The Workers' Advocate


Volume 12, Number 5


May 24, 1982

[Front page:

Down with Thatcher, Galtieri, and Reagan!--Oppose the Reactionary War Over the Falklands!;

Why we reject the nuclear freeze--To Fight Nuclear Weapons, Fight Imperialism!;

Israeli Aggressors Prepare to Invade Lebanon;

10 Million Unemployed Shows the Necessity for Class Struggle;

Fight Reagan's Racist Offensive!]


Auto: Concessions imposed on workers........................... 3
Opposition at GM............................................................. 3
The bitter fruit of concessions at GM............................... 3
Liquidators tail bureaucrat opposition.............................. 3
Schenectady: 8,000 GE workers strike............................. 4
New York: Takebacks hit transit workers......................... 4
Buffalo: Against overwork at Roswell Park..................... 4

New York: Students fight education cutbacks.................. 5
Oppose segregationist drive: In the schools..................... 5
In the work places............................................................. 5
Down with terror against immigrant workers.................. 5
Haitian and Salvadorian refugees persecuted................... 10
On the Hinckley trial........................................................ 12

International Working Class Day celebrated.................... 14
13th anniversary of the founding of ACWM(M-L).......... 14

Mass actions against U.S. imperialist aggressionin El Salvador................................................................... 7
Buffalo: UAIS adopts its program.................................... 7
Spartacists: Wreckers against the movement................... 7
Social-democrats grovel before the generals.................... 6
Correspondence................................................................ 2

General strikes in Western Europe................................... 9
Portugal............................................................................. 9
Belgium............................................................................ 9
Britain: Social-democrats defend the empire................... 2
Reagan's "Caribbean Aid Program"................................. 10
Jamaica: Hell for the People............................................. 10
Haiti: A land of U.S.-backed tyranny................................ 10
Latin America: U.S. imperialism's history....................... 11
Palestinian upsurge against Israeli occupiers................... 11
Khomeini thugs attack Iranian students in U.S................ 11

Down with Thatcher, Galtieri, and Reagan!

Oppose the Reactionary War Over the Falklands!

Why we reject the nuclear freeze

To Fight Nuclear Weapons, Fight Imperialism!

Israeli Aggressors Prepare to Invade Lebanon

10 Million Unemployed Shows the Necessity for Class Struggle

Fight Reagan's Racist Offensive!

British Labor Party--Her Majesty's Social-Democrats in Defense of the Empire


Concessions imposed on auto workers

Stiff Opposition Points to Further Struggle

Liquidators on LOC

Riding the Tail of the UAW Bureaucrat Opposition

The concessions battle at GM

The Bitter Fruit of Concessions at GM

Social-democratic treachery at Roswell Park Hospital, Buffalo

Denounce the State Task Force Report

Schenectady, New York


Sellout Union Bosses Impose Takebacks on New York Transit Workers

Oppose the Government's Segregationist Drive

On "Operation Jobs":

Down with the Reaganite Terror Against the Immigrant Workers!

At Medgar Evers College in New York:

Students Protest Education Cutbacks

Salesmen for the nuclear freeze

How the social-democrats grovel before the generals

Build up the anti-imperialist struggle against the sabotage by the Democratic Party

Nationwide Actions Against U.S. Aggression in El Salvador

Union of Anti-Imperialist Students Adopts Its Program

The Trotskyite Spartacist League:

A Band of Wreckers Against the Anti-Imperialist Movement

Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg

General Strikes in Western Europe

Portuguese workers demand ouster of the ruling coalition

Two opposing policies in the Portuguese general strike

Belgian strikers clash with the capitalist police

Reagan's "Caribbean Aid Program":

Another link in the chain of U.S. neo-colonial slavery


A Land of U.S.-Backed Tyranny

Down with the persecution of the Haitian and Salvadorian refugees!

Reagan's 'Caribbean Aid Program' at work

Hell for the Jamaican People

Big upsurge of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupiers

Buffalo, New York

Progressive Iranian students attacked by thugs of the Khomeini-IRP regime

U.S. Imperialism in Latin America

A bloodstained history of robbery and aggression

How the bourgeoisie covers up the crimes of the ultra-right

On the Hinckley Trial

Celebrations of International Working Class Day

Hail the 13th Anniversary of the Founding of the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist)

Down with Thatcher, Galtieri, and Reagan!

Oppose the Reactionary War Over the Falklands!

The military conflict in the South Atlantic is taking on bigger and more murderous proportions. The news is filled with reports of the invasion of the Falklands by British marines and paratroopers, new air and sea battles, and growing lists of casualties. On all sides this is a conflict to defend tyranny and exploitation. Both of the combatants are bloodstained enemies of the working class and progressive mankind, and both are fighting for reactionary aims.

On April 2, General Galtieri, the chief of the Argentine military junta, ordered the seizure of the Falklands as a desperate maneuver to save his neck and rescue his fascistic military dictatorship from the brink of collapse. With similar aims of diverting the wrath of the working people at home, Margaret Thatcher, the infamous "Iron Lady," of British imperialism, has dispatched a vast armada of warships 8,000 miles across the ocean to reconquer the Falklands in a military adventure of straight-up colonial robbery. And for its part, the warmongering Reagan administration has thrown its weight behind the British colonialist pirates while maneuvering to rescue as much as it can out of this conflict between these two important allies of U.S. imperialism.

Already hundreds of young men have been criminally murdered in the South Atlantic fighting, and there is the danger of the slaughter of thousands more. This is a matter of great concern among the working and progressive people, who are aware that the capitalist ruling classes will not hesitate to bring onto the working masses even the most senseless tragedies in order to save their crisis-ridden system of exploitation and oppression. The reactionary war in the South Atlantic is just such a meaningless tragedy.

Galtieri's Last-Ditch Gamble to Rescue His Bloodstained Fascist Dictatorship

For many decades, the capitalist oligarchy of Argentine industrialists and landlords has ruled through the iron fist of one dictatorial regime after the other. And the present military government has been one of the most sadistic and fascistic of them all. In its system of brutality, the Argentine military junta is comparable to the fascist Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, or to that of Hitlerite Germany. Since seizing power in a March 1976 coup d'etat, the right-wing junta has been waging a ruthless war to physically crush the working class and exterminate all revolutionary and democratic forces. Political parties and trade unions have been driven underground. Tens of thousands of political and trade union activists have been murdered, kidnapped. tortured, and left to rot in military prisons. It is estimated that there are as many as 30,000 "disappeared" persons whose fate is unknown but who are presumed either assassinated or being held incommunicado by the military.

Furthermore, the Argentine regime is not only the hangman of its own people, but it is also a bulwark of reaction in Latin America. Over the years its bloodstained hand has played a role in a series of reactionary putsches in a number of countries and most recently in the reactionary coup in Bolivia. It has also been reported that Galtieri's junta has been actively involved in Reagan's counter-revolutionary destabilization campaign against Nicaragua. Moreover, the Argentine junta has even offered Reagan the use of its troops against either Nicaragua or to assist its fascist brethren of the Salvadorian military junta in its genocidal war against the workers and peasants of El Salvador.

Today, however, the walls of this fortress of fascist reaction and Yankee imperialist aggression are teetering on the brink of collapse. The Argentine junta is being shaken by economic and financial ruin. Last year the inflation rate was 130%, the highest in the world. Presently interest rates have reached 250%, and unemployment and underemployment afflicts 40% of the work force. Government and industry can't make good on the staggering interest payments that they owe on their $32 billion of loans from the Wall Street, London and other imperialist banks. To further squeeze the working people, in March, Galtieri imposed a new round of austerity measures, including a freeze on pensions and on public employee wages.

But the working masses had had enough. During the last week of March, pitched battles raged through the streets of Buenos Aires with the unarmed workers facing soldiers armed with tear gas and water canons. In the largest demonstrations since the '76 coup, the workers came out in force with slogans against the junta's economic measures and for the end of the military dictatorship.

Galtieri could read the writing on the wall. In a last-ditch gamble, he ordered the seizure of the Falklands, or the Malvinas as they are known in Argentina. It is as plain as ^day that this was simply a desperate maneuver to keep in power the military dictatorship. And, unfortunately, the nationalistic fervor created by this maneuver had its effect. On the very day of the seizure, the leadership of the bourgeois opposition, which is in the main Peronist, called off the big anti-junta demonstration that had been called. The Peronist leaders of the trade union movement have likewise fallen under the sway of the reactionary nationalist fever. It appears that at great risk the junta has bought itself a breather, but it is surely nothing more than a breather. Every day of the military conflict with the British fleet is bringing on an even greater financial and economic disaster. The misery and tyranny which brought the workers into the streets is only growing more unbearable. Everything indicates that the collapse of the military dictatorship has only been temporarily postponed, and if things go badly for the generals on the military front, this collapse may well come sooner than later.

Here it should be pointed out that from the outset the fascist generals came to power and rigged up their sadistic dictatorship under the nationalistic rhetoric of "preserving the nation" and "national security." Galtieri has now gone to the point of risking a possibly disastrous war with British imperialism in order to renew this tattered nationalistic rhetoric and to prop up the tottering fascist dictatorship. Such is the reactionary essence of the Argentine junta's seizure of the Malvinas.

Yes, it is true enough that the Malvinas Islands were unscrupulously robbed from Argentina. In 1831, a U.S. naval expedition "demilitarized" the Argentine settlement there, followed in 1832-33 by a British expedition which forcibly drove the remaining Argentines off of the island'. The islands have been held as a colonial possession of the British Empire ever since. But this injustice in no way means that the working class and people should line up behind the blood-spattered Argentine generals in their conflict with British imperialism. In the present conditions, to argue otherwise means to sacrifice the 27 million Argentines before the altar of the fascist executioners in exchange for the glory of an adventure of the Argentine armed forces. The working class and people of Argentina must settle accounts with their own hangmen first and foremost, and only then does it make any sense to pursue whatever the people decide might be the best means to redress the problem of the Malvinas. But until that time, the byword of the workers and oppressed must be uncompromising struggle for the overthrow of the Argentine fascist tyranny which is murdering and torturing their best sons and daughters and exploiting them to the bone.

British Imperialism's Armada of Colonial Piracy

Meanwhile, the aims of the other belligerent, the British government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, are no less reactionary than those of the military dictators in Buenos Aires. In response to the seizure of the Falklands, British colonialism and imperialism is baring its savage and warmongering fangs. With the aim of driving off the Argentine forces and reconquering the islands, Thatcher has unleashed the biggest naval armada assembled by British imperialism since World War II, including over 60 warships bristling with modern weapons and carrying some ten thousand crack troops and mercenaries. The entire British capitalist ruling class is crying out for blood, pounding the war drums with both fists. This rabid war fever has not only gripped "Iron Lady" Thatcher and her Conservatives, but also the loyal opposition of the social-democratic Labor Party. From both sides of the British parliament echo the bloodcurdling war cries to "teach the Argentines a lesson" and to restore the "honor" of Queen and country. Indeed, even the self-styled "inveterate peacemonger," Labor Party leader Michael Foot, has not been outdone in this orgy of jingoist warmongering.

The dispatch of the British naval task force to the South Atlantic is nothing but a typical instance of colonialist aggression. It is nothing but gunboat robbery to steal for a second time what the British colonialists had forcibly stolen from Argentina in the first place. Nevertheless, the lords and ladies of British imperialism are trying to put a "civilized" and "principled" face on their murderous military adventure of modern-day piracy.

Thatcher, Foot, and crew, declare that the dispatch of the British armada was essential to defend "principles" and "international law." But the only "international laws" that the British fleet has sailed eight thousand miles to defend are the old laws-of colonial empire; the only "principles" at stake are "principles" according to which what has been seized and conquered by the Royal Navy and Marines is the inalienable possession of the Royal Empire, even if this possession is halfway around the world and happens to be an integral part of other people's territory.

It is well known that in the name of these very same "laws" and "principles," over the centuries British colonial troops and mercenaries have slaughtered untold millions in colonial wars from India, to Ireland, to North America, to Africa, and elsewhere around the globe. While since the conclusion of World War II the British Empire has been stripped of the greatest part of its colonial territories, nevertheless British imperialism remains a major international neo-colonialist power. Moreover far from abandoning its former colonialist "principles," British imperialism remains willing to slaughter thousands upon thousands more to defend its remaining colonial possessions. The world has seen this graphically displayed in the British military occupation of the north of Ireland, and now today in the Falklands as well.

The "civilized" ladies and gentlemen of British colonial piracy also declare that their chief concern in dispatching the naval task force is for the 1,800 Falkland settlers. Surely this concern is why the British navy is enthusiastically pulverizing the islands with bombs and heavy guns. Surely this concern is why a large part of the settlers have been reduced to near serfs of the British conglomerate Coalite Ltd., the parent of the Falklands Islands Company which is the virtual monopoly owner of the Falklands. And surely this concern is why many of the Falklands settlers are even prohibited from entering Britain under the British government's racist and colonialist immigration laws. No, the British imperialist marauders haven't the slightest concern for these 1,800 persons. After ousting the Argentine settlements from the islands, the British imported a small number of shepherds and other settlers to put in place a colonial set up. And today they have launched a military adventure to restore this colonial situation accompanied with pompous and totally hypocritical speeches about the rights of this handful of colonial settlers.

The unbounded hypocrisy of the British imperialists was also graphically demonstrated by the loud cries in parliament against fascist tyranny in Argentina. The Laborites outdid them all in this shameless hypocrisy, decrying the "tinpot fascist junta," and so on and so forth. But where were these stirring condemnations of fascism before the seizure of the Falklands? Where were the outcries against the British government and the London banks for being among the principal arms suppliers and bankrollers of the Argentine junta? There were no such outcries from these oh so "democratic" gentry of British imperialism. This is because Britain, behind the two superpowers, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, is one of the main bulwarks of fascism in the world today. This is typified by the fascistic British military dictatorship in the north of Ireland; by the important backing which British finance capital provides the hitlerites of apartheid South Africa; by Thatcher's enthusiastic support for the fascist junta in El Salvador; by the financing and arming of the Argentine hangmen; etc., etc.

Strip away the highfalutin hypocrisy of these mouthpieces of British imperialism, and the military adventure of Her Majesty's Royal Navy in the South Atlantic is exposed for what it is -- naked colonial aggression. But the question might be asked, why then are the British imperialists willing to undertake such an aggression, which entails enormous material as well as human costs and the very real danger of a military fiasco? This is because there is much more at stake in this conflict than a handful of desolate islands.

In the first place, the Falklands themselves potentially have much more to offer the British imperialist moneybags than just mutton and wool. In 1971, a Shell Oil Company geological survey indicated that the South Atlantic between the Falklands and the Argentine mainland was potentially rich in oil. Moreover, according to a report confirmed by Argentine officials, only days before the Argentine seizure of the islands, a French- owned firm, Total, drilling in the area struck oil. (Los Angeles Times News Service, April 25,1982) Meanwhile the British government has now declared that it will not recognize any lease contracts the Argentine government sells for drilling rights in the region. Of course, the Falklands conflict will not be the first time that the imperialist wolves have been responsible for a bloodbath to satisfy their insatiable appetite for oil.

Secondly, the British naval task force is not only fighting to retake the Falklands, but to defend the far-flung imperialist interests of the British bourgeoisie. Thatcher's aim is to stage a massive show of force to demonstrate that British imperialism will not hesitate to resort to fire and sword to protect these enslaving interests, including to keep the bloodstained Union Jack flying over the remaining possessions left in its colonial empire.

And finally, the Thatcher government has major domestic contradictions to resolve as well. Year in and year out the British capitalist economy sinks deeper and deeper into crisis and decay. Unemployment is at its highest level since the 1930's, and inflation continues to soar. The reactionary government of Margaret Thatcher has shown the Reaganite reactionaries a thing or two with its ruthless policies--with its brutal anti-worker austerity measures and cutbacks, with its fascist and racist measures, and with its rabid warmongering. A broad ferment is brewing among the British working people against Thatcher's despised policies and the capitalist offensive. Only last summer, the powerful mass rebellions of the national minority and working class youth shook the British capitalist ruling class and gave a signal of what is to come. So, just as Galtieri resorted to seizing the Falklands to check the internal opposition, Thatcher and the British capitalists are striving to check the mass struggles of the British working people by whipping up a nationalistic frenzy over the South Atlantic crisis. Hence the massive campaign to incite war hysteria against the "foreign enemy," and to fan up a patriotic fervor for Queen and country.

Such are the main objectives of British imperialism in the South Atlantic conflict.

The Aggressive Strategy of U.S. Imperialism and the Falklands Crisis

The outbreak of hostilities in the South Atlantic has posed a crisis for the aggressive world strategy of U.S. imperialism. Among other things, both of the two belligerents are presently crucial U.S. allies in this strategy.

On the one hand, the Thatcher government is Western Europe's staunchest supporter of Reagan's international policies of aggression and war. This includes Thatcher's firm support for U.S. intervention in Central America, and also of considerable importance, Thatcher is the most diehard defender of Reagan's plans for introducing new nuclear weapons into Western Europe, plans which are being confronted by the massive opposition of the West European working people.

On the other hand, the sadistic fascists of the Argentine junta are also currently dear to Ronald Reagan's policies. Reagan and these right-wing hangmen cherish many things in common such as their love for exploitation and tyranny, their fanatical anticommunism, and so forth. Wall Street and the State Department also place great value in the role which the military junta plays in defense of U.S. imperialist interests. But in particular, Reagan has been striving to recruit the Argentine fascists to help crush the revolutionary upheaval which is pounding at the U.S.-backed dictatorships in Central America. In March, Assistant Secretary of State, Thomas Enders, was in Buenos Aires reportedly to discuss plans to use Argentine troops in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Such schemes are a crucial part of the Reagan-Haig strategy of "regionalizing" U.S. intervention in Central America. This is a strategy modeled after the notorious Nixon-Kissinger-Haig policy to "let Asians fight Asians" used in U.S. imperialism's genocidal war in Indochina.

Clearly the conflict which has erupted between these two important allies, the reactionary governments of Britain and Argentina, is a monkey wrench in the aggressive workings of U.S. imperialism. Therefore the Reagan policy has been to intervene in the Falkland crisis with the aim of cutting losses and protecting U.S. imperialist interests. In the first weeks of the crisis, war dog Haig posed as a "peacemaker" and the neutral ally of both sides. In this role Haig was full of selfless and evenhanded proposals such as resolving the conflict by turning over the islands -- to the U.S. and an American "peacekeeping" force. But as the conflict deepened, the stated position of neutrality became untenable. Reagan has now come out openly on the side of the British imperialists, and the Pentagon has announced that it has placed its military intelligence, fuel tankers, and other auxiliary operations at the service of the colonial pirates of the Queen's Royal Navy.

By taking this position, Reagan faces the prospect of a deterioration of relations with the Argentine junta. Any immediate plan to bandage up the Argentine troops and ship them off to Central America is, for the time being, hardly feasible. But the risks for U.S. imperialism are not as great as they might seem. At this point at least, it appears that despite the U.S. support for Britain, Galtieri and company are not eager to burn any bridges in their close alliance with U.S. imperialism.

More importantly, putting its weight behind the British gunboats is another major exposure of Yankee imperialism in the eyes of the Latin American and other peoples as a marauding aggressor and as a defender of colonialism. And this is at a time when Yankee imperialism is already being exposed and condemned for its intervention in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and when there is a high tide of revolt against the U.S.-backed oligarchs and generals spreading throughout Central America and elsewhere in Latin America.

Nevertheless, open support for Thatcher's armada best serves the enslaving strategy of U.S. imperialism from two main directions.

Firstly, the bolstering of the Anglo-American alliance is of great importance to the U.S. imperialists. Since the Second World War, this aggressive partnership has proven itself as a time-tested cornerstone of the U.S.-led imperialist bloc and the aggressive NATO alliance. With his support for the British reconquest of the Falklands, Reagan is demonstrating to Thatcher his firm commitment to this partnership of imperialist warmongers.

Secondly, the U.S. imperialists, too, have a vested interest in preserving the "international laws" of colonial piracy. After all the U.S. government, too, holds its own colonial possessions which include, in Latin America alone, its colony of Puerto Rico, the Panama Canal Zone, the enclave of Guantanamo in Cuba, and the Virgin Islands. Reagan therefore recognizes that the British task force is not fighting for the Queen's empire alone, but for the colonial positions of the other imperialist powers as well. Thatcher's "strong response" is meant as a signal to anyone else who might dare to "steal" any of the other possessions of the old colonial powers, or, for that matter any of the other enslaving military outposts and bases and other neo-colonial positions of imperialism circling the globe. Hence, not only Reagan, but also the social-democratic government of France and the other old imperial powers have given their blessings to the British armada.

The U.S. imperialist war fiends are striving to reap other benefits from the tragedy in the South Atlantic as well. Among other things, the capitalist mass media has launched a big campaign for the glorification of reactionary war. For over a month and a half now, reports and footage of sinking battleships, bombing runs, naval bombardments, commando raids, and troop movements, have been the daily fare of the evening news. But is all this accompanied with the exposure and condemnation of the criminal and reactionary aims of this senseless slaughter? Quite the opposite. The scenes of the "brave" young men being shipped halfway around the world to blow to bits their class brothers from other lands is being portrayed as a "heroic" and "exciting" adventure. All of this criminal warmongering propaganda is aimed at creating public opinion in support of U.S. imperialism launching its own military adventures in Central America or the Mideast, etc.

In recent days the media has been trying to paint the Falklands conflict as simply another episode in the rivalry between the two superpowers, with U.S. imperialism backing the British and with Soviet social-imperialism intervening on the side of Argentina. Fanning the flames of war hysteria, the media is even raising the specter of a "showdown" in the South Atlantic between the imperialist superpowers. This specter is being raised even though there is no evidence that either Moscow or Buenos Aires is taking any steps in the direction of such a military alliance and there is no indication that they are about to do so. Nevertheless, the unmistakable message created by the lying media is that in order to prepare for such a "showdown" it is necessary to arm and arm some more.

In fact, the Falklands crisis is being seized upon to spur on the Pentagon's already feverish war buildup. The military experts are speculating on the tremendous benefits that the South Atlantic fighting will bring to military planning with the first testing in combat of a new generation of missile and other weaponry. And the Pentagon generals and admirals and the capitalist politicians are already engaged in a new round of debate on how best to build up U.S. imperialism's war machine.

Down With Thatcher, Galtieri and Reagan! Down With All the Tyrants and Warmongers!

The war in the South Atlantic is an expression of the powerful crisis which is gripping the entire capitalist world. The imperialists, the exploiters, and the fascists are on a listing ship, wracked by the internal contradictions of their rotten system and the mounting resistance and revolt of the workers and oppressed. This great crisis is what is leading the capitalist states towards military adventures and war.

Today we are witnessing ferocious acts of imperialist and social-imperialist aggression to put down the popular revolts of the oppressed and to enslave the peoples, such as the U.S. intervention in Central America and the Soviet social-imperialist invasion of Afghanistan. At the same time we are witnessing the sharpening of all the contradictions among the capitalist and reactionary states themselves. There is the growing aggravation of the major contradiction between the rival imperialist blocs of the two superpowers, U.S imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. As well, there are also sharp conflicts among the allied reactionary states. As the Falklands crisis demonstrates, these reactionary states will even throw themselves upon each others' throats in order to avert the crisis and prop up their hated systems of exploitation and oppression.

The reactionary war in the South Atlantic should serve as another warning signal to the working class and oppressed masses everywhere of the disasters which capitalism and imperialism hold in store. But most importantly it should serve as another signal for the proletariat and the people to rise in struggle against those who are responsible for such disasters. It should serve as another signal to push forward the mass revolutionary struggles against the Galtieris, Thatchers, Reagans and all the other bloodstained tyrants and warmongers the world over.


Top Left: The "democratic" Thatcher government suppressing the rebellions of the working class and national minority youth in the Brixton section of London in April, 1981.

Left: The British colonialist "liberators" of oppressed peoples at work in Northern Ireland. Photo shows heroic Irish youth standing up to the armored cars of the occupation troops of Thatcher's government in May, 1981.

Above: Galtieri's troops attacking a workers' demonstration against the fascist junta held in the streets of Buenos Aires on March 30, just three days before the seizure of the Falklands.]

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Why we reject the nuclear freeze

To Fight Nuclear Weapons, Fight Imperialism!

In the last several years, the militarists in Washington have greatly stepped up their saber rattling, their plots for imperialist adventures abroad, and their fiendish speculations about "winning" a nuclear war. In response, a strong mass movement has developed among the working people of this country against militarism and imperialist war preparations. The outrage of the masses can be seen in the widespread anti-draft protests of 1980-81, in the vigorous protests against the nuclear energy program, in the continued demonstrations against the U.S. aggression in El Salvador and in the growing opposition to the Pentagon's nuclear weapons buildup.

One of the expressions of this outrage can also be seen in the large number of people who are signing petitions and voting for referendums which they believe to be against nuclear weapons. This year, these campaigns are mainly based on the proposal for a "nuclear freeze." Unfortunately, however, these referendums are a huge fraud being perpetrated upon the people. The masses are being led to believe by the orchestrators of the freeze campaign that they are voting against war preparations. But this is not really the case, for the freeze proposal is not against war preparations at all.

The freeze proposal consists simply of the polite suggestion that a message be sent to Mr. Reagan that the good man start negotiations with Mr. Brezhnev for a freeze, i.e., a moratorium on the building of new-nuclear weapons. In this article, we examine the essential features of the freeze plan. We will show that the freeze plan is simply another version of the fraud of negotiations between the superpowers, similar to SALT; that the plan is a scheme not to do away with, but preserve, the Pentagon's bloodstained war machine; and that the plan was developed in such a way as to allow war dog Reagan to pose as a Carter-style "peacenik."

A Rehash of the SALT Fraud

First, the nuclear freeze campaign is simply another version of the numerous fraudulent disarmament schemes of negotiations between the superpowers.

For decades now, the superpowers have engaged in such negotiations. And what has been the result? The U.S. and USSR have gone on arming to the teeth, adding newer and evermore fiendish weapons to their monstrous arsenals, while all the time swearing hypocritically in the name of "arms limitation," "detente," "peace," and so on.

Take, for instance, SALT II, the so-called "arms limitation" treaty that Carter arrived at with Brezhnev in 1980. This was the outcome of nearly seven years of "consultations" and "negotiations" between the superpowers. This was hailed as a great "triumph for peace."

But this was a complete swindle. SALT II did not reduce the nuclear arsenals one bit. In fact, it provided for the further expansion and perfection of the nuclear stockpiles. Today, even though SALT II has not been verified by the U.S. Senate, the major provisions of the treaty are being observed by both superpowers. Has this stopped Carter or Reagan from boosting the war budget to the skies? Not at all! Indeed, SALT II explicitly allows the superpowers to go up to 22,500-24,400 total strategic warheads between the two of them by 1985, from the 16,000 or so they have now. In addition, the U.S. could go on to build more Trident submarines, develop the Cruise Missile, the MX system, and so on. The Soviet Union could do similarly.

SALT II is not some aberration but a typical example of the fruits of the schemes of negotiations between the superpowers. These talks are nothing but a smoke screen behind which the imperialists go on arming to the teeth. This is imperialist pacifism in action: "peace talks" to deceive the masses while war preparations steadily go forward.

A section of the leaders of the freeze campaign try to pretend that the freeze is somehow different from SALT. But this is not so. In fact, the promoters of the freeze campaign themselves point to it as the only "realistic" plan because it is based on "mutual disarmament." Thus, according to their own plan, the Pentagon should go on arming to the teeth unless both sides agree --at some indeterminate time in the future -- on the nuclear freeze.

While a section of the leaders of the freeze campaign may equivocate, the chief imperialist sponsors of the plan make it quite explicit that the Pentagon's arsenal must continue to be bolstered. Take, for example, the bill on the nuclear freeze sponsored on March 10 by Senators Kennedy and Hatfield with the total support of 17 senators and 122 congressmen. This bill explicitly leaves it up to the superpowers to decide "when and how to achieve a mutual freeze." In the meantime, of course, they hold that the war budget must be boosted, as Kennedy along with the vast majority of his Senate and House colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike, have repeatedly shown through their enthusiastic votes in favor of Reagan's military budgets during the last two years!

With such an attractive proposal, of course Chief Warmonger Reagan could not lag far behind in joining the freeze bandwagon and wrapping himself in the mantle of a "peacenik." He has done exactly that. While squabbling with the Kennedy-Hatfield bill, Reagan too has given his support for a freeze bill in Congress sponsored by arch-militarist Senators Henry Jackson and John Warner. The only difference is that Reagan makes explicit what the Kennedyites seek to deliberately leave vague. The Reaganite bill calls for a freeze after the superpowers negotiate "equal and sharply reduced levels of forces" and of course they make clear that to achieve "equality," the U.S. must first massively bolster its present nuclear arsenal. Moreover the Reaganites pretend to go even further than the freeze with their calls for "arms reductions." But everyone knows this is nothing but a gigantic hoax. Reagan is proposing "arms reductions" with tongue in cheek in order to hide his escalating war budgets. Still, by coming forward with his own, even more radical freeze proposal, the Reaganites have revealed the essential hypocrisy that underlies the whole nuclear freeze proposal, no matter which version.

Bolstering the Pentagon's War Machine

Second, the nuclear freeze proposal explicitly supports the U.S. imperialist war machine, including its bloated nuclear arsenal.

According to the freeze proposal, if both superpowers cannot come to an agreement to freeze then the Pentagon can go on arming to the skies. But even if the pious wishes of the freeze backers were to be realized, this plan wouldn't and in fact isn't meant to adversely affect U.S. imperialism's war preparations. This is because the freeze proposal does not even call for the dismantling of a single bomb and it is meant to clear the way for a bigger expansion of U.S. imperialism's conventional (i.e., non-nuclear) forces. In other words, the freeze campaign is merely meant to be an "alternate" method of warmongering.

This goal of the freeze campaign is spelled out by its big imperialist backers among the Democratic Party politicians, the generals and other warmongers. Thus, Kennedy declared his support for the freeze with the statement that: "We offer this proposal because we believe it is in the national security interests of the United States.... I have no hesitancy whatsoever to say that we have to increase our conventional force." (San Francisco Chronicle, April 19, 1982) This is not surprising at all since Kennedy's posture against various warmongering policies have only been from the standpoint that he had other, better ideas on how to prepare for war.

Such sentiments are repeated over and over again by the different imperialist backers of the freeze plan. But some of the flunkeys of the Democratic Party squirm and say that while this may be true of Kennedy's plan, it does not represent the views of the "original" and "pure" freeze campaign.

