The Workers' Advocate


Volume 14, Number 13


December 1, 1984

[Front page:

As Reagan enters his second term--Meet the challenge with mass struggle!;

Down with Reagan's plans to invade Nicaragua!;

On the Reaganite Flat Rate Tax--Flattening the workers in the guise of 'tax reform';

Flames of struggle scorch the racist South African rulers]


Results of the 1984 elections.................................. 2

Chicago: Against racist attacks.............................. 3
New York: Protest racist police murder.................. 3
Oppose cuts in minority student programs............. 7

War criminal Westmoreland sues CBS................... 2
Weinberger denounced in San Francisco............... 4
Kirkpatrick condemned in Seattle.......................... 4
Students block CIA recruiters................................ 4
'Red Dawn'--a movie for imperialist war............... 4
Chilean people shake the fascist junta.................... 4

Detroit: Wildcat at Chrysler plant.......................... 3
No to concessions at the shipyards......................... 7
Poem: Working people, why still slave?................ 9

What the Nicaraguan elections show..................... 8
Letter from Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninist.............. 8
MAP-ML: Plan of struggle.................................... 9
CIA murder manual................................................ 10
Liberal Democrats echo war threats....................... 10

As Reagan enters his second term

Meet the challenge with mass struggle!

Down with Reagan's plans to invade Nicaragua!

On the Reaganite Flat Rate Tax

Flattening the workers in the guise of 'tax reform'

Flames of struggle scorch the racist South African rulers

The results of the 1984 elections

The capitalist politicians had nothing to offer the working people

Defeated in Viet Nam, the generals unleash the 'stab in the back' legend

War criminal Westmoreland sues CBS for libel

Anti-racist demonstrations in Chicago

Fight police-organized racist attacks!

New York police murder elderly black woman for owing $357.80 in back rent

At Chrysler's Detroit assembly plant
Workers wildcat against firing and productivity drive

Demonstrators battle police attacks

1,500 denounce Secretary of Aggression Weinberger in San Francisco

At Tufts University near Boston

Students block CIA recruiters

On the movie 'Red Dawn'

A trashy film that glorifies imperialist war

Kirkpatrick, death-squad queen, confronted in Seattle

The Chilean people shake the fascist Junta to the core

2nd National Conference of the MLP,USA


No to cuts in programs for poor or minority students!

No more concessions to the shipyards capitalists!

Union hacks play a dirty role

The stand of the workers against U.S. war preparations

Letter from Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists

Letters to MAP-ML in solidarity with the Nicaraguan toilers

Worker To Worker

What do the Nicaraguan elections show?

Movement of Popular Action Marxist-Leninist (The Marxist-Leninist party of Nicaragua)

Plan of Struggle

'Working people, why still slave?'

Murder manual of the CIA

Liberal Democrats echo Reagan's war threats

As Reagan enters his second term

Meet the challenge with mass struggle!

"You haven't seen nothing yet!'' This was the promise Reagan repeated in his victory speech election night. And by the next day, with a bloodcurdling war cry against Nicaragua, the Reagan administration announced that a new round of the capitalist crusade of hunger, reaction and war is underway.

The writing is already on the wall for what the capitalists have in store for the working people.

* While the election slogans of "economic opportunity,'' "growth'' and "prosperity'' are still ringing in the people's ears, the government has released updated figures showing that the so-called "recovery" came to a screeching halt during the quarter before the elections took place. The capitalist "experts" are already scurrying to revise their forecasts as the ten million strong army of unemployed once again begins to swell, and the capitalist economy once again falls into its downward tumble.

* David Stockman and company have once again taken out their meat cleavers to cut even deeper into programs for the working people. The elderly, veterans,, students, and the unemployed are particular targets with planned cutbacks in medicare, medicaid, federal pensions, public transportation, education grants and student loans.

* In the days before the election, Reagan vowed that taxes would be raised "over his dead body." Three weeks later he is studying his Treasury Secretary's proposal for a "tax reform." Under the demagogy of tax simplifications and reducing tax rates, this "reform" will pave the way for drastic cuts in taxes for the wealthy, while for the working class it could add up to the biggest tax increase in history.

* Reagan's Civil Rights Commissioner, Clarence Pendleton, has promised that the black people will get what he regards as the treatment that they deserve for their failure to vote for his boss, the endorsed candidate of the Ku Klux Klan. Pendleton has also vowed to fight what he calls the "lunatic" demands of women workers for comparable pay. And the White House has put the passage of the racist Simpson-Mazzoli anti-immigrant bill on its list of top priorities.

* And abroad, the government is stepping up its march into new Viet Nam-style wars against the people of Central America and other lands. Reagan celebrated his reelection by pounding the war drums for an invasion of Nicaragua. And the State Department has been releasing new plans for "pre-emptive strikes" against alleged "international terrorists."

On every front, Reagan's second term promises to be a continuation of the first. The class contradictions between capital and labor will continue to deepen as the rich grow richer and the poor poorer. And the all-sided war against the working people at home and abroad will grow even more ruthless and desperate.

The Democratic 'Opposition' Promises to Keep in Step

As the smoke from the campaign rhetoric lifts, the Democrats are getting back down to the unfinished business of helping the Reaganites conduct this war on the masses. "Bipartisanship" is the guiding star when it comes to the nitty-gritty of the capitalist drive to squeeze the working people and head for war.

Such Democratic "doves" as Senator Chris Dodd have given a green light to the invasion of Nicaragua if the Nicaraguans dare to go so far as to purchase jets to defend their airspace from the CIA's invaders.

The Treasury Department points out that its "tax reform" reflects the bipartisan congressional discussion and that it resembles both the right wing Republicans' Kemp-Kasten plan as well as the liberal Democrats' Bradley-Gephart plan. The Democratic leadership has already indicated that it will help Reagan push it through. The Democrats will surely haggle with the White House over where and how hard to swing the ax on social programs. Meanwhile, David Stockman is reportedly taking a close look at Mondale's "Deficit Reduction Plan," and Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro is calling for the Democrats to show their "economic conservatism."

The anti-immigrant Simpson-Mazzoli bill has from the beginning been a bipartisan piece of racist legislation and the Democrats are no less eager than Reagan for making it law.

In short, from the moment of Reagan's reelection the Democrats have pledged themselves to continue to march in step in the Reaganite assault on the working people.

More of the Same Treachery From the Reformists and Trade Union Bosses

And so goes the Democrats' little helpers -- the reformist misleaders and the trade union chieftains. For four years they have been calling on the people to keep cool and rely on the Democratic Party to turn the Reagan offensive around. For four years the mass struggles -- against the racist offensive, against nuclear weapons and intervention in Central America, and against unemployment and the employers' takeback drive -- have been sacrificed at the altar of the Democratic Party. And there is nothing to show for this but the prospect of a new round of the capitalist offensive with the Democrats peeking out from Reagan's back pocket. But this hasn't discouraged the reformists one bit.

Jesse Jackson is devoting himself to building his Rainbow Coalition. But he is keeping this Rainbow firmly hitched to the Democratic Party, while he sits in negotiations with Bert Lance and other Democratic Party power brokers to solve the "problem of leadership" that can "reach out to the middle class."

Meanwhile, the AFL-CIO chiefs are boasting of their efforts to turn the unions into voting machines for the Democrats, promising to continue on this path. At the same time, now that the polls are closed they are expressing their hopes for "dialogue" and "understanding" with the Reagan regime. For the union bosses, class collaboration knows no bounds.

In the face of a new fury of the capitalist offensive, the working masses still face the acute problem of reformist and sellout leaderships committed to holding the mass struggles in check -- leaderships that are working overtime to chain the working people to a capitalist party that is a pillar of this capitalist offensive.

For Mass Struggle Against the Reaganite Offensive!

The new round of the capitalist offensive carries with it grave dangers for the working class and people. Monopoly capital is challenging the working people with economic ruin, unbridled racism, police state repression, and imperialist war.

But the Reaganite offensive is also piling up the kindling to ignite a conflagration of mass struggle. The capitalist ruling class is playing with fire. Aware of this fact it is putting in place police state laws, unleashing the FBI and CIA, and sharpening all its tools of political reaction to prepare to put out the flames. The petty bourgeois opportunist cannot see the coming storm because he is blinded by his narrow reformist outlook and his despair over the temporary setbacks.

The working class and oppressed can only be insulted and spat upon so much before they take matters into their own hands. The hypocritical lies that are being piled high by the capitalist politicians are bound to blow up in their faces. And the flames of the class struggle are bound to rise above the walls of class collaboration built by the reformists and trade union sellouts.

What spark touches off this conflagration and on what future date can not be said beforehand. The important thing is to be prepared. What is needed is revolutionary work today to bring on this struggle as soon as possible and to ensure that the struggle achieves the most successful outcome possible.

Every sign of stirring and protest in the factories, streets and schools must be used to strengthen the mass mobilizations, to build solid organization, and to spread revolutionary agitation among the working people. It is the mass action of the organized and aware workers, oppressed nationalities, women, youth and students which can turn the tables on the Reaganite assault.

Let as meet the challenge of the Reaganite offensive with steadfast revolutionary work!

[Back to Top]

Down with Reagan's plans to invade Nicaragua!

[Photo: Seattle, October 27: 500 demonstrators denounce the Reagan government's war on revolutionary Nicaragua and on the revolutionary movement in El Salvador.]

On November 6, Reagan was reelected. On the very same day, the Reagan administration launched a massive wave of threats and intimidation against revolutionary Nicaragua. Using the pretext of a suspected shipment of Soviet MIG-21 jet fighters arriving in Nicaragua, Washington escalated its preparations for an invasion of that country.

Within a few days, the "MIG scare" was proved to be nothing but a lie. And officials of the U.S. government admitted as much. But although the story has dropped from the front pages a bit, the hysterical war campaign against Nicaragua remains very much in place. And the threat of U.S. invasion is still there.

The latest U.S. threats come in the midst of an ongoing "dirty war" that Washington has been directing against Nicaragua for several years. The U.S. government has been trying to strangle this small and poor people, numbering only over two million. It tries to destroy the country's economy, to mine Nicaraguan ports, to kill, murder and brutalize this courageous people whose crime is that they dared to overthrow a hated tyrant who was Washington's friend.

Workers and progressive people! The U.S. war drive against Nicaragua is a monstrous crime. It is the stand of a bully, of an arrogant imperialist power which considers that it alone has the right to decide what other people should or should not do. Let us give a fitting reply to Reagan's saber rattling! Let us continue the hard work to build up the movement against U.S. aggression in Nicaragua. And let us prepare to greet Reagan's invasion attempts with a storm of renewed struggle.

The Latest Round of the War Drive Against Nicaragua

In this latest campaign against Nicaragua, Washington mobilized an intense war fever. On election night, White House officials let it be known to the press that the Reagan administration was now going to follow a more "muscled policy" towards Nicaragua. And immediately, reports "mysteriously" surfaced in the media about alleged MIG-21 shipments arriving in the Nicaraguan port of Corinto.

Over the next week, a big hysteria was whipped up over this and a huge force was set in motion to threaten. Nicaragua. A U.S. spy plane, the SR-71 "Blackbird," flew one mission after another over Nicaragua, spying on Nicaraguan territory and trying to terrorize the people with its sonic booms. A U.S. warship moved in and out of Nicaragua's waters outside the port of Corinto. And contra attacks escalated against the Nicaraguan population.

In the meantime, a whole series of military maneuvers were being launched or carried out by the Pentagon. Four of these were launched in Honduras. A major unannounced naval exercise, involving 25 warships, was being held in the Caribbean Sea within easy reach of Nicaragua. Major military exercises code-named "Quick Thrust" have also been set for the end of November at Fort Stewart, Georgia and two other U.S. bases, involving 15,000 soldiers of the 24th Mechanized Infantry, 82nd Airborne and 101st Air Assault divisions, precisely the units that would be involved in a potential Central American invasion.

The war campaign against Nicaragua has been stepped up today but of course it is not something new. For over five years now the U.S. government has been carrying out bullying and aggression against Nicaragua. And after all this, the U.S. has the unbridled gall to turn truth on its head and charge Nicaragua with intentions of "expansionism." As well, the U.S. government hypocritically claims that Nicaragua is being "paranoid." But both history and the current events show that it is the U.S. government and not Nicaragua which is the guilty party.

The Nicaraguan people have a long history of having to fight U.S. occupation and domination. They have faced military invasions and occupations 11 times before from the U.S., the most recent between 1926 and" 1933. And it was U.S. imperialism which propped up the Somoza family's tyranny for five decades.

In 1979, after years of struggle, the Nicaraguan people finally overthrew the Somoza dictatorship. U.S. imperialism has not forgiven them for this. It wants to restore a Somoza-style fascist dictatorship. For this purpose it has created the contra army, directed and organized by the CIA; it has put economic pressure against Nicaragua; it has turned Honduras into a base for aggression. And it has launched a series of preparations for outright invasion.

For the purpose of justifying invasion, the U.S. government has built up a whole arsenal of pretexts. For escalation of the war in Viet Nam, Washington manufactured the "Gulf of Tonkin incident"; and to justify the invasion of Grenada last year the U.S. cooked up a series of pretexts, including the one of "averting a hostage crisis before there was one."

The Big Lie of the MIG Scare

From beginning to end, the MIG affair was just such a lying pretext for military intervention. It was a carefully orchestrated affair. First, "news leaks" mysteriously spread out about alleged MIG-21 shipments. Then followed the war cries -- of threats of military strikes, quarantines, and invasion. The government, the capitalist politicians and prostitute news media all worked themselves into a fever pitch -- "The MiG's are coming; the MiG's are coming. We won't tolerate it!"

These accusations were the height of imperialist arrogance. In the first place, the Nicaraguans have every right to defend themselves as they see fit. If the Nicaraguans purchase jets to intercept the CIA's planes, boats and mercenaries -- who are daily bombing and killing inside Nicaragua -- then that is their business. And secondly, the war cries of the Pentagon proved quite well that it is Nicaragua, not the U.S., which is the victim of military aggression and which is fully justified in arming itself for its defense.

Then within a few days the lie was proved to be a lie. There were no MIG- 21 shipments being unloaded in Nicaragua. But did this make any difference? Not at all. The war cry now extended to declarations that all arms deliveries to Nicaragua were a dangerous "threat to U.S. national interests" -- including ammunition, helicopters, etc. A Pentagon spokesman even suggested on November 13 that "The U.S. might have to destroy" the new helicopters Nicaragua has received because they may devastate the contra terrorist incursions. After all, it was said, the contras are friends of the U.S. and thus properly fall in the sphere of "U.S. national interests."

The Pentagon also floated further lying pretexts to justify an invasion. It raised the prospect of a new "call for help," a timeworn lying pretext if there ever was one. Pentagon spokesman Michael Burch declared, "We would take very seriously any threat to Honduras or El Salvador, and if those countries were invaded by Nicaragua and they were to request our assistance, I believe that we would respond with whatever assistance was necessary."

Moreover, now that there were no MiG's, officials of the U.S. government virtually came out and admitted that they had created the whole affair from the outset! On November 11, the New York Times quoted U.S. officials saying that "there was never more than circumstantial evidence that the fighter planes were aboard the Soviet freighter that reached Corinto on Wednesday." And the Times reported, "Administration officials said the government, in part to build public and congressional support for an increase in U.S. pressure [on Nicaragua], made a major issue this week, out of what it suggested was the possible shipment of fighter planes to Nicaragua." Another official declared, "Some of those who want us to adopt a harder line have long wished that MiG's would be delivered because they know that would tilt the policy in their direction.... The next best thing to the delivery of MiG's was the possibility that they might arrive any day."

And from the looks of things, the Reagan-inspired "MIG scare" appears to have been fairly successful in cementing the bipartisan consensus among the Democratic and Republican politicians for military action against Nicaragua. One hero of the liberal Democrats after another dutifully trooped up to line up behind the Reaganite war fever. (See adjoining article.)

On the So-Called "Soviet Threat" in Central America

Behind the "MIG scare" lies the refrain of the Reaganites about the so- called "Soviet buildup" in Nicaragua. Reagan paints the revolution of the workers and peasants of Nicaragua as a creature of the Soviet Union. Nothing could be further from the truth. For decades, U.S. imperialism's adversary in Central America has been the struggles of the downtrodden people against U.S.-backed tyrants and exploiters.

But what's more, the Soviet Union, although it postures a bit in support of Nicaragua, is no real friend of the Nicaraguan revolution. The Russian leaders do not stand for the defense and deepening of the revolution. Instead they urge conciliation with Western imperialism. The Russian social-imperialists, alongside the Cuban revisionists, are helping U.S. imperialism and the capitalist regimes of Mexico, Colombia, etc., to apply pressure on the Sandinista government to accept the Contadora plan. This is a plan to shield the positions of capitalist reaction inside Nicaragua and to use the Nicaraguan government to contain the Salvadoran revolution.

Even on the issue of providing weapons to Nicaragua, U.S. officials will occasionally concede that the Russian government is not too enthusiastic. The New York Times quoted an American official in Managua recently pointing out that "The Soviet Union has an important bilateral agenda with the U.S. that includes things like arms control, Asian security and the conflict between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Compared to those matters, Nicaragua is not all that important to them. They are not going to sacrifice the possibility of progress in those other areas in order to get some planes to the Sandinistas."

Solidarity With the Workers and Peasants of Nicaragua Against U.S. Imperialism

In the current situation, the American workers and progressive people must work to fight every step of U.S. intervention. The latest warmongering campaign underscores the gravity of the threat of a new Viet Nam-type war in Central America. We must expose the Reaganite liars and militarists and build up a powerful movement against imperialism. Just as during the Viet Nam war, militant mass actions are needed to confront imperialist aggression.

In Nicaragua itself, the workers and peasants stand ready and determined to fight back against a direct U.S. invasion just as they have been heroically battling Reagan's mercenary contras. The war cries from Washington recently have only served to stiffen the determination of the Nicaraguan people against U.S. imperialism.

It is the workers and peasants of Nicaragua who are the backbone of the defense against U.S. intervention. The petty-bourgeois Sandinista government resisted Reagan's latest campaign but it takes a wavering stand in the struggle against U.S. imperialism and reaction. That is why, for example, it accepts the Contadora plan. But the facts show that this is no real safeguard against U.S. aggression. The Sandinista government signed a draft treaty of the Contadora plan a number of months ago in the hope of finding peace, but the U.S. did not cease its attacks for that. In fact the U.S. responded by stepping up its demands on the Sandinistas and it showed its real attitude with the latest war threats. This proves once again that the course of seeking reconciliation with imperialism is an illusion.

The party of the Nicaraguan working class, the Movement of Popular Action/Marxist-Leninist, is organizing the independent struggle of the workers and poor peasants to stand firm against U.S. aggression and to deepen the revolution against the big exploiters. The Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA believes that solidarity with the workers and poor of Nicaragua is an important part of the urgent struggle against U.S. intervention.

U.S. imperialism, hands off Nicaragua!

[Photo: Protesters condemn Reagan's threats against Nicaragua in New York City, November 9.]

[Back to Top]

On the Reaganite Flat Rate Tax

Flattening the workers in the guise of 'tax reform'

Reagan ran for reelection on the big lie that he had cut taxes. In reality, during his first term Reagan accelerated the tax shift begun under Carter, drastically cutting taxes for the millionaires and corporations, while stepping up the tax load on the working people. In his second term he is planning more of the same.

This time Reagan is planning to raise the workers' taxes in the disguise of a "tax reform." Under demagogic slogans about "tax simplification," "fairness," and "reducing rates," like a pack of thieves the Reagan regime is getting down to the business of gouging the working masses.

On November 27, Treasury Secretary Donald Regan put out his "tax reform" proposal. This plan has been in the works for a long time. The key elements of the plan have broad bipartisan support in Congress on both sides of the aisle. As the Treasury Department itself points out, its plan closely resembles both the Republican Kemp-Kasten tax plan and the Democrats' Bradley-Gephart plan.

The selling points for this "tax reform" is that it will plug loopholes and wipe out deductions on the one side, while bringing down rates on the other. And the net result is alleged to be simpler and fairer taxes which will round out to be about the same as the present level of taxation for most taxpayers. This at least is how it looks like on paper. But if you look beneath the slogans and the cooked up figures you will find one of the most reactionary, anti-worker, pro-millionaire and pro-corporate tax plans since the income tax was invented.

Slashing Tax Rates for the Rich

Key to this "tax reform" is the modified flat tax. The present 16 tax brackets for personal income taxes will be replaced by a three bracket system of 15, 25 and 35%. The present system, at least on paper, is based on what's called the progressive system of the more a taxpayer earns, the more he can afford to pay, and the higher his rate of taxation. The U.S. income tax has always had this system, along with almost all other industrialized countries that rely on the income tax.

