The Workers' Advocate

Vol. 16, No. 2


25ยข February 1, 1986

[Front page:

Duvalier must go! Salute the heroic toilers of Haiti!;

The more Reagan denounces terrorism, the more crimes he commits;

Support the defiant Hormel Strikers!]


Down with Reagan, frontman of capitalist reaction!

Opposing insurance of pensions; Forced confessions; Backing war on Angola; Star Wars.................................... 2
Tracking people with computers; Courts defend secret Pentagon units; Attacking bilingual education................... 3
Space shuttle: tool of war preparations.............................. 3

Strikes and workplace news:

New Bedford fishermen; Boston school bus drivers; Strike vs. AFL-CIO bosses; Oakland teachers.............................. 4
Utah coal miners; UMW sells out Massey strike; Chicago Tribune strike; CWA splits up telephone workers; New hatchet man at the Post Office............................................ 5
Recent events at the Hormel strike..................................... 6

Prisoners rebel at intolerable conditions............................ 7
No to ROTC....................................................................... 7

Simpson-Mazzoli: Congress plots against immigrants....... 8
Trial of Ramona Africa: justifying Philly massacre........... 9
Poem written for M.L. King Day....................................... 9

Death to apartheid!

Black miners' struggles; Student boycott; Apartheid rulers behind Lesotho coup........................................................... 10
Struggle heats up at Dartmouth.......................................... 11
Bishop Tutu's tour of U.S................................................... 11

U.S. imperialism, get out of Central America!

Broken promises In Guatemala; Salvadoran guerrillas hit coffee plantations; Reagan's air war on El Salvador; Confessions of a contra leader............................................ 12

The world in struggle:

Argentine workers' struggles; Strikes in Peru; Mexicans protest against Reagan; Filipinos against election fraud; News from Iran................................................................... 13
January events in Haiti....................................................... 14
Brazil: The left and the curse of liberalism........................ 15

Chicago Tribune and lynching of Haymarket martyrs........ 20
More articles on 'Anti-terrorist' hysteria........................... 17-18

Duvalier must go!

Salute the heroic toilers of Haiti!

The more Reagan denounces terrorism, the more crimes he commits

Support the defiant Hormel Strikers!

Down with Reagan, frontman of capitalist reaction

Strikes and workplace news

Prisoners rebel against intolerable conditions

No to ROTC!


Congress plots against the immigrant workers

Down with the persecution of Ramona Africa!

A mockery of a trial to justify the Philadelphia massacre

Poem written for the occasion of M.L. King Day

Death to Apartheid!

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

The World in Struggle

Upsurge of the masses rocks Haiti

The iron fist and the velvet glove in Latin America--Part 3

Brazil - The left and the curse of liberalism

The doctrine of 'low-intensity warfare'

Anti-terrorist hysteria to justify U.S. aggression

Terrorizing Libya in the name of fighting terrorism

Liberal Democrat calls for assassinating Qadhafi

The capitalist press in the class struggle:

The role of the 'Chicago Tribune' in the lynching of the Haymarket martyrs

Duvalier must go!

Salute the heroic toilers of Haiti!

Today a popular uprising is underway in Haiti. The pent-up rage of the Haitian masses has exploded like a volcano in this Caribbean nation.

The streets across Haiti are ablaze with struggle. The cries of Down with Duvalier! Long live justice! are everywhere. The dictator's thugs have spilled the blood of more than 70 martyrs in the last week, but the hated Tonton Macoutes, Duvalier's praetorian guard, are no longer able to keep the people down in fear.

Beginning in the provincial cities of the north and south, the mass upsurge has in recent days reached the bastion of Duvalier's power, the capital city of Port-au-Prince. And every day, new areas break out in revolt.

The workers, unemployed, and the youth hold daily marches and demonstrations. Barricades and roadblocks are put up. Government buildings, including headquarters of the Tonton Macoutes, are set ablaze. Food warehouses are stormed. The schools across the country have been shut down by students. Strikes have taken place in a number of workplaces. And according to reports, preparations are being made for a general strike to begin February 12.

A Heroic Revolt Against Tyranny and Misery

The rising of the Haitian people is a great inspiration for the workers and oppressed of the whole world. After suffering for nearly 30 years under the iron heel of the Duvaliers, first under the "Papa" and since 1971 under the son, "Baby Doc," the Haitian people are saying, No More!

This is no mean feat, considering that the Duvalier regime has been based on ferocious terror. It has tolerated no opposition whatsoever -- no political parties, no trade unions, no organizations or gatherings of the masses. The Tonton Macoutes have killed, tortured and jailed with impunity.

What's more, life for the masses under Duvalier has meant wearing rags, going with empty bellies, and, all in all, a desperate daily struggle to survive. The annual per capita income, they say, is U.S. $280 -- a shameful figure in itself -- but in fact for the worker and poor peasant, it is closer to $100 a year. As for the unemployed, they try to keep body and soul together with miraculous resilience.

While the masses starve, the Duvalier family lives high off the hog. Just a few weeks ago, Baby Doc's wife spent $1.6 million on a Christmas shopping spree in Paris. And besides the ruling family and the rest of the local wealthy few, the Haitian people's labor also goes to fill the coffers of the imperialist exploiters of the U.S., Germany, Canada, etc.

U.S. Imperialism Is No Friend of the Haitian People

As Baby Doc's regime totters, the U.S. government is scrambling to distance itself from the butchers of Port-Au- Prince.

But let it not be forgotten what the U.S. has done towards Haiti.

Washington has long been one of the biggest backers of Duvalier, to keep Haiti as a haven for exploitation by the multinationals. For this year alone, Washington had allocated $52 million in aid for Baby Doc. And only half a year ago, as Duvalier approved a new "constitution," the U.S. praised the "democratic experience" Haiti was allegedly undergoing -- no matter that this "reform" affirmed Baby Doc as President-for-Life.

But with the outbreak of popular upsurge, Washington is worried. Thus on January 30, the State Department let it be known that it is planning to hold back on aid for Haiti. And the next day, the White House announced that Duvalier had been overthrown.

It turned out not to be true. While it is not exactly clear what was behind this faux pas, it looks as if Washington, with its well known expertise of making and breaking foreign governments, has its own contingency plans for Haiti.

The U.S. is in a dilemma. This was aptly put by a State Department official quoted in the New York Times. According to this report he "said the United States faced the dilemma of not wanting to be in the position of appearing (just appearing, mind you! -- WA) to prop up the Duvalier government, but at the same time being concerned about whether a viable new government could be created if Mr Duvalier did fall." (Feb. 1,1986)

Were Washington to give up on Baby Doc and help set up a new regime in Haiti, this would by no means mean liberation for the Haitian masses. What Washington seeks, in the eventuality that Duvalier has to go, is a regime that will continue to prop up Haiti for exploitation. U.S. officials openly discuss that they pin their hopes on the Haitian military -- the same military that has been one of the bulwarks of Duvalier's tyranny.

Today the long-oppressed masses of Haiti are rising in struggle. Repressed for decades, and deprived of revolutionary organization, the Haitian masses have not had much of a chance to politically mature. But during the current upsurge, they are learning rapidly.

Duvalier will be brought down. This wave of struggle show's it is only a matter of time. The removal of Duvalier will be a great victory. It will be testimony to the power of mass revolutionary struggle.

U.S. imperialism and the Haitian exploiters may scramble to keep Duvalierism without Duvalier. But the masses are not about to be satisfied by a mere change of horses. They want more than a superficial change at the top -- what they seek requires the overthrow of the present order. The upsurge against Duvalier and the ouster of the tyrant will put the Haitian toilers in good stead to carry the struggle forward.

Out with Duvalier! Down with U.S. imperialism!

Solidarity with the heroic toilers of Haiti!

[Photo: Demonstrators in the streets of Port-au-Prince, January 31.]

[Back to Top]

The more Reagan denounces terrorism, the more crimes he commits

For the last month Reagan has confronted the world with another wave of shouting against "terrorism." The capitalist press is filled with it as U.S. officials scurry from country to country demanding action. The debate rages on every conceivable "countermeasure" from kidnapping and selective assassinations to "surgical" strikes and "preemptive" bombings against countries that are dubbed to be "supporters" of terrorists. Of late there are even cynical barbs that maybe Reagan is getting soft, after all he hasn't yet blown Libya off the map or taken Iran hostage or even assassinated the heads of the Nicaraguan government. Terror against terrorism -- that's the battle cry of the 1980's -- and Reagan is its loudest champion.

But, in the midst of this deafening roar, stop for a moment and think. Are there more hijackings now than in the 1970's or the 1960's? Or more indiscriminate bombings? Or more hostage-taking? Well, no. Despite the doctored reports of the CIA, if anything there are less. Then what's all the noise about?

The fact is that terrorism is not so much the issue of the 80's as it is the rationale of the decade. Reagan has made the cry against terrorism his favorite excuse for the U.S. government taking action against the working people of other countries; his favorite apology for spurring on right-wing terrorism around the world; his favorite justification for more repressive measures inside the U.S.

Way back when Reagan first took office his then-Secretary of State, Alexander Haig, explained the matter this way: "International terrorism will take the place of human rights in our concern because it is the ultimate abuse of human rights."

A neat trick, no? Back when Reagan came to office there was, for example, growing pressure for the U.S. government to stop propping up the death-squad regime in El Salvador. The thousands and thousands of assassinations, tortures, "disappearances," and massacres by the Salvadoran government and its CIA-created death squads were then euphemistically called "human rights violations" by the U.S. government. Indeed for a while Reagan was forced to carry out the fraud of periodically "certifying" that the blood-soaked regime was making "progress" in "human rights." But no more. The real issue, says Reagan, is international terrorism. And so the brutal murder of untold numbers of workers and peasants by the reactionary regime is forgotten about and, instead, an earsplitting clamor is made about the killing of four American marines who were stationed in El Salvador to help organize and direct the outrageous terror of the Salvadoran military.

If there is an issue of terrorism today, it is the issue of right-wing terrorism against the working people. Whether it is the racist regime's murder and torture of the fighting black people in South Africa, or the Marcos regime's assassination and repression of the workers and peasants in the Philippines, or the death squads active throughout Central and South America, or the anti-abortion bombers here in the U.S., American imperialism is spurring on reactionary terror against the working people.

And so terrorism must be fought, yes. But it is the terrorism of unbridled imperialism. This reactionary terrorism cannot be defeated by isolated robberies and bombings, but only by building up the revolutionary movement of the masses of workers and all oppressed through unleashing mass actions, through agitation to rip the mask off Reagan's "anti-terrorism" hysteria and to defend the cause of the working people, through organization in the factories, and neighborhoods, and schools.

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Support the defiant Hormel Strikers!

The Hormel workers in Austin, Minnesota have won the ardent respect of workers throughout the country who hope to turn back the the vicious concessions drive of the capitalists.

The Hormel workers have stood up to the greedy capitalists. Hormel has raked in record profits from years of wage cuts and such a drastic speed up that nearly a third of the workers suffered lost-time injuries in the last year. And when the workers said "no more," Hormel unleashed brutal strike breaking, firing of workers, hiring of scabs, and setting 900 National Guardsmen on the determined strikers. Yet still the workers fight.

The Hormel strikers have stood up to the police and National Guard. This is no "peace keeping" force. It has dragged strikers from their cars, smashed their windshields, and arrested them. Here the government stands naked, exposed so all can see that it is no more than an instrument of capitalists, a machine of violence to suppress the workers and saddle them with takebacks. Yet the strikers have persisted. And when the Guard was moved to the armory, still a threatening presence being only five minutes away from the plant, and with police still there to protect the scabs, the workers went into action again to block the gates and shut down the plant.

The Austin strikers have stood up to their own top union bosses. The international leaders of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) have left no stone unturned to break the workers' struggle. They have gone along with every cut Hormel has requested and even argued that a uniform wage in the industry requires "retrenchment" down to $8 an hour. And when the Austin workers said "no," the UFCW bosses ordered them to vote again, it seems till they get it right. The top bureaucrats have denounced the strike as "mass suicide" and banned solidarity strikes of Hormel workers from other plants. And when hundreds have walked out in solidarity anyway, the UFCW bosses have claimed that these meatpackers are being held "hostage" by Austin "Ayatollahs." Why they have even called out the police against union members who dared to try to disagree with them at a news conference. Yet the workers have defied them, repeatedly voting down concessions, continuing their strike, and sending out roving pickets to bring out other Hormel workers in support.

Today the strike has reached a crucial stage. Hormel is again threatening a showdown. The National Guard remains close at hand. The top bureaucrats are demanding capitulation. And still more, the Local P-9 leadership is not firm. Although they have opposed Hormel's current concession demands, they have offered Hormel a "profit-sharing" plan which would reimburse Hormel if profits fell below their current high level and only moderately raise pay when profits rise. Although they have opposed the strikebreaking of the top UFCW leaders, they have hesitated at each point, even dragging their feet over such crucial questions as organizing solidarity actions of workers at other Hormel plants.

With their courage and militancy, and with the support of workers from other plants, the Austin strikers can still stand against the enormous forces thrown against them. But whether they win or lose this battle, their example is bound to encourage the growth of rebellion against the capitalists and the sellout union bureaucracy. Sooner or later the workers in the meatpacking industry will overcome the sabotage in the union bosses and launch an industry-wide strike to beat back the concessions offensive of the capitalists.

All over the country workers are rooting for their class brothers at Hormel. Militant workers must use the lessons of this strike to build and organize the resistance movement in every factory and work place. The capitalists as a class stand behind the concessions drive. The workers too must get organized as a class if we are to defeat them. Support the Defiant Hormel Strikers! Build Up Independent Organization of the Workers For Class Struggle Against the Capitalists Concessions Drive!

[Back to Top]

Down with Reagan, frontman of capitalist reaction

[Graphic cartoon.]

Reagan demands an end to federal insurance of workers' pensions

The Reaganites think money is totally wasted when it is given to retired workers who no longer toil for the monopolies. Hence the Reagan administration and the conservative think tanks have been constantly denouncing Social Security. This January it was revealed that the Reagan administration is also opposed to the present federal insurance that backs up private pension plans for workers.

Because the Social Security system has been restricted to giving the workers a supplementary income, and is not designed to replace private pensions, workers are forced to seek other sources of income for retirement. As long as they have to utilize private pensions, the workers need government insurance of their pension plans because otherwise they are ruined when a private company goes out of business, or declares bankruptcy, or reorganizes. Many companies promise this or that pension, but whether the workers actually collect it is another story. In 1985, for example, the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. terminated its pension plans covering 21,600 workers, leaving the pension plan with over 15475 million in obligations with no way to pay it, and Allis-Chalmers Corp walked away from $165 million of pension liability. These liabilities were passed on to the federal insurance system.

These defaults show the need to insist on tighter funding requirements for pensions. But the capitalists are doing the exact opposite. In December, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, on behalf of all capitalists, issued new rules for the way companies keep track of their pension costs and obligations. These new rules allow companies to assume that investments to cover pension obligations will grow very fast, and so companies will be allowed to put even less money into their pension funds. The result will be more pension defaults in the future.

The Reaganites say that private insurers can take over for federal insurance. This means that yet more banks and insurance companies will take a bite out of the pension funds allegedly reserved for the workers. And when the pension plans look like they are going to collapse, the insurance companies can simply refuse to renew their guarantee of the plan. Many insurance industry executives and actuaries consulted by the bourgeois news media agree that private insurance could not provide a universal pension guarantee to replace the federal government.

Justice Reagan-style: Forced confessions

The Reaganites are against the rights of the working people. They are on a crusade to bring back all the most brutal methods of police tyranny. In particular, Attorney General Meese and the Justice Department have been fuming against the Supreme Court decision in the Miranda case that puts a limit on forced confessions. In mid-January they announced they were considering a new strategy in the fight against Miranda. They are thinking about launching a challenge in the Supreme Court based on a law passed in Congress in 1968 that was intended to undermine the Miranda decision.

The Miranda decision held that the police must inform a suspect of his right to remain silent and to have a lawyer before they question him. This puts a certain limit on forced confessions, although it doesn't even prevent the police from applying any of a number of means of panicking a suspect to confess independently of whether he is guilty.

The Reaganites want to eliminate the Miranda decision. This would hit especially at working people and many immigrants. Not only do the police treat the wealthy businessmen better than working people anyway, but the rich have their lawyers and know their legal rights. It is mainly the poor and working people who might not know they had certain rights that they can demand (although not necessarily successfully) from the police.

The Reaganites shout that the criminals are escaping due to Miranda. Actually, trial statistics show that the Miranda decision has only had a negligible effect on trials. Indeed, would the hard-core, professional criminals really be the sort who would blurt out confessions to the police if only they weren't read their rights?

Or perhaps the Reaganites imagine that the need to introduce evidence against the accused could be eliminated if only Miranda were reversed? Indeed, that's probably what they do think: after all, Secretary of State Shultz has declared that the U.S. shouldn't refrain from launching military raids on suspected "terrorists" simply because of lack of certainty of who committed what, and Attorney General Meese has declared that there is no reason for anyone but those who are guilty not to spill their guts to the police.

Taking the police chief as your confidante, that's freedom, according to Reagan's Justice Department. And Congress isn't far behind. After all, it is Congress' own 1968 law that may well form the base of Meese's next challenge of the rule forbidding forced confessions.

Reagan backs racist South Africa's war on Angola

The Reagan administration has brought Jonas Savimbi of UNIT A to the U.S. to solicit aid for the civil war he is waging in alliance with the racist South African government against the Angolan government. The Reagan administration proposes to send millions of dollars of war materials to fuel the conflict and massacre Angolans.

The Reagan administration is ecstatic over aid to UNIT A because this is another way of joining with South Africa. Tired of posturing as a "critic" of apartheid, the Reagan administration can in this case directly coordinate its policies and military actions with the South African racists.

As well, fueling the war in Angola is part of Reagan's new strategy of "low-intensity warfare" to overthrow any government that does not jump high enough to suit Washington. The present Angolan government has almost all its trade and economic ties with the U.S. and its allies, but it took and still takes Soviet and Cuban military aid against UNITA. Reagan thinks that only the U.S. and Western imperialism have the right to help bourgeois governments wage war, and wants to punish the Angolans for their presumption.

It Will Not Require a Single Vote for the CIA to Intervene

Although both Democrats and Republicans are jumping on the bandwagon of alliance with South Africa in Angola, the Reagan administration is now saying that it prefers not to give "open" aid to UNITA and may not want a congressional vote. Instead it is considering sending "covert aid" from a CIA contingency fund. This does not require a single vote from Congress.

This proves that Congress is nothing but a miserable talkshop to fool the people. Despite the fact that only Congress is supposed to have the power to declare war, the capitalists think nothing of waging war behind the scenes, financed by CIA contingency funds. This proves that real change in the U.S. will not come from congressional debates, but from building up a revolutionary movement against the capitalists.

How Did UNITA End Up With the Racist South Africans?

The present situation in Angola has roots back to the days when several different liberation organizations waged a struggle against Portuguese colonial rule. The main organizations were the MPLA, the FNLA and UNITA. As Portuguese colonial rule collapsed, these organizations, for their own reasons and spurred on by outside imperialists, fought over who would rule.

This was a disaster, and it gave outside reactionary forces a new hold in Angola. The FNLA had always had close connections to the CIA and the reactionary regime in Zaire, and it saw nothing wrong with South African military aid. The MPLA took Soviet and Cuban military aid in order to drive out the other two organizations. And at a certain point in the fratricidal struggle UNITA turned to and developed close ties with racist South Africa. (Later, Savimbi even attended the inauguration of Botha.)

This alliance with South Africa became the overriding issue in the further development of UNITA. Whatever it was originally, now UNITA's war against MPLA is simply an unprincipled bloodletting for private ambitions. This is also shown by the fact that UNITA, which had previously not been adverse to using revolutionary phrases, took up rabid anti-communist demagogy against the MPLA, and became a star in the world gatherings of right-wing counterrevolutionary dregs.

The present MPLA regime in Angola is another bourgeois nationalist government. It is not a people's government, and it is certainly not communist, Marxist, or revolutionary. Nor was the MPLA's historical attitude to the other liberation organizations correct. But the war now waged by UNITA with South African backing is a reactionary war that spills the blood of the Angolan people for the benefit of no one but South Africa, the Reaganites, and the personal ambitions of Savimbi.

Reagan's Star Wars is for aggression

Reagan's "Star Wars" system is a plan for a "winnable nuclear war." The idea is that if all or most incoming nuclear missiles can be destroyed, then the U.S. could launch its own nuclear attack on the Soviet Union without worry. As is known, Reaganite officials have openly talked of ten or twenty million deaths in the U.S. as an acceptable price for victory in nuclear war.

But it turns out that the star wars system has yet further aggressive uses. The laser technology that is presently being promoted as a way to shoot down incoming missiles could, if it is successfully developed, be used to set enemy cities aflame with huge fire storms. On January 12, the Los Angeles Times reported on a study carried out by "R&D Associates," which UPI describes as "an influential defense think tank." This study concludes that:

"In a matter of hours, a laser defense system powerful enough to cope with the ballistic missile threat can also destroy the enemy's major cities by fire. The attack would proceed city by city, the attack time for each city being only a matter of minutes. Not nuclear destruction, but Armageddon all the same."

Such is the gruesome prospect that delights the Reaganites so much that they want to spend hundreds upon hundreds of billions of dollars in an attempt to obtain such weapons. These weapons would accomplish much the same as nuclear weapons, including similar effects on the world's environment and atmosphere, except for the lack of radiation. This is what Reagan calls freeing the world from the spectre of nuclear weapons.

There is only one way to free the world from the spectre of nuclear weapons. The world must be freed of the spectre of Reaganites and other imperialists standing in positions of power. There mu$t be socialist revolutions all over the world so that the working class rules, not the sick-minded, people-hating fiends who dream of such weapons as "Star Wars.''

Space shuttle - tool of war preparations

The explosion of the Challenger orbiter last week has provoked the biggest assault of patriotic flag waving since the Iranian hostage crisis.

