The Workers' Advocate


Volume 12, Number 11


November 25, 1982

[Front page:

10,000 workers strike against concessions--Solidarity With the Canadian Chrysler Workers!;

Boston workers and youth rout the racist Klan;

Lies can't hide the crimes of zionism--More revelations about the massacres in west Beirut;

Leonid Brezhnev: revisionist traitor to Marxism-Leninism and socialism]


Condemn anti-semitic attacks in Europe.......................... 2
On the Viet Nam war monument...................................... 3

Steel concessions rejected................................................ 4
Speedup in the Postal Service........................................... 4
Chrysler workers struggle................................................. 5
Liquidators side with UAW hacks.................................... 5

Boston anti-racist struggle................................................ 6
NAACP convention: Black capitalism and Reaganomics..................................................................... 7
Reaganites segregating the schools.................................. 7

Textile workers strike in Trinidad and Tobago................. 8
Cuba: A neo-colony of Soviet social-imperialism............ 8
General strike in Ecuador................................................. 9
Condemn fascist massacres in Guatemala........................ 9
CP of Colombia (M-L) on "democratic opening"............ 9
Protests against U.S. aggression in El Salvador............... 9
Iran-Iraq war: Reactionary on both sides......................... 10
Khomeini's thugs in Buffalo............................................. 10

Celebrations of Bolshevik Revolution.............................. 12
Great October lives on in class struggle........................... 12
CP of Labor (Dominican Republic): Solidarity message............................................................................. 12

10,000 workers strike against concessions

Solidarity With the Canadian Chrysler Workers!

Boston workers and youth rout the racist Klan

Lies can't hide the crimes of zionism

More revelations about the massacres in west Beirut

Leonid Brezhnev: revisionist traitor to Marxism-Leninism and socialism

No to zionist sabotage of the struggle against anti-semitism!

Condemn the recent anti-semitic attacks in Europe!

On the unveiling of the Viet Nam Veterans Monument in Washington

No amount of sweet talk will wash away the U.S. crimes in Indochina

The imperialists rush towards the 'tactical' use of atomic bombs

The British armada off the Falklands had nuclear weapons

The steel monopolists want billions in concessions

Another sellout pact is rejected

Postal workers resist murderous speedup

Chrysler workers! Keep up the fight against concessions!

Chronology of the struggle

The revisionist and trotskyite liquidators

Siding with the UAW bureaucrats against the workers

On the struggle against racism in Boston

NAACP holds 1982 convention

Black Capitalism Serves Reaganomics

Zionism is racism

A Zionist Patrol Against the Black People in Brooklyn

The Reaganites are segregating the schools

Soviet revisionism and Castro have dug Cuba into a deep hole

Strike in its 40th month

Solidarity with textile workers of Trinidad and Tobago!

General Strikes Shake Ecuador

The Colombian communists face the 'democratic opening' of the cunning bourgeoisie

U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of El Salvador!

Reagan and the "moral majority" back up the fascist Rios Montt regime!

Condemn the Massacres in Guatemala!

The Iran-Iraq War

Two Reactionary Regimes Send the People to Slaughter


Khomeini's thugs in Buffalo, N.Y.

65th Anniversary of the October Socialist Revolution

Celebrations Salute the Bolshevik Revolution

Great October Lives On at the Barricades of the Class Struggle

Solidarity Message from the Communist Party of Labor (Dominican Republic) in New York

10,000 workers strike against concessions

Solidarity With the Canadian Chrysler Workers!

Auto workers, November 5 is a day to remember. On that day 10,000 Chrysler workers in Canada launched a determined strike against the concessions drive of the capitalists. They have stood up to the filthy threats, intimidation, blackmail and lies of the billionaires. They are showing workers everywhere that mass struggle is the answer to the arrogant takeback demands of the capitalist moneygrubbers.

Today, Chrysler, the capitalist news media, and even many UAW bureaucrats are hurling every imaginable abuse and threat at the workers. There has been talk of passing legislation to force the workers back to work. There have been threats to move the Chrysler plants out of Canada. Chrysler has refused to negotiate, claiming there will be no settlement in Canada until an agreement is first reached in the U.S. And even UAW hacks are spreading the outrageous lie that the Canadian workers are stabbing their American brothers in the back and they have gone so far as to call for the strike to be suppressed.

Why is there such a frenzy against the workers? It is because the Canadian workers are not just striking for themselves, but for all the Chrysler workers. Everyone knows that a good settlement in Canada will also set an example for the contract in the U.S. Furthermore, the capitalists fear that if there is a successful strike against concessions in Canada, then other workers will be inspired to stand and fight against the concessions demands of their own capitalists. This is why the capitalists and union hacks are in a rage against the strike. And this is why the American Chrysler workers and everyone who stands against concessions must do everything possible to aid and support the Canadian Chrysler workers.

Support the Fight Against Concessions

For three long years the Chrysler workers in the U.S. and Canada have suffered from the rotten fruits of concessions. Despite the lies of the capitalists and the top UAW leaders, concessions have not saved a single job. Instead, the concessions have provided for the hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in interest payments alone to the Wall Street banks; they have allowed Chrysler to again turn a handsome profit; and they have paid for the tens of millions of dollars put into job-eliminating robots and computers.

The Canadian Chrysler workers are fighting to put a halt to this concessions offensive. They are demanding only a minimum -- parity with the GM and Ford workers in Canada. It should be remembered that UAW President Doug Fraser promised the workers "total, iron-clad and guaranteed wage and benefit parity" at the end of this contract. So when the workers demand a $3 an hour wage increase, this is only a demand for parity with the Ford and GM workers, who themselves have had millions stolen from them through concessions.

But Chrysler doesn't want to give up a penny. They are trying to continue the bulk of the same old concessions plus new and deeper cuts. Chrysler has made only one offer to the Canadian workers. It's the same insulting concessions deal that was already overwhelmingly rejected by the Chrysler workers in the U.S. Chrysler is spitting in the workers' faces. Clearly only a militant strike against them can have any hope of putting a brake on the concessions drive.

Make the Capitalists Pay!

An enormous stink is now being made that the strike may bankrupt Chrysler, that the Canadian workers are foolishly jeopardizing not only their own jobs but those of their American brothers as well. This is just outrageous.

In the first place, Chrysler has made mountains of money over the last three years of concessions and it is again showing a profit. Chrysler has not only reported a $266.2 million profit for the first nine months of this year, but its chairman, Lee Iacocca, has admitted that there is a billion dollars stashed away in a fund for future use. The strike is, of course, hurting Chrysler. They are losing $15 million a week now, and could lose up to $45 million a week if the U.S. plants are closed. But Chrysler would rather spend hundreds of millions to oppose the workers' strike than give the workers a $3 an hour wage increase. Chrysler is not trying to save itself from bankruptcy. Instead it is trying to preserve the brutal concessions against the workers.

Furthermore, the issue of Chrysler's bankruptcy has never been in the hands of the workers. Rather this is determined by the big banks and loan sharks. There are many well-known cases where the financial wizards of Wall Street have raked in billions of dollars through concessions from the workers. And then, having exploited the workers to the bone, they have closed the factories and tossed the workers into the streets. The workers cannot save their jobs and livelihood by giving up concessions to the capitalists, but only through militant struggle against them.

If the billionaire bankers, who have made hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars off the concessions stolen from the Chrysler workers, are so concerned about the survival of the company, then let them pay so the workers can survive. The workers cannot afford any more concessions. They must defend themselves, and they have no recourse except to strike against the capitalist parasites who are growing rich off the workers' suffering.

Stand Firm Against the Sabotage of the UAW Hacks

In this struggle, the workers must remain vigilant against the betrayal and sabotage of the UAW bureaucrats both in the U.S. and Canada. All along the top leaders of the UAW have been trying to shove further concessions down the workers' throats. When they could not get the workers to accept concessions, then they have tried to delay, to give Chrysler time to stockpile the 1983 models, to put the workers in a worse situation to strike.

Robert White, the UAW director in Canada, extended the old contract there long after its expiration date in the hopes of corralling the workers into a new concessions deal. White even admits that he only called the strike on November 5 because "even if he wanted to postpone negotiations, workers were too frustrated and angry to let him." (Detroit Free Press, November 11, 1982) And now White is trying to trim down the workers' demands. He says it is not necessary to get parity "all at once," just "some up-front money" now, maybe 504 or a dollar. The workers must be vigilant, because White is working to throw them a crumb in order to keep intact the major part of the concessions demanded by Chrysler.

Even more despicable is the role of the UAW hacks in the U.S. who are working night and day to split the American workers from their brothers in Canada. Fraser, whether he is on the Chrysler board or not, has all along agreed with Chrysler's big lie that there is not a penny more for the workers and he has tried to saddle the workers with more concessions. Even after the rank-and-file workers rejected Fraser's sellout contract by a 70% vote, Fraser opposed the workers' struggle. Through incredible pressure, blackmail, intimidation and vote stuffing, Fraser got the workers in the U.S. to extend the old concessions contract until January and left the workers in Canada to face Chrysler by themselves. Instead of a united and powerful strike in both Canada and the U.S.; a strike that promised to force Chrysler to give in to the workers' demands much more quickly and painlessly, Fraser split the workers and is thus bringing more suffering on the workers in both countries.

But even this outrage is not enough. Fraser's splitting has now led to the point where Pat LaBlanc, a Chrysler Bargaining Committee member, has gone on television to denounce the Canadian strikers and incite the U.S. workers against them. He has even called upon Fraser and Stepp to break the Canadian Chrysler workers' strike. The "company men" in the top leadership of the UAW have again proven themselves to be out-and-out sellouts and strikebreakers.

But the Chrysler workers in the U.S. have not gone along with this treachery of the UAW leadership. They know that the Canadian workers' battle against concessions is their own battle. They know that the strike in Canada benefits the workers in the U.S. as well. Already Chrysler workers from the U.S. have joined the picket lines, to show their solidarity with their Canadian brothers. Already there are moves underway to send financial support to the Canadian strikers. But more must be done. An active struggle must be organized to support the anti-concessions strike. Militants should join with the Marxist-Leninist Party to pass around leaflets like this one. Every opportunity should be seized to denounce the UAW hacks to their faces and to rally all of the rank and file against their treachery. Delegations should be sent from every plant to join the picket lines and rallies in Canada. And in every Chrysler plant, on every line, networks should be formed to prepare for slowdowns, wildcats, and a company-wide strike against concessions.

The Canadian workers have courageously taken on the arrogant Chrysler capitalists. They deserve the support of every Chrysler worker. They deserve the sympathy of workers everywhere who are sick and tired of the concessions drive of the capitalists.

Workers, come to the aid of the Chrysler workers in Canada!

Support the strike against concessions!

(Leaflet issued by the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on November. 11, 1982.)

[Photo: 2,500 Chrysler workers in Windsor, Ontario came out in a militant demonstration. They declared their determination to fight concessions at the beginning of their strike, November 5.]

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Boston workers and youth rout the racist Klan

On Saturday, October 16, the people of Boston smashed up the attempt of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to hold a rally at City Hall Plaza. Over 2,000 demonstrators confronted 23 Klansmen and their police protectors. In a matter of minutes the hooded racists were swept away like insects in a storm. This marked a big blow to these racist vermin and to their rich capitalist sponsors and was a victory for the working people.

Two days previous, Klan imperial wizard Bill Wilkinson had appeared on the WBZ-TV talk show "People Are Talking" in a friendly debate with Frank Jones of the mayor's Boston Committee for Racial Harmony, a committee of big bankers and influential politicians. Wilkinson's appearance had been unannounced; but anti-racists had caught wind of it anyhow and had succeeded in disrupting the show, denouncing this low-life lizard and hitting him with eggs and fists.

On Friday, the evening news reported that Wilkinson had called a Klan rally for two o'clock Saturday afternoon to protest the treatment that he had received on the talk show. The Klan and its allies hoped that such short notice would undercut any mass mobilization for a counter-demonstration.

These hopes were dashed when the next day more than 2,000 people from all over the metropolitan area showed up at the City Hall Plaza to confront the Klan. Another 500 or so, seeing the demonstration, came off the streets to join in. Over 100 police formed lines with motorcycles and mounted police to restrain the demonstrators and protect their white-robed buddies.

But the people were determined. When the Klansmen appeared on the plaza, police motorcycles were kicked over; the crowd stormed through the police barricades and charged the Klan, shouting and cursing "Racist scum!," "Death to the Klan!," etc. A hail storm of rocks, bottles, eggs, tomatoes, shoes, and horse manure (provided by the police department) rained down on the hated racists. Within moments, seeing the danger that the Klan faced, the police rushed them into waiting police vans and whisked them away to safety. As police superintendent Geagan put it, "When we saw the crowd was really out to get the Klan, we had to pull them out."

Afterwards the demonstrators were jubilant with their success: the racist criminals had been driven out with their tails between their legs! The police, on the other hand, were enraged by the defeat of their racist friends and struck out for revenge. They launched repeated charges into the crowd. Not only demonstrators, but also newsmen and passersby fell victim to the police clubs. But these bully tactics failed miserably. The people stood their ground, refused to move, hurled objects at the police, and grabbed the nightsticks of the police attackers. It took the police over an hour to finally disperse the demonstrators.

Militants of the MLP were in the thick of the struggle. They spread out among the demonstrators to shout fighting slogans and raise the militancy of the action. When the police launched their club-swinging attacks on the crowd, at first many demonstrators were taken aback; people asked "Why are you attacking us, the demonstration is over and we're just standing here?" The militants of the MLP held numerous discussions on the role of the police and the government in shielding and promoting the racist killers and on the power of the mass struggle against the racists. They worked to encourage the resistance to the police charges, shouting slogans such as "Police love the racists!" which helped to galvanize the firm stand of the demonstrators.

People of Boston Strike a Blow to the Racist Offensive of the Rich

For several years now Boston has been one of the prime arenas of the capitalists' racist offensive. The rich and their government have done everything in their power to transform the city into a center of racist and racist attacks against the black people. From the early 70's, the segregationist and fascist anti-busing movement was organized and directed right out of City Hall. The South Boston Marshals and other racist gangs have been groomed and protected by the police, the city officials, the courts, the media, etc. Racist attacks and murders perpetrated by both these gangs and by the police have been repeatedly whitewashed by the courts and the government officials. Meanwhile the news media has been trying to use the question of crime to whip up racist hysteria.

To incite racist attacks against the black people and to divide and suppress the working class -- that is why Boston's capitalist barons once again welcomed back with open arms the racist cutthroats of the KKK. That is why the wealthy owners of WBZ-TV brought imperial wizard Bill Wilkinson up from Louisiana to give him free time on the air waves. That is why a gentleman from the mayor's Boston Committee on Racial Harmony joined this advocate of racial terrorism for a friendly chat before a TV audience. And that is why Mayor White and the Boston Police Department provided these hooded criminals with a guard of over 100 riot-equipped police for their rally on the City Hall Plaza.

But on October 16, the working people of Boston got to have their say. Hearing about the rally on the radio the night before, with less than 24 hours' notice workers and young people came from all over the metropolitan area to drive out the cursed racists. They came from the black neighborhoods of Roxbury and large numbers came from South Boston, Charlestown and other areas where the racist gangs have been running amok and striving to recruit the white youth. The mass outpouring against the Klan showed the true stand of the working people against the capitalists' racist gangs and racist hysteria. On October 16 the working people took up the weapon of mass struggle. With this weapon they chased out the Klan, pierced through the stifling atmosphere of racist incitement, and struck a blow against the whole racist offensive of the rich.

While the racists attack the people, the liberal politicians say that the people must not fight back. Thus, on the day of the Klan rally at City Hall, Christian pacifists, friends of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, called a hand-wringing vigil across the river in Cambridge to show "that people can express their emotions about racism without shouting and violence." In other words they expressed the stand of the liberal political hacks that the Klan racists should be allowed to organize and rally in peace without the enraged people taking militant action against them.

Even in the middle of the counter-demonstration at City Hall certain hangers-on of the liberals of the Democratic Party tried to put up roadblocks to the mass struggle. When the Klan appeared on the plaza the crowd charged forward to give them the lesson that they deserved. But the leaders of the All Peoples Congress (connected to the trotskyite Workers World Party) tried to hold back the tide. In vain the APC leaders appealed to the demonstrators to stick to the picket line and avoid a confrontation. The people refused to listen to this nonsense and, as a result, the Klan was routed. Then, when the police attacked the demonstration, the APC leaders were again busy trying to disperse the crowd, telling people to obey police orders and move back. However, despite APC's pleadings against resistance, the police still did not show any mercy to them; APC spokesman Steve Kirschbaum fell victim to a brutal police beating. The APC-WWP actions at the demonstration were part of their efforts to make every protest and every mass action acceptable to the liberal politicians.

The rout of the Klan on the City Hall Plaza marked a victory for the working people of Boston. It marked a victory over the Klan fascists, a victory over the Klan's police and government allies, and a victory over the roadblocks to the mass struggle put up by the liberal politicians and their friends. As the leaflet of the Boston Worker put out by the Boston Branch of the MLP summed up: "The victory over the Klan on October 16 was a great inspiration to the fight against the racist and fascist offensive of the rich. Let us use this momentum to isolate the racists and to build up the independent struggle and organization of the working masses."

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Lies can't hide the crimes of zionism

More revelations about the massacres in west Beirut

In mid-September, the Lebanese Christian fascists, with direct Israeli support, carried out a gruesome massacre of over a thousand Palestinian men, women and children in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in west Beirut. This crime outraged the working and progressive people all over the world. Even in Israel, there was a storm of protest. On September 25, for instance, 400,000 people took to the streets in Tel Aviv in a gigantic demonstration against the Israeli government.

In the beginning, the Begin-Sharon government took the stand of openly spitting in the face of anyone who protested. They vehemently denounced anyone who suggested that Israel was to blame for the massacre. But in the face of mountains of evidence proving the contrary, the arrogant stance of the Begin, government only helped to widen the exposure of Zionism's criminal character.

In this situation, the proposal for a government-sponsored "inquiry commission" was brought forward to defuse the public indignation and help whitewash zionism. This idea was first proposed by the social-democratic Labor Party, which until five years ago was the main Israeli ruling party. The Labor Party wants to use the inquiry to personally discredit Begin and his ruling Likud coalition. The Labor Party does not want to bring out the truth about zionism but simply to replace Likud as the ruling zionist party. They succeeded in utilizing the mass indignation of the Israeli people to force the Likud government to agree to the inquiry. Naturally the Likud too is interested to uphold the "honor" of zionism.

Thus it is not surprising that the very terms of the inquiry commission were set up so as to whitewash zionism. The commission, itself headed by leading Zionists, is to pretend that such massacres are an exception, an unfortunate stain on an otherwise bright and spotless zionist record. It is to ignore that the basic aim of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon was to exterminate the Palestinians and trample the Lebanese people. It is to ignore the similar tragedies, each on a lesser scale but cumulatively much larger, that occur daily on the occupied West Bank and the Gaza strip, where today a Palestinian farmer loses his land, tomorrow a university is shut down, and the day after some children are shot down in cold blood for demonstrating against zionist rule.

Nevertheless, the proceedings of the Israeli inquiry have proved to be of value, because they lift a tiny corner of the veil of the zionist hypocrisy. A tip of the iceberg comes into view. And this despite the fact that the really revealing material is being reserved for secret sessions. The hearings prove that Begin and the whole zionist ruling gang, far from being of impeccable moral character, are just a bunch of bloodthirsty gangsters, who cynically lie to the world and to the Israeli public as well. No matter what the zionist judges rule, the inquiry verifies that, contrary to all their lies, the massacres in west Beirut were organized from the highest levels of the Israeli state.

The first to testify in open session on October 25 was Ariel Sharon, the Israeli war minister. Sharon admitted that the Phalangist militia was sent into the Sabra and Shatila camps on the basis of decisions by the Israeli government. Indeed, he pointed out that this decision was a natural consequence of the decision of the Israeli government on June 15 "to integrate the Lebanese Forces [the Phalangist militia -- ed.] into the campaign in Lebanon." He added that this plan "was repeated in Cabinet meetings since then." As well, Sharon acknowledged that Prime Minister Begin "knew of the decision in principle to enter certain places in Beirut."

These admissions blow to bits the original Israeli statements after the massacres that the Israeli government knew nothing about who did it, that the fascist militias must have sneaked into the camps, etc. However, after having admitted that the fascists entered into the camps upon Israeli orders, Sharon tried to establish what has become the Number One Big Lie -- that allegedly the Israeli government never conceived that the atrocities could take place. Sharon declared: "I want to say in my name and in the name of the entire defense establishment that none of us foresaw the atrocities...nor could we have foreseen them." He threw in the typical zionist propaganda line that ''Not only are they [the atrocities -- ed.] opposed to the values that we teach and were taught, but they are also opposed to the interests of the state of Israel in every sphere...." (All quotes from Sharon are from the New York Times, October 26, 1982)

But in his testimony, Sharon could not help but expose that this business about ''none of us foresaw" is just a fairy tale. He admitted that the aim of the fascist Christian militias ''was to create conditions that in the end the Palestinians would leave Lebanon." He pointed out that earlier during the war in Lebanon, the Phalangists had made ''an attempt to destroy a camp called Mia Mia, near Sidon." And finally, he admitted that the Israelis knew perfectly well that the Phalangists were out for the blood of the Palestinians. He said, ''Without any doubt, revenge does exist. Amin [the president of Lebanon -- ed.] himself, to the best of my memory, at the funeral [of his brother, Bashir Gemayel, the Phalangist militia chieftain -- ed.] on September 15, used the word revenge. The word revenge also appeared, I would say, in discussions that we had."

Moreover, this story of ''none of us foresaw" doesn't hold up in the face of the fact that even at the September 16 Cabinet meeting, held right on the first day of the massacres, one of the Israeli ministers had raised specter of atrocities being committed. What was especially interesting was Sharon's description of how this ''warning" had been raised. He said, ''My impressions from the words of Deputy Prime Minister Levy was not opposition to the action. Nobody opposed the action during that discussion. His opposition was from the contention that said that the entry of IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) into west Beirut was maintain order, since according to his opinion, certain things may happen there which are not consistent with law and order. He saw in this that we could be blamed afterward, and our contention would not hold up." (emphasis added) In other words, this zionist minister was not at all opposed to the Phalangists' carrying out their crimes, but he was only concerned that Israel would be blamed. Now, there's typical zionist thinking!

Sharon added in his testimony that ''Foreign elements are the ones that committed this act, which doesn't have a place in the world of cultured people." But he went on to praise those very same elements, the Phalangists, to the skies. He said, ''The Christians of Lebanon, the Lebanese Forces, are not a gang of hotheads. Presently, it's a very balanced establishment." This is of course not surprising considering the Israeli Zionists have trained and armed the Phalangist fascists as their loyal lap dogs in Lebanon. The Phalangists are based on the ideas of the German Nazis and Italian Fascists who inspired their founder, Pierre Gemayel. They are self-proclaimed worshippers of Hitler. Nevertheless, to the Zionists they are a ''very balanced establishment." The zionist-Phalangist alliance thus shows the utterly rotten and reactionary character of Israeli zionism.

The following week, Major General Amir Drori, the senior IDF commander in Lebanon, testified before the commission. He directly contradicted Sharon's lie about no one allegedly having foreseen the massacre. He said, ''Everyone somewhere conceived of this possibility." But, did they therefore do anything to stop the Phalangists from carrying out their atrocities? Of course not. Indeed, as every thinking person knows quite well, it was precisely because they knew exactly what the Phalangists would do that the zionist sent them into the camps in the first place.

Much has been made by the Israeli chieftains that they allegedly stopped the massacres once they knew they had taken place. But this lie too has been contradicted in testimony before the commission. On November 7, Brigadier General Amos Yaron, the commander of the IDF in Beirut, testified that the Israeli army permitted the fascist militias to bring in fresh troops and replenish their ammunition supplies on the second day of the massacre. This was done after he and his superior, Amir Drori, had allegedly ordered a halt to the activities of the Christian fascist murderers. Moreover he also pointed out that this order to halt did not mean the Phalangists had to leave immediately. As everyone knows, they stayed through Saturday morning, September 18, and continued to carry out their bloody acts. Incidentally, Yaron's testimony that the fascists were allowed to bring reinforcements directly contradicts an assertion Sharon had made in his testimony earlier that the Phalangists were not allowed to bring in any additional forces after the initial order to halt was issued.

On November 8, Prime Minister Begin delivered his testimony. His deposition was yet another incredible pack of lies. After admitting that the Israeli Cabinet approved sending the Phalangists into the camps, Begin too repeated the standard Big Lie that ''it did not even occur to think that the Phalangists if they were to enter the camps to fight the terrorists, would commit such atrocities or massacre." However, like Sharon, he too acknowledged that the Phalangists were out for Palestinian blood in the name of "revenge." He too admitted that at the Cabinet meeting on September 16, the question of possible atrocities was discussed, not only by Deputy Prime Minister Levy but also by the Israeli Chief of Staff. But, Begin said, these remarks by Minister Levy did not attract his attention because he "was busy drafting a summary." In other words, the Israeli Cabinet knew quite well what was happening in the camps and saw no reason to oppose the murders. After all, the Israeli Zionists had organized these things to happen in the first place. So why would some mealy-mouthed misgivings of a minister worried about Israel getting the blame distract Mr. Begin from his much more important work of drafting the summary of the meeting?

On November 18, another witness smashed up yet one more of the Israeli government's key lies about the massacres. The Zionists have claimed that they stopped the massacres as soon as they first heard such things were going on. Most of their statements have claimed that they first heard of the murders on the evening of Friday, September 17, and immediately called a halt then. For some strange reason, however, the halt did not get carried out until the next day.

But Israeli Communications Minister, Mordechai Zipori, testified that he was informed by a reporter friend on Friday morning about the massacre and he immediately passed on the information to the Foreign Minister, Yitzhak Shamir. Asked what Shamir's response was, Zipori replied: "He told me, 'I heard it.' And that was it." (New York Times, November 19, 1982) Despite this, the Zionists expect the world to believe that the word about the massacres then took more than half a day to reach the top levels of the zionist armed forces! What a farce! Meanwhile, Prime Minister Begin testified with a straight face that he didn't hear about the massacres until Saturday evening, and that too only from a BBC broadcast.

The hearings of the commission in Israel are still going on. No doubt, other interesting facts will emerge as the commission proceeds, despite the best efforts of the commission judges to remove anything really sensitive to the secret sessions. However, what has already emerged confirms that the Israeli Cabinet itself had organized the entry of the fascist militia into the refugee camps. This had been done with full knowledge of the nature of the Christian fascists, their aims of driving the Palestinians out of Lebanon, their intention of seeking Palestinian blood as so-called revenge, etc. It is the height of hypocrisy of the Israeli chieftains to plead that "none of us foresaw"! Moreover, the facts have also confirmed that the much- ballyhooed talk of the Israeli order to the Phalangists to halt their crimes as soon as the Israelis knew is also a farce. Far from halting their operations, the Phalangists were allowed to bring in fresh forces, new ammunition, and even supplied bulldozers to cover up many of the bodies. This proves that the massacre in the Sabra and Shatila camps was organized and coordinated directly by the Israeli Zionists.

