The Workers' Advocate

WORKERS OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE! 25¢

Volume 14, Number 7

VOICE OF THE MARXIST-LENINIST PARTY OF THE USA

June 10, 1984

[Front page:

On the current battles against concessions;

Step up the fight against U.S. intervention in Nicaragua!;

Defying Scotland Yard and anti-labor laws--British coal miners battle Thatcher's unemployment drive;

U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of the Persian Gulf!]

IN THIS ISSUE

Greensboro: Racist killers acquitted again..................... 2
Black bourgeoisie bending before Reagan..................... 2
Supreme Court approves 'La Migra' raids..................... 2



Toledo: 3,000 workers battle police............................... 3
Chicago: Danly strike against concessions.................... 3
Who benefits from concessions?.................................... 3
Postal workers prepare for contract................................ 4
NYC: Transit workers fight MTA management............. 4
Boston: MBTA workers fight part-time system............. 4
Copper miners battle state police................................... 5



Iranian students condemn both sides in war................... 5
The Student: Activists organize at MIT........................ 6
Protests against Reagan's war envoys............................ 6



El Salvador: Aid, elections, death squads....................... 7
Dominican Republic: Rebellions against austerity......... 8



Haitians fight Duvalier................................................... 9
Puerto Ricans protest Pentagon war buildup.................. 9
May Day in Latin America............................................. 9
West Germany: Strike for 35-hour week........................ 10



More on opportunists and Jesse Jackson........................ 10
Correspondence.............................................................. 11



Why the CPUSA didn't resist Khrushchovite revisionism... 12
May Day in the U.S........................................................ 13




On the current battles against concessions

Step up the fight against U.S. intervention in Nicaragua!

Defying Scotland Yard and anti-labor laws

British coal miners battle Thatcher's unemployment drive

U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of the Persian Gulf!

Another outrageous acquittal of the Greensboro killers

The government gives go-ahead for the racist gangs

Black Family Summit held in Nashville

The Black Bourgeoisie is Bending Before the Reaganite Breeze

Defend the immigrant workers!

Supreme Court Gives Seal of Approval to 'La Migra' Raids

Support the Toledo AP workers' strike!

3,000 WORKERS BATTLE THE POLICE

Danly workers strike against concessions

Multi-millon dollar salaries

Who benefits from concessions?

Postal workers prepare for contract fight

No to a pay freeze and two-tier wage system!

What the postal workers are saying

New York City Transit Workers Take Action Against Management Harassment

Boston transit workers fight the part-time system

The MBTA's dirty tricks to cut pay and increase workloads

State police and National Guard sent to break the copper miners

Phelps-Dodge Strikers Stand Firm

Iranian students condemn both sides in Iran-lraq war

Introducing THE STUDENT

MIT out to abolish Office of Minority Education

Rightists print fake STUDENT

San Francisco

Militant protests against Reagan's war envoys

The CIA elects a new president for El Salvador

Duarte puts a 'democratic' mask over the death-squad regime

Congress rubber stamps more millions for the Salvadoran dictators

Reagan snaps his fingers and the Democrats jump

From John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan

How the U.S. government set up the death squads in El Salvador

The Dominican working people rise up against the IMF and the government of hunger

Down with the U.S.-Backed Duvalier Dictatorship! Down with Hunger! Down with Misery!

Against "Ocean Venture 84''

50,000 Puerto Ricans fight the Pentagon's war buildup

West German auto workers strike for 35-hour week with no cut in pay

May First in Latin America - Working Class Raises Its Fist

More on how the opportunists trail behind the Jesse Jackson campaign

Correspondence:

Jesse Jackson and the Mexican immigrants

Why the CPUSA didn't resist Khrushchovite revisionism

International Workers Day--1984

Against Reaganite reaction

Support the Nicaraguan Workers' Press!

Telegrams to the Junta of the Government of National Reconstruction of Nicaragua




On the current battles against concessions

This issue of The Workers' Advocate contains reports of sharpening struggles around the country against wage cuts, the part-time system and speedups from various sectors of the working class. There is the fierce strike at AP Auto Parts in Toledo and the latest news in the bitter year-long strike of the Phelps-Dodge copper miners. There is the struggle of the transit workers in Boston against the escalating conversion of their jobs to the part-time system, and the upcoming contract struggle of the postal workers against a wage freeze and the two-tier wage system. And other struggles.

The Reaganites are crowing about "recovery" and saying that the profits "trickle down" to the workers. But this lie is exposed by the day-to-day facts of working class life. The "recovery" has not brought an end to the vicious concessions drive of the capitalist slavedrivers. On the contrary, the more profits the capitalists have made, the more they have pushed for yet more profits.

The "recovery" has been, above all, a recovery for the rich, a profit recovery. While millions upon millions of workers still look fruitlessly for work, while for the masses there is only a slight improvement from the depths of the crisis, meanwhile the rich are raking in fabulous sums. Unbelievable salaries and bonuses, mounting into the millions of dollars for single individuals, are pouring in for the company chairmen and top executives. Meanwhile Reagan is demanding a subminimum wage for the youth. And the capitalists keep demanding wage freezes from the workers and even five to eight-dollar an hour wage and benefit cuts, as at AP Auto Parts.

The profit rebound has not softened the hearts of the rich. On the contrary, only when the workers fight for their rights are they able to maintain themselves in the face of the ongoing capitalist offensive. The "recovery" is bringing the prospect of more strikes, more demonstrations and more organizing.

The exploiters have stepped up their attacks on the working masses, despite the profit rebound, because the profits of the capitalist exploiters are made out of the sweat of the workers. As long as the U.S. remains a capitalist society, just so long will the battle between rich and poor, capitalist and worker, continue, whether in the lowest depths of the crisis or in the midst of the temporary upward blip which is being euphemistically called "recovery." The fact that the capitalists are stepping up their drive to squeeze the workers right in the midst of the "recovery" proves that they make their profits off the sweat of the workers, so that the misfortune of one is the good fortune of the other.

But there is yet another lesson for the working class in the various struggles taking place across the country. In one struggle after another we see the heads of the unions, the Kirklands and Biebers, on their knees before the capitalists. They refuse to organize solidarity for the strikes. They refuse to accept, to say nothing of organize, militant struggle. They have to be dragged by the rank and file into authorizing any struggle at all. And then they run to collaborate with the capitalist bosses and do their best to stifle the workers' mass struggle.

So long as the sold out labor bureaucrats have influence, just so long will the strike struggle be disorganized. It is essential for the workers, as they organize their resistance to the exploiters, as they unite in larger and larger numbers against the capitalist offensive, to drive out the class collaborationist leaders and organize on a genuine fighting basis.

The overall level of mass struggle against the capitalist offensive is still quite modest. But again and again particularly fierce or tenacious struggles keep breaking out that light up the scene. There is the Phelps-Dodge strike, there was the Greyhound strike last year and the AP Auto Parts strike this year. These struggles provide a glimpse into the mass indignation that is building up in the heart of the working class. And the widespread nature of the savage concession demands is one example of how the most varied sections of the working class are being irresistibly drawn into the struggle. Step by step the working class is preparing to greet the capitalist offensive with class struggle.

[Photo: Confrontation between police and striking AP Parts workers, Toledo, May 21.]


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Step up the fight against U.S. intervention in Nicaragua!

Workers! Anti-imperialist activists!

Ronald Reagan is wielding the big stick against the people of Nicaragua. Congress is sending more millions for the CIA mercenaries and Honduran generals to unleash terrorism and provocations on Nicaragua's borders. And the Pentagon generals are not-so-secretly boasting of their plans for a U.S. invasion to crush revolutionary Nicaragua.

The growing U.S. intervention against Nicaragua has aroused the anger of millions. Even the opinion polls of the capitalist media show that the majority of people in this country are opposed to this intervention. Large numbers of workers and progressive people are looking for the best way to fight the U.S. aggression and to express their solidarity with their class brothers south of the border.

What is needed is hard work to bring the masses into the struggle and to orient this opposition towards a militant fight against imperialism. With this aim the MLP appeals to ail working people and ail anti-imperialist activists to take up the fighting tasks of the struggle against U.S. intervention.

Militantly Condemn Reagan's Crimes Against the Nicaraguan People

The Nicaraguan people must have the right to self-determination -- to be free of the threats, bullying and aggression of the U.S. government. The growing U.S. intervention must be fought every step of the way.

The dispatch of CIA mercenaries to raid Nicaraguan villages; the mining of Nicaragua's harbors; the crude provocations by the Pentagon's Honduran puppet army; the ominous U.S. military buildup and preparations for an invasion -- all these criminal atrocities of the U.S. government must be exposed and condemned.

The fight against this intervention calls for demonstrations, protests, pickets and other mass actions. The mass struggle is essential. This is a lesson learned in the fight against the U.S. aggression in Viet Nam. Militant demonstrations and protests show that the American working people will not sit by while "our" government goes to war to strangle the working people of other lands. Mass actions galvanize the opposition; and they are a powerful means of raising the consciousness and militancy of the working people and bringing them into struggle.

Target Imperialism as the Source of the Criminal War on Nicaragua

U.S. intervention against Nicaragua is not simply a fluke or ill-conceived policy. No. It follows a definite logic -- the logic of the imperialist system. This is a system which thrives on the exploitation of the working people at home and on the plunder of the oppressed peoples abroad. Imperialism seeks to trample on the Sandinista government for the crime of resisting the U.S. dictate. It seeks to crush the revolution of the Nicaraguan workers and peasants under a new U.S.-backed dictatorship, restoring Nicaragua as a paradise for the U.S. banks and corporations.

The Republicans and Democrats are the twin parties of imperialism and aggression. In the midst of the 1984 election campaign it is important to combat the lies of the smooth-talking capitalist politicians. The arsenal of crude lies used by the Reaganites to justify intervention against Nicaragua must be exposed as the demagogy that it is. No less important, the hypocritical Democratic "opposition" must be laid bare as just the "humanitarian" face of the same imperialist intervention.

The struggle against Reagan's war on Nicaragua will not advance a single step by voting in one gang of imperialist politicians to replace another. The imperialist system is the source of this aggression and must be made the target of the anti-intervention struggle.

Strengthen Solidarity With the Nicaraguan Workers and Peasants

The working people of Nicaragua are not only the victims of the U.S.-backed mercenaries and intervention -- they are also the bulwark of defense against this aggression.

The workers and poor, peasants are the mainstay of the struggle against the CIA-backed counterrevolution of the big capitalists and landlords. The Sandinista government, although resisting U.S. imperialism, is a petty-bourgeois government that vacillates between the revolution and the pressures from the bourgeoisie and world imperialism. It is the workers and poor peasants that are the classes capable of overcoming the vacillations of the government and carrying forward the revolution against the rich exploiters and their U.S. masters.

To strengthen the struggle against U.S. intervention the class struggle taking place within Nicaragua has to be taken into account. Solidarity with the workers and peasants will greatly strengthen the fight against U.S. imperialism.

Support the Campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press

The workers' press is a vital tool for building up the independent revolutionary forces of the working masses. The party of the Nicaraguan working class, MAP-ML (Movement of Popular Action/Marxist-Leninist), and its trade union center, the Workers' Front, are striving to rebuild the Nicaraguan workers' press.

They are demanding that El Pueblo, the daily workers' newspaper, be allowed to reopen after being arbitrarily shut down by the government. As the working masses are the ones who carried out the revolution, the Marxist-Leninist workers are demanding an end to censorship and repression against the workers' press. At the same time they call for revolutionary measures to check the capitalist newspaper La Prensa and the other mouthpieces of the U.S.-backed counterrevolution.

Presently, MAP-ML is producing the monthly paper Prensa Proletaria. Besides the government discrimination, Prensa Proletaria faces critical shortages of printing equipment and supplies as a result of Reagan's economic blockade.

As part of the work to fight U.S. intervention against Nicaragua, the MLP is initiating a campaign to build political and material support for the Nicaraguan workers' press. Besides popularizing the workers' press and supporting its demands, the campaign is also aimed at assisting Prensa Proletaria with printing equipment and supplies.

Supporting the workers' press is a concrete act of solidarity with the Nicaraguan working people in the face of the U.S. aggression and blockade. It is part of building the solid bonds of internationalist solidarity between the workers and revolutionary forces of Nicaragua and the U.S. in our common struggle. All workers and activists opposed to the U.S. aggression should take part in this work.

Take the Struggle Against Intervention to the Factories, Communities and Schools

The struggle against U.S. intervention in Nicaragua must not be restricted to an "enlightened" few. To build a powerful fight we must work to bring the struggle to the widest masses of working people. The literature against the U.S. imperialist aggression should be spread to the factories, communities and schools. The workers should take their place in the demonstrations and actions and strive to lend them a militant anti-imperialist character.

Workers and anti-imperialist activists!

Let us meet the challenge of Reagan's criminal intervention. Let us take our stand shoulder to shoulder with the courageous workers and toilers of Nicaragua.

No to the CIA War on Nicaragua!

Solidarity With the Nicaraguan Workers and Peasants!

Support the Nicaraguan Workers' Press!


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Defying Scotland Yard and anti-labor laws

British coal miners battle Thatcher's unemployment drive

[Photo: Miners clash with police at a picket line in Motherwell, Scotland on May 3.]

Recent days have seen a sharp flare-up in confrontations between coal miners and police in the three-month old coal strike in Britain.

Just last week, thousands of coal miners clashed with police for several days at the gates of the Orgreave coke plant outside Sheffield, a major coal and steel center in Yorkshire, northern England. The miners were trying to stop coke shipments from Orgreave to the large British Steel Corporation mill in Scunthorpe, 40 miles away.

The recent face-off began on Tuesday, May 29, when over 7,000 pickets turned out upon hearing that 6,000 tons of Polish coal had arrived the previous day, a national holiday. As the miners resisted charges by mounted police, they pelted the cops with rocks, bottles, pieces of fence and clumps of grass. Over 60 people, the majority of them policemen, were injured, and 82 pickets were arrested.

For several days the fighting raged as pickets returned to the coke plant. They repeatedly defied police orders to disperse and continued to fight the police assaults. Many more injuries and arrests took place.

These latest fights rank among the fiercest clashes in the workers' movement in Britain since the end of World War II. The confrontation at Orgreave is a graphic illustration of the intensity of the strike which has pitted more than 150,000 coal miners against a huge array of forces mobilized by the British capitalist ruling class.

The miners are fighting against a vicious offensive of the Thatcher government to throw tens of thousands of miners out of work by closing down a large number of mines. The government also seeks to strike a crushing blow against the coal miners' movement, which has a long tradition of fighting in the front ranks of the workers' movement in Britain. Thus, in their strike today, the coal miners face not only the National Coal Board, the operators of Britain's nationalized coal industry, but they also confront the strikebreaking efforts of the courts, the police, and the lying capitalist news media.

The miners' struggle is of major significance for the entire working class in Britain. The campaign against the miners is an important front of the Thatcher-led capitalist offensive; the success of the Coal Board would only whet the appetites of the exploiters for further attacks on all the workers.

Workers in other industries have taken part in solidarity actions with the coal miners, often defying the law themselves. Indeed, the miners' struggle requires active solidarity from the whole working class, especially from those sections involved in the transport and use of coal.

The British miners' strike is a brilliant example of workers standing up against unemployment. It shows that even in the conditions of acute economic crisis and five million in the ranks of the unemployed, the workers do not have to passively accept the fate chosen for them by the capitalists, but that they can fight back with force and resolve. This is an inspiration for the struggle against unemployment throughout the crisis-ridden capitalist world.

The Miners Show Their Courage and Determination

The miners launched their strike on a national scale on March 12. The week before, miners had already walked out in Scotland and Yorkshire. And for nearly five months before, the miners had carried out a nationwide overtime ban in order to press their demands against the Coal Board's campaign of mine shutdowns. In the course of their current struggle, the miners of Britain have once again displayed the fighting spirit for which they are famous.

To spread their strike, the miners have made extensive use of "flying pickets'' and mass pickets. Thus, after having begun in certain local areas, the strike spread within a few weeks to include over 150,000 miners, 85% of the total number of miners in England, Scotland and Wales.

Every step the workers have taken has been in defiance of the law and the police. To enforce the law and the injunctions they quickly got from the courts, the Thatcher government has mobilized a force of some 20,000 police, coordinated by a special unit of Scotland Yard. This is Britain's biggest police operation since World War II, and it is costing million of pounds a day.

The "flying pickets'' are illegal under Britain's reactionary labor laws which ban picketing outside one's own place of employment. Mass pickets are also outlawed. The police have tried hard to block the miners' pickets. They have stopped miners from traveling to coal mines, using roadblocks and even searching trains and buses for picketing miners in transit. In one area, the authorities even tried to bar any miner from being able to travel outside his own county!

The miners have simply defied the laws and the police. The court injunctions have been rendered useless. In many cases miners, upon being blocked by police from getting to mines, have made their way by using back roads. There have also been repeated clashes with police who have not hidden their intentions of cracking heads. The miners have been harassed; they have been beaten; and they have suffered hundreds of arrests.

Besides shutting down coal mines, the strikers have also sent pickets to power stations, steel mills, coke plants, the docks, etc. They have organized convoys to block highways. The recent clashes at the Orgreave coke plant show the miners' determination to shut down movement of coal across Britain.

There have also been a number of cases of workers in other sectors of the economy coming to the direct aid of the coal miners. There have been trainmen and truck drivers refusing to move coal, and dock workers and sea- men. For example, on April 2, about 250 rail workers walked out shutting down the Merseyside suburban rail network after a train driver was disciplined for refusing to move a coal train from a siding. And in South Wales, when the government-owned bus company announced that it would no longer rent buses to picketers, bus drivers went on strike forcing the company to reverse its decision.

Meanwhile tens of thousands of workers across Britain have poured out for solidarity demonstrations. In mid- April as well as mid-May, cities around the country saw numbers of huge solidarity rallies.

Resisting a Vicious Rationalization and Union-Busting Drive

Behind the intensity of the strike lies the fact that the miners are faced with a savage rationalization drive which will force tens of thousands out of their livelihood. The government also seeks to strike a big blow against the miners' movement by disrupting and weakening the mine workers' union.

In the past 18 months, the Coal Board has closed 38 mines (or "pits'' as they are called in Britain), throwing 38,000 miners out of work. They are planning a program of some 70 pit closures over the next few years. The March 12 strike was in fact triggered by the announcement of a plan to close down 20 pits in the next 12 months, involving a loss of 23,000 jobs.

The coal industry is faced with a serious crisis of overproduction. Behind this lies, among other things, the current oil glut and the worldwide capitalist economic crisis which have depressed coal markets at home and internationally. Capitalism has no solution to such crises other than dumping the burden of the crisis onto the shoulders of the workers. Thus, for some time now, the Coal Board has launched a campaign of rationalization, involving cutting production, closing pits, sacking miners, holding down wages, and stepping up the intensity of labor.

The pit closures have also been organized with an eye towards weakening the miners' union. Many of the mines selected for shutdown are in the most militant centers of the miners' union in Yorkshire, Wales and Scotland.

The British bourgeoisie hates and fears the coal miners who have historically been on the front lines of the class struggle. In 1926 the miners' strike led to a powerful general strike, and even after this was sold out by the labor chieftains of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the miners stayed out alone for several more months. In 1972 and 1974 the coal miners' strikes defeated the Conservative Heath government's efforts to pass the anti-labor Industrial Relations Act; ultimately the miners' struggle led to the resignation of that government.

For years, the British capitalist rulers have been preparing for a showdown with the coal miners. In 1980 and 1982 they passed the Employment Acts which have been designed with a special eye towards breaking the coal miners' movement. These laws are Britain's version of the notorious antilabor Taft-Hartley Act here in the U.S. They contain a series of draconic antilabor measures, including outlawing the closed shop, banning secondary pickets and sympathy strikes, enforcing a limit of six picketers, etc. Moreover, the British government put together a special unit at Scotland Yard to organize the kind of police campaign they have unleashed against the miners' strike today

The British bourgeoisie has also tried hard to split and disrupt the ranks of the mine workers' union. In 1977 the government was able to establish an "incentive plan'' which provides bonuses based on productivity; the aim was to weaken the miners' solidarity by increasing competition among the miners. As a result of incentive pay, better geological conditions and favorable investment policies, today in the most productive mining areas, especially those in Nottinghamshire, there are miners making up to twice as much money as miners in other parts of the country. Through their bonus scheme and by declaring that Notts mines would not be part of the pit closure program, the government has sought to push the line that it is not in the interests of the Notts miners to join the fight of the coal miners as a whole. Indeed, it is in these areas that certain reactionary leaders of the National Union of Mine- workers have deliberately organized scabbing against the vast majority of Britain's miners. But even here, maybe as much as a third of the miners have come out and joined the strike.

The Sabotage of the Traitors of the TUC and Labor Party

Despite the scabbing in Nottinghamshire, the fact remains that the current strike has successfully mobilized the vast majority of the coal miners of Britain. The great part of coal production in Britain has been stopped. Thus the government is relying on imports of coal from abroad and on what remains of the huge stockpiles they had built up in anticipation of the strike. (It is a notable fact that much of the imported coal is today coming from Poland, which calls itself a socialist country! But the exports of coal by the Polish government to Britain for strikebreaking purposes prove once again that this government is not a workers' state but a revisionist-capitalist regime hostile to the interests of the international working class.)

In any case, what the miners need today is the extension of their strike in order to completely shut down all mining, transport, importation and use of coal. Solidarity action by dock workers, power workers, steel workers, railway workers and truckers is on the order of the day. Indeed, both in the 1972 and 1974 miners' strikes, solidarity actions by other workers in Britain were very important in the successes achieved by the coal miners. But it is precisely this type of class-wide solidarity that is being sabotaged by those who claim to be the representatives of British labor, namely, the chieftains of the Trades Union Congress and the social-democratic politicians of the Labor Party.

Instead of coming out in support of the miners' strike, the TUC and Labor Party bosses have made no secret of their hostility to the miners' struggle. With only a slight nod towards sympathy for the "concerns" of the miners, the labor traitors have in fact echoed the Thatcherites' hue and cry about the "violence" of the miners. Thus, Len Murray, the head of the TUC, declared: "The trade union movement has never condoned the violence of pickets." And Neil Kinnock, so-called "left" leader of the Labor Party, pontificated in parliament, "Will you understand once and for all, that I now -- and always have -- condemn violence in pursuit of industrial disputes?" And he added that he felt this applied "even where it occurs amongst people who feel impotent in the face of destruction of their jobs, their industry, and their communities."

At the same time, the Labor Party bosses have also come out in support of Thatcher's police action against the miners, albeit with a few words thrown in for show about "police excesses." In parliament, Kaufman, Labor's "shadow" Home Secretary, said: "We on this side strongly support the police in the proper use of their powers to uphold law and order. We believe that when men or women wish to go to their work place they must be free to do so. We believe that if attempts are made forcibly to prevent people from going to work they have the right to the protection of the police, and the police have the duty to provide that protection." This of course was just an echo of the Tory government.

The coal miners' strike has therefore exposed the completely anti-worker nature of the social-democratic Labor Party and the chieftains of the Trades Union Congress. It shows that these "labor leaders" are just scabs and lieutenants of the capitalist class.

Solidarity With the Fighting British Coal Miners!

The militant struggle of the British coal miners is an inspiration to workers both in Britain and abroad. The capitalist offensive of layoffs, wage cuts, and speedup is not just a British phenomenon but is taking place throughout the capitalist world which is caught in the grips of economic crisis. The miners of Britain are standing up to this savage assault and showing to workers everywhere that the workers should not accept attacks on their livelihood lying down. The miners are showing that even in the difficult times of economic crisis and widespread unemployment, the workers can mobilize themselves for struggle. They are showing that it is in the ability of the rank-and-file workers to mobilize the vase numbers of workers into active struggle. And they are showing that any real struggle by the working class requires a defiant stand against the laws, courts and police attacks which are unleashed by the capitalist bloodsuckers to defend their profits.

Here in the U.S., the capitalist news media refuses to give much attention to reporting on the coal miners' strike; that is of course the basic attitude they take towards workers' struggles generally. The last thing the capitalist liars of the media want is for the workers here to learn from the struggles of their fellow workers abroad. And when they do report on the miners' strike, it is full of one lie after another; they have especially tried to spread the message that the strike is not very effective, that it hasn't mobilized large numbers of miners, and so forth. But even so, once in a while, the television screens bring to the eyes of millions of workers here in the U.S. scenes of the militant battles that are taking place across the Atlantic. These fights are an example to the workers here in the U.S.

In September the coal miners here in the U.S. will face another contract battle. The struggle in Britain is a particularly inspiring example for the way forward for the miners' struggle here.

Victory to the British coal miners!


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U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of the Persian Gulf!

The tragic fratricidal war between Iran and Iraq is threatening to spread wider in the Persian Gulf. Since the end of March, Iraqi war planes have attacked at least 20 oil tankers headed for Iranian ports. Iranian jets have retaliated with strikes on several tankers sailing near Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. And on June 5, the reactionary Saudi Arabian regime took military action for the first time. The Saudi air force, with the direct assistance of U.S.-manned AWAC radar surveillance planes and a U.S. air tanker, downed two Iranian jets.

While working people all over the world are appalled at the disaster this war is bringing on the peoples of the Persian Gulf, the Reagan government can't wait to get its hands in the bloodletting. Using the pretext that it wants to defend international shipping, U.S.-imperialism is trying to sink its claws deeper into the flesh of the peoples of the oil-rich Persian Gulf.

Thus the Reagan administration is sending arms and troops into the region. It is stepping up its arming of the Saudi Arabian monarchy. At least six U.S. Navy warships themselves are patrolling the Persian Gulf; while another U.S. armada, headed by the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, sits off the Strait of Hormuz in the Arabian Sea.

The Pentagon has threatened to attack any ships or airplanes that come near to this armada or to the oil tankers that are fueling it. As well, the Reagan administration has declared it will defend Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries from any attack by Iran. At the same time, the Reagan administration demands that these countries must provide the U.S. war machine with military bases and ports.

Despite Reagan's claims that he desires to bring "peace" to the Persian Gulf, the U.S. government is clearly fueling the conflict. The Reagan administration is gambling that an intensification of the war will open the door to more U.S. military bases in the region and will help U.S. imperialism to extend its plunder and domination of the strategic, oil-abundant countries of the Persian Gulf.

The U.S. workers and progressive people cannot tolerate this latest adventure of the Reagan government. We say, no to U.S. intervention! We say, no to the arms sales! We say, U.S. imperialism get out of the Persian Gulf!

On the Iran-lraq War

The present crisis in the Persian Gulf stems from the reactionary character of the Iran-lraq war. While the working masses suffer, each regime pursues its own reactionary aggressive aims.

The Khomeini government has made no bones about its aims to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and to replace his regime with an Islamic clerical government, a regime that will not only be friendly to Khomeini but which will also bleed the Iraqi toilers of $150 billion in war reparations. Although the fight against Iraq began as a defense of the revolutionary struggle of the Iranian masses, the Khomeini government has strangled the Iranian revolution with its own bloody hands and has converted the war into a fully reactionary adventure.

The Iraqi regime is no better. Urged on by U.S. imperialism, and backed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other reactionary governments, Hussein launched the war with Iran to put down the revolutionary movement of the Iranian masses and to seize Iran's oil-rich province of Khuzestan. Today Hussein is suing for peace. But this is only because the war has been more costly than he expected. Not only have the Iraqi troops been driven from Iran, but the Iranian forces have successfully blockaded much of Iraq's oil exports and have amassed hundreds of thousands of troops for another attempt to invade Iraq.

The toilers of the Persian Gulf, whether Iranian, Iraqi, Saudi Arabian, or others, have nothing to gain from this reactionary war. This latest escalation of the war threatens even wider bloodshed and economic hardship. But the reactionary governments have no concern for their own peoples. The day will come when the workers and other oppressed will settle accounts with their oppressors, the reactionary regimes that have caused them such harm.

U.S. Imperialism Is Fishing in Troubled Waters

The Reagan government has poured U.S. troops into the region in the name of defending international shipping. But this is a pretext. The U.S. government's touching concern for international shipping was demonstrated only a few months ago when it was revealed that Reagan had mined the Nicaraguan harbors to discourage countries from importing or exporting goods to revolutionary Nicaragua. Yet suddenly in the Persian Gulf, Reagan has become the greatest defender of international shipping. What hypocrisy.

The Reagan administration is not so much concerned with international shipping as it is to protect and expand the interests of U.S. imperialism in the region. American monopolies, such as Exxon and Texaco, extract enormous super-profits from the plunder of Middle East oil. As well, the Persian Gulf is a strategic area which supplies much of the oil for Western Europe and Japan. U.S. imperialism has long thirsted to gain complete control over the region.

But the revolutionary struggle of the masses has been a thorn in the side of U.S. imperialism. In January-February, 1979, the revolutionary masses overthrew the bloodstained Shah of Iran. U.S. imperialism lost what it considered its most reliable friend and reactionary watchdog in the Persian Gulf. What is more, the Iranian revolution unleashed a revolutionary ferment among the masses throughout the area. Even the medieval regime of Saudi Arabia has been touched by it. For example, three years ago opposition to the regime emerged in the eastern districts of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi monarchy quickly reinforced its police and other military forces in the districts and took action to suppress the dissidents who were distributing anti-government pamphlets.

