Employed and Jobless Unite to Fight the Bosses by jennyyingdi


									                                                                                                         PERIODICO ESPAÑOL ADENTRO

                                                      volume 40 no. 52                            march 25, 2009                       suggested donation $.50

 Communist Response to Racist Unemployment:                                                                                               EDITORIAL>>


 Employed and                                                                                                                             Financial Crisis,
                                                                                                                                               ‘7 Deadly
                                                                                                                                            Means War on

Jobless, Unite to

                                                                                                                                                             page 2

Fight the Bosses

                                                                                                                                         Fighting Racist
    World capitalism has produced an economic earthquake            The Obama Administration: Of, By and For                              Can Build PLP
that is throwing tens of millions of workers onto the streets.                  the Bosses
U.S. unemployment is approaching 30 million (see box). In
China, 26 million jobless migrants are seeking work (which
                                                                        Obama’s bank-bailout program only serves the capital-
                                                                   ist class which he and all U.S. presidents represent. They
                                                                                                                                                             page 3
is not even the total unemployment figure) provoking pro-          will use fascism to discipline their own class to toe the line;
tests at factories and riots at government offices. Hundreds       to counter workers’ rebellions against the bosses’ attacks;
of thousands are being laid off in Europe, and if GM goes          and to promote their oil wars which Obama is expanding
under, it’s curtains for another 300,000 there.                    in South Asia. Their class interest is to save the profit sys-         EDUCATION>>
                                                                   tem at the expense of tens of millions of workers, employed
  In The U.S., ‘These Jobs Are Not Coming                          and unemployed, and cannot solve the crisis for us. This is
                    Back’                                          especially true for black and Latino workers who suffer rac-
                                                                   ist unemployment, double the jobless and home foreclosure
                                                                                                                                          50,000 Rally
    The current crisis is leading to a “wrenching re-structuring
of the American economy.” (NY Times, 3/7) “These jobs are
                                                                   rates. This is based on centuries of racist discrimination and       in NYC: Cut the
                                                                   super-exploitation which nets super-profits for the bosses, a
not coming back,” says Wachovia’s chief economist. “Many
companies are abandoning whole areas of business.”(NYT)
                                                                   foundation for their system.                                         Bosses, Not the
With U.S. car sales having plummeted nearly 50% since 2007             In the Great Depression of the 1930s — which this deep-
                                                                   ening downturn is fast approaching — communists led mil-
— an annual pace of 17 million down to 9 million — which
would “leave a lot of unneeded auto factories.”(NYT)               lions of jobless workers into the streets demanding jobs
    This is exactly what Karl Marx analyzed as the funda-
                                                                   and unemployment benefits and organized hundreds of
                                                                   thousands in sit-down strikes in the mass production indus-
                                                                                                                                                                 page 4
mental contradiction in capitalism causing such crises: a          tries for unionization and the 8-hour day. But unfortunately
planless system in which each capitalist tries to capture as       they did not point out to workers that these crises are built          LETTERS>>
much of the market as possible, resulting in the overpro-          into the system. Unless there is a communist revolution to
duction (over capacity) of the means of production. All the        overthrow these bosses, the control of production and state
capital investment in hundreds of factories is lost as they
close. Laid-off workers can’t buy the tremendous amount
                                                                   power will always be used to take away any reforms — which                     Hero of
                                                                   is exactly what happened.
of products manufactured in these “unneeded factories,”
leading to more layoffs and home foreclosures, which in turn           U.S. union leaders are defenders of the system and                   Salvador War
depresses house values, aggravating the crisis still more.         therefore are in the bosses’ hip pockets. They have demor-
                                                                   alized workers and have sunk union membership from 35%
                                                                                                                                             Is Reborn in
   U.S. Unemployed Soars to 30 Million
                                                                   of the private industry workforce to 7%. When these hacks
                                                                   are forced by rank-and-file pressure to do something about
                                                                   these attacks — like the March 5, 50,000-strong march in
     Behind the phony government unemployment rate                 New York City — it is to deflate the anger of the workers.
 figure of 8.1% is the fact that this represents “only” 12.5       After decades of betrayals and anti-communism by the un-
                                                                                                                                                                 page 6
 million. It doesn’t count the 5.6 million who have given up       ion hacks, workers’ anger is slowly growing. To channel this
 looking for non-existent jobs nor the 8.6 million underem-        anger into fighting capitalism, the real cause of their misery,
 ployed who are forced to work part-time because they can’t        instead of looking for other “saviors” (be it a liberal fascist á
 find full-time jobs. (All figures from the NY Times, 3/7)         la Obama or a conservative fascist), communists must build             INT’L WOMEN’S
     Add to that 26.7 million total the 1.6 million in prisons     a base for our politics while involved in any fightback —
                                                                   using CHALLENGE as our ideological tool. This fightback
 for non-violent, mostly drug “offenses” (of the total 2.4 mil-
 lion inmates in the U.S.) who never should have been jailed       could include any or all of the following:
 in the first place, plus several million on welfare because
 there are no jobs, plus the hundreds of thousands who
                                                                                                                                               Working Class
                                                                         Mass Action Is The Order Of The Day
 joined the military because they couldn’t find jobs (and are
                                                                       • Organize strikes against layoffs; stop work if co-work-
                                                                                                                                               Must Unite vs.
 continuing to do so during this depression) — all told the
 real unemployment figure is easily 30 million, or 20% of the      ers are being laid off;                                                      Capitalism’s
 labor force.                                                         • Establish union committees to unite those still working
                                                                   with the unemployed, led by rank-and-filers defying foot-
    Even the government’s monthly figures are distorted.
 They just admitted that the jobless figures for December          dragging by sellout union leaders;                                          Oppression of
 and January were under-reported by 161,000, which means
 that the latest February figure of 651,000 will probably in-
                                                                       • Win local unions to organize marches on government
                                                                   buildings and mass demonstrations surrounding companies
 crease to well over 700,000 a month from now.                     that announce future layoffs;
     Figures don’t lie, but liars can sure figure.
                                                                                                       continued on p. 2                                     page 8
page 2 • CHALLENGE •25 march 2009

                          Rulers’ Financial Crisis,
                           ‘7 Deadly Scenarios’
                          Means War on Workers
   As imperialist rivalry, now aggravated by eco-                           last cases seem the most immediate. Nuclear-
nomic crisis, keeps intensifying, potential blood-                          armed Pakistan is already inflamed by the Taliban             CEO For Murder, Inc.
baths far deadlier than Iraq or Afghanistan are                             and a military bent on war with nuclear-armed In-
emerging globally. Andrew Krepinevich, a Defense                            dia. But additionally, Foreign Policy Magazine, an           Andrew Krepinevich has a 20-year career
Department strategist has just written “7 Deadly                            arm of the liberal Washington Post (March/April          as an Army officer, teaching at West Point and
Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the                          2009), says: “Pakistan’s small but politically pow-      serving in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assess-
21st Century.” (Krepinevich is no armchair pundit;                          erful middle class has been slammed by the col-          ment and Quadrennial Review, the Pentagon’s
see box at right for his résumé.)                                           lapse of the country’s stock market. Meanwhile, a        top long-range planning bodies. He participated
    Publicity for the book identifies as plausible                          rising proportion of the country’s huge population       in Clinton’s 1997 force review that set the stage
cataclysms: “(1) the unraveling of the state of Paki-                       of young men is staring unemployment in the face.        for U.S.-led mass murder in Serbia and Iraq. To-
stan; (2) a nuclear attack on the United States with                        It is not a recipe for political stability.”             day Krepinevich runs the Center for Strategic
materials covertly transported across borders; (3) a                                                                                 and Budgetary Assessments, an outfit studying
pandemic influenza sweeping across the globe; (4)                                 Iraq: GI’s Back Sooner Than                        which hardware and troop configurations can
escalation of an Arab-Israeli conflict toward a nu-                                         Expected?                                give the U.S. war machine its “biggest bang for
clear showdown; (5) a U.S. standoff with China over                             The murderous efforts of 147,000 regular U.S.        the buck” in coming wars.
Taiwan; (6) the crippling of an increasingly fragile                        troops and an equal number of allies and mercenar-
global economy; and (7) a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq                         ies in Iraq can’t stop frequent bombings. On March      ongoing series of New York Times editorials on re-
gone bad.” Any one could cause massive loss of life                         8, a suicide attack killed 28 people at Iraq’s police   structuring the military.
and provoke an all-out U.S.-led war.                                        academy, and 33 more the next day. Obama’s pro-
    (An influenza pandemic scenario has produced                            posed shift of U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan      Workers Need to Take the Offensive
bosses’ plans to use cops and the military to pre-                          can only embolden Islamic militants in Iraq. GIs may
                                                                            be back in Baghdad sooner than expected.                    Two scenarios are missing here. One is the kind
vent any movement of large segments of popula-
                                                                                                                                    of mass anti-war organizing in the Vietnam era (led
tions to go to their jobs, in or out of the country or                          Scenarios Four and Five, standard Pentagon          most militantly by our Party) that has made restor-
anywhere else without permission. A future CHAL-                            doctrine for years, take on enhanced urgency in the     ing the draft politically unacceptable. The CSBA
LENGE article will detail this fascist scenario.)                           current economy. The U.S. counter-threat to Iran’s      considers conscription an “extreme measure” even
    Though things can change rapidly, the first and                         nuclear threat to Israel over Palestine dates back to   in a deepening depression with sharpening chal-
                                                                              the Clinton administration. Checking the growth       lenges to the U.S. rulers’ empire.
                                                                              of a Chinese blue-water navy that can dominate
                                                                              Mid-East/Far East oil-supply routes was one rea-          But the rulers sorely need to beef up their forc-

