Donate Online!
Challenge Periodicals
PO Box 808
Brooklyn, NY 11202



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


Rulers Need GI Boots on Oil Fields Obama’s Drones Will Spark Wider Wars

As they celebrated last week’s drone strike that killed al Qaeda big shot Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, Obama & Co. continued to lie about the dangers workers face from this escalating campaign. U.S. bosses claim that “surgical” drone strikes, using unpiloted aircraft, avoid civilians. They say that drones offer a low-cost, politically low-risk means of prosecuting their “war on terror” without engaging U.S. troops. Finally, White House hypocrites preach that they apply the strictest “moral” and “legal” standards in deploying the drones.

But history tells us that wars cannot be won by remote control. The drones represent an early stage of a bloody, high-risk strategy that could soon have “allied” U.S. and Pakistani armies shooting at each other. They cannot possibly replace the ground troops the U.S. bosses will need in their war to control the areas with huge reserves of oil and natural gas and the pipelines that transport them. (It’s for this reason that the U.S. “withdrawal” from Iraq moves at a snail’s pace; there are 30 U.S. bases that need to be secured there.)

Moreover, the drones won’t help the hundreds of thousands of workers in Pakistan on strike against poverty pay, unpaid wages and brutal working conditions (see CHALLENGE, 10/5). They won’t benefit those who suffer from the capitalists’ austerity policies across Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. And they certainly won’t relieve the racist unemployment, home foreclosures and worsening healthcare faced by tens of millions of U.S. workers. The trillions spent on war only exacerbate these problems for workers everywhere.

In fact, the Pentagon uses drones both to pinpoint high-level targets and to spread terror through indiscriminate slaughter. John Brennan, Obama’s top advisor on terrorism, finds his boss’s robot assassins faultless: “There hasn’t been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency [and] precision…that we’ve been able to develop” (Los Angeles Times, 6/29/11).

Click to read more ...


Professors Back United, Multi-Racial Boathouse Strikers

NEW YORK CITY, Sept 10 — “The PSC is here to say, we support you all the way!” These words echoed across the eastern edge of Central Park when a group of professors from the professional Staff Congress (PSC), a union of CUNY professors and staff came to support them. They have an increasing history of supporting striking workers all over the region. They proclaimed their solidarity with the strikers of the Loeb Boathouse Restaurant. The workers walked off the job more than a month ago because managers were sexually harassing women workers, stealing their tips and, most recently, firing 30 workers as retribution for attempts at unionization.

The supporters were there to show that the divisions — by job title, by country of birth, by “race,” by gender, etc. — that capitalism imposes on us can be smashed. Tearing down these divisions is an essential prerequisite for the working class to take power from the bosses and so every opportunity to chip away at the barriers should be seized. We saw a small glimpse of the future, when workers will be united under communist leadership to destroy capitalism and its ideas.

Capitalism teaches us that mental and manual labor are different and that this division makes solidarity between workers impossible. This is capitalist nonsense and the presence of professors in support of waiters and dishwashers proves it! No matter the nature of the work, capitalism exploits it for profit.

Click to read more ...


Israel: Rail Strikers Fight for Jobs, Defy ‘Illegal’ Label

TEL AVIV, September 25 — The Israel Railways union went on a partial strike in response to the management’s plan to privatize rolling stock maintenance to an outside company. While the management pretends that this outsourcing will not harm the current workers’ jobs, in reality this will open the way for a wider privatization of rail services under the Israeli regime, causing job loss and pay cuts. The rail workers are fighting for their jobs, as well for the job conditions and pay of future workers hired by Israel Railways.

The Israeli “labor” court has decreed the strike “illegal” on the management’s request, but the workers are fighting on despite the anti-worker decree. On September 25th, the workers shut down the opening of a new rail line in Rishon Le’Zion, defying the court’s order and showing management that they will not give up their jobs to make profits for whatever sub-contractor the management will choose to privatize transit services.

This struggle receives very negative coverage in the Israeli media, with the rail workers shown as “criminals” and “terrorists” because they dared to strike and disrupt train traffic for a few days in defense of their jobs.

This is why international solidarity is important. Give these transit workers a hand in face of management plots and court and media onslaught!J

Please sign this petition in support of this strike:

In addition, please send protest letters to the following addresses:

Israel Railways Customer Service, or by regular mail to Israel Railways – Customer Service Department, Tel Aviv Station, Savidor Central, POB 18085, Zipcode 61180.

Yisrael Katz, Israeli Minister of Transportation,


Unity Rally Hits Racist CUNY Bosses’ 2-Tier System

NEW YORK CITY, September 26 — “Part-time, Full-time Faculty Unite, Same Struggle, Same Fight!” More than 500 City University of New York (CUNY) professors and students picketed outside the Board of Trustees meeting to protest the Board’s racist vote to take away health care for adjuncts (part-time professors) by next year.