Meanwhile, as these facts emerge indicting zionism for its bloody crimes, the U.S. imperialist news media are trying to cover over the exposure of Israeli zionism. They are waxing enthusiastic about how the judicial commission in Jerusalem proves the great merits of Israeli "democracy." Where else, they say, would such facts get aired in the open? No doubt this great feat of democracy will be joyous news to the tens of thousands of Palestinians the Israelis have murdered in the recent aggression in Lebanon. No doubt it will give comfort to the Palestinian people that no matter how much they are trampled on and murdered, the ideals of "democracy" live on in Israel.

What a caricature! The Palestinian demonstrations in the West Bank against this massacre are shot down in cold blood -- but the zionist gendarmes are "democrats" because they replace the demonstrations with a powerless tribunal which will not imprison a single one of the zionist murderers! The Zionists disenfranchise the majority of the population, the Palestinians, and force most of them out of the country -- but they are "democrats" because they squabble among themselves. The only "democracy" in Israel is to decide which zionist dignitaries, those of Labor or those of Likud, will rule. As far as deciding whether Israel will be zionist or be replaced by a democratic Palestinian state, there is nothing for that but police clubs, jails, and the empty spaces left by the millions forced into involuntary exile.

The imperialists' applause for the Zionists is of course hardly surprising. After all, the zionist commission will never discuss the other main perpetrator of the massacre in west Beirut -- U.S. imperialism itself. It is the U.S. imperialists who have organized, armed and supported the Israeli aggression in Lebanon. Moreover, the Phalangists are not only lackeys of the Zionists but also have long had close ties with the CIA. Today, in the wake of the massacres in Sabra and Shatila, the Pentagon has added an occupation force of over 1,000 marines to the tens of thousands of Israeli troops already in Lebanon. These forces are being used to prop up the establishment of a reactionary and pro-imperialist Phalangist regime in Lebanon.

No one can expect that the murderers of the people in Sabra and Shatila will be brought to justice through the Israeli inquiry commission. The fraud of Israeli "democracy" offers no hope whatsoever for the liberation of the Palestinian people. The only answer to the zionist oppression is through waging the revolutionary struggle to overthrow the zionist state and establish in its place a free, secular and democratic Palestine, where every citizen, Arab and Jew, will enjoy full, equal rights.

[Photo: Demonstrators outside Begin's home in Jerusalem denounce the Israeli government on September 19 for the massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps in west Beirut.]

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Leonid Brezhnev: revisionist traitor to Marxism-Leninism and socialism

The funeral of Leonid Brezhnev was quite a spectacle. It was attended by 32 heads of state, by 15 prime ministers, and by representatives of the royal houses of Europe and the Vatican. In short, the representatives of the entire capitalist-revisionist world came to pay homage at the grave of Mr. Brezhnev.

Meanwhile, the mouthpieces of imperialism and reaction gushed with effusive tribute. U.S. imperialist emissary George Bush paid his respects to the "renowned leader." The notorious criminal Richard Nixon reminisced about this "warm," "bear of a man," while Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford saluted Brezhnev's "sincerity." The former chancellor of West German imperialism, Helmut Schmidt, bemoaned that Brezhnev's death "will be painfully felt." The foreign minister of the Chinese revisionists expressed "deep condolences" for "an outstanding statesman" whose memory was held in "reverence" by the Chinese people. And to top it off, the Pope himself said a prayer for the "illustrious departed one."

One may ask, why such outlandish praise for this contemptible mediocrity of a man? This was because his fellow mediocrities, the Nixons, Carters, and Schmidts of the world, saw in Brezhnev a man of their own mold. This was because, during his 18 years at the helm of the Soviet revisionist state, Brezhnev proved himself as a man of capitalism and imperialism and as a sworn enemy of socialism and the revolution.

Henchmen of the Khrushchovite Revisionist Counter-Revolution

For nearly four decades after the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917, the then socialist Soviet Union was the inspiration of the toiling and oppressed peoples on all continents fighting for the new socialist world. The triumph of the Bolshevik Revolution and the successful construction of socialism in the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin blazed the trail for all mankind out of the darkness of the capitalist and imperialist hell. But this socialist homeland of the international working class was tragically destroyed by the revisionist counter-revolution.

Following the death of J. V. Stalin in 1953, the revisionist group of Nikita Khrushchov seized power. Brezhnev was one of the top henchmen in this clique of anti-socialist scum. This clique represented the privileged elements, the bureaucrats and technocrats, who had emerged as the new Soviet bourgeoisie. The Khrushchovites put forward a program of betrayal and counter-revolution as embodied in the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union held in 1956.

In the first place, the Khrushchovites revised and trampled underfoot the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism. In the name of "creative Marxism-Leninism," they emasculated this most revolutionary doctrine, emptied it of any revolutionary content, and turned it into something tame to justify class treason and collaboration with imperialism. The Khrushchovites stripped the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of its revolutionary character; the working class vanguard, the heroic Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Stalin degenerated into a bureaucratic revisionist party of the new Soviet bourgeoisie.

By vilifying the great proletarian revolutionary J.V. Stalin, the Khrushchovites attacked the very Leninist principles which Stalin so ardently defended. They spattered with mud the entire glorious legacy of the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialism in the Soviet Union in order to justify their platform of capitalist reforms, to rig up their dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie, and to restore capitalism.

And in the name of "peaceful coexistence," the Khrushchovites abandoned support of the revolutionary movement of the proletariat and oppressed peoples and became scabs against the revolution. "Peaceful coexistence" became the yellow banner of the Khrushchovites to justify criminal collaboration with U.S.-led imperialism against the revolutionary upheaval of the toilers the world over.

After the Khrushchovites had consolidated power and had put the Soviet Union firmly on the road of betrayal, Khrushchov's own men decided that they no longer had any use for the buffoon Khrushchov. Leonid Brezhnev, Kosygin and the other loyal disciples of Khrushchovism unceremoniously dumped their mentor and took over the reins of the revisionist counter-revolution.

Overseer of Complete Capitalist Degeneration

At his funeral, there was nothing but pompous words of praise for the legacy of Brezhnev's 18 years at the helm of the Soviet revisionist regime. But ho matter how high they stacked the wreaths of sweet-smelling flowers, nothing could hide the stench of capitalist decay which has fully penetrated the Soviet Union during the Brezhnev years. Brezhnev was the overseer of the full blossoming of all the ugly features of capitalist restoration.

At the end of Brezhnev's life, we can see the sorry results of all the capitalist economic reforms, the anarchy and pitiful failures resulting from the measures to put profits in command, to make the managers and technocrats masters of industry and commerce, etc. Yesterday, the whole world marveled at the dynamism and vitality of the Soviet socialist economy during the five-year plans of the Stalin era. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, despite tremendous obstacles, the Soviet economy alone escaped the crisis and marched forward with seven league strides. In stark contrast, today, the Soviet state capitalist economy has been thrown deep into the quagmire of the economic crisis which has swamped the rest of the capitalist world. Its industry has now screeched to a halt and is even going backwards in key sectors. Its agriculture is in ruins. Once a net exporter of grains, under Brezhnev the Soviet people started to eat only at the mercy of exports from abroad.

Formerly, the heroic Soviet worker was a conscious and proud master of his society. He was a vanguard builder of a new world, a world shaped to meet the cultural and material needs of the toiling population, a world without exploitation of man by man. But today, the Soviet worker has been thrown back into capitalist darkness. He has again been reduced to the status of a miserable wage slave. He is saddled by the bureaucrats and technocrats, and breaks his back so that rich parasites like Brezhnev can enjoy their dajas and limousines. The Soviet worker is surrounded by ideological and moral decay, by fantastic corruption, alcoholism and all the other ills typical of the Brezhnev era of all-sided capitalist degeneration.

Chieftain of Soviet Social-Imperialism

The Soviet revisionists are eulogizing Brezhnev as the "architect of detente" and the untiring crusader for peace on earth. Such infamous war criminals as Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger are also paying homage to Brezhnev's "sincere" desire for peace. But what are the facts?

It was none other than Leonid Brezhnev who presided over the full- scale militarization of the Soviet society. Brezhnev's name is toasted by his cronies as the builder of "developed socialism." But all that Brezhnev built was an ultra-militarist and imperialist superpower. Under his reign the Soviet Union, the former socialist bulwark of struggle against the imperialist warmongers, armed itself to the teeth and bared its fangs as a new hotbed of imperialist war and aggression.

The Brezhnev era saw the Soviet people go without, while nuclear weapons were stacked up sky-high, and while Soviet warships began to ply the world's oceans menacing the people. Moscow's new tsars say that the "mighty sword" of the Soviet war machine is needed for defense and world peace, just like all the other imperialist war fiends who resort to the very same chatter about peace to justify rabid militarism. Brezhnev's war buildup in the name of "peace" is no different than Ronald Reagan blessing his MX missiles with the title "peacekeeper."

No, the monstrous weapons in the hands of the Russian capitalist rulers are meant for the same purpose as the monstrous weapons in the hands of the American capitalist rulers. They are a "mighty sword" of exploitation, plunder, robbery, and oppression. They are a "mighty sword" which has already been unsheathed to shed the blood of other peoples. As everyone knows, it was none other than Brezhnev who ordered Soviet tanks to crush Czechoslovakia in 1968. He also sent mercenaries to various parts of Africa, including to Eritrea where they are trying to stamp out the liberation struggle of the people. And it was this same "man of peace" who dispatched 100,000 Soviet troops to wage a Viet Nam-type war against the people of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Brezhnevite "detente" carried on Khrushchov's program of counter-revolutionary collaboration with U.S. imperialism. "Detente" a la Brezhnev means that the two nuclear superpowers should be left in peace to negotiate the fate of mankind, that they should sit together and jointly carve up world "spheres of influence," and that they should conspire both openly and behind the scenes to put down the revolutionary liberation struggles of the people.

In the heyday of "detente" Brezhnev was frolicking with Nixon in San Clemente, only days after Nixon ordered the mining of Haiphong Harbor and escalated the genocidal bombing runs over Hanoi.

By the time of his death, however, the empty prattle about "detente" had cooled considerably. The contradictions between the two warmongering imperialist superpowers over the division of "spheres of influence" are growing deeper and more aggravated in the face of the great crisis shaking world imperialism, and in the face of the revolutionary upheavals of the working masses.

Nonetheless, both when they quarrel and when they kiss and make up, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social - imperialism stand at the head of the imperialist camp as the biggest neo-colonial oppressors and as the most dangerous aggressors and warmongers on earth.

Down With Soviet Revisionism!

The greatest and most contemptible farce of the Brezhnev funeral was that this miserable renegade was eulogized from all sides as a "Marxist-Leninist," as a "communist," and as an "heir of the Bolsheviks." The dastardly revisionists even buried his corpse beside V.I. Lenin's tomb in Moscow's Red Square. With this monstrous lie about the "Marxist-Leninist Brezhnev," the revisionists and capitalists everywhere want to confuse public opinion about what Marxism-Leninism is and what it is not.

But the genuine Marxist-Leninist communists, the true heirs of Lenin and Bolshevism on all continents will never accept this confusion. In death, as in life, they will curse and curse again Brezhnev's name: one of the filthiest of all traitors to the glorious cause of socialism and communism; one of the most criminal renegades and enemies of Bolshevism and Leninism. Likewise the genuine Marxist-Leninists will curse Brezhnev's successors, from the KGB agent Andropov to the other revisionist cutthroats that lead the Soviet party and state.

Moreover, the Marxist-Leninist communists will do more than curse the Soviet renegades. They will continue to work with all their might to destroy the ideological and political influence of Soviet revisionism on the international working class and revolutionary movement. They will work to train the masses that behind its socialist mask, Soviet revisionism represents treachery, counter-revolution and social-imperialism.

The merciless exposure and condemnation of Soviet revisionism is also the proletarian internationalist duty of the world's communists to the Soviet working class and people. The Soviet working class, which blazed the brilliant road of the Bolshevik revolution and which gave the world proletariat such outstanding heroes as Lenin and Stalin, must not and cannot remain forever in the dark. The toilers of the Soviet Union must not and cannot reconcile themselves to unending slavery under the rule of the revisionist bourgeoisie. The Soviet proletariat must and can take to the barricades of proletarian revolution once again and overthrow these parasites and reestablish their proletarian dictatorship. Indeed when the Soviet working class has its say, it will pass the final verdict on the Soviet revisionist chieftains, on the Khrushchovs, Brezhnevs, Andropovs: ENEMIES OF SOCIALISM AND THE REVOLUTION!

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No to zionist sabotage of the struggle against anti-semitism!

Condemn the recent anti-semitic attacks in Europe!

Over the last few years, several violent anti-semitic attacks have taken place against Jews in Western Europe. Recently two more bloody incidents occurred. On August 9 in Paris gunmen fired machine guns and hurled grenades into a crowd of people at a restaurant in a Jewish neighborhood. The reactionary thugs killed six people and wounded twenty-two. Another attack occurred on October 9 in Rome. Grenades were hurled into a crowd of Jews leaving religious services at the city's main synagogue. A two-year-old child was killed and 37 others were injured. These attacks were launched against people on the basis of the fact that they were Jewish; this represents vile racist reaction. Our Party strongly, condemns these attacks, as have progressive people worldwide. Antisemitism has been a long-established tool of capitalist reaction against the working masses. It is today actively promoted by numerous neo-nazi fascist gangs which European capitalism has spawned and continues to nurture.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Zionists, in the midst of their wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples, came forward with hypocritical statements of concern over the anti-semitic atrocities in Europe. But it is not anti-semitic racism that Begin and co. seek to fight. Rather, the Zionists have demagogically seized on these incidents in order to bolster support for zionism in Europe and worldwide. It is well known that the Zionists falsely equate the interests of Jewish people with the reactionary interests of zionism and Israel. But in fact, zionism cannot be equated with the Jewish people. Among Jews, there are capitalists and workers. The interests of the Jewish workers lie with the working class of which they are a part, while zionism is a reactionary political trend promoted by the Jewish bourgeoisie that preaches segregation for the Jewish people and unity with the imperialists against the Palestinian and other oppressed Arab masses.

To back up their false equation of Jews with zionism, the Zionists promote the monstrous idea that opposition to zionism and its murderous crimes is a sign of anti-semitism. Thus the zionist chieftains were quick to claim that the anti-semitic murders in Europe were the work of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the result of a wide "anti-Israel attitude." What this reveals is that they are worried stiff about the fact that the recent bloodbath in Lebanon has thoroughly exposed the real expansionist and oppressive essence of zionism. Worldwide sympathy and support for the Palestinian people has grown. Indeed, the carnage in Lebanon has helped to open the eyes of many Jewish people also who have been deceived by the zionist lies. In fact, in both France and Italy, the influence of the Zionists showed significant signs of weakening. In this situation, the anti-semitic murders were especially useful for the Zionists to consolidate their hold over the Jewish people. This is the despicable game the Zionists are playing with their so-called concern over the anti-semitic murders.


Following the August 9 incident in France, for example, the Israeli ambassador in Paris instantly announced that the attack was the work of the PLO. This filthy lie was made without the slightest pretense of providing any proof. Indeed, it came in the face of a firm condemnation of the murders by the PLO representative in Paris. The false accusation by Israel clearly shows that the Israeli leaders were not concerned with finding the real perpetrators of the crime but in slandering the Palestinian liberation movement. At the same time, the zionist organizations in France launched a vicious racist campaign against the Arab peoples, some even boasting that they would "kill them all." This expressed the typical topsy-turvy logic of the Israeli Zionists. It is they who launch a genocidal aggression against the Palestinian and Arab peoples, but the Palestinians and Arabs become guilty of anti-semitic attacks simply because they have dared to stand up and fight against zionist oppression!

Begin used the anti-semitic atrocities in Paris to urge the Jews there to "fight" anti-semitism by separating themselves off from the rest of the working people of France. Their best interests, he claimed, would be served by pledging loyalty to zionist organizations and Israel. But for the Jewish workers to take up such a stand would be to tie themselves to the interests of the Jewish capitalists, who are the main backers of zionism, and to world imperialism. This is a completely dishonorable course. The way to fight the anti-semitic racism is not through nationalist exclusionism but through uniting with the working class and progressive movement against all racism, exploitation and oppression.

Using the hoax that the Paris murders were "the consequence of an anti-Israeli attitude," the zionist organizations demanded that the French imperialist government suppress the anti-zionist movement. A major demonstration in support of the Palestinian liberation struggle had been planned for at least one week before the August 9 tragedy. Immediately following the August 9 events, the French zionist group Betar announced that it would physically prevent the demonstration from being held. No sooner had the Zionists issued their gangster-style ultimatum than the Mitterrand "socialist" government ordered the pro-Palestinian demonstration banned. The French revisionist party and its allies, who had called the protest, capitulated to the demand of Mitterrand and the Zionists. This experience provided rich lessons about the mealy-mouthed "pro-Palestinian" posturing that the social-democratic party of Mitterrand sometimes engages in. In fact, the reactionary Mitterrand government took this occasion to step up attacks on Arab immigrants through "improved" border controls.

Despite the ban of the government and the complicity of the revisionists in it, a militant demonstration of some 300 people was held. Defying the threats of the police, a brief march was held which raised slogans such as "Reagan, Begin fascist assassins!," "Begin murderer, Mitterrand accomplice!" and others denouncing imperialism, zionism and anti-semitism, Active in this illegal action was the Marxist-Leninist party of the French workers, the Workers' Communist Party. The WCP of France issued a major statement in its paper La Forge titled "Combat Zionism and Anti-Semitism!"


The attack on the synagogue in Rome was also used by the Zionists to gain support for their despicable goals. Once again, without a shred of evidence, the Palestinian resistance movement was blamed, again in the face of a clear-cut condemnation of the murders by the PLO. The Zionists went so far as to make the ludicrous claim that the murders were caused by the fact that PLO Chairman Arafat had traveled to Italy to meet the Pope and various Italian political figures. Moreover, the Zionists in Italy also organized a reactionary demonstration outside the PLO offices in Rome to create further anti-Palestinian hysteria. And once again, the Zionists blamed a "widespread anti-Jewish attitude," i.e., the fact that there has been a big movement in Italy against the zionist crimes in Lebanon.

The actions of the Zionists in Italy also provided a vivid exposure of their fraudulent claim to be fighting antisemitism. On October 11 the Italian trade unions called for a two-hour general strike to protest the anti-semitic atrocities. But did the Zionists in Italy support this protest? No! They instead called on the Jewish people to boycott this action! This was done under the exclusivist logic that only the Jews can oppose anti-semitism!

These events showed once again that the Zionists were not interested in fighting anti-semitism, but in using the anti-semitic attacks to slander the Palestinian resistance, bolster zionist influence among the Jewish people and preach racist exclusivism among them.

Zionism Is Racism and Not an Opponent of It

The stand of the Zionists expressed in Europe is not in the least surprising. Since its origin, zionist doctrine has mimicked the views of the most ardent Jew-hating racists that the Jews are "aliens" in Europe, America, etc., and should be separated off from the people of other nationalities and religions. These views are openly stated in the writings of the zionist ideologues, such as in the book The Jewish State by Theodor Herzl, the founder of zionism. Anti-Jewish racism suited the Zionists just fine because they wanted to exile Jews from the countries in which they had lived and ship them off to an, exclusively Jewish state created through colonizing some other people's land. The present-day state of Israel fulfills this zionist dream. It was created through the forced expulsion of the Palestinian people from their homeland and has existed through continual wars of aggression against the Arab peoples, the annexation of their lands, and brutal national oppression of Palestinian residents.

To achieve their goals, the Zionists have historically stooped so low that they have sought the support of the worst anti-semites and the most savage colonialist and imperialist powers. Among others, they presented their colonial plans to the ministers of the Russian Tsar, pledging to help rid Russia of the "Jewish problem." The zionist chieftains collaborated with Hitlerite fascism as well. There are countless facts which verify this. For example, the Zionist Revisionist Party led by Vladimir Jabotinsky, which is the party where Begin first got his political training, was openly built on the fascist model and even trained its cadets, brown shirts and all, in Mussolini's Italy. Meanwhile, the Stern gang, a split from Begin's Irgun, was closely tied with the Hitlerite Nazis who acknowledged the "common interests" between them. (See The Village Voice, October 12, 1982) The affinity between zionism and fascism was fully spelled out in Jabotinsky's slogan: "Germany for Hitler, Italy for Mussolini, and Palestine for us."

And the efforts to establish a zionist colony finally bore fruit under the protection of Anglo-American imperialism. Israel was founded and has ever since existed as an aggressive tool of U.S. imperialism among the oppressed peoples of the Middle East. It serves loyally as a U.S. guard dog to defend U.S. imperialist oil and strategic interests in the region.

The history of zionism shows that it is racist to the core. It is not interested in fighting the persecution of Jews and seeing Jewish working people fighting shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the working people in the countries where they live. This of course would interfere with efforts to encourage mass immigration into the zionist colony; it would be an obstacle to lining up the Jewish masses behind the enslaving aims of the imperialist powers. Zionism only serves the interests of the Jewish capitalists, who are its biggest backers among the Jewish people, and Western imperialism, with which they are closely integrated into a single chain of imperialist and oppressive interests.

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On the unveiling of the Viet Nam Veterans Monument in Washington

No amount of sweet talk will wash away the U.S. crimes in Indochina

In order to prepare for future wars of aggression, the militarists of the world glory in the old ones. That is why the American bourgeoisie has declared that now is the time to glorify the U.S. war of aggression in Indochina as a "just war." That is why the Japanese government, having its own crimes to bury, has decided that now is the time to rewrite the history of World War II and glorify the Japanese invasions ii Asia. In both cases, the glorification of imperialist plunder and slaughter goes hand in hand with the increasing military budgets.

Reversing the Verdict on the American Crimes in Viet Nam

On Saturday, November 13, the bourgeoisie capped off a week-long program to commemorate the American war of aggression in Indochina with the unveiling of the Viet Nam Veterans Monument which listed the U.S. war dead. This orgy of imperialist self-righteousness was, however, shrouded with talk about "national reconciliation," about the "recognition" of the veterans, about helping veterans fit into society, and so forth, as if it was simply a humanitarian gesture to help the veterans live a better life. But, in fact, the American bourgeoisie has not the slightest concern with these returnees, as people. They used them up like expendable cannon fodder in Viet Nam, and back in the U.S. the veterans are thrown on the unemployment lines, or racially discriminated against (in the case of the blacks and other oppressed nationalities) or let rot in private hells caused by Agent Orange.


No, the reason the bourgeoisie was now expressing its concern for the veterans was once again to press them into service behind American war aims. Now the bourgeoisie wanted to use them as the pretext to "reconcile" the nation with growing militarism and war preparations. The real motive of the bourgeoisie was expressed by arch-warmonger Ronald Reagan himself as he visited the National Cathedral to take part in a candlelight vigil for the Viet Nam war. He told reporters: "These are men who died for freedom just as sure as any men who ever fought for this country. The tragedy was they were asked to fight and die for a cause that their country was unwilling to win.

"I think that as time goes on, and it's already beginning, we're beginning to understand how much we were led astray at that time. We are beginning to appreciate that they were fighting for a just cause."

In short, the war-hungry Reagan is trying to reverse the verdict on the U.S. war of aggression in Viet Nam. He is trying to portray the napalming, looting and defoliating of Viet Nam as a "just cause," the cause of "freedom." Reagan's idea of "freedom" is the freedom for American corporations to trample Viet Nam, the freedom for the bloodthirsty generals to build military bases in Viet Nam, the freedom for the American jackboot to rule the world.

Oh yes, Reagan does believe that there is some stain on the American record in this war. Why, American honor is affronted by the fact that -- the American generals lost. No, no, Reagan whines, how could the all- powerful American war machine lose? No, impossible, why we were placed on this continent by god in order to rule the world. No, the real story is that the "country was unwilling to win." Just as Hitler invented the legend that Germany did not lose World War I but was stabbed in the back, so too the Reaganites have been going all out to blame the defeat of American imperialism on any excuse that's handy. Why, just imagine, "only" 500,000 troops at a time, totaling over 3.3 million,trampled tiny Viet Nam; only seven million tons of bombs fell; only the cream of the entire American military machine bore down on Viet Nam. But they will never hide the truth -- that the national liberation wars of the Indochinese peoples defeated the worst the American militarists could hand out.

A Monument to Chauvinism

The very conception of the Viet Nam Veterans Monument itself conformed to the general spirit of Reagan's remarks. Under the pretext of simply noting the dead -- surely something that "everyone" can agree on -- it in fact is a monument to chauvinism. In the first place, it does not note all the dead of the Indochinese war. The monument has no place in it at all for the Vietnamese and other Indochinese who died from American bullets in this war and died in much greater numbers than the Americans. There were far more than 57,939 Vietnamese liberation fighters who died heroically in this war. There were far more than 57,939 Vietnamese men, women and children who died from the ravages of American napalm. There were far more than 57,939 Vietnamese people who died or were cruelly mutilated by Agent Orange and the other chemical warfare agents used by the U.S. army. There were far more than 57,939 Vietnamese who were murdered by the CIA's Operation Phoenix and the other Special Forces operations to "capture the hearts and minds" of the people.

If this monument were truly simply a humanitarian gesture, where were the names of the Vietnamese and Laotian and Cambodian war dead? Or, perhaps, the monument's sponsors considered that only Americans are truly "human"?

But let us restrict ourselves to the American soldiers who trampled Indochinese soil. Here too we see that the monument is a monument for chauvinism. It is noticeable that this monument has no place to record the special trials and tribulations of the thousands upon thousand of heroes who revolted against the U.S. war of aggression in Viet Nam, who spent time in the military prisons for acts of resistance, who tasted the bitter life of an exile because they deserted, or who fought for the truly just side in this war, the side of the national liberation struggle of the Indochinese people. If this were truly a monument of "national reconciliation" in some good sense, then where were these names? It seems that this was a model for "national reconciliation" with the war and had no place to commemorate the sacrifices of those who stood up for justice despite the hardships involved, despite the bitter names and harsh persecution aimed at them.

But no, the dead are listed in such a war to appear to be a list of all those who died in "honorable" combat of behalf of U.S. domination of Asia. But this too is a mockery of the veterans, both dead and alive. Everyone knows that the majority of the American soldiers had no desire to be in Viet Nam, that they were herded to Viet Nam as mere cannon fodder and hated every moment. Even those soldiers who went there believing in the patriotic lies about the "just cause" of the U.S. army often came back disillusioned and radicalized. Everyone knows that the most militarist and gung-ho lower officers had to keep watching over their shoulders so that they wouldn't be "fragged" by their own American "grunts." And yet the names of the dead are to be marshalled on a monument and paraded as if they had been supporters of the war, while the living veterans are to be insulted by the constant stream of propaganda now coming out describing how the American soldiers really liked their job in Viet Nam, supported the war, were made into men by it, and so forth.