       OUR FIGHT
                                                                              son President Jimmy Carter began his Persian          es. They’re not giving up on an expanded military.
                                                                              Gulf Rapid Deployment Force. The latest financial     That’s why they’re organizing a “back-door” draft
                                                                              crash only increases U.S. rulers’ needs to forcibly   — Obama’s National Service, with pumped-up pa-
                                                                              control the world’s cheapest — and thus most          triotism and loyalty (to the bosses) to induce mil-
                                                                              profitable — fuel supplies.                           lions of youth to join the military in exchange for
    LProgressive Labor Party (PLP) fights to smash                                                                                  college tuition or, for undocumented immigrant
 capitalism — wage slavery. While the bosses and                                  Item Six concerns a more belligerent Rus-         youth, U.S. citizenship.
 their mouthpieces claim “communism is dead,”                                 sia. Oil at $140 per barrel enabled Putin to buy
 capitalism is the real failure for billions all over the                     off his population with jobs and other material            This leads to the most important scenario of
 world.                                                                       incentives. Now he must resort to whipping up         all, the need to fight for communist revolution. Be-
                                                                              the warlike empire-rebuilding spirit that brought     cause of the demise of the old communist move-
 LCapitalism returned to the Soviet Union and                                 him to power a decade ago. As Foreign Policy          ment, rulers worldwide have been able to channel
 China because socialism failed to wipe out many                              (March-April, 2009) says, “He stirred dormant         workers’ anger down dead-end nationalist, ethnic
 aspects of the profit system, like wages and divi-                           nostalgia for the lost Soviet empire....” Now         and religious paths.
 sion of labor.                                                               Putin faces “an imploding economy, expanding              That’s why communists and other militant work-
                                                                              economic hardship, and an increasingly desper-        ers need to up the ante of class struggle against the
 LCapitalism inevitably leads to wars. PLP organ-                             ate Russian state that must rely on repression and    profit-driven ruling class, hell-bent on imperialist
 izes workers, students and soldiers to turn these                            nationalism.”                                         wars. We must mount an offensive on racist unem-
 wars into a revolution for communism — the                                                                                         ployment (see front page), win soldiers and sailors
 dictatorship of the proletariat. This fight requires a                               Rulers Preparing for Two                      to join their brothers and sisters in other countries
 mass Red Army led by the communist PLP.                                                Simultaneous Wars                           to rebel against the common enemy: the capitalist
                                                                                                                                    warmakers. We must organize strikes against the
                                                                                  Krepinevich’s Center for Strategic and Budget-
 LCommunism means working collectively to build                                                                                     rulers’ attacks on workers’ living standards, against
                                                                              ary Assessment (CSBA) says the Navy must “pre-
 a society where sharing is based on need. We will                                                                                  their wars and their attempt to implement fascist
                                                                              pare to fight and win two overlapping conflicts”
 abolish work for wages, money and profits. Every-                                                                                  measures in the workplace.
                                                                              against a continental-sized adversary [China or
 one will share in society’s benefits and burdens.                            Russia] and a mid-sized nuclear-armed regional            In all this, we must unite the working class —
                                                                              adversary [Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, or India].    black, Latino, Asian and white, men and women
 LCommunism means abolishing racism and the                                   It urges the Navy both to cut costs and to fire all   — against the rulers’ crises that worsen workers’
 concept of race.                                                             its bullets before they rust. “Exploit ships now in   misery exponentially. All this will move us towards
                                                                              production to greatest extent possible. Reduce        our Party’s long-term goal, rebuilding revolutionary
 LCommunism means abolishing the special op-                                  total number of different ship types. Reduce crew     class consciousness to prepare our class for com-
 pression of women — sexism — and                                             sizes.” (CSBA website). CSBA reports underlie an      munist revolution. J
 traditional gender roles created by class

                                                                             Unite to Fight the Bosses

 LCommunism means abolishing nations and                                     continued from front page
 One International working class, one world, one                                 • Raise demands in unions, community groups,       friends to inject our red ideas into this struggle, to
 Party.                                                                      churches, schools and colleges to unite with work-     do what was not done in the 1930s: advance the
                                                                             ers in their areas to protest bosses’ attacks;         need for communist revolution to overthrow the
 LCommunism means the Party leads every aspect                                   • Support striking workers in our areas, such      profit-driven capitalist system that has thrived on
 of society. For this to work, millions of workers —                         as those at Stella D’Oro in the Bronx, NY and else-    unemployment, forcing workers to suffer the loss-
 eventually everyone — must become communist                                 where, with funds and by joining picket lines;         es caused by the bosses’ crisis. These ideas can
 organizers. Join Us!                                                                                                               be spread effectively by the mass sale of CHAL-
                                                                                 • Organize students to participate in these
                                                                                                                                    LENGE, the expansion of CHALLENGE networks
                                                                             actions and to support their parents who are ei-
                                                                                                                                    and winning workers to subscribe to the paper.
   PROGRESSIVE LABOR PARTY                                                   ther on strike, face layoffs or can mobilize their
                                                                             co-workers into action;                                    By upping the ante of class struggle around
         P.O. Box 808 Brooklyn NY 11202                                                                                             the issue of mass unemployment, we can raise the
                    • www.plp.org                                                • Reach across all borders in solidarity with
                                                                                                                                    level of understanding within the working class
                                                                             workers internationally who are facing these same
        • email: desafio.challenge@gmail.com                                                                                        to the question of capitalism’s inability to pro-
                                                                             attacks, especially auto workers who are in a
                                                                                                                                    vide a decent life for workers everywhere. This
     • blog: challengenewspaper.wordpress.com                                unique position to unite against the auto bosses
                                                                                                                                    leads to the need to destroy it and put in place a
                                                                             who have “globalized.”
     CHALLENGE/DESAFIO (ISSN 0009-1049) published bi-weekly by
                                                                                                                                    communist system within which workers receive
Challenge Periodicals. 1 issue $.50. One Year: $15. Six months: $10. Send
                                                                                 No doubt many rank-and-file workers will           the full benefit of all the value we, and we alone,
address changes to CHALLENGE Periodicals, GPO Box 808 Brooklyn, NY           come up with additional ideas for action. But it       produce.J
11202, March 25, 2009. Volume 40, No. 52                                     is the job of communists in PLP and their close
                                                                                                                    25 march 2009 • CHALLENGE • page 3

