The Workers' Advocate

WORKERS OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE! 25¢

VOLUME 13, NUMBER 8

VOICE OF THE MARXIST-LENINIST PARTY OF THE USA

December 15, 1983

[Front page:

Down with Reagan's War in Lebanon!;

Communique on the Second Congress of the MLP,USA--Fall, 1983--To meet the challenge of the capitalist offensive, the times demand one thing: steadfast revolutionary work;

No to the occupation! Down with the repression!--U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of Grenada!;

Support the Greyhound strikers!]

IN THIS ISSUE

Jesse Jackson, politics as usual........................................ 2
NY: Hearings on police brutality..................................... 3



Ohio: Strike against Chrysler overtime........................... 4
Boston: Support the teachers' struggle............................ 4
Strike News in Brief......................................................... 4
More on Greyhound strike............................................... 5



Solidarity with South African masses.............................. 3
Protests against U.S. invasion of Grenada....................... 6
Harvard: Secretary of Defense denounced...................... 6
November 12 march against U.S. aggression in Central America........................................................................... 7
El Salvador: Revolution smashes counter-insurgency.... 6
El Salvador: Democratic Party funds war........................ 6
Nicaragua: From the pages of Prensa Proletaria.............. 8
Nicaragua: Two faces of U.S. aggression........................ 9
Bolivia: General strike..................................................... 7
Uruguay: 400,000 march against dictatorship................. 9
Chile: People battle fascist Pinochet................................ 9



W. Europe: Millions protest U.S.-NATO missiles........... 10
4th Congress of Communist Party of Portugal (R).......... 11
Philippines: Down with U.S.-Marcos dictatorship.......... 11



Fratricidal strife of PLO................................................... 12
Down with Reagan's war in Lebanon.............................. 12



3rd Congress of the CI on rightist views on united front................................................................................. 13
Weisberg denounces M-L and dissolves.......................... 14
2nd Congress of MLP,USA: List of resolutions.............. 15




Down with Reagan's War in Lebanon!

Communique on the Second Congress of the MLP,USA

No to the occupation! Down with the repression!

U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of Grenada!

Support the Greyhound strikers!

On Jesse Jackson's campaign to rescue the Democratic Party

Fancy rhetoric to cover politics as usual

Jackson's program

Congressional hearings or mass struggle

What's the answer to police brutality in New York?

What happened at the hearings

Solidarity with the South African masses against U.S.-backed apartheid

Strike News in Brief

Twinsburg, Ohio

Chrysler workers strike against overtime

The outcome of the Twinsburg strike

Attacks on the teachers in the name of 'quality education'

Support the struggle of the Boston school teachers

Resistance of the Greyhound workers

Condemn Greyhound's murder of bus driver Raymond Phillips

UAW chief Owen Bieber scabs on the Greyhound strikers

The Salvadoran revolution smashes up the counterinsurgency offensive

Angry protests against the invasion of Grenada

Will the Democrats stop funding the war in El Salvador?

Can pigs grow wings?

Reagan's 'Secretary of War' Denounced at Harvard

November 12th demonstrations:

Marchers say no to U.S. aggression in Central America and Grenada

Condemn Reagan's aggression against Grenada!

U.S. imperialism, hands off Nicaragua!

Which way forward:

Faith in the Democrats, or mass struggle against imperialism?

Solidarity with the Salvadoran people!

From the pages of 'Prensa Proletaria' of Nicaragua

The workers can not continue giving economic and political incentives to the bourgeoisie in the midst of aggression by imperialism

The working class and the people must possess the military arts

Contadora: The Other Face of Imperialism

Letter of the MAP-ML to the MLP, USA

The two faces of U.S. aggression against Nicaragua

Reformist government continues austerity policies of the old military regime

GENERAL STRIKE IN BOLIVIA

400,000 march against the Uruguayan dictatorship

Chilean people battle fascist Pinochet

Millions protest against U.S.-NATO missiles in W. Europe

Down with the U.S.-Marcos dictatorship!

Reagan supports fascist Marcos

A call to fight petty-bourgeois democratic illusions

The Communist Party of Portugal/Reconstructed holds 4th Congress

On the fratricidal strife in the PLO

A tragic result of the bankruptcy of national-reformism

United front tactics are an essential tool of the proletarian party

The Third World Congress of the CI Opposed Rightist Interpretations of United Front Tactics

The career of a social-democrat comes full circle

Barry Weisberg's 'CPUSA/ML' denounces Marxism-Leninism and dissolves

Last gasp of the liquidationist 'CPUSA/ML'

From the Resolutions of the Second Congress of the MLP,USA




Down with Reagan's War in Lebanon!

Lebanon continues to be ravaged by war. The fragile cease-fire in the civil war there is falling apart as the U.S.-backed Lebanese army launches renewed assaults on the positions of the Lebanese left. Meanwhile the threat of an escalation of the war in Lebanon, with greater direct involvement of U.S., Israeli and European forces, grows bigger with each passing day. The most recent sign of this came on December 3 and 4 when first Israeli and then American jets carried out bombing raids on Syrian and Lebanese positions in the Bekaa Valley. A few weeks earlier, there were bloody air raids by the Israeli Zionists and French imperialists on Lebanese and Palestinian positions. Those attacks were closely coordinated with the Reagan administration.

These war moves come in the midst of a stepping up by the U.S. government of its military buildup in the area and increased coordination with the Israeli Zionists and the fascist Phalange government of Lebanon. During November, the Pentagon dramatically increased its naval firepower off the Lebanese coast. It now consists of a 33-ship armada equipped with nearly 300 planes. As well, the Israeli army has called up thousands of reservists. During the last week of November, Reagan was visited by both the Israeli Prime Minister Shamir and the Lebanese President Gemayel. Shamir and Reagan worked out new agreements for "strategic cooperation" between the two governments; the series of military agreements which were decided mean closer coordination of U.S. and Israeli aggressive plans in Lebanon. Meanwhile, Gemayel was promised yet more American military and economic support and given the backing to press on with the Lebanese army's offensives against the Lebanese resistance forces.

The Lebanese resistance refuses to be intimidated. On December 4 they hit back hard against the U.S. Marine positions at the Beirut airport. They refuse to let their country be subjugated by the imperialists, Zionists and the Phalange. The workers and progressive people in the United States should extend their support to the Lebanese resistance. Despite powerful odds ranged up against them, they are keeping up a courageous struggle. Despite all the lies and confusion spread by the imperialists, justice is on the side of the Lebanese resistance.

The workers of America must make their voices heard against the warmongering course of the Reagan administration. We must declare loud and clear: U.S. IMPERIALISM GET OUT OF LEBANON! The workers of this country have no interest in siding with the war drive of the U.S. government. This is a war to defend the imperialist interests of the Wall Street billionaires in the Middle East. It is a war to support Israel's expansionism against the Arab countries and its oppression of the Palestinian people. It is a war to prop up a fascist cutthroat regime in Lebanon which is despised by the majority of the Lebanese people.

Of course, like every other rich man's war, it is not the rich themselves but the sons of the workers who serve as cannon fodder for the criminal ambitions of the rich. But the workers of America have no quarrel with the Lebanese and Palestinian people. Rather, the U.S. government, a government of the capitalist billionaires, is our common oppressor and enemy. The American government which backs the fascists in Lebanon is the same government which presides over unemployment, poverty, racism and repression at home.

The Reagan administration and the capitalist news media have thrown up a huge web of lies and confusion about the situation in Lebanon. The reactionary aims of the U.S. are whitewashed by lying talk of "peacekeeping" and "defense of democracy." On the other hand, the resistance forces are painted up as "fanatics," "terrorists," etc. The overall conflict is depicted as a conflict between Western Christian civilization and Islamic fanaticism or between the West and the Soviet threat. It is essential to cut through all the mountains of lies, demagogy and hypocrisy in order to see what are the real interests at stake in Lebanon.

The Immediate Roots of the Situation in Lebanon Lie in Last Year's Israeli Invasion

The current situation in Lebanon is not the result of some mysterious force of Oriental fanaticism or some hidden Soviet manipulation, but is the consequence of last year's U.S.-backed Israeli invasion. During that invasion, large parts of Lebanon were bombed info rubble, over 15,000 Lebanese and Palestinians killed, and hundreds of thousands made homeless. But despite all this death and destruction, U.S. imperialism and Israeli zionism failed to achieve all their political and military goals. This is because of the struggle of the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance. The escalation of the continuing war in Lebanon is an effort to complete what the imperialists and Zionists set out to do last year.

Let us briefly review the aims 6f the Israeli invasion last year and see how zionism, despite its continuing occupation of southern Lebanon, finds itself frustrated in achieving its goals.

First and foremost, the Israeli invasion was aimed at crushing the Palestinian resistance. Israel not only set out to destroy the Palestinian fighters in Lebanon but also to teach the rebellious masses on the occupied West Bank "a lesson." But despite the setback to the Palestinian forces in Lebanon, the spirit of the Palestinian resistance is far from crushed. This can be seen especially vividly by the repeated risings of the Palestinians on the West Bank. And in Lebanon itself, despite the tragic fratricidal strife in the ranks of the PLO fighters, many Palestinian fighters continue to fight side by side with the Lebanese resistance against their common enemies.

Second, the Israelis sought to bolster the strength of the fascist Phalange and set up a Phalange-dominated government in Lebanon which would be subservient to Israel. While they did set up such a government, this regime has failed to subdue the Lebanese masses who have nothing but hatred for the butchers of the Phalange.

Third, the Israelis aimed to outright annex southern Lebanon. With their invasion they occupied territory all the way up to Beirut. But they continued to face resistance from the combined forces of the Lebanese resistance and the Palestinian guerrillas. As well the brutality of their occupation rule threatened to turn all sections of the Lebanese population against them, including sections of Christians and Shiites who had initially sided with them or been indifferent. As a result, this fall Israel decided to withdraw to the south of the Awali river, where it has set up an occupation regime under the control of 20,000 troops. But Israeli occupation forces still face the wrath of the popular resistance. Since their withdrawal they have been hit with more than 70 ambushes and other attacks and the Israeli casualties continue to grow. In short, Israel has gotten bogged down in a quagmire in Lebanon, what many describe as Israel's Viet Nam.

Thus on all counts, Israel has failed to achieve its full aims in Lebanon. Meanwhile, the political and economic costs of the invasion inside Israel have also been high. The economic crisis has worsened and the Israeli government has been shaken by internal conflict and growing discontent among the people.

Enter the Imperialist "Peacekeepers"

What Israel could not establish through its invasion, U.S. imperialism is trying to carry forward with the use of its own troops and others from imperialist France, Italy and Britain. These forces came into Lebanon last year as so-called "peacekeeping" forces. Right from the beginning their pretense of being "peacekeepers" was very thin. They had the openly declared aim of strengthening the authority of the Lebanese central government. But this government was precisely the Phalange-dominated regime which the Israeli invasion helped set up, a regime which is engaged in civil war with the vast majority of the Lebanese people. Support for such a regime made it inevitable that sooner or later the fraud of "peacekeeping" would be exposed and the imperialists would openly and directly involve themselves in the Lebanese civil war.

And this is exactly what happened in September. The Lebanese government's troops and the Phalangist militia attempted to push into the Shouf mountains, territory which is controlled by the Druse organizations which form part of the Lebanese left. The U.S. and French imperialist "peacekeepers" came to the military aid of the Lebanese fascists, with U.S. ships bombarding the Druse positions in the Shouf.

With these events imperialist intervention in the Lebanese civil war reached a new level. No longer are the "peacekeeping" troops just involved in training and arming the Lebanese army but they are also directly taking part in the military battles themselves. This is not a deviation from their original mission but flows from the logic of that mission itself.

With this turn of events, the struggle of the Lebanese resistance against the imperialist forces was also stepped up. U.S. and French military positions came in for a series of attacks. In late October, Lebanese resistance forces blew up French and U.S. troop positions, inflicting over 300 casualties. The U.S. and French imperialists went in for a huge wave of chauvinist hysteria over those events. Reagan and his cohorts stepped up their slander against the Lebanese resistance as "cowardly terrorists." This is strange logic indeed. For the U.S., bombing Lebanese civilians from ships offshore is an act of bravery and "peacekeeping," while for Lebanese fighters to go into the middle of enemy military positions at the cost of their own lives is cowardice!

Since then, the U.S. imperialists have only stepped up their war buildup and saber rattling. They have increased their firepower in the area and made countless threats of "retaliation." The U.S. government clearly intends to go even deeper into the Lebanese quagmire.

And this is no accidental folly on the part of the Reagan administration. It has received the full support of the Democratic Party leaders, showing that the intervention in Lebanon is the bipartisan policy of U.S. monopoly capital. In September, the Democrats joined with the Republicans in Congress to extend the stay of the Marines for at least 18 more months.

The intervention in Lebanon has also been a big exposure of the "socialist" credentials of the Mitterrand social-democratic government in France. It has once again shown that social-democracy in power does not mean socialism but the rule of the imperialist bourgeoisie. The foreign policy of the French government remains a policy of imperialism. Its pretensions of socialism are nothing but phrase-mongering to cover over capitalist rule and imperialist warmongering.

The Fraud of "National Reconciliation" in Lebanon

The actions of the imperialists have shown that they intend to back the Phalangist government to the hilt in its civil war with the Lebanese left. At the same time, the imperialists say out of the other side of their mouths that they stand for "national reconciliation" in Lebanon, that they uphold respect for all the different sections of Lebanese society, etc. To this end, they worked out a cease-fire and a conference in Geneva between the different political groupings in Lebanon.

But actions speak louder than words. All the facts show that "national reconciliation" in Lebanon is a fraud. It has only been a maneuver designed to gain breathing space for the next assault of the imperialists and the Phalange while lulling the Lebanese left with empty promises.

"National reconciliation" in Lebanon is a pipe dream because of the deep gulf between the oppressors and oppressed. Lebanon is ruled by a reactionary big bourgeoisie which is allied closely with foreign imperialism. The Lebanese masses have been fighting this reactionary rule for decades. In the mid-1970's this led to an open civil war which continues today.

The imperialists describe the Lebanese conflict as a religious war. They try to depict it as an irrational feud which goes back centuries. They pretend as if the Lebanese conflict is the result of some mysterious Oriental phenomenon which people in the West cannot fathom.

But the Lebanese conflict is not a religious one. It is not a struggle over whether Lebanon is to be Christian or Muslim. In Lebanon the ruling class is a big bourgeoisie, predominantly Christian, which uses the oppression of various Muslim communities to reinforce its reactionary rule. In this respect, it is similar to the situation in Northern Ireland where the British imperialists and the pro-British capitalists of Ulster use the oppression of Irish Catholics to prop up their colonial rule.

In Lebanon, the conflict between classes, between rich and poor, and the struggle against imperialism and zionism, are interwoven with the division of Lebanon into oppressor and oppressed communities. This has certain similarities to the oppression of national minorities, but in Lebanon the different groupings, such as the Maronite Christians, the Druse, Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims are not nationalities but communities.

The Maronite Christian bourgeoisie forms the richest and most powerful section of the big bourgeoisie. All the Maronites are of course not bourgeois and the day will come when the Maronite working people will stand up against the Maronite bourgeoisie. But for the time being, the Maronite bourgeoisie has temporary leadership over the greater part of that community. The Maronites are less than a third of the Lebanese population, but in the country's economic and political structure they enjoy special privileges. The other communities are discriminated against and they are overwhelmingly made up of poor toiling masses. In fact, the overwhelming number of Lebanon's toilers are from the various oppressed communities.

The domination of the Maronite bourgeoisie over Lebanon has not only provided the basis for the violation of the rights of the various communities and the exploitation of the toiling masses but it has also allowed Lebanon to be used as a base for imperialism. Lebanon has traditionally maintained close ties with both France, its former colonial master, as well as U.S. imperialism. The Lebanese bourgeoisie, which has made most of its money in banking and commerce, is closely linked to the Western financial circles. It was because of the close relationship with imperialism that the Lebanese government brought in U.S. troops in 1958 to put down a popular upsurge. It is the same reason which explains its close coordination with U.S. imperialism today.

The domination by the Maronites in Lebanon is enshrined in the Lebanese governmental structure. The Lebanese government is based on a National Pact arrived at in 1943 by the French colonialists and the bourgeois-landlord leaders of various Lebanese communities. This Pact ensured special privileges to the Maronites. They are automatically entitled to the majority of government jobs, the majority of seats in parliament, and permanent control over the country's presidency and army command. This Pact was arrived at by accommodation with the bourgeois-landlord leaders of the Muslim communities who received a smaller share of power and privileges.

Over the years this blatantly undemocratic system came into contradiction with the vast majority of the Lebanese people. The Maronite bourgeoisie has fought hard to defend its privileges. The civil war in Lebanon thus presently takes the form of a struggle for equality of the oppressed communities against the stranglehold of the Maronite bourgeoisie. Since the bourgeois strata of the Muslim communities also find themselves hemmed in, sections of them take part in the struggle. But because of their class character, these bourgeois sections take a conciliatory stand and seek a reformist accommodation with the Maronite bourgeoisie.

Meanwhile within the Maronite community itself, the most reactionary sections, represented by the Phalangist Party, have become dominant. This Party was founded by the Gemayel clan in the 1930's under the inspiration of Mussolini and Hitler. The Phalangists have not only brutalized the non-Maronite masses but also seek to dominate the Maronite community with an iron hand. They have engaged in savage in-fighting even with other reactionary Maronite groups. The 1982 invasion by Israel helped the Phalange come to the head of the Lebanese government for the first time.

The struggle for democracy in Lebanon demands the breaking of the stranglehold of the Lebanese big bourgeoisie and imperialism. This cannot be achieved through any pipe dream of "national reconciliation" or peaceful coexistence, for the Maronite bourgeoisie has no interest in giving up its privileges. Pierre Gemayel, the head of the Phalangists, indicated in a recent interview that the Maronites have no intention of relinquishing any privileges at all. (New York Times, November 15, 1983)

What this means is that the Phalangists intend to defend their oppressive domination through brute force against the vast majority of the Lebanese people. It is this blatantly undemocratic, fascist regime that the U.S. and other Western imperialists are defending in the Lebanese civil war. So much for their pious homilies about "defending democracy" in Lebanon.

Support the Lebanese Resistance!

The stranglehold of the big bourgeoisie and imperialism in Lebanon can only be broken through the struggle of the oppressed masses. This is the content of the struggle of the Lebanese resistance in the civil war. Theirs is a just struggle in the face of incredible odds. They have faced not only the Phalangists and Israeli Zionists but are now coming into direct confrontation with the forces of Western imperialism.

The Lebanese people have faced heavy odds before and despite temporary setbacks have returned to renew their struggle. In the late 1950's an upsurge in their struggle was quelled by the arrival of U.S. troops sent by Eisenhower to back up the Lebanese government. In the mid-1970's they were at the verge of winning the civil war when the Syrian army intervened to help out the beleaguered Phalange. In 1982 the Israeli invasion disorganized their forces but they have kept up their fight. The fighting spirit of such a people deserves the respect of all progressive people everywhere.

An important obstacle the Lebanese resistance faces is the fact that the political leaders at their head are made up of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois elements who follow a policy of reformism. This leadership, today organized into the National Salvation Front, even as it has to fight for survival against the Phalangist assaults, believes that a reformist solution is feasible for the problems of Lebanon. Thus they seek an accommodation with the Maronite bourgeoisie through a rearrangement of the 1943 National Pact. This is why they allowed themselves to be drawn into the fraudulent National Reconciliation talks. As well, these reformist leaders do not take a clear-cut stand of opposition to the present Gemayel government or to the intervention of Western imperialism.

The Lebanese resistance also finds itself in a complicated relationship with the Syrian government. The Syrian government does not uphold the real interests of the toiling masses of Lebanon. It has its own interests in Lebanon, interests which are served through ties with all sections of the Lebanese bourgeoisie. This is why in 1976 it came to the aid of the Phalange and why last year it did not support the struggle of the Lebanese and Palestinian fighters against the Israeli invasion. As well, the Syrian government supported the formation of Gemayel government and counseled the Lebanese left to follow suit. Only after the Gemayel government came to a treaty with Israel, which assists the potential for Israeli zionist aggression against Syria itself, did the Syrian regime offer limited support once again to the Lebanese resistance. Today the Lebanese resistance finds itself In a tenuous coalition with Syria. But this carries its own dangers. Syria helps to bolster the reformist leadership within the resistance; in fact the National Salvation Front has allowed itself to become heavily dependent on Syria. Syria's "support" for the Lebanese left carries with it the constant danger that the Lebanese left will be betrayed by Syria once again when Syria can come into a direct accommodation with the Phalangist government.

Syria's siding with the Lebanese resistance has brought on the wrath of U.S. imperialism. This is the real reason behind the recent bellicose American threats and raids on Syrian positions. After all, the U.S. was quite pleased with Syria when that government used its leverage on the Lebanese left to have them support the formation of the Gemayel government or to go participate in the Geneva "national reconciliation" fraud.

Today the Reaganites try to depict things as if the issue in the Middle East is the "Soviet threat." This is of course the typical propaganda line of the Reaganites whenever anyone dares to stand up to them. They try to reduce everything to a matter of superpower rivalry. According to the Reaganites, the U.S. is not the bloody hand behind barbaric Israeli zionism, oh no, the U.S. imperialists are just fighting the "Soviet threat." The U.S. is not committing aggression against Lebanon and Syria, oh no, they are just fighting another "Soviet surrogate," Syria.

The fact of the matter is that U.S. imperialism is fighting against the Arab peoples. As for the Syrian government, it is a bourgeois nationalist regime. This government remains connected by a thousand threads with imperialism and presently has political and military pacts with Soviet social-imperialism. Thus its policies cannot go beyond the bounds of maneuvering between the imperialists, but, within these limits, the Syrian government pursues policies based on the class interests of the Syrian bourgeoisie. The Syrian regime is not a Soviet puppet. Its interests in Lebanon are not the same as those of the Soviet Union. At the same time, as far as their relations with the Lebanese left go, neither the Soviet revisionists nor Syria stand for resolute support for the Lebanese struggle; both seek a reformist solution in Lebanon.

The Lebanese resistance faces a struggle to free itself from the debilitating influence of its reformist leadership and the treachery of the Syrian government. This is essential to strengthen the struggle against Israeli occupation, the Phalange and imperialist intervention. This requires that the toiling masses who make up the actual fighting force of the Lebanese resistance must form their own independent organization and seek to provide consistent revolutionary leadership to the struggle. Today the reformists and the toiling masses find themselves in a coalition facing their common enemies. But the reformists seek conciliation, not the revolutionary struggle. As the struggle proceeds and the toiling masses awaken to their own independent interests, the bloc between the reformist bourgeois leaders and the toiling masses is bound to disintegrate. The historic task of carrying the struggle through to victory rests on the workers and peasants of Lebanon. Only the prosecution of the revolutionary struggle to the finish against the Lebanese fascist bourgeoisie and its imperialist and zionist backers can bring freedom and democracy to Lebanon.

The Lebanese masses are bound to learn the necessary lessons from their experience to raise their struggle to a higher level. In the meantime, the fact that the Phalangists and imperialists do not want to allow any accommodation with the reformists gives the Lebanese struggle its own logic. In the course of this struggle, the Lebanese masses will continue to hit hard at the positions of imperialism, Zionism and fascism. The imperialists shall not subjugate Lebanon!


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Communique on the Second Congress of the MLP,USA

- Fall, 1983 -

To meet the challenge of the capitalist offensive, the times demand one thing: steadfast revolutionary work

The Second Congress of the Marxist-Leninist Party was convened in the fall of 1983. it met at a time when the U.S. stands at the brink of big class battles. It is a time when the capitalist bourgeoisie is on a Reaganite rampage, when the revolutionary path is neither easy nor fashionable, and when the fainthearted cower around the fringes of the bloodstained Democratic Party. But it is also a time when the class lines are sharpening to a fine point, when the working masses are profoundly skeptical of the old reformist leaders, and when all the prerequisites for a new mass upsurge are maturing.

In this difficult period, when the battle lines are being drawn but the masses are often stunned by the ferocity of the capitalist offensive and handcuffed by the treachery of the reformist leaders, the Second Congress spoke up for the proletariat and all toilers. It put forward the revolutionary alternative to slavish submission to this capitalist hell, it looked back with pride at the firm stand and solid work of the Party in the four years since its founding at the First Congress, and it took, with supreme confidence in Marxism-Leninism and the historic mission of the proletariat, a series of daring decisions to direct the work in the future.

The Second Congress raised four main slogans:

FIGHT THE CAPITALIST OFFENSIVE - BUILD THE INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT OF THE WORKING CLASS!

AGAINST SOCIAL-DEMOCRACY AND LIQUIDATIONISM -- FOR STEADFAST REVOLUTIONARY WORK!

ORGANIZE THE PROLETARIAT, BUILD THE MARXIST-LENINIST PARTY!

UPHOLD THE RED BANNER OF COMMUNISM -- BACK TO THE CLASSIC TEACHINGS OF MARXISM-LENINISM!

The Second Congress resolutely declared: "To meet the challenge of the capitalist offensive, to make the necessary preparations in organization and consciousness for the coming class battles, the times demand one thing: steadfast revolutionary work."

Fight the Capitalist Offensive -- Build the Independent Movement of the Working Class!

The 1980's have opened with the capitalists running amok against the working masses. There is a capitalist offensive of starvation, militarism, racism and lies against the working people at home. And there is stepped-up warmongering, intervention, CIA subversion and lies against the working people of other countries.

The Marxist-Leninist Party is the party of revolutionary action, the party of the class struggle, and it has thrown itself heart and soul into battle against the capitalist offensive. It leads the masses to rise up against oppression and exploitation. The Second Congress summed up the lessons of the struggle and charted out the path ahead. One of the major tasks of the Congress was the preparation of resolutions setting forth the revolutionary alternative for use by activists and class conscious workers. These resolutions describe the current political situation, the tasks of revolutionary work in the mass movements, the role of proletarian organization and party-building, the international situation, and the tasks for strengthening the international Marxist-Leninist movement. The Congress discussed them thoroughly, mandated a number of improvements, and unanimously approved these resolutions, which will play an important role in providing orientation for the class struggle in the U.S. today.

The Second Congress brought the class basis of politics to the fore. Reaganism and the capitalist offensive are the bipartisan program of the capitalist class. Democrat and Republican, liberal capitalist and conservative capitalist, are united in waging war on the working masses, slashing wages, arming the Pentagon to the hilt and stepping up racist attacks. The Democrats and Republicans, however, also have their own specific roles in the overall capitalist program. The Democrats have been given the job of being the main deceiver of the working masses. They present themselves as the "party of labor and the minorities" in order to paint up each capitalist atrocity, each Reaganite proposal, with a liberal facade and thus mislead and pacify the masses.

Today the American working class still finds itself mainly ensnared in the chains of bourgeois politics. For decades the liberal politicians, the labor bureaucrats, the social-democrats, the revisionists, and the other reformists have worked day and night to tie the workers' movement and all popular struggles to the coattails of the capitalist politicians. This system of class collaboration has been the main factor tying the masses down in the face of the Reaganite attacks. Breaking the grip of the capitalist parties and building the independent movement of the working class is the immediate task of the fight against the capitalist offensive.

Building the independent movement of the working class is decisive because the working class is the truly revolutionary class which can defeat the capitalist reaction. Because of its revolutionary dynamism and stamina, its capacity for organization, and its economic position and numbers, the working class is the oppressed class with the greatest potential strength in history. The working class must stand up to play its historic role as the champion of all the exploited and oppressed. It must place a mighty proletarian stamp on all the struggles of the masses against exploitation, reaction and war. The degree to which the working class organizes itself and rises in struggle, the degree to which it establishes its political independence in the struggle against the capitalists, will determine whether or not the capitalist offensive is defeated. It is this that will determine whether the fruits of the mass struggles are frittered away, or whether they serve to build up the forces for the socialist revolution which will emancipate the working masses from capitalist exploitation and oppression once and for all.

Against Social-Democracy and Liquidationism -- For Steadfast Revolutionary Work!

The capitalists themselves are aware of the great potential for struggle that resides in the working class. They see the storm of indignation that is building up in the hearts of the oppressed. They are building more and more prisons, passing harsher and harsher laws and organizing racist gangs and fascist storm troopers, but they know that this alone cannot keep the working masses down. So they are making more and more use of the reformist forces to misdirect, divert, disorganize and demoralize the working masses. Reformism does not mean improving the conditions of the masses; on the contrary, the vital role that reformism has played in the capitalist offensive shows that reformism means collaborating with the bourgeoisie in suppressing the mass struggle and implementing the capitalist program. The social-democrats, reformists, labor bureaucrats and the bourgeois misleaders of the oppressed nationalities are a screen to divert the anger of the masses.

The Second Congress denounced the treacherous role of the social-democratic and revisionist forces.

The capitalists have had a special fondness for social-democracy for decades. In the situation where the masses are more and more disgusted with the bourgeois politicians, the social-democrats make it their job to give the Democratic party a "socialist" tinge and to assure the workers that the Democratic party hacks are really on their side. The social-democrats perform the same service for the labor bureaucrats, who are rabid capitalist agents and strikebreakers in the workers' movement. All in all, the social- democrats are nothing but firefighters for the bourgeoisie, dressing up the capitalist program in "socialist" colors and fighting tooth and nail against the political independence of the working masses.

The Second Congress showed that liquidationism -- working to obliterate (liquidate) the independent organization of the working class -- is today the main feature of all the revisionist and opportunist currents in the revolutionary movement. The pro-Soviet revisionists, the pro-Chinese revisionists and the trotskyites have, despite their quarrels, a common platform of liquidationism and merger with social-democracy. The revisionist and trotkyite liquidators accommodate themselves to social-democracy, merge with social-democracy in the "left" wing of the Democratic Party, and adopt the traditional social-democratic style and methods.

The maintenance of a revolutionary stand is impossible without a relentless struggle against social-democracy and liquidationism.

The Second Congress also noted that, in those situations where the masses have gone to the left and sections of activists have become disgusted with various of the more blatant capitulationist stands of the social-democrats and of the revisionist liquidators, a trend has generally come up that sees itself as to the left of the reformists, but which refuses to break with them. This trend, which is composed of diverse elements, can be generally characterized with regard to its ideology and political practice as "left" social-democracy, although it does not usually call itself that. Activists under the influence of such "left" social-democratic ideas are willing, to a greater or lesser extent, to take up the more popular militant slogans, but they still cherish illusions in the "left" wing of the Democratic Party and they keep their activities within the general bounds of what is acceptable to the reformist forces. The Second Congress showed that breaking the influence of the "left" social-democratic ideology is part and parcel of the fight for the political independence of the working class, part and parcel of the fight against social-democracy and liquidationism.

The work of the Marxist-Leninist Party has been a beacon against the opportunism of the liquidationist and social-democratic trends. The Marxist-Leninist Party has persevered in steadfast revolutionary struggle, while the opportunists, as fair-weather "revolutionaries," are reveling in despondency and renegacy, are denouncing the revolutionary traditions from the mass upsurge that reached its height in the 1960's and early 1970's, and are cowering behind the liberals, the labor bureaucrats and any bourgeois who is willing to throw them a crumb. It is not difficult to be a "revolutionary" when the revolutionary movement is at its height, when everybody talks about revolution just because they are carried away, because it is the fashion, and sometimes even out of direct careerist motives. It is far more difficult -- and of far greater value -- to be able to champion the interests of the revolution when the mass upsurge is not yet present. It is far more difficult -- and of far greater value -- to be able to work for the revolution by agitation among the masses, by theoretical work and through building organization, during the preparatory period when the majority of the masses do not yet appreciate the need for direct revolutionary action. This is the task which the revolutionary vanguard, rallied around the Marxist- Leninist Party, has taken upon itself and handled with skill and heroism in the first years of the 1980's. It is this work which is essential to clear the way for a new mass upsurge and to ensure that the mass struggle is not wasted, but is used to establish the class independence of the working masses.

The Second Congress held that the Marxist-Leninist Party has been able to uphold the banners of class struggle and revolution because it has known how to maintain close contact with the masses. The Second Congress opposed both those who renounce the revolution and the phrasemongers who, in the name of revolution, denounce work among the masses. These phrasemongers are nothing but "liquidators from the left," whose "revolutionary" words are nothing but anarchist posturing to hide their agreement with the other liquidators on all major questions of political practice. The Marxist-Leninist Party, on the other hand, has known how to judge the mood of the masses and find methods of approach to them so that, even in the midst of difficult periods, it is possible to carry out revolutionary agitation and to fight the capitalists and their opportunist servants.

Organize the Proletariat -- Build the Marxist-Leninist Party!

Steadfast revolutionary work requires the building of solid organization. The highest form of class organization is the proletarian political party, the Marxist-Leninist Party itself. The Second Congress stressed that the specific tasks of building up the proletarian party and rallying the masses around it must not be neglected in the general work of building up the independent political movement of the working class. On the contrary, without a political party of its own, the working class can not constitute itself as a class for itself, a class with its own independent class aims. The extent to which the working class consolidates its political party and acts as a unified force under its leadership is, in the final analysis, the extent to which it has achieved an independent class stand. The Second Congress was a resounding call to persevere on the road of party-building.

The founding of the Marxist-Leninist Party was the result of a decade of struggle against all anti-party trends. It was a struggle to uphold the Marxist-Leninist teachings on party-building and to build up the proletarian vanguard in the midst of the mass struggle. But, as the First Congress itself had pointed out, the founding of the Party was not the end of the struggle on the question of party- building, but the beginning of a new and wider campaign to imbue the proletariat with the party concept.

