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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!


Latest Challenge

 Movie Review:

The Dark Knight Rises

The overarching message of the film is clear: revolutionary alternatives to capitalism are worse than the current system. According to the film, workers are essentially irrelevant and powerless. They are passive followers of either a madman or the bosses. Billionaire playboys, cops and fascist “caped crusaders” are the true heroes that will save our cities from “revolutionary” terror. 

 Progressive Labor Party on Race & Racism


Obama Threatens Endless U.S. Oil Wars

Barack Obama, desperate to serve U.S. imperialists for four more years, is spinning their worsening predicaments as his personal triumphs.  “As promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year....After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” Obama boasted on October 21.

But there’s no way U.S. rulers will not protect Exxon Mobil’s $50 billion investment in Iraq’s oil fields. Thirty-nine bases there still remain in U.S. hands. Furthermore, “The U.S. embassy in Baghdad already houses thousands of…officials and troops and contains 21 buildings in a space over 100 acres….The State Department is looking to spend upwards of $30 billion on Iraq over the next five years — around one-fourth of the Department’s…global operations budget” (Huffington Post, 9/26).

Meanwhile, Iraq’s Maliki regime is revoking the U.S. license to kill there. “The issue of immunity for U.S. troops appears to have been the key factor in the Obama administration’s decision to withdraw…. Iraqis...did not want to grant it because of high-profile killings of civilians....The U.S. said for any troops to remain in Iraq, they’d have to be granted full immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts” (National Public Radio, 10/24/11).

Guarding Exxon’s Oil Wells Means Boots on the Ground

But not all the GIs will be home for the holidays. Many will be part of  the Obama administration’s plans “to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf,” including “new combat forces in Kuwait able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran” (NY Times, 10/30; see box this page). Obama’s threat to reinvade Iraq contradicts his peace pronouncement.

The U.S.-led war for the Middle East’s vast energy resources remains far from settled. When they invaded in 2003, U.S. rulers envisioned six million barrels of crude gushing daily from Iraqi wells by 2006. Last year, they upped the potential bonanza to 12 million barrels per day. But persistent violence keeps actual flow around 2.9 million; on October 27, bombs killed 32 people in Baghdad. Exxon Mobil just invested $50 billion to boost production from Iraq’s massive West Qurna field. Expect a quick return of U.S. forces if violence menaces that project.

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‘Base Camp’ for Anti-Capitalism Struggle Occupy Oakland Fights Racist Cops’ Attack; Calls for General Strike

OAKLAND, CA, October 28 — At Occupy Oakland, workers and students reclaimed Oscar Grant Plaza after the occupation was brutally attacked on October 26 by a full-scale military action of 500-600 kkkops from 17 different Bay Area agencies.  The cops invaded the camp, which included children, at 5:30 AM with flash grenades, percussion bombs and tear gas. Eighty-five people were arrested that morning, and more than 100 during the day.

Like the fascist response to the Oscar Grant demonstration protesting his murder by racist
cops several months ago, this was a well-planned domestic version of the “Shock and Awe” invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Oakland politicians and police are well-rehearsed from years of attacking black and Latino youth. Now they have redesigned their security to handle mass uprisings.

Far from being intimidated by this police brutality, over 1,000 Oakland workers and students fought back. They gathered at the main library for a rally, then marched to the police department and jail to demand the release of arrested comrades before returning to City Hall. CHALLENGE was distributed along the way.

At 6:30 PM, the cops gave protesters five minutes to disperse or face mass arrests. But it wasn’t until 7:45 PM that the cops again attacked with tear gas and flash grenades. One Iraq vet, Scott Olsen, had his skull broken by a tear gas canister. These fascists wouldn’t even let people carry him away without tossing a flash grenade near him. The rebellion lasted until midnight.

By Wednesday night, workers and students had taken back Oscar Grant Plaza at 14th and Broadway and torn down the fences around the park. The daily General Assembly (GA) began at 7 PM.  By 10 PM, 1,486 people had voted to have a one-day general strike on November 2nd. The tents had returned the next day.