  Fighting Racist Deportations
                                                                                                                  Oaxaca PL’ers
         Can Build PLP
    CHICAGO, March 8 — “La lucha obrera no               continue to struggle to pay legal fees. Because the
                                                                                                                   Make Mark
tiene frontera!” (“Workers’ struggles have no bor-
ders!”) As the chant filled the banquet hall, hearts
swelled with pride. Workers and youth, citizen and
                                                         BP workers, many single moms, are unable to work,
                                                         rent, utilities and grocery bills are mounting, caus-
                                                         ing tremendous stress. The community center has
                                                                                                                    At APPO
immigrant, especially the wonderful BP oil refinery
workers swept up in a racist immigration raid last
December, celebrated the unity we have found in
                                                         taken women to food pantries and assisted them
                                                         in finding discounted or free legal aid, but that has
                                                         done little to ease the incredible economic burden.
fighting back. After a PLP member delivered her              PLP members donated time and money to make
message of solidarity, salsa music filled the air.       this event possible. But the largest contribution was
                                                                                                                      OAXACA, MEXICO, Feb. 21- 22 — The
    On only a week’s notice, a small grassroots com-     our revolutionary communist politics and our mes-
                                                                                                                  3rd Congress of APPO (Popular Assembly for
munity center organized a fundraiser to help the BP      sage of internationalism and multi-racial, working-
                                                                                                                  the People of Oaxaca), met here with over
workers meet their daily needs. They had worked          class solidarity, delivered by our comrade’s talk and
                                                                                                                  700 delegates — teachers, farm workers, in-
for a contractor cleaning the giant BP refinery in       evidenced by our example. Three tables of com-
                                                                                                                  digenous communities, workers, students and
East Chicago, Indiana, when they were arrested last      rades and friends of all colors, immigrant and citi-
                                                                                                                  others — on a reform agenda: popular democ-
December. At a meeting to discuss “parking in the        zen, were among the first to arrive, took tickets at
                                                                                                                  racy, against privatization, freedom for politi-
lot,” doors were locked and ICE agents swarmed           the door and picked up garbage before leaving.
                                                                                                                  cal prisoners and the firing of Governor Ulises
in, arresting 11 women and four men. Since then,             A vigil has been organized for the 9th of every      Ruiz, among others.
they’ve been fighting courts, cops and crooks.           month, to show support for the BP workers. While it
                                                                                                                      During the two days, a few dozen members
    One crook, their priest, held a fundraiser that      is difficult to win many away from being under their
                                                                                                                  and friends of PLP distributed 1,000 CHAL-
collected over $14,500, reflecting the support the       priest’s manipulative thumb, we’re sharpening the
                                                                                                                  LENGES (asking for voluntary donations) and
workers’ enjoy. But most of the money has gone           contradiction. Our dedication stands in contrast to
                                                                                                                  300 leaflets among the participants and our
to a politically-connected lawyer the priest hired to    this opportunist priest.
                                                                                                                  friends in Oaxaca. A comrade who was active
represent only a few workers. This lawyer doesn’t            Through disciplined work, spreading CHAL-            inside the Congress brought 100 CHALLENG-
speak Spanish and comunicates only through the           LENGE and patiently building strong ties, we must        ES to the participants.
priest.                                                  help the BP workers day-to-day, and remind them
                                                                                                                      It was impressive to see how many people
    Most workers are seeking their own legal rep-        capitalism will never solve their problems, a system
                                                                                                                  sat reading our revolutionary newspaper, es-
resentation with community center help, but are          in crisis and headed to fascist terror and wider wars.
                                                                                                                  pecially the article that specifically exposed
being denied funds for attorney fees. Those who          Only communist revolution can defeat the bosses
                                                                                                                  the APPO leaders’ reformist, opportunist line
found other attorneys see their cases moving much        who profit from our misery.
                                                                                                                  while also calling on the masses to join us in
more quickly than those going with the priest’s              We steel ourselves for the long haul, but fighting   the fight for a real communist revolution. We
lawyer, leading many to suspect they’re dragging         for a communist world, with no borders and based         expected to be attacked verbally since the ar-
the cases out to drain more money from the funds         on equality, is the solution. Out of this struggle we    ticle above sharply criticized opportunists in
raised for the workers and their families.               can win BP workers and others to march on May            APPO for trying to use the movement to ob-
   Workers are outraged over their trust being           Day under the red flag of PLP! J                         tain elective office. But, on the contrary, peo-
abused. Those families the fund was created to help                                                               ple read the article and leaflet with great in-
                                                                                                                  terest. And then the majority of the Congress
                                                                                                                  decided that all those who want to belong to
                                                                                                                  APPO must renounce participating with the

     Calif. Students Battle
                                                                                                                  capitalist politicians, and that APPO leaders
                                                                                                                  can’t use their position for electoral careers.
                                                                                                                  We believe that was partially due to our Par-
                                                                                                                  ty’s position, showing that our presence had

      Bosses’ Crisis Cuts                                                                                         a big effect, even though we’re not the only
                                                                                                                  group in APPO against the bosses’ elections.
                                                                                                                  We were very inspired by this and our other
                                                                                                                  activities there.
    PASADENA, CA, February 27 — Hundreds of                                                                          In the afternoon, PLP had its own com-
students from fourteen community colleges rallied                                                                 munist school with 28 people attending. We
to fight the budget cuts that are devastating their                                                               discussed the international situation, the
campuses. College administrators tried to divert                                                                  CHALLENGE article about the militarization of
their anger into praise for the state legislature, but                                                            Mexico and the PLP document on Democratic
PL members and friends helped to organize chant-                                                                  Centralism.
ing that disrupted the official event and led to a                                                                    The discussion was comradely but sharp,
short breakaway rally.                                                                                            mainly on democratic centralism, which was
   “I thought we changed the vibe overall,” com-                                                                  used to discuss the best way to present the
mented a student. “Our group felt good leaving                                                                    Party, communist ideas and our hatred of the
there. I had so many comments of empowerment,                                                                     rotten capitalist system during the May Day
courage, and fight unlike anything I have ever seen                                                               marches. Some thought it was important to
before.”                                                                                                          consider the fascist militarization and its rela-
                                                                                                                  tion to the Party’s long-term life and develop-
    A rift between students and administrators
                                                                                                                  ment. Others thought about the moral need
broke out before the rally when an administrator
                                                                                                                  and anger to show that the Party, its red flags
scolded students from Rio Hondo College for car-
                                                         did, but most didn’t. Shaken, he quickly ended his       and communist ideas are alive and well.
rying signs that read “WTF: Where’s the funding?”
A student challenged her and a brief confrontation       routine and a brass band started to play, signaling          One comrade said, “We have to vote” on
ensued. Ironically this same administrator later         the official end of the rally. Then the entire delega-   this issue, but the majority disagreed, saying
praised the emcee, a foul-mouthed comedian, as           tions from three colleges — almost fifty students —      we must use democratic centralism and more
“the perfect representation of the community col-        moved to the sidewalk and started their own rally!       discussion to come to an agreement that ben-
lege mission.”                                               While most students bought into the rally            efits the whole Party and the international
                                                         theme that community colleges are “the key to the        working class. The responsibility lies with the
     The emcee declared, “this is a thank-you rally,
                                                         California economy” and that a college education         collective, not with one person.
not a protest rally.” This was news to the hundreds
of students that came out and are battling with          was their key to the future, many took PL leaflets,          Part of the event included visiting an or-
class cancellations, disappearing tutors, overcrowd-     CHALLENGE and talked with Party members about            ganic products co-op. One of the partners ex-
ed classrooms etc, as a result of the latest round of    the nature of the capitalist crisis. Our leaflet at-     plained that previously it had been a big ranch,
budget cuts. “What are we supposed to be thank-          tacked these illusions, stating, “Students need to       terribly super-exploiting the farmworkers, but
ful for?” one student asked angrily.                     ally with industrial workers and soldiers who are        now they had taken it over. Some comrades
                                                         the key to bringing down this capitalist system...”      explained that unfortunately, because of their
    The rally went from bad to worse when the em-
                                                         We also explained, “the alternative is communism a       high prices, these products are not accessible
cee launched into a half-hour “comedy” routine.
                                                         classless society where workers hold power.”             to people with little money. They’re for an elite
Like many stand-up comics, his act was an unfunny
                                                             Earlier discussions about the economic crisis,       market. In this area we had a friendly get-to-
mix of racism, sexism, homophobia, and national-
                                                         and a video showing mass communist-led protests          gether.
ism. Many students were disgusted. “We didn’t
come here to be entertained,” one said, “they just       in Detroit during the Great Depression, helped to            This weekend was one more step in the
brought us here to use us.”                              prepare students politically for the rally. By ones      development of the political understanding of
                                                         and twos, more are reading and distributing CHAL-        each Party activist, in developing personal re-
    One delegation of students met briefly and
                                                         LENGE, and thinking seriously about joining our          lations where the essence of our lives, the fight
then started chanting: “They say cut back, we say
                                                         Party. The struggle against cutbacks will continue       for communism, unites us struggle by struggle,
fight back!” The comedian responded by insulting
                                                         on our campuses and on buses to Sacramento and           reaffirming that our road is communist revolu-
the group of mostly black students. They chanted
                                                         open more doors as we build for more class strug-        tion and our life is one of struggle. J
louder disrupting his act. He asked the audience
                                                         gle leading up to May Day 2009 and the Industrial
to applaud if they wanted him to continue. Some
                                                         Summer Projects in Seattle and LA. J
page 4 • CHALLENGE • 25 march 2009

