The Workers' Advocate

WORKERS OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE! 25¢

Volume 14, Number 11

VOICE OF THE MARXIST-LENINIST PARTY OF THE USA

October 1, 1984

[Front page:

On the presidential elections--Down with the Republicans and Democrats! For class struggle against the Reaganite offensive!;

The black people will never accept apartheid racism--A Storm of Struggle Rocks South Africa;

As the politicians debate about recovery--The rich get richer and the poor get poorer;

GM Contract: Job cutting in the name of 'job security'--Defeat the new auto concessions deal!]

IN THIS ISSUE

Reagan's double-speak:................................................ 2
Reagan's 'tax cuts': For whom?.................................... 2
Mondale's economic program: More taxes, more cutbacks........................................................................ 2
Mondale: A peace candidate for war............................. 2



Boston: 6,000 protest war drive.................................... 3
Buffalo: Rally against Reagan...................................... 3
MIT: What The Student stands for.............................. 3
MIT: Student rights threatened..................................... 3
Waynesboro, Ga.: Rebellion against racist murder....... 3
Lawrence, Mass.: Latinos fight racist attacks............... 3



Against the Simpson-Mazzoli bill................................ 4
No to INS raids............................................................. 4



Provisions of the GM contract...................................... 4
New York City: Heat walkout in a factory.................... 4
Postal workers, fight back!........................................... 5
Coal contract: No job security...................................... 5



El Salvador: Duarte's massacres................................... 6
Grenada: Occupation elections..................................... 7
Reagan's alternative aid for the contras....................... 12
MAP-ML statement on Nicaraguan elections............... 12
Campaign for the Nicaraguan workers' press............... 12



Portuguese workers fight fascist 'security law'............. 8
Australia: Ugly face of social-democracy..................... 8
Solidarity with the Kurdish struggle in Iran................. 9
No to persecution of Iranian refugees........................... 9
Revisionists: Salesmen for Mondale............................ 10




On the presidential elections

Down with the Republicans and Democrats! - For class struggle against the Reaganite offensive!

The black people will never accept apartheid racism

A Storm of Struggle Rocks South Africa

As the politicians debate about recovery

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer

GM Contract: Job cutting in the name of 'job security'

Defeat the new auto concessions deal!

War is 'peace', Poverty is 'prosperity'

Reagan's Double-Speak

Reagan's 'tax cuts': For whom?

MONDALE: A PEACE CANDIDATE WHO STANDS FOR WAR

Mondale promises the people

More cutbacks, more taxes, and more billions for the capitalists and generals

Thousands demonstrate in Boston against Reagan's war drive

Reagan denounced in Buffalo

Waynesboro, Georgia

Black People Rebel Against Racist Police Murder

Latinos fight racist attacks

What happened in Lawrence, Massachusetts

From 'The Student' newspaper at Mass. Institute of Technology

What We Stand For

Political rights of students threatened

Simpson-Mazzoii bill bogged down in Congress, but

The fight against anti-immigrant legislation must continue

Down with INS raids against immigrants!

Heat walkout at a New York City factory

Provisions of the GM contract

Postal Workers, FIGHT BACK!

Union leaders kneel before the dictate of the postal service

No to a two-tiered wage system!

ON THE NEW COAL CONTRACT

'Labor peace' means no fight for job security

Hundreds massacred in El Salvador

Behind the 'Human Rights' Sermons of U.S. Imperialism

Reagan may visit for the 1st anniversary of the U.S. invasion

Down with the U.S. Occupation of Grenada!

Grenada: Occupation Elections

Who's who in the Grenada elections

Portuguese workers fight police state laws of the 'socialist' government

The ugly face of social-democracy in Australia

Kurdish people of Iran in struggle against the Khomeini tyranny

DEMONSTRATORS IN BANEH PROTEST AGAINST THE REACTIONARY IRAN-IRAQ WAR

Islamic dictatorships in Iran and Pakistan work together

No to the Persecution of Iranian Refugees!

THE KURDISH PEOPLE FOIL THE REGIME'S CONSCRIPTION ATTEMPTS

BOYCOTT OF IRAN'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN KURDISTAN

ARMED OPERATIONS BY KOMALA'S FIGHTERS

Entire villages to be eliminated

Condemn the mass expulsion of Kurds from their villages

Revisionists: Salesmen for Mondale and the Democrats

MAP/ML Communique on the Nicaraguan elections

For struggle against the bourgeoisie and U.S. imperialism

Behind-the-scenes funding for the dirty war against Nicaragua

Solidarity with the Workers and Peasants of Nicaragua! Contribute to the Campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press!

Campaign to support the Nicaraguan workers' press

Off to a good start




On the presidential elections

Down with the Republicans and Democrats! - For class struggle against the Reaganite offensive!

In an obscene orgy of super-patriotism and dollar-worship, Reagan is stumping for four more years. Reagan and the Republicans are stumping for four more years of assault on the working people. Four more years for the rich to get richer and the poor poorer. Four more years of growing racism and the buildup of the police state. Four more years of expanding military adventures against the peoples of other lands and of feverish preparations for nuclear slaughter.

But that's only half of it.

The other half is that Mondale and the Democrats are promising the people four years of the very same thing.

The Democrats pose as the "party of labor and minorities," the "party of peace" and the alternative to the cruel Reagan policies. But the Democrats are campaigning against Reagan on Reagan's platform. Mondale and the Democrats have pledged to their capitalist bosses that whichever candidate wins the November 6 election the Reaganite assault on the working people will get a second term.

Tens of millions are looking for a way to meet the challenge of the Reaganite offensive. But for the workers and jobless, for the blacks and other oppressed nationalities, for the opponents of militarism and war, the capitalists' electoral circus is offering no alternative.

Both Candidates Pledge to "Stay the Course" of Reaganomics

Where do the candidates stand on the issues? Just look at the themes of their campaigns.

The Republicans are calling for "staying the course" of Reaganomics. This is the course of "expanding opportunity" through brutal strikebreaking and productivity drives against the workers -- cutting wages, tossing millions into the street, and driving the rest like slaves; "creating jobs" with a sub-minimum wage for youth and stripping the workers of even the weakest wage, health and safety protections; "restoring the work ethic" by slashing the meager relief programs for the unemployed and poverty-stricken; and "ensuring prosperity" with a tax policy of robbing from the poor to give to the rich.

There is a grain of truth in Reagan's promise of four more years of "prosperity"...if you happen to be a capitalist or a millionaire living off Wall Street dividends. But for the ten million jobless, or for the millions of employed workers sinking below the official poverty level, "staying the course" means four more years of hell.

But what does Mondale offer? He is promising a "realistic" and "tough" policy. In his Deficit Reduction Plan Mondale pledges that he won't spend a penny more than Reagan on social programs, and if anything he will cut Medicare and other necessities for the poor still deeper. (New York Times, September 11,1984) And he has sworn himself to hitting the people with more tax increases. In short, Mondale is campaigning as the man capable of making the "hard choices" to turn the screws on the working people -- that he is the man best suited to "staying the course" of the capitalist offensive against the masses.

Both Candidates Stand for Racism and Building Up the Police State

Reagan continues his racist crusade against the black people, the Latinos and immigrants and other oppressed nationalities. He dreams of turning back the clock to the days of Jim Crow segregation. The Reagan appointees on the Civil Rights Commission speak in the jargon of the open racists and fascists, alleging that blacks and other oppressed nationalities have too many privileges, supposedly creating "reverse discrimination" against whites. Small wonder that Reagan has again been endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan and that such a racist scum as "imperial wizard" Bill Wilkinson praises "many elements of the Republican platform as pure Klan."

As for Mondale, it should not be forgotten that he was the vice-president for Mr. "Ethnic Purity" Carter. Today, he is appealing to the black vote because it is critical to his campaign; but at the same time he will not say a peep that might offend the Dixiecrats in the South and other arch-racist Democratic politicians. Mondale hasn't put forward a single measure to stem the racist Reaganite tide. Instead he has chosen a running mate, Geraldine Ferraro, who has championed a constitutional amendment against busing for school desegregation and who backs Reagan's tax credits for private racist academies.

Under the signboards of "getting tough on terrorism," Reagan is pushing one draconic law after the next to jail strikers, demonstrators and revolutionary activists. He continues his campaign to beef up the CIA, the FBI, the police, prisons and the entire police state apparatus against the working people.

And the Mondale-Ferraro campaign is replying that Reagan may talk tough, but they are the ones who will act tough. The Democrats share equal responsibility for the repressive federal crime reform bill that Reagan is pushing, a bill passed down from Ted Kennedy's notorious S-l bill. Meanwhile, to show her enthusiasm for reactionary "law and order" themes, Ferraro boasts of having been a "tough" prosecutor. After the recent bombing at the U.S. embassy in Beirut, the Democrats and Republicans have begun a dispute over who is really loyal to beefing up the CIA and the "intelligence community," with Mondale chastising Reagan for being "soft on international terrorism."

Two Candidates of Militarist Aggression and the Nuclear Buildup

But the overriding theme of both campaigns is superpatriotic appeals to the military buildup and to the strength of the U.S. world empire.

"America standing tall" is the banner of Reagan's campaign. Yes, "standing tall" on the arsenals of nuclear, chemical and conventional weapons that are being built up to the sky for a world slaughter. Yes, "standing tall" on the backs of the people of Grenada, Central America, Chile, Lebanon, the Philippines, South Africa and the other peoples bleeding under the yoke of U.S. military occupation or U.S.-backed dictatorships.

Draping himself in the bloodstained flag of U.S. imperialism, and spewing chauvinistic filth about the god-given superiority of America over the other peoples of the world, Reagan is promising four more years of the record military buildup and imperialist adventures against the peoples of Central America and other lands.

But Mondale is protesting that he, not Reagan, is the man who stands for a "strong defense," who can deliver a "sustainable" military buildup, and who can provide more bang for the buck with more efficient and modern weapons systems. Mondale protests that it is he, not Reagan, who will be more "effective" in backing up the death squad dictatorship in El Salvador and in strangling revolutionary Nicaragua with a "quarantine."

At the same time Mondale is giving Reagan lectures about the usefulness of arms control talks for ensuring "a strong defense" and a nuclear arsenal "second to none." And he scolds Reagan about the need for complementing military intervention in Central America ("interdiction," "quarantines," etc.) with diplomatic pressures against the revolutionary movements. In short, Mondale is promising the same war buildup and the same military adventures abroad, along with a more wily policy to better hide the crimes of the warmakers and better defend U.S. imperialism's world empire.

Both are Evil and Both are Worse

For the working people there is no choice between Reagan and Mondale. Both are front men for the capitalist monopolies. Both are standing naked on a common platform of hunger, reaction and war.

Between Reagan and Mondale the choice is between which capitalist slave driver can better slash relief for the jobless and poor and drive the country towards new Viet Nams and nuclear destruction. There is no room here for speculation about the "lesser evil." Both are evil; and both are worse.

Use the Elections to Push Forward the Class Struggle

But this doesn't mean that we can sit at home while the capitalists carry on their electoral circus. The workers and oppressed cannot be indifferent to this electoral campaign of capitalist reaction. We must seize on the occasion of the elections to advance the independent politics of the working class, the politics of class struggle.

We should use the elections to combat the influence of the capitalist parties. Reagan and the Republicans are already despised among tens of millions as the capitalist monsters that they are. But more work is needed to expose among the widest sections of the people the anti-worker, racist and warmongering reality behind the mountains of Reaganite lies and chauvinist demagogy.

The popular enthusiasm for Mondale and the Democrats is at rock bottom. There is a widespread opinion among the working people that Mondale is no alternative. But more work is needed to tear the mask off the smooth-talking Democrats and expose them as merely disguised Reaganites. The Democratic Party "heroes of the working man" provoke nausea and disgust among the working people because they too are tools of the capitalist ruling class. The general discontent with the Democrats needs to be turned into the determination to take action against the capitalist offensive, action independent of the capitalist parties.

This electoral season of Madison Avenue commercials and carefully staged appearances before the cameras is making it clearer than ever that the strings of the electoral game are pulled by the money men behind the scenes. The elections are bought and sold by the most powerful groups of finance capital. And despite all the inevitable promises of "peace" and "prosperity," and no matter who wins office, the real business of making policy is set by the Wall Street kings and Pentagon generals.

We must spread the truth that nothing can be accomplished through this year's electoral farce. All the promises that the Reaganite offensive can be stopped at the polls this November are a great hoax being played on the masses.

There can be no illusions in election year promises. For the working class the only sure promise is that there's no way out of this capitalist hell without struggle. There is no way out of the misery of unemployment, racist oppression, and the growing danger of new wars without the working masses rising in bitter class struggle.

For the Independent Movement of the Working Class

For success in this struggle the working masses must build up their own independent political movement; they must forge the powerful weapons of the working class struggle.

Work is needed to push forward the mass struggles. Strikes, demonstrations, protests and other forms of mass action are the bulwark against the Reaganite offensive. Without the initiative and struggles of the masses there can be no talk of political independence. As the proletarian forces grow in strength, running candidates in elections may be a subsidiary front of work. However, progressive successes in elections only register the advances won in the direct mass struggle.

In the course of the struggle, the workers and all the oppressed need to forge revolutionary organization. In the work places, communities and schools the masses need to equip themselves with a variety of different types of organization, paying particular attention to supporting and building the genuine working class party, the Marxist-Leninist Party, as the militant general staff of the class struggle. Without the weapon of organization political independence cannot be consolidated; with it the working people can combine their numbers into an invincible force.

And to build their independent movement the working people need to arm themselves with class consciousness. This demands a firm ideological and political struggle against the bourgeoisie, exposing the lies of Reagan- ism and unmasking the Democrats, the union bureaucrats and the other sold out apologists of the capitalists. This demands the spread of revolutionary literature to counteract the capitalists' giant propaganda machine by telling the truth about the class struggle and championing the cause of the workers and oppressed. And this demands the popularization of Marxism-Leninism, the reliable compass of the revolutionary working class movement. As Lenin taught the workers, "Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement."

For Struggle Against Hunger!

Whatever the outcome on November 6, every step of the Reaganite offensive of capital must be fought tooth and nail.

The times cry out for the workers to put an end to the job-cutting and wage-slashing concessions drive of the employers. The unemployed and poor need jobs and real relief from hunger and poverty. The capitalists, not the workers, must be made to pay for the burden of the economic crisis.

For Struggle Against Racism!

The fight against the racist drive of the capitalists' is a pressing task for all the working people. This demands struggle against the racist terror of the police and racist gangs; opposing the segregationist crusade to drive the black people out of the work places and schools; and fighting for the full rights of the immigrant workers.

For Struggle Against Imperialist War!

The working peoples' answer to the frantic nuclear buildup and the danger of new military adventures must be revolutionary struggle against imperialist war. This means fighting every act of aggression and slavery by our "own" government against the peoples of other lands. It means lending solidarity to the revolutionary struggles of the workers and peasants of Central America and the other victims of U.S. imperialism. And it means solidarity with the workers of the social-imperialist Soviet Union, and with the workers of all the other capitalist and pseudo-socialist powers -- with $11 who are taking part in the common struggle against the imperialist powers and their "own" warmongering governments.

For the Socialist Revolution of the Working Class!

Mass struggle is the essential weapon for holding in check the Reaganite offensive of capital. But the class struggle is not just a holding pattern; it is not simply an unending tug-of-war. The class struggle is the moving force of the socialist revolution of the working class.

For decades the ruling class has spread the lie that at least in capitalist America the working people are promised a certain level of rights and security. But nothing is destroying this lie faster than the Reaganite offensive of the bourgeoisie. It is convincing millions that the capitalist system offers nothing but the dead end of unemployment, reaction and war.

In the day-to-day fight against the Reagan offensive much work is needed to show that the socialist revolution is the only way out of this capitalist hell. This will make these struggles all the more powerful, lifting them out of the capitalist and reformist framework. In the thick of the struggle the hard work must begin to build the independent class organizations of the working masses. In the independent mobilization and organization of the working people today, the political army will be built for the socialist revolution of tomorrow.

This will be a tomorrow where the working class will be organized as the ruling class. Under the proletarian democracy of tomorrow, elections will not be a circus to choose between which cutthroat capitalist and warmonger will sit on the backs of the people for the next four years. Elections will be held to determine which men and women of labor are the best representatives of the interests of the working people -- the likes of Reagan and Mondale will be out of luck.

[Photo: At the Labor Day march in Detroit, the MLP denounced both the capitalist parties and called for fighting the capitalist offensive, while the labor bureaucrats boosted the Democratic ticket.]

[Cartoon.]


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The black people will never accept apartheid racism

A Storm of Struggle Rocks South Africa

The last six weeks have seen a powerful outburst of militant struggle by the blacks and other oppressed people of South Africa. A countrywide upsurge is taking place, the most intense since the famous Soweto rebellions of 1976. Every county in South Africa has been touched and a broad section of the masses are involved in the fighting. The upsurge has included entire townships rising up in protest, students boycotting schools across the country, and miners out on strike. The racist white minority regime has set upon the masses with characteristic brutality -- with whippings, arrests and murder. But the repression has only stiffened the determination of the black people to fight on. Not a day passes without reports of new outbreaks of struggle in South Africa.

The blacks and other oppressed people are rising up once again to fight the inhuman system of apartheid racism. This is a system spawned by capitalism in which the black population, the overwhelming majority, has been reduced to the status of convict prisoners in their own land. They are denied all social and political rights. They are forced to live in ghettos and must carry ID passes at all times. They have to slave at starvation wages and live in great poverty.

The death-defying struggle of the black masses of South Africa shows that the oppressed people will never reconcile themselves to apartheid slavery. This struggle is a great inspiration to the oppressed masses throughout the world. It shows that even in the belly of one of the most brutal countries, the people can take things into their own hands and rise in struggle. The Marxist-Leninist Party, USA stands in solidarity with the fighting blacks and other oppressed people in South Africa in the struggle to overthrow apartheid racism.

The Fraud of Constitutional Reform

The immediate cause of the recent upsurge was the inauguration of a new constitution which was touted as a major democratic reform by the apartheid rulers and its Western imperialist supporters, including Reagan and Thatcher.

This new constitution creates a new parliament of three segregated chambers -- one chamber for the whites, one for the so-called "coloreds" (those of mixed race), and one for the people of East Indian descent. The whites make up 15% of the population, while the coloreds and Indians together total 12% -- there are 2.7 million coloreds and 870,000 Indians.

But for the 23 million blacks who constitute 73% of the population there is not even a token attempt to offer franchise rights. The new constitution, in effect, represents a racist provocation against the black majority and is also a crude attempt to split their nonwhite allies away from them.

For the colored and Indian people there is no real representation. The constitution merely gives some limited and strictly token rights to certain politicians from these communities who choose to collaborate with the racist rulers. The Indian and colored chambers of parliament are restricted to only discussing social affairs related to their own communities. And what is more, any bill passed by these chambers can be vetoed by the white chamber (and of course not vice versa).

The new constitution also concentrates massive new police powers in the office of the "state president," which Prime Minister Botha took over on September 14. In sum, the new constitution, far from reforming anything, only strengthens white minority rule in South Africa.

A Successful Boycott of the "Uncle Tom" Elections

The apartheid regime hoped to split the coloreds and Indians from the black people with the new constitution. What happened was the exact opposite.

To protest the new scheme, a movement was launched to boycott the elections for the colored and Indian parliaments. As elections approached at the end of August it became clear that the boycott campaign was gathering huge support. Blacks, coloreds and Indians, along with some white supporters, joined in large demonstrations to denounce the constitution as a fraud.

To counter the boycott the government passed laws requiring coloreds and Indians to register and vote, and making them subject to fines and arrests if they refused. Indians were threatened with eviction from state- owned housing and loss of state jobs and pensions. On the eve of the elections, the government arrested 50 of the main boycott organizers.

On the days of the elections, there were more troops stationed at the polls than there were voters. The troops were there to attack boycott demonstrators. People with placards against voting were met with dogs, clubs and birdshot, and a number were arrested.

The boycott was a big success. Only 18% of the coloreds eligible to register to vote did so. And only 16% of the eligible Indians voted. Some urban districts had a turnout of less than 3%. In one district a candidate was elected with only one vote while in two others the winners received two votes each!

Despite this massive repudiation of their "reform" scheme, the apartheid rulers went on to set up their new collaborationist parliaments with a set of thoroughly unrepresentative sellout politicians.

South Africa Explodes

Immediately following the elections, there was a massive outbreak of rebellion across South Africa. The ferment that had been smoldering among the people on a variety of issues broke through into storms of angry protest. There have been revolts of entire black townships against intolerable housing conditions. Students have risen in struggle against the racist educational system. And the black miners, who are an important section of the country's proletariat, went out on strike.

In certain parts of the country, the racist authorities and capitalists raised rents and utility rates in the black townships, the miserable ghettos where blacks are forced to live outside the major urban areas. The people, who are being ground down by the worst economic crisis since the 1930' s, refused to tolerate this added burden.

Beginning on September 2 in Sharpeville and quickly engulfing seven townships, black workers and youth repeatedly took to the streets in protest, clashing with the army and police. The fiercest fighting has taken place in the Vaal Triangle, the mining and industrial center of the country where Johannesburg is located. Six million blacks live in this area.

The protesting masses used rocks and molotov cocktails against the troops. They threw up barricades in the streets with garbage, rocks, and even uprooted traffic signs. Dozens of government officials' homes, municipal offices and businesses were? burnt. Several businesses were looted as the hungry masses took what they needed. Meanwhile a number of government offices were bombed right in the heart of Johannesburg itself.

The black masses not only struck out at the apartheid troops but also vented their anger against the tiny stratum of black sellouts within the townships. The racist regime has set up township governments to provide so-called home rule to the black residents. These puppet administrations were originally installed through electoral charades in which 10-15% of those eligible voted. The puppet authorities were directly implicated in the raising of rents and utility rates and are much hated by the masses. The homes and offices of some of these officials were attacked and many of them fled. Some of the sellouts were arrested by the masses, tried for their crimes and executed. The vice-mayor of Sharpeville township shot two boys who were demonstrating; he was set upon by the people and killed.

The apartheid regime responded to the rebellions with heavy repression. The fascist troops moved through the townships in armored convoys, attacking the people with whips, shotguns, tear gas and rifles firing rubber and plastic bullets. The police and army have killed at least 32 people, including four young children. The authorities also banned all meetings, both indoor or outdoor, as well as demonstrations. Even dinner parties "where politics are discussed" have been declared illegal!

Despite the repression the heroic masses refuse to be cowed. They have turned the funerals of the martyrs into militant demonstrations despite the government ban. Thousands turn out for the funerals, carry the coffins through the streets, unfurl banners and chant slogans right under the guns of the racist troops.

Students Shut Down the Schools

Right on the heels of the township rebellions a huge upsurge took place in the student movement. The students at black schools across South Africa went out on strike to protest against corporal punishment abuses and poor education and to demand student representation. In some instances students attacked schools and other symbols of authority such as principals' homes and cars. At its height the boycott of the schools included 600,000 students.

On September 7 the racist rulers responded to the student struggle by closing down indefinitely all black schools in the country.

Miners Battle Troops in Strikes

The movement in South Africa received another fresh impetus as tens of thousands of black mine workers in the coalfields and gold mines went out on strike beginning September 17. This began as a legal strike by the officially recognized National Union of Mine- workers. The union rejected a pay increase offer of 14% and is demanding instead an increase of 25%, to make up part of the huge differential in wages between black and white mine workers. (In general, white industrial workers make six times as much as black industrial workers.)

But the legal strike was quickly joined by thousands of other miners at mines where unions have not been legalized. It is only very recently that the South African regime has decided to legalize unions among the black miners; this only took place because the regime sought a way to check a growing tide of illegal unionization, strikes and violent uprisings by the miners.

Unauthorized strikers, whether in legal or illegal unions, are attacked by the regime with great brutality. On September 18, wildcatting miners were attacked at a mine near Westonaria with clubs and firearms. Two hundred workers were hospitalized and seven died. In July during a wave of wildcats in northern Natal and eastern Transvaal, strikers were shot by white vigilante groups. The white vigilantes were applauded by the apartheid police authorities.

The miners' strike movement shows the severity of the crisis facing the apartheid regime. Mining is a central industry of the South African economy and the oppression of 400,000 black miners is a pillar of the regime. Struggle in this sector holds in store great dangers for apartheid.

Hail the Fighting Black People of South Africa!

The struggle of the black people of South Africa continues to develop. Each day brings new reports of struggle in defiance of the savage repression of the apartheid rulers. Although the masses are rising up in struggle over a variety of demands, their upsurge is squarely directed against the whole system of apartheid racism. Slogans for power and complete liberation are widespread on the lips of the fighting workers and youth.

