The Workers' Advocate

Vol. 15, No. 6


25ยข June 1, 1985

[Front page:

Fight Reagan's tax swindle!;

Gl's played a big role in the anti-war movement--The lessons of Viet Nam can't be erased with a few parades;

Backing Reagan's embargo: Liberal Democrats on the warpath against Nicaragua]


Down with the budgets of hunger and war...................... 2
Hoax of workers' benefit from Reagan's tax plan.......... 18

Campaign to 'honor vets': full of lies.............................. 17

Philadelphia: Condemn police bombing.......................... 4
New York: Torture at the NYPD...................................... 5
Detroit police murder 64-yr.-old woman........................ 5
Detroit: Klan-style atrocity at GM HQ............................ 5

Strikes and workplace news:

Hotel workers' strike in New York.................................. 6
Work stoppages at Jefferson Assembly............................ 6
Fight the two-tier wage system........................................ 6


Condemn Israel's 'Iron Fist' terror.................................. 8
CIA car bomb in Beirut kills 80...................................... 8
Down with attacks on Palestinian camps........................ 9

No to Reagan's war on Nicaragua!

Duarte denounced at Notre Dame................................... 10
Protests against embargo:................................................ 10
U.S. imperialism tightens vise......................................... 10
Wall Street Journal admits: contras made in U.S............ 11

World in struggle:

Struggles in Argentina; Strike wave in Brazil; Anti-Nazi protests In West Germany; Japanese workers' Struggles; Reagan denounced in Spain.............................................. 12-13
Reports on May Day '85, U.S. and around the world...... 20

RCP,USA's 'New road to future': Liberal politics of despair in radical anti-WWIII package............................. 7

Fight Reagan's tax swindle!

GI's played a big role in the anti-war movement

The lessons of Viet Nam can't be erased with a few parades

Backing Reagan's embargo:

Liberal Democrats on the warpath against Nicaragua

Democrats and Republicans compete to squeeze the people

Budgets for hunger and war

Students fight corporate and university support for South African racism

Liberal Mayor Goode in the shoes of racist Rizzo

The bombing of a black neighborhood in Philadelphia: A racist atrocity

Torture at the 106th precinct

Business as usual at the NYPD

Detroit police murder 64-year-old woman

UAW defends the racists

Condemn Klan-style attack at GM headquarters

Strikes and workplace news

RCP's "new road to the future"

Packaging the liberal politics of despair as a radical struggle against World War III

Israeli 'Iron Fist' in Lebanon can't break the people's resistance

Car bomb kills 80

CIA terrorism in Beirut

Condemn the attack on the Palestinian camps in Beirut

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

The World in Struggle

The heroic black people of South Africa persist in the struggle

Token reforms to preserve apartheid slavery

Social-democrats curse the militancy of the anti-apartheid students


How the capitalists 'honor the veterans'- with lies, lies and more lies

The hoax that working people benefit from Reagan's tax plan

Organize the struggle against the Reaganite offensive MAY DAY 1985

Workers' May Day actions around the world

Fight Reagan's tax swindle!

With a lot of fanfare but little truth, Reagan announced his new tax plan on May 28. This plan, Reagan proclaimed, is "a second American revolution" for ''fairness, simplicity and growth." It is a plan, Reagan claimed, that would produce such wonders as to ''reduce the tax burdens on the working people" and ''close loopholes that benefit a privileged few." Simultaneously, Reagan declares, the plan would provide these self-same privileged few with a ''reduced corporate tax rate" and other ''incentives" that are supposed to ''lead us into a future of greater growth and opportunity for all." Yes, the promised land is just around the corner if we but forget about the contradictions in Reagan's arguments, hide our eyes to his lies, and follow his lead on the road to "tax reform."

But then, truth is truth. And the truth about Reagan's plan is that it aims to further shift the burden of taxation onto the working people while giving another handout to the monopoly corporations and the wealthy. Take a look at its basic features:

* It "flattens" the individual income tax brackets from 14 to 3, bringing the top tax rate down for the rich to 35% from its present 50% (and from 70% just four years ago).

* It cuts the maximum rate of taxation for corporate income from 46% to 33%.

* And it adds a number of new taxes on the workers including taxing medical benefits and all unemployment compensation.

These are the simple facts of Reagan's tax scheme. But such gouging of the workers is too blatant to get away with; it might just produce a real revolt against the money-grubbing capitalists. And so Reagan has promised in his plan to decrease the taxes on some workers (while making enormous cuts in taxes for the rich people -- $28,000 for Reagan alone). But don't start counting your money. While various provisions in Reagan's plan might result in saving a few hundred dollars for some workers, other workers will see their taxes increase. Moreover the few measures which might benefit some workers are the very ones that Congress is most likely to eliminate in the name of "reducing the budget deficit." At most, these measures will be continued only long enough to establish the big tax cuts for the millionaires and billionaires, and then a huge tax rise will fall like a ton of bricks on the heads of all the working masses in order to finance the tax breaks for the rich.

What is more, cuts in social benefit programs go hand-in-hand with Reagan's plan for taxes and the budget, and such benefit cuts have meant for untold millions of workers hardships that can hardly be alleviated by even a several hundred dollar tax break. (See "Budgets for Hunger and War" on page two.)

Reagan's tax plan is neither simple nor fair. It is a complicated, dirty little scheme to swindle the masses for the benefit of the rich. It must be exposed and denounced by the workers all across the country.

Down with Reagan's "tax reform" -- a new capitalist boondoggle!

Build the independent movement of the working class!

Tax the rich!

Make the capitalists pay!

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GI's played a big role in the anti-war movement

The lessons of Viet Nam can't be erased with a few parades

This year, 10 years after the defeat of U.S. aggression in Viet Nam, the authorities and the news media are making a big show of interest in the Viet Nam veterans. They are putting together parades, monuments, and whatnot.

This campaign is wrapped in all kinds of sweet talk of "recognition" of the veterans and of ending their "alienation." From this one would think that this is all just a humanitarian crusade, motivated solely by concern for helping the veterans live a better life.

What is one to make of this new-found love of the capitalist establishment for the Viet Nam veterans? Could it be that those who yesterday used young GI's as mere cannon fodder for an unjust and brutal war of aggression, those who have all these years left the veterans to the mercies of unemployment, disease and psychological problems, have today suddenly become concerned about the lives of the veterans?

Not on your life. The current campaign to "honor" the veterans is a thoroughly cynical effort. Having used the GI's yesterday to fight the rich man's war, the capitalist ruling class today only wants to use the veterans one more time.

The Capitalist Rulers Want to Reverse the Verdicts on the Viet Nam War

The capitalists know that there is widespread sympathy among the masses for the problems that the Viet Nam veterans have had. They don't give a damn about the veterans, but they want to use this sympathy in order to shore up their crusade to blot out the truth about the Viet Nam war.

The Viet Nam war was a war which gave rise to widespread opposition among the people. The capitalists want to reverse that verdict and push the lie that it was really a "noble cause." This is of course not an academic exercise. No, it is meant to prepare public opinion for new wars and military adventures. It is to line up a new generation to go serve as cannon fodder in new Viet Nam-style wars, such as has been already begun in Central America.

In other words, it is meant to pave the way for using a new generation to go kill and maim the working people of foreign lands. And thus to create a new wave of dead GI's and suffering veterans from the ranks of the young people of this country.

They Also Want to line Up the Veterans Behind Uncle Sam

The current capitalist campaign around the veterans is also designed to. bring the Viet Nam veterans themselves into line, to rally them behind the Stars and Stripes, to make them "feel good about America again." During the war, GI's in large numbers learned some bitter lessons about the government and came forward to fight against the war. Soldiers fought against the war right in the heart of the military, while veterans organized anti-war protests. The rift that developed between the GI's and the authorities was an excellent development. It is not to be mourned.

The capitalist campaign to use the Viet Nam veterans one more time must be opposed. This is a task facing all who want to fight against the Reaganite scramble for war today.

And it is especially a time for all Viet Nam veterans who learned of the lying and criminal nature of the government yesterday to raise their voices today and declare -- We won't be used again! Down with the U.S. imperialist war drive!

No Parades Can Cover Up the Fact That It Was the Capitalists Who Have Given the Veterans the Short Shrift

The authorities aren't being terribly successful with their campaign. The veterans aren't exactly flocking to their parades.

Of course, just as in the days of the Viet Nam war, there are vets who hate the war and the military and there are those reactionaries who love the capitalist military. The former are heavily drawn from the rank-and-file troops, the "grunts," while the latter were officers, "lifers," and others who didn't learn a thing during the war about the imperialists duping them.

In the current parades, they are turning out a number of veterans from among the reactionary and flag-waving veterans. The Westmorelands and Jeremiah Dentons show up prominently at them. Many others who go to the parades however aren't attending because they love the authorities; many simply go to find old buddies. But still larger numbers of veterans stay away from the parades, including many who remain full of contempt for the generals and politicians.

And what of these parades? The capitalists are making a big noise about "parades." They act as if the main thing lacking in the lives of the veterans all these years has been parades. What complete hogwash.

With their cheap talk of honor and parades today, the capitalists are working hard to cover up the fact that it was they who gave the veterans the short end of the stick. It is easy for them to throw together a few parades just as they pinned tin medals on the GI's. But the Viet Nam veterans have ample experience of what their real problems have been and who has been to blame.

When the veterans came back, they faced the bleak prospect of unemployment. The capitalist economic crisis was ravaging the country. As well, the employers themselves made no secret of the fact that they did not particularly like to hire the veterans. And the reason was clear -- the veterans were unruly and rebellious, poor candidates for obedient slaves on the assembly line. Those who had "fragged" the hated brutal officers weren't about to take nonsense from arrogant foremen. And black and other oppressed nationality veterans were faced with the added burden of racial discrimination. These terrible conditions still plague large numbers of veterans.

Meanwhile, the veterans also began to feel the delayed effects of the capitalist war. The wounded veterans found out that the Veterans Administration was no great friend of theirs. And as it became clear that tens of thousands were suffering the destructive effects of Agent Orange, they found that the government and the corporations who profited from the manufacture of the poison didn't give a damn about their health. Every demand for compensation from the veterans has been and is being fought tooth and nail by the government and the corporations.

Many veterans began to also experience various psychological problems growing out of the war, particularly the anguish of guilt over atrocities they witnessed or took part in during the war. The capitalists came up with an empty name for it: they call it Post-Viet Nam Stress Syndrome. But they cannot and will not identify it for what this really is.

In fact the guilt and trauma is the result of having fought in a brutal and unjust capitalist war and being left alone to try to deal with it individually. The Viet Nam war was one in which young men, barely out of their teens, were press-ganged to take part in atrocities. It was not just a war against soldiers but was directed against an entire people. But the capitalists will not admit these things. They will not admit that the ordinary GI's were not to blame for such a war, but the rich and powerful -- the billionaires, politicians and generals -- were. Thus they leave the veterans to suffer through so many private hells.

The capitalists cannot help those who suffer from these problems. Only recognizing where the blame for the war lies and taking part in revolutionary struggle against the capitalist war-makers can allow the veterans to deal with such problems.

Viet Nam Veterans! Don't Allow Them to Use You Again!

The experience of the Viet Nam veteran, both inside the army and outside, certainly gave rise to a great reservoir of anger and rage. The most conscious soldiers and veterans learned to direct their anger at the source -- the capitalist government which was fully responsible for their bitter experience. Many took the road of revolutionary struggle against U.S. imperialism. Others among the veterans also learned to hate the authorities but without this rebellious sentiment becoming fully thought out.

Today the capitalists are speaking about "honoring" the veterans. What they really want to do is to channel the anger of the veterans away from the rich, the militarists and the government. They want to direct the anger of the veterans against the same old enemies of U.S. imperialism -- the communists, the Vietnamese, other "foreigners," and the anti-war movement.

They want the veterans to agree with the Reaganite theme that the U.S. war in Viet Nam was a "noble cause." And they want the support of the veterans for the latest such "noble causes" the U.S. government is engaged in -- whether it is the CIA's "dirty war" against Nicaragua, the intervention against the revolutionary guerrillas of El Salvador, or the war hysteria against people of the Middle East.

Thus today, when the U.S. government comes before the veterans with their latest lies, the Viet Nam veterans should recall the lies of yesterday. And they should recall the reality behind those lies. Today's lies are not that much different. Only the places have changed.

And in recalling history, the Viet Nam veterans should remember with pride the active roles they played in the fight against the Viet Nam war. And instead of rallying to the Stars and Stripes and the militarist bugles, the Viet Nam veterans should take their place in the ranks of the mass movement that is arising again in the U.S. to fight against the latest imperialist adventures of Uncle Sam.

This is the proper answer to the parades and memorials the capitalists are organizing.

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Backing Reagan's embargo:

Liberal Democrats on the warpath against Nicaragua

[Photo: Nicaraguan militia fighters celebrate a victory over CIA-organized contras]

The Democrats have postured for years as opponents of Reagan's policies in Central America, as moderates, as partisans of "human rights," etc. But the recent escalation of the dirty war against Nicaragua has once again shown the Democratic Party in its true colors.

Reagan's "national emergency," though a creature of his imagination, suited the Democratic Party to a tee. The Democrats followed Reagan's lead in pouncing on Ortega's visit to Moscow as a pretext for bearing down on Nicaragua. A Congressional leader in the House, William Alexander (D-Arkansas) explained that "Ortega's trip to Moscow triggered a reaction in the House and provides overwhelming support for the need to show the flag." Since the trip, he claimed, "There's a movement on our side to accommodate the lust members feel to strike out against communism. ''

Actually, neither the Soviet nor the Nicaraguan governments are communist; the present Soviet rulers are those who betrayed socialism in the Soviet Union and restored capitalism, while the Nicaraguan Sandinistas are petty-bourgeois democrats. It is our fraternal comrades, our class brothers of the Movement of Popular Action/Marxist-Leninist (MAP-ML) who are the true Marxist-Leninist communists in Nicaragua. But the point is that scratch a Democrat and you find a cold warrior "lusting" for communist blood. As good cold warriors, they believe one has simply to label an opponent a communist to justify the worst crimes, massacres, and blockades.

The Democratic "Lust" for Blood In Action

Enjoying the "lust" of Reagan's "national emergency," the Democrats also supported the embargo itself. Many hailed the move, including liberal Stephen Solarz. Indeed, the Democrats have long been in favor of economic sanctions against Nicaragua. At the time Reagan ordered the embargo he pointed out that Congress has been pushing him for some time to impose economic sanctions on Nicaragua. The Democrats' April 22 "peace" proposal in the Senate, for example, called for trade sanctions against the Sandinistas if they refused to negotiate seriously toward a peace settlement (i.e. refused to submit to U.S. demands ). In the same vein, liberal Claude Pepper (D-Florida) called on Reagan to use the Latin American regimes in the Organization of American States to help the U.S. subjugate Nicaragua. But if this didn't achieve the desired result, Pepper insisted, Reagan's policy should consist of "breaking off recognition of Nicaragua, boycott, blockade or whatever else we might think the situation requires."

The only criticism of the embargo from the congressional Democrats was from the direction that perhaps it wasn't effective enough because: a) the Nicaraguans could make trade agreements with other countries to alleviate the economic difficulties, or b) it was "premature," as Tip O'Neill put it, and would carry more weight if imposed after a clear-cut "diplomacy failure." There is concern among the Democrats, then, that the embargo should have the greatest impact possible, not only economically, but also in terms of trying to blacken Nicaragua's name and portray it as an intransigent nation undergoing a just punishment for putting obstacles in the way of peace.

The Democrats in Congress also used the momentum of Reagan's "national emergency" to try to justify their plans to restore official aid to the contras. Nicaragua's recent behavior, they claimed, has lent urgency to the question and has made many of them reconsider their April 24 vote against certain aid proposals. Congressmen in the House are now preparing bipartisan legislation for $40 million in official aid to the contras, to add to the substantial contributions they are already receiving from wealthy right-wingers (shipped down at government expense thanks to bipartisan legislation passed last year), foreign governments (often consisting of redirected U.S. funds), and other sources.

The issue for the Democrats in hammering out the contras aid bills has never been whether to support the contras, but how to go about it. As left-liberal House Democrat Michael Barnes put it, "If the vote were on whether you liked the Sandinistas, it'd be 20-1 for the contras, but that's not the issue." The problem for the Democrats is purely an image problem: the contras are reactionary anti-people rapists and murderers, and by openly supporting them, Congress exposes its imperialist designs in Central America and draws the fire of the progressive masses in the U.S. and around the world. That is why Barnes authored a House proposal to fund the contras under the name of "humanitarian" aid to "refugees." The Democrats are adamant that all open support to the contras must go under the name of "non-military aid" because they prefer to keep up the hoax of a congressional ban on all military aid. (Even though this aid to the contras is clearly intended to support their military efforts if it were really simply humanitarian aid to deal with economic difficulties, it should instead have been sent to Nicaragua to help them with the hardships caused by the U.S. dirty war and the blockade.) In a further attempt to cover their tracks, the Democrats are also asking that the aid be channeled through an international relief organization, rather than through the CIA.

The position of the Democrats in Congress, then, can be characterized by both their full backing for the vicious measures being taken against Nicaragua and their active search for a better cover under which to carry them out.

Reagan's "national emergency" was a step in the direction of building up the proper pretext for more acts of war against Nicaragua; but, as Tip O'Neill implied, the Democratic Party favors setting up a substantial "diplomacy failure"'as a really formidable pretext for aggression. In order to lay the blame for any action taken against Nicaragua squarely on the Sandinistas, and supposedly let the U.S. come out smelling like a rose, the Democrats are for pressing the Sandinistas to the wall in negotiations -- "calling the bluff on them," as Michael Barnes describes it. Then, if the Sandinistas refuse to submit, the Democrats regard that the U.S. is free to openly beef up the contras and prepare for a military solution. Thus, while they vote for the money that buys the firepower against Nicaragua, the Democrats in Congress are also determined to provide the political cover for U.S. imperialism's dirty war.

The Democrats and Republicans are a matched set. It is hard to imagine one without the other. And it is impossible to support the workers and peasants of Central America without opposing both.

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Democrats and Republicans compete to squeeze the people

Budgets for hunger and war

The noisy wrangling over the 1986 Federal budget has been deafening.

On May 9, the Senate passed the Reagan-endorsed Republican plan for the budget. Two weeks later, the Democrats passed their own version of the budget in the House. Immediately Reagan jumped on his high horse to denounce the Democrats' plan as being too "easy on the fat in domestic programs'' and for putting "the defense of our nation at risk.'' Meanwhile, the Democrats claim to have humbled Reagan by "freezing'' military spending, by "saving" many social benefit programs from the Reaganite axe, and by "reducing the deficit."

But all of this sound and fury tends to cover up the essential truth. The Democrats' plan differs only slightly from the Republican plan. And even this minor gap will be eliminated in the next few months as the joint House-Senate conference irons out the differences. In fact, both the Republican and Democratic plans are budgets for unbridled war preparations. Both are budgets for further serious takebacks against the working masses. And both continue the enormous deficits, which are feeding the vaults of the bankers and war merchants while the excuse of "deficit cutting" is being used to slash away at the standard of living of the masses.

Neither plan benefits the working masses. Both plans must be opposed. These budgets are the product of the man-eating capitalist system and this entire system must be torn to the ground. We say: Not a penny for imperialist war preparations! No takebacks, restore and expand the social benefit programs for the masses! No to sacrifice for the deficit of the billionaires!

