BRONX, NY, May 19 — Since NYPD’s killer cop, Richard Haste, murdered black teenager Ramarley Graham in February, the family and residents of the Norwood neighborhood here have continued to fight this fascist killing. Various organizers have mobilized weekly Thursday vigils in front of the Graham residence, followed by a march through the neighborhood and ending with a demonstration at the 47th Precinct. PLP members and friends have joined this struggle, organizing others to participate. CHALLENGE and our leaflet entitled, “Racist Killer KKKops, You Can’t Hide! We Charge You with Genocide!” have sparked good discussions with workers and students.
On Sunday June 17 (Father’s Day), thousands of people angry at the recent murder of two young black men, as well as the daily humiliation of the NYPD’s racist stop-and-frisk tactics, will march down Fifth Avenue to the townhouse of “Mr. Wall Street” — billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Bronx PL’ers have joined the fight against the fascist murder of unarmed teenager Ramarley Graham, shot by NYC cops in his own bathroom (see adjoining article).
“Get up! Get down! There’s revolution in this town!” As a communist in PLP it was special to loft this chant on my union bullhorn above the march through the insurance towers and cathedrals of commerce of lower Manhattan.
“Get up! Get down!” is an Occupy chant, not from our Party but expresses the best fresh new impulse in Occupy. This impulse wants to sweep away racist capitalism not with reform demands, but with good old, traditional revolution, even if the nature and methods of that revolution are not yet spelled out.
May Day in Stockton, California was celebrated mainly by immigrants and Occupiers. Two PL’ers distributed leaflets in Spanish and English. It stressed the importance of internationalism and how we needed a society without borders or the wage system. We also stressed the importance of not relying on politicians; we must depend on the international working class. No unions were present. We’ve had brighter May Days here and we will see them again.
Approximately 50,000 workers participated in this well-attended march, defying bad weather and police threats. They occupied both sides of Seventh Avenue and adjacent streets, harassing and frisking workers. Union leaders carried signs with no messages, and whined about a better functioning capitalism. Peasants and indigenous groups denounced the genocide, against them during the last 50 years, because of the bosses’ thirst for maximum profits.
With the bullhorn cranked up to the maximum and pointed (illegally) towards the White House, the May Day marchers rattled the windows of the White House with revolutionary chants. The Labor Committee of OccupyDC vigorously organized all sections of Occupy to join this march. It was a smashing success, overcoming the fragmentation of the movement and demonstrating that the struggle that began with Occupy Wall Street last fall continues stronger than ever.
JOLIET, IL, May 19 — About 800 Caterpillar (CAT) workers, members of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local 851, struck at 12:01 a.m., May Day morning, after rejecting a proposed six-year contract that includes pay cuts and almost doubled healthcare costs. CAT made $1.5 billion in first-quarter profits.
Without the question you can’t think at all. “If you had an island to work with, how would you create a communist society?” This question and twenty others like it were asked by a young immigrant worker in our study group. Of course it made all the comrades think furiously. We’re so caught up in the daily political work that it takes a fresh eye sometimes to make us see anew our own political vision.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS, May 19 — A strike by 3,600 Lockheed Martin workers, members of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local 776, is entering its third week. The workers make F-35 and F-16 fighter jets, and are striking against healthcare and pension cuts. Lockheed Martin had $17.34 billion in federal contracts in 2010, making it the largest U.S. defense contractor. The company is threatening to “implement our contingency plan” to meet their blood-soaked commitments.
As Mockingjay, the third book of the Hunger Games trilogy, begins, Katniss sees the destruction of her home district and is taken to the underground District 13. The rulers of Panem had long treated the complete destruction of District 13 as an example of what would happen to any who rebelled.
District 13 had long ago been part of Panem rulers’ nuclear weapons program. District 13’s survivors had trained the weapons on the Capitol and agreed to “play dead in exchange for being left alone.” Katniss learns that the offspring of survivors of that fight 75 years ago were now organizing and leading the rebellion against Panem’s fascist rulers.