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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!



Profit System Hazardous to Workers’ Health Protest; Racist Attacks on Brooklyn Hospitals

BROOKLYN, January 11 — Hundreds of angry hospital workers and supporters rallied loudly in front of the Brooklyn Marriott Hotel here this week as racist financier Stephen Berger, a darling of Governor Cuomo, announced his plan to “save” health care in the borough of Brooklyn. Workers who had never been at such a protest (or at least not for a long time) chanted as bosses from Downstate Hospital, Wall Street moguls and Berger himself entered the hotel for a fancy breakfast.

 Brooklyn is a borough of 2.5 million people.  One in five live below the poverty line and two in five are on Medicaid. An untold number are without any health insurance. In 1980, Brooklyn had 26 hospitals — now it has 15. There are now 41% fewer acute care beds, 2.3 beds per 1,000 residents, compared with Manhattan’s 4.7, the state’s 3.1 and the nation’s 2.6. Disparities in health by income and “race” are concentrated in certain New York City communities, including several in Brooklyn. In 2001, life expectancy in our poorest neighborhoods was eight years shorter than in its wealthiest; that is 4,000 extra premature deaths/year in the poorest communities.

Racism: The Worst Disease

The facts show the racist nature of the U.S. health care system. Brooklyn is 36% black and 20% Latino. Latino New Yorkers are twice as likely to have diabetes. Black New Yorkers are three times more likely to die of diabetes than white residents. Ninety-four percent of elevated blood levels in New York City are among African Americans, Latinos and Asians. If infant mortality rates were equalized, the lives of some 200 babies of these ethnic groups would be saved each year (NYC DOHMH “Health Disparities in NYC,” 2004).

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PL Salvador School: Fight and Mobilize for Communism

EL SALVADOR — In our November communist school here, many comrades participated in the political discussion about the reality workers this country and the rest of the world live in. We must destroy the brutal capitalist domination to have social equality. PL’s politics have motivated many young people. About 26 have participated with us in each school.

We must fight against the electoral parties of this capitalist machine. This dead-end strategy is used by the bosses to alienate us and to make us believe that their “democracy” works for the working class. As members of the Party, we have made the commitment to spread CHALLENGE widely, as a revolutionary weapon, to politicize and make our co-workers and neighbors aware. We have communist ideas, perseverance and the will to win workers to PLP.

Mobilize the Masses

Our young comrades from different parts of the country have developed a strong ideological ability and understanding of PL’s ideas. The main subject of this school was how to mobilize the masses for communism. It is clear that communist revolution is the only way to defeat and destroy capitalism; therefore, this must be the only goal of the revolutionary process. The participation of each one of the comrades was interesting. We discussed our friends’ understanding of the Party’s line, related to the ideological-political work with their communities.

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Winter Project Helps Build PLP in Palestine-Israel

ISRAEL/PALESTINE, January — We have returned from the winter project to the Middle East, with our minds once more agog at the racism, oppression and absurdity of the actions of the Israeli government. Not only did we see the horrors of the 45-year-old military occupation of Palestine, but also the discrimination against Israeli Arabs and the marked class distinctions among Jews. Those who were new to the area were in a constant state of shock and disbelief at the situations we encountered. We were buoyed, however, by participating in struggles and meeting new friends who were digesting our ideas.

The Israelis are continuing their policy of driving out Palestinians by actually demolishing their houses by the thousands or otherwise making their lives so miserable that they will emigrate. In the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the weekly demonstrations continued against Jewish takeover of homes Palestinians have lived in for 60 years, having been driven out of West Jerusalem in 1948.

Israeli Attack-Dogs

We sat with a family there, half of whose home has been occupied by young Israeli men and their dogs, who attack members of the family. In two other East Jerusalem areas, we visited villages whose land is being confiscated by Israeli expansion.

To the south, in the Negev (desert), Bedouins who agreed to become citizens in ’48, live in “unrecognized” villages that receive no services. One, El Araqib, has been razed and rebuilt 33 times since July 2010 because the government, with the financial backing of an U.S. fundamentalist Christian organization, wishes to build a forest. We saw how houses for 500 people and 4,500 olive tress had been bulldozed into a sandy wasteland. The remaining residents are living in trucks and trailers in their cemetery.

Every week they, their neighbors and Israeli activists stand nearby at a busy intersection with banners, drums and speeches. They welcomed a talk about fighting racism by one of our young visitors.

In Tel Aviv, the massive tent cities and summer demonstrations for more social services and housing are gone, for they mostly involved middle-class people and lacked any political analysis. However, in a working-class area of Tel Aviv, Hatikvah, and in other places around the country, small encampments remain of those who have lost their homes even though most work. We marched in a militant demonstration of hundreds of workers and activists at which 43 people were arrested.  Our comrades participate regularly in all these actions and have a steady base of readers and friends.

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CHALLENGE a Winner at Young Workers’ Conference

MINNEAPOLIS, December 28 — Recently the AFL-CIO held its annual NEXT UP! Young Workers Conference. Despite the union hacks toeing the Obama/Democratic Party line, many young workers were not fooled and dozens eagerly took copies of CHALLENGE.
Many workshops provided opportunities to talk to young workers from throughout the U.S. about communism and PLP.

