This is more than a factional dispute. Despite the partisan wrestling over the 2000 presidential election, the bosses are united on the goals of ruling the world for the foreseeable future, launching a war to seize the Iraqi oilfields and enforcing a racist police state. After 9/11, the Bush crowd got a renewed honeymoon with the liberal establishment to help launch the first phase of the imperialist oil war in Afghanistan, whip up a patriotic, pro-war frenzy and lay the foundations of the "Homeland Security" police state.
The Bush "revelations" reflect the rulers' impatience with his administration's incompetence on the home front. The Vietnam Syndrome -- the fear of workers and soldiers refusing to accept massive casualties-- still haunts the bosses. They can't afford the militant, mass, anti-imperialist protests that accompanied their Vietnam massacres. Such a movement might force them to take it over to control it and limit its goals. Otherwise they would try to crush it outright. Ruling the world requires a heavy price in workers' blood. Sure, the imperialists want to prevent al Qaeda from launching a repeat of 9/11 or worse, but more importantly they need to win, pacify, or terrorize the U.S. working class and population as a whole.
Basically, Bush has bungled the job so far. He got a terror bill passed and established a Homeland Security office. But the liberals don't think he's moved efficiently or ruthlessly enough to implement the measures they require. Specifically, they object to the following failures, outlined in a May 12 New York Times editorial:
* Bush and "domestic security" czar Ridge have no "coherent explanation" of their priorities and have failed to build class unity in Congress for changes the liberals want made.
* Ridge hasn't forced the FBI to share information with local police. The result is less than the well-oiled law enforcement machine the liberal rulers are demanding for more effective control.
* The liberals want a computerized tracking system for "suspects" and a tighter noose on international students. The main targets at the moment are undocumented immigrants, a first step providing an important opening wedge. The ultimate goal is anyone who opposes the rulers' policies. According to the Times, the tracking system has "barely gotten off the ground."
* Bible thumping, KKK-friendly Attorney General John Ashcroft is playing the same turf game as the FBI.
* Combating the threat of "bioterrorism" gives the rulers a good excuse to use health care delivery as an important means of social control. The Times criticizes Ridge for his lack of involvement and his indifference to partisan "squabbling" over control of federal healthcare grants.
When the Bush forces stole the presidency, many worried that fascism had arrived. They had a point. The U.S. ruling class has been headed toward fascism for years. But it is a serious mistake to view Bush as the "real enemy." The main danger is never the obvious bad guy, but rather the "wolf in sheep's clothing." It was the liberal Clinton, the "first black president," who carried out the most racist attack on U.S. social services in history. Similarly, it will be liberal Democrats like Daschle, Jay Rockefeller, Kennedy and Gore (along with some liberal Republicans) who implement intelligence databases, centralize all police agencies and impose fear and control through checkpoints in train stations, highways and airports. It will be the liberals who criminalize any political activity that opposes the system, from the mildest protest to more militant, revolutionary organizing.
The liberal rulers will adapt Hitler-like police state methods to U.S. conditions. They're just warming up. While the Bush crowd agrees with this goal, it hasn't much of a clue about how to implement a step-by-step program to achieve it. When the liberals go after Bush in earnest, their real target will be us, and the workers of the world. In the name of fighting terror, the biggest terrorists in history, grind down our living conditions, send our children off to kill and die in oil wars -- "for our own good" -- and jail those who oppose this.
Bush and the liberals have the same strategic purpose and the same definition of victory. Only the playbooks differ. We have different aims and tactics. Our aim is communist revolution. We measure our progress with the growth and increased influence of PLP.
This area has been suffering a "low level" war for 50 years. The current flare-up threatens to become a major conflict involving not only these two nuclear powers, but also the U.S., China and Muslim and Hindu fundamentalists. The Muslims, helped by bin Laden's Al Qaeda, want to oust the Indian army from Kashmir, claiming it for themselves. The Hindus are itching to destroy Pakistan and wage ethnic cleansing against over 100 million Muslims living in India.