CUNY is a working-class university system. Its make-up is mostly Latino, black, and immigrant workers and students. This cutback would affect over 10,200 people across the CUNY system.

The Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the union representing CUNY faculty and staff, called the protest. A delegation of 70 or so workers and students also went inside to present a petition signed by thousands calling on CUNY to provide adequate funding for adjunct professor health insurance.

This large and spirited rally was an inspiring demonstration of unity between full-time and part-time professors, and a growing realization that the two-tier system of labor at CUNY is a threat to all workers. Adjunct health insurance was won in 1986, and like all reforms, it is now being taken back.

The reliance on 11,450 adjunct workers, who now teach more than half the classes, has increased dramatically in recent years. These workers are the lowest-paid with the least job security. They receive an inferior health insurance plan compared to full-time workers. The two-tier system was set up to fail, as only 13% of adjuncts receive health insurance to begin with. The proposed cut will make healthcare even more unattainable.

Click to read more ...


Long-term Communist Base-Building Pays Off in Anti-Firing Battle

PHILADELPHIA, October 3 — The continuing fight against cutbacks and firings at a large teaching hospital shows how long-term communist basebuilding can stretch and change the limits in our battles. On the surface, the odds in this fight seem stacked against us. The nurses, largely white, are non-union and handicapped by divisive ideas like elitism and professionalism. The workers in the union, who are largely black, are themselves split into two groups: those who work directly for the hospital and those who work for two notoriously exploitive contractors.  There is also longstanding tension between the nurses and the union members based on racism and nationalism.

But that’s just one side of the equation. On the other side are the many years of communist basebuilding by Progressive Labor Party at the hospital, the countless conversations about the need to overthrow capitalism with communist revolution and the need to join PL. Many, many friendships have been built.

Hundred of Challenge-Desafios have been circulated through networks and hand-to-hand distribution. Home visits and social activities helped non-union nurses and unionized blue-collar workers overcome their divisions with multi-racial unity. Fights big and small, even if they weren’t successful, helped forge significant solidarity.

Click to read more ...


Precise Pre-Strike Plan Spread PLP Politics to Grocery Workers

“Wow, you’re here again for us…Now I know for sure that the community is with us if we go on strike!”

This was the response from workers at a local supermarket that we met as part of the Community Education for Social Action (CESA), a community organization working in the greater East L.A. region. Class consciousness — workers supporting and standing with other workers, regardless of their job, “race,” or country of origin — is an absolute necessity for organizing a force for communist revolution. Building this consciousness was our task as we set out to support supermarket workers who were considering a strike in response to an unjust healthcare proposal their bosses were offering.

The plan first began with getting to know the store we “adopted” in East L.A. CESA members, along with students from a nearby State University, selected one day out of the week and the time to go to the store to meet and talk to the workers, develop their contacts, and follow up with them to build a relationship. For an entire month, the group was at the supermarket on Mondays at 5:00 PM, split into groups, and talked to the workers and customers about the unfair contract and opportunity for a strike.

We also discussed how capitalism is based on exploiting workers and how the entire working class is under severe attack in the form of cuts to benefits and wages at work, cuts to education and social programs that provide critical services, and the racist mass unemployment that especially afflicts black and Latino working class communities.

Click to read more ...


‘I like your ideas, how you live and give leadership…’ Jobs Conference Unites Workers, Exposes Capitalist Unemployment

NEW YORK CITY, September 25 — Today  90 workers — black, Latino and white, men and women, immigrants and citizens, young and old, employed and unemployed — came together in a conference to fight for jobs. The room was alive with workers’ solidarity and strength. Our goal is to build a mighty movement, worker by worker and action by action, to confront capitalist unemployment, exploitation, racism and war. “Our movement is based on workers’ power, not the politicians,” one speaker said. “We say, ‘Make the bosses and bankers pay.’”

Workers stood and applauded as a striker from the Central Park Boathouse described how they’d organized their strike and won a victory (see page 3). Conference participants will send a letter of congratulations and solidarity. We also pledged support to the Boathouse workers in their future confrontations with fascist immigration enforcement, job insecurity, layoffs and racist and sexist treatment. Any “victory” for workers can only be temporary until the working class takes state power.

A woman worker from Harlem talked about their fight-back against racist Columbia University, which is building a new satellite campus in West Harlem. After promising jobs to workers in the community, Columbia has hired only two. The conference pledged to turn up the heat on the university by marching in Harlem on October 10.

Then a woman stood and greeted the conference. We soon realized that she was the boss of a group of homecare workers in attendance — whom she owes thousands of dollars in back wages! With one voice, we chanted “Get out!” and “Paque lo que debe!” (pay what you owe). The boss took notice and is now offering part of what she owes. The fight will continue, with the conference pledging support for these workers and a demonstration when they need it. A leader from the Stella D’oro strike last year emphasized the need for workers’ determination and boldness as we fight back.

