The Workers' Advocate

Vol. 16, No. 7


25ยข July 1, 1986

[Front page:

Statue of liberty fanfare--No facelift can hide dollar worship and deportations;

The 7th anniversary of the Nicaraguan revolution--Support the workers and peasants against Reagan's war;

Phone workers: No to the sellout! Get ready for August 9!]


Searching for gold at the end of the Rainbow....................... 2
Jesse Jackson's South Africa plan: the U.S. army................. 2

Down With Racism!

Chicago police protect KKK; March against racist graffiti; Segregationist attacks in Cleveland...................................... 3
Native people of Big Mountain resist relocation.................. 4

Capitalist PCB poisoning and government cover-up............ 4
Song: Well-respected activist................................................ 5
Bombing by "Right to Life".................................................. 20

Strikes and Work Place News

USWA joins steel cos. for flag-waving show........................ 5
Woodworkers; Aluminum; Carney nurses; Unemployed march; Garment; McLouth steel............................................ 6
Shipyards; Oscar-Meyer; Teamsters; J.H. Williams.............. 7
UAW convention; New Directions Movement..................... 8

Death to Apartheid in South Africa!

Dellums' bill for sanctions against South Africa................... 9
General strike; Tutu chats; State of Emergency.................... 10
60,000 march in New York; Bay Area action........................ 11
Central American refugees deported to death squads........... 13
INS drafts bill for new police measures................................ 13
Undocumented immigrants thrown from public housing..... 13

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

$100 million in bipartisan aid to the contras......................... 14
A Salvadoran guerrilla victory............................................... 14
World Court denounces Reagan's war on Nicaragua............ 14
Prensa Proletaria: No to firings against workers................... 14
Build the movement against U.S. aggression........................ 15
MLP solidarity tour to Nicaragua.......................................... 15
ENAVES garment strike in Managua.................................... 15

Theses on the formation of the CP of Iran............................ 16
CP of Iran leads toilers' resistance to Khomeini.................... 16

Israeli justice: murdering Palestinians................................... 17
Condemn the attacks on Palestinians in Beirut..................... 17

The World in Struggle

Haiti, fires of revolt; Puerto Rico, hospital strike; Filipino squatters fight police; Pakistani masses cry "bye-bye Reagan and Zia"..................................................................... 18
W. Germany to Thailand, anti-nuke protests; Peru, condemn massacres of political prisoners.............................................. 19

Statue of liberty fanfare

No facelift can hide dollar worship and deportations

The 7th anniversary of the Nicaraguan revolution

Support the workers and peasants against Reagan's war

Phone workers: No to the sellout! Get ready for August 9!

Searching for gold at the end of the Rainbow

Jackson's plan for South Africa

Not revolution but the U.S. army

Denver Racist police attack Juneteenth celebration

Chicago police protect Klan rally in Marquette Park...

Down with the racist attacks on black peoples' homes in Cleveland!

The Native people of Big Mountain resist relocation

Detroit's PCB scandal

Capitalist poisoning and government cover up

USWA joins with the steel companies for a flag waving show

Strikes and workplace news

UAW convention

On the road of company unionism

"New Directions Movement"

The loyal opposition at the UAW convention

On the Dellums bill for sanctions against South Africa

Death to apartheid in South Africa!

Suppression of the workers and the myth of 'Liberty'

Chilean torture ship at Iacocca's 'freedom party'

U.S. immigration policy:

Returning Central American refugees to the death squads

INS drafts dream bill for new police measures against immigrants

Undocumented immigrants to be thrown out of public housing

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

Theses on the formation of the CP of Iran

CP of Iran leads toilers' resistance to Khomeini

Israeli justice: no penalty for murder of Palestinians

Condemn the attacks on Palestinians in Beirut!

The World in Struggle

Bombing by the 'Right to Life'

Statue of liberty fanfare

No facelift can hide dollar worship and deportations

[Photo: Demonstration in defense of immigrant workers, Chicago, July 4, 1984.]

During the first week of July, Ronald Reagan, Lee Iacocca, and other captains of government and industry will be gathering in New York to rededicate the Statue of Liberty. The Hudson River will be cluttered with rich peoples' yachts and an international fleet of warships led by the Pentagon's USS Iowa. The TV networks are pouring millions into four days of coverage of the "ceremonies."

Why all the fuss about a rebuilt old statue? Well, for one thing, there's a lot of bucks to be made in such patriotic extravaganzas. But more than that, the rich ruling class is rebuilding a myth.

The Reagans and Iacoccas want to reenforce the jingo lie of America as "the land of liberty." And they are selling their 305 foot icon to hide the real oppression and tyranny of American capitalism.

Beacon for Racists and Dictators

We are told that the statue represents America standing tall as a "beacon of liberty around the world." According to the Reaganite fairy tale, the U.S. is the acme of "freedom." There is all kinds of hypocritical finger-pointing at the crimes of the equally imperialist Soviet revisionists. But the U.S. imperialists are supposed to be as virtuous as "Miss Liberty."

So what about the bleeding black people of South Africa? They can see that the U.S. government is one of the closest chums of the apartheid slave masters. And they see the U.S. corporations as a pillar of the racist system.

Or what about the workers and peasants of Nicaragua, where the U.S. is waging a sadistic war to strangle their revolution? It is a fitting comment that, in the midst of the present orgy of "Liberty"-mongering, the Congress has just rubber-stamped $100 million for Reagan's contra "freedom fighters." These are the scum left over from the U.S.-backed Somoza regime -- one of the worst tyrannies of them all.

Or what about El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, Pakistan, or South Korea? What about the working people groaning under all the other U.S.-sponsored death squad regimes and military dictatorships? They can see that these regimes are not only in the hands of the rich exploiters, they are also tied with a thousand threads to the U.S. economic and military empire.

Capitalist America is the mecca of the racists, death squads, and dictators of the world. And from South Africa to South Korea, the working people are realizing that their struggles for freedom from oppression and tyranny run smack against the self-styled "beacon of liberty" -- U.S. imperialism.

Iacocca in the Land of Dollar Worship

We are also told that the statue symbolizes "the land of opportunity." But this boast is a slap in the face to the millions of victims of the capitalist offensive of Reaganomics.

In this so-called "land of opportunity," there are ten million jobless and a growing army of hungry and homeless. The working class youth face sky-high unemployment, and cutbacks are closing the doors on their education.

No matter, the capitalist liars keep on hawking their fable "that anyone can make it in America." And their chief salesman is Lee Iacocca, head of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.

A son of immigrants, multimillionaire auto magnate, possible presidential hopeful, egotist supreme -- Iacocca is just the man to head up the "land of opportunity" parade. No one better symbolizes this land of dollar worship where a handful get the "opportunity" to join the club of multimillionaires by trampling on the backs of the workers and the poor.

Iacocca became a national star of the wealthy almost overnight when, in 1979, he shoved big takebacks on the Chrysler workers. This was the first big blow in the employers' concessions offensive against the whole working class. Ever since, the dollar worshipers have been peddling his book and building him up as a high priest of money making.

When Iacocca is paid $16.5 million in stock options it makes the headlines. But you won't hear about how the auto workers have paid dearly for the fat salaries of the fat executives. You won't hear about Richard Feldmann who was worked to death on a Chrysler assembly line, forced to do the work of two men.

For every Iacocca-style "success story," there are thousands of other stories of workers' lives broken by overwork or ruined by layoffs.

Immigration Hypocrisy

Then there is the big hypocritical lie inscribed at the base of the statue. Poetry about the tired, poor and "huddled masses yearning to be free" is one thing. But, in reality, capitalist America has a long and shameful history of racism, discrimination and repression against those who came to work the factories and fields of this country.

The media dishes out nostalgia about happy landings at Ellis Island. But what about the other side of American immigration? The black people were brought here in chains. The Mexicans and Chinese were also treated to lynch law and racist terror. The Irish were targets of discrimination and riots. Millions of Jews fell victim to Hitler because the U.S. refused them entry. The Japanese were herded into concentration camps during World War II. And the list goes on and on.

In this same racist tradition, today it is the Mexican, Central American, Haitian, Arab and other immigrants who are bearing the brunt of the government's anti-immigrant crusade.

Behind all the "Liberty" hoopla, the White House is pushing new laws to help the Immigration and Naturalization Service to better hound and terrorize the so-called "illegal immigrants." And Congress is once again trying to pass the Simpson-Rodino immigration reform, to clamp down even harder on the immigrant workers.

Meanwhile, the FBI is busy spying on church meetings, and the Federal courts in Texas and Arizona are busy packing people off to jail, for the "crime" of giving sanctuary to Central American refugees fleeing the right-wing death squads.

Puncture the Chauvinist Lies!

The revolutionary workers, and the anti-racist and progressive activists must give their own answer to the establishment's orgy of "Lady Liberty" patriotism.

Let's build the fight against apartheid in South Africa, and against the CIA war against Nicaragua. In these struggles we must draw clear lines against U.S. imperialism. It is not part of the solution, as Jesse Jackson and the rest of the left wing of the Democratic Party suggests, but a big part of the problem. We must puncture the pretensions of U.S. imperialism to be the champion of "freedom," exposing it as the sworn enemy of the revolutionary struggles of the workers and oppressed.

Let's build the struggle against the employers' takebacks and job cutting. The workers have already taken too many concessions. And the unemployed need work or relief. But to build a powerful struggle, we must break the grip of the AFL-CIO bosses and their collaboration policy. Only through struggle can the workers defend their jobs and livelihood at the expense of Lee Iacocca and the rest of the millionaires.

Let's defend the immigrant workers. We must fight the Simpson-Rodino and other anti-immigrant bills, and defend the Mexican, Haitian and other immigrants from INS raids, deportations, and harassment. We must resist every attempt to deport the Central American refugees back to the clutches of the death squads. The whole racist immigration policy of the U.S. government must be fought tooth and nail. All workers in this country, native or foreign born, documented or undocumented, must enjoy full and equal rights.

Let us build up the revolutionary movement of the working class. As individuals, one out of a hundred may "make it," while the rest of the workers and the poor sink further to the bottom. But united as a class across all trades, races and nationalities, and organized for struggle, the working class will be a formidable force.

Through the socialist revolution the workers and oppressed in this country can break the capitalist yoke of the Reagans and Iacoccas. With the overthrow of imperialism, then and only then, will this country stand on the side of the exploited and oppressed struggling to be free.


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The 7th anniversary of the Nicaraguan revolution

Support the workers and peasants against Reagan's war

The 7th anniversary of the revolution in Nicaragua this year comes at a very grave moment for the Nicaraguan people. The Pentagon and the CIA are poised to escalate Reagan's war against Nicaragua. Both Democrat and Republican in Congress are fighting for the honor of being the most effective counterrevolutionary. The Republican plan of giving $100 million to the contras has just passed the House of Representatives, defeating the Democratic plan to give the exact same amount of money. But the Nicaraguan revolution deserves the support of the American working class and progressive people. The Nicaraguan workers and peasants are our class brothers. If the workers and peasants in Nicaragua are subjected to the American bayonet, then this will give greater strength to the offensive here at home from the capitalists and militarists. A people that allows "its own" militarists to subjugate other countries forges the weapons of its own slavery.

It is the responsibility of us, the American workers and progressive people, to rise up in struggle against this new aggressive war. The capitalist politicians will at best argue over which contra leader is the worst drug runner and how to get more corpses for each dollar of U.S. "aid." It is only the working class and progressive activists who stand against this aggression.

This is why our Party, the party of class-conscious workers in the U.S., is taking the month of the 7th anniversary of the Nicaraguan revolution to wage a campaign to build the movement against U.S. intervention. We are taking the struggle against U.S. aggression into the factories, the communities and the schools. Just as the U.S. aggression against Vietnam resulted in a big movement of the American people, so too Reagan's new military buildup, his war against Nicaragua, his military interventions all around the world, are creating the conditions for a new mass struggle.

This campaign will also pay attention to supporting the organized party of the working class in Nicaragua, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua, formerly MAP-ML. The capitalist news media here keeps repeating over and over that the Sandinista government consists of super-revolutionaries and Marxist-Leninists and violent opponents of the Nicaraguan capitalists, but that doesn't make it true. On the contrary, the Sandinista government is seeking to reconcile the workers and the capitalists, and its program is that of building a "mixed economy," i.e. a combination of private enterprise capitalism with bureaucratic state enterprises.

It is the MLP of Nicaragua that fights to uphold the class interests of the working class. This party stands for fighting the contra aggressors. But it also holds that the struggle against U.S. aggression requires mobilizing the working masses. It requires deepening the revolution towards socialism in order that the masses receive the benefits of the revolution and in order to strike at the Nicaraguan capitalists who support the contra criminals. The American capitalist press cries big tears over the suspension of the reactionary rag called La Prensa. According to them, La Prensa was the only non-Sandinista paper in Nicaragua. But the newspaper La Prensa was simply a cheering squad for the contras. If the Sandinistas are guilty of anything with respect to La Prensa, it is of giving subsidies for years to this rotten voice of all that is dead and dying. The real alternative press in Nicaragua is the working class press led by the MLP of Nicaragua, such as the journal Prensa Proletaria. Our Party has been waging a special campaign to support the working class press in Nicaragua and to aid it in defiance of Reagan's blockade.

This issue contains a number of articles on the situation in Nicaragua. We could not help but underscore that the real way to broaden and deepen the denounce the new Congressional vote for the military crushing of the Nicaraguan people. We show that this vote proves that the Democrats have just as much blood on their hands as Reagan. And there are also a number of articles on the internal situation in Nicaragua, including a reprint from Prensa Proletaria.

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Phone workers: No to the sellout! Get ready for August 9!

150,000 AT&T workers have been forced back to their jobs by the leaders of the Communications Workers of America. The tentative contract, which is to be voted on by the end of July, is a dirty concessions contract which not only hurts the AT&T workers but also sets a precedent of takebacks for the 308,000 workers at the regional telephone companies whose present contracts expire August 9. The AT&T workers should give a resounding No! to this contract and prepare for a joint strike with the workers from the regional companies in August.

A Contract Full of Givebacks

Here is how the Wall Street Journal, a major mouthpiece of the monopolies, assesses the contract:

"Securities analysts called the proposed settlement very positive for AT&T and expressed surprise at the CWA's acceptance. 'AT&T basically got exactly what it wanted,' said Glenn Pafumi of Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc...."

The contract CWA president Bahr has accepted is virtually the same offer that AT&T workers walked out against. To cover this up, Bahr is simply lying and claiming a victory. But the facts speak for themselves.

Giveback: COLA is out. AT&T wanted an end to COLA payments and got it. Obviously, AT&T figures that soaring inflation will sooner or later be back. If it gets rid of COLA now, it saves a fortune later on. And in the meantime, those few cents per hour for every hour worked by every worker add up to a tidy pile saved for the company -- and lost for the workers.

Giveback: AT&T got a new, lower job classification to replace systems technicians called a technician's assistant. Assistants will make only about half of what system techs make, while doing all the work that system techs now do, except for testing. In a few years, system techs will be all but eliminated in favor of assistants doing the same work at half-pay. And what did the CWA win for system techs? An agreement that those with over 15 years seniority who get downgraded to assistant will get their wages cut in half over a four-year period instead of all at once.

Giveback: Seven job classifications in manufacturing have been consolidated into three.

Giveback: Incentive pay has been eliminated, rolling part but not all of it into the hourly rate. Piecework is an abomination and should be abolished, but not in a way that reduces pay. AT&T's way will mean a few extra cents for a small number of workers and a cut in pay for many more.

The Fraud of Job Security

The CWA hacks' big "achievement" for job security in this contract is not a no-layoffs clause, but a joint AT&T- CWA job retraining program. In effect, the CWA leadership is saying to the company: you lay them off, we'll retrain and recycle them. If this contract goes through, it will bring nothing for job security. On the contrary, it will mean downgrades and pay cuts, layoffs and forced retirement for tens of thousands of AT&T workers.

The Treacherous Logic of the Union Heads

This outrageous sellout did not just come out of nowhere. It is the logical result of the same thinking that led Bahr to voluntarily change the AT&T contract date, splitting off the AT&T workers from the other telephone workers in the regional companies. It is the bitter fruit of the CWA's policy of labor- management cooperation.

According to Bahr, the most important thing for job security is keeping AT&T competitive. Therefore the union must cooperate with management to guarantee AT&T's fat profits. But what does it mean for the union to talk cooperation with management when all the while management is on the warpath against the workers? Sellouts like this is what it means.

Defeating the sellout at AT&T is important for workers at the regional operating companies too. As the Wall Street Journal quotes one analyst: "The AT&T contract is going to become a ceiling, and the regionals will all try to beat it." In other words, the regional workers will now have to fight twice as hard to defeat the regional management's giveback demands.

Vote No! Get Ready to Strike!

AT&T workers should organize to vote No, defeat the sellout contract, and prepare to strike August 9 together with the workers from the regional companies. The workers in the regional companies showed their solidarity during the AT&T strike. In cities across the country they initially refused to cross picket lines. After union hacks forced them to work, they carried out slowdowns in many places. As well, many joined picket lines during lunch breaks and came out to solidarity rallies.

Such manifestations of solidarity are a good sign. Come August 9 telephone workers should put up a united fight to beat back telephone management's takeback drive. Whether there's one company or one hundred, telephone is still one industry. There should be one contract date. There should be one industry-wide contract. And there should be one united struggle of all telephone workers.


(Based on a leaflet issued June 25, 1986 by the New York Metro Branch of the MLP, USA.)

[Photo: Phone workers block scabs at AT&T's Miami communications office.]

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Searching for gold at the end of the Rainbow

After nearly two years of virtual inactivity since the presidential elections in 1984, Jesse Jackson pulled his National Rainbow Coalition (NRC) back together in time for the elections this fall. In April the NRC held its founding convention in Washington, D.C. And at the beginning of June the newly elected National Board of Directors met to launch the NRC into the electoral fray with a "Southern Crusade.'' The Crusade will focus on voter registration in the South aimed at giving the NRC more "clout'' in the Democratic Party.

The Rainbow has been promoted as a big left breakthrough in the political movement. But after two years, the Rainbow is still what it was -- an effort to dampen down the anti-racist struggle of the masses and turn them into voting fodder to gain the black bourgeoisie more positions and influence in the Democratic Party. Jackson, at a press conference at the April convention of the NRC, made it clear that he would not organize the masses independent from or against the Democrats. "We have too much invested in the Democratic Party,'' he said. "When you have money in the bank you don't walk away from it."

If anything, the NRC has "broadened its base" in the Democratic Party. With the issue of a presidential candidate off the agenda for another year or two, various elements from the left wing of the Democratic Party who did not support Jackson in 1984 came aboard in April. These included black politicians, like Charles Rangel from New York and Mickey Leland from Texas, and social- democratic union bureaucrats, such as William Winpisinger from the International Association of Machinists and Kenneth Blaylock from the American Federation of Government Employees. Many of these figures were quickly put on the Board of Directors.

In the Democratic Party's rush to adopt Reaganite rhetoric to go with its essentially Reaganite program various organizations of the left wing of the Democratic Party, such as the Democratic Socialists of America's "Democratic Agenda," have collapsed. The NRC has become one of the only games in town and has therefore gained a little more support from those traditional stalwarts of "pushing the Democratic Party to the left."

Revisionist Liquidators Quick to Praise

As was to be expected, a number of the groups of revisionist liquidators were quick to praise the "broadening of the base" of the NRC as a major advance.

For example, the pro-Soviet revisionists of the Line of March, who labeled the latest NRC recruits "more moderate forces," jumped with joy. "One of the definite advances of the founding convention was that, on the strength of the Rainbow's proven mass appeal, many who opposed Jackson's candidacy in 1984 came on board, including black elected officials, union presidents and leaders of farmers' organizations. Such additions bring welcome clout to the Rainbow banner..." (Frontline, April 28, 1986)

Pushing the Left of the Democratic Party to the Left

Although the Line of March sees these additions as moving the NRC to the right, under the domination of liberal bourgeois politicians (who they call "moderate petty bourgeois"), it continues to promote the NRC as the hope for an independent political party of the working masses.

The Line of March points out that "a number of these additions, as well as some Rainbow veterans [including Jesse Jackson, we might add -- WA], have strong tendencies to vacillate to the right on such issues as the defense of immigrant rights, non-intervention in the Middle East, commitment to affirmative action and super-seniority, abortion rights," etc. As well, the Line of March emphasizes that, "The moderates... tend to limit their vision of the Coalition to a mechanism to gain leverage within the official Democratic Party structure."

The Line of March also notes that, "the more moderate forces have been given disproportionate weight on the Rainbow national board" and that, "it is one of the weaknesses of the Rainbow that the leadership is disproportionately from the petty bourgeois sectors -- black elected officials, ministers, and similar figures from non-black sectors."

