Vol. 15, No. 8

August 5, 1985

[Front page:

Strike movement resumes--Good times for the capitalists mean unemployment and wage cuts for the workers;

Black People of South Africa Defy the 'State of Emergency';

MLP delegation visits Nicaragua]


Down with the GM/UAW Saturn agreement................... 2

Strikes and work place news:

WP Steel strike; 10-month strike at Massey coal............. 3
Car haulers' strike; Bath shipyard struck.......................... 4
Tank workers reject concessions; breaking workers' unity in Basic Steel; National Steel and Chrysler out for concessions....................................................................... 18
Western Union strike; Chicago Tribune strike; Philadelphia teachers take strike vote; N.Y. Transit workers fight giveback contract....................................... 19

Down with racist gang attacks in Chicago....................... 5
Dearborn, Mich, officials out to segregate parks.............. 5

Condemn racist murder by police in Oakland, Ca........... 6
In the wake of racist bombing in W. Philadelphia............ 6
Louis Farrakhan: peddler of black Reaganism................. 7

Reagan appeals to Supreme Court against abortions....... 7

South Africa:

Reagan supports "state of emergency"............................. 9
Bishop Tutu denounces actions of black masses.............. 9
House/Senate bill: cover for supporting apartheid........... 9
Harmless UN sanctions against South Africa................... 10

Protests U.S. intervention against Nicaragua................... 10
Managua in the summer of '85......................................... 11
Six Years since the Nicaraguan revolution....................... 13
Keep up support for the Nicaraguan workers' press......... 14
Interview with Prensa Proletaria editor:........................... 15

From The Workers' Advocate Supplement: On Party-Building............................................................ 16

CPUSA holds to the mistakes of the 7th CI Congress...... 17

Stepped-up guerrilla actions in Philippines...................... 20
Nationwide protest against Colombian regime................ 20

The perils of reading in the land of law and order............ 20
Reagan's death squads in name of halting terrorism........ 24
U.S. imperialism's crime: 1945 atomic bombing............ 24

Strike movement resumes

Good times for the capitalists mean unemployment and wage cuts for the workers

Black People of South Africa Defy the 'State of Emergency'

MLP delegation visits Nicaragua

Down with the GM/UAW Saturn agreement

The UAW's giant step towards company unionism

Provisions of the UAW/Saturn agreement

Strikes and workplace news

Down with the racist gang attacks in Chicago
Build the anti-racist movement!

Oakland, California

Condemn the racist police murder of 14-year-old Maurice Phillips

In the tradition of Henry Ford

Dearborn, Mi. city officials out to segregate city parks

In the wake of the racist bombing of West Philadelphia

A racist atrocity

Murder, Cover-Up, and the Modern-Day Uncle Tom in the 'City of Brotherly Love'

Philadelphia massacre denounced by activists in Ghana

Reagan's appeal to the Supreme Court

More 'pro-life' hypocrisy

Louis Farrakhan: peddler of black Reaganism

Reagan supports the 'State of Emergency' of the South African racists

On the joint House/Senate sanctions bill

Putting a good face on U.S. support for apartheid

Bishop Tutu denounces militant actions of the black masses

Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing:

The U.N. sanctions against South Africa

Protests against U.S. intervention on the 6th anniversary of the Nicaraguan revolution

Managua in the summer of '85

Six years since the Nicaraguan revolution -- From a speech by Isidro Tellez, General Secretary of MAP/ML

Keep Up the Campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press

The Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists on the present situation

From 'The Workers' Advocate Supplement'
On Party-Building

Revisionist CPUSA holds fast to the mistakes of the 7th Congress of the CI

General Dynamics tank workers oppose UAW chiefs and reject concessions

Breaking up the unity of the workers in basic steel

Fight National Steel s plans for new concessions!

Chrysler spends $765 million to buy two companies

But still wants concessions from the workers

Strike against Western Union

Chicago Tribune workers strike for job security

Philadelphia teachers prepare for strike

New York transit workers: Fight the giveback contract!

Stepped-up guerrilla actions in the Philippines

Nationwide protest against the Colombian regime

The perils of reading in the land of law and order


The dropping of the atomic bombs in 1945

A horrendous crime of U.S. imperialism

In the name of fighting terrorism

Reagan unleashes death-squads

Strike movement resumes

Good times for the capitalists mean unemployment and wage cuts for the workers

All the capitalist press, politicians and economists shout about the "Reagan recovery." The last two years have supposed to have seen a great rebound since the worst days of the Reagan depression of the winter of 1982-83. But all the nonsense about the alleged "unprecedented" recovery, the so-called greatest economic rebound since World War II, simply show that the politicians and newsmen are unprecedented liars. While the working class continues to suffer unemployment, wage cuts, speedups and more and more unsafe working conditions, it is being told by the capitalist gentlemen that it has never had it so good since World War II.

In this issue of The Workers' Advocate we report on the strikes against wage cuts and job insecurity that have broken out this past month. While the big liar in the White House shouts about how good the workers have it, the workers have answered by going on strike despite the high unemployment, the reactionary police forces mobilized to crush the strikes, and the labor bureaucrats who tell the workers to make concessions. Bitter strikes are being waged by the Teamster car haulers and at Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, at the Chicago Tribune, at Bath Iron Works in Maine, at Western Union, and elsewhere; the workers are fighting against the arrogant demands of the capitalists that the workers should be squeezed to the wall to pay for the three martini lunches of the executives. As yet, this still represents only a small section of the working class. But it shows that the decline in activity of the workers' movement of the last few years, with the working class stunned by the huge layoffs and disorganized by the labor hacks, is gradually coming to an end. A new round of struggle is being prepared.

No Matter How Many Billions the Capitalists Make, They Want More

The only thing that "recovered" in the last two years was the profits of the capitalists. The share of the national wealth that goes to the rich has increased dramatically. The total profits to be divided by the capitalists as a whole was up sharply. True, some companies and industries are in trouble; this is normal in dog-eat-dog capitalism. But other firms were raking in the billions. And even the executives in the troubled industries were living well.

And these profits came from cutting the wages of the working class. Real wages of non-supervisory workers were 1.4% less this March than in March, 1984, and 15% less than in 1973. In fact, even according to bourgeois statistics, the average wage of the workers today is similar to that in 1962 -- so. that two decades of hard-won raises have been completely wiped out. With "two-tier" wage rates, concessions, "employee ownership plans" and other frauds, the wage rates are going down. Only the strike struggle of the working class against the capitalists has retarded this downward motion and provided some protection to the workers.

Consider the auto industry. In the last year, the auto monopolies made record profits. Yet they continue to demand concessions and wage cuts from the working class. The latest scheme in the national news is the "Saturn" project of GM, the so-called "Factory of the future." (Every scheme to drive the workers into the ground is being hailed as the "factory of the future" these days, whether by GM, GE or elsewhere.) The new wage rates announced for "Saturn" are 80% of the average auto wage, and the worker is supposed to make up the difference by earning incentive pay for kissing up to management and earning brownie points.

Furthermore, the situation of the "working poor" is especially tragic. The major cuts in the federal and state budgets have been taken out of the hides of the working people. Although the unemployment rate has dropped a few percent since the depths of 1982, impoverishment has continued to increase. Most of the new jobs that have been generated are in low wage service industries; millions of workers have been forced onto part-time jobs or to accept half the wages they made before. Millions of families have been forced to add a second low-wage earner, or a third, in order to keep their heads above water. Millions of workers have lost medical benefits as they were laid off, and either do not have them in the new, low-wage jobs they have been forced into, or have seen their government- supplied benefits cut off. Parents have seen their children's schools drained of money, and funds for college education cut off.

These cuts have hit particularly hard at the minorities. While the smiling liar Reagan crows about how good his program has allegedly been for the blacks and other minorities, the economic statistics tell another story. A higher percentage of black children live in poverty today than five years ago. And the percentage of black high school graduates who go on to college has fallen from 50% to just over one-third.

And Even This "Recovery" Is Unstable

And even this "recovery" is tottering. It has reached its height, and the question is simply when it will slide down into a new crisis.

The capitalists said that "high-tech" industry would provide millions of new jobs. Today the computer industry is laying off workers, and everyone talks of a new "shaking out" of companies in high-tech. Only the war industries prosper.

The unemployment rate is still over 7%, even according to minimized government statistics. Until recently, 7% was considered a deep recession. Today, 7.3% is considered the "unprecedented" economic recovery. And the economists talk openly about a "growth recession," where unemployment will increase even as the economy grows. In the last few months, the economic statistics have been mixed. Economic growth in the first part of this year has slowed down to an annual rate of 1 % or so, that is, to a standstill. In June and July, the index of leading indicators allegedly went back up, for the first time in many months. But the overall picture is clear. It's stagnation as usual again.

Class Struggle Is the Only Way Out

The capitalist economy always goes in cycles: up a few years, then down a few years. But the particular feature of the present is that the overall level of the economy keeps going down. We are living through a major depression.

The "recovery" of the last two years is itself full proof that capitalism has gone bankrupt, that it is going to pieces and no one knows how to put it back together again. During this recovery, wages have been further cut and poverty has deepened. Imagine what is going to happen in the next downturn!

The workers can only defend themselves by closing their ranks and uniting against the exploiters. We must struggle to defend ourselves against the wage cuts, speedups, and cutbacks. And we must get organized for revolutionary struggle against the capitalist system itself. The long years of stagnation and depression show that capitalism is simply one long hell for the working people. It is time to get rid of the system that condemns tens of millions to overwork and overtime while other millions cannot get any work at all, a system that condemns tens of millions to poverty at the same time as the warehouses are full to the brim with surplus goods. It is time to get rid of a system that forces millions of workers to walk picket lines and risk starvation every few years simply in order to prevent outrageous wage cuts. It is time to get rid of a system that condemns the majority to produce like slaves at the whim of the handful of billionaires; instead we must live like human beings in a system where the working people will rule themselves. It is time to end the exploitation of man by man: Let us rally around the party of revolutionary struggle and socialism, the Marxist-Leninist Party, and prepare to bring about the new communist way of life.

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Black People of South Africa Defy the 'State of Emergency'

The white minority regime in South Africa feels the ground shaking under its feet. Terrified by the upsurge of the black people, the South African racists have lashed out in despair and proclaimed a "state of emergency" in an attempt to drown the revolutionary movement in blood. With the "state of emergency" of July 20, the racist regime headed by Botha has further proven that it is a government of fascist gangsters who live by denying all rights to the overwhelming majority of the population.

The immediate background to the "state of emergency" is the persistent struggle of the black and other oppressed masses of South Africa. This struggle has grown so deep and protracted that the issue of revolution is on everyone's mind, with the oppressed masses longing for revolution while the liberals and conservatives debate how best to stop the revolution. The "state of emergency" is Botha's bloody response to the liberation movement. But it has failed to stop the struggle. Mass actions continue in the townships, mass meetings have been held in defiance of the emergency regulations, and, despite the government death squads, the liberation struggle continues.

The Fascist "State of Emergency"

The "state of emergency" legalizes the police-state repression that has long been used by the South African racists against any protest of the oppressed. And it has given a green light for even more vicious repression, with the police and military being declared free of any liability for any action whatsoever committed under the "state of emergency."

The emergency measures apply to 36 districts in the Johannesburg and East Cape regions which have been hotbeds of the anti-apartheid struggle. The measures allow the police to detain anyone without warrant or charges or trial and to search buildings at will. Detainees have no right to see a lawyer or relatives. And the racist government has tightened the censorship of the press and forbid reporters from covering the repression; the government might not be able to stop the struggle, but it wants to stop all news of the struggle.

The South African government has particularly tried to keep secret the names of the arrested people. Taking a lesson from the infamous death squads in Argentina and Chile, which whisked their victims away in secret, the apartheid rulers want their opponents to disappear without a trace and simply vanish into the racist dungeons and graveyards.

With the help of these provisions, the racist police and military have gone on a rampage. While Botha utters his claptrap about the "state of emergency" being for the purpose of "ending violence" and preventing the deaths of black people, his forces have accelerated their murders of blacks, killing at least 20 in the first 10 days of the "emergency." Whole townships are being sealed off by troops and in the dead of night suspected activists are swept away. In the first two weeks alone, over 1,300 people have been rounded up. While the repression is focused on crushing the militant mass actions, mild critics of the Botha regime, such as the white liberal parliamentarian Molly Blackburn, have also been arrested.

It is also reported that Salvadoran-style "death squads" have been unleashed by the government to "set an example" of what will happen to those who oppose the apartheid lords. Last Thursday night, for example, Mrs. Mxenge, a local leader of the UDF (a coalition of the liberals with the supporters of the banned ANC), who is lawyer for two of the UDF members scheduled to stand trial beginning August 5, was murdered in a death-squad-style slaying. Apparently the Botha regime wanted to finish the job started in 1981 when her husband, also an anti-apartheid activist, had been brutally murdered in similar style.

This is South Africa under "reform- minded" slavemaster Botha -- one big prison for the three quarters of the country's population that is black. The regime is banning even the few forms of mass meetings that were still allowed. Mass funerals for victims of the police have been declared off-limits, and all political speeches at funerals banned. After all, with the large numbers of racist murders, funerals have become a major scene of struggle. And black youth are being forbidden to leave school during the school day, which they often do to participate in anti-apartheid actions. Botha has announced that he won't even tolerate peaceful civil disobedience.

Why are the apartheid rulers in such a frenzy? They hear the marching footsteps of the oppressed who are advancing on them with an intense fury. Indeed July marked a high point in the mass struggle in recent months.

Workers' Strikes

There was an upswing in the movement of the black workers. In the first days of the month 20,000 gold miners conducted a two-day strike at three mines near Johannesburg. During the protest the miners damaged half a million dollars worth of mine property before being forced back to work when the police opened up with shotguns and tear gas, killing one miner. The platinum miners of Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg, waged a militant action on July 3, and suffered three deaths at the hands of the police. And at the month's end, bakery workers in Durban were continuing a 10-day strike during which a bakery flour silo was bombed.

Struggle in the Black Townships

Meanwhile, the toilers living in the segregated black townships intensified their powerful revolt. By July 2, rebellions were reported in 11 townships and on July 16 protests had spread to 17 townships. A series of major actions developed in the townships near Johannesburg. On July 9, residents of KwaThema held a funeral protest in commemoration of seven blacks killed by a police raid at a gathering at a movie theater. The next day, in Duduza, a fierce struggle developed as 5,000 attended another funeral protest. The enraged crowd turned on their police tormentors, pursuing gun-toting black police with a barrage of rocks. The black police, increasingly demoralized as the masses brand them as traitors, had to run for their lives and escaped only because white police rescued them in a pickup.

In Soweto on July 17, hundreds of youths took over buses to protest the arrest of some of their comrades for attending an unlawful meeting. Two days later there were still outbursts in Soweto. These actions included the fire-bombing of the black township mayor's home. (The black politicians who consent to be the figurehead officials and informers for the apartheid regime are regarded, and rightly, as despicable traitors to the working masses.) Such attacks on black sellout officials and government agents have been an important feature of the struggle across the country. So widespread and bitter is the hatred for the sellouts and so effective the struggle that it is estimated that only five of the 38 puppet councils set up in the black townships by the racists still function.

The declaration of the "state of emergency" failed to quell the fighting toilers of the townships. Despite the government-imposed news blackout, mass actions were reported in eight. townships two days after the emergency went into effect. The largest of these protests occurred at a funeral in KwaThema on July 23 with some 50,000 people participating. That same day 150 blacks confronted the police in an Eastern Cape township, pelting them with rocks. And on August 3 there was a mass funeral march in Port Elizabeth to protest the murders of 11 victims of the Botha regime.

As well, the Reaganite policy of support for apartheid was bitterly condemned by the black masses. In Durban, outside the areas covered by the "state of emergency," three demonstrations by black students condemned Reagan's "constructive engagement" policy of support for apartheid and Botha's "emergency measures."

A vigorous role in the July upsurge was played by the high school and university students. On July 17, there was a boycott of classes at 100 schools. The following day in Soweto, 1,000 high school youth demonstrated against the racist regime. And at the end of July mixed-race students at the University of the Western Cape near Cape Town clashed with the racist police.

Boycott of White Businesses

Another facet of the struggle of the oppressed masses is the economic boycott of white-owned businesses in the Western Cape begun in mid-month. This boycott is scheduled to last two months in support of demands to freeze the prices of basic goods, withdraw the military from the black townships, and dismantle the hated local black puppet governments established by the regime. The boycott has been supported by the vast majority of the black masses and has begun to hurt the pocketbooks of the white capitalist exploiters.

The militant panorama of struggle that has swept South Africa both before and after the "state of emergency" shows that nothing can kill the drive for liberation. The terrorist police rampage is taking many lives and may cause a temporary disorganization as the masses learn to cope with it and overcome it, but the growth of the revolutionary movement of the masses is inevitable. The day will come when the masses assemble not at funerals but at celebrations to mark the death of apartheid and white minority rule.

Down with white minority rule!

Down with Botha s murderous thugs and their "state of emergency"!

Support the revolutionary movement in South Africa!


[Photo: Hundreds march in Soweto at funeral for anti-apartheid protesters killed by government forces. Marchers dance, raise fists and chant revolutionary slogans, making the funeral itself a militant demonstration.]


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MLP delegation visits Nicaragua

Last month a delegation of the Central Committee of the MLP,USA returned from another trip to Nicaragua. July marked the 6th anniversary of the Nicaraguan people's triumph over the Somoza dictatorship. The revolution smashed to bits the merciless Somoza tyranny, which was installed by invading U.S. marines to safeguard the super-profits of U.S. corporations, and which for half of a century ruled over the Nicaraguan workers and peasants with an iron fist.

The downfall of the hated dictator brought a new dawn for the people of Nicaragua. It has given the workers and peasants their first tastes of freedom, education, healthcare, and a better life; and the triumph over Somozism has opened the doors for a further revolutionary assault on the capitalists, landlords and imperialists. The flames of the Nicaraguan revolution have also helped to spread the revolt of the workers and peasants in El Salvador and throughout the region against the death-squad regimes and U.S. imperialism.

Building solidarity with the Nicaraguan workers and peasants in the face of U.S. imperialist aggression is an urgent task for the American revolutionaries. In this regard the trip of the MLP, USA delegation was a useful contribution. The delegation held extensive discussions with the leadership of our brother Marxist-Leninist party, the Movement of Popular Action/Marxist-Leninist of Nicaragua (MAP/ML), on the burning problems of the Nicaraguan revolution, the tasks of solidarity work in the U.S., and other questions of common concern. These meetings further strengthened the militant collaboration between our two Parties, a collaboration which is based on our common Marxist- Leninist and proletarian internationalist standpoint.

The opportunity to hold discussions and interviews with the comrades of MAP/ML and revolutionary workers has provided us with further insight on the situation inside Nicaragua, something which has been so obscured by the fantastic lying of the media machine of the Reaganites and imperialists, as well as by the social-democratic and reformist press.

On page 13, we publish a report by a member of the MLP,USA delegation. The report focuses on a number of changes in Nicaragua since the last visit of an MLP delegation in January 1984.

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Down with the GM/UAW Saturn agreement

The UAW's giant step towards company unionism

On July 30 General Motors and the UAW jointly announced the location of the new Saturn Corporation manufacturing complex. Spring Hill, Tennessee, a small town 45 miles outside of Nashville, was chosen. The announcement ended months of speculation and cutthroat competition by more than thirty states bidding for the Saturn project site.

The Saturn Hype

GM, the UAW and the auto analysts have carried on a massive media campaign promoting Saturn to the skies. No praise has been too great. Auto analysts have called Saturn a truly "revolutionary auto building project." GM executives say that all distinctions between workers and bosses will disappear. UAW vice-president Donald Ephlin said that: "Saturn, to me, represents the future of the auto industry in America." Frank Runnells, a UAW regional director from Detroit, chimed in to claim that Saturn represents a victory for the auto workers unlike any other won in the past fifty years of the union.

So What is Saturn All About?

If you take away all the hype and fluff, what you have is the most concentrated concessions attack yet to be launched against auto workers. The top leadership of the UAW has sold out on every front. At Saturn there will be no seniority protection, no work rules and no job classifications. Workers will start out with massive wage cuts. And any future retirees will hardly have a pension at all.

Probably the most outrageous aspect of the Saturn contract is the integration of the UAW into Saturn management. The UAW is jumping headlong into outright company unionism. At Saturn the UAW will jointly set production, quality and attendance standards right along with the Saturn managers. In the contract itself, the UAW has even agreed to outlaw any traditional militant union activity by the workers including strikes, picket lines, slowdowns, sit-downs and work stoppages. Instead of defending the workers from GM harassment and attacks, the UAW will be integrated into the Saturn labor relations department and will aid the company in disciplining the workers. The disgusting betrayal goes on and on.

A Model for the Entire Auto Industry

The Saturn project is the latest and most extensive concessions plan to be launched by the auto billionaires. And it is being promoted as the model for the auto industry.

GM president, Roger Smith, says that his initial goal is to "Saturnize" the General Motors empire from top to bottom. And he says that his secondary goal is to sell the Saturn concepts to the rest of American industry. He calls this a new industrial revolution. What Roger Smith really wants to do is to turn the clock back about fifty years to the days when the auto plants were non-union and company-union sweatshops.

Chrysler's president, Lee Iacocca, and American Motors Company executives have already called for the Saturn pact to be the "pattern" in their upcoming contract talks. They want Saturn-style concessions too.

Auto Workers: Expose and Prepare to Fight Against Saturn-Style Concessions

All this talk by GM and the UAW about great strides and victories for the Saturn workers is a lot of crap. Roger Smith and Owen Bieber are trying to set up an elaborate smoke screen to trick the workers. The fraud of the Saturn project must be exposed for what it is -- concessions pure and simple. Each and every provision of the Saturn contract should be discussed and denounced in the harshest terms. (See Saturn provisions printed below)

Auto workers: "Saturn-style concessions" are going to be a major front in the Reaganite capitalist offensive against the working class. Now is the time to prepare to fight against Saturn-style concessions. A determined fight by the auto workers against Saturn-style concessions will be a big inspiration for the rest of the working class. Build the fight to defend our jobs and working conditions!

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Provisions of the UAW/Saturn agreement

The Saturn agreement is overflowing with concessions. Reprinted below is an outline sketch of some of the most rotten concessions written into the UAW/ Saturn pact. These are only a few; there are many more. In the provisions below all quotations come directly from the June 28,1985 "Memorandum of Agreement Between Saturn Corporation and the UAW." In July a few of the clauses in the memorandum were slightly altered. But these changes do not affect the clauses quoted below.

Saturn Is Exempt From the UAW/GM National Contract

The Saturn deal provides for further splitting-up of the auto workers. Although Saturn is a division of GM, the UAW says it is okay for the Saturn workers to be under a totally separate and different contract. The UAW/Sat- um agreement states: "Provisions of the current or any subsequent GM/ UAW contracts will have no bearing on Saturn." What's next Mr. Bieber? Separate contracts at Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Cadillac?

Seniority Means Nothing at Saturn

The basic principles of seniority for job assignments, shift preferences, upgrading and layoffs has been thrown out the window. The Saturn pact states: "Length of service will be used as a tie breaker in those unusual situations where competing members are equal in all respects." [emphasis added] This concession paves the way for company favoritism and all of the other abuses which flourish in non-union/no-seniority sweatshops.

No Work Rules or Job Classifications at Saturn

Historically workers have fought to have work rules and job classifications as one method to resist the auto capitalists' schemes for overwork, job combinations, and job elimination. The struggle against the auto billionaires' productivity drive is an everyday thing in the plants. But Owen Bieber and Donald Ephlin are fighting on the side of GM. Here we have another example of the UAW falling head over heels into company unionism.

There will be no work rules at Saturn. This means massive overwork and job combination for the workers.

There will be only one job classification in the plant for assembly workers -- "operating technician." At Saturn, the operating technician will be forced to do assembly, clean-up, stock work, machine maintenance, equipment repair and relief work.

For the skilled trades workers there will be only three to five job classifications and the agreement doesn't even say what they will be. You can bet that there will be major job combinations for these workers too.

GM president Roger Smith is jumping for joy and counting the number of jobs that will be eliminated. Smith claims that if his dream comes true and the Saturn concepts are implemented in all of the GM plants across the country, it would mean the elimination of 1/3 to 1/2 of the GM workers' jobs.

Strikes and Militant Activity Are Outlawed

The Saturn pact calls for cooperation between the workers and management. How far does this go? Well, the top UAW leaders have given up the workers' right to strike and all other forms of militant activity that the workers can use to defend themselves from the attacks of the auto magnates. The proposed agreement states: "The philosophy and mission of Saturn and the unique culture created in the work environment are opposed to unauthorized lockouts, strikes, work stoppages, sitdowns, slowdowns, curtailment of work, restriction or interference with production or facilities, picketing or similar activities. For any member to engage in such action would be contrary to the philosophy and mission of Saturn." No, Donald Ephlin isn't in the back pocket of GM!

Wage Cuts

The UAW has agreed to a Reaganite "trickle-down" pay system at Saturn.

First of all, the Saturn workers' base pay will be only 80% of the average U.S. auto worker's wage. Remember this average includes the workers at AMC, Nissan, NUMMI and Mazda who are all making a lot less than the Big Three workers. Therefore, the Saturn workers will be starting out with their pay being cut by more than 20%.

The Saturn workers will also be forced to participate in an incentive pay program called the "risk/reward system." Under this program it is claimed that the workers may be able to recover the 20% pay cut if they meet quality, productivity and attendance standards jointly set by their Saturn/ UAW bosses. Furthermore, any incentive pay will be determined by Saturn's level of profits or losses.