The Fraud of the Democrats' "Freeze" on Military Spending

The loudest hubbub has surrounded the Democrats' supposed "freeze" on military spending. The House voted to put a $293 billion ceiling on the Pentagon's budget, the same as the ceiling in 1985. This is nearly $10 billion less than the Senate's appropriations.

But the fight between these two plans is really nothing but Congressional shadow boxing. The proposed budgetary ceiling in both plans would allow actual military spending to greatly increase in 1986. The May 27 issue of the U.S. News and World Report comforts its capitalist readers by pointing out that, "The Pentagon now has in the spending pipeline a backlog of almost 250 billion dollars appropriated in past years by Congress to finance long-term weapons projects...The Defense Department will pay out the money as the weapons are delivered, regardless of any freeze that Congress may impose to curb authorization of future military funding." The magazine also notes that "Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger has disclosed that the Pentagon has four billion dollars in excess cash..." and that this all means, "actual military spending is expected to jump from 252 billion this year to 273 billion in 1986..." The Democrats' "freeze" turns out to be in fact a $21 billion increase in military spending next year.

As well, even this empty gesture of a "freeze" on the ceiling for military spending is to last only one year. The Democrats' plan, like the Republican one, calls for raising the ceiling on the Pentagon budget by at least 3% in both 1987 and 1988. And the Democrats have already announced that they are ready to compromise with the Republicans to allow a somewhat higher spending ceiling for the 1986 budget. In other words, the Democrats are really giving the go-ahead for all of Reagan's programs to build new strategic nuclear missiles, bombers, nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers, fighter planes, tanks, helicopters? armored personnel carriers, and other weapons of mass slaughter.

But what if there really was a freeze on the war budget? This too would be far from acceptable. Actual military spending has doubled since 1978 from $176 billion to an estimated $252 billion in 1985. A freeze on spending would not just maintain the war machine at its present level. Rather, the budget at these astronomical heights is already designed to completely overhaul the military with every new weapon imaginable and to greatly expand the imperialist armed forces. This is money for new military adventures to occupy other countries and to crush their toiling masses as was done in Grenada. This is money to use the muscle of the U.S. war machine to prop up reactionary despots all over the world. This is money to step up the deadly superpower game of threats and bullying, of the U.S. imperialists' competition with the Soviet social-imperialists to see which will dominate the most countries and plunder the most loot from the oppressed people around the world. This is bloodstained money and we are opposed to it.

What good is a freeze? The interests of the working class call for a complete end to the war drive and this requires the overthrow of the imperialist system which gives rise to aggression and war. When the workers take power through revolution they will know how to defend the socialist system from armed counterrevolutionaries. But today's armed forces are not designed for "defense." Rather the U.S. military is the armed machine for imperialist plunder and slaughter. We demand that not a penny be spent for the imperialist war machine.

Defending the Poor by Kicking Them in the Teeth

The Democrats are also claiming that they have "saved" the poor and downtrodden from the Reaganite slashing of social benefit programs. But this too is little more than the sweet music played before the funeral.

The Republican plan calls for a one- year elimination of cost-of-living payments for social security and other pension and benefit programs and cuts for other programs such as education, job training, and Medicare. All together the Republicans plan to save a total of some $39 billion from such measures. The Democrats, on the other hand, plan to cut social benefit programs by "only" about $29 billion. When counted with the enormous takebacks that the Democrats have rubber-stamped in the last four years, this plan means more devastation for the unemployed, the aged, the youth, and the poor.

What is more, you can't count on the Democrats to save even the token $10 billion in social programs that they are claiming to defend. William Gray, who is a member of the Black Congressional Caucus from Philadelphia and head of the House Finance Committee, headed up the fight for the Democrats' budget. Yet Gray has already proclaimed that they will agree to allow still greater cuts in the programs for the working masses as long as the Republicans will agree to not eliminate some programs altogether. The Democrats' budget had hardly passed when Gray announced, "...the House will buy reductions but not the wholesale eliminations." (The New York Times, May 24, 1985)

At best the Democrats' budget slows down the drive to slash social benefit programs from a flood to an avalanche. But what is needed is the restoration of the benefits already cut and an expansion of assistance to the unemployed and all those who the capitalists are driving into want and hunger.

The Workers Should Not Sacrifice for Cutting the Budget Deficit!

The Democrats, like the Republicans, are crying that cuts in social programs, while unfortunate, are the only way to go if the monstrous budget deficit is to be gotten under control. The working people must sacrifice, they say, for the good of the nation.

But for the last four years Reagan has been singing this same song that more takebacks from the working masses will balance the budget, and every year the deficit has continued to grow. It is predicted that this year the deficit will rise to over $200 billion. And the Democrats' budget plan offers no real relief.

The Democrats predict that after three more years of serious cutbacks in the social benefit programs the deficit will still amount to some $149 billion. And this figure is highly dubious.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans base their estimates on extremely optimistic forecasts that claim there will be steady growth in the economy and lower unemployment. Even sober- minded capitalist economists decry these forecasts as ridiculous. Even a small downturn in the economy will drive the deficit up further.

What is more, some of the so-called deficit reductions in this year's budgets of both the Democrats and Republicans are based on book juggling which looks good on paper, but has no real substance. For example, the Democrats claim a nearly $4 billion reduction out of a vaguely described savings from improved contracting methods. Meanwhile the Republicans claim savings from merely changing their methods of bookkeeping. These methods will hardly eliminate the deficit.

The current unprecedented deficits are the product of the government's support for barefaced capitalist profit taking and the escalating war drive. It has become fairly standard procedure for the capitalists to deal with their recurrent economic crises by boosting deficit spending to hold up profits and to artificially stimulate the economy. Reagan, with the help of the Democrats, has played this game to the hilt.

Untold billions have been robbed from the Federal treasury through Reagan's tax cuts for the monopolies and the rich generally. Billions upon billions in profits have been given to General Electric, General Dynamics, and the other war merchants in the rush to build up the Pentagon war machine. And hundreds of billions more are being handed out to the banks as interest payments on the national debt. In April alone the government forked over $12.9 billion in interest on federal loans. And it is predicted that by 1986 the interest on the debt may cost $146 billion a year.

Obviously it is the capitalists who have produced and are profiting by the staggering deficit. And it is they who should pay the bill. But the Democrats are not about to put a stop to the enormous military spending, nor will they cancel the debt and interest payments to the banks, nor will they jack up the taxes on the rich to pay for the programs the working masses so badly need.

The Democrats are just another big party of monopoly capital, no different than the Republicans. Relief cannot be expected from the Democrats' wheeling and dealing in Congress.

It is up to the working masses to defend themselves. The working class, organized in its own political movement, independent of and against both the Democrats and Republicans, and wielding the weapon of mass struggle, is the powerful force that can rally all of the poor and oppressed for the fight against the Reaganite offensive. This is a class struggle, a battle of the downtrodden and degraded masses against the parasitic upper crust which lives off the workers' labor. Ultimately it must be decided through revolution, through the workers taking power into their own hands and wielding it to smash to dust the capitalist system and all of the unemployment, poverty, reaction and war that it has caused.

The fight today is against the Reaganite offensive, which the Republicans and Democrats alike are propping up. The answer of the working masses must be organization and determined mass struggle.

No sacrifice for the deficit of the billionaires!

Not a penny for the imperialist war machine!

Restore and expand the benefits needed by the working masses!

[Photo: Thousands of senior citizens in New York City protest cuts in social security, Medicaid and Medicare, May 16.]

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Students fight corporate and university support for South African racism

The anti-apartheid movement that swept college campuses across the U.S. in April has continued through the end of that month and into May. Despite the onset of summer vacations, a number of determined battles have taken place in the last few weeks. For the militant students, the struggle against apartheid is not something that only takes place thousands of miles away; they are raising the banner of struggle right here. They have aimed their blows at the investments in apartheid by many of the biggest U.S. corporations.

The students' main demand has been quite modest -- it is merely that their colleges divest (remove) their funds from companies that do business in South Africa. Yet their struggle has faced heavy repression by the school administrations, who have even called in the police and courts to suppress and persecute the students. The actions of the police and courts prove that the American legal system is so corrupt that it even stands in defense of South African apartheid. The repression by the college administrations shows that they are not guardians of truth and morality, but of the corporations who fund them, both directly and through the capitalist government. It shows that the U.S. bourgeoisie and their defenders, including educators who claim to stand above politics, stand firmly on the side of the racist Botha regime and U.S. imperialism, which bolsters the apartheid rulers.

Moreover, as the movement has grown, it is more and more meeting with open hostility by liberal and social- democratic forces who support the phony "anti-apartheid" politicians of the Democratic Party. Liberal university administrators join open reactionaries in calling in the police against the students. And the liberal and social- democratic political leaders denounce the students for their militancy. The liberal and social-democratic forces want to work with the capitalists, to be their advisors and directors, and they are opponents of genuine struggle against apartheid, for this struggle goes beyond the bounds of bourgeois respectability and leads the students towards the road of struggle against U.S. imperialism as a whole.

Below we report on the developments in the student movement at a number of schools across the U.S.

Struggle at Berkeley continues in the face of stiff repression

[Photo: One thousand Berkeley anti-apartheid activists march to May 16 UC Board of Regents meeting to protest the University of California's $2.4 billion investments in companies doing business in South Africa.]

One of the biggest of the anti-apartheid struggles has been at the University of California's Berkeley campus where students are demanding divestment of the school's $2.4 billion investment in companies operating in South Africa.

The recent wave of protest began on April 10 when students began a sit-in on the steps of the Sproul Hall administration building to press their demands. (The activists have renamed it Biko Hall for the black South African student leader murdered by the racist regime in 1977.) As well, daily rallies and other protest activities were held. As the protests grew, the administration sent the police in on April 16 to remove the demonstrators. About 158 arrests took place that day.

But the Biko Hall blockade resumed the same day stronger than ever. Rallies of up to 5,000 and a campus-wide boycott of classes were held in support of the Biko Hall protesters. And, on April 24th, 7,000 students attended a meeting at the campus gymnasium to demand divestment.

The massive outpouring of student support for the fight against apartheid sent the campus officials into another frenzy and they again resorted to the big stick of repression. On April 26 the administration ordered another police attack on the Biko Hall demonstrators. The police began to seize the students' sleeping bags and anti-apartheid banners. When this provocation was opposed by the protesters, the cops physically attacked them and began arrests. The police also busted several people in a crowd that had gathered to denounce this vicious suppression. Those who defended themselves against police attacks faced serious charges such as "battery on an officer'' and even with "lynching" (can anything more cynical be imagined from the racist police?) for trying to pry their comrades from the grips of the fascist police thugs. Completing this outrage, the capitalist courts set bail as high as $15,000 for the arrested students.

But the efforts to crush the movement failed once again. On April 30 some 200 students held a march which went through the campus and then downtown for protests at the Bank of America and Citicorp, banks that help finance the apartheid system. And the blockade at Biko Hall continued into May. On May 12th, 10,000 attended an anti-apartheid rally.

Another major action was held at a University of California regents meeting on May 16-17. Following a two-and-a-half mile march of 3,000 to the meeting site, 1,500 protesters remained overnight. The next day these activists set up a blockade around the meeting. Only with the assistance of 500 police were the regents able to leave.


While the Berkeley struggle continued, protesters went into action at other campuses of the University of California. For example, at UCLA a three-day sit-in was broken up by police on April 26. But the resilient activists rallied 800 strong at UCLA on May 1 and another determined sit-in was begun.

At UC Santa Cruz and Elsewhere

At the Santa Cruz campus, students blockaded the main campus entrance for over six hours until the police broke up the protest, arresting 238. Elsewhere, 350 faculty members from throughout the UC system held an action, occupying the office of UC President Gardner and suffering 36 arrests.

Thus the struggle at the University of California continues. It is the militant students and protesters who are the fighters for freedom, who are the truly enlightened force, while the administration and the rich regents have proven to be as corrupt and reactionary as in the 1960's.

Nationwide protests continue

The struggle against apartheid continues to sweep from one end of the country to the other.

Columbia University

The three-week-long sit-in at Columbia University in New York City was another of the major actions that broke out in April. Although the lengthy occupation of the Hamilton Hall administration building ended in late April, the Columbia students are still fighting for divestment. On April 20th, 60 students were arrested after a demonstration at the offices of Rolls-Royce, which has operations in South Africa. One of the corporate leaders of Rolls-Royce is the chairman of Columbia's Board of Trustees which oversees Columbia's investments in South Africa. Two hundred students and faculty participated in a walkout from the May 15 graduation ceremonies to protest Columbia's financial ties to apartheid.

Rutgers University

The vigorous battle at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey continued into May as well. For over a month students have been holding a sit-in at the student union demanding divestment of university funds from corporations in South Africa. A big action was set for May 9 to put pressure on school officials who were meeting the next day.

The University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin students and others waged a spirited protest that lasted from April 24 to May 8. The protest began with a march of 2,000 people on the state capitol to demand that the state end its investments in U.S. firms operating in South Africa. When the governor refused to meet the demonstrators, hundreds participated in a sit-in at the capitol building which lasted two weeks.

The University of Iowa

At the University of Iowa, students have launched several mass actions to back up their demands for university divestment, amnesty for protesters and a commission to expose the role of U.S. corporations in supporting the South African racist system. On May 1, after 500 students rallied, 200 occupied the college president's office in the administration building.

The next day the police were called into the administration building and the students were threatened with arrest if they did not leave. Outraged by the administration's repressive measures, 600 demonstrated outside the building. Later that day 300 students marched into the building with 100 sitting down in solidarity with the occupation of the college president's office. Police arrested over 135 students. But the struggle continued the next day as 600 protesters demonstrated.


Students at Harvard organized a blockade on May 2 at a campus building where the Harvard Conservative Club hosted the racist South African consul general from New York. Further protests are being planned for June commencement exercises.

The Harvard administration has been desperately trying to put the clamps on the anti-apartheid activists. They have resurrected a notorious disciplinary committee which was begun in the late 60's to persecute student protest leaders.

The Administration Resorts to Wiretapping

Moreover, the administration has been caught red-handed tapping the phones of activists. The taps were discovered by activists who set up Harvard officials by stating over the phone a false story about how the activists were planning a break-in at the offices of Harvard magazine. The night of the supposed break-in the activists discovered that at the "scene of the crime'' university police surrounded the building, stationed a photographer inside the building and even had the burglary alarm company standing outside the offices.

Such rotten activities of the university administrations show that their hypocritical proclamations for "freedom of expression'' actually mean that while the administrations provide platforms for the CIA and other reactionaries, progressive activists face police-state tactics.

[Photo: Anti-apartheid protest in the Wisconsin State Capitol.]

[Photo: Columbia students confront bourgeois trustee who defends holdings in companies doing business in South Africa, May 6.]

[Photo: UCLA students denounce apartheid and demand divestment by the UC system.]

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Liberal Mayor Goode in the shoes of racist Rizzo

The bombing of a black neighborhood in Philadelphia: A racist atrocity

On May 13, hundreds of Philadelphia police armed with automatic weapons and a fiery bomb served an eviction notice on the black group MOVE. The end result was a massacre and the torching of an entire black neighborhood, with eleven people including four children killed, and the destruction of the homes of 270 others.

The atrocity in West Philadelphia was a demonstration of coldblooded police revenge for a 1978 shootout provoked by the police in an earlier attempt to evict MOVE from another home. Seven years ago 300 police stormed and bulldozed the home, and nine MOVE members are still rotting in prison for the death of a policeman in that assault. But this time the police brought out even heavier artillery, displaying even greater brutality.

MOVE is a small sect with a "back to nature" religious ideology. But it does have a stand of self-defense against police attacks and over the years this has enraged the city government and police. But with the barbaric assault on the MOVE home Mayor Wilson Goode and the police wanted to send a message to the whole black community and to anyone else who refuses to submit to the repression of the capitalist government and police. For those who resist racist police attacks and for those black and working class activists who defy the arbitrary dictate of the government there will not be the slightest mercy -- only bullets and bombs. This was the message the police delivered onto the roof of the MOVE home on Osage Ave.

Official Lies to Justify a Slaughter

The police assault on MOVE was a demonstration of the capitalist ''big stick" against the working and oppressed people. And, like Reagan's brutal invasion of Grenada and other demonstrations of the U.S. "big stick" around the world, this massacre was carefully planned and a mountain of official lies were dished out to justify the slaughter.

The city officials and capitalist media have been cranking out the most outlandish campaign of lies against MOVE. The group has been charged with being "urban guerrillas" and "radical terrorists" bent on provoking "an international terrorist incident." No matter that there is not a shred of evidence connecting MOVE to any variety of terrorism whatsoever.

When the police combed the rubble of their home, they didn't find a hint of the "bomb factory" MOVE was accused of building. However, it's for the mayor and the police to explain why they dropped a bomb on a row house jammed into a compact residential neighborhood, no less a house that the mayor and police had alleged was packed with explosives!

Nor did the police find the arsenals of automatic weapons with which MOVE had allegedly fired on the police Monday morning -- only a rifle, two shotguns and three handguns, the type of weapons to be found in homes across the country. Nor did the police find a trace of the "tunnel network" which was alleged to be the hub of a "terrorist conspiracy" against the city. The police lab studies of the smoldering ashes of the MOVE home have only confirmed that all the hysterical lies about "terrorism" were just a cover for the unprovoked murder and incineration of eleven men, women and children.

Mayor Goode has conceded that for over a year he searched for and couldn't find any legal basis for evicting MOVE. And when the police finally launched their storm of bullets and fire to enforce the eviction they were clutching a handful of piddling warrants for housing code violations and unpaid utility bills. At the last moment, for good measure, they also took out warrants against four MOVE members for bomb making and conspiracy, charges for which the police didn't have a shred of evidence.

Cut through all the hysteria and you find that MOVE is in reality a small cult that advocates change by adopting a "back to nature" lifestyle. While they can be accused of having foolish and impotent ideas about how to change the world, they have posed a threat to no one. Undoubtedly, their strange lifestyle which is guided by a rejection of modern technology, their use of a loudspeaker to harangue the community with their useless ideas for hours on end, combined with their failure to address the problems that the black working people face, has led to frictions with some neighbors. MOVE has also come into sharp conflicts with city authorities as MOVE has defied the bullying and violence of the police who have repeatedly tried to evict them from their homes. But there was nothing to justify the massacre of these people.

A Carefully Planned Massacre

The massacre in West Philadelphia was in the making for a long time. The Philadelphia Inquirer and other news services report that Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor and Mayor Goode's Managing Director Leo Brooks had been working on plans for the assault for a year and a half. During this time the MOVE house was put under police surveillance and aerial photos of the roof were studied for the best place to drop a bomb. And the police bomb disposal unit set about secretly testing explosives on lumber structures for practice.

On Sunday, May 12 the police started to unfold their plans. A six-block area around the MOVE house was roped off. Five hundred people in 125 homes were ordered to leave their houses by 11 p.m., with those resisting the order threatened with arrest. Over 200 police armed to the teeth were assembled in the area for the assault, backed up by 150 firemen and five fire trucks and tractors.

In the early hours of Monday morning, the Philadelphia Electric Co. cut off all power to the area. At 5:45 a.m. police chief Sambor presented an ultimatum to MOVE to leave the house and submit to arrest. "Attention MOVE!" Sambor shouted over the police bullhorn, "This is America! You have to abide by the laws of the United States!" MOVE was given all of 15 minutes before the police unleashed all the firepower they could muster.