All right, let us then hear it from the horse's mouth itself, Let us see what Ms. Randall Forsberg, widely acknowledged as the originator and leader of the current freeze campaign, has to say. Ms. Forsberg is a professional "arms controller" and a member of the Boston Study Group which includes such "anti-war" worthies as Paul Walker, a former intelligence specialist with the Army Security Agency and the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

In 1978, Ms. Forsberg, co-authored, with others from the Boston Study Group, a book called The Cost of Defense: A New Strategy for the Military Budget. This book reveals what the "real," "pure" freeze campaigners have in mind. It clearly shows that their aim is simply "alternative" means of war preparation. Thus, in a section entitled "Our Recommendations," Ms. Forsberg and her friends write:

"The forces we propose to retain are:

* a relatively small but invulnerable nuclear-weapon force to deter Soviet nuclear attacks by threatening retaliation;

* the heavily equipped land-combat forces presently assigned to help defend Western Europe against possible Soviet aggression together with

* most of the current tactical combat aircraft, which are intended to provide air cover in the event of a war in Europe and to protect the ocean approaches to Japan; and

* a largely unchanged force of surface ships and attack submarines, to protect the freedom of the seas." (p. 6-7, emphasis as in the original)

Elsewhere, in outlining the "acceptable goals of U.S. military policy," they recommend that "we propose to maintain the most important, traditional U.S. defense commitments to other countries and to retain the portion of the general-purpose forces needed to meet these commitments. Similarly, we have not recommended the abolition of all U.S. nuclear weapons, even though these weapons are not defensive but deterrent, offensive armaments. A strong case can be made that keeping nuclear weapons invites attack more than it inhibits one.... Still, we propose to retain a U.S. offensive nuclear force whose destructive potential...remains cataclysmic." (p. 50)

In other words, Ms. Forsberg and her friends are for maintaining the U.S. imperialist war machine, including the nuclear arsenal, and they are all for preserving the U.S. imperialist "spheres of influence" around the world.

This is implicit in the freeze proposal itself which promotes the idea that peace is ensured through the nuclear parity between the two superpowers, what is known as the "balance of terror." This is of course an unabashed defense of nuclear blackmail against the world's peoples who are held hostage by the warmongering superpowers. It is a theory of defense of the imperialist spheres of influence. And in addition, it allows the imperialists to ceaselessly increase their armaments as long as it is done in the name of "maintaining parity." Hence, the differences between the Forsbergs and Kennedys, between the "pure" and "impure" freeze campaigns are mythical; at best, they are differences in shade. All of them and along with them, the Reaganites too, are simply squabbling over what is the best way to preserve and extend the world empire of Washington, how best to prepare for war. And by pushing the freeze campaign on the antiwar movement, the imperialists are seeking to recruit the masses behind their cynical warmongering aims. This is the real, disgusting truth behind their game.

Helping the Reaganites Pose as Pacifists

Third, the freeze campaign was developed to be acceptable to Reagan in the name of "realism" and it goes so far as to offer a hand to the Reaganite warmongers to drape themselves in the mantle of "peace."

As we have just seen, there is no fundamental difference in the aims of the leaders of the freeze campaign and the other imperialist warmongers who stand for undisguised militarism. The only difference is that the pro-freeze politicians and generals believe in hiding their militarism behind an imperialist pacifist fraud of "peace talks" n order to hoodwink the masses. This controversy is essentially the same as that which took place between the pro- SALT and anti-SALT forces a few years ago.

The nuclear freeze idea was originally developed as an amendment to the SALT II treaty by Senator Mark Hatfield, liberal Republican from Oregon. It was picked up and activated as a campaign by the imperialist liberals and social-democrats when it became clear that SALT II would not be ratified in the U.S. Senate because of an anti- SALT majority there. Richard Barnet, head of the social-democratic think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies, got together with the pacifist American Friends Service Committee and professional "arms controllers" like Randall Forsberg to come up with the current freeze campaign. (See The New Republic, April 21, 1982) It was activated in a big way after Reagan came to power and he had loudly proclaimed his opposition to new "arms limitation" talks.

The activation of the freeze campaign by the liberals and social-democrats reflected their fear that with the demise of SALT II and with Reagan in the White House, the U.S. government was now not going to be making full and effective use of the device of imperialist pacifism to deceive the masses. This dropping of the pacifist disguise would only carry with it the danger of arousing the masses into struggle as was beginning to be clear with the anti-draft and anti-nuclear protests.

Thus from the outset, the freeze had the purpose of getting the "arms limitation" talks going again. After Reagan got into the White House, the planners of the freeze campaign quite openly talked of their interest in helping Reagan to drape himself in the mantle of "peace." In May 1981, the Strategy Drafting Committee of the Nuclear Freeze Campaign published a paper entitled "Strategy for Stopping the Nuclear Arms Race." Among other things, it states:

"...we should not prematurely eliminate the possibility of finding support for the freeze from among the highest levels of government.

"There are reasons to believe that some members of the new Administration might be interested in the bilateral freeze proposal. Presidential advisers have stated that the Administration is searching for 'fresh approaches' to strategic arms limitation. In his January 29 news conference, President Reagan stated that his principal objection to SALT II was that, instead of stopping and reversing the arms race, it permitted the arms race to escalate. A U.S.-Soviet freeze on nuclear weapons would be a first step towards the President's promised 'real reductions' in nuclear weapons. Widespread public support for the freeze would challenge and encourage President Reagan to honor this commitment. In addition, as pressure mounts to realize tax cuts and balance the budget at the same time, the Administration may be obliged to seek a politically popular means of cutting the military budget." (p. 7)

Imagine that! Reagan has long been widely known and hated by the progressive masses as a rabid warmonger. His talk of "peace" was nothing but sheer hypocrisy. But it appears that the organizers of the freeze campaign are among the few that actually believe in his lies. So much so, that they were even willing to provide him with the freeze platform as a means to become "politically popular"! Such is the cynical game being played by the leaders of the freeze campaign.

To Fight Nuclear Weapons, Fight Imperialism!

The idea that nuclear weapons can somehow be fought by pressuring Reagan to fulfill his lying rhetoric about "peace" reflects the basic problem with' the freeze campaign. The proponents of the freeze present the arms race as if Reagan or Brezhnev or the other imperialist big shots are reasonable men who have simply made a few mistaken calculations. It is suggested that the danger of war comes from the arms race itself, a view which detaches war and militarism from the political and social system that builds the nuclear arsenals.

But the massive military budgets and over-bloated nuclear arsenals are not some mistaken calculations or accidents of history. Instead, they are the product of the system of imperialism, the rule of the profit-hungry capitalist billionaires.

The U.S. government developed its nuclear program during World War II. It immediately put nuclear weapons into imperialist use. The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not dropped to defeat fascism, for Germany had already surrendered and Japan was all but defeated. No, the bombs were dropped to intimidate the then-socialist Soviet Union and the revolutionary movements of the workers and oppressed peoples which were surging forward with the defeat of fascism.

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki initiated the U.S. government's policy of nuclear blackmail. In the period since World War II, the U.S. imperialists have frenziedly built up their nuclear arsenal to assist their search for world domination. Lacking popular support, they eagerly sought means of mass slaughter.

The U.S. nuclear stockpile is one cornerstone of the huge war machine of the Pentagon. It is inseparable from the system of countless military bases ringing the world, the military alliances with other imperialist and reactionary regimes, the naval flotillas in all the oceans, the rapid deployment force, and so forth. This gigantic machine of slaughter and destruction is today being bolstered in order to prepare for war.

The wars that U.S. imperialism is preparing for are aggressive and reactionary wars. They are for the purpose of defending and increasing the huge profits made by the oil monopolies and other multinational corporations from the robbery of the oppressed peoples abroad. These wars are aimed both against the revolutionary anti-imperialist struggles of the oppressed peoples who wish to free themselves from imperialist dictate and plunder, and also against Washington's imperialist rivals, especially the Russian social- imperialists.

The present-day Soviet Union is also a world marauder. It is not socialist or peace-loving, but imperialist through and through. It too uses its nuclear arsenal for imperialist blackmail and world domination. But the American working class and people have no stake in the U.S.-Soviet rivalry, a fight between thieves over who will get what share of the loot robbed from the world's peoples. Our task here in the U.S. is to fight, first and foremost, against "our own" imperialist exploiters. Of course, this does not mean spreading illusions about the Soviet social-imperialists. On the contrary, it includes supporting the revolutionary struggles of the workers and oppressed peoples against all the imperialists and reactionaries around the world.

Considering that nuclear weapons are inseparable from the whole war machine of the Pentagon and from U.S. imperialism, the fight against nuclear weapons cannot be waged, as the freeze campaign suggests, by supporting alternative prescriptions for militarization or by guaranteeing the imperialists their spheres of influence. On the contrary, it requires a fight against the entire war program of the capitalist billionaires.

Today, besides the nuclear freeze, there are also other schemes of "nuclear disarmament" being put forward in the anti-war movement. While a large section of the revisionist and trotskyite forces are boosting the freeze campaign, some among them raise certain reservations about it because it is based on "mutual disarmament" or because it does not go far enough. From this, however, they go on to say that the solution lies in other, more "radical" disarmament schemes which they claim can be implemented under the present imperialist system. But this is complete nonsense. So long as imperialism exists, there will be militarism and reactionary wars. Thus the criticism of the freeze by these people is really no criticism at all. They share a common belief in detaching militarism and the nuclear arsenal from the imperialist system. Indeed, it is precisely for this reason that,,despite their mild criticisms, most of them still manage to fall in line behind the freeze campaign under the excuse that, despite all its imperfections, the freeze is still a positive first step.

However it is not a nuclear freeze or any other disarmament scheme but a powerful struggle against imperialism that holds out the prospect of being a force against the war plans of the bourgeoisie. We must not beg the Reagans and Brezhnevs or the other imperialist warmongers to have mercy on us, but we must fight them with determination. We must not look around for generals and imperialist liberals to ally with, but instead direct our appeal to the masses of working people, youth, women and oppressed nationalities. It is here, among the masses which are exploited and oppressed by imperialism, that the anti-imperialist struggle finds its strength. A powerful struggle against imperialism requires organization. The masses must be organized independent of the capitalist parties, free of tutelage by the militarists and all their flunkeys. They must be rallied behind the independent class movement of the working class.

Only a struggle organized in this way has the possibility of fighting militarism or blocking the war plans of the imperialists. But in order to do away with the militarism, with the arsenals and the reactionary wars of U.S. imperialism altogether, the capitalist exploiters must be overthrown by a proletarian socialist revolution. And only the world proletarian socialist revolution can do away with militarism, the nuclear arsenals, and war on a world scale, ensuring a just and lasting peace. The vigorous development of the anti-imperialist struggle today is part of the preparations for the socialist revolution in the U.S.

Reject the Fraud of the Nuclear Freeze!

Our examination of the freeze campaign has shown that it is a roadblock to the development of the anti-imperialist struggle. Subordination of the anti-war struggle to the freeze would mean to hand over the sentiment of the masses against nuclear weapons and Reaganite warmongering straight into the hands of the generals themselves. Therefore all those who seek to advance the struggle should reject this fraudulent scheme.

The passage of the nuclear freeze referendums is one of the signs that the masses are disgusted with warmongering and wish to act against it. But to help the masses learn how to fight militarism, all activists should expose to the masses the fraud of the freeze and the real and diabolical aims that lie behind this scheme. The, activists should use the widespread interest and discussion among the masses about the threat of nuclear war in order to promote the path of anti-imperialist struggle as the real way to fight the warmongers.

[Photo: More than 20,000 people marched in protest against nuclear weapons in Chicago on April 10. This is another expression of the broad outrage among the American people against the Reaganite war buildup.]

[Photo: On April 17, more than 10,000 people braved foul weather to demonstrate in Seattle, Washington against nuclear weapons. This came just three weeks after an equally large demonstration on March 27 against U.S. aggression in El Salvador. These have been the largest protests in Seattle since the 60's. They show the deep outrage of the masses against U.S. imperialism. The Seattle Branch of the MLP worked actively among the demonstrators at this anti-nuclear demonstration, exposed the fraud of the nuclear freeze, and worked to rally the masses to militantly denounce militarism and aggression.]

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Israeli Aggressors Prepare to Invade Lebanon

The expansionist Israeli regime is poised for another full-scale invasion of Lebanon. Only weeks ago, two separate Israeli air strikes on Lebanon killed 39 people. Now the bloodthirsty Israeli army is boasting of its intentions to invade Lebanon and slaughter the Palestinian resistance movement and the Lebanese left under the hypocritical banner of "fighting terrorism." As the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Rafael Eiten, put it on May 14, "Will we gain our end without fighting the terrorists? In my opinion there isn't any alternative, because the terrorists are at war with us..." To this end, Eiten admitted that Israel had "concentrated forces in the north," near the Lebanese border, and that Israeli forces have been "sitting and preparing" for an invasion for several weeks. (Washington Post, May 15, 1982) It is reported that Israel has massed a force of 36,000 troops, including two armored divisions, for the invasion.

The planned attack on Lebanon is part of the Israeli regime's campaign of racist terror against the Palestinian and other Arab peoples. The large number of Palestinian refugees who have been forced into Lebanon by Israeli aggression is a roadblock to the expansionist plans of Begin and co. Through invading Lebanon, Israel hopes to strike a big blow at the Palestinian resistance movement. As well, Israel wants to assist Lebanese reaction in suppression of the Lebanese left and possibly to annex southern Lebanon.

U.S. imperialism is backing the Israeli aggressors to the hilt. The Reagan administration has shown its so-called "concern" for "restraint" in southern Lebanon by arming Israel with billions of dollars of warplanes, bombs and other military equipment. The Democratic Party liberal, Ted Kennedy, is following suit. In early April he sent a message of support to a conference of Lebanese Phalangist militia groups, Israeli-backed fascists, who were vowing to disarm the Palestinian resistance fighters. Israel, the loyal watchdog of U.S. interests in the Middle East, is again being unleashed by its masters in Washington.

But zionist terror can never annihilate the Palestinian resistance. For several months, the Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have risen in a new wave of struggle against savage Israeli occupation and Israel's plans to formally annex these territories. See our articles on page 10.

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10 Million Unemployed Shows the Necessity for Class Struggle

The disastrous scourge of unemployment is presently ruining untold millions of workers. In April, the jobless rate reached 9.4% of the workforce, the highest rate since 1941 at the end of the Depression. But the official figure of 10.3 million jobless workers only represents a part of the suffering from lack of work. It doesn't include the several million jobless who have given up looking in despair. Nor does it include the 5.8 million underemployed workers, who work part time and receive only a fraction of the wages they need to live for lack of full-time work. Nor does it show the depths of joblessness among oppressed nationalities, with a post-war record of 18.4% of black workers unemployed; or among young workers, with 23% of the 16 to 19-year-olds and a full 48% (almost half!) of the young black workers unable to find work.

Moreover, the length of time that the average unemployed worker is out of work is growing longer and longer. Meanwhile, Reagan has cut federal unemployment benefits by $2.4 billion this year and wants to cut them another $4.3 billion next year. Many more billions have been cut from CETA and other jobs programs, as well as from welfare payments, food stamps, and other forms of relief for the unemployed. All this taken together means that today, millions upon millions of jobless workers and their families are staring hunger in the face.

This grave situation poses two questions: The first is -- why?; the second is -- what must be done about it?

Unemployment for Millions Means Profits for a Gang of Rich Men

The rich capitalists and all of the professional liars in their pay have told every possible lie about why there are so many workers out of work. The trade, union sellouts push the bosses' chauvinist hoax that it is the competition of the Japanese which is the cause in order to justify wage-cutting concessions. Mexican and other immigrant workers are blamed in order to justify bestial persecution against this super-exploited section of the working class. Then, of course, the capitalist parties blame each other in order to get votes, with the Democrats claiming that it is simply Reagan's policies which are responsible, and with Reagan trying to claim that it is simply the result of the Democrats who went before him.

But no amount of lies can wipe out the fact that it is the capitalist system of production for profit which is the source of the plague of unemployment. The decaying system of capitalist exploitation is being shaken by a powerful crisis. The present industrial bust which began in the summer of 1980 is the deepest since the Depression of the 1930's. But this is no ordinary recession. Rather, it is the latest and most severe in a string of back-to-back recessions which began over a decade ago. Economic stagnation reigns without any real recovery from one recession before another economic collapse takes hold. This economic quagmire is being compounded by financial crisis and high rates of inflation. There is no letup in sight, and there is every reason to believe the crisis is going to get only worse -- much worse. The bourgeois economists have revised their forecasts about a "brisk" recovery, to a "mild" one, and now to a "weak" one; every month they push the predicted date of this recovery further back on the horizon.

At the root of the present economic disaster is a capitalist crisis of overproduction. The vast productive forces of society have been set in motion by the dog-eat-dog drive of the capitalist owners for maximum profits. The anarchic law of the jungle among1 the capitalists gives rise to tremendous disproportions in the economy. The capitalists have produced too much. There are unused piles of steel, parking lots full of unsold cars, warehouses full of rotting cheese and other products, because the capitalists can not sell these goods and turn the high profits that they demand. This is not because there is no need for these goods among the working people. Rather, it is because under capitalism the bulk of the consumers, the working population, remain impoverished by the drive of the moneybags for profits. As a result, goods rot in stockpiles for lack of a buyer, while tens of millions can't afford even the basic necessities of life. The cruel insanity of such an overproduction crisis is a. manifestation of the fundamental contradiction of the capitalist order. It is the result of the inevitable clash between the social character of production -- with tens of millions of workers organized in large-scale modern enterprises -- and the private character of appropriation, with the capitalist owners making the social product of these millions of workers their private property.

"Gigantic crashes have become; possible and inevitable," V.I. Lenin explained, "only because powerful social productive forces have become subordinated to a gang of rich men, whose only concern is to make profits." (Lenin, Collected Works, "The Lessons of the Crisis," Vol. 5, p. 91)

Today, when such a crash has taken place, the capitalists are striving to shift the burden of the crisis onto the workers. Out of concern for making profits, a gang of rich men are cutting back production, closing down plants and hurling millions of workers into the streets.

The employers make profits by not having to pay the wages of their laid off workers. They also make profits by pointing to the millions in the unemployment lines as a threat against those still working so as to force them to accept wage cuts, speedup and job combinations, which in turn will cost even more workers their jobs. Today, in every sector of the economy, the employers are demanding takebacks and more takebacks, holding the specter of plant closings and layoffs over the workers' heads.

Moreover, with the same aim of making profits, the capitalists are also spending billions on job-eliminating productivity drives. The corporations are rationalizing production, closing less profitable facilities, retooling others, and introducing robots and computers and other means of automation. Meanwhile, Reagan is providing fantastic tax breaks and other handouts to the monopolies to finance these job-cutting measures. The net result of these productivity drives is that even when production is restored to the pre-recession level the number of jobs in the plants will not be restored to the old level, and in many cases, such as in auto or steel, it will be cut drastically. In this way millions are being condemned to the permanent army of unemployed.

Thus, the explanation for why so many millions of workers are being ruined and starved by the curse of unemployment is to be found in the internal contradictions of the man- eating capitalist system of production for profit.

Neither the capitalist politicians, nor the bourgeois economists, nor any of the other defenders of the profit system have any solution for the economic crisis or the scourge of unemployment.

The Scourge of Unemployment Shows the Necessity for the Class Struggle

As we have seen, it is the profit system that has brought about this crisis, and it is the rich exploiters who are making money off the misery of the unemployed. The capitalists have no solutions to offer but even more suffering. Lane Kirkland, Doug Fraser and the other sellout union leaders preach to the workers that these are hard times; so, they say, it is therefore necessary for the workers to get down on their hands and knees, give up concessions, and beg these bloated capitalist parasites for a crumb of mercy. But such belly-crawling class compromise can only spell disaster and ruin for the workers.

Yes, these are indeed hard times. The Great Depression brought hard times, too. But it is well known that it also ignited a fiery class hatred among the millions of workers and a powerful wave of workers' struggle. Likewise today suffering and hardship are growing everywhere; but along with it there is a seething anger against this misery and against the exploiters who are responsible for it. This anger can be seen in the bitter opposition among the rank-and-file auto workers to the recent round of concessions to the auto billionaires. It can be seen in the strikes and other actions against job- cutting productivity measures. It can be seen in the broad ferment that is welling up everywhere among the workers and oppressed. The stand of the working class must be that hard times are not times of surrender, but of militant class struggle.

Therefore the workers must get organized to fight for their own class interests. This means to organize and push forward the struggles against the wage-cutting concessions onslaught of the employers. This means to push forward the strikes and other job actions against plant closings, job elimination, and the ruthless productivity drives. This means to take up the fight to demand work or a livelihood for the unemployed.

These struggles in defense of the employed and unemployed workers are essential if the working class is not going to be reduced to a mass of broken and wretched slaves. But the workers must be aware that such struggles can only deal with effects and not the cause. Therefore the workers' struggles in defense of their immediate interests must be built up as one front of the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat for the overthrow of the man-eating capitalist system. It is only the socialist revolution which can put an end to the scourge of unemployment, economic crises, and growing misery for the workers. This is because only socialism can put an end to the subordination of society to "a gang of rich men, whose only concern is to make profits."

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Fight Reagan's Racist Offensive!

The Reagan government is spearheading a vicious racist offensive against the black people. Segregationism has come to the fore as the main thrust of this offensive. This offensive is being unfolded at a time when the deepening economic crisis, together with the brutal double oppression that the masses of black people continue to suffer, are already bringing utter devastation to literally millions of blacks.

Reagan's segregationist drive is aimed squarely against the concessions wrung from the bourgeoisie in the powerful mass struggles of the black people in the 1950's and 1960's. During that time the mass struggles and heroic rebellions of the black people landed a heavy blow to the system of Jim Crow segregationism employed and enforced by the capitalist rulers. These struggles forced the suspension of some of the most outrageous and appalling features of the system of Jim Crow segregationism, such as the legal segregation of the schools, the denial of voting rights to the black people, their systematic exclusion from public life and activity, etc. Today, the Reagan government is openly clamoring for segregation in education, job discrimination and denial of voting rights to the black people. These racist measures show that the bourgeoisie is still smarting from the blows of the heroic black masses and is deeply committed to driving them down into even more bitter conditions of national oppression.

Democrats Laid the Groundwork for Reagan

The grounds for Reagan's racist drive have been laid down over the past years under previous administrations -- Republicans and Democrats alike. Under the Carter government the fascist anti-busing movement was given a strong impetus; tons of racist propaganda about the fraud of "reverse discrimination" and around the infamous Bakke decision was used to clamor for the segregation of. the schools and work places. But Carter and the Democrats tried to conceal the savage racist offensive of the capitalists. They swore to be for "labor and the minorities." But this mask was ripped apart as the heroic black masses stepped forward in powerful rebellions in Miami and Chattanooga, and in mass struggles spanning the country. Carter and the Democrats increasingly bared their true nature as racist and fascist chieftains. This is best evident in the fact that during the final years of the Carter government a string of monstrosities unparalleled in recent times were unleashed against the black people. Most striking was the concerted activation of the racist gangs, the hated KKK and nazi party. Massacres and terrible mutilations combined with vicious police terror were carried out from Greensboro to Buffalo.

The Reagan government's racist offensive is part of the program of the entire monopoly capitalist class, the bipartisan program of Democrats and Republicans alike. It is this that is strikingly revealed, even at a glance at events of the past few years. The monopoly capitalists as a whole, stand behind this bipartisan racist offensive. It is they, the rich exploiters together with their government and their political parties, who must be fought tooth and nail if this vicious offensive is to be answered.

Organize Mass Struggle Against the Racist Offensive

As mass indignation burns among the people against the Reagan offensive, the Youngs and Jacksons, the traitors and soldout stratum of poverty pimps, are pointing to the Democratic Party, which paved the way for Reagan, and to the courts, which are merrily dishing out Carterite and Reaganite pro-segregation decisions, as the saviors. With such saviors as the Democratic Party, there is no need for Reagans. The black people can't place their faith in the Democratic Party, no more than they could place their faith in Reagan and the Republicans. The black people must be vigilant against the Democratic Party which poses as the friend of "labor and the minorities," and never tires of telling the black masses to "cool it." The Youngs and Jacksons are vehicles for the Democratic Party poison of political deception. They are out to arrest the developing militancy of the masses and channel it along paths harmless to the bourgeoisie -- such as voting the Democrats back into power.

It is the masses of blacks who are the target of Reagan's racist offensive and it is they, not the Jesse Jacksons, nor the capitalist courts, nor the Democrats, who are the powerful source of opposition. Everything that was won in the great struggles of the 1950's and 1960's was the result of the powerful mass action of the people.

Demonstrations, revolutionary literature and organization must become the order of the day. Participating in the mass struggle and reading of revolutionary literature, arming the masses with consciousness and organization, are vitally necessary for the most effective struggle. The indignation burning in the hearts of the people must be transformed into a powerful torrent of protest. Each new step in Reagan's racist offensive and segregationist drive must be met with mass action directed squarely against the enemy of the people -- the rich exploiters, their government and their political parties.

Forward in mass struggle against Reagan s segregationist drive!

[Photo: This article on Reagan's racist offensive, as well as the article below on the government's segregationist drive in the schools and work places have been excerpted from the March-April issue of The West Indian Voice. This is the newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group which is active in the anti-racist struggle in New York City. Above photo shows the vigorous participation of the MLP and the CPSG in a demonstration in Brooklyn, N.Y. on November 22, 1980 protesting racist police murders in the Bushwick community.]

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British Labor Party--Her Majesty's Social-Democrats in Defense of the Empire

The Falkland Islands crisis is bringing out many political lessons of importance to the working class and the progressive forces everywhere. It is an example of the depths of the crisis shaking the capitalist world and of the ferocity of the capitalist wolves. Moreover, it is not only an exposure of the criminal imperialist system but also of one of its most important pillars of support -- social-democracy. The social-democratic chieftains of the British Labor Party have come out foursquare in support of Her Majesty's Royal Navy in its military adventure to recapture the Falklands. By giving their blessings to this aggressive act of colonial piracy, to this senseless slaughter, the Laborites are laying bare the real warmongering and imperialist essence of contemporary social- democracy.

The Laborite Heroes of "Peace" and "Socialism" Take the Side of Warmongering British Imperialism

In recent years the politicians of the British Labor Party have received considerable press coverage in the U.S. In the context of the growing struggles of the British working class against the capitalist offensive and the bitter hatred of the people for the Conservative government of the' arch-reactionary Margaret Thatcher, the capitalist media has been promoting the emergence of of an alleged "new militancy" to the Labor Party opposition. Laborites like party leader Michael Foot and "left-winger" Tony Benn have even been portrayed as leading a "renewed" struggle to "introduce socialism" in Britain. At the same time, with the working people of Britain and the rest of Western Europe taking to the streets against militarism and the imperialist nuclear arms buildup. Labor Party politicians have been promoted to the skies as the very angels of "peace" and "disarmament." Labor Party leader, Michael Foot, for example, has over the years built up a reputation as being a pacifist, and he likes to pride himself as "an inveterate peacemonger."

But the Falklands crisis has put the rhetoric of the Laborites to the test. The war in the South Atlantic is a reactionary conflict between British imperialism with its aggressive colonial aims, on the one side, and the Argentine fascist junta with its own reactionary aims of rescuing its ruthless dictatorship, on the other. The entire British ruling class has been swept up by a jingoist war fever, crying bloody murder for revenge against the Argentine "effrontery to the Crown," and for the recapture of their South Atlantic colony.

All of the capitalist political parties in Britain have come down with both feet on the side of British imperialism's war of colonial piracy. The Labor Party has been no exception, rallying to the bloodstained Union Jack of British colonialism. Overnight the "inveterate peacemonger," Michael Foot, has been transformed into a rabid warmonger, gnashing his teeth for a war to the finish in the South Atlantic. Like any good colonial lord, Foot declares that the Falklands are "ours and no one else's," and he fully supports the dispatch of the naval task force to recapture the islands.

In the first days after the Argentine seizure of the Falklands, an outcry came from Foot and the Laborites accusing the Thatcher government of "betraying" the "national honor." Among others. Labor's defense spokesman, John Silken, blamed the Argentine seizure on the "blundering" of Thatcher's ministers and on their failure to maintain a "credible defense force." In other words, the Laborites are pointing their fingers at the fiendish war hawks of the Thatcher government for being weak-kneed. They are charging that the monstrous military buildup under the Thatcher regime, under the "Iron Lady" of British militarism herself, has not been monstrous enough to provide the "credible defense force" necessary to safeguard the colonial possessions of the Royal Empire. Such is the disgraceful imperialist and warmongering stand of the social-democratic "peacemongers" of the British Labor Party.

The Laborites' "Reservations"

After their initial flush of enthusiasm and calls to battle, the Laborites began to add a number of "reservations" to their ardent support for Thatcher's military adventure. The Labor chieftains wanted to hedge their bets because of the widespread opposition to this colonial slaughter among the working and progressive masses. Moreover, there is a real danger of a disaster, and naturally the Laborites see a danger in possibly sinking with Thatcher's ship. So Foot and co. have expressed a number of "reservations" about how Thatcher is going about invading the Falklands. For example, they have demanded that Thatcher must first pursue all negotiations to the limit, and only then proceed to blow the Argentines to bits. Or another example is Labor's demand that the invasion of the Falklands be carried out like "a surgical operation" with "a minimum use of military force." Hence when British torpedoes sank the Argentine cruiser Belgrano, sending some 360 young men to their graves at the bottom of the South Atlantic, Dennis Healey, a Labor Party chieftain, demanded an explanation of why the torpedoes weren't targeted to just cripple the Belgrano rather then sink it. How charitable are these splendid chaps of the Labor Party -- charitable like the British soldiers in the north of Ireland who crack the skulls and cripple young demonstrators with special rubber bullets rather than using lead ones. In short, the Laborites stand fully behind Thatcher's imperialist aggression; while at the same time they want to prettify it with idle sermons about carrying out this murderous war "humanely" and "without significant loss of life." What imperialist rot!

Meanwhile, there is a minority group of Laborites in Parliament, led by "left-winger" Tony Benn, which has requested a cease-fire and the withdrawal of the naval task force. This group does not oppose the aggressive aims of British imperialism or challenge the territorial claims of Her Majesty's Empire. Rather, these "left wingers" argue only from the narrow angle that the retaking of the islands is militarily impractical and will end in a disaster, such as the death of the Falkland settlers, or severe damage to the British fleet, etc. As Tony Benn puts it: "This is an enterprise that is ill- thought out and will not achieve the objectives the Prime Minister has set for it...the risks of this exercise far exceed the gains." In other words, Benn sympathizes with Prime Minister Thatcher's "objectives" of colonial conquest, but in his calculations the risks in this case are simply not worth the "gains" of retaking the Falklands.