With the specter of revolution haunting it, U.S. imperialism opened up an offensive to strengthen its position in the Persian Gulf. In January, 1980, then-President Jimmy Carter announced the infamous "Carter Doctrine^, which declared the Persian Gulf to be the exclusive sphere of influence of U.S. imperialism and which threatened to use military force against anyone who might try to upset U.S. domination. A stream of plots were unleashed against the Iranian revolution. These included the debacle of the direct U.S. military raid and also the instigation of the Iraqi regime to invade Iran in September 1980.

As well, the U.S. government worked to increase the direct presence of American military forces in the region. Warships were permanently stationed in the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The rapid deployment force, now called the U.S. Central Command, was created to be able to invade anywhere in the area at a moment's notice. As well, military bases were set up in Oman, Kenya and Somalia; and U.S. troops gained access to military installations in Egypt and Israel. U.S.-manned AWAC surveillance planes were stationed in Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. government stepped up the arming of the Saudi military and other reactionary regimes in the area.

But the U.S. imperialists are still not content with even this massive military presence. Even though the Khomeini government itself has taken to trampling on the Iranian revolutionary movement, this does not satisfy the U.S. imperialists. They would prefer an Iranian government that is loyal to U.S. dictate. At various times, the U.S. government has tried to strike a deal with the reactionary Khomeini regime. But no deal has been worked out and the U.S. government has continued to back the Iraqi regime in its war on Iran.

At the same time the U.S. wants military bases directly in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries. But these regimes have been afraid that a direct U.S. military presence in their countries might provoke the anti-imperialist sentiment of the toiling masses of their countries. Earlier with the Iranian revolution and more recently with the exposure of the aggressive role of the U.S. government in Lebanon, anti-U.S. imperialist sentiment continues to run high among the masses. Thus these reactionary Arab regimes prefer to work closely with U.S. imperialism, but behind the scenes away from the view of their peoples.

With the outbreak of the crisis over the oil tankers, the Reagan government has seen the chance to kill two birds with one stone. While claiming to be "neutral" in the war, it has stepped up the arming of Saudi Arabia and backed the reactionary Arab regimes to bring more pressure against the Khomeini government. At the same time, the Reagan administration has declared that it cannot really help Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the others unless it is provided with military bases in their countries. Reagan hopes that the Iranian air strikes against Persian Gulf shipping will force the Arab regimes to open their countries to the U.S. armed forces.

Thus the Reagan government seeks to profit off of extending the Iran-Iraq bloodletting to other peoples of the Persian Gulf. But this is a dangerous game. The more the bloody hand of U.S. aggression becomes visible to the masses, the more their hatred will be provoked. The peoples of the Persian Gulf will not sit back forever and be the cannon fodder for the adventures of their reactionary regimes and imperialism. The actions of the Reagan government may only be hastening the day they will rise.

We workers in the U.S. must give them every assistance by stepping up our struggle against U.S. imperialism. Down with Reagan's military adventure! U.S. imperialism, get out of the Persian Gulf!


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Another outrageous acquittal of the Greensboro killers

The government gives go-ahead for the racist gangs

On April 15, the federal government completed its trial of KKK and nazi gangsters who in 1979 murdered five anti-Klan demonstrators in Greensboro, North Carolina. In a complete mockery of justice, the racist murders were whitewashed and the Klan-nazi assassins were once again declared innocent of any wrongdoing.

In 1980 the North Carolina state courts tried a number of the fascist gunmen for murder and acquitted them. But this trial was such a blatant whitewash that the court's posture of handing out "impartial justice'' was exposed and a further proof was given of the government's complicity in the racist massacre. To head off the outrage against the court's verdict the federal government stepped in. Trying to claim that federal courts would provide "justice'' where the local courts had failed, federal prosecutors brought civil rights charges against some of the same fascists who had just been tried for murder.

But the conduct and outcome of this federal trial was no different from that of the first one. The coldblooded murder of the anti-Klan demonstrators was whitewashed. The federal prosecutors concealed and covered up the numerous facts which showed how the FBI, local police, and Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Control were directly involved in organizing the racist massacre. And the courtroom was given over to the justification and promotion of the fascist cause of the Klan and nazis.

This trial goes to show that the government, at its highest levels, is the biggest protector and organizer of the racist gangs in this country.

A Platform for Reactionary Hysteria

This should have been an open-and-shut case against the Klan and nazi thugs. On November 3, 1979 a demonstration against the violence of the KKK was attacked by a heavily armed gang of several dozen Klan and nazi gangsters. Five demonstrators were killed and another ten were wounded. Right from the time of the incident itself, countless facts have shown that this was not the isolated act of some madmen, but a premeditated act, put together and defended from beginning to end by government authorities.

But the federal prosecutors failed to bring out the mountains of evidence that showed the racist conspiracy. Thus the prosecution opened the door for the defense attorneys to conjure up a fantasy world in which the Klan and nazis were supposedly only acting in "self-defense.''

The defense attorneys argued that their "patriotic'' clients only went to the anti-Klan demonstration in order to politely express their political sentiments, whereupon they were attacked by a wild mob and were thus forced to defend their lives. Fortunately for the fascists they just happened to have brought along with them a complete arsenal of loaded shotguns, automatic rifles and handguns.

One defense attorney actually argued that his nazi client must be guiltless of any "racial motivation'' since he is like the German Nazis who followed Hitler who, the attorney claimed, were only inspired by the purest feelings of patriotism and anticommunism.

Meanwhile the anti-Klan demonstrators were portrayed as maniacs. They were denounced as extremists and devils and communism was painted as the worst of all evils. One attorney actually read passages from Milton's Paradise Lost to dramatize to the jury that the anti-Klan demonstrators were supposedly just like Satan.

This whole line of argument was capped by the ridiculous theory that "the devil made me do it.'' The good ole boys from the KKK and the Nazi Party never conspired to harm anyone. Oh no! They were lured to the demonstration and then egged on by the anti-Klan demonstrators who supposedly had a devious plan to use the massacre as a publicity stunt. Thus the murdered demonstrators were blamed for their own murders.

Thus the trial became a platform for racist poison, which the court allowed to be elaborated in sickening detail to play on the prejudices of the all-white jury.

Furthermore, the prosecution and defense collaborated in the selection of the jury, which in this case took place behind closed doors. All blacks were simply excluded. As well, it was revealed during the course of the trial, that one of the jurors has a relative in the Klan and that another juror stated that he thought the nazis were just "doing their job'' in World War II.

Thus the defense attorneys knew just whom they were addressing when they told the jury, in summation, "Stick to your convictions. Don't be swayed by the pretty packages of evidence.''

Covering Up the Government's Role in the Racist Massacre

The federal prosecutors worked actively to cover up the role of various government agencies in organizing the attack on the November 3 demonstration.

For example, one of the Klansmen who was brought to trial was a paid informer of the FBI and the Greensboro police. But the federal prosecutors did not bring out these facts and show the complicity of the FBI and local police in the massacre.

As well, the prosecutors covered up the role of Bernard Butkovitch, an agent for the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Control, who joined the nazi organization in 1979. The prosecution did put him on the witness stand, but steered away from showing his role in bringing together and arming the nazis and Klansmen. During the trial, witnesses for the defense gave evidence that Butkovitch played a leading role in organizing the massacre, supplying the nazis with automatic weapons and urging their use against the demonstrators. But these facts were completely ignored by the prosecution.

Obviously, the federal prosecutors were not out to achieve "justice," but to shield the government agencies from exposure and cover up the government's backing of racist gangs.

Government Uses Trial to Unleash Reaction

The conduct and outcome of this trial show that the federal government never had any intention of seriously prosecuting the Greensboro Klan-nazi death squad. The government simply used the trial to whitewash the murderers themselves and to maintain the cover-up of the government's role in organizing the massacre. At the same time the trial was used as a platform from which to further organize and unleash fascist reaction.

Immediately after the acquittal, flushed with their victory, the North Carolina Klan announced a big rally and recruiting drive, while one of the acquitted klansmen declared to the press, "All communists should be shot." This shows what the government-organized fascist gangs have in mind for anti-racist demonstrators.

Meanwhile friends and relatives of the slain anti-Klan demonstrators have filed a civil suit set for trial in federal court in August. This suit alleges a conspiracy between state, local and federal agencies and white supremacists to disrupt the 1979 rally. While a federal judge is allowing this case to be tried, at the same time he has dismissed from the suit all state and federal agencies. Thus the federal courts are continuing the cover-up of government complicity in the Greensboro massacre.

This ruling and the April 15 verdict show that the court system is not an impartial judge of racist and fascist attacks. The courts are part and parcel of the capitalist state, which is nothing but a machine for repressing the working masses. The monopoly capitalist state in the U.S. is thoroughly racist in all its branches -- executive, legislative, and judicial -- and at all levels, from top to bottom. Far from bringing racists to justice, the court system serves to help organize the reactionaries to carry out their terrorist attacks.

The workers and other progressive people should denounce the Greensboro verdict as the latest outrage perpetrated by the government in connection with the 1979 Greensboro massacre. The masses cannot rely on the government to oppose racist attacks but must get organized for mass struggle against the government and its fascist henchmen.

[Photo: A glimpse at how the hated fascist gangs are protected by the police. A handful of racist Klansmen stand isolated on the stadium steps as they attempt to hold a rally. Lines of police guard the racist thugs from the wrath of a large number of anti-racist counter-demonstrators. April 29, New Britain, Connecticut.]


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Black Family Summit held in Nashville

The Black Bourgeoisie is Bending Before the Reaganite Breeze

In the first week of May, the National Urban League and the NAACP sponsored a conference of more than 100 black organizations at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. The conference, called the Black Family Summit, discussed problems facing the black people such as unemployment, housing and education. But this conference made no appeals for mass struggle against the worsening conditions that the black masses face. Quite the contrary. As its underlying theme the conference stressed that ' 'there is a lot we can do about our own problems'' sung along to the old tune of pulling the black community up by its own bootstraps. By taking up this theme the black bourgeois leaders gave further evidence of how they are reconciling themselves to the Reaganite offensive.

The Reagan administration is undertaking a severe assault on the black people. It is stepping up discrimination in jobs, housing and education as it strives to bring back Jim Crow segregation in all spheres. The black workers face two to three times the unemployment of the work force as a whole, while Reagan has slashed the already meager programs for the jobless and the poor.

The Reaganites try to whitewash this racist offensive by blaming the blacks themselves for the harsh conditions that they face. According to the racist fantasies of Reagan there is no such thing as systematic racial discrimination in this country. Oh no, if the black people are suffering, the Reaganite argues, then that must be their own fault. Therefore, the Reaganites sneer, the black people have no business demanding jobs, housing or education; they should give up any protest against racial discrimination. Instead the black people should-simply work hard and make good within the racist capitalist system, just like Reagan and his millionaire cronies have done.

Now the black bourgeois leaders are taking a leaf from the Reaganite book. "In concentrating on the wrongs of discrimination and poverty,'' stressed Urban League President John L. Jacob, "we may have neglected the fact that there is a lot we can do about our own problems ourselves.'' And NAACP executive director Benjamin Hooks chimed in that "We must control our own destiny.'' For these misleaders, organizing, demonstrating and fighting for one's rights are not the real way of "controlling one's own destiny'' or "doing a lot about one's own problems." Uh no, under this rhetoric the Black Family Summit sounded the theme for the black community to pick itself up by its bootstraps. You see, too much attention has been concentrated on fighting the wrongs of discrimination and poverty; now the black bourgeois are going to show that the black people can control their own destiny and make good on their own, without wasting so much energy in the struggle against the racist capitalist rulers of this country.

Robert Hill of the Bureau of Social Science Research dotted the "i's'' at the conference. He suggested that blacks had supposedly relied to much on the government in the past. "What did we do?'' he asked, before the government programs were set up. And Hill answered: "We must return to a lot of basic institutions, like our churches, that have always been significant resources.''

But haven't we heard this same rhetoric from another quarter? Isn't it Reagan himself who spins fairy tales about how wonderful it was in the good ol' days (like the days of rampant hunger during the Great Depression!) when people supposedly "took care of their own" and the churches and charities supposedly fed and clothed the needy? Isn't this rhetoric about "return to our churches" just an echo of the Reaganite justifications for slashing the all too insufficient relief programs for the jobless and poor?

As to how the black community is allegedly going to uplift itself without bothering the racist system of exploitation and oppression, the Black Family Summit came up with some amazing proposals.

Among other things the conference suggested that "Youths could consider the military for employment and skills training." What a wonderful idea! In the name of black advancement these self-proclaimed leaders of the black community urge the black youth to join the hundreds of thousands of others who have already been driven by unemployment and despair into the dead end of military service. They simply repeat the lies of the military recruiters about the limitless opportunities in the Pentagon's war machine, where you can have the "opportunity" of killing and being killed in one of Reagan's imperialist adventures in the Caribbean, Central America, or the Middle East.

The main thrust of the proposals of the conference were for building up black capitalism. These included pushing for black churches to "establish and support black entrepreneurship," and for "affluent blacks" to "make venture capital available to black businesses." But these schemes for making a handful of rich blacks richer is nothing but a black capitalist version of Reagan's notorious "trickle down" economics. Bigger penthouses for the black entrepreneurs doesn't represent a single step towards lifting the masses of blacks out of the misery of joblessness and racial oppression.

The Black Family Summit has provided a good demonstration of what the black bourgeoisie is up to. It was another example of how the bourgeois reformist misleaders of the black people are bending before the Reaganite breeze. It was a further illustration of the deepening polarization within the black community as the bourgeois and upper petty-bourgeois blacks have turned their backs on the impoverished and downtrodden majority.

The Black Family Summit confirms once again that the struggle against the racist offensive of monopoly capital demands the exposure of the bourgeois black misleaders who are striving to reconcile the black people to Reaganism, racism, and exploitation.

Finally, it should be noted that the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations provided the conference with $45,000 in grants to cover expenses. After all, it is not hard for the billionaire philanthropists to see the value in helping the likes of Jacob and Hooks preach the gospel of black capitalism and making good under the racist capitalist system.


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Defend the immigrant workers!

Supreme Court Gives Seal of Approval to 'La Migra' Raids

On April 17 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in support of factory raids to round up undocumented workers. This ruling is another example of how all branches of the government, at all levels, is thoroughly united in vicious attacks on immigrant workers.

The ruling arose from raids carried out by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in garment factories in the Los Angeles area. But similar raids have been carried out by the INS in factories across the country. This ruling has the effect of reaffirming the legality of such raids giving them a Supreme Court seal of approval.

The procedure of such raids is that a large team of INS agents surrounds a factory and in effect seizes every worker in the plant. The agents arrive at the factory unannounced, either with a search warrant or simply with the approval of the factory owner. Agents are stationed at every single exit from the building to ensure that no workers escape.

Other agents then enter the premises and question every single worker about his nationality, citizenship, working papers, etc. Any worker who does not answer satisfactorily or does not produce immigration papers is immediately placed under arrest.

The INS agents thoroughly search the entire factory. This includes going into refrigerators, heating ducts, over fences, etc. to chase down workers. Some workers have been killed trying to escape. Sometimes half the entire work force is arrested. Such arrests reach a total of 20,000 workers each year in Los Angeles alone!

The Supreme Court ruling legalizes brutal intimidation of masses of workers. According to this ruling INS agents don't even have to suspect a worker of being undocumented in order to question him and threaten him with arrest; anyone and everyone in the factory is subject to the INS terror.

The Court "justified" their ruling by arguing that surrounding a factory with agents is not really a seizure of the plant and its workers. The workers remain, the Court said, "theoretically free" to walk out of the plant at any time. The "only" thing a worker has to do to actually implement this freedom is to confront INS's armed thugs at a plant exit and answer a few "simple" questions "satisfactorily." Of course if he fails to do this, he is immediately arrested and faced with the threat of immediate deportation! Thus the Supreme Court, in supporting these raids, is reduced in its "reasoning" to crude Reaganite doublespeak. If being surrounded by thugs and threatened with;arrest is "freedom," then it must be that war is peace and hate is love.

This ruling shows how racism is institutionalized in the U.S. and how the governmental bodies at the highest level organize and stimulate racist attacks.

Simultaneous with the Supreme Court ruling, the INS announced plans for a new campaign against immigrant workers in California. The INS has just opened a new office near the Silicon Valley in California and plans to begin sweeps through the electronics plants there. Silicon Valley is the home of many high-tech electronics firms. The plants there are generally nonunion and the wages of the assembly workers are very low. The head of the new INS office estimates that 25% of the workers in these plants are undocumented, and he is licking his chops at the prospect of massive raids.

The entire working class, immigrant and native-born, must get organized against these racist attacks. The toiling masses in the U.S. cannot rely on the court system to protect them from the capitalists' attempts to create a sub-caste of super-oppressed workers and to split the class along racial and national lines. The courts are themselves in the pockets of the rich and are helping to organize these attacks on the poor. What is needed is mass struggle against the rich and their government. Demonstrations against the INS raids have recently taken place in Chicago, San Jose, California, and elsewhere. The issue now is to step up the demonstrations, pickets, etc. to defend the immigrant workers!


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Support the Toledo AP workers' strike!

3,000 WORKERS BATTLE THE POLICE

(The following leaflet was issued by the Detroit Branch of the Leninist Party, USA on May 28, 1984.)

Since May 2 the 400 workers at the AP Parts muffler and tailpipe plant in Toledo have been waging a tenacious strike. The AP Parts capitalists have tried to arbitrarily impose a whole slew of outrageous concessions at the plant. What is more, the capitalists have employed the notorious strikebreaking security firm called Nuckols and, with the help of the local police, are trying to bring in scabs. The capitalists are out to smash the workers' resistance and drive their union from the plant.

But the AP Parts workers have stood firm against every attack. Thousands of workers from other Toledo auto plants have also joined the picket lines and taken up the strike as their own. The Toledo workers say, "We are drawing the line here" against the capitalists' concessions drive and the strikebreaking offensive headed up by the Reagan government. This is exactly what must be done. Detroit workers! Workers throughout the region! We must support this strike and do whatever we can to come to the aid of our class brothers in Toledo!

Workers Battle Police on May 21

On May 21 the strike erupted in a fierce battle with the strikebreaking police. On that day a call went out for workers throughout Toledo to join the picket line and march against the capitalists' attempt to run the plant with scab labor. In a fierce expression of working class solidarity some 3,000 workers showed up from more than nine factories including AMC Jeep, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Champion Spark Plug, Dana Corporation, DeVilbiss, Teledyno CAE and Aklin Stamping. Unemployed workers and friends and relatives of the strikers also joined the picket.

The local police, who had been sent to protect the scabs, grew alarmed at the size and militance of the demonstration. They lobbed tear gas into the crowd and, with billy clubs and rubber bullets, viciously attacked the workers and tried to break up the demonstration.

But the workers fought back valiantly. They threw the tear gas back at the police. With bricks, bottles, and whatever else they could get their hands on, the workers resisted the police assault. They pulled up a truck, a car carrier, to barricade the police and scabs inside the main gate. In over an hour of fighting one police van was burned, 18 police cruisers were badly damaged, the AP plant sign was burned, and several policemen were injured.

The police arrested 41 workers and beat several others, but they were unable to disperse the workers. The fighting subsided after an hour, but the workers continued to rally. And after 11 p.m., many workers getting off of second shift from other Toledo plants came down to join the demonstration.

As a result of the workers' mass action, the AP Parts supervisors and scabs were trapped in the plant all night and for the next three days the capitalists feared to make another attempt to open the plant.

Brutal Concessions Forced on the Workers

After the old contract ran out on March 3, the AP Parts capitalists disregarded the ongoing negotiations with the UAW and on their own arbitrarily imposed a new concessions contract upon the workers.

These concessions included wage cuts ranging from $5 to $8 an hour.

The 30-and-out retirement clause was eliminated, pensions were cut by more than a half and a penalty was imposed for early retirement. As well, the new contract eliminated dental and eye care, the supplemental unemployment benefits, severance pay, one week of vacation, four holidays and the annual bonus.

In an attempt to crush workers' resistance to these concessions and to break up their organization, the AP capitalists began a vicious campaign of harassment and firings. In just over two months more than 400 disciplinary write-ups were handed out. Many workers were arbitrarily fired. All seniority rights were eliminated. At least 175 workers were laid off. And the remaining workers faced savage speedup.

What is more, AP Parts hired a professional strikebreaking goon squad by the name of Nuckols and Associates. Nuckols built a guard shack on top of the plant and put up a new security fence around the building. As welly they began taking applications for scab labor and cots and food were stockpiled in the plant. All of this made a clear statement that the capitalists were preparing to keep production going with or without the AP Parts workers.

The Government Backs Up the AP Parts Capitalists

The capitalist government has stood behind the concessions drive of AP Parts at every turn.

For example, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that it was just fine for the AP Parts capitalists to disregard the contract negotiations and unilaterally slash the workers' wages and benefits.

Similarly, after the strike began, the local courts rushed to the company's aid. They imposed an injunction limiting the strikers to only a handful of picketers in an effort to undermine the workers' ability to stop scab production.

Meanwhile, the local police department has provided the main force to suppress the strike. Their vicious assault on the workers on May 21 was not some one-time mistake that got out of hand. From the beginning right up to today the police have been used to intimidate and arrest the strikers and to escort AP Parts supervisors and scabs in and out of the plant.

Despite the blatant strikebreaking role that the government has played, of late government officials are pretending that they are really concerned about the workers and are promising to help the strikers reach a contract settlement. Toledo Mayor Owens has set up a five-man committee to investigate the strike and to assist the company and UAW chiefs to return to the bargaining table. But these promises of help are not aimed at winning the workers' demands. Instead they are aimed at keeping the workers from taking matters into their own hands and organizing further mass actions. While the mayor promises to help, the court injunctions remain in place, the police have cordoned off the area around the plant, picketers continue to be arrested, and the police escort scabs into the plant.

It is clear which side the government is on. It is on the side of the rich. The workers won't get help from the capitalist government. They must rely, instead, on their own strength and organization.

Beware of a Fraser-Type Sellout by the UAW Leadership

The AP Parts workers must also be on their guard against any attempt by the UAW leaders to strike a sellout deal.

The Solidarity House misleaders are notorious for shoving concessions down the throats of the auto workers. What they claimed to be "temporary" concessions have spread from AMC to Chrysler, Ford, GM, and other companies. Doug Fraser's right-hand men like Owen Bieber still head the UAW and their past treacheries should never be forgotten.

At AP Parts the UAW bigwigs have talked big against concessions and the company. But at every turn they have been working to calm down the anger of the rank and file and to disorganize their fight. They told the workers not to strike but to trust their fate to the rulings of the NLRB. And thus for two months the rank and file suffered pay cuts and vicious harassment as their numbers were cut almost in half through layoffs and firings.

And now, when the workers have launched a bitter fight to shut down the plant, UAW Region 2 Director, Joe Tomasi, has breezed into Toledo to tell the strikers to. "cool it"! Tomasi opposes the workers' mass actions at the plant claiming that "this thing won't be settled in front of this fence. It'll be settled downtown." In other words, the workers should sit on their hands, allow the scab production to continue, and wait for justice to come from Mayor Owens and the talks among the big shots.

The workers can't trust the UAW bureaucrats any more than they can trust the courts, police and local government. The rank and file must place their faith in themselves, organize themselves, and continue their mass actions against the AP Parts capitalists.

Go All Out to Support the AP Parts Strikers

The AP Parts workers are continuing their militant fight and they deserve the support of workers everywhere.

The fight at AP Parts is part of the struggle against the capitalists' take-back drive which has spread through one industry after another. This fight is part of the battle against the government's 'strikebreaking offensive begun when the Reagan administration attacked the PATCO workers and declared open season on the workers' organizations. This year contracts expire for workers at GM and Ford, for the postal workers, the coal miners and many others. Each section of the workers faces the offensive of the capitalists. We must close ranks and build working class solidarity in struggle against the class offensive of the capitalists and their government.

Let workers everywhere extend their hands in solidarity with their class brothers in Toledo. Distribute leaflets and spread the word of the struggle throughout the factories. Attend solidarity rallies held in Toledo and elsewhere. Go all out to support the fighting AP Parts workers.

[Photo: A scene from the May 24 battle at the AP Parts plant in Toledo. The workers pushed the car hauler in the picture up against the plant gate in their struggle to shut the plant down.]

[Photo: 500 workers rally in downtown Toledo in solidarity with the AP strikers on the 50th anniversary of the famous Auto-Lite strike, June 3.]


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Danly workers strike against concessions

Since May 1st, 2,300 Danly workers (including some 1,000 who had been laid off) have stood firm in their strike struggle.

The Danly Machine Company in Chicago is a major producer of die sets and giant presses for the auto industry. Even though the Danly capitalists are reaping the benefits from the recent upturn in the auto industry, they are trying to sock their workers with a number of major takebacks. And they are backing up their concession demands with an effort to break the workers' strike.

Danly has sent out strikebreaking letters to all of its employees in an attempt to create a back-to-work movement. As well, the local police have made a show of force at the picket lines. Flaunting their shotguns and other weapons, numerous policemen have been used daily to escort the Danly supervisors and a handful of scabs back and forth across the picket lines. A few strikers have been arrested at the picket lines, and a few others have been fired on the excuse that they threatened scabs.

Despite the intimidation, the strikers remain defiant. They have 'maintained their picket lines and refused to allow Danly to split their ranks. Their contempt for Danly's strikebreaking was demonstrated recently when the capitalists sent return envelopes to the strikers asking for the rank-and-file workers' views on the conflict. Manyworkers simply refused to reply. Others took a leaflet on the strike by' the MLP and mailed it back to Danly saying, "If the company wants our views, here they are!"

Below we reprint this leaflet which was produced by the Chicago Branch of the MLP on May 29, 1984.

On April 30th, 97% of the Danly workers voted to strike against the company's outrageous concession demands. This reflects their burning anger over the massive layoffs suffered by the majority of workers and the brutal speedup, job combinations and job insecurity faced by those who remain working. With close to 1,000 workers still laid off, Danly's contract demands are designed to increase the layoffs, eliminate jobs permanently, and cut wages drastically. In other words, Danly, which is still making millions of dollars in profits, is trying to further maximize their profits by deepening the devastation already being suffered by the workers.

A Fight Against Pay Cuts

As a "selling point," Danly is trying to claim that there is no wage cut proposal, that they are "protecting" current wages (like a fox "protects" the chicken coop!). They claim they are making a "trade-off" of work-rule changes in exchange for "no wage cut." But this is a lie! To eliminate all future COLA is to steadily cut wages through inflation. As well, by passing on increased insurance premiums -- which many insurance companies have recently doubled -- they will take a significant chunk out of workers' paychecks.

Reagan and his financial "experts" are fond of saying today that there is an "upturn" in the economy, "prosperity is just around the corner," etc. If this were so, why is it Danly is so intent on eliminating any future COLA for the Danly workers? In fact, major economists predict a new collapse and double-digit inflation once again by next year. The Danly/Ogden capitalists are well aware of this. They intend to reap extra profit and force the workers to bear the burden of this collapse by taking away the workers' COLA. Workers must not be lulled to sleep by rosy predictions of "recovery" or they will lose what little protection they do have against continuing inflation. This is definitely not a minor issue in this contract strike.

Slashing the Wages of New Hires

Furthermore, if Danly has its way, new hires will be paid $3.50/hour less than the current starting wage. What sane person would really believe that Danly won't do everything in its power to get rid of current workers and bring in new employees at cheaper wages? This is precisely what their "elimination of inefficient work rules and procedures" would allow them to do.

No to Job-Eliminating Work-Rule Changes

These work-rule changes are designed to establish permanent job insecurity by giving the company all rights to combine jobs, force any worker at any time to "resign" (especially older workers), and prevent the recall of any laid-off worker through various maneuvers.

Before the strike workers in the plant were being pushed to the limit. A large percentage of those still working were older workers with the most seniority. The company was forcing them to perform the heaviest and most strenuous jobs as a means of forcing them to take a job they cannot handle, or "resign" with no recall rights. This is the type of job insecurity the company proposes for the entire work force.

By eliminating entire job categories (File and Burr, Snagging, Rigging, Jeep Drivers, etc.); by establishing a "Labor Pool" to farm out workers into any department at any time, regardless of training or seniority; by arbitrarily deciding what job a laid-off worker will be called back for; the company intends to combine jobs left and right, and thus eliminate jobs.

Some of the other outrageous concession demands of the Danly/Ogden moneybags are:

* to set up a "Labor-Management Committee" to increase productivity. That is, a class-collaborationist committee in which the workers will be allowed to sell their interests down the river and find ways to further enrich the Danly/Ogden capitalists by increasing productivity. These committees have never, and will never, have any other purpose.

