The Workers' Advocate

Vol. 16, No. 5


25ยข May 1, 1986

[Front page:

Advance the movement against S. African apartheid!;

Demonstrations across the country against aid to the contras;

Condemn Reagan's raid on Libya!]


Pre-emptive strikes and global aggression................. 2
U.S. Imperialism out to assassinate Quadhafi............ 2
Reagan backs No.1 terrorist in the Mideast................ 2
The world's people condemn Reagan's raid............... 3

Strikes and work place news:

Chicago meatpacking; Philadelphia transit workers; Safety last at Postal Service; USWA chief fixed LTV vote; Hormel workers defiant..................................... 4
Maine Central RR strike; National Steel................... 5
Black man on trial for defense against racists............ 6
At stake in the 'Chicago Defender' tiff...................... 6
Racist gangs in Chicago more arrogant...................... 6
Struggle continues in Texas prison............................. 7
Correspondence from behind the walls...................... 7
Editorial from 'Arm the Spirit'................................... 7
Boston students protest school closings..................... 7

Contadora issues ultimatum against Nicaragua.......... 8
Yesterday in Guatemala today's war on Nicaragua.... 8

Prensa Proletaria:

Strengthen the defense of the revolution; Opportunism in foreign relations; Sandino and the united front with the bourgeoisie................................. 9

The world in struggle:

Argentine strike wave; Brazilian workers face reformist leaders; Against tyranny in Paraguay Mexican workers' movement..................................... 10
Haiti: The struggle continues...................................... 11
DR: regime bemoans loss of Haitian slave labor........ 11

Advance the movement against apartheid.................. 12/17/15

The Communist Organization-Workers' Policy: A step forward for the M-Ls in Portugal........................ 18
France and the new line of the 7th CI Congress......... 20

130,000 march on women's right to abortion............. 21
South Korea: Will Chun follow Marcos?................... 22

Advance the movement against S. African apartheid!

Demonstrations across the country against aid to the contras

Condemn Reagan's raid on Libya!

Pre-emptive strikes:

Doctrine of global aggression

U.S. imperialism out to assassinate Qadhafi

High-tech hitmen on a low-life mission

Reagan backs No.1 terrorist in Mideast

The world's people condemn Reagan's raid

Strikes and workplace news

Black man on trial for defending himself from a racist attack

Benefit planned for Noah Roisten

Harold Washington and the black bourgeoisie have nothing to offer the black and working people

What is at stake in the 'Chicago Defender' tiff?

Racist gangs in Chicago are growing more arrogant

Confront this challenge with anti-racist struggle

Prisoners move from hunger strike to building organization
The struggle continues in the Texas prisons

Boston students protest high school closings

Contadora issues ultimatum against Nicaragua

Yesterday's contra against Guatemala on today's war against Nicaragua

Strengthen the defense of the revolution!

Carter welcomed in Nicaragua

Opportunism in foreign relations

Sandino and the united front with the bourgeoisie

The World in Struggle


France and the New Line of the 7th Congress

130,000 march against attacks on women's right to abortion

Capitalists profit from cuts in unemployment benefits

South Korea - Will Chun follow Marcos?

Fight to bring apartheid down! --a song

1886 - 1986 HUNDRED YEARS OF MAY FIRST -- Celebrate International Workers' Day


'May Day'

Into the streets May 1st!

--a poem

Advance the movement against S. African apartheid!

[Photo: Students defend shantytown on the Berkeley campus from a 3:00 a.m. police assault, April 1]

(For news about the anti-apartheid struggle see inside pages 12-17)

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Demonstrations across the country against aid to the contras

While Reagan and Congress have been heaping slanders on Nicaragua and debating how best to crush the revolution there, the American people have been out on the street protesting U.S. intervention in Nicaragua. In February and March alone, over 300 cities had actions against the aid to the contras which is pending in Congress. Additional actions were held protesting the U.S. government's hysteria against Nicaragua during the Honduran border incident in the last week of March. From Birmingham, Alabama to St. Paul, from San Francisco to Boston, people in every corner of the country came out to denounce the contras and the U.S. dirty war.

In the course of the protests, in which the police made some 400 arrests, the masses of people denounced many aspects of U.S. aggression in Central America. They demanded the U.S. get out of Nicaragua and El Salvador. They condemned all aid to the contras, including the so-called "humanitarian" aid that has been granted in the Congressional "compromises" with Reagan. The protesters also targeted the Reaganite campaign of gross lies being used to justify the U.S. assault on Nicaragua.

Specific protests were also mounted against the ongoing call-up of National Guard units for military exercises in Honduras in preparation for combat against Nicaragua. In fact, there is so much popular opposition to the use of the National Guard in Honduras that three state governors have declined to send their units, and several others are considering doing so.

In major cities, as well as in many smaller ones, series of demonstrations and other actions took place involving several hundred to several thousand people. There were anti-contra demonstrations of 4,000 in Philadelphia, 2,500 in St. Paul, 1,500 in Boston, 1,000 in San Francisco, 400 in Detroit, 375 in St. Louis, 350 in Portland, 300 in Miami and in Chicago. Events protesting the contras also took place in Atlanta; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Birmingham, Alabama; San Antonio; Salt Lake City and Logan, Utah; Omaha; Toledo; Indianapolis; Morgantown, West Virginia; Charleston, West Virginia; Newport News, Virginia; Syracuse and many other cities.


* In Boston 2,000 people denounced U.S. support for right-wing terrorism around the world in a demonstration on March 22 which condemned both the CIA war on Nicaragua and the U.S.-backed racist apartheid regime in South Africa. On March 31st, 1,500 people marched on the Boston Federal Building again protesting the contras.

As well, when the Republican Clubs at various Boston-area schools organized a tour by two contra speakers, they met with fiasco. At Wellesley 200 people heckled the contras, who refused to stay for the question and answer period. At Harvard, 300 indignant people prevented the contras from speaking; as the contras ran off, they were pelted with eggs, "blood" and militant chants. At Brandeis, the contras were met with a militant picket and were heckled. And at the University of Massachusetts students disrupted the contra speech and slideshow.

The people of Massachusetts have also expressed so much opposition to the training of the National Guard in Honduras that the state government was obliged to withdraw its units from their scheduled exercises in an attempt to head off further outcry.

More Demonstrations Against Sending the National Guard to Honduras


* In Birmingham, Alabama and St. Louis, Missouri activists likewise marched against participation of their states' National Guard in Honduran war exercises. The 80 protesters in Birmingham demanded ''Boycott South Africa, not Nicaragua," while a St. Louis demonstration in December raised the slogan ''No Roads to War" condemning the building by U.S. troops of Honduran roads to the border which are used to attack Nicaragua.

In St. Louis the major anti-contra demonstration of March 22 was followed by a March 28 rally and picket of 175 people protesting Reagan's hysteria against Nicaragua concerning the Honduran border incident. The participants then joined another demonstration which was demanding, ''Hands off Africa, stop U.S. aggression against Libya and Angola!" and raised the slogan, ''Fight South Africa, not Libya and Nicaragua!"


* In Miami, where reactionary groups among Cuban refugees are concentrated (the gusanos who carry out CIA-backed reactionary activities), an anti-contra demonstration of 300 people braved a vicious attack. A gang of 2,000 reactionaries staged a counter-demonstration a few yards away from the anti-contra protest. The cowardly pro-contra thugs, hiding behind police protection, attacked the protesters with eggs, rocks, glass bottles, claw hammers, hangman's nooses, pro-contra slogans, and death threats. This attack did not deter the protesters who courageously finished their march and vowed to hold future actions against the contras.

The outpouring of sentiment against the contras and in favor of the Nicaraguan people is the people's response to Reagan's and Congress' chauvinist hissing at Nicaragua. Workers, activists and all progressive people should participate in these protests and work to spread them as widely as possible.

Arouse the Working Masses Against U.S. Imperialism!

And the more these demonstrations are targeted directly at U.S. imperialism, the more effect they will have. The organizers of some of these actions have been promoting that the issue is to sway votes in Congress toward the Democratic proposals. This not only means whitewashing the Democrats, who have repeatedly stated that they disagree only in degree and on tactics with Reagan and that they share with him the same goal with respect to Central America. It also means toning down all aspects of the marches, to the point that various reformists have prohibited protests at the offices of Congressmen who claim they are ''undecided" on whether to fund the contra brutes. And what was the result? The much wooed Democrats joined the Reaganites in mock horror over the Honduran border farce.

No, the real bastion of the solidarity movement is the working masses in the U.S. The more the movement orients itself on awakening the masses to the fight against imperialism, the more successfully it will render support to the Central American people.

[Photo: A vigorous demonstration marched through the streets of Boston denouncing apartheid in South Africa and the plans for more aid to the CIA-backed contras. The MLP banners read: "Death to Apartheid! Burn It to the Ground!" and "U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of Central America!"]

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Condemn Reagan's raid on Libya!

Reagan took another step towards war with the April 15 bombing raid on Libya. Dozens of Libyans were killed and scores more wounded as this so- called "precision" strike hit such "terrorist" targets as the sick bay of a high school for cadet seamen, several farms, a civilian neighborhood in downtown Tripoli, the home and headquarters of Qadhafi, and the offices or houses of the ambassadors from France, Switzerland, Japan, Austria and Rumania.

The attack on Libya was not a "defense against international terrorism," as Reagan claims. It was a show of force aimed at digging the claws of the oil monopolies and bankers deeper into the Mideast. It was, at the same time, an effort to generate a war mood in the U.S. to prepare for further military adventures against Nicaragua, or El Salvador, or wherever the working people are rising against the exploitation and the stranglehold of U.S. imperialism. It was proof that the U.S. government is heading towards war.

This filthy imperialist raid was quickly condemned all around the world. Workers and students poured into protests across Europe, the Mideast, Africa and elsewhere. In many countries the demonstrators stormed U.S. embassies. And everywhere they denounced Reagan as the world's number one terrorist.

In the U.S. too demonstrators marched on military recruiting stations and federal buildings in cities across the country. But the Democratic Party, those champions of peace, literally reveled in Reagan's bloodletting. While Ted Kennedy crooned that "all stand with the commander in chief at this moment," Tip O'Neil began licking his chops at the chance for the bombers to "go in again." With their peace mask dropped, the ugly features of the Democrats are revealed for all to see. They are dyed-in-the-wool imperialists, just like Reagan, itching for further military adventures abroad.

For the movement against U.S. intervention against other peoples to become strong it must fight the Democrats as well as the Reaganites. It must aim the mass struggle against those who profit from the war build up, at those who get rich off the plunder and enslavement of other countries. It must target imperialism and rally to the movement the workers and oppressed, who are the force that can present a serious challenge to the imperialist war drive. Condemn Reagan's Bombing of Libya! Expose His Hypocritical Cries Against Terrorism! Build the Movement Against U.S. Imperialism, the Number One Terrorist in the World!

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Pre-emptive strikes:

Doctrine of global aggression

The Reagan government has not only escalated its world aggression with the bombing raid on Libya, it has also come up with a theory to justify attacking anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time. This is the theory of "pre-emptive strikes."

Larry Speakes, the White House spokesman, explained away the deadly assault on Libya this way: "This effort on our part is an effort to pre-empt Qadhafi from making future terrorist attacks on our cities. It is a self-defense to prevent future attacks." (New York Times, April 15,1986)

How's that for doublespeak -- self- defense not from an attack but against the possibility that there may be an attack some day. And who's to say who may attack when? Why Reagan, of course. Libya today, maybe Nicaragua, Syria, or Iran tomorrow. A country need do nothing. But if Reagan claims they are "thinking" about doing something, well, blow them out of the water.

The "pre-emptive strike" policy amounts to the logic of a paranoid bully --"do unto others, and do it first." And this is exactly the mentality that Reagan wants to inculcate into the American people. America's held hostage, he cries; everyone's out to get us, he whimpers; so invade Grenada, send the contras against Nicaragua, bomb Libya. Ah, "America standing tall" -- on the backs of the poor and the oppressed, dripping with the blood of tiny nations.

Of course, if Reagan really wanted to prevent the toiling masses of other countries from rising up against the U.S. he could simply withdraw the U.S. troops from their bases all over the world, he could stop sending the CIA to organize assassinations and coups, he could quit backing up the hated dictators, he could prevent the U.S. monopolies from plundering the working masses.

But Reagan would never think of it. And neither would the Democrats for that matter. They're all for aggression just as long as they are properly consulted first.

The Reaganites and Democrats alike are simply the bought-and-paid-for servants of U.S. imperialism. And if they did cross imperialism to start withdrawing troops from foreign bases or to oppose the pillage of other lands they would be kicked out of office in a second. That is because the U.S. is an imperialist system, a modern-day monster that feeds itself off the sweat and blood of the workers at home and the super-exploitation of the toilers abroad. And it will stop at nothing to get its way.

Pre-emptive strikes are not self-defense. They are only the justification of an international bully who is stomp out the growing hatred of the working masses the world over.


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U.S. imperialism out to assassinate Qadhafi

High-tech hitmen on a low-life mission

Reagan is turning the world upside down in the search for terrorist assassins. But he need only look in the mirror. Undoubtedly a key aim of the April 14 bombing raid on Libya was to do away with Qadhafi. And the only difference between this and your run-of- the-mill assassin is that Reagan uses bigger bombs.

Of course Reagan claims, "We weren't out to kill anybody." But the dropping of 16 tons of bombs just on the building that houses Qadhafi's residence and headquarters leaves little, credibility to Reagan's statement. As Time magazine pointed out:

"There is little doubt that Azizza was also targetted in the hope that the Colonel would be very much at home and killed or injured in the attack. Using the military euphemism for civilian casualties, one Administration official deadpanned, 'If Qadhafi had been killed, I don't think it would have been considered 'collateral damage.' Indeed, an additional reason for staging a night raid was to catch Qadhafi asleep, though U.S. intelligence officials warned that the Colonel is believed to rotate his sleeping quarters for security reasons. No fewer than five F-111s were assigned to hit Qadhafi's compound. The hope, says a senior Administration official, was to 'turn the barracks into dust.' " (Time, April 28,1986)

The raid did manage to kill Qadhafi's youngest daughter and to wound two other of his children. And the damage would have been greater except for the clumsiness of U.S. pilots that led one to fail to drop his bomb load over Qadhafi's home while others were off target as the pilots got shaken by the Libyan ground fire.

Out to Overthrow Qadhafi for Years

While Reagan and other administration officials engage in legalistic mumbo jumbo to deny they were out to assassinate Qadhafi, they are quick to admit they hoped to overthrow him. Secretary of State George Shultz bragged that:

"And we also, recognizing that there is a considerable dissidence in the armed forces in Libya with Qadhafi and what he's doing, tried in the targetting to send two messages: first of all, that from the standpoint of equipment that the military puts store by, that the terrorist activities in Libya may cost them some of that equipment and it literally did. And second, that the Praetorian Guards that surround Qadhafi and intimidate people, are not invulnerable, so they were a target. So that was part of the conception of how the targets were selected...If a coup takes place, that's all to the good." (New York Times, April 18, 1986) In other words, the Reagan government wasn't out to kill Qadhafi, oh no. It just targetted for assassination the leaders of Qadhafi's Revolutionary Guards, who were also housed in the compound, in the hopes that their deaths would spark a coup d'etat.

In fact, this is just the latest attempt by the Reagan government to overthrow Qadhafi.

A June 14, 1984 "Vulnerability Assessment," by the CIA and other government-financed terrorist organizations, discussed the failure to bring down Qadhafi through economic sanctions and through financial and political support for pro-U.S. Libyan exiles. The report, which was leaked to the press in November 1985, suggested that "disaffected elements in the [Libyan] military could be spurred to assassination attempts or to cooperate with the exiles against Qadhafi."

Apparently this plan didn't get too far. So in 1985 the Reagan government tried to persuade the Egyptian government to invade Libya, an invasion that would be backed up by U.S. war planes and other assistance.

This plot was exposed on March 31 of this year when Ibrahim Nafeh, the editor of the Cairo daily Al Ahram which is considered a quasi-official voice for President Hosni Mubarak, wrote that, "The United States has more than once tried to join in an action with Egypt against Libya." (New York Times, April 3,1986)

But the Egyptian government was afraid of the revolutionary movement that such an invasion might unleash among the hard-pressed Egyptian working people. It turned Reagan down and the U.S. government decided on a course of a direct U.S. attack on Libya.

This sordid history shows the fraud of the Executive Order that bars the government from authorizing the assassination of world leaders. In 1976, then-President Ford issued the Executive Order to head off public discontent over the revelations of CIA assassination attempts in Chile, Guatemala, and elsewhere. The Order has been reaffirmed by both Carter and Reagan. But it has never meant a thing. The government has continued one assassination attempt after another. The CIA has even written manuals on the subject for the contras in Nicaragua. Meanwhile Reagan winks "Who me? Why I have an Executive Order right here that forbids such a thing."

U.S. imperialism is the dirtiest terrorist assassin in the world. Only revolutionary struggle will put a stop to this terrorism.

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Reagan backs No.1 terrorist in Mideast

Reagan is on a crusade against Mideastern terrorism. But in the Mideast it's the U.S. government's closest ally, Israel, that is the most vicious terrorist state.

Even while Reagan was wringing his hands over the death of a U.S. soldier in a German disco, the Israeli Zionists were murdering people in Lebanon. On April 8, two people were killed and another 20 were wounded as six Israeli jets pounded Palestinian districts near Sidon. Only 12 days before, an Israeli air raid had left 10 dead and 25 wounded in the same area.

Meanwhile another revelation of the Zionists' terrorist methods recently came to light. An Arab-American salesman from Dearborn, Michigan, had traveled to his home village in southern Lebanon to deal with an order of shoes. He was captured on February 12, by the Southern Lebanon Army, an Israeli-controlled militia. The Zionists claim that he has relatives in the Amal, an Islamic group that has carried out some resistance to the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. And this claim was enough for an Israeli officer to supervise his torture with electric shocks and lighted cigarettes. (See New York Times, April 16, 1986.)

This torture is just a continuation of the infamous Operation "Iron Fist" from last year in which Israeli-armed convoys rolled through Lebanese villages routinely machine-gunning everything in sight -- cars, houses, and anything that moved -- and routinely arresting every adult male in the villages they raided. The Israelis bulldozed all the buildings in the area they suspected of harboring a resistance fighter. And the so-called "anti-terrorist" Israeli forces even took to planting bombs in the Muslim houses of worship simply to terrorize the population.

Nor has Israel's international terrorism been limited to Lebanon. Remember it was just last October that the Zionists carried out a bombing raid on Tunis killing many Palestinian and Tunisian civilians, including men, women, and children. And this is not to mention the numerous times Israel has invaded and attacked the people in all its neighboring Arab countries, its continued terroristic occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, or its original theft of Palestine driving millions from their homeland with bloody massacres.

Here is "state-sponsored international terrorism" to a tee. But does Reagan condemn it? Not on your life. Reagan, following in the footsteps of both the Democratic and Republican presidents before him, has rewarded the Israeli terrorists with more military and economic aid than any other country in the world.

Reagan's shouts against international terrorism is pure hypocrisy used to cover up the true aims of U.S. foreign policy.

Libya is bombed not for its terrorism, but for the fact that it has not gone along with every whim of U.S. dictate. Qadhafi's regime is not a revolutionary, but a bourgeois nationalist regime. For the interests of the Libyan exploiters, it has at times yelled against U.S. imperialism, intrigued in certain neighboring governments, and assassinated a few Libyan exiles who oppose Qadhafi. This is far less international terrorism than Israel, but Libya's actions have at times disrupted the aims of U.S. imperialism in the region. What is more, the Libyan regime is relatively isolated and is somewhat easier to hit than some other countries. So the U.S. government is out to crush it.

Israeli zionism, on the other hand, is Reagan's friend. It acts as a watchdog for U.S. imperialism in the Mideast, a force of storm troopers against the revolutionary movement of the oppressed Palestinians and a bulwark against the rise of any revolutionary movement of the Arab toilers.

The issue then is not international terrorism, but what helps or gets in the way of Reagan's attempts to strengthen the world empire of U.S. imperialism. Hypocritical talk against international terrorism will not fool the people for long. Already throughout the world working people are rallying to condemn the greatest international terrorist, U.S. imperialism, and its terrorist allies such as Israeli zionism. The American workers must join their voice to this chorus and work to build up the struggle right here in the belly of the U.S. imperialist monster.

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The world's people condemn Reagan's raid

Reagan bombs Libya and declares a great victory. "America stands tall," we are told, because a huge superpower shows its ability to beat up on a tiny nation. But the truth is, the U.S. government stands condemned around the world. Immediately after the raid on April 15, storms of angry demonstrators -- in massive numbers -- took to the streets in protest in country after country.

The capitalist media glossed over these demonstrations with only a few passing lines and one or two pictures. In their numerous interviews about the raid on Libya and terrorism, they did not bother to speak to the protesters and see why the masses in such large numbers around the world are angry at Washington. No, instead they made it appear as if the only response against Reagan's bombing worthy of attention were the various acts of individual terrorism against U.S. or British targets.

But the real story of what the world thinks lies in the mass actions against U.S. aggression. Indeed, it is the mass upheavals which drive imperialism into a frenzy and against which it prepares its iron fist -- all covered over, of course, by the excuse of "fighting terrorism."