Meanwhile, Bush and Blair sent Christina Rocca and Chris Patten, representing the big warmakers in the U.S. and Britain, to try to halt a war between the warmakers in India and Pakistan. They realize such a war will advance al Qaeda's strategy, embroiling the U.S. and Britian in still more wars.
Israel is also involved: "There is a rumor that India has been advised by its ally Israel to take out Pakistan's nuclear installations so that the whole problem of Pakistan's recently acquired [nuclear] parity with India is solved once and for all." (Asia Times Online, 5/21)
The Pakistani regime, a key U.S. ally against al Qaeda, is now facing what Professor Shamini Akhtar, of Karachi University's international affairs department, describes as a three-front war: "in its own tribal areas (along with U.S. troops looking for al Qaeda and Taliban forces), on its northeastern border with India, and on its domestic front, where militants are agitating against...Musharraf's alliance with the U.S." (Asia Times)
Meanwhile, China is unhappy with U.S. military expansion to bases in former Soviet republics on its border. It also resents U.S. use of its new post-9/11 alliance with Musharraf to drive a wedge between Pakistan and China. Beijing also sees India as a rival for its interests in that part of Asia. So the U.S. might have to offer China heavy concessions for its help in avoiding a major war between India and Pakistan which could upset "Phase 2" of Bush's "war on terrorism" -- invading Iraq to seize its vast oil fields.
On the eve of World War I, Lenin wrote that capitalism makes war inevitable. As wars spread worldwide, workers, soldiers and their allies internationally must understand we have to unite to smash the warmakers with communist revolution.
However, what many of these exposés have in common is their attributing whatever happened or didn't happen to "the bad guys in Washington"-- to "rogue CIA operatives" or right-wing forces in and around the White House and the Pentagon. And these "bad guys" are "threatening American democracy" so "we" should never have allowed the Bushites to steal the Presidency from "the good guys"-- the Democrats.
But these "exposés" don't point the finger at the real culprit: capitalism. It's the profit system, especially its main driving force, U.S. imperialism, that creates wars, fascism, poverty, mass unemployment, racism and religious fundamentalists. This in turn produces the terrorism and the battle for control of oil that lead not only to 9/11s but to the murder of millions in fights between imperialist bosses.
The "democracy" that the "good guys" are allegedly defending is a sham. The "good guys" -- the liberals like Kennedy, Clinton, Daschle, Carter, the New York Times, CBS and their media cohorts -- are among the main perpetrators of the oppression afflicting billions of workers worldwide. In the name of "human rights" and "spreading democracy" and "fighting terrorism," they are the biggest terrorists of all--bombing Yugoslavia, Sudan, Somalia, destroying Afghanistan, invading Panama, establishing dictatorships in Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador and killing five million workers and peasants in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Their next target is Iraq and Saddam Hussein who they label as "worse than Hitler," the same Saddam who they armed for eight years in his war with Iran. All this so Rockefeller's Exxon Mobil can better control Mid-East oil supplies.
So their "committees" to "investigate" who knew what when serve to mask their actions driving towards their real goal: world domination. The "good guys" only concern about "who knew what when" is to figure out how to streamline their government to overcome its staggering ineptness (see page 1) so it can better oppress the workers of the world.
For many years, this local has endorsed May Day marches. This year, a resolution of the delegates (shop stewards) initiated an annual union May Day celebration!
Bringing May Day into the mass organizations has both benefits and drawbacks. On the positive side, the local's May Day publicity reached all of our 15,000 members. A committee of some 20 union members met three times to plan the dinner and program. Workers who knew little about the history of this working-class holiday learned about it from a long-time rank-and-file union leader. Committee members told us how May Day was celebrated in their country of origin. Everyone attending the dinner received a flyer printed by the union containing an excerpt from the PLP May Day pamphlet. It described how the International Workingmen's Association, organized by Karl Marx, eventually created the first international May Day celebration based on the 1886 Chicago general strike and subsequent Haymarket Massacre.
The negative aspect was the keynote speaker's message. He urged channeling political activities into the Democratic Party. He told the mainly activist audience to do what they're already doing: get involved in the day-to-day issues on their jobs. He said nothing about the revolutionary history of May Day or how it reflects the international unity and needs of the working class. Of course, he and the rest of his cohorts will continue to use Labor Day as "the workers' day," sanctioned by the bosses as a patriotic "holiday" and bereft of any working-class content.
