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Letters of October 11

Hurricane Harvey: No Support from Authorities
On Thursday, August 17, Hurricane Harvey began its furious attack that lasted until the third of September. It’s heart-wrenching here. We thought we would receive the necessary support from the proper authorities and the volunteer organizations, but sadly, that’s not the case at the moment.
At this time, the people affected by this disaster are not being supported. Many are undocumented workers who, for fear of being deported are not asking for assistance and live in an inhumane condition caused by the capitalist state.
Members of PLP have to give support and solidarity to the victims of the hurricane in a way that is characteristic of our international communist party. We have a fight to carry on at this time. We won’t allow the disgraceful corruption of profiteering influence our actions, like the capitalists. No worker is worth more—documented or undocumented. We need to unite forces as a class to keep moving forward and remember that we aren’t alone in the struggle.  
Trump fiddles with North Korea while Puerto Rico Drowns
Hurricane Maria left Puerto Rico (PR) with zero electricity or running water for almost 3.7 million people, mainly members of our own class. In English Puerto Rico means “Rich Port,” but rich for whom? The main problem is there is no forthcoming help. President Donald Trump fiddles with North Korea while PR drowns in floodwaters with millions of homes wiped out, and tens of thousands facing death from dehydration, starvation, or exposure.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. and other ships and planes could deliver food, fresh water, and generators for electricity during the months-long process of restoring the power lines for electricity and running water. All eleven nuclear aircraft carriers and dozens of nuclear submarines from the U.S. arsenal, all run by nuclear reactors, could provide the electricity needed to run electrical necessities. But capitalism and its fake borders prevent one area working with another area. If the U.S. were to send resources to PR, it would be out of their imperialist interest, not the goodness of their heart.
Instead Trump is threatening North Korea with destruction, meaning murdering over 25 million people, again mainly members of the working class. The capitalist regime of North Korea knows that if it cannot maintain a credible threat against the U.S. ruling class. Its location is at a precarious place that puts them at a flashpoint of U.S.-China rivalry. The claim that they are a danger, rather than acting in self-preservation, is a deliberate lie to justify this threatened destruction in the eyes of workers around the world.
But is the neglect of the desperate life-threatening situation of millions of residents of PR—a U.S. “possession” since the 1898 war against Spain—any less an atrocity than the deliberately threatened destruction of millions North Koreans?
And compounding this atrocity, Trump denies global warming. While the rapid sequence of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria may not necessarily be repeated every year, the likelihood is rapidly growing that such sequences will occur more frequently. The trend will continue; warmer oceans produce hurricane-friendly conditions. The warming of the waters is now mainly due to the burning of oil, coal, and natural gas (the fossil fuels). Again, capitalism is to blame.
Workers must rid the world of profit-mad capitalism that spawns such atrocities. Join PLP to bring that day closer to reality.
Tribute to Lenny at Delegate Assembly
At the Delegate Assembly of my union (Professional Staff Congress), more than hundred delegates paid tribute to Lenny Dick, a math professor, union activist, anti-racist and life-long communist.
In honor of Lenny, delegates pledged to join the campus rally at Bronx Community College (where he taught) on November 30, kicking off a contract campaign that will, among other demands, fight to win a living wage ($7,000 per course) for adjunct professors, whose interests Lenny had always promoted.
One delegate said Lenny fought for a class-conscious trade unionism that challenged our class enemies. Currently, the Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees  case, which the Supreme Court will hear in October, threatens public workers. The Court will likely rule against the unions, this will weaken them. People in the bargaining unit who benefit from union contracts won’t have to pay a penny in either dues or a “fair-share” fee. The conservative National Right to Work Committee and the Liberty Justice Center brought this case. Both organizations are heavily funded by the billionaire Koch brothers. In her book Dark Money, author Jane Mayer describes how the Janus case is part of a long-term project by the Koch brothers and other billionaires to weaken government unions, slash public spending and reduce taxes on capitalists like themselves.
Lenny believed in a labor movement that would have brought thousands of NYC public workers to demonstrate at 740 Park Avenue, the luxury apartment building where David Koch lives. He believed in a labor movement that would be organizing millions of public workers to walk off the job the day the Supreme Court heard the case. This is in stark contrast to the leaders of the public unions who have stuck their heads in the sand and done nothing.
Lenny also believed in a labor movement that would refuse to accept capitalism. Capitalism is a society in which a handful of tycoons amass unparalleled fortunes and political power, while 20 percent of New Yorkers are poor, tens of thousands are homeless and millions more worry every month whether or not they’ll be able to pay their bills.
Lenny is gone, but his dream of an egalitarian, communist society lives on.

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