MARCH 15, 2000, VOL. 36 NO. 21

  1. NEW YORK, LA:
    2. MORE WALKOUTS....and Over the Bridge
  3. High School Students Become Communist Leaders
  4. Students walk out against Proposition 21
  7. All Cops Are Like the Ramparts Thugs
    1. To Re-Enlist or Not to Re-enlist?
    2. Diallo Verdict Inspires Anger and Action
    3. Attacking the KKK is an Example to Follow
    4. Capitalism Kills A Kent Coal Miner
    5. Struggle in the Classroom


If you read the New York newspapers' lies, you might get the impression that the New York Civil Liberties Union led mainly white students from top high schools to walk out in protest of the Amadou Diallo verdict. In reality, PLP students from several working class schools organized and led an angry multi-racial protest of masses of students.

Students from Murrow, Wingate, Robeson, John Jay, Erasmus and other schools went into their classrooms and mass organizations on Monday with a plan for action. We were inspired by a weekend cadre school in February where we read Mao's "On Practice." During the week, we distributed stickers ("Who's next? Stop legal lynching") and flyers calling for a walkout. We got our teachers to discuss the case in class. We talked to everyone we knew and got friends to help plan.

By Friday, many of us had been attacked by our school administrators, which only increased the militancy of our friends. In every school hundreds of students gathered. Some were stopped by the NYPD, some walked out. Over 1,000 students made it to the demonstration in downtown Brooklyn. We struggled with liberal leadership from a few schools to keep the speeches and chants to the left, with the support of our friends.

The key to our success was the strength of the Party's communist politics. We worked not as individuals, but as part of a collective. We worked with the masses of youth at our schools, building strong ties with our friends for weeks and even years before the action. Walkout organizers drew on the experience of Party leadership, their own work and the experiences of other members of the Party collective.

Finally, it was the Party's correct estimate of the importance of the case and the political climate of the city that allowed us to move quickly when we needed to. At the end of the demonstration, one PLP student on the bullhorn called for the students to continue the walkouts. Names and numbers of the main organizers from each school were collected and plans are already being made for these students to meet to plan further actions. Many students from the walkouts came the next day to our demonstration in Flatbush.




The school day began when a student got to the PA system and announced to the whole school, "You know what to do!" Hundreds of students rallied for almost two hours in front of Wingate. What began as a group of 20 students giving speeches about the racist Diallo verdict grew to about 300 as students left school and joined the protest. The hundreds who participated made a very important decision that day. Many were warned there would be serious consequences if they participated. But they stood their ground, even though administrators wanted them to either leave the school premises or stay inside. However, the numbers kept growing as students cheered everyone who crossed the street to join.


Over 150 students gathered in the Music Hall at the time we planned to walk out. School security cops and the NYPD lined up to try to stop us. When they saw our numbers they switched tactics, saying they would let us leave if we agreed not to rally outside and go straight to the subway station. After discussion among the leaders, we agreed. We had spread the plans for the walkout to Stuyvesant and Beacon High Schools so we felt it was important to meet up with the other schools downtown.

As we flooded to the subway we grew in size. The cops opened the subway gates and sent us all off for free. By the time we joined the other schools downtown there were over 300 of us.


Our day started with an announcement from the principal reminding us that it was a regular school day. He "understood our concerns" but we should "make the right decision" and stay in school. At 10:00 A.M. it seemed like the whole school got up at once and left their classrooms. Hundreds of students started for the stairwells.

We quickly discovered that the principal and the NYPD had made the decision for us. Every exit and stairwell was blocked by cops. Some chased students back into classrooms. One cop told a student, "if you get up again I'm going to handcuff you to the desk". It was like a prison lockdown.

We felt really bad to miss the rally downtown and not to be able to join the other schools. But we discussed how important it is to see that what we did was a victory not a defeat.


As soon as we got to school that morning we started distributing flyers calling for the walkout, and announcing the time. Word spread and the students were really excited. When we started to leave, school security and cops were there but it seemed they couldn't decide what to do. We just kept marching out. Over 350 left with us.

When we got to the subway the cops opened the gates for us but we soon realized it was a plot to stop us. They let us onto the subway platform but then the train ran through the station without stopping. Most of us were stuck there for quite awhile. Some students who were arriving and saw what was happening went back upstairs and got on the bus. So even though it wasn't a big number Robeson made it downtown! We were glad to join the other schools and had a great day.


Several of us took leaflets into school in our backpacks that morning announcing the exact time of the walkout. So even though one student had literature confiscated others were able to get it out. There was a lot of excitement but also some uncertainty about whether we could actually have a walkout.

When the time came there was a dedicated core of leaders who marched out even though very few students followed us. We felt determined to meet up with our comrades downtown and knew it was right to go no matter how small the group. We felt it was no time to back down when we had been struggling all week with other students to come through and participate. When we made it downtown we were thrilled to see 40 other Erasmus students had joined us! We felt part of a much larger movement.


One hundred and twenty students along with eight faculty members, marched from Hunter College H.S. at 94th St. and Park Ave. to 59th St. and 5th Ave., where an hour-long rally was held protested the acquittal of four cops in the killing of Amadou Diallo. Students had organized for this event all week, holding daily discussions in the schoolyard, putting up posters in the hallways, distributing leaflets in front of the school and signing up students in their classes to march. They also obtained a police permit themselves, made up chant sheets and prepared speeches.

Everyone was thrilled by the turnout and the enthusiasm of our group of black, Asian, Latino, and white students and faculty as we marched down 5th Avenue chanting, "They say `Let Em Go,' We Say Hell No!" At the rally, students gave impassioned speeches denouncing the racist brutality of NYC cops.

The large turnout for this march is partly the result of two years of political activity in the school, including forums and film showings on prison labor, sweatshops, and the racist criminal justice system. This week one organizer is distributing copies of PLP's Prison Labor pamphlet to the marchers.


The Diallo trial had started many discussions and some activity. Before the verdict many students and a few teachers wore black armbands. The not guilty verdict surprised many and inspired lots of anger. The Student Security Council planned to extend the idea of wearing armbands and also decided to write some letters. The March 3rd walkouts sparked renewed activity at our school. A walkout flyer appeared Monday morning (March 6) calling for a walkout Wednesday (March 8) after period #7. Many students and some teachers really liked this idea. Talk about the walkout spread everywhere. Everyone had to decide what to do. Students were going to make some history, instead of just reading about it. [As we can see below, they did it! --Ed.]