Let us take a look at some features of the international outcry.

British Protesters Say: "Maggie is Warmonger Reagan's Lapdog"

The protests were especially sharp in Britain, where the masses condemned the Thatcher government's cooperation in the U.S. attack on Libya.

A quick response was mobilized immediately after the raid. Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in London, Manchester, Nottingham, and other cities. Pickets carried by the protesters said such things as "Reagan is a War Dog and Maggie is his Bitch!"

The weekend was greeted with a huge action in London on Saturday, April 19. The main organizers of the protest were anti-nuclear organizations, but it brought in many other people outraged by the U.S. raid. The main slogan for the demonstration was "U.S. bases out of Britain." In this protest 10,000 people sat down outside the U.S. embassy in London and paralyzed the shopping area of Grosvenor Square.

Over the weekend protests were also held at seven American and British air force bases near London. In these actions 154 people were arrested, 61 for tearing down the outside perimeter fence at a base in Cornwall.

The demonstrations reflected the sentiment of millions more. Even bourgeois opinion polls reported an overwhelming condemnation of the U.S. raid on Libya and Thatcher's support for it. The Iron Lady had clearly hoped to whip up a loyal crusade behind her, but her support for Reagan has only added to her woes. The British government is already under widespread pressure from the working people because it has loyally supported the U.S.-NATO nuclear buildup in Western Europe.

A New Wave of Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism in Europe

Across Western Europe, there have been dozens of actions, reflecting a resurgence in the struggle against militarism and U.S. imperialism. As in Britain, the demonstrations not only condemned the U.S. raid on Libya but also demanded the ouster of the U.S. military presence from Europe.

In West Germany, right after the raid, 3,000 marched on the U.S. consulate in Munich, and demonstrators in West Berlin chanted "Reagan is a murderer!" On April 20th, 7,000 people marched again in West Berlin, while over a thousand protesters blocked the driveway to a U.S. army barracks near Bremen.

In Athens, Greece, 50,000 people marched on the U.S. embassy on April 15 chanting "Hands off Libya now," "Americans out of the Mediterranean" and "Out with the bases and the Americans." The protest was called by student, labor and left organizations.

In Italy, shortly after the raid, tens of thousands rallied in Rome and other cities demanding "Yankee go home" and "NATO get out of Italy." And there were more demonstrations over the weekend as well.

In Sweden, 75 protesters attacked the U.S. embassy in Stockholm. An embassy spokesman was quoted as saying, "It is the first time we have had rocks on the windows here since the Viet Nam days."

In Amsterdam, demonstrators attacked the U.S. consulate. There were rallies and marches also in Spain, Austria, France, Belgium, and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe, Arab protesters in Prague, Czechoslovakia smashed windows and burned an American flag at the U.S. embassy on April 17. Arab demonstrators also protested outside the U.S. mission in Warsaw, Poland, shouting "Reagan, Reagan, new fascist."

In Africa and the Mideast

In the Mideast and Africa, the attack on Libya was seen as yet another sign of U.S. imperialism's oppression of the Arab and African peoples. All across the Arab countries, people came out to condemn the imperialist assault on Libya.

As a result of this mass sentiment, virtually every Arab government leader, even the conservative and pro-U.S. ones, had to give lip service to condemning Washington's bombing. There was one exception: the pro-imperialist President Bourguiba of Libya's neighbor Tunisia was the only Arab government leader to not condemn the raid. But news reports spoke of the regime being confronted by daily demonstrations by the angry Tunisian people.

The outcry against Reagan's aggression was especially fierce in the Sudan. The U.S. embassy in the capital Khartoum was besieged by demonstrators for days, forcing the U.S. to evacuate hundreds of embassy personnel by helicopter. Hundreds of demonstrators tried to storm the embassy on April 16; they were stopped only by policemen with clubs and tear gas. They were part of a crowd of 15,000 gathered in the main square of Khartoum chanting "Down, down USA."

There is a lesson in the outburst in the Sudan. Washington used to consider the Sudan a "loyal friend of the U.S." But that was during the reign of the dictator General Nimeiry who was overthrown by a mass upsurge last year. Although the upsurge did not lead to a revolutionary government, nonetheless it created certain conditions for the masses to express themselves -- and when the Sudanese people speak, they do not speak well of the U.S. government. Support for Washington abroad comes not from the masses of working people, but from tyrants like Nimeiry.

Elsewhere in Africa, students marched on the U.S. embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, forcing it to close. Lagos radio reported that similar demonstrations took place in other West African countries.

And in South Africa -- whose white minority government was one of the handful of governments to support Reagan's attack -- 25 black activists demonstrated at the U.S. Information Agency office in Johannesburg, chanting "Reagan is the terrorist."

In Asia and Latin America

Angry demonstrations were also held in other places, some quite far from Libya.

There were protests across South Asia -- in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In Pakistan, demonstrators burned American flags and effigies of Reagan on April 16 in front of the U.S. consulate in Lahore. The crowd threw rocks at the consulate and then attacked an American Express office. Two demonstrations were held in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, where speakers addressed angry, slogan-chanting crowds. It may be noted that this country is at the moment going through a renewed wave of struggle against the military dictator General Zia, a struggle in which the Pakistani masses have roundly denounced U.S. imperialism for backing the brutal tyrant.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. embassy in Manila, Philippines, burned an American flag and shouted "Death to Reagan."

And also in Asia, in Beijing, China, 80 Arab students burned a U.S. flag in front of the American embassy while chanting "Down, down USA." The students then marched down a major thoroughfare followed by hundreds of Chinese.

There have also been demonstrations in Latin America, although the bourgeois press considered these to have been the least worthy of coverage. In Mexico City, protesters chanting "Murderers!" burned the U.S. flag outside the U.S. embassy. Thousands marched in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And notably, in Nicaragua, thousands participated in actions condemning U.S. imperialism. In these actions, the Nicaraguan people once again affirmed their determination to resist Reagan's terrorist war on their country.

Here we have heard some of the voices of the world's people about Reagan's war on Libya. Clearly it is not a handful of individuals here and there who are upset with U.S. aggression but the masses in their millions. And this is a response coming from the depths of the feelings of the people around the world, who have developed through their own bitter experience a just hatred of U.S. imperialist oppression.

[Photo: Fifty thousand demonstrators march through Athens protesting the U.S. attack on Libya and the arrival of Secretary of State George Shultz in Greece, March 26.]

[Photo: Demonstrators in West Berlin denounce U.S. aggression on Libya.]

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Strikes and workplace news

Anti-concessions fight at American Meatpacking in Chicago

(The following article is based on a leaflet issued by the Chicago Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on March 26, 1986.)

Since December 20,1985, the workers of the American Meatpacking Company (AMPAC) in Chicago have been on strike against the vicious concessions demands of the company. AMPAC is demanding that the workers take a $2-3 an hour wage cut and that they accept a complicated version of a two-tier wage system. The company is also trying to cut back the guaranteed 32-hour week and to dismantle the grievance procedure.

In an attempt to break the strike, AMPAC has hired scabs and has swamped the gates with police and undercover detectives to protect the scabs and to harass the strikers. On one occasion the personnel manager sent the police to arbitrarily arrest strikers.

Some were held by the police with no charges for up to 20 hours with no food. Yet scabs who ran over the strikers' fire barrel and threatened the strikers have been allowed to go their merry way.

At AMPAC, the workers belong to Local 100 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). This international union leadership has become notorious for its public wrath against the militant strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota. And the situation is no different at AMPAC. The UFCW leadership has ordered the workers to allow scabs to cross the picket lines and it even supported the latest concessions contract offer.

Despite the repression and the treachery of their own union leaders, the workers are determined to hold out. On March 21 the strikers overwhelmingly rejected the latest insulting offer of AMPAC.

Transit workers in Philadelphia beat back concessions

(The following article is taken from the March 27, 1986 issue of the Boston Worker published by the Boston Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA.)

On March 21 the 5,200 transit workers in Philadelphia ended their strike against the brutal concessions demands made by the SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority).

SEPTA demanded that the workers sacrifice to cover Reagan's cutbacks in federal mass transit aid. SEPTA demanded that the new contract allow them to introduce a part-time system for operators and to make up to 20% of the work force part time. While doing this SEPTA also wanted to lay off full-time workers with up to four years of seniority.

But the workers gave their reply on March 16, bringing bus, trolley and subway systems to a halt. The workers not only denounced the concessions demands, they also demanded improvements in their conditions, including a 18% wage increase, improvement in their pension plan, and an end to a campaign of worker harassment by the SEPTA management that included such things as timing bathroom breaks.

The workers held a number of street rallies to popularize their cause and they received support from broad sections of the working people.

The strike created trouble for the capitalists and the government who saw the growing solidarity of the working people with the transit workers. By March 21, SEPTA and the government had to scrap their plans for a part-time system and agree to many of the workers' demands. The workers won major improvements in their pension plan and forced SEPTA to tone down its harassment of the workers.

Had the workers stayed out longer they would probably have won their wage demands as well, but the union officials sent the workers back on the job with the terms of the original SEPTA wage offer, only a 3% increase a year.

Productivity first, safety last in the Postal Service

(The following article is taken from a March 17, 1986 leaflet of the New York Metro Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA.)

An incident has come to light that shows once again that the Postal Service slogan "Safety First'' is purely for public relations and the actual policy is productivity first, safety last.

On January 2 a shop steward at the JFK facility in New York pulled an emergency cord to stop a letter-sorting machine because someone had their hand caught in it and the automatic shut-off device wasn't working. The shop steward was then suspended for seven days for getting into an argument with a supervisor over whether the machine was unsafe.

Of course, the Postal Service spokesman declared, "There is nothing we would do to sacrifice a worker's safety,'' and said the suspension was because of an argument. (Newsday, January 23, 1986) This is a fine example of Reaganite doublespeak. Paying lip service to safety is okay, but to insist on safety at the cost of production is a crime that warrants suspension. If the Postal Service is really concerned about safety why was there an argument?

Real postal safety policy is: 1) Pay lip service to safety as the top priority; 2) Make sure the blame for an accident that does occur can be put on the workers themselves; 3) Keep the statistics looking good; and 4) Keep the real first priority, productivity, uppermost at all times. In this way the Postal Service covers its own ass in the eye of the public while operating like any mini- mum-wage sweatshop.

The workers cannot rely on management to be reasonable. They must instead fight against management in order to defend their own interests. Postal workers should refuse to do anything that they know is unsafe and, at the same time, stick together and fight jointly against unsafe conditions and practices and against management's productivity drive, which is creating new safety hazards all the time. The workers' own safety policy must be: To hell with management's productivity drive! Resist speedup and overwork! Don't take chances on getting hurt!

The USWA chiefs fixed the vote at LTV

(The following article is based on an article in the April 10, 1986 issue of the Detroit Workers' Voice produced by the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA.)

The new 40-month contract at LTV Steel cuts at least $3.15 an hour from the pay and benefits of the 30,400 LTV workers. These cuts come on top of the 55 cents an hour giveback that the union bosses agreed to in February. And there are indications that the takebacks go deeper still. The Daily Calumet, a newspaper on Chicago's southside, reports additional cuts -- including "compounding effects,'' cuts in differential time, elimination of some insurance coverage, reductions in sickness and accident pay, and an increase in medical deductibles -- that will cost the workers another $1.28 an hour over-and-above the $3.15 an hour cut reported by the union bureaucrats.

It was claimed that over 60% of the LTV workers voted in favor of giving the steel monopoly concessions. But now it appears that what really happened was that the leadership of the United Steel Workers (USWA) simply stole the vote.

The Wall Street Journal is a newspaper for the capitalists. And sometimes it reveals to the capitalists things that the workers are never told. Such is the case with the LTV contract vote. The April 7 issue of the Journal reports that: the settlement passed by lopsided margins at onion locals where plants were all but officially shut down. In contrast, workers at more profitable plants making sheet steel for the auto industry voted heavily against the contract.''

In other words, the rank and file voted against the concessions deal. But the USWA leadership waved its magic wand and pulled out of its hat a huge number of votes from ghost locals to hand LTV a victory.

Hormel workers defy police repression

The Hormel strikers remain steadfast in their strike against the concession demands of the Hormel meatpacking capitalists in Austin, Minnesota.

On March 20, hundreds of strikers blockaded the plant gates with pickets and cars and succeeded in shutting down the plant's operations for the first time since January. As Hormel officials fumed against "outsiders" and a "lawless element," the police cleared the way to reopen the plant for their capitalist masters, arresting 24 strikers and supporters.

At 4:30 in the morning of April 11, some 500 strikers again marched on the plant and again shut it down for several hours. This time the police were out for a confrontation. Hundreds of police from all over the state, armed to the teeth in riot gear, attacked the workers with tear gas, mace, dogs, and clubs. For a time, the workers stood their ground, lobbing the tear gas canisters back into the ranks of the cops.,The net result of this police attack was the hospitalization of eight police from the effects of tear gas, and the arrest of 17 workers on trumped-up felony charges of inciting to riot.

The next day, over 5,000 workers came to Austin to show their support "for the strikers, marching around the courthouse where the 17 workers who had been arrested the previous day were being held.

Solidarity actions have also taken place around the country. On March 22 Austin workers and fired workers from the Freemont, California Hormel plant set up a picket line at the port of Oakland to block shipment of Hormel meat (40% of Hormel's products are exported). The workers gained the support of two locals of longshoremen who have refused to handle Hormel cargo.

Ironically, another important development in worker solidarity with the Hormel strikers has been the growing outcry against the national leadership of the strikers' union, the United Food and Commercial Workers.

The UFCW leadership has held a knife at the back of the Hormel workers at every step of their brave struggle against concessions. On March 14, UFCW President William Wynn issued a directive to stop their strike and to stop all solidarity actions. Presently, to help the company apply more pressure on the strikers, the national UFCW leaders are trying to put the Hormel local in receivership.

This dirty scabbing on the part of the UFCW chieftains is provoking the wrath of the rank and file nationwide. On the West Coast some 30,000 UFCW workers have signed a petition for Wynn's removal because of his stand against the Hormel strikers. At the Patrick Cudahy meatpacking plant in Wisconsin, workers voted to stop paying dues to the international unless it supports the Hormel strike.

Workers at other plants have taken similar measures, showing the groundswell of opposition that has built up among the meatpacking workers to the capitalists' concessions drive and the collaboration of their union chiefs in this offensive against the workers.

A solidarity rally is scheduled for May 10 in Ottumwa, Iowa in support of the workers fired from the Ottumwa Hormel plant for honoring the Austin workers' picket lines.

[Photo: Five thousand workers rally in solidarity with Hormel meatpacking strikers, Austin, Minnesota, April 12.]

Solidarity grows for Maine Central strikers

What began on March 3 as a walkout over job security by 22 maintenance workers of the Maine Central Railroad has spread until the Maine Central is completely shut down, commuter service to Boston has been halted and nine major railroads are being picketed.

A Strike Against Job Elimination

The Maine Central is an 800-mile rail system that serves as the principal freight hauler for Maine's pulp and paper industry. In 1981, Timothy Mellon, one of the richest capitalists in America and the head of the Mellon financial empire, bought three railroads -- the Boston & Maine (B&M), the Delaware & Hudson (D&H), and the Maine Central (MC) -- and put them under the umbrella of Guilford Transportation Industries. To consolidate the three railroads and increase Mellon's profits, Guilford cut four lines, eliminated hundreds of jobs, intensified speedup and demanded drastic wage cuts.

At the Maine Central the work force was cut by 20% one year after Mellon bought it. Every year since then more jobs have been lost. And in this year's contract Guilford demanded the elimination of 200 of the remaining 300 maintenance of way jobs as well as a 20% across-the-board pay cut and other concessions such as forcing workers to pay half the cost of medical insurance benefits. The workers are determined to beat back the job elimination and other concessions.

Solidarity Actions Resist Strikebreaking

Maintenance workers walked off the job March 3. By the next day, 800 workers belonging to 10 other rail unions at the Maine Central honored the maintenance workers' picket line and shut the railroad down.

Guilford responded with vicious strikebreaking tactics. It tried to use B&M employees to haul freight on the Main Central lines. But on March 5, the Maine Central workers started picketing the B&M. And workers from both the B&M and D&H, who face similar attacks from the management, honored the picket lines, shutting down Boston's north shore commuter trains.

Six other major railroads rushed to Guilford's aid providing it with engines and manpower to keep Guilford's railroads operating. When it comes to suppressing the workers the relationship between capitalists is very thick! But the workers fought back. On April 10, the 85,000-member national maintenance workers' union began picketing all of the railroads who have sided with Guilford.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which contracts commuter rails service from the B&M, also dashed to Guilford's side. In the name of helping the 13,000 inconvenienced commuters from the north of Boston, Guilford hired 500 scabs and the MBTA set up temporary rail and bus service. Guilford then issued an ultimatum to the strikers: return to work by April 25 or be fired.

But the workers defied Guilford's threats and by their determined stand rallied even wider solidarity among the railroad workers. On April 25, machinists and electricians joined the picket lines and expanded the strike to shut down all commuter service, affecting 25,000 commuters both to the south as well as to the north of Boston.

The Maine Central workers are up against all the wealth and power of the capitalists and their government. But they are waging a determined strike. And by relying on their picket line actions and by calling forward the solidarity of other railroad workers they have resisted every new attempt to break their strike. Workers in all industries should rally to their support. The only way the working class can stand up to the Reaganite concessions drive of the rich is by militant action and by uniting the widest possible section of the working class.

National Steel workers denounce new contract

"I voted NO to concessions in '86!"

On April 13 a total of over 2,000 workers came out to two union meetings in Detroit to denounce the proposed concessions contract with National Steel. Although the bureaucrats of the United Steelworkers (USWA) recommended the contract, the rank-and-file steelworkers have been dead set against it.

The Rank and File Demands to Be Heard

From the beginning of both meetings the workers showed their anger against the sellout contract.

They were greeted outside the meeting hall with a leaflet against the contract distributed by supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Party. Many workers said they had already received the leaflet in National's main Great Lakes Steel Mill and at the Zug Island plant. And a number indicated they had come to the meeting to fight against the concessions.

The union hacks tried to dampen the spirit of the workers by giving a boring recitation of every detail of the contract. The tank and file responded with boos and catcalls and several times chants broke out of "Vote No! Vote No!''

Eventually the hacks were forced to stop their tiresome reading and let the workers' views be heard. In the two meetings over 40 workers went to the microphone to ask pointed questions and to condemn the contract. Not a single worker who spoke out at the meetings supported the contract.

Deep Cuts Exposed

The USWA hacks had tried to claim that the workers would only lose about $1 an hour in wages and benefits. But the workers exposed that the cuts were much deeper.

One worker pointed out that the contract would also eliminate the cost-of-living increases (COLA). The elimination of COLA would cost the workers at least $1.04 an hour, even in the unlikely event that today's low inflation rate continues for the next 40 months. This plus other wage and benefit concessions would bring the total cut to more than $2.55 an hour.

The Fraud of "Guaranteed Jobs" Laid Bare

The union bureaucrats argued that the wage and benefit cuts are acceptable because they were traded for a "guarantee" that all who are now working will keep their jobs. But the workers quickly saw through this hoax.

One worker pointed out that the ' 'job guarantee' is so riddled with exceptions that it is meaningless. Jobs are "guaranteed" unless there is a "permanent shut down of a plant," or "an order rejecting the Plan in bankruptcy," or "severe financial difficulties short of bankruptcy." (From the "Summary of the USWA and National Steel Corporation Proposed Agreement.") Even now the USWA bureaucrats are claiming that National Steel has severe financial difficulties, so why couldn't the workers be tossed out of the door tomorrow?

Another worker exposed the fact the contract allows National Steel to rob the supplemental unemployment benefits fund (SUB), a fund set up precisely to help those who are laid off during times of "financial difficulties." The USWA hacks claim that the SUB fund is "over-funded" and therefore agreed to let National Steel take 40 cents an hour from the fund until it is drawn down. The union hacks were asked why, if the SUB fund is really over-funded, they don't give the money to the thousands of National Steel workers who are laid off and who have lost their recall rights and all benefits? The hacks had no answer. It was obvious that they don't give a damn for the laid off.

One of the militant workers also pointed out that, in fact, the contract agrees to job combination, to forced work across job classifications and to other job elimination schemes. Indeed the contract sets up a plan to eliminate 3,500 of the some 7,200 jobs throughout National Steel over the next five years. The plan is to be administered jointly by the union and the company. Under it any worker whose job is eliminated would be thrown into a labor pool where he could be forced to work any job, even at a reduced wage rate, or be thrown out of work without even the benefit of unemployment insurance. This system of job elimination is euphemistically called "attrition." But by any name it means the loss of jobs for thousands while those still employed are overworked.

Steel Bosses Rolling in the Dough

The workers also exposed the lies that National Steel is in financial difficulties. One militant emphasized that the two parent companies of National Steel are rolling in the dough. National Intergroup just put out $500 million to buy a crude oil distributor and the third largest pharmaceuticals distributor in the U.S. And the other parent company, Nippon Kokan, reported 1985 profits of about $7 billion (19.5 billion yen).