Let us sum this up. According to the Line of March, the NRC is controlled by moderate petty bourgeois who do not support the struggles of the masses ("vacillates to the right" as they euphemistically put it) but instead are seeking more clout in the Democratic Party. Then why should the working masses support it? They obviously should not.

But then the Line of March disagrees. They stress that, "While all in the Rainbow agree on the need to work within [the Democratic Party] at this point, the progressives stress the side of the Rainbow that is the independent voice of the locked out, and many envision its eventual maturation into an independent political party." Therefore, the Line of March concludes, "The crucial point is that the activists with a consistently progressive, working class outlook are integral to the Rainbow and have great opportunities to help shape its course."

Here we have the latest in revisionist monstrosities. The task facing the working class, according to the Line of March, is not to build up its own independent political movement. Oh no, we should only dream about an independent political movement, we should envision it eventually maturing. And in the mean time, we should busy ourselves with the "concrete work" of pushing to the left the left wing of the Democratic Party.

The revisionists' vision goes no further than this -- forever the tail of the Democratic Party, forever creating illusions in pushing it to the left. Meanwhile, the working masses are coming out into the streets in demonstrations, strikes, and other protests. The masses are moving to the left. But for that motion to be deepened and consolidated we must encourage a complete break with the Democratic Party and expose its left wing and revisionist little helpers who are trying with might and main to keep the masses enslaved.

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Jackson's plan for South Africa

Not revolution but the U.S. army

When the House of Representatives, with only 50 members present, passed the Dellums sanctions bill, Jesse Jackson was ecstatic. Now, he believed, the U.S. government had become the champion of virtue and liberty. A few days later, in this sublime state of ecstasy, he gave a press conference in Washington, D.C., in which he hailed the Dellums bill and suggested that the U.S. armed forces might liberate South Africa.

Referring to U.S. military interventions around the world, and comparing them to the case of South Africa, he stated:

"We must not devalue black life by not being willing to defend it as we are willing to defend the lives of others who are suffering persecution. We cannot take the racist position that everybody except black people can be defended in some circumstances by the U.S. military."

It seems Mr. Jackson has forgotten only one thing: that the U.S. military doesn't defend freedom around the world. On the contrary, from Central America to the Middle East, from Africa to Europe, the U.S. military is the tool of oppression; it is as welcome as the four horsemen of the apocalypse. And the Pentagon has never been unwilling to kill black people as readily as it kills whites; on the contrary, it is all too eager to massacre dark-skinned peoples. Or are we to believe that it was an example of overcoming racism when the Pentagon subjected black Grenada to the same treatment as the lighter skinned Central Americans?

Advocates of "Nonviolence" Calling for Troops

And how instructive it is to see the advocates of nonviolence, such as Mr. Jackson, glorify the U.S. Army. Mr. Jackson and his friends lecture us everyday that a revolution in South Africa would be a cataclysm, it would be bloody, it would be violent. No, no, no, they preach, we need nonviolence. We need negotiations and power-sharing with the white racists.

And what does this "nonviolence" turn out to be? It turns out to be the nonviolence of American bayonets. The revolutionary mass struggle of the black South Africans is too messy and violent. But the bombers and battleships and machine guns of the Pentagon are the method of choice for advocates of nonviolence such as Mr. Jackson. No, no, Mr. Jackson hastens to add at his press conference, the military intervention is not my method of choice, but only a last resort. There, he says, I am still an advocate of nonviolence, because I would hesitate a bit before calling on the troops.

Mr. Jackson Wants Army to Defend American Interests

But there is a difference between the violence of the revolutionary struggle of the black South Africans and the violence of the Pentagon. The black South Africans will fight to free themselves, in their own interests. The Pentagon will fight to defend the interests of Mr. Reagan and Mr. Weinberger, of GM and Ford, of the American capitalists and their hangers-on.

But Jackson sees nothing wrong with this. In his press conference, he said that the troops should go because American national interests are threatened. How servile can one get before the corporations and the generals?

It is, of course, by no means impossible that the U.S. government will some day send troops to South Africa. But it won't be to overthrow the racist white minority regime. The Pentagon will want to go to South Africa when they see that the black masses are rising up in revolution. They will try to smash the revolution, just as they are doing now on the borders of Nicaragua, just as they are doing now in El Salvador, and just as they did in Grenada, where the army overthrew a mild reformist government and installed a U.S. puppet regime.

Mr. Jackson is preparing the way for this crime when he paints before the people the prospect that the U.S. Army will liberate the oppressed black people of South Africa. He is sabotaging the struggle against the military buildup and against the repeated U.S. armed interventions around the world when he presents U.S. military intervention as the defense of "the lives of others who are suffering persecution." He is showing just how much he fears revolution when he prefers the Pentagon generals to the revolutionary struggle of the South African anti-apartheid fighters.

Down with white minority rule in South Africa!

Pentagon No! Revolution Yes!

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Denver Racist police attack Juneteenth celebration

On Saturday night, June 21, Denver police used tear gas and clubs in an attack on a large gathering of black youth in the Five Points neighborhood.

The young people were in the streets partying on the fourth night of the Denver black community's Juneteenth festival. Juneteenth is celebrated especially in Texas and elsewhere in the Southwest as a commemoration of the emancipation of slaves in Texas.

During this year's festival, the capitalist media had spread a good deal of hysteria about youth gangs, including lurid stories of gangs coming in from Los Angeles to fight during the festival.

But it appears that the police simply used rowdiness among partying young people as a pretext for a huge show of force and a vicious racist attack. In fact, the Denver police are notorious for harassing gatherings of young people in the parks and streets.

But the black masses did not peacefully submit to the police attack. At least as many as five hundred people joined together to resist with rocks and bottles.

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Chicago police protect Klan rally in Marquette Park...

The Ku Klux Klan held a "white pride rally" in the segregated Chicago enclave around Marquette Park on June 28. Spewing their racist venom, two dozen Klansmen dressed in white robes or camouflage fatigues appealed to a crowd of 200 people to keep blacks out of the neighborhood.

This racist outrage did not go unopposed. Some 7,000 people from the neighborhood surrounding the park signed petitions condemning the Klan. When the 20 or so Klansmen paraded in trucks past 55th and Western on their way to the park, an interracial softball team grew angry at the sight of them. The softball players threw rocks and bottles at the Klansmen and chased them with baseball bats.

As usual, the police were johnny-on- the-spot to help the Klansmen. The cops protected the Klan trucks and grabbed and arrested 11 of the softball players.

Later the police chief himself showed up to give the Klan a hand. Fred Rice is the black head of the police department who was appointed by the black liberal Mayor Washington. He should have been at the park to bust up the Klan rally. But no, neither the liberal Washington or his police chief will lift a finger against the racists. Rice personally showed up at the park in order to persuade the counter-demonstration called by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Movement to leave.

Other Washington supporters had already been pleading for a stop to this march for a week. Jesse Jackson also got into the act, denouncing the anti- Klan march as being totally out of step with the times. It seems these liberals think that fighting racist, lynch-happy brutes is passe. For them the fight against racism has been reduced to getting token seats for black bourgeois on corporate boards and in government offices, the black working masses be damned.

Meanwhile, Rice's policemen put up

barricades to protect the Klansmen and physically barred another, more militant counter-demonstration from entering the park. Two Klansmen were eventually arrested, but only after they hit two cops in the back of the head with bricks as the policemen were forcing the counter-demonstrators away from the Klan rally.

The Marxist-Leninist Party did widespread leafleting among the working masses, calling for a fight against the Klansmen. Below we reprint excerpts from the leaflet calling for June 28 protests put out by the Chicago Branch of the MLP.

Protest Against the KKK "White Pride" Rally!

How is it that the racists have again become so emboldened. An important factor is that they're inspired to their worst by the Reaganite racist offensive.

From the (In)Justice Department to the super-chauvinist Hollywood image makers, the government and institutions of the rich are scrambling to turn back the hands of time.

The modest gains of the struggles for equality and basic democratic rights of the 1960's and '70's are being picked off one by one. As well, the already grossly inadequate programs to provide a bit of food, housing, and social services are being hacked to death. A list of the crimes by the Reagan administration against the black people -- not to mention against the working people and poor generally -- would easily stretch to hell and back.

And the organized racist gangs uphold Reagan all down the line. His reasoning makes sense to them. They simply act on it in the most crude, extreme way. When Reagan himself strays from the script and blurts out what he really thinks, his views are barely distinguishable from those of the fascists.

So what are the well-paid "anti- Reagan" hacks of the Democratic Party doing in this situation?

Well, Ms. Marlene Carter, a black woman, is the alderman of the 15th Ward which includes Marquette Park.

Ms. Carter recently heard that a protest against the KKK "white pride" rally was being called by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Movement, a mild pacifist group. But even this was too much struggle for her. She said that blacks should instead "...allow me to heal the wounds of the past. We will not rid ourselves of this cancer by adding fuel to it." (Chicago Defender, June 19, 1986)

This is ridiculous. Tell us Ms. Carter -- tell the black people, tell the anti-racists -- how does one "heal the wounds of the past" with people whose sole purpose in life is to exterminate the dark skinned, the progressive activists, the Jews, etc.?

Clearly the Democratic Party hacks are dead weight in the anti-racist struggles. In this fight, just as any other, the working people have to rely on their own strength. They have to organize to the left of and independent of the sham "progressive" hot air of the Democratic Party.

Mr. Mayor, did you maneuver control of the Park District Board so you could deny permits to assemble for the fascists? No, we didn't think so. Harold Washington, he's a pillar of strength and endurance when he's fighting for a piece of the pie. But when it comes to organizing a real fight against racism we'd best rely on the workers to distribute calls for struggle, like this one, and to build the kind of movement we can depend on.

...and attack spirited march against racist graffiti

On June 21, a march and protest action was carried out against racist gangs in the Lakeview community of Chicago. Racist grouplets of nazis, KKKers, and Rebel boys have been putting up racist graffiti all over the area. Close to 200 anti-racists took part in painting out the racist trash on walls and poles. Frequently the racist slogans were replaced with other slogans calling for a fight against the racists. The action was warmly received by the working people in the neighborhood.

Seven fascists, dressed in camouflage fatigues with swastika arm bands, and three other racists showed up to try to intimidate the demonstrators. But the protesters denounced them. Several neighborhood residents warned the marchers that the racists were coming. And some people threw things at the racists and shouted at them "Get out of here you bastards."

Meanwhile, the police attacked the march, arresting five of the anti-racist protesters. Each time policemen grabbed one of the anti-racist activists, other protesters surrounded the police and chanted "Let her(him) go!" Whenever various efforts were unsuccessful in freeing the activist being arrested, the chant would go up "Cops and Klan work hand in hand!" Frequently workers in the area and other passing by joined in these chants.

During the arrests several cops claimed repeatedly, "Believe it or not, we're here to protect you." Protesters shot back, "Then why don't you arrest the nazis?" and "We don't want you on our side!" and "With friends like you, who needs enemies!"

One cop brazenly admitted: "I'm a nazi." But this came as no surprise. For years the working people in this neighborhood have been assaulted and harassed by the racist gangs, and the police never arrest the racists. The police force is the best defender of the racist gangs.

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Down with the racist attacks on black peoples' homes in Cleveland!

In Cleveland, black people have been victimized by a wave of racist terror over the last year. And now a black man is being tried for standing up to the racist attacks.

Since last June when Mabel Gant, an elderly black woman, was murdered in the firebombing of her home in Slavic Village, racist gangs have increased their activity. Black families moving into segregated areas have had their windows smashed, crosses burned on their lawns, racist graffiti spray-painted across their homes, and their children chased down the street with bats.

The latest events involve racist attacks on the Armstrong family who moved into a segregated area on Cleveland's west side three months ago. They have faced continuous intimidation. On June 12, when firecrackers were thrown at their home, a friend visiting them responded by shooting at the racists and wounding eight of them. The Armstrongs had been harassed one time too many and Michael Spraggins had seen enough.

For standing up to the racist assaults, Spraggins has been unjustly charged with felonious assault. But most of those shot at have dropped the charges. It is not clear whether this is out of remorse or if they consider the issue over with, since the Armstrongs decided to move out of the neighborhood.

Black people in Cleveland face the need to get organized to resist racist terror. Inspired by the racist offensive pushed from the highest office in the land -- the White House itself -- racist fiends in Cleveland are out to terrorize black families and block the integration of the neighborhoods.

The black people cannot expect any help from the authorities. The police have dismissed these foul actions as mere "pranks." Even when an arrest has been made, it has been dismissed, allowing the racists to go free to continue their activity. Indeed, the police force itself has been guilty of a string of murders and it is known to have links with the KKK and the other racist organizations.

Mayor Voinovich claims he is against the racist attacks. But actions speak louder than words. Since the latest recent incident, he has merely taken the "bold" step of asking the Justice Department whether the Armstrong family's civil rights have been violated. Imagine that -- appealing to the Justice Department of Ed Meese. This is the very same government agency which today denies racism exists against blacks and other minorities and says the problem instead is discrimination against white males.

The answer to the racist terror in Cleveland lies not in such appeals but in organizing a militant movement of the working masses to defend the rights of the black people.

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The Native people of Big Mountain resist relocation

Through treachery, deceit, poisoning, massacres and open warfare, the U.S. government succeeded in robbing the lands of the Native peoples of the Southwest. By the turn of the century, the best lands had been seized by the ranchers, and railroad and mine owners. And the Native people were confined to reservations on what were seen to be the poorest lands.

But that didn't stop the capitalists' land-grabbing and robbery at the expense of the Native people. It is still going on. And it has erupted into a big confrontation in the Big Mountain region of northeast Arizona.

Twelve years ago, Congress passed the Navajo-Hopi Relocation Act, mandating the eviction of 15,000 Dineh (Navajos) and 200 Hopis from their land. This July 7 was set as the deadline for completing the relocation. But the Big Mountain peoples' steady resistance has pushed the deadline off at least 18 months.

Meanwhile the struggle continues. The Relocation Act is still in force. The government continues to apply pressure tactics. And the Native people remain defiant.

Coal and Uranium Hunger

As it turns out, beneath the semi-arid soil of the Navajo and Hopi reservations lies a vast wealth of high quality coal and uranium. The energy monopolies have fouled up the area with their uranium mines and mills, and their strip mining has carved up hundreds of thousands of acres and ruined valuable water supplies.

The present focus of the energy capitalists' lust is to gain full rights to the 22 billion tons of coal in the huge Black Mesa coal field. Peabody Coal is already mining two billion tons of the coal, but it wants the whole thing. The problem is that the coal lies under what's called a Joint Use Area (JUA) adjoining the Navajo and Hopi reservations, and shared by the two peoples.

To remove the Native people and get at the coal, the Peabody capitalists, with the help of the sellout tribal governments, rigged up a plan to partition the JUA between the Hopis and Navajos. In 1974, Congress put this plan into law, calling for the eviction of those who were living on the wrong side of the partition. The end result was to be the removal from the JUA of several hundred Hopis and some 10-15,000 Navajos to "new lands" on the border of the reservation.

The pretext for the '74 Relocation Act was an alleged "range war" between the Hopi and Dineh. But this "range war" was a hoax. The Hopis and the Dinehs had lived together in the JUA without conflict, intermarrying, and sharing a common plight of poverty and oppression. However, the Tribal Councils, the governments representing the wealthy strata, had been squabbling for years over the division of mining royalties. To back up its land claim, the Hopi Council hired a public relations firm to sell to the media alleged evidence of a "range war" between the two tribes.

1974 Navajo-Hopi Relocation Act

Lobbyists for Peabody Coal and others brought this "evidence" to Congress to grease the skids for the passage of the '74 Relocation Act. The notorious reactionary Senator Barry Goldwater sponsored the legislation and has been pushing hard for its enforcement. And the liberal Democratic representative Morris Udall has been helping Goldwater at every step. The capitalist politicians can always come to bipartisan agreement when it comes to trampling on Native people for the profits of the energy monopolies.

Since the bill was passed, the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs has been turning the screws to pressure the Big Mountain people to relocate. They have even been threatened with troops if they refuse. Eager for a confrontation to show the Dineh who is boss, Goldwater has bragged: "The Arizona National Guard will kick the living --- out of them and I might help them."

In addition to the relocation, the Congress' 1974 bill (PL 93-531) also mandates:

* The elimination of 90% of the livestock in the JUA, which is a source of food and income to many of the Dineh people. The Department of Interior began the impoundment of livestock in April of '81, but was forced to halt for two years in the face of angry resistance.

* The limitation of the use of water. Peabody Coal's strip mining and other energy projects in the area have already drained many of the water wells dry, damaged water tables, and polluted other water sources. Yet large fines have been lodged against Native people for watering livestock at a spring they have used all their lives. And many are having difficulty pumping up enough water for their crops.

* The prohibition of all building and improvements on existing structures. In 1982 the federal government ordered the bulldozing of 11 houses which were built "illegally." This order is still being contested in court.

* And the construction of a 300- mile-long barbed wire fence to partition the 1.8 million acres of the JUA.

Since resettlement began, many Dineh have already been pressured out and into the neighboring towns. Homes have been purchased for them, only to be stolen back by real estate sharks and bankers. Reportedly, the 1,200 families who have been moved out have yet to see the benefits promised them for relocating. They have been faced with taxes, utility bills, serious financial problems, mistreatment at the hands of the local police, and few have found work. Their plight has led to emotional problems, family breakups, alcoholism, and a high rate of suicide.

The "new lands" where other Dineh are supposed to relocate are on the Puerco River, which has been contaminated by uranium spills and is unusable by humans or livestock. So far only one house has been partially built. The BIA had planned to use this house as a model to "entice" people to move off to the "new lands" voluntarily. But the house was never finished. The well was dry. And federal red tape stopped the access road half-a-mile from the house.

Tribal Councils Play a Dirty Role

The Tribal Councils have been up to their necks in dirty collaboration with Peabody Coal and the BIA. Although they lack support from the majority of their people, with only a small percentage casting votes for these tribal governments, the Councils have given the energy monopolies and the relocation plans a green light.

The Councils represent the wealthiest strata of the native population. This includes the large ranchers (such as the former Hopi Tribal Chairman Abbott Sekaquaptewa, who owns a vast cattle ranch); those tied up with energy development (such as the former Navajo Chairman Peter MacDonald, who heads up the Council of Energy Resource Tribes); government contractors; and so on.

The BIA props up this wealthy strata, giving them positions in the bureaucracy, and backing up their unpopular tribal governments. These rich elements also have links to the energy monopolies, who give them fat crumbs in return for the plunder and rape of the Native people's lands.

The Big Mountain Peoples Stand Defiant

Thousands of Dinehs are determined to stay on the land and resist the relocation by any means necessary. Most determined are the older Native people, who have lived on their land all their lives, and for whom the relocation would cause the most hardship. Some have traditional and religious attachments to Big Mountain in the middle of the JUA. And the livelihood of many is linked to sheep herding and other traditional economies that would be broken up with relocation.

Near Big Mountain, government crews have been foiled in their efforts to erect the partition fence. In '77 and '79, they were chased off by Navajo women -- the first time with sticks, the second time by an old woman with a rifle. And in '80, several women stole the keys from a fencing crew truck and pulled up the stakes that had just been pounded into the ground. Police fought, maced and eventually arrested the women, who still have charges pending against them. The Native people have also fought against the confiscation of their sheep, horses and cattle.

For the time being there is something of a standoff. On the one side, the government has already given up on the first deadline. But it continues to put in place the relocation plan and continues to apply pressure to drive out the Native people. The government is floating alternate proposals, like only evicting the young people and letting the old people stay, and other maneuvers to circumvent the resistance. But BIA director Ross Swimmer has made it clear that, by hook or by crook, the government is going to forge ahead with the relocation plan.

On the other side stands the defiant Big Mountain peoples. They have shown that they aren't going to be moved and aren't impressed by the cunning BIA maneuvers. By taking their stand, they have won support from the other Native peoples. They have also won sympathy from working and progressive people across the country and internationally. All workers, students, and progressive people should raise their voice against this latest U.S. government atrocity against the Native people.

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Detroit's PCB scandal

Capitalist poisoning and government cover up

On June 13, fifty residents of a southwest Detroit neighborhood denounced local, state, and federal officials for their years of cover-up of the dumping of PCB's (polychlorinated biphenyls) which endangered hundreds of people in their community.

In May it was revealed that PCB's had spread into the soil for several blocks around an old scrap metal yard. PCB's have been found to cause liver damage in humans and studies have shown they produce cancer in laboratory animals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the production and distribution of the dangerous chemical in 1976. The EPA says that PCB levels in the soil above 50 parts per million may be dangerous. But in the Detroit neighborhood the levels ran as high as 1,500 parts per million as far as two blocks away from the scrap yard. Tests found that half of the residents whose homes bordered the scrap yard had high levels of PCB's in their blood.