The proposed modified flat tax is a major step towards wiping out this system. It is a giant step towards the flat tax where the impoverished worker and the millionaire pay the same tax. This is outrageously unjust from every angle. A 20% tax on a worker can mean having to choose between heating the home or putting clothes on the backs of the family; for a millionaire it might mean choosing between a new yacht and another vacation in Tahiti.

But the flat tax apologists argue that the taxes for the rich are so high that they just avoid paying them anyway. A flat tax, they argue, will slash rates on the wealthy to encourage them to pay their taxes. This logic is absurd. Even if their taxes were cut to next to nothing a rich moneygrubber worth his salt would do what he could to escape it. In fact, tax rates on the rich have already been reduced drastically under Carter and Reagan (from 75% to 50% on taxable income over $90,000 a year). But the rich are fleeing taxes just as eagerly as ever. The proposed reduction of the top tax rate to 35% won't change a thing; it will only slash the rates on the taxable income the millionaires happen to report.

Then the flat taxers argue that they will close loopholes and eliminate a slew of the wealthy's principal deductions. Fine. But if you can catch the tax dodgers at flat tax rates, why can't you catch them at the previous higher rates? What's left of the argument for a flat tax?

For the wealthy closing down some tax shelters under a modified flat tax will change little. They will set their fancy accountants to work on new places to hide their incomes while they chuckle about the lower rates all the way to the bank.

Taxing the Workers' Health Insurance and Unemployment Benefits

For the vast majority of workers there is no such thing as a tax shelter. Their entire income comes in a paycheck which they don't even see until the IRS takes its all too heavy cut. But this simple fact hasn't prevented the "tax reformers" in Washington from discovering that employee benefits are one of the principal "loopholes" bankrupting the treasury. All the "tax reform" schemes agree on this point.

The Treasury Department's plan will shut down other alleged tax "abuses" used by the working people. This includes everything from childcare credits to eliminating the deductions for state and local taxes which will weigh heavily on the working masses in the states and cities with high taxes.

New Tax Breaks and New Loopholes For the Corporations

The proposed "tax reform" also includes a restructuring of the corporate tax. As expected the first step is another big reduction in the corporate income tax rate, from 46 to 33%. And along with this comes promised measures to tighten up loopholes and cut out exemptions and deductions so that the hundreds of giant corporations (banks, oil companies, etc.) and thousands of smaller ones who pay little or no taxes will supposedly have to pay their share.

The corporations are already unleashing their detachments of high- paid lawyers, accountants and financial wheeler-dealers to devise new techniques to hide profits, new ways to pass on tax costs to consumers, and to hunt out new tax dodges.

It appears that under this tax plan the most dramatic changes will not be in the amount of taxes the corporations pay, but in which corporations pay how much. The plan would repeal the "accelerated depreciation system," a Reagan bill that provided the capitalists with tens of billions in write offs for capital spending, and other deductions and exemptions for buildings, machinery, etc. It looks like the big gainers would be labor intensive and "high tech" industries, including the "high tech" war contractors; and the capital intensive heavy industries may have to pay more.

While advertising this "tax reform" as a real crackdown on corporate loopholes, this same reform opens up some new humongous loopholes of its own. These include such wonders as allowing companies to deduct half of the dividends they pay out to stockholders from their taxable income. This is done under the name of "easing the double taxation on corporate income" (Wall Street Journal, November 28,1984). A little charity for the poor doubly-taxed corporations!

The plan calls for introducing for the first time partial deductions for interest income. This is proposed with the explicit aim of sheltering the profits of the banks and other lenders from inflation. A little charity for the poor corporate loan sharks!

And the proposal also has a catch-all clause for putting aside a number of changes in the tax law "to avoid windfall losses...for people who made investment decisions based on the existing tax code." (Ibid.) A little charity for the millionaire tax dodgers and speculators.

In short, this ferocious corporate tax enforcer is something of a toothless tiger. This explains where they are coming from when the Wall Street Journal reports "But some business officials note that many companies likely will conclude, after studying the plan, that it isn't so bad." (Ibid.)

Tax the Rich! Make the Capitalists Pay!

A number of the particulars of the Treasury Department's plan are bound to be changed. But its main prongs of attack on the working people -- including steps towards a flat tax and taxing workers' benefits -- are common to all the "tax reform" schemes being passed around Washington. The capitalist politicians are dead serious about carrying out these attacks as soon as the quarrels among the different capitalist interests can be ironed out.

These "tax reform" plans show that the moneybags are losing any sense of shame in their plunder of the workers. That's what it means when they abandon any pretense of a progressive income tax; when they apply heavy taxes on the workers for having the nerve to demand to go to the hospital when they get sick; or when they pick the pockets of the unemployed.

But what else can you expect from the likes of Donald Regan, the former high priest of the Wall Street temple called Merrill Lynch. What can you expect from a Congress made up of essentially two kinds of people: capitalists and millionaires in their own right; and well-rewarded lawyers schooled in the business of protecting the Interests of the monopolies. In the present situation it is inevitable that any "tax reform" that comes out of this nest will be turned into a tool for swindling the working people.

The tax system is like a giant octopus squeezing the masses. And to pay for the monstrous war buildup and the interest to the banks to cover the deficits it is going to squeeze harder and harder. The only effective weapon for beating back the tentacles of this monster is the class struggle of the workers. There can be no illusions of a "tax reform" that will significantly benefit the working people without a powerful revolutionary struggle of the masses against the capitalist ruling class, against the militarists and bankers. Only such a struggle can shift the burden of taxation onto the rich and make the capitalists pay.

[Back to Top]

Flames of struggle scorch the racist South African rulers

The flames of struggle of the black and other oppressed people of South Africa continue to scorch the feet of the racist apartheid regime.

In September a storm of fighting broke out across the country. Entire black townships, the segregated ghettos in which the black people are forced to live outside the cities, exploded in protest against intolerable housing conditions and the rising rents and utility rates. Nearly a million students went out on strike to protest against corporal punishment abuses, against the poor education, and for student representation. As well, tens of thousands of black miners in the coal fields and gold mines launched strikes for higher wages and to fight the repression against their movement.

Everywhere street fighting broke out against the racist police and the troops of the government. The black masses also punished the black sellouts who have worked with the apartheid regime to run the puppet township governments and to suppress the masses. And everywhere slogans for power and for complete liberation of the black people were heard on the lips of the workers and fighting youth.

The racist regime answered the struggle of the people with the vicious brutality of the whip, the bullet, and prisons. Meetings and demonstrations were banned and, in September alone, some 55 people were killed in the fighting. As well, following the big battles in September and early October, the regime unleashed a campaign of terror, sending thousands of troops into individual townships, indiscriminately raiding homes, and carrying out mass arrests.

But far from breaking the will of the masses, this repression has unleashed further mass resistance.

For example, at the end of October the racist regime dispatched 7,000 army troops and police to raid Sebokeng. This black township, which is near Johannesburg, has a population of 160,000 people and was one of the earlier centers of protest by the black workers and students. For six hours the troops, with assault rifles and full combat gear, smashed in doors and raided 20,000 homes. Over 400 blacks were arrested on such ridiculous charges as possession of pornography and not having proper permits to live in the township. Those not arrested had to have their hands stamped or wear orange arm bands. And they were also given badges reading "I am your friend, trust me" and "cooperation for peace and security."

During the raid on Sebokeng, protests flared up in the nearby townships of Sharpeville and Boipatong. Five hundred blacks defied the ban against demonstrations and took to the streets while some 200 youths staged a protest at a police station. The racist regime had to withdraw the 7,000 troops from Sebokeng to try to crush the demonstrations in the other townships.

But just hours after the troops were pulled out of Sebokeng, 2,000 protesters took to the streets of that township. The angry masses squared off with the remaining police and a new round of fighting broke out.

These and other struggles were followed by a massive two-day strike on November 6 and 7. In Transvaal province, in the industrial heartland of South Africa around Johannesburg, black workers and students joined together in a concerted protest combining a two-day workers' strike and a boycott of the schools. Hundreds of thousands of workers and students participated in the protest against the apartheid regime and the high cost of living. Street fighting broke out in one township after another as the workers and youth battled the racist troops and local authorities. In the two days of fighting the regime killed some 23 protesters.

Once again the racist regime met the mass struggle with brutal repression. The regime is carrying out wholesale arrests of black trade union and student leaders and raids on townships. In one case, on November 16, the police seized 2,300 black workers in one township near Johannesburg. But despite the severe repression, the black masses are continuing their heroic struggle against the brutal apartheid government.

The Fraud of Constitutional Reform

The oppressed people of South Africa are fighting against the inhuman system of apartheid racism. Spawned by capitalism, this system has reduced the black majority to the status of convict prisoners in their own land. They are denied all rights and are forced to live in intolerable misery. As well, the white racist ruling class discriminates against and oppressed the so-called "coloreds" (people of mixed race) and people of East Indian origin.

In the face of decades of sharp struggle from the masses, the racist rulers of South Africa have not only used the most savage repression, but they have also been trying to put up a facade of "reform" to hoodwink the masses and save the apartheid system. Most recently they trotted out the supposedly "democratic reform" of a new constitution. But the black masses are showing that they will not buy these frauds by the racists and that they are determined to put a complete end to the apartheid system.

Indeed, the catalyst for the present upsurge was the inauguration of the new "democratic" constitution. This constitution continued to leave the black majority with no rights whatever and gave the "coloreds" and Indians only an advisory representation in parliamentary chambers whose decisions could be vetoed by the white chamber of parliament. The masses showed their contempt for this new constitution by carrying a successful campaign to boycott the referendum on it. And once the referendum was over, the pent-up rage of the oppressed masses of South Africa exploded.

Down with U.S. Government Support for the Apartheid Regime

The apartheid regime is condemned by the workers and progressive people the world over. But the U.S. government has given it consistent support. Every administration, whether Republican or Democratic, has maintained close links with the apartheid rulers.

On coming to office the Reagan government announced a policy of "constructive engagement" with the South African regime, a policy that is supposed to bring reform to South Africa by giving full support to the racist regime instead of criticizing it. In line with this policy Reagan supported the constitutional reform fraud as "a step in the right direction." And later the U.S. government, along with the British Thatcher government, refused to grant asylum to six South African political activists who had temporarily taken refuge in the British consulate from persecution by the police. The three activists who emerged from the consulate were arrested and taken to a prison camp. Support for the regime and opposition to the masses fighting it, this is the stand of the U.S. government.

The struggle of the oppressed masses of South Africa is a just battle and deserves the wholehearted support of the U.S. workers and all progressive people. And if we are to come to the aid of our South African brothers we must not only protest against the South African racist regime but we must also fight against U.S. imperialism, against our "own" government, which supports and props up the barbaric apartheid system.

[Photo: South African gold miners rally in 1983. The miners have played a major role in the current upsurge of struggle against the apartheid regime.]

[Back to Top]

The results of the 1984 elections

The capitalist politicians had nothing to offer the working people

The great electoral farce of 1984 is finally over. Through their servile news media and their bought-and- paid-for politicians the capitalists are summing up the results.

The Reaganites are crowing. They are hailing the outcome as a "mandate" for their reactionary program of squeezing the working people, racism and readiness for nuclear slaughter. And the Democrats are moaning. They, too, see a "mandate" for reaction; and the Democratic Party chiefs are talking that next time they will have to do an even better job of casting aside the liberal trappings and run an even more "moderate" or "conservative" campaign.

But let's look at the election results from another standpoint: What do they show from the standpoint of the workers and oppressed?

Reagan Gets the "Mandate" of the Capitalists

As for the so-called "Reagan mandate," there are a few facts that the bourgeois commentators don't like to discuss.

Reagan got 59% of the vote. But a near record 48% of the voting age population didn't go to the polls. When you add to this the Mondale vote, this means that nearly 70% of the voting age population did not cast a vote for Reagan.

What about the 48% who didn't vote? As a rule of thumb, the poorer you are the greater your distrust in the capitalists' electoral game and the less likely you were to vote. And in this election a deep hatred for both the capitalist candidates, for both Reagan and Mondale, had grown up among the poorest sections of the working people.

Further, if you look at the vote for Mondale, millions of these votes were not cast out of any love for Mondale but out of dread of the thought of another four years of Reagan. This is what explains why Mondale, who is by no means a popular figure among the black people, got 90% of the black vote. Likewise, this is why members of families earning under $12,500 a year and the jobless were the two economic categories that the New York Times exit poll shows voted for Mondale.

The more impoverished sections of the employed workers, the ten million unemployed, the black people, the Mexican nationality people and the other oppressed nationalities either didn't vote or cast their vote mainly for Mondale in the hopes that this was a vote against Reagan. In other words, among the main victims of the Reaganite offensive, far from a "Reagan sweep," we find: (a) broad contempt for Reagan and everything he stands for and (b) little or no enthusiasm for Mondale, combined with widespread hopes that the Democrats will not be quite so bad.

The outcome of the voting at the congressional and state level is another hole in the capitalist propaganda that the elections provided a "mandate" for Reaganite reaction. In fact there was a stalemate in the makeup of Congress and of the state governorships and legislatures; and a number of Reagan-style initiatives, including tax cutting measures in California and Michigan directed against the workers and the poor, went down to defeat. Despite winning 59% of the votes for president, this did not translate into votes for the so-called "Reagan revolution" at the congressional and local level. Instead of a "Reaganite sweep," this indicates the shallowness of support for his reactionary policies.

The mainspring of Reagan support tame from the bankers, capitalists and millionaires. Around this core rallied the majority of the wealthy upper stratum and the aspiring petty bourgeois who hope to join the wealthy. These are the sections of the population that have reaped (or at least hope to reap) high returns from the Reaganite assault on the working masses.

The Reagan campaign also made some headway among the less politically conscious sections of the working people through the use of the most extravagant lies ("prosperity," "tax cuts,"...) dished out by the most expensive advertising campaign in political history. Of course, without the help of a momentary respite in the economic crisis, providing a few months of at least the appearance of a turn towards recovery, these lies would never have stuck.

This in brief explains the Reagan vote.

Cynical Mouthpiece of a Cynical Capitalist Offensive

The capitalist ruling class has given Reagan a second term because it considers him to be the best man for the job. He personifies "America standing tall." This is capitalist America "standing tall" on the backs of the hard pressed workers and ten million unemployed at home, and on the backs of the martyred workers and peasants of Central America and other peoples.

This is the capitalist America of exploitation, reaction and warmaking "standing proud" of its crimes and stripped naked of the hypocritical trappings of concern for its countless victims.

So what that Reagan is an air head? So what that every word out of his mouth flies in the face of facts and even what he said the day before? So what that the commander in chief believes that he can call back the nuclear missiles after he launches them from the bombers and submarines? As Reagan's men put it, why should the President burden himself with such details?!

The capitalists are conducting a most cruel and cynical crusade against the masses; there is no reason or logic here but the cruel and cynical logic of capitalist profit making. As the mouthpiece of this reactionary offensive, Reagan's empty head and his actor's talents for a "sincere" delivery of the lie (remember Nixon's shifty eyes) have become two of his most valuable assets for the bourgeoisie. So with the bankers and generals providing the cue cards, they have installed the puppet Reagan for another four years.

The Democrats Stand in Awe Before Reagan's Backside

The Democratic Party chiefs are licking their wounds. They whimper and moan that they are "out of the mainstream," and the general consensus among them is that this "mainstream" is even further to the right. Powerful voices are being raised among the Democrats that they have to be "more moderate" and "more conservative" in the future.

But how much more "moderate" can the Democrats get? The truth is that Mondale ran on a platform of trying to out-Reagan Reagan. He wanted to prove to the bourgeoisie that he was the "strong" candidate who will make the "hard choices." He promised to slash health care and other social programs even more ruthlessly than Reagan dared. He swore that he, not Reagan, could deliver a "sustainable" weapons buildup. And he declared his eagerness to escalate Reagan's criminal war on Nicaragua with a military "quarantine." Mondale even became the first major candidate in modern history to campaign for sticking the people with a big tax hike, showing his desperation to convince the moneymen that he could serve their interests without regard to the political consequences.

But the moneymen weren't impressed. No matter that Mondale ran on Reagan's platform. No matter that during the Carter regime Mondale pushed for the same programs of cutbacks for the poor and handouts for the rich, and for the same nuclear war buildup that Reagan is pushing today. No matter that Mondale has proven himself as one of the tamest lap dogs of monopoly capital.

The capitalist ruling class still wasn't satisfied. Mondale's decades of association with New Deal liberalism and his hypocritical moanings about fairness and the plight of the poor were too great a liability. In their reactionary offensive against the masses, the capitalists have made it clear that they want a frank and undisguised mouthpiece. They want a regime free of even the leftover trappings of such old liberal (and totally hypocritical) promises as compassion for the unemployed or civil rights for the black people. After all, even a hint of such promises poses the danger of raising expectations among the working people and stirring them to struggle.

The capitalists weren't interested in a liberal Democrat gone Reaganite; and the working people had no enthusiasm for a Reaganite with a liberal mask. This spelled the fate of the Mondale campaign. And now the election results have spurred the Democrats to wade out even deeper into the "mainstream" of the Reaganite sewer. Each to his own taste.

The Elections Bring Home the Need for Independence from Capitalist Politics

For the class conscious workers and progressive activists the elections bring out an opposite conclusion. The 1984 electoral extravaganza was a multi-million dollar demonstration of the fact that the capitalist politicians have nothing to offer the working people. Whether Republican or Democrat, whether conservative or liberal, they swim together down the "mainstream" of capitalist reaction.

From this angle the elections were a clarion call for the need for the independent politics of the working class, the politics of the class struggle. They underscored the need for a relentless struggle to combat the lies and demagogy of the Reaganites, combined with constant exposure of the smooth-talking Democrats as the hypocritical reactionaries that they are.

The alternative to the loathesome politics of the millionaires and billionaires is the fight for the independent politics of the class struggle. This is the dynamic politics of the mass struggle against the exploiters, reactionaries, racists, imperialists and warmongers. It demands building up the independent revolutionary organizations of the masses and spreading the revolutionary truth in the workplaces, communities and schools to cut through the capitalist propaganda and to put the struggle on a sure and revolutionary footing.

These are the burning tasks of the day.


[Back to Top]

Defeated in Viet Nam, the generals unleash the 'stab in the back' legend

War criminal Westmoreland sues CBS for libel

General Westmoreland, the war criminal who commanded the U.S. forces in Viet Nam from 1964 to 1968, is suing the CBS TV network for libel. Westmoreland directed the action as the U.S. forces dropped napalm all over Viet Nam, burned hundreds of villages to the ground, imprisoned and tortured hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, massacred the population, and spread poisonous chemicals all over Viet Nam in order to "defoliate" it, chemicals that still retard Vietnamese agriculture and cause multitudes of birth defects. But this same Westmoreland apparently believes that he still has a reputation to protect. He is suing for a mere $120 million. If he wins, why no one will dare criticize the sacred Pentagon murderers in uniform.

The broadcast by CBS that is being debated in court is a 1982 documentary entitled "The Uncounted Enemy: A Viet Nam Deception." This documentary criticized Westmoreland for hiding reports that the ranks of the Vietnamese liberation fighters (this is not, of course, what CBS called them) were growing and instead presenting a picture of American victories that didn't exist.

This lawsuit would seem to be pathetic on the very face of it. Who doesn't know that the Pentagon lied and lied and lied all during the war in Viet Nam? Who doesn't know that the constant reports from the generals and from the White House that there was "light at the end of the tunnel" for U.S. imperialism were a complete sham?

Yet there is method to Westmoreland's madness in bringing an apparently hopeless lawsuit. The lawsuit is not so hopeless after all. For all the U.S. imperialist officials, from the Reagan administration to the liberals in Congress, are involved in reversing the verdict on Viet Nam. They are striving for a "national reconciliation" between the mad dog generals and politicians who ravaged Viet Nam and the opponents of the war. They are presenting the Viet Nam war, on TV and in books and newspapers, as a noble venture by self-sacrificing warriors. While cutting veterans' benefits and turning their backs on even the American victims of the poisonous chemical "Agent Orange," they are nevertheless, in order to entice more cannon fodder into their armies and to create war hysteria, glorifying the figure of the noble warrior of the Pentagon, loyally slaughtering other peoples for the glory of the American way. From the national Viet Nam war memorial to the movies and endless news spots on the "MIA's," from the "scholarly" work of hack bourgeois historians to the ravings of the Reaganites, a whole propaganda barrage of chauvinism is being worked up.