Indeed, the bourgeoisie is simply playing a cynical game with the veterans, dancing on the graves of the war dead in order to justify a bigger military budget at present. It wants to mobilize the Viet Nam veterans as a body into a shock force for reaction, but it is having a rather hard time of it. The newscasts and media coverage of the monument did the flag waving, not most of the veterans. Indeed, there were some veterans who did come shouting slogans and waving banners -- but, generally speaking, they were shouting these slogans right in the face of the Veterans Administration officials who were covering up the effects of Agent Orange and otherwise oppressing the veterans.

"National Reconciliation'' Japanese Style

While the American bourgeoisie was busy rewriting the story of Viet Nam, the Japanese government was up to a similar enterprise earlier this year when it announced a revision of the textbooks used to teach children the history of World War II. Just as Reagan announced that U.S. aggression in Indochina was a "just cause," so the Japanese militarists set their hands to whitewash their own "just cause" of plundering and pillaging the rest of Asia on behalf of the fascist Axis. According to the revision, Japanese forces were no longer to be said to have "invaded" China, they just made "advances" into China. They no longer massacred the Chinese, oh no, the Japanese atrocities in the war were really due to the stubborn Chinese people who actually -- why, how shameless -- fought back against the Japanese troops. Why, the various Asian people must have welcomed the Japanese as liberators, because the textbook revision writes the revolt of the Korean and other peoples against Japanese domination off the books and describes it as a simple "riot."

The various Asian peoples, victims of Japanese aggression expressed their anger at this glorification of Japanese aggression. They felt, and rightly so, that this was simply propaganda for new threats from Japanese imperialism. The Japanese government, which pursues a shrewd and wily policy in seeking to extend its tentacles into other countries, felt it best to back down for the time being on these revisions. Naturally, while compromising on the textbooks, it continued building up its military forces and weaving its new plans.

But what difference is there in the slightest between the Japanese imperialist rewriting of the history of World War II and the American bourgeoisie's desire for a "national reconciliation" with the U.S. war of aggression in Indochina? None, whatsoever. They are both signs that the imperialists will never change their nature, never stop planning new aggressions, but simply bide their time in order to prepare new invasions. There is no way to eliminate the danger of new military adventures by U.S. imperialism -- in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Iran, Lebanon, etc., -- until the socialist revolution that overthrows U.S. imperialism completely. There will be no release from the danger of reconstructed Japanese imperialism until the toiling masses of Japan seize power in their own socialist revolution. Until then, vigilance against the plots of the warmongers must be the byword of the movement. Not "national reconciliation" with the generals and militarists, but mass struggle against the bloodstained monopoly capitalist moneybags.

[Photo: National liberation fighters in south Viet Nam celebrating their victory in bringing down a U.S. imperialist airplane during the 1960's. The U.S. war against Viet Nam was an aggressive imperialist war. This is what the Reaganite U.S. bourgeoisie is desperately seeking to obscure today.]

[Photo: Viet Nam veteran throws back his Silver Star at the feet of the Capitol in April 1971. Thousands upon thousands of U.S. soldiers learned to hate the U.S. imperialists, actively opposed the war and supported the Vietnamese people's just liberation struggle.]

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The imperialists rush towards the 'tactical' use of atomic bombs

The British armada off the Falklands had nuclear weapons

Recently it has been reported by the Scripps-Howard News Service that the HMS Sheffield, sunk in the war between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands, was carrying nuclear depth charges when it went down. Thus the British fleet fighting for colonial domination of the Falkland Islands had nuclear weapons. The depth charges on the HMS Sheffield were atomic bombs with a yield equivalent to one kiloton of TNT, approximately equal to one-fifteenth of the bomb that devastated Hiroshima. These atomic depth charges are supposed to be able to sink any submarine within a mile of them.

British officials have promised that when the storm season in the South Atlantic subsides next year, they will try to recover the depth charges. Trying to pooh-pooh the matter, they say that they are satisfied that the safety systems on the depth charges were not damaged and that the charges will not explode. How they managed to inspect the depth charges while the Sheffield was sinking is their little secret. Since they presumably also knew that the Sheffield could not be sunk so easily, it is hard to see how they are so sure that the charges will not either explode or simply leak deadly plutonium into the ocean.

But the main scandal is that the British imperialists had nuclear weapons there at all. The British fleet was fighting against a non-nuclear enemy and yet they sent these weapons into the battle zone. This raises one of two possibilities:

Either the British navy made a conscious decision to initiate tactical nuclear warfare in the Falklands war in case of submarine warfare, or the British navy has integrated nuclear weapons into its arsenal so thoroughly that the presence of nuclear weapons off the Argentine coast came about simply through military routine.

Either possibility shows the bloodthirstiness of the British imperialists. Today the imperialists are coldbloodedly planning on the use of nuclear weapons. They are not only thinking of their use in an "all-out" war or in a "strategic" sense, but are more and more integrating "tactical" nuclear weapons into their arsenal. Despite their cynical chatter about how concerned they are about the danger of nuclear weapons, how they too allegedly share the concerns of the anti- nuclear demonstrators in the streets, or even about how allegedly soft and unilaterally disarmed they have become (a favorite British theme and also a Reaganite theme in the U.S.), in fact they are really arming to the teeth. If it weren't for the political complications, they would be willing to use nuclear weapons at the drop of a hat. A war over an insignificant island in the stormy South Atlantic, thousands upon thousands of miles from the coast of England, was considered a good enough pretext for the British fleet to bring in nuclear depth charges. After all, better to commit the most heinous crimes than that the British navy should be defeated in submarine warfare!

This is not simply a quirk of the British imperialists. By integrating atomic bombs into their tactical plans, they are simply following the lead of "our own" U.S. imperialists. The U.S. fleet (as well as the Soviet fleet) is chock full of atomic warheads, and every few months a new revelation comes to light about the frenzied nuclear arming by the American capitalist government. Recently, for example, it has been revealed that a classified document entitled "Defense Guidance," which is a five-year plan of strategic direction for the armed forces, has instructed that priority be put on strengthening the U.S. tactical nuclear forces. (New York Times, November 15, 1982) These weapons are to be especially designed not for use against the Soviet Union, but against dozens of other countries. After all, the document says, they too may get nuclear weapons in the coming decades. In particular, the document directs the Marine Corps to ' 'take the lead in developing a nuclear operations concept for its AV-8B" or Harrier "jump jet."

As far as considering the use of nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear foe, to say nothing of the "first use" of nuclear weapons, Britain has been preceded by U.S. imperialism. First of all, U.S. imperialism was the first and only power to use a nuclear weapon in warfare so far, dropping two atomic bombs on the Japanese people. This was not even for the purpose of defeating the Japanese imperialists, who were all but out of World War II already, but for the sake of intimidating the then-socialist Soviet Union and various of the insurgent antifascist peoples. In every major conflict since then, the U.S. has considered using nuclear weapons. There has been a constant stream of revelations on this course. The U.S. considered dropping atomic bombs in Korea. It offered nuclear weapons to the French during the battle of Dien Bien Phu. And major American politicians even openly advocated the use of nuclear weapons during the American aggression in Viet Nam which took over where the French left off.

Indeed, the Reagan administration has made no bones about the fact that it has not and will not give up the option of being the first side to initiate nuclear war in any coming battle. When General Haig was still in the Reagan Cabinet, he openly defended the first use of "tactical" nuclear weapons in Europe. In fact, it is an open secret that the tremendous expansion of the nuclear arsenal advocated by Carter and now by Reagan, such as the building of MX missiles and the stationing of various missiles in Europe, are designed to give the U.S. the capacity to wage a "first strike" against the Soviet Union.

All this shows that the anti-militarist fighters can put no faith in the lying protestations of innocence and humanitarian concern by the imperialists. The imperialists are coldbloodedly calculating how to use nuclear weapons whenever it suits them. The only way to fight against the nuclear threat is not to beg the imperialists to make hypocritical declarations, but to fight imperialism tooth and nail. Every step of organizing the revolutionary movement, each step of bringing the masses into new political life, is worth far more than ten thousand pious Congressional declarations or Presidential edicts about the alleged peaceful intentions of the imperialist warmongers.

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The steel monopolists want billions in concessions

Another sellout pact is rejected

Lloyd McBride, the president of the United Steelworkers of America (USW), seems to be competing for the labor traitor of the year award.

It is not bad enough that McBride reached an agreement with the steel tycoons to arbitrarily defer for a month the 94 an hour cost-of-living increase (COLA) due the workers on November 1. But in mid-November McBride actually drew up a new contract with the steel capitalists that called for even greater concessions than the $6 billion concession pact that the workers rejected in July.

On November 19, the local USW presidents, under heavy pressure from the rank-and-file steel workers, rejected this new outrageous concessions proposal by a vote of 231-141. Outside of their meeting hall in Pittsburgh, about 50 workers picketed, protesting against concessions and demanding jobs for the steel workers. Such protests must continue and the workers must get organized. Only mass struggle can stand up to the arrogant take-back offensive of the steel billionaires.

Pay Cutting With a Vengeance

In June and July, steel workers all across the country rejected McBride's attempts to give away their hard-won pay and benefit gains to the monopolies. In virtually every mill, the workers passed resolutions against concessions, and demonstrations and pickets were organized to protest against take- backs at a number of union meetings. This groundswell of rank-and-file opposition forced McBride to back away from the concessions deal cooked up by the steel monopolies.

But only a few months later McBride was back at the bargaining table. He claimed that the workers were not really opposed to concessions, but only that the steel monopolies' demand for $6 billion in concessions, including a wage and COLA freeze, was an "unreasonable" level of cutbacks. At the same time, McBride made it clear that his own proposal for $2 billion in cuts was "not a firm offer. There was a willingness to negotiate and explore." (Iron Age, August 20, 1982) Apparently McBride "explored" to the very depths of the greed of the steel monopolies, because the new contract which McBride endorsed was even worse than the rotten deal that he backed off from in July.

The new proposal went beyond the wage freeze of July, to demand an immediate pay cut of $2.25 an hour. According to the Pittsburgh Press some of this money would be restored to the workers' pay after a year, but by August 1986 the workers would still have lost $1.35 from their wage rate. As well COLA was to be frozen for a year, and after that the workers would only receive some kind of bonus tied to profits which would not be rolled into the base rate. Additionally cuts were demanded in the Sunday premium pay, the 13-week extended vacation plan was to be cut, and so forth. The proposed pact would have also removed some 50,000 workers in ore mining, fabricating and warehousing from the basic steel agreement. In short, the steel monopolies were demanding a giant step on the road of their declared aim of cutting the workers' pay in half.

When this outrageous concessions deal was rejected McBride complained that he was "disappointed" because, he said, "I felt the proposal was one that would satisfy (the monopolies') short-term cash flow problem." (Pittsburgh Press, November 20, 1982) McBride would have the workers go hungry and freeze in the winter as long as he can come up with a little cash for the monopolies. What a shamefaced bootlick of the steel billionaires.

Workers Must Fight for Their Livelihood and Jobs

The vote against this latest concessions proposal is a welcome event, but it is only temporary. The workers must remain vigilant.

It should be remembered that the same local presidents who rejected this pact have twice given McBride the go-ahead to carry out concessions talks with the "Big 8" steel monopolies. And the greatest majority of them have made it quite clear that they are not against concessions at all, but only wish to "trade concessions for jobs."

Right now the steel industry is in the depths of an over-production crisis. Production is running at about 40% capacity and the monopolies have thrown about 135,000 workers onto the unemployment lines. Certainly jobs are a major issue for the workers. But jobs or a livelihood for all those laid off can only be won through a most determined fight against the capitalists.

Granting concessions to the monopolies has never saved a single job. This has been proven over and over again in the auto industry, in steel and elsewhere. Recently, another example has proved this truth once again. Earlier this year the workers at the Bethlehem mill in Los Angeles gave the monopolies extensive concessions on the promise that the mill would be kept open. On September 21, despite the concessions given up, Bethlehem steel announced it was shutting down its entire West Coast operations and laying off its 2,000 workers in Los Angeles and Seattle by the end of the year. Bethlehem's chairman, Donald H. Trautlein, offered the workers his "thanks" and "sympathy" as he kicked them out the door.

Despite the glaring fact that concessions cannot be traded for jobs, the USW hacks persist in spreading this fairy tale. Particularly widespread is the ridiculous notion that forcing the monopolies to give written guarantees that they will spend the concessions money on investments to modernize the steel industry will somehow protect jobs and even bring laid-off workers back to work. Edmund Ayoub, the chief economist for the USW, recently expressed this demand in the following terms: "A deceleration of employment cost increases can be accommodated, but must be accompanied by some evidence of commitment to the modernization of the steel facilities by the industry." (American Metal Marketing, October 26, 1982)

But what does modernization mean? It means the continued wiping out of "excess capacity," the shutting down of entire mills, reorganizing production on more efficient lines, while introducing new, more productive machinery. In short, modernization means greater job elimination and for those few who retain their jobs it means increased job combination, speed up and overwork. Trading concessions for modernization guarantees simply means that the workers will be paying for their own job elimination.

No, the workers cannot give concessions to the steel monopolies. Instead, they must get organized for a fight. The basic steel contract does not expire until next August. But the steel tycoons and the top USW hacks are plotting right now on how to pick the workers' pockets. The workers must get organized too. Continue the protests against the arrogant concessions demands of the steel monopolies! Expose the lies of the USW bureaucrats! Rally all those who are working and who are laid off for a determined struggle to defend the jobs and livelihood of the steel workers.

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Postal workers resist murderous speedup

(The following leaflet was issued by the New York Metro Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on November 10, 1982.)

Once again the Postal Service is stepping up its vicious productivity drive against the postal workers. "Increased worker productivity" has meant a brutal program of speedup, rationalization of production (read more work per worker) and continual harassment in order to cut production costs to the minimum and exploit the workers to the maximum.

Now a backbreaking speedup is being imposed on the LSM (Letter Sorting Machine) operators in the New York Metro area. Management is removing one or more workers from the LSM's and forcing the remaining workers to fill in the gaps. This has meant an unbearable burden on the remaining operators.

Under the new system one person is expected to stay in an "up" position, ledge-loading and sweeping in the back all day. Besides never sitting down, this worker must perform almost all the work of two people under the old system, including the superhuman feat of being in the front and the back of the machine at the same time! For operators in the keying position the new system is a similar nightmare. Instead of having 15 minutes up for every half hour keying, the operators now have to key for 45 minutes straight (2,700 letters, nonstop) and still have only 15 minutes "up." Besides being a 50% increase in straight keying time, after keying for 45 minutes, when what they need is to close their eyes and rest, they are supposed to do 50% more in the "up" position as well! Then they are supposed to sit down again and key another 45 minutes, never looking up, ignoring every itch and maintaining an accuracy rate of 97 to 100%.

To enforce this "reorganization" of the LSM's, management has begun a campaign of harassment. Workers are being harassed continually for turning off their consoles during changeover, for going to the bathroom or for stopping the machine to rest a moment while facing up the mail, correcting a wrong zip code, etc. In flagrant violation of the contract, management continually pushes the operators to work beyond the 45 minutes between changeovers and beyond the two-hour limit between breaks.

This latest method of increased exploitation of the postal workers is really nothing new. Since 1970 the Postal Service has sweated a 34% increase in productivity out of the workers (in 1980 alone productivity was forced up 5.5%!). As a result of this brutal productivity drive 75,000 postal jobs have been eliminated since 1970 while the remaining workers have processed record levels of mail. For workers this has meant 60-70 hour weeks, unsafe conditions, and extreme on- the-job harassment, as job after job is automated and each day brutal new speedup measures are imposed.

This vicious productivity drive is part of the Reaganite offensive against the entire working class. Reagan's program of "national recovery" has meant speedups, layoffs, and wage cuts for the workers while the capitalists are given big tax breaks and handouts to "revitalize" industry.

While the postal workers face the hardships from Reagan's "revitalization" program, union bigwigs Biller and Sombrotto are doing their best to assist in these attacks. They have brazenly declared their support by pledging "to cooperate with the (new) administration in efforts to revitalize the U.S. economy." This means wholehearted support for the USPS productivity drive while betraying the interests of the workers. Biller and Sombrotto's 1981 sellout contract set the ground for the latest round of speedups by giving half of the basic wage increase only to "employees who meet productivity standards." Thus postal workers must slave themselves to an early grave just to receive their wage increase. The local union hacks are following in the same footsteps. While claiming to oppose the "new system" they have refused to lead the resistance which has broken out among the workers and in fact ordered the workers to comply with it while going through the grievance procedure. They are telling the workers not to fight now but to rely on some future ruling, while the Postal Service is free to go ahead with its vicious speedup and harassment.

But on their own workers have been discussing and denouncing the speedup and taking action against it. Slow-downs and other forms of resistance have taken place. The postal workers must continue to discuss and develop ways to fight the attacks of the Postal Service. Their jobs and livelihood can never be defended by cooperating with the brutal productivity drive. They must rely on their own efforts and struggle and not the soldout bureaucrats of the postal unions who oppose struggle and stand for cooperation with the job-eliminating productivity drive of the USPS. It is only the mass struggle of the workers themselves which will draw the line against the vicious speedup and harassment of the USPS and its Reaganite masters!

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Chrysler workers! Keep up the fight against concessions!

On November 22, the Chrysler capitalists and the heads of the UAW were forced back to the bargaining table by the strike of the Canadian Chrysler workers. And another act in the battle opened up. This is no run-of-the-mill fight. It has taken on broader proportions, affecting the struggles of the working class and the concessions drive of the capitalists.

Chrysler's chairman, Lee Iaccoca, as yet remains unyielding. Chrysler is losing millions upon millions of dollars each day of the strike. But it is fighting to save the concessions it has wrung from the workers and, with them, the concessions drive of the capitalist class. The billionaires are sweating. The news media of the rich, which have printed every lie against the workers that's been spit from the mouths of the executives, the capitalist politicians and the UAW hacks, are in turmoil. Editorials are popping up, "Is this a turning point?,'' "Have concessions run their course?," or, to put it more precisely, "Must we find some new way to ransack the workers' pocketbooks?" The capitalists are worried. Their eyes are on their bank vaults. Their hearts are with Iaccoca.

The Chrysler workers remain stubborn. For three years they have been ravaged by concessions and they are fed up. The old capitalist lies that concessions will somehow save jobs now fall on deaf ears. The workers know better. They've given up $1.2 billion in concessions and still the layoffs pile up and plants close down. The workers are demanding an end to the concessions and with them go the hopes of workers in every industry. In 1979 the Chrysler concessions were the model for the capitalist "takeback" offensive that struck almost every industry. Now, in 1982, the workers at Ford and GM, in steel and other industries, the public sector workers and the unemployed are looking to the Chrysler workers hoping that this year's struggle will be the model for defeating the capitalists' concessions demands.

The Chrysler workers are determined, but the struggle is difficult. They are not only fighting against the capitalists, they must also fight the UAW bureaucracy. From the beginning, UAW president Doug Fraser and his gang of bureaucrats have told countless lies and tried every dirty trick to saddle the workers with concessions. But faced with the resistance of the workers, the union hacks have had to wriggle like snakes, saying one thing one day, only to eat their words the next. For example, in September Fraser solemnly swore that the workers could not get another penny from the Chrysler coffers. But after 70% of the workers voted down concessions, Fraser began to speak about some "up-front money" which perhaps could be gotten. In October, Fraser declared that economic conditions were just too bad to even speak of negotiations until January, much less a strike. But faced with the Canadian Chrysler workers' strike, Fraser forgot his earlier declarations and rushed back to the bargaining table. At every point the workers have taken a step forward, only to meet another obstacle from the trade union hacks. With each new step, the union bureaucrats have been backed into a corner by the determination of the rank and file workers.

The Marxist-Leninist Party has stood by the side of the workers during these days of turmoil. At every turn in the struggle the Party has produced leaflets supporting the actions of the workers, exposing the treachery of the bureaucrats, encouraging the workers to build their own independent fighting organizations. Since September, six such leaflets have come out. In the Detroit area alone 30,000 of these leaflets have been distributed in the plants, at union meetings and in the workers' communities. Militants from among the workers have joined with the Party to hold picket lines, to fight at the union meetings, and to hand out leaflets in the plants. The workers are fighting and the MLP is marching by their side.

Today the conflict continues. The workers' heads are high. They have so far resisted the new concessions attacks and they are determined to win. But whether they win or lose this particular engagement, they have brought a change. A new round of struggle is opening up against the concessions assault of the capitalists.

Below we print a chronology of some of the highlights of the struggle at Chrysler.

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Chronology of the struggle

Summer and Fall 1981

Following the third set of concessions, which were negotiated in January of 1981, the Chrysler workers grew increasingly angry. Beginning in June, mass protests started breaking out at plants around the country. Through the fall, wildcat\strikes lasting one to several days shut down the Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant; Vemor Tool and Die in Detroit; the engine assembly plant in Windsor, Canada; and the stamping plant in Twinsburg, Ohio. As well several protest demonstrations were held at the tank plant in Warren, Michigan which was then still owned by Chrysler.

The ferment of the fall turned to a fierce determination to resist concessions in the 1982 contract. Fraser had promised the workers that concessions were only "temporary" and that the workers would receive "total ironclad and guaranteed parity" with the Ford and GM workers at the end of the contract on September 14, 1982. The workers took him at his word, and the cry for parity became the workers' demand from the shop floors across the country.

Spring 1982

The local union officials from Chrysler met to plan bargaining strategy for the fall. Frightened by the anger of the workers, Marc Stepp, the UAW vice-president in charge of the Chrysler negotiations, struck a militant pose declaring there would be no concessions to Chrysler and that he would accept nothing less than parity with the GM and Ford workers.

But the Chrysler executives made it clear they were planning to rescue the bulk of the old concessions and add new ones to boot. The newspapers became filled with articles crying about Chrysler's supposed poverty and claiming it was different from the GM and Ford giants. Chrysler president Lee Iaccoca announced that he might allow a wage increase, but only if the workers gave up equal amounts from other areas like health and medical benefits. Marc Stepp tried to tone down the workers' demands accordingly. He declared, "We intend to close the gap as quickly as we can with Ford and GM but to say that we'll do this at one sitting may be a bit ambitious." (emphasis added) The snake dance of the bureaucrats had thus begun.

Summer 1982

By the time the 1982 contract talks officially opened on July 20, the mood of the rank and file workers became even fiercer. In August 92% of the workers voted to authorize a nationwide strike against Chrysler if they could not get a decent contract. Fearing mass opposition and possible rebellions among the Chrysler workers, Iaccoca and Fraser decided to hide their new concessions plots by claiming that they were not negotiating any concessions into the new contract. On August 3, the Chrysler vice-president in charge of contract talks, Thomas Miner, declared in a Detroit Free Press article, "We're not asking for a concessions agreement at all."

September 1982

But news of actual measures of the rotten concessions deal being drawn up by Fraser began to leak out to the workers. As well, on September 2, the MLP began distributing a leaflet that exposed the new concessions being planned, including the proposed cuts in medical benefits and the continued concessions in wages, pensions and productivity.

The workers were outraged. Thus, when Fraser tried to extend the contract a few additional days, the workers refused to go along with him. On September 16 strikes broke out at all of the assembly plants and many of the other Chrysler shops across the country. Workers at the Jefferson Assembly plant in Detroit marched down to the union hall, broke down the door and demanded that the local leadership explain itself for supporting Fraser's rotten sellout. The striking workers at Sterling Heights Stamping Plant, just outside of Detroit, held a union meeting. There, the 600 workers present voted unanimously to call upon Fraser and the bargaining committee to resign. Following this Larry Leach, the local president at Sterling Heights, disclaimed responsibility for the resolution on a local radio talk show. At the Twinsburg, Ohio stamping plant, Bob Weissman, the local UAW president and a lauded spokesman of "Local Against Concessions," demanded that the workers stay on the job. But they defied him and shut the plant down for several days. During this period Chrysler workers in Windsor, Canada staged a wildcat strike to protest the UAW leaders' second extension of the old Canadian contract until November 5.

The MLP quickly put out another leaflet exposing the sellout contract. Distributed on picket lines and at the plant gates when the workers began to return to work, these leaflets hailed the strikes of the workers and emphasized that the mass struggle is the only road to winning the workers' demands. After the proposed contract came out, a third leaflet was produced which gave a detailed critique of the contract, exposing the wage freeze, the measly bonuses tied to profits, the terroristic absentee program, the cuts in medical benefits and Christmas bonus holiday, the continuing lack of job security, the plans for further local concessions, and so forth. In plant after plant, militant workers used these leaflets as a guide in explaining and fighting against the proposed concessions contract.

The UAW bureaucrats were thrown into a panic by the militant opposition of the workers. Fraser and Stepp immediately began to stall and indefinitely postponed ratification votes on the contract. Even while trying to sell the contract to the workers, Fraser went back to Chrysler to get a word or two changed in the absentee control program with the aim of placating the rank and file.

But the workers were not appeased. The informational union meetings to "sell" the concessions deal to the workers were turned into mass protests against Fraser and the proposed contract. Workers at local 212 (Mack Avenue, Detroit Trim, and Vernor Tool and Die plants) denounced the local president, Joe Zappa, and systematically ridiculed every provision of the contract. Outside the Jefferson Avenue assembly plant meeting, the MLP organized a picket line against the sellout contract. During the meeting the workers hooted and booed when sellout Fraser appeared on video tape trying to fool them about the. contract. Marc Stepp then tried to defend the concessions deal. But the workers denounced him too. When one worker suggested that Stepp take a Tylenol, more than 300 workers stood up and walked out of the meeting shouting over and over again "No Concessions, Vote No!" Marc Stepp went into a frenzy. On the TV news that evening he denounced the militant stand of the workers at Jefferson Avenue assembly and dredged up the notorious trick of the war criminal, Richard Nixon, calling upon the "silent majority" to come out in support of the concessions deal. It was also around this time that Iaccoca appeared on national TV news and denounced the Chrysler workers as "wild radicals who bring down corporations and governments."

October 1982

After almost a month of delaying, of attempts to appease the workers one day and to threaten them the next, the vote was finally taken. Across the country 70% of the workers rejected the contract. This was the first defeat of a contract proposed by the UAW leadership since the late 1940's.

Backed into a comer, Fraser cooked up another maneuver to forestall a strike and buy time for Chrysler and the UAW bureaucrats to figure out another way to force concessions down the workers' throats. It was not enough that 92% of the workers had already voted for a strike and that 70% had rejected the proposed contract. Fraser demanded another vote, this time to extend the old contract until January. Fraser postured that he too stood for a wage increase, some "up-front money" at least. But he argued that it was just a bad time to go on strike. Fraser had already postponed the strike for over a month, allowing Chrysler to amass a small stockpile of 1983 models. Now Fraser wanted to delay another two months to make sure Chrysler was well stockpiled and the workers were forced into the dead of winter before they could even think about striking. A local UAW president has recently reported that along with the contract extension, Fraser had secretly reached an agreement with Chrysler to eliminate the Christmas bonus holiday provided for in the existing contract.

Following Fraser's lead, the whole army of trade union bureaucrats dressed themselves up as anti-concessions fighters and then counseled the workers on the "grave dangers" of striking. As well, the TV, radio and newspapers launched a campaign of hysteria. Not only were the workers supposedly dooming Chrysler to bankruptcy but it was claimed that Highland Park, Trenton, Sterling Heights and other towns in Michigan would also be driven under.