This contamination has been covered up for years. As early as 1979 residents complained of chemical dumping in the community. In 1981 the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) tests found PCB contamination in the area. It forwarded a report to the EPA but nothing was done. Later, in October 1984, the DNR carried out another inspection and found "wide contamination on the site.'' A report was filed with the EPA. The EPA did not respond until June 1985, and then only to suggest further testing. In May 1986 the DNR finally got around to another inspection; after this the news leaked out of the dangerous contamination.

Even now the cover-up is not over. The government officials have said the source of the PCB's is a bankrupt scrap yard, which is owned by a small-time hustler who is presently in jail for two years for mail fraud. But the government officials are yet to explain how the PCB's got there. They were found in electrical transformers apparently illegally sold to the scrap yard by some city government. High levels of PCB's were also found in drums of oil that were apparently illegally sold to the scrap yard by one of the auto companies.

This is unforgivable callousness by these capitalists who would endanger the population in order to save a few dollars rather than use a safer, somewhat more costly method to get rid of the dangerous chemicals. But the EPA, DNR, and Detroit Health Department still refuse to reveal who these greedy monsters are or how many other neighborhoods they may have dumped in. It recently came out that a local chemical firm has been dumping PCB's and other toxic and highly flammable chemicals in public dumpsters around an elementary school in another neighborhood. This incident was only revealed when one of the dumpsters burst into flames as garbage men were dumping it.

The government officials are also downplaying the seriousness of the contamination. They report the high levels of PCB in residents' blood to be about "normal" for Michigan. But this is only "normal" when taken as an average figure which includes the high PCB levels found in the blood of people who eat a large amount of the PCB-contaminated Michigan fish. To the government officials this scandal is slightly less than the fish scandal so everything is normal.

Meanwhile, the government is putting out $550,000 to scrape up the contaminated topsoil. But, for the time being, they are only moving it into the scrap yard where the contamination began from. Such a "cleanup" is not much help to the residents. When one neighborhood resident continued to complain to the city government, it sent him a letter suggesting that he accept another scrap yard's offer to buy his home for a mere $6,000. Although the liberal Mayor Coleman Young has denounced the PCB scandal it seems his city government is also out to help the capitalists make profits off the contamination of the working masses.

A few months ago, Ronald Reagan denounced the Russian government for its callous disregard for the people in covering up the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. But every day, in one contamination case after another, the U.S. government shows equally deadly disregard for the working masses. The only proper treatment for such governments, and the capitalists they protect, is to overthrow them in a working class revolution.

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USWA joins with the steel companies for a flag waving show

A major part of the United Steel Workers union (USWA) leaders contract bargaining this year has been an effort to "force" the steel monopolies to join them in a chauvinist extravaganza against "foreign imports." The steel monopolies have been only too happy to oblige. The billionaires of LTV Steel, Bethlehem Steel, Inland Steel, National Steel, and Armco gleefully joined with the USWA bureaucrats in a June 21 media blitz to "Save American Industry and Jobs."

Busloads of businessmen and politicians from decaying steel towns were sent to lobby Congress. Rallies were called for many cities. A million dollars were poured into full-page ads in newspapers around the country. An extensive system was set up to broadcast TV coverage of the rallies from and to each site. Then the blessed day, June 21, arrived and what did we find? There were well-manicured steel executives grinning in abundance. There were equally well-dressed union bureaucrats shaking their hands. There were politicians eager for votes. There were virtually no workers.

Clearly this campaign was a real victory for the USWA leaders. They were able to become even more acceptable participants in the executive board rooms and in the halls of Congress. In fact, it's become hard to distinguish them -- USWA bosses and the steel bosses, in a loving embrace.

But what about the rank-and-file steelworkers? What did they get from this grand campaign? Nothing. No, less than nothing. To purchase this extravaganza the USWA bureaucrats have given away hundreds and hundreds of millions in concessions to the big steel monopolies. So while the USWA leaders wine and dine with steel billionaires, the workers suffer wage cuts, lost benefits, job combination, murderous working conditions, and job elimination (250,000 steel jobs have been wiped out since 1977).

Such is the nature of the fight against "foreign imports." Patriotic unity with the U.S. monopolies in a war against the "foreign" threat is suicidal for the workers.

The USWA hacks claim that imports are the source of the economic crisis in the steel industry. But they have turned things upside down. It is the worldwide overproduction crisis and the dog-eat- dog capitalist competition that has brought on the war over imports.

The workers cannot win by taking sides in this war. If the workers in each company and each country compete over who can most help out their own bosses, then all the workers suffer wage cuts and job elimination. Meanwhile the capitalists reap the benefits.

On the other hand, if the workers unite then a struggle can be waged to make the capitalists pay for the crisis. In the final analysis, the workers' jobs and livelihood can only be protected by overthrowing capitalism and putting an end to the deadly cycle of economic crisis and man-eating capitalist competition. In the short run the workers must prepare for that final battle by fighting tooth and nail against their own capitalist bosses and step by step building up the class-wide struggle against the capitalist class.

The leaders of the USWA are waving the red-white-and-blue to obscure the real interests of the workers and get the U.S. workers to side with their own slave drivers while splitting up the unity of workers internationally and in the U.S. They have forgotten that the first principle of unionism is the unity of all workers against the capitalists. The rank and file cannot forget. It is up to the militant workers to combat the chauvinist treachery of the union bosses and to unite the rank and file for mass struggle against the steel capitalists.

Well-Respected Activist --

a song

In the '60's he wore a headband,

even called himself militant.

But since he's passed the bar exam,

his posture indifferent.

CHORUS: (assertive)

He's a well-respected activist,

careful not to provoke the establishment.

This morning he got a phone call,

for tomorrow's demonstration.

Silent vigil and a die-in,

Mike Lowry* will make a presentation.

Reagan got a hundred million

for his Contra tools.

Some Democrats voted for it too,

but only some, he can't be fooled.


Well he's mad about the contras,

and the CIA's dirty war.

But he doesn't trust the masses,

cause the workers are such a bore.

So who will call the TV stations

and who will call the Times?

And who will call the Church Council,

perhaps they can spare some dimes?


There's always ultra-lefts around

and he thinks they're quite a bother.

They ridicule the Democrats

and he wishes they wouldn't holler.

Cause he's oh-so good,

and he's oh-so swell,

and he's oh-so vigilant

against scaring the liberals.


The radicals are a turn-off

when they denounce imperialism.

He thinks they go off the deep end

when they support the revolution.

Cause he's oh-so good,

and he's oh-so swell,

and he's oh-so vigilant

against scaring the liberals.


*Mike Lowry is the liberal Democratic congressman in Seattle, WA. Substitute for Mike Lowry the name of the appropriate liberal Democrat: Ron Dellums, John Conyers, etc.

(To the tune of the Kinks' "Well-Respected Man")

[Chords were included in the original.]

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Strikes and workplace news

Woodworkers strike Weyerhaeuser

On June 16, about 7,500 woodworkers struck the Weyerhaeuser Company in the Pacific Northwest. Picket lines went up at 32 lumber mills and logging sites in Oregon and Washington as workers refused to accept a concessions contract which would have reduced their wages and benefits by 20%. On June 14, in separate negotiations, 200 machinists shut down the Weyerhaeuser mill of 1,100 workers in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Although contracts expired on May 31, the leaders of the International Woodworkers of America (IWA) and the Lumber, Production and Industrial Workers (LPIW) refused to give the workers permission to strike until June 16. But 700 woodworkers in three Washington towns wouldn't listen to the bureaucrats and began striking four days earlier. The IWA local union president complained, "I had a hell of a time holding them off until Thursday." This gives an idea of both the militancy of the workers who are itching to resist and of the foot-dragging of the union officials.

Indeed the union hacks, are stabbing the workers in the back all along the line. While the workers demand no concessions whatever, it is reported that the union bureaucrats have already offered the company a 20% wage cut and only let the workers strike when the company wanted a 20% cut in benefits as well.

What is more, the 7,500 strikers at Weyerhaeuser are part of a larger negotiation of some 30,000 woodworkers that includes such lumber giants as Boise-Cascade, Georgia-Pacific, Champion and others. Why have the leaders of the two unions kept these workers on the job? It is more than obvious that an industry wide strike in the Northwest would be a much more powerful blow to the capitalists. Whittling down the strike and splitting the workers' ranks is sabotage pure and simple.

Aluminum workers strike against concessions

In nine states 15,000 workers have been on strike since June 1 against the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), the nation's number one aluminum producer. In Kentucky another 450 aluminum workers have been striking against the Alcan Aluminum Company since June 8.

In both strikes the aluminum workers are fighting against concessions demanded by the aluminum company capitalists. ALCOA wants wage and benefit cuts totaling $1.19 per hour. In Kentucky, Alcan has demanded concessions totaling $2.70 per hour.

The union hacks are singing ''Solidarity Forever" backwards in this strike too. The joint bargaining team of the steel workers and aluminum workers unions (USWA/ABGW) offered to extend the previous contract at Reynolds Aluminum, affecting 9,500 workers, to prevent a united strike. The Reynolds billionaires, the second largest aluminum producer, accepted this generous offer of course.

It should also be stressed that the rank-and-file aluminum workers are not allowed to vote on any proposed contract. Only local union presidents have the right to ratify contracts. Three years ago the union bureaucrats used this denial of the right to ratify to shove a wage freeze down the workers' throats. Now the aluminum capitalists are back for more.

The workers will have to be vigilant against betrayal by their own union leaders or an even more rotten concessions contract will be imposed on them this year.

[Photo: Alcoa workers on strike.]

Boston rally in support of striking Carney nurses

On May 27, over 700 nurses from across the state of Massachusetts showed their support for the nurses at Carney Hospital in Boston who have been on strike since May 5.

Not only did the nurses join the Carney picket line but they also marched through the streets of Boston loudly proclaiming their solidarity. At a rally held later to defend the Carney nurses' demands, they cheered calls for national solidarity among nurses for the strike.

The Carney Hospital administrators (strongly backed by the Boston Catholic church archdiocese) have hired scabs ostensibly for ''health care" reasons. But it is clear this is not some ''humanitarian" gesture. It is straightforward union busting.

As the Carney nurses continue their fight, solidarity actions become important weapons against the hospital administration's attempts to break the strike.

Boston garment workers march for unemployment relief

Three hundred and fifty garment workers were thrown out of work by the surprise closing of the P&L factory (formerly the largest garment shop in town) last December. The workers' meager unemployment benefits are nearing an end. Their medical insurance has been terminated, and with the U.S. garment industry in deep depression (five more garment shops have closed in Boston since December) there are no jobs to be had. Governor Dukakis' much touted program to assist workers in case of plant closings with supplemental unemployment benefits and job retraining has not provided the workers with any help at all.

But the workers, most of whom are Asian women, are refusing to quietly sink into destitution. They have organized petitions, mass meetings and two protest demonstrations, one in April and most recently on May 21. They are demanding an extension of unemployment benefits, medical benefits, job retraining, and they are protesting against the racist discrimination they encounter in trying to find new jobs and in receiving government benefits.

Unemployment in Hi-Tech Country

The situation and struggle of the P&L workers reveals the truth behind the lies we hear every day about the great Reagan economic recovery and how the economy in Massachusetts is booming.

Besides P&L and the other garment shops, the Colonial meatpacking plant, the General Dynamics shipyard, the Revere Sugar plant, Schrafts candy and ECA are just a few of the factories that have closed in the last two years. Over 10,000jobs have been lost in the hi-tech industry around Boston due to the overproduction crisis in hi-tech. There may be jobs for engineers and professionals but for the workers, unemployment is a very real problem.

The situation is especially bad for oppressed nationality workers and the youth. Over 50% of the black youth (age 16 to 24) are unemployed in Boston.

The capitalists have taken advantage of the unemployment among the masses and the disorganization of the workers to keep wages extremely low. About the only job a worker can hope to find today is a near minimum wage job in the ''service" industry or in a hi-tech sweatshop. And of course that kind of pay is not enough even to pay the rent on the cheapest apartment, let alone eat.

Reagan and the Democrats Hand in Hand Against the Unemployed

And what is the government's response to this misery of the workers?

Reagan accuses the workers of being stupid and lazy. He cuts social programs for the poor and denies food stamps and rent subsidies to the minimum wage workers.

And in Massachusetts our ''liberal"Democrats in the state house are racing to keep up with Reagan. Just recently they cut in half the unemployment insurance tax which employers are supposed to pay, while making unemployment benefits more difficult for workers to receive.

Such is the meaning of the Reagan recovery -- the profits are rolling in for the capitalists because of the increasing poverty of the workers.

Build the Movement Against Unemployment

But the struggle of the P&L workers shows that there is a spirit of resistance growing not only among the employed workers -- who have launched a number of bitter strikes this year -- but also among the unemployed.

The liberal capitalists, such as those who own the Boston Globe, are quite worried about the development of any struggle of the unemployed for fear it may become a rallying point for all the impoverished. And so these liberals try to quell the workers' anger with pious words of concern. Meanwhile the flunkies of the Democratic Party try to get the workers to put their faith in the electoral process and to turn the workers' anger into votes for themselves. At the most recent rally of the P&L workers these political hacks repeatedly tried to get the workers to chant ''no retraining, no reelection." It is particularly ridiculous to impose that on immigrant workers who are denied the right to vote.

Unemployment is a constant evil of the capitalist system. Assistance and relief for the unemployed will not come from the liberal prattle of the editors of the Globe; nor will it come from the promises of the capitalist politicians, Republican or Democrat. Only the development of the most determined and militant mass struggle of the working people -- employed and unemployed -- can force the rich to provide any jobs or livelihood for the unemployed. That is how the workers first won unemployment compensation and other benefits back in the 1930's and that is how we must fight today.

Mass. garment workers fight union busting

The strike against New England Macintosh continues into its third month as 432 garment workers in three cities in Massachusetts walk the picket lines.

The capitalist owner of New England Macintosh wants to contract out work to nonunion shops. This would cut his work force and lower costs, as the nonunion shops pay no benefits.

The largely immigrant work force is fighting to maintain job security through unionization. The strikers' solid unity has sent the capitalists scrambling to try to locate scab labor.

The strikers realize that if they stay out and stick together, they have a good chance of winning the strike. Only through diligent mass struggle can the workers' positions be protected.

Slowdown at McLouth Steel

The workers at McLouth Steel in Trenton, Michigan are resisting the latest round of concessions pushed onto them by the company and the United Steelworkers (USWA) bureaucrats.

In May a new contract was forced into place using the blackmail threat of bankruptcy. Among other things the new contract eliminated 287 more jobs and is expected to save the company another $10 million.

The workers' response has been to organize a work slowdown. In every situation the workers are slowing the pace of work as much as possible. As well, some sabotage has begun. At least two forklifts were damaged by pouring anti-freeze into their gas tanks.

The company has started to cry from the pain of the workers' job actions. In a June 10 letter sent to all workers, McLouth's president Leonard Wise sang a familiar tune. He whimpered that the slowdown and sabotage threaten the company's ability to get loans, and ''In addition, we will lose sales revenue resulting in (financial) losses that cannot be absorbed, and this will put the company out of business... I can assure you that if our productivity levels do not return to normal, we will not be able to survive."

On June 11, the company called in a grievance man at 3:00 a.m. to intervene in a slowdown in the Basic Oxygen Process part of the mill. When he didn't put a stop to the job action, the company suspended him pending discharge. There was widespread sentiment to strike the company over this, but the strike was narrowly averted -- by the union bureaucrats.

Harry Lester, USWA District 29 Director (who originates from McLouth Steel), has jumped into the struggle on the company's side. He immediately sent a telegram to the local reminding them that the new contract forbids strikes, slowdowns and work stoppages. He has chimed in with Mr. Wise, threatening that the workers "have got to make the agreement work and increase steel quality and quantity or they won't be around." And "If McLouth goes down, don't let them say the union done it." He instructed the local leaders to help inspire employee cooperation with management.

But the workers at McLouth are about through with cooperating with management. In 1982 the company went through bankruptcy proceedings and changed hands. Throughout that time to the present, the union hacks pushed the workers into giving up concessions after concessions in order to "save their jobs." But today only 1,800 workers remain, less than half those of ten years ago. And these workers have lived and worked under the threat of plant shutdown and job loss every day for the last five years.

So are the workers' jobs safe now? No -- the threat remains. All through the recent contract talks and now again, the daily talk of bankruptcy continues. The workers see that it's just a matter of time until the plant shuts down and they too will be left with nothing. So they are putting down cooperation with management and taking up struggle for their jobs. There is no other road to defend themselves.

Only struggle can stop concessions in the shipyards

From Los Angeles to San Francisco, from Portland to Seattle-Tacoma, labor contracts of the major West Coast shipyards and many small boat yards expire on July 1.

The shipyard companies are on a concessions rampage and they are stacking the deck against the workers.

First, layoffs have all but emptied most of these yards. At Todd Seattle, which enjoyed a steady stream of Naval, Coast Guard and commercial repair jobs until April, it is more than coincidence that the work happened to run out at this time.

Second, even though the yards are demanding virtually identical packages of concessions, they are negotiating separately, hoping to divide the workers at different yards.

Third, Todd Seattle, Marine Power and other yards are running ads in the newspapers and telephoning laid-off workers in an attempt to line up scabs to break a strike.

On top of all this, in May the officials of the Boilermakers' International and Seattle, Tacoma and Portland locals publicly stated that they would accept wage cuts, would not strike under any circumstances, and would order their members to cross any picket lines that the shipyard workers put up. (Two weeks ago the AFL-CIO metal trades department ordered the Boilermakers to return to joint negotiations with the other crafts. But this hardly repairs the damage.

The relatively strong position of the companies underlines the necessity of the shipyard workers to spread a strike up and down the whole West Coast in order to block concessions. This is what the capitalists and their agents within the union bureaucracy are afraid of. That's why they are busy throwing the maximum number of obstacles in the way of the united strike struggle of the West Coast workers. They hope to prevent, or at least limit to a few yards, any shipyard strike.

In this serious and dangerous situation, there must not be the slightest illusion among the workers that these concessions can be stopped through mere talking. But this is precisely the pipe dream that the Metal Trades bureaucrats, both local and International, are spreading.

Out of one side of their mouth they say "no concessions," out of the other side they say "no strike." The reality of the concessions drive throughout the entire shipbuilding industry dictates that we can have either "no concessions" or "no strike," but not both.

The truth is that the same union officials that supported a $3.50/hour cut last year at Todd are now using a small bit of trickery to set up the workers. Forget the rhetoric and hot air. The main pro-concessions tactic the bureaucrats are using at this time is to bad- mouth the idea of a strike. They want the workers to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the dangerous situation that is developing. This could only lead to disastrous results. If the bureaucrats are successful in smothering the fighting sentiment among the rank and file, then the attacks of the companies will eventually present the workers with a fait accompli.

Over the past three years the shipyard workers have already done a good job of countering the company propaganda and blackmail, and have maintained a majority opinion against concessions. The contract expirations present a new situation. Now the workers must just as thoroughly spread the idea of the necessity of mass struggle to block concessions. This will lay the basis for the rank and file to take action on its own, regardless of the treachery of the union officials. The workers can organize protests, slowdowns, rallies, picket lines or other actions.

This type of independent rank-and- file action is the path to building the confidence of the workers, to preparing conditions to launch or join a strike and spread it to the maximum number of West Coast yards. This is a tall order, but in the present situation, it is the only way to stop the concessions railroad.

Oscar Meyer contract B-A-L-O-N-E-Y

(On June 23, an anti-concessions rally was held at the Oscar Mayer plant gates in Chicago. About 200 workers, including Chicago Tribune strikers and TWA workers, participated in the action. It was organized by militants who are organizing the workers to fight against not only Oscar Mayer but also against the treachery of their own union bureaucrats. Below is an article based on a June 23 leaflet distributed at the rally by the Chicago Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA.)

On June 1, the workers at the Chicago Oscar Mayer Meatpacking plant (OM) soundly voted down a concessions contract by 410 to 2.

The company tried to trick the workers into accepting a temporary wage freeze (the current level is $10.67 per hour) on the condition that they accept whatever contract terms are settled at the OM plants in Madison, Wisconsin and Davenport, Iowa in September of this year. They would have no rights to strike if they didn't like the terms, and the contract would not expire until January 1990! This would prevent the Chicago OM workers from supporting a strike by the Madison and Davenport workers in September.

Since the workers would have none of the takeback demands, the company has tried threats and intimidation tactics to make the workers bow down. The company has laid off all but 60 workers and has demanded even deeper cuts: $9 per hour base wage plus a two-tier wage system giving new hires only $6.50 per hour. They also demanded huge cuts in insurance, dental and pension plans. But the OM workers have no intention of accepting concessions and are organizing themselves for a militant fight.

Local Union Misleader Sabotages Workers' Struggles

The ability of the OM workers to prepare for this contract struggle has come about through years of struggle within the plant and against the treachery of their own local United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) misleaders.

Until this year, Local UFCW President Piotrowski prevented the election of a negotiating committee and always handpicked his loyal flunkeys to the committee. As a result, workers never knew the details of the contracts they were voting on until after the contracts were signed, sealed and delivered. This year the workers organized themselves to prevent such a situation again.