50,000 Rally in NYC:                                                                                    Union Leaders Have No Real
                                                                                                         Answer to 30,000 Layoffs
Cut the Bosses, Not the Budget
     NEW YORK CITY, March 5 — “Students            offs and the budget cuts. They were chanting,
and Labor: Shut the City Down” chanted hun-        “They say cut back, we say FIGHT BACK!”
dreds of City University of NY students and        and “money for schools, not for war!” They
teachers blocking traffic as they marched          then joined a rally of another several hundred
into a City Hall rally of over 50,000 workers      college students from CUNY’s Borough of
and students demonstrating against multi-          Manhattan Community College condemning
billionaire Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed             the budget cuts and marched to the larger
budget cuts. The rally included members of         rally at City Hall.
the United Federation of Teachers, the Hotel           The proposed 600-dollar per year tuition
Workers Union, 1199-SEIU and several other         hike will push thousands of CUNY’s mostly
major unions. The cuts fall particularly hard      black, Latino and international students out
on black and Latino workers who, because of        of the university. Speakers angrily described
racism, suffer double rates of unemployment        how there already aren’t enough resources to
and whose communities are especially hard          meet Hunter College student needs; most are
hit by the cuts in services.                       already stretched thin by working and attend-           SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, March 6 — Workers from
   The usual suspects of union misleaders          ing school. Several condemned the bank bail-        several public-worker unions picketed La Fortaleza, Gov-
and politicians dominated the speakers plat-       outs and tied the current struggle to the his-      ernor Luis Fortuño’s building, protesting his March 3 an-
form, including Congressman Anthony Weiner         tory of CUNY students’ fight for free tuition,      nouncement threatening possibly 30,000 layoffs among
who’s running for mayor declaring that “too        against racism, layoffs and imperialist war.        public workers here. The new governor claims this is the
much” is being paid to city workers.                   One hospital worker led a contingent of         only way to deal with the island’s enormous budget deficit.
    PL high school teachers and students           70 from his workplace on the very day that          This is another example of the bosses and their politicians
had planned to rally at one location and then      two hospitals shut their doors for good in          trying to make workers pay for capitalism’s crisis.
march into the demonstration chanting and          Queens. Many workers wanted to participate              Unfortunately, the union leaders here have themselves
holding a banner. Throughout the day they          and take action but the union mis-leaderships       helped the bosses. In exchange for some crumbs, they
urged their co-workers and friends to join         limit them to supporting liberal Democratic         agreed to accept Law 45 which basically bans public-work-
their contingent. They arrived at the rally        Party politicians, refusing to organize strikes     er strikes. During last year’s militant mass teachers’ strike,
holding their banner on a metal fencing, and       against the cuts.                                   unions like those here that are part of the SEIU-Change
then formed a picket line within the rally while        The ruling class is pushing workers to the     to Win federation sided with then governor Acevedo Vila
chanting on bullhorns, “Make the bosses take       wall to take the losses from the bosses’ world-     against the teachers. (Dennis Rivera, a former pro-inde-
the losses,” calling on all workers to strike      wide economic meltdown. The hundreds of             pendence activist here and now a big-time hack in SEIU
against the budget cuts. Workers joined our        billions Obama’s plan is siphoning off to the       was behind this). So this history of sellouts has left workers
chants, raising their fists and taking CHAL-       banks and spending on expanding the war in          with still another obstacle in fighting the latest wave of at-
LENGES and leaflets. Many of the students          Afghanistan-Pakistan is coming out of work-         tacks — one reason why today’s protest was smaller than
felt it was a positive experience, militantly      ers’ hides. This is all testimony to the failure    expected.
expressing communist ideas and helping the         of capitalism to provide for workers’ needs             But nothing lasts forever. Workers are beginning to re-
Party’s growth.                                    and intensifying their oppression. It opens the     alize that playing nice with the bosses doesn’t pay. Work-
    Hundreds of CUNY students from Hunter          door to win millions to communist revolution        ers need to build a revolutionary communist leadership to
College, joined by a number of professors          as the only solution to the hell created by the     learn that a system that cannot provide jobs and services
and staff, including PL’ers, had walked out        profit system, with its bosses, bankers, racism     for workers must be destroyed. J
of their classes to protest tuition hikes, lay-    and imperialist war. J

 AFL-CIO Hacks Deflate                                           Katrina Sequel: Court O.K.’s
    Angry Workers
     CHICAGO, February 17 — It was hard not to be
moved when you first entered the Plumbers Union Hall at
                                                                   ‘Guest-Worker’ Slavery
the rally to pass the Labor Free Choice Act (union certifi-
cation based on a majority of signed union cards, not on            Last month, the U.S. Circuit Court of Ap-        courts to win this battle. He and others vicious-
a vote). Thousands of workers stood shoulder to shoul-          peals for the 5th Circuit ruled that the Deca-       ly attacked PLP members when we tried to ex-
der wearing T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts and carrying signs      tur Hotel chain owed not one penny to 300            pose the workers to a real communist view of
reading, “Strength in Unity,” and “UNITE for Power.”            immigrant workers from Peru, Bolivia and the         how to fight these bosses’ attacks with class
Men and women, young and old of all colors, speaking            Dominican Republic who each paid contractors         struggle.
all languages, greeted friends and introduced themselves        $3,000 to $5,000 for the “privilege” of coming           Immigration laws, like all bosses’ laws, are
to strangers.                                                   to the New Orleans to be super-exploited. In         designed to insure that U.S. employers reap
    The energy and enthusiasm was electric. It was easy         one more sign of growing fascism in the legal        maximum profits from the labor of the work-
to see how unions seduce workers. On one level, parts           system, the Court OK’d these slave labor condi-      ing class. The liberal Southern Poverty Law
of their message is somewhat similar to ours. But as the        tions on the grounds that the workers couldn’t       Center exposed this collaboration of the gov-
rally proceeded, it became clear that the similarities are      prove that Decatur “required” or “approved”          ernment with the bosses in its report “Close
barely skin deep.                                               of these payments.                                   to Slavery.” In order to legally hire guest work-
    The AFL-CIO fat cats got the crowd “in the mood”                These workers were recruited to come to          ers, it was necessary to show that attempts to
with a black youth gospel choir singing “God Bless Amer-        New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina destroyed        hire local residents failed. U.S. citizen workers
ica” and “America the Beautiful.” Every time a misleader        large parts of the city in August 2005. New Orle-    would most likely have told Decatur where to
said it was “time for action,” and “the City runs on our        ans’ hotel bosses like Decatur saw a big chance      stick their $6.39 per hour. However, Decatur’s
backs,” workers cheered and exchanged high fives.               to lower the already rock-bottom wages of the        obviously false statement that they had tried to
                                                                mostly black hotel workforce there. Conniving        recruit workers from among “hurricane evacu-
     But enthusiasm waned as speaker after speaker
                                                                with other local bosses, recruiters promised the     ees” was accepted by the U.S. Department of
praised Barack Obama and told the workers to call their
                                                                workers 60-80 hours work per week, time-and-         Labor, no questions asked.
Congresspeople and tell them to vote for the Free Choice
                                                                a-half for overtime, free food and rooms in ho-          This gave Decatur the green light to go
Act. Soon, the room emptied; the remaining speakers
                                                                tels with swimming pools.                            ahead with its plans. They let the contractors
spoke to less than half the original crowd. Momentar-
ily, teachers and machinists, auto, transit, healthcare and         The recruiters lied through their teeth! The     handle the dirty work. This separation allowed
buildings trades workers and more were united in one            hotel bosses jammed four workers into each           them to claim that they “didn’t know anything”
place, ready for action, waiting for direction on how to        room, charging $50 per week per worker,              about the recruiters’ extortion. This gave the
express their power. It seemed almost everyone but the          plus $8 per meal. The workers only got 24-40         courts all they needed to legalize this workers’
“leadership” felt the potential in that room, and that          hours per week at $6.39 per hour. Of course,         slavery.
“calling your Congressperson” fell way short. The very          as “guest workers,” termination or leaving the            Communists will never promote confidence
life of the city sat within those walls.                        job could result in immediate deportation. And       in this bosses’ system of “justice.” Instead, we
                                                                their every move was under the watchful eye of       call for class warfare against the whole capital-
    One was both inspired and outraged, and couldn’t
                                                                the hotel bosses.                                    ist system and its attacks on workers. We en-
help but wonder what a difference if our message linking
capitalist crisis and imperialist war, fighting racist terror       Despite this racist and fascist set-up, these    courage anti-racism and internationalism to win
and cutbacks, and organizing a general strike and mov-          workers organized against their slave-like work-     citizen workers to support the struggles of their
ing on the banks and centers of power for communist             ing conditions. Unfortunately, the leadership of     immigrant brothers and sisters. Most important-
revolution were blaring from the stage. I could imagine         this struggle fell into the hands of opportunists,   ly, we organize for a communist revolution. In a
the cheers becoming a roar as workers greeted the truth         including Saket Soni, now head of the New Or-        communist world, the bosses’ national borders
finally ringing from the stage.                                 leans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice. Soni       would be abolished, and none of our working-
                                                                and his fake-leftist friends convinced the work-     class brothers and sisters would endure slave-
                                continued on p. 5               ers that they should mainly rely on the bosses’      labor conditions in order to survive. J
                                                                                                                         25 march 2009 • CHALLENGE • page 5

