July 19th, 2006

    1. Israeli Offensive Helps U.S. Rivals
    Bosses' Tool Used Against All Workers
  4. Mexico's Election Only Serves Bosses, Not Workers
  5. Buffet-Gates `Charity': Another Rulers' Tool to Suck Workers' Blood
    1. And how did Buffet acquire his billions?
      Buffett Bilked Billions from Workers' Misery
  6. Angry Workers Don't Buy Los Angeles Mayor's War Contract
  7. Cops Tell Bosses' Court Anti-Racism Is Illegal!
  8. International Solidarity:
    CUNY Teachers Back Oaxaca Strikers
  9. AFT Convention: Leadership's Liberalism Masks Pro-Boss Stance
  10. Anti-Racist Legal Workers Expose Anti-Immigrant Lawyers
  11. Spreading Red Ideas Inside and Outside the Factories
  12. GI's Must Reject Politics of Passivism, Patriotism and Nationalism
  13. Debunk Democrats As War Party At Church Conference
    1. MINISTER O.K.'S Lenin
    1. Bosses Use Racism to Divide Katrina Victims
    2. `Welcome to the United States of Slavery!'
    3. Reform Won't Build GI Movement
    4. Colombia Vote A Sham
    5. War Criminal Murtha Spurs Anti-Arab Racism
    6. CHALLENGE Comment:
    7. Pro-War Union Hacks Won't Make Mines Safe
  15. Bosses' Profit Drive Murders Young Worker
  16. REDEYE
    1. Suicides triple amid New Orleans debris
    2. Workers may have to consider revolution
    3. Supreme Court says money = free speech
    4. Non-red revolution leaves S.Africans jobless
  17. Rulers Use Non-Profit Groups vs. Workers' Class Consiousness
    1. How It Works on the Ground
  18. Peru: Bosses' Dogfight Sharpens; Crook Back in Power
  19. Note to Readers:


On May 29, 1942, Reinhard Heydrich, Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia -- seized by Germany in 1939 -- was gunned down by two resistance fighters. Heydrich-- who only four months before had organized the Wannsee Conference that planned the Holocaust-- was the third highest ranking Nazi after Hitler and Himmler. Hitler then ordered a massive retaliation.

The Nazis surrounded the village of Lidice (in what is now the Czech Republic) and eventually killed 340 men, women and children, who were sent to death camps. Lidice was wiped off the map. Another small village, Lezhaky, was also destroyed two weeks later. Both men and women were shot, and children were sent to concentration camps. The Nazis murdered 1,300 civilians to avenge Heydrich's death.

Now Israeli rulers are following the Nazi model of collective punishment. Recently the Israeli "Defense" Force (IDF) began a massive attack on Palestinian Gaza, with tanks, helicopters, fighter planes and artillery. They bombarded a university and destroyed bridges and a power station supplying electricity to 700,000 Palestinians. This was Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's response to a Palestinian guerrilla attack on a border post and the kidnapping of a 19-year-old Israel soldier while killing two others.

However, as some elements of the Israeli media have admitted, this massive assault and the arrest of Palestinian leaders were organized well in advance. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz (6/25) said that Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence service, had warned that gunmen were planning to attack a border post. The IDF did nothing to combat it. And the Israeli government has several times in the past negotiated prisoner exchanges, notably in 1985, when the Israelis freed 1,150 Palestinian prisoners to recover three soldiers, and again in 2004, when they swapped 400 Palestinians for one Israeli colonel and the corpses of three Israeli soldiers (Le Monde Diplomatique, June 2006).

London's Financial Times notes that Fatah's "Mahmoud Abbas, the nationalist [Palestinian] president.... [and] Hamas...reached a national unity pact that, by accepting a two-state solution, meant the Islamists implicitly recognized Israel...." So the Israeli attack is really an attempt "to sabotage the Hamas-Fatah agreement."

The Israeli government is forcing over one million Gaza Palestinians to suffer for the border attack. The destruction of the power station halts running water, electricity, and cooling ventilation during the summer heat for hundreds of thousands. The IDF has closed access roads bringing basic supplies to Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is trying to execute a plan concocted in 1998 by his predecessor, mass butcher Ariel Sharon. Their idea is to build a "Greater Israel," by herding the Palestinian population into four walled-off concentration camp enclaves in the Gaza Strip and on the West Bank, giving Israel all the rest -- 80% of the area's territory. The provocation by a Hamas Military Wing group was just the excuse needed. (One should note that early on Israeli rulers built Hamas as a bulwark against the first Intifada.)

Although Bush press spokesman Tony Snow and Secy. of State Condi Rice have said Israel has the right of "self-defense," this IDF fascist military offensive won't help the already shaky U.S. position in the Middle East. Increasingly Arabs and Moslems will see the U.S. hand behind this. (All the tanks, aircraft and other weapons are U.S.-supplied.)

Israeli Offensive Helps U.S. Rivals

The Russian government, while having normal relations with Israel, invited a Hamas delegation to Moscow soon after their election. Russia, just like China, is strengthening relations with Iran. And in early June, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Moscow's decision to establish naval bases in the Syrian ports of Tartus and Latakia. According to

"As part of the plan, the port of Tartus would be transformed into a naval base for Russia's Black Sea Fleet when it is away from the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol. The Russian plan involves the installation of an air defense system with S-300PMU-2 Favorit ballistic missiles. The missiles have a range of 200 kilometers (124 miles), allow a larger warhead and are equipped with a better guidance system than the previous version. The air defense system would be operated by Russia for the defense of the Tartus base and would provide potential protection for a large part of Syria. Through these initiatives, it is clear that Russia wants to strengthen its position in the Middle East."

Workers in the Middle East are being sacrificed on the altar of imperialist and local dogfights for the control of the region's oil wealth. The multi-ethnic workers of the Middle East -- from Syria to Iran to Iraq to what is now Palestine-Israel -- have a long history of supporting communists. Unfortunately, the opportunist and nationalist errors of the old international communist movement led to its own destruction. It's time to build a new international movement based on fighting all the bosses, local and imperialist, including fundamentalists from all religions, and uniting all workers to fight for communism.


"Consider, for a moment, what would have happened if, in reaction to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) [long considered a terrorist group by the British ruling class] seizing a British soldier, the British government had: invaded Northern Ireland; punished its people by destroying its electricity supply, transport links and government offices; shelled Belfast and Derry from land, sea and air; cratered the Falls Road; used the Royal Air Force to buzz the offices of the Taoiseach in Dublin; and arrested every IRA Republican it could lay its hands on.

"There would rightly have been an international outcry -- and so there should be in this case." (London Financial Times, July 1)

Bosses' Tool Used Against All Workers

New debates about racism are raging in today's news. The front pages are full of reports on Arab detainees unfairly held in the Guantanamo Bay torture camp, the genocidal devastation to black workers in New Orleans and multiple plans to redefine the status of "illegal" immigrants. The ruling class -- the class of land and factory owners who exploit workers for profits --works mightily to control workers' thoughts on these issues. They hammer us, the working class, with capitalist ideology through the schools, advertising and the media we watch, listen to and read. The most dangerous messages come from the ruling class's liberal wing. They seek to turn our best instincts of anti-racism and unity into nationalist loyalty towards them.

The ruling class has spent centuries pushing individualism and passivity in the working class. They needed these ideas to defuse the anger that led to the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. But they face growing competition from imperialist rivals like China and have difficulty maintaining control of Mid-East oil. They cannot hope to win their wars without winning workers to nationalist unity and a willingness to fight for U.S. imperialism.

One attempt to build this ideological commitment is revealed in a recent N.Y. Times' column (6/7) by liberal Thomas Friedman. He adds an insidious twist to the body of ideology about immigration. Friedman acknowledges that "[t]here is a lot to be worried about in America today," referring to the war in Iraq and to the many problems workers have at home, like failing schools. However, his answer is not the openly fascist Minuteman type -- if we just kept "America for Americans" we'd be stronger. Instead, Friedman celebrates the "stunning diversity" and "freedom" in the U.S.