The union leaders claimed that these are only the parent companies, but National Steel itself is in trouble. But the worker quickly retorted that "it doesn't matter which pocket they pull the money from, it comes from the same pants!" Why should the workers give concessions to these rich parasites?

Protests Against the Mail-In-Vote

At Wheeling-Pittsburgh and at LTV the USWA hacks forced the workers to vote on the contract through a mail-in ballot. The hacks used this voting method to manipulate the final tally (see the article on LTV elsewhere) and to prevent mass meetings that the workers could use to help get organized for the fight against concessions.

National Steel workers opposed this method. In March, in at least two National Steel mills -- in Detroit and in Granite City, Illinois -- locals passed resolutions against the mail-in vote. But the top leaders of the USWA spit on the desires of the rank and file and arbitrarily ordered a mail-in vote anyway.

At the April 13 union meetings in Detroit, the workers condemned the union bosses for their high-handed methods. When one hack whined that he'd hate to think the workers would suspect him of tampering with the vote, a worker shouted out, "You'll count it the same way Marcos did in the Philippines."

Workers have heatedly emphasized that the decision to use a mail-in ballot proves the union leaders are out to shove through the contract despite the overwhelming rank-and-file opposition to it that was shown in the union meetings.

USWA Leaders Try to Intimidate the Rank and File

The USWA bureaucrats could not convince the workers to support concessions, so following the union meetings they launched a campaign to try to intimidate the rank and file.

Right after the meetings Harry Lester, the district head of the USWA, went on TV repeating his lies in favor of concessions and raving that anyone who opposed the contract was just a "troublemaker." Apparently stung by how the workers punctured the lies of the union hacks, Lester condemned "locker-room lawyers" for exposing the facts about the concessions deal.

Meanwhile, an anonymous leaflet defending the union bureaucrats and the concessions agreement suddenly appeared in hundreds of copies in every department of the mill at the same time. The leaflet praised the "Company who pays our wages" and the "patient" union, reps for negotiating a contract that "rates high above the others." It denounced the rank and file for being "ill mannered" towards the union officials. It bitterly complained that "our own union brothers stand up and quote from this Commie paper." (Emphasis as in the original) And, trying to create an unthinking support for concessions through anti-communism, the leaflet told the workers "I'd rather believe the Union Rep. than the Commie sympathizers, we don't need them in the union."

Workers Continue the Fight Against Concessions

This attempt to paint the opposition to concessions as a fiendish communist plot was met with nothing but laughter and contempt. The workers' opposition to concessions was not due to being duped by the communists. No, the workers have learned from years of suffering under the heavy weight of job elimination and pay cutting that the only way to defend their jobs and livelihood is not through giving way to the company's demands but through struggle.

The Marxist-Leninist Party has, however, constantly brought to light the truth about the capitalists' concessions drive and helped to organize the workers' opposition into a more sustained and conscious movement. It is little wonder, then, that the union bureaucrats and their apologists center their fire against the communists in their efforts to disrupt the workers' struggle and to saddle them with new concessions. But the workers have not been intimidated. They continue to denounce the sellout union bosses and have widely ridiculed the "anonymous" leaflet.

To keep up the anti-concessions sentiment and to help build up independent organization among the workers the MLP launched a sticker campaign through the mill. Hundreds of workers have proudly adorned their hardhats with stickers saying "I voted No to Concessions in '86" and other stickers are plastered on mill walls declaring "Fight Job Elimination! Bring Back the Laid Off!"

No matter how the union bureaucrats count the votes on this contract, the fight against concessions is far from over at National Steel. The spirit of struggle is growing. And whether it is against the signing of this contract, or against the job combination and job elimination that the implementation of this contract will bring, mass struggle against the steel capitalists is on the agenda.


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Black man on trial for defending himself from a racist attack

Benefit planned for Noah Roisten

On Wednesday, May 7, a benefit will be held by the Noah Roisten Defense Committee of Boston to strengthen the solidarity around Noah's defense.

Noah is a young black man who has been charged with murder and is threatened with years in prison for the crime of defending himself against a brutal racist attack in the Boston transit system. The benefit is one of a series of activities which has been organized this past year in Noah's defense.

The Noah Roisten Defense Committee is made up of workers and students who have rallied against this racist persecution. It includes relatives of Noah, transit workers, activists from The Student newspaper at MIT, and supporters of the Boston Branch of the MLP.

From the beginning the Marxist-Leninists have taken up the struggle in defense of Noah and promoted it widely in the working class and the anti-apartheid movement.

In contrast to the workers and revolutionaries, the liberal bourgeois politicians, black and white alike, have turned their backs on taking a stand against this racist injustice. Mel King, the darling of the "left" wing of the Democratic Party who is currently running for Congress, h$s refused to give any support to the defense because "it might hurt his career." The NAACP demanded a $50,000 fee to defend Noah. Reporters from the TV show Black Journal warned the family to stay away from the MLP and have done nothing to promote the case.

Only the workers of all nationalities can provide the backbone needed for a serious struggle against racist oppression.

Below we reprint the leaflet issued by the Defense Committee for the upcoming benefit.


Noah Roisten is a young black man who has been held in Charles Street Jail for almost a year on $250,000 bail simply for having defended himself from an armed racist attack by three punks. Noah is an honest young man who has never been convicted of a single crime. He is a recent graduate of Jamaica Plain High School.

In June of last year while Noah and three friends were asking instructions from a starter on the Red Line platform at Park Street Station, they were confronted by four white racist punks. The racists were on the opposite platform and began shouting racial obscenities at Noah and his friends. They threw tonic cans at the black youth. One of the racists pulled out a homemade blackjack and challenged the young black men to a fight. The starters on the platform restrained the racists. Noah and his friends, wishing to avoid a fight, went upstairs to catch their shuttle bus.

But as soon as the starters called off the alert the racists bolted upstairs after Noah and his friends. They caught Noah waiting to get on a bus and went after him. Three of the racists got Noah and were beating him with clubs and blackjacks. Noah finally managed to get out a knife and jabbed it at his attackers, killing the ringleader, Joseph Hennaghan. This story has been confirmed by MBTA employees who witnessed the incident.

Had Noah been white and his assailants black, or had he been a policeman, he would have been called a hero and never spent a day in jail. But because Noah is a black man who stood up to defend himself, the police and District Attorney Newman Flannagan have charged him with murder and held him almost a year without trial.

Noah needs the support of the community and every anti-racist working person, black or white, to prevent being railroaded to a long prison term by the racist authorities. Please join us in defending Noah and fighting this injustice.

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Harold Washington and the black bourgeoisie have nothing to offer the black and working people

What is at stake in the 'Chicago Defender' tiff?

(The following article is taken from a leaflet produced by the Chicago Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on April 14, 1986.)

The February 22-23 weekend edition of the Chicago Defender carried an editorial comment on certain aspects of Mayor Washington's performance. That editorial and a subsequent about-face created a bit of a stir on the local political scene. The commentary primarily expressed concern with Mayor Washington's failure to adequately reward and protect some cronies. As well it showed dissatisfaction with the mayor's apparent difficulties in fully exploiting the possibilities of his office to bolster election efforts of allies.

In short, these mild "criticisms" by-and-large don't have diddley-squat to do with improving the day-to-day well being of the black masses in Chicago. The Defender editorial merely reflects the disdain of a section of the mayor's black bourgeois backers at certain problems he has had in completely mastering the brutal arts of patronage politics, Chicago-style.

In all fairness, the editorial did pay fleeting lip service to the realities of life facing the huddling masses. It questioned whether or not blacks in Chicago are really any better off today than in 1983. (Well, obviously some blacks are and some aren't. It depends on whether you're a big contractor or a poor worker scrambling to make ends meet).

However, the Defender dropped the question altogether. Immediately after the embarrassment of Rev. Herbert Martin chaining himself to a pillar in front of their building and after the pressure of a threatened boycott by several black reformist political organizations, the Defender's convictions folded like a carpenter's rule.

A front page self-rebuttal run on February 26 states that "the Chicago Defender endorsed Harold Washington when he ran for mayor and the Defender is still on Harold Washington's side... Nobody's perfect... We have decided that we are a family, and that we will work together for the benefit of Chicago and help Harold Washington do the job he set out to do."

This is true. The job Mayor Washington and other such "anti-Reagan" Democratic Party sweet-talkers "set out to do" however, is not to use their resources and influence to assist the masses in getting organized to fight racists attacks, for decent housing and education, etc.

No. Their job is to seize upon any sign of the black masses getting out of control, growing impatient and rebellious toward the system. They take this revolutionary potential brewing among the people and work to steer their rebellious sentiments right back into getting some Democratic Party hack or other elected. They call this "practical" politics. A march or a mild protest every now and then is okay, as long as no one gets "out of control." One must keep up appearances.

These "leaders," including those at the helm of the major civil rights organizations today, are the same as what Malcolm X used to call "the big six." Something like harmless house slaves who will bark occasionally, but never bite the hand that feeds them.

The arch-racists Vrdolyak and Burke are indeed scrambling to sabotage the Mayor. They want to retrench separate-but-equal patronage. The mayor hassles with the "29" over plums for his dubious cronies but can't seem to get out a squeak when it comes to demanding that the racist gangs operating under the protection of Burke and Vrdolyak be disbanded and punished. He's all for raising taxes and offering concessions to millionaire corporations to "create a good business climate." He never says a word about the rampant police brutality, except to call for more police. Mayor Washington's actions since his election in 1983 are leaving many of the black working people and other anti-racists who supported him with little more than a bitter after-taste of betrayal. Clearly, he is an artful dodger of the Democratic Party at making empty declarations against Reaganism while refusing to assist the anti-Reagan struggle on concrete issues.

The black liberation struggle must be rejuvenated if any real progress is to be made. The pathetic back-pedaling of the Defender on even their mild criticisms of the mayor show that the black bourgeois bigwigs can never lead this movement forward. They cannot break with the reformist politics holding the struggle back.

Working class men and women of all nationalities must step forward as the firmest fighters against racism. Anti-racist literature and organization must be built up in action. This struggle must have a voice that neither waivers nor cracks in the face of pressures. A voice that expresses the most progressive aspirations of the whole working class. Producing and distributing anti-racist literature like this leaflet among friends and co-workers is an important step in the right direction.

Revolutionary struggle, not tokenism, will liberate the black working masses!

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Racist gangs in Chicago are growing more arrogant

Confront this challenge with anti-racist struggle

(The following article is taken from a leaflet issued by the Chicago Branch of the MLP, USA on April 14, 1986.)

The racists have been hard at work in the Chicago area lately.

During the evening of February 8 about 35 fascists in camouflage from various Nazi/KKK grouplets picketed and yelled Hitler-type racist and anticommunist slogans across the street from an anti-racist meeting in Uptown. Supporters of the MLP attended the meeting and participated in a mass denunciation/defense line outside the hall which drowned out the racists. Anti-racist punk-rockers alerted the meeting organizers that they'd seen the fascists assembling nearby.

January 22. A report is released by a fair housing organization showing that about 10% (13 of 126) of black families who've bought homes during 1985 in segregated suburbs of Chicago were victims of violent racist attacks. This included firebombing, arson and harassment. (Chicago Defender, January 23, 1986)

January 12. A 16-year-old black youth, Neumann Scott, was allowed to bleed to death by police Sgt. Robert McMahon and officers Bert Dugan and Thomas Turner. Mr. Scott had been accosted and stabbed by a gangbanger [a member of a youth gang]. The policemen let him lay in the street for approximately an hour, refusing to drive him two blocks to Roseland Community Hospital for emergency care. All of the police are inculcated with a racist contempt for the youth from the oppressed nationalities. Even though two of these three cops were black they callously rolled up the squad car window in response to pleas for help. They reportedly said that they couldn't carry the victim to the hospital in a city vehicle, (Chicago Sun Times)

September 26. A handful of Nazis, protected by police, held a picket supporting the notoriously racist apartheid system and the Botha regime in South Africa. This brazen reactionary spectacle naturally enraged passersby. A young black man snatched one of the Hitler-worshippers' signs and led a spirited denunciation. On October 2, the following Wednesday night, two of the racists made a cowardly ambush attack against the protester. These thuggish brutes want to intimidate the working people and activists from taking a courageous anti-racist stand. They have even gone so far as to commit murder. During March of 1985, a 20-year-old white youth, Kevin Zornes, was killed for daring to split from the Uptown- based racist gang, the Rebels. In September a black man, Henry Hampton, was beaten to death. A Rebel member was charged with his murder.

Black people, immigrants, workers, decent democratic-minded people of Chicago, we've been confronted with a challenge. The organized racists have stepped up their political activity and their efforts to expand beyond their usual strongholds, the segregated communities.

The partial listing above shows that the police and the other racists are getting more and more arrogant and are flexing their muscles against blacks, other national minorities and anti-racists.

We must accept this challenge with firm anti-racist conviction. We must build a militant movement from the ground up, rooted deeply in the factories where we toil and in the working class communities were we live. This is where the lessons of life teach us every day that only an organized and united working class can meet the challenge of Reaganite racist reaction.

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Prisoners move from hunger strike to building organization

The struggle continues in the Texas prisons

Earlier this year 41 prisoners in Texas began a hunger strike against the brutality and inhuman conditions in the capitalist prisons. (See the March 1 issue of The Workers' Advocate.) They were particularly fighting the offensive of the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) against the prisoners.

The prison authorities isolated the hunger strikers from the other prisoners, and the bourgeois press maintained utter silence on the hunger strike. While the bourgeois press loves to paint lurid pictures of prison riots, it hides the facts about the organized prisoner resistance to outrageous conditions. Meanwhile, several days ago, the national TV news carried reports glamorizing the special groups of storm troopers that the prison bureaucrats have developed to stomp on the prisoners -- the so-called "Special Operation Reaction Teams."

Finally we received more news about the hunger strikers. Below we reprint a letter from a militant prisoner. He points out how the prisoners, after carrying the hunger strike to the point where various of the prisoners were hospitalized, decided to change the form of their struggle. They are now going to use the momentum of their struggle to build organization to disseminate revolutionary consciousness among the prisoners. Naturally this consciousness is not something separate from struggle, but developed in the course of it. The prisoners are oppressed as a result of class domination, but it takes hard work to develop the consciousness of one's situation, its causes and how to take part in the struggle. This is the purpose of the new organization that is being founded, the Prisoners United for Revolutionary Education (PURE).

We condemn the capitalist jailers and the bourgeois press which justifies their crimes. We call on all progressive people to support the struggle of the ordinary people caught up in the prison situation to fight back against the brutality of the jailers, to understand their situation, and to take part in the general revolutionary movement of the working class. We send our greetings to all militant prisoners who have taken up these tasks.

Below we print the letter we have received from the militant Texas prisoner who is chairman of PURE and editor of "Arm the Spirit."

Correspondence from behind the walls

8 April 1986

Dear Workers' Advocate:

I am in receipt of your letter of 27 March in connection with your inquiry concerning the hunger strike here in protest against gross human rights violations of prisoners. As always, it is good hearing from you.

In relation to the hunger strike, the fascist prisoncrats broke up our group with transfers to other prison units after several of us had to be hospitalized. After consensus, we agreed to terminate it not because we wore out or gave up, but to plan further for the escalation of our struggles against our capitalist jailers and the reign of fascism-tyranny against us. Although many mailings of our press release were mailed out to the local media, The Workers' Advocate was the only newspaper that gave us coverage. Why? The capitalist media will not expose the full reality of the class crimes committed against poor working people in this country because they represent the interests of political reaction and fascism. As the great Lenin eloquently put it,

"The old bourgeois apparatus -- the bureaucracy, the privileges of wealth, of bourgeois education, of social connection...--all this disappears under the Soviet form of organization. Freedom of the press ceases to be hypocrisy, because the printing plants and stocks of paper are taken away from the bourgeois..." (p. 26, The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky, Lenin [Foreign Language Press, Peking])

Yes, we did receive the publications covering the struggles of Texas prisoners and we extend our warm appreciation and solidarity to the staff of The Workers' Advocate for helping us expose the prison brutality and class crimes committed against Texas prisoners by the fascist dictatorship of the prisoncrats. You should be soon receiving a statement of appreciation from me. Please let me know when you receive it.

Further, enclosed you will find a copy of an editorial that I prepared announcing the creation of Prisoners United for Revolutionary Education (PURE), and its newsletter organ, Arm the Spirit which is currently being circulated to the others of the prisoners' provisional central committee for approval. As Marxist-Leninists, we are fully and consciously aware of the inherent class hypocrisy and treachery of "reformism'' and "liberalism" and will approach these issues using Lenin's compass when he correctly concluded that,

"You exploiters and hypocrites talk about democracy, while at every step you erect thousands of barriers to prevent the oppressed masses from taking part in politics. We take you at your word and, in the interests of the masses, demand the extension of your bourgeois democracy in order to prepare the masses for revolution for the purpose of.....'' (p. 71, supra, -- emphasis Lenin's)

As soon as the final product is put together I will make sure that The Workers' Advocate gets a copy of it. In the meantime, you have the permission to publish the editorial in The Workers' Advocate along with this letter. Also, we ask the staff of The Workers' Advocate and the Central Committee of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA, for its assistance in helping us build our prisoners' revolutionary newspaper, Arm the Spirit. I am approaching these tasks enthusiastically and in the spirit of Bolshevikism in studying the success of the Bolsheviks' newspaper, Iskra (The Spark), which played a decisive role in the formation of the Marxist party, in the defeat of the "economists," in the unification of the dispersed Social-Democratic groups and in preparation for the Second Congress of the RSDLP leading up to the October 1917 victorious proletarian revolution in defeat of tsarism.

In the spirit of Leninism,

Chairman, PURE Editor, Arm the Spirit

Support Prisoners United for Revolutionary Education!

Build a prisoners' revolutionary newspaper!

Uphold the purity of Marxism-Leninism!

Editorial from 'Arm the Spirit'

Below we print an excerpt from the editorial mentioned in the letter. It is from the first issue of Arm the Spirit which is still being circulated among the provisional central committee of the prisoners' organization for approval. The full text of this editorial will be printed in The Workers' Advocate Supplement.

The provisional central committee publicly announces the creation of Prisoners United for Revolutionary Education (PURE), and its newsletter organ, Arm the Spirit, primarily intended to bring a revolutionary education and training of cadres to all prisoners, male and female, held captive in the infamous Texas Department of Corrections (TDC), and to bring militant unity to the sporadic prison movement in the ongoing struggle of prisoners for democratic and human rights. The current crimes and cobwebs of lies committed by prisoncrats to cover up their criminal institution and ways needs to be exposed in a true revolutionary manner. The capitalist media will not expose the full reality of these crimes because it represents the interests of political reaction and fascism. It is up to us to build our own prisoners' and workers' press to expose these enemies of true democracy. There is a shameful stranglehold on the minds and everyday lives of the prison masses by the forces of Amerikkkan dollarism, terror, its imperialism and fascism. We must break this yoke! As victims of this imperialist beast, we know that there is no "justice" and no future for us, and our loved ones, our class, in this country because it is "just us" that continue to be victimized by the system of Amerikkkan "democracy" and dollarism. And in further class perpetuation of these class crimes, we are daily being used as unwilling pawns and cannon fodder to enrich the personal lives and empires of the fascist state and its sons and daughters of privileged bloodsuckers who have never known want, and who live by the ruthless economic exploitation of the labor power of the poor. For us poor, it is not an Amerikkkan "dream" but an Amerikkkan nightmare, as Brother Malcolm X correctly put it....

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Boston students protest high school closings

In February, the Boston School Department announced plans to shut down a number of the city's high schools. This has given rise to a storm of protest among high school students. This is the first large wave of struggle in the Boston schools in many years.

Protests were launched right after the February announcement. And since then, the fight has continued to grow. In mid-April, over a thousand students from several high schools walked out en masse from their classes and marched on School Department headquarters downtown.

This latest struggle has brought white and black students together in common action. The students chanted in their recent march "All for one and one for all." This is a welcome development.

A decade ago, the fascist anti-busing movement was organized in Boston to split the masses and promote racist attacks on the black people. This movement suffered a setback, but at the same time the integration of the schools only went so far, because of the sabotage of the government. But the value of integration is seen in the unified struggle in the schools today.

Below we publish an article taken from Boston Worker, newspaper of the Boston Branch of the MLP,USA, April 14,1986.

Fight Boston School Closings

The plans for school closings announced last Friday by school superintendent Laval Wilson have brought forth an angry response from students, parents and teachers. 'This anger is more than justified. Wilson's plans are part of the government's Reaganite program of gutting public education for the the poor and working class youth.

What Effect Will the School Closings Have?

Wilson plans to close Madison Park High School to make way for Boston Tech exam school. This would deny many liberal arts courses to the Humphrey Occupational Resources Center students who now attend Madison Park for their non-technical courses.

Wilson plans to close Jamaica Plain High School and turn the building over to the exclusive Boston Latin Academy exam school. This would eliminate one of the best district high schools in the system, forcing the present students to attend poorer and more crowded classes in schools in other districts.

And finally Wilson plans to close the Umana Science and Technology School, the only non-exam science school (that is, school which doesn't require an entrance exam for admission) in the system. This will deny a science education to over 1,000 working class kids.

