WORKERS OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!

The Workers' Advocate

Vol. 17, No. 7

VOICE OF THE MARXIST-LENINIST PARTY OF THE USA

25¢ July 1, 1987

[Front page:

So. Korea shakes with the cry 'Down with the dictatorship!';

The Constitution versus the workers' rights;

U.S. Postal Service - Out for blood in this year's contract;

Support Canadian letter carriers' strike!]

IN THIS ISSUE

Supreme Court: legalizes preventative detention; Rules military can do anything it pleases................................................................................................................ 2
AIDS crisis and the capitalist response................................................................. 3
No to trade war competition with foreign workers............................................... 4



Trade bill gives freedom of bribery....................................................................... 4
J. Jackson wants to fly with right-wing Democrats............................................... 4
Letter on the Goetz verdict.................................................................................... 4
Mass outrage against KKK return to Greensboro.................................................. 5
Andrew Young shows "compassion" for Klan....................................................... 5
Buffalo hospital workers rally against racism........................................................ 5
Texas protests demand freedom for Brandley........................................................ 5



20 years since black revolt in Newark & Detroit; Black bourgeois program bankrupt; Who & why............................................................................................ 6-7



Strikes and Workplace News:


Uretek; Bell Helicopter; Telehyde steel; Cudahy; Nursing home; International Paper; Blue Cross; Ideal Textile; GM; L.A. Homeless; song................................ 8-9
Canadian workers on the move; BC general strike; Postal carriers' strike............ 10



Apartheid No! Revolution Yes!


1.5 million strike; State of emergency; Pittsburgh students; Ford's phoney divestment.............................................................................................................. 12
Sullivan changes mind on investment principles................................................... 13



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


Salvadoran mass struggle; Guatemalan peasants; Soviet Union cuts back oil for Nicaragua............................................................................................................... 14
From Prensa Proletaria: New sugar plant union; Portrait of revolutionary fighter; Pluralism.................................................................................................... 15



The World in Struggle:


Berlin youth; Spanish GM strike; Shultz for Philippine death squads................... 16
1st issue of Swedish Marxist-Leninist journal....................................................... 17
Korean masses vs. tyranny; U.S. supports Chun; Regime a fierce dictatorship.... 18-19



'Line of March' retreats facing Simpson-Rodino................................................... 20




So. Korea shakes with the cry

'Down with the dictatorship!'

The Constitution versus the workers' rights

U.S. Postal Service- Out for blood in this year's contract

Support Canadian letter carriers' strike!

Supreme Court legalizes 'preventive detention'

Jailing people for suspicion of future crimes

Supreme Court rules the military can do anything it pleases

AIDS crisis and the capitalist response

No to trade war competition with foreign workers!

Trade bill gives freedom of bribery

Letter on the Goetz verdict

Jesse Jackson wants to fly with the right-wing Democrats

DOWN WITH RACISM!

Strikes and workplace news

Canadian letter carriers fight two-tier wages and job cuts

Canadian workers on the move

One-day strike shuts down British Columbia

British Columbia's anti-union laws

[Graphic: APARTHEID, NO! REVOLUTION, YES!]

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

The World in Struggle

Reagan denounced by youth of Berlin

Hi-tech GM plant in Spain hit by strikes

Shultz blesses death squads in the Philippines

First issue of Marxist-Leninist journal 'Red Dawn' in Sweden

The Korean masses, not the liberals, are the force against tyranny

Liberals whine, Reagan squirms, and Chun keeps U.S. support

The Chun regime--a fierce dictatorship

How the reformists undermine the fight for immigrant rights

'Line of March' retreats in the face of Simpson-Rodino




So. Korea shakes with the cry

'Down with the dictatorship!'

Today the South Korean people's struggle against tyranny has captured worldwide attention. The heroic street actions of the Korean masses are a tremendous inspiration.

Last month the masses launched their most powerful demonstrations yet against the military dictatorship of Chun Doo Hwan. In every city the masses took to the streets. In marches, rallies, and street-fighting, the people of South Korea expressed their hatred for the regime.

The breadth of the demonstrations and their staying power took the Chun regime by surprise. When Chun announced on June 10 that he would pass the mantle of power to his chosen successor, Roh Tae Woo, he expected some protest. But he never expected hundreds of thousands of people -- students, workers, housewives -- to come pouring into the streets in sustained protest.

The spearhead of the anti-government struggle in the streets of South Korea remains the radical students. But now even the most reactionary commentators are forced to admit that the students are not alone, that in their hatred for the regime they express the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of South Koreans.

The sustained protests have thrown the government into crisis. Out-maneuvered by the militants who occupied Myongdong Cathedral and received wide support from the people of Seoul, the Chun militarists hesitated to attack the occupiers of the Cathedral directly and were finally forced to let them go. This only ended up releasing the initiative of tens of thousands more who wanted to emulate the example of the militants.

Since then the regime has used police repression and threats of martial law, as well as pleas for conciliation. The prime minister sternly warned of a crackdown while president-designate Roh promised future talks with the opposition. Finally Chun himself was forced to ask for talks with opposition liberal politicians. But even while he met with a liberal leader, and the liberals called for a truce, the demonstrations continued. And in fact grew even larger. The demonstrations of June 26, after the collapse of the peace talks, were the most widespread and militant yet.

Today the U.S. imperialists are debating how to maintain the stability of their South Korean ally. But for workers in the U.S. there is no question of support for this regime. While the Reagan administration and the politicians in Congress sort out how to work out a Chun-liberal deal in South Korea, we should throw our support behind the mass struggle in South Korea.

For 40 years "our'' government has been a bulwark of tyranny in South Korea. American workers should help the Korean masses overthrow the South Korean dictatorship.

[Photo: Students at Yonsei University resist attempts of police to halt their protest.]


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The Constitution versus the workers' rights

July 4 is an occasion when the capitalists beat the drums of nationalism and try to hide the ongoing strife between worker and capitalist. They try to hide the class war in red-white-and- blue rhetoric about America being the best country in the world.

And this July 4 takes place during the ongoing glorification of the American Constitution. There is hoopla galore over the 200th anniversary of this document. This wonderful Constitution, the newspapers cry out, it is the foundation of liberty and freedom and justice; there is nothing else quite like it; it has provided 200 years of peace and quiet.

The Truth About the Constitution Today

But this glorious picture of the constitutional rights has a hollow ring. In late May, as the shouting about the glories of the Constitution began to pick up steam, the Supreme Court handed down the newest interpretations of the Constitution. It ruled in favor of denying bail to individuals as punishment not for crimes they have committed, but for crimes they might commit in the future. No trial before jury. No proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" (how can you prove what is going to happen in the future). Just let the police and the courts jail the suspicious.

This is a form of preventive detention. Jailing people for what they might do in the future. A basic police-state measure.

And then on May 25, as the flags were already being dusted off for July 4, the Supreme Court ruled that the military could not be sued for trying out LSD mind-control experiments on unsuspecting soldiers. Indeed, the Supreme Court justices said, the military and the civilian authorities can do what they like to the GI's. Even if it is illegal and unconstitutional, the GI's have no right to sue for damages.

And what's good for the military is good for the police. In another decision the court held that the police could not be sued for violating a person's constitutional rights just so long as the police did it "in good faith" and a "reasonable" manner.

It is clear that the Constitution cannot protect the rights of the working class. The capitalists want to ensure a docile population with more police, more laws, more strikebreaking, more jails. And the Supreme Court, in the name of the Constitution, is obliging the capitalists.

And how could a 200-year old document guarantee freedom anyway? Can anyone really believe that the answer to the class struggle of today can be found in a document written before modern industry even existed? Why, no one really believes that today's Supreme Court decisions have much to do with what the authors of the Constitution had in mind.

The Truth About the Constitution in the Past

But, even leaving that aside, freedom is only won by struggle. Even 200 years ago, the American people did not gain independence and some democratic freedoms through a scrap of paper. They won it through the seven-year Revolutionary War of Independence against Britain.

The Constitution was written to limit the freedoms won by the mass of people. The Constitutional Convention was especially concerned to make sure the the majority of debtors and poor people did not write laws making it harder for the minority of the well-to-do to accumulate more wealth.

After the Constitution was passed, every right won by the working people was won by struggle. Only after the masses conquered their rights in the streets and battlefields and class struggles, did the jurists "discover" that the Constitution didn't deny these rights.

Did the Constitution Allow Peaceful and Lawful Progress?

The Constitution allowed slavery. It took another revolutionary struggle to destroy slavery. The Civil War was over fifty times bloodier than the War of Independence. The total casualties reached close to one million. So much for the myth that the Constitution provided peaceful and tranquil progress for the American people.

Even after the Civil War, the Supreme Court blessed Jim Crow and segregation. It took almost another century of struggle for the Supreme Court to finally be persuaded that "separate but equal" was a racist lie. And now the Supreme Court is taking full part in the Reaganite nonsense that "reverse discrimination" against whites is the problem.

The Constitution allowed debtors' prisons and property qualifications for voting. It took decades of struggle to eliminate these abominations.

The Constitution Against the Workers

The U.S. government used "constitutional" arguments to oppose the existence of trade unions and then to hamstring them. It took decades of strikes, confrontations with the police, and jail terms for the workers to win any rights in this country. And today any serious strike or sharp struggle is met with police and injunctions and "the full force of the law."

For many years the Supreme Court used the Constitution to wipe out laws providing minimum wages and other protections for the workers. It took decades of struggle lasting well into the twentieth century for the workers' movement to win this legislation in the face of the "constitutional" arguments of the capitalists. And even now the Reaganite scholars want to "reinterpret" the Constitution to wipe out these laws.

The working class must conquer its own liberties by class struggle. To do this, it must fight the heavy chains of capitalist law and order. The present Constitution is nothing but a convenient fiction that the capitalists use to justify this law and order. The myth that a liberal Supreme Court will restrain the capitalist government is crumbling before the ugly reality of the Rehnquist court. Only the mass struggle will provide room for the working class to breathe. Only the socialist revolution will provide prosperity and freedom for the working class. And then the workers will write a new Constitution that will express the interests of the toiling majority and not provide a mask for the interests of a handful of parasites.


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U.S. Postal Service- Out for blood in this year's contract

The contracts for over 600,000 postal workers expire July 20. And the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is out for blood. It is especially out to increase the part- time and lower paid portion of the workforce. Its aim is to both drive down pay and to further split up the workers to make it harder for them to resist the speedup/productivity drive.

Splitting Up the Workers to Cut Pay and Force Through Speedup

In the last contract in 1984, the Postal Service forced through a two-tier pay scale for the regular workforce. Workers in the regular workforce (including both full and part-time workers) hired after January, 1985 began at some S2-3 less an hour. With this lower pay they could lose up to $35,000 over a 13-year period. And there is also a third tier, the "casuals" or "ninety-day temporary employees" (NTE). They get only about $5 an hour, no benefits, and no guaranteed hours of work.

The USPS profited from the lower pay. It also profited by using this system to push through its speedup/productivity drive. The Postal Service is automating like crazy and is driving the workers to keep up with an ever increasing workload. And at the first sign of resistance, the managers pit the casuals and part-timers and full time workers against each other. The USPS tries to breed contempt between the different sections of workers. And if one section opposes the increased workload, another section is forced to do it, until a new, heavier quota is established. Meanwhile, the conditions of all the workers grow worse.

Demands for Two, Three, Even Four Tiers

And now the Postal Service wants to step up the attack.

In the first place it wants to expand the most exploited section, the casuals. In the last contract, casuals were supposed to be kept down to no more than 5% of the workforce and could only work about 201 days of the year (two 90-day terms plus 21 days in the Christmas period). But in many places casuals were in fact worked longer periods and accounted for a larger portion of the workforce. The USPS is now demanding the right to increase casuals to 10% of the workforce. What is more, they want the right to work casuals 361 days a year (two 170-day terms plus 21 days around Christmas). This really means making them full-time workers, but with half the pay, no benefits, and no rights.

If this weren't bad enough, the USPS also wants to create another, apparently fourth tier. It wants to hire another section of part-time workers who, after the 1987 contract is signed, will get lower pay and benefits than those hired previously. The Postal Service demands that it be allowed to hire enough of these workers to reach 6% of the workforce.

Full Pay and Benefits for All Postal Workers

These demands cannot be tolerated. The postal workers must not only resist these new takebacks ordered by the Postal Service, they must raise their own demands to put an end to the division in their ranks. All postal workers should be raised to the same pay, the same benefits, and the same rights. It's time to get organized to fight back.


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Support Canadian letter carriers' strike!

