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 Progressive Labor Party on Race & Racism

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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Thursday
Aug192010

In Memoriam: Harriet Rosen  

Harriet Rosen, a life-long supporter of PLP from its earliest days, died on August 8 at 86. She was married to Milt Rosen, one of the original organizers of our Party. Her son sent the following remembrance to CHALLENGE.

I want to thank the Party for the huge help you’ve all given me since I moved my parents to Los Angeles in 2004. This support really shows the true meaning of what it means to be a comrade. Only the working class can care for each other like this; the bosses would rather suck us dry and then leave us to die once we’re no longer profitable to them.

My mom and dad were married in 1946; he was 20, she 22. My dad became active in communist politics right after the war; my mom had left leanings. One night, she and a girlfriend decided to attend a left-wing political meeting “to look for interesting men.” My dad gave a speech at the meeting and she was obviously impressed. She was then dating Harry Bulova, heir to the Bulova Watch fortune. But my mother gave up a possible life of wealth to marry a guy dedicated to overthrowing the capitalist class.

After they were married, they lived in Brooklyn for a while. Then the Communist Party sent my dad to Buffalo, NY, to organize in factories there. Times were hard; I recall eating a lot of army surplus cheese. I do remember they made many friends in Buffalo, becoming very close to Morty and Phyllis Scheer, Helen and Teddy Schwartz and Paul and Jo Sporn. There were many others but these are the ones I recall because I was friendly with their children. My parents stayed life-long friends with these three couples and, as you know, my dad went on to form PL with these people.

My mom loved to entertain. She always had many people over and was always cooking. She was a great cook and got pleasure from preparing food for friends. She always prepared holiday feasts, filling the house with friends and relatives. When she was young, her family was very poor and at times went hungry. I believe this is one reason she enjoyed cooking these delicious meals. She was extremely hospitable. We always had people staying at our house.

My mom came from a dirt-poor family. Her
father was a pharmacist who gave medications away for free to poor people. She had one sister and two brothers. Her fondest childhood memories were of the family going to Rockaway Beach in the spring when it was still deserted and staying through the summer in a rented bungalow (more like a dilapidated shack).

Later, when my parents moved back from Buffalo to NYC (I was five and my sister was an infant), they had no place to stay so we headed right out to Rockaway and rented a cheap bungalow. Returning to Rockaway had huge sentimental value for Harriet because of her childhood memories. I think she liked the desolate nature of the beach and the camaraderie she felt with other friends who were renting there.

It was rough because it was deserted in the spring and my dad was away a lot, organizing PL. But my mom hung in there, supporting him while he built the Party. We returned every summer to Rockaway for at least eight years. I can recall many people staying with us and my mom always cooking and being extremely supportive of the folks visiting us there where my dad had many meetings.

My mom loved the Atlantic Coast. She grew up along the water and later my parents would often vacation with their friends at Montauk. When she’d visit me in LA, she’d always go on about how she preferred the Atlantic Coast because the beaches were wider and the landscape more rugged with dunes, etc.

My mom was the quintessential New Yorker. Few people knew she was a double Math/Physics major at Brooklyn College in the early 1940’s. There weren’t many women taking those subjects then (I believe she was the first such female, double major at BC). Unfortunately, her mom made her drop out of college to go to work.

For many years she was a salesgirl at woman’s clothing stores in Manhattan and also a millinery buyer. When my sister and I were older, she returned to college and got a degree in Art History from Brooklyn College and a Master’s in Library Science from Pratt Institute. For many years she worked as a librarian at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library where she became close friends with many of her co-workers.

She was a very loving mother, always helping me with my problems in school. I often got into trouble and she always took my side. When Sam Scheer and I were hit by a car in Cape Cod, Mass., she was the one comforting us on the plane when they flew us back to NYC. While we were in the hospital for five months, she took the train almost daily from Brooklyn up to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

My mom was a great person. She was smart, kind and very supportive of the struggle to build a world where all people are respected and treated with dignity. She loved cooking, art and was expert in doing the NY Times crossword puzzle (except the sports questions…the only ones I knew).

She loved to take us to the museum (albeit, my dad and I would sometimes give her a hard time about the modern art). She liked Picasso, partly because of his left-wing views. She had a great sense of humor and loved old Italian movies like “The Bicycle Thief” as well as some of the Italian comedies. She was also a caring grandmother to my sister’s kids and my daughter. I’m glad she was able to spend so much time at my sister’s place watching her grandkids grow up.

It was very sad for me to watch her mind whither away. The diseases which proliferate unchecked in this society are horrible. We’re forced to watch our loved ones die of illnesses that could be cured or at least dealt with more humanely, if we had a society that truly cared for people, not profits.

I’ll always remember my mom as a kind, generous and supportive person. Thanks again to the Party for all your help. 

Thursday
Aug192010

In Memoriam: Lena Caref  

Lena Minkovskaya Caref was born on October 10, 1925 in Gomel, Belarus, the Soviet Union. She considered herself one of “Stalin’s children,” because as she often stated, “When I was growing up there was no crime, school was free, medical care was free, transportation was free, food was cheap, and people were all very happy with each other even if they had to work hard for what they had.” She remained a fervent communist her entire life.

