The Workers' Advocate

Vol. 15, No. 2


25¢ February 1, 1985

[Front page:

Down with Reagan's Budget!--Squeezing the people in the name of 'taming the deficit';

Why do the rich love the 'subway vigilante'?--Grand Jury gives a green light racist lynchings;

In South Africa--Anti-Apartheid Fighters Denounce Kennedy In South Africa]


Democrats promise "constructive role" in robbing the workers................... 2
Jesse Jackson cozys up to Republicans......................................................... 3

No to the anti-abortion movement, fight the oppression of women............. 3
Chicago: no to INS raids, no to deportations................................................ 4
Boston: a militant protest against Zionist gangster Kahane.......................... 4
Strikes and work place news: auto, Yale U., unemployed actions................ 5
Buffalo: budget crisis in Erie County............................................................ 6
Goetz: portrait of a racist vigilante............................................................... 7
New York City: racist murders by police...................................................... 7

Self-determination for Afghanistan............................................................... 8
Jamaica: the poor rise against Seaga regime and the IMF............................ 9
Nicaragua: proletarian party in defense of the revolution ........................... 14
Prensa Proletaria against U.S. aggression..................................................... 15
Grenada: the dirty business of "arranging" a government............................ 16
Philippines: Marcos shaken by strikes and guerrilla war.............................. 17

The world in struggle:

Ecuador, Bolivia, Trinidad and Tobago........................................................ 10
Bangladesh, Kurdistan, Japan, Dominican Republic.................................... 11

U.S. imperialism get out of Central America: Death squads, CIA, and U.S. gunships in El Salvador................................. 12
Nicaraguan contras, U.S. solidarity demonstrations, song........................... 13

What did the revisionists conclude from elections....................................... 18

Correspondence, "spirit of rebellion" poem................................................. 19
Introducing the Workers' Advocate Supplement.......................................... 21

How Detroit's Mayor Young "fights" apartheid........................................... 22
"Constructive Engagement": Reagan goes to bat for apartheid.................... 24

GM's Saturn Project...................................................................................... 23
Overdue book a felony.................................................................................. 23

Down with Reagan's Budget!

Why do the rich love the 'subway vigilante'?

In South Africa

Anti-Apartheid Fighters Denounce Kennedy In South Africa

As Reagan begins his second term

Democrats promise a 'constructive role' in robbing the workers

No to the Anti-Abortion Movement! Fight the Oppression of Women!

Cozying up to the Republicans in the name of 'independence'

What is Jesse Jackson up to with his 'Rainbow Coalition'?


No to INS Raids! No Deportations!


A militant protest against Zionist gangster Kahane

Strikes and workplace news

From the Buffalo Workers' Voice :

Tax the Rich, Not the Workers!

Erie County's fiscal crisis

Budget crisis in Erie County, New York

Democrats impose tax hikes and slash social services

Goetz: Portrait of a racist vigilante

Yonkers, New York:

Condemn the police murder of Barry Parsons!

New York City:

Hundreds Protest Police Killing of Darryl Dodson

Self-Determination for Afghanistan!

Caught between Soviet occupation and a CIA dirty war


The Poor Can Take No More! Down with Seaga! Down with the IMF!

Reaganism in Jamaica

The World in Struggle

U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of Central America!

Report on the work of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists

The proletarian party and the defense of the revolution

'A Nicaraguan Worker'

From 'Prensa Proletaria' of Nicaragua

In the face of U.S. aggression

Grenada: the dirty business of 'arranging' a government

Just to be sure, messing with the ballots

Marcos regime shaken by strikes and guerrilla struggle

Progressive Iranians greet MLP 5th anniversary

What did the revisionists conclude from their fiasco in the elections?


The Spirit of Rebellion'


"The Workers' Advocate Supplement"

Contents of the first issue of 'The Workers' Advocate Supplement'

Detroit Mayor Coleman Young's ties with S. African agent

How the reformists 'fight' apartheid

Saturn project:

GM 'revolutionizes' exploitation

Why do they want to make overdue library books a felony?

'Constructive engagement'

Reagan goes to bat for apartheid

Down with Reagan's Budget!

Squeezing the people in the name of 'taming the deficit'

The capitalists and their flunkey politicians are hatching new plans to defraud the working people. And for the umpteenth time they are trying to hide this robbery behind the screen of "national sacrifice." They are out to fleece the workers in the name of "national sacrifice" to bear the burden of the monstrous $200 billion federal deficit.

Demanding a "National Sacrifice" From the Workers...

Under this signboard, Reagan and Stockman have once again taken out their axes to chop deeper into the vital needs of the workers and the poor. This time they have directed their blows on health care for the elderly and disabled; federal employees' wages and pensions; veterans' medical and other benefits; compensation for black lung victims; grants for public education and student loans; and food stamps and school lunches for the poor. For the 1986 budget the White House is going to ask Congress to cut some $34 billion in domestic spending.

Like a flock of sheep, Congress is also bleating loudly about "taming the deficit." This is their cry too for slashing social spending. So just as at the beginning of Reagan's first term, the ladies and gentlemen of the Congress -- both Republican and Democrat, both conservative and liberal -- are once again lining up to pledge their cooperation in this new round of gouging the working people.

The only thing left for the looming "battle of the budget" is the squabbling over the details of who is going to suffer how much, how many disabled or veterans will be shut out of the hospitals, or how many children won't eat lunch. For on the fundamental point all official Washington agrees: "taming deficits" comes first -- the workers, the jobless, the hungry, the uneducated, and the sick be damned.

...While the Sky-High Deficits Make for Fat Profits for the Banks, Corporations and War Contractors

Meanwhile, our brave "deficit tamers" are out to saddle the working people with ever more enormous deficits. The Reaganite politicians (both those who are openly so and the liberals who disguise their Reaganism) are all gung ho for the capitalist program that unleashed the recent explosion of deficit spending in the first place.

One of the capitalists' responses to economic crises has always been to expand deficit spending to keep profits up and to artificially stimulate the economy. Reaganomics has pushed this policy to the hilt. It has made for fat profits for the bankers, arms manufacturers and other exploiters at the cost of placing the heavy chain of $200 billion deficits on the necks of the people.

The millionaires and monopolists are plundering untold billions from the federal treasury under Reagan's tax cuts and handouts. Hundreds of the biggest corporations are paying no taxes at all. And now the Reaganites and the Democrats are working together on a bipartisan flat tax reform to reduce even further the tax rates on the rich and the corporations.

The biggest federal handout of them all has been the soaring war budget. Reagan has jacked up the yearly cost of the war buildup by $130 billion since coming to office to a whopping $286 billion for 1986. In Congress there are grumblings that Reagan's budget cuts won't wash without cuts for the Pentagon too. The grumblers are looking for a token gesture. Yes, they say, let us push on the march for the war buildup in strides of $20 or $30 billion increases every year. But in the name of "fairness" let's also shave a couple billion from these increases to appease public opinion. Notably, among the loudest of these grumblers are the likes of Robert Dole and Barry Goldwater, some of the biggest militarists in the Senate.

These handouts to the war contractors and corporations have added hundreds of billions to the national debt and ignited an explosion in interest payments to the Wall Street financiers. In 1986 interest on the debt will cost $146 billion, which is $10 billion more than the entire Pentagon budget of 1980. And of course, as interest is held sacred by the worshipers of capitalist profit, not a single voice in Washington is raised against this wholesale plunder of the treasury by the kings of financial speculation.

In short, the Reaganites and their lap dogs in Congress (Republican and Democrat alike) are going to "stay the course." General Electric and the corporations will get their tax breaks and handouts; General Dynamics and the other contractors of nuclear slaughter and wars of aggression will grow fat; and Chase Manhattan Bank and the other Wall Street parasites will get their pound of flesh.

Fight Back to Defend the Interests of the Working People!

But who will foot the bill for this orgy of profit-making?

The two-faced capitalist politicians (liberals and conservatives alike) are appealing for "national sacrifice" -- rich and poor, exploiter and worker -- to avert "national bankruptcy" in the face of hemorrhaging deficits. Everyone must tighten their belt and "lower their expectations." By gum! Even multi-millionaires like Reagan and Senators and Congressmen say that they will take a cut in pay.

Under this big hoax of "national sacrifice" the capitalists hope to disguise their drive to make the working class pay. In fact the working masses are being made to pay twice over. First they are bearing the brunt of "deficit taming" -- wage freezes and cuts in health care, food, education, etc. And then the working people must pay again as they shoulder an ever heavier load of taxation -- with Congress and the White House plotting both direct tax hikes and disguised increases on the working people in the name of a flat rate tax reform.

No, let the deficit be canceled at the expense of the bankers and corporations. The capitalists ran up the deficit to finance their government, their warmongering and their profit taking, let them suffer the consequences.

"National sacrifice" means kneeling down in front of the axe of the Reaganite offensive. The working class reply to this offensive must be the mass struggle in defense of the interests of the working masses. Strikes, demonstrations, protests and other weapons of the class struggle are the workers' best defense. These are the powerful tools for defending the wages and jobs of the workers, for fighting for health care and education and relief for the jobless, for resisting the heavy load of taxation, and for combating militarism and imperialist war. Nothing can be accomplished in favor of the working class and people without revolutionary struggle.

The hemorrhaging federal deficits are more links in the heavy chain of capitalist slavery. Only the socialist revolution of the working class can break this chain by putting an end to capitalist economic crises and by liberating society from the yoke of the monopolies, bankers, arms contractors and all the exploiters.

[Photo: Protest against Reagan's inauguration in San Francisco on January 21. Demonstrations were also held in other cities, including one in Washington, D.C. which carried through despite the frigid weather which had led to the cancellation of the official Inaugural Parade.]

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Why do the rich love the 'subway vigilante'?

Grand Jury gives a green light racist lynchings

On December 22 Bernhard Goetz shot down four black youth in a New York subway. Normally such an incident would make for pretty small news in a country where hundreds of shootings take place every day, and where incidents of racist shootings are usually a small note in the back pages of the paper. But not in the Goetz case. TV and radio personalities, newspaper columnists, mayors, governors, senators, and Reagan himself -- the biggest voices of capitalist public opinion -- have proclaimed their sympathy for this subway gunman.

Overnight Bernhard Goetz has become a national "hero" of the capitalist reactionaries. Why? Let's begin with what actually happened in that New York subway.

The Subway Shootings

Saturday afternoon, December 22 Bernhard Goetz boards a southbound Manhattan subway packing an unlicensed.38 caliber pistol loaded with dum dum bullets. Four black teenagers, reportedly "carrying on" and acting "rowdy," are in the same car. One of them approaches Goetz and asks for the time and a match and then asks for five dollars.

Goetz answers, "Yes, I have something for each of you." He then stands up, pulls out his pistol and pumps all four with bullets. Two are shot in the back as they attempt to escape. Witnesses describe Goetz as "calm and collected." Goetz later says his only regret was that he ran out of ammunition so he couldn't finish off his victims.

The gunman jumps to the tracks and disappears for ten days before turning himself in to the police in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, one of the teenagers, Darrel Cabey, remains in a coma with a severed spine and severe brain damage.

The only weapon involved in the incident was Goetz's pistol. The first news reports of the youth brandishing "sharpened screwdrivers" turned out to be hysterical lies; the screwdrivers were quite ordinary and never left anyone's pockets. In fact, there was no threat to Goetz's person whatsoever. Moreover, the teenagers have not been accused by the authorities of committing any crime at all. Whether the youth intended to do anything further is a matter of sheer speculation. But most such incidents that take place in the subway never escalate to physical threats and are defused without violence.

These are the essential facts of the incident, confirmed both by the account of witnesses and by Goetz's own videotaped statement to the New Hampshire police.

In short, for the crime of "acting rowdy" and for one of them asking Mr. Goetz for five dollars, four teenagers were mercilessly gunned down with Goetz acting on the spot as judge, jury and attempted executioner.

The Grand Jury Rules That Gunman Was "Justified"

On January 25, a Manhattan grand jury passed its decision to not indict Bernhard Goetz for attempted murder, assault, or anything else for gunning down the four teenagers. He has only been charged on three counts of violating New York City's gun laws, including a possession charge that carries a mandatory one-year jail term. But it is expected that Goetz might get this dropped too because of the "extenuating circumstances."

District Attorney Robert Morgenthau reported that the grand jury decided that Goetz "was justified in taking the force he did" in order to defend himself -- a cut-and-dried case of self-defense.

It did not matter to the grand jury that there was no evidence that Goetz faced a physical threat. It didn't matter that even Goetz doesn't claim that there was any such threat. It didn't matter that the New Hampshire assistant attorney general, after hearing 13 hours of Goetz's own confession, concluded that "I didn't see anything to indicate Goetz was in fear for his life at the time. There is no evidence of self-defense."

Some of his apologists argue that Goetz was just spontaneously reacting, frightened and enraged at being harassed. But in fact all the evidence points to this as a cool and calculated attempt at racist murder.

With his racist statements against blacks and Latinos, Goetz was known among his neighbors as a bigot. Ever since allegedly being assaulted four years ago by some black youth, Goetz has been seeking revenge, repeatedly boasting to his friends that "Sooner or later I'm going to get them," and systematically arming himself for the job. (See article "Goetz: Profile of a Racist Vigilante.")

Obsessed with racist fanaticism Goetz set himself to hunting down the minority youth; when he carried his loaded pistol into the subway he was ready and eager to blow one of "them" away. All that Goetz needed was victims with dark skin and a pretext, and he was prepared to fill them with lead. Even the New Hampshire assistant D.A. concluded that "there are statements [Goetz] made that could be construed as premeditation. ''

But the grand jury would hear none of it; neither Goetz's whole racist background and motives, nor his own statements that expose the premeditated nature of the shootings. The members of the grand jury were hell bent on exonerating this attempted lynching of four black teenagers.

The Grand Jury, the Mayor, the Governor, and the President Give a Green Light to Racist Lynchings

Goetz's crime and the grand jury decision to let him off have been greeted with cheers from the top offices of the capitalist government. Mayor Koch, who makes no secret of his sympathy for Goetz, hailed the grand jury's abortion of justice as worthy of the wisdom of Solomon. The oh-so liberal Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo greeted the decision as "reasonable." And chief racist Reagan himself has expressed his "understanding" and "sympathy" for anyone in Goetz's shoes. (New York Times, January 10, 1985)

With such encouragement from the White House, the State House and City Hall, reactionary outfits, racists, and "law and order" fanatics across the country have raised Goetz up to the skies: "Goetz the folk hero"; "Goetz for mayor"; "Goetz the courageous man on the street who stood up and fought back against crime."

But if Goetz was really just a man on the street defending himself from muggers there wouldn't be any hoopla. After all, countless brave acts of self-defense take place in the streets of cities across the country every day. The Goetz case is getting so much attention precisely because it had nothing to do with fending off muggers.

The bourgeoisie launched the campaign to hail Goetz not out of awe for his nonexistent "courage," but to promote his cowardly attempt at racist murder. Just like the criminal trampling on tiny Grenada is the Reaganite model for "American standing tall" overseas, shooting unarmed black teenagers in the back is to be the model of "standing up and fighting back" at home.

The subway shootings are being used to declare open season on the national minority youth. If you think that you might get mugged or harassed, or if someone acts "rowdy" or "talks menacingly," then blast away. Don't think twice that you might not be shooting a criminal who deserves the death penalty on the spot, because in the racist eyes of a Goetz or a Koch or a Reagan you can always tell one of "them" by the color of their skin. Don't worry about a thing, the courts will exonerate you and you might even be hailed as a "hero." This is the message being carried by the capitalist media across the country, as commentators wait anxiously for "copycat" shootings.

The black youth already bear the brunt of racist violence. In fact, the New York City police are on a rampage of beatings and shootings against the oppressed nationality youth. (See articles in this issue on the police murders of Barry Parsons and Darryl Dodson.) And it is well known that the police always go unpunished for these modern-day lynchings. Members of white racist gangs who murder blacks are similarly treated with kid gloves by the courts.

The Goetz case is a green light for every racist thug to mimic the police and the racist gangs in vigilante lynchings in the name of "fighting crime."

Fanning the Flames of Racist Hysteria to Strengthen the Police

The subway shootings are also being exploited to strengthen the police and the prisons against the people. Without more police, the capitalists argue, people will be driven to do what Goetz did and take the law into their own hands.

Reagan used the incident to call for "stricter enforcement and stricter punishment." And Koch has taken advantage of the Goetz fuss to push his ten point plan to strengthen the hand of the New York police, including hiring more cops, preventive detention to hold suspects and deny them bail, and stripping more rights of juvenile offenders.

On this point the stand of the capitalist liberals is especially nauseating. They wring their hands about the nastiness of vigilantism only to call for more police and more prisons to hold down the masses. Typical of this stand was the headline of a New York Times editorial -- "Answer to Subway Robbers: Cops.'' (January 9, 1985)

But what do more cops mean? It means more police to harass, beat and murder the working and poor masses, and to persecute young people for petty infractions like jumping subway turnstiles and putting up graffiti. At the same time it will usually make little difference for the big time gangs, the big drug operations, fencing outfits and prostitution rings -- the big criminals who bring destruction and death to the communities and who generally carry on their business with the connivance, if not outright protection, of the police.

The Capitalists and Their System Have Brought the Curse of Crime On the People

The curse of crime is inflicting a heavy toll on the working people. Not only the victims of the robberies, murders, rapes and other crimes suffer, but it drags down the life of all the workers and oppressed masses. But strengthening the hand of the capitalist police can only make mattes worse.

The answer to crime is in the struggle against the exploiters and their decadent system. Capitalism in the U.S. has spawned crime on a massive scale. Drug pushing and other crimes are multi-billion dollar industries. Glorification of gangsterism and wanton violence is the main business of the TV and movie corporations. On top of this the economic conditions of starvation wages or no work at all for tens of millions pushes a section of the masses towards crime just to survive.

All these factors hit the young people the hardest, especially the black youth and other victims of discrimination who are crammed into ghettos and face a nearly 50% jobless rate. There is no work, no education, and no place to go but into the army or into prison only to return to the dead end of the street again.

It is a striking fact that the same Reaganites who acclaim Bernhard Goetz are also slashing deep into education and jobs programs, and are pushing to throw the blacks out of the work places and schools. They are closing all the doors to the national minority youth, and if any so much as act "rowdy" or "menacing" they will treat them to bullets or a prison cell.

The capitalist government has special dread of the black youth because they have repeatedly shown their powerful spirit of rebellion and revolutionary energy. With their anti-crime hysteria the bourgeoisie wants to incite racist divisions between the white and black working masses, and they make isolating the black youth a special target.

The capitalist media is making quite a fuss about the fact their opinion polls show that almost as many blacks are sympathetic with Bernhard Goetz as whites. Mostly this is because the same media is lying about who Goetz is and what he did. But the fuss about this poll shows that the bourgeoisie is keenly interested in exploiting the grave problem of crime to mobilize the black people against the black youth and to embrace their own worst enemies -- the killer police and even racist cutthroats like Bernhard Goetz.

Fight Back Against the Racist Offensive!

The Goetz case and the racist crime hysteria bring home that working people have a sharp fight on their hands.

Let's build the protests and demonstrations demanding that the racist lynchers -- both those in uniform and civilian gunmen -- get the punishment they deserve.

Let's fight back against the Reaganite offensive of capitalist reaction that is whipping up race hatred, strengthening segregation, and beefing up the police and prisons and reactionary laws to suppress the struggles of the workers and oppressed.

Let's build a powerful mass struggle against the capitalist offensive of unemployment and hunger, a struggle for education, jobs and a decent livelihood.

Let's work to build up the revolutionary movement of the working class that can mobilize the black youth and all the oppressed into a tidal wave of proletarian revolution that will smash this dog-eat-dog criminal system once and for all.

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In South Africa

Anti-Apartheid Fighters Denounce Kennedy In South Africa

[Photo: Demonstrators denounce Kennedy in Soweto, South Africa.]

In the first week of January, the prince of the liberal Democrats, Senator Kennedy, went on a one-week tour of South Africa. He made his trip in order to advise the fighting masses to sacrifice their struggle against the apartheid rulers in favor of a "dialogue" with the racist oppressors. But the oppressed masses were not about to allow Kennedy to derail their struggle against the racist regime. The militant opposition of the black masses to Kennedy turned his trip into a fiasco.

Militant Demonstrations Condemn Kennedy, the Imperialist

No sooner had Kennedy landed at the airport in Johannesburg when he was confronted by 40 demonstrators shouting "Kennedy, go home!" The protest organizers stated that Kennedy "must be informed that the oppressed blacks of Azania [South Africa -- ed.] are not his ticket to the presidency and that our enemy includes the imperialists of the United States."

A militant action also forced Kennedy to cancel his "grand finale" at the end of his trip. He was scheduled to deliver a major speech at a cathedral in Soweto. But the presence of 100 protestors at the cathedral made Kennedy flee without even a brief appearance. Meanwhile at the cathedral the militants unfurled banners proclaiming "Reject Kennedy, reject imperialism!" The demonstrators also explained that they stood against both the Republican and Democratic parties in the U.S. since both support U.S. aggression worldwide.

During Kennedy's trip the protestors also proclaimed that the liberator of the oppressed people would not be Kennedy but the working class.

Kennedy Opposes the Struggle Against the Racist Regime

The denunciation of Kennedy is an excellent development in the black people's liberation struggle against apartheid.

True, Kennedy claims to be an opponent of apartheid. To be sure, he wailed about the terrible plight of the black masses during his recent trip. He even feigned harsh criticism of the South African government and attacked apartheid as "appalling. "

But this does not mean that Kennedy, stands for the overthrow of the "appalling" regime. Far from it. He is dead set against the revolutionary struggle against apartheid. Instead Kennedy stands for a "dialogue" in which the oppressed masses reach an accommodation with the apartheid rulers. This can only mean preserving the rule of the racists and the bulk of their racist system but with some minor reforms to pacify the masses.

Indeed the main purpose of Kennedy's trip was to bolster the forces inside South Africa who support such a reformist policy. The recent mass upsurge has alarmed the South African reformists such as Bishop Tutu and Reverend Boesak. They fear the development of a revolutionary movement which would smash the rule of the racist oppressors. Tutu recently explained the apprehension of the reformists, saying: "I am surprised that radical blacks are still willing to say we are their leaders. What have we got to show for all our talk of peaceful change? Nothing." (New York Times, January 3,1985)

In other words, Tutu is worried that the masses will break free from his reformist illusions of "peaceful change" in favor of revolution. Despite admitting the failure of reformism, and despite the fact that even reformist critics of the government are subject to severe persecution, Tutu has no intention of abandoning the bankrupt reformist path. He continues to oppose revolutionary struggle in the name of opposing all violence in general. Answering the false charges of some white South African racists that he supports "violence," a word which the white racists only use to refer to the resistance of the masses, not the bloodletting of the racist army and political police, Tutu replied: "For goodness sake, will people realize just how desperate I am to avert that ghastly alternative."

It was to help "avert that ghastly alternative" of revolution and to restore faith in the tarnished image of U.S. imperialism, that Tutu and Boesak invited Kennedy to South Africa and escorted him throughout the country.

Thus Kennedy came to South Africa not to help the struggle against apartheid but to help the reformists curtail it. In so doing, Kennedy's trip was in essence an attempt to maintain the racist regime in power. And Kennedy's talks with the racist rulers during his trip were aimed at saving the regime by advising it to make some cosmetic changes in the apartheid system so as to stave off revolution. As well, he wished, at the price of a few cheap words of sympathy to the masses, to hide the truth that U.S. imperialism is the diehard backer of apartheid, a truth that is all too clear when the Reaganites preach their doctrine of "constructive engagement" with the racists.

Growing Opposition to the Reformists and U.S. Imperialism

But the anti-Kennedy protests have thrown a monkey wrench into the rotten plans of the imperialist senator and his allies, the South African reformists. These demonstrations are another sign of the increased vigilance of the masses toward any attempts to sell out their struggle. In the recent upsurge certain black collaborators with the racist government were severely punished by the aroused toilers. Now the Tutus and Boesaks are openly worrying how long they can have credibility among the people. The protests against Kennedy also show there is a growing understanding that it is not only Reagan's "constructive engagement" policy which supports apartheid, but also the liberal Democrats such as Kennedy. Increasingly the South African masses are realizing that it is the entire U.S. imperialist system that helps to perpetuate apartheid.

It is notable that, fearing this growing consciousness among the black masses, some conservatives were not as gleeful over the embarrassment in South Africa of their old rival, Teddy, as one might have supposed. They realize that demonstrations against the liberal Kennedy meant that hatred was building for U.S. imperialism as a whole. And many bourgeois commentators noted with alarm that the demonstrations against Ted Kennedy, as opposed to the reception his brother Robert got in 1966, showed the increasing bitterness against American capitalism.

The Imperialist Press Lies About the Anti-Kennedy Protest

The stand taken by the militant South African blacks also refutes the lies of the bourgeois media that the militant black masses oppose Kennedy simply because he is white. In fact the demonstrators proclaimed that they oppose Kennedy because he is an imperialist and announced that if Jesse Jackson, who is black, came to South Africa they would give him the same treatment as Kennedy received if they thought he was using the trip to serve his political ambitions.

In order to save face, the reformists and the imperialist media claim that the militants only represent a small force. But then these sources themselves admit that Kennedy could arouse hardly any enthusiasm from the masses during the trip. The New York Times, for example, had to admit, in an article on January 7, that a family handpicked for a visit from Kennedy did not think Kennedy would bring about any change in their situation. According to the New York Times, the reformist Boesak admits that the masses "have become profoundly distrustful" of U.S. and Western imperialism. Clearly the anti-Kennedy protests are representative of a significant trend which is becoming dissatisfied with reformism and moving toward more revolutionary positions.