    Germany: Patriots, Socialists, Union
    Fakers, Neo-Nazis Thwart Workers
    DRESDEN, GERMANY, February 26 — The                  and the media. The
capitalist economic crisis has reached here, hitting     bosses are using plant
the auto industry particularly hard. Today, GM work-     closings,     wage-cuts,
ers demonstrated in Germany, Sweden and Russia           layoffs unemployment
against GM’s mass layoffs worldwide. GM is seek-         and longer working
ing 3.3 billion Euros (over $4 billion) from European    hours to “solve” the cri-
rulers and has offered a restructuring plan that will    sis by directly attacking
close three assembly plants and cut production ca-       the working class. But
pacity by 30%. With the global financial crisis deep-    this is not just “a Ger-
ening, GM cannot get any bank loans, making gov-         man problem.”
ernment bailouts the only alternative to a shutdown           In early February,
that would put roughly 300,000 European workers          2,800 workers dem-
on the street.                                           onstrated against the
     The major weakness holding autoworkers back         Quimonda shutdown,
is their union leaders’ patriotism and nationalism. In   Dresden’s largest em-
the U.S. the UAW pushes, “Buy American.” In Ger-         ployer, with 4,600 work-
many the IG Metall union hacks push the old fascist      ers, amid an already
line of “German jobs for German workers.” It’s no        economically struggling
wonder that this “Day of Action” was smaller and         Saxony region. Saxo-
less militant than past ones.                            ny’s Socialist economic
     Big troubled companies like Opel or Nokia,          minister Thomas Jurk,
which closed its Bochum factory, line up with poli-      along with the IG-Met-                                      and racism against immigrant workers. They were
ticians to promise “patriotic” workers they will re-     all union hacks, tried to calm the protesters’ anger        marking the 64th anniversary of the terrible World
build German industry “together.” They used so-          with typical ruling-class rhetoric: “we will make new       War II U.K. /U.S firebombing of Dresden.
cialists like Thomas Jurk to calm angry workers in       investments and secure new jobs in the city.”
                                                                                                                         A counter-rally of 10,000 was soon organized
Saxony when Quimonda, Dresden’s biggest firm,                But Quimonda has another plant in Vila do               behind the slogan “No pasarán” (“They shall not
closed.                                                  Conde, Portugal, where it notified 1,800 workers            pass”) used by anti-fascist fighters to stop Franco’s
    Jurk’s friends who run the huge IG-Metall trade      that it’s shutting down. Such circumstances demand          troops and his German allies from entering Madrid
union join him in this Big Lie. But the working class    not economic patriotism but a worldwide class               during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. The anti-
here can punch back by discarding these mislead-         struggle of internationalist workers allied across          fascist demonstrators sought to prevent the new
ers’ nationalist ideas and the racism that feeds on      borders, from Portugal to Saxony.                           Nazis from marching through Dresden. But the cops
patriotism.                                                  However, Germany’s government and its trade             protected the Nazis’ march, clearing away block-
    Workers in Germany, the world’s leading export       union lackeys here are spreading national “opti-            ades and clashing brutally with the anti-fascists.
economy by value, are starting to feel the scourge       mism” in order to divide the working class and hold             Once again an exhibition of truly ruling-class
of the crisis. The government, a coalition between       back militancy. Instead, workers here and every-            politics: protecting Nazis while attacking an alliance
the bosses’ two “alternating” parties, the Social        where need to turn this current financial crisis into       of workers and students. As the socialists and fas-
Democrats and the Christian Democrats, already ap-       an overall political crisis for capitalism. For that they   cists push their lies, the situation in Dresden gets
proved a plan to rescue the most important banks,        need the ideas and organizing power of an interna-          worse. Now anti-fascist militancy against these rac-
like Germany’s second-biggest, Commerzbank.              tional revolutionary communist party like PLP.              ist super-patriots needs to be turned on the big
    But every sector is reporting big losses: auto,          On February 14, 6,000 neo-Nazis gathered here,          capitalists who sponsor and protect them, using
shipbuilding, iron and steel, other manufacturing,       trying to divert workers’ anger into super-patriotism       them as tools to divide and hold workers back. J

 Obama-Bosses-UAW Gang-up                                                                                            AFL-CIO Sellouts
                                                                                                                     continued from p. 4

     Mugs Ford Workers                                                                                                   AFL-CIO President Sweeney told everyone to
                                                                                                                     “call and vote.” I told a worker beside me, “im-
                                                                                                                     agine if he had said, ‘STRIKE!’” (Which, of course,
     DETROIT, MI, March 9 — The new conces-              in half for new hires and gave away more than               he never would.) The worker looked around the
 sions the UAW granted to Ford are much more             100,000 jobs, before the current crash. Since the           room, smiled and said, “We’d run the city.” Ex-
 than the loss of benefits, break-time and retiree       1979 Chrysler bailout, the UAW leadership lost              actly!
 health care. They reflect that a new stage of fas-      two-thirds of our members and the majority of                   As the economy spirals into a deeper crisis,
 cism is needed to help the bosses survive 2009          the auto industry. They’ve saved nothing and no             workers are growing increasingly weary and
 and the global financial crisis that has brought        one. Now we’re in a worldwide crisis of capital-            frustrated with a system that bails out billionaire
 the U.S. auto industry to a halt and threatened         ism, shackled by a generation of pro-capitalist             bankers and closes factories and health clinics.
 the survival of GM and Chrysler. Negotiators            union leaders who refuse to fight back and who              Some already realize Obama is not the “change”
 had to figure out how to meet targets imposed           haven’t sacrificed a dime.                                  we need.
 by Obama’s auto oversight committee and the                 We’re facing a new Depression, with tens of                 Capitalism will do what it will; fall into crisis,
 finance capitalists that stand behind them. We          millions jobless and losing their homes. In Detroit,        reinvent itself, and fall into crisis again. We must
 should expect more of this where the state and          Buffalo and Milwaukee, more than 50% of black               resolve more firmly than ever to take advantage
 bosses impose fascist conditions on workers.            males, 16-64, are unemployed, not to mention                of every opportunity to bring our revolution-
     But, if we aggressively bring communist lead-       Flint, Chicago’s West Side, Gary and Hammond.               ary communist politics to the masses, organize
 ership workers will turn to revolutionary politics      Capitalism’s racist nature is evident as every              workers and develop new communist organizers
 to counter these attacks.                               measure of poverty, unemployment, and police                for PLP.
     We can also expect more auto workers to turn        terror hits black and Latino workers first and
                                                                                                                         The 75 CHALLENGES distributed at the rally
 towards revolutionary communist leadership if           hardest. The bosses, the union and the Obama
                                                                                                                     was good, but only a drop in the bucket. With-
 we more aggressively offer it. At one Ford UAW          administration have ganged up to force us to pay
                                                                                                                     out new soldiers in this battle, the bosses will dig
 local hall, more than 150 CHALLENGES were dis-          for their crisis.
                                                                                                                     themselves out of this mess by burying the work-
 tributed along with hundreds of PLP fliers urging           Ultimately, the bosses “solve” their global             ers even deeper into oppressive pits. Now is the
 workers to reject the concessions and march on          crises with fascist terror and more war. That’s             time to act. We’ve been exploited long enough.
 May Day until panicked local thugs stopped our          where this new sellout is leading. The war in Iraq          The world runs on our backs. It’s time workers
 comrades from reaching the workers.                     is spreading to Afghanistan and Pakistan, with no           ran the world. Win workers to the only solution
    Ford lost a record $14.6 billion in 2008 and         end in sight.                                               — communist revolution! J
 conditions have only worsened. Ford U.S. sales              We need to build a revolutionary communist
 dropped almost 50% in February. The new agree-          movement, led by industrial workers, that can
 ment eliminates a holiday, cuts break-time and          eventually lead the working class to power. We
 suspends cost-of-living increases and perform-          need to follow the example of the Republic Win-
 ance bonuses, offers more buyouts and allows            dows workers who sat down in their factory last
 Ford to fund the retiree healthcare trust fund with     December; build unemployment committees in
 50% worthless stock instead of cash.                    our local unions to unite the employed and unem-
                                                         ployed and fight evictions, hunger and for jobs.
     Pro-Boss Union ‘Leaders’ Have                       Most of all, we need to vote with our feet and
       Saved Nothing And No One                          bring a contingent of Ford workers to march on
    These new concessions are “modifications” of         May Day! J
 the 2007 agreement that cut wages and benefits
page 6 • CHALLENGE • 25 march 2009