MORE WALKOUTS....and Over the Bridge

FLASH: BROOKLYN, NY, March 8 -- Continuing last Friday's actions, hundreds of students walked out of Brooklyn Tech, Clara Barton, Science Skills and Prospect Heights High Schools to rally at Fulton Mall in downtown Brooklyn, protesting the freeing of Diallo's killers. The demonstration was organized and led by students.

The cops responded with a massive presence and attempted to divide them into small groups. But students persevered, chanting and rallying. In outmaneuvering the cops, over 100 students marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to have another rally in City Hall.


A "student" at the Fulton Mall began speaking over a bullhorn, trying to pacify the demonstrators. But that exposed her as a plainclothes cop, shut her up and grabbed the bullhorn. When a black cop approached some black students and began spewing his bosses' divisive nationalist ideas, the black students grouped with white fellow students told him off, saying "we're all together."

PLP members and friends distributed 150 CHALLENGES and hundreds of leaflets. Some students said it was great and will be even better next time.


Everything Progressive Labor Party does to carry out our ideas has both immediate and long-range consequences. Everything done by the Party counts. Our recent efforts around racist police terror in New York provide a valuable case in point.

When the mock trial of Amadou Diallo's murderers began, the Party leadership called on every club to make plans for responding to the verdict. When the verdict was announced the Party was able to take action on a number of fronts. Of course, we raised our ideas in demonstrations called by various liberal misleaders. We were also able to stimulate small but significant actions on our own. We led student walkouts in a number of high schools. We raised our ideas about the police on the job. We organized a work stoppage at a welfare center to discuss the verdict and then led welfare and hospital workers in a lunch-hour march and rally in downtown Brooklyn. We led an action at the Rutgers U. headquarters of community policing guru Kelling and raised the issue on other campuses, in the community and in several mass movements.

Each of these activities by themselves or all of them together didn't give us the leverage to alter the relationship of forces. But what we did around the Diallo murder has tremendous importance nonetheless. Without us the ruling class would have been in total control of the situation. The mass anger would have had no outlet other than impotent spontaneity or self-destructive tailing after the Sharpton gang: either aimless, apolitical rage or else the dead-end of the "justice" system and electoral politics.

Only PLP offered a real alternative. Only PLP exposed the class role of the cops and the liberal fascists. Only PLP pointed toward the working class as the key force to mobilize. Only PLP singled out capitalism as the enemy. The bosses' media can lie to make it appear as though liberal lawyers provided the key political leadership for the hundreds of high school students who marched against police terror over the Brooklyn Bridge on March 3. But the students from Wingate, LaGuardia, Murrow, Stuyvesant and Beacon high schools know better. And we see them every day.

Currently, PLP's influence over important events remains limited. The international working class is still recovering from the collapse of the old communist movement, the worst defeat in our history. The road leading to favorable conditions for revolution and the seizure of power will be long and difficult. So in one important sense, you could say we're building for the future. But the future will be determined by the actions and struggles of the present.

What we did around the Diallo case creates the potential to do much more in the future. Thousands witnessed and applauded these actions. Workers and others are influenced through our actions and our press. The potential exists to sharpen the struggle against police terror, to increase our participation in the mass movement, to build a bigger May Day, and most importantly, to win new PLP recruits. In the words of the Party leader who organized the walkout from his welfare center: "Before this, we were planning to fill one bus for May Day. Nothing's in the bag, but I think we can now double that."

How would the political landscape have appeared around the Diallo case if there were no PLP or if we hadn't functioned? The same could be said about our presence and activity everywhere throughout our history. Imagine the anti-Vietnam war upsurge and the ghetto rebellions 35 years ago without PLP. We were decisive in setting back the fascist anti-busing movement in Boston during the mid-1970s. The rising KKK in the 1970s and 1980s publicly stated PLP was its fiercest opponent. Our mass fight against racist attacks by the Migra in California in the same years still continues. At last October's KKK rally in New York, only PLP smashed the fascists and exposed their alliance with the police and the liberal bosses. Imagine the L.A. rebellion of 1992, the Gulf War and the Kosovo war, the Clinton impeachment circus, or the WTO conference in Seattle without our Party and its press helping workers make sense of a world that often seems incoherent, absurd or hopeless? Who else will keep the flame of communism alive and pick up the red flag that was thrown in the mud and hoist it high under any and all conditions?

We live in a difficult, grim period. It won't last forever. We don't deny the reality of objective conditions. But we can still act to build the Party and sharpen the struggle. Everything we do now, no matter how apparently insignificant, creates the potential to do more and eventually to turn the character of the period into its opposite. At the height of revolutionary struggle in China, the communist leader Mao Zedong wrote a pamphlet entitled: "A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire." Our prairie fire may take some time to erupt. But we have to keep setting as many sparks as we can. Our struggles will set the stage for eventual victory.

These are the main lessons our Party and friends can draw from our important, positive activity around the Diallo murder case. This is the spirit in which we should organize for May Day 2000. Communists fight for a glorious future. But the future is now as well.


BROOKLYN, NY, March 2 -- Approximately 75 workers participated in a march through the downtown Brooklyn shopping area protesting the acquittal of cops Murphy, Carroll, Boss and McMellon for the murder of Amadou Diallo. About one-third of the marchers came from a child support (welfare) office where the demonstration had initially been planned during a work-stoppage earlier this week.

As the welfare workers began the march, they were joined by workers from a nearby Brooklyn hospital. We chanted, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, racist cops have got to go! Racism means...fight back! Amadou means...fight back!" While we counted out the 41 shots by which these racist butchers had murdered this unarmed and totally innocent young African immigrant worker, hundreds of shoppers and workers on their lunch-hour greeted us with tremendous enthusiasm.

"That was great, what are we going to do next?" was the reaction of more than a few of the workers who took part. A PLP organizer suggested marching in PLP's May Day demonstration. Several workers who had never been to PLP's May Day said they would march this year.

Clearly, our response to the Diallo verdict has borne fruit, counteracting passivity and pessimism. Members of two AFSCME unions built this march together with per-diem office temps and Workfare workers. This active response to a racist outrage builds confidence in, and the potential for, working-class unity. This increased class struggle can become a school for communism.