In the midst of this hysteria, the MLP produced another leaflet which exposed Fraser's latest maneuver and which called on the workers to "Vote for a strike against concessions! Get organized for mass struggle against Chrysler!" This leaflet was widely taken up by the militants. Some 10,000 workers voted for a strike, including the majority at the Belvidere, Twinsburg and Sterling Heights plants. But under tremendous pressure, Fraser and his gang were able to win the vote to extend the contract and to temporarily hold in check the angry workers.

November 1982

However, the UAW bureaucrats were not able to enjoy their victory over the workers for long. On November 5, the 10,000 Chrysler workers in Canada walked out on strike. Fraser was again boxed into a corner.

The MLP again quickly came out with a leaflet calling on the American workers to support their brothers in Canada and to get organized for strikes in the U.S. (See the front page of this paper) The American workers were thrilled with the Canadian strike. Some went to join the picket lines. Others worked to build support inside the U.S. plants.

The UAW hacks initially tried to create a "backlash" among the American workers against the Canadian strikers. But seeing that this went nowhere, Fraser was again forced to eat his words and on November 22 began contract talks again for both the workers in the U.S. and Canada. Fraser has now begun to argue that the special conditions in Canada require that the U.S. and Canadian workers receive different agreements. Apparently he wants to throw the Canadian workers a crumb and the U.S. workers half a crumb.

But the workers can't live on crumbs. The Chrysler workers are demanding parity with the workers at GM and Ford. A unified strike of the U.S. and Canadian workers has the best possibility of achieving these aims.

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The revisionist and trotskyite liquidators

Siding with the UAW bureaucrats against the workers

The revisionists -- whether pro- Chinese, pro-Soviet, or trotskyite -- have all become out-and-out liquidators. They still claim to base themselves on Marxism-Leninism, but they obliterate (liquidate) its revolutionary principles and any independent class organization of the workers in favor of unity with the enemies of the workers' cause.

One of the striking features of the liquidators is their ability to always trail behind the soldout trade union bureaucrats while, at the same time, dressing up this treachery in the most militant appearing guise. A case in point is the strikebreaking role of the liquidators in the struggle against concessions at Chrysler.

Since the fall of 1979 the Marxist- Leninist Party and the militants among the Chrysler workers have been steadfastly working to rally the rank and file against concessions. Three times Fraser and the other top leaders of the UAW shoved concessions down the workers' throats. But each time the MLP and the other militants fought them, and each time the sentiment against concessions and the disgust with the union hacks grew. In 1981 a few wildcat strikes and demonstrations broke out in protest against concessions. And this year, when the contract expired, strikes against concessions spread to every major Chrysler plant, lasting several days. These strikes, and the overwhelming vote of the Chrysler workers against the concessions contract proposed by Chrysler and Fraser, show that the rank-and- file workers are becoming fed up with the betrayal of the union bureaucrats and are turning towards independent action.

But in these last three years the liquidators, completely embued with the spirit of the trade union bureaucracy, have as usual meekly trailed behind Fraser. Indeed, the main liquidator groups have shown no interest in the struggle at all. Some fell silent. Some simply recorded the disaster at Chrysler, shrugged their shoulders, and wrote it off as a "sign of the times." Others actually found excuses to praise Fraser, hailing him as a "progressive," as a "uniter" of labor, as an "opponent of Reaganism."

This fall, the liquidators again showed little interest in the workers' fight. Only after the strikes in September and mainly only after the overwhelming vote against the proposed contract, did some of the liquidators get excited. Suddenly there was a rash of articles in the liquidator press. A flurry of flowery editorials appeared praising the Chrysler workers. A few of the liquidators even arose from their long slumber and found their way to the plant gates to present their words of wisdom to the workers face to face.

But what advice did these liquidators give the workers? In one way or another they each suggested that the workers should fall in line behind the maneuvers of Fraser and subordinate their struggle to the trade union bureaucracy.

On October 21, after the workers had defeated his sellout contract by a 70% vote, Fraser called for a vote to extend the old contract until January. This was an obvious attempt to head off a strike and give Chrysler and the union hacks more time to find a way to saddle the workers with concessions. The MLP called on the workers to reject this maneuver, to vote for a strike and to get organized in every factory to carry the strike through. But the liquidators had a different idea.

The trotskyite Socialist Workers Party told the workers, "The demand now being raised by the Chrysler workers is to return to the bargaining table to fight for a decent contract. If no progress is made they will then discuss a strike." (The Militant, October 22, 1982, emphasis added) Doug Fraser couldn't have put it better.

The ultra-opportunist Guardian newspaper did not bother to carry an article before the vote, but in the November 3 issue they presented their view that, "As UAW President Douglas Fraser and the rest of the union's top leadership made no secret of their concern for Chrysler's viability after a strike, the workers chose the prudent course of waiting to see if things would get better." (emphasis added)

Other of the liquidator groups attempted to present this same treacherous support for Fraser's delaying tactic in a more militant garb. The trotskyite Workers World Party, for example, argued, "Regardless of the direction the bargaining committee chooses to announce on Thursday (October 21), the rank and file has shown that they are ready to fight." But did WWP call for a fight? No. They argued instead that, "The first task of the union, however, should be to put its own house in order. This would put it in a stronger position to discuss a strike or whatever other action should be taken." (Workers World, October 22,1982, emphasis added)

Following the vote the leader of the WWP, Sam Marcy, made it even clearer what this "tactic" amounted to. He argued, "To rush pell-mell into a strike vote was understandable but erroneous." Instead his tactic was "playing for time" while pursuing the "alternative of saying that we need to put our own house in order and discuss the possibility of replacing the bargaining committee or at least raise this as a means of discussion while preparing for the next phase of struggle." (Workers World, October 29, 1982, emphasis added) In other words convince the workers not to strike now by discussion and empty promises of reforming the union bureaucracy. Fraser calls for delay, and the WWP supports him but in the name of an illusionary fight against Fraser. Amazing!

Incredible as it may seem, other liquidators followed this same tactic. The revisionist sect called the "Communist Labor Party" actually passed out a leaflet at one or two plants demanding that "The Chrysler Council should meet and select a new negotiating committee." How the Chrysler council, which itself voted in favor of Fraser's sellout contract, is supposed to elect a new bargaining committee which will stand against concessions is hard to understand. Apparently, when you're trying to convince the workers not to strike^ any lie will do.

While the WWP and the "CLP" called for supporting Fraser's delaying tactic in the name of a fight against Fraser, the "Communist" Party USA called for support of the UAW leadership in the name of opposing the extension of the contract.

The "C"PUSA is the official pro- Soviet revisionist outfit and the grand- daddy of the liquidators in the U.S. Throughout the struggle it has done nothing to assist the Chrysler workers. But in its press the "C"PUSA assumes any phrasemongering will do as long as it backs up Fraser and the other union hacks. The October 23 issue of the Daily World carries a special statement by the Labor and Farm Department of the "C"PUSA which denounces extending the old contract as a "Taft-Hartley 'cooling off' period" and "a trap." But the statement concludes with the following appeal: "It is time to say to the leadership -- 'We are ready to fight -- we call on you to get in step and lead that fight.'" The "C"PUSA is completely enthralled with the union bureaucracy. It cannot imagine the workers organizing themselves or acting independently of the union hacks. Thus, even when the "C"PUSA speaks in favor of a strike, it must be a strike under the control of the very union misleaders who have fought tooth and nail to keep the workers from striking, who have time and again supported the capitalists' concessions drive against the workers.

But then, this is what liquidationism is about. The revisionists and trotskyites work night and day to liquidate any independent motion among the workers, to corral the workers and herd them back into the arms of the soldout trade union bureaucracy. If the workers are ever to free themselves from the bureaucrats' treachery, if they are to build their own fighting organizations and their own vanguard party to lead them in revolutionary struggle, then a persistent struggle must be waged to expose the liquidators and clear them out of the workers' movement.

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On the struggle against racism in Boston

The Workers' Advocate has recently received a report from the Boston Branch of the MLP on the racist offensive in that city and the anti-racist struggle. Reflecting the work and experience of our Boston comrades, this report contains valuable insight into the tactics of the city officialdom, the police, the media, etc., in organizing racist hysteria and racist attacks, and insight into the development of the anti-racist resistance of the working people.

Several years ago Boston became well known as a city which the capitalists turned into one of the key centers of the racist and segregationist anti-busing movement. Organizing such fascist movements is one of the main weapons in the arsenal of the capitalist ruling class for whipping up reaction against the working people. In Boston, as elsewhere, the mass opposition to racism eventually broke the back of this movement. However, as this report shows, the bourgeoisie did not become reasonable. It continues to organize the anti-busing racist gangs and it continues its efforts to stir up the anti-busing movement once again. Racist attacks and segregation are the calling cards of the capitalist moneybags.

Through documenting the events surrounding a series of racist gang attacks, this report sheds light on the fact that racism is not a spontaneous result of popular prejudices, or some variant of the same. On the contrary, racism is deliberately organized by the bourgeoisie and its government apparatus. The capitalist parasites in this country have thrived on the brutal subjugation of the black people and they have always adhered to the age-old "divide and rule" system of oppressing and exploiting the working population as a whole. This report shows how the Boston city politicians, typical lieutenants of the Democratic Party, are past masters of racism. It shows how the rich and their government strive to contend with the anti-racist sentiments of the working people. When faced by the mass resistance to the racist attacks, the bourgeoisie twists and turns; at times it is forced to lie low for a while and make a show of taking anti-racist measures, only to start up the racist attacks elsewhere.

The report shows how it is the police themselves who are one of the key organizers of the racists. The people who stand up to the racist goons are ruthlessly beaten, arrested and imprisoned by the guardians of capitalist law. Meanwhile, the racist hoodlums are protected like precious glass flowers. The police never fail to find some way to allow them to escape arrest and, when they are ever arrested, charges are dropped or, at most, they get a tap on the wrist. And more, the police themselves directly incite racist incidents and they directly engage in racist murders. At the same time, the report shows how the police try to disguise their racist stand, how they try to parade as fighters against the racist gangs, etc.

The report shows the role of the liberal politicians. The liberal politicians and officials work to lull the masses. Whenever the working people rise up to resist the racists, the liberals counsel "moderation," to leave matters to the police, to the courts, etc. Moreover, these liberals happily add their voices to the chorus of the avowed racists, whether it is in spewing flagrantly racist "anti-crime" hysteria, or it is in inciting the anti-busing movement by repeating the segregationist slurs and lies which have long been the province of the rabid anti-busers.

The report also shows the role of the misleaders of the black people. A small bribed upper stratum of the black population collaborates with the racist officials against the mass of the black working people. They do so in return for small favors, for cushy positions, for government grants, etc. There can be no fight against racism without also confronting the obstacles put up by these misleaders.

And finally, the report shows how the anti-racist resistance is developing among the working people. It shows how it is the resistance of the black and white residents which imperils the existence of the racist gangs which try to run roughshod over their communities. The mass struggle of the working people is the powerful force against racism.

Concentrating on events from February to October of this year, the report dwells on five main fronts:

1) the unleashing of a wave of racist gang attacks across metropolitan Boston;

2) a string of racist police murders;

3) a new chorus of segregationist anti-busing propaganda;

4) the sellout stand of the black misleaders;

5) the anti-racist resistance of the working people.

The following report has been written up based on the original that we received from our comrades in Boston.

A Wave of Racist Gang Attacks

The years 1974 to 1976 witnessed the "heyday" of the government-organized fascist anti-busing movement in Boston. Due to the mass opposition of the working and progressive people to this racist movement, the wind was soon knocked out of its sails. But the racist organization which the state had built up as the core of this movement remained. The government officials, the police, the media, etc., continued to protect and nurture a network of racist gangs such as the South Boston Marshals and a number of similar gangs of racist thugs, off-duty police officers, and other scum.

Since February of this year, the bourgeoisie has unleashed a wave of racist gang attacks all across Boston. Ronald Reagan's calls for support for segregationist private schools along with the government's brutal treatment of the Haitian refugees provided a signal from Washington for these attacks. Meanwhile, in February the local capitalist media struck up a big racist hysteria on the question of crime.

The February-to-present wave of racist gang attacks has shown a pattern. These days the state pushes brutal attacks in one area, then backs off to cool things out when resistance builds up. Attacks are then organized in another area, and so on. This way the rich have striven to kill two birds with one stone: to check the mass resistance of the people; and to preserve their racist gangs which remain a constant danger throughout the city. Let's look at the workings of this wave of racist gang terror.

In February, a gang in the Lakeview Manor housing project in Weymouth harassed a black family and stoned their apartment. The gang was led by the son of a South Shore anti-busing organizer named Williams. Williams was a city official and a ward boss for Boston Mayor Kevin White, and he is presently in jail for extortion. His wife was the secretary of the South Shore anti-busing organization.

On February 17, a black and white couple living in Lower Mills had their car firebombed.

In March, the East Cambridge racist gang burned a black man out of his apartment. No arrests were made and there was little reporting. This gang's history includes attacks on Iranians during the Iranian revolution. They also attacked Vietnamese during the racist hysteria over the Indochinese refugees. We have just received reports that this gang is now in the middle of more attacks, including against a Haitian family.

On March 10, there were racist attacks and resistance in Newton South High School. Suspensions were handed out "evenhandedly" to an equal number of black students and racists.

On March 13, William Atkinson was brutally murdered at the Savin Hill subway stop in Dorchester by the Savin Hill gang. They also beat up his white companion, Mark Darling, who was later publicized as a criminal in classic witness-smearing style. The first day media coverage, which had exposed relatively clearly what had happened, was quickly replaced with, "We don't think it was racially motivated." But in response to massive outrage, arrests were made with the customary televised contradiction with the police. The gang members were released immediately. The press began circulating the story of an unknown girl who had seen the whole thing; then lo and behold, a South Boston girl said she had seen the gang give up the chase and that William Atkinson had been killed by a subway train. District Attorney Newman Flanagan, a law and order "anti-crime" warrior, made statements that the train and not the racists did it, and the trial was postponed until October at the earliest. In the pre-trial hearings, one of the gang members who was on probation for a racist attack in April 1981, had those earlier charges dropped as being relatively minor compared to the Atkinson case. The handling of the Atkinson killers amounted to the government beaming a go-ahead signal to all of the racist gangs. Meanwhile churches and the social-democratic opportunists organized a silent walk and called for a voluntary community curfew. There is still citywide attention as to when the trial for Atkinson's murderers will be.

On March 16, the so-called "Charlestown Liberation Army," the racist terror squad of the Charlestown anti-busing group, "Powder keg," attacked some black students in Charlestown High. The black resistance grew rapidly, the school was closed for days, and again, suspensions were handed out "evenhandedly." Black youth in the Atkinson march said that Madison Park High School was also closed because black youth were planning to go to Charlestown High to fight the racists. This incident was used to call for an extremely harsh school discipline code.

Also in March, there were fights against the racists at Hyde Park High School, again with "equal" suspensions.

In April or thereabouts, a black West Indian family was burned out of their home on River Street, which runs from Dorchester, through Mattapan, to Hyde Park. There was no reporting of this; a contact told us about it.

In April or May, three African students were attacked on Parker Street at the border of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain, by Jamaica Plain racist youth.

In Dorchester, the Wainwright Park gang, another anti-busing gang, was active during this whole period. In late April or early May this gang attacked some black youth on Welles Avenue, one block from the park, Mr. Clarke, a black West Indian and a ten-year resident, stopped the racists by firing warning shots over their heads. The police arrested Mr. Clarke immediately, and within two weeks the courts sentenced him to one year in the Deer Island prison! This was not reported until events in the neighborhood were intensifying two weeks later. Shortly after the arrest, the gang burned out two black families and a white family living between the two houses. Earlier that night, the gang had been harassing a white woman in her home whom the gang suspected of allowing black people in her house. When a white neighbor came out on his porch to oppose the gang, they said, "One more step and your house is gone." The house-burnings and intimidation have not been reported except by the leaflets of the Boston Worker put out by the Boston Branch of the MLP.

On May 19, the Wainwright Park gang made another of many firebombing attempts on the home of three black families who had moved into a house on the park in December. The next day, two racists attacked the young people of the house on their front porch. When they successfully resisted the attack, the police immediately showed up and attacked the victims. The first article on the Wainwright Park events then appeared in the capitalist media; the attacks were labeled "isolated, spontaneous incidents."

Meanwhile, under the guise of protection for the black residents, the police began heavy patrols to stop any black youth from going into the area to fight the racists. The police blamed drinking youth for the attacks and used this as an excuse to crack down on the youth throughout southern Dorchester.

Community meetings were organized by the local minister and the police. Under the cover of setting up community networks to assist the black families, they promoted hysteria about white people being robbed by black people in the neighborhood, and that the police should be assisted by a "neighborhood watch" program. However, these meetings failed to prevent the isolation and denunciation of the racist gang and they failed to stem the determination of the black residents to fight these racists. The militants of the MLP used these meetings to build up anti-racist sentiment among the residents to the point where a meeting was hastily called off and no more were held.

During this entire period, from February to May, of systematic racist gang attacks the state pushed a lot of propaganda that each of these crimes was "an isolated, spontaneous incident," carried out by "kids." Government officials kept saying "We don't think it was racially motivated." However, with the murder of William Atkinson and the accumulated events of the spring in people's minds, with the beginnings of mass struggles breaking out, and with the vigorous agitational work of the MLP, the police started to change their tune. They started admitting that there was a definite gang involved around Wainwright Park and they made a number of arrests. This change was very noticeable when compared to the cover-up and support of the government and media for the Savin Hill gang in March, for the other racist attacks, and even for the Wainwright Park gang in May.

By June, the police stepped up their efforts to increase the suppression of the people and the deception of the people both at once. Among other steps, they sentenced the Weymouth gang leader, Williams, to jail. Mayor White and Police Commissioner Jordan led a high-level conference of police officers on the "long, hot summer." Raising the specter of a "riot," they called for the police to be "sensitive" to each particular incident, being careful when to arrest and when to disperse.

Meanwhile, the "liberal" voices in the media were calling for the expansion of the Community Disorders Unit. The police then organized a new "race relations bureau," to be led by their second-in-command, Bratton. This unit is made up of 100 men, paired into 50 "trouble spots" around the city, mainly as motorcycle patrols. Half of this unit are policemen previously in housing projects under Boston Housing Authority command. The "hot spots" are almost all located to serve as reconnaissance for suppressing the black community. The patrols are to work closely with the "gang squads" which include a detention wagon, cruisers, and motorcycles, which were set up in the summer of 1980 when the anti-racist movement was on the verge of eruption over the police murder of Levi Hart.

Thus in June the capitalists shifted their tactics: they admitted a racist character to the attacks; they made some arrests; they more or less restrained the Wainwright Park gang; and they tried to color the police department with an anti-racist tinge so as to better suppress the people. Meanwhile the campaign of racist incitement and gang attacks continued unabated.

As mentioned, from February the capitalists had been whipping up "anti-crime" hysteria. Taking this as their cue, the South Boston Marshals, the principal fascist gang in Boston, began denouncing the "liberal media" for allegedly not reporting incidents of "black crime against whites." The so-called "liberal media" happily obliged. The media began blowing up incidents of petty crime as supposedly "racially motivated," reaching new heights of absurdity.

On July 5 the gang around Ross Field in Hyde Park carried out some vicious attacks. The gang attacked the car of a black couple and the house of the black family where the couple went for safety. Later they beat up a woman from the house who was going to the store. When the racists attacked the woman, black and white neighbors went to her aid, whereupon the police showed up and maced the people fighting the racists, allowing the racists to escape. When the racists' names were turned in, however, the police arrested them, reflecting the June approach of the bourgeoisie. Here they were facing a neighborhood that was becoming a hotbed of anti-racist motion.

At a community meeting held at a church, the residents decided to confront the gang on Ross Field, which has been violently segregated for at least seven years. A great number of police showed up to make sure that the gang didn't get the punishment that they deserved. The racists were arrested and charged with assault and battery as well as with violation of the state civil rights law. Under this law, 10 of the Ross Field racists were placed under a restraining order, making them subject to fines or imprisonment if they associate with each other, go on the field, harass black people, etc. Supposedly this order was to restrain the racist gang. But, numbers of residents being armed and many willing to fight, the real idea behind this order was to protect the gang from being smashed in a confrontation and to undermine the development of the people's own mass resistance, both in the neighborhood and citywide. The residents are very skeptical of the restraining order and have not relaxed their vigilance. One racist has been arrested for violating the order. The judge tried to back out of sentencing him, but fearing exposure, gave him 60 days in jail (separated from the other inmates, who, knowing he was a racist, were expected to punish him). Despite one resident publicly stating "faith in the judge and the restraining order," the residents know that the gang is just waiting for another opportunity. There is a long history here of black and white residents fighting the gang.

Also in early July, the racist gang one mile south of Ross Field attacked the apartment of a Greek man in the Fairmont housing project. This man has black friends and is thought to be Puerto Rican by the gang.

From mid-July, the capitalists have kept the gangs around the city on a short leash. The first week of school has been quiet. There was a noticeable drop in the racist "anti-crime" hysteria and in the anti-busing propaganda during the weeks before the opening of school which is historically the time of whipping up the gangs. The bourgeoisie fears the growth of the anti-racist movement; but this in no way means that the rich will abandon their racist offensive or that their gangs do not continue to pose a danger.

Racist Police Murders

During this period of stepped-up racist violence since February, we are aware of four cases of racist murders by the police. The state has tried to justify these brutal murders by portraying the victims as criminals and the killers as men of the law just doing their job. In fact these are flagrant cases of racist lynchings. These black youth were put to death for allegedly committing such crimes as trespassing and car theft. On the spot the police act as the judge, jury and executioner. These murders are typical examples of the so-called "war on crime," which is a major theme of the capitalist state. This campaign is part of growing fascism: it is part of the racist offensive and stepped-up police violence against all the working and downtrodden masses.

In February, a black man was shot by the Boston police in Brighton. The police say that he was a car thief trying to run them down. Eyewitnesses explain that the car was stuck spinning on the ice and that the cop jumped onto the hood and shot through the windshield. Trying to cover up the nature of this murder, the newspapers didn't even report that the man was black and they quickly dropped the story altogether when it was declared that the police were carrying out "proper procedures."

In March, the Orchard Park housing project security police shot Jeffrey Robinson. Jeffrey had gone with friends to play basketball in the gym. The gym had been used every day for months despite having been closed due to budget cutbacks. The projects have been managed by a private group, Lena Park Associates, which is a group of black sellouts who oversee the deterioration of housing projects. They were leasing the gym from the city for $1, supposedly with plans to fix it. After months of not caring about the facility, they sent an unarmed guard, citing vandalism. The guard was chased out, so a director of Lena Park authorized an armed guard. In the process of ejecting one youth from the gym, the security guard dropped his two-way radio. Jeffrey bent over to pick it up, whereupon the security guard whirled around and shot Jeffrey in the heart. The guard has not been charged. There was a closed inquest for the District Attorney to see if charges were warranted. To calm down the project residents, a meeting was held in which Othello Mahone, the authorizing director, tried to give the guard's fabricated story. When the residents denounced this with the participation of militants of the MLP, the Lena Park Associates set up a "community commission," which has never been heard from since.

In June, the Boston police shot Gary Lee near Wainwright Park in southern Dorchester. Their story is that Gary was sitting on his front porch as a lookout for a burglary. And, when they started questioning him, they allege that he ran around the side of the house yelling "Get out of there." They say one cop tackled him and Gary somehow got his service revolver away from him and shot the cop in the shoulder, whereupon the other cop shot Gary in the head. This outrageous story was trumpeted by the media for days.

On August 5, the police shot Braxton Mitchell, allegedly in a stolen car, at Blue Hill Avenue and Seaver Street in Roxbury. Witnesses say police shot from their cruiser as soon as they had spotted the car and the black driver. Then the police followed the car on foot for 50 yards where the car stopped on a median strip and shot Braxton in the head.

Another Round of Segregationist Anti-Busing Propaganda

As mentioned, the fascist anti-busing movement in Boston has taken a beating. Nevertheless the bourgeoisie is still using its racist anti-busing propaganda and its anti-busing organization. The anti-busing racists are still active as shown by the elections to the City Council in the fall of 1981. James Kelly, the chief hoodlum of the South Boston Marshals and the principal mouthpiece of the fascist anti-busing movement, ran on a "maintain the neighborhoods" plank against a redistricting plan which might allow one or two blacks to win seats on the City Council. Kelly came in tenth, which means that he will automatically get a seat if one of the nine councilor's seats becomes vacant.

Furthermore, during the last year there has been a mounting chorus of anti-busing propaganda, and steps are underway towards dismantling any measures that actually resulted in any desegregation. This chorus has taken its cue directly from Washington where President Reagan is a vocal segregationist and anti-buser, where the Senate is working up one anti-busing law after the next, and from where Attorney General Smith and the Justice Department is directing a nationwide campaign for further segregating the schools. (See article on page 7 of this issue of The Workers' Advocate.)

For the past eight years, the racist anti-busing hysteria in Boston has been whipped up around the busing orders of federal district judge Garrity. On the one hand, the government has put down its court orders, and on the other hand, the same government, the City Hall, the police, the courts, etc., has done everything in its power to organize and mobilize the rabidly racist anti-busing movement under the signboard of opposition to the "tyranny" of the court orders.

Last fall, this carefully orchestrated melodrama began a new episode. Federal judge Garrity began negotiations with local parties for his withdrawal from the Boston desegregation case. This involves drawing up a consent decree plan for the next several years, ostensibly retaining desegregation measures. Negotiations over the consent decree has provided an arena for a new wave of racist anti-busing propaganda.

In February, the main black lawyer involved, Larry Johnson, withdrew from the negotiations. Citing the low quality of education, the deterioration of the schools, and the "rigidity" of Garrity's desegregation orders, Johnson and his Black Parents Committee called for a "freedom of choice" plan to be worked out without Garrity.

Of course, Johnson's positions of linking the quality of education with the desegregation orders dovetailed perfectly with the stand of the avowed racists. James Kelly, for example, gave a TV interview where he said that the busing of blacks into South Boston High had ruined it as a "good neighborhood school." In fact, the fascist scum of the South Boston Marshals greeted Johnson's stand by stepping up their rhetoric about how ''We told you busing was not good, and now black people are agreeing with us." Coupled with their hysteria blaming school crime on black students, this helped to set the stage for the racist gang attacks across the city.

Next to join the anti-busing spring campaign was school superintendent Spillane. With the favorable wind of Johnson's stand, Spillane revived his old anti-busing rhetoric against the "rigidity" of the court orders, rhetoric which he had had to temporarily silence in order to land his superintendents post. Calling for Garrity to step aside, Spillane also tried to blame the lack of "quality education" on the court orders. Meanwhile, it is none other than this same superintendent who is ordering the big layoffs of teachers and other cutbacks in the schools.

Not to be left out of the action, the Boston Globe began a "spotlight" front page series giving the gory details of the deterioration of the schools. Instead of laying the blame where it belongs, with the Reaganite cuts by the capitalists in education, etc., the Globe blamed the victims, the teachers and students. It also concluded that Garrity be removed and a new consent decree be drawn up immediately, leading the call for scrapping the "rigid geocoding" system of court ordered school assignments.