Since the middle of June, post office letter carriers have been on strike in Canada against a series of concessions demands. This is the first national carriers' strike in twenty years. And it is the first time ever that postal management has tried to move mail by using scabs.

In defiance, the letter carriers are carrying out militant actions against Canada Post. The leaders of the carriers' union weakened the strike weapon by limiting it to rotating strikes. But this did not dampen the fighting spirit of the workers. What's more, in many instances carriers have walked out in wildcats in cities where they were not authorized to strike.

Strangely enough, there hasn't been much news of the Canadian carriers' strike here in the American press. Could that have anything to do with the fact that the U.S. postal contracts are due to expire on July 20? Could the big business newspapers and TV here be worried that the American postal workers might want to follow in the example of the Canadian strikers?

Carriers Refuse to Tolerate Scabs

The use of scabs by Canada Post has become a focal point in rallying militant resistance. The post office did not just advertise for scabs after the strike began. It hired prospective "replacements" months ago. It trained them to work either as inside clerks or carriers. And since the strike began, Canada Post has been bringing them into postal stations in buses, trucks, police vans and private cars.

Police have helped bring them through picket lines, and courts have tried to limit pickets. But despite having the entire government arrayed against them, the carriers have not hesitated to develop a spirited struggle for their rights.

Militant Actions By Carriers

The strike is being hampered by the tactic of rotating strikes adopted by the bureaucrats of the Letter Carriers Union of Canada (LCUC). Workers in a certain area strike for just two days at a time; then they return to work, while workers in some other area go out.

Nonetheless, while they are on strike, the workers set up militant picket lines. And in many cases the workers have developed unauthorized job actions on their own initiative.

On the first day of the strike, June 16, letter carriers went out in Montreal, Quebec and Calgary, Alberta. Militant pickets were active all over Montreal. At one postal station, after hearing there were scabs working inside, strikers forced their way inside and trashed the place, causing $10,000 worth of damage. They also convinced the three scabs inside to leave.

On June 17 the strike spread to Edmonton, Alberta; Victoria, British Columbia; and Cornwall, Ontario. Two strikers were injured when trying to block cars, and one was arrested.

On June 18 the Montreal and Calgary letter carriers returned to work, but those in the four Atlantic provinces went out. A militant picket of 100 strikers shut down the Atlantic region mail sorting station. Carriers were also off the job in parts of Quebec and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Over the weekend carriers were off the job in Toronto, Ontario. They returned to work June 23 but by then pickets had gone up all over Ontario, as well as in Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

This precipitated confrontations all across Canada.

In the Canadian capital of Ottawa, strikers outside the main sorting terminal threw eggs at rental trucks bringing in mail. They also beat on the trucks' windshields and doors with picket signs.

In Hull, across the river from Ottawa, windows and mirrors of a bus carrying scabs were smashed.

In Welland, Ontario, one striker was arrested after a scab was taken to a hospital with shoulder and back injuries. A second Welland striker was arrested after a car was damaged.

In Niagara Falls, Ontario, the door of a rental van crossing a picket line was kicked in; one striker was arrested.

In Cambridge, Ontario, 35 picketing letter carriers tried to turn over a car that contained the local postmaster and four scabs he was ferrying across picket lines. They failed to overturn it, but then set to work on the car. They smashed the windshield, ripped off the lights and mirrors, and beat up the car body. Three were arrested.

In Sudbury, Ontario, a phalanx of riot police was called in to escort a mail truck through picket lines. Five strikers were arrested.

In London, Ontario, 14 strikers were arrested for assaulting police officers.

In Regina, Saskatchewan, six were arrested. And in Regina, Manitoba, police arrested five for blocking a truck.

Every day more reports come in of new actions from different cities.

Wildcats

Letter carriers also carried out unauthorized job actions in many places. The arrogance of postal management has fueled sentiment for wildcats.

When letter carriers go back to work after their turn in the rotating strikes, they are forced to handle mail that has been sorted by scabs. Besides the fact that this violates their old contract, which barred contracting out work to nonunion employees, the mail is badly sorted, and it takes carriers hours of extra work to undo what the scabs have done.

In Toronto and other locations in Ontario, carriers demanded that management give them time to resort the mail sorted by scabs. When supervisors refused, workers at some postal stations sat down and refused to work.

Another cause of wildcats is management's refusal to give overtime pay to returning letter carriers. After being out for a few days, there is plenty of extra work for the letter carriers, and postal managers want the carriers to work overtime. But at the same time they refuse to pay for it.

Canada Post argues that the old contract has now expired, and so workers are now employed under the minimal provisions of the Canada Labor Code. While the old contract required overtime pay for anything over eight hours in a day, the Labor Code only requires it for more than 40 hours in a week. Of course, after being out on strike for two days of the week, it's impossible for the carriers to meet this requirement. So management says it will pay the carriers straight time for the overtime work.

This so outraged the carriers that in some cases -- as in Willowdale and Scarborough, Ontario -- they simply walked out. In Windsor, Ontario the letter carriers walked out en masse and marched through the downtown area.

Support the Canadian Postal Workers!

As we go to press, the carriers' strike is still going on. A few days ago, Canada Post announced that there would be some sort of mediation for the negotiations. And it promised to cease using scabs. But reports from Canada indicate that scabs are still being used.

The postal workers are in a bitter fight. Not only are they faced with a vicious management, they are also being undermined by the union leaders. Besides the timidity of the carriers' union bureaucrats, the carriers are also faced with the fact that the leaders of the union of postal clerks and sorters has its members still on the job. For success in their struggle, the postal workers have to overcome the weak-kneed stance of the union bureaucrats.

The Workers' Advocate supports the determined strike of the Canadian letter carriers. The lessons of the Canadian postal strike should be taken to heart by the U.S. postal workers who are also faced by a management offensive and an even more impotent union leadership.


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Supreme Court legalizes 'preventive detention'

Jailing people for suspicion of future crimes

Today the bourgeoisie is hailing the 200th anniversary of the Constitution. The Constitution is supposed to be the protector of the people's liberties. But at the same time, one law after another is being passed that turns the U.S. into a big prison for anyone who dares protest, dares strike, or happens to belong to the wrong race.

The Preventive Detention Law

For example, every school child is taught that supposedly no one can be sentenced to jail in the U.S. unless he or she is first convicted of a crime. And there is the right to a jury trial at which the prosecution must prove "beyond a reasonable doubt'' that the crime was committed. Before the trial, there is the "presumption of innocence'' and the suspect can get out of jail on bail.

But recently, at the end of May, the Supreme Court endorsed, in a 6-3 decision, the federal preventive detention law. (Its formal name is the Bail Reform Act of 1984.) This law authorizes the denial of bail on suspicion that the arrested suspect might commit future crimes while out on bail. (Please note: this denial of bail has nothing to do with the charge the suspect was arrested for. It is designed to "prevent'' crimes that have not been committed yet.)

Under this law, one has to be arrested on some charge before one can be jailed to "prevent" some future offense. But this is no problem. The law doesn't require that you be convicted of anything in order to be subject to preventive detention. You are not being charged with having committed any offense, but with being a suspicious person. And you must stay in jail until your trial on the original charges.

If the prosecutor asks for preventive detention, the arrested person, if he is to get bail, must prove to a judge that he is not going to commit any offense in the future. There is no jury. There is no presumption of innocence. And what types of rules of evidence can there be about events that may or may not take place in the future? Furthermore, the preliminary hearing on bail first comes right after the arrest. Unless the suspect has a regular lawyer (only the rich do) or has a crystal ball telling the time and date when the arrest is to take place, how can the suspect be prepared to contest an "adversary proceeding" with the prosecutor? At best the suspect better be prepared to postpone the hearing and stay in jail in the meantime.

This law only concerned federal prosecutions. But it is a model for all states to follow. And the Supreme Court approval of this law gives the green light for all the states to impose their own preventive detention measures.

And so, right on schedule for the bicentennial of the Constitution, begins the proliferation of "preventive detention" laws. People are to be jailed not to punish them for crimes they have committed, but on suspicion of future misbehavior. Naturally, corporate executives, government politicians, "national heroes" like wildman Lt. Col. North, etc., are not going to be jailed for this reason. It is strikers, blacks, "subversives," and anyone whom the wealthy find suspicious, who will be jailed.

And What About the Constitution?

The Supreme Court is the guardian of the Constitution. The Constitution is not interpreted according to what you or I may think, but according to the Supreme Court justices. And the ruling of the Supreme Court justifying "preventive detention" shows the Constitution guarantees nothing to the American working class. No scrap of paper will give rights to the working people -- only their own organized strength can do that.

Look at the Chief Justice William Rehnquist's written opinion for the majority of the Supreme Court.

Rehnquist was faced with the clear statement of the Bill of Rights, in the eighth amendment to the Constitution, that "Excessive bail shall not be required...." This would seem written with the Bail Reform Act in mind.

But what is important is not what the Constitution says, but what the ruling class wants to do. So William Rehnquist, the highest judge in the land, sworn to defend the Constitution, mockingly quoted the eighth amendment and added that "This Clause, of course, says nothing about whether bail shall be available at all." (The New York Times, May 27) What a nitwit!

And what about punishment without a trial? Why, Justice Rehnquist said that imprisonment doesn't constitute punishment. He stated that "...the mere fact that a person is detained [is in jail] does not inexorably lead to the conclusion that the Government has imposed punishment." Why, the Bail Reform Act never talked of punishment. It was just a "regulatory" law that did not inflict punishment at all. Hence there is no need for a trial.

Besides, Rehnquist argued, bail could already be denied for a number of reasons. So why not add more reasons?

Actually, most of Justice Rehnquist's reasoning would apply equally well to simply pulling people off the street and imprisoning them to prevent future crimes -- after a hearing before a judge and other "due process" of law. All that is needed is for the government to label this imprisonment not as "punishment" but as a simple exercise of its "regulatory" powers.

In fact, it can be noted that already under previous law, there were a number of circumstances under which bail could be denied. (These methods of denying bail can be and are still used.) Bail was supposed to be set to ensure that the accused show up for trial. If the judge felt that no amount of bail would ensure this, bail could be denied altogether. If it was shown that the accused was going to threaten witnesses, bail could be denied. If the accused were charged with a offense that could be punished with the death penalty, bail was also denied. And, if the judge didn't like a working class defendant, he could simply set the bail too high to be paid. (Setting excessive bail is unconstitutional, but everyone admits that it is done all the time. Strangely enough though, no one proposed jailing judges to prevent them from committing this crime in the future.)

Reagan and Kennedy Hand in Hand

But the ruling class is on an offensive against the masses. It wants still more brutal laws. It wants a regular system where people can be jailed openly for crimes they never committed. Therefore in 1984 the ruling class politicians, liberals and conservatives alike, passed the preventive detention law. The Reagan administration wanted it, and the big liberals like Senators Edward Kennedy and Joseph Biden were all for it. It passed 95 to 1 in the Senate and 406 to 16 in the House. When it comes to repressing the masses, liberals and conservatives join together in touching unanimity.

The "liberal" rationale for the law was that it would prevent judges from setting excessively high bail. Mind you, there was nothing in the law that punished judges for setting absurdly high bails. But the liberals held that if the judge could keep you in jail anyway, he wouldn't have to set high bails to accomplish this. And, the liberals crowed, this new denial of bail would have to be done openly at a hearing before a judge. (The same judges who the liberals admit were intentionally setting excessive bails.) So what injustice could there be?

The liberal sees that the judges are violating the constitutional provision about not setting excessive bail. He doesn't get upset at the judges. Why, these are fine bourgeois gentlemen, in the best of clothing, with educated accents, the best intention, and big salaries. Instead the liberal punishes the masses by letting the judge put them in jail without having to go through the pretext of setting bail at all.

In fact, since the bill was passed, excessive bails have continued to be set. Bails have gotten even higher. And a judge who doesn't want to go through a bail denial hearing can still simply set outrageously high bail just as before. So the bill didn't prevent the old abuses, but just added new ones. And a whole ton of new abuses, as many more people have been put in jail before trial, especially the poor and the minorities. And being in jail before trial also makes it harder to have any reasonable type of defense in court itself.

The Supreme Court and the other defenders of this bill say that there cannot be abuses because a prosecutor has to put forward "clear and convincing evidence" to a judge before bail can be denied. All this means is that rich people won't be jailed by accident. The working class or poor arrested person will appear to face indefinite charges, probably without a lawyer or only with a miserable public defender who has seen him for three seconds, and his very "lower class" appearance will make him suspicious for the judge (who may well make five times what an average worker makes).