Support the Revolutionary Struggle in South Africa

The demonstrations in South Africa against Kennedy show with striking clarity how the interests of the Democratic Party liberals are at odds with the development of the struggle of the oppressed masses fighting apartheid. To support the South African people's struggle, the anti-apartheid activists in the U.S. must not only oppose Reagan's "constructive engagement" but also the two-faced Democratic Party politicians. The anti-apartheid movement must stand up in support of the development of the revolutionary movement in South Africa. For it is only the revolution, only the utter overthrow of the racist regime and racist system, that can abolish apartheid slavery and bring liberation to the black masses and other long-suffering oppressed peoples inside South Africa.


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As Reagan begins his second term

Democrats promise a 'constructive role' in robbing the workers

At the start of his first term, when Reagan began his onslaught on social programs needed by the workers, the poor and the jobless, the Democrats in Congress declared a honeymoon and proceeded to rubber-stamp Reagan's cuts. These self-styled heroes of the working people joined Reagan's act, exposing themselves as the tools of the billionaires and exploiters that they are.

Now, four years later the Democratic Party hucksters are getting ready for a repeat performance. They are falling over themselves to prove their "fiscal conservatism''; and in the name of "taming the deficit'' they are already lining up behind Reagan's proposal for a second round of ruinous cuts in social programs for the working masses.

A "Constructive Role'' in Robbing the Working People

House Speaker Tip O'Neill has [ pledged that the Democrats will play a "constructive role'' in cutting the deficit. "No doubt the public will judge the success of this Congress," Mr. O'Neill proclaimed before the House, "by our willingness to make the tough decisions to get our fiscal house in order." (New York Times, January 4,1985)

But what kind of "tough decisions" do the Democrats have in mind? Are they going to make the "tough decision" to restore and increase the taxes on the rich and the corporations? Or are they planning to put a stop to the increases in the soaring defense budget? Or are they considering cuts in the scandalous hundreds of billions that are being shelled out to the banks for interest on the national debt?

No one should hold their breath for any of the above, for when the Democrats talk "tough," tough for the working people is what they have in mind. When Tip O'Neill talks of "tough decisions" he is talking about new Reaganite measures to fatten the rich, the exploiters and the Pentagon generals at the expense of the workers, the jobless and the hungry. And right now he is drumming up Democratic Party support for Reagan's next round of assault on social programs.

In fact, the new Democratic chairman of the House Budget Committee, William H. Gray III, has already declared that he can accept the Reagan-Stockman proposal for new cutbacks to slash federal employees' wages and pensions, deny health care for the aged and disabled veterans, and to rob food from the jobless and school children. Gray's only condition is that a token gesture is made to hold the raise in the towering Pentagon budget to a percentage point or two less than Weinberger's wish-list -- a gesture which even Stockman, Reagan's budget director, supports.

The Liberal Mr. Gray Set for an "Only-Nixon-Can-Go-to-China" Role

Unlike 1981, when there were a few spats among the Democrats over just how far to go in supporting Reagan's budget, this year an attempt is being made to put together a united bloc for Reaganomics. Here it seems that Mr. Gray is to play a special role.

William Gray of Philadelphia is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and is a self-styled liberal and progressive. The Democratic leadership has chosen Gray as just the man for building a bridge between the liberal and the conservative so-called boll weevil Democrats in support of an austerity budget of hunger for the people.

On the one side, Mr. Gray with the progressive image is just the man to make it easy for the rest of his liberal colleagues to get in line behind a Reaganite budget. In explaining his support for Gray becoming budget chairman, liberal congressman Les Aspin pointed out that Gray can play an "only-Nixon-can-go-to-China' 'role.

(New York Times, December 29, 1984) What Aspin meant was that just as it took the rabid anti-communist Nixon to line up a consensus of support among the reactionaries for rapprochement with China, the Democrats are looking for a progressive-sounding politician to help line up the liberals behind Reaganomics.

On the other side, Gray has the backing of boll weevil Democrats such as Buddy Roemer of Louisiana. Just as Jesse Jackson has been finding new buddies in the likes of George Wallace, Orval Faubus and other dyed-in-the- wool segregationists, Gray takes pride in his friendship with these arch-reactionary and racist politicians. He explains "Maybe I attribute that [friendship with the southern reactionaries] to my southern heritage and roots." (New York Times, December 29, 1984) In truth this friendship must not be attributed to geographic roots but to the common Reaganite and anti-people stand being taken by the Democratic politicians, liberal and boll weevil conservative alike.

The Liberals Want to "Fight the President on the Right''

Another backer of William Gray for his new post was Democratic representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, one of the beloved darlings of the capitalist liberals. Frank gives an excellent picture of the thinking behind the plans of the congressional liberals. "No one expects the liberal agenda to go anywhere this year," Frank explains. (New York Times, December 29, 1984)

So for the time being Barney Frank and company are going to put their "liberal agenda" on the shelf, only to be taken down on ceremonial occasions to hoodwink the masses.

Meanwhile, like the practical bourgeois politicians they are, they are going to do the practical thing -- take up the Reaganite agenda. True to his name, Frank openly states, "We're going to fight the President on the right." (Ibid.) In other words, the liberal Democrats are out to "fight" Reagan on Reagan's turf. They are going to "fight" the Reaganites over who can provide the bigger handouts to the millionaires and corporations; over who can deliver on the rampaging military budget and U.S. aggression around the world; and over who can do a better job of balancing the budget on the backs of the workers, the pensioners, the sick and the unemployed.

The beginning of Reagan's second term is a sickening thought. It means four more years of a brutal capitalist offensive against the workers and oppressed masses. And, as we have seen, it means more cooperation between the two big parties of monopoly capital in this Reaganite onslaught on the working people. But if nothing else, the beginning of Reagan's second term carries invaluable experience for the class conscious workers and progressive activists: in the fight against capitalist reaction, there can be no illusions in the capitalist liberals. Every day the Tip O'Neills, Barney Franks and William Grays are proving themselves as loyal tools of the bourgeois offensive on the people.

Let us fight back in defense of the livelihood of the working people, against racism, reaction and imperialist war. Let us build a mighty storm of mass struggle to confront the Reaganite offensive. And for the success of this struggle, let us lay to rest once and for all any expectation that the Democratic Party liberals are anything but the other face of Reaganism.

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No to the Anti-Abortion Movement! Fight the Oppression of Women!

The new year opened with another bombing of an abortion clinic in Washington, D.C. And three weeks later, through a telephone hookup to loud speakers, Reagan became the first president to address the annual antiabortion demonstration in the capital. Decrying the "horror of abortion," Reagan declared, "I feel a great sense of solidarity with all of you. I want you to know I feel these days, as never before, the momentum is with us."

Reagan's dramatic act demonstrates the support and encouragement the government is giving to the antiabortion movement. Demagogically playing on concerns about abortion and cynically appealing for the "right-to-life," the Reaganites are trying to draw the masses behind the demand to ban abortions as one of the spearheads of the capitalist drive to intensify the oppression of women.

But, what is more, they are trying to link this movement to other of the favorite Reaganite causes. They want to build up a reactionary mass movement, to create the shock troops in support of the all-sided reactionary policies of Reaganism against the working masses.

All class conscious workers and progressive people must take a firm stand against the reactionary anti-abortion movement and come out four square in defense of the democratic rights of women. Whether one feels personally for or against abortions is not the issue here. The workers must oppose the oppression of women and defend their rights -- including the right of individual choice in the matter of abortion -- as one of the important means of uniting together men and women of the working class and consolidating their ranks for the class struggle against the capitalist offensive headed up by the Reagan government.

A Movement to Intensify the Oppression of Working Women

For 12 years the anti-abortion movement has gathered on January 22 in Washington, D.C. to protest the 1973 legalization of abortions and to put forward their demand for a constitutional amendment banning abortions. This is a reactionary demand and a part of the general capitalist offensive against working class women.

It is important to remember that abortions did not start with their legalization 12 years ago. No, they have long been with us. But one did not find Reagan and the New Right campaigning against the rich who thought nothing of flying their mistresses to other countries to abort their indiscretions or paying high-class doctors to rid rich women of leisure of the inconvenience of having a baby. Nor did the Reaganites protest against the back-alley butchers to whom the poor and working women were forced to turn and at whose hands hundreds died and thousands were maimed every year. No, the legalization of abortions did not create abortions, it only made it somewhat more possible for poor and working women to obtain medically safe abortions. And it is against this that the Reaganites are campaigning.

It is also of significance that, for all of their harsh words against abortion and for "life," you do not find the antiabortion movement campaigning to alleviate the oppressive conditions on women that result in many women seeking abortions.

Under capitalism, the rearing of children is made into a terrible burden, a burden most of all placed onto women. With job discrimination, low and unequal pay, high unemployment, and so forth, women face a difficult situation. And the Reagan government is only making matters worse. It is working to step up job discrimination, to cut the meager subsidies for day care which is so needed for women to work, and to slash social programs like unemployment insurance, food stamps, welfare, nutritional assistance for pregnant women and young children, access to and knowledge about birth control, etc. These measures are intensifying the general oppression of women, are leading to such outrages as the growth of the infant mortality rate and malnutrition, and are forcing many women to seek abortions.

For all of their talk about being "pro-life" and "saving babies," the anti-abortion movement has shown no interest to alleviate this horrible oppression of women from the working class or to create conditions where children will not die at birth or suffer the devastation of poverty. Indeed, the whole spirit of the anti-abortion movement is one of degrading women, of denouncing them as "murderers" for getting abortions, of keeping women in their place as second-class citizens.

Abortions are an unpleasant consequence of the oppression of women. Even for those who get abortions it is frequently a traumatic experience. The decision should be left to the individual. Neither should the government be allowed to force abortions and compulsory sterilizations down women's throats, as is advocated by reactionary "population controllers" and as has been carried out at times against women from oppressed nationalities; nor should the government be allowed to abolish an individual's right to abortion, a right that implies that poor and working women should be provided the material assistance they need to acquire medically safe abortions. The right to abortion is a democratic right that is essential as long as there are oppressive conditions that drive women into desperation over unplanned pregnancies. Even if a person does not like abortions, they should support women's right to have them as part of the fight to end oppression of women.

But the Reaganites are trying to demagogically play on concerns over abortion, to create an emotional, unthinking reaction against alleged "baby murderers," in order to draw less conscious sections of the people into a movement to eliminate democratic rights and to intensify the oppression of women.

A Mass Movement for Reaganism

While the anti-abortion movement is one of the spearheads of the capitalist drive against women, it is also an attempt to draw people out in support of the all-round reactionary offensive of Reaganism.

The organized movement is the creation of the "New Right," the Reaganite "Moral Majority," the hierarchy of the Catholic church, and other reactionaries. It finds room in its ranks for the likes of the KKK. And despite the movement's single-minded concentration against abortion rights, its leaders, like Jerry Falwell, are trying to use the movement to develop support for religious intolerance, imperialist warmongering, racism, and the other reactionary goals of Reaganism.

A central feature of this movement is the development of religious bigotry. Right-wing anti-abortion terrorists frequently call themselves the "Army of God" and every despicable deed is justified as being carried out on "God's orders." Such religious intolerance spills over into support for prayer in the classroom, demands for clerical obscurantist indoctrination in the schools, support for racist religious academies, and so forth.

As well, Reagan himself is a hero of the movement and its leading hypocrite. While pouring out heart-wrenching concern for unborn babies, Reagan thinks nothing of sending warships to bomb the Lebanese masses, or of supporting the death squad regime in El Salvador, or of organizing the contra slaughters against the peasants and workers of Nicaragua, or of building up a monstrous nuclear arsenal that could devastate humanity. This official hypocrisy is part and parcel of the antiabortion movement.

The anti-abortion leaders try to evoke the image of patriotic flag-waving Americanism and run broad television campaigns on such themes as that there have been more abortions than the number of people killed in war and that abortions are worse than the holocaust against the Jewish people. In this way they try to smother concern against imperialist warmongering while promoting the "anti-abortion fighter," Ronald Reagan, and all that he stands for.

A Government-Sponsored Movement

The anti-abortion movement has received the support and encouragement of the U.S. government both under Reagan and, earlier, under the Democratic Party president, Jimmy Carter.

Faced with the revolutionary mass movements of the 1960's and early 1970's the government granted various concessions to the masses. Among these was the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling that legalized abortions in the first three months of a pregnancy. But ever since then, the government has been working to take back this democratic right.

In 1977, under the Carter administration, the Hyde Amendment was passed. Backed by both Democrats and Republicans, this bill abolished the use of medicaid funds for abortions. Since then Congress has renewed this bill each year.

Following the lead of Congress, 36 state governments have also cut off public funding for abortions. The Supreme Court has made rulings limiting abortion rights. Last year the Reagan administration declared that it will no longer provide funds to any organization which performs or actively promotes abortions. And Congress itself passed legislation denying federal employees coverage for abortions under their medical insurance plans. These, and other anti-abortion measures, are increasingly turning the legal right to abortion into a meaningless formality for many of the poor and working women who can't afford them.

Meanwhile, Reagan made banning abortion a major plank in his election platform and he and other government officials across the country parade around in the anti-abortion rallies. The capitalist media likes to promote the anti-abortion cause as a "grass roots movement." But it is clear that it has all along been sponsored and encouraged by the highest government officials.

Shock Troops Against the Working People

Despite the all-out support for this movement by the capitalists and their government, it has not really grown in recent years and it has been unable to win the masses to the anti-abortion cause. Indeed, since Reagan took office and thrust forward the anti-abortion issue as a major question of national policy, public opinion seems to have turned more and more towards support for the right of abortion. An ABC poll, which was released on January 22, showed that support for the right to abortion on demand had grown from 40% in 1981 to 52% today.

Unable to win the hearts of the working masses, the anti-abortion movement appears to be turning to more aggressive tactics of harassment and attacks against ordinary working people.

For example, picket lines in front of abortion clinics have been increasingly turning from more or less quiet vigils to offensive squads who denounce as "murderers" the women entering the clinics, try to frighten them with claims that they may die or become sterilized during abortions, and frequently follow and harass them when they leave. There are even reports of death threats against women who have just had abortions. There are also more frequent efforts to block the entrances to clinics and of sit-ins to disrupt service.

On top of this are the increasing attacks on the clinic workers and their offices and homes. The National Abortion Federation recorded 157 "violent incidents" in 1984 including invasions, vandalism, death threats, bomb threats, assault and battery, burglary, kidnapping, attempted or actual arson and bombing to clinics and abortion advocates.

The arson and bombings have been the most publicized sign of the increasing right-wing terrorism of the anti-abortion movement. In 1984, there were 24 fires set or bombings of abortion clinics and related offices, up from two in 1983 and three in 1982.

Various of the leaders of the official anti-abortion organizations have tried to claim that the bombers are unrelated to the anti-abortion movement, that they are just good, clean, Christian individuals whose strong moral convictions led them to take the shortest route to stopping the alleged "murder" of babies. But as the bombers get caught it becomes clear that they are part and parcel of the anti-abortion movement.

For example, Joseph Bray, who is charged with bombing seven clinics and an American Civil Liberties Office in the Washington, D.C./Maryland area, is the head of the membership committee of the Bowie-Crofton, Maryland "Right-To-Life" chapter. Similarly, Curtis Baseda, who was convicted of setting fires to four clinics in Washington state, was an activist who regularly participated in the picket lines at a clinic in Everett, Washington. It is notable that the regular Saturday antiabortion picket mysteriously did not appear the weekend that this clinic was firebombed. There is also Matthew Goldby, who is charged for twice bombing a clinic and for the bombing of two gynecologist offices in Pensacola, Florida. His mother is a regular picket line activist in the anti-abortion movement and he himself states that the teachings of his Assembly of God church infused him with the antiabortion fervor that led to the bombings.

What is more, despite the disclaimers of the leaders of the official anti-abortion groups, they have been unable to hide their sympathy with the antiabortion bombers.

For example, the co-founder of the "Pro-Life Nonviolent Action Project," John Cavanaugh-O'Keefe, participated with Bray in a sit-in at a Wheaton, Maryland clinic last November two days before it was bombed. After the bombing Cavanaugh-O'Keefe said, "Any pro-lifer that does not feel the urge to respond to the violence of abortions with violence has lost all feeling of anything." (New York Times, November 20, 1984)

Similarly, John Burt, who is a leader of the anti-abortion movement in Pensacola, Florida remarked after Goldby was arrested that, "When the history of this period is written, it won't be the pickets or the letter writers who will be the heroes. It's going to be the bombers." (Militant, February 1, 1985) It is reported that Burt claims to have changed his views since the days when he was a member of a Florida section of the Ku Klux Klan which carried out actions against the civil rights movement. But it would appear that the right-wing terrorism he supports has simply shifted fields.

In fact, the very top leadership of the anti-abortion movement, who have claimed to be opposed to the use of "violence" in their cause, have been spurring on the right-wing terrorism with their calls for the movement to become more aggressive. Jerry Falwell likes to portray himself as being "dangerous -- to liberals, humanists, abortionists, homosexuals and the like...." (Washington Post National Weekly, January 14, 1985) In preparation for the January 22 anti-abortion activities, Falwell took out a full page ad in the TV Guide which said, in part, "We can no longer passively and quietly wait for the Supreme Court to change their minds or for Congress to pass a law." With statements like this Falwell, and other anti-abortion leaders, are in fact encouraging their followers onto the path of right-wing terrorism.

Thus, for all of the high-minded spiels about abhorrence to "violence" and the "pro-life" stand, the anti-abortion movement is showing its true colors in the growing right-wing terror against the working masses.

The Government Tries to Cover Up the Right-Wing Terrorism

The Reagan government has jumped in to try to head off this exposure of the real nature of the anti-abortion movement.

In the first place, the FBI has vehemently denied that the bombings are terrorism at all and refused to take part in the investigation of them. FBI director William Webster argued, "We have to be pretty careful about defining terrorism. The objective of the antiabortion [bombings] is social, and while you could make an argument that a social objective could be an act of does not really meet the definition of acts of violence committed in furtherance of an attack on a government or a government program." (Michigan Voice, December, 1984)

The meaning here is clear. If you are in the right-wing, if you are a Reaganite, then no matter how bloodthirsty are your acts you are not a terrorist. But if you are la leftist, if you are opposed to the government or even simply against some government program, then you are automatically a terrorist deserving of the severest repression.

Despite Webster's ridiculous attempts to cover up, an outcry has emerged against the anti-abortion bombings. And Reagan, after long silence, has been forced to say a word against them. But take a look how Reagan speaks against the bombings.

On January 3 he released a statement from the White House saying, "I condemn, in the strongest terms, those individuals who perpetuate these and all such violent, anarchist activities." (New York Times, January 4, 1985, emphasis added) Isn't this amazing. Suddenly these are not the ''violent activities" of the right-wing antiabortion terrorists, but ''anarchist" actions. And Reagan's theme has been taken up widely in the capitalist media who when criticizing the bombings repeatedly try to hide their right-wing content and compare them, instead, to revolutionary struggles from the 1960's.

For the capitalists and their spokesmen everything evil is the product of the ''anarchists," the leftists, and the communist revolutionaries. But the truth will out. No amount of slick word juggling can hide the fact the antiabortion movement is being encouraged to unleash terrorist shock troops against the working people.

Down With the Anti-Abortion Movement, Fight for the Rights of Working Women!

The working class must raise its voice to condemn and combat the Reaganite offensive against women and the antiabortion movement that they have unleashed.

This is, in the first place, a matter of democracy, for the working class is the foremost champion of the democratic rights of women whether it be the question of equal pay for equal work or the right to abortion. And the workers must place themselves in the center of every front of struggle against Reaganite reaction.

But more than this, the working class must fight for the equal rights of women in order to unite and consolidate its own class forces. The oppression of women is above all a matter of the degradation and super-exploitation of women from the working class, a matter which splits up the workers, weakens their movement, and forces down the conditions for all workers. Women will only achieve emancipation from their oppression in the socialist revolution. But each battle for women's rights helps to unite the ranks of the working class and prepare it for that glorious battle to overthrow capitalism and put an end to all exploitation of man by man.

Today the Reaganites are drawing another battle line on the front of the right to abortions. The workers must take up this fight and work to push it forward as part of the class struggle to defend the working masses from the ravages of the capitalist offensive.

Down with the reactionary anti-abortion movement!

Fight for the rights of working women!

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Cozying up to the Republicans in the name of 'independence'

What is Jesse Jackson up to with his 'Rainbow Coalition'?

In the wake of Mondale's defeat in the 1984 presidential race, the Democratic Party is struggling to regroup. Jesse Jackson is taking part in this process and, like most of the Democratic Party stalwarts, he seems to have concluded that the Democrats failed in the presidential elections because they did not go far enough down the road of open Reaganism. Thus, while Jackson continues to posture against Reagan, he is arguing for a Reaganite course for the Democratic Party and has even opened up direct negotiations with the Republicans.

The Rainbow Coalition Extends Its Hands in Friendship to the Republicans

On December 17 and 18 in Chicago, Jackson held a meeting of some 100 organizers to set a new course for his Rainbow Coalition. Alongside of what has become the standard empty proclamations about "peace," "jobs," and "justice," Jackson declared that the Rainbow Coalition will now launch negotiations with the officials of Reagan's Republican Party. "Jackson said Tuesday he will meet with national and state Republican leaders in a move to become more independent of the Democratic Party.... Jackson, who has stepped up attacks on the Democratic leaders in the past three days, said blacks, Hispanics, women and the poor must begin 'leveraging our votes in both parties.'" (USA Today, December 19, 1984)

The Republican Party is, of course, the standard-bearer of the vicious segregationist offensive against the black people, the champion of imperialist aggression and war, and the loudest voice for takebacks and other economic devastation of the working people. That Jackson is looking to make deals with the Republicans reveals that all of his fine words about fighting for the poor and downtrodden against Reaganism are nothing but lies.

Jackson has long declared that his fundamental aim is to get more "clout," which is to say more power and cozy positions for the black bourgeoisie and those who aspire to become bourgeois. To this end he has sold out the working masses who desire a real fight against racism and reaction and he has been trying to use the masses as a bargaining chip in his negotiations with the capitalist politicians.

During the 1984 presidential race, Jackson talked out of both sides of his mouth. On the one hand, Jackson promised the masses that backing Mon- dale would mean the defeat of Reaganism and would bring all manner of good things, even though it was clear that the Democrats were following only a very slightly concealed Reaganite policy. Out of the other side of his mouth, Jackson promised the Democratic Party leaders the black vote. And he ran around holding "summit meetings" with racist Dixiecrats like George Wallace and other Democratic Party bigwigs begging them to give the black bourgeoisie more "clout" in return for keeping the black masses in the Democratic Party fold.

But the Democrats have not offered Jackson all of the prestige and positions that he's after. And so, he is now extending his hand in friendship towards the Republicans. Like a slick auctioneer, Jackson is trying to sell the Rainbow to the highest bidder.

Seeking a "Common Ground" With the Racist Dixiecrats

Of course, negotiating with the Republicans does not mean that Jackson has turned aside from the Democratic Party. Talking with the Republicans is most of all aimed at improving Jackson's bargaining position in his active negotiations among the Democrats.

Following the elections, Jackson has again made the rounds of the Democratic Party bigwigs, emphasizing talks with reactionary southern Democrats like Bert Lance. In these negotiations, Jackson is advocating his own pet scheme for rejuvenating the Democratic Party for the next set of elections. In an interview in the November 26, 1984 issue of the U.S. News and World Report, Jackson revealed his vision for the future of the Democrats.

Jackson argues, "The basic challenge for white, male, Democratic leadership is to be more assertive and reach out to the middle class. That group has almost no white, male, Democratic hero, with the result that they are not being addressed by Democrats in a meaningful way. We've got to move from the historical lines of racial battleground to economic common ground -- that blacks and whites across the South, for example, have far more in common than we do in conflict. I would think that what will emerge is white leadership that sees that leadership gap and begins to address it."

Here Jackson is not talking about uniting the black and white masses together for the fight against racism and other attacks by the capitalists. Rather, he is speaking of negotiations between the black misleaders and the racist Dixiecrats, such as his dealings with George Wallace, Orval Faubus, and others during the 1984 election campaign. It's some younger version of these Dixiecrats that Jackson is looking for -- as his "white, male, Democratic hero." What Jackson really believes is that the Democratic Party can win the southern vote if the fight against racism is put aside and the black bourgeois politicians find a "common ground" with the racist Democratic Party big shots in the South.

Bert Lance, with whom Jackson has been negotiating, praised this scheme of Jackson's and revealed more of what it would amount to. Lance, in an interview in the same issue of the U.S. and World Report, emphasized that "Whites and blacks have a great opportunity to move together on economic issues which affect both whites and blacks. Democrats will remove the chances of polarization if Reverend Jesse Jackson continues to move in that direction in dialogue and consultation, with Southern Party leaders and elected officials. But, frankly, as long as you make it a white-black issue, then Democrats have got distinctive problems."

Here Lance agrees with Jackson's southern strategy and makes it clear that the talk about finding a "common ground" between blacks and whites has nothing to do with addressing the issues affecting the masses but is a matter of "dialogue" between the black misleaders and the southern Democratic Party officials. What is more, Lance complains that the fight against racism, which he calls "mak[ing] it a white- black issue," is a serious problem for the Democrats. Lance's claim is that if the Democrats even pretend like they are opposing racism then they will supposedly lose the white vote, and he is counting on Jackson to keep the black people in line.