The "risk/reward" bonuses will be paid out based upon the overall record of each work unit. Each work unit will be made up of six to fifteen workers. This means that the pressure will be on the work units to increase their own productivity. The end result of this is that the work units will be forced to slavedrive themselves in the hope of getting a few Reaganite "trickle-down" dollars. Can't you see it now, workers forced to cut back their relief time, or skipping relief altogether, or coming to work sick because it will help the record of the work group and Saturn. There you have it, the UAW leadership going backward in time bringing back the conditions of the sweatshop.

The Fraud of Job Security at Saturn

There is a lot of talk about the "innovative job security provisions" of the Saturn pact. But this is nothing but cheap talk. Saturn provides no real job security.

First of all, 20% of the Saturn workers, that is about 1,200 of the 6,000 projected jobs, will have no job security at all. They will be second-class workers called "associates."

The other 80% of the workers will be classified as "members." There has been a big hoopla in the newspapers saying that the Saturn "members" will be given lifetime job security. But these guarantees are extremely flimsy. And there is an escape clause written right into the agreement saying that jobs will be guaranteed "except for catastrophic circumstances or times of severe economic conditions." (emphasis added) In other words, any sales slump will void the job security measures and send the workers into the unemployment lines.

Retirees Are Thrown to the Wolves -- the Saturn Pension Fraud

There will be no uniform guaranteed pension program at Saturn. Instead, each worker will receive an individual retirement account. Upon retirement each worker will receive a lump sum payment from their account and not the lifetime guaranteed monthly pension that the other auto workers get.

The Solidarity House boys say that this IRA method will be changed sometime down the road, maybe around 1990 or so. Well, Mr. Bieber, we'll believe it when we see it.

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Strikes and workplace news


First strike in basic steel since 1959

Support the Wheeling-Pittsburgh steel workers

On July 21st, 8,200 workers at Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel launched a militant strike in defense of their wages and jobs, against Wheeling's outrageous concessions demands. This is the first strike in basic steel since 1959, when the entire steel industry was shut down through a hard-fought 116-day strike.

The Wheeling capitalists are crying that the strike will put them "out of business." But the workers remain defiant!

The other capitalist wolves in the steel industry are already licking their chops. They hope to get any concessions that are granted to Wheeling and are supporting its demands. Thus the Wheeling workers' strike confronts the entire front of steel capitalists. It deserves the support of all workers.

Bankruptcy Blackmail

Wheeling-Pittsburgh is the seventh largest steelmaker in the U.S. On July 16 WP appealed to a federal bankruptcy court for "relief" from its workers' wage and benefits package, citing chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. The Reaganite court supported Wheelings' appeal to cut the workers' wages and benefits by 30% extending over the next five years. This was to begin with the tearing up of the workers' contract and the unilateral imposition of an 18% cut in pay and benefits. Beginning July 21, pay and benefits would drop from $21.40 to $17.50 per hour. These concessions would mean the workers would face ever declining wages for the next five years. By 1990 average take-home pay would fall to only $5.50 an hour. It was in response to this outrageous attack that the workers struck.

In addition to slashing wages and benefits the Wheeling capitalists are demanding elimination of the grievance procedure; virtual elimination of the seniority system and job classifications; the right to use non-union workers to do craft work; and more.

These concessions demands would mean a gain in profits of $44 million a year to the Wheeling billionaires. As well, these concessions would come on top of the $600 million in concessions already wrenched out of the workers over the last several years.

WP had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in April, claiming inability to repay $500 million in loans used to modernize its plants. This modernization has been used by Wheeling to eliminate thousands of jobs. Now Wheeling wants to shift the burden for payment of this modernization onto the workers.

Wheeling has tried to blackmail the workers, claiming a strike would put the company out of business. The typical response of the workers to this is summed up in the attitude of one Wheeling worker who said: "The company wants us to go back to the sweat shops of the 30's. I'd rather be unemployed than in bondage."

The fact is, the workers' sacrificing concessions has little or nothing to do with whether a company survives or not. The workers sacrifice does have everything to do with whether the banks will continue to rake in their fabulous profits in interest on their loans and whether the Wheeling capitalists will continue to live like kings. The only way for the workers to defend their jobs and wages is to step up their struggle against the Wheeling billionaires.

Be Vigilant Against a Union Boss Sellout

The majority of the workers are against any more concessions to Wheeling. But this is not the case with the Steelworkers union leadership. The workers should beware because the union leadership is preparing to sell them out.

While the workers are defying Wheeling's blackmail, the union bureaucrats' only concern is to wheedle the workers into accepting the right package of concessions. In fact Paul Rusen, chief negotiator for the Steelworkers union, has already begun moaning that a prolonged strike "...could destroy the company." And he has said "There is room for compromise..." The USWA leadership had agreed to a $2 cut before the strike began. And Rusen has said he is willing to go down to $18.50. (Wall Street Journal, July 19, 1985)

The union leadership has a long trail of treachery at Wheeling. Back in 1978 they were the first in the steel industry to impose concessions onto the workers.

All along the union bureaucrats have claimed concessions are "necessary to save jobs" and provide "job security." Rather than launch an industry-wide fight against the steel billionaires, the USWA international leadership has saddled the workers with concessions. The union chiefs shoved the 1982 industry-wide concessions onto the workers, have collaborated with the capitalists in wiping out tens of thousands of workers' jobs and orchestrated local concessions.

Now the steel capitalists are expecting the union chieftains to help them again.

Solidarity With the Striking Steel Workers

All the steel capitalists are watching the Wheeling strike and greedily looking for new concessions themselves. Armco Steel has already called for reopening their contract early. And David Roderick, chairman of U.S. Steel has said he would demand any new Wheeling-type concessions claiming it is "essential to remain competitive."

All the steel workers must stand as one in their support of the Wheeling- Pittsburgh workers. The fight of the Wheeling workers is the fight of all the steel workers. The workers must build their own organization and struggle, independent of the treacherous union bureaucrats.

A 10-month strike against Massey Coal

[Photo: Miners halt scab coal train headed for Massey facility near Lobata, West Virginia early this spring. Regular railway employees refused to participate in the scab operation, so the railway company loaded up a special train with supervisory personnel for the job; but they too were unable to get through.]

After 10 months, 2,000 miners continue to wage a bitter strike against the Massey coal company.

Massey has called up fierce repression against the miners. It has hired hundreds of Pinkerton guards, gun thugs and scabs to attack the striking miners and break their pickets. Miners' homes and places where they gather have been fired into, their families have been harassed on the way to school and shopping, picketers have been run down by trucks and hospitalized, and many other attacks have taken place.

Meanwhile, Massey has received the backing of the government. State police from West Virginia and Kentucky have patrolled the mines, escorted scabs and convoys of coal trucks, and battalions in full riot gear have carried out sweeps to attack and arrest picketers. During a four-week period at the Sprouse Creek operations alone, over 200 miners were arrested. Federal courts issued an injunction on July 11 limiting the number of pickets to six at any site, and threatened fines of $10,000 per day per picket exceeding that number. The union has already been fined $200,000 in one case for violating an earlier local injunction.

Despite the severe repression, the coal miners have continued to wage a determined fight. Mass pickets have confronted the police, company guards and gun thugs at a number of mines; demonstrations have been organized at courthouses to protest arrests and also at the West Virginia state capital; sit-ins have been held to block the loading of trucks and coal cars; and highway pickets have stopped convoys of coal trucks. In March the struggle intensified when Massey threatened to fire striking miners at one of its Sprouse Creek operations and for several weeks the miners held daily pickets, growing to as many as 1,700 miners. The picketers resisted police assaults and threw stones at the policemen and company guards. In a number of cases the miners have defied the court injunction limiting picketing, and have continued to organize mass pickets.

The Massey miners have received strong support from other workers. Railroad workers on the Norfolk and Western have refused to cross the miners' picket lines to transport Massey coal. Miners from other coal companies, including many fresh from a strike against National, have joined the picket lines. And there has been wide community support including small shops putting up signs in support of the strikers and people joining the demonstrations. As well, many miners have begun to demand that the UMW leadership call out an industry-wide strike to back up the Massey miners.

An Important Struggle in Defense of the Miners' Movement

This is a crucial struggle in the coal fields. Massey is the fifth largest coal producer in the U.S. Owned by the giant Royal Dutch Shell and Fluor (the largest U.S. construction company) monopolies, Massey is operating as the spearhead for the other giant coal monopolies to break up the miners' movement into separate, mine-by-mine contracts. Massey has refused to sign the national contract which was agreed to by the Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA) last October. And Massey is also demanding separate contracts for each of 19 subsidiaries it operates. If the miners are defeated in this strike, then the coal monopolies will be encouraged to eliminate any industry-wide agreement and force the miners to defend themselves mine by mine.

Unfortunately, the coal monopolies are being helped in their drive against the miners' movement by the "selective strike strategy'' of the United Mine Workers (UMW) leadership.

Last year Richard Trumka, the UMW president, broke up the miners' long fighting tradition of "no contract, no work'' by which all miners struck as long as any BCOA company had not signed the contract. Trumka called for the use of "selective strikes'' against only one or a few companies, while other miners were to stay on the job without a contract. As well, Trumka allowed a number of coal companies to opt out of the BCOA and, when the BCOA signed an agreement, the miners at these companies were left to strike by themselves.

As a result of this strategy, Trumka was able to impose a BCOA contract on the miners which allowed the coal companies to continue to carry out broad-scale job elimination and which brought only a slight wage increase, far below that which had been won through the industry-wide strike for the last BCOA contract. What is more, the miners at Massey and some other companies were left to fend for themselves.

While Massey has the enormous resources of the Shell and Fluor billionaires, the backing of the government, and the behind-the-scenes support of the other coal monopolies, the UMW leadership has robbed the Massey miners of the powerful support of an industry-wide strike and also tries to hold back the militant actions of the Massey miners themselves. This is one of the reasons that Massey has become so arrogant and vicious in attacking the miners. Mr. Massey has declared his goal to be nothing short of the destruction of the miners' organization: "A. T. Massey doesn't recognize the union. I have a great deal of sympathy for coal miners and coal mining people, but unions are putting this country out of business.'' (New York Times, April 2, 1985)

Despite the sabotage and betrayal of the UMW bureaucracy, the Massey miners continue to fight on determinedly and the demand for an industry-wide strike appears to be gaining sympathy. All workers should support this bitter battle against the Reaganite strikebreaking offensive of the monopolies.

[Photo: Signs posted by workers striking against Massey coal. Massey is owned by Fluor Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Co., multinational corporations with billion-dollar interests in South Africa.]

Car haulers on strike across the country

On July 26, more than 21,000 drivers, yard employees and office workers struck 35 car-hauling firms throughout the country. The auto industry's distribution system began to clog up immediately as picket lines were set up in the first ever nationwide car haulers strike.

U.S. auto plants produce more than 30,000 cars and trucks each day; With the strike they are just piling up in the storage yards. As well, many of the cars produced in Canada are stuck in storage since the Canadian haulers, in solidarity with the U.S. strikers, are refusing to cross picket lines that have been set up at the yards across the border.

To break the logjam, car hauling monopolies are trying to use supervisors to drive out rigs at many facilities. But the strikers have resisted. Entrances to storage lots have been strewn with roofing nails and new cars have received deep scratches and broken windshields as mass picket lines have tried to block the scabs.

In many cases, large numbers of policemen have been called out to escort the supervisors in and out of the yards. And while threatening the striking workers* the police have turned a blind eye to the fact that the supervisors don't have the required C2 license for driving the rigs and that they are operating the trucks without various safety requirements; this too is scratching and damaging the new cars as well as posing a threat to anyone else on the road.

At last report, the companies are moving to bring injunctions to outlaw the mass picketing.

Profits for the Rich -- Concessions for the Workers

In the last period the auto monopolies have never had it so good. And with them, the car hauling firms are rolling in dough. Ryder System, Inc., the country's largest car hauling operation, is reported to have raked in $47 million in profits during the last quarter alone.

But these fat profits are still not enough for the monopolies. They are demanding that the workers cough up still more concessions.

For example, while offering the drivers a slight pay increase when they haul a loaded rig to its destination, the monopolies want to cut that pay in half for the return trip when the rig is loaded. If the truck is empty on the return trip, then the drivers would receive no pay, as is the case in the current contract. Drivers point out that they are already frequently working over 60 hour weeks and that the pay cut would force them into even longer hours if they try to keep up their standard of living.

As well, the companies want to cut the pay of new-hires by 20%, cut the pay of one-year workers by 10%, and cut the cost-of-living allowance for all the workers.

The car haulers strongly rejected these ridiculous concessions. But this was not true of the union bosses. The top heads of the Teamsters, fresh from ramming concessions down the throats of the truck drivers in the national freight agreement, recommended that the concessions-laden car haulers' contract be ratified. Thus the workers must contend not only with the monopolies, but with their own top union bosses.

In this their first nationwide strike, the car haulers are showing a lot of determination to carry through their struggle.

Concession demands rejected: Bath Shipyards struck

On July 1, over 4,500 shipyard workers struck the Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Maine. BIW is the largest private employer in Maine and one of the country's major shipyards. The workers are fighting against the company's arrogant concession demands.

The shipyard capitalists' final contract offer included a three-year wage freeze, reduced health insurance benefits, job-combining work rule changes, and a two-tier pay scale which would permanently lower the wage scale of new hires by $3 per hour. As one striker put it, "What they are basically asking us to do is to sell out our own sons and daughters.''

This insult of a proposal was resoundingly defeated by the workers by a vote of 3,500 to 24.

The shipyard workers' are joining hands with 375 clerical workers who have been striking BIW since April 21. At that time the shipyard workers struck in solidarity, overcoming the backward tradition of the shipyard union bureaucrats who frequently pressured workers into crossing each others picket lines. Unfortunately, this solidarity was broken by the hacks from the clerical workers' union who demanded that the shipyard workers return to work on the ridiculous claim that allowing paperwork to pile up would bring more pressure on the capitalists than joint struggle.

Now, however, the shipyard and clerical workers are picketing together, staffing a common kitchen, and on July 28, they organized a thousand workers strong march and solidarity rally.

At the same time, community support for the strike is growing. Small shops have been donating food to the strikers, hospital workers are helping the strikers with health care, and workers from other companies in the area have been joining the picket lines and raising money for the strike fund.

The Game Plan of the Monopolies and the Navy: Pitting Worker Against Worker

The BIW capitalists cannot plead poverty or lack of work. The shipyard was bought out by the Congoleum monopoly in 1979. Since that time it has been making huge profits, while since 1981 it has paid no federal income taxes. (Congoleum's greed is also shown by the fact that workers in its floor and rubber divisions are also currently striking against the monopoly's concession demands.)

Despite its huge profits, Bath Iron officials have been urging the workers for over a year to accept contract concessions. They claim that competition in the defense-oriented industry is fierce and could leave BIW without enough work to survive.

In one pitch for concessions, the capitalists claimed that to win the bid to build the first ship of a new class of guided-missile destroyers (a project that could ultimately bring $4.5 billion or more in work) labor costs had to be trimmed. The shipyard capitalists would never consider cutting their bloated profits to win a bid. On no, it is the workers who must always sacrifice. BIW won the lucrative Navy contract and immediately announced that "the next challenge will be to build the ship within the bid price and get the inside track on the contracts for 29 more destroyers the Navy plans to build.'' (Boston Globe, April 7, 1985) Translated into English this means "the next challenge'' is to continue to pressure the workers for concessions. The workers at BIW are not swallowing this lie.

The propaganda of the shipyard capitalists and the Navy is aimed at pressuring the workers at the different yards to compete against each other over who will take the lowest wages and the worst working conditions. This was clearly shown by last summer's report that when the first wage cut talks were held between the West Coast shipyard capitalists and the workers, BIW officials demanded a reopening of their contract in order to "cut wages so the pay scale can stay proportionately below the West Coast.'' (Seattle Times, July 27,1984)

Meanwhile, a Navy source chimed in, "It's a captive labor force. The people in Maine don't have much choice. Either they build ships or they pick worms.'' (Forbes,September 10,1984)

But the workers do have a choice, and that is to fight back. Last month the workers at Todds shipyards in Seattle rejected new concessions demands. They received support from shipyard workers in Southern California. As well, workers at the Todds shipyards in New Orleans are presently waging a strike against a $3.35 per hour wage cut. And now the BIW workers are also striking against concessions. By rising in struggle, and linking arms in solidarity, the workers can beat back the concessions drive of the capitalists and their government all across the country.

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Down with the racist gang attacks in Chicago

Build the anti-racist movement!

(Below we publish two articles based on reports from the Party Branch in Chicago.)

Two black workers ambushed in Canaryville

On Wednesday, July 10, Carl Smith and Ulysses Guard were out for a drive to visit a friend. They were two young black workers on the south side of Chicago relaxing on a hot day. Around 6 p.m. they detoured over to South Union Avenue to avoid some road construction. They pulled up behind what appeared to be a stalled car in front of Tilden High School, in the 4700 block in the Canaryville neighborhood. As they were starting to get out of the car to offer help, the trap closed. A gang of 20 or so racist thugs swept down like a pack of gutless jackals to beat the men, smash up their car and chase them out of the area on foot.

White power stickers had appeared around the mostly black school earlier that day. Coincidence? Hardly. Canaryville is one of several areas where racist gangs are cultivated by the police, the Democratic Party machine and the nazi worshippers. They act as storm troops for blockbusting and redlining -- a "tradition" of "enforcers" for Jim Crow segregationism "up south" since the early 1900's.

There were two arrests: two out of 20. And listen to the charges: criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct, simple battery. That's all they faced for trying to bash black people's brains out -- that is, when the police bother to bring charges at all. There are more "investigations" on the way, but everyone in the community knows who these barbarians are already.

The police, the FBI and the bourgeois politicians aren't serious about breaking up these racist gangs. The only thing they are serious about is breaking up any movement against the racists, any "getting out of hand." They "investigate" endlessly to maintain the illusion that the same government that lurks behind the organized racists is trying to clean up its house. Occasionally they make charges against one or two. And the base of the gang stays intact. More often than not the only charges made are against the victim, especially if they were able to fight back. "Justice" in America -- a fraud and an outrage.

Black mother and sons attacked in segregated Bridgeport

On Saturday, June 11, Mrs. Mary Wilson packed up her four sons and headed out to visit her mother at a senior citizens' home in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood. At 28th and Stewart, a racist gang was hanging out on the street comer drinking beer. Seeing the Wilsons' car in this tightly segregated community, they shouted racial slurs at the family, hurled rocks at the car and threw a bucket of ice into the window. Two thugs grabbed Mrs. Wilson's 17-year-old son by the throat and dragged him from the car. Within minutes, six of the racist thugs were beating the black youth with sticks and a baseball bat. With the aid of a white resident of the home, Mrs. Wilson helped her son fight off his attackers the best he could, allowing him to escape.

The most brazen of the racist scum pulled out a revolver and shot after the youth. Angered that he had missed, the racist jumped into the car and put his gun to the head of Mrs. Wilson's seven-year-old. "This is a young nigger," he called to his cohorts, "Let's shoot him before he grows up." An elderly white woman pulled the child from the car and away from these racist would-be murderers. It should be noted that this ringleader with the revolver was recognized as the son of a Chicago cop, who was on duty in the area at the time but conveniently absent from the scene.

Despite the mother's angry protests, despite detailed information given to a black newspaper, and despite identification of the culprits by the residents, no charges have been filed against the racists. It's all being "investigated." Surprised?!

This type of attack is more than an occasional flash in the papers. Reported incidents of racial assaults in the Chicago area have increased 23.3% from 1983 to 1984. (Chicago Reporter, January 1985) Several of the attacks reported in the first part of this year have been particularly life-threatening and intense.

There are lessons to be learned here -- important lessons on which way to go.

Black people and other victims of the racists in or out of police uniform must of course defend themselves by any means necessary. But there is more to the struggle than resistance to individual attacks. Much more.

We must build up a mass movement to fight for the liberation of the black people. The tasks which faced the black people's movement in the 1960's and1970's have not yet been resolved. There has been progress. In most of the country the most brazen features of Jim Crow segregation are gone. This testifies to the power of the big actions of those days, and to the militant persistence of the black people and anti-racist fighters of all nationalities.

But there is still a long row to hoe. This is shown by daily incidents which demand that the black people still have to fight for their lives just in order to live or move about where they choose.

Who will organize this movement? What class will serve as the backbone of the big struggles that are sure to come? Who will distribute the anti-racist literature and build the basis for tomorrow's powerful resurgence? Who will build the mass anti-racist organizations? Only the working class can fulfill this role.

The media tries to play up the fact that there are workers among the backward brownshirts of the segregated communities. They don't talk about the fact that often whites come out to protect the victims of the attackers.

And the fact is that also among the residents are workers who have learned in many struggles, including in the day-to-day struggles against the capitalists' concessions drives and speedups in the factories, that the whole class must be united or we will be stripped to the bone. The same lesson applies to social issues like segregated housing and racist attacks.

One more lesson to think about is the fact that the left wing of the Democratic Party is like the rest of the Democratic Party when it comes down to the nitty-gritty. They are firmly opposed to any sort of mass activation of the black people to fight the racist attacks and other forms of racial oppression that are so much a part of capitalist society. An occasional march is okay, so long as it doesn't get out of hand. Keep electing Democrats and getting black faces into high places, that's their answer.

In this regard, Mayor Harold Washington's silence on these attacks has been stunning. Many of these attacks take place in Ed Burke's 14th ward. (Vrdolyak and Burke are Mayor Washington's white racist arch-enemies on the City Council.) But rather than fight them on this issue, fighting for the destruction of the racist gangs, Washington pursues the "council wars'' over dividing up the pie of city government. He has installed Fred Rice, a black police chief, but the business of racist attacks continues as usual.

This shows that it is not color but political stand that makes the difference. The Democratic Party, especially its left wing, presents itself as the alternative for those who want to fight racism. This is no alternative at all. The real alternative for the workers and the black people is to build their struggle independent of the political parties of the rich -- Republicans and Democrats. The MLP calls on the black people, the workers and all anti-racists to take up the political stand we've presented here.

Down with the racist gang attacks and the government that organizes them!

Build the anti-racist movement!

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Oakland, California

Condemn the racist police murder of 14-year-old Maurice Phillips

On Monday, May 20, the Oakland Police Department arrested 14-year-old Maurice Phillips who was accused of taking a photographer's camera from the Oakland Boys' Club. On May 29, just six days after being released from custody, Maurice died. The Alameda Coroner's Office, the OPD and the capitalist Tribune are all attributing Maurice's death to "natural" causes. But the workers and youth in the black community are not buying this. Outraged, their view is: the cause of Maurice's death is about as natural as those of 15-year-old Melvin Black in 1979 and 14-year-old Tyrone Guyton in 1974 -- racist murder by the police!

One eyewitness reported that, during the arrest, Maurice's arm was twisted and he was repeatedly struck in the head and face. Moments, before, according to a witness, one of the cops was seen "twirling his stick" and was overheard threatening Maurice that if the camera didn't turn up "we're going to whip your ass."

The racist police murders of Melvin, Tyrone and others have taught the workers and youth bitter lessons about how the police can coolly commit murder and go unpunished and even receive praise. The masses have seen that all the various agencies of the capitalist government (coroner, DA, courts, mayor, etc.) are like a choir that sings in perfect harmony when called upon to lie, to cover up, or to "justify" police crimes.

Acutely aware there were several witnesses to their crimes, the arresting officers, with the innocence of Webster, admitted that they did "push Phillips back into the police car" because they "thought he was trying to get out." What touching display of honesty! From the jump the good ol' boys of the Oakland Police Department's Internal Affairs Division were in tune with this story.


At the same time there is certain trickery that they are required to go through in order to cool the outrage of the masses. They immediately launched an "investigation." The purpose of their investigation, nevertheless, was to cover up and if necessary justify police murder. First they worked overtime at intimidating and discrediting witnesses. After canvassing a 9-block area and interviewing over 80 persons they dismissed as "hearsay" anything that people had said contradicting the police story.

Then, wrapping up their painstaking investigation they concluded that they "do not feel the arresting officers acted improperly or used excessive force" in savagely beating Maurice. Surprised?

Remember, it was only a case of "faulty judgement" when Melvin Black was shot 13 times by the OPD! The OPD's investigation of itself in connection with the death of Maurice Phillips proved once again that beatings and even murders are a routine part of police work in the black community, the work of maintaining the oppressive dog-eat-dog conditions of capitalism.

The youth and working masses have a proud history of answering the call to struggle against police repression. The mass meetings, protests and rallies following the police murders of Melvin Black, Charles Briscoe and seven other blacks in 1979 and 1980 represent a significant chapter in this history, full of many important lessons. The emergence and growth of the Black Panther Party here in the late 1960's is still another chapter in this history containing valuable lessons. One bitter lesson stands out clearly which must be taken to heart in organizing mass struggle against police terror like the murder of Maurice, is that the masses need to rely on their own mass actions (demonstrations, pickets, etc.) to resist police terror. As well, the ladies and gentlemen at City Hall, the coroner's office, the Tribune, or the NAACP can never be trusted to carry out such life or death tasks.

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In the tradition of Henry Ford

Dearborn, Mi. city officials out to segregate city parks

On July 16, a proposal to restrict the parks in Dearborn, Michigan to "residents only" was narrowly defeated in the Dearborn City Council. Dearborn officials claim this measure would combat overcrowding, but they are fooling no one. "Residents only" are just code words for "whites only" because this Detroit suburb of over 90,600 people is almost totally segregated. What this ordinance amounts to is a measure to enforce further segregation and declare the area off-limits to black people residing in nearby Detroit, In other words, for black people from Detroit to picnic, relax or otherwise enjoy themselves in a Dearborn Park would be a "crime"; a crime so terrible it would carry a punishment of 90 days in jail and a $500 fine!