The early 1980's have indeed seen an intensification of the struggle over the question of party-building. The essence of liquidationism is its hostility to the very idea of the building of the Leninist proletarian revolutionary party of a new type. Previously various of the opportunist groupings paid lip-service to the need for the party and founded their own deviationist "parties." But the last few years have seen various of these groups dissolving outright, leaving their members to float as individuals in the "left" wing of the Democratic Party. Others continue to exist, but only as loose groupings on the fringe of social-democracy.

The resolutions of the Second Congress stressed the need to establish solid proletarian organization and spread the party concept widely among the proletariat and the revolutionary activists. They included a brief history of the working class movement, showing that the ideas of Marxism and the banner of the class struggle have deep roots in the American working class movement. The history of the American working class movement shows that every major historical advance of the American working class has required both the mass upsurge and the work of the Marxists in the building of independent proletarian organization. It is, in the final analysis, the history of the struggle of the workers to break free from the influence of the capitalist parties and to establish and build up their own working class party.

The resolutions of the Second Congress also uphold the principle of democratic centralism and explain the Leninist organization of the party. All the resolutions, furthermore, describe the tasks of revolutionary work in the mass movements in close connection to the tasks of party-building.

The Second Congress also discussed the current situation in inner-party life. It revised the General Rules of the Party, maintaining the basic structure of the Party but taking into account new developments in party life. And it elected the new Central Committee.

Uphold the Red Banner of Communism -- Back to the Classic Teachings of Marxism-Leninism!

Without a revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement. The workers' movement faces many complex questions today in its struggle against the bourgeoisie. Marxist-Leninist theory is an essential weapon to answer these questions. Marxism-Leninism is not some hidebound. catechism. It is above all a guide to revolutionary work. It is the revolutionary science of the working class, providing workers and activists with consciousness of the socialist goal of the revolution and a comprehensive summation of the experience of the world revolutionary movement.

The struggle on the theoretical front has reached new intensity in the last few years. The liquidators are all renouncing the Marxist-Leninist theory, moaning that they don't know what Marxism is, that they can't apply it to the U.S., that it is the source of their difficulties, that they must "critically reexamine" the experience of the epoch-making October Revolution of the Bolsheviks, and so forth. In response, the Marxist-Leninist Party has upheld the red banner of communism and issued the slogan "Back to the classic teachings of Marxism-Leninism!" Again and again, at each turning point, and facing each perplexing new problem, the Party has returned to the classic principles of Marxism-Leninism. As the revolutionary experience of the Party has deepened, so has its understanding of the Marxist-Leninist classics, which has always pointed the Party in the right direction and helped it move forward. Loyalty to Marxism-Leninism has been one of the decisive sources of the strength and vitality of the Party and of its iron unity.

The Second Congress reviewed the work of the Party on the theoretical front. Particularly notable, since the First Congress, has been the work to apply Marxism-Leninism to current problems of revolutionary work in the mass movements, the denunciation of liquidationism, the discussion of the united front, the upholding of the experience of the Great October Socialist Revolution of the Bolsheviks, the refutation of the liquidationist, petty-bourgeois nationalist and Maoist theories of the leadership of the Communist Party of Canada (M-L), and the participation in the discussion of the vexed questions of the international Marxist-Leninist movement. The Second Congress stressed the need to step up the fight in defense of Marxist-Leninist principles and took a series of decisions to reinforce the application of the classic teachings of Marxism-Leninism to the problems of today.

Another essential feature of communism is proletarian internationalism. A permanent feature of the work of the Marxist-Leninist Party has been its enthusiasm for the world revolutionary movement. The Second Congress declared that:

"The struggle between exploiter and exploited, oppressor and oppressed, lies behind the tangle of world events.... On one side stands the old world of capitalist exploitation, reaction, imperialism and aggressive war. On the other side stands the world of revolutionary struggle, of the working masses who are striving for a new world without exploitation, oppression and enslaving wars."

The Resolutions of the Second Congress denounced world imperialism, including the two superpowers, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, and the lesser imperialist powers. They laid special stress on thoroughly denouncing the crimes of "our own" U.S. imperialists throughout the world. They hailed the world proletarian movement, the revolutionary movements in the oppressed and dependent countries and the international upsurge of the anti-war movement in the imperialist metropolises. And they declared the Party's resolute support for socialist Albania, the only genuine socialist country in the world today, and for the Party of Labor of Albania.

The Second Congress stressed that the Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA is but one contingent of the world Marxist-Leninist communist movement. It sent its greetings to the Marxist-Leninists of the world, who fight bravely against the world offensive of the bourgeoisie and the capitalist-revisionist crusade against Marxism- Leninism. It discussed the current situation in the international Marxist-Leninist movement and set forth the active stand of the Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA towards strengthening the international movement. It discussed the vexed questions of the contemporary world movement and held that they can only be resolved through the application of the classic teachings of Marxism-Leninism. And the Second Congress called for the intensification on the world scale of the struggle of the international Marxist-Leninist movement against the Soviet, Chinese and other revisionist currents and against the pressure of liquidationist and petty-bourgeois nationalist ideas.

The Second Congress sent the fraternal Communist Party of Labor of the Dominican Republic its deepest condolences over the death of Comrade David Onelio Espaillat. Comrade Onelio died earlier this year after a long life devoted to the revolutionary struggle of the Dominican workers and peasants. While imprisoned by the reaction, Comrade Onelio contracted tuberculosis and his health was ruined. Nevertheless, upon release from prison, he continued his revolutionary activities and was a founding member and one of the leaders of the Communist Party of Labor. His memory will live on to inspire future generations of revolutionary fighters.

The Second Congress also enthusiastically endorsed the work to make the stand of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists, the Movement of Popular Action (ML), MAP-ML, known in the U.S. At this point, with CIA mercenaries raiding Nicaragua and U.S. imperialism poised for an all-out invasion to crush the Nicaraguan revolution, support for the Nicaraguan people takes on added importance. The Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists are the vanguard of the Nicaraguan toilers, who are fighting valiantly against U.S. aggression, against the treachery of the Nicaraguan national bourgeoisie and against the vacillations of the Sandinista leadership. Support for the Marxist-Leninist forces strengthens immensely the solidarity movement with the Nicaraguan people and is an important part of the work to strengthen ties in the international Marxist-Leninist movement.

Hail the Second Congress of the Marxist-Leninist Party!

The Second Congress was a congress that took a series of decisions with far-reaching impact for the work of the Party in the coming years. It was a congress of unity and a congress of revolutionary fervor.

Let the rich tremble at the doom and gloom that confronts them, at the sight of their capitalist system bogged down in economic crisis, unending inter-imperialist rivalry, racism and decay. Let the fainthearted cower under the supposed protection of the liberal imperialists and the Democratic Party of the millionaires. The class conscious proletariat, for its part, is organizing and preparing itself for the great storms that lie ahead.

Let all working people unite in the class struggle against the exploiters and oppressors. Let the perspective of the socialist revolution inspire and encourage the downtrodden. For the day is coming when the proletariat, at the head of all the working people, will rise up to smash to dust the iron chains of bourgeois slavery, the chains of starvation, militarism, imperialism, racism and exploitation. The working class is organizing itself as an independent force, and it will rush forward on the road of proletarian revolution to build a new world, a world free of misery and oppression, free of the exploitation of man by man. Despite the capitalist clouds that now cover the sky, the revolutionary ferment among the masses is growing and the new socialist sun is preparing to emerge.

-- Issued by the Central Committee according to the instructions of the Second Congress

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No to the occupation! Down with the repression!

U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of Grenada!

[Photo: Several militant demonstrations broke out in the San Francisco Bay area against the invasion of Grenada. 2,500 march in San Francisco, October 29.]

Reagan's invasion of Grenada has been a brutal war of aggression. Grenada has been placed under the U.S. military jackboot. The whole island is being tightly policed. Reagan is tightening the screws of the U.S. stranglehold over the economy and he is rigging up a puppet regime of the big estate owners and local capitalists to operate under the U.S. franchise.

The criminal invasion and occupation of Grenada represent another landmark in U.S. imperialism's robbery and aggression in the Caribbean and Central America. It is an act of naked imperialism; a declaration of what Reagan has in store for Central America. It must be fiercely fought and denounced.

A Brutal War

Reagan simply screamed "Cuban military units" in order to justify a murderous rampage; to write off the indiscriminate bombing and strafing of residential areas, hotels and the island's other major facilities with naval artillery, air strikes, helicopter gunships and tanks. This included the leveling of a civilian hospital -- in which at least 18 patients were killed. The State Department imposed a news blackout both to hide the full extent of the carnage and to convince the world that Grenadians did not resist the invasion forces. Thus, the U.S. military even shipped the bodies of Grenadians killed off to Cuba. So far, the Pentagon has reluctantly admitted that Grenadian casualties amounted to 45 killed and 337 wounded; with 25 Cubans killed.

Rigging Up a Puppet Regime at Gunpoint

Reagan says that he is "restoring democracy" to Grenada. In fact, Reagan is fully "restoring" Grenada to the U.S. jackboot. The Pentagon is holding the country at gunpoint. It has all but declared the new airport that was being built there to be the latest U.S. military base abroad. The Pentagon has permanently restationed eight fighter jets to the area and is planning to keep thousands of ("non-combat!") U.S. troops in Grenada at least "well into 1984," along with the several hundred troops of a "Commonwealth Peacekeeping" force to police the population. The State Department has devoted some $33 million to finance U.S. imperialism's military and economic schemes for Grenada (while the British imperialists have set aside $1 million in mostly "military aid"). Reagan is converting Grenada into an armed fortress for U.S. imperialism.

Reagan's "democracy" has meant clamping down on the population with house-to-house searches and arrests throughout the island, while rigging up a puppet regime of Reagan's choosing. The local jails have been packed tight. Prison camps, outfitted with torturous sweatboxes, were constructed to "process" thousands of Grenadians seized from their homes at gunpoint. While hundreds have been jailed, those released have been issued "pass cards" by the U.S. military, severely restricting their movement and holding the threat of harassment and further repression over their heads.

This is "democracy," where the press is overseen by psychological warfare units of the 82nd Airborne Division which, through radio broadcasts and handbills, are working hard to incite witch hunts against progressive-minded people and are conducting an intense and filthy anti-communist propaganda campaign around the island.

The mass arrests and repression, and the digging in of the troops of the U.S. and of the Commonwealth go to show just how much the U.S. imperialists believe their own lies about the "overwhelming welcome" which the Grenadian people are allegedly giving the occupationist forces.

Today, under conditions of military occupation, U.S. imperialism is rigging up the puppet regime of Sir Paul Scoon in Grenada. Scoon is the representative of the Queen of England; he is a former stalwart of the hated dictator, Eric Gairy, who ruled Grenada up to 1979; and he is closely tied to the most prosperous local businessmen and estate owners. Scoon has been brought out to put together "a civilian regime": to provide a "civilian" screen for the U.S. military command on the island.

It is the U.S. military command acting on orders from Washington, along with the foreign service "advisers" dispatched to Scoon's side by Britain, who are calling the shots in Grenada. Thus, Scoon's first measures were to "empower" the U.S. military to conduct island-wide sweeps and arrest and detain as they please (as they were already doing) and to suspend all rights for the people and ban all opposition to the invasion. The millions in "military aid" is part of the insurance policy for this reactionary regime, to shore it up and to crush the inevitable outbursts of protests that are bound to erupt from among the ranks of the working masses.

While scraping together this interim "civilian" regime, there is talk of scheduling elections anywhere from the next six months to the next three years, or even later. According to the propagandists for the invasion, this is necessary so that the Grenadian people can "regain a feel for democracy" -- provided by the ominous presence of the bayonets of the foreign occupationist troops. A strict ban has' been imposed on any anti-U.S. opposition on the island. Meanwhile, the State Department has been summoning retired Gairyites and other fanatical right-wing elements for discussions to arrange their return to the helm in Grenada. Reagan must line up these reactionaries in the corridors of power in Grenada before "elections" can be arranged to ensure a decidedly right- wing regime which relies on the bullets of the occupationist troops. That is the "democracy" that Reagan has in store for Grenada.

Behind Reagan's Smoke Screen Lies Naked Imperialism

This is Reagan's humanitarian gesture "to rescue Grenada" from "Cuban invaders." To justify the invasion, Reagan charged that Grenada was "a Soviet-Cuban colony." But clearly the imperialist cowboy, Ronald Reagan, has no objection to maintaining colonies. Reagan's hysteria has been nothing but a smoke screen, used time and again, for U.S. imperialist banditry and aggression in Latin America and the Caribbean. The plain truth is that Reagan staged this invasion in order to finish off a government which did not meet U.S. imperialism's approval and to install an all-out right-wing regime which would.

The Bishop government which assumed power in Grenada in 1979 from the fascist dictator Eric Gairy, as well as the faction which recently ousted Bishop in the October coup were, at most, both bourgeois nationalist governments. Bishop carried out some needed reforms and resisted U.S. bullying and aggression under Carter and then under Reagan. This angered U.S. imperialism which demands complete capitulation to its dictate. Thus, screaming that "democracy has been violated" in its private domain, U.S. imperialism organized aggression and started practice runs for an invasion years ago.

But this did not mean that either Bishop or the faction that ousted him were revolutionary or Marxist-Leninist at all. Both of these administrations were eager to encourage the domestic capitalist exploiters and to maintain the imperialist stranglehold in Grenada. In particular, both of these administrations saw a major role for U.S. imperialism in Grenada's development, and believed that U.S. imperialism could be eventually convinced to be non-aggressive and reasonable, and went to much pains to do so.

At the same time the Bishop government established ties with the Soviet Union and Cuba. This did not make Grenada "a Soviet-Cuban colony." It meant that Grenada included the Soviet bloc in the same enslaving relationships that it has had all along with the U.S., the British and other Western European imperialists -- providing a foothold for one and a foothold for the other, hoping to survive by balancing between the imperialist powers. This, too, angered U.S. imperialism, which demands subservience to its own hegemonic baton.

With the October coup, in which Bishop was ousted by a faction in his government which stood for the same policies, Reagan grabbed the opportunity to launch the invasion that he had in waiting.

Reagan is not just some paranoid madman. The invasion is not a departure from "normal" imperialism, but shows the unbridled reactionary nature of imperialism. The capitalist media, as a whole, have trumpeted the whole torrent of sickening, flimsy lies and chauvinist hysteria by the Pentagon against Grenada to the hilt. The Democrats, just like the hidden Reaganites they are at heart, have endorsed all of Reagan's lies and are wildly saluting the invasion and occupation -- proving once again that imperialist aggression is a stand shared by both of the big parties of the U.S. monopoly capitalist exploiters.

U.S. imperialism struck at a moment when the Grenadian people were in a state of confusion as a result of the pre-invasion events there. Still, the workers and youth showed their will to fight. The shock and confusion are bound to wear thin and give way to struggle against the U.S. military jackboot and the local reactionary ruling classes whose fates are closely tied up with the fate of imperialism. The class conscious Grenadian workers must organize to occupy the center stage of this struggle.

In keeping with the style of the invasion of Grenada, U.S. imperialism is bringing together the fascist generals of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to have them "request" an invasion of Nicaragua, and "to request" intervention to save the tottering, fascist regime in El Salvador. Workers, youth and all progressive people must stand up against Reagan's murderous aggression against the peoples of Central America and the Caribbean.

In Europe and in the West Indies, thousands of activists have taken to the streets outside the U.S. embassies to denounce the invasion of Grenada. In the U.S., in at least a dozen cities and on scores of campuses around the country, spirited meetings and mass protests have erupted against the criminal U.S. invasion of Grenada. The fresh wave of outrage over the invasion of Grenada must be used to build up a powerful movement directed squarely against U.S. imperialism and in solidarity with the revolutionary struggles of the workers and other suffering toilers in Central America and the Caribbean.

(The above article is taken from a leaflet published by the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, December 3, 1983.)


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Support the Greyhound strikers!

The Greyhound workers are locked in a bitter struggle against the capitalists' concessions drive. Greyhound Bus Lines is trying to slash the wages and benefits of its 12,700 drivers, mechanics, baggage handlers and clerks. To enforce this robbery the company is resorting to strong-arm tactics; it is trying to make good on its promise to replace its entire work force with scabs. Greyhound has launched a national advertising campaign to recruit desperate unemployed workers to scab on the strike, and it has cut all its fares in half to entice people to ride on its scab operations.

But the Greyhound workers have that they are not about to give :e November 2, they have been carrying on a hard-fought strike. Militant packets and other mass actions en organized to block the scab Thousands of workers from other sections of the working class have come out to show their solidarity with the striking Greyhound workers. Because of the militant pickets and because of the support of other working people, Greyhound ridership is only a small fraction of pre-strike levels.

With the solidarity of the other workers, through mass struggle the Greyhound workers can beat back the assault of the Greyhound capitalists. The important thing is that the workers' ranks stand firm. Here the biggest danger to their struggle comes from their own top union leadership.

Throughout the strike, the Amalgamated Transit Union leadership has sought to cool-out and limit the workers' mass struggle. And they have been searching high and low for a sellout compromise with the Greyhound capitalists. On November 29 the strikers voted down Greyhound's concessions offer by a margin of 9,181 to 325. This package, which the workers rejected, included a whopping 28% cut in the combined wages and benefits. Now the ATU chiefs have turned around and agreed to a new tentative settlement that contains the bulk of the original concessions, minus one or two provisions. And they are vigorously lobbying that the workers should accept this rotten concessions deal in the vote which will be counted by December 20.

Greyhound Workers -- the Latest Target of the Capitalist Concessions Drive

Two years ago Ronald Reagan smashed the air traffic controllers' strike and disbanded the PATCO union. This opened the floodgates of takebacks and strikebreaking in the whole transportation industry. One airline company after another has cooked up a whole slew of tricks to grab huge takebacks, break strikes, drive out the unions, and bring in scabs at low wages. Now the Greyhound monopolists are getting into the act. They have launched an all-out assault on the hard-won gains that the workers have fought for over decades.

For the last four years, the capitalists have been extracting wage and benefit concessions from the workers by pleading hard times. But now Greyhound and other monopolies are demanding concessions from the workers without even the pretext of being financially weak. Greyhound, a company which recently eliminated hundreds of less profitable rural routes and which just raked in $36 million in profit for the 3rd quarter of '83 alone, has the gall to demand a 28% cut in wages and benefits from the workers.

Class Collaborationist Treachery

At each and every turn on the Greyhound workers' road of struggle against concessions, the top leadership of the ATU has followed the path of compromise and betrayal. Even before the strike broke out, the ATU leadership was more than willing to sell the Greyhound workers down the river. They stated that they would do anything to avert a strike including accepting a year's wage freeze and even work without a contract.

After the police brutally attacked the workers' mass pickets with clubs, attack dogs and charging horses, the ATU hacks were right there defending the police by saying: "We admire your performance of difficult, dangerous and often unappreciated duty.'' Even before the Greyhound capitalists were able to get court orders to limit numbers on the picket lines, the ATU chieftains sent orders down to the locals to limit pickets at the bus stations to mere handfuls.

And now the ATU national leadership is pushing like hell to end the workers' strike by shoving a rotten concessions deal down the workers' throats. Such is the class collaborationist policy of the union officialdom -- collaboration with the capitalists' take- back offensive against the working class.

Support the Greyhound Workers' Strike

Workers! Employed and unemployed! The Greyhound capitalists are attempting to drive our class brothers and sisters into the ground, to break their resistance and take their jobs. Bitter experience -- from the concessions at Chrysler to the breaking of the PATCO strike -- has shown that a setback for one section of the workers only fuels the capitalists' concessions steamroller against the whole working class.

Join the Greyhound workers in their struggle. Support the mass pickets and other mass actions of the Greyhound strikers. Boycott the scab buses. A determined mass struggle is needed to defend the workers and defeat the brutal strikebreaking of the Greyhound capitalists.

Victory to the Greyhound workers!

[Photo: In Minneapolis a militant picket of Greyhound strikers and supporters stops a scab bus.]


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On Jesse Jackson's campaign to rescue the Democratic Party

Fancy rhetoric to cover politics as usual

On November 3, at a rally in Washington, D.C., Jesse Jackson formally announced that he is running for the Democratic Party nomination in the upcoming presidential elections. With great fanfare Jackson laid claim to representing the "poor and abused," the "rejected and despised," and he declared that the aim of his candidacy is "to remove the regressive Reagan regime and to work for parity for blacks in white society."

Now, there is no question that the working masses have had enough of Ronald Reagan. The brutal capitalist offensive that the Reagan government heads has brought untold suffering to all working people and it has hit the black people and other oppressed nationalities especially hard. For the greed of the capitalists, 15 million workers continue to languish in the unemployment lines. For the sake of the almighty American dollar, the children of working people are once again dying as the foot soldiers of imperialism in far-off lands. While U.S. imperialist troops are dispatched to strangle the toilers of other countries, the police and racist gangs are being unleashed at home in a renewed wave of racist terror against the oppressed nationalities. And a new impetus has been given to a segregationist drive in education, in housing, and in jobs.

There is little wonder that the Reagan presidency has been marked by mounting protests, bitter strikes, and other mass actions. These struggles are only the tip of the iceberg; they are but the surface manifestations of a burning anger that is growing deep in the heart of the working masses. The working class and all of the oppressed have had enough of Reagan. And they are itching for a real fight against all that Reagan represents.

But Jesse Jackson, despite all of his grand promises, does not stand for such a fight. Whether it's his appeals to defend the "vital national interests" of U.S. imperialism abroad; or his chauvinist calls against "foreign imports"; or his desire to feed the capitalists' reindustrialization drive of wage cuts, speedup and layoffs at home; Jackson's program is but a sweetly tuned echo of the Reagan capitalist offensive.

Nor does Jackson represent a real fight against Reagan's segregationist drive. Jackson has shelved the fight against racist police terror and brutal racial discrimination. He has turned his back on the vast majority of black people, namely, the black working people and poor. And instead Jackson is extending his hand to notorious segregationists, like George Wallace, in order to get more "clout" in the Democratic Party and on the corporate boards for that tiny handful of black bourgeois.

Jackson is just another silver- tongued orator of the Democratic Party. He is like Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, and numerous other black Democratic Party politicians, who have ridden into office on the promise of fighting for the rights of the black masses, and who, once in the seat of power, have turned against the masses with Reagan-like programs of austerity cutbacks, beefing up the racist police forces, and tax giveaways to the capitalist corporations.

Jackson is not out to save the working people from Reaganism. Rather he is trying to hoodwink the masses in order to save the Democratic Party. The workers and oppressed have grown skeptical of the Democratic Party. The collaboration of the Democrats with Reagan, their backing of one after another of his militarist, racist and anti-working class measures, is fueling the mass mistrust. The hatred for Reagan is starting to spill over against Reagan's partner in crime, the Democratic Party. And just at this time, Jackson has stepped forward to try to repair the damaged image of the Democrats, to paint up the liberal capitalists of the Democratic Party as the champions of the "poor and abused," to bring the working masses back into the Democratic Party fold.

Reaganism is the bipartisan program of the capitalist class, of the Democratic Party as well as the Republicans. The workers cannot rely on the Democratic Party to fight against Reaganite reaction; nor can they put their faith in smooth-talking preachers of the Democratic Party like Jesse Jackson. Instead, the workers must build up their own independent class movement and rally to their side all of the oppressed and downtrodden in a stern struggle against the capitalist class and their Republican and Democratic Parties.


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Jackson's program

Jesse Jackson is a fine man for pretty words. His campaign rallies ring with chants for "peace," "jobs," "parity for blacks," and hope for the "rejected and despised." If Reaganite reaction could be crushed with a turn of a phrase then Jackson, without a doubt, would be your man. But once you look beneath the surface of his highfalutin slogans and try to come to grips with the actual substance of Jackson's program, then you get an altogether different picture. As of yet, Jackson has not put together a comprehensive platform of his stands. But if we piece together the views he has expressed on different occasions and his stands historically, then it becomes clear that Jackson's program amounts to the typical liberal policy of the Democratic Party; that is, the policy not of fighting against Reaganism, but of reconciling with it.

Let us take a look at Jackson's stands on a series of important international and domestic issues.

Joining Hands With the Job-Eliminating Capitalists

Jackson has made the call to put American workers back to work a central theme of his campaign. He has persistently condemned the terrible loss of jobs under the Reagan government and he's dotted his speeches with stirring denunciations of "corporate rape." But when it comes to the question of what to do about the devastating unemployment, Jackson turns around and extends his hand to these selfsame job-eliminating corporations and reveals a program that is little different from that of Reagan.

Under Reagan's "free market" plan, the capitalists have been given enormous "across the board" tax breaks. With this added funding the capitalists are to "revitalize" industry and become more "competitive" and then somehow their increasing profits are supposed to "trickle down" to the workers. In the auto, steel and other industries the capitalists' revitalization programs have brought increasing robotization, rationalization of the factories, speedup, job combinations, and as a consequence, increasing layoffs. The capitalists then use the enormous army of unemployed as a threat to force wage-cutting concessions down the throats of those workers who are still employed.

Jackson nowhere denounces the capitalists' concessions drive, nor does he call on the workers to fight for jobs through a mass struggle against the capitalists. Instead Jackson, like the other Democratic Party candidates, proposes a vaguely conceived "industrial policy." Under this scheme, instead of Reagan's "across the board" tax breaks, the handouts to the capitalists would be "targeted" to those most "needy" and most "agreeable" to reindustrialize. In short, Jackson wants the government to fund the same job-eliminating programs as Reagan does, but he wants the giveaways to the capitalists handed out in a slightly different way.

What is more, Jackson is emphasizing that the blame for unemployment rests not so much with the capitalists and the Reagan government as it does with foreign imports. In fact, Jackson has been calling on various Dixiecrats and other racist politicians to put away their fears about integration and to unite for the "common" and "higher" goal of fighting Japanese imports. In his May 24 address to a joint session of the Alabama legislature, Jackson complained about the Japanese imports pouring into American shipyards. He stressed, "We have put too much focus on the schoolyard and lost sight of the shipyard. Integration in the schoolyard does not threaten America; in fact, it will help us. But unfair trade in the shipyard does threaten us." (New York Times, May 25,1983)

Jackson's chauvinist anti-import crusade is just so much rubbish. The U.S. workers have more in common with the Japanese workers than they do with the U.S. capitalists who are slashing their wages and throwing them onto the unemployment lines. A real program for jobs demands the building of a relentless mass struggle against the capitalists. But Jackson, with his "industrial policy" and anti-imports campaign, is trying to head off such a fight and subordinate the workers to the capitalists' job-eliminating schemes.

Reconciling With the Racists

Jackson most often portrays himself as the standard-bearer for the democratic rights of the black people and other oppressed nationalities. But when it comes to an actual fight against Reagan's segregationism and the brutal racist attacks by the police and racist gangs, Jackson has consistently played the role of saboteur of the black people's struggle, preaching reconciliation with the racists at every turn.

From the 1960's, he has always preached the gospel of "turning the other cheek" and worked to calm down the oppressed black masses and to keep their militant struggles in check. In the 1980's Jackson has become notorious for being a "riot stopper." In May of 1980, Jackson flew off to Miami where he tried to throw cold water on the fiery struggle of the black masses against the brutal police murder of Arthur McDuffie. In the fall of 1980, he zipped off to Buffalo where he argued with the black masses to not "get diverted" into organizing mass struggle against the six gruesome racist murders there, but instead to concentrate on "getting out the vote" for Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Early in 1982, in his hometown of Chicago, the police went on a rampage through the black community, breaking down doors, beating black youth and throwing many in jail in revenge for the killing of two racist policemen. Did Jackson call for a fight against the police terror? Not on your life. Instead he preached, "We must turn to each other and not on each other." (Chicago Defender, February 11,1982)

Today, in his campaign for the presidency, Jackson is trying to play down every mass struggle against racist terror and Reagan's segregationism and to play up to the segregationists.

We have already mentioned above how Jackson appealed to the racists for a common fight against the "real threat" of Japanese imports in his speech at the Alabama legislature. But it should be emphasized here that this was no slip of the tongue. Jackson actually stressed repeatedly the theme of reconciliation with the notorious segregationist politicians. He even had a good word for Jefferson Davis, the head of the Confederate slaveholders' rebellion, when he praised the Alabama legislature as a "marvelous place, where Jefferson Davis Stood, where Martin Luther King should have stood." (Chicago Tribune, May 25,1983) And he argued that "It is time to leave the battlegrounds behind us and seek a common ground -- then move to higher ground." (New York Times, May 25, 1983) Symbolizing this theme further, Jackson made a big show of embracing George Wallace and he went to great lengths to praise this bigot who barred the doors to integration in Alabama as being "hospitable and kind" and as a man of ['stature, charisma and grace." (Chicago Tribune, May 26, 1983)

Jackson has narrowed down the struggle for the rights of black people to one single question, the right to vote, which he campaigned for in his tour through Alabama and other southern states. The fight against racial discrimination at the polls is, of course, an important fight. In enormous battles in the 1950's and 60's, the black people shed their blood to smash up the Jim Crow barriers to the right to vote. But one cannot but have the greatest contempt for Jesse Jackson, who, trading on the blood of the martyred dead, tells black people to stop their fight against racist murders in order to vote for the racist President Jimmy Carter in 1980, and who today embraces the bigot Wallace in the name of increasing black voter registration.

Jackson is not fighting against the racist oppression of the black masses. No, he is standing in the way of that struggle and trying to divert the anger of the masses into a voters' drive for the Democratic Party.

Tokenism: Selling Out the Masses for the Interests of the Black Bourgeoisie

As we have shown, Jackson's call for "parity for blacks in white society" does not mean that he stands for waging a real struggle for the democratic rights and interests of the masses of black people. Rather Jackson is trying to trick the black masses, to use their anti-racist sentiment as a springboard for the ambitions of the black bourgeoisie.

Today there is a deepening polarization between the black workers and poor on the one hand and the bourgeoisified upper strata of the black people on the other hand. Jackson is a representative of the black bourgeoisie. That is why Jackson is always standing in the way of the struggles against racist police terror, against racial discrimination in education and housing, against unemployment; that is, those struggles which affect the broadest section of the masses, the black working people. Jackson is selling out the interests of the black working people in order to reach an accommodation with the racist U.S. ruling class and thereby gain more positions for the black bourgeoisie in the corporate boards, in the capitalist parties, in the higher levels of government, and so forth. In short, Jackson stands for tokenism.

The epitome of Jackson's stand can be found in his campaign over the last few years for "minority participation agreements" with the big capitalists. In 1981 Reagan called for enormous cuts in government spending for social programs and he declared that if people wanted relief they should look to the private sector. Did Jackson call for the masses to come into the streets to fight the harsh Reagan cutbacks? He did not. Instead, he echoed Reagan saying "We must shift fundamental dependence to private trade." (Chicago Defender, January 18, 1982) And he launched a campaign to get what he called "covenants" or "trade agreements" with major corporations.

In the last two years he has signed agreements with Coca-Cola, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Seven-up and Burger King under which they promise to turn more of their business over to black owned companies, to open up black franchises and to put more blacks into management positions. But what about the black working people who are suffering under the yoke of massive unemployment, wage concessions, and benefit cutbacks? These agreements do nothing for them. Jackson has not lifted a finger to improve the lot of the black working people. Still Jackson has the gall to claim that these "trade agreements" provide the black people their "fair share," as if improving the positions of the black bourgeoisie will somehow, someday "trickle down" to benefit the workers and the poor.

Jackson does not represent the interests of the black masses. Rather he is selling them out for the sake of obtaining cozy positions for the black bourgeoisie.

Backing the Israeli Zionists in the Mideast and Lebanon

Jackson, despite his constant talk of "peace" and "human rights," is an ardent defender of U.S. imperialism. As such, he is never able to get very far away from the basic warmongering policies of the Reagan administration. His liberal hand-wringing over the death and destruction that the Reagan policy brings does not mark an actual break with the Reaganite program, but rather a desire to put a more pleasant, "human rights" face on the imperialist aggression. Jackson's stands on the Mideast and Lebanon are typical examples of his liberal-imperialist policy.

For decades a centerpiece of U.S. imperialist policy in the Mideast has been the full-scale backing of Israeli zionism. Every administration, whether Democratic or Republican, has looked to the Israeli Zionists to be the storm troopers and chief guard dogs protecting the "vital interests" of U.S. imperialism -- that is, the domination over the Arab peoples and the plunder of their oil -- in that region.

Jackson sings this same imperialist tune. On November 28, just as Reagan was cooking up a new pact of cooperation between the U.S. government and the Israeli Zionists, Jackson held a news conference to declare that "Increased strategic cooperation with Israel is vital to our national interests." (New York Times, November 29, 1983) So says the "fighter" against Reagan!

But what then of Jackson's often repeated support for the creation of a Palestinian homeland? In an October 4 interview with the Village Voice Jackson explains his views in some detail: "The Palestinians cannot remain as nomads forever. All that happens under these conditions is that they become more reactionary, more fractured, more radical, and the more radical they become in their desperation, the more difficult they make life for Israelis and other people who live there. There must be the strength exhibited when Carter pulled off Camp David." (emphasis added) In other words, the Israeli Zionists should be ensured a secure existence and this can be accomplished through a Carterite Camp David-type approach.

But wait a minute! This does not mean that the Palestinians will get their homeland, nor does it mark a departure from Reaganism. Reagan's "peace plan" is a continuation of Carter's Camp David accords. And what it amounts to is that if the Palestinians will put away their guns and give up their goals of overthrowing the Israeli zionist state and creating a democratic and secular Palestine, then the imperialists will promise that the Palestinians may be allowed to live on the West Bank under the rule of the reactionary Jordanian government. Jackson's talk of a Palestinian homeland is nothing other than a Reaganite fraud aimed at putting a stop to the heroic Palestinian resistance.