So far this sounds like the same old melting-pot story taught in school. But Friedman goes a step further, directly addressing the rulers' needs in their struggle for imperialist supremacy: "Our Chinese will still beat their Chinese." [!]

Friedman stresses that the U.S. needs immigrant minds and bodies to fight its wars and to serve as a cheap labor pool at home. He calls for a "free flow of legal immigration" to ensure the "influx of brainy and brawny immigrants." He compares this to an "oil well -- one that never runs dry." These points are buried in the deceptive liberal platitudes about "diversity" and "democracy."

Friedman acknowledges the workers' right to be angry at the system. But then he proposes ideas to divert us from recognizing the injustice of capitalism. He calls on workers to be loyal to the U.S. in its competition with rivals like the afore-mentioned Chinese and the "enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan" he calls "totalitarians." He tries to use the anti-racist sentiments and anger that once moved workers to create mass reform movements in an attempt to build nationalism and support for imperialism.

We must not be duped by such slick packaging of rotten ideas. We must analyze what the liberal politicians and media say about the world to ferret out the real core of fascism under the nice words about "diversity" and "aspiration." In New Orleans black and immigrant workers are being held in separate guarded camps, and on Long Island anti-racists are put on trial for defending immigrant day-laborers. When liberals talk about immigrants joining forces with "native" citizens to fight our enemies, we must be clear that the "enemies" they're talking about are other workers just like us, with our same class interests.

We must fight for the true unity of internationalism, the only kind of "diversity" that will allow us to defeat the real enemy, the capitalist system with its borders and wars which serve only to oppress workers.

Mexico's Election Only Serves Bosses, Not Workers

As we go to press, the Mexican election results are in dispute. Calderón, candidate of PAN, the right-wing party of current President Fox, is leading López Obrador, the nationalist-populist candidate, by 1%. His supporters insist there was wide-spread fraud. The biggest fraud, however, is the one all the bosses promote against the working class -- the dangerous illusion that capitalist elections can end mass unemployment and poverty. The only real alternative for workers is organizing a mass revolutionary communist party to smash all the capitalists and their wage-slavery system.

López Obrador might offer workers some more crumbs than Calderón, but what's really at stake are the interests of various factions of the Mexican and imperialist bosses. Calderón and PAN represent those Mexican bosses who support the U.S. neo-liberal economic model, NAFTA and the privatization of the energy sector. López Obrador, with a social-democratic program á la Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, represents Mexican bosses NAFTA screwed, and who want tighter government control over the oil industry. They want to retain import restrictions on crops like rice and beans which NAFTA will lift in 2008.

Many militant workers and their allies have illusions that electing López Obrador will help them. López Obrador and his PRD party won the most votes in areas of recent sharp class struggle -- in Oaxaca, where striking teachers are occupying the city's center; and in Michoacán where striking miners and steel workers beat back a massive police attack in April.

Workers must break with the deadly illusion that there are "lesser-evil" bosses. The PRD wants to tie the working class to the supposedly "progressive" sector of the ruling class, those Mexican bosses who want a bigger share of the profits for themselves. The PRD controls Zacatecas where the cops attacked striking miners. It was also under a PRD mayor that the cops viciously attacked striking National University students in 2000.

Serving U.S. imperialism, Calderón said the government-owned "Pemex should be given the freedom to buy the technology or put together the contracts necessary to be able to increase reserves and production." However, Lopez Obrador defends the ban on foreign investments in Pemex, and pledges to build three gasoline refineries and boost Mexico's petrochemical production.

Lopez Obrador claimed he would limit the rate of oil exploitation; stop the country's annual imports of $14.5 billion worth of gasoline and petrochemicals, create desperately needed jobs and get additional revenues to finance his "poor first" programs. But his real aim is social "peace" and to save Mexican bosses' profits. They know their oil supply is declining and that working-class militancy is rising.

Workers should take no side in the current bosses' dogfight. We should understand that capitalist "democracy" is a huge fraud, under which bosses fight over the "right" to exploit workers for their particular interests. The main lesson for workers and their allies is that capitalism in any form will never serve our interests. This opens more opportunities for PLP to spread our politics of fighting for workers' power -- communism. (More next issue.)

Buffet-Gates `Charity': Another Rulers' Tool to Suck Workers' Blood

Warren Buffet's $31-billion pledge to Bill Gates' $30-billion foundation has nothing to do with charity. Philanthropy's most insidious purpose is to legitimize atrocities inherent in the profit system. The rulers want us to think that Buffet's, Gates' and Rockefeller's missionary crumb-tossing will somehow alleviate extreme poverty and the plagues it causes. They would have us believe that supporting billionaire George Soros's Human Rights Watch can curb the U.S. military's torture and massacres. Above all, the "philanthropic" rulers seek to turn us away from the one road to the working class's betterment, communist revolution.

These foundations have become a major part of the state apparatus, functioning in many ways to perpetuate the capitalists' class dictatorship, with all its miseries for workers. (See article page 8) Ultra-rich families establish foundations to pass their stolen billions from one generation to the next tax-free.

Through foundations, leading capitalists wield tremendous influence in setting policy. Foundations funnel smaller bosses' money into serving the big boys' purposes. At times, the rulers employ foundations to seize the fortunes of renegade capitalists. Finally, foundations put a humanitarian fig leaf over outrages ranging from racist exploitation to imperialist war.

Buffet and Gates trail the Rockefellers in using philanthropy to shelter their wealth and steer society. A century ago, the latter established the General Education Board, which effectively bought control of Harvard University and other important ideology foundries. The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission aimed at eradicating debilitating diseases like hookworm in the South. Prefiguring Gates' campaign against AIDS and malaria in Africa, its ulterior motive was to create a low-wage workforce healthy enough to toil in the region's new industries. The Rockefeller Foundation continues to bankroll the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations, which, respectively, lead in planning domestic police-state measures and overseas military adventures.

Although the media like to describe Buffet, of Omaha, and Gates, of Seattle, as "self-made" billionaires, their foundation deal actually represents a consolidation of Eastern Establishment power. The big shots forced Gates into his charitable pursuits, many of which operate jointly with the Rockefeller Foundation. Gates started his foundation in 2000 under the gun of liberal Clinton's anti-trust prosecution of Microsoft. Gates' Microsoft was running afoul of U.S. imperialism by indiscriminately peddling strategic technology to -- and boosting the economic and military capacity of -- potential foes like China. Battered by the courts (another instrument of the state), Gates finally heeded his masters, investing millions, for example, into the shipyard that builds Navy aircraft carriers.

In 2001, Gates' father joined George Soros, Buffet, and two Rockefellers in a full-page New York Times ad protesting a Republican proposal to repeal the estate tax. The tax, the ad read, "exerts a powerful and positive effect on charitable giving." Inheritance levies running to 55% compel the moderately rich to donate to tax-free ruling-class philanthropies. The conservative editors of the Wall Street Journal whined that Buffet favors "death taxes only for those whose estates are too small to hide in foundation tax shelters." (6/28/06)

Gates' forcible conversion to "charity" recalls earlier confiscations by foundations. Henry Ford, a vicious anti-Semite and Nazi sympathizer, opposed U.S. entry into World War II. Upon his son Edsel's death in 1943, the family began shifting Ford Motor stock to the Ford Foundation rather than cough up the 77% wartime estate tax. When Henry himself died in 1947, Wall Street-based trustees took over the foundation, the nation's richest at the time, devoting it to a host of liberal causes, pointedly including "international affairs."

When Time-Warner bought out Turner Broadcasting in 1995, the rulers attached a slight hitch to loose cannon Ted Turner's $1-billion personal payout: he couldn't keep it. Turner immediately pledged the same sum to an offshoot of the Establishment United Nations Association, which advances U.S. goals at the UN.