The newspapers, the TV networks, the capitalist politicians have devoted all of their attention to convincing the people that they have suffered "a great national tragedy.'' "What sadness for all Americans," they tell us in their nationalistic sermons. "Let us be strong and rally around the flag." "America will go forward into the last frontier." "We must carry on the mission of our seven national heroes."

But hold on. Let's cut through the flagwaving claptrap and ask a few questions to get to the bottom of what this hysteria is all about. First of all, what was the astronauts' mission? What is the space shuttle program for in the first place?

Hauling Freight for the Pentagon

The space shuttle program is being painted as the most altruistic and wonderful thing for the future of mankind. With enough hype, they hope people will forget that the biggest portion of the payloads carried by the orbiters is military hardware. True, it also carries commercial satellites for the big corporations. But NASA's largest space shuttle customer by far is the Pentagon.

The primary task of the shuttles is to haul war materials into space. This includes spy satellites and guidance systems for nuclear missiles. What's more, they are the transport mules for "star wars." The shuttles are scheduled to carry into orbit the Pentagon's equipment for the development and deployment of a planned vast arsenal of space-based weapons.

So it is not surprising that Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of Preparations for a Winnable Nuclear War, was concerned about the destruction of the Challenger. In a fraction of a second one quarter of the Pentagon's capacity to put weaponry in orbit was blown to bits. As he has explained, they have no way to put some of their "star wars" projects into space except in the cargo bay of the orbiters. And, shudder the thought, Weinberger says this could delay "star wars" development by months or even longer. What a crying shame -- a hitch in the timetable of the U.S. imperialists' mad rush for nuclear first strike capability.

Sacrificing a Teacher -- A Public Relations Stunt

Well then, what about the teacher?

We are told that sending a teacher into space had something to do with advancing education. But think back to when Reagan announced the plan to put a teacher in the shuttle. At the time it was seen as a pretty cheap way to deflect opposition to his slashing of funds for schools and education. From the outset, the "teacher in space" scheme was a publicity stunt to justify the Reagan policy of militarism at the expense of the working people and the education of their children.

Public relations has always been a big part of the U.S. space program. They have always tried to give it a human face. The shuttle cargo bay may be loaded with the latest guidance systems for intercontinental ballistic missiles. But for the TV cameras there's a smiling astronaut deploying the science project of an eighth grade student.

Whatever Christa McCauliffe's intentions, the White House, the Pentagon and NASA strapped her into the Challenger as part of their big public relations effort for the shuttle program. (Earlier in the month they shot up a senator; but that was even more transparent because Senator Gam just happens to guard NASA's purse strings in Congress.) And you can bet your bottom dollar that they will now milk Christa McCauliffe's death for every dollar of congressional outlays that it's worth.

Cannon Fodder of the War Buildup

As for the other astronauts, two were career Air Force pilots, men who proved their undying loyalty to the U.S. military in bombing runs over Viet Nam. There was nothing "heroic" in any of these figures; they were only so much cannon fodder, destroyed in the frenzied war buildup of the U.S. capitalist rulers.

In their honor, the capitalist flag wavers are already organizing a national campaign to help the government with the $2 billion it will take to replace the Challenger. They are making special efforts to bring this campaign into the elementary schools. Isn't that nice. School children collecting nickels and quarters to buy Caspar Weinberger a new shuttle, making their little contribution to the U.S. imperialist nuclear war effort. That gets right to the nitty-gritty of what patriotic flagwaving is all about.

Tracking down people with computers -- Reaganite 'small government' in action

Reagan pledged he would bring the American people "small government." He said he would tear down the federal bureaucracy. In fact, he is tearing down only those agencies of the government that provide benefits or protections to the people, while beefing up the institutions that spy on people and oppress them.

For example, the Reagan administration has jumped at the prospect of using computers to harass its political enemies. Thus the Education Department has announced that, beginning February, it will furnish the Selective Service System with the names of millions of students so that they can be matched with computers to the lists of draft registrants. This will aid in the government going after those who oppose the Reagan government's militarism by not registering. They will then either be kicked out of school (by taking away their federal financial aid) or prosecuted for non-registration or both.

All over the U.S. Democratic and Republican office-holders alike have found no better use for computers than to step up the tracking of citizens. Meanwhile the Reagan government has facilitated the handing over of "confidential" government information on people from one agency to another to facilitate prosecution and harassment of various types.

Courts defend the secret Pentagon terrorist units

Everyday the American government poses as a democracy in which all branches of the government are open to public scrutiny. The activities of the Pentagon and the military are supposed to be open to public debate and direction.

The truth is something else. Recently the activities of some of the super-secret military units of the Pentagon were exposed. These units are so secret that the Pentagon would not even officially admit their existence after their cover was blown. They are used for secret terrorist activities against other countries and for surveillance inside the U.S. as well.

The particular group of armed units that was exposed was the Delta Force (see the December 16 issue of Newsweek). These units are especially designed for secret "anti-terrorist" raids on other countries, and the Pentagon is considering basing part of it in Europe for lightning attacks.

The activities that were exposed included air missions in Central America as part of American attempts to smash the revolutionary movement there.

There was also bugging and wiretapping in the U.S. and abroad.

And there were stories of good old bourgeois corruption. One officer, for example, was accused of diverting tens of thousands of dollars of secret funds to his own private use.

By use of these secret units, the Pentagon and the Reagan administration kill in secret. They tell the world that they are saints who would never dream of dirty tricks and assassinations, while ordering Delta Force and the other units into operation.

The Courts Jump Into Action

What happened when the existence of these units was revealed? How did the American courts defend democracy from these secret attacks on the people?

Well, federal prosecutors and a grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia sprung right to work. They couldn't let these monstrous crimes go unpunished. Why, they launched an investigation -- to try to find who revealed the existence of these units. Yes, the court system found the existence of murder in private quite acceptable and instead leaped to punish those evil-doers, those miscreants, those bad seed, who believed that the deeds of these secret units should be brought to light.

This is right up the line of the Reagan administration, which recently has been launching a number of lawsuits into those who leak secrets embarrassing to the government. See no evil (about the Pentagon), hear no evil, and especially speak no evil -- this is the new creed the Reaganites want to enforce on the American people.

The Reaganites attack bilingual education

(The following article is taken from the December 1985 issue of The West Indian Voice.)

In September Secretary of Education Bennett announced a plan to "deregulate" bilingual education programs. This plan, trumpeted as an opportunity for local school districts to "choose their own teaching methods," is really just an attempt to start wiping out bilingual education altogether.

The Reaganites speak in terms of "choice," but are in fact pushing a definite orientation. They want to eliminate the bilingual programs in which kids are taught the regular subjects in their own language while they learn English. The Reaganites want to reduce bilingual education to special English classes plus throw the kids into the regular all-English curriculum. Never mind that it will be one to two years before the kids have learned enough classroom English to know what's going on in their classes, during which time they will fall one to two years behind. English, according to the chauvinist logic of the Reaganites, is the only legitimate language in the U.S. and it's up to the kids to "sink or swim." This plan will ensure that a lot of them sink.

Bilingual Education in the U.S. Has Always Been Inadequate At Best

This is not to say that the existing bilingual programs are all that wonderful. In fact, most of them are anything but. In the first place, many of them are inadequate in content, and tend to become educational ghettos in which the kids "sink" more slowly in their own language, instead of more quickly in English under Bennett's plan. Moreover, many kids never make it into the programs. For example, a recent study in New York City showed that only 44,000 out of 114,000 students who needed bilingual education were actually getting it.

The Reaganites Want Oppression, Not Education

Bennett's plan will take these problems to their logical conclusion by gutting bilingual education in one full swoop. For the capitalists this makes perfect sense. After all, like any other working people, the tens of millions who speak Spanish, immigrant and non-immigrant alike, the hundreds of thousands of native people, and the hundreds of thousands of other non-English-speaking people are here to be exploited, not educated.

Only Dead Languages Allowed

As for Bennett, it should not be thought that he has set his heart against all languages other than English. Why, just the other month, Bennett was suggesting that university educations be limited to those fluent in classical Greek and Latin, that is, to a handful of prep school graduates. If only Spanish were not a living language spoken by tens of millions of working people in the U.S. alone, perhaps it too would become acceptable in Reagan's reactionary wonderland.

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Strikes and workplace news


New Bedford fishermen stand firm

(The following article is taken from a January leaflet issued by the Boston Branch of the MLP, USA.)

More than 600 fishermen have been on strike for a month against the outrageous concessions demands of the boat owners. It has been 10 years since these workers got a raise and they have watched their real earnings decline steadily. Yet in December the boat- owning capitalists decided to jump on the Reaganite concessions train.

These workers are paid on a piecework system where they receive a percentage of the catch and the owners get the rest. The owners are demanding that the workers cut their percentage from 64% to 53% on scalloping boats and from 59% to 53% on draggers. They are also demanding that the workers' pension fund be abolished and that the boats' captains, who are similar to factory managers, continue to have complete power to hire and fire workers. The union estimates that these concessions would force many workers' pay down to $12,000 to $15,000 a year!

The workers however have declined this invitation to poverty and have launched a strike to defend their livelihood. Militant picket lines on the New Bedford and Fairhaven wharves have made it all but impossible for scab boats to operate and the workers' mass protests have completely shut down the city-run fish auction house. On January 18 a demonstration of over 600 workers marched through the streets of New Bedford, and they booed the mayor when he addressed them with a hypocritical speech claiming neutrality. No doubt they were wondering why this "neutral" politician had repeatedly sent the police against the workers' movement and why he had called Coast Guard ships into the harbor to protect the scab boats.

On January 20 the boat owners attempted to start up business again by operating a new auction hall. The workers came out to protest and the police arrested two strikers. The next day the angered workers rallied. 300-strong and showered the new auction hall and the capitalists' cars with rocks. The police attacked the workers' demonstration and arrested 15 more strikers. The "neutral" mayor then threatened that anyone arrested the next day would be given 60 days without bail!

Unfortunately this militant struggle was short circuited by the union bureaucrats of the Seafarers International Union. These "leaders" denounced the militants and disassociated themselves from the action. The next day they organized only a token force to respectfully picket the new auction hall. They told the workers that the new auction was illegal according to city regulations and that they should rely on the mayor and city council to shut it down. To no one's surprise however the city government said the auction was perfectly legal and that they would continue to protect it with tactical police.

Emboldened by their victory the boat-owning capitalists walked out of negotiations on Friday, January 24 and announced that they no longer recognized the union. They said that they were going to begin hiring new workers based on their last contract offer.

But whether the arrogant boat owners will be able to carry out this threat is another matter. So far even a very large section of the nonunion, unorganized fishermen are honoring the strike. If fishermen stick to their guns, if they draw the unorganized fishermen more into the struggle and if they keep organizing more militant pickets in spite of the opposition of their union leaders, they can certainly win.

School bus drivers beat back concessions in Boston

(The following article is based on a January leaflet of the Boston Branch of the MLP, USA.)

Boston school bus drivers opened the new year with a strike against the concessions demands of the bus operating companies and the Boston School Committee. Workers fought attempts to cut wages and medical benefits and against arbitrary new work rules. By defying a court injunction against their strike, maintaining militant picket lines, and persisting in struggle the workers were able to beat back all of the concessions demands. They also won a minor improvement in medical benefits, but failed to win their demand for company payments to a pension plan.

The school committee, the mayor's office and the news media are pretending that the workers were not strong enough to win their strike but, instead, were saved from being crushed by the benevolence of Boston Mayor Ray Flynn. This is a lie. Flynn only acted because the workers' determined struggle forced the government to back down.

The school committee itself came up with a final offer which backed off most of their concessions demands, but then they voted to fire the drivers and hire scabs. The drivers were not intimidated. The next day they voted 98% to continue the strike to win all their demands including for a company-paid pension plan. They called the bluff of School Superintendent Laval Wilson. Within a few days it became clear that not only were the drivers not going to buckle under, but the bus companies could only recruit a handful of scabs and there was growing support for the bus drivers from other sections of the workers.

Facing a losing battle Wilson, in desperation, tried to convince the governor to bring out the National Guard to break the strike. But the governor refused, figuring that mobilizing the National Guard against the strike might only create a worse crisis for the government and cause workers from all over Boston to join the fight in support of the bus drivers. It was only at this point that Flynn stepped in, not to help the school bus drivers, but to save the day for the government and the rich.

Flynn figured that he would try sweet talk and deception to accomplish what threats and force alone could not do. To gain the workers' confidence Flynn publicly accused Wilson of union busting. He then repackaged the school committee's final proposal with minor improvements -- no obvious concessions on work rules, a slight increase in the amount the companies are to pay to the medical insurance, but no pension plan, only the promise to create a committee to study setting up a drivers' self-funded plan. And he proclaimed this settlement to be a great victory for the drivers. The drivers accepted Flynn's deal and the strike ended.

The drivers succeeded in beating back the concessions demands and winning some improvement in their medical benefits. But Flynn's tactics were intended to prevent them from continuing the strike to also win their demand for a company-paid pension plan. What is important to see here is that what the workers won was due entirely to their own struggle and solidarity and not to the benevolence of Ray Flynn. Remember that the same Ray Flynn who postured that he was sympathizing with the school bus drivers was the one who sent the police to help the bus companies set up a scab operation and who supported the police who attacked the workers' picket lines during the Greyhound strike two years ago.

In building the struggle against concessions, and in every other battle, the workers must learn to build their movement independently of all the capitalist politicians and political parties, especially the liberal so-called "friends of labor" who try to tone down and limit the workers' struggle.

A strike against AFL-CIO bosses

The AFL-CIO is supposed to be an organization to defend the workers against the capitalist bosses. But most often the leaders of the AFL-CIO act like bosses themselves, lording it over the workers and scabbing against the workers' cause.

This fact was shown again on January 2 when pickets went up at the national headquarters of the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C. Twelve employees, mostly researchers, went on strike demanding higher wages from the Food and Allied Service Trades department of the AFL-CIO. The other 300 employees at the headquarters stayed off the job in solidarity.

But this was not so with the heads of the AFL-CIO. Acting just like the captains of industry, Thomas Donahue, the secretary-treasurer of the federation, John Perkins, the head of the federation's Committee on Political Education, and 30 other top AFL-CIO bosses arrogantly crossed the picket lines.

It is no wonder that there is little trust left in the union leaders. The workers must have organization, but it must be fighting organization built independently of and against the AFL-CIO bosses.

Oakland teachers on strike

(The following article is taken from a January leaflet of the San Francisco Bay Area Branch of the MLP, USA. It was distributed January 23 as comrades from the MLP joined with 500 teachers to storm the Oakland school administration building for a sit-in. The action shut down all operations at the building for the day. As we go to press it is reported that the teachers are being presented another offer by the school board.)

Starting off 1986 with a militant spirit, the Oakland Public School Teachers have gone out on strike, their third strike in 9 years. Their action shows a determined stand in defense of their livelihood and in defense of the education of the youth of Oakland. Backed by the entire community whose children they educate, the teachers have marched and rallied, they have staged protests and maintained picket lines for over 2 weeks.

The Oakland teachers are fed up with low wages and increasingly miserable working conditions which undermine the education of the youth. They are fed up with the School Board's outrageous lies and its portrayal of the teachers as overpaid and unconcerned about their students. The teachers are sick and tired of their demands for smaller class size being rejected. They are disgusted with the inadequate preparation time and insufficient textbooks and educational supplies. And the teachers have good reason to be angry!

Whenever the School Board is confronted with demands for improvements in the condition of public education in Oakland, it says there is no more money. Whenever the City Council is asked for funds for the schools, it digs up some arcane law "forbidding" such a transaction. Yet this same School Board recently found enough money to provide a 14% wage increase for its numerous, already overpaid administrators, and this same City Council discovered 30 million tax dollars stashed away in a suggested deal for the Raiders. This is an outrage!...

The truth is that the teachers in Oakland are the lowest paid of any teachers in the twenty largest school districts in California. They must have a substantial raise. Beyond that the teachers' benefits must be maintained and improved--not bargained away. And finally, the class-room situation must be changed to meet the teachers' demands so that they are provided with an actual opportunity to teach....

The San Francisco Bay Area Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party calls on the working people and youth of Oakland to build up and solidify their support for the teachers. Meet every attack on public education with militant mass struggle!

[Photo: Striking teachers rally in Oakland, Ca. They have received overwhelming support from parents and students.]

Coal miners walk out in Utah

Eight hundred coal miners walked off the job at Deer Creek mine in Utah on January 2. Four days later the miners at the Deseret Beehive-Little Dove mine joined the strike and the next day the Wilberg Cottonwood mine was also shut down. The coal miners are fighting to defend their contract from violations by the Emery Mining Corporation.

Emery operates all three mines which are owned by Utah Power and Light Company. The energy moguls unilaterally cut the floating vacation days of the miners. Emery ordered that workday credits, on which the floating vacation days are based, be reduced for any time that is lost from work due to injury, illness, mine closings, and disasters. But according to the miners' contract none of these reasons for lost time are supposed to count against miners' work records.

Despite the contract violation, Emery has the backing of the courts. On January 8, a federal district court ordered the miners back to work.

But the miners are determined to defend their contract. They defied the court order and continued to strike for their rights.

UMW leaders sell out the Massey coal strike

After fighting a bitter strike for 15 months, coal miners were ordered to return to work without a contract by UMW President Richard Trumka. Even though Massey Coal had declared it will fire any miner who it believes engaged in strike "misconduct" or "violence," Trumka ordered the miners back to work "unconditionally." After four weeks, Massey has called back only a small portion of the strikers.

The disgusting sellout proves the bankruptcy of Trumka's "selective strike" strategy. But he has simply lied about it, declaring that the lost strike was actually a victory. On December 20, 1984, Trumka announced that, "The strike is over, and the UMW members, their families, and the people of Southern West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky have won. Therefore, I am directing all UMW members currently on strike against the A.T. Massey Coal Co. to return to work unconditionally."

Trumka based his amazing statement on the fact that the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Massey's 25 affiliates must bargain with the UMW as a single employer. Trumka claims that because two of Massey's affiliates agreed to the national Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA) contract in 1984 then Massey as a whole is under that contract. The UMW leaders filed a law suit on that presumption January 2 and they are leaving the fate of the miners in the hands of a court that granted Massey a number of injunctions against the miners during the course of the strike.

Meanwhile, those miners who are called back to work by Massey have no contract protection and a large number will be simply left with no jobs at all.

This tragedy is the fruit of Trumka's "selective strike" strategy. In 1984 Trumka declared the end of the miners' traditional policy of "no contract, no work" and, instead of an industry-wide strike, he called for strikes against only certain companies. This led to a BCOA contract that failed to satisfy a number of the miners' demands, including those for job security. More than this, it left the Massey Coal miners to fend for themselves, without the support of the other miners in the coal fields. Still the Massey miners fought with determination. But the miners were hamstrung by court injunctions, brutally attacked by the police and company-hired gun thugs, and restricted by their own union leadership. By the fall of 1985 Massey was operating many of its mines with scabs.

Trumka could still have called out an industry-wide strike in support of the Massey miners. But he refused. Instead he sent the miners back to work without a contract and hoping that the courts, which are in the capitalists' back pocket, will pull his chestnuts out of the fire.

The Massey strike is done, but the struggle is not over. The rank-and-file miners are learning from Trumka's treachery and the cry of No contract, no work! will again shake the coal fields.

17,000 rally for 'Chicago Tribune' strikers


On January 4, over 17,000 workers participated in a demonstration in solidarity with the striking Chicago Tribune workers. The rally was the largest demonstration of the workers in Chicago for several years. It showed the potential of united mass struggle of the working class in the fight against concessions.

Since July 18, 1985 over 1,000 Chicago Tribune pressmen, printers and mailhandlers have been waging a bitter strike. They are fighting the Tribune's concession demands which include the elimination of job security, the right to transfer workers to other jobs, a two-tier wage system, and the termination of company payments into the pension plan. The crucial issue in this fight has become resistance to the Tribune's vicious strikebreaking. (See below "Professional Strikebreaking at the Tribune.")

Although the solidarity rally was not scheduled to begin until 7:30 a.m., hundreds of enthusiastic workers from many different work places came early to stop Tribune trucks, whose drivers had been ordered by the Teamster hacks to cross the picket lines. They fought so valiantly that the ordinary Chicago street cops couldn't break the picket line. Mounted police were called in to maintain "order" by arresting, beating, pushing and shoving until they got a path open for the trucks. Later, after the rally was over, the workers again fought to block the scabs and their police protectors. Over 48 workers were arrested throughout the day.

Besides police repression, the workers faced yet another obstacle to their struggle -- their own union bureaucrats. The day before the solidarity rally was held, the Tribune and its union leaders cooked up a rotten deal. The Tribune dropped its court action to bar the rally and the union bosses promised to prevent the rank and file from stopping scabs and scab trucks.

And the bureaucrats carried out their end of the deal. During the rally they even denounced the workers who had that morning blocked the scab trucks as being "company agitators." After the rally was over, when the militants were bracing for another confrontation with the police, the labor hacks demanded that everyone abandon the picket line and come across the street for a "meeting." The combined force of the union bosses and the police dispersed the picket line and, as soon as it was removed, the trucks came pouring through.

The January 4 rally showed that the potential might of the workers' mass struggle is awesome. The Tribune capitalists were badly shaken by the picket actions and the sight of the city streets overflowing with thousands marching in support of their class brothers. The Tribune and the capitalist courts are working to make certain that there are no further mass protests of any sort.

But the events of the day also show that one of the biggest obstacles to the success of their struggle is the union bureaucrats. These labor lieutenants of capital must be exposed and the rank and file organized independently to carry forward the mass struggle against concessions.

Professional strikebreaking at the Tribune

The Chicago Tribune's union busting drive is led by the notorious law firm of King, Ballow and Little. The firm represents 225 newspapers and they have busted 14 unions (so far) across the nation. The law firm is affiliated with the Southern Production Program, Inc. (SPPI) which is a bloodsucking anti-union publishers' association. SPPI conducts seminars, trains scabs to run presses, and they print a 104-page step-by-step guide to operating a newspaper during a strike.