Westmoreland's antics are a deadly serious part of this campaign to exorcise the "Viet Nam syndrome." In his testimony, he in fact claims that the glorious, invincible U.S. army commanded by him did not lose miserably in Viet Nam, but in fact essentially won the war. Believe it or not, this is Westmoreland's contention. He denounces CBS for saying he hid the truth; instead he says that his lies about the "enemy" being whittled away to nothing were the truth. He strikes out at critics right and left, assailing everything that contradicts his picture of an invincible U.S. military. He even denounces American intelligence officers in general and the estimates of his own military staff in particular, to say nothing of writing off the verdict that the war itself rendered. According to Westmoreland, everything would have been just fine and the Vietnamese people would have been put in their place if only the news media hadn't said that the war was lost.

Thus, Westmoreland unleashed the old, militarist, "stab in the back" legend. " We won the war, we won, we won, we really did," the militarists chant. It was just those darn reporters and politicians who stole our victory from us.

From Hitler's "Stab in the Back" Myth to the Pentagon's New "Stab in the Back" Myth

The most famous "stab in the back" myth of the militarists was the one utilized by Hitler in enslaving the German working people, setting up the Nazi state, and plunging the world into the bloodbath called World War II with the aim of establishing fascist world hegemony. This myth concerned the outcome of World War I.

When Germany was defeated in World War I, the German militarists didn't become civilized and repentant. On the contrary, they invented a "stab in the back" legend. According to this myth, Germany could have won the war and ruled the world if only the civilians at home hadn't overthrown the reactionary monarch, the Kaiser, and surrendered to the Allies. The minor fact that the German armies had been defeated, the "Siegfried line" had been breached, and the generals themselves had thrown their hands up in despair was irrelevant. The minor fact that the German working people were completely right in overthrowing the rotten Kaiser, that the German revolutionary movement proceeded in unity with the revolutionary movements of the workers of the rest of the world, and that the tragic mistake of the German workers lay simply in that they had only overthrown the Kaiser but left the German bourgeoisie in power, was also irrelevant to the militarists. To be precise, it wasn't irrelevant. It was the goal of the German militarists and bourgeoisie to discredit the German working class movement and to smash even the limited rights the German working people had won for themselves through blaming all the subsequent difficulties facing the German people on an alleged "stab in the back" ending World War I.

Hitler found this "stab in the back" legend to his liking. He picked it up lovingly and made it one of the centerpieces of his fascist propaganda. "Down with the Jews and the communists," he cried, "who stabbed Germany in the back." And under this banner, he tried to divert the German people's anger from the German capitalists and militarists to the "foreign threat."

Today the American bourgeoisie is on an offensive. Just as the German bourgeoisie did not become civilized after losing their Kaiser in World War I, but continued to be militarist and reactionary -- and will so continue until a socialist revolution overthrows them -- so the American bourgeoisie has not become civilized and peaceful after losing in Viet Nam. As long as they are not overthrown in a socialist revolution, the millionaire exploiters will continue to do their utmost to exploit the American workers to the bone; to dominate, trample and super-exploit the working people of other countries; and to strive their utmost for world hegemony for the U.S. "dollar empire."

Part of the capitalist offensive is to overcome the "Viet Nam syndrome." They are rewriting the history of the Viet Nam war in order to have yet another pretext to suppress the working people and in order to create war hysteria for new wars. "Down with the blacks and the communists," they cry, just as Hitler raved "Down with the Jews and the communists." They put on long faces and insist: "We would have won the war, if only the liberals, the newsmen, the blacks and the communists hadn't taken our victory from us."

CBS Is No Anti-War Hero

But despite the fact that Westmoreland and the Reagan administration rank the liberals and the newsmen alongside the real opponents of the war in Viet Nam, that doesn't make it so. The fact that Westmoreland is suing CBS should not make one think that CBS is some kind of anti-war hero. On the contrary, CBS, NBC, ABC and all the bourgeois press are diehard supporters of U.S. imperialism. They have nothing in common with the real opponents of aggression and injustice, with the protesters and marchers, with the class conscious workers, progressive students and the masses of the blacks, Latinos and other oppressed nationalities.

Take the CBS documentary that is being debated in this trial. Had CBS simply denounced Westmoreland, the Pentagon and the White House for lying to the people, it would have been hard even for American lawyers to stage a libel trial on this issue. But this was not what CBS did in its documentary.

Instead CBS invented the fiction that Lyndon Johnson, the war-crazed maniac who was the overall "commander in chief" against the Vietnamese people, the bloodstained politician who sacrificed his entire presidential administration on the altar of the war against Viet Nam, was the victim. Their documentary centered on the contention that Westmoreland, the general, had lied to Johnson, the august head of state.

Of course, Westmoreland may well have lied to his fellow militarists, like Lyndon Johnson. Capitalists and militarists are a cutthroat crew that squabble and claw and backbite among themselves. But clearly this is a rather secondary issue, and it was this minor issue that tied CBS up in the fine points of who said what in secret briefings. The important fact was that Johnson had full knowledge of the basic features of the war, whatever lies the Pentagon may have invented -- and these lies were usually to serve Johnson's political aims as well as theirs, if not invented on Johnson's personal command.

How should we look at things? Should we forget that the liberal Democrats, such as Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, waded through just as many pools of blood in Viet Nam as the Pentagon? Should we forget that the liberal Democrats such as Kennedy in fact fostered the infamous "special forces" and sent hundreds of thousands of troops to Viet Nam? Or should we believe that Johnson was OK, because if he had known that U.S. aggression in Viet Nam was going so badly, he might have done something different. Oh, what a hero! He would have had second thoughts, not because the war was wrong, not because the war was aggression, not because the war was a crime against humanity, but solely because the Pentagon was losing. And these second thoughts might well have resulted in his escalating the war to new heights. All those who lived through those years can remember that each and every time Johnson came on the air to announce a new step to peace, he was in fact announcing a new escalation of the bombing or an increase in U.S. troop levels. With these escalations, he would say, we will bring them to the negotiating table and thus shorten the war. This is the same thing that Reagan says today: we are not in an arms race for war, oh no, we are just seeking to have some bargaining chips to negotiate with and thus eliminate weapons.

Fight the Reaganite Warmongers and Their New "Stab in the Back" Legend

The Westmoreland-CBS libel trial is another sign that shows how seriously we must take the idiotic Reaganite lies and the poisonous propaganda for militarism and chauvinism.

U.S. imperialism is deadly serious about arming for new wars. It is planning for a "winnable nuclear war" and it is planning to intervene in "small wars" all over the globe.

This is why U.S. imperialism is stepping up its lies and poisoning of the minds of the people. It can't stand the truth about how the Vietnamese people defeated it, because it wants to generate enthusiasm for new wars. It can't stand the truth about the evil nature of U.S. aggression in Viet Nam, because it wants to engage in more aggression around the world. For that matter, it doesn't care about the truth at all, but simply wants to generate an atmosphere of unthinking obedience, unthinking flag-waving, unthinking willingness to kill and maim for the greater profits of Exxon and ITT and the Bank of America.

We must step up the fight against militarism and chauvinism. We must not take part in the "national reconciliation" over Viet Nam but instead uphold the real history of the war in Viet Nam and of the lessons of the struggle against this horrible aggression by the Pentagon. We must continue to scathingly condemn the war criminals in uniform and in political office. And upholding the truth about Viet Nam must especially extend to exposing the truth about the present U.S. aggressions, undertaken, in part, in the name of overcoming the "Viet Nam syndrome." We must fight the militarist campaign of the Reaganites from the standpoint of opposing the whole imperialist system which will never become civilized, never drop its butcher knives, until it is overthrown once and for all by the socialist revolution of the working class.

[Photo: Another American plane shot down by the guerrillas' rifle fire. The South Viet Nam army and people brought down and destroyed 6,404 enemy aircraft from 1961 to April 1967.]

[Back to Top]

Anti-racist demonstrations in Chicago

Fight police-organized racist attacks!

Recently Chicago has been in the news. The cowardly racist attack on a black couple who moved into the segregated neighborhood known as the "Island" made national news. The big TV news networks lovingly reported on the racist atrocities and gloated that the black couple had decided to move out of the "Island." But the TV networks shied away from the fact that these attacks were fostered by the police and by much of the Democratic Party apparatus. And they also did their best to sneer at and denigrate the demonstration against the racist attack, pretending that it met a hostile response.

Over the last several weeks there has indeed been a step-up of racist attacks in Chicago. First the racist gang of Hitler worshipers and KKK imitators called the "rebel boys" started cross burnings in the integrated "Uptown" neighborhood of Chicago. The Chicago police welcomed this activity, sitting on their hands on the pretext that this was just "a prank." But two hundred people from "Uptown," including both blacks and whites, came out to demonstrate against these attacks.

The news media pretends that racism comes from the inevitable human nature of the people of Chicago. But it was the residents of this neighborhood who opposed the racist attacks. The bourgeoisie says that the answer to every problem is more "police protection," more police, more prisons and tougher judges. But it was the police and the city government machinery that either sat on its hands or organized the racist attacks.

The role of the racist police was even more striking in the next major incident, the one that made national news. A black worker, Mr. Goffer, and his family moved into the "Island." This is a small segregated neighborhood in Chicago that lies between a black neighborhood and the all-white city of Cicero. On November 7 this black couple and their eight-year-old son were kept under siege for five to six hours. Strangely enough, the Chicago squad cars that prowl the streets decided to avoid this neighborhood for the entire time of the attack. But this didn't mean that the police weren't present. Oh no. A Cicero policeman, out of uniform, has been reported to have been on the scene and to have supplied bricks for throwing at the apartment. Another two Cicero policemen arrived to investigate a possible burglary across the street from Goffer's apartment but left allegedly without even noticing the siege of Goffer's apartment going on right under their nose. The police departments of both Cicero and Chicago let the siege of the black family continue for hours. They claim that they knew nothing of what was going on.

The police have one stand towards racism, and the working people have a different stand. On November 10 a modest demonstration of 50 or more people took place. Attended mostly by whites, this demonstration denounced the racist attacks on Mr. Goffer and his family. The police showed up at the demonstration and attempted to stop bystanders from joining the demonstration on the pretext of "protecting" the demonstration. Comrades from our Party found that it took a real struggle to cross the police lines and join the demonstration.

The racist gang activity, winked at and fostered by the police, continued. Right around Thanksgiving a young Chilean worker and his family had crude homemade bombs hurled at their home in the same area. The police were called but shrugged it off as probably the work of "just kids." All across the country, the police and the rich are viciously railing against and persecuting the youth as "criminals," but when it comes to throwing bombs at immigrants, it is the police who think it is just a little innocent fun.

Firebombings and other attacks have also been committed in other segregated communities in Chicago. This includes Marquette Park and Bridgeport and, incidentally, the 10th Ward of Vrdolyak, the racist politician who runs the part of the Chicago Democratic Party machine that opposes the black mayor, Harold Washington.

And once again, there will be protests by the people. On December 15, the Marxist-Leninist Party, Chicago Branch is organizing a militant contingent in the protest and rally called by the Coalition Against Racist Violence (CARV) for noon in Daley Plaza at the corner of Dearborn and Washington.

The anti-racist stand of the working people contrasts not just to the attitude of the police, but also that of the bourgeois press. The news media likes to pretend that it is free of racism; it only gives "realistic" reporting on the people's racism. But it just couldn't restrain itself with respect to the recent racist attacks. For example, two prominent columnists for the Chicago Tribune commented in essence that sure, the racist are wrong, but the minorities should know better than to move out of their part of town. They should have learned to accept the status quo of segregation as a hard reality of human nature in Chicago. As nationally syndicated liberal Mike Royko stated: "...the question many people keep asking is this: Why did the family move there in the first place?... Unless you have half a brain or have just dropped in from outer space, you know that this is not the most racially affectionate of cities." Meanwhile Bill Granger, also attacking the victim, pontificated that "Spencer Goffer was either naive or not very bright." Thus the bourgeois scribblers threw their own newsprint rocks at the black family.

The racist attacks in Chicago are part of the overall Reaganite racist offensive. This is a many-sided offensive. It includes cross burning and rock throwing. It includes racist trash from the TV networks, the bourgeois press and the "sophisticated" bourgeois columnists. It includes a whole series of reactionary Supreme Court decisions codifying such things as job discrimination, "la migra" raids, and so forth.

And the Democratic Party provides no alternative to the capitalist offensive. It is notable that Chicago is a Democratic Party town. It has been ruled by the Democratic Party machine for years, first by Daley and then by various factions after his death. And yet the racist attacks have gone on and on and the Democratic Party has been the home of the notorious racists. Today the Democratic machine is divided into half. One half, led by Vrdolyak, maintains the old racist traditions openly. The other half is led by Mayor Harold Washington. But, although Mayor Washington is black and he has installed a black police chief, nothing much has changed; the police continue fostering the racist attacks and there is still "business as usual." It is not color, but political stand that makes the difference -- is one for or against the capitalist offensive? Washington is a reformist, and reformism means bowing down before the capitalist offensive, sacrificing the masses for the sake of a few positions for the wealthy, putting a nice sounding veneer on the racist reality, and changing nothing.

No, for a real fight against racism and against all the other aspects of Reaganism and the capitalist offensive the masses must fight against the capitalist parties and build the.independent movement of the working class. We must oppose the politics of conciliation with the capitalist parties pushed by the reformists and the politics of dreams about a "moderate" capitalism pushed by the liberals. There must be militant mass action and the development of solid organization.

The opposition to the racist attacks show that there is a slowly percolating current in Chicago of deep outrage at the systematic indignities and violent persecution suffered by the blacks and other oppressed nationalities. This anti-racist struggle is not just in the interests of the black people but is essential for the entire working class. Racism is one of the spearheads of the Reaganite attack, and the struggle against racism must be taken up as an integral part of the overall struggle against the capitalist offensive.

[Back to Top]

New York police murder elderly black woman for owing $357.80 in back rent

(The following leaflet was jointly issued by The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group and the New York Metro Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on November 10, 1984.)

She was a 66-year-old grandmother, weighed over 300 pounds and suffered with swollen feet, arthritis and high blood pressure. On Monday, October 29, this elderly, half-disabled black woman, Mrs. Eleanor Bumpurs, was ruthlessly cut down in her Bronx apartment by two shotgun blasts fired by a police officer. Police officers broke into her apartment to evict her. Mrs. Bumpurs was behind in her rent.

Elderly, sick and facing winter just around the corner, Mrs. Bumpurs was cornered in her apartment by a police commando squad (Emergency Service Unit). Terrified and confused, she held to her kitchen knife. The officers, six of them, commanded by a sergeant and equipped with pistols, shotguns, mace, protective shields and restraining rods, had her cornered. Claiming that this elderly, overweight woman (who had difficulty just moving around), first evaded and then "lunged" at one of the officers, the police judged her to be a dangerous menace and shot her down like an animal.

Her rent was a mere four months in arrears. Her debt, according to the City Housing Authority, which owns the project in which she lived, was a grand total of $357.80.

The police claim that they shouted warnings at her. This is a lie. "All I heard," an eyewitness insists, "was her saying, 'Get out, get out, leave me alone.'"

The police department, led by Commissioner Ward, has risen to defend this police lynch mob. "Our officers are not allowed to fire warning shots. They are trained to hit the target, not a leg or an arm, but the main part of the body," one official declared. And to pile insult on injury, the police have filled the press with a pack of disgusting lies to portray Mrs. Bumpurs as just another dangerous psycho. They are flaunting their stone-cold arrogance and bizarre cynicism!

No crime by the police is too atrocious to receive unfailing support from the capitalist city authorities, from the courts and from phony "investigations." As horrible as it is, the murder of Mrs. Bumpurs is no unusual occurrence, nor is it simply the unfortunate result of bad judgment or misguided action. Rather it is one in a never ending series of atrocities carried out against the poor and oppressed by the police. Police terror is a systematic policy and a cornerstone of the rule of the rich capitalists over the working masses.

A stem and systematic struggle is the way to combat the terror and atrocities of the police. Such a struggle must be built up on the shoulders of the masses and on their organization. And, such a struggle must link itself, arm in arm, with all other mass currents of opposition among the working masses against the heartless capitalist oppressors and racist rulers.

Shouting "Murder! Murder!" residents of Mrs. Bumpurs' neighborhood gathered for a mass community meeting on the incident and forced the departure of a police captain and city housing official from the meeting. These two arrogant henchmen of Mayor Koch and the capitalist oppressors defended the tactics of the police lynch mob and the slaughter of Mrs. Bumpurs.

Word of the coldblooded slaughter of this elderly helpless woman has touched a raw nerve among the working masses -- provoking utter disgust and heartfelt outrage. Every effort must be made to push forward the struggle against police terror.

[Back to Top]

At Chrysler's Detroit assembly plant

Workers wildcat against firing and productivity drive

(The following leaflets were issued by the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on November 9 and November20, 1984.)

Chrysler must rehire T. Curry now!

On Thursday, November 8, more than 100 afternoon shift workers at Chrysler's Jefferson Avenue assembly plant in Detroit took matters into their own hands and staged a wildcat strike protesting the firing of T. Curry, a worker on the Trim Line, Dept. 9150.

The firing occurred after T. Curry defended himself from being physically assaulted by Trim Line Foreman Wilbert. The anger of the Jefferson assembly workers boiled over when they found out that T. Curry was fired while Foreman Wilbert, the attacker, has gone scot-free. The Jefferson assembly workers are demanding that T. Curry immediately be rehired and paid back for lost time. The workers denounced this incident as just one more example of Chrysler's man-eating productivity drive.

Striking workers provided the following account of the situation. On Wednesday evening, while working on the Trim Line, T. Curry became sick and asked his foreman, Wilbert, for job relief so that he could go to medical for treatment. More than four hours passed and T. Curry still hadn't been given medical relief. An argument then broke out. Wilbert verbally abused and physically pushed T. Curry. T. Curry defended himself from the attack and a scuffle developed. Chrysler management then fired T. Curry for defending himself, while allowing the attacker, Wilbert, to go free.

Jefferson workers report that the example of T. Curry not being given medical relief is not an isolated case but an everyday occurrence. Workers with long-time documented medical conditions like asthma are regularly denied medical relief when they need to take their medicine.

The denial of medical relief is just one part of Chrysler's overall productivity drive. To maximize its profits, Chrysler is driving the workers like dogs. Every week more jobs are eliminated or combined. The overwork is forcing workers to work in "the hole" day after day. Job cuts are so deep that it is commonplace to see foremen working the line or sweeping up for eight hours, two or three days in a row. The Jefferson workers are fed up and saying "these hellhole conditions must stop," "we will not be treated like slaves!"

Rehire T. Curry with full back pay now!

Down with Chrysler's productivity drive -- bring back the laid off!

Fight job elimination, speedup and harassment!

Build the mass struggle to defend the workers!

T. Curry is back! Step up the fight against the productivity drive!

On Monday, November 19, T. Curry of Dept. 9150 returned to his job on the Trim Line. This is a victory for the Jefferson workers in their struggle against Chrysler's productivity drive, job elimination and harassment.

Everyone knows that T. Curry got his job back because the workers at Jefferson waged a determined mass struggle in his defense. Day after day, the workers showed that they would not allow Chrysler to fire Curry, who defended himself after being physically assaulted by a foreman.

Soon after Curry was fired, workers from the Trim Line staged a wildcat strike protesting this outrage, causing the line to be shut down for several hours. The next day about 70 workers marched down to the union hall where they confronted Local 7 officials, demanding action and vowing that they had their "walking shoes on" and that they were "ready to strike." That same day about 70 or 80 workers from the Trim Line and other areas "put the heat on" company and union officials at one of the time clocks. Again Chrysler wasn't able to start the line, this time for about 40 minutes.

Besides these actions, militant workers, supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Party, distributed thousands of leaflets and stickers to popularize the struggle throughout the plant. And in every department the workers expressed the common view: "If they don't give Curry his job back, then we are walking too."

Obviously it was these actions by the workers, and not the benevolence of the Chrysler billionaires, that brought Curry back to work. In fact, Chrysler was so shaken that foremen all over the plant suddenly became polite to the workers, thanking them for good work, offering to get them new gloves and aprons, and even having puddles of water cleaned up off the floor.

It is also clear that it was not the leaders of the UAW, but the mass struggle of the rank-and-file workers that forced Chrysler to back down on its firing of Curry. The union leaders dragged their feet at every step. They even demanded that the workers return to their jobs and adopted a course of tying up the case in endless negotiations. But the persistence of the workers, their timely actions, and their threat of an even wider strike, forced the UAW leaders to stop dragging their feet and get Curry his job back immediately.

It is the independent mass action of the rank and file, and that alone, that has won this victory.

Chrysler Workers: Oppose Any Reprisals Against the Wildcatters!