And how did Buffet acquire his billions?
Buffett Bilked Billions from Workers' Misery

The wealth amassed by the world's three richest capitalists -- two of whom are Warren Buffett and Bill Gates -- exceeds the combined gross domestic product of the world's 48 poorest countries. In 1983, Buffet's net worth was a "mere" $620 million. With the ruling class's downsizing, wage-cutting and mass layoff assault on the working class in the 1980's, Buffett upped his riches to $3.8 billion in six years. Since then it has multiplied 1,000%, to $38 billion! How?

First he bought Dempster, a windmill manufacturing company, cut costs and laid off workers, generating enough cash to buy the textile firm Berkshire Hathaway, which became his springboard to empire. In 1985, he shut down its New Bedford, Mass. Plant, dumping 425 workers on the street. Buffett continued along these lines, buying one outfit, reaping profits, selling it to generate more profits. That same year he engineered a deal to buy ABC-TV. Rounds of budget-cutting and layoffs followed.

Five years later he purchased U.S. Gypsum which, facing asbestos suits from workers, sought bankruptcy protection against the misery and disease it had brought to thousands of workers.

In August 2004, the Berkshire Hathaway-owned Fruit of the Loom moved its Cameron County, Texas production to Honduras, eliminating 800 workers' jobs, in a county that had double-digit unemployment and a 33% poverty rate. This was followed by shutting its Rabun Gap, Georgia yarn facility, dumping another 930 workers.

Then last year Buffet, being Gillette's largest stockholder, merged it with Proctor & Gamble, netting Buffett another $645 million, all of which sparked a frenzy of mergers and acquisitions that led to P&G cutting 6,000 jobs.

Buffett's drive to increase Berkshire Hathaway's per-share value at any cost left a trail of closed plants and ruined communities behind him. These mechanisms which created his billion-dollar wealth contributed greatly to the poverty which he now says his stolen billions will "solve."

Such is the fraud that media like the N.Y. Times peddles as "magnanimous philanthropy" by the "captains of industry."

Angry Workers Don't Buy Los Angeles Mayor's War Contract

LOS ANGELES, CA. June 29 -- "There are a lot of workers here whose disappointment has turned to anger," a transit worker calmly told a meeting of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) local discussing the latest sellout contract offer brought back by Business Agent Neil Silver.

"That's why there's so much yelling," he continued. "This company has shorted us money contract after contract and we`re tired of it. Now this war that will never end is bleeding us and everyone else and we're tired of that too. The mayor and the rest of the Democrats have no answers except a larger, bloodier, more expensive war. And you come with a contract that won't even pay our bill at the gas pump. We say no to this contract, no to MTA and no to the war you want us to take a hit for."

This impassioned speech produced a burst of applause.

As workers entered the hall to vote, one mechanic took a PLP leaflet and jabbed at the headline reading, "REJECT THE CONTRACT," exclaiming, "This is how I'm voting!"

The leaflet labeled it a war contract and called on workers to build the long-term fight for workers' power, explaining that the union leaders have no answer to wage- and benefit-cuts and the widening Mid-East oil war.

Four months ago Business Agent Neil Silver told the workers he would fight for a "significant wage increase." Then he came up against the growing needs of wartime U.S. capitalism for cheap labor. While his friend, liberal Democrat Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, heads the Transit Authority's Board of Directors, this offer was only half of what Silver had promised.

Many workers had the illusion that Villaraigosa was a "mayor of all the people." This ATU local had launched his political career over a decade ago with a very large political donation and the press built him up, so some workers were taken in.

But as one rank-and-filer said, Villaraigosa brokered a lousy contract the last time and repeated it now. "He's not our friend, he's our enemy, said one worker. "His friends are the big businessmen who run L.A." Villaraigosa's biggest backer, billionaire liberal Eli Broad, is helping to concentrate L.A.'s political power in the office of the mayor.

Their tight grip on the city uses pro-Democratic party labor leaders to saddle workers with war contracts. All three transit unions simultaneously announced "good responsible" tentative agreements, but none cover inflation.

These capitalists don't need an efficient transit system and a more co-operative world. They DO urgently need: (1) a public transit with loyal, experienced workers paid cheaply without strikes; and, (2) tens of thousands of even lower- paid workers to swell the ranks of industry and seek to maintain U.S. imperialism's supremacy.

Their most cost-effective aim is a large, flexible, part-time workforce (United Transportation Union drivers), putting in longer, more intense hours and paying more of our own medical plans and pensions (all three unions).

The ratification meeting was rowdy and angry throughout. It was after Silver announced the offer would use money slated for our medical plan and to pay us a _ of 1% wage "increase." The worker who gave the afore-mentioned impassioned speech challenged Silver to square an expected 20% wage package with this meager result and with no explanation why.

Silver sidestepped the war issue: "This package is equal to what everyone [else] in transit is getting." Instead of the vote passing by the 10 to 1 margin of the last lousy contract, this one got by at 243 to 146 -- almost two votes against for every three in favor. It is becoming clearer to groups of workers that this system has nothing to offer except exploitation and war. PLP's answer -- to fight for power for the working class -- is ringing true to more workers.

The 2009 contract will undoubtedly be worse as the U.S. is forced to up the ante of wider imperialist wars against their Chinese, Russian and European rivals. In this period of widening war, building now for that contract fight means a greater commitment for our Party's forces among these transit unions. We aim to build the PLP and win workers to understand that the answer to all these attacks is to organize for communist revolution to destroy the system of exploitation and imperialism for good.

Cops Tell Bosses' Court Anti-Racism Is Illegal!

FARMINGVILLE, NY, July 3 -- Three anti-racists are on trial in Suffolk County criminal court for defending workers from racists one year ago.

In a militant demonstration, a local racist, David Drutarovsky, was surrounded and chanted down by demonstrators and 30 day laborers who joined this action. This demonstration, in solidarity with day-laborers, was organized by anti-racist teachers and students from New York City. These workers face daily harassment and even assault. The bosses use them to drive down wages and divide the working class, using racism to attack them.

Drutarovsky picketed on a regular basis at the corner where day laborers have gathered to wait for work six days a week for at least six years. He tapes and photographs the workers and their prospective employers to intimidate them. Once he even showed up in a gas mask "to protect himself from the germs" he says Mexican immigrants carry.

Drutarovsky got far less than he deserved that day. The cops, seeing the unity of workers opposing this racist, started arresting demonstrators who they saw as the "leaders": those who spoke Spanish, gave speeches and chanted the loudest.

On that same day, July 16, 2005, two racist thugs posing as employers called a day laborer over to their truck and smashed a bottle into the worker's face, sending him to the hospital. In October, the district attorney offered those two scumbags non-criminal deals. The courts clearly serve the capitalist class; the racists got off with a slap on the wrist.

We have fought to maintain the offensive in all our legal proceedings. Our motions to dismiss all charges generated 15 court appearances before trial even began. We have organized to pack the courtroom to capacity. Police testimony given at earlier hearings is coming back to bite the prosecutor in the ass. It is clear that the cops are racists and liars. They have proven this on the witness stand when the sergeant, their key witness, testified that yelling the word "racists" is a crime! He contradicted himself several times.

In the bosses' eyes, the real "crime" we committed that day was traveling to support Suffolk County's most super-exploited workers with militant anti-racist and communist leadership. These workers responded by joining our demonstration. Even if only for a few minutes, they rocked the local racists and their cops back on their heels.

The bosses are using their courts to deter us from future actions. Their schemes will fail. Every friend and member who shows up at our trial turns the bosses' attack into its opposite.

International Solidarity:
CUNY Teachers Back Oaxaca Strikers

NEW YORK CITY, June 28 -- Today 70 teachers and students picketed the Mexican consulate to support striking teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico. Militant chants rang out in Spanish and English: "When the police attack, Teachers fight back!"; "Teachers' struggles have no borders."