The ordinance was voted down in the city council by 4-3, a slim margin of defeat. The racists do not intend to let this issue die, however; a "substitute" ordinance is now pending.

Dearborn was built up as an all-white community by the Ford family, the notoriously racist founders of the Ford Motor Company. Segregation was encouraged and safeguarded by the local government and police. Although black workers labored side by side with white workers from Dearborn in the nearby Ford Rouge plant, the blacks were excluded by the capitalists from living in Dearborn and suffered shakedowns and searches by the racist police if they even drove through the town. Eventually many Arab workers were allowed into Dearborn slums, but blacks continued to be driven away so that there are today still only 100 black residents of Dearborn.

Segregation has been taken for granted in Dearborn. Now, in a local election year, it's become a topic of hot debate. Doug Thomas, a die-hard racist and long-time city council member, is running on an openly segregationist platform. He sponsored the racist parks ordinance and his intentions are clearly stated: ban the "out-of-towners" and "troublemakers" from Detroit. "I hate to be quoted as saying it's a racial issue," he bellows, "however...the proximity of Tireman Ave. allows Detroiters to use the park. I guess a number of them would be black." What filth!

Others running for office conceal their bigotry and promote themselves as opponents of the ordinance. The current mayor, John O'Reilly, says he'll veto it if it passes. But this hardly makes him a staunch defender of the black people's rights. His only objection to this law is that it would be "impossible to enforce." What else can you expect from the former police chief of Dearborn's infamous racist police department?

The Dearborn officials are wondering why there's such a fuss over their "whites only" ordinance. After all, they remind us, Dearborn's pools and tennis courts and the city-owned park known as Camp Dearborn are already restricted to "residents only" and virtually segregated. And their segregation-mates in a number of Detroit's rich suburbs have already done the same thing. Indeed, anyone driving up Jefferson Avenue into Grosse Pointe and St. Clair Shores is warmly greeted with "PRIVATE BEACH," "NO STOPPING," "KEEP OUT," "RESIDENTS ONLY." One gets the impression that automotive failure could result in immediate arrest! You can look but don't stop or even think about entering. This is Dearborn's model.

The Dearborn city officials' mission of total segregation is not yet complete. They want to be just like Grosse Pointe, they say.

And not much different from Johannesburg, South Africa, we might add. Segregated schools and communities, "whites only" parks and recreation facilities, pass I.D. cards and racial tyranny. South African apartheid is the beacon for the racists in this country who yearn for the "good ole days" of American Jim Crow when blacks "knew their place."

Turning back the clock is part of what the Reaganite offensive is all about. It's an offensive that condones racist attacks, letting the police go scot-free when they murder innocent youth and elderly women, but threatens to jail and fine black people $500 when they sit on the wrong park bench! It's an offensive to encourage segregation by trying to keep the black masses in "their own" neighborhoods, "their own" schools and "their own" parks.

The Dearborn parks issue isn't over yet. The racists may have been hindered a bit for now, but the outcome of the substitute ordinance is yet to be seen. Working masses, white and black, are correct in denouncing this as a blatant segregationist drive to keep some of the area's best parks and facilities off-limits to black people. The Dearborn officials are fooling no one with their lies and empty debates of the issue. History has taught us that the way to fight these racist plans is through mass struggle. Upholding the militant traditions of the black people's movement is the answer to the racism of the Reaganite offensive.

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In the wake of the racist bombing of West Philadelphia

In the wake of the bombing of West Philadelphia, city hall has continued its persecution of the black group MOVE. Ramona Africa, the only adult survivor of the police assault on the MOVE home, has had a list of trumped-up charges filed against her, including aggravated assault, riot, criminal conspiracy, and on and on. Though badly burned, she has been thrown in jail with bail set in the millions.

Also, there are reports that some other MOVE members, imprisoned before the May 13 police assault, have been transferred to separate facilities and thrown in solitary confinement to further isolate and persecute them.

Adding insult to a barbaric outrage, the owner of the MOVE house, whose son was murdered by the police in the bombing, has now been sent a bill from the city for the demolition of the house.

Meanwhile, police brutality continues with a vengeance in Philadelphia. When a police officer was recently found dead in his car, the police took the opportunity to run roughshod over the Puerto Rican community -- making mass arrests of the youth, interrogating and detaining them for long hours.

The natural response of the national minority and other working people to racist brutality is to condemn it. This was the response of the masses to the assault on the MOVE house at the time, as blacks who lived in the area gathered at the police barricades and loudly denounced the bombing as an act of murder. Several were arrested. Afterwards meetings and demonstrations have taken place to protest this racist atrocity.

But the response of the people was not as forceful as it might have been due to the dirty role of the black bourgeois leaders. In general the black politicians and preachers echoed the police lies about MOVE to justify the attack as "necessary," and the great majority of them applauded the assault and praised Goode for this "strong leadership." While almost the entire black officialdom across the country have given their blessing to Goode's police assault, they are generally being pretty quiet about it. They face the dilemma that one of their own -- a black bourgeois and a Democratic Party politician -- has jumped out for all to see as a tool of the bloody oppression of the black people. They are nervous that a denunciation of Goode will make it more difficult for them to put themselves forward as leaders of the anti-racist struggle, especially at a time when they too are guilty of collaboration with the Reaganite racist offensive against black working people.

There is a handful of black politicians -- such as congressmen Gus Savage of Chicago and John Conyers of Detroit -- who have been making known their criticism of Goode. They too want to protect the Democratic Party politicians and the black bourgeoisie from being discredited among the working class and poor blacks; but they have a different approach. They militantly criticize the bombing as a '"mistake" (a bombing that was being carefully planned for over 18 months!), and they attempt to take the heat off Goode by placing the blame on Goode's white subordinates.

To cool out the masses they are floating the inevitable government "investigation,'v as if what happened on Osage Avenue is such a mystery. Conyers has launched an inquiry, which, according to his legislative director, is going to look into "whether there were violations of the MOVE sect's civil rights, whether the bombing was necessary and what were the alternatives." (Chicago Defender, July 2,1985) How reassuring!

The working people don't need a congressional investigation to understand the police assault on MOVE. It has provided rich lessons on the brutal and racist nature of capitalist rule, and about the black bourgeois politicians like Mayor Goode.

At the July 4 celebrations in Philadelphia, Goode gave a talk on "freedom in America." In response to demonstrators protesting the police bombing and murders, Goode came up with the same patriotic hypocrisy dished out by Reagan on similar occasions: "That's one of the great things about America," Goode lectured, "everyone has the right to protest against his government."

But what he failed to add is that, in capitalist America, watch out if you are a revolutionary, or if you stand up to the arbitrary dictates of the government, or even if you just defend yourself from police violence as MOVE did, or if you are black! When the government declares it "necessary," it will not hesitate to shoot you, bomb you and burn you out. Goode didn't mention this on July 4, but this was the message he delivered on that infamous evening of May 13.

The bombing of West Philadelphia has provoked outrage across the country and around the world. Below we reprint three expressions of this outrage. First, there is part of a leaflet issued by the comrades of the Philadelphia Committee in Support of the MLP, which condemns the city government and calls for mass struggle against racist attacks. Second, there are some excerpts from an "Information Bulletin" from anti-racist activists we received with an article entitled "The Philadelphia Massacre: Murder Cover-up, and the Modern- day Uncle Tom in the 'City of Brotherly Love.' " And finally, there is a statement we received from Africa signed by militant activists in Ghana condemning the Philadelphia massacre.

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A racist atrocity

(The following article is taken from a leaflet issued by the Philadelphia Committee in Support of the MLP,USA on June 3, 1985.)

On Monday, May 13, 1985, sixty homes in a black working class neighborhood of West Philadelphia were burnt to the ground by W. Wilson Goode and the Philadelphia police force. Even more incredible than the event itself is the alleged reason why this neighborhood was allowed to be bombed and then totally devastated by fire. The questions still burn among the smoldering ash and rubble of Osage Avenue... And Wilson Goode answers them.

The bombing and devastation of this neighborhood was "necessary" in order to evict the MOVE organization from their home at 6221 Osage. Just as in Viet Nam it was often necessary to "destroy villages in order to save them." Wilson Goode and the Philadelphia police force with police state terror tactics "brought the war home" to this neighborhood in Philadelphia, turning it first into a free fire zone and then into a smoldering heap of rubble...

Instead of criticism, in fact the local bourgeois media has been quick to point out "forthrightness" and willingness to "accept responsibility" in this atrocity as proof of his good intentions...Goode nationally [has] become the sweetheart of the reactionary right. Los Angeles Police Commissioner Darryl Gates called Goode "an inspiration to the nation! I hope he runs for national office. He certainly made my heroes' list. And that's not a long list." Fortunately for the working class and people of this country, that's not a long list. Yet as Goode becomes a hero of the "bomb them back into the stone age" reactionaries, we are told we must respect and be satisfied by his sincerity and willingness to accept "full responsibility" for his right-wing paramilitary adventurism.

All this rings extremely hollow in the face of Goode and company's total lack of any form of remorse and their cheap and facile promises to rebuild Osage Avenue to make it "whole" again. Goode does display a genuine sincerity when he states that the city would indeed follow the same course of action again. And it is certainly his "forthright" reactionary nature that comes through when he asserts that all revolutionaries would be handled similarly. Such honesty!

While Wilson Goode should indeed be held accountable for the bombing in West Philadelphia, he did not act alone. At his side during all the press conferences stood his chief henchman, Chief of Police, Gregore Sambor. And behind them, Maj. Leo Brooks, City Managing Director and Fire Commissioner Richmond. While Goode was being generally defended by the bourgeois media, Sambor was already establishing himself as the new answer to Frank Rizzo. The only difference being that Rizzo is a shrewd fascist while Sambor appears to be a uniquely dumb one. While the bourgeois media regularly poses the question of whether Sambor took matters strictly into his own hands as far as the decision to let the fire burn or even the initial decision ta drop the infamous "percussion" device, his storm trooper behavior speaks for itself. Since becoming Police Commissioner, Sambor has exhibited his zealous suppression of the masses numerous times. He organized an operation that sent police to many street comers deemed to have "criminal types" on them. Everyone within any proximity of the "criminal corner" was then arrested. Forget even the slightest detail sham of constitutional rights, Sambor was on a mission....He plays his swaggering role to the hilt, enjoying this latest display of state terror in all its glory.

In contrast to his performance stands Fire Commissioner William Richmond who openly wept tears of gratitude that no lives were lost in the fire. What then had those body parts being removed from the MOVE house once been? In the city's formulation they were not lives, merely the enemy. Just 11 lives that did not count.

The city bears responsibility for the acts of...terror against MOVE and the Osage neighborhood. If unpaid taxes and violation of city sanitation laws were just cause for bombing, why then has Wilson Goode not used his fire power against slumlords and the Philadelphia Housing Authority itself? While thousands are forced to live in the most despicable conditions, the city does nothing to even fine the landlords. The hypocrisy behind the city's "need" to bomb MOVE is overwhelmingly apparent....

The atrocity committed against [MOVE] and the Osage community brought people to the fire barricades that Monday evening. The cries of "murder" crackled in the air as the community continued to bum. Police were confronted by angry masses denouncing them for their inhuman, fascist destruction. And the police responded with more terror, more arrests. By the end of the evening, 28 people had been arrested. The people were determined to show their outrage and indignation at the mindless destruction of their community. The need to take up mass struggle against such racist and fascist attacks is evident.

The bombing of Philadelphia along with the racist police murders, beatings and terror attacks across the nation are aimed at terrorizing the working masses and stopping them from rising up against their oppression. But these tactics will certainly backfire as each new atrocity kindles the sparks of outrage and rebellion.

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Murder, Cover-Up, and the Modern-Day Uncle Tom in the 'City of Brotherly Love'

(The following article is excerpted from the June 1985 "Information Bulletin'' published by anti-racist activists.)

May 12, 1985 will be a day to remember, the day of the Philadelphia Massacre.

On that date, at least 11 Afro-American women, men and children were murdered at the hands of the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD), the city's fire department, and its Afro-American mayor, Wilson Goode. The police dropped a bomb on the home of the MOVE organization, forcibly evacuated people from at least 53 homes in the surrounding community, and allowed an entire neighborhood to burn to the ground on this day of mass death and destruction.

Newspaper and magazine articles of the capitalist press paint the picture of a house full of nasty Afro-Americans who had terrorized their neighborhood and who, in the past, had murdered police, finally meeting their fate (mass murder) at the hands of a determined police department and mayor who were fed up and forced into action.

This analysis is, of course, the furthest thing from the truth.

Far from being a "simple" raid by the police that "accidentally" resulted in mass death and destruction, the actions of the state in Philadelphia shed greater light on the sharpness of the conflict between the Afro-American workers and masses and the U.S. political-economic system, U.S. imperialism.

By having a black mayor authorize the massacre of other blacks (MOVE), whose only "crime" was being black and resisting police terror, U.S. imperialism made a serious statement to the Afro-American workers, masses, activists and militants of the U.S. working class itself: Unless you follow the line of class collaboration, you will be targeted for attack, whether your mayor is an Afro-American or not. We will come after you with all we've got, terrorize you, slander you, and do whatever we feel we have to do to try and break your back. This is the underlying meaning of Wilson Goode's statement prior to the Massacre: "We intend to take control of the MOVE house by any means necessary," and his statement following the attack: "It worked perfectly according to plan." This expresses the true meaning of U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese's comments a few days later. Meese called the Massacre "a good example for us all to take note of."

The Bombing

The bombing was taken directly from the "helicopter" war of aggression of the U.S. against Viet Nam, and was a serious escalation of the military use of police helicopters against the workers and masses in the U.S. Never before in U.S. history had a helicopter been used by the domestic military to bomb a house or an office, but in Viet Nam -- and in Grenada -- this was the rule, not the exception!...

The MOVE massacre occurs in a period of growing repression against revolutionary trade unionists, Afro- American activists and others waging struggle against U.S. imperialism. Class conscious fighters have been faced with grand jury persecution, arrests, pre-dawn police raids and libel suits. While it is not a good practice to speculate too much in political affairs, it is foolish not to learn from the pages of history and to draw the correct conclusion -- namely, that the U.S. government aids and encourages repression against the people's movements. The capitalist press plays an important propaganda role in this process....

Will this incident help to tear off the mask of fairness and justice that U.S. monopoly wears? Will it provide another tragic and bitter lesson in political education? There is already outrage, shock and disbelief. But to bring home the class realities, the class truth and the class demands of the period will require revolutionary organization, analysis and struggle, especially as to the nature of the government and the role played by the reactionary Afro-American politician of today, and the historical tasks facing the Afro-American masses, and all the workers and the masses living under U.S. imperialist rule.

It is extremely important to target the reactionary Afro-American politician for political struggle and defeat by the forces of the Afro-American liberation and working class democratic movement. This reality is underscored by the fact that it was a black elected official that carried out the Philadelphia Massacre against an Afro-American organization and community. These politicians are constantly paraded by the ruling class as role models for the Afro-American youth and people. Being a partner in crime against the oppressed is no role model to follow!...

The reactionary collaborators are an integral part of this nationwide mechanism of oppression.

The fact that this reality is not grasped immediately by masses and workers is not unusual. This is an international phenomenon that has appeared throughout history. All oppressed peoples and masses and workers are dominated by the ideological and political influence of the historically dominant class, the bourgeoisie. The opposition to national, women's and class oppression only takes the form of struggles within the confines of capitalism unless the struggles are influenced and eventually led by a political force representing the class conscious political movement of the workers and masses. The only way to accomplish this is through national and international proletarian revolutionary organization and struggle. It is this need, this burning need, that those who will take the long view, the revolutionary view, are faced with in the wake of the Philadelphia Massacre and other events that indicate a growing counterrevolutionary offensive against the masses, workers and liberation movements today, against the rising tide for freedom that is emerging out of the rubble of Philadelphia's Osage Avenue, out of the townships of Azania (South Africa), the streets of the Philippines, Central America, and the lines of the employed and unemployed across the world.

Expose and denounce Wilson Goode as a murderer and an Uncle Tom!

The role of the U.S. government, and the press, in the massacre must be exposed and denounced!

The demand for immediate reparations to the families of the murdered and homeless is a just demand that must be supported!

All charges must be dropped against the survivors of the massacre!

The police must be singled out for special exposure and condemnation, not only for their vicious attack in Philadelphia, but for their general practice of brutality, murder and terrorism against the workers and masses!

The true role of the Uncle Tom politicians must be made crystal clear in political struggle!

A class conscious vanguard movement and trend must be built!

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Philadelphia massacre denounced by activists in Ghana

(The following statement, issued June 16, 1985, was received from Ghana.)

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, condemn the unprovoked, brutal massacre of innocent, defenseless civilians, including babies -- supposed members of the black organization MOVE, and the subsequent destruction by fire of 61 homes in Philadelphia in the early hours of Monday, May 12, 1985.

This Philadelphia massacre by the repressive pigs (the police) on the orders of lieutenants of the American Hitler is only one of the countless number of outrageous, bestial attacks and murder of radicals in America in recent times, all in the name of "resurgent America." It represents the decadence of the entire facade of bourgeois democracy as they feverishly prepare to plunge the world into another world war of plunder and misery to protect their empire of slavery and profit.

This atrocious act of theirs is meant to cower all opposed to their murderous, imperialist plans into submission. It is a criminal act, man. It is reminiscent of the infamous crystal act of 1938 when Hitler's forces signaled the beginning of their hideous attack on homes, shops and synagogues of Jews. And like 1938 all kinds of lies are being told to drag a section of the community, and even part of the oppressed to whom this holocaust is directed, to support their deed.

Let Mayor Goode and city director [Brook] Parsons (a former U.S. Army General) and all the agents of the American Hitler know that WE refuse to buy their lies. We know them for what they are and we understand their imperialist mentality very well

Carry your weapons to space, produce another cheap fix as you did in Grenada, cry to god over the skies -- America, your empire of profit will be dismantled.

While we, the undersigned, do not necessarily agree or endorse every view or political action of MOVE we appreciate their presence and the courage with which their conviction is lived in the belly of the beast.

We call on all proletarians the world Azania to Peru, El Salvador to Sri-Lanka win more victories in tribute to all who fell in this barbarous Philadelphia massacre. Oppressed of the world unite!

A luta continua!

1. Yaw Opagya, Accra, Ghana

2. Health Students for Social and Political Action (HSSPA), Ghana

3. The CORE

4 Tony Annan, Accra, Ghana

5. Kwame Hlardzi, Lakpo, Ghana

6. Confidence Sedziafa, Keta, Ghana

7. Bagasha Kando, Kumasi, Ghana

8. Kofi Normanyo, Akatsi, Ghana

9. Ebo Anakama, Accra, Ghana

10. Charles Koranteng, Nkawkaw, Ghana

11. Chris Avotri, Accra

12. Simmons Minnaw, W, Accra

13. K. Ofori-Darko, Sunyani

14. Nana Kofi Apraku, Sunyani

15. Kwasi Denu, Kumasi

16. Amafu Dey, Fransis, Ho

17. Charlotte Aboh, Keta

18. Catherine Amenyawu, Accra

19. Faustina Asare, Koforidua

20. Agyire Sackey, Accra

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Reagan's appeal to the Supreme Court

More 'pro-life' hypocrisy

On July 15, the Reagan administration launched another attack on the democratic rights of women. In a brief filed with the Supreme Court by Attorney General Edwin Meese, the government demanded that the court overturn its 1973 ruling which legalized abortion.

In 1973, feeling the pressure of the general mass ferment of the time, the Supreme Court granted certain concessions to the masses. Thus, in the case known as Roe vs. Wade, the court ruled that women had a constitutional right to choose whether to have an abortion in the first three months of pregnancy, and that the state governments could regulate abortion during the second trimester of pregnancy only to protect the mother's health.

However, since that decision, the government -- both Democratic and Republican politicians -- has been working to take back this democratic right.

In 1977, under the Carter administration, Congress passed a bill abolishing the use of Medicaid funds for abortions. Since then, at least 36 states have also cut off public funding for abortions. This is an attempt to prevent the poor from being able to decide whether to have an abortion or not, while the rich can do as they please.

In 1983 the Reagan administration entered into a case before the Supreme Court on the side of an Akron, Ohio law which imposed a long list of restrictions on abortions. Though the law was struck down as unconstitutional even by a Supreme Court full of Reagan appointees, the administration has persisted. Last year it declared that it would no longer provide funds to any organization which performs or actively promotes abortions. And now it has intervened again in a Supreme Court case, and this time even more boldly.

The case in question concerns state laws of Pennsylvania and Illinois which greatly restricted access to abortions. Federal courts of appeal ruled against major parts of both laws. But three months ago the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments on whether the two laws are unconstitutional. Then, with Reagan's blessings, Meese filed a so- called friend-of-the-court brief which denounces the 1973 ruling and openly calls for it to be overthrown so that the states can "regulate" abortions one by one. The case is expected to come up before the court in the spring, with rulings to be handed down next fall.

It should be noted that the Reagan administration position not only would ensure that the government interferes more with the private lives of the working people, but it would ensure that dozens of lawsuits and thousands of hours of court time would be taken up arguing the pros and cons of anti-abortion laws in every state of the union. This is another example of how Reagan builds up a huge, oppressive bureaucracy while shouting about opposing "big government."

The 1973 Supreme Court ruling that so upsets the Reagan administration did not, of course, mark the beginning of abortions, but simply made them legal nationwide so that medically safe abortions could be obtained by all who could afford ordinary medical care. Before then, while the wealthy could buy doctors or fly abroad for abortions, poor and working women suffered under the most unspeakable conditions. Many died or were mutilated at the hands of back-alley butchers. Today, as public funds have been increasingly cut off for abortions, the poor and working class women who can not afford them are already being thrown back into these intolerable conditions. Reversing the 1973 decision will step up this process even more.

The practice of abortion arises because contraceptive methods are not 100% effective, even when social conditions permit their use, and having unplanned children can drastically affect women's life. Some women decide to suffer any torments to have such unplanned children anyway, while others decide that an abortion will be best both for them and for their present or future families. Furthermore, the oppression of women under capitalism turns this problem into a mass issue. On one hand, medical knowledge and access to contraceptives is restricted, while backward social customs and social stigmas put major pressures on women. On the other hand, job discrimination, low and unequal pay, high unemployment, lack of adequate child care facilities, and the high cost of all basic necessities of life, mean that even if a woman decides that now is the time to devote herself to raising another chi!d, she may face a most difficult situation in feeding and clothing the child or in getting away from compulsory overtime so as to have some time to care for the child.

The claim of the Reaganites to be "pro-life" because they oppose abortion is grotesque hypocrisy. It is meant to play on the sentiments of people with an unclear idea of the conditions of the working masses and channel them into an anti-people and right-wing direction. It is notable how the same organizations that declaim so flowingly on the beauties of life in the womb paint the most ugly, horrible and ignorant pictures of the ideas of black teenagers, poor women, and anyone who is not 100% respectable in the eyes of the capitalist gentlemen. It is notable that the main "pro-life" organizations utter not a peep as the Reagan administration slashes every social program that offers some food, shelter or medical care to the working masses. And there is the most informative spectacle of the most moralistic "right-to-lifers" applauding the ravaging of Central America and the huge buildup in nuclear arms by the Pentagon. It seems that for the "pro-life" movement, life begins at conception and ends at birth. (But then again, they have also not protested the cutbacks in programs that protect the health of fetuses by providing food for poverty-stricken pregnant women. Let the fetus starve, so long as it survives long enough to be born.)

Denying the right to abortion will only increase the miseries of capitalism. Whether one personally wishes to utilize the right to abortion or not is not the issue. The issue is that the working class must defend the democratic rights of women and expose the anti-people hypocrisy behind the anti-abortion movement.

[Photo: Demonstrators rallied to the defense of a Seattle clinic besieged by right-wing anti-abortionists earlier this year.]

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Louis Farrakhan: peddler of black Reaganism

Last year, Louis Farrakhan, Minister of the Nation of Islam, came into prominence on the coattails of the Jesse Jackson election campaign. The capitalist media mills picked him up and have advertised him as a fiery and militant leader of the black people.

To cultivate this image, Farrakhan attacks "liberals" (at times linking this to his racist tirades against Jews), and he makes a regular practice of denouncing other black bourgeois spokesmen like Wilson Goode or Coleman Young. He ridicules them as "cowardly black leaders...too damned scared to lead the way." Since the Jackson campaign, billed as a "strong, uncompromising voice among black people," Farrakhan has been able to attract much larger audiences in the black communities across the country.

Farrakhan Backs the Capitalist Offensive Against the Black People

Farrakhan criticizes other black bourgeois leaders as "soft-peddling the civil rights struggle." True enough. In the face of the Reaganite racist offensive against the black people, the black politicians and self-styled leaders have played a dirty role, working to reconcile the black masses to every racist step of the capitalist rulers.

But where does Louis Farrakhan stand?

Does he stand up to the segregationist crusade of the government to throw the blacks out of the work places and schools? Hardly. Farrakhan is a straight up segregationist himself and won't utter a peep against Reagan's efforts to restore the apartheid-like slavery of Jim Crow segregation.