Lance also echoes Jackson's idea about finding a white Democratic Party hero. In his own, more explicit terms, Lance explains that "with a southern or western presidential candidate or a ticket that is perceived to be moderate, the Democratic Party would be in the mainstream of the country. Then there would be no reason we could not recapture the South in 1988." (emphasis added) In short, the Democrats have to become more moderate, more openly like Reagan, and then everything will be fine. Jackson's talk of finding a "white, male, Democratic hero" to appeal to the white "middle class" really amounts to no more than this.

The Democrats have the same disgusting segregationist program as the Reaganites. But they have had the distinction that even while they are attacking the black people they want to hold onto their image as the "party of the minorities." Bert Lance and other astute reactionary politicians hold out the hope that Jesse Jackson will help them in this effort. And Jackson is all too willing to go along.

Whether he is negotiating with Lance or with Republican politicians, Jackson is betraying the interests of the black working people. For the working masses to defend themselves, to build up a real fight against the Reaganite segregationist offensive, the masses must break free of the influence of both the Republicans and the Democrats. Jackson is standing in the way. He must be exposed and pushed aside so that the masses can advance on the road of revolutionary struggle.

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No to INS Raids! No Deportations!

(The following leaflet was issued by the Chicago Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on January 2 1985.)

The first few weeks of 1985 show that the billionaire capitalists plan to continue their racist, anti-immigrant offensive in the factories and communities, using the immigration service cops, the courts, and the capitalist politicians of the Democratic and Republican Parties.

On January 16 it came to light that the INS, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, using information obtained from the City Consumer Services Department has arrested 18 cab drivers. In mid-January the INS arrested a number of Salvadoran refugees; at the same time arrests were made and prosecution begun of North Americans from the Sanctuary Movement for aiding the Salvadorans. Last week the INS raided a business supply factory in suburban Chicago and arrested 36 workers, mostly Mexican immigrants.

INS raids and deportations are aimed at terrorizing the immigrant workers so that the capitalists can force them into an even deeper pit of super-exploitation. The raids are used to harass the minority communities and foreign workers in general and to intimidate and weaken the fighting spirit of the working class. In the case of the Salvadoran immigrants and the Sanctuary Movement, the INS actions can't be separated from the general policy of U.S. imperialism to try to crush the Central American revolution. The attacks against the immigrants are a part of the overall program of the capitalists for hunger, racism, and war.

The MLP, USA joins with all class conscious workers and fighters in condemning the deportation raids and arrests and in demanding an end to the anti-immigrant attacks. We call for a vigorous fight on all fronts to beat back the Reaganite offensive.

Full Rights to the Immigrants

The INS raid at the factory in suburban Chicago was made under the banner of "jobs for Americans," but the immigrant workers are not the enemy of the American workers. They are a vital part of the American working class, whether they are "legal" or undocumented, temporary or permanent. The oppression and persecution of the immigrants is an attack against all the workers. The rich use the existence of a super-exploited caste of workers to drag down the entire working class. The anti-immigrant propaganda is used to divide and weaken the class struggle. Our answer to the attacks is a fight for full rights for the immigrants and for an end to the racist persecution in the factories, schools and community.

No Cooperation With the INS

Mayor Washington's administration likes to promote its supposed militant anti-racist, anti-Reaganite stand. It was quite embarrassed at being caught helping "La Migra" deport immigrant cab drivers. It tried to prettify its action by claiming that the INS "had come to the city under false pretenses." As well various stories are going around that the "city will no longer cooperate with the INS."

It is pretty hard to imagine what false pretenses the INS could have offered to the city since its only job is to enforce U.S. imperialism's immigration policy -- a policy which means deportation to more than a million workers every year. Aside from that, what is the actual stand taken by Mayor Washington's administration? According to the Chicago Tribune (January 21, 1985), Chicago Corporate Counsel James Montgomery recommended that the city not cooperate with immigration authorities unless proper subpoenas are obtained. Now this is the kind of "opposition" typical of the "liberal" politicians of the Democratic Party. It is not that they oppose the Reaganite offensive against the immigrants. It is not that they demand an end to deportation raids. No, it's just that they want these attacks carried out "by the book." With "friends" like this who needs enemies?

Hands Off Central America!

Many thousands of immigrants come as refugees from the countries of Central America such as Guatemala and El Salvador. In these countries the revolutionary workers and peasants are fighting against the aggression of U.S. imperialism and the local reactionary exploiters. U.S. imperialism's policy is to back death squad regimes in those countries, and to use every means possible to try to crush the revolutionary movements. At the same time the refugees in the U.S. are hounded by the INS and deported into the waiting arms of the torturers and murderers of the dictatorships in their countries.

The revolutionary fights against U.S. imperialism abroad and our fight here strengthen and complement each other. The persecution of the refugees is aimed at discouraging their political activity, and at weakening the movement in the U.S. which is actively supporting the revolutionary movements. It is in the interests of the workers and oppressed in the U.S. to resolutely oppose the activity of U.S. imperialism abroad and its ruthless persecution of the refugees inside the U.S.

[Photo: The MLP Chicago Branch organized a march against the attacks on immigrants, which went through the Mexican nationality community in the Piisen district of the city, January 26.]

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A militant protest against Zionist gangster Kahane

Rabbi Meir Kahane, the ultra-zionist fascist politician from Israel, recently visited the Boston area where he was met with a militant denunciation by hundreds of people.

Kahane has a long history of being a racist and fascist thug. He was the founder of the rabidly zionist Jewish Defense League (JDL) in the U.S. which won notoriety for attacking events in support of the Palestinian people's struggle. Of late, Kahane has been spearheading a fascist campaign in Israel whose declared banner is the expulsion of all Palestinian Arabs from the present territory of Israel. He is the representative of the fascist Kach party to the Israeli parliament. In Israel itself he has been met with protests from both Palestinian Arabs and many Jews.

Kahane's openly fascist politics have however not appeared from thin air. They have been spawned by Israeli Zionism, which is based on the oppression of the Palestinian people and expansionist aggression against the Arab peoples generally. Because Kahane's fascism helps to raise serious questions about zionist politics generally, the outrage against him among Jews who still harbor illusions about zionism is a positive factor. Hopefully it will help open many eyes about the real essence of zionism.

Kahane came to the Boston area to organize support for the JDL and the Kach party. He was given extensive coverage by the local capitalist news media. But a number of groups called for protests against a planned appearance by him at Brookline High School near Boston. They included Palestinians resident in the city as well as a couple of groups, influenced by social-democracy, who condemned Kahane but did not condemn zionism. The picket organized by the Palestinians was the most militant action and at its height numbered over 100.

The protest against Kahane was joined in by other forces, including comrades from the MLP, supporters of the progressive newspaper The Student at MIT, student activists from Tufts University, and others. The picketers shouted slogans for more than two hours. Slogans such as "Kahane, Hitler, both the same, the only difference is just the name!," "Zionism is racism!," "Kahane is the real face of zionism!," "Down with fascist Kahane!," "Down with the U.S.-Israeli aggressors!" rang through the air.

Banners and placards were also prominent at the demonstration, including a banner brought by The Student proclaiming "Victory to the Palestinian Revolution!," which was carried in the center of the picket.

During the picket, JDL thugs tried to provoke a number of fights but when they were militantly confronted, they gave up. About 8:15, the police snuck Kahane in through a side door. When this was noticed, the picketers ran over to the side door and vigorously denounced Kahane.

Comrades from the MLP also distributed a number of copies of The Workers' Advocate and the pamphlet Zionism Is Racism. After the protest, the activists of The Student held a meeting at MIT to discuss the evening's activities, where there was a great deal of discussion amidst high spirits. All those who participated in the protest were impressed by having been part of a militant condemnation of Kahane and the crimes of Israeli zionism.

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Strikes and workplace news


GM workers in Missouri strike against concessions

On Tuesday, January 15, more than 3,100 General Motors workers at the Wentzville, Missouri assembly plant near St. Louis began a local contract strike.

In their strike, the workers have taken up the fight against several major provisions of the 1984 UAW/GM contract, which in practice have turned out to be programs for job elimination and slave driving.

The workers are demanding that GM and the UAW leaders scrap their joint "pay for knowledge" and "work group" production programs.

Under the "pay for knowledge" program workers are forced to learn 16 different jobs in the "work group" and then they are given a 46¢ per hour boost in pay. GM and the UAW officials brag that this program takes the boredom out of factory life and rewards the workers. But the Wentzville workers report that the plan is just another concessions scheme. They report that it allows GM to disregard the seniority system in relation to job assignments, layoffs and call backs. Furthermore, the workers say that the "pay for knowledge" program allows GM to deal with job assignments and other matters on a completely arbitrary basis.

Workers are burning mad and have denounced the "work group" production plan. They say that it is designed to force the various workers in the work group to speed each other up -- "to make our work group look good." Simply put, GM wants the workers to crack the whip on each other.

Additionally, the Wentzville workers are demanding that 400 low paid nonunion maintenance workers and drivers at the plant be brought into the local union with full rights and pay.

The "pay for knowledge" and "work group" production programs were hailed by the UAW leadership and GM as breakthroughs in the 1984 contract. They said that these programs would provide job security and would democratize the work place. But these are nothing but concessions programs. Concessions that have led to job combinations and greater loss to jobs. The bold stand by the Wentzville assembly plant workers is an important example for all auto workers fighting against concessions.

At other GM plants around the country, resistance to GM has also broken out. Local strikes have recently taken place at the Chevy fabricating plant in Flint, Michigan and at the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

(From a leaflet by the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA, January 27, 1985.)

Detroit Dodge Truck workers wildcat against racist harassment

On Tuesday, January 15, more than 200 black and white workers at the Dodge Truck plant staged a wildcat strike protesting racist harassment by Chrysler. The wildcat stopped all production for the rest of the afternoon shift.

On Monday, January 14, a number of workers at the plant took the day off to mark the Martin Luther King birthday holiday. Chrysler doesn't give the workers this day off. On Tuesday, a top-level Chrysler management official at Dodge Truck stormed around the plant spouting racist slanders against the black workers. He also instructed the foremen to single out the black workers (and only the black workers) who took off on Monday. Clearly Chrysler was preparing to issue racist punishments against the black workers. This racist outrage incited the whole work force at Dodge Truck. More than 200 workers refused to return to work after their lunch break, shutting down production for the day.

This wildcat strike by the Dodge Truck workers is absolutely correct. The wildcat strike stopped Chrysler's racist harassment scheme right in its tracks. This clearly shows the power of the workers' mass struggle.

Dodge Truck workers: Be vigilant against any attempts by Chrysler to hand out disciplinary punishments for these actions.

Build the mass struggle to defend the workers!

(From a leaflet by the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA, January 27, 1985.)

You can't trust the sweet promises of the UAW hacks

Just before the Christmas break, Chrysler management handed out 124 disciplinary punishments to Jefferson Avenue Assembly Plant workers who participated in the November wildcat strike and other actions that won Tom Curry's job back. Right after the disciplinary punishments were handed out, various UAW officials told the workers -- "Be cool, don't walk out again, we'll get these punishments dropped as soon as we get back from the Christmas break." Well it's already January 27 and these UAW officials haven't done a damn thing to rescind the punishments. It looks like the UAW officials have again betrayed the auto workers.

This shows that the rank-and-file workers cannot rely on the UAW hacks. Instead, the workers must build up their own organization independent of the union bureaucracy. Such organization of the rank and file is necessary to organize mass actions to defend the workers from Chrysler's attacks.

Build the mass struggle to defend the workers!

(From a leaflet by the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA, January 27, 1985.)

Clerical workers win strike at Yale University

[Photo: Yale strikers confront police.]

Clerical and technical workers at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut won their first contract with the school administration on January 22. This marked an important victory for the 10-week-long strike they recently waged. Last year these workers at Yale had won their fight for union recognition, becoming Local 34 of the Federation of University Employees.

The Yale strikers waged a vigorous and enthusiastic struggle and they won a great deal of support for their cause. Six hundred strikers and their supporters were arrested on picket lines and in actions blocking streets during the strike.

The 1,000 maintenance and cafeteria workers belonging to Local 35 on campus, who have themselves waged several strikes against the administration, stood solidly behind the clerical workers. They refused to cross Local 34's picket lines throughout the strike and actively took part in support actions. This self-sacrificing stand of solidarity was crucial. Cafeterias and some classrooms were forced to close and the spirits of the strikers soared.

As well, students, faculty and community members formed support groups and organized rallies. One hundred graduate students put $400,000 of tuition in escrow until Yale settled. Students and campus workers from Brown, Princeton, Harvard, Columbia and other East Coast universities signed petitions against the Yale administration, and sent bus loads of supporters to solidarity rallies at Yale.

A major issue raised by the Yale strike was the fight over "comparable worth," i.e., equal pay for comparable work. Women workers, in this case clerical workers, suffer under traditionally low wages and benefits. Eighty- two percent of the Yale clerical work force are women who earn an average annual wage of $13,473. The strikers demanded an end to this unfair situation, seeking pay for women's jobs to be equal to men's jobs of comparable worth.

The strikers overwhelmingly approved a contract which will cover the 2,600 clerical workers. It provides for an average wage increase of 35% over three and a half years. This comes from an across-the-board increase of 20.25% and from a step progression system called "slotting" where workers move within their salary grade according to years of employment.

The contract also contains their first dental plan, a partial COLA clause, improvements in the pension and medical plans, and some improvements in working conditions. The strikers also demanded and won the right to respect other unions' picket lines and they won a common expiration date with the maintenance workers' local. The struggle over "comparable worth" was however inconclusive.

University workers and other clerical workers across the country closely watched the Yale strike. Many have been inspired by the spirited Yale strikers. The clerical workers at New York's Columbia University, who have been in a five-year-long organizing drive, have set February 4 as a strike deadline if the school won't recognize the union and begin contract negotiations with them.

Unemployed workers demand jobs from the Postal Service

[Photo: Unemployed and postal workers during a campaign to end mandatory overtime in Philadelphia.]

For the last two months workers in the Pittsburgh area have been waging a campaign for jobs at the post offices. Regular picketing has been carried out at the Homestead post office and recently picketing was begun at Pittsburgh's main post office on the north side.

The workers have pointed to the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) notorious record for driving the postal workers into the ground with enormous overtime rather than hiring additional workers.

But the local head of the USPS, George Harkins, has arrogantly refused to disclose internal records that show how much the local postal system is using overtime. And he canceled a meeting with the local unemployed workers committee on the outrageous grounds that one of the committee's representatives is a retired postal worker who has long fought for the employed workers' demands. It would appear that Harkins feared he could not slip lies about the postal system past a former postal worker.

As things stand, Harkins has declared there will be no hiring of workers unless they take the civil service exam. But no exam has been given in the Pittsburgh area for three years and Harkins says there will be no new exam until at least 1986.

But the workers have been undaunted and are trying to step up the heat on the postal service.

The actions of the unemployed in Pittsburgh follow similar actions in Philadelphia where the unemployed joined with organized postal workers to demand an end to overtime and the hiring of the unemployed.

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From the Buffalo Workers' Voice :

Tax the Rich, Not the Workers!

[Buffalo Workers' Voice masthead.]

(The following articles are reprinted from Buffalo Workers' Voice, newspaper of the Buffalo Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA, Special Issue of January 5, 1985)

Erie County is in the midst of a severe fiscal crisis. The 1984 budget deficit is over 75 million dollars. The cause of this fiscal crisis is two-fold. Over the last several years, the deep recession has led to mass layoffs and plant closings in the industrial Midwest. Because of this, many families were forced onto public assistance and county expenditures have greatly increased. As well, Reaganomics has meant large reductions in federal funding of necessary social programs at this time of growing impoverishment.

To no one's surprise, Erie County Executive Rutkowski and the County Legislators of both parties have only one solution to the fiscal crisis: Make the workers pay. Increase the sales and property taxes. Lay off county workers. Freeze or cut the wages of county workers. Curtail and eliminate social programs for the poor and unemployed. Such is the solution of the capitalist government: balance the budget on the backs of the workers, further impoverish those who have felt the brunt of the economic crisis and Reaganism. And let the rich continue their lives of ease and comfort.

But who is responsible for the crisis? The workers forced onto public assistance because they have lost their jobs and cannot find work? Or the capitalists, who have shut down their plants and thrown the workers into the streets? The workers whose county taxes have increased by 16% over the last year? Or the capitalists who have pulled up stakes and left only the rotting hulks of their factories behind, while those who remain do so only on condition of receiving big, sweet tax "incentives"? It is the capitalists who have caused the crisis. The capitalists and their governments have impoverished large sections of the masses. Now they want the workers to pay for it.

We say NO. We say: The capitalists have caused the crisis, it is the capitalists who must be made to pay for it. Every means to increase county revenues at the workers' expense should be fought. Demand that the rich be taxed, not the workers. Every attempt to eliminate further social services should be fought. Demand that the capitalists foot the bill. Fight that the corporations and the rich be forced to assist the workers they have impoverished.

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Erie County's fiscal crisis

In Erie County, the results of the economic crisis and Reaganomics has placed a tremendous burden on the working class. Thousands of workers have lost their jobs over the last four years, swelling the ranks of those who need public assistance. From 1980 to the projected 1985 county budget, Medicaid costs will increase by 121%. Home relief will increase by 259%, with caseloads increasing from 8,500 to 19,000 from 1982 to 1984. On top of this, the federal government has slashed revenues to the county. From 1982 to 1984, federal revenues have decreased by 36.8%. To pay for this increased social cost and to make up the difference in less federal revenues, the Rutkowski administration and the county legislature have increased the property taxes by 10.0% and the sales tax by 1%. This will place a heavier burden on the working masses and will create a double burden for those who are laid off or who were forced to take lower paying jobs.

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Budget crisis in Erie County, New York

Democrats impose tax hikes and slash social services

All the politicians, both Republican and Democrat, are working together to make the workers pay for Erie County's fiscal crisis. On December 10, 1984, after a day of wheeling and dealing behind closed doors, the Erie County Legislature passed the 1985 County budget. Six Republicans and six Democrats voted to raise the sales tax from 7% to 8% and to raise property taxes by about 10%. The politicians have been assisted in their attacks on the working and poor masses by the trade union bureaucrats who have forced a wage freeze on the county workers since January 1, 1983.

The Democratic Party, with the help of its loyal servants, the trade union bureaucrats, parades itself as the "party of labor and the poor." But the role of the democrats on the Eric County budget shows again that the Democrats are diehard Reaganites -- they are in the vanguard proposing tremendous cuts in social programs for the poor. They attack the poor to "defend" the working people against higher taxes. This is pure demagoguery! The harsh reality of the 1985 County budget is, in fact, higher taxes combined with huge cuts in programs for the poor. For all their posturing as defenders of "labor and the poor," the democrats are viciously attacking both the working masses and the poverty-stricken. Clearly, in order to defend themselves against the rich and their government, the workers must organize themselves independent of both the Democratic Party hacks and the trade union hacks.

Let's look at how the Democrats have,been "supporting labor" during the Erie County budget crisis. In November 1984, Assemblyman Arthur Eve (D- Buffalo) was a key figure in rallying votes for the sales tax increase. Why, he was even concerned that the Erie County Legislature act quickly to accept Rutkowski's sales tax proposal soon enough so that the State Legislature would rubber-stamp this attack. In Eve's own words: "The sooner they [Erie County Legislature] reach a conclusion...the sooner we can be of service." With "support" like this, labor doesn't need enemies.

Another example of the Democratic Party's unity with the Republicans to make the workers pay is their vicious slashing of social programs for the poor in Erie County. Included in the new budget is $6 million in cuts from welfare accounts which were sponsored by the Democratic Majority. Democratic Legislator Richard Slisz said the Democrats were conservative in their welfare cuts. No doubt Mr. Slisz feels this way, as the Democrats' original proposal called for cutting over $17 million from welfare programs. But just to show that they are not singling out welfare only for attack, the Democrats also proposed eliminating hundreds of county jobs, including 89 at Erie County Medical Center, and a hiring freeze on all county jobs.

Governor Cuomo has praised the Erie County Legislature as "responsible" and said: "They bit the bullet by raising taxes." As everyone knows, it is only the workers and poor who bite the bullet when taxes are raised. This is Reaganomics supported by both parties: increase the tax burden on the workers and at the same time cut programs that benefit the working class.

In order to defend themselves against the effects of the economic crisis and the Reaganite offensive, the workers must organize themselves independently of both the Republican and the Democratic Parties and carry out a class struggle against the rich.

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Goetz: Portrait of a racist vigilante

Bernhard Goetz, New York City's subway gunman, has been portrayed by the capitalist politicians and news media as an innocent victim of crime after crime who finally got fed up and fought back. He is pictured as the "harassed subway rider,'' as the "courageous little person'' who stood up to the "vicious criminals.'' Patrick Buchanan of the New York Post described Goetz as a sheep being lunged at by "four predatory wolves.'' And Buchanan couldn't help expressing his glee that the so-called "wolves" were "ripped up" by the so-called "sheep."

But if you scratch the surface of this portrait you will find that it's a patent forgery. Even with the few facts that the capitalist media has allowed to leak out, it's clear that Goetz himself was a predatory wolf. Far from an innocent victim he fits the portrait of a racist vigilante.

A Wealthy Entrepreneur

Far from your typical working class crime victim, Goetz is a wealthy entrepreneur. It is estimated that he could earn as much as $250,000 a year doing electronic testing for corporations and on nuclear weapons parts, with top secret clearance from the CIA and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. And Goetz comes from a family of millionaire real estate developers in Orlando, Florida. In other words, Goetz is part of the parasitic upper strata that is the bulwark of racist bigotry in this country.

A Dyed-in-the-Wool Racist

And despite all the attempts of the news media to cover it up, Goetz is himself a dyed-in-the-wool racist and law and order fanatic.

He gained a reputation for his racist slurs against blacks and Latinos. Neighbors recall having to remove Goetz from the neighborhood co-op board "for making racial remarks."

When the doorman was mugged in his building, Goetz started a petition for more police. A meeting was held to discuss what to do, but a neighbor points out that "Bernie wasn't invited because he tends to be a little bigoted."

In a display of his fanatical intolerance, residents in his building report that Goetz burned down a corner newsstand because he claimed "it was an eyesore."

Here it should be noted that these accounts of Goetz's racism were carried in the Daily News and the New York Post only in the first days after Goetz turned himself in and then they were dropped. Since then they have been carrying almost daily articles trying to portray the shootings as self-defense and not racism. So they have been trying to clean up their "hero" by suppressing all talk of his racism. They have removed the accounts of his neighbors pointing to his racist history in favor of stories about Goetz's neighbors "rallying) to his defense." The more "prestigious" bourgeois rag, the New York Times, has carefully deleted any mention of Goetz's racist past, even in a lengthy biographical article. Such are the contortions that the capitalist press will go through to cover up for their racist friends.

The Alleged Assault in 1981

A key to the whole "Goetz the crime victim" scenario is the claim that he was brutally mugged four years ago and justice wasn't done.

At the time Goetz reported to the police that three young blacks had assaulted him and tried unsuccessfully to steal his coat. He later claimed the youth were trying to steal some expensive electronics equipment that he was carrying, and that one of the teenagers was arrested by a cop while the other two put down the equipment and fled. And there are a number of variations of these two different accounts. (It looks like the version with the electronics equipment was fabricated for his later bid to get a gun permit.)

Goetz pressed assault charges against the 16-year old who had been arrested at the time. But when the youth filed counter-charges accusing Goetz of provoking the incident in the first place, Goetz then agreed to drop the charges and submit the issue to mediation. Minor crimes which don't involve serious violence are frequently taken out of the courts and turned over to mediation if both sides agree.

It appears that the mediation fell through; but there are contradictory accounts on whether or not the youth was ever later tried or convicted for the incident.

From these contradictory claims from both Goetz and the press reports, it's clear that no part of the horror stories about the 1981 alleged mugging can be taken for granted. Furthermore by both of Goetz's own accounts neither jacket nor equipment nor anything else was robbed from him. And finally, that Goetz agreed to mediation could well be an indication that he knew that his charges against the teenager didn't amount to much.

But none of this has stopped the rabid press from painting a lurid picture of the nightmare of the 1981 "brutal mugging" tormenting the subway vigilante and driving him to acts of despair.

Goetz Arms Himself for Revenge Against the Black Youth

After this incident, according to his business associate, Goetz repeatedly vowed to friends that: "Sooner or later I'm going to get them." And he set about systematically arming himself for the job.

In 1982 Goetz applied for a gun permit. He hearkened back to the '81 incident to claim he needed to carry a gun to protect his expensive electronic equipment. The permit was denied on the grounds that his business didn't require it.

Hell-bent in his mission, Goetz then went to Florida and obtained a gun permit there. He purchased three guns and took training in their use. He armed his weapons with dumdum bullets, shells that are illegally modified in an attempt to insure that shots that would otherwise cause more minor wounds will instead tear up the body or cause death.

On December 22 he went into the New York subway carrying one of these dumdum loaded pistols. The racist wolf was just waiting for his prey.

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Yonkers, New York:

Condemn the police murder of Barry Parsons!

(The following article is reprinted from The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the West Indian community published by the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, January 15, 1985.)

On the evening of November 13, Barry Parsons, a 30-year-old black man, was arrested by the Yonkers police for allegedly selling marijuana. By the next morning Barry Parsons was found hanged in his cell. The police claim it was a suicide. But his family and the black community charge that the Yonkers Police Department killed Barry Parsons!

According to several eyewitnesses, for a full ten minutes Yonkers police officers savagely beat Barry Parsons with their nightsticks and banged his head against a wall before arresting him. One witness said that when he intervened to protest the brutal beating, the cops told him they were beating Parsons "because he is black." The cops then asked, "Do you want to go with him?" and threatened, "You better get your man (referring to the witness) out of here before I put six shots in him."

