CHALLENGE, July 20, 2005

London Bombing: Imperialist Rivalry For Oil the Cause of Growing Anti-Working Class Terrorism

PLP Leads Shutdown of Fascist Anti-Immigrant Meeting

Bosses Create Borders to Divide Workers

Liberal Bosses, Politicians — Main Enemies of Immigrants and All Workers

Spread PLP’s Politics Despite Cop Defense of Nazi Rally

CHALLENGE A Big Hit At Immigrant Anti-Minutemen March of 10,000

Protestors Link Minutemen and Liberal Racists At Anti-Immigrant Rally

PLP Gains Amid Militant Hospital Workers’ Fight

Ford, VW, GM, Mercedes Workers Block Highway, Shut Plants in Argentina

Boeing Contract Battle Should Teach Us How to Think As a Class

AFL-CIO Dogfight: Only Red Leadership Can Put U.S. Workers on the Offensive

Disrupt Army Flag Day Recruiting Spectacle

Boston Utility Strikers Defy Hacks’ Red-baiting

PLP’S Songs On One CD

War’s Horrors Build Conflict Between Brass and GI’s

Threat of Class Struggle Hangs Over EU Rulers

UNDER COMMUNISM: How Would Health Care Be Better?


Learning About Communism At Chicago March

N. Africans Suffer A Lot More Racism Than Oprah

Fight Nationalism, Privatization in Pakistan

Disagrees About Stewart Prosecution

D.C. Project Showed Power of Red Ideas

Youth Write About the NJ Anti-Minutemen Protest

Group Relations Influence Health

Inspired to Defy Fascist Cops

Money Under Communism?


Imperialist Rivalry For Oil the Cause of Growing Anti-Working Class Terrorism

A coordinated terrorist attack has hit several London Underground (subway) stations and a bus. Many have been killed and injured, presumably mostly workers. Supposedly, an Al Qaeda European cell has taken responsibility for this attack.

It occurred during the G-8 summit meeting in Scotland. Tony Blair returned to London from the meeting while Bush condemned terrorism. All the world’s big bosses have condemned this attack. How hypocritical! These same bosses are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of workers and their families worldwide due to wars, poverty, starvation, lack of decent health care, mass unemployment, racist police brutality, and more - all created by a capitalist system driven by the need for maximum profits. This is mass terror.

Whoever is responsible for the July 7 London attack (either Al Qaeda—which represents a section of the Saudi bosses which want to control the oil wealth without sharing with Exxon-Mobil, etc.—or some rogue operators from one of the various imperialists’ spy agencies), one thing is clear: we live in a world full of danger for the international working class. Imperialist war for control of oil and other resources has put millions at risk, from Baghdad to Kabul to London. We in PLP condemn all forms of anti-working class terrorism, whether coming from reactionary groups like Al Qaeda or from the world’s big imperialists..

While the G-8 bosses have condemned the London attack, don’t hold your breath if you think the imperialist rivals of the U.S.-UK war in Iraq will help Bush-Blair in their troubles there. The rivalry among the imperialist blocs is sharpening. These bosses have inflicted war and tremendous terrorism on the world’s workers and their families. The only way to smash all forms of capitalist terrorism is to fight for a world without any bosses, a world run by and for workers: communism!

RACISM: Still Bosses’ Number One Tool

With disgusting hypocrisy, U.S. rulers are portraying themselves as anti-racists, even as they build a racist police state at home and wage racist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. NYC Mayor Bloomberg vows "zero tolerance" for the recent baseball-bat assault on three black men in New York City. Mississippi finally convicts Klansman Edgar Killen in the 1964 slaying of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. After 50 years, the FBI has resumed "searching" for the surviving killers of Emmett Till. The U.S. Senate has "apologized" for failing to outlaw lynching.

But believing that the rulers oppose racism would be a serious political error. Capitalists will never end racism, because they cannot do without the profits that racism produces. By oppressing one group of workers with particular viciousness, the rulers drive down the wages and living standards of the entire working class. Racist divisiveness undermines workers’ struggles on the job and in the community. And in their endless wars against rival capitalists overseas, U.S. rulers use racism to motivate working-class soldiers to kill.

Bloomberg rehashed the lie that "we have come a long way" in overcoming racism. In reality the rulers have integrated the power structure, which helps them control workers more effectively. There are now black and Latino cabinet members, politicians, cops, judges, military officers, principals and business executives. But for the working class, the systematic racism created by U.S. capitalism is as bad as, or worse than, the days of Jim Crow, by every measure imaginable. As they have for decades, black workers continue to earn one-third less than whites. Unemployment for black workers is more than double the rate among white workers. Schools have become even more segregated in many places. Black people can expect to live five years less than whites. Black infant mortality stands at 245% of the rate for whites. Amid a tripling of "persons under correctional supervision" from 1980 to 2003, one young black man in three languishes behind bars, compared with 10% of whites. Similar percentages victimize Latinos as well. And, just as the rulers brand black and Latino youths "criminals," they have jailed without trial hundreds of Arab-Americans as "terrorists."

While they preach equality and democracy, U.S. rulers actively promote racism to serve their imperialist needs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pacifying those countries for the likes of Exxon Mobil requires soldiers willing to kill Arabs and Muslims in large numbers. As a "condition for success," the Army War College demands of the troops "a primordial hatred" resulting in an "impulse to destroy the enemy." (Parameters, Summer 2005) Aiden Delgado, an Army reservist, recalled receiving a thorough racist indoctrination, orchestrated from the top down, before shipping out to Iraq: "I remember Army chants. We sang in cadences. And the chants had anti-Arab themes. Like burning turbans, killing ragheads, killing the Taliban. Our drill sergeants would give us motivational talks to pump up our fighting spirit. The theme was the need to get revenge, to go to the Middle East to fight Arabs…. My own commander was infamous for anti-Arab speeches." (Online Journal, 4/1/05)

With larger conflicts looming, the rulers are seeking more widespread loyalty to the government. By harking back to the civil rights movement of the fifties and sixties, they hope to repeat the political coup they pulled off then when they duped millions into viewing the state as a "protector" against racism. The harsh reality remains, however, that the state employs racism to enforce the rulers’ tyranny over the working class. The troops that "integrated" Southern schools were soon carrying out the rulers’ genocide in Vietnam — although many GI’s there rebelled against these racist orders — and brutally suppressing workers’ anti-racist rebellions in Detroit and elsewhere.

Following the lead of any capitalist politician on racism is suicidal for workers. Racism is inseparable from capitalism. Racism will never be wiped out until the working class, through communist revolution, eliminates the profit system and takes power for itself. That is the eventual goal towards which our Party is continually building.

PLP Leads Shutdown of Fascist Anti-Immigrant Meeting

BRIDGEWATER, NJ, June 25 — The Progressive Labor Party organized 70 militant protesters to shut down the recruitment meeting of the United Patriots of America (UPA), a racist, fascist organization that — under the guise of "Homeland Security" — blames immigrants for U.S. economic woes and equates undocumented immigrants with "terrorists."

While anti-racists chanted and marched with banners outside, ten people including PLP’ers, infiltrated inside and completely disrupted the meeting, stunning the fascists.

The UPA — affiliated with the infamous "Minutemen Project" that places armed vigilantes at the Arizona border — advocates closing all U.S. borders to "illegal aliens," enforcing English as the only language spoken, supporting fascist educational policies of "traditionally American curriculum" and monitoring the activities of "liberal" or "left" teachers.

Outside the arena, the police, working as tools of the ruling class to protect the racist UPA, descended on the group of approximately 60 chanting protestors to force them from the Sports Arena property. Defying police commands, two PLP members were arrested while the rest of the group was aggressively pushed and prodded to the road below. But the cops’ intimidation only motivated us more to continue demonstrating.