"Socialists" in Words, Imperialists in Deeds

Foot and the other Laborite chieftains are trying to justify their treacherous support for the slaughter taking place in the South Atlantic with the most shameless demagogy. They are trying to outdo Thatcher with hypocritical outcries about the rights of the 1,800 Falkland settlers. And, in particular, they are hypocritically shouting about the "fascist tin-pot junta" in Buenos Aires, denouncing Galtieri as "a bargain basement Mussolini." But all this loud shouting is simply a screen to justify the murderous aggression of the British imperialists.

No, the 'Laborites are neither concerned about the fate of the Falklanders, nor about the struggle of the Argentine working people to overthrow their barbarous Mussolinis. On the contrary, the Laborites are obsessed by only one concern -- the super-profits of the British imperialist moneybags. They are concerned with the defense of the British imperialists' colonial and neo-colonial interests on a global scale. Among other things, this includes the potential plunder of the oil reserves that have been discovered in the offshore areas between the Falklands and the Argentine mainland, and the potential for other booty in the South Atlantic region.

At least one Labor Party MP, Lord Shackleton, has spelled this out in no uncertain terms. Shackleton criticized Thatcher for being "extraordinarily noncommittal" about reinvading the Falklands, a weakness which he attributed to a lack of understanding on her part that "It was not only the fate of the Falkland Islands and dependencies that was at stake, it was the whole southwest Atlantic, including the Antarctic." (London Sunday Times, April 4, 1982)

Here this frank Laborite is obviously not voicing his concern for the rights of the Antarctic penguins. Rather he is candidly expressing his concern for the British imperialist plunder of the oil and other possible loot in the southwest Atlantic, and for the importance of the Falklands, South Georgia, and the other British-held islands in the area for British imperialism's old ambitions to exploit the mineral-rich Antarctic..True, as of yet, the southwest Atlantic and the Antarctic do not yield major profits for the sharks of British finance capital; oil drilling has barely begun off of the Falklands, and the exploitation of the Antarctic is still mainly a-t the stage of research.

But as V.I. Lenin pointed out in his famous work Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, "Finance capital is interested not only in the already discovered sources of raw materials but also in potential sources, because present-day technical development is extremely rapid, and land which is useless today may be made fertile tomorrow if new methods are applied... and if large amounts of capital are invested. This also applies to mining for minerals, to new methods of working up and utilizing raw materials, etc., etc. Hence, the inevitable striving of finance capital to enlarge its economic territory.... finance capital strives in general to seize the largest possible amount of land of all kinds in all places, and by every means, taking into account potential sources of raw materials and fearing to be left behind in the fierce struggle for the last scraps of undivided territory, or for the repartition of those that have been already divided." ("The Division of the World Among the Great Powers," Ch. VI)

It is precisely this "striving of finance capital" which motivates the "socialist" jingoes of the British Labor Party to support the senseless slaughter going on in the Falklands. As Lenin pointed out in his day, the chieftains of the British Labor Party and the other social-democratic traitors to socialism and the working class are "socialists" only in words, while they are ardent defenders of imperialism in deeds.

Imperialist "Pacifism"

The Falklands crisis is tearing the "pacifist" mask off the Laborite politicians. In particular it is exposing the rotten social-democratic policy of combining hypocritical sermons about "peace" and "disarmament" on the one hand, with loyalty to the imperialist interests of the capitalist ruling class, on the other.

In order to hoodwink the working people and misdirect their profound opposition to imperialist militarism and war, the Laborites pose as opponents of the Thatcherite and Reaganite warmongers. These "inveterate peacemongers" even give passionate speeches in Parliament about nuclear disarmament. But what lies behind these fine words against the nuclear arms buildup? The demand of these very same Laborite politicians is that less be spent on nuclear arms so that more can be spent on conventional weaponry to better defend British imperialist interests. After all, as the Laborites accuse Thatcher, if the Royal Navy had only had more and bigger battleships and warplanes, if it had only had a more "credible defense force," then it could really teach those Argentines a lesson. Such is the warmongering and imperialist essence of the "pacifism" of the Labor Party.

The role of the British Labor Party in the Falklands crisis is an important lesson for the workers and progressive people everywhere. It is another profound exposure of the role social-democracy plays as a pillar of aggressive warmongering imperialism.

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April 26,1982

Dear Comrades:

The crisis of revisionism is not confined to Poland, China, Yugoslavia and Soviet Russia; the revisionist and the social-imperialist hack organ's in this country have their titanic problems.

The social-imperialist paper of Democratic Party machine politician Bayard Rustin, New America, has not put out a new edition in three months due to financial problems. The editors of New America have stooped to selling brief two-line messages in some future edition for twenty-five dollars. Little wonder! In the pages of New America there is nothing about the miseries the workers, students, or poor, and there is nothing about socialism. You will read line after line and column after column of slander of the Salvadorian people, libel of the Salvadorian freedom fighters, and unlimited praise for the running-dog fascist junta. You will also read of unequivocal support for U.S. subversion of Cuba and unwavering belief in imperialism-zionism. Of course New America has to bleed money out of its few readers; no worker subscribes to such reactionary views.

The revisionist publication Democratic Left is often weeks late and even then has nothing of interest to the working class: No Marx! No Engels! No Lenin! No Stalin! No socialism! What is even worse is the fact that Democratic Left advocates this misnamed "socialism " to be a standard to be carried by the rotten and corrupt Democratic Party which is controlled like a puppet on strings by the capitalists.

I cherish my subscription to The Workers' Advocate: it bears the truth. The Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA will be the only true leader of those who desire true revolution and a better life.

Yours for the revolution,


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Concessions imposed on auto workers

Stiff Opposition Points to Further Struggle

The first round of the takeback offensive in the auto industry is over. The treacherous UAW bureaucrats have succeeded in teaming up with the auto monopolies to tear up the old contracts and to impose huge wage and benefit concessions on the workers at Ford, General Motors, International Harvester, American Motors and a number of auto parts suppliers. These new concession contracts are a significant blow to the workers' movement, but the struggle is by no means over. The struggle waged at GM, for example, has already spurred on the opposition of the AMC workers and others. Clearly the stiff opposition put up by the workers at some of the companies, and the growing outrage of the masses of auto workers against the sellout leaders of the UAW are signs that the anti-concessions struggle will grow sharper in the future.

Unprecedented Treachery of the UAW Bureaucrats

The workers have been forced to pay a heavy toll for the economic problems of the auto billionaires. The concessions given away amount to $150 million to AMC, $200 million to IH, $1 billion to Ford and some $3 billion to GM. This means that each and every employed auto worker at these companies will give up an average of $9-10,000 over the life of his or her contract.

The monopoly corporations and the belly-crawling leaders of the UAW have hailed these enormous concessions as a "new era in labor relations," an "end to the adversary relationship," and a new "partnership" between the auto workers and their exploiters to save the American auto industry. But the opposition to concessions by tens upon tens of thousands of rank-and-file auto workers shows that all of these claims are just the pipe dreams of the rich, Instead, the new concessions deals expose the unprecedented treachery of the leaders of the UAW who have joined the auto billionaires in an undisguised "partnership" against the mass of auto workers.

Even at Ford, where Doug Fraser claimed to have received a "mandate" from the workers, there was resistance to concessions every step of the way. Anti-concessions leaflets and stickers circulated throughout the factories. Three hundred workers protested the Ford deal in a demonstration on February 20 at a local UAW officials' meeting in Detroit. And, even by the union hacks' own rigged tally, 16,000 workers voted against the contract, with eight plants rejecting the contract outright. This is hardly a "mandate" for concessions.

The opposition was stronger still at GM and AMC where the UAW hacks managed to force concessions down the workers' throats only through blatant voting fraud. The AMC vote especially exposes the utterly shameless antics of the UAW bureaucrats. When the workers at the Toledo Jeep plant rejected the contract, the UAW bureaucrats did not accept this "mandate" of the workers and give up the concessions. No! Instead they threatened the workers that AMC would collapse without concessions and ordered the workers to vote again until they agreed to the contract. The vote fixing of the UAW heads was so blatant that they even refused to allow a similar re-vote demanded by the workers at the big Kenosha, Wisconsin plant for fear that the workers there, who only agreed to the concessions by the narrowest of margins, would reverse themselves and torpedo the contract.

Vicious blackmail, thug-style intimidation of workers in the opposition, ballot box stuffing, and arbitrary revotes -- these are some of the weapons wielded by the UAW hacks to saddle the workers with concessions. The treachery of the heads of the UAW knows no bounds.

The UAW is no small and weak outfit that is being pushed around by the auto giants. It is well known as one of the most powerful unions which boasts of its enormous strike funds, its sizeable membership and great strength. The fact that this powerful machine was not used to organize the workers, but was set against them, shows the necessity of waging a fierce and unrelenting struggle against the union bureaucracy. It is proof positive that to stand up to the monopoly capitalists, to wage a serious struggle in defense of the workers' jobs and livelihood, the workers must build their own fighting organizations in struggle against the sellout union bureaucrats.

Get Organized for Further Struggle

The marked opposition that emerged in this round of the struggle is a good sign that an even stronger fight can be organized in the future.

In the first place, by not giving way to concessions without a fight, the workers exploded the capitalist myth that the auto workers are just docile sheep to be led to the slaughter by labor-traitor Fraser. At times there has been a feeling among some workers of "but,what can be done?" against the railroad by the UAW bureaucracy. In fighting the sellout this time, the workers have shown that a serious struggle can be mounted. And the experience gained in this fight has strengthened the workers and taught them many lessons which will allow the workers to build an even more powerful struggle in the future.

In the second place, as the concessions provisions are step by step implemented the outrage of the workers will grow. This is exactly what happened at Chrysler before. When months passed with no wage increases the workers in some Chrysler plants got fed up and organized strikes and demonstrations. As new automation, job combinations and speedup were put into place, workers at other Chrysler plants became so furious that they too put down their tools and walked out. Today, in fact, the UAW bureaucrats are so frightened of an outburst by the Chrysler workers that they are talking out of both sides of their mouth, on the one side posturing to the workers as if they are planning to fight Chrysler's new concessions demands and, on the other side, they are promising the Chrysler monopolists that they will "cooperate" to cut labor costs.

What has been true at Chrysler will be true of the other auto workers. As life itself proves that all the supposed "job security" policies are just empty lies of the monopoly capitalists and the UAW bureaucrats, and as the workers are more and more squeezed by the concessions given to the auto giants, the workers' anger will propel them to take up mass struggle. The GM monopolists' arrogant plans to impose even further concessions at some 73 GM plants can only speed up this process.

Furthermore, with these concessions deals the UAW hacks have gone very far out on a limb to serve their masters in the auto monopolies. They have committed such despicable crimes against the workers and have had to go to such lengths to suppress the rank and file, that the unreasoned faith in them by some sections of the workers is giving way to profound skepticism and anger. The growing distrust in and hatred for the UAW bureaucrats is essential if the workers are going to find the way to building up their own fighting organizations.

In short, the deepening ferment against concessions to the auto billionaires and the growing outrage against the UAW bureaucrats are favorable conditions for developing a sharper fight against concessions. What is needed most of all, if this struggle is to go forward, is organization.

The militant and class conscious workers must consolidate the gains made in this round of the anti-concessions fight. They should join with the | MLP to distribute leaflets to expose the bitter fruits of the concessions deals and to fan the flames of discontent among the masses of auto workers Every new outrage that comes to light must be used to denounce the UAW hacks for their sellout of the workers and to encourage the distrust of the masses for them. Networks in the plants should be built to campaign for further struggle and to organize the workers for job actions, demonstrations and other forms of mass struggle. The first round of the fight against concessions is finished, but the struggle is not over. The watchword of the workers must be: Down with concessions! Auto workers get organized!

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Liquidators on LOC

Riding the Tail of the UAW Bureaucrat Opposition

One of the basic features of the liquidationism of the revisionists and trotskyites is their fawning on the labor bureaucrats and their attempts to merge with the union bureaucracy. Even though the auto workers have been fighting for over two years against the vicious concessions drive of the auto monopolists, and even though this has been a pivotal struggle in the fight against the takeback offensive of the entire capitalist class, the liquidators showed no interest in it. When Doug Fraser, the top-dog sellout of the UAW, shoved concessions down the throats of the Chrysler workers not once, but three times, the liquidators hardly uttered a squeak. They did not want to embarrass Fraser nor did they want to harm their own chances of finding favor among the union bureaucrats. Some fell silent. Some preached the gospel that the workers must be "realistic" in the difficult conditions. Other liquidator groups even found excuses to praise Fraser, portraying him as a "progressive," and "uniter" of labor, and an "opponent" of Reaganism.

Recently, however, the liquidators have suddenly discovered the fight against concessions in auto. Why? Because a section of UAW bureaucrats, under the pressure of the opposition of the rank-and-file workers, declared themselves against concessions. Moreover some of them formed Locals Opposed to Concessions (LOC), a reformist, bureaucrat opposition designed as an alternative to the independent organization of the rank-and- file workers. The liquidators, who to this day have still carried out virtually no activity to fight the concessions drive, have become quite active in praising LOC. They have launched a concerted effort to focus the workers' attention not on the hard struggle against concessions, and not on building up genuine organization of the masses of workers that is capable of waging the fight against concessions, but on LOC and the labor bureaucracy. The liquidators have discovered the fight against concessions only because they see another chance to curry favor with a section of the union bureaucrats.

Liquidators Praise LOC to the Skies

To hear the liquidators talk one would think that LOC is the greatest thing to have ever hit the workers' movement.

The ultra-opportunist Guardian newspaper praises LOC as the "group that has led the 'no-givebacks' forces." (Guardian, March 24, 1982) That social-democratic sect known as the "Communist Party USA/ML" exclaims in ecstacy that "LOC has become a genuine, and the only organized, opposition to the Fraser sellout." (Unite!, March, 1982) The granddaddy of the liquidators, the pro-Soviet revisionist "C"PUSA, even defines LOC as being "the movement" against concessions and goes on to make the ultra-extravagant claim that this "movement against concessions represents the first significant rank-and-file movement in the auto workers' union in over twenty years." (Daily World, April 15, 1982) Not to be outdone, the Maoist revisionist "Communist Workers Party" hails LOC as the potential spokesman for the entire working class saying, "It is from the ranks of the anti-concession forces and the LOC that new leadership in UAW can emerge. That is why it needs to be strengthened and expanded. The local leadership who consistently stand against Fraser's sellout can speak for many more than their own membership. They can speak for the whole working class in rallying against the national trend of takebacks, concessions and union busting." (Workers Viewpoint, February 11-17, 1982, emphasis added)

These are some of the outrageous praises from the liquidators. But what is LOC and what has its role actually been in the fight against concessions?

A Vacillating Bureaucrats' Opposition

The auto workers have become increasingly outraged against the concessions drive, and especially in the last year they have begun to go into action to fight the auto billionaires. Under this pressure from the rank- and-file workers a section of the UAW officialdom has proclaimed itself against concessions. This situation was reflected at the GM Council meeting held on January 8 in Chicago where 20% of the UAW officials present voted against reopening the GM contract.

Then on January 15, a meeting on concessions called by the UAW "30-and-Out Committee" was held in Flint, Michigan. At this meeting the debate centered on a squabble among UAW bureaucrats over how much concessions to give away. Only after supporters of the MLP and a few others sharply denounced giving away any concessions to the auto monopolies did the discussion turn to opposition. But then the meeting was quickly ended and a section of UAW officials -- not the low-level officials like committeemen or shop stewards, but local union presidents, plant chairmen and other middle-level bureaucrats who aspire to the top posts of the UAW -- formed the "Committee of Local Leaders Against Concessions." This vacillating and rather impotent committee of UAW bureaucrats later became known as LOC.

This group, by and large, made no attempt to organize the rank-and-file workers. Indeed they seldom even approached the ordinary workers. LOC did not form committees of workers against concessions at the plants. Nor did LOC prepare the workers for mass struggle. In fact, at the two demonstrations that LOC bothered to hold it did not even mobilize the rank- and-file auto workers to attend. LOC did produce two leaflets, one against the Ford contract and another against the GM contract, which contained some facts of interest to the workers. But while they circulated these leaflets to local union chiefs, very few ever found their way to the workers on the shop floor.

LOC, rather than mobilize the rank and file, centered its activity on lobbying within the UAW bureaucracy trying to convince other labor bureaucrats to vote against concessions. LOC's greatest achievement came at the January 23 UAW Council meeting for GM in Washington, D.C. There it managed to rally a 43% vote against reopening the GM contract.

But not long after this LOC all but collapsed. Under the pressure of the GM blackmail of plant closings and Fraser's vicious campaign against all of the opposition forces, LOC melted away. When the Council met again in Detroit on March 11 the Marxist-Leninist Party organized a militant picket demanding "No Concessions!" But the LOC leadership declared that they had given up the fight. One prominent leader of LOC, Pete Kelly, the president of Local 160 at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan, announced that he had no plans to protest the resumption of contract talks claiming that the workers had been "stampeded... into taking concessions." (Detroit Free Press, March 10, 1982) Another leading light of LOC, Don Douglas, the president of Local 594 at the Pontiac Truck and Coach complex, proclaimed that "I don't intend on putting up a fight." And he further declared that LOC had suspended its activities. (Detroit Free Press, March 10, 1982) At this Council meeting less than 5% voted against reopening, that is, only a fourth of those who voted against reopening the contract before LOC was even formed.

Following this meeting a leaflet against the GM contract eventually came out in the name of LOC. But less than 8% of the officials present voted against the contract at the next Council meeting held in Chicago on March 25.

Although LOC virtually collapsed, the opposition of the rank-and-file workers did not. The MLP-called picket on March 11 proved that the opposition was still alive and in the weeks that followed a big campaign unfolded against concessions to GM. At one local union meeting after another from California to New Jersey the voice of opposition rang out loudly. With the assistance of the MLP in Detroit and other parts of the country, leaflets educating the workers on the concessions contract at Ford and exposing the even worse contract at GM were distributed widely through the plants while anti-concessions stickers were plastered over the plant walls. In the end the GM concessions contract was only imposed on the workers by the fraud of the UAW top leadership. (See page 3)

So what can be said of LOC? It was at best a committee of union bureaucrats who opposed concessions in a vacillating way. To the extent that these bureaucrats came out against concessions they were of some assistance. But they only came out against concessions because the rank-and-file workers were in motion and were organizing themselves independently for the fight. They restricted the anti-concessions fight to the narrowest reformism and maneuvering within the UAW bureaucracy. And at the crucial moment and at the first pressure from Fraser and the other top UAW bureaucrats, LOC virtually collapsed. It proved once again that the tirade union bureaucrats will never be a reliable support for the workers' struggle.

Liquidators Look to Cozy Up With the Bureaucrats

LOC could not see beyond the union bureaucracy and the liquidators could not see beyond LOC.

In the first place, the liquidators fell head over heels in love with LOC precisely because it was composed of bureaucrats. Some liquidators, like the "CPUSA/ML," tried to prettify LOC with the outrageous lie that LOC is a "rank-and-file" committee that built a "network of militant caucuses" and fought both "within the union structure and outside it." (Unite!, March, 1982) But most of the liquidators were more forthright, even gushing over,the fact that LOC's basis was the union bureaucracy. For example the March-April, 1982 issue of The Call enthusiastically hails LOC because "Most of those in attendance were presidents, shop chairmen, and other officials, including 21 delegates to the Ford and GM councils." The "CWP" excitedly chimes in that LOC included "many self-described 'loyal supporters' of the UAW International." (Workers Viewpoint, February 11-17, 1982)

Furthermore, the fact that LOC did not organize among the rank and file was of no concern to the liquidators. They praised LOC precisely because it centered its work in the union bureaucracy. For months the liquidator press was overflowing with the glorification of the most timid sort of activities, praising LOC for sending "a mailing to all Ford local officials" (Guardian, February 10, 1982) and gushing that LOC "has done a fine job of presenting their penetrating analysis of the Ford package to a wide force of the local union presidents." (WorkersViewpoint, March 24-30, 1982, emphasis added)

But the full essence of the liquidators' love affair with LOC can be found in their touching concern for the upcoming local union elections and UAW national convention. Expressing their noble motive in supporting LOC, The Call quotes Bob Weissman, a LOC spokesman and president of Chrysler Local 122, as cautioning the UAW officials to remember that "a majority of the Chrysler local officials who supported concessions were voted out of office in the last election." (The Call, March-April, 1982) Echoing the same sentiment the "CWP" emphasizes that "Local leaders who supported the concessions will be voted out of office even as they change their tunes to avoid exposure." (Workers Viewpoint, April 28-May 4, 1982) And expressing the general concern of the liquidators, the Guardian reports that "Some LOC leaders hope to establish an ongoing organization, or at least a clearinghouse, to function as a center for the opposition movement. They believe the union's convention scheduled for late May 1983 will provide an unparalleled opportunity to challenge the UAW's one-party system by which the leadership group now in power has maintained its hegemony for over three decades." (Guardian, April 21, 1982) In short, the liquidators show no actual concern for the fight against concessions. Rather they think that the bureaucrats who support concessions will be swept from office and will be replaced by those bureaucrats who have claimed to be opposed to concessions. The liquidators are not really interested in the fight against concessions, but want to ride the wave of the anti-concessions forces to get themselves in office or at least to develop ties with those bureaucrats who do get in office. This is the heart of the liquidators' raptures over LOC.

Liquidators Hedge Their Bets

It is important to point out that after LOC began to collapse a few of the liquidators began to hedge their bets. While continuing to promote LOC, they also started casting about for other UAW bureaucrats to latch onto and promote. These liquidators hope that by not putting all of their eggs in one basket they will protect themselves from any fiasco of LOC and maintain their ability to flirt with the UAW bureaucracy.

The "CWP" provides a typical example of this kind of maneuvering and gives a certain insight into the perspective of the liquidators. In the April 28-May 4, 1982 issue of the Workers Viewpoint the "CWP" continues its praise for LOC. They preach, "The value of LOC's contract analysis and early leadership cannot be valued too highly."

At the same time, the "CWP" criticizes LOC in the most polite terms. They complain, "Clearly, the organized state of the anti-concession forces lag behind the spontaneous sentiment of the masses." And they point out in particular that, "For the most part, the leaders of LOC showed a marked resistance to suggestions for bolder and more tightly organized outreach around the UAW." (emphasis as in original)

The "CWP" even tries to highlight this criticism by giving an example of the struggle at the GM assembly plant in Willow Run, Michigan. At Willow Run, they explain, the union officials were "a straight-up bunch of hacks for GM and the International Union," yet the workers voted down the sellout contract by a three-to-one margin. The "CWP" has trouble figuring out how this could be possible, but they report, "The feeling among some workers I talked to is that the difference was made by the consistent presence of anti-concession agitation in the plant and at union meetings."

Is it possible that with this example the "CWP" is praising the work of the MLP which carried out consistent anti-concessions agitation not only at Willow Run but at a whole series of GM, Ford and Chrysler plants and not only in the last few months but for years? Or is it possible, at the very least, that the "CWP" is about to conclude that the rank-and-file workers must build up their own organization to carry out agitation and other "outreach" among the mass of workers on the shop floor? But no! The "CWP" sums up the experience at Willow Run and criticizes LOC only to praise other work in the UAW bureaucracy. They proclaim, "A good example of bold leadership is the local from Lordstown." But what is the only thing they tell us about this local? The "CWP" tells us that one of them spoke out against Fraser "in front of hundreds of union leaders" and that they "independently organized... to distribute anti-concession literature at the national meeting" of UAW officials. In other words they are praised as a model not because of consistent agitation among the rank and file but solely for their work in the UAW bureaucracy. This is the epitome of the liquidators' perspective.

As late as the summer of 1981 the "CWP" was still promoting Fraser as a supposed fighter against Reaganomics. (Workers Viewpoint, July 5-21, 1981. But in February, 1982 they discovered LOC and began to promote it to the skies as the future spokesman for the "whole working class." (Workers Viewpoint, February 11-17, 1981) Then, by April, they begin to politely criticize LOC only to promote some other work in the UAW bureaucracy. Cozying up to the trade union bureaucracy remains a basic watchword of the liquidators.

Indeed, those veteran liquidators, the "C"PUSA, maneuvered to ensure that their promotion of LOC did not cut them off from Doug Fraser himself. No sooner had Fraser signed his name to the notorious GM concessions contract than the "C"PUSA again began promoting Fraser as a supposed militant who was "outraged" that GM would give bonuses to their executives while taking-pay cuts from the workers. (Daily World, April 22, 1982) Such is the objective logic of liquidationism. Not a fight against concessions, not a battle against the union sellouts, but fawning on and merger with the trade union bureaucracy.

Build the Independent Movement of the Working Class

The workers should learn two lessons from the experience with LOC and the liquidators in the anti-concessions struggle.

Firstly, the workers can never rely on or base their struggle on the trade union bureaucracy. While Fraser and the other top bureaucrats are acting as the whip hands for the capitalist offensive against the workers, today even the "opposition" union bureaucrats are at best only vacillating and conciliatory toward the monopolists. Rather, the workers must build up their own strong organizations that can carry out consistent agitation against the capitalists and their union lap dogs; an organization that is capable of mobilizing the mass of workers into the fight. If various labor bureaucrats come out against concessions then this is all to the better. It may even help to draw some of the more backward workers into the struggle. But sooner or later the bureaucrats' opposition will come up against the independent organization of the workers. The bureaucrats always restrict the opposition to the narrowest reformism and thus their groups are designed to draw the workers away from building their own organizations and back into trailing after the union bureaucracy. Therefore, on no account should the workers give up the struggle for their own independent fighting organizations or subordinate their organizations to the groups formed by the union bureaucrats.

But what about work in the union bureaucracy? In certain conditions this work is possible and necessary, but always and everywhere it must be subordinated to the building of independent fighting organizations of the rank-and-file workers. In fact, what determines whether or not a union official is a bureaucrat is his stand toward the workers building their own organizations. Groups like LOC are a bureaucrat opposition because, among other things, they are designed to prevent officials from supporting the workers' impulse towards independent organization. Nevertheless, today there are some union officials who are confused and don't know what to do. Certainly, where it is possible, an effort should be made to bring them to the workers' side. But this effort must be made as part of, and subordinated to, the work of organizing the rank and file into genuine fighting workers' organizations.

Secondly, the workers should recognize' that the current polemic of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism against; revisionist liquidationism is a central fight in the struggle to build the independent movement of the working class. The liquidators' preachings to tone down the fight against the union bureaucrats, their attempts to prettify and promote the labor bureaucracy, their concerted campaign to make the workers' movement the tail of a vacillating and impotent bureaucrats' opposition; all of this is an attempt to divert the workers from building their own fighting organizations and especially to oppose the building of a vanguard party of the working class. The Marxist-Leninist vanguard is the highest form of class organization of the proletariat. Today the Marxist-Leninist Party by its consistent work against the capitalist concessions drive, by its constant exposure of the union bureaucrats, by its principled battle against the liquidators and by the all-round ideological, political and economic struggle that it is waging, is proving itself to be such a vanguard party of the working class. All class conscious workers should rally to the banner of the MLP, work to build the Party in the factories, organize distribution networks for Party literature and mobilize the rank-and-file workers behind the Party's agitation. This is the sure path to building up genuine fighting organization of the masses. This is the course of building the independent movement of the working class.

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The concessions battle at GM

At General Motors the official tally by the UAW leadership showed that 105,090 workers, or 48% of the votes counted, rejected giving concessions to the GM monopoly capitalists. This tally is an indication of the enormous opposition of the workers, but it only tells part of the story. Because of the strong opposition put up by the workers, it took the belly-crawling UAW bureaucrats some four months to saddle them with concessions and, even then, the bureaucrats only succeeded through brutal blackmail and voting fraud. The fight at GM shows the potential for organizing a more powerful struggle against concessions in the future.

Workers Torpedo Concession Talks in January

From the beginning of contract negotiations with GM the workers showed their strong opposition to concessions. In fact the weight of this opposition caused the collapse of the first contract talks at the end of January.

The January 17 special bulletin of The Workers' Advocate, which denounced the concession talks at both GM and Ford, was a hot item among the workers. It was distributed widely at the plant gates in southeast Michigan and other areas of the country, militants joined with MLP workers to circulate the bulletins inside the factories, and everywhere the workers enthusiastically grabbed them up. Likewise, wherever straw votes and votes on local contracts were taken -- such as at the Turnsted Fisher Body Plant in Detroit, at the Euclid, Ohio trim plant, and at big assembly plants like Oldsmobile Assembly in Lansing, Michigan -- the workers overwhelmingly rejected concessions. The sentiment among the rank-and-file workers was such that even a section of UAW bureaucrats declared themselves against concessions. A number of these bureaucrats formed Locals Opposed to Concessions (LOC) in an effort to divert the workers' fight into the narrowest reformist channel. The fact is that even diehard local bureaucrats, like those at the Willow Run assembly plant outside Detroit who are well known for their loyalty to the GM capitalists and their servility to the International bureaucrats, took up selling "no concessions" T-shirts and buttons.

As the opposition mounted, the MLP put out a leaflet calling for a demonstration against concessions at the UAW's GM Council meeting which was scheduled for January 30 in Dearborn, Michigan. Workers throughout the Detroit area were enthusiastic for action; many declared on the spot that they would join the demonstration. Other groups, like LOC, also called for a march in Dearborn. Doug Fraser became so frightened by the mere thought of the outraged workers coming out to protest that he moved the Council meeting to Chicago. Then, only hours later, he announced that the GM negotiations had collapsed. The opposition of the rank-and-file workers forced the breaking off of concession talks, at least temporarily.

GM and UAW Hacks Try Blackmail Against the Workers

Facing fiasco in their concessions schemes, the GM billionaires and the heads of the UAW launched a counteroffensive against the workers. While railroading through concessions at Ford, they began a campaign of blackmail and intimidation against the GM workers.

First GM announced that due to the failure of concessions talks it was going to shut down eight plants. It is clear that, because of the overproduction crisis in auto, GM was planning to shut a number of these plants anyway. But they carefully timed these closings to make them into a threat that if the workers opposed concessions, then they would lose their jobs. Other threatened closings, such as that of the Turnsted Fisher Body Plant and the Euclid, Ohio trim plant, are far more suspicious. It appears the GM may have threatened to close these plants mainly because these workers had strongly voiced their opposition to concessions. Similarly, GM shut down second shift operations and laid off thousands and thousands of workers at such centers of opposition as Lordstown, Willow Run, Pontiac Truck and Coach, and others. Clearly this was a well-orchestrated campaign to blackmail the GM workers into submission.