The police performed an autopsy without the knowledge or consent of Parson's family and declared the death a typical "suicidal hanging." But the Parsons family insists that the physical dimensions of the cell made it impossible for the 6-foot 2-inch Barry to hang himself unless he jumped up and down until dead! They charge that "judging from the facts Barry Parsons was beaten to death."

Mocking eyewitnesses, the police deny beating Parsons. They are covering up evidence and they are blocking inquiries by the Parsons family into the incident. The family was not allowed to view or photograph the body, only to see its face. There was a large gash on the forehead. But his brother was told that Barry's toes and jaw were broken.

To expose the coverup and to spread the truth, several militant and spirited demonstrations and mass meetings have taken place in the Yonkers community. The masses are getting organized and taking action to demand "Justice for Barry Parsons." These protests must continue, for the struggle is far from over. Within a week of Barry Parson's death, the racist police murderers were cleared of any wrongdoing by the Westchester District Attorney. Once again the police walk away free. This is an outrage!

The murder of Barry Parsons, like the killing of Eleanor Bumpurs, is but part of a reign of racist police terror in the New York metropolitan area. It is part and parcel of capitalist oppression.

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New York City:

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Hundreds Protest Police Killing of Darryl Dodson

[The West Indian Voice masthead.]

(The following article is reprinted from The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the West Indian community published by the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, January 15, 1985.)

The New York Police Department opened the year by shooting down Darryl Dodson, a 23-year-old black worker. On January 3 Darryl was stopped by police while walking with his girlfriend and his niece. Obeying the police, Darryl stopped and started to put his hands in the air when he was suddenly shot in the chest by the cop.

Police officer Joseph Vacchio made a quick getaway after shooting Darryl; checked into a hospital for some mysterious "chest pains" and calmly claimed that his murderous act was "an accident." Although Vacchio has been suspended it is doubtful whether it would go further than that. Police Commissioner Benjamin Ward is trying to justify the murder by claiming he (Vacchio) "may have been in a combat situation" and also claims that "it may have been an accident." But these lies have been exposed by several eyewitnesses who said Darryl w&s shot while putting his hands in the air, surrendering, and that he was completely unarmed.

Despite the attempts by the NYPD to justify and cover up this murder, the people in East New York and elsewhere are outraged and are denouncing it as "coldblooded murder." To show their anger, on January 7 they organized a demonstration and marched to the 75th precinct in their hundreds. Their protest shows that they will not take this attack lying down and they want to press the fight for justice for Darryl Dodson.

[Photo: Protestors condemn the police execution of Eleanor Bumpurs. Mrs. Bumpurs, a 67-year-old grandmother, was murdered on October 29,1984 by the New York police, who were trying to evict her for the "crime" of being $387 behind in her rent payments.]

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Self-Determination for Afghanistan!

Caught between Soviet occupation and a CIA dirty war

Five years ago, tens of thousands of Soviet social-imperialist troops crossed their borders and invaded the southwest Asian country of Afghanistan. They still remain there, defending an occupation regime through a brutal war against the Afghan people. Thousands have been killed in this war and three million have fled to neighboring countries as refugees.

The Marxist-Leninist Party, USA remains as firmly opposed to the Russian adventure in Afghanistan as we were when we condemned the invasion five years ago. This crime serves as a sharp indictment of the present-day Soviet Union. It stands as one more proof that the Soviet Union today is in reality an imperialist power and socialist only in name.

But the Russian social-imperialist occupation of Afghanistan is only one side of the bitter tragedy that has engulfed the Afghan people. On the other hand, the just sentiments of the Afghan people to resist national subjugation are being cynically manipulated by a whole gamut of reactionary forces. The U.S. imperialists and their allies -- Chinese revisionism, Arab reaction and the Pakistani military dictatorship -- are backing a force of Afghan feudal chieftains who seek to enchain Afghanistan to the U.S. and place it under the rule of medieval reaction and religious backwardness. Recent disclosures show that the "Afghan operation" has become the biggest covert operation of the CIA since the days of the Viet Nam war.

The Marxist-Leninist Party supports the sentiment of the Afghan people to fight Soviet occupation. But this does not mean that we support those who claim to be freedom fighters but have in reality sold themselves to the CIA. Those who are lovers of Reagan, the Pakistani generals and the Saudi monarchy can hardly be described as fighters for freedom.

The Afghan people are certainly in a difficult situation. But those who sympathize with their plight cannot wish them to choose between two evils. No, the way out for the Afghan people lies in forging their own independent course, free of all imperialist enslavement. Such a course must be linked to the achievement of a real democratic revolution in the interests of the toilers.

A Brutal War in the Name of Defending "Democratic Reform"

In December 1979 the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in order to prop up a pro-Soviet Afghan regime which was threatened by widespread popular unrest. Since then the Soviet Union has stationed 100,000 troops armed to the teeth with tanks and artillery, helicopters and warplanes. An Afghan army of 30,000 also fights alongside the Russians. For five years these armed forces have been carrying out a war against the Afghan people.

The Soviet war of occupation uses all the notorious methods of counterinsurgency war including carpet bombing of the countryside, retaliatory massacres against the civilian population, etc. Three million people have fled the country as refugees.

The Soviet Union and its revisionist apologists around the world justify the Soviet occupation with the argument that the Russian army is there to defend social reforms and democratic progress. This is a cynical lie. In fact the Soviet army came in to prop up a hated repressive regime which had given rise to widespread discontent among the Afghan masses. What concerned the Soviet Union was that this was a regime loyal to it. Indeed the Soviet Union will sometimes acknowledge this fact. For example, Pravda wrote a year ago about the Soviet Unions aims that "of course, it also proceeded from the interests of safeguarding the security of its own southern borders." (January 2, 1984) This is a frank admission of its imperialist motives.

What about the issue of defending democratic reforms? It is true that within the opposition to the pro-Soviet Afghan regime there are Afghan feudalists who are upset about some of the policies of the Afghan government, such as education. But this is no argument for implementing education or other social programs through the bayonets of an occupation army. In fact by trying to link the banner of democratic reform to the war of an occupation army, the Soviet Union is helping to equate social reform with national subjugation. There can be no progress through national oppression. The force for social reform must be based on the social forces inside a country, above all on the workers and toilers.

But the Soviet Union and its apologists actually exaggerate the extent to which social changes are being introduced in Afghanistan. The main issue long taken up by the Soviet Union is the maintenance of a friendly regime in Kabul. And everything is subordinated to this. For instance, the pro-Soviet regime there is working hard to accommodate itself to any feudal or backward element if they can be won over to support the regime. The Islamic clergy is supported by state stipends, their tithes and landholdings are exempt from taxation, and compulsory education for women has been replaced by an optional literacy program. This shows that the Soviet Union will cast aside talk of reforms if it can win the feudal chieftains over to its side. The Russians' principal concern is that a large section of the feudalists have allied themselves with the Western imperialists rather than themselves.

A CIA-Organized Dirty War in the Name of a "Freedom Struggle"

There is much talk from the U.S. State Department and the capitalist press about the Afghan freedom fighters. While it is undoubtedly true that there are ordinary Afghan masses who hate the occupation regime and fight against it, the "freedom fighters" promoted by the U.S. are nothing of the sort. The Afghan groups promoted by Washington are a reactionary lot who have sold their souls to the U.S. imperialists and other criminal forces. They are an agency of Washington's imperialist rivalry with the Soviet Union.

Indeed it turns out that the Afghan operation has become the biggest CIA covert operation since the days of the Viet Nam war. This year alone the CIA is funneling $250 million to the Afghan feudal leaders. This amounts to more than 80% of the CIA's annual expenditures for covert operations. Several other countries are expected to provide $200 million more. These include Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The Afghan effort is also bankrolled by West Germany and Chinese revisionism, while the military dictatorship in Pakistan provides the Afghan operations with its bases and hands out the money to the various outfits.

The Afghan aid operation is a thoroughly bipartisan effort. It was begun under Carter, and under the Reagan administration it took a big leap in the fall of 1983. This was after a visit to Pakistan by Democratic Congressmen Clarence Long (D-Md.) and Charles Wilson (D-Tx.). At that time CIA aid was at about $30 million a year. They championed the effort to step up the aid up to the huge numbers of today. This increase has had the enthusiastic bipartisan support of both Republicans and Democrats.

The U.S. money goes to the leaders of the Afghan groups operating out of Pakistan. It is well known that these leaders are a bunch of thoroughly reactionary feudal chieftains. Some hope to reestablish the monarchy which was eliminated in the early 70's. Others seek to establish a medieval Islamic regime. A large part of the funds channeled to them are simply funneled off for their personal use -- even some Reaganite sources estimate this to be as high as 80%. Many Afghan leaders are well- known to have plush houses and bank accounts in Europe and the U.S.

All this is well known to the U.S. imperialists, who know precisely what sort of forces they are backing. This shows the cynical aims of the U.S. government. It is not guided by any concerns for freedom or democracy as it proclaims. No, the U.S. government is simply guided by the desire to use Afghan lives to make trouble for the Soviets. The Afghan people are merely being used as pawns in Washington's inter-imperialist rivalry with the Soviet Union.

Down with the Crimes of Both Superpowers: Self-Determination for Afghanistan

The Afghan people are indeed faced with a tragic situation. There are two disastrous choices that are being put before them. On the one hand they face an occupation regime of national subjugation that runs roughshod over the Afghan masses, that massacres them and turns them into refugees. On the other hand they face armies of groups who seek to enslave them to the U.S. imperialists and place them under medieval tyranny.

Progressive people cannot suggest that the Afghan people must be forced to choose between these two rotten alternatives. No, we must expose the crimes being committed against the Afghan people by both superpowers. We must uphold the right of the Afghan people to self-determination. We must support all efforts by the Afghan people to seek out a truly independent and revolutionary course, which stands against all imperialist domination and upholds the banner of democratic revolution.

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The Poor Can Take No More! Down with Seaga! Down with the IMF!

(The following article was released as a leaflet by The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, on January 28, 1985.)

On the night of Monday, January 14, the government of Edward Seaga in Jamaica announced a surprise 21% increase in the already exorbitant costs of various petroleum products. These increases were to be rushed into effect the next morning to catch the people of Jamaica off guard. But beginning at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, hundreds of blockades were quickly erected on the streets of Kingston, the capital, other major cities, and in the rural areas. Thousands of demonstrators came out to denounce the increases in gas prices. For three days, the entire country was brought to a standstill by the militant and angry masses.

Seaga's Savage Price Increases

Gas prices are an especially sensitive issue for the toilers in Jamaica. In one shot Seaga declared a $1.91(JA) increase in the price of gasoline (driving up the price to an astronomical $10.90 (JA) per gallon) and similarly high increases in the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas. As these increases work their way through the economy they invariably lead to marked increases not only in the cost of transport but also for food items and everything else with a transport/energy component.

This came in the midst of a situation where food and utility prices have nearly doubled m the past year alone; where subsidies have been virtually eliminated; where, in the public sector alone, Seaga has laid off 5,000 of the 11,000 he plans to throw on the streets; and where the Jamaican dollar, after periodic devaluations, is now worth a measly 20 cents next to the U.S. dollar. It was too much for the working class and poor to bear. This cruel austerity program, instituted by Seaga at the bidding of the IMF, has wreaked havoc among the working class and poor of Jamaica driving many to a state of real destitution.

Three Days of Mass Upsurge

Beginning in the heavily depressed and working class districts of Kingston, protesters threw up roadblocks made up of burning debris and old tires, derelict vehicles, tree trunks and light poles. People raided nearby groceries and supermarkets. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at numerous locations in Kingston and throughout the country, manning the blockades against attacks by the police, denouncing the Seaga government and demanding No Price Increases! Demonstrators also gathered outside government headquarters (Jamaica House) to denounce Seaga before they were dispersed by the police using tear gas. Over the next two days the numbers of roadblocks and demonstrators grew even more, and protesters in the agricultural areas set sugar cane acreage afire.

Seaga brought out the police and army in full force with the machine guns, armored vehicles and helicopters provided by U.S. imperialism. He arrogantly declared that he had no intention of rolling back the price increases. And after taking seven lives and wounding scores of people, Seaga declared an end to his "restraint." (!) "This turn of events has now reached a point where I must give a clear warning that the time has come for the demonstrations to be called off."

Clashes ensued as the police, army and armed government thugs removed the blockades with tear gas and bullets. Hundreds gathered to denounce the police and promptly put back the roadblocks as soon as the police and JLP's private army of thugs moved on. [JLP, the Jamaican Labor Party, despite its name, is the right-wing party which Seaga leads -- WA.]

But after holding out for three days the upsurge waned. Along with Seaga's brutal repression came concerted pressure from the bourgeois liberal opposition party, the PNP [People's National Party -- WA], for the demonstrations to be ended. The masses -- ill prepared due to the sudden nature of Seaga's assault and lacking organization of their own -- were forced to retreat.

Seaga and the IMF Plunder the Masses

As terrible as the present situation is, only worse could be expected from Jamaica's acute and prolonged capitalist economic crisis and from the machinations of the IMF and Seaga. Caught in the throes of a severe economic crisis, uninterrupted through two administrations, Jamaica has become a favored prey of the IMF vultures. With strict austerity and periodic devaluations prescribed by the IMF the situation has worsened. Compared to a decade ago the Jamaican dollar has plummeted by more the 500%. IMF negotiations are to resume next month -- to ensure more of the same.

But the Seaga regime is no slouch when it comes to extracting its own pound of flesh off the masses. For instance, Seaga has combined IMF- ordered devaluations with the institution of a system of weekly auctioning of the Jamaican dollar to the imperialist owners of foreign exchange. For the toilers this has translated into weekly devaluation of the little money they earn and constant price increases to keep up with the devaluations.

Then Seaga turns around and says that gas prices must be increased to reflect the devaluation of the dollar and the high price of petroleum on the world market. However, between 1983-85, the local government petroleum agency, Petrojam, realized a 15% savings from the reduction in the price of petroleum from its suppliers. But the government has been continually jacking up local petroleum costs. The last increase, an outrageous $3.00 (from $5.99 to $8.99 per gallon of premium -- the only type actually made available) was put into effect in January of 1984 -- while world prices were already going down. The reality is that the gas price increases are more a measure to increase the indirect taxation of the masses. The pump price of gasoline in Jamaica is accounted for chiefly by a hefty government tax and an even larger surcharge designed, officially, to subsidize non-petroleum products (all of which have also seen dramatic increases). The recent gas increases reflect an increase in the taxation of the working masses.

There is no end to these attacks in sight. The toilers are saying: The Poor Can Take No More! The working class and people of that country have to organize themselves for the inevitable return to the barricades of struggle. To answer Seaga's offensive, the working class must also work to defeat the sabotage of their movement by the social- democratic opposition party, the PNP.

Social-Democrats Scab on the Toilers

While Seaga threatened further repression of the recent upsurge, the leaders of the PNP came out first "sympathizing" with only "peaceful protest"; then they quickly called for "law and order" and for an end to the demonstrations and roadblocks. By the second day, Michael Manley, the leader of the PNP, had already issued instructions to all PNP personnel "to...immediately encourage and assist in the dismantling of the roadblocks." Manley's praise went to the police for their "restraint" -- they had only killed a half-dozen people and wounded scores of others! Cautious to not provide the slightest possible outlet for the mass outrage, the PNP even called off a previously scheduled rally for the next weekend. For all their "opposition" to Seaga's draconian attacks, once the masses themselves took to a fight, far from helping to organize it, the PNP liberals came out as a "law and order" party.

During its reign in office, from 1972 to 1980, the PNP had instituted similar measures against the masses at the bidding of the IMF. In fact, the three- day upsurge against Seaga's gas price increases was reminiscent of a similar three days of protests and strikes staged by the masses against Manley's gas price increases in 1979. Then too the toilers unfurled their banner declaring: The Poor Can Take No More!

Thus in mounting the struggle needed against the present offensive of the IMF and Seaga, the Jamaican working class has to organize separate from and combat the influence of the PNP phony "opposition."

[Photo: The working masses erect barricades in Kingston, Jamaica.]

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Reaganism in Jamaica

Edward Seaga took office in 1980 under the slogans of "National Recovery" and "Revitalization of the Economy." The Harvard-educated Seaga took his cues from Ronald Reagan in promoting "deregulation" and "reward for enterprise" as the pick-me-up for Jamaica's ailing economy. Seaga was the first official visitor to Washington after Reagan's inauguration in 1981, and Reagan returned the visit in 1982, at which time he voiced strong support for Seaga's Reagan-style policies. Close relations between Washington and Kingston were forged in the last four years, during which Seaga's government received $400 million in U.S. aid.

Despite all the ballyhoo, the Jamaican economy has only stumbled deeper into capitalist crisis. There has been a "revitalization" of sorts -- but only for the capitalists, and especially for the foreign bankers who are raking in hundreds of millions in interest payments. Along with the imperialist aid has come massive foreign bank loans, the repayment of which is a heavy burden on the Jamaican working people. Jamaica's foreign debt is now $3 billion and climbing fast.

To keep the gold flowing into the coffers of the banks Seaga has imposed a rigid austerity program, or what he calls a "structural adjustment program," on the Jamaican toilers. This program includes massive layoffs, devaluations of the currency, tax increases and price hikes.

But the recent demonstrations in Jamaica show that the toilers are not taking Seaga's Reaganite austerity program lying down. The masses are angry and ready for action. This shows once again that Reaganomics inevitably gives rise to the mass resistance of the toilers.

The Reaganite policies of "free enterprise" and "reduced government" are being floated as the solution to the economic problems of dependent capitalist countries (as well as developed capitalist economies). Reagan preaches his capitalist gospel at international conferences. The "Chicago school" of Reaganite economists was given free rein in the Chilean economy. And in Grenada the U.S. armed forces are directly imposing Reaganomics.

But Reaganomics means an unbridled capitalist offensive against the masses. It means freedom only for the rich to rob the poor. So-despite the Reaganites' claim that they have found the key to stability, the masses inevitably rise up. This is what has been happening in Chile. It's happening now in Jamaica, one of the Reaganites' "islands of stability" in the Caribbean. And it will inevitably happen also in Grenada and wherever the masses are ground down by Reaganite austerity programs, wage cuts and productivity drives.

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The World in Struggle


General strike in Ecuador against austerity

[Photo: Ecuadoran masses battle the police in the streets of Quito.]

On January 10 and 11, the workers of Ecuador carried out a 48-hour general strike against the austerity measures of the capitalist government there. The strike mobilized all sections of the working class and paralyzed the country. It also engaged broad support from students, who erected barricades in the cities and fought the police with stones.

The strike had to battle fierce repression from the government. Police used tear gas and water cannons to attack any crowds or masses forming up for marches. During the strike the police killed six people and arrested 460.

The strike was launched to protest the latest austerity measures announced by the government. These included fuel price increases of 90% and a public transport fare increase of 20%. This was the first major round of austerity measures imposed by the conservative government of Febres Cordero, who came to power last May. Cordero, a millionaire businessman himself, took over from the Christian Democrat Osvaldo Hurtado, who had also carried out a series of austerity plans against the working masses in agreement with the IMF.

The January general strike was the fourth general strike in the last 27 months. It is part of a continuing struggle of the Ecuadoran working masses to prevent being saddled with the consequences of the capitalist economic crisis. In the past the government has granted some small concessions to the workers when they pressed their strikes, only later to develop new and even worse austerity measures. This brings home the need for the Ecuadoran workers to push forward the class struggle. This is essential both to defend their immediate interests and to prepare for the revolutionary overthrow of the domestic exploiters and imperialism.

Workers seize factories in Bolivia

Bolivian workers continue to press their demands against the Bolivian capitalists. After general strikes in November and December the reformist government of president Siles Zuazo promised some wage increases to workers. But capitalists organized in the National Chamber of Commerce refused to pay the wage raises.

In January workers launched the struggle to win payment of back wages. On January 17 workers in 34 factories in La Paz took over the factories and seized the capitalist executives in charge of the plants. Workers announced they would hold the executives hostage until they received payment for back wages.

The Bolivian capitalists are still refusing to give in, however. The Board of Industries in La Paz called on all 600 factories in the capital to close, to prevent any further hostage taking. Meanwhile President Zuazo has taken no measures to curb the capitalist employers or to enforce the payment of wages. This shows once again that the workers cannot rely on the reformists and liberals to stand up for the interests of the toiling masses. To ensure a government that stands for the toilers they must strive for a revolution that brings to power a government of workers and peasants.

Public employees in struggle in Trinidad and Tobago

Sixty-five thousand government salaried employees are engaged in a contract struggle over wages and are fighting threats of layoffs. These include all postal workers, teachers and civil servants as well as firemen and the police.

Operating under a stiff, police state-type anti-strike law these workers and government employees have been working without a contract ever since the last one expired at the end of 1983. They have organized daily pickets, frequent mass demonstrations and rallies, work-to-rules, sickouts, etc., in a defiant struggle to hold out against a ridiculous wage offer by the government.

After taking its good time for eight months, the PNM [People's National Movement, the party of the liberal national bourgeoisie that has been in power since independence] government offered a 6% increase over three years (i.e., 2% per year)!! Represented in the negotiations by a Joint Negotiating Team (JNT) comprising representatives of the six unions involved, the government employees are demanding a 40% increase over three years and a COLA formula of $4.50 (TT) for every 1% rise in retail price index.

With cost of living recording a 6.7% increase for the first quarter of 1984, annual inflation is expected to well exceed the 17% it reached in 1983. The public sector employees argue correctly that the government's 2% per annum offer would mean a minimum 34% decrease in their real wages over three years.

But the government has arrogantly responded by threatening that either the workers accept the ridiculous offer or "the inevitable alternative will be'' more taxes, layoffs and higher prices. And, the government has also declared its intention to hold even old age pensions and children's school lunches as ransom in these negotiations.

The PNM government is blackmailing the public sector employees and the working public in general, each in its own turn. This is part of the government's crusade to force the workers and the poor of Trinidad and Tobago "to adjust their life styles and spending habits.''

The fact is that the present attacks on public sector employees in that country were set out by the 1984 budget which outlined drastic measures against every aspect of the livelihood of the working masses. The 1984 budget reads like a catechism of IMF-style austerity measures. That budget was based on the infamous "Demas Report'' arrived at through a series of meetings with World Bank officials. While not yet officially under the IMF, the capitalist ruling class in Trinidad and Tobago is forcing its infamous medication on the working masses beforehand. The capitalist exploiters are determined to squeeze what profits they could from the sweat and blood of the toilers before the grand entrance of the IMF.

Hence, the present struggle has a special importance. From early in the negotiations, government employees have refused to allow their hands to be tied by the repressive laws they are under. They have laid emphasis on their mass actions: daily pickets; frequent demonstrations -- several thousand strong; mass solidarity activities with workers from key industries; mass sickouts and "Red Day(s)'' when they all wear red armbands and ribbons to demonstrate their unity.

Come what may, they will have to stick to their path of mass struggle in order to ward off the attacks of the PNM regime of the overbloated moneymen of Trinidad and Tobago.

(An article from The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, January 15, 1985.)

[Photo: Hundreds of workers march in solidarity against the austerity offensive of the capitalists and their government in Trinidad and Tobago.]

Oil riches do not prevent economic crisis

Over the last decade it has often been suggested in the bourgeois news media that oil riches can put countries on the path of sure prosperity and economic development. But in recent years one example after another has shown that this idea is ridiculous. Oil rich countries like Nigeria and Mexico have been inexorably drawn into the web of capitalist economic crisis.

The example of the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago also proves the same point. Trinidad has some oil resources of its own, and it is more heavily involved in the refining and reexport of imported oil. The article below, excerpted from The West Indian Voice of January 15, 1985, describes how oil riches could not save Trinidad from the throes of capitalist economic crisis.

Due to the oil boom Trinidad and Tobago was shielded from the worst effects of the international economic crises of the 1970's. The economy grew tremendously. Consider that the national budget for 1973 was some $370(TT) million while ten years later it was over $13(TT) billion (a 35-fold increase). Trinidadian capitalists saw really staggering profits. But underneath, the contradictions grew immensely both in the economy and in the gulf between the rich and poor. Behind the economic extravagance was the insatiable greed and corruption of the Trinidadian capitalists. And, as far as the fate of oil goes, the opening of the 1980's saw a reversal of the economic trends of the 1970's. Prosperity gave way to sharp crisis. Trinidad, after a decade-long lapse, began to again register a deficit, which is currently at over two billion dollars. Meanwhile the imperialist vultures began tightening the screws -- salvaging what profits they could before sinking the ship.

In this situation, the terrible economic offensive facing the working class and other toilers of Trinidad and Tobago is due to the overgorged Trinidadian capitalists being determined to maintain their exorbitant profits.

Thus, over the past couple of years the PNM (People's National Movement, the party of the liberal national bourgeoisie) government has unleashed a volley of continuous attacks, slashing social services and subsidies for basic food and other essential items, instituting a health surcharge, jacking up utility costs, consumer prices and taxes. Along with this austerity drive, widespread layoffs (estimated at some 20,000 over the past two years) are being conducted and "wage restraints," job combination and a "crackdown in discipline" at the work places have all been made top priority.

Backed against the wall, oil, manufacturing, construction, port and sugar workers along with villagers, nurses, doctors and bank employees have taken to the streets against a whole range of attacks.

