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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
Feb012012

Minnesota: March in Solidarity with Occupiers Worldwide

MINNEAPOLIS, January 28 — In international solidarity with our working-class brothers and sisters of Tahir Square and our fellow anti-capitalists in Athens, London, Paris and Rome, the Minnesota Occupiers held Occupy Space Day in Minneapolis. It was thrilling!

A contingent of 70 demonstrators marched through the Steven Square and Eliot Park downtown neighborhoods protesting income inequality and housing evictions. Minneapolis has one of the Midwest’s highest eviction rates, after Chicago. Our demonstrators were men and women, black, white and bi-racial, union activists, workers and college students. While many were reformist in outlook, many others were anti-capitalists.

The kkkops harassed us initially but left before the march’s main event. In Eliot Park where the march ended there was an anti-capitalist speech declaring international solidarity with our working-class brothers and sisters in Egypt and with other global protestors against racist, imperialist capitalism.

The speech was in front of an abandoned church that Hennepin County declared county property. An unused church could be used as a workers’ cultural community center. However, the county bosses want to hold onto it rather than give it to workers, so we took it!

One speaker declared, “We take this property in the name of the Minneapolis oppressed!” The doors were forced open and we had a party! We held it for one hour before the cops gave us 15 minutes to clear out or be arrested. We all left together, orderly and disciplined.

Despite that outcome it was a small victory because workers are slowly learning we don’t have to take oppression, that we can collectively fight back. Workers took all the CHALLENGES I had. Personally the march and occupation made me think of the 1871 Paris Commune and the 1968 general strike in France.

This is a great time to be alive because the PLP will show millions of workers globally the revolutionary path to communism! 

Minnesota Red


Wednesday
Feb012012

Books vs. Profits: Protest Bosses’ Grab of Gary’s Main Library

GARY, IN, January 21 — For over a month, a small but dedicated group of local activists have been leading a campaign against the Gary Public Library Board’s racist closing of the city’s downtown main library branch. Although the branch stopped its services last December 30th, the group shows no signs of giving up on the struggle.

The roots of the library board’s decision to close the downtown branch date back to last spring, when  the president, Tony Walker, started to unveil plans for a museum/cultural center that would operate for a profit in the current library building. Among other points, Walker stated that the building in its current state was structurally unsound and in drastic need of renovations. In a “public” meeting that hardly represented the voice or interests of the city’s citizens, the board voted to end the library services in the downtown building and forge ahead with the plans for the cultural center.

For those familiar with the political scene in Gary, the corrupt actions by the elected and appointed officials were business as usual. All meetings that are open to input from local residents involve the city council members quickly pushing their anti-working class motions through early on during the session, then opening the floor briefly to public comments, well after the point that the citizens’ opinion on the issue can have any effect!

This joke of a public proceeding is a microcosm of capitalist “democracy”: creating the illusion that the workers

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Wednesday
Feb012012

Rank-&-File Battles NJ School Privatization

NEWARK, NJ, January 26 — Education workers are angry.  The Newark Teachers Union (NTU) has let teachers and support staff go two years without a contract with no end in sight.  Most schools are falling apart and some are hazardous.  Students are forced to suffer through state testing every year only to be told their improvement is still insufficient.  The NTU addresses neither issue with members or the Newark community.

This is hardly surprising given the lack of resistance from NTU leaders against ruling-class unity on education reform.  The recently passed Urban Hope Act is a prime example. It allows private companies to build and manage public schools using public funds. Up to 12 schools in the mainly black and Latino districts of Newark, Camden, and Trenton will be affected. The largest teacher’s union in the state, the New Jersey Educators Association (NJEA), supported this pro-corporate, for-profit legislation.

The NTU leadership did nothing to inform the rank-and-filers about this law, much less organize against it.  Further, liberals and conservatives in the privatization debate want teachers to churn out pro-capitalist ideas to maintain this crisis-ridden system. Under capitalism, education is a private industry for the accumulation of profit.

Workers’ Response

Some education workers in the NTU are responding to the union misleadership by forming a caucus.  To align the caucus with the class nature of Newark, it was named Newark Education Workers (NEW) Caucus. The NEW Caucus held three steering committee meetings and two general membership meetings. PL’ers participated to push the struggle to the left.