For two hours the police pounded at the house with automatic and semiautomatic weapons and smoke and tear gas grenades. The police report that they fired 7,000 to 10,000 rounds of ammunition into the house. Meanwhile, fire trucks pumped 640,000 gallons of water on the house with their high- power deluge guns, and police cut holes in the side walls to pump the house full of tear gas. Reportedly MOVE members responded to this monstrous assault with some gunshots of their own.

Late that afternoon, Mayor Goode gave the go-ahead for the police to complete the siege by dropping a bomb on the roof of the house. The police claimed the bomb was only intended to make a hole to drop tear gas bombs through. But the Tovex TR 2 explosive used for the bomb, according to its producer DuPont, throws off heat that can range from 3,000 to 7,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So not surprisingly the bomb quickly set the MOVE house ablaze.

Fire chief Richmond ordered his men not to fight the fire claiming that there was a danger of being shot at and that "firefighters aren't infantry." This was a pitiful excuse given that during the most intense gunfire that morning the fire department's deluge guns were part of the heavy artillery of the police assault. But now, to drive out any surviving MOVE members and to burn up the evidence of the earlier deadly assault, the deluge guns were silenced.

Again not surprisingly, the blazing fire rapidly spread through the compact neighborhood. In the end 53 homes were burned to the ground and eight badly damaged, leaving over 270 people homeless in this black working class section of West Philadelphia.

Mayor Goode proudly defends this atrocity and says that he would do it again. Goode declared the whole operation "perfect -- except for the fire." And Goode has the nerve to describe the fire as a "tragic accident," claiming that the police didn't know that their bomb would ignite the house. What a cynical farce! Every police department in the country knows that setting off firecrackers on a roof can spark a fire, let alone detonating high explosives. What's more, if the fire was an "accident" why were the firefighters ordered to sit and watch as the fire grew into a deadly inferno?

This is because from the early stages of planning the mayor and police were out for a bloodbath. "I knew from the very beginning," Goode told a news conference after the fire broke out, "that once we made that decision to go in there, it would in fact be a war." (Washington Post, May 14) Indeed the police did launch an all-out war, and nothing else could have been expected from such unrestrained police violence but death and mass destruction.

Mayor Goode in Rizzo's Shoes

The devastation in West Philadelphia has earned Mayor Goode more stars as a reliable hatchet-man of capitalist oppression against the black and working people.

The Reagan administration quickly spoke out to praise the mayor. Attorney General Meese in a speech to California's police association said: "I think Mayor Goode in Philadelphia... in the very rational and reasonable way that he's handling a very difficult situation, there is a good example for all of us to take note of."

Naturally the Reaganites find bombing and burning the black community "a good example." But these racist reactionaries have been joined by the local black bourgeois politicians and clergy who have also come out in support of the mayor, praising Goode's "strong leadership" and "firm hand."

It should be remembered that the brutal police assault on a MOVE headquarters in 1978 provoked deep outrage. Then Mayor Frank Rizzo and his notorious police department had been under fire for years for their naked racism and brutality against the black community. The public outcry against the assault on MOVE branded Rizzo's regime and played a part in Rizzo's political decline.

Last year when Goode was elected the expectation was created that things would change for the better for the blacks and national minorities with a black liberal Democrat in the mayor's office. But the massacre on Osage Avenue shows that nothing has changed in the Philadelphia police department. The only difference is that the bourgeois blacks are playing a bigger role in the administration of the oppression of the black and working masses. The new administration is now providing a valuable buffer to defuse the mass outrage against this latest police atrocity against the black community.

But despite the dirty role of the black bourgeois politicians, preachers and other misleaders, there are big cracks in the picture being painted by the capitalist media of popular support for Goode and the police massacre. We are supposed to overlook the angry crowds pressing against police barriers at the time of the assault crying "Murder! Murder!" and the denunciations of the fire department as it sat and watched the neighborhood go up in smoke. In fact there are many signs of sharp bitterness; and the resentment continues to grow as the police prowl the city kicking in doors and randomly grabbing suspects off the street in a reign of terror against the remnants of MOVE.

Lessons for the People

"We cannot permit any terrorist hold a whole neighborhood or a whole city hostage," Mayor Goode declares, "And we have to send that message out loud and clear, over and over again." But as we have seen the Philadelphia Police Department is the only "terrorist group" trampling on the people of Philadelphia.

No, the real target of Goode's "message" is all who dare resist racist assaults, black activists and other progressives and revolutionaries, the black community and all working people: "Abide by the laws of the United States," submit to the racist and reactionary dictate of the police and government -- or else we will not hesitate to incinerate you.

Through such atrocities the capitalist rulers hope to cower their opponents. But for the class conscious workers and proletarian revolutionaries this only strengthens their resolve to build a truly revolutionary movement that can't be broken by a satchel of plastic explosives. Digging a hole in the cellar and shutting yourself off from the world with boards and tin, as MOVE did, won't do the job; nor is there any escape from the repression and brutality of the police by retreating "back to nature" or hiding our heads in the sand. What the revolutionary movement needs is solid organization relying for its defense on its firm roots among the working people and unbreakable connections with their mass struggles.

Outrages like the bombing in West Philadelphia help to destroy illusions, bringing out the barbaric features of capitalist rule. They bring home the fact that you cannot escape the bullets and bombs of the racists and police by exchanging a racist Mayor Rizzo for a black Mayor Goode, or a Reaganite for a liberal Democrat.

The capitalist ruling class is waging a ruthless offensive against the working class and oppressed masses. In cities across the country the police are stepping up their racist violence. And under the baton of the Reagan regime the knives of state repression are being honed against the revolt of the working people. We must confront this offensive head-on.

Let us go forward in the mass struggle against racist attacks, police violence, and Reaganite reaction. Let us go forward in the revolutionary struggle. Let us go forward to the socialist revolution which alone can bring final liberation to the black people and all the exploited and oppressed, and which alone can abolish the repressive police forces of racist killers and bombers.

[Photo: Philadelphia police drop bomb, murdering MOVE families and gutting several blocks of a black community in W. Philadelphia.]

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Torture at the 106th precinct

Business as usual at the NYPD

(The following leaflet was issued by the New York Metro Branch of the Leninist Party, USA on May 6, 1985.)

On Wednesday, April 17, Mark Davidson, an 18-year-old black youth was arrested by cops from the 106th precinct in Queens, on trumped-up drug charges. The cops took him to the precinct where he was savagely beaten and had his head banged against a wall which left him with a black eye. So far simply typical treatment at the hands of the racist NYPD. But then, as Davidson continued to protest his innocence, he was brutally and sadistically tortured with an electronic "stun gun" in order to force a false confession. The "stun gun" left him with 42 burn marks on his chest, stomach, back and buttocks. Since that time other black, Latino and Korean men have been coming forward every day to reveal that they too were tortured with stun guns. Hundreds more are finally being listened to when they tell of being beaten and subjected to racist abuse by police.

Coming on the heels of the racist police murders of Michael Stewart, an elderly Bronx grandmother Eleanor

Bumpurs, and others, and in the wake of the exposure of the N.Y. Medical Examiner's cover-up of these crimes, these latest crimes have sparked a new wave of outrage against the police. But as outrageous as the new torture cases are, they are no surprise. In the national minority communities racist police attacks and atrocities are everyday occurrences. Racist abuse and beatings are a standard part of most arrests.

The news media, the police commissioner and the city government, despite their recent show of concern, have in fact ignored and covered up these racist attacks for years. Now they are trying to make this look like a case of a few bad apples in the police department -- or one bad precinct. But this is not the case. There isn't a precinct in New York City where the cops have not beaten and murdered innocent people.

Police Commissioner Ben Ward and the city government are putting on tones of mock outrage, while scrambling to perpetuate or cover up and "restore" the public's confidence in the police. Ward is talking about "one or two or maybe even thirty" bad apples and has even forced the early retirement of a number of high ranking police commanders. But all the facts in recent months have shown that racist terror is the official policy of the NYPD and the government. And these racist crimes have been supported and covered up from the highest levels of government on down. Stephen Sullivan, the cop who was indicted for gunning down elderly Eleanor Bumpurs, was exonerated and freed precisely because he "followed departmental guidelines."

Meanwhile the notorious racist Ed Koch is hypocritically criticizing these acts of torture. Only a year and a half ago Koch snidely called police brutality a "mere perception" held by blacks and others. The police brutality hearings held in Harlem in September 1983, which, while denying their systematic nature, documented scores of brutal crimes, were emphatically denounced by Koch and his police commissioner Ward. And now Koch is trying to give the impression that he is against racist police attacks! What a despicable fraud!

For the NYPD the Bumpurs murder was "standard procedure" -- as were the police murders of Michael Stewart, Darryl Dodson, Jose Llopis, Barry Parsons, Paul Fava (a white youth), etc., etc. In all of these cases when the cover-ups have unraveled, the police have been investigated and even indicted, but never punished. One and a half years after the Congressional hearings charged the NYPD with brutality, black and Latino youths are still being beaten and tortured with "stun guns." Now, to ensure a similar outcome in the torture cases, the investigation will be carried out by the Internal Affairs Division of the NYPD -- i.e., the police will investigate themselves!

We cannot expect the government of racists to stop these police crimes. Neither can we expect investigations and indictments to bring real justice no matter what Koch or Ward say. The proper answer to these crimes lies in mass struggle. Demonstrations and other forms of mass protest are needed to galvanize anti-racist sentiment and weld it into a political force. Only the masses, by taking to the streets and fighting for justice, can put a brake on police terror.

No to racist police terror!

Mass struggle is the answer to racist attacks!

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Detroit police murder 64-year-old woman

On Wednesday, May 22, two policewomen were dispatched to "help" a 64-year old black woman, Alleane Richardson, who was locked out of her apartment. Instead of helping, one of the policewomen killed her, pumping three bullets into her head and chest.

The police department has tried to justify this brutal murder by claiming that the old woman charged the officers with a butcher knife. But the facts pointed out by friends, neighbors and relatives make it clear that this was nothing but coldblooded murder.

When the two black policewomen arrived on the scene, their attitude was that there was a "disturbance" to deal with. They proceeded with this attitude and had no sensitivity to the situation whatsoever. One neighbor emphasized that, "The police had been fully appraised of the situation...this was an elderly woman who could barely stand up on her own, who could not hear and had speech problems."

It is really hard to believe that two policewomen could not have dealt with a knife (originally claimed to be a butcher knife and later shown to be something only slightly larger than a steak knife) in the hands of this old, crippled woman. Better yet, they could have simply left her alone. But no, this is not the way the "helpful" police operate.

Instead, they surrounded Mrs. Richardson, demanding she drop the knife. Mrs. Richardson was deaf and, of course, could not understand the demands of the frenzied officers. One witness pointed out that although the old woman raised the knife to show the policewomen she had it, she didn't raise it again until the police officer had already shot her twice. Such was the "life threatening" situation that the police department claims justified the murder of an old woman.

The murder of Mrs. Richardson is only the most recent example of the typical activity of the police. This is not an isolated case of poor judgment, or of inexperienced rookies, or, as one capitalist paper claimed, of frightened women who forgot they were police officers. On the contrary, the police force is highly trained in anti-people, anti-poor and anti-black attitudes that lead to such outrageous shootings and the daily harassment and attacks on the black people and the working masses generally.

Nor does it matter that Mayor Coleman Young is black, or that since he came to office more black police officers have been recruited to the force. The police continue to be the armed instrument of the capitalists for the suppression of the working masses and racist terror continues to be one of their main activities.

Racist Terror Against the Black Youth

Another recent event shows the kind of racist thugs that are recruited and sent out to "help" the people.

In March, an off-duty Detroit policeman by the name of Mitchel and another named Walczak, who was then on suspension, began harassing two black teenagers who were walking home from school. These two cops shouted racial slurs from their van and then got out and threw rocks at the boys. When the teenagers started throwing rocks back, the policemen pulled out their guns. The teenagers tried to run away, but Mitchel opened fire and hit Darrin Hill, aged 16, in the back.

These two officers are notorious for their fiendish brutality and racism. Mitchel was sued two years ago for assaulting and shooting some people who had tried to complain about the noise that he and some friends were making in Leigh Park. Yet the police department put him right back out on the streets. In 1979, Walczak was charged with using a cattle prod on* a prisoner; and in 1980, he was suspended for 90 days after a prisoner died in his cell after being beaten with a blackjack. Yet he too was kept on the force.

Little slaps on the wrist, like a few days of suspension (and usually with pay, i.e., paid vacation), are typically the maximum punishment for racist assaults and murder by the police. Meanwhile the police force carries out such outrages on a daily basis.

Coleman Young's "Anti-Crime" Program Means More Police and Jails and More Police Terror

The latest police murder is the bitter fruit of Coleman Young's so-called "anti-crime" program which gives free rein to police brutality. In recent months, Young has tried to whip up hysteria against "crime in the streets" as a pretext and cover for increasing police harassment and terror against youth, black people, and the working masses.

Crime is a serious problem for the working people. The growth of social crime is the result of the degrading life under capitalism. There is overwork for those who are employed and poverty for those who have been discarded by the capitalists and thrown on the streets. In particular, the youth are faced with ever worsening conditions. The cutbacks in education have turned the schools into little more than holding cells during the day. And once the youth are out of school the futility of finding work creates a bleak future of endless poverty and hopelessness. It is the unbearable conditions of capitalism that cause crime and it is these conditions that must be changed to eliminate crime.

But this is not what Young has in mind when he speaks of fighting crime. He admitted in a speech last fall to his "anti-crime summit" that, "I believe unemployment, economic and social deprivation are the root causes [of crime -- ed.]...Nonetheless, we cannot afford to wait for a solution." Rather than help the exploited and oppressed, Young called for increased police measures against them, including: increasing the cops on the street by more than 1,000; increasing the number of police reserves; building more prisons; increasing taxes to pay for more police and jails; and stepped-up attacks against the youth including periodic police raids to "shakedown" all the students in one high school and middle school after another. There is even talk of bringing back under another name the infamous STRESS squads, which specialized in ambush and the murder of black people.

This "anti-crime" program is nothing new for Coleman Young. Terror against the masses continued from the day he took office. In 1976 he launched a similar "anti-crime" campaign against the black youth, calling them "hoodlums" and raving that he wouldn't let them "take over the city." In the fall of last year, Young once again denounced the youth as "hoodlums, jitterbugs or litterbugs taking over the streets" and declared war on them railing that "The free ride is over...No more mister nice guy...from now on its hard ball."

For the masses of working and poor people in Detroit the problem of crime will not be solved by the Young administration's latest "anti-crime" program. What Young and co. are up to is the unleashing of a reign of terror against the youth and working people under the guise of "fighting crime." The murder of the 64-year-old Mrs. Richardson is one of the despicable results of Young's program.

Strengthening the police forces does not mean an end to crime. Rather it means strengthening the hand of the capitalists and their government to terrorize the black and other working people and to suppress any just struggles by the working masses. The working class must get organized to resist the police terror. And it must work to build up the revolutionary force which will overthrow the capitalist system and with it the ugly crime that it has spawned.

Condemn the police murder of Alleane Richardson.

Expose the fraud of Young's "anti-crime" program as nothing but more police, jails, and racist terror.

Get organized to wipe out the capitalist system, the source of crime.

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UAW defends the racists

Condemn Klan-style attack at GM headquarters

(The following leaflet was issued by the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on May 21, 1985.)

On Saturday, April 27 Carl Frazier, a black janitor at General Motors headquarters was attacked by five white racists who were also employed by GM. After being lured into an elevator in the GM building, one of the racists lifted Frazier off the floor while another, wearing a white Klan hood, tried to put a noose around Frazier's neck. While they attempted to lynch him, Frazier was subjected to the most vile racist remarks. Fortunately, Carl Frazier was able to free himself and escape unharmed.

GM is well known for fostering racism, so it comes as no surprise that such an incident would take place at GM corporate headquarters. GM is one of the main U.S. corporations that reaps huge profits off the exploitation of the black workers under the racist apartheid system in South Africa. As well, here at home, GM is notorious for its attacks against the black auto workers. As could be expected following this disgusting attack, Roger Smith made some statements about GM's equal opportunity hiring practices and claimed "there is no room for prejudice at GM." But these are nothing but empty statements by GM to distance itself from the racist attackers and to protect its corporate image. In reality, GM did little. It took GM 10 days to take any action at all and then it fired only two of the racists who were "directly" involved and let the other three off scot free! Obviously GM has "room for prejudice" as long as it can get away with it.

In the face of this insidious racist attack, the UAW has once again shown its true colors and is championing the cause of two of the racists involved. UAW Local 572 leaders have filed a grievance against the firing of the racists. Meanwhile, the UAW International has stated it supports the Local leaders' handling of the matter. Solidarity House is letting the Local leaders do its dirty work in defending the racists. Defense of such racist attacks is a despicable act of treachery and hatred toward the working class.

The racists are saying that this was only a "prank," but it must be condemned for the cowardly act of terror that it was. All those involved must be rightly punished.

It is the rich and their corporations that foster racism and it is the working class that must stand united against the racists and their terror. The whole working class must oppose the racist attack against Carl Frazier, just as the white and black workers did at Dodge Truck when they walked out to oppose Chrysler's racist attack against black workers who took off on Martin Luther King's birthday.

For the unity of the working class!

Down with racist attacks!

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Strikes and workplace news


Work stoppages at Jefferson Assembly in Detroit

(The following articles "Work stoppages at Jefferson Assembly in Detroit," "What happened to the strike vote?" and "No to job-cutting productivity schemes" were contained in a leaflet issued by the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on May 21,1985.)

Once again the Jefferson workers have taken up mass action to protest another outrage by Chrysler management. On Thursday of last week large numbers of afternoon shift workers from the Body Shop and other departments staged work stoppages to protest Chrysler's holding back of their vacation paychecks. Chrysler was forced to shut down the entire plant for the rest of the shift.

Chrysler's delay in handing out vacation paychecks is one more example of the petty abuse and harassment being heaped upon the Chrysler workers at Jefferson. Workers' tempers are at the boiling point and they are saying -- "We're sick of this crap, we're not going to take-it."

Every mass action by the workers, whether it be the Tom Curry wildcat, the Final Line work stoppage or this latest mass action started in the Body Shop, is very important. Each mass struggle further strengthens the unity and fighting spirit of the workers and helps build for plant-wide actions in the future.

As always, the Jefferson workers must be vigilant against any sneak attacks or disciplinary reprisals that Chrysler might try to hand out to the workers involved in these latest actions.

What happened to the strike vote?

At last month's union meeting, 150 workers voted unanimously to have the union carry out a plant-wide vote to authorize the Local leadership to call a strike against Chrysler's productivity drive.

But nothing has been done since then. And a number of committeemen have admitted that the Local leadership never intended to carry out a plant-wide strike vote in the first place. They say that the vote at the Local meeting was only meant to be a bargaining chip for negotiations with Chrysler.

And so what about the negotiations with Chrysler? It is claimed that progress is being made "on fixing roof leaks,'' but nothing is being done to stop job combinations. While the Local leadership is having nice friendly chats with Chrysler's management, the productivity drive and job elimination goes on day after day.

Hot air and cheap talk about strikes won't do. It is up to the rank and file to get organized, independent of the sold out trade union bureaucrats, to carry forward the fight to defend our jobs.

No to job-cutting productivity schemes!

Jefferson workers report that Chrysler is continuing its drive to eliminate jobs, combine job classifications, and intensify the labor of the workers.