* to establish a "progressive discipline system." Currently, written warnings are erased from a worker's record after two years. But under such a new, "progressive" system, warnings would remain on a worker's record permanently, and could be held against him 10, 20, even 30 years later. This certainly makes it a simple task for the company to fire anyone at almost any time!

* Danly wants to eliminate the paid lunch hour, lengthen the workday by one half-hour, and eliminate two paid holidays. This would also add up to an increased workload for the workers.

Carry Forward the Strike

The Danly workers are very justly outraged by such demands. They have fought many years, waging at least two previous strikes, to gain what rights and protection they now have for their wages and working conditions. They are not about to let these profit-hungry millionaires take these gains away from them.

The strike struggle of the Danly workers is important not only for themselves but for workers throughout industry. The capitalists have not given up their concessions offensive, but are becoming even more brazen in their demands. In some instances (for example at Greyhound) the capitalists have even admitted they are not "losing money" but simply want more profit for themselves and their stockholders, and to hell with the workers. And even where the billionaires have cried "poor," their concessions drive has proven over and over again to be nothing but a disguise for eliminating workers' jobs and cutting wages while filling their own coffers past overflowing.

As far as Danly goes, while their profits may have been less for one year, they are still very profitable. When the capitalists have one "bad" year they want the workers to pay for it and give up all they've fought for in the past 30 years. In fact, over the last two years 1,000 workers have lost their very livelihood at Danly, and suffered tremendous devastation. Meanwhile, Ogden, Danly's parent company, increased their '83 profits 39% over '82! -- that is, they made $52.5 million in profits for '83!

Every fight that is waged against this concessions drive works to expose the monopoly capitalists and helps to inspire workers elsewhere to take up the fight. It is through such fights that workers are learning their own strength and will weld their ranks into a powerful force against the rich.

Danly workers -- persist in your just struggle against concessions!


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Multi-millon dollar salaries

Who benefits from concessions?

In the past month, the Big Three auto giants have all announced another round of whopping profits. During the first three months of 1984 alone, Ford, GM and Chrysler have raked in more than $3.2 billion in profits. And these figures come on the heels of the record $6.2 billion profits that the auto monopolies amassed in 1983. Clearly the auto capitalists are rolling in the dough!

Top Executives Pocket Millions

Right along with their announcements of record profits, the boards of directors at Chrysler, Ford and GM all rewarded their top executives for their vicious exploitation and slave-driving of the auto workers. GM's Roger Smith, Chrysler's Lee Iacocca, Ford's Phillip Caldwell and at least six other top auto executives each received more than $1 million in salaries and bonuses for 1983! And to top this off, they also received stock options which could net each of them between $5-10 million.

The Profitability of Concessions

As soon as these multi-billion dollar profit figures were announced, the Wall Street analysts and the Detroit auto executives alike had all sorts of stories to tell about the "amazing recovery" and the "return to profitability" of the auto industry. In one newspaper account after another, the wage and benefit concessions extracted from the auto workers were singled out as a major source for this "recovery."

In the past five years, the auto workers have had more than $4 billion stolen from their wages and benefits. More than 25 auto plants have been permanently closed down. More than 200,000 auto workers have lost all recall and seniority rights. And today, almost another 100,000 auto workers, who do have recall rights, remain on indefinite layoff. For the workers on the assembly lines and in the parts plants the productivity drive is unbelievable. Job combination is a daily occurrence. New robots and computers are eliminating jobs left and right. Constant overtime of nine, ten and even twelve-hour days are scheduled week after week. At Chrysler, Lee Iacocca is bragging that their slave-driving programs have doubled the output per worker in the past four years. Obviously "recovery" for the auto capitalists has been based upon ruining the auto workers.

Ford and GM Are Looking For More Concessions

Multi-billion dollar profits have not satisfied the greed of the auto tycoons. These men with $1 million paychecks have the gall to lecture the auto workers about the "necessity for wage restraint" in the upcoming contract talks.

The auto capitalists are hell bent upon maintaining the bulk of the old concessions. And they're working night and day to cook up new concessions demands. For its part, GM has already announced that it aims to eliminate at least 80,000 auto worker jobs in the next three years. And Ford is telling the workers that it wants additional cuts from the medical benefits and for the workers to pay a portion of the medical insurance costs.

Faced with this situation, the auto workers must prepare to fight. Anger and hatred is running high in the auto plants. Million dollar bonuses for the likes of Roger Smith, the man-eating productivity drive, and the unending overtime, while tens of thousands are on layoff, have fueled the fighting spirit of the Ford and GM workers. But this spirit must be welded together by organization. The battle is only a few short months away. Now is the time to get organized.


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Postal workers prepare for contract fight

No to a pay freeze and two-tier wage system!

As contract negotiations opened last month between the postal workers and the United States Postal Service (USPS), the Postal Board of Governors let it be known that they were gunning for givebacks and a cut in pay. Taking their cue from the Grace Commission, an advisory panel of big businessmen set up by Reagan on the pretext of "controlling cost" in government, the Postal Board of Governors concluded that the postal workers receive too many benefits and are overpaid when compared to workers in the private sector. To postal workers this ridiculous demand did not come entirely as a surprise.

The postal workers find themselves negotiating a contract in the midst of a huge reactionary offensive of capital against labor and they know it. The standard of living for tens of millions of workers has plummeted as they have faced pay cuts or had their jobs eliminated altogether. Everyone can see that the gap between the rich and the poor is growing; and the capitalist offensive, headed by the Reagan administration, intensifies. Now, according to the USPS, it's the postal workers' turn to knuckle under.

As the logic of the Grace Commission goes, if one group of workers is paid more than another, there's living proof that someone is "overpaid.'' The capitalists would never consider the lower-paid workers to be underpaid. Nevertheless, even by the overblown estimates of the USPS the postal workers' wages, which include the pay from the enormous overtime that is forced on them, average about the same as the wages of workers in manufacturing and public utilities. The actual Reaganite logic of the USPS is simply that all workers must suffer pay cuts till they reach the starvation level of the lowest paid workers.

Obviously, the workers can't accept this reactionary logic. It's time to get organized to resist the wage-cutting drive of the Postal Service.

Vicious Speedup and Overtime

For years postal workers have faced a barbaric productivity drive of speedup and overwork -- enforced by vicious harassment.

An oppressive prison-like atmosphere has been created in processing centers in which workers are constantly challenged if they rise from their seats or turn off their consoles on machines. Supervisors get brownie-point bounty for every disciplinary action of any sort. The same atmosphere of disciplinary terror exists for the carriers on the street who never know when an inspector will descend with the threat of a write-up, or worse, for a uniform infraction, an unsafe act (like a seatbelt unfastened), or some other "crime." Workers are subjected to continual arbitrary abuse and pressure to work harder and longer hours. These are management's tools to sweat ever greater productivity out of the workers. But, as well, through harassment and intimidation, management hopes to keep the workers from standing up and resisting these attacks and to turn the work force into hard-working but docile slaves.

To imply that postal workers are "overpaid" when so many are forced to do overtime under this harassment and pressure is a cruel joke!

A Wage-Cutting Drive

Now to top off its policy of brutal overwork and speedup, the USPS is demanding a wage cut as well!

In fact, over the last few years the workers have seen concerted efforts to cut pay overall, especially in the clerk craft. When the Optical Character Readers (OCR's) and bar code sorters were introduced, the new job of operating them was established at pay level 3 instead of level 6 which the Letter Sorting Machine operators receive. Side by side with that, out of the blue another new position was created called mail distributor at pay level 4. As well, when flat sorting machines were introduced, instead of paying the operators of these machines what the LSM operators make, they were set at pay level 5. Now there are rumors that LSM primary operators will be downgraded to level 5 as well. Management has been steadily trying to sneak in wage cuts through downgrades on the clerks for years now.

No to a Two-Tier Wage System

Now in the 1984 contract negotiations the Board of Governors has made the "generous" offer that perhaps a two-tiered wage system could be introduced, with only new hires getting the cut in pay. The top union bureaucrats have hinted that this might indeed be "acceptable" and "needs to be explored." But this clever trick is in fact an attack on all postal workers!

First, how long would a two-tiered system last? The USPS would consider such a solution only as a first step and would try to force everybody onto the lower pay scale at the first opportunity.

Second, it would provide a big incentive to force out the existing work force in favor of new lower-paid workers and would provide clear grounds for further intimidation and harassment. Even more than today, workers would be hounded until they either quit in disgust or a file was built up against them sufficient for their removal.

Finally, the two-tiered system would create one more major split in the ranks of the workers. Like the division between the regulars and part-time subs today, this would give the USPS further weapons in their divide and conquer tactics against the workers. These divisions among the workers play an important part in management's tactics to keep the workers from getting together and fighting with the strength of united mass action.

The two-tiered wage system is no answer to the USPS' demand for wage cuts. It is nothing but a crafty attack, on the surface aimed only at new workers, but in fact laying the ground for a general wage cut and even more vicious harassment against all workers, present and future!

Get Organized to Fight

Postal workers, what is to be done in the face of the brutal demands of the USPS? Already, existing work conditions are intolerable. Now the workers are supposed to accept a pay cut too! It is clear that the workers can expect no mercy from the USPS. It has taken up the Reaganite banner of givebacks and wage cuts with a vengeance. Clearly the workers must get organized to fight.

The rank-and-file workers must be on guard against the sellout by the top union bureaucrats. Despite their talk against concessions, the union big shots are already saying that a two-tier wage system might be "acceptable." The postal workers cannot let the top union bureaucrats decide what is acceptable for them. They must rely on nobody but themselves. They must stand firm and decide that they will not accept a contract which attacks their interests. They must prepare for a militant mass struggle in defense of their interests against every attack of the USPS! Postal workers prepare for struggle!

(Based on a leaflet issued by the New York Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party on May 30, 1984.)


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What the postal workers are saying

(Below we reprint two articles from newsletters sent to us by a postal worker.)

On Being 'Overpaid'

The other day, at the opening of the contract talks, Bill Bolger [the Postmaster General] and Reagan's Board of Postal Governors issued a statement proclaiming that postal workers are overpaid, particularly in comparison to other working people. Thereby astounding us all.

However, a recent survey in the New York Times indicated that in 1984 the minimum socially acceptable take- home pay for a family of four in the U.S. is now $300 a week. Now, if the average postal employee is making $24,000 a year that works out to $460 a week. Then subtract a minimal $55 federal tax, $10 in state tax, and $8 in Medicare tax. Next deduct our standard deductions: $7 union dues, $25 retirement allotment, and $18 in health insurance -- and one comes home with $337. But, this figure does not include a 6% sales tax, a gasoline tax, one of the highest-priced housing markets in the nation, the ever increasing price of food, transportation, heating, etc. The label "overpaid" starts to buckle as that $37 over the bare minimum begins to look like less and less. Then, as economists predict an economic collapse in 1985 as supply-side economics catches up with itself, we must demand not only a wage increase but also wage assurances.

While we have suffered very real pay cuts already in terms of an 1.83% Medicare tax...and in Reagan's destruction of our health care system -- Bolger's proposed wage concessions are meant to impoverish us and subsidize the future rationalization of the USPS [U.S. Postal Service] (the costs of small bar code sorters, single position letter sorting machines, optical character reading machines, management training, etc.), while increasing its profit margin.

Somebody out there is making money (the Wall Street Journal, government economists and Ronald Reagan all rejoice to the skies over the economic "recovery") but it certainly is not the postal worker. Even if it is true that we are paid better than other working people, all that that points to is that many working people are paid at a rate as if they had just been purchased on the auction block. If postal worker^ have built up an operating surplus with their own sweat, and underpaid factory workers create all the wealth for their owners, don't we deserve something more?

As contract talks begin to discuss working conditions we find ourselves staring down the barrel of the zip+4 program designed to save $600 million in labor costs, and cut 16,000 jobs. It will virtually decimate the clerk craft while reducing pay levels to [level] 3 or 4, [and] while adding to carriers' routes an estimated 20 minutes of street time per route nationally. Now this rationalization program is the icing on the cake we've seen over the course of the last contract, with pivoting, DU VERS, model offices, route management, vanning, assorted harassments, and forced overtime.

Particularly hard hit, the PTFs [part- timers] are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without paid holidays, many working 77 hour weeks with not a single day off in five weeks. But rather than offer some relief, Bolger has proposed a new two-tiered system of employment with two wage and benefit scales -- in effect selling out new employees for the sake of senior ones. Similar concessions have already been agreed to by the [national union], first in terms of job security, and then in retirement benefits. But, as we've witnessed, concession demands don't stop there, as further givebacks are demanded. An injury to one is an injury to all is one of the basic tenets of unionism and so our demands must be a liveable wage -- human working conditions -- no two-tiered system -- full rights for subs!

Against a COLA Cap

Bolger and Reagan's Postal Board of Governors are attempting not only to push through a pay cut and a two- tiered employee system, in which new employees are paid one-third less, but also to put a cap on our already meager COLA payments. A stern fight must be waged against this, for even though inflation has slowed down during the period of our present contract, there are ominous signs on the economic horizon. First, in spite of Reagan's attempts to hold down inflation until after the election, cracks in his "supply-side economics" are beginning to show, and inflation has begun to climb steadily (0.4% in April). Economists are almost unanimous in forecasting a leap in 1985. Now this is very serious business for the working man, inflation between 1971-80 having accounted for a 17% cut in real wages for American workers.

However, even the threat of rampant inflation seems minor compared to several other economic omens. Supply-side economics has driven the governmental debt from $543 billion in 1974 to an astounding $1.57 trillion in 1984. The interest paid to the big banks alone on the federal debt is the third largest section of the budget. Personal debt (mortgages, bank cards, car loans, etc.) too, has risen from $671 billion in 1974 to $1.16 trillion -- and business debt from $900 billion to $2.59 trillion. Today, 9.3% of every dollar produced, paid in wages, or transferred for goods goes to the banks in the form of interest payments. That is, 104 out of every dollar is paid in tribute to the bankers. The entire economy must bow to the power of finance....

Now who is to suffer from this situation? Certainly not those reaping in 10% tribute from every commodity or dollar paid to a workingman. In fact it bears little repeating as to how the wealthy are consolidating their position: strikebreaking, speedups, unemployment, drives for cuts in the minimum wage, etc. In fact today the largest growing section of employment is in those jobs paying below $12,500.

There are serious economic rumblings about, and we must secure our position and demand no pay cut, no cap on COLA. And beyond this we must organize ourselves for a fight independently and conscious of ourselves and our interests as workers.


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New York City Transit Workers Take Action Against Management Harassment

(The following article is taken from a leaflet issued by the New York Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, issued on May 14, 1984.)

Since the arrival of David Gunn as head of the Transit Authority (TA) on February 1, a new round of management attacks on the transit workers has begun in earnest. The most extreme attacks have taken place at the 207th St. shop where Ronald Davis and his gang have instituted a reign of terror. Following three-times-a-day raids of the locker room and write-ups on a number of minor rule violations, Davis recently upped the ante. He arbitrarily shut down all non-official coffee facilities and then handed out over 200 write-ups when 600 workers tried to get coffee at the one remaining concession stand. These write-ups were handed out randomly by the foremen and some of those docked had actually been working in the cars at the time of their "infraction." Now workers have been given two weeks in the street for coming back a minute late at lunch time.

The 207th St. workers have taken these attacks seriously and replied with various actions. Since late April, an overtime boycott and rule book slowdown have been in effect. Fewer and fewer cars are going out on the road. And every time Davis shows himself on the shop floor he is met with a gigantic chorus of boos and horn blasts.

Unnerved by the unexpected resistance, Gunn and Davis have stepped up their terrorism. In the second week of May, the 207th St. union vice-chairman was suspended from work for being "abusive" to a foreman; then the union chairman and two shop stewards were also suspended for refusing to sign a statement substantiating this charge! Meanwhile, men have been written up for "loitering" and the crimes of washing their hands when they leave the bathroom, using the phone and listening to the radio at their work stations!

In other words, Gunn, Davis, and Kiley, the Metropolitan Transit Authority head, have made their official policy clear to the supervisory personnel: it is "open season" on the 207th St. workers and "good hunting" to all! Clearly, this is no longer a "rule book crackdown," as the TA honchos proclaim in the media, but an attempt at pure and simple intimidation of the mass of transit workers.

This is proved further by the victimization of workers at other barns. For example, at 239th St., a number of night shift workers were suspended following raids. At Coney Island, undercover transit spies known as beakies have been used to entrap workers in to violations. In general, ' track workers and inspectors are being harassed and hounded. Union officials in track were even suspended for handing out leaflets protesting safety conditions. (Last year, motormen were "to blame" for the unsafe conditions of the transit system; this year's scapegoats are the trackmen.) And these stories represent just the tip of the iceberg, as system-wide information is kept discreetly hidden.

However, far from demoralizing the workers, the TA's attacks have served to unite them and steel their resolve to resist the attacks, not just at 207th St., but throughout the system. On May 10, the overtime boycott and safety-first rule book slowdown that had begun at 207th St. was extended to all shops and barns. And at gang and shop meetings workers are demanding that further and more militant action be taken to counteract the TA's Gestapo methods.

Down With Speedup and Job Elimination

Through the press, TV and radio blitz of recent weeks, Kiley and Gunn pretend that they are only cracking down on past "bad management practices" that allegedly let the workers get away with murder. Kiley and Gunn pretend that they are simply concerned with fixing up the transit system which is in a state of severe decay due to lack of routine maintenance during the NYC fiscal crisis of the 1970's.

But these well-paid transit "experts" did not come to N.Y. to "fix the system." They came to put the blame for the TA's problems on the workers. They came here to break one of the largest and most powerful work forces in the city. They came to apply the Reaganite package of takebacks, speedup and repression with a vengeance, and to squeeze the very last drop of sweat and blood out of the transit workers.

This is proven by the recent events. The intimidation of the workers as described above is being coupled with a system-wide speedup and job elimination drive. In the barns, car inspector jobs have been consolidated into seven-man "teams." Truck shops are also being consolidated. F&E men are now formed into teams and assigned to tracks; this consolidation is a prelude to speedup.

Cleaner and porter jobs are also being threatened. A Koch-Kiley program "for" the homeless forces them into work gangs that clean subway stations for $12.00 for 20 hours work (i.e., 60¢/ hour). Plans are in the works to extend this re-institution of slave labor to more and more areas over time.

Seniority rights and the basic workweek are also under attack. A seven-day schedule for the car inspectors is gradually being introduced to replace weekend overtime pay with straight time. Gunn has similar plans for maintainer jobs.

This is the real program of Kiley and Gunn: to launch widespread harassment and terror tactics to break the workers' resistance, while instituting a wide variety of measures to speed up the workers, endanger their lives and take away their gains and rights won over decades of hard struggle.

Get Organized to Fight

What is on the mind of every transit worker is how to beat back these attacks.

The policy of the Transit Workers' Union Executive Board is a policy of attempted accommodation and compromise. As recently as May 8, the president of Local 100 of the TWU Lawe, called for cooperation with TA management, still hoping that Gunn will "come to his senses!" Lawe calls for a return to the "good old days" of Ravitch-Simpson, the motormen last summer and which invoked the Taylor law against the workers just four years ago.

This policy of collaboration is worse than useless. It actually holds the workers back from fighting management attacks by claiming that differences can be worked out amicably. This is doing great damage to the workers' struggle.

For instance, in the midst of the 207th St. slowdown and overtime boycott, Lawe tried for two weeks to leave the 207th St. workers isolated and to prevent their action from spreading to other shops. Finally, the increasing crackdown on workers at other barns and the victimization of some union officials forced the TWU leadership to (unofficially) sanction the job actions. Even today, however, few workers know what's going on elsewhere in the system, and Lawe and co. continue to work for a "reconciliation" with Kiley and Gunn.

The only way for the transit workers to defend their rights is to meet every attack with equally fierce resistance. The successful action of the motormen last year makes this clear. The TA's attempt to blame the motormen for derailments was stopped only by the struggle of the motormen themselves. The rank and file carried through the fight with only token support from the TWU leadership; nevertheless, they won because they took united action at the base and did not cave in to the pressures of the TA.

Now the car maintenance workers and car inspectors are taking a page from the motormen's book and starting on the path of mass action at the base. This is very good. The overtime boycott and slowdown are good tactics that are already hurting the TA. These actions should be discussed widely, spread further and intensified.

Clearly this is only the second round of a struggle that began with the take- backs imposed in the 1982 contract. The united strength of all the transit workers must be brought to bear to fight against the arbitrary write-up and intimidation campaign and to fight against the job combinations, work- rule changes, speedup and wage cutting schemes. The transit workers can certainly defeat the attacks of the TA, but only if the rank-and-file workers take matters in to their own hands. They must sweep away all obstacles, organize themselves on the shop floor independently of the TWU bureaucrats and advance along the path of mass action.


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Boston transit workers fight the part-time system

The MBTA's dirty tricks to cut pay and increase workloads

(The following leaflet was issued by the Boston Worker, newspaper of the Boston Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on April 2, 1984.)

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has reached new lows in the dirty tricks it uses to implement its management rights offensive and circumvent the workers' opposition. Last month the T management tried to introduce part-time guards on the Orange and Blue lines, but the workers resisted and refused to train them. The full-time workers demanded that the most senior current part-time workers be raised to full-time guards instead of expanding the part-time system on to the trains. This action was effective for a short period of time. But the MBTA resorted to the dirtiest of tricks to get around the workers' resistance. They took the part-time trainees to the Cabot school and told them that they were now full-time workers. They then sent them out on the Red line to be trained as full-time guards. But as soon as the training was up, the High Street liars forced these workers back on to the Orange line as part-time guards.

The part-time system is Reaganite wage cutting with a vengeance. Part timers get no benefits or vacations and they are tied up for 12 or 13 hours a day and get paid for only six. Moreover the continual expansion of the part-time system on the buses and now the trains shows that the government and the T management are determined to make part-time wages and status the standard and permanent position of the majority of the T workers. The management rights offensive has not only meant wage cutting in the form of part-time work but has also affected the full-time workers. With each new pick more and more workers are forced to spend a good part of their breaks deadheading from one location to another. As well more and more workers are forced to begin their work in one place and end it in another. Besides making bad working conditions even worse these changes have provided the T with a lot of extra free labor at the workers' expense.

The management rights offensive is a veritable pot of gold for the rich, the government and the corrupt T management. By increasing the exploitation of the people who actually do the work of running the T, more money is made available to provide tax breaks for the wealthy, lucrative contracts for well connected capitalists, and graft for the politicians and managers who administer the MBTA. It is for this reason that the MBTA management has resorted to such lying dirty tricks to expand their part-time system. It is for this reason that they are stepping up their campaign of harassment, suspensions, enforcement of petty rules and so on to intimidate the workers into accepting everything lying down.

For some time the illusion was created that the part-time system and the worst features of management rights would be confined to the bus system. In this way the T not only tried to divide the workers between full and part time but also tried to cut the bus drivers off from the train workers. Many senior full-time bus drivers tried to escape the horrible hours that accompanied the introduction of part-time work on the buses by transferring to the train system. However the recent introduction of part-time guards on the Orange and Blue lines show that there is no escape. The only alternative the workers have is to unite part-time and full-time workers, bus and train workers for a united fight against the part-time system and the whole management rights offensive. Workers must fight to raise all part timers to full time and to provide them with full-time wages and benefits. The arrogant harassment by the supervisors and the ridiculous schedules must be fought with militant and united action. The rich will not retreat from their attacks without a most determined fight.

The union bureaucracy has been doing its best to disorganize the workers and assist the MBTA. They called off the 1982 strike before anything could be won. They keep the workers in the dark about what is going on and do their best to keep news of struggles such as the recent fight on the Orange and Blue lines from spreading. These gentlemen are so tied up with the management and the Democratic Party politicians that they are scared to death of anything that might rock the boat. But this does not mean that it is impossible to organize the struggle. Rather it means that workers will have to take the matter into their own hands and begin the task of organizing themselves independently of and in spite of the sold out union bureaucrats. These leaflets should be widely circulated and discussed. Workers should keep Boston Worker informed about developments so that the truth can be spread widely on the MBTA system. Militant workers should agitate for a fight every chance they get and should link up with each other to better organize the struggle. By taking matters into their own hands the workers will step by step overcome the sabotage of the union bureaucrats and give the capitalists and their arrogant MBTA management the response they deserve.


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State police and National Guard sent to break the copper miners

Phelps-Dodge Strikers Stand Firm

Striking copper miners in Arizona had another battle with the state police on May 5. The fight was so intense that the National Guard was called in to control the workers. These events show the determined resistance of the striking copper miners whose hard- fought struggle is now entering its twelfth month. The copper miners are fighting against the concessions drive of the Phelps-Dodge capitalists, the second largest copper producer in the U.S.

A solidarity rally and fiesta for the Mexican celebration of Cinco de Mayo brought out some 2,000 workers and their supporters in front of the Phelps- Dodge plant in Morenci, Arizona on May 5. For the three o'clock shift change, about 500 strikers and their supporters went down the road to confront the scabs at the plant gates. One scab brandished a gun at the picketers as he drove by. The strikers, seeing the police do nothing against this threat, began to chase the scab down.

The state police instantly attacked the picketers. They beat people with their sticks, aimed their guns at and teargassed the crowd. The workers fought back. They threw rocks and lobbed the tear gas canisters back into the police lines. The picketers sent one policeman to the hospital while themselves suffering about ten arrests and several beatings.

The company cancelled the 3:00 and 11:00 shift changes. The scabs who were inside slept the night in the plant. Meanwhile the state police withdrew to' the edges of town where they set up roadblocks preventing entry and exit from the town.

It has also been reported that later on that night two state police officers tried to drive into town but they were met with rocks which broke their car windows. Both were hospitalized. The Chamber of Commerce and Valley National Bank buildings also suffered damage.

In the aftermath of the fight, Democratic Governor Bruce Babbit (or Scabbit as he is called by the workers) sent the Arizona National Guard to occupy the town. Some 200 guardsmen arrived on Sunday in 17 helicopters. They flew over the town of Morenci in formation, trying to strike terror among the copper strikers and their families. And together with the state police they cruised the town brandishing their automatic weapons.

This kind of state suppression has been used against the copper strikers throughout their strike. The police and courts have worked as enforcers for the Phelps-Dodge concessions drive and the strikebreaking campaign. They have issued and enforced endless injunctions crippling the workers' ability to block the scabbing. Last year the National Guard was called in once to defend scabbing. Hundreds of police beatings and arrests have taken place. Vigilante activity by scabs, such as running over picketers, beating them and shooting into strikers' homes during the night, all have gone unpunished. The courts have also upheld Phelps-Dodge's right to evict strikers and their families from company-owned housing on the grounds that they have become a "disruptive element in the community.'' This will mean forcing more than 400 families out of town.

The Phelps-Dodge workers' determination in their struggle has been heroic. They have fought the state suppression. They have sustained firings, evictions and jailings. They have faced the extreme hardship necessary to wage their long strike. And despite the company's attempts to keep operations going with scabs, the strike has helped to cut down the capitalists' profits. Phelps-Dodge lost up to $70 million in 1983 with 6 months of scab operations; this compares with $4 million in profits made during the three months before the strike.

The Phelps-Dodge workers are fighting hard. But their strike could have been even more effective had the leaders of the unions, especially of the United Steelworkers Union (USWA) to which the majority of the copper workers belong, decided to unleash the full resources of the unions to wage this fight. The union leaders have not considered calling all the copper industry workers out to defeat Phelps-Dodge's attempts to enforce takebacks even beyond the industry pattern; nor have the union leaders organized any major solidarity campaigns among their huge nationwide membership. From the 1950's through the early 1970's the copper workers waged a number of powerful industry-wide strikes, but this time the USWA has left the Phelps- Dodge workers to fend for themselves.

This approach not only betrays the Phelps-Dodge workers, but also opens the way for more attacks on the other copper workers. This is shown by the fact that Phelps-Dodge's strikebreaking campaign has whetted the appetites of the other big copper producers. A few weeks ago, Kennecott Corporation, the nation's largest copper producer which traditionally sets the pattern in the industry, announced its desire to reopen the contract and impose new concessions. It was only a year ago that the corporation signed this three-year contract which included a wage freeze and various methods of job combinations and job eliminations. But now, seeing the Phelps-Dodge Company's concessions efforts, the Kennecott capitalists have decided to join the Phelps-Dodge concessions campaign. And Arizona Mining Association President C.J. Hansen has declared, "If Kennecott is successful in obtaining significant concessions, it's natural for some of the other companies to ask the same thing of their unions.''

The Phelps-Dodge struggle shows once again that the capitalist assault on one section of an industry is only a prelude to attacks on the workers industry-wide.

The resistance of the Phelps-Dodge workers is a battle in the interests of the workers everywhere. It is an inspiring example to workers to stand up against the concessions drive. It deserves the active solidarity of the entire working class.

[Photo: Police, lobbing tear gas, attack Phelps-Dodge strikers -- and the strikers fight back. May 4, Clifton, Arizona.]


