Building A Revolutionary Party in L.A.
Progressive Labor Party held the first of a series of fundraising dinners to support the organization financially and to help develop Party members capable of leading the working class in the struggle to build a revolutionary communist movement.
A mix of forty students, teachers and professors, and public health, industrial and transit workers attended the event, raising a significant sum. The fundraiser began with a screening of the film “Seeing Red” which documents the role of communists in building the U.S. labor movement and leading class struggle, which resulted in reforms such as Social Security, unemployment benefits and the 40-hour week.
A speaker then discussed the struggle at a local clinic to build a union among public health workers. He pointed out how important it is for us to learn from the mistakes of the historical communist movement. He specifically talked about the need for a party with an ideology that moves workers beyond reforms to a revolutionary communist outlook. The next two speakers provided an international perspective on PLP’s work. One comrade provided an update from PLP’s growing work in El Salvador. Another comrade analyzed U.S. intervention in Syria from the perspective of PLP in Israel/Palestine.
Finally, a comrade concluded with a discussion of the recent international communist school in New York and a future summer project in Los Angeles, emphasizing the importance of financially supporting these leadership-building activities. All in all, this was a successful activity and just one of many such events that could help our Party to grow.
The Los Angeles Reds
PL’ers Expose Real Story of Syria Civil War
During the Syria crisis, when the war hawks Obama and Co. began to threaten military action against Assad’s government for the use of chemical weapons, PL’ers who work in a mass community organization in the Latino working-class neighborhood of Bushwick in Brooklyn, NY immediately requested the opportunity to give a workshop in one of these committees. Surprisingly, we were given the green light to give a half- hour workshop on the current Syrian crisis.
In the workshop we explained the history of the use of weapons of mass destruction in wars by the U.S. against civilian populations such as in World War II against Japan and during the Vietnam war. We also used a map of the world to point out the rivalry of the U.S. and its allies vs. Russian/Chinese allies for the control of natural resources and in this particular case, natural gas and the pipelines for it. We explained that there are two proposed, competing gas pipelines: the South Stream Pipeline and the Nabucco Pipeline. We said this conflict is all about the bosses’ push for control of natural gas and its profits.
We received some good feedback from the community organization members, and they did have questions. The workers were surprised that nothing that we mentioned in our workshop was discussed in the U.S. media, such as natural gas and the pipelines. It made sense to them since according to the U.S. media Russia was also involved in the conflict. But the workers’ main concern was a possible war with Russia and World War III. War is always a horror for the working class, and so the bosses always have to build political support and nationalism with lies in order to get the working class to fight their wars. Workers understand very well who will benefit from these wars and who will suffer.
The following day we got feedback from the leaders of the community organization, who had not been too happy with our workshop. They told us that the organization is not worried about issues that people cannot control, such as the conflict in Syria. These leaders basically indicated they are primarily concerned with actions such as voting and supporting liberal politicians. This is very hypocritical, since they always claim they are not a political organization. But we know all too well that it is led by the Democratic Party so they are always pushing members of the organization to vote for their candidates.
We followed up the workshop with a PL study group with some of our friends who are interested in learning more of the Party’s communist analysis. They said they wish we could have more workshops such as the one on the crisis in Syria. One of the women at the study group believes that Assad is an evil man, because he murders his own people. We then questioned how is Assad any different than Obama who is closing down hospitals and also killing his own people.
The study group helped sharpened our communist analysis with our friends, bringing home the idea that capitalism will always bring war and suffering to the working class so the ruling class can profit, and that the only solution is a communist revolution.
How Racism Rules the Schools
After relocating to Indianapolis, Indiana I am now a substitute teacher at charter schools teaching kindergarten to middle school. Even in this experience, one can see rotten capitalism and why parents and teachers should join PLP to fight for a communist future.
On my first day, I taught third graders at a racially segregated (nearly all black students) school because their parents could only afford living in this one neighborhood. (There are multiracial charter schools in the suburbs where middle class parents live.) If these black workers were not paid lower wages by racist bosses, they would be able to live in less racially segregated communities.
It was quite an experience teaching young minds. I really like this new career. I have had numerous assignments. One was in a racially segregated mostly white neighborhood where the parents had more money. (Capitalism tries to divide workers by “race” and money.)
My most unforgettable school was terrible beyond words: It was a charter school for emotionally troubled kids who were kicked out of other school districts. These children were violent, and the administration put me in the school’s “Intensive Support Room” which was a horrible jail-like facility. It was socializing kids for the REAL jails! It even had two holding rooms (cells) for students. There was even a cop there. I hated it.
When I volunteered for the assignment, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I will never go back to that school again. Putting kids in school jail is not a solution to their “bad behavior.” These kids are unstable due to capitalism and poverty and are having an extreme reaction to it! (Marx did say, “being determines consciousness.”) Kids like that were cared for after the Bolshevik and Chinese Revolutions, which instead of punishing them, treated them better than oppressive capitalism.
I would like to learn more about Marxist educators. Capitalism is bad for not only kids, but also their parents. The only way out is through communist revolution led by PLP.
Syria’s Massacre of Refugees from Palestine
Working-class unity towards a communist revolution will end the nightmare in Syria.
The mainstream media in the West have hidden the fact that since the conflict there began, the people suffering the most are Arab workers from Palestine who’ve been refugees in Syria since the 1948 Zionist ethnic cleansing and fascist colonization of the historic territories of Palestine.
According to several reports, the protest turned into an armed struggle mainly due to Western imperialist intervention along with the reactionary regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and the repressive attempts to crush it by Assad’s regime itself.
Since that process began, the Arab workers from Palestine have been treated as a “fifth column” both by the regime and the insurgencies. Both sides commit massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps. Probably thousands of innocent workers have been murdered amid a severe shortage of water and food. Moreover, due to the heavy battles in the refugee camps, the humanitarian aid agencies have been evacuated.
In addition, it seems that both the insurgencies and the regime have adopted the notorious slogan: “Smash the Palestinians and save Syria.”
Politically, it seems that the new governing formula in a future Syria will be divide and rule among the various religions and ethnicities there.
This nightmare can be ended only by uniting all workers, no matter their ethnicity, and formation of a mass revolutionary communist party which can join the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist struggle in the Arab world and the working class worldwide. That political force can be built from the grassroots resistance movements inside Syria and with international working-class solidarity. One of the first crucial steps of the revolutionary party is to end the massacre of the workers from Palestine. This will be the most stable foundation to realize the right of return of these refugee workers.
Columbus Mass Murderer
This month, the U.S. and Western capitalists will celebrate Columbus as a great navigator and “discoverer” . But history shows he was a genocidal mercenary who was financed by stock-holding capitalists and a Spanish kingdom in which two percent of nobility owned 95 percent of all land. Columbus was promised ten percent of the profits from gold, silver, slaves and the governorship over stolen lands. The Catholic Church in Spain that had expelled all Jews and black Africans (Moors) supported the genocide of millions of native people who practiced “godless” communist sharing of goods and land. The total populations on some islands like Haiti were eliminated and black African slaves had to be brought in to work the mines and plantations. The Indian population north of Mexico when Columbus came was ten million and by 1776 was reduced to less than one million.
Capitalism has used mass murder and slavery for the primitive accumulation of capital that has financed endless wars and exploitation leading to today’s worldwide imperialist slaughter. Capitalism has also produced a revolutionary working class with the potential to end the horror that is capitalism when they organize for communist revolution.