Those conducting the immigration workshop, while well-informed, refused to discuss the racist, fascist nature of deportations, E-verify or Secure Communities. They conveniently found no time for questions when a PLP’er fought to discuss this.

A session on starting a Labor Party led to heated debate over whether a new electoral party was needed or the Democrats were good enough. Several youth complained that any party operating within capitalist rules would be useless. Time to share another CHALLENGE!

A PLP’er took advantage of the “un-conference sessions,” where individuals could propose their own ideas before all 700 participants. He stressed the need for multiracial unity, making the anti-racist fight primary, and realizing that any capitalist “solution” would fail the workers. Obama, he said, had been a horrible option for workers, citing the legal lynching of Troy Davis in Georgia and the multiple bombing campaigns by U.S. imperialism abroad.

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U.S. Billionaire Funds NGO Evictions of Jerusalem Workers

SHEIKH JARRAH, EAST JERUSALEM, January 6 — Palestinian and Jewish activists, including PL’ers from Israel-Palestine and the U.S., held a rally protesting the racist eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in this neighborhood, minutes away from the center of Jerusalem. The demonstrators demanded real justice, the return of the families to their houses and the removal of violent settlers and brutal cops from the neighborhood.

Since the 1990’s, settlers, paid for handsomely by the El’ad and Ateret Cohanim NGOs (non-government organizations), used the Israeli courts to seize houses here. Despite the fact that the Palestinian residents, all working class, were the legal owners of their homes and had all the documents necessary to prove this, the court ruled for the settlers — upper-middle-class Jews — who only had very dubious documents of ownership. Obviously the Israeli court of “justice” is openly racist and prefers the “rights” of wealthy Jewish settlers over those of Palestinian or Jewish workers.

NGOs Serve Ruling Class

Both settler NGOs operating in East Jerusalem, El’ad and Ateret Cohanim, are heavily funded by Irving Moskowitz, a U.S. capitalist and “philanthropist” based in Miami, who has made his fortune from constructing private hospitals and casinos. Moskowitz pays the settlers to take over Palestinian houses and land throughout East Jerusalem so he can build real-estate projects (for wealthy Jews only) a few minutes drive from the city center, and reaps super-profits in the process.

PL’ers from both Israel-Palestine and the U.S. have visited the home of the al-Kurd family here. The family had received its home and land from UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Work Agency) in 1956. A few years later the Jordanian government, which ruled the West Bank and East Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967, acknowledged the family as the owners of their house.

But apparently having full land title and living on the land for 56 years wasn’t enough for the Israeli court. In the 1990’s, the al-Kurd family built a small housing unit in their yard for one of their sons. The Israeli court ruled that this construction was “illegal” and repossessed the housing unit. From 1999 to 2009 it stood empty.

In 2009, however, teenage settlers were allowed to live in this unit, rent free, and were also paid to live there! These settlers are very violent towards the al-Kurd family; they order their dogs to attack the family members. However, if the al-Kurd family dares to report these attacks to the police, they themselves get arrested, not the aggressive settlers!

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Religion: Tool of Exploitation

The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston/New York, 2006, 

God and His Demons, by Michael Parenti, Prometheus Books, Amherst/New York, 2010.

If you are reading this, you are probably eager to see the world move beyond exploitation of the many by the few, and away from continual inter-imperialist wars for control over the world’s resources.  We are aware that many CHALLENGE readers rely, to some degree, on religion to produce such progress.  But whatever you may think about religion and God, there is an inherent problem in religion that allows our profit-seeking exploiters and war-making executioners to get away with their daily theft and murder of our friends, our families, ourselves.  The problem is that religion — whatever comfort it provides, or whatever unity it encourages among fellow worshippers — is used by our exploiters to bind us to their needs over our own.

Bibles Celebrate Murder and Mayhem 

Religions of all sorts have been used for millennia to justify war and genocide in the name of god.  They have always been used to lead us to regard other members of our exploited class as enemies rather than allies and fellow-sufferers. Over thousands of years of human history, new religions evolve out of older ones whenever a rising class needs a new weapon of mass control. 

The God Delusion and God and His Demons are both worth reading despite their shortcomings.  Richard Dawkins, a British evolutionary biologist, concentrates on the logical and factual inconsistencies in the Judeo-Christian Bible. He shows the disconnect between religion and morality, describes the murder and mayhem celebrated in the Old and New Testaments, and alludes to the frequent modern-day abuse of children by religionists.  He also writes about the historical use of all religions, by clergy and other backers, to induce workers to kill other workers in endless wars for gain and profit.  Dawkins’ stated goal is to give skeptical readers enough evidence to argue against the belief in a supreme being. 

Manufactured Religious Precepts

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PLP Militance Rolls Over Police Plan: BLOCK THE LONG BEACH PORT

LONG BEACH, CA, December 12 Seven hundred workers shut down business at the Long Beach Port. This march revealed a split between the Occupy movement’s liberal organizers and the rank-and-file occupiers, including Progressive Labor Party comrades who gave key leadership at the protest.  