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Iranian students condemn both sides in Iran-lraq war

On May 26, over 100 people marched through the streets of New York City to protest the tragic fratricidal war between the reactionary regimes in Iran and Iraq. The demonstration was called by a coalition of Iranian student groups in the U.S.

The Iranian students stressed that in this war both regimes pursue reactionary aims. The war is of no benefit to either the Iranian or Iraqi people and has brought them nothing but terrible suffering, hardship and death. One statement, distributed at the demonstration, pointed out that as a result of the war "more than 200,000 people have died; over half a million have been crippled; three to four million have been left homeless; scores of towns and villages have been wiped out; hundreds of factories have been destroyed while billions and billions of dollars have been wasted on weapons. These are only some of the so- called achievements which the regimes of the Islamic Republic and Iraq have accomplished for the people of the region."

Further on the statement emphasizes that "at this stage, the Iraqi regime is desperate to end a war which is no longer beneficial to its interests. In this connection, it is doing what it 'can' to end the conflict by attacking civilian areas with long-range missiles and killing scores of innocent people during nighttime raids, or by dropping chemical bombs over Iranian positions, or by shelling civilian ships passing through the Persian Gulf. The Iranian government, on the other hand, which finds the war a 'blessing,' is doing what it can to fuel the conflict. As part of its quest to perpetuate the war, the Islamic Republic has used hundreds of thousands of Iranian children and the elderly as human mine detectors in the battlefields. At the same time, it has attacked Iraqi civilian areas, killing scores of people, the same people on whom the Islamic Republic was counting to rise up, overthrow the Iraqi regime and set up another Iraqi government."

The Iranian students particularly turned their fire against their "own" medieval regime and called for the freeing of all political prisoners in Iran, for an end to the persecution of women, and for support for the valiant struggle of the Iranian people against the Khomeini government. One statement of Iranian students stressed "the regime has inflicted havoc upon the people of Iran. Close to 40,000 deaths have resulted from torture and/or execution; over 100,000 people have been imprisoned for political reasons; there has been almost a complete halt of economic activities while suppression of democratic rights has intensified. And these are only a few of the many terrible items on a long list of atrocities which this bloodthirsty regime has perpetuated. The war has given the Islamic regime's propaganda machine the excuse they have been looking for in order to justify their inability to bring about any meaningful change or improvement. The conflict with Iraq also has given the regime a green light to increase its suppressive measures and its brutality against all those in opposition or those seeking realization of the just demands of the people."

"This war has enabled the Islamic regime to divert public attention away from its massacre of the people of Kurdestan who have been fighting for nothing but the basic rights which every human being deserves. However, suppression of the Kurdish people has been so intense that at times the Islamic regime has sent more troops to Kurdestan than it deployed to the battle fronts."

The Iranian students also denounced the role of U.S. imperialism and, as well, the war profiteering of other Western imperialist countries and Soviet social-imperialism. They demanded an end to all arms sales to both Iran and Iraq. The Iranian students also denounced U.S. imperialist intervention in the rest of the Middle East and in Central America and called for support of the Palestinian people and the revolutionary people of Central America.

The Marxist-Leninist Party greets this demonstration of Iranian students with enthusiasm. Our Party has always supported the struggles of the Iranian and Iraqi masses against their oppressive governments and imperialism. Our hearts went out for the heroic Iranian workers and other toiling masses who with a mighty insurrection overthrew the hated Shah. That revolution sent shock waves around the world, lifting up the heads of the oppressed and striking terror in the imperialist exploiters. Our Party stood by the Iranian masses and opposed every plot by our "own" imperialist government to drown the revolution in blood.

The Iran-lraq war began in September, 1980 as part of the U.S. imperialist offensive to strangle the Iranian revolution. The Iraqi hangman regime, egged on by U.S. imperialism and backed by reactionary Arab governments such as the Saudi Arabian monarchy, invaded Iran with the aim of putting down the revolutionary movement of the Iranian people and to seize the oil-rich Khuzestan province. At this stage the fight against the Iraqi invasion carried with it the defense of the Iranian revolution. Even then the coalition government of the IRP clerics and the Bani Sadr liberals tried to use the war to stifle the revolutionary movement of the masses. But this government was still balancing between the revolutionary drive of the masses and reaction. It had not yet dared to go all out against the revolution.

Then, in July 1981, the Khomeini/ IRP faction carried out a coup d'etat, seized full control of the government, and unleashed a brutal reign of terror against the Iranian masses. This was the main event changing the character of the war. The battle against Iraq no longer defended the revolutionary gains but was aimed at protecting and consolidating the hangman rule of the IRP regime over the Iranian toilers. The reactionary aims of the Khomeini regime have been further demonstrated when they did not stop at the recapturing of Iranian territory, but went over to an invasion of Iraq demanding $150 billion in reparations from the Iraqi masses and the replacement of the present Iraqi regime with an Islamic government, a theocratic puppet regime of the IRP.

U.S. imperialism instigated the Iraqi aggression and, hoping to restore a pro-U.S. imperialist watchdog government like the Shah of Iran, it has continued to back Iraq in the war. At the same time, U.S. imperialism has not completely closed the door to making a deal with the Khomeini government. Officially, the U.S. government has pretended to be "neutral." But this is merely to hide the hand that threw the stone and to keep open its options of working out an arrangement with the IRP in Iran.

The demonstration of the Iranian students in the U.S. is an indication that the Iranian people are not united behind Khomeini's reactionary war effort as much as the U.S. news media claims. Despite the savage repression in Iran, we have heard of various manifestations of the people's struggle against the regime. For example, recently news came of Iranian workers seizing buses and freeing their youth who were being sent to the war front. Such struggles are hopeful signs. A just peace cannot be won in this war by the intervention by the U.S. or other imperialist countries, but through the struggle of the Iranian and Iraqi masses. Sooner or later the oppressed masses of Iran and Iraq will learn from this tragedy and settle accounts with their oppressors, the reactionary regimes of the exploiters and imperialism.


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Introducing THE STUDENT

[The Student masthead.]

On this page, we reprint two articles from the newsletter The Student.

The Student is put out by a group of progressive students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The group was formed during this spring semester by activists who have taken part in a number of mass struggles, both on the campus and city wide.

These activists came together in the course of the struggle on the campus which broke out last fall against the firing of Mary O. Hope, who had been Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for 11 years. Her dismissal reflected the desire of the administration to unify its internal ranks in order to carry out a broad assault on minority and working class students. In this struggle, the activists who later founded The Student sought to orient the fight so that it would not simply be limited to the firing of Dean Hope, but would take up opposition to the entire racist offensive unfolding at the school. And they promoted carrying out the fight through organizing militant mass action.

These activists have also been in the thick of the movement against U.S. intervention abroad. They took part in the struggle against Reagan's wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua and were active in the protests that broke out last November against the criminal invasion of Grenada.

Through their experience in the mass movement, these activists came to the conclusion that the development of the struggle of the working people requires a break with the capitalist parties, particularly with the silver- tongued liars of the Democratic Party.

The Student has declared itself as an independent voice of progressive students who want to stand on the side of the working class and poor people against the rich. Since its first issue in late February, it has published four more issues so far. It has spoken to a number of burning issues agitating the students. It has spoken out against MIT's attacks on minority students and against the university's support for militarism. And it has carried out stinging indictments of U.S. imperialism's crimes in Central America. The Student has also published calls to the students to take part in various protests against U.S. imperialism and the group itself has played a vigorous role in these actions. The group also organizes political discussion meetings on the campus as part of its work to build the student movement.

The work of The Student has already had an invigorating effect among the students, not just at MIT but on other campuses as well. They have taken a courageous stand of fighting against the rich, of taking the side of the working class, and of working to break the masses from the influence of the Democratic Party.

Stung by this work, the rightists have attacked The Student from a number of directions. The campus police have tried to harass and intimidate the students. Even more insidiously, some reactionary elements, who were too cowardly to identify themselves, put out a bogus issue of The Student. This shows that the rightists are really upset with the work of the progressive student activists. It is a sign which reveals something of the intensity of the struggle on the campus. The Student has written a fitting reply to this dirty trick, which is one of the articles we reprint below.

The Workers' Advocate applauds the work of the activists of The Student. The Boston metropolitan area, with over 200,000 college students, has for years been the scene of lively movements among the students. In recent years, there have been repeated waves of mass struggles but the movement has been handicapped by the slow development of independent organization. The Marxist-Leninist Party in the Boston area has actively supported and taken part in the mass actions organized by the students. It has consistently raised the need to build organization independent of the capitalist parties and to take the side of the working class movement. The Student is not a newspaper of the MLP, but we share with it the stands of hostility against the exploiters and of working for the political independence of the masses from the capitalist parties. Its emergence out of the heart of the ferment among the students in Boston is an encouraging development for the revolutionary student movement.


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MIT out to abolish Office of Minority Education

MIT is trying to abolish the Office of Minority Education (OME) according to the Gray administration's five-year plan. The plan, which would have the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs (ODSA) absorb at least some of OME's current programs, has sparked a heated debate within the administration and the student body. The proposed elimination of OME by MIT President Paul E. Gray is merely his latest reactionary attack of the Reaganite offensive to retract the concessions won by the student movement of the 1960's. It follows on the heels of the Institute's unjust firing of Dean Mary O. Hope from the ODSA last semester. (The Student, February 22, 1984)

OME was created in the early 1970's by MIT when the administration was still cringing from militant student protest against MIT's support for the Viet Nam War and against the Institute's racism. The establishment of OME came out of that struggle.

In 1968 there were only 14 black students at MIT. To help them combat the racism they confronted on campus, they formed the Black Students' Union (BSU). In 1967 and 1968 the country witnessed the heroic rebellions of the black people in Detroit and 200 other American cities, and black students took up this fight for equal rights and access at many universities. The MIT BSU, greatly inspired by the national movement, issued the following demands to MIT:

 

* That the Institute enroll a minimum of 100 black undergraduates each year.

* To counter MIT's racist argument that "we can't find any qualified black applicants," the students demanded tutorial programs for black students coming from poor quality high schools.

* That the curriculum be changed to include courses on the history of black America.

* That MIT hire black workers in construction projects, in laboratories, and in clerical, medical and administrative positions.

The administration, after witnessing the armed takeover by black students at other universities, granted several of the demands to the students. MIT admitted 90 blacks in 1969 and 75 in 1971. The black students encountered racial harassment by the Campus Patrol and the segregated fraternities. They also found a racist orientation in the curriculum as well as in the personnel policies of MIT. In 1970, 29 black students took over the MIT Faculty Club to demand an end to the racial harassment of black workers and for equal wages, which they successfully secured.

In 1973 MIT once again retreated in its admission of blacks, which had plunged from its 1969 peak of 90 students to a ridiculously low 53. The black student movement rebounded by demanding the Office of Minority Education which they insisted include programs originally demanded by the BSU in 1969. On September 21, 1973, after realizing that the Institute was not at all interested in negotiating any program that would fight the racist obstacles which hindered the black students from surviving MIT, the BSU angrily denounced then-Chancellor Gray for "trying to run a game down us" by making "sure that [the proposed] OME is merely a small bureaucratic-shunting mechanism." After over a year of administration hostility to this demand, OME was formed.

When affirmative action was implemented, MIT had to admit that many of its Chicano and black students from inner city high schools had become highly successful engineers and scientists, totally smashing its racist theories of genetic inferiority. But as the black people's movement ebbed, the Institute has tried to withdraw each concession it gave to the people of oppressed nationalities, and OME is no exception. Today black admissions and enrollment have dropped, and the Institute has all but ceased its recruitment of students from inner city schools. This is becoming more and more obvious as each new freshman class enters each fall.

The administration has stated for several years its desire to abolish need-blind admissions. The Gray administration has already eliminated the Minority Financial Aid Package, has repeatedly raised the equity requirement for financial aid far above the inflation rate, and is now proposing the abolition of OME.

MIT is not alone in these attacks. Indeed, the Institute is part of a national reactionary trend led by the Reagan administration. From 1960 to 1977, when the black people's movement was active, enrollment of oppressed nationalities in higher education rose from 6.4% to 13.8%. Since 1978, however, with the mass struggle down and the "reverse discrimination" hysteria begun under the Carter regime, this figure has leveled off at 13% and black enrollment at 10% of all students. Reagan's budget cuts and his open support for segregated schools have ushered in a period of decline in access to higher education for black and working class students.

In these times of Reaganite reaction, we are clearly faced with an offensive which jeopardizes the gains of the 1960's. One of the great lessons of the 60's is that significant victories were secured only through the mass movements of the people.

To fight the current offensive, mass action is the order of the day!


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Rightists print fake STUDENT

On May 9 a phony issue of The Student was circulated on campus. Not daring to publicly distribute this bogus leaflet, copies in the hundreds were left surreptitiously in dormitory halls and other places. Claiming to be No. 5 of The Student and bearing the same masthead and emblem as our publication, this provocative rag carried four articles, each a caricature of revolutionary analysis. The aim is clear -- to try and paint us as an off-the-wall sect which has nothing of substance to say to the masses of students and has a questionable grasp on reality.

We have not been able to find who is directly responsible, but certain conclusions are obvious even without naming the culprit.

First, this is utter gutter politics. This tactic is far from new, it is the stock in trade of the bourgeois politicos. Most recently it was used in the barbaric invasion of Grenada, where along with 6,000 troops Reagan sent a 100-strong "psychological warfare unit" which flooded the island with phony leaflets and graffiti to confuse and pacify the resistance of the working people. Thus the phony leaflet tries to assign to us harebrained political positions to confuse people about where the class conscious activists stand on questions.

* It says that the government of Nicaragua is a CIA front and that therefore we should not seriously oppose Reagan's contra war for the return of the Somocista dictatorship. These clowns think that they can wipe out the Nicaraguan people's right to self-determination with their lowlife ridicule. But the workers and peasants are writing their own history, guns in hand. The Student stands in militant solidarity with their struggle against the CIA- organized counterrevolution.

* It says that we should support the Jaruzelski fascists in Poland who have shot and arrested hundreds of militant workers.

* And it tries to portray the police harassment of The Student as a joke. Of course when Henry Kissinger or Jeane Kirkpatrick whimper about being denied freedom of speech because students brand them as war criminals, that's serious. Why they are left with only the bourgeois press, radio, and television to spout their lives! But when a group of progressive students are denied access to their own classrooms because they want to discuss oppositional politics, how frivolous of them to complain.

Second, someone is afraid that the class politics put forward by The Student are being warmly received by a section of the students and they are quite literally desperate to isolate our political trend from the politically conscious. The reactionaries have to use this method against us because they cannot contend with us on the open terrain of serious political debate. In No. 1 we said that the MIT Corp. was carrying out the Reaganite policy of driving the youth of the working class and the black and Latino peoples out of higher education. We had the facts to prove it. Now we find out about the plans to abolish OME. In No. 4 we said that the elections in El Salvador were a fraud that would be used by Reagan to escalate the war against the workers and peasants. Now even the bourgeois press admits that the CIA spent over $2 million to insure that the "moderate" Duarte won and the Congress didn't even wait for the official election results to OK millions to the bloodstained dictatorship. Faced with the power of the truth, the reactionaries can only whine about our political rhetoric and float misleading caricatures.

We are serious political activists. We have taken part in the mass movements against the racist oppression of the black and Latino peoples. We have taken part in the demonstrations against U.S. intervention in Central America and against the barbaric invasion of Grenada. And we have fought hard to protect student interests against the attacks of the MIT Corporation and the Reaganite cutbacks. Based on our political experience we have reached the conclusion that we must break with the Democratic Party liberals if we are to organize a consistent struggle against Reaganite reaction and U.S. imperialism. Therefore we have set up The Student to be the independent voice of the progressive students who want to stand firmly on the side of the working class and poor people against the rich. Of course this drives the bourgeoisie into a frenzy so they try and portray us as some crazed Maoist terrorists with a childish hankering for iconoclasm. To be attacked by such people is a feather in our cap. We are not deterred. We will persevere in building an independent political movement in solidarity with the working class.


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San Francisco

Militant protests against Reagan's war envoys

In late April, downtown San Francisco was the scene of two angry protests against U.S. aggression in Central America. On April 16, hundreds turned out to denounce Henry Kissinger; this demonstration took on a militant character as the activists confronted a vicious attack by the police. A week later, on April 23, a thousand demonstrators picketed the presence of Caspar Weinberger, Reagan's Secretary of Defense.

The actions in the Bay Area come as a breath of fresh air in a situation where, despite the growing escalation of U.S. intervention, the mass protests are being liquidated by the liberal and social-democratic groups who are influential in the movement. They teach a number of valuable lessons for the activists everywhere.

Militant Activists Confront a Police Attack

Henry Kissinger came to speak at the meeting of the San Francisco Commonwealth Club at the Hilton Hotel. Kissinger is of course well known to be the type of imperialist big shot who drawn angry crowds like a magnet attracts iron. He is a notorious war criminal from the Viet Nam war days and has become today a major spokesman of Reagan's warmongering in Central America. Just recently he chaired the Bipartisan Commission on Central America which called for stepped-up military intervention.

Hearing of his planned visit to the Bay Area, a number of groups called for a protest demonstration. When April 16 arrived, the police organized a big presence in order to intimidate the demonstrators away from any sharp confrontation with the war dog Kissinger. They set up a designated demonstration area on the sidewalk across the street, a typical police method to contain demonstrations. But this time the procedure did not work quite as the police had hoped.

As the numbers of the protesters grew, they repeatedly broke away from the police-designated area and moved into the streets. Police threats demanding dispersal did not work too well. The police proceeded to launch a brutal attack on the masses.

The police charged the demonstrators with sticks and horses. A militant section of the activists threw rocks, bottles and other materials at the police. The face-off went on for a while, but in the end the police were able to sweep the area clean, arresting in the process 191 people, including some passers-by. Three of those arrested were charged with felony assault.

The activists in the Bay Area have roundly condemned the police attack. A massive hysteria campaign was launched by the police and capitalist media to blame the demonstrators, raising the fraudulent specter of "terrorist" and "extremist" infiltration. But despite this hue and cry, the action of the police has quite justly been characterized by the activists as a police riot. The next week, even larger numbers turned out to demonstrate against Weinberger. This picket was also a protest against the police repression.

A Deepening Polarization

The actions in San Francisco indicate that a whole section of activists are not only burning mad at the imperialist crimes in Central America, but are searching for various ways to develop the militancy of the movement. They are looking to go beyond the limits the authorities set as to what can or cannot be done at the protest actions.

Behind this lies a smoldering sense of outrage at the growing list of crimes of the U.S. government in Central America. In April came the disclosures of the CIA's role in directing the mining of Nicaragua's waters with the aim of strangling Nicaragua's hard-pressed economy. In the meantime, the discussion of going to full-scale war against Nicaragua has increased among the top imperialist circles in Washington.

Kissinger's speech at San Francisco itself reflected this. A major cornerstone of his speech was the appeal for unity among the capitalist ruling class. He declared: "I can sympathize with an administration that is attempting to stop that influx of arms [to Nicaragua]. Whether at some point it should be overt rather than covert, that is an arguable proposition. But we shouldn't get the objectives and means confused." Thus, the only issue as far as Henry Kissinger is concerned is when the U.S. should turn its covert war into an open war against Nicaragua.

In the meantime, as the stakes get higher on the war front, on the home front the capitalist authorities are out to make sure that the masses submit to the dictates of the imperialists. In particular, the San Francisco police are determined that there be no angry outbursts at the coming Democratic Party National Convention in July.

Efforts to Isolate the Militant Activists

The cutting edge of the tactics of the capitalist authorities and the police is the isolation and suppression of the militant activists. In this, they seek to rely, in the first place, on the liberal and reformist leaders within the various coalitions that call demonstrations; and should this prove not to be successful, the police declare that then they will do the job themselves.

This was clearly spelled out immediately after the events at the Kissinger protest. The capitalist press and the police launched a massive hysteria campaign about how the police attack was provoked by "small militant groups," "ultra-leftists," groups with connections to "terrorists," etc. Headlines of the San Francisco Chronicle screamed out "How Radicals Disrupted S.F. Protest," "3 Militant Groups Cause Convention Fears," etc.

This was of course nothing but red-baiting, in the classic McCarthyite or Reaganite style. But the facts of what took place at the Kissinger protest refute these wild stories. Most demonstrations have a militant section. The militant section of activists who initiated in going outside the police-ordered barricades in face reflected the sentiment of the great bulk of the demonstrators who eagerly took it up. Indeed, even as the police tried to blame "small, ultra-left groups," they were forced to admit that it was not a handful of people they were dealing with. San Francisco Deputy Police Chief George Eimil told the press, "The order (to disperse) was read five times, and people got a chance to leave before anyone was arrested.... We know that they heard it because part of the statement read was 'In the name of the people of the state of California,' and they yelled back, 'We are the people of the state of California.' "

The hysteria of the police was directly connected to a demand for greater "internal policing" by the coalitions which call demonstrations. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote in its article "How Radicals Disrupted S.F. Protest," "Inspector Hennessy [of the San Francisco Police] said that the organizers of the peaceful demonstration could have headed off the violence if they had been willing to identify the uninvited protest groups. 'All it would have taken is somebody from Livermore Action Group saying, "Listen, those people are not with us." Factions that are not with the host group can be identified and segregated by being given their own area. If there is a problem, we can immediately identify it without having innocent people involved.' "

And Those Who Echo the Police

The San Francisco Police were not successful in their demand to get the organizers of the April 16 protest to shift the blame for the police riot away from the police onto the militant activists. However, some of the leaders of the coalition did shamefully come forward to condemn the militants and suggested that it would have been fine with them if the militants were attacked by the police. The San Francisco Chronicle quotes Mike Zielinski of the Central America Non-Intervention Coalition as saying, "We in no way endorse the kind of action that took place Monday, the bottle throwing and rock throwing that may have happened. But rather than deal with the few individuals responsible, police chose to indiscriminately attack the entire crowd." (April 20,1984)

The immediate aim of the San Francisco Police is to make sure that the Democratic Convention in July takes place quietly, without any militant protests by the masses. They are aware that there is a large section of activists who are discontented with the Democratic Party for its collaboration with Reaganism.

And immediately after the Kissinger protest, the organizers of the main rallies and marches planned for the convention came forward to ardently oblige the police. Two days after the Kissinger protest, the San Francisco Chronicle reported: "Leaders of more than 100 national peace and environmental groups yesterday pledged that their activities at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco will be 'a stark contrast' to Monday's chaotic street protests against Henry Kissinger." The organizers promised to have "friendly convention demonstrations," "not simply as a strategy but as a feeling in the heart." And to take care of anyone who does not have such "feelings in the heart" for the imperialist Democratic Party, the coalition leaders promised to have trained monitors for every 10 to 30 convention demonstrators. Clearly, the demands by the police for more "internal policing" of the demonstrations had not fallen on deaf ears. But whether these plans will have any more success than the police plans this April is another story.

What is behind all this is that the liberal and reformist leaders want to channel the discontented masses away from mass actions against the capitalist parties towards the impotent tactics of lobbying the Democratic Convention. They want to turn the discontent of the masses with Reagan into a springboard for the electoral ambitions of the Democrats. But the Democrats are just another party of the same capitalist class that controls the Reaganite Republicans. And it has amply proved that it stands for no real alternative to Reaganism. Electing a Democrat to replace Reagan in 1984 will not change any of the essential policies of the capitalist offensive of hunger, racism and war.

For a Militant Struggle Against Imperialism

No, the answer to the Reaganite offensive lies in the development of the struggle, consciousness and organization of the working masses, independent of both the capitalist parties. Development of the militancy of the mass protests, as reflected in the Kissinger protest, is only to be welcomed and encouraged.

To recall the experience of the 1960's, it was not "peaceful lobbying" of the Democratic Party that built up a successful movement against the war in Viet Nam. No, it was the growth of a variety of forms of independent activity of the masses, seen in such things as powerful militant demonstrations, defiance of the police, sit-ins and occupations, mass anti-draft actions, and anti-war actions inside the armed forces. And what the capitalists speak today with so much horror about, the mass outburst at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, was a very important event in the development of the movement in the 1960's. It was extremely valuable in effecting a broad turn among thousands upon thousands of activists away from reliance on the capitalist parties towards independent politics.

But as the San Francisco events show, the development of the mass movement requires not only standing up to the attacks of the police but also opposing the reformist and liberal forces who seek to liquidate, tone down, and cut the heart out of the mass movement and tie it to the Democratic Party.

[Photo: San Francisco police attack militant protest against war dog Kissinger, April 16.]


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The CIA elects a new president for El Salvador

Duarte puts a 'democratic' mask over the death-squad regime

On May 6 the U.S.-backed dictators in El Salvador held another electoral farce. As a result, the Christian Democratic candidate Jose Napolean Duarte has been installed as president. The Reagan administration has been crowing that these allegedly "free elections" show how the Salvadoran death squad rulers have "made strides toward democracy."

In fact these elections were a fraud from start to finish. They were part of Reagan's drive to drum up support for deepening U.S. intervention to prop up a fascist regime against the revolutionary struggle of the Salvadoran people. These elections were orchestrated by U.S. imperialism for the sole purpose of putting a "democratic" mask on its bloodstained puppet dictatorship.

Elections "Made in USA"

While the U.S. government hypocritically gloated about "free elections," the CIA manipulated the entire affair behind the scenes. The CIA funneled more than two million dollars into the elections, with the lion's share going to finance Duarte's campaign against the notorious death-squad leader Roberto D'Aubuisson. The CIA even brought in journalists from Latin America and Europe to assist Duarte's campaign. The Reagan administration had sworn up and down that it would "scrupulously avoid taking sides in the Salvadoran election." But after revelations about the CIA involvement, the White House was forced to admit that funds were sent to ensure Duarte's victory.

Both Duarte and D'Aubuisson were considered by Washington to be good and loyal servants. But "blowtorch" D'Aubuisson posed the danger of a public relations disaster as his nickname implies. D'Aubuisson's followers have affectionately dubbed this pensioned major "the blowtorch" because of his reputation for torturing his victims with a blowtorch. Such a man in the role of president would make it that much more difficult for the U.S. imperialists to lie about defending the "democratic government" in El Salvador.

The Christian Democrat Duarte, on the other hand, was seen as the man needed to give the dictatorship a "human rights" facelift. Indeed Duarte already had years of job experience, playing the role of the civilian front man in the military junta of 1979-82.

That the U.S. government flagrantly manipulated the Salvadoran elections and treated them as a device of State Department policy is hardly a surprise. What other sort of elections could possibly be held under the fascist terror that exists in El Salvador? In its drive to crush any and all opposition, the dictatorship has murdered some 50,000 people over the last five years. For an opponent of the regime to attempt to run an electoral campaign would be to sign his own death warrant. The Salvadoran left has correctly refused to participate in these elections where only hardened reactionaries and fascists could run.

Reagan and the imperialist media try to make the claim that, despite any such flaws in the elections, the voter turnout signifies the people's approval of the regime. This is utter nonsense. Voting is obligatory under the law; failing to get one's ID card stamped at the polls means risking reprisal by the authorities. In El Salvador voting is done at the point of a bayonet.

The Democratic Party Liberals Applaud the Elections Farce

The Democratic Party politicians in Congress, along with the liberal commentators in the capitalist media, are simply ecstatic over this latest elections farce. Day in and day out these professional hypocrites have moaned and groaned about the horrors of the death squads, the atrocities of the government forces, and the immorality of Reagan's policy. But all the CIA has to do is rig up an election to install the "reformer" Duarte and everything becomes fine and dandy overnight. Now these liberal ladies and gentlemen are cooing with Reagan about "democracy" coming to El Salvador.

No matter that Duarte just told Congress that he wouldn't even accept empty phrases about human rights as a condition for military aid. No matter that Duarte bluntly told the liberal Congressmen that the infamous butcher Eugenio Vides Casanova will be reappointed as defense minister. No matter that Duarte has proven himself over the years as a dutiful lackey of the death-squad dictatorship. Such "minor" considerations didn't make the Democratic Party politicians and the liberal press miss a step as they ran to catch up with Reagan in praising the so-called "steps towards democracy" in El Salvador.

The CIA's Electoral Farce Can't Save the Dictators From the Wrath of the People

The truth is that the elections farce has changed nothing in El Salvador. It will have no greater effect than last year's elections to the constituent assembly. The U.S. multinational corporations and the big capitalists and landlords continue to super-exploit the working masses. Behind Duarte's "democratic" mask, the armed forces and government-organized death squads continue their assassinations and massacres. The elections have not even resolved the squabbles among the reactionaries, as the conflicts between D'Aubuisson's ARENA party and Duarte's Christian Democrats, and the conflicts among the various other cliques of fascist officers and reactionary civilians, continue to simmer.

Most importantly, the CIA's elections farce is not about to stem the tide of the revolutionary struggle of the Salvadoran workers and peasants. The revolutionary fighters continue to land heavy blows on the government forces, and they have established effective control over large zones of the countryside. In the cities there have been renewed stirrings of mass struggle despite the ferocious repression. This has included workers' May Day protests against the dictatorship and its electoral farce.

Only the revolutionary overthrow of the dictatorship and the triumph of the workers and peasants can ensure the democratic aspirations of the Salvadoran people.