For example, if the New York "subway executioner" Bernhard Goetz can shoot to kill four black youths because he didn't like their "smiles" and "body language," no Goetz in judicial robes will think twice about denying bail to black youth.

The Mafia Case

To make this law seem reasonable, it was tested with respect to a big Mafia chief. Anthony Salerno, head of the Genovese "crime family," had been in jail, pending trial, for a year. He appealed to the Supreme Court.

Now, as far as the working class is concerned, you can lock up the Mafia bosses and throw away the key. But look at the absurdity of the government's position. Instead of locking him up for the crimes he had committed, they locked him up for ones he hadn't yet committed.

The prosecutor argued that if the Mafia boss were out of jail pending trial, his "crime family" would continue business as usual: drug dealing, vice, murder, you name it. But for that matter, with this Mafia chief in jail, Mafia business as usual also continued. The only way to stop it would be to arrest all the Mafia men -- and the other drug runners, like Oliver North's contra henchmen on Nicaragua's borders, or the CIA-backed poppy growers in Afghanistan, etc., etc. Whether a single Mafia chief was out of jail pending trial didn't make much difference to anything.

A Police-State Law

Preventive detention is a typical police-state measure. The American politicians, judges and prosecutors are enthusiastic about it. It is now the law of the land that preventive detention can be applied to anyone who has been arrested on any other charge.

Nor is the Bail Reform Act the only example of preventive detention in the U.S. Preventive detention has also been used against anti-militarist demonstrators at Walled Lake, Michigan, with activists thrown in jail indefinitely until they pledged not to continue their actions in the future.

The preventive detention law shows that the workers, minorities and progressive people in this country can expect no justice from the courts, no protection from the Constitution, no mercy from the legal system. The working masses will only have those rights they fight for, those rights they join together to defend. Only the organized class struggle of the workers will provide rights. That is the lesson of the recent preventive detention law.


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Supreme Court rules the military can do anything it pleases

While the press shouts that the Constitution gives people rights, the Supreme Court is busy cutting down those rights to nothing. On Thursday June 25 the Supreme Court had a busy day in this pursuit. To begin with, the Supreme Court ruled that GIs or other military personnel cannot sue the military or civilian authorities for damages even for major and deliberate violations of their constitutional rights. The military can do whatever it pleases, even give unsuspecting soldiers LSD, and it is free from all liability. At a time of rapid military buildup, this means that the rank-and-file soldier has no rights at all except to die on behalf of Reagan and GE.

CIA and Pentagon Mind-Control Experiments with LSD

The particular case concerned a soldier given LSD in 1958 in mind-control experiments by the CIA and the military. The former Army sergeant, James B. Stanley, had been one of a group of enlisted men who had only been told that they were volunteering for chemical warfare tests with gas masks and protective clothing. Seventeen years later, in 1975, he found out he had actually been given LSD when the Army wanted to include him in a follow-up study.

Stanley contends that this caused him severe psychological problems. For example, he would wake up at night and, without reason, beat his wife and children, and later remember nothing. The majority on the Supreme Court held that, even if this were true, he was not entitled to sue for damages.

Stanley had sued under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which authorizes some suits for damages caused by government wrongdoing. But the Supreme Court held that constitutional rights were overridden by the need for military discipline. No atrocity was too great that military or civilian officials should fear "second guessing" by the courts.

Radiation Poisoning from Nuclear Testing

This case also presumably seals the fate of the soldiers who were exposed to radiation by the armed forces. For years the military insisted that atomic tests were perfectly safe. To prove it, the armed forces exposed soldiers, without warning them (or nearby townspeople) of the danger of radiation, to nuclear tests conducted in the atmosphere. Now these soldiers, or, in most cases, their survivors, are suing the military.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed damage suits against both the military and the military contractors. It held that the government could not be held responsible for even such blatant misconduct so long as it was a "discretionary policy decision." After all, it was essential that the government's hands be free to conduct such atrocities in the future. How could the army conduct germ or bacteriological experiments if it was held liable for its mistakes with nuclear radiation?

The Supreme Court decision on absolving the military and the CIA of any liability for LSD testing on unsuspecting soldiers reinforces this Court of Appeals decision on radiation.

Extending the Reach of Military Courts-Martial

As well, on June 25 the Supreme Court also reinforced the long reach of military courts-martial. Despite the big talk in every high school about how a person on trial has all sorts of rights, in fact there' are essentially no rights in a court-martial. The Supreme Court ruled that the military could court-martial soldiers for offenses that had nothing to do with the military. So a soldier who is charged with a civilian offense would not necessarily be tried in a court, but would receive a military court-martial.

This reverses a 1969 Supreme Court decision which held that armed service members accused of things unrelated to the military had the right to be tried by civilian juries. This Supreme Court decision took place at the height of the movement against the Viet Nam war, which included a vigorous GI movement; and it was a time when many political trials of soldiers were taking place. But now, when the mass movement is at a low ebb, the Supreme Court feels it can remove the rights it was forced to grant earlier.

Freeing the Police and Government Officials from Liability

Furthermore, in another decision announced on June 25 the Supreme Court moved in the direction of granting immunity to policemen and civilian government officials for illegal or harmful actions not just to soldiers, but to anyone. It worked on the principle that police and Government officials must be held blameless if only they undertook actions "in good faith." The particular case involved a Federal agent who searched a home without a warrant. This is supposed to be illegal and even a violation of constitutional rights. But the Court held that Federal agents were immune from liability so long as they believed, in good faith, that they were not violating anyone's rights.

So for ordinary workers "ignorance of the law is no excuse." But for government officials, they can violate the law at will, conduct illegal searches, harass protesters -- just so long as they did it in "good faith." The actual law doesn't matter in the slightest, only the "good faith" of the policeman wielding the baton. Indeed, if anything this puts a premium on police and government officials feigning ignorance of the law, so that they can violate it in "good faith."

According to Justice Scalia, who wrote the Court's majority opinion, the police actions were OK as long as they were "reasonable in light of current American law." Here is a new classification. You have to obey the law or you are liable to both jails and fines. But police actions only have to be "reasonable" -- even if illegal or unconstitutional.

This shows how the Reaganite conservatives fight "big government." In fact, they are freeing the hands of government to oppress the people at will, without even the feeble restraint provided by liability laws. The conservatives are the biggest proponents of big and arbitrary government; the only thing they don't want government to do is provide any social benefits to the working class.

This decision shows that, for the ruling class, law only exists to put chains on the working class and its struggle. But for the ruling class, it and its hired guns are free from the law.


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AIDS crisis and the capitalist response

By all counts, the AIDS epidemic is a major health crisis. It has already killed nearly 21,000 people since 1981. Tens of thousands more are currently suffering from the disease, while many more are carriers of the AIDS virus. So far, there is no cure or vaccine against the virus.

Clearly the AIDS crisis, like any serious epidemic, demands a massive medical and public health response. It calls for making a determined effort in medical research, for care for its victims, and for measures to inform the people about how to cut down the chances of acquiring the disease.

Simple enough, one would think? Oh no. The Reagan administration has refused to make any serious effort at AIDS research, treatment or education.

Why this shoddy response? It's because we live in a capitalist society where profit determines policies. And the capitalist rulers are currently on a reactionary offensive. They want to use the AIDS crisis to promote ignorance, hysteria, and bigotry.

Health care in the U.S. is already a scandal. There is no national health care system. Medical research is based on the drug companies' calculations of profit and on charitable appeals and telethons. Medical insurance is left to those who can afford it, or who can win it in union contracts. If you're rich, medical care is no problem, but if you're not, you're in tough shape. The AIDS crisis only underscores the gross inadequacy of decent health care for the working and poor people.

The government authorities have hesitated to put any major funds into dealing with the AIDS crisis. After all, funding social services, they say, is just throwing money at problems. They'd much rather throw money at Star Wars, nuclear bombs and other weapons.

As the crisis expands, they've begun to take some measures. But it's a mixed bag. Some of the key plans they've come up with involve mandatory AIDS testing programs. But mandatory testing is no solution to the AIDS epidemic; it will only amount to punitive measures against AIDS victims.

In fact, the capitalist authorities don't give a damn about AIDS victims. Some right-wingers come right out and say that they think AIDS is a retribution from god against evil people. Others put it in somewhat different terms, as Senator Danforth (R-Mo.) declared in Washington, "How many billions are we going to spend...simply to make people feel better?"

When you strip away phony words of "concern" and "compassion," this is the attitude which remains. Such is the callous response of U.S. capitalism to the AIDS crisis.

The Victims of AIDS

The heartless attitude towards AIDS victims is based on prejudices against homosexuals and national minorities.

AIDS in the U.S. has so far mainly hit homosexual men and intravenous drug users. The virus has also begun to move into other sections of the people, mainly via IV drug users, sexual partners of infected people, childbirth, etc. In some other places, such as Central Africa, AIDS is afflicting the urban, heterosexual population.

In a class-divided society, AIDS has a tendency to hit poor people the worst. It is after all poor drug users who are forced to share needles, rich ones can afford not to. Also, AIDS tends to wreak most havoc among those who already have weakened immune systems, because their health is already in bad shape. And it is the poor who have the worst health care.

As well, class oppression here in the U.S. is combined with severe racism; large numbers of the poor are blacks and latinos. In the ghettos of the big cities high unemployment, poverty, and hopelessness mean rotten health care systems and people being forced into prostitution, drug abuse, etc. AIDS is beginning to hit hard among the oppressed people in the ghettos of America.

The Right Hopes to Whip Up Bigotry and Hysteria

The backward right-wing is never one to miss an opportunity for a reactionary crusade. They have deliberately sought to use the AIDS crisis to push panic and ignorance, hoping to generate public support behind a moralistic crusade against homosexuals and against sex generally.

It is well known that the crusaders of the Reaganite "moral majority" preach the message that AIDS is a punishment from god against homosexuals. Many among them do not conceal their hope that it will kill off gay people altogether. As a result of this reactionary crusade, there has been a rise in anti-gay bigotry and an increase in attacks against gays around the country.

The reactionaries are also using the AIDS crisis to get on their high horses against sex. Even the mildest proposals on measures about avoiding AIDS, such as sex education and the promotion of condoms, have aroused the ire of the right-wingers. Phyllis Schlafly, the infamous crusader against women's rights and for a bigger and bigger Pentagon budget, is reported to have openly said that she'd be willing to sacrifice that half of the teen-age population which is sexually active for the sake of preventing the other half from knowing that there are such things as condoms!

What's more, with growing evidence that AIDS is hitting the ghettos of America, the racist reactionaries are rubbing their hands with glee. A few years ago, the racists tried to blame Haitians for AIDS and today AIDS-related prejudice against Africans is showing up in many countries.

Many of these reactionaries, who are also active in the reactionary anti-abortion movement, have postured about how they are allegedly the greatest champions of human life. But this doesn't seem to extend to the victims of AIDS.

The Reaganite Response: Punish the Victims of AIDS

A major practical result of the reactionary AIDS hysteria is the fostering of punitive measures against AIDS victims.

Panic and confusion about AIDS have fed discrimination against AIDS victims. Many have been thrown out of jobs, kicked out of apartments, and removed from insurance benefits.

For years, the government did little about the AIDS problem. The Reaganites have a shameful record of not funding research and education about AIDS. But, when the disease began to attack people in prominent bourgeois circles, they began to take notice.

But as government officials and politicians "recognize" the AIDS crisis, the proposals they are coming up with in the name of helping to check the disease, seem to have a common denominator: more punishment against the victims of AIDS.

These insidious proposals are coming not just from the ultra-right, not even just the Reagan administration, but from liberal Democrats as well. Among other things, they are rallying around various forms of mandatory testing. Last month, the Senate unanimously passed a bill calling for mandatory testing of immigrants. And the federal government announced the first phases of a testing program.

These testing proposals have little public health value. They will only feed more discrimination -- by government, employers, landlords, and insurers -- against AIDS victims. Thus AIDS testing for undocumented immigrants applying for amnesty will mean denial of legal status; and the government is threatening that prisoners who test positive may be denied parole.

What's even more sinister, testing is tossed around as part of more extreme proposals to quarantine all those infected with the AIDS virus. And in some extreme cases, proposals have even been made for quarantining all those in "high-risk" categories -- gay people, the ghettos as a whole, etc!

At the heart of all these proposals is the idea that to deal with a health problem, you punish its victims. In these modern times, only capitalism can come up with the revival of such a callous, medieval idea.

Capitalist Health Care Is Grossly Inadequate

There is a myth that the American capitalists love to advertise before the whole world. This is the one about how the U.S. has the greatest health care system in the world.