High School Students Become Communist Leaders

NEW YORK CITY, March 6 -- Progressive Labor Party has been developing a better understanding of the role of schools under capitalism and the role of communists in those schools. As a result we developed a slogan: "Learn To Fight, Fight To Learn." This reflects the dual tasks of learning to lead day-to-day struggles against the current fascist character of schools while struggling to understand the importance of teaching and learning within those same capitalist schools. It's complicated.

The wave of walkouts from NY and NJ high schools last week (see accompanying articles) reflect these ideas and our efforts to understand them and put them into practice. An important event before the walkouts was a Youth Cadre School/Camping Trip the weekend of February 12th. Organizing for it was an important part of our activities for several months before that. We struggled with youth and teachers to see the need for political study. We also organized the weekend as an experience of life under communism where we all share responsibilities and fun.

Fifty students and more than a dozen teachers and parents met to read and study Mao's "On Practice." This important piece of communist literature emphasizes that practice, doing and acting in the real world, is primary--the groundwork for real learning--and that theory--which is organizing our practice into a comprehensive understanding of the laws of the real world--can only grow as our practice grows. The workshops that studied this document were remarkable. We also saw how learning is a collective process that succeeds best when everyone participates.

During the Weekend Cadre School we discussed the Diallo case and the upcoming verdict. We understood we had to prepare to lead struggles at our schools when the bosses finally release their verdict (which we also understood would not provide justice for a black worker).

Ten people joined the Party that weekend. Those ten, and the many others who attended, were the main organizers of the walkouts in their high schools. Every step of the process to plan, organize and carry out the events of this past week were aspects of "the practice" they had discussed just three weeks before.

As others see the fruits of this process, the exhilarating news of mass walkouts organized and led by our Party, it is important to understand the steps that helped bring it about. We are truly "Learning to fight, fighting to learn"!

Students walk out against Proposition 21

LOS ANGELES, March 3 -- Students at George Washington Prep H.S. walked out against Proposition 21. "It was great," said one student at the walkout. Students felt strong, finding themselves fighting for what they believe in.

Today, there are more teenagers being imprisoned for minor crimes, more young people involved in what the rulers call "gang-related" situations--but why? Because of the "big plan" thrown at us by racists who run this whole system of inequality. We're under attack from those who deny us our "rights." Prop 21 was recently put down on paper to allow racism and a corrupt system to continue growing around our community. This is where we come in.

The march circled the school campus and went down three main streets. Students felt good. We need people to start standing up for what they believe in and showing that they care, that they don't want to live frustrated and beaten by the system that is forced upon them. They need to show these people who are controlling them that they can take control in a fight for a better world.

Some people got intimidated by Asst. Principal Jones. He threatened to suspend and expel the students involved. He also threatened to give students $1,000 "tickets" for participating in the walkout. He was screaming on his bullhorn that the communists were using us because we were easily brainwashed and didn't really know the issues involved in Prop 21.

But we all really knew exactly what we were doing and why we were there. Jones went back inside after two people told him he didn't know what he was talking about and was supporting fascism. The police followed us through the walkout as if we were criminals. A lot of people supported us by honking their horns. None of us were suspended or expelled.


SAN DIEGO. March 7 -- In the wake of the police murders in New York and the scandals in Los Angeles, the ruling class is looking for strategies to deal with workers' hatred of the cops. A New York Times article (March 4) outlined one of their ideas for "enhancing public confidence in the agencies of justice." It praised the "less confrontational law enforcement measures" supposedly practiced in Boston and San Diego. It particularly praised the strategy of "consulting with black ministers to win their cooperation."

That the San Diego cops are "less confrontational" would come as a big surprise to the families and friends of those murdered here by the cops. A few recent cases:

* Demetrious DuBose, a former Notre Dame and NFL football player, was shot to death by two San Diego cops on a sidewalk in Mission Beach, July 24, 1999. Mr. DuBose, unarmed, was shot 12 times, five times in the back.

* Federico Adame, III, 27, died on Nov. 10, 1999 after being

beaten, kicked, maced and batoned by five San Diego County Sheriffs. Adame had refused to leave a yard party.

* On February 8, William Anthony Miller, Jr., a 42-year-old mentally ill homeless man, reportedly hit someone with a thin tree branch. Five cops and a police dog were "unable" to handle one guy with a stick, so they killed him with seven shots.

* Sonserra Holloway, 20, was murdered February 3 by a Border Patrol agent working with the San Diego Police. Holloway had been arrested on a drug charge and was handcuffed in a police cruiser. Police said she "tried to escape."

There have been many protests about these and others recently killed by police. The protests illustrate, however, the other part of the Times' strategy: getting black ministers either to say the shootings were justified, or to say "it's just a few bad cops." After the District Attorney said the DuBose killing was justified, City Councilman George Stevens, a prominent black minister, endorsed his statement. He did say, however, that the cops should not have shot DuBose so many times! (Kill him quicker?)

Other black ministers and businessmen had already started a group to protest the Dubose shooting. They were not allowed to say that the murdering cops should go to jail, although most wanted to say so. The ministers, the main speakers at the group's one large demonstration, did not say it was wrong to kill Dubose. Instead they concentrated on soothing peoples' anger and preventing a militant demonstration like one in nearby Riverside, where cops murdered a young black woman, Tyisha Miller. Meanwhile, activists formed the Committee Against Police Brutality, which organized protests about the above cases.

Experience in San Diego shows clearly what the bosses want from making junior partners of black ministers: criticize the cops just enough to make it sound like a movement against the police. In reality they will take the line that only a few cops or a few police policies are bad, adding that the federal cops or the Department of Justice are the good guys who can prosecute the "few bad cops." That's Al Sharpton's line in New York. In San Diego the marshals at the DuBose demonstration were actually "trained" by Department of Justice officials.

The stakes are big. U. S capitalists, worried about workers' increasing lack of confidence in the cops, need the ministers to push the idea that the "the Feds are good." The bosses must mold a U. S. population that would support the next oil war. They can't stomach workers and soldiers, especially black and Latin, looking at the system with hatred or cynicism.

Our job is to help people understand that intimidation, brutality and murder is the cops' main job in capitalist society, federal or local. The capitalists can't rule without them, so they call in the ministers to cover their crimes.


LOS ANGELES, March 7 -- Youth in and around PLP led a walkout at Washington H.S. against Proposition 21, the murderous Ramparts cops and the Diallo verdict. They did this in the face of threats of suspension and red baiting. (SEE ARTICLE PAGE 3) The liberals told the youth not to walk out, but to urge people to vote against Prop 21. PLP members have participated in the anti-Prop 21 marches and rallies led by the liberals. We have sold many copies of the new PLP prison labor pamphlet. Our ideas have been welcomed at these activities.