The racist bourgeoisie of South Africa has tried to put up a facade of "reforms" to escape its crisis. It is trying to create and bolster sellout sections from among the oppressed people while stepping exploitation and oppression. But the black and other oppressed masses are showing that they will not be drawn into the maneuvers of the racists. No compromise with apartheid racism -- this is the sentiment of the South African masses.

The revolutionary struggle of the South African people deserves the support of the working class and progressive people the world over. Here in the U.S. it finds particular sympathy because this country in the not-too-distant past saw a huge upsurge against the apartheid-like Jim Crow system, and the U.S. continues to be a battleground against the oppression of blacks and other nationalities. The militant struggle of the South African blacks is itself a clarion call for the workers and progressive people in the U.S. to continue the struggle against racist oppression.

Down With U.S. Imperialism's Support for Apartheid Racism!

Solidarity with the South African struggle also calls on us here to step up the fight against U.S. imperialism's loving support for apartheid rule in South Africa. Reagan is a particularly dear friend of the South African racists. He has launched a policy of "constructive engagement" with South Africa to rescue the racists from their internal crisis and international isolation. Thus, the fraudulent "reform" schemes of the apartheid rulers were commended by the Reagan administration. While mumbling a few words for show in criticism, the Reagan administration supported the new constitution as a "step in the right direction" that would "accelerate the process of reform." The Reaganites also stand by the South African racists in international forums like the UN and recently helped arrange a $1.1 billion loan from the IMF to bail them out of financial crisis.

Support for apartheid racism is of course a bipartisan policy for U.S. imperialism. Despite some mealy-mouthed remarks about "human rights" from the Carter administration, and today by Mondale, close ties with South Africa have been cultivated by both Democrats and Republicans.

This bipartisan policy is based on the interests of imperialism. The big U.S. multinational corporations, like GM, Ford, Citibank, etc., make tremendous profits out of the super-exploitation of black labor in South Africa. They have a direct interest in apartheid. As well, U.S. imperialism sees the South African military as an important regional policeman to attack the neighboring black peoples and occupy South West Africa. Solidarity with the South African people requires struggle against imperialism.

Down with apartheid racism!

Down with U.S. backing for the apartheid regime!

Victory to the liberation struggle of the South African people!

[Photo: The black people rebel against rent hikes and apartheid racism in Sharpeville township, September 6.]

[Photo: Demonstrators set fire to building in Evanton township.]


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As the politicians debate about recovery

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer

Today one can hardly open a newspaper or turn on the TV without hearing about the "great recovery," the "unprecedented" rebound. What caused it? Will it last? Is it due to Reagan? Questions abound. The Republicans crow while the Democrats say it won't last.

A better question would be: where is it? The official unemployment statistics have improved somewhat from the worst depths of the misery of 1981-82 up to -- up to what? Up to the situation prevailing at the miserable close of the Carter administration. And, in fact, long years of depression have resulted in millions more "discouraged workers" who aren't counted in the unemployment figures. Indeed, according to government statistics, the number of poverty-stricken workers -- both those unemployed and those employed at jobs that pay so little that one cannot hold together body and soul -- is higher today than in the economic low point of 1981-82.

What has happened? There has been a slight upturn in the midst of a continuing economic depression. The 1980's are proving to be a decade of stagnation and depression. But even in a depression, there are ups and downs. What is "unprecedented" is not the slight upturn, the "recovery," but the extent to which the capitalists have proved capable of making profits in a depression while the masses suffer more than ever.

What has rebounded is profits. This is why the capitalists are in ecstasy. In the second quarter of this year, profits were running a full 26% higher than the previous year. Presidents of the Fortune 500 companies are giving themselves million-dollar bonuses while slashing the wages of their blue-collar employees. American business is "standing tall" --1- gorging itself on wealth while millions wonder where their next meal will come from.

The rich are getting richer, while the poor get poorer. This is the fundamental feature of the so-called "recovery." This is the "secret" of Reaganomics, the "secret" that explains why all the politicians who serve the wealthy -- whether Democrat or Republican, whether Mondale or Reagan -- accept the basic premises of Reaganomics. And this is the "secret" that explains why the masses are seething with discontent despite all the chants of self-satisfaction from the bourgeoisie. It is why the present lull in the strike movement is only temporary, and why the workers will find their true voice in a new wave of mass struggle.

Who Has Paid for the Profit Rebound?

A notable feature of this "recovery" has been the massive increase in poverty. Each year of the Reagan administration has brought more and more poverty. There was not only more poverty during the worst days of economic crisis of 1981-82, but also during each year of the ensuing "recovery." Over two million people are homeless. Fewer and fewer of the unemployed even get unemployment insurance; today well under one-third of the unemployed receive unemployment checks.

The newspapers and the politicians teach that everyone benefits from the health of the corporate economy. This is not just the basis of Reagan's notorious "trickle down economics" but also the standard fairy tale of all bourgeois economists. Yet the truth is far different. In "good" times as in bad, capitalism is based on ruthlessly crushing the workers into the ground.

The profit rebound has been made at the expense of wage cutting and speedup. Workers who have found new jobs during the "recovery" have often had to accept wages far less than what they used to earn. Workers on the job have had to accept "concessions" -- cuts in wages, cuts in benefits, and more dangerous working conditions. Work more, work harder, work so much overtime you never see your family -- and get less pay to show for it. This, for the production worker, is the "secret" of the profits of the idle rich.

The profit rebound is also at the expense of the meager social programs for the working people. What is the secret of Reagan's much acclaimed budget cutting? In fact, his budget is bigger and more bloated than any previous administration. But for the rich, "budget cutting" has a special meaning. It means cutting from the social services, while adding on billions in new subsidies for the rich. Reagan's record deficits have come from huge increases in tax subsidies for the rich and the corporations, huge increases in the interest payments to the bankers and wealthy institutions who own most government bonds and notes, and huge increases in preparations for World War III. The increase in payments to the bankers and coupon clippers alone, payments on the pretext of paying "interest on the national debt," has exceeded the cuts in all the social programs combined.

The Reaganites especially crow that they have cut taxes. They say that this is the secret of their economic program: smaller taxes means economic growth. But, in fact, taxes are heavier for the poor. It is not a tax cut but basically a tax shift. In August the Census Bureau reported to Congress that the tax burden on the tens of millions of Americans that live under the government poverty line increased from 6.6 percent of their income in 1980 to 8 percent of their income in 1982, after the Reagan "tax cuts." And this does not take account of the additional expense that the poor face due to the social cutbacks. More taxes and "user fees" for the working people, more subsidies for the rich. This is the reality of the profit rebound.

Reaganomics Is Just Capitalism "Standing Tall"

But it should not be thought that before Reagan' things were rosy. Squeezing the poor for the benefit of the rich has always been the lifeblood of American capitalism. And, for example, the latest wave of wage cutting and speedup began in the mid- 1970's. Since then the real wage has once again plunged down, even according to government statistics, and living conditions have dramatically worsened.

No, Reaganomics is just capitalism showing its real face. Reagan has just accelerated the trend already existing, just championed the evil already lurking in the capitalist economy.

As the economy plunged in the 1970's, the capitalists (decided that they had to squeeze the workers even harder. They had to see how much the working people would take before revolting. The capitalists had never reconciled themselves to the wage and benefit increases that they had had to give previously, in the face of the strike movements of the past and the political turbulence of the 1960's. So now they want to see how far they can go in pushing the working people in the dirt so that the capitalists can continue to rake in profits in the midst of economic stagnation.

The Democrats, as a capitalist party, are fully in accord with this basic premise of Reaganomics. This is why the huge military buildup, the cutbacks in social programs, the speedup drive and the other basic features of Reaganism already began in Carter's term of office. It was Carter who called the capitalists to a new offensive against wage increases, who started the studies on cutting Social Security, and who even laid the plans for smashing PATCO that were later implemented by Reagan.

Nevertheless, the present "Reagan era" has its own special lessons. It is a period in which the capitalists openly admit that they have no heart They have thrown aside the humanitarian disguises of the past and are now openly chanting the new dollar gospel: that to those who have should be given, while those who have not should starve. Why, just last winter Reagan's housing administration waved aside the problem of the two million homeless unfortunates with the cynical sneer that they were probably refugees from lunatic asylums who don't know better than to come in out of the snow.

Reaganism shows the very essence of capitalism. It shows that the working people can expect no mercy from the exploiters: they can only survive by the class struggle.

Whichever Candidate Wins the Election, the Workers Can Only Survive by the Class Struggle

The slight upturn in the midst of the depression illustrates all the more the basic law of capitalism: the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Reaganomics has meant financing a slight, temporary upturn by slashing the wages and social programs for the working people. It has meant making life intolerable for the employed and all but impossible for the unemployed. And Mondale too has promised his own version of "trickle down" economics. Under the name of deficit reduction, he has outlined a program of wage cuts and cutbacks in social programs and of subsidies for big business.

Whichever candidate wins the election, the Reaganite offensive will continue. Whichever candidate wins the election, the number of poverty-stricken working people will continue to grow. There is only one alternative for the masses. The working people must struggle to defend their livelihood, to oppose the racism that is another feature of Reaganism, and to fight the military adventures of Reaganism. They must rally around the defense of the unemployed and the poverty-stricken, and they must struggle to defend their own livelihood against concessions to the capitalists and cutbacks in social programs. They must fight to have the rich bear the burden of the depression of the 1980's.

Only the elimination of the capitalist economy will eliminate exploitation, business cycles and growing impoverishment. The present struggles against wage cuts, speedups and unemployment must be used to organize a movement independent of the capitalists, a movement that will lead up to a socialist revolution. Only when those who produce the wealth of society are in power, only when the working people themselves own and control the economy and run the government, will the world no longer be subject to the spectacle of increasing poverty amidst increasing wealth, of increasing degradation amidst the wonders of modern technology.


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GM Contract: Job cutting in the name of 'job security'

Defeat the new auto concessions deal!

The first round of auto contract talks concluded September 21 when the leadership of the United Auto Workers Union signed a tentative pact with GM.

The agreement is being praised as a "model" contract which supposedly creates an "innovative" approach to job security. But, in fact, the key features of this deal are that it grants GM an unlimited license to eliminate jobs and that it gives the capitalists the right to violate the national contract in a new drive for plant-by-plant wage cuts and other concessions.

The UAW leaders claim that the era of concessions are over. But what does this new contract show? It demonstrates that the workers must step up the struggle against the concessions offensive of the capitalists.

Even before the contract talks began, GM officials made it clear that they are not satisfied with the more than $6 billion in profits they are raking in this year. At the cost of hundreds of thousands of jobs and enormous takebacks from the workers, GM and the other auto monopolies are making the greatest profits in their history. But the auto, giants complain that they must be "more competitive" and, therefore, the workers must pay.

The head of the slave drivers, Ronald Reagan himself, declared that the auto workers must "show restraint" in their demands.

Now that the main provisions of the tentative contract have been revealed it is clear that the UAW leaders have gotten down on their knees before Reagan and the capitalists' concessions drive.

It is up to the rank-and-file auto workers to resist this new assault on their jobs and livelihood.

The GM workers are not alone in this battle. The new contract has been made the pattern for talks with Ford and, later, with Chrysler. What is more, AFL-CIO president Lane Kirkland has said the "unprecedented" pact should be followed in negotiations in other industries and capitalist spokesmen have proclaimed the deal to be a "model" of "restraint" which workers everywhere must follow. GM workers must resist this new concessions deal to defend themselves. But more than that. Resistance is important to help workers everywhere who desire to mount a struggle against the concessions drive of the capitalists.

Guaranteeing GM's Right to Eliminate Jobs

It is claimed that the new GM contract guarantees job security. This is a lie. What it guarantees is GM's right to eliminate jobs.

The Wall Street Journal, a leading mouthpiece for big monopolies, emphasized this point in their praise for the new contract: "It is especially good because of the productivity improvements that GM could achieve under the pact. In internal documents that leaked out earlier this year, GM indicated that it hopes to reduce its work force by 60,000 to 120,000 workers in the next two years. The new contract gives GM the flexibility to do that -- at a $1 billion price." (Wall Street Journal, September 24, 1984, emphasis added)

Of course $1 billion over six years is small change for a company raking in over $6 billion a year. But even this amount will be paid for by the workers through job-eliminating productivity measures and other concessions. The Wall Street Journal stresses that, "...almost by definition, the deeper GM digs into the $1 billion, the greater its productivity gains. Assuming that these next two contracts last six years, the $1 billion comes to $167 million a year -- or about the cost of one new paint shop in one new auto plant."

No wonder the capitalists are so enthusiastic for this contract.

The "Job Opportunity Bank": An Orderly Way to Eliminate Jobs

With such an enormous job elimination program, GM could expect major explosions as the workers get organized for a determined battle to defend their jobs. But the new contract provides GM with an orderly system of job elimination.

In the first place, the contract splits the workers up into their individual plants and puts the UAW bureaucrats on the committees that will organize job elimination plant by plant. The September 27 Detroit News points out that the contract "sets up local, area and national committees to run the banks and study ways to improve efficiencies at GM plants, even if that means waiving or changing parts of the national contract." (emphasis added)

In other words, the national contract means nothing. GM has been given the right to eliminate jobs through automation, job combinations, work rule changes, speedups, unlimited overtime, and so forth. The workers from one plant will be forced to compete with the workers at other plants over who will give GM the greatest concessions to "save" an ever shrinking number of jobs. And the UAW leaders will sit on the job-cutting committees to help GM keep the workers under control.

In the second place, the contract creates the "job opportunity bank" as a means to placate the anger of laid off workers with a promise that they might get some relief.

The bank is supposed to provide pay and benefits, job training, and eventually new jobs to those laid off. But the program is a nightmare of restrictions and limitations which ensure that few will ever see a cent.

The program doesn't begin for six months. It excludes the 200,000 who have already lost their jobs, and presumably those who lose their jobs in the next half year. GM can also exclude workers who it decides lost their jobs for "reasons beyond the control of the company." This escape clause is already to be applied to jobs lost through sales slumps and the selling off of GM facilities, and can be applied to almost anything GM wants. As well, a worker can be excluded for refusing any job, no matter how bad, that GM offers.

What is more, various experts predict that only about 3,400 workers a year could be put through this program. This estimate is figured on the basis of what GM claims is its total compensation costs for each worker each year. And this estimate does not take into account the high costs of administrating the program, of running job training, etc.

What this program means, above all, is that instead of the power of the 600,000 auto workers being combined to fight for jobs or a livelihood, each worker is on his own, digging through a mountain of red tape, and receiving nothing or next to nothing in most cases.

Plant-by-Plant Wage Cutting

Along with job elimination, the contract allows GM to carry out wage cutting on the local level.

The September 27 Detroit News reports that the contract "includes a provision for the union and GM to discuss at the plant level whether wage scale changes are needed."

Here we have the typical "now you see it, now you don't" trick of the capitalists. The GM contract grants the workers a piddling wage increase on the national level (for an assembler 20$ an hour the first year and lump sum payments, which are not rolled into the base rate, that amount to about 35$ an hour for each of the second and third years). Then the same contract lets GM slash the workers' wages on the local level.

Here again, the workers at different plants are thrown into competition with each other and with low wage sweatshops over who will "save jobs" by taking the biggest pay cuts.

A Stepped Up Takeback Offensive

In short, the contract guarantees GM's right to conduct a wage and job-cutting drive against each individual plant unrestricted by any provisions in the national agreement. This is an innovative contract all right. We have seldom seen a contract that stipulates the company's right to violate it.

With such provisions as these, the contract raises the question of what is the point of organizing into a trade union. The workers formed unions in order to put an end to competition among themselves and to combine in common battle to defend the workers' interests against the encroachments of the capitalists. The auto workers, with some 600,000 members concentrated in large factories, stand as a powerful force against the capitalists.

But the UAW leaders are frittering away this force. It is bad enough that they have split up the GM, Ford, and Chrysler workers to each separately face their own company each contract time. And it is bad enough that this year they only allowed a few plants to strike GM, while keeping the majority of workers producing profits for GM. But now they have agreed to a contract that forces the workers at each plant to confront GM by themselves.

This is treachery pure and simple. If the auto workers are to mount a struggle against the capitalists, then they must organize independently of the UAW leaders.

Get Organized to Fight the Capitalists' Concessions Drive

What the GM contract ensures, most of all, is that the workers will face an even stiffer battle against the capitalists' concessions offensive.

The rank-and-file GM workers must get organized to fight this rotten contract. By rejecting the new pact the workers would put a spoke in the wheels of the concessions drive; they would make it more possible to use the strength of their numbers for a real struggle to defend their jobs and livelihood; and they would help to, inspire and stiffen the fighting will of all the auto workers.

But even if GM and the UAW leaders manage to shove this deal down the workers' throats, the battle is far from over. This contract opens up a vicious drive for automation and speedup, job elimination and wage cuts at one factory after another. Organizing to fight this contract now, even if that initial fight fails, prepares the workers to resist concessions at their own plant. And it puts the workers on the road to a combined struggle to defeat the auto monopolies' offensive.

[Photo: Striking GM workers at Van Nuys, California during the recent strike.]


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War is 'peace', Poverty is 'prosperity'

Reagan's Double-Speak

The Reagan campaign has been packaged and produced by the same school of slick advertisers that sell trash on television. A smiling and sincere-looking gentleman comes on the screen to testify that product X will improve your health, save your pocket-book, add to your sex appeal, and generally "make you feel good again." Too bad that product X has no proven value for humans and just happens to cause cancer in laboratory animals. In fact, Ronald Reagan's decades of experience in Hollywood and as a television frontman for General Electric make him just the right man for such a flimflam campaign.

But selling the program of the incumbent president is not quite the same as selling mouthwash. The smiles become the tools of cynical manipulation; and the lies resemble the infamous "double-speak" of the barbaric dictatorship portrayed in George Orwell's 1984.

War Is "Peace"

The rhetoric of Reagan's 1984 campaign is taking Orwellian "doublespeak" to its height.

Reagan is spending hundreds of billions for a "winnable nuclear war." And he is unleashing new military adventures to enslave the peoples of Central America and other lands. But no one, god forbid, should think that all this unbridled militarism is for war. As Reagan put it at the Republican convention: "Some have forgotten why we have a military....It's to be prepared for peace." To back up this idea, Reagan pointed out that over the gate of a strategic nuclear bomber base in Washington State hangs the sign "Peace is our Profession."

In the same speech Reagan boasted that "America is the most peaceful, least warlike nation in modern history." Indeed, from Reagan's standpoint no one on earth could match the "peacefulness" of the U.S. imperialists. Who else in recent decades has inflicted such inhuman slaughter as the U.S. war of aggression in Viet Nam? Who else has played the role of world policeman, trampling on so many peoples all over the globe (Chile, Iran, Indonesia, the Philippines, Dominican Republic, etc. etc.)? Who else but the imperialist rulers of the U.S. and the USSR have filled the oceans and skies with hydrogen bombs, threatening the world with thermonuclear destruction?

Reagan has dragged out the old warmongers' slogan "peace through strength" and is making no bones about what it means: "Peace" through nuclear superiority and "first strike" capability; "peace" through military invasions and bloodletting in the Caribbean, Central America, and the Middle East; in short, "peace through war."

The Police State Is "Freedom"

For four years Reagan has been beefing up the FBI, the CIA, and the other police agencies against potential domestic opponents. He has been pushing one draconic law after the next to persecute strikers, demonstrators and revolutionary activists. He has been backing the racist Simpson-Mazzoli bill to persecute and terrorize immigrant workers.

Building up the police state is one side of Reagan's "unfinished social agenda." The other side is to give moral and financial encouragement to racist academies, and to put the worship of racism, militarism and religious obscurantism as the first priorities of public education. Who knows, maybe in his second term Reagan will make official what has been unofficial so far and appoint the right-wing religious bigot Jerry Falwell to a new cabinet post of Christian Self-Righteousness and Public Morals.

And as you might suspect, Reagan has drawn up this "social agenda" of police state repression, racism and religious bigotry in the name of realizing "the ultimate in individual freedom."

Poverty Is "Prosperity"

Moreover, according to Reagan, the last years of strikebreaking, wage cutting and man-eating speedup of the workers, combined with the shameless robbery of the jobless and hungry to make sure that the rich grow even richer, is opening "new eras of opportunity." In the eyes of the Reaganites and millionaires, the declining real wages, the hardships of the ten million unemployed, the steady growth of poverty, are all signs of their "springtime of hope," carrying the promise of "permanent prosperity."

For the Class Struggle Against the Reaganite Offensive!

Of course, there is logic and purpose to this Orwellian madness. The capitalist system is bogged down in economic crisis and all-sided decay; and the capitalist ruling class offers no escape. Its only solution is to squeeze the working people at home and abroad for bigger profits and to lash out with the whip of repression and military intervention against the revolts of the workers and oppressed. That is why the monopolies have installed Reagan as the mouthpiece of their crusade of hunger, reaction and war. And to justify this desperate policy they are dishing out the most desperate lies and Reaganite doublespeak.

It must be stressed that Reagan has no monopoly on lies and demagogy. Mondale and the Democrats are competing hard and fast in this department, trying to prove themselves as, equally unashamed warmongers and reactionaries.

The Reaganite offensive is a bipartisan assault of monopoly capital. Whichever candidate wins in November, this offensive against the livelihood and rights of the working people and the feverish drive for new wars will continue without letup.

Reagan's campaign is simply the advance advertising for what the capitalist ruling class has in store. The working class and people must take up this challenge; their reply must be the class struggle against the Reaganite offensive.

[Cartoon.]


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Reagan's 'tax cuts': For whom?

Lying has always been part of the electoral campaigns of capitalist politicians. Hoodwinking the voters with promises of tax cuts and a chicken in every pot is what bourgeois politicking is all about. In this regard it must be admitted that Ronald Reagan is truly a master of the art. No one can beat him in the brazen lie. Facts, no matter how well known and undeniable, are never a problem. The further from the truth the better. And then the lie is repeated as many times as possible.

In this election, taxes are Reagan's favorite topic to lie about. "America is standing tall again." Why? Because Reagan has "freed" the people from high taxes. And at the Republican convention in Dallas he promised that if he is reelected taxes will be reduced so far that "no one will be able to hold America back, and the future will be ours."

What a brave "tax cutter" and what miracles his "tax cuts" will bring.

But what are the facts? For the vast majority there has been no tax cut during Reagan's first term. Quite the opposite. The income taxes of 80% of all taxpayers actually increased, although for 18.9% of taxpayers the increase was small. And the lower your income the more they increased, with workers earning less than $10,000 a year paying a 22% higher tax rate in 1984 than they did in 1981.

Only taxpayers earning over $30,000 a year got any tax cut at all, and unless you earned over $50,000 a year these cuts were a mere 1%. But if you earned over $100,000 a year then you received very substantial cuts of 8% or 15% or more. Too bad that less than 1% of all taxpayers earned enough to enjoy the big fruits of Reagan's tax cuts.

In other words, despite all of Reagan's crowing, for the vast majority the tax burden has continued to grow. There has been no tax cut, only a tax shift, lifting the taxes on the millionaires. Besides the changes in the income taxes this shift has meant cuts in corporate taxes as well.

Reagan Is Out to Tax the Workers' Fringe Benefits

Walter Mondale is boasting that if he is elected he will make the "tough choice" of raising the people's taxes. And he accuses Reagan of not "showing his cards" and saying beforehand whether or not he is going to raise taxes after the election. But Reagan has "shown his cards" many times and they all show heavier taxes on the working people.

Among other things, Reagan has repeatedly requested Congress to take steps towards taxing workers' health and life insurance premiums and other fringe benefits paid by employers.

Last month, Alicia H. Munnell, senior vice-president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, reported to a House committee that: "Personal income tax revenues would have been almost 22% higher if employee benefits were taxed in the same manner as wage and salary income." In other words, if Reagan's objective was carried out in full it would mean a whopping 22% tax increase on the back of the working class.

That is how the great "tax cutter" will liberate the people from the burden of taxation. He will raise taxes on the working people so high that the Reagan estate and the other wealthy money grubbers won't have to pay a cent; and, as Reagan put it so well, the "future will be ours."

Taxes for the Bankers and the Generals

Despite the mountains of rhetoric, taxes are higher and the spending is higher than ever. The heavy cuts in social programs for the workers and the unemployed are more than made up for just by the increased plunder of the treasury by the bankers and financiers. Debt payments to the Wall Street parasites have swelled to more than $100 billion a year. Meanwhile, this year's Pentagon budget has reached $300 billion a year and is going up fast.

The working people are being robbed blind to pay for these staggering sums for the bankers and the generals' preparations for war. And no amount of election year lies from the lackeys of the capitalists is going to stop this robbery.