Or does Farrakhan stand up for the demands of the unemployed and impoverished black workers, who have borne the heaviest burden of the capitalist program of "Reaganomics"? To the contrary, he repeats all of the worn out racist and anti-worker lies of the Reaganites to justify their criminal policy of hunger and unemployment. And Farrakhan justifies the slashing of food stamps, health and welfare programs, driving the poorest section of blacks even deeper into poverty.

In the Nation of Islam's paper, Final Call, July '85, Farrakhan is quoted as saying: "the economy of the country is so weak today that Mr. Reagan must make cuts in order to save what he can." The article goes on: "Not blaming Mr. Reagan, Minister Farrakhan said 'Well that's not Mr. Reagan's fault, that's our own.'"

This is how Farrakhan shamelessly defends Reagan and his assault on the working class and the black people out of a touching concern for the "weak" economy of the capitalist billionaires.

In short, you won't find Mr. Farrakhan calling on the black people to get organized and fight the capitalist offensive of poverty, racial discrimination, and violent racist repression. But you will find him praising the chief racist Reagan, sworn enemy of the black people and mouthpiece of the capitalist oppressors. Instead of struggle, Farrakhan calls on the masses to turn the other cheek, to let Reaganomics take its course, and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

To justify this stand, Farrakhan spouts the filthiest slanders against the black people. "The American people are sick and tired of the presidents giving, giving, giving their (money) away... to the poor and minorities," Farrakhan explained to the Washington Post, "So the time, to me, is ripe for [black people to organize a business]... That will better race relations because 30 to 40 million American blacks have become an intolerable burden on society." (National Weekly Edition, March 18, 1985) Indeed, in the twisted vision of the capitalist, the black and other working people, whose labor has created all of the vast wealth in this country, are an "intolerable burden" because they are poor; but the presidents and capitalist billionaires, who grow fat on the labor of the black and white workers, are portrayed as the benefactors of the exploited and oppressed.

P.O.W.E.R. Is Black Reaganomics

Farrakhan's love for Reagan is rooted in his program of black capitalism. What Reaganomics has done for the wealthy whites, Farrakhan wants to do the same thing for the wealthy blacks. The working and poor blacks be damned.

In a discussion with reporters from the Washington Post last March, Farrakhan explained his admiration for Reagan. "Farrakhan spoke approvingly of President Reagan," the Post reported. "He said Reagan is on a par with Abraham Lincoln as a president trying to save the nation but faced with the core question of what to do about blacks. The answer, Farrakhan said, is for blacks to become economically strong by starting companies...." In other words, Reagan is bringing a new emancipation by pointing to the need for black capitalism -- just like the criminal Nixon did before and countless other dyed-in-the-wool racists over the decades. But Farrakhan is painting up black capitalism as his new-found wonder.

Over the past several months Farrakhan has trekked from Chicago to Houston, Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta, rolling the drums for a program called P.O.W.E.R. (People Organized and Working for Economic Rebirth), flailed as "an economic program designed to liberate blacks and other oppressed persons so they can control their own destiny." (Chicago Defender) But when the rolling of the drums has stopped, there's nothing there but the same old program -- buy black, build up black enterprise.

The real problem in the black community as Farrakhan sees it is: "If the economy that passes through the black community equals $190 billion... how come we're so poor? Because we're not buying wisely." He ardently agrees with Reagan: "President Reagan has said that the problem in the black community is that the money doesn't turn over enough. The money needs to turn over five or six times. Right now, it only turns over once." And the answer on which both Reagan and Farrakhan concur is to build up black capitalism through the greater exploitation of the black masses.

A Final Call report on Farrakhan's rallies for the P.O.W.E.R. program boldly declares: "HOUSTON'S BLACK ELITE COMES OUT FOR POWER." The article points out that: "In addition to politicians it includes respected business people, preachers and other movers-and-shakers." Indeed, it is this wealthy strata of bourgeois and aspiring petty bourgeois in the black community which hopes to gain from the P.O.W.E.R. program. Undoubtedly, word has gotten around that Libya's Colonel Khadafi recently gave P.O.W.E.R $5 million dollars to launch a new household products enterprise, and some of these elements are checking out the possibilities.

Though the Final Call advertises P.O.W.E.R. as "something new, something different", there is nothing hew about it. It is based on the same old capitalist hustle which led to the Nation of Islam's $800 million dollar empire of real estate, retailing, printing plants and social services.

Contrary to the hype in the capitalist media, Farrakhan is only a "strong voice" of black capitalist interests. And like the rest of the bourgeois black leaders, including those he ridicules, Farrakhan is standing on the side of the capitalist offensive against the black workers, youth and poor. So it is hardly surprising that we find this "uncompromising leader" bending over double to kiss Reagan's boots.

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Reagan supports the 'State of Emergency' of the South African racists

To the surprise of no one, the Reagan administration has come out in defense of the fascist "national emergency" declared by the racist Botha regime in South Africa. No sooner had the "emergency" gone into effect, than the U.S. State Department commented: "We hope sincerely that the unrest will abate rapidly, permitting the South African government to remove those measures and get on with the urgent business of reform." And State Department spokeswoman Anita Stockman, speaking sympathetically on behalf of the racists, added that the regime "felt compelled to institute new measures because the situation deteriorated in the past week."

Why Botha couldn't have written a better script himself! Echoing the lies of the South African rulers, the administration contends that slave master Botha is just a kind-hearted reformer whose humanitarian efforts are being blocked by the "unrest" of the blacks. Thus the administration denounces the mass struggle against apartheid as being against progress. And they support Botha's terrorist measures since he "felt compelled" to stop "unrest" of the ungrateful blacks. Two Reagan credos triumph again: "The bigger the lie the better" and "Blame the victim for the crimes of the oppressor."

As the post-"emergency" horror stories of the regime's atrocities began to come out, the administration attempted to cover up its clear support for the fascist regime. The White House mumbled a few words against apartheid and politely suggested that the measures weren't such a good idea after all, especially since they weren't having the desired result of crushing the mass rebellions.

However the administration tenaciously opposed any real action against the racist regime. The best the Reagan administration could do was threaten such empty gestures as delaying accepting the credentials of the new South African ambassador to the U.S. What a "powerful" stand! The South African masses are bleeding in the streets and Reagan cannot even pretend to be seriously concerned with their plight.

Meanwhile when imperialist France, a long-time oppressor of the African peoples, announced some token measures to protest the "emergency," the U.S. State Department condemned it. And in the United Nations, the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution for mandatory sanctions against South Africa and abstained on another resolution calling for suspending new investments in South Africa.

Indeed the administration affirmed it would not change its policy of "constructive engagement." Under "constructive engagement" U.S. imperialism has stepped up its military, economic and propaganda bolstering for the South African government. Thus Reagan's "punishment" for the increasing savagery of the Botha regime is a pledge of everlasting support.

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On the joint House/Senate sanctions bill

Putting a good face on U.S. support for apartheid

While the Reagan administration apologizes for the fascist "state of emergency" of the racist Botha regime, the Congress has been promising economic sanctions against South Africa. These sanctions are being billed as an effective means to fight against apartheid and Reagan's "constructive engagement" which offers all-round U.S. support for the regime. Fat chance!

The bill that was agreed upon by House and Senate conferees and already passed by the House consists of a few miniscule sanctions which at most will cause some minor inconveniences for the apartheid rulers. The bill's supporters claim its sanctions will do the following:

- ban Kruggerand sales in the U.S.

- ban the sale of goods used in nuclear production and computers to the South African government

- ban new bank loans to the South African government

But even these token measures will be rendered all but useless since they are riddled with exceptions and omissions. For example, the ban on Kruggerands can be lifted easily. All that is required is that apartheid-lover Reagan determine that the South African government is making progress on racial matters.

Bank loans can still go to South African banks and businesses who can then loan to the South African government.

And computer sales are only banned to those agencies of the racist government directly involved in suppression. Thus all the Botha regime would have to do is purchase computers for a non-banned agency and then transfer them to the police.

In short, the bill will be nothing more than a small irritation to the regime and will protect the flow of profits of the U.S. multinationals who reap a bonanza from the super-exploitation of blacks under apartheid.

We are not opposed to sanctions, but this bill is a sick joke. Indeed, the non-serious intentions of Congress were highlighted by the fact that a minor procedural technicality that would have forced debate on the bill past the normal length of this session of Congress by a day or two prevented the bill from coming to the Senate floor. The vote on the bill must now wait until September. Evidently the well-heeled Congressmen feel that opposing apartheid is not worth delaying a luxury vacation.

The token nature of the sanctions reflects the fact that Congress is not interested in a real fight against apartheid. They merely want to strike poses against apartheid in order to portray U.S. imperialism as a friend of the black South Africans. And they want to cautiously push the South African racists to make some small reforms in the apartheid system in order to forestall the revolutionary overthrow of apartheid.

Clearly, the liberation of the oppressed in South Africa will not come from the Democrats and Republicans in Congress. This task will be accomplished by the revolutionary struggle of the oppressed themselves. The American working masses can assist the South African masses by supporting the revolutionary movement in South Africa and opposing the fake "anti-apartheid" heroes of the halls of Congress.

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Bishop Tutu denounces militant actions of the black masses

The recent upsurge of struggle in South Africa has clearly shown the gulf that exists between the liberal policies of Bishop Desmond Tutu and the militant struggle of the black toilers of South Africa. Tutu has been promoted by the imperialist press as the foremost opponent of apartheid. But the events of recent weeks show that Tutu is more worried about the development of revolutionary struggle than fighting the racist Botha regime.

For some time Tutu has been chiding the masses for their just punishments of the sellout black officials and police informants. These black lackeys of the racists are involved in the suppression of the movement against apartheid. They are trading in the lives of the multitude of black heroes who they inform on in return for their miserable blood-money or who they shoot down on orders from their white racist superiors. Nevertheless, at a July 10 funeral protest in Duduza, Tutu intervened to save a known police agent from being beaten by the militant masses.

This shameful stand by Tutu was boldly denounced by the ordinary people at the funeral. When Tutu exclaimed to the crowd that punishing traitors "undermines the struggle" the masses replied, "No, it encourages the struggle!" and "Let the dog die!" Various people argued that the agent had personally informed on them. And a chant of "Guilty!" broke out through the crowd. Unfortunately, a friend of Tutu's was able to whisk the agent to safety.

Two weeks later, Tutu was at it again. During a mass funeral in KwaThema he announced that if the masses continue their retributions against agents of the racists, he would "collect my family and leave the country that I love very deeply." Well, well, this is quite revealing. Tutu has found it tolerable to live in the hell hole of white racist oppression for decades. But let the black masses rise up in militant struggle and Tutu is ready to pack his bags and run.

Tutu added that the retributions were no good because some alleged friends of the struggle might say "If these people are doing things like this, maybe they are not ready for freedom." Of course those who would actually say such things are no true friends of the movement. They are simply those who mouth words against apartheid but promote the standard lie of the slavemaster rulers that the blacks are too uncivilized to be granted freedom. For the "anti-apartheid" bishop to associate himself with such racist filth is scandalous.

While Tutu is threatening to have nothing to do with the black toilers, he has been begging for a meeting with the racist murderer, Botha. Evidently no matter what atrocities Botha commits, Tutu will not bolt the country but try to reach an agreement with the racist chieftain. This is because, despite their differences, Tutu agrees with Botha that it is necessary to stave off revolution in South Africa. Tutu dreads the revolution even more than he dreads the present system of white minority rule. But while Botha hopes to simply drown the revolution in blood, Tutu believes that the' only way to prevent revolution is through a reformist path of negotiations leading to a reconciliation with the racists.

While Tutu's policy sounds humane next to Botha's, in fact curtailing the militant struggle against apartheid will help Botha's efforts to crush the mass rebellions. The fact that the masses denounced Tutu's efforts to oppose their militancy shows that the treachery of Tutu's stand is being realized more and more by the fighting black workers and youth. The growth of opposition to the liberal misleaders like Tutu is an important step in the development of the revolutionary movement in South Africa.

[Photo: Youths celebrate atop car they overturned and set afire near Duduza, South Africa during funeral for four anti-apartheid activists. The car's owner was a police undercover agent exposed during the funeral and saved from the punishment he deserved only by the intervention of Bishop Desmond Tutu.]

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Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing:

The U.N. sanctions against South Africa

After the declaration by Botha of a "state of emergency," a number of Western capitalist powers began to protest to South Africa. The UN Security Council itself voted for voluntary sanctions against South Africa (mandatory sanctions were vetoed by the Reagan administration and the British Thatcher administration, which however only abstained on the vote for voluntary sanctions). A number of these countries withdrew their ambassadors from South Africa for consultations.

What's happening? Have the major European capitalist countries -- who enslaved the Africans and exploited Africa for decades -- suddenly become the saviours of the black masses of South Africa? Have notoriously racist capitalist governments like that in Australia suddenly become anti-racist heroes?

Not at all! The slightest examination of the steps against South Africa show that they are only steps taken for public display and have nothing to do with supporting the liberation movement.

Sanctions That Are Designed to Accomplish Nothing

To begin with, it can be recalled that the UN adopted mandatory sanctions in 1977 when it instituted an arms embargo against South Africa. Since then, the racist apartheid regime in South Africa has not had the slightest difficulty obtaining arms and supporting one of the most powerful armed forces in the world. UN sanctions proved to be a joke.

And the sanctions this time aren't even mandatory. They simply express the wish that various countries take the most minor steps against the regime. For instance, it is suggested that countries halt new investments in South Africa, while continuing existing investment. A show is made of restricting computer equipment that could be used by the police or army -- but how one is to prevent computers imported ostensibly for other purposes from being utilized for military purposes is a mystery that only the UN diplomats can fathom. In fact, the sanctions closely resemble the sanctions proposed in the loophole ridden bills in the U.S. Congress. (See the article "More holes than Swiss cheese/On the Gray-Kennedy 'Anti-Apartheid Act of 1985' " in the May 1 issue of The Workers' Advocate. The present bills in Congress are even weaker than the Gray-Kennedy Act.) The only measure that appears to have any content is a restriction on the sale of Krugerrands; and this appears to be a concession in response to the massive agitation carried on for years among the progressive masses against the sale of Krugerrands.

As a matter of fact, the sanctions are designed mainly for show, to make "symbolic" statements to the South African regime. When the capitalist powers really want to do something, like suppress a strike, they send police and troops. When they want to look good before the working masses, they send resolutions and symbolic gestures.

An Attempt to Forestall the Revolution

The purpose of the sanctions taken by the capitalist powers is not to support the liberation struggle. On the contrary, all of these countries are upset over the growth of revolution in South Africa. However, they differ somewhat from the South African government over the methods of suppressing it. They believe that murderous repression must be combined with co-opting the liberal and reformist forces. And so they condemn the South African racist regime's failure to hold talks with opponents of revolution who still have some prestige as being against apartheid. In particular, they condemn the Botha government for not talking with black liberal Bishop Desmond Tutu.

As well, the sanctions are designed to safeguard these countries from the anger of the African masses. The capitalist powers have supported South African racism for decades, and profited from the sweat and blood of the oppressed masses of South Africa. But they want to pose as friends of the black masses. France, for example, has been particularly active for years in working in Africa and instituting new forms of neo-colonial exploitation of the African people now that direct European colonialism has been replaced by a system of independent African states. This is why France was one of the countries to make a point of standing for sanctions against South Africa. With fancy declarations against South Africa in public, the capitalist powers hope to preserve the faith of the masses in them and to divert the masses from revolution.

This is why the sanctions are so toothless. The capitalist governments don't want to undermine the Botha regime; they simply want to help the white minority regime adopt a more effective policy. The sanctions are intentionally kept weak to avoid making things easier for revolution in South Africa. This is why even such a die-hard supporter of South Africa as Israel is considering joining the other capitalist countries in recalling its ambassador for "consultations." Israel collaborates closely with South Africa in building nuclear weapons, in exchanging experience in suppressing liberation movements, and in all all-around support -- but the recalling of ambassadors for consultations is so meaningless that even Israel can afford to take this allegedly stem protest against Botha.

Not so Different From the Reaganites

The Reagan administration is such fervent supporters of everything reactionary that they didn't even want to take symbolic measures against South Africa. Backing South African apartheid to the hilt, the Reaganites vetoed the suggested mandatory sanctions.

Nevertheless, when all is said and done, it turns out that the stand of the other capitalist powers and that of the U.S. isn't so different. The Reagan administration, which backs even the "state of emergency," nevertheless recalled its ambassador from South Africa for consultations. And this recall is the main thing which the other capitalist powers are doing.

Furthermore, even the conservative Reaganites in Congress are advising the Reagan administration that it is necessary to posture with sham sanctions. And the majority of the Democrats and Republicans have come to agreement to advise the South African regime to make better use of liberals and reformists such as Bishop Tutu. Thus it is possible that symbolic sanctions will pass even the Republican-dominated Senate.

There can be no illusions that the UN or the capitalist powers will bring down apartheid. It is only the revolutionary struggle of the oppressed masses that will bring down the infamous white minority regime in South Africa. Most capitalist powers simply hold that it is necessary to combine bloody repression with co-optation of the liberals and reformists and to make some minor modifications in the system of exploitation and oppression in South Africa. (The other capitalist powers see nothing wrong with the big stick, period.)

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Protests against U.S. intervention on the 6th anniversary of the Nicaraguan revolution

[Photos: Three hundred fifty people marched in the July 19 demonstration from midtown Manhattan to Tomkins Square Park. The march got an enthusiastic response among the working class and poor national minority community on New York's Lower East Side.]

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Managua in the summer of '85

(The following report was written by a member of the MLP delegation that recently visited Nicaragua.)

Reagan and the U.S. imperialists are gnashing their teeth at Nicaragua like a pack of wolves. As our delegation could plainly see, the economic, political, and military siege is tightening on the Nicaraguan revolution. The U.S. blockade and capitalist sabotage is causing grave shortages of everything and aggravating one economic calamity on top of the next. And under the skirts of the new Cardinal of the Catholic church, the reactionaries are starting to launch provocative demonstrations.

The growing war with the Somocista contras, the recent vote in Congress rubber-stamping Reagan's funds for these CIA-mercenaries, the June provocations on the Costa Rican border, and the new Congressional guidelines to justify Reagan's plans for invasion -- all of these things are agitating the Nicaraguan people. And it is well understood that U.S. imperialism is hellbent on bloody intervention against the Nicaraguan revolution.

U.S. intervention against Nicaragua is also a concern among the American people; and it is the duty of revolutionaries in the U.S. to mobilize the working people here at home against this criminal aggression of our "own" U.S. imperialist government. Understanding the political situation inside Nicaragua is an important part of building the solidarity movement. It brings clarity to the problem of what attitude we must take to the different political forces in conflict within Nicaragua itself.

The Alignment of Class Forces

The popular overthrow of the hated Somoza tyranny six years ago didn't put an end to the class conflict in Nicaragua. On the contrary. The revolution has only brought this conflict out from the shadow of fascist dictatorship, creating a broader arena for the struggle between the antagonistic classes. The petty-bourgeois Sandinista government, with its policy of class compromise, has tried to smother the class struggle under rhetoric about political pluralism and patriotic harmony; but despite the Sandinistas' best efforts, Nicaraguan society is gripped by sharp class contradictions which are determining the course of development of the Nicaraguan revolution.

In the "Report from Managua" from our January 1984 trip, we presented detailed description of the alignment of class forces in Nicaragua since the victory over Somozism (see The Workers' Advocate, February 10, 1984). In our recent trip we saw these class forces standing out in even starker contrast. The three big class forces at work are:

THE WORKING CLASS AND POOR PEASANTS: These toiling classes were the main combatants on the anti-Somoza barricades. And they are the ones with the greatest interest in defending the gains of the revolution, and carrying forward the struggle against the imperialists, capitalists and landlords towards the proletarian revolution and socialism. The workers of the cities and the countryside and the poor peasants are represented by the proletarian party MAP/ML along with its trade union center Workers Front (Frente Obrero or FO).

Our Party holds that we must work for solidarity with the Nicaraguan workers and poor peasants, who are the makers of the revolution and the backbone of defense against intervention. We must lend our support to the Marxist-Leninist forces of the Nicaraguan working class, to MAP/ML, which is working hard to organize the toilers as an independent force, to defend the gains of the revolution and to deepen the revolutionary struggle.

THE COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY BOURGEOISIE: The big capitalists and landlords in Nicaragua still hold enormous economic power, and they are working feverishly to reestablish their political tyranny. These classes are tied with a thousand threads to the CIA and U.S. imperialism and make up the social base of the U.S.-backed counterrevolution. Inside the country the bourgeois reaction is represented by the so-called "democratic opposition," which is a coalition of the rightist political parties, the business associations, the chieftains of the Catholic church, the bosses of the right-wing trade unions backed by the AFL-CIO, and the yellow slander sheet known as the newspaper La Prensa. This internal opposition is closely tied to the CIA-funded contra forces based on the frontiers; it shamelessly lends its moral, political and financial support to the CIA's contra war against the Nicaraguan people.

Some liberal Democrats in Washington, along with the bourgeois regimes of Mexico and the other Contadora countries in the region, argue that support for this "democratic opposition" is the best alternative to U.S. military intervention. But in reality there is no dividing line between the internal capitalist forces and the contra mercenaries -- they are the two faces of the same imperialist and capitalist counterrevolution.

THE PETTY-BOURGEOIS SANDINISTA GOVERNMENT: The Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN) represents the vacillating petty bourgeoisie and intermediate strata. The FSLN government pursues a contradictory policy as it attempts to balance between the counterrevolution and the revolutionary drive of the working class. It attempts to mediate the class struggle through concessions and compromises to the big exploiters and through bureaucratic control over the working masses.

In the U.S. we find a number of social democrats, revisionists, trotskyites and other reformists trumpeting the "revolutionary" and even sometimes "socialist" pretensions of the FSLN. Never mind that, under the signboards of "political pluralism" and "mixed economy," the FSLN is steering in the direction of rigging up a typical bourgeois republic and towards the complete recuperation of capitalism in Nicaragua. Never mind that the FSLN's policy of compromise and concessions has only poured gasoline on the flames of capitalist reaction and has placed the revolution in a perilous situation.

Over the last 18 months since our last visit the political forces in Nicaragua have not been standing still. And below we will touch on some of the striking features of the changing situation.

A New Round of Austerity Measures

The FSLN government has imposed a series of painful austerity measures on the working masses, further eroding gains won by the workers in the revolution. It appears that these measures were taken to satisfy the U.S. and other international bankers who own Nicaragua's $4 billion debt. The most severe round of austerity measures were made in the months before the June meeting in New York between Nicaraguan officials and international bankers, which came to an agreement on rescheduling the repayment of these loans.

With measures similar to those of other Latin American governments that are squeezing the masses to pay off debts, the government is cutting subsidies for basic necessities and putting controlled commodities into the open market. Before the masses faced shortages knowing that there were rationed supplies and controlled prices. Now they face both shortages and astronomical prices. The government is also undermining the system of work place commissaries that was set up after the revolution to ensure a subsidized supply of necessities for the workers. On top of this the government has imposed a system of wage controls that is holding the workers' wages far below the spiral of prices. Funds for social spending have also been cut back, and plans for building much needed housing, schools and hospitals have been slowed or scrapped.

These austerity measures have provoked the anger of the workers. Last ' year a strike wave swept some of the most important work places in the country, including the big Victoria Brewery and other bottling plants, two of the giant sugar combines, a major machining plant, and textile plants. After the suppression of this strike wave the workers are now resorting to slowdowns as their expression of protest.

The FSLN has responded to the actions of the workers by bringing the army into the work places, by firing, threatening and harassing militant workers, and by bureaucratic dictate through the Ministry of Labor, and through the CST, the Sandinista-led trade union center, which acts as the right hand of the Ministry of Labor and the factory administrators. To counter the slowdowns the FSLN and the CST union leaders are pushing a productivity drive, imposing a severe labor discipline up to the point of establishing a military regime in some work places.

The Sandinistas condemn the workers' demands as an expression of "economism," or of placing narrow economic interests above the overall interests of the revolution. But this is a demagogical slander against the Nicaraguan workers who have shown time and again that they are willing to sacrifice everything for their revolutionary cause.

The FSLN demands that the workers work harder for less. But what does the FSLN demand of the exploiters? Indeed, the government is lavishing incentives on the private capitalists and landlords, opening up the national treasury to provide them with investment capital and to guarantee their profits. This is advertised as a wise policy for building up the so-called "mixed economy''; meanwhile the capitalists continue their economic sabotage and continue to siphon off profits, profits that the Sandinistas have guaranteed them, to assist their contra brothers in Honduras and to build up their bank accounts in Miami. It is only natural and only just that the Nicaraguan workers are resisting a government policy that is blatantly anti-worker, an austerity policy for fattening the profits of the exploiters and for squeezing the masses for the interest owed to the imperialist loan sharks.

The FSLN Demobilizes the Masses

To pacify the capitalist opposition, the FSLN grants it political as well as economic concessions. And one of the most important demands of the exploiters is that the FSLN demobilize the working masses.

The toilers emerged from the anti-Somoza struggle with arms in hand and filled with a revolutionary drive to settle accounts with their historic enemies, the big capitalists and landlords. The exploiters were naturally scared stiff. The FSLN-led government, committed to maintaining alliance with the bourgeoisie, set out to break the revolutionary momentum. The powerful tide of strikes, factory takeovers, and land seizures was turned back, and most of the factories and lands were restored to the control of their former owners. The popular militias were restricted in scope and placed under bureaucratic control.