Workers must be vigilant against any attempt by Chrysler to punish the wildcatters. Workers must watch out for sneak attacks or flimsy excuses to pick off one worker at a time. The workers who wildcatted were absolutely correct in their action to defend T. Curry. If the physical attack against Curry was not opposed, then it would become commonplace for foremen to assault workers.

No reprisals against the militant workers can be tolerated.

Continue the Struggle Against Chrysler's Productivity Drive!

The fight to get T. Curry's job back is just one round in the battle against Chrysler's productivity drive. Jefferson workers have said: "We are overworked and underpaid, we are tired of being treated like slaves!" Now is the time to continue the fight against speedup and overwork, against job combination and job elimination, against harassment and slave driving. Build the mass struggle to defend the workers!

[Back to Top]

Demonstrators battle police attacks

1,500 denounce Secretary of Aggression Weinberger in San Francisco

Caspar Weinberger is the Secretary of Defense in Reagan's cabinet. He is the "hardliner" who heads the apparatus of aggression and destruction poised over the heads of the world's people. Wherever he goes, there are demonstrators waiting to denounce him for the crimes of U.S. imperialism.

Fifteen hundred people came to denounce Weinberger on November 8 when he was "honored" at the USO at a $135-a-plate dinner and given a "man of the year" award. The demonstrators especially focused on U.S. threats to invade Nicaragua and U.S. aggression all through Central America. The demonstrators set up a vigil across from the posh St. Francis Hotel where Weinberger was being kissed and hugged by his fellow militarists.

The San Francisco police, who had shown their brutal nature as servants of the rich with their attacks on the anti-Kissinger demonstration in April and on various demonstrators in July at the time of the Democratic National Convention, were out to keep up their reputation. They showed up in force. What better task for capitalist police than to protect a warmonger, like Weinberger, a man up to his neck in the blood of the Central American workers and peasants, from being confronted by the anti-war demonstrators?

The police refused to let the demonstrators get near the hotel and instead set up a metal barrier across the street. But the demonstrators were in a militant mood. They not only raised slogans, but many pressed against the barrier, at one point overturning it and forcing the police to move it back. The police attacked the demonstrators with horses and on foot. One protester was knocked unconscious and had to be taken away in an ambulance.

One group of several dozen youth broke away from the main demonstration and moved to a different location, where they began to snake-dance in the streets and block traffic. This time teams of undercover police grabbed particular individuals, then uniformed Tac Squad police attacked.

The police did not want their actions to be recorded even by the bourgeois press. They smashed the equipment of TV cameramen and news photographers who had come forward with their lights to get pictures.

But all the violence of the San Francisco police could not prevent the demonstration from being a powerful statement against U.S. aggression. Slogans rang out against U.S. aggression in Central America. The bourgeoisie learned again that police attacks will not stop the anti-war movement. Once again, another Reaganite spokesman of war and destruction had been met with the denunciation he so richly deserved.


[Back to Top]

At Tufts University near Boston

[Back to Top]

Students block CIA recruiters

(The following article is reprinted from the October 25, 1984 issue of The Student, a newspaper published by progressive students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.)

On October 3 approximately 30 progressive students at Tufts University surrounded a CIA recruiter and prevented him from holding a forum. The militant students charged the agent as being a criminal spy and he was forced to retreat.

The reactionary Tufts administration was incensed by this action and they began a witch hunt against the progressive students, singling out the leader for disciplinary action. However, the militants denounced these "arbitrary and McCarthy-like methods" and instead came forward, 18 strong, to defend the anti-imperialist movement. They forced the administration to hold a mass disciplinary hearing. At the hearing, the deans tried to limit the discussion to the infraction of the bourgeois law, claiming that politics were not an issue. But the progressive students blew this lame argument to bits by presenting fact after fact showing that it is the CIA which is criminal and undemocratic. This militant and politically explicit stance won the respect of many students and stopped the administration cold in its tracks. The disciplinary hearing concluded that while rules may have been broken, no punishment would be inflicted. As of Tuesday Tufts has decided to ban the CIA from recruiting on campus, with the exception of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

The Student salutes the militants at Tufts. Mass struggle against militarism and against the buildup of the police state is well in order. Reagan is spending billions beefing up the CIA, FBI and other forces while Mondale roams the nation pledging that if he is elected he will "restore the credibility of that crucial agency [the CIA]." The most recent revelation about the CIA's activities against the workers and peasants in Central America and against the anti-war movement in Europe only highlight the justness of the Tufts students' action.

Below we reprint the closing statement of the Tufts students at the October 13 hearing.

Students' Closing Statement

Now that this trial is over we choose to state plainly that we will not allow any form of disciplinary action taken against [us] to undermine those beliefs which necessitated our action in the first place. No amount of discipline or punishment will change the objective fact that patterns of power and privilege exist and must be challenged. In fact, it is our belief that repression only gives birth to greater resistance.

It is clear to each of us that this has been a political trial aimed at isolating a group of public activists in order to close the many doors that we insist on opening. If we are guilty of anything it is that we share the deep conviction that all progress in history has come through protest and that we will never willingly allow our protest to be silenced.

We wish also to make it clear that our resistance to CIA activities is in solidarity with the people across the world who have suffered immeasurably from the actions of the CIA and the United States government; it is in solidarity with all who have struggled and who continue to struggle for their self-determination; and it is aimed specifically as a gesture of solidarity to the people of Nicaragua and El Salvador whose struggle for liberation is today opposed by the largest ever CIA operation.

We have maintained throughout this hearing that we were fully conscious of our action in resisting the CIA's recruitment operation at our university. We have been equally clear that we were motivated in our action by certain fundamental beliefs based both on moral and political considerations.

[Back to Top]

On the movie 'Red Dawn'

A trashy film that glorifies imperialist war

(The following article is reprinted from an October 1984 issue of the Chicago Anti-Imperialist Newsletter, which is published under the leadership of the Chicago Branch of the MLP to advance the anti-imperialist movement.)

Today in the U.S. the Reagan administration is deepening its brutal imperialistic adventures in Central America, the Middle East and throughout the world; the working and oppressed people of the U.S. are taking up protest against racist, anti-immigrant bills such as the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, against draft registration and against U.S. intervention in Central America; and the American working masses are being driven into poverty by growing inflation, attacks are being made on wages and our tax burden is increasing. Along with all this, the capitalists have launched a nationalistic patriotic offensive to rally' the American people, and especially the youth, around their imperialistic warmongering aims and activities.

This patriotic battle call to the youth is heralded from every facet of the media. A multitude of television ads declare that "only a winner" can become cannon fodder for the marines. Or they appeal to the youth, facing a high unemployment level, by telling them the army can provide "training, pay and security" while being prepared to invade other countries. Along with an increase in such ads, new shows are being produced such as "Call to Glory" that glorifies Hitlerite military patriotism. Also, the radio now carries more and more music with a national chauvinist theme such as songs like "Don't Tread on Me." The capitalists and their government hail this cultural attack calling it part of the "new patriotism." It is a call of America right or wrong, a call to rally around the U.S. imperialist dominance, a whipping up of American chauvinism in support of U.S. aggression throughout the world. U.S. imperialism wants to develop the youth as a ready and willing reserve for its military buildup.

One of the clearest examples of how this chauvinism is depicted in the media is the movie "Red Dawn." Produced this year by John Milius, "Red Dawn" depicts an invasion of the U.S. by the Soviets aided by the Cubans, the Nicaraguans, the Salvadorans and the Mexicans. This is most appropriate for the Reaganite plans of U.S. imperialism as it steps up CIA attacks on Nicaragua, increases military aid to the fascist Duarte regime against the Salvadoran people, and carries out a reign of terror against the Mexican immigrants in the U.S. The film's enemies are Reagan's enemies. The film calls on the youth to join the imperialist attacks on the world's people.

"Red Dawn" begins by telling the viewer that all of South and Central America have fallen to revolution along with Mexico, and that what's left of Europe is neutral, and the U.S. stands alone. Then not a moment is lost before the Russians invade and begin killing everyone in sight indiscriminately.

The film is focused on six or so high school kids who escape the Soviet/ Cuban invasion and take refuge in the mountains with a couple of sixes of Coca-Cola and a box of Wheaties. These high school jocks, two girls, and an Eagle Scout leader call themselves the "Wolverines." They take on the entire enemy alone. As the plot "advances" we see how this young naive bunch progressively become tougher and TOUGHER. Being TOUGH is a central idea of this film. Toughness proceeds from a boy drinking deer blood to prove his manhood to drinking blood of a Soviet soldier to prove his ruthlessness. The Reaganites want nazi-mentality youth to be the backbone of its imperialist army.

The rest of the film is one scene after another of the "Wolverines" battling these foreign forces. Each killing of the "communist" forces by the "Wolverines" is backed by romantic and often gleeful music. "Red Dawn" creates an atmosphere of aggressiveness and blind hatred toward the "enemy" and promotes Reagan's line of limited nuclear warfare. All the major cities of the world are devastated by nuclear bombs while conventional warfare is carried out in the clean air of the Midwest. The movie sets about to instill fear into the audience that all the forces in Latin America that are now fighting for freedom from U.S. imperialist domination will eventually cross the border and attack South Dakota.

Thus the movie "Red Dawn" serves Reaganite interests to a "T." It promotes mindless chauvinism, it encourages a nazi youth mentality, it promotes limited nuclear warfare, it attacks the people of Latin America, and it singles out the immigrants for particular attack as they were the ones who supposedly infiltrated on behalf of the Soviets.

The news media has promoted "Red Dawn" and has accompanied this promotion with articles praising youth who join the armed forces to fight Reagan's enemies. For example an article in the Chicago Tribune (September 1984) tells about a 17-year-old girl who has taken up something "interesting." The "something interesting" is joining the National Guard and wanting to throw grenades instead of snowballs, drive a tank instead of a car, and being eager to take up an M-16 to hunt down U.S. imperialism's enemies -- even the ones next door.

The capitalist class, in its campaign of national chauvinism,- is particularly worried about the youth, for the youth have historically played an important role in the struggles against military buildup and imperialist war. In the sixties, for example, the youth joined with the working class and progressive people in a great mass movement opposing the imperialist war against Viet Nam. The strength and intensity of that mass movement shook the capitalist class and its government to its foundations and the upsurge of the 60's still echos in the halls of the Pentagon. Today the youth are again taking part in protests and demonstrations against the imperialist warmongers. The oppositional sentiments of today are bound to grow into a new upsurge against imperialism. The American youth are sure to come forward and play an important role in that upsurge.

[Back to Top]

Kirkpatrick, death-squad queen, confronted in Seattle

Jeane Kirkpatrick, mouthpiece at the UN for the Reaganite policy of war and aggression, was denounced yet again as she spewed out her poison. This time Kirkpatrick had gone to the University of Washington to commemorate the Democratic Party warmonger Scoop Jackson, the late and unlamented longtime senator from the state of Washington (also known as the Senator from Boeing). Kirkpatrick's homage to Jackson, as well as Kirkpatrick's own role as a "Reagan Democrat," show the bipartisan nature of U.S. imperialist foreign policy, where both the Democrats and the Republicans agree on warmongering and aggression.

On this occasion, on October 25, the better part of a thousand people showed up to denounce Kirkpatrick. One hundred people picketed outside the meeting hall. About 200 people attended an outdoor forum at a short distance from the picket. And 400 or so protesters went into the hall to heckle Kirkpatrick and confront her for her warmongering stands.

The security police went at the protesters and ejected a number of them one by one from the meeting as they spoke, and arrested three people. Apparently the police had forgotten George Bush's remark, when questioned during the 1984 election campaign about organized heckling of their opponents by the Reagan forces, that political heckling was the "American way." But, more likely, they realized that Vice-President Bush meant that heckling is OK when the Reaganites do it, but nasty terrorism when someone does it to the Reaganites.

Incensed by the security police and indignant after hearing Kirkpatrick's speech, the temper of the protesters grew more militant. Immediately after Kirkpatrick's speech ended, the 400 or so protesters inside the meeting hall came out and immediately started shouting loud slogans. "CIA -- out of Nicaragua!" Then someone yelled "to the Avenue," and a spontaneous protest ensued along University Avenue. This took place in hard rain, but the demonstrators were in high spirits. They took over a lane of traffic and marched without a permit. There were more loud slogans. The comrades from the Seattle Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party were right in the midst of the march. They started the slogan "Reagan-Mondale, hands off Nicaragua!," which was taken up by the protesters. As well, our literature was well received.

Upset by the events of October 27, the bourgeois press began running articles several days later about how all college students are Reaganites and astonished at the militant march. What a farce! If the Reaganites can't inspire enthusiasm from the people, they can always lie about it! The march however was a sign of the mass ferment that is simmering under the surface and looking for a way to emerge.

[Photo: Student protest rally on the campus of the University of Chile in Santiago.]

[Back to Top]

The Chilean people shake the fascist Junta to the core

The Chilean people are persisting in a powerful struggle that keeps gradually growing in depth. The fascist regime of Pinochet is running scared of this upsurge that has lasted months on end. From a "state of emergency" it has moved to a "state of siege," it has sent its police from barrio (community) to barrio and arrested hundreds of political leaders, and still the Chilean people continue their courageous struggle.

The struggle in Chile is of immense significance. It punctures the myth of fascist strength and undermines one of the bastions of Latin American reaction.

The Pinochet regime is the favorite of the Reaganites because of its ruthless attacks on the people's rights and because of its equally ruthless attacks on their livelihood. Pinochet came to power in 1973 through a bloody U.S.-backed coup against the elected reformist government of Salvador Allende. Murdering Allende and instituting a wave of terror against the people, including forcing a full 10% of the population into exile, Pinochet won the hearts of capitalist reactionaries all around the world. By cutting wages, by cutting public education (why should workers read? After all, it might give them ideas!), by eliminating all the rights of the workers, the Pinochet regime won the admiration of the reactionary moneybags and their apologists. Reactionary columnists in American newspapers used to write longing articles about how Pinochet solved the economic problems in Chile.

But Chile, after a decade of military-fascist rule, is in an utter mess. The economy has collapsed, with a third or more of the working population unemployed. And one might as well not speak of the political and cultural conditions. The masses are seething with anger. Despite the bloody repression again and again unleashed upon them by the Pinochet regime, they are bravely standing up in strikes, demonstrations and other protests and defying the military regime.

Finally Pinochet imposed a 90-day "state of siege" on November 6 of this year. But the Chilean people have in fact been living in a "state of siege" since Pinochet took power. The difference is that now the Chilean regime itself feels in a "state of siege." The chickens are coming home to roost for the dictatorship.

Continuing his ruthless repression, Pinochet reacted the only way he knew how -- mass terror against the Chilean working people. The army and police carried out one sweep after another of the barrios in Santiago, the capital of Chile, rounding up thousands of people into stadiums and arresting hundreds of them. Hundreds of people were sent to internal exile. And day after day the sweeps continue. The military and police patrol neighborhoods daily on foot and in jeeps and armored personnel carriers. Daily roundups and searches of homes and individuals are commonplace.

Nevertheless, after weeks of Pinochet's "state of siege," on November 27 demonstrations still took place in over six different locations in Santiago. In a frenzy over the persistent mass actions of the Chilean people, Pinochet pulled another of his timeworn tricks. He cancelled all foreign press credentials. With complete press censorship in Chile, demonstrations can't be reported and the only source of news of the existence of protests was the foreign radio broadcasts. By cutting off the channel of foreign reports, Pinochet hoped to leave the people completely in the dark about the mass struggles and Pinochet's brutal and bloody reprisals. Pinochet also announced that he was going to mobilize an additional 160,000 reservists to fight the working people.

But on November 28, undaunted, the masses put up barricades in the barrios. As well, at the University of Chile and elsewhere students fought the police. As we go to press, the fight in Chile is intensifying.

The Chilean people face major tasks. They have still to carry through their struggle and overthrow the fascist Pinochet. Moreover, they must learn fast during the days of struggle about the different Chilean political forces and strive to ensure that the anti-dictatorship struggle is not stopped halfway but is developed into a socialist revolution. A rule of the Chilean bourgeois liberals would be no bargain for Chile. It is these bourgeois liberals who ushered in the Pinochet dictatorship and worshiped at his feet. Now, with the economy in tatters and Pinochet discredited, they are posturing as great heroes in order to gain the confidence of the masses and stop the struggle halfway. Everything in Chile will depend on whether the working class displays its historical initiative and puts its powerful stamp on the anti-Pinochet struggle, not just as the class that spills its blood to overthrow Pinochet, but as the class that takes up political power.

Support for the struggle against Pinochet requires condemnation of the capitalist parties and the imperialist system in the U.S. It was U.S. imperialism that financed and set in motion the military coup that brought Pinochet to power. It is U.S. imperialism that profited from the coup to step up its super-exploitation of the Chilean people for the super-profits of the U.S. multinational corporations. And it is the Reagan government which today continues to prop up the Pinochet regime.

Today class conscious workers and progressive people all over the world welcome the powerful upsurge of the Chilean people. The fall of the Pinochet government would bring down a most hated bastion of international reaction and loyal henchman of Western imperialism.

[Back to Top]

2nd National Conference of the MLP,USA

The Second National Conference of the Marxist-Leninist Party was held in fall 1984 under the militant slogans "Deeper among the masses -- build the Marxist-Leninist Party!" and "Carry forward the struggle against racism and national oppression -- work for proletarian leadership!"

The conference met in a critical period for the revolutionary movement. Today the capitalist class is on a major offensive against the working masses. It has inflicted a number of reverses upon the working class, and it is stepping up its program of hunger, fascization and war preparations, of racism, reaction and imperialism. Meanwhile the mass struggle is still at a low ebb.

In this situation, the revisionists and opportunists of every stripe have deepened their liquidationist treachery. They have continued to trail behind and merge with the reformists and trade union bureaucrats, who are actively engaged in disorganizing the masses and preventing the mass anger from breaking out into organized struggle. This was revealed once again by the disgusting spectacle they made of themselves in the election campaign of 1984. They trailed helplessly behind the Democratic Party liberals and worked to corrupt the masses with dreams of a "reformed," "moderate" imperialism which would allegedly give a "breathing space" to the liberation movements and the American people. Some of them openly lectured the masses to support the Democratic Party and to overlook the Reaganite nature of the Democrats and their standard-bearer Mondale. Others blushed a bit, but fell in behind Jesse Jackson's campaign to restore the credibility of the Democratic Party. And some others formally avoided endorsing the Democratic Party, but sighed after the Democratic Party liberals and Jesse Jackson, praising the political stands of these diehard politicians of the capitalist offensive and saying they would support them if only they posed as "independents." The opportunists mumbled a bit about socialism, or even Marxism, in a low voice so as not to disturb the liberals, but in practice they helped the liberals and the trade union bureaucrats enslave the people behind capitalist politics. They will learn nothing from the elections but that they must bow down still deeper to capitalist politics, always on the pretext that the masses are backward and this is the only way to stay near them.

A few of the revisionists and opportunists uphold some sort of opposition to reformist politics and they talk of revolution, but they claim that nothing can really be done among the masses. Holding in essence that "the working class has sold out," they have despaired of communist organizing in the factories and of work among the broadest masses of the working masses in general, denouncing it as a reformist snare. They instead retreat to waiting for the great days, a waiting punctuated with some semi-anarchist spouting. In essence, these opportunists agree with the mainstream opportunists about work in the masses: one says we must work in the Democratic Party or at least take up liberal politics similar to the Democratic Party in order to stay among the masses, the other says that in order to uphold revolution it is necessary to stay clear of the masses. Having abandoned the standpoint of organizing the masses for the class struggle, the talk of revolution becomes empty posturing and collapses into illusions in this or that liberal, pacifist, reformist or even clerical trend that shows some "action."

The Marxist-Leninist Party has rejected both these opportunist courses. It maintains revolutionary work in the midst of the masses. It strives to build the independent political movement of the working class and sever the masses from the capitalist parties. And the Party lets no political situations, no ebbs in the mass movements or temporary difficulties prevent it from continuing work among the working masses. It denounces both reliance on the Democratic Party and its flip side, maintaining "revolution" by abandoning the mass struggle.

The present economic crisis and the ebb in the mass struggle present difficulties in maintaining the links with the masses. Layoffs and factory closures decimate work at the factories, while the ebb in the mass struggle puts political pressure on revolutionary organization. But one of the differences between communists and liberals is precisely that the liberal moans about the difficulties of opposing reaction precisely in order to hide his renunciation of the struggle against reaction, his hidden services to reaction and the capitalist offensive, while the communist works all the harder to overcome the obstacles. In this period, the Marxist-Leninist Party has upheld the banner of communist mass work, fought tooth and nail to maintain and extend its links with the proletariat at the work places and elsewhere and persisted in steadfast revolutionary work. The Party has succeeded in organizing struggle, preserving party organization, influencing new forces that are coming forward, in preventing the reformists from utterly liquidating the mass actions, in further developing revolutionary theory and in holding high the red banner of Marxism-Leninism and the class struggle right amidst the working people.