Meanwhile at the state level, the Massachusetts constitutional convention amended the state constitution to allow state funding for private schools. These include, of course, the segregationist "anti-busing academies" set up or expanded in the Boston area in the face of the busing order. While the public schools crumble for lack of funds, there is always plenty of dough available for segregation. In fact, this is national policy with Ronald Reagan working to step up federal subsidies for private schools and segregationist academies while cutting to the bone funds for public education. If Reagan's tuition tax credit plan goes through, by the 1984-1985 school year the federal treasury, either through tax credits or other means, will be spending more than twice as much on each student in the private schools than the student in public school.

At the federal level, in June the Justice Department decided to review the Boston case and promised to push for a "freedom of choice" plan if it was determined that busing "hasn't worked."

Since mid-summer, all the parties involved, Garrity, the State Board of Education, the Boston School Board, the Black Parents Committee, etc., have been embroiled in a complex tussle over the fate of the Boston schools. At this point the general direction of things is that desegregation orders are the principle evil and that a "freedom of choice" plan should take their place.

The black lawyer, Larry Johnson, has put forward one such plan that would reserve percentages of seats in each school for different races. The students would have "freedom of choice" about what schools they wanted to attend, while unfilled seats would be open for the taking.

Of course, such a plan only means more freedom for the capitalists and their racist gangs to force more rigid segregation on the people than ever. The city of Boston is heavily segregated by neighborhoods; a recent census report indicated that 77% of the population would have to be relocated to achieve integrated communities. This systematic segregation is not a matter of "freedom of choice," but is enforced by the terror of the racist gangs and the police and by other weapons of force and coercion. For instance, the same census report pointed out that in the areas of South Boston, East Boston, and Charlestown, over the last decade, almost all of the national minorities have left. And everyone knows that they didn't leave by "freedom of choice" but have been driven out as a result of the attacks of the anti-busing gangs. In this situation, a "freedom of choice" plan for the schools means "freedom" for the racist gangs and police to make sure that the black students "choose" to stay away from the segregated white schools.

In recent days, Garrity has announced that on December 1 he will finally withdraw from the case and hand down his decision on the fate of the desegregation orders. Coupled with this, Garrity has also expressed that he too is open to a "freedom of choice" plan.

How fast the government will dismantle the desegregation measures has yet to be seen for sure. But the trend is clear. As part of the racist offensive of the rich, further segregationist measures are on the agenda, and the anti-busing propaganda is not going away and it will continue to provide nourishment for the fascist gangs.

The Role of the Black Misleaders

In the face of the racist offensive of the rich, on every front we find the black misleaders -- the black officials, lawyers, community leaders, the NAACP, and the like -- coming down on the side of the oppressors of the black masses. Everywhere we find them working to snuff out the mass anti-racist resistance.

In the face of the racist gang attacks the black misleaders have sat on their hands, calling for the police, the very organizers and protectors of the gangs, to better protect the black people.

When William Atkinson was murdered the silence of the black sellouts was deafening. In his efforts to cover for the racist killers, the District Attorney praised the cooperation that he got from the black leaders. At a meeting of Dorchester residents, a number of black sellouts and Democratic Party "community organizers" called for more action from the Mayor and the police, and proposed a voluntary community curfew.

When, after the fights in the high schools in March, a new, harsher discipline code was proposed, there was only one voice among the black misleaders, school committee member O'Bryant, who pointed out that this was to be used to crack down against the black students.

When the racist gang attacks took place around Wain- wright Park, Feaster, the head of the Boston NAACP, showed up at a community meeting, advising the police to "nip this in the bud" (nine years of attacks he called a "bud"!), "or kids from across the tracks will retaliate."

When the police set up the new "race relations bureau" under assistant commissioner Bratton to step up surveillance and suppression in the black communities, black state representative Mel King, darling of the social-democrats and opportunists, came out to highly praise Bratton as an effective fighter against drug crime.

This general stand of the black misleaders was expressed by the NAACP national convention that was held in Boston this year. Its principle message was to get out the vote for the Democrats. Regarding the Boston situation, they only promoted fear and the need for federal protection.

On the question of police murders, the stand of the black misleaders has been equally if not more treacherous. They have simply echoed the "law and order" campaign of the government. Thus when the police brutally murdered Braxton Mitchell, the local black newspaper, the Bay State Banner, applauded the police saying that these killers must be given "license to deal severely with the miscreants."

Most revealing was the murder of Jeffrey Robinson by the security police at the Orchard Park housing project. Here was a case where the murder was a direct result of the actions of the black misleaders themselves. The Lena Park Development Associates (LPDA) is a group of self-styled community leaders. The LPDA had taken over the Orchard Park projects from the city. This was a telling example of the so-called community control and black capitalism schemes of the bourgeoisie. In essence, the LPDA simply took over the dirty role of overseer of the Reaganite budget cuts, in this case the city cutbacks in public housing.

Under the LPDA the business of oppressing the black masses continued as usual, including the callous murder of the black youth. As part of the budget cuts, the LPDA had shut down the gym. Nevertheless for months the young people continued to play there. Jeffrey Robinson was murdered in cold blood by the armed guard which the black sellouts of the LPDA had sent to chase Jeffrey and the other young people playing basketball out of the gym. Afterwards, the LPDA used all the standard tricks of the trade to cover up this murder and to bury the mass outrage under a wet blanket of commissions and inquests to whitewash the LPDA and the others responsible.

As for the racist anti-busing propaganda, we have already seen how it was none other than the black lawyer, Larry Johnson, who helped open up the flood gates of a new wave of anti-busing hysteria when he came out against "forced busing" and for a "freedom of choice" segregationist plan.

The Anti-Racist Resistance of the Working People

The fears of the politicians and the police of a revolt against the racists are well founded. The anti-racist ferment continues to build up among the masses. The ordinary working people have had more than enough of the racist hysteria and attacks.

The people have performed countless small but heroic acts of resistance to the racist gang terror. There is the case of the black factory worker whose car was attacked by a gang of racists as he drove home from the factory. The racists were chased off by white women co-workers at the factory whose car had been following close behind. Or there is the case of Mr. Clarke who drove off the Wainwright Park racist hoodlums in Dorchester and who received a one year jail sentence for his courageous stand.

The resistance to the gangs has also erupted into mass struggles. As we have seen in Ross Field in Hyde Park, for example, black and white neighbors have banded together to resist the racist attacks and to confront and smash the racist gang. And, as we have also seen, such resistance or even the prospects of it is what drives the bourgeoisie to resort to extensive maneuvers to lull the people to drop their vigilance. The mass struggle of the working people is what the racists dread most.

October 16 marked a highpoint of the anti-racist struggle. On that day at City Hall Plaza 2,500 angry demonstrators drove out the KKK terrorists and resisted the attacks of the klan's police protectors. Of particular note was that a large number of the anti-klan demonstrators were white workers and young people from South Boston, Charlestown and other areas where the racist gangs have been running amok and striving to recruit the white youth.

The upsurge in the Haitian community has provided another important current of the anti-racist movement. The U.S. government's racist persecution of the Haitian immigrants and the U.S. imperialist backing of the fascist puppet Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti has raised the vehement wrath of the Haitian workers in Boston. In February there was a series of meetings and demonstrations on these issues.

In the mass ferment against the racist offensive, the MLP has played a militant role. In the face of the racist attacks, the supporters of the MLP have worked to investigate the facts, to spread the truth about these attacks, and to raise the people's vigilance against the maneuvers of the racists and the government. The MLP supporters have worked hard to galvanize the outrage of the working people; they participated vigorously in the denunciation of the murderers of Jeffrey Robinson at the housing project meeting; they participated in the condemnation of the racists at the Wainwright Park meeting, and so forth. Since February alone, among the many leaflets of the Boston Worker, five of them, produced by the thousands, have been devoted to raising the call for struggle against the racist offensive of the rich. These leaflets have provided a weapon of agitation among the broad masses of the city against the racist gangs, against the police murders and the other racist outrages of the capitalists.

The anti-racist struggles of the people are bound to grow. But for a powerful and effective struggle, this spontaneous motion requires organization and clarity about the class nature of the enemy and how to fight it. In Boston there is a growing recognition among the working people of the MLP as a fighting force against the racists. This is because it is the Marxist-Leninist Party of the working class, with its firmness of character and clearness of vision, that is working hard to raise the anti-racist resistance to a powerful force against the racist offensive of the rich.

[Photo: On October 15, the capitalist owners of WBZ-TV in Boston gave imperial wizard of the KKK, Bill Wilkinson, free time on the air waves by inviting him to appear on a talk show. The talk show was successfully disrupted by anti-racists who denounced this racist hoodlum and pelted him with eggs and fists (above). This helped to set the stage for the rout of Wilkinson and his gang of racist cutthroats two days later on the City Hall Plaza.]

[Photo: Boston police protect Klansmen from the wrath of demonstrators on City Hall Plaza, October 16. This provided a vivid example of how the capitalist government nurtures the racist and fascist gangs.]

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NAACP holds 1982 convention

Black Capitalism Serves Reaganomics

[The West Indian Voice masthead.]

(The following article is taken from an article in The West Indian Voice newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, November, 1982.)

Reaganite reaction has meant intensified oppression and hardship for the masses of black people and other oppressed nationalities. Unemployment for black workers stands at over 18%; for black youth it is over 50%. While unemployment soars and growing numbers go hungry, social services such as unemployment benefits, welfare, etc., are being cut to the bone. Hand in hand with this economic offensive of the rich -- an offensive against all working people, but which cuts most deeply against the most oppressed -- go the war preparations and the growth of political reaction; and in the U.S., right-wing reaction is synonymous with virulent racism and segregationism. Reaganite reaction has meant a segregationist offensive in jobs and education. Underlining the Jim Crow character of his program, Reagan has even gone so far as to attempt to openly scuttle the voting rights of the black people.

Reagan's offensive has provoked a burning outrage among the masses including the black people. There is a growing ferment and desire for struggle against this barbaric offensive. At a time such as this it is natural for people to ask: where are the "respectable" black leaders, the Jesse Jacksons, the Benjamin Hooks, the Andrew Youngs, etc. What is their attitude toward Reaganite reaction, and toward the desire of literally millions of people for struggle against it?

An answer to these questions was provided by this year's NAACP convention. Unquestionably, the annual conventions of the NAACP express the positions of the NAACP leadership. And, unquestionably, the NAACP leadership represents the mainstream of "respectable" black thought, that is, of the big-time lawyers, the bankers and corporation executives, and their political representatives.

The NAACP convention showed that the leadership of the NAACP is comfortably adapting itself to Reaganite reaction and is strongly opposed to the demand of the masses for struggle against it. Of course, this convention was full of anti-Reagan rhetoric. But the actual positions taken show that these were empty words designed to capture people's confidence. In fact, the NAACP leadership opposes mass struggle against Reaganite reaction and tries to substitute in its place support for the equally Reaganite Democratic Party. At the same time, they adopt a conciliatory attitude towards Reagan on a series of burning questions. This convention shows once again that the struggle against Reaganism can advance only by also fighting against the treachery of misleaders such as the NAACP leadership, who are really flunkeys of the rich and mouthpieces for the Democratic Party.

Reaganism, Democratic Party Style

The 1981 NAACP convention was an orgy of hugs and kisses for Reagan. Reagan was honored and embraced and provided a platform in the hope of reconciliation. This year's convention, however, was a spectacle of love and devotion for the Democratic Party. The convention's theme was "Elect We Must, Leadership We Can Trust," that is, the Democrats. This year the honored guest was not Reagan, but Democratic presidential hopefuls Kennedy and Mondale.

What has changed? Nothing, as far as the treachery of the NAACP leadership is concerned. It is public knowledge that the Democrats in Congress spent all last year openly honeymooning with Reagan. Naturally, since this year is an election year, the Democrats are now full of anti-Reagan rhetoric. But this cannot change the fact that in their deeds they are just as Reaganite as the Republicans. When the NAACP leadership embraces Reagan one year and Kennedy and Mondale the next, this does not mean that they are thinking about fighting Reaganism. It is a matter of whether it is safer to support Reagan's Reaganism or Democratic Party Reaganism. This is shown clearly when we look at what the Democrats actually stand for.

Take education, for example, As the Democratic presidential candidate it was Carter who came out for segregation in 1976 with the slogan of "ethnic purity." It was the Democratic Carter administration which pushed the Bakke Decision and the big lie of "reverse discrimination." Thus, it is not surprising that the Democratic-controlled House recently passed an amendment to bar busing for school integration authored by none other than the racist fiend Jesse Helms.

Clearly then, when the NAACP leadership trumpets its praise for the Democratic Party, it is by no means turning away from its conciliation with Reaganism. But then, why the change in scenarios between the 1981 and 1982 conventions?

The masses of black people are seething with anger against Reagan. To hold the people's confidence, the NAACP leaders must now try to bury the memory of last year's ugly performance with an avalanche of anti-Reagan words and gestures -- in true Democrat style.

Also, it must be remembered that the fortunes of virtually all the sellout black politicians -- and with them, political figures such as Hooks and Margaret Bush Wilson [Executive Director and Chairperson of the NAACP -- ed.] -- are directly tied to the Democratic Party. Their representatives receive token seats on the Democratic National Committee, they run on the Democratic ticket, and they receive most of their appointments and patronage through the Democrats. It is not surprising that, in an election year, they are stumping for the party to whose coattail they are tied.

Indeed, even the obscene gushing over Reagan at the 1981 convention was no big departure from Democratic Party norms. 1981 was the year of the Democrats' open honeymooning with Reagan, while today in preparation for the November elections, they are talking up a storm against Reagan while still honeymooning in deeds.

Finally, the NAACP leadership has its own grudge with Reagan, one which has nothing to do with the plight of the black masses. They disgraced themselves, giving Reagan their hugs and kisses, but got nothing in return. Reagan tried to double deal them on the Voting Rights Act. He refused to offer them a deal on token appointments, such as to the Civil Rights Commission. And, worst of all, while cutting social services for the masses down to the bone, he was careless enough to also shave a bit from the funds earmarked for the poverty pimps and other sellouts.

Grudge or no grudge, the NAACP leadership can still see beyond November and therefore, despite all the hoopla, they are avoiding burning their bridges behind them. This is the reason why each session of the NAACP convention brought new statements from Hooks and others that they are not saying that Reagan is a racist, that he is mistaken but they know that his intentions are honorable, and so forth. While feting and frolicking with Kennedy and Mondale, the NAACP leadership is careful to also leave open the doorway to a reconciliation with Reagan, for after all, it is he that is in office.

Traitors Genuflect Before Corporate America

Whether they are cuddling up to Reagan or to the Democrats, it is clear that the NAACP leadership is cuddling up to Reaganism. In fact, conciliation to Reaganism runs like a thread through all their policies.

On the economic front, the NAACP leadership and other misleaders are in a dilemma. On the one hand, Reagan has cut some of the funds on which the business of poverty pimping thrives, and they have no guarantee that the government subsidies and special arrangements for black banks and other businesses will continue. On the other hand, they are afraid to fight Reagan's merciless slashing of social programs and benefits. That would mean bringing the masses out for demonstrations against the Reagan budget. True, the misleaders would try to channel the demands away from the interests of the masses and simply towards funding the poverty pimps, black capitalists and so forth. Still these demonstrations could open up the door to the development of mass struggle against Reaganism, and that is the last thing they want. What is bad for the government is bad for the NAACP.

The NAACP leadership has addressed this dilemma by unveiling its "Operation Fair Share," a copy of Jesse Jackson's "Push for Economic Justice." Like Jackson's, it is a program for making deals with big corporations to throw some more of their business toward black banks, subcontractors and public relations firms, appoint token black directors and middle level executives, increase their tax deductible donations to programs run by the NAACP, Urban League, etc., whose funds have been shaved by Reagan and, finally, maybe even a few jobs for black workers for appearance's sake. In this way they hope to make up for any government subsidies which may be lost, while avoiding the danger of opening the door to a mass struggle which might really take on Reaganomics.

It is no accident that this program is justified by the excuse that what is good for black business is good for the working masses, an excuse whose logic is nothing more or less than the "trickle-down" logic of Reaganomics. In fact, Reagan himself has suggested looking toward the private sector for new subsidies. The economic program of the NAACP leaders is nothing but black Reaganomics: he's looking out for General Electric and Exxon; they're looking out for the Johnsons [the biggest of the black capitalists -- ed.] and Freedom National Bank. For these hypocrites the issue with Reaganomics is not the suffering of the people, it is whether black business will get its "fair share" of the loot robbed from the exploited and oppressed.

Even with Reagan's segregationism the NAACP leadership has found room for accommodation. Take education, for example. In covering this year's convention, the Christian Science Monitor reports: "The association will continue legal and other efforts to desegregate schools at all levels, but will put greatest emphasis on quality education, rather than busing and the achievement of strict racial balance in schools." (emphasis added) What does this mean in practice? In Memphis, the school board recently adopted a plan to substantially resegregate the schools (see article on page ). The deciding vote in favor of this plan was cast by Maxine Smith, member of the school board and executive secretary of the Memphis branch of the NAACP. She pleaded "I just think we got the best out of a bad situation that we can get.... You have to remember wherever whites go, the money follows." For shame! Segregationism might be bad but the school board must get its money, after all!

What attitude did the NAACP leadership take toward this? At this year's convention Maxine Smith was the featured speaker at a luncheon for NAACP youth advisors. This is the policy of the NAACP leadership in education: resegregating the schools is okay if, in Maxine Smith's words, "the money follows."

The NAACP leaders have proven that they do not have an ounce of fight against Reaganism in them; on the contrary, they adapt themselves to Reaganism while trying to undermine the gravitation of the masses to the struggle against it. On the one hand, the NAACP leadership is itself intimately tied to the Democratic Party, one of the two big parties of the rich and therefore of the Reaganite offensive against the working masses. On the other hand, the fortunes and interests of the big-time black lawyers, bankers, corporation executives, etc., for which the NAACP misleaders have such touching concern, are infinitely closer to the interests of the giant banks and multinational corporations represented by Reagan than to those of the masses of black workers and other ordinary people.

The masses of black people have not gone through decades of struggle and sacrifice just to see it all thrown out the window provided there is a healthy return on the bottom line for black business. The development of mass struggle against the Reaganite offensive of the rich requires a complete break with the parties of the rich and a determined fight against the treachery of misleaders such as those of the NAACP.

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Zionism is racism

A Zionist Patrol Against the Black People in Brooklyn

(The following article is reprinted from The West Indian Voice newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, November, 1982.)

During August a series of at least four cowardly attacks were launched in Crown Heights by the fascist squad known as the "Hassidic Patrol." The "Hassidic Patrol" is a motley crew of hardened Zionists which was formed to terrorize the Afro-Americans and West Indians of Crown Heights. These fascist thugs have come together solely on the basis of zionist bigotry against the oppressed masses (in this case, blacks). Encouraged by the wanton shooting down and brutalization of the black youth by the police and inspired by the virulent racism of the administration of Mayor Koch, the "Hassidic Patrol" itself has accumulated a long list of bloody crimes against the black people of Crown Heights. Their attacks have always been as cowardly as they have been ruthless and savage -- generally conducted in the dark of the night -- always outnumbering their victims and always using the tools of their trade (pipe and tire irons, crowbars, steel knuckles, bats, chains and guns, etc.) to savagely beat their victims.

On August 2 at 2:30 a.m. a black man, Cecil Stewart, who was returning home after escorting his girlfriend to her house, was attacked by approximately 15-20 zionist thugs of the "Hassidic Patrol." He was chased and savagely beaten unconscious for refusing to follow the order of these fascists that he come to one of their cars to be interrogated.

Two days later the "Hassidic Patrol" struck again, this time terrorizing community residents on Troy Avenue and Eastern Parkway. The residents pointed out that though the police station is only a few blocks away and the area is under constant patrol, the police conveniently sent in one squad car 10 to 15 minutes later so as to ensure that these fascist thugs could make good their escape.

A third attack took place on Friday, August 6 at 1:30 a.m. Two black teenagers were chased several blocks down Kingston Avenue to Empire Boulevard by 12-15 zionist criminals armed with sticks and metal pipes. The Zionists, screaming "Get those niggers, get those niggers" in true nazi and lynch mob style, cornered the exhausted youths and ruthlessly beat them. The Zionists continued their orgy of terror even as the youths insisted "We didn't do anything." Then, headed by Rabbi Israel Shemtov they turned on a bypasser who had intervened to plead with the rabbi to stop the savage beating of the black youths. Rabbi Shemtov drove his car onto the sidewalk and struck the bypasser who was later treated at Kings County Hospital. When the cops arrived they promptly arrested the bypasser (who was a witness) and charged him, Rabbi Shemtov and one of the zionist thugs each with assault in the third degree. Of course, it is well known that ordinarily the police would have brought a charge of attempted murder against someone who attempted to run over another person. But these were fascist thugs in action and that's an entirely different story as far as the cops are concerned.

Finally, on August 11, eight zionist thugs (backed up by others on the sidelines) attempted to stop two supporters of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group from distributing revolutionary literature at the corner of Kingston Avenue and Eastern Parkway. CPSG has regularly distributed revolutionary literature at this site for over two years. The Zionists have never liked this fact. But in this case, the Zionists were especially enraged at the fact that these comrades were distributing a leaflet which denounced the ruthless Israeli aggression in Lebanon. They were not at all pleased that revolutionary work was being carried out in solidarity with the just cause of the Palestinian people and against the murderous aggression by the Israeli butchers in Lebanon. No. The zionist "Hassidic Patrol" in Crown Heights wholeheartedly supports the butchering of the Palestinian and Lebanese people, just as these hardened bigots support and carry out cowardly and ruthless attacks on blacks in Crown Heights. Excited by the shedding of the Arab people's blood on the streets of Lebanon and by the smell of the blood they themselves shed on the streets of Crown Heights, the zionist thugs attempted to also put a stop to the distribution of revolutionary literature in Crown Heights. And once more, cops who had been on the scene before and during the distribution suddenly disappeared as the Zionists went into action. But this was all to no avail. Though outnumbered and surrounded, the supporters of the CPSG were not intimidated and continued the distribution as far as was possible under the circumstances. And this distribution, in support of the struggle of the Palestinian and Lebanese people against the Israeli murderers and on all the other questions which CPSG agitates, has continued on a regular basis and with greater intensity in Crown Heights.

These recent attacks again confirm why such groups as the "Hassidic Patrol" exist. The bourgeoisie carefully spawns and puts into motion such racist cutthroats to attack the black people and the revolutionary and progressive forces. They are storm troopers of racism and capitalist reaction. They can always be found to be closely tied to the capitalist politicians and the police with whom they coordinate their activities and from whom they in turn receive protection. According to reports on some of the attacks above which were carried in two newspapers, the police "are told continuously not to make arrests of Hassidic Jews [this refers only to those that are in the gangs, of course -- ed.], or to haphazardly investigate incidents" so that "charges would be unsubstantiated in a court of law." Anyone who is the least bit knowledgeable about Crown Heights can testify to this.

And this brings out the lesson that the black people cannot rely on appeals to, and negotiations with, the government and the police in the face of the attacks of the Zionists and other fascist gangs. Only the mass struggle -- the demonstrations and other militant actions of the masses -- is capable of dealing real blows to these fascist storm troopers of the rich.

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The Reaganites are segregating the schools

(The following article is taken from The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, November 1982.)

Inspired by the Reagan administration's racist policy, plans to further segregate the schools, which have been developed for a long time, are now being rolled off one after the other. It should be recalled that earlier this year Reagan put in place (with the approval of the Senate and House of Representatives) several measures to openly discriminate against the oppressed minorities in employment. Reagan also made a big push to deny the black people the right to vote under proposed amendments to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. While eventually backing off temporarily, important provisions of this act were eroded and the groundwork was laid for a future assault. The Democrats have hailed this as a compromise on Reagan's part and claimed this as a "victory," that is, the gradual rather than the immediate denial of black voting rights.

At present, it is on the front of education and the schools that the Reagan administration is making a big thrust for segregationism.

Below are some of the highlights of the more recent segregationist measures being pushed by Reagan; and some examples of a series of plans to further segregate the schools that have been inspired by the Reagan regime on behalf of the monopoly capitalist class.

* The Reagan administration has continued to push for tax exemption for avowedly segregationist schools. This proposal is currently before the Supreme Court.

* Since April 15 this has been combined with another Reaganite proposal to offer "tuition tax credits" in order to attract students to private schools. Reagan is proposing a $500 credit per student. It is estimated that this plan would cost $500 million in the first year and between $1.5 to $2 billion by the third year. Meanwhile, Reagan is madly slashing at funds for public education, student grants and loan programs, etc.

* Reagan is rapidly dismantling all regulation against job discrimination and all mechanisms previously established for enforcement of "civil rights." The federal government has, for example, moved to make funds for the desegregation of public schools near extinct. In New York City during 1980-81 for instance, $10 million was provided from the federal government for its various desegregation projects. Under Reagan's "block grant" proposal, $9,000 is now slated for such projects for the 1982-83 school year.

* On March 2 the Senate passed a flagrantly racist "anti-busing" bill. This bill prohibits the Justice Department from initiating or maintaining court suits for school desegregation if any busing is involved; prohibits the federal courts from ordering busing of students more than 15 minutes or five miles for the purpose of desegregation; and further empowers the Justice Department to go to court to get existing desegregation orders revoked if such busing is involved.


* Throughout the South and the West, from Virginia to Denver, school board after school board, taking their cue from the Reagan administration and with the backing of the courts, is unfolding plans for the resegregation of the schools. Among the places that are now either considering or carrying out plans that would result in more segregated schools are Little Rock, Arkansas; Norfolk, Virginia; Waco, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Augusta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee.

* Memphis -- The school board's segregationist plan has been approved by a federal district judge. This plan will extensively reestablish segregated "neighborhood schools"; create all-black and all-white schools in any neighborhood with 20% or more minority population; increase from 23 to 42 the number of schools that will be all-black; and to this end, eliminate one-fifth of the busing in Memphis.

* Nashville -- A federal district judge has approved a plan to also extensively reestablish segregated "neighborhood schools." This plan will officially resegregate over two- thirds of the city's 75 elementary schools, making 57 schools have more than 90% of their students be of the same race. Special financial aid is to be provided to segregated schools.

* Denver -- A federal district judge has approved a plan to eliminate busing done for desegregation and to establish more segregated "neighborhood schools."

* Augusta -- The Richmond County school board has approved a plan to return seven schools to segregated "neighborhood school" status.

* Norfolk -- The school board has proposed a plan to return elementary schools to a segregated "neighborhood school" status, to make 11 schools 80% or more black and two other schools 80% or more white.

* Little Rock -- The Board of Education has approved a segregationist plan and submitted it to a federal district judge for approval. This plan calls for four elementary schools to be 99% black, reduces desegregation in 10 other schools and eliminates all busing done for desegregation in the elementary grades.

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Soviet revisionism and Castro have dug Cuba into a deep hole

(The following article is excerpted from the November issue The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group.)

