In a recent conversation, a friend asked about the life of workers in the Ukraine. In brief, workers in Ukraine, like those in U.S. cities and around the world, are suffering from massive assaults from the imperialists of the world. But given the current war over Ukraine between the interests of U.S./European imperialists and Russian imperialists, it’s important to understand that workers’ interests lie with the workers of the world, that we cannot take sides with any imperialist power. U.S. calls for “democracy” are justifications for increasing the exploitation and oppression of the world’s working class.
Many workers believe that feminism, a militant fight by women with allies among some men for women’s rights, is the way to defeat sexism and the discrimination against women both by individual men and society at large.
Feminist movements have, indeed, fought for reforms in the workforce so that women workers would be paid more and face less gender-based discrimination and harassment on the job.
However, while these achievements are important, the majority of working-class women, especially black and Latina women, who are triply oppressed by sex, class and race, have not benefited much from these gains. For instance, in 2001, women’s median annual paychecks were only 78 cents for every $1.00 earned by men.
The crisis generated by capitalism is causing division within the ruling class that sees their profits decrease because of market competition while daily living conditions worsen for workers. Bosses use individualism, racism and nationalism to divide us and win us over to defend their wars for maximum profit.
While workers participate in this struggle, they wind up defending the ruling system, representing one or another capitalist side. The end result is the same or worse than the previous condition.
ogressive Labor Party’s ongoing discussion of how to balance political activities among students and work in the unions, several teachers’ study groups in New York City have been reading Uncivil Rights: Teachers, Unions, and Race in the Battle for School Equity by Jonna Perrillo. This history of NYC’s teachers’ unions reveals a history many of us had not known before and shows us many parallels to the contradictions communist teachers and their friends find when dealing with today’s teacher unions.
NEWARK, NJ, February 25 — Over 500 students, parents and education workers attended the Newark Board of Education meeting ready to battle Superintendent Cami Anderson, the face of the city’s racist and fascist education reform movement. Her One Newark plan would centralize education, close schools, replace public schools with charter schools, fire teachers, bust the teachers’ union, and under the guise of “school choice,” set up a process that would make it easer to close schools in the future.
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA, March 12 — When Attorney General Ordoñez dismissed Bogota’s Mayor, Gustavo Petro, on December 9, he laid bare the capitalist farce behind the current crisis. It clearly demonstrates to the workers that under capitalism we cannot hope to live humane lives, or, as Petro himself claims, to mutually co-exist without the big tycoons hoarding everything and leaving only a few crumbs for the working class.
CHICAGO, March 10 — Chanting, “Let Us Teach”, 250 teachers, parents, and students rallied in support of 25 Chicago teachers who have taken the bold step of refusing to give a state-mandated test. The Illinois State Achievement Test (ISAT) is given over an eight-day period for two hours a day. In addition to teacher boycotters, more than 1,000 parents have signed “opt-out” letters telling the schools they don’t want their children to take the test. Top dogs at Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have had a virulent reaction to the stand taken by teachers and parents.
The education system is in crisis not only in Tanzania but in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Latin America, the U.S. and the worldwide. The crisis is caused by the fact that the schools are in the hands of the bosses. The bosses control of education leads to inequalities in the system, the haves and have-nots.
The hypocrisy of the Obama administration is off the rails. Obama has denounced Russia’s president Putin for a “breach of international law” by seizing the Crimea in the conflict over the Ukraine. His Secretary of State, John Kerry, has accused Russia of being “in direct violation of international law.” Their mouthpiece, the New York Times (3/3) claims Putin “stepped outside the bounds of civilized behavior.” And the European Union (EU) is backing the U.S. all the way, “in defense of Western values.”
The only day the world recognizes women is the one to celebrate their “reproductive” role as mother and wife, Mother’s Day. But it was the Soviets, the communist movement, that celebrated women as political beings with revolutionary power. March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD), the day that communists organized to salute the strength and contributions of women workers.