But at least, some apologists for Jackson say, he stands for withdrawing the U.S. troops from Lebanon. Well, not entirely. In the same Village Voice interview Jackson stressed that "it would be immoral to come out unless certain conditions were met. It is clear now that our soldiers, our marines, could not leave there unilaterally, without arrangements with other nations. If we were to leave unilaterally, there would be perhaps an uncontrollable bloodbath."

But this is the same argument that Reagan used to send the U.S. troops into Lebanon in the first place. Since then it has become more than abundantly clear that these troops are not there for "peacekeeping" at all. They are there solely to back up the Israeli Zionists, to prop up the fascist Phalangist government, and to suppress the Lebanese resistance fighters. To talk now of keeping U.S. troops in Lebanon under the guise of preventing "a bloodbath" is just to apologize for U.S. imperialist aggression. Far from fighting Reagan, Jackson is making excuses for him.

Hiding the Buildup of the U.S. Armed Forces Behind the Fraud of a "Nuclear Freeze"

Like many other liberal Democrats, Jackson is calling for a nuclear freeze. Jackson's version, like the others, is an empty call for superpower negotiations. But even if his "freeze" were put into effect, it would mean, at best, the maintenance of the enormous nuclear stockpile that is already in existence and the freeing of funds to build up the "conventional weapons" of imperialist war.

Of course Jackson presents his call for a nuclear freeze with more flare. Whereas that "great communicator," Ronald Reagan, renamed the MX missile the "peacekeeper," Jesse Jackson has renamed the conventional imperialist armed forces the "peace movement." In his September tour of Europe, Jackson spent most of his time being shuttled by the Pentagon from one U.S. military base to the next to give morale boosting speeches to the American GI's. Sitting on a tank in West Germany, Jackson lectured the U.S. troops that "You have been a peace movement. You have helped stabilize Europe and stop the expansion of the USSR. You have served a useful purpose... These conventional weapons are a deterrent, but our great fear is that people will not appreciate the imminent destructability of nuclear war." (Chicago Sun Times, September 15,1983)

Here we have Jackson's liberal imperialism to a tee. He weeps hypocritical tears over the "destructability of nuclear war," while praising the conventional imperialist armed forces that have been used to occupy countries all over the world and to bring terrible death and destruction on anyone who dared stand in the way of the imperialists' profits, plunder, and domination. This is warmongering with tears, but it is imperialist warmongering nonetheless.

The Carrot and the Stick in Central America

Jackson's liberal imperialist hand-wringing reaches its heights on the question of Central America. Here Jackson has bemoaned the invasion of Grenada and Reagan's "overt" intervention in Nicaragua and El Salvador. But does this mean that Jackson is opposed to imperialist intervention in that region? Certainly not! He is only peeved that Reagan is "increasingly using military might as a first resort rather than a last resort." (Los Angeles Herald Examiner, November 13, 1983)

Obviously Jackson is not opposed to Reagan's use of the big stick. But he wants it held back a little longer as a threat. Wait until after the peoples of Grenada, of Nicaragua, of El Salvador, etc., refuse to give in to the U.S. imperialist demands, and then send in the marines as "a last resort."

In the meantime, Jackson wants to hold out the carrot of a "political solution." In the October 4 interview in the Village Voice, Jackson argues that, "We have the option at this point [after Reagan has already launched the contra invasion and the buildup of U.S. troops in Honduras -- WA] not to try to overthrow Nicaragua. We have the option to use our strength right now to negotiate a broader settlement in El Salvador." (emphasis as in the original) This is precisely the policy of the Democratic Party doves. It is the demand that the peoples of the region should "peacefully," through "negotiations" put down their weapons and agree to U.S. imperialist dictate. And if they don't. If they stand up and say that they alone have the right to determine the fate of their own country. Well then, Jackson still has his "last resort": full- scale invasion.

On Central America, as on the other questions of foreign policy, Jackson's sweet songs of "peace" are just a cover for a very real and deadly imperialist policy.

[Photo: Jesse Jackson warmly embraced arch-racist George Wallace, May 1983.]


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Congressional hearings or mass struggle

What's the answer to police brutality in New York?

(The following article is excerpted from the November 1983 issue of The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group.)

The communities of the poor, the employed and unemployed, the oppressed minorities, as well as whites, live under a tight reign of "justice" meted out by the policeman's billy club and bullets. Two hundred people have been killed by the police in the less than six years of the Koch administration alone. The figure for last year stood at 39. While police killings of people of various racial backgrounds, including whites, are steadily rising -- the city's blacks and Hispanics are especially hard hit. They are a special target for whom racist police terror is a living nightmare and against whom racist gangs are being activated. The barbaric crimes of the NYPD are matched only by the support and encouragement with which the police are rewarded for their terroristic activities by the city administration and courts of the capitalists. It shows that police terror against the masses is not accidental. Police terror is an essential condition of the rule of a handful of capitalist moneybags.

But the outrage of the masses over the savage murders and the daily incidents of terrible and humiliating beatings by the police is a thorn in the side of the administration of Mayor Ed Koch. In particular, opposition to racist terror has been a focal point of the fight against the systematic oppression of the minorities. The attacks will never be tolerated. Profoundly affected, the masses are searching for a way to fight police brutality and the racist Koch regime.

Of late, the press has given lots of focus to "the debate" on "allegations" of police brutality because of congressional subcommittee hearings conducted in New York on this question. While people are outraged at the police and Koch and are looking for ways to fight back, these congressional subcommittee hearings have quite opposite aims. The congressional "concern" of this subcommittee is about how to help the NYPD remodel its image and how to stop the mass opposition to police terror from developing before it's too late for Koch or whomsoever replaces him in the next two years.

Conyers -- A Professional Riotstopper

The idea of conducting hearings into police brutality in New York by the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice was first struck upon in the midst of the 1980 rebellion in Miami. Feeling threatened by this powerful rebellion, the concern of the black politicians, ministers, businessmen and other respectable black fat cats for the maintenance of "order and stability" in other major cities was aroused. It should be recalled that several squads of the above were rushed into Miami to call on the black masses to cool it and abandon their resistance to the police murderers of Arthur McDuffie. This "concern" led black Democratic Party congressman, John Conyers from Michigan, who heads the House Subcommittee, and various other black misleaders to identify New York along with two other major cities as cities "with particularly explosive potential" for a mass rebellion.

Conyers' sub-committee has been delegated to function as an "early warning mechanism" for the congress, to identify "hot spots" beforehand; conduct hearings; recommend measures to the city administrations and to work in conjunction to diffuse the anger and militance of the masses before they lose faith in the "justice" and the political parties of the capitalists and big struggles erupt.

The bourgeoisie banks on Conyers as a leading personality in the Congressional Black Caucus, to channel the anger of the black masses into reliance on the Congress, and to convince them that, despite all their untold woes, the system could work for them. Conyers fits this role to a tee since his reputation dates back to the 1967 Detroit rebellion when he was outfitted with a bullhorn and was driven around, with lots of police protection, to appeal to the black masses to "be cool" and "get off the streets." He made a similar appeal in Miami in 1980.

Conyers is also no enemy of the racist Koch. In fact, they regard each other as good old friends dating back to their collaboration when they served together in Congress. And naturally Koch has publicly expressed his high regards for the noble aims of Conyers and his subcommittee. But since the subcommittee is not here on Koch's invitation, Mayor Koch, of course, objects to the publicity being generated which might damage his reelection bid in two years, and he complains that Conyers' sub-committee is "being used" by his political opponents since police brutality is just "a problem of perception" in New York. If Conyers had his way, he would surely prefer to tailor things to suit Koch's taste. But from the beginning, the masses made it clear that they wanted no friendly chit-chat with the racist Koch but were determined instead to militantly denounce police terror and the Koch administration.

Turn to Struggle, Not to Congress!

Could we count on congressional or on other federal level interventions in our struggle against police brutality and racist terror? For sure -- when, in the future, it comes to dispatching national guard troops to work alongside the police to suppress the working and oppressed masses, as occurred recently in Miami and as occurred repeatedly during the 1960's! For sure -- when it is a matter of legislation to boost police powers! For sure -- when it means injecting a dose of congressional hypocrisy and deception to convince the masses that struggle can be avoided! So Conyers and his sub-committee can go to hell. The plain reality is that it is up to the masses of people to challenge police terror and the racist Koch. It is our struggle based on the strength of our numbers, united and multiplied by organization, that is fully capable of waging systematic struggle against police terror and racist brutality. Police brutality against the masses will end only when the man-eating system of capitalist oppression is toppled by revolution, and the violent apparatus of the rich is smashed.


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What happened at the hearings

[Photo: N.Y. Mayor Koch beats a hasty retreat in the face of the fierce denunciation by the masses outside the first hearings in July.]

(The following article is reprinted from the November 1983 issue of The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group.)

The Abortion of the First Hearings

It was the mutual concerns shared by Koch and Conyers that led to the abortion of the first hearings which were scheduled on July 18, before it even got off the ground. As a courtesy to Koch, Conyers agreed to hold the first hearings in a small conference room in the Harlem State Office Building, effectively excluding several hundreds of the people who showed up. The masses bitterly denounced this premeditated act on the spot. And when an understandably distraught black woman cried out that her son had been killed like an animal -- shot eight times by the police -- this was seized upon to declare a disruption and to call a recess after only a couple of minutes.

Together with Mayor Koch and the police commissioner, Conyers and local Congressmen Rangel and Owens conferred privately and agreed to immediately call off the hearings. The atmosphere was not right for the friendly, inoffensive "dialogue" with the mayor and police commissioner which they hoped for. One of Koch's officials pointed out afterwards that: "It was very important that the Mayor not appear as someone on trial." (New York Times, July 21, 1982) Conyers and the other black Democratic Party liberals on the scene had hoped to lure the black masses to "put their heads together" with the racist Koch and his police commissioner.

The decision to postpone was chiefly in Conyers' hands. Koch beat a hasty retreat accompanied by the angry and militant denunciation of the masses. Conyers and Rangel hid out until they could quietly sneak out of the building unnoticed. They were afraid to even inform the people in attendance that the hearings had been postponed. That job was left to the local black assemblymen and ministry who, though offended by Conyers' failure to consult with them or to even inform them of the postponement, thought it wise to stage a "peoples' hearings" to have the masses let off steam. For, as Reverend Daughtry said afterwards: "I kept reflecting on what would happen if those people were not able to testify. There is no telling how that energy would have been directed. I am very disappointed with John Conyers.... He didn't even phone us...we made the right decision to continue the hearings...the leadership gathered provided the people an outlet for their grievances...we lost the official status, but on the other side, these people, I shudder to think what would have happened if they had not had a chance to testify." (Big Red News, July 23, 1983) While on the one hand people militantly denounced the police, the mayor, and made calls for struggle -- on the other hand, over and over again the local black misleadership repeated that of course "we are not saying all cops are bad."

The Second Hearings

Subsequently, and from the safety of City Hall, Koch arrogantly denounced the masses at the first hearings as a "circus" and declared that he and his officials would boycott the second hearings that convened on September 19. Conyers and the local misleaders saw to it that the second hearings were more restrictive. Conyers' staff carefully screened people scheduled to give testimony in order to eliminate any militant or other political remarks that would be "embarrassing" to the hearings. The over 700 people in attendance were restricted to the upper balcony on the perimeter of a massive drill room of a national guard armory where the hearings were held; while 60 black policemen from the Guardian Association were engaged to patrol inside the hearings and "keep order."

After hearing the testimony of some 48 people, the respectable black misleaders and other liberal notables present expressed their shock and outrage and invariably concluded that the problem of police brutality in New York brings shame to the noble police profession and to the leadership it is provided by the Mayor's office.

Contrary to the impression widely given, these hearings were not intended as a forum for the condemnation of police terror nor to demand justice for the countless horrible outrages carried out by the police. No, these hearings were held to contain the peoples' anger, to seek reconciliation with the police and to encourage confidence in the system. This could hardly be regarded as real opposition to police terror and the racist Koch.

Police terror is not merely the result of "mistaken" policies of the racist Koch alone. It is very much a deliberate and indispensable part of the system. Consequently, one cannot stand for a true fight against police terror while appealing to Koch to be moderate, or by offering to remodel the image of the police or by putting a civilian face on the Complaint Review Board. It does not matter how much such measures are promoted as "concessions" being extracted from the state--they are measures to, decisive the masses and make the attacks more tolerable, while making the need for struggle seem unnecessary or avoidable. Nor can one fight police terror by turning to Congress as the respectable black misleaders would have us believe. To fight police terror and the Koch regime what is required is systematic struggle and the organization of the masses.

The Third Hearings

Since the above article appeared in the November 1983 issue of The West Indian Voice, a third hearing of Conyers' committee was held in Brooklyn, N.Y. on November 28. This hearing was similar to the second one in that it was heavily guarded by policemen, and the audience of about 200 had been carefully screened to avoid any "embarrassments" such as at the first hearing. Under these conditions, Mayor Koch and his police commissioner felt comfortable enough to put in their appearance and give their testimony, where they arrogantly whitewashed the brutality of the New York Police Department. The response of Conyers confirmed once again that these hearings have not been organized as £ forum for mobilizing mass opposition to police terror but as a form for seeking reconciliation with the racist police. Conyers, who had earlier made some remarks hinting that police brutality in the city was systematic, proceeded to take them back. He said, "I did not mean to cast any slander on an entire police force." (New York Times, November 29, 1983)


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Solidarity with the South African masses against U.S.-backed apartheid

(The following article is reprinted from the November 1983 issue of The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group.)

During the next few months, demonstrations, conferences and boycotts of various types are being called in New York against the apartheid regime in South Africa and, in particular, to protest U.S. imperialism's support for the hated racist regime. Back in June, two demonstrations took place in New York City outside the South African embassy and U.S. banks involved there to protest the brutal hanging of three black revolutionaries by the apartheid regime and to commemorate the anniversary of the heroic Soweto rebellion. Since then, there have been a few other protests, while several activities are being planned for over the fall. These are welcome signs of a renewal of a mass movement in opposition to South African apartheid. There is a very deep and fervent hatred shared by the broad working masses, students and all progressive people for the system of apartheid in South Africa. This was shown in the U.S., also across Europe, by the fierce struggles which broke out in opposition to the tour by South Africa's Springbok Rugby team in 1981.

This mass sentiment is solid ground to organize solidarity with the revolutionary struggle of the heavily oppressed black masses of South Africa and their heroic armed fighters, to smash the system of apartheid and take power into their own hands. It is solid ground to widely expose and condemn "our own" U.S. imperialist bourgeoisie which is a main prop of the racist settler regime and which reaps tremendous super-profits from the system of apartheid.

Solidarity With the Fighting Masses of South Africa

The national liberation movement of the South African masses is the powerful force that can overthrow apartheid and bring about sweeping democratic, and revolutionary changes. In the past few months numerous important struggles have been taking place, as the movement gathers momentum against the racist rulers and their imperialist sponsors. Back in June, there were four days of extensive protests of workers and students, which included clashes with the police, to denounce the brutal hanging of three black revolutionaries by the regime. One week later, despite nonstop repression and explicit laws to the contrary, the masses again took to the streets in numerous localities throughout the country to commemorate the anniversary of the heroic Soweto rebellion of June 1976. Since then, there has been a tremendous outpouring of protest focused against the apartheid regime's "Constitutional Reform Bill." In August, for example, over 12,000 people staged a rally outside Cape Town to denounce this latest outrage by the apartheid regime. This bill gives limited and strictly token political rights to certain collaborationist non-white bourgeois politicians. In this way, the regime seeks to legitimize the apartheid system's denial of all rights to the black working masses, who comprise the overwhelming majority. In response, the masses have denounced this bill as a fraud and replied by stepping up their mass struggle to overthrow apartheid altogether.

Among the important features of the growing rebellion are: increasingly sharp strikes, walkouts, slowdowns and other protests by the workers over wages and against repression of the few trade unions, etc.; extensive and continuous boycotts of classes by high school and also university students, and clashes with the police; and there have also been successful guerrilla strikes against the apartheid regime's military and economic installations.

Clearly, the South African masses refuse to cow down before the barbarous racist regime and imperialism. Solidarity with the South African masses against apartheid means, first of all, supporting the national liberation struggle there. It means support for revolution. This solidarity must not be allowed to be restricted to supporting UN resolutions. Apartheid will not collapse from rebuke and resolutions from the podiums of the UN. It is a man-eating machine with powerful imperialist allies. Only the self-sacrificing revolutionary struggle of the Azanian masses can grind apartheid into the dust. The solidarity movement has the special duty of confronting the challenge thrown down by U.S. imperialism, which is closely linked with, and backs apartheid to the hilt.

U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of South Africa

U.S. imperialism's ties with South Africa are not just a matter of some "ill-advised" investment policies. It is supported by the rich U.S. capitalists and bankers for a system, which, by thriving on the inhuman subjugation of the millions of blacks, delivers enormous profits to the coffers of the U.S. imperialists. The U.S. has built up a massive corporate and banking empire in South Africa involving over 350 companies, with investments and holdings in excess of $14 billion (U.S. currency). The U.S. imperialists did not just accidentally stumble on this pot of gold. Rather, the high level of U.S. investment in South Africa is a measure of how U.S. imperialism has taken into account the enormous super-profits obtainable through the apartheid system. Thus, U.S. imperialism has a big stake vested in the maintenance of the apartheid system in South Africa. Furthermore, the apartheid regime in South Africa, a fortress of reaction in its own right, is a bloodstained aggressor and a police outpost for the designs of U.S.-led Western imperialism in that region. It is a regime which, armed to the teeth, is frequently unleashed to massacre revolutionaries, refugees and the peoples in neighboring states. Finally, the South African regime provides a strategic haven for U.S. naval bases and serves as a trusted guardian of strategic sea routes ployed by the navies of U.S. and other Western imperialist states. Thus, this is an alliance based on profits and on common aggressive and counter-revolutionary objectives.

This is why South African apartheid has received the firm support of successive administrations in Washington. The Carter administration's hypocritical posturing behind its phoney "ban" on certain aspects of U.S. ties with the apartheid regime never altered this fact in the slightest. And Reagan, with his self-proclaimed policy of "constructive engagement" with the apartheid regime, is proudly carrying forward this long-standing support in a more naked form.

Therefore, solidarity with the South African masses against apartheid demands resolute opposition to U.S. imperialism. The mass movement in solidarity with the people of South Africa must be vigilant to oppose the deception by various Democratic Party liberals, including various black politicians and public officials such as from the American Committee on Africa (ACA) who are opposed to the movement targeting U.S. imperialism as a system. To tone down the denunciation of U.S. imperialism, they argue that U.S. corporate investments in South Africa are "ill-advised," and represent "a risk," since the apartheid regime will one day be surely overthrown. Their concern is to garnish the "image," the "perception," of U.S. imperialism by the South African masses and in the region as a whole. Their "argument" is not against U.S. imperialist plunder of the African masses but is merely an objection to the scandalous and "clumsy" way in which U.S. imperialism has tied itself to the inevitable fate of the apartheid regime. And consequently, they favor a closer return to a Carterite policy of giving a "human rights" face to U.S. imperialist plunder of the South African masses, intended as a safety measure to ensure that U.S. imperialism's interests are not jeopardized in the long run.

The movement in the U.S. in solidarity with the cruelly oppressed South African masses must squarely target U.S. imperialism as a system.


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Strike News in Brief

Bakery workers block scabs

[Photo: Striking workers at Salerno Biscuit Co. block scabs from entering the plant.]

On November 7th, 60 bakery workers threw up a mass picket line at the Salerno Biscuit Company in North Chicago. The pickets struggled to block scabs from entering the plant and to bar delivery trucks from leaving. In this confrontation the police came to the aid of the Salerno capitalists and after a scuffle arrested one of the pickets.

The 340 Salerno bakery workers have been on strike since September 24 against the capitalists' outrageous demands for a 20% wage cut and other concessions in health and severance pay. So far 10 workers have been arrested in confrontations with the police and two of the strikers have been hit by cars trying to enter the plant. Despite these attacks, the workers have stood firm and are pressing forward their strike.

Strike at Russer Foods enters its sixth month

Since July 1, the 150 meatpackers at Russer Foods in Buffalo, N.Y. have been striking against the vicious wage- cutting demands of the capitalists. Russer Foods is demanding a $4 cut in pay and the elimination of vacation, holiday and sick time for the workers.

From early in the strike Russer Foods has been bringing in scabs to replace the strikers. And it has gotten every assistance in this strikebreaking from the government. The courts have ordered an injunction which limits the number of pickets to only five. As well, he police daily escort the scabs into the plant and have arrested over 10 strikers who attempted to block the scabs.

Nevertheless, the strikers have continued to resist. They have organized a demonstration through the city to protest the police attacks. And on September 12th, 100 workers defiantly formed a mass picket to keep the scabs out of the plant. Since then the picketing has continued and there have been numerous confrontations with the scabs and their police protectors.

Auto parts workers fight concessions

The frenzy of concessions bargaining in the auto industry is cutting deep into the pockets of the workers who produce auto parts. This fall the Fedders capitalists, who produce radiators and other components for the auto industry, demanded a whole slew of concessions from their workers. These included a wage cut, the elimination of the cost-of-living allowance, reduction of pensions and life insurance, deletion of jury duty pay, and so forth.

But the 135 workers at the Buffalo Fedders plant refused to go along with these arrogant demands of the capitalists. On September 1, the workers walked off the job. In the following months the capitalists have tried to break the strike by employing scabs. But the workers have maintained their picket lines and confronted the scabs time and again.

Steel workers demonstrate against layoffs and threatened mill closing

On November 23, some 300 workers marched for over a mile to the gates of U.S. Steel's South works mill in the Chicago area. U.S. Steel has laid off over 5,000 workers at the mill and is threatening to close it down completely. Workers from Southworks were joined by workers from the closed Wisconsin Steel Mill and by laid off workers from GM's Electro Motor Plant. The workers denounced the greedy U.S. Steel billionaires and demanded bringing back the laid off and keeping the mill open. The marchers also expressed their solidarity with the striking Greyhound workers.

Last September the U.S. Steel billionaires, while laying off many workers and closing down parts of the Southworks operation, promised to open a new rail mill at the Southworks site. With this promise of jobs, U.S. Steel was able to force on the workers a series of job combinations and other concessions. Shortly after this U.S. Steel and the other big steel monopolies gained another series of concessions from the sellout USWA hacks in the national steel contract bargaining. But despite the enormous concessions, U.S. Steel did not carry out its promise to open the new rail mill and provide jobs for Southworks employees. Instead they once again came back demanding even larger concessions from the workers.

This example shows once again that concessions do not save jobs. Rather, they fuel the capitalists' hunger for even greater concessions. The workers can only defend their jobs and livelihood by organizing mass struggle against the steel billionaires.

The steel workers are learning this bitter lesson. The South works workers, despite the threat of closing the steel mill, militantly rejected U.S. Steel's most recent demands for additional concessions. The demonstration on November 23 is yet another sign that the workers will not take the attacks of the steel capitalists lying down.


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Twinsburg, Ohio

Chrysler workers strike against overtime

Chrysler Strike in Twinsburg

The 3,200 workers at Chrysler's stamping plant in Twinsburg, Ohio waged a six day local contract strike from November 1 to 6. The strikers denounced the outrageous overtime they are forced to work while half of the Chrysler workers have had their jobs eliminated, and they denounced the vicious job combinations, speedup, and deteriorating health and safety conditions that have resulted from Chrysler's concessions drive.

The striking workers nearly brought Chrysler to its knees. Within hours after the strike began, work was cut back in Chrysler plants all across the U.S. and Canada. In two days virtually all supplies of doors, roofs and underbodies were exhausted. At the end of four days, six of Chrysler's eight assembly plants were shut down and 25,000 of Chrysler's 55,000 workers were off the job. The UAW estimated that the strike would cost Chrysler $50 million per week. And Chrysler Chairman, Lee Iacocca, who only yesterday boasted of Chrysler's record profits in 1983, began moaning that Chrysler would be bankrupt if the strike lasted more than a month.

The strike inspired the workers at Chrysler plants everywhere. They face the same terrible conditions and gave the strike their whole-hearted support. But the UAW bureaucrats did not have the same fighting spirit. Right at the point where the strike was bringing the maximum pressure on the Chrysler capitalists, the UAW hacks forced the workers back to work and saddled them with a contract containing only the most minimal gains.

This strike shows once again that the workers can gain nothing unless they put up a stern mass struggle against the capitalists. And they can only wage such a struggle by taking matters into their own hands and organizing themselves independently of the union bureaucrats who have been selling out their struggles at every turn.

A Strike Against Chrysler's Productivity Drive

The Twinsburg workers are facing the same attacks as every other Chrysler worker. A whole series of concessions contracts since 1979 have turned the Chrysler plants into a hell on earth. Chrysler has stepped up its drive for productivity with the aim of increasing its record profits through enormous overtime, increased work loads, and layoffs. These measures have eliminated the jobs of half of the Chrysler workers.

At Twinsburg, workers have worked up to 10 hours a day, seven days a week, for eight months. The mandatory overtime has been backed up by the threat of firing under the vicious Absentee Control Program imposed by the national contract. As well, the work force was cut back, new work rules imposed, relief time cut from 36 to 24 minutes per eight hours, and job classification and seniority rights came under attack. As a result, the health and safety conditions of the workers have deteriorated to an intolerable extent.

These attacks are part of Chrysler's deliberate all-sided drive to "reindustrialize," "increase efficiency,'' "become competitive,'' and so forth. These are the code words for cutting the work force to the bone, laying off tens of thousands, and working the rest to death. In fact, two weeks before the strike, Richard Lake was crushed to death in his stamping press. Such tragedies will be the inevitable fate of more and more workers due to fatigue and exhaustion at Chrysler's hands.

UAW Hacks Sabotage the Workers' Struggle

Although the striking workers had all but shut Chrysler down, the UAW bureaucrats sabotaged the strike before it could obtain its goals. The sellout hacks never wanted the strike to begin with. And once it began they did everything they could to bring it to a halt. Just as they have imposed one concessions contract after another since 1979, the UAW hacks showed once again that their concern is not for the workers, but for the health and prosperity of the Chrysler capitalists.

The top UAW chieftains have never opposed the backbreaking, job eliminating productivity drive of the Chrysler capitalists. In fact they have endorsed it as the key to "making Chrysler competitive'' and restoring the company's profits. Over the years this has meant wholesale closing of plants, consolidation of production in fewer, more automated facilities and working at all-out overtime at the plants remaining open. Also Chrysler has eliminated the stockpiling and warehousing of parts in order to maximize profits by cutting overhead and wiping out the jobs of the workers needed for stockpiling. Again the UAW applauded this system as an example of "efficient, Japanese-style'' production.

The UAW hacks have made an art of prettifying and defending Chrysler's attacks on the workers. In the Twinsburg strike the top hacks covered up for Chrysler again. They ignored the years of steadily worsening speedup and overwork and declared that the problem is that Chrysler simply miscalculated in its sales estimates. Marc Stepp, UAW's leading apologist for Chrysler, said, "But they didn't foresee the industrial upturn. Now Chrysler has been caught short of plant capacity and they have had to push the workers to keep up with the demand for parts.'' (Detroit Free Press, November 6, 1983) No, Marc Stepp, Chrysler's long-standing practice of closing plants, laying off tens of thousands of workers and demanding maximum overtime for the rest does not result from the lack of foresight. Quite the contrary, Lee Iacocca's drive for "efficiency and productivity'' is a very carefully pre-planned, conscious and systematic program of overwork of the workers.

The system of eliminating the stockpiling of parts had an unexpected result for Chrysler. It left them vulnerable to a strike at Twinsburg because they did not have enough parts stockpiled to keep up production at their other plants. But, here again, rather than use the strength of the Twinsburg strike to call on all the Chrysler workers to rise as one against the ruthless productivity drive, Marc Stepp instead used the strike to advise Chrysler on how to avoid being vulnerable to the workers' strikes. He warned that Chrysler should reopen its Detroit, Mack Avenue stamping plant so that it doesn't have "all its eggs in one basket at Twinsburg." (Detroit Free Press, November 6, 1983) This can only be interpreted to mean that Chrysler should divide its sources of stamping parts so that strikes by workers such as at Twinsburg couldn't cause the shutdown of the entire corporation.

Of course it would be a good thing for the laid off Chrysler workers if they got called back to any reopened plants. And Chrysler workers should demand that all laid off workers be called back or be provided with a livelihood. But Marc Stepp's only concern is with Chrysler's vulnerability.

In fact Stepp only dared to mention reopening a plant because increased sales may force Chrysler to open more plants anyway, in its own self-interests. But opening a plant here or there will not mean that Chrysler will reduce overtime and overwork at other plants. No, in order to fight the overwork the workers must fight against Chrysler's reindustrialization and productivity drive. And in order to advance this fight the Chrysler workers must oppose the sabotage by the UAW top leadership who are supporters of Chrysler's productivity drive.

The Twinsburg strike is instructive. The defiant workers had Chrysler on the ropes. But the UAW leadership refused to use the strength of this strike to smash up the local concessions at Twinsburg. What is more, so far only 20 of the 51 local contracts have been settled. The Twinsburg strike could have been used to mobilize workers throughout Chrysler for a serious struggle against the productivity drive. But the top dogs of the UAW have used the local contract system to keep the workers' struggle broken up and weakened on a plant-by-plant basis. When the Chrysler capitalists can't push through concessions in a national contract, they simply turn around and try to shove them onto the workers at each isolated plant. And here, when despite the UAW leaders' best efforts the Twinsburg workers virtually shut down the entire Chrysler system, the UAW hacks stopped the strike halfway. Clearly, the fight against concessions requires not only struggle against the Chrysler billionaires but also determined work to free the rank-and-file workers from the grips of the UAW misleaders.


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The outcome of the Twinsburg strike

The main terms of the local contract settlement showed that the Twinsburg strike limited the concessions drive of the Chrysler billionaires. Relief time for an eight-hour shift was returned to a full 36 minutes. More janitors are to be called back. But mandatory overtime has only been very slightly limited along the lines of the "voluntary" overtime provision of the national contract. According to a UAW spokesman, starting in January "a person who works 14 consecutive days [at 10 hours a day -- W.A. ] can take a Saturday and Sunday off at the end of the week, if desired." (Detroit Free Press, November 7, 1983) The workers were fighting the brutal overtime. But the UAW leadership has not only given up the 40 hour week, it has saddled the workers with a 70-hour week. This is just outrageous.

Of course there are gains in the contract. But they are certainly tiny in comparison to what might have been achieved if the strike had not been stopped halfway. Nevertheless, the workers' fight against local concessions is a valuable contribution to the long fight by all the. Chrysler workers against the capitalist concessions drive.

For four years under the most difficult conditions Chrysler workers have fought against concessions despite the betrayal of their struggle at every turn by the UAW leadership. Chrysler workers have demonstrated, wild- catted, voted against the recommendations of their national bargaining committee and gone on a national strike in Canada in resistance to concessions. Now the Twinsburg strike reminds workers everywhere of the tremendous strength that workers have if they dare to take the initiative themselves. As the working class increasingly takes up the fight against the Reaganite concessions drive they must more aggressively organize themselves independently of the sold out top ranks of the unions and prepare to carry their struggles through to the end.


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Attacks on the teachers in the name of 'quality education'

Support the struggle of the Boston school teachers

(Below we reprint the article from the October 12 Boston Worker, newspaper of the Boston Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party in support of the struggle of the Boston teachers. Since October the teachers have continued to work without a contract. But their patience is wearing thin. They have called a one-day strike, scheduled for December 15, to protest against the demands of the school board.)

All across the country public school teachers and the public education of the working class youth are under vicious attack from Reagan and the rich. Boston is no exception. This fall there have been strikes by public school teachers in a number of cities. In St. Louis, Oakland, Chicago, and other cities the teachers are opposing the vicious offensive of Reagan and the rich. In Boston on October 13th, 2,500 teachers demonstrated outside the School Committee headquarters. They surrounded the building and denounced the Reaganite budget-cutter Superintendent Spillane.

The Boston teachers have good reason to be angry. Over the past two years Spillane and the Boston School Committee have laid off more than 1,000 teachers. Many classes have swelled to unmanageable and un-teachable sizes. Now Spillane and the School Committee are trying to go further by ramming a "management rights" contract down the teachers' throats. Spillane wants sweeping powers to assign and lay off teachers according to "merit." He wants to eliminate all restriction on the maximum class size. And he wants a contractual right to freeze the teachers' wages.

In the typical style of Reaganite hypocrites, all these attacks are being presented as measures to bring about a return to "quality education." But what has eliminating restrictions on maximum class size got to do with quality education? How can teachers do a good job teaching if they have to work a second job to make ends meet? How can they concentrate on teaching if they know that any moment they can be laid off at the whim of a principal or administrator who doesn't like their political views of who has a crony he wants to place on the payroll instead? The truth is the "quality education" measures of Spillane and the School Board are all designed to facilitate the layoff of more teachers and the deterioration of the schools for the majority of the working class youth. The whole propaganda of the school administration locally and of Reagan nationally about quality education is just a hoax to cover the selfish schemes of the rich and their bureaucrats and politicians. All these gentlemen really want is to further cut back public education for the working class youth in order to have more money available for tax breaks for the rich and for imperialist war preparations. Moreover they want to intimidate the teachers and make sure that the students who do manage to get an education are docile, flag-waving servants of the rich.

The Boston School Committee is in a rush to implement its measures against the teachers in preparation for a major reorganization of the Boston schools next year. With their "school based management" and so-called "freedom of choice" plans, Spillane and the School Committee are planning to completely resegregate the Boston public schools on the basis of both race and class. According to these plans the system will be divided into a handful of elite magnet schools to "attract" the children of professionals while the working class youth, black and white, will be forced to attend segregated "neighborhood" schools. Principals will be given authority to assign and lay off teachers. Each school will compete on the basis of pupil test scores for funds and resources. This system will ensure that the rich schools will get richer and the poor schools get poorer. Students will be discouraged from transferring to better or integrated schools by the entrance exams or by the attacks of the racist gangs that have been in existence since the time of the anti-busing movement.