[Chart: Who is really enjoying tax cuts from Reagan's tax reform? This chart is a comparison of tax rates by income from 1982 to 1984. (Figures are based on 1981 income levels and adjusted for inflation and higher Social Security taxes.)]


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MONDALE: A PEACE CANDIDATE WHO STANDS FOR WAR

Walter Mondale is trying to pass himself off as a peace candidate. The Democrats and their supporters are trying to sell their ticket to the millions who are deeply concerned with Reagan's mad drive for nuclear superiority and a "winnable" nuclear war. "Yes, Mondale too is for the nuclear buildup," the salesmen for the Democrats admit, "but at least he will reduce the threshold of danger." Similarly, the Democratic Party apologists want to sell their candidate to those who want to fight against U.S. intervention in Central America. "If nothing else," they argue, "Mondale will provide some breathing space for the Nicaraguans, Salvadorans and other peoples facing U.S. intervention."

But to sell this hogwash about "thresholds" and "breathing spaces," they have to hope that no one pays any attention to what Mondale actually stands for. They have to hope, for example, that no one reads Mondale's recent interview on foreign affairs with The New York Times. This is because this extensive interview shows once again that "peace candidate" Mondale is committed to matching Reagan step for step in U.S. military intervention around the globe, in the war buildup and in the nuclear arms race.

Mondale Promises More Guns for the Salvadoran Dictators and "Interdiction" and "Quarantine" Against the Nicaraguan People

Just what kind of "breathing space" Mondale promising the Central American peoples?

First of all, Mondale agrees with all of the big lies Reagan uses to back up his big stick imperialist policy. Mondale portrays the popular upheaval in Central America as a problem of U.S. "security dimensions" in the face of Soviet-Cuban-Nicaraguan aggression. And on this basis he promises to continue the U.S. intervention there, intervention to drown the revolutionary struggles of the Central American peoples in blood.

For El Salvador Mondale promises to support the U.S. puppet government of Napolean Duarte, "including military support." (For all references see The New York Times, September 18, 1984) In other words, he promises to continue the flow of guns and bombs so that the fascist military officers and death squads can continue the massacre of the Salvadoran workers and peasants.

Like Reagan, Mondale denounces the revolution in Nicaragua as "totalitarian" and promises to "continue to press" Nicaragua to change its ways. He echoes Reagan's lies about alleged Nicaraguan aggression and declares "we should try to quarantine Nicaragua if it uses any force outside of its borders."

Mondale claims that he will allegedly cut off support for the CIA-backed contras because it is "counterproductive" and ineffective in "pressing" Nicaragua. But in the same breath Mondale says that he "would continue to interdict, because I think the Nicaraguans have no right to do what they're doing." Of course, Reagan also says that the CIA operations against Nicaragua are only for "interdiction" of (so-far-undetected) arms shipments. So what's the difference between Mondale's "interdiction" and Reagan's "interdiction"? The only possible difference is that Mondale wants to hide the CIA's hand behind the U.S.- puppet generals in Honduras, running the CIA/contra operations against Nicaragua through the U.S.-trained and supplied Honduran military. That's why Mondale promises to keep the U.S. troops and military equipment pouring into Honduras, "continuing (the) traditional role in Honduras for interdiction" against Nicaragua.

Like Reagan, Mondale is menacing Nicaragua with the big stick of a full- scale U.S. invasion. This is what is meant when Mondale echoes Reagan's warning that any steps towards the introduction of Soviet aircraft into Nicaragua, or "that sort of thing," would be a "totally intolerable" threat to national security, and that whatever steps are necessary will be taken to remove them.

There is one point where it could be said that there is a shade of difference between Mondale's promises and the present Reagan policy. This is Mondale's stress on the need to make better use of the Contadora group -- the regional capitalist regimes of Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama. Mondale listed building up "pressure" against Nicaragua through the Contadora group as one step to go along with "interdiction" and "quarantine" to bring Nicaragua to its knees. Of course, this is only a question of shade because Reagan's State Department also recognizes the value of the Contadora group for the U.S. imperialist strategy for Central America.

Try as you might, you will not find even a hint of a "breathing space" for the people in Mondale's discussion of Central America. On the contrary. Mondale speaks in the same Reaganite language of the imperialist big stick; of bullets and bombs and Green Berets; of big power bullying and aggression; of "pressure" and "interdiction" and "quarantine."

Moreover, just in case anyone thought that Mondale might have qualms about dispatching U.S. troops in imperialist adventures to trample on small and weak countries, Mondale went out of his way to praise Reagan's invasion of Grenada. He apologetically explained that his original misgivings about the Grenada invasion were unfounded, and that he "would've used American power" just as Reagan did.

Mondale's Plan for "Star Wars" Weapons

The Democrats' chatter about "controlling the arms race" and "reducing the threshold of danger." They hope that someone might get confused and think that Mondale stands opposed to Reagan's frenzied arms buildup. But in his New York Times interview, Mondale straightened out any confusion on this score.

Mondale boasted that it wasn't Reagan, but the Carter-Mondale regime which launched the "essential" and "necessary" record buildup in conventional weaponry. And he repeated his refrain that the Democrats are the more effective party of militarism, the party which can ensure a sustained war buildup, while the Republicans "are shattering the national support for an essential defense program."

On nuclear weapons, Mondale accused Reagan of not holding arms talks with the Soviet Union. But at the same time Mondale promised that if he were in office he would continue the deployment of the Pershing missiles in Western Europe and all of the Pentagon's other plans for a "winnable nuclear war." Just like Reagan, Mondale stands for nuclear superiority and all-out preparations for nuclear holocaust. Only Mondale demands a more cunning policy, a policy of hiding the fiendish plans of the warmakers under cheap phrases about "arms control."

Mondale moans and wrings his hands about the dangers and horrors of Reagan's anti-satellite and "star wars" weapons program. But does that mean Mondale is opposed to filling the heavens with nuclear warheads? If he came to office would he scrap the Pentagon's diabolical program? Not on your life!

In his interview, Mondale announced his idea for a six-month moratorium in the testing of these weapons in a bid to get concessions from the Russians in the arms talks. Big deal! A six-month delay in open-air testing means next to nothing at a time when most of these weapons are still being developed in the laboratories and are not at the testing stage anyway. And if the concessions demanded don't come -- "star wars" full speed ahead.

Of course, Mondale points out that his moratorium idea is only possible because the U.S. anti-satellite weapons are far ahead of the Russian ones. You see, "peace candidate" Mondale, just like Reagan, never forgets that gaining nuclear advantage is the first rule of the imperialist game of the nuclear arms race.

Down With the Imperialist Warmakers!

In this election at least one thing is certain -- the U.S. imperialist ruling class is hellbent on war. The imperialist bankers and multinationals are out for blood in their drive to put down the revolts of the workers and oppressed in Central America and other regions of the world that challenge their super-profits. They are clamoring for more tanks and missiles to prepare for a world slaughter to redivide "spheres of influence" (markets, sources of raw materials, etc.) with their equally imperialist counterparts in the Soviet Union. The corporate war merchants are raking in tens and hundreds of billions off of the military buildup. And both of the capitalist candidates -- Reagan and Mondale -- are running on this war platform.

There can be no illusions about "breathing spaces" from either of these candidates of "interdiction" and "quarantine," Pershings and "star wars." There are no shortcuts. To combat the real and pressing dangers of U.S. intervention and nuclear war demands struggle. It demands organization and mobilization of the working and progressive people in mass struggle against every step of militarism and aggression. It demands active solidarity with the revolutionary struggles of the working people of the world, in the first place with the workers and peasants of Central America and other victims of aggression by "our own" government. And it means linking the struggle against war to the cause of the working class, the only class with the potential strength for the revolutionary battle that will put the imperialist fiends of war in their grave.


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Mondale promises the people

More cutbacks, more taxes, and more billions for the capitalists and generals

Walter Mondale continues to press his campaign theme that he is no idle dreamer, no wishful do-gooder. Oh no. He is the candidate of "realism." He is the candidate who can make the "tough choices." This is how Mondale is selling himself to the capitalists as the best candidate for turning the screws on the working people.

Take, for example, the deficit issue. Accusing Reagan of having a secret plan to deal with the $200 billion deficits, Mondale has come out with a budget plan, declaring "Mr. Reagan, all my cards are on the table -- face up." But a glance at Mondale's cards shows that he is playing Reagan's game; Mondale has put on the table the same Reaganite program of assault on the workers and the poor.

Mondale boasts that his budget is "tough," that it's "a hard, realistic plan -- not a wish list." Sure enough, for the vast majority of working people it calls for plenty of hardship and suffering. But for the rich, for the big capitalists, Mondale promises to continue Reagan's shower of gold.

More Cutbacks for the Workers and the Poor

As the self-styled candidate of "fairness" for the workers and the poor, you might think that Mondale would at least make a gesture of opposing Reagan's cuts in relief for the unemployed and poverty-stricken. Over the last three-and-a-half years, Reagan has cut the already far too meager relief programs to the bone, while the crying need for these programs has grown greater than ever.

But Mondale doesn't even hint at restoring Reagan's cuts, much less at expanding these programs beyond the pre-Reagan levels to meet the increased need. On the contrary. Mondale promises that during his first term he will not spend a single penny more than Reagan's forecasted budget for unemployment, welfare, food, and health care programs. What's more, Mondale promises to slash these programs by $20 billion more than Reagan will, including a $12 billion cut in health care for the poor.

Mondale pledges that these additional cuts in social programs will allow for a $30 billion increase in public works projects and other "investments in the future." Presumably, dam building, "high tech" research and other pork barrel projects for the big engineering firms and contractors is more "realistic" (that is to say more profitable) than feeding the unemployed.

More Taxes

As proof of his ability to make "tough" unpopular choices, Mondale is running on a platform of raising taxes. Of course, Mondale is quite right when he says that taxes on the working people have continued to rise under Reagan despite the tax cuts for the millionaires, and that Reagan will raise taxes again after the elections. But Mondale is the first major presidential candidate in modern history to campaign on the promise of tax hikes.

Mondale promises that his tax hikes will be "fair" and place the greatest burden on the upper income brackets and corporations. But it must be remembered that this is the same candidate who only last January endorsed the Democrats' Bradley-Gephardt tax reform bill. This bill would add hundreds of dollars to the average workers' taxes by, among other things, counting employer-paid health insurance and other benefits as taxable income. And these are the same Democrats and the same Mondale who, at their convention in July, have pledged themselves to the "realism" of opposing "business taxes that weaken our economy."

Mondale can't have his cake and eat it too; it has to be one way or another. Undoubtedly, if candidate Mondale becomes president Mondale, "realism" will triumph over "fairness." And Mondale will opt for the Reagan policy, which was also the policy of the Carter-Mondale administration. This is the "realistic" program of shifting the burden of taxes from the capitalist millionaires and onto the backs of the working people.

Mondale Promises More Bang for the Buck

In short, Mondale promises to be "tough" on the hungry and jobless and to sock the working people with more taxes. But when it comes to the corporate war merchants and Pentagon generals it's a whole different story.

Over the next four years Reagan promises to push the military buildup full speed ahead. Military spending will continue to grow at 7% a year in real terms after inflation. This means that at the end Of Reagan's second term, the annual Pentagon budget will have soared from $160 billion in 1981, to well over $400 billion in 1989.

The working people are being robbed of these countless billions for imperialist wars to trample on the peoples of Central America and other countries, and to perfect ever more sophisticated devices of mass slaughter. But robbery for some is a gold mine for others. These billions are finding their way to the bank vaults of General Dynamics, Rockwell International and the other corporate war contractors. The Pentagon's cornucopia of $7,000 screwdrivers and cost-plus contracts is a source of astronomical profits for the capitalist moneybags.

But what does "peace candidate" Mondale have to say about this rush to war? What does this man of "fairness" propose to do about this fantastic profiteering at the expense of the working people? He too pledges to push forward the war buildup. Instead of what he calls the A reckless Reagan binge" of a 7% real annual increase, Mondale promises a "steady, sustainable" 4-5% real increase. What a peacenik! Reagan is rushing down the highway of imperialist war preparations at 100 miles per hour; but Mondale warns of the reckless speed and calls for a "steady, sustainable" 95 miles per hour.

Even the Democrats will admit that the couple of percentage points of difference between the war budgets of Reagan and Mondale are just a drop in the ocean of Pentagon spending. The real dividing line between the two, they claim, is where the money will go. Mondale says that he will reorient the war budget "away from unnecessary procurement and toward increased preparedness." That is Mondale will spend more on putting the Pentagon's present war machinery on a war footing; and he will allegedly save money by replacing the MX missile and the B-l bomber with other, more efficient, missile and bomber systems.

In other words, the Democrats are drawing the line with the Republicans that it is Mondale, not Reagan, who can deliver the most bang for the buck.

Whichever Candidate Wins the Elections, Reaganism Will Get a Second Term

It is an undeniable fact that, despite the profound hatred for Ronald Reagan among the workers, the unemployed, the black people and other oppressed nationalities, the enthusiasm among the working people for the Mondale campaign is nil. But how could it be otherwise? No matter how deeply a working person may hate Reagan, how could he possibly be inspired by the other candidate of cutbacks, high taxes, and "increased preparedness" for war?

Just take a look at an episode of the Mondale campaign. This year's Labor Day parades were turned into Mon- dale-Ferraro campaign rallies by the AFL-CIO chieftains. In Detroit the placards that the union bureaucrats distributed among the crowd carried a number of patriotic and pro-Democrat themes. Among these was the UAW placard with the inspiring appeal "Cut the Deficit!" Imagine that! What auto worker could resist getting on board the Mondale crusade to slash unemployment insurance, cut health care for the poor, and raise taxes to help the government balance its books?! No wonder that the Detroit rally was less than half the size of last year's. And no wonder that a good number of workers that did come shouted their agreement with the slogan "Reagan and Mondale are the same -- Reaganomics is their game!" and other slogans raised by the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA contingent branding the Republicans and Democrats as two parties of the capitalist offensive.

Beyond a doubt, the fact that Mondale has placed his Reaganite cards on the table and is revealing himself as a frank reactionary is dearly costing his campaign. But all working and. progressive people who are seeking a real fight against Reaganism should not be lamenting Mondale's fate.

On the contrary. The disgrace of Mondale and co. must to utilized to destroy illusions in the Democratic Party as the self-styled workingman's alternative to the Republican Party of big business. It should be made good use of to instill in the masses hatred for the parties of the capitalists and millionaires and to train them in class independence from the bourgeoisie.

Yes, both Reagan and Mondale, both Republican and Democrat, are standing nakedly on a common platform of poverty and war. Whatever the outcome of the voting on November 6, Reaganism has been assured a second term. This presents a menacing challenge for the workers and oppressed. At the same time it presents an opportunity by helping to open the eyes of millions to the truth that the capitalists have nothing to offer but unemployment and hunger, wage cuts and cutbacks, nuclear warheads and preparations for world slaughter. This opportunity must be seized upon to organize and mobilize the masses for independent action.

The challenge of the Reaganite offensive of monopoly capital must be met by the class struggle.


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Thousands demonstrate in Boston against Reagan's war drive

On September 22, six thousand people rallied on the Boston Common to protest the U.S. government's war preparations and aggression abroad. The demonstrators came in three marches after gathering at different assembly points around the city. This was the first major anti-war demonstration in Boston in a year and again reflected the sentiment of the working people and youth of Boston to fight the Reaganite war drive.

The protest was organized by the September 22 Coalition, a coalition strongly influenced by social-democratic and pacifist forces. It was held under the general slogan "Peace -- not war -- in '84." This was in essence a slogan to call for voting Democrat against Reagan. The social-democrats had wanted to make the protest into an election rally for the Democrats but they were not able to give directly pro-Democrat slogans because of widespread skepticism towards the Democrats in the anti-war movement. The September 22 Coalition leaders wanted to get the message out to vote Democrat this November but they did not want to discredit themselves thoroughly by too many affectionate kisses for Walter Mondale. After all, Mondale had only recently boasted of his warmongering stand by defending the invasion of Grenada and threatening to "quarantine Nicaragua."

But the politics in support of the Democratic Party were not the only politics represented at the demonstration. The Boston Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party and the forces around the progressive newspaper at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Student, represented the stand of struggle against imperialism and both the big capitalist parties.

Prior to the demonstration, the Boston Branch of the MLP brought out an issue of its newspaper Boston Worker calling on the workers and youth of Boston to take part in the September 22 demonstration. Large numbers of the paper were distributed at street corners, in the factories and schools. The Boston Worker strongly denounced the Reaganite war drive in Central America and explained that a struggle against aggression requires mass struggle against imperialism, independent of the capitalist parties. It showed that supporting the Democrats amounts to abandoning a real struggle to chase illusions.

The Student also carried an article calling for participation in the September 22 protest in its first issue this fall. This article too showed that supporting the Democrats is absolutely no answer to U.S. imperialism's aggression.

At the September 22 protest itself, a joint contingent was organized by the MLP and The Student. It was also joined by a number of activists from the Union of Anti-Imperialist Students in Buffalo. The contingent distributed revolutionary literature, sang a number of anti-imperialist songs and shouted militant slogans.

At the rally itself, it could be seen that there was widespread skepticism towards the Democrats generally and especially disgust with Walter Mondale. Even a number of high school students from the suburbs who came carrying placards in support of Kerry, Democratic candidate for the Senate, were receptive to slogans against the Democrats.

The Boston protest shows that there continues to be strong ferment among the working masses and youth to fight the U.S. war drive. It also demonstrated that there is widespread skepticism about the Democrats as an alternative to the Reaganite warmongers. This skepticism needs to be channeled towards determination to take action against imperialist war, independent of both the capitalist parties. The Marxist-Leninist Party and The Student worked precisely towards that goal.


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Reagan denounced in Buffalo

On September 12, when Reagan traveled to Buffalo, NY, 400 people came out to demonstrate against him. Students, anti-imperialist activists and other people came from across the city. As well, workers joined the demonstration on their lunch time. The protest militantly opposed Reagan's attacks on the working masses and his imperialist warmongering.

The MLP, among other organizations, participated in this demonstration against the hated warmonger. The Party supporters shouted slogans against Reagan's war on Nicaragua and in support of the workers and peasants of Central America. The Party's banner was quite popular. On one side it denounced both the Democrats and Republicans as "Twin Parties of the Rich." It called "All Out Against Reagan!" on the other side. Several people commented in support of the MLP banner, noting that it was the only banner against both parties of the rich. One unemployed worker said: "You're right, there's not 10¢ difference between Reagan and Mondale!" Some workers also said they liked the MLP slogans best over all the others because of the Party's support for international struggles and the Party's militant denunciation of Reaganomics and Reagan's stepped- up racist attacks.

The MLP was active in building for this demonstration. Over a thousand Worker's Advocates and Party leaflets were distributed at factories, in the community and at the schools calling on people to protest against this arch-reactionary representative of the rich.

The Union of Anti-Imperialist Students (UAIS) participated with the MLP in this demonstration, distributing their newsletter, the Buffalo Anti-Imperialist Newsletter (BAIN) and militantly denouncing Reagan's aggression against the Central American people.

Both Democratic and Republican politicians rubbed elbows with Reagan. Democratic Mayor James Griffin slobbered praises to Reagan; how Reagan is such a "regular guy" he'll even eat lunch with politicians who didn't finish high school! As this disgusting example of boot licking was taking place, demonstrators were preparing to give Reagan the proper send-off. As Reagan was leaving Buffalo, protesters lined the streets shouting slogans and booing him. At this point, more people from the community had joined the demonstration showing how broad the sentiment against Reagan is in Buffalo.

In spite of the social-democratic politics promoted by the labor bureaucrats of the UAW and other opportunists, the atmosphere was militant. Strong anti-Reagan sentiment exists among the masses, as evidenced by the broad demonstration in Buffalo.


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Waynesboro, Georgia

Black People Rebel Against Racist Police Murder

Over the weekend of August 18-19, black residents of the small rural town of Waynesboro, Georgia took to the streets in a rebellion against the police murder of Larry Gardner. On the day before, Gardner, a 32-year old black man, had been arrested on a charge of alleged shoplifting. In a situation all too familiar to the black community he died in police custody. The police story was that Gardner died of "heat exhaustion."

The people did not believe the police story. There were witnesses who saw Larry being beaten by the cops. His family found it hard to believe that he would die of heat exhaustion when he was in good health and worked in the sun laying bricks and blocks. Besides, racist harassment of blacks by the police is a regular feature of life in Waynesboro.

Hundreds of people gathered in angry protest outside the Waynesboro courthouse on Saturday. By the evening, the anger of the black masses grew into a militant rebellion. Both that night and the next, the masses expressed their outrage with rock throwing and fire bombings.

Over a hundred police descended into the town to put down the black people's struggle. The sheriff enforced an 8 p.m. curfew; an 11 p.m. curfew was already in effect ostensibly against loitering by young people. At least 20 people, all blacks, were thrown in jail for curfew violations.

The police also brought in various local misleaders of the black people to subdue the anger of the black masses. At the Saturday demonstrations these people called on the masses to trust the police story and go home. But the people refused to accept this advice and denounced the reformist misleaders to their face. On August 21, these misleaders, including the local preacher who is president of the NAACP, joined with the police in holding a town meeting where they read out the results of a second autopsy, which also exonerated the police. The meeting became the scene of militant denunciations by the audience, who not only condemned the murder of Larry Gardner but also protested against the police brutality which is a regular feature of life for the black people.

The rebellion in Waynesboro is a sign of the deep ferment that is gathering among the oppressed black masses against the oppression they suffer in this country. The wanton shooting of black people by police and racist gangsters is a daily feature of life. The Waynesboro rebellion shows the potential strength among the black people for rising in struggle against racism and national oppression. It also shows the gulf that separates the black masses who want to fight racism and the reformist misleaders who believe in compromise with the racists.

[Photo: A demonstrator denounces the Rev. Julian Bell, president of the local NAACP chapter, in front of the county courthouse in Waynesboro, Georgia. Bell was trying to "calm down" protestors who demanded an explanation for the death in police custody of Larry Gardner.]


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Latinos fight racist attacks

What happened in Lawrence, Massachusetts

(The following article is based on an article in the Boston Worker, newspaper of the Boston Branch of the MLP, August 14, 1984.)

On the evening of August 8 and 9, the Spanish-speaking community in Lawrence, Massachusetts, rose up in a powerful rebellion. Contrary to the lies of the capitalist media, the fighting was not senseless, nor was it a family feud, nor was it a general fight between Puerto Ricans and whites. The so-called "riots" were a revolt of the Puerto Rican and Dominican workers and youth against the disgusting discrimination and harassment they have suffered at the hands of the employers, the government, the police and a section of white racists. The battle cry of the militant community was and is, "We demand equal rights," "We demand respect!"

Lawrence is a town where the working class is living under increasingly difficult conditions. It is a classic example of what the Reagan "recovery" means for the working class. Unemployment is the highest in the state, four factories have closed since January and 20% of the population lives below the poverty level. Funding for schools has been cut to disastrous levels to finance the Proposition 2 1/2 tax cuts for the rich. The big capitalists who own the Digital, GCA, Hewlett Packard and other plants in the Merrimack Valley are taking advantage of the misery of the workers to increase profits by paying starvation wages of $4 and $5 per hour. The Puerto Rican and Dominican workers are suffering the most. They make on the average 40% less than the white workers. In addition they and their families suffer constant abuse from the government authorities and racist thugs.

In Lawrence, as elsewhere in this country, the conditions demand a united struggle of the working class against the rich exploiters and their government. With Reagan as their spokesman, the rich are trying to stifle this revolt by poisoning the workers' minds with racism and stepping up discrimination against minorities and immigrant workers.

It was in this atmosphere of a racist, anti-working class offensive that the revolt broke out in Lawrence. The revolt was actually sparked by the provocative attacks of the police and their friends, a gang of racists that hung out at a segregated bar and a liquor store at the corner of Oxford and Haverill streets. Emboldened by the racism that has been coming from the highest levels of government, these racists have stepped up their harassment of the Puerto Rican people in the neighborhood. For the past month they have been insulting the Puerto Ricans that walk by with racial slurs and threats. They have also launched a number of physical attacks on people in the neighborhood. Puerto Rican families repeatedly demanded that the police put an end to these attacks but the police refused, openly displaying their sympathy with the racists. On the night of August 1 some members of this racist gang threw a rock through the window of a Puerto Rican family showering glass on a five-month old baby. In spite of protests of neighbors, police refused to arrest the culprits and told people they were overreacting to a minor incident.