PLP has fought hard to rebuild the celebration of May Day in the U.S. We have guaranteed that our communist ideas are heard. We can and should build the massive potential for May Day organizing in the unions and other mass organizations.
Participating in the May Day march and selling CHALLENGE papers was a new and positive experience for me. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to be a part of this holiday with such special people in NYC. I want to thank my two professors and my friends for struggling with me to come. I will definitely march and bring more people next year.
Chicago State University Student
Coming to the march was where my experience began, personally and emotionally. From the discussions that occurred on the bus ride from Chicago to New York I felt the truth of my everyday life prevail, (I know it's not just me.) It was a positive emotion. I was awakening with the truth. That's the path to recognizing now, at the age of 26, what at 18 I usually ignored.
Overall, I finally have some idea of what communism is -- that's something I've wanted to know. This march made me bolder.
The May Day march was great! I'm definitely not the same person who got on this bus. I can honestly say I enjoyed it! It was a learning experience. I didn't know when I was asked to come on the march what it was all about. My friend gave me CHALLENGE to read a few hours before boarding the bus. I've met great people with great ideas and thoughts. I felt that the march really served its purpose, because I felt that we touched the people in New York.
First, but not last
The first speaker, from Western States Legal Foundation, explained the change in U.S. nuclear policy from the Cold War doctrine of "deterrence" to one justifying the use of smaller tactical nuclear weapons. She said that even turning Berkeley into a "Nuclear Free Zone" is meaningless since the City Council has never acted on the related laws --like refusing city contracts to institutions involved in nuclear research -- for fear of angering the UC.
The second speaker, from Tri-Valley Cares, said Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Laboratory (only 30 miles from San Francisco) produced high plutonium levels within the city of Livermore. She also revealed that the UC manages all the nuclear labs for the Department of Energy and that every U.S. nuclear weapon was designed by a UC employee.
The last speaker, a PLP member, said $42 million was given annually to UC-Berkeley by the Office of Navy Research, Army Research Office and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. The Navy's "Autonomous Operations Project" develops computer software and communication technology used in unmanned robotic military weapons like the CIA's Predator aircraft used in Afghanistan. Berkeley researchers are modeling a remote control helicopter outfitted with video cameras, global positioning technology and an on-board computer. UC is also researching the Mobile Offshore Base (MOB) comprising five aircraft carrier-sized ships linked into a mile-long runway on the ocean. This would enable B-52's to land at sea, not needing nearby airbases to conduct future wars.
The PLP member explained how the above examples were discovered with only minimal investigation, that there are probably others. He said the universities are capitalist "factories" producing weapons technology, and workers for these technology-intensive industries, amid anti-working class ideologies. Only universities run by the working class can serve workers' interests. Even eliminating UC's management of the nuclear labs wouldn't end nuclear weapons development. Capitalism will always find ways to produce more powerful weapons. The Berkeley Stop the War Coalition is a start in trying to build working-class movements and to celebrate working class holidays. He called on people to march on May Day in Los Angeles against weapons development, war, racism, poverty and for working-class power.
We distributed literature to the group and strengthened ties with our friends involved in building the teach-in.
The hacks are supporting Luis Eduardo Garzón, a pseudo-leftist union leader, who simply praises the bosses' "democracy" as the mantra for change. Never mind the country's raging civil war, rampant unemployment, the death squads murdering workers with the help of the U.S.-armed and -trained Colombian Army. Garzón tells workers "voting for him" is the solution.
Many workers and youth took up chants like: "Down with the electoral farce, long live the world communist revolution"; "They keep us alienated with drugs, sex and religion, only communism will liberate us"; "Terrorism and Fascism sustain capitalism"; "Let's study the cause of this madness, give up ignorance and bury capitalism"; and "Smash imperialist war with communist revolution."