Over 1,000 people have attended the GA each night since the camp was raided. Liberal mayor Jean Quan tried to speak but was told to “go home!” She did. For now, the cops are laying low. Such a fascist attack proves that the cops are enemies of the working class and a direct arm of the state.

For some, Occupy Oakland is a base camp for the local struggle against capitalism. While the Occupiers and their supporters span the political spectrum, there certainly are many who want a new economic and political system. PL’ers had conversations where Occupiers actively shared their ideas about how to organize a new society as an alternative to profits and capitalism.

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LA PL’ers Defy Occupy LA ‘Leaders’; Spark March vs. Racist Police

LOS ANGELES —In the Occupy movement here, PL’ers led a roaring march of about 50 people — which grew as we marched — around City Hall, chanting, “Stop racist police brutality, stand with Boston in solidarity.” OccupyLA is approaching its 30th day here. To date, the occupiers have gotten very little resistance from the police — in contrast to Oakland, Denver, Atlanta, Boston and New York, where hundreds bravely fought against the cops. The participants here include a hodgepodge of individuals ranging from union hacks and pro-democracy types to fake leftists, undercover cops and disrupters. But most important are the honest youth, students and workers, employed and unemployed, who are enraged at the horrors of capitalism. We found this out first-hand when we helped spark the march against police brutality.

One of the growing frustrations in the camp has been the ineffectiveness of the General Assembly, which is essentially the “leaderless” leadership body with rules that allow one or two individuals to prevent a proposal from passing despite the large majority in agreement. A group trying to form an anti-police brutality committee was shut down and called provocateurs by “leaders” taking advantage of these rules.

But at one meeting we met a few individuals who were upset about the General Assembly.  A small discussion started, and it was announced that up to 100 people had been arrested in Boston. The discussion turned to racist police brutality, and what, if anything, to do about it. Some of the misleaders who later joined the gathering tried to “facilitate” (that is, take over) the meeting. They called for a moment of silence in solidarity with our Boston brothers and sisters. They did not want to “provoke the police” or fight racism and argued that the cops were “part of the 99%.”

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Occupy Philly Crowd Cheers PL’ers’ Call for Communism

My comrade in PLP and myself try to encourage each other to overcome our resistance to engaging with our friends in the community. We decided to go to the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Dilworth Plaza here in Philadelphia. He had brought CHALLENGEs to sell.

 As we rounded City Hall, we made our way through the lanes of “occupying tents” toward the crowd having an open meeting at the Tech Tent. It was presented by a coalition — All Mothers are Working Mothers; Payday for Men; Women’s Global Strike; and DHS-Give Us Back Our Children — to  about 35 people, from their late teens to retirees, listening closely to explanations of the sexist and economic injustice faced by parents and children.

These painful experiences were often generated by both governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which supposedly give aid to families. The crowd was equally divided among black and white, as well as Southeast Asians and Latinos; about two-thirds were female. We were being urged to fight to support justice and demand better services for moms, dads and children.

Amid this rally, I had a strong memory of myself as a teen-aged woman
listening to protest leaders and experiencing the awakening of my own political mind. A “speak-out” line was forming at the mike. I’ve had a “communist education” from the PLP — through my spouse, our PLP club, area leader, reading CHALLENGE, attending Party conventions, then bringing these ideas to co-workers, friends, and family members and participating in PL-led anti-fascist demonstrations.
I discussed the idea with my comrade about saying a few words at the mike. We agreed and I got in line to be handed the mike a few moments later and began speaking.

I agreed that sexism is oppressing us in many cruel ways. Most men and their children suffer from the effects of this sexism on the women they love and experience it directly on themselves as well. We face the same basic problems and we can face them together when we unite and create a society without sexist oppression. Many in the crowd applauded.

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Occupy Chicago Getting Angrier, But: Police Attacks Show Non-violence Is A Loser

CHICAGO, November 1 — While the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement continues to grow worldwide, Occupy Chicago has moved in that same direction. Progressive Labor Party has been there since the beginning, selling CHALLENGE and trying to channel the movement towards communism. For the past month students, workers (employed and unemployed), doctors, nurses, teachers and others have built Occupy Chicago from a few angry people into a lot of angry workers. PL applauds this effort, but without communist revolution we’ll continue to be at the bosses’ mercy.