The first slogan of the conference was "Deeper among the masses -- build the Marxist-Leninist Party." This fighting slogan expresses our Party's determination to maintain and deepen its links with the masses even in the period of capitalist offensive. It takes account of the special features of revolutionary work in the present period, when it is necessary to strive with all one's might to maintain the presence of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism among the masses. And it stresses that the question of links with the masses is one of building up the proletarian party, not of merging with the liberals and the reaction. The conference upheld the tactical lines from the Second Congress and summed up the experience in carrying out these lines in the present situation. It took various decisions to systematize this work, including on the further development of The Workers' Advocate, voice of the Marxist-Leninist Party.

The second slogan of the conference was "Carry forward the struggle against racism and national oppression -- work for proletarian leadership." The bulk of the conference dealt with a number of questions concerning the line for the struggle of the black people, questions which, however, also bear on the struggle of the other oppressed nationalities. The struggle of the black working masses against vicious racism and national oppression and against merciless capitalist exploitation has tremendous revolutionary potential. The struggle of the black workers is an important part of the struggle of the entire working class, and the entire working class must take up the struggle against racism and national oppression in order to reply to this front of the capitalist offensive and to unite its ranks.

The conference dealt with this question from many angles. It dealt with the work of the Marxist-Leninist Party in this struggle/Our Party has thrown itself heart and soul into this fight, and has much valuable experience. The conference discussed this experience on such questions as the relation of the work of organizing at the factories to the struggle against racism, showing both the importance of organizing the black workers into the general class struggle and the role of the black workers as the foremost fighters in the black community against racism. And the conference dealt with the question of the student movement as well.

The conference also discussed the history of various of the revolutionary black organizations of the 1960's and 1970's. The history of the mass upsurge of the 1960's and 1970's provides many valuable lessons to guide revolutionary work. During this period the black working masses sought to organize themselves in various forms. It was necessary both to support the rising of the working masses to revolutionary life and to find ways to deal with the mistaken orientations, such as petty-bourgeois nationalism and the influence of reformism, that sabotaged the struggle. The exact forms of organization that arise in the future will undoubtedly be different, but the lessons on how to guide the mass struggle are of great significance.

The conference also discussed certain controversies that have come up historically in the American communist movement concerning the black people's movement. It presented preliminary theses, which were enthusiastically received and are being further considered in a period of discussion and study following the conference.

The conference also reviewed the situation in the international Marxist- Leninist movement. It upheld the bold resolutions of the Second Congress of our Party on the need for fraternal and comradely criticism of the recent stands of the Party of Labor of Albania; on the criticism of the mistaken orientations prevalent in the international communist movement in the period from the end of World War II to the death of Stalin, mistaken orientations that helped weaken the movement for the later tragedy of the Khrushchovite revisionist takeover and that still have their influence and still foster liquidationist, pacifist and petty-bourgeois nationalist orientations; on the norms for relations between Marxist-Leninist parties; and on the tasks needed for strengthening the international Marxist-Leninist movement. It noted that these decisions have proved to have been both necessary for strengthening the Marxist-Leninist theoretical foundation of our Party and for dealing with the burning issues agitating Marxist-Leninist parties all over the world.

The conference was a conference of militant proletarian internationalism. It resolved to continue the path of working as one contingent of the world proletarian army that has characterized our Party from the start, and of continuing to strive hard to do our part in strengthening the international Marxist-Leninist movement. It sent its revolutionary greetings to the Party of Labor of Albania and to the fraternal Communist Party of Labor of the Dominican Republic. It expressed its internationalist support for the fraternal comrades of the Movement of Popular Action/Marxist-Leninist (MAP- ML) of Nicaragua who are fighting valiantly to continue the revolution in one of the world's hot spots, revolutionary Nicaragua, by organizing the forces of the proletariat and poor peasantry against U.S. imperialist aggression, against the treacherous internal bourgeoisie, and against illusions in the vacillating petty-bourgeois course of the Sandinistas. And it sent ardent regards to the communists of all lands, striving to build up genuine proletarian communist parties where they don't exist and to further strengthen and consolidate these parties where they do exist.

The conference was attended by all members of the Marxist-Leninist Party. It was marked by the large amount of work accomplished, the militant spirit, and the steel-like solidity of the ranks of the Party. Its success is another indication of the value of the resolutions and decisions of the Second Congress, and of the communist spirit, hard work and self-sacrifice of the rank-and-file members of our Party in the midst of the capitalist offensive and the treachery of the liquidators. It was the conference of a revolutionary party, linked with the masses, neither complacent about the dangers and hardship of work at the present time, nor losing sight of the revolutionary mission of the proletariat and the revolutionary perspective so vividly portrayed by the Marxist-Leninist teachings.

Deeper among the masses -- build the Marxist-Leninist Party!

Carry forward the struggle against racism and national oppression -- work for proletarian leadership!

Follow,the path of the Second Congress an Second National Conference -- steadfast revolutionary work against the capitalist offensive!

Editorial of The Workers' Advocate.


[Back to Top]


Against the Capitalist Offensive

The Second National Conference calls for struggle against the brutal Reaganite offensive of the bourgeoisie. The 1980's have seen increasing attacks on the working masses at home and abroad. This is what the capitalists mean by "standing tall": ruthless wage cutting and backbreaking productivity drives; frenzied warmongering and fervent declarations of chauvinist enthusiasm; an all-out campaign against the black people, Latinos and other oppressed nationalities; and the passing of one new police-state measure after another.

The 1984 election campaign has shown once again that there can be no illusions in the good nature of the capitalists. In an obscene orgy of dollar- worship and militarism, the Reaganites are crowing about "four more years." They campaigned that the exploiters, racists and reactionary scum have no need to feel "guilty" but should openly proclaim their filthy ideas to the world.

Meanwhile the Democratic Party liberals, having rubber-stamped Reagan's program for four years in Congress, did their best to out-Reagan Reagan for the elections. While Reagan ruthlessly cut social benefits in the midst of economic crisis, Mondale campaigned on a new program of austerity for the working masses on the theme of reducing the deficit. While Reagan called for one new police-state measure after another, the Congressional Democrats crowed that they were the ones responsible for the passing in October of a new "law and order" federal criminal code revision -- indeed this revision has been a pet project of Ted Kennedy's for years and contains many of the features of the notorious Nixonite S-l bill. While Reagan draped himself in atomic bombs and American flags, the Democrats called for "sustainable" increases in the military budget, denounced Reagan for not being tough enough in Lebanon, and raised the issue of "quarantining" Nicaragua. While Reagan attacked the immigrants, the Democrats added to the hysteria and Tip O'Neill, Democratic leader in the House, boasted of how they were eager to pass the anti-immigrant Simpson-Mazzoli bill even at the price of losing ground in the elections.

The situation cries out for the independent organization of the working masses. It is only the struggle of the working masses themselves that can fight the capitalist offensive against their livelihood and democratic rights, that can provide support for the workers and peasants of other lands who are under the guns of the Pentagon and the CIA, and that can lead towards a socialist revolution that will usher in a new society, a better society, one free of the exploitation of man by man. Only by separating from the capitalists -- whether these capitalists style themselves conservative, moderate or liberal -- can the working people carry out this mass struggle consistently and effectively.

The Second National Conference noted the special features of the class struggle at the present time, when the discontent against the capitalist offensive is growing everywhere but when the mass struggle is still in a period of ebb. It is particularly notable that the capitalist offensive has been accompanied by an intense use of reformism by the bourgeoisie to disorganize the working masses.

The labor bureaucrats have long been a favorite tool of the capitalists to sabotage the mass struggle with reformism and class collaborationism. In this depression, the labor bureaucrats have carried their treachery to new heights, collaborating with the capitalists in cutting wages, carrying out speedups, and throwing workers into the streets. The Chrysler corporation has even awarded the UAW with a seat on the Board of Directors in honor of its role in enforcing concessions and preventing a revolt against unemployment and merciless overtime and productivity drives.

The bourgeoisie also pays special attention to sabotaging the struggle of the oppressed nationalities against the racist offensive. The Jesse Jackson campaign was undoubtedly the most dramatic illustration in the election campaign of the ruling bourgeoisie's use of the services of the black bourgeoisie to enchain the black workers to the capitalist parties.

Meanwhile the role of the other reformists and revisionists in the election campaign was strikingly clear as most of them rallied around the Democratic Party, toned down even their own pale rhetoric to what was more acceptable to the Democratic Party liberals, sabotaged demonstrations and mass struggle that might embarrass the Democrats, and worked in an all-around way to tie the masses to the coatstrings of the liberal bourgeoisie.

The Second National Conference declares that this capitalist offensive is a sign of the bankruptcy of capitalism. In the face of the deepest economic crisis since the 1930's, the bourgeoisie has put in power an empty-headed actor on his last legs, Reagan, to carry out the offensive begun in the Carter years. Their dual tactic of Reaganite reaction and intensive use of the reformist and revisionist forces is a sign of their fear of the power of the mass struggle. Despite the current ebb in the mass movement, inflammatory material is accumulating rapidly. The more brutal the capitalist offensive and the deeper the economic crisis -- the more the conditions are being prepared for an even bigger and more profound mass upsurge in the future. Major class battles are in the making.

The task of the Party and of all class conscious workers and revolutionary activists, however, is not to passively wait for the big days of the future. Instead the job of revolutionaries is to organize right now. Only by dedicated work today can the revolutionary forces be in a position to influence and orient the mass upsurge of the future. The Second National Conference set forth the militant task of "deeper among the masses." It noted the successes of the Party in organizing even in the present period -- in organizing struggle, in preserving party organization, in influencing new forces that are coming up, in preventing the liquidation of various mass actions, in the further development of revolutionary theory and the carrying forward of the fight against revisionism and opportunism, and in holding high the banner of class struggle and building the party deep among the working people. It discussed how to systematize the methods of work needed in the present period and to further implement the tactical lines from the Second Congress of the Party. The Second National Conference calls for steadfast revolutionary work to fight the capitalist offensive.

There can be no complacency in the face of the capitalist offensive. It is essential that the working masses take up the weapons of mass struggle, of organization, and of Marxist-Leninist theory and build an independent political movement of the working class. It is essential to carry forward the tasks of party-building and strengthen the proletarian political party, the Marxist-Leninist party, the highest form of proletarian class organization.

On 'The Workers' Advocate'

The Second National Conference held that the strengthening of the workers' press is an essential task in the present period. It discussed measures to modify The Workers' Advocate to enhance its role as the voice of the class conscious vanguard of the working class.

The bourgeoisie constantly bombards the working class with lies. Through the bourgeois press, TV, radio and movies, through the schools and the pulpits, the bourgeois propagandists glorify the system of exploitation and poison the people with chauvinism and racism. They sneer at and lie about the resistance of the working people. They try to present the people as a reactionary mass, and they do their best, whenever possible, to hide the news about the very existence of the revolutionary movement. Today the Reaganite offensive of hunger, racism and war is reflected in the even more reactionary character taken on by the bourgeois newsmen and ideologists.

One aspect of the working class struggle is the building up of revolutionary literature and working class journals that tell the truth. This is literature that exposes this capitalist hell. It is literature that shows how the working masses are rising in struggle against exploitation and oppression. It is literature that brings the great ideas of Marxism-Leninism to the people and deals with the theoretical problems of the movement.

The Workers' Advocate was born fifteen years ago with the founding of the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist), a predecessor of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA. From the beginning, it took up the best traditions of the working class press of the past and served as the voice of the militant proletariat. Since the founding of the Marxist-Leninist Party on January 1, 1980, it has continued these traditions and served as the voice of the Party. It has carried out political agitation to rouse the working class to its feet. It has been a paper of militant internationalism that supports the struggles of the workers and peasants of other lands against their local exploiters and against "our own" U.S. imperialists and all imperialism. An outstanding feature of The Workers' Advocate has been its defense of the Marxist-Leninist theory, its application of Marxism-Leninism to the problems of revolutionary work, and its vigorous opposition to the fashionable revisionist and opportunist distortions of Marxism-Leninism. And it has always devoted all its strength to the tasks of party-building, the tasks essential to first reestablish and then constantly uphold and strengthen a genuine Marxist-Leninist party of the American working class.

The workers' press is only built up through struggle and sacrifice. The bourgeoisie, despite its hypocritical boasts about "freedom of the press," does its utmost to suppress the truth and the workers' publications. Through laws against distribution, through high costs of production that the bourgeois papers surmount through the wealth of the capitalists and through advertising, through secrecy and suppression of news, and through outright repression of the press, the bourgeoisie does its best to prevent the workers' press from existing and, when it exists, from reaching the masses. It is only through the hard work of the communists, who have not shrunk from either jail or lives of hardship, and through the support of masses of sympathizing workers, that The Workers' Advocate has survived and thrived.

The Workers' Advocate stands at the head of a whole system of proletarian literature -- from leaflets and local newspapers to theoretical issues. The Workers' Advocate has served as a collective organizer, built up in close connection with both the practical and theoretical tasks of the Party. Support for the whole system of proletarian literature has been one of the methods of rallying the workers around their party and enlisting them in its work.

The carrying forward of steadfast revolutionary work in the present period puts new tasks before The Workers' Advocate. The Second National Conference discussed methods of gradually transforming The Workers' Advocate in line with the work to bring the Party deeper among the masses, so that its value as a powerful organizing force will be further enhanced. Among these changes are more regular publication and establishment of a supplement.

The Second National Conference calls on the workers, revolutionary activists and all progressive people to support the workers' press. It expressed the determination of the Marxist-Leninist Party to ensure the continued production of The Workers' Advocate as the revolutionary voice of the American working class.

[Banner: Deeper among the masses--Build the Marxist-Leninist Party!]

Against Racism and National Oppression

The capitalist offensive has been marked by the most disgusting racism. And American capitalism has always been known for its racism and oppression of other nationalities. From the enslavement of the blacks and massacres of the Native people to the ghettos of today for blacks, Latinos and others, from the chauvinist hysteria about the "yellow peril" to today's hysteria about "illegal aliens," from the oppression of other countries to the oppression of the national minorities and immigrants in the U.S., it is a history of merciless super-exploitation and oppression. Only mass struggle, such as the great movements and rebellions of the 1960's, has been the salvation of the oppressed nationalities.

Today the capitalists are seeking to take away the concessions they were forced to make under the pressure of the mass upsurge of the 1%0's and other historic struggles. They are striving to deepen the discrimination at and segregation of the schools, work places and communities, to eliminate the limited democratic rights that had been achieved and to inflict the worst economic, social and political conditions upon the working people of the oppressed nationalities. They want to super-exploit the masses of blacks, Latinos and others, and they want to split up the working class and thus paralyze its class struggle against the common capitalist enemy. And from the open racist gangs and Nazi bands with their cry of "white power" to the "moderates" with their sickening lies about the "reverse discrimination" against whites that allegedly exists in the U.S., the capitalists are seeking to use racism against the oppressed nationalities as one of the major themes of their attempt to inspire reactionary movements.

There is another side to the picture. The oppressed nationalities have waged great struggles against racism and national oppression, and this struggle has also had the sympathy of all progressive elements in the U.S. Today the struggle against racism and national oppression is one of the sharp fronts of the mass struggle.

The carrying forward of the struggle against racism and national oppression is not only essential for the oppressed nationalities, but for the working class as a whole. This struggle is an essential part of the battle against the capitalist offensive, and it is essential for building the unity of the workers of all nationalities. It has tremendous potential as part of the revolutionary current. The demonstrations, rebellions and all-round upsurge of the black people in the 1960's, which inspired the other oppressed nationalities, class conscious workers of all nationalities, and the revolutionary movement as a whole, stands as a striking example of the revolutionary potential of this struggle.

Strengthening the struggle against racism and national oppression requires working for proletarian leadership. This demands that the entire working class throw itself into this struggle, not just the workers of the oppressed nationalities, and it requires recognizing the class differentiation and class struggle within the oppressed nationalities themselves.

The vast majority of the people of the oppressed nationalities are workers. In the struggle of the oppressed nationalities, it is they who are the most consistent and resolute fighters against racism, the backbone of the anti-racist movement. It is they who fight militantly against oppression, while the bourgeoisie of the oppressed nationalities sells out the mass struggle against racism in order to reach accommodation with the monopoly capitalist ruling class. And they play an important role in the class struggle of the proletariat as a whole.

On the other hand, the bourgeoisie, and those who aspire to become bourgeois, of the oppressed nationalities betray the anti-racist movement. It is no accident that wealthy elements like Jesse Jackson shake hands with arch-racists like George Wallace and the racist capitalist executives while posing as anti-racist champions before the masses. It is no accident that their deals with the corporations and the capitalist parties, mainly the Democratic Party but also the Republican Party, are for giving a few positions to businessmen and professionals, while abandoning the millions of unemployed, laid off, and impoverished workers to their own devices. Indeed, they take part in the repression of the working masses of their own nationality and also in the general campaigns of U.S. imperialism and its suppression of other countries.

It is the working class of all nationalities, united in struggle against the exploiters and oppressors, which forms the powerful bulwark which can smash national oppression and the entire capitalist system. The Marxist-Leninist Party works to bring out the entire working class in struggle against racism and national oppression. The Second National Conference stresses that our Party has always held, and still holds, that the most vigorous struggle for the full equality and liberation of the oppressed nationalities is not only demanded by elementary justice, but is also essential to break down the strongholds of reaction, widen the field of the class struggle and unite the working class for the socialist revolution. It helps forge a truly independent movement of the working class. The proletariat's fight against racism and national oppression is one of the important fronts that altogether form the revolutionary class struggle of the working class.

The Second National Conference discussed many questions relating to the struggle of the black people. The upsurge of the black people in the 1960's was one of the dramatic illustrations of the potential revolutionary power of the struggle against racism and national oppression. The Second National Conference summed up the history of certain of the black organizations of this period. It showed how the powerful instinct of the black working masses for organization and struggle manifested itself, and the obstacles and mistaken orientations, such as petty-bourgeois nationalism and the influence of opportunist trends, that caused difficulties and prevented a full break with reformism. The Second National Conference noted that these examples show the need to unite with the emerging mass movement while not trailing behind erroneous orientations.

The Second National Conference discussed the current work of the Party in the anti-racist struggle and summed up some of the victories recently achieved. It paid special attention to the work of ensuring proletarian leadership of the struggle. It dealt with the connection between organizing in the factory and the general anti-racist struggle. It also dealt with how, in the anti-racist struggle among the students, it is essential to work to win the progressive students to the standpoint of the class struggle and to firm conviction in the revolutionary role of the proletariat. And it dealt with certain questions concerning the class differentiation among the black people, with particular reference to the class basis of Jesse Jackson's sellout activities.

History has shown again and again that capitalism can not bring liberation to the oppressed nationalities. It is the historic mission of the working class, as it takes up its socialist aspirations and transforms society through revolution, to also eliminate racial discrimination and national oppression and to bring full equality and liberation for the oppressed nationalities? The struggle against racism and national oppression, and the unity of the working class of all nationalities built up in this and other struggles against the common capitalist enemy, is a vital part of the proletarian revolutionary strategy. The Second National Conference calls on all workers and revolutionary activists to carry forward the struggle against racism and national oppression and to work for proletarian leadership of this struggle as the only way to ensure its powerful development and successful outcome.

Greetings to MAP/ML of Nicaragua


The Second National Conference of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA sends you, comrades of the Movement of Popular Action/Marxist-Leninist of Nicaragua, a proletarian internationalist salute. Through you we express our militant solidarity with the Nicaraguan working class and people in their courageous struggle against the barbaric U.S. intervention.

In the present U.S. election campaign the capitalist candidates are debating who can best defend the interests of U.S. imperialism in Central America and crush the Nicaraguan revolution. Reagan is boasting of the "heroes" of the dirty CIA war on revolutionary Nicaragua, promising more support for the counterrevolutionary bands of mercenaries and butchers in spreading death and destruction against the masses. And Reagan continues to hold the big stick of military invasion over the heads of the Nicaraguan people. Meanwhile, Mondale and the smooth- talking Democrats, the self-styled opponents of Reagan's militarist course in Central America, are promising to continue the "interdiction" against Nicaragua and have threatened a military "quarantine" as well.