Meanwhile, inside the 10 anti-racists, including PLP members, raised hell. Initially posing as "supportive and interested" persons, they responded to a leadership signal during Minutemen Ed Whitbred’s speech to about 35 listeners, standing up and unfurling two huge banners while chanting, "SMASH RACIST DEPORTATIONS! WORKING PEOPLE HAVE NO NATION!" As they militantly marched to the front, the cops and attendees were frozen in shock while Whitbred dashed from the podium. Action proceeded quickly: the microphone cord was ripped from its socket, a comrade moved to the front to belt out a speech, and local police and the County SWAT team quickly filled the room. The PL speaker was arrested as the rest of the group was pushed out the door and down the stairs. A brutal attack on the staircase by the Somerset County SWAT team — armed to the teeth in full riot gear — left one member with a broken shoulder. He was subsequently arrested on false allegations of simple "assault."

The remaining eight infiltrators emerged from the building chanting just as the 60 protestors were marching back up the grassy hill. They joined forces in the Sports Arena lot.

The youth led the day, both outside and inside, showing great determination, courage, discipline and commitment. This leadership bodes well for the future of our Party.

The effective disruption of the UPA meeting was only made possible by the unending leadership and organizing efforts of every PLP member present — just as it will take the unending leadership and organization of the entire working class to successfully fight for the end of racism, of artificial borders, of fascist police control and of capitalism itself. This event marks one more step forward for PLP and the international working class.

We will fight these charges and the fascist police attacks on our comrades, in the courts, in our mass organizations and on the streets. We will raise money from our friends and will recruit more members to PLP, to bring closer the day when the bosses, their homeland security police state and their gutter racist supporters will be a forgotten chapter in history.

Bosses Create Borders to Divide Workers

Borders are a bosses’ creation to mark their nation-states. They use nationalism and patriotism to portray workers who live outside these borders as "foreigners" or "aliens." However, when it suits them, the rulers ignore these borders, always searching for the cheapest labor, no matter its origin. Imperialism requires that capital be exported outside the "home country." And bosses’ wars send one side’s armed forces to invade the "territory" of the other side.

The working class is one class, worldwide, with one class interest — to seize the world away from the profiteers who run it now and to make communist revolution all over.

UPA publicly calls for "border control" and mass deportations. They want to spread the "Minuteman Project," enlisting vigilante "volunteers." They falsely portray themselves as the voice of "middle America" and "the forgotten little guy." But behind the UPA is an openly fascist anti-immigrant ideology, decrying "the loss of American culture and values" resulting from a "foreign invasion." Their platform dovetails with the rulers’ current push to win a mass base for a Homeland Security police state. UPA and others like them are potential foot soldiers for U.S. fascism.

Liberal Bosses, Politicians — Main Enemies of Immigrants and All Workers

Borders are a bosses’ creation to mark their nation-states. They use nationalism and patriotism to portray workers who live outside these borders as "foreigners" or "aliens." However, when it suits them, the rulers ignore these borders, always searching for the cheapest labor, no matter its origin. Imperialism requires that capital be exported outside the "home country." And bosses’ wars send one side’s armed forces to invade the "territory" of the other side.

The working class is one class, worldwide, with one class interest — to seize the world away from the profiteers who run it now and to make communist revolution all over.

UPA publicly calls for "border control" and mass deportations. They want to spread the "Minuteman Project," enlisting vigilante "volunteers." They falsely portray themselves as the voice of "middle America" and "the forgotten little guy." But behind the UPA is an openly fascist anti-immigrant ideology, decrying "the loss of American culture and values" resulting from a "foreign invasion." Their platform dovetails with the rulers’ current push to win a mass base for a Homeland Security police state. UPA and others like them are potential foot soldiers for U.S. fascism.

Spread PLP’s Politics Despite Cop Defense of Nazi Rally

YORKTOWN, VA., June 25 — With militant chants, powerful signs and the only speeches with political content, a group of PLP’ers gave communist leadership today to protesters demonstrating against a rally of a new Nazi-KKK coalition. The racists chose the historic battlefield where the U.S. War for Independance ended to promote their goal of ridding the U.S. of Jews. "Just as Washington kicked out the British, so shall we kick out the Jews" was their Hitlerian motto. The Nazis and their supporters, numbering less than 90, were protected by police barricades keeping protesters — Progressive Labor Party militants, anti-racist anarchists and supporters of U.S.-Israeli nationalism — more than a football-field-distance away.

PLP comrades, young and old, truly challenged these fascists with our political speeches, offering our bullhorn to fellow anti-racists who were dissatisfied with the religious pacifists and partisan nationalists. We chanted "I don’t know but I’ve been told, These Nazis getting way too bold, Time to put them in their place, Kick a Nazi in the face!" and "Death, death, death to the Nazis, Power, power, power to the workers!" We held signs like, "The Progressive Labor Party, kicking Nazi ass since 1962" and "Which pig is which?" with a pig dressed in a combination Klan/police uniform.

Amnesty International members from Norfolk attended the rally, and discussed our chants and speeches with us. All bought CHALLENGE. PL also had a contingent at the rally exit, distributing the paper to all who passed, while chatting about revolutionary politics.

The cops searched everyone with metal-detectors, filming and photographing only the protesters, for future attacks on anti-racist radicals. One cop being told, "You got your gun and your nightstick, but where’s your noose?" responded, "In my car." One young comrade explained how cops never break down big corporations’ doors to fight for workers’ interests, but are always there to protect the bosses and break strikes. We also linked police brutality to the courts’ compliance with racist cops.

Almost 30 media people sat in the front row for 90 minutes listening to the racist group’s fascist ranting, before recording five minutes of token footage of the anti-racists’ action. Thus, the police and the media provided direct auxiliary support for these racist terrorists. Our chant, "The cops, the courts, the nazis and the Klan, all a part of the bosses’ plan," pointed out these ruling-class connections.

PL youth and supporters had a sign-making party preparing for the rally, discussing how PLP militantly disrupted past rallies. The most disturbing moment was dissecting the Nazis’ National Socialist Movement ideology, explaining how advocating the mythical superiority of some workers over others can be twisted into a barbaric capitalist war machine.

Communists show that all workers deserve sustenance and should use their abilities in the interests of the working class as a whole. In response to the pacifists and other-worldly mystics, communist revolutionary love of human-kind will prevail over the fear of oppression and over the capitalist oppressors themselves.

CHALLENGE A Big Hit At Immigrant Anti-Minutemen March of 10,000

CHICAGO, July 2 — Today more than 10,000 workers, students and youth marched for immigrant rights on the Southwest Side. PLP distributed 1,100 CHALLENGE-DESAFIOS and 1,000 leaflets in under an hour. Many responded enthusiastically to our anti-racist line, helping us distribute literature and listening eagerly to what we had to say. Many joined our chanting, "Este puño si se ve, los obreros al poder" ("This fist you see means the workers are coming to power"). Workers selflessly donated hundreds of dollars for PLP comrades arrested in New Jersey (see front page) while protesting the racist Minutemen.

Several Spanish radio hosts organized the march, responding to a local Latin woman who invited the Minutemen to speak here. The March leadership was incredibly nationalist and opportunist. Many workers and youth waved Mexican and U.S. flags, chanting, "Viva Mexico!" We struggled against these classless ideas, pointing out that the bosses manufacture national borders to divide us. We chanted, "Stop Racist Deportations, Working People Have No Nation!" and "La Lucha Obrera, No Tienen Frontera!" ("The Workers’ Fight Has No Borders!"). Workers enthusiastically joined us, taking up our internationalist line. A young woman comrade made a speech in Spanish explaining the role of groups like the Minutemen, how nationalism divides the working class and how all workers are exploited under capitalism.

A close friend of the Party said, "I couldn’t believe the response of the workers to the Party. People just came up to me and took CHALLENGES right out of my hands." She saw how welcoming the working class could be to the Party in action. She got out 50 CHALLENGES "accidentally." When asked, she said that all the people who got the paper came up and asked her for it

Newer comrades took most of the leadership throughout the march, leading chants, making speeches and other decisions. Self-critically, we collectively felt that we could have given more effective political leadership with more people, especially Spanish speakers, with more literature, and with better political preparation. This event brought more of our friends closer to the Party and inspired one young woman to want to become more of a leader as a communist and a Party member.