The word is out that Chrysler is beginning to make a major assault against the janitors and utility men. Workers report that Chrysler plans to wipe out a large section of utility men by assigning clean up sweepers to one section of the line where they would not only have to clean up work but also do assembly work on the line when the foreman says they "are needed.''

The inspection department is also under attack. There Chrysler management has set out to eliminate as many inspection jobs as possible. Workers report that Chrysler plans to heap the inspection work onto the assembly line workers and repairmen. Assembly workers will be forced to write up tickets for any parts that they missed and repairmen would be responsible not only for repair work but inspection too. Workers have heard these plans right from the mouths of Chrysler engineers.

It has also been reported that each of these job-eliminating schemes will be further stepped up after the July 19 changeover.

Chrysler speed-up specialists have been heard bragging that they are going to implement the same job-eliminating and productivity measures that they already have in place at Sterling Heights Assembly.

Lee Iacocca and the other top Chrysler executives say that life in the redesigned assembly plants will be like "peaches and cream'' but in reality it is turning out to be nothing but a slave-driving hell.

Jefferson workers: Resist Chrysler's productivity drive. Oppose job elimination and job combination. Unite to defend our fellow workers. Mass struggle is the only way!

14,000 hotel workers strike in New York City

On Saturday, June 1, fourteen thousand hotel workers at 47 major hotels in New York City walked off their jobs, beginning the first strike ever in the 46- year history of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council. If no settlement is reached this week, the strike could spread to as many as 40 more hotels.

The workers involved include bellhops, housekeepers, clerks, bartenders and chefs -- the backbone of the multimillion dollar New York hotel industry. After 14 months of negotiations, when the contract expired, the workers took action declaring "No contract, no work!'' Hundreds of workers have gathered in pickets outside the entrances to the posh hotels. They have militantly denounced scabs and guests crossing their lines. Confrontations with the police had already resulted in over 30 arrests during the first day of the strike.

The strike of the hotel workers threw the hotel owners into a frenzy, especially since it came just on the eve of the Tony Awards events in New York City. Scabs were begun to be hired and managers scurried to clean rooms, make beds, and hail cabs. Some of New York's "finest'' hotels, whose reputations have been built on the backs of the workers, were not able to maintain normal operations.

The hotel workers are fighting for improved wages. The hotel capitalists want the workers to take a measly 4.5% increase in the first year and a flat $14.50 a week increase for each of the next four years of a five-year contract.

The hotel workers are also fighting against the demands for a host of "take-backs." The capitalists want a two-tier wage system, job combinations, extension of the probation period for new hires, and employee contributions to benefit funds.

While the hotel workers, who are heavily black, Latino and West Indian, are putting up a spirited fight, there can be no confidence in the labor bureaucrats of the Hotel and Motel Trades Council, which represents 25,000 hotel workers in the city. After all, the fact that this is the first strike in nearly half a century says something about the character of the leaders of this union.

[Photo: Striking hotel workers outside the Sheraton Center, New York.]

Fight the two-tier wage system!

The capitalists are on a ruthless offensive against the livelihood of the workers. Everywhere they want to turn the clock back on any gains that the workers may have won in earlier days.

A weapon being used more and more in the capitalist wage-cutting assault is two-tier wage systems. In industry after industry, the capitalists are demanding this concession from the workers. In nearly every contract struggle, this is becoming a major issue.

The two-tier system is a vicious assault on the working class. A fight against this attack must be a major front of the working class resistance to the capitalists' takeback drive. But the labor bureaucrats who head up the trade unions are giving in to the two-tier system in one industry after another.

A Glimpse of the Scope of the Assault

A few figures and examples help to give some picture of the widespread nature of this new attack on the workers.

In the late 1970's the retail food capitalists were the first to introduce two-tier extensively. By now, 80%, or some 10,000 of the contracts signed by the United Food and Commercial Workers union contain some sort of two-tier agreement. And in the last three years, there has been a flood of two-tier agreements across the economy. In 1984, 17% of all non-manufacturing and 8% of all manufacturing contracts contained a two-tier system. And already this year, the Teamsters, the Pan Am workers and others have been strapped with this system.

Already the two-tier systems have proved to be a bonanza for the capitalists.

Last December, the postal workers were forced into a two-tier settlement. It is reported that in the first three months of 1985, the USPS has already hired some 13,243 workers at the new, low rates of an average of 25% below the old scales.

In 1982, the Teamsters union accepted a two-tier contract at United Parcel Service. Today, around half of UPS's 40,000 part-time workers are paid at the lower rate.

Two-tier has been instituted extensively in the airline industry. This has been immensely profitable for the capitalists. Pilots at American, for example, who were hired after 1983 are paid only 50% of the old salary; this is so profitable that the airline is offering a year's pay to any older pilot who will quit or retire so that his place can be filled with a new hire.

What Does the Two-Tier Wage System Mean for the Workers?

It is an effort to divide and thereby exploit the workers more easily. It introduces an atmosphere of dog-eat-dog competition and breaks worker solidarity. Both the younger and older workers suffer as a result.

The new workers -- who do the same work as the previously-hired workers -- suffer increased exploitation. The employer sweats greater profits out of them simply on the arbitrary basis that they were hired after such and such a date. They are, in effect, made second class citizens at the workplace.

The previously-hired workers face intense pressure just to hold onto their jobs. They have constantly over their heads the threat that the capitalists can buy the same labor power cheaper from another worker. The capitalists seek to either fire the older workers or force them to quit.

However the longer-term effect of two-tier is to push all wages down to the lower rates. As the older workers quit, get fired or retire, the lower-paid workers become the majority. What is even more significant is that gaining some lower wages through a two-tier system only whets the capitalists' appetite for more. As workers are already learning from several years of the concessions offensive, agreeing to concessions only guarantees that the employers will come back for more.

No to Two-Tier Wages! Fight for Equal Pay for Equal Work!

The labor bureaucrats have not lifted a finger to organize the struggle against such treacherous schemes as two-tier wages. Everywhere they are engaged in selling out the workers. By retreating on Equal Pay for Equal Work, the union leaders are breaking up what solidarity workers have been able to build up through past struggle.

This presses home that the workers have to rely on their own strength to build the fight against such capitalist outrages as two-tier wages. The workers have to take up the reliable weapon of mass struggle. They have to stand firm in defense of working class solidarity and not allow the capitalists to pit older and newer workers against one another.

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RCP's "new road to the future"

Packaging the liberal politics of despair as a radical struggle against World War III

The Maoist revisionists of the RCP,USA have once again proclaimed "a new beginning," a new more exciting ''road to the future." This is how they are advertising the politics of ''No Business As Usual Day." But what the RCP wants to pass off as the very latest in revolutionary fashion is simply their same old ragtag politics of stale reformism and anarchist despair.

The RCP has packaged its sell in an article entitled ''Two Roads in April, One Road to the Future" (Revolutionary Worker, April 15, 1985). This article condemns the April 20 anti-war demonstrations, while it trumpets the April 29 ''No Business As Usual Day" as the newfangled alternative ''to do something for real." The authors want to appeal to the resentment of the rank-and-file activists towards the dead-end path the liberal and reformist chieftains are offering the anti-war movement. Because of this resentment, in some places some high school students and other youth were attracted to the April 29 events. However, instead of presenting the disaffected activists an anti-imperialist and revolutionary alternative, all the RCP offers is a gush of anarchist-sounding rhetoric to cover what's essentially the same dead-end path.

RCP Works for Its Own Coalition With the Social-Democratic and Pacifist Bigwigs

RCP's denunciation of the April 20 demonstrations was a slap in the face of the tens of thousands of workers, students and young people who took part in these actions to voice their opposition to the U.S. nuclear buildup, U.S. intervention in Central America and support for apartheid, and the other reactionary and warmongering policies of the Reagan administration. Unfortunately, the leadership of the "April 20 Mobilization for Peace, Jobs and Justice" was made up of a coalition of liberal capitalist politicians, reformists, labor bureaucrats and pacifists, which sought to turn the actions into something tame and harmless to the war-makers, tied safely to the tail of the Democratic Party machine. (See The Workers' Advocate, April 1 and May 1, 1985.) Much of the criticism of "protest-as-usual" carried in the RCP's "Two Roads" article fully applies to the chiefs of the April 20 coalition. But the RCP fails to draw clear lines between the progressive rank and file that is yearning for a real struggle, and the corrupt chieftains who want to suffocate this struggle; it fails to see the mass stirrings reflected in such demonstrations; and RCP ends up in the filthy position of branding the mass protests of April 20 as simply part of the "grisly normalcies involved in the lurch toward world war." ("Two Roads")

Then the RCP authors pit April 20 against the April 29 "No Business as Usual Day" protests. April 29 is trumpeted in the most extravagant terms. It's the "extraordinary response," the "urgently needed step" towards "stopping World War III." The authors of "Two Roads" get so wrapped up in their hi-falutin hype that they find it necessary, in all seriousness, to remind their readers that despite the "radical new political event which will take place April 29...the armed contest for power is unlikely this spring; certainly neither we nor anyone else has revolution itself planned for No Business as Usual Day."

Breaking through "protest-as-usual" with a "radical new political event" (just short of "the armed contest for power") -- this is how RCP billed April 29. But it is hard to see what was either so exceptionally "radical" or "new."

First of all, the events for "No Business as Usual" posed no alternative to the tame and restricted forms of struggle imposed by the liberal and pacifist coalitions. In truth the April 29 coalition called for the quite ordinary activities "ranging from teach-ins and forums to civil disobedience." For months in preparation for April 29, Revolutionary Worker treated its readers to musty lectures from an array of academic bigwigs, including worn- out "new left" professors and theology scholars.

And now it is giving grand coverage to the small protests that took place in a number of cities and campuses on April 29. There were a number of silly media stunts, perhaps typified by threatening a Boston arms corporation with a 50-pound Twinkee, and a good deal of mindless running around, while it appears that die-ins were the big event of "The Day." Of course, a handful of people lying down and playing dead is not an unknown form of protest and it happens to be a particularly limp one (militant anti-imperialist fighters usually prefer to confront the war-makers standing tall with their fists in the air). Some events attracted numbers of young people and some were no better or worse than a number of other events being held under the leadership of the reformist and pacifist coalitions, but the reality of April 29 stands in stark contrast to the insurrectionary language RCP is using to describe it.

Second, the April 29 coalition itself was built in the manner of the typical reformist and pacifist coalition. "Two Roads" describes it as a "network of forces: including feminists, radical pacifists, anarchist groupings, religious forces, artists, scientists, intellectuals, revolutionary nationalists, revolutionary communists...." Here we won't go into our disagreements with what RCP considers to be "radical," "revolutionary," or "communist." We would only note that in the name of building a "broad network," the coalition had big respectable names of social-democracy, pacifism and tame university "Marxism" stud the lists of speakers and endorsers, including vicious anti-communists like the social-democrat Sidney Lens, and a slew of burnt-out "new leftists" like Abbie Hoffman. The April coalition also pulled in a number of small anarchist groupings. In short, apart from a certain Yippie-anarchist flavor, the RCP's glorious "new beginning" looks like the same type coalition that is pulled together without any foundation but to gather the names of the famous, published, tenured, ordained or otherwise respectable opportunists and misleaders.

What Does It Mean to Make the Phrase "Stop World War III" the Dividing Line?

So the question must be posed, and this is the fundamental question, what is the political stand that distinguished "No Business as Usual Day"? In "Two Roads" the RCP authors proudly boast that their mission is to wake people up to the prospect of "world nuclear war"; and they repeatedly proclaim that this is "the key fault-line" and the "dividing line in society," and that this is what distinguishes them from the April 20 leadership which allegedly "cannot allow itself to speak the words 'world war.' "

To someone unacquainted with RCP's hysterical ravings about World War III this may seem truly surreal. After all, millions and tens of millions all over the world have been marching in the streets against the nuclear war plans of the imperialists; but the question the movement faces is how are we going to build the movement against this war danger? Indeed, the RCP war hysteria has given us a model of how not to build the movement against the nuclear war-makers

Let us turn to the document which brought the April 29 coalition together and guided the teach-ins and die-ins, the "Call to Act to Prevent World War III: April 29."

In this Call there isn't even a hint of the need to target the social-economic system that gives rise to militarism and war, let alone mention of the word imperialism." In fact the Call declares that the signers don't agree among themselves on "the sources of wars."

Nor is there even a hint of the need to base the struggle on the shoulders of the working and exploited masses against the rich exploiters who are the source of war and the nuclear danger. Instead the Call appeals to unite people of all social backgrounds, without regard to political stand or anything else except -- you guessed it -- the desire "to say NO" to World War III.

Nor is there any reference to opposing the two monopoly capitalist parties of imperialism and war, the Republicans and Democrats. On the contrary. The Call leaves the barn door wide open to Democratic Party, politicking with its vague phrases about "different political analyses...and the many fronts of struggle and tactics we must employ for social change."

Nor is their even a nod to supporting the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples of Central America and other countries who are bravely fighting our "own" imperialist government. In fact, the RCP boasts that April 29, by reducing everything to a cry against World War III, is far more advanced than the fight against U.S. support for apartheid, solidarity with the toilers of Central America, or fighting the nuclear war buildup. From its anarchistic perch on high, the RCP prefers to scoff at the concrete struggles which are arousing the masses, deepening their consciousness of the nature of imperialism, and delivering real blows to the aggression and warmongering of the imperialist rulers.

Without even these kernels of a militant anti-imperialist stand the Call is nothing but a frightened shriek for humanitarian action to save the world from nuclear holocaust. There is nothing "radical" or "new" in this Call. Its empty war hysteria dovetails perfectly with the typical pacifist and social-democratic moanings about the horrors of nuclear war and the need to act to prevent it.

What's more these are the type moanings about world doom which lend themselves to the most useless politics of pacifist despair. And such politics of despair stamped many of the April 29 die-ins, and the San Francisco Bay Area protest that was proudly reported in Revolutionary Worker took this to its backward anti-people conclusions by demanding that the post office distribute cyanide pills to the population in case of a nuclear attack.

True, April 29 had its radical sounding trimmings. And the yellow journalists of the Guardian and other right opportunists made a fuss about the fact that the Call ends with the appeal "The governments must be stopped from launching World War III, no matter what it takes! " From their cringing vantage point, these ultra-opportunists interpreted this as opening the door to foolish bomb-throwing tactics. This interpretation is not only an hysterical reaction to anything that sounds militant, but also it misses the main thing.

For many years the Maoist revisionists in the U.S. and around the world have justified going to bed with the devil and betraying the cause of the working class under the cloak of war hysteria. Indeed this was Mao's justification for welcoming Nixon and forging the way for the U.S.-China reactionary alliance. "World War III is coming," the Maoists cry, "so now we can be free of burdens like class analysis and proletarian principles; anything goes to stop world war. "

Indeed this is how the RCP wants to justify building coalitions with the social-democratic and pacifist chieftains and gutting the anti-war struggle of any political content unacceptable to these chieftains. This is what the "No matter what it takes!" slogan is actually written to mean in the April 29 Call. Of course, such anythingarian slogans are meant to appeal to the rebellious yet unwary high school students and youth who may take them as brave and radical declarations. Meanwhile, behind the scenes they pave the way towards embracing the most gutless reformism and pacifism.

This is the essence of RCP's "road to the future": slipping and sliding down the inclined plane of reformist and pacifist politics, shrieking all the way in anarchist despair.

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Israeli 'Iron Fist' in Lebanon can't break the people's resistance

This spring brought a new round of Israeli outrages in Lebanon, which once again displayed the barbarous nature of Israeli zionism.

The Israeli government announced plans to start withdrawing their forces from Lebanon. This was of course not due to any good will on the part of the Zionists, but because the unyielding resistance of the Lebanese people made occupation a very costly adventure. But the withdrawal has so far only been partial. And the simultaneous launching of the brutal "Iron Fist" campaign against the Lebanese people showed that the Zionists have not turned over a new leaf. Israel is still trying to crush the Lebanese people with fire and sword. And although it claims that it will withdraw from Lebanon, Israel has already given itself the right to come back and assault the Lebanese people and Palestinian refugees whenever it wants.

Israeli defense minister Yitzhak Rabin announced the "Iron Fist" policy on February 21, two days after Lebanese resistance fighters killed Israeli Colonel Avraham Hido near Tyre. Col. Hido was the Israelis' senior liaison officer with the South Lebanon Army, a band of mercenary terrorists organized by Israel to act as a puppet Lebanese force in southern Lebanon.

The "Iron Fist" policy is a campaign of wide-scale indiscriminate reprisal against any area in Lebanon which was the scene of anti-Israeli resistance. Leaflets dropped by airplane on Sidon blustered: "If Israeli forces come under attack, they will have to respond with double the force and deal lethal blows to the area from which the attacks come, showing no mercy or any other considerations."

The Zionists initiated "Iron Fist" on February 23 by killing eight people in the village of Seer. And the crimes have mounted. Israeli armed convoys roll through Lebanese villages routinely machine-gunning everything in sight -- cars, houses, anything that moves -- and routinely arresting every adult male in the villages they raid. The Israelis bulldoze all buildings in any area they suspect of harboring a resistance fighter. And the so-called "anti-terrorist" Israeli forces have even taken to planting bombs in Muslim houses of worship simply to terrorize the population.

"Iron Fist" was intensified in March and April. On March 11, Israeli troops went on a rampage in the village of Zrariyah and killed 34 people. On March 21, they stormed six villages near Sidon and killed 21. On April 14 Israeli troops raided a Palestinian refugee camp outside Tyre and took 60 men from the camp. On April 17, Israeli warplanes attacked a Palestinian camp in the Bekaa valley; and on the same day the

Zionists rounded up 60 men from a village in southern Lebanon.

"Iron Fist" is of course nothing new for the Israeli Zionists. Such policies of indiscriminate reprisals are commonplace on the occupied West Bank, where Palestinian houses are routinely destroyed if they are suspected of being the source of resistance activities.

These policies show the fascist character of Israeli zionism. After all, it is well known that such policies were the stock in trade of the Hitlerite Nazis against the resistance in the occupied countries. For example, whenever a Nazi officer was killed, the German fascists would hold responsible the entire village where the attack came from and would kill dozens or destroy the village altogether. A number of the SS men buried at the Bitburg cemetery which Reagan honored recently were in fact responsible for such atrocities in occupied France. What is more, this kind of savagery has become Standard Operating Procedure for all imperialist and reactionary armies fighting against popular resistance, from the ILS. war in Viet Nam to the war in El Salvador today.

"Iron Fist" also shows that the Israeli government remains thoroughly reactionary and brutal, whether it is controlled by the right-wing Likud party of Begin and Sharon or the social- democratic Labor Party of Peres. When Israel launched its invasion of Lebanon it was headed up by the Likud government. Today, the regime in power is a "national unity" coalition of Likud and Labor. And the essential racist brutality of zionism remains unchanged.

But as history has demonstrated innumerable times before, terror will not bring victory for the Israeli Zionists. Yesterday's blitzkrieg invasion did not succeed, nor will today's "Iron Fist." The Lebanese people's will to resist Israeli aggression will not be extinguished.

[Photo: Celebration of the victories of resistance to Israeli occupation, Nabatlye, Lebanon.]

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Car bomb kills 80

CIA terrorism in Beirut

Recently news reports exposed that the American CIA was involved in the setting off of a car bomb in Beirut which killed 80 people on March 8. This incident once again helps cut through the pious "anti-terrorist" hypocrisy of the U.S. government.