Mass Active Resistance Is the Only Way!

In Boston, as elsewhere throughout the country, teachers are getting fed up with the layoffs and impossible working conditions. Teachers in Boston are coming to the correct conclusion that the only way to defend themselves from the attacks of the school administration is by a militant and a determined strike. More and more the rank-and-file teachers are demanding a strike. They are getting fed up with the sellout policy of their top union leaders.

In 1981 when the layoffs first began, these leaders refused to call a strike against the layoffs in spite of the fact there was a no layoff clause in the contract. Instead they tried to divide the teachers along racial lines by filing a lawsuit that layoffs should be by seniority only and that affirmative action should be ignored. As a result of this maneuver, 1,000 teachers joined the ranks of the unemployed. Today these same leaders are trying to appease the School Committee by offering all sorts of concessions. Presently the School Committee has declared an "impasse" in negotiation, which according to state law gives the School Committee the right to implement its plans unilaterally. The union leaders' policy of trying to avoid a strike in this situation gives the government the opportunity to implement its management-right program piecemeal just as it did against the MBTA drivers.

However more and more teachers are rejecting such a policy. They are demanding a real fight against Spillane and the School Committee. This pressure from the rank-and-file teachers forced the union leaders to call the October 13 demonstration. The leaders may eventually be forced to call a strike, but in order for the teachers to carry through the struggle successfully they are going to have to organize themselves independently of and against the will of these hacks.

Workers, the current economic crisis of capitalism has uprooted the lives of millions of people. The Reaganite offensive of the rich is getting worse and worse. The offensive of the rich must be answered by a militant, revolutionary mass struggle of the working class and all working and poor people. Today the public school teachers are engaged in a battle of great importance to the working people. Every step they take in the direction of militant mass struggle should be vigorously supported by the workers in every industry.


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Resistance of the Greyhound workers

On November 17 and 18, when Greyhound first attempted to resume bus service with supervisors and scabs behind the wheel, the striking workers responded with militant mass actions. Fierce battles broke out at bus terminals across the country as the scab buses were met by hundreds and hundreds of militant workers. Bus windshields were broken, windshield wiper blades were torn off, and rearview mirrors bent, as human blockades were set up against the scab-driven buses. The buses were pelted with rocks, bottles, lead pipes, eggs and paint as they attempted to pull out of the bus stations.

The Greyhound strikers have not only faced the strikebreaking attempts by Greyhound Bus Lines, but they have also come up against the full weight of the capitalist government. Throughout the country scab buses are being escorted by hoards of police armed with clubs, attack dogs, and charging horses. In many cities, the courts have outlawed or severely limited the workers' picket lines.

The police and government officials are, of course, claiming that they are being evenhanded and only trying to stop violence. But the facts show that the workers' picket lines, not Greyhound's scab operation, are being attacked by the police and courts. It is the honest working men and women who are being arrested, not the wealthy Greyhound capitalists who are trying to take away the workers' jobs and wages.

The Greyhound strike once again proves that behind all its talk of democracy and freedom, the U.S. government is nothing but a repressive took in the hands of the rich. Just as Ronald Reagan sends the Marines abroad to defend the interests of the rich wherever they are threatened; at home too the government has unleashed its police and courts to suppress the workers for the wealthy owners of Greyhound. Faced with this challenge, the Greyhound workers have militantly fought to defend their strike.

Just look at some of the spirited actions that have taken place across the country.

Seattle, Washington

On November 17, the first day that the scab-driven buses were scheduled to run, 200 strikers and supporters rallied at the bus station to block the buses and to defend the strike. As the first scab driver readied to begin his run, Seattle police armed with billy clubs gathered around to protect the bus. The striking workers began shouting, "Hell no they won't go!'' and moved forward to blockade the bus.

The cops began to attack the workers with their billy clubs, but they were greatly outnumbered. The workers overwhelmed the police and drove them off with their fists and picket signs. The workers pelted the bus with rocks and eggs.

The police ordered the scab driver to drive the bus through the mass of strikers. As the bus inched forward, the battle raged on between the strikers and the police. Even though the police were backed up by Greyhound's hired security thugs and a motorcycle escort, they still had very rough going. After an hour of fighting, the first squad of police were reinforced by a riot squad equipped with padding, helmets, and armed with three-foot-long riot control batons. As the riot squad arrived, the strikers denounced them with shouts of "Seig Heil'' and thrust their picket signs into the air, mimicking Nazi-style salutes. Only after the riot squad formed a stick-wielding wedge were they able to escort the scab bus out of the garage.

Later on, a Seattle police captain whined to the newspapers that the police were only able to make two arrests due to the fact that they were physically overwhelmed by the fighting workers. He then went on to describe the day's fighting between the striking workers and the police as reaching an intensity "unprecedented since the demonstrations of the late 60's."

Boston, Mass.

On November 17 and 18, hundreds of Greyhound workers supported by scores of other workers, staged protests outside of the Greyhound bus garages. The workers militantly fought to blockade the scab buses. The police mounted vicious attacks against the strikers using billy clubs, attack dogs and charging horses. The workers vigorously fought back injuring four policemen, sending one to the hospital with a broken leg. During these two days of resistance in Boston more than 65 workers were arrested.

San Francisco

In a pouring rainstorm on November 18, hundreds of striking Greyhound workers organized a mass picket against the scab bus runs from that city. The San Francisco Greyhound workers' resistance was also particularly spirited. When one scab bus attempted to pull out of the bus terminal it was met straight on by a mass of militant workers, who attacked it with bricks, bottles and lead pipes. Within a short time, Greyhound had to cancel this scab run as the bus was forced to limp back into the bus garage with a flat tire and a smashed windshield, and covered with paint.

Detroit

When striking Greyhound workers found out that scab training runs were being conducted in the Detroit metro area, mobile picket teams were sent out to confront the scab operations.

On November 4, Greyhound took applications to hire scabs at the downtown bus terminal. A mass picket was set up to protest Greyhound's attempts at strikebreaking. Between 300-400 Greyhound strikers and other workers from all sectors of the working class militantly denounced the Greyhound capitalists. Slogans like "Don't scab, support the strike'' and "No concessions, fight Reagan now" rang out from the picket line. After seeing the militant picket line and after discussing the strike with the picketers, many potential job applicants refused to cross the picket line. These workers were long-term unemployed from the auto plants and other industrial jobs; but despite their desperate plight they decided against being turned into scabs against their fellow workers.

A Massive Show of Working Class Solidarity for the Greyhound Strike

In city after city, the valiant Greyhound workers have been aided by hundreds and hundreds of workers from every industry to support the strike by joining the picket lines. In factories all across the country, workers have been saying to themselves, "We can't allow another section of the working class to be singled out and crushed by the rich. We can't let them do to the Greyhound workers what they did to the air traffic controllers!"

Support rallies and mass pickets have been held from coast to coast. Five thousand workers rallied in Boston to support the strike, 3,000 in New York City, 800 in Philadelphia, and 350 in Minneapolis, just to name a few. Workers in the transportation sector, including railroad workers, airline workers and teamsters, were particularly vigorous in aiding and supporting the Greyhound workers. Industrial workers from steel mills, the electrical plants, the auto plants, the shipyards and the garment factories have also vigorously participated in the strike. Public sector workers, postal and telephone workers, all knowing the bitter taste of concessions, have eagerly joined in too.

In many cities, workers took up their own actions to help support the Greyhound strike. In Dallas, postal workers refused to deliver mail to Greyhound. In Philadelphia, teamster drivers encircled the bus station with a convoy blockade of tractor-trailer trucks. At the U.S.-Canadian border in Vancouver, British Columbia, customs inspectors refused to permit scab Greyhound buses to enter into Canada.

[Photo: 5,000 workers rally in support of striking Greyhound workers in Boston.]

[Photo: Greyhound strikers in Seattle fought fiercely against the police attacks on their picket line.]


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Condemn Greyhound's murder of bus driver Raymond Phillips

[Photo: In Zanesville, Ohio more than 200 Greyhound strikers held a militant memorial rally denouncing Greyhound's murder of bus driver Raymond Phillips.]

In city after city, Greyhound has sent its scab buses driving through the striking workers' picket lines. Everyone knew that it was only a matter of time before this strikebreaking tactic would seriously injure or kill one of the striking workers. And now the hands of the Greyhound capitalists are dripping with the blood of a dead Greyhound driver.

On Monday, December 5, in the southeastern Ohio town of Zanesville, striking workers from across the state gathered to protest against a Greyhound scab driver training school that had been set up there. When a scab driver on a training run pulled his bus up to a highway intersection, it was met by more than 80 striking workers who proceeded to denounce him and pound their fists on the bus windshield. Inside the bus, the Greyhound supervisor in charge directed the scab driver to ram the bus through the mass of workers gathered in front of the bus. But 42-year-old Greyhound driver Raymond Phillips was unable to get out of the way in time. Phillips, who was banging his fists on the bus' sideview mirror, slipped and fell on the wet pavement and was crushed under the bus' rear wheels as it proceeded forward.

This cowardly strikebreaking murder of Greyhound driver Raymond Phillips shows the bloodthirsty nature of the Greyhound capitalists. This murder will not intimidate the striking Greyhound workers. It will only further their resolve to fight against Greyhound's concessions demands.

A few weeks earlier at a strike rally in Cleveland Raymond Phillips told his fellow workers not to fear the dangers of the picket line. He told them of how last year he looked death in the face when he was in a massive car wreck which killed his wife and several other family members. He inspired them to continue mass picketing against Greyhound's scab buses. Raymond Phillips vigorously fought against Greyhound's strikebreaking schemes and heroically gave his life in the defense of the working class. The example of Raymond Phillips will surely inspire the whole working class in its struggle against the monopoly capitalists.


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UAW chief Owen Bieber scabs on the Greyhound strikers

Throughout the country, just about all of the Greyhound workers -- drivers, baggage handlers, clerks, mechanics, etc. -- are represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). But this is not the case in Detroit, where 79 Greyhound mechanics and other support personnel are represented by two UAW locals.

When the Greyhound strike began, the striking workers asked the UAW to honor their picket lines. Everyone thought that it was only natural that the two UAW locals would go along with this request. After all, honoring picket lines is a basic principle of working class solidarity understood by workers everywhere.

But that didn't stop UAW International President Owen Bieber from ordering the UAW mechanics and other support personnel to cross the Greyhound picket lines to service and repair the scab buses. Strikebreaker Bieber argued that, "We have a contract to uphold." In other words, Bieber upholds first and foremost his servile obedience to the capitalist moneybags and to hell with working class solidarity!

Of course, for the top UAW leadership to side with the corporations as they jam takebacks down the workers' throats is nothing new. These are the same gentlemen who have joined hands with the auto billionaires to saddle the auto workers with round after round of wage and benefit concessions. These "labor leaders" from UAW's Solidarity House may spout all sorts of nice phrases about "labor solidarity" to the crowd, but when it comes to actual deeds they are nothing but anti-labor scabs through and through!


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The Salvadoran revolution smashes up the counterinsurgency offensive

The mighty fist of the revolution has sent the fascist U.S.-backed Salvadoran regime reeling. Since September, the armed liberation fighters have been carrying out a nationwide offensive against the government's forces. Over 60 attacks have been unleashed on government-held villages and cities and battles have raged in nine of El Salvador's 14 provinces. The revolutionary offensive has inflicted severe casualties on the regime's army. In September and October alone, over 800 fascist troops were killed and another 400 captured.

The offensive began with a major assault on San Miguel, the country's third largest city. After overrunning the government army, barracks on the city's outskirts, the rebel forces fought their way to the center of the city on September 3. In the fighting the fascist army suffered hundreds of casualties. The next day the liberation forces withdrew from the city to frustrate encirclement attempts by the regime.

Within a couple of weeks the insurgents had opened campaigns in several provinces. In these operations a number of towns fell into rebel hands. In Cuscatlan province the rebels damaged three aircraft. During late September several fascist commanders were captured including a notorious death squad leader, Major Napoleon Medina Garay.

In October and November the government troops took one beating after another. Even areas close to the capital, San Salvador, were under siege. On October 30 the liberation forces won victory at Tejutepeque, just 37 miles north of the capital. And on November 16 the rebels successfully fought the "crack" U.S.-trained Atonal Battalion on the Coastal Highway, 45 miles east of San Salvador. Meanwhile the offensive was continuing across the country. In one major victory, the revolutionary army seized the large town of Ciudad Barrios in San Miguel province from government forces.

The advance of the revolutionary struggle has enabled the liberation forces to consolidate their control of large sections of El Salvador. They can now travel freely in a corridor running from the center of the country through to the east coast. A large part of northeast El Salvador, consisting of one-eighth of the country, is being administered by the revolutionaries. A similar situation exists in parts of Usulutan and Chalatenango provinces. The control of these areas by the liberation fighters is creating the conditions for further development of the revolution. Offices have been opened to recruit volunteers into the armed struggle and into civilian support brigades. It is reported, for example, that in the northeast, peasant brigades are repairing roads so that rebel troops can drive through the region in vehicles captured from the government. Clearly the popular forces are gaining momentum.

The brilliant successes of the recent offensive are a big defeat for the Reagan administration's plans to crush the revolution. The U.S. imperialists have been continually escalating their intervention in El Salvador in order to save their "death,, squad" dictatorship from defeat. The regime has been given mountains of military equipment by Reagan. Whole battalions of fascist troops have been trained in the U.S. and a permanent training center has been set up in Honduras. U.S. military "advisers" have assumed control over the direction of counterinsurgency operations. And the U.S. Air Force has flown combat missions in El Salvador from their bases in Panama. However, despite this massive aid, the Salvadoran government has been unable to contain the revolution.

In an effort to solve this dilemma, U.S. imperialism devised the "National Strategy." This plan was launched with much fanfare in the spring' of 1982. Essentially this program was nothing but a large-scale Viet Nam- type "pacification" program to secure whole regions under government military control. The plan was implemented in San Vicente province which was to serve as the starting point of a nationwide offensive against the revolutionaries. The demoralized fascist army was expected to gain new confidence from the San Vicente model and sweep from one victory to another over the liberation forces. With delusions of grandeur, Secretary of State Weinberger boasted in early September 1983 that the regime's army was "making very great progress" and "increasing the amount of country under their control."

But the heroic armed struggle of the toiling masses has made arrogant U.S. imperialism and its Salvadoran puppets eat their words. Now the reactionaries are glumly conceding that the much-ballyhooed "National Strategy" is crashing down around them. As a U.S. military "adviser" admitted: "The guerrillas have the initiative now, no one can question that." (New York Times, November 4, 1983)

Indeed far from crushing the revolutionary forces, the government troops are more demoralized than ever. In one 10-day period in mid-November, 200 soldiers surrendered to the liberation fighters. Mass desertions are growing and the government troops are fleeing their posts in the face of the revolutionary offensive. In the battle of Tejutepeque on October 30, for example, the 180 government soldiers guarding the city fled to a nearby town and changed into civilian clothes. It is widely acknowledged that the fascist troops refuse to operate at night and generally try to stay in their barracks because of their fear of the armed revolutionaries. The army hierarchy is in crisis too. Recently the army chief of staff was replaced as were top officers in six provinces.

The resilience and power of the Salvadoran revolution comes from the fact that it is supported by the workers and peasants. The toilers are fighting to free themselves from the U.S.-backed tyrants who rule through naked terror. In the last several years the regime and its death squads have murdered 40,000 people. In 1983, this butchery has continued at the rate of 100 dead per week.

The bloody suppression against the masses is carried out on behalf of the big capitalists and landowners and the U.S. multinational corporations. These rich exploiters make fantastic profits from the sweat of the laboring masses, forcing them into dire poverty and starvation. The workers and peasants have launched their determined armed struggle to rid themselves of this unbearable system.

The revolutionary offensive has been a serious setback for U.S. imperialism. And the Reagan administration is seeking revenge by deepening U.S.. intervention. Among other things, Reagan has plans to set up a large base in El Salvador to train 1,000 puppet troops a month. And the administration is clamoring for more U.S. warplanes and helicopter gun- ships for the Salvadoran fascists.

In this situation the American working masses, youth and students must prepare to step up the fight against the ever-growing intervention. Our struggle is in solidarity with the Salvadoran revolution which is fighting our common enemy, U.S. imperialism. It is mass revolutionary struggle at home and in El Salvador which can bring the U.S. aggressors to their knees.

[Map.]


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Angry protests against the invasion of Grenada

[Photo: 1,500 march in Brooklyn on October 29. MLP banner (far left) proclaims: "U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of Grenada!"]

[Photo: Vigorous protest of 600 in Seattle on October 29 condemns Reagan's assault on Grenada.]

The brutal military adventures of the Reagan administration in Central America and Lebanon have been arousing broad sections of the working masses, youth and students into struggle. Thus no sooner had word spread of the vicious invasion of Grenada when dozens of protests broke out around the country. Within hours of the invasion, city streets and college campuses were the scenes of denunciations of this criminal adventure of U.S. imperialism.

Some of the bigger actions occurred in New York City. On October 26, with only a day's notice after the invasion, 5,000 people participated in a rally at the UN and then marched through mid-Manhattan to Times Square. Along the march the slogan "U.S., CIA, Out of Grenada" echoed in the streets. Three days later, 1,500 marched through the Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant sections of Brooklyn, where large numbers of West Indian immigrants reside. On November 4, a mass meeting in solidarity with the Grenadian people attracted 1,500.

In Berkeley, California the protests assumed a particularly militant character. On short notice several thousand outraged protesters took to the streets. The marchers rallied at the city hall. There the social-democratic Mayor Newport, a self-proclaimed "friend of Grenada," tried to stifle the marchers' militancy and ordered them to go home. Nevertheless several hundred demonstrators defied the mayor and proceeded to block a major intersection for several hours. The next day protests resumed at the Berkeley campus of the University of California. After 2,000 rallied, a march began through the campus to Berkeley High School where a number of students joined the action. The march continued to the Bank of America, a hated symbol of U.S. imperialism, where a brick was thrown into the bank's window. Police tried to arrest the alleged brick-thrower, but the angry demonstrators surrounded the police, preventing any arrests. In addition to the Berkeley protests, a demonstration of 2,500 denounced the invasion in nearby San Francisco.

As the Berkeley example shows, the Grenada invasion was sternly denounced at the universities. From the protest of 1,000 at Harvard in Boston to the march of 1,000 at Stanford in Palo Alto, California, the student youth are saying "no" to Reaganite aggression.

Likewise, the outrage of the working masses over the Grenadian invasion boiled into the streets in city after city. This groundswell of protest built up to the mass actions of November 12. Originally the November 12 demonstrations were to focus on the government's intervention in Central America. But the upsurge over the rape of Grenada was such that this became a central issue in the November 12 actions.

The naked invasion of Grenada has starkly revealed the savage nature of U.S. imperialism among growing numbers of the workers and oppressed. Anti-imperialist banners and slogans are being raised with greater frequency in the mass actions. The MLP has thrown itself into the struggle in order to further the advance of an anti-imperialist stand among the masses. It has done wide-scale agitation among the workers in the factories and in the working class communities. As well, MLP contingents have marched in the demonstrations that swept the country. Everywhere the MLP's work has met with the warm approval of the masses. The atrocities of U.S. imperialism are opening the eyes of broad sections of the masses and increasing their fighting spirit.


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Will the Democrats stop funding the war in El Salvador?

Can pigs grow wings?

The Reagan administration's intervention in El Salvador is taking place with the blessings of the Democratic Party "opposition." The Democratic Party liberals moan and groan about Reagan's policy in order to dupe the people. But when it comes time to act, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives merrily approves hundreds of millions of dollars for the Salvadoran dictatorship. The Democrats finance Reagan's war in El Salvador because they too want to crush the revolution, maintain the fascist tyrants in power and preserve U.S. domination of Central America. Indeed it was the "great opponent" of Reagan's Central American policy, the liberal Democrat Senator Dodd, who announced in April that congressional Democrats "share goals" with Reagan and will therefore "oppose the establishment of Marxist states in Central America" "if necessary, by military means."

In that case, over what then have the liberal Democrats been whimpering? They want the Reagan administration to carry out its war on the Salvadoran people under a smoke screen of chatter about "human rights" and "peace." Thus, since 1981, they have granted military aid to El Salvador on the condition that Reagan go through the farce of certifying every six months that the death squad regime is becoming more humane, making reforms, etc.

This fall the liberal Democrats took their hypocrisy to new heights. They supported a huge $64.8 million military aid bill to El Salvador which passed Congress on November 17. This bill continued the phoney certification process of the last two years. But for greater deception, the bill also stipulated that 30% of the aid was to be withheld pending a verdict in the case of the four U.S. churchwomen murdered by the Salvadoran regime.

How "humane" of the Democrats! They will "only" give a bare minimum of $45 million to the Salvadoran regime which is waging genocidal war on the masses. And if the regime agrees to pretend to oppose the wanton execution of the four churchwomen, if it remembers that it is being paid to kill Salvadorans, not Americans, then the liberals will give them a $20 million bonus.

Despite this generous offer to finance Reagan's war, Reagan spat at the congressional liberals and pocket- vetoed the bill. War dog Reagan no longer wanted to be encumbered by the certification formalities required of him by Congress. Thus he cast aside any pretensions of trying to reform the Salvadoran fascists.

Now that Reagan has wrecked the little game of the Democrats will they seriously oppose Reagan? Will they cut off military aid now that Reagan is openly admitting he does not give a whit about human rights in El Salvador? Not on your life. Instead Dodd has indicated that he will support efforts to pass a new bill similar to the vetoed bill when Congress reconvenes in January. In short, the Democrats will finance Reagan's war even after Reagan has shown to everyone that he supports fascist murder in El Salvador.

The grovelling stand of the Democratic Party shows that they too are drenched in the blood of the Reagan administration's intervention in El Salvador. In order to build the movement against Reaganite intervention in El Salvador, it is necessary to expose and denounce the two-faced liars of the Democratic Party "opposition." The struggle must be built independently of both political parties of imperialism and war, the Democrats and the Republicans.


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Reagan's 'Secretary of War' Denounced at Harvard

In recent weeks, a number of prominent spokesmen for U.S. imperialism have met militant protests when they have gone to various cities to put in speaking appearances. It happened to Haig in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Kissinger in Buffalo, New York. On Thursday, November 17, it was Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger's turn at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Weinberger was invited to address the Harvard Law Forum. Despite short notice, several hundred Harvard students and other people from the area were mobilized to protest against his visit. Militants of the MLP, USA vigorously participated in the actions of the day.

At noon there was a demonstration which condemned the Reagan administration's warmongering and aggression around the world. At this rally, tickets to Weinberger's lecture were sold by anti-militarist activists at Harvard. They were eagerly grabbed up by the demonstrators who did not want to let an opportunity slip by to denounce Weinberger to his face.

Inside the hall, long before Weinberger appeared it was clear that he was going to be confronted with a very angry crowd. The protestors' ranks were bolstered by many others who had come directly to the lecture to protest the appearance of this arrogant organizer of U.S. aggression. Many people had managed to bring placards and banners inside the hall. One, prominently hung from the balcony, declared: Weinberger -- War Criminal!

When Weinberger was introduced by a law professor as the Secretary of Defense, the audience shouted: "Of War!" And as soon as Weinberger appeared, the anger of the people boiled over. He was met with a ringing chant of "No Draft, No War, U.S. Out of El Salvador!" Weinberger proceeded to try to give his lecture but he had an impossible time making himself heard. He was constantly disrupted through his half-hour speech by shouts, slogans and chants. "No Imperialist War!," "U.S. Out of Grenada!," "U.S. Out of Nicaragua!," and other slogans rang out again and again.

As well, during his speech and the question period afterwards, Weinberger's outrageous remarks were refuted on the spot by the demonstrators. When this warmonger who backs up tyrants around the world claimed that the U.S. defends democracy internationally, the audience reminded him: "South Africa! South Africa!" When Weinberger asserted that the U.S. was not occupying Grenada but helping to install a provisional government there, the protestors shouted: "Puppets! Puppets!" And when Weinberger denied that U.S. military "advisers" were running the war in El Salvador with an arrogant remark that "Things would be different if they were," the audience reminded him, "Viet Nam! Viet Nam!" an experience which amply refutes the alleged invincibility of the U.S. military machine. Finally, being able to take no more, the question period was called off and the war dog fled, amidst heavy police protection.

The Harvard protest was a vigorous and successful action against U.S. imperialist aggression and war. The militancy of the action reflected the deep sense of outrage and anger that large sections of the masses have felt with the naked invasion of the tiny country of Grenada a few weeks earlier by the Reagan administration.

The atmosphere of the protest was strongly reminiscent of the 60's when war criminals of the Johnson and Nixon administrations had an extremely difficult time showing their faces on the campuses because they faced angry protests wherever they went. And, just like it was back then, the spokesmen for imperialist war are shielded by various liberal apologists under the demagogic slogan of "free speech." Even before Weinberger appeared on stage, a bigshot liberal professor came forward to plead for Weinberger's "right to speak." He tried to curry favor with the demonstrators with the comment that he too did not fully agree with all the views and acts of the Pentagon but he believed that things should be sorted out through "dialogue." What a farce! Does U.S. imperialism go to war to uphold dialogue? Is it dialogue which the U.S. military was carrying out when they invaded Grenada? Is it dialogue which the U.S. advisors and weapons are being used for in Central America?

These fraudulent liberal appeals increasingly fell on deaf ears. The demonstrators were not impressed. Nor were they intimidated when the appeals for "free speech" were replaced by threats from law student marshals to physically throw the demonstrators out if they didn't quiet down. The protestors reminded the organizers of the lecture of the fraud of "free speech" in El Salvador, Grenada, and so forth.

As well, to certain people in the audience who were confused by the arguments about "free speech," militants of the MLP and other activists explained, both during the lecture and afterwards, that the issue is to fight the warmongers, not to have a chitchat with them. The warmongering policies of the Reagan administration are not some mistaken ideas that can be changed by convincing them through talk, but represent the policies of the system of imperialism. As far as Weinberger and the other imperialists' "freedom to speak" goes, they have ample platforms provided for them to spew their lies, daily and hourly, by the powerful capitalist news media. Those who want to oppose aggression and war cannot help the warmongers have more opportunities to spread their lies and venom but must stand up to them. They must use every opportunity to fight the crimes of the U.S. government and build a powerful mass movement against U.S. imperialism.

[Photo.]


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November 12th demonstrations:

Marchers say no to U.S. aggression in Central America and Grenada

On November 12, demonstrations were held across the country against the Reagan administration's imperialist interventions in Central America and Grenada. These protests were given particular impetus by the unleashing of the U.S. military machine against the tiny island of Grenada just a couple of weeks earlier. The tens of thousands who took to the streets this day expressed the anger growing among millions of the American working masses who are seeing more and more clearly the bloodthirsty nature of U.S. imperialism.

The largest demonstration was in Washington, D.C. where 50,000 marched and rallied. In Los Angeles 5,000 expressed their contempt for U.S. aggression with a militant march. A driving rain could not prevent the masses in the San Francisco Bay area from marching thousands strong through Oakland and Berkeley. And in Seattle the streets were filled with militant slogans from the demonstration of 2,000. Actions were held in several other cities as well.

The Washington protest began with three separate rallies at the State Department, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Department of Health and Human Services. Besides condemning Reagan's overseas aggression, these rallies targeted the administration's attacks on immigrants and its cutbacks in social services. The three separate rallies then fed into a huge march which ended in a mass protest near the White House.

Furious over the naked aggression in Grenada, the demonstrators were in a militant mood. Banners with anti-imperialist slogans were unfurled such as "U.S. Imperialism, Out of Central America," and fighting chants rang out along the march.

The militant character of the rank- and-file demonstrators greatly upset the official leadership of the November 12 actions. They sought to stifle the militancy and direct the mass sentiment against Reagan's military adventures into supporting the fraudulent Democratic Party "opposition." In several incidents, the official leaders tried to make the activists stop raising anti-imperialist slogans. And while suppressing the militant masses, they featured such Democratic Party politicians as Jesse Jackson as speakers from their platform.

Jesse Jackson's speech provided the aroused masses with an excellent example of the bankruptcy of the liberal Democratic Party hypocrites. Indeed Jackson was roundly booed when he appealed for "neutral troops" in Lebanon to help prop up the fascist Gemayel regime against the Lebanese and Palestinian masses. For all his militant-sounding preaching, Jackson's basic criticism of Reagan was that he was "increasingly using military might as a first resort rather than a last resort." In other words Jackson supported a Reaganite policy of threatening the oppressed people of other lands to do what the U.S. imperialists want or else! The pro-imperialist stand of Jackson only succeeded in incurring widespread disgust among the demonstrators.

The Marxist-Leninist Party strove to develop the sentiment of the militant demonstrators for an uncompromising struggle. It distributed a Special Bulletin of The Workers' Advocate prepared for the November 12 events. Despite the efforts of the official organizers to turn the protest into a love-in for the Democratic Party, the masses were eager to examine the revolutionary views of the MLP and some 14,000 copies were distributed.

This bulletin condemned the Reagan administration's brutal invasion of Grenada, exposing the flimsy lies used to justify it. The bulletin pointed out that this invasion shows that U.S. imperialism respects nothing but force as it strives to enslave the entire world. Therefore, the leaflet stated: "There can be no faith in Congress or the Constitution or the UN Charter. Only the revolutionary mass struggles of the workers and oppressed, both at home and abroad, can teach a lesson to this imperialist beast." The Special Bulletin also denounced the U.S. war of aggression against Nicaragua and the efforts to crush the revolution in El Salvador.

The MLP leaflet placed emphasis on the vital question of the path forward for the movement against Reagan's big stick policy against the peoples of Central America and the Caribbean. It pointed out that to rely on the Democratic Party "opposition" was futile and that the Democrats and Republicans are just twin parties of imperialist aggression. In opposition to this dead end of relying on the Democrats, the Special Bulletin called on the masses to build the mass struggle and direct it at the imperialist system, the true source of war and foreign conquest. It appealed for solidarity with the revolutionary struggles around the world directed against U.S. imperialism. With this agitation and through its all-round work at the demonstration in Washington, D.C. and other cities, the MLP vigorously worked to strengthen the mass movement and guide it into battle against the imperialist system.

The four articles from the November 12 Special Bulletin of The Workers' Advocate are reprinted below.

[Photo: Part of the Washington, D.C. demonstration of 50,000 opposing U.S. aggression in Grenada and Central America on November 12.]


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Condemn Reagan's aggression against Grenada!

During the last week of October, 6,000 U.S. troops, backed up by 20 warships and another 10,000 troops offshore, invaded Grenada. This was a brutal act of aggression against a small country of 110,000 people. It was a criminal act of imperialist conquest.

Reagan's aims in ordering this invasion are straightforward: to crush the Grenadian people and to set up a puppet government under the U.S. jackboot. Every lie that Reagan offers to justify this invasion only further exposes it as imperialist banditry.

* "The U.S. invaded to protect civilians from violence" -- as if it weren't the U.S. Marines and Rangers that attacked the island with a hailstorm of artillery shells, bombs and bullets, including an air strike on a civilian hospital that killed several dozen people.

* "The U.S. invaded to save American lives" -- as if the only real danger to the Americans on Grenada did not come from the spewing bullets and shells of the U.S. invaders; and as if the U.S. has the right to invade any country where Americans happen to be.

* "The U.S. invaded to restore democracy" -- as if it wasn't the U.S. occupation forces that are trampling on Grenadian independence, shooting down and jailing opponents of this occupation, and trying to rig up a new government of the old pro-U.S lackeys who are despised by the Grenadian people.

* "The U.S. invaded to block Cuban military aggression" -- as if the hysterical lies about the presence of "Cuban divisions" had not evaporated into thin air, forcing the Pentagon to admit that there were only some 40 Cuban military advisers and a greater number of construction workers who participated in resisting the U.S. invaders.

We could go on and on, because on every count the Reagan government stands exposed as a criminal aggressor.

The real reason the U.S. imperialists invaded Grenada is because they demand that the whole Caribbean is an "American lake" -- the Caribbean peoples be damned. For two years Reagan and the Pentagon had been working on plans to invade Grenada and depose the government of Maurice Bishop and the New Jewel Movement. While this was a bourgeois nationalist government of the local capitalists, it also carried out some popular reforms and refused to be totally subservient to the U.S. dictate. Reagan and the U.S. imperialists could not tolerate this. So they seized on the power struggle within the New Jewel Movement, the coup d'etat and the murder of Bishop to invade and subjugate the country.

This invasion was supposed to be a message to the Nicaraguan people or any other peoples who might be so rash as to challenge the dictate of the U.S. imperialist overlords. But in many ways this message backfired. As the cowardly gangsters that they are, the U.S. invaders hurled enough firepower against Grenada to sink the island. Just one of the huge American ships carried more men and ten times more arms than the entire 2,000-man Grenadian army, which had only light arms and no navy or air force at all. Despite this overwhelming force, a handful of poorly armed defenders were able to put up a stiff resistance and to frighten the boots off of the crack U.S. troops.

The invasion of Grenada shows that U.S. imperialism respects nothing butt force. It thought nothing of ripping up all its international treaties and declarations to realize its aim. From Grenada to Lebanon to Central America, U.S. troops are trampling on the people. There can be no illusions about a system that brutally invades other countries at will. There can be no faith in Congress or the Constitution or the UN Charter. Only the revolutionary mass struggles of the workers and oppressed, both at home and abroad, can teach a lesson to this imperialist beast.