Hero of Salvador War Is Reborn in                        Colonel Molina. At that time partners in struggle
                                                         seized 10 transmitters from the national radio in
                                                                                                                 its behind in helping resolve this issue. They have
                                                                                                                 mostly been undermining the workers’ efforts to
                                                         Morazán, despite being well-guarded by the army.        fight back because the union does not want to
    During the 1970s, a group of us peasants,            They confronted soldiers in the Gotera barracks,        cause problems for the racist bosses since con-
workers and students worked in the eastern part          but ultimately our forces captured it and issued a      tract negotiations start at the end of the year.
of El Salvador, where nobody charged for their           communiqué demanding my liberation.                         The union went so far as to try to prevent the
work. We were labeled communists, even by the
                                                             All this pressure led to my release, but I was      re-election of an anti-racist shop steward because
parish priest. I built homes without being paid a
                                                         let out on the street like an animal out of a cage.     of previous confrontations with union misleaders
single penny, but my family never lacked food. The
                                                         Not knowing the area I hailed a taxi and told the       around anti-immigrant racism at the airport. They
others in the group supplied me. We shared eve-
                                                         driver what had happened, that I had no money.          failed. He was reelected by the workers! The union
rything with the conviction to do what is correct.
                                                         He drove me to the central market in San Salvador       mis-leadership stopped visiting our shift to avoid
We practiced working-class solidarity. We worked
                                                         where my cousin worked. Both he and my cousin           questions from workers. In one case a misleader
in communities collectively. This influenced the
                                                         were glad to have helped me and happy I was             hung up on a worker asking about insurance. The
rest of our lives, preparing us for the armed strug-
                                                         alive, because most political prisoners were disap-     airport workers had enough!
gle, unfortunately sabotaged by our organization’s
                                                         peared or murdered.                                         The PL’er got together with some coworkers
                                                             My cousin took me to her home to recuperate.        who all read CHALLENGE and came up with a col-
    The National Guard kidnapped me on August
                                                         The next day there was a workers’ protest in San        lective plan to force the SEIU misleaders back to
2, 1977. I was building a home when they blind-
                                                         Salvador and she wanted me to stay home. But I          the airport. The B.S. leadership was sent an open
folded me and took me with two other friends to
                                                         went to San Miguel and found a friend who took          letter from the workers detailing the complaints,
the military barracks, where they began torturing
                                                         me by bus to the Torola river. But before arriving      especially about their union rep. They were given
us, tying our feet and hands to an iron post.
                                                         at a bridge where the National Guard — the same         a deadline to respond to complaints, and workers
     They later turned us over to the National Police    ones who had imprisoned me — had been carrying          threatened to go over their heads to the national
in San Salvador where the horrible torture contin-       out a big inspection, I got off.                        SEIU in Chicago if there was no reply. It worked!
ued, to force us to confess we were communists.                                                                  A meeting was set up and the union official was
                                                             For years I organized many workers who later
They put 220-volt electric shocks through me; my                                                                 forced to talk about medical insurance. This is by
                                                         became commanders and combatants on different
ears ruptured in blood. I fainted and dreamt that                                                                no means over.
                                                         FMLN war fronts. Today, much later, we have re-
my mother, who had died three years before, vis-
                                                         connected in the ranks of Progressive Labor Party.          An African American worker told the shop stew-
ited me and dabbed camphor oil on my head be-
                                                         CHALLENGE/DESAFIO has been our greatest                 ard, “The threat made in the letter forced them to
cause I was in deep pain. The moment she did this
                                                         discovery of true communist philosophy. I’m be-         come to the airport!” There were workers from the
I felt no pain. I spent 11 days in pure torture at the
                                                         ing reborn in working-class politics, overcoming        U.S., Mexico, Nicaragua, and Ethiopia who either
police station. I had nothing to eat or drink, only
                                                         my disillusionment in believing there was no other      helped proofread, and distribute the open letter
blows and psychological torture.
                                                         party for the proletariat. But now that I’ve found      or gave statements regarding the medical insur-
    On the 11th day I was transferred to the Santa       PLP I feel I’m starting anew, with the memory of        ance to the union. This shows the absolute neces-
Tecla prison. On my third day there I couldn’t eat       my four children fallen in combat.                      sity of workers’ anti-racist collective action against
— my jaws were stiff, I felt no stomach. There were                                                              the bosses’ racist actions.
                                                                     Communist Comrade from El Salvador
many interrogations. They told me if I took respon-
                                                                                                                     There were many political discussions with air-
sibility for why I was there they would give me 500
                                                                                                                 port workers regarding this action. Workers took
“colones” (money) and free me. They told me not          Airport Workers Force Union ‘Lead-
                                                                                                                 a step in learning why reforms under capitalism
to associate with communists, saying there would         ers’ to Back Down                                       are limited and that eventually workers need com-
never be communism in El Salvador because the
                                                             At an airport where PL is organizing, workers       munist revolution to solve our problems. The class
army would combat it. They said I could not be a
                                                         have taken some political leadership in a reform        struggle goes on and workers, soldiers, and stu-
communist because they were atheists and I was
                                                         struggle against the union mis-leadership around        dents need PLP for communist revolution.
Catholic (as they were). I asked what kind of Cath-
olics are in the assassins’ army who kill everyone       bogus health insurance. The company has been                                                      Airport Red
indiscriminately.                                        blatantly racist in giving the mostly immigrant
                                                         workers an extremely bad medical insurance plan
  I was freed on August 29 because the com-              which has cost workers thousands of dollars.            Castro Brothers Continue Perestroika
munities and friends pressured the government of                                                                     The latest shifts among top Cuban government
                                                            The SEIU mis-leadership has been dragging
                                                                                                                 officials show that Cuban “Perestroika” (capitalist
                                                                                                                 reform) continues. Capitalism needs these chang-