[Photo: Los Angeles, March 24: 3,000 demonstrators marched against U.S. aggression in Central America.]

[Photo: Anti-imperialist march through the streets of Boston and Cambridge, organized by the Marxist-Leninist Party, March 24.]


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Congress rubber stamps more millions for the Salvadoran dictators

Reagan snaps his fingers and the Democrats jump

The Reagan administration has been seeking big increases in aid to the fascist dictatorship. And once again the Congressional Democrats have come through with the funds.

On May 10 the Democratic-con- trolled House of Representatives authorized the spending of $262 million in military aid through the end of 1985. Two weeks later the House approved a $62 million emergency military aid package for the Salvadoran generals, raising their total expenditures for such aid in 1984 to a colossal $126 million. These funds had been approved previously in the Senate. Thus another crime was committed against the people of El Salvador by the collaboration of the Democrats with Reagan.

In his speech of May 9 Reagan had made a major appeal for more military aid to the death-squad dictatorship in San Salvador. Trying to stampede the imperialist gentlemen in Congress with the fear of "losing" the U.S. puppet regime (and also expressing his own fear of the revolutionary struggle of the Salvadoran people) Reagan stated that without big aid increases the revolution "will likely succeed."

Reagan tried to justify U.S. intervention by proclaiming that "Central America is America." In other words, in the eyes of this imperialist cowboy Central America is U.S. imperialism's private range of plunder and domination and the Central American workers and peasants are its private herds for exploitation and oppression. Therefore the U.S. government can and must intervene there as it sees fit.

As well, Reagan took to new heights of hysteria the worn-out lie that the people's revolution is a Soviet-Cuban plot. Frothing at the mouth, Reagan claimed that "evidence mounts of Cuba's intentions to double its support to the Salvadoran guerrillas and bring down that newly elected government in the fall." Of course as usual there was not a single fact to back up this accusation. In this way Reagan stumped for aid to his Salvadoran puppets.

Reagan's efforts were greatly assisted by the fact that, just prior to his speech, the CIA-backed Duarte came to power as president of El Salvador. In order to get his aid requests through Congress, Reagan needed the collaboration of the Democratic Party which controls the House. The Democratic Party supports Reagan's intervention in El Salvador, but they specialize in covering up this bloodthirsty policy with phrases about "human rights" and "peace." With Duarte as president, the Democrats had just what they wanted. Duarte had served as the "human rights" front man for the military dictatorship from 1980-82. While the junta slaughtered the people with their death squads and armed forces, Duarte would babble about how the regime was making "progressive reforms." Now, with Duarte back as a front man, the Democratic Party could fund the military dictatorship and still wear a "humane" mask. Thus, the day after Reagan's speech, the Democratic - controlled House passed the $262 million military aid authorization.

Moreover, when Duarte himself spoke before Congress on May 21 to plead for the $62 million emergency aid package, he received a bipartisan hero's welcome. Even some of the allegedly staunchest Democratic opponents of Reagan's Central American policy lavished praise on Duarte and his fund-raising drive for fascist tyranny.

Praising Duarte for his past efforts covering for the death squads, Representative Clarence Long (D-Md.) stated: "He's been tested and he's courageous.... He's our kind of man." And the liberal Democrat Michael Barnes (D-Md.) volunteered, "Duarte makes a powerful plea. I'm sure they're [Congress] not going to send him back empty handed." With these phony "anti-Reagan" Democrats greasing the skids, the military aid was approved not only by the Republicans but by 115 Democratic Congressmen as well.

What shameful belly crawling! Only weeks before the Democratic Congressmen were crying in mock horror over Reagan ordering the CIA to mine Nicaragua's harbors. (Of course, the Democrats themselves had approved the funds in the first place for the CIA's "covert war" on Nicaragua.) At that time they pledged that they would stand up against Reagan's warmongering in Central America. And what happens? Reagan snaps his fingers and the Democrats jump!

Of course some Democrats did not vote for the particular military aid packages for El Salvador that passed Congress. But this was simply because these measures had insufficient demagogy about reforming the fascist regime to please them. For example some House Democrats proposed an alternative bill to the $262 million aid authorization. This bill would have provided a "mere" $189 million. (For that matter, it has been revealed that the Pentagon stretches these numbers as it sees fit by simply putting a different price tag on the weapons it sends to Central America.) For the sake of deception however, two-thirds of the aid would depend on Congress voting that the Salvadoran fascists were allegedly reforming themselves of their unfortunate habit of wanton murder of the population. In short, this proposal was simply a refurbished version of the old fraud where Reagan must certify that the dictatorship is reforming itself in return for Congressional aid appropriations. The only difference is that Congress would take over Reagan's role of lying about the human rights progress of the fascist cutthroats.

The Congressional rubber stamp on hundreds of millions of more military aid to the Salvadoran death squads brings home an important lesson. Reagan's intervention in Central American cannot be fought with Democratic Party humbug.

[Photo: Protestors condemn U.S. intervention in Central America at the Mothers Day Peace March, Chicago, May 13.]

[Photo: MLP calls for solidarity with the Salvadoran liberation struggle at an anti-Reagan rally in Seattle, May 5.]


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From John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan

How the U.S. government set up the death squads in El Salvador

The May 1984 issue of The Progressive magazine contains an article entitled "Behind the death squads -- An exclusive report on the U.S. role in El Salvador's official terror." Of course, The Progressive is not all that progressive, as it is actually a social-democratic journal. Nevertheless this article by Allan Nairn provides valuable documentation of how the U.S. government built the infamous death squads in El Salvador.

Publicly Washington claims to abhor the death squads. But Nairn's article underscores the total hypocrisy of these claims. The truth is that the CIA, the Pentagon and the other arms of U.S. imperialism set up these death squads in the first place and continue to back them to the hilt.

The article also provides facts that shed light on the demagogy of the Democratic Party that poses as the champion of "human rights" in El Salvador. In reality, for over twenty years, the Democrats have been involved up to their elbows in building the Salvadoran death squad apparatus.

The article shows how two key organizations of the death squads, ORDEN and ANSESAL, were created by the U.S. government. According to Salvadoran general Medrano, known as the father of the death squads, "ORDEN and ANSESAL -- the Salvadoran National Security Agency -- grew out of the State Department, the CIA, and the Green Berets during the time of Kennedy." This process began under the Kennedy administration's supposedly ' 'humanitarian ' ' Alliance for Progress. JFK himself chaired the conference which led to the formation of the infamous ORDEN and ANSESAL.

ANSESAL functioned as an intelligence gathering service under the Salvadoran president. Its primary task was to collect information on opponents of the fascist regime. As the article points out, the president reviewed its reports and decided what should be done. The orders were then transmitted to either the army, the National Guard, or to death squad organizations dike ORDEN which carried out the killings of the opposition. ANSESAL's daily operations were overseen by the CIA while the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID was set up under the Alliance for Progress) had overall responsibility for its success. ANSESAL also coordinated its activities with similar U.S.-created security agencies throughout Central America.

ORDEN was created as the government's main hit squad. It concentrated much of its work in the countryside where it built up extensive networks of informers and worked to indoctrinate the peasants with its fascist, fanatically anti-communist ideology. The ideology and structure of ORDEN, according to Medrano, were provided by the U.S. Green Berets.

It is important to note that the notorious "Mano Blanco" death squad, known by the white hands symbol it leaves near its victims, developed out of ORDEN. The article quotes former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Raul Castro, saying that Mano Blanco "was an offshoot of ORDEN, and the same people in ORDEN were to some extent the same people in the Mano Blanco."

The article also documents how the U.S. trained the leadership and lower personnel of the death squads. A prime case is General Medrano himself. Medrano was sent by Washington on a tour of Viet Nam where he studied the brutal counterinsurgency techniques of the U.S. Army, the Green Berets and the CIA. Here he brushed up on the latest "advances" of U.S. warfare such as "search-and-destroy" missions and saturation bombing; Medrano was also a pupil of Green Beret Colonel Arthur Simons who had served as chief of staff of what is now called the John F. Kennedy Center for Military Assistance, originally known as the Psychological Warfare Center. Such training placed Medrano in good stead to head up the Salvadoran death squad apparatus.

Besides this, the article explains that in 1969 a group of 80 ORDEN leaders participated in a two-month course taught by CIA agents from the U.S. embassy and held at National Guard headquarters. According to a former member of the Treasury Police, U.S. personnel* also conducted a course "in methods of physical and psychological torture." As well, the top explosives expert of the Salvadoran armed forces was brought to the U.S. to be instructed in the methods of bomb assassinations.

Moreover, the article shows that a number of top death squad leaders were on the CIA payroll. This included Medrano and the notorious ex-Treasury Police head Colonel Carranza. The article also states that, according to several associates, the death squad leader Roberto D'Aubuisson also received CIA funds.

The CIA carried out extensive intelligence work for the Salvadoran security forces. As one example of many, the article tells how in 1979-80 D'Aubuisson used CIA files to finger opponents of the government on televised speeches. Soon afterwards many of these opponents were assassinated.

Under the impact of the rising surge of the popular struggle against the tyranny, the U.S.-organized death squad system underwent a facelift in 1979. ORDEN and ANSESAL were abolished in name. But the functions of these murderous organizations were simply incorporated within the apparatus of the police and the military. For example ANSESAL's files on dissidents were turned over to the military general staff. Meanwhile the National Guard took up surveillance of government opponents in "unions and strikes" and the "educational system," according to the director of the National Guard.

Of course the 1979 facelift did nothing to stop death squad murders. Since that time several tens of thousands have been tortured and murdered by the U.S.-trained thugs. The article quotes a U.S. official in San Salvador on the scope of the death squads. The official states: "Every garrison of any size had death squads. It's that simple. All this comes out of a military intelligence function."

As in the past, the U.S. government has remained closely tied to the death squads during the Reagan administration. Colonel Carranza testifies that there is a constant exchange of intelligence information between the Salvadoran general staff and the U.S. embassy in San Salvador. The U.S. currently has several specialists in intelligence and psychological warfare working with the Salvadoran general staff. The CIA continues to train the personnel of the security forces, and only this past April the CIA scheduled a training course in the U.S.


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The Dominican working people rise up against the IMF and the government of hunger

Beginning Monday, April 23, the toiling masses of the Dominican Republic exploded in a wide-scale revolt against huge price increases imposed by the social-democratic government of Salvador Jorge Blanco at the behest of the International Monetary Fund. For several days, in cities across the country, the masses vented their anger, clashed with police and soldiers, and cursed the government and the IMF. This was the biggest upsurge in this Caribbean country since the April 1965 insurrection which was savagely crushed by U.S. Marines sent in by Lyndon Johnson.

This latest revolt shows that the working people of the Dominican Republic, who are already so poor and hungry, refuse to sit by and let the international bankers and local bourgeois government starve them into even worse destitution. With their rebellion, the Dominican toilers have manifested the powerful energies that lie in their ranks. What they need next is the revolutionary consciousness and organization that will guide them to triumph over their oppressors, the local exploiters and imperialism. This is the road that leads out of their hunger and misery. This is why the building up of the Communist Labor Party in the Dominican Republic, the proletarian party there, is so important.

The Explosion

On Tuesday, April 17, during the Easter week holiday, President Salvador Jorge Blanco announced the IMF- dictated measures: price increases of up to 100% on 19 of the most basic foods, including rice, milk, bread, cooking oil, coffee and sugar; and 200% price increases on all imports, including medicine, agricultural products, newsprint and others.

These measures had been demanded by the IMF in the negotiations over repayment of the Dominican Republic's $2.4 billion debt. And incidentally, Blanco's announcement came only a week after Blanco had visited Washington, where Reagan insisted on the IMF measures being implemented as a condition for more U.S. loans.

On April 19 the increases took effect. On the 23rd, the first working day after the holiday, the people found they could no longer afford the simplest necessities of life. They immediately took to the streets in the face of an intolerable situation. After all, these latest measures came while prices have been rising rapidly for over a year and unemployment has been mounting.

In the capital city of Santo Domingo, as small shopkeepers closed their doors to protest the price hikes, the masses poured into the streets, set fire to cars, buses and price-gouging stores, relieved supermarkets of their goods, and fought police sent to suppress them. In the northern section of the city, made virtually inaccessible to the police by barricades of blazing tires, the masses looted warehouses of the government's Institute of Price Stabilization (INESPRE) and medicine depots. They also attacked the local offices of the ruling Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). As fighting continued in the capital, the rebellion spread to 20 cities throughout the country.

Blanco Sends In the Troops

In an attempt to control the protests, the government closed all schools and universities and a television station. It also shut down two radio stations, including Radio Popular, whose detailed accounts of the fighting broadcast from mobile units were considered "alarming news" that "disturbed the tranquility of the citizens"! Jorge Blanco dispatched a massive force of troops outfitted with M16's, armored trucks and helicopters to assist the police. Tear gassing, beating and firing on the protesting masses, these forces of repression murdered over 60 people, injured hundreds, and arrested 4,000-5,000.

The Struggle Continues

Despite the government's ferocious repression, the masses returned to fight in the streets on April 24 and 25. In some areas of the country the battles continued till Saturday the 28th. When a call was given for a general strike for Wednesday, May 9, the government carried out widespread arrests of trade union leaders, political activists, peasant leaders and others. It militarized the country and threatened to fire government workers if they participated. Nevertheless, beginning Tuesday, May 8, according to Dominican press reports, students at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo fought police and army forces who tear gassed and fired on them. As well, street fighting again broke out in various barrios of Santo Domingo. On May 9, although the general strike was not total, many workers in Santo Domingo and several other cities struck, paralyzing parts of the country.

The Revolt Forces Blanco to Promise Concessions

Under the pressure of the intense movement of the masses, the PRD government was forced to promise some concessions in an effort to pacify the people.

Addressing the nation on April 26, Jorge Blanco promised to examine various measures so that "the sectors having less purchasing power, those who are not wealthy, are not affected by the restrictions, by the limitations required by the Dominican economic crisis."

In his May Day speech, Blanco listed off several such measures: government-controlled subsidized sale of various staples; increased number of markets, as well as more stores and milk outlets controlled by the national Institute of Price Stabilization; setting up a fish processing plant with low-priced products; and establishment of a special health fund to provide 200 medications at reduced prices. As well, the Dominican Senate raised the minimum wage from 125 pesos (less than $50) to 175 pesos (less than $75) a month. Jorge Blanco also announced that he had sent to the National Congress a bill broadening social security coverage, which at present covers, with payments of $8 to $39 per month, only 12.7% of Dominican workers.

There are a few things to be said of Blanco's promises. For one thing, it is open to question as to whether a number of the announced plans will ever see the light of day. For another, even the measures that have been enacted, such as the raising of the minimum wage, are in no way near sufficient to address the needs of the workers. His offer to raise the minimum wage from 125 to 175 pesos is hardly a gesture of big-heartedness; he had already proposed raising it to 150 pesos several months ago. But more importantly, the minimum wage of 125 pesos had been enacted five years ago, and prices have multiplied many times over in the intervening period.

The Shame of the Social-Democrats Will Live Forever!

With his promises, Blanco is merely trying to salvage some of the tarnished populist image of his social-democratic party. But no amount of demagogy can wipe out from the minds of the masses what the PRD has already done in practice.

Not only did Blanco send in the troops to murder the toilers in the streets, but he justified them completely. The actions of the police and armed forces were "very reasonable, very reasonable," he said, adding that they constituted a correct response to the "situation of chaos that exists in the country." To add insult to injury, in a national speech on April 26, the same man who sent in troops to murder protesters the previous few days called on the people to "react against violence with a loud cry of 'No to violence in the Republic,' a cry similar to the one by Mohandas Gandhi...."! What hypocrisy!

Blanco also urged that "all of us together face up to the economic crisis affecting the Dominican Republic"; he implored the toilers to think only of the "national interest." What nonsense! The same man who heads up a bourgeois government and who had just imposed price hikes hitting hard especially at the poor now came before the people to lecture them about the alleged common interests between exploiters and exploited!

The recent events starkly expose Blanco's social-democratic PRD government as nothing but a government of the rich exploiters. When the PRD came to power six years ago, millions hoped for an end to the tyranny that had been the way of the fascist Balaguer regime. The PRD came to power talking about democracy and the rights of the people. It even called itself a party of the toilers.

But what is the PRD government doing today, after six years of PRD rule? It is imposing starvation on the toiling masses. It is shooting workers down in cold blood. The deeds of the PRD government are worthy of Balaguer himself. To add insult to injury, President Jorge Blanco is claiming that Balaguer and his ultra-right party, called the Reformist Party, are behind the mass struggles. As if the Reformist Party were not also a party of the rich exploiters! As if the masses were too stupid to know for themselves that Jorge Blanco and the PRD government are starving them!

The Trade Union Chieftains Pour Cold Water on the Fires of Revolt

Through their powerful revolts a- cross the country, the Dominican toilers showed that they are ready to fight and shed their blood to stave off starvation at the hands of the imperialist bankers and the domestic bourgeois government. But unfortunately the chieftains of the country's five trade union centers and the other leaders of the class collaborationist opposition have worked not to strengthen the mass struggle and orient it in a revolutionary direction but to damp it down. Through their treachery they have only done the dirty work for the PRD government.

On April 24, when the masses were heroically shedding their blood in the streets, the trade union leaders called a general strike for fear of being outstripped by the masses. But then, in a public document, the CGT (the largest trade union center whose leadership is today dominated by the reformist Dominican Liberation Party of Juan Bosch), declared: "The Trade Union Centers and the Coordination of Popular Struggles, faced with the open fascism exhibited by the repressive forces, decided in the evening of Tuesday, April 24, to suspend the toilers' strike and the protest movement, in order to seek a negotiated way out of the existing political crisis, for which they gave the government the period of one week." Seeking to damp down the movement, on April 25 they "urged the workers to normalize their activities because in the last few days the popular protests over the high cost of living have turned violent," and they condemned the "acts of violence." In this, they merely echoed the appeals of Salvador Blanco.

When the upsurge had ebbed by the end of April, the union leaders then announced their plans for the traditional May Day march in Santo Domingo and other cities. They raised demands for a 60% increase in the minimum wage (to 200 pesos a month); rollback of price increases on food, medicines and imported goods; and an end to negotiations with the IMF. They advised the government that it should avoid producing a new massacre on May 1, since this would create conditions for the people to exercise and demand their rights through other (i.e., violent) means.

The government responded by saying that such a march would be permitted only if the organizers could guarantee there would be no violence. Otherwise the authorities could not "guarantee the security" of the marchers.

In the face of this threat, the union leaders shamelessly capitulated. They said they feared a massacre, canceled the march, and called instead for a Day of Mourning for the victims of the repression. This was an empty substitute for struggle, and worst of all, one designed to be totally ineffectual. They appealed to the masses to drape their doorways in black, wear black armbands, and stay indoors from 6 a.m. to noon. Now since May Day is an official holiday in the Dominican Republic, the masses were home already; but because the toilers and poor have no refrigeration, they must shop for food daily in the morning, putting them in the position of breaking the symbolic strike.

Then the union leaders themselves did not even abide by their own call! When Jorge Blanco asked them to his offices for talks, they trotted out before noon, and following their meeting they cozily settled down with him for egg sandwiches and beer.

Their conciliatory measures won warm praise from this murderer of the Dominican people, Jorge Blanco, this suppressor of the unions whose very headquarters he had closed by force on April 30. In his May 1 speech, Jorge Blanco declared: "The government of national concentration has expressed its admiration and gratitude to all union leaders who,...constituting a valuable contribution to the strengthening of public peace, have canceled the workers' parade announced for May Day."

Clearly the Dominican toilers cannot rely on the trade union bosses or other class collaborationists to guide their struggle forward. These forces are more afraid of the mass struggle than they are of the attacks of the government. Hence their utterly shameful stand of trying to tone down the popular struggle right at the point when the masses were showing their mettle in the streets.

Through their revolt, the Dominican toilers successfully sent shock waves through the ranks of the big exploiters and the imperialist chieftains in Wall Street and Washington. Now ahead of the toilers lie the tasks of shedding the influences of the reformist leaders and building up their revolutionary organizations. The Communist Party of Labor of the Dominican Republic, which fought alongside the masses in their recent struggles, stands for overcoming the influences of the opportunists and for carrying forward the struggle against the PRD government and the IMF.

[Photo: Demonstrators in Santo Domingo demand: Damned IMF, Get Out of the Country!]

[Photo: In the streets of Santo Domingo protesters throw rocks at stores and police.]


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Down with the U.S.-Backed Duvalier Dictatorship! Down with Hunger! Down with Misery!

(The following leaflet was issued by The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, on June 4, 1984.)

During the past few weeks, workers and peasants in Haiti have been pouring into the streets courageously shouting "Down with hunger! Down with misery! Down with Duvalier!" Despite widespread arrests, beatings and murders, the Haitian toilers are standing up against the starvation and repression of the Duvalier dictatorship. They are showing their courage and determination. They are declaring that they have had enough, openly voicing their hatred for the Duvalier dictatorship. This courageous stand of the Haitian toilers must be saluted and supported.

These protests were sparked off when, on Monday May 21, the police arbitrarily arrested and then savagely beat a pregnant woman to death. This took place in the town of Gonaives. Hearing the news, masses of people gathered and marched on the barricaded police station shouting their militant slogans.

The police attacked the masses with rifle butts. Many of the demonstrators were arrested and injured. And an unspecified number of people were brutally killed. Confronted with the open anger and militancy of the toilers, the Duvalier regime declared a curfew and emergency in the area and brought in squads of additional police, soldiers, specially trained terror squads called Leopards and the infamous Ton Ton Macoutes. The toilers in Gonaives could not be quelled. More clashes were to come. Demanding food they took to the streets. And the protests spread. The workers and peasants in other areas were inspired by the courage of their class brothers and sisters in Gonaives. Thus, in the city of Cap Haitien, thousands took to the streets with militant slogans and raided food storage facilities. At least 10 people were savagely killed in that city by Duvalier's troops. Reports, unconfirmed due to strict censorship, indicate that some 25,000 people demonstrated on the streets of Cap Haitien shouting: "Down with hunger! Down with misery! Down with Duvalier!" again and again.

In these protests, slogans against repression were combined with demands for relief from hunger. As one man put it: "It was a peoples' revolt. Food prices go up every day and their (the toilers -- ed.) tiny income remains the same." Together with this, came demands for the end of the hated Duvalier dictatorship, a regime of unchecked terror and brutality, representing powerful, rich local oligarchs and backed up by U.S. imperialism.

Haiti is a land where repression and starvation cries out from every facet of life. In the towns and countryside the workers and peasants live in conditions of squalor. They are in desperate want and landless. The slightest hint of opposition meets the dark hand of the regime's repression. The self-appointed president-for-life, Jean Claude Duvalier, has banned all political parties and made it illegal to criticize government officials.

While the Haitian masses are the poorest in the hemisphere, the class of rich oligarchs, of which the Duvalier family is the most powerful, live like kings. To maintain their power and wealth that regime has set up a network of crude terror against the toiling masses.

The starvation and repressive policies of the Duvalier dictatorship have been backed up by successive U.S. administrations. For Haiti is also a paradise for the big U.S. imperialist corporations; houses a U.S. military base; and Duvalier is a loyal friend of U.S. aggression in the region. The conditions of hunger and misery for the Haitian toilers translate into dollars for the Haitian oligarchs and U.S. imperialism.

It is these considerations, and not hypocritical concerns for "human rights," which guide U.S. support for the regime. Thus U.S. imperialism has set aside $54 million in further military and economic backing for the Duvalier dictatorship. The concern that has been voiced for "human rights" is such a fraud that recently Duvalier satisfied these concerns by simply appointing the head of the secret police, Tuhaiby, as "the watchdog" for human rights.

The events in Gonaives and Cap Haitien show what Duvalier's and Reagan's human rights are all about. So too, these events show that the determination and militancy of the Haitian toilers in their thousands is the force that will topple the hated U.S.-backed Duvalier dictatorship.

Solidarity with the courageous workers and peasants of Haiti!


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Against "Ocean Venture 84''

50,000 Puerto Ricans fight the Pentagon's war buildup

On April 29th, 50,000 Puerto Ricans marched in San Juan, Puerto Rico to denounce Ocean Venture '84, the most recent of U.S. imperialism's military maneuvers in the Caribbean. They protested the use of the island as a military stronghold and staging area for the Pentagon, and they condemned the continuing military buildup on Puerto Rico, including the storage of nuclear weapons. The demonstrators demanded that the U.S. get out of Central America, and they raised slogans against the recruitment of Puerto Ricans to become cannon fodder in a U.S. invasion of Nicaragua.

The Pentagon has been carrying out one military maneuver after another in the Caribbean. No sooner had the Big Pine II exercises in Honduras been scaled down temporarily than this even larger maneuver was carried out in the Caribbean region. Washington claims that these exercises are just "routine"; but in fact there is nothing routine about these exercises, except the routine of U.S. imperialist bullying, threats and invasions. The U.S. military maneuvers are carried out as preparation for U.S. imperialism's war plans and to intimidate the Nicaraguan people and Salvadoran insurgents.

Ocean Venture '84 involved 30,000 troops, 350 ships, and hundreds of jet fighters, bombers and other warplanes. It extended for more than two weeks, from April 20 to May 6. The maneuvers included the practice of a typical U.S. invasion ploy -- the evacuation of 300 U.S. citizens (dependents of military personnel) from the Guantanamo Naval Base on the island of Cuba.

Several large U.S. bases in Puerto Rico were used as staging areas for Ocean Venture '84, including Roosevelt Roads Naval Base on the east coast and the naval base on Vieques. Vieques is a small island off the east coast, two-thirds of which is owned by the U.S. Navy. The lives of the islanders and in particular the livelihood of its fishermen are frequently disrupted by bombing practice and other military activities. During Ocean Venture '84, 2,000 U.S. Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina carried out amphibious landings in conjunction with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.

The fishermen of Vieques have for years put up a fight against the disruption caused by the militarist activities of U.S. imperialism. A week before the April 29 march in San Juan against Ocean Venture '84, the fishermen of Vieques took to their boats and occupied areas restricted by the navy. The denounced the practice invasion of Vieques by the marines and 82nd Airborne as a prelude to an invasion of Nicaragua, just like Ocean Venture '81 had conducted a mock attack on the island as a practice run for the invasion of Grenada. The fishermen also reaffirmed their denunciation of U.S. military maneuvers for destroying marine life and denying them access to their fishing waters.

Back in 1979, protesting fishermen in their boats successfully prevented naval maneuvers from occurring off Vieques for three days. The U.S. imperialists now have a court injunction prohibiting fishermen from entering the navy's restricted areas during exercises, punishable by an indefinite period of arrest. However this has not been able to stop the protests of the fishermen.

The use of Puerto Rico in the Pentagon's war exercises is a glaring feature of U.S. imperialism's brutal colonial domination of this Caribbean island. Not only do the U.S. multinational corporations super-exploit the island's workers, but the U.S. government has virtually turned Puerto Rico into one huge military base. Large amounts of land have been appropriated for military use, and the U.S. repeatedly uses its bases there for aggressive activities against other peoples of the Caribbean and Latin America.

The struggle of the Puerto Rican people against U.S. military exercises is a just struggle. It shows that the t growing escalation of U.S. imperialism's intervention in Central America and the Caribbean is providing impetus for a resurgence in the anti-imperialist movement in Puerto Rico. The Marxist-Leninist Party, USA welcomes this development and reaffirms its solidarity with the struggle of the Puerto Rican working masses for independence and an end to the rule of the exploiters.

[Photo: 50,000 demonstrators in San Juan, Puerto Rico protest the Pentagon's Ocean Venture '84 maneuvers in the Caribbean, April 29.]


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West German auto workers strike for 35-hour week with no cut in pay

By the end of May at least 200,000 auto workers were out on strike in West Germany demanding a 35-hour week with no cut in pay. The strike began May 14, when 13,000 workers at 14 auto parts plants in the Stuttgart area in southern Germany downed their tools and walked out. Within a week two BMW plants (Bavarian Motor Works) were shut down by parts shortages, and the strike had spread to some 70,000 workers. On May 21st, 33,000 auto workers in the state of Hesse joined the strike. And by the end of May the strike embraced over 200,000 of the 680,000 auto workers in West Germany.

Along with this strike another 10,000 printing and paper workers from some 90 factories have waged sporadic one-hour "warning strikes" to press for the 35-hour week. As well, workers from the postal, wood and plastic, education, and commerce unions are also demanding the shorter workweek. As solidarity strikes and demonstrations spring up from workers in one industry after another, the auto workers' strike threatens to spread to other industries throughout the country.

The auto workers are represented by the union of metal workers called IG Metall. This union has 2.6 million members including auto workers, steel workers, shipyard workers, and metal workers in other industries. It is demanding a national agreement for the 35-hour, day from the industrialists' federation called Gesamtmetall.

