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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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Tuesday
Jun182013

One Year Later—Fight Against KKKiller Cops Continues

BROOKLYN, NY, June 15 — “If you hate these racist killer cops, put your fist in the air!”  Scores of fists were raised in response to this chant from a motorcade led by family members of Shantel Davis and Kimani Grey through the Flatbush neighborhood.  It has been one year since racist murderer Detective Philip Atkins shot and killed 23-year-old Shantel Davis in her car. The resolve of her family, the Shantel Davis Committee for Justice and Beyond, and members of Progressive Labor Party to continue the fight is as strong as ever. 
Only nine months after Shantel was murdered, police from Atkins’ precinct gunned down a 16-year-old young man, Kimani Gray, less than a mile from where Shantel was murdered.  As Shantel’s sister put it again during a Friday night vigil, where Constance Malcolm, the mother of another murder victim, Ramarley Graham, spoke, the NYPD is creating a new family of fighters determined to keep the memory of their loved ones alive and the fight against racist police murder strong. 
The women from these families boldly defy the bosses’ laws by taking over the streets in demonstrations to seek justice. They are living proof that through struggle, women can and will break through the passivity that the bosses push on working-class females in particular.  The women of the Graham, Davis and Gray families point the way toward a future where the capitalists and their sexist, racist system will be smashed once and for all.

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Tuesday
Jun182013

PL Transit Workers Ally with Riders, Lead Fight vs. Racist Bosses

WASHINGTON, DC, June 17 — The DC Metro transit bosses continue their racist attacks on the working class, both in the community and on the job.  They continue to push for service cuts and for privatization, which will hurt both the Metro workforce and workers throughout the region.
The Progressive Labor Party’s immediate strategy is to hit back on two fronts. In the short term, we are building an alliance among the riding public, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689, and other unions for jobs, lower fares, better service, and a single wage-and-benefit package for all transit workers. We are also fighting against DC Metro’s racist background checks. This alliance has the potential to push back these attacks and shut the region down. Our longer-term strategy is to win workers to a communist understanding of the need for revolution to destroy the entire capitalist system.

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Tuesday
Jun182013

LA May Day Inspires Youth to Join PL

LOS ANGELES, June 12 — The PLP high school club here has been very active recently, both before and after May Day. One student declared: “As a high-school senior, I was willing to engage more in my school. When my teacher asked me to be a part of the May Day dinner, I was willing to experience something new. I knew it was about communism but had no idea what that was. Being there helped me to understand that communism means joining people as one and providing equality and fairness among all the people. I developed a new outlook.

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Tuesday
Jun182013

Union Hacks say ‘Vote’ — Workers Need Mass Struggle

NEW YORK CITY, June 12 — Thousands of angry teachers, transit, fire, sanitation and other workers rallied today demanding new contracts. All city unions have been without new contracts, some for over two years. But instead of staging a city-wide general strike, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and the NY Central Labor Council used this as a Democratic Party election rally for the upcoming mayoral election. Some went so far as to say they had come to City Hall to “evict” billionaire Bloomberg, even though he is leaving on his own, term-limited out, after 12 devastating years. The UFT gave out a sea of blue t-shirts that read, “Workers Count and Workers Vote.” That was also one of the main chants from the stage.

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Tuesday
Jun182013

Black Women Lead Fight vs. Hospital Closings

BROOKLYN, NY, June 16 — “Healthcare Yes! Wall Street No! Racist [governor] Cuomo’s got to go!” This chant, started by members and friends of Progressive Labor Party and taken up eagerly by hundreds of mainly women hospital workers, rang out for the entire march fighting against closing of Downstate Hospital. Many union leaders and politicians looked decidedly uncomfortable. The speeches were more militant in response to the mood of the workers.Brookdale Hospital workers and Occupy rally to oust the racist administration Mdysis and fight their healthcare cuts in November 2011.
For a year, hospital workers and residents of the neighborhoods served by us have been fighting against the downsizing and/or closings of both Downstate Hospital and Long Island College Hospital (LICH).  Downstate, comprising 8,000 workers and nearly 2,000 medical students, is the fourth largest business in Brooklyn.
The hospital and NY State bosses have been waffling on their plans, partly in response to this fightback. In the current economic environment, Governor Cuomo and Sate University chancellors want to cut our wages and benefits; their plan has no good solutions for hospitals that serve a large percentage of Medicaid and uninsured patients. The Public Benefit Corporation experiment proposed in Downstate bosses’ “Sustainability Plan,” will referee the imposition of more and deeper cutbacks.
This is a despicable sexist, racist attack on the working class here. Both politicians and union leaders fear that our struggles will progress into more militant actions than just petitions. Hundreds of CHALLENGEs sold at the hospital were welcomed by workers.
At the frontline of this fight are women workers, most of whom are black and immigrant. Considering the sexist fact women bear most of, if not the sole, responsibility of raising children and taking care of their parents, we are at the forefront of the struggle for healthcare for our families. Those of us who may lose jobs at these hospitals are major, if not primary, wage-earners for our households. In spite of the unpaid labor in the house and the exploited wage labor in the hospitals, women workers are getting involved and taking leadership, often for the first time.
PLP has been deeply involved in organizing these hospital struggles. We were there when Brookdale Hospital workers took on the criminal hospital administration, Medisys. We were part of organizing the first demonstration last June at Downstate with Occupy Wall Street.  We have tried to help mobilize the neighborhood Red Hook residents (survivors of Superstorm Sandy) to fight for workers and patients at LICH. Throughout we have warned that this crisis in healthcare is caused by the capitalist need to move resources out of social services into its efforts to maintain control over its world empire.
Workers in all hospitals must stick together and enlist the support of our patients. We cannot rely on voting and politicians. Mass, rank-and-file, militant struggle is our only chance to push back these attacks. Finally we have always said that a system based on profits can never provide decent health care for the working class. That is why we fight to build a mass communist movement in this antisexist struggle.