At the same time, Fraser and company launched a public offensive of intimidation against the opposition. Unable to defend his concessions deals, Fraser simply lashed out. He opened up his barrage against the opposition at the Skilled Trades Conference held at Cobo Hall in Detroit on February 16. In a statement that was widely publicized on TV, radio and in the bourgeois newspapers, Fraser raved against one leader of LOC that: "I'm going to get you.," and "tear your a-- off...because you have no b--." (Detroit Free Press, February 17, 1982) He organized smear campaigns against various union officials who spoke against concessions and denounced all who opposed concessions as "flyspeckers" who, he claimed, would cost the workers their jobs. Fraser impotently threatened supporters of the MLP, and UAW goons were sent to intimidate workers distributing anti-concessions literature.

In these conditions many of the opposition bureaucrats caved in. LOC all but collapsed with its leaders justifying their own spinelessness by claiming that the workers had been "stampeded... into concessions." (Detroit Free Press, March 10, 1982) At the UAW's GM Council meeting, held in Dearborn on March 11, less than 5% voted against reopening the contract. At the March 25 meeting of the same Council less than 8% voted against the concessions contract that Fraser had negotiated with GM.

But while much of the opposition bureaucrats caved in, the rank and file refused to be cowed down. In fact Fraser later complained that while he "felt good" about the chances of ratification of the contract after the GM Council passed it by over 92%, later "the guys who were with us folded when they went back home and began to get some pressure" from the rank and file. (Detroit Free Press, April 13, 1982)

Resistance to the GM/Fraser Threats

Across the country GM workers rallied against the blackmail and threats of GM and the UAW bureaucrats.

At the assembly plant in Fremont, California, for example, 250 workers held a demonstration on March 1 denouncing the plant closing and voicing their strong objections to giving concessions to GM. In Linden, New Jersey an anti-concessions conference was held on March 12. In southeast Michigan the MLP distributed a leaflet widely through the plants calling for an anti-concessions picket at the March 11 meeting of the UAW's GM Council. This picket gave a sharp rebuff to those who claimed that the workers' opposition was dead. Even while the bourgeois TV news in Detroit showed LOC spokesmen declaring an end to the fight and Fraser crowing over the overwhelming vote of the Council to reopen talks, the newsmen were also compelled to admit that the anti-concessions picket showed that the workers were still angry against handing over concessions to GM.

On March 25 another special bulletin of The Workers' Advocate was published which analyzed the new GM contract in detail, exposing the fraudulent nature of the supposed "job security" measures and calling on the workers to "Reject the GM Concessions!" This leaflet was circulated in many cities around the country at plant gates, union meetings and other places where the auto workers gathered. It was also distributed in the meeting of some 4,000 local UAW officers held in Chicago on March 30 and 31, where it assisted in encouraging a section of the local officials to denounce Fraser and the sellout GM contract.

As soon as the local voting began on the GM contract, it became clear that the anti-concessions agitation of the MLP supporters and other militant auto workers had hit its mark among the broad masses of the rank and file. In one union meeting after another the workers soundly denounced the sellout contract. In Framingham, Massachusetts the workers shouted down the UAW international representative who had been sent to convince them to accept concessions. He was booed and called "sellout" as the workers overwhelmingly voted down the contract. At Willow Run, the workers wouldn't even allow the UAW bureaucrats to read out the contract but for over an hour barraged them with questions and criticisms. When a worker exposed that the contract provided no job security but in fact meant big layoffs due to the loss of paid personal holidays, the other workers stood up and wildly applauded him. At one point the bureaucrats even turned off the lights in an effort to quiet the workers down, but to no avail. The Willow Run vote was almost three to one against concessions. At the Electromotive Plant just outside of Chicago, workers stayed around the union hall for hours reading anti-concessions leaflets and denouncing the contract. Agreeing with The Workers' Advocate assessment that concessions are used to pay for job-eliminating automation, many of the workers shouted "and robots don't buy cars!" The supporters of the MLP were active at many of the local union meetings. Frequently the workers were greeted by a big red banner saying "No Concessions to the Auto Billionaires!" which drew the overwhelming response of "you're right" and "right on." At plant after plant, and especially in the big assembly factories from California to New Jersey and from Georgia up through the Midwest, the workers came out to vehemently denounce concessions and to vote the contract down.

Blackmail and Voting Fraud to Impose Concessions on the Workers

The sentiment of the majority of the workers was clearly against the concessions contract. But what Fraser and co. could not achieve through blackmail and intimidation, they achieved through blatant voting fraud. The GM contract was crammed down the workers' throats through stuffing the ballot boxes.

It is true that the blackmail by GM and the UAW bureaucrats took some toll. Especially in a number of plants that were threatened with being shut down, there were big votes in favor of concessions. But even in some of these, outrageous ballot stuffing took place. For example, at the Turnsted Fisher Body Plant in Detroit the "official" tally showed the vote as 900 to 80 in favor of the contract. But here only about 500 workers showed up to vote. The UAW chieftains managed to trump up an extra 500 votes in favor of their concessions deal.

What happened at Turnsted took place in many other plants across the country. In some places the voting fraud was so blatant that UAW officials openly allowed workers to vote as many times as they wanted. Workers were furious against this voting fraud and in many plants formal protests were lodged. At the Tarry town, New York plant for example, workers circulated petitions calling for a re-vote. At the big Linden, New Jersey plant the workers demanded that all of the election results be overturned and a new contract vote organized throughout the country.

Prepare for Further Struggle

The stiff opposition to the concessions contract and the growing outrage against the sellout UAW leaders spell further struggle at GM. Already, when GM announced a plan to give big bonuses to its top executives, there were widespread calls for strikes and job actions. The outrage among the workers was so strong that GM had to immediately back down from this plan in an effort to quiet down the discontent. But it is clear that as the contract bears its bitter fruits the anger of the workers will only grow stronger.

What is more, the new national contract allows GM to unilaterally open up the local contracts to negotiate cuts in the local pay scales and work rule changes, including job combinations, speedup, cutting break time, and so forth. On May 12, GM announced it will use this provision to demand further concessions from at least 73, or about half, of its plants. GM vice- president for industrial relations, Alfred Warren, arrogantly boasted that GM plans to cut as much as $4.50 an hour from its labor costs at some of the plants. (Detroit Free Press, May 13, 1982) Thus, after the workers have already given up $3 billion in concessions, an average of $2 an hour for every employed worker, GM has upped the ante by over twofold. The greed of GM is like a bottomless pit.

The first round of the anti-concessions struggle is just completed, but a new round is already underway. GM's arrogant demands for further concessions is a call to arms. The workers must build upon the advances made in the fight against the national sellout contract to organize themselves against the treachery of the UAW bureaucrats and to prepare to launch demonstrations, job actions and other mass struggle against the fat and arrogant GM billionaires.


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The Bitter Fruit of Concessions at GM

The concessions contract at GM is full of pious promises for job security, but the reality of what this contract actually means became clear within a few hours of its signing.

The same day that Fraser formally put his name to the ratified contract, GM announced that, due to the contract's elimination of the workers' paid personal holidays (PPH), it had laid off 200 workers in its Detroit Cadillac division, that it was laying off some 750 workers at the Oldsmobile and Fisher Body Plants in Lansing, and that more layoffs were planned. These are simply the first of the expected 10,000 jobs that will be eliminated by the UAW bureaucrats' signing away the PPH days that the workers had previously won in past contracts.

To make matters worse, on May 11 GM announced that it will completely shut down the Fisher Body Coit Road Plant in Cleveland. Despite the UAW bosses' empty promises that the "spirit of the new (contract) agreement" would save this plant, GM has eliminated another 2,000 jobs without blinking an eye.

These job losses, combined with three other plant closings which were agreed to in the contract, mean that the immediate results of giving concessions to the GM billionaires is the permanent elimination of tens of thousands of auto-worker jobs. This is the dirty reality that Fraser has been trying to hide with his lying promises that "The new contract should stop the hemorrhaging of our jobs and bring many thousands of our laid off members back to work." (Detroit News, April 9,1982)

Capitalists Get Fat

But if the billions of dollars of concessions to GM are not paying for job security, then where are they going? Events since the contract signing have also shed some light on this matter.

Only hours after the April 16 signing of the concessions contract, GM revealed a secret it had been hiding throughout the contract negotiations. It announced that the chairman of GM, Roger Smith, had received a raise of $200,000 in 1981 bringing his salary to $475,000 a year. GM president, F. James McDonald, also received a raise in 1981 of over $136,000 bringing his base salary to $411,250. Shortly after this, GM also announced plans to give hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses to a whole slew of its executives. Because of the outcry of GM workers, this plan was dropped; nevertheless Smith and McDonald will continue to receive their astronomical salaries, and raises for other executives are being prepared. Thus, while the workers' paltry pay is frozen and losing ground to climbing inflation, the GM executives are getting fat.

But more. On May 4, GM paid its capitalist stockholders another quarterly dividend of 604 per share. This is the same rate as in 1981, when dividends combined with interest payments to the banks amounted to some$1.7 billion. At the same time the GM executives made it clear that they are continuing their five-year and $40 billion capital spending program. Under this program, $9.7 billion was spent in 1981 for job-eliminating robots, automation, retooling and other modernization.

In short, the $3 billion of concessions that were skinned from the workers are now being divvied up among the capitalist moneybags. The executives, the shareholders, and the gluttonous banks each get their share, and the rest goes to pay for more plant "modernization" and therefore more job elimination.

Only Struggle Can Save Jobs

Fraser's prescription that the workers should not fight but instead give concessions to win job security is a despicable fraud. It is just an echo of the program of the Reagan government and its notorious "trickle down" theory; an expression of the grizzly capitalist theme song that "What's good for GM is good for the workers."

But facts are stubborn things. And facts show that while concessions are good for the overbloated moneygrubbers of GM, they mean impoverishment and job elimination for the workers. Not giving in to the monopoly capitalists but militant class struggle against them, this is the only way to defend the jobs and livelihood of the workers.

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Social-democratic treachery at Roswell Park Hospital, Buffalo

Denounce the State Task Force Report

(The following article is reprinted from a leaflet issued by the Buffalo Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party,

April 12, 1982.)

Two weeks ago, a state task force charged with the responsibility of investigating the issue of overwork and shortstaffing at Roswell Park came out with its results. The task force's lying report claims that there is no short- staffing problem whatsoever at Roswell Park. In fact, the committee found such an "abundance" of staff that it recommended that the hospital return to full capacity. This report of the task force is a complete fraud and a whitewash of all the criminal acts that the New York State government and the hospital administration have carried out against the Roswell Park workers. The task force report is part and parcel of the Reagan administration's program of vicious attacks on the living and working conditions of the U.S. workers. It shows that the state government and the Roswell Park administration are determined to push ahead with their basic program, and they will use any lie, fraud or fascist measure to reach their objective. It shows that the workers cannot expect any reasonable response to their demands from the state government.

Roswell Park workers:

The response to this task force report can only be the militant mass struggle of the workers. The only way for the workers to win their demands is to organize their fight and impose their demands on the state and the administration.

The task force report calls for more overwork and extreme shortstaffing for the nurses and labor grade workers. In the first place, the task force recommends that Roswell Park return to full capacity. Just this recommendation alone puts the Roswell Park workers back into the same position they were in last year when the burden of overwork was intolerable. On top of this, the administration has opened up 4-East, which will aggravate this problem even more. But this is not the only "solution" to overwork and shortstaffing that the task force has come up with. According to the bourgeois press, the task force actually recommends a reduction of the nursing staff. It calls for decreasing the number of nurses hired by the hospital from outside agencies. By New York State's own admission, there were 66 nursing positions unfilled as of last year, and few nurses have been hired on a permanent basis since. As well, nurses quit Roswell Park at alarming rates because of the horrible conditions they face on a daily basis. But these facts have not stopped the task force from recommending fewer nurses to take care of greater numbers of patients.

The task force does admit that the Roswell Park nurses do the job of two or more people -- that they do housekeeping, food service work, etc. But their solution to this problem is to spread the misery throughout the hospital. They plan to shift this extra work onto the backs of the labor grade workers. The problem of shortstaffing is just as acute for the labor grade workers as it is for the nurses. Extreme overwork is the order of the day. With this extra work, along with the increase in patient capacity and no additional staff, the working conditions of the labor grade staff will reach beyond the point of being unbearable. These are the so-called solutions to the problems facing the Roswell Park workers -- increase the capacity of the hospital, reduce the staff, and create a hell on earth for the Roswell Park workers. The only "fortunate" aspect of the task force report is that it did not take up the question of the workers' pay. For given their capitalist logic, the task force most certainly would have demanded a pay cut for the Roswell Park workers.

Social-Democracy Paves the Way for Overwork

This task force is the brainchild of the social-democratic politician and New York assemblyman, Arthur Eve. It was Mr. Eve who came to Roswell Park last summer, during the height of the workers' protests, with the alleged purpose of "righting the problem of overwork and shortstaffing." But Mr. Eve came with something totally different in mind. His real objective was to stop the workers' march before it attained its goal, to end the mass struggle and channel the workers into the dead end of relying on the government. He used the hearings to derail the united mass action of the workers. To this end, the leaders of Unity Slate tried to convince the labor grade workers not to join the RN's picket line, because this would disrupt Mr. Eve's hearings. Then he used the hearings to present himself as someone who "sympathized" with the workers' plight and would take their cause to the "highest levels" of the New York State government. But as Mr. Eve's task force recommendations show, all Mr. Eve's kind words were window dressing, behind which he worked with those at the "highest levels" of the state to drive the workers further into the depths of misery. With "friends" like this, the Roswell Park workers do not need any enemies.

Mr. Eve's presence at Roswell Park and his actions here are no mere accident. With the growing movement against the program of the arch-reactionary Ronald Reagan, the rich have activated social-democracy to keep the workers under bourgeois influence, and to wipe out any spirit of revolt. The social-democrats may try and give the appearance that they are "concerned" about the workers' conditions. They even at times put on a good show of shaking their fist at the rich. But they always leave the other hand free to stab the workers in the back. Douglas Fraser and the other top UAW labor bureaucrats are perfect examples of social-democratic traitors in the workers' movement. Fraser and co. at times may howl about "class war" against the auto magnates, but it was these social-democratic "militants" that led the concession drives at Chrysler, Ford and GM that forced the sellout contracts down the workers' throats. At Roswell Park, the workers have their own experience with these social-democratic sellouts. The CSEA/AFSCME bureaucrat Lattimer is infamous for his repeated attempts to end the workers' mass struggle and to present the state government and the hospital administration as the workers' friends. In fact, Mr. Lattimer fought with Mr. Eve to take credit for and promote the lying promises of New York State and the Roswell Park administration.

At Roswell Park and around the country, the exposure and struggle against the social-democrats is a component part of the fight against the rich and for better working conditions. The social-democrats have disqualified themselves, by their sabotage, from leading the workers' struggle. It is only the militant mass struggle of the workers that can bring victory -- not the honeyed poison of social-democracy.

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Schenectady, New York


Eight thousand production workers walked out on strike on April 9 at the GE turbine manufacturing facility in Schenectady, New York. The workers protested against GE's policy of farming out work to non-union shops. This practice has led to the elimination of 4,000 jobs from the Schenectady facility in the last four years, and the angry workers are determined to put a stop to it.

The strike began when second shift workers refused to report to work on Friday night, and it continued through the weekend. On Monday morning 2,500 of the strikers formed a huge picket and refused to allow GE's managerial and office staff to enter. GE officials and the local police officers pulled out a 12-year-old injunction against mass picketing, which was left over from the big national GE strike in 1969, and ordered the workers to disband. But the strikers defied them and held their ground. When the police tried to move in to clear a path the strikers defiantly chanted "Walk, Walk" and "Hell no, we won't go!" The workers' determination and large numbers forced the police to abandon their efforts; the picketing continued until the strike's scheduled end at 3:00 p.m.

This strike of the Schenectady workers is an indication of the deepening anger of the GE workers all across the country and shows their growing determination to fight against GE's job- elimination schemes. Today workers in the auto, trucking, meat packing, and many other industries are being forced to hand over billions of dollars in concessions to the monopolies under the lying fraud that this is the only way to protect their jobs. Concessions to the capitalists have never saved a job. Only through determined mass struggle against the capitalists can the workers hope to defend their jobs and livelihood.

Fight GE's Productivity Drive

GE is carrying out a savage job- eliminating productivity drive against its workers. Speedup, job combinations, automation and barbarous labor discipline are the order of the day in GE plants all across the country. Farming out, or contracting out work is an integral part of GE's productivity drive. Not only does GE rake in huge profits by farming out work to cheap non-union shops, but it also uses this practice as a threat against its unionized workers. It arrogantly demands that the workers increase productivity or lose their jobs to the low-wage nonunion shops.

As a result of its productivity measures GE is making money hand over fist. Even in the current economic crisis, while thousands upon thousands of GE workers have been thrown in the streets with no hope of finding work, GE has increased its profits. In 1981, GE's profits grew by 9% to over $1.65 billion.

But GE's greed knows no bounds. In the current contract talks, the GE money-grubbers are demanding, among other things, even greater productivity measures from the workers.

But the strike of the Schenectady workers shows that the GE workers are not about to accept the outrageous demands of the GE capitalists lying down. This strike is a warning to GE. The 100,000 workers covered by the national contract are preparing to fight for higher wages, job security and against GE's productivity drive when their contract expires on June 27.


[Photo: 2,500 workers from GE's Schenectady, N.Y. plant man militant picket line during their three-day strike.]

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Sellout Union Bosses Impose Takebacks on New York Transit Workers

(The following article is reprinted from a leaflet issued by the New York Metro Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA, April 12, 1982.)

Transit workers are facing a difficult situation with the 1982 contract. While for years the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has systematically allowed the mass transit system to crumble with their "deferred maintenance" program, today they are demanding huge contract concessions, or take- backs, in order to force the workers to pay for "saving and rebuilding the transit system." The MTA's contract proposals are aimed at paving the way for a vicious productivity drive against the transit workers. They want to do away with every gain that transit workers have fought bitterly for over the years. This is what Ravitch, the MTA head, means when he speaks of an "entirely new contract" that "wipes out 30 years of side agreements and side deals, past practices and arbitration awards" and removes restrictions "on management's right to manage."

The MTA is demanding the end of all specific work quotas and complete freedom for management to schedule bus runs, overtime, vacations, non- consecutive days off, etc. They seek to "broaden" (speed up) duties under various job titles, and lower wages in others. They seek to hire thousands of part-time workers who would not be eligible for any benefits. They seek to reduce pay for workers on swing shifts, end differential pay for weekend work, cut back on sick days, eliminate "banked" holidays, etc. They seek to reestablish "progression" dual wage rates with new workers taking six years to get up to full pay. Aside from this, management has not even made a money offer yet, but has called the workers' demand for 25% "extreme."

The MTA, the city and state governments, with the full and active collaboration of the top leadership of the Transit Workers Union (TWU), has picked 1982 to be a year of big take- backs in order to pave the way for a vicious productivity drive in the years to come. But transit workers have a militant history of fighting to defend their interests in the face of great obstacles, including police and scabs and all manner of anti-worker laws. The MTA and its rich backers are terrified that the transit workers may disrupt all their dirty plans by going out on strike against the 1982 "takeback" contract. They still remember the 1980 strike with great fear. Thus the MTA, working with the city and state governments and the sellouts in the TWU leadership, began shortly after the 1980 strike to lay plans to "avert" a strike in 1982. They started with the implementation of stiff Taylor Law fines on transit workers to punish them for trying to defend a decent standard of living. Then, just over a year ago came an additional thrust to overcome the transit workers' strike weapon and their militant tradition of "No Contract No Work." It was decided to get the 1982 contract into binding arbitration at all costs. John Lawe, head of the TWU, came out with his belly-crawling suggestion to throw the "No Contract No Work" tradition into the garbage can, and bring the MTA under the New York Office of Collective Bargaining (OCB), which on top of all the same anti-strike penalties of the Taylor Law also requires binding arbitration if the union and management are at an impasse at the expiration of the old contract. In other words, Lawe, licking the boots of Ravitch and Koch, begged them to "Tie my hands now so that when the contract expires I can claim 'I can not fight, my hands are tied.'" Thus, after a little phony back and forth for show, the MTA was brought under OCB in order to add still another legal measure outlawing the workers' strike weapon in 1982. The very next day the MTA presented its vicious list of takebacks.

The New York City OCB has a "good" record of liquidating workers' strikes by getting workers tangled up in a paralyzing web of negotiations leading to binding arbitration complete with long delays and drawn-out legal squabbling to demoralize workers and keep them from fighting for their basic interest and without even the right to vote against the sellout contracts imposed. Of course these arbitrators are not "impartial" but always end up ruling in favor of management. More specifically, it is through arbitration that the city government and its rich backers have forced work rule changes and productivity measures down the throats of other city workers, for example, forcing city sanitation men to work on the two-man sideloading trucks. This is exactly the type of thing they are planning to do in transit.

For years the MTA, at the dictate of the city and state governments, has mortgaged the transit system to the profits of the finance capitalist billionaires on Wall Street. They have instituted huge cutbacks and deferred maintenance to guarantee the debt payments to the banks. Now the MTA is trying to force a vicious takeback contract on the workers to make you pay the bill for saving the transit system from collapse. But it is not the responsibility of the transit workers to sacrifice on wages and conditions of work to help save the transit system. In fact transit workers have been forced to sacrifice much too much already. The MTA, the banks and other financial sharks have caused the deterioration of the system; let them pay to rebuild it.

Today the transit workers must break through the terrible betrayal by the top leadership of the TWU, and all the paralyzing constraints of OCB. In 1966 transit workers broke the back of the vicious anti-worker Condon-Waldin Act with their determined strike. In 1980 the threat of the Taylor Law did not prevent the workers from waging an heroic 11-day strike. Transit workers know that it is only by actively fighting for their interests through mass actions such as strikes that anything can be gained. Transit workers have always been looked up to by other city workers and the entire working class in New York because of their history of struggle which showed the power and strength of the working class. You must fight this vicious takeback offensive with mass struggle.

Since the above leaflet was issued, a three-man arbitration panel imposed a concessions contract on the transit workers on April 29. The new three- year contract contains a series of measures opening the way for a severe productivity drive on the workers. For example, it abolishes all work quotas and now gives the transit authority greater control of overtime and the bridled freedom to hand out work assignments. In addition, the new contract takes away COLA, while giving a wage increase of only over three years, which is sure to be eaten away by inflation.

According to press reports, John Lawe, head of the Transit Workers Union Local 100, claims that the contract "did not require givebacks or concessions that the union had strongly opposed." (New York Times, April 30, 1982) The blatant takeback measures in the new contract show what kind of "strong opposition" the union bosses put up against takebacks! Lawe is simply trying to prettify the sellout deal that the union bosses have collaborated with the transit authority to impose on the workers.

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Oppose the Government's Segregationist Drive

In the schools

Along with Reagan's attempts to give tax-exempt status to the avowedly segregationist private schools (see the February 25, 1982 issue of The Workers' Advocate for information on this), he is also working to facilitate the segregation of the public school system by unleashing the fascist anti-busing movement. The latest anti-busing bill passed by the Senate is not only a move to stop integration and turn back what integration that has taken place, but is also a call for the fascist anti-busing movement to again organize to attack the black masses. The government-organized fascist anti-busing movement must be denounced and actively opposed by the working class, the black people and all progressive people. Below we reprint an excerpt from the March-April, 1982 issue of The West Indian Voice on the latest fascist anti-busing measures.

On March 2, the U.S. Senate passed a flagrantly racist bill aimed at maintaining and extending segregation in the public schools. This legislation was in two parts. The first part, introduced by Republican Jesse Helms, prohibits the Justice Department from initiating or maintaining court suits for school desegregation if any busing is involved. The second part, introduced by the Democrat Johnston, prohibits the federal courts from ordering busing of students more than five miles or 15 minutes each way for the purpose of desegregation. It further empowers the Justice Department to go to court to get existing desegregation orders revoked if such busing is involved.

"Anti-busing" is simply the code word of the capitalists and racists for their opposition to school integration. In the U.S., 50% of the public school students are bused to school and only 3.6% for purposes of degegregation. In rural areas, students often travel not five miles but closer to fifty to central district high schools. In the big cities, in the congested morning traffic, and with the frequent stops that a school bus makes, 15 minutes means only a mile or so. Bus transportation of students is a long-established practice, and the limit of five miles or 15 minutes is ridiculous compared to existing travel times and distances.

The likes of Jesse Helms had no objections when black students were being bused long distances past nearby white schools to attend separate and unequal black schools. The U.S. Senate is not concerned with how students get to school. Nor is it concerned that, in order to thwart integration, court- ordered busing plans are often as inconvenient and mutilated as possible. The decision of the Senate is against school integration, for segregation. While the Helms amendment, which has also passed the House of Representatives, is aimed at halting any further school integration, the Johnston amendment aims at reversing any desegregation which has taken place.

This legislation is in accord with the general orientation of the Reagan administration, and has its tacit approval. The Reagan administration itself, long before the Senate vote, announced that it would initiate no more such school desegregation suits. As well, the Justice Department has been hastily settling the few existing suits on terms favorable to segregation. For example, a longstanding suit against North Carolina, which maintains a blatantly segregationist dual college system, was settled out of court on terms allowing the local racist politicians and judges to supervise their own "desegregation."

The aims of the Reagan administration on this front were expressed by William Bradford Reynolds, the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, who declared: "We are not going to compel children who don't choose to have an integrated education to have one." In other words, the Reagan administration is not going to compel racist government officials to integrate the schools. On the contrary, they are calling a complete halt to the limited desegregation which has taken place, and are opening a drive for re-segregation.

In the workplaces

The Reagan administration is revising and dismantling regulations against discrimination in employment and is slowly disbanding the government's "civil rights apparatus."

This apparatus was set up in the face of the powerful mass movement against racial discrimination. In the past it took some limited measures restraining discrimination, in order to buy peace from the mass struggled, but it served above all to keep measures against discrimination "safely" in the "good" hands of the government. The limitations of these measures are shown in the fact that discrimination in the hiring and training of blacks and other oppressed nationalities remains rampant. This discrimination means that black workers face 17 1/2% unemployment, twice the general level, while for black teenagers, it is an incredible 47%.

Now, with a few sweeps of the pen, even these flimsy regulations and bureaucratic offices are being shoved aside. The aim of this is to open the door as widely as possible for an all-out offensive to intensify discrimination against black workers and split the working class along racial lines.

Recently, the Reagan administration revised the regulations on job discrimination for federal contractors. Companies with less than 250 employees are now exempted from all affirmative action regulations. Companies with 250 to 499 employees are now required to have only "abbreviated" affirmative action programs; in other words, to put the words "equal opportunity employer" in their newspaper ads. For all companies, the level of minority and women workers required is reduced by 20%. Finally, the Labor Department is also preparing plans to eliminate any penalties against racist employers covered by these regulations.

These regulations formerly covered more then 30 million jobs, about one-third of all the jobs in the country. With a stroke of the pen, the Reagan administration has abolished affirmative action requirements for millions of these, while reducing them for the rest. Furthermore, the plans to eliminate penalties is tantamount to effectively abolishing these regulations altogether.

At the same time, Reagan is calling for the overturn of the Weber decision -- a 1979 Supreme Court decision permitting an affirmative action program at Kaiser Aluminum to continue. Kaiser had not only long discriminated against blacks in hiring, but had systematically excluded them from the skilled trades-. The affirmative action program there signified opening up on-the-job training to blacks, who had previously been excluded from it. This affirmative action program was not mandated by the government or the courts. By calling for the overturn of this decision, Reagan is calling, in effect, for the banning of any measures whatsoever against job discrimination.

With these moves Reagan is not only opening the door wide, but also calling loudly to the capitalists to step up the already vicious discrimination against black and other oppressed nationality workers.

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On "Operation Jobs":

Down with the Reaganite Terror Against the Immigrant Workers!

During the last week of April the Reagan administration conducted a massive roundup of so-called "illegal"immigrants. Under the fraudulent title of "Operation Jobs" some 400 Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agents took part in arresting5,635 "illegal" immigrants, almost three-fourths of whom have been deported.

These raids were nothing but a racist terror campaign against immigrant workers and the national minority communities areas across the country, The Mexican nationality workers were the main victims, comprising 87% of those arrested. In nine major metropolitan areas across the country, INS agents carried out storm-trooper-style raids. Large squadrons of armed agents burst into work places, arresting every "foreign-looking" person in sight. These workers were chained together like common criminals and thrown into the INS detention centers for processing. These terrorist attacks are responsible for the death of a teenage Mexican worker at a poultry farm near Boulder, Colorado who was hit by a truck while fleeing from an INS goon squad.

Raids were carried out not just in the work places, but also in the streets and bars in the national minority communities. In the Chinatown district in New York City, for example, agents made "street sweeps," harassing at random anyone in that part of the Chinese community. In Denver, where similar tactics were used, it is reported that even a 12-year-old Mexican youth was stopped on the street and questioned by authorities. Another Mexican immigrant in Denver is reported to have been arrested in a bar, taken to a detention center, strip searched, released -- and then arrested again the next day at his place of work.

The arbitrary and racist nature of the INS roundup can also be seen in the fact that in Detroit, two-thirds of those arrested were found to be in the U.S. legally. The INS gives itself the right to harass all "foreign-looking" workers and immigrants, regardless of whether they have legal status in the U.S. or not. Once one section of workers is deprived of their rights and declared "illegal," the capitalist storm troopers use this to remove the rights of all.

After their arrests, the immigrants were subjected to more vile abuse. The racist authorities held them for days on end without even allowing them phone calls to inform friends or relatives of their arrests. In the detention centers, strip searches were carried out. Some immigrant workers were forced to sign deportation papers waiving their rights to a lawyer and a hearing. Throughout their ordeal, racial slurs were hurled at the immigrants. And then thousands of those arrested were deported, leaving them without a livelihood and virtually penniless.

The Reagan administration is carrying out these criminal attacks on the immigrants under the shameless demagoguery of providing jobs for the unemployed. What a cynical lie! It is not the immigrants but the capitalist exploiters who are responsible for unemployment. The system of capitalist slave-driving is in deep crisis, with production falling, big firms on the verge of collapse, and the whole system gradually going to pieces from one day to the next. The capitalist system itself is responsible for this crisis, which results from the dog-eat-dog drive of the exploiters to make the maximum amount of profits. In order to shift the burden of the crisis onto the workers, the capitalists are throwing millions of workers into the streets. Then the capitalists turn around and threaten the workers who are still on the job that if they don't agree to take wage cuts and to work harder and faster so that still more workers can be thrown onto the streets, then they themselves will join the army of the unemployed. Through job-eliminating productivity drives, automation and plant closings, the capitalists are seeking to make profits while the workers starve.