Prop 21 is a dangerous fascist measure, which will increase the number of youth in prison. California already has more prisoners than Britain, France, Germany, Holland and Japan combined, and they have eleven times the population of California! One of the main reasons the rulers launched the Prop 21 campaign was to spread the racist lie among millions of adult voters, that youth, especially all black and Latin youth, are in violent gangs and threaten public safety in California. Yet it's the police who have fomented gang warfare. Then time and again they have targeted honest black and now Latino residents who have worked to end gang fighting, and provide alternatives for youth.

The Ramparts cops physically attacked, arrested and deported those who were bringing small numbers of different gang members together. Prop 21 scapegoats youth and increasingly targets black and Latin youth for prison, making it a crime for three or more "suspected" gang members to even walk together.

But just as dangerous is the liberal leadership and line of the anti-Prop 21 movement. They refuse to mention the Ramparts police scandal, the Diallo case or the Three Strikes law in their activities. Of course they don't point to the source of all this racism-the capitalist system and its crisis. They attack PLP for saying this and try to prevent us from speaking. They push a fantasy world: defeat Prop 21 and then we can all go to college, get good jobs and be part of the "American dream."

They don't want the youth to know about the two million people in prison; about the racist injustice system, beginning with the Federal government; about the bosses planning a ground war in Iraq with some "humanitarian" pretext to fight for Exxon's oil profits.

They welcome the Federal "clean-up" of the LAPD. We've shown that the Feds want cosmetic changes and more Al Sharptons in LA to mislead workers into trusting reform, the Federal government and community policing. It was Clinton who financed the addition of 100,000 more killer cops on the streets.

These fascist propositions appear to be enacted through the "democratic process." This is a hoax. Several years ago Prop 103-to lower insurance rates-was passed as a reform measure. It was never implemented because the insurance companies took it to court where the bosses' judges ruled in their favor. Whatever the vote, Prop 21 will be implemented if the rulers decide it will help build terror and also get more youth, especially imprisoned black and Latin youth into the army. If not, they'll rule parts of Prop 21 illegal.

Many honest activists fighting Prop. 21 know the problem goes beyond what the liberals say. Our fight has to grow and deepen. No reform will stop fascism. PLP invites them to March on May Day to help build the movement that will win the working class to crush fascism with communist revolution.

All Cops Are Like the Ramparts Thugs

As one speaker pointed out at the March 4th rally, all cops are like the Ramparts division. They are the ones who framed, beat and sometimes murdered an untold number of innocent youth and workers while stealing and dealing in drugs themselves. The latest revelation is that DA Gil Garcetti knew that Rafael Perez, the Ramparts cop who stole and sold cocaine, was crooked when Garcetti accepted his testimony and put Mr. Olvando in jail for years. The real criminals are Garcetti, Riorden, Parks, the LAPD, the FBI and the INS.

Part of the fight against Prop 21 is to win workers and students to march on the Ramparts police station Sat., April 1st, to expose Ramparts, all the cops, the DA, the Police Chief and Mayor Riorden as racist defenders of police terror and prison slave labor. {They all worked together to frame, jail, and deport community members who were trying to bring about gang truces.} We urge unions and student groups to take up this fight with mass actions, walkouts and strikes, rather than trust the liberals to "reform" the cops.


MONTEBELLO, CA, March 7 -- On February 12, the racist Police Department here executed 20 year-old Jason Rodriguez like an animal. Jason had entered a 7-11 to use the bathroom to stop a bleeding nose. The clerk refused the request and pressed the silent alarm summoning the cops. Jason walked out to explain to the cop what was happening. Before he could utter a word, without any warning, a female cop fired a shotgun into his head.

The cops then kept his ID, stripped him naked and turned over the still breathing but brain-dead body to St. Francis Medical Center, about 20 miles away. They told the staff Jason was "homeless." Doctors questioned this, saying, "He looks like a well-nourished, clean-cut young man who must have a family." For five days the staff called the Montebello cops for Jason's ID. The cops said they couldn't locate the family and insisted he be taken off the life-support machine! Five days later, Jason was located by friends who in turn notified his parents.

They came to the hospital, asked that their brain-dead son be taken off life support, and then buried him.

Jason had lots of friends who loved him and cared for him. He had recently taken up boxing, which was why his nose bled unexpectedly. His friends and family organized a demonstration at the Montebello Police Station and are planning another one this Saturday (March 11) at noon to demand the cops be tried for murder.

LA Times' exposés of the cops are not making a dent in police terror. As the Diallo verdict in New York showed, there is no justice for workers under capitalism. Justice will come only when we bury these murderers, the rich they serve and this rotten, racist capitalist system with communist revolution.


SEATTLE, March 6 -- Today the Boeing Company--after declaring an impasse in negotiations--unilaterally put into effect the salaries of their last contract offer. They did not implement other conditions they were demanding, like the medical cutbacks. In essence Boeing is trying to bribe those who would get the bigger wage increases into scabbing.

This "bribe to scab" not only incensed SPEEA (engineers) members, who came out in force to picket on Monday morning, but also many blue-collar IAM (machinists) members as well. We're now organizing to demand the IAM give more than token support.

Meanwhile, the SPEEA leadership continues to gamble on "friends" in high places, like Gore and Sweeney. ALF-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Trumka is scheduled to speak March 7th. But it is precisely these "friends" who are beholden to the Boeing Board. For example, AFL-CIO president John Sweeney dutifully signed a letter, along with Boeing Director Lewis Platt, supporting "U.S. objectives" at the recent WTO fiasco. They both served on Clinton's Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. With friends like this who needs enemies!

Our real friends are the workers of the world. Join us this May Day to show and build real workers' power!


PHILADELPHIA, March 3 - Many workers at Jefferson hospital here are asking, "Could there be a change in the air?"

In February the contract for 100 maintenance workers in the Teamsters expired. To the surprise of the bosses, the contract was overwhelmingly rejected. The bosses' demanded that the Teamsters nearly triple their payments to their health plan, from $260/yr to $676/yr. This pushed many Teamster members over the edge. They are continuing to work under their old contract, but many are hoping to time their strike to the June 30th expiration of the 1,100 members of Local 1199C.