The whole process of demobilization of the masses had gone quite far by the time of our last trip in the winter of '84; this demobilization has now gone significantly further. Eighteen months ago, in the midst of the U.S. sabre-rattling in the wake of the invasion of Grenada, the workers, peasants, youth and women were pouring into the popular militias. These armed civilians could be seen everywhere. And in the neighborhoods of Managua the masses were proudly digging trenches and shouldering defense work.

This June Reagan's invasion threats again reached a fever pitch, with the contra provocations on the Costa Rican border, and with the "terrorist" hysteria campaign accompanying the TWA hijacking and the assassination of the four marines in San Salvador. The FSLN called for an alert, but there was little mobilization. Around Managua T-55 tanks and armored cars were called out onto the highways; but there was no sign of the mobilization of the militias and the people. The masses were left to read in the papers or hear the radio reports about the army's movements of hardware and regular troops.

With their bureaucratic military concepts, the FSLN is putting stress on building up a regular army on conventional military lines. Undoubtedly, there has been an increase in the army's military might; but this has been at the expense of the militias and popular participation in the tasks of defense, which ultimately is essential for success in the war against the contras and resisting U.S. aggression.

In the rural zones where the CIA- backed contras are operating, the reactionary mercenaries have realized some success in exploiting discontent with the FSLN government among some strata of the peasants. This has provided the contras with a foothold for carrying their terror war deep inside Nicaraguan territory. The FSLN tends to give a simple military solution to this contra war, focusing on movements of troops and weapons, while badly neglecting the tasks of mobilizing the local inhabitants. At present the Sandinista army has the force to impose a stalemate on the contras. But in the long run the agricultural workers and poor peasants of these regions must be organized for the revolutionary struggle that can uproot the rural social base of the CIA-sponsored reactionaries. In the long run this is the only way the contras can be driven out of the mountains and their bloody terrorism against the people can be broken.

The enforcement of the new Patriotic Military Service law, imposing a compulsory draft for the regular army, has effectively displaced the popular militias -- the factory, neighborhood, and village militias have almost completely withered away. Among other things, this means that the militant enthusiasm among the young people for the tasks of defense is also step by step withering away. And the heavy-handed enforcement of the draft has produced resentment and hostility and has even provoked sharp confrontations with the youth, as police and soldiers have raided movie theaters and dances to round up conscripts for the army.

Not only the militias but other organizations of the masses have declined as well. The neighborhood Sandinista Defense Committees (CDS) have shed their mass character and their activities are now quite limited. In general, the CDS's have been reduced to a small bureaucratic appendage of the FSLN bureaucracy. Their place has been partly filled by neighborhood vigilance committees, which are apolitical and play a very minor role.

This decline of the CDS is connected to the decline of the mass campaigns of all types. For example, the literacy campaign, which was taken up with a passion by the working people and the youth, has virtually slowed to a halt except in some regions of the countryside. The one campaign that still has life is the mass health campaign, which is being sustained by the eagerness of the people to get vaccinations for their children.

The Right Wing Grows More Aggressive

The other side of this demobilization is the growth of discontent among the masses. The bureaucratic and typically bourgeois methods of the government are stretching the people's patience; and important breaches are opening up in the FSLN's prestige among the workers, peasants and youth. The discontent generally lacks political clarity, and it has been focused mainly against the government's economic policies, and against the military draft. This situation is creating a wide field for both the proletarian left and for the capitalist right wing; and a sharp political struggle is taking place within the ranks of the working masses over whether this discontent will be channeled towards the revolution or towards the bourgeois reaction.

Playing on the workers' opposition to the government's austerity measures, the capitalist chieftains pose as critics of these policies. Of course, behind the scenes the capitalists work closely with the FSLN to impose these anti-worker measures and then they chuckle all the way to their Miami bank vaults as the FSLN bears the burden of blame for squeezing the people.

To seize on the discontent, the right wing has attempted to intervene in strikes and other actions to mobilize the less advanced workers for the counterrevolution. The rightists have also tried to mobilize the opposition of the youth to the military draft. The hierarchy of the Catholic church has been a central tool for these attempts at mobilizing the people behind reaction; and the Vatican's recent elevation of Managua's Bishop Obando y Bravo to the level of cardinal is an important piece of the imperialists' plans on Nicaragua. Obando y Bravo hardly bothers to cover his counterrevolutionary goals, as he appeals for "peace" through "reconciliation" with the CIA's Somocista forces. Since Bravo's elevation, the Catholic church has been launching increasingly provocative and aggressive demonstrations.

The rightists are taking inspiration from Reagan and the votes in Congress, from the Vatican, and from the vacillating and blundering policy of the FSLN. Eighteen months ago the bourgeois opposition still had a tendency to fear the FSLN's power and popularity, and some of the bourgeois parties like the Independent Liberals and the Popular Social Christians still posed as "democratic" friends or near friends of the FSLN. Today, the bourgeoisie has grown bolder and more arrogant, and the bourgeois politicians of the Independent Liberals and Social Christians now make open appeals for struggle against the "communist," "anti-democratic" and "anti-christian" government.

It is only to be expected that the bourgeois reactionaries, backed by the CIA and imperialism, would lash out against the revolution. But the fact that six years after the people's triumph the reaction is growing stronger and more arrogant is closely linked to the FSLN's policy of class compromise. The FSLN has given the exploiters all types of economic and political concessions, allowing them to build up their economic and political leverage; the FSLN has broken the struggles of the workers and peasants against the capitalists and landlords, and has poured cold water on the revolutionary initiatives and mobilizations of the masses; and the FSLN is adopting unpopular measures, enforced by a bureaucratic and repressive policy. This is how the vacillating FSLN policy, far from taming the internal reaction, has allowed it to feed and grow into a dangerous menace to the revolution.

The Pro-Soviet Revisionists Support the Capitalist Opposition

In the ranks of the working class the capitalist opposition makes use of the right-wing trade union centers, the Catholic CTN and the reactionary CUS (both of these "free" unions are funded and backed by the joint CIA and AFL-CIO agency known as AIFLD). Moreover, the two pro-Soviet revisionist parties, the Socialist Party (PSN) and the -Communist Party (PCN), have grown quite close to the bourgeois opposition. While the revisionist parties are not large, they still carry some of their traditional influence in the working class and still control two trade union centers (the PSN's CGT(I) and the PCN's CAUS).

In the U.S., opportunist newspapers like the Guardian and other voices of support of the FSLN make the amazing criticism that these revisionist parties are "ultra-left." This is part of their mindless knee-jerk reaction to brand any criticism of Sandinista policy as "ultra-left" extremism. In reality, the Nicaraguan revisionists have never liberated themselves from their subservience to the Nicaraguan bourgeoisie. Both the PCN and the PSN are in full agreement with the FSLN's "democratic" and "pluralist" program of alliance with the big exploiters. What their criticism of the FSLN amounts to is that it isn't consistent enough, that it isn't careful enough in respecting the rights and privileges of the "democratic opposition," and that the FSLN should bend over even further before the right wing parties and capitalist organizations.

Whether in the National Assembly or in the trade union movement the revisionist parties are frequently found on the side of the bourgeois "democratic opposition." The Nicaraguan revisionists are political cowards who are hoping that the reactionary "democratic opposition" will open the doors for them to find a place in a bourgeois democratic and "pluralist" Nicaragua.

MAP/ML Is Struggling for a Revolutionary Alternative

In our last visit to Nicaragua the Marxist-Leninist MAP/ML was still at the beginning of the process of recuperating from the severe blows that it had suffered from the jailings, repression and political pressures of the FSLN-led regime. Today that recuperation has gone a long way. The genuine Marxist-Leninists are once again recognized by friend and foe alike as an important political force on a national scale; it is recognized as a party of the workers and the only party putting forward a left alternative before the masses.

MAP/ML is steadfastly working to organize the toilers to defend and deepen the revolution, independent of both the petty-bourgeois Sandinista power and of the bourgeois-revisionist bloc. On this road the working class militants of MAP/ML are the ones standing up to wage the difficult struggle to ensure that the discontent among the masses isn't captured by the right. They are also the ones working to revive and spread the revolutionary energy and mobilization of the workers and peasants, as the FSLN slides further down the path of class collaboration, which is suffocating the revolutionary initiative of the masses.

MAP/ML in the National Assembly

Contributing to the resurgence of MAP/ML has been their successful use of the small legal cracks that have been opened to them. Despite all of the limitations imposed on them by the regime, MAP/ML was able to make good use of last fall's election campaign to bring together and reactivate the Party's forces while spreading the revolutionary positions of the Party widely among the masses.

The comrades have also been able to make good use of the two seats that MAP/ML won in the National Assembly. The unyielding proletarian voices of MAP/ML stand in sharp contrast to the voices of Sandinism, the bourgeoisie and revisionists who engage each other in the typical parliamentary games of combinations and backroom deals at the expense of the working people. At times the Sandinistas and the lightest parties argue, and at times they work in harmony against the Marxist-Leninists; but whether it is against the FSLN's new proposals for amnesty for the contras, or fighting austerity measures against the workers, at all times the MAP/ML delegates argue for the interests of toilers.

The Assembly wasn't in session during our visit, but our delegation saw a video of the debate in the Assembly over the FSLN's new wage ceilings on the workers. This session began with Mr. Godoy of the Independent Liberals crying that an FSLN delegate had insulted him. The revisionist delegates joined in to protest the FSLN's abuse of this "democratic" capitalist gentleman. Then the whole bourgeois-revisionist bloc walked out in protest, leaving the Assembly debate to the FSLN and MAP/ML. The MAP/ML argued against the law and its salary tables which would leave the workers' wages far behind the pace of price increases. To mute the protest of the comrades, the FSLN delegates pulled out one parliamentary maneuver after the next, attempting to postpone the discussion, or to strike a deal. Finally, the FSLN unilaterally passed the bill over MAP/ML's protest at two o'clock in the morning.

Of course, there is nothing stable about the legal openings that MAP/ML has won. For example, in the National Assembly the FSLN and the right wing parties have joined together to silence MAP/ML by stripping parties with less than four delegates of key parliamentary rights such as the right to introduce legislation. But as long as the legal openings exist, MAP/ML is making good use of them to build their base among the working masses.

Building the Worker Committees

When we speak of the recuperation of MAP/ML it means first and foremost the reconstruction of their organization and influence among the rank-and-file workers and peasants. In the factories and fields across Nicaragua, MAP/ML and its trade union organization, Workers Front (FO), are mobilizing, organizing and raising the political consciousness of the toilers.

In the strike wave of last year and in the present slowdowns and other protests, the workers' demands have generally been within the framework of limited economic and social demands and protests against the mistreatment by the administrators and the FSLN's CST union bureaucracy. MAP/ML has been in the midst of these struggles, striving to provide a revolutionary orientation; and this has demanded toe-to- toe confrontations with the rightists and their revisionist friends.

Our delegation was able to meet with revolutionary workers from many regions of the country, including participants in struggles which we have reported on in previous issues of The Workers' Advocate, such as at the Plastinic plastics factory, the Plywood plant, the Intournic construction project in Granada, the Benjamin Zeledon sugar complex, and the FO-organized tractor drivers from the cotton farms of Chinandega. We heard many reports of how the FSLN responds to the workers' demands, no matter how moderate and just, with heavy-handed repression and bureaucratic dictate. For example, Plastinic has now been declared a strategic enterprise and militarized to suppress the workers' demands.

Our delegation talked with comrades from the Workers Front (FO) involved in organizing the agricultural workers in a new agri-industry complex being set up with the help of Bulgaria in Sebaco. Recently the field workers held an assembly and overwhelmingly voted in the FO as their union leadership, and this decision of the assembly was ratified by the regional labor minister. Behind the backs of the field workers, the FSLN-CST bureaucrats responded to this by calling a new assembly which they packed with office personnel that were bused in from Managua. We viewed a video of this second assembly, where well-dressed managers, engineers, and bureaucrats from the capital trampled on the decision of the field workers' assembly and voted in the CST. It reminded us of the notorious methods of packing union meetings and "voting until the workers get it right" practiced by our own trade union hacks in the U.S.

We also met with workers from the Echamorro food processing enterprise who in the beginning of June were involved in a protest strike. They were protesting the decision of the administration to withdraw the right of the workers to purchase goods at cost from the plant. This decision was taken in the name of restricting black marketeering; but no compensation was provided to help the workers purchase oil, soap and other necessities. The FSLN-CST bureaucrats attacked the workers as "counterrevolutionaries" and a number of workers were beaten and arrested. The strikers demanded and won the release of the imprisoned workers, although the original demands weren't resolved.

The combination of the FSLN's anti-worker economic policy and the bureaucratic and repressive methods of the FSLN-CST in imposing this policy is deepening the gulf between the FSLN-CST and the rank and file. In many work places the CST controls the unions in name, but the workers do not follow their leadership. In this situation the FO is not placing its emphasis on winning control of the official leadership of the unions which, as the Sebaco incident showed, can be too easily stolen from them. Rather it is working to organize the rank and file into "workers committees" or workers committees of struggle" which organize the workers from below and which frequently function as the workers' effective leadership.

The Student Movement

Our delegation also spoke with comrades from MAP/ML's student organization, known as the Committees of Struggle of University Students (CLEU). In the 1970's the students of CLEU played a militant role in the anti- Somoza struggle. But with the progressive students leaving the campuses to join the 1979 insurrection, and afterwards with the repression against the Marxist-Leninists, student organization dropped off. At the same time the university students have provided an important base for the FSLN, with Sandinism holding the imagination of the students -- or at least until recently.

But today there are new stirrings in the student movement. Spurred by such FSLN blunders as their military draft law the students the students are now asking questions and looking for alternatives to Sandinism. The FSLN's grip on the student movement is being shaken. On the one hand, this has provided an opening for the spread of right-wing agitation on the campuses; and, on the other hand, this has allowed for the reactivation of MAP/ML's CLEU which is presenting the students with a proletarian alternative.

The potential for CLEU's work was demonstrated in a recent student election at the technical university in Managua. William Romero, the Marxist-Leninist candidate, gained broad support with CLEU's clear answers to the problems the students face and his appeal for the students to support the cause of the working class against the exploiters. The Sandinista Youth responded by attacking him for being "economist," and at the same time they attacked him for being too political and doing party propaganda.

Two Sandinista candidates ran against William; these two, in their panic to defeat CLEU, resorted to blatant vote fraud. One of them was caught red-handed with pre-marked ballots, and the students forced a new election. The second time around there was a single Sandinista candidate who won, but only barely. Similarly, at the School of Journalism a MAP/ML supporter failed to win the school presidency by one vote, but he did win the presidency of the humanities department.

CLEU is also struggling within UNEN, the National Union of Nicaraguan Students, where it confronts both the Juventud Sandinista as well as the newly-formed bloc of bourgeois and revisionist youth groups made up of the Social Christians and the two groups of pro-Soviet revisionists.

The Nicaraguan Revolution Is Passing Through a Difficult Situation

Witnessing the advances of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists was a tremendous inspiration and source of optimism. At this time the Nicaraguan revolution has entered a very painful and difficult stage. From the outside it faces the CIA's terroristic contra war, the U.S.-inspired provocations by the Honduran and Costa Rican armed forces, and the real dangers of a U.S. invasion. On the inside the bourgeois reaction is raising its ugly head, and as the tragedies in Guatemala, Chile and other countries have shown, the danger posed by this Trojan Horse of U.S.- backed counterrevolution must not be underestimated. And in the face of this external and internal aggression, the people have been disarmed and demobilized by the vacillating and bureaucratic policy of the FSLN.

At the same time, there are growing signs of independent thought and action among the Nicaraguan working masses. The most important thing is that in this acutely difficult situation the proletarian party is gaining strength and, guided by the compass of Marxism-Leninism, is showing the workers and toilers a revolutionary way out. It is striving for the reactivation of the militias and the mobilization of the people in the face of U.S. imperialist aggression. It is working to overcome the vacillating and bureaucratic obstacles of the FSLN regime, while waging a bitter struggle to defeat the influence of the right wing and revisionism among the masses. And on this line MAP/ML is making important strides forward in organizing the workers and poor peasants as an independent political force in defense of the gains of the revolution and their historic mission of the proletarian revolution and socialism.

The watchword of the Nicaraguan Workers Front is The Emancipation of the Working Class Must Be the Act of the Working Class Itself. Everything our delegation saw and heard in Nicaragua reconfirmed the importance of this fundamental principle of Marxism. And it reconfirmed that the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists are waging a consistent struggle to make this watchword a reality in Nicaragua.

[Photo: Nicaraguan people's militia prepares to resist U.S. imperialist aggression. The Nicaraguan toilers remain determined to resist counterrevolution despite the blunders and demobilization of the vacillating Sandinista regime.]

[Photo: Adolfo Calero (left), political representative of the Nicaraguan contras, in a contra camp with John Singlaub, a retired U.S. Army officer. Singlaub's occupation now is organizing private aid from U.S. millionaires to the contras.]

[Photo: The delegation of MAP-ML in the National Assembly, Comrades Isidro Tellez and Carlos Cuadra.]

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Six years since the Nicaraguan revolution -- From a speech by Isidro Tellez, General Secretary of MAP/ML

On Sunday, June 23, a meeting was held at the Managua offices of the Movement of Popular Action (Marxist- Leninist), (MAP/ML), the party of the Nicaraguan working class. The meeting was attended by MAP/ML workers; members of the Workers Front (FO), MAP/ML's trade union center; and members of workers committees from work places across the country. The meeting was addressed by MAP/ML's general secretary, Isidro Tellez; by the FO leader Francisco Gutierrez; and the visiting delegation of the MLP,USA gave a solidarity statement. Below we reprint passages from Comrade Isidro Tellez's speech on the political situation, transcribed and translated by The Workers' Advocate staff.

Today we are near the celebration of the anniversary of the popular victory [of July 19, 1979]. We, as a party, as well as the Workers Front [MAP-ML's trade union center] must make a brief summation of what has happened in these 6 years of the revolution. What have been the changes, what have been the advances, and what is the current situation in the workers' movement, the popular movement, and the peasants' movement?

The FSLN's Economic Policy: A Soft Hand Towards the Bourgeoisie and a Stern Hand Towards the Workers

We will start with the economic situation that the country is facing, which is a definite concern of the popular sectors, of the workers who live on a wage. [The then described how the international economic crisis is being thrown onto the dependent capitalist countries, which in Nicaragua has created a drastic import/export imbalance and a gigantic foreign debt.]

So what is the response of the Sandinista government to this situation? The FSLN, the government, and the president of the republic demand more production and more productivity from the workers, not only to allow the [government] to acquire all the necessary materials to continue production; the Sandinista government also wants to increase the productive capacity to be able to pay off Nicaragua's foreign debt. I think I've heard that the foreign debt from the Somoza regime was 1,600 million dollars. But now, at this stage, Nicaragua must pay more than [4,000] million dollars. Nicaragua has not paid off this debt. Therefore Sandinism is taking the line of making demands on the workers' movement which is producing at the greatest sacrifice, and under the greatest pressure, for a higher productive capacity in the country.

However, this demand is being made exclusively on the workers' movement. On the other hand, the government is making no demands on the bourgeoisie, or on private enterprise, which control over 70% of production -- no demands in regard to profiteering or to sacrificing more. On the contrary, the government wants loans and aid to go to private enterprise, for investment and for raising the productive capacity of the country.

The Sandinlsta Government Lavishes dollars on the So-Called "Patriotic Bourgeoisie"

We see how the Sandinista government has handed over millions of cordobas, and for that matter dollars, to private enterprise, to the bourgeoisie -- calling it the "patriotic bourgeoisie." We have always pointed out that this type of bourgeoisie does not exist in Nicaragua. We do not support, and have never supported, these terms such as "patriotic bourgeoisie" because the bourgeoisie is not patriotic in the face of a program alien to its interests. This doesn't mean we are saying that the program being followed by the present government is a program alien to the interests of the bourgeoisie. We have spoken about, pointed out, and denounced the character of the program which has been followed since the victory of July 19 [1979], which is a program of mixed economy and national unity. Regarding the mixed economy, we have said that it is basically, in essence, nothing more than the government's policy of capitalist reconstruction in the country.

However, the bourgeoisie is not "patriotic''...about any policy which could rouse the working class to struggle for socialist construction. We will find that the bourgeoisie will place itself at the head of trying to stop whatever plans are put forward by the workers' movement or the revolutionary movement, which could have as their outcome the transformation of capitalist society into socialist society. We have not supported this term "patriotic bourgeoisie" and we have systematically denounced this terminology....

The Soviet Revisionists Are Not Interested in Aiding Nicaragua's Economy

Here there has been much talk of, and there are parties which speak of and place hopes in, the Soviet Union regarding the solution of these economic problems of Nicaragua. [There is talk of] breaking all the agreements with international banking which is controlled by imperialism and international capital.

What has been the attitude of the Soviets to this problem? We know about the trip the president of the republic [Daniel Ortega] made to the Soviet Union to solicit loans and aid. However, the position of the Soviets in this matter has been [one of disinterest]. The Soviets have not shown any interest in involving themselves in the solution of the difficult situation faced by this country. The Soviets have given only a drop of help in the solution of this problem. [The Soviets] are not interested in making investments in this country. They are not interested even though there is a party here, in this case the Communist Party, which cheers on the Soviet Union as the one that can solve Nicaragua's problems in this situation. We do not believe this about the Soviets. As well, we think that the Soviets are aiming to implement their revisionist policy in this country....

The Suspension of the Workers' Commissaries

We hold that the government adopts an anti-worker stand towards the workers' movement; it does not take a comparable stand toward the bourgeoisie. For the bourgeoisie, the soft hand; against the workers, the stern hand. We also see how the government is heading towards the suppression of the commissaries. The policy and the tendency of the government is the liquidation of the commissaries in the various work places. They are promoting [instead] what they call a big supermarket for the workers.

The commissaries were a conquest of the workers and a victory of the revolution to serve the workers in the face of the difficult situation in regard to obtaining basic necessities. However, the government has unilaterally taken the decision to do away with the commissaries. Thus the economic situation for the workers' movement is becoming very difficult. It is seriously threatened by the government's policy of renegotiation with the International Monetary Fund, which will definitely have great consequences for the workers' movement.

The Problems of the Nicaraguan People Cannot Be Solved Through the Institutionalization of the Political Struggle

On the political front we see how the electoral process resulted in the institutionalization of the political struggle. The political struggle of the workers' movement is institutionalized in Nicaragua. At the level of propaganda and at the policy level [it is promoted that] the problems of the Nicaraguan people can be solved through parliamentary discussion and through the development of the political constitution.

However, we have pointed out that our Party has not fallen into this institutionalized management. On the contrary, we have given as our line the reviving and reactivation of the workers' movement....

We have not placed hopes [for example] in the idea that through the Ministry of Labor, the workers are going to be able to prevent the suspension of the commissaries. We have not placed hopes in the idea that through the Ministry of Labor, the problems of trade union freedom are going to be solved. We think that the workers will win trade union freedom...through their active participation and mobilization to achieve this conquest. We don't think it will be the Ministry of Labor which will restore the workers' rights.

The workers have spent many years shouting at the Ministry of Labor. In the times of Somozism the workers demanded that this Ministry of Labor rescind the labor law. But the workers found themselves persecuted by the policy of the Ministry of Labor. We see how today the Ministry of Labor is presenting the labor law [the Somoza labor law is still in effect] as a law representing the [interests of the whole people], including [the interests of] capitalism. A worker cannot put forward a wage increase to his employer; he must present it to the Ministry of Labor. But the Ministry of Labor has converted itself into the big contractor in Nicaragua, so it is contradictory for the workers to present their demands before this ministry. It is incapable of solving their problems.

We do not think that the institutionalized struggle in the National Assembly will be the mechanism through which the workers will solve their problems. We think it provides a means for denouncing the atrocities that the bureaucracy commits against the workers. The Party will use it as a tribune to denounce and expose the line of the bureaucracy. But we don't have any [illusions] that through this, Marxism- Leninism is going to win a political constitution, when all the rights of the' workers in the country are being suspended.

The Problems of the Workers Can Only Be Solved Through the Mobilization of Their Own Forces in the Struggle

We think that only through the mobilization and the day-to-day actions of the workers can the workers' movement and the popular movement solve all these problems. We have worked for the workers' movement to be conscious of the fact that its own forces are the solution to these problems. We have oriented the FO to intensify its activity primarily in the workers' movement and in the movement in the countryside.

Contadora Represents the Interests of U.S. Imperialism and of the Capitalist Regimes

We have seen much of the Sandinista propaganda regarding hopes in the Contadora group, which the Sandinistas would like to establish among the masses. Our Party has given our opinion of Contadora through the FO. Our position on Contadora is made known in a journal which the FO sells in the workers' movement and in the popular movement. In this document we pointed out that the Contadora group is the other face of U.S. imperialism and that it was necessary to denounce Contadora as an instrument of imperialism.

We were not mistaken in making this analysis of what Contadora signified. Nor do I think it is difficult for the workers' movement to draw conclusions regarding what interests Contadora represents. We say it is not difficult because of the fact that Contadora is made up of the Mexican government, the Colombian government, the Panamanian government and the Venezuelan government. From this we draw the conclusion, and we realize that the governments and the power structure existing in these countries are capitalist. For this reason, Contadora will never be an organization or a bloc which will allow Nicaragua or the workers to advance, or allow the revolution to advance or deepen....

So how are we going to draw the conclusion or believe that this Contadora group, representing these governments, is going to contribute or collaborate for the deepening of the Nicaraguan revolution and its advance toward a society different from the one in those countries, toward a socialist society? We don't believe this. We have denounced this. And we don't think the workers believe this either. We have denounced this and made ourselves very clear....