Like everywhere else in Colombia, capitalist violence appeared. The cops attacked some demonstrators, there was some shootings and broken windows, and some arrests were made, making it impossible for the march to end in its traditional rally at Bolivar Square. Many protestors avoided being photographed by police agents, pictures which usually end up on the death squad hit list.
Afterwards, PLP members and friends discussed the march and our role in it, to learn from our strengths and weaknesses so as to improve our work among workers and youth. We all agreed to continue our ideological battle for communism, against all forms of reformism and opportunism, using CHALLENGE and other literature as our tools.
The road ahead is not easy, but it's the only one leading to workers' power.
Pepsico Snacks (producers of Fritolay, Doritos, Santitas, Wow, etc.) employs about 400 workers in its Argentine plant. Seventy percent are women, including many single moms or sole breadwinners in their families. This country suffers mass unemployment stemming from the deep capitalist crisis. Many workers must toil double shifts to make ends meet.
Worse still, since January, Pepsico fired 130 workers, most of them temps. Rank-and-file union delegates charged the union leadership of siding with Pepsico throughout these attacks.
Union leaders enforced the company's rotten conditions. Elsa works a packing machine, set to run much faster than it's supposed to. Three women bring boxes to where they're to be filled, continuously, all day, with only 30 minutes break to eat and go to the bathroom. Elsa has constant pain: "The machine makes you work at maximum speed. Sometimes, when I sit on the floor at home to play with my son, my wrists hurt so much I can't get up. We stand for eight hours on the job with nothing to lean against."
Varicose veins is the main illness suffered by workers. One won a suit against the company to get medical treatment for the illness, but the union helped Pespsico, agreeing that varicose veins is not covered by the health insurance program.
Another worker, Rosalba, says summer heat is unbearable. The fans run hot air which smells like fried food. Julia has blisters on her hand from frying potatoes in hot oil. And the few available seats are aluminum, which burn in the heat if you sit for a while.
When nearly all the workers chose a committee, without the union leadership, to fight for the fired temps' jobs -- and were supported by two union delegates -- Pepsico threatened the committee members and those delegates because it's agents in the union leadership had lost control.
The workers are being backed by many others, particularly from plants in similar struggles (Zanon workers and the mostly women workers of Brukman). They're also supported by pro-worker lawyers and others. But Pepsico refuses to re-hire the fired workers.
Unfortunately the working class is waging struggles against imperialist conglomerates like Pepsico without international solidarity. Communists in PLP believe the working class has no borders, that its interests are the same worldwide, and while the names of their oppressors may vary, they're all part of the same system: capitalism.
We call on CHALLENGE readers to support the Pepsico workers in Argentina, E-mail their rank-and-file delegates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Marching with bullhorns and spreading their message over talk radio, dozens of Coke drivers, plant workers and salespeople are accusing their bosses of inching up profits for almost a decade by pawning off expired soda cans and bottles on minority communities across North Texas.
"Rather than throw the old drinks away...factory managers...salvage[d] truckloads of old, unsold drinks from stores in predominantly white areas...to cart them to the poorest neighborhoods...."
"For years...[workers] stripped expired soda cans from their cardboard sheaths, stuffed them into fresh boxes with new dates stamped on the side, then piled them on store shelves as if they were new....What co-workers called the fire sale....
"They would use Windex cleaner to erase the expiration date on the bottles."
"I knew what we were doing was not right," said William Wright, a coke deliveryman for 14 years. "But every time I brought it up, I'd hear, `I'm the boss. You do what I say.'"
Several teachers accused this "non-profit" institution of hoarding money in slush funds and not making educating students a priority.
The newly-formed Student Union charged the college bookstore with price-gouging. Several campus workers called for solidarity of workers (including welfare recipients), students and faculty. Campus workers suffer a "pass system," requiring them to get a permission slip to leave their work area. Another speaker said we need money for schools, rather than jails and war.
Since 9/11, four teach-ins and campus union organizing have united the mainly working-class and immigrant students, faculty and campus workers. Just two weeks after 9/11, over 800 students attended a day-long Students for Justice (SFJ) "Teach-in on the Terrorist Attacks: What the Media Won't Tell Us." While the Administration held a "healing" vigil, SFJ provided critical information on oil politics, a history of U.S. government state terrorism, the CIA's clandestine operations and past support for fascists including Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, etc. Speakers placed oil and imperialism front and center.