At a recent 1199C membership meeting the mood of was also surprising. Again the union leadership is not allowing the union delegates enough time to develop a larger turnout. Yet many workers who did attend declared they would rather strike than pay anything toward their health benefits. (Presently 1199C members are the only workers in the hospital who pay nothing toward their health benefits. The bosses say they won't even begin contract negotiations until the union agrees that the workers begin paying $10.00 weekly toward their benefits.

The workers' reaction is mixed. At the union meetings it was the veteran workers who were the vocal militants. They remember the days before the union, and several workers gave impassioned speeches calling on everyone to refuse to give anything back or to pay for their health benefits. But a larger group of workers doesn't see how we can fight and win, "when everyone else is paying for their health benefits."

PLP members have been meeting with groups of 1199C members to build a strike movement. We're proposing we strike around two main issues: (1) more full-time jobs to improve patient care; and, (2) pay nothing toward our health benefits.

We are meeting with several groups of part-timers to develop a rank-and-file collective to lead a fight for jobs. Many of these workers are eager to try to build some kind of fight. "A lot of us are scared, or out for ourselves or kiss up to the supervisor for extra work hours," she reported, but she's willing to contribute to the organizing.

At another meeting a full-time worker declared, "You know, even if we do win a fight for jobs, Jefferson's gonna come back at us to take some stuff back". "You're right", replied a PLP member, "That's why we need communist revolution!" Later those same two workers were discussing how long PLP has been organizing for that goal. "The fight for communism is gonna be a long hard fight," said the PLP'er. "Yeah," said the worker, "but if they keep cutting jobs and do more things like when the cops killed that guy in New York, you can see how it might happen."


BROOKLYN, NY, March 3 -- A large block of workers met at a Brooklyn hospital during their dinner break to discuss the trial of the four cops who were acquitted of murdering Amadou Diallo last year . Several joined the March 2 protest rally and march of AFSCME welfare workers in downtown Brooklyn.

Many workers were outraged at the verdict. Workers felt the trial should have been in the Bronx, with jurors coming from the community, and thought the prosecutors made a weak case. They felt the issue of racism should have been the main point. Four white cops would not have fired 41 shots at a white man standing in front of his building.

Another worker said these remarks may be true but the fact is under the capitalist system the four cops would never get the death penalty they deserve. Still another worker pointed out that cops of any nationality are the armed servants of the bosses' state, the chief instruments of the bosses' state power. Their job is to keep the working class in submission whenever workers are fighting back. The cops terrorize black and Hispanic working-class communities , frame and arrest thousands, overcrowding the prisons with our brothers and sisters.

Capitalism's greatest crime is the exploitation of workers as wage slaves. This creates billionaires on the backs of the working class . Our anger must help build an army of workers to fight back against racist police terror.

Many CHALLENGES were distributed after the meeting. Many workers said they wanted to participate in the May Day march in Washington, D.C., May 6.


OAKLAND, CA., March 6 -- Enraged by the acquittal of the four racist NYC cops who murdered Amadou Diallo, over 100 AC transit workers are now wearing "Justice 4 Diallo" ribbons on their uniforms.

"The Amadou Diallo case? Yes, I'm mad. I'm still mad at the Tyisha Miller case!" this single mother of four said as she pinned the "Justice 4 Diallo" black ribbon to her uniform.

"It was last February that the cops killed Amadou," said another driver. "And this February they acquitted his murderers. This is how they celebrate Black History Month?"

Forty-one "democratic" bullets fired at the unarmed immigrant worker; 21 at Tyisha and 37 at Ricardo Close, a Southern California truck mechanic whose murder by the cops had also been condemned by ATU Local 192 members.

At the morning union meeting workers voted unanimously to: (1) send a letter of condolence to the family condemning the acquittal; (2) support the charges that the cops violated Diallo's civil rights; and (3) organize a day of protest against racist cop killings.

We hope to bring this struggle to other unions and community groups. " We have to take a stand!" said one of the activist drivers, a father of a large family, all of them threatened by this climate of police terror. Up and down the West Coast, LA transit workers, students and Boeing workers in Seattle are wearing similar ribbons.

The reception to these efforts shows an enthusiasm for political action. Another parent echoed the feelings of almost all the members: "I'm afraid every time I leave my house. I tell my kids to always keep their hands up when stopped by a cop and to tell the cops in advance where their ID is." This is everyday life in world's leading capitalist country. Everybody agrees that the predominantly black and Latin communities are becoming more of a police state, victims of rampant racism.

This has led to some deep political discussions. Some workers think not all cops are racist and that these killings could stop if more cops had "better attitudes." They hope the federal government will help. But it was the Clinton administration that put 100,000 more cops on the street and coordinated programs like the Street Crimes Unit.

Another driver said that racist cop units like NYC's are connected with the needs of the capitalist class for more racist slave labor in prison. He feels there's an effort to "criminalize everything" to jail more people. He said more black and Latin cops will not help.

We are struggling with such workers to understand that only a revolution will stop racist killings. Some argue revolution will not be necessary--"the Federal Courts will correct the verdict." We argue US imperialism has always spoken with a "forked tongue!" The Bush-Clinton "Federal government" has killed millions in Iraq, Yugoslavia, and scored of other countries.

Thirteen months ago 41 fascist bullets were fired. The sound of those shots is still echoing all around the country in the political anger that is sparking a response. Winning more workers to read and distribute CHALLENGE and to march on May Day are the next steps in this direction.


CHICAGO, March 7 -- "We are all at risk. The lives of black and Latin people are worth nothing in this country. That's how they got away with murdering my son. That's the lesson of the Diallo `not guilty' verdict. And if the cops can get away with murder just because they `feel threatened,' then white people are in danger too." So declared Vera Love, a retired postal worker whose son Robert Russ was murdered this past June by a Chicago cop. He was two weeks away from graduating Northwestern University. The cop received a 15-day suspension.

This was the high point of the March 1 forum on Racism and Social Policy at Chicago State University (CSU). Initiated by PLP and sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the forum involved dozens in the planning and presentations to the nearly 700 students, faculty and staff who participated. This could lead to a growing anti-racist movement here, and a large CSU contingent marching on May Day.

Following Vera's presentation, a black woman cop, like the one who killed Latanya Haggerty last June ("mistaking" her cell phone for a gun), said, "We're not all like that," and told how "dangerous" it is to be a cop. Vera and her daughter Brandy would have none of it. The audience was outraged. A CSU student in PLP told of her experience last May Day as a bus captain and marcher. She urged everyone to march this May Day, and to organize a CSU protest rally against police racism.