It is Reagan, this Hollywood mouth-piece for the monopolies, who is doing everything to assist driving more workers into utter ruin. While the unemployed stare starvation in the face, Reagan is cutting unemployment benefits and telling "cute" little anecdotes about food stamp recipients allegedly driving Cadillacs and washing down filet mignon with expensive wines. He is forking over billions of dollars, stolen from the meager welfare programs, from the funding for public schools, and from occupational safety programs, to the monopolies to help them improve their balance sheets. When 12,000 air traffic controllers struck against the brutal productivity drive that was undermining their health, Reagan fired them.

But now Reagan would have us believe that he is oh so concerned for the workers, that he is giving them "jobs" -- by staging roundups of the immigrants. This is the type of "jobs" program favored by the Hitlerites, who justified race hatred and fascism under the banner of providing benefits to the master race.

The Reagan administration is crying that the "illegal" immigrants are taking up high-paying "quality" jobs. As if this could justify racist terror! As a matter of fact, the "undocumented" workers are bitterly oppressed. But with its talk of "high-paying" jobs, the government has inadvertently let the cat out of the bag. The Reagan administration has no intention of eliminating "illegal" immigrants. Its sole desire is to ensure that they get the lowest wages and be deprived of all rights. The racist "Operation Jobs" is designed to make an example of a few thousand immigrants, to keep the rest in line, and to allow the capitalists to make super -profits by paying them less than what their labor would otherwise receive. The Reagan administration has its pet plans to cut everyone's wages -- a two-tier minimum wage for teenagers, concessions for the unionized workers, wage freezes for the government workers, and racist terror against the immigrants.

The facts of the matter are that the immigrants have usually been oppressed in their own countries by U.S. imperialist domination and plunder of the economy. For example, U.S. corporations receive special privileges in Mexico and dominate, directly or indirectly, about 60% of the economy, in the Caribbean islands, Reagan's "Caribbean Aid Program" demands that the various countries cut wages and eliminate social benefits in order to create a better climate for U.S. investment.

And then the immigrants arrive in the U.S. where the "undocumented" workers are forced to work interminable hours in the worst conditions, often for sub-minimum wages. They are denied the aid of some or all of the meager social programs available to other workers, and they suffer the loss of their political and civil rights. It is a basic principle of class solidarity that all workers should come to the aid of the immigrants and help them fight to eliminate the racist terror, to get better wages and working conditions, and to organize themselves politically. The U.S. is a land composed entirely of immigrants (some voluntary, some in chains) and their descendants, except for the Native Indians, who are themselves deprived of their rights. Documented or undocumented, born in the U.S. or abroad, all the workers in the U.S. belong to the American working class and share a common interest in fighting shoulder-to-shoulder for their emancipation. If the capitalists are allowed to victimize one section of the working class, then they will step-by-step attack all the rest of the workers as well.

The current immigration raids once again show that racist terror against "undocumented" workers leads to attacks on all "foreign-looking" workers. And the attacks on the "foreign" workers leads to proposals to enslave all the workers.

The Simpson-Mazzoli Bill -- Recipe for Slavery

This is shown by the ultra-Reaganite Simpson-Mazzoli bill. This bill, also called the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1982, is presently being debated in the various committees in Congress. "Operation Jobs" was launched on the eve of the Senate subcommittee hearing on this anti- immigrant bill sponsored by congressmen from both big parties of capitalist exploitation, the Democrats and the Republicans.

This bill draws heavily on Reagan's proposals and puts them forth with savage glee. It contains provisions to spur employers to further discriminate against job applicants who even "look like" immigrants, on the penalty of law. But in addition, it revives the plan for a national identification card program which, up to now, has been rejected by the Reagan administration, but solely on the grounds of being too expensive. The bill provides that the government has three years to develop a "universal workers' identification" card which all workers would have to show in. order to be employed. Of course, once such a system is in place, it would establish the basis for a national tracking system to facilitate the repression of immigrants, militant workers, progressive and revolutionary activists, etc. This bill shows that slavery for the immigrants sooner or later means slavery for the whole society.

The Liberal-Labor Politicians Come Out for Deportations and Fascism

These vicious attacks on the immigrants are not simply a peculiar quirk of the Reaganites. Indeed, persecution of the immigrants is a permanent crusade of both the Democrats and the Republicans. For example, Reagan's program of mass deportations and slave labor is dressed up under the slogan of "amnesty." Naturally this "amnesty" is about as meaningful as Reagan's famous "social safety net," which is simply a signboard to hide the slashing of social programs right and left. But where did Reagan get the idea for attacking immigrants under the banner of "amnesty"? Well, it turns out that Reagan's anti-immigrant proposals are simply a rehash of those of the Democrat Carter before him.

Thus it is not surprising that the Simpson-Mazzoli bill is a bipartisan bill. For some time, the AFL-CIO labor traitors have been clamoring that Reagan's attacks on the immigrants "do not go far enough." The AFL-CIO bureaucracy has been particularly demanding the institution of a national ID system. It insists upon a "secure, forgery-proof worker eligibility verification system for all workers." (AFL-CIO News, April 24, 1982) And why not -- it would help them keep track of militants and rank-and-file activists and throw them out of the unions and work places!

And what about Senator Kennedy, prince of liberal Democrats? While he quibbles with this or that provision of the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, nevertheless he insists that this bill is an "extraordinarily important bill, bridging many of the conflicts and controversies that exist in this area." (Washington Post, March 29, 1982, p. A10) This brings to mind Kennedy's sponsorship of the notorious anti-immigrant Kennedy-Rodino bill. And it should not be forgotten that Kennedy is the main mover behind the recent attempts to pass the various forms of Nixon's Senate Bill S-l, the federal criminal code reform, which would provide exceptional new laws for use in smashing the mass movements, progressive organizations, and demonstrations.

The traitors to the oppressed nationalities have not lagged behind in praising the anti-immigrant hysteria. The "respectable" misleaders of the Mexican community have come out in favor of immigration raids. Thus the liberal bourgeois Spanish-language newspaper El Mañana of Chicago has editorialized that "It would be inconceivable to ask the Department of Immigration not to carry out its work of pursuing and deporting undocumented workers." They only beg the racist storm troopers that the raids "be carried out according to the law...." (April 30, 1982)

And what about the NAACP, whose leadership is nothing but a bunch of flunkeys of the liberal politicians and is willing to play ball with the Reaganites as well. It has come out in favor of the Simpson-Mazzoli bill. Shame! Shame! These misleaders would have the world believe that racist terror against the Mexicans, the West Indians and the other immigrants is compatible with equality and prosperity for the black masses. After all, there will probably be lots of new jobs for aspiring bureaucrats in checking ID cards and hounding immigrants from one end of the country to the other.

Thus the raids of late April by the INS and the new savage Simpson-Mazzoli bill bring to the fore the racist nature of the entire capitalist class and all their apologists. They show that the blow aimed at the immigrants will land on the back of all workers and progressive people. The capitalists hope to use their anti-immigrant hysteria to divert the workers from the class struggle, to divide the workers with the hope of stealing each other's livelihood, and to have an excuse for new fascist measures, such as the national ID card. It is up to the working class to stand as one man against this racist terror. The working class must actively combat all these attacks on the immigrants. It must reply to the racist and fascist plans of the capitalists with class solidarity.

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At Medgar Evers College in New York:

Students Protest Education Cutbacks

(The following article is reprinted from The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, May 17, 1982.)

The students of Medgar Evers College (Brooklyn, New York) are staging militant protests. Since April 20, they have occupied the offices of the president of the college, Richard Trent. The students are demanding that the brazen reactionary Trent -- "Must Go!" and they are protesting the vicious cutbacks of educational facilities and the deteriorated conditions at the college. The takeover of Trent's office follows a successful two-week student strike in March and a series of pickets, mass rallies and demonstrations in which the students have marched through the surrounding community to popularize their just demands among the broad masses.

This high and constant level of activity stands as a clear indication that the students are determined in their demands, and shows that these demands are supported by the vast majority of the students at the college. At a time when the Reagan government, with the support of the fraudulent Democratic Party "opposition," is savagely cutting education, hiking tuition and brutally mutilating the student loan and grant programs... the struggle being waged by Medgar Evers students is an inspiration to all students. A bitter fight against the Reagan cuts is on the agenda. This brave struggle of the Medgar Evers students is serving to prepare them for the sharper battles they will undoubtedly face in the not-too-distant future to defend their future livelihood from the devastating attacks of the Reaganites.


Ninety-four percent of the students at Medgar Evers College are black and other oppressed nationality students. The college was established in 1971, in the wake of the heroic struggles waged by poor and minority students in the tumultuous decade of the 1960's against vicious racial discrimination in education and for the right of all high school graduates, from impoverished and oppressed families to enter college (the struggle for "Open Admissions"). This demand was successfully won only through the heroic, mass and militant action of students who faced savage repression, police clubs and the prisons of the capitalist exploiters and oppressors.

But while the demands were won, the city government has never reconciled itself to these legitimate demands and has always sought revenge. Thus Medgar Evers, for instance, being overwhelmingly of oppressed minority students, has repeatedly come under harsh attacks. The savage cuts carried out in education over the years have had devastating effects on poor and especially black students who make up a disproportionate section of the impoverished. For example, in 1976 in one simple stroke Medgar Evers was converted from a four-year college into a two-year college. The curriculum was cut in half, many courses were eliminated and more are on the verge of extinction. The faculty has been drastically reduced and the remaining are grossly overworked. Along with this, the physical and health conditions have been allowed to deteriorate to the extent that roaches and mice in the corridors are no extraordinary sight. And now with the Reagan round of cuts, following his predecessor's, the worst is yet to come.

The students are justly angered and outraged by these attacks. Richard Trent, the college president, has become a well-deserved object pf the contempt and disgust of the students. Trent is a dutiful lackey of the infamous Board of Trustees of the City University and of the whole city government. As president of the college since its establishment, he has played the role of an eager hatchet man, over seeing all the attacks brought down on the heads of the students of Medgar Evers through the years. While posturing as being "concerned about the interests of black students," Trent is nothing but a handpicked stooge of the Board of Trustees, the city government and a favored friend for the capitalist politicians and big business. This overzealous lackey has arrogantly refused to even consider the slightest demands of the students. For instance, he has refused to establish day care at Medgar Evers where some 70% of the students are women, many of whom are mothers. Trent has even refused to institute a black studies program at the college, despite the overwhelming black and other minority attendance. Instead, Trent, has simply dismissed the demands and denounced the students as a "mob."

Therefore the students have risen up in struggle, saying that they have had enough, that they refuse to take these attacks lying down, and demanding among other things that "Trent Must Go!" The stand and actions taken by the students at Medgar Evers are completely just and receive the firm support of the broad working masses who see and know that a serious fight is needed against the broad offensive the masses of people are faced with at the hands of the capitalist government headed today by Ronald Reagan.

This struggle must be carried forward. Trent may go, but the attacks which the Medgar Evers students face will not. It can be expected that whosoever may be chosen by the infamous Board of Trustees to replace Trent will, whether with a "more reasonable face" or not, carry out the orders from the Board of Trustees and City Hall to have the students pay through their noses for the crisis of the capitalists. Indeed it is even possible that Trent himself is returned by the Board of Trustees wearing the "more reasonable" mask himself. Therefore consciousness that the fight extends beyond Trent to his masters, the hated City government and the Wall Street Banks for whose good the livelihood of the students is being destroyed, is of great importance for a consistent fight against Trent himself, for the long and bitter fight ahead, and for the most determined convictions to be formed among the students.

So far large numbers of students have stepped forward to man the picket lines and vigils, to participate in the rallies and demonstrations. This too is of great importance for the struggle of the students at Medgar Evers. Experience has shown that when the initiative and actual decisions of the struggle are in the hands of the mass of ordinary and militant students, and when their powerful potential is organized, the struggle has had the biggest impact and landed powerful blows. …

Carry forward the banner of militant struggle against the brutal attacks of the government on education!

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Salesmen for the nuclear freeze

How the social-democrats grovel before the generals

As it has been shown in the accompanying article, the nuclear freeze campaign is backed by a section of the imperialist warmongers themselves. It is supported by politicians from both the Republican and Democratic Parties. It also counts among its boosters sections of the capitalist press, the military establishment, the foreign policy theoreticians of U.S. imperialism, and so on. This includes such luminaries as William Colby, former director of the CIA, and George Kennan, former Ambassador to the Soviet Union and one of the original architects of the Cold War. The freeze campaign is bankrolled by the capitalist moneybags themselves, prominent among whom is the head of the California freeze campaign, Harold Willens, millionaire owner of Factory Equipment Corporation in Los Angeles and a big-time backer of the Democratic Party.

While the freeze campaign finds its real strength in this support from the capitalist militarists themselves, the task of campaigning for this fraud within the anti-war movement has been assigned especially to the social- democrats and revisionist and trotskyite liquidators. The campaign counts among its enthusiastic "left" supporters the social-democrats of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the vast majority of pacifist groups, the pro-Soviet revisionists of the "Communist" Party, USA, the trotskyite Workers World Party, etc.

Outrageous Prettification of the Freeze Campaign

The freeze campaign represents a dangerous attempt by the militarists to liquidate the anti-war movement and recruit the anti-militarist masses behind the Pentagon's war chariot. The social-democrats and liquidators however hide this truth from the masses and have instead taken on the job of selling this fraud to the masses with the most outrageous lies. According to the declarations of the social-democrats, one would think that the freeze was the greatest thing that has happened to the anti-war struggle. It is being promoted as the "peace movement of the 80's" and other such nonsense.

But when one scratches the surface gloss and looks at what the imperialists themselves are saying about the freeze campaign, one finds that one of the main reasons the militarists are enthusiastic about it is that it is a useful weapon to tear the heart out of the anti-militarist movement and deprive it of all militancy. Thus they constantly talk of the usefulness of the freeze plan to detach the issue of nuclear weapons from the "confrontational" and "divisive" atmosphere typical of the upsurge in the 1960's against U.S. aggression in Viet Nam.

Take, for instance, Democratic Senator Alan Cranston of California (who has already declared his candidacy for the presidency in 1984 and seeks to use the anti-nuclear ferment to boost him there). On January 20, 1982 he declared his support for the freeze campaign in California, and in doing so, let out his enthusiasm that the U.S. anti-nuclear movement, in contrast to his impressions about the movement in Europe, is neither a "left-wing movement (or) out in the streets." This was happily reported in the "C"PUSA's West Coast paper, People's World, on January 30, 1982.

Such sentiments are repeated over and over again by the imperialists. Thus a typical comment from the capitalist press supportive of the nuclear freeze campaign states: "The movement has nowhere reached the proportions and intensity of the Viet Nam anti-war phenomenon, but it shows potential for enveloping a far greater cross section of society and thus in the end being far less divisive. Significantly, the nuclear war issue is now becoming increasingly liberated from linkage with the anti- nuclear power movement.... Decoupling from the power issue has permitted involvement of many conservatives, says Jerome Grossman, president of the Council for a Livable World, who terms the nuclear power issue 'very divisive."' (Science, organ of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, February 12,1982, p. 878)

Indeed, the organizers of the freeze campaign have fought hard against taking to the streets and against linkage with "divisive" issues in order not to offend the generals and capitalists. A recent press report noted that the freeze campaign "planned no mass demonstrations... and only a few Weeks ago were reluctant even to take part in the huge peace rally now planned for New York on June 12, to coincide with the United Nations Special Session on Disarmament. The original freezers also did not want to be too closely identified with the older, more radical parts of the peace movement which are organizing the New York march. Now that has changed. 'We will be playing a major part in the demonstration,' said Forsberg. The change is largely due to Kennedy." (The New Republic, April 21, 1982)

In other words, the freeze campaign threw its support for the June 12 demonstration only when it became clear that the organizers of the event, the so-called "older, more radical parts of the peace movement," had made sure that the official politics dominating the event would be tailored to Kennedy's corrupt needs. Among other things, they did this by making sure that the official slogans of the event are limited to the freeze concept and not linked to the "divisive" issue of U.S. aggression in Central America.

This is an extremely revealing example of how the social-democrats, pacifists and revisionists, such as those who are the organizers of the June 12 demonstration, work to subordinate the anti-militarist struggle to the imperialist warmongers themselves.

Not only are these forces doing their utmost to use the freeze to detach the nuclear weapons issue from the general anti-war struggle, but they are also going around claiming that the money saved by having a nuclear freeze will go to provide jobs, social benefits for the working masses, and other "human needs." This is a barefaced and cynical lie.

According to all the generals and real theorists behind the freeze, the money saved on nuclear weapons would go for no such purpose, but towards other parts of the U.S. war machine. For example, according to Senator Hatfield, the freeze "would save the United States an absolute minimum of $42.7 billion, which would be redirected towards neglected conventional defense needs or our growing dependency on foreign oil [such as by giving handouts to the energy monopolies for nuclear power plants or other 'alternative energy' projects, no doubt -- ed.]." (Hatfield Backgrounder, "The Age of Anxiety: Emerging Nuclear Tensions in the 1980's," June, 1981, p. 13)

An Open Alliance With the Warmongers in the Name of the "Peace Movement"

When the social-democrats hide the warmongering aims of the freeze campaign and prettify it as an instrument of "peace," it should be noted that they do not do this out of naivete or innocence. They know exactly what they are doing. This is strikingly revealed by the fact that the social-democrats are openly theorizing among themselves about the need for "pragmatic" and "realistic" compromises with the militarists.

Today a whole section of the social-democrats, such as those around the DSA, are discussing in their press a- bout what is "adequate" militarization to ensure the "real needs of national security." They have come up with the monstrous theory that the anti-war movement must ally with the militarists who stand for MAD (mutually-assured destruction) in opposition to the militarists who are NUTs (nuclear-use theorists, i.e., the Reaganite advocates of "limited" nuclear wars). A recent article in Socialist Review is very eye-opening in this regard. Socialist Review is a theoretical journal close to DSA which is described by the DSOC Youth Section as "a 'left' democratic socialist theoretical journal which traces its political lineage back to the saner elements of the New Left." The basic thesis of this article is that under the excuse of MAD being the lesser evil, the anti-war "movement will have to be aware of the differences between MAD and NUTs and will have to make pragmatic compromises with the first camp." (Socialist Review, "From MAD to NUTs: The Growing Danger of Nuclear War," January-February, 1982, p. 45)

What are some of these "pragmatic compromises" the author has in mind? It means that the movement "will have to build allies, sometimes finding them in unlikely places. For example, within the Pentagon, the State Department, and even the Central Intelligence Agency, there exist middle-level officials who share a particular critique of the current defense policies of the United States." (p. 50) Of course, our "socialist" author does not fail to point out that this would require "On our side, a willingness to consider support of weapons systems that promote our security." (p. 51) This is further spelled out: "We will need to support some existing systems, and perhaps even propose new ones that improve the security of the United States. Examples of the latter type include...the development of a fleet of small submarines, each carrying a limited number of missiles.... A peace movement might support efforts to strengthen command, control, and communication facilities that are designed to guarantee a second-strike capability..,. In Europe we may have to support^ strengthened conventional forces...." (p. 52)

Incredible! Such an unabashed defense of militarism, and all in the name of building the "peace movement" and even in the name of "specialism." But such lunacy is inevitable when one sets out to make an alliance with the MAD people against NUTs. The fact of the matter is that MAD or NUTs, the militarists are simply two heads of the same monster, U.S. imperialism. However, this social- democratic article, by posing the issue in terms of openly taking sides in the squabble between MAD and NUTs, has managed to bring out into the open what is at the very heart of the freeze campaign and other such efforts: a naked alliance between a section of the militarists on one hand, and the social-democrats, pacifists and revisionists on the other hand. (The author of this particular article is himself skeptical of the freeze because he has his own pet schemes for superpower agreements. But his argument applies equally to the social- democrats' support for the freeze campaign or other imperialist pacifist schemes.)

The social-democrats and revisionists sometimes wring their hands and try to apologize for the freeze with the claim that it is only a "first step." But their theorizings about "adequate national security" as well as the pronouncements of the big-time militarist backers of the freeze all go to show that it is simply a "first step" towards a different approach to U.S. imperialism's war preparations.

The Latest Volley in the Social-Democratic Offensive Against the Anti-War Movement

The freeze is not the first attempt by the social-democrats to destroy the struggle against militarism; it is only the most recent. From the first stirrings of protest against war preparations in recent years, the "left-wing" of the Democratic Party which includes the social-democrats and revisionists, has been working with might and main to undermine the movement from within. They don't want a vigorous movement against militarism because the Democratic Party is itself an imperialist party which stands for arming to the teeth.

The Democrats and their flunkeys aim their blows at the oppositional character of the anti-war movement for they know that it is precisely this which gives the movement the prospect of developing into a powerful force against imperialism's war preparations. Hence they fight hard to prevent the movement from taking up the perspective of anti-imperialist struggle. As part of their campaign, the social-democrats have gone all out in recent years to remove all militant slogans from the movement. Instead, they have sought to replace the militant slogans of the masses with others that stifle the movement, make it harmless to the warmongers, and are even useful in converting the struggle into an appendage of the imperialist war chariot. All this goes under the general approach of denouncing the militant slogans for being too "negative" and advocating the need to take a "positive" approach instead. And lo and behold, every time it turns out that what they mean by a "positive" approach is to give up fighting the warmongers and get involved in the debates among the ruling circles about what is the best way to militarize!

This is sharply seen, for example, in the struggle against nuclear power plants. For years, the hatred of the masses for the criminal U.S. nuclear energy program was demonstrated in slogans calling for doing away with it altogether. The Democrats and their flunkeys repeatedly tried to do away with this stand. As well, they fiercely opposed raising the question of the militarist nature of the U.S. nuclear energy program and the question of nuclear weapons. Instead, they advocated calls for a nuclear moratorium, for "alternative energy," "safe energy," etc.

But they could not stop the broad ferment emerging among the masses against the monstrous nuclear weapons stockpile. So they are now desperately trying to put out these flames of indignation among the masses with the fraud of the nuclear freeze. This is being used to liquidate the entire struggle against U.S. imperialism. The social-democrats say that the freeze is "the peace movement" and everything else should be subordinated to it. They directly use it to detach the nuclear weapons issue from the other questions of U.S. militarism and aggression. And they are doing this with tremendous backing by the bourgeoisie.

Thus the nuclear freeze campaign shows the decisive importance of the necessity to fight social-democracy and revisionist liquidationism in order to defend and advance the anti-imperialist struggle.

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Build up the anti-imperialist struggle against the sabotage by the Democratic Party

Nationwide Actions Against U.S. Aggression in El Salvador

A broad and powerful movement is continuing to unfold against U.S. aggression in El Salvador. On March 27, tens of thousands of demonstrators, from coast to coast, came out into the streets to protest the U.S. imperialist backing of the fascist junta. In Seattle there was a militant march 12,000 strong, marking the biggest demonstration in that city since the Viet Nam war. Thirty thousand marched in Washington, D.C. That,same day demonstrations were also held in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Dallas, Montpelier, Vt., and other cities across the country.

A major obstacle to the success of the March 27 protests was the sabotage of the leadership. At the head of the coalitions sponsoring the protests were social-democratic, revisionist, trotskyite, and other opportunist chieftains. Nevertheless, because of their mass character, the MLP vigorously worked for and participated in these actions. Because of the fighting sentiments among the people against U.S. aggression in El Salvador, large numbers came out for the March 27 demonstrations. Such big actions serve as a valuable school of struggle. Moreover, as long as there is freedom of agitation within these actions they provide the masses coming into the movement with a wealth of experience with the different political forces, allowing them to see first hand what the trends and organizations stand for in practice.

Why So Much Foot Dragging on the Part of the Leadership?

The March 27 nationwide protests were held on the very eve of the March 28 "elections" farce in El Salvador. These actions were a condemnation of this miserable charade which was staged by U.S. imperialism with so much fanfare. Only the bloodstained henchmen of the U.S.-backed oligarchy were allowed to participate in this farce. These elections at the point of a bayonet were put on with the sole purpose of giving the murderous junta a "democratic" face lift in order to pave the way for dispatching more U.S. guns and Green Berets to assist in the slaughter of the Salvadorian people.

But, as strange as it may seem, this mockery of an "election" placed the leadership of the March 27 demonstrations in a somewhat uncomfortable situation. This was because these "elections" were supported not only by the Reagan administration, but also, in varying degrees, by the alleged critics of Reagan's El Salvador policy among the Democratic Party politicians. And therefore the social-democratic and opportunist leaders were faced with the danger of powerful protest actions against the "elections" trampling on the toes of their liberal heroes in the Democratic Party. Quite a sticky situation.

The social-democrats and their friends have been working within the movement against U.S. intervention in El Salvador with the singular aim of hitching the struggle to the coattails of the imperialist liberals. They want to muffle the demand of the movement that U.S. imperialism must get out of El Salvador lock, stock and barrel. In its place they want to put the struggle within the framework of the "political solution" and "democratization" schemes being hawked by the Democratic Party politicians -- schemes which are aimed at preserving the U.S. imperialist enslavement of El Salvador. This policy of the social- democrats and company had a marked impact on their mobilization for March 27.

The March 27 date for the nationwide protests was chosen in the first place with the explicit purpose of voicing a protest against the March 28 "elections" farce. But this date was set months beforehand, when it was not yet completely clear what attitude a number of Democratic Party politicians would adopt towards this Reaganite maneuver. But as the "elections" approached these Democratic Party hucksters obediently got in line to endorse this naked and cynical farce. Their close allies, the AFL-CIO leadership, even bought a full page ad in the New York Times hailing the March 28 "elections." Not wanting to cross up these fine gentlemen in the Congress and the trade union bureaucracy, the social-democratic and opportunist leaders were put on the spot. Withering under the pressure, in many cases the agitation against the "elections" farce was dropped like a hot potato, and the official leadership displayed a marked lack of enthusiasm to mobilize at all for the March 27 actions.

This foot dragging was quite noticeable in a number of areas. In Seattle, for example, the social-democratic and church leadership simply tried to sit on the mobilization. Several weeks beforehand they had told the police that they expected only 500 people to demonstrate (Seattle Times, March 28, 1982), and it appears that if they had it their way there would not have been even that many.

But the surge among the working and progressive people against U.S. intervention in El Salvador was not going to be damped down so easily. Recognizing the fighting mood among the masses, the Seattle Branch of the MLP threw itself into the mobilization for the March 27 demonstration. The MLP activists spread revolutionary agitation against U.S. imperialist aggression and in support of the liberation struggle of the Salvadorian people throughout the city -- to the factory gates and to the neighborhoods, including in the black communities. The widespread and militant work of the MLP struck an enthusiastic chord among the people who showed that they were eager for action. Meanwhile a number of activists were complaining that the official sponsors of the demonstration were doing nothing to bring them into the work of mobilization.

With this groundswell of sentiment for mass action exerting strong pressure on them, only in the last week before March 27 did the social-democratic and church leaders launch a last minute flurry of activity for the mobilization. And then, on the day of reckoning, not 500, but 10,000 came out for the demonstration!

Similar patterns of foot dragging on the part of the official leadership, to varying degrees, were also experienced in Boston and other cities.

Social-Democrats and Revisionists Try to Fragment the Anti-Imperialist Movement

Moreover, it appears that the desire of the errand boys of the Democrats to not cross the path of their masters went to the extent of deliberate efforts to undermine and split the March 27 demonstrations. On that same Saturday, for example, a "nuclear freeze" rally was held in Philadelphia with over 10,000 participants. This could hot but have played an undermining and competitive role against the El Salvador demonstration which had been called many months in advance for nearby Washington, D.C.

A most flagrant display of splitting efforts was witnessed in the San Francisco Bay Area. Several months beforehand a march to and a picket at the Oakland Naval Supply Center had been called as part of the March 27 nationwide protests. But in the weeks before March 27, the revisionist chieftains of the "Communist" Party and a few of their friends withdrew their support for the Oakland action. Instead the "C"P, along with Ron Dellums and other Democratic Party and social-democratic hacks, and a handful of trade union bureaucrats, announced a separate rally to be held on the same day on the other side of the bay in San Francisco. To all appearances this separate action had no political objective other than to split up the March 27 action, to fragment its strength. As it turned out, the "C"P revisionists and company fared miserably, drawing to their event only one tenth the number who militantly demonstrated in Oakland 5,000 strong.

The point here is not that there is anything inherently harmful in an organization calling its own independent actions. Far from it. In its work to build the anti-imperialist movement, our Party recognizes the necessity for the most diverse forms of mass actions. On its own initiative and with its own forces the MLP has frequently called for and organized demonstrations, pickets, and other actions directly under the Party's slogans and banners. Such actions have many advantages and they have proved to be excellent vehicles of revolutionary agitation among the working masses.

But the attempt of the "C"P revisionists and their friends to float a separate event in direct competition with the Oakland action had no higher objective than undermining and fragmenting the struggle. It was simply an unprincipled split. There were no serious political differences in slogans or stated purposes. On the surface, this split was simply the fruit of a typical squabble among the social-democratic and opportunist leaders, a squabble in which the "C"P revisionists thought that they had a better plan than the others for making the demonstration more palatable to the capitalist politicians and trade union bureaucrats. But in the background there was also the knotty problem: How to lead mass protests on the eve of the Salvadorian "elections" farce and still avoid stepping on the toes of the imperialist liberals of the Democratic Party. And it appears that the "C"P revisionists and their social-democratic cohorts attempted to resolve this acute dilemma by engaging in flagrant sabotage and splitting against the March 27 actions.

Thus, March 27 brought out a number of important lessons. It once again confirmed that there is a mounting wave of sentiment among the working and progressive people for mass struggle against the militarism and aggression of the Reaganite fiends of war. At the same time, March 27 underscored that the policy of tailoring the movement to serve the interests of the Democratic Party politicians is a policy of actively undermining the struggle. March 27 showed that the social-democrats, the revisionists, and other opportunist forces in alliance with the Democratic Party, are sabotaging and fragmenting the movement to pursue their corrupting aims.

March 27 therefore, again brought home the necessity of orienting the movement squarely against U.S. imperialism and against the twin parties of imperialist warmongering -- against both the Reaganite Republicans and the liberal hucksters of the Democratic Party. This is the road to building a powerful and dynamic movement against U.S. aggression and war.

(Besides the undermining role of the social-democratic and revisionist forces discussed above, the contemptible wrecking activities of the trotskyite Spartacist League also made their mark on the March 27 demonstration in Washington, D.C. On page 7 is an article analyzing the dirty provocations of this trotskyite wrecking crew against the anti-imperialist movement.)

[Photo: 30,000 people marched in Washington, D.C. on March 27 against U.S. aggression in El Salvador. Photo shows a view of the contingent mobilized by the Marxist-Leninist Party, the Caribbean Progressive Study Group (New York), the Union of Anti-Imperialist Students (Buffalo) and the Comite Baldemiro Castro (New York) of the Communist Party of Labor of the Dominican Republic.]