The successful teach-in stemmed from previous organizing, including a labor conference featuring domestic and farm workers. Twenty-five teachers invited their students, which helped establish SFJ as a credible campus voice. The campus newspaper's right-wing attacks, which included some red baiting, gave SFJ even greater credibility, sparking letters and campus wide networking spreading the SFJ's ideas.
In late November a teach-in on the Patriot Bill and the assault on dissent drew 75 people. In March, 300 attended another, better-organized teach-in. While there were "expert" speakers, students comprised more than half the panel, discussing current and past U.S. government repression.
Faculty union activism has grown, in reaction to threatened cuts in health benefits and the use of part-timers. Collective bargaining is stalled for the second consecutive year and teachers are irate. New leadership emerged after a series of union meetings, with 50 to 80 teachers attending. They organized the first successful test of the faculty/student/worker alliance; a campus-wide demonstration with 175 students and campus workers.
SFJ is a mix of pacifists, liberals, reformers, environmentalists, anarchists and Marxists. Some people are interested in a study group on capitalism and the history, strengths and weaknesses of the communist movement. Out of this, a genuine anti-imperialist, anti-racist leadership can emerge.
This school has a high percentage of blacks, Latinos, Chicano and Asian students. During the late '60s, thousands held multi-racial demonstrations, occupying the administration building, and fought incredibly hard to integrate our campus. We're very proud of this history of struggle, which is why many students and professors were angered by the INS's presence and felt an era of intimidation was returning.
I belong to a very large and well-respected Chicano empowerment group. At a recent meeting, a bold friend of mine expressed concern about the INS's presence. He encouraged the group to take immediate action, including confronting the INS agents. He spoke passionately about preventing xenophobia (patriotism and hatred of "foreigners"), protecting our learning environment and fighting intimidation. I then said the attack against Muslim students is an attack against us all.
There was a clear division over what to do. Only a handful of students advocated direct action. Others argued the INS has a "right to free speech." Some even said there was a need to protect the border. This sparked intense discussions about racism, nationalism, and the role of the INS.
We learned several things: (1) The ruling class is stepping up its attack on immigrants everywhere, and using fear and intimidation to discipline the entire working class while it slowly builds a police state; (2) the bosses' racist and nationalist propaganda is spreading fear and indecision among all communities, including oppressed communities; (3) It's more important than ever to be involved in mass organizations to help sharpen the contradictions and meet others opposed to racism and fascism.
Finally a small group of students went from the meeting and, on their own. confronted the INS agents. They asked sharp questions and made it clear the INS was unwelcome here. In addition, the large campus group wrote the school newspaper and the president of the university condemning the INS. The direct action advocates are now visiting other campus organizations, explaining what happened and organizing to confront the INS or any other racist agency that comes on campus in the future.
A Young Comrade
These racist murderers are some of the most violent and vicious killers anywhere. These same cops beat Rodney King and shot thousands of black and Latin workers. They want workers to squeal on other workers to build more open fascism. This "stop the violence now" crusade mirrors the "war on terrorism." The bosses need workers' support for a new oil war and require our passivity in the face of health care and job cuts. They can offer workers only more prisons and racist killer cops.
The bosses can never serve workers' class interests. That's why all workers must unite and, with the leadership of PLP, fight to smash fascism and war and establish a society free from exploitation.
In trying to repel U.S. imperialism's rivals for control of Latin America, the Bush administration has launched several counterattacks: from refusing to let the IMF bail out Argentina to supporting the coup (that failed) in Venezuela to increasing military aid to the Colombian Army and death squads. The Bush administration has also used U.S. lackeys in Latin America -- Presidents Fox of Mexico and Battle of Uruguay -- to attack Cuba's human rights record. But it has backfired. A recent survey in Uruguay showed only 7% supporting the government's breaking of diplomatic relations with Cuba. As the Uruguayan economy declines, tens of thousands of workers and others demonstrated on May 12 against President Battle's economic policies. Mexico's Congress has even barred Fox from traveling to the U.S., angered over recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings banning labor rights for immigrant workers in the U.S. (See CHALLENGE, 5/22, on the hypocrisy of U.S. and Mexican bosses preaching to anyone about racist terror against workers.)