Three main ideological struggles took place. The first was winning workers to understand the importance of

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Wednesday
Feb012012

SCHOOLS, NOT JAILS

BALTIMORE, January 16 — As another strong step in the struggle against Maryland Governor O’Malley’s plan to build a new $100-million youth jail, a bold protest rally was organized by Occupy Baltimore, Schools Not Jails and the Baltimore Algebra Project.

While a sizeable group of supporters erected a huge tent, and as volunteers brought supper for everyone, six people defied state and local police by crossing the fenced perimeter of the would-be construction site. A large truck of pre-fabricated construction material was collectively unloaded. Then pieces of a one-room, red wooden school house were passed, hand to hand, up to and over the fence.

As kkkops decided exactly what to do and when, the six people who had entered the site managed — before being arrested — to finish building the schoolhouse, symbolizing the demand being chanted: “Education, not Incarceration!” One of the six, a teacher, also managed to conduct a brief class, repeated in mic-check Occupy-style by everyone at the support rally, just outside the fence. The class cited anti-racist lessons to be learned from the life of Frederick Douglass.

Meanwhile, all 50 CHALLENGES that were brought were eagerly taken by rally participants. In an electrifying moment, a young comrade, recognizing the need for mass advocacy of Progressive Labor Party’s revolutionary ideas, took the initiative to give a dynamic and well-received speech, explaining the necessity for working-class revolution and communism.

It’s now appears that the governor and the local ruling class may back down on this issue, at least for now, and forego construction of the new jail. Even of more profound importance is the emergence of a new PLP study group, led by young comrades, to help create the next generation of revolutionary leaders.

Dare to struggle, dare to win!

Wednesday
Feb012012

Mark Anniversary of Haiti Quake; International Solidarity from Port-au-Prince to Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, NY, January 12 — In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, students marked the anniversary of the 2010 earthquake with a march between two campuses of UEH, the State University of Haiti, while simultaneously PLP rallied in a Brooklyn neighborhood where many workers from Haiti live.

Our banner here read, in English, Kreyòl, French and Spanish: “International Solidarity with Haitian Workers: The Struggle Will Go On!” We distributed more than 500 Party flyers, along with CHALLENGE, and gathered over 100 signatures on a solidarity petition to be sent to five union and student groups in Haiti, supporting their efforts to defend themselves against the failed system of Haitian local bosses under imperialist control.

Students spoke in Kreyòl and English about the need to abolish capitalism itself, both in the U.S. and in Haiti, and to build a worker-run society, egalitarian communism. Our bullhorn echoed through the busy intersection as thousands of workers hurrying home heard the communist message.

Just as Bill Clinton’s vaunted “reconstruction” has failed in Haiti (his Interim Haiti Recovery Commission folded last October), capitalism itself is failing everywhere. Consider these racist unemployment figures: 80% in Haiti, 70% in Pakistan, 70% among youth in South Africa, 20% in Spain, 17% in France, 21% in the U.S., (50% among black youth).

Capitalism is a system of production for profit but because of overproduction and a credit crisis, its drive to maintain profits has thrown 250 million workers worldwide onto the streets. Meanwhile, U.S. banks sit on $2 trillion of capital they will not release for investment in real production. So workers’ needs simply go unmet.

As Karl Marx showed, these crises inevitably have recurred throughout capitalism’s entire history. The bosses’ solution to mantain profits during crises is to redivide the pie and destroy workers’ lives through gigantic inter-imperialist wars. Haiti too, as an “ally,” will be caught up in the major war brewing between the U.S. imperialists and their rivals.

The bosses’ proclaimed programs of aid to Haiti have gone mostly right back to the bosses themselves, not to workers there. The vast majority of the $4.59 billion in international aid to Haiti went to the donor governments themselves, to major “vulture capitalists” who swoop in to profit from natural disasters, and to the big NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) with their expensive overhead costs.

For example, $600 million of the $1.6 billion the U.S. Congress eventually released went to the U.S. Department of Defense to reimburse it for deploying 20,000 troops to Haiti to guard against post-quake rebellions. (For details see “Haiti: Seven Places Where Earthquake Money Did and Did Not Go,” at http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/01/03-2.) We can never count on any capitalist, only on ourselves as one international working class.