Local 2334, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) comprising the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) at the City University of NY (CUNY) organized the rally, joined by a dozen rank-and-filers from AFT Local 2 and some CUNY students. The Labor Council for Latin-American Advancement, a Latino labor group, co-sponsored it.

The PSC Delegate Assembly unanimously passed an Oaxaca support resolution -- calling for a halt to police attacks on the strikers -- which was delivered to the Mexican consul. He said he would convey the resolution to Mexican government officials but claimed the federal police in Oaxaca were there to "keep the peace" during the elections.

He understood that unionized teachers here wouldn't let this issue drop, and would react to any more police assaults. Of course, the consul simply represents the Mexican capitalist state and can't influence policy. Bosses everywhere use state violence against strikers, but the Oaxaca teachers had asked for this form of pressure to put the government on the defensive.

Outside, the rally roared on. The delegation reported this meeting. PSC members in Oaxaca have also been meeting with the teachers there, establishing direct ties and sending reports back to the New York local.

One speaker noted that the strikers' demands were essentially the same as those here, and that with the same enemy, "Mexican and U.S. teachers must unite." Another said that just as capitalists in Mexico and the U.S. are increasingly linked to each other, so too must Mexican and U.S. workers stand together.

PSC leaders are committed to international labor solidarity, but the union movement is dominated by the bosses' patriotic imperialism. The leadership New Caucus won a recent election with 55% of the vote, embracing worker solidarity in the teeth of right-wing attacks. The PSC local brought about 100 members to the transit workers' picket lines last winter. But many more PSC members must be won to this position.

The AFT national leadership and the National Education Association have done little to back the strikers. Only one other AFT local has taken action, Local 2121 at the City College of San Francisco. International teacher solidarity will have to grow from the ground up, combating pro-boss union leaders, here and in Mexico, where the national union (SNTE) leader Gordillo distanced herself from the strike and red-baited its leadership.

Ultimately teachers and all workers must not merely defend strikes and fight the capitalist educational system, but fight to turn strikes into schools for communism. As the PLP leaflet in Oaxaca declared: "PLP, faced with the failure of Socialism, today fights directly for Communism, in order to bury once and for all this unjust and murderous system."

PLP invites militant teachers and "all conscious and determined workers" in New York, and Oaxaca to join our ranks. All reforms are eventually reversed by capitalism. Teachers need to fight for a communist society that meets workers' needs.

AFT Convention: Leadership's Liberalism Masks Pro-Boss Stance

NEW YORK CITY, July 3 -- At thecomng July 19-23 AFT Convention in Boston, the war in Iraq, the genocide in New Orleans and immigration reform are some key issues that delegates will be discussing, only because of long struggle by rank-and-file delegates to get them on the table. The AFT leadership is more interested in big words about education reform, endorsing electoral candidates and lining up education workers behind the bosses' foreign policy. Many teachers think of the AFT leadership as "good guys" on many issues, but in reality the leaders are members of the ruling class's Council on Foreign Relations and other think-tanks committed to running and saving this system. The AFT has always been a pro-boss, anti-communist union, helping the CIA build just such "unions" in many other countries. And it's not changing now.

What it will do is attempt to mislead teachers by passing a mild resolution that seems to oppose the U.S. rulers' plans. In reality, though, it lines the AFT up with the forces in the ruling class who don't like how Bush is conducting this war. The leadership wants to stop a majority of the delegates who actually oppose the war from supporting an anti-imperialist resolution. None of the AFT leadership opposes U.S. imperialism.

PLP members, along with many other rank-and-filers, have been involved in struggles against the war, at conventions and in our locals. We know too well that the ruling class liberals use education "reform" to mask the fascist nature of the schools: the metal detectors, the military recruiting in the schools, the prison-like atmosphere, the complete racist neglect of working-class students, especially black and Latino students, and the use of No Child Left Behind garbage to do just that -- leave our class's children way behind, set for unemployment, poverty-level jobs and cannon fodder in the bosses' wars. The AFT leadership does nothing to oppose this rising fascism in the schools.

PL'ers have called for support for workers in New Orleans and helped expose most "education reform" as part of the bosses' agenda. The AFT leaders rely on speakers like Teddy Kennedy to try to deceive us on this. But PL'ers have advanced an outlook which attacks these liberal pro-capitalists because there is no way under a profit system to end the misery of the working class. We call for the fight for communism.

At the convention and afterwards, we will fight for that idea -- among the emerging anti-war forces within the AFT, in our locals and with the parents, students and co-workers in our schools. The working class with communist leadership, not the liberals of AFT, has the answer to the crises we face today.

Anti-Racist Legal Workers Expose Anti-Immigrant Lawyers

PLP has often said that fascism is growing here and elsewhere. How? As members of organizations like unions, we see capitalist political control and fascist ideology being promoted by leaders of those groups. One of the bosses' current goals is to use these leaders to convince workers, professionals and others to support the legalization of a Homeland Security police state.

These ruling class plans -- especially among its liberal proponents -- as related to immigration "reform" became clearer for several people who recently attended the annual national conference of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association (AILA), an organization of 10,000 lawyers and paralegals. Interestingly, 7,000 represent the immigration interests of business. Many of the remainder deal with undocumented workers, asylum seekers, detainees and people facing deportation.

AILA employs lobbyists who are working overtime these days to ensure that the liberal Senate version of immigration "reform" is enacted. But it's clear that AILA, like the majority of its members, sees this issue only in terms of its benefit to business people. AILA is urging its members to tell their business clients to push their elected officials to support immigration "reform" because it's "good for business."

AILA lobbyists are not concerned that the "guest worker" proposal would relegate those "guests" to virtual slave labor, because any worker who becomes unemployed and can't find another job within 60 days will be deported. With that threat hanging over their head, many workers will be reluctant to organize on the job against exploitation and terror. One workshop speaker praised capitalism's ability to create a "dynamic and flexible" labor pool. No concern was paid to the working conditions, benefits or job security of that "labor pool."

At the same workshop, billed as a "pro-immigrant" response to right-wing propaganda, an immigration lawyer, an Army Lt. Colonel teaching at West Point, proudly stated that she doesn't use the term "undocumented worker," but calls "them" illegal immigrants. She joked: "They're not `undocumented.' They have plenty of documents, all of them fake." One person in that workshop exposed this speaker's racist use of language and sick sense of humor.

The Army officer also said the military fully supports immigration "reform," and is actively recruiting amongst the immigrant population. The Army, she said, believes that immigrants "adapt better" to the military environment and are more compliant with military rules. The anti-racist person in the workshop then warned that the so-called "Dream Act," which many immigrants and legal workers naively support, is really just another ruling-class tool to force immigrants into joining the military to fight for the bosses' profits.

It's clear to those of us who attended this conference that there is no "reform" of immigration law which will serve workers' interests. As another workshop speaker pointed out, U.S. rulers have historically used fascist immigration laws and policies in order to attack all workers. Only a communist system, which abolishes borders, nations and wages, will truly liberate ourselves and our immigrant brothers and sisters.

Spreading Red Ideas Inside and Outside the Factories

Almost ten years ago, a worker at my high school gave me a leaflet from the racist Voices of Citizens Together (VCT) presenting their thoughts on immigrants and what they planned for July 4, 1996. He said we should fight these guys, but I couldn't; I was headed for a MEChA ( a Chicano student organization) conference. When I returned, I discovered that the VCT rally was practically destroyed, with some of their membership bloodied from the confrontation.

The worker brought me to a PL forum about the action and gave me a CHALLENGE and soon took me to PL study groups.

Later I participated in a Summer Project in a city with a U.S. Army base and a huge network of Boeing plants employing over 40,000 workers, members of the local machinists' union.

We were students and teachers conducting mass CHALLENGE-DESAFIO sales at the plants and the Army Base; holding discussions about political economy, dialectical materialism, and the importance of organizing industrial workers and soldiers; and having barbeques along with visits at the workers' and soldiers' homes.