Workers battle police in Bangladesh

Recently there was a bitter clash between striking workers and police in Bangladesh. The incident occurred in the town of Savar, about twenty miles north of the capital, Dhaka. On January 17, about 500 textile workers on strike against a garment factory in Savar laid siege to the plant to press their demand for a pay raise. Police fired on the workers but they fought back. The fight then spread throughout the town as the residents took up the cause of the workers. The government moved in a large force of riot police and clamped a ban on all gatherings. In the clashes, the workers injured twenty policemen.

This strike is just one example of a growing combative mood among the workers in Bangladesh. The workers are waging an unrelenting struggle for higher wages and for trade union rights against the employers and the military government. Last spring over a dozen trade union federations joined together to form the United Action Committee of the Workers and Employees. The Action Committee carried out a one-day general strike on April 28 and then announced a two-day general strike to take place on May 22-23. To avert the strike the government came to an agreement raising the minimum wage by 70% and granting certain trade union rights.

The workers' struggle in Bangladesh confronts an intolerable burden of poverty and misery. Since Bangladesh became independent in 1971, the workers and peasants of that country of over 90 million people have suffered under one cruel bourgeois-landlord regime after another. Since then real wages have declined to a quarter of what they were; the economy has stagnated, with one- third of the labor force unemployed; the literacy rate is only 20%; and 87% of the population survives at a level below the government's official poverty line. In the meantime, a tiny stratum of capitalists, landlords and speculators have grown fabulously wealthy through the exploitation of the masses and from ripping off big amounts of the $11 billion in foreign aid received by the country.

The present wave of militancy in the working class of Bangladesh comes at a time when large sections of the masses are in ferment against the military dictatorship. The country has been under martial law since March 1982 when Lt. General Ershad seized power. Ershad has spoken of returning the country to civilian rule but he has openly declared his intention of providing the military with a permanent role in running the government; his models are the dictatorships of Turkey and Indonesia. As well, Ershad seeks the establishment of some sort of Islamic Republic.

But Ershad's rule has given rise to, growing mass struggle. Last January when he spoke of his plans for an Islamic Republic, he set off a firestorm of protest, since Bengalis retain bitter memories of living under an Islamic Republic when the country was dominated by Pakistan before 1971. A series of general strikes, mass demonstrations and other struggles have taken place against martial law and for democratic rights.

The workers, peasants and youth have been in the thick of the mass movement against the dictatorship. However, the bourgeois political parties currently dominate the opposition movement and the revisionists of various stripes help to channel this bourgeois influence to the working masses. The two main opposition coalitions are headed by the Awami League and the Nationalist Party. Both these parties have been in power -- the Awami League right after independence and the Nationalist Party in the late 70's up to the latest military coup. They only brought disaster to the workers and peasants. Today they seek to ride the popular discontent into power.

The toilers of Bangladesh have a powerful tradition of struggle against the exploiters and their regimes, both military and civilian, during both the Pakistani period and since independence. Today they are again displaying their mettle. But in order to prevent the capitalists and landlords from once again seizing the fruits of their struggle and sacrifice, they are faced with the essential task of standing up for their own independent class aims. For this they have to build up their organizations independent of the exploiters and their hangers-on.

Kurdish bourgeois nationalists treacherously attack Komala

On November 16, forces mobilized by the bourgeois nationalist Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDP) viciously attacked a base of Komala. Komala is the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran, which is an important organization of the Iranian toilers. The base, which is located in the impoverished Oraman section of Kurdistan, serves as a center for the rest and medical treatment of wounded and ill Komala fighters. During the assault three militants were killed, and ten who were wounded and captured were later shot dead. The KDP forces also set fire to the base and clinic, and riddled the homes of local people with bullets. The Marxist-Leninist Party, USA condemns this dastardly crime of the KDP.

The Kurdistan region of Iran has been the target of repeated ferocious assaults by the despotic Khomeini regime. The masses of Kurdistan have heroically resisted this suppression. Komala has been working hard among the masses to educate them, to raise their consciousness, to arm and organize them. The KDP, although it does engage in some armed struggle against the reactionary Iranian government, represents the interests of the bourgeoisie and other exploiters within the Kurdish national movement. The November 16 attack on Komala shows once again that the KDP dreads the revolutionary movement and the independent organization of the toilers even more than it dreads the Khomeini regime.

A communique issued December 3 by the Paris office of Komala to denounce the attack points out: "We have always stressed the bourgeois nature of the KDP and have exposed the class character and the anti-democratic practice of this party. At the same time we have said that we will not be the first to use arms to solve our political differences with the KDP. But we have also declared that such a policy does not at all mean that we shall sit silent before such acts of the KDP, or any other sections that in any way endanger the interests of the movement and the interests of the toilers.... "

The communique continues, stating: "By imposing the Oraman confrontation on us, by trampling on all the previous arrangements and agreements, the KDP has delivered another blow on the revolutionary movement of Kurdistan. But the conscious people of Kurdistan, by their deep hatred and indignation of such actions, have demonstrated that they are now more determined than ever to continue their revolutionary movement until the achievement of their strategic ideals, and as they have shown throughout the hard years of the war, they will not allow any factor to block the course of development of their movement."

Japanese municipal workers fight against wage freeze

[Photo: A scene from the central rally of municipal workers held in Tokyo on October 2, 1984.]

The Japanese municipal workers have been fighting against the attempt of the government to impose a wage freeze on them. On October 23rd, 750,000 workers across the country went out on a one-hour strike in the early morning. On the next day, the joint struggle council of public employees conducted a united action which included a two- hour strike of some 810,000 workers.

In attempting to impose a wage freeze, the Japanese government has even ignored the recommendation of the National Personnel Authority to grant a wage hike. The NPA recommendation system was originally introduced to deprive the public employees of the right to strike in exchange for an allegedly guaranteed wage increase. It has long been an important weapon to suppress strikes and control wages. (This report is based on material from The People's Star, International Bulletin of the Communist Party of Japan (Left).)

Social-Democrat Blanco imposes new price hikes

Mass protests across the Dominican Republic

Protests broke out throughout the Dominican Republic during the last week of January, following the government's announcement of an increase in the prices of petroleum products and basic foodstuffs. Despite the government's heavy-handed repression, the Dominican people showed once again they will not meekly submit to the dictates of capitalist austerity.

Since last April's revolt against price increases, the social-democratic government of Salvador Jorge Blanco has tried to clamp a heavy lid of suppression on the workers' and popular movements, periodically arresting hundreds of leftists in an attempt to prevent any recurrence of April's rebellion. To plan for the latest price increases, in mid-January the chiefs of the armed forces and national police began to hold closed-door meetings; at the same time police were dispatched to keep a close eye on trade unionists and leftist leaders.

Jorge Blanco announced the new austerity measures on January 23, and despite the careful plans of the military and police, mass demonstrations against the price hikes were soon under way. On January 24, following Blanco's speech, demonstrations broke out in several neighborhoods in the city of San Francisco de Macoris; the masses built bonfires of tires. The same day, in the city of San Cristobal, people stoned the police station. Protests also occurred in the poorest barrios of Santo Domingo, the capital, and in other cities.

Demonstrations continued on January 25. In the capital, demonstrations and burning blockades took place in many barrios; also two sales stations of INESPRE, the government-run Institute for the Stabilization of Prices, were attacked and some of their staple foods taken by the starving people. In Santiago the protests included burning tires and explosions of homemade bombs. Various organizations announced that January 26 would be a national day of protest against the price hikes, and in one section of Santo Domingo local Committees of Popular Struggle called for a general work stoppage.

Trying to crush the rising mass movement, Jorge Blanco's government rushed police and army troops into the cities and massed them in the poorest barrios to suppress the toilers there. Hundreds of people were arrested, many of them dragged out of their homes in joint police-military operations. In some barrios everyone on the street was being forced to stop and show ID, and any youths on the street in the evening were picked up by roving police patrols.

Jorge Blanco Is a Stooge of the Capitalists

The austerity measures announced by Jorge Blanco on January 23 include a 34% increase in the price of gasoline, a 12 1/2% increase in the price of propane gas used for cooking, and hikes in the prices of a number of basic food items, like rice and cooking oil. But any rise in the price of petroleum products has a ripple effect throughout the economy, as the prices for transportation, other foodstuffs, etc. are also forced up. Thus these increases are a heavy burden on the already hard-pressed poor in the Dominican Republic.

But these austerity measures were demanded by the International Monetary Fund in negotiations over the repayment of the Dominican Republic's $2.7 billion foreign debt. The imperialist vultures are demanding that the Dominican toilers be bled white to pay the international bankers up to $467 million in interest in 1985 alone.

These price hikes and the militarist repression of the masses are yet another sharp exposure of Blanco's government, the government of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). The PRD has often tried to promote itself as a party of the masses, but despite its name it is just a party of the capitalist exploiters. The PRD is a social-democratic party, a member of the Socialist International. Its measures to impoverish the toiling masses on behalf of the bourgeoisie and imperialism offer a revealing exposure of the pro-capitalist character of social- democracy.

But the Dominican masses will not meekly submit to the dictates of the Blanco regime of hunger and misery. Last April, when Blanco announced huge price increases as part of another accord with the IMF, thousands rose up in powerful storms of protest across the island, and today the fighting spirit of the Dominican toilers remains very much alive.

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U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of Central America!


Justice in the land of the death squads

On January 6 the Salvadoran government's chief corruption investigator, Pedro Rene Yanez, was assassinated in the street by a supporter of the ultra-right ARENA party which he was then investigating. This incident shows the A1 Capone-style atmosphere that prevails among the reactionary parties in El Salvador. The election of so-called "moderate" President Duarte has not made the slightest difference in the constant stream of murders and atrocities from the death squads. To justify sending more and more soldiers and weapons to support the Salvadoran government's campaign against the revolutionaries, Reagan talks about how Duarte's election has solved the problem of the death squads, while in fact Duarte can't even guarantee the lives of his appointees, such as Yanez.

The ARENA party, headed by death squad chief Roberto D'Aubuisson, leads the majority coalition in the Salvadoran National Assembly, while Duarte, leader of the Christian Democratic Party, holds the presidency. President Duarte had named Yanez to the post of Presidential Commissioner of Integrity last June and authorized him to head an investigation into corruption by government officials.

But soon after Yanez accused prominent ARENA leaders of illegal business practices he was shot to death.

This dispute ending in murder took place between two parties sitting in the same government, two parties who collaborate daily in the exploitation and suppression of the Salvadoran people. This is truly a death squad regime! Not only is ARENA thoroughly fascist against the working masses, not only is it undoubtedly completely corrupt as well, but even the other parties of the capitalists and landlords can't deal with it on any rational basis. All it understands is force. It even settles its scores with these other reactionary parties by assassination.

And this is the regime which Reagan props up in the name of "democracy" and which the Democrats believe can be reformed through giving it advice on "human rights." And yet others advise the Salvadoran revolutionaries to lay down their arms and trust in the good faith and moderation of the death squad government. Yet if ARENA can shoot even Duarte's officials in cold blood, imagine what is in store for the revolutionary forces once disarmed. The only solution is a full-scale revolutionary sweep by the Salvadoran working masses to do away with all the corrupt and squabbling oppressors.

[Photo: Over 5,000 workers demonstrated in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador on January 17. The protest outside the national assembly demanded relief from high taxes and prices. The U.S.-backed government in the country stands for ruthless exploitation and brutal repression of the working masses.]

Democrats whitewash CIA involvement in the death squads

On January 13, the Democratic-controlled House Intelligence Committee released a report on its investigation of CIA involvement in the Salvadoran death squads. The self-styled "human rights" advocates in the House were obliged to take up this matter because of recent reports citing past U.S. government training of and continuing connections with Salvadoran security officials linked to the death squads.

Did the House investigation mean the Democrats planned to unearth the gold mine of facts establishing that the death squads were "made in the USA"? Unfortunately not. Or perhaps these humanitarians are taking the opportunity to publicly condemn the CIA's atrocities in Central America? Not for a minute. What they actually had in mind is a whitewash.

The CIA and the Death Squads

The Salvadoran death squads are notorious for their attempts to ferret out and murder all voices of opposition to the ruling oligarchy and to U.S. imperialism. Using the most brutal methods possible, they direct most of their efforts towards massacring the workers and peasants, the backbone of the revolutionary struggle in El Salvador.

It should come as no surprise that the U.S. government, which finances, arms, and directs the regime's war against the Salvadoran people, is also the hand behind the death squads. They were set up under CIA, State Department and Green Beret programs during the Kennedy presidency and have been backed by every subsequent U.S. administration, including those of Carter and Reagan. (See "How the U.S. government set up the death squads in El Salvador" in The Workers' Advocate of June 10, 1984.) After all, counterinsurgency is official U.S. policy in El Salvador and counterinsurgency (the liquidation of popular uprisings using Green Beret-type forces, assassination and mass terror against the people) requires death squads.

Findings of the House Democrats

The House Intelligence Committee itself had to admit that the reason the CIA is often perceived as having ties to the death squads is because in fact it does. The committee report states: "Some U.S. intelligence relationships with individuals connected with death squads" may have given the impression to Salvadorans that the CIA "condoned because it was aware of, some death squad activities." (All quotes from the committee report are taken from articles in the New York Times and Detroit Free Press on January 14, 1985.)

But, throwing aside the facts that they themselves gathered, the committee concluded from their investigation that U.S. intelligence agencies operating in El Salvador "have not conducted any of their activities in such a way as to directly encourage or support" the activities of the right-wing death squads. Further, the report apologizes for and justifies the CIA contacts with the death squad personnel as "regrettable but perhaps unavoidable" on the pretext that, in order for the CIA to gain information about the death squa4s, it must have close connections with them. In essence, the House Democrats would have us believe that the CIA and other U.S. government agencies link up with the death squad, officials, subsidize them, train them and work side by side with them -- because they disapprove of their activities.

The Congressional Democrats Demand Yet More CIA Involvement in El Salvador

The House Intelligence Committee thus showed itself to be a firm supporter of the CIA. Its view was that the death squad murders occurred as a result of the CIA not having a sufficiently active role in El Salvador, but mistakenly letting things slide and get out of hand. Thus, rather than trying to put a spoke in the wheels of the CIA, the House Democrats, if anything, egged on the CIA to solidify its connections with the Salvadoran reactionaries and step up its work. They criticized the agency for accomplishing too little, too late, on this front and found it "disturbing" that U.S. intelligence officers aren't more intimate with the death squad leaders they associate with.

The House Committee investigation of the CIA illustrates the role of the liberals in imperialist aggression. Whenever the U.S. ruling class is threatened with exposure for its foul deeds in other countries, the liberals are at their posts, ready to wring their hands at any "excesses" or "improper" methods used, to launch an "independent" investigation, and to whitewash the crime. Then they "boldly" demand that the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department be more active and have more control of events under the pretext that this will solve the various crimes committed by the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department in the first place.

Clearly we cannot rely on the Democratic Party liberals to oppose U.S. aggression. Rather, it is the working and progressive masses in the U.S., in solidarity with the revolutionary fighters in El Salvador, who are the force that must stand up against "our own" government's intervention in Central America.

Democrats demand that Reagan ensure the gunships are 'working well'

Once again the Democrats in Congress are crying tears over "human rights" in El Salvador. They are upset by the story that a certain gunship has been used in El Salvador.

Have the Democrats finally come out as opponents of Reagan's war in El Salvador? After all, the use of gunships in El Salvador is a major escalation of the war by the Pentagon. These gunships are weapons of mass slaughter and not only will bring much misery to the Salvadoran people, but their very use is a confession that Duarte's regime and the Pentagon have no popular support.

But no. The Democrats are not opposed to the use of gunships in El Salvador. They are only against the premature use of a second gunship before the first one has been adequately tested.

"...Until You Are Satisfied that the New System Is Working Well"

The subject came up in January when members of Congress complained that the second of the two AC-47 aircraft, which the U.S. had converted into gunships and sent to El Salvador, was being brought into action prematurely, in violation of an agreement the Reagan administration had with Congress.

"We understand you will not authorize release of the second rebuilt C-47 to El Salvador unless you are satisfied that the new system is working well, with due attention to human rights concerns." (New York Times, January 11, 1985) This statement was sent to U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Thomas R. Pickering, last September by several senior members of Congress, including liberal Democrat Edward Boland. (Ninety-two other Congressmen also sent a similar statement to the Reagan administration.) In return, Congress had been "given assurances that the second gunship would be sent into combat only after American officials had studied how the first gunship had performed." (Ibid.)

So the real issue at stake is the smooth operation of the gunships. Number One was to be tested out first, to see if it could hold its own on the battlefield. The U.S. imperialists have reason to worry about this since, when the AC-47's were used in Viet Nam, they posed various problems. For one thing they proved unwieldy for use against widely dispersed targets. As well they were prone to be shot down. As everyone knows, the Pentagon was driven out of Viet Nam, dragging its gunships behind it.

Mass Murder -- "With Due Attention to Human Rights Concerns"

As for the Congressmen's touching concern for "human rights," it is nothing but a fraud. It is a contradiction in terms to speak of human rights when one is deploying AC-47 gunships. These weapons are custom-made to rain down lead on a target area. They are known for being able to put, in one minute, a bullet in every square foot of an area the size of a city block.

In the eyes of the U.S. imperialists, the guerrilla fighters in El Salvador never had any human rights in the first place. Besides, weapons such as gunships preclude any discrimination between fighters and civilians, even supposing that were U.S. policy. The AC-47's are designed simply to "clear" everyone from a given area. They are nothing but flying death squads.

In El Salvador the revolutionary fighters are completely bound up with the masses of peasants -- their family and friends who house, clothe and feed them. The policy of the U.S. and the Salvadoran oligarchy is to target both the guerrillas and their mass civilian support. No amount of "human rights" guidelines issued in Congress can cover this policy up.

Any remaining illusions about the "human rights" talk on the part of the U.S. Congress should quickly be punctured as still more gunships are to be sent to El Salvador. They are part of a plan to drastically increase the firepower of the Salvadoran regime as well as to systematize its assaults on the guerrillas. From the point of view of the U.S. government, the situation is desperate because the guerrillas have the upper hand in the war and enjoy popular support, while the regime's forces are isolated.

The Salvadoran workers and peasants can only get true human rights by overthrowing the oligarchy and defeating the death squads and their U.S. imperialist backers. The noise in Congress about the "human rights" method of using AC-47 gunships is a disgusting travesty, typical of the liberal Democrats. It has nothing to do with human rights. It has everything to do with how best to hand over massive firepower to the Salvadoran oligarchy to prop up its failing war against the rights and liberty of the Salvadoran people.

Arturo Cruz asks Congress to fund the contras

The bourgeoisie inside Nicaragua is the other face of the CIA/contra terrorists

Arturo Cruz, one of the main leaders of the Nicaraguan bourgeoisie, lives in the U.S. Cruz is one of the representatives of that part of the exploiters that has maintained its legality inside Nicaragua and worked within the structure set up by the Sandinistas. He was the presidential candidate in the recent Nicaraguan elections of that collection of reactionary parties of the big bourgeoisie called the "Democratic Coordinator," until the DC pulled out of the elections.

But recently the news has been full of his pleas to the U.S. Congress to renew its official aid to the contras -- the CIA-backed Nicaraguan mercenaries who are carrying out armed terror raids and sabotage against their own people.

Cruz' pleas show that the political parties of the big capitalists and landlords inside Nicaragua are directly linked to the contras, who are Reagan's footmen in the siege of Nicaragua from the outside. It shows once again that the internal bourgeois opposition is a counterrevolutionary force of exploiters.

The Nicaraguan revolution is being squeezed from two directions. On the one hand it must fight daily to hold its ground against the contras' raids on Nicaragua's villages and the U.S. reconnaissance overflights, mining of harbors, and economic blockade. On the other hand, the revolution is under constant pressure from the bourgeois opposition within the country to give up major political and economic concessions. And, as Cruz' pleas for the contras show, these two fronts are linked together.

Cruz' History Shows the Evolution of the Bourgeois Opposition

The career of Cruz illustrates the stands of the legal bourgeois opposition to the revolution. Cruz was living in the U.S. as a banker when the revolution overthrew Somoza in 1979. Then Cruz became the Sandinistas' ambassador to the U.S. (This was when the main forces of the former liberal bourgeois opposition to Somoza and most formerly apolitical bourgeois figures worked through a coalition with the Sandinistas, hoping to take over and grab the fruits of the overthrow of Somoza for themselves.)

But Cruz soon resigned his post and quit the government. This was part of the process whereby part of the bourgeoisie went into exile and joined the former Somoza henchmen and loyalists in forming contra bands to attack the revolution with guns, while most of the rest formed a legal bourgeois opposition inside Nicaragua. Cruz, though he lived in the U.S., represented this latter legal bourgeois opposition.

During the elections in November 1984, Cruz ran against the Sandinistas as the presidential candidate of the so-called "Democratic Coordinator." The DC demanded that, in exchange for its participation in the elections, the government should open up negotiations with the contras. At that time, the Sandinistas refused.

In response, Cruz withdrew his candidacy and the DC attacked the elections as "undemocratic." At the same time as the DC coordinated its boycott with the U.S. State Department and the contras, it also threw its votes to those parties of the capitalist reaction that stayed in the election, thus having its boycott and voting too.

Today Cruz is lobbying Congress on behalf of the contras. This shows his transformation into an open representative of the armed counterrevolution and U.S. imperialism. It simply brings into the open what the essence of the DC's election maneuvering was all about.

Cruz' story shows the futility of attempting to win over the big bourgeoisie to the revolution through concessions. They cannot be won over because, as exploiters, their class interest lies in suppressing the liberation movement of the toilers. At base, they are tied to the armed counterrevolution and aim to establish their own rule in alliance with imperialism.

The workers and poor peasants who spearheaded the Nicaraguan revolution are the ones whose class interests lead them to defend and deepen it. They are the reliable barrier both to the external aggression by Reagan, the CIA and the contras, and to the internal sabotage by the big landlords and capitalists. They deserve the full support of the working people in the U.S.


March against U.S. war in Central America

At noon on Saturday, January 26, some 100 activists gathered at Union Square in the Allston section of Boston for a march against U.S. aggression in Nicaragua and El Salvador. It was called for by a group of activists who wanted to raise their voices in protest against the U.S. war that is going on today. The demonstration had been publicized extensively, with leaflets and posters.

The march itself was militant and very well received by many people on the street. Slogans shouted by the marchers included: "Political asylum for Salvadoran refugees!," "U.S. out of El Salvador!," "No to imperialist war!," "CIA, USA, hands off Nicaragua!" A couple of street theater skits were also performed and songs were sung. The marched ended at a place where many went in for soup and discussion.

Militants mobilized by the MLP took part in the demonstration, along with a number of activists from The Student at MIT. The MLP comrades vigorously participated in the action, held many discussions about the path forward for the mass movement, sang songs, distributed revolutionary literature, including literature about the Campaign to Support the Nicaraguan Workers' Press.


'Fight on, Workers and Peasants of Central America'

--a song by a reader

From El Salvador's green mountains

To the towns of Nicaragua To the Guatemalan heat,

The heroic workers and peasants

Of downtrodden Central America

Are performing revolutionary feats.

Breaking the hold of the Yankee dollar,

U.S. and native capitalist holler;

The ground is burning under their feet.

Viva la Revolucion!

Bosses will be overthrown

By the toilers in the street!


Viva revolution of the poor!

The toilers' cause will be victorious!

Everywhere flames up a glorious

Insurrection, civil war!

Sending soldiers, CIA men,

Mercenaries, planes and gunboats,

A big stick the cowboy Reagan waves;

While the Democratic "peaceniks"

Rubber-stamp his "backyard" big stick;

Both crave the blood of Latin American slaves;

While the Contadora big shots,

To disarm the toilers' forces,

Call for a "political solution."

Down with imperialism

And exploiting capitalism

In the toilers' revolution!


Today the workers of the world,

With their blood-red flag unfurled,

Greet the toilers of Central America!

From Mexico to Chile,

Down the spine of the snow-capped Andes,

The toilers launch militant assaults!

From New York City to L.A.

From West Germany to Madrid,

The masses march in solidarity!

Viva la Revolucion!

Bosses will be overthrown

By the toilers in the street!

CHORUS (two times)

Chicago: CIA recruiters denounced at Northwestern University

At one university after another, students are standing up to denounce the CIA as a criminal bunch of thugs against the world's people. CIA recruiters have been denounced at Brown University, at Tufts, at Berkeley, at the University of Michigan, etc. This time it was Northwestern University at Chicago.

In mid-January CIA recruiters went to the campus to hold job placement interviews. They regard college education as a good stepping stone for a life of spying, sabotage and murder. But they were greeted by several dozen sign-carrying demonstrators.

The university administration ordered the protesters out of Scott Hall, and it had five students arrested. Apparently the administration believes that schools are for CIA agents, not students. Or then again, perhaps it wanted to give a practical example of the type of ^democracy" that the CIA defends around the world.

The student demonstrations against the CIA show that, despite the wishful thinking of the capitalists, the struggle of the students to support the working people of the world is not dead and buried by repression and bourgeois servility and money-grubbing.


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Report on the work of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists

The proletarian party and the defense of the revolution

The ongoing CIA war and Reagan's warmongering hysteria against the Nicaraguan people highlight the importance of building the struggle here in the heart of the imperialist beast against U.S. aggression on Nicaragua. An understanding of the political struggle of the different classes within Nicaragua is a valuable part of building solidarity with the Nicaraguan workers and peasants in the face of Yankee intervention.

Recent discussions between the comrades of the Movement of Popular Action (Marxist-Leninist) of Nicaragua and the MLP, USA shed light on some recent political developments. MAP/ML states that the Nicaraguan revolution has been placed on the defensive, with the unstable Sandinista program continuing to flounder and with the right-wing bourgeoisie waging an aggressive offensive. At the same time, the proletarian revolutionaries of MAP/ML are reviving their strength among the masses with advances on several fronts, including steps towards the rebuilding of the workers ' press and towards the recuperation of the FO (Workers Front) trade union center. The background for this report is based on the discussions with the MAP/ML comrades.