SPPI has sent scabs from around the country to Chicago to keep the presses running at the Tribune. The scabs are housed at hotels, given $40/day food allowance and are paid $1,500 per week in wages.

Union leaders split up the telephone workers

It was bad enough that the leaders of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) allowed separate contracts for each company when American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) was broken up into eight separate operations in January, 1984. But now the CWA leaders have gone farther in splitting up the workers.

On January 10, the CWA heads announced they would allow the AT&T contract, covering 17,000 workers, to expire on May 31st, 10 weeks earlier than scheduled. This is 10 weeks before the expiration of the contracts for the 308,000 workers in the seven regional operations that run local telephone service.

The regional companies are demanding all manner of takebacks from the workers and sharp fights are expected. Meanwhile AT&T is also demanding a two-tier pay system and other concessions. This concessions drive should be met with the united power of the nearly 400,000-strong telephone workers. But, instead, the CWA is agreeing to set the contracts at different expiration dates so that the workers can be picked off company by company. Shame on the leaders of the CWA.

Post Office puts in a hatchet man

(The following article is taken from a leaflet issued by the New York Metro Branch of the MLP, USA January 22, 1986.)

On January 7 the postal board of governors fired Postmaster General Paul N. Carlin after only a year in the job and replaced him with Albert V. Casey, member of the board of governors and former chairman of American Airlines.

Board spokesmen were downright gleeful in making the announcement. In effect, the board is threatening the bloated bureaucracy of postal management that they too can be axed if they don't make good on what the board is saying. And what the board is saying is this: Enough with the carrot and the stick approach to cutting labor costs. What we need is a bigger stick.

Under Carlin, production standards were steadily raised, and those workers not yet driven by machines, such as carriers, were subject to repeated campaigns of speedup and disciplinary harassment. Carlin was no fairy godmother for postal workers. But Carlin knew how to dangle the carrot as well as swing the stick. His particular style was games and more games to buy time for management's productivity drives. Under Carlin we got the "Crew of the Month" game and the perfect attendance theater ticket lottery. We got personal appearances from district postmasters appealing for stepped up production -- "just until September" -- to plug up a leaky budget. And we got the biggest game of them all: El [Employee Input] (we tell them our problems, they pat us on the back and tell us to work harder).

But this approach was too sophisticated and too time consuming to suit the board of governors. The board of governors has its agenda and wants to see it rammed through by any means necessary.

A few weeks before Carlin got the axe and the "Business Mailers Review" reported that "the governors were not happy with Carlin's reorganization plan... and wanted a reduction in force, which means layoffs." The board has also been complaining about problems in the mechanization of ZIP-plus-4, through which they hope to save $600-900 million a year in labor costs. And they are still grumbling about postal management's failure to get a full-fledged two-tier wage system in the last contract.

The board of governors, in short, wants to see a hatchet job done on the workers. And who better to do a hatchet job than a hatchet man?

Albert V. Casey has made a career as a corporate manager on the basis of his reputation as an expert cost cutter, i.e., hatchet man. Two examples will suffice to show Casey's style.

* Ten years ago Casey was appointed to the Emergency Finance Control Board, the committee of big business in charge of cutting the New York City budget. Casey made his mark by pushing to reopen the contracts of the city workers in order to eliminate wage hikes, freeze COLA payments, and wring out other concessions.

* In 1983 American Airlines negotiated its last union contract under Casey's chairmanship. Among the provisions of this contract: elimination of COLA payments; a two-tier system under which new hires are paid 32% less; and work rule changes which, among other things, permit the company to assign workers in lower job classifications to do the work of higher job classifications at the lower rate of pay.

This is the stuff Casey's "cost containment" is made of: wage cuts, job combination and work rule changes, and the two-tier system. With only eight months to go, Casey will be able to do no more than get the ball rolling. But by appointing Casey, the board has made its intentions clear.

Postal workers must prepare to respond to the push that's coming. When push comes to shove the postal workers have to defend themselves and their livelihood. The new "get tough" policy must be met with a tougher determination not to be ground down and pushed into an early grave. Postal workers: PREPARE FOR STRUGGLE!

Recent events in the Hormel Strike

Dec. 19, Thursday The Austin workers have been on strike since August 17. Company security agents have harassed pickets and nearly run some over. 200 angry strikers demonstrate at the plant gate Thursday to protest this harassment. Austin police drive them away. Hormel obtains a court injunction limiting pickets to three per gate.

Hormel also won an NLRB ruling forbidding the union from distributing literature condemning First Bank Systems, a Minneapolis bank that is a major stockholder and creditor of Hormel.

Dec. 20, Friday UFCW international leaders hold a press conference in Minneapolis, a hundred miles from Austin, to promote a mediator's contract proposal. 150 strikers show up. The international bureaucrats call the police on the workers and chase them out of news conference. The union bosses also withdraw their promise to sanction picketing of other Hormel plants.

Dec. 21, Saturday A meeting of 1,000 strikers criticizes the mediator's proposed contract. It is essentially the same contract as before. Proposed wages are up to $10 per hour, but it has a two-tier wage structure with new- hires at $8 an hour. And Hormel would gain the right to use part-time and temporary workers with no benefits. The seniority and the grievance systems are gutted. Pregnancy leave is eliminated and so is the "guaranteed annual wage," which has been an important gain that helped protect the workers who face seasonal layoffs. Other work rules are further eroded threatening more overwork and unsafe conditions.

Dec. 26-27, Thursday and Friday Strikers vote down the mediator's proposed contract by 61% at the local P-9 hall.

Jan. 3, Friday Earlier the international UFCW hacks claimed that the local union leaders would intimidate workers into voting against the contract and demanded instead a mail-in vote to the international. The regional UFCW director sent out a six page letter to the strikers urging them to accept the mediator's proposal and threatening that the international would not fight for anything better. On Friday they announce the results of their own mail-in ballot. It is a 59% rejection of the proposed contract.

Jan. 4, Saturday Hormel sends workers a letter saying they will start hiring ''replacement workers" now and that the mediator's proposal was the company's final offer. The letter demanded that strikers go back to work starting Monday, Jan.13.

Jan. 12, Sunday 2,000 strikers and supporters rally in Austin against Hormel's plans to reopen the plant.

Jan. 13, Monday 6:30 am. Temp, near zero. 350 strikers gather at the plant where returning workers had been directed to go. A dozen or so cars drive thru the gate. Strikers denounce them as scabs. Despite Hormel's threats, at most 20 workers quit the union and go back to work this day.

That night strikers call by phone those who had crossed the picket line and ask them to reconsider. One such worker got 20 calls. He changed his mind and didn't go back the next day.

Jan. 14, Tuesday Hormel began accepting applications in the plant for replacement workers. Pickets denounced them and called on the scabs to go home. Hormel claims they got 1,000 applicants, but the strikers saw only 300 cars enter the plant gates. On the two-tier wage system these new-hires will get only $8 an hour. Hormel threatens to permanently replace all strikers who have not returned to work within two weeks.

Jan. 16, Thursday Top UFCW hacks again refuse permission for P-9 to picket Hormel's other plants. They condemn the Local P-9 leaders for supposedly leading a "mass suicide." William Wynn, UFCW president, sends a mailgram to Local P-9 president Jim Guyette which reads in part: "In the name of human compassion, I urge you to put a stop to the suffering P-9 members and their families have endured for 5 long months before it is too late.

"I will not sanction an extension of P- 9's picket lines to other Hormel plants. I cannot in good conscience urge other Hormel members to risk their jobs and respect an unsanctioned picket line in a hopeless cause." Of course the pickets would not be "unsanctioned" if Wynn sanctioned them. It's Wynn who is trying to make the workers' cause "hopeless."

Jan. 19, Sunday Local P-9 held a mass meeting in St. Paul to plan acts of civil disobedience. They discuss the possibility of blocking gates or even entering the plant for a sitdown.

During this period members of P-9s executive board attend rank-and-file meetings at Hormel's second and third largest plants in Ottumwa, Iowa and Freemont, Nebraska where resolutions are passed at both sessions demanding that Wynn sanction the roving pickets. Jan. 20, Monday Hormel starts trying to put newly-hired scabs to work. Early in the morning, strikers in 250 or more cars drive continually around the plant at extremely slow speeds, blocking lanes so job applicants and new hires cannot enter. The two main gates have 150 pickets, the smaller gates have smaller groups. Some cars attempting to enter are banged on and shaken. The strikers succeed in preventing entry and the plant stays closed all day.

In the evening Austin Mayor Tom Kough, who also works at Hormel and has yet to cross the picket line, announced that he, the Austin police chief, and the county sheriff had asked the Governor's office to call out the National Guard.

Mayor Kough said he had been told that a company photographer was hurt in a scuffle with a striker and that one gunshot was fired and some threats were made, but he admitted that he really had "little concrete" he could say about violence at the scene. He claimed the guardsmen were needed to insure free flow of traffic (to defeat the strikers' main tactic!!). The mayor also claimed that the guardsmen would be neutral, and would not act as escorts for new hires and applicants (!!!) Hormel complains to the Governor that extensive violence existed in the town.

Governor Rudy Perpich dispatched the National Guard to Austin quickly.

Jan 21, Tuesday In wee hours of the night, 800 National Guardsmen are posted around the plant. Several hundred strikers who began assembling as early as 4 am mill about outside the guardsmen's lines. The strikers rock and turn away cars of some people trying to scab.

At 8 am, the head of the guardsmen, the Austin police chief, and a union official agree to keep the plant closed for the day in exchange for a union promise to reduce picketing. The plant again stayed closed all day.

Austin workers, in defiance of UFCW international leadership, send pickets to talk to workers at the Hormel plant in Ottumwa, Iowa. A number of workers walk out and some production is stopped.

Jan. 22. Wednesday 3am. Temp 4 degrees. National Guardsmen and city police surround the intersection at the main gate of the plant to foil the strikers' plans to again encircle the plant with slowly moving cars. The police force notifies Hormel that plant access has been obtained. Only three picketers are allowed at each gate. The strikers assemble for a time and then go to the union hall. The plant is open. But Hormel refused to say how many people are inside. No slaughtering or shipping is taking place and at best only a few departments are operating. Strikers report that less than 75 Hormel workers have gone back to work.

Charles Nyberg, Hormel vice president, praises the National Guard and claims that "we are under siege in this town."

Austin workers send picketers to talk to the workers at Hormel's plants in Beloit, Wisconsin and Algoma, Iowa.

Hormel filed law suit against the Ottumwa local for yesterday's work stoppage in solidarity with the Austin strikers.

This evening a rally is held at the main gate of the Austin plant with several hundred strikers and 100 militant farmers supporting them:

Jan. 23, Thursday Strikers attempt to block the plant entrance with 25 cars, slowing them to a crawl in front of the gate. National Guardsmen haul out many drivers, breaking the windows of two of the cars whose doors were locked, and arresting eight people.

Two members of the Austin City Council, Bob Dahlback and Gerald Hen- ricks, are among the 75 union members who have returned to work at the plant. Mayor Kough has not returned to work but has been condemned by strikers for calling in the National Guard.

Jan. 24, Friday Union leaders and Hormel meet Thursday and Friday with Arnold Zack, the fact finder brought in by Governor Perpich. Zack was the arbitrator for the rotten contract that was forced on the Postal workers two years ago. Strikers made no attempt today to block the plant gates. But a group called Women Against Military Madness march at the plant to protest National Guard presence.

The local leadership recalls a team of pickets which had been sent to the Freemont, Nebraska plant. A majority of the executive board decided that picketing at Freemont or other harassment of Hormel might block whatever possibility existed of gaining a proposal to end the strike. The pickets at Freemont were intended to test whether Hormel workers there would honor picket lines as some workers at Ottumwa had done earlier in the week. If so, the strikers intended to try to shut down those two plants next week. Despite the recall, some picketing at Freemont was done.

Jan. 25, Saturday Strikers at P-9 vote overwhelmingly to resume picketing at other Hormel plants and to begin a nationwide boycott of Hormel food products. The vote is taken at a packed union meeting in evening.

Jan. 26, Sunday The State-appointed fact finder calls on the strikers to vote still a third time on the mediator's proposed contract. He claims that union members misunderstood portions of the proposal.

Jan. 27, Monday P-9 throws up picket lines at plants in Ottumwa, Iowa; Dallas, Texas; and Freemont, Nebraska. 425 workers honor the picket lines in Ottumwa and are fired by Hormel. This idles three-quarters of Hormel's second largest facility. The local leaders in Ottumwa ask P-9 strikers to stop picketing. Hormel also fires about 60 workers at the Freemont plant and others at the Dallas plant for walking out in support of the Austin strikers.

The international UFCW bureaucrats denounce the roving pickets. "We said it made no sense to spread the misery, to put workers at other Hormel plants in jeopardy in what we thought was a hopeless cause. We asked them not to send the pickets and now they have,'' said A1 Zack, a distant cousin of the State's fact-finder, and a UFCW international spokesman.

Gov. Rudy Perpich asks local P-9 and Hormel for a 48-hour cooling off period.

Jan. 28, Tuesday 375 workers in Ottumwa honor picket line again today. Monday and today 380 National Guardsmen leave Austin.

Jan. 29, Wednesday Scabs cross picket line without incident. Gov. Rudy Perpich orders the 500 remaining Guardsmen withdrawn from the plant gate to the Austin town armory. This is only five minutes away from the plant. A member of the city council wants Perpich to send the guard back to the plant.

Hormel resumes hiring. It claims that by Friday it will have more than 750 workers on the job. It also claims that as of today 305 P-9 members have gone back to work. But meatpacking is skilled work and it takes time to train newly hired scabs. Hormel admits it needs 1,025 workers to resume full operations and without skilled workers even this is unlikely.

Jan. 30, Thursday William Wynn, president of the UFCW, sends telegrams to Hormel locals across the country urging them not to become "innocent victims of local P-9's extremist actions.'' "Rogers has anointed himself the Ayatollah of Austin and is making hostages of our members at other Hormel plants. We must not let him succeed in destroying still more UFCW members' jobs."

Rogers is the Corporate Campaign consultant to the Local P-9 leaders who helps work to convince the workers to follow "non-violent civil disobedience." Rogers says, "Whatever Martin Luther King would do, I consider legitimate."

Jan. 31, Friday A militant pre-dawn rally of 400 strikers and supporters is held outside the plant. They form a double line of cars at one entrance, blockading it. Metal spikes were scattered on a freeway ramp entrance. The plant is successfully blockaded and forced to close. Workers come from other Hormel plants to join this rally.

Police do not attempt to remove the car barricade. They claim they do not want to "shed the kind of blood that would have been shed." Sheriff asks governor to send the national guard back to plant. But the governor refuses, citing no reports of violence.

[Photo: Outside the Hormel plant gate on Friday, January 30. Mass picket shut the plant down despite police attempts to protect scabs.]

The fraud of 'worker-owned' plants saving jobs

The capitalist billionaires and the union leaders frequently promote various "worker ownership" schemes as a solution to plant closings. But as long as capitalism rules the country, worker ownership is nothing but a fraud aimed at skinning the workers twice while diverting them away from the struggle against the capitalists.

This month, for example, it was announced that a "worker owned" bearings plant in Clark, New Jersey has gone bankrupt and nearly 1,000 of its 1,100 workers are out of their jobs.

This plant was originally owned by GM. But in 1981 it declared that the plant would be closed. Instead of fighting against GM, the union leaders got their heads together with the company executives and came up with a scheme for the workers to buy out the plant. Of course the workers had to give up all kinds of concessions and put themselves in hock to the banks, but at least, they were told, they would still have their jobs.

It is four years later and where are the jobs now? For four years GM has continued to get bearings from the plant, but at a reduced cost. For four years the banks have skinned the cat again, reaping their enormous interest payments off the loans taken out to keep the plant running. And for four years the workers have suffered double exploitation only to see the plant shut down anyway.

Jobs cannot be defended by making business deals with the capitalists. No, the workers must wage a fight against the capitalists for each and every job. And this fight must ultimately lead up to a revolution which puts the capitalist system in its grave and clears the way for the workers to run the whole society. Only then, with socialism, can the workers run things so that everyone who wants to work can find work and exploitation is done away with along with the capitalist bosses.

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Prisoners rebel against intolerable conditions

In early January, inmates at a number of prisons across the U.S.(and in Puerto Rico) rose up in struggle against the barbaric conditions in the capitalist jails.

West Virginia

On New Year's day, some 200 prisoners at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville rebelled against the inhuman conditions there, seizing the south wing of the institution. Fifteen guards and one food service worker were taken hostage to force the state government to listen to the inmates' grievances.

A major demand of the rebellion was an end to the severe overcrowding; over 750 men are packed into a facility intended for 650. The prisoners also demanded decent meals, including at least one hot meal a day, an end to guard brutality, better visiting opportunities, improved vocational training, and more freedom in dress and grooming. They also called for applying prison rules equally, fairly and uniformly, and demanded the reestablishment of an inmates' council that had been abolished in 1979. A spokesman for the prisoners, Alvin Gregory, declared, "We don't know why we have to sleep in 10-below degree weather in the midst of winter. We don't know why we have to sleep in 110-degree weather in the summer....All we want is to be treated like human beings, like the people that we are."

Mr. Gregory and another inmate representative pointed out that the grievances underlying the rebellion had been building up for years. Conditions at this 120-year-old medieval fortress of a prison have been so intolerable that in 1983 the capitalists' own courts declared the situation unconstitutional. A circuit court cited overcrowding, open sewers, rats in the cells, maggot-infested food, near-freezing temperatures in winter and sweltering heat in summer. Despite the '83 court order to improve conditions and relieve overcrowding, virtually nothing has been done. These conditions gave rise earlier to a rebellion at Moundsville in 1973 and a mass breakout of 15 inmates in 1979.

Puerto Rico

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, a struggle broke out at the state prison on January 3. Twenty inmates in the prison's UTI ("Intensive Treatment Unit") seized five guards to protest being excluded from recreational activities available to the general prison population. On January 1, three guards had been seized in a similar protest.


Also in early January, inmates at the Lucasville, Ohio penitentiary took hostages to denounce the conditions and especially to demand an end to the pattern of guards beating prisoners who are "shackled hand and foot and then falsely accusing the beaten prisoner of attacking or attempting to attack them."


Brutal conditions also gave rise to hostage-takings and battles at prisons in Fort Madison, Iowa; Ypsilanti, Michigan; Lorton, Virginia; and Pendleton, Indiana.

The capitalist police and jails brutally mistreat the yet politically unconscious section of the working masses who fall into social crime through hopelessness and despair. And they also try to intimidate and ruin the lives of activists, immigrants, revolutionaries, strikers and protesters of all types and in general to break the fighting spirit of the masses. The Workers' Advocate condemns the barbaric treatment of prisoners by the capitalist jailers.

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No to ROTC!

(The following leaflet was issued by the Buffalo Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on January 24,1986.)

Last semester the College of Young Republicans, with its chairman David Chodrow, launched a drive to reestablish a ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). This move on their part is right in step with a nationwide campaign carried out by the Defense Department and the U.S. imperialist government to militarize the war.

The College of Young Republicans is claiming that ROTC is an academic program, that it will provide financial aid for those who could not otherwise attend college and that it will offer a valuable contribution to the university. But why don't Chodrow and the Young Republicans speak of the objective role that the U.S. military plays? What about the some 100 invasions of Latin American countries that the U.S. imperialists have launched in the past 100 years? What about the attempted crushing of the liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people? What of the criminal invasion of tiny Grenada, or the military maneuvers in the Caribbean to threaten Nicaragua -- the military advising of the Duarte government in El Salvador, the defense of Israeli terror in the Middle East, of Pinochet in Chile? -- the list could go on and on. Why don't the Young Republicans mention this role of U.S. imperialism's political and military machine? Because, just as the Defense Department does, they try to negate this role so as to make the military more attractive to the youth. "Look," they say, "you have the generous opportunity to 'BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE' in the army." They forget to add "just as long as you don't die first"!

ROTC is not an "academic program" as Mr. Chodrow would have us Believe. It is part of the war preparations of U.S. imperialism. ROTC is a program of the Defense Department and it forms part of a much wider military program geared to mobilize students and working class youth into the U.S. war machine -- to be used as cannon fodder in aggressive actions and wars to safeguard the super-profits earned by the U.S. monopoly capitalists abroad, and to defend U.S. imperialism strategically in its rivalry with Soviet imperialism for world domination. The role of ROTC is to "teach" a section of the youth how to be leaders in this war machine.

Over the past five years the Reagan administration has built up the U.S. military with over a trillion dollars -- and still they plan to increase the defense budget more -- while slashing social service programs such as medicare, medicaid, student loans, farm and rural aid, urban grants, etc. And have the Democrats stepped in to slow the aggressive hand of the Reaganites? On the contrary, they have gone along with all of Reagan's programs to increase the defense budget, build more bombs and step up "Star Wars" research. Both the Democrats and Republicans are working together to whip up chauvinist hysteria among the American people, strengthen the military and prepare the youth for war. At the same time, both these parties of the rich are making the workers of the country pay through cutbacks in wages and benefits, cuts in social services, cuts in education, higher state and local taxes, etc.

ROTC was kicked off the UB campus in 1970 as part of the huge, militant anti-war movement which developed against U.S. imperialism's genocidal war against the Indochinese peoples. This action of eliminating ROTC from UB was not just a "political whim" as Chodrow would have us believe. It formed part of a large movement of students who were conscious of the role that "their" imperialist government was playing, and conscious that they, the students and working class youth, did not want any part of it. And it wasn't only in 1970 that students at UB voiced their opposition to ROTC. In 1981 as well, a proposal to bring ROTC back to UB was overwhelmingly rejected by the student body in a referendum tied to the Student Association elections.

Nevertheless, the rightists, like a broken record, are once again pushing to militarize the campus. But the students and youth have no interest in fighting wars for the rich. We must oppose the U.S. imperialist war preparations, denounce U.S. military aggression worldwide, and keep ROTC off campus.

Build the anti-imperialist movement!

No to ROTC at UB!

Solidarity with the workers and oppressed at home and abroad!