The workers rallied their own ranks within the plant around the issues and against Piotrowski's arbitrary and dictatorial methods. In the union meeting, workers forced the union bureaucrats to hold an election for a negotiating committee to get militant representatives onto this committee. This has made it possible to keep the rest of the workers informed of the details of the negotiations, and prevent Piotrowski from signing away their hard-won wages and benefits.

Meanwhile, OM militants are also organizing the rank and file to take other actions independent of the local bureaucrats. This is essential to ensure at least some organization of the struggle.

AmPac Strikers Were Abandoned

In this situation, Piotrowski has attempted to put on a "militant" face, posturing for the media and calling for workers' "committees" to be formed. But this is only the flimsiest of disguises. Piotrowski has a long history of crimes against the packinghouse workers.

As president of Local 100, an amalgamated local which covers over 6,000 workers in about 100 plants, Piotrowski has presided over many sellout contracts and sabotaged many workers' struggles. A current example is the strike going on at American Meatpacking Company (AmPac) in Chicago. The AmPac workers have been on strike since Christmas and have been virtually abandoned by the local union. The AmPac workers have denounced Piotrowski for refusing to organize any struggle against the company's arrogant demands for a $3 per hour wage cut, two-tier wage system, and other concessions, and for not organizing any struggle to stop the scabs. But his crimes are even worse.

Piotrowski put out a letter calling on the Immigration and Naturalization Service (the INS or "la Migra") to raid the AmPac plant under the guise of "getting the scabs out"! Piotrowski is well aware that the INS is not in the business of supporting strikes and is an arm of harassment, intimidation and repression of the capitalists' government against all the workers. He certainly knew that the INS would not limit their anti-immigrant attacks to the scabs, but go after the strikers as well, many of whom are also immigrants.

It seems Piotrowski's logic is that it's fine to scab as long as your legal status is cleared with the U.S. government! This activity of Piotrowski is not only completely anti-worker and divisive, but is a further attempt to break the strike and force the AmPac workers to bow down to severe takebacks.

It has also been reported that Eckrich Meatpacking Company, also covered by Local 100, intends to send their laid-off workers to scab at OM in the event of a strike at OM. Workers at Eckrich must be forewarned and get organized to fight against any attempt to make them scabs.

Jackie Presser on his throne


It's not enough that they act like bosses, now union bureaucrats are even putting on the trappings of emperors. In this picture Jackie Presser, the head of the Teamsters union, is being carried into the recent Teamster convention. At the convention, the union hacks decided to preserve Presser's wealthy position. They rejected a resolution to lower Presser's whopping $500,000 a year salary. The convention also turned down a resolution to raise strike benefits from their present $55 per week level. Obviously Presser's welfare is more important than that of striking workers.

Buffalo: Strike at J.H. Williams against wage cuts

(The following article is based on an article from the June 16 issue of the Buffalo Workers' Voice, newspaper of the Buffalo Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA.)

At the J. H. Williams manufacturing plant in Buffalo, New York, 250 workers are out on strike against the company's concessions plan. The capitalists have demanded wage cuts for both hourly and pieceworkers. They also want to cut benefits and combine job titles.

The proposed cut in wages is most drastic for the pieceworkers. The company is demanding a 36% reduction in the base rate, from $6.90 an hour to only $4.60. And it wants to impose further cuts by deducting pay for scrap and downtime.

The workers have seen their real wages fall for the last several years due to the wage freeze in the last contract. They have also seen nearly 700 of their fellow workers thrown out of their jobs in the last six years. It is said over and over that concessions save jobs. But the workers at J. H. Williams have learned from their own bitter experience what a lie this is. Now the capitalists are demanding more concessions. But the workers are fighting back.

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UAW convention

On the road of company unionism

The United Auto Workers (UAW) held their 28th Constitutional Convention during the first week of June. Faced with the loss of 270,000 UAW jobs since 1979 and the continuing concessions offensive by the auto, aerospace, and agricultural equipment monopolies, this convention should have launched a drive to organize the workers for a determined mass struggle against the capitalists. Instead, the convention endorsed the sellout policy of UAW president Owen Bieber and the other top UAW officials, a policy of going further down the road of company unionism.

Collaborating With the U.S. Monopolies to Attack "Foreign Competition"

The main theme of the convention was a call to collaborate with the U.S. monopolies to fight ''foreign competition."

Bieber decried the low-wage competition from "South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Yugoslavia" and declared that "The industrial policy we so desperately need is... to increase productivity and international competitiveness?" In other words? rather than solidarity among the workers of all lands in a common struggle against the capitalist exploiters, Bieber called for the U.S. workers to take the side of our "own" U.S. monopolies. Bieber has turned aside from the fight to defend the workers' jobs and livelihood against the drive of the U.S. monopolies. Instead he wants the U.S. workers to help the U.S. monopolies to become more productive and competitive through granting them job-eliminating concessions such as cutting job classifications and protective work rules.

Of course Bieber tried to cover up this craven belly crawling before the U.S. billionaires. At times he postured against Reaganism and at one point even declared that there could be a"war" with the auto monopolies. But this was just empty rhetoric. Bieber's "fight" against Reaganism turned out to be nothing more than a call to elect politicians from the other capitalist party, the Democrats, who he said would stand for tariff restrictions against foreign imports instead of Reagan's "free trade" policy of voluntary import restrictions. And the "war" with the monopolies turned out to be an effort to "force" the auto billionaires to accept concessions that would keep them producing in the U.S.

The model for Bieber's "war" is none other than the Saturn contract with GM. At the convention Bieber praised the UAW leadership for "insisting on" and "wresting" this sellout agreement from GM, as if the auto giant didn't want it. And he declared, "I urge you not to tie my hands" and bar the negotiation of further Saturn-style contracts. After a 90-minute debate the convention voted 3 to 1 to endorse the Saturn contract and to give Bieber the green light for further Saturn-style agreements. Let's take a look at this contract that Bieber fought so hard for.

The Saturn Contract, A Giant Step Towards Company Unionism

The Saturn contract is the most concentrated concessions attack yet to be launched against the auto workers. Signed before the Saturn plant has even been built, it exempts Saturn from any and all national contracts with GM and leaves the 5,000 or so workers who will eventually be hired there to fend for themselves against the giant corporation. Its provisions are a sellout from A to Z.

The Saturn contract guts the seniority system and other protective work rules. It cuts job classifications down to a single one for production workers and to only three to five for skilled workers. It cuts base pay by more than 20 percent, and it puts the workers on a "risk/reward" system (sometimes called "gain sharing") where pay is tied to productivity, quality, attendance standards, and Saturn's level of profits or losses.

What is more, the Saturn agreement integrates the UAW bureaucrats into the Saturn management, making the UAW little more than a company union at the plant.

For example, the contract virtually bans all militant activity by the workers to defend themselves from attacks by GM. Binding arbitration is made the final step of the "problem-solving procedure" and the company must be given at least 35 days notice before a strike. Instead of defending the workers, UAW bureaucrats will be integrated into the management structure up to its highest level. They will jointly set production, quality and attendance standards as well as screen, hire, and discipline the workers right along with the GM executives.

As well, Saturn's "team system" is an attempt to turn UAW representatives into what are essentially foremen over crews of workers. It is claimed that the team system gives the workers a say in production because the teams of six to fifteen workers are supposed to each elect a UAW representative to be their "work unit counselor." But these "counselors" are barred from organizing the rank and file to take any action to defend themselves from company attacks. Such actions would be against the "philosophy" and "mission" of Saturn and therefore subject to "counseling," "disciplinary action," or "discharge." Instead of organizing the workers for their defense the UAW work unit counselors must spend all their time with the management representatives working out how to discipline their team to meet the company's goals. As a work unit counselor only the most class conscious worker could even partially resist the company's pressures and then only as long as the company did not transfer or fire him. Far from a system to represent the workers' interests, the team system is an effort to turn workers into foremen.

A Model for the Whole Auto Industry

The auto monopolies have literally jumped with joy over the Saturn agreement. Indeed even Bieber admitted at the convention that, "I heard [GM Chairman] Roger Smith say we're going to Saturnize the auto industry. I heard [Chrysler Chairman] Lee Iacocca say something like that."

But faced with opposition to Saturn at the convention, Bieber claimed that it was only an exception. He declared, "Well, we're not going to Saturnize the auto industry." This is of course a lie. The auto companies are step by step putting different features of the Saturn agreement into place in one factory after another and the UAW leaders are going right along with it.

GM has put the "team system" and "gain sharing" into place at plants in St. Louis, Van Nuys (Los Angeles), Fremont (a joint operation in the San Francisco Bay Area with Toyota called New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., or NUMMI) and others. According to an article in the Detroit News from last November 17 there were then already "more than 80 Saturn-like programs under way at GM." Meanwhile, Chrysler is talking about instituting the "team system" and other Saturn features at its Jefferson Assembly plant in Detroit. And in one plant after another all across the country GM, Ford, Chrysler, and AMC are drastically reducing the number of job classifications and eliminating many of the protective work rules.

Obviously the Saturn agreement has opened a Pandora's box. But the UAW convention embraced this contract and gave the UAW bosses the go-ahead to continue to negotiate Saturn-style deals. This shows that the UAW bureaucracy is turning away from even token opposition to the concessions offensive of the monopolies and is falling into the gutter of company unionism.

But such treachery cannot continue forever. Already there are signs that the workers are rejecting the leadership of the UAW bureaucrats and throwing themselves into mass struggle against the monopolies. That struggle is being hamstrung everywhere by the union hacks, but out of it will emerge new organizations of the militants, organizations built independently of and against the union bureaucracy, organizations that are capable of welding the one million strong rank and file into a powerful force that can smash the concessions drive of the capitalists.

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"New Directions Movement"

The loyal opposition at the UAW convention

UAW president Owen Bieber did not find everything to be smooth sailing at the recent UAW convention. His chosen candidate for Region 5 director, Kenneth Worley, only won by two-tenths of a vote and then only after a lot of arm twisting and threats against various delegates. As well, a resolution that was considered to be a threat to future Saturn-style contracts was forced onto the agenda and, although eventually defeated, received about one-fourth of the votes of the over 2,000 delegates to the convention.

These fights, at what was otherwise an occasion for drinking and partying on the California beaches, indicate two significant developments in the UAW. First they are an indication that the rank-and-file workers are increasingly turning against the official UAW leadership and its policy of collaboration with the companies. And second they show that a section of the UAW leadership, which calls itself the ''New Directions Movement," has become worried about rank-and-file rebellion and feels it must posture against the top UAW officers in order to grab leadership over the workers and keep them under the domination of the union bureaucracy.

The New Directions Movement itself stresses that it represents a loyal opposition, a group which may criticize top UAW officers but only in a ''constructive" manner and never in such a way as to organize the rank and file for struggle independent of the UAW bureaucracy. It distributed a statement at the convention which was prepared at a meeting of 125 national, regional, and local UAW bureaucrats in Oklahoma City on March 1st. The statement stressed, ''All of us have been consistent supporters of the top UAW leadership in the past. We feel we have earned the right to be constructively critical."

There is no doubt that these are long time defenders of the top UAW leadership. One of the main figures of the movement is Victor Reuther, the brother of former UAW president Walter Reuther and himself a member of the UAW's executive board and head of the UAW's international department until he retired in 1972.

The other key figure is Jerry Tucker. He was a prodigy of former UAW president Leonard Woodcock who put him on the national UAW staff in Washington in 1970. In recent years he has been the assistant to the Region 5 director. He has been credited with keeping the rank and file from striking in various plants by organizing in-plant protests, actions that Bieber praised in his report to the. convention. In May Tucker decided to run against his boss, Kenneth Worley, for the regional directorship. He was promptly fired from his post and the top UAW officers organized a vicious campaign against him.

Why would such stalwarts of the UAW bureaucracy decide to buck the top UAW officers? In their statement they make it quite clear that they are afraid of a rank-and-file rebellion, stating, "We believe the UAW faces its deepest crisis in nearly 50 years. We...risk losing the support of our membership." (Emphasis added.) And they appear to believe that the danger of the rank and file breaking with the union bureaucracy arises because the top UAW officers are going too far in handing out concessions. As Victor Reuther put it in an interview last December, the top UAW leaders should learn "not to offer concessions when they are not needed." In other words, concessions are alright, collaboration with the monopolies is alright, but only if it doesn't stir up the rank and file, only if you really need to.

This is the narrow grounds on which they oppose the Saturn contract. At the convention they argued that, given the present high level of profits of the auto capitalists, concessions should not be granted at new plants before they have even been opened. This, they say, is going too far. If a company has the gun to your head, if it's threatening to close a plant and so forth, then concessions may be needed. But in other cases, the UAW leaders' rush to hand out concessions to the monopolies is too obvious, the rank and file will notice, and then the UAW might lose the whole game.

This New Directions Movement is not really new at all. It represents the standard reformist policies that the UAW bureaucrats have followed for decades. It has come up at this time to criticize the top UAW officialdom for being too obvious in its collaboration with the capitalists, but not to fight the class collaboration itself. The workers will do better without them. A complete break with the union bureaucracy -- independent organization of the rank and file-- that is what is needed to resist the attacks on the jobs and livelihood of the workers.

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On the Dellums bill for sanctions against South Africa

On June 18, with only a tiny fraction of the members of the House of Representatives present (just 50 out of 435), a voice vote passed legislation introduced by Representative Ron Dellums (D-Ca.) that would, if enacted, require the withdrawal of U.S. investments in South Africa. As well, the bill would impose a trade embargo with South Africa with the disgusting exception of certain minerals used by the U.S. war machine. Meanwhile, in the Senate, Senators Kennedy (D-Ma.) and Weicker (R-Ct.) announced they would drop their own token "anti-apartheid" legislation in favor of the Dellums bill. Now many of the Democratic Party liberals are crowing that they and the House have taken a resolute stand against apartheid.

But wait a minute. Has the Congress suddenly become an anti-apartheid bastion? Are the liberal Democrats now the champions of the black people's struggle in South Africa?

Not at all.

The Dellums bill is, it is true, the best of the sanction bills to get very far in Congress; it is the only one that has any serious sanctions rather than being all loophole.

Nevertheless, it is also true that the congressmen who now support the Dellums bill have not become friends of the liberation struggle in South Africa. Instead they stress that they want some sort of sanctions precisely in order to prevent the "radicalization of the black masses" and to preserve "U.S. interests" in South Africa. They say that they want to guide the Botha government, not to destroy it. In particular, they want to teach it to maneuver, to hold more discussions with black leaders who it should release from prison, etc. But this means to help the white minority regime out of its difficulties.

Genuine supporters of the struggle in South Africa must go all out to support the radicalization of the black masses; they must work in favor of a revolution in South Africa. Only the mass action of the black and other oppressed masses in South Africa can bring freedom and majority rule. Sanctions must be used as one of the ways to support this struggle. But for the capitalist congressmen, sanctions -- or, more usually, sham sanctions -- are to be used to advise the Botha government on how to act.

This difference in the use anti-apartheid activists and capitalist politicians have for sanctions reflects itself in every step of the struggle over sanctions. Because the liberals are united with the Reaganites in wanting to stop the radicalization of the masses, they won't fight hard for sanctions. In fact, they would prefer to have the image of sanctions, not the reality, so they don't want to aid the revolution but simply to push Botha into dealing with the local reformists. So the liberals will probably be quite willing to barter away the Dellums bill for the usual meaningless bill.

In fact, the liberal Democrats already say that this is their intention. They claim that this is the realistic attitude to have to a bill that cannot pass Congress, and they say that the Dellums bill cannot pass the Republican-controlled Senate. (For that matter, although for the time being the liberals prefer not to mention it, it is doubtful that it can even pass the full Democratic-controlled House.) And this is to say nothing of getting the votes to overcome a Reagan veto.

So, the liberals say, let us simply use this bill as a bargaining chip. That way they get the best of both worlds: they don't have to pass real sanctions but they enhance their own reputations.

The last thing these politicians want is a militant nationwide struggle for sanctions and other measures against South Africa (economic ties aren't the only ones between the U.S. government and South Africa). So the capitalist liberals will not encourage the student protests for divestments, the blockades of South African cargo, etc. In fact, the liberal Democrats oppose these actions and participate in calling in the police to arrest the activists who take part in them. The liberals justify this by saying the real movement is electing Democrats.

Nevertheless it is not impossible that under some circumstances Congress will pass sanctions. The political situation in South Africa is becoming ever more threatening (to the capitalist politicians who look at things from the point of view of the stability of the Botha government). And the economic stagnation in South Africa has itself forced out many American and other companies. The pressure from the anti-apartheid masses around the world has also taken its toll.

But even if Congress does eventually pass some real sanctions, such as the Dellums bill, and get them past racist Reagan, they will not give up their goal of smothering the revolution. They will remain ready to render aid to whatever force they see as most fit for stopping the revolutionary struggle, and they will remain ready to abandon sanctions (or find ways around them). In the debate over sanctions in the House, the liberals did not speak of the need for all-round support to the anti-apartheid struggle, but for the need to preserve "U.S. interests.'' They said that the masses will eventually bring down apartheid anyway, whatever the U.S. does, so the U.S. government had better ensure that the black masses do not come to power bitter at capitalist America.

In this regard, it is notable that on the very same day as a handful of congressmen passed the Dellums bill, the overwhelming majority of the House of Representatives voted for an amendment to the original "anti-apartheid" bill that would bar any of the U.S. aid to South Africa mandated in this bill from going to the ANC. Some congressmen view the ANC as one of the forces that would play ball with U.S. imperialism; they discount its revolutionary rhetoric because of its constant appeals for support to the Western imperialist powers and its basically reformist program. But the Democrats and Republicans are so reactionary, so committed to preserving South Africa as a pro-West fortress in Africa, that they stampeded when an ultra-Reaganite congressman pointed to the ANC's connections with the revisionist so-called "South African Communist Party." The majority of the House Democrats voted for the condemnation of the ANC.

It is necessary for anti-apartheid activists to continue exposing the racist and imperialist stand of Congress, including of the supporters of the Dellums bill. This is necessary to build the mass anti-apartheid movement. It is necessary to support the revolutionary movement in South Africa rather than the U.S. maneuvers. And this stand is also the only one that will also increase the pressure on Congress for sanctions, for it will prevent Congress from having the image of applying sanctions while in fact doing nothing. The more illusions there are in Dellums and Kennedy, the easier it will be for the Democratic Party to barter away any real sanctions and to produce the typical bastard loophole bill.

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Death to apartheid in South Africa!


General strike shuts down racist S. Africa

On June 16, the tenth anniversary of the heroic Soweto uprising of 1976, a general strike of black workers swept across South Africa. All across the country the cities and industrial areas resembled ghost towns.

The Soweto uprising is dear to the hearts of the oppressed people because it is a symbol of militant struggle against apartheid. Ten years ago students in this huge black township near Johannesburg launched a protest against racism in the school system, and they were attacked by the police. This led to a general struggle against the racist regime. For months the battle in Soweto raged, and struggle broke out throughout the country as well. In battle after battle the unarmed masses boldly stood up against the storm troopers of apartheid.

Several hundred protesters were slaughtered during the months of revolt.' But the blood of these martyrs still flows in the veins of today's militants. Indeed it was in the uprising begun in Soweto that a whole wave of new activists came forward. With the recent general strike the South African workers demonstrated their determination to march ahead in the anti-apartheid struggle in the militant tradition of the Soweto rebellion.

The Workers Show Their Strength

Despite the news blackout by the racist regime, no one disputes the vast scope of the strike. The South African companies in the area running from Johannesburg to Pretoria conceded that 90% of their black employees participated in the strike. A similar rate was reported in the important industrial city of Port Elizabeth and in Cape Town.

The strike clearly showed the great power of the workers. With one blow of their mighty fist, industry was shut down. The transport systems were crippled, and the businesses and shops of the commercial districts were deserted.

Defying Botha's Iron Fist

The general strike took place in the face of terrible government repression. A few days before the strike Botha again declared a "state of emergency,'' banned all protests and meetings, and flooded the black townships with police and army troops. Thousands of anti-apartheid activists were arrested and put in solitary confinement. And the racist regime even cut off phone service to whole black townships, such as Soweto. Obviously this made the struggle difficult.

Still, not only did the workers boycott the work places, but mass actions broke out in various areas as well. In one section of Soweto the masses set up a barricade of burning tires and pelted police with stones. In various townships in the eastern Cape Province the police patrols were hit with stones and gasoline bombs. Clashes were also reported in several other provinces. And it should be kept in mind that the government's ban on reporters covering or even being present at the scenes of struggle, and on newspapers and other media carrying any news at all about the struggle, undoubtedly meant that only a fraction of what took place is now known.

The police responded to the township protests in their usual mad-dog fashion. There is no way of knowing the full extent of their brutality, but the racists admit to gunning down four protesters.