Another young comrade said, "I don't identify myself as a `black man.' I'm more than that. I'm a revolutionary communist in PLP. Since getting involved in the movement, I'm not afraid anymore." Then he looked the cop in the eye and said, "I'm not afraid of you!"

A white postal worker, who met Vera and organized support in his union for her when Robert was killed, took the floor and asked the young black students, "What would happen if the next time the cops kill someone, thousands of workers walked off their jobs?" The students burst into applause. He and Vera hugged as he invited her to speak at his next union meeting. This showed the potential power of a united working class and dealt a blow to the black nationalist undercurrent in the auditorium.

The all-day forum included sessions on "Zero Tolerance" in the schools, the federal "Violence Initiative" and the fascist Levitt-Donohue report linking the drop in crime to increased abortions and "fewer criminals being born."

The sharpest debate occurred in the panel discussing a program offering $200 to crack addicts to be sterilized. Two speakers from the Black Student Union bought into the myth of the "crack baby," and used the increased enrollment in "Special Ed." classes as proof. They said that "crack sterilization" was part of genocide aimed at the "Black Race," and called on black people to drive the drug dealers out of "our" community. Others argued that all workers need to unite against racism.

The debate continued the next day in a class on race and society. Finally one student said that now was the time for action. Another student proposed a plan to petition the CSU President, demanding cancellation of classes for a day in order to go to City Hall to protest police racism. Another proposed a protest against CSU's failure to come up with financial aid. A student spoke of how her uncle had been unjustly imprisoned for 20 years on a police frame-up. Then most of the class exchanged phone numbers to work on the City Hall plan.

On March 4, about 25 students attended a May Day Dinner, enjoying good food, sharp discussion and the May Day video. Fifteen students left with books of May Day bus tickets in hand. We must link the struggle against police terror to the need to smash capitalism, which creates and protects racist cops. The road ahead is difficult but full of promise. Communist revolution will end the brutalities of capitalism.

LOS ANGELES -- "Who wants tickets for the march?" asked a PLP member and many hands shot up as people said, "Give me five"; "I'll take ten"; and, "I think you should take 15." This was part of a pre-May Day dinner of workers who had braved a driving rain to attend.

There was a warm atmosphere of struggle, helped along by the PLP video, "Red Flag." This was followed by speeches about the history and importance of May Day and the need for building a new communist movement.

New members spoke about the impact of growing fascism in the U.S. One of these young workers recited a dramatic poem called "Bitter Truths," with revolutionary changes to the original. Others reported on the struggle at UNAM in Mexico, a coming demonstration in front of the LA Ramparts police station on April 1st and the need to fight fascism everyday and build the revolutionary movement to destroy it.

The inspiring speeches, the delicious food, and the personal discussions spurred the unity and struggle to build the May Day March on Saturday, April 29th in San Francisco.


"Contrary to much received wisdom, the energy problem looming in the early 21st century is neither skyrocketing prices nor shortages that heralds the beginning of the end of the oil age. Instead, the danger is precisely the opposite; long-term trends point to a prolonged oil surplus and low oil prices over the next two decades." (Amy Jaffe of the James A. Baker Institute and Robert Manning of the Council on Foreign Relations in Foreign Affairs, January/February 2000)

Advances in exploration and drilling techniques have led to a sevenfold increase in the amount of producible crude. In 1972, analysts thought only 550 billion barrels lay under ground. But today, "the International Energy Agency says that there are 2.3 trillion barrels in ultimate recoverable reserves." (Foreign Affairs)

Oil industry insiders assume that prices will fall dramatically. Contracts for oil to be delivered in January 2001 are trading at $24 a barrel, well below the current $32 price tag. Later contracts dip to $19. Thierry Desmarest, president of French oil giant TotalFina Elf, said, "We invest only in projects that will be profitable with oil at $13 a barrel and break even at $10." (La Tribune, 2/16/00)

Overcapacity and the need to maximize profits force oil companies to compete for the cheapest sources. A barrel of North American oil costs as much as $5 to pump from the ground. Russian production costs run about $2. But "crude oil in Saudi Arabia costs no more than 50 cents a barrel to produce, sometimes as little as 20 cents." (Reuters, 11/26/99) Similar conditions prevail in Iraq.

The rush for cheap oil rivets the imperialists' attention on the Middle East. "Persian Gulf oil's share of the current world market, now at 24%, will rise to 32% by 2010." (Foreign Affairs)

The key question is: who will control these super-profits? The Rockefeller oil companies are trying to cut deals with Saudi and Kuwaiti rulers for greater access to their 20-cent-a barrel bonanza. Rockefeller's competitors--French, Russian, and Chinese oil barons--have contracts to double Iraqi production.

Whoever controls oil supplies controls the industrial world and the profits resulting from it. Ultimately, competing imperialists have only one way to solve this fight between each other--war. That was the reason for the Gulf War and for the continual U.S. bombing of, and sanctions against, Iraq (to limit Iraqi oil exports until the U.S. can launch a ground war to control them.)

Only the destruction of capitalism by communist revolution can end these oil wars which kill millions of workers.


OAXACA, Mexico, March 6 -- Last month members of the teachers union in the Televised Learning High Schools met here to discuss the fight to improve their living and working conditions and a strategy for "better education" for the outlying, poorest communities in the state of Oaxaca.

The televised learning high school is an education practice through which the PRI government has cut costs in secondary education, especially among the poorest students, since the majority of schools using televised instruction only have three teachers. On the other hand, the lack of teachers and materials in these schools shows how little the poor and oppressed count for the rulers. For the bosses, even a low-quality education is spending too much on the indigenous people.

In the state of Oaxaca, more than 60% of the people over 15 years old can't read or write. This figure increases annually. As if this weren't bad enough, the Zedillo government has announced a $120 million cutback in this year's education budget. This racist and unjust capitalist education system only benefits a small rich group while deepening the poverty and illiteracy of the great majority. This month we have begun to carry out the conference's plan of actions to fight for our demands.

Despite the teachers' militancy and dedication to the struggle, this movement lacks class consciousness and a revolutionary communist perspective. Its reformist view creates many illusions among the workers. It approves and legitimizes racist and divisive policies like the Teaching Career, which only benefit a minority, instead of fighting to improve the living conditions of all workers. The most blatant sellouts use the movement as a trampoline to leap into government positions, or to become deputies or senators of the various ruling class parties. Corruption is spreading. The mis-leaders betray the workers by making deals with the government and isolating the movement from other popular struggles, like the UNAM strike, the class war in Mexe, Hidalgo, among the miners of Canenea, etc. PLP participates in this struggle while presenting communism to the workers and students as the solution to the problems created by capitalism.