Click to read more ...


March vs. Racist Columbia U. Job Scam

NEW YORK CITY, October 22 — Members of a church in Harlem, community residents and students again marched on the Columbia University’s fake jobs center. For an hour, we kept up militant chants against racist unemployment and Columbia’s collusion with bankers and war-makers. Like other prestigious universities, Columbia supports the research the ruling class relies on to arm its war machine, directs its crisis-ridden banking system and educates young workers in the destructive ideas of capitalism. Columbia’s expansion of its programs has also meant that they have taken over massive portions of the surrounding neighborhoods, leaving many workers without homes or jobs.

Next we marched to the gates of the university, where we held another spirited picket. Our plan was to proceed across the campus to the mansion of President Bollinger. A line of campus security tried to stop us, saying we couldn’t walk with our “dangerous” posters. Several militant marchers refused to give in, and finally they let us in. We loudly chanted our way through. We then heard speeches in front of the obscenely ornate Bollinger residence, pointing out how students and workers are suffering high unemployment and how the university has displaced thousands of local residents in its history and mistreated its employees.

Our movement has become focused on building from the ground up, rather than relying on politicians or media. We have tied our struggle to an analysis of the crisis of capitalism. At least 10 church members who had never been involved in protests before participated in some way. They either leafleted beforehand, demonstrated or cooked for the marchers for our picnic afterwards. However, our numbers are still much too small. Workers need to overcome their cynicism about fighting back. Students need to realize their salvation lies in uniting with workers, on campus and in the community. We will continue to fight and more are sure to join us.

The victory of the Central Park Boathouse strikers and the large anti-Wall Street actions are evidence of growing working-class anger against the system. Our task is to make sure that protestors have a clear understanding that all our problems stem from capitalism and cannot be solved unless we chuck it completely and build a communist world.J


One-day Actions, Reforms Won’t Cut It Teacher Strike Sweeps France

PARIS, September 27 — Today, over 350,000 teachers struck and 165,000 demonstrated across France to fight mass layoffs, overcrowded classes and potential increases in working hours. Today’s actions were notable because public and parochial school teachers were acting together for the first time. Historically, the two groups have been opposed. (Eighty percent of pupils attend public schools and 20% go to private schools, 95% of which are Catholic.)

The force driving this unity, at least temporarily, is the government policy of replacing only one of every two retiring teachers. Education Minister Luc Chatel confirmed a government cut of 14,000 teaching jobs next year, following the 80,000 jobs already axed since 2007.

Over half the 322,000 public primary school teachers and almost half the 394,000 public secondary school teachers struck. The walkout was “strong” in the Catholic schools in western France, the bastion of parochial education. Nearly one-third of the private school teachers struck, entirely closing down some schools, “an unheard-of event.”

Today, 165,000 teachers demonstrated, some 45,000 marching here in the capital. But Guillaume, a high school math teacher, declared, “I don’t have any illusions. This is a big demonstration, and that is good for morale, but the balance of forces isn’t in our favor yet.”

But the major weakness of the teachers’ movement is its aim, to patch up the school system while leaving capitalism untouched, continually building up what the profit system tears down. How much better to build a movement to destroy capitalism and create a system truly serving the working class!

Click to read more ...


France: Bosses Flee Hostage Seizure; Workers Reject Layoff Bribe

HAM, FRANCE, September 21 — At 2:00 a.m. on September 17, the four Constellium executives held by angry metalworkers escaped from the plant. The workers are fighting mass layoffs and eventual closing of the facility (see CHALLENGE, 9/5).

 A high-ranking gendarme came to the factory gate and talked to the workers to divert their attention. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the plant, a team of gendarmes cut through the metal fencing and helped the bosses escape by squeezing through the hole in the fence and racing down the railroad tracks in the middle of the night.

The local union leader said the workers are “nauseated by management’s attitude.” He added that “There was no dialogue. We didn’t obtain any concrete improvement.”

On the evening of September 16, a representative of the central government attempted to obtain the liberation of the bosses in exchange for the promise of negotiations, to be held three days later at a hotel 20 miles away. The workers rejected the offer as a stalling maneuver.

“Now we know that we would never have seen them at that…meeting,” the union leader commented. Today, the workers voted against a company offer of a 15,000-euro bonus (US $21,000) for each laid-off worker.

The workers want a commitment to keep the factory open. The plant makes aluminum structures and windows. Constellium plans to lay off 127 of the 207 permanent workers. Forty temporary workers will also lose their jobs. The subcontractors that do work for the Ham plant are expected to lay off 170 of their workers.

The workers’ courageous and militant action to defend their jobs merits praise. But they need to set their sights higher. Instead of accepting the continued rule of their heartless bosses, they should organize for the long-term goal of communist revolution.J