Down with the U.S invasion of Grenada!

Solidarity with the Grenadian people!

[Photo: A contingent of the MLP vigorously participated in the spirited November 12 march through Oakland and Berkeley, shouting revolutionary slogans and distributing over 1,200 leaflets. In Los Angeles, the militant protesters also grabbed up MLP literature.]


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U.S. imperialism, hands off Nicaragua!

The U.S. government is trying to strangle Nicaragua. It wants to turn back the Nicaraguan revolution, to restore a Somoza-style dictator, and to crush the people under the U.S. imperialist jackboot.

The Reagan administration has shown that it will stop at nothing to accomplish this aim. The CIA has armed and trained 10,000 counter-revolutionary mercenaries to invade Nicaragua from bases on the Honduran and Costa Rican borders. Most of these contras are former members of Somoza's national guard, the guardians of one of the most brutal dictatorships Central America has ever known.

The CIA's "covert" war is steadily escalating. The CIA-backed contras have recently carried out bombing and other attacks on the coastal ports of Benjamin Zeledon, Corinto and Puerto Sandino, blowing up fuel depots and other precious resources with the hope of destroying Nicaragua's struggling economy.

Meanwhile, 5,500 U.S. troops are carrying out joint land and air maneuvers along with the Honduran puppet army, threatening Nicaragua with a repetition of the invasion of Grenada.

Reagan's war on Nicaragua shows that no brutality is too great in his "noble cause" of imperialist subjugation and conquest. For four decades the Nicaraguan workers and peasants suffered under Somoza's tyranny, while the U.S. multinational corporations drew super-profits off of their desperate poverty. To regain this "lost paradise," the U.S. imperialists have unleashed their entire arsenal of subversion, blackmail, counter-revolution and intervention against the heroic people of Nicaragua.

When the downtrodden people of Nicaragua rose in revolution and overthrew the Somoza dictatorship, they took a giant step forward. For the first time they had won a taste of freedom. But contrary to the ravings of Jeane Kirkpatrick and the other Reaganites, the Sandinista government that came to power in this struggle is not a Marxist-Leninist one. This is unfortunate as the revolution would be that much stronger if it were. The new government is weakly formed; and it is ideologically unclear, being influenced by bourgeois, social-democratic and revisionist (mainly Soviet and Cuban) trends.

At the same time the gains won by the masses in the revolution are of immense value for advancing their revolutionary cause. The Movement of Popular Action (Marxist-Leninist), MAP-ML, representing the advanced forces of the Nicaraguan working class, is striving to deepen the revolutionary struggle of the working and exploited masses as the most important means of strengthening the fight against the CIA-backed counter-revolution.

The Nicaraguan people are not about to give up what they have won without a fight. Each new atrocity that Reagan unleashes against them is fueling their burning hatred for Yankee imperialism and their resolve to resist at all cost.

Here in the U.S., let us also declare a firm NO! to Reagan's war on Nicaragua. Reagan must not be allowed to have his way. We must support the revolutionary struggle of the Nicaraguan workers and peasants. We must demand that the Nicaraguan people be allowed to determine their own fate. They must have the right to self-determination, free of the bullying and dictate of the U.S. imperialist overlords.

Solidarity with the Nicaraguan people against the CIA invaders!

[Photo: November 12 protest in Seattle. During the march, the MLP contingent raised fighting slogans against U.S. aggression which were enthusiastically taken up by the demonstrators.]


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Which way forward:

Faith in the Democrats, or mass struggle against imperialism?

Broad sections of the American people are burning mad about Reagan's brutal big stick policy against the peoples of Central America and the Caribbean. Tens of thousands are taking to the streets to protest the criminal U.S. invasion of Grenada, the CIA's covert war on Nicaragua, and U.S. military intervention in El Salvador. Today the question must be squarely posed: What is the way forward for the struggle against Reagan's escalating aggression?

Some say that we should rely on the Democratic Party "opposition"; we should direct the struggle towards influencing the Democrats in Congress to put the brakes on further aggression. But to see the futility of such a strategy, let's just look at the Democrats' record.

Every one of the U.S. guns and "advisers" sent to prop up the death squad dictators in El Salvador has been authorized by the Democratic- controlled House. Oh yes, the Democrats have attached a number of "strings," such as the law that every six months Reagan must go through the ludicrous farce of certifying that the hangman regime there is making improvements in "human rights." Of course, Reagan gladly obliges as the U.S.-backed troops and death squads merrily go about their business of butchering the Salvadoran people.

A year ago the Democrats pushed through the Boland Amendment, a law allegedly barring funds for the CIA war to topple the Nicaraguan government. Reagan simply chuckled at this law as he went on with the business of trampling on Nicaragua. The Democrats wrung their hands and came up with a new Boland-Zablocki amendment that is even more amenable to Reagan's aims. This new bill would not stop a single weapon from getting to the CIA mercenaries. It would only require that the aid to the mercenaries be funneled indirectly through the Honduran generals and other reactionary regimes.

In regard to Grenada, the Democratic leadership was briefed beforehand about the invasion. But they refused to lift a finger against this brutal aggression. In fact, on the day of the U.S. attack, Tip O'Neill was holding forth about how this was no time for bipartisan strife. Oh yes, now that the Grenadan government has been crushed and the people put under the U.S. jackboot, Congress is threatening to enact the War Powers Act. In their public statements the congressional leaders stress that this doesn't signify disapproval of the invasion. It would only mean in 90 days Congress could take a vote on whether or not to withdraw the U.S. troops -- three months after the invasion!

All along the line the Democratic"doves" stand as accomplices in. Reagan's crimes. They want to cover up these crimes with a "human rights" mask. While they help Reagan in every way to wield the big stick, the Democrats also dangle the carrot in their common strategy of imperialist aggression.

It should not be forgotten that it was the Democrats who launched the notorious attack on Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, who sent the Marines to invade the Dominican Republic in 1965, and who unleashed the genocidal war against Viet Nam. Both the Democrats and the Republicans stand for the bipartisan policy of aggression and war.

This policy is rooted in the imperialist system. Imperialism is monopoly capitalism. It is a two-headed monster which thrives off of the exploitation of the working people at home and which reaps super-profits from the plunder and subjugation of the peoples of other lands. It is the imperialist system which has unleashed the Reaganite offensive of cutbacks, racism and reaction against the American working masses, and which has unleashed military intervention against the peoples of Central America and the Caribbean.

Hence, to advance our struggle, we must direct our aim squarely against this imperialist monster. The imperialist system must be the target of our struggle.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans must be exposed as the twin parties of imperialist aggression. The smooth-talking Democratic politicians must be shown up as the lying hypocrites that they are. Far from weakening the struggle, this will make the fight against Reagan's aggression that much stronger.

The demonstrations, protests and other mass actions must be built up and strengthened. It is the mass struggle of the workers, youth and progressive people, not the impotent shadow boxing in Congress, that is the real force against imperialist aggression.

And finally, we must extend our militant arm of solidarity to the peoples of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Grenada and the other victims of U.S. aggression. Their revolutionary battles are striking hard blows against our common U.S. imperialist enemy. Let us build up a common revolutionary front to defeat this aggressive and bloodstained monster.


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Solidarity with the Salvadoran people!

Step by step the Reagan administration is escalating U.S. intervention in El Salvador. U.S. military "advisers" have taken over effective control of the Salvadoran High Command, and in the field they are directing Viet Nam- style "search and destroy" missions. The Pentagon continues to arm the Salvadoran regime to the teeth. And the U.S. puppet governments in Guatemala and Honduras are being dragged deeper into the U.S. war against the Salvadoran people.

U.S. imperialism is stepping up the war to rescue its "death squad" dictatorship. The demoralized troops of the regime are suffering hard blows at the hands of the insurgent workers and peasants. In recent weeks the liberation forces have mounted a renewed offensive. They have overwhelmed the government defenses at San Miguel, the country's third largest city, and they have taken over towns right in the outskirts of the capital.

The Reaganites, to cover their bloody tracks, keep repeating their big lie that the revolutionary forces in El Salvador are foreign-inspired by the revisionist Soviet Union and Cuba. But far from a Cuban plot, the struggle of the Salvadoran toilers goes back to before Castro was even born. On the other hand, it is the pro-U.S. regime that survives solely by the grace of U.S. military intervention. It is Reagan's "budding democracy" that is so isolated and despised that it can rule only through massacres and war against its own people -- a war conducted by battalions and death squads trained and armed to the hilt by foreign U.S. imperialism.

Meanwhile, the revolutionary forces grow strong because they have the backing of the workers and peasants. The starving and downtrodden masses are striving to overthrow fascist tyranny, to break the chains of exploitation by the big capitalists and landowners and to free themselves from the U.S. imperialist jackboot. This is why they have risen up in a heroic armed struggle.

It is growing ever more obvious that guns and bullets alone cannot put down this struggle. That is why some Democrats in Congress want to supplement the U.S. arms shipments with hypocritical proposals for a "political solution." But this is simply empty chatter to cover up aggression. It is simply a trap to disarm the people in the face of stepped-up intervention. Such a "political solution" is also being proposed by the reactionary and pro-U.S. imperialist governments of the Contadora Group (Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama), with the backing of the Soviet and Cuban revisionists.

How can the Salvadoran people be asked to negotiate a "political solution" with a regime that has massacred over 40,000 opponents in cold blood? How can they be asked to negotiate their freedom with a power, the U.S., that backs this regime to the end and that thinks nothing of invading Grenada and "covertly" invading Nicaragua?

The U.S. imperialists have no business in imposing any type of settlement in El Salvador. The Salvadoran people must have the right to self-determination -- the elemental right to decide their own fate. The only just solution possible in El Salvador is the victory of the exploited masses over the regime, the capitalists and landlord oligarchy and U.S. imperialism.

U. S. imperialism, get out of El Salvador, lock, stock and barrel!

Solidarity with the liberation struggle of the Salvadoran people!


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From the pages of 'Prensa Proletaria' of Nicaragua

[Prensa Proletaria masthead.]

In the August 15 issue of The Workers' Advocate we introduced the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninist organization, the Movement of Popular Action (ML)(MAP-ML), and reprinted a number of articles from its periodical Prensa Proletaria. Below we reprint the editorial from the October issue of Prensa Proletaria, which criticizes the Sandinista government's policy of granting concessions to the bourgeoisie and which calls for strengthening the struggle of the workers and poor peasants against both the local bourgeois reaction and U.S. imperialism. On this page we also reprint an article on the tasks of organizing the working class and people for military defense against U.S. imperialist aggression, and an article condemning the counter-revolutionary role of the capitalist and pro-U.S. imperialist governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama, the so- called Contadora Group. We also carry a letter from the Central Committee of the MAP-ML to the MLP,USA. Translations are by The Workers' Advocate staff.


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The workers can not continue giving economic and political incentives to the bourgeoisie in the midst of aggression by imperialism

The aggression of imperialism against our country is increasing in scale. A few hours before the arrival in Nicaragua of the intellectual director of the fascist coup in Chile, Henry Kissinger, counter-revolutionary commandos supported by the CIA dealt hard blows to the fuel installations in Corinto and Puerto Sandino with the intention of causing major economic problems in the interior of the country.

Fire, sabotage, assassination and genocide have marked the policy of the rulers of the United States of America. The true content of the "democracy" which the monopolies of this world defend has been demonstrated by Yankee imperialism's war against the forces of General Sandino, the atomic bombs that they did not hesitate to drop on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the wars against the Asian peoples, etc. Their parodies of dialogue are clumsy maneuvers to gain time and improve the conditions and pretexts in order to increase their attacks of violence and death.

The tours of Stone, Kissinger and Under Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs Motley are accompanied by the "promenades" of frigates, aircraft carriers, submarines and spy flights over the Central American region. The demagogically pacifist effort of Contadora is complemented by the installation of greater direct military force of U.S. imperialism in Central America and the Caribbean.

The strategic identification between U.S. fascism, social-democracy ("The United States must responsibly assume its leadership," declares Felipe Gonzalez [social-democratic Prime Minister of Spain -- W.A.], and the internal reactionary forces in Nicaragua, leaves no room for doubt regarding who are the fundamental and principal enemies of the working class and people. In confronting the aggression of imperialism, simultaneously mobilizing the people against their internal class enemies, we will be posing not a national war where the classes and their struggles are diluted, but a genuine and total revolutionary and popular war against imperialism, the bourgeoisie, and the local landowners; the anti-imperialist struggle must converge in a great anti-bourgeois struggle in order to be genuinely anti-imperialist. Here in Nicaragua, imperialism, according to its own words, has decided to discourage, by means of terrorism, any possibility of popular revolutionary advance, in spite of the [Nicaraguan] government's pledge to carry forward the Mixed Economy, National Unity, Political Pluralism, the Law of Parties, the Electoral Law, etc., which recognize the bourgeoisie's "rights" to accumulate profits, to express itself, to organize itself as a political class and even up to "selecting the government" ("optar el poder"). This democratization, that is recognizing the economic and political "rights" of the reactionary forces, can not continue advancing on this road at the expense of the workers and people.

The democratization that the people must construct, even in the midst of the aggression, must be a democratization with popular hegemony that does not permit the functioning and much less the expansion of the pro-imperialist forces.

The bourgeoisie of Nicaragua, in conjunction with imperialism, had definitely taken, as a class, the road of the violence of reactionary war that can only be confronted by the violence of revolutionary war, by the invincible forces of the proletariat and poor peasantry, who must begin to build their own democracy and their own domination over the bourgeoisie, the landowners, and imperialism. This democratic and popular construction comes to pass through the struggle against the privileges of the rich, of the big private owners and partners of imperialism. The strengthening of the workers' participation in the Militias, the raising of the quality of revolutionary vigilance, multiplying it in the neighborhoods, factories and work centers, the massive training of the people in methods of Civil Defense, must be developed equally with the popular mobilization in order to neutralize the internal reactionary forces: the workers can not continue giving economic and political incentives to the bourgeoisie in the midst of imperialist aggression; the costs for the effects of the crisis, the sabotage and the mobilization for the defense of the country must come out of the pockets of the very wealthy, the bourgeois and landowners.

In this great struggle, the alliance of the workers and the poor peasants against the aggression and maneuvers of imperialism and the regional and local bourgeoisies, is a strategic response that the workers must make concrete immediately, as an answer to the interventionist and hegemonistic pretensions of imperialism and its local allies.

To the construction of this alliance and of the democracy of the workers and poor peasants, our party, the Movement of Popular Action -- Marxist-Leninist (MAP-ML), and its organizations, the Workers' Front and the Marxist-Leninist Youth, are pledged, and in these tasks we will cooperate with those who take as their own the cause of the proletariat, the construction of socialism, in spite of and against the crisis of capitalism, the aggression of imperialism, the maneuvers of the regional and local bourgeoisies.

The building of the alliance and mobilization of the forces of the working class and poor peasantry are tasks that cannot be postponed. It is not possible to advance in favor of the workers if there is no advance against the bourgeoisie and imperialism. The forces of the workers must be concentrated on this revolutionary road.


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The working class and the people must possess the military arts

In Nicaragua, where there has been a popular insurrection against the political expression of the domination of the bourgeoisie and imperialism (Somocism) and where the fundamental base of dependent capitalism has been preserved, the mastering of the military arts is a task of the first order for the organized working class and for the people in general.

The contradiction that we experience in our country, between the political triumph against Somocism and the preservation of the economic base of dependent capitalism has given rise to the phenomenon of the continual vacillation between revolution and reform, between transformations and gradual changes. These oscillations are going to be defined towards the interests of capitalism and the bourgeoisie or towards socialism and the proletariat, depending on the struggle between the classes, as much at the internal level as the external level.

The degree of intervention of U.S. imperialism against Nicaragua to change this correlation of forces towards its interests, makes that the contradiction [is brought to a new level]. Imperialism is seeking to bring about a new alternative of reforms or open counter-revolution. Imperialism pushes towards this new contradiction by means of direct aggressions coordinated with the counter-revolutionary bands, the Honduran army, the government of Costa Rica, as well as through the gestures of the so-called Contadora Group [the capitalist and pro-U.S. imperialist governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama -- tr.].

The military aggressions of imperialism and its reactionary bootlickers of Honduras and Costa Rica -- determine the necessity of the military defense of the gains won and the possibility of new advances. In the revolutionary line, the military defense must not only rest fundamentally on the forces of the people, but its most advanced and revolutionary sectors must put themselves at the head of these tasks. The working class and the people must themselves possess the military arts in this revolutionary line of defense and advance of the gains won. The masses initiated this appropriation of the military art through the armed resistance and the popular insurrection -- ending with the overthrow of the Somoza military dictatorship. The Popular Militias have been the heritage of this massive action of the people in the construction of their material forces and have assured the military defense, and it is the Popular Militias and the deepening of the victorious mass participation in them that are required to develop.

The Militias are the revolutionary form of the participation of the people in the appropriation of the art of war. But, presently in Nicaragua, the Law of Military Service is being implemented. While in the short term this does not negate the Militias, it signifies a displacement of a revolutionary form of direct participation of the organized popular sectors towards a conventional form of participation, in that it incorporates the individual as a subject, as a person, and not as part of a conscious and organized sector of the class. While the Popular Militias are incorporating workers, peasants and villagers and are creating sure dynamics of massive participation in the military structures; while the Popular Militias are going forward to play a strategic role in the military defense, especially in the frontier zones; while the toilers are sensing organizationally the life of combat against the bands and the direct political relation that there is between these bands and the bourgeoisie and the internal reaction (maybe the owner of the factory in which the mobilized militia member works) -- the Patriotic Military Service is installed, which gradually is replacing trade union and popular participation in the Militias with individual participation. There is a replacement then from a revolutionary form towards a conventional form of participation of the people in the military arts. In general lines, the Military Service presents more limitations than the Militias in regard to the organized, conscious participation of sectors of the class.

Nevertheless, both forms of participation are two channels that must be utilized to the maximum by the working class and the people in their appropriation of the arts of war. They are two forms that the people must not be excluded from, because the revolutionary popular sectors impress on these institutions, through their participation, their class stamp in the present and future struggle by defending and deepening the revolution from the viewpoint of their own interests. These interests are antagonistic up to war with those of the bourgeoisie and imperialism. The socialist society that the toilers long for requires the popular appropriation of the material forces, including the military forces.

The Bourgeois Reaction: "Active Non-Violence and Objection of Conscience"

Meanwhile, the imperialist bourgeoisie of the United States has carried out a ferocious struggle against the conscientious objectors to the military service in its imperialist army, calling enemies of the "country" those who refuse military service. On the other side it encourages it in Nicaragua, where the reactionary sectors come out brandishing the "objection of conscience" and ultimately the "active non-violence" against the participation of the people in the revolutionary or conventional appropriation of the military arts. For imperialism, these reactionaries aren't traitors to their country, but valiant and cultured citizens. The active non-violence as much as the objection of conscience that the Catholic hierarchy is promoting, are the pretexts that the bourgeoisie and the reaction want to brandish to avoid in Nicaragua the growth of the participation of the people and their mastering of the military arts. The appropriation by the people of the military arts through the Militias, its revolutionary form, and through the Military Service, its conventional and limited form, is a subject that worries the reaction, given its aggressive acts and plots, and moreover if added to this is the possibility of raising the organizational levels and the political consciousness of the working class and people.

The Military Art, To the People

A primary task in the popular appropriation of the art of war is the elevation of the organization of the working class and the people in general, because these same levels of organization can serve as unifiers and mobilizers in this task. Ideological struggle in the ranks of the people and against reaction and imperialism, workers' democracy inside the union movement, freedom of expression for the advanced organizations of the workers' movement -- these are the channels through which must flow the popular energy that, with the rifle in addition, will know how to impose the organized class force, the force of the political and military domination of the toilers against their historic enemies, the bourgeoisie, the landlords, and imperialism.

[Graphic.]


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Contadora: The Other Face of Imperialism

The general crisis of imperialism, the revolutionary drive of the masses against their class enemies, compels the forces of capitalism to be constantly seeking "peaceful" formulas for exploitation in those countries where conditions don't exist for direct military intervention.

In this search for peaceful formulas, social-democracy and social-reformism play an important role, in that they present themselves in the eyes of the masses as benefactors and as interested in peace for the peoples -- not as real vultures of peace. While on the one hand imperialism attacks, making use of the local bourgeois armies, on the other hand, revisionism, the social-democrats, the social-Christians, come to the negotiating tables to reap the fruits of the "softening" by imperialist aggression. That is, they come to negotiate practically the product of the assault.

In this sense, the efforts of Contadora [the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama -- tr.] are directed at maintaining the hegemony of capitalism in the region, speaking demagogically of human rights, nonalignment, and other reformist theses. The positions of the Latin American bourgeoisie grouped in Contadora have been more and more to the liking of imperialism despite minor differences that these countries have with the United States. These differences disappear when they see a revolutionary movement in El Salvador which has been challenging all the obstacles that imperialism and the traitors have been putting before them.

The differences are swept aside when they see that the masses aren't swallowing the hook of their demagogical speeches; when they see that the levels of popular organization are rising; when they see that the masses don't have ears for the revisionist siren songs. In these circumstances, the class solidarity of the bourgeoisie becomes felt with all its weight and they begin to appear, brandishing the exploiter's cudgel in one hand and the white flag of peace in the other. Whoever sees in Contadora a tactical way out of the crisis wants to make us believe that the commitments in the [Contadora's] "documents of objectives" are not concessions that preserve the hegemony of capitalism and its political-military forces in the Central American region.

This document of objectives speaks of immediate disarmament in each country. Reduction of foreign military advisers. Inventory of the military arsenal of each country, and establishment of a dialogue between the governments and the forces opposing them, with the goal of restoring necessary electoral processes with the aims of democratization and peace in each country. (Declarations of Oyden Ortega, Chancellor of Panama, published in La Prensa of September 11)

Independently of whether or not conditions exist to implement these accords at this time, the tendency is towards obtaining them. With a theoretical departure of foreign military advisers from the area, the CIA agents would remain, like Negroponte in Honduras who, by being ambassador from the United States, would not leave that country in spite of being the principal military adviser. Control and inventory of the armament of each Central American country would leave Honduras converted into a real fortress with a privileged position and with the infrastructure necessary to deploy actions of great scope. The government of El Salvador would remain in similar conditions. The remaining governments, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama, already count on sufficient means to respond militarily to any action of revolutionary organizations which endanger the security of the Central American bourgeoisies. These means are not only their own, but besides they receive arms and supplies from imperialism, from Israel, England, etc.

At this time and on these terms in which the Contadora plan was conceived, this military control is fundamentally for achieving indisputable superiority over Nicaragua and the Salvadoran guerrillas. It is obvious that after blocking the supply of arms to the Salvadorans and Nicaragua, it would just be a question of time before imperialism would hurl itself into a war of annihilation against the revolutionaries of the FMLN and against Nicaragua.

The other card that imperialism is shuffling is that of elections as the method to build peace and democracy in Central America. But these elections would be among the contending parties that Contadora considers as the opposition. In the case of Nicaragua, the opposition includes the military forces of the counter-revolution, which are forces more in line with the orders of imperialism and more loyal to the interests of the bourgeoisie.

With regard to El Salvador, Contadora's interest is that there should be social-democratic and revisionist organizations, which give a revolutionary varnish to the political maneuvers of the Group and which make their proposals appear attractive. In short, they are working to strangle El Salvador and Nicaragua militarily. They prepared this by a civilian and pacifist campaign with the goal of the masses giving up their arms and turning to the ballot box so that they are brought onto the terrain that the bourgeoisie dominates with more mastery.

On the other hand, all these methods of a political-military character are complemented by investment projects; by agrarian reform programs; by construction of highways; by commercial agreements to favor the exchange of products, etc. All these reforms, of course, that do not break with the capitalist methods of production, do not endanger the peace and stability of the local bourgeoisies.

The aims that Contadora seeks in its "document of objectives" would be incomplete if they did not count on unconditional support for it by all the forces of world reformism. Neither would the reformists support the efforts of Contadora if they were not completely convinced that they are efforts which put a straitjacket on the course that the masses must imprint on the revolution in Nicaragua. Contadora's efforts are a sword of Damocles against the revolutionary organizations of El Salvador, and against the upsurge of the toilers for the attainment of their revolutionary goals, an upsurge which is stamping its mark on the Central American region.

Only we Marxist-Leninists place in its true class context the Contadora Group, which is no more than a select representation of the Latin American reformist bourgeoisie. It is our obligation to expose these maneuvers which, in conjunction with imperialism, are urging on the open and cunning enemies of the workers.

The answer to the problems of the region must be sought principally in the development of forms of struggle pushed forward by the proletariat at the head of the popular masses. Diplomatic efforts must be conceived of as a secondary aspect within the tasks that defense of the revolution imposes. The popular militias must be strengthened; trade union democracy must be promoted; privileges must be granted to the workers' and revolutionary organizations in the process of institutionalization. Measures of this type will guarantee that the forces of imperialism, of the social-reformists, shall not pass.


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Letter of the MAP-ML to the MLP, USA

Central Committee of the MAP-ML October 3,1983

Comrades:

With instructions of our General Secretary, in the name of our Party, the Movement of Popular Action- Marxist-Leninist of Nicaragua, we want to thank you for the gesture of solidarity of your publication The Workers' Advocate dated August 15, 1983 which presented the revolutionary struggle of our Party and which reproduced some articles from our publication Prensa Proletaria. Internationalist gestures such as this undoubtedly raise the fighting morale of the proletariat, given that it is an excellent opportunity for demonstrating to the working masses that there is a common struggle against the enemies of our contemporary epoch -- fascism and social-reformism, imperialism and the local bourgeoisies. In the midst of the nationalist chatter, to which the proletariat of diverse parts of the world is often subjected, the possibility arises of contributing to raising the internationalist consciousness of the working class, which in large part is castrated by bourgeois violence, and of contributing to a consistent Leninist internationalism for the development of the proletarian revolution. For this we hold in high esteem the militant and proletarian gesture of your publication The Workers' Advocate.

We have the pleasure of proceeding to new mailings of literature that we are producing. We avail ourselves of reiterating the interest of our Party and its General Secretary in deepening our mutual understanding and in establishing relations of friendship between our Parties. Awaiting news from you.

Revolutionary greetings, Committee of International Relations MAP-ML

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The two faces of U.S. aggression against Nicaragua

Buoyed by its invasion of Grenada, U.S. imperialism is tightening the screws on Nicaragua. A two-pronged offensive has been opened up against that country. On one hand, Washington is keeping up its military pressure and carrying forward its preparations for an outright invasion. On the other hand, both directly and through the European and Latin American bourgeoisie, the U.S. imperialists are demanding one concession after another from Nicaragua in order to weaken the revolution and soften up the country for the kill.

This situation demands that the workers and progressive people in the U.S. stand up against both fronts of the U.S. imperialist offensive against Nicaragua. We must not only continue to fight the U.S. military assaults against Nicaragua but also oppose the pressure on that country for concessions to imperialism and internal reaction.

Reagan Steps Up the Military Pressure

Over the last two years, the main thrust of Reagan's efforts to strangle Nicaragua has been through the funding and organizing of the Somocista contra bands. The CIA has spent tens of millions of dollars to back up this barbarous force in its campaign of murder, pillage, rape and sabotage inside Nicaragua. This fall, the contras carried out air raids and other assaults on a number of important economic installations with the aim of crippling that country's economy. This campaign continues.

At the same time, last month the CIA leaked out a report that it had come to the conclusion that the contras are not capable "under any circumstances of achieving an armed victory in Nicaragua.'' Does this mean that the U.S. will give up its efforts against that country? Not a chance. The CIA continues its efforts to try to unify the various faction-ridden contra groups and more money is being sent to bolster them. On November 17, Democrats and Republicans in Congress united to approve another $24 million in aid to the contras.

However, the U.S. government has also gone ahead to step up its preparations for an outright military invasion now that it realizes that the contras alone cannot do the job. Five thousand U.S. combat troops are now in Honduras taking part in "exercises" which are in fact nothing but practice runs for an invasion of Nicaragua. At the same time, the Pentagon is also working to use Costa Rica as a base for aggression against Nicaragua from the south. In early November, the U.S. ambassador in that country declared that the U.S. would be deploying military personnel to that country, allegedly to build roads near the Nicaraguan border.

In the meantime, U.S. imperialism and the local pro-U.S. cutthroat militaries in Central America have reactivated the Central America Defense Council (CONDECA), made up of the governments of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama. In November the military commanders of the CONDECA countries held secret meetings to hammer out the specifics of the legal basis which could be used to justify an invasion of Nicaragua and U.S. participation in it.

These plans reveal the real face of imperialism vis-a-vis Nicaragua. The U.S. and its reactionary allies are not spending all this money and making all these efforts for the purpose of "peaceful coexistence" with Nicaragua. Not on your life. They seek nothing less than the triumph of brutal tyranny in that country.

The Other Face of Imperialism

At the very time that U.S. imperialism steps up its criminal plans to invade Nicaragua, great pressure is being brought upon the Nicaraguan government to make concessions to imperialism and domestic bourgeois reaction. Nicaragua is being told that the U.S. government will let it alone if it takes various moves towards "peace" and "democracy." And what is the substance of these demands? Nicaragua must weaken its military defense. It must stop supporting the Salvadoran revolutionaries in any way. It must allow the internal bourgeoisie more economic and political privileges. It must allow the contras to return and have all sorts of rights and privileges.

All these concessions are aimed at weakening the strength of the revolution in Nicaragua. By demanding privileges and guarantees for the domestic exploiters, not only do these concessions impede the struggles of the workers and poor peasants but they especially seek to weaken the ability of Nicaragua to resist U.S. aggression. It is suggested that if Nicaragua grants such concessions, then the pretexts for a U.S. invasion will be removed. That is ridiculous. U.S. imperialism will always manage to find one pretext or another to justify aggression -- one can never doubt Washington's resourcefulness in that direction. But the net effect of the concessions is aimed at strengthening the hand of internal reaction which serves as a dangerous fifth column for U.S. imperialism inside the country.

The pressure on the Sandinistas to grant such concessions comes from a number of forces who have historically claimed to sympathize with them.

It is coming from the capitalist bourgeoisie of a number of countries in Western Europe. It is reported that when Nicaraguan government minister Tomas Borge visited Europe this fall, he came under great pressure from the West German imperialists and the social-democratic governments of France and Spain. Here is the real face of international social-democracy's "support" for Nicaragua!

The most important pressure comes from the Latin American bourgeoisie grouped in the Contadora group. This includes the reactionary pro-U.S. governments of Mexico, Panama, Venezuela and Colombia. This group claims to be working for a regional peace settlement in Central America. But its activities show that what it means by this is concessions from Nicaragua towards imperialism and the domestic reaction. It is really the left arm of the U.S.-organized counterrevolution.

Soviet and Cuban revisionism, which pose as the closest allies of the Nicaraguan revolution, are closely involved in urging the Nicaraguan government to give in to the pressure on it. Such is the real essence of the "revolutionary" posturings of these revisionists.

The Sandinista Government Offers a Series of Concessions

Under all this powerful pressure, Sandinista government has unfortunately shown readiness to offer a series of concessions. This is not surprising because the Sandinista government is a weakly formed government. It is influenced by various bourgeois, social-democratic and revisionist (mainly Soviet and Cuban) ideologies. The government came to power through the victory of the democratic revolution against Somoza but it is not a Marxist-Leninist government. It vacillates between the bourgeoisie and the revolutionary strivings of the workers and poor peasants.

Thus on one hand, the Sandinista government has taken steps to mobilize the masses against imperialist aggression. While in 1979, after it had taken power, it had disarmed the workers and peasants by disbanding the popular militias, today in the face of the contra activity and U.S. threats, the government has once again given arms to the people. The Nicaraguan masses have fought brilliantly against the contras and stand ready to confront the U.S. invasion.

On the other hand, the Sandinista government has offered a number of dangerous concessions.

The brutal history of U.S. imperialism amply testifies that the beast cannot be appeased with concessions. Indeed, every offer of concession made by the Sandinista government only whets U.S. imperialism's appetite and leads it to demand more. The U.S. government, through its numerous numerous coups and invasions, has repeatedly shown that |t will not tolerate even the mildest of reformist regimes in Latin America, not to speak of situations where the revolutionary process is continuing. In Nicaragua, U.S. imperialism will not rest content until it can reverse the revolution and restore a Somoza-style tyranny.

Solidarity With the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists!

At such a time, the importance of support for the Marxist-Leninists of Nicaragua is more urgent than ever. The Nicaraguan Movement of Popular Action (Marxist-Leninist), the revolutionary organization of the Nicaraguan working class, has been fighting hard to defend the gains of the revolution and carry it forward in the interests of the workers and poor peasants. MAP-ML works hard to strengthen the defense of the country and to mobilize the working masses for the armed struggle against U.S. aggression. In the fight against U.S. aggression, it is MAP-ML which has consistently pointed out that the strengthening of that struggle requires the vigorous prosecution of the internal class struggle against the domestic bourgeoisie. It is the MAP-ML which has consistently raised its voice against the treachery being organized against Nicaragua by the Latin American bourgeois of the Contadora group. Elsewhere in this newspaper, we publish a number of articles from Prensa Proletaria, newspaper of the MAP-ML, which document their revolutionary line.

When today the Nicaraguan working masses are faced with the threats of U.S. invasion, the workers and progressive people must stand up in solidarity with the Nicaraguan people against U.S. imperialism. At the same time, the work of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists should be given special support, for they represent the most far-seeing section of the Nicaraguan working masses, the section that stands for the most resolute defense of the gains of the revolution and their continuation forward.


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Reformist government continues austerity policies of the old military regime

GENERAL STRIKE IN BOLIVIA

On Friday, November 11, the Bolivian government announced a series of austerity measures against the working masses. These included a 60% devaluation of the Bolivian currency and steep increases in the prices of essential items, such as milk, bread and gasoline.