The Right, the Middle, and the Left in the November Elections

The November 4 elections give a good picture of where the different political forces in Nicaragua stand. The three principal forces involved were:

The right. The reactionary capitalists and landlords were represented by the bourgeois parties that participated in the elections (and received over one- fourth of the vote), as well as by the right-wing Democratic Coordinator and its candidate Arturo Cruz which waged a boycott campaign to obstruct the elections. The right had the ardent backing of the Reagan administration and U.S. imperialism.

The middle. The ruling Sandinista Front (FSLN) and its supporters represented the petty-bourgeois policy of vacillation between the revolution and the reaction of the exploiters. To make their regime more palatable to the bourgeoisie, both domestically and internationally, the FSLN put on their ticket a number of figures with right-wing reputations as well as "patriotic" big businessmen. (For example, Samuel Amador, a so-called "patriotic" landholder who is Nicaragua's largest rice producer on top of substantial other holdings, is not a FSLN member but ran on its slate for the Constituent Assembly.)

The two pro-Soviet revisionist parties, the Socialist Party (PSN) and the Communist Party (PCN), both ran in support of the Sandinista's petty-bourgeois platform of "political pluralism" and "mixed economy." If anything they went further than the FSLN in their striving for class harmony and a bourgeois liberal regime, as the two revisionist parties played the role of mediators between the FSLN and the bourgeois parties, and made demands that the FSLN make even further concessions to the reactionaries to ensure their wider participation in the elections.

And the left. The only alternative on the left was the champion of the interests of the workers and poor peasants -- MAP-ML. The Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists ran an open campaign for deepening the revolution of the toilers against the exploiting classes through to the triumph of the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialism in Nicaragua.

While the FSLN received two-thirds of the vote, showing it is still the most popular party in the country, there was little enthusiasm for the FSLN's campaign; and the mass mobilization and votes for the Sandinistas were not what they had hoped for. The elections were another sign of the wearing out of the popular enthusiasm for the Sandinistas' program.

Meanwhile the political opening that the FSLN gave the bourgeoisie in the elections has breathed new life into the counterrevolutionary internal front. The capitalist reactionaries have escalated their economic blackmail and political pressure; and they are seizing on the difficult economic situation and all the other sores of discontent to intensify their treacherous propaganda against the revolution.

Seeing how the reactionaries were attempting to utilize the elections to strengthen themselves, MAP-ML decided to run a vigorous campaign with the aim of combating the influence of the right wing and advancing the revolutionary cause of the workers and toilers.

MAP-ML's campaign was a big success. From a party which the FSLN government had stripped of all its political rights, with its members and supporters hounded and imprisoned, MAP-ML's presence and influence rebounded. Although its election campaign was started weeks late because of difficulties in getting registered and obtaining the other rights that the other parties were allowed, MAP-ML's militant work brought about a broad recognition of MAP-ML as the only alternative on the left.

The highest concentration of votes for MAP-ML came from the northern frontier zones, sparsely populated areas where the war against the contras is raging. Because of the war MAP-ML could not campaign in these zones, but they received support from the popular militiamen and soldiers who are stationed in these zones in large numbers. Another center of votes for the Marxist-Leninists was Chinandega province where the Party works among the laborers on the cotton and sugar farms.

The revisionists and other critics of MAP-ML had predicted that it was impossible to run a campaign in Nicaragua on the platform of the class struggle and the proletarian revolution. But the critics were proven wrong. Despite just emerging from severe repression MAP-ML received about 1% of the vote, a comparable number to each of the revisionist parties, and it won two seats in the new Constituent Assembly.

Attempts to Negotiate the Fruits of the Revolution

The growing lack of enthusiasm for the FSLN program that was reflected in the election campaign is the inescapable result of the class compromising nature of Sandinism.

Economic factors play a major role in the growing dissatisfaction. The economic situation continues to go from bad to worse. Economic disruption and blackmail is an important tool for counterrevolution in the hands of the capitalists and landlords. The U.S. blockade means closed markets for exports and shortages of parts and other key imports. Nicaragua is also facing big debt payments to the foreign banks. And if all this is not bad enough, the CIA's war is imposing a heavy economic burden.

The only way out of this economic catastrophe in favor of the people is to take revolutionary measures against the rich exploiters. But the Sandinistas are sticking to their futile policy of "mixed economy." Under this signboard they continue to lavish generous subsidies on the big capitalists and landholders; and they continue to clamp down on the struggles of the toilers against the exploiters. This policy is making it hard for the working masses to accept the enormous economic burdens brought on by the capitalist and imperialist pressures -- severe shortages of necessities, low wages, etc. It is hard for the workers to accept such harsh sacrifices when they can see the exploiters heaped with special incentives and their profits and property defended, when the masses are going without to make sure the imperialist banks get their pound of flesh, and when every attempt is made to smother the workers' initiative and class energy to combat their natural enemies -- the capitalist and landlord classes.

On the military front there is a similar problem. Mobilization of the masses in defense against U.S. aggression also demands a class policy, a policy of mobilizing the toilers in their own class interests against both the internal reaction and the external threat. But because such a policy frightens the bourgeoisie, the FSLN has more and more attempted to mobilize on traditional military lines. This has dampened the popular enthusiasm for shouldering the tasks of defense and it has even created a degree of resentment among the people, especially towards the law on compulsory military service.

The capitalist reactionaries are pushing hard to exploit every point of resentment towards the FSLN policy. To combat the revolution, the bourgeois parties of the Democratic Coordinator, COSEP and the other business organizations, the Catholic Church hierarchy, and the rest of the right-wing cabal are making a coordinated effort to seize on the economic difficulties, the law on military service and the other sore points of FSLN policy.

Reaction is turning up the heat; and the FSLN leaders are offering up buckets full of economic and political concessions to cool the flames. They have offered new amnesty proposals to the contras. They have opened a new dialogue with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. They are trying to convince the banks of the capitalist world to trust Nicaragua to make good on a new batch of debts. And they are preparing a new foreign investment law to lure more investments of Western private capital.

The FSLN has gone to the point of making the fruits of the revolution into bargaining chips for negotiations with the capitalist reaction. In the midst of the electoral process they convened summits of the political parties -- including Reagan's right-wing lackeys who were trying to sink the elections with their boycott -- for a national dialogue. Reportedly, the FSLN leaders offered the right-wing opposition that the decisions of this dialogue would even supersede the decisions of the newly elected assembly.

But, just as they have done for the last five years, every offer of concessions has only poured gasoline on the fires of reaction. So far, instead of realizing a rapprochement with the big bourgeoisie, the bourgeoisie has only intensified its conspiratorial work as it hopes for the CIA and the Pentagon to bring it back to power. Meanwhile, the mobilization and enthusiasm of the masses has been allowed to wane still further to ensure that nothing upsets the negotiations with the bourgeoisie that the FSLN holds out so much hope for.

The Recuperation of MAP-ML

In the midst of this painful situation for the Nicaraguan revolution, MAP-ML is vigorously rebuilding itself as the party of the proletariat. It is step by step reestablishing its strength among the masses. It is putting before the people an alternative to the petty-bourgeois FSLN policy, advancing the proletarian alternative of deepening the revolution against capitalist reaction and imperialism towards the triumph of socialism.

This was the significance of its election campaign. And this was the significance of MAP-ML's role in the summit of political parties, where it attacked the plots of the right wing and condemned any attempt to negotiate away the fruits of the workers' and peasants' revolution.

Rebuilding the Workers' Press

The recuperation of MAP-ML is taking place on a number of fronts, not the least of which is the progress in rebuilding the workers' press.

The elections gave an opening for the strengthening of MAP-ML's newspaper, Prensa Proletaria. It was able to take advantage of the relaxation of some of the political and material restrictions and to activate new forces for work on this front. This is allowing Prensa Proletaria to expand its coverage and to come out more frequently.

MAP-ML has also been able to establish a daily radio program called "Noticieros del Pueblo." This half-hour program carries news of the struggles and conditions of the working people along with political commentaries.

The MAP-ML comrades point out that the supplies sent from the U.S. by the Campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press have been valuable and are all being put to good use. As well, letters sent from American working people in solidarity with MAP-ML and the workers' press were broadcast on the radio program during the election campaign. They point out that this presence of the Marxist-Leninists of other lands in coming to the support of the Nicaraguan workers has inspired enthusiasm in the ranks of MAP-ML's supporters.

Rebuilding the Workers' Front

MAP-ML's trade union organization, Workers' Front (Frente Obrero or FO), is also recuperating. In the powerful proletarian impulse of strikes, factory takeovers and land seizures unleashed by the victory of the anti-Somoza revolution in 1979, FO played an important role and organized many of the most important enterprises in the country. But when the FSLN-led government cracked down to break the revolutionary drive of the toilers, FO was hit very hard. Its leaders were thrown in prisons, its supporters blacklisted, and one way or another FO was stripped of control of the unions.

But the FO never gave up the task of the independent organization of the workers. And today toilers from different parts of the country are once again seeking out the FO to champion their cause.

Last fall, workers at the state-owned Victoria Brewery struck in protest of their miserable wages and conditions. This brewery is one of the biggest enterprises in the country and the strike became a focus of political attention. The right wing tried to exploit the strike and to manipulate the striking workers for their own reactionary ends. The Sandinista union leaders, the New York Times reported, were at a loss of what to do as they had never been involved in a strike before and had no interest in pushing the workers' demands. Meanwhile, the militant workers who had launched the struggle in the first place linked up with the FO, which championed the workers' struggle and successfully fought to break the influence of the right wing. While the results of the strike were inconclusive, one fruit of the struggle was the strengthened organization of the workers, including the presence of the FO, at the Victoria Brewery.

Another strike took place at a large metal shop in Metaza. In this case the FSLN union leaders at first displayed support for the workers, only to turn around and support the Labor Ministry which declared the strike illegal. Once again the right wing tried to manipulate the strikers; and once again the FO was in the midst of the struggle for the workers' interests, head to head against the rightists.

The FO has also realized a number of successes in organizing the tractor drivers on the big cotton farms and other sections of the urban and rural workers.

A further revealing incident involved small farmers who considered that they had been cheated in grain prices set by the government's purchasing company. The peasants first asked for help from the Sandinista-led UNAG (National Union of Farmers and Ranchers) which turned a deaf ear. Then they contacted FO, which entered the struggle and helped the peasants win their demands. One of these peasants later went on television to contribute money to the election campaign of the champion of the workers and poor peasants, MAP- ML.

All these things are signs that the independent organization of the working class and toilers is step by step being rebuilt. While the government's vacillating policy is creating a precarious situation for the revolution, sections of the workers and peasants are turning to MAP-ML, the party which stands for deepening the revolution of the toilers as the road out of the economic disaster and for the most effective defense against U.S. imperialist aggression.

[Photo: Just before the Nicaraguan elections, the Sandinista newspaper Barricada carried interviews with a number of voters. Below is the response of a soldier who was planning to vote for MAP/ ML. (From Barricada International, October 25,1984.) "I don't think an army should -- or could -- ever be apolitical. A soldier isn't a machine to kill for the party in power. We have every right to help decide with our ballots which government is best for our people; that right has been recognized in Nicaragua. It seems to me that you can't deny all the social change the Sandinista Front has achieved, despite the military pressures that we in the army know better than anyone. But, for that very reason, I think the next government should be more decisive; you can't be loyal to the cause of the proletariat and at the same time be looking for conciliation with the bourgeoisie and imperialism. I'm voting for a radical revolution, for the Popular Action Movement (MAP-ML)." Victor Ramirez Soldier, 18]

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'A Nicaraguan Worker'

--a song by a reader

A campesino I was born,

Nicaraguan country town.

Went to work when I was nine,

My school was cutting sugar cane down.

My mother was a rich man's housemaid;

Dad died in the fields when I was eight;

Mostly I was left alone --

Before La Revolucion.

The Somocistas sucked our blood;

The poor man's choice was crumbs or death.

The Yankee and the fascist's boots

Nearly crushed our people's breath.

For 50 years since they killed Sandino

Us poor folk fought for rights and freedom,

Fought to make this land our own --

Fought for Revolucion.

At age nineteen I got hired

At the U.S. refinery.

I met a MAP(M-L) comrade there;

It was he taught me to read.

At many a strike or secret meeting

I read the truth, my heart was beating:

"The rich men we must overthrow!"

In the workers' paper, El Pueblo.

When the insurrection came,

I fought in the MILPAS militia ranks.

We laid the Somocistas low,

Storming fortresses and banks.

Always MAP called on us workers

To lead all toilers, don't be shirkers,

To bring the tyranny firmly down --

No halfway Revolucion.

The tyranny had breathed its last;

The Sandinistas grabbed the state.

Our revolution had advanced,

But the toilers' demands remained unmet.

El Pueblo told the masses:

"Fight still harder the parasite classes;

Don't stop till power is your own --

No halfway Revolucion!"

We broke the U.S. imperialist yoke,

Smashed their big-stick diplomacy;

Their pet Somoza's neck we broke;

Workers of the world hailed our victory.

MAP, the Party of our class,

Warned the workers: "Don't relax!

Beware! The rich abroad, at home,

Hate our Revolucion!"

The Sandinista waverers,

Conspired to silence the workers' voice;

Weak-kneed reformists, they used their power

To try to choke the workers' press.

La Prensa, the rag of the bourgeoisie,

Lives on government subsidy;

But the workers must speak in an undertone

In our own Revolucion!

Begging Reagan and the Democrats

Not to send the contra scum,

The Sandinistas get this reply:

"Lick our boots, or there's more to come!"

Yankee and Nicaraguan capitalistas

Together make a common cause:

Crush the Nicaraguan people down,

Destroy La Revolucion.

Therefore we must never beg

Imperialist or capitalist,

But firmly prepare to hit them both

With the toilers' mighty fist.

Workers of the U.S., American comrades,

Do like you did for Viet Nam!

Support our cause, our workers' press,

Support our Revolucion!

(To the tune of "Spanish is the Loving Tongue")

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From 'Prensa Proletaria' of Nicaragua

In the face of U.S. aggression

(The following article is reprinted from Prensa Proletaria, newspaper of the Movement of Popular Action-Marxist-Leninist) (MAP-ML) of Nicaragua, December 1-15, 1984. Translation by The Workers' Advocate staff.)

The aggression of U.S. imperialism has intensified and there is no perspective for the contradictions between the revolution and imperialism to be solved in favor of the people on the peaceful road. World imperialism and especially U.S. imperialism wants the complete surrender to the Nicaraguan working class and people. In this manner, the need to vigorously take on the corresponding historical responsibility necessarily includes, for all the militants of the cause of the proletarian revolution in Nicaragua, not only the urgent tasks on the political plane of agitation and organization of the masses, but going on to take up more aggressively the tasks of defense on the military plane.

Earlier the Central Committee had already issued the directive for the obligatory incorporation of the militants of MAP-ML in the structures of the Territorial Militias and Civil Defense. Not only is this a political task, but it ought to serve to achieve a qualitative leap on the part of the proletariat in the appropriation of the military arts.

The mastering of military science and technique, and the popular and class impetus to the militias, is a task of the first order in the face of the threats and aggression of the internal counterrevolution and in the face of the necessity to increase the material forces of the revolution for its deepening. Consequently these tasks are assumed by the party of the working class of Nicaragua, MAP- ML.

In this order, the following is communicated to our militants, sympathizers, and those affiliated to the Party:

1. In each zone the leading committee of the department must draw up and implement a program of propaganda and agitation among the masses for the military defense of their locality.

2. Each departmental leadership must take up the task of making a call, in the name of the Party, the Workers Front and the Marxist-Leninist Youth, to the affiliates, friends, sympathizers and people in general, to form battalions, companies, platoons and squadrons -- according to the case and the possibilities for the appeal and organization -- which will be formed by MAP-ML and submitted in their territorial character to the respective authorities of the Popular Militias of the Defense Ministry.

3. The formation of contingents is an eminently political task through which the Party not only accompanies the masses in the tasks of military defense but goes on to take actions of initiative and combat on this plane, in keeping with the given conditions.

4. For the Party, as is indicated in the internal document which accompanies this circular, in the stage of preparatory mobilization of the masses for war, which is the stage of "permanent alert'' or "high combative state,'' the tasks are eminently political (agitational, ideological, organizational). In this stage the proletariat must assure the best disposition of its forces in order to guarantee its fighting presence in the final phases of open war, to convert these mobilizations of preparation for combat into true political struggles against the internal reaction, and to spread with more vigor and organization the anti-imperialist and anti-interventionist sentiment of the masses. Necessarily, the Nicaraguan people must elevate this genuinely anti-imperialist, that is anti-bourgeois, spirit, above narrow nationalism.

5. The militants and affiliates, through the cell secretaries of the MAP-ML Committees, will receive other concrete directives to clarify details that may come up.

6. Through the cell secretaries and the MAP-ML Committees, the militants and affiliates must report if they have already incorporated to the militias and all the facts that the Party will solicit for a better control and pursuit of the participation of the militants. Also, the cells and MAP-ML Committees must prepare coordination and communication plans in cases of mobilization of members of these bodies.

7. The general coordination for everything referring to these tasks will be charged to the General Secretary of the Party.

[Photo: Hundreds of youth join Popular Militias in Managua.]

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Grenada: the dirty business of 'arranging' a government

(The following article is reprinted from The West Indian Voice, newspaper of the Caribbean Progressive Study Group, January 15, 1985.)

On December 3, national elections were conducted in occupied Grenada. Today, after winning 58.6% of the votes cast, the U.S.-backed New National Party (NNP) heads up the government there.

Current propaganda has it that the occupying forces in Grenada are basically keeping to themselves and just keeping an eye on the hills for armed "subversives." But in fact U.S. imperialism, with the close participation of several reactionary Caribbean governments, is actively involved in shaping Grenada's political course.

The recent election had nothing to do with what the Grenadian people want. The election was designed to vindicate U.S. imperialism of four-and-a-half years of plots and aggression against Grenada, legitimize the October 1983 invasion and provide the stamp of approval on U.S. designs for the country. How? By arranging -- through a showcase election -- a reactionary local administration that would go along with the program. These were not "free and fair elections," but a farce with a prearranged outcome.

For their part the big Grenadian capitalists -- believing that (with the U.S. as their benefactor and protector) Fort Knox had finally opened -- were only too willing to go along. The U.S. had no trouble managing the election in detail.

The election was preceded by a yearlong campaign of filthy propaganda and repression to discredit and decimate all opposition and crush any signs of dissent.

The local media was, as it still is, under direct U.S. sponsorship from transmitter and printing press, to advisory personnel from Fort Bragg and the CIA graduated in the latest techniques of mind manipulation and high-tech plotting and scheming....

NNP Gets the Mandate of the Pentagon and the Grenadian Rich

The elections in no way diminish the tight control exercised by U.S. imperialism over Grenada. Rather, with the support of the local bourgeoisie (in the role of junior partner), the elections simply mask the U.S. dictate.

The New National Party has been given the mandate by the Pentagon and the Grenadian rich. The option of extending a role or share in government to the GULP, the party of the deposed tyrant Eric Gairy, had faded earlier. Gairy, being the corrupt and unpredictable tyrant that he is, ^even began issuing threats against and organized a shakedown of U.S. businessmen in the island. Gairy took to publicly toasting and boasting of his loyalty to Reagan and the Queen of England. In tribute to them, he even began declaring national holidays in advance. Realizing that returning Gairy to office would be begging for quick disaster, Washington threw its efforts into pulling together the NNP.

Formed last August, the NNP is a three-party coalition centered around the Grenada National Party (the other major party of the local estate owners and businessmen) and its leader Herbert Blaize. It is an attempt to refurbish the tattered image of the GNP by drawing various petty bourgeois liberals to it. The NNP is an uneasy alliance. Not so much because of political differences, but because of the remarkable greed its participants share. The NNP was declared after some ten months of hard nose bargaining over the spoils of office was interrupted by the direct intervention of other reactionary Caribbean rulers at the instigation of the U.S.

To field the NNP, Washington arranged campaign staff from Jamaica, Barbados, etc., and launched an expensive campaign such as Grenada has never seen before. Even aircraft was provided to take NNP's publicity campaign into the skies over Grenada. The head of the interim government falsely acknowledged: "Where it is coming from I don't know, but money is being sent and there is no doubt about that." In fact there was no mystery. For instance, the AFL-CIO (through its Free Trade Union Institute) and the National Republican Institute for International Affairs acknowledge funneling at least $27,000 (U.S.) into the NNP campaign through a group called the Grenada Civic Awareness Group. Washington itself had grave doubts about leaving the fate of the NNP up to its alleged "popular support."

The NNP -- A Reactionary Regime of the Liberal Bourgeoisie

Celebrating the election, the New York Times asserts with confidence that: "Mr. Blaize was the Reagan Administration's favorite from the outset... Mr. Blaize is likely to affect a degree of independence...but he will need no special instructions. If anything he may want more help than Washington is prepared to give."

Behind all the lying pretext about "rescuing American students," "restoring democracy," etc., the U.S. invasion and occupation of Grenada has been motivated all along by nothing but naked imperialism. All along Washington desired nothing but to subjugate the Grenadian people and set up a reactionary pro-U.S. regime. A regime, which like the NNP, would "need no special instructions." One which knows that it holds office "by arrangement" and depends on Washington for its survival.

The October 1983 invasion crushed what was left of the former New Jewel Movement (NJM) government. This was a reformist regime, but one which refused to operate under Washington's unqualified dictate -- so it had to be ousted. The NNP on the other hand will "affect a degree of independence" while bowing down low to the U.S. baton.

Thus, while making nauseating appeals for "national reconciliation" and providing a couple reforms, Blaize's (the head of the NNP government) first act in office was to "ask" Reagan to keep his troops in place indefinitely. In his inaugural address Blaize cautioned of austerity, belt-tightening measures for the already hard-pressed working masses. Hinting at even more layoffs and slashing of social services, Blaize declared a campaign to "cut costs... reduce waste and...streamline the civil service." Blaize proudly announced that his government already "got clearance" (???) to set up factory shells which along with a series of big incentives are to be offered to foreign investors to plunder the toilers.

As a matter of fact Blaize draws much of his program directly from recently issued Heritage Foundation and IMF reports on Grenada. This includes a "Confidential IMF Report" (leaked to the press) instructing the government to follow a rigid policy of wage restraint' divestment of government holdings and the deregulation of the economy to encourage private capitalist owners; along with generous incentives to bring in more foreign investors. Along with the above, the Heritage Foundation (often described as a shadow government in Washington) has also been pressing for "intelligent new land use and zoning regulations" to establish an "enterprise zone" in Grenada guided by an "innovative scheme" for virtually "laissez faire" development. The Heritage Foundation proposes, for instance, that maybe the entire island of Carricou (part of Grenada) be declared a tax free zone. Blaize, with his "factory shells" and scheme for "generous incentives," is taking up the thrust of these proposals.

The working class and people of Grenada cannot afford to fall for Blaize's hypocritical appeals for "peace" and "reconciliation." The only thing that the likes of Blaize and the "innovative" designs of U.S. imperialism can breed for the toilers is more plunder, vicious exploitation and repression. To date, the occupation and worsening conditions have already produced various protest actions from the toiling masses. It is of paramount importance that the working class of Grenada organize itself and all the poor for a militant mass struggle against imperialism and the Grenadian bourgeoisie.

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Just to be sure, messing with the ballots

It was not enough for the U.S. military to dominate and bully Grenada, arrest opponents, and ban progressive literature. They wanted yet more guarantees of the outcome of the election. One striking example is what took place at the official Elections Office in Grenada just three months before the elections.

The interim government, the U.S.- appointed puppet administration, fired supervisor of elections Roy Chasteau because he was open to a proposal to reopen the voter registration rolls to allow thousands of those who had not registered to do so. When the staff of the Elections Office protested this firing, the entire staff was quickly fired and more trusted personnel, waiting in the wings, were brought in. Roy Chasteau has denounced the U.S. occupation forces for "taking over the whole electoral process."

Soon after these events, boxes of otherwise unobtainable voting I.D. cards began making their illegal appearance in the possession of various government officials from whom the Elections Office is supposed to be constitutionally independent.

Can anyone seriously believe the U.S. government's claims about how free and fair the Grenadian elections were?

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Marcos regime shaken by strikes and guerrilla struggle

The crisis facing the U.S.-backed Philippines dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos is rapidly growing deeper. The strike wave among urban workers that began in late 1983 grew rapidly over the last year. In the most recent development, teachers and transport workers in Manila went on strike, disrupting business as usual" throughout the capital. In the meantime revolutionary guerrillas in the countryside have broadened their areas of activity and begun launching sizable attacks on government troops and installations. Demonstrations against the dictatorship are also frequent. Marcos' days are clearly numbered.

Urban Strike Wave Shakes Regime

The last year has seen a big upswing in the strike movement. There were 500 strikes reported in the first half of the year alone.

Just recently, on January 28, school teachers and jeepney drivers called strikes in Manila. School teachers are paid only $50 a month in the Philippines. To avert a strike, Marcos at the last minute gave teachers a 10% raise, but this did not stop the teachers from going ahead with their strike.

Jeepney drivers are the operators of jeeps converted into minibuses, which are the main means of transportation in Manila. Their strike threw the capital's transport system into complete confusion. As well, jeepney drivers in other cities staged sympathy strikes.