Our Party is raising the banner of. militant mass struggle against the crimes of "our" government against the Nicaraguan people. Our standpoint is not how best to protect imperialist interests, but how best to combat imperialism and how best to defend the gains of the Nicaraguan revolution. The revolutionary overthrow of the U.S.-backed Somoza dynasty has struck a hard blow to U.S. imperialism and has fanned the flames of revolution in El Salvador and throughout the region. This victory marks an historic advance for the cause of the Nicaraguan toilers and we consider your victory to be our victory as well.

Our Party not only fights against the open aggression of imperialism, we also combat any illusions in the pacifist plots of imperialism. We consider the Contadora Plan, put forward by the reactionary bourgeois and pro-U.S. regimes of Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama, to be a dangerous conspiracy of U.S. imperialism and the regional bourgeoisie. Its aim is to stamp out the fires of revolution in this region and to lull the people to sleep so that they accept the status quo and have faith in the reactionary regimes. Its particular objective in Nicaragua is to institutionalize the positions of the big exploiters and strengthen the hand of the counterrevolution. It is an important fact that international social-democracy and revisionism, including the Soviet and Cuban revisionists, also defend the imperialist Contadora Plan.

Unfortunately, the Sandinista government has shown itself all too willing to submit to the dictates of the Contadora Plan and the regional bourgeoisie. The Sandinista government is a petty-bourgeois government that vacillates between the revolution and the pressures from the bourgeoisie and world imperialism. It continues to play with fire with its policy of granting political and economic concessions in the face of the arrogance of the big capitalists and landlords.

Our Party stands with the Nicaraguan working class and poor peasants. These are the classes which rose in insurrection and smashed the half-century-old dictatorship. These are the classes which are the mainstay of defense against the bourgeois counterrevolution and U.S. intervention. And these are the classes which have a burning interest in carrying forward the revolution against the big capitalists and landlords. This is the road towards the proletarian socialist revolution in Nicaragua. And the deepening of the revolutionary struggle of the working masses is essential for strengthening the immediate fight against the armed reaction and U.S. intervention.

The situation in Nicaragua shows the various classes in action. The work of building support for the Nicaraguan toilers and their class conscious vanguard is not only important in its own right, but also serves as one of the means of providing political training to the American working class and anti-imperialist activists on the role of the various class forces in the revolutionary struggle.

Comrades, the Second National Conference of the MLP, USA reaffirms our proletarian internationalist solidarity with your Marxist-Leninist Party, the MAP-ML of Nicaragua. We support your courageous efforts to build up the political independence of the proletariat, mobilizing the working class to place its class stamp on the struggle for defense against the U.S.-backed counterrevolution and to advance the revolution against the big exploiters. We wish you every success in your efforts to build the workers' press, in your struggle for political rights, and in all your arduous work to carry forward the revolutionary cause of the proletariat and working masses.

Our Party will continue to shoulder the task of striving to raise the American working class and people in struggle against the criminal U.S. intervention against the Nicaraguan people. And we will continue to lend our active political and material support for the Marxist- Leninist forces of the Nicaraguan working class represented by MAP-ML.

U.S. imperialism, hands off Nicaragua!

Solidarity with the Nicaraguan workers and peasants!

Greetings to the Marxist-Leninist Revolutionaries the World Over

The Second National Conference of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA sends a proletarian internationalist salute to the Marxist-Leninist communists of the world. The Marxist-Leninists are the foremost champions of the revolutionary cause of the working class and all the oppressed. They are found in the forefront of the battles of the working people against exploitation, reaction, imperialism, social-imperialism and imperialist war. The Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries are the consistent defenders of the political independence of the proletariat. They are waging a determined struggle against the influence of the bourgeois liberals, social-democrats, revisionists and other lackeys of the exploiters who sabotage the struggles of the working masses.

Our Party is the American contingent of the international Marxist-Leninist movement. It works untiringly to inspire the American proletariat with the burning conviction that it is but one column in the world army of labor. The MLP, USA militantly defends the communist parties, toiling masses and revolutionary activists of other lands from the attacks of imperialism, revisionism and all reaction. We regard proletarian internationalism as one of the essential cornerstones of all communist work, as both a solemn obligation and a source of great strength.

With the deepening crisis of world capitalism, all over the world the Marxist-Leninists face immense challenges. They face both threatening reaction in many countries, as well as the prospects of revolutionary storms gripping one country or zone of the world after the next. It is crucial that the Marxist-Leninist parties should be consolidated and that where no such party yet exists that it be built. The proletariat must be armed with its political vanguard if it is to lead the masses in revolutionary struggle and bring about the triumph of the revolution and socialism.

As well, much work is needed to consolidate the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement, the vanguard of the world proletariat. The polemic against Soviet revisionism and Maoist and "three worldist" revisionism must be carried through to the end. The ideological and political struggle against the pressures of the bourgeoisie and revisionism, including the pressures of petty-bourgeois nationalism and liquidationism, needs to be intensified to ensure that the world Marxist-Leninist communist movement is consolidated on the unshakeable foundation of the classic teachings of Marxism- Leninism.

The Second National Conference confirms the great importance" of the resolutions adopted by the Second Congress on the burning problems facing the international Marxist-Leninist movement. Continuing on the principled path charted out by the Second Congress, our Party, just like every other party of world communism, is duty-bound to work hard to contribute to the strengthening and solidity of the international Marxist-Leninist movement.

To the Marxist-Leninist communists fighting on every continent we declare our proletarian internationalist solidarity in our common struggle for the triumph of revolution, socialism and communism on a world scale.

For the advance of the international Marxist-Leninist movement!

Workers of all countries, unite!

Greetings to the Party of Labor of Albania

Dear comrades,

The Second National Conference of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA sends a proletarian internationalist salute to the Party of Labor of Albania and the Albanian working class and people on the 40th anniversary of the victory of the people's revolution.

This November 29 marks 40 years since the triumph of the glorious national liberation war of the Albanian people. Under the leadership of the Communist Party (today the Party of Labor), the Albanian people rose up in arms, shed their blood, and won victory over both the nazi-fascist invaders and the internal class enemies.

And 40 years ago the Albanian communists led the working masses onto the path of the proletarian socialist revolution, the path blazed by the October Bolshevik Revolution. The Albanian working class and toilers built up the system of the dictatorship of the proletariat and step by step consolidated the new socialist economic system. These historic socialist victories were defended through the heroic battles which the PLA waged to defend Marxism-Leninism against the revisionist treachery of the Yugoslav, Russian and Chinese revisionists.

In the world today the People's Socialist Republic of Albania stands as the only genuinely socialist country. With the tragedy of the revisionist counterrevolution in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, today Albania is the sole country where the working class holds power. Standing firm against U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, and surrounded by a capitalist and revisionist world plunged into deep economic crisis, the Albanian people are carrying forward the construction of their planned socialist economy.

The MLP,USA stands with the Marxist-Leninist forces of all countries in defense of socialism in Albania. And precisely from this standpoint of proletarian internationalism the Second National Conference reaffirms the resolution of the Second Congress "On the Role of the PLA in the World Marxist-Leninist Movement" and the material published under the title "Our Differences With the Party of Labor of Albania" in the March 20, 1984 issue of The Workers' Advocate. The Second Congress pointed to the immortal accomplishments of the PLA and stressed proletarian solidarity with the PLA and socialist Albania, while at the same time it presented fraternal criticism of the weaknesses in the present stands of the PLA in relation to a series of the burning problems facing the world revolutionary movement. These weaknesses have damaged the PLA's solidarity with the revolutionary forces around the world, and if uncorrected could eventually undermine the victories of socialism in Albania itself. We hold that the true friends of the Albanian communists are not those who hypocritically applaud their mistakes, but those who speak frankly as comrades to assist them to overcome the harmful weaknesses in their present stands.

We American Marxist-Leninists celebrate with the PLA and the Albanian people 40 years of building the new socialist life in your People's Socialist Republic.

Solidarity with socialist Albania!

[Banner: Carry forward the struggle against racism and national oppression -- Work for proletarian leadership!]

[Back to Top]

No to cuts in programs for poor or minority students!

[The Student masthead.]

(The following article is reprinted from The Student newspaper at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 1, 1984.)

The Tech, last Tuesday, carried a column by Simson Garfinkel entitled "Programs Which Serve Only Minorities Are Discriminatory." The scribbling itself is not worthy of being used as a snot rag; however, Garfinkel is not putting forward any serious new ideas, but promoting the basic theories which underlie the current racist offensive. We do not consider it a coincidence that this article appears at this time. Over the last few years we have seen the elimination of the minority financial aid package and substantial drops in black admissions. More recently we have seen the firing of Dean Mary Hope [Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Mary O. Hope was a well-liked reformist administrator who opposed the cutting of various programs for poor and working class students, black and white. -- steps toward the elimination of need-blind admissions and the gradual dismemberment of the Office of Minority Education (OME). Garfinkel's article is trying to justify these reactionary attacks. To organize the anti-racist struggle, these theories must be widely exposed.

The slogan of a "color blind" institution is taken directly from Deputy Attorney General Reynolds, who as head of Reagan's Justice Department is leading a struggle to eliminate even minimal democratic reforms such as affirmative action. This slogan is in fact a call to be blind to reality. Racist discrimination, segregation and oppression are facts of U.S. capitalist life. It is not a mistake that unemployment for black workers is double that of the working class overall. It is not a mistake that everywhere in this country the great majority of black, Spanish-speaking and Asian peoples are segregated into ghetto districts with the worst housing, transportation and education. Under these conditions the call for "color blind institutions" is a call for the continuation and strengthening of institutional racism.

Garfinkel also trys to argue a variant of the "reverse discrimination" theory begun under the Carter government with the Bakke decision. Cribbing from the pages of the neo-fascist paper Ergo, he argues that special programs for minorities are "segregationist" and he broadly hints that they are being organized to the detriment of the white students who also attended poorly funded public schools. Again the reactionaries try to turn reality on its head. Fact: the vast majority of minority youth have attended poorly funded public schools which do not provide the training necessary for these youth to make it in higher education. Fact: the special programs, such as OME, were measures won by the mass political struggle of the 1950's, 60's and 70's to address this inequity. Fact: if these special programs are eliminated, as Garfinkel, Reagan and "a section of the MIT administration" (quote from Frank Perkins at meeting on Friday, September 14) are demanding, higher education will be resegregated with only a handful of rich minorities remaining. Fact: the current programs such as Project Interphase and the BSU Tutorial Program are minimal measures and should beextended to include not just all minorities from poor families, but also all white students from poor families. Garfinkel's feeble attempt to pit the minority students and working class white students against each other is simply to cloud the main issue.

The central question here is whether or not the youth of the black people, the Spanish-speaking people and the working class should have equal access rights to higher education. Real equal access rights must Include concrete measures that address the disparity between the public education received by the youth of the urban working people and the public and private education of the youth of the rich and middle class.

One does not have to look far to see this disparity. The Boston Public Schools provide vivid evidence. The student body is over 50% black, 30% white and the remainder other minorities, primarily Spanish-speaking peoples. Since 1980 when Massachusetts passed the "Proposition 2 1/2" bill, which cut the property taxes for downtown developers and real estate moguls, over one-fifth of the teachers have been laid off from BPS. Class sizes have grown steadily since the late 1970's. Burke and Dorchester High Schools, both over 90% black, have the highest student:teacher ratio. From 1977-1983, despite the fact that the overall school budget did not keep pace with inflation, the percentage of the budget actually spent on instruction fell from 53% to 33%. Conditions are so bad that 47% of the students drop out of high school and an estimated 30% of the graduates are functionally illiterate! To suggest that these working class youth have the same "rights" as graduates from Newton or Brookline school systems is to live in a fantasy world, at best.

In the 1950's and 60's the fighting black masses fought these "fantasies" head on. Equal and integrated education was one of the fundamental demands of the black people's movement. In 1968 when the MIT Black Students' Union (BSU) first demanded equal enrollment of black students, they were told that there were not enough "prepared" black students. The militants at MIT, as across the country, trashed this lame justification and demanded concrete measures such as tutoring and financial aid -- they demanded that the rich pay to prepare the black youth. Because of the mass political struggle involving thousands of people, the rich were forced to make this concession, although they distorted and sabotaged the programs at every step. [The concession being referred to was that some programs were set up, not that the rich generally paid for them. -- WA]

But today the Reaganites want to revive their fantasy. In city after city they are gutting the public education systems, while they are cutting financial aid and tutorial programs. The equation is simple: the government can not make the huge interest payments to the banks, feed the Pentagon and pay tax break "incentives" to the corporations if they have to spend money on social services such as educating the black and working class youth.

The only way to blow up this fantasy is through vigorous mass denunciation of the Reaganite logic and the rebuilding of the mass political struggle. The Student is dedicated to this task and a growing number of progressive students are rallying to the cause. But several problems confront the struggle for equal access rights to Higher education.

First, a section of conservative elite minorities actually agree with the Reagan logic that special programs are not essential to ensure equal rights. They surely know that elimination of these programs will restrict higher education to the rich, but since this will include their children they join the call for "austerity measures" and sing fairy tales about "pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps."

Second, there are people who agree that there is a "problem" but who maintain that it is only a problem of "poor communication." This orientation was elaborated in the article "OME: A War Diary" published in The Catalyst, Spring 1984. In this article the idea that large numbers of students should organize a militant fight for their educational needs was ridiculed. Those who advocated this course were dismissed as "Super Blacks," "revolutionaries [who] don't understand that the quiet revolution has already begun...on the bureaucratic fronts." Perhaps they're speaking of the "quite revolution" affecting Dean Hope and McLaurin? [McLaurin, director of the OME, who tried to cool down the student fight to save Dean Hope, was also later fired. -- WA] This "quiet revolution" of "mutually advisory relationship(s)" and "compromise between the extremes" is a slick way of calling for a few students to "struggle" into cozy positions in the administration while the mass of students are left out in the cold.

It was only through the mass struggles of the 1960's and 70's that attending MIT was a possibility for minority students. And it was through those mass struggles that any changes in MIT helpful to them were made. The Student maintains that it is only through the mass struggle that the current fight can be advanced. The progressive students are moving in this direction. Last week over 100 students gathered and denounced the idea of sitting on their hands while waiting for the "quiet revolution." Instead this gathering discussed how to go about actually organizing mass action.

This fight is not restricted to the universities. The struggle for equal rights is a concern for the broadest masses of black and working people. Only in alliance with the working masses can we smash racism forever in the U.S.

Students! The recent mass meetings of students have been extremely important in clarifying the issues of which way forward and in organizing further independent actions and demonstrations. Now is the time to widely distribute oppositional literature and discuss how to develop the movement against the Reaganite racist offensive.

[Back to Top]

No more concessions to the shipyards capitalists!

The following articles are excerpted from a leaflet issued by the Seattle Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on October 22, 1984.)

Over the last several weeks, the workers at Todd and Lockheed have been the target of a big propaganda blitz. Everything from TV and radio news spots, to newspapers, to slick company magazines and presentations have been used to blare out a single message: no more Navy contracts, and no more jobs, unless the workers take huge pay cuts. While Lockheed has not yet advanced their demands, Todd has come out for a $2 cut, along with cuts in overtime and shift differential pay.

This campaign is timed to coincide with the grim announcement that 1,000 workers from both companies will be laid off before Christmas. The shipyard capitalists want to use layoffs and the misery of unemployment to put "teeth" into their blackmail and undermine the workers' resistance.

Todd and Lockheed's threats are based on their tired propaganda that "only concessions will save jobs." These billionaires claim that the "high wages" in the Seattle area make it impossible to "compete" with other yards in the U.S. for Navy contracts. Therefore the workers must sacrifice their wages to "be competitive." The employers even have the say-so of the "customer" to "prove" that this is true. Lockheed is excitedly waving a letter from the Navy under the workers' noses which states: "Unless the Pacific Northwest can meet the aggressive price competition standards set by other geographic locations, the Government will be unable to award contracts in this area."

Not to be outdone, Todd brought Reagan's vice president to the yard on October 19. Bush not only backed up the capitalists' threats by saying the government had to "get the biggest bang for the buck," but had the nerve to lecture the Todd workers, in the face of massive layoffs and wage cuts, that they actually are "better off than they were four years ago"! The sight of this ^arrogant Reaganite politician arguing that "poverty is actually prosperity" was too much for the workers to stomach. A number of them shouted and ridiculed Bush's double- talk. Bush was reduced to "and, uh...," etc., and quickly left the yard.

The only thing that is "proved" by the Navy's threats and Bush's babbling is that the Reagan regime, including the Pentagon Navy brass, is working hand in glove with the shipyard capitalists to force more concessions down the workers' throats. But the lies remain lies.

Wage Cuts to Make More Profits for Todd and Lockheed

Lockheed and Todd attempt to portray themselves as "struggling through hard times" and a "drought" in the shipbuilding industry. But the workers should fight back the tears for these poor old derelicts. Last year's net profits were: Todd -- $21.9 million; Lockheed Shipbuilding -- $38.7 million. In fact, for several years running now, their annual profits have run into the tens of millions as they have reaped the benefits of the unprecedented military buildup begun under Carter and continued under Reagan. Furthermore, despite their prophecies of doom, Todd and Lockheed will continue to be the beneficiaries of the Navy's policy of "preserving the shipbuilding industrial base." This is the policy of building up the major private yards on all coasts in order to ensure the maximum shipbuilding and repair capacity for eventual stepped- up wartime production.

So why are these bloated war profiteers determined to grab more and more concessions from the workers? The reason is that they are seeking to gain even greater profits from the ongoing naval buildup.

"Being Competitive'' Means Making Workers Compete Against Each Other

The shipyard capitalists and the Navy claim they only want to lower the "high" wages to the more "competitive" level paid in other yards. This is hot true. Their real aim is to drive down wages throughout the industry. With their propaganda, the shipyard capitalists are attempting to split the workers and get them to compete against each other to see who can take the biggest cuts and worst working conditions. This is proven by the recent wage cut demands of Bath Iron Works in Maine. After the West Coast yards made wage cut demands to the unions last June, BIW demanded a reopening of their contract in order to "cut wages so the pay scale can stay proportionally below the West Coast.'' (Seattle Times, July 27,1984)

For years the shipyard capitalists have been barking about "high wages" and "competition" to justify one anti-worker policy or another. Todd, for example, in the late 70's droned on and on that wages were 27% higher than at Bath Iron Works, another yard which produced guided missile frigates. And therefore, they had to get 27% more productivity from the workers, or else Bath would get the rest of the frigate contracts. Todd used this to justify their productivity drive and accompanying prison-type harassment of the workers. And during the 1983 contract struggle, all the West Coast shipyards screamed that the wage freeze was necessary to compete for naval work. Past experience has shown that the capitalists' propaganda has had nothing to do with "saving jobs,'' but with attacking the workers' livelihood.

The workers must defy the shipyard capitalists' jobs blackmail. They must not compete against each other, but unite in struggle against the concessions drive.

[Back to Top]

Union hacks play a dirty role

In order to impose wage cuts or any other new concessions on the shipyard workers, the shipyard capitalists must obtain the approval of the union bureaucrats of the Pacific Coast Metal Trades District Council to reopen the current contracts. This is no great obstacle. At present, the union hacks are putting on a show of being "firmly" opposed to new concessions. But the sellout artists in the union bureaucracies have shown many times that they can pretend to be defending the workers for a while. But this is only to gain the workers' confidence and undercut their independent action while they prepare to stab them in the back. Already, Joe Pilato, boss of the Boilermakers local, hinted in a newspaper report that " 'labor is willing to bend' if management offers a reasonable approach to cutting costs." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 18,1984)

The top union bureaucrats have repeatedly worked to undermine the workers' struggle. The shipyard workers had to strike for two months in 1983 in order to defend themselves, and they did block some of the companies' concessions demands. But the labor traitors restricted the participation and militant action of the masses of West Coast shipyard workers. In particular, they allowed the workers to be split by keeping Lockheed on the job. This so weakened the strike that the capitalists not only gained the wage freeze, but soon set out for more concessions. Several months later, when Tacoma Boat wanted to reopen the contract, one could not distinguish between the Tacoma Boat executives and the bureaucrats of the Tacoma Metal Trades Council, who both raced to ram the wage cut down the workers' throats. It is clear that to develop their full strength, the shipyard workers must organize themselves independently of the traitorous union leaders.

To fight and defeat the determined concessions drive, the workers must rely on themselves. The path of powerful mass struggle -- demonstrations, protests, slowdowns, and when necessary, strikes --- is the only effective obstacle against the wage-cutting offensive of the rich.

[Back to Top]

The stand of the workers against U.S. war preparations

The shipyard workers are under attack by the capitalist owners. The wage cut demands, by themselves, are an outrageous attack on the workers' livelihood. But this is not all. It is also a crime that the shipyard workers are forced, on pain of unemployment, to produce weapons for imperialism.