But the campaign of racist harassment had gone too far and it began to blow up in the face of the government authorities and their little helpers. The militants in the community decided that if the racists were to be stopped they would have to take matters in their own hands. On Wednesday afternoon, August 8, several workers and youth went as a delegation to the liquor store and confronted the racists. They told them that they did not want trouble, but that if the harassment did not stop they would take measures. The racists responded with a chorus of racist filth and a barrage of bottles, one of which smashed in the face of a Puerto Rican worker. The Spanish- speaking workers concluded that they would have to take decisive measures, so they retreated into the community and began rallying forces for the mass struggle.

Meanwhile, the racists tried to rally support with lies that the Puerto Ricans had started a fight. And of course they called in their police protectors. At about 9 p.m. the police assembled together with the racists at the corner of Haverill and Oxford. Many other whites and Puerto Ricans also gathered along the street to see what was going on. The police and the civilian racists then began taunting the Spanish-speaking people, who were forming in small groups. Then the police, carrying shotguns, formed a column of three squad cars and began to move through the community shouting racial slurs at the people and ordering them to get in their houses. The arrogant fascists received a reply of rocks and bottles which sent them running for their lives out of the lower Tower Hill district!

A force of 200 to 300 minority workers and youth then moved to confront the racist gang at the top of Oxford Street. Since most of the whites were just watching and not supporting the racists, the gang was quickly routed. The anti-racists immediately put a torch to the liquor store and the apartment above it which was the home of some of the racist thugs. They also wrecked the racists' bar. When the fire engines came, these too met a hail of rocks -- the community was determined to eliminate the base of operation of the racist gang.

By midnight the government sent a detachment of 150 riot-equipped state troopers against the community. They took a number of the racists into "protective custody" while they attacked the Spanish-speaking people with tear gas, dogs and clubs. The workers responded vigorously, many arming themselves. There was street fighting through the night.

On the following day, Thursday, while some politicians and priests pleaded with the minority community to be peaceful and turn the other cheek, the local papers and TV broadcast threats of retaliation from the bar owner and other racist thugs in order to whip up a white backlash. But both tactics failed. The young Spanish-speaking workers refused to turn the other cheek while the racists and the police became more isolated. Many white workers in the neighborhood expressed disgust for the racists and sympathy and respect for the fight the Spanish-speaking people were putting up.

At around 9:30 p.m. the racists with their forces considerably down from the night before, assembled behind a phalanx of 180 police including a SWAT team and began chanting "USA, USA" -- obviously mimicking the chauvinist ravings from the TV coverage of the Olympic games. Feeling brave behind 180 armed police these cowardly racists began throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at the Spanish-speaking workers and youth. When the community responded in kind, the police began a night-long pogrom -- marching in contingents through the community. But mobile groups of militants fought tit-for-tat from behind barricades of overturned cars and burning trash cans. The resistance was particularly fierce in the Merrimack Court Housing Projects.

The mass active resistance scared the capitalists stiff. The desperation of the ruling class was voiced by Governor Dukakis in a public statement on Friday. He said, "This is not the time to figure out what happened....The important thing is to restore law and order and stability." He then generously offered the Lawrence city government as many state police as they might need.

But force alone was not enough, the government decided that it had to maneuver to end the fight before the truth about the role of the police and the idea of mass struggle spread widely. On Wednesday the police had made five arrests of which four were anti-racists. But on Thursday, to put on a show of even-handedness they arrested a number of the racists, charging them with inciting to riot. Then on Friday they entered into negotiations with representatives from the community. The police agreed to a number of reforms and currently a tense truce continues. Undoubtedly the authorities will go back on their word. But through their struggle, the community has gained much confidence to stand up to racist harassment.

The Lawrence rebellion shows that mass struggle is a powerful weapon to fight back against the racist offensive. To gain even an inch towards equality, the oppressed nationalities have to take to struggle. And struggle alone can give strength and confidence to the oppressed masses.

The capitalists will never give up racism. It is much too advantageous to them. Through racist oppression, they make fat profits and they weaken the working people through divide-and-rule methods. The struggle against racial oppression is the task of the workers of all nationalities, white and non-white, native and foreign- born. This is essential to break down the barriers of distrust among the masses and to build a united class struggle of all the workers against capitalism.


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From 'The Student' newspaper at Mass. Institute of Technology

What We Stand For

[The Student masthead.]

(The following article is reprinted from the September 17, 1984 issue of The Student, a newspaper published by progressive students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Ma.)

The Student extends a hearty welcome to all students, especially to freshmen and new graduate students. We are the progressive voice of the MIT students born out of the struggles against racism and U.S. imperialism. We began The Student last spring to help organize the mass resistance to the attacks by the MIT administration which restrict the access of working class and poor youth to higher education. We helped organize demonstrations against the tuition increase and the Reaganite cutbacks in financial aid. We have agitated against President Gray's plans to eliminate "need-blind" admissions. Our analysis has made it clear that these attacks are not an isolated event at MIT, but that the MIT Corp. is carrying out a common program of the U.S. capitalists to restrict higher education to the sons and daughters of the rich.

The Student has also worked hard to build resistance to the racist offensive. Led by the Reagan government, the rich seek to turn back the clock and wipe out the gains of the 1960's struggles for equal rights by the black and Spanish-speaking peoples. Here at MIT we helped to organize protests against the unjustified firing of Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Mary O. Hope, a well-liked reformist administrator, and we exposed the corporation's plans to eliminate OME (Office of Minority Education).

The Student works to build the mass movement against U.S. imperialism and militarism. The rich who unleashed Reaganism against the working class, oppressed nationalities and students in the U.S. are the same rich imperialists who subjugate whole nations abroad to extract golden profits at slave wages. The Student holds that all progressive people must oppose this system of imperialism. Last year we helped to organize and/or participated in demonstrations against the criminal invasion of Grenada, denouncing war criminal Kissinger, in solidarity with the fighting workers and peasants of Central America, and in support of the armed struggle of the South African masses to smash the racist apartheid system. We do not support either the U.S. government or the Soviet social-imperialists as they compete for and divide the globe into spheres of domination -- the future belongs not to the exploiters and thieves, but to the toilers of the world.

We believe that Republican President Reagan is merely a puppet of the rich, who are actively pursuing a reactionary offensive on the working class and poor, and that the Democratic Party has supported all of Reagan's social program cuts and arms spending increases. We therefore call for a complete break with the Democratic Party, which falsely portrays itself as the party of working people. The only way to fight the Reaganite offensive is with militant mass struggle. The Student will work in the Boston area to build a revolutionary student movement independent of the two capitalist parties and in solidarity with the working class and poor.

Defend the gains of the 1960's against the Reaganite offensive!

Build the revolutionary student movement, in solidarity with the working class and poor!

Down with the Republicans and Democrats, imperialist parties of the rich!


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Political rights of students threatened

(The following article is reprinted from the September 17, 1984 issue of The Student, a newspaper published by progressive students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Ma.)

Last year The Student came under attack from various right-wing elements of the MIT campus. Most notable was the publication of a false issue of The Student, which sought to confuse student readers by misrepresenting several of our political positions. Also, the campus police blocked access to a classroom in Building 4 for a Political Discussion Group meeting, and several supporters of The Student were harassed by reformist and careerist student politicians as well. All of these actions are efforts by reactionaries and social-democrats to prevent students from reaching the solid political conclusion that in order to defend the gains of the 1960's and to support the liberation struggles abroad, we must break with the reformists and build an independent student movement allied with the working class and poor.

Now the reactionaries are resorting to more dirty tactics. They are now offering bribes of various sorts to student groups in exchange for their renouncement of support for The Student. Last week the leadership of LUCHA (Chicano students) was told by an Admissions Office employee (who is an open Reagan supporter) that MIT has been lenient long enough with its funding of LUCHA, and that the Institute is prepared to cut off all funds if the group continues its political activities. (For example, LUCHA displays The Student in its Infinite Corridor bulletin board.) The Admissions employee then proceeded to offer LUCHA funds for a freshmen dinner, and he even offered to organize the event for them! What a cheap price to gain access to the LUCHA podium!

On a similar note, LUCHA has been contacted by the social-democratic Cambridge Peace to cosponsor a benefit concert at MIT for the people of Central America. But only 24 hours later the Peace representative informed LUCHA that if they had any contact with The Student they would not be able to cosponsor the event with them. In other words, if LUCHA stops supporting the revolution of the workers and peasants of Central America and instead begins to campaign for Mondale, then LUCHA can have the "honor" of cosponsoring the concert. A social-democratic bribe, but bribery nonetheless!

Students! At stake is the democratic right of free thought and speech on university campuses for which students fought hard in the 1960's. LUCHA has come under pressure to renounce its political position or face a financial threat. The open threat from the Admissions employee is nothing less than an attack on student free speech. The Student calls on all students and faculty to oppose any attempt by MIT or any institution to limit political debate, particularly at this time when the U.S. is registering youth for the draft as part of its war preparations for Central America.


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Simpson-Mazzoii bill bogged down in Congress, but

The fight against anti-immigrant legislation must continue

The anti-immigrant Simpson-Mazzoii Bill has once again become bogged down in Congress. This bill marks the culmination of years of effort by the capitalists to develop a comprehensive law to persecute the immigrants. Both the House and Senate have passed their own versions of this reactionary legislation. But after nine days of recent negotiations, Senate and House conferees were unable to resolve the differences in the two versions. Since Congress has been scheduled to adjourn in the first week of October, it appears that a unified bill will not pass during this session of Congress.

However it is certain that Congress will take up next year where it left off this year and that the capitalists will continue to persecute the immigrants. There can be no relenting in the struggle against the Simpson-Mazzoii bill and other reactionary anti-immigrant proposals.

The differences that stalled the Simpson-Mazzoii Bill were not over whether to intensify the repression and exploitation of immigrant labor. The debate was merely over how to attack the immigrants.

For example, there was agreement to implement a phony "amnesty" program for "illegal" immigrants which would lead to more deportations and to the creation of a legal subcaste of super-exploited workers who are excluded from even the most minimal rights. There was also agreement to beef up the Immigration and Naturalization Service so it can carry out more gestapo-style raids on work places and immigrant communities. As well, all supported the increased use of temporary "guest workers" who live as virtual slaves to the capitalist farmers during the harvesting seasons and are then expelled from the country. And there was no dispute over establishing a national ID tracking system to help hound immigrants, militants and revolutionary activists.

What the Senate-House talks broke down over was the question of how to implement the "employer sanctions" provision of the bill. Both sides approved of fining capitalists who hire undocumented workers. The capitalist politicians know that such a provision will result most of all in mass firings of immigrants and restricting them in practice to the most wretched sweatshops and labor camps. The only controversy was over how to deal with the fact that this provision will inevitably encourage employers to discriminate against all "foreign-looking" workers.

The House, admitting that this discrimination would occur, hypocritically passed a provision that would allegedly ban discrimination against legal aliens. In reality this meek proposal merely allowed victims of discrimination to file complaints with a new agency to be created in the Justice Department. Thus, at best, the House bill would first create conditions for kicking immigrants out of their jobs and having their job applications rejected. Then the immigrants would receive the "right" to become tied up in bureaucratic red tape, appealing for relief from presidential appointees in the Justice Department and from the notoriously racist judicial system. This provision clearly has less to do with protecting the rights of immigrants, than protecting the images of the racist politicians who devised it.

But even this mild "safeguard" was rejected by the Senate conferees, leading to the current impasse. Bill cosponsor Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) led the opposition, fraudulently claiming that the House proposal would mean giving aliens an unfair advantage over U.S. citizens seeking jobs! This chauvinist garbage was echoed by the other co-sponsor, Representative Mazzoli (D-Ky.) whose still milder version of he House "anti-discrimination" proposal was also rejected by the Senate. Mazzoli declared, "We are buying American, we are building American. Why shouldn't employers be able to hire Americans without suffering a challenge for discrimination." (New York Times, September 20,1984, p. 14) In other words, the capitalists should be free to discriminate at will.

The vicious persecution of the immigrants is part of the capitalist offensive against all workers, both native and foreign born. The working class must link arms and come to the defense of the immigrants. Down with reactionary legislation against the immigrants! Equality and full rights for all immigrants!


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Down with INS raids against immigrants!

Although Congress failed to pass the anti-immigrant legislation, the bourgeoisie has continued its cruel persecution of the immigrants.

In early August the Immigration and Nationalization Service (INS) conducted a series of raids against immigrant workers. In California's "Silicon Valley," electronics plants have been raided as part of "Operation Cooperation." In this program the employers have been cooperating with the INS authorities, fingering suspected "illegals." The INS then swoops down on the plants, arresting all the suspects. Those arrested have been taken hundreds of miles away to be bullied, threatened and deported by the authorities. Families are not even notified where the arrested immigrants are being held. Besides the factory raids, INS agents have also raided shopping areas, dance halls and private homes in the San Jose area searching for the undocumented. All told, several hundred people have been deported through these raids.

Massive roundups of immigrant workers also took place in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. In a three- day period, the INS agents arrested 1,060 suspected undocumented workers at various factories and plants. The arbitrary nature of the arrests can be seen from the fact that of the 385 arrested on one day, only 110 were undocumented immigrants. Clearly the INS raids aim to terrorize the entire national minority population.

The massive sweep through the Dallas-Fort Worth area was repeated on an even grander scale at the end of September. A record 1,144 suspected undocumented workers fell prey to the INS dragnet in a three day period. These raids show that as far as the capitalists are concerned, the immigrants are simply animals to be hunted down and slaves to be worked to death.

Down with the racist INS raids!

[Photo: Starkist canning plant workers in Los Angeles protest against the firing of hundreds of Mexican nationality workers who could not provide documented proof of U.S. citizenship.]


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Heat walkout at a New York City factory

(The workers at a medium-sized manufacturing plant in New York City have been engaged in a struggle against suspensions in the wake of a heat walkout. Below we reprint a leaflet in support of this struggle issued by the New York Metro Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on August 19, 1984.)

On Friday, August 3, the workers of one department at the company went into action against the attacks of the company. Nearly forty workers from the second shift refused to resume work that day and stood outside the factory gates for several hours angrily denouncing the company slave drivers before returning home later that evening. They were demanding the reinstatement of five fellow workers arbitrarily suspended after going home the day before because they were unable to work in the unbearable heat inside the work place. They were also demanding that the company turn on the air conditioning, which is kept shut off by the greedy moneybags who couldn't care less if a worker suffers a heat stroke, just as long as they make a good saving in their electricity bills.

This courageous action of the workers won the reinstatement of four of their suspended coworkers, as well as the air conditioning that the workers were demanding for their department. The Personnel Manager was forced to eat his own words and call the workers back the following Monday. This is a significant victory for the workers of the department. It shows the importance of the mass action of the workers to fight the attacks of the company. And it shows the need to stand up to the constant encroachments of the company slave drivers upon the workers' rights.

Of course this lesson wasn't lost to the capitalist moneybags either. And they have taken steps to try to prevent the workers from drawing the correct conclusion about the need for mass struggle against the company. For one thing, not all the suspended workers were reinstated on Monday, August 6, but the suspension was continued for the shop steward who participated in this action. The company wants to make sure that the action does not go unpunished, so it is unjustly suspending the shop steward for two weeks.

Moreover, the following Tuesday the Personnel Manager went to the department and talked to various workers in order to try to intimidate them by saying that the action had been illegal and that he did not want this to happen again. But it is clear that it was the company who was quaking in its boots at this instance of mass action by the workers and was trying to make sure that this is not repeated in the future and that it does not spread to the rest of the factory. Besides, the workers were in no mood to disavow their courageous action, and in talking to the Personnel Manager many insisted on defending their suspended comrades. As one worker said: "You claim that it is illegal to stop work, but we think it was illegal for you to suspend our comrades!! " The action of the workers of the department is also significant in light of the upcoming contract struggle. The contract expires at the end of September. As every worker knows, these capitalists are notorious slave drivers out to squeeze every last penny from the sweat and blood of the workers. Can we then expect the capitalists to agree to a decent contract out of their own "good will"? Certainly not.

It is instructive to consider what is taking place nationwide. The Reaganites have been crowing for some time about an "economic recovery" taking place. But this "recovery" has been, above all, a recovery for the rich, a profit recovery. While millions upon millions of unemployed workers still look fruitlessly for work, while the masses are more and more impoverished, the rich are raking in fabulous sums.

But the profit rebound has not softened the hearts of the rich. The capitalists keep demanding wage freezes from the workers, they keep demanding wage and benefit cuts. Reagan is demanding a sub-minimum wage for the youth. The postal service is trying to impose a substantial wage cut for newly hired workers.

In other words, the exploiters have stepped up their attacks on the working masses, despite the profit rebound. This is because their profits are made out of the sweat of the workers. And it is only when the workers have fought for their rights that they have been able to maintain themselves in the face of the ongoing capitalist offensive.

It is precisely this lesson which the action of the workers so forcefully highlights. Only when the workers fight, only when they wage mass struggle against the capitalists, are they able to maintain themselves in the face of the constant encroachments of capital.

The workers in all departments should discuss and learn from the heat walkout. They must use this experience to prepare for further struggle.


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Provisions of the GM contract

The tentative GM contract is being promoted as a no-concessions, job security agreement. But in fact the contract is chock full of concessions and, far from providing job security, it opens the door to a program of enormous job elimination. Take a look at the major provisions of the new contract.

* The Fraud of Job Security

The contract provides no relief for the 100,000 GM workers who have been permanently laid off and lost all seniority and recall rights.

The contract stipulates GM's right to carry out local job-eliminating measures and opens the way for GM to carry out its announced plans to eliminate 60,000 to 120,000 jobs in the next two years. The September 23 issue of the Detroit News pointed out that the "job security" program is "a means of cushioning the effect of (job) displacement without preventing it...at a bearable cost to the company."

A "job opportunity bank" is supposed to be set up to provide pay, benefits, job training, and placement in a new job for those laid off. But the extensive restrictions on which of the workers can qualify for the program and the funding of only $1 billion over six years, means only a small section of the laid-off will get help. Some experts estimate that no more than 3,400 workers a year could be provided for under this program.

* Concessions on the Base Wage

The contract eliminates the traditional 3% annual wage increase.

In the first year of the contract the lowest paid GM workers will receive only a 1% raise (about 9¢ an hour) while only a few workers will get as much as 3.5%. The average assembler will get about 20¢ an hour.

In the second and third years the annual increase in the base wage is eliminated altogether. Instead workers will receive a lump sum payment averaging 2 1/2% of their yearly pay, excluding overtime pay. This amounts to about 35¢ an hour for an assembler.

As well, the contract stipulates that GM may carry out cuts in the wage rate on a local, plant-by-plant basis.

* Cutting the Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA)

A series of concessions on COLA payments will save GM about $280 million over the life of the contract.

The 11¢ an hour COLA increase which was due in September has been eliminated.

Of the remaining $3.04 an hour of COLA, only $2.99 will be rolled into the base rate.

Further, a section of the COLA payments are to be diverted to help poor old GM to pay for various of the benefit programs.

 

* Medical Benefit Concessions

GM estimates it will save $220 million over the life of the contract from concessions on medical benefits.

Among other things, GM expects to limit the amount of visits to hospitals by forcing families covered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield to get an authorization before they can be admitted into a hospital for non-emergency care. Workers who do not get prior authorization will be fined by GM a portion of the hospital bill.

 

* No Restrictions on Plant Closings and Subcontracting Out Work

There are no restrictions against GM closing plants or subcontracting out work; there is only an unenforcable promise by GM in a "letter of intent" that it will do what it can to keep jobs in GM plants. GM will proceed on its merry way to shut down operations and send work to low wage sweat shops.

* No Bar to Overtime

There is no real measure to put a stop to the enormous overtime. Instead of simply banning overtime, or even making it so expensive that GM can't afford it, the UAW leadership agreed to a provision requiring GM to pay a fine of only 50¢ an hour for overtime greater than two hours per week. What is more, the overtime is to be figured on a yearly basis, and apparently on a company-wide basis. Taking into account hours lost due to plant shutdowns, changeover, etc. GM may well pay nothing.

It is outrageous to allow GM to force 54 and 63 hour workweeks when there are 100,000 GM workers laid off and millions of other workers unemployed.

 

* Maintaining the Cuts in Paid Days Off

A big hoopla is being made that there will be three additional paid days off during the life of the contract. But this is a hollow victory when you consider that 27 paid personal holidays were eliminated in the 1982 concessions contract.

 

* Throwing Out the National Contract for Local Job-Eliminating and Wage-Cutting Concessions

The contract stipulates that the UAW leadership and GM are to set up national, regional, and local committees to "improve efficiency at GM plants." These committees are granted the ability to "waive or change parts of the national contract." This means that any protections in the national contract are worthless and GM can unleash a wave of local concessions over work rules, job combination, speedup, automation, and so forth. This provision means, as well, that the UAW leadership will be made a partner in organizing the job elimination measures.

As well, the contract stipulates;that the UAW leadership and GM can make "wage scale changes" at "the plant level." All summer, GM has said that it plans to institute major, across-the-board wage cuts in their parts plants to make them "more competitive." With this contracts provision they are given the latitude to do this and much more.

* Another Step Towards Company Unionism

The UAW leaders in this contract struggle, and in earlier ones, have shown that they are hellbent on helping the auto monopolies to saddle the workers with concessions.

But now, in this contract, along with other steps towards company unionism, the UAW leaders have also agreed to join GM in setting up new capitalist enterprises to exploit the workers. The new contract provides for GM to spend $100 million to finance joint UAW/GM business ventures in "nontraditional" areas. Laid-off GM workers are supposed to be given preferential hiring at these new sweatshops.

This is not helping the laid-off to obtain jobs. It is helping the UAW leaders to become full-scale capitalists themselves. You can see it now, a whole string of Don Ephlin's Industrial Laundries and Bieber's Burger Barns springing up across the country.

* Beware of Other Vicious Concessions

A lot of the provisions of this contract have not yet been revealed, and it may contain many other concessions. Remember that in the 1982 contract it took several months before such things as the terrible outrages of the absentee control program became clear.

Undoubtedly the cursed absentee control program has been kept. But as yet there is no word on what changes, if any, have been made in the program.

As well, the 1982 contract cut the wage rates for new hires. All summer, GM has been talking about strengthening this two-tier wage system by paying new hired workers 25% less than regular seniority workers. Under this scheme it would take five years for the new hires to reach regular pay. As yet there is no word on whether this new outrage was slipped into the contract.

Workers must beware that these and other concessions may have been snuck into the fine print of the new GM contract.


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Postal Workers, FIGHT BACK!

[Photo: On August 16, postal workers in New York City (above) and other cities in the northeast organized informational pickets.]

On September the New York Metro Branch of the MLP produced a flyer for the postal workers' struggle against the takeback drive of the Postal Service. The following three articles on the postal workers' struggle, the treachery of the leaders of the postal unions, and the two-tier wage system are based on this flyer.

The Reagan government is on the attack against the postal workers. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is. demanding wage cuts and takebacks. Among other things it is trying to saddle the workers with a two-tier wage system that would pay newly hired workers some 23% less than those currently employed. While temporarily blocked by Congress on August 10, the USPS is still going full steam ahead with its plans for a two-tier wage system. The USPS is now only waiting for the federal arbitrators to grant them the wage cuts and takebacks that they are demanding.

The Postal Service management has presented its brutal demands as an ultimatum. In this situation it is clear that the only thing Postmaster Bolger and his Reaganite masters will understand is a most determined and militant struggle. Unfortunately the top union leaders have made it clear that they are prepared to cave in without even the threat of a serious struggle.

But the postal workers have the strength to win. They can win by relying on their own efforts. The key thing now is to fan the flames of indignation against the vicious takebacks. This will strengthen the workers' ranks and prepare for resistance.

The fight against the takeback demands of the USPS must be brought to all the workers. In the face of Bolgers' ultimatums and threats to punish and fire the workers, the spirit of defiance and mass action must be spread on the work room floor, in the cafeterias, in the swing rooms, and in union meetings. And the betrayal being planned by the top union bureaucrats, who stand against mass struggle, must be exposed and opposed.

The postal workers of all crafts need to get organized by relying on their own efforts and strength. The postal workers are over a half-million strong. To make use of this strength they must get organized to overcome the treachery of the union bureaucrats and to defeat the attacks of the USPS.

No Concessions to the Postal Service!

Defy the strikebreaking threats!

No to arbitration!

Get organized for mass struggle!


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Union leaders kneel before the dictate of the postal service

(The following leaflet was issued by the New York Metro Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on September 7, 1984.)