It is true that medical care in the U.S. is technologically advanced. But the AIDS epidemic has exposed the rotten underbelly of this advanced system.

The greatest crime of all is that health care is not considered a right of all people, but a privilege for those who can afford it. The few government insurance programs that do exist -- like Medicare and Medicaid for the indigent and retirees -- are not only inadequate, but they are only thinly disguised forms to subsidize hospitals, private doctors, etc.

AIDS patients get little benefit from such programs. Only a section qualify for either. And for example, among those who qualify for Medicare, they are denied benefits for two years after diagnosis. By that time, most are dead.

What's more, just two days after Reagan's May 31 AIDS speech, the Social Security Administration announced that people with AIDS-related dementia and emaciation may not qualify for disability benefits. As one official cynically put it, "They may be dying, but they might not be disabled."

Meanwhile, the proposals for mandatory AIDS testing may well be used to deny private insurance to those infected with AIDS. And life insurance companies are also announcing they'll cut down benefits to those who test positive.

Another scandal is that in the U.S., research and development are also based on profit. When the virus first appeared, there wasn't much interest among the drug companies in developing work on it. Only when the corporations could see dollar bills floating in front of them did they get moving. Among the various drugs produced, the government legalized one called AZT that costs patients nearly $10,000 a year. It's not a cure but may help slow down some of the deterioration.

And finally, the nature of capitalist society also undermines efforts for widespread public education about such epidemics as AIDS. Capitalism does not foster a literate, informed and conscious population; instead it depends on fostering ignorance and prejudices.

Fight for Decent Health Care for Poor and Working People!

The AIDS crisis is one more damning indictment of the bankruptcy of capitalist health care. From the workers and oppressed people, it calls for a two-pronged response.

The masses should fight for a more rational response to the AIDS crisis. The right-wingers who use the AIDS crisis to spread ignorance and bigotry should not go unchallenged. And measures amounting to stepping up repression of sections of the masses should be opposed.

The AIDS crisis is also an occasion to agitate for health care benefits for all the working and poor people. For much too long have the capitalists gotten away without providing any general health insurance system. Of course, this wouldn't necessarily by itself mobilize an all-round response to an AIDS-type epidemic, but it could make a big difference in ensuring treatment of those with the disease.

These are just and essential demands to fight for. But even if progress is made on these fronts, they can only partly meet the needs of the masses. So long as capitalism continues to exist, the working people will be faced with a constant struggle to make sure that their health needs are dealt with. To get a really radical change in the health care system, it is necessary to overthrow capitalism and replace it with a socialist system where the needs of the masses are paramount.


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No to trade war competition with foreign workers!

With all the talk about the "loss of American jobs to foreign competition" you might think that much of the rest of the world is growing rich off the U.S. workers. But in fact workers throughout the world are facing growing unemployment and wage-cutting concessions. Capitalist economic crisis is spreading worldwide. And the capitalist monopolies -- both in the U.S. and other countries -- are scrambling to save their profits at the expense of the working masses.

Economic Crisis Spreads Around the World

Take a look at the situation in some of the countries which are most scapegoated by the union bureaucrats, Democratic Party politicians and other U.S. trade warriors.

Much of the U.S. trade war hatred is directed at Japan. But industrial production in Japan actually fell 2.4% in the last quarter of 1986, and the Japanese capitalists wiped out some 200,000 industrial jobs last year. Some of these workers were shifted to lower- paying jobs in other sectors. But the much vaunted "life-time job guarantees" never applied to more than 15% of the Japanese workers. And now even these "protected" workers are facing layoffs. The Japanese government has just put together a $43 billion package to "stimulate the economy." But bourgeois economists predict that unemployment may continue to mount.

Meanwhile West Germany, the second largest exporter to the U.S., is also shaky. Overall output in West Germany fell 0.4% at the end of last year. The West German government has started a $25 billion tax cut aimed at helping out their monopolies. But economists predict only a weak growth rate this year. And the rest of Western Europe suffers a similar situation, with double-digit unemployment in most countries and reaching as high as 22% in Spain.

And what about South Korea, Mexico, and Brazil -- all major targets of U.S. trade war hysteria. They are all suffering under huge debts to the imperialist powers -- $45 billion in South Korea, $100 billion in Mexico, and $111 billion in Brazil. The workers in these countries have been struggling to survive on an austerity diet for years. It is pure hypocrisy for U.S. politicians to blame them for "stealing American jobs." U.S. bankers have been grabbing super-profits off them for decades. And when these countries can't pay up it's the imperialist bankers who order them to carry out austerity measures which further drive down the wages and conditions of the workers.

The Capitalist System Is the Heart of the Problem

The problem here is not "foreign workers" but the capitalist system. Under capitalism, production is for profit, not to meet the needs of the masses. And this means periodic economic crises and the devastation of the workers -- who produced all the wealth in the first place.

Right now, as each country goes deeper into crisis, their monopolies demand more cuts against their own workers to better "compete" with the "foreign workers." But improving "competitiveness" is of no benefit to the workers. It only means that some monopolies grow richer. Meanwhile,the workers are split up and put on a downward spiral. Each "competitiveness" cutback calls forth demands for still more concessions.

Instead of joining with their own capitalists to compete, the workers need to link arms with each other for a common struggle to defend their jobs and their livelihood. This is a struggle against the capitalists, a struggle that must ultimately lead up to a socialist revolution to completely scrap this crisis-ridden system.

A Growing Fight for Jobs

The worsening conditions are giving rise to strikes, demonstrations and other mass protests throughout the world.

In Japan there have been mounting protests against new layoffs of 41,000 workers at Nippon Kokkan and other steel monopolies, against Mitsubishi's mine closure which eliminated 1,000 jobs, and so forth. In Spain, where unemployment has reached 22%, strikes have grown against job cuts at steel mills, coal mines and shipyards. In Mexico, there have been a number of major strikes, including at Ford, and organizing drives are building in the maquiladoras sweatshops across the border. In South Korea, workers are increasingly joining protests against the dictatorship.

These and other struggles show that the working class will not simply lie down and be run over by their monopolies. The U.S. workers should support these fights and build up the movement in the U.S. to make our "own" monopolies pay for jobs. Reject the monopolies' trade war! Workers of the world, unite!


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Trade bill gives freedom of bribery

Trade war hysteria is being fueled with charge after charge against "unfair trading practices" of foreign countries. But this talk is pure hypocrisy when you consider that the U.S. monopolies wrote the book on dirty tricks, bribery, blackmail, dumping and every other "unfair" method employed to dominate foreign markets and carve out spheres of influence for U.S. monopolies. Indeed, one of the chief aims of the trade bill currently being debated in the Senate is to make it easier for the U.S. corporations to engage in "unfair trading practices."

Take, for example, the question of bribery of foreign officials to get deals for U.S. investments and sales in their countries. The Foreign Corrupt Practice Act outlawed U.S. companies from offering such bribes. But the Senate trade bill would weaken it, thus further encouraging the bribery that has continued even with this law. According to the June 20 Congressional Quarterly the Senate bill would, "Alter the definition of what constitutes a bribe under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to allow prosecution only in cases where payments were made directly or expressly through a third party." Stated this way, it appears that bribery is OK as long as a U.S. company doesn't "expressly" say it's a bribe when it "indirectly" hands over thousands of dollars to some foreign official. How's that for a bill that is supposed to combat unfair methods?

"Unfair trading practices" is just another name for the dog-eat-dog methods through which the international capitalists compete. The new trade legislation being discussed in Congress has less to do with "combating" unfair trade as strengthening the U.S. monopolies' side in this competition -- no matter what dirty tricks it takes.


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Letter on the Goetz verdict

Here's a useful lesson in how the big capitalist media tries to con public opinion. Last week the Detroit Free Press(the supposedly more liberal of the two dailies here) carried a "Sound- off" opinion poll on the Bernhard Goetz case. It read:

"A jury found Bernhard Goetz not guilty of attempted murder Tuesday for shooting four young men on a subway car two and a half years ago. Goetz... said that he fired in self-defense as the four tried to rob him.... Do you support the verdict that Goetz was not guilty of attempted murder?" (DFP, June 18)

And surprise, surprise! The majority response was "Justice was done.... I think I would have done the same thing he did to protect myself," etc.

But the whole way the issue was posed was a setup. All the evidence at this trial showed Goetz' claims of self- defense to be bunk. If the issue was posed based on these facts you would have very different questions and very different answers.

For example, what if the paper had asked: "All six eyewitnesses in the subway car testified that Goetz was not surrounded, cornered, attacked or menaced by the four youth he shot. Do you support the not-guilty verdict?"

Or: "Goetz shot four young men who were totally unarmed. Two were shot in the back. Darrell Cabey was sitting apart with his hands gripping the seat when Goetz walked up to him and said, 'You look alright; here's another' before pumping a bullet through Cabey's spine, which has left him with brain damage and permanent paralysis. Do you support the not-guilty verdict?"

Or: "In extensive confessions to the police, Goetz admitted that he shot the four youth, not because of what they did or said, but because of one of the young men's 'body language' and 'seeing his smile.' He also confessed that 'My intention was to murder them.' Do you support the not-guilty verdict?"

But the establishment media just isn't going to put the facts of this case to the fore. Instead, it deliberately tries to turn this trigger-happy racist and cowardly would-be murderer into some kind of folk hero.

The only way they get away with this is by harping on the question of self-defense. After all, among the working people there are strong feelings in support of the right to self-defense.

Here in Detroit, it is commonplace (even more so since the 1967 rebellions) for working people to carry weapons to fend off criminals, brutal police, and other predators. Such people aren't out to victimize anyone or shoot them in the back for no reason.

Then there are the killers and gun thugs. There are bloodthirsty and racist store owners who think nothing of gunning down black youth, even children, over a bag of potato chips. There are also killer cops who shoot first and ask questions later (with a number of recent cases of cops even shooting cops). Such killers are routinely let off the hook on the bogus grounds of self-defense -- "I shot the victim as he fled down the street because I thought I might have seen something shiny in his hand." Goetz is this type of animal. His naked racism and the savage and unprovoked nature of his crime make his acquittal particularly disgusting. Yet the capitalist newspapers are using cheap propaganda tricks to pump him up as a "vindicated" hero.

That is why we need the working class press like The Workers' Advocate. Because it cuts through the lies and manipulations of the establishment media. Because it exposes the exploiters, racists and reactionaries for what they are. And because it's always on the side of the workers and oppressed.

-- a reader

[Photo: At the New York apartment of Bernhard Goetz, 250 protest his acquittal for the subway shooting of four black teens, June 20.]


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Jesse Jackson wants to fly with the right-wing Democrats

Last week the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) held a strategy conference in Atlanta. The DLC is the Democratic Party's conservative caucus. This was a powwow over strategies to take back the conservative southern vote from the Republicans.

Guess who made a surprise appearance? None other than Jesse Jackson. He came to deliver a message of Democratic Party unity.

On the 22nd, Jackson addressed this pack of segregationist Dixiecrats and right-wing militarists. And he blew them love kisses.

Jackson warned against "temptations to exaggerate our differences" within the Democratic Party. "Our challenge is to keep hammering away at common ground," Jesse told the right wingers, "Our party has a progressive wing; our party has a conservative wing. But it takes two wings to fly."

In turn, the Reagan clones of the DLC reportedly gave Jackson a warm welcome. Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia praised Jackson's speech as "constructive." Nunn is one of those select Democrats who the High Priest of Reaganism, Jerry Falwell, says he could endorse as a presidential candidate. "We have to build a coalition," Nunn responded to a question about Jesse Jackson, "of both blacks and whites in the Democratic Party."

This little love-in at the DLC conference provides food for thought.

For over four years now, Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition has been advertized as the progressive alternative to the two big capitalist parties. Many of the chieftains of the reformist left have hitched themselves to this Rainbow. Don't worry about Jesse Jackson's ties to the Democratic Party, they say. Don't worry because Jackson and his Rainbow allegedly represent an independent and progressive challenge to the Democratic Party officialdom.

But why then does the leader of this Rainbow talk about building coalitions with the likes of Sam Nunn? The Rainbow is supposed to be a coming together of the left and progressive forces; but the Rainbow's main man wants to fly together with politicians of the right wing.

Jesse Jackson is a man of many hats and many faces. But cut through some of the fancy rhetoric and you will find a bonafide Democratic Party politician. This is who showed up at the DLC. And like every good Democrat, Jackson realizes that the liberals and the conservatives of his party need each other as the two wings of a bird. After all, that's how this capitalist party of racism, hunger, militarism and war has been flying for the last half-century.

Meanwhile, Jackson's Rainbow followers are left clinging to the Democratic Party's tail feathers.