      Anger Mounts vs. Pasadena                                                                                  es to thrive and to show European, Chinese and
                                                                                                                 even U.S. imperialists that some “changes” are be-
                                                                                                                 ing made in Cuba.
     Cops’ Murder of Black Worker                                                                                    From the sidelines, Fidel himself pushes these
                                                                                                                 reforms. He admitted he was consulted about the
                                                                                                                 removal of Felipe Pérez Roque as Foreign Minis-
     PASADENA, CA, February 19 —
                                                                                                                 ter and Vice-president Carlos Lage. But in reality it
 Leroy Barnes, a 38-year-old black
                                                                                                                 appears that Fidel and Raul are not fighting each
 worker, and father of three, was shot
                                                                                                                 other but rather both are promoting those who
 by Pasadena cops, killing him on the
                                                                                                                 agree more with their scheme, while eliminating
 spot. The cops had pulled Barnes over
                                                                                                                 those who might oppose their economic reform
 for a traffic stop. At first, the cops lied
                                                                                                                 plans. Neither represent any real left alternative.
 about what happened. They said that
                                                                                                                 In February 2008, Raúl announced these reforms,
 Barnes shot at them but he did not
                                                                                                                 which just deepen the Cuban Perestroika.
 shoot at all. They said he was outside
 the car, but he never stepped out of                                                                                The official report from the Cuban “Commu-
 his car. Witnesses saw the police shoot                                                                         nist” Party says these latest changes in leader-
 him four times while he was inside his                                                                          ship followed deep discussion inside the Political
 car, then pull him out of the car and                                                                           Bureau of the Cuban ruling Party. Then Fidel in
 shoot him seven more times as he                                                                                his “reflections” writings in the Cuban press ac-
 lay on the street! As a crowd of an-                                                                            cused those demoted, his former protégées, of
 gry people gathered, the racist cops                                                                            being “ambitious” and that “the enemy outside
 shot into the air, to intimidate people                                                                         of Cuba had illusions about them.” Even though
 protesting the murder. Even so, some                    nia is over 10% (it’s about double that if you count    Fidel is not officially in power, his justifications of
 people threw rocks at the cops. Many people in          people in jail and people who have stopped look-        the power shift hide the real power struggle prob-
 the neighborhood, as well as friends and family,        ing for work). Obama and the capitalist system’s        ably occurring inside the Cuban “red” bourgeois
 are furious at the racist killer kkkops.                answer to this crisis is to put even more racist cops   bureaucracy.
     PLP members have taken leaflets and CHAL-           on the street to terrorize workers, especially black        The coming economic and political measures
 LENGES to the neighborhood where Leroy Barnes           and Latino workers, because the bosses fear re-         will show even more clearly the kind of capital-
 was killed, to a nearby shopping center, and to area    bellion.                                                ist road Cuba will take, possibly State Capitalism
 schools. Many people were glad to have the Party            They’re right to be afraid! A system that can’t     as what they call socialism now existing in Cuba,
 there. Recently an Oakland transit cop murdered         provide decent jobs but only racist terror should       or following even more the example of China’s
 Oscar Grant, also a black man and a father. Since       be destroyed! PLP invites angry workers and youth       capitalism. But these reforms are bound to fail for
 this was caught on tape, the racist killer is being     to protest this killing, come to our May Day Dinner     workers, particularly since capitalism in any form
 tried for murder. In the killing of Leroy Barnes,       and march with the PLP contingent on May First,         — especially in this age of international economic
 even the police tape is not being released!             International Workers’ Day, against racist terror,      meltdown — has proven unable to satisfy their ba-
                                                         unemployment, imperialist war, and for commu-           sic needs.
     Racist police terror, and anti-immigrant terror,
 are on the rise as official unemployment in Califor-    nist revolution. J                                                                            Friends in Peru
                                                                                                                             25 march 2009 • CHALLENGE • page 7

  Bangladesh Army Mutiny, Sri Lanka
     Civil War Tied to Oil Dogfight
    Nothing is safe in the oil pipeline dogfight              ing Bangladesh. The BRD was used to patrol over            ported (3/1) that a U.S. Marine Expeditionary Force
among the world’s imperialists and Indian-Pakistani           3,000 miles of border with India and Burma (Myan-          might be sent to northern Sri Lanka under the guise
rulers. The terrorist attack against the Sri Lanka            mar). The BRD, like the rest of South Asia’s armies,       of evacuating refugees from the civil war in that is-
national cricket team is one example. The rulers of           retained all the class divisions of the old British co-    land nation. Thus, the U.S. could help the Sri Lankan
India and Pakistan blame each other’s intelligence            lonial armies. Officers came from the ruling class         army in its bloody “mop-up” operations against the
services for the attack. The Sri Lanka team replaced          while rank-and-file soldiers came from the working         nationalist Tamil guerrillas holed up in the island’s
the Indian national team which pulled out after the           class and poor peasantry.                                  northern tip and fighting the government. U.S. rul-
recent Mumbai terrorist attack blamed on the ISI                  Unfortunately, in the absence of any real com-         ers consider the Tamils terrorists.
(Pakistan’s intelligence service).                            munist leadership, when these soldiers turned their            However, it’s not the Tamil guerrillas that re-
    Just a few days before this attack, a mass mu-            guns against their officers, they were open to be-         ally worry the U.S. and India, but rather it’s China’s
tiny by Bangladesh’s border guard (the BRD) killed            ing misled by pro-Pakistani Islamists. The collapse        growing economic and military presence in Sri Lan-
74 army officers, almost the BRD’s entire top brass.          of the old world communist movement reflected              ka. China has supplied Sri Lanka with modern mili-
Years of corruption by their officers — sent from             itself in the opportunism of the pro-Soviet and            tary hardware, including fighter planes, and is help-
the regular army — frustrated the soldiers, who               Maoist groups in Bangladesh — which supported              ing build a modern port at Hambantota in southern
were mistreated and starved while making a miser-             “progressive-lesser evil” bosses and disarmed              Sri Lanka, near one of the world’s most important
able $70/month and seeing the officers selling their          workers and their allies politically. This created illu-   oil-supply sea lanes.
rations on the open market.                                   sions about “reforming” capitalism and prevented               All these bloody conflicts occur in a capitalist
    The mutiny began in BRD headquarters in Dha-              a fight for workers’ power.                                world wrecked by an economic tsunami. The Indian
ka, the country’s capital. Initially the military brass           Early in January, after several years of military      economy, supposedly an example of what free-mar-
tried to storm the mutineers, but then the rebellion          rule, a civilian government — considered to be pro-        ket globalization could achieve, is now reeling from
spread nation-wide, forcing the brass to negotiate            India — took power in Bangladesh. The mutiny was           this crisis. Bangladesh is already one of the world’s
with the rebels and even agree to their demands.              reportedly supported by forces within and outside          poorest countries and has lost a lot of markets for
After the rebellion ended, the army and the gov-              the military who supported the country’s recent            its exports of textiles.
ernment began the arrest and hunting of over 1,000            “Talibanization.” The new army chief, appointed by             Workers and their allies in all of South Asia must
rebel soldiers.                                               the civilian government, is considered “too secular”       break with all these bosses, their imperialist back-
    The BRD dates back to the 18th century when               and pro-India and was clamping down on funda-              ers and all the Muslim and Hindu fundamentalists,
the British colonialists established the “Ramgarh             mentalists inside the military which are influenced        and build a revolutionary communist leadership as
Local Battalion.” In 1971, East Pakistan, helped by           by Pakistan and even by China.                             the only way out of this hell. J
India, went to war and broke with Pakistan, becom-               Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Sunday Times re-

Below are excerpts from mainstream newspapers that may be
of use for our readers. For more, go to challengenewspaper.
   wordpress.com. Abbreviations: NYT=New York Times,
       GW=Guardian Weekly, LAT=Los Angeles Times

Marx got no respect, but now…
    NORTH STAR GROUP – Poor Karl Marx. Nev-
er got any respect. Not in the U.S.A., anyway. Sel-
dom in the course of human events has one man
been so derided, so reviled by such a great herd
of ignoramuses, virtually none of whom have even
the faintest notion what the object of their deri-
sion actually said, thought or stood for….
   In light of current events… his insights con-
cerning capitalism’s structural defects were spot-
    Marx wrote that in the end, capitalism’s fate
would be sealed… by its internal rot…. If Marx
were around, he’d be laughing his head off, but
there are going to be plenty of tears to go around
for [his deriders].

                                                                 Many of the older Chinese Xinran meets still            “They said thank you very much and did nothing
Old-time reds built China’s base                              take a glossy view of the Communist Party.                 with it.”
   NYT, 3/8 – In the early 1950s, shortly after the
Chinese Communist revolution, Chairman Mao Ze-
dong set into motion one of the largest peacetime
                                                              Asbestos poisoning for a profit                            For Arab public, US is terrorist
mobilizations in modern history….                                 NYT, 2/19 – At least 200 deaths and thousands             NYT, 2/26 – A battle over the term terrorist has
    The Xinjiang Production and Construction                  of illnesses are known to be related to the town’s         become a proxy for the larger issues that divide
Corps built roads, canals, bridges and dams, turn-            exposure to the mine….                                     Washington and the Arab public….
ing wasteland into fields of cotton, maize and rice.             The mine’s owner, W.R. Grace & Company…                    In Gaza… most Arabs came away certain who
They built entire cities in the desert…. A survivor           and its managers knew as far back as the 1970s that        the real terrorists were.
of the force… recalled…. “At that time there was              asbestos… posed a risk to their workers, but they              “Public opinion views what happened in Gaza
nothing I couldn’t bear…” she was honored at the              conspired to continue releasing it into the air and to     as a kind of terrorism…. They see Hamas and other
time as a “Progressive Student of Mao Zedong                  misrepresent the peril….                                   such organizations as groups who are trying to lib-
Thought.”                                                        More than 30 years ago Dr. Teitelbaum, a retired        erate their countries….”
    Sun’s recollections of Communist Party zeal,              toxicologist… was sent hundreds of chest X-rays of             The case may be even more tangled with Hez-
sacrifice and staggering economic transformation              Libby workers and of workers at [a non-tainted]            bollah….
are among the personal narratives assembled by                mine in South Carolina….
                                                                                                                             “If Obama thinks these organizations are terror-
Xinran, a Chinese journalist now a resident of Brit-               “At the end of the study, I wrote a letter saying     ists, there will never be peace….” In this region…
ain, in “China Witness: Voices From a Silent Genera-          that 30 percent of the miners in Libby have asbesto-       the invasion of Iraq is often referred to as a terrorist
tion.”                                                        sis, and nobody in South Carolina has asbestosis….         act.
page 8 • CHALLENGE • 25 march 2009