The politicians and clergy, who attacked us for spreading communist ideas, cannot and will not lead workers to smash racism. All these tricksters will lead us down the dead-end road of reformism. Our experience today shows that we should have confidence the workers will see through their lies. Communist leadership will lead the struggles against racism towards communist revolution and a world without borders.

Protestors Link Minutemen and Liberal Racists At Anti-Immigrant Rally

BALDWIN PARK, CA., June 25 — About 800 workers and students protested a rally by anti-immigrant racists called "Save Our State" and the Minutemen. These racists were demonstrating at a monument that says, "These were Indian lands, then they were Mexican…and they will be again." The racists alleged this would bring an "invasion of immigrants."

Hundreds of the anti-racist protesters and Baldwin Park residents enthusiastically received PLP leaflets and CHALLENGES, contrasting with the liberal and nationalist politics of other groups there. We exposed the Minutemen as being part of a long history of attacks on immigrants to divide the working class. We also showed how the liberal Dream Act and the McCain-Kennedy Bill are ploys to induce immigrant youth to fight and die in the bosses’ war in Iraq.

The PLP helped organize a neighborhood march of over 100 people, trying to get to the racists, who were protected by over 200 cops armed to the teeth. At one corner the police formed a line to stop the marchers. As they called in reinforcements, several youth gave speeches attacking racism, the war in Iraq, and bosses’ borders and calling for communism.

After demonstrating in front of the cops, they joined the main group of protesters at a cultural event to try to get to the racists via another route. On the busy street, their chants rang out: "La clase obrera no tine frontera" ("The working class has no borders"); "The workers, united, will never be defeated"; "The cops, the courts, the Minuteman, all are part of the bosses’ plan." Many drivers honked in support while others joined the march.

Many protesters re-grouped with others closer to the racists, but hundreds of cops protected them. Still, the crowd took up chants like, "SOS, Policia — la misma porqueria" ("SOS, Police — the same crap"), contrasting with those only saying "SOS — go home." When the cops tried to clear demonstrators from the street to let the racists through, the anti-racists refused to leave.

While this was very positive, the main gain was the political struggle waged in schools and factories to bring friends to this action. The anti-racist fight is part of the long-range struggle for working-class unity and the building of a revolutionary movement for communism, which will bury all the racists and the system that created them.

PLP Gains Amid Militant Hospital Workers’ Fight

The intensive drive to organize a strike of 1,100 workers at our large hospital defied the management’s demands to wreck our health plan — the major dispute — and led to a contract settlement that hugely increased the bosses’ payments to the union benefit fund, needed to maintain the present level of our health benefits. We also won annual 3% wage hikes for the next three years in a 5-year contract, with wage and benefit-re-openers in the last two years that will possibly necessitate a strike then. We also prevented the bosses from carrying through a doubling of worker payments to the health plan, resulting in a lesser amount spread over the next three years. The workers approved the settlement 500 to 50.

Ultimately, what can turn out to be the biggest victory for the workers is formation of two PLP study groups. One began functioning during the contract fight. They include several union activists who’ve become CHALLENGE readers. The paper’s circulation rose slightly; one new reader and study-group member said, "The way I’m feeling now, I’m agreeing more and more with that paper!"

Smaller contract victories included vacation, sick and holiday time for hundreds of part-timers, many of whom work almost full-time hours. Without vacation or sick time, they were a valuable cheap-labor source. Until recently, none were active because they had few benefits. But now a group has come forward and will be developed to lead their fellow part-timers. Also, now those retiring will take unused sick time with them.

Without the union members’ militant strike-preparation response to the bosses’ attacks — the best in the union’s history here —the final settlement would have been a disaster for the workers. Strike teams were organized. Every other week hundreds of workers attended solidarity meetings. An early June rally drew over 400 workers, the largest turnout ever. Union delegates were constantly being pulled into conversations or secret meetings. The hospital buzzed about a possible strike. Security was on alert. The workers voted for a strike 700 to 100.

Organizing for a strike meant uniting a diverse group of workers — largely black but also white, Latin and Asian, young and old, full-time and part-time. But the more we politicized and developed men and women rank-and-file activists of all ages and colors, the better we overcame any potential divisions. An anti-scab campaign appealed to thousands of non-union workers.

The union delegate group leading the strike preparation was the largest and most militant ever at this hospital. Black workers from the inner city, white tattooed ex-bikers from the surrounding states, Vietnam vets, ex-Marine Corps Sergeants, middle-aged church-goers, workers from other countries — this was the diverse group whose unity and differences were sharpened as we organk zed. We also had to deal with weekly BS from our union hall — personal rivalries among the full-time organizers, confused and contradictory decrees from the union leaders, and downright sabotage of the rank-and-file organizing.

Amid this whirlwind of activity, PLP had a crucial role, and responsibility to grow and expand our political base. The workers’ main internal weakness reflected capitalist ideas: racism, sexism, passivity, obedience to the pro-capitalist union leaders, nationalism, patriotism and anti-communism. The main external problems involved the capitalist state: anti-working class laws, courts and cops, and pro-boss media, with possible deployment of the Army and National Guard waiting in the wings.

While daily organizing was truly intoxicating, the most important victory required resolute concentration on advancing the Party. PLP’ers were involved in the strategic and tactical leadership of the struggle, while trying to turn the fight into a school for communism.

Initially, PL’ers struggled with workers to broaden the contract issues into strike demands against capitalism. The 30-member delegate group endorsed a demand of "No cuts due to the Iraq Oil War" but the union leadership omitted it from the official demand list. We championed a fight against the attacks on patient care, advocating improving it by hiring more full-time workers. We said the demand for more jobs would also fight the epidemic of unemployment-fueled violence killing our youth. But the fight to preserve health benefits overwhelmed this demand.

We tried to link various questions to the need for communist revolution. For example, after the successful march of 400 workers to the city-wide strike authorization meeting, some union delegates wanted to organize a larger rally at the hospital. The union leaders derailed this plan by citing possible conflict in the law’s 10-day notice requirement for the June 27 rally vs. the 10-day notice required for a June 30 strike. The rally was cancelled. One delegate commented, however, that if our recent march had drawn 800 workers, we could have forced the rally no matter what the legalities, "and burned down the union hall!" PL’ers then explained how the bosses’ laws and their government are weapons against our class which is why we need to seize power with communist revolution. THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES.

Ford, VW, GM, Mercedes Workers Block Highway, Shut Plants in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA, June 30 — A powerful march in early June of thousands of workers from Ford, VW and Mercedes-Benz that blocked Pan American Highway traffic for six miles was symptomatic of the anger and militancy gripping this country’s workers as they pressed for strikes to recover part of their wages stolen by bosses here, especially since the December 2001 economic collapse. The workers must fight the companies and the government as well as their own union hacks.

Autoworkers are leading the fight-back. The auto industry has recovered, and production is double of what it was in 2001, but wages are the same as 20 years ago.

Just before May Day, delegates from Ford, GM, VW and Mercedes Benz met to demand higher wage hikes than the bosses offered. At mass meetings, workers from different companies united against the bosses’ threats of firings and discussed work stoppages leading to an industry-wide walkout. When GM announced the firing of 320 contract workers, a strike was planned.

Then the union hacks began their sabotage. Stoppages were carried out for only two hours and only in certain sections of plants. Despite this, Ford and VW workers shut down two plants. When workers began organizing an all-out strike, José Rodriguez, national leader of SMATA (the autoworkers’ union) called for a 10-day cooling-off period, with no concessions from the bosses, succumbing to pressure from President Kichner’s Labor Minister. (The bosses, the government and the union hacks are all part of the ruling Justicialista [Peronist] Party).

Fearing workers’ anger, Rodriguez made a deal with GM, while the other plants were on strike. Workers are irate at the sellout which was less than their 2,000-peso monthly base-pay demand (about $900).