Contadora's Concessions to Imperialism Strengthen the Counterrevolution

Contadora, in the course of pushing this policy of demands on the Sandinista government, has gained a lot of concessions from it. To be specific, the law on the political parties must be mentioned, a product of the demands of Contadora....[At the time of the 1984 elections the Sandinista government passed a law giving sweeping rights to the reactionary capitalist parties in Nicaragua.]

Contadora also made the FSLN prove that it is no longer acquiring arms. As well, it made the FSLN get rid of the Cubans, get rid of the Salvadorans, and get rid of revolutionary detachments that were here in the country, from Central America, Guatemala, etc....[The speaker also pointed out that Contadora allowed U.S. imperialism to build military bases in Honduras and Costa Rica and to strengthen the contras]. All this is a product of the oppression of Contadora....

The strengthening of the counterrevolution -- that is the result of the concessions that Contadora granted U.S. imperialism....

The FSLN Policy to Demobilize the Workers' Movement

What changes have been made as far as the policy the FSLN maintains towards the workers' movement? None. The only developments are that they have suspended the commissaries, and that they don't permit the independent democratic organization, or the democratic election by the workers, of their own trade union leadership.

As well, there is the same deactivation of the popular militias, including the dismantling of the CDS's [the neighborhood Committees of Sandinista Defense]. We don't see that the FSLN intends to create democratic organizations, popular organizations which allow mass participation in defense. We don t see the FSLN implementing the line of arming the whole people for resistance against U.S. imperialism....

MAP/ML Calls for the Arming of the People and the Formation of Popular Militias

Regarding [the danger of U.S. intervention] we have insisted that the people and the working class must prepare themselves. We have spoken of and put forward as our line the necessity of the popular militias. We have spoken of the democratic formation of militias at the level of the factories and the work places, and of having the necessary arms. We have spoken of arming the whole people and of maintaining a state of permanent alert. However, it is known that the FSLN is interested in the institutionalization of its army, a professional army. And they have underestimated and pushed aside the militias.

MAP/ML Exposes the U.S. Congress' Support for Aid to the Contras and Intervention In Central America

Yes, we think that the actions and activities of the armed counterrevolutionary bands will continue. This will continue as a means of military pressure, just as there exist other forms of pressure -- political and economic [pressure] by international capital against the Nicaraguan revolutionary process -- in which demands are made on the FSLN towards creating a well defined, truly capitalist regime. These demands will continue.

On the aid to the contras that was approved by U.S. imperialism, we think it was necessary to point out that when Congress discussed the authorization of this aid demanded by Reagan, the FSLN promoted hopes in Congress. Our Party pointed out and stated that the discrepancies between the U.S. Congress and President Reagan are nothing more than tactical issues. We believe this and we have told the people so.

We pointed out that Congress, just like President Reagan, represents U.S. imperialism, represents international capital. For this reason we don't think that at this time the U.S. Congress is defending the rights of the workers in Nicaragua, or defending the rights of the popular sectors. We have stated clearly that Congress [was] simply not approving the $14 million right at this particular moment. Barricada and Nuevo Diario [the FSLN and pro-FSLN newspapers] were promoting within Nicaragua the fact that Congress had not passed the $14 million. However, today there was another discussion [in Congress] and Congress approved the $14 million. So here it is necessary to keep on exposing, in a clear fashion, how the Sandinistas handle the responsibility of dealing with international problems....

So we think that with this $28 million [the U.S. Congress approved for contra aid], and with more millions, U.S. imperialism will try not only to impede the advance and deepening of the Nicaraguan revolution, but also the advance and the struggle of the revolutionary movement in Central America and Latin America....

MAP/ML Calls for Mass Mobilization of the Toilers Against U.S. Intervention

We must continue to deepen [the analysis] of this very difficult and complicated problem [of U.S. intervention]. Many revolutionary workers are thinking about the intervention...and about the situation -- how to position ourselves. Recently [there was much speculation in Nicaragua that July 4 was the scheduled date of a U.S. invasion]. But there is no mobilization, there is no participation, there are no forces. It is necessary to reactivate the workers and popular masses to prepare themselves for war. We think these problems have to be dealt with seriously, that, basically, there must be a big participation of workers, a big participation of peasants and of revolutionaries in the government's military forces. As well, the people must exercise caution regarding the border conflicts presenting themselves with Costa Rica and Honduras, because U.S. imperialism is trying to create a pretext that will permit a confrontation....

Priority on the Workers' Committees

Now, to conclude, we, our Party, has oriented the FO to increase its activity at the center of the workers' movement. We have given as our line that, in this work, priority should be given to the creation of workers' committees. On this, we don't think it is a question of waging a battle for the creation, or for the organization of trade union leaderships.... We do have the line of fighting for the leadership of the trade unions. But we think that, given the situation, given the bureaucratic management, the police-like policy, and the control by the CST [the FSLN trade union center] and the government, [it makes it difficult] when you look at the question of a change in leadership. We think that through the creation and position of committees of workers, we can work to create conditions to be able to win the leadership of the trade unions.

Build the Proletarian Party in Nicaragua

We also think that it is not enough to simply stay entrenched in the basic trade union struggle, that we must also work to create new cadres in the rank and file of the FO. As well, we must fight and work to incorporate in our Party, MAP/ML, those elements of the working class which will contribute to the strengthening of the vanguard detachment of the Nicaraguan proletariat for the future battle.

[Graphic: The seal of the Frente Obrero. It carries as its legend the words of Karl Marx: "The emancipation of the working class is the work of the working class itself.'']

[Photo: Two-line struggle: Comrade Isidro Tellez, general secretary of MAP/ML (right), and Sandinista Commandants Daniel Ortega (left) at a rally of 5,000 striking construction workers in January 1980. Comrade Tellez, himself a construction worker, was leading the strike and urging the workers to persist in struggle to defend the interests of the working class. Ortega, bent on suppressing the strike wave gripping the country, rushed to the scene to stop the struggle. Ortega jumped up next to Comrade Tellez and began exhorting the workers to return to work. The speeches of the two leaders embodied the two different lines being presented to the Nicaraguan workers' movement: MAP/ML's policy for determined struggle against the capitalist exploiters and for carrying the revolution forward; or the FSLN's policy for class collaboration and pouring cold water on the initiatives of the working masses in order to seal an alliance with the big capitalists and landlords.]

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Keep Up the Campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press

When the delegation of the MLP,USA was recently in Managua it had the opportunity to check up on the fate of the materials sent from the U.S. by the Campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press. We are glad to report that the printing press supplies, video supplies, tape recorders, and related materials have been arriving in good order. Moreover the comrades of MAP/ML have explained to us that everything sent is well-suited to the needs of the Nicaraguan revolutionary workers. Everything is being put to good use by MAP/ML's Prensa Proletaria newspaper, as well as the bi-monthly bulletin of the Workers Front (FO) trade union center, and the daily radio program "Noticiero del Periodico El Pueblo."

The Campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press has become even more essential in the face of Reagan's dirty economic blockade against Nicaragua; printing supplies that were previously scarce are now unavailable in the country. But our readers should know that Reagan's blockade has not stopped our Campaign, and the necessary steps have been and will be taken to ensure the uninterrupted flow of supplies to the Nicaraguan workers' press.

The comrades of MAP/ML stressed to our delegation a number of points on the political significance of our Campaign. In the first place it is providing the Nicaraguan workers with a concrete expression of the solidarity of the progressive workers in the U.S., underscoring that the Nicaraguan proletariat is not marching alone in its revolutionary struggle.

Moreover, the material support is playing an important political role, ensuring the independence of the workers' press. Sources of printing supplies have dried up, and the Nicaraguan government is making it nearly impossible for MAP/ML to purchase them abroad. Dollars or other hard currencies are needed to make such purchases; but the FSLN is now refusing to-grant MAP/ML the right to exchange cordobas for dollars at the official exchange rate of 28 to one. At the same time, the government has now legalized unofficial currency exchange houses that sell dollars for 660 cordobas a piece -- more than a workers' weekly wage per dollar!

In this situation, supplies sent by the American workers are helping to safeguard the political independence of the Nicaraguan workers' press. The two pro-Soviet revisionist parties are now forced to print their papers on the pro-Sandinista press, which gives the FSLN further leverage over them beyond the formal censorship. Of course, the right-wing La Prensa newspaper is well- stocked with supplies and dollars from its U.S. imperialist sponsors. But the Marxist-Leninist workers' press, with the modest support of our Campaign, is forging ahead independent of both the FSLN and the bourgeois rightists.

We urge all workers and anti-imperialist activists to take part in the Campaign for the Workers' Press. The Campaign needs financial contributions' whether big or small. And it also requests messages and expressions of solidarity for MAP/ML and the Nicaraguan workers, which the Nicaraguan comrades can use to spread word of the internationalist stand of the American working people.

Please send your contributions and messages to:

Campaign for Nicaraguan Workers' Press [Address.]

Messages can also be sent directly to Prensa Proletaria: [Address.]

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The Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists on the present situation

-- Interview with Carlos Lucas, Editor of Prensa Proletaria

Comrade Carlos Lucas, editor of Prensa Proletaria, the newspaper of the Popular Action Movement/Marxist-Leninist, in an interview with the MLP, USA delegation that recently visited Nicaragua, presented a picture of the situation in Nicaragua and the tasks confronting the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists. Below we reprint excerpts from this extensive interview.

... The present situation, with the FSLN and the revisionists pushing conciliation between the classes, has strong precedents. In fact the triumph of '79 was a materialization of a class alliance between the FSLN, the bourgeoisie, and the revisionist lackeys of the bourgeoisie. The proletariat had its own battles, but the greatest part of the forces were seized by the Sandinistas or deceived by the revisionists. One sector struggled alongside our Party; but the correlation of forces wasn't favorable.

Presently the social-democratic positions of the FSLN hold power. The revisionists of the Communist Party and the Socialist Party aren't in power as a power but, despite not having forces in the government, continue from underneath to put forward the path of class conciliation, and they conciliate with bourgeois reaction.

The proletariat is being subject to two big hostile forces, from above in power [Sandinism] and from below [the bourgeois reaction and revisionism]. At present the Party is doing battle to strengthen the organization, comprehension and mobilization of the working class. We have a powerful enemy before us. We have to struggle from both directions, to confront the petty bourgeois politics from above and the work of reaction within the working class.

The proletariat hasn't been passive since July of '79; it has carried out many battles against these forces. The class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat has sharpened, despite the mediation of the petty bourgeoisie. At times, this struggle is muted, isolated or broken up. And at times it is a true social movement of the masses like the strike wave in '80, or the last strike wave in '84. This involved the Victoria brewery and the Coke and Pepsi and other bottling plants that went out in solidarity with the Victoria workers; the Metaza metallurgy plant; the San Antonio and Benjamin Zeledon sugar complexes; and workers in the construction and textile industries. These were among the biggest factories and most modern sectors of the proletariat in Nicaragua....

On the Economic Crisis

... The economic crisis in Nicaragua is deepening and we think it will deepen more, taking into account the factors of the world economic crisis and the policy of the FSLN, which is contributing to make the workers pay.

... The effects of the economic crisis has meant that the working class and toilers look for other forms of resistance, with work slowdowns being the most important at this time. There's a constant campaign against this, with the militarization of the factories, sharp labor discipline, firing workers, suspending wages or making them dependent on the workers' production....

Parallel to this, the bourgeoisie has maintained a policy of economic squandering. Here the existence of capitalism in Nicaragua must be taken into account, and the strong presence of private capital, and the financial and economic support offered to this sector. The capitalists are not using their own capital; but they are using state capital for private investment, demanding more profit guarantees, while they deviate resources towards speculation and counterrevolution. So the class struggle affects the level of production and productivity.

This has created new problems for the system. It has led the FSLN to maintain a policy of repression, and increased exploitation over the working class; and for it to give more and better stimulants to the private enterprises, thereby increasing the problems of inflation and the external debt. To maintain this situation, the FSLN has had to go to foreign capital to the point that the present officially recognized external debt is some $4 billion. If you look at the debt of the Somocistas [$1.5 billion in 1979] and the FSLN debt, there is an incredible increase in proportion to the size of the country and the development of the productive forces, but the draining off into the pockets of the capitalists has also increased.

... This has forced the FSLN to take major economic and political decisions. The play of forces within FSLN is still giving hegemony to the social-democratic conciliatory tendency as the Sandinista policy has gone further to the right. With the approval of the Sandinista union bureaucracy, Sandinism has implemented a completely reactionary policy against the workers' movement. They have suspended the subsidies for consumer goods, raising the price of basic products -- meat, rice, beans, eggs, soap, etc. They are also making cuts in social spending, suspending new schools and health centers, and new housing construction. This has also meant the suspension of other measures, such as the operation of the commissaries, the right to buy products in the factory, etc.

From the beginning we characterized these measures as "monetary fundist" [typical of the measures dictated by the International Monetary Fund to the heavily indebted countries]... From the standpoint of the working class this is a dark perspective. The bourgeoisie is going to have better conditions to dismantle the conquests gained by the workers' movement and place even more demands -- like restoring to private hands certain state sectors. Some parties like the Popular Social Christians have documented this demand, and before them the Liberal Independent Party, and before them COSEP [Superior Council of Private Enterprise], and before them Jaime Wheelock [FSLN Minister of Agriculture]. This signals a path of surrender in the economic terrain, and it means a political surrender.

Castro's Confession on Nicaraguan Elections

Within this framework are placed the elections of last year and the general institutionalization that the Sandinista power is promoting. Castro himself, in a visit to Nicaragua for the inauguration of a new sugar complex built with Cuban funds -- Castro knows more about the sugar industry than the FSLN does -- Castro characterized the elections as "liberal bourgeois," and Castro called the FSLN "wise men" for finding this way out, although the FSLN didn't characterize their elections as "liberal bourgeois."

Before the elections, the revisionist tendency within the FSLN -- represented by Interior Minister Tomas Borge -- claimed that the elections and the National Assembly would be part of the development of popular power, and that with deputies elected by the people it will be possible to produce a socialist constitution. This is a dream of the so- called "radical" tendency within the FSLN. This same FSLN allowed the big businessmen into the assembly; but not only that, even among the FSLN deputies there are big industrialists.

The Imperialist Circle Tightens

In the international realm we observe that the circle against Nicaragua is tightening. The U.S. imperialists are maintaining a strategic military encirclement, with ships, bases in Honduras, military exercises, militarization of Costa Rica, mining ports, sabotage, provocations.... Here we have to see the combined political and economic effects of the American blockade along with pressures from Europe -- Mitterrand and Gonzales [the social-democratic president of France and prime minister of Spain] recently had a meeting with Robelo and Cruz [two principal contra leaders.] Gonzalez received Robelo and Cruz in his palace, not in the office of the social-democrats' party. Betancur [president of Colombia and a key figure in the Contadora Group] also met with Cruz. We see this tightening circle in the cracks in Contadora, which are appearing precisely at the highest point of possibility of [U.S.] intervention.

Adding to this, in Nicaragua the bourgeoisie has been able to reconstruct its own army, with its general staff, its logistical apparatus and soldiers, and with its budget approved by the U.S. Congress.... In this situation the FSLN continues to have the forces needed to maintain its program above classes. But the FSLN's efforts are going towards the full reconstruction of capitalism, a bourgeois political power, and dependence.

The Corporate State Character of the FSLN's National Unity

In this general framework we observe the tendency of the FSLN to negotiate the revolution in episodes, in the economic as well as the political field; but it is obvious that it has increased velocity more in the economic than in the political. The other general tendency is toward the strengthening of the FSLN's national unity through negotiation with internal reaction.

We have considered this to have something like a corporative character -- a collaboration between the capitalist organizations, the union bureaucracy, and the military government of the FSLN. An example is the meetings between the bourgeois owners and the trade unions with the FSLN in the middle. The FSLN wants to tie the workers to this national unity. For the FSLN, negotiations do not include negotiating their own power; rather they want to negotiate through their power. This is what they are referring to when they say no to negotiating the revolution to imperialism or reaction.

The Marxist-Leninist Party Is Strengthened in the Class Struggle

The monetary fundist policy of the government presents the perspective of more repression and exploitation of the workers of industry and agriculture. The deepening economic crisis, the strength of the bourgeoisie, and the pragmatism of the FSLN leads to a sharpening of the class struggle. We see the beginnings of discontent in certain popular sectors towards the FSLN government. The Party has taken good advantage of this, as the right will see an important social base if the masses do not see the alternative presented by the Party.

In this situation, the perspectives of struggle are difficult, but the Party is obligated to give answers. The Party must grow more, further proletarianize its ranks, and increase its understanding of the class struggle and the role of the Party. It must put itself in front of the masses with a clear policy in defense of socialism and communism, taking up the struggles of the workers from the small economic and social demands up until the big political struggles.

Internally we are realizing all the necessary tasks to broaden and strengthen the Party in the bosom of the masses. Presently the practice of the Party is putting it more and more as the leader at the head of the masses. In the last months our work and influence has increased specifically in the most advanced sectors of the proletariat, as certain articles in Prensa Proletaria have illustrated. The firmness and decisiveness of the Party has borne fruit. With pride we can inform the MLP,USA that, between your last visit and this one, we have made a big leap in these tasks.

We are dedicated to strengthening the FO [Workers Front] as a trade union center. We have achieved some union affiliation to FO, as well as the affiliation of workers' committees. We are facing all the oppression of the laws in effect and the methods of bureaucracy used by the FSLN against the workers' movement, including the use of force and confrontation. We have had comrades imprisoned, beaten up and threatened with death. Also a comrade was wounded in an incident provoked by the Sandinistas. These acts of provocation are meant to justify military-type repression, as the FSLN has a large capacity for military force against us.

The Party is also working in sectors of the youth. On the basis of the sharpening class struggle that we have discussed, an important movement within the youth and students has been provoked. The youth and students have been a strategic reserve for the FSLN and a source of their shock troops.

Building the Workers' Press

We continue to have difficulties with our press. The Sandinistas refuse to exchange cordobas for dollars to buy printing materials. We have not been able to achieve the regularization of the paper, but the paper has improved its links to the masses. The regularization of the paper is a very important factor for strengthening these links, and there are efforts to achieve this.

As a product of the election campaign we were able to open a radio show that comes on every day for half an hour. The "Noticiero del Periodico El Pueblo" is not an official voice of the Party, but a space that gives the line of the Party and competes professionally with other radio news. We also have a cultural radio program for one hour on Sunday that focuses on the ideological struggle.

Also we can maintain the twice-a-month publication of the FO Boletin... Maintaining Prensa Proletaria, the FO Boletin, and the radio show are very important for our work.

MAP/ML in the National Assembly

... The participation of the Party [in the Assembly] is used to propagate the positions of the Party on the issues being discussed. There is a clear understanding among the masses of the demarcation between the Party and the FSLN and the bourgeois-revisionist bloc. In general the way MAP/ML votes is news in the media; our position on the pardon of the contras, our struggle for the parliamentary rights of MAP/ML, and our denunciation of the corrupt and inefficient officials and bureaucracy has arrived in the comprehension of the masses.

... We have openly accused the FSLN of feeding the bourgeoisie in the Assembly, both politically and economically. This has also been in the media. The Conservative Party is hysterical over this...[it] wants to be the "grand opposition" to the FSLN in the Assembly. Because we have shown step by step how there tends to be an alliance between them, [the Conservatives] have made a big public fuss against us....


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From 'The Workers' Advocate Supplement'

On Party-Building

Issue #6 of The Workers' Advocate Supplement is devoted to an important issue of party-building -- the uniting of the workers of all nationalities in a single party. It continues the special study of questions concerning the struggle against national oppression from the Second National Conference of our Party. Below are excerpts from the lead article of The Supplement which is a statement from the Chicago Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party.

Proletarian Internationalism or Petty-Bourgeois Nationalism:


Right from the start, our Party and its predecessors have held that the American working class needs a single party to guide its struggle. All workers, regardless of nationality and regardless of whether they are immigrants or native-born, should unite in the struggle against the common capitalist enemy. The unity of all workers is the only way they can let their superior numbers and organization come into play in the struggle to overthrow their oppressors.

On the Publication "Boletin Colombo-Mexicano"

The question of whether there should be a single party uniting the workers of all nationalities or whether the proletarian party should be divided on the basis of nationality is, of course, not just an historical question. It comes up repeatedly due to the pressure of petty- bourgeois and bourgeois nationalism on the communist movement and revolutionary activists.

Recently, for example, two activists in Chicago have put out the first issue (June 18) of a small publication entitled "Boletin Colombo-Mexicano." This bulletin is not the publication of any party or group, but is simply the work of two individual activists. It is mainly composed of several articles on Mexico and Colombia;... But it also takes up the question of what political party should guide the struggle of the Mexican nationality community in the U.S. and organize the immigrants. It gives a profoundly erroneous stand on this question, holding that the immigrants should be organized separately from the rest of the working class.

As well, it seems that the authors of the publication hold that the same path should be followed by immigrants of other nationalities, who should also separate off from the revolutionary party in the U.S. in order to form separate national parties or branches of parties based in other countries....

The publication of the "Boletin Colombo-Mexicano" is only a minor event. Yet the issue raised is a major question of principle that will repeatedly come up again and again as the masses rise in struggle, just as this issue did in the 1960's and just as it did back in the early days of the Communist International when the CI helped the Communist Party of the USA, then a revolutionary party, find the correct solution to this question. Therefore, particularly as the publication of the "Boletin Colombo-Mexicano" appears at a time when our whole party is studying the national question as part of the work begun by the Second National Conference, we wish to take this occasion to once again clarify the basic Marxist- Leninist principles on this question.

Proletarian Internationalism or Petty-Bourgeois Nationalism?

What is at stake is a crucial principle of party-building. Should all the workers in an individual country unite together to form a single revolutionary, Leninist Party? Or should the workers' movement in the U.S. be divided into dozens of different parties, one for each nationality? In our opinion, this is a fundamental question of Leninist communism; is raises the question of petty-bourgeois nationalism or proletarian internationalism.

Proletarian internationalism holds that workers of all nationalities should unite. This unity is not just a unity in words or in fine sentiments uttered on ceremonial occasions, but it must be a solid unity cemented by unity in common organizations. There must be only one communist party in each country; and this party should lead the struggle of the workers of all nationalities, and it should unite the workers of all nationalities in its organizations.

Bourgeois and petty-bourgeois nationalism, on the other hand, divide the workers.

This division of the workers can take the form of open chauvinism and the direct fanning of hatred among the different nationalities. But there is also a more subtle, refined method of disrupting the workers' movement. Petty - bourgeois nationalism, for example, especially when it takes on Marxist colors, often claims to support the rights of all nationalities and to give some type of support to the struggle of the workers of other nationalities. But this type of nationalism combines high-sounding words about the equality and equal rights of all nationalities with the advocacy of the splitting-up of the workers' movement of a country according to nationality. By dividing the workers, petty-bourgeois nationalism sabotages the workers' struggle, including the struggle against racism and national oppression....

Lenin and the Communist International on Party-Building

Lenin laid great stress on the need for all workers living in one country, whether immigrants or native-born, whether of oppressed nationalities or of the oppressor nationality, to be in the same party, the same trade unions, go to common schools, etc. On this basis, the famous Communist or Third International insisted that its American section, the Communist Party of the USA, should unite the workers of all nationalities that live in the U.S., whether East European, black, Mexican, Asian, or white Anglo-Saxon. The immigrants were not to form separate parties, or to organize branches of the party in the homeland to guide their struggle in the U.S., but to unite in the Communist Party of the U.S....

Does Uniting in a Single Party Mean Abandoning the Struggle Against Racism and National Oppression?

Petty-bourgeois nationalism feeds on the feeling that, if the class conscious workers of the oppressed nationalities unite with the workers of other nationalities, it means abandoning the struggle against national oppression. But the experience of the CI shows that this is not true. It was precisely the CPUSA, in its revolutionary years, with its united workers organizations, that waged an unprecedentedly powerful struggle against racism and national oppression. It was precisely the Socialist Party, with its relegation of the nationalities into their own cubbyholes, that was riddled with chauvinism at worst, and passivity at best, on the question of racism.

When we say that the Mexican immigrants should join in a single party with the other workers, we are not talking about just any party. We are talking about a truly communist party, just as the CPUSA was before it fell prey to revisionism, and just as the Marxist- Leninist Party of the USA is today. Such parties lay full stress on the importance of the fight against racism and national oppression. Such parties lay full stress on rendering proletarian internationalist support for the revolutionary struggles in other countries.

Indeed, our Party has regarded with the utmost enthusiasm both the struggle of the oppressed nationalities against racism and national oppression and also the solidarity of the immigrants for the struggle in their homelands. Our Party and its predecessors have consistently advocated that the immigrant workers should a) support the revolutionary struggle in the homeland, b) fight against the special oppression of the community in the U.S., and c) take part in the general revolutionary movement as full members of the American working class. And we have consistently worked to bring out the entire working class in defense of the immigrant workers (and their descendants, the native- born workers of the oppressed nationalities) and in solidarity with the revolutionary struggles around the world.