While education for the kids from better off families who have the educational background to get into the exam schools (nearly 60% of students in the Latin academies attended private elementary schools) is being improved, the education for the kids from the poorest sections of the working class is being devastated.

Wilson and the "educational experts" are telling people to be patient, that he is working out a grand plan to improve education for everyone. But this story has been told before.

The Capitalist Promises Aren't Worth a Dime

Five years ago, at the beginning of the current round of Reaganite budget cuts Wilson's predecessor Robert Spillane was brought in amid promises that he would improve education by emphasizing the basics.

But one of Spillane's first acts was to cut back on such basic ingredients to education as teachers. One-fifth of the teachers in the system were laid off. Class sizes were increased. In fact nothing was done to improve education for the working class kids. But at the same time Spillane introduced tougher standards for promotion from one grade to another and for graduation.

As a result of this scissors action students who have fallen behind are increasingly being driven to quit school. The dropout rate has increased at a rate of 200 students per year for the last five years so that now over 50 per cent of the students entering Boston high schools drop out before graduation. A black child entering the Boston Schools has only a 1 in 3 chance of graduating from high school. This is an outrage. Reaganomics is stripping a whole generation of education. And now Wilson is leading the charge in yet another round of cuts in public education.

Wilson -- a Black Bourgeois Manager for the Drive Against Workers and Minorities

Laval Wilson was hailed as the first black superintendent in Boston, but it is becoming clear that he is just a black bourgeois administrator for the capitalist offensive.

He was selected to carry out attacks for the rich on the mostly minority working class kids in Boston. Wilson is a Reaganite hatchet man hand picked by the wealthy bankers and financial wheeler dealers who really control the local government.

Wilson was picked not only to cut back on education for the working class kids in general but also to implement a racist resegregation of the public school system. Ever since the anti-busing movement collapsed, the government has been looking for ways to quietly take away what little integration occurred in the Boston schools during the 70's. Wilson is doing a bang up job of it.

For years the school committee has been trying to close Umana High School, the only integrated high school in East Boston. Now with a black superintendent they figure they can get away with it. Wilson also plans to eliminate bus service for high school and junior high students forcing them to take the MBTA. This will make it much more difficult to attend schools out of one's own district, thus forcing a major resegregation of the school system. The South Boston Information Center and Pixie Palladino (notorious racist anti-busers) are delighted with Wilson and for good reason.

Fight the Reaganite Offensive!

The cutbacks and school closings that Wilson is proposing are not isolated incidents. They are part of the whole Reaganite program of the rich of squeezing the working people to fatten capitalist profits and pay for the war buildup of the rich. They are also part of the Reaganite program of building up racism against the working class.

People should have no illusions that the school committee members who are posturing against Wilson will stop his cutbacks. These politicians knew full well what Wilson was brought here to do when they voted to hire him. Only militant mass struggle on the part of workers, students and teachers can beat back the racist anti working class plans of the rich to gut public education.

[Photo: Students protest school closings before Boston School Committee.]

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Contadora issues ultimatum against Nicaragua

This spring Nicaragua has been hit with an avalanche of threats. From the general mountain of lies generated by Reagan and Congress to the $100 million pending in aid to the contras, Nicaragua has faced an unending series of attacks. And where do the famous Contadora peacemakers stand in all of this, those saintly "opponents" of Reagan's bloodletting in Nicaragua? They are running with the imperialist pack. They are contributing their own blows in the Reaganites' campaign to isolate Nicaragua.

Contadora is a group of Latin American governments who are advocating a treaty between Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras which they claim will reconcile the interests of the U.S. (and the reactionary regimes which are U.S. allies), and those of Nicaragua. When they met this April 5-6, their role in the world became glaringly clear. They threw up their hands at Nicaragua's "intransigence" and imposed a deadline on her signing away her future to U.S. imperialism.

The Democrats Want to Put a Peace-Loving Face on Arming the Contras

The conclusion of this Contadora session was made-to-order for the Reaganites. Throughout the discussions on Reagan's $100 million proposal for aid to the contras, the Democrats in Congress have been clamoring for one last attempt at negotiations with Nicaragua. And the reason? As many of them admit, they are not too sure they can get Nicaragua to peacefully agree to give up everything the counterrevolutionary Somoza bands are fighting for, but if the negotiations fail, this could be used to justify the arming of the contras. It would allegedly prove to the world and the American people that peace-loving U.S. imperialism had bent over backwards to accommodate the Nicaraguans in talks, "given them a million chances," as Reagan puts it (confusing bullets with chances), but to no avail.

With negotiations, say the liberals, everything is fair and square. Nobody can say that the U.S. bullied the Nicaraguans because they were given the option of signing the peace treaty. If the Nicaraguans don't like the war, then they should agree to Contadora, i.e. shut down their defense apparatus, invite in the contras and hand the government over to pro-U.S. Capitalists.

Contadora Backs Up the Policy of Liberal Imperialism

The new Contadora proposal at the April meeting demanded new concessions from Nicaragua on top of the old concessions which have already been agreed to. It can be recalled that the Sandinista government, opportunist as always in its conduct of foreign policy, had agreed to an early capitulationist Contadora proposal of September 7, 1984, only to see Contadora withdraw it on the insistence of the U.S. State Department that the screws should be tightened yet further on Nicaragua. The Contadora group has gladly tightened the screws and demanded yet more from Nicaragua. And this time it added an ultimatum that the Sandinistas had better sign on the dotted line 6y such and such a date, or else.

Among other things, the Contadora group insisted that Nicaragua disarm itself in front of the CIA-organized contras while leaving the U.S.-backed contras free to continue their raids. This was too much even for the Sandinistas, who held to the position that they could not negotiate further until the U.S. stops aiding the contras. Nicaragua instead called for a resolution condemning U.S. aid to the contras. Since Contadora claims to be the alternative to "the military solution," one would think that such a resolution would be a matter of course.

But pretenses are one thing, and reality another. How could Contadora condemn the contras when its whole policy is based on using the contra threat to force Nicaragua to capitulate? The Contadora gathering thus refused to pass any statement against the contras. Instead it gave a platform for the U.S.-allied regimes in Central America to openly embrace Reagan's position that the contras are necessary to put pressure on Nicaragua. And a senior official of one of the nations sponsoring the talks said that the threat of the $100 million pending in the U.S. Congress should pressure the Nicaraguans to accept at least a provisional agreement.

Finally, at the close of the Contadora-organized meeting, Contadora groupings gave an ultimatum that Nicaragua, as the only dissenting country, must agree to the new provisions by April 15 and sign the treaty by June 6.

The Reaganites could hardly have asked for more from Contadora. Right on cue, the Contadora meeting pronounced Nicaragua "intransigent" in time for the House vote on contra aid (then scheduled for April 15). And now the stage is set to declare them intransigent on the entire peace treaty on June 6, thus giving a green light to whatever new incursions the Reagan administration decides to make into Nicaragua.

Clearly, those who oppose the U.S. aggression against Nicaragua cannot place their support in the Contadora process, which is not even based on rejection of the contras, but instead is based on using the contra threat to force the Sandinistas to negotiate away the revolution.

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Yesterday's contra against Guatemala on today's war against Nicaragua

Contrary to the claims of the Reaganites, their assault on Nicaragua with the contras has nothing to do with defending "democracy" or "human rights." Just the opposite is true. Reagan is intervening against the Nicaraguan revolution on behalf of the U.S. corporations in Central America whose profits hinge on keeping the region's workforce in chains. The Reaganites are hell-bent on preventing the Central American masses from tasting even the smallest fruits of freedom. Throughout this century, from one president to another, from Republican to Democrat and back, no holds have been barred in White House and Pentagon efforts to foist police-state tyrants, like ex-Nicaraguan ruler Somoza, onto the Latin peoples.

In this light it should come as no surprise that Reagan's contra "brothers" are not the first mercenary assassins to serve the U.S. in Central America, but are merely the latest crop of CIA clones. Philip C. Roettinger is a retired CIA case officer and Marine Corps colonel. In a special article for the Los Angeles Times (reprinted in the Seattle Times, March 26, 1986) he repented of his past crimes as a contra for former President Eisenhower. It seems Eisenhower too, the man who pontificated about his serious concern about the "military-industrial complex" in the U.S., also experienced the joys of contra brotherhood like Reagan. He, too, stationed a band of right-wing cutthroats in Honduras to do Wall Street's bidding in Central America.

The CIA Overthrew the Reformist Guatemalan Government from Bases in Honduras

In 1954 Eisenhower's contras violently overthrew the elected reformist government of Guatemala, headed by Jacobo Arbenz. Arbenz did not come to power in a revolution, nor did he make any pretense of militance against either the U.S. or the Guatemalan bourgeoisie. Yet, just as with Reagan's dirty war against Nicaragua, Eisenhower's coup against Arbenz was carried out amidst a shrill storm of anti-communist hysteria and under the guise of "opposing" repression, aggression, terrorism, etc.

Roettinger's first-hand account shows how, in the name of "defending democracy," Eisenhower's contras actually defended the profits of the United Fruit Company (now called United Brands). Toppling the popular (if mild) reformist Arbenz, they installed Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas who ushered in three decades of unspeakable atrocities against the Guatemalan people at the hands of pro-U.S. military regimes.

Roettinger recounts: "The scene is Honduras. But the year is 1954, and the president is Dwight D. Eisenhower. The rebels are Guatemalan, not Nicaraguan.

"As a CIA case officer, I trained Guatemalan exiles in Honduras to invade their own country and unseat the elected president, Jacobo Arbenz. Our liaison officer with the Honduran military was Nestor Sanchez, now an assistant secretary of defense and a key policymaker in the current war against Nicaragua."

United Fruit Takes Out the Contract, and the CIA Performs the Hit

"...Fulfilling his campaign pledge to transform Guatemala into a 'modem capitalist state' [how meek can you get?] President Arbenz took over some unused land belonging to the United Fruit Company. That angered the Boston-based company, which considered its rights to Guatemala superior to those of Guatemalans.

"So it asked the CIA to overthrow Arbenz, and we complied, trumping up the same charge of spreading subversion that the president now levels at Nicaragua...."

The CIA Paved the Way for Decades of Bloody Military Rule

"When I authorized Castillo Armas, then in a Tegucigalpa [capital of Honduras] 'safehouse,' to return to Guatemala and assume the presidency that we had prepared for him, I had no idea of the consequences of the CIA's meddling. Our success in Guatemala led to 31 years of repressive military rule and the deaths of more than 100,000 Guatemalans. Some of the exiles I trained are said to be among the perpetrators.

"Furthermore, the overthrow of the Arbenz government destroyed vital social and economic reforms, including land distribution, mandatory universal social security and trade union rights.

"Support for the Nicaraguan contras portends the same bloodshed...."

"The coup I helped engineer in 1954 inaugurated an era of unprecedented military rule in Central America. Generals and colonels acted with impunity to wipe out dissent and garner wealth for themselves and for their cronies...."

It should be noted that, despite Roettinger's testimony about the crimes of the CIA, Roettinger is no supporter of revolution in Central America. Instead he believes that it is U.S. policy that is the "greatest threat to stability in Central America" since it doesn't make enough use of the Contadora group. He thinks that the method of crude force can backfire since, from his conversations with Nicaraguans "from all walks of life," he believes that "contra attacks and atrocities have only stiffened their [Nicaraguan] resolve to prevail over what they regard as foreign intervention." He does not mention that the Contadora negotiations are simply a way of forcing Nicaragua to capitulate to what the contras are trying to achieve by armed might.

Thus it is also not surprising that he fails to note an essential difference between Guatemala in 1954 and Nicaragua today. It took a mere push to topple Arbenz. Despite his popular support, Arbenz fled in fear rather than wage a struggle. But in Nicaragua there was a revolution, and despite the opportunist policy of Sandinism, this revolution is not yet exhausted. That is why after years of warfare and hundreds of millions of dollars in CIA backing, it is the contras who are in trouble. This shows that it is revolution that can fight U.S. imperialism.

Nevertheless, despite Roettinger's failure to break with anything but the most iron-fisted methods of imperialism, his story, the admissions of a bona fide contra under Eisenhower, are useful for exposing U.S. imperialism's sordid activities as self-appointed emperor of Central America. The story about the CIA role in toppling Arbenz has long been public knowledge. But Roettinger's first-hand retelling of it at this time helps takes the wind out of the Reaganites' sails in their self-righteous defamation campaign against Nicaragua.

Clearly it is the U.S. government, and not Nicaragua, who has long been the terrorist, the aggressor, and the advocate of "totalitarian rule" in Central America.

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Strengthen the defense of the revolution!

Economic rights, democratic rights, political rights, only for the people!

[Prensa Proletaria masthead.]

(The following article is reprinted from Prensa Proletaria, central organ of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua, No. 19, February 1986. Translation by The Workers' Advocate staff.)

The Nicaraguan people, in particular the working class of our country, find themselves subjected to a series of extraordinary forces that have to do with our own revolutionary process, as well as with the class struggle at the international level.

From the outside, the forces of the counterrevolutionary army organized by U.S. imperialism are attempting to establish a wedge of penetration that would facilitate the declaration of a "provisional government." With this they would develop a whole cynical political machinery at the international level, and would intensify the bloodbath that imperialism is seeking to provoke in order to wipe out in one blow the possibilities of deepening the revolution. U.S. imperialism is also preparing new injections of dollars to maintain its tactics of pressure and blows against the Nicaraguan people. The Reagan administration does not discount the possibility of negotiations with the Nicaraguan government, although it is working to attain better positions of strength for itself.

In this work, a delegation from the Socialist International, the ex-president Jimmy Carter, the Spanish chancellor, and dozens of Latin American social- democratic and revisionist parties have come to Nicaragua over a record short time this year.

The principal point of these pro-imperialist agents: dialogue with the armed counterrevolution to open a process of reversing the revolutionary victories achieved by the people in the overthrow of the Somocista dictatorship and guarantees against the transforming advance of the workers and peasants in Nicaragua.

At the internal level, the effects of the aggression, the war, the blockade, are added to the [economic] crisis typical of the dependent capitalist regimes. The government has been going back on the progressive measures that the people demanded and achieved in the first stages of the revolutionary triumph, and it has put aside a good part of the official populism.

The reactionary political forces, through the various political parties of the right or servile to the right, plot maneuvers to conceal, if possible with "revolutionary" language, the cake of reconciliation with the counterrevolutionary forces. They want to turn themselves into the cooks of a great counterrevolutionary social pact, which, at the internal level, would weaken the Nicaraguan people's capacity for anti-imperialist resistance and eliminate the force of the social and political revolution in Nicaragua.

In practice, this social harmonizing already has been advancing to the rhythm of Sandinism's concessions to big internal capital as well as in the anti-popular measures already implemented at the political level. The constitutional definition that is achieved in practice on the shoulders of the workers and the people has already established beforehand that in Nicaragua the working class, we Nicaraguan workers and peasants, must accept as the highest order respect for private property, the bourgeois order of the state authority, the class alliance between the bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie molded in "national unity" and political pluralism. This constitutional definition, which has been made in reality, is to achieve a political and programmatic definition of Sandinism as part of the class forces in power. By these same characteristics, this does not represent, nor will it represent, the political will of the working class.

For the working class, the defense of its interests in the middle of this whole complex situation, means:

To denounce the social agreement which is being plotted in the back rooms by the anti-people and anti-worker politicians.

To fight to fully exercise the right to the social revolution, won with arms in hand. These arms must be aimed not only against the invader and imperialist aggressor, but also against the pro-imperialist forces, accomplices of the aggression and enemies of the revolutionary advance.

To not allow restrictions to keep being placed on the full exercise of democracy among the people, in order to give expression and organization to the revolutionary forces of the working class and the socialist revolution.

To demand that the big producers assume, in the full sense of the word, the costs of the aggression and the counterrevolutionary political pressures. No more burdens and sacrifices for the working class and people while a handful of privileged, in the middle of crisis and war, in the middle of the masses' suffering, keep on enjoying the good life as if nothing was happening.

Political, economic, and democratic rights only for the revolutionary forces, only for the people, against the imperialist aggression, the social pact and the paralysis of the revolutionary advances. To strengthen the defense of the revolution in this sense is the only way for the real and definitive emancipation of the working class and the rest of the toilers.

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Carter welcomed in Nicaragua

Opportunism in foreign relations

(The following article is reprinted from Prensa Proletaria, central organ of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (MAP-ML), No. 19, February 1986. Translation by The Workers' Advocate staff.)

The ex-president of the United States of America, Jimmy Carter, on an official visit to Nicaragua, was received with all honors, including the awarding of an Honorary Doctorate by one of the country's universities.

During his term, Carter participated in the internal affairs of Nicaragua and worked to assure the interests of U.S. imperialism in our country and the region. [The Carter regime stood behind the hated Somoza dictatorship to the end. But as the revolution of the workers and peasants was sealing Somoza's fate, Carter dispatched his diplomats to preside over the negotiations between the Sandinistas and the big bourgeoisie for the formation of the new government. Later, Alfonso Robelo, Violeta Chamorro and the other representatives of the big exploiters quit the new government, as U.S. imperialism and the bourgeoisie concluded that they could fight the revolution better with these representatives either in the ranks of the CIA's contras or the internal bourgeois opposition.] Carter was rewarded -- by the Nicaraguan authorities themselves -- for having done his duty as a hireling of the big U.S. monopolies.

It was precisely Carter who prepared the ground for the tactics of pressure and force that the Reagan administration has been using against the Nicaraguan people. It was under his administration that the rapid deployment troops were definitively formed in Florida and the battalions of U.S. soldiers of Hispanic origin and language were prepared for the invasion of Central American territory. It was under his administration that the logistics were defined and undertaken of countless American maneuvers with all branches of its armed forces.

Carter, on leaving the country, declared that he was going away "disenchanted" with the revolution but hoping that it would return to its "original causes." Disenchanted, because he could feel the stand of anti-imperialism and struggle that the Nicaraguan people uphold, despite the intrigue of the internal reactionary forces and the multiple mistakes and anti-people measures of the Sandinista government. Disenchanted because the people and toilers are demanding to fully exercise their right to defend our self-determination, and are pressing against the fetters and obstacles opposing this. Disenchanted because the internal right wing has had to hide in the skirts of the ecclesiastical robes to exorcise in God's name the danger of the deepening of the revolution. [The top hierarchy of the Catholic church forms a headquarters of the U.S.-backed political forces of capitalist reaction inside Nicaragua.]

The level of welcome for the ex-president of the United States -- who continues to work for the monopolies -- is a grave mistake of the Sandinista government. It demonstrates once again that opportunism in Nicaragua's foreign relations is the principal theme in that branch of government. It leaves an open field for brazen meddling by reactionary forces in the country's internal affairs, affairs which only concern the Nicaraguan people.

This tendency of opportunism in foreign relations must be fought and questioned by the Nicaraguan people facing the Sandinista government. Genuine international solidarity can only spring from the peoples and from the bosom of the working class and other toilers. Kissing the hand of one who once held the lash on our shoulders will not be a pleasant recollection in the people's memory.

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Sandino and the united front with the bourgeoisie

(Excerpts from the article carried in Prensa Proletaria, Central Organ of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua, No. 19, February 1986. Translation by The Workers' Advocate.)

The historic epoch of General A.C. Sandino's struggle against the Yankee occupation troops was accompanied, necessarily, by the historic limitations within which the struggle of Sandino against U.S. intervention had to be expressed and to function.

Nevertheless, in the political, ideological and especially tactical realms, Sandino could not be isolated from the class struggle on the world scale. It is to such an extent that his biographer, Gustavo Aleman, printed the telegram of congratulations sent by Mahatma Gandhi to Sandino when he decided in February 1933 to sign the peace with the government of Nicaragua guaranteed by Washington. The leader of "non-violence" rejoiced at the change in tactics of the Nicaraguan guerrilla leader.

Sandino's change in tactics arose fundamentally from the vision that led him to trust in the anti-imperialist spirit of a supposed patriotic bourgeoisie, "capable" of confronting U.S. imperialism alongside the people. Sandino's plan regarding this hypothetical national bourgeoisie comes more from the political side. It was a question of making this national bourgeoisie function in practice, in the objective economic relations, as a genuinely "Nicaraguan" reply, or from another angle -- "Latin American" or "Indo-Hispanic" reply, as Sandino also said -- to the monopolist penetration of U.S. capitalism. In Sandino's words:

"We also think that if economic resources were necessary for the present administration, that a loan might be obtained from the Nicaraguan capitalists, so that in Nicaragua there would not be any more robbers than our own." Sandinista nationalism is here raised to its highest expression, counterposing Nicaraguan capitalist robbers to foreign capitalist robbers. That is to say, to nationalize the plunder by the capitalists against the toilers. The struggle then would be not against the exploitation by capital, but against the exploitation by foreign capital.

This position of Sandino, expressed in the public manifesto cited, right after the peace agreement of February with President Sacasa, was taken one year before his assassination....