The angry workers continued their fight-back, forcing the union to agree to a 2-hour stoppage. Then SMATA reached another separate deal with VW-Cordoba for 1,500 pesos base pay. The workers booed Omar Dragun, union head in Cordoba. They accused the hacks of joining the bosses’ fear mongering of threatened firings if the strike continued. The hacks managed to jam through ratification by a 55% to 45% margin.

Workers throughout the country then demanded union buses to take them to a mass protest in Buenos Aires, while the top union leaders were meeting with the government and the bosses’ association. National union head Rodriguez tried to divide the rest of the autoworkers from the militants from VW-Cordoba.

But in early June, workers at VW-Pacheco, angered because they weren’t paid for the previous two weeks, refused to enter the plant and stopped any supervisor or manager from going in our out. Many workers from the neighboring Ford-Pacheco plant supported the VW struggle. Both groups, along with Mercedes workers, voted to carry out the mass march that blocked the Pan-American Highway. It was the most militant and powerful autoworkers’ march in 15 years. Young and old workers united to flex their muscles. Some workers wanted to seize the plants, but the hacks prevented it.

The government, fearing these angry workers could ignite more working-class struggles, told the bosses to give a little more than originally offered. It wasn’t quite what the workers wanted, but the struggle continues.

Fittingly, this month is the 20th anniversary of the historic Ford-Pacheco sit-down strike. In June-July 1985, 4,500 workers took over the plant for 18 days, causing country-wide tremors. At a mass assembly, only 17 workers decided to leave the plant. Mass support guaranteed the feeding of all sit-downers. Rank-and-file delegates played a leading role in organizing workers in all departments. Workers were opposing the Plan Austral, economic attacks carried out by President Alfonsin. And aping the fascist military dictatorship of the mid-1970’s, the "democratic" Alfonsin government attacked the workers, sending 3,000 cops to evict them.

Then, during the economic collapse of 2001, after the bosses abandoned hundreds of plants, the workers decided to continue production without any bosses, foreshadowing the hundreds of plants occupied by other workers today.

We in PLP believe industrial workers are the key to fighting the bosses’ attacks against our entire class. Just last month saw general strikes in Greece and South Africa (where autoworkers played an important role). When those workers grasp revolutionary communist politics and turn their struggles into schools for communism, then the bosses and their hacks will have plenty to fear.

Boeing Contract Battle Should Teach Us How to Think As a Class

SEATTLE, WA — International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 751 will hold its strike sanction vote on July 13. The result is a forgone conclusion. Almost all these Boeing workers will authorize a strike, as all the union misleaders will brag how "tough" they’ll be during negotiations. The actual strike vote will be Sept. 1 when the old contract expires.

Most of us know it will take more than wearing a T-Shirt that says "Do the Right Thing" or "supporting your negotiators" to ward off disaster. Big cuts in wages, health care, pensions and work-rules marked all recent IAM aerospace negotiations. Lockheed workers lost medical benefits for new hires when they retire. United Airlines defaulted on their pensions, then cut wages and benefits for the third time. Just last month, the Boeing Wichita plant was sold to Onex; then a new contract cut wages and benefits, gutted work-rules and eliminated the Boeing pension plan. In each case, the IAM local leadership, backed by the International, railroaded these contracts through despite initial rejections and even a short strike at Lockheed.

When rank-and-filers moved to build solidarity with each of these groups, they were stonewalled by the local and national IAM leadership. Isolated, each group eventually gave in.

In fact, Jerry Calhoun, Boeing’s chief negotiator, reported to Auburn, Wash. managers that he was "impressed" by the way things were handled during the IAM/Onex negotiations. When you get praise from sources like this, you know you’re in trouble!

But the collaboration between the union leadership and the bosses goes beyond praise from the company mouthpiece. The country’s biggest bosses plan to reorganize basic industry to pay for their "stunningly expensive" wars to secure Mideast oil, which they intend to use as leverage against any up-and-coming imperialist challenger. They are hell bent on eliminating defined pensions, rationalizing medical care and reducing wages to a bare minimum to finance this reorganization in preparation for "small" wars now and bigger wars later. The chairman of the Council of Foreign Affairs, the bosses’ main foreign policy think-tank, warns we have to choose between "retirement security and national security." "[It’s] weapons or walkers," he says. Goose-steeping right in line, the AFL-CIO industrial conference focused not on the unprecedented attacks on our brothers and sisters, but on China’s military potential.

Let’s have no illusions! This contract battle is part and parcel of an overall attack against our economic survival so the bosses can prepare for more deadly imperialist wars. That’s all this system has to offer us. Trying to negotiate our way out of these attacks has been an abject failure. Building class solidarity and rank-and-file militancy that inspires our fellow workers is the only way out of this death spiral. Using PLP’s ideas can teach us, even in this difficult period, how to employ our strength to put an end to this bosses’ nightmare with communist revolution.

AFL-CIO Dogfight:

Only Red Leadership Can Put U.S. Workers on the Offensive

With the upcoming AFL-CIO Chicago convention about to witness a possible split-off of unions comprising 40% of the federation’s membership, various "pro-labor" pundits are lamenting the sad state of affairs in the labor movement and remembering those days when workers were on the move. One such advocate, sociologist Ruth Milkman of UCLA’s Institute of Industrial Relations, wrote an op-ed piece in the N. Y. Times (6/30) in which she recalled a previous "time of trial for organized labor," in the early 1930s during the Great Depression when "Employers impos[ed] wage cuts and speed-up on their workers while the AFofL [stood] by helplessly."

She then points out that "a few years later" the CIO, "an insurgent group within organized labor…set off America’s greatest surge of unionism." She says that the present move by four of the largest unions — the SEIU, the Teamsters, Unite Here and the UFCW — to triple the funds for organizing the unorganized and combine competing unions could "restore labor" as the force "it once was in an era" of "remarkable gains…for all Americans."

Ms. Milkman conveniently forgets the central feature of the 1930’s surge: communist leadership.

It was communists who put over a million workers on the streets on March 6, 1932 in the battle that eventually produced unemployment insurance and welfare relief for 17 million jobless workers, one-third of the work-force.

It was the communists who were the major force in building the CIO, who championed industrial unionism to organize millions of workers in the basic industries — auto, steel, electrical, rubber, mass transit, chemical, longshore and the rest.

It was the communists who led the fight against racism and for unity of black and white workers in the multi-racial CIO, in contrast to the lily-white craft unions of the old AFL.

It was the communists who organized and led the sit-down strikes in auto that swept the country and forced the giant corporations — GM, Ford, Chrysler, GE, US Steel, Republic Steel among many — to agree to unionization and the 8-hour day.

In the key strike — the sit-down at GM in Flint, Michigan — that sparked the organization of four million industrial workers in four years into the CIO, six of the seven members of the Committee that ran that strike and mobilized 40,000 workers from four states to surround the struck plants were members of the old Communist Party.

Compare that record to the likes of the Teamsters’ James Hoffa, the SEIU’s Andrew Stern, and their ilk. This latest crop of labor "leaders" see as their main role "rescuing" the unions to be able to serve the bosses’ capitalist system — which they defend — a lot more effectively than John Sweeney & Co.

It is ironic that the achievements of that communist-led industrial union movement should produce the components of what the ruling class now "proudly" refers to as "the American Dream": the 8-hour day, regular wage increases, health insurance, home ownership, etc. Unfortunately the old Communist Party fell victim to reformism. It did not turn its gigantic organizing efforts into "schools for communism." It did not build for revolution, but rather ended up supporting the liberal, Roosevelt wing of the ruling class that was out to save capitalism from a communist revolution that would eliminate the profit system.