But Bush's attacks on Cuba are also linked to the struggle for total U.S. domination of Venezuela and against the Colombia guerrillas. This U.S. fight opposes the nationalist rulers and European bosses aiming for markets and influence there. Complete control of Venezuelan oil becomes increasingly important for U.S. war plans in Iraq.
But while Castro is seen by many workers and youth as a revolutionary alternative to imperialism and capitalism, the truth is that Fidel's revolutionary credentials have long gone sour. The achievements made by workers and youth at the beginning of the revolution when they forced the government to seize the imperialists' and local capitalists' businesses did not lead to workers' control of society but rather to deals with the Soviets (who, by the 1960s, were state capitalists). The social changes won by the workers are mostly gone now because of the increasing exploitation of Cuban workers by European, Canadian and other imperialists. (The right-wing Cuban exiles in Miami want to be the exploiters along with their U.S. imperialist masters, as they were before 1959 when Cuba was basically a U.S. colony).
Workers in Mexico still remember Castro's visit there in 1985 to legitimize the fraudulent Salinas government, betraying those forces who had always supported the Cuban regime. Castro is concerned with what he can get from capitalism, not with the liberation of the working class. His anti-U.S. rhetoric creates illusions in many who really want to fight capitalism.
To stop European and Asian capital penetration in Latin America, U.S. bosses want to dissolve the merger of the Spanish bank VVB with Mexico's BANCOMER, accusing VVB of laundering money. (Citibank does the same thing.) The U.S. stopped an IMF rescue loan during the Argentine financial crisis to impede the advance of European imperialists. They also did it to break MERCOSUR (a trade group with strong European ties). Brazil's rulers want to defy U.S. imperialism and intend to rebuild MERCOSUR with more European investments. The European bosses continue to use anti-U.S. nationalist bosses to expand their influence.
We workers gain nothing from supporting any imperialist, nationalist or liberal bosses, all enemies of the working class. In coming battles, our Party can grow by fighting to bury them all with communist revolution, the only road to working-class liberation. PLP took this message to the massive demonstration this May Day in Mexico City.
Within Mexico, Fox's anti-Castro turn is opposed by Carlos Slim, head of the TELMEX telecommunications empire and Latin America's richest boss. Slim plans to expand his investments in Cuba's telecommunications.
Slim also wants Fox to demand that banks invest in the internal Mexican market, to depend less on exports. Mexico's Congress rejected Fox and COPARMEX's push to privatize the energy sector. COPARMEX labels Congress an obstacle while Congress defends nationalist bosses like Slim, who want a bigger share of the profit pie.
Some years ago, China was known for having very low rates of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Cholesterol levels were remarkably low, far less than anything seen in the developed Western capitalist countries. What happened?
The likely culprit is what the WSJ calls, "Westernized living patterns." These include smoking, lack of exercise and fast food diets.
Last year there were 430 McDonalds restaurants in China. Kentucky Fried Chicken has 600. Workers in Beijing ride bicycles to work, while workers in the more prosperous city of Guangzhou ride motor scooters. The combination of high-calorie foods and reduced physical activity is leading to an epidemic of obesity in China and other developing countries like India, Egypt and Mexico.
Pfizer, Inc. and other big drug companies are drooling at the prospect of selling drugs for lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure to millions of Chinese. A Pfizer company spokesman says they want to " increase awareness" among doctors of the extent of the cardiovascular disease epidemic.
Capitalism has brought vast riches to a small class of old and new bosses. For the workers it has brought mass exploitation, unemployment, prostitution, drug addiction, an emerging AIDS epidemic and even some starvation. Now we can add coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes, followed by profiteering drug companies poised to make billions off the diseases created by the profit system.