The capitalists of Gesamtmetall have vociferously opposed the workers' demand, and the capitalists have gotten the backing of the Christian Democratic government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Kohl has denounced the strikers' demands as "silly and dumb." Initially, before the strike began, the capitalists attempted to get the workers to put aside their call for a shorter workweek by promising them a 3.3% wage increase. And the Kohl government threw in the promise to lower the retirement age to 58. But the workers were unmoved. In a referendum, the metal workers voted 4 to 1 in favor of striking for the 35-hour week.

The workers are pressing their demands in the face of the enormous unemployment in West Germany. About 9% of the workers, some 2.2 million, are officially unemployed. Another one million women and youth who desire work are not counted in the official unemployment figures.

The workers hope that by cutting the workweek to 35 hours, the capitalists will be forced to hire on some of the unemployed. By demanding no cut in pay, the workers are fighting against various capitalist schemes for "flexible hours" to "share the work" in which the workers' standard of living would be slashed to the bone.

These demands of the West German workers are entirely just and deserve the support of workers everywhere.

In this struggle, it is important that vigilance is maintained towards the trade union bureaucrats of the IG Metall. The top union officials are spreading the fairy tale that the 35-hour week will bring unemployment down to a mere 1% over the next five years. At the same time, these bureaucrats are telling the capitalists that additional costs caused by the 35-hour workweek would be made up by productivity gains in the factories. In other words, the union bureaucrats are stating their willingness to collaborate with the capitalists' productivity drive which stands as an important source of job elimination.

It should be pointed out that the shorter workweek is no panacea that will put an end to unemployment under the capitalist system or solve other ills that the workers face. It is important, for example, that the workers continue to fight for higher pay, especially in the smaller low wage factories. It is also essential to continue the fight directly for the demands of the unemployed workers and to resist the speedup and rationalization drive of the capitalists. One of the chief sources of the present unemployment is the capitalists' productivity drive. While the shorter workweek may initially bring back some laid-off workers, the capitalists' productivity drive will continue to eliminate jobs and erode the overall work force. Thus the workers have to continue to fight that those workers who are still unemployed receive a livelihood. And the fire must be kept up against the capitalists' productivity drive which is eating away at the workers' jobs.

The workers don't need to trade one evil of capitalism for another. The workers have the power of their numbers and through mass action they can resist the capitalists' demands. The union bureaucrats have only called "selective strikes." But the rank and file want a real fight and are spreading the strike to ever wider sections. The American workers, who also face severe unemployment and the ravages of speedup and long overtime hours, cannot help but be inspired by this strike for the shorter workweek. It shows that even in the horrible situation of the capitalist economic crisis, the workers can and will take action to defend their interests.

[Photo: Striking German auto workers from the Mercedes-Benz works in Sindelfingen, West Germany.]


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May First in Latin America - Working Class Raises Its Fist

May First -- International Workers' Day -- saw the workers across Latin America take to the streets in determined actions. The workers marched in protest against the starvation drive of the capitalists' austerity programs. They condemned the claws of the imperialist International Monetary Fund which are sunk deep in the flesh of the laboring masses. The workers demonstrated against tyranny and fascist dictatorship. And everywhere they proclaimed the international solidarity of the working class, echoing the call of Karl Marx -- Workers of all countries, Unite!

In the southern cone of Latin America, in Uruguay and Chile, where the working people have been fighting hard against the fascist military dictatorships, the workers came out in huge demonstrations against tyranny and exploitation. In Uruguay, 300,000 marched in the largest May Day rally in Latin America this year. And in Chile, over a hundred thousand people defied a ban by the government to demonstrate in Santiago. The workers battled the security forces in fierce clashes. They were fired on with water cannons, tear gas and shotguns. The workers defended themselves by setting up barricades. Eighty people were arrested and 30 wounded.

In Central America, workers brought out demonstrations on May Day in the midst of a revival of the strike movement. In El Salvador, the first May Day march in four years took place. Under the glaring eyes of the police, more than 3,000 workers marched in San Salvador. A number of the workers denounced the fraudulent presidential elections scheduled for the next weekend as "a farce and a mockery of the people." The May Day march came in the midst of a revival of the strike movement among certain sectors of the proletariat; there have been a series of strikes and other workers' actions in recent months.

In Honduras, 30,00 workers demonstrated in Tegucigalpa. They denounced the presence of U.S. troops in that country which the U.S. imperialists are converting into one large landing strip for the U.S. military. The Honduran workers also denounced the austerity plans being imposed under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund. In the recent period, this country too has seen a number of confrontations between the workers and the government. Six hundred workers were arrested during a strike at the Electric Power Service and the enterprise was placed under the direct control of the military.

In a number of other countries too, the struggle against capitalist austerity occupied a prominent place in the demands workers raised in their May Day actions.

In Bolivia, 90,000 workers marched in La Paz on May Day which came in the midst of an upsurge in the workers' struggle against the austerity program being carried out by the reformist Siles Zuazo regime. For days daily confrontations took place between the masses and the government. The week before May Day, thousands battled police in working class neighborhoods. Housewives blockaded streets with empty cooking gas tanks.

On April 30, a 72-hour general strike was called which closed down banks, factories, universities and public offices. It was organized to protest government plans to cut wages, slash public services and increase prices on government-subsidized foods. This was the fourth general strike against the Zuazo government and the longest action so far. Among the workers of Bolivia the demand for an extension of the strike movement continues to grow.

In Mexico, May Day reflected the growing radicalization among the workers in the face of a massive austerity offensive. This year the anger of the workers turned the official May Day march into a hostile outburst against the Mexican rulers.

For the first time in decades, this year's May Day march brought together workers from both the unions associated with the ruling Instituational Revolutionary Party (PRI) and a number of independent unions. It was only at the last minute that the other unions were given permission to join the march. The marchers, even including those in the official unions, joined together to turn the usually tame rally into a militant protest. When they passed by the official platform where stood the President of Mexico, Miguel de la Madrid, the workers insulted him to his face. They shouted slogans against austerity and for better conditions. The slogans of the marchers drowned out the official commentator, and de la Madrid was forced to endure this treatment for over an hour.

In Ecuador, where there has also been an ongoing struggle against the IMF-dictated austerity program, tens of thousands rallied on May Day. They were mobilized by trade unions, peasant organizations and neighborhood organizations. Nearly 25,000 rallied in Quito, the capital city.

Thus, this year May Day was once again a day of sharp class battles between the Latin American working people and the exploiters. In these actions, the working class flexed its muscles and showed the powerful revolutionary potential that lies in its ranks. It is the proletariat which holds in its hands the capacity to mobilize all the downtrodden toiling masses of Latin America towards triumph over the old world of poverty, exploitation and fascism.

[Photo: Bolivian workers in action. In recent months the Bolivian working class has been waging a powerful struggle against the government's attempts to impose IMF-dictated austerity measures. On April 30 the workers launched a 72-hour general strike.]


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More on how the opportunists trail behind the Jesse Jackson campaign

In the December 15, 1983 and February 10, 1984 issues of The Workers' Advocate we carried major articles analyzing Jesse Jackson's campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Those articles showed that Jackson's past stands and present program do not represent a fight against the racist offensive of the Reagan government. Nor does Jackson's campaign offer an alternative to the concealed Reaganism of the Democratic Party. Rather, Jackson is striving for an accommodation with the racist U.S. ruling class.

In his campaign Jackson has gone out of his way to extend his hand of friendship to such notorious racist Dixiecrats as George Wallace and Orval Faubus; and Jackson has even smiled on such avowed Reaganites as Jerry Falwell and his "moral majority" crusade. Why is this? It is because Jesse Jackson believes that by reconciling with the racists he can prove his loyalty to the monopoly capitalist rulers and thereby obtain more token positions for the black bourgeoisie in the capitalist political parties and corporations. Jackson is selling out the anti-racist struggle of the black working people for the sake of the interests of the black bourgeoisie. Right now, Jackson is concentrating his efforts on striking a bargain for more "clout" for the black bourgeoisie in the Democratic Party. And his bargaining chip is the black masses. He seeks to subdue the anger of the black masses and divert them from the path of mass struggle to a voter's drive for the Democratic Party.

In this article we wish to deal with some of Jackson's most avid champions, the revisionist and Trotskyite liquidators. The vast majority of the revisionist groups -- the official pro-Soviet revisionists of the Communist Party, USA and the even more fanatically pro-Soviet Line of March; the Maoists such as the League of Revolutionary Struggle and the Communist Workers Party; the ultra-opportunists like the Guardian newspaper; such Trotskyites as the Workers World Party; and so on and so forth -- have become zealous foot-soldiers in Jackson's election machine.

All of these groups claim that they are Marxist-Leninists, the most farsighted and militant champions of the working class. All likewise claim that the Jackson campaign represents a serious fight against racism and a significant effort to build up a movement of the working masses that is independent of both capitalist parties. But beneath their highfalutin rhetoric, these revisionist groups are actually merging with the entire reformist marsh centered around the Democratic Party. And, as part of their liquidationist program, they are working to subordinate the black people's struggle to the black bourgeoisie. They are not organizing the mass struggle against racist oppression, but are smothering it in the blanket of empty promises pouring out of the Jackson campaign. They are not strengthening the mass skepticism towards the Democratic Party, but are fostering illusions in it. They are not building the independent movement of the working class, but are working to liquidate it.

In the April 20, 1984 issue of The Workers' Advocate we exposed those liquidators who are actively campaigning in support of Jackson's bid to become the presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. But there are a few liquidationist groups who, although thoroughly enchanted with Jackson, have not endorsed his Democratic Party candidacy. Chief among these are the Trotskyites of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and the International Socialists (IS).

In this article we will deal with these groups. Their stands on the Jackson campaign show that they share a common liquidationist platform with the groups who are campaigning for Jackson's nomination and they are playing an equally corrupting role in the black people's movement.

Old Poison In a New Bottle

The IS presented its analysis of the Jackson campaign in a statement by their Political Committee entitled "Where Is Jesse Jackson Running?" This statement, which is printed in the January-February issue of the journal Changes, actually gushes with enthusiasm for Jesse Jackson. For example, the IS writes:

"What, precisely does Jesse Jackson stand for? He is regarded, of course, as a committed champion of social justice for the poor and disenfranchised in general and black people in particular -- and on central issues of both domestic and foreign policy as well as racial pride and equality, the image is accurate."

Of course, the IS gives a bow to "areas where Jackson's record is less than positive." For example, they cite Jackson's opposition to abortion rights and support for strikebreaking. But the IS immediately tries to downplay the significance of these stands in light of Jackson's "total record." They claim, "Examples of this kind of reactionary behavior should not be swept under the rug or apologized for -- but they must also not be taken out of proportion to Jackson's total record of struggle for civil rights and social justice." In other words, they concede one or two of Jackson's reactionary stands only to brush them aside.

Still, the IS is hard put to find examples of this allegedly "total record of struggle." But the examples they do give are quite revealing. The IS stresses that:

"Especially in his home base of Chicago, Jackson has sought to mobilize economic and political leverage to win business franchises for black entrepreneurs and jobs for black youth, and pushed a message 6f self-help to strengthen black education and family life."

Now this "message of self-help" is none other than Jackson's notorious campaign to blame black unemployment on the alleged backwardness of black youth who drop out of high school. And while Jackson's campaign for black business franchises has given some aid to the black bourgeoisie and some petty bourgeois, it has left the unemployed jobless. But then maybe the IS believes the unemployed can feed themselves on Jackson's empty promises.

The IS's claims of Jackson's "total record of struggle for civil rights and social justice" turns out to be a record of consistent sabotage of the mass struggles of the black working people as he wheels and deals for more crumbs for the black bourgeoisie. Indeed, the IS as much as admits this fact. They point out that "Jackson's populism-for-all classes in the black community includes black capitalism as a central tenet -- the perspective that black business will provide the jobs, the political and financial muscle that enables the community to make social gains." In other words, Jackson stands for a Reaganite "trickle down" program that claims that improving the position of the black bourgeoisie will somehow translate into gains for the black masses.

Thus, for all of their talk about Jackson being a "committed champion of social justice for the poor," what the IS is in fact praising is Jackson's drive to subordinate the black people's struggle to the black bourgeoisie.

The IS's position, from their outrageous praise for Jackson in particular to their love affair with the black bourgeoisie in general is no different from that of the revisionist liquidators who are campaigning for Jackson. So why are they not endorsing Jackson's campaign?

The IS points to a leftward movement among the masses and then stresses, "By throwing its energy and political support to a Democratic Party leadership campaign, where will the left be after that campaign is over, and the momentum and organization of the Jesse Jackson campaign is transferred to Walter Mondale's election? That scenario would leave the left, in November 1984, impotent and irrelevant -- or ultimately even supporting a Mondale in order to 'defeat Reagan at any cost.'

"That, surely, would be the ultimate statement of political bankruptcy: for the American left to collapse into mainstream liberalism precisely when a certain social momentum toward the left is emerging."

In other words, the IS correctly recognizes that support for the Jackson campaign leads nowhere but straight into the arms of the mainstream of the Democratic Party and they fear they will become discredited if they openly campaign for the Democratic Party candidate come November.

Well then, does the IS call for organizing the working people for a serious mass struggle against Reaganite reaction? Do they appeal for building fighting organizations of the masses that are independent of and against both the Democrats and Republicans? Not on your life. Instead they call for continuing the Jackson campaign, and the Democratic Party politics that it represents, but outside of the Democratic Party.

This is how the IS puts it:

"The International Socialists believe that the left -- activists in the new organizations of the black struggle, in the unions, the anti-war movement and other social struggles -- should call on Jesse Jackson to run for president as an independent. That call could reach a larger audience than the left usually can attract, with a convincing, powerful and radicalizing vision of independent politics.

"We don't believe Jackson would run independently, although it would be a fantastic development if he did."

But this "independent politics" is the same old politics of Jesse Jackson, that is liberal bourgeois politics. Whether that politics is packaged formally in the Democratic Party ticket or is dressed up in an "independent" form, it is still the politics of subordinating the masses to the bourgeoisie and sabotaging the mass struggle.

In fact, "independent" campaigns to promote liberal bourgeois politics don't necessarily reflect even the slightest break with the Democratic Party. Recent history has seen examples of such campaigns that aimed at nothing more than bringing pressure to bear for changes in the Democratic Party machine.

For all of the IS's talk against the Democratic Party, and for all of their talk about building an independent movement of the workers, they end up simply championing the same old poison bottled in a new decorator decanter. The bottle may look nice, but the contents are just as deadly for the struggles of the working class and black people.

Halfhearted Criticism and Wholehearted Hugs for the Black Reformists

The SWP, for its part, does not make the same blatantly outrageous appeal for an "independent" Jackson campaign. Nevertheless, their views are quite similar to those of the IS.

The SWP is quite notorious for its promotion of the more honey-mouthed liars of the Democratic Party. They seldom let an opportunity pass by to put a liberal politician from the left wing of the Democratic Party up on the platform at anti-war rallies and other activities of the mass movement. Similarly, their love affair with the black misleaders is striking. They repeatedly attempt to paint reformist saboteurs of the black people's struggle, like Martin Luther King, with the same brush as the militant leaders such as Malcolm X. It comes as no great surprise then that they are enraptured with Jesse Jackson.

At the same time, the SWP has long held to a policy of running their own "socialist" candidates in elections and during those election campaigns espousing the need for an independent black party and for a labor party.

How these two apparently contradictory positions are reconciled is shown by the way the SWP is dealing with the Jesse Jackson campaign.

This year the SWP is again running their own presidential candidate. And in the course of their campaign they have given Jackson a few loving pokes for his running for the Democratic Party nomination. But, the SWP has emphasized a campaign to promote and justify Jackson in the name of defending him from racist slanders.

Now it is the case that the bourgeoisie follows a dual policy towards the Jackson campaign. On the one hand they recognize that Jackson is a loyal defender of the racist ruling class, and thus they praise him to the skies as the new, dynamic leader of the black people. On the other hand, the bourgeoisie pulls reactionaries out of the woodwork to pour racist venom down on Jackson and to use the occasion of his campaign to unleash virulent racist agitation against the black masses.

But the SWP tries to hide away the bourgeoisie's promotion of Jackson. And then, in the name of opposing the bourgeoisie's racism, they write one article after another to justify Jackson's reactionary political stands and to prettify him as if he were a champion of the interests of the black people.

For example, the January 20, 1984 issue of the SWP's newspaper, the Militant, defends Jackson's mission to Syria to free U.S. Navy Lt. Goodman. The SWP fails to point out that Jackson's trip pulled Reagan's fat from the fire and was in the interest of U.S. imperialism, for which Jackson was highly praised by the bourgeoisie. Instead, the SWP claims that "Reagan attempted to block Jackson's trip to Syria because it would undermine the administration's ability to pursue its war aims." (our emphasis -- WA) And the SWP goes on to claim that "the nub of the ruling class criticism of the Jackson mission" is that "blacks, GI's, and other working people should stay out of politics and not intervene in 'sensitive' foreign policy questions." In other words, the SWP covers up Jackson's assistance to Reagan's war aims and tries to identify his mission with the anti-imperialist politics of the working class and black people. (For a complete discussion of Jackson's mission to Syria see the February 10, 1984 issue of The Workers' Advocate.)

Similarly, the SWP tries to brush aside Jackson's anti-Semitic remarks and even justifies Louis Farrakhan's hooligan politics and tries to cover up Farrakhan's praise for what he called the "wickedly great" Hitler. In the April 27,1984 issue of the Militant, the SWP carries a statement from their presidential candidate, Mel Mason, which begins, "I strongly condemn the racist slander campaign against Democratic presidential candidate Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. The big-business media, the Democratic and Republican parties, and the capitalist class that runs them all are once again raising a hue and cry about 'Black anti-Semitism' and 'black racism.'"

Of course it is true that the bourgeoisie has tried to use the remarks of these two black misleaders to maliciously claim that all blacks are Jew-haters and that anyone who opposes the aggressive U.S.-backed zionist state of Israel is anti-Semitic. But Mason tries to use this fact to apologize for Jackson's anti-Semitic remarks and also to conceal the fact that Jackson himself is an ardent supporter of the racist Israeli zionist regime.

What is more, Mason twists and turns to justify the outrageous antics of Farrakhan. Mason mentions that Jackson "disagreed with Farrakhan's comment about Hitler and Coleman." But Mason doesn't follow the same diplomatic course. Instead, he attempts to write off Farrakhan's praise for Hitler as just being "lies" and "distortions" by "the capitalist media." And as to Farrakhan's hooligan politics, his threat to "punish with death" the black bourgeois reporter Milton Coleman for the simple act of revealing Jackson's anti-Semitic remarks, Mason exclaims:

"One may not agree with this view, but it's no more bloodthirsty than the belief that some people are condemned to burn in hell for eternity.

"Moreover, Farrakhan's view contains a kernel of truth -- black people need political power to end racist discrimination."

We'd like to know if the SWP also believes that Farrakhan's infamous threats against Malcolm X "contained a kernel of truth"! What the SWP is doing, after all, is to justify -- no, more! It is to praise -- thuggery as a call for "black power."

And so it goes in one article after another in the Militant. The SWP considers Jackson to be a leader of the black people and, although they do not favor his running on the Democratic Party ticket, they seek to praise and justify him at every turn.

Now it should be pointed out that the SWP does criticize Jackson from time to time. And, in one somewhat more theoretical article, they actually correctly point out that Jackson "isn't saying anything substantially different than other liberal contenders such as Hart and McGovern in the Democratic Party contest." ("The Left and Jesse Jackson," the Militant, February 17, 1984) But this is just one article, whereas their everyday agitation paints an entirely different picture. Furthermore, what stands out in even this somewhat more correct article about Jackson is that the SWP does not, here or anywhere else, criticize Jackson's role in the black people's movement. The particular significance of Jackson, and his election campaign, is that it aims to sabotage the black people's movement in order to obtain more token positions for the black bourgeoisie. The SWP is blind to this point. In fact, they praise Jackson precisely for being a leader of the black people's movement.

The heart of the SWP's view of Jackson can be found in an article entitled "Mel Mason for President" in the December 23,1983 issue of the Militant. Here Mason is asked the question of whether Jackson's campaign has the same role as the campaign of Los Angeles' Mayor Thomas Bradley. And he answers:

'No. There are significant differences,' Mason responded. 'For one thing, while Bradley happened to be black, he was never involved in the black movement. Before being elected mayor in Los Angeles his career was as a city cop.

'Jackson, on the other hand, gained prominence as a civil rights leader. As someone who has spent some twenty- odd years in the civil rights battle,' Mason observed, 'I can relate to that'

"What's significant about Jackson's campaign, Mason continued, is that it's been given momentum by the deep political ferment that's now going on among black people in this country.

"But the main problem with Jackson's campaign, he said, is that Jackson projects a program aimed at reforming capitalism -- the system responsible for racism, sexism, and exploitation of working people." (our emphasis -- WA)

Here we find the typical view of the revisionist liquidators towards Jackson in particular and towards the black reformist misleaders in general. The SWP hides the fact that Jackson has time after time gone into the mass struggles of the black people to try to dampen them down, to suppress any militance, and to preach accommodation with the racist U.S. ruling class. But the SWP cannot see this. They imply that the only problem with Jackson is that he does not say that he's for socialism. But as to his day-to-day role in the black people's struggle, well he is just fine; he's a "leader" who the SWP "relates to."

The SWP is trailing after the black reformists just like the other liquidationist leaders. And, although they complain that "Jackson's goal of reforming the Democratic Party" is "a dead-end street," they nevertheless support his reformist politics that lead him into the Democratic Party fold. The SWP will not endorse Jackson as long as he runs on the Democratic Party ticket. But this is really their only serious reservation about him. And even while he runs as a Democrat, even while he seeks to channel the anger of the black working people into the "safe" channel of a voters' drive for the Democratic Party, even as he stands foursquare against the mass struggles against racism, the SWP seeks out every opportunity to defend him, to justify him, and to praise him.

Such a stand does not help the black people's struggle; nor does it lead the working masses to break free from the restraints of Democratic Party politics. Rather, it blunts the edge of the criticism of the Democrats, empties that criticism of any revolutionary content, and opens the way to unite with the liberal preachers of the Democratic Party on every day of the year except election day.


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Correspondence:

Jesse Jackson and the Mexican immigrants

From the Los Angeles Herald,

May 15,1984:

Shedding his Secret Service agents, Democratic presidential candidate Jesse Jackson made a surprise trip across the Mexico border yesterday and declared that illegal immigrants are a boon, not a drain, to the U.S. economy.

"These workers are not hurting our economy -- they're a cheap labor base strengthening our economy," Jackson said after entering Mexico....

Jackson said he did not favor opening the American border to Mexicans without controlling immigration. But he also repeated his opposition to the Simpson-Mazzoli immigration bill, which most national Hispanic leaders also oppose. (emphasis added by WA)

Dear Comrades,

Look at this enclosure! You have to give Rev. Jackson credit -- he is a very slick capitalist politician is he not? Here, he again exposes which side of the class line he is on in the struggle between labor and capital. He is on the capitalists' side when he sounds off with the "Let's keep the wages down" line. But he manages to keep himself on the "progressive" side by defending the rights of undocumented workers in the U.S. -- but only to be super-exploited by the bourgeoisie!

His reactionary side really shows through on this because what Jackson (i.e., black capitalists) and the white monopolies and white bosses want is to have a big pool of semi-employed and unemployed workers to keep wages of all the workers, black and white, in the capitalist labor market down!...

Fraternally,

Los Angeles

* * *

Yes indeed, Jackson is no friend of the Mexican immigrants. He regards them solely as a "cheap labor base" for American capital. From this angle Jackson's "opposition" to the nefarious Simpson-Mazzoli anti-immigrant bill does not differ from the objections of the giant monopolies of the agribusiness who prefer other methods for controlling the immigrants.

The U.S. working class can no more support the super-exploitation of the undocumented workers than can it accept the capitalist bogey of "immigrants stealing U.S. workers' jobs." The immigrant workers are a vital part of the American working class. Whether documented or undocumented, they must have full equality and rights. It is on this basis that we must oppose the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, not from the point of view of devising other anti-immigrant measures to preserve them as a "cheap labor base."

All sections of the workers must come to the aid of the immigrants in their fight against discrimination, persecution and racist attacks and for good wages and working conditions. This is an important struggle which will help forge the class solidarity needed to bring down the capitalist rulers and put an end to all exploitation once and for all.

The Workers' Advocate


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Why the CPUSA didn't resist Khrushchovite revisionism

(The following speech was delivered by a representative of the MLP at the May Day meeting in Chicago. It has been edited for publication.)

Comrades, each May Day our Party has assessed the stage of the struggle against Khrushchovite revisionism and rededicated itself to carrying through the tasks imposed upon it by that struggle. The same is true for this May Day celebration -- only with an important difference.

This May Day our Party has issued a special number of The Workers' Advocate entitled "In Defense of Marxism-Leninism.'' This theoretical issue of The Workers' Advocate contains historical material of importance for the struggle against Khrushchovite revisionism. It is, in fact, a theoretical weapon for purging the revolutionary movement of basic weaknesses which have inhibited the repudiation of Soviet revisionism and undermined the proletariat's class struggle against the bourgeoisie.

Comrades, strengthening the Marxist-Leninist orientation for the struggle against Revisionism is one of the major tasks facing the international Marxist-Leninist movement. Our Party is but one column in the world movement, and it is not our way to exaggerate our role and put on airs. But it is our way to fulfill to the best of our capabilities our duties to the international proletariat. We must remain linked arm in arm with our brother communists and class conscious proletarians around the world, and we know that Marxist-Leninists everywhere have a sacred duty to the workers of the world to carry through the struggle against revisionism. Publication of this issue of The Workers' Advocate is an affirmation by the Marxist-Leninist Party that it will uphold its part in fulfilling that mission, that neither philistine sentimentality, nor fear of someone's displeasure will make us falter in this struggle.

In line with the publication of this important issue of The Workers' Advocate criticizing mistaken orientations prevalent in the international communist movement in the decade after World War II, I will address an aspect of this question which is of special concern to U.S. Marxist-Leninists: the line and activity of the Communist Party of the USA in this period, the period between the repudiation of Browder in 1945 and the collapse of the CPUSA into Khrushchovite revisionism in the mid-1950's.

Right at the outset, I want to stress that my remarks this evening are not a definitive assessment of the history of the CPUSA in this period. Rather, the intent this evening is merely to initiate and encourage interest in the discussion and understanding of this period. Indeed, my remarks seek to bring out only three basic points:

First, the post-World War II stands of the CPUSA played a significant role in enfeebling and corrupting the American working class movement. These stands left the CPUSA prostrate before the rise of Khrushchovite revisionism and incapable of offering any serious resistance to this monstrous treachery.

Second, the stands of the CPUSA in the post-World War II period were not exceptional stands peculiar to the CP USA. Rather, the basic line of the CPUSA was within the bounds of what was acceptable or even being promoted inside the international communist movement at that time. The May First issue of The Workers ' Advocate gives much material for the study of the relationship of the CPUSA's errors to certain mistaken orientations prevalent in the international movement.

And third, our slogan is "Back to the Classics.'' The classics of Marxism-Leninism -- the work of Marx, Engels and Lenin -- are the most authoritative exposition of the theoretical foundation of our movement; they guide our path; they provide our best models; and they show the criteria by which to judge things in, as The Workers' Advocate puts it, "the stem but clear light of revolutionary principles.''

Now, before I launch into the main body of my remarks,

I want to give comrades a warning. I am going to be quoting a great deal from the documents of the CPUSA from this period. So I ask you to bear with me -- and that if anyone has difficulty with following a particular quotation, just speak up and I will repeat it so that you are able to follow the thread of the argument.

The CPUSA's Halfhearted Repudiation of Browderism

Let us begin, then, by briefly examining the positions of the CPUSA in 1945.

Browderism had led to the dissolution of the CPUSA in 1944, and its replacement with a mere "educational association,'' called the Communist Political Association. Our Party has long maintained that, when the CPUSA was reconstituted in 1945 and Browderism criticized, the CP USA did not succeed in repudiating Browderism thoroughly and returning to correct, sound Marxist-Leninist positions. We pointed to how this undermined the CPUSA and left it easy prey to Khrushchovite revisionism in the mid-1950's. And our recent study of the post-World War II period has only served to further confirm and amplify this conclusion.

When the CPUSA repudiated Browder, it did not go back to revolutionary Marxist-Leninist stands. Rather, it merely repudiated the Browderism of Teheran and After, the notorious revisionist tract which Browder penned in 1943 and in which he began to develop his most extreme, right-wing revisionist theses. From that point on, Browder began to preach that a new era of perpetual peaceful cooperation between socialism and imperialism had begun, an era of endless harmony between labor and capital -- including the most reactionary American monopolists, such as J. P. Morgan; and he proceeded to organize the formal dissolution of the CPUSA in 1944 in order that communists could work more effectively inside the Democratic and Republican Parties.