...Sandino reinterpreted united front tactics for Nicaragua as the amalgamating of supposedly anti-interventionist and nationalist forces. But in his interpretation Sandino set aside one fundamental aspect indicated by the Communist International concerning united front tactics in spite of the opportunist currents of the left and right: the vanguard role of the working class in the united front and the subordination of these tactics to the interests of the proletarian revolution. Sandino declared in the letter to the Mexican communists: "Within the plan of the anti-imperialist struggle in the form of the united front, we have seen that it touches all the classes to struggle for the defense of some interests that are in conflict with those of imperialism and in the form of the united front we have carried on our struggle up to today" (...)

The defense of the interests of the local bourgeoisie Sandino considered as contradictory with those of the imperialist bourgeoisie, when in fact, the defense of the interests of this local bourgeoisie... necessarily signifies defense of the interests^ of the imperialist bourgeoisie, which has already amalgamated organically the essence of its own manifestations.

Nevertheless, Sandino's intuition is sufficiently nourished by his own practice and experience, inasmuch as he immediately argues the negation of the united front tactics thus conceived in his rightist version:

"(...) but unfortunately, the greater part of the social ^classes of which our America is composed, -- with the exception of the laboring class -- has shunned the struggle and has denied to us even the right that we have to defend ourselves."

There is a rapid, but timid, negation of the validity of his own conception of united front tactics and a rescuing of the combativeness of the toilers, whom Sandino here calls the ''laboring class," certainly including the workers and peasants.

Then, the conceptual and programmatic acceptance of the tactics of the united front with the "patriotic," "anti-imperialist" bourgeoisie, collides with the reality experienced concretely by Sandino, of a subordinated, dependent, submissive bourgeoisie, that even denies the right to defense of self-determination of a people who are resisting the imperialist offensive of the epoch.

However, Sandino develops his conception of the united front with the national robbers and attempts to implement it. It is not investigated what point this tactical conclusion of Sandino furnished the political elements for the process of negotiation with the Sacasa government, which made possible the betrayal by the liberal Sacasista bourgeoisie, which in fact conspired the assassination of the guerrilla hero Sandino, as well as in the rise of the Somocista dictatorship....

Be that as it may, the fact is that Sandino and his forces felt obligated to negotiate with the "national" bourgeoisie that supposedly represented the Sacasa group. This was a result of the political pressure of the rightist currents in the anti-imperialist movement. It was a product of the political effect which the departure of the U.S. troops from the national territory had on the military struggle. And it was a result as well of his own nationalist and tactical conceptions.

Within the Sacasa group, which presented itself as a bourgeois democratic force, the force of budding fascism in Nicaragua was concealed: Anastasio Somoza Garcia, who arose from the lower ranks of the bourgeois soldiers, just like Hitler. The assassin in the pay of U.S. imperialism. The "bourgeois democratic" currents continue to fascinate the petty bourgeoisie and the revisionist worshipers of rightist versions of the anti-imperialist and antifascist united front. But in our epoch, bourgeois democracy and its political versions are pants which are much too cheap to hide the boots of fascism that seek to crush the proletariat.

Negotiation with these forces that leads to the formation of a "united front" where the working class must serve as office boy of the bourgeoisie, by the law of history, leads to profound defeats for the working class and makes the struggle against moribund capital more difficult. The unity of the working class and its revolutionary alliance with the most exploited and oppressed sectors of the people is the sole guarantee of the revolutionary struggle for proletarian socialism and against fascism and imperialism.

In Nicaragua today, the anti-imperialist struggle cannot be carried out if it does not assume, necessarily, the anti-bourgeois and anti-capitalist character that, the proletariat must imprint on it. In this sense, the historical limitation of Sandinism as a nationalist trend and its rightist vision of united front tactics must be surmounted by the working class and other toilers. Also in this the international proletariat and especially the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement will have to play a fundamental role.

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The World in Struggle


Strike wave in Argentina reaches Tierra del Fuego

Since the last general strike in January, a wave of smaller strikes has rolled over Argentina. These strikes are aimed at President Raul Alfonsin's Plan Austral, the "anti-inflation" austerity plan that has been forcing down workers' wages and driving up unemployment.

The city workers in Mar del Plata, Argentina's main seaside resort, went on strike in March. In the same month, bus drivers in Cordoba, a major industrial city in central Argentina, persisted in a strike until they were granted an 8% wage increase. This settlement was significant in that it broke through the wage controls of the Plan Austral; according to this, pay increases are supposed to be limited to 5% this year.

A major strike movement has been developing in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina's southernmost territory, which was practically uninhabited a decade ago. In the last few years capitalists attracted by government incentives have set up many factories there, and the area has become a haven for fly-by-night electronics firms producing color TVs, audio equipment, calculators, etc. The capitalist employers here have been freed of even the minimum labor regulations found elsewhere in the country; the result has been particularly atrocious working conditions for the workers lured into working in this region.

Now, however, the workers are getting organized. In mid-March 1,500 workers at an electronics plant in Ushuaia, the territory's capital, went on strike. This strike was the talk of the town in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, as workers throughout the country became aware of a new active section of the class.

Also in March 5,000 metal workers in Tierra del Fuego staged a one-week strike demanding better working conditions. This strike was particularly militant and 1,000 of the strikers were fired for their strike activities.

The continuing strikes in Argentina show that the workers reject the capitalist offensive embodied in Alfonsin's Plan Austral. The Alfonsin government is a liberal regime, prone to making tons of empty promises to the people. But the reality of liberal rule is otherwise -- it is a never-ending drive to force the Argentine workers to "tighten their belts." But the workers cannot fill their stomachs with empty promises.

Brazilian workers face the treachery of the reformist leaders

Since the launching of President Jose Sarney's "anti-inflation" program on March 1, Brazilian workers have taken up struggle against the program in a number of local strikes. But a class-wide struggle in defense of the, workers' livelihood has been sabotaged by the labor bureaucrats who head up the Brazilian trade unions.

In April, transit workers in Sao Paulo went out on strike. In March 70,000 bank employees in Rio de Janeiro launched a strike for higher pay. They were incensed because they had been earlier promised a wage increase of 105% in March, but after the announcement of Sarney's program this was cancelled. Also in March, dock workers in Rio de Janeiro carried out a four-day strike which was settled with a wage increase of 114%. Workers also won a 10-day increase in paid holidays for workers traveling abroad.

These wage hikes may appear to look high, but in fact they do not allow the workers to keep pace with Brazil's skyrocketing inflation. In January alone the inflation rate was a record 16%, amounting to an annual rate of 238%!

Sarney's Program Is a Bitter Pill for the Workers

In fact, the Brazilian workers are being ruined by high inflation. To combat the effects of inflation, Brazilian workers have for years demanded quarterly instead of half-yearly wage increases. And the workers' sentiment had finally forced the leaders of Brazil's major unions to call for a general strike for sometime in March to back up this demand. But after Samey announced his new program on the first of March, they called off any plans for a general strike.

This was despite the fact that Sarney's program not only refuses quarterly wage raises, but it also cancels half-yearly wage raises and only allows for annual wage adjustments. The only exception to this is if inflation reaches 20% in a month, in which case there will be a monthly adjustment. This is unlikely to happen, since January's inflation rate of 16% was the highest in Brazil's history. Thus, inflation could run at a rate of up to 19.9% per month for a year, with workers receiving no adjustment at all in their wages.

Sarney tried to provide some "sweeteners" to make the workers swallow his new program. He granted an immediate increase in the minimum wage of 33%, and an immediate increase of 15% for other workers. He also announced that workers laid off for more than a month would receive some unemployment benefits for the first time in Brazil's history. He has also made a lot of demagogic announcements about prosecuting shopkeepers who raise prices during the period of price freezes. But all of these measures are widely recognized merely as "sweeteners" to make workers swallow the bitter pill of no wage raises, "sweeteners" which do not meet the needs of the workers.

Empty Demagogy of Social-Democrats

The workers are angry at Sarney's program. A number of social-democratic politicians in the opposition have struck a stance of opposition, but it amounts to no more than posturing. All they offer the workers is empty talk, at a time when what the workers need is to mobilize for struggle.

Luis Inacio da Silva ("Lula"), leader of the "left" social-democratic Workers' Party, and the trade union center CUT (Central Union of Workers), criticized Sarney's program, saying that the government will not be able to control prices while wages are frozen, and the effect of this will be a 12% annual pay cut for workers. But he refused to call for struggle against the program.

Leonel Brizola, the governor of Rio de Janeiro province and the leader of the social-democratic Democratic Labor Party, also criticized Sarney's program. This was no surprise, since Brizola hopes to replace Sarney as the country's president. But Brizola did not call for struggle. He merely denounced Sarney for imposing the program by decree rather than by getting the approval of congress. He also said that, as governor of Rio, he would try to get the wages of Rio's workers unfrozen. Only Rio's, mind you! But even Brizola's concern for Rio's workers is a farce. Only in January he had sent police and soldiers to smash the picket lines of striking truck drivers around Rio.

It is not theatrics, such as Lula's and Brizola's, that can defend the workers' livelihood. No, it is the actions of the working class. Despite the treachery of the labor bureaucrats, the workers with their strikes are showing that they can fight even under the conditions of Sarney's anti-inflation program. But in order to defeat the capitalist offensive, the workers will have to open the way for class-wide struggle. For this they will have to overcome, the reformist treachery of the social-democrats and the trade union bureaucrats.

In Paraguay, stirrings against tyranny

The winds of change are blowing so hard these days they are reaching even the fascist fortress of Paraguay. Inspired by the fall of quite a few dictatorial regimes around the world, the masses in this small country in South America are stirring against the dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner who has held power since 1954.

The first spark of revolt in recent times was a demonstration of street vendors in January. As Paraguay's economy has slid downhill, there has been a sharp increase in the number of street vendors, as former workers now try to survive by selling goods on sidewalks. The police tried to clear the sidewalks around Paraguay's capitol, but the street vendors held a demonstration and regained the right to use the sidewalks.

Recently two opposition parties held political rallies calling for elections. One of these rallies was attended by 5,000 people, the largest opposition rally to date in Stroessner's Paraguay. It was attacked by riot police who used tear gas on the demonstrators.

Fierce Dictatorship Gripped by Economic Crisis

Under Stroessner, opposition political activity has been banned for decades. Stroessner's fascist dictatorship suppressed the communist and workers' movement in Paraguay and carried out genocide against the native Indian population. And under Stroessner Paraguay became known as a haven for old Nazis like Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous death camp experimentalist.

The ferment for change in Paraguay is being fed by the country's acute industrial malaise.

During the 1970's there was a small spurt in industrial activity during the construction of the Itaipu hydroelectric complex on the Parana River, a huge undertaking carried out in cooperation with Brazil. Paraguay secured foreign loans for the project in the expectation that increased electric power would allow for industrial expansion in the future. But much of the project's financing was eaten up by Stroessner's corrupt oligarchy, and since the end of the project there has been an economic collapse. Smuggling by government bureaucrats has been revived as one of Paraguay's major "industries." While Stroessner's cronies continue to enrich themselves, the working class has been hit by massive unemployment, which is giving rise to restiveness among the workers.

Opposition bourgeois politicians are trying to capitalize on this situation by launching campaigns to replace Stroessner. The parties that recently held rallies are capitalist parties that promote themselves as a "third force" between Stroessner's dictatorship and the danger of revolution. They hope to ride the back of popular discontent; hoping to secure backing from U.S. imperialism, they aim to propel themselves into power like Corazon Aquino in the Philippines.

These are not forces that will mount a fight against Stroessner's dictatorship. For that we must look to the emerging ferment among the working people. The stirrings in Paraguay are welcome news indeed.

Labor bureaucrats sit on Mexican workers' movement

Mexico is in the midst of a severe economic crisis. On top of the crisis of its huge foreign debt, the collapse of the world oil market has added to the country's woes. The Mexican capitalist rulers are pushing the workers to the wall to make up for the losses in oil revenues. Unemployment is spreading, wages are falling, while at the same time prices climb higher and higher. All of this means a crushing burden on the backs of the Mexican workers and peasants.

Despite this increased misery there is yet to be any large-scale, sustained movement among the Mexican workers. Why is this?

The largest part of the blame for this can be placed squarely on the shoulders of the leaders of the CTM (Confederation of Workers of Mexico), the main trade union center in the country. The CTM has five million members and extensive resources to launch mass struggle against the capitalist offensive. But the CTM bureaucracy is among the strongest supporters of the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), the bourgeois party that has ruled Mexico for the last half-century.

Recently the CTM held its own fiftieth anniversary celebration. This was not a workers' celebration but a conclave of labor traitors in Mexico City. The meeting was full of self-congratulatory speeches by the labor bureaucrats boasting about their achievements. The main address, by the notorious labor traitor, 86-year-old leader of the CTM, Fidel Velazquez, focused merely on calling for a moratorium on Mexico's debt payments to foreign banks. But his speech expressed no opposition to the PRI or Mexican capitalism, and there was no call-for struggle in any of the speeches.

Workers Take Up the Fight

Despite the stand of the CTM bureaucrats, workers in various industries, especially auto, are taking up struggle. In January all of the Renault auto factories were shut down as workers protested against the layoff of 542 workers at an assembly plant. Then in February, auto workers shut down DINA, the government-owned truck manufacturer, in a pay dispute.

CTM leaders took these disputes to the government arbitration board, but on February 26 this board ruled that these strikes were both "nonexistent" (illegal) and so must end. The CTM bureaucrats did nothing to protest this ruling of the PRI bureaucrats.

The recent teachers' strike in Oaxaca state shows to what lengths of strikebreaking the union bureaucrats will go. While the teachers were in Mexico City demonstrating, the labor traitors of the SNTE teachers' union called off the strike and reopened schools using their goons as scab "teachers." When the teachers returned from Mexico City they found some schools occupied by thugs armed with clubs, knives and guns. With the support of parents (and in opposition to local authorities) the teachers managed to drive out the goons from the schools.

Another important struggle is looming before Mexican workers. Recently Sidermix, the state corporation which produces 60% of Mexico's steel, announced a rationalization scheme that will include the firing of 1,000 workers. The fight to save these jobs could play an important role in mobilizing industrial workers into the fight against the PRI's austerity policies. So far however the CTM leaders have not uttered a peep against the rationalization plan.

For the Mexican workers to carry on a determined struggle against capitalist austerity it will require a stern struggle also against the CTM leaders who are sitting on the workers' movement like a ton of lard.

Haiti: the struggle continues

The struggle of the toilers of Haiti marches forward. In February they brought down the tyranny of Baby Doc Duvalier. And ever since, the masses are clashing more and more with the regime that was rigged up to block the revolutionary movement.

Under the pressure of the masses, the regime of General Henri Namphy has been forced to reshuffle his government, dropping some of the most hated Duvalierist leftovers. But the people have not been impressed, and cries are being raised that Namphy's regime must go too.

Namphy's Troops Fire On Protesters

On Saturday, April 26, eight people were killed and dozens wounded when troops fired on a crowd of 10,000 Haitians who had marched through Port-au-Prince after a memorial for victims of the Duvalier dictatorship.

Two thousand people had gathered for a memorial in the morning for those who had fallen at the hands of the Duvalier regime. They then marched toward Fort Dimanche. This is a police post that had been a political prison under the Duvaliers, where as many as 50,000 people were murdered during the 30-year long tyranny.

During the march, thousands more joined in. As the people approached the fort, soldiers lobbed tear gas and then opened fire as marchers arrived at the gate in the barbed wire fence.

As we go to press, the situation in the capital remains tense. The latest clash is one more sign of the military-led regime's attempts to crush the mass ferment.

Namphy's Regime In Crisis

Meanwhile, only a few weeks ago, the country saw renewed demonstrations against the Duvalierist stench coming from the new regime. The masses demanded the ouster of the most hated Duvalierists within the ruling regime, as well as protested against the government allowing some of the worst criminals to escape to other countries.

These demonstrations became especially militant after an incident in Port-de-Paix in which a Tonton Macoute poisoned a drinking well and killed 29 people. On March 19 the masses clashed with police and army units in Port-au-Prince; soldiers opened fire on a crowd of demonstrators and killed two. Immediately the masses threw up roadblocks all over Port-au-Prince, sealing off the shantytowns where the impoverished masses live. Transit workers went on strike, and for the next two days there was gunfire throughout the capital as crowds attacked the homes of some of the top Duvalierists -- former heads of the secret police, leaders of the Tonton Macoutes, cabinet ministers, etc.

These demonstrations created a crisis in the junta headed by Namphy. On March 20 Gerard Gourgue, the token liberal member of the junta not directly associated with Duvalier, resigned. The news of this increased the militant character of the demonstrations in the capital, and Namphy then finally moved to rid himself of the arch-Duvalierists in the junta.

He forced out the three members of the junta most directly connected with Duvalier: Alex Cineas, a rich financier; Colonel Avril, Duvalier's closest financial counselor and one of Duvalier's main military leaders; and another military leader named Valles, commander of Duvalier's presidential guard. Namphy then formed a new junta consisting of himself, Colonel William Regala, a military leader close to Namphy, and Jacques Francois, who served as foreign minister in the junta's cabinet. But the new junta continues to be a very conservative regime.

In order to clean up its image before the angry masses, the new junta is trying to posture as anti-Duvalierist. It has announced it will "try" to extradite some of the Duvalierist thugs it previously allowed to escape (though no one expects this to happen) and that Haitians can bring charges against Duvalierist thugs still in Haiti.

But instead of being pacified, the masses upped the ante. On March 24 thousands demonstrated, chanting "Down with Namphy." This was the first time that open demands were raised for the ouster of the Namphy regime as a whole. A major chant being raised in Haiti these days is "Bum palais-la, bum palais-la!" which is Creole for "Turn over the palace, turn over the palace!"

The Haitian activists want an end to military rule altogether. They want a provisional civilian government, although they are still unclear about what sort of regime this should be. Meanwhile, the Haitian liberals are displaying their treacherous character -- the politicians like Gerard Gourgue are adamant that the military must stay in power for the present.

Strikes Grow

In the meantime, with the fall of the tyranny, the workers have been increasingly coming out in strikes to improve their conditions.

In March, for example, workers at the National Credit Bank went on strike to back up their demand that the Duvalierist board of directors of the bank should resign. Other workers in state enterprises have staged economic strikes.

An interesting fact that has been revealed about the management of these enterprises is that Duvalier had a regular system of collecting a large portion of the income from these enterprises and depositing it in his personal bank accounts. These moneys were never reported in the official government budget. Now that Duvalier is gone, a debate has broken out about how this money will be used.

U.S. Supplies Namphy With Shotguns, Tear Gas and Clubs

When Duvalier fell, the Reagan administration tried to take credit for the end of the dictatorship. This was an outrage, considering that Washington had for so many years been a staunch backer of the Duvaliers. But in fact, the U.S. role was to help spirit Baby Doc (and his loot) out of the clutches of the Haitian people and to rig up the Namphy junta.

And now there is additional confirmation of what Washington's real concerns were with the fail of Duvalier. The first aid shipment to be flown in by the U.S. government to Haiti, within a month of Duvalier's departure, was $384,000 worth of riot gear, including 150 shotguns with 10,000 rounds of birdshot and 5,000 tear gas canisters. And the Haitian youths have also charged that the hard rubber truncheons used by Namphy's troops against demonstrators have been supplied by the U.S.

By spiriting Duvalier off to France and rigging up the Namphy junta, the imperialists and Haitian bourgeoisie had hoped that the country would be quieted and things could return to exploitation as usual. And Washington also made sure, for good measure, that the regime would have the proper weapons in its hands to control the masses.

But the toilers of Haiti have other dreams and hopes -- and they have learned to wield the weapon of mass struggle. Let their struggle march onward!

[Photo: Working people demonstrate in Port-au-Prince against new regime of Henri Namphy, March 24.]

Dominican social-democrats bemoan loss of Haitian slave labor

An interesting sidelight to the fall of Duvalier in Haiti is the crisis it engendered in neighboring Dominican Republic.

The Duvalier dictatorship had a longstanding agreement with the Dominican government to deliver thousands of Haitian laborers every year to harvest sugar. For this the Dominican government paid Duvalier a straight cash bribe.

The laborers, of course, saw none of this money; they were delivered in trucks guarded by the Tonton Macoutes, housed in barracks and worked like slaves while surrounded by armed guards. Their conditions of work were similar to that of migrant farm laborers in the U.S. -- only ten times worse. In fact, they were so bad that they amounted to an international scandal, condemned even by the flabby International Labor Organization (ILO) which is not exactly known as a radical organization.

The fall of Duvalier this year brought a halt to this contract labor system. Haitian workers refused to slave on Dominican sugar plantations when they were no longer forced to go at the Tonton Macoutes' gunpoint.

This threw the Dominican government into crisis, as sugar is the major industry in the Dominican Republic. The social-democratic president of the Dominican Republic, Jorge Blanco, declared a' state of emergency and called on the military and civilian state employees to provide labor for the sugar harvest. Jorge Blanco said he would lead the way and do some sugar harvesting himself. Soldiers and state workers were not interested, however, in propping up the sugar capitalists' profits, and they refused.

Jorge Blanco then came up with another "brilliant" plan: to round up all the Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic and force them into the sugar fields. But protests against this outrageous plan forced him to abandon it. As a result, at last report, Jorge Blanco was still desperately looking for slave labor to bring from abroad for the sugar harvest.