Speaking before the annual July 26 celebration in Cuba, Fidel Castro declared that as a result of the effects of the "capitalist crisis" and the worldwide economic recession that has gripped Cuba too, "we are going to have difficulties in the coming years.,.the difficulties could be major" and "it could be that our economy in the coming months could grow a little or not grow at all...we may lack the primary materials for industry and construction." (New York Times, July 28, 1982) Castro then went on to announce that the workers must endure cuts in their work hours and salaries.

Indeed, Cuba is in the grips of a severe and worsening economic crisis and not in coming months or years, but today. This crisis is not accidental nor is it mainly the result of the hostile actions against the country conducted by the U.S. imperialists. The various sanctions and hostile provocations carried out against Cuba by U.S. imperialism are designed to bring as much pressure and hardships as possible to bear on the Cuban people, and show that U.S. imperialism has not and will never abandon its hopes of returning Cuba to its plunder and tutelage as in the days of Batista. And indeed, as we will show later, the Castro regime is moving to help U.S. imperialism in this regard. But the present crisis in Cuba is in the largest part due to the total dependence on and subjugation of Cuba by Soviet social-imperialism. It is due to the inherent problems of the neo-colonialist and capitalist economy which has remained intact in Cuba, and the situation is progressively worsening due to the effects of the worldwide capitalist crisis.

Soviet Social-imperialism and the Castroites Have Dug Cuba Into a Deep Hole

Soviet social-imperialism has deprived Cuba of the possibility of developing its economy to its full potential and in accordance with the actual needs of the Cuban working masses. The great victory of the 1959 revolution against U.S. imperialism and its running dogs, and the immense possibilities for development that this victory opened up, were sacrificed. The ideas of self-reliance and genuine socialism were thrown out the window as Castro traded in the domination of U.S. imperialism for the domination of Soviet social-imperialism.

The main features of Cuba's crisis are its constantly growing budgetary and trade deficits and its huge foreign debt -- the country is on the road to bankruptcy.

All the loud noise to the contrary, Cuba's economy has been developed to this day in a one-sided way -- as a cash crop economy. Sugar is still King, accounting for an alarming 75-85% of Cuba's total export earnings. Following the revolution the Soviet revisionist bourgeoisie "advised" Cuba to continue gambling with sugar as a cash crop. They advised, and Castro agreed, that sometime, someday, somehow, the disproportionate development of sugar would open the way to develop and exploit other sectors of the economy. Why worry, they reasoned, when the Soviet Union would supply your other needs.

Thus, sugar and Cuba's second leading export earner, nickel, have been developed at the expense of everything else in order to supply the needs of the Soviet Union and its missile building program -- all under the false flag of "socialist cooperation." The tight U.S. monopoly of Cuban trade and Cuba's slavish dependence on the U.S. market changed hands. But the same typical neo-colonialist course was kept intact. This had not only blocked the development of other sectors of the economy but has also meant that Cuba's dependence on imports, at constantly rising prices, has grown with every passing year, giving rise to ballooning trade deficits. Cuba's trade deficit with the Soviet Union climbed from $186 million in 1979 to $670 million in 1980. With the country's earnings being ploughed back into sugar and nickel, and faced with the bill for the expensive adventure of deploying an army of Cuban soldiers in Africa to capture footholds and markets for the Soviet bourgeoisie, Cuba has become hard pressed for funds for its domestic budget and has been artificially running its economy for a long time now on the fumes of some $2-3 billion in annual "aid" from the Soviet Union. This has tremendously strengthened the Soviet Union's hold over Cuba. Cuba is threatened with the prospect of total economic collapse anytime the Soviet Union so chooses.

The Effects of the Present Crisis

Today, with the worldwide imperialist crisis, and especially with the massive glut of sugar on the world market and the subsequent plummeting of the price for sugar -- the base and pillar of Cuba's economy -- the full picture of the dread consequences of the course charted for Cuba some two decades ago is looming over the country.

Cuba exports, on average, about four million metric tons of sugar to the Eastern European countries, of which the Soviet Union absorbs 75%, while it exports some 2.4 million metric tons to the Western capitalist states. The price of sugar on the world market plummeted 40.8% in 1981 alone and is now down to 6.34 per pound. This has tremendous repercussions on Cuba's balance of trade and its currency earnings from the Western imperialists to whom it exports over one-third of its sugar. Even though Cuba has a five-year contract (which expires in 1985) with the Soviet Union to supply sugar at the price of 26- 284 per pound -- this has not brought the hard currency needed to finance its huge trade deficits and balance of payment problems. These sales are easily written off against Cuba's trade deficit with the Soviet Union. (Cuba's contract was signed in 1980 when, due to market speculation and a projected shortfall in world sugar production for 1979-80, the International Sugar Agreement's (ISA) ceiling price for sugar escalated from 234 to 424 per pound by November 1980. The price began to plummet soon after as estimates of the deficit in world sugar production were revised downwards. When the contract was signed Cuba was selling its sugar to the Soviet Union below the world market cost. The contract was expected to remain favorable to the Soviet Union. Now the Castro government is desperately hoping that the Soviet Union will honor its agreement until 1985 at least, when the contract expires.)

Cuba's Huge Indebtedness

Hence, Cuba is trapped in a situation of falling prices for its sugar, nickel, tobacco and other exports, and high prices for its many imports from both East and West. Its ballooning trade deficits are compounded by the fact that already it has amassed a big foreign debt of $10.6 billion, a figure which easily places it among the leading debtor nations in Latin America. Of this amount, roughly two-thirds or $7.3 billion is owed to the Soviet Union and roughly one-third or $3.3 billion is owed to the Western capitalist states ($1.8 billion is owed to Western governments and $1.5 billion is owed to Western banks.) And the Castroites are going hat in hand begging for more of the same, borrowing at higher cost. This has meant huge balance of payment problems for Cuba. The ratio of Cuba's short-term debt to its total debt is 50%. According to a recent Cuban national bank report Cuba is due to repay $1.3 billion over the next three years in interest on its debts to the Western capitalists alone.

The Castroites, who have always boasted loudly that unlike other countries they stick to the schedule of their repayments to the imperialist sharks, so as to convince the good bankers that their money is safe in the hands of Castro and his flunkeys (the Castroites apparently believe that they should be awarded a big medal for this) have had to eat their words and join the long line of dependent capitalist countries begging the big bankers for permission to default. Thus, on September 2 Cuba's deputy foreign minister officially asked Japanese and Western banks to renegotiate the terms of Cuba's debt payments; to grant a three-year moratorium on the principal of its debts and a ten-year period for full repayment.

Open Doors for Imperialist Plunder

In this situation too the Castroites have also been speeding up their efforts for full rapprochement with all the imperialists. Recently, another major step was taken to facilitate the unabated plunder of Cuba by any imperialist banker, parasite or simple robber who is willing. This serves as clear proof that accommodation with any imperialism, be it of the U.S. or of the Soviet Union, leads inevitably to slavery before the world imperialist order. The recent move involved the quiet passage by the Castro government on February 15 of a new investment code called Law #50. This law is nothing but a typical neo-colonialist law, a blank check for imperialist plunder. It reads exactly as if it could have been written by the puppet Seaga of Jamaica or even by Batista himself -- but it has Castro's signature. It is a telling exposure of the criminal betrayal of the Cuban people by the Castroites. Law #50 stipulates that:

Future investors in joint ventures with the government can:

- Own up to 49% of the venture, and more in special cases.

- Repatriate profits in full.

- Avoid paying tax on dividends, gross income and executive salaries.

- Enjoy a considerable degree of autonomy in hiring personnel.

- Secure their supplies from overseas if local companies are not competitive.

Law #50 emphasizes that there are to be no political preferences; all companies from all countries are welcome; state companies will be treated the same as private capital. The Castro government plans a very flexible policy in its treatment of future investors. It promised further that everything is negotiable --.access to credit, payments on patents, technology transfer agreements, patent agreements, local market mechanisms and export quotas -- the full works & la the Puerto Rican model for "development." Castro even emphasized that Cuba has a stable and disciplined work force and insisted that the government will take responsibility for imposing wages on the workers on behalf of investors.

The passage of Law #50, inviting the greater plunder of Cuba by imperialism, is not only the Castroite reply to the capitalist crisis gripping Cuba but is part of a full-fledged effort on the part of the Castroites to seek rapprochement with all the imperialists and with various reactionary forces in the region such as the fascist rulers in Argentina and Venezuela. And Castro has taken to knocking at the doors of U.S. imperialism as well. This is a most striking revelation of the bankruptcy of the path taken by Cuba in the early 1960's, under Castro's leadership, when it gave up its independence in favor of becoming a neo-colony of the Soviet Union. It proves the bankruptcy of Soviet revisionism and Castroism.

For this entire century U.S. imperialism has occupied the position of the number one exploiter and aggressor of the peoples across Latin America. The Cuban people themselves sacrificed in blood to overthrow the brutal U.S.- Batista dictatorship. But not contented with having sold out the revolution to Soviet social-imperialism, the Castroites have adopted a conciliatory attitude towards U.S. imperialism too. They are eager to play ball with the Wall Street banks and corporate bloodsuckers.

In turn, the Castroites have also emerged as leading advocates of putting brakes on the revolutionary process and toning down the revolutionary movements that have broken out in Central America against U.S. imperialism, the fascist juntas and reaction. The Castroites are putting as much pressure as they can to sidetrack the blows aimed at U.S. imperialism.

In a follow-up article, the next issue of The West Indian Voice will address the attempts of the Castroites to come to terms with U.S. imperialism and their opposition to the developing revolutionary movements in Latin America.

[Photo: The Cuban people took up arms and rose in revolution, striking a major blow to U.S. imperialism. But Castro betrayed the revolution to the Soviet social-imperialists.]

[Photo: Hand in hand Castro and Brezhnev have betrayed the Cuban people.]

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Strike in its 40th month

Solidarity with textile workers of Trinidad and Tobago!

(The following article is excerpted from the November issue The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group.)

Since July 1979 about 350 workers of Textile Manufacturing Limited (TML) in the town of Arima, Trinidad, have been engaged in a militant strike. This 39 month-long strike stands as a symbol of sheer determination, heroism and of the powerful potential for resistance latent in the working class throughout Trinidad and Tobago. For over three years now these workers have stood their ground, choosing to fight rather than submit to being broken slaves. They have had to stand up against a criminal alliance of rich capitalists (native and foreign) and the "liberal" ruling People's National Movement (PNM) government. And even though they have been virtually boycotted by the official trade union leaders, these textile workers have still refused to abandon their courageous struggle.

The West Indian Voice salutes these fighting textile workers in Trinidad and Tobago. These workers have asked that the news of their struggle be spread far and wide. The West Indian Voice takes this opportunity to help do this and to express internationalist solidarity with these workers who are fighters in the same trenches with the working class of the U.S., including those of the West Indian community here, against our common capitalist and imperialist enemies.

The workers of TML in Trinidad, most of whom are women, have slaved for years for wages ranging at its highest from $1 to $2.46 per hour. They were denied premium wages for overtime and Saturday work, and had no cost of living allowance (COLA). They were denied break time, causal leave and their already pitiful wages were docked at every chance -- even for going to the toilet. Moreover, the TML workers were subjected to a piece-rate and quota system so that they could be best driven like robots to produce maximum profits for the capitalist factory owners and be kept weak and divided or face the unemployment lines. Already burdened with irregular take-home pay, the wages of these workers faced significant cuts as the textile capitalists shifted workers from one job to another, however the quickest profits could be extracted, or simply to punish some workers. Needless to say, the workers' wages would always be in jeopardy when there were mechanical or electrical failures due to no fault of their own. And while TML was always plagued with hazardous and unsanitary conditions -- as a result of which several workers suffered injuries and severe respiratory diseases -- not only have the capitalist bloodsuckers refused to correct these conditions, but they have also denied the workers any medical coverage. This, in brief, has been the lot of the workers of TML -- substandard and starvation wages; loss of wages due to outright robbery; cruel and arbitrary work rules; no job security whatsoever; man-eating productivity drives and sickness -- in other words, capitalist exploitation in one of its more naked forms.

TML of Trinidad puts together jeans, shirts, towels and other textile products and is an exploiter notorious throughout the town of Arima. TML is jointly owned by an American capitalist and by native capitalists who, not incidentally, are former state and PNM government officials. The native capitalist owners include the big shot lawyer Bruce Procope who is also a director of 16 other companies, and includes the capitalist landowner and former PNM party senator named Bovell. In fact, the PNM government is a major lifeline for this company which it bankrolls, since this company holds a lucrative government contract to outfit the police, regiment and fire services with uniforms.

It was in the face of the overburdening oppression and against this team of capitalist criminals that the workers of TML launched their strike over three years ago. The launching of the strike marked a high point in the resistance which had been developing among the workers. In 1978 the workers had kicked out the sellout PNM- influenced company union, the Union of Commercial and Industrial Workers. For years UCIW had permitted the factory owners to cruelly exploit the workers at will. The new union that was voted in was the All Trinidad Sugar Estates and Factory Workers Trade Union (ATSEFWTU). During 1978 the workers also launched a series of go-slows and other job actions, developing their militancy and sense of resistance to back their demands. The workers' demands included a 150% wage increase over three years, needed to bring their wages up to the level of better-paid garment workers; job classification to resist the arbitrary dictates and rules of the TML capitalists; normal work hours and overtime pay; work leave and COLA. These were straightforward demands.

However, the greedy capitalist bloodhounds of TML refused the legitimate demands of the workers and instead sent their negotiator (Percy Cezain -- former PNM mayor of Arima) to offer an outrageous 25% increase over three years. This settlement would have left the workers even worse off at the end of the contract period, if one simply considers the high rate of inflation and extremely high cost of living in the country. The TML workers squarely rejected this settlement.

These textile workers have fought and are fighting today with great courage, led by their strike committee selected from some of the more militant workers. They have set up their permanent strike camp across the street from the factory and they have organized rallies and pickets at the factory gates; and demonstrations outside the offices of the talk-shop parliament and the Ministry of Labor in Port-of-Spain, the capital. As well, the TML strikers have participated with vigor in the well-known mass demonstrations and rallies of the sugar and oil workers and teachers during 1981 -- joining in common cause with other fighting sectors of the working class and people and popularizing their own struggle on a nationwide scale.

The TML workers have had to hold their own in the face of a flurry of attacks by the garment capitalists and the PNM government. The TML capitalists, basing themselves on the PNM's ultra-reactionary labor law, the infamous Industrial Relations Act, declared that the workers had "fired their jobs" after six months of strike. The police forces, acting on the orders of the TML capitalists, provided protection for scabs brought in to cross the strike lines; and they have also carried out a series of harassments and five arrests of striking workers on various trumped-up charges. The Minister of Labor of the PNM government also intervened directly on behalf of the TML capitalists, demanding that the workers return to work on a measly 30% increase over three years. But the textile workers have not been intimidated by the fascist teamwork of the factory owners, the government and the police. They have answered all these attacks and brutal dictates by firmly keeping to their strike path. Their enduring stand and struggle has been a militant inspiration to all who have heard of their struggle.

But justice cannot be done to the struggle of the heroic TML workers without clearly exposing the labor bureaucrats, including the "left wing" of the bureaucrats, for role they have played throughout these three difficult years that the TML workers have been on the strike line staring hardship and a ring of capitalist enemies in the eye. The fact of the matter is that the TML workers have fought throughout these three years almost singlehandedly. The labor bureaucrats have done precious little by way of lifting a finger to assist the struggle of the TML workers. Indeed, today this strike continues despite an undeclared boycott by the "left wing" of the labor bureaucrats.

For example, for the recent third anniversary of the strike the TML workers called a rally to snow that their struggle was alive and to rally broad support from other workers so that they could press forward amidst immense difficulties that can be easily imagined, given the length of the strike. The workers invited and called on their union leaders of the ATSEFWTU (led by the double-dealer and renowned traitor Basdeo Panday) and most of the official "left wing" labor leaders to mobilize support for the rally. Though smiling to the workers' faces and patting their backs the bureaucrats did nothing and did not even bother to show up.

This was no mere oversight or mess-up. In fact, the eve of the third anniversary of the strike also coincided with the annual "Labor Day" workers' demonstration and rally. This demonstration is the largest annual event held in the name of the workers of Trinidad and Tobago. But at this event the delegation of TML strikers, widely known and respected by all progressive workers, were denied an opportunity to address the rally; they were put to wave from the back benches. And this was not for want of time and space. Because, in fact, much of the speaking time had instead been awarded (for the first time ever) to the likes of Vernon Glean, the right-wing leader of the arch-reactionary Trinidad Labor Congress and the Caribbean Labor Congress and to representatives of the government-formed tripartite National Productivity Council which is helping the government to lay the groundwork for new productivity drives and austerity measures against the workers of the country. In order to better engage in their much publicized mating dance for unity with the right- wing social-democratic labor leaders, the "left-wing" social-democratic and revisionist bureaucrats made sure that the militant TML strikers were quietly tucked away in the bleachers. After all, why should the good image of George Weekes and Raffique Shah as up and coming "responsible" labor leaders be tarnished? With Gleam on the platform why create a sticky and embarrassing situation when the TML workers could be simply boycotted? This is the hidden sense behind the desertion of the TML strikers by the "left-wing" labor leaders.

The West Indian Voice condemns these labor lieutenants just as firmly as we embrace and send our proletarian internationalist solidarity to the struggle of the heroic striking workers of Textile Manufacturing Limited.

Internationalist salute to the heroic textile workers of Arima!

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General Strikes Shake Ecuador

[Photo: Demonstrators in Quito, Ecuador at the start of the general strike October 21, that brought out over 300,000 workers.]

In recent years, the country of Ecuador on the Pacific coast of South America has been hit hard by a worsening economic crisis. There have been sharp increases in the cost of living. In May 1981, a new government headed by President Osvaldo Hurtado Larrea took office and began to launch a series of austerity measures designed to make the working masses bear the burden of the crisis. Ever since, Ecuador has seen a growing wave of struggles by the workers, students and other working people against the offensive of the government. This fall, the struggle in Ecuador became very intense as the working masses organized two powerful general strikes in September and October. As we go to press, the situation remains very agitated and preparations are underway for another powerful mass action.

Ecuador's economic crisis is typical of that which has gripped all the dependent and neo-colonial countries of the capitalist world. Its major exports are oil and bananas. Both of these commodities are suffering from falling prices as a result of glut in their world markets. Ecuador has gone more and more into debt to the world's capitalist bankers; at the end of 1981 its debt stood at $5.5 billion. This debt burden has worsened also due to the high interest rates. All these factors have led to a steady inflation of the Ecuadorian currency. This inflation has also been fed by the tremendous growth of militarization that has been going on in recent years. Just earlier this year, the government signed an agreement for $300 million worth of weapons with the Brazilian government.

Today, like many other dependent countries, Ecuador too finds itself hard pressed to repay its debts. It is negotiating with the big American bankers for rescheduling its debts. The bankers are demanding austerity measures such as are required by the International Monetary Fund. Indeed, the government is directly involved in secret negotiations with the IMF for bailout measures. The agreements reached in these talks will only step up the harsh austerity measures that are already being imposed on the poor working masses of Ecuador.

But, through its struggles over the last year, the Ecuadorian proletariat and other toilers are showing that they will not buckle under to the economic offensive of the government of the capitalist-big landowner oligarchy.

On September 22, a 48-hour general strike was called by the Workers' United Front, a coalition of the three national trade union centers. This strike was centered in Quito, the capital. On the first day, transit workers halted transportation and small businesses were shut down. There were sharp clashes on the streets between strikers and the army and national guard. Thirty people were wounded and 200 arrested. On the second day, thousands of workers and students rallied in the Plaza de San Francisco and marched to the presidential palace where they delivered petitions calling for freedom for all those arrested and demanding the resignation of the government.

On October 15, the government announced fresh austerity measures, including a 120% increase in the price of gasoline and 45% increase in the price of flour. These were presented as a "patriotic sacrifice'' needed to help solve the country's economic problems and ensure debt refinancing by the major bank creditors abroad.

Another general strike was called for October 21. Hours before this was to begin, the government imposed a state of emergency and a nighttime curfew to prevent it. This action suspended constitutional rights, prohibited demonstrations and assemblies, suspended school classes and set up military control over public services.

However, the working masses courageously defied the government and carried out a successful nationwide general strike. Over 300,000 workers took part in this action, which was strongest in the two largest cities, Quito and Guayaquil. Workers put up barricades on streets, halted transportation and shut down most businesses, and braved attacks from the security forces. During this week of struggle, 500 were arrested and two workers were killed.

A week later, President Osvaldo Hurtado offered certain concessions in order to defuse the intensifying class struggle. The state of emergency was lifted and the proposed increase in the price of gasoline was dropped from 120% to 100%. However, these measures, which were more demagogical than anything of substance, were not about to succeed in pacifying the popular discontent. The president's proposal was answered by calls from the workers' movement to prepare for an indefinite general strike against the austerity program.

Just a few years ago, Ecuador was considered one of Latin America's "quiet" countries. All kinds of fantastic stories were being spun by the bourgeoisie and its apologists about oil opening the way to prosperity. Today, this fantasy is being shattered by the realities of the capitalist economic crisis and the stepped-up class struggle. The struggle of the workers, peasants and youth of Ecuador is also feeling the impact of the powerful revolutionary developments in Central America. The Ecuadorian toilers will find the way out of the crisis through stepping up their class struggle towards the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist oligarchy and imperialism.

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The Colombian communists face the 'democratic opening' of the cunning bourgeoisie

(The following article is reprinted from the October 21,1982 edition of Bandeira Vermelha, Central Organ of the Communist Party (Reconstructed) of Portugal. Translated by The Workers' Advocate staff)

In Colombia, the new government of Belisario Betancourt is propagating a program of "democratic opening" and of reforms. Among these the most well-known abroad is the proposal of amnesty for the guerrilla forces which operate in the country in exchange for the surrender of their arms, and of their legalization as opposition forces in the parliamentary scene. This amnesty has already been accepted by the M-19 group (whose politics approximate social-democracy) and is to be negotiated by the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) which is directed by the revisionist party of Vieira. We are making known the position of the Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist) and the Popular Army of Liberation about the present situation in Colombia.

Colombia is passing through a profound economic, political and social crisis. The economy, highly dependent on American imperialism, is in a recession. Unemployment, inflation, and the devaluation of the currency are increasing. In the financial sector, the crisis is reflected in the bankruptcy of important banks.

The struggles of the working class and people are experiencing a rise in response to this situation. A powerful strike movement is developing, becoming broader and broader and has a major political content.

To hold back this process, the Colombian bourgeoisie, at the same time that it resorts to the deceitful program of reforms of the Betancourt government, is intensifying the repression: murders in the streets and the countryside, tortures, massive arrests and disappearances, and militarization of broad rural and university areas. In the first months of the new government alone, more than 100 people's fighters, among them several communists, were murdered by the repressive forces and the bands of the "death squad" type which are backed by the army.

The editorial of the September issue of Revolution, central organ of the Communist Party of Colombia (M-L), appraising the process of the "democratic opening," declares:

"The current democratic opening is a political concession that the government finds itself forced to make before the growing pressure of the masses and the obvious necessity of appealing to all its reserves on account of the gravity of the situation.

"Certainly the democratic opening is not the fruit of the generosity of the bourgeoisie. There are many dead, imprisoned and disappeared that remain in its path. There are also persuasive political facts that contribute to exposing the true repressive nature of the regime. And moreover the crisis is excessively deep-seated, rendering inevitable new formulas for salvation.

"It is indisputable that the current situation contains new elements of much importance. Indeed, the move of the bourgeoisie is ambitious and unprecedented. The general and unconditional amnesty for the imprisoned and persecuted political activists, the dialogue with the guerrilla forces and other proposals, indicate that in a few days the bourgeoisie changed language.

"Our Party neither sets as its objective to be legalized as a political opposition force, nor to renounce the armed struggle or negotiate away its arms. We believe that the democratic victories that our people have attained must be defended in a consequent and firm manner, that it is imperative to fully utilize the present moment for open work however narrow its limits might be, and that in the development of the political struggle in all its expressions we can and must accumulate the necessary forces for the triumph of the revolution.

"The bourgeoisie tries through all means to isolate the revolutionary forces, to undermine the social support for them and afterwards strikes at them. The presidential communications leave no doubts in this respect.... Our response is to put forth roots in our class and our people, to proceed with flexible tactics yet with complete revolutionary steadfastness.

"This signifies that one must use the democratic opening by taking advantage of all the cracks that would benefit our work, and at the same time create the conditions for demonstrating in practice its falsity and superficiality.

"To attain the general and unconditional amnesty, to combat the police code and all the repressive measures in addition to deepening the democratic victories and the demands of the masses -- these are the present banners of struggle.

"In particular, our Party must consolidate and increase its political presence. Our name, banners and slogans must be raised wherever there are mobilizations of the masses. We must advance the struggles and show that the true communists do not sell out the interests of our working class and people.

"The working masses can not compromise themselves to save their enemies; on the contrary our duty is to grow strong in order to strike them in a crushing manner and to take the power from them."

As well, concerning the problem of the "reestablishment of peace" and of the amnesty, accepted by M-19 and the revisionist party, a delegation of the CP of Colombia (M-L) declared in a recent interview:

"For our Party, peace is not only a military or political problem, but also an economic and social problem. Because of this it can not identify peace with amnesty, but has to take into account all the factors....

"We fight for a general and unconditional amnesty, not subject to the previous surrender of arms by the guerrillas, not for an amnesty with the militarization of the countryside and of the centers of education, in which at the same time revolutionaries fall slaughtered by the official bullets.

"This is a deceptive amnesty which we do not acknowledge, which we reject and condemn, just as we denounce and condemn those who support it. For that our Party, the Popular Army of Liberation and the rest of the revolutionary forces will continue fighting with all methods of struggle including the armed struggle."


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U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of El Salvador!

[Photo: San Francisco, October 16]

The revolution in El Salvador continues to advance. Over the last several weeks the revolutionary forces have been engaged in fierce battles against the troops of the U.S.-backed fascist regime. The Reagan administration is doing all it can to prop up the Salvadorian government. At military camps in the U.S. whole battalions of fascist troops have been trained and then hurled against the revolution. U.S. military advisors and tens of millions of dollars of arms have been sent to the murderous regime. But the revolution lives on and continues to scorch the feet of U.S. imperialism and the Salvadorian rulers.

The U.S. imperialist intervention has been met by the wrath and protests of the working and progressive people here in the U.S. In mid-October another round of protests broke out. The largest demonstration occurred in San Francisco on October 16 as 2,500 people marched against U.S. intervention in El Salvador. On the same day some 500 people demonstrated at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in North Chicago, IL. and 300 rallied in Seattle. On October 23 and 24 more protests were held. In Boston 700 demonstrated and actions were also held in New York City and elsewhere. These events were coordinated with a number of protests worldwide.

Militant MLP contingents participated in a number of the U.S. demonstrations. At the demonstration at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, 450 Workers' Advocates were distributed along with 300 copies of the Chicago Anti-Imperialist Newsletter. The Party contingent raised the slogan "U.S. imperialism, Get Out of El Salvador" and other anti-imperialist slogans which met with popular support. A singing group organized by the Party performed a number of songs in support of the Salvadorian revolution.

