May 1 March: To smash genocide, build and organize with PLP

08 June 2024 188 hits

Amidst the ongoing genocide and starvation of Palestinians in Gaza, 80 members and staff from the immigrant community organization in which Progressive Labor Party (PLP) members participate turned out for the pro-Palestinian May Day rally on May 1 in New York City. PLP members and friends rallied with the organization with hugs and chanting together. The Party played a key role in the process of getting the turnout and spirit of the group. We distributed 500 PLP leaflets (titled, “From all the rivers to all the seas, communism will set us free”) inviting people to the PLP May Day march on May 4 in Brooklyn. A group of young staff came on May 4. Two are regularly reading CHALLENGE and want to get to know us better.

Organizing against genocide             

PLP members have been working in this organization and surrounding community for more than 20 years. One comrade was an ESL teacher there for 10 years. We have recruited a number of workers to PLP and maintain a regular study group in the community. Since Oct 7 when Hamas killed 1,200 Israelis and the Zionists began the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza, comrades there have been in action. On Oct 10 we distributed 2,000 leaflets in the organization and the community. The title of the leaflet was: Israel-Hamas war means, Workers of the World Unite - Fight Back, Join the International Progressive Labor Party!                                   

We spoke at the Workers’ Committee of the organization about the war, genocide, oil, imperialist rivalry and the history of Israel and Palestine. Despite the lack of response then, the resistance against the directors of the Workers Committee invited comrades to organize a forum in December at the time and place of their meeting. 50 workers attended the forum presented in Spanish and English. A supervisor made an attempt to take over the forum, but she failed. The Party’s ideas and speeches were applauded. Workers endorsed a rally in the community. CHALLENGE was widely distributed in the process.         

A group of the organization’s staff, members of a United Auto Workers (UAW) local, were motivated by our comrades’ work to start a mass campaign to present five demands to the organizations’ directors/bosses. The demands included an immediate and long-term ceasefire in Gaza, support for the divest movement and the no vote movement and political education for staff and members. Staff got 40 signatures and comrades got 20 worker/member signatures demanding a meeting with the bosses. The meeting turned out to be a call during which staff and comrades spoke well and sharply. Somewhat taken aback, the directors agreed to a statement on social media and political education. In response to the divest, no vote movements, one of the directors said, “We’re not doing anything wrong, and we can invest in Israel as we see fit and we (that is the loyal liberals) have to re-elect Biden.” A real “education” for members and staff of the organization.

Bosses’ ideas poison for fightback                    

While there were some useful points in the political education webinar, nationalism and a total lack of class analysis was on display. There was no mention of the rivalry of the world’s imperialists for control of oil, shipping routes, commerce, and control of the working class. We must destroy capitalism and imperialism everywhere and forever. Communism is the only solution! That is the Party’s job, and we mustn’t shy away from the struggle!                       

The result of the long-term organizing and protesting was the directors’ decision to mobilize for the May Day rally on May 1st. Three workers and five young staffers joined other comrades and friends at PLP’s May Day march on May 4. One worker joined and 2 others have gotten closer. Building a mass party is always our goal and we have a long way to go! In conclusion, this is an example of building the Party in this period of sharpening war, racism, and fascism. Let’s do it!