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Congress plots against the immigrant workers

This year Congress is back at work on yet another attempt at a sweeping reform of the immigration laws in order to intensify the persecution of immigrant workers. The Senate bill, introduced by Alan Simpson, a Wyoming Republican, was passed by the full Senate in September. The House bill, introduced by two Democrats -- Peter Rodino (N.J.) and Romano Mazzoli (Ky.) is scheduled to go before the House Judiciary Committee soon.

These bills preserve the worst features of the earlier versions of the anti-immigrant Simpson-Mazzoli proposals. But this time around, the Democrats and Republicans have put their heads together to come up with a number of new and more cynical means of oppressing immigrant workers.

Using State Agencies to Hunt the "Undocumented" and Rob Their Benefits

In the past, Congress has proposed cutting off all federally funded benefits to the "undocumented." The new bills would enforce this through the computer systems of state agencies.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service has launched a voluntary program in a number of states called the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement ("SAVE") project. Under "SAVE," state agencies make a computerized check to verify alien registration numbers when immigrants apply for unemployment insurance, food stamps, welfare and health care assistance, and even drivers' licenses. If the papers don't check out, all benefits are denied, and names are turned over to the INS. In both houses of the Congress, amendments have been attached to the anti-immigrant. bills to make a "SAVE"-type system federal law.

To justify depriving immigrants of benefits, the government and the news media have been spewing foul lies about "foreign aliens draining social services" -- as if immigrant workers didn't pay taxes and earn their unemployment insurance or workmen's compensation like every other worker.

Moreover, even Reagan's Council of Economic Advisors has concluded in a recent report that immigrants use "relatively fewer services and pay relatively more taxes" than native born Americans. (New York Times, January 23, 1986)

Another study released in December by the Rand Corporation states that "Less than 5% of all Mexican immigrants -- citizens, legal residents and undocumented aliens combined -- were receiving government assistance in 1980." And because "the immigrant population is generally young and healthy, the use of health services for Mexican immigrants is low and concentrated in emergency and maternity services." (Los Angeles Herald Tribune, December 10,1985)

What a "SAVE"-type program amounts to is a double-tax on the immigrant workers. They are exploited to the bone at low wages for long hours. And when they are injured or laid-off, or in need of health care, they are harassed, threatened with deportation, deprived of benefits, and driven deeper into desperation and poverty.

Another feature of such a system is that, once the computers of the state agencies are filled with alien Registration numbers, they can become a strong arm of the INS for hunting down undocumented workers for arrest and deportation.

"Amnesty" Fraud Hinges on Increased Deportations

Both the Senate and House bills maintain the "amnesty" fraud. For some of the undocumented who can prove their long-term residency, it allows them to apply for possible legalization. Meanwhile, it puts anyone who dares apply under the thumbs of the INS, as the applicants have no rights and can be deported at any time during the years waiting to gain their "amnesty."

But the thoughtful gentlemen of the Senate have found a way to make this "amnesty" fraud even worse. The Senate's proposal includes a provision for delayed and "triggered legalization". The "amnesty" program would go into effect three years after the bill is signed, and it would only cover the "undocumented" who have lived in the U.S. continuously since before 1980. But this would only be "triggered" if "a special commission found that the employer sanctions, coupled with increased enforcement of immigration laws at the nation's borders, had curbed the flow of illegal aliens into the US." (Congressional Quarterly, November 23, 1985) That is, the phoney "amnesty" will hinge on the "success" of the rest of their bill in persecuting and hounding the immigrant workers.

"Barring Discrimination" by Compelling the Fox to Guard the Hen House

This years' proposals call for the stiffest fines and penalties yet for employers who hire the "undocumented." It is well-known that the burden of this will fall on the immigrants, not the employers. The capitalists will sweat the cost of any fines out of the hides of the workers. At the same time, "employer sanctions" would intensify discrimination against anyone who even "looks foreign" on the pretense that he might be "illegal."

The racist and discriminatory nature of employer sanctions is one of the things that has drawn angry protests against the previous versions of Simpson-Mazzoli. But this time around, the liberal Democratic prince, Barney Frank, has come to the rescue with a new "anti-discrimination" amendment. The representative from Massachusetts wants to "bar discrimination" by creating a new office in Edwin Meese's Justice Department to investigate and prosecute cases of discrimination. After all, everyone knows how active the Justice Department has been in pursuing racial discrimination cases -- on the side of the worst segregationists, bigots, and discriminators!

Speak English or Starve

On the same issue of job discrimination, the Immigration Subcommittee of the House has attached the Sensenbrenner amendment to the immigration bill. This states that an employer can refuse to hire and can fire or refuse to promote a worker for not knowing English, whether or not this has any relevance to his or her ability to do the job. This chauvinistic piece of legislation would stomp on the language rights of millions, immigrants as well as a large number of non-immigrants, who haven't fully mastered English.

Employers and supervisors always claim that they can't "understand" immigrants, even those who speak English well, to prevent them from upgrading their jobs and improving their pay. This amendment will give employers a government stamp of approval to discriminate at will.

The Squabble Over How Best to Persecute the Immigrants

Congress is deep in the process of cooking up this anti-immigrant bill. But, as we have seen before, that doesn't necessarily mean that they will enact it into law. Already squabbles are coming to the surface, and the Reagan administration is voicing reservations about some of the measures.

This squabbling isn't between Democrats and Republicans, or between liberals and conservatives, or between those who are interested to defend immigrants and those who are out to get them. Rather, the squabbling reflects the fact that there are different and contradictory capitalist interests at work.

The Congress is unanimous on the need for immigration law reform to "control" immigration through stepped up policing and persecution. This is because the capitalist class agrees on the value of oppressing the immigrants for maintaining a sub-caste of super-exploited workers, for creating divisions among the working class, and for strengthening police measures against all the working people.

But the corporations want their cake and to eat it too. They want to smash down the immigrant workers, but they want to do so without affecting their own profits and supplies of labor. This is what gives rise to the squabbling over the best and most effective anti-immigrant laws.

"Guest Workers"

The Senate version of the bill contains a vast "guest worker" program that would involve 350,000 farm laborers with upward adjustments in the limit after the first year. Despite the best efforts of Democrats like Leon Panetta, Charles Schumer and others, the House has not been able to agree on a "guest worker" program, and this has been a focus of the debate over the bill.

The champions of this bracero-type "guest worker" system have their eyes on the profits agribusiness can make off these temporary contract laborers, stripped of all rights but to slave for the harvest.

Some of the congressional critics of the "guest worker" system put up a front of sympathy for the super-exploited field hands. But they mainly argue from the standpoint that it would open a breach in the border. After all, once the contract laborers are here they may slip into the immigrant community instead of going home as their contract would require.

Then others argue against the unfairness of a farm contract labor program from the standpoint of capitalist jealousy. If agribusiness can have these temporary hands shipped in, they complain, then why can't the electrical plants and clothing sweatshops do the same thing?

Employer Sanctions

The other focus of the debate is employer sanctions. Like previous bills, penalties on employers hiring the "undocumented" is central to the new Simpson and Mazzoli-Rodino bills. But as the bill gets near the top of the congressional agenda, there has suddenly been a flurry of reports issued by various corporate groups warning of the dire impact employer sanctions might have.

The report of Reagan's Council of Economic Advisors admits that there is "no firm evidence that illegal aliens displaced native born workers from jobs in the U.S." (New York Times, January 23, 1986) It also concludes that the influx of immigrants "increased total employment and output in this country" by "enable(ing) domestic business enterprises to produce goods profitably that would not otherwise have been produced here." And the CEA's report expresses concern that sanctions may "reduce the national output of goods and services and would impose a new labor market tax" on employers.

In other words, the capitalists have no qualms about trampling on the immigrants. But they grow anxious when it may be a question of the bottom line.

Fight the Attacks on the Immigrant Workers!

The new Simpson and Mazzoli-Rodino bills are filthy anti-immigrant, anti-worker pieces of legislation. Whether they pass or not, they show how serious the ruling class is about persecuting the immigrant workers. No matter the outcome of this round of the debate, government is coming down hard against the Mexican, Latin American and other immigrants. Step by step the INS is escalating its war on the "undocumented" with more raids, more deportations, more surveillance and control.

All workers and democratic people must stand up and fight every racist step against the immigrant workers. We must stand shoulder to shoulder in defense of the working people of all nationalities, native and foreign-born, documented or undocumented. We need to build the mass struggles, organizing protests and demonstrations, free from the influence of the Democratic and Republican parties, who have both dirtied their hands in working out these new laws to enslave the immigrants.

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Down with the persecution of Ramona Africa!

A mockery of a trial to justify the Philadelphia massacre

The sole adult survivor of the police bombing of the MOVE home in west Philadelphia is on trial, facing 62 years of prison. Ramona Africa is in the middle of her trial for three counts of aggravated assault, three counts of recklessly endangering another person, and resisting arrest, riot and conspiracy. The police who took part in last year's May 13 assault on MOVE are pressing charges in the case.

Showing the importance the state has attached to putting her away, Ramona Africa is being held in the women's section of the House of Corrections, unable to meet the $2.5 million bail.

On top of this, the city of Philadelphia filed suit in federal court last November to make Ramona Africa and Louise James, the owner of the MOVE house, financially liable for the police bombing and fire, which destroyed some 61 homes and caused $10 million in damages.

A Frame-Up

The state's case against Ramona Africa is built on the smoke screen of police lies and hysterical propaganda that was used to justify the May 13 police assault. A cornerstone of the prosecution's case is that on April 29 Ramona Africa and others allegedly made threats against the mayor and the police over their loudspeaker. At that time warrants were drawn up for Ramona Africa and three other MOVE members, charging them with harassment, conspiracy, disorderly conduct, etc. It was in the name of serving those warrants that the police massacred 11 men, women and children in the MOVE home, and burnt down the surrounding neighborhood.

But last November, Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Stiles, the same judge who is presiding over the present trial, had to dismiss all the original charges against Ramona Africa for lack of evidence. The judge's admission of lack of evidence for the April 29 charges blows a big hole in the original hysteria about "threats" and "terrorism" used to justify the May 13 police assault and bombing.

It also shows the nakedness of the state's case against Ramona Africa. In fact, they haven't even been able to come up with a witness to identify that Ramona Africa had anything to do with the loudspeaker broadcasts, or any of the other charges against MOVE. What it has come down to is that she lived in the MOVE home and is therefore guilty by definition.

The Mayor and the Police Are the Ones Who Should Be On Trial

Judge Stiles and the prosecutors are working closely together to make sure the frame-up sticks. A key to this is their attempts to bar any mention of the events of May 13 from the trial. The prosecutor claims that the police assault and bombing are "irrelevant" to the case. And Judge Stiles carefully weeded out prospective jurors who may have bad opinions of the Philadelphia police in general and of their May 13 bombing of MOVE in particular.

What the government is afraid of is that the trial will backfire. They fear that it will become another forum to expose that it isn't MOVE, but Mayor Goode, the police and other capitalist authorities, who should be up on trial on a thousand and one counts of conspiracy, assault, recklessly endangering hundreds of persons, malicious destruction of an entire neighborhood, and premeditated murder of six men and women and five children in the MOVE home.

Ramona Africa, acting as her own attorney, is pursuing a defense along these lines. "All the charges also need to be lodged against the people who tried to kill me and my family," she declared as the trial started. "You know a bomb was dropped on me and my family. Police officers have acknowledged that they have fired 10,000 rounds of ammunition on me and my family. If that's not assault, if that's not recklessly endangering, if that's not in fact murder, even according to the description you have of aggravated assault and conspiracy, I don't know what is."

Two Wrongs Make For Capitalist Justice

The lack of evidence revealed in the trial, and the lack of anything but the most absurd charges, pose the question: Why is the government so driven to lock up Ramona Africa? After all, one might think, the police have already executed 11 MOVE people for "crimes" that amount to cursing over a loudspeaker and a mess of housing code violations. Why, then, are they so hungry for more punishment?

As every victim of police brutality knows -- whether the victims are black youth, picketing workers, or progressive demonstrators -- the courts and the capitalist press inevitably find the police in the right and their victims to be the real felons. To justify the worst police crimes, it is common practice to charge the victims for the crimes of the police (conspiracy, assault, or whatever). This is typical of capitalist oppression and injustice. This is what's happening on a massive scale in South Africa today; each police massacre of blacks is accompanied with more mock trials of activists for treason and conspiracy. And this is what is happening in a Philadelphia courtroom with the trial of Ramona Africa.

Crucifying Ramona Africa has become the obsession of the police and capitalist authorities to justify the police assault and bombing of May 13. Putting Ramona Africa behind bars for life is aimed at giving the police massacre a legal polish. They want to paint it up as simply a job that needed to be done to deal with exceedingly dangerous criminal terrorists. No matter that the police and prosecutors haven't been able to come up with a shred of evidence that Ramona Africa was in any way dangerous or criminal, much less a terrorist.

We Will Not Forget

The truth is that MOVE is a small religious cult that advocates change by adopting a "back to nature" lifestyle. While they can be accused of having foolish ideas about how to change the world, they have posed a threat to no one. At the same time, MOVE has been defiant in the face of the harassment by the city government and police. As the level of police threats and violence has escalated, over the years MOVE has taken a stand of self-defense.

This stand of defiance has enraged the police and capitalist officials. They won't accept anything short of complete obedience. So they set themselves the task of wiping out MOVE, and in the process teaching a lesson to the black people and working class militants who may dare defy the capitalists' dictate.

But in the process they have helped to open the eyes of millions to the brutality of capitalist rule. With their May 13 bombing, they have shown that the capitalists trample on the people just as ruthlessly under a black Democrat like Mayor Goode as under a racist Democrat boss like ex-Mayor Rizzo. And now the trial of Ramona Africa is only further exposing the cynicism of capitalist justice.

The anti-racist fighters and revolutionary workers will not forget the MOVE massacre. We will keep its lessons alive among the people, showing the burning necessity to organize mass struggle against the reactionary and racist offensive of the bourgeoisie, to build up the revolutionary movement on the road of the proletarian revolution that can put an end to the growing terrorism of the police against the working people.

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Poem written for the occasion of M.L. King Day

"Burn Down the Plantation (Closer to the Ancient Heart)"


This one's sure to stick in somebody's craw,

but it's preyin' on my mind...

too much water under the bridge and all that.

Your birthday cornin' up soon Doc,*

and they're makin' a real big fuss around, here...

declarations and speeches and singin' and carryin' on.

Seems to me you look just like an icon.

Harmless hero of no resistance

another shining ornament for this iron chain,

this charred rope necklace.

High priest of pacifism

long before they took you out of the picture,

pale bony finger twitching on the trigger,

things were already changing...getting out of hand.

The Black sea was churning

heads were turning

Watts was burning

young, half-starved souls were yearning

for something more than yankee-doodle Gandhi-ism...

a sliver of pie in a blood red sky.


that you're gone

the viciousness of our enemy

in his lowlands of cottonmouthed promises and tobacco juice

has drenched you in sugar-syrup,

made you a teflon titan above reproach.

Lack of examination

is sometimes the deepest tragedy we suffer.

Deceit goes undetected.

Both cheeks glowing and scarred with welts

I reject you and your illusions.

Your useless "weapons" enrage me.

When my enemy has a sword, don't hand me no plowshare,


To disarm the victim is a crime beyond forgiveness.


Now Malcolm

Malcolm was my man.

Not that he was perfect.

He had his problems, his blind spots, his row to hoe...

But somehow his feet

seemed to stay a little

closer to the ground...

closer to the ancient heart...

deeper in that black soil, so sweet and rich you could taste it.

Mother soil of "deacons for defense" and such.

He had an instinct

A suspicion about the bossman's bag of tricks.

Saw through camelot like tissue paper

heard the voices in the bush tick time away

felt the difference between a slave clamorin'

to get into the big house

and a slave who look at bossman with flame in his eye;

tired of tryin' to get into the goddamn house.

Burn-it-down-and-we'I l-build-a-new-house attitude.

Wonderfully dangerous man

cut down in motion. Missing in action.


Today things a heap different

Got some dark faces in that big house

not creepin' round the back way neither

straight up, fat and fine.

Overseer bear down

"root hog or die!"

'ease up driver;

don't you drive so hard.'

Driver say "what ya'II hollerin' 'bout?

It's our turn now...ain't no more chains."

at least

you can't see none.

But if some kinda chains ain't there,

why it so hard to move?

Peter Poyas January, 1986

*Doc is MLK Jr.

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Death to Apartheid!


Black miners battle the racist rulers

On January 21st, 500 black gold miners engaged in a fierce clash against the racist police at the Western Areas Gold Mine, 24 miles west of Johannesburg. The battle began when police attacked a mine workers' meeting discussing the struggle against brutal exploitation by the mine owners. The workers responded by bravely defending themselves. In the process they killed two of the racist forces with knives and clubs. When police reinforcements came, the miners fought them too, using the weapons they had just seized from the police in the initial skirmish. In the intense fighting at least seven blacks were killed and another 40 wounded. In the following days the police interrogated about 250 workers and arrested 11.

The bold action of the miners is another step forward for the liberation struggle. It marks the first time in the upsurge that white police have been killed by the masses in a direct clash. For some time the oppressed have been carrying out their struggle in defiance of the government's brutal repression. They are also now beginning to turn to yet more militant forms of struggle.- Last month, for example, there were several incidents of armed masses firing on police. These forms reflect a growth of revolutionary consciousness. They are evidence that more and more the masses realize that to get rid of apartheid, they must follow the path of uncompromising struggle.

Platinum Miners Strike

Another major action of the miners occurred at the beginning of January. 30,000 platinum miners went on strike at the Impala complex of Afrikaner- owned General Mining Union Corporation in the Bophuthatswana bantustan. The workers' demands included higher wages, shorter hours, and recognition of their union, the National Union of Mineworkers.

The company immediately lashed out against the workers, firing 20,000. Through such methods the mining capitalists forced a majority of the remaining 10,000 miners back to work. But even facing immediate dismissal, some 3,000 strikers refused to return to work.

Bantustans -- Sham Independence, Intensified Oppression

In their efforts to crush the miners, the mine owners have been greatly aided by being located in Bophuthatswana. Bophuthatswana is independent from South Africa in name only. And the labor laws in this bantustan are even more severe than in other parts of South Africa. Bophuthatswana does not recognize the miners union which is granted legal status elsewhere in South Africa. As well, strikes are banned in this so-called "homeland."

The apartheid rulers promote the "homelands" like Bophuthatswana as a great boon to the masses, a place where blacks can practice self-government. But as the recent miners' struggle shows, the black workers in the bantustans are exploited to the maximum. And of course the bantustans function as holding camps for black immigrant labor which finds work outside the bantustans.

While the South African government recognizes the black trade unions outside the bantustans, this does not mean the workers are treated any better. It only means that there are better conditions for struggle when the workers are not divided into artificial, isolated "homelands." An example of the brutality even of the liberal exploiters in South Africa took place in May, 1985, when miners struck the Anglo-American Corporation -- which then fired 14,000 workers. Interestingly enough, Anglo-American is part of the empire of the well-known liberal South African capitalist, Harry Oppenheimer. Liberals like Oppenheimer have helped prod the South African government to legalize the trade unions. But when the workers attempted to utilize their new rights to advance their cause, the same liberals came down on them like a ton of bricks.

Plainly the only rights black labor has in South Africa are those they have enforced through their heroic struggle. And the struggle to improve their condition is linked with the struggle for a revolution which will sweep away the racist ruling class.

[Photo: South African miners organizing for struggle.]

Students boycott the apartheid schools

A major role in the South African liberation struggle has always been played by the student youth. In the upsurge of the last two years, the students have organized many boycotts of the racist educational system. They have raised demands including equal education with white students, release of student leaders incarcerated by the regime, and for an end to the occupation of the segregated black and mixed-race townships by the racist army and police. As well, they have vigorously participated in other aspects of the anti-apartheid struggle including the township revolts, the funeral protests, etc.

The Nationwide Boycott in January

In early January, the students launched another strong protest. Some 900,000 black students participated in a nationwide boycott of school that lasted until the end of the month. This figure represents one-half of all the black students who live outside the bantustans. In solidarity with the black students, Indian students at a high school near Cape Town also began to boycott classes.

The growth of the boycott movement enraged the apartheid authorities. The police moved in on the Indian high school and forced the students to attend classes. Meanwhile in Kagiso, 15 miles west of Johannesburg, the police opened fire on a boycott meeting of 400. The masses responded to this outrage by stoning the racist cops.

Liberals Undermine the Struggle

The self-sacrificing struggle of the black students stands in stark contrast to the stand of the black liberals in South Africa. Bishop Tutu and other black reformists worked to undermine the boycott from the start. They advised the students not to begin the January boycott but to instead postpone it until March, allegedly to give the racist regime time to satisfy the demands. But it is common knowledge that the regime has had decades to satisfy the students' demands. In reality, the liberals raised this issue simply to break the boycott movement's momentum. Meanwhile the liberals negotiated with the Botha regime to postpone school registration deadlines until the end of January in order to avoid angering the students even more.

By month's end the black liberals had at least partially succeeded in their plan to end the boycott. The liberals issued a call to end the boycott; it is reported that many students went back to school.

The African National Congress Endorses the Liberal Treachery

The African National Congress endorsed the call of the liberals to end the student struggle. This shameful action shows yet again the basically reformist views behind their revolutionary-sounding rhetoric. (See "On the strategy and tactics of the ANC of South Africa" in the September 1, 1985 issue of The Workers' Advocate.) The ANC promotes the liberals and seeks unity with them. Here we see how this unity works against the development of the liberation struggle.

The shenanigans of the liberals has caused a temporary toning down of the student movement. But the conditions that gave rise to the student demands remain. Inevitably the protests will soon break out again in full force. The students will also increasingly realize that they must organize themselves independently of the liberal wheeler- dealers who seek a deal with the regime.

Racist South Africa organizes a coup in Lesotho

On January 20, the racist Botha regime backed a coup in Lesotho. Displeased with some of the actions of the government of Chief Leabua Jonathan, the racists aided the armed forces in Lesotho to oust him and install in power a complete lackey of South Africa, Major General Justin Lekhanya.