Tuesday
Jun182013

Combat Sexist Attacks on Workers

The company I work for is located in the northern part of the State of Mexico, one of the poorest areas of the state. The company pays $600 MXN a week to women and $650 MXN to men (one U.S. dollar is equivalent to 12.78 Mexican pesos); these are starvation wages, miserable and also humiliating. This company is one of many that exploit workers, taking advantage of conditions in the area, because this is one of the most deprived regions. The majority here doesn’t own the lots where they reside, living precariously in brick and mud houses covered by cardboard or aluminum roofs, and out of necessity are forced to accept dangerous jobs for very low wages. Most never even finished elementary school.

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Tuesday
Jun182013

Expose Fascist ‘Deporter in Chief’

Los Angeles, June 7 — When President Obama showed up here today to give a fund-raising speech to the people he really represents — the wealthy of this city and the fat-cat donors of the Democratic Party — he was met by 150-200 protesters, mostly young Latino college students. Many came to the U.S. with parents and relatives in search of a way out of the desperate poverty in Central America and Mexico. A group of us PLP members joined our friends from immigrant rights groups at the rally, to protest an administration that is working 24/7 to detain (jail) and deport an all time high number of immigrants, 1.7 million, in the last four years.

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Tuesday
Jun182013

Boston Bombing Prompts Racist Terror

In response to the CHALLENGE article on the Boston Marathon bombings 4/21), about the tragedy that killed three people, it has been useful for Boston comrades in discussing and agreeing with our friends that capitalism is at the root of terrorism (explained well in the article). The bosses’ pursuit of creating a police state is currently strong evidence of an increasing fascist hold over the masses. Some of us have gathered reactions of students and workers at one urban community college here.
After the bombing some students without “legal” immigrant status feared coming to school. There was a heightened awareness at the college of the police “out there looking for the perpetrators” endangering many students who immigrated here. They were wary of appearing publically. This fear is legitimate and those comrades who were born here must become sensitive to, and respectful of, such reactions. We must find ways to work with them and enable them to trust us and feel safe to express themselves about PLP’s politics.
With the media praising the police and “first responders,” and using this tragedy to build U.S. patriotism, the general public appears very tolerant of this new police state. As anti-Muslim terrorism runs rampant in Boston, a Muslim woman from Malden was beaten and a woman from Newton, a wealthy Boston suburb was forced out of her car by the police while they searched her vehicle and questioned her. One Muslim professor who works at the college lives in an apartment complex in Newton among a small community of Muslims described their fear of leaving the house. Since the Marathon, some of her non-Muslim neighbors have snubbed her, which shocked and hurt her and her husband. There’s a police car parked outside the complex which was never there before during the day.