[Photos: Chicago, October 23; San Francisco, October 16; Seattle, October 16.]

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Reagan and the "moral majority" back up the fascist Rios Montt regime!

Condemn the Massacres in Guatemala!

Revolutionary movements are on the upswing throughout Central America. The workers, peasants, and progressive masses are surging forward in struggle against U.S. imperialism and the local fascist cliques. This movement has been growing especially strong recently in Guatemala. Throughout the Guatemalan countryside the masses of poor peasants, mostly of Indian origin, have been sending their most militant sons and daughters to the mountains to join the guerrillas fighting against the fascist Guatemalan government. Meanwhile the people remaining behind in the villages are organizing local resistance groups and guerrilla support groups.

In response to this growing revolutionary movement among the rural masses, the fascist oligarchy in Guatemala has gone on a wild rampage of genocide against the native Indian peoples. Since October 1981 the Guatemalan government has been carrying out large-scale massacres of the peasant masses in an attempt to break the back of the revolutionary movement in the countryside. In this genocidal campaign the Guatemalan fascists have the support of the Reagan government, which is secretly funneling men and material to the Guatemalan military, besides providing overt "economic" aid. Striving at all costs to save the Guatemalan oligarchy from the wrath of the masses, Reagan is at the same time trying to justify his support for the murderous regime there by arguing that the government has supposedly turned over a new leaf and is now interested in "human rights."

The March 23 Coup -- Demagogy to Cover Up Intensified Repression

On March 23 of this year the Guatemalan government headed by General Lucas Garcia was overthrown and replaced by a junta headed by General Efrain Rios Montt. This coup followed elections in March during which Lucas Garcia was elected president in the midst of massive vote fraud. Rios Montt came to power promising to clean up the government and eliminate corruption. Rios Montt also tried to distinguish himself from the policies of Lucas Garcia, known as a brutal fascist, by promising to protect "human rights" and to restore democracy. Rios Montt proposed an "amnesty" period for guerrillas and spoke of holding elections within a year.

As events quickly showed, however, Rios Montt's talk of "human rights" was only a very thin veneer of demagogy used to cover up continuation of the same old fascist policies. In the first two months of Rios Montt's rule, in the period leading up to the "amnesty," the government's official and unofficial forces murdered 4,000 people. Also during this period, Lucas Garcia was restored to command of an army base. During the amnesty month (June), Rios Montt's forces officially ceased their murderous attacks on the masses. But in fact numerous raids on peasant villages were carried out by government troops disguised as guerrillas, a cunning and savage maneuver to isolate the revolutionaries from the masses. While continuing Lucas Garcia's murderous attacks on the rural masses, Rios Montt also used the "amnesty" to pardon Lucas Garcia, the Guatemalan army, and the unofficial death squads of any past wrongdoing. Continuing to organize and defend the peasant masses, the guerrillas were not taken in by this utterly fraudulent "amnesty."

Immediately following the amnesty, on July 1, Rios Montt announced a national state of siege. This involved the suspension of all individual rights, and censorship of the press. Of course these things had never existed but Rios Montt decided to bring the law into accord with fascist practice. He set up special military courts which would enforce immediate executions on all "subversives." As well, all men between 18 and 30 who had previously served in the army were recalled to active service. All demagogy about "human rights," "democracy," "elections," and "amnesty" was pushed aside as Rios Montt launched a greatly intensified campaign of genocide against the peasant masses.

Genocide Against the Native Peoples

Rios Montt's "counterinsurgency campaign is in fact a war of extermination against the native Indian peoples, who comprise 50% of the population of Guatemala. The kidnappings and murders by urban right-wing death squads have decreased somewhat as Rios Montt has shifted the forces of suppression to the countryside. The government's only attempted justification of this entire campaign of slaughter is that it is necessary to combat "subversives." Francisco Bianchi, Rios Montt's press secretary, has been quoted in the New York Times as saying, "The guerrillas won over many Indian collaborators.... Clearly you had to kill Indians because they were collaborating with subversion."

Since the campaign began, at least 2,600 civilians have been murdered by government forces. In some cases this includes the wiping out of entire villages, as happened in the village of San Francisco. There the villagers, who opposed being moved into a "strategic hamlet," were surrounded by government troops and herded into buildings. The women and children packed into a church were hacked to death with machetes. The men of the village were all executed by firing squad, except for a few who were bombarded with grenades. Three hundred people died in this one incident alone.

Besides the thousands killed in this campaign, one million people (one- seventh of the population) have been turned into homeless refugees. Tens of thousands of Guatemalans have fled the country and are living in squalid refugee camps in Mexico. Reluctant to let anyone escape, however, the Guatemalan fascists have been launching raids into Mexico to murder the inhabitants of these camps. As part of the extermination campaign, troops of the fascist junta burn crops and poison rivers.

Reagan Steps Up Aid to the Fascists

Given the murderous nature of the Rios Montt regime, one might well ask what was the purpose of the demagogy about "human rights" when Rios Montt first overthrew Lucas Garcia? The fact is that much of this demagogy was meant for U.S., rather than domestic, consumption. The government of Guatemala is well known internationally as being a collection of some of the most casehardened fascists and anti-people elements. As part of his "human rights" fraud, President Jimmy Carter cut off direct military assistance to Guatemala in 1977. Thus in order for the U.S. to resume open and direct military assistance, it was necessary to try and give the Guatemalan oligarchy a facelift. Since the March 23 coup, President Ronald Reagan has been working hard to get the Guatemalan government recognized as "democratic" and therefore fully deserving of massive U.S. military assistance.

As a matter of fact, U.S. aid to Guatemala was never cut off during the period 1977-82. For example, the U.S. sold a number of "civilian" helicopters to the Guatemalan government, which then mounted.30 caliber machine guns on the helicopters and uses them to attack peasant villages. Last year the Reagan administration sold $3.1 million worth of jeeps and trucks to Guatemala, and Reagan's new Caribbean Basin Initiative calls for $11 million in economic aid to Guatemala this year. Guatemala also has $170 million in loans pending at the Inter-Development Bank and the World Bank.

Just recently it was exposed that the Reagan government has been secretly providing Guatemala with aircraft communications equipment and spare parts, and assisting the Guatemalan government in purchasing such items from private parties in the U.S. In addition, even though the direct shipment of arms from the U.S. to Guatemala has been curtailed for the last few years, client states of U.S. imperialism such as Israel and Argentina have maintained a steady flow of rifles, machine guns, and other weapons into Guatemala.

To suppress the insurgents in Guatemala, the U.S. imperialists are now preparing to resume direct military assistance on a big scale. For next year Reagan is pushing for $15 million in economic aid, $3.4 million for helicopters and spare parts, and $250,000 for military training. Furthermore, Reagan is pushing for Guatemala to be recognized as "democratic" and therefore deserving of being defended by U.S. military advisors. In fact, recently it has been exposed that the U.S. army already has one Green Beret stationed in Guatemala. When this fact was first exposed, U.S. government spokesmen first tried to explain it away as "part of an old exchange program" or that the officer there "teaches English." The Reagan administration had long denied that there were any U.S. military personnel in Guatemala, and they tried to dismiss this exposure as insignificant. But in fact the army officer stationed there, Captain Jesse Garcia, is not just some "English teacher"; in fact he is the chief counterinsurgency instructor at the Escuela Politecnia, the Guatemalan officer training school. Besides its military role, this school plays an important role in Guatemalan politics. Four of the last six Guatemalan presidents once commanded the school, and the March 23 coup was planned in secret meetings there.

In a recent interview (In These Times, November 17-23, 1982) Jesse Garcia explained the content of his teaching. According to U.S. army counterinsurgency doctrine, he said, "If civilians were collaborating [with guerrillas -- ed.]...I would try them and find...that they were guilty before they would be shot -- summarily shot." And how does one determine if civilians are collaborating with guerrillas? Garcia says he trains young officers in techniques for determining the political sympathies of peasants, by using undercover agents. Once these agents have made their report about who is pro-government or anti-government, then you can carry out the trials and shootings with a "clear conscience." But Garcia then acknowledges that in actual field conditions trials often do not occur. As he admits, "The government has martial law. You can get shot for any dumb thing." And he admits that the "detruction patrols," which he teaches officers how to conduct, are fully prepared to wipe out an entire village if it is "collaborationist."

Hence from the standpoint of "technical" U.S. imperialist military strategy, Garcia provides the "theoretical" justification, as well as practical training, for the Guatemalan nazis' war of extermination against the Indians. Thus the Reagan government is not only providing the money, the material, and indirectly the weapons to massacre the people of Guatemala; it is also providing the counterrevolutionary strategy and tactics.

Rios Montt Inspired by the "Moral Majority" God

Another form of support given to the Guatemalan fascists by the U.S. imperialists is that which is funneled through religious organizations of the "Moral Majority." At the time of the March 23 coup General Rios Montt was on leave from his army command and working full time as a leader of the Gospel Outreach Church, an evangelical organization. In fact this church helped finance the coup, and on March 23 Rios Montt arrived at the National Palace in Guatemala City in a church van. After seizing power Rios Montt held tent prayer meetings to preach "spiritual betterment" to the Guatemalan masses, and he justifies the war of extermination against Indians by saying this is what God has ordered.

Rios Montt's Gospel Outreach Church is affiliated with the California- based Church of the Word, which is connected with Jerry Falwell's "Moral Majority." "Moral Majority" leaders have pledged their churches to raise $1 billion for the support of Rios Montt's fascist regime. On a recent U.S. television show, leaders of the Gospel Outreach Church were shown meeting with Jerry Falwell and Reagan advisors, all of them praying for.the "salvation" of Guatemala through U.S.-supported genocide against the masses. Thus aside from the official and unofficial government aid, the Reaganites are providing the Guatemalan nazis with massive assistance by way of "private," "charitable" organizations.

Massacres Will Not Save the Guatemalan Oligarchy

Despite Rios Montt's war of extermination, the Guatemalan people are determined to bring down the fascist oligarchy. In July the Guatemalan insurgency spread to eastern regions of the country for the first time. So many Indians are coming forward to join the guerrillas that many of them are told to wait, to remain in the villages instead of immediately taking up arms in the mountains. By persisting in their armed struggle, the Guatemalan people will certainly defeat and overthrow the fascist oligarchy and rid their country of U.S. imperialism.


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The Iran-Iraq War

Two Reactionary Regimes Send the People to Slaughter

For 26 months now, the oppressed masses of Iraq and Iran have been involved in a tragic fratricidal war. It has caused an estimated 200,000 casualties on both sides. The war originated in September 1980 with a massive invasion of Iran by the armed forces of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. It was instigated by U.S. imperialism as part of its savage drive to strangle the Iranian revolution. Since the war began, however, a number of important developments have taken place which have changed the character of the Iran-Iraq war.

In July 1981, the clerical reactionary faction in the Iranian government composed of Khomeini and the Islamic Republican Party carried out a coup d'etat, seized complete control of the government and unleashed wholesale terror to suppress the revolutionary forces. From this point the war became transformed into a reactionary conflict between the two savage cliques of exploiters that rule Iran and Iraq. The Iranian government has sought to use the war to divert the attention of the masses away from the serious crisis in the country. As well, the mullahs of Iran have openly declared their aim of plundering Iraq and establishing a puppet regime in that country. Thus, even after the Iranian armed forces drove out the Iraqi troops from most of the Iranian territory which they had captured, the Iranian government has refused to stop the war and has instead launched two major invasions of Iraq in the last four months. The Iranian government leaders have declared that they plan to go on to Baghdad in order to establish an "Islamic Republic" in Iraq. This fully confirms that the war has simply become a reactionary war on both sides. It is being fought at the expense of the toiling masses of the two countries, who have long been suffering under the oppression of imperialism and domestic reaction.

World imperialism played a major role in instigating this war in the first place. And they have continued to fish in the troubled waters, seeking to profit from this terrible tragedy. While the arms merchants of the Western imperialists, zionist Israel and the Russian social-imperialists are reaping huge profits from the sale of weapons to both sides, the international oil monopolies stand by, poised to expand their control over the big oil reserves that exist in these two countries.

The War Began With an Iraqi Invasion Seeking to Strangle the Iranian Revolution

The Persian Gulf war began in early September 1980 with a massive invasion of Iran by the armed forces of Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Iraq claimed to be fighting merely over some small territorial claims, but such claims could never justify this war. In reality, Iraq's aims were quite different. They were coordinated as a part of U.S. imperialism's drive to strangle the Iranian revolution.

In January-February 1979, the U.S.- backed fascist regime of the Shah of Iran was overthrown with a powerful popular revolution. This was a big loss for imperialism. For decades, the Shah's regime had allowed the imperialists, especially those of the U.S., to plunder the land, resources and labor of the Iranian people; as well it had served as a loyal policeman for U.S. imperialism in the region. Imperialism 'refused to reconcile itself to the fall of such a regime and launched a ferocious campaign to restore its lost paradise. As a result, U.S. imperialism organized economic pressure, military raids, coup d'etat plots and gave its backing to all sorts of reactionary royalist elements seeking to restore the old regime.

Iraq's invasion was part of this general imperialist offensive. The regime of Saddam Hussein, along with the other despots of the Persian Gulf region, were extremely fearful that the peoples of their countries, inspired by the Iranian revolution, would themselves rise up against their own reactionary regimes. Hence, Iraq had allowed a number of royalist elements to establish their bases inside Iraq from which they launched plots inside Iran. At the time of the Iraqi invasion it was also reported that Saddam Hussein was helping to train thousands of the ex-Shah's henchmen. Besides these well-known counter-revolutionary objectives, Saddam Hussein's regime also had its own territorial ambitions and sought to seize Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan Province. It demagogically proclaimed itself the champion of the Arab people of Khuzestan, who are one of the oppressed nationalities in Iran. This is a ridiculous posture on Iraq's part since the Iraqi regime is no paragon of national equality and freedom. It is well known for its ruthless oppression of the Kurdish nationality. Indeed, a few years ago it used to openly collaborate with the Shah's regime to jointly suppress the Kurdish people.

By taking up the banner of counterrevolution against the Iranian revolution, Iraq received the full support of all the medieval and self-proclaimed pro-U.S. governments of the region. The Saudi Arabian monarchy and the other Persian Gulf kingdoms have contributed over $20 billion to the Iraqi war effort. King Hussein of Jordan has sent "volunteers" to fight with Saddam Hussein's troops. Mubarak of Egypt has sold $500 million in arms and military equipment, and recently Sudan pledged to send troops to fight for Iraq as well. Recently it has been reported that even revisionist China has become involved in supplying Iraq. According to Newsweek (November 22, 1982), Iraq buys one-quarter of all its weaponry from China.

It is no secret that these regimes are the closest allies of U.S. imperialism in the region. Their armies have been built up with massive U.S. aid. Indeed, it is principally through these regimes that U.S. imperialism has aided the Iraqi war effort. The U.S. instigated the Iraqi aggression but has remained perfectly willing to make a deal with the Khomeini regime. Officially, the U.S. government pretends to be "neutral" but that is merely to hide the hand that throws the stone and to keep open its options of working with the Khomeini-IRP regime in Iran.

While up to a few years ago, the Iraqi government was closely linked with Soviet social-imperialism, in the recent period it has increasingly built up its ties with Western imperialism. Indeed, the Western imperialists have made huge economic investments in Iraq. West Germany and Japan have some $5 billion each invested there, while France and the U.S. are close behind. Iraq's troops are now being trained by British and French military experts. While the U.S. does not yet have official diplomatic relations with Iraq, close commercial and other ties have been established. In fact, Iraq's trade with the U.S. has now risen to $1 billion a year, three times that with the Soviet Union. With regard to his regime's attitude towards U.S. imperialism's policies in the Middle East, Saddam Hussein recently declared: "I believe America has three fundamental interests in the region -- commercial trade, improved economic relations and keeping countries from being attracted by the alternative influence.... These three considerations can be fulfilled." (Time, July 19, 1982)

Iraq has received the blessings of imperialism because, with the fall of the Shah, imperialism has needed to build up its reliable supports in the region. In the 1950's, imperialism established the Baghdad Pact as a military alliance of Britain, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan. After the 1958 revolution overthrew the monarchy in Iraq, Iraq left the alliance, which was renamed the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO). Although CENTO went defunct in the early 1970's, its members remained bulwarks of imperialist reaction. Now, since Iran dropped out of the military alliances with Western imperialism, the U.S. government has been heavily beefing up the generals in Turkey and Pakistan while looking around for other reliable lackeys to bolster. The Iraqi regime has become one of U.S.-led Western imperialism's major objects of attention.

Iran's War Is No Longer a Defensive War

When the Persian Gulf war first began, Iran's military struggle was of a defensive nature while the Iraqi campaign was clearly aimed at hastening a counter-revolution in Iran. As a result the Iraqi invasion led to an anti-imperialist mobilization on the part of the Iranian masses and many volunteered to go to the front and fight. Moreover, the people of Khuzestan took part in the resistance to the Iraqi invasion and did not rally to the side of their so-called "liberators" from Iraq.

The Iraqi invasion came at a time when a halfway situation still existed in Iran that had been brought about by the revolution. The Iranian revolution had been carried out by the workers, youth and other toilers but they were not strong enough to come to power. Instead a regime of exploiters came to power. This regime composed of two factions, liberals and Muslim clericals, sought to balance between the revolution and reaction. Both factions flirted with imperialism and sought to prevent the revolution from being carried forward, although they differed on some of the methods to achieve these purposes. The clerical reactionaries tolerated the liberals for a time and used them to disarm the masses, purge the left from the schools and universities, head up the suppression of the Kurdish struggle and to prevent any radical land reform. After the liberals had served their purposes, the mullahs cast them off like a worn-out sock.

At the time of the Iraqi invasion, there was still a halfway situation in Iran. The government had not yet dared to go all out against the revolution. Therefore, coming at such a time, the Iraqi assault was directed not simply at the Iranian government but especially against the insurgent Iranian masses and their revolutionary struggle.

Our Party therefore strongly opposed the Iraqi invasion and called for support for the Iranian revolution's

struggle against it. At the same time, we pointed out: "There is no question but that the government of Khomeini and Bani Sadr is utilizing the conflict for its own ends. Through the war the government is trying to boost its sagging prestige and strengthen its positions at the expense of the interests of the working masses." (The Workers' Advocate, October 20, 1980) In fact, the Iranian government opposed the independent mobilization of the masses in the struggle against the Iraqi invasion. Several progressive organizations who tried to mobilize for the struggle were ruthlessly suppressed by the shock troops of IRP reaction.

In July 1981, the halfway situation in Iran came to an end. The clerical faction of Khomeini and the IRP carried out a coup d'etat in the government, threw out the liberal faction of Bani Sadr and immediately went on a barbarous rampage against all the progressive and revolutionary forces in the country. A draconian terror has been imposed ever since in which 20,000 have been executed and over 40,000 thrown into jail.

The IRP coup d'etat was the main event that changed the character of the Iran-Iraq war. Now it no longer had the character of a war in defense of the revolution. After all, one of the major aims of the Iraqi invasion was now accomplished by the Khomeini- IRP regime itself -- the suppression of the revolutionary forces. The war with Iraq began to be used by the regime more and more as a maneuver to divert the attention of the Iranian people away from the domestic struggle. And by the time of the rout of the Iraqi forces from Iranian territory earlier this year, it was clear beyond a shadow of doubt that the war had become a war for the reactionary aims of two cliques of ruthless exploiters.

The Khomeini-IRP regime had the opportunity to end the war with the recapture of its territory but it refused to do so. Instead it has openly declared objectives of plundering and subjugating Iraq. It has demanded $150 billion in reparations, which is nothing but a demand for plundering the Iraqi people. And even though Iraq's allies in the Persian Gulf reportedly offered to come up with $50 billion, Iran has refused to stop the war. Instead it has declared its aim of going on to Baghdad and establishing an "Islamic Republic" there, in other words, a theocratic puppet regime.

Besides these predatory aims, the Iranian rulers are also afraid of ending the war because they do not want a situation in which the people are inevitably going to turn their attention to the domestic situation inside Iran. Indeed, at home there are six million unemployed, inflation is running at 70% and industrial production is at 40% of the level prior to 1979. The end of the war will also bring up the issues of resettlement of the war refugees and the reconstruction of the war-devastated area.

There are numerous signs that the Iranian people are continuing their resistance to the Khomeini regime. Resistance actions continue to take place regularly against the government. The Kurdish people are currently fighting back against a fierce military offensive of the Iranian regime. There are also fresh signs that weariness with the war is growing. Recently it was reported that a mutiny took place at a war front camp near Ahwaz among teenage "volunteers." Under these conditions, the regime is tightening the screws on the masses even tighter. Recently, the mullahs drafted a law demanding that all able- bodied men be required to produce documents that they've done their conscription service or are exempt from it. These documents are to be required for working, doing business, getting driver's licenses, marriage, etc.

Meanwhile, as the war has dragged on and the crisis of the Iranian regime has worsened, imperialism has continued to build up its links with the Iranian government. There have been several reports of the regime receiving military supplies from Israeli zionism; since the war broke out in Lebanon it is reported that Israel has even sold captured PLO weapons to the Khomeini regime. Israel has also reportedly sent military experts to train the Iranian armed forces. It may be recalled that the Iranian armed forces under the Shah had close working relations with the Israeli army; the Iran-Iraq war has provided an opportunity to reestablish these links. At the same time, the Soviet social-imperialists have provided the Iranian army with weapons through the Syrian government.

Clearly in this war, while the masses of Iran and Iraq are paying a terrible price, and the regimes of Iran and Iraq have only worsened their own internal crises, it is world imperialism and social-imperialism who seek to reap all the benefits. The arms merchants of the U.S. and Europe as well as those of the Soviet Union must have their hearts warmed by the great amount of military material that is being consumed in this war. But the imperialists will find that they are laughing too soon -- the oppressed masses of Iran and Iraq will inevitably learn from this tragedy and seek to settle accounts with their oppressors, the reactionary regimes of the exploiters and imperialism.

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Khomeini's thugs in Buffalo, N.Y.

Ever since the Khomeini-IRP clique seized full power in the Iranian government, it has unleashed a brutal campaign of terror against the revolutionary and progressive forces. The Khomeini-IRP regime's campaign of terror against the progressive opposition is not restricted to the borders of Iran. They have also set up a wide scale system of harassment, spying, intimidation and even murderous assaults against the progressive Iranians living abroad.

In June, over a hundred pro-Khomeini gangsters, including members of the pro-Soviet revisionist Tudeh Party, went on a rampage through Aligarh University in Uttar Pradesh, India. Armed with clubs, chains, swords and knives, they killed an Iranian sociology student after he had refused to shout praise for Khomeini. More recently, on September 29, an Iranian resident in Bangalore, India was also murdered by agents of Khomeini during an anti-Khomeini demonstration in that city.

Similar attacks are taking place in numerous countries around the world. In the last couple of months, several attacks on progressive Iranian students took place in a number of cities in the U.S., including Fresno, California and Buffalo, N. Y. Below we reprint a letter to The Workers' Advocate from the Union of Anti-Imperialist Students (Buffalo) which reports on a reactionary attack organized on progressive Iranian students at the UB (State University of New York at Buffalo) campus.

October 14, 1982

Dear Comrades of The Workers' Advocate,

We want to report to you about certain recent events here in Buffalo. As you know, the brutalities of Khomeini and the Islamic Republican Party (IRP) have not been confined only to Iran. The Iranian government has also organized its phalangist gangs abroad to attack and suppress the progressive Iranians who stand in support and defense of their brothers and sisters at home. Here in Buffalo, once again the progressive Iranian students have been attacked by the thugs of the Khomeini regime. On Sunday, September 5, a reactionary public meeting was organized by the pro-Khomeini Moslem Student Association at the UB campus. The progressive Iranian students wanted to go to this meeting to denounce the criminal Khomeini regime which is continuing to attack the Iranian masses. They wanted to expose the regime in Iran for killing more than 15,000 and jailing about 40,000 revolutionary people of Iran. They wanted to demonstrate their stand on the side of the people of Iran who are fighting to defend their anti-imperialist revolution which is under attack by the IRP. The progressive Iranian students aimed to expose the ties of the Khomeini regime with the imperialists, particularly the U.S. imperialists.

The reactionary pro-Khomeini thugs know that they cannot organize a meeting without being exposed, as long as there are progressive Iranian students in Buffalo. They were still stinging from the exposure they suffered at the previous meeting which they attempted to hold. Thus, on September 5 they came armed with sticks and chains, prepared to attack the progressive Iranian students. At the time of the scheduled "public" meeting, fifteen progressive Iranians set out for the building in which the meeting was to be held. The Khomeiniites allowed three students to enter the building, and then immediately locked the doors and turned off all the lights and proceeded to carry out a vicious and premeditated attack on the three Iranian students. The three students were savagely beaten by these agents of the reactionary regime of Khomeini and they had to be hospitalized. During the attack, one of the students wrote on the wall in his own blood, "Death to Khomeini."

We must also mention here that the thugs of the IRP collaborate with the fascist police of U.S. imperialism. In the previous meeting which the Khomeiniites held, they called the police to arrest the progressive Iranians. On September 5, it was because the phalangists had the cooperation of the police that they were able to carry out their attack. When the police saw that the three students were beaten and bloodied by the reactionaries, and even when they saw the chains and sticks in the meeting room, they took no action against the Khomeiniite thugs. Rather, they insulted the progressive students and pretended they did not see the chains and sticks. They then protected the reactionary meeting and when it was over, they escorted the thugs out in order to make sure that they did not receive the punishment they deserved from the progressive Iranians who remained outside the building.

It is also important to note that the opportunists of the Workers World Party had a dirty role to play in the events of September 5. After the attack, they came on the scene and advised the progressive Iranians to calm down, go home and not get in trouble with the police. The progressive Iranians, however, have a militant fighting spirit, and they did not heed this cowardly "advice" of the WWP. They were determined to express their opposition to the fascist regime of Khomeini and to U.S. imperialism. They stayed outside the building, shouting slogans and awaiting the emergence of the Khomeiniite thugs. Furthermore, even though the Khomeiniites escaped under the protection of the police that day, it was only a few days later that one of the thugs was justly punished when he tried to provoke another incident with a progressive Iranian student.

The attack on the progressive Iranians at UB was by no means an isolated incident. In numerous other cities in the U.S. the same type of incidents have taken place. Further, similar incidents have been taking place in other countries. Besides Germany and the Philippines, just this past week a progressive Iranian student was murdered in India by the Khomeiniite thugs. These incidents are a part of the IRP's brutal terrorism aimed at crushing the progressive and anti-imperialist forces both inside and outside Iran. The government of Iran has financed and organized the gangs of phalangists to assault and murder the revolutionary Iranians around the world. In addition to other evidence, this can be seen in the fact that one day after the incident at the UB campus, it was already being reported over Radio Tehran -- of course in a distorted way. Seeing the brutal attacks which are being carried out here and elsewhere, one can just imagine the brutality and despotism that the Iranian masses face in Iran.