 At the age of 11, she lost her mother and helped her father care for her younger brothers. At 15 she joined the defense against the western-sponsored German fascist invasion. She was first a welder’s helper building an oil pipeline in Georgia and then worked in a hand grenade factory in Belarus. After the war, she and her husband Jacob left the Soviet Union for Poland, where they learned that his entire family was murdered by the Nazis, most in the gas ovens of Auschwitz. Leaving behind her beloved Soviet Union, she and Jacob made their way to a displaced person’s camp in Marktredwitz, Germany where her oldest son was born.

Lena moved to Chicago in March 1949 after many attempts to leave Germany – the U.S. government limited Jewish immigration until forced to change by world pressure. Lena worked in many different jobs as a drill press operator at Bell and Howell and an LPN in hospitals and nursing homes. She joined, led and fought in many protests against the Viet Nam war and racism and within her residence.

As a loving grandmother, she cared for her four children, ten grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. 

Thursday
Aug192010

Reparations or Revolution?  

The question of slavery reparations requires a communist analysis of capitalism, slavery, racism, and imperialism.

Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates has shown that he remains committed to being a dishonest apologist for racism. Gates published an op-ed article in The New York Times (4/23/10) titled “Ending the Slavery Blame-Game.” He argued that African leaders entered into what he calls “complex business partnerships” with European slave traders.

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Thursday
Aug052010

Rallies Rip Racist Arizona Law  

PHOENIX, AZ, July 29 — On the day Arizona’s racist anti-immigrant law SB 1070 was scheduled to take effect, Progressive Labor Party  participated in a march to the state capitol building carrying a banner that read “From Arizona to Afghanistan, fight racism and imperialism with communism!”

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Thursday
Aug052010

U.S. Rulers Use Wikileaks Media Circus to Plan Wider War  

When U.S. rulers hype old news from Afghanistan, one has to wonder what’s really happening. The NY Times, a leading ruling-class mouthpiece, treated the recent Wikileaking of old Afghan war documents from the Bush, Jr. era as a blockbuster exposé. In June 2010, the Pentagon re-released a 2007 geological study identifying a trillion-dollar Afghan treasure trove of minerals. Hardly breaking news, these sudden front-page “revelations” reflect major policy disputes within the capitalist class.

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Thursday
Aug052010

Must Destroy Capitalism to Get It: D.C. Workers Seize Gov’t Land, Demand Affordable Housing

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10 — Over 100 workers occupied a vacant parcel of government-owned land and erected a tent city, demanding that the government keep its promise to build affordable housing there and throughout the city instead of catering to the needs of the rich. This action was led by a community-based organization Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE DC) and included members and friends of PLP who understand that the demands will not be met without a revolution.

Capitalism is a racist system, with the riches of the bosses coming from increasing the poverty of the workers. This is clear in the housing conditions faced by the world’s working class. In the U.S., millions are ill-housed and hundreds of thousands are actually homeless, including many workers whose jobs pay so little that they can’t afford housing at all!

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Thursday
Aug052010

Jewish, Palestinian Daycare Workers Unite vs. Israeli Bosses  

JERUSALEM, JULY 21 — Over 700 striking daycare workers — who have recently unionized in the “Workers’ Power” union federation — demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The workers, Jewish and Palestinian women from all parts of Israel/Palestine, fought for workers’ control over regulations, a living wage and normal working conditions.

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Thursday
Aug052010

No Debate Here: More Wars = More School Cuts, Means Fight-back Needed

 

In the coming school year thousands of high school students will be debating the pros and cons of removing U.S. troops from bases in South Korea, Japan, Turkey, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

But don’t be fooled: nobody in the ruling class is debating troop withdrawals. They’re debating
re-deployments. There’s a long-lasting and broad consensus among political and military elites that U.S. imperialism must remain dominant in the Middle East. This consensus, persisting since World War II, was boldly and publicly expressed in president Jimmy Carter’s warning to the USSR when the latter entered Afghanistan in 1979:

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Thursday
Aug052010

China, U.S., Japan, Russia: Suicide Surge Universal Under Capitalism

 

The Foxconn plant in China, which assembles iPads among other things, has made headlines recently with its incredibly high rate of worker suicides. Working for $132 per month, Foxconn workers are on their feet on the job for 12 hours a day, six days a week. Conversing with coworkers is strictly forbidden and bathroom breaks are relegated to ten minutes every two hours.1

One worker described how his favorite activity was dropping stuff because squatting down to pick up the object is the only way to get any rest.2 Another worker said of his job, “Every day, I repeat the same thing I did yesterday. We get yelled at all the time… Life is meaningless.” A worker suffering from insomnia simply stated, “I feel no sense of achievement, I’ve become a machine.”3

Foxconn employs nearly 600,000 workers at its Shenzhen facility, almost all of which are young migrants from the Chinese countryside.4 “Hukou” (Household Registration System) laws make internal migration in China illegal. These laws deny migrant workers access to any social services and the risk of deportation back to the countryside makes them especially vulnerable to exploitation.5 In the city of Shenzhen super-exploited migrant workers make up over 80% of the population.6

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Thursday
Aug052010

Racist Israeli Cops Destroy Bedouin Village for Real-Estate Tycoons  

SOUTHERN ISRAEL, JULY 27 — Some 1,500 heavily-armed Israeli cops, backed by choppers and bulldozers, demolished the “unrecognized” Palestinian-Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in southern Israel (the Bedouin Arabs are former nomads who have established their villages in the desert), leaving 40 impoverished working-class families stranded in the desert without a roof over their heads. The villagers’ olive orchards, chicken coops and sheep pens, used to supplement their meager incomes, were also destroyed.

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