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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


Chinese Military Expansion Ups Ante vs. U.S., Portends Global War

CHINA, August 28 — A report released by the U.S. Defense Department warned that China’s current military build-up is “potentially destabilizing” in the Pacific (NYT, 8/24). The report points to China’s growing naval capabilities as a potential challenge to U.S. dominance in the region. For the last decade U.S. plans to contain Chinese growth and influence have relied on unchallenged access to the vital waterways that serve as China’s link to Middle Eastern oil reserves. In 1999 the Hart-Rudman Report stated that should a conflict arise between the U.S. and China that “the parade of supertankers streaming to Chinese ports would be vulnerable to interdiction” (Phase I, p 73).

China has apparently heeded Washington’s threats and is now making moves to secure these vital waterways. In 2010 China announced its Far Sea Defense strategy causing the New York Times to write in a panic, “The Chinese military is seeking to project naval power well beyond the Chinese coast, from the oil ports of the Middle East to the shipping lanes of the Pacific, where the U.S. has long reigned as the dominant force” (NYT, 4/23/10).

China’s naval build-up is moving forward with astonishing speed. In 2009 China revealed to international observers its new nuclear submarines (NYT, 4/21/09). In January 2011 China held the first test flight of its brand new stealth jet fighter during a visit to Beijing by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates (Reuters, 8/18). The building of a stealth fighter is particularly interesting because it is not only useless against anybody other than other imperialists like the U.S., but it was also apparently designed with the help of Russian engineers.

In July, China held the first open-seas trial of a refitted Soviet-era aircraft carrier purchased from the Ukraine. It is the first of three Chinese aircraft carriers currently under development (Reuters, 7/28). Now the Pentagon is claiming that China is developing an anti-ship ballistic missile that is capable of striking American aircraft carriers (NYT, 8/24).

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PLP Leads Opposition to Neo-Nazi, Tea Party Racists

WORCESTER, MASS., July 23 — On July 16, the North East White Pride (NEWP), a fascist, pro-Nazi group, tried to use the Worcester Library to spread its racist ideas. Progressive Labor Party organized the community to stand up to these Nazis, who had put out a video on YouTube inviting fascists to come to their meeting and bring weapons. When the Library Board saw the video, it cancelled NEWP’s meeting.

Many people then thought NEWP would not come. We in PLP immediately said that an anti-fascist demonstration would be held regardless of whether NEWP came or not. NEWP called the library and threatened violence. The city then called PLP and asked us to postpone our demonstration. We said we would not allow the fascists to go unopposed.

About 50 people came to the July 16th anti-fascist rally. PLP’s message of multi-racial unity, jobs for everyone and a communist society was made known and we are now recognized in Worcester for our principled stand against racism and fascism. About five fascists came to the library but were refused use of the meeting rooms. Anti-racists kept an eye on them and followed them around the library until they left the city.

One reason these fascists (who live in New Hampshire) came to Worcester is because one or two of the City Councilors are sympathetic to the Tea Party and the Tea Party has connections to NEWP. Its webmaster is also the webmaster for the Tea Party. These City Councilors have proposed a city ordinance enforcing the racist so-called Secure Communities. We’re now organizing people to oppose this fascist Tea Party law.  We make the point that when workers control society racist laws will end and laws to help all working people will be enacted.

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Street Battles with Cops Chile: Massive Student, Miner Strikes Need Red Anti-Nationalist Ideas

CHILE — Showing the fighting spirit of the working class, students and workers have united in a massive reform struggle for access to education and better wages. They organized a strike against the right-wing president Sebastian Pinera. Well over a half a million workers and students took to the streets and fought pitched battles with the cops, who killed one young teen.

Sick of the fact that education is becoming increasingly privatized and priced out of reach, many young people have been protesting for months to have access to education. The mass number of student struggles entered a new stage as it merged with the currrent miners’ struggle. This unity has worried the Chilean ruling class.  

The students and workers in Chile are an inspiration to the international working class. Their spirit is a necessary ingredient in the struggle to lift us from the hell of capitalism. Unfortunately, a key ingredient — revolutionary communist leadership — is missing. The reformism and revisionism (fake leftists) that currently dominate place absolute limits on the struggle. Hundreds of thousands of workers and students chanting, “The people united will never be defeated” is a testament to how politically misled the movement is. There are fewer more bankrupt and dangerously misleading phrases than “the people” (including the bosses) as it hides class content and make one wonder, which people? Communist leadership will transform this chant into “The workers united will never be defeated.”