We distributed over 80 CHALLENGES at this conference. Several workers were very interested in our Party. We try to make it clear to the workers that our oppressed and exploited class will only get true education and a life of dignity when we take power and build communism. That's our goal. Join us!


SAN SALVADOR, March 6 -- Machete-wielding farmworkers and city workers with rocks and sticks routed strike-breaking police here, forcing them to flee the scene of their crimes, while striking workers and doctors closed the western entrance to the capital. The workers' counter-attack was a reaction to an assault by the fascist National Civil Police on striking workers and doctors from the Medical Surgery Hospital and the Social Security Rosales Hospital.

The cowardly cops had no qualms about shooting tear gas grenades and bullets at defenseless children, the elderly, or pregnant women in these hospitals. This was the bosses' answer to the union leaders' pleas to the government for a dialogue. There were unconfirmed reports that two workers were killed and a journalist injured when he was covering this savage attack on the working class.

Once these defenders of capitalism had felled patients with tear gas, workers and doctors from the two hospitals, joined by street vendors and by many other angry workers around the hospital, pelted these fascist dogs with rocks and sticks. Near-by this battle there happened to be hundreds of farmworkers who had fought with the guerrilla movement. These workers, also victimized by the same profit system, and seeing their class brothers and sisters under attack, waded into the police with sticks and machetes.

The cops suddenly saw themselves between two fires: on the one side city workers, on the other side, farmworkers. The fascists fled, with local television stations filming their cowardly retreat, defeated by the unity of the working class.

At the same time that striking workers and doctors from the San Rafael Hospital of Santa Tecla had sealed the western entrance to the capital city, resident doctors, nurses, and administration workers of San Juan de Dios Hospital in San Miguel were on a protest march in the eastern part of the country.

These militant working-class actions provide a great opportunity to bring the ideas of PLP to the workers and to recruit new members to fight for communist revolution. We need to be bolder in giving this leadership. The workers' example of armed action against the bosses' police shows the potential for the communist idea of working-class seizure of state power.


To Re-Enlist or Not to Re-enlist?

Today about 15 the soldiers nearing the end of their active duty military time were gathered together and asked to re-enlist. The battery commander and First Sergeant were present.

The soldiers' gripes and complaints were overwhelming. There were the Commander and First Sergeant trying to convince soldiers to re-enlist. Of the 15, only one was sure he would stay. All the others, including myself, complained about what's wrong with the military and why the morale and motivation are very low in my unit.

There are three main reasons why soldiers will not re-enlist. Three weaknesses of the army that play an important role in how a soldier feels. Firstly, and the most widespread among soldiers, is low pay. The Army's budget hurts soldiers financially. It's one thing for the Army to say it guarantees a paycheck every month. But just how much is that paycheck? There are soldiers who work on the weekends and make more money than they do all week in the military. A second job to keep up with bills is very common. Recently pay raises may increase earnings 15% in a couple of years. But there's : other benefit programs will be cut dramatically, such as BAQ benefits, which are offered to married soldiers.

Secondly, (which I brought up) the Army is short of personnel. One reason is increased military deployments in the last 10 years, more than any other period of history. So from the beginning there is more hesitation to join the military. In turn this shortage of enlistees creates a heavy workload for every soldier. This explains the hardships for cooks and mechanics. There is simply too much work and not enough soldiers. Therefore, active soldiers are overworked, stressed out and demoralized, preventing them from re-enlisting. This continuing cycle makes it difficult for the Army to maintain a stable number of soldiers on active duty.

Thirdly, is how the Army works. Putting it nicely, soldiers experience a variety of "leadership." Officers vary from being a real "good friend" and work-partner type to a total asshole. The strict military conduct the Army requires of soldiers does not give us leadership skills but rather the skills of a slave who only has the "right" to follow orders.

A soldier made an interesting comparison to a civilian job. He explained how a soldier couldn't speak up to a higher-ranking (non-commissioned officer (NCO) or commissioned officer without facing the egotistic power trip most of them develop throughout their careers. The re-enlisting NCO replied that the same thing happens in civilian jobs. But then I made it clear if a boss made me put my feet on a chair and perform repetitious push-ups until he felt like stopping me, I'd punch him in his face. It's also clear we should organize as a whole against any injustice in the Army.

The Army is set up to make soldiers fight, kill and be killed so that U.S. rulers can maintain control over the resources and profits made by the world's workers.

I've been talking to many friends about the Party and intend to invite them to May Day. Seven have been reading CHALLENGE. I don't know for sure if I want to re-enlist. To understand the above problems is easy. It seems that the Army is automatically driving itself into a hole, setting itself up for failure.

Nevertheless, things will change and the ruling class will find ways to win the hearts, minds and lives of many soldiers. There's no doubt that current conditions in the military make it easier to introduce our ideas to soldiers, although it's a struggle to have soldiers accept and follow them. If I do not re-enlist in the active component, I will definitely join the Reserves. Meanwhile, I'll invite fellow soldiers to march on May Day.

Red Soldier

Diallo Verdict Inspires Anger and Action

"What are people doing? I'm going. I'll bring my other son;" "Thanks for telling me. I'll meet you there." Those were some of the reactions of parents of high school students after hearing the Amadou Diallo verdict last Friday Feb. 25. Several people who hadn't participated in demonstrations before (and one student who had) stepped forward to march for four hours throughout the Manhattan streets

One exciting moment came when protesters spontaneously took over the streets in Greenwich Village. The area was packed on a Saturday night and it seemed as if the entire world united with us as we marched by. We marched for blocks in angry defiance, roaring our righteous indignation. Several marchers marched holding up the CHALLENGE headline: "Cops, Courts, Capitalism: GUILTY of Racist Murder!"

The police were obviously not in favor of us openly taking over streets. At one point, they used a clever trick, running their little motorcars in a diagonal line to run us onto the sidewalk. Yeah, right! The crowd started chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets!" and took the street again. The cops continued to try to cut off the march, setting up roadblocks, but the marchers continued taking detours down side streets to elude them. It was thrilling to see the potential power of the working class.