The liberals’ plan, orchestrated with the Long Beach Police Department, was to funnel the march along a narrow sidewalk, with the ocean on one side and the cops on the other. But with PL leading a communist chant of “Shut it down, shut it tight, workers of the world unite!” the march quickly turned militant. PL’s friends in the movement were evident as we crossed the line of cones and took the streets leading to the port.

The kkkops responded by attempting to use their motorcycles as barricades, splitting the protest into two halves. It was a potentially dangerous situation, with one group facing a wall of cops in riot gear. But we quickly organized ourselves and led the march back and sandwiched the police!  At first, the other half of the march was hesitant to walk through the police barrier, but our comrades again led the way and soon the whole march followed.

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Youth Lead Fight against Hospital’s Racist Killer Cuts

CHICAGO, December 14 — On an unseasonably warm and rainy day, about twenty PL’ers and friends gathered in front of Stroger hospital, under an overhang, to protest the deadly cuts in the Cook County public hospital system. Stroger Hospital was moving forward with planned layoffs even though the holidays were almost here. We handed out fliers while calmly holding our signs and giant photographs of patients who are losing their healthcare, including one who recently died as a result. CHALLENGEs were distributed.

It wasn’t long before the kkkops told us to move from “private property.”

“What are you talking about? This is a public hospital and I work here!” a protester snapped. Together, we decided to march twenty-five yards away, but still on county property. We marched as a group chanting, “They say cut back, we say fight back!”

After establishing a picket line, we took turns on the bullhorn, denouncing the layoffs and service cuts. A few union hacks tried to talk to the demonstrators to divert our anger, but we kept spreading the word to the hundreds streaming by. We distributed all of our fliers and made a few contacts with patients and their families who were inspired to see workers fighting for their county healthcare system.

Last week the administration laid off eight respiratory therapists. This is a direct result of the closing of Oak Forest Hospital (see CHALLENGE, 11/2/11). Respiratory therapists from Oak Forest with more seniority are being transferred to Stroger Hospital. Rather than increase the staff of respiratory therapists at Stroger to help take care of the flood of new patients, management decided to fire the therapists with less seniority.

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Obama, Iran Threaten New Mid-East Oil War

U.S. imperialists’ face-off with Iran’s nuclear-bent bosses is escalating towards war. At stake is control over the Middle East and its increasingly strategic energy resources. According to CNN, Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “is quietly leading the ongoing military planning for an attack against Iran’s nuclear weapons in the event the president gives the order to do so” (12/20/11).

In the latest round meanwhile, Obama tried to slap tighter financial sanctions on Iran unless it gave up its nuke program. In turn, Iran’s naval brass threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz. Virtually all of the oil and gas exports of Iraq and Kuwait and more than half of Saudi Arabia’s pass through that waterway sails. All of these resources are dominated by U.S. and British oil giants.

Then Obama sent an aircraft carrier group through the strait while the Iranian navy practiced maneuvers nearby. Obama also pointedly announced a “$30 billion sale to Saudi Arabia of advanced-model U.S. F-15 fighter jets and associated weapons systems” amid “recent irrational behavior by the Tehran government” (Voice of America, 12/29/11). In direct response, Iran “test-fired a medium-range surface-to-air missile near the strategic Strait” (VOA, 1/1/12). Iran warned it would not accept return of the aircraft carriers.  

China-Russia-Iran Axis Speeds Ayatollahs’ A-Bomb

Iran’s rulers have since eased off shutting Hormuz, since its closure would also deprive themselves of oil export revenue and cut off their main customer, China. But aided by the anti-U.S. coalition, they remain determined to build a bomb. The Washington Post (11/7/11) reported:

Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles....Documents and other records provide new details on the role played by a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction....Crucial technology linked to experts in Pakistan and North Korea [both heavily influenced by China — ed.] also helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability.

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Using CHALLENGE to Battle Growing Fascism in Chicago Schools

Recent CHALLENGE articles about fascism’s growth in Haiti (see issue 12/14/11) and its attacks on the Occupy movements worldwide inspired me to report recent efforts to build PLP amid growing fascism in Chicago.

I am a laid-off black schoolteacher here, among the disproportionate number of laid-off black teachers. These racist layoffs and those of all groups reflect the economic and political crises of capitalism.

Global fascism and its imperialist wars make workers’ lives miserable, attacking the working class in many ways. One tactic is forcing government employees (teachers, health workers, among others) to accept lower living standards — reduced wages, skimpier benefits and lousier working conditions. For teachers, this includes layoffs, denied pay raises (or lower pay scales, inducing them to move to a growing number of higher-paying charter schools), more expensive health care coverage and increasingly poor working conditions.

In education, one such condition is overcrowded classrooms. More students per teacher are cheaper for capitalists, whose gain is the working class’s loss in schools. Classroom overcrowding reduces the quality of education for students, often implemented in a racist way. Black and Latino students, already enduring racist oppression, are stuffed into learning environments ill designed to meet their needs.

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