There’s a lot we communists can learn from this movement and there’s also a lot we can teach those in it. One is that non-violence doesn’t work when the bosses’ main tool is violence. On Occupy Chicago’s main website, they list their “Declaration of Nonviolence” which reads: “Occupy Chicago reassures its members and the public that we are a social movement dedicated to nonviolent action.”

We’ve struggled with OWS to see that non-violence is useless when the ruling class is committing genocide against the working class on a daily basis, whether it’s on the streets of Chicago, Oakland, New York, Rome, London or Rwanda; whether at Cook County Board meetings where they close hospitals, or in the schools or the jails. As long as capitalism exists, there can be no peace anywhere.

That lesson was taught the hard way to this movement. Over the past three weekends, the Chicago kkkops have arrested hundreds of the occupiers. On October 24, they arrested 130 people just for being in Grant Park after hours. The cops say they’re “protecting the peace.” But when a concert or a football game at nearby Soldier Field ends late and people are just hanging out in the park, there’s not a cop to be found.

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Occupy Newark Makes Anti-Racism Key Fight

NEWARK, NJ October 30 — While there are certainly many weaknesses in the Occupy Wall Street movement, one positive aspect is that it has motivated many workers and students to begin fighting back.  Around 25 students and workers in Newark gathered for a General Assembly meeting to figure out how to proceed.  From the beginning, many workers began to talk about the budget cuts made by Mayor Cory Booker while giving himself a raise in the last budget. 

One of the students then proposed creating a different budget and getting a petition to deliver it to the city council for recognition.  Then, a black worker jumped in and said, “They create these illegal laws to get away with this stuff.”  She described how workers are struggling just to survive and that we need to think about different ways to fight back beyond “protesting.”

Many people in the group agreed that we need to do more.  Then a longtime worker and resident of Newark raised the role of racism under capitalism and why we need to look at these problems (housing, unemployment, health care) as a systemic issue and not just one brought about by particular individuals. 

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Steve Jobs Polished Capitalist Apple for I-Slavery

People around the world mourned the death of Steve Jobs on October 5. Jobs, one of the founders of Apple, is credited with changing the world with stylish and easy-to-use gadgets like the iPhone, iPad and Macintosh computer. Apple built an image of ingenuity that would make life better through its products.

While Jobs and Apple can be credited for these devices, they were and are no friends of the working class around the world. In the past 14 years under Jobs’ leadership, Apple became the world’s largest company, recently surpassing Exxon Mobil. It made so much money that it held over “$76 billion in cash and investments” in a bank in Nevada to avoid California corporate and capital gains taxes (Newsweek, 9/5/11).

How did they make all that money? Pure inventiveness, creativity and will? No, they made it off the backs of the working class. Even though Apple is a U.S. company, it chose to produce the bulk of its products in China, where average wages of workers are extremely low. In 2010, the average salary for a Chinese worker in Shenzen, home city to Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn, is about 900 yuan a month, or about  $132 (Bloomberg, 5/28/10).  Foxconn is the company that manufactures most of Apple’s products.

Sweatshop-like conditions have permeated these companies. According to the UK’s Daily Mail, workers clocked almost 98 hours per week, standing most of the time. When the iPad was in high demand, workers were only “allowed to take one day off in 13.” If they performed poorly they were humiliated in front of co-workers ( 5/1/11). Conditions at these plants are so horrendous that workers were committing suicide. Workers at Foxconn were made to sign an agreement that if they killed themselves, their families would not be compensated.

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Student Groups’ OWS Trips Building PLP

NEW YORK CITY — Our study/action Group has been taking students to participate in Occupy Wall Street (OWS). The students looked forward to going to OWS because they’ve been inspired by the protests.   We meet for lunch, read CHALLENGE and discuss the contradictions between reform and revolution. 