The Marcos regime is trying desperately to suppress the growing strike movement. Manila police attacked picketing teachers and transport workers on the first day of their strike and arrested 72. In another incident, on January 11, three striking workers were killed by government security agents. This took place at a coconut processing plant where 1,400 workers went on strike the first of January. Press reports said that ''uniformed men" in a jeep crashed through the workers' picket line, running down strikers and firing guns at them. Besides killing three, the thugs wounded nine more workers.

The workers of the Philippines are fed up with being forced to bear the burden of the capitalist economic crisis. Marcos recently negotiated a $600 million loan from the IMF to help pay off the Philippines' spiraling $25 billion debt, but this is contingent upon the imposition of austerity measures directed against the already hard- pressed toilers. Unemployment is 35- 40% and growing rapidly -- in 1984 some 300,000 workers in Manila were laid off. Even employed workers can barely stay alive; average pay for industrial workers is $2.50 per day, and prices are rising at an annual rate of 60%.

Revolt in the Countryside

The insurgency in the Philippines countryside is a rapidly growing threat to the Marcos regime. The forces of the New People's Army, the main revolutionary force among the peasants, has now over 10,000 fighters and controls 20% of the country's 40,000 villages. During 1984, the NPA wiped out nearly 2,000 government troops in raids and ambushes. And recently it has begun making attacks on government-controlled villages in battalion-sized forces, amassing up to 500 troops for battles.

In a recent press conference Marcos' defense minister, Juan Ponce Enrile, admitted that in 1984 the NPA became "increasingly bold and effective" Enrile himself predicts that in the latter 1980's a situation of military stalemate will be reached in the country, i.e., while claiming that the government will maintain its hold over the urban centers, Enrile expects the NPA to gain control of the bulk of the rural areas.

Marcos Maneuvers to Head Off His Doom

As the revolutionary movement builds up steam, Marcos is maneuvering to try to keep his regime afloat. The most recent ploy of the regime has been to allow the criminal indictment of General Fabian Ver, chief of staff of the country's armed forces, for having a role in the murder of the liberal opposition leader Benigno Aquino in August 1983.

This is just an attempt to toss a bone to pacify the opposition to Marcos' rule. The Marcos regime organized the murder of Aquino but that led to an unprecedented wave of mass protest in the Philippines. The government tried to pin the blame on the "communists," but the cover-up was so bad that even Marcos' handpicked investigation commission pointed the finger at the security forces. The indictment of Ver, along with a number of other military men, is an attempt by the government to look honest and just.

But in fact, not much can be expected of Ver's prosecution. Ver has only been indicted as an accessory to the murder, and he himself brags that he asked for the indictment as an opportunity to clear his name. Meanwhile, Marcos has not even asked Ver to resign as chief of staff while he is under indictment (although he took a leave of absence). And besides, Ver remains head of the NISA, which is like a combined FBI and CIA. Ver's friends and relatives have high positions in the government and army; should things take an unexpected turn, they are already threatening a military coup.

As well, it should be remembered that General Ver is a relative and close friend of Marcos. In the I950's he was employed by Marcos as a personal bodyguard and chauffeur. When Marcos became president in 1965, Ver became head of the presidential guards. Later he became head of the NISA and then chief of staff of the military.

Down With the U.S.-Marcos Dictatorship!

The growing rebellion of the masses in the Philippines is throwing the Marcos regime into deep crisis. It is widely acknowledged that Marcos' days are numbered.

The question remains, what sort of regime will replace Marcos? Besides the revolutionary forces, there is also a liberal opposition which simply seeks to replace Marcos with a liberal bourgeois regime. Like their mentor, the late Benigno Aquino, they seek to prevent the triumph of a mass revolution. And unfortunately, the Communist Party of the Philippines which leads the New People's Army, displays dangerous illusions in the liberals. This is a result of the harmful influences of Maoism on the Filipino revolutionary movement.

The liberals try to portray Marcos as the single source of all the evil facing the people; they promote a "return to democracy," i.e., a return to the pre-Marcos constitutional regime, as the solution to the problems of the masses. But in fact the working masses of the country suffered greatly under the capitalist-landlord rule that existed with a veneer of "American-style democracy" for decades before Marcos' declaration of martial law. A capitalist regime, without Marcos and even with a liberal face, cannot solve the serious problems facing the workers and peasants.

Meanwhile, U.S. imperialism, which has deep claws in the Philippines, is firmly backing the Marcos dictatorship. But Washington also tries to keep a finger in the pie of the liberal opposition to help bring a liberal regime into power if things take a much worse turn for Marcos.

The workers, peasants and youth of the Philippines are a powerful fighting force against the U.S.-backed Marcos dictatorship. In their struggle, they must fight with a perspective independent of the bourgeois liberals. They cannot allow themselves to be swept up by the illusion mongering of the liberals. They have to fight for the most decisive outcome of the struggle; only a revolutionary-democratic government of the workers and peasants can satisfy the needs of the toilers.

[Photo: Striking workers at the Artex textile company in Manila, September 1984.]

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Progressive Iranians greet MLP 5th anniversary

Vigorous New Year's meetings celebrating the 5th anniversary of the founding of the Marxist-Leninist Party (January 1, 1980-1985) were held in Chicago and other local areas of Party work throughout the country. At these meetings the tasks of revolutionary work in the fight against the Reaganite offensive were discussed and the special features of the current period were noted. The orientation given at the Second National Conference was popularized. As well, lively cultural work included the unveiling in New York of the satirical play "Alice in Reagan- land," depicting the growing determination of the worker Alice to engage in struggle as she comes in contact with the various features of the Reaganite offensive.

Below we reproduce a solidarity message to the meeting held in Chicago from the Committee to Establish the Democratic and Anti-Imperialist Organization of Iranians Abroad (Chicago).


We send you revolutionary greetings on the occasion of the anniversary of the formation of your Party. Even though our friendly organizational relationship has not been in existence long, we have become certain of your unwavering commitment to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat and that of all oppressed peoples of the world. Your Party has always supported the just struggles of Iranian peoples in Iran and abroad and was among the very first revolutionary organizations throughout the world to correctly recognize the reactionary nature of the Islamic Republic of Iran soon after its takeover after the insurrection of 1979. Since then you have created a valuable body of literature exposing the relationship of the regime of Iran with world imperialism and its atrocities against the peoples of Iran and specifically the Kurdish people. Our organization, committed to the goal of unifying the democratic and anti-imperialist struggles of Iranians abroad, has received a great deal of support and comradely cooperation from your Party. In turn, we firmly support the struggle of the American people, and clearly see an undeniable bond between the fate of the revolution here and in Iran. We, in turn, are committed to the revolutionary cause in the U.S. and throughout the world. To this end, we will strive to do what is historically demanded of us.

Long live the just struggle of all oppressed peoples of the world!

Down with world imperialism!

Unity, struggle, victory!

Committee to Establish the Democratic and Anti-imperialist Organization of Iranians Abroad -- Chicago.

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What did the revisionists conclude from their fiasco in the elections?

In 1984 the revisionists shamed themselves. Even though Mondale ran his presidential campaign on the essential theme that he could do a better job of carrying out Reagan's policies than Reagan, a series of pro-Soviet revisionist and Maoist groups endorsed Mondale and tried to dress up the Democratic Party as an alternative to Reaganite reaction.

Now the elections are past. Mondale suffered a humiliating defeat. And the big shots of the Democratic Party have concluded that they lost because their party has not done enough to get rid of its liberal image from the past. The Democrats want to shift to an even more openly Reaganite posture and there is little wonder in the fact that in Congress the Democrats have become the champions of such Reaganite causes as imposing a flat tax to shift more of the tax burden onto the working masses, of making further cuts in social welfare programs in the name of balancing the budget, and so forth.

The elections and their aftermath drives home the fact that the working class cannot fight Reaganite reaction through the Democratic Party. The Democrats are a big party of the capitalists just like the Republicans and Reaganite reaction is the bipartisan policy of the capitalist class. To fight Reaganite reaction, the working class must break free from the influence of the Democratic Party and organize its own independent political movement.

But the revisionists never learn. Frightened by reaction, whining about the weakness of the "left," and dazzled by the union bureaucrats, the black misleaders, and other reformists, the revisionists can see no response to Reaganism but to work to tie the workers to the coattails of the Democrats. The revisionists claim to be Marxist-Leninist fighters for the working class. But they have become liquidators of the independent organization and action of the working class. For the working class to stand up in its own right these liquidators must be exposed.

Admissions That the Democrats Are No Alternative to Reaganism

A whole slew of revisionist groups actually endorsed and campaigned for Mondale in the presidential elections. These included such organizations as the official pro-Soviet revisionists of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), the pro-Soviet Line of March organization (LOM), the Maoists of the Communist Workers Party (CWP), the ultra-opportunists of the Guardian newspaper, and so forth.

Typical among them was the stand of the Maoist League of Revolutionary Struggle (LRS). The LRS first campaigned for Jesse Jackson and then, following his lead, endorsed Mondale. They even ran front page headlines like "Get Out the Vote November 6! Defeat Reagan, Vote Mondale/Ferraro." (Unity, October 26-November 15, 1984) And repeatedly they promised that voting Democratic was the only real, practical way to fight Reaganism.

Following the elections, the LRS has sought to explain the reason for Mondale 's embarrassing defeat and to chart a course for the future. Their views are quite useful to understanding the lackey mentality of the revisionist liquidators.

In the first place, the LRS explains that Mondale lost to Reagan because the Democrats offered no actual alternative. In a front page lead article the LRS asserts that, "In the final analysis, the defeat of Reagan would not have been possible without a coherent alternative that could inspire and motivate Afro- Americans, Latins and poor and working class whites. But such a program has been missing in the Democratic Party, the necessary vehicle for the fight against Reagan, given the weakness of the left and progressive movement. And it will be extremely difficult for the Democratic Party to develop one." (Unity, "Reagan's electoral landslide forces Democrats to regroup," November 16-29,1984)

It is, of course, quite true that the Democrats offered no alternative to the reactionary policies of Reagan. But then one has to wonder why the LRS campaigned in support of the Democrats. One also has to wonder why, if the LRS is so concerned about the ' 'weakness of the left and progressive movement," they did not work to build up the independent movement of the workers instead of subordinating it to the Democrats. But let us leave these questions aside for the moment and go on to the LRS's explanation of why the Democrats are no alternative to Reaganism.

In an editorial in the same issue of Unity, the LRS explains that, "The Democratic Party and the liberals in its leadership are fundamentally incapable of leading the forging of a progressive alternative to the Republican Party and the New Right. These liberals themselves are part of the ruling class consensus, which have moved to the right. Don't forget that the Democratic Party platform passed in San Francisco this year was the most conservative in the party's history in the past half century."

This seems quite clear. Reaganism is the bipartisan policy of the capitalists. Obviously, then, if the working class is to fight Reaganism it must organize itself independently from and against the Democrats as well as the Republicans.

But the LRS does not draw this all too obvious conclusion. Remember that the LRS has already explained that they consider the Democratic Party to be "the necessary vehicle for the fight against Reagan." Instead of opposing the Democrats the LRS sets itself the task of "redefining" the Democratic Party.

Fantasies About "Redefining" the Democratic Party

In the front page article cited above, under the heading "Redefining the Democratic Party," the LRS argues that, "The Democrats now have to face the fact that their old winning coalition, forged by Franklin Roosevelt during the Depression, is over. This does not mean that the party is dead, but only that it most likely is entering a period of crisis to redefine its new identity and constituency. In this unsettled atmosphere, it may be possible for new strategies to come forward, such as Jesse Jackson's call to win back the South with an economic platform around which black people and poor whites can unite."

Here the LRS simply forgets about its own analysis that the Democratic Party is moving to the right. They hide from view the fact the liberals are citing the supposed death of the Rooseveltian liberal-labor coalition as proof of the need to become even more openly Reaganite. And they prettify Jackson's southern "strategy" which is not a program for uniting the masses for a fight against racism or for the economic demands of the working people, but is instead a plan for bringing the black misleaders together with the racist Dixiecrats. (See "Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition," page 3)

The LRS has departed from the reality of the class struggle in the U.S. and is dredging up the amazing illusion that "it may be possible" to reform the Democratic Party. This is nonsense, but it is, nevertheless, the goal LRS sets for the working class and the left.

In the editorial cited above, the LRS complains that the liberals can't be trusted and therefore, "Instead, the alternative to the right must be led by the working class and the left. The development of independent politics is key to the future. The left must take the lead. There must be no respite for Ronald Reagan. We should try to forge coalitions, region by region, state by state, county by county, and city by city, to fight against Reaganism and everything it stands for. These coalitions must include all forces that oppose Reagan and the right, from moderate and liberal Democrats to environmentalists, peace activists, other progressives and the left." (emphasis added)

Of course, the LRS blows a lot of hot air about the "development of independent politics." But this is just the window dressing they try to use to hoodwink the workers. The essential task that they set forward is that of building "broad coalitions" with the "moderate and liberal Democrats." These coalitions are to prepare for the 1986 and '88 elections and "can eventually constitute a national electoral majority."

In short, the LRS is simply calling on "the left to take the lead" in the illusionary work of reforming and revitalizing the Democratic Party.

It should be remembered that before the LRS told us that the liberals are "part of the ruling class consensus, which have moved to the right." But now, only a paragraph later in their editorial, the LRS claims that not only the liberals but also the "moderate" Democrats are "forces that oppose Reagan and the right." The LRS is obviously talking out of both sides of its mouth. The truth of the matter appears to be that not only are the Democrats moving to the right but so is the LRS.

Pulling Themselves Up On Jesse Jackson's Bootstraps

As can be seen from the passages above, the LRS's hopes for "redefining" the Democratic Party rest most of all with Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow Coalition. And not only the LRS but virtually all of the revisionist liquidators look upon Jackson's entry into the electoral arena as the most important development since the invention of the wheel.

For example, the pro-Soviet revisionist Line of March organization sums up the 1984 elections this way: "The most overwhelmingly positive development of this year's election campaign was the emergence of the Rainbow Coalition around Jesse Jackson's independent candidacy for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination." (Frontline, November 19, 1984)

How running in the Democratic Party is acting "independent" of the Democrats is anyone's guess. But this is how the revisionists have all along tried to prettify Jackson and cover up his essential stands of trying to reconcile the black masses to the racist ruling class.

It comes as no surprise then that when Jackson takes a more open turn to the right the revisionists are johnny- on-the-spot to paint this up as an important new development of independent politics.

In December Jackson held a meeting of his Rainbow Coalition Inc. which decided to open up talks with the national and state leaders of the Republican Party. It was not enough for Jackson to stretch out his hand to the racist Dixiecrats, now he wants to wheel and deal directly in Reagan's camp.

So what did the revisionists think of Jackson's latest treachery? In the December 3 issue of Frontline the LOM praised the Rainbow meeting to the skies. And, while they did not say a word about Jackson's new opening to the Republicans, they claim that Jackson moved the Rainbow Coalition to a more "independent" stand.

The LOM article triumphantly points out that, "At the meeting Jackson defined the Rainbow Coalition as 'an organization representing an independent, third political force in American politics,' the Republican and Democratic parties being the other two forces. This constitutes a change from an earlier characterization as the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

How's that for a cover up? The LOM hides the fact that Jackson is opening up talks with Reagan's party. And they make it appear that his redefinition of the Rainbow to this end is a step in building a political force independent of the Republicans and Democrats. It is hard to decide which is worse, Jackson's treachery or the revisionists' disgusting prettification of it.

As the Democrats move to more openly Reaganite positions, the betrayal of the revisionist liquidators becomes all the more obvious and obnoxious. Liquidationist politics is like a poisonous abscess on the body of the workers' movement. This abscess must be removed for the workers' movement to grow healthy, for it to stand up in its own class interest against the parties of the capitalists, the Democrats and Republicans alike. The fight against revisionist liquidationism and the building up of the genuine Marxist- Leninist Party continue to be essential tasks in the work to organize the working class into its own independent political movement.

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Dear Workers' Advocate,

Hail the MLP,USA!

Long live Marxism-Leninism!

Happy Revolutionary New Year 1985, comrades! [I] like the new, more easily readable format and content of the WA! Comradely warm revolutionary greetings to all the comrades of the MLP on this great fifth anniversary of the founding of the vanguard party of the workers of the USA. Long live the MLP, USA, MAP-ML of Nicaragua, and all our international communist comrades engaged in the noble work of class struggle and WORLD COMMUNIST REVOLUTION! Let the capitalist-imperialists, exploiters and oppressors of the [workers] be warned that their days are numbered! The World Communist Revolution is coming soon, and WE WILL WIN!

Yours in Revolution,

Los Angeles, California

January 7, 1985

My Dear Comrades:

With reference to The Workers' Advocate, January 1985 issue, page 11; article at top of page captioned "Five Years of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA"; I quote:

"This work is not a task for the Party members alone. Sympathizers of the Party and other class conscious workers and revolutionary activists should be mobilized to lend a hand. Whether in distribution, or sending in reports, or making financial contributions, or expressing views -- etc."

Well okay, comrades, I'm not a Party member -- I can't qualify for that honor -- wish I could. But, I am not only a "sympathizer," I'm a Marxist-Leninist, through and through!

It has troubled me no end that I can't do more! Okay, I'll make financial contributions. It won't be much, I'm 68, retired, on a pittance (military and social security). But, what I'll send you is from my heart. I sincerely hope it will help, even a little bit.

Comrades, I love you all. We are few. You are young. I'm old, out of it. Stay in there! Build the Party! You ail are the one hope of all decent folk in this accursed criminal nation! I'll help, what little I can.

Glory to Marxism-Leninism! Long live the MLP, USA! Death to U.S. capitalism-imperialism!...

Lexington, Kentucky

January 10,1985

Dear Comrades,

I have received the January 1,1985 issue of The "new" Workers' Advocate. I like the new size and of course the entire contents. I congratulate you on the fantastic job! Some friends and I were recently in Buffalo to celebrate with the comrades the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Party. Comrade... gave an excellent speech briefly reviewing some events and experiences of the past year and he set forth the correct orientation and tasks for the coming year based on the resolutions from the Party's Second Congress and Conference. It was a good, inspiring gathering.

Enclosed are my recent letters (and a couple [of] earlier ones) to the editor, which I resumed writing after six months of not sending in any. I haven't had much response, good or bad. A few comrades think it is amazing that a bourgeois newspaper prints my letters.

I guess that being persistent and insistent has something to do with it, and I plan to send another one concerning the minimum wage. Do you know it's been $3.35 per hour for four years? And Reagan wants a sub-minimum! No one can live on it, really. This is the wage most temporary job agencies pay, for most jobs. Some pay $3.50 per hour. How nice of them. These temporary agencies locally have proliferated, as more and more companies like to use this cheap labor source. They pay a fee, but it still works out cheaper for them, and they love it. This is ultra-labor exploitation. Workers are reduced to renting their labor power because they can't sell it on the job market. I have had to resort to renting out my labor power and working as a rented labor unit because the "market" hasn't been interested in purchasing my labor power. It's been a degrading and frustrating experience, one which increasing numbers of workers are having to go through. This is a major problem that is affecting more and more of the working class. Many go to these temporary job agencies to earn minimum wage because they can't find a "permanent" job. This is the new "hope' ' the capitalists offer workers, along with going into the imperialist military services: If you can't sell your labor power, you can always rent it -- the temporary agencies have plenty of jobs for you! Yes, at minimum fuckin' wage, with no benefits, sick pay or vacation pay! Many times a worker won't get 40 hours a week. If the employer only needs you for four or six hours for the day, that's it! These temporary agencies are rotten capitalist parasite agencies which more and more companies use because they don't want to hire people -- it is labor exploitation to the extreme.

Along with the minimum wage being frozen for four years, it appears that generally wages all over for workers have not changed much either. The capitalists are pretty much keeping wages depressed or the same all over. They are "holding the line," thereby year to year effectively cutting workers' wages. The capitalists are extracting more surplus value from wage labor all the time. These facts must be presented to the masses in relating directly to their experience, drawing them closer to revolutionary conclusions through revolutionary agitation and propaganda.

So long for now, and keep up the great work, comrades!

Yours truly,

Syracuse, New York

December 13,1984 Dear MLP Comrades,

I have been studying the December 1 issue of the WA with another sympathizer. We want you to know that we are very proud of the quality of the socialist politics put forward by the MLP,USA.

The WA is not only growing in importance as a collective educator and organizer of the working people but is a big booster morale-wise in these days of massive renegacy and liquidationism among the "leaders" of most other so-called socialist groups.

Many honest activists owe a debt of gratitude to the Party for its honest endeavors to pull them from the grips of the capitalist and pro-imperialist politics of the Democratic Party and the trade union bureaucrats -- those erstwhile point men for the FBI at home and CIA abroad!

When the honest activists meet to discuss "what is to be done" now they will see more clearly the fork in the road. Either they can continue to be used by pro-capitalist charlatans festering around (and in) the Democratic Party, or they can begin to seize the high ground of the building the class struggles and the future of a mass social movement based on the working people and their allies, by once and for all pushing the lever and flushing all the pro-wage slavery DP refuse down where it belongs in the dung heap of history.

The Party has correctly pointed out many times, as the Democrats have "honeymooned" with Reagan, that it is impossible to smash Reaganism and the capitalists' offensive by relying on Reagan's partners in crime, the smooth-talking demagogues of the Democratic Party and the bribed trade union bureaucracy. Building up the working people's mass struggles is the path forward!

Keep up the good work of building the Party and its press and the movement that will defeat the Reaganite capitalist money-grubbers, the independent class struggles of the working people.


Los Angeles P.S. Enclosed is a $5.00 check to support the Nicaraguan workers' press.

Venezuela, January, 1985

The Workers' Advocate

We are writing to you with the objective of giving you information on the existence of the present political repression in Venezuela and at the same time to solicit your solidarity at the moment.

Recently the Venezuelan government has let free a group of 27 political prisoners, which has added to the tasks of developing an intense campaign of denunciations and public pressure that will gain the freedom of 50 companeros that still find themselves in the Venezuelan prisons. To this is added the fact that the majority of these companeros (43 of them) being civilian citizens are. subjected to military trials which is a ' further expression of a violation of human rights, constituting a violation of Venezuelan National Constitution itself which in its article 69 says that "nobody will be able to be-judged except by their natural judges.

Later the arbitrariness increased with the fact that the military tribunals utilize the practice of violating the procedural times established in the code of military justice, giving rise to a duplication [paralizacion] of the judgment to the point that no one has been sentenced.

The situation is aggravated even more if we take into account the physical aggressions that they have been subjected to. Some have been tortured by the DISIP (political police) and all have suffered the aggressive actions of the DISIP and the National Guard inside the prisons, the gravest case of the last years being the massacre that occurred on August 8 of 1983 inside the Prison of La Pica, where effectives of the Army, the DISIP and the National Guard discharged their arms of war against the political prisoners held there with a total of one dead and 12 with bullet wounds. The companero assassinated on this occasion was Oswaldo Arenas, a teacher and leader of the teachers' union. After this event investigative commissions were designated of the National Congress of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic, which up to the present have not put forth any conclusions.

During the course of 1984 a national campaign has developed for the freedom of the political prisoners gaining the exertion of pressure on the government with the result of the liberation of 27 political prisoners this past 26th of December by way of a presidential decree. This measure of the government although partial is significant for it opens better possibilities that the liberty of all the political prisoners of Venezuela can be gained in immediate future. For this it is necessary to increase the pressure on the government as much from the institutional point of view as from the point of view of the denunciation of the situation and the public demand to the government for a favorable measure in this respect. In such a sense we are of the opinion that the work of dissemination that can be realized at the international level on the existence of political prisoners in Venezuela contributes positively to the struggle for the freedom of these comrades. For all that is exposed here we solicit your collaboration in the campaign for the freedom of the political prisoners of Venezuela that we are developing and that will have its greatest intensity in the present month of January and the beginning of February, that which we hope can be given through the dissemination of this situation and of the campaign in the measure of your possibilities or through whatever other initiative.

Attentively Political Prisoners recently freed -- Elizabeth Freites, Juan Pablo Miranda, Miguel Pizarro, Pedro Arturo Moreno, Miguel Tenias, Levys Rodriguez, Alexis Rojas, America Salazar, Miguel Calzadilla, Francelia Barreto.

National Coordinator for the Freedom of the Political Prisoners.

Committee of Mothers of the Political Prisoners.

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The Spirit of Rebellion'

--from a reader

"What is that they're mocking?" said the youth so unafraid.

"It's the spirit of the60's," the aging rebel said.

"Why do they curse and gnash their teeth?"

Said the youth so unafraid.

"The rebel spirit scares them," the aging rebel said.

"Yes, the rebel spirit scares them, for their evil rule is doomed.

Their Capital is bleeding; each day brings a new wound.

The working class is rising and the bosses are afraid

So they curse and mock the spirit of rebellion."

"What is that they're raising?" said the youth so unafraid.

"The Stars and Stripes, the Stars and Stripes," the aging rebel said.

"Why do they swing it like a whip?" said the youth so unafraid.

"To make you bow, to make you bow," the aging rebel said.

"For their rule can't be defended in the eyes of working folk

So Reason must be strangled in a patriotic cloak.

In the 60's we repulsed them and the bosses are afraid

So they curse and mock the spirit of rebellion."

"What is that they're grappling with?" said the youth so unafraid.

"Small nations tough as rattlesnakes," the aging rebel said.

"Why do they want to strangle them?" said the youth so unafraid.

"To dominate the world," the aging rebel said.

"To dominate the world, in savage lust for gold,

But the workers are arising now to break their stranglehold.

'Tis the rising of the working class has the bosses so afraid

So they curse and mock the spirit of rebellion."