For years now, Reagan and co. have tried to portray the struggle in Lebanon as a conflict between the forces of "peace," "moderation," and "reconciliation" and the forces of "fanaticism," "terrorism," and so forth. Israel and the Phalangist fascists in Lebanon were portrayed in the U.S. press as representatives of "civilization," while those who rose up in struggle against the Israeli aggressors and the fascists were depicted as the worst devils, as bloodthirsty fanatics, etc.

Of course it didn't matter that the U.S. government supported Israeli aggression which took the lives of thousands. The Israeli invasion was praised to the skies. And if someone complained about the butchery of civilians, say during the 1982 bombardment of Beirut, they were simply admonished, "Well, that's war." And when the U.S. ships and planes also began to pound targets in Lebanon, this was justified as "the obligation of a superpower to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East."

All of this "upright" and "respectable" violence was contrasted sharply to the "sneaky" and "low-down" tactics of the Lebanese resistance fighters. For U.S. ships to lob shells on Lebanese villages was "honorable"; but for Lebanese fighters to give their lives in attacks on the U.S. Marines was "fanatic" and "uncivilized."

But a number of recent revelations have again shown that the "upright" and "civilized" crusaders of U.S. imperialism and Israeli zionism are the real terrorists. And they do not "merely" organize invasions, and naval and aerial bombardment; they are also involved in terrorist bomb attacks which are responsible for large civilian casualties.

As part of their "Iron Fist" campaign, the Israeli Zionists routinely blow up people's houses. But in some cases the houses they search blow up hours or even days after the zionist troops leave, i.e., after Lebanese civilians have had time to move back in. And in one case, a bomb went off in a Lebanese mosque the day after Israeli troops raided the building searching for "terrorists."

CIA Trains Car Bombers in Beirut

Meanwhile, in the middle of May, the Washington Post revealed that the U.S. government too is involved in car bomb attacks.

The largest bomb in recent months to go off in Beirut was the March 8 explosion in Bir al Abed, a mainly Shiite Muslim suburb south of the city. This explosion killed 80 people and wounded 200 more. The bomb went off next to the headquarters of a Shiite leader; his house was destroyed, but since he was not home he was unhurt.

The Washington Post reported that this bomb was in fact set off by a Lebanese group which had been hired by intelligence agents of the Gemayel regime. These intelligence agents had in turn been trained by the American CIA to carry out "counter-terrorist" activities in Lebanon. Thus the link was clearly established: the CIA provides the expertise, money and orientation to carry out so-called "counter-terrorist" actions; and the result is a car bomb explosion that murders or maims hundreds of people.

Of course, the Washington, as a loyal mouthpiece of U.S. imperialism, was quick to whitewash the CIA. It exonerated the CIA because the CIA was allegedly not directly involved. And it also reported that the CIA was very upset that the incident took place. Presumably what they were upset about was that their agents had missed their target.

And the U.S. government was also quick to deny that it participates in terrorist actions. Oh no. The CIA-organized mining of Nicaragua's harbors and raids inside Nicaragua are not "terrorist" actions; they are just fine examples of "freedom fighting." Moreover, in the case of the mining of the Nicaraguan harbors, the U.S. also initially claimed that the CIA was not involved, only some indirect associates. But it wasn't very long afterward that it became widely acknowledged, even from politicians in Congress, that the CIA indeed had been directly involved.

Besides, it is no secret that for some time now, Reagan, Secretary of State Schultz, and other U.S. officials have declared time and again that they would "retaliate" against the so-called "fanatic groups" that have attacked U.S. imperialist targets. And now that news comes out about what U.S. "retaliation" is like, the Reaganite officials suddenly adopt the pose of the most pious saints. What hypocrisy!

The revelations about the March 8 bombing raise a further question. How many more car bomb explosions in the past have also been the work of the CIA or its Lebanese agents? For years, hundreds of people have been killed in terrorist attacks on Palestinian and Lebanese left forces. Could these too have been the fruit of the dapper, "civilized" characters in the White House, the Pentagon or the CIA? Those that weren't were probably the handiwork of Washington's "civilized" clients, such as the Israelis or the Lebanese Phalange.

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Condemn the attack on the Palestinian camps in Beirut

Since May 20, fierce battles have been raging in Beirut, Lebanon over the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra, Shatila and Buij al Brajneh. The Shiite Muslim Amal militia, with the support of the Shiite-dominated 6th Brigade of the Lebanese Army, has launched a brutal military attack against the Palestinian camps. The Palestinian fighters have put up a valiant resistance to the Amal offensive. But they have been outgunned and surrounded. As we go to press, Sabra and Shatila have fallen and only Buij al Brajneh remains untaken.

The Amal assault is aimed at preventing the Palestinian resistance from reorganizing in the Beirut camps. History has brought repeated calamities on the Palestinian refugees in the Lebanese camps. The organized and armed presence of the Palestinian resistance in the refugee camps has been essential for the self-defense of the camp population.

The Amal attack has also taken on the features of a bigoted pogrom against the Palestinians. Women and children have been killed, and initially Amal would not even allow the wounded to be removed for medical treatment. Tens of thousands of refugees have been forced to flee, while thousands of Palestinians have been taken away. So far, in the fighting 450 people are known to have been killed and over a thousand wounded.

Over the years the Palestinians in the Beirut camps have gone through many indescribable horrors. Who cannot remember the terrible bombardment by Israel or the gruesome massacres in Sabra and Shatila just three years ago by the Lebanese Christian fascists acting under the direction of the Israeli army?

While at first glance many features of the current conflict are confusing, certain things are clear. The Amal assault is a thoroughly reactionary deed. It deserves the clear condemnation of progressive people everywhere. The Palestinians have a right to defend their population in the camps. And they have a right to organize among their displaced community.

What Is Behind the Amal Assault?

What has made the present conflict surprising is that Amal's forces have been part of the Lebanese opposition, which has fought the Israeli Zionists and the Christian fascist Phalange.

But while Amal has indeed taken part in the struggle against the Israeli Zionists and the Lebanese fascists, it has never been a clear-sighted or reliable force. Its petty-bourgeois leadership has followed a reformist and narrow-minded policy, a policy bound to come into contradiction with any forces who stood to its left.

A Capitulationist Stand Towards Israeli Zionism

Amal has fought against Israeli occupation of Lebanon. But this has never been a thorough-going opposition. It has been limited by the framework of a narrow outlook which did not like Israeli outrages against the Shiites of Lebanon but did not extend to solidarity with the Palestinian revolutionary struggle against zionism.

Today it is quite clear that one of the reasons for Amal's assault is its capitulationist attitude towards Israeli Zionism. Israel has threatened that it will not allow the Palestinian resistance to regroup in Beirut or southern Lebanon. Under the pretext of preventing a re-invasion by Israel, Amal has come forward to declare that it will take on the responsibility for keeping down the Palestinians. And in return, Israel has taken a kindly look towards Amal's offensive. Israeli officials are openly applauding the Amal attack on the Palestinian camps.

Where Accommodation with the Lebanese Bourgeoisie Has Taken Amal

Amal has taken part in the fight against the Christian fascist Phalange and it has opposed the undemocratic political system in Lebanon which discriminates against the Muslim communities. But Amal has always been limited by a reformist attitude toward the Maronite big bourgeoisie which dominates the Lebanese government and rules on the basis of systematic oppression of the Muslim communities of Lebanon. Amal has not sought a decisive democratization of Lebanon but merely an accommodation which would allow a greater share of power to the Shiite petty-bourgeoisie. Indeed, in February 1983, when the opposition militias brought the Maronite-dominated Gemayel government to near-collapse, Amal's leaders did not press the fight but came to a deal, which among other things made Nabih Berri, the leader of Amal, Justice Minister of a new Gemayel cabinet.

Amal's assault on the Palestinians is also linked to this accommodationist attitude towards the Lebanese big bourgeoisie, who have never liked the Palestinian resistance. They always saw the Palestinian resistance as a source of bad influence on the Lebanese masses since the Palestinians brought with them progressive ideas. Indeed, the Palestinian resistance was only able to organize in Lebanon as a result of a series of battles over decades.

Serving the Dirty Ambitions of the Syrian Bourgeoisie

Amal's assault is also in the service of the interests of the Syrian capitalist government, with which Amal, like the other reformist political forces of Lebanon, has close links. Indeed, there are indications that Syria may have played a prominent role in instigating the assault. The Syrian government press has praised the Amal attacks, and Syria's first "peace proposal" to the Palestinians was no different than that of Amal: to disarm and hand the camps over to the 6th Brigade of the Lebanese Army.

Syria's aims in Lebanon also include preventing the regrouping of the Palestinian resistance. And these aims include having a Lebanon dependent on Syria, ruled by the Lebanese bourgeoisie that would have a client status. With the crisis of the Gemayel government in Lebanon and the Israeli withdrawal, possibilities had opened up that the Palestinian resistance might reestablish a presence in the Beirut, camps. Syria does not want to see any semblance of a presence of the Palestinian resistance that could be outside its iron grip. Its loud talk in support of the Palestinians is mere rhetoric, while it wants to tightly control the Palestinian resistance. Anything that might lead to a resurgence of the Palestinian resistance is a threat to its power politics in the region, both in threatening the prospects of Syrian accommodation with Israel over Lebanon or the upsetting of the status quo in Lebanon.

Reformism Collapses into a Reactionary Drive Against the Left

The treachery of Amal shows strikingly the serious limitations of the leadership of the Lebanese opposition. Over the years, the fighting drive of the Lebanese masses led to a number of successes. They helped bring on the collapse of the goals of the Israeli invasion. They forced the withdrawal of Israel and they forced the withdrawal of the U.S. imperialist-led "peacekeeping" forces. They nearly brought about the rout of the Phalange-dominated Gemayel government. But the Lebanese masses have been prevented from achieving any decisive victories. Among the principal reasons for this has been the political and class character of the leadership of the Lebanese opposition.

All the major forces in the opposition are of a similar complexion: they all share reformist positions towards the big bourgeoisie; they are narrow-minded, only seeking to increase the clout of the upper strata of the communities they are based upon; they allow themselves to serve the ambitions of the Syrian bourgeoisie; and they do not have real solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. And if anything should come up to threaten their reformist ambitions, these bourgeois and petty-bourgeois forces will desert the struggle and even turn upon progressive sections of the masses.

The Palestinian resistance has historically played an important left role in the Lebanese struggle. The Palestinian leadership in the 1960's and early 1970's had a national revolutionary character and it gave impetus to left-wing politics in Lebanon. Although over the last decade, the Palestinian leadership has succumbed to a national-reformist stand, the Syrian and Lebanese bourgeoisie fear the Palestinian movement and worry about anything that might help a resurgence of the revolutionary movement. And they do not hesitate to turn against Palestinians, even those Palestinians that are under the influence of national-reformism.

Today Amal in its drive for accommodation with the bourgeoisie has taken to serve as the point man to suppress the left, particularly the Palestinian resistance. This is not just an indictment of Amal but of the reformist leadership in general of the Lebanese opposition.

Ominous Signs from Syria

Today as the fighting over the Beirut camps winds down, there-are further ominous signs for the future. A great deal of wheeling and dealing is going on, and all of it is centered on Damascus, the Syrian capital. The Lebanese President Gemayel has been there; Amal has been talking there; and unfortunately, even the Palestinian leaders in the embattled camps have appealed to Syria, showing that there are still continued illusions in Syria.

It appears that arrangements are being worked out which seek to "solve" the Lebanese situation by expanding the Syrian military role in Lebanon. Syria seeks the disarming of all the Lebanese militias and wants to come in and try its hand at consolidating a client Lebanese bourgeois government and army.

This will be of no benefit to the Lebanese or Palestinian masses. It will only strengthen the hand of the reactionary big bourgeoisie in Lebanon. The interests of the toilers of Lebanon requires coming to grips with the limitations and treachery of reformist politics. It requires breaking with the treachery of the Syrian government. The Lebanese toilers must organize themselves independently into a force that can provide consistent revolutionary leadership. An essential stand of such a force has to be revolutionary solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle.

[Photo: May 28 -- Palestinians defend the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut from Shiite Moslem militiamen.]

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


Death-squad President Duarte denounced at Notre Dame

[Photo: MLP contingent lent militant spirit to demonstration against Duarte at Notre Dame, May 19.]

When Salvadoran President Napoleon Duarte visited the U.S. this May (to lobby for more arms for his regime and for the Nicaraguan contras), Reagan, Congress and the capitalist media did their best to portray him as a democratic-minded, peace-loving politician, dedicated to human rights. Their plans were thwarted, however, because on May 19 the anti-war movement met Duarte at Notre Dame University (where he arrived to collect an honorary degree and give a commencement speech), and exposed this U.S. puppet for what he is -- a casehardened murderer of the Salvadoran people, a smiling facade on the death squad regime.

Three to four hundred activists from Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and other areas marched through South Bend, Indiana, onto the university campus, loudly denouncing Duarte and the U.S. government with the slogans:

"Duarte, Reagan, you can't hide. We charge you with genocide!", "USA, out of Central America!", and "No draft, no war, U.S. out of El Salvador!" Picket signs pointed out that Duarte has the blood on his hands of the 50,000 Salvadorans killed since 1979 by the U.S.-trained Salvadoran Army and death squads. (Duarte presided over these killings as head of the Junta from '80 to '82, and as head of the "constitutional" government since June, '84.)

At one point along the march route Duarte himself appeared in front of a building and the entire march stopped with clenched fists raised to roar across to him, "Down with fascist Duarte, hangman of the revolution!," "Down with fascist Duarte!"

The MLP contingent contributed to the stand and spirit of the march by leading a lot of the slogan-shouting and by raising particular slogans including "Down with fascist Duarte, hangman of the revolution!", "Down with Duarte, reformist face of the death squads!," which clarifies the political role of the Duarte "human rights" fraud; and "Victory to the Salvadoran revolution!," which upholds the revolutionary struggle of the workers and peasants as the only path to liberation in El Salvador.

The administration of Notre Dame University hoped to confine the anti-Duarte protest to a lonely parking lot and wanted the marchers to leave their position to go out there to hold their rally. The MLP contingent put a stop to this plan, leading the demonstration back to the commencement site where the rally could meet up with the students. Meanwhile a few friends and relations of the graduating students joined the rally instead of attending the graduation saying they hated Duarte and wanted to hear what the movement had to say.

During the rally the MLP distributed hundreds of copies of leaflets and of The Workers' Advocate to the Notre Dame students as well as to the activists. Through its literature and discussions, the Party worked to deepen the widespread hatred for Duarte by clarifying the nature of his political stand. Duarte's Christian Democratic Party represents the politics of reformism in El Salvador. At the same time as he promotes the illusion that the Salvadoran toilers can gain freedom and reform on the basis of accepting the regime of the oligarchy and U.S. imperialist mediation, he consciously presides over the escalation of the brutal U.S.-backed war against the Salvadoran masses. The so- called "political solution," in which the people are to trust in the good faith of their oppressors, is a complete fraud which undermines the revolutionary struggle in El Salvador and the solidarity movement around the world in support of it. Either the workers and peasants of El Salvador smash up the fascist regime and the oligarchy (thus securing true human rights) and send U.S. imperialism fleeing, or they will continue to be crushed by these ruthless enemies.

Thus, not only does Duarte oversee the genocidal war, but he also represents an extremely dangerous political trend which the movement must combat without letup. It is notable that while various revisionist and reformist forces claim to support the Salvadoran struggle, none of them was very interested in this demonstration, and it was mainly religious pacifists who were the official sponsors of this action. The Marxist- Leninist Party was the only left political group with an organized contingent in this demonstration. This reflected the fact that the reformists and revisionists have illusions in Duarte and want to leave the door open to supporting this or that "political solution" or "human rights" fraud in the future. This underlines the importance of the fight against the reformist Duarte fraud, which is the cover behind which Reagan and the Pentagon are carrying out their escalation in Central America and slaughtering the people side by side with the reactionary Salvadoran oligarchy.

Protests against Reagan's embargo of Nicaragua

From May 1, hours after the U.S. embargo against Nicaragua was announced, through May 7, when it went into effect, over 35 protest actions took place all across the country, and the government arrested over 1,000 protesters. In several cities more than one demonstration occurred. The pickets, sit-ins and other actions condemned the embargo as another brutal step in the U.S. war against Nicaragua.

Drawing parallels with the U.S. aggression in Viet Nam, the demonstrators denounced U.S. intervention anywhere in Central America. In New York City, the action against the embargo took place on May 7, the same day as the veterans parade organized as part of the campaign to exalt the U.S. role in Viet Nam. Although this parade was billed as a way to allegedly "honor" Viet Nam veterans, a number of veterans pointedly participated in the anti-embargo demonstration instead and carried signs declaring their opposition to a new Viet Nam-style war in Central America.

The anti-embargo demonstrators also used the occasion to denounce U.S. support for the racist regime in South Africa. One of the most popular slogans of the week was "Boycott South Africa, not Nicaragua!" This was a sign of the widespread sentiment in solidarity with the peoples of both these countries.

The recent actions of the Democratic Party also came in for condemnation. Some speakers pointed to the promises of the congressional Democrats to restore official aid to the CIA-organized contra gangsters attacking Nicaragua. As well, the demonstrators scorned the attempt of the Democrats to use the ridiculous pretext of Nicaraguan President Ortega's visit to revisionist Moscow to justify congressional enthusiasm for aggression against Nicaragua, as if the U.S. government had the right to dictate Nicaragua's actions.

However, reformist politics was dominant among the official leaders of the demonstrations. Thus, although the speakers, faced with the blatant collaboration of the congressional Democrats with Reagan's dirty war on Nicaragua, had to criticize the Democrats, they did not break with the Democrats. For example, some speakers, after criticizing the Democrats, went on to draw conclusions to the effect that it was "time for Congress to live up to its responsibility of representing the American people and improve on its policies." This means to orient the masses to hoping for something better from the congressional Democrats and to hide the fact that both Democrats and Republicans are entrusted by the capitalists with the responsibility for representing U.S. imperialism and the interests of the rich corporations. The activists must not direct their struggle along the dead-end path of trying to appeal to the conscience of the Democratic Party liberal imperialists, but towards building up a powerful fight against the bloodstained capitalist parties, both the Democrats and the Republicans, who are carrying out the brutal aggression in Central America.

On the occasion of the embargo, opposition to the U.S. war on Nicaragua was not just heard in the U.S., but it was heard around the world. For example, when Reagan traveled to Spain, he was greeted on May 5 by 500,000 angry protesters. In Madrid, where 75,000 people marched, activists raised slogans condemning U.S. intervention.

Both in the U.S. as well as abroad, the masses of people are opposed to the dirty war on Nicaragua. It is the task of class-conscious workers and progressive activists to get organized in the struggle against the Reaganite crimes.

[Photo: One thousand demonstrators in New York City denounce Reagan's embargo of Nicaragua.]

U.S. imperialism tightens the vise on Nicaragua

For the past several months, Reagan and the Democrats in Congress have been locked in debate over how best to tighten the U.S. vise on Nicaragua. Recently these deliberations bore two ugly fruits: the trade embargo on Nicaragua announced by Reagan on May 1, and the May 2 acknowledgment by House Democratic leaders that they intend to vote in favor of resuming official aid to the contras to step up the dirty war against Nicaragua (unofficial and truly "covert" aid was never cut off).