[Photos: March 27 demonstrations in Oakland (above), Seattle (top right), and Chicago (right).]

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Union of Anti-Imperialist Students Adopts Its Program

(The following is reprinted from the special issue of the Buffalo Anti-Imperialist Newsletter that was produced for the March 27 demonstration Washington, D.C. against U.S. aggression in El Salvador.)

Introductory Remarks

The Union of Anti-Imperialist Students is an organization of anti-imperialist activists in Buffalo, N.Y. It e- merged at the height of the mass movement against registration for the draft and other war preparations in early 1980. In the over two years of its existence, the UAIS has widely distributed thousands of copies of its newsletter, The Buffalo Anti-Imperialist Newsletter and other leaflets, and has organized and participated in many militant actions against U.S. imperialist war preparations.

In the fight against war preparations, the UAIS found it essential to oppose imperialism, since it is the imperialist system which is the source of war. To oppose imperialism, the UAIS has found it necessary to take firm stands on a number of key political issues facing the movement today. These issues are addressed in the Program of the; UAIS which is printed below. This program comes out of the life and work of the UAIS, out of our actual experience in the struggle against imperialism and against the pro-imperialist politics which are brought into the movement, especially by the Democratic Party and its hangers-on.

The adoption of this Program is a great achievement for the UAIS. The UAIS is distributing its Program in the hope that is will be of assistance to activists everywhere in building the movement against imperialism and imperialist war.


I. The UAIS stands opposed to all war preparations, aggression, domination and plunder by U.S. imperialism.

Today the U.S. imperialists are preparing for wars of plunder and conquest -- wars against their imperialist rivals in their fight to redivide the world among themselves, and wars against the peoples of the world who are fighting for freedom and independence from imperialist domination. The monopoly capitalists, who have grow n fat off the sweat and blood of the American workers, are also raking in fantastic super-profits from the plunder of the people of other countries. It is the predatory interests of U.S. imperialism for political domination and economic plunder of the peoples of other countries that is the source of their preparations for war. Thus, the wars being prepared by U.S. imperialism are entirely reactionary and against the interests of the broad masses of working and oppressed people at home and abroad.

The whole history of U.S. imperialism is one of bloody aggression and war. of interventions and CIA coups d'etat, etc., including Indochina, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Iran, the Bay of Pigs, the Congo, Korea and elsewhere. Furthermore, while the U.S. continues to maintain old-style colonies in Puerto Rico, the South Pacific and elsewhere, in countless countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America it exercises neo-colonial control through the propping up of puppet dictators and other means. Today, the Reagan government is sending massive aid. as well as Green Berets and "advisors," to maintain the murderous regime in El Salvador, and its direct intervention there is increasing daily. It is threatening aggression against all of Central America and is tightening its stranglehold over the Caribbean. It is arming and rearming the Israeli zionist aggressors as well as propping up the kings and tyrants throughout the Middle East to protect the profits of the giant U.S. oil monopolies and banks. It is backing the racist apartheid regime in South Africa. And with over two million troops stationed in Korea, Latin America, Europe and elsewhere, the U.S. imperialists are working everywhere to subjugate the peoples.

The aggressive war preparations of the Reagan government are the product of imperialism. They are not the result of an unfortunate policy of this or that politician, this or that political party. The two big capitalist political parties in the U.S., the Republicans and the Democrats, are both parties of imperialist war and frenzied war preparations. Throughout this century, no matter which of these parties has been in power, the U.S. has proceeded on a course of economic and political domination of other peoples, of war preparations and aggressive war. While it was the Republican Nixon who carried forward the genocidal war against the Indochinese people, it must not be forgotten that it was begun and escalated by the Democrats Kennedy and Johnson. And while it is the Republican Reagan administration that is pushing ahead with the current round of war preparations, it must not be forgotten that this round was begun by the Democrat Carter.

The government at all levels serves the imperialist warmakers and is an enemy of the people's movement against imperialism. Through the police, the courts, the jails, as well as the politicians, the imperialists attack and attempt to suppress the anti-war and anti-imperialist struggles of the people here at home. While during the early 70's, they shot down student demonstrators in cold blood -- like at Kent and Jackson State, in recent years and months they have launched big attacks on anti-draft and anti-nuclear demonstrators in several places around the country.

The UAIS opposes every step of the war preparations of U.S. imperialism. Thus, the UAIS actively opposes draft registration and all other steps leading up to the re-introduction of the military draft, the development and production of weapons of mass destruction, and the entire U.S. nuclear energy program which is linked to war preparations, and all other war preparations of U.S. imperialism. We also oppose U.S. imperialist aggression and intervention in El Salvador, Iran or any other corner of the world.

II. The UAIS is opposed to the war preparations and aggressive actions of all the imperialist powers -- those of the U.S. and the Soviet Union, China and the lesser imperialist powers and puppet states.

While the U.S. feverishly prepares for war, its main rival for world domination, Soviet social-imperialism, is also arming to the teeth for war. The Soviet Union claims to be a socialist country, claims to stand on the side of the people against U.S. imperialism from time to time, but today it has become in fact an equally ferocious imperialist superpower. It is socialist only in words, but imperialist in deeds. In 1968 it sent its tanks to enslave the people of Czechoslovakia, and has put most of Eastern Europe under its heel. It subjects Cuba to neo-colonial domination and strives for political and economic domination throughout the world, just like U.S. imperialism. The barbaric aggression against the people of Afghanistan, the military "advisors" and puppet armies marauding in Africa, and the troop maneuvers and threats of invasion against Poland all demonstrate the savage imperialist nature of the Soviet Union in its quest for super-profits reaped from the people of other countries. The rivalry between the two superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, is a rivalry over which imperialist thief will take the greater share of the loot which is robbed from the world's people.

China too has joined the imperialist war dance. China is a social-imperialist country which has concluded a warmongering alliance with U.S. imperialism, and they are -- together with the Reagan government--striving for closer collaboration and for more and more arming of China for reactionary war. The Chinese social-imperialists, right on the heels of consummating the U.S.-China alliance in 1979, launched a brutal invasion of Viet Nam. They have come out openly against the revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggles of the people. They denounced the anti-draft and anti-war movement in the U.S. They were longtime supporters of the bloody Shah of Iran, of the fascist butcher Pinochet of Chile, and of many other reactionary elements the world over.

The lesser imperialist powers of Europe,Japan and Canada and imperialist puppet states -- lined up behind the aggressive imperialist military blocs such as NATO and the Warsaw Pact, are also arming against the people and for imperialist war.

While the UAIS fights first and foremost against the war preparations and aggressive actions of "our own" imperialist government, it also stands firmly opposed to all the other imperialist powers, and opposes lining up behind one imperialist or reactionary power to "fight" another. Capitulation to one imperialist power means capitulation to the world imperialist system.

III. The UAIS stands in wholehearted solidarity with the peoples around the world who are fighting against imperialism. We stand in firm support 6f the national liberation struggles against imperialist domination, especially those being waged against "our own" U.S. imperialism. The UAIS wages active struggle against the rabid chauvinism which the U.S. imperialists promote in order to line up the American people behind their attacks on the people of other nations, such as their-anti-Iranian hysteria. We also support the mass movement which has-arisen in Europe. Japan and other countries against the aggressive war preparations of their own governments and the two superpowers.

IV. The UAIS is an organization of activists which works to organize and strengthen the mass movement against all imperialist war preparations, aggression and plunder. In the U.S., a broad movement has developed against U.S. imperialism. This movement has many currents -- against U.S. intervention and aggression around the world, against the reintroduction of the draft, against military spending and nuclear weapons production, against the entire nuclear energy program, against the persecution of the immigrant peoples in the U.S., as well as other struggles. The UAIS actively supports and participates in all of these currents of struggle against U.S. imperialism. The existence add further development of this mass movement among the American people represents a great and most effective force to oppose and hinder U.S. imperialism's plans for new wars of aggression and conquest.

This movement must be a political movement; it must be based on anti-imperialist politics. In all of the struggles against war preparations and war, opposition to imperialism must be put at the center. The anti-imperialist politics target the imperialist system as the source of war and war preparations. The anti-imperialist politics unite the various particular anti-war struggles into one powerful movement against imperialism. The anti-imperialist politics call for resolute and thoroughgoing struggle against imperialism, not some tinkering with this or that imperialist policy.

This movement must get organized in complete independence from and in opposition to the two big capitalist political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. In particular, the Democratic Party is trying to infiltrate the movement by posing as the "opposition" to the open warmongering of the Reaganites. But their aim is not to fight imperialism and war, it is to sabotage the movement. The politics of the Democratic Party are imperialist politics -- lock, stock and barrel. They seek to bring the mass movement into positions of accommodation with imperialism. Thus, for example, they want to put a "human rights" mask on U.S. imperialist domination and aggression, such as in El Salvador. Or, they appeal to the two superpowers to renew the "detente" process as the path to "disarmament" and "peace," when in fact "detente" is nothing but a big smoke screen behind which the superpowers arm to the teeth for war. The Democratic Party and its "left-wing" hangers-on are striving to divert the movement from taking an anti-imperialist direction, to subvert the mass struggle against imperialist war and to turn the anti-war movement into a vehicle for electing Democrats to office. Thus, the movement must be on the alert against the sabotage of the Democrats and their flunkies, and must get organized independent of them.

The movement against war preparations, aggression and plunder by U.S. imperialism must be based on the masses of people. The masses have nothing to gain and everything to lose from imperialist war preparations and war. Thus, it is necessary to mobilize the masses of youth, students,, workers and progressive people into active political struggle against the imperialist government for an effective fight against war preparations and war. In its practical organizing, the UAIS places primary importance on the development of mass actions, demonstrations, public meetings, extensive literature distribution campaigns, popular anti-imperialist cultural work and other activities which draw more and more people into an active fight against imperialism.

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The Trotskyite Spartacist League:

A Band of Wreckers Against the Anti-Imperialist Movement

The March 27 demonstration in Washington, D.C. against U.S. aggression in El Salvador witnessed yet another provocation by the trotskyite Spartacist League. Over the last couple of years, as the anti-imperialist movement has been building up momentum, the Spartacist League trotskyites have been escalating their dirty wrecking work against it. In particular, the Sparts have launched a whole string of disruptive attacks against the mass actions against U.S. aggression and war, which now includes their major attempt at provocation against the March 27 demonstration in Washington, D.C.

By their own admission the Sparts came to Washington for no other purpose than launching a provocation. They had declared well beforehand their hostility towards the March 27 action. But instead of trying to avoid a clash by, for example, holding their own event elsewhere, the Sparts organized a counter-event with the explicit aim of orchestrating a confrontation.

The Sparts' intentions were spelled out in no uncertain terms in a letter which they sent to the March 27 coalition, a coalition which was made up of a number of the groups in the Washington, D.C. demonstration. This letter, which the Sparts passed out to the demonstrators, read like a message from a Mafia shakedown artist expressing his touching concern for the safety of his victim's children. Under the transparent guise of concern for "protecting the rights and safety of all protesters," the Sparts flaunted their plans for provocation: "Sharp physical clashes among marchers," the Spart letter ominously warned, "can well provoke police intervention, placing all the demonstrators in danger of violence or arrest." (Workers Vanguard, March 19, 1982) And lo and behold, on March 27 these trotskyite wreckers did their damndest to incite "sharp physical clashes among marchers," and to "provoke police intervention" against the demonstration.

The Sparts' intentions were to create an incident at the assembly point for the demonstration in Malcolm X Park. There the Sparts describe a "two hour standoff" between themselves and the demonstration marshals who prevented the Sparts from entering the assembly area. The Sparts' own account of what took place there is a most instructive description of the Sparts' tactics of provocation:

"This attempt to segregate the reds [that is keeping the Sparts out of the assembly area -- ed.]...could not be tolerated.... We formed a flying wedge to break through their line.... This was quickly and effectively done, sending their goons running and leaving a number sprawled on the ground.... It was over in a few seconds and our squad was already moving back by the time the cops charged in." (Workers Vanguard, April 2, 1982)

Just like the Sparts had promised beforehand: First they organized a "sharp physical clash." After a "two- hour standoff" in which they were unable to incite a disruption or melee by any other means, the Sparts resorted to dispatching a "flying wedge," a "squad" of thugs in military formation to do the job. And then, in perfect synchronization, as soon as the Spart thugs could beat a hasty retreat, the "police intervention" arrived on the scene; as the Sparts boast, "Our squad was already moving back by the time the cops charged in."

What took place at Malcolm X Park was not a question of some isolated incident. Rather, this or some variation of this pattern of disruption has been systematically repeated over and over again -- in New York, in Chicago, in Ann Arbor, Michigan and elsewhere. Moreover, it must be stressed that what is involved in these incidents is not a question of the rights of the Sparts to hold and advocate their political views as the Sparts hypocritically claim. On the contrary, the Sparts have consistently shown that they are hellbent on disruption. They come to these actions called by others loudly proclaiming their opposition to the event. Nevertheless, as the Sparts put it, they refuse to "go to the back of the bus," that is to say, they demand that they are handed a prominent place or even the leadership in the action. And to enforce these demands the Sparts eagerly launch violent clashes and incite ugly incidents which stink up the atmosphere. No, it is not the Sparts but others who have their rights to air their views trampled on by the "flying wedges" and military-type goon squads, the high-powered loud speaker systems and other vehicles of Spart disruption. The repetition of these disruptions have earned the Sparts the disgust and hatred of a wide section of the anti-imperialist activists, who correctly see this trotskyite sect as a diehard band of wreckers.

The question arises of what is the political motivation that drives on the Sparts in their dirty work of provocation? The Sparts try to paint the false picture that it is their alleged "militancy" and "leftism" that leads them into clashes, etc. But this is only so much eyewash to hoodwink the naive because, in fact, what lies behind the Spans' provocations is their rabid hostility to the revolutionary struggle, both at home and abroad. Just look at the political stands which the Sparts adopt towards the movement against U.S. aggression in El Salvador. The following positions emerge most sharply:

a) that far from standing for struggle against imperialism and its defenders, the Sparts are bitter opponents of the emerging mass anti-imperialist movement;

b) that far from supporting the revolution in El Salvador, the Sparts engage in reactionary phrasemongering against this heroic revolutionary struggle;

c) and that far from being a force against reformism, the Sparts play the role of a foil for the Democratic Party liberals, the social-democrats, the revisionists and trotskyites, and other reformist forces in the anti-imperialist movement.

Let's examine these points more closely.

Bitter Opponents of the Anti-Imperialist Mass Movement

Among the plethora of trotskyite sects in the U.S., the Spartacist League is part of the ultra-phrase- mongering wing of Trotskyism, as opposed to the more mild-mannered, social-democratic and liberal Trotskyism of the Socialist Workers Party, Workers World Party/Youth Against War and Fascism, etc., etc. With their "more phrasemongering-than-thou" posturing, the Sparts attempt to strike the pose of being the most "militant" and "revolutionary" of them all. As part of this ridiculous posturing in the anti-imperialist movement, the Sparts even try to dress themselves up as being the real "anti-imperialists," as being the real fighters against the Democratic Party and its reformist allies, etc. But all of the Sparts' noisy phrasemongering is nothing but a ruse, a fig leaf to cover up reactionary wrecking against the anti-imperialist movement.

First and foremost, there is simply no such thing as a revolutionary position -- whether a fight against imperialism, or a serious struggle against the Democratic Party and its reformist allies -- which is not firmly rooted in the development of the struggle of the masses. It is the mass struggle which is the decisive revolutionary force, the bulwark of any serious fight against imperialism and its defenders. And it is precisely against the mass anti-imperialist struggle that the Sparts direct their most vile curses and attacks.

Look at the movement against U.S. aggression in El Salvador. Over the past two years, hundreds of thousands of working people, youth and students have been marching in the streets all across the U.S. to voice their opposition to U.S. intervention on behalf of the fascist junta as well as their solidarity with the heroic struggle of the Salvadorian people. The emergence of this movement is a most positive development and is being watched with dread by the Reagans and Haigs for whom it brings back ominous memories of the high tide of mass struggle against U.S. aggression in Viet Nam. But the Sparts see no value in this development whatsoever; instead they ridicule the demonstrations and curse those who participate in them. They crudely mock at those who might "sympathize with populist uprisings in Central America" as being so-called "rad/lib types" and issue a barrage of similar reactionary sneers against the anti-imperialist activists which are worthy only of a Richard Nixon or a Spiro Agnew.

The Sparts draw a parallel between the present movement and the movement against the U.S. imperialist war in Indochina only to conclude that all such movements against U.S. aggression are meaningless or worse. According to their reactionary lecturing, the "anti-war movement" of the 60's and early 70's was nothing more than "impotent peace parades" and "a useful safety valve" for "radicalized student-youth" to let off steam. This is how the Sparts spit in the face of the countless thousands of so-called "radicalized student-youth," that is the workers and other working people, the youth and students and revolutionary activists who waged a self- sacrificing and bitter struggle against U.S. imperialism's genocidal war in Indochina. This is how the Sparts thumb their noses at a torrential mass movement which confronted the fiendish war plans of Johnson and then Nixon and which brought millions into active political life and struggle against U.S. imperialism.

This vile ridicule against the mass anti-imperialist movement is a telling self-exposure of what the Sparts are all about. It tears to shreds their absurd pretenses to "anti-imperialism." And it exposes them as nothing more than a miserable trotskyite wrecking crew against the anti-imperialist struggle.

Contemptible Phrasemongering Against the Revolutionary Struggle in El Salvador

The Sparts' disgusting abuse against the anti-imperialist movement in the U.S. is only rivaled by their contemptible phrasemongering against the revolutionary struggle in every other country, with El Salvador being the outstanding current example. The Salvadorian workers and peasants have risen up, arms in hand, in a democratic and anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of the fascist junta, and the oligarchy of big capitalists and landlords and the U.S. imperialist domination which the junta defends. Consistent Marxist-Leninists are not in the leadership of the Salvadorian movement but rather diverse forces ranging from reformists to revolutionaries of various persuasions. There is nothing that requires the U.S. Marxist-Leninists and anti-imperialist activists to agree with everything that the leadership in El Salvador says and does, in order to firmly support the Salvadorian people's struggle. But it is one thing to have differing views from the leadership, and quite another to ridicule this struggle and act as scabs against it. No, the liberating and revolutionary character of the Salvadorian people's movement is undeniable, and for this reason this popular war has earned the militant sympathy of the class conscious workers and revolutionaries the world over.

But the Spart parasites despise this revolutionary struggle like a vampire hates sunlight. Instead they curse at the revolution in El Salvador for not conforming to the tenets of the counter-revolutionary treatises of Trotskyism. They denounce the struggle for being "populist" and "popular-frontist," and they even decry it as "Stalinist," which in their deranged and anti-communist perspective is the worst curse word of them all.

Along with this string of curses, the Sparts have put forward a laundry list of "demands" on the Salvadorian revolutionaries, demands which are oh-so very "leftist" in words, and so very reactionary in reality. For instance, the Sparts viciously ridicule what they refer to as the "populist guerrilla war" which is presently raging in El Salvador. In its place the Sparts demand a "workers' revolution." If one can attribute any logical meaning at all to this nonsensical counterposing of a workers' revolution against a people's revolutionary war in the conditions of El Salvador, it is that the workers should commit suicide by carrying on the battle without their allies, and in the first place without the toiling peasantry. It is a demand for nothing short of abandoning the powerful popular war which. the workers and peasants have spread throughout the Salvadorian countryside and which is shaking the fascist dictatorship.

But possibly the low point of the Sparts' phrasemongering is their demand that the Salvadorian guerillas "Take San Salvador!," a slogan which they combine with the demand to "extend the revolutionary struggle not only throughout Central America but north to Mexico... This is, the road to victory in El Salvador." What contemptible blowhards! Just imagine. The heroic Salvadorian people and revolutionaries are sacrificing everything in their struggle to overthrow their oppressors, boldly persevering on the road of the armed struggle in the face of the genocidal massacres of a military junta armed to the teeth by U.S. imperialism. It is clearly not due to any lack of courage or desire to fight "that the Salvadorian people have not yet won their liberation. Meanwhile, the Sparts are issuing their lectures to the liberation fighters to "Take San Salvador!" and then march "north to Mexico" as "the road to victory in El Salvador."

Why did these mangy, curs bother with such ridiculous "demands" on the Salvadorian revolutionaries? Why didn't the Sparts just set an example for others to follow and go out and "take Washington, D.C." and "extend" the revolution not only to Mexico but all over the globe? After all, if the Sparts had simply done that in the first place, they would have created a revolution in revolutionary strategy and tactics. By "taking Washington, D.C." they would have provided the first and the only piece of evidence that empty trotskyite phrasemongering is indeed a more effective means to "take" capital cities and "extend" revolutions than by way of arduous revolutionary struggle waged by real people against real enemies.

Besides this type of absurd phrasemongering against the revolutionary struggle, the Sparts also have direct demands for the subordination of the Salvadorian liberation movement to, the neo-colonialist ambitions of Soviet social-imperialism. The Sparts pride themselves as being the very most brazen enthusiasts of Soviet social-imperialist aggression and expansion -- from their notorious slogan "Hail the Red Army in Afghanistan!" as the Russian occupiers carry out genocidal napalming of Afghan villages, to their violent approval of the fascistic martial law crackdown in Poland. The Sparts take this to the point of taunting the "Communist" Party, USA, the S WP and the other revisionist and trotskyite groups for being weak-kneed in their defense of the imperialist designs of the new revisionist and capitalist Russian ruling class.

The Sparts chastise their fellow pro-Soviet revisionist brethren for failing to demand that the Soviet Union engage in arms shipments to El Salvador and dispatch their Cuban or other mercenaries to intervene there. They accuse them of failing to see that allegedly what is really at stake in El Salvador is not the minor issue of the liberation of the Salvadorian people, but the global rivalry between the two superpowers. And, of course, the Sparts come out screaming in "defense" of Soviet social-imperialism. Hence their infamous slogan, "The Defense of the USSR/Cuba Begins in El Salvador!" -- a slogan which has earned the bitter wrath of large numbers of anti-imperialist activists who correctly see it as a demand that the interests of the Salvadorian people be subordinated to the "defense" of the enslaving, neo-colonial designs of the Soviet new tsars.

A Foil for the Social-Democratic and Reformist "Left" Wing of the Democratic Party

The contemptible phrasemongering and provocations of the Spartacist League all add up to a specific role of diversion against the anti-imperialist movement. The Sparts' wrecking work is calculated to discredit the very idea of taking a revolutionary and principled stand in the struggle. It is aimed at creating the false impression on the minds of the activists that to oppose the subversion of the movement by the imperialist liberals of the Democratic Party, or to raise the banner of struggle against imperialism, or to take any other militant stand, is in some way associated with crude sneers and provocative attacks against the movement itself. In this way, despite their noisy phrasemongering against the reformists, the Sparts play directly into the hands of the social-democrats, the revisionists of the "Communist" Party, their fellow trotskyites of the SWP and the WWP, and other reformist forces. They play directly into the game plans of these corrupt forces which want to rob the movement of its militant and oppositional character in order to make it acceptable to the imperialist politicians of the Ted Kennedy ilk.

It is important therefore for the activists to pay attention to the political role which the Sparts play in the movement and draw correct conclusions from it. The high tide of struggle in the 60's and early 70's and today's resurgence of the movement have provided ample living evidence that it is the destructive influence of the social-democratic and reformist "left" wing of the Democratic Party which is the number one saboteur of the anti-imperialist mass movement. And the escalating provocations of the Sparts are clearly demonstrating how this contemptible trotskyite sect acts as a foil for this sabotage.

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Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg

General Strikes in Western Europe

In Western Europe the capitalist economic crisis is growing deeper with each passing day. In each country the money-grubbing monopoly capitalists are working to shift the burden of this crisis onto the workers' shoulders. Devastating unemployment, wage cuts and other economic "austerity" measures are the order of the day, and political reaction is everywhere on the increase.

Faced with this capitalist onslaught, the working class is turning to struggle. In Italy for example, 250,000 metal workers marched into the streets on March 26 in a demonstration demanding higher wages and job security. In Britain a national rail strike against job elimination took place earlier in the year and at present a rash of strikes by transportation workers, teachers and others is under way. Moreover, in Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg the workers' fury has been unleashed in a number of one-day general strikes and mass demonstrations.

On April 5, the workers of Luxembourg downed their tools in the first general strike in that country in 60 years. Protesting the government-imposed 5% ceiling on wage increases, the workers set up picket lines closing down industry and commerce throughout the country and shutting 30 border crossings for three hours in the morning.

In Portugal and Belgium the massive one-day general strikes have been accompanied by militant demonstrations and street clashes with the reactionary authorities. In these countries the strike movements have taken on a marked political character and are contributing to major governmental crises for the monopoly capitalist ruling classes.

The development of the strike movements in a number of the countries of Western Europe are the herald that even sharper class battles will engulf Europe in the future. The strike struggles, taken together with the broad movement against imperialist war preparations that is spreading across Western Europe, are sure signs that the working people are awakening to political life and struggle against the brutal capitalist offensive. On this page we print two articles to inform our readers about the militant strike movements in Portugal and Belgium.

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Portuguese workers demand ouster of the ruling coalition

The Portuguese workers' strike movement of the past year reached a crescendo on February 12 with an historic national general strike. Virtually the entire nation was paralyzed as well over one-and-a-half million workers downed their tools to organize pickets, demonstrations and rallies. Strikebreakers and reactionaries were firmly rebuffed, and, as evening came, the militant workers battled the police in the capital city of Lisbon.

The Portuguese workers came out into the streets under the central slogan of "Down With the Balsemao AD government!" This hated government is composed of a coalition of rightist parties known as the Democratic Alliance (AD) and headed by Prime Minister Francisco Pinto Balsemao. It was put in power by the Portuguese bourgeoisie with the intent of wiping out the gains won by the workers and popular masses in the anti-fascist revolution of April 25, 1974, and it has orchestrated an all-sided offensive of misery, unemployment and fascization against the workers.

The Portuguese workers and people have no intention of returning to the dark days before the evolution or of bearing the burden of the capitalist economic crisis. The February 12 general strike raised demands against all of the main economic and political policies of the reactionary Balsemao government. For example, Balsemao has instituted an array of Reagan-style economic policies including a 17% ceiling on wage increases. With inflation running at over 24% this is nothing but a policy of savage pay cutting. Thus one of the main demands of the February 12 strike was for the abolition of the wage ceiling. So too, the AD government's drive to erase the gains of the April 25 revolution includes a plan to enact a number of reactionary amendments to the Portuguese constitution. This constitution was adopted in 1976 as a direct result of the revolution. Thus one of the main demands of the February 12 strike was for a halt to Balsemao's plans to enact reactionary constitutional amendments. With these and other demands the strikers showed their single-minded purpose to reverse the reactionary capitalist offensive and to bring down the AD government.

Strike Movement Continues

Following the one-day general strike, the workers' strike movement has continued to develop with force. A constant stream of strikes and demonstrations have been organized and these class battles have steadily developed into sharper and sharper confrontations.

In the latter part of February a strike of transportation workers succeeded in forcing the government to grant pay raises. During the first week of March the railroad workers began another series of national strikes. And on March 6, the workers came out in big anti-government demonstrations in Lisbon, Oporto and other cities throughout the country raising the same slogans as in the February 12 general strike.

The Portuguese workers celebrated May Day, international working class day, by coming out in force against the rightist government. On this day two workers were killed in the city of Oporto, where it is reported that anti-government riots took place. Outraged over these murders, the workers responded with yet another general strike on May 12.

This second general strike reiterated even more forcefully the economic and political slogans of February 12. In this strike the national transportation network was brought to a standstill. Fully 90% of the industrial proletariat of the big industrial region around Lisbon was reported to be on strike, and there were similar results reported all across the country. In this great strike yet another worker gave his life and three others were injured during a fierce clash with strikebreakers at a Lisbon bus depot.

The continuing strike movement is a big setback to the anti-worker offensive of the Portuguese bourgeoisie. This can be seen by the fact that Balsemao's AD government was unable to promulgate its reactionary constitutional amendments on April 25 as it had intended. In fact, as each day passes, the crisis deepens and the government is finding it more and more difficult to hold onto its power.

The Fight Against Social-Democracy and Revisionism Within the Strike Movement

In the course of these events a great struggle is also taking place within the ranks of the Portuguese workers' movement itself. Within the workers' movement there are various political forces contending for the leading role. On the one hand there are the social-democratic opportunists of the Socialist Party of Portugal (PS) and the revisionists of the Communist Party of Portugal (PC). Both these parties represent bourgeois politics within the workers' movement. On the other hand, opposed to these parties, stands the Communist Party (Reconstructed) of Portugal (PC(R)). The PC(R) is the genuine Marxist-Leninist vanguard of the Portuguese proletariat. The PC(R) consistently opposes bourgeois politics within the workers' movement. It alone fights for the independent class politics of the workers.

For its part, the PS, led by Dr. Mario Soares, actively opposed the February 12 general strike and all the subsequent mass actions. The PS leaders ordered the workers in the UGT -- the trade union federation under their party's control -- to go to work on February 12. They whined and cried that the strike's stated aim of bringing down the Balsemao government was a political maneuver aimed at "disrupting democratic processes." In this manner the PS shamelessly revealed its love for the reactionary Balsemao government. Soares and his fellow "socialist" opportunists are showing themselves to be nothing but scabs and strikebreakers in de facto alliance with the Balsemao regime.

The revisionist PC, led by Alvaro Cunhal, controls the leadership of the two-million-strong CGTP labor federation. The CGTP issued the call for the February 12 general strike and for subsequent major mass actions. However, the aims and policies of Cunhal and the other revisionist leaders within the strike movement have proven to be opposed to the class interests of the workers.

Rather than using the general strikes and the other actions to develop the militance and fighting capacity of the proletariat to win its ownindependent class objectives, its own political and economic demands, the revisionists want the movement to be limited to the objective of replacing the reactionary Balsemao government with a government of liberal bourgeois politicians, headed by Antonio Eanes. Eanes now holds the title of president of the country, but he is outside of the ruling Balsemao coalition. The program of Eanes and the other liberal politicians is not really different in essence from that of Balsemao, but the revisionists hope that by backing Eanes they will be rewarded with a share of the power over the workers.

The significance of the revisionists' support for these liberal bourgeois politicians was graphically demonstrated when they passed a resolution recently in the plenary of the CGTP at the request of Eanes. In this resolution the revisionists promised the bourgeoisie that they would work to "bring an end to the dissatisfaction of the workers" and would see to it that the workers only "use the constitutional mechanisms against the AD."