The Fight Against Government Repression Is On!

The black workers however are not about to accept the government's repression lying down. On June 18 workers took action to demand the release of union leaders detained under the "emergency'' measures. Sit-down strikes and work stoppages were organized by supermarket workers and dairy workers in the Johannesburg area and fruit pickers in the Cape Province. It is also reported that this protest has spread to some auto plants.

The Workers Are Hurling Themselves Into the Anti-Apartheid Struggle

The June 16 general strike and the subsequent strikes show again that the workers are a powerful force in the anti-apartheid struggle. Only six weeks earlier, 2.5 million workers waged a May Day general strike against apartheid. These actions are just beginning to tap the potential of the workers in the liberation struggle.

Unfortunately the reformist trend in the black trade unions and elsewhere is reluctant to utilize the full potential of the workers against the racist rulers. It is reported, for example, that militants in the black townships wanted to continue the general strike beyond a single day, but were opposed by reformists. The ending of the strike after only one day is reported to be a sign of the influence over the radical activists of the United Democratic Front (UDF).

But despite the repression of the regime and the influence of narrow trade unionism and other reformist ideas, the direction the workers are moving is clear. The workers' movement is gradually becoming more political, and the black workers are destined to be the backbone of the revolutionary struggle to overthrow the racist system.

[Photo: Young militants knows as "comrades" march in the Crossroads shantytown near Cape Town. The "comrades" have been battling black vigilantes organized by the apartheid police who have burned down hundreds of dwellings in Crossroads.]

Tutu chats with Botha

As soon as Botha conducted his big crackdown in mid-June, Bishop Tutu rushed to hold a friendly chat with him on June 13. Tutu asked Botha about the mass arrests carried out the day before. And,Tutu reported, Botha told him that "they had pulled in what they considered troublemakers. And my [Tutu's] view was if you pull in people regarded as troublemakers, you will end up with a community without leaders -- and therefore more likely to become a mob." (Detroit Free Press, June 14, 1986)


Now isn't that wonderful. Botha comes down with the iron fist. And Tutu runs to advise him, in effect, that this might backfire, because the rank and file are more radical than their leaders.

How is this different from the stand of the big white capitalists in South Africa? They complained to Botha that he had arrested all the black trade union leaders, and therefore they had no one to talk to in order to get black strikers back to work.

The reformists such as Tutu want to use the mass struggle as a simple bargaining chip for discussions with the racist regime. But freedom will not be won hand in hand with Botha. It will be won by the revolution that the masses (Tutu's "mob") are preparing through their strikes, militant actions and organizational efforts that are spreading throughout South Africa.

Feeling the ground shake beneath their feet: The white racists declare a country-wide state of emergency

Millions upon millions of black workers and youth are rising to their feet in the struggle against apartheid and white minority rule. The Botha government maintains itself in power by one means only -- brutal force and murder.

On May 1st millions of black workers staged a countrywide general strike. Feeling the ground shake beneath its feet, the Botha government dreaded the approach of the tenth anniversary of the Soweto uprising on June 16. It reacted in the only way this government of bloody butchers knows how: it declared a new state of emergency on June 12 and carried out mass arrests.

Look at the steps taken by the Botha government under this emergency rule. It shows the naked face of fascist suppression against the black people. It shows that the black people, under the rule of the white racists, have no rights that a man with a whip need respect. And it shows that there is an ever growing gap between what the white racist regime decrees and what goes on in the country. Botha may pass ten million laws banning black political activity, but the political movement keeps growing.

Even More Mass Repression Than Usual

* The government carried out mass arrests of activists, trade union leaders, and any and all opponents of white minority rule. There are perhaps four or five thousand arrests in barely two weeks. In a frenzy over strikes, the government pays particular attention, among other things, to arresting black trade union leaders.


* Those arrested need not be charged with anything. Even though South African law already makes any opposition to white minority rule into "high treason,'' the racist government does not feel it need bother with any formality to beat up and imprison its opponents. Instead anyone may be detained for 14 days, and the 14 day period may then be extended. And with the new law the detention period is a renewable six months.

* Those arrested are often kept in solitary confinement. They are not allowed to see anyone, even blood relatives or lawyers. Their names are not released either. They simply vanish.


* It is forbidden to publish the name of anyone arrested, or to quote them in the press, or to admit they exist. They become nonentities. They don't exist. Or so Botha hopes concerning the courageous opponents of apartheid oppression.

* The police and army have full rights to beat up and abuse blacks as they see fit. Should their crimes be so severe that even the white racist judiciary system charges them with something, they will be protected from punishment.

* Mass repression is carried out in the townships. And, to enforce this repression, even telephone contact with whole townships is cut at the government's will. The police and army have the right, without furnishing reasons, to cordon off areas, declare curfews, close public buildings, search any place they wish, etc. For that matter, in practice they have the right to shoot or beat anyone they please, or destroy anything they wish to.

* There are bans on meetings of the black masses, including in many areas even mass funerals. Any concerted action against the racist system is forbidden. Of course, this doesn't apply to sell-outs like Chief Buthelezi who are given full rights by the racists to hold public meetings to denounce the anti-apartheid militants. Nor are Botha's bans respected by the anti-apartheid fighters.


* There is even a ban on possessing subversive T-shirts in 13 segregated townships in the Eastern Cape. Think how hated a government has to feel to get to the point where it starts to censor messages on T-shirts.


* No one, no newspaper or TV or radio station, no reporter or writer may report on any action of the government against the masses. No reporter may even legally be present on such actions. This allows the government to escalate its brutality against the black townships.

* Nothing but praise may be printed in the press, propagated, etc. It is forbidden to publish any "subversive" statement or any statement critical of the racist system. It is not even allowed to publish statements from Botha's handpicked ministers without first removing anything the minister says that is "subversive." And even the enchained black newspapers that have managed to exist until now are threatened with closing.

* The regime also wishes to continue the use of black sellouts against the black majority and even against the reformists. Just before the state of emergency it began stepping up their use. Their influence is propped up with the regime's steel-tipped whips.

Even This Cannot Save Apartheid

Even this cannot stop the mass struggle. On June 16, despite the state of emergency, a massive strike paralyzed South Africa. Subsequently, with the further arrest of trade union leaders, rank-and-file workers have staged a number of strikes to gain their release. The white capitalists are uneasy and in a quandary over what to do about these strikes.

But the white minority regime can have only one answer to how to rule over a vast, oppressed majority. Even more laws.

On June 20 the government passed even more severe laws. These laws are to continue whether or not there is a state of emergency. Under these laws, anyone may be jailed for six months without giving any reason (and naturally, this term may be indefinitely repeated). As well, the Minister of Law and Order may declare any area of South Africa at any time an "unrest area" and carry out even more mass repression than usual. (In effect, local states of emergency.)

The Fraud of Gradual Reform

This brutal repression proves the fraud of the so-called gradual reform of apartheid. A few minor aspects of apartheid are removed (this is called "petty apartheid" in South Africa as opposed to the real essence of white minority rule) while the iron heel comes down twice as hard on the overwhelming majority. Why hallelujah, a black may now go to one or two of the formerly segregated beaches. The only problem is, you never know whether your neighbor, or parents, or co-workers are to vanish without trace into the South African prisons.

And look how these bills were passed. The white racists made a big deal that they had added two more chambers to their parliament: Asian and mixed-race chambers. Even the sellouts who are in these chambers voted down twice the new security laws. The white chamber passed them twice. To break the deadlock, Botha simply had them declared law by the President's Council, which is composed completely of his appointees. The masses who boycotted the elections to the non-white chambers turned out to be completely correct about their useless nature.

The Botha government cynically expressed its real attitude to the so-called "Eminent Persons Group" from the British Commonwealth that was trying to push on it a few more empty reforms. The group reported that "...the government believes that it can contain the situation indefinitely by force. We were repeatedly told by ministers that the government had deployed only a fraction of the power at its disposal."

The Reagan Administration Backs the Racist Apartheid Fiends to the Hilt

Meanwhile the Reagan administration continued to express solidarity with the white minority rulers of South Africa. The state of emergency didn't change this. After all, mass atrocities are nothing new in South Africa nor in the history of American racism either.

So when the state of emergency was declared, a White House spokesman said a few mild words of disapproval and talked of "a serious mistake." As if mass repression in South Africa was a temporary "mistake" and not the only way that the white racist government can rule over the black majority.

But Mr. Reagan promptly toned down even this mild criticism. According to him, the problem is not that of the white minority government against the black masses, but of blacks fighting blacks and of too much violence on all sides. He simply urged everyone to "exercise maximum restraint" or to "consider again the stark consequences of violence before lighting the next match or pulling the next trigger."

Thus Mr. Reagan's statement that was supposed to criticize the state of emergency actually denounced the black masses fighting for freedom. The implication of his remarks was clear. If only the black masses weren't so violent. Why, if they restrained themselves then maybe the government wouldn't have to exercise restraint for them.

The Racist Regime in a Frenzy

But Reagan's disapproval won't stop the struggle any more than Botha's whips. The mass struggle continues. And in this situation, the Botha government is tearing its hair out. One day it combines some talk of reforms with repression. The next day it unleashes all-out repression. It is madly swinging from side to side.

In fact, it has no answer for the growing revolutionary crisis. The handwriting is on the wall. There will yet be many twists and turns in the liberation struggle of the black masses, but they have already displayed a portion of their gigantic strength.

Ahead of the black workers and youth lies even more trials of strength with the government, which is determined to hold on to white minority rule as long as there is a single policeman who can wield a whip, a single soldier who can shoot a gun. Ahead of them lies tremendous tasks of organization so that the huge numbers of the black and other oppressed masses can be brought to bear in a unified and conscious manner. But the revolutionary process continues to mature in South Africa no matter how many states of emergency Botha declares, no matter how much blood he sheds.

On the anniversary of the Soweto uprising

60,000 march against apartheid in New York


On June 14th, 60,000 anti-apartheid protesters took to the streets of New York City. The action was held on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the historic Soweto uprising of 1976. The protest began with large rallies in Harlem in northern Manhattan and near the UN in lower Manhattan. Several smaller rallies were also held. The demonstrators then converged on Central Park for a massive rally.

A large part of the demonstrators were workers. Among the largest groups were food industry workers, hospital workers, municipal workers, and workers from the Teamsters Union. The June 14 action showed again the strong solidarity of the American workers with the struggle of their class brothers in South Africa.

In the marches and rallies the protesters vigorously condemned U.S. support for the racist Botha regime. The U.S. aggression in Central America was also attacked. One of the most popular slogans of the action was "Boycott South Africa, Not Nicaragua!" As well demonstrators condemned Reagan's racist offensive here at home.

The False Friends of the Movement Speak

The official organizers of the rally sought to channel the just sentiment of the protesters into support for the phoney''"anti-apartheid" stand of the Democratic Party. From the rally platform, the Democratic politicians and their allies, the trade union bureaucrats, bemoaned the powerful struggle of the' oppressed in South Africa. Jesse Jackson, for example, wrung his hands over "black on black violence." This meant equating the militant anti-apartheid struggle of the black masses, which involves punishing black traitors, with the pro-apartheid stand of the racist-backed black vigilantes who have attacked the fighting masses and helped the white racists destroy whole shantytowns.

As an alternative to the revolutionary struggle, the Democratic Party politicians stumped for pressuring the Botha regime into making some minor reforms. Not fighting to overthrow the white minority regime, but advising it how to stave off a revolutionary "catastrophe" -- that was the great plan of the capitalist "opponents" of apartheid.

Democratic Mayor Koch Is Booed Off the Stage

But all did not go smoothly for the Democratic Party politicians and the trade union hacks. When the rally organizers tried to parade New York Mayor Ed Koch as a supporter of blacks in South Africa, they suffered a fiasco. Koch is a notorious racist, well-known for unleashing a reign of police terror on the black people in New York. Thus when Koch tried to speak in Central Park, he was booed off the stage to chants of "Koch Go Home!''

Various trade union bureaucrats were also booed. As well, the playing of the U.S. imperialist national anthem was loudly jeered. At the Harlem rally, sellout black congressman Charles Rangel received similar treatment.

Revolutionary Work of the MLP

While the official organizers tried to make the demonstration a plaything of the Democrats, the MLP contingent worked diligently to encourage the militancy of the protest. Revolutionary agitation was spread far and wide. The contingent distributed 15,000 leaflets and a number of copies of The Workers Advocate.

The Party agitation emphasized the vital tasks necessary to build up a powerful mass movement in solidarity with the struggle in South Africa. It pointed out, among other things, that it was not the lying Democrats who would liberate South Africa but the revolutionary struggle of the black and other oppressed masses. And it called on the workers and activists in the U.S. to stand in support of the liberation struggle.


A number of other protests were held across the country in conjunction with the anniversary of the Soweto uprising. On June 16 in Chicago, 500 people took part in an anti-apartheid rally.

Here too the Democratic Party politicians were paraded onto the platform. But the militant slogans, started up by the contingent of the Marxist-Leninist Party, carried among one to three-quarters of the demonstration at various times and would start up by themselves in some of the lulls. The painting "Apartheid No, Revolution Yes!" was photographed by a number of demonstrators, and many issues of the Anti-Imperialist Newsletter and The Workers' Advocate were distributed.

San Francisco Bay Area

In Oakland, California several hundred people participated in a march and rally on June 14. Here too the MLP contingent and other anti-apartheid activists carried out militant work while the reformists paraded Democratic Party politicians onto the speakers platform. The struggle of the activists to carry out militant activities that go beyond the bounds imposed by the reformist forces is shown clearly by a June 17 demonstration held three days later in Berkeley, California which is reported on elsewhere in this issue's coverage of the anti-apartheid movement.

Elsewhere and Overall

Other June 14 actions were held in Boston, Los Angeles and Atlanta. And a week earlier, in the Detroit area on June 7, a militant demonstration was organized by the MLP in the black working class community of Highland Park.

The demonstrations on the anniversary of the Soweto uprising show the sentiment of the workers and youth to fight apartheid. And they show that this sentiment is coming into conflict with the two-faced Democratic Party politicians. The development of the anti-apartheid movement independently of the capitalist politicians is essential in order for the movement to render conscious support for the revolution that will bring freedom and liberation to the long-suffering black masses of South Africa.

[Photo: MLP march aroused interest of youth in Highland Park (Detroit), June 7.]

[Photo: Planting the seeds of revolt.]

Bay Area activists take militant anti-apartheid action to the masses

On the evening of June 17, in the spirit of Soweto, 150 activists took to the streets to denounce the state of emergency decree of the South African racists and to proclaim their support for the revolutionary struggle of the South African masses. The action began powerfully, thundering out the slogan: "Revolution yes! Apartheid no! Death to apartheid blow by blow!" This and other militant anti-apartheid and anti-imperialist slogans were shouted nonstop as the activists marched several miles through the working class national minority areas of Berkeley and north Oakland.

The action, a "BART" alert," was organized by activists around the Campaign Against Apartheid (CAA). BART alerts are a tradition in Berkeley that developed during the anti-draft movement. They typically are actions organized on short notice around important events. Activists gather at the main BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train station and then march through campus areas to mobilize students for further actions.

This time, however, the activists headed for the working class areas. It was a success. Slogans -- "Down with racism, from Berkely to Soweto! Embargo South Africa, not Nicaragua! Victory to the revolution in South Africa! Democrats and Republicans, out of South Africa!" rang out and were warmly received by the working people along the route. Families gathered on their porches or in front of windows to shout support and raise their fists in solidarity. At one point, as the march passed a recreation field, the youth stopped playing ball and gathered along the fence to cheer on the demonstration. All along the route people eagerly took up leaflets because the action piqued their interest in finding out more about the struggle against apartheid.

Throughout the action the Marxist- Leninist Party played a significant role. Before the action, MLP supporters with close ties to the new wave of anti-apartheid activists had encouraged them to take the action into working class areas. The local branch of the MLP printed up and distributed leaflets promoting the action and organized a militant contingent to participate in it. The MLP contingent, with Party banner, several pickets and its loudspeaker, helped to unify and sustain the militant and revolutionary slogans taken up by the activists. This enhanced the impact of the demonstration overall. The contingent also made sure that the masses along the way got revolutionary literature that brought out the key points on building up a fighting anti-apartheid movement.

The action was a victory for the anti-apartheid movement. The warm response the action received in the working class and national minority communities and its large size for an action called on such short notice (three days) movement is to rely on militant mass actions and revolutionary politics directed towards the working class and progressive masses.

By comparison, the June 14 action in the Bay Area was dominated by reformists who enforced flabby slogans on the activists and gave over the speakers' platform to the Democratic Party and trade union hacks all in the name of "broadening the movement." But it in fact evoked much less of a response from the areas it went through than the militant June 17 BART alert. Also, despite the fact that it had been organized for several months and had the backing and promotion of the larger reformist and revisionist organizations, the reformist-dominated action drew, say, only twice the number of participants as the June 17 action held on three days notice.

The victory of June 17 could only take place because this action was not bound by the liberal politics of the Democratic Party hacks. It provided a glimpse of things to come.

[Photo: Anti-apartheid demonstrators march past Marxist-Leninist Books and Periodicals in Oakland, California, June 14.]

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Suppression of the workers and the myth of 'Liberty'

The Statue of Liberty's 100th anniversary is fueling the patriotic frenzy of the ruling class. But who built this statue? What was its purpose? And what did it represent at the time? A brief look into these questions helps to cut through the mountains of nostalgia and lies that have gone into the making of the myth of "Lady Liberty.''

A Gift from the Butchers of the Paris Workers

In the days after the American Civil War, the idea for a statue was pushed by two Frenchmen, Edouard de La- boulaye and the sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi. They were part of the French-American Union, launched by big French capitalists with economic interests in the U.S.

These bourgeois gentlemen were not the revolutionary French republicans of decades before. They were timidly republican and mildly critical of Napoleon III's monarchy. At the same time they were consumed with fear of the forces of revolution swelling up among the working people all over Europe. And they looked at America as a model of a republic without the "anarchy'' of a popular revolution. For them,.capitalist America provided the answer to being free of a king, while at the same time maintaining a firm regime of "law and order.''

In 1871, the insurrection of the Paris workers gave rise to the heroic Paris Commune, the first working class government in history. The lords of capitalism were horrified. The representatives of the French money bags, including Laboulaye and Bartholdi, huddled in Versailles, where they vowed to smash the Commune even if it took reducing Paris to ruins with the help of Prussian artillery. The Commune was defeated, and the streets of Paris ran with the blood of the workers in a terrible slaughter.

The mass executions of the Paris workers was just the type of "law and order" Laboulaye and co. believed in. Their final design of the Statue of Liberty was far removed from the traditional symbols of liberty connected to the French Revolution. Instead, they attached "law and order" symbolism to the statue, like the book of laws in her hand. And it is reported this was directly inspired by the suppression of the Commune of the Paris working class.

A Salute to the Robber Barons

Meanwhile, democratic America, like republican France, was revealing itself as a naked dictatorship of the rich and powerful over the workers and the poor. The robber barons and monopolies were the true power, which trampled the working people underfoot.

In the West, the U.S. Army was busy waging genocidal wars against the Native people. In the South, the black people were being driven into Jim Crow peonage. And across the country, the employers were unleashing terror against the emerging workers' movement.

Ironically enough, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in October of 1886. These were important days in U.S. history, and working people in many countries were watching events here. However, it wasn't the capitalist hoopla about a big statue that commanded their attention. Rather these were the days following the infamous Hay market events in Chicago. The capitalists were in a bloodthirsty frenzy against the eight-hour day strike movement and against revolutionary and immigrant workers, who were being hunted, jailed and deported. Workers on both sides of the Atlantic were raising their voices against the outrageous frameup of the Haymarket defendants, who were waiting the hangman's noose for the crime of being militant working class leaders. It was in this climate that the French and American kings of finance and industry dedicated their big green icon to American-style "Liberty."

Welcoming Exiles Was Not Part of the Plan

The statue has been dubbed the "Mother of Exiles" and a symbol of the open door to the "land of opportunity." The hypocritical and reactionary treatment of immigrants in this country is a vast topic, which we have touched on elsewhere in this paper.

However, it should be noted that immigrants had nothing to do with the original plan for the statue. In fact, the statue was dedicated only four years after the brutally racist Chinese exclusion act, and in the midst of the anti- foreign hysteria in the wake of the Haymarket events.

It was not until 1903 that the sonnet about the poor and huddled masses was put on the statue's pedestal. And from that time to the present it has stood as a mockery to all the victims of American capitalism's anti-immigrant campaigns of mass deportations, unjust exclusions, and racist persecution.


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Chilean torture ship at Iacocca's 'freedom party'

In the July 4 "Parade of Sail" up the Hudson River there will be one very well-known tall ship. The infamous Chilean death ship Esmeralda is coming to take part in the "Liberty" hoopla.