On May 1 Reagan ordered the embargo on the pretext of a "National emergency" created by the "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the U.S." supposedly presented by Nicaragua. This, is even more absurd than Hitler claiming that not Germany but Poland had begun hostilities in World War II. To give credence to this nonsense about a national emergency, Reagan cited a long list of alleged crimes by the Sandinistas including: rejecting his April "peace" proposal (which "proposed" that Nicaragua obey U.S. dictate -- see " Behind Reagan's 'peace initiative' -- more war on Nicaragua" in the last issue of The Workers' Advocate on page 10); refusing to negotiate sharing political power with the terrorist contras; allegedly engaging in a "massive" military buildup; and Nicaraguan President Ortega's recent visit to Moscow to seek economic assistance.

Of course this list of grievances doesn't really add up to any "national emergency" for the U.S. It all amounts to the Reagan administration demanding the right to run Nicaragua from the offices of the White House cabinet. A more accurate assessment of the situation would be that U.S. actions add up to a national emergency for a whole series of countries, including Nicaragua. After all, it is the U.S. that is engaging in a massive military buildup; has troops, advisors and bases all over the world; openly debates how many millions of dollars to spend to overthrow the Nicaraguan and other governments; maintains the closest alliance with the most bloodstained reactionary dregs around the world; and so forth. What Reagan simply means by "national emergency" is that he can't squash Nicaragua.

On this wave of empty hysteria Reagan launched pot just the embargo but a series of aggressive measures against Nicaragua. This includes further preparations for an invasion of Nicaragua, including a military defense pact with Honduras; the dispatching of U.S. military advisers to Costa Rica to train four companies of the National Guard for combat against Nicaragua; and the initiation by the U.S. Army of a "What If' study to determine how to deploy U.S. forces in a Latin American war using the best tactics the U.S. military can glean from studying its intervention in Viet Nam. (New York Times, May 4,1985)

These measures are deadly serious steps to escalate the war against Nicaragua. They show the criminal nature of U.S. imperialism. But they also show the frenzy of Reagan and the multinational corporations in the face of the revolutionary peoples of Central America. Gone are the days when the U.S. State Department could make or break governments with little effort. The revolutionary struggle of the Central American peoples has the Pentagon and the Reagan administration in a sweat, and the dirty war carries major risks for U.S. imperialism itself. It is the "task of the working masses here in the U.S. to give resolute support to our Central American brothers and sisters and help turn the dirty war against Nicaragua and all Central America into a major fiasco for U.S. imperialism.

The voice of big business admits that the contras are 'made in the USA'

On March 5-6 the Wall Street Journal, proud organ of the Wall Street billionaires, carried a series of articles showing that it is the CIA and U.S. forces that are waging war on Nicaragua. The contras would be a negligible force of discarded dregs without CIA organization, arms, training and support. Further, the Wall Street Journal shows that many contra operations are simply direct CIA operations without even contra participation.

The revelations of the Wall Street Journal can hardly be called new. Nor are they complete: for their own reasons, the Wall Street Journal is silent about the participation of the special forces units of the U.S. regular armed forces in the war on Nicaragua. But their significance is that a most "respectable" paper of the bourgeoisie itself declares that it is the CIA that is waging war, and this may be useful in opening the eyes of even wider masses to the crimes of U.S. imperialism. It shows that the millionaires do not take seriously any of the Reaganite rhetoric about supporting freedom in Nicaragua, but themselves coldly admit that the question is simply how effective the U.S. government is in overthrowing governments.

The articles of the Wall Street Journal were based on an internal CIA report obtained by the newspaper and interviews with contra leaders, Reagan administration officials, U.S. intelligence officials and members of Congress. It shows that the U.S. government took a secret decision to overthrow the Nicaraguan government, armed the forces to do so, set them in motion -- and failed. It is this failure that gives rise to the concern of the Wall Street Journal, which wrote the articles to see what went wrong.

The Wall Street Journal article gave the following account.

The Reagan Administration Resolves to Overthrow the Nicaraguan Government

In 1981, shortly after coming to office, the Reagan administration, deeply concerned by the progress of the Nicaraguan revolution and its solidarity with the Salvadoran guerrillas, took two major decisions on measures to bring down Nicaragua.

1) In early '81 Reagan approved the building up of the CIA's covert action capabilities for use in Nicaragua. This included rounding up counterinsurgency experts, "the hairy-neck paramilitary types," and third world nationals for the secret strike force, as well as boats, planes, and helicopters. (Wall Street Journal, March 5,1985)

2) "A November '81 directive committed the U.S. to 'assist' in developing an anti-Sandinista guerrilla army." (Ibid.)

This two-point program against Nicaragua was managed by the highest levels of the U.S. government and military through a "restricted interagency group" (RIG), headed by assistant secretary of state for Latin America, Thomas Enders. It included U.S. Army General Paul Gorman, representing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Dewey Clarridge, head of the Latin American division of the CIA's directorate of operations.

CIA Puppets

The development of the FDN (Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense), the main contra group, took place through a policy called "La Tripartita," which combined U.S. dollars, Argentine military training, and Honduran territory. The ongoing training of contras by Argentina shielded U.S. activities in Honduras until the CIA could establish its own paramilitary apparatus to work with the contras. And the U.S. always kept firm control of the contras, their funds, logistics and activities.

It was the CIA that determined the contras' political image. Concerned about their anti-people aura acquired from their Argentine trainers and their Somocista origins, the CIA revamped the FDN in 1982. New leaders, who could be paraded around as having anti-Somoza credentials, were recruited, including Edgar Chamorro and Adolfo Calero, in an attempt to portray the FDN as a broad grassroots front.

By early '83 the FDN fighters numbered 7,000 and carried out raids from their camps near the Nicaraguan border. Although the CIA had originally envisioned the FDN taking Managua by Christmas of '83, by mid-'83 both the CIA and the conservatives in Congress began to get impatient with the contras. The contras were too incompetent -- the ex-Somoza National Guardsmen were not doing enough to hurt the Nicaraguan people.

At this point the direct CIA apparatus was brought into play, behind the screen of the contra army.

"Unilaterally Controlled Latin Assets"

While grooming the contras, the CIA had also been preparing a separate secret paramilitary force composed of what it calls UCLA -- unilaterally controlled Latin assets. With mercenaries from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Panama, the CIA made up a "Latino" force which began to carry out very aggressive actions, credited to the contras.

The secret CIA document obtained by the Wall Street Journal records 19 of these CIA operations against Nicaragua between January 1, 1984 and April 10, 1984. These actions are notable for the fact that the U.S. chose the targets; organized the assaults; supplied specialized boats, planes and helicopters; and used a number of U.S. pilots to fly and fire from the helicopters.

The direct CIA operations include many instances of sabotage of ports and oil facilities, including the notorious January 1, 1984 attack on Puerto Sandino. This is described by the Wall Street Journal as it was outlined in the CIA document: (Wall Street Journal, March 6,1985) "Armed speedboats and a helicopter launched from a Central Intelligence Agency 'mother ship' attacked Nicaragua's Pacific port, Puerto Sandino, in a moonless New Year's night in 1984.


"A week later the speedboats returned to mine the oil terminal. Over the next three months, they laid more than 30 mines in Puerto Sandino and also in harbors at Corinto and El Bluff. In air and sea raids on coastal positions, Americans flew -- and fired from -- an armed helicopter that accompanied the U.S.-financed Latino force, while a CIA plane provided sophisticated reconnaissance guidance for the nighttime attacks."

(Although the Wall Street Journal neglects to mention it, other revelations include that the CIA forces involved included special forces troops of the U.S. regular army.)

This type of cowardly attack on Nicaragua by the U.S. shows how the contras are performing a double role for U.S. imperialism. They carry out their own crimes against the Nicaraguan masses, and at the same time provide camouflage for other acts of war committed by U.S. personnel.

The Reagan administration's view of the mining, as explained by an official, was "everybody saw that these guys [the Nicaraguans] were in the process of consolidating the revolution. And we needed to stop it." (Wall Street Journal, March 6, 1985) This view, which gives the U.S. complete license to trample on its neighbors, is coming from the same government which says that a "national emergency" exists because Nicaragua is allegedly "aggressive" and "a threat to the region." It shows that the real "national emergency" for the Reaganites is that they have so far been unable to smash the Nicaraguan revolution and subjugate the Nicaraguan people.

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The World in Struggle


Argentine workers fight the Alfonsin government

A general strike in Argentina on May 23 paralyzed industry throughout the country. Workers also took to the streets in mass demonstrations. Tens of thousands protested outside the palace of President Raul Alfonsin.

Despite all the hoopla about the "democratization" of Argentina when Alfonsin's liberal bourgeois government replaced the former military rule, the plight of the toilers has only grown worse. The workers of Argentina are suffering severe unemployment under the present recession, and those workers still employed have suffered declining wages due to the 940% inflation. Alfonsin is planning further attacks on the workers to satisfy the U.S. and other international bankers of the International Monetary Fund. He is expected to try to cut wages and has promised to raise taxes and hold down public employment. Alfonsin himself told Argentinians in April: "You can't hope for a better standard of living this year."

The patience of the Argentinian masses is also growing thin on the question of justice for the "disappeared." During military rule 30,000 people were "disappeared" by the military, and Alfonsin was elected to office in part on the basis of a pledge that he that he would prosecute military officers responsible. But since Alfonsin took office not a single person has been convicted for the 30,000 disappearances, and no accounting has been given of what happened to the people who disappeared. Indeed, "disappearances" and other right-wing terrorist acts have continued to take place. Alfonsin's military aide himself was a torturer under the military regime, and Alfonsin's government has allowed 90% of the judiciary to stay in office, left over from the regime of the generals. A few officers have been brought to trial, but Alfonsin has allowed them to be tried in military courts instead of civilian courts. In March a demonstration of 30,000 in Buenos Aires protested the government's inaction on this question.

Given Alfonsin's record of broken promises, the Argentine masses are having their illusions dispelled in his liberal bourgeois regime. They are getting more and more restive. To counter this, Alfonsin has taken to the well- known trick of baiting the masses with the threat of a military coup. He tries to browbeat the masses that the only alternative to his government is a return to martial law and all its dire consequences. In April, Alfonsin organized a rally to support his government under, the pretext of calling it a rally "in defense of democracy." But it was not well attended.

No, the Argentine workers are not fated to be locked between the choices of Alfonsin-style bourgeois democracy or a return to military dictatorship. To achieve real democracy for the workers and to get out of the economic crisis, the Argentine workers must develop their class struggle towards a socialist revolution over the capitalist exploiters, whether liberal or right wing, militarist or civilian.

Strike wave in Brazil

Beginning with a strike of auto workers on April 11, Brazilian workers have been staging an increasing wave of strikes for the past six weeks, centered in the city of Sao Paulo. This strike wave occurs at a time when the bourgeois media are hyping up Brazil's "restoration of democracy," as the first civilian bourgeois president in two decades recently took office. The Brazilian bourgeoisie has tried to use the "fragility of democracy" in Brazil to blackmail the workers into not going on strike at this time. But this hasn't worked.

A major demand of the striking workers is for higher wages to keep up with inflation, now running at 228%. The demand for higher wages is also a protest against wage ceilings imposed by the government. Some of the strikes have also raised the demand for a reduction of the work week from 48 hours to 40.

The auto strike is now six weeks old and includes 45,000 workers at Ford and Volkswagen plants outside Sao Paulo. The auto workers have been joined by airline employees, postal workers in Sao Paulo, 25,000 hospital workers in Rio de Janeiro, school teachers in Rio Grande do Sul state, sugar-cane cutters and orange pickers in Sao Paulo state.

Militant protest against Nazi SS reunion in West Germany

Hundreds of protesters fought street battles with police who were protecting a reunion of the Nazi SS on May 11 in Nesselwang, West Germany. Five thousand people turned out to demonstrate against the Nazi reunion in a town with only 3,000 inhabitants. A group of 400 from among the protesters attacked the hotel where the SS reunion was being held. Chanting "Nazis out," the protesters threw rocks, paint, eggs and firecrackers at the hotel, breaking windows and splattering the facade.

The protesters confronted a force of 1,000 Bavarian riot police who ringed the hotel. The police attacked the demonstrators with tear gas and water cannon and at times attacked groups of demonstrators with clubs. The police were mobilized by the West German government to protect the reunion of veterans of the 1st and 2nd Panzer Divisions of the Waffen SS.

The demonstration outside the hotel included many workers and trade union members. This was an important act of protest since it occurred during the same week that Reagan was visiting West Germany. During this time there was a barrage of propaganda by the bourgeois media to the effect that the German people really appreciate Reagan's act of reconciliation with the Waffen SS at Bitburg, that the West German residents of Josef Mengele's hometown all regard him as a nice boy who did good, etc., etc. The militant protest against the SS reunion shows that there are strong anti-fascist sentiments among the working masses and youth in Germany.

Of course, pro-Nazi elements still exist in West Germany. The owner of the hotel where the SS reunion took place is himself an SS veteran and one of the leaders of the SS reunion, and he was quoted in the press as having a high regard for Ronald Reagan. Such scum not only exist, they are nurtured and protected by the West German government. But the true sentiments of the German working people were expressed by the demonstrators with their chants of "Nazis out" and "never again."

[Photo: Anti-SS demonstrators clash with riot police in Nesselwang, West Germany]

Japanese workers fight layoffs and productivity drives

The Japanese government has launched a massive offensive against the workers in certain public sector enterprises as part of its "fiscal and administrative reform" program. Workers employed by the railways, by the telephone, telecommunications and postal operations, by the tobacco and salt public corporations, and by the manual work sections of local municipalities face 200,000-300,000 layoffs, job combination and speedup, and constant harassment on the job. Already several rallies and demonstrations have been organized to oppose the government program, according to reports in The People's Star, International Bulletin of the Communist Party of Japan (Left), April 1,1985.

As part of its program, the government announced that the Japanese National Railways (JNR) would be divided and denationalized by 1987, costing the jobs of 70,000-100,000 workers. Moving toward this goal, the JNR authorities implemented a rationalization plan which has already thrown 15,000 railway workers into the streets, while workers still employed are subjected to intensified labor discipline. Forcing early retirement on many workers, the JNR has at the same time been trying to cut pension benefits. It has also imposed a fare increase.

Three bills turning the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation (NTT) into a private enterprise went into effect April 1. This enabled the NTT authorities to turn NTT into a special corporation to control the trunks of a planned information network system and to open the rest of the telecommunication market to private capital (including U.S. monopolies like AT&T, IBM and ITT. See "American and Japanese Workers -- Unite Against the Capitalists!" in The Workers' Advocate of May 1, 1985.) The measures will mean the firing of some 70,000 of the 320,000 NTT workers over the next three years, particularly in the telegram, telephone operation, and maintenance sections.

In the postal service, a productivity drive has gotten underway and working conditions have deteriorated since the government implemented a rationalization program in February. Working hours have been lengthened, the number of temporary workers has been increased, and workers are being forced to sell stamps, postcards and "letter sets" door to door. Letter sorting by hand has been sped up to an average of 80 letters a minute for four-hour stretches. The postal service is also attempting to introduce a midnight letter-sorting shift, which has always been opposed by the workers.

The government's "reform" program for local areas means cutting government subsidies for various services, thus forcing the residents to pay more. At the same time, the public service workers are faced with losing their jobs through the farming out and rationalization of work such as in the school lunch service, garbage collection and sanitation work, school night watches, public hospitals, sewage treatment, and public welfare facilities.

To assist in imposing this offensive on the workers, the Japanese bourgeoisie is relying on the sold out labor bureaucrats. Instead of organizing the fight against the layoffs and productivity drive, the trade union hacks are promoting chauvinism and urging the workers to join the competition among the enterprises under the pretext of "job security." The railway workers' union leadership is going along with the rationalization drive, calling for "a democratic reconstruction" of the railways. The leaders of the telecommunication workers' union agreed to participate in management. And the top hacks of the municipal workers' union are justifying the government "reform" program by saying it is for the "people's sake." At the same time, these union hacks are punishing any workers who attempt to stand up to the attacks of the government or to the unions' collaborationist policies.

In the face of these attacks resistance is developing among the workers. On March 27, during the "spring labor offensive," workers demonstrated at two rallies in Tokyo, one of 11,000 called by the youth and women's section of the National Railway Workers' Union, and one of 20,000 organized by the youth section of the General Council of Trade Unions. Workers speaking at the rallies denounced the government offensive and expressed their determination to build a unified resistance movement against it.

The situation facing the Japanese workers is very much like that facing the American workers. In the U.S. the monopoly capitalists and their sidekicks, the top leadership of the unions, are urging the workers to accept concessions, to accept job combination and elimination, and to side with the corporations so as to fight against the Japanese workers who are allegedly stealing jobs. In fact, they are spreading this racist and chauvinist poison in an attempt to split the American workers from their brother Japanese workers and to line up the American workers behind the very monopoly capitalists who are forcing them to slave ever harder for less and less. The Japanese corporate monopolies, the government, and the trade union officialdom tell the Japanese workers the same thing: hold down your wage demands, work harder, and accept layoffs for the sake of Japan and Japanese industry.

For the Japanese workers as well as for the Americans, the response must be the same: To stand shoulder to shoulder as class brothers and to get organized to fight against the attacks of the corporate monopolies and their governments.

[Photo: Japanese workers demonstrate against the government's rationalization drive, Tokyo, March 27.]

Reagan denounced in Spain

[Photo: Demonstrator remains defiant in the face of police attack on anti-Reagan protest in Madrid, May 8.]

During Reagan's recent trip to Spain he was denounced by hundreds of thousands of demonstrators throughout the country. On May 5, the day before Reagan's arrival, there were demonstrations of a quarter-million in both Madrid and Barcelona, and demonstrations of thousands in many other cities. A popular chant of the demonstrators was: "Reagan, you have no idea what's in store for you."

Besides denouncing Reagan, the demonstrations were also aimed against NATO and against the social-democratic government of Felipe Gonzales. Gonzales was elected on a campaign pledge to hold a referendum on Spain's membership in NATO and to do something about reducing the U.S. military presence in Spain (four major bases, 12,000 men). But he has since reneged on these promises.

Support for Nicaragua against the U.S. embargo and CIA-organized war was also a popular theme among the anti-Reagan demonstrators. And here again Felipe Gonzales has shown his true colors as a loyal member of the U.S.-led Western alliance. While making a posture that Spain will not participate in the embargo, Gonzales has also announced that Spain will do nothing to help Nicaragua make up for the hardships created by the embargo either.

One thing that helped to fuel the anger against Reagan among the Spanish working people was the publication of a remark Reagan made some months ago about the Spanish Civil War of the 1930's. During an interview Reagan declared that the American volunteers who fought in Spain in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade were "on the wrong side." (New York Times, May 7, 1985) The Abraham Lincoln Brigade fought as part of the international volunteers in support of the Spanish republic against the fascist forces of Franco who were backed by Hitler and Mussolini. For the workers of Spain, who suffered for decades under the jackboot of Francoist tyranny, the publication of this quote helped reveal for them the depths of Reaganite reaction. Reagan's statement showed his affinity for the fascists, serving as a spoken expression of his unspoken tribute to the German Nazis during the disgraceful visit to the Bitburg cemetery.

[Photo: Ten thousand demonstrators In Bonn, West Germany protest against Reagan during his recent trip there. The banners call for solidarity with the people of El Salvador and express the wishes of the German workers and anti-fascists that Reagan should be put six feet under along with his Nazi class brothers in Bitburg.]