In 1945, when Browder was criticized and the CPUSA was reconstituted, the most outrageous liquidationist positions of Browder were repudiated. But, in overthrowing the Teheran theses of Browder, the Party merely returned, in essence, to the basic liberal-labor theses which Browder had been developing for years prior to 1943: the line of step-by-step liquidating the independent politics of the proletariat and merging the working class into a liberal-labor coalition led by Roosevelt. While criticizing Browder, the CPUSA continued to uphold national unity with the liberal bourgeoisie: it merely refused to extend its cooperation to J. P. Morgan and insisted that only the Roosevelt liberals deserved the privilege of leading the proletariat.

It will be worthwhile, I think, to repeat the following statement which the Chairman of the CPUSA, William Z. Foster, made at the conclusion of his Report to the Special Convention that reconstituted the CPUSA. He says that: "The fourth and last false conception that I wish to speak against is the idea being circulated by 'left' sectarian voices in our Party to the effect that the present program of the Party is only transitory, that we are on our way to a much more left interpretation of the present national and world situation. According to these comrades, we are going to, or should, denounce the war against Japan as imperialist, condemn the decisions of Teheran as unachievable, drop the slogan of national unity, call for a farmer-labor government, give up our wartime no-strike pledge, abandon the fight for 60,000,000 jobs, bring forward the question of socialism as an immediate issue, and generally adopt a class-against-class policy.

"But these comrades are indulging in wishful thinking. Our Party, if I know it, is not going to take any such leftist course.''

Thus Foster called a halt to the struggle against Browderism almost before it had begun. His only difference with Browder on the question of the Teheran perspective was whether mass struggle was necessary to force the capitalists to carry out this program. He wanted to keep the liberal-labor coalition with the liberal bourgeoisie, rather than rallying the working masses to a truly independent class position, which he condemned as the line of "farmer- labor government'' or as a "class-against-class policy.'' Speaking over two months after Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender, he was still worried about war production, and he championed keeping the "no-strike pledge'' until the very last day of the war, even though he himself refers earlier in his speech to the fact that a number of strikes had begun to break out.

If one knows the catchwords used at the time, what Foster is saying seems clear enough. Our criticism of Browder, Foster says in essence, is a return to some form of liberal-laborism, and no more. It is not a return to Marxist-Leninist positions, despite the rumors that these vicious left sectarians are spreading. Foster did criticize Browder for a series of errors leading up to the Teheran thesis, errors which he said had bad effects on the CPUSA, but Foster maintained that the essential line of the CPUSA had been correct prior to May 1942. And, in the following years, the criticism of Browder by the CPUSA would not go much further.

The Criticism of Browder by Duclos Wasn't Any Better

When we ask the question "where did these liberal-labor dogmas of Foster come from,'' it is correct to answer, as our Party already has, that they came from the pre-Teheran period of Browderism. This is true, but it is only part of the answer. It must also be affirmed that such dogmas as that the proletariat must tailor its policy to unity with the liberal bourgeoisie in the name of peace and democracy, that it must not pursue a class-against-class policy or put socialism in the fore, were fashionable in the international communist movement in the post-World War II period. They were not exceptional views of the CPUSA leadership.

Consider, for example, the famous article by Jacques Duclos denouncing Browderism. Duclos was one of the principal leaders of the French Communist Party, which was one of the model parties of the international communist movement throughout most of this period; and Duclos was an internationally recognized figure. Duclos' article, "On the Dissolution of the CPUSA," was and is generally regarded as an expression of authoritative views in the international communist movement at that time. In any case, his article carried such weight that it played a key role in initiating the criticism of Browder, who had previously enjoyed overwhelming support in the top leadership of the CPUSA. When I underline the following points which Duclos made in his article, it should be understood that this article can be taken as one of the significant documents of the international communist movement.

First, Duclos states that Browder's mistaken views on the Teheran Conference were the point of departure for his "notorious revision of Marxism," to use Duclos' famous phrase. He fails to make any mention of the pre-Teheran views of Browder. In fact, he is drawing the same line of demarcation as Foster: the criticism of Browder means a return to the pre-1943 liberal-laborism, it does not mean a return to the classic positions of Marxism-Leninism.

Second, although he denounces Browder's "concept of a long-term class peace in the United States," he also endorses the slogan of "national unity." He denounces the American monopolies for their "anti-national policy."

Third, he endorses Roosevelt and waxes so enthusiastic over Henry Wallace, vice-president of the U.S. in Roosevelt's third term of office and Secretary of Commerce at the time of Duclos' article, that he cites Wallace's views on the tasks of struggle in the U.S.

And, finally, his opposition to Browder centers mainly on Browder's most extreme liquidationism, on Browder's dissolution of the CPUSA and on his holding out his arms to the monopolies.

Thus, to restate the basic point, the repudiation of Browder in 1945 did not go beyond the bounds of liberal- labor politics. And this stand was not some exceptional position of Foster and the CPUSA leadership, but was an accepted position in the international communist movement of that time.

Now let us proceed to examine how the CPUSA developed this line in practice in the next decade.

A Liberal-Labor Orientation Even During the More Militant Phase

The CPUSA's work in this period presents a certain left appearance. The ecstatic cries about peaceful collaboration in the postwar world between imperialism and socialism are muted, and the CPUSA carries on agitation against U.S. imperialism; it organizes actual mass campaigns against U.S. intervention in China and against U.S. aggression in Korea. The slogan of national unity is dropped and, within a few years, the CPUSA opposes the Democratic Party administration of President Truman. The wartime no-strike pledge is abandoned, and the Party campaigns against Truman's strikebreaking and the union-busting Taft-Hartley Bill, which is designed to purge the unions of communists and wipe out militant strikes. The CPUSA's leaders are prosecuted, many spend time in jail, and numerous communist workers make heavy sacrifices.

It has to be said that, in comparison to the positions of Browderite liquidationism in 1944-45, the CPUSA's activity is to the left. The CPUSA did in fact maintain a certain oppositional stand in the postwar decade. And it is even one of the more enthusiastic parties in the international communist movement of that time with regard to the denunciation of the aggressive drive of U.S. imperialism.

The fundamental issue, however, is the character of this oppositional stand. Specifically, why and how did the CPUSA come to oppose Truman and his Democratic Party administration? This will, among other things, provide much of the answer for why the CPUSA was unable to maintain its oppositional stand.

First, let me comment briefly upon various of the specific positions of the CPUSA which I mentioned just now:

(A) The CPUSA abandoned the no-strike pledge. Yes, it did do this. But only the most sold out party would have maintained a no-strike pledge. And it can hardly be said that the CPUSA entered the postwar period eager and enthusiastic to lead the economic struggle of the workers. The CPUSA maintained its no-strike pledge to the very last day of the war, even after a series of strikes heralding the postwar strike wave had begun. And a crucial fact was that the CPUSA continued to work hard to maintain its alliances with the labor bureaucrats and had a trade unionist conception of the working class movement.

(B) The CPUSA opposed U.S. imperialism and its aggressions. Yes, it did do this. This is true, but it opposed U.S. aggression from the reformist position which was fashionable in the international movement in the post- World War II period. It had the perspective of forcing U.S. imperialism to return to the policy of peaceful collaboration with the Soviet Union to ensure world peace. It is to the credit of the CPUSA that it did in fact campaign among the masses in support of the Chinese revolution and the people of Korea, and it denounced the U.S. imperialist drive for world hegemony; but the political content of this work was marred by liberal, reformist stands.

(C)Most importantly, there is the question of why and how did the CPUSA come to oppose the Democratic Party administration of Truman. At first, they supported Truman. They opposed Truman when it became clear even to the blind that he was the symbol of an imperialist offensive. He broke with the wartime alliance that had been established between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, he brandished U.S. military might in a drive for U.S. world hegemony and he launched an offensive against the proletariat around the world and in the U.S. He sought to purge the trade unions in the U.S., and he went after the CPUSA itself with a vengeance.

In these conditions, the CPUSA had no possibility of cooperating with the Truman administration. Instead they were forced to oppose Truman. Nevertheless, they never lost their illusions in Roosevelt, nor understood the connection between the Rooseveltian policy in World War II and the postwar policy of U.S. imperialism. To organize the opposition to Truman, the CPUSA sought to reassemble the Roosevelt coalition outside the Democratic Party which was backing Truman to the hilt. Let us elaborate somewhat on this.

A Liberal-Labor Approach to Trade Union Work

We can illustrate how the CPUSA reluctantly took up its more militant stands by examining some developments in the trade union movement. Then, as now, the trade union bureaucrats were minions of the government and the Democratic Party. It is generally known, I think, that the labor bureaucrats were the front line fighters and organizers of the bourgeoisie's suppression campaign against the working class movement, that they split and wrecked militant trade unions and led the drive to purge the trade unions and expel communists and militants. And anyone who peruses the CPUSA's literature of this period will encounter sharp words against the labor bureaucrats, including calls to oppose their support of Truman and to fight their purging and wrecking of the unions.

But what is not so readily apparent, is that the CPUSA was forced by circumstances to adopt these stands and that it only abandoned its longstanding policy of unity with the labor bureaucrats, who were now expelling them from the unions, with great reluctance and hesitation. To show this, let me quote the official summation of Foster's Concluding Remarks to the 14th Convention of the CPUSA on this question:

"At this point Comrade Foster continued with a detailed analysis of numerous right and leftist sectarian errors made by the Party during the past three years, particularly in the field of trade union work. Some of the more important of these shortcomings may be briefly summarized as follows:

"Right opportunist tendencies to maintain the formerly correct left-center combination in the CIO after it had lost its political validity, with the result that such errors were made as the adoption of the joint resolution which lent itself to distortion by Phil Murray as alleged support of the Marshall Plan, at the Boston, 1947, Convention of the CIO and also the resolution adopted that same year in the New York State CIO Industrial Council, for restricting the exercise of the veto in the UN.

"Failure over a long period of the Left and progressive forces in the CIO to differentiate their progressive line from the increasingly reactionary, pro-war line of the Murray forces, with the result that the lefts and progressives...had to assume a measure of undue responsibility for the increasingly jingoistic policies of the CIO leadership.

"Sectarian tendencies to accept the isolation that the capitalists and their labor leader henchmen are trying to force upon us, among others, by inadequate resistance to Murray's attempt to cultivate raids and splits in CIO unions." (Political Affairs, September 1947, p. 825)

Thus the CPUSA was so slow and reluctant to fight the right trade union hacks that they actually compromised themselves in the eyes of the workers as supporting resolutions against the then-socialist Soviet Union. By its own admission, the CPUSA offered inadequate resistance to Murray's attacks. Presumably an example of this is the fact that not a single delegate associated with the CPUSA opposed the "Declaration of Policy on Communism" at the 8th CIO convention in November 1946 that stated that the delegates to the conference "resent and reject efforts of the Communist Party or other political parties and their adherents to interfere in the affairs of the CIO."

Here, then, we can see that the CPUSA bent backwards to accommodate the reactionary labor bureaucrats. It was only when Truman and the Democratic Party hacks closed the door, right in the face of the CPUSA, so to speak, that the CPUSA was forced into opposition.

Behind the "Third Party'' Campaign of 1948 -- the CPUSA Opposes Truman by Invoking the Ghost ofRoosevelt

And when the CPUSA did assume an oppositional stance towards the Truman administration, its basic orientation was to oppose Truman by reassembling the Roosevelt coalition outside the Democratic Party. It reproached the Democratic Party for lack of loyalty to Roosevelt, and it sought to build up a "third party" based on true Rooseveltian principles. That is, the main expression of its opposition to the Democratic Party of Truman was building up the Progressive Party around the campaign of Henry Wallace for president in 1948.

First of all, who was Henry Wallace and what was the Progressive Party?

Let us allow the CPUSA's documents from this period to enlighten us. Foster states, after asserting that there are three different capitalist groupings on the question of foreign policy, that: "The third capitalist group, decidedly a lesser faction, has, as its outstanding spokesman, Henry A. Wallace.... This is the residue of the old Roosevelt section of the capitalists. It represents most small capitalists. Among it, there are very few, if any, big finance capitalists. This group follows a line of international peace; it is for friendly collaboration with the USSR and for Big Three Unity."

So Teheran lives after all! From this we can see that, although the CPUSA dropped the slogan "National Unity" during the course of the Truman presidency, it never changed its liberal-labor bent: it still desired, fundamentally, to return to the path of collaboration with the liberal bourgeoisie.

Elsewhere, Foster praises Wallace as a "liberal Keynesian," a genuine pump primer in the true Roosevelt tradition: "An honorable exception to this entire deplorable exhibition of chauvinism, confusion and weakness among the disciples of Keynes is the movement gathered around Henry A. Wallace. Mr. Wallace [is] boldly standing his ground as a liberal Keynesian [!] in the Roosevelt tradition...." ("The Political Significance of Keynesism," Political Affairs, January 1948, p. 41) Foster is, of course, well known for his theoretical criticism of Keynesianism; but for the CPUSA in this period, theoretical belief in communism is one thing and the practical politics of liberal-laborism is another.

Basically, then, Wallace was a Roosevelt Democrat of the 'old school. In fact, as I have pointed out above, he had been Vice-President in Roosevelt's third administration and served as Secretary of Commerce during the fourth Roosevelt administration.

As for the Progressive Party itself, according to the CPUSA's literature, it was a party thrown together around the presidential candidacy of Wallace. It lingered on as a spent force after this campaign, and Wallace himself withdrew in 1950 on account of his support for U.S. aggression in Korea. The Progressive Party ran a presidential ticket in 1952, but rapidly dwindled away.

One article in Political Affairs puts it as follows: "The unique feature of the Wallace movement is that while it is trying to win the Democratic Party, it is stimulating and creating sentiment for independent political action. More and more progressives agree that the key for building a third party is the development of a Wallace for President movement."

Unique? Indeed. Even back in those days I hardly think that there was anything unique in such falderal about building a third party around some liberal Democrats.

As far as the stands of the Progressive Party -- insofar as it had any stands other than Wallace's opinions -- it expressed all of the CPUSA's fondest desires for a Roosevelt coalition as it had stated them back in 1945: U.S.-Soviet cooperation; peace demagogy; democratic rights demagogy; and left Keynesian or "progressive capitalism" a la Roosevelt. Its platform invoked the name and spirit of Roosevelt. In short, it was an attempt to patch together the Roosevelt coalition outside the Democratic Party, to tear the Roosevelt coalition away from the Democratic Party, on the basis of a presidential run by Henry Wallace.

How then did the CPUSA assess the relationship between this "third party" and the working class?

A characteristic appraisal was made at the 14th National Convention of the CPUSA in 1948: "There is a new tide of independent political action rising in the ranks of labor. The Progressive Party is developing as a mass people's party and comes increasingly under labor's influence."

And how did the CP intend to ensure that this new party developed into a mass party "under the influence" of labor (the trade union movement)?

At the 14th Convention, General Secretary of the CPUSA Eugene Dennis explained:

"... a new initiative is necessary on the part of the advanced workers to widen the Progressive Party's trade union base and to heighten labor's political leadership and influence within the new party.

"Recent polls show that nearly two million AF of L and CIO workers already are prepared to support Wallace and the new party....if a sustained and vigorous campaign is undertaken to organize mass activity around the Progressive Party platform, and to bury once and for all the false and disastrous concept of the 'lesser evil' theory in which the jingoist and anti-labor Truman is being palmed off as the reincarnation of Roosevelt, then it will be possible to win additional working class millions for independent political action, for the new people's party.

"In line with this, maximum support is necessary to organize united front Wallace-for-President trade union committees in every shop, mine and mill, based on active mass support for the program of the Progressive Party.

"Moreover, the left-wing trade unionists need to put an end to all tendencies towards economism.... So far the progressive labor movement confines its support for the new party to recommending points of a program for its platform, working to place it on the ballot, raising money and urging its members to vote for Wallace and Taylor.

"Today, labor must not only endorse and give general support to the Progressive Party. It must participate in and build the new party from the precinct level on up. It must not only recommend policy in an advisory capacity, but must help formulate and execute policy through trade union members and leaders of all the organizations and committees of the new party." ("The Fascist Danger and How to Combat It," Political Affairs, September 1948, p. 803)

I think there is little need to continue. From these indications, it appears that this third party has no resemblance to a genuine mass party of the workers, which develops from their actual struggles, is based on their organizations and serves as a vehicle for them to organize their independent political activity. Rather it was a vehicle for reformist liberalism. It has all the appearance of a typical liberal scheme to throw together a "third party" around the presidential candidacy of a liberal Democrat, which is then seized upon by the right opportunists, hosannaed in every trade union hall in the country as the final advent of working class political independence -- if only they can pull off the trick of organizing electoral committees in every shop and get enough workers out to vote for the liberal bourgeois who heads up the ticket. The CPUSA's plan was to connect the liberal with the trade unions to form it into a liberal-labor alliance.

So it appears.

For the rest, allow me to quote the CPUSA again, this time from the assessment it made of the Progressive Party in 1952 when the CPUSA had to deal with the fiasco of its hopes for building a new liberal-labor coalition as a "third party":

"...there existed the wrong estimate that the formation of the Progressive Party represented something more than the simple emergence of an important fighting force for peace, that it represented in fact the emergence of a great mass people's party....

"This estimate...arose in no small measure from an overestimation of the radicalization of the masses....

"This mistake also arose in large measure from a right opportunist exaggeration of the role which liberal bourgeois forces (around Wallace) could play in bringing about a basic political realignment in the ranks of the working class and its allies." ("Draft Resolution on Situation Growing Out of Presidential Elections," Political Affairs, December 1952, p. 11; the same words are in the final text of the resolution in Political Affairs, July 1953)

Need I mention that when the CPUSA, in 1952, discovers that it made a right opportunist error in favor of the liberal bourgeoisie, one should take heed. But, as we shall see shortly, this criticism of right opportunist exaggeration of the role of Wallace and the liberal bourgeois around him did not mean that the CPUSA was moving further to the left. On the contrary, the CPUSA was abandoning "third party" liberal-laborism in order to move back into the main liberal-labor coalition around the Democratic Party. Its main conclusion on the Progressive Party, even in the same article, was that sectarian errors had been made.

Thus, to sum up my remarks about this phase of the activity of the CPUSA: the appearance of a left-sounding, oppositional stand should not lead us to ignore the fact that the basic positions of the CPUSA were still rightist, still within the bounds of liberal-laborism. The CPUSA finally took up opposition to Truman and the Democrats, but it was an opposition forced upon them. And the way in which the CPUSA organized the opposition was by trying to organize a new and better liberal-labor coalition outside the Democratic Party to replace the one centered on the Democratic Party.

A Collapse Back Into the Democratic Party

Even this sort of leftism, however, was short-lived. The experiment at "third partyism" failed to establish the liberal utopia. The 1952 elections were the final straw. Instead of summing up the bankruptcy of the liberal-labor approach,, the CPUSA analyzed that the liberal-labor approach required a return to the actually existing liberal- labor coalition around the labor bureaucracy and the Democratic Party.

Again, I will quote from the CPUSA's own documents, its own assessment of its new turn to the right. This quote comes from the Main Political Resolution of the 16th Convention of the CPUSA held in February 1957:

"The most important mistakes made in the period under review were left sectarian in character....

"To end its isolation and expand its mass work, the main task of the Party today is to overcome completely the influence of left sectarian estimates, policies and tactics in all fields of work....

"...Following the results of the 1952 elections, the National Committee began a serious struggle against left sectarianism as the main danger in our mass work. This found expression: in the resolution on the results of the 1952 elections, which sharply criticized the sectarian direction of the Party's electoral tactics; in leading articles in 1952, which outlined the path for a sharp break with sectarianism in our mass work and for redirecting the Party toward the mainstream of the labor movement; in overcoming hesitation on the projection of our position on peaceful transition and an American path to socialism as initiated by Comrade Foster; in the initiation of new approaches to the Smith Act trials; in serious efforts to influence the left-led unions to reenter the mainstream of the labor movement; in the Party program adopted in 1954 which, despite certain errors, in estimate gave new and broad perspectives to the Party both in its immediate work and long range outlook; in the gradual abandonment final complete liquidation of unnecessary and extreme security measures." (Political Affairs, May, 1957, pp. 315-6, emphasis as in the original.)

I will limit my comments on this assessment to only a few of the issues raised.

First, consider "the resolution on the results of the 1952 elections, which sharply criticized the sectarian direction of the Party's electoral tactics." I have already quoted from this 1953 document, where it gives an assessment of the Progressive Party. Let me return to this document now. After criticizing the sectarian tactic of a "rigid third party line," it goes on to elaborate the CPUSA's views on the correct tactics for building the independent movement of the workers. It states: "The perspective for the immediate future is that of the unfolding of important struggles among the masses who form the base of the Democratic Party.... Our Party and other progressive forces must under no circumstances stand aside from this fight. On the contrary, we must exert our maximum influence toward bringing into being a coalition of forces which will work toward:

 

1. The development of forms through which labor can exert a unified class influence on the national political life and on the Democratic Party....

2. Maximum development of PAC (official trade union political committees -- ed.) and NAACP activities...for independent political action through struggle on issues affecting the people and thereby also playing a role in the struggles within the Democratic Party.

3. Forcing on sectors of the Democratic Party, to the maximum extent possible, a genuine program of struggle against the pro-war and pro-fascist course and measures of the Republican administration.

4. Formation of blocs of legislators in Congress and state legislatures that will fight for this program."

In short, from a fling at third partyism to work to move the Democratic Party to the left.

Second, the Main Political Resolution of the 16th Convention refers to "leading articles in 1953, which outlined the path...for redirecting the Party toward the mainstream of the labor movement." One of these articles in 1953 explains that: "the concrete problem of labor unity lies precisely in the objective existence of those two wings -- left wing and right wing -- and the urgent need to bring them together into a united front based upon a common acceptable economic and political program of united action.... There cannot be real labor unity which does not base itself on the principle of unity despite ideological differences and inclusive of these differences...."

Third, the Main Political Resolution on the 16th Convention refers to "overcoming hesitation on the projection of our position on peaceful transition and an American path to socialism." This path is succinctly summed up in the Main Political Resolution as follows:

"The people's anti-monopoly coalition would have as its central aim the improvement of the conditions of the American people and the defense and extension of their democratic rights. Its success in electing a people's anti-monopoly government would open the way to a vast and unprecedented expansion of democracy. Such a government would curb the repressive economic and political powers of the monopolies and deprive them of the ability to promote violence to frustrate the will of the people. Under such conditions, whenever the majority of the American people become convinced of the necessity of a socialist reorganization of society, they would be able to advance to their goal along peaceful and constitutional lines." (p. 304)

This is nothing but the basic social-democratic position of the peaceful evolution of capitalism into socialism through the unlimited extension of bourgeois democracy. First create a utopia under capitalism, and then march into socialism with the Constitution in one hand and the curbed monopolies in the other.

It should be noted that Foster, in his work that began the elaboration of this path, pointed to the fact that this type of plan for achieving "socialism" was prevalent in the international communist movement at that time. For example, the section on "The American Road to Socialism" in his famous book History of the CPUSA, published in 1952, cites favorably the notorious program of the CP of Great Britain, "The British Road to Socialism," which sets out a petty-bourgeois nationalist program in the name of "socialism." (p. 556)

Finally, the Main Political Resolution of the 16th Convention refers to "complete liquidation of unnecessary and extreme security measures." The organizational methods of the CPUSA had just as many problems as their political stands, and the 16th Convention approached both issues from the same rightist stand. It did not rectify various screwy organizational arrangements, but instead took an utterly liquidationist stand on security measures, as can be seen from the fact that it welcomed eleven social-democrats and pacifists as "non-communist observers" to attend the sessions of the Convention and testify as to its open and "democratic" character. These observers included, among others, leaders of the War Resisters League, the American Friends Service Committee, the Catholic Worker and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. As well, the world press was invited to cover the Convention, including the major American bourgeois wire services such as the Associated Press and the United Press, all the big bourgeois dailies in New York, several small-city newspapers, TV and radio networks, etc. The press was not allowed in the sessions themselves, unlike the observers. However, as Political Affairs explains, "Briefings were held frequently, with every major convention development promptly reported to the press room. Texts of major speeches, reports and resolutions were swiftly supplied to the press corps, as were breakdowns on convention votes....

"Besides the briefing by the press committee, the noncommunist observers were available to the press corps, which had an opportunity to check the briefings against the notes of the observers." ("Press Coverage of the Convention," Political Affairs, May, 1957, p. iv) And this was done at a time when communist leaders and activists were being hunted down by the police, courts and legislative anti-communist committees and fired from jobs, purged from unions and incarcerated in jails.

The Post-World War II Stands of the CPUSA

This, then, was the situation which the CPUSA had arrived at by early 1957. The original repudiation of Browder and the stands taken subsequently proved to be merely a temporary check to the outrageous theses of developed Browderism. Only temporary. Indeed, the stands of the CPUSA in the decade following the repudiation of Browder are better seen as an inclined plane leading downward and leading the CPUSA into the Browderite and revisionist abyss.

Based on these stands and the results flowing from them, by 1956 the CPUSA was in no position to resist Khrushchovite revisionism. The CPUSA was already prostrate in extreme right opportunism. Indeed, by 1956-7, the CPUSA faced a bitter struggle to avoid being taken over and immediately dissolved by ultra-revisionist, liquidationist elements who wanted to go further and faster than Khrushchov.

The question arises as to what, if anything, was the difference between the ideological stands of the CPUSA before and after the crystallization of Khrushchovite revisionism at the notorious 20th Congress of the CPSU in February 1956? It turns out that this cannot be reduced to a matter of this or that new formulation. The stands of the CPUSA were already corrupted. But I think that there is a difference which is indicated by the description in the Main Political Resolution of the 16th Convention of "the struggle to overcome the main obstacle which is our deeply rooted dogmatism and doctrinairism, a struggle which is still only in its initial stages." In discussing this, the Resolution states, in part:

"...the Communist Party will have to be bolder in reexamining certain Marxist-Leninist theories which, while valid in a past period, may have become outdated and rendered obsolete by new historical developments. For entirely new and unprecedented problems are emerging today which were never treated by Marx, Engels or Lenin....

"...For example, we as well as other Marxist parties have already discarded as obsolete the thesis that war is inevitable under imperialism. We have also rejected as incorrect the concept of inevitable violent proletarian revolution, recognizing the possibility in our country of a peaceful, constitutional transition to socialism. We are in full agreement to study further the question of our theoretical and tactical approach to war, the theory of the state, dictatorship of the proletariat and other questions that time does not afford an opportunity to resolve at this national convention."

There is a distinct Khrushchovite flavor -- or smell, if you will -- to this open apostasy, this open renunciation of the classic Leninist theses in the name of overcoming dogmatism and doctrinairism, in the eagerness with which the CPUSA, barely able to restrain itself, anticipates tearing up each and every fundamental principle of Marxism-Leninism.

Surely it can be said that, corrupted by the long years of liberal-laborism, there was an eager embrace of Khrushchov's revisionism and renunciation of Marxism-Leninism inside the CPUSA.

Back to the Classic Teachings of Marxism-Leninism!

To conclude, I first want to reiterate the three basic points which I set out to illustrate.

First, the CPUSA's stand in the decade following World War II could in no way serve as a block against Khrushchovite revisionism, as a position from which to fight successfully against Khrushchovite revisionism. In fact, these post-World War II positions corrupted the CPUSA and softened it up for Khrushchov.

Second, the line and activity of the CPUSA was not something exceptional and peculiar to the U.S. The CPUSA's views were in line with various orientations prevalent in the international communist movement at that time.

Third, only the revolutionary teachings of Marxism- Leninism can form a solid theoretical basis for a communist party. In 1945, when the CPUSA repudiated Browder, it did not return to the classic teachings of Marxism-Leninism. It took up something else, and this led to disaster, to the embrace of Khrushchovite revisionism ten years later. This shows that in the struggle against Khrushchovite revisionism, we cannot base ourselves on the various mistaken orientations that became prevalent in the post-World War II period, on the corrections and replacements of Marxism- Leninism that were fashionable at that time. We must go back to the classic teachings of Marxism-Leninism and base ourselves on the revolutionary theory of Marx, Engels and Lenin.

Having reiterated these points, I want to finish by encouraging all comrades and friends to study the new issue of The Workers' Advocate, the May First issue which elaborates the authoritative views of the Second Congress of our Party on the problems in the orientation of the international communist movement in the period from the end of World War II to the death of Stalin.

And now, I will open the floor for comments or questions.


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International Workers Day--1984

[Photo: Marching in the streets of Chicago]

[Photo: Demonstration in New York City]

May Day is the holiday of the class conscious workers. On May Day the workers rise in struggle, review their ranks, and press their demands. It is a time for the workers to fight against their immediate oppression. But it is also ad ay to look to the future, to raise the working class goal of a better society, one free of exploitation and reaction.

May Day is the holiday of the international workers' movement. It is celebrated all around the globe. This May Day saw massive demonstrations break out across Latin America. Elsewhere in this issue we have reports on these actions: from the struggles against the fascist dictatorships in Chile and Uruguay to the marches' against the capitalist austerity programs which swept the continent. On May Day the workers reminded the capitalists that all Latin America is aflame.