In 1973, the U.S. CIA organized the military coup which turned Chile into a concentration camp of summary executions and torture. Political prisoners were herded into soccer stadiums and makeshift dungeons. And the admirals turned their cadet training ship Esmeralda into a floating torture chamber for political opponents.

Over the years, Pinochet's fascism has continued its bestial rule. But the military dictators have made a few attempts to clean up its international image. The blood was washed off the Esmeralda's decks, and she has been sent on "good will" missions for Pinochet. But all over the world, working and progressive people have come out to condemn this torture ship of fascism and the governments which harbor it.

The organizers of the "Liberty" ceremonies were fully aware of these things. Nonetheless, the torture ship was invited by Operation Sail, which works with the private Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation chaired by Lee Iacocca. Despite protests, Iacocca is sticking with the invitation.

The Esmeralda's presence is such a scandal that even the Republican leadership in the Senate helped push through a resolution to cancel the invitation.

However, the sailing was smoother for the Esmeralda in the Democratic- controlled House, where 75 Democrats helped scuttle the vote to dis-invite her. Congressman Roth argued that it would be good for the Esmeralda to come to allow the crew to "see what democracy is all about."

But poor Mr. Roth got it backwards. The Esmeralda's presence will let the world see one more howling contradiction in all the hypocritical July 4 hoopla about "liberty" and "democracy." Who else but the U.S. imperialist ruling class would be so eager to invite a fascist torture ship to a "freedom party"?!

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U.S. immigration policy:

Returning Central American refugees to the death squads

The Statue of Liberty festivities are getting under way. Reagan and other capitalist mouthpieces are preparing their speeches to laud the "Mother of Exiles" and the allegedly generous, humane, and compassionate immigration policy of the U.S. government.

What hypocritical rot!

The truth is, U.S. immigration policy has always has been two-faced, racist and repressive. And today this scandalous tradition lives on in a most brutal form in the government's treatment of the Central American refugees.

Returning the Central American Refugees to the Death Squads

The death-squad governments of El Salvador and Guatemala are at war with their own people. The workers and peasants are bombed from the sky, massacred by troops, and in both countries tens of thousands have been "disappeared" by paramilitary forces. This has forced many to flee their homelands and seek refuge in the U.S.

But the U.S. government has refused to accept these refugees. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has hounded them, let them rot in detention centers, and deported as many as it can back to the tender mercy of the death squads.

The INS claims that the Salvadorans and Guatemalans are not political refugees at all, but economic emigrants coming to the States looking for work (or "a Chevrolet and a welfare check" as the racist bureaucrats of the INS put it). They have even tried to deport people whose bodies are covered with scars from torture. After all, the INS has argued, just because someone has been tortured once, that's not proof it will happen again.

Prison for Sanctuary Activists

To show that it means business, the Justice Department is coming down with the iron fist against the sanctuary movement, a church-based movement that provides sanctuary to Central American refugees. The INS and the FBI are resorting to hiring informers to spy on and tape church meetings and other police-state measures against this movement.

Last May, an all-white jury in Tucson, Arizona convicted six sanctuary activists of conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens. Two others were found guilty of lesser charges, such as concealing, harboring and transporting "illegals." Hardest hit was a nun, who faces a possible 25-year prison sentence.

Right from the beginning of this kangaroo trial, Federal District Judge Earl Carroll refused to allow the defendants to present any of their motives for harboring the refugees (protecting them from the death squads). Instead, they were tried as though they were ordinary criminals. As Judge Carroll put it, the trial was "a simple alien smuggling case."

Haven for Nicaraguan Reactionaries

Two weeks before the Tucson verdicts, Perry A. Rivkind, the INS District Director in Florida announced that his office was granting a blanket amnesty to all Nicaraguan immigrants because of the alleged danger of "persecution" under their "totalitarian" government. More than 75% of all Nicaraguans seeking asylum go to Florida, which means that Rivkind's order is a virtual open door to all Nicaraguan refugees.

A Salvadoran or Guatemalan refugee comes to this country with horror stories about the "disappearance" of a close friend or family member, and many were themselves blacklisted from work and lived under a cloud of death. But that doesn't stop the INS from branding them "economic refugees" and tossing them out.

But there are no government-sponsored death squads in Nicaragua (unless you include the U.S. government-sponsored contras, who specialize in assassination and kidnappings). A typical story of persecution from a Nicaraguan refugee is not about prisons and death threats, but having a factory or ranch confiscated after they left the country.

Why then the INS red carpet for the Nicaraguans? Because the U.S. government is out to strangle the revolution of the Nicaraguan workers and peasants. So it welcomes the Nicaraguan capitalists, landlords, bloodstained Somocistas and other scum to serve the CIA's plans for counterrevolution.

In short, the INS policy on Central American refugees is a two-faced fraud. It is based entirely on Washington's imperialist policy of propping up the reactionary regimes of the capitalists and landlords, and strangling the revolutions of the workers and peasants.

The poor, huddled masses be damned.

[Photo: Demonstration in Chicago against the Simpson-Mazzoli anti-immigrant bill, 1984.]

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INS drafts dream bill for new police measures against immigrants

The Fourth of July this year marks the centennial of the Statue of Liberty. That famous "Miss Liberty" is portrayed as tirelessly greeting "the tired, the poor...the huddled masses yearning to be free." One can't pick up even a grocery store circular without seeing her picture.

In fact, the bourgeoisie has unleashed a nauseating tidal wave of red, white and blue chauvinist propaganda. It is trying to brainwash the American working class and people and tell us what a great land of opportunity this is for immigrants.

Oh, yes -- a land of opportunity especially if the immigrant is a Ferdinand Marcos. Or an overthrown South Vietnamese dictator. Or a wealthy counterrevolutionary Nicaraguan. Or some other variety of fascist and anti-communist. But for the vast majority of immigrants, who are working people, the bourgeoisie has a different policy, a policy of ever more ferocious persecution.

For years now, the capitalist rulers have been trying to pass an "immigration reform" bill that will step up the exploitation and persecution of immigrant workers. In 1985 the Senate passed the Simpson-Mazzoli-Rodino bill which laid out a comprehensive program to attack immigrants who enter the U.S. without proper legal papers. The House is due to discuss this bill again sometime soon.

Not satisfied with these-measures, however, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has come up with its own additional draft legislation, described by the INS as "a collection of housekeeping proposals designed to make our operations more efficient."

INS Bill: A Host of New Police Measures Against the Immigrants

* One of the most far-reaching provisions of this bill says that the Attorney General could empower any state or local cop to arrest an undocumented immigrant for whom a final deportation order has been issued. At present, only federal immigration agents can do this. The new measure would thus create a huge network of agents stalking the immigrants, not to mention American citizens of Hispanic or other foreign descent whom the police take to be "illegals."

* Another provision states that immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally or who overstay their visa would not be allowed to reenter the country for one year. The INS is particularly fond of this measure. There seems to be nothing more loathsome to them than a worker who enters the country illegally, gets a job, supports his family, pays taxes, and then asks his employer to petition the government to grant him legal status. Such an "undesirable" element could be deported and not permitted to make a legal attempt at returning for a year.

* On the other hand, an immigrant admitted as a permanent resident to work at some particular job would have to keep that job for a year or face deportation. Ah, slave labor. That is more to the liking of the INS. A worker comes here as, say, a farm laborer. He finds the conditions brutal, murderous to his health and sanity. But in this land of golden opportunity could he seek something better? No. One year of slavery or out he goes.

* Under present law, an immigrant who marries a citizen has the possibility of becoming a permanent resident immediately. The new proposal says that if the marriage breaks up within two years the government can revoke that legal status.

* Yet another measure would force undocumented workers to pay for their own detention and deportation. An immigrant herded off into some miserable detention center could thus be charged up to $45 a day for these accommodations, and then up to $500 for deportation. The Attorney General could seize the immigrant's assets, including wages, bank accounts and real estate, to help pay these expenses. This is extremely cruel, considering that most of the workers in this situation are utterly impoverished and have taken great risks to come to the U.S. to seek jobs.

* Besides these vicious measures, the bill would more than double the fines for violations of immigration law. It would allow INS officials easier access to Social Security tax records which would show them the identity and location of immigrant workers. It would restrict the granting of immigrant visas, so that, for example, only unmarried brothers and sisters of American citizens could get visas, not just any brother or sister. And the list goes on and on.

This wish list of brutal measures to further clamp down on immigrants is presently being reviewed by the Justice Department. Though it has not yet gotten the go-ahead to be submitted to Congress, White House officials have declared it to be generally consistent with the Reagan administration's approach to immigration.

This, and not the Statue of Liberty hype, is the true policy of the U.S. ruling class towards immigrants.

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Undocumented immigrants to be thrown out of public housing

The government has decreed another new measure to persecute immigrant workers. Undocumented immigrants who have been receiving federal housing assistance are to be thrown out of their homes. The new rule, issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), goes into effect July 30.

Under this new rule, the ten million tenants who receive federal housing subsidies will be required to present documents such as birth certificates and alien registration cards to prove their eligibility. If they fail to do so, the government will cut off their housing subsidy, and they will be subject to eviction.

This new regulation is part of the racist scapegoating that paints the immigrants as freeloaders who supposedly drain social services.

Of course, federal housing assistance does not come from the pockets of some noble gentlemen in Washington; it comes from tax dollars. And immigrant workers, with or without documents, pay taxes to Uncle Sam just like any other worker. Why shouldn't they receive the same benefits, meager as they are?

They should. But the capitalists are on a drive to strip the immigrant workers of all rights, making it that much easier to exploit them to the bone.

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


$100 million in blood money for the contras

Democrats and Republicans hand-in-hand against Nicaragua

On June 25 the Democratic-controlled House passed Reagan's bill for $100 million in new aid for the contras who are waging the dirty U.S.-backed war on Nicaragua.

Earlier this spring much had been made of a House vote turning down Reagan's aid request. But in fact it was well known that it was only a matter of time before the House voted again to reverse itself. And so it has.

After his victory, Reagan praised the bipartisan consensus behind his war against Nicaragua. The criminal war against Nicaragua is indeed a bipartisan effort. Both the Republicans and Democrats have their hands in this bloody war.

$100 Million More to Bleed the Nicaraguan People

The $100 million is an escalation of long-standing U.S. policy. It is not as if U.S. imperialism hasn't been funding the contras. That it has. With and without direct Congressional approval, the CIA has been giving money to the contras. Wealthy right-wingers in the U.S. and abroad have been buying weapons for them. And Washington has gotten its allies, such as Israel, to funnel aid to the contras while these governments are reimbursed from other accounts.

Despite all this backing, the contras have faced one defeat after another from the Nicaraguan people. And the $100 million isn't going to make them win either. They have no popular support in Nicaragua. And they are a typically corrupt mercenary army of rapists and torturers. Indeed, even the U.S. government doesn't claim that the contras will win.

So what's the point then of the new aid program?

For one thing, the new aid plan will for the first time place heavy weapons into the hands of the contra army. These will allow them to wreak more damage against the Nicaraguan people.

Another important feature of the new plan is that CIA and Pentagon "advisers" will take on direction of the war. The U.S. has already had its CIA agents working with the contras, but the contras did not turn out to be much of a military force. The U.S. now hopes that CIA and Green Beret forces can get the contras to do more damage to Nicaragua.

While these changes will not alone bring down the Nicaraguan revolution, it will certainly mean more death and destruction for the Nicaraguan people. It will take a heavy toll on an economy which is already pressed to the wall. It is one more step in the new Viet Nam-style war that has begun in Central America.

No More Illusions in the Democratic Party "Peaceniks"

The latest vote in the House offers a telling lesson for all those who still entertained hopes that the Democrats might stand up against Reagan's aid for the contras.

The House voted 221-209 to carry Reagan's proposal. In the Democratic-controlled House, 51 Democrats outright supported Reagan's proposal. This included not just Dixiecrats from the South but even liberals like Les Aspin of Wisconsin.

But what is even more important is that the Democrats' "alternative" proposal was no alternative at all!

The Democrats in the House claim they had a "big debate" with the Republicans over the contra aid bill. Well, what happened in this debate?

On June 24 Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill made a song and dance on TV about how he was barring Reagan from addressing the House to lobby for contra aid. But what further damage could Reagan do, when Tip himself had already rallied the Democrats around the McCurdy proposal which also called for $100 million in aid to the contras?

It would take an electron microscope to distinguish the McCurdy proposal from Reagan's own proposal. It promised the same $100 million to the contras, it also called for releasing the funds in stages; its sole difference was that it called for yet another vote in October to release the next phase of the funds.

No doubt it is all the same to the Nicaraguan people whether they are subjected to "humanitarian" attacks this summer followed by military assaults in September, or "non-lethal" summertime battles topped off with "Congressionally-approved' ' engagements in October.

Democrats Want More Bang for the Buck

In all fairness to the Democrats, however, it must be admitted that they did raise one grievance against the contras -- waste. The contras, complained the Democrats, have been guilty of squandering their money and not getting down to the business they were hired for -- killing Nicaraguans. The contra program, moaned David Bonior (D-Mich.), is "out of control, ineffective, a waste of tax dollars.... "

To back up this complaint Bonior cited a recent document from the Congressional General Accounting Office (GAO) reporting that much of the $27 million Congress allocated to the contras last year was unaccounted for and may have been spent on things unrelated to the war on Nicaragua. GAO investigators tracked $3 million of the funds to private bank accounts in Miami, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands. Now the House Democrats are heading up a committee to "clean" up this "squandering" of war dollars.

What the Democrats oppose is not the contra war but waste and inefficiency in that war. In other words, what they want from the contras is more "bang for the buck" -- more Nicaraguan bodies per U.S. dollar.

The lesson from the June 25 vote is clear: In order to fight the U.S. aggression against Nicaragua, the American working people must organize a militant mass movement opposed to both the imperialist parties of intervention, we must oppose the Democrats as well as the Republicans.

A Salvadoran guerrilla victory

This month the Salvadoran liberation fighters scored another major victory against the U.S.-backed Salvadoran regime.

On June 18, revolutionary guerrillas mounted a successful attack on the 3rd Brigade headquarters in San Miguel, one of the Duarte government's most important army bases. The rebels attacked the army barracks and an emergency power plant and destroyed a helicopter. The government lost at least 57 soldiers with 80 wounded, while 19 guerrillas sacrificed their lives.

The next day the guerrillas launched another operation shutting down transportation in eastern El Salvador.

These actions show that, despite the U.S.-funded hi-tech war on the Salvadoran masses, the rebel fighters continue to be capable of inflicting punishing losses on the regime.

World Court denounces Reagan's war against Nicaragua, but the war continues the same

On June 27 the World Court ruled in Nicaragua's favor. It declared that the U.S. mining of Nicaraguan harbors, overflights of its airspace, organizing and financing of the contras, and distribution of the CIA-written assassination manual constituted violations of international law. It pointed to the obvious facts that the U.S. government was violating Nicaraguan sovereignty, employing force against Nicaragua, and so forth. And it held the U.S. government liable for damages for these crimes.

There is no doubt that the Reagan administration and the Pentagon really did commit these crimes against Nicaragua. And they are planning new ones.

But there is one minor catch. Despite all the capitalist hymns to law and order, the capitalists and their militarist hit-men obey no law. When it comes to crushing the workers and peasants, they do what they please. The Reagan administration has already declared that it doesn't care at all what the World Court says; it will continue escalating the dirty war against Nicaragua.

And there is nothing Nicaragua can do to enforce the World Court decision. Nicaragua will take the matter to the Security Council of the United Nations. The U.S. will then veto any resolution by the Security Council to enforce the World Court decision. And that will be the end of it.

Besides, the "international law" of the imperialist powers is a thin reed to rely on anyway. Every crime Reagan committed against Nicaragua would have been perfectly legal, if only he had declared war. But can anyone believe that an open war of U.S. imperialism against Nicaragua would have been less of a crime than the dirty war?

In its time, the World Court has been responsible for many evil decisions which justified imperialist aggression against the working people. But it has finally proved itself totally irrelevant by giving a verdict against imperialism for once. This verdict has proved that such a verdict means nothing. Capitalist "law and order" can only be used against the working masses, not for them.

The decision of the World Court proves that Reagan and his friends are utter liars when they denounce others for allegedly violating international law. But it also proves that not international law, but revolution, is the only way to fight imperialism. There is no impartial law standing in judgment over capitalists and workers alike, over imperialist country and victim of aggression. The workers and peasants of any country will only have the rights they conquer through their struggle. And the only for us American workers and activists to support the Nicaraguan people is to build an independent political movement to fight the Reaganite offensive of hunger, racism and war.

'Prensa Proletaria': No more firings against the workers' movement!

This article in Prensa Proletaria voices the Nicaraguan workers' demands against the repressive Somoza labor code which is still in effect seven years after the revolution.

The Nicaraguan workers' movement is fighting for the liquidation of the Somoza labor code and the writing of a completely new one that is more in accordance with the revolutionary situation and the sacrifices the workers are making. In the course of this struggle, the Workers' Front (FO), led by the MLPN, is demanding a moratorium on the firing of workers.

The moratorium is necessary to provide job security for the thousands of workers whose jobs are currently being threatened. The complex economic, political and military situation in the country is being used as a pretext to cover over a series of vicious maneuvers by certain officials and entrepreneurs against the workers' job security. By holding the axe of unemployment over the workers' heads the bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy are trying to crush the militant sections of the workers and disorganize the workers' movement which is fighting against corruption, mismanagement and bad working conditions.

The Somoza labor code is a document of pure slavery which always sides with the employer against the worker.

* The code allows the employer to fire a worker at any time for any reason without the pay that is owed to him.

* The code permits the cancellation of work contracts for the alleged reason of a shortage of raw materials. In reality the employers can and do use cancellations arbitrarily to rid themselves of militants, since in case of a cancellation they are allowed to fire workers en masse without warning.

* The code allows the use of factory closings to throw workers onto the street. The textile plant, Fabritex, for example, fired 1,200 workers when it closed, only to reopen under the name of Fanatex. Fanatex hired a new work force and so freed itself of a whole section of militant unionists.

All of the firings through the labor code are carried out with the blessing of the Sandinista union federation (CST). The Sandinista government's rigid opposition to any revision of the labor code exposes its pro-capitalist,anti-worker stand.

The FO holds that to be able to better stand up to the CIA/contra war, the economic crisis and the pro-exploiter policies of the Sandinista government, the Nicaraguan workers need freedom from the threat of unemployment.

Among the FO's demands are:

Guarantees against unemployment.

Non-application for an extendable one-year period of the labor code articles permitting the firing of workers.

The article also explains that in view of the government's policy of granting incentives to the big factory owners, the FO demands incentives for the workers for their fight against capitalist exploitation and against U.S. imperialism.

Support the revolution of the Nicaraguan workers and peasants!

Build the movement against U.S. aggression!

Seven years ago, the U.S. government lost a near and dear friend when the Somoza dictatorship was overthrown in Nicaragua. This regime had been rigged up by invading U.S. marines, and it then clung to power for over four decades by shooting down workers, peasants, and political opponents.

To the horror of Washington and the U.S. corporations, the Nicaraguan workers and poor turned the tables on Somoza. They rose in revolution, drove out the dictator, and won their first taste of freedom.

Ever since, mighty U.S. imperialism has been obsessed with strangling the Nicaraguan revolution. Step by step it has been escalating an undeclared war against this tiny, impoverished country. Reagan and the Congress are about to send another $100 million for the CIA's contra war of murder and destruction. And just last month the Pentagon unwrapped its plans for a "containment" action that could involve 100,000 U.S. troops.

Reagan's "Freedom" Means Imperialist Slavery

Each month "the Great Liar" in the White House comes up with another whopping big lie to sell his CIA-contra war. But the biggest lie of them all is that the U.S. government is fighting for "freedom" in Nicaragua.

Out of the mouth of Mr. Reagan, one would think "freedom" means the right of a big and powerful country to trample on a very small and weak one (in the "free" gangster spirit of "might makes right").

Or that "freedom" means the right of Washington to make or break the government in Managua; or the right to saddle the Nicaraguans with a regime blessed by U.S. corporate and military interests.

Or that "freedom" means the right of the CIA to train and arm 20,000 mercenary thugs in a campaign of assassination, kidnapping, rape, and destruction of crops, schools and medical clinics in order to terrorize the Nicaraguan people.

Or that "freedom" means the right of Reagan's contra "freedom fighters" -- yesterday's torturers and executioners for the Somoza dictatorship -- to once again trample on the Nicaraguan workers and peasants.

What it comes down to is that Mr. Reagan's idea of "freedom" is nothing but imperialist slavery. And that's what his dirty war on Nicaragua is all about.

The Democrats Give Reagan a Hand

We are told that if we don't like Reagan's war, the Democrats hold out hope for a "peaceful alternative." Just wait, they say, for the Democrats to put the votes together on Capitol Hill.

But we've already seen plenty of the Democrats' "peaceful" shenanigans. Like last year when they voted for $27 million of helicopters, trucks, boots, and other war equipment for the contras in the name of "humanitarian aid."