I remember then CHALLENGE pointing to the inevitability of imperialist war in the Middle East, saying that in order to launch that war for oil, the U.S. ruling class needed to squeeze vast resources out of its own workers. The main segment that produces everything -- the industrial workers -- were some of the first targets. At that time the U.S. military was using Boeing-made aircraft to bomb the Balkans because U.S. rulers wanted control over the areas where pipelines brought the oil out of the Mid-East. Simultaneously, they were demanding greater concessions from the Boeing workers.

CHALLENGE and the 1999 Summer Project taught me how important the allegiance of industrial workers and rank-and-file soldiers is for the U.S. imperialists. Secondly, the direct experience in agitation among these two groups showed me they were both definitely open to communism and to joining PLP.

The oil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made the industrial working class increasingly important to U.S. imperialism. This has become even clearer with the latest growth in hiring of manufacturing workers. But to fund the war, U.S. bosses must maximize profit and slash conditions for workers, using racism and state terror and cutting benefits like healthcare, pensions and education.

As a student I thought agitating from the outside was important. Now dialectical materialism has taught me that the internal is primary, that without struggle inside to develop the ideas, agitation is limited. I realized that to really change things I had to be inside the factory, because the politics of the industrial working class is crucial. I decided to become a machinist in order to be an active organizer for the Party inside the factory.

Once inside, I understood that I underestimated the significance of the mass CHALLENGE sales. Class struggle within the working class is a daily and constant ideological struggle. It's like war. To recruit, to gather the most strength, consolidate and spread beyond my immediate circle, I must make broader contacts within my factory.

Our goal is to change the common fight over grievances into one for the seizure of state power led by our working-class party. This has been the main aspect of class struggle in which CHALLENGE engages. I'm slowly building a base around the ideas of anti-capitalism, anti-racism and communism. Challenge is key in this struggle, but must coincide with my first building trust and friendship among a close circle of workers. This takes patience and a long-term perspective.

Recently a worker told me that when he was younger he believed the president, that communism was the enemy -- it was bad. When the communists fell, everyone clapped. "But now, when I talk with you guys, I think communism is good."

Without CHALLENGE, a permanent revolutionary organization of the working class will never advance.

Agitation through distributing the paper and leaflets means that a network of workers can develop within the factory which can maintain contact with one another. They can follow political events carefully, tracing their effect on the working class, and help us develop ways for our Party to influence those events. This will sharpen the general class struggle, leading towards the seizure of state power in a communist revolution.

It's very important that youth and others participate in the 2006 Summer Project to bring communist ideas to the industrial working class. This will help intensify the struggle inside the factories and also should lead to more youth working in these plants.

GI's Must Reject Politics of Passivism, Patriotism and Nationalism

SEATTLE, WA.,June 25 -- Over 200 people attended the speech of U.S. Army First Lt. Ehren Watada who refused to return to Iraq for a second tour of duty, when his Stryker brigade received orders to redeploy. Lt. Watada is stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington. He spoke publicly around the Seattle-Tacoma area before he was required to report to duty.

In his statement, Watada said that he wasn't opposed to all wars, just the Iraq war because it was illegal and based on lies. Since killing Iraqis went against international treaties and conventions, his moral and legal obligation to defend the U.S. constitution prevented him from fighting. The case of Lt. Watada has caused sharp struggle within Military Families Speak Out and other Veteran groups.

Watada's opinions echo ruling class strategists that say the fiasco in Iraq is hurting U.S. imperialism's ability to wage bigger wars in the future. He is highly supported by peace and psuedo-left groups, such as the Seattle Draft and Military Counseling Center (SDMCC), who openly back the bosses' message of passivism, patriotism, and nationalism. They build the illusion that if we fight for the "right reform" or vote in "progressive candidates" the war will end.

The liberal Watada movement is a dead end for all workers and will not spontaneously develop into a rank-and-file rebellion against the system. It will take an understanding of the nature of the bosses' legal system to convince workers, students and soldiers that laws are there to keep us down. The ruling class makes the law and they break the law. They control the cops and the legal system. And even if they are forced to withdraw from Iraq, they will continue to send troops to other hot spots in the Middle East and Asia or South America, because they need to control the oil flow to keep their system going.

Masses of workers, students and soldiers need to reject the politics surrounding Watada's case. The young people that are attracted to these groups need a communist perspective in order to intensify revolutionary class consciousness, defeat the empty promises of reform and put an end to all imperialist wars. We need to become more active in these organizations so that we can win people to join the PLP and lay the ground-work for future generations to get rid of capitalism for good.

Debunk Democrats As War Party At Church Conference

The CHALLENGE editorial "All Warmakers" (7/5) -- which exposed the Democrats as just as much a war party as the Republicans -- was right on time. I read it just before attending a national church conference. I was in a group planning a resolution for the church to endorse an interfaith "Out of Iraq timetable" campaign, with escalating non-violent protests if the pullout hasn't begun by September.

After reading the CHALLENGE editorial, and a Time Magazine article describing the Democrats' infighting and horse-trading, I began to feel this "timetable" campaign -- and me with it -- were being used to strengthen the Kerry-Feingold faction.

To deal with this contradiction, I had to find a way to attack the ruling-class liberals while participating in this reform "timetable" program.

So, while circulating the petition I warned signers to beware of Democrats who want withdrawal from Iraq to move forces into Iran, and who want a tactical retreat in order to strengthen the military for an eventual war with China. I had similar conversations with about 100 in our group.

While distributing copies of our resolution, I also gave out hundreds of leaflets explaining that the Democratic Party has no anti-war faction. The leaflet called for discussion of imperialism and for building an anti-war movement independent of the Democrats, among civilians and people in the military.

Some folks agreed when I said, "The Democrats are a war party, not a peace party." Others didn't. "Not my Senator Feingold," someone said. So I quoted Feingold: "I am only referring to a time frame for the military mission in Iraq, not for our broader political and other missions" and bemoaning "our failure to prioritize military spending." The leaflet also quoted Kerry, Hart and Murtha (who said on "Meet the Press" and "Face the Nation," "Let's reduce our presence in Iraq; let's start to rebuild the Army.")

Several dozen of us worked on petitions and speeches supporting the resolution. We joined forces with some veterans, adding to our resolution their proposal that the church work for better benefits for vets, active-duty and military families. A delegate -- a GI -- helped distribute leaflets but didn't want to speak publicly. So, on his behalf, I read a short speech that he wrote. "We are pre-positioning troops in Iran right now and plans are being made to send more military personnel into the region despite what you may hear in the media about troop reductions," he warned. Then I met a Vietnam vet who'd been active in the GI anti-war movement. Both took extra literature and want to stay in touch.

Several dozen people in my church have read CHALLENGE, though none attended this out-of-town conference. As follow-up, I plan to show this issue to all of them and to several others who were delegates, plus some old friends I saw there. I will also work in my church to build anti-war activity around this "peace" campaign.

The resolution passed almost unanimously. In the airport, on my way home, CNN was interviewing a U.S. general in Iraq who said he already has a "timetable" for troop withdrawal, and I thought about what the rank-and-file soldier had written.

The Kerry-Feingold crowd masquerades as a "peace" movement but this "near enemy" (see box) is truly a greater danger than the "far enemy" of the Bush-Clinton "stay-the-course" crowd. Exposing their attempts to win mass organizations (like our church) to a disguised war program was a small step toward building our Party, inside and outside the military. We cannot keep saying each war "was a mistake." We need to understand that we're dealing with a war system, imperialism that capitalism makes inevitable. Workers and soldiers fighting against this bloody system with communist revolution is the only way to end it.


I had lunch with two ministers who were chatting about the Buddhist concept of "near enemy" and "far enemy." The "far enemy" is something's opposite - for example, Buddhists say the "far enemy" of compassion is cruelty. The "near enemy" is a quality that masquerades as the original, but is not the original: the "near enemy" of compassion is pity.