Heart and other chronic diseases may be inevitable under capitalist economic development. But there is another path: communist development and public health. Food production and consumption need not be geared toward big agricultural conglomerates and fast food empires. Governments don't have to be addicted to the taxes and profits from tobacco production. Smoking can be eliminated. Regular exercise can be built into every workplace and community.
These "living patterns" can prevent the chronic diseases of capitalist development. When Chinese and other workers around the world win the fight for communist revolution, these healthy patterns will become part of everyday life for young and old alike.
Deaths from cardiovascular disease per 100,000 people ages 35-74),
Now, say PLP wanted to challenge in court being put on the FTO list. Grounds for appeal are very limited. Also, the law designates the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to hear all appeals. This court's judges have always been the most trustworthy defenders of the capitalist legal system. So PLP would have a snowball's chance in hell of winning this appeal.
Under the same "material support" law being used to charge Lynne Stewart [lawyer for a man convicted in a previous "terrorist" case], the government also has the right to sue a person or an institution "about to engage" in activity that violates the law. For example, the government claims that left-wingers in the U.S. want to send people and equipment over to a country where PLP comrades are fighting the fascist government. The U.S. rulers decide to sue them in court to stop them.
Then let's say the left-wingers requested information from the government about evidence it has indicating "support for terrorism." But there's another special provision in the law allowing the government to refuse to disclose any evidence based on "classified information." So the bosses' government can use "secret evidence" against both citizens and non-citizens in legal proceedings. No longer does anyone have the legal right to see the evidence being used against him/her.
Where did this law come from? In the early 1980s an Immigration Service internal task force studied how to make immigration law serve U.S. rulers more effectively. Their report proposed the "anti-terrorism" laws. Then Clinton's Democratic administration joined with a Republican-controlled Congress to put these laws on the books. The Republicans always championed vicious, ant-immigrant ideas. But more dangerous to the working class is the wolf in sheep's clothing, the Democratic Party and Clinton who pose as a friend of immigrant workers and the oppressed. The racist, fascist and anti-worker laws passed under Clinton are not limited to immigration. An "effective" death penalty law, slave labor Workfare, the gutting of habeas corpus rights, and other "anti-terrorism" laws are all part of the fascist Clinton/Democratic Party legacy. (Future articles will examine some of these laws.) The rulers' legal system can virtually never serve workers' interests. But the bosses can always manipulate it to favor themselves and legalize a U.S. police state.
Historically communists have been the strongest fighters against fascism. Since fascism is always the ultimate form of capitalist exploitation, a revolutionary solution is required. While we are fighting this police state, we in PLP must point out to workers the need to fight for communism as the only alternative to fascism, legal or otherwise.
* Violate civil rights in initiating prosecution (SC, 1976);
* Knowingly use false testimony and suppress evidence (SC, 1976);
* File charges without any investigation (CA, 8th Circuit, 1986);
* Knowingly offer perjured testimony (CA, 9th Circuit, 1987);
* Suppress exculpatory evidence --tending to acquit a defendant. (CA, 5th Circuit, 1979);
* Be immune from lawsuits for conspiring with judges to determine the outcome of judicial proceedings (CA, 10th Circuit, 1986); and,
* Knowingly file charges against innocent persons for a crime that never occurred (CA, 10th Circuit, 1986).
All the above cases were published and therefore can be cited as precedents in future decisions. According to Don Harkins, editor of the Idaho Observer, "The federal government [has] managed to stack the legal libraries of this country with published decisions which support the positions of government officials, while rulings contrary to government interests go unpublished and, therefore, become unavailable."
In December 1995, the Wall Street Journal reported that "many government agencies, whenever they win an unpublished case, routinely ask to have it published and the court usually complies, but if they lose, down the memory hole it goes." The latter cases, even if discovered by individuals later, cannot be used as precedents because they are "unpublished."
Imagine what the bosses' persecutors can do with the kinds of court-sanctioned decisions cited above, especially with the Patriot Act on the books now.
Some slogans called for establishing peace in order to revive the sliding economy, i.e, using Palestinian cheap labor to increase profits. Some raised the racist slogan of "Bring OUR boys back home," notorious in the anti-war movement in the Vietnam days. The line was so liberal that no speaker from the revisionist "Communist" Party was allowed to speak although its line was no different than the rest of the rally. The organizers claim 100,000 attended; the police say 60,000 so the actual number was somewhere in between.