In the meantime Blanco launched an international protest against the breaking of his slave labor contract with Duvalier. He demanded that the new government of Haiti refund the $2 million bribe the Dominican government paid to Duvalier.

The Haitian regime, however, could hardly afford to repay this money, since Duvalier took almost every cent in the Haitian treasury when he went off to the French Riviera. And Duvalierists still in the Haitian government, such as the ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Herve Denis, denied that they knew anything about the arrangements to provide contract labor. But press exposures revealed that Denis had for years been wined and dined by the Dominican sugar capitalists.

Jorge Blanco threatened to cut off relations with Haiti unless the bribe money was repaid. With the pressure building, Ambassador Denis suddenly fled to Florida, and General Namphy, the head of the Haitian junta, agreed to pay back the $2 million. While it is still unknown where the Haitian government will get the money to repay Duvalier's slave labor debts, you can bet that sooner or later it will come out of the pockets of the Haitian people.

Jorge Blanco's social-democratic Dominican Revolutionary Party is a prominent member of the Socialist International. Here we have yet another brilliant example of how social-democracy tramples on immigrant workers while preening itself as champion of the working people.

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A new wave of struggle on campus

In March and April, anti-apartheid actions spread once again on college campuses across the country. The main demand was for divestment of university funds in business connected with racist South Africa.

One of the prominent features of the two month-wave of protests has been the widespread construction of South African-style shanties on the campuses. Their presence has incurred the wrath of the school administrations, which are trying to smash the movement, preserve their bloody profits from apartheid, and defend U.S. imperialist foreign policy. Intense struggles to defend the shantytowns from administration-organized police raids, have taken place in a number of cases. The activists have been combining the shantytown protests with other actions such as building occupations, marches and mass rallies.

The fiercest struggle of the last two months was at the Berkeley campus of the University of California. We report separately on the struggles there and at MIT. Here we survey a number of other struggles across the country.


At Brandeis University, near Boston, the activists have been waging a tenacious struggle to force the school to divest its $5 million in companies operating in South Africa. On March 5, over 100 students and faculty took over the administration building to protest the school's "partial divestment" fraud. In taking over the college president's office, the activists had to resist a brutal police attach.

A week earlier, Brandeis students had rallied to defend their shantytown from destruction by the college officials.


At Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, activists held a rally on April 4 and began construction of shanties. Defying the administration's orders to tear down the shanties, the students constructed two more that night. The next morning the students rallied 400-strong to defend the shanties. At the rally, the campus maintenance workers union pledged to refuse all orders to destroy the shantytown. The mass actions forced Yale to extend its deadline for removing the shanties until April 12.

Two days later, the Yale administration ordered police to attack the students, destroying the shanties and arresting 76 activists.

University of Michigan

Since March, activists at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor have maintained a shanty protest. Three times reactionaries have destroyed the shanty, but each time it has been rebuilt.

On April 4, a spirited anti-apartheid march of 500 was held in the streets of Ann Arbor. Students have also occupied administration offices demanding that the school give an honorary degree to Nelson Mandela, an imprisoned ANC leader in South Africa. They have planned an alternative commencement exercise to bestow the award should the university fail to do so.


At the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana campus, 60 students protested for divestment, disrupting a board of trustees meeting on April 10. The students have also fought university attempts to tear down their shantytown.

Shanties have also sprung up on the lawn of the Wisconsin state capitol, where student and community activists have endured 20 arrests. The struggle is aimed at making the state government divest.

At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, a shantytown protest took place which was forcibly suppressed with many arrests. Protests have also taken place at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, Brown, Cornell, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and elsewhere. A protest was reported at the offices of apartheid-sup- porting IBM Corp. in Providence, Rhode Island.

Besides these actions, the anti-apartheid struggle was a major theme when 2,000 demonstrators marched in Boston on March 22 and 1,500 in New York City on March 20.

At the MIT shantytown:

Students fight police repression

In March, students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched a series of mass actions to press their demand that MIT end its financial investments in companies doing business in racist South Africa. In the thick of the struggle have been the activists of the underground campus newspaper The Student and the Boston Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA. Their work to rally the students for a militant struggle that goes outside the bounds of the MIT administration- financed activities has helped give the struggle its resolute character.

The "Alexandra Township" Shantytown Goes Up at MIT

The recent upsurge at MIT began on March 2 with the construction, on MIT's Kresge Oval, of shanties similar to those lived in by black South Africans. The shantytown was named "Alexandra township" to show solidarity with the revolt which took place recently at Alexandra township in South Africa. Some 100 students participated in building the shantytown, which was to serve as a means to help mobilize for mass actions.

In the midst of this construction, a mass meeting of 60 of the anti-apartheid activists was held in order to decide what demands to make on the school administration. By near unanimous vote, three basic demands were adopted.

The first demand called for full divestment by MIT in order to assist the struggle in South Africa.

Another demand was that MIT ease requirements for financial aid for minority and poor students and take measures to ensure a significant increase in national minority enrollment. The activists also linked opposition to racist rule in South Africa to opposition to racism at MIT. They opposed the efforts of the MIT administration and trustees to make MIT lily-white again.

As well, there was a demand for job security with no wage cuts for campus food service workers who are threatened by a university plan to contract out its food service operations.

The Students March on MIT President Gray's House

The next phase of the struggle took place on March 6 and 7 when over 100 demonstrators marched each day on MIT President Paul Gray's house to press the demands. The March 6 issue of The Student issued a call for the action which listed the activists' demands. The newspaper pointed out that U.S. support for apartheid is not some unfortunate mistake. It stated that it was the "greedy capitalists" who stand not only behind apartheid slavery but the racist Reaganite offensive and the attacks on workers' jobs and wages at home. The Student showed that an effective fight required taking a stand against the imperialist system. And during the march, activists around The Student carried a large banner in support of the oppressed masses coming to power in South Africa.

MIT Administration Stages Pre-Dawn Raid on the Shanties

The growing anti-apartheid struggle was quite upsetting to the MIT authorities, diehard opponents of the liberation struggle. No sooner was the shantytown erected when the administration demanded that it be taken down within a week and a half. Meanwhile the campus police began to carry out petty harassment of the activists.

Then on March 14 MIT Vice President Dickson personally directed a pre-dawn raid of 15 campus police and a contingent of Cambridge city police to destroy the shantytown.

At the shantytown Dickson was confronted by eight students who found out about the raid. The students denounced Dickson's cowardly assault, challenging him to take his stand in daylight in front of the student body and denouncing him for making the campus workers "do all the dirty work'' by forcing them to dismantle the shantytown.

An activist student appealed to the campus workers to resist being used to take down the shanties, stating that the workers had a common struggle with the anti-apartheid students and the workers in South Africa. Although the workers were eventually compelled to remove the shantytown, they clearly did so with great reluctance. Later that day a number of workers apologized to the activists and expressed support for the struggle.

The administration and the police wanted to do their work behind everyone's backs. So when an activist went to rally students at the campus library, a police thug threw a body block on him, knocking him down. A total of three cops set upon the bold activist and eventually arrested him. Another seven students were arrested as well on trumped- up charges of "trespassing'' on their own campus. The police even arrested one student who was not part of the defense of the shanties but was simply taking pictures of the event.

After the Raid

But the efforts of the administration to quickly and quietly crush the struggle failed. A food service worker who witnessed the attack told the activists what happened. Within a few hours a special edition of The Student came out denouncing MIT's pre-dawn raid and calling on the students to continue the struggle.

Outrage spread across the campus and by that evening over 50 students met to plan protest actions. A petition was circulated demanding all charges against the activists be dropped. And a rally and march on the office of the provost took place March 19.

Under this pressure of the movement, MIT President Gray wrote a halfhearted letter to the judge asking that charges be dropped. But the judge refused to drop the charges and instead was insistent on imposing periods of informal probation in order to pressure the students to abandon militant struggle. Such is the majesty of the "impartial'' legal system, which punishes the victims of police repression. The final outcome of the arrests has still not been settled. But activists are not about to bow down. This school year's events have given additional impetus to the student movement at MIT.

[Photo: March 6 march on MIT President Gray's house.]

[Photo: MIT students rally at the "Alexandra township" shantytown.]

Two trends in the movement at MIT

The militant action of the anti-apartheid movement at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has only taken place in the course of a constant fight against the obstruction of the right wing of the movement. While the militant students have wanted to wage a real fight against the racism of the MIT administration and in support of the liberation struggle in South Africa, the rightists have sought to throw cold water on the struggle and channel everyone into pleasant chit-chats with the enemies of the movement. The rightist elements, including liberals, social-democratic professors and the bourgeois student paper The Tech, have collaborated to denounce the militant students to the other students, and they have also tried to stop the MIT students from attending the anti-apartheid demonstrations.

In the MIT Coalition Against Apartheid and other meetings, the student activists have decided on various actions. Showing their contempt for the student activists, the rightists, seeing their plans voted down in favor of more militant activities, have boycotted one action against another. Since the fall of 1985 alone, various of the rightists boycotted the citywide student march of September 12, then split the MIT Coalition Against Apartheid, boycotted the October 12 rally which was endorsed by the Coalition, tried to restrict students to activities organized by MIT itself, and finally at the start of this year sought to bury the militant section of the anti-apartheid movement altogether.

The Movement Surged Forward Despite the Rightists

Much to the chagrin of the rightists, the movement did not collapse without them. Indeed in March it surged forward. And right among the activists was The Student and the work of the MLP,USA. This year, as last, The Student and the Boston Branch of the MLP worked closely with the other militant students; and they advanced slogans and called for actions that reflected the spirit of the militants and found wide acceptance.

Seeing the anti-apartheid movement advancing without them, the rightists felt compelled to once again show their face in the movement after an absence of several months. Not surprisingly, they centered their activity on driving any militancy out of the movement. They went into a frenzy against the demands of the students for fear they would displease the MIT administration. The rightists also tried to block any mass actions in defense of students arrested in the administration's raid on the students' shantytown.

The Bourgeois Students Denounce Militant Demands and "Outside Socialist Agitation"

The editors of the official bourgeois student newspaper, The Tech, took the rightists under the wing. The Tech denounced the anti-apartheid militants for linking up the fight against apartheid with the fight against racism at MIT. Instead of hailing the anti-apartheid students for having the good sense to link up the struggle against racism in South Africa with the struggle against the resegregation of MIT (the driving out of minorities), The Tech did its best to help the administration avoid the condemnation of the militant students. And it denounced both the anti-racist demand and that on behalf of campus workers as "distracting elements'' which should have "been removed from the list of demands presented to President Gray.'' Why, how can one practice to sit in corporate boardrooms if one is going to be so gauche as to link up with the working class?

Moreover, in order to torpedo the movement, the rightists have laid stress on anti-communist agitation to separate the activists from the revolutionary left represented by The Student and the MLP,USA. The Tech, which was quite conscious that the work of the revolutionary left had been crucial in rallying the militant students against the sabotage of the right, hypocritically moaned that the "outside socialist agitation'' of "the Marxist-Leninist Party in the protest reduces the effectiveness of the protesters' claim against the MIT corporation.'' And, of course, The Tech has welcomed with open arms onto campus the "outside" pro-imperialist agitation of Democratic and Republican party politicians and other capitalist spokesmen.

Indeed, with its cries about "outsiders," The Tech is playing the dirty role of providing a justification for the repression of MIT authorities. It cannot openly applaud this repression, so instead it implies to the students that the repression is all the fault of outsiders. And, of course, all the students who carry out this "outside socialist agitation" automatically become outsiders and presumably legitimate targets for repression.

Uphold the Banner of Struggle

Both The Student and the Boston Branch of the MLP,USA soon issued statements refuting the attacks by the rightists on the anti-apartheid movement. (We will be carrying these statements in The Workers' Advocate Supplement.) This struggle is necessary to defend the militancy of the mass movement. And, in fact, it is only through learning to recognize the real nature of the rightist arguments that the activists can consolidate their break with the racist and imperialist forces and continue to uphold the banner of struggle.

As The Student stated in its article "In Defense of Our Movement, a Reply to The Tech:" "The anti-apartheid activists have charted a bold political course of struggle against the imperialist connections between South African apartheid, and racism and exploitation of workers at home. Let there be no doubt that the movement is taking up a militant banner of struggle, and students and workers everywhere should rally to the cause."

The battle at Berkeley and the tasks ahead

The anti-apartheid movement on the Berkeley campus of the University of California, which had temporarily died down, broke out again in full force during the first week of April. The campus administration went all out to smash the students' protests aimed at making the school give up its gigantic $2.4 billion investment in companies doing business with racist South Africa. They got a court injunction banning the protest actions. And they brought hundreds of police thugs in middle of the night raids to beat the activists into submission.

But the Berkeley protesters refused to bow down to the capitalist authorities and defenders of apartheid. They ignored the court injunction and fought pitched battles in defense of the anti-apartheid movement. They resisted the police goon squads in order to defend the shantytowns. The defiant stand of the Berkeley activists marks a new level of militancy for the anti-apartheid movement and is an inspiration to activists throughout the country.

An Important Advance in the Anti-Apartheid Movement

This militant struggle of the anti-apartheid activists has drawn thousands of students into vigorous participation in the movement. Much to the chagrin of the university authorities, who thought that court injunctions and police batons could beat progressive thoughts out of the students' heads, it is creating a new generation of activist students.

The mass actions of April represent a break with certain of the limitations imposed on the movement by its right wing, the liberal Democrats and the reformists, who dominate the official leadership of the movement at present. The militant section of the activists has thrown aside mealy-mouthed capitulation in favor of struggle to support the anti-apartheid cause, and they have insisted on confrontational tactics. They were not interested in respectability but in advancing the solidarity movement with the struggle in South Africa.

True, these militant tactics were not the result of a conscious decision to break with the Democratic Party. Rather, they represented the sentiment of the more advanced section of the activists to do something real as opposed to what the right wing of the movement was insisting on. The experience of the anti-apartheid activists had led them to the conclusion of the utter futility of the passive, tame, polite actions that are the only ones allowed by the right wing of the movement, and they were chomping at the bit to do something real. These activists are usually quite skeptical of reliance on the Democratic Party hacks and often say things against the Democratic Party. But in fact they generally still have illusions in this or that section of the left wing of the Democratic Party, and they do not yet grasp the need for waging an organized struggle against the imperialist parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, and for aiming the struggle at imperialism.

Hence a double task stands before the militant students at Berkeley. On one hand they are faced with continuing their movement in the face of the repression of the administration and the entire system of capitalist authorities that supports it: the courts, the police, Mayor Gus Newport, etc. Their struggle has already electrified thousands of students who sympathize with the anti-apartheid movement, and it is necessary to carry forward the work to organize the anti-apartheid ranks and rally the students through further actions.

And there is also the task of developing a conscious break with the right wing of the movement and of developing the clarity of the movement. Without this the militancy of the movement cannot be sustained, and at every turn there will be danger of coming under the domination of the right wing all over again. This requires focusing the struggle against imperialism and the imperialist parties.

And this is part and parcel of taking up the task of consciously supporting the revolutionary struggle in South Africa. The struggle against apartheid must aim at providing conscious support for the force that can bring apartheid down: the black working people and other oppressed masses in South Africa. The sentiment of the activists to support the revolution is clear.from the popularity among the students of South African political leaders who are taken as revolutionaries. But this support of the revolution must also be manifested directly in the struggle.

The militant struggle of the Berkeley students has already accomplished much. Our Party supported this struggle, worked among the militants, leafleted the masses in support of the struggle, and is taking part in the ongoing process of summing up the lessons of the struggle. We call on the working class, progressive students and activists:

Defend the militant actions of the students all across the country, of which the Berkeley events were a shining example, against the attacks of the pro-apartheid forces and the slanders of the right wing of the movement! Use the momentum of the recent mass actions to bring new sections of the working class and progressive students into the struggle! Sum up the lessons of the struggle, make a conscious break with the Democrats and Republicans, and aim the struggle at the imperialist system! Provide direct support for the force that can bring down apartheid and white minority rule -- the revolutionary struggle of the black and other oppressed masses in South Africa!

[Photo: Berkeley students struggle to block buses carrying their fellow anti-apartheid protesters to Santa Rita jail. Garbage cans fly through the air as police charge attempting to clear a path, April 3.]

[Photo: Some of the 88 arrested demonstrators show their defiance as they are arraigned at the Santa Rita jail, April 4.]

Reminiscent of the 60's

Berkeley students defy the administration and the police

Monday, March 31 -- the Shantytown Goes Up

The recent upsurge of the anti-apartheid struggle began on Monday, March 31 with a rally of over 1,000 students at Biko (Sproul) Plaza. This was the first major anti-apartheid event on campus for some time. It marked a rebound of the movement and created excitement among the activists.

Following this rally protesters marched to California Hall (an administration building) and began to construct shanties similar to the dilapidated housing black South Africans live in. The shantytown was named "Crossroads, Berkeley'' after the South African squatter town that has been a hotbed of revolt.

The Administration Demands that the Shantytown be Torn Down

Soon two campus administrators showed up at the shanties. Using the pretexts that the shanties were a fire hazard and that they violated a new, recently concocted school regulation against "overnight lodging,'' they attempted to order the protesters to leave. (During the course of these events, it can be noted, the activists were more than willing to eliminate any alleged fire hazard. They brought in supplies of water, sand and fire extinguishers, and they moved the shanties the demanded ten feet from the university buildings. But this never satisfied the administrators, whose concern was not safety but repression.)

But the arrogant bureaucrats got more than they bargained for. The protesters surrounded them and forced them to listen to anti-apartheid speeches and a list of demands. The demands aimed at cutting university ties with South Africa, defending political protest (eliminating videotaping of political demonstrations and the university political files on students, dropping charges against activists, etc.), increasing aid to minority students, that the university administration meet with student/faculty representatives, etc. When one administrator argued that the school "had partially divested" (the school had recently divested $12 million of stock in one company -- this comprised only one-half of one percent of their $2.4 billion investment in companies profiting from apartheid), the crowd began chanting "Bullshit!"

The Administration Pretends To Be Reasonable, While It Prepares To Attack

Activists continued building shanties past 10:00 p.m. that night, the university's deadline for the shanties' removal under the "overnight lodging" rule. Meanwhile over 500 students gathered at California Hall, now renamed Winnie Mandela Hall. At 11:25 that night the administration issued a reply to the students' demands. They pretended to be conciliatory but refused to commit themselves to anything definite, and they again called on the students to dismantle the shantytown. When an administrator offered to "negotiate" with a few students behind closed doors, the protesters challenged him to negotiate then and there. The administrator declined the invitation.

The Police Move In, and the First Big Clash Begins

While feigning a desire to reason with the students, the administration was preparing to crush the protest with force. Two hours after offering to negotiate, at 1:30 a.m. campus police and Berkeley cops sealed off the protest area with metal barricades in preparation for an attack. The presence of the Berkeley police and their subsequent role in suppressing the students was quite an exposure of Berkeley Mayor Gus Newport, who has proclaimed himself a friend of the anti-apartheid movement.

In turn, the masses prepared to resist. Eighty activists stayed with the shanties, pulling them together as a barricade.

At 2:30 a.m., in the dark of night, the police moved in on the shanties. They hoped to smash the protest behind the backs of the student body. The protesters at the shanties bravely resisted, while the demonstrators outside the police lines shouted encouragement.

After an intense struggle the police were finally able to break through the barricade of shanties and begin to arrest the activists there. The last 17 activists offered the most resistance, boarding themselves inside the shanty. The police thugs brutally attacked the protesters, using chokeholds, pressure point holds, shoving activists on their heads, etc.

The demonstrators erected barricades of concrete bike racks, newspaper stands and other debris to block the bus carrying the arrested protesters. The police managed to clear a path for the bus, beating many activists in the process. Despite the savage wrecking of the shanties, the students became more determined than ever to carry the protest forward.

Tuesday, April 1, the Demonstrators Regroup

Activists regrouped at a noon rally on Tuesday, April 1, and the call begins to circulate to rebuild the shanties. Controversy erupted over the use of Berkeley City police to assist the notorious University of California police. It came out how the various black bourgeois politicians play a key role in providing the UC administration "help" from the Berkeley City police. Meanwhile the UC administration sought injunction from the courts against any student who interferes with anything an administrator orders.

Wednesday, April 2, the Shanties Go Up Again

The next day, Wednesday, following a noon rally of several hundred, the shanties were rebuilt at California Hall.

This reconstruction took place in defiance of a new court injunction which forbid building any "fire hazard" on campus or interfering with "peaceful and quiet enjoyment" of the school's property. In other words, the capitalist courts were banning the anti-apartheid protest. As well many activists, both students at Berkeley and others, were "banned" from campus by the courts. But this didn't stop the banned activists from taking part in the struggle, most using various disguises.

The night of April 2 the shantytown area was alive with speeches, chanting of slogans, and political discussion. The activists talked about how best to combat the expected police attacks and what needed to be done to build the anti-apartheid movement. There was singing, and the activists gave a warm reception to the song "They will bring down the racist South African regime," which was the only song which talked of revolution in South Africa and denounced U.S. imperialism. Discussion ranged to many political issues in the solidarity movement such as Libya, Central America, the struggle against nuclear weapons, etc. At one point activists had to deal with an American flag brought to the protest area by some backward elements from a fraternity, and various suggestions circulated such as "remove it," "stomp it," and "burn it"!