Postmaster General Bolger and the United States Postal Service (USPS) were so confident of getting what they wanted through arbitration that they began to implement the two-tiered wage scale as soon as the contract lapsed. But on August 10 the House of Representatives voted to block implementation of the two-tiered system before a new contract is in effect. It was an amendment to an appropriation bill. The Senate however did not approve the measure and it remains to be worked out by a House-Senate conference. National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) president Sombrotto calls this action a "hard blow" at the USPS and puts on the "militant" posture of threatening to strike if the "new law" is not obeyed by Bolger. Sombrotto is helping to feed the wide-scale propaganda that this congressional action has stopped the two-tier system. But this is a fraud!

The two-tiered wage cut is very much alive and kicking. The congressional budget amendment is hardly a "new law" against two-tiers. Even if the Senate agrees to it, the bill only blocks its imposition at this time. Congress did not take any stand against its future implementation as soon as the arbitrator declares it is OK. Congress did not take this action because of any consideration of "fairness" to the postal workers. In fact, Bolger's arrogant implementation of the two-tier system had provoked widespread sentiment for a strike and sparked pre-convention strike votes in Philadelphia and New York. Congress hopes to forestall this motion towards mass action and to restore the workers' faith in the government as a "friend" of the workers, or at least as a "neutral" party in this case. In this way, the government wants to hoodwink the postal workers into relying on binding arbitration as the best alternative.

The two-tier system is a brutal attack on new hires -- a 23% cut in base wage, close to 50% reduced annual leave, 50% cut in sick leave, and no COLA at all! But as well it is aimed at all postal workers. "Two-tier" would provide USPS with a new incentive for further attacks on current workers -- either through firing them outright through new, streamlined disciplinary measures (such as the experimental "attendance control" program) or through layoffs of those employees without six years of continuous service.

Even worse, a two-tiered structure would open another split in the ranks of the postal workers and create new roadblocks in organizing resistance struggles.

The USPS has been preparing to implement the two-tiered wage cut for a long time. Every postal worker knows, and even the New York Times has reported that the USPS has, for two years, been hiring new workers at a very slow rate while forcing tremendous overtime on the existing workers. The USPS was just waiting for the lower wage scale to hire new workers and has now jumped at the first opportunity to do so. A new spate of hiring began as soon as the contract expired. These new hires have all been sent letters outlining the outrageous cuts in wages and benefits. And even after the congressional action on August 10, all new hires, while hired at existing wage levels, are still being forced to sign a statement saying they would accept the lower wages if the new contract includes two-tiers. Obviously Bolger is going ahead with plans for two-tiers which is a centerpiece of the USPS attack on the postal workers. It is aimed at all workers and is the first step towards eventually forcing similar concessions from existing workers.


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No to a two-tiered wage system!

On August 20, at the conventions of the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers held in Las Vegas, the top union leaders set out down the sellout path of federal binding arbitration.

Of course, Biller and Sombrotto, presidents of the APWU and the NALC, made plenty of empty gestures of militancy in order to push arbitration onto the workers. Biller had himself authorized to "take whatever action is necessary" to achieve a contract, leaving open the option of a strike. Then the APWU leaders immediately issued the lie that sentiment among the workers for a walkout was almost nonexistent. But, in fact, prior to the conventions, talk of the need for a strike was widespread among the rank and file.

Sombrotto fully committed himself (but oh, so militantly!) to binding arbitration. He declared, "We will arbitrate as we would have struck, with no let-up." Here, too, this decision flies in the face of the sentiment for a strike that was demonstrated by pre-convention strike votes in large locals of letter carriers such as New York and Philadelphia and in smaller locals.

Sombrotto's other pretense of militance was the threat to strike if the USPS implemented its two-tiered wage cut prior to the results of binding arbitration. This is an empty threat. The USPS is already going ahead with its plans for a two-tier wage scale, forcing all new hires to sign a statement agreeing to a future cut in wages and benefits. (See accompanying article on the two-tier system.)

At the conventions both these union bureaucrats made a pretense of militance by denouncing the USPS's "provocative, union busting" tactics. But this is part of the same song and dance that the union leaders have been giving the workers all along. Pointing to the brutal arrogance of management, they claim that the USPS is trying to provoke the workers into a strike so that the Reagan government can attack them like it did the PATCO workers. Therefore, the union sellouts argue, the workers should outsmart the USPS by staying on the job and trusting their fate to federal arbitration.

But what makes the union bigwigs think that federal arbitrators will give the workers a break when the same federal government is so determined to fire the workers and bust their union?

The idea that federal arbitration will hold back the government's vicious concessions drive is a cruel illusion. The union bosses are spreading this hoax in order to dampen the fighting will of the postal workers and sell them out to the wage-cutting demands of the Postal Service.

Organize to Fight Back!

Waiting for help from federal arbitration is like waiting for hell to freeze over. The workers must take matters into their own hands and organize mass struggle against the arbitrary dictate of the USPS slave drivers.

Without organized mass struggle the workers have no strength. The top bureaucrats can not be relied on to wage a serious fight; the fight has to be organized despite their opposition. In the 1970 strike and in the 1978 wildcats the postal workers showed what power and strength their united actions can have in the face of the vicious attacks of the USPS and the government.

[Graphic.]


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ON THE NEW COAL CONTRACT

'Labor peace' means no fight for job security

[Photo: Miners picket a coal mine in Pike County, Ky. On October 1 two thousand miners went on strike against two coal firms who had refused to sign the national BCOA contract.]

On September 27, a new contract was ratified between the United Mine Workers (UMW) and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA).

Faced with a slump in coal sales, the coal capitalists have been viciously eliminating jobs, eroding safety conditions, and grabbing other concessions from the miners. Through modernization, sub-leasing mines to smaller and often non-union companies, sub-contracting out work, and so forth, many jobs have been eliminated. Today 55,000 of the UMW's 160,000 members are laid off.

Before this year's bargaining began over 100 coal companies withdrew from the BCOA in an effort to split up the miners into many separate contract battles. The BCOA itself, which still represents most of the biggest underground operations, pressed for a continuation of their job-elimination prerogatives and for a "moderate" wage settlement.

Apparently the UMW leadership caved in to the coal capitalists' pressure. The new union leadership, headed by Richard Trumka, has been eager to prove to the coal barons that they could establish "labor peace" in the coal fields. To obtain a contract without a strike, they both scuttled the miners' job security demands and agreed to a meager 10% over three years wage increase. This $1.40 an hour wage increase falls far behind the $3.60 an hour increase achieved through the national strike in the last contract.

This is the first time in 20 years that a BCOA contract has been signed without a national strike. Since taking office a couple of years ago, UMW president Trumka has been systematically working to put a brake on the coal miners' struggle. Among other things, Trumka has destroyed a number of democratic reforms in the union and has taken the UMW back on the road towards a dictatorial regime, in the direction of that which existed under the notorious Tony Boyle.

For example, the UMW convention was forbidden to set out this year's bargaining demands. Instead the entire negotiations were couched in absolute secrecy. As well, the bargaining council was eliminated and all bargaining, authority to call a strike, etc., were put exclusively in the hands of Trumka and the executive board. Trumka also got a resolution passed which threw out the window the miners' fighting tradition of "no contract; no work" and opted instead for "selective strikes" against only a few of the BCOA companies.

With these resolutions in hand, Trumka reached agreements with most of the companies which had dropped out of the BCOA, including those covering the 12,000 miners in Alabama and the big Arch Mineral mines in Illinois and Pennsylvania. Instead of bringing the miners out in a collective struggle against the capitalists, these agreements stipulated that the miners would not strike these mines if the companies would abide by the BCOA contract once it was settled.

With the BCOA, Trumka refused to give any information to the miners until the tentative pact was signed and voting began. And then, Trumka cut the amount of time allowed for voting down to a few days. In these conditions the rank-and-file miners often did not know what was in the contract and did not have the needed time to mount a fight against Trumka's sellout.

Strikes Continue in the Coal Fields

Still today, little information has been released on the new contract. But it appears that it leaves the miners in about the same situation as the last contract. The last agreement opened the door to greater job elimination and the deterioration of working conditions. The miners have had to repeatedly go out on strike to defend themselves. In the last couple of months several strikes have taken place.

On August 17, miners launched a wildcat against crew-cutting practices of Peabody Coal at its Sunnyhill mine complex in New Lexington, Ohio. Two hundred miners are laid off there while production has doubled in the last two years. Injuries have increased and safety has gone by the wayside as a result of the crew shortages.

On September 6, three hundred sixty miners at Peabody's Montcoal complex in Raleigh County, West Virginia went on strike when the company refused to honor a miner's job bidding rights. Within a week, miners at two other operations in Sundial and Twilight, West Virginia went out on strike in sympathy with the Montcoal miners. Altogether 1,000 miners participated in the strike. On September 17, the miners were forced back to work when the issue was put before the Arbitration Review Board.

Besides these, a number of contract strikes have taken place.

On August 23, five hundred miners struck the Sahara Coal Company in Illinois rejecting the company's offer of a 30 cent an hour pay increase.

Earlier, on August 2, a contract was settled after a militant 133 day strike against Basin Cooperative Services in North Dakota. One hundred thirty-seven miners struck against the company's demands for a two-tier wage system and other wage concessions. On July 26, the miners blocked four entrances to the mine, preventing scabs from going to work. State highway patrol officers, sheriff's deputies and local police attacked the pickets with billy clubs and threatened them with guns. But the miners fought back. Although 27 miners were arrested, the mass picket so frightened the scabs that they refused to cross the picket lines. On July 28, hundreds of protestors once again blocked the mine entrances and no scabs even attempted to cross the picket lines. The miners' strike blocked many of the capitalists' takeback demands and the miners won a reduction in overtime and a $1.82 an hour increase over a four year contract.

Other contract strikes are expected to break out soon against a number of the companies which withdrew from the BCOA and have not yet reached an agreement with the UMW.

Today the coal miners face very difficult conditions in their struggle against the coal capitalists. Not only do they face massive layoffs, but they are also saddled with a new union leadership which is trying to block their struggle at every turn. Nevertheless, as the above strikes show, the fighting will of the miners has not been broken. In the past the miners have overcome the dictate of the notorious Tony Boyle, and the treachery of the "militant" phrasemongers like Arnold Miller. By organizing independently of the UMW bureaucracy, they can also overcome the sabotage of the new Trumka leadership to mount a serious fight for their jobs and livelihood against the man-eating coal monopolies.


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Hundreds massacred in El Salvador

Behind the 'Human Rights' Sermons of U.S. Imperialism

The Christian-Democrat Jose Napoleon Duarte was elected president of El Salvador in May this year. This was touted by Reagan and the Democrats as a symbol of El Salvador moving towards "democracy" and "human rights." In reality, however, the election was a complete fraud organized by the CIA in order to put a "human rights" mask over a bloodstained military dictatorship.

Recent reports from that country have brought to light that during the first three months of Duarte's reign, a series of brutal massacres of peasant families have taken place. This provides graphic evidence that, notwithstanding Duarte's sweet words about "democracy," massacres of the people by the military continue unabated.

There can be no hope of a change for the better in El Salvador from Duarte and the military or from the U.S. government which backs the tyrants to the hilt. No, only the triumph of the revolutionary struggle of the workers and peasants can bring an end to the fascist terror.

Hundreds Massacred

From July 18 to 22, government troops from the U.S.-trained Atlacatl battalion and other army units carried out a search-and-destroy mission against the peasants of Los Llanitos in the northern province of Cabanas.

The massacre was an open act of revenge for the June 28 battle at the nearby Cerron Grande dam in which the Salvadoran liberation fighters had inflicted severe casualties on government troops. The Cabanas hamlets had been used as staging areas for the guerrilla operations at the dam, and before the massacre the Atlacatl troops shouted to the Cabanas peasants that they were now going to "pay" for their role in the attack on the dam. Duarte's troops then proceeded to hunt down, beat and machine gun to death over 68 unarmed and fleeing men, women and children. They also smashed in the peasants' huts and razed their cornfields.

Three other recent massacres have been reported, all of unarmed civilians in the rebel-held territories in eastern Chalatenango and Cabanas. In one, on August 28 to 30 in Guiliquiste, the Atlacatl troops used machine guns and mortars and left over a hundred peasants dead. The Salvadoran air force has also bombed peasants on several occasions.

The Massacres Are Not Aberrations But Deliberate Policy

The civilian murders at the hands of the Duarte regime are one hundred percent deliberate. It is not a case of excesses committed by the army which somehow got out of Duarte's control. Nor is it a case of civilians simply getting "caught in the crossfire" between the rebels and the government troops.

After the recent massacres Duarte proceeded to justify the murders and turned truth on its head by blaming the liberation fighters instead! He said, "The terrorists are using the masses as shields and they are using the masses to provoke, exposing these people to be killed. This is horrible. This is inhuman. But this is not my problem. It's the problem of the subversives' terrorist actions and they have to be responsible." (New York Times, September 13, 1984)

That Duarte should take such a stand is no surprise. The fact is that waging a counterrevolutionary war means gunning down the masses of people. The guerrillas do not fight alone but enjoy the active support of the toiling masses. Indeed, the Cabanas peasants describe themselves as sympathizers of the liberation struggle. They are family and friends who house, clothe and feed the guerrillas, buy supplies, pass on intelligence and form brigades to do such work as clearing roads. As one peasant put it to a journalist, "Our troops carry the arms and we do the work so our troops can eat."

The Atlacatl battalions and other Salvadoran troops have been trained by the U.S. military precisely for counterinsurgency which includes efforts to wipe out the mass base of the liberation movement. When the U.S. government boasts about the "professionalism" they have bestowed on the Salvadoran army they mean professionalism in massacres of the people. Such methods of warfare have long been perfected by the U.S. military in numerous counterrevolutionary wars, from the colonial war in the Philippines at the turn of the century to Vietnam in the 1960's and 70's.

By coming out in support of the latest massacres and blaming the rebels, Duarte has in fact acknowledged that what he has in store is more civilian massacres. After all, there are some 80,000 peasants who live in the northern liberated areas' stretching from central to eastern El Salvador, not to mention sympathizers of the liberation movement in other parts of the country.

The U.S. Government Fully Backs the Murderous Policy

The U.S. government constantly claims that it is trying to improve human rights in El Salvador, that it seeks to curb massacres. But in fact just the opposite is true. Not only were the units like the Atlacatl trained by the U.S. but the Pentagon is stepping up the training of more such battalions. As well, right after the recent massacre reports emerged, Secretary of State George Schultz certified on September 14 that the Salvadoran government had made progress in curbing human rights abuses in the period from July 2 to August 31, exactly the period of the recent atrocities! Thus, Shultz reasoned, the Salvadoran government should get more U.S. aid.

The Democratic Party politicians have also remained cozy with Duarte in the face of the recent massacres. The liberal Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) typified the Democrats' attitude towards Duarte when he declared, "The central question is not whether Mr. Duarte is a good guy, there's no question that he is." (New York Times, August 10, 1984)

The Reaganites and the Democrats proceeded to collaborate in increasing military aid to the Salvadoran dictatorship. Last month Congress approved $70 million in supplemental military aid on top of the record $126 million so far this year. The cornerstones of the U.S. aid this year are precisely those weapons designed to expand the massacres of the Salvadoran toilers. The U.S. is turning over 25 new Huey helicopters (the type used in Vietnam) as well as at least two AC-47 gunships, slow-flying planes which can strafe guerrilla base areas putting in one minute a bullet in every square foot of an area the size of a city block.

Support the Revolutionary Struggle

Duarte's record again proves that nothing has changed since the elections in El Salvador. The death-squad dictatorship remains in place with U.S. imperialism backing it to the hilt. Not "human rights" facelifts but only revolutionary struggle of the workers and peasants can put an end to this situation. It is with this struggle that the working people of the U.S. should extend their solidarity.

[Photo: Trade union members and families of political prisoners marched in San Salvador on September 15 demanding democratic rights.]


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Reagan may visit for the 1st anniversary of the U.S. invasion

Down with the U.S. Occupation of Grenada!

October 25 marks the first anniversary of the U.S. invasion of the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada. Reports have leaked out of the White House that Reagan, the architect of the invasion, may pay a surprise visit to Grenada around that time. This is meant to be part of Reagan's reelection campaign. The invasion of Grenada is a symbol of one of Reagan's principal campaign themes. Vice-president Bush crowed at the Republican convention in August that the Grenada invasion was one of the "proudest moments" of American history. It is said to be an example of the U.S. "standing tall" once again.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are determined not to lose out of the chance to take part in this flag-waving crusade. Walter Mondale finally decided the other day to come out unequivocally in support of the U.S. occupation. And it may be recalled that at the time of the invasion itself, the Democrats supported Reagan's military adventure, albeit after a few initial expressions of "doubt."

Both the Reaganites and the Democrats are waving the banner of the Grenada invasion because they mean it as a display of their intentions towards Nicaragua. But the imperialist politicians are dead wrong when they claim that their "big stick" policy is a symbol for all Americans, capitalists and workers alike, to "feel good about being Americans again." The workers of the U.S. cannot rejoice when the Wall Street billionaires and the Pentagon generals trample upon the oppressed people of other countries. No, the watchword of the American working class can only be: U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of Grenada! Self-Determination for the Grenadian People!

An Act of Naked Imperialism

What took place last October? A massive invasion force, made up of some 20 warships and 20,000 troops, was hurled against a tiny island smaller than Martha's Vineyard. Indeed, just one of the huge U.S. ships carried more men and a thousand times more firepower than the entire 2,000-man Grenadian army, which had only light arms. Even so, Grenadian fighters and Cuban construction workers put up a courageous resistance against overwhelming odds.

The U.S. invaded with a number of lying pretexts about "rescuing American citizens" and "restoring democracy." But in fact the U.S. invasion was an act of naked imperialism. Its aims were clear: to subjugate the Grenadian people and set up a reactionary puppet government under the U.S. jackboot. The conquest of Grenada was just another episode in U.S. imperialism's long history of robbery v and intervention against the peoples of the Caribbean and Central America.

Washington Refused to Tolerate a Reformist Government

The invasion was no sudden impetuous act; it was four years in the making. The U.S. government had been displeased with the New Jewel Movement (NJM) regime in Grenada for years. The NJM had come to power in March 1979 with the overthrow of the hated despotic regime of Eric Gairy. Gairy had been a man close to Washington's heart. He ruled by murdering his opponents. He was deeply loyal to imperialism. And he was thoroughly corrupt and a big exploiter in his own right.

Contrary to the ravings of Reagan, the NJM was not a "communist government." U.S. imperialism hates not only the communists but even reformist governments if they do not bow low enough to the wishes of Washington. The NJM government was such a reformist regime. It protected the essential interests of foreign imperialism and the local capitalists. But what upset the U.S. government was that the NJM carried out some mild reforms and refused to totally bow down to U.S. dictate. The NJM had put some small restraints on the excesses of capitalist rule that had been the norm under Gairy. And while seeking to remain friendly with U.S. imperialism, the NJM also maneuvered with the U.S.'s rival imperialist bloc through developing close relations with the Soviet imperialists and their Cuban allies.

All this brought down Washington's ire. The U.S. imperialists have long shown that they will not tolerate dissent in this hemisphere, even from reformist governments. For example, the CIA organized the overthrow of Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954 and Allende in Chile in 1973.

Throughout the life of the NJM regime, the U.S. government bullied and threatened it, while making plans to invade. Last October a coup d'etat took place within the NJM government in which the popular reformist leader Maurice Bishop was killed. This event disoriented the Grenadian people and the Reagan administration saw the occasion as a golden opportunity to finally send in its invading flotilla.

Grenada Today: A Haven for the Exploiters, Hunger and Repression for the Toilers

The Reaganites claim they "rescued" Grenada and "restored democracy." The biggest refutation of this comes from looking at life in Grenada today.

Grenada is an occupied country. The real centers of power are the U.S. embassy and military headquarters. Three hundred American MPs remain in the country, along with an equal number of troops from pro-U.S. bourgeois regimes in the Caribbean.

The main effort of the U.S. occupation has been to set up a reactionary state apparatus run by the Grenadian bourgeoisie, which will loyally defend the interests of foreign and domestic capital and crush the spirit and resistance of the working people. Towards that end, a provisional regime of capitalist reactionaries has been set up. Plans are underfoot to organize elections to determine which bourgeois clique will run the government. (See adjoining articles from The West Indian Voice on the occupation elections.)

The police force in Grenada has been reorganized and it is planned to build this up to 650 men, which would make it much larger than the police forces of nearby islands with comparable populations. As well, a Special Security Unit is planned, to be trained by the U.S. Green Berets.

The occupation troops and local police are used to intimidate and persecute the Grenadian people. Occupation troops patrol the streets regularly. On August 21, a 13-year-old youth was shot and killed by a U.S. soldier. Several other young people have been killed by the police over the last year.

From the time of the invasion, the U.S. has given top priority to the destruction of any opposition. Remnants of the NJM have been harassed. Trade unions have been attacked. The CIA-associated AFL-CIO agency, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD), has been brought in to establish unions loyal to imperialism and the bourgeoisie. Anti-strike and other anti-labor laws are in the making. Meanwhile, the U.S. has unleashed its psychological warfare agents to carry out a vicious anti-communist and pro-capitalist propaganda campaign in the country.

Under the terroristic conditions created by the occupation, the Grenadian puppet regime and the local capitalists have unleashed widespread attacks against the livelihood of the working masses. The bosses have found it easier to fire and lay off workers. Many state-run enterprises have been shut down or cut back. As a result unemployment has jumped to 33% according to official figures; in reality it may be closer to 50%. The social services that had been established by the reformist government have also been slashed, such as the free distribution of milk to children, medical services, and educational programs.

Through all its measures, the U.S. occupation has sought to make Grenada into a haven for exploitation. All sorts of privileges are being offered to investors. According to the New York Times, the Reagan administration "is highlighting the availability of a young English-speaking work force at a wage of $4.50 a day -- still high compared to Haiti's $3 daily wage, but a bargain compared with pay scales in Central America, the Far East and other traditional centers of inexpensive labor. And the U.S. is offering potential investors subsidized financing for new factories." (July 29,1984)

This brief survey of life in Grenada today shows the real aims of the U.S. invasion -- the setting up of a loyal pro-U.S. regime with repression of the toilers so that the big capitalist investors can have a slave labor force to exploit for a few dimes an hour. Here is the result of one of the "proudest moments" of American history. It is the same type of "proud moment" as the genocide of the Native people or the slavery of the black people.

Solidarity With the Workers and Poor of Grenada!

After the U.S. invasion, the Reaganites gloated about their "great" victory. They boasted that they had done away with the fighting spirit of the Grenadian toilers and with the aspirations for revolution. The capitalist news media spread stories about how everyone in Grenada just loved the U.S. invasion.

We saw things differently. We recognized that the shock of the invasion and the fiasco of the NJM were bound to wear away. And that the conditions created by the occupation would inevitably lead to a resurgence of the struggle of the toiling masses.

Today this is precisely what is happening. Slowly but surely, the struggles of the working masses are developing against U.S. imperialism and the Grenadian bourgeoisie. Reports are even appearing in the capitalist press pointing out that anti-U.S. slogans are showing up on the walls and streets of Grenada. There are reports of Grenadian youths confronting occupation troops. There are strikes breaking out in St. George's, the capital city. Since ruthless exploitation and persecution is all that imperialism and the bourgeoisie can offer, the struggles of the toilers are bound to grow.

The Workers' Advocate welcomes every sign of resistance and struggle in occupied Grenada. We call on the workers and progressive people of the U.S. to extend solidarity with the Grenadian people. On the first anniversary of Reagan's invasion, let us again demand:

U.S. imperialism, get out of Grenada!

[Photo: Slogans against the U.S. occupation are appearing on the streets and walls of Grenada.]


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Grenada: Occupation Elections

(The following article is reprinted from The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, September 1, 1984.)

Elections approach in occupied Grenada. Reagan is scheduled to visit there in October, just before the elections.

In October, the airport which Reagan lyingly charged was really a secret military base -- which the invasion/ occupation has virtually converted into U.S. imperialism's latest military base -- will be declared officially opened.

When U.S. imperialism invaded Grenada last October it was not for want of democracy or elections. Not a peep was heard from the Oval Office during the reign of the pro-imperialist tyrant, Eric Gairy, in Grenada prior to 1979. And even though the Bishop government which overthrew Gairy had announced its intention of scheduling elections, that never satisfied Reagan. As long as the government was ruling without U.S. imperialism's approval, the U.S. never relented on its plans to invade the country -- elections or no elections!

Reagan's "rescue mission" opened up a field day for the U.S. corporations engaged in land and business speculation. With Grenada pacified by U.S. and Caribbean troops, these corporations are being showered with tax breaks and concessions....

"Free and Fair Elections" -- Reagan Style

Just look at how this imperialist cowboy, Ronald Reagan, goes about preparing "free and fair elections."