"What book is that they're kissing?" said the youth so unafraid.

"It is the Christian Bible," the aging rebel said.

"Why do they cite it, chapter, verse?' ' said the youth so unafraid.

"To give their class authority," the aging rebel said.

"To give their class authority, and make the workers tame,

While Capital hurls thunderbolts -- this is their two-faced game.

But you cannot cow the working class, so the bosses are afraid

And they curse and mock the spirit of rebellion."

"What is it looms before them?" said the youth so unafraid.

"The rebellion of the 80's," the aging rebel said.

"How do they hope to stop it?" said the youth so unafraid.

"With lies and bullets, lies and bullets," the aging rebel said.

"With lies and bullets, desperately, they hope to stop our fight,

But the workers' strength is greater the moment we unite.

We can't forget the 60's and the bosses are afraid

For we're burning with the spirit of rebellion!"

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"The Workers' Advocate Supplement"

(The following is the introductory article from the first issue of The Workers' Advocate Supplement, January 1985, describing this new publication of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA.)

This is the first issue of The Workers Advocate Supplement. For many years The Workers' Advocate has served as the voice of the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists of the U.S. It has been built up through the hard work and sacrifice of the Marxist-Leninist communists and class conscious workers. It has not attempted to be something complete in itself, but has always served as a tool to deal with the tasks of the revolutionary movement and of party-building. As the Marxist-Leninist Party (and its predecessors) advanced, and as the special tasks facing the revolution have changed, so have the tasks before The Workers' Advocate.

The Second National Conference of our Party, the Marxist-Leninist Party, discussed the special tasks of revolutionary work in the present period, when the bourgeoisie is on a ruthless offensive but the response of the working masses has been temporarily shackled by various factors including the heavy hand of reformist treachery which trims its sails according to the whims of the capitalist liberals. The resolutions of this conference can be found in the December 1 issue of The Workers Advocate.

One of the subjects discussed at the Second National Conference was how to gradually transform The Workers' Advocate so as to have it play an even greater role in building up revolutionary organization deep among the masses. Among the changes dealt with was more regular publication of The Workers' Advocate. The Workers' Advocate, in dealing with the many sided work of the Marxist-Leninist Party, has in the past functioned as both a political affairs newspaper and a theoretical organ, and it has also had special issues for mass circulation at major demonstrations and during major campaigns (such as the campaigns against U.S. imperialist exploitation of and intervention in Central America; in favor of the Nicaraguan workers' press; to celebrate May Day; against the capitalist parties during the national presidential elections; to popularize the lessons of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 among the masses; etc.) It has had both regular issues and many theoretical supplements and other special issues. It was decided to work towards having the regular issue come out more frequently and to gradually transform The Workers' Advocate's methods of covering the class struggle and party-building.

At the same time, the Second National Conference held that it was essential to maintain the extensive coverage of theoretical questions in The Workers' Advocate, the more detailed analysis of political events, and the in-depth coverage of the burning issues and controversies facing the revolutionary movement in the U.S. and around the world, including the discussion of the tasks for strengthening the international Marxist-Leninist movement. Without theory, the proletarian movement is blind and subject to many wrong directions and catastrophes. To develop theory, and to popularize theory among the masses, it is necessary both to have political affairs articles that show the Marxist-Leninist analysis in direct relation to the immediate events of the day, and to have space for longer theoretical articles and for important documents. It was held that some of these longer articles and documents would continue to be in the regular issue of The Workers' Advocate, but there was need for another way of publishing them to reduce the number of times that the regular issue is replaced by special theoretical issues and to provide more flexibility for how Marxist-Leninist theory is popularized in the regular issues.

Thus, the Second National Conference endorsed the plan to establish The Workers Advocate Supplement as a regular publication, replacing many of the special issues. The Supplement has the purpose of providing a place to publish many different types of material that cannot be covered adequately in the regular issue of The Workers' Advocate.

The Supplement will publish theoretical articles, including longer articles that could hardly fit in the regular issue under any plan. It will also provide a place to publish much valuable background material for the study of the theoretical matters being raised. Furthermore, it will also publish certain Party discussion articles that raise valuable ideas but are not authoritative expositions of the Party's stand or which discuss issues on which the Party has not yet taken a decision.

It will also publish many political affairs articles, leaflets and other materials on current political events that did not make it into The Workers' Advocate regular issue for one reason or another. It will thus further encourage the political and economic agitation of our Party, give Party comrades and class conscious workers a broader knowledge of the work of the local branches of the Party, and maintain a close connection with immediate revolutionary practice.

It will carry reprints from other parties in the international Marxist-Leninist movement and thus help encourage proletarian internationalism. The reprinting of a document from another party will not necessarily mean that the Supplement is endorsing the document or the ideas in it, but that the Supplement regards the document as useful in bringing the views of the revolutionaries of other lands to the American workers and revolutionaries. The proletarian revolutionary movement is a world movement, of which the American Marxist-Leninist communists form only a single contingent. It is vital to study the experience of party-building and the revolution in other countries. And this is also important in strengthening the struggle against U.S. imperialism and the crimes of the American bourgeoisie around the world. It is the workers and peasants around the world who form the backbone of the struggle against oppression and exploitation, and the anti-imperialist movement in the U.S. will be immensely strengthened as it distinguishes the different forces that confront U.S. imperialism in the world and directs special attention to supporting the revolutionary forces of the working masses.

It will also carry other materials, such as cultural work (songs, poems, denunciation of bourgeois culture, etc.), letters, documents on Party history, etc.

There is no hard and fast dividing line between materials that will be published in the regular issues of The Workers Advocate and the Supplement. The Supplement will tend to provide a more convenient place for the printing of longer materials, but it will also include all categories of articles that were suitable for the regular issue, but didn't actually make it into the paper. It will carry authoritative Party statements and polished materials, but it will also generally be a more suitable place than the regular issue for the publication of various materials that, while of value and interest, are either discussion pieces or have certain drawbacks that would otherwise hinder publishing them.

Like The Workers' Advocate, The Workers' Advocate Supplement is a journal of the Central Committee of the Marxist-Leninist Party. The Supplement will appear at least once a month. It will vary in size in accordance with the available material and the immediate tasks of the Party. It is especially designed for the use of Party activists and sympathizers, but it is a public journal, available to all progressive people who wish to purchase it. As well, some issues of the Supplement may be produced in larger numbers for wide distribution.

The Workers' Advocate stands at the head of a whole system of proletarian literature -- from leaflets, factory distribution networks and local newspapers to the Supplement, pamphlets and books. We call on all workers, activists, and progressive people to read and support the workers' press. Let us unite to bring the truth to the people, as opposed to the lies, dollar-worship, racism and chauvinism of the bourgeois press! Let us build up the revolutionary proletarian press as part of the work of strengthening the class-conscious proletarian movement, building a genuine fighting communist party, the Marxist-Leninist Party, and preparing for the socialist revolution!

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Contents of the first issue of 'The Workers' Advocate Supplement'

Study the analysis of the Second National Conference of the MLP Two Speeches from the Second National Conference:

Against Racism and National Oppression

On the League of Revolutionary Black Workers

No to Reprisals Against Wildcat Strikes at Chrysler

(Leaflet from the Detroit Branch of the MLP)

More on the Postal Contract

(Leaflet from the New York Metro Branch)

On the Starvation Agreement Between the IMF and the Social-Democratic Government in the Dominican Republic (Leaflet from the New York Metro Branch)

Condemn the Attacks of the Bourgeois Nationalist KDP Against the Revolutionary Toilers of Kurdistan

(Reproduces the ''Communique of the Representation of Komala Abroad on the Horrific Crime of the KDP in Oramanat")

How ''The Student" Emerged at MIT (Speech by representative of ''The Student" publication)

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Detroit Mayor Coleman Young's ties with S. African agent

How the reformists 'fight' apartheid

Mayor Coleman Young of Detroit is one of the prominent reformist leaders of the black bourgeoisie. He recently went to Washington, D.C. to take part in the symbolic arrests outside the South African consulate. Of course, he already knew that he wasn't going to be prosecuted on this charge. But he posed as a militant fighter against apartheid, stating "I'm proud to join... with many others to protest the outrageous discrimination that is visited upon black people in the land of their nativity, South Africa. It's about time the attention of the world was focused on this outrageous system....''

Yet the reality about Young's convictions is something else. When it comes down to hard cash, suddenly Young has another idea. Last year it turned out that Young had made a deal with John McGoff to set up a ship, the "Star of Detroit," as a restaurant for expensive lunches and dinners to be eaten while cruising on the Detroit River.

Who is John McGoff?

But who is John McGoff? McGoff is a wealthy Michigan newspaper publisher who served as an agent of South Africa in buying up various American newspapers so that they would present a favorable picture of the apartheid regime. His actions were so blatant that even the federal Security and Exchange Commission brought charges against him of being an illegal agent of South Africa, which were settled when he consented to a decree without admitting or denying the charges before him. Of course, for progressive people, it doesn't make much difference whether McGoff was an illegal, unregistered agent of South Africa, or a legal registered agent of apartheid racism. At Michigan State University students protested against the school's deal with McGoff to finance a building in the name of his wife. But Coleman Young, the man with the well-publicized arrest in front of the South African embassy, defends McGoff. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press he stated: "McGoff has been accused of dealing with South Africa. All I know about McGoff is he's come to Detroit with money in his hand, investing in the Star of Detroit and he tells me that he's trying to pull to try to put a cruise ship on the river. Now I'm going to turn that down?... "What am I supposed to do? Say take the money and shove it?" (Detroit Free Press, January 9, 1985)

Ah, what are convictions before the appeal of hard cash? What use is solidarity with the long-suffering black masses of South Africa when there is business to be done with the white racists or their agents? Now it is clear what the reformists mean when they preach against "bloodshed" and "violence," their code names for the revolution, and in favor of "dialogue" and "power-sharing" with the apartheid rulers?

The Story of a Symbolic Arrest

Even when Young was getting arrested in front of the cameras he couldn't keep his mind on the cause of the South African blacks. It turned out that he spent his time chatting with the arresting officer on the question of the best type of bulletproof vest. He compared notes between the police equipment used in Washington, D.C. and that used to keep the masses down in Detroit. (Detroit Free Press, January 8, 1985)

Indeed, the March-May 1984 issue of Counterspy magazine claims that the Detroit police had earlier exchanged experience with the South African fascists themselves. It states that: "In April 1983, a representative of the Detroit police department visited a number of police installations in South Africa and praised police there as 'better trained, better disciplined... that many in the United States.' " Although Counterspy doesn't itself make the connection, we would note that the Young administration has paid special attention to the police department and this visit took place after years of work by Young and his appointees to reform and bolster the police.

It is clear that it is not the antics of reformists like Young, but the militant mass actions of the workers and progressive people that constitutes the real support for the struggle of the oppressed blacks of South Africa against apartheid. It is not the exchange of experience with the South African police but the revolution against the apartheid rulers and their bloodstained military and police forces that will overthrow the apartheid system.

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Saturn project:

GM 'revolutionizes' exploitation

On January 9 General Motors Chairman, Roger Smith, unveiled a new GM car-making division -- the Saturn Corporation. This, the first new GM automobile division in 66 years, is being ballyhooed as an "historic step" that will "revolutionize auto-making,'' as the "auto plant of the future,'' and even as a "model for all U.S. industries.''

GM says that it will invest at least $5 billion in the Saturn Corporation in the next five years. The first cars produced by Saturn are expected to roll off the line in 1988. Saturn Corporation is slated to build subcompact cars and will eventually employ about 6,000 workers at its integrated manufacturing and assembly complex. This Saturn facility is scheduled to include metal stamping, engine building, plastic fabrication, trim fabrication and auto assembly operations -- all in the same complex.

Capitalist Politicians Promise GM the "Sun, Moon and Stars" to Get Saturn

GM's announcement has set off a mad scramble by state and local government officials who are each hoping to entice GM into building the project in their area. Within days after the project was unveiled, 25 states announced their plans to woo GM. Michigan Governor James Blanchard told news reporters that he had given the Mazda Corporation about $40 million to open up a new plant just south of Detroit and that he was prepared to "beat any offer to get Saturn.'' Illinois Governor Thompson quickly countered by saying: "Illinois will offer anything Michigan can and, in some cases, a bit more.'' After all, poor old GM has only raked in $6 billion in profits for 1983 and is expected to top $10 billion for 1984. It sure can't be expected to pay its own way.

GM Attempts to Sell Saturn to the Workers

GM has launched a big campaign to sell the Saturn project to the auto workers. Front page headlines have read: "Saturn Gives Management Role to the Workers." And GM propaganda claims that Saturn "calls for dramatic changes in the role of workers. Saturn planners envision a factory where workers will decide how many vehicles to build and how many workers to employ. They will help design car advertising. The plant will have an exercise room and a dietician. A child care center will be next door." GM wants the workers to think that they will be working in the land of milk and honey.

What Does Saturn Really Mean for the Auto Workers? Modern Slavedriving!

If you take away all of the fluff and media hype around the Saturn project, what you have is the same old slavedriving of General Motors under a new name. GM has set Saturn up as a separate corporation to help free itself from all past contractual obligations to the UAW. For the workers, project Saturn means wage cuts, job elimination and a massive productivity drive.

The January 10 issue of the Detroit News pointed this out plain and simple: "The Saturn part of a productivity drive so powerful that it could cut GM employment and factory space in the U.S. by one-half by the year 2000." GM vice president Alex Mair totally agrees and points out that GM hopes to eliminate between 150,000 and 250,000 blue and white collar jobs in the next 15 years. When asked to comment on this, GM Chairman Roger Smith gleefully chuckled, "That's great because it makes us more competitive."

UAW Leadership Again Prepares to Grant Wage Cuts and Other Concessions

UAW vice president Donald Ephlin recently announced that the UAW leadership has been secretly meeting with GM executives since August of 1983 to develop the Saturn attack against the auto workers. The Solidarity House boys are now saying that they have agreed to exempt Saturn Corporation from the UAW/GM national contract agreement and that they are willing and eager to force even more drastic concessions upon the future Saturn work force. They say that the concessions forced upon the workers at the new GM/Toyota plant in Fremont, California are a good starting point for the wage and benefit cuts GM wants at Saturn.

Working Under the Whip of the Computer

GM executives are also bragging that the Saturn project will be an electronic, hi-tech, computer wonderland. They say that the workers will have the freedom to use advanced computers to follow the production of a car as it moves step by step down the assembly line.

What GM isn't saying is that it is going all out to use these same computers to crack the whip on the workers. In fact GM is planning to monitor every second of the production process using these computers. And the second that production slows, the almighty computer will demand that the workers explain themselves. Yes, there it is -- capitalist "liberation" through hi-tech.

GM Workers Are Already Fighting Against Saturn-Type Programs

GM has all sorts of dreams that it can just peacefully institute the Saturn attacks against the auto workers. But life isn't that easy for the GM auto billionaires. At plant after plant, GM workers are rebelling against a whole series of Saturn prototype programs.

In the past four years, GM workers have fought hard against the hated "quality of work life" program as a cover for speedup and job elimination; and it has been thrown out of countless plants across the country. Most recently, GM workers at the Wentzville, Missouri assembly plant staged a local strike against two key components of the Saturn production plan -- the "work group" and "pay for knowledge" production programs.

These are only a few of the most outrageous and glaring aspects of GM's new Saturn "revolution." It is clear that further resistance will be unleashed as the whole Saturn picture unfolds.

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Why do they want to make overdue library books a felony?

As capitalism decays, one problem after another becomes acute. And the capitalists have only one answer: put the masses in jail. Pass another law. Are people on the streets because they lost their jobs? Throw them in jail as vagrants. Are the youth hard to handle? Lock them up and throw away the key.

It has reached the point where the Missouri state legislature is considering a bill to make it a felony to have library books (or other materials) worth more than $140 which are more than 60 days overdue. This will be punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

But don't worry. It appears that there must be liberals in Missouri too. Someone put forward an alternate bill that would only make it a misdemeanor with a 30-day jail term and a fine of up to $300.

Just imagine the fine effect that the prosecution and jailing of a delinquent book reader will have. Why, after that, the libraries will be just ever so popular. Over the books on their shelves they can put the motto: "jailbait."

Cities may run out of funds for libraries. They may end up open only two hours a week. But first things first. Let there never be a shortage of money to build prisons to hold those with overdue library books.

American capitalism may never provide universal literacy. It is seeing its libraries decay. But it has already become one of the world leaders in the percentage of its citizens that it jails each year, and the new laws streaming out of Congress provide a legal basis for an utter police state. The Missouri overdue book legislation may never pass. But the police-state mentality that spawned this proposal is alive and well in the land of Reaganism. A dying system, that of capitalist exploitation, can see no further than the jail cell and the strikebreaker.

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'Constructive engagement'

Reagan goes to bat for apartheid

Support for the South African racists has long been a key part of American foreign policy. Every administration, Democratic or Republican, has welcomed the genocidal racists of Pretoria.

Faced with the upsurge of the African masses in the southern part of Africa, the Carter administration was forced to utter hypocritical words about promoting "human rights" in South Africa. It used these words to gain influence with the African liberation movements, while it continued under-the-table firm support for Pretoria.

Today the Reagan administration prefers to openly brandish the big stick. It is on a racist and segregationist offensive in the U.S. against the black people, and thus cannot but sympathize with the apartheid racism in South Africa. And South Africa plays a pivotal role in Reagan's plans for Africa, while the exploitation of the black masses of South Africa is a tremendous source of profits for the American multinational companies.

This policy of all-out support for South Africa is called by Reagan "constructive engagement," but any objective observer would have to say that it went beyond engagement long ago and the marriage has already been consummated. It differs from past U.S. policy towards South Africa only in how open it is about U.S. support for the apartheid hell.

Constructive Engagement and Quiet Diplomacy -- Another Name for Fervent Embrace

The Reagan administration calls its policy "constructive., engagement." This is another example of typical Reagan double-speak. Just as he drapes his Star Wars plans for a nuclear first- strike in the garb of spending for peace instead of war, so he drapes his fervent embrace of South African apartheid in the name of "quiet" and "constructive" criticism. This isn't really supposed to fool anyone but the naive. Just as all the militarists support Reagan's arms drive without hesitation, so all the racists support "constructive engagement."

The pretense of the Reagan administration is that it really does disagree with racism in South Africa, but the way to solve it is not to condemn the racists, oh no, but to "constructively" support them and have "quiet diplomacy." Under this pretense, the Reagan administration exhibits every act of support for South African apartheid as just gaining the confidence of the regime so as to have more influence.

As a matter of fact, all this is pretense. Everyone knows that when the Reagan administration is unhappy, it is neither subtle nor quiet. It rants and raves about "evil empires." It invades (as in Grenada and Lebanon), mines harbors and arms assassins (Nicaragua), and builds up jails and passes draconic police laws (U.S.).

Building Up the South African Military and Police

But in South Africa, under "constructive engagement," the Reaganites don't arm the black masses like they arm the contras, and they don't mine the harbors, but instead they help build up the South African military and police forces. Military equipment of all sorts is being sent. Under the Carter administration, there was supposed to be a ban on military supplies -- military supplies were sent but they were creatively renamed in various sorts of ways. Under the Reagan administration, besides creative renaming, military supplies are also being openly sent.

This includes everything from cattle prods to control the masses to sophisticated computers.

As well, the Reagan administration wants to help train the South African servants of "law and order" who trample the black ghettos, arrest protestors, tear down homes, and deport blacks to barren "bantustans." So the Reaganites have worked to bring South African police to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glencoe, Georgia and have also invited South African Coast Guard officers for training.

Meanwhile various police departments in the U.S. are exchanging experience with the South African racists. Thus police officials from Chicago and Detroit, cities with large black populations, have exchanged experience with South African police in 1983. (This required the cooperation of the liberal Democrats -- Chicago being ruled at the time by white liberal Mayor Byrne and Detroit by black liberal Mayor Coleman Young. Here we see once again that the liberals are nothing but concealed Reaganites.)

The American corporations are also getting into the action. The South African government has contingency plans for white militias to defend key economic installations against black rebellions. These plans require coordination from the companies involved. Various American companies operating in South Africa are part of this police planning, several of them discreetly refusing to comment when asked about it.

Using South Africa as the Gendarme Against the African Peoples

The Reagan administration supports South Africa not just out of ideological kinship with apartheid, but also to use it as a base against the other African peoples. The Reagan administration has always argued that right-wing and pro- U.S. tyrannies, no matter how bloodstained and dictatorial, are by definition preferable to any government with independent ideas. And what government is more anti-communist and pro-West than the apartheid regime of South Africa?

South Africa, besides oppressing the black people living there, also occupies Southwest Africa (Namibia). The Reagan administration firmly supports this colonial occupation, arguing that it should not be ended until the situation in Angola is settled to the Reagan administration's satisfaction. In short, it echoes -- whether "constructively" or "quietly" is another question -- the latest press releases from Pretoria. This proves that the Reagan administration really pines for the days when the rest of Africa was like Namibia -- i.e. under total domination of Western colonialism.

As well, the Reagan administration has worked with South Africa to oppress newly independent African states such as Mozambique. Mozambique was left in a shambles by the colonialists, and then had to face a difficult and protracted drought. As well, the South African racists armed and organized a force of white racists inside Mozambique to wage a "civil war" against the government.

In this situation Reagan promoted an evil accord between Mozambique and South Africa in which Mozambique promised to arrest and expel black South African freedom fighters and refugees in exchange for South Africa reining in their hired hands. As a result of this Mozambique has attacked the liberation fighters and even organized joint patrols with South Africa to police the accord, while South Africa continues to support the white racists in Mozambique. The Reagan administration has not lifted a finger to help the victims of this accord, not even "quietly," but on the contrary has joyously hailed the accord as a model for how African states should relate to South Africa. It has offered Mozambique some minor military aid as an inducement to continue adhering to the pact.

American Capitalism Rushes to Make a Profit Out of Apartheid

The Reaganites, who are on a wage-cutting and speedup offensive in the U.S., cannot but help admire South African labor laws, where the black masses toil under inhuman conditions for a mere pittance. The American corporations have long run to South Africa in order to share in the exploitation of the black workers and the fruits of robbing their land.

There is supposed to be about $2.3 billion of direct U.S. investment in South Africa, and there is actually more than six times that much in various slightly indirect forms of investment. Returns on investment are quite high. The American capitalists have no intention of abandoning this bonanza. Thus, in the face of the public outcry against U.S. exploitation of the South African masses, some American corporations are preparing to change the nameplates on their South African operations so that they can pretend they have left South Africa while in fact they continue to operate through joint operations with South African firms and various types of subsidiaries.

The Reagan administration, like previous administrations, gives favorable treatment to South Africa. It helps it get loans, buys strategic materials from it, and so forth.

It should be borne in mind that the South African economy has severe problems. It is suffering from the African drought, from backward features inseparable from apartheid, from the international economic slowdown, from double-digit inflation, etc. The severe austerity programs against the blacks that it has taken in this crisis are among the causes for the huge upsurge of the popular movement. Far from being a sterling example of progress compared to the rest of Africa, as the racists and Reaganites contend, its economy rests on such factors as a) robbing the overwhelming majority of the population to pay for the standard of life of the white minority, b) solicitous concern from the Western imperialist governments that are concerned to keep it propped up, and c) its tremendous mineral wealth in which gold alone was responsible for over half of its foreign earnings for decades on end.

The Western corporations and the Reagan administration are determined to keep this economy afloat and the black masses downtrodden so that the stream of profits continues to flow.

The Reaganites Fear the Revolutionary Movement That Is Taking Shape in South Africa

But, despite its firm support from Reagan and Western imperialism generally, South Africa is by no means stable. It is a time bomb, loudly ticking for all to hear. The revolutionary ferment in South Africa is growing, with millions upon millions of black toilers entering the struggle.

This has given rise to the South African regime shifting and turning, trying to find ways to beef up its military and police forces and to make minor adjustments -- such as the powerless, puppet parliaments for East Indians and coloreds (mixed race) -- while insisting all the more firmly on the basic apartheid system.

It has also given rise to even conservative Republicans in the U.S. congress worrying about the ferment in South Africa, afraid that apartheid may go the way of such former U.S. favorites as Somoza in Nicaragua. The solution, the imperialist politicians think, is minor cosmetic surgery: just as the U.S. bought and paid for, via the CIA, the election of Duarte in El Salvador to give the regime a "human rights" mask, so the Democrats and Republicans are looking for some cosmetic changes in South Africa. The only difference between the Democrats and the Reagan administration is that the Reagan administration can hardly think of any changes in such a perfect picture as apartheid, so similar is it to Reagan's idea of the good old days when there was allegedly "no race problem" in the U.S., while the Democrats and congressional Republicans are more conscious of the need to posture as "anti-apartheid" heroes in front of the masses.

"Constructive engagement" is an open challenge by the Reaganites to all progressive people. It shows that to help the South African masses we must develop a stalwart struggle against Reaganism and all it stands for. It is proof that Western imperialism stands foursquare behind apartheid and that only the revolution of the black and other oppressed masses of South Africa will free them, not Western imperialism or the multinational corporations. The fact that "constructive engagement" differs only in shade from "dialogue" or "power-sharing" proves that the liberal wing of the imperialists of the West are no better than the conservative ones.

There is another force in the U.S. besides the Reaganites and the corporation men. This is the workers, oppressed nationalities and all progressive people. And this is the force that will fight right here against the marriage of Reagan and Botha, while the African masses attack it in South Africa. Let us carry forward the struggle against apartheid! Let us expose the bipartisan policy of the Democrats and Republicans to stop the revolution that is pending in South Africa! Let us mobilize mass hatred against "constructive engagement."


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