About 11:00 p.m. the police read an order to the crowd, telling them to disperse. The students responded by making preparations to defend themselves from an expected police raid. Concrete bike racks, newspaper boxes, dumpsters, trash cans and two shanties were used to barricade the area where jail buses were expected to arrive.

The Second Big Clash with the Police

The expected police suppression began at about 2:30 in the morning as 100 cops, again in the middle of the night, moved in on demonstrators gathered on a hill near California Hall. First, however, the police took the precaution of moving in and clubbing people in a nearby area where KALX, the campus radio station, had set up its headquarters. After all, it would interfere with the police's "free use and quiet enjoyment" of its prerogatives to allow KALX to go on with its live broadcast of the events. The shanties were now occupied by many protesters while others gathered near police lines in support of those in the shanties. Twice activists grabbed sections of a steel police barricade and carried them to the shanties to reinforce the students' barricade. This action was met with an approving uproar from the crowd of protesters.

When the first jail bus arrived, the students swarmed it, putting their bodies in the way and holding on to the shanties set up as a blockade. The next bus encountered even more resistance as protesters overturned dumpsters and threw trash cans in its path and sat in the bus's path. These actions forced the second bus to back out and head to the other side of the protest area. But once again the bus was blocked by activists.

The buses eventually broke through the blockades. By this time the 100 campus police were bolstered by an estimated 250 or more cops from the surrounding area and many different jurisdictions. According to bourgeois press reports, this included cops from Berkeley, Albany, Hayward, Oakland, San Leandro, Emeryville, Alameda, Fremont, Newark, Piedmont, Union City, the California Highway Patrol, the East Bay Regional Park District, and also the Alameda County Sheriff.

The police goons began mass arrests, quickly filling one bus. The arrests were made with four to six cops ganging up on a single protester, twisting arms, pulling hair, and kneeing them in the back in the process.

As the police brutality grew, so did the resistance. More barricades were set up to prevent the buses from leaving. Protesters sat down in front of the buses. And the cops were pelted with fruit, rocks and bottles. The police waded into the students, wildly clubbing, pushing and kicking. The students replied with more rocks and bottles, breaking bus windows in the process.

The police buses finally escaped from the protest area. But the students resistance was far from over. As the buses came through Biko (Sproul) Plaza, the protesters were in hot pursuit, throwing obstacles in the path of the buses and hurling rocks and bottles at the cops.

The attempt to halt the buses continued onto the streets off the campus as well.

By the time the dust had settled, the battle to defend the shanties had lasted until 8:30 in the morning. The bourgeois press reports that 18 police had been injured in the course of their attack on the students.

And After

On noon Thursday another demonstration took place. Meanwhile the UC administration was frantically running to the courts for more injunctions against the students.

And from this point on the activists become involved in political summations of what took place and what effect it will have on the movement.

[Photo: Anti-apartheid protest mounts at Berkeley campus, March 31.]

[Photo: In the April 19 demonstration in San Francisco, militant slogans were shouted: Revolution yes! Apartheid no! Death to apartheid, blow by blow! Who are the real terrorists? -- The Republicans and the Democrats! Down with racism! Down with apartheid! Botha, Reagan, both are racists!]

As revisionists applaud:

'Socialist' mayor defends police attack on students

The rise of the militant anti-apartheid struggle is exposing who the friends and enemies of the movement are. The University of California at Berkeley has seen an outburst of militant struggle resembling those of the 1960's. Meanwhile Gus Newport, the mayor of Berkeley, sent in the police to help the campus police suppress the struggle.

Of course it is not surprising that bourgeois mayors take part in and defend the beating up and arrest of protesters. But what is interesting is that Gus Newport is no ordinary mayor, but the darling of the revisionist and reformist left, the "socialist" mayor of Berkeley. Almost all the opportunists fawn on Newport, invite him as a featured speaker to events, tone down the struggle to what can get his endorsement, etc. Why, recently he was even invited to give the keynote address at the Pacific Northwest "Marxist" Scholars Conference (April 11-13 at the University of Washington) which was organized by the official pro-Soviet revisionists of the so-called "Communist" Party of the USA.

At the Conference

At the conference Newport postured as a great leftist, a critic of Reagan and even of the Democrats, a friend of the Salvadoran revolutionaries, an enemy of apartheid and critic of the administration of the University of California which maintains investments in South Africa.

But before his speech a supporter of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA at the conference had asked him "Hey, Gus, did your police wipe the blood off of their baton yet?" And so it came out in his speech. When it comes to action, Newport changes sides. This "progressive" in words is a defender of police repression.

A "Left" Friend of the Police

Newport began by claiming that he had nothing to do with sending police on campus. What could he do? The Berkeley administration had a mutual aid agreement with various police departments including that of the city of Berkeley. So Newport would have us believe he had no alternative but to send police immediately to remove the alleged "fire hazard" of anti-apartheid activity at the university.

But in fact Newport had no desire to keep the police off the students' back. He went on to denounce the students for allegedly provoking the police. This allegedly explained everything. The students should presumably have let the UC administration and the police tear down their shanties, and no one would have been hurt. You see how useful it is to elect reformist and liberal mayors? Why, they defend to the death your rights, if not your right to demonstration, at least your right to capitulate to the pro-apartheid forces and follow to the letter whatever the reactionaries and the courts decree.

He then went into a big lecture on how violence never does any good for the movement. Newport, commanding the Berkeley police who went on campus to smash a shantytown, pontificated on nonviolence. Today all the club- wielders defend their violence because the people are not nonviolent saints, from Botha in South Africa to Reagan commanding the armed forces to, it seems, Newport in Berkeley.

The MLP,USA supporter later pointed out in the question period that, from his observation of what had happened in Berkeley, the students had a right to defend their shantytown and a police riot had occurred. Newport went into a frenzy and justified the police by blaming everything on a couple of students who had allegedly thrown rocks. And what could you expect the police to do? Just like the Nixons and Agnews of 15 years ago, who defended smashing demonstrations and even shooting students as necessary to suppress the rock throwers, Newport justified the police who had smashed the shantytown and carried out mass repression of the students.

Thus Newport's criticism of the UC administration, which has huge investments in South Africa, turned out to be gross hypocrisy. He shamelessly defended the UC administration's suppression of the students. While the UC administration called the student struggle a "fire hazard," Newport called it a "provocation."

The Revisionists Applaud Newport's Repression of the Movement

Newport's attack on the students took place to the applause of the revisionist circles present (which centered on the CPUS A and their phrase-mongering shadow, the Line of March group). They didn't denounce his reactionary stand, they didn't criticize it, they didn't stand aloof from it, but they applauded it. True, some of the revisionists present couldn't stomach this and remarked in individual discussions that Newport sounded just like the reactionaries of the '60s. But, as revisionists, they couldn't break with Newport nor did they condemn the revisionist circles for applauding Newport's defense of police repression.

Thus here in Newport we have the epitome of revisionist and reformist politics. Criticism of the reaction in words. Posing as a revolutionary hero in words. And joining the reaction to swing the baton at the militant students who are fighting apartheid. Why, don't the students know that their struggle should be restricted to voting for the likes of Gus Newport? If it goes beyond that, it is too bad but there is nothing to do but unleash the police on them.

[Photo: Police brutalize student protesters at Berkeley, April 2.]

Militant picket blocks S. African cargo on S.F. Docks

On March 10 and 11, the docks of San Francisco were again the scene of anti-apartheid struggle. In 1984, dock-workers had waged an 11-day battle, holding militant anti-apartheid protests and refusing to unload South African cargo. This March, anti-apartheid activists sought to rally the dockworkers to a new effort to halt the unloading of South African cargo. By holding a picket, the activists sought to give the dockworkers a pretext to bypass the court injunction forcing them to unload South African ships.

Early in the morning of March 10, protesters set up a militant picket line at the entrance to San Francisco's Pier 80. The picket line, which eventually numbered 120, turned back all vehicles trying to enter the yard. The activists explained that they were seeking to prevent South African cargo from being unloaded from the ship the Nedlloyd Kembla which had docked that morning.

The Longshoremen Honor the Anti-Apartheid Picket

At that point the longshoremen had not yet reported for work. When the workers arrived, they refused to cross the picket line, demonstrating their continuing solidarity with the black masses of South Africa. Throughout the picketing, slogans rang out, including: "The students, the workers, Unite against apartheid!''; "Smash apartheid, Boycott the ship!"; and "Marcos, Duvalier, Botha is next!"

The Pro-Apartheid Capitalists Call Out the Police

With the mass picket gaining momentum, the shipping capitalists called on the San Francisco police to rescue them. Cops began shoving and beating demonstrators to clear a path for vehicles to enter the docks. It should be noted that these are the police of the so-called "anti-apartheid" liberal Democratic Mayor Dianne Feinstein.

Militant Resistance to Police Violence

The activists firmly resisted. "S.F.P.D., Defending white supremacy!" resounded through the air as the protesters worked to free their comrades from the police goons. In one case, it took the police about five minutes to shove one activist 10 yards into a police van.

Despite the police violence, the activists were able to regroup and block the entrance. By the time police reinforcements arrived, the dockworkers had gone home, leaving the ship's cargo unloaded. By boldly defending their demonstration against police attack, the activists had won a victory.

That evening there was a rally of 90 at the docks. This time the shipping company did not even try to remove the cargo.

However, the capitalists were preparing for a big push to end the picketing. Next morning the S.F.P.D. was out in force to confront the over 175 protesters who resumed picketing. The police announced that they were going to arrest everyone and demanded the protesters surrender their picket signs. The activists replied, "Give up your sticks, give up your guns." But although the activists made repeated efforts to keep the picket going, the police eventually succeeded in breaking it up, arresting 59 people in the process.

Despite the police suppression of the picket, the two-day protest was an important development in the anti-apartheid movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. The blockade and the decision of the activists to resist the police attack are examples of the path of militant struggle. This militancy was immediately opposed by the rightist forces in the movement who want to tie the masses to the Democratic Party and the liberals. And this militancy was immediately upheld by the San Francisco Bay Area Branch of the MLP, which issued a leaflet entitled "On the Pier 80 Action, In Defense of the Anti-Apartheid Movement."

[Photo: Confrontation with the San Francisco police during action to block the unloading of South African cargo, March 10.]

The pot continues to boil in South Africa

The mass struggle continues as the black and other oppressed.people in racist South Africa fight for liberation. Though the racists have killed about 1,500 blacks in the last 18 months and imprisoned thousands more, they cannot keep the lid on the people's uprising.

26th Anniversary of Sharpeville Massacre Commemorated With Struggle

The peak of the struggle of the last two months occurred on March 21, the anniversary of the infamous Sharpeville massacre. In Sharpeville in March of 1960, the white racist regime opened fire on a peaceful protest against the pass laws, murdering 69 people. And yet again, on the same date last year, the Botha regime committed another grave atrocity, killing at least 20 blacks in Uitenhage, in the East Cape region.

With these brutal crimes etched in their memory, on March 21 the black masses mounted militant actions across the country. In Durban, 1,000 protesters marched on the U.S. consulate. Before they could reach their destination, they clashed with racist police out to squelch the demonstration. The police charged the protesters with whips and tear gas, arresting 200 demonstrators in the process. The masses also battled police in a mass protest in Johannesburg. These bold actions continue the process of extending the struggle beyond the segregated townships and into the major cities which are strongholds of the white supremacists.

Meanwhile at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, 100 black students fought police with rocks and bottles. The largest action of the day was a huge rally of 35,000 people in Kwanobuhle township near Uitenhage. The ranks of this protest were swelled by black workers who conducted a "stay-away" boycott of their workplaces.

Anti-Apartheid Actions Sweep the Black Townships

The month of March also saw a continuous stream of anti-apartheid actions break out continuously in black townships across the country. Among the major actions was a March 5 funeral protest of 25,000 people in Alexandra township near Johannesburg. In February, Alexandra had been the scene of a powerful revolt. At the funeral the masses pledged further struggle against the racist system as 17 martyrs from the previous month's uprising were buried.

Another big funeral protest occurred on March 15 in the black township of Guguletu, near Cape Town. Eight thousand protesters attended the funeral for seven blacks murdered by the police on March 3.

On March 16, in Mamelodi township near Pretoria, thousands of workers stayed off their jobs to protest a police attack on a recent protest meeting of 3,000 people. At the end of March, a whole series of township revolts were reported including actions in Natal province, in the townships near Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, and in the Bophuthatswana bantustan.

And at the end of April the huge black township of Soweto was again in the news. Hundreds of black youths had tried to go to a magistrate's office to support 15 arrested students who were appearing there on charges of having killed a policeman. The police turned back the youths, with the result that additional people took to the street. The youths then stoned a police car and other targets, and they attacked and killed a black traitor policeman in his home.

Boycott of White Businesses in Port Elizabeth

Besides the clashes in the townships, the anti-apartheid actions included a boycott of white businesses in Port Elizabeth. Last year, a four-month boycott in this area severely damaged the profits of the racist businessmen. But it was called off in November when its leaders set a March 31 deadline for the racists to make concessions. As no concessions were made, the boycott was resumed on April 7. It is reported that the new boycott has so much support that many white businesses are already endangered.

Mine Workers Protest

The militant mine workers are also continuing their struggle against the white capitalist exploiters. In mid- March, miners at the Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mine, 45 miles west of Johannesburg, launched a militant protest demanding bonus pay. The police ruthlessly suppressed the action, opening fire on the miners and killing and wounding many.

The Massacres of March 26

In fact in the face of mounting anti-apartheid actions, the government unleashed one of its most bloodthirsty assaults ever on the black people. On March 26 alone over 30 blacks were murdered across the country by the racist butchers.

In the Winterweld squatter camp in the so-called "independent homeland" of Bophuthatswana, police opened fire on a crowd of 10,000 who had gathered to oppose the police detention of black youth in the area. At least 10 people were killed.

A second atrocity on March 26 took place at the Kwazakele township near Port Elizabeth. Police fired on 100 black youth who were storming a government- run liquor store. Ten of the youth were slain.

And in the Crossroads shantytown, police killed two militants during an attack on a police patrol.

The Masses Take Revenge on the Police

Another reflection of the growing intensity of the struggle is the increasing number of armed attacks on the hated police. The police are nothing but a brutal occupation army. They strike wildly at all mass actions, however peaceful; they murder activists, herd protesters into jail, and strike right and left against the black masses. They even kill and torture black children (according to a recent report by the New York-based Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, the South African police killed 201 children in 1985 alone, 19 of them under the age of 10). The racist slavemasters are determined to use the police and military to drown the activists in blood.

The oppressed masses are increasingly aiming armed actions at the police. On March 4, for example, a police station in Johannesburg was bombed, killing two fascists. Twelve days later a police vehicle was firebombed in Jouberton, near Johannesburg, while a black cop was shot dead in Mamelodi township near Pretoria. At the Crossroads shantytown a white cop was gunned down on March 25, and a police patrol attacked with gas bombs the next day. And on March 29 a black cop was killed in Tembisa township, east of Johannesburg.

Support the Liberation Struggle!

The regime's savagery has not intimidated the fighting masses. Indeed the regime's brutality is convincing more and more of the oppressed that only revolution will rid the country of the white-minority jackboot. And the heroic anti-apartheid actions of the ongoing upsurge show the boundless revolutionary potential of the black toilers. The days of apartheid rule are numbered.

Workers and anti-apartheid activists! Let us help the fighting masses in South Africa smash the racists! Step up the militant protests in support of the mass struggle and against U.S. imperialism's backing of the racist regime!

[Photo: Funeral for three blacks killed by the police turns into another angry demonstration against the apartheid regime, Alexandra, March 22.]

The end of the state of emergency:

The more things change, the more they stay the same

In early March, the Botha government announced the end to the state of emergency. Reagan, the great friend of racist Botha, smiled for the cameras. You see, he said, quiet diplomacy is working. The Botha government is reforming itself.

But the end of the state of emergency meant nothing. The officials of the Botha government themselves have said that they could justify just about any repression under other laws.

And today the suppression of the black people continues without letup despite the relaxation of the state of emergency. Even the restrictions on journalists, which had been trumpeted as the special feature of the state of emergency, continued. Louis Nel, deputy information minister for the racist regime, has said that police retained power to control journalists under legislation not connected with the state of emergency.

Nevertheless, the Botha government feels naked without the state of emergency. So barely one and one-half months after lifting the emergency, it has introduced new legislation into parliament that allows the Law and Order Minister to declare emergency measures in any area of the country. The only difference between this and the state of emergency is that now these measures will not formally be declared as a "state of emergency.'' So the removal of the state of emergency was just a cosmetic measure. Just as Reagan attacks the black people under the pretext of being colorblind, so Botha is learning to suppress the black people under the guise of reforms, relaxation of emergency measures, and what not. And with his new praise of the Botha regime, Reagan once again proved himself a supporter of this worst regime of racist slavery.

And the killing of the black people goes on. The more things change, the more they're the same. Only revolution will bring real change and majority rule to South Africa.

The racist regime declares:

The pass laws are dead, long live the pass laws!

The age of playacting at reform has come to racist South Africa. The more the Botha regime of racist taskmasters holds on to power, the more it pretends to grant reforms. Every day brings two items of news from South Africa: another township has risen in revolt, and another sanctimonious speech from racist chief Botha about how he is going to bestow the greatest gifts on the black people.

As the waves of revolutionary struggle pound the racist citadels, the racist regime has become more and more desperate. At the beginning of March it pretended to abolish the "state of emergency." But the people's struggle, which had continued under the "state of emergency," continued after its end.

Another Botha Promise...

So now Botha figured he had to come up with something else. He declared that he would end the fascist system of pass laws which restrict the movement of blacks among the segregated black communities. (He vowed to uphold the Group Areas Act which maintains the segregation of the races.) These hated laws forced blacks to carry passbooks stating where they could live or work or visit. These laws prevented blacks from going where they wanted, enforced the separation of families, and tangled the black people up in thousands of regulations. Each year hundreds of thousands of blacks were arrested under these laws.

In fact, the pass law system is creaking under its own weight. The apartheid slavemasters need black labor to exploit, so they are forced to allow blacks in huge numbers into cities. And this economic necessity results in blacks in large numbers entering forbidden areas despite the law. Meanwhile the rising revolutionary spirit in the country gives a further sharp edge to the mass defiance of the pass laws. Despite the diehard resistance of the Botha government, this revolutionary struggle is forcing little concessions here and there.

With the pass laws in crisis, no doubt the Botha government has recalled that white minority rule and brutal exploitation of the black people existed long before the pass laws came into effect. The pass laws were only put in effect after World War II. Particular oppressive regulations come and go, but tyranny will remain until white minority rule is ended.

And Another Botha Lie

But it was Botha's party that instituted the pass laws, and Botha is not going to give them up so easily. So what Botha gave with one hand, he immediately took back with the other.

Yes, Botha said, the blacks no longer need to carry passbooks. Instead, he announced that a new system of identity documents would be forced on the black people starting in July. These documents would allegedly be the same as those of people of other races, except that they would indicate that the bearer was black. This little exception is, of course, the whole point.

As well, Botha declared that rural blacks "would be ill-advised to flock to the metropolitan areas en masse" because of shortages of housing and jobs. So the kindly old apartheid government was considering not letting the blacks move into a city unless they could show they had approved housing. And it just so happens that there is a severe housing shortage in South Africa for blacks,, who are forced to live in hovels.

But, ahem, how is the government going to stop people from moving to the cities without approved housing unless it in fact checks their documents? So the pass laws are dead -- to be replaced by identity documents and new restrictions on black freedom of movement. Indeed, while the Botha government only announced at this time its intention to check on housing, Botha in his speech also raised the question of jobs as well. So the new system he is proposing to replace the pass laws looks more and more like the old pass laws all the time.

And, meanwhile, even the halfhearted reform of the pass laws won't apply to the nearly one-quarter of the black population that lives in the bantustans. Botha doles out his reforms bit by painful bit, taking the bows years in advance for reforms that have still never seen the light of day. One of these reforms is restoring South African citizenship (naturally, the slave class "citizenship" granted to other South African blacks) to the blacks in the bantustans. It has been promised, but it has yet to be seen. And it too would only restore the status quo that existed until just after World War II.

Meanwhile, at the same time as Botha posed as a man of good will, his government simultaneously introduced legislation into the racist parliament to allow the Minister of Law and Order to declare any area under emergency regulations it wished without, however, using the name of a state of emergency. This made clear that whatever readjustment the Botha government makes in the apartheid laws, it is committed to drowning the black people's movement in blood.

Political Power Is Everything, Botha's Tinkering Is Nothing

It is no wonder that no wave of applause for Botha was heard from the black neighborhoods. The struggle of the oppressed is for political power. The black and other oppressed people in South Africa are fighting to overthrow the racist regime. When there is majority rule in South Africa, there will be freedom of movement. And while there is white minority rule, there will no true freedom for the blacks or other oppressed peoples.