But with the rulers’ massive attack on the working class’s wages, hours, health benefits and the rest, with the drive for imperialist wars in which the rulers use young workers as cannon fodder to keep control of Middle East oil and fend off their imperialist rivals, the "Dream" is becoming a nightmare, especially for the super-exploited black, Latin and immigrant workers who produce super-profits for the racist bosses. It will take a new communist movement, led by a mass PLP, to produce a workers’ society that will be a nightmare for — and destroy — the ruling class.

Disrupt Army Flag Day Recruiting Spectacle

CAMBRIDGE, MASS., June 14 — A crowd of anti-war protesters, including a PLP contingent, disrupted an orgy of patriotism today as the U.S. Army combined with the city government in attempting to turn a Flag Day celebration into a recruitment drive from the local high schools. The extravaganza included police SWAT teams cordoning off the area, Blackhawk helicopters circling the Common, National Guard groups displaying military vehicles — all trying to wow the spectators, mostly grade school children and their teachers.

The black-suited SWAT teams herded protesters into a "Free Speech Pen," but the PLP’ers outmaneuvered them, taking their banner and bullhorn outside the security perimeter and concentrating on selling CHALLENGE and injecting sharp political chants into the demonstration. When some black-suits confronted a PL leader demanding the bullhorn, she steadfastly refused to surrender it and carried it off to a safe place.

The protesters greeted the main speaker, an Army Undersecretary, with angry chants denouncing Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and the Iraq war, disrupting the program. When six flag-bearing parachutists jumped from the Blackhawks and floated to the ground, the protesters’ booing dominated the scene, lasting through the singing of the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance. One person snuck into the audience of mostly schoolchildren and soon had 50 of them chanting anti-war slogans! Then the black-suits arrested seven demonstrators who tried to break into the podium area.

When the ceremony ended, its purpose became clear: the Mayor and Deputy Secretary signed an agreement bringing Cambridge into the Army’s Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) to improve its recruitment at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High Schools. The nationwide PaYS program dupes youth into joining the military with promises of training and jobs in participating corporations — how the bosses directly combine with the Army to get cannon fodder for their oil wars.

We learned that rank-and-file demonstrators are eager to hear our ideas on imperialism, racism and fascism and are ready to follow our leadership. But we must try to move these actions beyond simple protest and booing to a higher level — which in this case could have been leading them to break out of the infamous "Free Speech Pen." This could inspire all those school kids to join with us in the struggle when they come of age.

Boston Utility Strikers Defy Hacks’ Red-baiting

Recently the striking NSTAR gas and electric workers were voting on a proposed contract. A few PLP’ers distributed a flier entitled, "Vote No on the Contract!" It broadened the perspective on the decision facing the workers, stating that company attacks on pensions and benefits are part of the "life-and-death war between ...the capitalist crisis...and the working class...[that] must fight not just for its livelihood, but for its life."

The flyer called on workers "who are ready to up the ante and fight the class war against capitalism...[to] see the proposed contract for what it is — a trick to keep the workers’ struggles confined to a narrow legal process that the bosses control — and vote it down.... But however they vote, the important thing is that they begin to fight as members of the working class."

The workers gladly took the leaflets, eager for any analysis about their struggle. Soon the Utility Union hacks threatened us, ordering us off the property, and calling the cops. They baited us McCarthyite-style, telling the workers to "Rip that up! That’s the communists! It has nothing to do with the union!" This, however, inspired more workers to take the leaflets. Not one worker was seen throwing it away or ripping it up. They carefully began reading them setting them aside in their cars, defying the hacks.

This experience showed again that strikes are important opportunities to politicize workers. The union hacks, desperate to get the sellout agreement passed, were freaking out mostly because the flier called for a "no vote." They’re running scared and must lie to prevent workers from thinking things through. But many NSTAR workers are starting to see that the attacks on them are part of a broader attack on their entire class. They couldn’t have missed the fact that it was communists who had enough respect for them to present a real analysis and long-range program for victory.

Comrades, strike support and boldness will go a long way!

Boston Reader

PLP’S Songs On One CD

The 1970’s PLP LP’s "Power to the Workers" and "A World to Win" are now available on one CD. It includes songs by the PLP Singers — in English and Spanish — such as: "Unemployment Blues"; "Challenge, the Communist Paper"; "Bella Ciao"; "Señor Inversionista"; "Every Time I see a Cop, I think of Clifford Glover"; "The Song of the Deportees"; "The Internationale" and many more.Rekindle old memories and live new ones.

Send $10 payable to Challenge Periodicals, and mail to PLP, Box 808, GPO, Brooklyn, NY 11202

War’s Horrors Build Conflict Between Brass and GI’s

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Alberto Martinez has been charged with killing two superiors, Lieutenant Louis Allen, his operations officer, and Captain Philip Esposito, his company commander. On June 7, the two officers were in their quarters when four explosions rocked their room in Forward Operating Base Danger, near Tikrit Iraq. Initially the Army thought the two deaths were caused by enemy mortar fire, but army munitions and explosives specialists later determined that the bomb patterns were more consistent with fragmentation grenades and claymore mines.

Some reported that Capt. Esposito and Lt. Allen had previously disciplined Staff Sgt. Martinez. The exact motives for the killings are unclear but some general political implications are apparent. The occupation of Iraq is beginning to strain the military.

Since the war started, over 100,000 Iraqis have been killed, the vast majority by the U.S. military. Over 40,000 U.S. soldiers have been wounded or mentally disabled enough to be removed from Iraq. Over 1,700 U.S. soldiers have been killed.

The enormity of the destruction of human life has moved well beyond the "small" wars to which the U.S. has limited itself since Vietnam. While this is nowhere near the number of casualties suffered in WWII or even in Vietnam, it has caused many people to question the motives for the war.

When young soldiers are ordered to kill children, smash down doors of families and drag them into the streets and shoot wounded men lying on the ground, it induces some of them to ask why and others to crack under the pressure. We don't know if Staff Sgt. Martinez killed those two officers, but we do know that murder has become a way of life in Iraq.

U.S. imperialists are having difficulties in building all-class unity within the armed forces. In October 2004, an entire platoon of the 343rd Quartermaster Company refused to go on a mission in defiance of their commander who felt delivering contaminated fuel over a dangerous road with slow, poorly-running vehicles was worth risking their lives.

The military has been trying to reduce the tension between working-class troops and their chain of command by using civilians for everything from mercenaries to cleaning porta-potties in order to ease discomforts of earlier wars. Racism against blacks and Latinos, once practically an open policy, is now more subtle as U.S. rulers depend on blacks for nearly half of their non-commissioned officers and half of female officers. Latinos, facing racist unemployment and super-exploitation, are expected to fill the military's shrinking enlisted ranks.

But no matter what the bosses do, they can't hide class antagonisms, nor will they be able to cover up racism too much longer. Imperialism asks the poor to fight the rich man's war. Every soldier, marine, airman and sailor who lost their lives died because some commanding officer found the risks acceptable to U.S. interests. Every operation that brings praise is another medal for career-climbing, resume-building officers and another day of danger in the desert for lower enlisted personnel. Pentagon officials, the general of Abu Grahib prison and the commanders of the MP units caught torturing Iraqis supposedly "had no idea of what was going on" while the enlisted soldiers collect years in jail.

The bosses need workers to commit murder, torture and occupation on their behalf but it's the bosses who reap billions while our families reap the casualties.

Threat of Class Struggle Hangs Over EU Rulers

(Part I discussed the snag suffered by the bosses of the European Union when the French and the Dutch rejected the proposed EU Constitution, and the fact that workers have no interest in either bosses’ side. It revealed two contradictions: one involving the high-tech countries like Germany vs. export-industry countries like Italy who must compete with low-wage China; and the second pits European rulers against their U.S. rivals — both of which are difficult to solve. The final one follows.)

The third contradiction reflects the 800-pound gorilla in the room: class struggle, the fight pitting workers against bosses. This was the real shadow hanging over the French and Dutch rejection of the European Constitution. Leaving aside the openly racist forces, led, for example, by the fascist Le Pen and his National Front in France — who predictably mobilized against unity with Turkey and against immigrant workers — this vote reflected more than anything the workers’ disapproval of a U.S.-style "free market" economy with few social concessions. The European bosses would love to reach this stage. They envy U.S. bosses’ ability to slash health care, education, etc. They took due note when Clinton, a liberal Democrat, ended welfare and replaced it with a slave-labor scheme known as "Workfare."

