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OUR FIGHT

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday
Jan022013

Smash Sexist Assaults on Women 

India: Youth and Workers Rage in Protest

Millions of students and workers protest all over India against the gang rape of a 23-year-old student, who has come to symbolize the systematic violence against women. The police thugs fight protesters with batons, barricades, guns, arrests, tear gas, and water cannons. 

All those outraged about the young woman — who was gang raped, tossed off of the bus, and then left for dead — need to join PLP in order to destroy sexism and the brutality that it engenders. We point out this struggle isn’t about just about revealing the failure of the world’s largest “democracy,” but that this is a consequence of  sexism, an ideology that capitalism needs in order to preserve its stranglehold on the world. PLP pushes for the necessity of armed struggle in order to defeat capitalism. The need to struggle against sexism is at the forefront of the revolutionary struggle for communism.

Wednesday
Jan022013

Massive Racist Unemployment = Super-profits for French Bosses

PARIS, December 31 — Official statistics show a staggering 5,242,000 unemployed or underemployed in France, or 18.5 percent of the working population (in a population one-sixth of the U.S.): 3,132,600 jobless, 1,484,600 part-timers who can’t find full-time jobs and another 624,500 kept busy in training programs and government-funded make-work programs. These “official” figures exclude those who’ve given up looking for non-existent jobs altogether!

Older workers are among the hardest hit. Raising the retirement age has meant a 16% year-on-year increase in unemployment among workers over 50.

Racism Spawns Joblessness

Like all capitalist societies, France enforces racism. Here the targets are Arab and black immigrants from Africa, and their French-born descendants. In 2005, the Natixis bank refused to promote a black employee because of his skin color. Seven years later, the courts have just ordered Natixis to pay him 47,700 euros in compensation.

This extremely rare case involves an executive. One can imagine the chances of an ordinary worker obtaining redress for racist discrimination. Consequently, it isn’t surprising that the official statistical bureau, INSEE, indicated in October that the unemployment rate among African immigrants and their French-born children is three times the national average.

In a new blame-the-victim argument, Louis Maurin, founder of the supposedly-neutral Observatoire des Institute, tried to explain this away by saying certain immigrant populations have no social network that can steer them to a job.

In reality, capitalism needs racist unemployment. It acts as a brake on the wages of all workers, thus generating additional profits for the bosses. Indeed, a 2010 INSEE study shows that during the world financial and economic crisis worker income in France has practically stagnated, essentially due to unemployment.

Super-Exploitation of Immigrant Workers

Another source of super-profits is the 35,000 immigrant workers from European Union countries like Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain. A 2006 EU directive allows French bosses who hire them through temp agencies in their native countries to provide those countries’ much cheaper legally-mandated benefits package.

In theory, French bosses still have to pay them France’s minimum wage, 1,400 euros a month. In reality, there are only 31 gendarmes to enforce the law in all of France. Unions have discovered cases of workers paid only 600 euros (US$774) a month for working 6- and 7-day weeks.

The 2010 INSEE study also reports that since 2007 a growing number of jobs are limited to a few hours a week. Young people under 25 are especially forced to take these jobs. Consequently, they only work 43% of the number of hours worked by everyone else. They remain economically dependent on their parents, increasing the stress on working-class households. And since retirement pensions are pegged to hours worked, they will only qualify for a marked-down pension.

But the Socialist government has already announced it will reduce future pensions for the 40,000 private-sector teachers by an average of 100 euros (US$130) a month. This is a first step to cutting future pensions for the 712,000 public-sector teachers and eventually for all workers.

All this has workers justifiably angry, so the Socialist government is pretending to act. Recently it’s created jobs for the future aimed at young people who are virtually totally unskilled, and promises another 100,000 jobs by the end of 2013. Even if true, it won’t change much when over five million people are looking for a job.

Even worse is establishment of a special work contract for young people, entailing less job security, lower wages, lower benefits and so on. The resulting super-exploitation of young workers adds to the brake on wages for all workers.

Now consider all the groups French bosses single out for special treatment: older workers, black and Arab workers, workers from other EU countries, private-sector workers, public-sector workers and younger workers. There’s a pattern: an attack on one group always produces super-profits from that group and also ratchets down wages, benefits and conditions for everyone.

What do all those groups have in common? They’re all workers. That’s one of the main messages communists advance: We’re united by a common class interest in destroying this capitalist system that creates unemployment and all kinds of racist discrimination. Making that unity a reality is a big step towards a communist revolution and a communist society where we all can work and share the fruits of our labor.