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France and the New Line of the 7th Congress

More on the backward turn in the line of the international communist movement at the Seventh Congress of the C.I. In 1935

Below are excerpts from the introduction to the April 15, 1986 issue of The Workers' Advocate Supplement:

Last year, our Party began publishing material on the backward turn in the line of the international communist movement in the mid-1930's. Up to the mid-1930's, the Communist International had followed a revolutionary line. But in the mid-1930's a change took place that was formally marked by the Seventh Congress of the CI of July-August 1935. The "new tactical orientation" from this well-trumpeted Congress undermined the Leninist stand of the world communist movement, weakened the struggle against the world fascist offensive, and opened the way for liquidationist pressures on the communist parties.

This issue of the Supplement contains materials on the line and activities of the French Communist Party (PCF) during the period 1934-1937 and a speech on the Seventh Congress itself.

The experience of the PCF is important because it offers an excellent illustration of what the Seventh Congress of the CI actually stood for.... The Seventh Congress itself urged the entire world communist movement to learn from and apply the lessons of the French example. And indeed, to this day, there exists a widespread myth that the experience of the PCF and the Popular Front government in the 1930's was a brilliant example of the success of the new orientation of the Seventh Congress of the CI.

The study of the practical application of the line of the 7th Congress is important because many of the words spoken at the Congress were deceptive and just demagogical window dressing.... Any serious study of the line of the 7th Congress thus requires cutting through the demagogy and penetrating to the real policies being advocated.

What Does the French Experience in the Mid-1930's Show?

The study of the French experience verifies that there was indeed a change in the line of the world communist movement in the mid-1930's. Up to that time, the PCF had a revolutionary stand and had been following a generally Marxist-Leninist policy, although it suffered from certain rigidities in theory which did not give it enough tactical flexibility to deal with the complicated events of the mid-1930's.

In this period, the PCF was faced with mobilizing the working class response to the economic and political crisis of the great depression and with the task of meeting the challenge of the fascist offensive. The bourgeois Republic and the traditional capitalist parties were in acute crisis. The working class and the rest of the working people were in ferment. At the same time, Germany had fallen into the hands of Hitler, and there was also a major fascist movement active in France and the threat of a fascist coups All these events were causing a crisis among the reformists in France, shaking their hold on the working people, and giving rise to leftward motion among the workers under social-democratic influence. To equip the party to deal with this complicated situation, the PCF had to refine its tactics.

But it is not just a mere adjustment in tactics that took place in 1934-35. Rather, the revolutionary core of the PCF's line was dropped. The study below shows the following things:

*** The PCF recognized the importance of the fight against the fascist offensive. But the new line coupled this with an impermissible sacrifice, with the abandonment of the revolutionary perspective. Instead of using the anti-fascist struggle to advance the revolutionary movement, the PCF limited its outlook to the defense of the bourgeois Republic. Work for the socialist revolution was set aside. But the non-revolutionary struggle against fascism turned out to be just a mess of empty words.

*** The PCF shifted away from the Leninist conception of united front tactics to a reformist view. It abandoned the idea of using united front tactics to win the masses to revolutionary struggle and communism. It now focused united front work on coming to agreement at any cost with the social-democratic and liberal bourgeois leaderships. It dropped its emphasis on revolutionary work among the rank-and-file working masses -- work that must be pursued fervently irrespective of whether or not temporary agreements are reached with the reformist leaders at the top -- to one of toning down the work to what was acceptable to the reformist and liberal leaders.

*** This came alongside a change in the fundamental attitude of the PCF towards social-democracy. The social-democrats -- who were mired in class collaboration with the bourgeoisie and were thus opponents of any revolutionary mass struggle against the fascist danger -- were now promoted as stalwart fighters against fascism and as fraternal defenders of the cause of the proletariat.

*** In proclaiming the tactics for a "popular front," the 7th Congress tried to make it appear as if it was just reiterating the longstanding communist tactics for such fronts which concern the proletariat's alliance with the non-proletarian working masses. But in fact, in the name of uniting with "the middle strata," the new line was advocating a bloc with the bourgeois liberal parties. The French example confirmed this, as the PCF's "Popular Front," forged in this period, included a tailist bloc with the liberal bourgeois Radical party, one of the main bourgeois ruling parties....

*** The change in line at the 7th Congress also brought with it the curse of liquidationist tendencies with regard to party-building....Party fractions in the trade unions were given up, the theory of neutrality of the trade unions in the political struggle of the proletariat was endorsed, and the PCF made a number of efforts to merge itself with the social-democratic party on a disgusting liquidationist platform.

The Result of the New Line

The result of these changes in the PCF line in the mid-1930's was grievous for the working class movement and the cause of the proletarian revolution in France.

It meant the frittering away of the possibilities that were created by the huge upsurge among the working masses during the mid-1930's.

A great wave of proletarian struggle had been shaping up in France. A series of important strikes against the miserable conditions of the depression broke out. The militant battles against fascism in 1934 struck some hard-hitting blows. Then the unprecedented strike wave of 1936 brought millions of additional workers into motion all across France.

But the PCF worked to subordinate the movement to its alliance with the social-democrats and liberals, to preserve the status quo, to restore the faith of the masses in the bourgeois Republic, and to prevent any development that would scare away the liberal bourgeoisie. The PCF did not use this upsurge to consolidate forces for waging revolutionary struggle and did not teach the masses that only gains backed up by the organization of the working class and its willingness to fight were durable.

Thus the fruits of the upsurge were frittered away and France fell under a renewed offensive from capitalist reaction. By 1938 the Popular Front government, to which the PCF had sacrificed the integrity and force of the mass movement, had fallen; it had accomplished little for the working class except opposing the mass struggle with a "left" veneer. Now that the proletarian upsurge had been blunted and paralyzed, the bourgeoisie had no further need for the Popular Front government. France faced the continuing depression and the imminent threat of Nazi takeover with a traditional, corrupt series of bourgeois governments. At the outbreak of World War II, the French government acted to suppress the workers' movement while having no spirit to fight the Nazi armies.

The materials in this issue of the Supplement include:

1) A speech on the line and activities of the PCF during 1934-37. It was given at the 2nd Congress of the MLP,USA held in the fall of 1983 and has been edited for publication in line with subsequent inner-party discussion.

2) The document "Background Notes on the French Working Class Movement in the 1930's" which gives additional information on what was going on in France in the period.

3) A speech on the line of the 7th Congress of the CI.

It was given at the 2nd Congress of the MLP,USA and has been edited for publication in line with subsequent inner-party discussion....

The French Communist Party -- 1934-37 Speech at 2nd Congress of the ML P, USA

A Revolutionary Policy -- Up to Early 1934 The Anti-Fascist Battles of February 1934 The Struggle Against Dorlot A Theoretical Rigidity on United Front Policy Ivry Conference -- The Beginning of the Turn to the Right the United Front Agreement with the SFK)

The PCF Extends Its Hand to the Liberal Bourgeoisie The November 1934 Plenum -- Continuing the Turn to the Right Merging the PCF and SFK) Trade Unions The People's Front Government and the Strike Movement of the Workers The People's Front Government on Other Questions, War and Peace

Another Proposal for Merger with the SFIO Abandoning the Revolutionary Perspective

Background Notes on the French Working Class Movement In the 1930's

I. The Beginning of the 1930s

II. 1932 to February 1934

III. Prelude to the February Days, 1934

IV. The Anti-Fascist Battles of February 1934 The Actions of February 9 The General Strike of February 12

V. February 1934 to the United Front Against Fascism Agreement Between the PCF and SFIO in July 1934

VII. Toward Alliance with the Radical Party -- Mid-1934 to the Election of the People's Front Government in May1936

VII. People's Front Government At Its Height -- June 1936 - June 1937

1. The Strike Movement

2. Were the Fascist Bands Dissolved?

3. The Spanish Civil War and 'Non-Intervention"

4. French Colonialism

5. Economic Program of the IT Government

VIII The People's Front Drags On and Collapses -- June 1937 to the Fall of 1938

On the Seventh Congress of the Comintern


1. On the Historical Setting of the 7tk Congress and the Tasks It Faced

2. Demagogy of the 7th Congress

3-7: Some of the Significant Opportunist Deviations Advanced at the 7th Congress

3. On the Issue of Fascism Itself

A) On the Class Basis of Fascism Germany

Severe Struggle Within the Bourgeoisie?

Not Just with the Liberals But Certainly with the Liberals,

B) Detaching the Fight Against Fascism from the Socialist Revolution

Not Constitutions, But Definite Class Forces Fight Fascism

The Experience of the Anti-Fascist Struggles of the 1920's

C) Catering to Petty-Bourgeois Prejudices.

4. On the Attitude towards Social-Democracy

A) Has Social-Democracy Become Pro-Working Class?

Is the Labor Aristocracy Going Over to Class Struggle?

The Social-Democratic Workers are Becoming Radicalized -- and Hence So Are the Leaders ?

Social-democracy is Being Persecuted

B) Covering up the Treachery of Social-Democracy

C) Denying Existence of the "Left" Phrase mongering Wing of Social-Democracy

D) Organizational Merger with the Social-Democratic Parties

5. Wrong Views on United Front Tactics

6. Wrong Views on the Question of War and Peace

7. Wrong Views on the Liberation Struggle of the Oppressed Nations

8. And Other Issues

Some Points In Conclusion

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130,000 march against attacks on women's right to abortion


Over 100,000 demonstrators marched in 'Washington, D.C. March 9 in support of women's rights to legal abortion and birth control. The event was a counter to the annual reactionary anti-abortion protests held January 22. This year's anti-abortion demonstration drew only 36,000 people, down nearly 50% from last year.

In Los Angeles on March 16, nearly 30,000 people rallied in a torrential downpour to defend the right to abortion. Both the Los Angeles and Washington pro-choice demonstrations drew many students, activists, and women and men new to politics. As well, delegations of strikers from the TWA flight attendants, Hormel meat- packers, and Watsonville cannery workers participated in the L.A. march.

A delegation of supporters of the MLP actively participated in the Washington demonstration. They distributed thousands of leaflets defending women's right to abortion and denouncing the Reagan administration and the reactionary anti-abortion movement for their attacks on women.

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Capitalists profit from cuts in unemployment benefits

[Photo: Ten thousand workers wait outside all night to apply for 270 jobs at a new GE plant in Blasdell, NY.]

The Reaganite cutbacks are driving the unemployed workers to the wall.

The measly unemployment benefits are not enough to keep an individual worker alive, yet many must support their whole families off these checks. Even according to minimized government figures, the average weekly payment of unemployed benefits to a worker amounts to less than three-fifths of the official poverty rate for a family of four.

What is more, most of the unemployed receive no unemployment benefits at all. While the Reagan government claims that there are about eight million people unemployed, most experts agree that the number is really closer to 15 million. Yet only 2.4 million unemployed workers get benefits. This is the lowest level of payments in 50 years, since the program was first wrung from the capitalist government by the workers' mass struggle during the Great Depression of the 1930's.

Obviously, unemployment benefits should be increased and extended. But the opposite is taking place. Tougher eligibility requirements have disqualified large numbers of workers from receiving benefits. The Reagan government's elimination of extended or supplementary payments in March 1985 cut hundreds of thousands from the benefit rolls. And now the Gramm-Rudman axe, supported by the Democrats as well as the Republicans, threatens to cut unemployment benefits even further.

Meanwhile, the capitalist employers are being given the money that is reaped from the slashing of benefits for the unemployed.

The capitalists should be forced to pay through the nose to support those they have so callously thrown out of work. Instead a number of state governments are lowering the tax rate that capitalist employers are required to pay into the unemployment insurance fund. For instance, in California the rate will drop 24% this year. In Massachusetts the capitalists will pay only half of what they paid in 1984. This is one of the ways the capitalists are profiting from the plight of the unemployed.

The attacks on the unemployed are part of an offensive of the entire capitalist class, of the Democrats as well as the Republicans, against the working masses. The defense of the unemployed must be organized as a class struggle, a struggle of the working class against the filthy rich exploiters. With the strength of our numbers and our class stand, let the united working class, both employed and unemployed, take up the fight to make the capitalists pay for jobs or a livelihood for the unemployed.

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South Korea - Will Chun follow Marcos?

The opposition to South Korean military dictator Chun Doo Hwan has been enlivened by the fall of Marcos in the Philippines. An impulse has been given to both the activity of the bourgeois liberal politicians as well as the actions of the masses.

Since the fall of Marcos a coalition of liberal opposition groups has launched a petition campaign calling for constitutional reform and direct presidential elections. They have held a few rallies which they have tried to keep within bounds. But even without their approval, sections of the people have gone ahead with militant expressions of their hatred for the despot Chun.

The first manifestation of this new round of motion took place March 23 in the industrial city of Pusan. Forty thousand people turned out to march through the streets chanting "Down with dictatorship!"

The next weekend, on March 30, another demonstration was scheduled to take place in Kwangju, the site of Chun's infamous massacre of an uprising in 1980. The government refused to allow a demonstration to take place, limiting the action to a stationary rally. But Chun received a rude shock when upwards of 80,000 people poured into the streets for a mammoth anti-dictatorship rally. Near the end of the rally some thousands of Militant student youth broke away from the official rally and clashed with the riot police stationed all around the rally site; 69 were arrested.

These were the largest demonstrations against Chun's rule since the Kwangju upsurge in 1980. They were followed on April 19 by a militant student demonstration in Seoul marking the anniversary of the student uprising that overthrew the government of Syngman Rhee in 1960. Students clashed sharply with riot police who attacked their demonstration with clubs and tear gas.

Every few days, one reads of newer actions by students and other people against the Chun dictatorship. The masses remain unrelenting in their desire to fight.

Shocked by the size of these demonstrations, Chun has launched a campaign to repudiate the opposition by charging that it is led by dupes of the North Korean "enemy.'' Chun charges that the campaign is part of North Korean psychological warfare, to be followed shortly by a military attack.

In these charges Chun is backed up by the Reagan administration, which says South Korea is faced with an "increasing risk'' of invasion from North Korea. Reagan is asking Congress for $230 million worth of military aid for Chun this year. (This is over and above the money spent to maintain U.S. imperialist troops inside Korea.)

Chun has also prohibited the opposition from holding any more large rallies. While the liberals' response is not yet known, they are not exactly known for advocating militant defiance of the tyranny.

Meanwhile, there are growing signs of radicalization in the student movement against the dictatorship. In the student demonstrations, there have been slogans raised against U.S. imperialism. What is more, it is reported these days that a considerable number of students have begun to participate in underground Marxist study groups. This is an exciting development considering the ferocious anti-communism of the regime and the ban on Marxist literature and discussion on the campuses.

U.S. Liberals Urge an Aquino Solution in South Korea

The Korean liberal leaders Kim Young Sam and Kim Dae Jung themselves get support from liberal Democratic circles in the U.S. who are urging Reagan to help "democratize" South Korea before the Olympic games to be held there in 1988.

The American liberals point to similarities between the regime of Chun and that of Marcos in the Philippines -- mainly that both were military dictatorships, that in both cases the regime violated human rights in its suppression of opposition groups, torture of political prisoners, etc., and that in both cases elections held by the dictators have been a sham.

Which is all true. But at the same time the liberal critics of Chun also try to prettify his regime. They say that Chun's regime, unlike that of Marcos, is not rife with corruption and nepotism. They paint the Chun regime as "efficient, albeit repressive."

The liberal critics of Chun also paint an idyllic picture of South Korea's economic situation, contrasting it to the crisis-ridden economy of the Philippines under Marcos. They brag about the "economic miracle" of South Korea under Chun, making it appear that everyone has shared equally in this growth. But in fact this has been capitalist economic growth, and while Korean capitalists have raked in billions, the working class has not exactly been showered with prosperity. In fact, the workers have been fighting hard to organize their struggle against capitalist exploitation.

The U.S. liberals are not concerned about the Korean people; they are merely afraid that Chun's tyranny threatens the stability of capitalism and U.S. imperialist domination of South Korea.

The fact that such "critics" of Chun are the best friends of the liberal Kims of South Korea shows that the Korean toilers must be extremely wary of the liberal leadership there. The aim of the South Korean liberals is similar to that of the Aquinos in the Philippines -- to block the revolutionary movement and direct the mass outrage into bourgeois constitutional paths. The working people have to build their own independent movement against the dictatorship, U.S. imperialism, and capitalism.

[Photo: Mass rally against the Chun dictatorship in Taegu, South Korea, on April 5.]

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Fight to bring apartheid down! --a song

Everyone who is fighting oppression, who hates racism, and tyranny:

We all hope to end South African apartheid,

but what is the force that will bring it down?


Who is the force, tell me, how will it happen?

Tell me, who do we look to to bring it down?

Look to the heroes, yes, look to the people,

The ones who've been fighting, the ones who've been dying.

Black people fighting to be free, battling the racist tyranny.

South African townships are in flames, the masses taking up revolutionary aims.

Fight to bring apartheid down! Fight to bring apartheid down!

Oh-oh, bring it down! Oh-oh, bring it down! Oh-oh, bring it down!

Apartheid in South Africa, burn it to the ground!

Are we to believe the South African racists,

Who for decades have ruled with fascist terror,

That these sons of Hitler will dismantle apartheid

And someday agree to hand over state power?


Can we place our hopes in some deal with the businessman,

Who fear all will be lost with Botha's defeat?

But they have no interest in ending the system

That insures them a profit: white supremacy,


Perhaps we should follow the path of the liberals

Who talk of reform and power-sharing.

They tell us to wait and hold talks with the racists,

They are trying to stop our struggle from spreading.


--by T.R., a supporter of the MLP

[Sheet music.]

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1886 - 1986 HUNDRED YEARS OF MAY FIRST -- Celebrate International Workers' Day

Fight back against Reaganism!

Down with the Democrats and Republicans, parties of the capitalist offensive!

Fight concessions, speedup, and overtime!

Jobs or livelihood for the unemployed!

No to racist attacks and segregationism!

No to Reagan's dirty war on Nicaragua!

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

Support the heroic black people of South Africa! Apartheid no! Revolution yes!

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Time and place to be announced Meeting

Saturday, May 3 6:30 pm

Room 136 Thompson Teachers College

120th Street & Broadway



Thursday, May 1 afternoon Time and place to be announced



Saturday, May 3 1:00 pm Assemble at 18th Street & Union


Saturday, May 3 6:30 pm 656 W. Barry

Contingent in Parade

Sunday, May 4 3:00 pm Union Park 1501 W. Randolph Sponsored by the Haymarket Centennial Committee.

Join the MLP contingent.



Saturday, May 3 7:00 pm C.A.M.P.

722 18th Avenue



Sunday, May 4 5:00 pm Marxist-Leninist Books and Periodicals 3232 Grove Street

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'May Day'

--V.I. Lenin, 1904

"Comrade workers! May Day is coming, the day when the workers of all lands celebrate their awakening to a class conscious life, their solidarity in the struggle against all coercion and oppression of man by man, the struggle to free the toiling millions from hunger, poverty, and humiliation. Two worlds stand facing each other in this great struggle: the world of capital and the world of labor, the world of exploitation and slavery and the world of brotherhood and freedom.

"On one side stand the handful of rich blood-suckers. They have seized the factories and mills, the tools and machinery, have turned millions of acres of land and mountains of money into their private property. They have made the government and the army their servants, faithful watchdogs of the wealth they have amassed.

"On the other side stand the millions of the disinherited. They are forced to beg the moneybags for permission to work for them. By their labor they create all wealth; yet all their lives long they have to struggle for a crust of bread, beg for work as for charity, sap their strength and health by back-breaking toil, and starve in hovels in the villages or in the cellars and garrets of the big cities.

"But now these disinherited toilers have declared war on the moneybags and exploiters. The workers of all lands are fighting to free labor from wage slavery, from poverty and want. They are fighting for a system of society where the wealth created by the common labor will go to benefit, not a handful of rich men, but all those who work. They want to make the land and the factories, mills, and machines the common property of all toilers. They want to do away with the division into rich and poor, want the fruits of labor to go to the laborers themselves, and all the achievement of the human mind, all the improvements in ways of working, to improve the lot of the man who works, and not serve as a means of oppressing him.

"The great struggles of labor against capital has cost' the workers of all countries immense sacrifices. They have shed rivers of blood in behalf of their right to a better life and real freedom. Those who fight for the workers' cause are subjected by the governments to untold persecution. But in spite of all persecution the solidarity of the workers of the world is growing and gaining in strength. The workers are uniting more and more closely in socialist parties, the supporters of those parties are mounting into millions and are advancing steadily, step by step, towards complete victory over the class of capitalist exploiters." (Excerpted from "May Day," Collected Works, Vol. 7, p. 199)


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Into the streets May 1st!

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--a poem

Into the streets May First!

Into the roaring Square!

Shake the midtown towers!

Shatter the downtown air!

Come with a storm of banners,

Come with an earthquake tread,

Bells, hurl out of your belfries,

Red flag, leap out your red!

Out of the shops and factories,

Up with the sickle and hammer,

Comrades, these are our tools,

A song and a banner!

Roll, song, from the sea of our hearts,

Banner, leap and be free;

Song and banner together,

Down with the bourgeoisie!

Sweep the big city, march forward,

The day is a barricade;

We hurl the bright bomb of the sun,

The moon like a hand grenade.

Pour forth like a second flood!

Thunder the alps of air!

Subways are roaring our millions --

Comrades, into the Square!

--Alfred Hayes in New Masses, May 1,1934

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