For many years workers in France and Germany have been able to count on a social security system with affordable medical care, unemployment insurance, retirement benefits and lengthy paid vacations. But these reforms didn’t fall from the sky. The massive class struggles in France during the "Popular Front" period of the 1930s brought them about. French rulers at the time were split. Some felt that granting significant reforms was the only alternative to communist revolution. Remember, the Soviet Union was in its heyday 70 years ago. Other French bosses took the hard line and preferred junior partnership with Hitler to the Popular Front. The second group won out in the short term; the first won in the longer term. After World War II, newly resurgent German bosses decided that throwing some crumbs to the working class was the best way to stifle class struggle and co-opt the threat of communist organizing. Again, this was at the height of the Cold War.

Well, the Cold War is over. The old communist movement has died of its own opportunist political weaknesses. The former Soviet Union is now a capitalist Russia hell-bent on becoming a major imperialist. So the rulers of France and Germany would love to move more quickly to grind down workers’ living standards and keep the profits for themselves.

But the French referendum sounds a warning signal. Voting is one thing. Militant class struggle is another. In 1968, a rebellion by French university students spread like wildfire throughout the working class and shut down the entire country for three weeks. French and German bosses haven’t forgotten it. Neither should we.

The memory of this rebellion provides the second lesson our class must draw from the European bosses’ disarray. The specter of communism continues to haunt the rulers. It made them grant the reforms they now want to take away. It gave rise to the 1968 revolt which occurred in the international context of anti-imperialist struggle in Vietnam and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. Rebuilding a new communist movement in Europe must now become the rallying cry of workers throughout the European Union.

Despite the claims of the European fake-left, the "No" vote is not in and of itself a victory for workers. Our class can never win anything in capitalist elections. Rather, it is a sign that workers are thirsting for an alternative to this system.

Working with its European friends, our Party accepts the challenge and responsibility of helping provide this alternative. The specter of communism can and will eventually become flesh and blood. Even in the direst of periods, like the present, it will continue to haunt the rulers. Over time, it will destroy them. We should take advantage of the rulers’ momentary disunity to increase the boldness and vigor with which we build international working-class unity for communism.


How Would Health Care Be Better?

(This column continues a new CHALLENGE series on how life under communism would differ from life under capitalism; how it will represent the interests of the international working class and our allies. We invite all readers to contribute both questions and answers to this column for discussion, relying on either history, examples from our own lives, or hope and imagination.)

The June 8 issue described some of British surgeon Joshua Horn’s experiences in China from 1954 to 1969. In his book "Away With All Pests," Horn describes the progress made then in burn treatment.

In 1958 a Shanghai steel worker, Chiu Tsai Kang, was splashed with molten steel causing severe burns over 89% of his body. British and U.S. medical experience at the time would have given Chiu no chance of survival. But despite being technically backward, the Chinese refused to accept such a diagnosis. They were able and willing to provide better treatment to workers than other countries gave to monarchs and billionaires.

A constant stream of workers gave blood to save Chiu’s life. The hospital workers built him a room with air under positive pressure to prevent infection to his open wounds. His nurses cut off their braids to lessen the spread of germs. Anyone entering his room bathed and changed into sterile clothes.

Meetings of doctors, nurses, cooks, cleaners and maintenance workers developed treatment plans. They provided Chiu round-the-clock care. When Chiu became discouraged and refused to eat, Shanghai chefs sent him tempting food, while his comrades urged him to eat. Daily bulletins kept the whole country informed.

To keep his wounds draining, and to keep him as comfortable as possible, Chiu needed an air mattress that could be inflated in sections. In the middle of the night Horn and a colleague went to a nearby plastic raincoat factory. The workers met, designed such a mattress and, based on everyone’s suggestions, modified the drawings. By dawn they had produced a 12-section inflatable mattress.

Chiu recovered. The experiences gained from his treatment greatly improved burn care, not only across China, but worldwide. In 1961 a U.S. expert, Dr. T. G. Blocker, wrote in the Journal of Traumatology that the Chinese mortality rate from severe burns was 30% lower than in the U.S.

Thus, in a communist system, the tremendous attention and care given by thousands of working people to one injured steelworker saved the lives of countless people throughout the world. Still today in the U.S. some 50 million people have no health insurance, while companies massively slash employee health coverage. Why? It doesn’t make profits for the big capitalists. You tell us, which is the better system for workers?


Learning About Communism At Chicago March

I want to publicly thank the young comrades who organized our Party’s participation in the anti-Minutemen protest today (see p. 3 ). It was so energizing to be amongst people who literally took leaflets out of my hand, asked for Desafio and generously donated money. To think I almost didn’t go because I was "too busy"! Congratulations also to the comrades on the principled way they handled one group of marchers’ anti-communism. They advanced our line forcefully but politely, trying to "win the person, not just the argument." PLP turned what could have been just a nationalist, anti-Minutemen march into an exciting, provocative invitation to learn about communism and join us. We, and everyone who heard us or inter-acted with us, were able to glimpse a future society without bosses or nations.

Older comrade

N. Africans Suffer A Lot More Racism Than Oprah

When Oprah Winfrey was denied entrance to a Paris department store, she received only the slightest taste of the racism that hits North Africans here. The Canard enchaîné reports (6/22) that when 18-year-old Haroun jay-walked in Sucy-en-Brie on June 4, the cops started beating him up with their flashlights and Billy clubs. Three neighborhood youths and Haroun’s brother got mixed up in it and were beaten up as well. Haroun’s mother arrived to get smashed in the face with a flashlight. Haroun’s father was maced.

In all, eight people were arrested, suffered cuts requiring stitches, slight concussion and bruises and spent three days in jail. Seven of the eight have been charged with "insulting a policeman" and "rebellion." They go to court September 6.

This is what Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s top cop, means when he says he’s going to "clean up the poor neighborhoods."

Comrade in France

Fight Nationalism, Privatization in Pakistan

(In our last issue, the initial part of this letter reviewed the exploitation of workers in Pakistan, especially the brutal oppression of women, how the bosses use the fundamentalists, and the role of PLP.)

The bosses use "nationalist" slogans in Baluchistan, Sind, NWFP (Northwest Frontier Provinces) and the Saraikee territories to divide the working class and to protect their rotten system. Meanwhile, the rulers exploit the masses’ emotions to divide them by nationality, territory, "race," religion and sect to prevent a united fight of the working class against wage slavery, inequality, illiteracy and fundamentalism. This is a worldwide tactic of capitalism, especially in this less industrialized region. China’s bosses are investing a lot of money in Baluchistan’s industries. This is a threat to U.S. rulers who want to create chaos there to ward off the Chinese. Autonomy for these provinces does nothing for these workers. It only diverts them from their real problems: poverty, exploitation, unemployment and injustice.

The Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service between India and Pakistan is another attempt by these bosses to strengthen their capitalist economies. They need markets to sell their commodities. But their colliding interests won’t allow peace in this region, Actually, if Kashmir’s workers had no bosses’ fight to contend with, they might direct their struggle against their exploitation, which would be a real threat to the bosses’ economy. We communists are the real force fighting for internationalism. We stand for opening all borders in a communist world; these borders just protect capitalist interests.

Pakistan’s rulers are privatizing all industries, making workers’ lives even more miserable. While workers do fight this greed, their union leadership plays the role of puppets of the bosses. The telecommunications workers are resisting the privatization of the state-owned PTCL, making it difficult for the government to sell it to the bosses. Our comrades are playing a revolutionary role in this strike and are standing firm against bosses’ privatization moves. We believe they will fight back if we provide them real communist leadership.

Our Party is struggling for communist internationalism, serving the working class. We ask the working class all over the world to join us.