        Working Class Must Unite vs.
       Capitalism’s Special Oppression
                  of Women
    March 8 marked International Women’s Day, in-        racism and nationalism – to oppress the entire work-
spired by the 1908 New York City march of 15,000         ing class. Besides lowering wages for all workers by        1971 Temple U. Strike Won Equal Pay
women demanding better pay and shorter hours.            increasing competition, sexism politically weakens
                                                                                                                         The power of working-class unity among
Throughout the history of class struggle every major     the working class by dividing women and men on
                                                                                                                     women and men was demonstrated in the 1971
movement that made progress for the oppressed            the job, in our homes, and during the class struggle.
                                                                                                                     Temple University strike of black and white male
class has had women as leaders. From the fight           Black and Latino, women suffer triple exploitation
                                                                                                                     janitors and female maids. Both men and women
against slavery, to the Paris Commune and revolu-        from racism, as women, and as workers.
                                                                                                                     struck for equal pay for equal work for women
tions in Russia and China, from the mass strikes of          PLP fights sexism by taking on attacks against          workers and won. This unity also broke Nixon’s
1848 in Europe to the anti-imperialist struggles of      women, developing women leaders of our move-                3.2% wage freeze. An important element in this
the 1960’s women workers around the world have           ment and spreading communist consciousness. The             struggle was the worker-student alliance. When
joined with men in the struggle against capitalist       struggle against sexist ideas cannot be separated           the college Administration attempted to use
oppression.                                              from the struggle against this system that is breed-        scabs to clean up the campus (which couldn’t
    Today these battles continue. In India, Hindu        ing it.                                                     function with all the uncollected waste strewn
women and men fought back against brutal attacks             Sexism increases oppression through economic,           about), the PLP-led SDS chapter dumped all
against women in cafes by groups trying to build a       cultural and social forces. Women make less, are            the garbage back onto the campus. After two
society where women are kept in their homes. In          treated worse on a political level and have less ac-        weeks, the bosses gave in.
New York, the Stella D’oro strike has united men         cess to social mobility than their male counterparts.
and women workers on the picket lines in the cold        Early class oppression was seen as long ago as an-         are going to be abused and disrespected in big and
of winter. They are fighting back against the wage       cient, pre-capitalist, slave society, where women          small ways. The abuse inflicted by teen icon Chris
and benefit cuts that are being forced on them by        were captured and enslaved, then forced to pro-            Brown on singer Rihanna was another revolting ex-
their factory’s owners. These militant struggles are     duce more slaves. Today, with sexism as a tool, bil-       ample of the kinds of sexist beatings that happen
an important inspiration for all of us.                  lions of dollars in profit are funneled into the coffers   to millions of working class women regularly but are
    With a black woman as First Lady, more female        of today’s capitalists.                                    never publicized.
role models to idolize than ever and a new law that           Sexism is not just the attitude of chauvinism              The beauty, fashion and music industries that
seems to help women get equal pay, it appears the        from a couple of right-wing men and women on a             portray women as property to be owned and dis-
only limit to women advancing is imagination. But        personal level or the result of a brutal regime like       played drive this sexist culture, which reaps billions
the boss-worker relationship is the fundamental one      the Taliban. It is a rampant aspect of the capitalist      in profits. Women and men workers not only suffer
under capitalism — bosses own and control their          world. In England the unemployment rate for wom-           living with this culture, but end up giving back hard
workers and workers fight to get as much they can        en is at 33%. In the U.S., where women are consist-        fought for wages trying to chase the bosses ideal
from their bosses. If we peel back the appearance        ently paid less than men, the best “solution” Obama        of beauty by paying for make-up, “fashionable”
of upward mobility, women are suffering more than        could come up with for women’s rights is the Lilly         clothes, and beauty treatments.
ever and no amount of media spin will cover up the       Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which extends the statute of
horrible conditions all workers must deal with.                                                                          Attacks on women are on the rise around the
                                                         limitations, to a mere 180 days, for a woman to sue
                                                                                                                    world. In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, many hundreds of
                                                         if she is being paid lower wages on the job. This law
                                                                                                                    young women have been murdered in the last few
        Sexism and Capitalism go                         is just a stop-gap to placate workers into thinking
                                                                                                                    years. While these killings have received some pub-
                                                         Obama is doing his best, since he’s got so much on
             Hand in Hand                                                                                           licity, in other countries woman are being murdered
                                                         his plate waging profit war in Afghanistan and ask-
    According to the International Labor Organiza-                                                                  in even higher numbers. In Guatemala the murder
                                                         ing for more bailouts for the ruling class.
tion, 22 million women around the world are ex-                                                                     rate for women is twice as high as Ciudad Juarez.
pected to lose their jobs in 2009 as the bosses shift                                                                   Sexism is pervasive in day-to-day discourse,
the burden of their financial crisis and wars onto the         Sexist Culture Fuels Attacks                         within romantic relationships and friendships.
backs of the working class. The ruling class uses the       As long as this system exists, where economic           Women are used as sexual objects. Female workers
special oppression of women the same as they use         exploitation makes women a commodity, women                have to contend with unequal pay and an attitude
                                                                                                                    that women are either overtly sexual beings, prim,
                                                                                                                    proper ladies, or something in between – assertive
         France’s Overseas Departments                                                                              as long as they “look good” doing it. This mechani-
                                                                                                                    cal portrayal of female identity keeps capitalism

           Continue Wage-Price Fight,                                                                               alive and well by keeping the working class focused
                                                                                                                    on how men and women are unequal.

             Battle Martinique Cops
                                                                                                                        All workers need to fight the inequality that is
                                                                                                                    endemic to capitalism. Attacks on women keep
                                                                                                                    their working class brothers in chains as well. Divi-
     POINT-A-PITRE, GUADALOUPE, March 9 —                                                                           sions between men and women workers help the
 Mass protests continue in this French Overseas                                                                     bosses slash our wages. Sexist ideas weaken our
 Department and in the neighboring island Depart-                                                                   class as men and women fight each other instead
 ment of Martinique even after the United Against                                                                   of the rulers. It inhibits the needed leadership of
 Profiteering coalition (LKP) reached a deal winning                                                                women workers, and inhibits men from being bet-
 some of their demands. The French government                                                                       ter fighters and stronger leaders for our class. Vic-
 will provide 100 euros ($120) of the monthly wage                                                                  tory for the working class demands that we break
 hike for three years and the local government 50                                                                   down this division by uniting as equals in the strug-
 euro for one year. But the local bosses’ group,                                                                    gle to smash the rulers system. The working class
 MEDEF, has refused to sign the deal. The strikers’                                                                 needs to smash sexism to defeat capitalism and
 original demand was a 200-Euro increase.                                                                           build a communist revolution that will eliminate the
                                                                                                                    oppression of all workers. J
     In Martinique, where a similar partial deal was
 reached, the February 5 Collective leading that
 strike refused to end the strikes, picketing and
 roadblocks because prices have not been cut
 (prices in both islands are much higher than in con-

                                                             SUBSCRIBE or RENEW!
 tinental France).
     On March 6, cops clashed with youth and
 workers attempting to block a bosses’ back-to-
 work motorcade, which drove provocatively into
 the capital, Fort de France. Four cops were injured         All the communist politics, news, and
 as shots rang out and Molotov cocktails exploded.
 Ten people were arrested and the cops injured               struggle from around the world!
     A similar mass strike is developing in La Réun-
                                                             ••••$15 individual 1 year
 ion, a French colonial possession in the Indian             ••••$35 for institution 1 year
 Ocean. Meanwhile, the French labor movement
 has yet to express real solidarity with these strug-        Name______________________________
 gles, showing the need for workers and students
 in all of France to fight the racism and national-
 ism of their labor mis-leaders, behind the slogan:          City___________ State_______Zip_______
 Same enemy, same fight, workers and students of
 the world, unite! J                                              Make check or money order to: Challenge Periodicals, PO Box 808, Brooklyn, NY 11202

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