The Donald Trump administration’s move to replace Obamacare is a move to replace a severely weakened and inadequate healthcare system with an even worse one. The inability of the wealthiest country in the history of capitalism to provide healthcare for the working class exposes that healthcare for profit is incompatible with providing for the needs of the working class.
MARYLAND, March 21—As the city council in Prince George’s County, was debating whether to be a sanctuary city, some neighbors organized a rally and marched to the public hearing to support Sanctuary City status. Some council members seemed to be for it, but many residents were fearful. We need to organize to dispel these fears by building a strong, grassroots network to support those threatened with deportation. Just voting for symbolic sanctuary status is not enough.
MEXICO, March 8—One of the main ideological weapons used by the capitalist class to attack and divide the working class is sexism, particularly the oppression of women workers. Capitalism uses racism to divide the working class into supposedly “different” categories of Black, white, Latin and Asian, or amongst indigenous and non-indigenous. In a similar way, sexism divides the working class into groups of men and women, each with supposed inherent differences beyond what the biological sciences can prove. These so-called “differences” usually all end up saying men are superior in some way. Placing a particular emphasis on these differences between women and men workers intentionally hides the psychological, economic, social and even other biological similarities amongst workers.
Another way capitalists try to divide women and men workers politically is through their efforts to commercialize March 8, International Women’s Day, a day of communist struggle against oppression of women in the capitalist system. This day has an aspect of consciousness and organization that all women and men workers have to honor and rescue.
President Donald Trump’s racist immigration policy escalates a venerable ruling-class tradition of scapegoating and terrorizing immigrant workers. In addition to officially banning workers and refugees from six majority Muslim countries, the Trump administration has promised to increase deportations and detention of undocumented workers—an ambitious goal, given that Barack Obama’s administrations formally removed a record 3.1 million immigrants (Migration Policy Institute, 1/26).
The Department of Homeland Security is expected to double the number of people held in immigration concentration camps, to 80,000 a day. The asylum division of DHS has reported locating 20,000 beds for indefinite detention for asylum-seekers, a 500 percent increase over current capacity (MSNBC, 3/3). Meanwhile, 30,000 Haitian migrants are stranded at the U.S.-Mexico border, waiting to cross (UPI, 2/28).
After a three-year hiatus, the U.S. ruling class is pointing to resume a major military exercise with Egypt. Under the threat of growing industrial and military cooperation between Egypt and imperialist rivals Russia and China, the U.S. bosses are seeking a stronger alliance with the regional power to prop up their increasingly tenuous stronghold in the Middle East.
Bridging the Middle East and Africa, linking the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, Egypt is central to geopolitics in the region. Its Suez Canal and Sumed pipeline are strategic routes for the Persian Gulf and for natural gas shipments to Europe and North America. In 2013, 3.2 million barrels of oil a day passed through the Canal (Business Insider, 4/1/2015). “With its strategic situation, its cultural influence and a population double that of any other Arab country, Egypt has for three decades now been the linchpin of a precarious but enduring regional Pax Americana” (The Economist, 12/15/10).
The Bronx—“We cannot be quiet. We must fight fascism!”
These were the inspiring words of a Middle Eastern student at our teach-in at a City University of New York (CUNY) campus in the Bronx. More than 500 students and staff crowded into a big hall to better understand the world and make plans to fight back. We discussed organizing against racism, sexism, deportation, mass incarceration, and the ban on Muslim workers. We also got a glimpse of what an egalitarian society might look like as students from all around the world played key leadership roles in speaking, leading the workshops, and organizing the event. The divisiveness of identity politics took a back seat to building a united fightback led by the working class.
NEW YORK CITY, March 1—A surprised college administrator shifted in his seat and fidgeted with his pen, surrounded at a table by several angry workers. This was an emergency meeting, called by a group of multiracial, immigrant and native-born anti-sexist staff and faculty at a local college, in defense of their woman coworker who was being terminated. Prior to the meeting, the workers had concluded this administrator was primarily responsible for years of sexist attacks on their coworker. The workers called the meeting and, at long last, they confronted him. Now, they sat in judgment.
Facing the administrator, a male worker delivered the charges. He concluded with the verdict and the sentence: “You’re guilty of sexism, and everything that’s happened to our coworker. We demand your resignation!” The boss refused to resign, and threatened the department that if he were to lose his job, the future funding of the department’s programs and staff would be “uncertain.”
Florida, February 24—Hundreds of people of all ethnic groups came this evening to support the Islamic Society at New Tampa after an arson attack on the mosque today at 2 AM. Friends of Progressive Labor Party held a sign, saying “Racism Hurts All Working People.” Many came to hug us when they saw the sign.
Although U.S. capitalist war-makers have tried to pit Jewish workers against Muslim workers against Christian workers, tonight’s gathering demonstrated solidarity of our class. Everyone here was saying that racist attacks on Muslim and Jewish workers have increased after the Presidential election of Donald Trump.
We must fight racism everywhere, and point out that the ideology of communism is the best way to unite working people worldwide.
March 8 is International Working Women’s Day. It’s an international holiday that celebrates women and their revolutionary power, and it has strong roots in the communist movement. International Women’s Day first began in New York as “Women’s Day,” organized by the Socialist Party of America. It was celebrated in 1909 as a commemoration of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. In the 1910 meeting of communist and socialist leaders from around the world, known as the Second International, women members pushed to establish an International Women’s Day. By 1911, over a million workers around the world were celebrating it. In 1917, striking women workers commemorating this holiday sparked uprisings that led to the Bolshevik Revolution, and the first workers’ state, the Soviet Union. Anti-sexist struggle makes it a historic day for all workers, both women and men!
EAST AFRICA, March 8—In Kenya, a doctor’s strike resulted from the government’s failure to implement a deal signed in 2013 which called for a 300 percent salary increase, a lower patient doctor ratio (which is currently 1 doctor to 16,000 people) and improved medical equipment.
The doctors formed a social media hashtag (#lipa kama tenda), which means the state should pay them as much as they pay people who have government tenders (contracts).