A speaker had argued that the "near enemy" was more dangerous and needed more attention. "So was Lenin studying Buddhism?" I joked. "He didn't polemicize against the Czar; he wrote pamphlets against enemies within the workers' movement." One minister thought for a moment, then laughed. "That's about right," she said.


Bosses Use Racism to Divide Katrina Victims

Nine months after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is still a city of ruin, racism and destructive divisions among workers. As part of a group of college students in the PLP Summer Project there, we found black working-class communities still destroyed. We also discovered local residents imprisoned by capitalist ideology, pitting them against people who actually share their class interests: immigrant workers, mainly from South America and Mexico, brought there to clean up this gigantic mess.

On our first day, we talked to a black woman who was working with the student volunteers. When asked about the arrival of Latino workers, she replied that they would never "take over New Orleans like they have in the rest of the country," and that Spanish would never be the main language in Louisiana.

This woman's outlook was shared by a number of working-class black residents. Thus, the bosses first use immigrants as cheap labor under the worst conditions, and then use the scarcity of jobs to divide workers.

The bosses brought these newcomers here for the dirtiest work -- such as cleaning mold toxins from streets and houses -- while promising them high wages and housing. Soon the wages were cut. In some cases contractors didn't pay them at all. After the immigrants' safety equipment broke or was used up it wasn't replaced. Eventually they lost their housing and their jobs, and were stuck in New Orleans with no support. Meanwhile, local black workers, also victims of the city's high unemployment rate, were misled into thinking that the few immigrant workers who still had jobs had stolen their means of a livelihood. But workers never create unemployment; it's capitalism that requires a vast army of unemployed and racist divisions to gain its maximum profit.

As communists, we understand that black and immigrant workers are part of one class. Their true enemies are the bosses of the capitalist system, from the politicians who are content to see black neighborhoods washed away to the corporate profiteers making a fast buck from the federal disaster relief bonanza.

Our experience in New Orleans reinforced the idea that the working class must not allow racism or capitalist borders to separate us. Because the woman we met was confused by the classic capitalist set-up -- inducing different groups of workers to fight for crumbs -- she failed to see the essence of how all workers are exploited. Even though we didn't convince this particular woman, we gave her a lot to think about.

This Summer Project will continue to give us opportunities to build a base for communism among the whole working class of New Orleans.

Two Volunteers

`Welcome to the United States of Slavery!'

I'm in New Orleans participating in the PLP Summer Project, and getting some education just being here. Fascism is running New Orleans, an occupied city like Baghdad.

When I went out for a hamburger late one night, Hummers with tinted windows were slowly prowling the neighborhood. One gas station was crowded with Blackwater mercenaries [contracted security]. The next one was crawling with cops, who were ordering people to move their cars here or there. National Guard vehicles were driving around downtown.

On Canal Street, one of the main downtown thoroughfares, the median strip was filled with a long line of parked state trooper cars. At one intersection near the French Quarter, cops had two black people out of their vehicle and were searching it. This is an everyday occurrence.

It's evident that the bosses here are trying hard to pit black and immigrant workers against each other. They've managed to get 80% of the black workers out of the city, and now are replacing them with "guest workers" -- immigrants recruited mostly from Central and South America. The hotels have replaced black staffs with "guest workers" at $6 an hour. On a morning walk I saw immigrant workers operating the Waste Management garbage trucks and cleaning the grounds outside a high school. There was barely any Latino community here before Katrina.

Some Central American workers told about being brought to New Orleans to work, and on their first night were taken to a hotel. A black man was behind the reception counter, also a recent immigrant, not from New Orleans. When they entered, he stood up and said, in Spanish, "Welcome to the United States of Slavery!" At the time, they didn't understand what he meant, but now, three months later, they do.

The ruling class is replacing the previous wage-slaves--who had a history of militancy-- with new, even lower-paid ones.

I encourage whoever is dedicated to learning about and fighting racism and fascism to come here for a while, and then return to teach what you've learned -- and organize!

A Project Participant

Reform Won't Build GI Movement

It's good to see several articles on PLP's political activity among GI's. PLP has long been aware that this is essential in building for revolution, as the Bolsheviks and Chinese communists have shown. We have much to learn from our present-day military comrades. It's heartening to read about soldiers building a base for communism among GI's by making it clear to them that capitalism is the enemy, not Iraqis or immigrant workers. It helps combat the cynicism of the bosses' media, both about the soldiers and about the possibility for change.

We know it's important for communists to work in reform organizations in order to expose the hypocrisy of capitalism and win workers to revolution. It's essential to show the contradiction between revolution and reform, so that workers, students or soldiers we're working with will understand that the reform movement can never win for them. Unless we show this irreconcilable contradiction, we may build reform movements rather than our revolutionary Party. I don't think the article "GI Movement Stirs from its Slumber" (6/21) makes this contradiction clear.

The PLP'er is quoted as saying many true and important things. It's great that 50% of the meeting took CHALLENGE. However, the article quotes Cortright on the need for "reform and revolution," but doesn't explain that they are in direct contradiction with each other. Our Party's value to soldiers is that we fight to make revolutionary communism primary in our political activity and the networks we build -- one example, CHALLENGE networks.

More than half of the "GI Movement" article describes the reform organization. It's very important to know the history of GI resistance. But when the author writes about Cortright's answer to GI repression (substantial groups, lawyers and publicity), he leaves the impression that these tactics deserve equal billing to our revolutionary goal. This is not our idea about work among GI's, nor do we agree with Cortright's outlook on elections. Do we really want to urge more people to apply for conscientious objector status? (Not surprisingly, Cortright's book gives short shrift to PL's military work during the Vietnam era.) If Cortright really is a friend, then we must vigorously struggle with him around these ideas; if he's an enemy, then we should attack him.

The article would be more useful if it limited the description of Cortright and his ideas to one paragraph and devoted the remainder to how we advanced our ideas, the GI's response, how/if we plan to work in the organization, etc. To help our membership and friends worldwide, we must be consistently clear that while reforms may look good and seem worth fighting for, ultimately they will lead to more betrayal, destruction and death as capitalism tries to deceive workers into believing it can meet their needs. Patience and persistence in presenting PL's ideas and struggling every day with our friends/co-workers/fellow GI's/ students for communist revolution is what will win workers and ultimately what will win for our class.

A Comrade

Colombia Vote A Sham

Elections are over. The president spent over 700 million pesos in his dirty campaign. For the ruling class, voting is one way to legitimize "democracy." Sixty percent of the potential voters didn't show up.

Fascist Uribe changed the constitution so he could be re-elected. He received 23% of the potential electoral vote. None of the other parties could beat that -- the conservatives, the weakened liberal party, nor the democrats and their lackeys who ALL manipulate workers.

The majority of workers have no faith in the government, despite the propaganda spread by the churches and media, who serve the murderous ruling class.

Politicians have deceived us with false promises for many years. Lying is the government's art. Politicians have institutionalized the lie that they represent us. It is the bosses' philosophy. They impose these lies upon us with violence, and the perverse culture of the wage system.

Over 16 million people in Colombia didn't vote. We need to organize these workers into a truly revolutionary communist party of the working class to defend the real truth of dialectical materialism.

We workers need to channel our anger and discontent from long years of famine, war, unemployment and repression and direct it against the capitalists and their politicians who disarm our struggles and try to convert us into their followers.

Comrades in Colombia

War Criminal Murtha Spurs Anti-Arab Racism

I've always believed the war in Iraq -- the first Gulf War, the economic sanctions, Clinton's bombings, the current war and occupation -- was laced with anti-Arab racism. It's obvious that the Iraqi people are not viewed as human, and this explains the torture at Abu Ghraib, the execution of Iraqi men, women and children by Marines at Haditha and the widespread bombing.