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DOWN WITH RACISM!

Mass outrage against Klan's return to Greensboro

Working people are standing up to say No! to KKK terror and intimidation. In towns across the South, people have been protesting and marching, spurred on by the anti-Klan demonstration 20,000 strong in Forsyth County, Georgia this past January.

Last month, the so-called Christian Knights of the KKK kicked off a recruiting drive in North Carolina. Adding insult to injury, they began their campaign with a march in Greensboro.

This was the first time the Klan has shown its face in Greensboro since the fall of 1979. That's when the KKK and nazis -- aided and abetted by the police and government officials -- gunned down five anti-racist demonstrators.

No one in Greensboro has forgotten that bloody massacre. And there was an angry public outcry when the city government granted these racist killers a permit to march again. Six thousand people signed a petition demanding that the KKK must not be allowed to march. And it rapidly became clear that the working and progressive masses wanted to confront these racist vermin head-on if they did attempt to march.

City Officials Try to Squash Anti-Klan Protest

The prospect of the masses confronting the racist Klan sent city officials into a frenzy. City Manager William Carstarphan refused a permit for a "Peace Rally'' called to protest the Klan. Even though this march was to be held a distance from the route of the Klan march, the city was afraid of any anti-racist gathering. So the original "Peace Rally" plans were blocked.

In city council meetings, anti-Klan activists voiced their outrage at the city government's attitude. The city bosses postured that they didn't agree with the Klan; but they turned a deaf ear to the demands that the racist killers not be allowed to march. Mayor John Forbis threatened to have the activists thrown out of the meetings if they kept up their protest.

The city's Human Rights Commission held nightly public hearings in the neighborhoods to plead with people to avoid any confrontation with the Klan. They also tried to frighten people away from protesting at the city council, threatening that the Klan would be there to stop them.

Liberals and Reformists Fear Militant Protest

Among others, the North Carolina Civil Liberties Union and the black newsweekly Carolina Peacemaker did their best to convince the masses to heed the demands of city government and "stay home" while the Klansmen romped through town.

Meanwhile, all the self-styled "community leaders" came together to plan how to respond to the situation. This coalition involved city officials and the Chamber of Commerce; the NAACP; a black city councilman and other bourgeois black leaders; some NOW chapters and trade union officials; and some university professors and student groups, including the youth group of the reformist Socialist Workers Party.

It was decided to hold three events. There was to be a march through downtown Saturday, June 6, the day before the Klan march. (City Manager Carstarphan ended up walking at the front and speaking at this march.) Also the NAACP and others were to hold a "Peace and Love Festival" on Sunday at Noco park across town from where the Klan would be. (Mayor Forbis was an invited speaker.) As well, there was to be a small silent vigil to watch the KKK march go by.

Apparently everyone was satisfied. The city officialdom. The reformist and liberal chieftains. Everyone but the angry working masses who were fired up against the Klan and against the city government which had been so friendly to these racist criminals.

The Klan march was an outrageous provocation. The 100 or so Klansmen were led by one of the murderers who had taken part in the 1979 killings. Among the swastikas and other fascist symbols was a slogan on a T-shirt "Kill a Commie for Mommy -- Greensboro '79."

The Klansmen shouted their racist filth in front of the downtown Woolworth store. This is the store with the famous lunch counter where in 1960 black students had staged a sit-in, sparking many more lunch counter protests against the Jim Crow "whites only" system throughout the South.

Despite massive police protection for the Klansmen, and despite all the efforts to keep people away, angry crowds, mostly youth, shouted curses at the racist vermin. The cops arrested five people, presumably all for voicing their opposition to the Klan.

Meanwhile many hundreds of people took part in the planned events. And the next week, there were more mass rallies and protests in nearby Durham and Chapel Hill. In the university town of. Chapel Hill, 2,000 demonstrators came into the street shouting "Hey hey ho ho, KKK has got to go!"

All these events are a sign of the working people's deep hatred for racism and fascism. At the same time, these events showed that for this struggle to surge forward, it will have to do so over all the barriers put up by government officials and the liberal and reformist misleaders.

We need a movement that can unleash the fury of the masses against racist terror and intimidation. A movement that relies on the independent initiative of the oppressed black masses and the other working and progressive people. This is the most powerful means to confront the racist vermin of the KKK and their government protectors.

[Photo: Riot police arrest a man for denouncing the KKK murderers in Greensboro, June 7.]

Andrew Young finds 'compassion' for the Ku Klux Klan

The Honorable Andrew Young -- ex-civil rights leader, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and present Democratic Party big-shot and Mayor of Atlanta -- is always ready to ingratiate himself with the racist, imperialist ruling class. In a recent trip to Greensboro, North Carolina he showed just how low he can go.

For weeks, the people of Greensboro were up in arms against the city for giving a march permit to the KKK. Andy Young not only supported giving these racist murderers a permit, he announced that if the klansmen "would come out of their sheets, I'd be glad to march with them.'' (Greensboro News and Record, May 20)

If anyone missed the point, Young went on to declare that he has ' 'a certain degree of compassion for the Ku Klux Klan." And he portrayed the Klan as voicing "legitimate grievances that white males have" and allegedly speaking for the poor whites who are being hit by hard times.

But with these "compassionate" words, the good Mayor spit in the face of the tens of thousands of black people who have been beaten, whipped and lynched by the KKK terrorists over the last century. This includes 30 of Atlanta's children who all evidence points to having been murdered by a group of Klansmen 7 years ago.

And he spit in the face of all poor people, whites included, who have faced the Klan's brutality against trade unionists, communists, and anyone else who stands up for the rights of the working people. Not to mention their attacks on Jews, Catholics, anti-racists, and anyone else that doesn't fit into their genocidal views of "racial purity."

However, there is a logic in Young's despicable embrace of the bloodstained Klan. It's politically expedient. It's part of the political bridge building that black Democratic politicians are trying to span across the South. Not only Young, but also Jesse Jackson and others are sending an "I'm OK, you're OK" message to the segregationists. They call this reaching out to the poor whites. In fact, it's part of building trust with the rich white capitalists in order to give their own political ambitions a leg up.

Andy Young's "compassion for the Ku Klux Klan" is a good lesson about what Democratic Party politicking can lead to.

Buffalo hospital workers rally against racism

During the past few months, black and white workers demonstrated at Roswell Park and Sheehan Memorial Hospitals in Buffalo, New York against an increase in firings and harassment of black workers at these institutions. These mass protests against racism are a welcome sign -- they show the deep hatred that exists against racism and the sentiment to fight against it.

Under the Reagan administration and a Democratic Congress, there has been an increase in both racial discrimination and racist violence. And fierce attacks by the monopolies on the workers' livelihood weigh especially heavy on black and other minority workers.

The answer to these problems lies with organizing an anti-racist movement. By building a fighting anti-racist movement, the entire working class can take its stand against racism. This will also play an important role in uniting the working class for struggle against the whole racist capitalist system.

(Reprinted from June 24 "Buffalo Workers' Voice," paper of MLP-Buffalo.)

Texas protests demand freedom for Clarence Brandley

[Photo: Seven hundred marchers in Houston demand the release of Clarence Brandley, May 24.]

The protests demanding that Clarence Brandley be freed continue. Brandley, a black maintenance worker, has been serving time in the Texas prison system for the last seven years for a crime he didn't commit. He was scheduled to be executed at the end of March for the rape and murder of a young white woman. But two of Brandley's white co-workers who witnessed the crime finally came forward to admit Brandley was not responsible and to accuse two white men of the crime. An eruption of protests forced authorities to grant a stay of execution. However, the government has refused to reopen the case. And Brandley remains behind bars.

On Saturday, May 23, several rallies were held in Houston's neighborhoods protesting the injustice. Then on Sunday 700 marched in downtown Houston. Activists demanded the release of Clarence Brandley. Wherever the rallies were held the masses in Houston denounced the frame-up of Brandley and gave their support to the movement against racist injustice.

20 years since the black revolt shook Newark and Detroit

It is 20 years since the powerful rebellions of the black masses thundered through the streets of Newark and Detroit. That is a long time, but the experience gained in those battles is still important for the fight against racist oppression today.

The Detroit and Newark revolts were the strongest of the black rebellions that swept through 164 cities in 1967. They were part of the tremendous upsurge of the black people's struggle against discrimination and racist government repression. This upsurge continued to rock the country for several more years.

The black people's movement had been building since the 1950's. But it was being kept within the strait jacket of legalism, of maneuvering within the Democratic Party, of token reforms, and of "turning the other cheek." Martin Luther King and other reformist leaders were holding back the struggle. The masses, despite their sacrifices, felt that little had changed. In the big northern cities, they were still pushed into segregated ghettos. Driven into the lowest paying and most backbreaking jobs in the factories. Or shuffled aside without work to be gouged by the rich slumlords.

And this whole racist oppression was backed up by the government's police forces who systematically harassed black people and all too frequently shot them down in cold blood. At that time, there was also an upsurge in the mass struggle against the U.S. war on Vietnam. Black vets, returning from being misused as cannon fodder on the front lines of that imperialist war, added their voices to the protests and lent more anger to the growing anti-government sentiment. The black masses had grown tired of "turning the other cheek."

The Detroit and Newark rebellions broke out of the confines of the reformist misleaders and launched a direct, militant mass struggle against the repressive forces of the government. These courageous struggles helped to break down some remaining barriers of segregation and gave impetus to the fight against discrimination. They helped the black masses to proudly hold their heads high. They demonstrated the revolutionary potential of the black people's struggle and shook up the political realities of the day.

But there were limitations to these struggles. While the pitched street battles demonstrated the heroism and determination of the masses, they were merely spontaneous outbursts of the pent-up anger. Nor could they be more given the weaknesses of the revolutionary movement of that time.

For one thing, despite their revolutionary vigor, the newly emerging leaders among black working masses were not yet imbued with revolutionary class consciousness. They did not clearly understand the goal of overthrowing the capitalist system. And without this perspective they were unable to guide the mass movement past all the pitfalls and dead-end roads.

There were still illusions among the masses toward the liberal Democrats and reformists who promised improvements. But these promises were merely aimed to cool out the mass struggle. Only a few years after the mass struggle subsided, a renewed racist onslaught was launched against the masses. Especially with the Democratic Carter administration and then with Reagan, the government has tried to turn back the gains from the struggle of the 1960's and the black masses are beset with increasingly worse conditions of unemployment, impoverishment, crumbling schools and deteriorated housing. This is the nature of American capitalism. It has long depended on racist oppression to fill its vault with super-profits off the oppressed nationalities and to split up the workers on racial lines. To end racist oppression it is essential to put the capitalist system in its grave.

Another key weakness of the mass movement at that time was the lack of revolutionary organization. In its absence the struggle broke out in spontaneous outbursts instead of more organized forms. Without organization the mass movement could not be sustained or carried forward in a conscious revolutionary direction.

Despite these weaknesses of the movement at that time, they set the activists in motion to solve these very problems. There was a tremendous surge in the study and dissemination of Marxism-Leninism -- the science of the revolutionary class struggle. As well, many activists dove into the work of building a vanguard political organization of the working class -- a Marxist- Leninist party. Today, the Marxist-Leninist Party carries forward the best traditions of the revolutionary activists of the 1960's. It works tirelessly to organize the entire working class to join in the struggle against racism and to build up the black people's movement.

Today, the conditions for the black masses grow worse. At the same time, the situation is once again building toward explosions of struggle against the rotten racist oppression. Today, it is more important than ever to remember the lessons of rebellions of the 1960's and work to build up the revolutionary organizations and consciousness that can lead the masses to victory.

[Photo: Black masses confront Detroit police.]

On July 12, 1967 Newark exploded

On the night of July 12, 1967 a black cab driver was arrested and brutally beaten by some 15 policemen. Fellow cab drivers, other black workers, and youth came out to the police station to protest. The mass anger boiled up into an explosion.

The masses threw fire bombs at the police station and stoned policemen who tried to defend it. The struggle spread to other parts of the city, as the masses attacked policemen on foot patrols and fought armed battles with the police at a number of housing projects. The fighting continued for six days, until July 17.

It was only put down by enormous repression. The entire city police force, 600 state troopers and 4,000 National Guardsmen were unleashed against the masses. They killed 24 black people and arrested another 1,510.

[Photo: Newark blacks boldly denounce National Guard.]

6 days later it was Detroit's turn to rage

Six days later, on July 23, the Detroit rebellion broke out.