Why did South Africa support this coup? Was it being threatened by Lesotho? Hardly. Lesotho is a small country surrounded on all sides by South Africa. It is almost entirely dependent on South Africa for its economic existence. And for many years South Africa has molded the government there to suit its needs.

In fact it was South Africa which engineered to power the now-deposed Chief Jonathan in 1965 just prior to Lesotho's independence from Britain in 1966. Jonathan was a reactionary tyrant who generally got along quite well with the racists. But the racist rulers had promised Jonathan some economic projects to enrich the Lesotho upper strata in return for total support for the racist rule in South Africa. When the apartheid masters reneged on the deal and treated Lesotho no better than a bantustan, Jonathan eventually sought contacts with other countries, including the revisionist bloc, and also allowed some ANC exiles sanctuary.

Thus gradually some friction arose between Jonathan and the racists. At the top of the list as far as Pretoria was concerned was that Jonathan tolerated the presence of some members of the African National Congress in Lesotho. The ANC, despite its "revolutionary" rhetoric, has a basically reformist orientation. But the racists are being rocked by a powerful revolt of the black and other oppressed masses. And like a wounded beast they are lunging wildly in all directions, seeking to smash all opposition to apartheid. Under the new regime, the ANC is being exiled from Lesotho. Within a week after the coup, at least 60 ANC supporters were forced to leave.

South Africa Blockades Lesotho

The Botha regime denies organizing the coup. But this fools no one. For three weeks prior to the coup they had instituted a complete economic blockade of Lesotho to bring the government to its knees. South African officers were meeting with the Lesotho military the day of the coup. And immediately after the coup, the South African government hailed it and began meetings with the new regime. Add to this the whole history of South African raids on Lesotho and their support of the so-called Lesotho Liberation Army, the armed wing of Chief Jonathan's main political rivals, and there can be no doubt about South Africa's role.

Once again the South African racists show there is no limit to their arrogance. Just as they apply military force to squash any protest at home, so these fascists give themselves the right to invade any of their neighboring countries at will. They have ongoing operations in Angola and repeatedly invade Mozambique. In June 1985 they launched a bloody raid into Botswana, and this past December they invaded Lesotho, murdering six members of the ANC. This was South Africa's second invasion of Lesotho in recent years. A 1982 raid resulted in 42 deaths.

"Constructive Engagement" in Lesotho -- Reagan Endorses the Coup

The Reagan administration claims that it is opposing apartheid with its policy of "constructive engagement," but the events in Lesotho expose the reality about Reagan's policy. As usual, U.S. imperialism is looking on the latest South African adventure with approval. Last June the Reagan administration could scarcely contain their glee when Botswana was invaded. And Reagan started the year by approving the brutality against Lesotho.

Reagan is constantly screaming and tearing his hair out about the alleged (and nonexistent) aggression Nicaragua commits against its neighbors. Under this pretext he has launched an undeclared war on that country. But South Africa overthrows a neighboring government and what is the administration's response? It does not utter a single word of protest. And why should it? The Reagan administration is ecstatic about these invasions. If Reagan can set up his own government in Grenada, why shouldn't South Africa make the law in Lesotho? Do you think Reagan spends billions on the Pentagon and Botha arms to the teeth just to display the weapons on parade?

The coup in Lesotho not only exposes the Botha regime. It also shows the racist brotherhood between the rulers of South Africa and the U.S.

Bishop Tutu tours the U.S.

Talking tough to impress the people, but still looking for agreement with the racists

During January, Bishop Desmond Tutu toured the U.S. Tutu has been portrayed by the bourgeoisie as the foremost opponent of. apartheid. They have awarded him the Nobel prize and virtually proclaimed him a saint. The U.S. tour was aimed at further enhancing Tutu's image. For his part, Tutu did his best to appear as a firm fighter against apartheid, adopting what was for him a rather "militant" stance. Nevertheless, a close look at what Tutu said allows one to see the truth hidden behind the media hype. During his tour Tutu proved that despite his anti-apartheid rhetoric, his opposition to the revolutionary struggle in South Africa remains greater than his opposition to apartheid. He confirmed that he still seeks a reformist compromise with the racist power structure instead of the revolutionary abolition of white minority rule.

Tutu Praises the Very Mass Actions He Opposes

In his tour, Tutu made extra efforts to identify himself with the militant actions of the South African toilers. Thus, on his tour, Tutu made a number of statements that seem to show sympathy for the bold struggle that the South African masses have waged against the racist Botha regime.

For example, in Baltimore on January 10 Tutu pointed out the futility of a peaceful struggle against the racists. He stated: "I believe that nonviolence requires a certain minimum moral standard of those who would be appalled when they saw what police bullwhips could do to those protesting peacefully" which Tutu added "we do not have" in South Africa. (New York Times, January 11,1986)

Tutu even remarked that "If I was a young man in South Africa, I would be past Bishop Tutu." (TV interview in Detroit, January 16, reprinted the next day in the Detroit Free Press) Here the bishop admits that the stand of the revolutionary activists is quite reasonable. And he also admits to the dilemma that he himself faces.

But it is one thing to say that it is understandable if others have taken up militant struggle. It is another matter to oneself advocate such a struggle. This Tutu does not do. Indeed during his tour he boasted that it is "one of the miracles of our country that although there has been a very considerable radicalization of especially--but not just the youth--...that they will accept, still, our leadership." (Detroit Free Press interview, January 17,1986)

So what is this "leadership?" Tutu goes on to describe how he fought against a school boycott by black students ("I suggested that they should agree to go back to school...."). He also recalls how "at the funeral in Duduza... I could intervene to save someone's life." What Tutu is referring to is his intervention to save a black police agent of the racist regime from the angry masses.

Tutu's description of his actual practice shows the hypocrisy of his pro-struggle rhetoric. Tutu played with militant phrases simply to retain some credibility with the masses who are increasingly turning toward revolutionary convictions. He has the typical stand of the liberal who threatens the right wing with the specter of the violent revolution, and then tells the right wing that by coming to a deal with the reformists, the two of them can avert this revolutionary "catastrophe."

Tutu Seeks Cooperation With the Racists

Tutu wants to keep the struggle within definite bounds because he opposes revolution. Instead he holds that the revolutionary overthrow of the white minority regime can be replaced by the pipe dream of abolishing apartheid hand in hand with the racist Botha. Speaking to businessmen in Detroit, Tutu said: "What a wonderful country it will be when Nelson Mandela [the imprisoned leader of the ANC] is sitting in the Union Building, the headquarters of the government. And next door [in the legislature] we will have P.W. Botha [racist president of South Africa]."

But this "wonderful" plan is a complete pipe dream. Tutu himself admits that the Botha regime is a gang of bloodthirsty racist killers. He compares it to Hitler's regime. Yet he says that these same diehard white supremacist Hitlerites will consent to giving blacks political power. And they will reform and work hand in hand in governing South Africa for the benefit of the people.

Tutu even denounces in retrospect the years of the bitter, protracted liberation war in Zimbabwe to dislodge white minority rule. He considers it "how not to go about solving that kind of problem." (DFP interview) Why, it all could have been avoided, says Tutu -- because "[ex-racist chieftain of Rhodesia] Smith was given many opportunities for negotiating" and "could have very well presided over an orderly transition from a repressive dispensation to one that was more egalitarian, more equitable." (DFP interview) Of course, to expect the racist Ian Smith to have voluntarily given up white minority rule is as ridiculous as to expect this from Botha today. But in order to push his reformist schemes, Tutu has to ignore history.

Tutu Paints U.S. Imperialism in liberation Colors

On his visit, Tutu repeatedly denounced U.S. support for apartheid in general, and Reagan's notorious "constructive engagement'' in particular. But then in the next breath he would assert that the black people in South Africa could be liberated by Reagan. In New York City, for example, Tutu promised that if only Reagan were to "apply to South Africa the policy he applies to Nicaragua'' then: "Voila! Apartheid would be over in next to no time.''

As we have seen, Tutu opposes revolution. So what's left to take the place of revolution? According to the bishop, racist Reagan could take care of everything.

This is absurd. Only overthrowing apartheid will rid the people of this plague. To wait for Reagan to lead the masses to freedom means to die waiting.

But this was typical of Tutu's entire trip. Every time he denounced a racist institution for supporting apartheid, it turned out to be for the purpose of nudging it to support Tutu as the alternative to revolution. Whether it was Reagan, or the most notorious multinational corporations in South Africa (Tutu specially scheduled meetings with Burroughs, GM, and other such corporations), Tutu denounced them for the cameras while extending his hand to them for a deal.

Tutu Seeks to Help Out Imperialist Investments

During his tour Tutu had harsh words for the U.S multinationals. He correctly declared that they are not in South Africa to help advance black rights but to gain fat profits under the apartheid system.

Does this mean that Tutu is against the exploitation of the black masses by the multinational corporations? Not at all. This is just another case of Tutu sounding left to threaten the exploiters, and then offering a deal.

In an interview in Detroit, for example, Tutu notes that "Now, just in terms of dollars and cents, it doesn't make sense to go in and invest in South Africa.'' (DFP interview) And therefore he calls on the capitalist tycoons to "help bring about the kind of government that will ensure real stability.''

In other words, Tutu warned the corporations that they should support his schemes for undercutting the revolution and reforming apartheid so that their investments will have "stability.'' Tutu's "fight'' against the monopolies is in reality an effort to preserve their profits. And while on tour he went hat in hand to these very corporations in order to see what he could get from them.

Tutu Looks Towards "Liberal and Conservative" Alike

Tutu also heaped praise on the U.S. imperialist politicians across the board.

The bourgeois congressmen, from arch-conservative Republicans to liberal Democrats, have been posturing as opponents of Reagan's support for apartheid. They promised action against South Africa. But when all the huffing and puffing was over, they agreed to settle for Reagan's own token, symbolic sanctions.

But Tutu whitewashes all this. He claimed that "liberals and conservatives...are rising up and uniting in a mighty movement'' against apartheid. (Tutu's fundraising letter for the Free South Africa Movement) Thus Tutu demonstrated his desire to come to an accommodation with the U.S. capitalist class as a whole, from conservative to liberal, from openly Reaganite and racist to the sly liberal faker.

Opposing Revolutionary Struggle in the U.S.

In line with his opposition to militant struggle in South Africa, and with his support for the U.S. corporations and their bought and paid for politicians, Tutu also favored keeping the clamps on the anti-racist struggle in the U.S. During his visit Tutu candidly revealed his fear of a militant upsurge of the anti-racist struggle in the U.S. Tutu shamelessly stated "if a race war were to break out in South Africa, it would have the most horrendous repercussions for race relations in this country." (DFP interview) Tutu used the term "race war" to attempt to discredit the revolutionary struggle in South Africa. He alleged that such a "race war" (mass revolutionary upsurge) in South Africa would have "horrendous" consequences in the U.S.

But in fact just the opposite is true. The upsurge in South Africa helps propel forward the anti-racist struggle here. The only damage to "race relations" will be done to relations of inferiority imposed on the black people. How "horrendous"!

Today the black people are under a vicious racist offensive from Reagan. And what is Tutu worried about? That the black masses may rise up against it!

For one thing, he gave his blessings to the black bourgeois misleaders who themselves oppose the militant actions of the masses. These bourgeois elements, who sell the struggle of the black masses for their own profit, were overjoyed at Tutu's visit and escorted Tutu throughout his tour. The black reformists shout to the masses about the racism of the white bourgeoisie, but for the sake of having something to bargain with in their efforts to have the white bourgeois give them token positions in capitalist boardrooms.

Nevertheless Tutu's praise for them was extravagant. In Detroit, for example, Tutu proclaimed black Mayor Coleman Young as a "great man." Of course, this "great man" is a bought and paid for frontman of the auto monopolies like GM and Ford who reap the benefits of cheap black labor from their plants in South Africa. And Young merrily "solves" the city's fiscal problems with layoffs, wage freezes, etc. which hit heavily against the mostly black city workers.

Tutu Goes Ecstatic Over the Detroit Police

But this is not all. The bishop also highly praised the Detroit police force. Said Tutu: "I didn't know that cops could be nice." (DFP, January 17,1986) Naturally the cops are nice to big shot dignitaries like Tutu, but away from the limelight these "nice" police continue to carry on racist atrocities against the ordinary black masses. And the Detroit police themselves recognize a kinship with the South African uniformed thugs; in April 1983 a representative of the Detroit Police Department toured a number of police installations in South Africa and praised the South African whip-wielders as "better trained, better disciplined...than many in the United States." (See the March-May 1984 issue of Counterspy.)

Tutu Declines to Support the Nicaraguan People

We have cited Tutu's statements that Reagan should "apply to South Africa the policy he applies to Nicaragua." At first this sounds like the popular slogan among anti-apartheid activists of "Boycott South Africa, But Not Nicaragua!" But after a while, one notices a difference in Tutu's version of this. In New York City, and in all his other statements on the U.S. tour that we know of, Tutu did not call for ending the U.S.-organized contra war on Nicaragua, but simply for the boycott to be extended to South Africa. Whether this means that Tutu supports the war against Nicaragua, or simply that Tutu did not want to offend the warmongering American bourgeoisie which he is seeking aid from, we do not know. In any case, what groveling before the imperialist backers of apartheid!

Oppose Tutu's Reformism! Support the Fighting Masses In South Africa!

The activists and working masses in the U.S. have great sympathy for the struggle in South Africa. This has been amply demonstrated by the numerous anti-apartheid protests over the last two years. Tutu wants to channel this movement into dead-end reformist schemes. He wants to replace support for the revolutionary movement of the masses with support for,, a strategy of seeking deals with the racists and their U.S. imperialist backers. Therefore consistent support for the fighting masses requires opposing Tutu's reformism.

[Photo: Bishop Tutu jogs at the track at police headquarters during his visit to Detroit. Tutu lavished praise on the Detroit police, the same police that the capitalists use to attack the masses in Detroit.]

The anti-apartheid struggle heats up at Dartmouth College

On January 21, under the cover of night, a small group of racists connected with the right-wing publication Dartmouth Review used sledgehammers to smash shanties set up on the Dartmouth campus by anti-apartheid students. The shanties were erected as a symbol of the wretched housing which blacks in South Africa endure. They were part of ongoing student efforts to make the college end its investments in companies operating in South Africa. Following their cowardly deed, the right-wingers arrogantly swaggered about, crowing that by attacking the anti-apartheid protest they were "merely picking trash up off the [college] Green."

The Attack Boomerangs

But the attack on the shantytown has in fact blown up in the face of the reactionaries. It has aroused an angry response throughout the student body. The day after the attack, 100 students began a 30-hour occupation of the office of the college president. Students have forced the cancellation of classes so that a forum could be held to condemn this and other instances of racism at Dartmouth. And all across the campus, students have had their eyes opened as to the true nature of the conservatives who took over the Dartmouth Review some time ago.

Fascism -- the Newest in Conservative Chic

The scribblers of the Dartmouth Review are would-be stormtroopers. They are racist to the core. These scum use their publication to promote a KKK-style stereotype of blacks and other oppressed nationalities. A recent issue advocated the wearing of tattoos of Indians because "Indian" used to be the school's symbol before it was dropped since it was grossly offensive to native American peoples. have also singled out Jews for slander, claiming that any efforts of the college to increase Jewish enrollment will ruin the academic standards of Dartmouth.

Dartmouth Review -- Voice of Reaganism

Incidents such as the wrecking of the shantytown do not happen simply as a result of a few twisted minds taking over the Dartmouth Review. The takeover of the Dartmouth Review has been enthusiastically backed by off-campus conservatives. Its policies are a product of the racism and flag-waving chauvinism constantly promoted by the bourgeoisie today, right up to the Reagan administration. In one tirade after another Reagan pushes the lie that bloodstained U.S. imperialism is an innocent victim being besieged by the forces of international terrorism. He suggests that a Rambo-like response of brute military force is the proper response. Domestically he eggs on the racist gangs by advocating that the only racism left today is "reverse racism" against whites. And he supports the apartheid regime in South Africa, pretending to criticize them only for the sake of gathering votes for the Republican Party. The conservatives of the Dartmouth Review don't have to worry about votes, and so they can come out openly with the Reaganite stand.

But the more the Dartmouth Review spews its poison, the more it has convinced progressive students at Dartmouth of the need to become active in the struggle against racism and reaction. This is the lesson of the newest events at Dartmouth.

[Photo: Besides the struggle at Dartmouth College, recent weeks have also seen anti-apartheid students holding demonstrations, occupying offices, and facing arrests and suspensions at the University of Pennsylvania, Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Cornell University, etc. Picture shows students demonstrating against a meeting of trustees at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., demanding an end to investments in corporations operating in South Africa.]

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


Guatemala: The votes were counted and the promises were broken

Barely a month has passed since the so-called "democratic" elections in Guatemala ending in December, but already the new Christian-Democratic president who promised a civilian government to this land of military dictatorships is eating his words. This is proving yet again that only revolution can bring the rule of the people to this land so brutally exploited by the oligarchy and so brutally massacred by the military.

The new president, Cerezo, made many promises to the people during the election campaign. He vowed to investigate the fate of the tens of thousands of workers and peasants who have "disappeared" at the hands of the military. He advocated the right for workers to organize trade unions and go on strike for their demands. He claimed that there would be a new beginning over the decades of military rule. And he said all this could come without overthrowing the capitalists and smashing the military, by simply voting for Christian-Democracy.

No Justice for the Disappeared

But a few weeks after the election Cerezo held a press conference and announced that there would be no investigations of the crimes committed against the "disappeared."

The masses of people, determined to have the rights promised them, demanded that Cerezo carry out his election promises. On January 10, four days before his inauguration, one thousand relatives of the disappeared, including many Indians, marched through the capital demanding that the missing be accounted for. Their banner read: "More than once you told us: 'I can't do anything now, but when I take office there will be justice.' What pretext will you use now?" As they passed the police headquarters the marchers denounced the police, shouting "Murderers! Murderers!"

But Cerezo held fast to his position, stating the previous week at the post- election press conference: no investigations. "There will be no initiative. The President is not a prosecutor." In fact 'the new president-elect specifically ruled out prosecution of military officers for any past crimes, including human rights abuses.

The kidnapping, torturing and killing of the over 35,000 "disappeared" by the Guatemalan military and police is one of the sorest, most broad-based grievances of the Guatemalan masses. Yet what does the "democratic" civilian government have to offer: nothing but rhetoric. "These thousands of lives weigh on our democratic conscience" sighed Cerezo at his inauguration. (New York Times, January 15,1986)

No Food for the Workers

Also marching on January 10, side by side with the relatives of the disappeared, was a contingent of teachers threatening a nationwide strike. The teachers, who already struck in September, during the election campaign, are demanding immediate wage increases. Guatemalan wage earners suffer from desperately low pay (enforced for years by police-state measures) and skyrocketing inflation. Their anger had burst out last fall in a daring wave of struggle affecting many sectors of the economy.

The new "democratic" government has already spat in the face of the workers' movement. The national treasury is empty, lamented Cerezo at his inauguration. He insisted that the "terrible crisis" in the country demands "great austerity and sacrifice." In other words, the "democracy" of the new regime hasn't got a thing to do with the working masses whose lot it is to swallow their hunger and prepare to tighten their belts further. The newly appointed Minister of Education pleaded with the teachers not to strike. "It doesn't seem right that there should be a strike just at the moment when we are all trying to do our part to install a democratic regime." (New York Times, January 14,1986)

No More Illusions in the Exploiters

It is not surprising that Cerezo's "Christian-Democracy" is a fraud. Cerezo was a candidate of the rich and powerful, of the exploiters. Seeking the support of the military, which has ravaged the country for 30 years, Cerezo renounced the notion of implementing any basic reforms, which were to be things for the distant future. Seeking the support of big business, Cerezo renounced beforehand such measures as agrarian reform and nationalization of exports and the banks. And indeed the powerful Coordinating Council for the Chambers of Agriculture, Commerce, Industry and Finance helped pay for his campaign.

No wonder the Cerezo government is being touted by the Reagan administration as a shining example of what it regards as the "new democracies" in Latin America. The Reagan government is using the "democratic" facade to prettify its plans to step up the U.S. aid to the Guatemalan regime in its war against the people, aid which has already reached $100 million which Congress approved for 1986, of which $10.3 million is direct military aid. But the only real freedom for the Guatemalan people is that which they will win in their heroic revolutionary struggle against the Guatemalan exploiters and their Pentagon and State Department backers.

Salvadoran guerrillas strike coffee plantation

In the face of the claim of the Salvadoran oligarchy and their Pentagon backers that the people's forces are on the decline, the Salvadoran revolutionary forces recently carried out several lightning sabotage raids against the coffee capitalists, including in government-controlled western El Salvador.

On January 8 guerrillas destroyed the Nejapa processing plant ten miles north of San Salvador.

On January 9, one hundred guerrillas launched a midnight hit-and-run attack on Juayua, a coffee town forty-five miles west of the capital. Blowing up a block of shops, expropriating $10,000 from the bank and demolishing the coffee-processing machinery in midharvest, the guerrillas dealt the coffee capitalists a $1 million blow in a region previously peripheral to the six years of civil war. The two-hour raid took place inside an army-controlled zone only a fifteen-minute drive on a paved highway from the major army base at Sonsonate. The guerrillas slipped away with few if any casualties just as an air force gunship arrived.

The coffee raids are only the latest in a series of rapid, nighttime sabotage and ambush operations by small guerrilla units. They show the guerrillas' ability, with the support of the workers and peasants, to carry on their fight right under the noses of the fascist colonels, despite the escalation of the vicious U.S.-supplied air war with its massive, indiscriminate bombing and strafing of the countryside.

Reagan's 'New Democracy' in El Salvador --a bomb for every peasant

While the Duarte government, and its backers in the U.S. embassy in San Salvador, flatly deny that civilian villagers are being bombed in the U.S.-backed military campaigns, fresh proof of this crime was provided by Salvadoran Archbishop Arturo Rivera y Damas' recent visit to Chalatenango province. (The liberal clergy does not support the revolution in El Salvador, but pretends that it is above politics and the conflict between the oligarchy and the people. Nevertheless the archbishop's testimony about his tour shows the Duarte regime's barbarities.)