Even those who call for withdrawal of U.S. troops do so to get "our" troops out of harm's way. Rep. John Murtha barely mentions the deaths of Iraqis when he argues for troop withdrawal. Concerning the massacre by Marines in Haditha, Murtha attempted to provide an excuse for the racially-motivated killers, stating, "Marines over-reacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

Well, Mr. Murtha, U.S. imperialism has been killing workers in cold blood for years. And yes, Mr. Murtha, you won your medals in the criminal war on the Vietnamese workers and peasants, who heroically resisted the imperialist intervention there. And finally, Mr. Murtha, it was you who closed your eyes to the murderous death-squad regime in El Salvador in the 1980's.

Personally, I do not consider U.S. imperialist troops to be my troops and I don't give a damn for this "support our troops" nationalistic campaign. If they get their ass kicked in Iraq, so be it.

Red Coal


Generally we heartily agree with the writer, although we would add that most U.S. GI's are working-class brothers and sisters who can be won to PLP's ideas and are a necessary part of our goals.

Pro-War Union Hacks Won't Make Mines Safe

"Red Coal's" letter (7/5) got me thinking. Red Coal wants "to win miners to communist ideas and struggle for workers' power, only possible when the bosses and their state are smashed." Great!

"However." the comrade continues, "a communist revolution is not around the corner and miners are dying right now." All true!

Red Coal "think[s] there will be a renewed struggle for unionization" and that "most of those interviewed stated that maintaining job safety lies in organizing a union."

Why does the comrade think there will be "a renewed struggle for unionization"? Is it just because of the increased exploitation and oppression or have particular plans been made?

As to union "maintaining job safety," my experience over the years with this in another industrial union has seen the union and the company set up an extensive joint "institute" supposedly to address safety. The contract provides that the company give this institute many million$. Scores, if not hundreds, of well-paid full-time and part-time positions have been created. The union misleaders reward their political operatives with these cushy jobs -- funded by the company! In fact, a number of rank-and-filers have sued, claiming this set-up gives the company direct control over the union.

Nationally, my union is financing and organizing with the bosses and the ruling-class think-tanks to push for a war economy. The union misleaders' plans for fascist collusion fit in nicely with the bosses' need for a dedicated workforce for expanded imperialist wars. How can one talk about safety for the working class when big capitalist wars are on the agenda? Could a similar motivation be involved in the United Mine Workers union leadership?

I think all workers, including rank-and-file miners, should discuss questions like these. I don't think reform and revolution travel along parallel paths. Presently, the reform agenda of the union misleaders is being molded to serve the bosses' imperialist aims. "Support for the miner's battle," like support for the workers' battle, objectively requires winning our class to reject reformist illusions.

Red Industrial Fighter

Bosses' Profit Drive Murders Young Worker

PHILADELPHIA, PA., June 18 -- The May 30th murder of 18-year-old William Palmer shocked Hahnemann hospital workers. A recent graduate of Roman Catholic High School, William was shot and killed while working at the hospital parking lot during a failed robbery attempt.

The same petty criminals committed another robbery only two weeks before at the same parking lot. The parking attendant who had been robbed then quit on the spot. William replaced him and began working extra hours to save money for college. The two criminals returned and, seeing the same lax security, attempted another robbery. William refused to give them the money. The bosses had told him he was safe behind bullet-proof glass -- a deadly lie and the bosses knew it. One of the thieves shot William through the glass. He died in the operating room barely an hour later.

According to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson, William Palmer "was killed by someone who wanted to take a short-cut -- to get money without working for it." This hypocritical cop hit the nail on the head. William Palmer was killed both by the little criminals who shot him AND by the big criminals, Tenet Health Care and U.S. Security Associates, who left him unprotected. They are all guilty of murder!

Little Criminals, Big Criminals

Our bosses take the wealth created by us workers and keep it as their profit. They "get money without working for it." Communist founder Karl Marx discovered that the whole capitalist system is based on stealing. Workers receive only a small portion of the value they create in the course of production. The bosses keep the rest and re-invest some of it to make still more profit. To compete, each capitalist must bleed the workers to maximize profits in order to stay in business. Internationally, such a system breeds endless wars. This class of big criminals has created enormous suffering and death for the working class worldwide.

Capitalist culture glorifies individual success, but under capitalism only a tiny minority can achieve this "success." For one boss to succeed, he must steal from many workers. When some workers realize they have no "legal" way to steal, they turn to crime to "get money without working for it." These little criminals are only imitating on a small scale the really huge criminal actions of the big capitalists.

William Palmer would be alive today if the bosses had beefed up security in that parking lot. But this would have cut into their lousy profits. The capitalists have always sacrificed workers' lives to increase profits. A recent example: the wave of murdered coal miners because of the bosses' neglect of safety.

To William's family and friends we say: we will build our revolutionary Party to destroy the system that murdered him. Only then will he have not died in vain.


Suicides triple amid New Orleans debris

Last Tuesday in the French Quarter, Sergeant Glaudi's small staff was challenged by a man who strode straight into the roaring currents of the Mississippi River, hoping to drown. As the water threatened to suck him under, the man used the last of his strength to fight the rescuers, refusing to be saved....

New Orleans is experiencing...a suicide rate that state and local officials describe as close to triple what it was before Hurricane Katrina struck and the levees broke 10 months ago.

Many people who are not at serious risk of suicide are nonetheless seeing their lives eroded by lowgrade but persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and stress-related illnesses, doctors and researchers say. All this goes beyond the effects of 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing, Mr. Curie said. Beyond those of Hurricanes Andrew, Hugo and Ivan....

"You ride around and all you see is debris, debris, debris," he said.

And that is a major part of the problem, experts agree: the people of New Orleans are traumatized again every time they look around.

"This is a trauma that didn't last 24 hours, then go away," said Dr. Crapanzano, the Louisiana mental health official. "It goes on and on." (NYT, 6/21)

Workers may have to consider revolution

...The president of the United Auto Workers, Ron Gettelfinger, issued a...somber report to his union....

"The kind of challenges we face aren't the kind that can be ridden out," said Gettlelfinger, who has seen his union's membership drop from 1.5 million in 1979 to 600,000 last year. "They...require new and farsighted solutions."

...The June 10 issue of National Journal...argues that "the global economy's job machine may be breaking down, again."

...Alan Blinder, a Princeton economist and former vice chairman at the Federal Reserve, was right to warn us about how many jobs are in danger....In an article in Foreign Affairs earlier this year, he wrote that "we have so far barely seen the tip of the offshoring iceberg, the eventual dimensions of which may be staggering." (Washington. Post, 6/13)

Supreme Court says money = free speech

To the Editor:

Re "Justices Reject Campaign Limits in Vermont Case" (Front page, June 27):

In its decision on Vermont's campaign finance restriction, the Supreme Court has again equated "money" with "free speech,"....

The larger your wallet, the larger your voice; the smaller your wallet, the smaller your voice....the court's decision says that you have less free speech when you have less money. (NYT, 7/3)

Non-red revolution leaves S.Africans jobless

Three decades later South Africa has been celebrating the [Soweto] uprising as the turning point at which black people seized the initiative. Ceremonies Last Week honored the students as heroes who laid the foundations for freedom....

The rethoric and pomp, however, masked a new struggle that is dividing former classmates in a way few imagined all those years ago when they stood shoulder to shoulder against dogs, bullets and teargas.

Some emerged from the tumult wealthy and successful...Others emerged impoverished and bitter, members of an underclass that feels abandoned.

South Africa is one of the world's most unequal societies...millions remain mired in unemployment and appalling living conditions....

Unemployment, which stands officially at 26.7% is really closer to 40%, one of the highest rates in the world...Not enough jobs have been created for those who reached working age in the past 20 years, forcing millions into an "informal" economy of activities not far removed from begging....

"My boy might benefit from the freedom we won, but I'm not. I have not eaten today. Visitors to this place think black people are free now -- they don't understand the economic struggle goes on." (GW, 6/29)

Rulers Use Non-Profit Groups vs. Workers' Class Consiousness

(Part I)

Today, "non-profit" foundations and organizations help capitalism's rulers hide wealth stolen from cuts in benefits and living standards which working people won through fierce battles against their bosses for over a century. "Non-profits" also delude many young and liberal-minded people into believing that capitalism can be reformed and improved.