As a result of the work done to get people out for the march, there is renewed interest among the youth (and their parents) in the Party and communism. We are planning meetings and activities around the Diallo case, increasing our distribution of CHALLENGE and more work to prepare for a larger May Day than last year. There are scores of students in our base who need to get themselves involved in the class struggle. We will need to keep up consistent work to accomplish our goals, but the Diallo verdict is a school to teach young people that they and communism are our future.

Red Prof

Attacking the KKK is an Example to Follow

A high school counselor in my town was recently arrested for assaulting a KKK member during a rally. This led to a lot of discussion in the high school and local newspaper. Both a newspaper editorial and an opinion piece by the head of the Board of Education attacked the counselor for "flying off at the handle" and setting a "bad example" for students. But many students supported this action, knowing the difference between uncontrolled rage and planned, militant, anti-racist action.

I wrote a letter to the newspaper, responding to their attacks on this anti-racist. I pointed out that sometimes violence is justifiable and necessary to combat racists. The history of anti-racist struggle is filled with effective, violent actions, including slave rebellions, the Civil War, World War II and more recent struggles.

Several people responded positively to this letter, including a teacher in my daughter's middle school and some of my fellow church members. However, my church minister said he never disagreed so strongly with one of his members. He offered to debate violent vs. non-violent methods in fighting racism. I agreed. This debate will open more people 's eyes to the nature of racism , the role of the government and newspapers in siding with the KKK against anti-racists; and the need for both violent and non-violent tactics in fighting racists.

Suburban Church Member

Capitalism Kills A Kent Coal Miner

"Terry French, 49, of Celtic Road was found dead in a river in Amster near Amsterdam. He had been shot in the head twice."(East Kent Mercury, an English newspaper)

On a number of occasions during the 1984-85 British coal miners strike, I went to England to bring the strikers our PLP political literature and money our Party had collected from workers all over the U.S. The miners fought a heroic strike against the ruling class and its then political leader, Margaret Thatcher. All the miners, from Scotland to Kent, were heroic. But more by accident than anything else, we came to develop a relationship with the miners of Kent.

I first met Terry French at Maidstone jail where he was serving five years for his struggles during the strike. He, along with many other brave lads, was arrested for sitting-in at the Betteshanger colliery (coal mine). He and others were also arrested for attacking scabs, and harassing the cops' attempts to break the strike. At Orgreve in Yorkshire in July 1984, thousands of miners fought a pitched battle against the police for two days and almost brought down the British government.

During that year and later, we met many fine, heroic Kent miners and members of the Women's Support Group: Liz French, Peter Holden, Margaret Holden, Hazel Hatser, Chris Tazey, Mark Best, Emlyn Davies, Ken Ridyard, Ken Evans, Brian Day, Garry Newell, Jimmy Waddell, John O'Conner. There were others whose names I apologize for missing.

Some Kent miners helped us organize farmworkers in California and sang at our May Day March in Washington. Their story is well-documented.

Although this was not a strike to build a movement towards communism, it was a titanic class struggle. The miners were fighting to save their livelihood and the livelihood of future miners because the mines were being closed down. When the strike started, there were 160,000 coal miners in the United Kingdom. A year later, there were 30,000. Today there are under 11,000. (PLP Magazine articles have documented the reasons why the ruling class went from a coal-burning economy to an oil-burning one.)

When I visited Terry at Maidstone jail, he fervently asked me to send him some Motown tapes. He talked a little bit about the strike and seemed like a modest and brave worker. I had met his wife Elizabeth, a working-class Scotswoman and an important strike leader. She brought us the wonderful ballad "We are Women, We are Strong." Over the years, as the mines were closed one after another, we tried to stay in contact with the Kent miners. It was hard for Terry and the other lads to get other jobs--they were marked men. But like workers everywhere, they survived.

Much later, apparently Terry got involved with the drug trade. According to articles and gossip, he became a courier. This is a bad development for the working class. We cannot support someone involved in this kind of activity. It's a poison that destroys the working class. But Terry, 20 years a coal miner, had been a hero, one of the brave workers whose life had been torn to shreds by capitalism. Unfortunately we had never been able to win him to PLP, which would have helped him to better understand the world.

The drug scum who killed Terry French were finishing off the work that Margaret Thatcher's government started in 1984. For myself, I will try to recruit one friend to PLP in honor of this good and brave worker who was brought down by the sickness that is capitalism. In conclusion, here are some lines from a poem written by a miner during the 1984-85 strike:

"Come all ye jolly miner lads and listen to my tales,

About the brave flying pickets from Yorkshire, Kent and Wales."

A Friend of the Kent Miners

Struggle in the Classroom

This past week we had discussions in all my college classes about the murder of Amadou Diallo by New York City cops. Many students were furious. Not just angry, but furious! Nearly all of them had heard about the case. Nobody took the side of the cops. One student raised a point in a confused way. He was not justifying the cops' behavior, but he said he didn't think it was racist because he didn't think that those cops planned to kill a black man just because he was black. People who raise this point don't understand that the system as a whole is racist and the cops are the enforcers of that racist system. That's why, for example, a black cop can commit a racist act against a black worker.

When the student raised this, other students just blew up! One young white woman was especially furious. "How can you say it wasn't racist?" she shouted. In my other classes the reaction was the same. When I asked: "What about the argument that the cops were protecting themselves?" students shouted, "They shot him forty-one times!" Interestingly, the great majority of white students were very angry about the killings and saw it was a racist attack.

This contradicts the common falsehood that, "All white people are racist." The overwhelming majority was very upset and quite ready to describe the cops' actions as racist. The white students, like the black and Latino students, are mainly from blue-collar working-class families. Many have had bad experiences with cops. The class discussions brought out these experiences.

The racist attacks against black and Latino working-class people are just part of the general attack against the whole working class, although it is especially vicious against black and Latino youth. Understanding this builds genuine working-class unity against racism, and it is this kind of unity that builds a solid working class struggle, rather than the phony unity of the liberals who preach "pity and pacifism."

Many workers and youth see more clearly the fascist terror that lies under the surface of phony "U.S. democracy." It is up to us to build deep ties with them and organize struggles against this racist, capitalist system. It is through action, on a personal basis and in direct conflict against the system, that the best lessons are learned and the strongest movement can be built. Organizing in our classes is a good first step-getting out leaflets, CHALLENGES, building for May Day, and especially developing long-term relationships with other students to expose anything in the course that promotes racist or other anti-working-class ideas!

Midwest Teacher