Now this year the Democratic-con- trolled House has quadrupled the aid for the contras to $100 million. They passed the Reagan plan.

But even if the Democrats had passed their own plan, it still would have meant $100 million for the contras. They would only have placed a few different conditions on it. The Democrats say they want the State Department to give the Contadora governments one more chance at negotiations. But the only item on the Contadora negotiating table is for the Nicaraguans to lay down their arms, and to give the Somocista contra leaders a place of power in Managua. This amounts to Nicaragua's unilateral surrender.

What happens if Nicaragua doesn't agree to raise the white flag at the negotiating table? Then it's O.K. with the Democrats to fire away. And the Democrats can pat themselves on the back for doing their bit for "peace."

We've waited long enough. The verdict is in, and the Democrats have proven themselves equally imperialist and equally guilty in this criminal war.

Fan the Flames of Struggle Against the CIA War on Nicaragua!

While Washington escalates the war on Nicaragua, the movement against it has not grown as it should and must. Instead, it has limped along, hobbled by reformist misleaders and their impotent policy of building hopes and expectations in Tip O'Neill and his crew of Democratic Party liars, and in the equally decrepit Contadora "peace process."

But to build a serious fight against U.S. intervention demands a serious and fighting policy.

First of all, we must build the struggle on the shoulders of the working people. Unlike the capitalist politicians, the working people have nothing to gain from a war for the U.S. corporate empire. They have no interest in being dragged into such an unjust slaughter.

This is what we saw during the unjust war against Vietnam; the powerful protests of the working people and youth shook the country. Today too the growing confrontations against U.S. support for apartheid are showing the force of the mass struggle.

To build the movement against the U.S. war on Nicaragua, we must organize in the workplaces, communities, and schools -- going wherever the working masses are -- to fan the flames of protest and militant actions against this criminal war.

Nicaragua Must Have the Right to Self-Determination

To wage a consistent struggle against Reagan's war -- as opposed to the imperialist humbug heard in Congress -- we must take a clear-cut stand in defense of Nicaragua's right to self-determination. The Nicaraguan people must have the right to live as they please, free of the big stick of U.S. imperialism.

This means fighting against every cent to Reagan's contra terrorists, and against the strong-arm tactics that the U.S. government employs against Nicaragua. It also means exposing Contadora and the other "peace plans" which are aimed at strengthening U.S. imperialism's hand over Nicaragua. Such proposals are mere fig leaves for Reagan's naked aggression.

Support the Revolution of the Nicaraguan Workers and Peasants!

Finally, the anti-intervention movement can't afford to be neutral about what goes on in Nicaragua itself. On the contrary. We must align ourselves with the workers and peasants.

The workers and poor are not only the main victims of the CIA-war, they are also the ones bravely fighting back against this aggression. They are also the ones capable of striking hard blows at the contras' base of support inside the country -- the big businessmen and ranchers.

The working class is also the force which can overcome the compromising policy of the Sandinista government, a policy that has propped up the exploiters and has put the gains of the revolution in danger.

The party of the revolutionary workers, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (formerly known as MAP- ML) is waging a courageous struggle along these lines. It is organizing factory workers, field hands and poor peasants -- including the toilers in the military service -- to defend the revolution and advance it towards socialism.

On this road the working class can raise the Nicaraguan people above the painful stalemate that has gripped their country. This will be an enormous inspiration to the workers and the poor in El Salvador and throughout Central America -- indeed throughout the world. Their struggle deserves the solidarity of all American workers and anti-intervention activists.

MLP Solidarity tour to Nicaragua

The MLP,USA is organizing a campaign of solidarity with the Nicaraguan workers and peasants. This campaign will lead up to demonstrations and meetings on July 19, the seventh anniversary of the Nicaraguan revolution. As part of this campaign, at the invitation of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (formerly MAP-ML), the MLP,USA will be organizing a delegation of workers and activists to travel to Nicaragua in July.

This will be a tour of proletarian internationalism. It will carry the message that the American working people stand with the Nicaraguan workers and toilers in face of the criminal aggression of "our" imperialist government. And it will be a special demonstration of support for the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua and the courageous struggle that it is waging.

The delegation is bound to learn a great deal from the revolutionary experience of the Nicaraguan workers. This will be very useful for the work of combating the Reaganite lies against the revolution, as well as dispelling the illusions created by the American opportunists and reformists in the petty- bourgeois Sandinistas.

ENAVES garment strike in Managua

This spring garment workers struck the state-run ENAVES factory in Managua. On April 11, about 100 of the 900 mainly women workers occupied the plant gates preventing management personnel from entering. The Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (MLPN) joined the strikers on the picket line and championed their demands in the pages of Prensa Proletaria.

The workers' chief demand was for the firing of the factory administration. Production and the conditions of the workers have been suffering in a large part due to the mismanagement and bureaucracy of the government-appointed managers. For example, while 466 out of 842 machines have stood in disrepair, machinery and other equipment destined for ENAVES have sat waiting at the port of Corinto for over a year. Meanwhile, working conditions have become intolerable. Although mandated by the labor code, there has been no nursery and the chronic problem of child care has created high absenteeism. The managers have done nothing about the extreme heat and noise in the plant. They actually lock the workers in the plant during the day. They have carried out arbitrary searches of the workers. They have fired union activists who protested the conditions. As well, the workers' pay, which is tied to production, plummeted as production fell. Obviously the managers should have been fired.

But the Sandinista Ministry of Labor declared the strike illegal and on April 12 sent in police to break up the picketers. The Ministry of Labor asserted that, in view of the state of emergency that the government imposed last October in response to the Reaganite contra war, "all actions related to takeovers, strikes, and acts of coercion that block the smooth functioning of the work centers and production will be declared illegal." Under this provision of the labor code, 57 strikers, including several women with eight to 15 years seniority, were fired. ENAVES became the first plant where the government invoked its new emergency powers against striking workers.

This is outrageous. The threat to the fight against U.S. intervention does not come from such factory strikers, but from the reactionary, pro-U.S. capitalists and landlords inside Nicaragua. They are the internal wing of the contras who want to crush the revolution and invite in the Yankee invaders. It is not the workers' strikes which are jeopardizing Nicaraguan national security, but the Sandinistas' anti-worker policies. While restricting the workers with wage freezes, social cuts, and curtailed rights, the Sandinistas coddle the rich entrepreneurs with generous subsidies and profit guarantees, at the same time conceding them many political privileges. There is still some wealth in Nicaragua, but instead of it being used to defend the revolution it is lining the pockets of the idlers.

The Nicaraguan working class is the backbone of the Nicaraguan revolution. The American workers must support them in their battle against our "own" U.S. imperialist government and the Nicaraguan exploiters.

Support the Nicaraguan workers' press!


The Nicaraguan working people need our help against U.S. imperialist aggression. The MLP is organizing material aid through the Campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press. In defiance of Reagan's blockade the Campaign is sending much needed printing materials and supplies to assist the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (MAP/ML) and its Workers Front trade union center to build the workers' press. Send letters of support and contributions to: [Address.]

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Theses on the formation of the CP of Iran

On this page, The Workers' Advocate publishes a number of new materials from the press of the Communist Party of Iran.

The Communist Party of Iran is the Marxist-Leninist vanguard of the Iranian proletariat. It stands for revolution against the Khomeini tyranny; it works to organize the toilers as a force independent of the liberal bourgeoisie; it brings out the class struggle against the bourgeoisie; and at all stages of the revolution, it carries out work to develop the socialist consciousness of the working class.

As well, the CPI has stood up against the rampant anti-partyism that corrodes the Iranian revolutionary movement. Anti-partyism has been a problem for a long time, with Castroite views, Maoist pre-party collective views, petty-bourgeois radical concepts, etc., opposing the building of the working class party. But anti-party views have intensified with the difficult conditions facing the Iranian revolutionary movement as the tyranny of Khomeini has deepened and various sections of the movement have collapsed or gone into depression. Now, as always, a fierce struggle for the building of a single communist, Leninist party to lead the struggle is essential if the Iranian revolutionaries are to put a decisive stamp on the developments in Iran.

The CPI has laid stress on the struggle against revisionism, which is essential if the proletariat is to pursue its own independent class aims and not be subordinated to the bourgeoisie. A Leninist policy cannot ignore the theoretical and anti-revisionist tasks of the working class movement, and today, with the widespread diffusion of revisionism, denigration of these tasks threatens immediate disaster.

Thus our Party agrees with the main thrust of the work and struggle of the CPI. This does not mean that our Party agrees with every particular view of the CPI. But we are profoundly encouraged and inspired by the development of revolutionary Leninism in the midst of the difficult conditions of Iran. We call on all class conscious workers and progressive activists to support the communist revolutionaries of Iran who are persisting in struggle and upholding the red flag of revolution.

[Graphic: In revolutionary Kurdistan]

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CP of Iran leads toilers' resistance to Khomeini

(The following article and introduction are taken from the December January '86 issue of Bolshevik Message, paper of the Communist Party of Iran -- The Committee Abroad.)


Just over two years have passed since the formation of the CPI....

The ten theses whose English translation is being published here for the first time, concisely put forward those theoretical and practical principles gained by the revolutionary Marxism in Iran in its struggle against all varieties of revisionism, populist revisionism in particular, relying on which it succeeded in forming the Communist Party. These theses were discussed in detail in a seminar held prior to the formation of the CPI in the liberated areas of Kurdistan for the purpose of educating the future party cadres....


1) The necessity of the communist party is deduced not from the tactical or junctural needs of the struggle, but from the social revolution of the proletariat, and meeting the needs of this revolution makes up the raison d'etre [reason for existence] of the party. At the same time, in order to reach the final aim, the communist party must actively lead the various tactical stages of the workers' and revolutionary movement.

2) The communist party is the symbol, representative and defender of the class independence of the proletariat in all aspects of the class struggle. This is the material and lasting character of the communist party, and only by understanding this essential characteristic can the quantitative dimensions and strength of the party, which undergo radical changes during the party's life, be examined in a principled way.

3) The victory and advancement of the party in the practical struggle is dependent on the growth of its strength, organization and the dimensions and scale of its activity, and particularly the extension of its influence among the working class masses.

4) The necessary condition for the formation of the Communist Party of Iran under the present circumstances is the extension of the anti-revisionist struggle into the practical sphere. In other words, the last obstacle in the way of the formation of the party is the considerable survival of the non-proletarian practical methods in our movement. The formation of the party and its growth and influence among the masses is dependent on the critique of the revisionist distortions of the communist style of work and the substitution of the existing methods by the principled communist methods in the sphere of practice.

5) A determining peculiarity of the process of the formation of the party in Iran is the relation between this process and the resolute struggle against revisionism in its various dimensions. The Communist Party of Iran is taking shape in the context of struggle against revisionism, and will be strengthened only by permanent struggle against the revisionist distortions of Marxism both in theory and practice. This is a determining peculiarity conferred on our party by virtue of the domination of revisionism over the world communist movement of our times.

6) Hence those views which at this particular juncture do not consider the continuation of the struggle against revisionism and the achievement and consolidation of the party's theoretical and practical independence as the main link in the formation of the party, and put forward the question of the quantitative dimensions and organizational features of the party as the main link at the present moment, are deviationist views which overlook the fundamental peculiarity of the process of the formation of the Communist Party of Iran under the present conditions of the world communist movement.

7) Once the revolutionary Marxism of Iran achieves this all-sided theoretical and practical independence, we are entitled and duty-bound to build the Communist Party of Iran immediately. The founding of the Communist Party does not require the realization of any other quantitative preconditions. It is clear, at the same time, that in order to realize its aims, the party must have the broadest mass influence and extensive organizational activity.

8) Thus the practical struggle for building the party at this particular juncture must be focused on the critique of the populist methods of activity among the forces [that accept] the Communist Party Program and on the establishment of principled communist methods in our ranks.

9) So far as it concerns the founding of the Communist Party, the establishment of communist style of work means the reliance of the backbone of the party organization and the advanced cadres of the party organizations on principled communist style of work. The reliance of this party backbone on communist style of work enables the party as a whole to base itself on principled methods in the various arenas of activity.

10) The struggle to form the party is not separate from the immediate struggle in party style. The significance of the advanced cadres and our emphasis on the establishment of communist style of work in the backbone of the party does not mean that the struggle to substitute populist methods by principled ones in the whole of our activity is not already on the agenda. For the revolutionary Marxism of Iran, the struggle in communist fashion is not a task to be accomplished only after the formation of the communist party, but is already a vital task of ours.

The Iranian working masses are continuing their heroic struggle against the Khomeini dictatorship. There are different political forces vying within the Iranian movement.

A few years ago, the bloc known as the National Council of Resistance and headed up by the liberals received a great deal of support internationally from social-democrats and other opportunists. But the liberal bloc fell apart in crisis. The NCR's main members with any mass base were the petty bourgeois Mujahedeen and the Kurdish Democratic Party, the organization of the Kurdish bourgeois nationalists.

The Mujahedeen once took revolutionary stands, albeit with all manner of vacillation, but they have become ever more desperate in their search for shortcuts to ending the Khomeini tyranny. Recently the French imperialist government came to a reactionary deal with Khomeini and expelled the Mujahedeen headquarters abroad. Masoud Rajavi and other Mujahedeen leaders moved to Iraq where they were received with great warmth by the Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein. For some time now the Mujahedeen leadership has formed a shameless political alliance with the Iraqi regime.

Clearly it is not such forces that can be expected to satisfy the aspirations of the Iranian masses. No, in Iran today, it is the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist trend that holds the hope for the future. It is the Communist Party of Iran which is fighting for a new revolution, which is organizing the working class as an independent class force, and which is preparing for the socialist future.

The CPI works to build up the movement of the toilers across Iran. In the oppressed region of Iranian Kurdistan, the toilers' resistance to Khomeini's war of national oppression is being led by Komala, the Kurdish Organization of the Communist Party of Iran. In its struggle, Komala also has to contend with armed attacks by the bourgeois nationalists of the KDP.

Below we reprint the most recent reports from the struggle in Kurdistan, which were published in Report (No. 13, May 15-30, 1986), a publication of the CPI-- The Committee Abroad.

Islamic Republic Regime's Forces Under Attack

Saghez: In the morning of March 22, several units of Komala Peshmargas (armed militants of the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran) attacked the regime's base in a village in the area of Saghez. In this battle the enemy suffered casualties and damages. Our comrades left the scene of operation unhurt.

Sanandqj: In the evening of April 1 a unit of Komala Peshmargas attacked a group of regime's forces in the city of Sanandaj while they were inspecting people and cars. In this operation three of the regime's forces were killed or injured. Our comrade Saeed Ahmadi lost his life in this battle.

Sanandqj: On April 12 a unit of Komala Peshmargas entered the city of Sanandaj and killed a well-known agent of the regime, who was in charge of arresting many of the militant people of Sanandaj, in front of the regime's base. After this operation the Peshmargas left the city. The people of Sanandaj hailed this event and boycotted the funeral arranged by the authorities for their dead agent.

Regime's Attacks Repulsed

Baneh: On April 10 Komala Peshmargas who were planning to enter a village in the Baneh area, were attacked by the regime's forces. The Peshmargas advanced towards the enemy's positions and attacked them from every side. The enemy who was under heavy fire retreated from the area. The regime's forces suffered some casualties. Our comrades were unhurt.

Saghez: In the evening of April 13 the forces of the Islamic Republic regime opened fire on a village in the Saghez area from the surrounding heights. A number of units of Komala Peshmargas who were in the area, advanced quickly towards the enemy's positions and attacked them. The regime's forces, shocked by this quick move, were forced to retreat. Neither our comrades nor the people of the village were hurt in this operation.

Kurdistan Cities Bombed by Iraqi Aircrafts

Baneh: On March 26 the villages in the area of Baneh were bombed by Iraqi aircrafts in which two people were killed. Also on March 28 and 29 the city of Baneh was bombed. The exact number of casualties was not disclosed by the Iranian regime. Following this bombardment the people of Baneh protested against the counterrevolutionary Iran-Iraq war and demanded an immediate end to it.

Marivan: Following the bombardment of Baneh the village of Cani-Safe in the Marivan district was bombed in which 12 people were killed and many more injured.

Toilers Resist Conscription

Sardasht: Iranian regime's forces are continuing their attempts to forcibly arm [conscript] the people of the villages and the city of Sardasht. As a part of their policy, they have stepped up suppression, raiding the villages during the nighttime and controlling the roads. Despite this, the militant people of the villages are continuing their protests and resistance.

Mahabad: Regime's forces have recently raided the villages in the area of Mahabad and put up lists of the names of those who have to go to compulsory military service. In the village of Inder Ghash, the regime has announced the names of 270 people from whom 40 have been arrested so far and sent to the barracks. The militant people of this area are resisting against the inhuman policy of forced arming and have helped the youngsters to be kept away from the regime's forces.

Commemoration of Fallen Comrades by the People of Kurdistan

In late March the militant people of Sanandaj held meetings to commemorate our fallen comrades from Sanandaj. Those who attended the meetings condemned once again the warmongering and reactionary policies of the KDP in continuing the war against Komala and supported the slogan of Komala for the immediate and unconditional cease-fire [in the civil war between KDP and Komala]. In some of the meetings people from other cities and villages attended.

In one meeting which was held for the commemoration of five comrades who lost their lives in confrontation with the KDP in Cham-suj last summer, revolutionary songs were performed and the policies of the KDP were condemned.

Reports show that similar gatherings have been held in the city of Saghez.

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Israeli justice: no penalty for murder of Palestinians

The U.S. government, politicians and media never cease singing the praises of Israel. Israel is supposedly the bastion of Western "democracy" and "civilization" in the Mideast, an island of "freedom" surrounded by terrorists, madmen, fanatics.

But in fact zionist Israel is a racist theocracy ruled by hard core reactionaries, a state based on the brutal oppression of the Palestinian people. This is brought home once again in the recent pardon given to the head of Israel's domestic intelligence service for the murder of two Palestinians.

A Sordid Deal

On June 26 Avraham Shalom, the head of Israel's domestic intelligence service Shin Beth, resigned his post in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Three top aides of Shalom were also granted immunity but did not resign their posts.

Shin Beth is roughly equivalent to the American FBI. As head of Shin Beth, Shalom personally took charge of the "interrogation" and subsequent killing of two Palestinian guerrillas captured in April 1984.

A Brutal Killing

On April 12, 1984 four Palestinians took over an Israeli bus and held it overnight. In the morning Israeli troops stormed the bus and killed two of the guerrillas. Two others were captured alive; they were questioned by the army commander present and then turned over to Shalom for further "questioning." Shalom had the men taken away and clubbed to death.

In the two years since this brutal murder there has been growing pressure for an investigation into the deaths of the Palestinians. To avoid blame, Shalom and his aides at the Shin Beth engaged in a coverup of the killing.

Despite this coverup, the killing was so blatant that the Israeli Attorney General felt compelled, two months ago, to turn over evidence about it to the police and to ask for an inquiry. For this he was immediately fired.

The new Attorney General promised that there would still be some kind of inquiry into the matter. But high level meetings of government leaders decided that it would be better for all concerned to just let the matter drop. So the deal was struck: Israeli President Chaim Herzog granted a pardon to Shalom and his aides before they were convicted of any crime -- even before there were official charges laid against them; in return for this Shalom resigned. But his aides remain in high level positions in Shin Beth.

An Alliance of Right-Wingers and Liberals

The government of Israel is an uneasy, squabbling coalition of the rightist Likud and the liberal Labor parties. Both parties are die-hard zionist parties, and despite their squabbles, they both stand for ruthless oppression of the Palestinian people.

Thus, on this issue both Labor and Likud were able to reach unanimity, along with the Israeli president, the liberal Chaim Herzog. The arrangement to grant Shalom complete amnesty from prosecution was worked out in a meeting of both Labor and Likud leaders including Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

Why were the Israeli right and "left" able to reach such complete agreement on this issue? Herzog said it was necessary to "preserve Shin Beth" -- to maintain intact this agency of state repression. But Israeli politicians admit that their concerns go beyond Shin Beth -- that it was necessary to defend the zionist political chieftains themselves.

Many sources contend that in his murder of the Palestinians Shalom did not act on his own, but that he had the approval of civilian government leaders, especially the leader of Likud, Yitzhak Shamir.

Furthermore, there was concern that if Shalom were put on trial that he may have cited as precedent many similar Shin Beth actions that also had the approval of the political leaders. So the decision was made to grant Shalom a pardon for this little pecadillo -- to preserve the reputation of Israeli "statesmen."

And after all, who is injured by this action? Only the Palestinians. And Israel is founded and based on the national oppression of the Palestinians. The murder of Palestinians is not something that government leaders in Israel get prosecuted for -- it's something they get decorated for.

The murder and oppression go on, while the Western media continue to prate on about the glories of Israeli "parliamentary democracy."

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Condemn the attacks on Palestinians in Beirut!