From the Salvation Army to the NAACP, from the Green Party in Europe to the World Social Forum in Pakistan, the world's capitalist rulers build organizations that appear to help people but actually do the opposite, pushing nationalist divisions, pacifism and belief in reform instead of revolution. Because these "NPOs" and "NGOs" (non-governmental organizations) are all controlled by each country's rulers, their real goal is to destroy the working-class consciousness which induces workers to unite and fight capitalism directly.

In the U.S., big non-profits like the Salvation Army and Red Cross organized assistance for Katrina victims. Although millions of workers and students contributed time and money, what happened? New Orleans is still wrecked, except for construction to build a playground for the rich. Clearly the U.S. government wanted the racist elimination of New Orleans' poor population. But the non-profits helped do it. They moved and trapped people far from Louisiana and then provided no assistance to enable the city's workers to return and rebuild their neighborhoods.

The Catholic Church has food and housing assistance programs everywhere, and Immigration Clinics to help non-citizens in many cities. Decent people work and volunteer in these programs. But the bosses running these facilities guarantee that very few people receive real help. At the Immigration Clinics, often foreign workers' lives are wrecked because the bosses won't allow enough time for clinic workers to learn the law. In other poverty legal clinics, federal law forbids serious organizing and outlaws certain kinds of law suits, like class actions.

Most problems in non-profits appear to come from under-staffing and lack of funding. But that's only a cover story. The "non-profit" administrators measure success by meeting "grant requirements." Often they force poor workers to pay for their help, but then send the money "up the chain" to pay for "other services" which nobody ever sees.

These bosses pay themselves enormous salaries and get promoted if their "grant numbers" look good. Often these numbers are falsified. Also, the "grant" money comes from rulers' organizations like the Ford or Rockefeller Foundations or the government. These funding sources are "class conscious" -- they understand and work for the rulers' goals to subjugate people and prevent class struggle. They "succeed" if people believe the non-profits are "helping the poor" even when they're not.

Because of these non-profits' volunteers' and workers' efforts, some people are helped. But mostly the non-profits are doing their job for the rulers by pretending help is available when it isn't, and inducing honest liberal people to believe the rough edges can be taken off capitalism. Actually, these programs prompt workers to tolerate developing fascism while maintaining some faith in the capitalists' profit system.

How It Works on the Ground

The writer of this article just lost his job in a church-sponsored legal clinic after organizing co-workers to attend marches for immigrants' rights. His clinic charges every client $25 before deciding whether to help them. Since the boss wants large numbers of clients to pay the $25, there is little time left to really help anyone. The boss kept the writer in his office to take in the $25 fees rather than go to court with clients who were being evicted.

The boss threatened to fire the writer so he resigned before being sacked. His three co-workers suggested he "stay and make them fire you." One newly-hired co-worker had offered to work on a protest letter or force a meeting with the bosses. The writer should have done that, but everyone knew that an earlier group of workers had been fired for protesting before, many others had since quit and only three were left. The writer and his friends have lunch every week and still plan to protest and expose the problems. Other friends are demanding the writer be re-hired. Three people attended the immigration protest march. One co-worker will be a CHALLENGE reader soon.

Peru: Bosses' Dogfight Sharpens; Crook Back in Power

On June 4, the Social Democrat candidate Alan Garcia defeated Ollanta Humala of the Peru Union Party in a runoff election that Humala labeled "everyone against Humala." All the right-wing parties backed Garcia. Both candidates have hands bloody from killing peasants and workers during the dirty war against the Sendero Luminoso ("Shining Path") Maoist guerillas. This election reflected the sharpening rivalry among Peruvian capitalists and between imperialists over control of the resources and the value produced by the workers of South America. All these vultures are mortal enemies of the working class.

Garcia, when president from 1985-1990, was vocally anti-U.S.; prohibited foreign companies from off-shoring their profits; opposed the International Monetary Fund; and voiced support for the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. Nationally his policies, benefiting only a handful of bosses, tripled poverty, destroyed over a million jobs, and increased inflation 7,000%. He ordered the murder of hundreds of political prisoners. When his term expired, he fled the country under accusations of rampant corruption. The U.S. bosses' current acceptance of Garcia only shows their economic and political weakness. They and some Peruvian bosses "preferred" him over Humala, fearing that the latter would become anti-U.S. like Venezuela's Chavez or Bolivia's Morales. Rightist Lourdes Flores was the Peruvian and U.S. bosses' candidate.

Morales and Chavez are nationalist reformers; both support Fidel Castro and spout vague "socialist slogans" and try to appear as a revolutionary alternative in order to deceive the oppressed masses. Both represent a section of Latin-American bosses who want to break with the U.S., hoping for a better deal with the European Union (EU), China and even Russia. The latter is selling weapons to Chavez and is investing heavily in Bolivia's gas industry.

Humala was an army officer who killed many peasants in the war against the Maoist Sendero guerrillas. He is supported by Chavez and projects himself as another Morales or Chavez, meaning nationalizing the energy sector, raising taxes on foreign corporations, renegotiating their contracts and using some of the proceeds to fund social programs.

Fearing this, the U.S. and Spain supported Garcia; Brazil withdrew its support for Humala. The U.S. and Spain are big investors in Peru's energy and mineral sectors. Brazil has huge investments in Bolivia where Morales just seized the gas industry. Since Brazil wants to be the over-riding power in the South America bloc that's trying to break U.S. domination, it fears the popularity, influence and wealth that Chavez is wielding. Brazilian bosses fear Peru under Humala would join Chavez, helping to consolidate his influence.

Meanwhile, the EU bosses, like all bosses, are constantly driving for maximum profits and would like more subservient South American bosses. Thus, though they have significantly increased their trade and investment in the region at U.S. imperialism's expense, they don't want tax increases on their profits. Therefore, they supported Garcia.

But there is a flaw in both imperialists' plans: Chinese imperialism. China has become the second trading partner of Peru and is investing heavily in its energy and mineral sectors. Even more important, China is forging closer ties with Venezuela. China now imports 160,000 barrels of oil a day from Venezuela. This is expected to double by year's end and increase to 1.6 million barrels a day by 2007. To help Venezuela produce and transport it, China has sold Chavez 18 oil rigs and 18 oil tankers (costing $1.3 billion). Chavez has also granted China National Petroleum Corporation development rights in the Zumano oil fields and its 400 million barrels of light oil and four trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Therefore, "The significance of Peru's presidential not Garcia's victory, but the politicization of Peru's social divide and especially the rise of Humala and the U.P.P. [his party]." (, 6/9/06) Humala increased his 30% support from the first election round to 47%, winning 14 of Peru's 24 departments and capturing 45 seats, the largest bloc in Peru's legislature. Garcia has 36.

In the southern highlands, where the poor and indigenous population is concentrated, he received 80% percent of the vote. PINR says that the latter groups have, "for the first time, been organized electorally and are poised to become a permanent force in Peru's politics, just Bolivia and Ecuador." Evo Morales, like Humala, lost his first presidential bid but gained a foothold in parliament and used that to successfully run a second time. Humala could do the same.

The struggle between the regional bosses, and between the world's imperialists, is sharpening. Reformers like Humala, Chavez and Morales, are only fronting for one or another set of local bosses and imperialists. They will lead the working class into the jaws of fascism and genocidal wars. That's the nature of the profit system. The only way to end exploitation is to build a mass-based communist party -- including a big presence in the armed forces -- to overthrow this exploitative system.

The potential for the growth of a real revolutionary communist party, capable of leading the Latin-American working class to state power and the building of a communist society, exists throughout Latin America, and the rulers know it. That's why they need these reformists, sellouts who promise the masses, "We can do it for you under a new socialism of the 21st century!" But workers don't need reformism or socialism. We need communism. We need PLP. We must build it in Latin America and the world.

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