This is the largest anti-war rally since the second intifada began 20 months ago. It occurred after it seemed the whole population was behind the acts of aggression against the Palestinian people. This demonstration and similar ones against Israel abroad probably impelled the Sharon government to postpone the invasion of the Gaza strip.
A Friend in Israel
Some of us had reservations about going because the large demonstrations against Israeli fascism in our city heavily promoted Palestinian nationalism. Their leaders refused to criticize the suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, even when the bombers attacked neighborhoods (as in Haifa) where Jews and Arabs usually lived together as friends and neighbors.
However, at this rally there were no national flags. The banners and posters were almost all for "Peace" or "End the Occupation." Hand-made signs included "I'm a Rabbi for Peace," and "Religion Condemns Nationalism and Imperialism." (Most religions -- or at least their leaders -- bless whatever war their own government declares.)
Then some Palestinian youth appeared carrying a sign saying, "Suicide Bombers Are Resistance Heroes." Apparently this has happened before, but the Jewish organizers were too liberal to say anything about it. This time it was different. The adult accompanying the youth, seeing we didn't like their sign, said, "Why don't you want our flags here, you would want to have American flags wouldn't you?" I told him I wasn't in charge of the rally, but if I were, no, I wouldn't want any national flags because I am against all nationalisms. He couldn't answer that.
Meanwhile, a friend was distributing leaflets from her religious coalition opposing both the Occupation (state-sponsored terror) and also individual terrorist acts like the suicide bombings.
Then some us pointed out to the rally organizers that the "suicide bombers" sign contradicted the rally's message. They then spoke with the Palestinian youths, and won them to lower their sign.
Afterwards we were all glad we'd gone. We were able to stand up against the Israeli fascists and their U.S. imperialist backers, and simultaneously expose the politics of nationalism and anti-imperialism. We'd made a little difference that day, more than just being a few extra bodies.
Later a PLP friend noted that the U.S. is not the only imperialist power in the region, and that Palestinian nationalism is fronting for European imperialists just as Israeli Zionism fronts for U.S. bosses. So while it's good to oppose nationalism with calls for working-class unity, it's not enough. We should also oppose all imperialists, and not fall into the "lesser evil" trap -- "some are better than others." I've been sharing that idea with my friends. Over the long term, I'm trying to show them that to fight for lasting peace, we must eliminate the source of wars for profit: capitalism.
One may argue that the genocide by the Israeli fascists is racist, but the Palestinian human bombers are not racist because they are not oppressing the Israeli population. It is a false assumption that in order for an act to be racist, the dominant group must perpetrate it against the oppressed group. For example, the racist assault by the Israeli army is justified by convincing the Israeli population that all Palestinians are potential human bombs. "It is part of their essence to blow themselves up to be martyred." Therefore, the total destruction of whole cities is justified.
On the other hand, Palestinian bosses must win martyrs to the idea that all Israelis are fascist, that fascism is part of their essence, and it doesn't matter who you kill because "they're all equally guilty." The racist crimes against the Palestinian people are of a much greater magnitude than the crimes of terror bombing by the Palestinians. Nevertheless, it is only a matter of degree.
Some argue that the Palestinian acts are not racist, but desperate acts against a superior military force, that in order to be racist, you must have the power to oppress. While suicide bombers are desperate, these are still racist acts. Killing children just because they're XXXX, cannot be justified or diminished as a racist act.
All humans are essentially the same. When the human genome project was completed, the racists were chomping at the bit to hear of any genetic differences between "races," classes, nationalities or regions. They were dismayed to find none! If it is not genetic, it is learned. If it is learned, it can be unlearned and corrected. Any superficial differences only add to the spice of life. The extent to which we believe in "race" is the extent to which we are won to racism. We must be clear on what racism is so we can stamp out all vestiges of it. Death to Racism!
Edit--The Chicago Reader makes some interesting points. What do our readers think? Send us your comments.