It is clear that the building and strengthening of genuine communist parties is the only true bulwark against the racist bourgeoisie of the oppressor nation.... (The Workers' Advocate Supplement, July 15,1985)


"The interests of the working class demand the amalgamation of the workers of all the nationalities in a given state in united proletarian organizations -- political, trade union, cooperative, educational, etc. This amalgamation of the workers of different nationalities in single organizations will alone enable the proletariat to wage a victorious struggle against international capital and reaction,... "

(From "Resolution on the National Question" in "Resolutions of the Summer, 1913, Joint Conference of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. and Party Officials," Collected Works, Vol. 19, p. 428)


"We have still to settle the question of how to organize the proletariat of the various nations into a single, common party. One plan is that the workers should be organized on national lines -- so many nations, so many parties. That plan was rejected by the Social-Democrats. [This was written before the communists discarded the name "social-democrat" and left it to the reformists. -- ed.] Experience has shown that the organization of the proletariat of a given state on national lines tends only to destroy the idea of class solidarity. All the proletarians of all the nations in a given state must be organized in a single, indivisible proletarian collective.

"Thus, our views on the national question can be reduced to the following propositions:

"d) A single, indivisible proletarian collective, a single party, for the proletarians of all nationalities of the given state."

(From "Report on the National Question" at the Seventh Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. (Bolsheviks), April 24-29, 1917. See Stalin's Works, Vol. 3, p. 58)


On the Unity of Workers of All Nationalities In a Single Party

"There must be only one Marxist- Leninist party in each country. The proletarian movement needs unified leadership. Only a unified, class conscious vanguard can successfully lead the entire working class and revolutionary movement of the country and concentrate the energies of the working masses so that they make the supreme effort required to overthrow the rule of the bourgeoisie.

"Furthermore, the genuine communist party must not be a federation of different national groups, but must unite unconditionally the workers of all nationalities of the given country. If the proletarian party were simply a federation of national groups, or if there were separate parties for the workers of different nationalities in the same country, it would lead to chaos, to splintering the working class movement and reducing it to a weak and fragmented federation. Instead, the party must unite workers of all nationalities and itself vigorously lead the struggle against national oppression."

(From the resolution "On the Relations Between the Marxist-Leninist Parties")

The Marxist-Leninist Party is the Party of All Class Conscious Workers, Whether Immigrant or Native-Born

"The Marxist-Leninist Party considers the immigrant workers as part of the American working class. Thus it encourages the immigrant workers to join in the class struggle and revolutionary work against the U.S. capitalists rulers.

"Since the immigrant workers face not just exploitation as wage slaves but also special oppression, the Marxist-Leninist Party supports the immigrant working masses in fighting back against discrimination, persecution and racist attacks. It encourages all workers to defend the immigrants.

"Also, since the immigrant workers have close ties and deep interest in the revolutionary movements in the homelands, the Marxist-Leninist Party encourages and supports revolutionary work in support of these struggles.

"The Marxist-Leninist Party holds that there can only be a single vanguard for the working class of each country. The MLP is the party of the class conscious workers of all nationalities, foreign or native-born, immigrant or citizen.

"The principle of one party for the U.S. working class does not, however, mean that parties of other countries may not have certain organizations in this country. The principle is upheld if a distinction is made between the work of organizing the immigrant communities, work that is part of the American revolutionary movement, and hence should be directed by the MLP, and the work that is a part of the revolutionary work in the homeland. The MLP extends its hand of fraternal proletarian internationalist cooperation to such overseas party organizations of other parties."

(From the resolution "The Struggle Against Racism and National Oppression")

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Revisionist CPUSA holds fast to the mistakes of the 7th Congress of the CI

Our modern day revisionists have for some time been making use of the Seventh Congress of the Communist International to justify their current liquidationist policy. This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Seventh Comintern Congress, and it comes as no surprise that the revisionists of the CPUSA have seized on this event to decorate their current liquidationist course with theoretical tinsel from the Seventh Congress.

In the May issue of its theoretical journal, Political Affairs, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) carries an article entitled, "In the Perspective of History, Seventh Congress of the Comintern,'' written by Jim West, who was a delegate to the Seventh Congress and who is currently the chairman of the Central Review Commission of the CPUSA. The article gushes with enthusiasm over the "new strategic policy'' of the Seventh Congress and its new view of united front tactics. The West article goes on to emphasize that the Seventh World Congress "exert[s] a powerful influence on the course of development to this day.'' And it concludes that the so-called "All-People's Front Against Reaganism" of today's CPUSA is based on the policy of the Seventh Congress.

Unfortunately, West is right in these assessments. The Seventh Congress did mark a new and different general line from the previous congresses of the Communist International and the version of united front tactics it elaborated does form the basis for the liquidationist policy of the CPUSA today.

The Communist International had a glorious history. At a time when social-democracy had collapsed into the arms of the bourgeoisie, it rallied the advanced revolutionary workers, formed them into fighting parties in the different countries, and step by step led them through both storms of revolutionary struggle and periods of stagnation, always deepening their revolutionary convictions and their ties with the working masses. Through its history the Communist International had based itself on Leninism. Over the years, to firmly root the parties among the masses and help them win the masses to communism, it elaborated the Leninist united front tactics. But the Seventh Congress overthrew this heritage. In the name of building "united fronts'' and "popular fronts,'' the Seventh Congress took up the policies which had been denounced by the first six congresses of the Comintern and began tearing down the great work that the world communist movement had built up.

No wonder the CPUSA is so enthusiastic. Today the leaders of the CPUSA are corrupt revisionists who spit on true communism. The CPUSA has degraded the revolutionary united front tactics of Lenin into an appeal for a liberal-labor coalition with the bourgeois liberals, the union bureaucrats, the bourgeois sellouts from the oppressed nationality communities, the social-democrats, and the entire swamp centered on the Democratic Party. They call this an "all-people's front against Reaganism.'' But it does not unite the proletariat against the capitalists' and their parties, nor does it rally the working masses to the side of the proletariat, nor does it organize the fight against Reaganite reaction. It is actually liquidationism, an attempt to stamp out the independent organization and struggle of the working class.

Under one name or another, the Maoists, Trotskyites, and other pro-Soviet revisionists are following this same sellout policy. The Jim West article tries to prove that the current liquidationist course is a brilliant fighting strategy because it is based on the policy of the Seventh Congress of the Comintern. But instead, what the article reveals is that the Seventh Congress adopted a profoundly mistaken policy which has provided one of the basis for the revisionist liquidationism that plagues the revolutionary movement today.

A Turn in the Strategy of the Communist International

West confirms the fact that the Seventh Congress changed the orientation from the previous congresses of the Comintern and provided a new general line for the world communist movement.

At the time of the Seventh Congress, Georgi Dimitrov, who presided over the congress and presented its main report, stressed that, "Ours has been a Congress of a new tactical orientation for the Communist International." (Speech Delivered at the Close of the Seventh World Congress of the Cl, emphasis as in original)

West draws this point out emphasizing that, "The final world gathering of the Communist International produced a new strategic policy arising from the changed alignment of class forces in the world and the sharpened contradictions of monopoly capitalism." (emphasis added)

What was this "new" strategy? West discusses a series of issues including the appeal for unity with the social- democrats and trade union bureaucracy, the call for unity with the liberal bourgeoisie, the change to "peace" as the central slogan for the struggle against war, the reconciliation with the national reformists in the national liberation movement, and so forth.

Obviously this was not just some tinkering with a few tactics to deal with changes in the objective situation. It was, as West suggests, a "new strategic policy," a fundamental change in the general line from the previous congresses of the world communist movement. (For a detailed analysis of the Seventh Congress' backward turn in the general line of the world communist movement see the articles in the May 1, 1985 issue of The Workers' Advocate Supplement.)

Unity With the Liberal Bourgeoisie in the Name of "Winning the Middle Strata"

Let us take just one example of what the content of this "new strategic policy" amounted to. In future articles we will deal with other issues raised by West. But here let us discuss only the call for unity with the liberal bourgeoisie.

West begins his explanation of the Seventh Congress policy by painting up the liberal bourgeoisie as being in the "middle strata" and then whitewashes it as being a significant force in the fight against fascism.

He pontificates, "The Congress stressed that fascism menaced not only the Soviet Union, Communists and other adherents of socialism, but all who stood for democracy, peace and social progress. Accordingly, it pointed up the need to win the middle strata to anti-fascism, expose the social and nationalistic demagogy of fascism to prevent it from gaining a mass base in the middle strata." (emphasis added)

All fine and well. Certainly the working class must rally to its side as much as possible of the working people, urban petty bourgeoisie and toiling peasantry. But this is not what West is speaking of when he talks about "winning the middle strata." Rather he is talking about the" liberal bourgeoisie. West makes this clear when he proclaims I that, "In the United States, the Communist Party projected a policy of democratic front of all anti-fascist forces, which included critical support of some of President Roosevelt's policies." (emphasis added)

Roosevelt was a representative of the liberal bourgeoisie and the head of the capitalist Democratic Party. He was put into office by the entire capitalist class in order to head off the rising workers' movement with sweet promises of reform. Support for Roosevelt meant, in fact, blunting the edge of the class struggle and subordinating the working class in a liberal-labor coalition with the Democrats. But West portrays this policy as building "the broadest unity," "win(ning) the middle strata to anti-fascism" and so forth.

West's arguments are actually the same as those provided by Dimitrov at the Seventh Congress. The parties of the liberal bourgeoisie were misrepresented as peasant or urban petty- bourgeois parties. And the term "popular front," or alliance of the working masses, was misused as a euphemism for alliance with the liberal bourgeoisie. Dimitrov's stress on the need for the popular front was actually an appeal for the need for unity with the bourgeois liberals at all costs.

Painting Up the Liberal Bourgeoisie as Anti-Fascist Fighters in the Name of "Utilizing Contradictions" Among the Bourgeoisie

While dressing the liberal bourgeoisie in the clothing of the "middle strata," West also argues that the popular front policy was based on utilizing contradictions among the bourgeoisie.

West declares that the analysis of the Seventh Congress "made possible the recognition and utilization of the contradictions between fascism and bourgeois democracy. They provided the theoretical basis for developing the broadest unity of all anti-fascist and non-fascist forces against the chief enemy." And thus, West gushes, for uniting "all anti-fascist forces" including President Roosevelt.

Now of course it is necessary to draw a distinction between the bourgeois liberals and bourgeois reaction. And frequently special tactics are required to handle the bourgeois liberals. But it is quite another thing to prettify the bourgeois liberals as anti-fascist fighters and to dress their parties up as parties of the working masses. But this is precisely what West supports in the Seventh Congress policy. He forgets the dirty role of the liberal bourgeoisie in fascizing the state, and he covers over the fact that the liberal bourgeoisie dreads the revolutionary initiative of the workers more than it disagrees with the fascists. Some liberal bourgeois parties may oppose the outright fascists to this or that extent, but the more consistent and more revolutionary the mass struggle against fascism, the closer the liberal bourgeoisie, as a class grouping of the exploiters, is to recoiling in horror and going over to reaction.

The "New Strategic Policy" Led to Browderite Revisionism and the Liquidation of the CPUSA

What were the results of this policy? West tries to paint the glowing picture that the Seventh Congress "spurred the constructive work of the U.S. communists," heightened "building the broadest coalition movements," "gave a tremendous stimulus to the drive to organize the unorganized," and so forth. But West conveniently forgets the fact that it was after the Seventh Congress that Browderite revisionism arose in the CPUSA and that the party was eventually liquidated outright.

Before the Seventh Congress, the CPUSA was gradually building up its strength: leading the unemployed movement, strikes, the fight against the national oppression of the black people, and the anti-imperialist struggles. It initially fought vigorously against Roosevelt and the union bureaucrats, who were traipsing at his tail, and for the development of the independent movement of the working class. But after the Seventh Congress this struggle was toned down and the CPUSA increasingly fell into the position of the left wing of the Rooseveltian liberal-labor coalition.

It was under the signboard of the Seventh Congress and its new version of united front tactics that Browder developed his revisionism and corroded the revolutionary policy of the CPUSA. Browder first liquidated the independent, revolutionary mass organizations and then the party organizations themselves for the sake of accommodation with the top union hacks, the social- democrats, and the politicians of the liberal bourgeoisie generally. At the same time, Browder defined and redefined the united front on a ' 'broader and broader" basis. Originally the united front was of the working class, and its allies, against the capitalists. But Browder distorted the united front to a coalition of a section of the labor bureaucracy with the left wing of the Democratic Party. He went on to include the whole union bureaucracy, the liberals of both the Democratic and Republican Parties, and he even extended his embrace to the National Association of Manufacturers and to J.P. Morgan himself. In 1944, Browder liquidated the CPUSA itself, replacing it with what he called an "educational" association, to prove to the capitalists that he was really committed to "national unity."

These facts demonstrate the danger of following the "new strategic policy" of the Seventh Congress. And so West skirts them without even a mention. He prefers to create the myth of the forward march of "broad coalitions" to justify the present policy of the CPUSA.

The "All-People's Front Against Reaganism" Today

From the supposed grandeurs of what the CP wrought in the past under the policy of the Seventh Congress, West turns to the application of the line of the Seventh Congress today. He explains that, "It is in full awareness of the need to take the kind of initiative that Dimitrov spoke of and to forestall any ultra-rightist or phony left attempt to mislead and abort real movement toward an anti-monopoly party that the CPUSA takes the lead in projecting and helping to build the All-People's Front against Reaganism...."

The fight against Reaganite reaction is an essential struggle. And, as our Party has pointed out repeatedly, it must be organized as a struggle of class against class. Reagan was put in power by the capitalists as a whole. His offensive against the working masses is an offensive in the interests of the capitalists as a class. And that is why it has received the support of the liberals of the Democratic Party as well as the backing of the reactionary Dixiecrats and Republicans.

But the CPUSA is so imbued with liberal-labor politics that it cannot even conceive of speaking out against the reactionaries without first getting the okay from the bourgeois liberals. Now, as in the mid-1930's, the CPUSA's conception of the people's front is nothing more nor less than seeking out a section of monopoly capital to get in bed with and throwing their support behind the Democratic Party liberals, no matter how far towards reaction they have gone.

Henry Winston, the national chairman of the CPUSA, explained the meaning of their "all people's front" earlier this year. He states, "At the extraordinary conference of the Communist Party, USA in Milwaukee two years ago, the tactic of the all-people's front to defeat Reagan and Reaganism was developed....In the course of things there have been those who have not understood this tactic. Some concluded that instead of an anti-Reagan front, a call should be issued for unity on the basis of what they call 'a more advanced position.'...But consider those important forces, even within the ranks of monopoly capital, which, for whatever particular class motivation, nevertheless are against nuclear war, against confrontation, for negotiation. Should they be given over to the hands of the military-industrial complex? Why should such an illogical surrender be made?" (Political Affairs, Jan. 1985)

The only thing illogical here is the illusion that the military-industrial complex is anything other than a creature of the monopoly capitalists or that some section of monopoly capital is really interested in fighting against the Reaganite policies such as nuclear warmongering.

Earlier, during the presidential election campaign, Gus Hall drew out the political significance of this search for unity with a section of monopoly capital. Hall argues that, "within the overall task of unifying the forces of the all people's front, it is necessary to pay special attention to the issues and forms that will unite and bring together the supporters of Mondale and the supporters of Jackson." (Political Affairs, July, 1984) In other words, what is of special importance to the CPUSA is not the uniting of the workers and exploited masses generally in a fighting front against Reaganite reaction, but instead how to develop support for the Democratic Party politicians and how to keep the Democratic Party united. And the CPUSA is willing to sell out any and every interest of the working masses for the goal of finding a place in the Democratic Party up to and including support for Mondale who ran for the presidency on an essentially Reaganite platform of rabid imperialist warmongering and takebacks against the masses.

Such is the sellout nature of the CP's so-called "all-people's front against Reaganism," and such is the essential nature of the liquidationism that is the present day curse on the revolutionary movement.

Still, the CP's theorizing is useful. It shows us not only the corrosive policy which we must fight against today, but also its historical theoretical justification. It verifies that our fight against modern day liquidationism requires us to criticize the profoundly erroneous tactics of the Seventh Congress. It proves to us that if we are to build up the independent forces of the working class, and if we are to steadfastly advance on the revolutionary road, then we must fight even harder to defend the revolutionary theory of Leninism and uphold revolutionary traditions of the Comintern, which the Seventh Congress turned its back on.

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General Dynamics tank workers oppose UAW chiefs and reject concessions

At a July 11 press conference, Marc Stepp, a United Auto Workers (UAW) vice-president and head of bargaining at the General Dynamics (GD) tank plants, viciously denounced the GD tank workers for their Overwhelming rejection of a new concessions contract. Stepp claimed the workers had been lied to and suggested that he might demand a re vote on the contract.

But the GD tank workers were outraged at Stepp's arrogant dictate. They have had to resist the UAW leaders at every turn to organize struggle against the GD capitalists and they are not about to bow down now.

In May, the UAW leaders opened early bargaining with General Dynamics. They agreed to a new concessions contract which included, among other things, replacing usual wage increases with lump sum payments that would not be rolled into the workers' base rate. According to reports the lump sum payments would only mean a 34-cent-an- hour wage increase over the three-year contract. As well, the contract continued the two-tier wage system and, with the lump sum payments, would have, in effect, extended to five years the time it takes for a newly hired worker to get up to the pay scale of those already employed.

The UAW leaders sent a letter to all workers calling for a vote in favor of the contract, and Stepp held press conferences claiming that the contract provided "very substantial'' wage increases and other "breakthroughs.''

As well, the international attempted to impose a gag order on local UAW officials, barring them from revealing any terms of the contract that were not in the fancy, and lying, brochure that the international put out to try to convince the workers to back the contract.

But the workers saw through the lies and opposed the dictate of the UAW bureaucrats. At the Warren, Michigan tank plant signs went up proclaiming, "Local 1200 will not be Stepp on.'' And, referring to the exposure of GD's bribes to Pentagon officials, a sign declared, "GD gives gifts, but not to the workers."

On June 10, the 4,700 production workers and 1,400 engineers and clerical workers at GD tank plants in Warren and Sterling Heights, Michigan; Lima, Ohio; and Scranton, Pennsylvania voted on the contract. It was overwhelmingly rejected by an 84% vote.

Despite the overwhelming no vote total, the UAW leaders split off the engineers and clerical workers, who had been tricked into voting for the contract, and imposed the concessions agreement on them. And, as Stepp's July 11 press conference shows, the UAW hacks are already maneuvering to find a way to impose the new concessions on the production workers.

But the rank and file have learned a lot about the UAW's dirty tricks and they are preparing for a strike against GD when the contract expires on September 14.

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Breaking up the unity of the workers in basic steel

The outrageous concessions demands by the Wheeling-Pittsburgh steel capitalists have created a clamor for similar demands by the other steel industry giants. The steel monopolies, having broken up the industry-wide steel contract, are out to pick off the steel workers company by company.

This spring five of the largest steel monopolies in the country announced a unanimous agreement to break up the employers' committee for collective bargaining with the United Steel Workers union (USW). This breaks up the industry-wide uniform basic steel contract which steel workers had won through struggle 30 years ago and which had formed the basis for the powerful 1959 steel strike.

This is the final step in years of effort by the steel billionaires to break up the united front of the steel workers. In 1980 a process was begun of breaking off the "me too'' plants (fabrication plants and subsidiaries that abide by, but weren't part of the national agreement) from the Basic Steel Agreement. In '82 and '83, in addition to the concessions granted nationally, local concessions were granted to several companies on a plant basis, de facto beginning to break up the industry-wide agreement. Also the employers' association began to shrink as Wheeling- Pittsburgh and National Steel withdrew. And the last five companies -- U.S. Steel, LTV, Bethleham, Inland and Armco -- have finished breaking up the basic steel agreement.

The steel workers are now left to face the concessions drive of the steel giants on a company-by-company, and even plant-by-plant, basis. Each company is crying that to "stay competitive" it must have wages and benefits as low or lower than the lowest-paying company. To get the workers to give in, the blackmail of bankruptcy with plant closings and job loss is being used in the same way as in the airlines, meatpacking, auto, retailing and other industries.

The steel billionaires have already let it be known that they're out for big concessions in the 1986 contracts. U.S. Steel and National Steel have announced that they want further wage cutting, job combinations, and such. Wheeling-Pittsburgh is trying to force a huge wage cut, bringing take-home pay down to $5.50 an hour. One of the mouthpieces for the giant monopolies, Business Week, calls the Wheeling-Pittsburgh strike "the start of the basic steel wars." The magazine declares that whatever rate Wheeling-Pittsburgh gets from its workers will be the rate all the other steel giants demand of their workers in 1986.

What stand have the leaders of the steel workers' union taken in the face of this attack? They not only aren't fighting it, but even think its a good thing! Steelabor, the newspaper of the USW, quotes Lynn Williams, USW president, declaring that there will be "positive aspects" to the end of coordinated bargaining in steel and that, "Unions can and should be a positive force in our economy. Management needs a lot of help." Steelabor reports that Williams emphasized that "Reducing labor costs alone will not solve the industry's problem."

Steel workers, beware! The union leadership feels our role is to "help management" at a time when companies are preparing more wage and benefit cuts, more job combination, and worsening working conditions. We must expose the union misleaders and build up our own fighting organizations independent from the union bureaucracy.

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Fight National Steel s plans for new concessions!

(The following article is from a leaflet issued by the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA issued on July 26, 1985.)

On July 18, National Steel announced that it is investing a total of $300 million into Great Lakes Steel [outside of Detroit] for a new continuous caster, electric furnace and electro-galvanizing line. This is a part of the five-year, $1 billion company-wide modernization program.

And how does National plan to finance this? By making the workers pay through another round of concessions in the next contract. National Steel announced in the June 13, 1985 issue of the Wall Street Journal that it is going for wage and benefits cuts along with job combination and work rule changes. As well, the millionaires at National have declared they are going to cut 20 to 30% of the company's work force!

These concessions and employment cuts are a central part of National Steel's company-wide productivity drive- "cost cutting" strategy, designed to maximize their profits at the workers' expense.

National Steel has tried to claim that modernization and concessions will provide "job security" for the workers. This is nonsense and we've heard this song before! Under capitalism modernization has always meant job elimination.

According to National Steel's President Robert McBride, the workers will receive job security if they will only give up in the next contract "...improvement in work rules and so forth that will give us productivity benefits." (Detroit News, July 18, 1985) In other words, McBride claims the workers must agree to job combination and elimination to get "job security." What double talk! The song of job security was sung back in 1982 when the soldout leadership of the United Steelworkers union forced the steel industry concessions onto the workers. At that time they claimed the concessions were "necessary" to "save jobs" and provide "job security" for the workers. In reality the concessions meant tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs.

Now once again the union chiefs are organizing for more concessions in steel. By agreeing to the breakup of the industry-wide contract, the union bureaucrats are working to weaken the united strength of the steel workers in the face of the steel capitalists' attacks.

The Great Lakes Steel workers must fight any new concessions. Locally, District Director Harry Lester and Local 1299 President Ray Bonds claim they will defend the workers, but this is an extremely hollow claim considering they shoved the 1982 concessions onto us. As well, they have been collaborating with the company's program of job elimination all along.

The Great Lakes Steel workers can only rely on themselves to defend their jobs and wages. We must build our own independent organization and struggle. We must build our networks and circulate literature like this leaflet to rally our forces to fight the company's attacks.

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Chrysler spends $765 million to buy two companies

But still wants concessions from the workers

(The following article is taken from a leaflet issued by the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on July 15, 1985.)

In recent weeks, Chrysler announced that it will spend $640 million to buy out Gulfstream Aerospace and $125 million for E.F. Hutton Credit Corp. While Chrysler has hundreds of millions to gobble up other corporations, it is still demanding more concessions from the hard-pressed workers.

Chrysler has more money than it knows what to do with. Let's look at the facts. In 1984 alone, Chrysler raked in a whopping $2.4 billion in profits. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. In the past five years Chrysler has completely paid off more than $2 billion in federally guaranteed loans to the Wall St. bankers. A few hundred million in interest payments went to the poor old boys at Chase Manhattan and the rest. And the Chrysler executives weren't forgotten either. They received big production bonuses. Lee Iacocca himself has been given stock and stock options reportedly worth $20-40 million.

But Where Did this Gold Mine Come From? Out of the Hides of the Workers!

These are concessions dollars! Billions of dollars stolen from the Chrysler auto workers over the past five years. These are the bitter fruits of the hated concessions: wage and benefit cuts, job elimination and job combination.

Chrysler's thirst for concessions is unquenchable. And Chrysler's greed has no limit. On July 3, Lee Iacocca announced in the Detroit News that Chrysler is again looking to continue the old concessions and institute new ones too. Iacocca said that Chrysler will again try to float its profit sharing schemes in place of the traditional yearly wage increases. Iacocca also announced that Chrysler's second main goal in this year's national contract talks will be the widescale elimination of job classifications.

Chrysler workers: the battle lines are being drawn. A fight is in the making. Now is the time for us to prepare our forces.

Rumors of Plant Closings

In the June 4 issue of the Detroit News, Chrysler issued a blackmail threat against the workers, Chrysler directly raised the issue of plant closings and directly tied it to local concessions. Chrysler pointed out that "the future of the Jefferson and Belvidere, Illinois assembly plants depends to a large extent on the winning of a favorable contract."

There you have it. Just like at AMC, Chrysler is threatening to close down plants if the workers don't agree to give them more concessions. What is more, Chrysler is suggesting that the Belvidere workers and the Jefferson workers compete over who will give up the most concessions, over who will work the cheapest, under the most rotten, miserable conditions.

Over the past five, years the Chrysler workers have been saddled with wage and benefit cuts, plant closings and countless job eliminations. These concessions haven't saved a single job or kept a single plant from closing. The Chrysler workers have only been ruined and worked like dogs under the hated concessions. Enough is enough! Chrysler is playing a low-life, sleazy black-mail game. It should be cursed and denounced up and down.