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The heroic black people of South Africa persist in the struggle

The fires of militant struggle continue to burn brightly in South Africa. The racist South African authorities have unleashed savage attacks to put down the revolts of the oppressed black masses. But their efforts have been to no avail. Each atrocity of the Botha government brings with it a new response of the black and other oppressed people as the masses prepare themselves for the revolutionary overthrow of apartheid slavery.


The black townships all across the country continue to be the scene of unrelenting struggle. The heroic toilers and youth have launched numerous actions against the heavily armed police patrols using homemade gasoline bombs and stones. The rebellions in the black townships have also included the burning of the homes of police and of the businesses of the white racists. The extent of the struggle is such that the South African officials reported rebellions in ten townships on one day in early May. And the racist South African President P.W. Botha complained to the reactionary Parliament on April 19 about "a drastic escalation of the revolutionary climate in the country."

With the various bans on indoor and outdoor political meetings, funerals for the victims of police murders have gained in importance as a form of protest. A total of 58,000 people attended two funeral ceremonies for the over 40 people killed in the police massacre at Uitenhage on March 21. And on May 14th, 25,000 mourners participated in the funeral of union leader Andrids Raditsela who died as a result of beatings received while in police custody. At these funerals the masses have pledged themselves to ever more resolute struggle against the racist rulers. In addition to the funeral for Raditsela, a call was issued for 300,000 black workers to hold a work stoppage to protest his murder.

Gold Miners

The black gold miners are continuing their struggle against the severe exploitation under apartheid. In March, 40,000 miners held an illegal strike, shutting down the Anglo-American Corporation's Val Reefs and Anglo Vaal mines. The black miners, who make only one-sixth of the wages of their white counterparts, demanded a 10% pay hike in their paltry wages of about $40 per week. In response, the mining capitalists fired 15,000 miners at the end of April. Two days later the company claimed it would ''give preferential treatment to employing previous employees" in order to resume operations while weeding out militant workers. These attacks on the workers were a big exposure of the Anglo-American Corporation which supposedly is one of the most "progressive" companies in South Africa with its owner, the billionaire Harry Oppenheimer, an alleged advocate of black trade union rights. One can only imagine the horrible situation for black workers toiling for less "progressive" capitalists in South Africa!


The protest movement among the students has also forged ahead. In the black townships of the Eastern Cape region, some 60,000 students have been boycotting classes. The students are demanding the right to democratically elect their own student council leaders. By April 30 the racist Department of Education was forced to close down all high schools in the Eastern Cape.

The Bloody Face of Apartheid

The bold struggle of the masses has been met with a brutal response by the apartheid slavemasters. Thousands of soldiers and police have been sent into the black townships to suppress rebellions. In the Port Elizabeth area, a hotbed of struggle, the police and army conducted house-to-house searches in early May. In the past 15 months the racist police have killed 350 of the masses in cold blood.

Among the recent police victims were three people, including the union leader Raditsela, who in early March were fatally injured while being held in police custody. Two days after being released by the police, Raditsela died of severe head injuries they had inflicted on him. Sipho Mutsi, a regional organizer for the Congress of South African Students, was murdered the day after he was taken into custody. And Mohamed Allie Razak was shot in the head while in police custody.

The racist authorities also pay particular attention to attacking any organizations that oppose apartheid. The United Democratic Front, despite its reformist policy, has come under fierce attack. In late April three more UDF leaders were arrested while 16 more were due to stand trial on May 20 on treason charges punishable by death. And, beyond the general bans on outdoor meetings throughout the country, there is a special three month ban on all meetings whatsoever in the major areas of the Cape and Transvaal provinces where the masses have been particularly militant.

More on the Uitenhage Massacre

The bloodthirsty nature of the South African police has also been revealed in testimony at hearings in South Africa on the infamous Uitenhage massacre of March 21 where the police opened fire on a funeral procession for three people murdered by the police earlier in March. Even the testimony at this tribunal, itself run by the racist regime with the purpose of smoothing things over and blaming on individual excesses whatever cannot be denied, has revealed one atrocity after another of the South African police. Testimony has revealed among other things that the police shot most of the protesters in the back as they tried to escape from the police. It has been seen that the police, just prior to opening fire on the people, purposely lured a black youth riding his bicycle and told him to ride between two armed police vehicles, at which time they shot him at point blank range. As well, it has been revealed that the police began to attack the wounded lying on the ground and that ambulances were kept away from the scene for a half hour; in this regard, one marcher heard a policeman say that the wounded must be finished off so they wouldn't tell others. Despite this nightmarish repression, the oppressed blacks of South Africa are persisting in the fight -- this shows the power of their struggle. Workers and all progressive people in the U.S. should stand in solidarity with the revolutionary movement in South Africa. For it is the oppressed masses of South Africa that are the force that is battering the apartheid system and will one day send it crashing to the ground.

[Photo: April 27:25,000 people attend funeral of anti-apartheid demonstrators killed by police in Zwide, South Africa.]

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Token reforms to preserve apartheid slavery

While the racist South African rulers unleash all-out repression to maintain the system of apartheid slavery, they are also trying to prettify apartheid with a mask of "reform." With its talk about reform, the Botha regime hopes to stave off the revolutionary struggle in South Africa. They follow the policy of meaningless reforms combined with stepping up the repression of the black masses.

As well, the Reagan administration finds these token reforms quite useful for its loving embrace with the apartheid racists. Why, the Reaganite racists say, the more support the American bourgeoisie gives the South African racists, the more the racists will reform. And while the Democratic Party liberals don't show quite as much enthusiasm as Reagan for the recent empty reforms of the white supremacist regime, they too contend that the racists are open to reform. They preach against the revolutionary struggle in South Africa on the pretext that apartheid racism will be overcome through "negotiations" with the ruthless racist taskmasters.

But the incredibly miniscule nature of the reforms of the South African government shows that the apartheid rulers have not the slightest intention of dismantling the racist system. For every apartheid law they change, they have a thousand more they refuse to alter. And this is what they are doing now, facing the onslaught of the black and other oppressed masses. In truth, the only changes that take place in the system are the ones the black masses have won through a struggle that has cost them oceans of blood.

Lying Promises About Ending Forced Relocation

A good example of the nature of the vaunted reforms is the recent claim of the South African government that it will stop the forced relocation of blacks who are not part of the 3.5 million who have already been driven into or near the barren bantustans. But words are one thing, and reality is another. Despite this reform, the government merrily continues its efforts to forcibly relocate the 60,000 residents of the Crossroads shantytown and the 1,500 residents of Mathopestad, a town 90 miles northwest of Johannesburg.

Indeed, it is widely acknowledged that the government's grand proclamation about the end of forced removals does not apply to several hundred blacks who the government is presently targeting for relocation under other aspects of official policy. For example, this includes blacks who live in the so- called "black spots," black communities surrounded by white areas. Some of these blacks have even owned the land they live on, according even to South African law, for decades if not longer -- but the government is still intent on removing them.

Thus the government's reform amounts mainly to this: the government will continue to forcibly relocate all the blacks it can, but it will kindly refrain from relocating those blacks whose removal is presently beyond the government's capabilities. After all, the blacks have been waging major battles against relocation, and the racists have to proceed carefully in this matter.

Meanwhile the government says not a word about giving freedom of movement to the blacks or freedom to reside wherever they choose. It is bent on preserving the existing bantustan system. Clearly, it is simply promising minor adjustments in the apartheid system, and you can't even trust it to deliver on these promises.

The Laws on Interracial Sex

Another of the "bold" reforms proposed by racist chieftain Botha is to abolish laws forbidding marriage and sex between whites and non-whites. How gracious of the slave masters! But while the interracial couple could be legally married, it would still face the "minor" problem of not being able to legally live together because of apartheid's residential segregation laws, could not travel on various buses together, or go to various public places together, etc. And of course the mixed couples would still be faced with the entire arsenal of social and economic penalties on non-whites.

Thus this reform is little more than a cruel joke. It mainly legalizes what already exists and does little more than that to ease the situation of interracial couples.

Thus it is quite instructive that the South African Minister of Cooperation and Development, Gerrit Viljoen, said this decision "represents the dismantling of the negative aspects of apartheid." (New York Times, April 16, 1985) Clearly he and the Botha government generally aim at preserving the so-called "positive" essence of apartheid.

The Law on Multiracial Parties

Another empty gesture under the banner of reform was the announcement of the Botha regime in late May that they were going to allow those political groups which are legally segregated by race to recruit members from other races. While formally this would permit blacks to join the parties now seated in parliament, they would still not be allowed to run for office on behalf of these parties or to vote in elections. Blacks would still have no political representation in the government. And the oppressed "coloreds" and Indian populations would still not be allowed to run for office in or vote for the all- powerful white chamber of the parliament. They would continue to be restricted to participating in the separate and powerless chambers of the parliament set aside for them.

As well, this reform is largely irrelevant to political organizations which take part in the struggle of the black and other oppressed peoples. These organizations will still be either completely illegal or under severe persecution, such as having meetings banned and leaders arrested for treason. Furthermore, the fact is that some of the major groups of the oppressed have already violated the laws which segregate political organizations anyway, and in that sense this new reform simply takes account of the already existing situation.

Thus the token reforms of the South African racists do not show that the white supremacists are becoming civilized. Rather they highlight the fact that any substantial progress for the oppressed can come about only through the revolutionary overthrow of white minority rule. And it also shows, indirectly, how real the prospect of revolution in South Africa is, in that the apartheid rulers feel compelled to go through the charade of reforms in their desperate efforts to divert, split up, disorient and suppress the rising revolt of the oppressed.

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Social-democrats curse the militancy of the anti-apartheid students

The successes of the movement have further exposed the treacherous nature of the liberal and social-democratic supporters of the so-called "anti-apartheid'' Democratic Party politicians. Rather than support the determined struggles against apartheid, the liberal leaders are recoiling in horror over the growing militancy of the mass movement. Indeed various liberal "anti-apartheid'' university presidents like Michael Sovern at Columbia and Edward Bloustein of Rutgers are calling in the capitalist courts and police to suppress the struggle.

The social-democratic leaders too, servants of the Democrats that they are, are venting their spleen against the mass movement. Their stand is clearly revealed in the pages of the newspaper In These Times. As part of their general campaign against militancy, in an article in the April 22-28 issue entitled "Bishop Tutu praises the divestment movement," this leading voice of social- democracy comes out openly against the courageous anti-apartheid protest at the Berkeley campus of the University of California (UC). The article, in typical McCarthyite red-baiting fashion, condemns the self-sacrificing protesters in Berkeley as "the diehard left fringe that began the sit-ins on Sproul Hall steps...." They add that those who were behind the Sproul Hall protest "drew the ire of the rest of the movement. "

In reality, this so-called "fringe" includes several hundred students who have participated in the Sproul Hall blockade. And, as we have seen, this "fringe" was supported by thousands upon thousands of students. Far from "drawing the ire" of the movement, the Berkeley protest has been welcomed by activists all across the country. The truth is that In These Times' typical social-democratic cursing at the "fringe" means cursing at the mass movement itself.

As for the political complexion of the protesters, there were in fact a wide range of trends. A truly left, anti-imperialist perspective is not yet dominant in the protest movement; the struggle would have been even more powerful if it were. But what really worries In These Times is the knowledge that the militancy of the movement creates conditions for the development and spread of anti-imperialist and revolutionary views.

Condemning Militancy Means Ruling Out Any Serious Struggle

In These Times condemns the movement because they are opposed to .serious struggle against apartheid. The social-democrats whine about this or that crime of the rich, but they do not believe that society is divided into two great antagonistic camps and that only the resolute class struggle of the working masses against the exploiters leads to progress. Instead they want to gain influence in the councils of the rich, to become assistant directors of the corporations, and to help the capitalists attain their objectives in a manner that will not antagonize the masses so much. Hence their alpha and omega is not defeating the capitalists, but preserving their "credibility" with the powers that be.

Speaking about mass actions planned for a UC regents' meeting, they state that "the chief worry on the eve of the regents' meeting was that a non-violent blockade planned could turn ugly" because of the "spontaneous, militant actions that were expected." They whine that militant actions sacrifice "the movement's chief asset," "media credibility" with the reactionary capitalist media. And they argue that militancy "could hurt the movement's credibility with regents...." Thus the social-democrats don't want the struggle to go beyond the bounds acceptable to the very target of the struggle at Berkeley, the regents who use university funds to prop up the racist Botha regime.

In opposition to militant action by the masses, the article promotes that the movement should be "quiet and responsible" as advocated by what they call "mainstream" figures like Democratic Party politicians, the reactionary trade union bureaucrats, misleaders of the black community, etc. And what are these great "mainstream" heroes actually doing? A good example is the stand of California State Assembly Speaker and UC Regent Willie Brown, a liberal Democrat. At the height of the Berkeley protest, to calm the students down and quell the protest, Brown pledged that he would have the legislature stop funding the University of California until it divested. All that the students had to do was to support capitalist politicians like Brown.

But when Brown's plan was finally revealed it turned out that only funds for construction, less than 10% of the budget and not affecting current operations, would be withheld. Moreover, even if Brown's bill passed the state legislature and even if the regents agreed to Brown's plan under threat of losing the construction funds, they would be allowed to drag out divestment for over 10 years. This is so slow that divestment would lose most of what value it has. And even this divestment would be dependent on Willie Brown and company winning a majority in the California State Legislature for ten years, for five elections on end, because anytime in this ten years the whole process could be canceled.

Thus In These Times opposes the brave actions of the students for the empty gestures of the Democratic Party liberals.

The Liberals and Social-Democrats Unite in Opposition to the Revolutionary Movement

Another major reason the liberals and social-democrats oppose the movement in the U.S. is because they also oppose the revolutionary movement in South Africa. They claim to be oh so concerned about South African apartheid; but they are more opposed to the revolutionary struggle of the black and other oppressed masses of South Africa against the apartheid regime, and they strive to divert the fighting masses into empty talks with the racists. They want the masses to abandon the struggle for the revolutionary overthrow of the racists and to instead settle for some minor reforms that leave the basic oppressive structures of the South African regime intact.

This is the basis of the policy of the Democrats of empty gestures against apartheid; they merely want to entice the racist white overlords to make some minor concessions, but they don't want to do anything that undermines the racist regime. Nor, of course, do the Democrats want the development of a revolutionary movement in the U.S. Thus the Democrats do not oppose U.S. imperialism's support for the racist regime but merely seek to put a nice "reform" face on it. And this is why, although the Democrats often feign support for anti-apartheid protests, they seek to keep the movement as meek as possible, with symbolic, pre-arranged "mink coat" protests, protests designed more to promote the reputations of the celebrities than to struggle against anything.

This outlook of the liberals and social- democrats gives rise to a difference with the militant students on the question of divestment. The militant students are struggling for divestment in order to knock away one of the props of the South African racists. And this struggle, especially when developed in a militant way, exposes American capitalist support for South African racism and gives support to the revolutionary masses in South Africa.

But the liberals and social-democrats suggest that divestment alone will end apartheid. Minor economic pressure has never accomplished such miracles. And especially not when implemented gradually over one or several decades (thus giving the apartheid racists time to try to surmount the immediate crisis facing them). The liberals and social- democrats however put this forward as the alternative to revolution.

Yet, in practice, the liberals and social-democrats are satisfied to settle not for divestment, but for the policy of empty gestures. They are afraid of the militant development of the student struggle, even when it is mainly centered on demanding divestment, because this struggle, although not a replacement for revolution in South Africa, leads to serious confrontations between the students and working masses in the U.S. and the capitalist corporations and their political representatives, the Democrats and Republicans. And hence they denounce over and over again the militancy of the student movement and demand "respectability." And hence, while disdaining the very thought of using violence to smash apartheid, the liberals think nothing of calling in the police and courts to use violence against the anti-apartheid protesters, and the social- democrats oblige by denouncing the militant students as a troublesome "fringe" which should be cut away as soon as possible.

Build the Anti-Apartheid Movement

Anti-apartheid activists! Let the liberals and social-democrats gnash their teeth! We must continue to work hard to further build up a militant mass movement. We must support the revolutionary struggle in South Africa that will burn the apartheid regime to the ground. We must wage an irreconcilable fight against U.S. imperialism's warm embrace for apartheid under Reagan's "constructive engagement." Such a struggle demands firm opposition to the fake "anti-apartheid" Democratic Party liberal politicians and their social-democratic supporters.

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In the last issue of The Workers' Advocate, in the article "Other Struggles Against Apartheid," it was explained how Edward Bloustein, president of Rutgers University, led the repression of the anti-apartheid students at Rutgers. It was pointed out that he found this consistent with his getting arrested in a symbolic action organized by the Free South Africa Movement. However this article erroneously stated that this arrest occurred outside the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C., while in fact it took place in one of the symbolic, pre-arranged arrests organized by the Free South Africa Movement in New York City.

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How the capitalists 'honor the veterans'- with lies, lies and more lies

The capitalist campaign to "honor the Viet Nam veterans" is a campaign that is chock-full of lies. They are rehashing the same old lies the generals and politicians cooked up during the Viet Nam war and throwing in a number of new ones for good measure.

A glance back at the experience of the Viet Nam veterans during the war helps to cut through the mountains of lies that the capitalists are dishing out today.

The U.S. War in Viet Nam Was Not a "Noble Cause"

The main theme in the current campaign is that the greatest problem the Viet Nam veterans face is that they were never "honored." So, conservative and liberal alike, the capitalists declare to the veterans: You served the country with honor. You fought for noble goals. Liberals and conservatives may disagree why the U.S. lost -- the Reaganites say that there wasn't a will to win while the liberals say that this particular war was one that couldn't be won. But they all agree -- Washington's goals were the purest.

The Viet Nam veterans can remember that these words are not new. The young men who were sent off to war were also told that they were fighting for the noblest of goals, that they were fighting to "save Viet Nam," fighting for "freedom" and "democracy."

This was claptrap then and it remains so today.

Some young men did enlist in the military believing in the lies of the government. But the vast majority went because they were drafted or because poverty had forced them into the military. But large numbers of GI's, including many who had naively fallen for the capitalist lies, came to find that experience told a different story.

Fighting to "save Viet Nam" turned out to mean a ruthless and barbaric war. It turned out to mean the massacre of peasants, the burning of villages, the torture and execution of suspects, the napalming and wholesale destruction of an entire country.

Fighting for "freedom" turned out to mean fighting against an entire people. The GI's had daily experiences which showed that the Vietnamese people did not want the U.S. yoke. They found that from the very young to the very old, the population itself was the "enemy." Many soldiers came to add these things up and realize that it was the "enemy," the Vietnamese liberation fighters, who were really fighting for freedom. And they developed respect for the immense heroism and dedication of the liberation fighters.

And fighting for "democracy" turned out to mean propping up a thoroughly corrupt puppet government of tyrants and exploiters in South Viet Nam, a regime which was bitterly despised by the masses of Vietnamese. Fighting for "democracy" turned out to mean that the ordinary GI's from the working class and minorities did the fighting and dying, while the top officers lived the easy life.

It was these, the realities of the Viet Nam war, which disenchanted the veterans. And quite justly so.

Far From "Serving with Honor," GI's and Veterans Fought Against the War

The capitalists now say that the GI's "served with honor." This is a fairy tale. What the capitalists especially want to cover up is that a large section of GI's too became part of the mass opposition to the war. And it was this which was the truly honorable activity of the GI's and veterans.

