-op City: Workers Need to Stop Scabs, Dump Union Misleaders in the Garbage

BRONX, NY, June 3 — Over 500 mainly black and Latino custodial workers and staff at Co-op City — the largest housing development in the U.S. — were locked out of their jobs by the management company, Riverbay Corp. Hundreds of workers marched and chanted “32BJ, 32BJ [their union], we will rock you, we will rock you” as they entered the rally area today.

Riverbay Corp. wants the workers to accept a different health care package, which would save management $1.5 million yearly. The bosses claim that both health plans are just as “good.” A groundskeeper told the crowd that he has four children. One, a seven-year-old, has a heart condition. The “new” health plan has yearly caps and would not provide adequate care for his family.

Union officials from SEIU Local 32BJ gave militant speeches, but their lack of action contradicts their words. Riverbay has organized managers and brought in scabs to replace the locked-out workers. The union chiefs have told the workers not to confront the scabs who are taking their jobs. In fact, 32BJ literature distributed to the community specifically states that the dispute is between 32BJ and Riverbay and that 32BJ is not asking other workers to stop working or delivering packages and supplies.

No attempt is being made to enlist the support of the power plant workers who maintain the electricity and air conditioning for the more than 15,000 apartments in the development. One officer told the workers that since management ceased bargaining in good faith, 32BJ was filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). He failed to mention that it would be months before such a complaint will even be considered. The Stella D’oro workers waited eight months before they had a day in court!

When the picket lines first went up, NYC sanitation workers refused to pick up the trash, in support of the workers. But after the Health Department ruled that a health crisis was developing, they picked up the tons of garbage that had accumulated. The police and health departments are backing up the
local bosses.

The vicious racist attack made by Riverbay management is not only to erode benefits but also to break the union. Workers all over the country face similar attacks. The spirit of the workers on the line is strong, but to survive, rank-and-file workers must take over the struggle.

Communist leadership is needed. If the workers continue to play by the bosses’ rules they will lose. Enlist the support of other workers! Stop the scabs!

PL members have been on the picket lines and have made contacts. We must step up our efforts. We urge all CHALLENGE readers to send solidarity messages and come to Co-op City to show support. J

BULLETIN — As we go to press, negotiations have resumed and the workers have returned to the job. More next issue.


Students Walk Out Over Cuts; School Bosses Go Ballistic  

NEW YORK CITY, June 2 — “Fight the budget cuts” shouted high school students from all around the city as they walked out of their schools. Student PL’ers helped to organize the protests as the multi-racial group of students gathered at Union Square Park and protested.

These protests are a start to fight back against the racist budget cuts that both students and their parents face in the city. Students fighting to protect their teachers’ jobs and their needs caused the school administration to go ballistic. The true face of a boss was revealed as a Principal from a local school followed the students to Union Square and threatened to suspend them all. Some students were rounded up and are now being investigated to see who the leaders are.

It is doubtful that these walkouts could have occurred without Party leadership. This is an important struggle that students in NYC are currently engaged in, as they are using their power to shut down capitalism’s ideological factory. These protests must become schools for communism that build PLP if we are to destroy the source of these racist budget cuts. J


NYC March vs. Israeli Fascist Attack: Nationalist Two-State ‘Solution’ Won’t Free Palestine’s Workers

NEW YORK CITY, May 31 — A few thousand New Yorkers marched on Memorial Day, with only a few hours notice, to protest the violent Israeli attack on the international flotilla bringing aid to Gaza. Much larger demonstrations were held in Turkey, London, Paris, Palestine and all over the Muslim world.

Israel has occupied Gaza and the West Bank since 1967; and in 2007 total siege was laid to Gaza, a tiny strip of land housing 1.5 million Palestinians (one of the most crowded places in the world). They are surrounded by a militarized wall, deprived of adequate food, water, housing, and medical care. Unemployment is about 80%. No one can enter or leave without Israeli permission, which is usually denied, even in cases of serious medical illness.

In December, 2008 and January 2009, Israel attacked the imprisoned population with overwhelming force, killing 1,440, wounding 5,000, and leaving 50,000 homeless. Since then almost no supplies have been allowed in; some are smuggled in through tunnels under the border from Egypt, which are regularly bombed.

Last week an international convoy of vessels carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid set sail for Gaza, attempting also to break the naval blockade and highlight the conditions in Gaza. Although they expected to be stopped by the Israelis, no one expected to be raided in international waters. The Israelis dropped from helicopters at night and killed at least nine activists and wounded many more. The rest were either detained or deported.

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France: Union Hacks’ ‘Re-run’ Ducks Real General Strike

PARIS, June 6 — While union misleaders are scheduling new mass demonstrations for June 24 — the F.O. confederation is calling for a national strike on June 15 — they and their politician allies have no real strategy to fight the Sarkozy government’s plans to cut 50 billion euros from the budget by 2013; to raise the legal retirement age; and to make workers work longer for a full retirement pension. Instead, they’re offering a repeat of last year’s losing strategy of a succession of symbolic 24-hour strikes and demonstrations.

This will follow actions on March 23 (800,000 marched in 180 cities); 350,000 on May Day; and perhaps a million on May 27, none of which mobilized the working class to launch an open-ended general strike of millions. Meanwhile, unemployment is rising to nearly 4,000,000 (including part-timers who can’t find full-time jobs), 14% of the labor force of 28 million.

The union confederations reveal an underlying weakness in that they must meet still again on June 14 to “decide” whether to call a national 24-hour strike on June 24, in their demands for “dialogue” with the government and for “a new policy.”