The Bolivian working class took immediate action against these attacks on their livelihood. The next day government workers went on strike, shutting down the state communications system and telephone service. On Sunday, drivers went on strike paralyzing public transportation. And on Monday the Bolivian workers went out on a 24-hour general strike, the first general strike since the bourgeois-reformist government of President Heman Siles Zuazo came to power a year ago. Miners in the tin mines, the heart of the Bolivian economy, struck and the shops were closed. Thirteen thousand workers demonstrated in the streets of the capital, La Paz.

Bolivia is suffering dearly from the worldwide economic crisis of capitalism. The country is heavily dependent on its chief export, tin, the prices of which have been falling on the world market. This has worsened the country's ability to repay its $3.8 billion foreign debt to the imperialist bankers abroad. The inflation rate runs at 200%.

Like the capitalist governments of the other debt-ridden dependent countries of Latin America, Bolivia's government is enacting new austerity measures under the pressure of the foreign banks and the imperialist International Monetary Fund. As a result, the workers are being forced into a more and more desperate position, as inflation continues to skyrocket and prices soar.

The crisis in Bolivia dramatically demonstrates that the removal of a military regime by a compromise between different sections of the bourgeoisie does not solve the basic problems of the working masses. The present government came to power in October 1982 on the crest of the mass struggle against the military dictatorship installed in 1980. The Bolivian people rose up against the military regime to oppose its repressive rule and the IMF-dictated austerity measures that it had taken. As a result of this struggle, the military decided to hand over power to the civilian government of Zuazo whose elections the military had annulled in 1980 with their coup d'etat.

Zuazo's government is a regime of the Democratic and Popular Unity bloc (UDP), which includes liberal and reformist parties, including the pro- Soviet revisionist Communist Party of Bolivia. The UDP program claims to stand for "national liberation, independent economic development and real social justice." The revisionists describe this government as a "real democratic alternative," a "people's government," etc.

However, all this is just eyewash. Zuazo's government has been unable to solve the basic needs of the toilers. It has been unable to deal with the economic crisis. This is because, despite the sweet words of the Bolivian revisionists, the government is a pro-imperialist capitalist government. It has not taken any measures against the capitalists or the imperialists. Like the military regime before it, it too is dancing to the tune of the IMF. In announcing its new austerity measures, the Zuazo government said that its concerns were to attract foreign currency and to maintain the flow of foreign credits to Bolivia. Thus, the sweet-talking reformists are implementing the same capitalist economic policy of forcing the workers to bear the burden of the economic crisis as the military did before.

The only difference between the military regime and the present civilian regime is that, under the pressure of the mass struggle, the repression of the state has been eased somewhat. This has provided a wider field for the working masses to organize their class struggle. But even on this issue the situation remains very tenuous. Although a few top officers of the old military regime were retired, this has by no means broken the power of reaction. It is very much waiting in the wings. Indeed, in recent weeks, as the struggle of the working people has grown, there is more and more talk of yet another military coup in Bolivia.

A Lesson From the Bolivian Experience

The experience of the working masses of Bolivia over the last several years raises an important lesson for the working people of many countries of Latin America who are fighting against fascist military dictatorships.

A number of countries in that region have been suffering under the boot- heels of brutal military regimes for years upon years. Over a long and difficult period, the workers and peasants have carried out an arduous resistance against these regimes. In recent years these struggles have grown into powerful storms of mass upsurge. Such upsurges have rocked the military regimes in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, etc.

A crucial question facing the working people of these countries is what orientation they should have in the fight against the fascist regimes. Should they follow the lead of the liberals and support their efforts to compromise with reaction, or should they work for a popular revolution and strive to take power themselves?

In these countries, the situation is that while the workers, peasants and youth do the fighting and shed the blood, the liberal and reformist parties of the bourgeoisie prepare to steal their way to power. The liberals and reformists utilize their relatively privileged conditions and the resources of the bourgeoisie in order to try to dominate the mass movements against the military dictatorships. They may call mass demonstrations and protests, but they do not want to use the mass movement as a force to bring about any radical changes. Instead, they want to use the masses in order to pressure the military for a compromise.

The liberals and reformists want the installation of another bourgeois regime, a civilian regime but one which keeps intact as much of the old system as possible. They advocate as peaceful a transfer of power as possible and want to arrange a compromise between the different factions of the bourgeoisie. They seek to achieve their goal through a compromise with the military regimes in power. But if this is not possible, they seek to make deals with one or another faction within the army and bureaucracy.

Despite various differences in detail, this is the common process which was carried out last year in Bolivia and this year in Argentina. The Bolivian example offers a graphic example that such a road cannot fulfill the needs of the working masses who fight so hard against fascist tyranny. The new civilian bourgeois governments remain governments in service to capitalism and imperialism. These regimes cannot offer any real solutions to the problems faced by the working masses. The social and economic demands the masses raised against the military regimes, such as those against unemployment, inflation, austerity measures, etc., remain unfulfilled under the new governments. And even the easing of repression such new governments may bring is constantly on the verge of being reversed, whenever the bourgeoisie feels threatened by the growth of the mass struggle of the workers and peasants. The new repression may be implemented either through the outright return of the military to power or through the strengthening, by the civilian bourgeois regimes themselves, of the "emergency" laws, and of repression by the police and military. Thus today rumors are rife in Bolivia about another military coup, and it is well known in Argentina that the death squads are still active and that it is only a matter of time before the generals seek to return to the helm of government.

Hence the road for the workers and peasants cannot be to trail behind the liberal bourgeoisie. The only way to uproot reaction and meet the social and economic demands of the working people is through the road of revolution. The workers and peasants must fight the military dictatorships with the perspective of obtaining the most radical uprooting of the old system, the most thorough revolutionary changes. Their goal is not a liberal and reformist compromise, but to establish a revolutionary rule. How much freedom the working masses achieve, how much real improvement there is in their political and social position, is directly proportional to how much revolutionary energy they display, how organized they are, and how far they succeed in pushing the revolution forward.

The character of the revolution varies from one country to another, depending on the actual social and economic conditions. In some of the countries of Latin America, the issue facing the working masses is to carry out the socialist revolution. In other countries, it is the democratic revolution. In the latter case, the working masses must fight to establish a revolutionary-democratic government of the working class and peasantry and then proceed to go over to socialism.

Of course, in any given situation, the working people may not yet be strong enough to achieve a revolution and take power. The liberals and reformists may succeed in setting up a new regime by compromise with the military rulers, or a revolution may begin but be stopped halfway because the bourgeoisie is able to steal the fruits of victory and come to power. But, as the Bolivian example demonstrates, the working masses are quick to make use of whatever rights they have obtained to press for satisfaction of their economic and political demands. A powerful upsurge is presently growing throughout Latin America, and the working people face before them the prospect of revolutionary struggle and the necessity to free themselves from the influence of the liberals and reformists.

Struggle and struggle alone is the path forward towards the triumph of the working masses. And every step of struggle must be organized under the working masses' own revolutionary banner, independent of the liberal and reformist bourgeoisie.


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400,000 march against the Uruguayan dictatorship

[Photo: Uruguayans march against the military dictatorship.]

All across Latin America, the working people are on the march against exploitation, reaction and imperialist oppression. The most entrenched fascist dictatorships, which have ruled in a number of countries for years and years, are being shaken by waves of popular struggle. In Bolivia last year and Argentina this year, the military, fearing the wrath of the people, decided to peacefully hand over power to civilian bourgeois regimes which would not mean an uprooting of the power of reaction. Meanwhile, Chile continues to be hit hard by the flames of mass struggle. Now the revolt of the masses is bursting forth in Uruguay, a country which has also seen military rule for over a decade now.

On November 27th, 400,000 people rallied in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. This amounts to about 13% of this small country of three million. The Uruguayan masses are demanding the release of political prisoners, democratic rights, and an end to the military government.

Since 1973, the Uruguayan people have been suffering under a ruthless military government. Thousands have been arrested and tortured while many others have "disappeared." There are 1,300 political prisoners in the country and 500,000 Uruguayans, 16% of the population, are living in exile. Political and trade union organizations have been banned and the press censored.

This past year, the military regime has begun a project of "democratization" because the pressure of popular discontent has been building up. Most political parties remain banned but two bourgeois parties have now been legalized. The military is promising to hold elections in 1984, but it is clear this will be a sham election in which the military government will decide what parties are allowed to run. And within the proposed "civilian" government, the military is planning a permanent supervisory role for itself.

The economic crisis is feeding the popular opposition to the military dictatorship. The masses are becoming more and more destitute. Today the income of the working masses is only half of what it was in the early 1970's. Inflation runs at 45% and unemployment is more than 15%. Faced with a foreign debt of more than $6 billion, the military government, like the other debt-ridden regimes of the continent, is following the IMF-dictated path of attacking the workers' livelihood in order to pay the bloodsucking imperialist bankers.

 

The upsurge of struggle of the Uruguayan working masses is a most welcome development. It shows that the masses are not satisfied with the military's plans to create a civilian facade behind which the military dictatorship will remain. The struggle of the Uruguayan working masses is bound to grow.


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Chilean people battle fascist Pinochet

[Photo: Chileans protest Pinochet's tyranny in Santiago in early November.]

The working people of Chile are carrying forward their struggle against the fascist military dictatorship of Pinochet. On December 1, there were demonstrations in several cities. In Valparaiso, 8,000 marched, waving banners against Pinochet and shouting, "The military dictatorship will fall!" In Valdivia, 1,500 demonstrated against military rule. Police clashed with protesters when the masses began to march after a legal rally. One demonstrator was shot and wounded and about a dozen were arrested.

Every month since May, the Chilean masses have been taking to the streets in National Days of Protest against the Pinochet tyranny. In early November, the protest for that month drew several hundred thousand people. Slogans and songs against the dictator resounded in the streets. This was the largest demonstration since the U.S.-backed military coup that brought Pinochet to power in 1973.

The regime had attempted to intimidate the workers and youth from taking part in the day of protest. In the preceding days they carried out nighttime raids and house-to-house searches in working class neighborhoods and issued threats against attending. Nevertheless the masses refused to be cowed. On the day of the actions the police carried out vicious attacks, arresting hundreds and killing at least one protester.

Despite the savage repression of the ten-year-old military dictatorship, the Chilean people are carrying on their heroic resistance struggle. This year has seen a powerful upsurge of this popular resistance. The struggle has broken out on a nationwide scale and the people are showing their defiance openly. The National Days of Protest have often turned into days and sometimes weeks of fierce battles against the police and troops. Pinochet has responded with characteristic repression -- thousands have been arrested and at least 70 people have been killed in the last three months alone.

After the September day of protest, the government tried to clamp down even further by refusing to issue a permit for the October protest. The Democratic Alliance, which is the main coalition of the bourgeois liberal opposition and is headed up by the Christian Democratic Party, bowed down to Pinochet's dictate and refused to call for the day of action. Despite their boycott, other opposition forces went ahead with the protest plans and so, on October 11th, 50,000 took to the streets across the country. There were demonstrations in Santiago, Valparaiso, Concepcion and other cities. Students protested on the campuses in the capital. Hundreds were arrested and five killed in battles with the fascist police.

The Chilean people are not restricting their struggle to simply the National Days of Protest. Other actions are also taking place and a variety of different struggles of the working masses are breaking out. On September 22, for example, 35,000 dispossessed farmers seized land to live on in the La Granja district of Santiago. They braved police tear gas and buckshot. This was the first attempt to seize urban land during Pinochet's rule, a front of struggle that was quite common in the late 60's and early 70's. For more than two months now the poor farmers have held onto the land they seized, withstanding rainstorms, food shortages, overcrowding and police attacks.

The actions of the Chilean masses show the vitality and determination of the movement against the fascist dictatorship. The workers and youth are persisting undaunted in the face of fascist terror in their struggle to overthrow the tyrant Pinochet.


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Millions protest against U.S.-NATO missiles in W. Europe

Over the last two months, we are seeing another upsurge in the European anti-war movement. As the NATO imperialists implement their plans to allow war dog Reagan to deploy cruise and Pershing II missiles, the people of Western Europe continue to take to the streets in large numbers to fight the war buildup.

The latest actions occurred the weekend of December 11, when demonstrations took place in Germany, the Netherlands, and Britain. These were organized on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of NATO's 1979 decision to deploy the Euro- missiles. Protesters blockaded an army depot near Frankfurt where cruise missiles are being assembled; refusing to disperse, the demonstrators were attacked by police with water cannons. In this and other actions in Germany, over 600 protesters were arrested. At Greenham Common in England, angry women protesters, part of a demonstration of 30,000, tore down a fence around the nuclear air base and confronted the U.S. military forces stationed there. Scores of the women were arrested.

A few weeks before this, on November 21, 5,000 demonstrators in Bonn, West Germany blocked the main intersection in front of the Bundestag (the West German parliament building). This action occurred on the day that the parliament was voting on the deployment of the missiles. Police launched repeated assaults against the demonstrators, clubbing them with nightsticks and shields. The protesters held their ground until water cannons opened up on them from close range. Even then the demonstrators, after withdrawing, returned again and again to the demonstration site, where they were assaulted with another soaking in the cold November air. Not until late afternoon was the intersection cleared, as groups of protesters moved away for other actions. One hundred fifty demonstrators were injured, some with ruptured kidneys, some with eyes irritated by tear gas dissolved in the water.

Also in November there were demonstrations outside the British and Italian parliaments, as they too voted to give final approval to the missile deployment. Here too the demonstrators were met by massive police force. In London 300 demonstrators were arrested, while in Rome the police were in such a frenzy that they even clubbed some members of parliament as they stopped to talk with demonstrators.

The November protests came on the heels of the massive anti-war demonstrations in W. Europe in October. This was. the largest series of demonstrations held in Europe since World War II. The weekend of October 22 alone close to 3,000,000 people marched in demonstrations against the Euromissiles in a dozen European cities. This massive display of antiwar sentiment demolished claims that the movement was giving way to despair and was about to expire.

In West Germany alone over one and a quarter million people participated in four massive protests against the missiles.

Three hundred fifty thousand people rallied in London's Hyde Park on October 22. Five hundred thousand marched in a five-hour long march in Rome. In Madrid 150,000 denounced NATO as well as the Euromissiles. In Vienna 100,000 marched on city hall. And in Brussels 400,000 demonstrated. There were also marches in Paris, Stockholm, and Dublin. The Dutch demonstration was held October 29, when 550,000 people massed in the Hague. The march there included 300 Dutch soldiers in uniforms.

The European demonstrations were supported by demonstrations around the world. One hundred thousand Canadians protested against the Euromissiles on October 22, with the largest demonstrations being held in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. In the U.S., 200 actions were held the weekend of October 22, the largest in San Francisco, Boston, Rocky Flats, Colorado, and Austin, Texas. A number of actions in the U.S. were directed against corporations involved in the production of nuclear weapons.

Social-Democrats Step Up Their Work to Sabotage the Movement

The people of Western Europe continue to demonstrate their opposition to the war preparations of the superpowers and their imperialist allies. Twice in this century Europe has been devastated by world wars. The working people of West Germany, Italy, Britain, etc., are fighting against another world slaughter.

But there is a major obstacle to the European anti-war movement preventing it from developing into a powerful force against the imperialist warmongers. This is the fact that most of the demonstrations against the

Euromissiles are led by European social-democracy or by other reformist elements closely allied to the social- democrats, such as the revisionist "Eurocommunist" parties.

A perfect example of the sabotage carried out by social-democracy is the activity of the SPD in West Germany. The plan to deploy the Euromissiles was initiated by the SPD when it was the ruling party. Helmut Schmidt, the SPD chancellor, campaigned to get the new missiles installed in Germany and he was supported by the SPD parliamentary delegation and his party conventions.

But now the SPD is out of power. The Christian Democrats have the job of actually installing the missiles. And today we find that the social-democrats have switched to a line of officially opposing the missiles. At a national convention of the SPD held November 20 in Cologne, the party leaders decided to oppose deployment of the missiles.

Here we have, apparently, a complete turnabout in policy: the party that initiated the Euromissiles in the first place resolving to oppose deployment of those same missiles. What has happened -- did the social-democrats suddenly turn a new leaf? Have the social-democratic leaders given up support for imperialism and become anti-war fighters? Not a chance.

What has happened is that the mass ferment against war preparations has multiplied at a rate alarming to the social-democrats. They see their influence over the German working masses eroding. Under these conditions, the SPD is anxious to reestablish its hold over the masses by appearing to support the demands of the antiwar movement.

This was revealed in a New York Times article on October 21 entitled, "Bonn's Socialists: Souring on

NATO?," which stated: "In private some party leaders have reassured inquiring Western diplomats and others that the Social Democrats' turbulence is really just a 'tactical' shift to embrace, smother, and eliminate the bothersome Green Party. Once this historic task is accomplished, they say, the party will move back to a pro-alliance position...." What the SPD leaders have in mind when they seek to "embrace, smother and eliminate" the Green Party is their aim of liquidating the mass antiwar movement in Germany, not just the Green Party. The Green Party itself is a "left" social-democratic party which has gained support from sections of the anti-militarist masses who have moved to the left in recent years. While it opposes the Euromissiles and NATO, this party is dominated by reformist and pacifist ideology and actually serves as a brake on the masses splitting firmly with social-democracy.

Western imperialism loses nothing by the posture of the SPD. The Christian Democrats, with a ruling majority in the Bundestag, are carrying out the missile deployment regardless of the SPD resolutions. And with their resolutions the SPD hopes to win over masses of angry West Germans and bring them back into the fold of social-democracy, back to a "pro-alliance position."

It should be pointed out that the SPD, despite its resolution opposing deployment of the Euromissiles, has in no way adopted an anti-NATO or anti-U.S. imperialist position. This was emphasized at their special convention in a speech by Willy Brandt, chairman of the SPD. Brandt reacted sharply to a "slander" that the SPD was disloyal to the West, and asked whether German interests were really served by spreading the false impression that the SPD did not support the Atlantic Alliance, national defense and the Bundeswehr (the West German imperialist army). Brandt stressed West Germany's need for its allies, especially the U.S. and France, while also calling for a "reformed" Atlantic Alliance in which Europe would exert an equal-partner role. That is, while not backing down a bit on the social- democrats' historic support for NATO, Brandt got in a few remarks begging that West German imperialism have a bigger role in the Atlantic Alliance.

The social-democrats' pro-alliance position was also stressed in a speech Brandt made to the huge October 22 demonstration in Bonn. Brandt first painted a rosy picture of a world without imperialist military blocs; but then, he said, since the blocs do in fact exist, "we belong in the Western Alliance." Brandt went on to pay tribute to the role of the Bundeswehr as "an army in a democratic state, helping to ensure peace" (and was booed by the crowd for this).

Another example of a social-democratic party out of power posing as a champion of peace is provided by the British Labor Party. The Labor Party has passed resolutions supporting unilateral nuclear disarmament and criticizing the U.S. and NATO. But the Labor Party's "opposition" to U.S. imperialism is strictly from the angle of seeking a stronger role for British imperialism within the Western imperialist bloc. This was clarified by Neil Kinnock, leader of the Labor Party, in a speech he gave in parliament. While tens of thousands of people were demonstrating against the deployment of missiles at Green- ham Common, Kinnock accused Margaret Thatcher of being an American "lackey" who had accepted "an utterly inferior status in what we previously thought was an alliance." During a time of crisis, as in the Falklands war, the Labor Party leaders come out as rabid defenders of their "own" imperialist bourgeoisie. And, like the German SPD's love for the Bundeswehr, the Labor Party hacks support an expansion of Britain's conventional armed forces. Thus the social-democrats, while posing as peaceniks, are no more anti-war than are the NATO generals who advocate a buildup of conventional weaponry. For example, Bernard Rogers, an American general who is commander of NATO forces in Europe, advocates a 4% annual increase in NATO's conventional weaponry to reduce NATO's reliance on nuclear weapons.

While out of power, the social- democrats will mouth pacifist rhetoric to maintain their hold over the masses and to put up a front of being "the opposition." But how do the social-democrats act when they are holding the reins of power? This can best be seen by recalling that it was the social-democratic party in Germany, in 1978, that first gave the call to modernize NATO's nuclear weaponry with the cruise and Pershing II missiles. And today it is social-democrats who lead the governments of France and Italy. The government leaders there are the staunchest champions of deployment.

President Mitterrand of France is working hard to get the missiles deployed in Germany, while rapidly increasing France's own nuclear arsenal. The leadership of Mitterrand's party ordered its members to stay away from anti-missile demonstrations held in France the weekend of October 22.

The social-democrats of Italy are also firmly pro-deployment. The prime minister, Bettino Craxi, sent a letter to Soviet president Andropov in September in which he said he was determined to go ahead with deployment without awaiting the outcome of East-West arms talks in Geneva. Craxi has also denounced anti-missile protests continuing at the Comiso, Sicily NATO base.

Other striking illustrations of social-democracy in power are given by the ruling parties of Greece and Spain. In both of these countries, the social-democrats came to power mouthing opposition to U.S. and NATO bases. Since then, however, they have reneged on their campaign rhetoric. The Greek "socialist" foreign minister recently joined with his colleagues from Common Market countries in reaffirming support for the missile deployment.

Forward in Struggle Against Imperialism!

The imperialist powers of NATO have now gone ahead with their deployment of the cruise and Pershing missiles. This shows that they don't give a damn about the sentiment of the masses who have been fighting the threat of nuclear slaughter. However, even in the face of the arrival of the new missiles, the protests and demonstrations are continuing. This shows that the working people of Western Europe are not about to give up their struggle. The fight goes on, despite attempts by imperialism and its apologists to demoralize the masses with;refrains about how there is nothing more the people can do.

Nevertheless the fact that the missiles are being deployed shows that the movement must be strengthened and developed further. It shows that the war drive in Europe is not the mistaken policy of this or that political party or government leader but the unified policy of the U.S. and European imperialist bourgeoisie in the NATO alliance. The mass anti-war movement must squarely target the imperialist system as the source of the war danger.

In order to develop the movement, the working people face the task of overcoming the sabotage of the social- democratic and reformist forces. As is shown by the experience of West Germany, where the ferment is very strong, the social-democrats are escalating their efforts to undermine the mass movement.

Contrary to the social-democrats, the mass movement must target both U.S. imperialism and the European imperialist bourgeoisie itself. The anti-war movement must be linked up with the class struggle of the European workers and oriented towards the socialist revolution.

[Photo: Anti-missile demonstrators resist attacks by police in Bonn, West Germany on November 21,1983.]


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Down with the U.S.-Marcos dictatorship!

During the last week of November, there was another upsurge in the continuing storm of mass struggle which has been sweeping the Philippines. On November 27th, 200,000 people took to the streets of Manila to demand an end to the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos. Events of the day included numerous marches and rallies. The streets of Manila were jammed throughout the day with marching protesters.

While the events of the day were organized by the liberal opposition, the influx of hundreds of thousands of ordinary masses into them shows that a popular upsurge is underway in the Philippines. The liberals promoted the slogan Marcos Resign!, showing what is the furthest they want to go in the opposition to Marcos, but militant sections of the masses raised the call Down with the U.S.-Marcos dictatorship!

The events of the day went beyond what the liberals wanted. Demonstrations continued on into the night. Protesters burned tires and filled the streets with debris as they confronted the police and army troops that Marcos had brought into the capital. Groups of young people fought with police guarding government food stores.

Demonstrations continued in the days following. On November 30th, 3,000 workers and peasants demonstrated against Marcos' policies and a hundred people began a hunger fast demanding the release of political prisoners.

This latest upsurge is just the most recent in a firestorm of protest that has been sweeping the Philippines since the murder of the liberal opposition leader Benigno Aquino on August 21. Since then there have been protests and demonstrations almost every day.

In this period the largest and most militant demonstrations occurred on September 21, one month after Aquino's murder. Mass protests were called to commemorate the day in 1972 when Marcos declared martial law. On this day two million people demonstrated in Manila and in other cities in the largest single demonstration since Marcos first declared martial law. Following a memorial rally for Aquino, 100,000 people led by student leaders marched on Malacanang Palace. Outside the palace they were confronted with hundreds of police and army troops. In the fighting that ensued nine people were killed by Marcos' troops. The next day students marching in the college section of Manila were attacked by police riot squads, and another three protesters were killed. Five thousand students marched outside the U.S. embassy with a banner declaring "Dismantle the U.S.-Marcos dictatorship!" and burned in effigy the American ambassador. There were also demonstrations in the Makati financial district.

The regime tried to forestall the effect of the September 21 demonstrations by organizing a pro-Marcos demonstration in Makati on September 20. This tactic backfired, however, as office employees hurled garbage from their windows and buried the demonstration.

Together with the mass upsurge in the cities, the Marcos dictatorship continues to be hit hard by the guerrilla insurgency that has been going on in the countryside for over a decade. On September 29, revolutionary fighters in the hills of Zamboanga, Mindanao, ambushed an army patrol and wiped out 39 soldiers. This is the highest death toll inflicted on government forces by a single action of the guerrillas.

A Fight Against Tyranny, Poverty and Imperialism

The target of the revolutionary struggle in the Philippines is the bloody dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. His dictatorship represents the rule of the Filipino oligarchy of big capitalists and landlords. Since the end of U.S. colonial rule after World War II, the Filipino oligarchy had ruled through a bourgeois-democratic facade, a regime which, despite' various democratic forms, was marked by numerous restrictive laws and emergency measures against the workers and peasants. Indeed, Marcos had been elected as president under this form of government in 1965. But in the late 1960's the Filipino oligarchy was wracked by internal political crisis and an upsurge of revolutionary struggle, marked by powerful mass actions in the cities and a renewed guerrilla war in the countryside. Under these conditions, Marcos declared martial law in 1972, reflecting a switch on the part of the Filipino oligarchy to an even more tyrannical rule.

Since that time, Marcos has carried out massive repression of the Filipino people. In 1981 he declared the end of martial law. But this was a fraud since he retained all sorts of "emergency powers," delegated to the army and the police, to smash any political opposition. Marcos has not only continued to be ruthless against the revolutionary opposition but he has also kept a tight check on the bourgeois liberals. The murder of Aquino, which everyone in the Philippines knows was carried out by the regime, is a typical case in point. During the last three months, Marcos' troops have killed at least 14 demonstrators and have jailed nearly 1,000 people, who are not allowed legal counsel or family visits.

The rule of Marcos has also meant the continued domination of the country by U.S. imperialism. For the first half of this century, U.S. imperialism held the Philippines as a colony through a brutal occupation. Since the end of World War II the country has been formally independent, but U.S. imperialism has continued to have extensive privileges. The claws of imperialism have remained dug into the flesh of the Filipino people through the various corrupt regimes of the pro-imperialist oligarchy.

The U.S., Japanese and other multinational corporations carry out systematic plunder of the. resources of the country and the super-exploitation of its cheap labor. As well, the U.S. has extensive strategic and military interests in the Philippines. The largest American military bases outside the U.S., Clark Air Force Base and the Subic Bay Naval Complex, are located in the Philippines. These and many smaller installations together occupy hundreds of square miles of Filipino territory. There are 15,000 U.S. military personnel at these bases which are stocked with conventional, chemical, bacteriological and nuclear weapons. The U.S. imperialists use these bases to back up the dictatorship of Marcos and also to launch aggression against other Asian peoples -- as happened, for example, during the Viet Nam war.

For the Filipino people, the rule of the U.S.-Marcos dictatorship has meant poverty and misery. The average worker makes about $2 per day. The peasantry is ruthlessly exploited by the landlords. Marcos has gotten the country $18 billion in debt, mainly to U.S. financial institutions. To pay off this debt, Marcos has been instituting austerity measures against the working people. He recently devalued the Filipino currency and announced a wage freeze to suppress a strike movement of the Filipino working class that has been developing in recent months.

Liberals Work to Sabotage the Struggle Against Marcos

Today a revolutionary crisis is unfolding in the Philippines. In the cities the protests and street fighting against the dictatorship are bringing millions into struggle. In the countryside the agrarian insurgency is continuing to grow. The struggle against the U.S.- backed tyrant is based deep among the toiling masses of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the Filipino ruling classes are caught in an acute crisis. The specter of a triumph of the democratic revolution, brought on by a coming together of the movement in the cities and the armed insurgency, haunts them. While the most powerful sections of the oligarchy continue to back Marcos, other sections are calling on him to resign. Thus even businessmen in the Manila financial district have begun to organize protests against Marcos.

The main bourgeois-landlord opposition to Marcos comes from the liberals. The liberals want to forestall the democratic revolution by replacing the Marcos tyranny with a return to the old pre-martial law form of oligarchic rule. Preferably they would like to achieve this through a deal with Marcos. But if this is not possible, they are also working to maneuver with other sectors in the army and bureaucracy.

The most prominent leader of the liberal bourgeois opposition to Marcos was Benigno Aquino. Aquino was a representative of the same ruling classes as Marcos. In fact, up until 1965, both Marcos and Aquino were in the same party, the Liberal Party. At that time Marcos jumped to the Nationalist Party so that he would have a better chance of being elected president. But both these parties were virtually identical; they are both pro-imperialist bourgeois-landlord parties. And it is common in the Philippines for presidential aspirants to jump from one of them to the other.

Aquino historically performed many loyal services for U.S. imperialism and the Filipino ruling classes. In the 1950's and 60's he worked with the CIA in subverting the revolutionary struggles not just in the Philippines but also elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

After imposing martial law, Marcos clamped down on his liberal opponents. Aquino was first jailed and then allowed to leave the country. He came to the U.S., where he maintained close ties with the Filipino opposition forces in the U.S. and with U.S. imperialist circles.

Over the last several years, Aquino complained that Marcos' repressive rule had wiped out legal opposition, but that illegal opposition was growing and this had the potential of leading to a revolutionary triumph. Specifically, Aquino warned about the possibility of "another Nicaragua," i.e. a popular uprising against the dictatorial regime. Aquino thus planned to return to the Philippines to revive a legal bourgeois opposition in order to provide a "moderate outlet" for the opposition to Marcos. For the day of his return, Aquino had written a speech where he laid out his liberal program. In this speech he merely called for a return to the pre-martial law situation. He denounced the idea of revolution and disavowed any communist ties.

But Marcos is such a tyrant that he could not even tolerate such a liberal project. After threats to Aquino not to return, the regime organized to murder him on his arrival. But this has only fed the popular outrage against the fascist dictatorship. In this situation, the Filipino liberals are carrying forward Aquino's policy of seeking to divert the anti-Marcos struggle away from revolution towards the establishment of just another bourgeois-landlord regime, but one without Marcos.

The liberal camp is divided into different sections. Some of them, such as Catholic Archbishop Jaine Sin, openly oppose mass demonstrations. Instead he calls on the people to pray for national reconciliation. However, the bulk of the liberal camp at this time supports demonstrations. But this is just so that they can allow the masses to blow off steam and use the masses to put pressure on the Marcos regime. The liberals do not want demonstrations for the purpose of preparing a revolutionary onslaught against the regime. Thus they denounce revolutionary methods of struggle. They preach pacifism and denounce the militants who battle Marcos' troops.

The bourgeois liberals, above all, do not stand for a struggle that would hit at the oligarchy which stands behind the Marcos dictatorship. Thus their common slogan is "national reconciliation," which is subscribed to not only by Cardinal Sin but by even the most "left" posturing of the liberal groups. And from this stand the liberals do not offer anything to the toiling masses.

The bourgeois liberals are not opposed to imperialism. Under the pressure of the anti-imperialist sentiment of the masses, they have begun to utter a few words about "foreign domination" but this is just eyewash.

For example, removal of the U.S. bases is a major demand of the mass movement in the Philippines. But the liberals do not support this demand. The furthest some of them have gone is to call for the bases to be put under the control of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), the alliance of reactionary regimes in Southeast Asia which is closely linked to the U.S. This is a stand against the U.S. bases? What a farce!

The liberals do not even denounce Reagan for backing the Marcos regime. When Reagan announced the cancellation of his visit, the liberals went wild in promoting Reagan as an anti-Marcos hero. Salvador Laurel, the leader of the UNIDO coalition, helped organize demonstrations in the Makati financial district under slogans like, "Thank you, Mr. Reagan for supporting our democracy" and "Bases can stay, Marcos must go."

Running all through the activity of the liberals is fear of the revolution. Thus, while the masses are battling Marcos' troops, Laurel has been quoted as saying that he trusts Marcos' army more than the revolutionary armed forces. He simply wants a change of horses and, if possible, through a deal with Marcos himself. He stated recently, "We have to try to deal with Marcos."

But despite the treachery of the liberals, the working masses of the Philippines are fighting hard against the Marcos dictatorship. They want the overthrow of the U.S.-Marcos dictatorship. This calls for vigilance against the undermining role of the liberals in the mass movement. The Filipino revolutionaries must organize to build the anti-Marcos movement independent of the liberals. Only in this way can the revolution triumph and the Marcos dictatorship be replaced not by a somewhat liberalized regime of the oligarchy but a revolutionary-democratic government of the workers and peasants.

Solidarity with the Filipino people's struggle against the U.S.-Marcos dictatorship!

[Photo: The Filipino people show their determination to carry forward the struggle against U.S.-Marcos dictatorship.]

[Photo: Picket in San Francisco, August 29,1983, expresses solidarity of American and Filipino masses against U.S. imperialism and its lackey regime In Manila.]


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Reagan supports fascist Marcos

For the last decade American presidents, Democratic and Republican a- like, have supported Marcos while the Filipino people suffered under martial law. And today Ronald Reagan is giving all-out support to Marcos at a time when the Philippine people are rising up to overthrow him. At the same time the U.S. imperialists are maneuvering to avoid going down with Marcos' ship, in case it does sink. While backing Marcos to the hilt, the U.S. imperialists are grooming possible successors to Marcos and keeping a finger in the liberal pie.