As the GI's began to see through the lies of the generals and politicians, they also began to take action, finding ways to resist the war and eventually going on to more organized forms of struggle against the war and the military.

Soldiers resisted the war in numerous ways. Large numbers constantly went AWOL and there were many desertions. Between 1969 and 1971, compared with the three previous years, the number of desertions doubled, and then doubled again. This happened both in Viet Nam and at U.S. bases worldwide. In 1972, things had reached a point where the combined AWOL and desertion numbers meant that about one in four of the U.S. forces worldwide had mutinied or were defying military orders.

The GI's also developed the phenomenon of "fragging," the killing of the most unpopular commissioned and non-commissioned officers ("lifers"), especially those who were most gung-ho in pushing the troops to battle. Fragging grew to widespread proportions. Between 1969 and 1971 assaults on officers in Viet Nam averaged 240 a year, eleven percent fatal. One estimate claims that the ratio of violence against officers in Viet Nam was almost 15 times as great as in the severe trench-warfare of World War I.

There was mass refusals to fight and near mutinies. U.S. army convictions for "mutiny and other acts involving willful refusal" in Viet Nam rose from 82 in 1968 to 117 in 1969 and 131 in 1970.

Rebelliousness spread in the military. With the impact of the anti-war movement across the U.S., militant activists among the GI's began to get organized. GI papers and groups mushroomed. There were 245 such illegal publications at different times. Mass protests began to be organized both on and off the bases.

And those who came out of the military also threw themselves into the fight against the war. The presence of Viet Nam veterans at anti-war protests grew and veterans began to organize their own actions. In many of these actions, veterans came forward to throw back the medals which the imperialists had awarded them, showing their contempt for the imperialist symbols of honor and patriotism.

Today the capitalists are making a big noise about how the Viet Nam veterans did not get parades. It is interesting to recall why there were no parades for the Viet Nam veterans. It certainly wasn't because the government didn't want to have patriotic rallies. It was in fact because they couldn't. The government knew very well that any attempt to organize a parade for the returning veterans would have become a fiasco. It would have been converted by the veterans into an anti-war demonstration. Indeed, the veterans did organize rallies and demonstrations. These were antiwar rallies. And veterans also tried to join in various veterans' day type of marches, but as anti-war contingents.

A Dirty Effort to Blame the Anti-War Movement for the Problems of the Veterans

In paying tribute to the heritage of the GI's in the struggle against the war, it is worth commenting on one particularly vicious and slanderous lie being spread by the capitalists today.

Not only do the capitalists deny the role of the GI's in the anti-war struggle, they are also making a vicious attempt to blame the anti-war movement for the shabby treatment of the Viet Nam veterans. According to them, the anti-war movement allegedly spit at the returning GI's and denounced them as "baby killers."

This is a baldfaced lie. What are the facts?

In the early years of the war and with the emergence of the anti-war movement there was a debate among the activists on what attitude to take towards the GI's. A section under the influence of pacifist and anti-working class ideas rejected the notion that GI's could be won over and did blame GI's for going along with the war. However, the most far-seeing activists took a different approach. They recognized that GI's were after all sons of the workers who were being press-ganged and duped by the militarists; they believed it was possible and necessary to win over and organize the GI's too.

And with the growth of the anti-war movement, it was this latter position which won out and became a basic stand of the movement. The anti-war movement enthusiastically welcomed the fighting role of the GI's and veterans in the struggle against the war. The advance of the struggle of the GI's themselves was a powerful factor in achieving this change.

The history of the struggle of the GI's and veterans against the war is a rich history. But in all the hoopla being made by the capitalist press you will hardly find a mention of the role of the GI's in the struggle against the war. Far from serving the military with loyalty, countless GI's worked to subvert the U.S. military's war. And this is the really honorable work of the Viet Nam-era GI's.

[Photo: On April 23,1971, thousands of veterans threw their medals at the steps of Congress In protest against the Viet Nam war.]

[Photo: 1968 anti-war sitdown of 27 GI's right inside San Francisco's Presidio stockade. Soldiers' action inspired large antiwar protests.]

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The hoax that working people benefit from Reagan's tax plan

The main selling point for Reagan's tax plan is the claim that it benefits the working people at the expense of the rich "privileged few.'' The Treasury Department is cooking up mountains of lies, and every newspaper in the country is repeating such stories as "the Treasury estimated the biggest tax reductions would be among families with incomes of less than $20,000.'' (New York Times, May 29, 1985) These claims are exaggeration gone wild.

According to the highly dubious Treasury Department figures, even the best case for the workers, involving some families with incomes of around $12,000, brings a tax reduction of about $500. The family of four making $25,000 (about the median family income in the U.S.) will receive a tax break of only about $100. (New York Times, May 29, 1985)

Meanwhile, the wealthy receive tens of thousands of dollars in tax cuts. According to the June issue of Money Magazine, Ronald Reagan himself will get a tax break of about $28,000, and the magazine emphasizes that Reagan doesn't use the multitude of tax shelters that still abound under his plan and which other of the wealthy won't miss an opportunity to benefit from. Even according to minimized Treasury figures, the slashing of the maximum tax rate and other "incentives'' will mean that the "privileged few'' who are making over $200,000 will reap nearly 25% of the total amount cut from the income tax. Obviously it is the rich, and not the workers, who are raking in the gold from this tax scheme.

What is more, the slight tax reduction for the workers does not come from the flattening of the tax rates but, rather, from an increase in the standard deduction and personal exemptions. These exemptions will be one of the first things cut when the government decides it needs more taxes. In fact, it is reported that in mid-May the Secretary of the Treasury, James Baker, began calling for reducing the personal exemption from $2,000 to $1,500 when he discovered that the revenue from the Reagan plan was going to fall far short of the money raised under the present tax system. The $2,000 exemption was temporarily saved only because the White House considered it essential to sell the overall plan. (Wall Street Journal, May 30,1985)

The modified flat tax, which cuts the tax rate for the rich from 50% to 35% while reducing the present 14 tax brackets down to 3, is what Reagan calls "a giant step towards an ideal system'' of further reducing the tax on the millionaires until it is at the same rate as that on the poor. This shifting of the weight of taxation from the millionaires to the workers is what is fundamental to Reagan's plan. Meanwhile, the small tax cut for the workers through the increase in the personal exemptions is here today and gone tomorrow.

Taxing the Unemployed and the Workers' Medical Benefits

It must be further emphasized that Reagan has added a whole slew of new, additional taxes onto the workers.

For the first time the medical benefits that workers have won through hard struggle against their capitalist employers will be taxed. In a compromise deal worked out in secret negotiations with Lane Kirkland, the president of the AFL-CIO, this tax will initially be kept relatively small, taxing only the first $25 a month in a family's medical insurance. (Wall Street Journal, May 30, 1985) Apparently Kirkland's idea is to try to smother the outrage against this provision by making the tax increase seem insignificant. But once this provision is installed the door is wide open to steadily increase the amount to be taxed.

A good example of this fact is the case with unemployment insurance. A while back a provision was put in the law that allows the taxing of unemployment benefit, but only for a family which makes over $18,000 a year. Yet that opened the door and now Reagan is strolling through it with a plan to tax all unemployment benefits. The workers' income tax already pays for a portion of the unemployment benefits (with the rest coming from the employers). To tax the benefits means that the workers are being fleeced twice over.

Along with these measures, Reagan would also tax workers' compensation benefits for the first time and would eliminate the exemption for the elderly and disabled (while allowing them some kind of tax credit which doesn't appear to make up for the tax increase). And for all of Reagan's claims that his is a "pro- family" tax plan, he would eliminate the deduction for two-earner families (reintroducing the "marriage" penalty) while converting the child care credit into a deduction and thus making it less valuable.

In the immediate situation, these measures will mean tax increases for some workers, while for others they may be offset by the savings from the personal exemption increase. But by putting the workers' benefits into the category of taxable income, Reagan is preparing the way for huge tax increases in the future.

The Monopolies Grab for a Share of the Loot

Along with cutting the tax rate for the individually wealthy, Reagan's plan calls for cutting the corporate income tax rate from 46% to 33%. In a May 30 Wall Street Journal editorial, this mouthpiece for the giant monopolies bursts out with glee that "The reduction in business rates heads in the direction of the greatest simplification possible, total elimination of the, corporate tax...." Obviously the big businessmen understand perfectly what Reagan is up to.

Nevertheless, Reagan's Treasury Department keeps boosting the claim that the cuts in individual taxes will be made up by closing the tax loopholes and shifting the tax burden onto the corporations.

For example, Treasury claims that corporate taxes will be increased by 23% in the next five years. Even if there were such an increase next year corporate income tax would still not quite account for 10% of the total taxes paid to the government. As the Wall Street Journal points out, "some analysts are skeptical that such a modest rise [only 9% by the year 2025] in corporate taxes could pay for the tax cut for individuals, particularly since business taxes make up a relatively small portion of total tax revenues." (May 30,1985)

But more than this, it is extremely hard to believe the Treasury Department's claim about the size of corporate taxes. Among other things, the Treasury experts base much of their claims for increased taxes from corporations on predictions of an enormous growth in the economy. This is doubtful.

As well, the Treasury officials tend to cover up the fact that for every tax loophole Reagan has eliminated (which is really not very many), he has added more, such as cutting the tax rate on capital gains, and providing the corporations with a 10% deduction for the dividends they pay their stockholders, and extending credit for corporate research and experimentation, and the list goes on. Any businessman worth his salt will not lose the opportunity to leap from sinking loopholes to prop up his company's profits on new and improved tax shelters. Indeed, in most cases Reagan's plan allows for years of "phasing out" the old tax gimmicks to give the monopolies time to shift. Yet, the Treasury Department figures fail to take into account this fundamental feature of monopoly enterprise and, thus, underestimate the tax cuts the companies will actually grab.

So what does all of this mean? Even with the possible elimination of such major tax write-offs as the investment tax credit, the corporations are looking at a tax cut and the government is looking at a bigger budget deficit.

Realizing the embarrassment.of a huge drop in tax revenues at a time when Reagan claims to be cutting the budget deficit, the administration at the last minute added a "windfall" recapture tax to temporarily raise some extra cash from the corporations. It is claimed that this may raise $57 billion over four years and for the moment stave off huge losses of tax revenues for the government.

But even if this tax makes it through Congress, and the monopolies are mounting a major campaign against it, Reagan's plan stipulates that the tax will end after four years. So big business, or at least some corporations, may "suffer" through a few years of minor tax increases only to reap big tax cuts later.

It is little wonder that the Wall Street Journal editorial chuckles, "But a reduction of the top marginal rate to 35% from 50% is not nothing. Nor is a further cut in the capital gains rate to 17.5% from 20%. Nor is the reduction of the maximum corporate rate to 33% from 46%.... In short, Congress has been handed a serious document." (May 30,1985)

Tax the Rich! Make the Capitalists Pay

What the final version of the "tax reform" will look like when Congress is through with it is hard to say. One can expect a lot more wrangling over who among the wealthy and the corporations will get which tax breaks at what cost to the masses.

But the essential feature of Reagan's tax proposal --the further shifting of the tax burden onto the working people through flattening the income taxes, cutting the corporate taxes and adding new taxes on the workers -- is supported by the wealthy capitalists, conservatives and liberals alike.

In fact, the Democratic Party liberals have been pioneers in the drive to flatten the workers in the name of "tax reform." The Democrats' Bradley-Gephardt bill was a forerunner of Reagan's tax plan. It contains all of the essential features of Reagan's proposal and on a number of provisions it goes farther in cutting the taxes on the wealthy.

It is little wonder then that in the Democratic Party's televised response to Reagan's proclamation of his tax plan, Dan Rostenkowski, the head of the House Ways and Means Committee, declared that "Democrats will follow his lead and try to hold his package together." Rostenkowski even tried to paint up Reagan as a new hero of the working masses, "a Republican President who's bucking his party's tradition as protector of big business and the wealthy."

The working masses can expect no tax relief from the likes of such liars and swindlers. The only serious weapon to beat back the offensive of the capitalist money-grubbers is the organization and militant struggle of the working masses themselves. A tax reform that will significantly benefit the working people, a tax reform that will actually shift the burden of taxation onto the capitalist monopolies and billionaires, requires the building up of a powerful revolutionary struggle against the capitalist class and their two main political parties, the Democrats and Republicans. Through the factories and communities the workers should expose and denounce Reagan's "tax reform" and get organized for just such a struggle.

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Organize the struggle against the Reaganite offensive MAY DAY 1985

May Day is a time when the class conscious workers rededicate themselves to the class struggle. Today the revolutionary movement in the U.S. is still in an ebb from the big years of the 60's and early 70's. But the revolutionary movement has not gone away. The May Day campaign by the Marxist-Leninist Party showed once again that the red flag still lives in the hearts of the American workers. It shows that the communist activists are not passively waiting for the next high tide of struggle, but are in the front lines of the fight against Reaganism.

This year May Day came at the end of a month full of demonstrations. Throughout April these demonstrations denounced the apartheid regime in South Africa, U.S. aggression in Central America, and the overall U.S. war drive. And there was a new upsurge of the student movement with demonstrations breaking out across the country demanding that universities divest their holdings in South Africa. This new wave of struggle created a favorable situation for the May Day campaign of the Marxist-Leninist Party.

Get Organized!

The Marxist-Leninist Party participated vigorously in the demonstrations throughout April. It connected the May Day campaign with this wave of actions, and it made the central theme of the campaign "Organize the Struggle Against the Reaganite Offensive!'' This slogan meant that no matter how important it was to push forward the mass actions against the Reaganite crimes, there was still more to do. If the movement isn't to be handcuffed by the reformists who have been actively liquidating demonstrations and selling the mass movement to the capitalist politicians in return for respectability and some handouts from the liberals, the rank-and-file activists and class conscious workers have to organize themselves into an independent revolutionary force. They must take part in building up the independent political movement of the working class, opposed to the capitalist politicians and the bourgeoisie as a whole, whether liberal or conservative.

Only in this way can the honest activists and militant workers escape the role of cannon fodder for the liberal deals with the Reaganites and instead themselves become a political force. And this requires tirelessly working to build up revolutionary organizations of all sorts. The capitalists, who have their political parties, do their best to prevent the working class from building up its own political party, a revolutionary party that leads the class struggle. The bourgeoisie mocks the party concept in order to strip this indispensable weapon from the proletarian fighters. May Day is a day on which the militant workers and activists must take up the question of party-building, and they should rally around the party of revolutionary struggle and socialism, the Marxist-Leninist Party.

Bringing May Day to the Masses

The April 1 issue of The Workers' Advocate was a special issue for wide- scale distribution. It combined the May Day appeal with articles on the present situation in the various struggles. One article declared "Build the Movement Against the Racist South African Regime!," others denounced U.S. imperialism's dirty war in Nicaragua and bloody intervention in El Salvador. Another article denounced the fraud of superpower arms control negotiations and declared "To Fight the Nuclear Buildup, Fight Imperialism."

The May Day appeal was distributed in large numbers at the April 20 and other demonstrations, at factories and in the communities. Capping off the campaign were spirited May Day demonstrations in Chicago and New York City and meetings in New York, Buffalo, Chicago, Oakland and Seattle. The speeches dealt with the current situation facing revolutionary work in the U.S. and with the tactics to be applied, with special attention to united front tactics. And, in honor of the tenth anniversary of the defeat of U.S. imperialism in Viet Nam, the meetings related the experience of the anti-war movement against U.S. aggression in Viet Nam to the tasks of the present.

In Honor of a Communist Fighter

The meetings also marked with sorrow the death in April of Comrade Enver Hoxha, leader of the Party of Labor of Albania from its founding until his death. Enver's life and work were linked with the victory over the Italian and German fascist occupiers in World War II, with the successful continuation of the anti-fascist struggle to socialist revolution, and with the struggle against the different revisionist currents centered in Yugoslavia, Russia and China. The Albanian people had fought militantly for years, but it was the founding and strengthening of the Party of Labor of Albania (originally called the Communist Party of Albania) that ushered in a new stage of the struggle of the Albanian working people and allowed them to win historic victories. And it was to the building of this party that Comrade Enver struggled his whole life long.

Our Party and the May Day meetings, without glossing over either the major weaknesses in the current stands of the PL A or certain serious, longstanding roots of these recent grave errors, honored the memory of this communist fighter, Comrade Enver, who dedicated his life to the fight for the interests of the working people.

Three of the speeches from the May Day meetings may be found in the last issue of The Workers' Advocate Supplement, Vol. 1, No. 4.

[Photo: San Francisco]

[Photo: Seattle]

[Photo: Chicago]

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Workers' May Day actions around the world

On May 1st, International Workers' Day, workers across the world took to the streets to raise high the banner of working class struggle. Workers raised their voices against capitalist exploitation, against repression, and against war. In many places, fierce clashes broke out against the authorities. In a number of countries, May Day served to indicate a new resurgence of the proletarian struggle.

In El Salvador, this year's May Day march in San Salvador was the biggest since 1979. After 1980, the government terror put a temporary brake on mass street mobilizations. At least 15,000 workers turned out this time, overcoming innumerable obstacles. Many more lined the streets to support the action. Contingents came from across the country. They included factory workers, public sector workers, teachers, farmworkers, and peasants. Many came from enterprises currently on strike. The toilers' march demanded higher wages and other improvements; they condemned repression and demanded the release of political prisoners; they denounced the war and raised slogans for an end to U.S. intervention. May Day. in El Salvador thus served as another example of the resurgence of the mass struggle of the toilers in the streets.

In South Africa, May 1st also saw the biggest May Day actions in many years. Three thousand workers attended events in Port Elizabeth and neighboring Uitenhage. In Durban, 5,000 workers took part in a rally demanding a 40-hour week and for May Day to be made a paid national holiday. In Johannesburg, hundreds of workers gathered for a May Day rally against apartheid, but were dispersed by police using tear gas and dogs.

In Mexico, the May Day action in the capital, like last year, again saw workers clash with the police. Last year, workers from a number of unions unaffiliated with the government trade unions went into the official government-organized rally and raised slogans against the government. This year, when 5,000-10,000 workers from some of the non-government unions tried to enter the official parade, they were attacked by the police.

In Chile, demonstrators again took to the streets to protest the military dictatorship of Pinochet. Fights with the police were reported in Santiago the capital.

In Denmark, the biggest crowds in many years took part in this year's May Day events. No doubt, this was in great part a by-product of the militant struggle of the Danish workers earlier this spring against the government and capitalist employers.

Fifty thousand workers turned out for an anti-Marcos May Day march in Manila, the Philippines. In Bataan province, 20,000 workers and peasants staged a march, and in Mindanao a one-day general strike was carried out.

In Poland, tens of thousands of workers took part in unofficial May Day events, the largest demonstrations since the imposition of martial law in 1981. In Warsaw, 15,000 people chanted slogans during a two-hour march. In Gdansk, 2,000 people clashed with the police.

Thus, the world over, May Day again saw the inevitable motion of the exploited workers towards struggle against the capitalist exploiters. At the same time, one of the problems that workers face is the task of freeing themselves from ideas and leaders who channel bourgeois influence over the workers, holding back the proletarian struggle. Workers everywhere face a hard fight to free themselves from the influences of reformist union bureaucrats or even clerical pro-Western reactionaries as in Poland. This task, the task of organizing the working class as an independent revolutionary force, is the task which has fallen on the shoulders of the advanced workers, the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists of the world.

[Photo: Salvadoran workers in largest May Day march since 1979.]

[Photo: Mexican workers clash with riot police.]

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