Jefferson workers: Reject Chrysler's blackmail schemes. Stand shoulder to shoulder with the Belvidere workers. A determined fight against concessions by the Jefferson workers will be an important inspiration for the rest of the auto workers. And it would be an important step to build up the fight against the entire takeback offensive.

A militant fight now will also prepare the workers for the fight later to defend our jobs, if Chrysler ever does attempt to close the Jefferson plant.

To hell with Chrysler's concessions demands!

Down with Chrysler's low-life black-mail plots!

Build the fight to defend our jobs and working conditions!

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Strike against Western Union

Over 7,000 technicians, operators and clerks are out on strike against Western Union.

Last year, Western Union socked the workers with a six-month 10% wage cut. Now they want to freeze wages another two years and then pay a onetime three percent bonus. On top of this, the company wants to lay off 1,500 to 2,000 workers and contract out more work to non-union workers.

Western Union has been losing money in the dog-eat-dog competition with other electrocommunications monopolies and it wants its workers to foot the bill. But the workers, facing severe job cuts and loss of pay, have their backs to the wall. They are learning from bitter experience that only struggle against the capitalist sharks offers any hope of saving the workers' jobs and livelihood.


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Chicago Tribune workers strike for job security

Since July 19th, 1,075 printers, pressmen and mailhandlers have been striking against the Chicago Tribune's attempts to eliminate jobs, change work rules, and impose a two-tier wage scale.

The Tribune is in a frenzy to break the strike. It has sent letters to all the workers on strike threatening them with being permanently replaced if they persist in struggle. The publishers are so desperate they have imported scabs from as far away as Florida and the West Coast, putting them up in downtown hotels and paying them $40 a day for meals. Meanwhile, the Tribune has announced the firing of the engravers, who have refused to cross the picket lines, and has threatened the 300 members of the Paperhandlers Union who are also honoring the picket line. As well, the delivery drivers have been threatened with a $1 million-a-day fine if they were to refuse to cross the picket line. Unfortunately, despite the sentiment of the drivers to strike in solidarity, the Teamster bureaucrats have caved in to the threat and are forcing the drivers to work.

The strikers are fighting back. They have organized pickets of up to 100 workers. On July 20, two strikers were arrested for trying to block scabs at the printing plant. And on July 25, a rally of 1,000 workers was held to protest against the Tribune's brutal attempts at strikebreaking.

The Tribune capitalists are trying to get out of a 10-year-old agreement to guarantee the jobs of workers in the composing room. In 1975 the workers gave up work rule changes that allowed for job combination and technological innovation in exchange for job guarantees. Under this agreement jobs have been reduced from 600 to 230 through attrition. As well, concessions granted in 1979 have led to job losses of from 10-50% in the other paper departments.

But the Tribune is not content with the pace of this job elimination. Now it wants the right to transfer these workers out of their department into any job. In the new job these older workers would lose departmental seniority and would be subject to firing after a 90-day probationary period. In other words, the Tribune would be able to harass workers with guaranteed jobs into quitting, or fire them on trumped-up charges, or replace other workers with them. One of the provocations which led to the strike was the company's arbitrary attempt to force a worker out of the composing room into a job he didn't want. The newspaper capitalists also want other job-eliminating work rule changes.

The Tribune, which has many expert, professional liars on its staff, is trying to present a picture to the public as if the workers are stubbornly resisting progress, resisting technological advance. But if anything, the workers have been more than reasonable, allowing all manner of job elimination and overwork if only those presently employed could keep their jobs. But under capitalism, technological advance is not used to lighten the load or improve the life of the workers. Instead the workers are sacked, while the capitalists rake in enormous profits. The workers are absolutely right to fight to defend their jobs and livelihood. And a struggle must be mounted to force the capitalists to provide jobs or a livelihood for all of the unemployed, who are being sacrificed for the profits which the capitalists like to call "progress."

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Philadelphia teachers prepare for strike

(On June 24 the Philadelphia teachers voted to strike if the Wilson Goode city government doesn't meet their demands. The Philadelphia Committee in Support of the MLP, USA passed out hundreds of leaflets to the teachers meeting encouraging their strike vote. Below we reprint excerpts from the leaflet.)

On June 24, 1985 more than 20,000 teachers and other members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers will vote on a strike authorization proposal. The current PFT contract expires at the end of August 1985. Negotiations between the school district and the PFT began in October. But the City Council and Mayor Goode have refused to allocate funding to include a wage increase for teachers.

In the meantime, another issue has developed on the question of the school district's recent layoff of 279 teachers. The district's policy of laying off teachers at the end of the school year and calling them back in October or November causes chaos in the classroom and is far from being in the best interest of teachers and students.

The teachers have fought long and hard struggles to improve working conditions, their living standards and the quality of education for the children of Philadelphia. The struggle against layoffs has always been a primary demand.

The PFT membership will not tolerate a sellout contract. In 1970, 1972, 1978, 1980 and 1982 the Philadelphia teachers and other school workers defended their basic rights with strikes. The PFT leadership, under Marvin Schuman, are all too willing to grant concessions to the ruling class (banks, monopolies, government bureaucrats and other capitalist forces) from the hard won victories of the workers.

A strike vote is necessary to defend the very real gains won by PFT members after many years of sacrifice and struggle. The Philadelphia Committee in Support of the Marxist-Leninist Party USA stands firmly with the Philadelphia school district workers in their just struggle.

Vote strike authorization!

No to concessions!

No contract, no work!

Build the independent movement of the working class!

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New York transit workers: Fight the giveback contract!

(The following article is taken from a leaflet issued by the New York Metro Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on July 8, 1985.)

Slowly, details are dribbling out about the new transit contract. While union boss Sonny Hall boasts of a.contract "better than any city union," the Daily News gloats that workers will be paying for almost a third of their own raise through givebacks. Even more ominously, other givebacks will allow MTA head, Gunn, to step up his job combination, speedup and intimidation program. What are some of the major givebacks?

WORK RULE CHANGES. According to The Chief: "Still to be worked out is complete language of the contract pertaining to work rules, which is especially important because the new zipper clause insisted on by the MTA will end the era of oral understandings in some practices not covered by the contract... 86 or 87 such practices are under discussion and within 45 days decisions will be made through negotiations as to which will be incorporated into the... contract and which will be discontinued."

Yet the union stonewalls and insists that there are no givebacks in work rules -- because they will be imposed later! And if 87 items are left to be settled after the vote, just what are we voting on anyway? A blank check to Gunn and Sonny Hall to decide our fate in 45 days!

This will not do! The 87 items are not just minor "outmoded" practices, but vital issues to all transit workers. Gunn and Hall have left these items till after the vote precisely because the work rule changes will be so bad for transit workers that we would reject the contract outright if we had the chance to vote on them. We must see these changes before the vote!

LOSS OF CIVIL SERVICE RIGHTS. Previously, workers had the right to take a Step 5 disciplinary proceeding to a Civil Service Trial Board. Under the new contract, workers lose this right and must go to the arbitrator. Given last year's experience of grave penalties for minor infractions, this change must have Gunn dancing in the street. Although workers will have the right of appeal, in practice the courts never overrule an arbitrator's decision.

NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL CUT. Freezing night differential pay will take tens of millions out of workers' pockets. By the end of the contract, the differential will be reduced to 8%, and a precedent will have been set for paying differential as a small fixed sum rather than as a percentage of pay.

LOWER STARTING PAY. Besides being grossly unfair to new workers, this provision increases the TA's incentive to replace experienced workers with new hires. A new worker taking 36 months to reach top scale will save the TA almost $15,000. City firefighters rejected their first contract precisely over this point.

In the face of these facts, the TWU officials continue to insist that there really are no givebacks, that the work rule changes don't amount to anything, etc. Meanwhile, they refuse to issue any details about the contract, and every indication is that workers will never know what they are voting on.

Can it be that there is no time for a meeting to discuss the contract terms? Then how is it that Sonny Hall found time to hold a shopgate meeting at 207 Street the day before the contract terms were announced, when he could (conveniently) be shielded from sharp questions about the givebacks? How is it that no shopgate or other mass union meetings have been called since the settlement to discuss the terms?

To ask these questions is to answer them. Sonny Hall and the TWU bureaucrats want to keep us ignorant of the contract givebacks. They want us to vote blindly without any discussion. They want to impose another "mystery contract" like in 1982.

Transit workers must not sit still for this! We must take up the fight against the imposition of this contract. We must demand and organize for mass meetings to discuss all the contract details, all the open and hidden givebacks, before we cast our votes.

Pass this leaflet around to spread information about the givebacks. Expose and denounce the treachery of the union hacks who hide the bitter facts behind rosy generalities and outright lies.

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Stepped-up guerrilla actions in the Philippines


Philippine revolutionaries continue to step up their attacks on military targets and government installations of the hated U.S.-backed Marcos regime. The guerrillas are launching numerous tactical offensive actions, some of them involving hundreds of fighters, often launching assaults simultaneously in different parts of the country. The Marcos government itself estimates that in the first five months of this year there were 10-11 clashes between the army and the guerrillas every single day, with a growing number of these clashes initiated by the guerrillas. And the U.S. Defense Department estimates that the insurgents have roughly doubled their activity in the last year. (New York Times, July 3, p. 7)

The most notable guerrilla action of the last few months took place May 26 in the town of Isabela in Negros Occidental province. In this raid the rebels overwhelmed a military camp housing the elite 3rd Scout Ranger Company with a daylight attack of 400 guerrillas. Wearing uniforms and fully armed with M-16 rifles and M-79 grenade launchers, the guerrillas pulled up to the army camp inside cargo trucks, then stormed inside the camp.

The guerrillas poured into the army camp firing their weapons and hurling grenades at the Scout Rangers' quarters, the city hall and other targets. At the municipal jail they released eight prisoners including three suspected guerrillas who joined the shooting after being supplied with firearms. The rebels carried off weapons from the police station and an anti-aircraft gun from the army barracks. The army lost 12 Scout Rangers killed, while there were no casualties among the guerrillas.

This raid was a big blow to the regime's Task Force Sugarland created to quell the struggle of the sugar field and mill workers in Negros Occidental. The regime's regional military commander, Brig. Gen. Isidro de Buzman, called it the biggest setback in the region in terms of casualties, and the colonel in charge of Task Force Sugarland was fired. A government journalist admitted that what made the daylight raid possible -- with the guerrillas gathering on street corners in broad daylight -- was a complete breakdown in military intelligence stemming from lack of cooperation from the civilian population.

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Nationwide protest against the Colombian regime

On June 20, the working people of Colombia organized a nationwide day of protest against the reactionary and pro- U.S. imperialist government of Belisario Betancur. The protest was directed against the government's anti-worker austerity measures dictated by the international bankers, and for democratic rights in the face of the growing repression of the regime. The protest took the form of a paro civico, a type of civic stoppage that includes strikes, shutting businesses, blocking transport, etc.

The government responded to the paro civico with cynical brutality. Betancur painted June 20 as an attempted insurrection, and filled the cities and towns with tanks and troops that ruthlessly attacked the protesters. Thousands of activists were arrested, and the paramilitary death squads served notices of execution on many of the leaders of the protest. Of course, Betancur declared a triumph that the insurrection had failed!

The paro civico was called by diverse forces. This included the independent unions and the CSTC union center led by the pro-Soviet revisionist CP (while it was opposed by the big union centers under the Liberals, Conservatives, and the social-christians). It also included most of the left-wing political parties and the guerrilla movements.

For their part, the CP revisionists tried to turn the paro into a pacifist event for their electoral ambitions; they called on the workers to stay home with their "arms at their sides." The Maoists of MOIR boycotted the struggle on the absurd grounds that it would only play into the game of Soviet social-imperialism in Colombia.

Meanwhile, the M-19 and ELN guerrilla movements went into a fit of petty-bourgeois impotence. Playing into the government's game,, they described June 20 in insurrectionary colors, but then did next to nothing on the day of the paro itself. The Castroites of the ELN staged a few isolated attacks on the police. And on June 20, the petty-bourgeois nationalists of the M-19 renewed their declaration of war on the government and swore that they would seize power within two years -- but on the day of the paro they were hardly to be seen.

The most militant and organized forces in the paro civico were the forces mobilized by the Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist). On a national scale the Marxist-Leninists were in the midst of the struggle. The Party's armed wing, the EPL, carried out armed agitation and armed defense of the mass actions. And the Marxist- Leninist youth of the Revolutionary Youth of Colombia also played a courageous and militant role in the mobilization of the masses.

The paro was strongest in the Uraba region of the department of Antioquia near the border with Panama. Uraba is a banana growing region, and a center of strength of the CP of Colombia (ML) and the EPL among the plantation workers. In this region the shutdown of the economy and transport was almost complete, and the paro lasted four days as the workers stayed out to press their demands for the re-hiring of workers fired for the protest.

The paro civico of June 20 was another manifestation of the determination of the Colombian proletariat, and of the CP of Colombia (ML), to carry forward their courageous struggle against the bloodsoaked regime of the Colombian bourgeoisie and its imperialist backers.

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The perils of reading in the land of law and order

Today, whenever the capitalists run into trouble, they have only one refrain: if the troublemaker lives abroad, bomb him; if he is an immigrant, deport him; if he's a citizen, jail him. In the February issue of this paper we reported that the Missouri legislature is deliberating on whether to make overdue library books a felony or a misdemeanor. It turns out that Missouri is behind the times: other states are already in the van in this criminal law reform.

For example, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a man spent three days in jail in the latter part of July on the charge of having failed to return four volumes of Shakespeare and of owing $63 in library fines. Unable to come up with $50 bond, he was such a dangerous offender that he was jailed prior to trail. He was released on his own recognizance after three days only because a judge was worried about jail overcrowding. The judge had to decide which of the "criminal elements" it would do least harm to society to release. It must have been a hard decision: after all, the poor unfortunate might graduate from Shakespeare to 20th century subversive writers. His trial is still pending.

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July 3,1985

Dear Comrades,

I would like to commend the Party for its upholding of Leninist united front tactics as against the capitulationist positions adopted by the 7th Congress of the Comintern (1935).

I think that when other activists and working class militants read through the positions of the MLP they can see how the Party is defending the Marxist traditions against the current trends of pro-capitalist Democratic Party toadyism on the "left."

To really provide political ammunition to honest working class partisans to break the people's movements away from the dead-end of the liberals and soldout union officialdom, militants should take the opportunity to read the MLP Party press, discuss with MLP partisans, and rally around the Party of the American working people, the MLP,USA.

Also the Party is doing a great job waging ideological struggle against the capitalist bosses' media campaign on the Viet Nam veterans. Their campaign of "concern" is as phony as a three dollar bill! As a former member of a valiant Gl group, the Viet Nam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) I, as well as other vets are proud of the MLP articles condemning the crimes of ' 'our government" against the Vietnamese people and the U.S. war veterans. Many thousands of vets still carry the physical and emotional scars of that bipartisan aggression waged by U.S. imperialism against the heroic and victorious Vietnamese liberation fighters.

Now, you should expose the media trash like RAMBO -- Part 2 which is a militarist recruitment film for the U.S. corporate fat cats who wax fat from the plunder of imperialist aggression around the world!


Los Angeles

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The dropping of the atomic bombs in 1945

A horrendous crime of U.S. imperialism

On August 6, 1945 the U.S. imperialists carried out the first atomic bomb attack in history, slaughtering some 130,000 people, over a third of Hiroshima's population. Three days later, they dropped a second atomic bomb, this time sentencing around 73,000 people in Nagasaki to a gruesome death. Only the U.S. government has put nuclear weapons to use, and then in an exercise of mass extermination of a defenseless civilian population.

Why did they drop the bomb? The bought and paid for scribblers of the moneybags tell us. it was "to save lives." After all, they claim, an invasion would have brought far greater death and destruction. But these are just lies. The bomb was dropped for no other reason than to hasten U.S. imperialist conquest, to carve out spheres of influence in Asia and head off the rising liberation movements of the peoples.

By the spring of 1945 imperial Japan was in the throes of defeat and had already begun to sue for peace in April and June. Even the U.S. Air Force's own "Strategic Bombing Survey" at the end of the war concluded that, "certainly prior to December 31, 1945 and in all probability prior to November 1, 1945 [the date that had been discussed for a possible U.S. invasion], Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

But if Japan was already essentially defeated and surrender was just a matter of time, why did they drop the bomb? The U.S. government wanted the quickest possible victory in order to cut the then-socialist Soviet Union out of the peace settlement and to take over the Japanese colonies before the insurgent peoples had finished liberating themselves. As well, the U.S. government wanted to intimidate the Soviet Union and all the anti-fascist fighters around the world and force them to stop their advance in its tracks. In an attempt to stop the war quickly, the U.S. militarists planned for the atomic bombs to cause the maximum civilian casualties to increase their horror.

In fact, the atomic bombs probably did not cause the Japanese surrender. It was the Russian entry into the war that panicked the Japanese fascists who preferred to surrender to reactionary American capitalists than to the Soviet Union or the insurgent peoples of the Japanese-invaded areas. But the dropping of the bomb was a dress rehearsal for U.S. nuclear blackmail and the opening shot of a new U.S. crusade against communism and revolution throughout the world. It was not so much the last shot of World War II as the first shot of the "cold war."

The U.S. imperialists incinerated hundreds of thousands of people in cold blood for no higher aims than making a buck from plundering the toiling masses of the former Japanese-invaded areas and of fighting for U.S. world hegemony.

They should be ashamed. But instead the U.S imperialists are gloating. Forty years of the bomb, forty years of nuclear power politics, forty years of imperialist bullying and terror. The TV screens, magazines and newspapers are filled with stories about the deadly, dangerous game of nuclear brinkmanship and terror played by each and every U.S. president, Democrat and Republican alike, since the Hiroshima massacre. In every conflict in the last four decades, no matter how small, and in every region of the world, the U.S. government has made detailed plans and preparations to explode nuclear weapons. It has publicly or privately threatened to drop the bomb on Germany, Russia, Korea, China, Cuba, Viet Nam, the Middle East, and the list goes on.

The apologists for imperialism claim that this sordid history shows not the rapacious appetite of the imperialists who will go to any lengths to maintain and extend their international conquests, but demonstrates, instead, that the buildup of nuclear weapons is what has "kept us out of a general war." After all, they plead, the presidents have acted with restraint when faced with the possibility of unleashing such death and destruction around the world and in the U.S. itself. But this is just more of the same imperialist doublespeak that led Reagan to rename the MX missile the "peacemaker" and to preach the gospel of so-called "peace through strength."

The imperialists care nothing about lives lost or damage done. They have already proven that in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and in the countless "conventional" carpet bombings, napalmings, and wholesale invasions that they've carried out in the last four decades. What matters to the imperialists is simply cost-benefit analysis -- how much profits and conquest can they win per hundred-thousand body count. One has but to read the Eisenhower memoirs, or the Kennedy tapes, or the Nixon interviews, or the Reaganite and Pentagon documents to see the cold and cavalier manner with which they discuss unleashing nuclear slaughter against the insurgent toilers of other countries and plan for "winnable" nuclear war against the equally world-hungry Russian social-imperialists.

The Hiroshima tragedy and its after- math have shown that nuclear war and the unrelenting arms race is the product of the imperialist system. To fight nuclear weapons, it is necessary to fight imperialism.

Workers, youth, and all progressive people! It is up to us to build the struggle against nuclear weapons and Reaganite warmongering. Neither the Republicans nor Democrats can be trusted. They are both imperialist parties tied to the purse strings of those who exploit the workers at home and plunder the peoples abroad. We must build up our own independent movement, directing our demonstrations and protests squarely against imperialism. We must link arms with the workers and oppressed all over the world and especially lend our support to the peoples of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and elsewhere who are fighting heroically against our "own" U.S. imperialist slave- masters.

The anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki brings up sharply the question of what is the source of the nuclear carnage in Japan and the nuclear war threat today. We must use this time to spread the truth, and to rally the working people for mass struggle against the bloodstained system of imperialism.

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In the name of fighting terrorism

Reagan unleashes death-squads

For the last month the Reagan administration has been raving on and on a- bout terrorism. It presents itself as the last moral man in the world, a kindly and gentle seeker of truth besieged by bloodthirsty terrorists. A fair-minded advocate of tolerance taken advantage of by "state-sponsored terrorists" whose sponsors are "at war with the United States."

But let's take a look at how the Reagan administration proposes to fight terrorism. These methods include:

* selective assassination of "terrorists" or their supporters, with the Reagan administration judge, jury, prosecutor, defense attorney and executioner all rolled into one;

* kidnapping;

* preemptive strikes against both individuals and against the allegedly sponsoring countries;

* the closing down of Beirut airport, an inanimate object which somehow is regarded by the Reagan administration as a terrorist in its own right and whose closing would presumably be retaliation against the Lebanese people as a whole;

* the putting of prices on the heads of guerrillas fighting against U.S.-directed counterinsurgency wars;

* the overthrowing of the Nicaraguan government;

* a "surgical" military strike against Libya, or Iran, or Syria, etc., naturally without the formality of declaring war;

* the imitation of the methods of Rambo in the film "Rambo II: First Blood" (this was Reagan's personal contribution to the discussion).

Wait a minute! What's the difference between this and "state-sponsored terrorism"? What's the difference between this and the old-fashioned gangster group Murder Inc., except that the Pentagon, State Department and CIA have a far bigger budget?

These Methods Are Already in Use

As a matter of fact, the Reagan administration and its predecessors have already set themselves up as an international judge, jury and executioner of individuals and even whole governments. The methods discussed as simple options by the administration are the actual time-honored methods of the CIA and the State Department.

For example, the news media presents it as simple innocent discussion that the Reagan administration is considering whether to strengthen the contras to overthrow the Nicaraguan government, allegedly to punish it for "terrorism." But everyone knows that the Reagan administration has been trying to overthrow the Nicaraguan government for years. And the CIA in the past has taken part in overthrowing the Allende government in Chile, the Arbenz government in Guatemala, the Mossadegh government in Iran, etc., while Reagan himself gave the order to invade Grenada.

Take another example. The Reagan administration speculates about relaxing the alleged ban that exists on U.S.- government-directed assassinations. But, ban or no ban, U.S. government-directed assassinations have been continuing. For example, in March of this year a CIA-organized assassination team planted a car bomb to kill Sheik Mohamed Hussein Fadlallah, who Reagan and the news media regard as one of the most extreme Muslim politicians in Lebanon. The bomb missed the Sheik, but it did kill 80 other people at random.

Or again. On June 22, in a press conference prior to addressing the Republican Midwest Leadership Conference, Vice-President "Rah-Rah" Bush said that he was "very open-minded" about the possibility of preemptive strikes to deal with terrorism. He presented this as a future possibility. But in July Secretary of State Shultz admitted that U.S. secret agencies had already carried out some 60 preemptive strikes. Of course, he said, they were nonviolent. Sure, just like the nonviolent bomb that exploded outside Sheik Fadlallah's residence. Just like the nonviolent methods of murder and terror prescribed in loving detail in the CIA murder manual provided to the Nicaraguan contras, or the nonviolent mines that exploded in Nicaraguan harbors.

It should be noted that professors and government officials constantly discuss with the press that assassinations are the policy of the U.S. government, but that they are supposed to be done "discreetly," i.e., without getting caught. For example, Robert Kupperman is a so-called "counter-terrorism" expert at Georgetown University's Center for Strategic Studies, and is frequently quoted by the bourgeois press. In discussing the attempted murder of Sheik Fadlallah, he cynically described what the Reagan administration regards as the ban on assassinations. He stated: "Since we aren't in the assassination business, we have to use proxies, and ours ain't quite as good as some." In short, organizing, training and paying someone to assassinate a marked individual is allegedly not being "in the assassination business."

Bring the Real Terrorists to Justice: Put the CIA, Pentagon and State Department on Trial

Today Reagan and his fellow U.S. imperialists think it the height of wit and sophistication to clothe every step of aggression that they take against the working people of other countries and every increase of repression inside the U.S. in the banner of "anti-terrorism." They have degraded the word "terrorism" to a meaningless swear word: if the U.S. directs the torture and murder of Salvadoran civilians, that is defending the "civilized world," but if the Salvadoran people's guerrillas kill four American marines on active duty assignment, that is allegedly terrorism. If the U.S. bombards Lebanese communities with the big guns of battleships, that is a peacekeeping mission that the Lebanese people should worship in gratitude, while if the Lebanese people bomb several hundred uniformed Marines on active duty occupying Lebanese soil, that is supposedly terrorism.

The truth is that Reagan is so obsessed by the word "terrorism" because the Reaganites themselves are nothing but terrorist thugs. The Pentagon and State Department protect the profits of U.S. corporations by holding whole nations hostage. And in regards to domestic U.S. politics, Reagan couldn't even resist sending sweet words of sympathy to religious fanatic bombers of abortion clinics.

Reagan has gone on raving about bringing to justice the brave guerrilla fighters who dared to attack the Marines right in San Salvador. (Meanwhile he sends money and kisses to the Honduran army which killed a non-political American tourist the same day, and to the Salvadoran officials who murdered several liberal Catholic nuns.)

We too believe that anti-people terrorists should be brought to justice. Only one must first identify who these terrorists are. Undoubtedly it is the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department who are the biggest terrorists in this hemisphere, if not the whole world. It is they who must be brought to justice.

But these terrorists will hardly consent to go on trial while they control the armed forces, the assassination teams, and the police. The American working class must first of all carry out a socialist revolution to overthrow the criminal system which breeds these fiends. The real trial of the terrorists will be the trial of strength between the American people and the bloodstained U.S. capitalists. And then whole countries will be set free from the bondage that the modern Murder Inc., headquartered in Washington, D.C., has inflicted on them.

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