These "elections" are to be staged after one year of jailings, interrogations, searches and policing of the population. To create just "the right climate," it took a 700-man occupying army, tens of millions of dollars and a full year's work by U.S. psychological warfare/intelligence experts directing the radio and print media playing sophisticated mind games. It has taken an island-wide clampdown on all opposition including the arrest, dismissal and forced resignations of all known militant activists from the Grenadian trade unions, their replacement by CIA and AIFLD stooges and the wide-scale firings of anyone suspected of opposing the occupation. As well, the police have been given standing orders to seize illegal newspapers and publications.

That is how the ground has been prepared for "free and fair elections." You are free to do the electing as long as Reagan and his cronies do the nominating, as long as they decide who governs, as long as they call the shots!

Down With the Charade! Up With the Banner of Struggle!

But the workers and agricultural laborers, the youth and women cannot look towards the elections for the answer to their demands for relief from unemployment, want and growing plunder. Almost one year of being "rescued" shows what the imperialist aggressors and the heartless local exploiters have in store for the toilers. To advance their demands, the toilers must turn to struggle. They will have to build up a powerful mass movement for relief and to bring an end to the occupation. The elections will change nothing at all. It is a disgusting charade.

When he visits in October, Reagan will bless the occupying troops of the U.S. and the Caribbean. Reagan will beat his chest in self-praise over his latest military adventure and conquest. This trip is part of his U.S. elections campaign. The West Indian Voice calls on anti-imperialist and progressive people and class conscious activists everywhere to denounce the thief as he returns to the scene of his crime, and to organize meetings and protest actions everywhere as a stand in solidarity with the working class and people of Grenada against U.S. imperialism. Let us make this part of our stand in the U.S. elections.

Rather than looking to these elections or to the existing parties, all parties of the propertied classes, for a fight against joblessness, persecution and the overburdening exploitation, the toilers must unfurl the banner of mass struggle.

Reagan and the local exploiters crow like vultures that they have done away with the mass movement of the Grenadian toilers and with revolution. But already, amidst all the difficulties there are signs of stirrings and protests building up among the working masses. This can be seen in the outbreak of strikes in St. George's, the capital. It can be seen in the scattered but repeated instances of Grenadian youth confronting the occupying troops with their fists, with bottles and stones. It can be seen in the protest actions against political persecution at the hands of the Pentagon-inspired interim government of the Grenadian capitalist exploiters.

Still developing, and though scattered and unorganized, the resistance movement among the Grenadian working class and toiling masses is taking flesh and form. It will inevitably give rise to a fresh upsurge. This resistance must be organized. That is the job of class conscious and militant Grenadian revolutionaries. That is the way to answer the election charade by Reagan and the Grenadian exploiters.


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Who's who in the Grenada elections

A striking feature of the Grenada election campaign is the absence of politics for the most part. The contesting bourgeois parties, all with unsavory pasts and origins, are wholly absorbed in maneuvering and striking deals over future posts and the spoils of office. The occupation elections are a charade for disgraced politicians and aspirants propelled into politics with the dropping of Reagan's bombs.

What are the "choices" which the occupation offers the Grenadian people in the forthcoming elections?

The main contenders for office are the old guard of the Grenadian estate and hotel owners, namely the Grenada United Labor Party (GULP) and a hodgepodge alliance of bourgeois sects around the Grenada National Party (GNP). Together or alternately these two parties held office in Grenada between 1951 and 1979, first under British colonial rule and then following independence in 1974. Representative of the biggest exploiters and wealthy Grenadians, both these parties owe their present fortunes to the occupation of the country by U.S. imperialism. One of these two parties is expected to form the government following the elections.

The GULP is the party of the deposed tyrant and corrupt dictator, Eric Gairy, who returned from exile on the wings of the U.S. invasion. Gairy's credentials for the job (made possible by the occupation) include fathering and unleashing "mongoose gang" terror and brutality against the Grenadian people during the 1970's. Gairyism meant the denial of even the most elementary rights of the workers, crushing strikes, virtually banning trade unions and replying to any mass protest with bullets, beatings and jails. Nowadays, Gairy has rechristened himself as "much more intellectually advanced than I used to be." Sure. Just as a leopard can change his spots.

On the other hand the GNP is campaigning as "the best political party" -- "the right kind of leadership" -- "for good, stable and honest government" -- untarnished "by totalitarianism."

The GNP has historically been the preferred party of the Grenadian exploiters. When Gairy ended up in a feud with the colonial plantocracy, Blaize (the leader of the GNP), under pressure from the plantocracy, went on to head the GNP which was formed as the more respectable, conservative wing of the nationalist movement of the 1950's. The GNP held office twice, in the 1950's and again in the 1960's. During its spells in office the GNP ensured soaring profits for the estate owners by a two-thirds reduction in their taxes, while for the masses the GNP passed Grenada's first essential services act prohibiting strikes in any "industry that might be deemed essential by the minister." The GNP gained the reputation of being the most dependable representative of the estate and hotel owners and businessmen.

As a corrupt dictator, Gairy helped himself to the spoils of office as often as possible even to the point of feuding with his capitalist competitors. But no, not the GNP! They satisfied all the profit hungry estate and hotel owning capitalist lords first.

There are also several other small parties, bourgeois cliques, formed in the aftermath of the invasion which will be contesting seats in the elections.

In addition to the various bourgeois parties contesting the elections, there is the Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement (MBPM). This was founded earlier this year from the Bishop-wing of the New Jewel Movement. The NJM itself disintegrated with the coup and the U.S. invasion.

The MBPM is the only party in Grenada which appears to stand in opposition to the present state of affairs. And it has been subject to various forms of harassment by the Grenadian authorities. But this does not mean that the MBPM is a party of the toilers which stands for revolutionary struggle. No, the MBPM is a petty-bourgeois reformist party in the spirit of the old New Jewel Movement.

Thus, while MBPM holds out a distant promise not to allow foreign troops to remain on the island if they are elected, it does not stand for an active struggle against U.S. imperialism or the military occupation. Moreover, while the MBPM criticizes the elimination of various of the social services instituted by the NJM government, the party does not work to organize the class struggle against the capitalist offensive. The MBPM has shown little interest in organizing the masses to fight unemployment. Indeed, the biggest campaign of the MBPM so far has been one to get the new airport named after Maurice Bishop. Hardly the burning issue for the Grenadian toilers.

(The above article is based on an article in The West Indian Voice special issue of September 1, 1984.)


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Portuguese workers fight police state laws of the 'socialist' government

The essence of social-democracy in power was starkly exposed recently in Portugal. In June the "socialist" government of Mario Soares introduced in Parliament a fascist "security law" aimed at all-round repression of the masses. With the help of the pro-Moscow revisionists of the "Communist" Party of Portugal, who refused to fight it, the Socialist Party, in coalition with the Social-Democratic Party, succeeded in passing it. (The government is led by the Socialist Party, which is affiliated to the social-democratic Socialist International; it rules in coalition with the Social-Democratic Party which, despite its name, is a bourgeois center-right party.)

In opposition to this fascist legislation a broad protest movement arose in which the Communist Party (Reconstructed) of Portugal played an active and militant role. Through June, July and August the CP(R)'s central organ, Bandeira Vermelha (BV) carried numerous articles on the struggle. The following account is based on excerpts from those articles.

Restoring the Police Laws of the Old Dictatorship

On June 20, the day when the Portuguese Parliament began debate on the Security Law, the police launched a large-scale attack on a number of left forces under the pretext of fighting the terrorist urban guerrillas" of an organization called the Popular Forces of April 25th. The police raided and sacked political offices and arrested over 80 people. This included retired Lt. Colonel Otelo Carvalho, a popular figure in the Armed Forces Movement which took part in the April 1974 revolution which overthrew the fascist Caetano dictatorship, and members of Carvalho's political party.

Denouncing the repression by the "socialist" government, BV wrote: "This action recalls, in fact, the methods used by the PIDE in the period of fascism [the PIDE were the hated political police during the decades of the Salazar and Caetano dictatorships prior to April 1974. Moreover, the Entire security law and the new police policy being prepared, which the government is putting up for discussion in Parliament, are in their essence based on the same principles and activities that guided the PIDE.

"The methods that the PIDE used to extort information about opponents of the fascist regime are, in part, identical to those that are now being prepared to be approved, but with only a slight difference -- now these methods, they say, are for 'defense of the democratic regime.' "The package of measures being prepared -- some of which, as we have seen, were already put into practice -- are, without any doubt, real measures of repression and attack on freedoms. This is the case with household searches without a warrant, preventive detention of suspects, telephone taps and violation of mail, suspension of meetings, demonstrations or public gatherings, surveillance of people and buildings for an indeterminate length of time, etc., etc....

"It is also public knowledge that the PIDE had working for it thousands of stooges in the work places and in the government bureaus, in order to better keep watch on possible opponents of fascism....

"When the police say that for, three years they have been compiling various facts and data relating to the so-called case of the April 25 Popular Forces, one can conclude that a data-collecting center on the citizens is openly under way.

"This data center, contemplated in the Information Service Law, and which is inherent in the Security Law, is a form whereby information is compiled on citizens, thus depriving them of their privacy and accumulating a compact dossier. It is going to allow the development of a 'prison file' by the continuous accumulation of information on people over a long period of time, which will serve for repression and attack on the freedoms and rights of the workers."

Repression to Enforce IMF Austerity

On the question of why these fascist laws are being imposed at this time, BV points out: "The government and the newspapers friendly to it have tried to create the idea that terrorism is a great threat in Portugal, endangering the security of the state and of the citizens themselves." To highlight this point and attempt to create public opinion in favor of the Security Law, the state timed its raid against "terrorists" to coincide with the parliamentary debate on the legislation.

But in reality, the Security Law is a measure to put down resistance to new austerity measures being imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In July the IMF reached an agreement with the Portuguese government mandating more austerity measures against the masses, measures which are worsening an already dire situation for the working people. BV analyzes that the law "has, as its final objective, repression against the workers' and popular movement, its most militant organizations and sectors, in the face of the inevitable increase of struggle against the hunger and unemployment imposed by the government at the order of the IMF." "The SP/SDP government and the big bourgeoisie are betting on having the law passed. The new price increases, the new laws on firings, strikes and strike pickets, on rent increases, the growth of hunger and unemployment, are going to make a wave of worker protest and revolt explode with greater force. Therefore, the government and capitalists need to create at this moment legal mechanisms of repression to frighten the working class and impede the proletariat from getting organized and making its revolt more effective." Denouncing "socialist" Prime Minister Mario Soares and his party for their services to the big bourgeoisie, a speaker from the CP(R) declared: "Soares and the SP thus show once again that social-democracy knows very well how to carry out the dirty work of capitalism in a period of crisis, that it knows how to make its bed with fascism and the extreme right."

Mass Actions Against the Security Law

To fight the fascist laws, the CP(R) has been mobilizing the workers and broad masses for various types of actions against the legislation, and particularly stresses the importance of mass actions in the streets.

The coalition Movement Against the Security Law, in which the PC(R) participated, held a mass demonstration July 12. BV reported that:

"This past Thursday, July 12, when the draft Security Law of the SP/SDP government was being discussed in the Parliament, nearly 2,000 people assembled in S. Bento, protesting and denouncing in the street this law which represents a frontal attack on the rights and liberties of the citizens.

"This rally, called by the Movement Against the Security Law, assembled in less than two weeks the support of thousands of workers and toilers, artisans, anti-fascists and democrats of diverse sectors.

"In the resolutions, petitions and manifestos that circulated in the factories and workshops, contributing decisively to the calling of this rally, were denunciations of the danger to liberties and rights of the workers that will occur with the approval of this law.

"The fact was also emphasized that the government has to make haste to see that the Security Law -- the new PIDE -- is approved so as to thus contain the repudiation and revolt by the workers' and people that is growing day by day."

Revisionists Sabotage the Struggle

In this situation of escalating attack on the masses by the capitalists and their social-democratic flunky government, the pro-Soviet revisionist "Communist" Party of Portugal once again showed that it stands on the side of the bourgeoisie. It shook its head at the law, but sat on its hands, opposed the mass struggle against the law, and regarded the real danger as the "leftism" and "terrorism" of the masses, not the reaction of the bourgeoisie.

On July 1, just ten days after the June 20 police raid, Alvaro Cunhal, leader of the revisionist party, declared before a regional party meeting: "It is necessary to eradicate terrorism. For our part, we will continue to defend the necessity for effective measures to eradicate terrorism in order to put an end to the assaults on the banks and to their criminal outrages. We will also continue acting to achieve the complete political and ideological overthrow of leftism." BV points out that "A speech like this, when a fascist law is being imposed in Parliament, can have only one significance: the CPP has more fear of leftism (as they call it) than-of such an abominable law."

As for the July 12 mass rally, the CPP and its affiliated trade union central, the CGTP, refused to participate.

"The pretext used by the CPP to disassociate itself from the protest action was that, there being an attempt at provocation against the CPP, any action of theirs against the Security Law could be used by the government to prove the involvement of the CPP in the case of the April 25 Popular Forces....

"This attitude of not making waves and of retreating when the struggle sharpens or a confrontation exists with repression, so as not to give pretexts to the government, is typical of the CPP. It is an attitude which is guided by the logic of cowardice and which hands over the working class to passivity and expectation.

"The bourgeoisie never needs any pretexts to repress the workers or make repressive laws against their rights. These are facts determined by their ruling class logic. [The ruling class] uses repression whenever their power is put in jeopardy or whenever the workers rise against the exploitation of which they are victims. When the proletariat accepts the blackmail of not reacting so as not to give pretexts, then it will be condemned to be a dominated and exploited class.

"The position of the CPP is consistent. The revisionist petty bourgeoisie is not interested in the proletariat becoming conscious of the class character of the state apparatus and of the necessity to destroy it. Therefore they are only interested in forms of struggle and the taking of stands by the workers' movement that help them infiltrate into the state apparatus or to gain positions so as to supplant the bourgeoisie as the ruling class, using the bourgeois state apparatus in their favor.

"But there are other motives that drive the CPP to try to demobilize the struggle against the Security Law.

"At this time the CPP is not interested in taking initiatives that might cause harm to their so dreamed of alliance with the Eanistas [the liberal forces around President Eanes]." BV points out that it is because the revisionists are so tied to the liberal bourgeoisie that they did everything to impede the development of the movement and keep the July 12 rally from taking place.

"They search for every means to put a 'spoke in the wheels' and hold back the movement in expectation of the negotiating capacity of the liberals with the government.

"Hitched like this to the liberals' wagon, the CPP does not want to do anything that might put an end to their love affair: one may talk against the law, petition Parliament and Eanes, have discussions with the liberals on the juridical-consitutional aspects of the law, to create expectation and hope in Eanes. But watch out! No struggle in the streets and nothing that might make the workers' revolt explode! This is the policy of the revisionist petty bourgeoisie for the workers' movement.

"The action of the anti-fascists has exposed the complicity of the CPP with the passage of the law and their impotence in fighting against the government."

(Quotes from Bandeira Vermelha are from the issues of June 28, July 19 and July 26, 1984. Translation by The Workers' Advocate staff.)

[Photo: On July 12, outside the Portuguese parliament, nearly 2000 people protested against the repressive security law introduced by the social-democratic government.]


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The ugly face of social-democracy in Australia

The August 1984 issue of Workers' Voice, a publication from Melbourne, Australia, describes the crisis in the left in Australia.

The Workers' Voice began by describing how the revisionist "left" parties in Australia are deteriorating because of their reformist policies. Last April, the Communist Party of Australia (CPA), a Eurocommunist type party, was ravaged by resignations. These elements were not satisfied with the level of class collaboration displayed by the CPA and wanted its dissolution. The Socialist Party of Australia (SPA), the main pro-Soviet party, recently expelled a number of its leading cadres in the trade unions. These people were so rightist that they would not even agree to the facade of opposition the SPA seeks to maintain against the Prices and Incomes Accord (a wage-control plan) of the present Labor Party government. The Maoist Communist Party of Australia (ML) has for years been mauled by splits and resignations.

Meanwhile, reports in the U.S. Trotskyite press indicate that the Socialist Workers Party of Australia, the main Trotskyite group, has officially given up its Trotskyite label and is involved in unity maneuvers with the pro-Soviet SPA.

The Workers' Voice points out that the source of the crisis in the revisionist parties is their longstanding reformism and negation of the revolutionary ideology of Marxism-Leninism. And in the face of their crises, the revisionists have stepped up their efforts to seek refuge in the arms of the major reformist force in Australia, the official standard bearer of social- democracy, the Australian Labor Party. Some, like the CPA and CPA (ML), openly support the Labor Party and its policies, while others keep a small distance.

Today the ALP is the ruling party in the country. It came to power with all sorts of demagogy but it has once again shown its colors as a party running a typical capitalist government. But the revisionists continue to promote illusions in the ALP, especially by working to bolster the ALP's impotent "left" wing, the Socialist Left faction. The Workers' Voice exposes the real character of the ALP and punctures the illusion peddling of the "left" social-democrats and their revisionist buddies.

The situation in the Australian revisionist circles reminds us of the reformism of and crisis in the revisionist and Trotskyite circles in the U.S. Just as the Australian revisionists hover around the Labor Party, the U.S. opportunists trail behind the Democratic Party and the trade union bureaucracy associated with the Democrats.

Below we reprint excerpts from the article "Revisionist Parties and Labor Party Have Common Ideological and Political Positions That Are Used to Serve the Interests of the Bourgeoisie" in the August 1984 Workers' Voice.

-----

The Marxist-Leninist ideology shows how the struggle between classes is the driving force for social development. Marx pointed out that in creating modern industry capitalism has created its own gravedigger, the working class. Under conditions of capitalist exploitation, where the minority class of capitalists exploit the collective labor power of the working class for private profit, the conditions arise from this fundamental contradiction for the workers to unite and rebel as a class to overthrow capitalism and replace it with the much more advanced social order of socialism, the first phase of communist society. Lenin further developed the principles of Marxism in the conditions of monopoly capitalism, imperialism. It was Lenin, who proved both in theory and practice, the necessity for the working class to have its own revolutionary Communist Party. Being the organized vanguard detachment of the workers the Communist Party is the instrument through which they establish and maintain their political power after the overthrow of capitalism.

Because the Marxist-Leninist ideology makes the working class conscious of its social position in capitalist society and shows the working class how to realize its historic task of emancipating itself from capitalist exploitation the ruling class has launched intense attacks against it. One of its chief instruments to attack the communist ideology from within the labor movement is revisionism.

By distorting and attacking the Marxist-Leninist ideology the revisionists and their offshoot splinter groups do a great service to the bourgeoisie. The revisionists blunt the class consciousness of the workers, split their ranks, feed them reformist illusions about peaceful transition to socialism, and thwart their independent class actions and initiatives. These renegades of Marxism work in such a way so as to prolong the life of capitalism.

It is with this aim in mind that the various "left" groups preach unity and reconciliation with right-wing social-democracy, represented in this country by the Australian Labor Party (ALP).

Nothing Socialist About ALP

The Labor Party is a capitalist party with a program strictly contained within the 'limits of capitalism. It is totally committed to capitalist methods of struggle, i.e., parliamentary democracy. In times of crises and heightened class struggle by the workers the Labor Party has used the army and police to smash the workers' organized resistance. This party is neither based in the working class (most of its membership is derived from the petty bourgeoisie, the trade union bureaucracy, and the labor aristocracy) nor has it any scientific socialist aims.

The "socialism" espoused by the ALP is bourgeois reformism that is oriented towards extending the power of the state capitalist apparatus to serve the monopolies. It poses no threat to the existence of the capitalist system in Australia. The Labor Party leaders are openly united with the monopoly capitalist class (as so vividly witnessed at the Economic Summit on the Accord) and serve that class both when in opposition or in government.

Hawke Government Administers State to Serve Monopolies

The Hawke Labor Government exhibits all the reactionary and imperialist features of social-democracy in parliamentary power. It administers the monopoly capitalist system to suit the maximum profit requirements of the big local companies and multinationals. Through its Prices and Incomes Accord it has locked in the obedient support of the labor traitors from the Australian Congress of Trade Unions (ACTU) and individual trade union bureaucracies to police the working class so as to ensure that the profits of the capitalists rise at the expense of wages and jobs. In the period from April 1983 to March 1984 company profits have risen by 51% while real wages have fallen. (The Age, June 6,1984)

Hawke's rabid national chauvinism -- the boss class press enthusiastically trumpets his calls for national unity, class harmony, patriotism, and national reconciliation -- seeks to dupe the working class into making "sacrifices" (read: job cuts, lower wages, acceptance of job destroying new technology, etc.) to make Australian monopolies more competitive in the cutthroat international trade wars between capitalist countries.

In international relations and "defense" the Labor Party in government has been a strong supporter of U.S. imperialism. Hawke's foreign minister Hayden promotes him as a "trusted friend" of the arch-warmongering imperialist Reagan.

Continuing on from its predecessor the Hawke government welcomes U.S. warships at Australian ports and defends the presence of U.S. nuclear war bases on Australian soil. It also carries out strategies that serve the expansionist plans of the Australian monopolies in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia.

Revisionist Accommodation With ALP

The revisionist's have already achieved a great deal of unity and reconciliation with this reactionary party that displays all its capitalist colors when in government.

The revisionists attempt to disguise their treachery and class collaboration by claiming that the "progressive" forces inside the ALP have moved further to the left. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that the revisionists have moved further to the right and in the process accepted many of the reformist positions of the ALP.

While some of the "left" parties openly support certain actions of the Labor Government (such as the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) endorsing the Accord and allowing one of its leading cadres, Carmichael, to be involved in its formulation and implementation) others, like the Socialist Workers' Party (SWP), are more contented in working closer with the ALP's Socialist Left faction.

This faction, in tandem with the revisionists and other opportunists who support them, continually sow illusions about the possibility of bringing about change to serve people's needs from within the confines of capitalism. The Labor Party, with its coterie of apologists for capitalist exploitation ranging from the open lackeys of monopoly capitalism such as Hawke, to the more deceptive phony socialists, is championed as the means to bringing about progressive change.

The Socialist Left in particular is most adept at misleading and conning the working class and progressive people into following the ALP. It does this, in the main, by continually putting forward the "progressive" policies of this party as the solutions to every manifestation of capitalist exploitation, war preparations, and imperialist aggression.

Apart from sowing parliamentary illusions which conveniently ignore the capitalist character and institutionalized violence of the state apparatus the Socialist Left acts as a defensive screen for the ALP so as to cover up its bourgeois nature and class treachery. It protects the vulnerable flanks of the ALP by taking up issues that have a mass following and adopts "progressive" policies which attract support front within the mass movements.

Whenever the Labor Government betrays its own policies (that are not even worth the paper they are written on) the louder the Socialist Left and its revisionist allies howl in impotent anguish and vow to reform the ALP and control its parliamentary leaders "to ensure implementation of policies."

Leaving aside the antics of these opportunists for a moment, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bill Hayden, has admitted that the ALP's "progressive" policies are nothing but the luxuries of opposition days adopted in order to get elected. Now, in the face of "reality of government" it is necessary to systematically dump the "progressive" policies.

Thus, while the "realities of government" necessitate the ALP to

* support politically, aid and appease the Indonesian generals who are carrying out genocidal wars in East Timor and West Irian

 

* give economic and military aid to the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines

* pay homage to U.S. warships and planes

 

* support the dismantling of the local manufacturing industry by factory closures and mass sackings because it suits the restructuring and profit requirements of the monopolies

the Socialist Left responds to every policy betrayal and imperialist action by its government with well rehearsed demagogy. The purpose of this demagogy is to deflect the growing people's anger and indignation at the continuous betrayals to impotent actions that revolve around ALP conferences, the lobbying of capitalist politicians, and groveling to soldout trade union bureaucrats for support. These actions confuse and mislead many workers and progressive people about the reel reactionary capitalist character of the Labor Party. By artificially and falsely separating the ALP as a political organization with a set of "progressive" policies from its deeds in government the Socialist Left seeks to perpetuate the illusion that the ALP is progressive regardless of what its parliamentary members do in government.


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Kurdish people of Iran in struggle against the Khomeini tyranny

Over the last year Iranian Kurdistan has been the scene of fierce clashes between the Kurdish masses and the oppressive forces of the Khomeini-IRP regime. In these battles, the Kurdish masses have stood their ground and inflicted serious blows against the tyranny of the regime. The struggle of the toilers of Kurdistan places them in the front ranks of the revolutionary movement of the Iranian workers and peasants to overthrow the Iranian regime.