Thus these revisionist scoundrels openly declare that they will work to cool out the workers' anger against the reactionary government and to see to it that the workers' struggle is restricted to the most narrow legalism and reformism, to the parliamentary cretinism of staking everything on the maneuvers of Eanes within the government. This is the sort of harmless "struggle" they want the workers to wage.

Thus the Portuguese revisionists promote a policy identical in character to the liberal-labor politics of the revisionist party in the U.S., the "C"P USA of Gus Hall. The "C"PUSA revisionists are notorious for being nothing but a cheering squad for Kennedy and the other imperialist politicians of the Democratic Party. Like their Portuguese brothers, their conception of the working class "struggle" consists of promoting and voting for the liberal bourgeois politicians.

The fact of the matter is that the Portuguese revisionists called the CGTP out on both general strikes only under the most intense pressure from the rank and file at the base of the union. The revisionists were always opposed to the general strike because they did not want the workers to be radicalized. They fear that things will get out of hand, and, when the workers depose the Balsemao government, instead of the worthless liberals coming to power, the political positions of the workers and the popular masses themselves will win the day.

The PC(R) Stands for the Independent Politics of the Working Class

In opposition to the opportunist bourgeois politics of the social-democratic PS and the revisionist PC stands the PC(R). The PC(R) has played a very active role in organizing the general strike and in combating the sabotage of the social-democrats and revisionists. In its Resolution on the general strike, the Central Committee of the PC(R) declared that it stands for "the independent political will of the working class in the struggle to depose the Democratic Alliance government." "The PC(R) says to all the workers: Take into our hands the continuation of the struggle, don't depend on waiting for Eanes; make the voice of the class heard, don't wait for others to speak for us; build the unity of the base and of the workers' organizations, don't depend on party negotiations and parliamentary action; grasp the fruits of our strike, don't give them away to anyone."

The PC(R) goes on to propose to the mass of workers, to unite to "take up ten demands of struggle against impoverishment, unemployment and fascization, and for a new politics." (See the article to the left) This is a class policy diametrically opposed to that of the revisionist and pro-Soviet imperialist PC; as well as to that of the social-democratic and pro-Western imperialist PS.

The PC(R) points out that the opportunism of the PC leaders in supporting the liberal bourgeois politicians, has led these revisionists into great difficulties and contradictions within their own organizations. At the base of the CGTP are the rank-and-file workers. They are under the influence of reformist and revisionist politics and ideology, but their class instincts and interests impel them to desire a real fight against Balsemao. Thus as the strike movement has developed the workers have come into greater and greater contradiction with the policies of the aristocratic privileged workers and labor bureaucrats of the CGTP/ For example, this upper stratum of revisionist workers, among other outrages, transformed the pickets which they headed during the general strike into committees of "Democratic Vigilance" opposed to action against strikebreakers. They used these committees to fraternize with the bosses, the administrators and the police. As well, some of this revisionist strata were actively opposed to the general strike altogether, labeling it as an "adventure" and going to work on February 12. The PC(R) points out that the rank-and-file workers became increasingly outraged as this reactionary activity of the revisionists was consistently seen from factory to factory, everywhere in the country.

In the militant strike movement, the Portuguese proletariat guided by its true Marxist-Leninist vanguard, the PC(R), is gaining invaluable experience. It is learning firsthand the treachery of the PC revisionists and PS social-democratic opportunists, and it is seeing with its own eyes the futility of relying on the liberal bourgeois politicians for a way out of the crisis. The workers are greatly strengthening the independent politics of their own class against the rich and against the opportunist agents of the bourgeoisie in the workers' movement. They are marching forward, strengthening their unity and building up their own independent class organizations.

[Photo: On the 6th of March, within just one month of the first general strike, hundreds of thousands of Portuguese workers marched in over two dozen cities demanding the ouster of the rightist coalition government. The Marxist-Leninist workers of the PC(R) and other militant union activists used the occasion to raise slogans in favor of a new general strike. They rallied the masses of workers against the capitulationist stand of the top revisionist trade union bureaucrats who actively opposed any slogans being raised for another general strike. The banner reads: "A new general strike? Of course!"]

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Two opposing policies in the Portuguese general strike

The Communist Party of Portugal (PC) [revisionist] and the leaders of the CGTP [General Confederation of Portuguese Workers] always opposed the general strike because they did not have confidence in the workers' struggle and did not want the workers' movement to be radicalized.

*The Communist Party (Reconstructed) (PC(R)) and the revolutionary trade unionists strongly defended the general strike because they alone have confidence in the struggle of the working class and the workers as the way to change the political situation.

*The PC and the leaders of the CGTP want to use the general strike as pressure for the intervention of Eanes [President of Portugal] against the AD [Democratic Assembly -- the rightist ruling coalition] because their politics of the^lesser evil leads them to support the liberal-appearing sections of the bourgeoisie instead of imposing the will of the workers.

*The PC(R) and the revolutionary trade unionists fight the illusions about Eanes and urge the workers to rely on their own strength because they are fighting for a fundamental change in the situation in the country and because it is proven that only the independent struggle of the working class will guarantee that from the defeat of the AD government a strengthening of the popular positions will result.

*The PC and the reformist trade union leaders had the plenary of the CGTP approve an appeal from the President of the Republic to "bring to an end the dissatisfaction of the workers and use the constitutional mechanisms against the AD," but did not bother to define, above all, the working class' own demands.

*The PC(R) and the revolutionary trade unionists defend that the workers must formulate in this strike their own demands and their political and economic class demands, which define the content of their independent struggle against the AD government.

*The PC and the leaders of the CGTP insist on legalism and on the upcoming elections as the only political way out because they aim to facilitate the recomposition of the government on liberal bases, without control of the situation escaping Eanes and without the PS [Socialist Party] getting scared with the change.

*The PC(R)and the revolutionary trade unionists, in the struggle against the AD, seek to strengthen the workers' and popular movement as support for a change in favor of the people and for a government of the forces of popular unity.

Ten demands of the Portuguese workers

1. Total withdrawal of the anti-worker "labor pact."

2. Cancellation of the wage ceiling. Increase of the national minimum wage by 14,000 Portuguese escudos per year.


3. Ban on contracts of a fixed time. Forty-hour week in the struggle against unemployment.

4. Institution of a genuine "market basket" against high prices, with freezing of the prices of foodstuffs of the first necessity, of transportation and of rents. Revoking the increases for Medical-Social Services.


5. Emergency aid to the poor peasants, against the losses from the drought, the draining off of the products and fair prices, gasoline subsidy and freezing the price of fertilizers.


6. Suspension of the handing over of reserves and restitution of the stolen lands to the UCP's.


7. Prohibition of the bosses' private police.


8. No to the reactionary revision of the Constitution; let the parliamentary opposition blockade the scheme of the AD.


9. Suspension of the negotiations for the adhesion to the Common Market and of the agreements with the IMF.


10. No to the installation of nuclear arms in Portugal, prohibition of using our bases for the passage of foreign troops. Get out of NATO.

(The above excerpts are reprinted from the February 10, 1982 issue of Bandiera Vermelha, Central Organ of the Communist Party (Reconstructed) of Portugal. Translated by The Workers' Advocate.)

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Belgian strikers clash with the capitalist police

For years Belgium was known as the "most stable country in Europe," a country where the bourgeoisie advertised a "contented" working class, a country where the classical misery of the working people supposedly did not exist as it did elsewhere. But today, racked by the inevitable economic crisis of the capitalist system, the Belgian monopoly capitalists have adopted the same kind of harsh "austerity" medicine which the other governments of Europe and North America are imposing on their workers.

Facing a deeper crisis every day, on February 2 the Belgian legislature passed the "Special Powers Bill which allows Prime Minister Wilfred Martens to decree policy on budgetary matters without parliamentary approval for one year. With these new emergency powers, Martens immediately enacted a series of austerity measures which included cutting back the automatic indexing system, which gives cost-of-living wage increases to the workers, and further rationalizing the state-owned steel industry. With the cutback in the indexing system the government hopes to slash the real wages of the workers in the state-subsidized industries by up to 15% and in private industry by at least 3%. The further rationalization of the steel industry will mean the elimination of at least another 10,000 jobs at a time when unemployment is already reported to have grown to 13% nationally and to have mushroomed to 20-30% in the steel-producing centers in the southern province of Wallonia.

The Belgian workers refused to accept these measures. They immediately responded with a one-day general strike on February 8 which completely paralyzed the south of the country and shut down much of the north. The workers were especially outraged against what they called the "dictatorial powers" granted to the Prime Minister and they demanded the immediate scrapping of the "Special Powers Bill." They also demanded the retention of their cost-of- living pay raises. As well, they opposed the rationalization of the steel industry and demanded funds from the Belgian government to guarantee the steel workers' jobs. The workers are enraged at the European Common Market (EEC) as well as against their own bourgeoisie because EEC treaties prohibit member countries from subsidizing the deficit in state-owned steel industries and because the EEC must approve any plan for dealing with the crisis in Belgium's steel industry.

The one-day general strike has been followed by a series of other strikes and militant demonstrations. On February 11, thousands of steel workers from Liege and Charleroi marched on the headquarters of the EEC in Brussels demanding action to save their jobs. The workers fought their way inside the headquarters and for a time occupied the president's office shouting "Let's smash the whole kit and caboodle!" Eventually mounted police attacked the workers' demonstration and the workers fought back fiercely.

Toward the end of February the steel workers launched a protracted strike in southern Belgium. On March 9, they were joined by textile and other workers in a protest strike which, for one day, completely cut off the province of Wallonia from the rest of the country. Pickets shut down all industry, blocked the streets and railways, and closed the banks, insurance companies, universities, etc.

On March 16, another demonstration of angry steel workers took place in Brussels to protest Martens' steel industry rationalization schemes. Toward the end of the march another pitched battle with the police took place. The demonstrators were attacked with water cannon, tear gas and mounted police. But they refused to disband. The workers fought back for two hours using clubs, paving stones and bolts. The government reports that 179 policemen were injured in this battle.

On March 26 yet a second general strike was organized. Again the south was completely paralyzed, the huge port of Antwerp in the north was disrupted for the first time and the coal mines in the east were working at only half capacity. Following this general strike, many smaller strikes have continued. It is reported that strikes at the schools and occupations of railway stations have been occurring almost daily.

The growing militancy of the workers in this strike movement has caused increasing worry among the leaders of the two Belgian trade union centers. Although the general strikes and the big demonstrations have been called by the leaders of the FTGB, the social- democratic union center, and have been supported by the leaders of the CSC, the Christian trade union center, the bourgeois press reports that these leaders are very upset about the "uncontrolled" actions of the increasingly angry workers. The militant street fighting and many of the demonstrations, strikes and other mass actions have taken place without the approval of the union bureaucrats. These union misleaders are said to be desperate to bring the struggle under their control and especially to dampen the workers' outrage against the emergency powers of the government.

The growing contradiction between the mass of workers and their union misleaders is another indication of the significance of this strike movement. The workers are gaining great experience with the treachery of the union bureaucrats in the course of their sharp struggle and are seeking out, in their own way, an independent direction for their movement. Undoubtedly, with the militant class spirit displayed in the recent fighting, the workers will give rise to their own Marxist-Leninist vanguard party to lead them to victory over the monopoly capitalist exploiters.

[Photo:The Belgian workers' movement has included a number of very sharp street battles with the capitalist government's police. Above a steel worker aims a slingshot at a line of police in the capital city of Brussels.]

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Reagan's "Caribbean Aid Program":

Another link in the chain of U.S. neo-colonial slavery

[The West Indian Voice masthead.]

On February 24, at a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS), Reagan publicly announced his new "Caribbean Aid Program." At the heart of Reagan 's "aid " plan are the provisions for additional dollars and bullets for El Salvador 's fascist junta which is tottering towards certain defeat; "aid" to stem the tide of revolution that is threatening to engulf the whole of Central America; and a trade program designed to more deeply entrench the exploitative and bloody claws of the U.S. multinationals into the flesh of the peoples of the Caribbean area. Through such statements as "the Caribbean region is a vital strategic and commercial artery for the United States," and "make no mistake, the well-being and security our neighbors are in our own vital interest," Reagan made it clear that U.S. imperialism considers the Caribbean its own private domain and that the Reagan government will continue to act as policeman over the peoples of the Caribbean, to intervene as it pleases and make the law wherever and whenever it chooses. Below we reprint two articles from the March- April, 1982 issue of The West Indian Voice. One article explains in more detail the provisions of Reagan's Caribbean Aid Program, while the other article on Jamaica gives a clear idea what Reagan s aid program means for the working masses of the Caribbean region.

Dollars and Bullets to Prop Up the Pro-U.S. Butchers and Puppets

Firstly: Reagan announced the allocation of $350 million to be divided between El Salvador, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras. The central point about the latest allocation is some $128 million devoted as badly needed assistance to prop up the fascist junta in El Salvador which is tottering under the popular revolution there. By using the platform of the Organization of American States (OAS) and his "Caribbean Aid Program" (CAP) to push through aid to the fascist junta, Reagan is hoping to circumvent widespread opposition to U.S. imperialist intervention and support for the regime. In other words, support for the murderous junta is now presented in the "new light" of "regional aid." The rest of the $350 million is devoted to financing the U.S. imperialist "models" of "democracy" in Central America and the West Indies, "models" marked by the fact that they are in the throes of deep crisis and bankruptcy with full indebtedness to the U.S. corporations and banks, and characterized by regimes of undivided loyalty to U.S. imperialism.

The "Magic of the Marketplace" -- The Magic of U.S. Colonialism

Secondly: In the words of Reagan, "the centerpiece of the free trade" for Caribbean Basin products entering the U.S. Reagan acknowledges that as it is, 87% of Caribbean exports to the U.S. enter "duty-free." This arrangement guarantees the U.S. monopoly of trade in this region used to ward off its other strong imperialist rivals such as West Germany, Japan, France and Canada, and used as a powerful mechanism for putting pressure on and for dictating policy inside these countries. In answer to concerned sectors of the U.S. capitalists, Reagan has given assurance that competitive products such as sugar (a key export of several countries) will not be allowed "duty-free treatment"; the duty-free items largely involve noncompetitive items at low costs. The only thing that is new here, according to Reagan, is he "wide variety of potential products these talented and industrious peoples are capable of producing." Reagan is too kind. What Reagan has in mind was spelled out by the administration in January when plans were announced for the increase of U.S. light manufacturing, assembly line concerns in the region, putting together toys, electronic components, household and sporting accessories for export. These huge sweatshops (already extensive in El Salvador, Haiti and indeed throughout the region) are but an arm of the U.S. manufacturing industry, an arrangement favored because it maintains and makes full use of the area as a vast pool of dog-cheap labor and tax holidays. This "unprecedented proposal" is nothing but an old colonial policy of developing only such industries that serve the need of the American National Association of Manufacturers, and of subordinating any existing national industries to it. Moreover, what Reagan was deliberately vague about and what the U.S. has been demanding is the "reduction of trade barriers" by the Latin American countries. That is, the reduction of regulations on U.S. exports to the region (outlined by Reagan last June when he first came out with his "Caribbean Basin Program") in return for the "privilege" of "opening the U.S. market to selected manufacturers."

Further U.S. Imperialist Penetration and Subjugation

Thirdly: Reagan is calling on the Congress "to provide significant tax incentives" for corporate and banking investors in the Caribbean region, guaranteeing them extra profits for undertaking the "hard job" of sucking the blood of the peoples of the Caribbean. Reagan is advocating large- scale investment and the setting up of "bilateral investment treaties." There are many cruel aspects to this; we will restrict ourselves to the most important. In his speech Reagan restricted himself to two sentences on this theme in order to be vague. What Reagan is proposing has been elaborated many times and most recently in his speech to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) last September. Reagan is demanding (in return for U.S. investment and "aid") that the countries set about strict "currency devaluations" and "budget reductions" through the elimination of subsidies in the public sector and to consumers in these countries. That is, Reaganomics for the Caribbean. In other words, Reagan's prescription for "combatting poverty" in the region is ensuring that the already poverty- stricken masses not be allowed,even the pitiful relief that may at present be provided. Furthermore, Reagan has also demanded a "good climate" and "guaranteed protection" for investors. This is what is referred to as "investment treaties." This "good climate" means the removal of all obstacles to the uninhibited advance of U.S. capital, on its own conditions, circumventing all national laws designed to regulate foreign capital. The "protection" for investors means protection from revolution; it means guaranteeing that any sign of anti-imperialist opposition must be swiftly crushed; it means inciting the lackeys and puppets to be even more unsparing towards the masses. Finally, Reagan is stressing "bilateral" investment treaties apart from the "multilateral" agencies of the U.S. and other Western imperialists such as the notorious World Bank and its regional arms -- in order, firstly, to have added options for bringing pressure to bear on the Latin American countries, and secondly, to strengthen competition with the capital of the other imperialist rivals of U.S. imperialism.

An example of the fierce competition taking place on this front is in Jamaica, where the U.S. set up its "U.S. Business Committee on Jamaica" in late 1980 and began new inroads with the intrusion of hundreds of millions in investments. The Canadian imperialists recently announced the setting up of their own "Business Committee on Jamaica" to channel their investments.

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A Land of U.S.-Backed Tyranny

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

For nearly 25 years the Haitian people have been languishing under the bloody dictatorship and tyranny of the Duvalier family, a dictatorship supported by an alliance between semi- feudal exploiters and the most reactionary sectors of the capitalists. Prior to his death in 1971, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, the then self-appointed "president-for-life," exercising absolute power, ordained his son Jean- Claude "Baby Doc" as his successor to carry on the family business of ruling over the masses with the iron fist. The Duvalier dictatorship is the latest in a string of cutthroat governments propped up by the U.S. since the 1915- 1934 period of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Haiti.

Agriculture in Haiti, on which 76% of the total work force depends for its livelihood, is marked by a situation where 5% of the landowners own over 50% of the land. With the second largest landowner being the state, the majority of the peasants, both the landless and those who own tiny plots of land, are forced to hire themselves out on a part-time basis, rent land at high costs, or work the land by a system of sharecropping under "de-moite" contracts, whereby up to half the produce is turned over to the big landlords or to the state. The preponderance of this semi-feudal character is the dominant feature of Haiti's backward agrarian economy. Side by side with this feature is the imperialist onslaught in the countryside, of modern agro-business plantations producing for export, uprooting and ruining tens of thousands of peasants. This has resulted in a situation where, according to the World Bank, 85% of Haitian peasants live below the "absolute poverty level" of $135 per year.

Over the last 10 years an intensive "development" effort has been taking place in Haiti in which hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested by the U.S. and other Western imperialists. There is a direct link between the mass exodus of refugees, most of whom are from the countryside, and the "development" of imperialist penetration into Haiti's countryside.

Haiti's working class is one of the most cruelly exploited in the world. For example, with unemployment in the capital, Port-au-Prince, at 70%, those who are lucky to find work subsist on an average wage of under $24 per month. On the backs of the urban workers are the domestic capitalists and the multinational (especially U.S.) vampires involved in a network of assembly-type and light manufacturing enterprises involved in turning out clothing, household and sporting accessories and electronic gadgets, exclusively for export. This is the overwhelming feature of industry in Haiti. The savage exploitation of the working masses is encouraged by the Duvalier government which has rewarded the foreign multinationals with a 10-year tax holiday for investment in Port-au-Prince, and a 15-year tax holiday in the countryside --in effect, making the entire country a tax-free haven for imperialist capital and a huge sweatshop for the workers, who are among the lowest paid the world over.

This super-exploitation of the Haitian masses is maintained through brute force, by a regime of dark reaction where the slightest opposition is outlawed and swiftly and ruthlessly crushed. The Duvalier regime has at its disposal an extensive force of fascist thugs and known criminals, such as the infamous "Ton Ton Macoutes" (Volunteers for National Security) and the elite U.S.-trained Leopards, along with the army and police -- all assembled as a network of tyranny spanning the entire country. And behind these forces for the bloody suppression of the masses stands U.S. imperialism. Haiti is literally a prison for the working masses.

Haiti's dog-cheap labor, untapped resources, extensive tax holidays and massive apparatus for complete political suppression of the masses have been the "favorable climate" attracting the imperialist exploiters of Japan, France, West Germany, Canada, etc., and most notable, the U.S. U.S. imperialism has a virtual monopoly of Haiti's import-export trade and is the chief supplier of economic and military assistance to the Duvalier regime. Through direct economic investment and through a myriad of international financial institutions, U.S. capital is firmly entrenching and has a major stake in the maintenance of the status quo in Haiti.

Apart from its direct investments the U.S. annually provides the Haitian government with $30 million in "economic assistance" and $750,000 in military aid and training. The U.S. is currently redesigning its aid package and recently announced plans to boost its annual aid to $50 million. Through its direct and indirect investments, "aid," etc., it is the U.S. that makes the law in Haiti.

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Down with the persecution of the Haitian and Salvadorian refugees!

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

The Reagan administration justifies the detention of thousands of Haitians in concentration camps around the U.S. and in Puerto Rico and their mass deportations by claiming that these Haitians are economic and not political refugees. It was Carter who first put forward this absurdity according to which the Haitians do not face any "well-founded fear of prosecution."

Over the past 10 years 50,000 Haitians have illegally entered the U.S., risking their lives in leaking, overcrowded boats. Extreme poverty, deprivation and total suppression of the masses are the major reasons which impel the mass emigration from Haiti. The economic and political conditions from which large numbers of Haitians are fleeing are the same (though more extreme) conditions which impel the emigration of millions of people from the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, countries which are under the jackboot of imperialism. And the capitalist politicians and U.S. multinationals are well aware of these conditions. After all, U.S. imperialism is the self-avowed master of Latin America and the Caribbean, the main imperialist exploiter and oppressor of the peoples, the chief prop of the reactionary and fascist regimes, and hence a main driving force behind the mass emigration of these people from their homelands.

But in the case of the Haitians, these problems are especially magnified. It is life under the despotic and absolutist Duvalier regime, a virtual semi- feudal capitalist monarchy characterized by the complete political suppression of all opposition, that is the particular cause of the flight of the Haitian refugees. Yet the Reaganites cynically declare that the refugees have no fear of prosecution in Haiti.

Similar logic is applied to refugees fleeing the U.S.-backed tyrants around the world. Take, for instance, the problem of the Salvadorian refugees. The Salvadorian refugees also face imprisonment and summary deportations. They are detained in straightforward concentration camps, ranging in extremes from El Centro, a 115-degree oven in the California desert to the Glasgow base, a 40-degree below zero refrigerator in Montana. In addition, they are held with bail set as high as $10,000.

In the case of El Salvador, the U.S. is the lifeline of the fascist junta in its war against the masses. The junta's murderous campaign against the popular opposition and the broad masses is the immediate cause behind the emigration of the Salvadorian refugees. And again, Reagan insists that the Salvadorian refugees are not fleeing political suppression. After all, what could be amiss in the havens of the U.S. multinationals such as El Salvador and Haiti?

Since 1980 over 100,000 Salvadorian refugees have attempted to seek refuge in the U.S. with an additional 200,000 and more in Mexico and other parts of Central America. In 1981, out of 5,570 Salvadorian applications for refugee status filed, only two were granted. In that same year, the U.S. expelled and enforced "voluntary departures" on 10,473 Salvadorians. Currently, the U.S. deports Salvadorians at the rate of 1,000 per month. The list of deportees is freely handed over to the Duarte regime (a regime that slaughtered 16,000 people last year alone) which routinely photographs the refugees on their landing in El Salvador. They are targeted for death by the junta.

From the standpoint of U.S. imperialism, any atrocity, any fascist outrage against the people is acceptable once loyalty to Washington is assured. Thus, the likes of the South African, Chilean, Israeli, Salvadorian, Haitian and other fascists are spoken of in the fondest terms as true friends of U.S. imperialism, and rightly so.

Clearly, the sole crime for which the refugees from El Salvador, as well as from Haiti, are being persecuted, is the "crime" of trying to flee the grips of U.S.-backed and sponsored tyranny.

[Photo: Demonstration of 400 in Boston to oppose the persecution of the Haitian refugees by the U.S. government, February 20. Banner of the MLP, Boston Branch (right side of photo) reads "Down with the racist persecution of the Haitian refugees!"]

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Reagan's 'Caribbean Aid Program' at work

Hell for the Jamaican People

In Reagan's address to the Organization of American States (OAS), where he outlined U.S. imperialism's "Caribbean Aid Program" (CAP), he made it a special point to lavish praise on the performance of the Seaga government of Jamaica. Reagan, with a straight face, lyingly declared, "One early sign is positive: after a decade of jailing income and exceptionally high unemployment, Jamaica's new leadership is reducing bureaucracy, dismantling unworkable controls and attracting new investment. Continued outside assistance will be needed to tide Jamaica over until market forces generate large increases in output and employment but Jamaica is making freedom work."

Seaga, the prime minister of Jamaica, made the news as the first foreign head of state given the privilege of paying homage to Reagan following his inauguration. Indeed, Seaga was one of the first to call for the U.S. to come forward with a "Marshall Plan" for the Caribbean region "to strengthen the democratic regimes" in the service of U.S. imperialism. Seaga endeared himself to the Wall Street financiers, and Reagan personally took him under his wing. Jamaica has since been touted as a "model" for the entire Caribbean, a "model" of the "wonders" of which U.S. imperialism is capable. What Reagan is now proposing as his "CAP" has been instituted in a big way in Jamaica since Seaga's advent to power in late 1980. Jamaica, it is true, provides a not-too-rare insight into the wonders of Reagan's prescription for "development" in the Caribbean.

With Reagan's firm support behind him, Seaga boldly declared 1981 as the year of "Deliverance" and "the Year of Economic Recovery and National Reconstruction." A massive intrusion of foreign capital amounting to billions of dollars was arranged by over 75 banks; hundreds of commitments were obtained for new corporate investments. U.S. "aid" to Jamaica for 1981 was tripled compared to the previous year. This was surrounded with lucrative concessions to investors. Reagan personally set up the "U.S.-Jamaica Business Committee." The world-renowned personality of U.S. imperialism, David Rockefeller, was appointed to take personal charge of this committee. This was a major affront to the people of Jamaica. With the zealous approval of the fascist lackey Seaga, the U.S. was openly taking charge of making policy in Jamaica; all obstacles to unrelenting plunder by the multinationals were being rapidly dismantled.

Following the blueprint of Reagan's policies to the letter, the Seaga government enacted a series of measures for the "deregulation" of the economy, that is, allowing the uninhibited imperialist onslaught and plunder of Jamaica's economy. In the Reaganite dictionary this goes by the name "The Magic of the Marketplace." This "deregulation" involved measures for the gradual removal of regulations on foreign exports and investments; divestment of government ownership of certain enterprises; tax concessions to the foreign and local corporations; further reduction in public spending and especially of subsidies to the public.

The burden of the imperialist scheme was thrown on the backs of the working masses of Jamaica. Seaga unleashed a barrage of attacks to put the very livelihood of the working masses on the banquet table of the Wall Street money kings. A strict limit on wage increases, productivity quotas, layoffs, and price increases were just the thing required to satisfy the appetites of the imperialist slave masters.

And today Jamaica is in deeper economic crisis. Jamaica's national debt has ballooned from $3.9 billion when Seaga took over, to the current $6.5 billion; its trade deficit hit a record level of $600 million for 1981; production in all the major sectors, especially the important bauxite and sugar industries, has continued its constant decline, even falling below the 1980 levels; and a conservatively estimated all-time high of 250,000 workers are out of work. And this is just a preview, the worst is yet to come. With economic development based on the particular appetites of the American National Association of Manufacturers and Wall Street money kings, and shackled with the burden of repayment of the massive imperialist loans, Jamaica's economy will be wreaked with utter havoc by U.S. imperialism in its drive for profits.

Reagan's prescription for Jamaica provides valuable insight into the insatiable colonial greed of U.S. imperialism, and of the future it dreams of for the whole Caribbean region.

Clearly, the "freedom" which Reagan insists is working in Jamaica is freedom for the profits of U.S. multinationals and banks on the one hand and sheer hell for the Jamaican people on the other.

Ground down by these attacks, the Jamaican people have responded by unfolding the banner of struggle. There is a growing momentum to the strikes and protests of the working class of town and country, and the youth and urban masses in general. Recently, strikes have hit the key sugar and bauxite industries and a series of manufacturing enterprises in and around the capital, Kingston. Large demonstrations also recently took place against the terroristic murders carried out by Seaga's police force. Like under Manley, vicious police repression is the natural complement of the government's economic offensive. And as before under Manley, when the Jamaican people waged militant struggle shouting "the poor can take no more," so too in the little time that Seaga has been in power the working masses have launched several waves of strikes. In many cases these strikes have been wildcats, taking place despite the concerted appeals and sabotage of the trade union bureaucrats who are either hacks of Seaga's ruling party, or of the fraudulent PNP "opposition" of Michael Manley, or more often than not, simply hacks of both these parties of neo-colonial reaction.

These struggles signify that the people of Jamaica are getting ready for a broad upsurge against the program of the open Reagan admirer, Edward Seaga.

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Big upsurge of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupiers

May 15 is Palestine Day. On May 15, 1948 the state of Israel was created. From its birth Israel has been built through terrorism, the uprooting of the Palestinian people from their homeland, and wars of aggression against the Arab peoples. Palestine Day is a day of demonstrations in solidarity with the national liberation struggle of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupiers and their U.S. imperialist masters. This Palestine Day comes in the midst of several months of fierce struggle which is undermining the expansionist plans of the fascist Israeli regime.

A New Upsurge in the Palestinian Liberation Struggle

A new upsurge of the Palestinian people is sweeping through the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, areas taken by Israel in 1967 during their war of aggression against the Arab peoples. Since early March, Palestinian demonstrators have time and again taken to the streets in mass protests, defying the dispersal orders of the Israeli authorities. Every day the Palestinian youth, armed only with stones and clubs, are fearlessly battling the heavily armed Israeli occupation troops in the cities and refugee camps. Ambushes and raids have also been launched, inflicting casualties on Israeli military patrols.

Virtually the entire Palestinian population has thrown themselves into the struggle. In mid-March a general strike was called in response to the arbitrary removal of three Palestinian mayors in the West Bank and their replacement by two Israeli army officers and an Israeli civilian official. The strike successfully shut down many of the cities in the occupied territories. In the West Bank city of El Bireh, when Israeli troops forcibly took striking municipal employees to their offices, they refused to work. A second general strike occurred in mid-April in response to the massacre of Arabs attending religious services by an Israeli soldier at the Dome of the Rock Shrine in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, in the Golan Heights, annexed by Israel in December, 1981, one of the most powerful outbursts of struggle in that area's history has been taking place. The Arab peoples have organized a general strike against the annexation. As well, the people in the Golan Heights have refused en masse the order to accept identification cards designating them as citizens of Israel.