While marrying and taking confessions from Chalatenango civilian peasants in early January, the Archbishop travelled through areas being bombed from the air. Two bombs fell within four miles of him although the army high command had assured him he could visit the area with no risk.

During the Archbishop's week-long stay in the province, hundreds of peasants urged him to broadcast on their behalf that, although the area has a large civilian population, the Salvadoran military uses it as a free-fire zone. This claim is corroborated by reports of several journalists of Air Force attacks on civilian villages. Archbishop Rivera also saw the Army's destruction of crops and homes in its sweeps of the area.

The residents of Chalatenango support the liberation struggle against the oligarchy and U.S. domination. The bombing of the area is consistent with the longstanding policy of the Duarte government and the Reagan administration of destroying the civilian village sympathizers of the guerrilla movement.

At U.S. direction, these air force operations were escalated even further over the last two years as even the U.S. advisers realized that the Salvadoran oligarchy was losing the war because it was unable to deal with the broad-based civilian support for the guerrilla fighters. The Reagan administration, with full funding from Congress, sent in more and more AC-47 gunships (which can plow up a football field in one minute), Huey helicopters and other aircraft used in the air attacks. They provide the firepower for the air operations against the Salvadoran people.

But despite the atrocities from the air, the liberation war in El Salvador continues, as the recent attacks on the coffee capitalists shows (see accompanying article).

Confessions of a contra leader

Recently, Edgar Chamorro, formerly one of the leaders of the FDN, the main contra group, has written another letter to the American press exposing the anti-people nature of the CIA-organized contras whom Reagan promotes as fighters for freedom and human rights. Chamorro headed the contras' public relations program from 1982 until 1984, when he had a falling-out with the CIA. He now believes in overcoming the revolution by pushing the Nicaraguan regime to the right, rather than by its armed overthrow.

The key features of the contras substantiated by Chamorro's accounts are: they are overwhelmingly led by followers of the late dictator Somoza, their systematic use of terror against the Nicaraguan masses, and their tight control by the CIA.

Supporters of the Old Regime Hungering After Their Lost Wealth and Privileges

In his letter to the editor of the New York Times, published January 9, 1986, Chamorro writes: "It is a gross fabrication to claim that the 'contras' are composed of democratic groups.... As I can attest, the 'contra' military force is directed and controlled by officers of Somoza's National Guard, who fought at the dictator's side to the very end and then fled to Honduras. My knowledge is confirmed by an April 1985 congressional study that shows that 46 of the 48 positions in the FDN's military leadership were held by ex-National Guardsmen...the 'contras' who were my colleagues talked mostly of recovering their lost wealth and privileged status."

Specialists in Murder

The low-level fighters who carry out the will of these leaders are recruited by force and subjected to fascist discipline. In an affidavit for the World Court last September, Chamorro described how, with the full knowledge and approval of the CIA, contra units "would arrive at an undefended village, assemble all the residents in the town square and then proceed to kill in full view of the others -- all persons working for the Nicaraguan government, including police, local militia members, party members, health workers, teachers and farmers" on government cooperatives. "It was easy to persuade those left alive to join." (New York Times, September 12,1985)

The penalties for desertion are also very savage according to Washington Post reporter Christopher Dickey who, in his book With the Contras, describes how a contra leader slit the throat of a 13-year-old who attempted to flee. (Dickey has compiled almost six years' worth of information on the contras and spent several weeks traveling with them.)

Reagan's Idea of "Human Rights"

It falls to Hollywood actors like Reagan to promote the contras as human rights advocates. As the whole world knows by now, no form of brutality is too low for these cowards. According to Chamorro, "It is cynical to assert that the 'contras' respect human rights. During my four years as a contra director, it was premeditated policy to terrorize civilian noncombatants to prevent them from cooperating with the government. Hundreds of civilian murders, mutilations, tortures and rapes were committed in pursuit of this policy of which the 'contra' leaders and their CIA superiors were well aware...terror is the most effective weapon of the 'contras.' "

A Proxy Army Controlled by the U.S. Government

All these contra crimes don't take place behind Reagan's back. On the contrary, the Reagan administration, the CIA, and Congress are fully aware of them because the CIA organizes these crimes, and directs these brutalities and even writes "how-to'' manuals. Chamorro verifies this in his reports on his direct experience with CIA-level control from '82 to '84. "When I joined the FDN in 1981, I hoped it would be controlled by Nicaraguans and dedicated to objectives we would determine. But the 'contras' were, and are, a proxy army controlled by the U.S. government.

"If U.S. support were terminated, they would not only be incapable of conducting any military activities against the Sandinistas, but would also immediately begin to disintegrate. I resigned rather than continue as a Central Intelligence Agency puppet."

Though no longer a contra leader, Chamorro still is not a friend of the Nicaraguan revolution. His political line is for further concessions by the Sandinistas to the bourgeois opposition -- concessions which would necessarily be at the expense of the workers and peasants, restricting their rights and worsening their working conditions. But his testimony shows from the inside what a sickening morass of depravity, what a collection of greed-driven murderers and sadists have been collected by the CIA in order to carry out U.S. imperialist aggression against Nicaragua. And, as Reagan himself says, these criminals are his "brothers."

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The World in Struggle


Argentine workers denounce Alfonsin and Rockefeller

Another one-day general strike against President Raul Alfonsin's austerity program took place in Argentina on January 24. Economic activity came to a halt for 24 hours as the great mass of workers stayed away from work to protest Alfonsin's so-called "fight against inflation" and his handling of Argentina's $50 billion foreign debt.

Alfonsin's austerity program has pushed the Argentine economy into a deep slump, leading to massive layoffs. At the same time workers still employed have been forced to accept a wage freeze which has meant a sharp drop in real wages. The IMF is demanding even more stringent measures in the months to come, and Alfonsin has pledged that he will work hard to implement the IMF program and not be swayed by strikes.

Rockefeller's Visit Protested

Alfonsin further exposed himself as a bourgeois collaborator with the rapacious sharks of imperialist finance when he hosted David Rockefeller in Buenos Aires on January 14. Rockefeller is deeply hated in Argentina as one of the foremost financial patrons of the military regime that ruled the country from 1976 to 1983. Rockefeller's visit to Buenos Aires touched off two hours of violent demonstrations by leftist youth outside the American Club, where Rockefeller was staying. Demonstrators burned a U.S. flag and attacked property around the club. Police attacked the demonstrators with tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets; 81 were arrested, with five hurt seriously.

This was the biggest eruption of street violence since Alfonsin came to power two years ago. It indicates that disillusionment is growing against Alfonsin's liberal regime. Alfonsin is driving the workers into destitution while he holds luncheon chats with capitalist bloodsuckers like Rockefeller.

[Photo: 1,500 Argentinians denouncing U.S. capitalist David Rockefeller's visit in January.]

Peru: social-democratic regime hit by strikes

Government workers in Peru are continuing their strike movement. They have not been pacified by the demagogy of social-democratic President Alan Garcia. Garcia talks tough about standing up to the IMF and even of "ending exploitation," but in practice his regime is only imposing new austerity measures. Photo shows government workers marching in Lima on January 11 during a 24-hour strike.


Mexican workers greet Reagan with protest

On January 2, Reagan stopped by in Mexicali, Mexico for a chitchat with President Miguel de la Madrid. This was widely covered in the bourgeois press. What was not considered newsworthy by the capitalist media in the U.S. was that, the day before, Mexican workers demonstrated in the same city against austerity measures imposed by the Mexican government under the direction of the U.S. and other imperialists. The Mexican government set its troops on the protesters, attacking with tear gas and arresting demonstrators.

Capitalist austerity is taking a heavy toll on the workers. In the last two and a half years, the buying power of Mexican workers has dropped 25%, but de la Madrid's government continues to abide by IMF demands for yet harsher measures.

On December 27, the Mexican government oh so generously announced a 32% increase in the minimum wage -- but the very next day it announced a 40% increase in the price of staple foods: milk, bread and tortillas. This followed an early December doubling of the price of gasoline.

The Mexican workers want to fight, as the protest in Mexicali shows. But the bureaucrats of the Confederation of Mexican Workers do nothing to organize for struggle. Oh yes, they released a. stem denunciation all right, calling the new austerity measures an "assault on the purchasing power of the workers." But that's where it always ends. After all, the union federation is allied with the ruling PRI party.

Filipino militants defy election fever


Filipino student activists protesting the election circus and demanding that U.S. military bases be kicked out of the country. The capitalist press would like to create the impression that everyone in the Philippines has been consumed by the election contest between Marcos and the bourgeois liberals, but in fact the revolutionary struggle of the masses continues.

Reports from struggles in Iran

(The following reports are taken from Report, No. 6, 1-15 January 1986, a bimonthly publication of the Communist Party of Iran -- Committee Abroad.)

News From Kurdistan

Capture of a base near Sanandaj. Early morning on November 18, the Peshmargas (armed communist militants) of the Kurdistan Organization of the CPI- Komala attacked and completely captured the regime's military base in a village near Sanandaj. In this battle, which lasted for one-and-a-half hours, a number of the guards were killed or wounded and 16 were arrested. Our comrades were unhurt. Large quantities of ammunition were also seized.

The regime's offensive is broken up. On November 28, large columns of the Islamic Republic's armed forces advanced on an area near the city of Bokan where our comrades were stationed. In a 12-hour confrontation, four consecutive offensives of the regime's forces were crushed and over 50 of the guards were killed or wounded. Unfortunately seven of our comrades also lost their lives in this battle.

Latest desertions from the regime's forces. During the first week of December, six soldiers and a commander of one of the regime's bases in Kurdistan deserted the barracks and introduced themselves to the Komala Peshmargas. They brought with them their guns and also some quantities of ammunition.

A new battalion bf Komala Peshmargas is armed. In early December, more revolutionary women and men (making up a Komala Peshmarga battalion) joined the ranks of Komala Peshmargas. They were armed during special ceremonies which are held for this purpose.

People of Kurdistan condemn the reactionary war of the KDP against the CPI. The people of Kurdistan are in increasing numbers expressing their condemnation of the reactionary war of the KDP [Kurdish Democratic Party] against our party in Kurdistan. So far hundreds of letters and resolutions have been sent to the leaderships of Komala and the KDP by the toilers of the villages and cities in Kurdistan, in which they have expressed their condemnation of the KDP's reactionary war.

Confrontation with the KDP near Baneh. In the evening of December 6, a unit of Komala Peshmargas were confronted with the forces of the KDP in an area near the town of Baneh, and a battle broke out between them. After a short confrontation, the KDP forces retreated from the area. Our comrades were unhurt. We have no news of the KDP casualties.

Ex-KDP Peshmargas join the ranks of Komala Peshmargas. On November 24, three more KDP Peshmargas deserted the ranks of this party and introduced themselves to the Komala Peshmargas.

Workers' News

Strike forces the management to retreat. Early November in the Arj factory in Tehran (which manufactures heating and cooling systems) the manager of the press section assigned one of the workers to work with heavy press-machines. The worker objected, saying that he had not worked with such machines before and did not know the safety rules. But the manager paid no attention and asked him to carry on with the job. After some time working with the machine, the worker's hand got caught under the press and he lost three fingers.

Immediately after this incident, all the workers in this section, who had witnessed how the worker had been forced by the manager to do the job, stopped work and demanded the manager's expulsion. The factory management did not accept this demand. Some of the plant supervisors backed the management over this. But the workers continued their strike and were supported by the workers of other sections of the plant. After four hours of stoppage of work, the management gave in to the workers' demand and promised to dismiss the manager of the press section. The success of the strike has boosted the workers' morale.

Mass Struggles

Sanandaj: toilers' struggle against the destruction of their houses. About 400 toiling families live in the Sharif-Abad and Zoor-Abad districts of Sanandaj. The residents of these districts are constantly threatened and attacked by the authorities because of attempting to build houses for themselves. In the past the regime has imposed punishment by the lash and heavy fines on anyone defying the ban on the building of houses.

On September 6 and 7, the regime's authorities decided to attack these districts and demolish the houses. Their first measure was to send a number of functionaries to cut off the water and electricity supplies of these areas. But the people of the townships resisted and the officials were forced to flee.

Following this incident, the residents decided to extend their protest, and on September 9, about 1,000 of them marched through the main streets of the city, and while chanting slogans against the regime, they assembled in front of the offices of Kurdistan's governor, and demanded to see him. By this time the Pasdaran [Khomeini's ''Revolutionary Guards"] had surrounded the area but did not dare intervene.

The governor sent a representative to talk to the demonstrators, but they refused to negotiate with him and asked for the governor himself. The governor told the people that he would only talk to their representatives. So the people immediately elected six representatives (three men and three women). The governor refused to meet the women representatives, and in the face of the people's continued protest, was forced to revoke the decisions of demolishing the toilers' houses.

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Upsurge of the masses rocks Haiti

The latest upsurge in Haiti began on November 28 when thousands of people rose up crying Down with Duvalier! Down with misery! The Tontons Macoutes flailed out against the people. Four people laid down their lives. Ever since then, the struggle against Duvalier has grown rapidly. The dictatorship declared a news blackout but the struggle continued to gather steam through December.

Below we report on how things have been developing over the last month.

As we go to press, February is being greeted by powerful storms of struggle. Buildings go up in flames in Les Cayes in the southwest. Protesters defy police in the streets of Gonaives. And the people rally also in Cap Haitien, St. Marc, Leogane....

The Last Week of January

January 31. 7 Demonstrations shook the capital city. This morning, demonstrators broke into the streets of Port-au-Prince, in the belief that Duvalier had fled. They shouted and chanted joyously. Some threw bricks and debris, breaking windows of cars, shops and restaurants, in protest at the symbols of the luxury of the wealthy few at the top.

Duvalier also declared a state of siege. Not that it means much; the people in Haiti live under a permanent state of siege. But it shows his determination to crush the masses. Security forces with riot sticks broke up the mass actions. Troops patrolled the streets. The Tonton Macoutes set out for revenge, piling up bodies in the hospitals and morgues.

January 30. Thousands rallied in Gonaives at 8 a.m. They marched on the headquarters of the Tonton Macoutes. Every street in the city was blocked, with crowds setting up barricades and burning tires.

Protests also took place in St Michel-de'l Atalaye, Petit-Goave, Les Cayes, Cap Haitien and several smaller towns. In Cap Haitien, crowds broke the windows of an automobile showroom owned by the father of Duvalier's wife.

January 28. Hungry masses stormed food warehouses in Les Cayes as anti-Duvalier demonstrations rocked the city. Hundreds roamed the city shouting slogans against Duvalier. Also this day, the population of Cap Haitien rallied against Duvalier. About half of the city's 75,000 residents ran and sang through the streets, while thousands of others cheered them on. The crowd briefly surrounded a police station. The protesters issued a statement calling for a general strike the week of February 12-20 to bring down Duvalier.

January 27. Crowds in three cities demonstrated against Duvalier. They clashed with security forces, who killed three. In Gonaives, an angry crowd searching for security forces who killed demonstrators burned down a courthouse. In Jeremie, angry masses threw stones and smashed car windows.

Earlier in January

January saw the schools across Haiti being shut down. Students launched a nationwide boycott on January 7. Duvalier closed the schools down.

The first protests began to arrive in the capital city. On the 18th, police broke up a demonstration of 2,000 people, mostly women and children, as they approached the National Palace.

Workers at a number of enterprises went out on strike against the government's repression.

The first few days of January saw angry protests across Haiti. Street barricades went up in Gonaives and Petit- Goaves. Anti-Duvalier leaflets circulated in Port-au-Prince.

The masses vented their anger at officials of the regime. Pro-Duvalier politicians in some places were forced to march through the streets with anti- Duvalier slogans hung around their necks. Demonstrators burned three government buildings in Petit-Goave and in Miragoane, two Tonton Macoutes were hanged.

The regime responded with curfews and military occupation of many towns. Many were thrown into the regime's dungeons, while a number were killed.

Under the Duvalier tyranny, countless lives have been snuffed out in years past, either at the hands of the murderers and torturers of the tyranny or by the slow death of hunger, disease, and poverty. But today a defiant spirit has gripped the entire people. A sign at a January 6 demonstration in Petit-Goave justly declared what the Haitian people have learned: It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!

[Photo: Haitian refugees in Miami celebrating upon hearing news of Duvalier's collapse, a report which turned out to be false. On January 30th, 2,000 Haitians gathered in Little Haiti in Miami hearing of a rumor that Baby Doc had been ousted. A supporter of Duvalier driving in a car shouted "Vive Duvalier'' and reversed his car in high speed into the mass gathering. A woman was killed while a man was seriously hurt. But when the masses moved towards the car, the Miami police came forward to protect the assassin. The police set their dogs, against the Haitian refugees; five people were bitten. But the masses fought back, throwing rocks and bottles at the cops.]

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The iron fist and the velvet glove in Latin America--Part 3

Brazil - The left and the curse of liberalism

Latin America has long been notorious for rule by ruthless dictators. Lately, however, the capitalist bourgeoisie has been pushing through a variety of maneuvers to put democratic trappings on the brutal regime's of exploitation. These have thrown up new complications before the struggle of the workers and peasants. This series of articles is devoted to discussing this major issue facing the revolutionary movement of the proletariat.

In our January 1 issue, we began to discuss Brazil where last year the civilian government of Jose Sarney took over after 20 years of military rule. The new regime has given rise to euphoria among bourgeois and reformist circles. In our article, we sought to cut through the hype. We showed that, despite extravagant promises, the new regime is functioning very much as a government of the big capitalists, safeguarding the positions of reaction while spurning the concerns of the workers and peasants.

We also examined how the Sarney regime came into being. It was put in place through a deal worked out between the liberal bourgeoisie and the main forces of the military dictatorship, a deal that sought to cool off the mass unrest against militarism and dictatorship but at the same time keep intact the bulk of the reactionary institutions of the old regime.

Reports from Brazil continue to confirm our analysis. Just a few days ago the New York Times reported that Sarney recently addressed the year-end gathering of the exclusive Army Club in Brasilia and received the enthusiastic applause of the military brass for his declaration that "anarchy and civil disobedience" will not be tolerated. And the Times reporter also noted that "the armed forces still enjoy enormous political power and, in some crucial areas, even an implicit right of veto." (January 23,1986)

Why did the struggle against the military dictatorship result in such a curtailed outcome?

A thorough uprooting of the old regime would have required a victorious revolution of the toilers. But the struggle of the masses did not prove strong enough to mount a revolutionary challenge. There are many reasons for this. But above all, it was because of the success of the liberal bourgeoisie in dominating the mass movement; this was facilitated both by its reformist and nationalist demagogy as well as by its skill in subordinating the left.

This is the question we want to elaborate in this article.

The Curse of Bourgeois Reformism and Nationalism in Brazil

The liberal bourgeoisie in Brazil is prone to heavy doses of reformist and nationalist talk. It has long had a strong populist edge to its politics. This was prominently displayed during the years of the military regime when the liberals were out of power.

The liberal bourgeoisie has also long sought to put the people directly under its leadership by promoting a single front of the people, sometimes speaking even in the name of "labor." In the decades prior to the military coup of 1964, this took the form of the Brazilian Labor Party founded by Getulio Vargas (dictator of Brazil from 1930-1945 and president during the early 50's).

After 1964, during the military dictatorship, the liberals were out of power and not allowed to form political parties at will. However, the military agreed to tolerate the existence of a single opposition party, although this had to operate under many restrictions. This was the Brazilian Democratic Movement (later renamed the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party -- BDMP). The liberal bourgeoisie dominated this party. In the meantime, left and revolutionary forces were banned and hounded.

This privileged position of the liberals gave them a big edge over the forces on the left. But the liberals were also cunning enough to open up their party as a broad coalition. Thus the Brazilian Democratic Movement, which included bankers and monopolists, was able to draw in a number of left forces, especially in the latter half of the 70's after the main attempts by the left to organize armed insurgency had been broken.

The Left in Brazil

The BDMP included left forces which are well known for their class collaborationist policies, such as the Brazilian Communist Party (BCP), the pro-Soviet revisionist party. But unfortunately, it was also able to bring into its fold and under its influence the Communist Party of Brazil (CPB), the party that had raised the banner of struggle against modern revisionism in the early 1960's.

Another section of the left stayed out of the BDMP and coalesced around the Workers' Party, whose prominent leader is the Sao Paulo trade unionist Luiz Inacio da Silva (Lula). But despite its organizational separation from the BDMP, the Workers' Party does not have a revolutionary policy; it is a reformist and social-democratic party. This party has attracted workers who are skeptical of the liberals and are inclined towards struggle, but it too trails in the wake of the liberals at the crucial moments.

Here is the key problem of the Brazilian left in recent years. The liberals have by and large had an open field. There has been no forceful voice for a revolutionary policy in the struggle against the dictatorship. There has been no serious struggle for a policy independent of the liberals, a policy oriented towards defense of the interests of the workers and poor peasants, a policy guided by the perspective of a socialist revolution.

The Pro-Soviet Brazilian Communist Party -- A Long History of Class Collaboration

Collaboration with the bourgeoisie is nothing new for the revisionists of the Brazilian Communist Party. Prior to the 1964 coup, the revisionists who dominated the old Communist Party were locked in a tight embrace with the reformist regime of Goulart, and preached illusions about the great changes that would come via these heirs of Vargas.

During the military regime, the BCP was constantly in crisis and heavily factionalized. In the recent period, the BCP has reorganized on the basis of firmly tailing the liberal BDMP.

The BCP justifies its policy under the pretext that the current struggle in Brazil is for a "national and democratic regime," by which it means the establishment of a liberal capitalist order and the encouragement of "national capitalism." It denies the independent class interests of the proletariat in the democratic struggle and altogether wipes out the perspective of fighting for a socialist revolution.

The BCP stresses the alliance with "those sections of the bourgeoisie which champion the idea of a democratic regime," i.e., the liberal bourgeoisie. Of course, the BCP maintains phrases about working class independence and hegemony, but this is just empty rhetoric. (The programmatic views of the BCP are spelled out in the document "A Democratic Alternative to the Brazilian Crisis," adopted in January 1984.)