This year Reagan planned to visit the Philippines to celebrate his friendship with fascist Marcos and to sign an extension of the lease of U.S. bases. In preparation for this, last June Reagan sent Secretary of State Shultz to the Philippines, where Shultz gave speeches praising Marcos up and down. After the mass anti-Marcos demonstrations in September, however, Reagan was forced to cancel his visit. This did not indicate any lack of support for Marcos. On the contrary, it was prompted by the fear that Reagan's visit would give the opposition to Marcos an occasion to mobilize and might cause even more problems for Marcos. This was clarified in a letter Reagan personally wrote to Marcos explaining his decision to cancel the visit. In this letter Reagan declared his friendship for Marcos to be "as warm and firm as ever," and said, "I've always had confidence in your ability to handle things." (New York Times, October 5,1983)

At the same time, the U.S. imperialists do not want to get burnt in the fire of the anti-Marcos movement. The U.S. government has pressured Marcos into naming a successor to his office, to provide for a stable pro-imperialist government. The U.S. is also advising Marcos to keep open lines of communication with the bourgeois liberal opposition, and the imperialists are themselves grooming elements in the liberal camp as an alternative to Marcos.

In September some liberal Democratic members of the U.S. Congress urged Reagan to put some distance between Marcos and the U.S. Ten senators and 43 representatives, led by Ted Kennedy and by Stephen Solarz of Brooklyn, sponsored a resolution asking Reagan to postpone his visit until after the murder of Aquino had been investigated. While not uttering a word of criticism of Marcos, these Democratic Party leaders were advising Reagan on how to avoid inciting a mass upsurge against U.S. imperialism in the Philippines. Reagan went along with this tactic, while still publicizing the letter in which he expresses his support for Marcos.

This is the stuff out of which the bipartisan foreign policy of U.S. imperialism is made.


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A call to fight petty-bourgeois democratic illusions

The Communist Party of Portugal/Reconstructed holds 4th Congress

This past March, the Marxist-Leninist party of the Portuguese working class, the Communist Party (Reconstructed), held its 4th Congress. This Congress culminated over a year of inner-party debate and took important steps towards overcoming the crisis that has affected the Party in the recent period. The Congress assessed that petty-bourgeois democratic illusions had penetrated the ranks of the Party and, with the ebb that has followed the high tide of revolutionary struggle in the mid-1970's and with the pressure of the capitalist offensive, this has had repercussions in the Party. It led to the emergence of a rightist and liquidationist faction (see report in the January 25, 1983 issue of The Workers' Advocate, "Portuguese Marxist-Leninists Fight in Defense of the Party"), and to an ongoing Party crisis. Thus, the 4th Congress of the CP(R) took a number of decisions for clearing out the petty-bourgeois democratic illusions that have affected the Party, and for strengthening the CP(R) ideologically, politically and organizationally. These decisions were approved by the majority of Congress delegates and have been published in the book The Proletariat and the Revolution in Portugal, which contains the reports and resolutions adopted by the Congress. The following report outlines the views of the CP(R) on a few of the issues addressed by their 4th Congress.

Criticism of "The Road of April 25th of the People"

At the center of the Congress debate was the assessment of the April 25, 1974 revolution, which overthrew the fascist Caetano dictatorship, and of the tactical line of "the road of April 25th of the people" that was adopted by the CP(R) after the revolution.

The 4th Congress analyzed that the working class was the motor of the 1974-75 revolution, but the petty- bourgeoisie was the conductor. The proletariat put its stamp on the struggle, giving it the revolutionary character of a struggle for the overthrow of capitalism. However, the petty-bourgeois democrats (including the radical wing of the Armed Forces Movement), who were in the leadership of the struggle, gave it a reformist character. When the petty-bourgeois democrats became alarmed at the revolutionary activity of the proletarian masses they handed over power to the liberal bourgeoisie.

In the period after the 1974-75 revolution the 2nd Congress of the CP(R) spoke of "the road of the people versus the road of the bourgeoisie." From this the Party adopted "the road of April 25th of the people" as the tactical line for continuing the revolution. The 4th Congress resolved that this was an ideological and tactical error. This analysis failed to bring out that within this "road of the people" there are the conflicting class interests of the proletariat and the petty bourgeoisie. It failed to stress that "the road of the people" in the days of the revolution had been dominated by a petty-bourgeois and reformist line. It failed to draw out such class distinctions within this "road of the people" as, for example, in regard to the struggle in the countryside against the big landowners, where it obscured the class distinctions between the rural semi-proletariat and the rich section of the peasants. It failed to put in the center of the analysis the political independence of the proletariat.

One of the ideological factors for this error was that the petty bourgeoisie was considered to be a revolutionary force on a par with the working class, failing to recognize that reformism and opportunism are ideologies of the petty bourgeoisie. Thus, for example, the impotent reformism that affected the Armed Forces Movement was attributed solely to the influence of the middle bourgeoisie.

The 4th Congress analyzed that the "road of April" assessments reflected petty-bourgeois democratic illusions. They reflected an attempt to find a "revolutionary democracy" acceptable to the petty bourgeoisie. They were a compromise with petty-bourgeois pacifist concepts seeking a peaceful evolution of the crisis in Portugal and to avoid the clash between revolution and counter-revolution.

The Political Independence of the Proletariat and the Struggle Against Revisionism

The 4th Congress underscored that at the heart of the debate on "the road of April 25th of the people" was the problem of proletarian hegemony and the political independence of the working class. To build up a solid Marxist-Leninist communist party and to carry out the proletarian revolution demands the struggle for the political independence of the proletariat. This doesn't mean a workerist policy or the proletariat only establishing "hegemony over itself." On the contrary, it means standing for the proletarian class interests and criticism of the petty-bourgeois and other class interests within the working class and popular movements.

A focus of the struggle for the political independence of the proletariat and against the petty-bourgeois influence is the struggle against the revisionist Communist Party of Alvaro Cunhal. The 4th Congress pointed out that in the past there had been wrong concepts of the class nature of the revisionist CP which negated the existence of its social base among the masses. The 4th Congress pointed out that the CP revisionists find support in the petty-bourgeois sectors -- the labor aristocracy, the trade union bureaucrats, the new technical-professional sectors, intellectuals, bureaucrats and functionaries. Therefore the struggle against the revisionist CP, which holds considerable influence over the working masses, is a struggle to liberate the proletariat from the leadership of the petty bourgeoisie. It's a class struggle in the ranks of the working class between the hegemony of the proletariat and that of the petty bourgeoisie. It's a struggle for the political independence of the proletariat.

The 4th Congress pointed out that by overcoming petty-bourgeois democratic illusions, and by defeating the right deviation in the Party and the centrist positions that have shielded it, conditions will be prepared for a serious debate on the strategy of the Party and the elaboration of its program.

Solidarity with the Portuguese Marxist-Leninists

Undoubtedly the decisions taken at this Congress are steps forward and will contribute towards strengthening the CP(R) on the foundations of Marxism-Leninism.

The decisions of the 4th Congress of the CP(R) will also undoubtedly be of interest to the Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary activists in the U.S., who have harbored great sympathy for the revolutionary working class and the Marxist-Leninists of Portugal. The Workers' Advocate wishes the comrades of the CP(R) every success in consolidating the Party, building up the political independence of the working class, and advancing the revolutionary struggle against capitalist rule and its revisionist and opportunist defenders.


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On the fratricidal strife in the PLO

A tragic result of the bankruptcy of national-reformism

During November, the split in the ranks of Fateh, the biggest political organization within the Palestine Liberation Organization, flared up again into bloody armed clashes, the worst so far. This round of fighting began with an attempt by the rebel group of Fateh, in alliance with other pro-Syrian PLO groups, to drive out Yasir Arafat's Fateh forces from two Palestinian refugee camps near Tripoli in northern Lebanon. The anti-Arafat forces were backed up by artillery support from Syrian and Libyan forces. In the ensuing clashes, hundreds were killed, thousands more wounded, and large sections of the camps were destroyed. Arafat's forces were pushed out of the camps and they found refuge in Tripoli which itself came under bombardment. As of this writing, a cease-fire is in place and an agreement has been negotiated to remove Arafat's forces from the area.

The bloody fratricidal strife among the Palestinian fighters has caused much grief and anguish among Palestinians everywhere. Coming at a very difficult time in the life of that people, just a year after last year's brutal Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and in the midst of a renewed U.S.-Israeli offensive in the area, armed conflict in the ranks of the Palestinian movement only gladdens the hearts of the Zionists and imperialists.

Indeed, the imperialists are already boasting that the Palestinian liberation movement is finished. But they are crowing too soon. The Palestinian people's resilience is immense. This is testified by the fierce street protests that have been taking place on the occupied West Bank in recent weeks. The Palestinian youth are showing that, despite their dismay at the events near Tripoli, they are not about to relinquish their struggle against Israeli occupation. The fighting resolve of the Palestinians was also demonstrated by the recently released prisoners from Israel's Ansar prison camp who vowed to continue their fight against zionism through to the end.

The Palestinians will undoubtedly fight on. But their organized movement is in deep crisis today. The issue facing supporters of the Palestinian revolution is to understand the causes of this crisis and support the development of the independent force of the Palestinian toilers which will push forward the revolution. Among other things, this requires sorting out what stand to take towards the present clashes in the ranks of the Palestinian fighters.

There are various political forces, not only in the Palestinian movement but also in the American left, who are saying that the path forward for the Palestinian movement is to support one or another faction in the split in Fateh. Our Party does not agree with this view. We believe that the Palestinian revolutionaries and their true friends should not support either side in the current conflict. Neither side in the Fateh split offers a way out of the crisis facing the Palestinian movement.

The impasse which the Palestinian movement finds itself in today is the result of the bankruptcy of the national-reformist policy followed by the PLO leadership over the last decade. Arafat, who has been the biggest champion of that policy, today seeks to extend it further in a dangerous capitulationist direction. The rebellion in Fateh began as a protest against Arafat's capitulationist plans. But the positions of the rebel leadership do not reflect a real break with national-reformism. Whether wittingly or not, the rebel leaders of Fateh are helping to subordinate the Palestinian movement to the Syrian government, which is no real friend of the Palestinians.

What is worst of all, the rebel leaders of Fateh are helping to disgrace the critique of Arafat's national- reformism and capitulationist leanings. With their recent assaults on the refugee camps near Tripoli, they showed a callous disregard for the lives of the Palestinian masses. This only helped to bolster Arafat's influence among the Palestinian people.

The harmful activity of the anti-Arafat groups should not be allowed to exonerate Arafat's policies. No, the path forward for the Palestinian struggle requires a firm break with national-reformism. Let us briefly review the roots of the crisis in the PLO and then proceed to examine why the anti-Arafat groups do not represent a break with Arafat's bankrupt leadership.

The Tragedy of Beirut Showed the Bankruptcy of National-Reformism

Elsewhere we have written in detail on the problems facing the Palestinian movement. There we have spelled out our views on the mistakes of the PLO leadership and outlined the direction in which the current crisis can be overcome. (See our pamphlet, Zionism Is Racism in the Service of Imperialism, June 1983) Here we only wish to briefly touch on some of that analysis.

In Beirut last year the Palestinians fought heroically. Nevertheless big defects were revealed in the way the struggle was conducted. The retreat from Beirut was a setback for the Palestinian movement. This setback brought out in sharp relief the gross inadequacy of the policy which the PLO leadership had been following for years previously.

The present PLO leadership, made up of the leaders of various guerrilla organizations, had come up in the 1960's with a generally national- revolutionary position. As a result, they had won the wide backing of the vast majority of the Palestinian masses and were seen by Israeli zionism and imperialism as a big challenge. However, around the time of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the PLO leadership increasingly turned towards a policy of national-reformism. The result has been disastrous.

As a result of their national-revolutionary policy in the 1960's and early 70's, the Palestinian resistance organizations stood for the overthrow of the racist and theocratic state of Israel and its replacement by a democratic and secular Palestine. They stood up against imperialism. They recognized the importance of revolutionary methods of struggle, including armed struggle and the mobilization of the masses.

After the 1973 war, various weaknesses towards national-reformism, which had all along existed in the Palestinian resistance groups, came to the fore. Now the goal of overthrowing the zionist state was for all practical purposes replaced by the aim of a "mini-state" on some part of the territory of Palestine. Despite lip service to the contrary, the PLO leadership did not mean by this the establishment of a Palestinian state on a part of Palestine that had been liberated in the course of struggle and which would serve as a base for continuing the liberation struggle.. No, a mini-state became the highest goal of their strategy. And this was to be achieved not through revolutionary struggle but through the wheelings and dealings of the PLO diplomats and the Arab governments with the imperialist big powers. It was suggested that the "leverage" of the Arab regimes over European and U.S. imperialism would lead to Israel coming to an accommodation with the PLO and granting a mini-state.

The PLO leadership subordinated all militant forms of struggle to this overall strategy. Whatever courageous armed actions were organized were seen only as methods to put pressure on the imperialists and Zionists to come forth with a reformist compromise. Hence, in effect, the PLO's policy became one of "national-reformism with guns."

What was the basis for the turn in the PLO leadership's policy?

The answer to that lies in its class basis. The leadership of the guerrilla organizations came up as petty- bourgeois parties. In the national liberation movement, such parties can at times take a national-revolutionary position, as history has demonstrated many times. But, except when such parties come under the leadership of the proletariat, they remain essentially connected with the national bourgeoisie, the class which provides the social base for reformist politics. And this connection makes the petty- bourgeois trends prone to vacillations towards and ultimately outright degeneration to national-reformist positions. In the case of the PLO leadership, what happened was that after the guerrilla organizations gained the leadership of the Palestinian masses, the Palestinian bourgeoisie and the Arab bourgeoisie generally actively worked to foster national-reformism. The PLO got millions of dollars from Arab reaction and itself became the owner of big capitalist enterprises in the Arab world. This played a major role in promoting a certain conservative tendency in the PLO leadership.

The Israeli invasion blew up the illusions fostered by national-reformism. Far from being inclined to an accommodation with the PLO, the U.S. imperialists and Israeli Zionists organized their most vicious offensive yet to crush the Palestinian movement. The bourgeois Arab regimes all stabbed the Palestinians in the back. And the European imperialists did not come to the aid of the PLO either; today they are working hand in hand with the U.S. against the Lebanese left and the Palestinian resistance. In short, all the "influential" forces which the PLO leaders had counted on to help achieve a mini-state for them showed their true colors towards the Palestinian movement.

The Crisis in the PLO in the Aftermath of Beirut

However, in the aftermath of Beirut, the PLO leadership showed that it had no desire to learn the hard lessons. It could not be expected to reorganize the Palestinian struggle on a sound revolutionary basis.

Arafat himself took steps in a dangerous capitulationist direction. He visited King Hussein of Jordan and there he even abandoned the idea of a Palestinian mini-state in favor of a Palestinian entity on the West Bank which would be federated with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. This was treachery pure and simple. King Hussein is a rabid enemy of the Palestinian people and a reactionary point man for U.S. imperialism. This was amply demonstrated by Hussein's massacre of the PLO guerrillas in 1970-71.

The PLO National Council, the organization's highest body, met in Algiers in February 1983. This meeting did not adopt the most blatantly capitulationist proposals, but what it did agree to amounts to capitulation just the same. It refused to give King Hussein the right to negotiate with the imperialists on behalf of the Palestinians and it did not endorse the "Reagan plan," which demagogically speaks of Palestinian rights but actually proposes to give them nothing. At the same time, the PLO agreed to establish a "special and distinctive" relationship with Jordan and approved the concept of a confederation between Jordan and an independent Palestinian state.

The decisions of the PLO meeting reflected a compromise between different factions within the organization. Their differences were papered over but continued to fester. Meanwhile, the gap between the illusions fostered by the PLO leadership and the reality faced by the Palestinians remained.

In May this year, an open political split broke out in the ranks of Arafat's own organization Fateh. It was sparked off by resentment among the Fateh fighters in Lebanon over the appointment by Arafat of two PLO commanders who were despised by the fighters for corruption and desertion during the siege of Beirut. The Fateh fighters saw Arafat's appointment of these new commanders as a sign of his aim to remove the Palestinian fighters in Lebanon from actively confronting the zionist occupation forces.

The rebels in Fateh made a number of valid criticisms of Arafat's policies. They denounced the proposals for hitching Palestine with the reactionary Jordanian regime. They demanded an open discussion within Fateh and the PLO of their criticisms. Arafat's response was arrogant. He tried to suppress them militarily and cut off food and other supplies to the rebels. This was the start of the fratricidal clashes inside the PLO. But the rebellion spread, since it was based upon quite just protests against Arafat's capitulationist leanings.

The criticisms of the Fateh rebels were not an all-round critique of the PLO's national-reformism. But they could have served as a starting point to open up a wider discussion that could lead to finding a way out of the crisis of the PLO. But things did not go that way.

It appears that the Syrian government intervened on the side of the Fateh rebels in order to achieve its goal of placing the Palestinian movement under its own hegemony. Likewise, it appears that the Fateh rebel leaders, despite historic misgivings about Syria, have at present linked up with Syria.

This is a big obstacle that obstructs the Fateh rebels from breaking with national-reformism. One of the historic problems of the PLO has been dependence on this or that bourgeois Arab regime. While the Palestinian movement no doubt should make use of contradictions between the Arab regimes and Israeli zionism, this cannot mean subordinating the Palestinian movement to any Arab government. The history of trailing behind the Arab regimes has been one where the Arab regimes gave demagogical support to the Palestinian movement, but whenever push came to shove, the PLO was left in the lurch. Worse still, whenever the contradictions between the interests of the PLO and the Arab regimes became particularly sharp, the PLO came under military attack from the Arab regimes themselves, as happened with Jordan in 1970-71 and Syria in 1975-76.

The Fateh rebels are being led to believe that Syria will support them in carrying on the fight against Israeli zionism. But everything in Syria's historical record speaks against such illusions. In 1976, Syria stepped in on the side of the fascist Phalange and fought a war against the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance forces. Last year it refused to allow the PLO fighters behind its lines in Lebanon to fight the zionist aggression. And this fall, after the split in Fateh, when Fateh rebels went to join the Druse fighters of the Lebanese resistance against the Gemayel government, the Syrians brought pressure on them to withdraw. The Syrian regime's attitude to the Palestinian people was also exemplified by the fact that during the recent Tripoli clashes, when Palestinian refugees near the Syrian capital of Damascus demonstrated in protest, the Syrian regime ordered them to be gunned down.

Syria is no friend of the Palestinian movement. It only seeks to use the rebellion against Arafat to subordinate the PLO to its own ambitions. It seeks to use the PLO as an instrument of pressure in its various foreign policy maneuvers in the area. It does not want the Palestinian movement to organize a revolutionary struggle against Israel.

It also appears that it is Syria which was one of the prime movers behind the recent offensive of the anti-Arafat PLO forces against the Arafat forces in the refugee camps near Tripoli. Syria has long sought to bring the Tripoli area under its own control, which it had been unable to do because of both Palestinian and Lebanese forces which are not controlled by Syria. The Fateh rebels have been used as a pawn in this game, and in the course of this activity, they revealed a callous disregard for the lives of the Palestinian masses. This activity did much damage to the criticism of Arafat's policies which had been growing among the Palestinian resistance.

The rebel Fateh leaders do not offer any revolutionary alternative for the Palestinian movement. For example, they have nothing to say about organizing the struggle of the Palestinian masses on the West Bank. As we have discussed in our earlier articles, the question of the West Bank is essential to any really revolutionary reorganization of the Palestinian struggle. As well, the rebel Fateh leaders talk vaguely about carrying forward the armed struggle, but it appears by this they mean taking recourse to terrorist forms of struggle. Historically the Palestinian movement used armed struggle as one of its methods of struggle but this was generally linked to a policy of popular mobilization. At times there was also a tendency towards terrorist methods, such as attacks on civilians, airline hijackings, etc., which did nothing to further the movement. Repetition of such a course would only amount to a policy of despair, a refusal to take up the hard tasks of building up a powerful revolutionary movement.

Talk of armed struggle, or even organizing some armed actions, do not necessarily mark a break with reformism. As the PLO leadership has demonstrated over the last two decades, armed struggle can be part of a general revolutionary policy, as in the late 60's and early 70's, or it can be part of a policy of "national-reformism with guns," as has been seen over the last decade.

No, a real break with national-reformism requires forging a new revolutionary alternative. It requires above all the Palestinian toiling masses forging their own independent class organizations. The bourgeois and petty-bourgeois trends in the Palestinian movement have shown that they are not up to meeting the tasks faced by the Palestinian revolution. The toiling masses, who have provided the fighting force for the movement, must take the center stage of the Palestinian movement. The toilers must organize to fight the influence of national-reformism within the national movement and work out the policies and tactics required to lead the liberation struggle to victory, to achieve a democratic and secular Palestine under a revolutionary-democratic government of the toilers.

[Photo: Section of demonstration denouncing Zionist butcher Sharon in San Francisco, November 6.]


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United front tactics are an essential tool of the proletarian party

The Third World Congress of the CI Opposed Rightist Interpretations of United Front Tactics

This is the fifth in a series of articles on united front tactics. An examination of the profound teachings and rich experience of the Communist International is an indispensable part of any study of the question of the united front. It was the Third World Congress of the CI in mid-1921 that first put forward the slogan of "building up a united proletarian front." The last three articles in this series have dealt with the lessons of the Third Congress. They divided the views of the Third Congress into five main parts, the first four of which were:

I. Winning the Majority of the Working Class for Communism

II. The Communist Parties Must Be Parties of Action

III. The United Front

IV. The Reformist and Centrist Parties Are Bulwarks of Capitalism

This article concludes the discussion of the Third Congress of the CI by taking up the fifth point.

V. Vigilance Against Rightist Interpretations of United Front Tactics

The Third Congress spoke against various rightist interpretations of united front tactics. It warned that:

"...there are still remnants of reformist tendencies in various parties although the latter had excluded the reformists from their ranks, and that these parties, while not working for the reconciliation with the enemy, are nevertheless not sufficiently energetic in their propaganda against capitalism, and for the revolutionizing of the masses." (from "A Call to New Work and New Struggles Addressed to the Proletariat of All Countries by the Executive Committee of the CI") The Third Congress had not the slightest illusion that the adoption of the united front slogan meant that a magic formula for easy, painless progress had been found that avoided the hard work of party-building and of step by step raising the organizational and political level of the masses. On the contrary, it connected the use of united front tactics with the strengthening of the political and organizational work of the communist parties and the strengthening of the struggle against opportunism. As we have seen, it repudiated such ideas as that united front tactics mean persuading the diehard opportunist leaders to be revolutionaries.

Only Communism Can Bring the Unity of the Working Class

The Leninist united front tactics advocated by the Third Congress were based firmly on the idea that only communism can bring unity to the workers' movement. As we have seen, the Third Congress denounced the reformist and centrist trends as bulwarks of capitalism that were responsible for splitting the working class movement. Only the communist policies of class struggle, only the policy of breaking the opportunist coalition with the bourgeoisie, can provide the basis for reestablishing the unity of the proletariat.

Thus the Third Congress stressed the role of communism as the decisive unifying factor for the working class. It pointed out:

"The communist parties have arisen from the breaking up of the old social-democratic parties. This breakup resulted from the fact that these parties have betrayed the interests of the proletariat in the war and have continued the betrayal after the war, by alliances with the bourgeoisie or by conducting a tame policy and shirking the fight. The fundamentals of the Communist Party form the only basis upon which the working masses can reunite, because they express the necessities of the proletarian struggle. It is because of this fact that the social-democratic parties and tendencies seek the splitting up and division of the proletariat -- while the communist parties are a uniting force.... The Communist Parties thus become the standard-bearers of the unifying process of the proletariat, on the basis of the struggle for its interests. From the consciousness of their role they will draw and gather new forces." (from Point 3. The Important Task of the Present, of the "Theses on Tactics")

The success or failure of united front tactics depends, among other things, on whether the communist activists firmly keep this fundamental point in mind. The success of united front tactics is not measured by the number of agreements obtained with the opportunists or the number of official positions gained. It is measured by the growth of revolutionary consciousness and organization among the working masses. The use of united front tactics does not detract from the importance of the communist parties as the mobilizing force of the working class. On the contrary, the purpose of united front tactics is to keep the communist vanguard in the midst of the struggle, to strengthen its ties to the masses, and to enhance the role of communism.

Dangers of the United Front

But what would happen if the communist parties lost sight of the decisive role of communism as the unifying factor for the workers' movement or began to believe that the putting forward of the united front slogan meant that one had left behind the necessity for party-building and militant ideology and instead entered the heaven of philistine politics agreeable to the reformist and centrist marsh? Then a liquidationist tendency could arise under the banner of "united front tactics." The "Theses on the United Front" of December 1921 urge the need of vigilance against such an occurrence. Point 21, Dangers of the United Front, states that:

"In putting forward the plan indicated [united front tactics -- ed.], the Executive Committee of the Communist International warns all fraternal parties of the dangers which, under certain conditions, may be involved. Not all Communist Parties are sufficiently strong and homogeneous, not all have completely broken with centrist and semi-centrist ideology. Cases are possible where the advantage would go to the other side; tendencies are possible which in fact would signify the submergence and dissolution of the Communist Parties and groups into a shapeless united bloc. In order to carry out the indicated policy successfully for cause of Communism, it is necessary that the Communist Parties which adopt the policy should themselves be strong and firmly welded together, and that their leadership should be distinguished by clear-cut thinking." (emphasis added)

As we have seen, the Third Congress warned of the existence of reformist tendencies still existing in various parties. The "Theses on the United Front" of December 1921 connected this problem to the question of wrong interpretations of united front tactics. It points out that the rightist and centrist tendencies, the "communist right wing," welcomes the united front policy but understands it in the social-democratic sense. The theses state, in section 22, The Communist Right Wing, that:

"Certain elements have in point of fact not yet completely broken with the ideology and methods of the Second International, they still cherish veneration for the former numerical strength of that organization, and consciously or unconsciously seek means of agreeing with many of the Second International ideas, and consequently with bourgeois society."

The theses pointed to a particular difficulty that came up in combating this rightist tendency. This is that these elements sometimes ended up apparently mixed up with other comrades who took up united front tactics with the motive of propagating communism among the masses but who had gone too far to the right in over-reaction to the errors of the merely formal radicalism of semi-anarchist tendencies. The tempestuous development of the parties, which have been learning communist organization and tactics at breakneck speed, "has occasionally thrust both apparently into the same camp...."

How can the rightist tendencies be overcome? The theses go on to point out that the vigorous development of the united front tactics and the revolutionary work of the communist parties among the masses will bring out the true features of the reformist elements and help to educate the parties. Thus the way to overcome the dangers involved in united front tactics is not to be found in shelving these tactics, but by using the experience gained from these tactics to help educate the "impatient Left Wing elements" and to expose the remnants of reformist and social-democratic ideas. Provided the communists continue to pay close attention to party building and the militant Leninist principles underlying all truly communist activity, then the experience of the united front tactics will help provide profound material to further steel and temper the parties.

Thus the theses state:

"By carrying out the methods already mentioned [united front tactics -- ed.], which are designed to provide a prop for communist agitation in the united mass actions of the proletariat, all really reformist tendencies will be brought to light. The correct application of these tactics will greatly facilitate the internal revolutionary consolidation of the Communist Parties, both by educating the impatient and sectarian elements through experience, as well as by ridding the parties of reformist ballast." (Ibid., Point 22)

The process of eliminating social-democratic traditions and deviations in the sphere of organization, tactics and politics proved to be a protracted one. The rightist trends were especially fostered by the receding of the post-World War I revolutionary wave and the ensuing temporary partial stabilization of capitalism.

The Fifth Congress of the CI, in 1924, while continuing the fight against various ultra-left or sectarian tendencies, devoted its major attention to the fight against rightist deviations. It paid great attention to rightist distortions of the united front slogan, pointing to "...the danger of the 'right' aberrations, which were revealed in the application of the tactics of the united front to a far larger extent than could be anticipated...." (from Point 5 of the "Resolution on the Report of the Executive Committee of the CI")

Today, in the U.S., the prevailing conditions underline the danger of rightist and renegade distortions of the united front slogan. There is the long tradition of the liberal-labor politics of the revisionist class traitor Browder, who stood for merging the communist and workers' movements with the Democratic Party swamp. There are the strong positions occupied by the Democratic Party machine and the trade union bureaucrats. There is the decline of the powerful revolutionary upsurge of the 1960's and part of the 1970's. In these conditions, our Party has had to wage a stern, incessant struggle against the liquidationist version of the "united front," that is, against the liquidationist alliance with the capitalist parties.

At the same time, our Party has not shelved united front tactics in the struggle against liquidationist distortions of the united front slogan. On the contrary, following the tradition of the CI, our Party has combined the unyielding fight against liquidationism with a most effective use of united front tactics. This is one of the important reasons for the successes of our struggle against opportunism. For example, our struggle against the liquidationist policy of merger with the labor bureaucracy, a merger alleged to be "united front tactics," has only gained from our consistent use of Leninist united front tactics in strikes and the economic struggle generally. Or again, our use of united front tactics to help put anti-imperialism in the forefront of the anti-war movement has been a most effective way of fighting the liquidationist support for the Democratic Party hacks.

Continuing the Struggle Against Centrism

As we have seen in previous articles in this series, the Third Congress had to fight against a certain "exaggeration of the struggle against centrism." This exaggeration did not consist of fighting too hard against the centrist political trend or leaders. It consisted of replacing serious discussion of tactical and political questions with denouncing anything that didn't sound "left" enough as centrism.

At the time of the Second Congress of the CI, the danger had become acute that various centrist forces would simply paint themselves as communist without actually giving up their social-democratic policies and methods of organization. Lenin stated that:

"Parties and groups only recently affiliated to the Second International are more and more frequently applying for membership in the Third International, though they have not become really Communist.... Aware that the Second International is beyond hope, the intermediate parties and groups of the are trying to lean on the Communist International, which is steadily gaining in strength. At the same time, however, they hope to retain a degree of 'autonomy' that will enable them to pursue their previous opportunist or 'Centrist' policies." ("The Terms of Admission into the Cl," Collected Works, vol. 31, p. 206)

The Second Congress opposed the danger of centrist corruption of the CI by adopting the famous 21 conditions of admission. These conditions, and the ensuing struggle to implement them, ensured that the parties affiliating to the CI would set with enthusiasm on the path of transforming themselves into revolutionary proletarian parties of the new type. Thus the main centrist forces were excluded from the CI.

At the Third Congress other tasks came to the fore. The Cl had to discuss and decide serious organizational and tactical issues that confronted the parties in their work to become truly communist parties. It had to correct various erroneous and semi-anarchist conceptions that had a certain currency. It had to examine the experience of the struggle. As we have seen in the earlier articles, Lenin pointed out that to replace these tasks by playing at leftism would be to make a game out of the struggle against centrism.

But this didn't mean that the struggle against centrism and to implement the 21 conditions had come to an end. For one thing, the united front tactics set forth at the Third Congress were, as we have seen, designed to sharpen the struggle against the reformist and centrist trends outside the CI. But at the moment we are discussing especially the struggle against centrist influences inside the CI. This struggle continued as well at the Third Congress. True, it did not come to the fore as the focal point of the work of the Congress. But this by no means signified that this struggle was over and done with. To lose vigilance against centrism would be to risk losing the fruits of the former victories of the struggle against centrism. To hold that the adoption of the united front slogan meant that the struggle against centrism was over, that it was an aberration of the "pre-united front days," would be a gross liquidationist distortion of united front tactics.

The most dramatic struggle at the Third Congress against centrist influences inside the CI was the expulsion of the Socialist Party of Italy (SPI). Serrati and the centrist leaders of the SPI claimed that they supported the dictatorship of the proletariat and the CI. But they refused to expel the notorious reformist wing of the SPI, that dominated the trade union leadership and the SPI parliamentary group, on the grounds that how could a few such individuals sabotage the work of the whole party or the process of the revolution of the entire working class?

The refusal of the centrist leadership of the SPI to purge the party of reformism had already, by the time of the Third Congress of the CI, given rise to a split in the SPI. First the reformists, having just sabotaged the nationwide factory occupations of September, met in conference in Reggio Emilia on October 10-11, 1920. Here they railed against the line of the CI and demanded "national autonomy" so that they would not have to truly apply the 21 conditions. Then the 17th Congress of the SPI was held in Livorno (also called Leghorn) in January 1921. The communist wing of the SPI, which had delegates representing 58,000 SPI members, called for the party to break with the reformists. Serrati, leading delegates representing 98,000 SPI members, united with the reformist wing, whose delegates held 14,000 votes, to oppose the left. After six days of struggle, the left wing walked out and founded the Communist Party of Italy.

Thus the CI was faced with two sections in Italy, one of which, the SPI, insisted on unity with the reformists and on only "conditional" acceptance of the 21 conditions. The Third Congress held to the line of struggle against centrist corrosion of the CI and endorsed the expulsion of the SPI. It stated:

"The Communist International Congress confirms the expulsion of the Italian Socialist Party until the latter severs all connection with the reformists and expels them from its ranks. By this decision the Congress expresses its belief that the Communist International cannot harbor in its ranks reformists (whose object is not the proletarian revolution, but reconciliation with the bourgeois and the latters' reform), if it is to lead millions of workers into the revolutionary struggle. Armies which tolerate leaders who contemplate reconciliation with the enemy are always sold and betrayed to their enemy by these very leaders." ("A Call to New Work and New Struggles")

What was this party that the Third Congress expelled? If one looked only at superficial surface aspects of the SPI, it appeared to be a big, militant party. It had not supported Italian entry into World War I. It had already had one split with the reformists in 1912, when it had expelled an ultra-reformist group. Its party leadership swore their allegiance to the maximum program up and down so much that the party was nicknamed in Italy "the maximalists." It had affiliated to the CI.