Wednesday
Dec122012

Racist U.S. Bosses Seek Allies for World War

Sharpening competition for resources, markets, and labor are driving U.S. capitalists toward war with their Chinese, Russian and Iranian rivals. As each nation’s imperialists maneuver for the upper hand, they must impose more deadly fascist conditions on their working class while clamping down on any opposition. Workers throughout the world are being squeezed by austerity policies to pay for the inevitable wars to come.

U.S. bosses are at a huge disadvantage here. They rule a population of 315 million, while their foes have a combined 1.5 billion from which to raise armed forces. Seeking a racist remedy for their shortage of cannon fodder, defenders of the U.S. empire are seeking support from countries historically exploited by the imperialist powers. 

In November, the pro-Obama Center for a New American Security (CNAS) published a report called “Global Swing States: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey and the Future of International Order.” CNAS lists Chevron, GE, JP Morgan Chase, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation and the U.S. Defense Department among its supporters. The think tank’s report proposes a U.S.-led world war alliance that could draw on more than two billion inhabitants.

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Wednesday
Dec122012

Student, Teacher Struggles Continue in Haiti

HAITI, December 7 — In three Haitian towns of St. Marc, Port-Au-Prince, and Gonaives, the spirit and the struggle of the November student demonstrations and national teachers’ strike continues. In all three, students went on strike and marched—the banner in the picture declares the demands: “Unite and fight injustice, high cost of living, insecurity, poor learning conditions, and MINUSTAH troops and their cholera.” 

Calling it charity, an insulting hand-out that falls far short of what they need, students refused the 18,000 gourdes (427 USD) one-time grant the President, Martelly, offered. Instead, they burned the grant applications and demanded instead decent campuses, transport, and health insurance. “We don’t need any $427 from a kidnapper,” they chanted, referring to a recent kidnapping case involving Martelly’s administration.Students call on everyone to unite to fight against injustice, the rich, insecurity, poor study conditions, cholera, and the UN troops.

On December 5, they also protested government sexism — it has protected an ex-minister of justice accused of raping his secretary. A PLP study group has been formed among some leaders of these actions.

The teachers’ union, UNNOH, has also continued meeting to plan further action after their two-day strike, including a national meeting of regional delegates. The promised negotiations with the Minister of Education have been delayed, showing the need for more direct action. The teachers received significant strike-fund help from a handful of North American and Caribbean teachers’ unions, and notice of their strike appeared in the French teacher/student union SUD. 

International solidarity is still needed and PLP members continue to build it. As the Latin American slogan has it, “¡Esta lucha va llegár a la guerra populár!” These struggles, if communist leadership is built within them, will lead to an all-out workers’ war on the bosses’ system.

Wednesday
Dec122012

PL’ers Spread Red Ideas As Workers Block LA Airport

LOS ANGELES, CA, November 21 — Hundreds of LAX airport workers and community supporters marched through the streets, blocking the main entrance to the airport for two hours. A community-based organization helped organize the march. They have been organizing workers at two different contract companies within the airport. They are fighting for benefits, healthcare, vacation, and better pay. Some have made multiple attempts to establish a union but have failed. During the voting the first time, contract workers were not even allowed to vote.

Airport subcontractor workers here are subject to bad or no health care, no pay raises, no sick days, no vacation, no jury duty pay, no free flights, long work hours or too few hours in the case of Ready Reserve workers. They are moving older workers out of the bag room and onto the ramp, where they have to stoop over all day. This is an obvious attempt to force older and better-paid workers to quit. They are also forced to manage entire flights without getting the higher pay of a lead.

The TSA “Totally Standing Around” agents and the airport police attack workers on a daily basis in the form of random pat-downs, check points to check ID and fingerprinting to check for explosive residue or gunpowder. They pull workers’ badges and add points to their airport records. The bosses push the idea that they are

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Wednesday
Dec122012

End Capitalism to Bring True Justice for Shantel Davis

What does it mean to remember Shantel Davis, the 23-year-old unarmed black woman killed by black NYPD Detective Phillip Atikins in Brooklyn on June 14?

As the six-month mark of Shantel’s murder approaches, family, friends and supporters fighting to send Atkins to prison plan to gather for a vigil on the site where she was murdered.

For the Progressive Labor Party, remembering Shantel means much more than only fighting for Atkins to serve time. The lasting justice for Shantel means fighting for an anti-racist communist world that would be worthy of her life. 

For the Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg, remembering Shantel means reminding the mainly black and immigrant workers of East Flatbush that cops can get away with racist murder.