The BCP was one of the earliest groups to come out in favor of the Neves-Sarney ticket, the ticket which was worked out through a deal between the liberals and the military regime. Indeed, it saw the program of the Democratic Alliance (the bloc between the BDMP and Sarney's Liberal Front that had split from the military's Social Democratic Party) as the "basis for a political minimum program ensuring the country's transition to a democratic government." (Voz de unidade, reprinted in the Information Bulletin of World Marxist Review, April 1985)

And once the new regime was put in place, the BCP has ardently supported it. Even though it admitted that "conservative elements" dominated the new regime, the BCP insisted that its policy of tailism must be maintained. It declared that "we shall continue our efforts to preserve the unity of all democrats," warning that any disruption of this unity would harm democratization and only play into the hands of extreme reaction. (Ibid.)

The Tragedy of the Anti-Revisionist Communist Party of Brazil

A really unfortunate feature of the present situation is that the party which raised the banner of struggle against the BCP revisionists has fallen prey to policies of the same type. This is an important issue for the world communist movement; unless the Brazilian party reverses from its current road, it will mark a complete failure. For our part, we believe that an open discussion over the policies of the CP of Brazil is necessary to help the Brazilian communists find their way to revolutionary positions.

The CP of Brazil broke with the revisionists in the old party over the ultra-reformist illusions fostered by Khrushchovite revisionism. It adopted a fighting policy against the military dictatorship. In the late 1960's, the Party carried out a heroic armed struggle among the peasantry of the Amazon basin. Many of its militants fell valiantly in battle against the dictatorship.

Like many other forces which emerged in the revolt against Soviet revisionism, the CPB faced an arduous and complex struggle to build itself along consistently Marxist-Leninist lines. It had to deal with both the opportunist traditions of the old Brazilian party as well as the harmful influences of Maoism. The CPB sought a revolutionary policy and received support from Marxist-Leninists around the world.

In the late 70's the CPB faced a complex situation. It was confronted with the task of recovering from the heavy repression of the military. It had to deal with overcoming problems that had been fostered by Maoist influences. As well, certain political changes were taking place in Brazil as the regime launched a restricted policy of "democratic opening" and as liberalism became especially active.

But the CPB failed to meet this challenge with Marxist-Leninist firmness. It adopted a policy that put it on an inclined plane of one compromise after another in the direction of tailism behind the liberals. Today its fundamental policies in domestic affairs are indistinguishable from the pro-Soviet BCP. This holds an important lesson. In order to fight revisionism, it is not enough to simply denounce Russian social-imperialism or to make general anti-revisionist theoretical pronouncements once every so often. The crucial issue is to have a revolutionary policy in the actual class struggle.

The CPB and Liberalism

Our criticism of the CPB is not that it decided to work among masses influenced by the liberals. Nor is it that it was wrong in principle to enter into any agreements whatsoever with the liberals; we do not have sufficient knowledge to judge all the fine points of tactics that were necessary in the Brazilian movement. But it is possible to judge issues of general political approach.

The problem with the CPB is that it has subordinated itself to liberal bourgeois politics and abandoned any semblance of an independent proletarian policy.

The CPB justifies its policy with a view that restricts the contemporary struggle to a "program of national democratic character." In this struggle, the party considers the "progressive bourgeoisie" to be its ally. Under the pretext that the immediate struggle is for liberty, democracy and national independence, the CPB gave up differentiating between the interests of the toilers and the interests of the liberal bourgeoisie. It refused to fight liberalism in the struggle against the dictatorship.

Thus the CPB declared: "The people are preoccupied with liquidating the regime and not with balancing accounts with the opposition -- despite the existence of vacillating sectors." (Editorial in Tribuna Operaria, September 1984, quoted in the Portuguese journal Politica Operaria, No. 2, November-December 1985) And last year, the CPB declared again, "The Brazilian people do not want division but unity. The division and narrow disputes over power, at the present time, only serve the adversaries of democratic advance." (Declaration of the National Commission for the Legalization of the CPB, A Classe Operaria, May-June 1985, quoted in Politico Operaria, op. cit.)

The CPB threw itself behind the Neves-Sarney ticket. The party fostered illusions of a great change. It declared that with the election of Neves-Sarney, "The people have won a grand victory" and that "The Armed Forces and all the sectors of the right are in disorder and demoralization." (Declaration of the CPB excerpted in Bandeira Vermelha, January 24,1985)

The CPB admitted that no fundamental change had taken place and even that the new regime was dominated by "sectors of the moderate bourgeois opposition." But it insisted on the need to maintain the bloc with liberalism. It declared that, in the new situation, the proletariat must "maintain the broad range of alliances created in the struggle against the dictatorship." And while it urged the proletariat to march with firmness and independence, it insisted that this must be done "without breaking democratic unity." (Ibid.)

And after Neves' death, the CPB has come forward to ardently support the new regime of Samey:

"We support the government of the New Republic and President Jose Sarney because we understand that this is the proper road for the consolidation of the conquests that have been achieved and for advancing towards the fundamental changes that our people eagerly hope for." (Speech of Haroldo Lima, leader of the parliamentary group of the CPB, Tribuna Operaria, No. 229, August 1985, quoted in Politico Operaria, op. cit.)

The CPB justifies its policy under the pretext of helping the government resist the ultra-right. But this is a hoax. The Sarney regime is not in contradiction with reaction but is a government of liberal compromise with it. And the record of the Sarney government speaks enough of how the CPB has fared in its effort to help the regime resist the pressures of the right. A real fight against the right is not going to come from Sarney's regime, but from the struggle of the masses; such a struggle requires a stern fight against the treachery of the liberals.

The problem with the policy of wooing the liberals is that in fact the interests of the working masses and the liberal bourgeoisie are not the same in the fight against reaction. The Brazilian liberals opposed the military because they were cut out of sharing power and because they feared that dictatorial rule created revolutionary ferment. But the workers fought reaction for different reasons. They needed democratic freedoms in order to have the clearest field for the class struggle, in order to organize their class for proletarian revolution.

Given these facts and given the growing unrest among the Brazilian toilers, it was inevitable that the liberals were going to be inclined towards compromise with the military. The liberals did want democratic trappings on the Brazilian government, but they also wanted to make sure that the workers were checked in their class struggle.

A policy of wooing the liberals is bound to hamstring the struggle for the vital needs of the proletariat. Its logic leads to blunting the class struggle.

The CPB and the Revolt of the Unemployed In Sao Paolo, April 1983

This problem showed up several years ago with the CPB. In late 1982 elections were held in Brazil to many state and federal offices. The liberals had major successes in these elections and took over a number of state governorships. As these politicians took office, the question came up of what stand to take towards these liberal politicians in power.

In April 1983 a revolt of the unemployed broke out in Sao Paulo. This state was now under the administration of a BDMP governor, Franco Montoro. The masses stormed his palace. Montoro brought in 10,000 police to put down the rebellion. He launched a repressive drive against the left. The CPB was at the center of the struggle of the unemployed, but when the governor put down the struggle, what did the party do? It denounced attempts to "divert the sharpness of the struggle from the federal government to the elected oppositionist governments." (Tribuna Operaria, April 18-23, 1983) This stand was adopted despite the fact that Montoro collaborated closely with the federal government against the masses! Instead of exposing the hypocrisy of the liberals, the CPB sought to shield them. Such a stand could only serve to blunt the edge of the mass struggle. (We wrote our own commentary on the Sao Paulo revolt in the May 25, 1983 issue of Workers' Advocate. We refrained from discussing the CPB's policy but we exposed the reactionary stand taken by the liberal governor.)

The CPB and the Strike Wave of April-May 1985

Today, with its support for the Samey regime, the CPB faces the same dilemma that it faced with respect to the liberal governors in 1983. The new regime is under powerful pressure from the struggle of workers, peasants and farmworkers. Do you support the development of class struggle and help to destroy the liberal influence on the masses, or do you try to blur the class contradictions and bolster liberal hegemony? The CPB has opted for the latter.

Take the strike wave that hit Brazil just as Sarney took office last April. The CPB came out to shield Sarney and denounced many of the militant fighters among the workers as "anarchists." A leader of the CPB wrote in a letter to the Brazilian journal Veja:

"In the reporting on who is who in the strike, Veja says that the representatives of the CP of Brazil in Congress prefer to support the government of President Jose Samey instead of uniting with the strikers. We support President Sarney, among other reasons, precisely because his excellency recognizes the legitimacy of the right to strike on the part of the workers. We support the workers on strike, as always, because they are merely exercising that right in the struggle to improve their conditions of life and work. In this we do not qualify the strike of anarchists. The attitude of the activists who detained and held hostage 370 functionaries of General Motors in S. Jose dos Campos allows us to regard them as anarchists." (Letter of Aurelio Peres, federal deputy of the CP of Brazil, to the magazine Veja, No. 872 of May 22, 1985, quoted in Politico Operaria, No. 1, September-October 1985)

The CPB Changes Its Line to Win Legalization

Last year the CPB won legal status. But this is a Pyrrhic victory. In order to get legal status, the CPB was forced to reorganize itself according to the demands of the bourgeoisie. Today the CPB has a new program and statutes. Article No. 5 of its new statutes declares:

"The Communist Party of Brazil defends the representative and democratic regime, national sovereignty, pluralism of political parties and the fundamental rights of the human person." (Quoted in Politico Operaria, No.2, Nov.-Dee. 1985)

The CPB may attempt to justify this in the name of taking advantage of legal opportunities. Of course it is important for revolutionaries to take advantage of any legal openings in order to spread their agitation and organization. But the CPB has made legalization an end in itself; it has forgotten that taking advantage of legal opportunities is something to help build a revolutionary movement, and not to deepen the marriage with liberalism.

It is one thing for a party, while it maintains its illegal apparatus, to take advantage of legality by, say, establishing legal organizations or publications that are silent on certain questions of the communist programme. Usually such things, which have to speak in a curtailed manner, do not bear the name of the Party. In fact, the CPB itself had established work of this type in recent years. But it is quite another thing to rewrite the party's statutes to swear adherence to bourgeois democracy and nationalism. Such is the shameful position which conciliation with liberalism has brought the CPB to.

What the CPB has done with its legalization is what it itself used to denounce at an earlier time. In fact, the militants of the CPB who revolted against revisionism in the old party in 1961-1962 raised a very similar issue:

"In August 1961... under the pretext of acquiring legal status for the Party [the revisionists] decided to found a new party. The Communist Party of Brazil was cast aside and was replaced by the Brazilian Communist Party. Provisions that the Party is guided by the principles of Marxism-Leninism and of proletarian internationalism were deleted from the Party Constitution. The programme advanced was less radical than that of the Labor Party or the Socialist Party.... The name of the Party has been changed and Party principles mutilated for the sake of registering at the Electoral Court." (From the pamphlet, Reply to Khrushchov, Beijing, containing two articles from the CP of Brazil, 1963)

As well, the Communist Party of Brazil is also on record for condemning the liquidation of the Communist Party in Brazil in the early 1940's, when it was replaced by a Cultural Union of Communists.

A Wrong Analysis of Brazilian Society

One source of the opportunism of the CP of Brazil is that it has a completely mistaken view of Brazilian society. Like the BCP, the Communist Party of Brazil sees Brazil as a backward, oppressed nation faced with a democratic revolution against foreign domination and the domestic landlords.

But such a Brazil is long gone. Despite the existence of semi-feudal remnants in parts of the countryside and despite the country's dependence upon foreign imperialism, Brazil today is a country where the domestic bourgeoisie is very much in power. The military dictatorship was not the state power of merely a landed gentry nor some mere agents of imperialism. No, it was a capitalist power, based upon an alliance between the military, the conservative bourgeoisie, and the latifundists. Today that ruling class alliance has been extended to the liberal bourgeoisie as well.

Indeed, the country has seen a big expansion of capitalism since World War II and especially since the I960's. A powerful state capitalist sector controls huge enterprises in steel, oil, power, communications, and utilities. Brazilian industry, controlled by both national and foreign monopolies, makes every thing from aircraft and heavy machinery to cars and appliances. The country manufactures machinery and exports it. Nearly half of Brazil's exports are manufactured goods. Industry accounts for more than 30% of the GNP. And it has a sizable arms industry, making a range of weapons from small arms to military aircraft; indeed, it is one of the eight main arms producers outside the revisionist countries. Agriculture accounts for less than 20% of the GNP. And capitalism has also expanded in the countryside, with agriculture in the populous southern regions organized along modern capitalist forms.

As Brazilian capitalism has developed, so has it expanded its penetration outside its borders. Today Brazilian capital has extended its exploitation to dozens of countries, from its Latin American neighbours to the former Portuguese colonies in Africa. The Brazilian military is active in several countries, playing an ever-increasing role in counterrevolution across Latin America.

Capitalist development has resulted in tremendous urbanization and proletarianization. The Brazilian proletariat today is over 17 million strong. The industrial workers form a large core of the working class. And it has been thrown together in gigantic concentrations. The growth of the proletariat has been accompanied by growing battles between capital and labor.

These are not the marks of a backward country requiring a democratic revolution against landed reaction. No, these are marks of a society which has on its agenda the proletarian socialist revolution. The Brazilian working class is faced with the task of rising at the head of all the exploited to overthrow capitalism.

It is true that Brazil still faces the task of ending dependence on imperialism as well as important democratic questions, such as the liberation of peasants still suffering from archaic forms of oppression, the ending of the oppression of the Native people, and the overthrow of military tutelage over society. These are tasks for the socialist revolution. They cannot be accomplished by dreaming about perfecting a pure, bourgeois- democratic capitalism. The rule of the bourgeoisie has already been ushered in in Brazil, and, as elsewhere, it has brought with it all manner of imperfections and backward features.

The CPB denies the necessity to prepare for a socialist revolution. Oh yes, it will talk about a socialist future, but it is postponed far, far away. In the meantime, they have adopted the fashionable opportunist dogma of seeking to perfect a bourgeois democratic order arm in arm with the liberal bourgeoisie. And in order to make the struggle fit this dogma, the CPB has closed its eyes to the realities of Brazilian development. In passing we might note that even if Brazil were as backward as the CPB thinks it is, its tailist policies would still be wrong. Even if the country were faced with a democratic revolution, this still would require organizing the proletariat independently of the liberals and require socialist training of the proletariat.

An Important Lesson for the Anti-Revisionist Struggle

How has it come to be that the Communist Party of Brazil has fallen so low as to adopt a domestic platform indistinguishable from the pro-Soviet revisionists? This is an important question for the worldwide struggle against revisionism.

We believe that the revolt of the Brazilian communists against revisionism in the early 1960's was an important event. But it appears that while the party broke with the ultra-reformism of Khrushchov and his Brazilian followers, it was not able to settle accounts with the ideological framework that had corroded the world communist movement prior to the flowering of Khrushchovite revisionism.

In particular, the CP of Brazil failed to settle accounts with the opportunist legacies of the 7th Congress of the Communist International which marked a turn in the international communist movement. The 7th Cl not only adopted the general stand of abandoning the struggle against national-reformist forces in the dependent and colonial countries, but it also spoke specifically to Brazil. For Brazil, it called on the communists to extend their alliances against the then Vargas regime to all and sundry, including "parliamentary opposition parties and governors of states dissatisfied with Vargas." The 7th Congress advocated a government that would include those national bourgeois that ostensibly supported the struggle of the people.

This policy was originally cast in militant terms because the CP was then in opposition to Vargas, but in later years this militancy disappeared. In the decades since, the Brazilian communist movement has seen a number of attempts to submerge the proletarian movement within blocs with the liberals and reformists.

In the early 1960's, the anti-revisionists protested the gross extremes to which the revisionists went in that period. But the Communist Party of Brazil never broke with the ideological framework of petty bourgeois nationalist policies advocating alliance with the progressive national bourgeoisie. In the 1960's and early 70's when the CPB took up a fighting stand against the dictatorship, these policies were temporarily eclipsed. But never were they theoretically broken with. In this period, the CPB also came under the influence of Maoist ideas. Maoism did not help the CPB break out of these erroneous ideas; rather it reinforced them because Maoism also promotes illusions in the national bourgeoisie.

In the complexities of the late 1970's, the CPB failed to find the compass of revolutionary Leninism to meet the test of the times. Its long-standing theoretical deficiencies came back with a vengeance.

In this context, a word is also necessary on the role of the Party of Labor of Albania. The CP of Brazil has had longstanding links with the PL A; indeed the PLA has considered the CPB as one of its closest fraternal parties. But the PLA too failed to assist the CPB to repudiate the harmful traditions handed down from the 7th Cl, since the Albanian comrades themselves proved unable to deal with these important questions of the world communist movement. And, what is worse, in recent years, as the PLA itself has turned towards a rightist international policy, including conciliation with bourgeois reformism and nationalism, it has only helped to reinforce the rightward plunge of the Brazilian party.

The current situation with the CP of Brazil is a tragedy. But it is a tragedy which should be used by the revolutionary workers in Brazil and the rest of the world to deepen the struggle against revisionism. The events in Brazil offer important lessons for revolutionary activists everywhere.

[Box: "...If we are guided, even in part, even for a moment, by the consideration that our participation may cause the bourgeoisie to recoil, we thereby simply yield leadership in the revolution entirely to the bourgeois classes. We thereby place the proletariat entirely under the tutelage of the bourgeoisie (while retaining complete 'freedom of criticism'!!), compelling the proletariat to be meek and mild, so as not to cause the bourgeoisie to recoil. We emasculate the most vital needs of the proletariat, namely, its political as not to cause the bourgeoisie to recoil. We completely abandon the field of revolutionary struggle for the achievement of democracy to the extent required by the proletariat for the field of bargaining with the bourgeoisie, betraying our principles, betraying the revolution to purchase the bourgeoisie's voluntary consent ('that it might not recoil')." (Lenin, Two Tactics of in the Democratic Revolution, Chapter 12, p. 102, pamphlet edition from Beijing, 1965)]

[Photo: The politics of trailing liberalism has led the Communist Party of Brazil to support President Jose Sarney. Here the CPB greets Sarney at an airport; the banner of the CPB reads: "For the consolidation of democracy, we welcome you President Sarney."]

[Photo: A scene from the rebellion of the unemployed in Sao Paulo, April 1983. The new liberal governor suppressed the masses, but the CP of Brazil shielded him from criticism.]

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The doctrine of 'low-intensity warfare'

Anti-terrorist hysteria to justify U.S. aggression

Reagan and the news media are raving about "terrorism." Wherever they look, all they can see is terrorism. There are no legitimate grievances of the Nicaraguan people against U.S. aggression -- just a "terrorist base." There are no legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people against being dispossessed of their country -- just "terrorism." There is no American soldier who is killed in another country, but that it is labelled "terrorism."

Indeed, one of the major TV networks even declared that the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger was another example of "America held hostage," this time by "sadness."

What's behind this hysteria about "terrorism." In fact, there has been no upsurge of terrorism around the world, at least not of left-wing terrorism. Reagan and company are simply implementing the newest U.S. military doctrine, the so-called doctrine of "low-intensify warfare." This doctrine demands that the Reagan administration and the capitalist class which follows Reagan should fill the daily press and newscasts with plugs about terrorism and the need to go to war to fight terrorism.

The New U.S. Imperialist Doctrine

The doctrine of "low-intensity warfare" (LIC) was articulated by Secretary of State Shultz in three major speeches during 1984 and 1985. LIC holds that it is time for U.S. imperialism to escalate its involvement in regional conflicts around the world. For this purpose, Shultz calls for stepping up U.S. Special Forces, intelligence networks and conventional armaments.

Warmonger Shultz, in his speeches, holds the U.S. is not well enough prepared " deter and counter the 'gray area' of intermediate challenges that we are more likely to face, the low-intensify conflict of which terrorism is a part." (The Nation, December 1985-January 1986) For this purpose, the LIC doctrine calls for a major buildup of Special Operations Forces to prepare the Pentagon for fighting localized, every-day "anti-terrorist" wars, covert operations and murderous raids all around the world.

Preparing Public Opinion

But LIC is not just a doctrine of how to wage wars. It includes an extensive effort to mold public opinion and whip up patriotic frenzy. As Shultz says, to defeat "terrorism," there must be "a broad public consensus on the moral and strategic necessity of action" -- meaning military action.

This consensus is to be obtained by branding every challenge to U.S. imperialism as "terrorism." No matter what issue is being fought over in no matter what part of the world, everything is to be drowned by the outcry of "terrorism."

Shultz states that "What once may have seemed the random, senseless, violent acts of a few crazed individuals, has come into clearer focus ... wherever it takes place, [it] is directed in an important sense against us, the democracies.... We now recognize that terrorism is being used by our adversaries as a tool of modern warfare." In short, it isn't that there is more (left-wing) terrorism than before, it is that the U.S. propaganda machine must place all world issues into "clearer focus." No matter how little (left-wing) terrorism there is, no matter how much it is the act of "a few crazed individuals" rather than of the organized revolutionary forces, it is to be paraded as examples of a new world conflict.

In short, the alleged spontaneous outcry against terrorism is a carefully planned and orchestrated campaign, discussed at the highest levels of the State Department and the Pentagon.

Justifying Aggression as 'Self-Defense' Against Terrorism

LIC doctrine not only exaggerates the desperate acts of various individuals. But it calls for presenting the organized, revolutionary movements as terrorist individuals. Every challenge to U.S. imperialism is called terrorist. It is notable that when the news agencies list American victims of terrorism, the overwhelming majority of the casualties listed are uniformed American military men who died in the course of combat. Instead of listing these as combat deaths, which would raise public outcry against the Pentagon, they are listed as victims of terrorism. This was the case with the approximately 300 American soldiers who were killed while occupying Beirut airport on active duty assignment. This was the case with the American "advisers" who have died while on assignment for the Pentagon in directing the war in El Salvador.