Gunboats To Be Used Against Workers in Central America and Around the World

These warships are being built not to "defend peace, freedom, and democracy" but for aggressive imperialist war. The gunboat diplomacy, intervention and military adventures that Reagan is stepping up throughout the world are part of the eternal quest to "make the world safe" for the American multinational corporations. This means trampling on the workers and peasants over vast portions of the globe in order to allow the labor, resources and markets to be plundered by the same big corporations that exploit the working class here in the U.S.

Of course, Reagan hides every aggressive move behind anti-Soviet rhetoric. While the contradiction between the U.S. and USSR is very real, the truth is that this is a fight between robbers to see who can grab the greater "spheres of influence" to plunder. It is a fight between two, equally imperialist, "evil empires."

Imperialist plunder of other countries leaves no room for democracy, independence or self-determination. Thus, Reagan considers the Caribbean Sea an "American lake" and says that "Central America is America." The face of imperialist aggression is seen in the invasion and ongoing brutal occupation of Grenada. It is seen in the propping up of the murderous death-squad regime in El Salvador. It is seen in the dirty war against Nicaragua and preparations for a U.S. invasion to restore a Somoza-style tyranny.

The shipyard capitalists are unabashed enthusiasts of aggressive wars for the enforcement of U.S. neo-colonial rule. Lockheed Life bragged of the role played by Lockheed's aircraft and AC-130 gunships in the rape of tiny Grenada. The LSD's are touted as "the sharp point of America's spear" essential for aggression "wherever and whenever needed.'' (North Star, May, 1983) At the June launching of the LSD-42, the Germantown, the head of the Marine Corps, General Kelly, spoke enthusiastically of the role the original USS Germantown played in "defending American interests" (read: profits) in Montevideo, Uruguay and,pledged that the LSD-42 will "maintain the tradition."

The working class has no use for such flag-waving militarism! Our stand is one of solidarity with our class brothers and sisters around the world -- especially those oppressed by "our own" U.S. government. The political interests of the working class lie in struggle against the U.S. military buildup and aggression.

This is why in recent years, when demonstrations have taken place against the draft, against nuclear weapons and against U.S. intervention in Central America, more and more workers have taken part. All workers, including those employed in the war industries, should express their opposition to imperialism by joining in and pushing forward the struggles against U.S. war preparations.

[Back to Top]

Letter from Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists



October 8,1984

Central Committee Marxist-Leninist Party, USA Chicago, USA


Once again we address you to let you know our satisfaction for the tremendous internationalist support that through your press and activities inside the United States, the Marxist- Leninist Party of the USA is developing in such an enthusiastic manner in favor of the Nicaraguan proletariat and the Nicaraguan revolution.

We are sending you separately a package with documents relating to the latest activities of the Party. MAP-ML is participating in the electoral campaign and that has opened for us an enormous space, although logically our participation, as reflected in our documents and in our form of participation, has been with the objective of attaining the legalization of the Party -- which we have been able to achieve and in which the MLP,USA supported us with its messages and its denunciations of the sectarianism of the Sandinistas against MAP-ML -- as well as to work essentially with the aim of raising the political and organizational levels of the working class movement.

The internationalist support of the MLP,USA and other Marxist-Leninist forces from other countries for the Nicaraguan proletariat and for the Marxist-Leninist party of Nicaragua, MAP-ML, is contributing to making the enemies of the revolution, imperialism and social-reformism, realize that the working class also possesses international detachments and forces.

The Socialist International and the Liberal International -- which includes the cunning Trudeau of Canada, and Bellsario Betancur of Colombia, etc. -- are sticking their hands into the Nicaraguan process, aside from the direct aggressions of U.S. imperialism. The international proletariat must redouble its forces against this interventionism of the bourgeoisies and step up its work for proletarian internationalism.

Our greetings to your leading bodies and to the whole of your membership and activists of the MLP,USA who are working correctly and effectively along this revolutionary path.

With communist greetings,

Isidro Tellez

General Secretary MAP-ML

[Back to Top]

Letters to MAP-ML in solidarity with the Nicaraguan toilers

The MAP/ML welcomes expressions of solidarity from workers and other progressive people outside Nicaragua in order to help promote the concept of the proletarian internationalist solidarity of the workers of all countries. A number of workers, students and activists in the U.S. have written to MAP/ML in conjunction with the campaign to support the Nicaraguan workers' press and with the Nicaraguan elections. Some of them have also sent us copies of their letters, a few of which we reprint below.

September 1984 Chicago, IL USA


c/o Prensa Proletaria

Managua, Nicaragua Aptdo. 611


You deserve our utmost support in your struggle to advance the Nicaraguan revolution. As fellow victims of the U.S. capitalist system, it is crucial that we express our strongest solidarity to ensure the defeat of U.S. imperialism. Hopefully, the time will come when the proletariat of the USA and Nicaragua will be a united class.

May we let you know that the large numbers of workers, students and progressive people all across the United States sternly condemn the CIA's criminal war against the people of Nicaragua. Although, we cannot possibly imagine the oppression you suffered under Somoza, sadness and anger towards our government's support of the repression in Central America is what we convey to the world. We will not stand for the slaughter of revolutionary Nicaragua.

If the Reagan administration fails to disarm the counterrevolution, it will be the responsibility of all Americans to disassemble the Reagan administration.

The world has rarely seen such a progressive movement alive today in Nicaragua. Facing a history of war,poverty, and lack of political rights the Nicaraguan people decided to end their misery and forge their destiny. The challenge is great. The force of the Nicaraguan working class is steadily building, but you face the iron fist of U.S. capitalism and its puppets of the Nicaraguan upper class. With the courage and determination of the Nicaraguan people as the basis for the struggle, their class brothers to the north have the obligation to stop the imperialist beast at home to help ensure revolutionary victory abroad.


PRO (Organization for Radical Progress) and Revolutionary high school youth (Chicago Area)

September 22,1984 Movimiento de Accion Popular -- Marxista-Leninista Aptdo. 611 Tel. 23787 Managua, Nicaragua

Dear Comrades,

As a hospital worker, a representative of progressive workers at my work place, and a supporter of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA, I have been asked to write this letter to you to express our solidarity and support for the great cause of the workers and peasants of Nicaragua.

We strongly denounce the continuing war of aggression by U.S. imperialism which is aimed at strangling the Nicaraguan revolution. We denounce the Reagan administration for its criminal acts against Nicaragua. We are outraged and angered b the wanton destruction, misery and coldly calculated murder caused by such actions as the mining of the Nicaraguan harbors, the military exercises and preparations for invasion being carried out through Honduras and the sponsoring, organizing and leading of the counterrevolutionary contra bands.

As workers, we think the courage with which the workers and peasants of Nicaragua have faced up to this aggression and continued to pursue the revolution against all enemies is a great example of heroism. It is a struggle which the workers in the U.S. should support and learn from.

At my work place, we have been doing just that. Several months ago we circulated a petition which opposed the closing down of El Pueblo and the harassment of Prensa Proletaria by the Sandinista government. The workers and peasants must have their own voice in order to be fully mobilized in the struggle. A copy of this petition is enclosed. With the lifting of the legal restraints against your press, we decided to discontinue the circulation of the petition. However, we are continuing our work in solidarity with the revolution in Nicaragua.

We are planning to submit a resolution at our next union meeting which declares the opposition of the workers to U.S. imperialism's aggression against Nicaragua. In order to even propose this resolution, we will have to oppose the reactionary labor bureaucrats who head up the trade union.

As you know, the labor bureaucracy in the U.S. is reactionary to the core and works hand in hand with Reagan and the CIA to strangle the revolution in Nicaragua. We expect a battle just to be heard in the trade union meeting. Regardless of the outcome of that resolution, we will continue to find ways to organize support for the workers and peasants of Nicaragua and their vanguard, MAP-ML.

In revolutionary solidarity,


Buffalo, NY USA

[Back to Top]

Worker To Worker

(An American cab driver writes to the

Nicaraguan workers.)

You tilled the soil, you sowed the seeds,

You brought the crop to harvest.

The seeds were martyrs, revolution the crop,

Great power you unharnessed.

You labored hard and brought to life

Your great insurrection.

You're owed the fruits; when will the time

Come for their collection?

We, too, are "hands" -- propertyless

Prisoners of starvation.

The bosses who starve you starve us too,

We who built each nation.

There are no borders for the working class,

We fight against all rich.

Eagle-winged, revolution lifts us,

Throws bosses in the ditch.

If imperialism dares invade,

You will not find us lacking.

Fight on, brave comrades, dare to fight on!

The heads of all our enemies

We will both be cracking!

Movimiento de Accion Popular Aptdo. 611 Tel. 23787 Managua, Nicaragua

Dear Comrades,

As activists fighting here in the U.S. against the aggressive designs of U.S. imperialism, we express our wholehearted support to you, the fighting vanguard of the Nicaraguan workers and toiling masses. What we learn from the Nicaraguan revolutionary process, and from the work of MAP ML, strengthens our struggle. We will continue our work to build a powerful movement of the American people in solidarity with your just cause.

Warm regards,

Union of Anti- Imperialist Students Buffalo, NY, USA

Sept. 26,1984

Dear Comrades,

I send you cordial greetings from Denver, Colorado and wish to take this opportunity to offer my support and congratulations to comrades of MAP- ML and Frente Obrero on your recent successes on gaining "legal" rights to print your paper El Pueblo and on gaining recognition as a legitimate political party, and also the reinstatement of Frente Obrero to the State Council.

I have been learning about your party's history and your active participation in the revolution through the articles and letters that have been printed in The Workers' Advocate, the paper of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA. El Pueblo gives clear insight on what is happening in Nicaragua; as well as being informative, you point out the various class forces and how their actions affect the revolution.

The people must learn how to fight the treachery of the bourgeoisie and the vacillations of the petty bourgeoisie. You defend the gains of the revolution and the right of the workers and peasants and you alert the people to the constant danger of U.S. imperialism. In short, you are upholding Marxism-Leninism and are pointing the way forward for the Nicaraguan people....

Most recently in our press we have learned of the deaths of two American mercenaries who were killed in a helicopter crash along the Honduran border. These mercenaries were fighting with the CIA-backed contras. These obvious CIA interventions must be thoroughly condemned.

On top of this most recent incident, our government mines Nicaraguan harbors, uses Honduras as a base to launch military actions on your country, and uses the threat of open invasion on the Nicaraguan people. The majority of American people will not support another imperialist war of intervention; they will not sacrifice their sons in support of imperialist domination of Nicaragua. Our government talks of "peace" while they stockpile a huge nuclear arsenal, they condemn the Soviet Union for invading Afghanistan, yet they commit the equally despicable crime in Grenada. They talk of prosperity while millions of American workers are unemployed and homeless.

We learned a great lesson in Viet Nam, and we know that the actions of our government are not for our benefit, or for democracy, or for "liberation" from communism. In fact it acts in its own interests and that of international corporations to crush revolution, to punish the people for the crime of resisting oppression, and to continue its cruel exploitation of all of Latin America.

I am a working woman of Mexican descent, a Chicana, and as a minority worker I feel a great solidarity with the Nicaraguan people. For we too suffer oppression, racial discrimination, and economic exploitation under U.S. imperialism. We also share a common history of struggle against this enemy. I write this letter from my own perspective and experience, but I can honestly say that the vast majority of American people of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds believe the Nicaraguan people have the right to determine their own future. We, too, aspire to build a better world, free from war, poverty, and exploitation.

It may interest you to know that in my neighborhood, there is a small store whose owner has put up a huge sign, visible from both directions of traffic squarely in the front of his store that reads, "This Business Firmly Opposes Reagan Policy in Nicaragua and El Salvador." It has remained there for many months and has not been defaced. This, I think, is a good example of a genuine expression of solidarity with the Nicaraguan and Salvadoran people.

Your paper is a powerful tool to build the independent movement of the working masses in Nicaragua and to fight the counterrevolutionaries who would take back all the gains of the revolution. I feel it is very important for the workers to have their own voice. I am unable to send material aid at this time, but I share your paper with friends and workers in my community and hope that that, along with this letter, will in some small way contribute to your campaign to stop U.S. aggression and blockade of your country. This is a mutual goal, and I wish you all success in this effort.


Solidarity between American people and Nicaraguan workers and peasants! U.S. imperialism, hands off Nicaragua!

P.O. BOX 11542 Ontario Street Stn.

Chicago, IL 60611

Sept. 1984

Warm Revolutionary greetings to our comrades of the MAP-ML from the staff of the Chicago Anti-Imperialist Newsletter!

We take this opportunity to communicate directly to the Marxist-Leninists, workers and toilers of Nicaragua our heartfelt outrage at the criminal CIA war of aggression, sabotage, murder and provocation being waged by the U.S. imperialists, the contras and their Trojan horse of counterrevolution, the big bourgeoisie. The AIN denounces these heinous attempts to push the Nicaraguan people backwards into another Somoza-type dictatorship...days which Reagan considers to have been something like paradise.


A substantial part of the work of the AIN focuses on active, militant support for the revolutionary struggles mounting in Central America against U.S. imperialism and the local bourgeoisies.

The Chicago Anti-Imperialist Newsletter is produced under the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist Party (Chicago Branch) as both the voice and a vehicle of the Branch to mobilize workers and activists into the work of building up the proletarian anti-imperialist wing in the mass movement against imperialist war preparations and aggression. We place special emphasis, of course, on the fight against "our own" U.S. imperialism.

We were proud to hear that among other rights recently won El Pueblo has won the right to resume publication. We have used our pages to help popularize the historical role of MAP-ML and its fighting proletarian forms such as the Workers' Front, El Pueblo and the MILPAS in the revolutionary workers movement, the days of insurrection and in the ongoing struggle to deepen the revolutionary process in Nicaragua.

Discussing among the mass of activists your working class orientation and approach to the problems of the Nicaraguan revolution has been of particular assistance in developing our work against U.S. imperialism and both of the Reaganite political parties of the rich, Republicans and Democrats.

For example, the American Democratic Party campaigns inside the Central American solidarity movement telling the activists and workers that the path to peace in Central America is not deepening our militant support for the Nicaraguan and Salvadoran workers and poor peasants. Rather, the path to "peace" is supposedly the treacherous illusion-mongering of the Contadora group and the fraudulent "political solution" of the so-called "anti-Reagan" Democrats. Your articles on these and other issues have been a welcome contribution to the exposure of these false "friends" of the movement and peoples of Central America.

Telling the activists in America of your work has also helped in our efforts to clear up a general misconception that the overthrow of Somoza brought the class struggle to a conclusion and that now the way is prepared for class harmony in Nicaragua. The recent incident involving "El Pez," Father Pena, Father Pacheco and the contra/CIA conspiracy shows yet again that a fundamental law of ail democratic revolutions is that they in fact bring the class struggle to the fore. Clearly, the struggle against the CIA and the contra mercenaries must be connected to the class struggle against the Trojan horse of counterrevolution.

Along with reprinting and circulating articles from your press and relating the history of your party in our mass work, the AIN has also taken up the MLP's campaign of political and financial support of the Nicaraguan workers' press.

The AIN stands shoulder to shoulder with the workers and peasants of Nicaragua against U.S. imperialism and the Trojan horse.

Death to U.S. imperialism!

Forward with the revolutionary struggle of the Nicaraguan workers and toilers!

General Editor -- AIN

[Back to Top]

What do the Nicaraguan elections show?

On November 4, general elections were held in Nicaragua. Among the political parties that participated in these elections was our fraternal party, the Movement of Popular Action/ Marxist-Leninist, the party of the class conscious workers of Nicaragua. In this article we briefly review the elections and their results. In the future we hope to be able to report more on the work of MAP-ML after we receive more detailed assessments from them.

The election campaign and the results of the elections help to shed some light on the savagery of the U.S.-directed counterrevolutionary campaign and on the complexities of the class struggle inside Nicaragua today.

The U.S. Campaign Against the Elections

For years, since the victorious revolution of July 1979, the U.S. government has ranted and raved about the "unelected" Sandinista government. It has charged that there is no democracy in Nicaragua and that there is a "totalitarian regime" there. This has been one of Washington's pretexts for bullying and attacking Nicaragua. The elections there have not changed Washington's opinion one bit. The U.S. imperialists have roundly denounced the Nicaraguan elections as a charade.

Now it is well known that the U.S. finds "elections" under the gun in El Salvador or in any number of pro- U.S. tyrannies as "democratic." This is despite such facts as that in El Salvador, for example, only reactionary and fascist parties can participate; the left parties are forced to work completely underground or face death at the hands of the military and death squads; and despite the fact that the masses are compelled to vote under conditions of brutal terror. And in Nicaragua itself, the U.S. government used to find the. farcical elections under Somoza "democratic."

But in Nicaragua today, although more than 75% of the registered voters voted, although there was no climate of coercion forcing the masses to vote, and although political parties ranging from right-wing capitalist to Marxist-Leninist participated, the Reagan administration and the capitalist media in the U.S., both conservative and liberal, condemned the Nicaraguan elections as "undemocratic."

The Sandinistas had called these elections in order to set up political institutions conceived along bourgeois-democratic lines. This reflected both their own petty-bourgeois political ideas and also their desire to reach accommodation with imperialism and the regional bourgeoisie. Thus they sought to give political space to the bourgeoisie and could not conceive of setting up the institutions of political power based on the representatives of the workers, peasants and soldiers.

But U.S. imperialism did not relent in the face of this stand. The Reagan administration does not seek accommodation with the FSLN; it seeks the restoration of a fascist dictatorship. After the Sandinistas announced the elections the U.S. sought to put pressure on the Sandinistas for further concessions. Its instrument for this was the Democratic Coordination, the political bloc of capitalist counterrevolution inside Nicaragua. The DC selected as its presidential candidate Arturo Cruz, former Nicaraguan ambassador to the U.S. and currently a big shot in the Inter-American Bank in Washington, D.C.

The DC demanded in return for its participation in the elections a series of outrageous conditions, including that the Sandinistas open up negotiations with the contras. The Sandinista leadership was willing to negotiate with Cruz but it refused to go the full way. With the rejection of its outrageous demands, the DC decided to formally boycott the elections, which had been the U.S. game plan all along anyway.

But seven political parties in all did decide to participate. Besides the FSLN, MAP/ML and two pro-Soviet revisionist parties, three right and center parties did decide to participate. These were the Conservative Democrats, the Independent Liberals, and the Popular Social Christians. They campaigned on various pro-capitalist themes, some of which were in fact slightly toned down echoes of the slogans of the big bourgeois counterrevolutionary bloc. Despite their initial decision to participate in the elections, these parties too came under pressure from the U.S. imperialists to join the boycotting DC. A number of politicians reported having been offered bribes from American diplomats to join the boycott. And it appears that the U.S. pressure was successful in splitting the Independent Liberals on the question. A few weeks before the elections, their presidential candidate withdrew from the elections, but his running mate refused to go along with him.

Thus it can be seen that the elections in Nicaragua came in a complex political situation. On the one hand, they were the target of a vicious imperialist campaign which used the bourgeois reaction inside Nicaragua to launch an election boycott in order to continue its warmongering campaign. On the other hand, the way these elections were conducted by the Sandinistas reflected a desire by the petty- bourgeois party to build up bourgeois forms for the political institutions in Nicaragua, to reach accommodation with the bourgeoisie and imperialism.

MAP-ML's Participation in the Election Campaign

How did the proletarian party -- MAP-ML -- respond to this situation?

MAP-ML does not support the establishment of political institutions in Nicaragua along bourgeois lines. It advocates the formation of a Popular Assembly of Representatives of workers, peasants, popular sectors, militiamen and soldiers. Indeed, for some time MAP-ML had waged a wide scale campaign among the working masses in favor of such a demand.

MAP-ML rejected abstentionism because that was the game of the imperialists. Having just recently won certain political rights MAP-ML decided to participate in the elections in order to use the elections to develop the education and organization of the workers and poor peasants. MAP-ML had no illusions that the elections were going to solve the vital problems facing the Nicaraguan people. Instead it used the elections to develop the agitation against the bourgeoisie and imperialism, and to expose the harmfulness of the conciliatory policies of the petty- bourgeois FSLN. MAP-ML put forward a proletarian platform for the defense and advance of the revolution in Nicaragua towards proletarian socialism. MAP-ML conducted its election campaign under the militant slogans: "Not one ballot for the bourgeoisie -- bullets for imperialism" and "Workers and peasants to power." Elsewhere in this paper we reproduce the "Plan of Struggle" of MAP-ML, the program that it distributed to the masses during the election campaign.