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Need to Shut Down U. of Maryland Workers, Students, Profs Unite vs. Bosses’ Abuse

COLLEGE PARK, MD., September 3 — Workers and students at the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) continue to push their demands to end the abuses against campus facilities workers.  The Black Faculty and Staff Association, along with the union and students, held a press conference on August 18th to promote solidarity and expose the Administration’s treatment of workers. 

Workers spoke out about supervisors denying them leave to visit dying parents or take care of sick children, prohibiting Latina housekeepers from speaking Spanish on the job, isolating workers who speak out, and refusing to allow computer training to enhance promotions.  A worker reported years of sexual abuse and harassment, including physical contact and “flashing” by a student in front of a housekeeper.  No supervisor received disciplinary actions.  While the Chancellor makes $700,000 a year, the housekeepers earn $27,000.  Managers receive pay increases while they furlough workers in all departments.

This struggle is part of a wider movement of workers around the globe.  At the same time, 45,000 Verizon workers were striking, students were demonstrating in Chile and Haiti for educational reforms,  Washington, D.C. unemployed residents were demanding jobs, and thousands of people in Egypt and Syria were fighting to end dictatorships.   They all share a common goal of creating a better life for workers and students.  Yet they also share a common mistake.

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Workers, Students Invade LA Supermarket to Back Potential Strikers

EAST LOS ANGELES, September 2 — Recently a group of workers and students marched through a supermarket here to support workers fighting company demands to pay for healthcare costs by cutting wages. Nearly 90% of workers voting rejected the latest contract offered by three supermarkets: Ralphs (Kroger), Albertsons (SuperValu) and Vons (Safeway). For the second time in the last six months, workers authorized the union, the United Food Service Workers (UFCW), to strike.

Over the last six weeks, PLP members, working with friends who participate in Community Education for Social Action (CESA) have “adopted” a supermarket here. They’ve built relationships with workers and members of the surrounding community, including students from the nearby Cal State Los Angeles University and East LA community college. We’re aiming to build revolutionary class-consciousness among workers and community residents, as well as among students participating in these actions.

Last Friday, a delegation of 20 students, workers, and community residents entered the store with picket signs and chants, calling for an end to spending on imperialist war instead of on healthcare and jobs, and encouraging worker-student solidarity in the struggle against the supermarkets.

We wanted to disrupt the store’s regular operation, to call customers’ attention to the supermarket workers’ struggle and to show how we’re organizing support for their fight. Delegates brought signed petitions from the Cal State LA campus and CESA to present to the store manager.

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Links Marxism to Action Supporting Store Strike

LOS ANGELES, August 27  — We are a group of students, educators, workers, and union members who meet weekly to study Marxism and put it into practice by building working-class solidarity with Southern California supermarket workers.

For several months, we have been committed to reading works such as Marx’s Capital and Lenin’s Imperialism – The Highest Stage of Capitalism.  Through these readings, we understand how the economic collapse of 2008 and subsequent recession and high rate of unemployment are not accidents, but examples of the repeating cycle of boom and bust that characterize capitalism. This system relies on unemployed workers as a reserve army of labor for the ruling class. We also discussed how these crises are exaggerated by the need for growing profits for bankers and big corporations, as well as the need for imperialist powers to initiate wars of aggression.

We committed ourselves to supporting workers of Ralphs, Albertsons, and Vons supermarkets in Southern California. They may be going on strike against a proposed contract that aims to remove affordable health care and pension plans.

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Wanted for Murder: Cook County Hospital Bosses

OAK FOREST, ILLINOIS, August 12 — Thirty-five workers, students, patients and PLP members protested Cook County’s plans to close Oak Forest Hospital.  Oak Forest is the public hospital that serves the south suburbs of Chicago, an area home to many working-class, unemployed, and black residents.  It is a lifeline for people with no insurance who will not receive adequate services from the private hospitals in the area. 

Our protest started out on the campus of Oak Forest in front of the long-term patient ward where many in-house patients have already been moved and subsequently died. We then moved to the emergency room where Cook County police stopped us and demanded that we move off campus.  In high spirits, we relocated to the busy intersection at the hospital entrance, where we passed out hundreds of fliers and copies of CHALLENGE and were met with many honks of support.

The government of Cook County, led by Toni Preckwinkle, want to close the hospital and have uninsured patients travel to Stroger Hospital at least 45 minutes away.  This plan will ensure the death of many sick patients who need to travel that far to be stabilized. Our protest called out Preckwinkle for what she is — a murderer.