In spite of all the savagery of the Khomeini-IRP regime in Iran and its followers abroad, the fighting spirit of the Iranian masses and the progressive Iranian students in the U.S. remains high. The UAIS stands on the side of the progressive Iranian students against the phalangist gangs of the IRP and salutes the revolutionary Iranian masses who are fighting against U.S. imperialism and IRP reaction.

Warm regards,

Union of Anti-Imperialist Students (Buffalo)

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65th Anniversary of the October Socialist Revolution

Celebrations Salute the Bolshevik Revolution

November 7 this year marked the 65th anniversary of the socialist revolution of October 1917 of the Bolsheviks. The path-breaking October Revolution was the first time that the working class established a socialist society. It marked the emergence of the era of the proletarian revolution. It marked the. victory of the Marxist-Leninist theory over the spineless belly-crawling of the Menshevik (or social-democratic) opportunists who demanded the working class collaborate with the capitalists and only ask for a few more crumbs. Since October 1917 a true proletarian revolutionary can only be a communist, a Bolshevik, a Marxist- Leninist.

November this year also marks the 38th year since the liberation of Albania from the fascist yoke in World War II. The heroic anti-fascist struggle was led by a genuine communist party, the Party of Labor of Albania. Thus the Albanian people, though small in number, not only defeated the fascist aggressors but went on to construct a beautiful socialist society for themselves. They defended this society through their historic struggle against the Soviet revisionists, who destroyed socialism in the Soviet Union, and the Chinese revisionists, who sought to bring the world movement into alliance with U.S. imperialism through the notorious Maoist "three worlds" theory. The fact that Albania prospers, while all the capitalist and revisionist countries are bogged down in crisis, unemployment and stagnation, shows that there is a way out for the working class: that way out is socialist revolution.

Each year our Party holds commemorations of socialism. These meetings hold a special place in the hearts of our comrades. Five years ago, the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution was a worldwide festival where the revolutionary movement not only denounced the Soviet revisionist traitors, but also condemned the "three worlds" theory of the Chinese revisionists. This year, the 65th anniversary of the October Revolution, was an occasion for our Party to uphold the red banner of revolution and communism against the renegacy of today's Mensheviks, the "liquidators," who only yesterday swore up and down that they were loyal to the working class but who today are crawling on their knees before the Democratic Party and demanding that the working class give up (liquidate) the slightest idea of organizing separate from the capitalists and their political parties. The anniversary of the October Revolution is a day to sweep aside these cringing servants of the liberal capitalists and celebrate the victories of the class struggle.

Our Party took the story of the October Revolution to the working masses through leaflets, posters and newspapers. A special issue of The Workers' Advocate was distributed in tens of thousands of copies at factory gates, in working class communities, and in the revolutionary movement. The paper was taken widely to demonstrations and mass actions, such as those denouncing the U.S. intervention in El Salvador or opposing the frenzied nuclear weapons production.

As well, our Party began a study program on the lessons of the October Revolution as part of our ongoing theoretical study. As Lenin teaches: "Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement."

Revolutionary theory is necessary to guide the mass movement, and the study of the Marxist-Leninist classics sharpens the minds of the comrades who constantly relate the various teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin to the problems of the struggle today. The works that are being studied include Lenin's theses on the national and colonial questions, Stalin's famous Foundations of Leninism and various writings of Lenin for the First and Second Congresses of the Communist International. This study program still continues.

A high point of the campaign was the revolutionary public meetings held in New York City, Boston, Buffalo, Seattle and Berkeley (California). At these meetings, the speakers related the history of the October Revolution, especially of the period between the February Revolution of 1917, which overthrew the Tsar but left the opportunists and capitalists in charge, and the earthshaking October Revolution itself, which brought the working class to power and inaugurated a new era in the history of mankind. The Bolsheviks did not allow the revolution to be stopped halfway: this would have led to disaster, just as it has today in the case of the Iranian revolution which was left in the hands of the Khomeini clique rather than progressing to a revolutionary democratic regime of the working masses. No, the Bolsheviks refused to kneel before the wily bourgeoisie who usurped the power that the masses had fought for in the February Revolution. Instead, the Bolsheviks gave the world a model that has still never been surpassed of revolutionary strategy and tactics. Special attention was paid by the speakers to the methods used by the Bolsheviks to win the masses away from the influence of the opportunist parties, the Mensheviks and "Socialist Revolutionaries," who stood for class collaboration with the capitalists and landlords.

As well, the speeches paid special attention to linking the study of the October Revolution to the problems of today. They drew out the fact that the lessons of the October Revolution are essential for knowing how to fight the Reaganite offensive today. Particular attention was paid to the Bolshevik tactics for the struggle against imperialist war and imperialist war preparations. The October Revolution took place in the midst of the greatest mass slaughter then known to man, World War I, while today we live in a period of frenzied war preparations for a yet larger slaughter. We live in a period of imperialist wars and of liberation wars (such as that waged by the guerrillas in El Salvador). It is Leninism which shows how to guide the struggle against the Reaganite warmongers, how to support the liberation struggle of the peoples oppressed by U.S. imperialism, and how to build the movement into a powerful force. It is Leninism which lies behind our Party's work to give the movement an anti-imperialist orientation and to link it up with the struggle for socialist revolution.

The meetings supplemented the speeches with the showing of Eisenstein's October. This beautiful film illustrated the period between the February and October revolutions in Russia. And revolutionary songs resounded through the meeting halls. There also were displays of literature from the Marxist-Leninist classics, from socialist Albania, and from the contemporary struggle of our Party.

It is notable that the new people attracted to these meetings by the work of our Party and the appeal of the socialist revolution, were activists from the mass movements. Today the social-democrats and the representatives of the Democratic Party are doing their best to clamp down on the popular movements. They are trying to make them into movements that wish well to everyone alike, warmonger or liberation fighter, and fail to oppose anything. Our Party fights to reinforce the oppositional character of the movement, its militant opposition to imperialism, to the capitalist moneybags, to the racists, to the reactionaries. And from the midst of the mass movements, rank-and-file activists are coming forward and straining to break free of social-democratic sabotage. Their progress is painfully slow and suffers zigzags and setbacks. Yet these militants soaked up the literature distributed by our Party at demonstrations and elsewhere in favor of the October Revolution, and they sent some of their advance guard to the celebrations. This is a sign of the times.

Below we reprint excerpts from one of the two speeches given at the meeting in Buffalo, edited for publication. The full speech will be printed in the next issue. As well, we produce the solidarity message from our fraternal comrades of the Communist Party of Labor of the Dominican Republic. In future issues of The Workers' Advocatewe will continue our coverage of the lessons of the October Revolution for the revolutionary struggle today.

Hail the 65th anniversary of the October Socialist Revolution of the Bolsheviks!

Fight the Reaganite offensive and the capitalist parties!

Socialism is the goal of the workers' struggle!

Denounce Russian and Chinese revisionism, traitors to the workers' cause!

Celebrate 38 years of the triumphant march of socialism in Albania!

Follow the path of V.I. Lenin!

[Photos: New York; Berkeley, California; Boston; Seattle]

[Photo: Meeting in Buffalo on November 6,1982, commemorating the 65th anniversary of the October Revolution.]

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Great October Lives On at the Barricades of the Class Struggle

Comrades and friends,

Sixty-five years ago, when the October Socialist Revolution of the Bolsheviks brought the working class to power in Russia, the world was rift in two by the impact of this monumental event.

On the one side, the forces of property and the status quo in every country rallied to oppose the Bolshevik revolution. The bourgeois press denounced the revolution in the wildest terms as anarchy, the Bolsheviks as Tartar barbarians. The Catholic Pope declared that Lenin was the anti-Christ, and from every pulpit the preachers threatened that unless godless Bolshevism was stamped out, the end of civilization was at hand. Fear of Bolshevism swept through the mansions and drawing rooms of the bourgeoisie with the rapid force of hysteria. No bourgeois could rest his head on his pillow without first checking to ensure that a Bolshevik was not hidden beneath the bed.

Evidently, in the days following the October Revolution the international bourgeoisie did not feel it could rest unless it succeeded in crushing the Bolsheviks. And, in fact, the governments of the big capitalist powers threw their support behind the White Guard counter-revolution in Russia. Eleven imperialist powers formed a coalition for direct military intervention in the Soviet Union. The imperialists threw themselves against the new Soviet system with all the fury of a wounded and frightened beast.

As for the working masses, it was a new dawn. The sun which rose in Russia in October 1917 flooded over the entire international working class movement a brilliant new light -- the light of Bolshevism and Leninism. The great sympathy for the new Soviet power which gripped the broadest sections of the ordinary working people is exemplified by the stand and actions of the imperialist troops sent to fight the Red Army: the French sailors and soldiers mutinied; the soldiers of other countries refused to fight the Bolsheviks; and workers in the U.S. and other countries refused to load the ships being sent to supply the interventionist troops.

Indeed, the working people of all countries completely justified the terrible bourgeois fear of Bolshevism, as everywhere the workers looked to the October Revolution as their model and made the establishment of Soviet power their aim. Here in the U.S., the October Revolution and the new Soviet form of organization served as an impetus for the Seattle general strike of 1919. In other countries, where the workers' movement reached a much higher revolutionary pitch, the workers, inspired by the example of their Russian comrades, set up Soviets, as took place in 1918 in parts of Germany and 1919 in Hungary where the Soviet republic held state power for several months. Even in the long-slumbering nations of Asia, the masses of toilers newly awakened to political life and struggle joined the movement for Soviet power. In country after country, the advanced elements from the working class movement became the students and disciples of the great Lenin who had organized and led the October Revolution. Proletarian parties of a new type, communist parties, were organized in many countries, parties modeled after the Bolshevik Party of Lenin, revolutionary proletarian parties leading the working class towards its historic mission: the carrying out of the socialist revolution and the establishment of Soviet power in their own countries.

This deep and powerful support for the October Revolution swept up the workers of all countries in a great revolutionary ferment. It was this, together with the heroic struggle of the proletariat in Russia itself, that was decisive in staying the hands of the imperialists, wild with their mad frenzy for revenge against the Bolsheviks. The international bourgeoisie could not crush the Bolshevik revolution in Russia because it enjoyed the ardent support of the workers of their own countries.

Without exaggeration, it can be said that no event before or since has ever penetrated so rapidly and so widely, has ever affected so powerfully the working people of the world as the October Revolution. No event, before or since, has ever so sharply divided the world along class lines.

Why did it have such a profound impact? It was because the October Revolution was a socialist revolution, the first successful socialist revolution, and it spelt the end of private ownership of the means of production, of the factories, the mines, the land, etc., the end of the exploitation of the workers and peasants of Russia. No bourgeois could fail to oppose an event which spelt the end of capitalist wealth, status and privilege acquired through the exploitation of the workers. No worker could help but have sympathy for a revolution which for the first time in history brought to power a socialist regime with the mission of destroying all exploitation and privilege and of raising to ever greater heights the social, political, economic and cultural status of the workers.

And it was because the October Revolution was not an exclusively Russian or national affair that it had such a powerful world impact. The October Revolution was only a part, an integral and inseparable part, of the world socialist revolution of the international proletariat against the international bourgeoisie. The Soviet Republic established in Russia was not and could not be content with utilizing its power for the benefit of the toilers there only, but openly proclaimed and actively pursued a proletarian internationalist policy. The new Soviet Republic consciously and actively pursued the policy of arousing and assisting to organize the workers and oppressed of all countries to follow the path of the October Revolution and emancipate themselves. Hence its galvanizing effect all over the globe -- galvanizing the bourgeoisie with ghastly fear and dread, galvanizing the workers with revolutionary enthusiasm and fervor.

But all of this drama, this polarization of the world into two camps -- for and against the Bolshevik revolution -- and the conflict between these two camps, all of this occurred sixty-five years ago, and under the direct impact of a contemporary event, the October Revolution itself. Has not the passage of time dulled the brilliance of the achievements of the Bolsheviks? Indeed, do we not today hear on every side voices which relegate the October Revolution to the dusty archives of ancient history -- and not just the voices of the bourgeois professors but those as well of many an alleged "socialist" or supposed "communist"?

What is more, do not the events which have intervened between us and the October Revolution -- and, in particular, the restoration of capitalism in the land of the October Revolution, in the Soviet Union itself -- do not these subsequent events force us to reconsider and reevaluate the significance of the October Revolution? And again, many voices from all sides, including those of alleged "Marxist-Leninists," can be heard and many pages of ink can be read informing us that history has shown it was a mistake to follow the path of the October Revolution and that we must give up this outdated notion without delay.

Comrades, while no one can deny that time has erased the immediate dramatic effect of the events of October 1917, while no one can deny that the reversals suffered by socialism have caused the faint of heart to despair and the ill-informed to doubt, nevertheless, there are certain facts which must be reckoned with to make a correct judgement of the contemporary significance of the October Revolution.

One such fact is the general crisis of capitalism, the stagnant depression, the massive unemployment and hunger and wage cutting, the orgy of warmongering militarism and of racist and fascist reaction. This worldwide crisis is the death agony of the capitalist social system. The material conditions which impelled the masses to the October Revolution in 1917 still exist today, and these conditions are leading to revolutionary crises in various countries in which the working class will once again storm the barricades to seize power.

Another such fact is the continuing vitality of the Marxist-Leninist theory which was proved correct by the October Revolution. To this day Marxism-Leninism remains the only reliable guide for the working class movement; it remains the precious legacy of the working class and the ever cursed boogey of the capitalist politicians and professors. Its alternative, social-democracy in all its revisionist variants, remains just as bankrupt as at the time of World War I and the great October insurrection. Indeed, if anything, social-democracy is even more bankrupt, for it has since repeatedly been shown to be the preferred ideology of the ruling cliques of capitalist and imperialist governments.

Yet another such fact is the existence of socialist Albania. Yes, the October Revolution was all of 65 years ago and capitalism was restored in the Soviet Union more than two decades ago. But Albania, a land of genuine socialism, exists today. And this fact shows that the restoration of capitalism as occurred in the Soviet Union under Khrushchov is not an inevitability.

And still another such fact is the existence of our Marxist - Leninist Party, and similar parties in other countries, which remain the true disciples of Lenin and the Bolsheviks. The power of the working class resides in organization, and it is the Marxist-Leninist parties all over the world which are the organized vanguards of the working class. The October Revolution lives in the work and struggle of the genuine Marxist-Leninist communist parties, the proletarian revolutionary parties of a new type whose era was ushered in by the October Revolution.

These facts are stubborn things, and they provide eloquent testimony for the continued relevance and vitality of the path of the October Revolution. The inescapable misery of capitalism which cries out for a social revolution, and the material conditions which drive the masses to this momentous undertaking, still persist. The vitality of the Marxist- Leninist theory, and the necessity to orient the working class movement with the revolutionary truth of this theory, still persist. The brilliant example of socialism in Albania still persists. And the advanced elements of the working class who embrace Bolshevism and who organize themselves into Marxist-Leninist parties still persist. They persist despite the passage of time. They persist despite the reversals which our great cause has suffered; and, we must say, any world historic social movement which aims at nothing less than the complete elimination of the centuries-old exploitation of man by man must inevitably experience reverses. Yet the facts which prove the necessity of the October road persist despite the mad ravings and frenzied bloodlettings of capitalist reaction. And they persist despite the whimperings and moanings of the faint-hearted liberals who yesterday liked to pose as "Marxist-Leninists" and "communists" but who today are hanging on for dear life to the fringes of the Democratic Party, the labor bureaucracy and even the clergy.

It is the testimony of these facts which proves that the path of the October Revolution remains today -- just as it was 65 years ago -- the only genuine path for the salvation of the working masses. Thus, in our celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, it is only fitting that we take as our theme the lessons of the path of the October Revolution for the proletarian movement of today.

In my remarks, I shall speak about various of the lessons of the October Revolution, lessons which retain the same freshness and vitality today as they possessed 65 years ago, lessons which remain the guiding principles necessary for the success of our contemporary revolutionary movement in the U.S. We can by no means exhaust this subject, or even touch upon all its aspects, in a single speech or program. Rather, we will have to focus on only several of the most significant and topical lessons of this epoch-making revolution.

* * *

The body of the speech then illustrated the principles of Bolshevism with a detailed account of the Bolshevik work from the February Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar to the great proletarian socialist revolution of October 1917. The speech centered on several basic themes:

First, the speech stressed the revolutionary nature and role of the proletariat. It was the proletariat that was the mainspring of the revolution, that created that historic new form of organization, the Soviets, and that led all the toilers into battle against the class enemy. The Bolshevik attitude to the masses is illustrated by Stalin's description of Lenin's stand: "I do not know of any other revolutionary who had so profound a faith in the creative power of the proletariat and in the revolutionary efficacy of its class instinct as Lenin. Faith in the creative power of the masses -- this was the feature of Lenin s activities which enabled him to comprehend the spontaneous process and to direct its movement into the channel of the proletarian revolution." (Works, Vol. 6, pp. 62, 63)

Second, the speech stressed that the spontaneous movement of the working class is not sufficient, that left on its own the spontaneous movement falls under the domination of bourgeois ideology and politics. The speech showed how, in order to win the great victory of October, the Bolsheviks had to fight tooth and nail against the opportunist parties, the Mensheviks and "Socialist-Revolutionaries," who at first had the support of the majority of the working masses after the February Revolution. The Mensheviks and S-R's were leading the toilers down the garden path of class collaboration with the capitalists and landowners, the path of turning power over to the exploiters, the path of continuing the imperialist war, the path of betrayal. The speech discussed the diametrical differences in Bolshevik and opportunist policy and showed various of the methods used by the Bolsheviks to win the masses to the revolutionary stand.

And the speech also pointed out that the opportunists of our day, even those who call themselves "Marxist-Leninist" but are really revisionists, are just offspring of the Mensheviks who oppose the revolutionary nature of the working class. Our Party right from the start consistently carried out revolutionary agitation among the workers, while the opportunists seek to tie the workers in a straitjacket of economism and liberalism. The difference in the two lines is revealed in Marx' famous dictum: "The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing." (Letter to Engels, February 18,1865) The opportunists, in one voice, sing out: "Nothing!"

The speech concluded as follows:

* * *

I do not believe that it is necessary to dwell at length on the applicability of these lessons from the October Revolution which we have outlined. Suffice it to say that the tactics of the Bolsheviks are the model for our Party's work today: the model not in the sense of some scheme or ready-made formula which we mechanically apply, but the model in the sense that the basic spirit, stand and viewpoint, the essence of the Bolsheviks' strategy and tactics, are the guide for our Party's work in the mass movements. Clearly, our Party's work for building the independent political movement of the working class and uniting the workers and activists on a class basis against the principal enemy; for channeling the movement into a revolutionary direction; for struggle against the opportunists and compromisers who are grouped around the Democratic Party; and our Party's appeal for building the independent proletarian movement through mass actions, the circulation and study of revolutionary literature, and the building of independent organization; clearly all of this Is modeled after the Bolshevik tactics.

But, just as we are the contemporary heirs of the Bolsheviks, so too, today, there are those contemporary spawn of the Mensheviks: the liquidators. On every point, our allegiance to the Bolshevik lessons of the October Revolution is matched by their allegiance to the Menshevik lessons of betrayal. Whether it is the necessity for building the movement independent of the bourgeois parties and politics, which the liquidators oppose by tying the workers to the tail of the Democratic Party and by fouling the workers' movement with their promotion of liberal-labor politics; whether it is the necessity for struggle against the opportunists and compromisers, which the liquidators oppose by jumping into bed with the social-democrats and labor bureaucrats and becoming opportunists themselves; whether it is the necessity for revolutionary work in the mass movements, which the liquidators oppose with their rigid adherence to reformism and parliamentary cretinism; whatever the lesson which the October Revolution and the work of the Bolsheviks teach, the liquidators, who only yesterday huffed and puffed and pretended to be revolutionaries, have turned their backs on the lessons of Bolshevism and are following to a tee the renegade example of Menshevism.

Comrades, the fact that the liquidators have openly renounced Leninism, that they are writing treatises attacking the October Revolution and denying its present-day applicability, that they are snidely dismissing the allegedly old- fashioned "truisms" of 1917, this fact is cause enough for us to ever more staunchly uphold and propagate the lessons of the October Revolution. We shall prove in practice, in the teeth of their renegade howlings, the living and absolutely obligatory nature of the path of the October Revolution.

Comrades, if the path of the October Revolution is to remain as fresh and vital today as it was 65 years ago, then it is not enough that the objective conditions propel the masses to revolution. What is required is that our Party and our comrades uphold the theory of the October Revolution, the theory of Leninism. This theory lives only so long as an active force vitalizes it in practice, gives it life in the closest connection to the actual class struggle. It lives only so long as our Party defends it against every distortion, against every renegade. The way to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the October Revolution, therefore, is for comrades to step up their study of Marxism-Leninism, of the lessons of October, in order to shape, guide and organize the current class struggle.

Comrades, it is undeniable that the old Bolsheviks of 65 years ago are now gone. But new Bolsheviks have arisen to take the place of the old. It is undeniable that the traitors and renegades to our glorious cause have robbed us of the first land of the Soviets and of much more besides. But genuine socialism still lives in the struggle of the Marxist-Leninist parties and in red Albania. And the great truth of the October Revolution still shines in our immortal doctrine of Marxism-Leninism, which no one can ever rob us of. It is because of this that the following words of Comrade Stalin, written upon the death of Lenin, the organizer of the Bolshevik Party and the leader of the October Revolution, ring as true today as they did when Stalin wrote them:

"Burdensome and intolerable has been the lot of the working class. Painful and grievous have been the sufferings of the laboring people. Slaves and slaveholders, serfs and serf-owners, peasants and landlords, workers and capitalists, oppressed and oppressors -- so the world has been built from time immemorial, and so it remains to this day in the vast majority of countries. Scores and indeed hundreds of times in the course of the centuries the laboring people have striven to throw off the oppressors from their backs and to become the masters of their own destiny. But each time, defeated and disgraced, they have been forced to retreat, harboring in their breasts resentment and humiliation, anger and despair, and lifting up their eyes to an inscrutable heaven where they hoped to find deliverance. The chains of slavery remained intact, or the old chains were replaced by new ones, equally burdensome and degrading. Ours is the only country where the oppressed and downtrodden laboring masses have succeeded in throwing off the rule of the landlords and capitalists and replacing it by the rule of the workers and peasants. You know, comrades, and the whole world now admits it, that this gigantic struggle was led by Comrade Lenin and his Party. The greatness of Lenin lies above all in this, that by creating the Republic of Soviets he gave a practical demonstration to the oppressed masses of the. world that hope of deliverance is not lost, that the rule of the landlords and capitalists is short-lived, that the kingdom of labor can be created by the efforts of the laboring people themselves, and that the kingdom of labor must be created not in heaven, but on earth. He thus fired the hearts of the workers and peasants of the whole world with the hope of liberation. That explains why Lenin's name has become the name most beloved of the laboring and exploited masses." (Works, Vol. 6, pp. 48- 49)

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Solidarity Message from the Communist Party of Labor (Dominican Republic) in New York

Dear Comrades:

The representatives of the Communist Party of Labor in New York, join the rejoicing and the joy which all the comrades of the brother Party of the U.S. feel, in commemorating this evening the 65th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, and we extend to you a warm and fraternal greeting, and at the same time we congratulate you for the successes achieved in the different activities which the MLP has carried out to celebrate this memorable date.

Sixty-five years have gone by since the day in which the most extraordinary event in the history of humanity took place, when the great teacher and leader of the proletariat, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, at the head of the Bolshevik Party, founded by him, led the Russian proletariat in a decisive battle which led to the overthrow of the hated bourgeois regime and the triumph of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

Just as you are doing this evening, this memorable date is commemorated with happiness and optimism and faith in the future, by all the true Marxist-Leninists, by the whole international proletariat, by all the freedom and progress-loving people of the whole world, who are fighting against imperialism and social-imperialism, against the bourgeoisie and international reaction, against the revisionists of all hues and against all the enemies of Marxism-Leninism in order to break once and for all the chains of slavery, in order to end all oppression and exploitation and become the masters of their own destinies.

In commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the triumph of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the genuine Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries pay homage to the name and work of the founder of the glorious Bolshevik Party, the great strategists of the revolution, the inspirer and leader of the first socialist state and the Communist International, and the beloved leader of the world proletariat, unyielding fighter in the defense of Marxism against all opportunists and revisionists, and brilliant follower of the ideas and the revolutionary work of Marx and Engels, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

In commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution the genuine Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries honor as well, with deep respect, the name and the work of the loyal disciple and close comrade in arms of Lenin, the great Marxist-Leninist and revolutionary fighter, Joseph Visarionovich Stalin, who, for 30 consecutive years at the head of the Bolshevik Party, held aloft the victorious banner of the October Revolution, leading with success the construction of the new society in the first socialist country in the world. It was great Stalin who defended with courage and loyalty the teachings of Lenin and the October Revolution, fighting resolutely against all the enemies and renegades of Marxism-Leninism, the revolution and socialism, from Trotsky and Bukharin to Tito and other traitors. It was great Stalin who, at the head of the Soviet state, led the complete victory of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet people against the Hitlerite fascist aggressors, making an outstanding contribution to the advance of the world revolutionary movement.

The historical importance of the October Revolution, the correctness of its lessons and its experience cannot be blurred in the least by the treachery of the Khrushchovite revisionists, by the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union nor by the widespread propagation of the revisionist trend in the international communist and workers' movement. Despite all the efforts that the Khrushchov-Brezhnev gang may exert towards deforming and falsifying the historical experience of the October Revolution, they will never be able to eclipse the bright teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin on the necessity to carry out the armed revolution, using the revolutionary violence to overthrow the anti-people regimes and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. The Soviet revisionist renegades will find it impossible to blur, with their anti-Marxist and counter-revolutionary theories and practice, the great teachings of Marxism- Leninism on the dictatorship of the proletariat and the construction of the socialist and communist society. The revisionist tragedy of the Soviet Union and the other former socialist countries under the control and domination of social-imperialism, is the most eloquent proof of where the betrayal of these fundamental teachings leads to. On the other hand, the brilliant victories and the great successes achieved by heroic socialist Albania in the construction and building of socialism, in the strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the resolute defense of the principles of Marxism- Leninism, are proof of where the loyal defense and consistent application of the teachings of the October Revolution and loyalty to the bright ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin lead to.

Today, when imperialism and social- imperialism, the bourgeoisie and international reaction, social-democracy, Khrushchovite revisionism and Chinese revisionism, the opportunist and renegades of all sorts, unite against and act to suppress and smash the revolution, to divert the peoples from the correct path and liquidate their struggles for liberation -- it is up to the Marxist-Leninists to raise even higher the great banner of October, and resolutely apply the strategy of Lenin and the Bolsheviks to lead the working class and its allies to the triumph of the revolution in our respective countries.

Dear comrades, commemorating today together with you and all the workers and revolutionaries of the whole world the 65th Anniversary of the October Revolution, the Communist Party of Labor expresses its firm conviction that the great cause of October, the cause of the world proletariat, the cause of socialism and communism will triumph.

Long live the ideas and teachings of the October Revolution!!

Long live the fraternal and internationalist friendship between the MLP and the PCT!!

Long live proletarian internationalism!!

Glory to Marxism-Leninism!!

Information Office of the PCT in New York November 6, 1982

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