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Wednesday
Dec122012

Workers Protest Mass Murder in Bangladesh

DHAKA, BANGLADESH, November 26 — Ten thousand garment workers barricaded roads, shut 50 factories and hurled stones at cops firing rubber bullets and tear gas as workers protested the November 24 fire that killed 124 workers at Tazreen Fashions here. Hundreds of workers were trapped inside, symptomatic of Bangladeshi garment factories that have become infamous for their lack of fire exits and stairwells. Over 100,000 outraged workers attended the burial ceremony of 53 workers whose bodies could not be identified” (New York Times, 12/7).

It’s common practice for the garment bosses to chain doors shut to prevent workers from taking breaks. Combined with poor maintenance practices and flammable materials and chemicals, these factories become firetraps. “More than 600 garment workers have died in such fires since 2005.” (NYT, 12/7)

Tazreen bosses told workers the fire alarm was a false one, to keep them working. Then they fled, but by the time workers realized what was occurring, the fire had snaked to the upper floors, blocking any exit routes. Some tried to escape by jumping out of windows.

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Wednesday
Dec122012

Algeria: Worker, Student Strikes, Blockades Hit Bosses’ Attacks

ALGIERS, December 5 — Workers and students are blocking buildings and striking for better conditions on the job and at the university against the socialist fig-leaf being used to hide a capitalist economy and the wealth of the bosses. Although a national liberation struggle gained independence from France in 1962, capitalism has remained in the name of socialism.

Large sectors of the economy were nationalized. Today, 90% of the banks are public, the hydrocarbon company is state-owned, and government spending represents two-thirds of non-hydrocarbon Gross Domestic Product. Yet almost one-fourth of the population lives in poverty. Twenty percent of the youth 15-24 are jobless. So the workers and students are fighting back.

Today, municipal workers in Zeribet El Oued struck, blockading the municipal popular assembly building demanding back pay, having gone unpaid for two to six months. The strike united temporary and permanent workers. “Whole families have been paralyzed by accounting and administrative malfunctions, which deprive us of our monthly income for months at a time,” said a public records worker.

Also today, forestry workers in Tlemcen walked out, demanding permanent hiring of temporary workers — in particular safety and security personnel — as well as for promotions that have been delayed, in particular for older workers.

There have been repeated student strikes in Boumerdè condemning the university bureaucracy, which has disorganized teaching and the functioning of different university departments. As of today, the commercial and economic sciences department and the school of hydrocarbons — Algeria is rich in oil and gas — have been blocked for over a week by strikers protesting disciplinary sanctions taken against 15 student strikers.

What is needed is a communist ideology to link all these struggles and to understand the need to fight for communism, not socialism’s state capitalism.

Wednesday
Dec122012

France: Steelworkers Battle Socialist Gov’t, Union Hacks’ Betrayal

FLORANGE, FRANCE, December 6 — Five thousand steelworkers here are fighting the closure of the ArcelorMittal steel plant, but at every turn they run up against the law of capitalism which seeks maximum profits over the workers’ dead bodies.

Workers at ArcelorMittal’s plant in Fos-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean blocked deliveries today in solidarity with steelworkers here. Some shifts struck and prevented rolls of steel from leaving the plant. Steelworkers at the company’s Basse-Indre plant on the west coast are set to strike on December 10 against plans to transfer sixty jobs to the Florange packaging plant.

Meanwhile, the union has been putting up its usual militant front while appealing to the government to force the company to keep the plant open, demanding it renegotiate its deal with ArcelorMittal. The local union leader, Edouard Martin, and a dozen union officials briefly occupied the plant, threatening to stage a sit-down inside. They then left when the bosses promised not to turn off the gas valves which keep the blast furnaces on standby.

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Wednesday
Dec122012

Workers Raise $ for Terminally Ill Brother; Bosses: Not 1¢

Recently at work we learned that one of our maintenance workers was diagnosed with terminal throat cancer. His doctor gave him only six months to live. Those closest to him began to take up a collection to send him on one last trip to fulfill a dream of his, watching a NASCAR race in Daytona, FL. Our machine shop pays the lowest wages in the area, with most workers making between $10 and $15 per hour in one of the most expensive areas in the country to live. But the workers in the shop stepped up, donating what they could. They raised the needed funds in less than two weeks.

Even though this was a modest dream and this maintenance worker had given more than five years of his life to this company the bosses could not find it in themselves to donate a single penny for this man’s last vacation. After initially claiming that they would allow workers to donate through paycheck deductions (something that would help people who live paycheck to paycheck) the company went back on that, claiming that it simply wouldn’t be possible.

 

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