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PLP’s International Summer Projects: MEXICO: PLP Hits Home with Industrial Workers

MEXICO CITY, August 7 — “We don’t want crumbs, we want the whole cake!” With these words at a communist school attended by nearly 30 workers and their relatives alongside members of Progressive Labor Party, a comrade from Mexico summed up the class struggle at the heart of the PL Summer Project here.

The school covered political economy, the rise of fascism, the line of PL, and the necessity of a single international communist party. It followed a week of activity in an industrial area near Mexico City, an impoverished, drug-infested community of mostly factory workers. As we visited the Party’s base in many houses and several workplaces, and then met with workers in the evening at a comrade’s home, it was obvious how capitalism had failed to meet the community’s most basic needs. Of every ten students who begin primary school, only one will graduate from high school. In many houses, water and electricity are sporadic.  Some neighborhoods have none at all. 

One worker we visited, Roberto, is a brickmaker.  His neighborhood has no paved streets, no school. The bricks he makes go elsewhere; his own home is made of wood, plastic sheets, corrugated metal, and cardboard, with a dirt floor.  For nearly two hours, Roberto talked about all the things his community lacked, from public transportation to sports facilities. He said that the three major parties’ local politicians buy votes with pre-election pizza parties, but deliver nothing of substance to the workers.  Roberto is a regular CHALLENGE reader and agreed to take several papers to distribute.

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Haiti: Freedom School A Lesson Plan for Communist Education

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, July 29 — The last day of the PLP Summer Project’s freedom school marked a big advance in organizing around the anti-racist, anti-sexist ideas urgently needed by workers in Haiti. After an inspirational class, much of it student-led, teachers and students broke through the cement-block walls of their tilekol (“little school,” in Kreyol). They marched to the State University Hospital of Haiti, where they showed militant support for workers in the fourth week of a strike for lost wages and decent patient care.

The day capped a week of critical, participatory, political education that involved teams of Haitian and visiting teachers and about 50 eager young people. As opposed to traditional, top-down schooling under capitalism, which imposes conformity with the bosses’ reactionary ideology and out-and-out lies, the tilekol aimed to equip its students to grapple with reality and change the world.

Our school was rooted in the practice of communist educators in the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, whose influence later ranged from the Freedom Summer schools in the U.S. civil rights movement to the work of Paulo Freire, the Brazilian writer who called for “transformative education” to liberate workers’ minds. 

Our first attempts to teach were bogged down by the challenge of translation in up to four languages (English, French, Kreyòl, Spanish), and also by traditional lecturing that was too dominated by the teachers. But by the second and third weeks, we gradually shifted to a more participatory style.

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Palestine: Confirms Anti-Racist Politics

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, August 12 — Fifteen students and workers organized the first ever PLP Summer Project in Palestine/Israel. Throughout the project we met with students and workers who were fighting house demolitions (see CHALLENGE, 8/17/11); daycare workers fighting sexist exploitation (see CHALLENGE, 11/3/10); and participated in rallies and demonstrations protesting declining living standards of Jewish and Arab workers and students. We received a friendly reception when we distributed PLP literature in Hebrew and Arabic.

The Project not only inspired many of us to continue to fight for one international party but also validated our line: racism hurts all workers. Capitalists can divide workers politically as well as maximize profits by exploiting some sections of the working class and super-exploiting others. Here the Israeli ruling class exploits Jewish workers while super-exploiting Arab workers.

Destroy Arab Workers’ Homes and Then Charge Them for the Demolition!

The government confiscates Israeli citizens’ lands, justifying this by claiming that the Arab residents created extensions to the houses “without the proper permits,” making them “unsafe.” Israeli cops then evict the people and demolish their houses. And then they often charge the former residents for the demolition of their own homes!

This has occurred all over Palestine/Israel, from Jaffa to Lod to the West Bank. According to the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions, since 1967 the Israeli government has demolished nearly 25,000 homes in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, besides thousands of other homes in other areas.

Those able to resist demolition are forced to live in miserable conditions, without access to basic food, running water and jobs. In areas where Arabs live near Jewish settlers, the Israeli government is constructing walls to separate the Arab workers from the town centers. Arab workers can only get food and go to work by traveling through a tunnel underground. If there is no Israeli soldier present to unlock the tunnel’s gate, the Arab workers must wait until one gets there (if at all) or else they can’t get to work.

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