From a protest of about 200 black people against a racist police raid on 12th Street, the rebellion spread through 25 square miles of the pity. Eleven of the city's thirteen police precincts reported rebellion. Two thousand policemen, 7,000 National Guardsmen, and 5,000 soldiers of the 82nd and 101st Army Airborne Divisions -- complete with tanks and automatic weapons -- were eventually called out to put down the mass struggle. The vicious repression left 43 dead, 600 injured, and 7,000 jailed.

But despite the repression, the black masses fought for four days. They assaulted the police station on Mack Ave. and two command posts of the National Guard and the Army. In the course of the struggle, troops who were pinned down by rifle fire from black fighters were forced to temporarily withdraw from several areas of the city. The rebellion ended on July 27, with the black masses holding their heads high.

20 years of experience

The program of the black bourgeoisie proves bankrupt

In the midst of the rebellions 20 years ago, spokesmen of the black bourgeoisie came out onto the streets of Detroit and Newark to try to stop the militant struggle of the black masses.

In Detroit, for example, the "respectable" black leaders met with city officials within hours of the outbreak. They then fanned out through the city in teams of two to try to convince the masses to "restore peace" and put their trust in cooperation with the racist government. Congressman John Conyers, for example, climbed onto the hood of a car and through a bullhorn pleaded with the masses, "Please, this is not the way to do things!" But hearing this, a 50-year-old man shouted out, "Why are you defending the cops and the establishment? You are as bad as they are." The hundreds of youth that were crowded around felt the same way. They began throwing rocks and bottles. Conyers quickly fled with the police.

In the heat of the struggle, the masses -- both in Detroit and Newark -- rejected the path of the "respectable" black leaders. But as soon as the rebellions subsided, these sellouts were again paraded forth as the "leaders" of the black people. And the black bourgeoisie's program of accommodation with the white ruling class was hailed as the way to salvation for the black masses.

For twenty years this program has been put into effect. And what has been its result?

Two Black Detroits

Today there are two black Detroits. While the upper strata among the black people -- the black bourgeoisie and the aspiring petty bourgeoisie -- has prospered, the mass of black people -- the workers and poor -- continue to suffer under terrible conditions. The black bourgeoisie advanced a program of putting aside the mass struggle for the sake of seeking more "clout" in the Democratic Party, more positions in the government and corporate boards, more black-owned businesses, and so forth. While the black people should have equal rights in all spheres, the black bourgeiosie sold out the interests of the masses for the sake of cozy positions for the upper strata. The experience since the rebellions proves this. Take a look at Detroit.

Even before the last fire was put out, the black misleaders joined with the big bourgeois power brokers to form the "New Detroit Committee" to "rebuild" the city. Under this program -- later called Renaissance Detroit -- the big real estate brokers, like Max Fisher, have piled up mountains of profits. Downtown Detroit sprouted luxury apartments, new hotels, the Renaissance Center, Riverfront Plaza, the infamous "People Mover" train boondoggle, and more. Meanwhile, Ford, GM, Chrysler and the other monopolies continue to get huge tax breaks and subsidies for new, more modern plants.

And with the white ruling class, the upper strata of the black people also prospered. Coleman Young was made mayor in 1974. Detroit got a black police chief. And many other government offices are filled with blacks. As well, black contractors got more government business. The upper section of blacks moved up. The Wall Street Journal wrote a June 17 article on Detroit since the rebellion. It admits that, "Though inner-city black Detroit as a whole is worse off than ever, a growing slice of that population is prospering as professionals, managers, shop owners and entrepreneurs; there is increasing black ownership of firms in the steel business, architecture, finance, cable television and auto sales."

The black upper strata has "made it." But what of the workers and poor?

The Wall Street Journal article points out, "Black income as a percentage of white has declined since the riot, instead of growing.... The 1980 census found...26% of blacks living below the poverty line, up from 22% in 1970." As well unemployment has grown. "When the riot broke out, black unemployment in the city was around 10%.... Last year, one of every four blacks in the labor pool was out of work." Housing for the masses is also rapidly deteriorating. "While there are still attractive outlying middle-class neighborhoods here, vast areas of Detroit are full of abandoned buildings." And the schools have been devastated. "Of all children entering the ninth grade here, 43% don't make it through high school." With these conditions, it is little wonder that crime is also running rampant. And, under the guise of combating crime, the police forces are being beefed up, the schools are being turned into virtual prisons, and police harassment and shootings of black people are a common occurrence.

Build the Independent Movement of the Masses

For 20 years John Conyers, Coleman Young, and their ilk have been in the driver's seat with the big white bourgeoisie. The sorry results are clear to see. This proves that back during the rebellions the black masses were right to chase the "respectable" black leaders from their midst. To fight the terrible racial oppression, the workers and black masses must build the movement in conscious opposition to the black misleaders. It is by once again rising in militant struggle, and organizing with conscious working class leadership, that the fight against racism can be advanced and real improvements won for the black masses.

[Photo: Congressman Conyers tries to convince masses to give up the struggle.]

Newark and Detroit 1967: Who rebelled and why

'Wanton looting' or a courageous battle against the racist government?

Much has been written and much has been said about the Detroit and Newark rebellions in the last 20 years. "Race riot," "random violence," "looting rampages," -- that's how the capitalist news media remembers it. And that's how the capitalist class would like the history told -- "wanton violence and senseless self-destruction." But the working class remembers these rebellions differently. They were courageous battles by the black people against brutal racist oppression.

Who Rebelled?

From the newspapers of the rich, you would think the rebellions were simply the "wanton violence" of bands of black "looters." The masses who fought are portrayed as essentially criminal elements or, at best, a section of morally backward poor people who went wild in a spree of looting stores and burning neighborhoods.

But this is just a reflection of how the rich look down their noses at the oppressed masses. In fact, a large part of those who fought were workers. In Detroit, 80% of the 7,000 people arrested were workers (according to official figures from that time). In Newark, even at the start of the rebellion, a demonstration of 25 cab drivers against the racist beating by the police of one of their fellow workers occurred. Along with the employed workers there were the unemployed and impoverished -- especially large numbers of black youth -- who were rising in anger against the lash of racist oppression.

Why Did They Rebel?

The capitalist press frequently still makes a mystery of why the masses rebelled. They claim, for example, the spark that touched off the flames of struggle was a police raid on "an illegal drinking club" in Detroit and the arrest of a "traffic violator" in Newark. It is inexplicable why such acts could set off days of street fighting by the black masses.

But these accounts are still covering up the racist brutality of the government. They forget to mention that in Newark some 15 policemen viciously beat a cab driver for the "crime" of driving with an expired license. They fail to draw out that in Detroit the racist police savagely beat people with nightsticks as they arrested 80. There people were simply having a homecoming party to celebrate the safe return of black veterans from the U.S. war of aggression on Viet Nam. These outrages were a new illustration of the racist treatment the black masses had systematically faced from the government, treatment that they would no longer tolerate.

High unemployment, extreme overwork in the factories, substandard schools, segregated ghetto living conditions, and racist police abuse beset the black masses. The racist police attacks in July unleashed their pent-up rage. They fought back with the power of mass struggle.

Who Was the Target of the Rebellions?

When the historians and journalists of the rich try to explain the rebellions, they most often claim there were "race riots" against white people. But this too is a distortion.

While the rebellions were against racism, the target of the black people's anger was not directed at white people in general. Indeed, there were white working people who took part in the rebellions. The first person the government murdered during the Detroit struggle, for example, was a southern white worker. He and three friends had taken up guns to fight against the National Guard.

No, the black people were not fighting white working people. Rather the key targets of the rebellions were the police and troops of the racist government. Even the Detroit Police Chief Quinlin, now retired, had to admit this. "I thought it was a race riot at first, but the crowd was attacking anybody in uniform."

The rich have spent two decades confusing these facts. But the class conscious workers remember them all too well. Still the question gets asked, "Was there justice in this struggle?" Well, that depends on whose side you're on.


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Strikes and workplace news

Uretek strikers win first contract

[Photo.]

About 55 mostly immigrant workers at Uretek, Inc. fabric-coating plant in Connecticut have been courageously waging a strike for over three months. On May 5 they successfully voted to join the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU). On May 29 they won their first union contract.

The workers walked out at Uretek in New Haven on February 20 when they learned that over half of them suffered from noninfectious hepatitis and liver abnormalities. The cause of these disorders was the highly toxic chemical, DMF, used in coating fabric for the military.

As well, workers struck in protest of the brutal working conditions. They were often forced to labor 12 hours a day, six or seven days a week, with no breaks, standing by their machines as they ate lunch. For this they were paid an average of only $4.50 an hour, with no medical benefits for the first five years of employment. These intolerable conditions have meant a very high turnover rate. During the 16 years of the plant's operation, over 1,500 workers have toiled there.

Uretek's disdain for safety in handling the chemicals has been so extreme that the state Superior Court convicted the company and its vice president of illegally storing and disposing of 300 barrels of hazardous waste. But instead of the fine of $5 million and two years in jail that could have been imposed, the judge merely slapped the capitalists on the wrist with a $250,000 fine.

The three-year contract just won by the workers provides them with basic union protection including medical insurance, retirement plan, sick days, lunch breaks and voluntary overtime. The company will now also provide gloves and uniforms for the workers along with training on how to handle the dangerous chemicals. As well, an immediate wage increase of $1 per hour was won with additional raises scheduled for the second and third years of the contract.

Many foreign-born workers are forced to work in such miserable hellholes as the Uretek plant. The bold stand of resistance taken by the Uretek workers is a victory for all super-exploited workers against such sweatshop conditions.

Bell Helicopter grounded by strike

Three thousand one hundred workers at seven Bell Helicopter plants in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area walked out on strike June 8. Owned by the Textron conglomerate, Bell is the biggest manufacturer of helicopters for the Pentagon. It is demanding various contract concessions including the substitution of lump sum payments for wage increases.

The strikers are members of the United Auto Workers (UAW). Another 1,250 are in other unions which are still negotiating. There are still another 4,000 workers who are not represented by any union. The striking workers need to use this struggle to organize all the Bell workers and bring them into struggle against the Pentagon's "more bang for the buck'' concessions offensive in the war industries.

Steel workers block scabs

At the beginning of June, over 300 workers from the Teledyne Steel Co. plant in Lima, Ohio blocked a scab recruiting operation. The workers have been on strike against Teledyne since April 5. They are fighting against the company's demand for a $4 an hour wage and benefit cut. This would be the third concessions contract in the last five years.

Teledyne threatened to begin hiring scabs. It started taking applications at the Veterans Memorial Civic Center. But the workers blocked the entrances and prevented anyone from entering. Eventually, Teledyne was forced to shut down the recruiting operation.

Company officials decried the "violence and assaults that went on"and declared, "When the mob rules, our country is in trouble." How about that? The people are not in trouble from concessions, layoffs, strikebreaking and such. Oh no! But the second the workers start to fight back, well, that's "mob rule." Obviously, when the capitalists talk about the interests of the country or the nation, they are talking about the interests of the handful of moneygrubbers who rule and run roughshod over the workers. Now the workers are starting to stand up for themselves. These struggles need to be built up into a revolutionary movement so that the "mob," the working class, can kick out the class of rich parasites and rule the country in the interests of the majority.

Cudahy tries to get tax breaks to pay for scabs

In Cudahy, Wisconsin, the 850 meat-packers at Patrick Cudahy, Inc. are entering the sixth month of their strike. They are fighting against Cudahy's use of scabs to break the strike. And they are fighting the company's demands for a $3.00 per hour pay cut, as well as cuts in benefits, work rules, seniority rights, and insurance for retirees.

Recently the company applied for federal tax credits to finance its hiring of scabs. The Cudahy capitalists are seeking at least $244,800 in tax breaks under the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit Program which assists companies who hire long-term unemployed and disadvantaged workers. Around the same time, Cudahy fired 90 of the 650 scabs they are using, claiming that work was slow. How's that for concern for the disadvantaged workers!

The attempt to get the government to pay for scabbing has incensed the Cudahy strikers. They are persisting in their struggle and it is gaining stronger support from other workers in the Milwaukee area.

Nursing home strikers make gains in Buffalo

Nurses aides, laundry and housekeeping workers at Manor Oak Skilled Nursing Facility in Cheektowaga, New York, struck in May for higher wages. After a militant 17-day strike, workers won a 14% wage increase over three years and a uniform allowance. The nurses at Manor Oak, who are in a separate union, stood in solidarity with the striking workers and refused to cross the picket line.

Contrary to the propaganda being spread by the capitalists and their news media that strikes are "harmful to the workers," "outdated" and "don't accomplish anything," organized mass actions by the workers are the main weapon workers have against the onslaught of the capitalists. While Manor Oak workers are still underpaid, without this hard fought strike, their wages would be even lower.