Comrades from Pakistan

Disagrees About Stewart Prosecution

Lynne Stewart's client, Sheik Abdel-Rahman, is a vicious, racist, religious fanatic and a murderous fascist. He is not merely an "anti-government" client. The charges against the lawyer Stewart were not an "attack on anyone who seriously challenges capitalism." Neither he nor Stewart is militantly opposing imperialism, racism, or other attacks on the working class, as suggested in the Challenge article of March 19. Abdel-Rahman was in prison under a tight lockdown and prohibited from communicating with his fanatic followers, much the same as Illinois Nazi leader Matt Hale who tried to have a federal judge killed.

The fact that both Abdel-Rahman and Hale promoted racist holy war on the working class was not enough under capitalism to land either of them in jail. Like with Osama Bin-Laden, the FBI & CIA ignored Abdel-Rahman when he was "only" promoting fascist slaughter in the Mid-East. Hale was not seen as a threat as long as he "only" organized for racist attacks on African-Americans. The ruling class does not consider being an active fascist a crime. The prosecutions came only after Abdel-Rahman was involved in bombing the World Trade Center and Hale tried to have a Federal Judge killed. Attacking the ruling class itself is considered a crime by their state apparatus.

The charge against Stewart is not a frame-up. To act as Abdel-Rahman’s civil (not criminal) lawyer, she had to sign agreements to abide by the prison rules and to not smuggle messages out for him. His other lawyers refused to smuggle messages, just as Matt Hale’s lawyer refused to carry coded messages out of prison for him.Stewart foolishly smuggled out of prison and released to the press a call by Abdel-Rahman to his followers in Egypt to withdraw from a ceasefire and return to military attacks which in the past had focused on slaughtering unarmed "infidel" tourists to further the goal of an Islamic theocracy. By then, Egypt had become a more important ally of the U.S. in its war planning. If we held state power, we would not treat either Abdel-Rahman or Stewart less harshly. Stewart took an active part in Abdel-Rahman’s fascist plans. She was not prosecuted for being an activist lawyer.

None of Abdel-Rahman’s other lawyers were prosecuted, as they refused to get sucked into his fanatic scheming.

Stewart did not just commit an ethical violation, or break prison administrative rules. She did not merely improperly smuggle personal or fund-raising messages out to her client’s family or friends, or violate the rules in seeking to rally public support for his legal position. She smuggled out his call to his supporters to return to a fascist armed conflict.At some stage in her legal career, Stewart may have believed herself to be fighting against an oppressive government by legally defending her clients. She crossed a major line when she sided with her client by providing direct tactical support to his pursuit of a religious war. We could conclude that Stewart was once well-intentioned, but Stewart does not deserve our political support. We should waste no energy on Stewart, not because of who her legal client was, but because of her own later choice to give active support to religious-based fascism. Stewart may have deluded herself into believing that she was aiding a liberation struggle. We do not have to join in that delusion. Capitalism is at best oppressive; in bad times it is vicious.

When cornered, it turns to fascism. But to call every exercise of capitalist state power a step toward fascism minimizes the inherent every-day brutal nature of the capitalist state. Worse, it trivializes the qualitatively different and pervasive use of state terror that defines fascism.

Red Lawyer

CHALLENGE Comment: We thank Red Lawyer for his letter. He seems to disagree with PLP’s position that fascism is growing in the U.S. Presently, under the guise of "fighting terrorism," it is taking the form of a legal structure which allows the ruling class to do away with, or circumvent, rights that are supposedly "guaranteed" by U.S. law. The rulers would like to build a mass movement to support this Homeland Security police state. It is in this context that the Stewart case must be viewed.

Stewart is not a fascist, as Red Lawyer implies, although we have many sharp disagreements with her politics. Nevertheless, we believe the Stewart case is one more step, among many others, toward a full-blown fascist U.S. We think it would be a serious error not to make that point to all our friends and readers, and not to organize workers and others to fight this type of legal fascism.

D.C. Project Showed Power of Red Ideas

My experience in the Washington, D.C. Summer Project, especially the rally against police brutality and in meeting the Metro workers, was eye-opening and a big boost for the Party, the Metro workers and the anti-racist Coalition for Police Accountability.

Organizing a multi-racial mass of young and old supporters at the rally energized the Coalition. For the first time, we appeared in force with a truly militant attack on the capitalist system which uses the police and racism to oppress youth and the working class. When a cop threatened us with a police dog if we did not move, maybe it was because this time we were a force to be reckoned with. I think the mother of the murdered Archie Elliott III was impressed by the youth turnout, the energy and support at the rally.

The Metro work was also effective. Riding the buses, talking to the drivers and passengers, helped us learn how to share our ideas with the masses, and was of huge significance for Metro workers themselves. To see so many people, especially youth, come out and support them, to take the time to ride the bus and talk to them about their day, their families, their daily struggles, the grind and ups and downs of driving a bus — all this showed the workers we do care and that we’re united in solidarity with them, in fighting the bosses but also in fighting the capitalist system that chains all workers in the shackles of wage slavery.

Our actions during the Summer project brought more workers closer to the red-led union, closer to the Party and has raised class consciousness to a level not seen since the 1978 strike. It highlighted the crucial role played by industrial workers.

Project Participant

Youth Write About the NJ Anti-Minutemen Protest

Traveling to this protest, we really didn’t think we’d have this much of an impact on the police. Those protesting for the first time felt excited and happy to be part of a coalition of the working class.

Preparing for the protest we were told we could get arrested. Running through our minds were thoughts of lawyers, parents and that we were way too young to be jailed. After realizing the rally’s importance, we quickly got over it and were ready for the challenge. Workers of the world united as the fascist Bridgewater police came to support the racist "Minutemen."

As we approached the arena, police quickly identified our New York plates and our multi-racial passengers and followed us all the way to the parking lot. They were expecting trouble from us, and they were right!

Exiting the car approaching the entrance, we chanted, "Obreros unidos, jamas seran vencidos!" (Workers united will never be defeated). The cops immediately demanded we move off the property. We stood firm at the entrance. Then two of us were arrested. The police expected this would intimidate us and we’d run home but little did they know we came to send a message and weren’t going to be pushed around like their little puppets.

We rallied on the road down below, excitedly chanting many great slogans. Then people from local anti-racist and immigrant groups arrived and began chanting with us. Our protest grew, it was HOT but we were dedicated and determined to be heard. Racism and fascism are growing. As communists we believe capitalism’s chains must be broken.

While outside chanting, more police cars showed up, calling for more and more back-up. Now look who was scared! When the cops appeared with tear gas and guns, it just made us chant harder. We were dedicated, willing to put ourselves on the line. We must fight back against the "Minutemen" and their fascist propaganda. The people of the world will one day stand up and dismantle the capitalists’ poison.


Today was a truly inspiring day, workers united against fascism and racism. These racists are the modern-day equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan.

Our first goal was to oppose the injustice directed against immigrants. It was over 90 degrees, but that didn’t deter us. As soon as we began protesting, the Bridgewater cops tried to disperse us. Two members were arrested and subjected to police brutality. These fascist cops slammed one of our elder members onto a car. We only protested harder.

It was truly inspiring to see people randomly joining the demonstration. We were truly united. Police SWAT teams and an excessive amount of cops showed up, but we would not be moved, not be pushed down or away. We stood strong and continued to fight for the cause.


Before the protest, I must admit I was a little nervous. But the possibility of being arrested only showed me that participating was essential.

When I actually arrived at the protest, the experience was surreal. We, especially the students, showed that we would express ourselves no matter what the police tried to do.

The truly beautiful thing was that so many people — Asian, Latin, black, white — protested and got our message across. We united around the idea that workers of the world have the power to unite to change society. It starts with one person taking a stand one day, one moment to make a difference and we all can work together to do our part.