This view magically turns all U.S. intervention around the world, all CIA operations, massacres, assassinations, raids, and provocations into righteous acts of self-defense. It is incorporated into U.S. military policy in National Security Division Directive no. 138 (approved by Reagan on April 3, 1984) which calls for "pro-active" military measures against "terrorism" including pre-emptive raids against supposed "terrorist" strongholds and retaliatory raids against countries accused of harboring "terrorists."

Turning Right-Wing Terrorists Into "Freedom Fighters"

Furthermore, LIC is a doctrine which emphasizes, not declared wars, but covert operations, murders, assassinations, death squads and special operations. In the name of opposing (left- wing) terrorism, it is a doctrine of promoting right-wing terrorism. In the name of opposing "state-sponsored terrorism," it is the policy of stepping up of American-led "state-sponsored terrorism."

A typical example is the CIA dirty war against Nicaragua, which is American "state-sponsored terrorism" on the grand scale.

And this CIA and Pentagon-sponsored terrorism helps encourage individual right-wing crazies and despots all around the world. A true listing of terrorism reveals that it is right-wing terrorism which is far and away the predominant terrorism around the world. And whether it is anti-abortion bombers in the U.S. or death squads in Central America, it is Reagan who encourages them.

Presenting the Class Struggle as a Russian Plot

Another feature of the LIC doctrine is that it presents all the revolutions and people's movements around the world as one big Russian plot. It promotes a vision of a worldwide "democratic revolution" against ''totalitarianism." For example the Nicaraguan revolution is written off as a Soviet plot, and the supporters of the late dictator (but pro-U.S. dictator) Somoza are presented as part of the worldwide "democratic revolution."

The U.S. bourgeoisie also purposely confuses the present-day Soviet Union with communism -- all the better to discredit -- Marxist-Leninist communism, which they regard as their mortal enemy.

The Democrats Are full Partners in "Low-Intensity Warfare"

The LIC is not the private property of the Republicans. The Democratic-controlled House has endorsed the strike-back-at-terrorism fraud with the increased funding of the Special Operations Forces and the approval of aid to the contras.

Indeed, one of the Democratic Party's chief policies on military affairs for years has been to stress the need to maintain and build up U.S. conventional forces and not to rely exclusively on nuclear weapons. And now the Democratic-controlled House is falling all over itself in the rush to update its rhetoric with LIC terminology. Prominent liberal Stephen Solarz (D-NY) has become no less ardent a propagandist than Shultz when it comes to promoting the LIC ideology. Solarz raves "...we will have to develop a new, and more tough-minded consensus on foreign policy." This will require adopting a vigorous pro-military stance, Solarz explained, and a "resolute anti-Communist policy," as well as "resisting communist expansion in the Third World by providing arms and aid to non-Communist forces resisting Communist invasion and occupation of their countries." This is exactly Shultz' fantasy world, where U.S. imperialism disappears and there are only dirty terrorists and Pentagon warriors on white stallions.

But no matter how much the Reagan administration finances U.S.-directed terrorism around, the world, no matter how much the news media paints the world as one big terrorist conspiracy against the oh-so-benevolent American companies, the revolutionary movement around the world will not go away. And the class struggle in the U.S. too will not go away. The agreement of liberal and conservative in the hysteria about terrorism teaches that all opponents of U.S. imperialism, all workers fighting exploitation, all activists opposing injustice, must oppose both capitalist parties and the entire imperialist system. They must put forward class struggle and the revolution as the answer to the threat of the Pentagon's and State Department's "low intensity warfare."


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Terrorizing Libya in the name of fighting terrorism

Throughout the last month the Reagan government has raised its rampage against Libya to a fever pitch. Claiming there is "irrefutable evidence" that the Libyan government was behind the bloodletting at the Rome and Vienna airports in December, Reagan has threatened "retaliatory" strikes against Libya, carried out naval maneuvers on Libya's coast, tightened economic sanctions on the country, frozen Libyan assets in U.S. banks around the world, and publicly debated assassinating Qadhafi.

But what is all the fuss about? Of course the raids on the two airports cannot be supported. Yet the far bloodier massacres in Italy carried out by right-wing gangs have hardly received any attention at all. And what about the CIA-organized car bombing in Beirut which killed 80 people last March? No one's suggested even "economic sanctions" against the "state-sponsored" terrorism of U.S. imperialism.

The truth is that the Reagan government has seized on the airport incidents to proclaim itself the judge, jury, and executioner over the entire world. If things don't go its way in the Middle East, well it will send troops into Beirut, use its warships to blow up entire Lebanese neighborhoods, send jets to threaten Libya, attempt assassinations, and plan coups against any government that does not toe the line. All this goes to show that it is not Libya, but in fact the Reagan government that is terrorizing other peoples around the world. This is imperialist terror aimed at holding entire nations hostage to the economic plunder of the working people and the political interests of U.S. imperialism.

And this barbarous crusade is propped up by a thin veil of lies about supposed "state-sponsored terrorism." Let's take a look at the evidence" the great international arbiter, Ronald Reagan, has amassed against Libya.

The Maze of Contradictory Stories Shows Reagan Is Lying

At his January 7 news conference, Reagan claimed that he had "irrefutable evidence" that the Libyan government provided the training bases, the headquarters, and the planning for the attacks on the Rome and Vienna airports. But Reagan's story has been repeatedly contradicted by other administration officials and U.S. allies. Western imperialism is playing the game of pointing the finger of blame at whomever it wants to threaten at the moment.

Take the question of the headquarters of the group involved in the airport raids The December 31 U.S. State Department report says only that the headquarters "may" have been in Libya while the January 8 CIA "white paper" on Libya cites only "reliable press reports" as evidence that the headquarters is located in Libya. Later, Secretary of State Shultz pointed to alleged headquarters in Damascus, Syria. Meanwhile, Israeli zionist intelligence officials claim there are no known headquarters buildings or fixed training bases. (New York Times, December 30, 1985)

Or take the issue of where the group was supposed to have been trained. The chief of Italian military intelligence was immediately backed up by officials of NATO intelligence in blaming Iran for training the terrorists. Later the Italian officials switched the story to claim the training was done in Lebanon. And later still, Shultz agreed with the Italian account but blamed Syria for carrying out the training.

Or take the question of the planning of the raids. The Italian investigators point to planning in Beirut, Lebanon but they also point to coordination of the raids in Switzerland. Shultz blames Syria by suggesting that the terrorists traveled through Damascus en route to Rome and Vienna. But then the Austrian Interior Minister pointed to travel from Beirut to Athens, Geneva, and Budapest. If traveling through a country is enough to prove that government is involved in planning the raids on the Rome and Vienna airports, then half of Europe is suspect. But such is the thin fabric out of which the Reagan administration manufactures its "irrefutable" evidence.

Indeed, the January 10 issue of the Wall Street Journal reports that a U.S. official said Reagan's "irrefutable evidence" was at best "circumstantial." But what does that matter? The Reagan government wants to threaten Libya and it doesn't really matter to it whether or not Libya was involved in the raids in Rome and Vienna.

This point of view was stated publicly by Robert McFarland, who continues to receive inside information from the White House despite his resignation as Reagan's national security advisor in December. McFarland, speaking of Qadhafi, stated that, "For this specific act, whether he directed it, I rather doubt it...." But still he declared that "a more violent response" against Libya is "fully justified." (New York Times, January 6,1986)

Secretary of State Shultz said essentially the same thing. On January 12 Shultz blamed Syria for the whole disaster at the airports, but a few days later he agreed to the sending of the 6th Fleet on maneuvers to threaten Libya. Why? Well according to Shultz "the U.S. government 'cannot wait for absolute certainty and clarity' before using force against terrorists or countries, like Libya, which support them." (New York Times, January 17, 1986) In other words, we have no evidence but let's, bomb Libya anyway.

Why Is Reagan After Libya?

The fact is that Reagan's hatred for Libya has nothing to do with the supposed "Libyan-backed terrorism." After all, the Israeli Zionists have carried out repeated and well-documented terrorist raids against other countries and against the Palestinian people on the West Bank, but Reagan has never threatened them.

No, Reagan is after Libya because its government does not always follow every whim of U.S. imperialism. The Qadhafi regime, for its own bourgeois interests, has at times made trouble for other regimes in northern Africa and the Mideast and has opposed the U.S.- sponsored Camp David policy of getting Arab governments to reconcile with the Israeli Zionists. Its actions have sometimes helped to disrupt the smooth flow of U.S. imperialist plans for the region and thus caused friction.

Of course Col. Qadhafi, who heads the Libyan regime, has played into Reagan's accusations with his ridiculous talk such as his empty boasts about someday sending "guerrilla bombers" to "American streets." But these statements are not to be taken seriously. They are the theatrics of a bourgeois nationalist regime which uses bloodcurdling rhetoric to try to make itself look revolutionary.

Libya is by no means a revolutionary government of the workers and peasants. It is a bourgeois nationalist regime which remains connected by a thousand threads to both Western imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. Indeed, even Qadhafi's opposition to Camp David is halfhearted. Recently he praised the author of the Camp David process, former president Jimmy Carter, as "a good man." (New York Times, January 11, 1986) Qadhafi does not oppose U.S. imperialism, only its more open brutality which Reagan represents. In fact, Qadhafi is trying to reconcile with Reagan's "anti-terrorism" hysteria. It was recently reported that at least up through 1984 Qadhafi had assisted the intelligence operations of West Germany and Italy in tracking down Palestinian activists, and just the other day has offered to help rid Europe of "terrorists" if only the U.S. government would give up its plans to overthrow the Libyan regime.

Still, Qadhafi's mild opposition is too much for Reagan. U.S. imperialism demands the complete capitulation of all the peoples and states to its own hegemonic baton. This is why Grenada was invaded. This is why Reagan has sent the contras to invade Nicaragua. And this is why Reagan has not only imposed economic sanctions on Libya, arbitrarily deported Libyans from the U.S., sent warships to Libya's coast, shot down two Libyan jets a few years back, but, as was revealed in the June 18, 1984 CIA "Vulnerability Assessment," has also set plans to organize the assassination of Qadhafi and the overthrow of the regime. (See "Reagan Takes a Contract Out on Qadhafi" in The Workers' Advocate, December 1, 1985)

The whole crusade against supposed "Libyan-sponsored terrorism" only goes to show that it's U.S. imperialism which is the worst, bloodstained terroristic state which murders untold numbers of civilians and overthrows entire governments if they hesitate to bow down to every imperialist whim. The only serious response to this reactionary terrorism is to organize the masses into revolutionary struggle to kill the imperialist beast which is terrorizing the peoples all over the world.

[Photo: A scene from the hysteria over the invisible "Libyan hitmen" that the Reagan administration engineered in December 1981-January 1982. Here U.S. agents are examining a manhole. After the capitalists had done with that phase of their propaganda campaign, it was admitted quietly that there never had been a shred of evidence about Libyan hit teams entering the U.S.]

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Liberal Democrat calls for assassinating Qadhafi

The Democratic Party never likes to be upstaged by Reagan no matter whether it is a question of cutting the benefits for the poor in the U.S. or threatening aggression against the people of other countries. And sure enough, with the latest round of hysteria about "Libyan-backed terrorism" the Democrats are trying to one-up Reagan in imperialist saber rattling. On January 8, for example, liberal Democratic Senator Howard Metzenbaum let loose with a call for the assassination of the head of Libya's government. This shocked even his interviewer.

Speaking to talk show host Dick Feagler on Cleveland's WKYC-TV, Metzenbaum declared, "And maybe we're at the point in the world where Mr. Qadhafi has to be eliminated." Feagler asked, "You mean literally?" And Metzenbaum replied, "Literally, literally, why not?..." Feagler, not believing what he heard, asked once again, "So we assassinate him?" And Metzenbaum smugly retorted, "It would not be the first time.''

Such are the high moral principles of the liberal Democrats. Most often the Democrats prefer to cover up their support of imperialist aggression. They just love to wring their hands about "human rights" while they are handing out more money to the CIA-backed reactionary terrorists in Nicaragua or to the death-squad regime in El Salvador. But here Metzenbaum has blurted out the truth. He actually chuckled about the fact that this is "not the first time" they've supported assassination and other dirty aggression against the people they oppose in other countries.

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The capitalist press in the class struggle:

The role of the 'Chicago Tribune' in the lynching of the Haymarket martyrs

For more than half a year now, workers at the Chicago Tribune have been waging a bitter strike to defend their jobs and livelihood. Despite the treachery of the trade union officialdom, the strikers have broad support in Chicago's working class. On January 4th, 17,000 workers demonstrated in solidarity with the strikers. Demonstrators were set on by police on foot and horseback, with 48 workers arrested. The strike is showing up the Tribune as a sworn enemy of the workers.

In fact, the Tribune not only tramples on its own workers, it also has a long, long history as a voice of capitalist strikebreaking and violence against the working people.

The capitalist press is painted up as the "guardian of freedom" in this country. It allegedly provides the unbiased, objective information required for a responsible citizenry. This is the hogwash you can find in any junior high civics textbook.

In reality, the big daily newspapers are the daily voices of the rich and powerful. They are owned by big corporations, and spew the views of the capitalist rulers. In every sharp conflict between capitalist and worker, oppressor and oppressed, the hired liars of the bourgeois press can be counted on to tilt their pens to justify every type of exploitation, strikebreaking and oppression.

The Tribune has always been a model of such a capitalist newspaper. Let us take a page from working class history. This year is the hundredth anniversary of the great 1886 May Day general strike for the eight-hour day and the infamous Haymarket Affair. As we shall see, the Tribune was no impartial observer and recorder of events. The Tribune and the other capitalist papers were major actors. They fought against the eight-hour day movement, and they played a big part in the Haymarket frame-up and legal lynching of the working class leaders of the movement.

Grenades for Strikers, Strychnine for the Unemployed

In 1877, the country was shaken by the bitter national railway strike. In Chicago, workers of different trades came out in solidarity with the railway workers, and suffered with them bloody repression at the hands of the police and troops. Later, thousands of Chicago's starving unemployed took part in militant hunger protests. By 1884, strikes were gaining momentum for shorter hours and better pay, leading up to the May 1,1886 general strike.

The Chicago police responded with almost open warfare, freely attacking strikers and demonstrators with billy clubs and revolvers. The capitalist newspapers urged on the police. The Tribune was a leader among these molders and shapers of "respectable public opinion." Like the other big dailies it always toed the line of Chicago's richest and most powerful capitalists. In these years, the Tribune began its links with the McCormick family which was to control the paper for many decades. (Multi-millionaire Cyrus McCormick owned McCormick Harvester, which later became International Harvester, which in recent days had a new face lift and was renamed Navistar International.)

The Tribune raved against the rising workers' movement. Every striker was branded a "foreigner" and "communist." A famous Tribune editorial of 1875 called for "communistic carcasses decorating the lamp-posts of Chicago."

"Least of all does the world owe a living to the dead-beats, vagrants...communists.... The world owes these classes rather extermination than a livelihood." That was the reply of the Tribune to the '77 railway strike.


As for the unemployed demonstrations, the Tribune advised feeding poison to the ungrateful starving: "When a tramp asks you for bread, put strychnine or arsenic on it and he will not trouble you anymore, and others will keep out of the neighborhood."


The other papers were not to be outdone. The Chicago Times advocated that "Hand grenades should be thrown among these union sailors, who are striving to obtain higher wages and less hours. By such treatment they would be taught a valuable lesson, and other strikers could take warning from their fate."


Support for Reformism Against the Revolutionary Workers


By today's standards these cries for workers' blood may look crude. True, Reagan and Meese would like to return to the good old days when the capitalists felt free to abuse strikers and the unemployed however they liked. But for the most part, our modern media machines are too slick to openly talk in the language of grenades and strychnine.


But it must be understood that at this time the Tribune boasted of its "moderation''and "objectivity." In other words, the paper knew that it wasn't enough to just attack by direct assault; it also had an army of corrupt scribblers trained in the art of bamboozling the public. The Tribune, for example, didn't try to take the eight-hour day movement head-on, but used cunning tactics that are right up to present standards of capitalist journalism.

The workers' eight-hour day movement was on the march. For the most part, the employers had little choice but to try to soften the blow and check the strike movement with promises of gradual reform. The reformist leaders in the workers' ranks played right into the capitalists' game. The head of the Chicago Central Labor Union urged the workers not to strike, and to accept what the employers offered. To save "Chicago business," this leader wanted to scuttle the demand for 10 hours pay for eight hours work. "Let's be satisfied with the eight-hour day," he pleaded, ''we'll get the rest tomorrow!"

However, revolutionary workers were in the forefront of the eight-hour movement in Chicago. They fought for the eight-hour day under the slogan "No Pay Cuts!" Led by Albert Parsons, August Spies and others, these workers stood for determined mass struggle against the capitalist exploiters, although they were influenced by anarchist ideas and were politically unclear. The strength of the revolutionary workers among the masses was one of the reasons Chicago became the militant center of the nationwide eight-hour movement.

The scribblers at the Tribune were wise to all of this. They made a show of presenting "both sides," the pros and cons of cutting the workday. They even professed a hint of sympathy for the eight-hour demand. But, like the reformist union leader, they warned the workers against strikes, and declared that it was madness to demand eight hours and no pay cuts. Only the fiendish radicals hellbent on destruction could ask for such a thing.

From this oh-so "moderate" and "evenhanded" position, the Tribune dispatched its journalistic army to attack the strike movement and to isolate and pave the way for the legal lynching of the workers' militant leaders.

The Press Hounds the Militant Workers

The Tribune and the other papers were an important tool of the employers in blacklisting and hounding the militant workers. The hanging of the Haymarket martyrs, Parsons, Spies, Fischer and Engel, was prepared by the repeated journalist lynchings they received in the capitalist newspapers.

The press had been gunning for Albert Parsons for years. For his role in the '77 strike, Parsons was fired from his printer's job at the Chicago Times. He went to the Tribune looking for work, where company thugs put a gun to his head and threatened him with death before tossing him down five flights of stairs.

On the morning of the May 1 general strike, the Chicago Mail branded Albert Parsons and August Spies as "two dangerous ruffians" who were "fomenting disorder." It then set the tone for the events to follow: "Mark them for today. Keep them in view. Hold them personally responsible for any trouble that occurs. Make an example of them if trouble occurs."

Tribune Cries for Blood

On May 3, picketing workers at the McCormick Harvester Works on Blue Island Avenue were gunned down by the police. A protest rally was called the next evening in Haymarket Square. At the Haymarket rally the capitalists finally found the "trouble" they were so eager for. The police attacked the gathering, and a provocateur hurled a bomb in the midst of the charging officers.

In the pages of the daily press, the workers' leaders were tried, convicted and sentenced to death on the spot. "We Demand Blood for Blood!" cried the Tribune's editorial headline. "There is no question but that the vicious occurrence in the Haymarket was incited by the bloodthirsty speeches of August Spies, Albert Parsons and Samuel Fielden.... They must pay the extreme penalty of the law for coldblooded murder!"

In the wake of the bomb, the police went on a rampage against the workers' organizations, breaking into homes and beating up and arresting hundreds of suspected militants. The papers fanned the flames of the repression with their bloodcurdling cries for revenge against "the foreigners" and "troublemakers."

Part of the Legal Lynch Mob

The role of the employers' press, however, was not only to whip up a lynching atmosphere. It also took a direct hand in the repression. The Chicago Daily News, for example, hired Pinkerton agents to help the police hunt down and fill the jails with suspected militants. It is reported that the Tribune offered a handsome sum of money to the jury that found the Haymarket defendants guilty.

In the frame-up trial itself, the Tribune eagerly provided "evidence" for the prosecution. From the beginning, the defendants were not accused of throwing the bomb at Haymarket; most of them were far from the scene. But the bombing was alleged to be part of some grand conspiratorial plan to take over the city. In fact, this conspiratorial plan was simply the product of the fertile imagination of the police detectives and the scribblers for the capitalist press. A Tribune reporter was called to the stand by the prosecution to help spin the web of police lies about a "bomb throwing conspiracy."

Parsons Exposes the Press as a Tool of Capitalist Domination

At the end of their trial, the condemned men took the floor. August Spies and Albert Parsons exposed in detail the nature of the frame-up. They showed how the capitalists were out to hang them in order to break the eight- hour day struggle and suppress the working class movement.

Parsons hurled the appeals of the Tribune and Chicago Times for grenades for strikers and strychnine for the unemployed in the face of his accusers. He used the Tribune's own words as evidence that it was the employers, the police, and the bourgeois newspapers who were all part of a violent conspiracy to combat the workers' movement and preserve the domination of monopoly.

When the guilty verdict came down, the Tribune headline gloated: "The Scaffold Waits. Seven Dangling Nooses for the Dynamite Fiends." Its August 21 editorial was only unhappy that the convicted still had the right to appeal, "carrying democracy too far."

When the four working class heroes went to the gallows, the Tribune editorial crowed: "We've heard the last of the Reds!" Undoubtedly the editors slept well, with pleasant dreams of "communistic carcasses on Chicago's lamp-posts."

The Prostitute Journalists Are Still at Work

A hundred years later, much has changed. But much is the same. The domination of the capitalist monopolies is still in full force, and the role of the press as a tool of this domination hasn't changed one bit.

Watch the capitalist press moan the horrors of the "violence" and "intransigence" of the Hormel meatpackers, the Tribune workers, or other strikers who face the violence of company thugs and police (and even National Guard), as they turn a blind eye to the employers using the foulest methods to break the workers and slash their livelihood.

Watch the Philadelphia newspapers continue to broadcast the police cock-and-bull story about a "terrorist conspiracy to destroy Philadelphia," as the cover-up goes on of the police bombing of MOVE and destruction of an entire neighborhood.

Watch the daily press do its best to whip up a witch-hunt atmosphere against "Arabs," "aliens," and other "potential terrorists," as the capitalist government sharpens its swords of repression against the revolutionary movement at home and abroad in the name of "fighting terrorism."

Watch your daily paper. The prostitute journalists may have traded their pens for high-tech word processors. But they are still hard at work defending the domination of the capitalists and combating every stirring among the working people against exploitation and oppression.

[Painting: On November 11,1887, four leaders of the workers' struggle were hanged by the capitalist class at Chicago's Cook County Jail.]

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