The struggle of the Kurdish masses in Iran has a long and courageous history. For decades, the Kurdish people have suffered under terrible national oppression at the hands of the various central governments of the exploiting classes in Iran. During 1978-79, the Kurdish masses fought heroically in the mass upsurge and insurrection that brought down the hated U.S.-backed dictatorship of the Shah. They fought with the hope that with the overthrow of the Shah they would be able to liberate themselves from oppression. And in the course of the struggle against the Shah the Kurdish masses built up their revolutionary forces and gained important positions of strength.

But what replaced the Shah in Iran was not a revolutionary government of the toilers but a regime of the exploiters which sought to stop the revolution halfway. While the Iranian masses fought to continue the revolution, the Khomeini regime sought to strip away all the gains of the revolution and stabilize a social order to preserve the interests of the exploiters. One step at a time, the Khomeini regime began to do away with the positions gained by the toilers of Iran.

It was in June 1981 that the Khomeini regime launched an all-out counterrevolutionary offensive against the revolutionary forces across Iran. But the offensive against the masses of Kurdistan had begun much earlier. Indeed, just 40 days after the February Revolution the new government launched its first military attack against the Kurdish toilers, who had not shown trust in the new regime and were instead imposing their own armed revolutionary authority throughout Kurdistan. Six months later, in August 1979, the masses in Kurdistan went through another trial of strength when the Khomeini government launched a massive armed offensive in Kurdistan.

For the last five years Kurdistan has been the focus of a liberation war between the Kurdish masses and the dictatorship of the mullahs. The Khomeini regime has used every sort of terror to crush the Kurdish resistance. But massacres, deportations, economic blockade and arrests have failed to subdue the fighting determination of the Kurdish people. This valiant struggle is a powerful impetus for the resistance of all the toilers of Iran against the dictatorship.

Below we carry a few reports on the struggle in Kurdistan over the last six months. These reports have been taken from Bolshevik Message, the paper of the Organization of the Supporters of the Communist Party of Iran Abroad. Our Party regards the CPI as one of the important revolutionary organizations in Iran. The CPI was formed a year ago; its largest predecessor organization, the Kurdish revolutionary organization Komala (which is today the Kurdish organization of the CPI), has for years been a major revolutionary force in the struggle in Kurdistan. The CPI is a revolutionary organization which stands for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, which works for the separation of the revolutionary movement in Iran from the treacherous influence of the liberal bourgeoisie, and which emphasizes the importance of the independent organization of the proletariat and toilers.


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DEMONSTRATORS IN BANEH PROTEST AGAINST THE REACTIONARY IRAN-IRAQ WAR

On June 5, the Iraqi warplanes extensively bombed the border city of Baneh, killing over 650 people and wounding hundreds more. Almost half of the city was razed to the ground, and the city is now in ruins.

Two days after this devastating bombardment, the angry and militant people of Baneh converged onto the streets in various groups, to protest against this reactionary war and the Islamic Republic regime.

The angry demonstration of the people soon turned into a general revolt. People started singling out the regime's mercenaries and attacking them. Mullah Abdullah Sory, the reactionary representative of the city in the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) was badly beaten by the protestors; he received serious injuries and was transferred to the hospital. A number of other Mullahs and mercenaries of the regime were severely injured, and pictures of Khomeini and other heads of government were set on fire. Horrified at these events, the Mullahs and the clergy hid their turbans and fled the city. The militant people of Baneh disarmed and killed a military-policeman and a number of the "Baseejis" (regime's mercenaries) and, armed with clubs and sticks, chased the regime's agents through the streets and alley-ways, stopping their cars and smashing them. The regime's men took refuge in the garrisons and bases outside the city, in fear of people's further attacks.

The next day, in order to regain the control of the city, the regime dispatched a large number of its forces from Sardasht to Baneh. They surrounded the city and fired into the crowds, killing 12 people. Around 25 of the protesters were also arrested. The people of other cities in Kurdistan have expressed their sympathy with the people of Baneh.


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Islamic dictatorships in Iran and Pakistan work together

No to the Persecution of Iranian Refugees!

 

(The following article is reprinted from The Buffalo Anti-Imperialist Newsletter, newspaper of the Union of Anti-Imperialist Students, September 14, 1984.)

As a result of barbaric repression waged by the regime of Islamic Republic on the Iranian masses, many thousands of Iranian people have been forced to leave their homeland and become refugees in Pakistan, Turkey, the U.S., and many European countries. The treatment that Iranian refugees have received in these countries is inhuman, contemptuous and hostile. The Iranian immigrants and especially the Iranian refugees are living under constant threat of harassment, persecution and deportation.

And recently the U.S.-backed regime of Pakistan has made an agreement with the government of Khomeini to extradite the Iranian refugees living in Pakistan. The extradition of Iranian refugees will result in their torture, imprisonment and execution. Following the agreement between the two regimes several Iranian political refugees were arrested by Pakistani authorities. In opposition to this outrageous agreement, some Iranian political refugees demonstrated at the United Nations headquarters in Karachi, demonstrating for the safety of Iranian refugees; better living conditions; and a change in UN policy with regard to Iranian refugees. The UN authorities in Karachi not only did not investigate the refugees' demands, but also asked the Pakistani police to intervene and evict the demonstrators. Furthermore the UN officials decided to close down the UN refugee office in Pakistan. This decision clearly facilitates the extradition of political opponents of the murderous regime of Islamic Republic of Iran. UAIS strongly condemns the agreement between the two reactionary regimes of Pakistan and Iran to extradite the Iranian refugees. We oppose the closing down of the UN refugee office in Pakistan. UAIS urges all progressive people to defend the full equality and rights of Iranian immigrants.

The regime of Khomeini has imposed intolerable conditions on the Iranian masses. More than 40,000 have been executed, many of whom were revolutionaries who fought heroically against the hated regime of the Shah. More than 120,000 have been imprisoned. The Iran-Iraq war has resulted in two million refugees within the borders of Iran. Moreover, the Iranian economy is in shambles. The rate of inflation is about 30% a year. There are millions of unemployed people. There are shortages of almost all basic food necessities. Many daily needs of the people are rationed. These are only a partial result of the barbaric and arbitrary rule of the regime of Islamic Republic of Iran.

In the U.S. too, the Iranian immigrants and Iranian refugees are under constant fear of persecution and deportation. Starting from the Carter administration, U.S. imperialism has raised a big chauvinist hysteria over the Iranians residing in the U.S. The Iranian refugees and those revolutionary Iranians who live in exile have close ties and deep interest in the revolutionary movement in their homeland. The Iranian communities in the U.S. have always been centers of organizing by political activists in support of the movements in their homeland. This activity has its influence on the revolutionary movement in the U.S. and has been a sharp thorn in the side of U.S. imperialism. The Reagan administration comes down hard on these immigrants who take part in the revolutionary activities. Many Iranians have been harassed and deported for their support for the revolutionary movements in the U.S. or in their homeland.

While the criminal families of the Shah and many other U.S.-backed fascists have been welcomed by the Reagan administration, the doors are closed to the revolutionaries who escaped torture and execution by the regime in Iran. These revolutionaries were against the U.S. puppet Shah and have strong anti-imperialist sentiment. By closing the doors on Iranian refugees the Reagan administration hopes to break down the fighting spirit of the Iranians and try to facilitate the extradition of Iranian revolutionaries for persecution and murder at home.

But the Iranian revolutionaries have been tempered during many years of the fight against the fascist Shah and the criminal regime of Khomeini. They have experienced many hard years. By their active presence in the revolutionary movement, they have shown their capability to organize and persistently resist the attacks of the imperialists and other reactionaries and overcome the difficulties. The UAIS supports the Iranian immigrants and refugees in the struggle.


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THE KURDISH PEOPLE FOIL THE REGIME'S CONSCRIPTION ATTEMPTS

During April the regime attacked villages in the borough of Afshar, in the suburbs of Sanandaj, and in the borough of Lajan, to take new conscripts to the war fronts. But on each occasion they were faced with resistance by the people. In Afshar, clashes broke out between the women in the village and the army. The regime's agents attacked the villagers with rifle butts but people did not submit and continued shouting "even if all of us are killed, we will not go to the army." In Sanandaj 70 people who were forcibly conscripted, laid down their arms and resigned in protest against the policies of the Islamic Republic.

Also, 174 people in the Bookan and Divandareh areas have laid down their arms which the regime had given them during their compulsory enlisting to the army.

In Lajan, the villagers resisted to serve the regime though they had been intimidated by armed guards. In retaliation, the army chief later ordered the bombardment of the village. In some villages in Sanandaj and south of Kurdistan, all inhabitants have laid down the arms given to them by the regime.

[Photo: Armed Kurdish fighters resist the Khomeini regime.]


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BOYCOTT OF IRAN'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN KURDISTAN

The first round of the elections for the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) began on April 15 in Iran. In spite of all the propaganda carried out by the regime including Khomeini's message to the people of Kurdistan on this occasion, there was a widespread boycott of the elections throughout Kurdistan. During the elections, the regime had resorted to every kind of intimidation to force the people to vote. For instance, it had announced that food ration coupons would be stopped for those eligible electors who refuse to vote -- including children under the age of 16. The regime had even surrounded some villages by armed guards to intimidate the villagers to vote.

The results were a severe blow to the vain attempts of the regime. In some ballot boxes there were less than five votes and in some villages the voting did not last even 10 minutes, since the officers in charge of the elections, fearing attacks by Peshmargas, left the villages with haste.

The boycott of the elections by the people of Kurdistan was quite expected, and is yet another example of the extensive scale of the resistance and struggle of the oppressed and deprived masses of Kurdistan.


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ARMED OPERATIONS BY KOMALA'S FIGHTERS

During May and June, the revolutionary Peshmargas of the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran carried out 82 offensive actions against the suppressive forces of the Islamic Republic. In 29 of these operations, they destroyed, or inflicted extensive damages on the regime's garrisons and bases.

Also, the Peshmargas carried out many armed operations against the Islamic regime, on the occasion of May Day, in various parts of Kurdistan such as Divandareh, the Marivan- Saghez road, the village of Ghal-e- Sheykhan, near Sanandaj, and in Baneh and Piranshahr.

During May, the Peshmargas of Komala killed or wounded 1,000 and arrested 18 of the regime's forces and confiscated many ammunitions. During this month, the Communist Party of Iran lost 18 of its comrades in confrontations with the regime.

During the first two weeks of June, Komala Peshmargas carried out 11 military operations against the forces of the regime during which they killed 83 of the government forces.


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Entire villages to be eliminated

Condemn the mass expulsion of Kurds from their villages

Recently we received two communiques from the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran (KOMALA)-Representation Abroad about a new barbaric plan of the Islamic Republic regime against the Kurdish people of Iran.

These communiques point out that the Iranian regime has ordered the 20,000 inhabitants of 100 villages of Sardasht near the Iran-Iraq border to leave their homes. In its order the regime has not even provided the villagers with a place to go or a source for their livelihood.

This is a cruel attack. The inhabitants of this region are some of the poorest people of Kurdistan. The cold season is about to start in the mountains of Kurdistan. The toilers of these villages were about to retire from their hard work of the summer, with the small amount of provisions they have saved for the cold season. But the Islamic Republic has now ordered them to get out -- men, women and children -- and plans to set fire to these villages and create so-called military no-go areas.

This is part of a new phase in the savage oppression by the Khomeini regime against the Kurdish people. Over the last year, the Iranian regime has extended its reactionary war with Iraq into the Kurdish areas and this has meant an escalation of the suffering of the Kurdish people. For five years the Khomeini regime has carried out repeated military assaults on the Kurdish people and over the last period it has gone over to attempts at mass expulsions; the latest deportation order is one of the largest such efforts.

The Khomeini regime inherited the Shah's policies of systematic oppression of the Kurds and has carried them even further. But despite all the crimes committed against them, the Kurdish people have been waging a determined struggle for self-determination. They have given over 75,000 lives in the Kurdish struggle. Many more have been wounded and hundreds of villages have been destroyed.

Already in the face of the diabolical new scheme of mass deportation, the inhabitants of the Sardasht villages have begun widespread resistance. And in this struggle they are receiving assistance from people across Kurdistan.

The communiques from KOMALA Representation Abroad declare that they will not allow the Islamic Republic regime to achieve its counterrevolutionary aims with ease and will carry on their struggle for the expulsion of the occupation forces.

Last week Iranian protestors in cities across Europe held demonstrations against Khomeini's latest attacks against Kurdish peasants. In the action at The Hague, Netherlands, the Iranian ambassador was injured and 19 protestors were arrested.

The Workers' Advocate adds its voice to the protest against the mass deportation plan of the Khomeini regime against the Kurdish people. We stand in militant solidarity with the fighting Kurdish masses and all the toilers of Iran against the tyrannical rule of the Islamic Republic regime.

[Map.]


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Revisionists: Salesmen for Mondale and the Democrats

How to fight Reaganite reaction? That's the question that comes up time and again in this year of the presidential elections.

The workers and the oppressed are contemptuous towards the Reagan administration. Four years of Reaganism, four years of unemployment and takebacks, of virulent racism and flag waving war efforts, has provided the working masses with more than enough reason to wish to throw Reagan out of office. The capitalist offensive headed up by the Reagan government is a serious and dangerous threat to the working masses. Only by tapping the mass hatred for Reagan and organizing it into a concentrated and systematic class struggle can this danger be met.

The masses are disgusted with Reagan. But for all of their just contempt for him, there is little sentiment to support Mondale. This is not simply because Mondale whines instead of speaking. Nor is it solely because Mondale has gone out of his way to pick up the reactionary catchwords of Reagan and to campaign on them. It is also the case that the masses have seen the Democratic stalwarts stumbling along behind Reagan for the last four years and they have not yet forgotten the suffering under Carter. There is a definite feeling, even if not yet a fully thought out idea, that as intolerable as Reagan is, the Democrats don't really offer an alternative.

For revolutionaries, this disaffection with the Democrats is encouraging. It means that there are possibilities for drawing the masses into alternative politics, the politics of class struggle. The hatred for Reagan should be used to push forward the mass struggles. The disillusionment with the Democrats should be used to strengthen the mass movements through conscious opposition to the bipartisan class offensive of the capitalists. The election campaign itself should be made the field for a widespread call to build up the independent movement of the working class. These are the tasks that stand out this year.

But what revolutionaries see as an opportunity, the revisionists consider a lost cause. The pro-Soviet, Maoist, and other revisionist trends all proclaim themselves to be Marxist-Leninists, the vanguard fighters of the working class. But instead of leading the masses, they have consistently fallen into line behind the trade union bureaucrats, the black misleaders, and the entire reformist milieu that circles around the Democratic Party. This year, instead of encouraging the working masses toward an independent class stand, a series of revisionist groups have sunk to calling out the vote for Mondale.

This trend of giving up the independent politics of the working class in favor of merging with the reformist wing of the Democrats is called liquidationism. The cause of the working class requires not only a fight against Reagan and the Democrats, but also an exposure of the liquidators, who are trying to dress up the Democratic Party as an alternative to Reaganism.

The Class Basis of Reaganism

The official pro-Soviet revisionists, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), has been campaigning for Mondale for some time. More recently the pro-Soviet Line of March organization (LOM), the ultra-opportunist newspaper called the Guardian, and two Maoist groups, the League of Revolutionary Struggle (LRS) and the Communist Workers' Party (CWP), have endorsed Mondale's candidacy for president.

These latter groups previously supported the Jesse Jackson campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. Their present support for Mondale shows once again that the Jackson campaign was not a step towards political independence but a way to sugarcoat support for the Democratic Party. Indeed the CWP has followed this position so logically that it has taken steps towards liquidating its own organization. The July 4-17, 1984 issue of the Workers Viewpoint, the CWP newspaper, not only endorses Mondale but also announces that "we are suspending publication indefinitely."

Of course all of these groups are somewhat embarrassed about their support for Mondale. They have euphemistically labeled their voter campaigns a "Dump Reagan" or "defeat Reagan" movement. The CPUSA is actually running its own candidates to look "leftist" even while it calls on all and sundry to vote Democrat. Other of the groups have tried to distance themselves from some of the more reactionary stands that Mondale has been taking. Nevertheless, every one of the groups argue that despite the limitations of Mondale his election will "defeat Reaganism" or will, at least, "blunt" this reactionary drive.

This analysis is patently wrong and, despite the tons of paper these groups have wasted writing about the elections, not a one of the revisionists can provide a shred of evidence to back up their claims for Mondale.

The truth is that the policies of the Reagan administration, or what we call in shorthand "Reaganism," enjoys the overwhelming support of the capitalist class. Caught in the grips of economic crisis, and having been able to bring about a temporary ebb in the progressive mass movements, the big capitalists have opted for a policy of attack on the working masses -- a policy of takebacks, job elimination, racism, imperialist conquest and plunder, and all-round war preparations.

These policies are not simply the whims of Reagan or of his Republican Party. They are equally supported by the other party of the big capitalists, the Democrats. This accounts for the fact that these policies were begun during the administration of the Democratic president, Jimmy Carter. It also explains why the Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, have failed to put up even a token, partisan opposition to Reagan, but instead have virtually rubber stamped his every request. The bipartisan support for Reaganism also explains why Mondale has bypassed the normal election routine of simply making lying promises about all the good things he will supposedly do for the masses and has, instead, based his campaign on the reactionary themes raised by Reagan. The Democrats still call themselves the "party of labor and the minorities" (although even this Mondale is shying away from). But they have taken Reaganism to their bosom and are making their bid for office on the ground that they can do a better, more professional job of carrying out Reagan's policies.

It is this fact, that Reaganism is the bipartisan reactionary offensive of the capitalist class, and not who is elected, which will determine what happens after the elections are over. In fact, this year who wins the election will be determined mainly by who the bourgeoisie thinks will best carry out the capitalist offensive.

But this reality is denied, or made light of, by the revisionist organizations.

The CPUSA simply lies and dresses up the Democrats as a real opposition to Reaganite reaction. For example, right before the Democratic Party convention Gus Hall, the general secretary of the CPUSA, declared:

"The Democratic Party platform will be somewhat influenced by the primary and convention struggles, especially by the issues raised by Jesse Jackson. On economic issues, it will most likely reflect the increased role and activities of the trade union movement. On peace, it will reflect the strong and growing peace sentiment in the country....

"Likewise, with other mass movements of seniors, youth, farmers, etc." (Political Affairs, July, 1984)

Of course the Democratic Party platform did not end up looking like this in the slightest. But the CPUSA has been undaunted. They have continued to regularly display pictures of Mondale in their newspaper and proclaim over and over again the enormous victories that will come to the working people if only Reagan is voted out of office.

Other of the revisionist groups are not quite so laudatory towards the Democrats. Some actually admit that Reaganism is based on the class offensive of the capitalists. But then, they simply forget what they have said before, claim that there is a "rift in the ruling class" (Unity, August 31, 1984, special supplement, organ of the LRS), or that Mondale 's "differences with Reagan are not without significance" (Frontline, August 20, 1984, special supplement, organ of LOM), and go on to argue that the election of Mondale will "provide important breathing room for the masses and the left, and to third world liberation movements under the U.S. gun...." (Unity, ibid.)

This assessment, while not so openly singing the praises of the Democrats, is nevertheless an attempt to detach the Democratic Party from the present reaction and to portray it as some kind of alternative to Reaganism. To see how ridiculous this analysis is, let us follow one of the revisionist groups through the twists and turns of their analysis.

A Breathing Space With No Air

The calls for voting Mondale. But first they outline how all sectors of the bourgeoisie are in favor of Reaganism. Their August 8,1984 issue states:

"We would stress, though, that the policies of the right-wing government now in power are not simply due to one sector of the ruling class being more right wing or 'irrational' than a liberal sector, but more fundamentally, are a reflection of the general crisis of capitalism. Internationally, almost all capitalist governments, both conservative and those that have come to power as social-democrats, have in recent years been forced to make sharp cutbacks in social programs and have attacked working-class gains...."

"The two major parties do have their differences. But these are in the context of fundamental decisions made outside the electoral arena, set in motion by the ruling forces in the U.S. The decision to invade Viet Nam was made during an election campaign in which Lyndon Johnson was the 'peace candidate.' The current war buildup began in the Democratic Carter administration which initiated most major weapons systems now coming on line and much of the military budget increases. The acquiescence of congressional Democrats to much of Reagan's program since he came to office reflects their convergence of interests based on a shared class position." (emphasis added)

This would seem clear enough. The obvious conclusion is that whether Reagan or Mondale takes office, Reaganism will continue to be the policy of the U.S. government.

But the Guardian does not follow their analysis to its conclusion. They are eager to support Mondale and so they begin to dredge up the supposed benefits of not electing Reagan. The same article declares:

"We have no illusions about the Democratic Party. It is a capitalist party, representing ruling class interests, with no real solutions to the fundamental problems of our society. But seeing the need to loosen the grip of the right wing on the reigns of government is not the same thing as embracing the Democratic Party and its program. A defeat for the reactionaries in November can offer an important breathing space to the left and progressive forces in the U.S. and, perhaps more importantly, to liberation movements and anti-imperialist countries around the world." (emphasis added)

Can you believe this? The Guardian, we are told, has "no illusions" in the Democrats. They have already explained how the Democrats' rubber-stamping of Reagan's programs ' 'reflects their convergence of interests based on a shared class position." Well then, what kind of "breathing space" can we expect from a Mondale government?

The Guardian, unlike the other revisionist groups, actually attempts to spell out what this "important breathing space" would be. The August 8 article stresses:

"We should not expect the Democrats to be peaceful -- either toward revolutionary peoples around the world or working people and minorities in the U.S. However, the worst the Democrats are likely to do is continue what the Republicans are doing. The best that could happen is that the strangulation of the Nicaraguan revolution might ease up somewhat, some pressure might be put on the fascist South African government, some human rights demands be made on the Salvadoran government and the assault on labor unions, women and minorities at home might be eased." (emphasis added)

Here the Guardian gives us two possibilities. One possibility is that "important breathing space" is simply nonexistent and the "worst" the Democrats will do is to continue to make things worse, like the Republicans.

But the Guardian also claims that there is a better possibility. Why this better possibility exists the Guardian does not explain. What it is in the policy of the Democrats over the last several years that indicates this better possibility the Guardian does not point out. The Guardian has told us that the Democrats are tied to Reaganism by their class position. They have also told us they have no illusions in the Democrats. But here we find them simply hoping that maybe there is some possibility that the situation may be slightly "eased" under Mondale. And on the basis of this hope we are supposed to go out and promise the working masses a "breathing space" and tie them to the coattails of the Mondale campaign.

The Guardian has simply cast serious political analysis to the wind. They point out that in this election we have two lemons, but then they want to speculate that if we choose one of them perhaps it might be a tidbit sweeter than the other one. But the fact is that lemons are sour, no matter which you choose.

The Democrats and Republicans are both parties of the big capitalists. The capitalists are on an offensive against the working masses and the policies followed by the Republicans and the Democrats alike prove that this is a bipartisan policy. Choosing one or the other in the elections will not determine the direction of the capitalists' policy (as the Guardian itself admits). Only the class struggle in the U.S. and internationally can change that direction. It is the view of our Party that there is simply no lesser evil in this election race.

Not the Class Struggle, But a Bloc With the Liberal Bourgeoisie

But the Guardian, and the other revisionist groups with them, have become frightened by Reaganism and, instead of carrying out the arduous work to organize the class struggle against Reaganism, they are running off to the arms of the liberals. Each of the revisionist groups try to explain their support for Mondale in terms of an alliance with one section of the bourgeoisie, the liberal Democrats, against the fascist menace of Reaganism.

The CPUSA recently proclaimed:

"The Reagan administration is not a fascist regime. But opposition to its extreme reactionary policies must be, and is, being built among an exceptionally wide array of class and social forces, including a more sober-minded section of monopoly." (Daily World, September 6,1984, emphasis added)

The LOM even argues that:

"The fact that in the context of the 1984 election, the objective defense of bourgeois democracy against the inroads of fascism proceeds under the leadership of the liberal wing of the bourgeoisie is quite sobering." (Frontline, August 20,1984, emphasis added)

The revisionists have forgotten the one thing that Marxist-Leninists can never forget -- the class struggle. Reaction will be fought, and actually defeated, only if the workers are organized as a class, independently of the capitalists, and their political parties, and in class struggle against the capitalists.

But the liquidators have forgotten the class struggle and have been corrupted with the spirit of seeking positions with the liberals and the labor bureaucracy. For them class struggle and class analysis are just a plaything, not something which determines the course of their work.