Since May 19, Palestinians in the refugee camps of Sabra, Shatila and Buij al Brajneh outside Beirut, Lebanon, have again been under attack. The Shiite Muslim Amal militia, with the support of a section of the Lebanese Army, has launched a brutal military attack against the Palestinian camps. The Palestinian fighters have put up a stiff resistance to the tank, artillery and rocket attacks by Amal. More than 100 people have already died in this latest clash.

This new assault comes exactly a year after a similar attack. During that battle, 600 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured.

This attack is just the latest in a long series of tragedies faced by the Palestinians in the Beirut camps. It was only four years ago that the refugees came under the massive bombardment by Israel and went through the gruesome massacres in Sabra and Shatila by the Lebanese Christian fascists acting under the direction of the Israeli army.

Like last year, the Amal attack seeks to prevent the Palestinian resistance from reorganizing in the Beirut camps. The Amal assault is a dirty act which deserves condemnation by progressive people everywhere. The Palestinians have a right to defend their population in the camps and they have a right to organize.

Behind the Amal Assault

What may make the Amal attack a bit confusing is that Amal's forces have historically been part of the Lebanese opposition, which has fought the Israeli Zionists and the Christian fascists.

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

* For one thing, Amal has had a capitulationist stand towards Israeli zionism. Amal is opposed to Israeli occupation of Lebanon. But this is from a narrow framework which resents Israeli outrages against Lebanese Shiites but which does not extend to solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against zionism.

Amal's policy towards the Palestinians in Lebanon dovetails with Israel's. Israel has threatened not to allow the Palestinian resistance to regroup in Lebanon. Under the pretext of preventing a re-invasion by Israel, Amal has come forward to declare that it will take on the responsibility for policing the Palestinians.

* Amal has also taken part in the fight against the Christian fascists and it has opposed the undemocratic political system in Lebanon which discriminates against the Muslim communities. But Amal has always been limited by a reformist attitude towards the Maronite Christian big bourgeoisie which dominates the Lebanese government and rules on the basis of systematic oppression of the Muslim communities of Lebanon.

Thus Amal has not sought a thorough democratization of Lebanon but merely an accommodation which would allow a greater share of power to the Shiite petty bourgeoisie. For this stand, Amal has been rewarded with some token positions in the Lebanese government.

Amal's assault on the Palestinians is also linked to this accommodationist attitude towards the Lebanese big bourgeoisie, which has never liked the Palestinian resistance. They have always seen the Palestinian resistance as a bad influence on the Lebanese masses since the Palestinians brought with them progressive ideas.

* Amal's assault is also in the service of the interests of the Syrian capitalist government, with which Amal, like the other reformist political forces of Lebanon, has close links. Last year, Syria appeared to have played a prominent role in instigating the assault, while this year Syrian forces are reported to have resupplied the Amal forces.

Syria's aims in Lebanon include preventing any regrouping of the Palestinian resistance. And they include having a Lebanon dependent on Syria, ruled by the Lebanese bourgeoisie that would have a client status with Damascus. Syria's loud talk in support of the Palestinians is mere rhetoric, while it wants to tightly control the Palestinian resistance. Anything that might lead to a resurgence of the Palestinian resistance is a threat to its power politics in the region, both in threatening the prospects of Syrian accommodation with Israel at some point or upsetting the status quo in Lebanon.

Reformism Stands Exposed

The treachery of Amal once again dramatizes the problem with the leadership of the Lebanese opposition. Over the years, the Lebanese masses have waged bitter struggles against Phalangist fascism, Israeli zionism and U.S. imperialism. But the Lebanese masses have been prevented from winning any decisive changes in the country.

All the main forces of the Lebanese opposition share the same problems: they have a reformist stand towards the Lebanese big bourgeoisie; they are narrow-minded and seek only to increase the clout of the upper strata of their ethnic communities; they attach themselves to the coattails of the Syrian bourgeoisie; and they do not have real solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

The Palestinian resistance has historically played an important left role in the Lebanese struggle. The Palestinian leadership in the 1960's and early 70's had a national revolutionary character which gave impetus to left-wing politics in Lebanon. Although over the last decade the Palestinian leadership has succumbed to a national-reformist stand and fallen into an acute crisis, the Syrian and Lebanese bourgeoisies fear the Palestinian movement. They worry about anything that might help a resurgence of the revolutionary movement. And they do not hesitate to turn against even those Palestinians that are under the influence of national-reformism.

A victory of Amal over the Palestinians will only help the hand of Israeli zionism, the Lebanese reaction and the Syrian bourgeoisie. The toilers of Lebanon will not be served by this. They must break out of the framework of narrow-mindedness and reformism, and out of the clutches of the Syrian government. The Lebanese toilers have to forge a force which can provide a revolutionary leadership. Such a force must stand in revolutionary solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle.

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The World in Struggle


Fires of revolt are still burning in Haiti

Five months after the overthrow of Duvalier, the people of Haiti are still on the barricades of struggle. The toilers and youth have more and more come to see the ruling junta led by Lt. General Henri Namphy as a regime of Duvalierism without Duvalier, and they are forcefully demanding change. And for his part, Namphy is baring his ruthless fangs.

The movement of protest against Gen. Namphy's regime continued throughout June. The main issue in these protests was the demand for the resignation of Duvalierist elements occupying high positions in the government.

Soccer Broadcast Sparks Protests

The latest protests were ignited by a seemingly small incident. Haiti's state-run television network planned to broadcast the World Cup soccer tournament from Mexico. To do the play-by-play the Namphy government appointed a former Haitian soccer star who had also been Duvalier's personal sports trainer. The supervisor of Haitian TV protested against this appointment but was overruled by the junta, and so he resigned in protest.

Immediately protests began in support of the TV supervisor. Demonstrators demanded that he be reinstated, that the Duvalierist sports commentator be fired, and that other heads of national TV associated with Namphy's orders be fired.

Demands for Ouster of Regala

But very soon these demands broadened into demands for the resignation of other government leaders. As the protests developed, the main demand voiced was for the resignation of Col. William Regala, the other original member of the junta besides Namphy.

Regala is now the Minister of the Interior and Minister of National Defense. Regala is close to Namphy and was also a confidante of Duvalier. Protesters also demanded the resignation of Lesly Delatour, a former World Bank official who is now the Minister of Finance.

Soldiers Fire on Protesters

Demonstrations spread throughout Haiti the first week of June. All business was shut down in Gonaives on June 2. Barricades blocked roads in Leogans and Miragoave on June 2 and 3. And in Port-au-Prince, on June 5, businesses and schools were closed.

At least three people were killed by the regime in this week of protest. On June 5 a woman and her baby were shot as soldiers opened fire on a barricade of burning tires in a suburb of Port-au-Prince.

The fact that such protests were touched off by a dispute over sports broadcasting shows that Haiti remains a tinderbox in which the masses are determined to continue their movement.

Namphy Tries to Stop the Masses With Master

Namphy went on TV June 6 to try and stop the protests. He warned that Haiti was at "the edge of anarchy'' and demanded the end of any protest. He referred to the putting up of roadblocks as "terrorist acts'' and demanded "order, peace," saying, "We will not accept it any other way." Namphy also warned "we are running out of patience."

Namphy was followed on TV by Regala, who pointedly refused to resign and instead declared that he has instructed the armed forces to "react sternly" against "wild" demonstrations.

This response of Namphy and Regala disheartened some of the liberal politicians who have been hoping to ride into power in an election supervised by the junta. The TV addresses cut against illusions that the junta will peacefully hand over power to civilian politicians. Silvio Claude, a Christian Democratic leader, said Namphy's speech amounted to a "declaration of war."

The very next day government leaders announced they were drawing up a schedule of elections, with constituent assembly elections to be followed by general elections eighteen months from now. But with continuing protests and continuing government repression, this talk of democracy in the future is too much even for the bourgeois liberal politicians. As Silvio Claude announced, "It is not a matter of elections now.... Elections are not possible without removing the Duvalierists."

General Strike

But Namphy's demand for "peace" and "order" did not succeed in quieting the protest movement. Demonstrations demanding the resignation of Regala and Delatour continued into the second week of June and culminated in a general strike on June 10. Schools and most businesses were shut down in Port-au-Prince. By this time, demands were also voiced calling for the ouster of Namphy himself.

The strike also affected half a dozen other cities, and roadblocks were thrown up across highways connecting the major cities.

After this things were relatively quiet in Haiti for a week, but then on June 18 hundreds of students at the state university in Port-au-Prince held a sit-in on campus. The students repeated the demands for the resignation of Regala and other Duvalierists.

In these protests, students also raised slogans against the U.S. government. Three ministers of the Haitian regime had just returned from Washington where they consulted with Secretary of State George Shultz on the turbulent political situation in Haiti.

Increasing Misery

The strikes and demonstrations in Haiti show that the toiling masses are enthusiastic for continuing the revolutionary struggle against reaction. There is likely to be a prolonged upsurge, as the masses continue to be propelled into action by the worsening objective situation in Haiti.

With the fall of Duvalier the Haitian masses gained confidence in the strength of their mass struggle and succeeded in getting the regime to concede them certain political rights. But alongside the lessons the masses are learning about the reactionary character of the new regime, the economic situation for Haiti's impoverished masses has grown even worse.

In the last few months food prices have soared and many cities have been hit by shortages of gasoline and electric power. Over twelve thousand jobs have been lost, increasing the already outrageous unemployment (50%) and adding to the ranks of the hungry.

But despite the hunger, the poverty, and the repression by Namphy's troops, the toilers of Haiti are writing an inspiring chronicle of struggle.

Puerto Rican hospital workers win strike

In early June, 1,400 workers at the Medical Center, the biggest hospital in Puerto Rico, waged a four-day successful strike. They won a $70 monthly increase for each of the three years of the new contract, as well as improvements in medical benefits and an increase of the Christmas bonus.


Filipino squatters fight police attack

In early June, 4,000 squatters in Pasig, the Philippines, fought a 45-minute pitched battle with police and soldiers who came with bulldozers to enforce a government order to destroy their shantytown. The poor residents used rocks and molotov cocktails against the security forces. At least 20 people, including cops and soldiers, were injured.

Here is one more sign that despite all the talk of "democracy" and "people's power" under the liberal regime of Corazon Aquino, the lot of the toiling and poor masses remains unchanged. The workers and peasants of the Philippines must carry forward their struggle independent of the bourgeois liberals.

[Photos: At left, squatters rain stones on the Filipino government wrecking crew, and, at right, club-swinging police brutally beat a squatter.]

Pakistani masses cry 'Bye-bye Reagan, bye-bye Zia!'

A new wave of huge demonstrations in Pakistan this spring has shown the depth of hatred that exists in that country for the military dictatorship of General Zia-ul Haq. Some of these rallies have been attended by huge crowds, including a quarter-million people at a rally on May 3.

These demonstrations have been called by the opposition politician Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto was just allowed to return to Pakistan from exile on April 10. She was greeted at the airport by throngs of people mobilized by her Pakistan People's Party. Immediately she went on a tour around the country, holding mass rallies in support of her demand for Zia's resignation and for elections this year.

The Pakistani masses want Zia out because they want fundamental change. But Bhutto, being a liberal capitalist politician, does not share those aspirations.

U.S.-Backed Military Rule in the Colors of Islam

Since 1977, the Pakistani people have suffered under the brutal regime of General Zia. And this is just the most recent chapter in a much longer history of military rule. Under these military dictatorships, the masses have been deprived of democratic rights, and the iron fist 3f the military has been used to keep the workers and peasants exploited to the bone by a few wealthy capitalists, landlords, and military officers.

While the Pakistani rulers have always ruled under the banner of a theocratic Islamic Republic, General Zia has been specially notorious in this regard. To the brutal arsenals of military rule, Zia has added the barbaric medievalism of Islamic law.

And this bloody regime remains in power thanks to the full backing of the U.S. government. It receives huge amounts of military and economic support from Washington; this year alone, it will receive over $4 billion!

More and More, the Masses Want Revolution

At Bhutto's rallies the masses have shown that they support her call for the end of Zia's regime. A common slogan at the rallies is ''Zia is a dog."

But the masses also have different ideas than Bhutto about how Zia's regime should end. Showing little faith in pressing Zia for elections, at some rallies tens of thousands chant "Zia must be chased out!'' and "Revolution! Revolution!''

The Pakistani people also denounce the backing of U.S. imperialism enjoyed by the hated regime. Making this connection, demonstrators chant "Bye-bye Reagan, bye-bye Zia.''

... But Bhutto Does Not

Bhutto herself, however, does not support the call for revolution. Under conditions set by Zia's dictatorship, Bhutto was allowed back into the country only after she promised that her political activity would be kept within strictly legal, peaceful bounds. Bhutto has illusions that this will be enough to make Zia resign. In any case, even if she were to go beyond the limits that she promised the regime, she will make sure that the role of the masses remains restricted.

What is more, Bhutto's politics are not really in firm opposition to the Zia government as a whole. While demanding that Zia resign, she wants Zia's prime minister, Mohammad Khan Junejo, to take over the government until elections can be called. And she finds good things to say about the U.S. government, which fully supports Zia.

A Capitalist Politician in the Tradition of Her Father

Here in the U.S. both right-wingers who support Zia as well as various reformist forces like to paint Bhutto up in radical colors -- almost as a revolutionary. But this is a far cry from the truth. Benazir Bhutto's politics are very much in the tradition of her late father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who founded the Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

The elder Bhutto was a loyalist of the Ayub Khan military regime in the 1960's. When the masses were about to revolt against Ayub, Bhutto jumped ship and formed the PPP. Despite adopting populist and socialist slogans, the PPP has been very much an oppressive capitalist-landlord party. In 1971, Bhutto supported the brutal war waged by the Pakistani ruling class against the national movement in East Pakistan, which led to the secession of Bangladesh.

In the aftermath of that fiasco, the military regime decided to quit in 1972. Bhutto was installed in power by the Pakistani ruling class. His government gave itself a social-democratic image. Nonetheless it did nothing to satisfy the stirrings of the masses, and in fact became another ruthless tyranny. Indeed, it was under the Bhutto regime that the generals waged yet another bloody war, this time against the national movement in Baluchistan. Bhutto's rule gave rise to widespread popular discontent.

Having failed to ensure stability, in 1977 Bhutto was overthrown in a military coup by General Zia. The Pakistani army wanted an avowedly right-wing regime, not one that gave even lip service to leftist slogans. Two years later Bhutto was hanged by Zia.

Today Benazir Bhutto is promoted in the American liberal press as an "avenging daughter'' who will restore democracy to Pakistan. And Bhutto herself is promising to reproduce in Pakistan the "people power'' of Corazon Aquino of the Philippines. The last is true enough. Like Aquino, Bhutto seeks a way out of the current crisis through a compromise with supporters of the current regime. Like Aquino, she wants to stem the thrust among the masses towards revolution. But what the Pakistani workers and peasants yearn for -- and what they desperately need -- goes far beyond Bhutto's liberal bourgeois politics.

Anti-nuke protests from W. Germany to Thailand

In the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, a number of protests against nuclear power and nuclear weapons continue to take place in various countries. The first week of June there were demonstrations in France including a march of 5,000 in Paris. And there were anti-nuclear actions in Japan. But the largest demonstrations were in West Germany, centered at the nuclear waste reprocessing facility at Wackersdorf.

West German Militants Clash With Police

The weekend of June 7-8 saw tens of thousands of West Germans turn out for demonstrations against the nuclear energy and nuclear weapons programs of Western imperialism.

At Brokdorf in the north, outside a new nuclear power plant, 40,000 demonstrators battled police who used water cannon and tear gas against the protesters.

The same day 10,000 people marched on the reprocessing facility under construction at Wackersdorf. There they battled police, hurling rocks and gasoline bombs while the police tried to disperse them with water cannon. The next day protests at the Wackersdorf plant continued despite a court ban on further protests.

Militant anti-nuke protesters also clashed with police in the city of Hamburg, where they erected barricades and threw stones at police. Police later surrounded the protesters and arrested hundreds in a military-style roundup.

Throngs in Thailand Bora Plant

In a related event in Thailand, 50,000 people attacked and burned a new chemical plant at Phuket, 535 miles south of Bangkok. The protesters were opposed to the opening of the plant, which they said would pollute the environment.

The protesters also burned a nearby hotel where the Thai Minister of Industry was staying. The Minister was in Phuket for a town meeting arranged to break down local residents' resistance to the opening of the plant.

This chemical plant was built to produce tantalum, a metallic element used to make electrical components; but it is also reported that the plant's purpose was to process metal for nuclear warheads.

The Thai prime minister declared a state of emergency in Phuket and rushed in troops to suppress the masses, but from all reports it looks as if it will be difficult for the capitalists to save this $75 million plant.

These militant demonstrations on different continents show there is widespread resentment in the world to the nuclear energy and weapons programs of the imperialists. The working masses are more and more aroused against being poisoned for the sake of capitalist profits and imperialist warmongering.

[Photo: Anti-nuclear protesters confront police at an atomic waste reprocessing plant under construction in Wackersdorf, West Germany.

Condemn the massacre of political prisoners by the social-democratic regime in Peru!

A brutal massacre of political prisoners took place in Peru two weeks ago following a prison revolt. Peruvian army troops ordered into the prisons by President Alan Garcia of the social-democratic APRA party slaughtered at least 250 prisoners.

The prisoners' uprising had broken out simultaneously at three prisons: at Lurigancho Prison; at Callao women's prison; and at El Fronton island prison off the port of Callao. All three prisons housed prisoners who had been charged with being associated with the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) organization. Shining Path is a peasant revolutionary organization which adheres to the ideas of Maoism.

In dealing with this uprising Garcia made a feint of negotiating by sending a "peace commission.'' But this was a ruse. No, Garcia and the Peruvian generals wanted blood. After all, the army has been waging a war of extermination against the Peruvian peasant rebels for years.

The troops attacked the rebel prisoners with machine guns, mortars and heavy artillery. There are reports of aerial bombardment and of summary executions of prisoners and even of visiting family members who had surrendered. At Lurigancho every one of the inmates were killed. At El Fronton scores of bodies were reported scattered about, while many more -- perhaps hundreds -- remain buried in rubble.

After the massacre Garcia announced that some soldiers may have used excessive force and that there would be an investigation. At the same time he praised the soldiers, saying they "loyally complied with their obligation of service to the nation and obedience to the constitutional government." More recently, he has talked of prosecuting some policemen for shooting captured prisoners in cold blood. But Garcia cannot pass the buck so easily. After all, it was none other than he who ordered the attack.

It may be remembered that the social-democrat Garcia came to power in Peru last year with a lot of rhetoric against imperialism and the foreign bankers, and with many promises for the people. But in reality, the regime has been carrying on repression of the mass struggles of the workers and peasants of Peru. The police have continued to attack striking workers and the army has continued its bloodletting in the countryside.

The massacre in Peru offers not just evidence of the brutal nature of Peruvian social-democracy but is also an indictment of international social-democracy. Right after his massacre, Garcia went on to convene the opening session of the Congress of the Socialist International, which is meeting in Lima. In fact, as preparation for this Congress, Garcia had rounded up 2,000 political "suspects."

Despite the massacre by Garcia, the Socialist International went on with its congress. There were no walkouts, no protests. A committee did pass a hypocritical resolution expressing "sorrow and concern" but it whitewashed Garcia's role. After all, many of these gentlemen themselves have similar crimes in their records.

There is nothing socialist about such an International.

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Bombing by the 'Right to Life'

As the Supreme Court was reaffirming its 1973 decision that recognized abortions to be legal, terrorists from the reactionary anti-abortion movement unleashed another wave of bombings. On May 20 a Toledo, Ohio abortion clinic was bombed. On June 11 a pipe bomb ripped a ten-foot hole in the Women's Health Care Center in Wichita, Kansas. On June 14 a fire was set off causing $100,000 of damage to a clinic in a suburb of St. Louis.

Although the Reagan administration is on a constant crusade against "terrorism," it did not utter a word of protest against these bombings. The hypocrisy is all too obvious. For Reagan "terrorism" is any act of defiance by the workers and oppressed masses against U.S. imperialism and the capitalist system. But terrorism by reactionary groups, well, that's another matter.

When the contras rape, murder, and plunder the Nicaraguan toilers to crush the revolution and bring back the old Somoza tyranny, the Reaganites call that fighting for "freedom." And when class terrorist bombings are unleashed to ban abortions as one of the spearheads of the drive to intensify the oppression of women, well, that's supposedly fighting for "the right to life." There is no end to the lies by which the Reaganites justify right-wing terrorism.

But no matter what you call it, it is wrong. The Reaganites are spawning right-wing terrorism against the working masses whether it be bombings to restrict the democratic rights of women, or cross burnings against the blacks, or police strikebreaking against the workers. For progress to really be progress, for freedom to really be freedom, for the right to life to be more than a living hell, the working class must stand and fight the Reaganites and all the reactionary movements they are unleashing.

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