In the course of the election campaign, MAP-ML disseminated its message widely among the masses. It concentrated its campaign among the working people at worksites and working and poor neighborhoods. It plastered its slogans and symbols across the country. It disseminated its views among the masses through both its printed literature and the time it received on the radio and television.

Results of the Elections

The elections resulted in the FSLN getting close to two-thirds of the vote, while the right and center bourgeois parties received over a fourth of the vote. The three parties which declared themselves as Marxist-Leninist, including the revisionists of the PSN and PCN and the revolutionaries of MAP-ML, together received about 5% of the vote, with MAP-ML getting about 1 % of the vote. As a result of the elections, MAP-ML will have two seats in the 96-seat National Assembly, one on the basis of their share of the vote and one of the six seats reserved for the losing presidential candidates.

It is estimated that over 75% of the registered voters went to the polls. This fact, as well as the fact that the contra terror could not succeed in sabotaging the election campaign, shows that imperialism did not get its way with the Nicaraguan elections. Clearly, the bourgeois boycott campaign suffered a defeat. During the election campaign itself, the masses had on several occasions taken up spontaneous actions against the tour of Arturo Cruz around Nicaragua in order to protest the internal counterrevolutionary front.

MAP-ML carried out a widespread and successful campaign to spread its revolutionary message among the working people. MAP-ML's successes in its electoral campaign cannot be measured merely by the percentage of votes that it received. In considering the question of MAP-ML's votes, it must be taken into account that in the current political situation in Nicaragua, with the massive imperialist- directed campaign against the Sandinistas, there was massive pressure on revolutionary-minded people to vote Sandinista. As well, it should be remembered that there have been years of repression and harassment against MAP-ML and it was only earlier this year that MAP-ML finally won political rights.

MAP-ML's vote is worth considering also in relation to the other parties claiming to be Marxist-Leninist, the revisionists of the PSN and PCN. Among these, only MAP-ML stood for a thoroughly revolutionary platform and it alone made a revolutionary criticism of the FSLN government. MAP-ML received a comparable number of votes as each of the revisionist parties. MAP-ML believes that this fact vindicates its position that it is possible to carry out work among and get a favorable reception from the masses with positions which are leftist and critical of the Sandinistas.

Now that the elections are over, MAP-ML will continue its work and struggle to win the masses to the positions of proletarian socialism. And it will undoubtedly put to good use the positions it has won in the parliamentary struggle as one of the means to educate and organize the masses to push forward the struggle against imperialism and the bourgeoisie and to fight petty-bourgeois illusions.

[Back to Top]

Movement of Popular Action Marxist-Leninist (The Marxist-Leninist party of Nicaragua)

Plan of Struggle

(Below we reprint the introduction to the "Plan of Struggle" and the list of points in this program.)


Nicaragua has lived through different historical epochs in its economic and political development.

In the colonial epoch or period, thousands of Indians, Mestizos and blacks were exploited and oppressed through slavery and feudal relations. While world capitalism had already started its ascent and was going against the remnants of feudalism in Europe, in our country, simultaneously, the big lords of the land and of religion flourished.

Late attempts by the local bourgeoisie in the modern epoch were not able to overcome the obstacles inherited from the old systems. That which was.revolutionary in the bourgeoisie was aborted in Nicaragua with the overthrow of Zelaya.

Thus the bourgeoisie in Nicaragua couldn't be revolutionary when it could or should have been. It remained, in a sense, trailing behind. This was reinforced by the reactionary character that the Somocista military dictatorship had, even within its own class.

The development of dependent capitalism with these limitations did not offer all the necessary conditions for the proletariat to take up, in the face of this bourgeois inability, the tasks of the revolution.

In these conditions, the petty bourgeoisie appeared, coming mainly from the middle and lower student strata, which, together with the broad masses of the people, played a militant role against the Somocista military dictatorship.

The petty bourgeoisie was thus making its appearance, taking up the banner of the transformations that the bourgeoisie was not capable of starting or carrying through.

Nevertheless, since July, 1979, the petty bourgeoisie, crystallized in the f FSLN, has proved itself unable not only of carrying out the more consistent bourgeoisie democratic reforms, but as a matter of fact, it hasn't had either the necessary political or material strength to eradicate the inherited oligarchic institutions, such as the latifundos (big landholders), or the landlords of housing and farmlands.

The petty bourgeoisie, through the program of "mixed economy'' and "national unity,'' and as a consequence of the political strength of the bourgeoisie, has not been able to offer anything but a program of reconstruction of capitalist relations -- in spite of its populist rhetoric.

The program of reconstruction of capitalism through the mixed economy requires, in the face of the current crisis of world capitalism and of dependent capitalism in Nicaragua, an increase in the exploitation of the labor force. This is necessary in order to generate enough surplus for the reproduction of capital, for the increase of the rate of profit of the bourgeoisie and for the reproduction of the bureaucratic apparatus of the state. This explains the wage freezes, the prohibition and illegalization of the workers' strikes and peasant land takeovers, the increase in indirect taxes which falls mainly on the toiling masses, the uncontrolled inflation, the speculation in the basic commodity market, the real increase in the length of the working day through many different mechanisms, the minimum wage law that institutionalizes a system of pay freezes for the labor force, as well as the subsidies for big private production, the annulment of the debts of the capitalists, the tax incentives for the big private enterprises, the preferential currency policy, the credit policy in favor of the big producers, etc.

In this situation, the class struggle, the clash between the economic and political interests of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, of the exploiters and the rest of the people, has no choice but to accumulate force and to develop itself in forms ever more evident and sharpened. In this struggle, the state, led mainly by the petty bourgeoisie, which itself is governed by the social relations of production that it promotes and develops objectively, is attempting to mediate this class struggle with an allegedly supra-class role. This stance is presented with an enormous dose of populism which is now characteristic of the petty bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, as they defend their role as mediators of the class struggle (on a basis objectively capitalist and in crises), the petty bourgeoisie has no choice but to substitute, for the logic of the development of the revolution and of the class struggle, the logic of the preservation and conservation of their own political power. More and more this petty bourgeoisie is demarcating its ideology, its own politics and with its practice in power, its increasingly reactionary character with respect to the social, economic and political revolution that the proletariat and the historical epoch demand (this is to say, in respect to the proletarian revolution in Nicaragua).

The Nicaraguan proletariat, despite the fact that it still carries enormous objective limitations as a product of dependent capitalism in our country, is clear that in neither the oligarchic paternalism based in the great "hacienda" (based in the traditional Conservative and. Liberal Constitutionalist parties), nor in the late demogoguery of the agro-industrial commercial bourgeoisie (represented in the Social Christian, the Liberal Independent and other parties), nor in the revolutionist rhetoric of the petty bourgeoisie represented in the FSLN (a tenacious anti-Somocista guerrilla which found itself with the power in its hands but without any program except for a mixture of stretched versions of that of the liberal bourgeoisie), are there any answers for the needs of the masses and the proletarian revolution in Nicaragua.

Neither the big landlords, nor the bourgeoisie, nor the petty bourgeoisie have any answers in their hands to the demands of the toilers, the workers and peasants of Nicaragua. They have exhausted their historic opportunities; the hour for the anti-colonial, anti- feudal revolution has passed in Nicaragua. We are in the epoch of the proletarian revolution, this is to say, the epoch in which the tasks for transforming all the inherited remnants will be developed, with all their consequences, something which neither the bourgeoisie nor the petty bourgeoisie have been capable of doing.

Only the Nicaraguan working class, in the cities and in the countryside, in an alliance with the poor peasantry will be able to carry through this transformation to its final consequences, to carry through the tasks that have been delayed due to the inconsistencies of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie.

But these tasks are not the entire program of the Nicaraguan proletariat. Its actions go further than just trying to develop the bourgeois democratic transformations which neither the bourgeoisie nor petty bourgeoisie were able to develop. The program of the proletariat is essentially anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and anti-bureaucratic.

The program lays the basis to settle accounts with the classes left behind, but fundamentally it is a program to advance, to march forward to the historic victories, to take the route of the construction of proletarian socialism.

In our conditions, one sees the pressure of both the reactionary and the revolutionary classes. The petty bourgeoisie tries to arbitrate this struggle while it establishes itself as a power supposedly above classes, scolding some and soothing others depending on the case. This is the only original thing in the plan of struggle of the FSLN. The program of struggle of the proletariat counterposed to that of the oligarchy, the bourgeoisie, and the petty bourgeoisie, is supported by the party of the working class of Nicaragua, the party of the proletarian revolution in Nicaragua, the MAP-ML.

Workers and peasants to power!

1. Economic policy to function in the interests of the toilers and to advance to socialism.

The Marxist-Leninist party of Nicaragua, at the head of the working class, will implement its economic policy for the necessities of the broad masses. This signifies that the logic of private profit that has predominated in the "mixed economy" will have to give way to the logic of the needs of the masses, for which the worker-peasant power will expropriate, without indemnization, the big private owners and the big economic enterprises in the hands of big private capital in Nicaragua. These will be transformed into state enterprises under the control and administration of the workers -- worker administration from the level of the local unit to the nation/ macro-economic unit. This action of expropriation of big private capital is not an operation that can be developed overnight. Its rate will depend on the capacity of the working class to lead it, while avoiding the vice of bureaucratism and of nationalization without worker control or worker administration that only leads to the creation again of a corporative state that through a state bureaucracy would oppress anew the broad masses.

This advance of the working class against capitalism will develop through revolutionary actions of the expropriation of big capital, workers' control and administration, and the centralized planning of the country's economy.

2. Popular revolutionary agrarian reform. ...

3. Repudiation of the external debt, inheritance of Somocismo from July 19,1979....

4. Urban reform to resolve the problem of land and housing for the broad masses....

5. The form and development of the worker-peasant power....

6. The generalized arming of the people through the worker and peasant militias. The formation of a popular revolutionary army. Full exercise of democracy in its interior. The formation of councils of soldiers. Officers and commanders democratically elected by the troops. The incorporation into productive work in times of peace. Obligatory military service according to the necessities of the military defense of the revolution....

7. The defense of the integrity of the national territory and the self-determination of the people and of the proletarian revolution in Nicaragua. Struggle against all types of interference from countries or hegemonic superpowers....

8. Respect for the right to self-determination of the peoples and toilers. Practice of proletarian internationalism and militant support for the struggles of the peoples against their oppressors and exploiters. Work for the formation and unity of the international unity of the working class.

9. Democratic liberties for the broad masses through the revolutionary popular mobilization, to cut the political activity of the bourgeoisie and reaction. Develop the free ideological struggle against the enemies of the toilers. Practice of union democracy, and freedom of union organization and the right to strike. ...

10. Struggle against the exploitation and oppression of women. Special programs for the incorporation of women into productive labor. ...

11. Nationalization, under state control and worker administration, of the mass communication media, the medical services, and education. Strengthening of the state enterprises of mass transportation. ...

12. Development of scientific knowledge among the people. Respect for the cultural traditions of the masses. Opening up of universal culture through the free ideological struggle. Development of the cultural expressions of the proletariat.

13. Immediate nullification of the Somocista labor code that is still in effect. Full power to the toilers in decisions in labor matters and social security through the maximum organ of power, the popular assembly of representatives.

14. The right to administrative autonomy for the indigenous and pobladore communities of the Atlantic Coast in Nicaragua. Respect for and noninterference in the use of its communal lands. Special industrialization of the Atlantic coast in agreement/harmony with its natural base. Investments in its own zone of the surplus necessary for local development and the rest of the country.

Workers and peasants -- to power!

Not a single vote for the bourgeoisie -- bullets for imperialism!

Long live the Marxist-Leninist party of Nicaragua -- the MAP-ML!

Long live the Workers Front!

Long live the Marxist-Leninist Youth!

Movement of Popular Action (Marxist-Leninist) of Nicaragua

(Translation by The Workers' Advocate staff)

[Back to Top]

'Working people, why still slave?'

- A poem

Working people, why still slave

For men who ride you to the grave?

Why still toil, drip sweat, shed blood

For men who tramp you in the mud?

Why still wave for enemy

your magic wand of Industry?

Why create unbounded wealth

While you lose your love and health?

Galley-slaves of factory,

Why still forge in symmetry

Chains that bind your very life

To your foe in bloody strife?

Do you have leisure, peace of mind,

Unstressed love, food, shelter, time?

Or what is it your hard work buys

While unrest in your heart lies?

The cars you build you buy to drive;

The wealth you coin keeps rich alive;

The clothes you weave are sold to you;

The guns you forge defend the few.

Build cars -- but for the mass to keep;

Coin wealth -- but let no rich man keep;

Weave clothes -- to ease your ragged plight;

Forge guns -- but for your Cause to fight!

(After Shelley's "Song to the Men of

England," 1819)

From a reader

November 5,1984

[Back to Top]

Murder manual of the CIA

In October, the story about the CIA's manual for contra terrorism in Nicaragua broke into the open. The instructions in this manual provide yet another glimpse of the brutal war that the U.S. government is conducting in Nicaragua. And it serves as one more telling exposure of the tall tale told by the Reagan administration that Washington is fighting for "freedom and democracy" in Central America.

A Glimpse of U.S. "State-Sponsored Terrorism"

The CIA manual is entitled "Psychological Operations in Guerrilla War." "Psychological warfare" is of course the other name for the whole gamut of disinformation and criminal dirty tricks that the CIA is notorious for. At the core of this sort of CIA activity is of course the use of terror. The cover of the manual gives out a significant clue about the real essence of the book -- it is full of silhouettes of human heads with holes in them. Indeed, the aim of the manual, among other things, includes instruction in political assassination and other forms of brutality against the Nicaraguan revolution.

In one of its infamous sections, the CIA manual instructs the Nicaraguan contras: "It is possible to neutralize carefully selected and planned targets, such as court judges, police and state security officials, etc." Here the word "neutralize" is nothing but a euphemism for assassination. The manual also goes on to instruct the contras on how to pressure and blackmail people into serving them.

The CIA manual also includes instructions on hiring "professional criminals" and using them to "carry out selective jobs." One such job that is discussed involves "taking demonstrators to a confrontation with the authorities to bring about uprisings and shootings that will cause the death of one or more people to create a martyr for the cause." And to ensure such confrontations, contra "shock troops," armed with "knives, razors, chains, clubs and bludgeons," are to "march slightly behind the innocent and gullible participants."

Such are the methods of Ronald Reagan's "freedom fighters" in Nicaragua. The contras have become notorious for the most brutal acts against the Nicaraguan people in their attempt to reverse the Nicaraguan revolution. Rape, murder and pillage are their daily activity. The CIA manual shows that these activities are not some aberration but standard operating procedure, directed from the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Reagan's Shameless Lies

The Reagan administration responded to the public disclosure of the CIA murder manual with their typical method -- lying. Their first attempt was to claim that the manual was the product of some "low-level contract employee of the CIA." This was an effort to pass off the CIA manual as something prepared without the knowledge of the highest officials of the CIA.

But this was a flimsy lie. For one thing, it was reported in Newsweek that back in August 1983, "key aides" of U.N. Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, CIA Chief William Casey and Defense Department officials had met to discuss the question of preparing a "manual for revolution" (read counterrevolution).

What is even more revealing is that the inspiration for the CIA murder manual comes directly from the brutal U.S. war of aggression in Viet Nam. It appears that the CIA manual is a refurbished version, including some word-for-word copying, of the "lesson plan" used by the "psychological operations department" of the Green Berets during the Viet Nam war. With regards to the question of political assassination, the old manual used the word "remove" while the new one uses the word "neutralize."

Reagan also trotted out other lies about the CIA manual. For example, during his October 21 debate with Mondale, he said that the CIA had edited most of the 2,000 copies of the manual to remove portions dealing with "neutralization" before allowing them to be distributed. But this has been contradicted by Edgar Chamorro, who was head of "propaganda activities" for the main contra organization, the FDN, and who claims to have been intimately involved in the preparation of the CIA manual.

Terrorism Is U.S. Imperialism's "Standard Operating Procedure"

The real attitude of the Reagan administration to the public disclosure of the CIA manual has been revealed with the end of the presidential elections. No sooner were the elections over than the Reagan administration began to find various ways to defend and praise the CIA manual.

In the most outrageous story to date, the Reaganites began to claim that the CIA manual was not a manual for terrorism but a program to "restrain the contras," to "curb excesses" by the CIA's force in Nicaragua. In this connection, they spread the story of how before the CIA manual was published, there were a number of cases of excesses by contra troops. One story was told of a "Commander Suicide" who committed such excesses that he had to be court-martialed and executed by Argentine military advisers working with the contras. (This was glibly reported in the Washington Post; see the Post National Weekly Edition, November 12,1984.)

The Reaganites forget that when they put out a story that Argentine military advisers are involved in "curbing excesses," then something begins to stink to high heaven. The Argentine military is well-known for its own brutality; after all, that military was responsible for more than 30,000 political prisoners who were "disappeared" over the last decade.

In tune with this sort of theme, the Reagan administration and its apologists trotted out the ultimate justification for the CIA manual. This wasn't sponsoring terrorism at all, they said. This is because the people who were carrying out these activities are friends of the U.S. government, they are "freedom fighters." Here is typical Reaganite double-speak -- the activities of "the other side," no matter how legitimate and just, are "terrorist," while the work of the U.S. and its agents, no matter how dirty and unjust, is "freedom fighting."

With this position, the Reaganites have only succeeded in proving that terrorism is not the brainchild of some minor officials of the government but "standard operating procedure" for U.S. imperialism. And this is true no matter which capitalist party, the Republicans or the Democrats, run the U.S. government. During the recent disclosure of the CIA manual, the Democratic Party politicians tried to strike a posture of mock horror. But this was thoroughly hypocritical. The terror tactics of Reagan's CIA manual were after all inspired by the Green Beret operations in Viet Nam and it was none other than the Democratic Party hero, John F. Kennedy, who launched the Green Berets. Indeed in honor of that contribution the U.S. Army's Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg is named for JFK. More recently, it was the Democratic Carter administration which launched the latest round of the expansion of U.S. terrorist forces, a policy which has been escalated under Reagan.

Struggle against the terror operations of the Reagan administration requires struggle against U.S. imperialism as a whole.

[Photo: Cover of the CIA murder manual.]

[Back to Top]

Liberal Democrats echo Reagan's war threats

In recent years we have been treated to the spectacle of a number of liberal Democratic politicians posturing against Reagan's war policies in Central America. Open up almost any bourgeois or reformist newspaper and you will often read of the "stiff opposition" that the Reaganite "hawks" have allegedly been getting from "doves" among the capitalist politicians.

The truth is that the controversies among the capitalist "hawks" and "doves" have been mere squabbles over minor tactical matters. There has always been general agreement among them about the imperialist goals of the U.S. government. Repeatedly the bipartisan consensus is brought out in the open. Today the "MIG scare" offers a sharp exposure of the warmongering reality that hides behind the pacifist words of the capitalist doves. When push comes to shove and the commander-in-chief barks out his war cry, the liberals enthusiastically fall into a single militarist front.

Already during the presidential elections, the Democratic stalwart Walter Mondale had indicated this. He had declared that if Nicaragua were to get MiG's this would be a dangerous provocation. And he called for taking military action against Nicaragua if such a thing happened.

In the recent crisis, one liberal hero after another trotted out to echo the Reaganite Big Lie against Nicaragua and call for military intervention. They declared in unison that they "would not rule out" the use of military force should Nicaragua obtain MIG fighters. This included not only Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee and has regularly overseen the funding of the contra war, but it also included such "anti-war" worthies as Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and outgoing Senator Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts. Even Senator-elect John Kerry of Massachusetts, who just got elected posturing as a peacenik, declared his approval of force to neutralize the "Soviet threat."

As for the prince of liberals, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), he was not heard from during the recent hysterical campaign. But several weeks earlier Kennedy had made his stand clear. As early as September 20, Kennedy pointed to the danger of the MIG threat concerning Nicaragua. In a speech to the Fate of the Earth conference in Washington, D.C., Kennedy cited the threat of Soviet MIG's in Nicaragua as "a clear and present danger." After a few mealy-mouthed criticisms of Reagan's Nicaraguan policy, among other things made on the basis that Reagan had allowed the Soviets to gain greater influence there, Kennedy went on to declare that "we must be clear that any Soviet move, such as the introduction of high-powered MIG aircraft," must be seen as a "reckless and dangerous act."

This is the stuff out of which the congressional "opposition" to Reagan is made. Such "opposition" merely consists of squabbles, while there is full agreement on the bottom line. Aggression against the Nicaraguan revolution is a bipartisan policy, common to both the capitalist parties. The Reaganite hawks cannot be fought by relying on Democratic doves, who are in fact nothing but hawks in doves' feathers. The struggle against U.S. intervention requires targeting the imperialist system.

[Back to Top]