Group Relations Influence Health

I was very pleased to see a series on life under communism, but I think the first article (6/8/05) was written more for health professionals than for the rest of us. It would have been stronger if it had drawn the conclusion that we should all be part of collective groups wherever we work so that everyone would help each other take responsibility for the work of society. These groups would be a safe place where we would struggle with each other to improve our relationships and our work.

Research has shown that the interpersonal relationships we have with people have a big effect on our health. (For more information, see a book which summarizes many studies, written by Dean Ornisch, a well-known doctor who has reversed heart disease through diet.)

I think the bigger picture related to health is sanitation, clean water, availability of medical care and how it will be paid for.

I want to contribute to this discussion, as well as life under communism, in more detail in future letters.

A regular reader

Inspired to Defy Fascist Cops

When I arrived at the anti-Minutemen protest in NJ, I saw three of the racist nationalists cradling rolled-up U.S. flags and carrying anti-immigrant signs. I started to open up my car door to attack them. The only difference between me, as an Hispanic male, and the undocumented workers is that I have U.S. citizenship. These patriots were trying to organize against workers like my grandmother who slaved in a sweatshop so that my father and uncle could eat.

As I was about to jump from the car and pound these patriots with my red rage, I was told to wait and follow the agreed-upon plan. With the communist understanding of the importance of discipline and following the collectively decided-upon plan, I refrained from attacking them.

No sooner had we assembled in the parking lot and moved to protest in front of the center, the cops surrounded us, told us to move and then arrested one comrade. As she pounded on the squad car with her free hand and shouted to fight the fascists, she inspired all of us to continue protesting. A cop then told me to leave or I would be next. I saw what the rest of my comrades were doing, still shouting and protesting, so I shouted the same slogan at the cop. I was quickly arrested.

While I was being hand-cuffed, I heard three racists saying I was probably one of those "illegals" who came here to steal jobs and cause trouble. I recognized one as a guy I saw from the car, and told him he's lucky I didn't get at him. He quickly shut up with a look of shock and surprise when he heard my English.

At the police station I was asked a series of questions that led me to believe a special database is being kept on left-wingers.

This was my first arrest, but it was a small price to pay in the long struggle for communism. Our Party will continue to fight the fascists, the bosses and any patriots who dare to organize against the international working class.

Defiant Red

Money Under Communism?

"What would the role of money be under communism?" is a question I've heard many times. The answer is simple: there won't be any. No currency, no cash, zero, zilch.

To understand why money must be abolished, we must consider why money exists in the first place. Cash is a medium of trade that simply represents a portion of wealth created by labor. What a nation's currency is based upon varies. The U.S. dollar is the de-facto currency for oil. The Euro is based upon gold. But mainly, money is used to steal working-class labor. This labor is the real value of anything.

Under communism, the only goods produced would be that which the working class needs. A major failing of socialism was that it required cash to operate. The only way to get currency is by extracting the surplus value the working class creates. Commodity production for trade eventually overrides the agricultural, medical, educational and residential needs of the working class. The socialized capitalism that earlier parties fought for can never lead to communism because it didn't remove the root of capitalism — Capital!

By destroying the base of the bosses' power and reorganizing society based on producing for need, we can construct a world of "from each according to ability, and to each according to need." We will build a society to share and meet needs, not create surplus value. For communism to exist, all forms of currency must be destroyed. We don't seek to redistribute wealth; we seek to destroy it.

A Reader


US, China will clash as oil runs out

…In 30 years oil production could be down by 75%....

This is a staggering figure . . . A world without oil is bound to represent a massive economic, social and political shock.…There will be a power struggle over dwindling oil stocks. Already, there are signs of a new cold war emerging as the US and China seek to curry favour with poor African countries that are seen to have potential as oil suppliers. It could get a lot worse than that. The oil junkies of the West will be like heroin addicts suffering from cold turkey. (GW, 7/7)

‘Missile Defense’ is plan to control globe

In order to sell this space warfare program to the American people, the Pentagon has labeled it "missile defense." But in reality the program is all about offense. It was first spelled out in the 1997 Space Command plan, "Vision for 2020," that called for U.S "control and domination" of space.

The Pentagon and its aerospace corporation allies understand that they cannot come to the American people and ask for hundreds of billions of dollars for offensive weapons in space. Thus the claim of "missile defense"….

…Federal expenditures on missile defense [are] about $ 10 billion per year—enough to provide health insurance for every uninsured kid in America. (Distributed by MinuteMan.Org)

Recruiting: 4 times harder than year ago

…Marine recruiters are spending an average of 12 hours per recruit they enlist, up from about 3 hours a year or so ago, Marine officials say. (NYT, 6/30)

Pol: US prisons worse than Guantánamo

…As a response to increasing calls to shut down the…facility, Representative Ike Skelton of Missouri, the panel’s ranking Democrat, said that Guantánamo was in many ways better than state and federal penitentiaries… (NYT )

‘Made in USA’ can still mean slavery

…The Northern Marianas, DeLay said, was no haven for cruelty but a "perfect Petri dish of capitalism."

…Garment industry sweatshop workers and sex slaves in the Northern Mariana Islands — a U.S. territory — were exploited in a system that resembled indentured servitude.

Brokers — traffickers, really, in human beings — brought thousands to work in sweatshops for as many as 70 hours per week. They lived in crowded barracks; some were locked behind guarded fences. And because the territory is a U.S. possession, garments bore this seal of approval: "Made in the U.S.A."

Some who failed to get work were forced into the sex trade, though they may not even have been paid for prostitution since they still owed the brokers. (Wash. Post)

White ex-prisoners: More job offers than never-arrested black men

White men with prison records receive far more offers for entry-level jobs in New York City than black men with identical records, and are offered jobs just as often — if not more so — than black men who have never been arrested, according to a new study by two Princeton professors.

The study, the first to assess the effect of race on job searches by ex-convicts, also found that black men who had never been in trouble with the law were about half as likely as whites with similar backgrounds to get a job offer or a callback. (NYT, 6/17)

CAFTA: blood-sucking drug lobby plan

…Washington’s biggest and wealthiest lobby, appears to have succeeded in the Central American Free Trade Agreement. The agreement would extend the monopolies of drug makers and, critics say, lead to higher drug prices for the mostly impoverished people of the six Latin American countries it covers….

…In Guatemala,...poor AIDS patients have marched in the streets to protest. (NYT, 7/2)

US loves terrorists if they’re anti-left

Colombia has just passed a law to demobilize paramilitary fighters that the government calls the "Justice and Peace Law." It should be called the "Impunity for Mass Murderers, Terrorists and Major Cocaine Traffickers Law."

Colombia’s right-wing paramilitary armies, one party in a 40-year civil war, have massacred thousands of people. They control 40 percent of Colombia’s cocaine exports….

The new law, which reflects the paramilitaries’ considerable political power, will block the extradition of paramilitary leaders wanted for trafficking to the United States and allow them to continue their drug dealing, extortion, land theft and other criminals activities undisturbed. Even those responsible for the most heinous crimes against humanity may go free because of strict time limits for prosecutions. The few who are convicted will likely serve sentenced of only 22 months….

The Bush administration could have pushed President Alvaro Uribe to pass a good bill. Instead, Ambassador William Wood enthusiastically backed the new law, giving Washington’s endorsement to…a terrorist mafia. (NYT, 7/4)

With 9/11 excuse, FBI gets your secrets

The Social Security Administration has relaxed its privacy restrictions and searched thousands of its files at the request of the F.B.I. as part of terrorism investigations since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, newly disclosed records and interviews show….

…The Social Security agency agreed to an "ad hoc" policy that authorized the release of information to the bureau for investigations related to Sept. 11 because officials saw a "life–threatening" emergency, internal memorandums say.

The Internal Revenue Service also worked with the bureau and the Social Security agency to provide income and taxpayer information in terror inquiries, law enforcement officials said.

" But an ad hoc policy like this is so broad that it allows law enforcement to obtain really sensitive information by merely claiming that the information is relevant to the 9/11 investigation….There appears to be very little oversight." (NYT, 6/22)