But beneath this apparently glittering exterior, the SPI was rotting at its core and was afflicted with utter social-democratic paralysis. Its stand against World War I was not from the point of view of revolutionary struggle, but from a social-pacifist position. The "maximalist" party leadership allowed the reformist wing to control the trade union bureaucrats and the parliamentary work of the Party. The Party was scared of the revolutionary fervor of the workers: it didn't know what to do with mass strikes, which it left to the tender mercies of the reformist trade union hacks; it worked to smash the factory council movement of the proletariat of the industrial city of Turin and to isolate the local section of the SPI that led this movement; and it opposed the armed actions of the workers against fascist terror. As to the peasants, the "maximalist" leadership openly theorized against the possibility of an alliance between the workers and the working peasantry.

In fact, the party always found itself paralyzed by the reformists at all crucial times. After World War I, Italy was in a turbulent and revolutionary period. The old system was in utter ruins. The "maximalist" leadership of the SPI hadn't the slightest idea of how to deal with this. At the 1 crucial moment, when the workers went out on a powerful nationwide factory occupation in September 1920, the "maximalist" leadership could think of nothing better to do than to hand the leadership over to the reformist union hacks for them to negotiate a class collaborationist pact. This was one of the crucial turning points in post-war Italy.

The SPI hid its paralysis and liberal-labor nature with its vows in favor of the maximum program and the dictatorship of the proletariat. But the CI was not in favor of mere verbal revolutionarism, but of real revolutionary work. The Third Congress therefore stressed:

"In Italy the attitude of Serrati [the head of the maximalist leadership -- ed.] and his group immediately after the Second World Congress showed that they did not take the resolutions of the World Congress and the Communist International seriously. Specially the role played by these leaders during the September. struggle [the nationwide factory occupations -- ed.] its conduct in Livorno [the unity with the reformists against the left at the 17th Party Congress -- ed.] and still more its policy since that time, have clearly proved that Serrati and his colleagues only wish to use Communism as a shield for their opportunist policy. The split was inevitable under such conditions. The Congress... sanctions the resolution of the Executive Committee which at the time recognized the Communist Party of Italy to be the only Communist section of that country....

"The Socialist Party of Italy cannot remain within the ranks of the Communist International so long as the participants of the reformist-conference at Reggio-Emilia and their supporters have not been expelled from the party.

"After this...will have been fulfilled the Executive [of the CI -- ed.] is to take the necessary steps to bring about a union between the Socialist Party in Italy, after the latter will have purified itself from all reformist and centrist elements, and the Communist Party of Italy, and combine both organizations into a unified section of the Communist International." (from Point J of the "Report of the Executive Committee")

The wisdom of this decision by the CI was immediately verified by a striking political event. Within a month after the Third Congress, that expelled the SPI, the SPI parliamentarians signed a conciliation or pacification pact with the Italian fascists.

At this time, the fascists were launching one terrorist attack after another on the organizations of the workers and peasants. They were burning down trade union headquarters and SPI newspaper offices. The proletariat was anxious to offer armed resistance to the fascist bandits and spontaneously began organizing combat groups.

The SPI condemned the fighting groups of the workers, advocated a policy of non-resistance, and trusted in their "conciliation pact" with the fascists. This was class collaboration taken to its most absurd extreme. The SPI distrusted the workers and put its faith in the benevolence of the fascists. Naturally, the conciliation pact proved to be worthless; it did nothing to stop the fascists and only served to disarm the proletariat.

The conciliation pact with the fascists is a vivid example of the necessity of struggle against centrism. It shows that the Third Congress was right in insisting that the SPI had to apply the 21 conditions of admission to the CI and to purge itself of the reformist misleaders. And it verifies the observation of the Third Congress that:

"In Italy the tactics of the centrists, of Serrati and D'Aragona [leader of the Italian trade union federation and a member of the reformist wing of the SPI -- ed.], the policy of avoiding any struggle, has revived the courage of the bourgeoisie and enabled it to control the life of Italy by means of its White Fascisti Guards." (from Point 11 of the "Theses on Tactics")

Following the Third Congress of the CI, a complicated evolution continued in the SPI. In October 1922 the SPI split and the reformist wing formed a separate party. The SPI began negotiations for fusion with the CPI. However, an anti-communist leadership gained control of the SPI. Eventually, it split again, and a section of the SPI, the "Third Internationalists," went over to the CPI. Serrati himself, possibly the maximalist leader most loved by the SPI rank and file, abandoned centrism for communism and joined the CPI. But his hesitations had cost the proletarian movement a major price. At the Livorno Congress of January 1921 he could have brought over a huge mass of the SPI rank and file to communism. Instead he spearheaded the split. Later he led a much smaller section of the SPI, and the unity between the "Third Internationalists" and the CPI took place after much precious time had been lost, time that the proletarian movement did not have to spare in the fast-moving events in Italy.

This concludes the part of our study on united front tactics that deals with the lessons of the Third Congress of the CI.

[Photo: The red guard in a factory in the Italian industrial center of Turin, during the nationwide factory occupations of September, 1920. This was the crucial moment. But the centrist leaders of the Socialist Party of Italy were afraid of the revolutionary possibilities and handed the leadership of the movement over to reformist trade union officials who negotiated a class collaborationist pact.]


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The career of a social-democrat comes full circle

Barry Weisberg's 'CPUSA/ML' denounces Marxism-Leninism and dissolves

Barry Weisberg is a social-democratic adventurer who decided to try his hand at corrupting the Marxist-Leninist movement. He had been trained at the social-democratic "think tank" called the Institute for Policy Studies, and he had written books denouncing Marxism-Leninism. But in 1975 he founded a small grouplet called the MLOC"(Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee). Then, in December 1978, he declared that his grouplet was the political party of the American working class, the "Communist Party of the USA/Marxist-Leninist." He puffed himself up as the leading opponent of Soviet and Chinese revisionism in the U.S. But, in fact, the "CPUSA/ML" was simply a liquidationist sect that worked to prettify the "left" wing of the Democratic Party and the labor bureaucracy. Its main activities were liquidationist theorizing against the Leninist ideas on party-building, the united front and other questions and practical work to merge with the liberal and social-democratic circles. Now the "CPUSA/ML" has taken its own liquidationism to its logical conclusion by dissolving outright.

The disbanding of the "CPUSA/ML" took several months to become known; so pitiful had the activity of this grouplet become that no one could tell the difference whether it existed or not. It formally expired at its Second Congress in mid-June of this year. The "Dissolutions Committee" got around to notifying the subscribers of the defunct newsletter Unite! in mid-September, when it mailed them the Resolution of the Second Congress and a cover letter dated August 1. We have reproduced the Resolution in this issue of The Workers' Advocate, for all liquidationist rhetoric deserves to be held up to ridicule.

The sorry fate of the "CPUSA/ML" confirms the analysis our Party has made all along of Barry Weisberg's political role. In a series of articles in The Workers' Advocate entitled "Against Social-Democratic Infiltration of the Marxist-Leninist Movement" and in a pamphlet with the same name, we have exposed the opportunist nature of the MLOC/"CPUSA(M-L)" and the origin, history and role of its leading light, Mr. Weisberg. The fiasco of the "CPUSA/ ML" is, in part, a victory for the principled and persistent struggle of our Party against social-democracy and liquidationism.

In this article, we shall draw some lessons from the resolution announcing the disbanding of the "CPUSA/ ML." Why do we bother when the "CPUSA/ML" no longer exists? The "CPUSA/ML" has dissolved, but the social-democratic and liquidationist trends still exist. They remain diehard and dangerous enemies of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and the political independence of the proletariat. The demise of the "CPUSA/ML" should serve to teach once again the importance of persisting in relentless struggle against social-democracy and liquidationism and the necessity to rally around a true communist party, the Marxist-Leninist Party.

The Contradiction Between Image and Reality

The Resolution dissolving the "CPUSA/ML" begins by bemoaning the contradiction between "image" and

"reality." This is indeed an appropriate theme for an adventurer like Mr. Weisberg, who for several years pretended to be one thing, namely revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist, while in fact representing something else, namely, social-democracy and liberalism. Barry Weisberg's grouplet was always nothing but a mirage, a signboard without body or soul. For all con artists, flimflam men and bourgeois politicians, the "image" is all important.

For example, Weisberg sought to reduce the Marxist-Leninist movement to the most disgusting subservience to legalism. At one point, his grouplet put it this way: "The essence of the struggle for democratic reforms under capitalism" was "...us(ing) the court system to force it to uphold laws...." This was the "reality" of Weisberg's politics. Meanwhile, to give a shining revolutionary "image" to this belly crawling before the bourgeoisie, Weisberg pontificated in one of his Political Reports that "When you look around at other so-called Marxist-Leninist groups, you do not hear, find or smell discussion of armed struggle." Wow, how militant! But if the Weisberg group had smelled armed struggle, it would have fainted.

The claim of Mr. Weisberg's grouplet to be a "communist party" was always just the same kind of empty playacting. Already in January 1981, Weisberg himself wrote an article entitled "The 1980 Elections, the Working Class and the Party" in which he admitted as much. He talked of "the lack of a nation-wide Marxist-Leninist center" in the U.S. He argued that the Marxist-Leninists were weak and insignificant and hence should give up their illusions about party-building and instead work to unite the liberals, social-democrats, revisionists and labor bureaucrats. This was blatant liquidationism. But it also amounted to Weisberg slapping himself in the face and admitting the fraudulent nature of his "communist party." The Workers' Advocate immediately commented, in March 1981: "We would very much like to ask Mr. Weisberg: Since you hold that there is 'no Marxist-Leninist center,' then what is the so-called 'CPUSA/ML' if not a wretched sect of social-democratic imposters as our Party has demonstrated all along. Seeing as you claim that there is 'no Marxist-Leninist center,' then what is your sect if not a gang of desperate political adventurers which through fraud tries to pass itself off as a 'communist party'?" (p. 44, col. 2)

For the next two and a half years, from January 1981 to June 1983, Mr. Weisberg's grouplet maintained the pretense of declaring that it was the communist party of the working class at the same time as it declared that no such thing existed. Meeting fiasco on all fronts, Weisberg finally abandoned this charade with the disbanding of the "CPUSA/ML" altogether.

Nevertheless, even in its last gasp, the "CPUSA/ML" could not avoid the contradiction between "reality" and "image" that characterizes every step of Mr. Weisberg's political practice. The resolution disbanding the "CPUSA/ ML" praises itself for its opposition to, of all things, liquidationism. It declares that liquidationism is evil. It declares that the former members of the "CPUSA/ML" will never give up the struggle for the party. And, after all this "image," it then declares that since it is impossible to build a party at this time, everyone might as well give up and go home. It seems that the contradiction between "image" and "reality," far from being resolved, has just "reached a new juncture."

Disbanding in Favor of Floating as Individuals in the "Left" Wing of the Democratic Party

Of course, it is not always liquidationism to dissolve an organization. If Weisberg's group had summed up that its political line was wrong and that it should support the true Marxist-Leninists instead of liquidationism and social-democracy, then dissolving would have been a step forward. Mr. Weisberg and company had denounced our Party for years. They had put themselves forward as the alternative to our Party. For them to admit and correct this error would not be liquidationism, but political courage and true honesty.

But one might as well wait for pigs to grow wings as to wait for Barry Weisberg to display political honesty and revolutionary fervor. The disbanding of the "CPUSA/ML" is not a change of course but simply another step in Weisberg's fight against party-building. It is nothing but liquidationism pure and simple.

True, the Resolution talks about "a new juncture in the struggle for a Marxist-Leninist party." It talks of "a unique opportunity and historic responsibility." It declares that "the fight for the party must continue on a new basis."

But, ahem, there are just a few little problems. For example, not only did the "CPUSA/ML" disband, but it left nothing behind it. It did not recommend that its former members join other organizations, nor was any new organization established. It simply set the members and sympathizers of the "CPUSA/ML," insofar as there were any members and sympathizers, free to float as individuals in the liberal and social-democratic marsh. It is the declaration of ultra-liquidationism: no party, no organization, no fight, nothing but hot air.

What have the former members of the "CPUSA/ML" been doing. As far as one can tell, they are doing what they did before the "CPUSA/ML" dissolved: very little, but all in the direction of work in the "left" wing of the Democratic Party. They are prettifying this or that Democratic Party hack or labor bureaucrat. A few distributed the Guardian a bit. Perhaps the largest group has gone into apolitical cultural and educational work aimed at the liberals, the mass media and the petty bourgeoisie.

At one time, Mr. Weisberg talked about the "pre-party situation," but now he has arrived at a "pre-organization situation." The Marxist-Leninists are supposed to float passively in the liberal marsh uniting liberals, labor bureaucrats and opportunists. All this is following in the footsteps of the notorious Earl Browder, who liquidated the CPUSA in 1944 on the grounds that the communists should form an educational association while floating in the liberal-labor marsh.

Weisberg Blames Marxism-Leninism for All His Problems

In the Resolution, the fiasco of the "CPUSA/ML" is blamed on the working class, on the revolutionary movement and on everything under the sun but Barry Weisberg's social-democratic political line. It talks of "the

weaknesses of our class, our movement and our Party." It implies that the upsurge of the 1960's couldn't keep its promises. It wanders this way and that. But its main theme is that Marxism-Leninism has failed and is inadequate to deal with American realities. The Resolution is thus a dramatic demonstration of the anti-Marxist-Leninist nature of the Weisberg grouplet.

The Resolution doesn't dare directly oppose Marxism-Leninism. Oh no! It simply announces that every problem solved by Marxism-Leninism has "as yet [received] no answers." It says that "these problems are primarily" the relationship of the economic base to the superstructure, the fight against bourgeois ideology, the relationship between democracy and socialism, the question of "the role of race and nationality," and the method of organizing in the working class. And Weisberg sums up by concluding that "we have not as yet evolved an adequate theory for party building in the United States."

The Resolution then claims to accept from Marxism-Leninism one thing, that "As Marxism-Leninism shows, there can be no revolutionary movement without a revolutionary theory." But this dictum of Lenin's was referring to the Marxist theory itself. It is Marxism-Leninism that is the revolutionary theory to guide the working class movement. But, according to Weisberg, Marxism-Leninism may apply elsewhere, but "party building in the United States," "the role of race and nationality in American life" the "analysis of the nature of the economic base of American imperialism," is something out of the range of Marxist-Leninist theory. Of course, the Marxist-Leninist theory must be combined with the concrete particularities of each country. But Weisberg grossly exaggerates the specific features of American life in order to put forward a theory of American exceptionalism. Why, he pontificates, party-building in the U.S. is a complete question mark, capitalism in the U.S. is an utterly new phenomenon, and look how Marxism fails to appreciate "the strength of bourgeois ideology in American society." Scratch a social-democrat and you get a chauvinist who believes that American capitalism is a new and beautiful phenomenon, unappreciated by those dastardly foreign ideologies.

In fact, Marxism-Leninism provides quite definite and precise answers to the questions that so puzzle Weisberg. The issue is not that there isn't any theory of party-building, but that Weisberg has always been a diehard opponent of the Leninist conception of the proletarian revolutionary party of a new type. The issue is not that Marxism-Leninism doesn't explain the nature of American capitalism, but that Weisberg's eyes are dazzled by what he takes to be the overwhelming strength and glory of the American bourgeoisie. In brief, the problem facing the "CPUSA/ML" was that Weisberg tried to overthrow the Marxist-Leninist analysis on all the questions listed in the Resolution, but the Marxist-Leninists ripped his social-democratic concoctions to shreds.

The Resolution of the Second Congress of the "CPUSA/ ML," in denouncing Marxism-Leninism, only sums up the views that this grouplet has developed right from the start. It was founded in December 1978, and each year it turned its attention to fighting Marxism-Leninism on yet another front.

1979. Immediately after founding the "CPUSA/ML," Weisberg began to sing hymns to American capitalism. At a time when the contradictions facing American capitalism are sharpening daily and are preparing conditions for sharp clashes, Weisberg is dreaming of pushing these contradictions into the distant future. Millions walk the streets unemployed, while Weisberg has already theorized that, through "revitalization of industry" and imperialist plunder, the American bourgeoisie might well "stave off the crisis" as well as "emerge again in an unrivaled position" in the Western bloc for "10-20 years." The pages of "CP USA/ML's" journal Unite! began to fill with stories about American capitalism recovering from this or that crisis, about the invincibility of U.S. imperialism and with speculations on whether U.S. imperialism is stronger than Soviet social-imperialism. Just as the notorious revisionist Browder preached the gospel of how American capitalism was a "young" imperialism that would emerge from World War II virtually ruling over the whole world, peacefully, without contradictions either with the masses of people or with rival imperialist powers, Barry Weisberg preached the gospel of American capitalism striding forward to new heights through the reindustrialization program of the bourgeoisie. And just as Browder concluded that revolution was a pipe- dream and the working class should instead collaborate in building this wonderful new capitalism, so Weisberg supported the savage capitalist program of reindustrialization under the code word of supporting automation. (See "The New Browderite Strategy of the MLOC/'CPUSA/ML' " in The Workers' Advocate of November 30, 1980)

1980. In this year Weisberg turned his main attention to the question of the united front. It replaced the Marxist- Leninist ideas on united front tactics with an utterly Browderite distortion. In the name of the "united labor front," Weisberg took up the banner of building up the liberal-labor alliance of social-democrats, revisionists, trade union bureaucrats and reformists. This too was their justification for lying down in bed with the Democratic Party. The Weisberg group finally discovered the danger of fascism in the U.S. in 1980, but only for the sake of snuggling up as close as possible with the Democratic Party and the liberals as the supposed antidote to capitalist reaction. (See "The 'United Labor Front' of the MLOC/'CPUSA/ML' Means Unity With the Khrushchovite 'C'PUSA and All the Social-Democrats" in The Workers' Advocate of November 30, 1980 and "Bootlickers of the Democratic Party, the 'CPUSA /ML' Sabotages the Anti-Fascist Struggle With Its Browderite Stand That the Democratic Party Is the Bulwark Against Fascism" in The Workers' Advocate of March 10, 1981.)

1981. This year saw Weisberg put his finishing touches on his "united front tactics" with his plan for the building of a "Democratic Front" to embrace liberals, revisionists, labor bureaucrats, the bourgeois leaders of the oppressed nationalities, and so forth. The goal of the "Democratic Front" would be the defense of "the existing democratic state." Furthermore, Weisberg theorized that the "struggle for complete, universal and unlimited democracy in which there exists direct popular legislation by the working people... is a road to a new tomorrow. It is a socialist road." He thus glorified the oppressive bourgeois state and held that socialism is simply the perfection, the culmination of a perfect, unlimited democracy. "Complete, universal and unlimited democracy" is a chimera, a mirage, that is opposed to the Marxist theory of the state. It is nothing but the typical glorification of bourgeois democracy by petty- bourgeois democrats. With this theory, Weisberg not only bowed down before the supposed glories of American democracy, but he came out, in effect, against socialist democracy and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Browder's "communism is twentieth century Americanism" is Weisberg's socialism as "complete, universal and unlimited democracy." (See "A Liquidator Goes Bankrupt" and "Reference Notes: A Liquidator on 'Democracy' " in The Workers' Advocate, July 30, 1981.)

1982. Having denounced the Marxist-Leninist ideas on capitalism, the state, bourgeois democracy, and the united front, Weisberg turned his attention to the Leninist teachings on the struggle against imperialist war. He found them hopelessly antiquated. Why, just think, Lenin held that "war is the continuation of politics by other means." Weisberg rejected this thesis as outdated and, for good measure, went on to throw out Lenin's ideas on "turning the imperialist war into a civil war." Of course, Weisberg said that he was attacking only Clausewitz, a Prussian general and military historian of the early 19th century, and neglected to mention that "war is the continuation of politics by other, i.e. violent, means" is a basic tenet of Marxism-Leninism. Nevertheless, anyone who was familiar with any of the basic Leninist writings on World War I or with the debates in the American left knew where the theses "war is the continuation of politics by other means" and "turning the imperialist war into a civil war" came from. Thus this marked a new stage in the theorizing of the "CPUSA/ML," where it turned from distorting the Marxist-Leninist theses to a direct denunciation of Marxism-Leninism. (See "On the Path Forward for the Struggle Against Imperialist War, An American Liquidator Versus Leninism" in The Workers' Advocate of December 30, 1982.)

1983. The Second Congress of the "CPUSA/ML" denounces the inadequacy of Marxism-Leninism. As part of this, it declares that there is no "adequate theory for party building in the U.S.," and it dissolves.

A Social-Democrat Comes Full Circle

With the denunciation of Marxism-Leninism by the Second Congress of the "CPUSA/ML," Mr. Weisberg has come full circle. He began his career, as we pointed out in the introduction, as a social-democrat. He wrote such books as The Politics of Ecology (1970) and Beyond Repair (1971). In his books, he denounced Marxism-Leninism as outdated and suited only for other countries; he denounced the Marxist conception of capitalism and the class struggle; he denounced the proletarian revolution as unsuitable for the U.S.; he denounced the dictatorship of the proletariat; he denounced the building of a national (i.e. nationwide) party, and so forth. And now, after a few years of play-acting as a "Marxist-Leninist," Mr. Weisberg has returned to where he started from. He has thrown off his mask and stands revealed once more as Mr. Social-Democrat, the man in a red-white-and-blue cape with the American exceptionalist label.

Let us review some of his views from his writings of 1970 and 1971 and compare them with the ideas of the now-defunct "CPUSA/ML."

In 1971, Weisberg wrote that "Much of Marxist thought today clings to that historical period in which Marx formulated his original teachings, without realizing in fact the dawning of conditions which must of necessity temper the contemporary Marxist view of history." (Beyond Repair, p. 167) And he denied the relevance of the teachings of the October Socialist Revolution of the Bolsheviks in 1917, stating that revolutions, such as those in Russia and elsewhere, occurred when "such nations underwent various forms of revolutionary upheaval under social and economic conditions which bear not the slightest resemblance to those of present-day America." (Ibid.)

Today Weisberg advocates once again that Marxism-Leninism has no answer to the problems of contemporary American life.

In 1971 Weisberg denounced the idea of the proletarian party..He wrote that: "Such movements within the United States suggest the reconstitution of limits, of boundaries. This will not and cannot be achieved through a centralized mechanism, whether new Federal regulation or a national party. Further centralization today can only serve to further destroy the limited natural and social diversity which remains." (Ibid., p. 166)

Today Weisberg once again has thrown off the restrictions of even pretending to be a centralized party. The "CPUSA/ML" set its members free to float as individuals in the liberal-labor marsh on the fringes of the Democratic Party. It calls this "a new juncture in the struggle for a Marxist-Leninist party." But it is just the same old anti-party views.

In 1971, Weisberg denounced the dictatorship of the proletariat, saying that "such a historical reality would call into question many of the most fundamental conceptions of contemporary Marxism -- a theory predicated on and propagated under the assumption that the hierarchical nature of human society would be an inevitable necessity given the conditions of scarcity, such that the road to Communism would require the hierarchical organization of 'a dictatorship of the proletariat.' " (Ibid., p. 162) In place of the dictatorship of the proletariat, Weisberg praised decentralization and extreme localism. He praised French "communautes des travails" and Yugoslav "workers' self-management" and Israeli kibbutz for being small units trying to achieve absolute independence, saying that "self- determination will require, in a decentralized context, an adequate and mutually supportive network of basic skills and services which promote the maximum diversification of function, role, and participation in the collective struggle." (Ibid., pp. 156-7) He tried to find decentralization everywhere, and he rambled on about "the Asian models of decentralization in North Viet Nam, North Korea, or China..." and "the Chinese concern for decentralization, diversification, and the nonspecialization of human and material development." (Ibid., pp. 151-2, 156-7)

Today Weisberg has once again put forward the pipe-dreams of exaggerated petty-bourgeois democracy as the image of the society of the future. He presents "complete, universal and unlimited democracy" as the path to socialism.

On every front, Weisberg's views are just social-democracy, dressed up in slightly different words. The Resolution of the Second Congress of "CPUSA/ML" talks of "our 10-year fight for the party." Yes there was a 10-year fight. But it was a fight against the proletarian party, a fight to infiltrate social-democratic ideas into the Marxist-Leninist movement.


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Last gasp of the liquidationist 'CPUSA/ML'

RESOLUTION OF THE SECOND CONGRESS OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY USA/MARXIST-LENINIST --June 1983

We have reached a new juncture in the struggle for a Marxist-Leninist party in the United States. This turning point can best be described as a confrontation in which the image of how to build a communist party in America is in contradiction with the reality of the experience of attempting to build such a party. It is a contradiction between what theory and work has been carried out to lay foundations for the party, and what has proven to be necessary to lay those foundations. Between what has been attempted and what has been achieved. Between what is understood and what is required.

This juncture results, in part, from our awareness of this contradiction. We could not have arrived at this turning point without struggling to build a new Marxist- Leninist party in the United States. We have been part of a dialectical, historical process: this process gave rise to our Party, and our work has furthered the struggle for class consciousness social development.

To understand this juncture we have conducted a summation of that historical process and our role within it. We have only begun to understand not just our experience, but the larger problems of Marxism in the world today, and what will be required in the future to build a successful Marxist-Leninist party equipped to meet the demands of the class struggle in the United States.

This summation has led us to the realization that the present state of the class struggle in the United States poses a number of theoretical and practical problems to which the proletariat has as yet no answers. These problems are primarily: Development of an all-round Marxist-Leninist analysis of the nature of the economic base of American imperialism and its relationship to the superstructure. An all-sided appreciation of the strength of bourgeois ideology in American society and how it is reproduced. An elaboration of the relationship of the struggle for the extension and preservation of bourgeois democracy to the struggle for socialism. A useful assessment of the role of race and nationality in American life and the means to carry out a successful struggle for working class unity. And, answers as to how to establish a base within the industrial working class in order to begin to lay foundations for a truly proletarian communist party in the United States.

Along with this recognition has come the understanding that the kind of Marxist- Leninist study, thinking and organizational life required to answer these questions has not been achieved in our experience, nor will it be easy to achieve in the future. Yet this is one of the most decisive problems, for as the present juncture indicates, we have not as yet evolved an adequate theory for party building in the United States. And as Marxism-Leninism shows, there can be no revolutionary movement without a revolutionary theory.

An upsurge in the working class, democratic and national revolutionary movements in America which began in the early 1960's gave rise to the prospect of building a new communist party that could take up the banner abandoned by the CPUSA in 1944, advancing the cause of the proletariat in the struggle for progress, equality, democracy and peace, while fighting with the aim of establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialism. Today it is clear that this promise has not been realized. This period in the class struggle in the United States has passed without achieving a truly nationwide, multi-national, proletarian party with solid ideological, political and organizational foundations.

This recognition has helped us understand that the road charted at the founding of the Communist Party U.S.A./Marxist- Leninist in 1978 was inadequate to the task of party building in America. It was inadequate because of some views which we now know to have been wrong, but primarily because it was a limited vision, handicapped by an inability to perceive the complexity of the problems involved, the nature of the forces arrayed against us, the depth of the contradictions within the working class movement, and the weaknesses of our own forces. The source of this handicapped and at times wrong vision is not a mystery. It is a result of the ideological, theoretical, political and organizational weaknesses of our class, our movement and our Party.

Today, a new offensive by the bourgeoisie and reaction has forced the revolutionary movement into a retreat. What we have seen is a dissolution of the Marxist- Leninist forces, a revival of modern revisionism and social democracy, profound confusion within the progressive movements, and passivity in the face of a deep economic crisis and escalating danger of imperialist world war and fascism. Never has the need for a Marxist-Leninist party to educate, organize, mobilize and lead the proletariat and its allies been greater.

But we can no longer proceed in the old way on the course charted in 1978. A new plan of action designed to answer the theoretical and practical problems of party- building in the United States is needed to advance the cause of socialist revolution. This raises the question: what road ahead? Failure to answer this question from Marxist-Leninist positions raises the spectre of liquidationism -- of abandoning the struggle for the party and for proletarian revolution in the United States. It is a particularly acute problem given the historical experience of the Marxist-Leninist movement in America and the social, political and ideological climate in the country today.

In struggling to answer what is to be done, we keep in mind that a liquidationist position is one which either denies the need for a Marxist-Leninist party to advance the cause of the proletariat, or believes that it is impossible to build such a party in the United States, or in practice abandons activity designed to build the party.

Because we cannot continue on a course that did not and will not lead to solid ideological, political and organizational foundations for a Marxist-Leninist party in the United States, and therefore, because we do not and cannot fulfill the obligations and responsibilities of a Marxist-Leninist party of the American proletariat, the CPUSA/ML has been dissolved. To proceed successfully through this new juncture, the fight for the party must continue on a new basis. To admit and act upon this reality is a sound Marxist-Leninist course.

To prevent the liquidationist mood sweeping the movement from destroying our 10-year fight for the party requires, not that we deny this reality, but that we take up practical activity designed to build the party in a manner suited to the real ideological and material resources at our disposal and to the real possibilities for Marxist-Leninist educational and organizational work within the proletarian and democratic movements.

The nature of this new juncture in the struggle for a Marxist-Leninist party in the United States is not yet fully defined. It is likely that an answer to the question "What road ahead?" will not be achieved for some time. What is clear is that we have a special responsibility to our class and to the international proletariat, to learn the lessons and translate our experience over ten-years into a theory of what constitutes adequate foundations for a Marxist-Leninist party in the conditions of the United States and what will be required of the revolutionary movement to secure those foundations the coming years.

As communists we will persevere. The cause remains: to change consciousness in order to change the world. To defend progress, equality, democracy and peace while fighting for complete emancipation. To create a new socialist world, free from exploitation and oppression, reaction and war.

We are clear that such a world will only be won through dedicated struggle against capitalist exploitation, imperialist domination and bourgeois ideological aggression -- against the two Superpowers and their lackeys, and against all anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist and anti-people theories and philosophies, from Khruschevism, to Titoism, to Maoism, to Trotskyism and various social democratic revisions of the revolutionary legacy of Karl Marx. In a complicated and dangerous world situation, we have the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, the history of the world revolutionary movement, and the experience of the people and Party of Labor of Albania to guide and inspire us.

We have a unique opportunity and historic responsibility. At present, given the state of the revolutionary movement in America, the will to fight is critical. But in the final analysis, we know that it is not what we think that is decisive; it is what we do.

Our future course will be dedicated to transforming hard-won knowledge and experience into a revolutionary theory that will guide activity to achieve the most urgent necessity of the class struggle in the U.S. today: the creation of a communist party that can lead the American proletariat to defeat U.S. imperialism, build a new socialist society and forever alter the course of world history.


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From the Resolutions of the Second Congress of the MLP,USA

(The following resolutions to be published in the next issue of The Workers' Advocate.)

 

I. ON THE DOMESTIC SITUATION

A. Introduction: For Steadfast Revolutionary Work Against the Capitalist Offensive

B. Fight Reaganite Reaction

C. The Fraud of the Democratic Party "Opposition"

D. Build the Independent Movement of the Working Class

E. The Socialist Revolution, Goal of the Class Struggle

F. The Economic Crisis, Capitalism in Decay

G. Against the Capitalist Cultural Offensive

 

II. REVOLUTIONARY WORK IN THE MASS MOVEMENTS

 

A. Introduction: The MLP, the Party of Revolutionary Action

B. The Workers' Movement

C. The Struggle Against Militarism and Imperialist War

D. The Struggle Against Racism and National Oppression

E. The Struggle Against the Oppression of Women

III. ORGANIZE THE PROLETARIAT, BUILD THE MARXIST-LENINIST PARTY

A. The History of the Fight to Build the Political Party of the Working Class

B. On Party Building

C. The Struggle Against Liquidationism and Merger With Social-Democracy

IV. ON THE INTERNATIONAL SITUATION

A. Introduction: The Struggle Between Exploiter and Exploited, Oppressor and Oppressed, Lies Behind the Tangle of World Events

B. Solidarity With the Workers and Peasants of Central America

C. Against the Criminal U.S. Invasion of Grenada

D. Salute the Chilean Workers and Youth in Struggle Against the Fascist Pinochet

E. U.S. and Israeli Occupiers, Get Out of Lebanon

F. The Racist Regime of Israeli Zionism and the Palestinian Revolution

G. In Support of the Black People of South Africa Against the Racist Apartheid Regime

H. In Support of the Filipino People's Struggle Against the U.S.-Marcos Dictatorship

I. The Crisis of the Polish Capitalist Regime Exposes the Bankruptcy of Revisionism

J. On the Revolutionary Struggle in the Oppressed and Dependent Countries: The National Liberation Movement, the Democratic Revolution and the Socialist Revolution

K. On the Upsurge in the International Movement Against Imperialist War

L. Soviet Social-Imperialism -- Enemy of the Revolution and Socialism

M. Revisionist China and the Counter-Revolutionary U.S.-China Alliance

N. Solidarity With Socialist Albania, the Only Genuine Socialist Country in the World Today

 

V. THE STRUGGLE AGAINST REVISIONISM AND SOCIAL-DEMOCRACY

A. Against Soviet Revisionism

B. Against Chinese Revisionism

C. Against Trotskyism

D. Against Social-Democracy

 

VI. ON THE INTERNATIONAL MARXIST-LENINIST MOVEMENT

 

A. The Second Congress Salutes the Marxist-Leninist Communists of the World

B. Work for the Strengthening of the International Marxist-Leninist Movement

C. On the Relations Between the Marxist-Leninist Parties

D. On the Communist Party of Canada (M-L)


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