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Tuesday
Jun182013

Unitarians Need Communism 

PL’ers in the mass orgaization Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations are attending the UU General Assembly in Louisville, KY. At last June’s General Assembly, in Phoenix, 3,000 UUs demonstrated outside racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigrant detention center, chanting “Tear it down!”
The progressive aspirations of Unitarian Universalists are codified in seven principles. They are achievable — but not under capitalism. Take these four principles as an example.
The inherent worth and dignity of every person. Despite endless heroic struggles to reform it, capitalism has been destroying the lives of working people for five centuries. Often this takes the form of mass murder, as it did this spring in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In their relentless push for profit, garment factory owners forced employees, mainly women, to work in a dangerous building by threatening to withhold their ($37 a month!) paychecks. The building collapsed, killing 1,127 workers.
Capitalists use both racism and sexism to divide workers and reap even higher profits. The same sexism used to sell women’s fashions abetted the mass murder of women in Bangladesh. For the European and U.S. corporations that were the ultimate employers of these women, racism also played a role in justifying below-poverty wages and deadly working conditions.
To stay competitive, the capitalists impose wage, pension, and health benefit cuts. They resort to layoffs, speedups, unpaid overtime, unsafe working conditions, and outsourcing — whatever it takes to keep them profitable. Democrats are no better than Republicans in this regard. When the Obama administration took over General Motors, it slashed the base pay of new hires in half, from $28 to $14 per hour.
UUs often attribute low wages and unhealthy or unsafe working conditions to the greed of individual bosses. But it’s the laws of capitalist development that undermine the worth and dignity of working people. Companies that maximize profits can expand their operations and gain more access to capital from banks. As a result, they capture market share from less profitable companies, which eventually get taken over or run out of business.
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations. In the 17th Century, John Locke claimed that society was the product of a “social contract” among isolated individuals. This incorrect idea is implicit in the UU principles. In fact, human beings evolved through cooperation in production, beginning with hunting and gathering. In today’s capitalist society, every individual is a member of one of two classes: the small group of people who own and control the means of production (factories, mines, oil fields, transport), and the much larger group who creates value through their work. For hundreds of thousands of years, humans worked together to produce food and shelter for all. No one tried to “get ahead.” This was primitive communism. PLP’s goal is to nurture humans’ nature to work collectively and build communism based on a scientific understanding and practice.
For capitalists, “justice” means the right to exploit workers and profit from their labor. It’s the right to benefit from racist and sexist wage differentials. It’s the right to stay in power by dividing workers with racist, sexist, and nationalist ideas — and through religion. Capitalist justice is enforced by the apparatus of the state: armies, cops, courts, laws, and prisons. Government may take the form of electoral democracy (the U.S. or Bangladesh), or monarchy (Saudi Arabia), or rule by a single party (the state capitalist rulers of China). But the content in each case is the dictatorship of the ruling class.
As for “equity,” capitalists believe it is equitable for the richest 1 percent of the world’s population to own 40 percent of the wealth, while the bottom 50 percent owns 1 percent. They believe it is equitable for hundreds of millions to suffer from unemployment, despite the desperate need for education, health care, home construction, infrastructure repair, and pollution abatement.   
Do capitalists feel “compassion” for workers? Even as they announce layoffs or pay cuts, they are busy importing cheap products from starvation-wage countries and exporting capital to exploit workers in those countries. Their exploitation forces workers to emigrate to the U.S. and Europe, where they are both criminalized and forced to accept substandard pay and working conditions. “Justice, equity and compassion” are under siege by capitalist social relations.
The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all. No matter your age, you have not lived one day of your life in a world without war. Since around 1900, the beginning of the era of monopoly capitalism, the imperialist powers have fought endless wars to seize territory, markets, resources and access to labor. At least 160 million people have been killed in these conflicts. (For death tolls, see www.war-memorial.net.) From the 1860s to 1975, peasants and workers in one small country, Vietnam, fought against imperialist occupiers — first France, then the Japanese, then the French again, then the U.S. and its puppet regimes. In the war against U.S. imperialism alone, three million Vietnamese were killed. A recent book about U.S. military policy in Vietnam takes its title from what many soldiers were ordered to do: Kill Anything That Moves.
The murderous tradition of U.S. imperialism is alive and well today. With the U.S. wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan maintaining smaller numbers of troops, the Obama administration is presiding over a “pivot to Asia,” a move to line up allies and prepare for conflict with their main imperialist rival, China. Cyberwarfare between the two rivals is already underway. If an all-out war erupted between the U.S. and China, it would undoubtedly involve nuclear weapons and result in tens of millions — perhaps hundreds of millions — of fatalities.
War is the ultimate expression of capitalist competition. It’s also the ultimate solution to capitalist crises of overproduction, known as depressions. Through war, capitalist governments destroy excess productive capacity — including “excess” workers — and rebuild.
To achieve “world community with peace,” we must fight to end capitalist rule.
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Most UUs try to some extent to “live green.” Meanwhile, the world’s capitalists pour over a million pounds of carbon per second into the atmosphere, mainly through unnecessarily dirty power plants, factories, cement production, and ships. The stated goal of the 2012 UN Climate Change Conference was not to reverse global warming, but merely to slow it down – and it failed to reach agreement even on that. Why? Because the attendees all represented a capitalist class that places profits over the health of the atmosphere, water, or forests — or of people like us. 
We live in a capitalist world. The only cars, bicycles, or walking shoes we can buy are products of capitalism. So are church pews, and the paper in hymnals. Most of us must work for capitalist institutions. We cannot achieve dignity, justice, or peace on UU islands in a sea of capitalism.
But we have an alternative. We must work together to fight for a world based on production for use, not for profit; on equality, not privilege; on cooperation, not “getting ahead.” In other words, we must fight for communism. “What we fight for” on page 2 of CHALLENGE, outlines the goals of the Progressive Labor Party and the need for mass, armed revolution to achieve them. Road to Revolution IV, available at www.plp.org , explains why the working class has to fight directly for communism rather than socialism, which inevitably leads back to capitalism. Join us to turn the aspirations in the UU Principles into reality.

Tuesday
Jun182013

Legal Action Can Spark Class Struggle

Part One of this response to the letter, “Can Class Struggle Use the Bosses’ Courts?” (CHALLENGE, 4/26/13), discussed the appearance of the courts as a means to seek justice versus the essence of the courts as a tool of the U.S. ruling class in the previous issue (6/19/13). Part Two discusses why we advocate recruiting lawyers and legal workers to the Party and the use of the courts as one avenue of struggle against the bosses.

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