In the U.S. whether or not to uphold May Day is a bone of contention between the class conscious workers and the union bureaucrats and liberals. Our Party is based on the working class. We waged a vigorous campaign to commemorate May Day and spread its fighting spirit among the working masses.

A special May Day issue of The Workers Advocate was distributed in over 50,000 copies at factories, unemployment lines, in the workers' communities, and at strikes and demonstrations.

The Workers' Advocate concentrated on the struggle against Reaganite reaction. It showed that the workers are confronted by an all-out assault and that, to face it, the workers must unite as a class. But the workers' movement is held back by disorganization caused by the union bureaucrats and flunkeys of the Democratic Party. Hence the paper showed the need to build up independent class organization of the workers. And it exposed the rotten stands of the different Democratic Party presidential contenders.

The Workers' Advocate also concentrated on solidarity with the revolution in Central America. As the Reaganites have been stepping up their aggression against Nicaragua and El Salvador, so this May Day it was important to focus on building up the struggle against U.S. imperialist aggression in Central America. The Workers' Advocate exposed U.S. imperialist crimes and called for solidarity between the American working class and our class brothers, the workers and peasants of Central America.

The agitation for May Day was capped off with two demonstrations and a number of meetings. The demonstrations went through working class neighborhoods in New York and Chicago. The marchers shouted slogans condemning Reagan, urging independent political organization of the working class, and supporting the revolutionary struggles of the Central American peoples. The warm response from the workers in the neighborhoods was a high point for the marches. For example, when the demonstration marched past a factory in Chicago, the workers crowded to watch and eagerly sought The Workers' Advocate through the barred windows. And when the march reached a park and began a May Day rally, the youth on nearby basketball courts stopped their games to listen to the speeches and songs.

The meetings, held in Boston, New York, Chicago, Oakland and Seattle, were enthusiastic. Songs of protests were sung. Movies on workers' struggles were shown. And the May Day speeches delivered were discussed in great depth. The speeches centered on three subjects: the fight against the Reaganite offensive, the struggle of the Nicaraguan people against U.S. aggression, and the fight against revisionism in the revolutionary workers' movement.

Below we reproduce two speeches. The first condemns the Reaganite offensive. It is drawn from speeches delivered in New York and Boston. The second is from the Chicago meeting. It is on the degeneration of the once vigorous Communist Party USA into a revisionist burned-out shell in the period from 1945.

The events of May Day once again showed the importance of building a proletarian party, always in the midst of the working masses, always fighting to advance the workers' cause. On May Day militant voices rang out:

Fight the Reaganite offensive of hunger, racism and war!

To hell with the Republicans and Democrats -- twin parties of the capitalist offensive!

U.S. imperialism, get out of El Salvador!

CIA, hands off Nicaragua!

Workers of all countries, unite!


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Against Reaganite reaction

MAY DAY SPEECH

This May Day comes at a time of the continued escalation of the Reaganite offensive of hunger, racism and war against the working masses. On the economic front, Reagan talks about an "unprecedented recovery,'' but the situation remains desperate for tens of millions of poor and working people. The only things "unprecedented'' are the conjuring tricks of the Reaganites to belittle the horrors facing the masses. Just listen to the Reaganite hucksters:

First they brag that the unemployment rate has dropped -- because the Reaganites "lost" millions of Americans who have stopped looking for nonexistent jobs. Then they say that hunger in America is not an issue -- because the "see-no-evil'' Reaganites just can't find it with their vision blocked by the "real'' problem of obesity. And now we are told that there are "only" 250,000 homeless living in the streets and shelters -- because the Reaganites just don't believe that the previously 'accepted figure of two to three million is "realistic." Of course, there is method in this madness, since the aim of the Reaganites is to slash every last cent from the already meager government funds that help feed and house the poor and give livelihood to the unemployed.

The Reaganite offensive at home is not only economic. It is also an offensive of rabid racism and political reaction. From the White House comes open support for every scheme to increase discrimination and segregation in employment, housing and education against the oppressed nationalities or to strip the immigrants of any rights. And the stepped up racist attacks on the oppressed nationalities are supplemented by the growth of fascist laws and regulations at the federal and state level to suppress the demonstrations and strikes of all the toiling masses. Just a few weeks ago a federal court ruled in the Greensboro case that it is legal for the Klan and nazis to commit murder, as long as they say they are fighting communism.

No one should think that the capitalists are now satisfied with the successes of their offensive and will now let up, since Reagan's "recovery" has arrived. No, the bourgeoisie has only begun. The business magazines and papers are full of reports on benefit cuts coming after the elections. No matter who wins, the government will move to drastically cut medicare and medicaid, to tax workers' health insurance and increase taxes on unemployment benefits in order to make the working masses pay for the huge government deficits.

In their plunder of the working masses the rich have become like sharks in a feeding frenzy. Governor Dick Lamm of Colorado recently said, in speaking of the plan to cut health care benefits for retired workers, that "old people have a duty to die and get out of the way." The rich and their flunkeys are smug and arrogant with success and no one personifies this arrogance better than Reagan and his cronies. They mock the plight of the poor and the unemployed while they dine at their lavish banquets, rob the public treasury, and swagger around gloating about their military might.

Comrades and friends, the capitalists are reveling in their plunder of the masses. But they are not invincible as they would have us believe. Their system is in profound crisis and they are dancing on a powder keg.

The most pronounced effect of their present offensive is to drive the working class more towards revolution. For decades the capitalists have worked hard to create the illusion among the American workers that, regardless of all the problems with the capitalist system, at least in America the workers were guaranteed a certain degree of political rights and economic security. But now Reagan is trampling on those promises and shattering those illusions, opening the eyes of tens of millions.

More than anything else, the Reaganite offensive is teaching the masses that things cannot go on in the same old way. In 1981, when Reagan smashed the air traffic controllers' strike (with the help of the trade union bureaucrats) workers were stunned. But in 1983, when the rich attacked the Greyhound strike, the workers were stunned no longer. From every industry workers, employed and unemployed, joined picket lines and battled the police in support of the Greyhound workers. The ferment that is brewing can also be seen in the bitter strikes of the copper miners in Arizona, in the strike of the hotel workers in Las Vegas, and in the growing sentiment of workers everywhere to fight the concessions drive. It can also be seen in the rebellions of black masses in Miami, in the widespread sentiment against Reagan's war drive in Central America, and in the militant demonstrations that have broken out to denounce Kissinger, Weinberger, Reagan and other spokesmen for U.S. imperialist aggression.

Comrades and friends, if the mass struggle has not broken out on a broader scale it is not because of any moderation on Reagan's part. The main reason is that the strata of people in leading positions in the trade unions and the mass movements are sitting on the mass struggle like a ton of bricks. In their cozy relations with the liberal politicians of the Democratic Party, they have, for years, sabotaged the mass struggles and tried to divert every sign of protest into support for the slimiest politicians of that party. In this 1984 election year, this treachery has reached outrageous proportions.

The trade union bureaucrats who have been helping the capitalists ram one concession after another down the workers' throats are now proclaiming they have found a way to fight Reagan- ism, namely, "Vote for Mondale!" These people who won't lift a finger to organize a strike and who keep the workers away from progressive demonstrations like the plague have now found the energy to mobilize their entire bureaucracy to exchange Mondale for Reagan.

Similarly, a large section of the bourgeois misleaders of the black community, who have refused to organize any fight against the devastation of the black masses caused by Reaganomics, (and who have tried to cool out the anger against racist murders, are now proclaiming that "our time has come," "register and vote or miss the boat," and "Hallelujah for Jesse and the Democrats."

And, at a time when the Reagan regime is carrying out the most criminal escalation of aggression in Central America, the liberal and pacifist leaders, along with revisionists and social-democrats, those who control the coalitions that call the major demonstrations, have refused to call a national demonstration and are blocking most local demonstrations. They are tailoring all activities of the movement to the electoral and legislative plans of the Democrats.

Thus, at a time when the ferment against the Reaganite offensive is growing, the trade union bureaucrats and other misleaders of the masses are trying to sit on the mass struggle and deliver the masses to their class enemies, the Democrats.

The Democratic Party, like the Republican Party, is an imperialist party, a party of the big capitalists. It is the party of Kennedy and Johnson who invaded Viet Nam, Laos, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. It is the party that brought out federal troops to put down the rebellions of the black masses in the 1960's. It is the party of Carter who launched the very policies which Reagan has carried forward.

The Democratic Party is simply another face of Reaganism, the "loyal opposition" that postures before the cameras while giving Reagan everything he wants. Just take a look at what the Democrats are offering in this election year. [The speech went on to denounce Mondale, Hart and Jesse Jackson.]

Comrades and friends, the fight against Reaganism is a class question. Either you are on the side of the capitalists, in which case you must reconcile with Reaganism in one way or another, because Reaganism expresses the interests and policy of the exploiters; or you are on the side of the working and oppressed masses, in which case you must strive to raise the struggle against Reaganism to the level of struggle of class against class,

A real fight against Reaganism cannot come from a party of the capitalists like the Democrats. It can come only from the class which is bearing the brunt of the Reaganite offensive, the class which has the numbers, strength and ability to mount a powerful fightback. This class is the working class. A real fight against Reaganism calls for organizing the class struggle. It calls for breaking with both capitalist parties. It calls for building up a working class political movement, independent of and opposed to the rich and their parties.

But the goal of the working class movement is not simply to beat back the Reaganite offensive, nor to fight without end or perspective the constant exploitation and oppression of the capitalists. The goal of the workers' movement must be to put an end to all exploitation of man by man by overthrowing the oppressors and building a new society without capitalists and exploiters. This society is socialism. It is the rule of the proletariat at the head of all working people, fulfilling their needs and not those of the bloated overlords.

Building the independent movement of the working class is a step in this direction. It is a preparation for the seizure of power and socialism. It involves the training and organization of the working people to stand up in their own right and for their own interests in the battle against exploitation and reaction.

The history of the American workers' movement shows that every historical advance of the working class has required both a mass upsurge and the work of the Marxists in building up an independent proletarian organization. If you look back 100 years at the great strikes of the 1870's and the great eight-hour day movement of the 1880's which gave rise to the first May Day celebration; if you look back 50 years at the great strikes and battles of the 1920's and 30's -- you will find in the heart of these movements the work of the Marxists and class conscious activists in building up the independent organization and class party of the workers. The American workers' movement will traverse this path again, and our Party will be right at the heart of it, lighting the way forward as the proletariat digs the capitalists' graves.

Comrades and friends, the bourgeoisie is fully aware of its gravediggers. It is very worried that not only will their Reaganite offensive give rise to revolts against them, but that -- horror of horrors -- in the midst of the revolt, independent class politics and Marxism-Leninism will take root among the masses on a wide scale. It is a nightmare for the rich exploiters that does not go away when they awake. On this May Day, let us resolve to make sure that these nightmares of the Reaganites are fully realized!

Fight the Reaganite offensive of hunger, racism and war!

To hell with the Republicans and Democrats, twin parties of the capitalist offensive!

[Photo: May Day meeting in Chicago]

[Photo: Meeting in New York City]

[Photo: Meeting in Oakland]


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Support the Nicaraguan Workers' Press!

The U.S. government is waging a criminal war on Nicaragua. Reagan has ordered the mining of Nicaraguan harbors; the CIA is arming 15 to 20 thousand mercenaries to the teeth; and the Pentagon has turned Honduras into a big U.S. landing pad for military provocations and a possible invasion. U.S. imperialism is making it known to the whole world that it will stop at nothing in its drive to crush the Nicaraguan revolution and to put the Nicaraguan people back under the U.S. jackboot.

The working people of Nicaragua are heroically confronting this aggression. The popular militias are showing that the contra mercenaries are no match for the armed workers and peasants. The working masses of Nicaragua are aroused and determined to defend the gains of their revolution which brought liberation from the bloodstained U.S.-backed dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza.

In short, revolutionary Nicaragua is locked in mortal combat with U.S. imperialism. At the same time this bitter conflict against U.S. aggression is bound up with the internal class struggle that is gripping Nicaraguan society.

The press plays a vital role in this class struggle; it is followed keenly by the people and has a big political impact. There are a number of papers that represent the different class forces within Nicaragua.

The largest of the three dailies in the country is the bourgeois La Prensa. This is the newspaper of the big capitalists and landlords -- the mouthpiece of the U.S.-backed reaction.

The other two dailies -- the Sandinistas' Barricada and the pro-Sandinista El Nuevo Diario -- support the government's petty-bourgeois vacillating policy. Since coming to power through the revolution that smashed the Somoza tyranny, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) has sought to find a reformist middle ground in between the two classes which are irreconcilably antagonistic to each other, the working class and the big bourgeoisie. The FSLN government has refused to surrender in the face of the U.S.-backed capitalist reaction, while at the same time it has sought a reformist solution to the conflict with this reaction. It has carried out a number of vital and popular reforms, while at the same time these reforms only go so deep, stopping at any step that would fundamentally challenge the profits and property of the capitalists and landlords. Barricada and El Nuevo Diario support the petty-bourgeois FSLN policy of attempting to balance between the revolution and the counterrevolution.

But there is yet another press that takes part in the Nicaraguan political struggle -- the workers' press. Not long ago, the Nicaraguan workers had experience with having their own daily newspaper, El Pueblo, which is now closed down by the government. El Pueblo was put out under the guidance of the party of the Nicaraguan workers, MAP-ML (Movement of Popular Action/Marxist-Leninist), and its trade union organization, FO (Workers Front). It continues to have a place in the consciousness of the workers and other toilers. At this time the workers' press is represented by MAP-ML's monthly Prensa Proletaria.

El Pueblo -- Voice of the Working Peoples' Struggle Against the Somoza Tyranny

El Pueblo was launched in March, 1979. This was in the midst of the revolutionary crisis engulfing the U.S.- backed dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza. The paper took advantage of the cracks in the disintegrating tyranny and used a cultural society as a cover for its production. For the first time in Nicaraguan history the workers had broken the monopoly of the wealthy over the daily press.

El Pueblo provided a great school in class consciousness, putting forward the proletarian standpoint on the tasks of the revolution. It championed the class independence of the working masses in the anti-Somoza struggle. El Pueblo helped to liberate the working people from the influence of the hypocritical bourgeois opposition, an opposition that was out to rescue its positions of exploitation and domination in the face of the popular revolution, out to escape going under with the other rats aboard Somoza's sinking ship.

El Pueblo advanced the perspective that the fight against Somoza and U.S. imperialism must not be cut short at some type of Somocismo without Somoza, but must take on the character of a thoroughgoing revolutionary struggle of the toiling masses against the big capitalists and landlords. This orientation was essential to ensure the most favorable outcome of the anti- Somoza struggle, to bring the workers and peasants to power, and to open the way for carrying the revolution forward to socialism.

The production and distribution of El Pueblo required a big mobilization of the revolutionary workers and a wide network of support among the masses. While putting forward its own political orientation, El Pueblo also opened up its pages to all militant fighters against Somocismo. The daily El Pueblo took on the role, which it later shared with the FSLN's Radio Sandino, of being the voice of the people's struggle against the tyranny. It was a weapon in the hands of the workers for preparing the mighty insurrection of the working masses that swept the hated dictatorship off the face of the earth.

The Independent Voice of the Workers for Carrying Forward the Revolution

July 19, 1979 marked the triumph of the people in the war against the savage dictatorship. The next day, El Pueblo, which had been suspended during the last weeks of the final insurrection, resumed publication. It saluted the glorious victory of the people in arms. At the same time it posed the questions: Why were the big capitalist chieftains being brought into the country to participate in forming the government with the FSLN? The workers and toilers were the ones who fought on the barricades against the dictator, why shouldn't they be the ones to come to power?

The overthrow of the tyranny unleashed a powerful class surge of the workers and poor peasants against the factory owners and landlords. Factory takeovers and land seizures were the order of the day. El Pueblo backed up the demands of the exploited masses. And it championed the political independence of the workers as essential for the working class to play its role of deepening the revolution against the big capitalists and landlords.

But the coalition government of the petty-bourgeois FSLN and the bourgeoisie could not tolerate this independent voice of the workers. In January 1980, urged on by reactionary elements within the government, the editors of El Pueblo were thrown in prison, the army closed down El Pueblo's offices, and its printing equipment and materials were confiscated.

Several months after this episode, Alfonso Robelo and the other big capitalist chieftains broke the coalition with the FSLN and went into open opposition to the government. In response, the Sandinista government sought to balance off the growing pressure of the U.S.-backed reaction by reaching an accommodation with the left forces. With this turn in the political situation the repression eased somewhat against the Marxist-Leninists and the El Pueblo editors were let out of jail.

Presently, MAP-ML and FO are working to rebuild the workers' press. They pose this as an essential part of organizing the independent forces of the masses to carry forward the revolution. At this time they are publishing the monthly paper of MAP-ML, Prensa Proletaria, the bulletins of the FO and other publications.

What the Workers' Press Stands For

On the burning questions facing the Nicaraguan people today, Prensa Proletaria puts forward the revolutionary working class stand. Let us briefly examine the attitude of the different papers in Nicaragua on some of these critical issues.

* On the attitude towards U.S. imperialism:

The reactionary La Prensa is shamelessly pro-imperialist, sympathizes with Ronald Reagan and appeals for accommodation with the CIA's Somocista bands.

The Sandinistas' Barricada (which on all major issues is backed up by El Nuevo Diario) calls for militant defense against the contra bands and the other naked acts of imperialist aggression. At the same time, it spreads every type of reformist illusion about how the contradiction with the U.S. can be resolved. Among other things, on the front page of Barricada you will find glowing praise for the American capitalist politicians of the Democratic Party. It even finds opportunities to praise such rabid imperialists as Daniel Patrick Moynihan. The two-faced gentlemen of the Democratic Party are portrayed as friends of the Nicaraguan people who are supposedly doing their best in Congress to stop the U.S. war on Nicaragua.

The Marxist-Leninist Prensa Proletaria takes a consistent stand against imperialism. It teaches the masses the truth that it is the imperialist system that is unleashing aggression on Nicaragua; and it exposes both the open and disguised faces of this aggression. It denounces Reagan and his plots. And it tells the Nicaraguan people that their true friends in the U.S. are neither the Democrats nor Congress, but the American working masses who face the struggle against the same U.S. imperialist enemy.

Prensa Proletaria combats illusions in the reformist maneuvers of the imperialists, showing the need to confront imperialism by deepening the revolutionary struggle of the masses. It appeals for strengthening defense against imperialism by strengthening the class struggle of the workers and poor peasants against the big exploiters who are the Trojan Horse of this aggression. It calls for building up the Sandinista Popular Militias by increasing the participation of the workers and poor peasants, and for mobilizing these classes to place their class stamp on all tasks of defense.

* On the attitude towards the Contadora Plan:

The reactionary La Prensa describes itself as the real champion of the "peace" plan for Central America that has been put forward by the so-called Contadora Group that is made up of the capitalist governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama. It attacks the Sandinistas for not adhering to this plan, and makes repeated proposals that the big bourgeois governments of Contadora should be allowed to come into Nicaragua to create conditions for "restoring democracy" -- that is for strangling the revolution and putting the big capitalists back in power. It should be noted that in championing Contadora La Prensa is taking the same stand as the Reagan government.

Barricada also preaches loudly that the Contadora plan is the best way to peace. But Barricada argues that it is the Sandinistas, not the forces of the bourgeois opposition, who are truly adhering to a policy in line with the Contadora plan. As evidence it points to a number of the government's policies: its measures to safeguard the political and economic interests of the big capitalists and landlords; its offers of reconciliation to the counterrevolutionaries; its willingness to cut off support for the popular forces in El Salvador; and other conciliatory policies.

For its part, Prensa Proletaria exposes Contadora as the other face of imperialist aggression. It shows how Contadora is a plan of the regional bourgeoisie to check the revolution in Central America in general, and in particular to put out the fires of insurrection in El Salvador and to strengthen the internal capitalist front in Nicaragua. It points out that the counterrevolutionary nature of the Contadora plan is based on the class nature of the big capitalist and landlord governments of these countries, governments which are all closely linked to U.S. imperialism.

* On the class struggle within Nicaragua:

La Prensa demands "freedom and democracy." It demands unlimited "freedom" for the capitalists and landlords and the U.S. multinational sharks to super-exploit the workers and peasants. It demands "democracy" for the Somocista contra chiefs so that they can come join up with the internal bourgeois opposition in rigging up a new Somoza-style tyranny under the auspices of the CIA and the Pentagon.

Under this banner La Prensa combats even the mildest reforms in favor of the working people or essential measures of defense against U.S. intervention. Any obstacle to crushing the working masses under the iron heel of the exploiters is branded a violation of "freedom and democracy." In short, La Prensa advocates "freedom and democracy" of the Reagan type.

The Sandinista's Barricada preaches against the class struggle in favor of class harmony. Under the signboards of "pluralism" and "mixed economy," it calls for national reconciliation of all classes in the new Nicaragua -- workers, peasants, and the "patriotic" bourgeoisie. Barricada argues for winning over the hearts and minds of the capitalists and landlords by showing them good will and granting them political concessions and economic incentives. It continues to argue for this policy even though it has been demonstrated a thousand times over that such concessions have only fueled the class offensive of the exploiters against the revolution. Despite the fury of the counterrevolution, Barricada continues to advocate seeking a reformist middle ground, a class compromise, a reformed capitalism without its sharp conflicts and excesses.

Prensa Proletaria, on the other hand, champions the revolutionary class struggle. It fights openly for the class interests of the workers and poor peasants against the interests of the big capitalists and landlords.

To overcome the severe economic problems facing the people, and to strengthen the defenses against U.S. intervention, Prensa Proletaria calls for taking revolutionary measures against the big exploiters. To ensure the freedom and democracy that the masses fought for on the anti-Somoza barricades, Prensa Proletaria advocates that the workers and poor peasants should hold political power over the capitalists and reactionaries. In short, Prensa Proletaria advocates carrying forward the class struggle to the proletarian revolution and socialism.

The Working Masses Who Made the Revolution Must Have Freedom for the Workers' Press

These conflicting standpoints of the press of the different class forces are a clear expression of the political struggle raging within Nicaraguan society. Strengthening the workers' press is a vital part of strengthening the hand of the working class in this struggle.

To build up the independent political forces of the Nicaraguan working class and poor peasants; to liberate the masses from the ideological and political influence of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie; to carry forward the revolution against the U.S.-backed reaction of the capitalists and landlords -- the revolutionary proletariat must have its say, its voice, its workers' press.

Unfortunately the work to rebuild the workers' press continues to be confronted with the ongoing repression and discrimination by the petty-bourgeois government. Though the repression has eased since El Pueblo was first shut down, the government still refuses to return the essential equipment for El Pueblo's production. The workers' publications are also put under official censorship and must overcome a number of other obstacles put in the way of printing and distribution.

As well, the authorities continue to run a vicious slander campaign against the integrity of El Pueblo. With this aim they have tried to create a cloud of doubt about where the funds came from for the launching of the workers' daily. This slander has also been echoed internationally by apologists of the government's repression against the Marxist-Leninist workers. For example, the British author George Black, in his book on the Nicaraguan revolution, hints ominously that "the FSLN leaders began to wonder aloud who had paid for the MAP-FO's expensive printing equipment." (G. Black, Triumph of the People: The Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua, Zed Press, London, p. 339)

This malicious slur is taken up and repeated despite the fact that it is a secret to no one where the funds for El Pueblo came from. As a recent issue of Prensa Proletaria declared: "Although some want to bury the daily El Pueblo in calumny, we say today with pride that the financial source for the project was the most pure and legitimate: it was taken by the force of popular arms from a bourgeois, landlord, pro-imperialist and genocidal regime, taken from the Somocista military dictatorship by the way of the popular revolutionary violence." And Prensa Proletaria pays homage to the MAP leader killed by Somoza's National Guard, Hernaldo Herrera Tellez, who took part in the action at the Bank of America and to the other working class fighters "who made the plan for the newspaper possible."

While El Pueblo's printing equipment has been confiscated and the workers' press faces repression, the petty-bourgeois government treats La Prensa with kid gloves. It bends over backwards to avoid stepping on the toes of the pro-imperialist and reactionary press. This goes further than just tolerating La Prensa. It goes to the point of providing it with U.S. dollars, despite the government's critical shortage of hard foreign currency, to help La Prensa import newsprint in the face of the paper shortage caused by the U.S. blockade. (New York Times, November 28, 1983) In other words, the government gives financial assistance to La Prensa so that it can put out newspapers in the face of the U.S. blockade, even though these papers support this U.S. blockade and the U.S. drive to strangle Nicaragua.

The petty-bourgeois government argues that its censorship policy is evenhanded towards the press of all tendencies. But in practice it hurts the workers' press the most and gives the bourgeoisie every opportunity to, broadcast its views. What the capitalist reaction cannot say in La Prensa it can say on its private radio stations, or from the pulpits of the reactionary hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

To defend and advance the revolution, MAP-ML calls for bringing the masses into struggle against the reactionary media. It demands that the working people who created the revolution are the ones who should have freedom of the press and expression, while La Prensa and the other tools of the capitalist and pro-imperialist reaction should be checked with revolutionary measures.

Overcoming the Obstacles Put Up by the U.S. Blockade

As part of its plans of subversion and aggression the U.S. government has thrown up a partial economic blockade against Nicaragua. This has brought on shortages of many necessities for the masses. It has also caused acute shortages of newsprint, ink and printing supplies of all types, some of which are not available in the country at all and have to be imported with expensive foreign currency.

La Prensa is able to cope with these shortages because it has the backing of the rich inside the country, generous government assistance, and the assistance from the capitalist reactionaries of the U.S., West Germany and elsewhere.

Barricada has the resources of the state power behind it.

But the blockade and shortages place an exceptionally heavy burden on the workers' press as its primary financial base is the support of the poor, the Nicaraguan working masses. Just to procure the essential materials to produce the monthly Prensa Proletaria poses acute problems.

Support the Nicaraguan Workers' Press!

In this situation the MLP,USA is initiating a campaign in support of the Nicaraguan workers' press. This campaign is being built on the shoulders of the American class conscious workers and anti-imperialist activists.

The purpose of this campaign is to build international working class solidarity with the Nicaraguan working people who are fighting bravely against our common enemy -- U.S. imperialism. La Prensa and the Nicaraguan reactionaries have the full backing of the U.S. imperialists and international reaction with all its vast resources. The petty-bourgeois FSLN government has its sources of international support. Therefore it is only natural that the workers of the U.S. and other countries come to the aid of the Nicaraguan workers. It is only natural that they lend their arm of solidarity to the independent forces of the Nicaraguan working masses which are striving to carry forward the revolution against the capitalists and landlords and their U.S. imperialist masters.

The campaign aims at building political support for the Nicaraguan workers' press. Let the American workers and activists lend their voice to the demand of the revolutionary Nicaraguan workers for the reopening of El Pueblo. For an end to discrimination against the workers' press. For revolutionary measures against La Prensa and the other mouthpieces of the U.S.- backed reaction.

The campaign combines this with building financial support for supplies for Prensa Proletaria. Providing the workers' press with acutely needed printing supplies and equipment is a concrete act of international solidarity with the revolutionary Nicaraguan workers. It is an excellent reply of the American workers and anti-imperialist activists to Reagan's economic blockade.

[Graphic.]

[El Pueblo masthead.]

[Prensa Proletaria masthead]


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Telegrams to the Junta of the Government of National Reconstruction of Nicaragua

March, 1984

To: Junta of the Government of National Reconstruction of Nicaragua

We protest the exclusion of MAP-ML and FO from the State Council of Nicaragua. As active supporters of the Nicaraguan revolution and opponents of U.S. imperialism, we are outraged at this persecution of such revolutionary forces, who have fought and sacrificed for the working class and people of Nicaragua against the tyrant Somoza and U.S. imperialism.

Union of Anti-Imperialist Students P.O. Box 369, Buffalo, N.Y. 14203

February 10,1984

To: Junta of the Government of National Reconstruction of Nicaragua

Our organization works in the working and oppressed communities of New York for the cause of solidarity with the Nicaraguan people in their heroic struggle against the criminal aggression of U.S. imperialism and the Reagan government. We work in militant solidarity with the Nicaraguan revolution and in support of the Nicaraguan peoples' right to self-determination. And, through our newspaper -- The West Indian Voice -- we help to spread this stand to our readers in the countries in the West Indies.

As revolutionaries, we feel special bonds of solidarity with the Marxist-Leninist fighters of the Nicaraguan working class, who fought and shed their blood in the battles against the U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship, and who are fighting today along side the popular masses against U.S. aggression and the murdering bands of contras.

Therefore, we protest your recent decision to again deny MAP-ML and FO their rightful place on the State Council. It is reprehensible that while such a thing is done, the pro-U.S. imperialist parties and other reactionary organizations of the so-called Democratic Coordination Committee are provided the opportunity to curse the heroic Nicaraguan revolution from the positions they are provided on the State Council.

Down with U.S. imperialist aggression against Nicaragua!

Solidarity with the Nicaraguan working class and people!

Editorial Board of The West Indian Voice and the Caribbean Progressive Study Group

Queens, N.Y.


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