(Reprinted from June 24 "Buffalo Workers' Voice," paper of MLP-Buffalo.)

Strikes spread against International Paper

On June 16, over 800 workers surrounded the governor's mansion in Augusta, Maine denouncing the concession demands of the International Paper Co. and Governor McKeran's anti-labor stance. These workers were part of the 1,200 who began a strike against International Paper that day. They are fighting the company's demands to trade one-time bonuses of up to $6,450 for givebacks on work rules and overtime pay.

On June 8th, 370 workers struck the company's Nicolet Paper subsidiary in DePere, Wisconsin. Another 1,200 workers have been locked out at IP's Mobile, Alabama plant since March 21. As well, the contract for 720 workers at IP's Lock Haven, Pennsylvania plant expires soon and they are expected to strike.

IP is demanding similar concessions at each plant, but has tried to keep the contracts separate to split up the workers. The spreading strike creates the possibility of a unified struggle of IP workers against the takeback offensive.

Blue Cross employees fight concessions

Seven hundred and sixty Blue Cross-Blue Shield workers in Buffalo, New York have been on strike for two months. At stake are four major concessions that the company is trying to impose on the workers: a two-tier wage system, the right to discipline workers for legitimate use of sick time, the establishment of a permanent part-time work force, and the elimination of COLA. Despite the effort by the company to break the strike (letters were sent to workers threatening the wholesale firing of all strikers and replacement by scabs) -- and despite harassment on the picket line (hot water has been poured from windows above the picket) -- the Blue Cross-Blue Shield workers are standing firm against the concessions. A large protest rally in downtown Buffalo was an expression of this determination -- hundreds of workers came out to denounce the company's contract proposals.

(Reprinted from June 24 "Buffalo Workers' Voice," paper of MLP-Buffalo.)

Undocumented workers strike Ideal Textile

The workers at the three Ideal Textile Co. plants in Los Angeles are on strike. Most of the over 200 workers involved are undocumented immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador, something which makes this strike particularly bold and defiant.

The workers walked out March 26 to protest the firing of nine workers involved in union organizing. Horrendous conditions in the plants fueled the workers' determination to get organized and to strike.

Workers have no protection against the dangerous chemicals in the dyes used to color the fabrics, not even rubber gloves or adequate ventilation.

Most workers are paid minimum wage, $3.35 per hour. Top pay is $4 an hour. There is no medical insurance, no paid holidays, no paid vacation.

Meanwhile, the Ideal capitalists have prospered from this super-exploitation; sales rose from $6 million in 1980 to $75 million in 1986.

The workers are demanding recognition of the ILGWU (the International Ladies Garment Workers Union) and contract negotiations. They have also vowed to stay out until the fired workers are reinstated. Their strike action has crippled the company's operations, limiting production to 30% of capacity.

The strikers have also gained support from other workers and the community. On April 10, strikers and supporters held a spirited mass rally in front of the plant. A boycott has also been launched against Ideal Textile products.

The struggle of the Ideal Textile workers is a struggle of virtual slaves boldly standing up to the slave master. Most of the strikers are undocumented immigrants and have the threat of persecution and deportation hanging over their heads. The new Simpson-Rodino immigration law poses the danger to fired strikers of being frozen out of other industrial employment. (It is estimated that 80% of the undocumented who work there can't qualify under the new law's amnesty program.)

This is why the employers expect to be able to get away with exploiting these workers to the bone. But the Ideal Textile workers have stood up against this hellish exploitation, refusing to be cowed by the company and the racist and anti-worker immigration law.

With some 100,000 garment and textile workers, southern California is the country's second largest garment/textile center. Over 70% of the workers are reported to be undocumented immigrants. Only 2% are unionized. And the sweatshop system of low pay, long hours, and lousy conditions is the rule.

The strike at Ideal Textile is a sign that these most victimized and vulnerable workers cannot be held down.

L.A. homeless protest police raids

[Photo: Police notice (at left) threatens homeless to move out or face arrest.]

On June 4, over 100 supporters of the homeless demonstrated in downtown Los Angeles to block police from destroying the Love Camp organized by several hundred homeless people.

It is estimated that LA has more than 30,000 homeless people. Thousands of the homeless had housed themselves in over 13 street shantytowns which emerged in the downtown Skid Row area, just blocks away from several major banking headquarters. At Love Camp, one of the most organized of the tent cities, inhabitants shared cleanup, cooking, and the cost of two portable toilets.

But at the beginning of June, Police Chief Daryl Gates ordered the camps to be torn down and the homeless to be evicted from the area. Gates declared that crime had become "intolerable" and that he had "not an ounce of concern" for the people who have been forced to live on the streets. It appears that Gates' only concern was for the rich businessmen who complained of the homeless at their doorsteps. On June 3, the police beat up several of the homeless in front of the offices of the Los Angeles Times building. The next night, they began raiding the camps and arresting the homeless who had not fled.

This outrageous attack on the oppressed was an embarrassment to the city officials. Mayor Bradley moved to head off protests by temporarily opening a camp for some of the homeless who had been driven out of Skid Row. Situated six blocks away, in a fenced-in vacant lot, the camp was set up to house 600 homeless in 14 dormitory-style tents for two months. Bradley declared that "What you see here is a remarkable exhibit of emergency response to our homeless crisis."

But many of the homeless denounced it as a concentration camp. Two hundred people marched at the camp on June 15, the day it opened. They carried a banner denouncing the camp as being "Soweto U.S.A." and they continued to condemn the police raids on the homeless people's own tent cities.

Protest at GM headquarters - 'Strike GM! Shut it down!'

"Strike GM! Shut it down!" Over 100 workers shouted this repeatedly as they marched for two hours in front of GM headquarters in Detroit on June 27.

The night before, GM had permanently laid off 3,000 second-shift workers at the Fleetwood and Cadillac plants in Detroit. The workers came out to demonstrate their anger at GM and to build up the movement against plant closings and layoffs.

Militant slogans were also shouted against the layoff of 2,000 workers at GM's Inland plant in Livonia, Michigan. Laid-off Inland workers at the protest were particularly hot against the concessions contract that GM has recently tried to shove down their throats. They called for struggle against the layoffs, not giving in to GM's takeback demands.

Chrysler workers from the Jefferson Assembly plant also came to the protest to show their support for the GM workers. They are faced with similar conditions of layoffs, job combination and threats of more plant closings, especially now with the plans to merge AMC into Chrysler. They particularly denounced Chrysler's attempts to pit workers from different plants against each other over which will give the most concessions. The protesters called on all auto workers to unite and stand firm against the whipsaw attempts of the auto billionaires.

Workers from as far away as Buffalo, New York's Chevy Tonawanda plant also showed up to express their anger and to call for an industry-wide strike against the massive layoffs and plant closings.

Near the protest a large crowd had gathered for Detroit's pre-July 4 "Freedom Festival." Supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Party leafleted the crowd and heard nothing but support for the protest against GM. At one point a marching band from the "Festival" came through the middle of the workers' picket line. The demonstrators shouted slogans to the beat of the drums and members of the band expressed their sympathy with the protesters.

This demonstration again showed the anger that is building up among the auto workers. The protesters finished the rally with expressions of determination to build for the next protest planned for the 27th of July.

[Photo: Following the permanent layoff of 1,500 from GM's Detroit Fleetwood plant on Friday, 100 hold spirited march of protest at GM headquarters on Saturday, June 27.]

'GM Plant Closing Blues'

--a song which can be sung to any twelve-bar blues tune

Well, you 're workin in a plant,

buildin' cars and makin Roger rich.

You 're workin ' in a GM plant,

buildin' cars and makin Roger rich.

But when Roger's tired of squeezin' you --

he's gonna throw you in the ditch!

Roger's makin ' millions,

gave a few to Ross Perot.

Well, Roger's makin' millions,

gave a whole bunch to Ross Perot.

But the ones who build the cars,

he's gonna kick you out the door!

''Can you work for less

than that Wisconsin shop?

Can you work for less

than that Mexican shop?

Can you give concessions,

give them until you drop?

''How low can you go?"

this is what the GM bosses say.

''How low can you go?"

this is what the GM bosses say.

''Can you live on ketchup?

Or maybe you can live on hay!"

''Can you beat the Koreans,

can you beat the Japanese?

Can you beat the Koreans,

can you beat the Japanese?

Can you beat them all at starving?

Roger wants your answer, please?"

So you look to Solidarity House

for some help in time of need.

You look to the UAW leaders

for some help in time of need.

But all that Owen can say is,

''Let's make job elimination orderly!"

I guess that means no protests,

no marches, picket lines or strikes.

I guess that means no protests,

no marches, picket lines or strikes.

Fighting the Japanese with Roger

is the only fight that Owen likes!

Union boss, company boss,

you can't tell the difference 'tween the two!

I said, union boss, company boss,

you can't tell the difference 'tween the two!

Well, who's gonna fight GM?

Rank-and-filers like me an' you!

If you want to save your job,

you better march and go on strike.

If you want to save your job,

you better march and go on strike.

Hit the bosses where it hurts,

do what Roger don't like!


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Canadian letter carriers fight two-tier wages and job cuts

Canada Post executives knew they would have a fight on their hands with their contract proposals. What they offered the letter carriers was a whole slew of cutbacks, including the demand for a two-tier wage system.

Among these, they laid stress on slashing job security provisions in the old contract.

In the first place, Canada Post wants to eliminate the "no layoffs" clause in the last contract. The postal bureaucrats say they need the "flexibility" to eliminate jobs and lay off workers. But while getting rid of regular employees, Canada Post is also demanding the right to hire casual (part-time temporary) employees and to contract out work.

Canada Post is also demanding the elimination of paid travel time and wash-up time for letter carriers. In this way it plans to speed up the workers and eliminate jobs. The letter carriers' union estimates that these measures by themselves will eliminate over 2,000 of the 17,000 letter carrier jobs.

From reports on the negotiations while they were in progress, it seems the Letter Carriers Union of Canada (LCUC) was willing to agree to simply maintaining the old contract, with perhaps a small wage increase. But Canada Post would have none of it. They insisted on the right to drastically cut personnel.

Austerity Mandated by Conservative Government

Canada Post's drive to cut back post office personnel is mandated by the Conservative Party government of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. For years Canada Post has operated in the red, with the deficits made up by the government. But this year the Conservatives passed legislation demanding that Canada Post eliminate its deficit by spring 1988.

The government is pushing for the elimination of thousands of post office jobs and the closing of hundreds of rural post offices. The government wants to privatize most counter service and implement slower delivery, replacing home delivery with group mailboxes.

They insist that the post office show a profit, but any parts of Canada Post that do show a profit they want to turn over to private capitalists.

Just recently the government began franchising postal stations. After the first "private enterprise" postal station opened, it was revealed that the workers there make between $5.50 and $9.50 an hour (Canada Post employees are paid $13.43 an hour Canadian).

Now with the strike the Conservatives are posing as innocents. Government ministers say they have nothing to do with running the post office; they just set some general budget guidelines and it is up to postal management to figure out how to abide by them.

But clearly it is the Conservatives' austerity drive that is behind the postal management's offensive. Now that the strike is on, the government is not backing down from its austerity demand. What's more, the government has has defended Canada Post's use of scabs. Mulroney told Parliament recently that he personally would never cross a picket line, but he defended postal management using scabs against carriers' picket lines. What hypocrisy!


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Canadian workers on the move

There is an upswing in the strike movement of workers in Canada. But you wouldn't know of it from the U.S. news media.

Take a few examples. Right now there is a militant strike being waged by letter carriers across Canada. On June 1, the West Coast province of British Columbia was shut down by a one-day general strike.

School bus drivers in Montreal struck for seven weeks this spring. Woodcutters in New Brunswick in the east are fighting a bitter strike. As in the U.S., there have been bitter strikes by meat-packers over the last year.

But little news of any of this finds its way into the American press. The BC general strike was ignored by the TV networks, as well as by major papers like the New York Times. And the current postal strike has only received scanty coverage.

Now surely, Canada isn't so far away that news from there doesn't arrive here. No, the reasons for the blackout are different. There is no doubt a bit of great-nation arrogance that Canada isn't really worthy of much press coverage. But more importantly, the U.S. news media doesn't want to bring news of workers' struggle in neighboring Canada to workers in the U.S. After all, their example could be infectious.


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One-day strike shuts down British Columbia

The entire Canadian province of British Columbia was shut down by a general strike on June 1. Some 300,000 workers participated in the 24-hour protest against the provincial government's new anti-union legislation.