These January 12 actions are small steps in PLP’s strategic effort to revive the proletarian internationalism so necessary for all workers to defend ourselves, defying the bosses’ borders. We see this urgent need as the big imperialists prepare for world war, most menacingly right now in the flash point of the Hormuz Strait near Iran (see CHALLENGE editorial, 1/18).

The mistakes of the old communist movement, as it collapsed because of the abandonment of its principles, dragged the red flag of internationalism into the mud. In 1943, the Soviet leadership, with the agreement of the Chinese and other communist parties, dissolved the Communist International (the Comintern) and lapsed into a loose collection of national parties. This retreat came directly from the parties’ united front with the capitalist “Allies” in the war against fascism. The Soviets and the others saw abolishing the Comintern as necessary to reassure the Allies that they were safe from communist revolution at home — in essence abandoning workers to their own bosses in the Allied countries. 

We need a new version of the Comintern! PLP is organizing as a single international party, a step beyond the Comintern coalition form. This is a gigantic task, but the principle is clear, as we chanted today: “Same Enemy, Same Fight: Workers of the World Unite!”

Workers have no country and want no country: as workers our “country” is the whole world. Workers in Haiti need both solidarity from the entire international working class as well as to contribute to it. From small actions like these simultaneous rallies a great movement will grow.

Wednesday
Feb012012

Workers, Students Unite with Dockworkers; Fight Obama-Boss Gang-Up

NEW YORK CITY, January 23 — A steady winter rain couldn’t dampen the spirit of 75 workers and students as we picketed the federal building in lower Manhattan this evening in support of dockworkers in Longview, Washington. Representing a half-dozen unions and college campuses, the protesters challenged the Obama administration’s support of EGT, a union-busting grain consortium. The U.S. Coast Guard has deployed boats and helicopters to escort tankers making deliveries to EGT’s newly constructed grain terminal, which is being operated by scab labor.

EGT made $2.5 billion last year, but

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Friday
Jan202012

Obama Moves to Iran and S. Asia; U.S. Imperialists’ Endless Wars

Having spread death and destruction across much of the Middle East, U.S. imperialists now seek to expand their horror show to the Far East. Barack Obama is methodically preparing for eventual war on China. In December he initiated the deployment of 2,500 U.S. Marines in Australia. In January he issued a Pentagon decree entitled, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense.” It states: “While the U.S. military will continue to contribute to security globally, we will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region [emphasis added].”

Host of Problems = Hard Time for Rulers to Re-elect Obama

But U.S. rulers face two major problems in gearing up for a clash with China. First, they have a growing need to wage wider Middle East oil wars, especially as tensions with Iran heighten. It’s a task made more difficult by a shortage of combat troops, which could necessitate a wildly unpopular military draft.

Second, while the ruling class sorely needs a war president, it may have a hard time retaining their invader-in-chief Obama’s services after November’s election. Millions of voters could be turned off by mass racist unemployment, continuing economic depression, millions of home foreclosures, deportation of nearly two million immigrants, a wage freeze on federal workers, and an administration run by bailed-out bankers who have reaped profit bonanzas during a Depression they helped create.

War Clouds Darken over Iran

Iran threatens more each day to become the next U.S. front for open warfare. Covert action, like CIA-Mossad [Israeli secret police] rubouts of Iranian nuclear scientists, has been raging for years. On January 13, two days after the latest assassination, Iran sentenced an ex-U.S. Marine to death for spying. And while Washington ramps up oil sanctions to discourage the building of nuclear bombs, Iran threatens to attack U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf.

The only question is whether the first air strikes on Iran will come from the U.S. or Israel. Obama is deceitfully trying to deflect blame onto the supposedly more belligerent Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Inside the Israeli security establishment, a sort of good cop, bad cop routine, in which Israeli officials rattle sabers amid a U.S. scramble to restrain them, has assumed its own name: ‘Hold Me Back’” (Wall Street Journal, 1/14/12). The lie is that Israeli bosses, armed to the teeth with U.S. weapons, always act without influence from the White House. Sometimes they do, but there appears to be strategic unity regarding Iran. Says the Journal’s article:

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Friday
Jan202012

Remembering Quake Inspires Brooklyn Students; Solidarity with Workers in Haiti

BROOKLYN, January 11 — More than three hundred students at Clara Barton High School, along with about twenty-five staff members, attended an inspiring commemoration of the second anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti.  It was organized and led by students who belong to an after-school club that has been fighting attacks by the school administration against teachers and students for many years. Important ideas were raised about imperialism and the roots of Haiti’s poverty, and why students in the U.S. need to build solidarity with the working class in Haiti. Students and teachers grasped the communist ideas of solidarity with workers around the world, of multiracial unity, and of fighting for a better future than the bosses’ plan for wars, drastic cuts in social services, and increased racism.

There were speeches and performances, ranging from spoken word and debate to singing and step dancing. The program stressed unity, solidarity and the struggle for a better world.

One song was sung in both Creole and English, with many in the audience learning the Creole words for the first time. This was symbolically important because students from Haiti have endured a lack of adequate programs and services at the school. There was also delicious food donated by area restaurants, as well as by staff and parents. As many students and teachers commented afterwards, the whole program was “amazing.”

The preparation for the event was as significant as the commemoration itself. The multi-racial student organizers were from Africa, South Asia, China, the Caribbean and the U.S. They were clear from the start in their goal to send a strong message of unity and solidarity with the workers and students who struggle for a better life in Haiti, where 600,000 still live in tents. Their collective effort inspired more and more students and teachers to come forward and offer to help. Each day, more students joined committees and got involved in the planning. The enthusiasm spread.

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Friday
Jan202012

Racist Unemployment: A Vicious Circle Destroying Workers’ Lives

NEW YORK CITY, December 10 — More than forty people came together at a church here to discuss the devastating impact of unemployment on all workers, as well as the racist attacks on education and healthcare in immigrant communities.

A pediatrician reported that job losses in poor neighborhoods cause increases in homelessness, domestic violence, poor nutrition and obesity, along with higher rates of asthma and other chronic diseases. Children suffer from higher stress, anxiety and low self-esteem, which contribute to behavior problems and low grades in school.

Unemployment Cuts Workers’ Health

As unemployment worsens, more workers lose health coverage and are unable to pay for the high cost of private insurance. Due to the bosses’ financial crisis and an ever-growing war budget, massive cuts in public services and the safety net are forcing the closing of hospitals, layoffs of healthcare providers, and reduced access to wellness or prevention programs in working-class communities.

An immigrant worker pointed out that these problems are even more severe in immigrant communities because of racist laws and the scapegoating of undocumented workers. Some documented immigrants are blaming the undocumented for the loss of jobs, causing division when there needs to be unity to fight the bosses. More arrests and higher deportation rates are dividing families and making them more impoverished. The fear of deportation makes the undocumented easier targets for super-exploitation. They are working harder for even less pay, and are less likely to seek healthcare when ill.

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Friday
Jan202012

PLP Forging Ahead in Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, January 7 — Recently, a group of CHALLENGE readers met here for a discussion about our Party and its ideas. First the group examined Obama’s war in Libya. When he was elected, many people in East Africa had mistakenly believed that his policies would help Africa rather than initiate invasions and assassinations of African leaders. However, this U.S.-backed invasion exposed the “First U.S. African President” as pursuing the same oil-driven imperialist foreign policy as George Bush. In the discussion, Party members debunked the lie of “humanitarian intervention” (i.e., protecting civilian lives) as nothing but a cover for U.S. imperialism. 

Next the group confronted the challenges of building the communist movement in Tanzania where widespread anger at the government’s corrupt collusion with foreign and local big business exists side-by-side with a culture of passivity and resignation. The Tanzanian public sector trade unions, for example, are big on talk but short on action, leaving government workers defenseless against layoffs and oppressive working conditions.

Spirit of Rebellion Growing

The opposition party, Chadema, is as corrupt as the ruling party, CCM (Party of the Revolution). Chadema is opportunistically trying to take advantage of widespread discontent — especially among unemployed youth — to gain power for itself. The Tanzanian comrades agreed that despite Chadema’s motives, its militant condemnation of CCM is inspiring workers to have the courage to speak out and fight back. PL’ers pointed out that this spirit of rebellion will be squandered unless it is organized and led by communists.

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