The most valuable element of the OWS protest has been the fact that it is capturing the imagination of workers and youth as well as inspiring them to fight back.  Our students were quick to point out that these protests were similar to those in Egypt.  The massive uprising there led to a dictatorship without a dictator in Egypt. In Tunisia, Islamists won an  election. Both were a losing proposition for the working class.

A few days later, another group of students and some teachers went down with a PL’er who works at the school.  They saw the limits of reform for themselves, and each of them moved closer to the Party as a result.  One of the students now takes and distributes CHALLENGE, having his own CHALLENGE network. 

A week after our first trip, another teacher in our group was able to convince his students to go.  Our students then met up together and distributed CHALLENGE and had conversations about our politics.  These conversations strengthened their commitment to our Party’s ideas.  Hopefully, they too will join the Party.  The OWS movement should be seen as an opportunity for us to build the Party by discussing it, going to it, and struggling over the politics of it.J 


Pro-Boss Union Hacks Divert Workers into Arms of Rulers’ Electoral Hoax

The recent upsurge in militant class struggle, as seen in Greece, Egypt, Spain, England, Syria, Israel/Palestine, Pakistan, and the United States, is a heartening development. Over the last two months, the trade union movement in New York City has moved thousands of its members to participate in its Labor Day march and at various rallies connected to Occupy Wall Street (OWS). This display of the potential power of the working class has encouraged still more organized workers.

Black, Latino, Asian and white workers from scores of unions, in both the public and private sectors, have made what appears to be a statement of solidarity and unity. Once you get past surface appearances, however, the essence of this activity is something very different. Progressive Labor Party was present at the Labor Day march and lifted the struggle level by raising questions like:

What was the focus of the unions’ Labor Day march? Did it aim to stop the racist threat of public hospital closings at Brookdale in Brooklyn or Peninsula General in Queens? Such a fight would do much to stop the erosion of desperately needed medical care in the predominately black and Latino communities that these hospitals serve — and the layoffs that these closings would require. PL’ers have supported these struggles by joining picket lines and demonstrations at the hospitals, along with our coworkers and friends. Our solidarity efforts, communist ideas and CHALLENGE were warmly received by rank-and-file hospital workers, many of whom have become our friends.

It would have been great if the Labor Day march had taken a stand against the racist crisis of unemployment that grips every segment of the working class at an “actual” rate (including underemployed and “marginally attached” workers) of more than 21 percent ( We say that unemployment is racist because black, Latino and immigrant youth are victimized by joblessness by a multiple of three times the overall rate. But the union “leaders” have no plan to fight either health care cuts or massive, racist unemployment.

What if workers organized to force the New York City Central Labor Council (NYCLC) to call for a citywide general strike to stop the layoffs of some 800 public school support workers? The struggle led by PL earlier this year at the John Jay High School campus in Brooklyn showed how students, teachers and parents could be won to unite and militantly confront the racist Department of Education.

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Capitalism Still Reigns in Algeria: Gas Workers Battle for Stolen Wages

HASSI R’MEL, ALGERIA, November 1 — The Arab Spring that overturned three neighboring dictatorships has been meaningless for natural gas workers in Algeria, who still suffer from the capitalists dominating the country. They’ve been fighting for back pay and are demanding a 30% wage hike.

On October 27, about 400 workers sat in at the Sonatrach regional headquarters here, the site of Africa’s biggest natural gas field, and attempted a second one two days later. On October 30, the movement spread to workers in the Amont division, who staged a protest outside company headquarters in Algiers.

Multinational Sonatrach is Africa’s biggest oil-and-gas company and the 12th biggest in the world. It has 22 subsidiaries and employed 48,062 workers in 2010.

Rank-and-file workers say they will radicalize their movement if management does not meet their demands. In particular, they’re threatening to repudiate their newly elected union representatives for failing to back their demands, which also include an end to the job promotions freeze.

The movement began in the summer, after management failed to pay the wage hikes obtained in the April 2011 union contract. In June, the workers upped their demands to a 25% across-the-board wage hike (now 30%) instead of the previous contract’s 8% to 25%, depending on one’s work category.

Since then, the workers have held numerous meetings and general assemblies and have drawn up a 15-point platform of demands.

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