Even their talk of "dumping Reagan" is not meant seriously. The support of the liquidators for the Democratic Party will not seriously affect the outcome of the elections in 1984. It will not ensure a big sweep against the Republicans, any more than opportunist support for the Democratic Party in all the previous elections did. What it will do is help retard the growth of class consciousness among the working class and th6 growth of anti-imperialist sentiment among the anti-war activists. It will propagate the rotten spirit of cowering behind the illusory protection of the liberal bourgeoisie, of fearing to take a single step away from the umbrella of what is acceptable to liberal judges and congressmen, liberal businessmen, liberal foundations.

It has not struck the liquidators that for real communists, for people who take the class struggle seriously, the prospect of selling out the fundamental interests of the movement for some minor, temporary advantages, is the very definition of opportunism. Even if subordinating the movement to the liberals would buy it this or that petty advantage, would this be worth selling out fundamental interests?

The true revolutionaries are by no means unattentive to the actual position of the liberals. They see that today the liberal bourgeois is talking about fighting Reagan precisely in order to stop the masses from engaging in a real struggle against Reaganism. The liberal bourgeois "fights reaction" by strengthening reactionary institutions, as Kennedy fights anti-crime hysteria by strengthening the reactionary federal criminal code in alliance with Strom Thurmond or the Hispanic Caucus fought the Simpson-Mazzoli bill by proposing increases in the INS budget. But when some liberal actually does fight reaction to some extent -- this is usually a petty-bourgeois democrat, not a bourgeois -- the class conscious worker takes full account of it.

Meanwhile it is always and everywhere the policy of the liquidator to fall back into the arms of the liberal. Comrade Lenin, in1910, discussed this question as it then confronted the international working class movement. He stressed:

"Opportunists throughout the world favor the policy of a bloc with the liberals, now openly and out-rightly proclaiming and implementing it, now advocating or justifying election agreements with the liberals, support of their slogans, etc. Bebel has time and again exposed the sheer falsity, the sheer mendacity of this policy, and we can say without exaggeration that every Social-Democrat should know and remember his words.

'If I, as a Social-Democrat, enter into an alliance with bourgeois parties, it is a thousand to one that the bourgeois parties will gain by it, not the Social-Democrats. We shall be the losers. It is a political law, that wherever the Rights and Lefts enter an alliance, the Lefts lose, the Rights win....

'If I enter into a political alliance with a party whose Principles are hostile to mine, I must of necessity modify my tactics, i.e., my methods of struggle, in order not to break this alliance. I can no longer criticize ruthlessly, I cannot fight for principles, because this would give offense to my allies; I have to keep quiet, cover up a lot of things, make excuses for the inexcusable, gloss over matters that cannot be glossed over.'

"Opportunism is opportunism for the very reason that it sacrifices the fundamental interests of the movement to momentary advantages or considerations based on the most short-sighted, superficial calculations." (V.I. Lenin's "Two Worlds," Collected Works, Vol. 16, pps 308-09)

This is exactly so with our revisionists. They have given up the class independence of the proletariat in the hope, and a most farfetched hope at that, that the Democrats will slightly ease the growing reaction in this country.

The Liquidators Vs. the Independent Movement of the Working Class

In calling for support for Mondale, the revisionists are bucking the growing disaffection of the masses towards the Democrats, and they know it. Each of the revisionist groups have admitted that there is no mass support for Mondale. In fact, the revisionist groups point out that even within those circles who were active in the Democratic Party primary there is a profound "disappointment" with the Democrats.

For example, Gus Hall complained:

"There is a very special problem we must deal with. According to reports from around the country it seems that many of the local organizations and committees, both of trade unions' PACs and the Rainbow coalition, have become or are becoming dormant. This can become a serious setback in the campaign to defeat Reaganism." (Political Affairs, July, 1984)

Similarly LOM curses that:

"In some local areas groupings of activists disgusted with Mondale's response to Jackson are vowing to boycott the presidential campaign altogether." (Frontline, August 20,1984)

But instead of using this unhappiness with the Democrats to encourage the masses forward onto the road of independent class politics, the revisionist groups are trying to paint up voting for Mondale as if that were building the independent working class movement.

The CPUSA has gone to ridiculous lengths in this regards. For example, Gus Hall actually argued:

"We can legitimately talk about labor's political independence because the meaning and intention of the AFL-CIO convention decision went far beyond the endorsement of Mondale. But even the act of endorsing a candidate was an independent action." (Political Affairs, July, 1984, emphasis added)

Hall is reducing the concept of independent working class action to an absurdity. With Hall's way of thinking then even a suicide victim is building the independent movement because, after all, didn't he "independently" decide to cut his own throat? The AFL-CIO bureaucrats endorsed not a candidate of the working class, but a Democrat, who even Hall admits "is and always will be one of the two parties of Big Business." (Ibid.) This is not an act of the workers standing up in their own class interest, but of the labor bureaucrats trying to tie the workers to the bourgeoisie's bandwagon. That they took this decision on their own does not change this fact one iota.

But Gus Hall doesn't stop here. For him even capitalist politicians endorsing Mondale is an act of political independence. The August 31 Daily World claims:

"Unity to oust President Reagan and the struggle for political independence accelerated Tuesday with the endorsement of Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro by 50 Afro-American leaders, including the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, and also by former presidential candidate John B. Anderson." (emphasis added)

And Hall repeats this claim in the September 6 Daily World, saying:

"John Anderson's endorsement reflects the independent forces in the realignment."

It is bad enough that the CPUSA argues that the black misleaders who are trying to tie the oppressed black masses to the Democrats are building an independent movement, but even John Anderson is praised. It should be remembered that Anderson was a liberal Republican who after losing the Republican primaries in 1980 floated his own presidential campaign. To call this capitalist politician independent, even when he was running against both the Republicans and Democrats, is to forget that the question of political independence is not so much one of form as of what class interest is represented in the candidate's political positions. But to claim this is independence when Anderson is actually endorsing the Democrats means that you are just relabeling endorsements for Mondale as political independence. This is simply shameless double-speak, to cover up the CP's all too loving embraces for the Democratic Party.

The Collapse of the "Independent" Pretensions of the Supporters of Jackson

The other revisionist groups go through about the same contortions to claim that the Jesse Jackson campaign, and his subsequent endorsement of Mondale, is building an independent movement of the workers and oppressed masses.

We have gone into the Jesse Jackson campaign in several past issues of The Workers' Advocate and shown that it is a movement to subordinate the black masses to the black bourgeoisie and funnel them back into the Democratic fold. We will not repeat the detailed analysis here.

But what is interesting is that many of the revisionists have claimed that Jackson and his efforts inside the Democratic Party had to be supported in order to give the masses "experience" so that they would lose illusions in the Democrats and eventually break to form a truly independent movement. Recently LOM repeated this whole argument claiming:

"Yes, the Democratic Party is a bourgeois party, a valued institution of capitalist rule -- and it will never be anything else! The vanguard elements of the working class know that. But until the mass of workers learn that truth out of their own experience, they will struggle again and again to make the Democratic Party into a political vehicle suitable for their class interests. The communists cannot stand aloof from that struggle -- let alone castigate the political representatives of the proletariat's spontaneous motion for organizing that effort." (Frontline, August 20, 1984, special supplement)

But at the same time, LOM admits that there is a "troubling" "abstentionist tendency which seems to have developed a measure of currency among some Jackson supporters." Experience has been gained, and there are activists who are disgruntled with the Democrats. Will LOM now finally encourage them forward and help them to organize independently of the Democrats? No, not on your life. They denounce these activists for being "subjectivists" and go on to lecture them in the following manner: "Not abstentionism, but the independent effort of the Rainbow Coalition to mobilize the masses -- especially the Black Community -- in the struggle against Reagan through voter registration and, yes, by casting their ballots for Mondale and Ferraro, is a far more effective way of translating the class and anti-racist hatred which many activists rightfully feel into a meaningful and effective political force." (Ibid.)

Obviously all this talk of gaining "experience" is just so much eyewash to justify the fact that the revisionists are encouraging not the independent movement of the workers, but dragging them deeper into the Democratic Party.

For the Political Independence of the Working Class

The question is what should the communists teach the masses through their experience. The Marxist-Leninists are trying to teach the masses the truth, to encourage them to break with both capitalist parties, Democrat and Republican alike, and to march forward on an independent road of class struggle against the capitalist offensive. The revisionists are standing against the gravitation of the masses towards independent class politics, trying to extinguish each ember of rebellion against the capitalist parties, and dress up support for the Democratic Party, the capitalist liberals, as revolutionary Marxist-Leninist theory.

Clearly building a truly independent movement of the working class requires not only breaking with the Democrats, but also exposing the revisionists who are trying to demoralize the working class movement.


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MAP/ML Communique on the Nicaraguan elections

For struggle against the bourgeoisie and U.S. imperialism

The Movement of Popular Action/Marxist-Leninist, the Marxist-Leninist party of Nicaragua, considers it of importance to declare before the workers, before the people and especially the Nicaraguan proletariat, our views on the present electoral process.

In the first place, the economic crisis the country is going through and which is bearing down heavily on the workers has continued to worsen. Nevertheless the electoral struggle has been made into a smoke screen to hide all the problems which face the workers. And the problems which cannot be hidden are made light of with the aim of having the workers forget about their problems. Meanwhile the division of power is worked out in Manzanillo, in Contadora, etc. [Negotiations for a so-called "regional peace plan" are being conducted by the reactionary and pro-U.S. imperialist governments of Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama -- the Contadora group. The internal political situation in Nicaragua has been made part of these negotiations. The Contadora group first met on the Panamanian island of Contadora, from where it gets its name. Manzanillo, Mexico was the site of recent talks between U.S. and Nicaraguan officials, where the U.S. side demanded concessions to the bourgeois reaction inside Nicaragua.]

The workers' wages continue to be much below the cost of living. Health, housing, transportation, are problems which continue to worsen, making living conditions for the workers ever more difficult. On the other hand, incentives amounting to 48 million cordobas to cotton producers are announced for the next harvest. Evidently these incentives will come out of the sweat and toil of the workers. The workers who demand higher wages are called "counterrevolutionary." Meanwhile, these concessions [to the capitalists and landlords] continue to be given against a background of the military aggressions carried out by imperialism, which each day grow more violent.

In the second place, we have pointed out from the beginning of the process of institutionalization [the formalization of the electoral process and the legal system], that without the participation of the masses and within a bourgeois framework, this institutionalization was going to be a green light for the bourgeoisie to gradually accumulate forces in the political and economic arenas. In this direction, the electoral process has been unfolded without the participation of the masses. Therefore the electoral process was born dead.

Meanwhile, all the other parties have begun to say that the electoral struggle has been exhausted, that it will not solve a single problem, that room has to be made for the participation of the Sacaza-Guerrero Coordinating Committee [the reactionary bloc of the big capitalists and landlords]. In other words, in order to try to save the credibility of the elections, [these parties] bow to the pressures of imperialism, of Contadora and of social-reformism, so that the most reactionary bourgeoisie of this country may take part in the electoral process.

Nevertheless, the masses have gone out to the streets to demonstrate, not against Arturo Cruz [the presidential candidate of the right-wing bloc] as an individual, but to protest against the intentions of the bourgeoisie to construct an internal counterrevolutionary front. This attitude of the masses must be organized. It must not be allowed to take the course of spontaneity. It must be guided in the direction of repudiating the program of "national unity," "mixed economy" and "political pluralism" which is pushed by the Sandinista Front (FSLN) and with which the other parties agree, including the parties of the Sacaza Coordinating Committee.

In the third place, the Movement of Popular Action/Marxist-Leninist rejects and condemns all foreign interference in the solution of Nicaragua's internal problems. Why are they attempting to solve the problems in Manzanillo? Why with the interference of Contadora? What are the Cubans and Soviets doing? Why accept the mediation of Belisario Betancur? [Colombian president Betancur has been playing an active role in the "Contadora process."] We don't accept the interference from the Americans, from the Russians, nor from anybody.

The problems affecting Nicaragua must be resolved by the Nicaraguan workers, the more so when the negotiating parties do not represent the interests of the workers. The Sandinista Front, by accepting foreign interference, is accepting Yankee imperialism's thesis that the internal problems of Nicaragua are a reflection of the East-West confrontation. Our Party holds that we must base ourselves only on the forces of the proletariat, on the revolutionary forces, on the forces of the workers, and we demand that this support come in all forms and levels. We don't accept demagogical communiques nor the palace intrigues of the UN as the only way of supporting the Nicaraguan workers in their struggle against imperialism.

In the fourth place, the people have seen how all of the parties, with the exception of the MAP-ML, hold that these negotiations will bring peace. But this will be peace for the exploiters, peace for the bourgeoisie. Imperialism will not allow us to develop the revolution in peace. If negotiating with the Coordinating Committee will bring peace, this only means that the counterrevolution [the CIA-backed contras] and the Coordinating Committee are the armed wing and the political wing of the imperialist aggression. The revolutionary process must not be negotiated. The revolution must be defended and not negotiated. Any concession to the bourgeoisie goes against the workers.

All the other political parties have declared that the revolutionary principles must be put aside in the interests of peace. Has imperialism put aside its interests in these negotiations? No. Then why does the FSLN, without consulting either the masses or the parties, agree to sign the Declaration of Contadora, when we all know the bourgeois character of this pact. The workers, the revolutionaries must reject all surrender, all vacillations. The workers must negotiate to accumulate forces and not to wear them out.

In the fifth place, we must say that the bourgeoisie has been increasing its level of organization, has been increasing its capacity for maneuvers and blackmail basing itself on the political and economic pressures of imperialism's military aggression. The bourgeoisie is the class which, after five years of revolution, is most strengthened, most organized, thanks to the concessions given to it by Sandinism. Each concession is translated into better and greater opportunities for the bourgeoisie to develop itself. We are already seeing the consequences of this.

In this direction the Movement of Popular Action/Marxist-Leninist is the only party which has declared itself against extending the deadline for the parties of the Sacaza Coordinating Committee to register, and which is against the postponement of the elections. These decisions taken by the Sandinista Front behind the backs of the masses, have as their goal the creation of better conditions for the bourgeoisie to participate in the electoral process. The false argument of the Sandinistas, that by giving concessions you defend yourself against the imperialist aggression, falls under its own weight. Imperialism knows that the more it intensifies its levels of aggression, the more terrain it will win in the negotiations. If the FSLN continues on this path, it will not lose its power in a war, it will hand it over on a negotiating table.

Finally, we call on the workers, on the proletariat to mobilize themselves against the bourgeoisie, to narrow the [framework on which the bourgeoisie operates] that the Sandinistas are determined to open. In this mobilization the workers must put into action all of their forces, all the methods of political and ideological struggle. They must develop their organization and participation in the militias. They must demand a positive response to their demands. There is need to work towards the formation of the popular assembly of representatives of workers, peasants, [members of the popular church], villagers, soldiers -- we have to begin forming the organs of power of the working class. We have to take away from the bourgeoisie the space it has been winning. Not one vote for the bourgeoisie, for imperialism.

Central Committee of MAP-ML

September 25,1984

(Translated by The Workers' Advocate staff.)

[Photo: Nicaraguan masses show their determination to fight to the end should U.S. imperialism launch a full-scale invasion.]


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Behind-the-scenes funding for the dirty war against Nicaragua

The Reagan administration is continuing to escalate the U.S. aggression against Nicaragua. The CIA has organized the remnants of the army of the deposed dictator Somoza to invade Nicaragua. Thousands of these contras have been unleashed from U.S.-supported bases in Honduras to murder and burn their way through the villages of Nicaragua. This year alone Congress has provided Reagan with $24 million to help the contras reverse the revolution and restore a U.S.-backed dictatorship in Nicaragua. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues its huge military buildup in Honduras in preparation for a direct U.S. invasion.

But this is far from the whole story of U.S. support for the contras. In addition to the aid given directly by the U.S. government, the Reagan administration has been stepping up their use of other channels to assist the Somocista bands. These "supplemental" means of aid are by no means small. Indeed the bourgeois press estimates that this aid totaled as much as $20 million in 1984, approaching the level of official U.S. aid to the Nicaraguan counterrevolution.

Using Reactionary Regimes As an Aid Conduit

The Reagan administration has solicited a number of reactionary pro- U.S. regimes to aid the CIA effort, including Israel, Guatemala, Taiwan, Honduras, Argentina and Venezuela. The Israeli regime alone has sent some $4.5 million in cash and arms this year. Also notable is the $10 million in rifles, ammunition and spare parts from Argentina over the last two years; the so-called "democratic" regime of Argentine president Raul Alfonsin, in giving this aid, is honoring commitments made by the former regime of fascist generals.

These governments are playing the role of middlemen for the U.S. intervention. Administration officials privately admit that they simply tell their allies to give aid to the contras and in return the U.S. gives a like amount of economic aid to the country involved. With this method, U.S. imperialism attempts to hide much of its assistance to the CIA-backed mercenaries.

The Reagan Administration Recruits Fascist U.S. Mercenaries Into the War Effort

The Reagan administration is also busily organizing alternative aid sources on the home front. Recently a graphic example of Reagan's use of private organizations in the U.S. came to light when a helicopter manned by two U.S. mercenaries was shot down while marauding inside Nicaragua. The U.S. mercenaries were participating in a September 1 contra air raid on a military training school in Santa Clara, near the Honduran border. This raid resulted in the death of three young Nicaraguan girls and another civilian.

These U.S. mercenaries were members of a paramilitary organization called Civilian Military Assistance (CM A). The CM A draws its recruits from the ranks of the capitalist police and armed forces. One of the men killed in the helicopter was a police detective in Huntsville, Alabama who was also a captain in the special forces of Alabama's National Guard. Also in CMA are some murder-hungry Viet Nam veterans who still long for another chance to participate in U.S. aggression overseas. The leader of these hire-a-killers is a produce distribution capitalist in Alabama.

The participation of the two CMA members in the September 1 attack by the contras was not an isolated event. For some time the CMA has been active in Central America. According to CMA leaders, more than a dozen CMA members work with contra forces, training pilots and even planning missions. The CMA has also been sending military supplies to the bloodstained generals in El Salvador.

After the U.S. mercenaries were shot down the Reagan administration proclaimed "We had absolutely no association with the mission." But this is a lie from beginning to end. The facts of the matter are that every step of CMA activity in Central America has been made with the help and guidance of the U.S. government.

The connection of the CMA with the Reagan administration is also shown by the CMA's aid to the counterinsurgency operations in El Salvador. It was through the U.S. embassy in El Salvador that the CMA was introduced to the general staff of the Salvadoran army. U.S. military officers even translated into Spanish a letter from CMA to the chief of staff of the Salvadoran army explaining what aid CMA would provide. Major Charles A. McAnarey, chief U.S. logistics officer in El Salvador, served as the main go-between for CMA and the Salvadoran butchers, according to administration documents. And U.S. officials saw to it that CMA aid was delivered to the Salvadoran army. Even after the September 1 incident, the U.S. embassy in El Salvador gave this policy its blessings, stating that it "was nothing inappropriate or unethical." (New York Times, September 7, 1984, p. 3)

U.S. officials are also responsible for hooking up CMA and the contras operating out of Honduras. CMA was put in touch with then commander of the Honduran armed forces General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez and other Honduran senior officers. The Honduran military then escorted a CMA delegation to a contra camp near the Nicaraguan border.

It is clear that far from CMA having "no association," the CMA mercenaries are nothing but unofficial soldiers organized directly by the Reagan government.

Moreover how can the administration claim "no association" with the September 1 raid itself? The CMA members participated in a coordinated mission with several manned planes. And who but the CIA directs the activity of the contrast How could the U.S. military not have known about the mission when the air bases in Honduras used for contra raids are staffed with U.S. military personnel? Even the planes flown on this mission were provided by the CIA. In these conditions it is obvious that the Reagan administration is completely responsible for the participation of the CMA thugs in this murderous air strike.

The CMA is not the only private fascist organization assisting Reagan's war effort in Central America. The notorious Soldier of Fortune magazine has been sending dozens of "trainers" to the Salvadoran army forces according to the editor of that rag. And the arch-chauvinist Veterans of Foreign Wars is trying to raise funds for the contras.

Leaving no stone unturned, the Reagan administration has also resorted to bookkeeping tricks to get more aid to the contras. One example involves the planes used in the September 1 raid. Congressional officials state that by sending these planes the Reagan administration exceeded the generous $24 million approved by Congress for the contras. Reagan accomplished this, they say, by having the Pentagon give the planes to the CIA free of charge. (New York Times, September 19, 1984, p. 7) In this way no extra expenditure would appear on the books.

More Empty Posturing From the Democratic Party "Opposition"

The shooting down of the U.S. mercenaries has led to a new round of posturing by the Democratic Party as opponents of Reagan's aggression. Tip O'Neill and other congressional Democrats are wailing that Reagan's use of private aid is violating the will of Congress. But this is the utmost in hypocrisy. The Democratic-controlled House approved $24 million for the contras in 1984. While the Democrats have since voted against additional aid requests by Reagan, this does not mean they have given up their support for U.S. intervention against Nicaragua. There is only a minor quarrel over method, with Reagan dividing the aid to the contras between direct support and indirect conduits, and the Democrats wanting more of the aid to go through the conduit of the Honduran military.

This policy was spelled out by the Democratic presidential candidate Mondale in a September 17 interview in the New York Times. In this interview Mondale comes out in support of both the military buildup in El Salvador and the CIA "interdiction" operations against Nicaragua being run out of Honduras. Mondale stated, "I believe we should be supporting Duarte [president of the death squad regime in El Salvador], including military assistance. I would support the continuing traditional role in Honduras for interdiction...." Thus Mondale explicitly calls for propping up the fascist Salvadoran regime and supporting Honduras' "traditional role" of providing bases, arms and training to the contras.

 

Reagan's extensive use of alternate conduits to the contras also shows the fraudulent nature of the congressional debates on the funding of the CIA's war. Every one of the measures allegedly restricting funding just so happens to also allow continued backing of the CIA/contra operations through alternate conduits. Clearly, Congress is a talk shop reserved for hypocritical speech-making to fool the masses. Meanwhile Reagan, the CIA, the Pentagon, and the State Department organize their war effort behind the scenes.

Clearly neither the Democrats in Congress nor Mondale present an obstacle to U.S. intervention in Central America. The force that can truly stand up against Reagan's aggression is not the two-faced bourgeois politicians, but the working masses. The workers and other oppressed must take matters into their own hands and build up the mass struggle against U.S. intervention.

[Photo: Wreckage of the helicopter of the U.S. mercenaries which was shot down by the Nicaraguan people during a contra air raid on September 1.]


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Solidarity with the Workers and Peasants of Nicaragua! Contribute to the Campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press!

Today the Nicaraguan revolution is under siege from U.S. imperialism and the U.S.-backed counterrevolution. This calls for the workers and progressive people in the U.S. to link arms with the revolutionary masses of Nicaragua.

The Nicaraguan revolution has been created by the workers and poor peasants. It is they who suffered most under Somoza, who mounted the barricades of the insurrection, and who today form the bulwark in the war against the U.S.-backed contras. It is the workers and toilers who have a great stake in carrying forward the revolution against the exploitation and poverty they suffer at the hands of the rich exploiters.

The party of the working class, MAP-ML, which played an important role in the workers' struggle against the Somoza tyranny, is today organizing the working masses as an independent class force to carry forward the revolution.

The workers' press plays an important role in the struggle inside Nicaragua. It shows how to build up the strongest defense against the U.S.-organized aggression. It shows how to combat the treacherous big bourgeoisie. And it works to free the masses from the illusions fostered by the petty-bourgeois Sandinista government.

The Marxist-Leninist Party is organizing a political and financial campaign to support the Nicaraguan workers' press. It calls on all workers and anti-imperialist activists to participate in this concrete act of solidarity with the Nicaraguan working masses.

Please send your contributions to: [Address.]


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Campaign to support the Nicaraguan workers' press

Off to a good start

The Workers' Advocate is pleased to report that the Campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press is off to a good start. The funds raised have made possible the first shipments of supplies to Managua, making a modest contribution to filling the great needs of the Nicaraguan workers' press in the face of the brutal blockade of U.S. imperialism.

Printing press supplies have made up the bulk of these first shipments. Part of these supplies have already been sent and the remainder is about to be sent. This includes 250 offset printing plates, and lithographic film and some 20 gallons of chemicals for burning and developing the plates. It also includes fountain solution for the press. These supplies have become very difficult and expensive to acquire in Nicaragua and some have become simply unavailable. Hopefully, these first 'shipments will keep the workers' press at least supplied with the printing plates and chemicals it needs in the next months.

Other materials were also sent. This included such essentials as 12 typewriter ribbons, camera film and 200 sheets of photo paper, and a tape recorder and transcription equipment.

The purchase cost of these first shipments was $1,872.32. and the shipping cost so far was $273.20, amounting to a total of $2,145.52.


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