It is clear that these labor misleaders and the various political parties (Socialist, Left, “Communist” and New Anti-Capitalist Party) see no alternative to capitalism and only want to organize enough resistance to limit the damage and protect their bureaucratic positions. As CHALLENGE predicted on June 18, 2009, “Only communist leadership, dedicated not to negotiating with the government to ‘improve’ capitalism, but to overthrowing the government and the capitalist system, offers a way forward for the working class here.” That is coming true as this year turns into a bad remake of last year.

It is only through organizing to deliver a knock-out blow — communist revolution — that effective resistance to the Sarkozy government’s “reforms” can be forged. J


Undocumented Strikers Occupy Bastille Square, Battle Cops  

PARIS, June 6 — Striking undocumented workers, most of African origin, battled riot cops as they continued occupying Bastille Square to pressure the government to reopen negotiations on the “legalization” of all undocumented workers. Talks have been at a standstill since May 20.

On May 27, the strikers — at times as many as 2,000 — began occupying the stairway to the Opera building in Bastille Square. Riot police refused to allow supporters to bring in food and water. After sleeping on the steps, the strikers would fold their sleeping bags and help municipal workers to clean the area.

At 7 a.m. on June 3, a horde of riot police massed at the foot of the stairs; then more gendarmes arrived from the top of the stairs and began tear-gassing the strikers. A violent fight broke out; a dozen strikers were injured and over 40 were arrested.

At 8 a.m., over 500 strikers, driven from the stairs, regrouped on the other side of the Square, where the police encircled them. However, when a growing number of Parisians arrived to support the strikers, the police withdrew three hours later, except for a line blocking access to the stairway. The undocumented strikers spent the night in Bastille Square.

Yesterday, Fofana Mo, a Senegalese, declared “There are French people in Africa, so why can’t we come here? Is there gold in France? Are there diamonds? Is there oil? They come to take our wealth and we don’t have the right to live here!”



NICE, FRANCE, May 31 — Nearly 1,000 undocumented workers demonstrated yesterday at the opening of the France-Africa summit to condemn the participation of the neo-colonial rulers of Africa in their exploitation here in France. The 100 undocumented workers who marched from Paris to Nice were among the protesters. (See CHALLENGE, May 26.) A second demonstration of 600 undocumented workers was held today.

In a statement, the marchers said: “The warmth of the welcome accorded by the inhabitants of the towns and villages along the march contrasted favorably with the nauseating debate on ‘national identity’ launched by the French government. The majority of people thus demonstrated that they have not fallen into the trap of racism and xenophobia.” J


U.K. Teachers, Students: ‘No ifs, no buts, no education cuts!’  

LONDON, ENGLAND, May 5 — A thousand teachers and students marched side by side through central London today to protest severe cuts to the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) higher- and further-education sectors. Chanting “No ifs, no buts, no education cuts” they marched past the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey to a rally addressed by teacher and student unions.

Management at several U.K. universities have already backed down in the past few weeks and called off compulsory redundancies (layoffs) following decisive action by the unions.

Many more universities and further-education colleges are trying to lay off hundreds of teaching staff, claiming tight budgets and government cuts leave them no alternative. The University and College Union (UCU) that represents these workers has examined the figures put forward by one university and says that poor financial decisions by bosses are behind the proposed job cuts. Management has refused to consider alternatives to the layoffs.

Students are standing alongside their teachers in protest of larger classes and fewer teachers for the same fees. They know that cuts in teaching jobs translate into cuts in their education. Students have set up their own campaign to fight cuts at the University of Westminster and occupied the vice-chancellor’s office in a two-day sit-in earlier this spring.J


Wells Fargo Pushed Racist Subprime Loans and Sponsors Juneteenth  

Wells Fargo, an official sponsor of Juneteenth in most cities, systematically sold racist subprime mortgages to black workers. “Subprime loans” became well known in 2007. Tens of thousands of workers were duped by banks to buy a house at low interest rates while never being told that the rates would skyrocket.

A New York Times study found that black households that made more than $68,000 a year were five times as likely to receive a subprime loan as whites with similar or lower incomes. For Wells Fargo borrowers, this disparity was even greater with whites in that income group holding two percent of the subprime loans compared to 16.1 percent for blacks. Mortgage lenders at Wells Fargo
often referred to these subprime loans as “ghetto loans,” referring to the black working class they targeted. Wells Fargo specifically targeted black churches, hoping church leaders could help convince their congregation to take out thse loans.


Ignore Nazis? No, Attack Them Head-on  

GETTYSBURG, PA — The Neo-Nazi Aryan Nations are planning a rally here June 19, to try to recruit to their extremely racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic fascism.

The local YWCA is planning a “celebration of diversity,” to pull people away from attacking the Aryan Nations, saying it is better to not call attention to them. But PLP knows from decades of experience fighting groups such as the Aryan Nations and the KKK that the only way to defeat them is to attack them head-on. PLP has a long and successful history of smashing the ruling class’ thugs.

The Gettysburg Police Department (GPD) has already announced that they will be providing security for the Aryan Nations, at a high cost to local taxpayers. In addition “the majority of everything involved is going to be taken care of by the National Park Service,” said Chief Dougherty [of the GPD], adding that federally-trained officers are attending the event.

The ruling class will always send their cops to protect racist groups’ rallies. Racism is a necessity of capitalism, needed to break working-class unity and keep all workers’ wages lower. The bosses and politicians are the biggest perpetrators and benefactors of racism.

PLP will always confront and smash Nazis and fascists in the streets, and will be in Gettysburg to show that the working class cannot ignore an attack on black, Latino and immigrant workers.

Ultimately, the only way to end both the racism inherent in capitalism and to smash these gutter racists is to fight for multi-racial working-class unity. Join PLP in Gettysburg, and build the anti-racist fight for communist revolution. J