In solidarity with their compatriots in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Palestinian people inside of Israel have held some of the largest demonstrations in years. In Sakhnin, Israel, 10,000 people marched, defiantly flying the outlawed Palestine national flag. Major demonstrations were held in other Israeli cities as well.

Israel's Annexationist Plans for the West Bank

The revolutionary struggle of the Palestinian people has intensified in response to Israel's efforts to install an Israeli civilian authority in the West Bank. The rigging up of civilian authority assists the present military occupation and marks a step toward complete annexation. Already it is estimated that Israel has sent 25-30 thousand settlers into the West Bank. Moreover, since returning the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt on April 25, the Israeli Defense Ministry has announced the establishment of 11 new settlements and Israeli Prime Minister Begin has reiterated his claim to eternal sovereignty for Israel over the West Bank.

The removal of the three Palestinian West Bank mayors, and a fourth on April 30, is part of Israel's annexationist plans. These mayors were dismissed because they refused to cooperate with the civilian authorities from Israel. This was a completely arbitrary outrage since these mayors were voted into office in elections supervised by the Israelis themselves!

Meanwhile the Israeli authorities are busily grooming handpicked traitors from the Palestinian communities to replace Palestinian officials who do not carry out the criminal orders of Israel. To this end the Israeli authorities have established the so-called "village leagues." These leagues, which are financed and armed by Israel, are notorious for their beatings of progressive Palestinians. Nevertheless Israel has hopes of pawning off the "village leagues" as representatives of the Palestinian people. This is nothing but a crude maneuver to provide the expansionist plans of Israel with some sellout Palestinian front men. Indeed this is what Israeli chieftain Begin has in mind when he talks about granting "full autonomy for the Palestinian Arabs."

In order to serve their annexationist policy, the Israeli Zionists have unleashed brutal terror. Gangs of Israeli settlers, in cooperation with the military authorities, have been abducting and beating Palestinian youth. The victims of these gangs include a 12-year-old boy whom they murdered in cold blood. The Israeli military forces have repeatedly opened fire on the mass protests of the Palestinian people, murdering many demonstrators and wounding several hundred in the last two months alone. Most of the victims have been youth, and even small children are not spared. The Israeli butchers didn't hesitate to shoot to death a 50-year-old woman who was simply working on land adjacent to an Israeli military base. According to the Israeli authorities she was shot down by Israeli soldiers when she failed to answer their call to identify herself. Such terrorist activity is at the very foundation of the racist state of Israel. Thus, for example, following the shooting of two Palestinian youth in the West Bank, the press secretary of the criminal Begin reported on March 21 that Begin "praised the restraint shown by soldiers on the West Bank yesterday." And at a May 10 press conference, six Israeli army officers admitted that Israeli troops "swoop down on demonstrators like animals tearing at prey" and that "we come across the elderly, the women, small children, and they are punished. It's unbelievable. That's the policy." (New York Times, May 11, 1982)

The Israeli occupation forces have imposed numerous other measures to suppress the Arab masses. In the Golan Heights, for several weeks the Israeli authorities banned all travel in and out of the region. All mail and telephone service was suspended and periodic electrical energy stoppages were instituted. And in the West Bank the authorities closed down the Bir Zeit University for fear of anti-Israeli activities there.

The horrendous atrocities of the Israeli military also include the well- known incident of April 11 in which an Israeli soldier burst into the Dome of the Rock Islamic shrine and opened fire on defenseless worshippers, murdering several people and wounding as many as 40, according to reports. The Israeli government and its U.S. imperialist backers have tried to dismiss this wanton savagery as simply the unfortunate actions of one "mentally deranged" soldier. But it is abundantly clear that the murderous suppression of the Palestinian people is the daily activity and official policy of the zionist thugs.

The Israeli-Egyptian "Peace" Treaty Means Stepped-Up Israeli Aggression

The recent events in the Israeli-occupied territories have taken place against the background of Israel's return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt as part of the Israeli-Egyptian "peace" treaty. This treaty, which was drawn up by Carter and is now being implemented by Reagan, is again being hailed for allegedly bringing "peace" to the Middle East and providing a just solution on the question of the occupied territories. But fine words cannot hide the ugly reality. Zionism is hellbent on suppressing the Palestinian people, robbing them of their rights, and committing aggression against the other Arab peoples.

Since the signing of this treaty of "peace," Israel has launched a series of invasions of Lebanon. The most recent incidents were the Israeli air strikes of April 21 and May 9 on villages in Lebanon which resulted in at least 39 deaths. Moreover, the Israeli fascists have amassed a force of 36,000 troops on the Lebanese border and are preparing a full-scale invasion of Lebanon. Plainly, the Israeli-Egyptian "peace" treaty has nothing whatsoever to do with peace and everything to do with the perpetuation of Israeli domination.

A "Peace" Treaty to Strengthen U.S. Imperialism's Sphere of Influence in the Middle East

The "peace" treaty is designed to allow U.S. imperialism to further sink its claws into the Middle East. It is designed not only to bolster zionist Israel, but also to strengthen U.S. imperialism's sphere of influence in this strategic and oil-rich region. It is an important link of U.S. imperialism's enslaving strategy in its rivalry with the equally enslaving Soviet social-imperialism.

Under the terms of this treaty, U.S. imperialism is pouring billions of dollars of military aid to its loyal watchdog Israel to arm these cutthroats to the teeth for aggression against the Arab peoples. Through this treaty, U.S. imperialism has also enlisted the traitorous Egyptian rulers in their enslaving plans. The "peace" treaty provided the Egyptian reactionaries with a U.S. commitment of $1.5 billion in military aid in return for a pledge from the Egyptian government to turn Egypt into a base for U.S. imperialist aggression. Thus, for example, Egypt is now the scene of the war exercises of the infamous U.S. Rapid Deployment Force.

The return of the Sinai to Egypt in April came with an agreement by the Egyptian authorities to allow UN occupation troops in the Sinai to provide "security" for the Israeli expansionists. Along with this, the sellout Egyptian leaders have agreed to limit their own troops in the Sinai and to not oppose the aggressive Israeli military forces. Thus the Sinai agreement has allowed Israel to free its forces to attack on other fronts, such as Lebanon. The measures of this "peace" treaty show that behind the suppression of the Palestinian struggle lies the bloodstained hand of U.S. imperialism.

U.S. imperialism thinks it can wipe out the revolutionary struggle of the Palestinian people through terrorist aggression by Israel and through recruitment of the Egyptian reactionaries. But bullets do not intimidate the Palestinian people, nor are they fooled by the false "peace" proposals drafted by their bitterest enemies. The fighting Palestinian people are valiantly continuing their struggle to overthrow the zionist state of Israel, and to establish a secular, democratic Palestine.


(The above leaflet was issued by the Detroit Branch Of the Leninist Party, USA on May 15, 1982.)

[Photo: 300 people march in Dearborn, Michigan on May 15, Palestine Day. Banner in the front of the demonstration reads "Salute the Uprising of the Arab Palestinians Against Israeli Aggression."]


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Buffalo, New York

Progressive Iranian students attacked by thugs of the Khomeini-IRP regime


(The following article is reprinted from The Buffalo Anti-Imperialist Newsletter of the Union of Anti-Imperialist Students, May 7, 1982.)

More than three years have passed since the 1979 revolution when the brave Iranian masses overthrew the hated regime of the Shah. The Iranian masses, millions upon millions strong, rose up in a powerful struggle against U.S. imperialism and its puppet, the Shah. They fought to emancipate the country from domination and plunder by imperialism and to build a democratic society. Today the Iranian people must carry forward their struggle against the regime of Khomeini, who came to power on the crest of the revolution and has since imposed barbarous repression against the anti-imperialist and revolutionary forces.

The despotism and brutality of Khomeini and the Islamic Republican Party (IRP) has gone so far that in the past year thousands of Iranian people have been executed and many thousands more have been put in prison. The fact that Khomeini and the IRP have directed this murderous campaign against the finest sons and daughters of the Iranian people, the staunch anti-imperialist fighters who had been trained and steeled in the long and bitter struggle against the fascist Shah, while many SAVAK agents and other counter-revolutionary elements remain untouched, shows clearly the utterly reactionary character of the present regime. The UAIS condemns the aggression and crimes of the Khomeini- IRP regime against the Iranian people. We denounce the murder, torture and jailing of the revolutionary people of Iran.

The Iranian government has also attempted to organize the phalangist gangs abroad to suppress all opposition. For example, here in Buffalo, in recent weeks, the Khomeiniite reactionaries organized a meeting at the UB (State University of New York at Buffalo) campus. Progressive Iranian students decided to go to this reactionary meeting in order to expose the criminal regime of the IRP and stand in support of their brothers and sisters at home. It was no surprise for the progressive students to see that the phalangist gang of Khomeini was working together with the pro-Shah elements at this meeting. Here was graphic proof of the bankruptcy of the Iranian regime and their phalangist henchmen in Buffalo who have sunk so low that they cooperate with the Shah's thugs in their war against the revolutionary forces! And, as if this were not already a sufficient exposure,these scum even went so far as to call upon the fascist police of U.S. imperialism to attack the progressive Iranians present.

It should also be pointed out that the supporters of the Tudeh Party, the mercenaries of Soviet social-imperialism, supported and participated in this meeting. In Iran these agents of the new tsars in Moscow have, for some time now, played the despicable role of fingering revolutionaries and turning them over to the IRP executioners. This shows, once again, that capitulation to any imperialist power leads to capitulation to all imperialism.

At this reactionary gathering, the moment that one of the progressive students tried to make some points in support of his people at home, the organizers asked the police to come into the meeting and had them arrest two students. All the progressive students vehemently protested the arrest of their comrades and tried to halt the reactionary meeting. The police protected the meeting -- pushing all the progressive students out. In the face of this attack, they organized a demonstration outside the meeting and stood firm in opposition to the handful of reactionaries who remained inside under the protection of the police forces of U.S. imperialism. Among the slogans raised by the demonstration were: "Down with the dictatorial regime of Khomeini!," "Long live freedom!, " "Free all the political prisoners in Iran!," "Victory to the struggle of the Palestinian people!,'' etc.

This demonstration was so powerful that the police had to free the two students who had been arrested and the phalangists had to return the photographs they had taken of the progressive students. Of course, U.S. imperialism's news media went out of their way to distort these events. They printed a picture of the demonstration but claimed in the caption that it was a pro-Shah action. What hogwash! …

These events resulted in the further isolation of the reactionaries among Iranian, Arab and American students. In fact since that time, this isolation has been further deepened by the physical provocations launched against progressive Iranian students by IRP supporters both at the Amherst campus and at a demonstration organized by Palestinians. The aim of these provocations is to have progressive Iranian students deported to face IRP firing squads in Iran. But in spite of everything 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 bravely fighting against U.S. imperialism and IRP reaction.

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U.S. Imperialism in Latin America

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A bloodstained history of robbery and aggression

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

U.S. imperialism is a longtime enemy of the peoples of the Caribbean. Ronald Reagan is a prime personality of U.S. imperialist chauvinism. In his recent speech before the Organization of American States he repeatedly praised the "virtues" of the bloodthirsty tradition of U.S. imperialism in the Caribbean region. He beamed about the "common history," and "common destiny" of the Americas, a destiny to forever be the private preserve of U.S. imperialist plunder and naked aggression. And according to Reagan, this is all within the daily chore of being a "true friend."

A "True Friend" of Plunder and Aggression

Since 1823, the expansionist and annexationist ambitions of the capitalist rulers in the U.S. have been enshrined in the infamous Monroe Doctrine, declaring "America for the Americans." By the turn of the century, with its colonial war of conquest in the Philippines and the' acquisition of Puerto Rico and Cuba, signaling the emergence of the U.S. as a world imperialist power, this doctrine was transformed into a full-blown imperialist doctrine and policy, becoming the guiding principle of successive Washington administrations towards the peoples of the Caribbean.

Today, U.S. imperialism has the Caribbean region under its jackboot, achieved through an uninterrupted string of military interventions, murderous coups putting the most terroristic dictatorships in power; under the guns of a series of army, naval and air force bases and legitimized by several military treaties such as the Rio Treaty of 1947 (Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance) referred to by Reagan in his speech before the OAS. Every city and mountain throughout this region is stained with the blood of the peoples, martyrs butchered by Washington and its puppets.

The following passages cite just a few examples of U.S. interventions in the Caribbean area just after the turn of the century and the course of the ascendency of U.S. domination of the region.

"In 1903, Germany was compelled by a threat of force from President Roosevelt to withdraw from Venezuela.... In 1905, Roosevelt, by executive action, took over the customs houses of Santo Domingo.... Under the Platt amendment, he interfered in Cuba in 1906.... By a formal treaty ratified by the Senate of the United States, the pecuniary protectorate over Santo Domingo was made regular in 1907. The next American warship served notice on local contestants for power that there was to be no fighting in Bluefields (Nicaragua).

"... In 1911, on the suggestion of New York bankers, a treaty was negotiated with Honduras, extending American authority over that republic...." While in that same year a treaty was drawn up with Nicaragua "putting the customs into the hands of a presidential appointee.... In 1914 a treaty with Nicaragua was at last adopted, ceding a canal strip and naval bases to the United States.... In 1915, the marines carried the flag into Haiti and established American suzerainty there after killing more than two thousand natives.... In 1916, Admiral Knapp -- 'to maintain domestic tranquility' -- took possession of Santo Domingo and declared that 'republic' subject to the military government of the United States. In 1917 the Virgin Islands were purchased from Denmark. In 1920, the American navy was employed in helping to stabilize Guatemala. In 1921, 1923, and 1924, similar forays were made into Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras." 1 "At one moment North American officials directed the financial policies of eleven of the twenty Latin American countries, while in six of these banking agents were backed by American troops on the spot." 2

In those days, General Smedlay D. Butler described the role of the U.S. marines in the Caribbean: "I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service.... And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. …

"Thus I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1902-12.1 brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916." 3 "I helped make Honduras 'right' for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested." 4

"During those years, I had as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals and promotion. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given A1 Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. I operated on three continents." 5

In 1926 the U.S. staged its second military invasion of Nicaragua in 14 years, staying until 1933.... In 1937, under colonial rule in Puerto Rico, 19 people were killed and 100 wounded in a nationalist demonstration in Ponce.... 1941 -- U.S. military occupation of at least half a dozen more countries is begun.... 1953 -- the CIA together with British Intelligence organize the removal of the elected government in Guyana.... U.S. marines invade Guatemala in 1954, overthrowing the government there.... 1961 -- Invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.... 1964 -- U.S.-organized military coup removes the Goulert government in Brazil.... 1965 -- U.S. marines invade Santo Domingo, thousands are killed.... U.S. marines and six U.S. warships stand offshore in Trinidad and Tobago to crush the 1970 rebellion.... 1973 -- CIA-organized coup d'etat overthrows the Allende government and installs Pinochet in Chile.

1. C.A. and M.R. Beard, The Rise of American Civilization, Vol. 11, pp. 502-504.

2. J.T. Whitaker, Americas to the South, N.Y., 1939, p. 3.

3. F. Greene, The Enemy, N.Y., 1970, pp. 106-107.

4. Quoted by Leo Huberman, We, the People, N.Y., 1932, p. 252.

5. Quoted by F. Greene, p. 107.

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How the bourgeoisie covers up the crimes of the ultra-right

On the Hinckley Trial

The trial of Hinckley, the man who shot at Reagan, is proceeding. The capitalist press is full of gossip about Hinckley's psychological state, about how many times he saw the film "Taxi Driver," about how depressed he is, and other trivia. They talk of everything and nothing -- except for one thing, that Hinckley had been a member of a nazi group, the National Socialist (Nazi) Party. This is what the bourgeoisie would like everyone to forget.

The capitalist press is speculating about how Hinckley might get off, how loose the laws are, etc. This is a fraud. Hinckley might get off not because the laws are loose, but because he has rich, conservative Republican parents and he himself is a fascist. Think it over. If the would-be assassin of Reagan had been a black from a radical family with ties to left-wing organizations, would Reagan himself have sent his condolences to Hinckley's family for their grief over their son, or would the grand juries have gone into permanent session and handed down a stream of indictments?

No, it is not a matter of loose laws. It is that the bourgeoisie protects nazis and ultra-right criminals. They rewarded the Klan and the nazis by letting them off scot-free when they murdered five anti-Klan demonstrators in the national outrage at Greensboro. And now that a nazi has shot imperialist chieftain Reagan himself, the bourgeoisie isn't even too mad about it. Reagan himself has comforted Hinckley's family. All it took was for the bourgeoisie to surmise that Hinckley did his shooting as an individual former nazi, and not as a group plot, and everything was fine.

At the same time, the bourgeoisie then turns around and suggests that the laws should be tightened against demonstrators, strikers, progressive people and oppressed nationalities. You see, the bourgeoisie says, how lenient the courts are with Reagan's attacker. Here's an airtight case and they stall and hem and haw. So let's go on a crusade against, not the nazi terrorists, but the progressive people.

This is not an isolated incident. The bourgeoisie protects the fascist gangs.It fosters them, finances them, has connections with them through the various police agencies, and organizes them. It keeps them in reserve for use at the appropriate moment. This requires forgiving them an occasional excess, such as shooting one of the bourgeoisie's own. The American bourgeoisie, as of yet, mainly does not avow its support for fascism in the U.S. It prefers to pass more and more repressive laws and to fill the jails and cemeteries while lulling the people to sleep with protestations of its support for democracy. But its support for the fascist gangs shows the real mailed fist underneath the lying rhetoric.

As a matter of fact, fascist terrorism is on the rise in Western Europe and the U.S. This ultra-right terrorism is noted for its extremely anti-people character and its indiscriminate massacres. There are many acts of mass slaughter, including arbitrary bombings of railroad stations or public festivals. There is also a rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents and attacks on blacks and other oppressed nationalities. Hinckley's varying choice of target -- he stalked both Carter and Reagan -- is not a simple sign of a deranged personality, but was both politically motivated and a sign of the mentality fostered in the fascist groups.

Recently, the chickens have come home to roost. The fascist groups fostered and protected by the bourgeoisie have bit the hand that fed them. Thus, not only has Reagan been shot at by a nazi, but the Pope has been attacked twice in the last year.

The most recent attack took place only a few days ago on May 12. It was an attempted knifing by Juan Fernadez Krohn, an ultra-rightist, ultra-traditionalist religious fanatic from Spain who was taking his revenge for the Vatican II Council decisions. Vatican II was a "liberal" Council held in 1965. Seeing that the obscurantist, reactionary church laws were causing the church to lose its influence among the masses, the church hierarchy decided that there must be a certain loosening up in order to preserve the ability of the Vatican to mislead and deceive the people. The European ultra-traditionalists -- something like a Moral Majority-style current in the Catholic church -- didn't understand this cunning tactic of the reactionary but more sophisticated Vatican, and so they have gone into a permanent rage.

This is why Juan Krohn struck at the Pope. Krohn was, in fact, a former follower of Archbishop Lefebvre, an ultra-traditionalist priest who had been feuding with the Pope. But Krohn split from Lefebvre even further to the right.

One year earlier, the Pope had been shot by Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish nazi. Agca had been a member of the Turkish Grey Wolves, a group which openly proclaims its love for Hitler and worships his memory. In pursuit of this nazi politics, Agca had murdered a liberal Turkish journalist, Abdi Ipekci, several years previously. Agca was such an extreme nazi that even the Turkish military dictatorship, themselves fascist mass murderers on the order of Pinochet of Chile, denounced Agca as a murderer and fascist.

But the bourgeoisie wants to protect these ultra-rightists. Agca, for example, has been presented as a man who was concerned for the "third world," as a veritable leftist. Talk of Hinckley's nazi background has vanished into the thin air. Protect the fascists, this is the first and cardinal rule for the bourgeoisie.

But the working masses will never forget the danger posed by the ultra-right groups. They are seething with anger not just at the "excesses" of these groups, but at their everyday activity of trampling on the people. The working masses too will not forget that the capitalist states are preparing reaction all along the line, and that the day-to-day operations of the bourgeois armies and political police forces resemble the actions of the fascist groups. A great wave of revolt is slowly maturing in the midst of the people. The working masses will rise up against this growing process of fascization and fight for their true emancipation along the road of the class struggle.

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Celebrations of International Working Class Day

This year, on May First, International Workers' Day, workers throughout the world took to the streets in their millions to celebrate the solidarity of the international proletariat in struggle against the capitalist exploiters. From one corner of the globe to the other, the cry rang out once again, Workers of the world, unite!

Throughout the capitalist world, the workers celebrated May Day as a day of militant struggle against the class enemy. In Portugal, thousands came but in massive demonstrations with demands for the ouster of the rightist government. Fierce clashes broke out in various areas, and in the city of Oporto, two workers were martyred in attacks by the police. Elsewhere in Western Europe, tens of thousands demonstrated against militarism, unemployment and the worsening economic conditions. In Japan, thousands marched against nuclear weapons. In Bolivia, tens of thousands demonstrated in La Paz for "bread and freedom" against the military dictatorship. In Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and other countries of Latin America, workers protested unemployment, political reaction and the devastation being wrought by the capitalist economic crisis. In many countries which suffer under the yoke of fascist regimes, the workers celebrated May Day in defiance of the laws of the bourgeoisie.

This year in many countries across the globe, workers raised high the banner of solidarity with the heroic workers and peasants of El Salvador who are waging a revolutionary struggle against the U.S.-backed fascist regime. In El Salvador itself, as in many other oppressed nations, the toiling masses celebrated May Day with blows of the people's armed struggle.

In socialist Albania -- the one country today where the working class has overthrown the exploiters, become the masters of society and prevented the revisionist restoration of capitalism -- the working people came out joyously in mass rallies to celebrate the victories of socialism and to pledge their solidarity with the toiling masses who are fighting for a bright future all across the capitalist-revisionist world. The victories of the Albanian people in building socialism also were acclaimed worldwide in revolutionary May Day celebrations by the Marxist-Leninists and class conscious workers.

In the U.S.

In the U.S. the red banners of revolutionary struggle and socialism were hoisted in May Day marches and celebrations organized by the Marxist- Leninist Party.

This year May Day came at a time when there is seen a broad ferment among the working masses against,the capitalist offensive headed up by the Reagan regime. In this situation, the Marxist-Leninist Party organized a big campaign with the call All Out Against Reagan! It put forward the perspective that only the building of the independent movement of the working class can provide the strength for a successful fight against Reaganite reaction.

A special issue of The Workers' Advocate was released for the May Day campaign. This spelled out the immediate tasks involved in building the independent movement of the working class. It pointed to the need for pushing ahead the mass struggle, forging revolutionary organization and bringing class consciousness into the fight. The newspaper denounced the sellout union bosses and the Democratic Party who stand opposed to the workers rising up in their own class movement. It explained that the goal of the workers' struggle is socialism which is the only solution to the hell of capitalist exploitation. The Workers' Advocate also raised the banner of proletarian internationalism against the chauvinist poison of the bourgeoisie and focused on the need to step up the fight against U.S. imperialism.

The May Day call of the MLP was taken widely among the working masses. Tens of thousands of newspapers were distributed in the factories, schools, communities, etc. In many places, bright banners calling for struggle against Reagan were put up during literature distribution at street corners and shopping areas. In Buffalo, for example, the May Day call was disseminated with a vigorous march and rally in a working class neighborhood on April 24. Countless discussions were held with the masses. Everywhere the comrades of the MLP went, they found a great hatred for Reaganite reaction and people would often come forward with their own slogans and curses against the despised mouthpiece of the rich.

The May Day call was also taken to the March 27 protests nationwide against U.S. aggression in El Salvador, to anti-nuclear events and to an anti-Reagan protest in Washington, D.C. on May 1. Activists in the mass movements were urged to join with the MLP to celebrate International Workers' Day and rally to the side of the independent class movement of the proletariat.

The MLP organized two May Day demonstrations, one in Chicago on May 1 and the second in New York City on May 2. The Chicago demonstration was held in a steel worker community in the south side, while the New York one took place in a working class neighborhood with a heavy concentration of immigrant workers.

With bold banners, red flags and placards, the demonstrations marched through the community shouting slogans and singing revolutionary songs. Banners proclaimed All out against Reagan, chieftain of capitalist reaction!, Build the independent movement of the working class!, U.S. imperialism, get out of El Salvador! and so on. Coming at the end of a week which had seen vicious fascist raids on undocumented workers by Reagan's immigration service, the May Day demonstrations loudly denounced these gestapo-style attacks. Down with La Mira! rang out again and again from the workers' internationalist demonstrations.

Rallies and meetings to celebrate May Day were held in New York, Boston, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle and Philadelphia. At these rallies, speeches were given on the path forward in the fight against Reaganite reaction, cultural programs were performed, and films from socialist Albania were shown. At the New York meeting, solidarity messages were presented by the Caribbean Progressive Study Group and the Comite Baldemiro Castro of the Communist Party of Labor (PCT) of the Dominican Republic.

The speeches by representatives of the Party went into various aspects of the fight against the Reaganite offensive. Special attention was paid to the situation in the fight against U.S. aggression in El Salvador and the movement against U.S. imperialism. The attempts of the Democratic Party and its flunkeys to derail these struggles with the "political solution" for El Salvador and the "nuclear freeze" plan were gone into and denounced. It was pointed out that these schemes are simply meant to tinker a bit with the Pentagon's war machine and U.S. domination abroad. Instead of supporting such schemes, the MLP speakers raised the perspective of orienting the anti-war struggle along the path of anti-imperialist struggle.

Another topic stressed in the speeches was the importance of building organization to advance the mass struggle. The speeches went into the need for a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party to provide a revolutionary center for the movement. It was shown with sharp examples that only such a party composed of proletarian revolutionaries can provide consciousness and the type of fighting organization necessary for the masses to fight and win. This was contrasted to the flabby Democratic Party of millionaire politicians, sellout union bosses and traitors to the oppressed nationalities which is put forward by the social-democrats and the liquidators as the alleged center of opposition to Reagan.

A highlight of a number of the meetings was the showing of Albanian feature films, which depicted heroic episodes in the anti-fascist national liberation struggle of the Albanian people. In addition to the film, the Chicago meeting also included the performance of a skit denouncing the Reaganites and Democrats. The films and cultural performances were enjoyed very much by everyone.

The celebrations of May Day marked another step in the building of the independent movement of the working class. At a time when the revisionist and trotskyite liquidators have all but buried the traditions of International Working Class Day in order to cozy up to the liberal-labor politicians and union bosses, the Marxist-Leninist Party again held up high the banner of a May Day of revolutionary struggle and socialism. It widely disseminated among the working masses the proletarian perspective for the fight against Reaganite reaction. It discussed with workers and activists the tasks facing the struggle today and successfully mobilized a number to take part in May Day actions against the capitalist exploiters.

Long live May First, International Working Class Day!

Down with Reagan, chieftain capitalist reaction!

Build the independent movement the working class!

Socialism is the goal of the workers' struggle!

Workers of all countries, unite!

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Hail the 13th Anniversary of the Founding of the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist)

May 12, 1969--May 12, 1982

Thirteen years ago, the comrades from the Cleveland Workers' Action Committee took the fateful step of deciding to build a single nationwide center for all revolutionary Marxist-Leninists of the U.S. Summing up their experience in the tumultuous mass movements of the 1960's, they had come to the conclusion that only Marxism-Leninism showed the path forward to revolution and that only through reconstituting its genuine communist party could the working class follow the Marxist-Leninist road. The Cleveland Workers' Action Committee investigated the then-existing parties and found them revisionist ("Communist" Party of the USA), right opportunist (Progressive Labor Party), or infected with the line of lumpenism (Black Panther Party). The Cleveland Workers' Action Committee did its best to consult with all the revolutionary activists who declared themselves Marxist-Leninists and opposed to the path of treachery and betrayal of the revisionist "C"PUSA. Seeing that none of the existing organizations were able to do the job, with courage and determination the comrades of the Cleveland Workers' Action Committee formed the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist) on May 12, 1969. The ACWM(M-L) quickly grew into a nationwide organization. Thus the red flag of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism was raised.

It proved to take far longer to reestablish the genuine communist party of the American proletariat than the activists of the Cleveland Workers' Action Committee had thought. Over a decade of struggle of the ACWM (M-L) and its successor, the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists, lay ahead before the triumphant founding of the Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA on January 1, 1980. But through all the twists and turns of the revolutionary struggle, through inspiring victories and painful setbacks, through a protracted and complex struggle filled with many profound lessons, the ACWM(M-L) and its successor, the COUSML, held single-mindedly to their goal. This history is a legacy of which the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists can be proud.

Today it is all the more important to honor the memory of the ACWM (M-L) because the opportunist misleaders from the 1970's are all bogged down in the most abject renegacy. They have become liquidators w ho are openly renouncing the path of building the independent organization of the working class; instead they are down on their hands and knees begging for mercy from the liberal-labor marsh which is the "left" fringe of the Democratic Party. After years of obstructing the building of the party, they are now renouncing the building of the party. Some of them are blaming their failures on the alleged inadequacies of the Leninist principles, especially the idea of the Leninist party of the new type, the Leninist proletarian party of the revolution. Others maintain the name of a "party" as an adornment, but stress the need to unite with the social-democrats, churchmen, Democratic Party hacks and anyone else they can beg alms from. They are all singing the same chorus: Down with principled politics! Down with the principles of Marxism-Leninism! Down with standing up against the bourgeoisie! Down with party-building and solid organization! Down with the traditions of revolutionary struggle!

We say: Down with all this belly-crawling! Down with liquidationism! The history of the ACWM(M-L) teaches the necessity of unyielding struggle to build the revolutionary proletarian party. It also teaches who the various liquidators are and where they come from. For example, it shows us how the open belly-crawling of the pro-Chinese and Maoist liquidators is the sorry result of their treachery all through the 1970's; the ACWM(M-L) only advanced by a ceaseless struggle against the liquidators' forebears, the neo-revisionist big shots of the late 1960's and early 1970's. In a way, history has come full circle. Just as these neo-revisionist big shots used to advocate that there was a "pre-party situation" ten years ago, so today they argue against the Leninist party concept altogether. So it is fitting for us today to celebrate the anniversary of the ACWM(M-L), an organization devoted to the idea of the party and the revolution. Uphold the red flag of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism that was raised aloft by the ACWM(M-L) 13 years ago!

[Photos: Photos show some of the May Day celebrations organized by the MLP across the country. Militant demonstrations were organized in New York City and Chicago, while rallies and meetings were held in these and several other cities. The meetings were highlighted by cultural performances and, in a number of cities, with the showing of revolutionary films from socialist Albania.]

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