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!



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


Communist Revolution Will Smash Racist Police Terror

DETROIT, MI, June 6 — “They killed my baby and I want someone to tell the truth.” That’s what Charles Jones, the father of seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones said after she was murdered by Detroit police when they raided the wrong apartment on May 16. Aiyana was shot in the head as she slept in her East Side home.

The trigger-happy cowards of the Special Response Team threw a flash grenade through the window and shot Aiyana from outside the house around 12:45 am before charging in with guns drawn. The racist murderers were executing a “no-knock” search warrant for a homicide suspect and claim the gun went off after “some level of physical contact” with Aiyana’s grandmother.

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UAW Hacks Stand Up... For the Auto Bosses

The UAW’s Constitutional Convention will be June 14-17 in Detroit. Union leaders based their future on the success of U.S. auto bosses for the past 50 years. They grew when GM, Ford and Chrysler were top dogs, and have been hammered as U.S. bosses have been hit hard by European and Asian competitors.

Whoever emerges from the convention with leadership of the union is guaranteed to continue the policies of the old leadership: billions in concessions to auto bosses, tens of thousands of jobs sacrificed, wages and benefits for new workers slashed by more than half, retiree health care benefits that were “guaranteed for life” cut, and a failure to organize a foreign-owned factory. Looking to them for change is a waste of time. And after seeing how all the reform victories were washed away, trying to repeat the past would be worse.

U.S. Social Forum: Who Does it Serve?

The following week, June 22-26, Detroit will host more than 15,000 people at the U.S. Social Forum (USSF). USSF is funded largely by NGO’s and non-profits — the money trail heading right back to the ruling class — and supported by many of the same politicians and union leaders who are committed to saving U.S. imperialism.

The same racist ruling class that brutalizes black workers and youth on a daily basis, that murdered 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones in her sleep, has given the keys to the city to the UAW and USSF. Obviously they feel no threat from either.

But the many participants view them as an opportunity to exchange ideas, strategies, and experiences with people from different movements and social groups that are fighting to transform society. PLP will be active in both events, slowly paving the long road to communist revolution. Our main goal is to meet new friends, and win the people that participate to build a stronger PLP in Detroit.


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!”