The strike closed down all of British Columbia's major industries -- coastal sawmills, pulp and paper mills, southeastern coal mines, and fish plants. The ports were closed. Copper and silver mines were closed, as were meatpacking plants.

Most government operations ceased to function. Courthouses were closed. Pickets went up around libraries and government offices. Seventy percent of the teachers stayed home, and schools were closed.

Daily newspapers did not publish, as the print workers stayed home. Only emergency medical services were performed as pickets went up around hospitals and clinics. Grocery stores were closed.

Striking rail workers cut off British Columbia from the rest of Canada. Vancouver Island was cut off from the mainland, as the ferries were not running. And there was no public transport in the major cities of Vancouver and Victoria.

Firemen stayed on the job but spent their time bringing coffee and donuts to workers who were picketing. Post office personnel were forced to remain on the job -- the Canadian Postal Corporation issued stern warnings of mass firings -- but letter carriers respected picket lines, and postal workers pledged their day's pay to the strike fund.

Right-wing Socreds Want To Cripple the Unions

British Columbia has a history of militant labor struggle. Its workers are 50% unionized, a much higher rate than in the rest of Canada or the U.S.

Today the strike movement is beginning to rise again. Unemployment is 9% in Canada as a whole and 14% in British Columbia. Hundreds of thousands of people in Vancouver alone are forced to survive on government food handouts.

The workers' struggle comes straight up against the ruling party in British Columbia, the conservative Social Credit Party (Socreds).

Their latest legislation is an attempt to de-unionize the province. The new legislation is contained in two bills, Bill 19 and Bill 20, which were proposed April 2. (See the accompanying box for details on these bills.)

These are draconian pieces of antilabor legislation j with Bill 19 aimed at the entire BC union movement and Bill 20 aimed specifically at the province's teachers. If implemented, they would cripple the unions and seriously set back the working class struggle.

Bill 20 was adopted by the legislature in May, despite the teachers' holding their own day of protest. Bill 19 is still pending.

It should also be noted that similar anti-union legislation is being proposed elsewhere in Canada.

Socreds Go Wild Against Protest

The one-day protest was denounced by government leaders in British Columbia as "an attempt to take legislative activity out of the legislature and into the streets.'' The Socreds applied for an injunction against any further protests. The Socred leaders characterized the organization of the protest as "sedition'' aimed at "undermining the state.'' The injunction they sought would have banned any discussion of any action aimed at opposing the proposed legislation. This shows what the capitalists have in mind for the workers' movement as the strike movement begins to grow again.

Trade Union Bureaucrats Try to Limit Protest

The day of protest was called by the leaders of the 250,000-member British Columbia Federation of Labor. But they did so regretfully, and throughout the protest worked to limit the workers' activity and blunt their anger against the government.

The bureaucrats insisted that the June 1 action was a "day of protest'' and not a general strike, since the latter brings up connotations of militancy. The bureaucrats told everyone within earshot, "We're not out to overthrow the government,'' by which they meant that they weren't aiming to bring down the Socred regime.

The BC F of L hacks refused to organize any demonstrations or rallies during the day of protest. And many local trade union leaders opposed picketing by their local members.

The massive stay-away in British Columbia on June 1 surprised the labor bureaucrats who called the protest. The fact that workers on their own organized pickets shows the enthusiasm with which they welcomed the chance to fight the capitalist government and its reactionary laws.

The lesson of June 1st is clear. The workers in BC are yearning to fight the capitalist offensive. But if they are to have success in this struggle, they will have to go over the heads of the reformist union leaders.

[Photo: Workers protest anti-labor legislation in British Columbia, May 20.]


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British Columbia's anti-union laws

Bills 19 and 20, the new pieces of labor legislation in British Columbia, are ferocious union-busting bills.

Bill 19

Just take a look at some of the features of Bill 19.

* It effectively prohibits unions from expelling members for scabbing, strikebreaking, or spying.

* It prohibits contract clauses which allow union workers to refuse to handle goods made by strikebreakers or nonunion workers. This comes on the heels of recent organizing victories in British Columbia achieved by workers at larger plants refusing to handle goods from smaller plants unless these plants were unionized.

* The law would make it much easier for employers to sue unions for illegal strikes, slowdowns and picketing.

* The law would enable companies to get around union contracts by declaring bankruptcy or transferring assets to a new company.

* Provisions of the bill would make it easier to decertify a union and harder for a union to gain recognition.

* The bill would allow employers with a unionized work force to set up nonunion subsidiary companies which could then bid against the parent company for jobs.

* The bill would set up a government commission which could declare an end to any strike if it was deemed contrary to the public interest.

* The bill prohibits the closed shop. It gives special protection to nonunion workers and guts seniority provisions.

* The bill gives employers the right to demand, in the middle of contract negotiations, that the workers vote on the employer's last contract offer. This can be done anytime the employer wants to.

* The bill provides that "replacement workers'' (scabs) hired during a strike must vote on contract offers.

* The bill prohibits secondary boycotts and picketing.

Bill 20

Bill 20 is similar to Bill 19 but is aimed specifically at the province's teachers. This is due to a 1983 teachers' strike which almost sparked a provincial general strike.

In the first place, Bill 20 makes teachers subject to all the provisions of Bill 19. But in addition Bill 20 sets up a government-mandated "professional association" which all teachers are forced to join. It forces the open shop onto the teachers' union and requires the union to re-register all its members; the union will have one year in which to launch an organizing drive to sign up all its own members again. It also wipes out tenure and benefit rights.


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[Graphic: APARTHEID, NO! REVOLUTION, YES!]

1.5 million workers strike to mark 1976 Soweto uprising

On June 16 the black workers of South Africa stood as one to commemorate the eleventh anniversary of the Soweto rebellions of 1976. Over 1.5 million workers participated in a general strike that paralyzed the commerce and industry of the white racist rulers. As well, mass meetings were held across the country.

The strength of the protest could be seen in Soweto, the huge black township near Johannesburg. Government offices and stores were closed. Buses and taxis ceased to run altogether. And the commuter trains carried only five percent of their normal load.

In fact the workers' desire to protest on this day was such that many employers had been forced to grant a paid holiday on June 16.

The Soweto rebellions were a landmark event in the struggle against apartheid. The revolt began as a protest against the government's attempts to force the black students to learn Afrikaans, the language of that section of the racist rulers of Dutch ancestry such as chief racist P.W. Botha. On June 16, 1976 police opened fire on protesting youth, killing two in cold blood. Soon the spark in Soweto became a raging fire of rebellion against apartheid that swept the country. The racist authorities reacted with their customary savagery and 600 people gave their lives in the struggle.

The 1976 rebellions were a school of struggle for a whole generation of militant activists. They learned the power of the oppressed when they rise up. And the brutal repression taught them that reforming the racists was hopeless and that the masses must overthrow the slavemasters. In short, the Soweto uprising helped move the activists in a revolutionary direction. By commemorating the Soweto rebellion, the oppressed not only pay tribute to the heroic martyrs of yesterday but also draw inspiration for the present struggle.

A Campaign Against the "State of Emergency"

The recent general strike took place in the midst of a new campaign against the extension of the fascist "state of emergency'' for another year (see accompanying article). No sooner had chief racist Botha declared this extension when anti-apartheid activists announced two weeks of protests and work stoppages to oppose it. Once again Botha's tyrannical measures are backfiring. Rather than end the revolt, the "emergency" decrees are fueling the struggle.

The Spirit of the Soweto Uprising Lives!

The racists weathered the storm of the Soweto uprising, but it still haunts them. The spirit of Soweto lives in the general strikes, the rebellions in the townships, and the student protests of today. It survives in an ever more powerful anti-apartheid movement which has rocked the racist regime for two and a half years. The struggle continues to go through twists and turns. But in the end the apartheid rulers will be buried in a revolutionary avalanche.

[Photo: Youth in Soweto on the march on the 11th anniversary of the Soweto uprising.]

Botha extends 'state of emergency'

On June 10, racist Prime Minister P.W. Botha declared a one-year extension of the "state of emergency" in South Africa.

The "emergency" measures are a system of savage terror against the black and other oppressed people. Even without these decrees, racist apartheid rule means the denial of any rights to the oppressed majority. And under the emergency decrees, the police have been further freed to gun down the anti-apartheid masses. Virtually all forms of protest -- violent or peaceful, mass resistance or the individual wearing of slogans on T-shirts -- have been banned. The black townships and schools have been turned into armed camps. Over 20,000 have been rounded up and jailed in the year since the original emergency decree. In fact the jails have become so full that the government recently had to release some detainees to make room for newly arrested people.

The emergency decrees also aim at covering up the racist regime's crimes through near complete suppression of the press. A government censorship board was set up to clear all news reports. Reporters are banned from covering any unrest or police activities. Western press reporters have given up before the threat of prison terms. An underground press system could overcome these restrictions, but the Western press is opposed to the revolutionary movement in South Africa.

The mass media makes a big deal about every court decision in South Africa that taps the government on the wrist. But Botha and company only had to rewrite the law a bit in order to overcome recent court decisions overturning, on some minor technicalities, part of the previous press restrictions. The recent extension of the state of emergency does this and makes the restrictions tighter than ever.

The extension of the "state of emergency" proves once again that the racists will never reform themselves. Nevertheless, the Botha regime is unwittingly creating conditions for real change. Their brutality is steeling the oppressed into a force for revolution that no chains can long contain

U. of Pittsburgh students: 'Divest Now!'

In the first week of June, anti-apartheid activists at the University of Pittsburgh pushed forward their demand for total divestment of the university's $14 million investment in companies operating in South Africa.

The students targeted for protest a meeting of the school's board of trustees. At the meeting the trustees attempted to cool out the divestment demands of the students with a vague promise to "re-examine" their investment policies.

But the militant activists would have none of these stalling tactics. One hundred strong, they marched into the meeting shouting "Divest Now!" The arrogant trustees threatened to have the students forcibly removed. The protesters, however, persisted in boldly denouncing the trustees. In the end, it was not the students but the trustees who were forced to leave the meeting.

The stand of the University of Pittsburgh protesters reflects the determination of students on campuses across the country to put an end to U.S. support for apartheid.

Ford's phoney divestment

The Ford auto monopoly has announced its intentions to sell off its operations in South Africa. Two days later, Citibank also promised to divest. In the last 18 months over 100 corporations have claimed to divest.

But in no way have the profit-hungry capitalists suddenly developed a sense of social justice. It turns out that in nearly every case the companies are divesting in name only. Meanwhile they are continuing to do business with racist South Africa in more hidden forms.

Ford's "divestment" scheme is a fraud from the word go. In fact it is the second time Ford has tried to cover up its investments in apartheid. In 1985 Ford merged its South African subsidiary with units of the big South African conglomerate Anglo American Corporation. The result was a new firm called SAMCOR (South African Motor Corporation). SAMCOR became well known for its contracts with the blood- hungry South African military and police. Ford officially owns 42% of SAMCOR.

Now Ford plans to sell off its holdings in SAMCOR. But SAMCOR will still use the Ford logo on its products. And Ford will continue to, sell vehicles and components to SAMCOR and have licensing rights over technology. In other words, Ford will continue to do business in South Africa, but in a more indirect way.

Hiding Exploitation Behind "Worker Ownership"

Ford's latest "divestment" marks a new level of trickery. Ford was worried about the protests of black workers in South Africa against GM's fake divestment last October. In an attempt to quiet worker discontent, Ford plans to put about half of its holdings in SAMCOR into a "worker ownership" plan (while selling the rest to Anglo American). Under this plan the union at SAMCOR would wind up with 24% of the stock of SAMCOR plus two members on the company's board of directors.

Ford's black workers in South Africa expect that Ford will use the "divestment" to distance themselves from a new wave of layoffs. This is what Ford did when it created SAMCOR in 1985 and immediately laid off several thousand workers. The Ford workers say that the "worker ownership" plans are aimed at pacifying the workers in the face of Ford's attack. This is one reason why the union has been hesitant about going along with the "worker ownership" scheme.

In fact, such "worker ownership" schemes have nothing to do with the workers actually controlling the company. But they are useful to the capitalists in encouraging the workers to sacrifice for the benefit of the profits of the company they supposedly own. These plans are a fraud when carried out in any country. But for Ford to pretend to be helping the South African workers while continuing to benefit from the apartheid system is the height of cynicism.

Down With the Support of American Capitalism for Apartheid

Clearly this type of "divestment" is nothing but a swindle. The corporations, don't give a damn about ending the oppression of blacks in South Africa. For decades they have grown rich from exploiting cheap black labor under apartheid. The U.S. multinationals only care about profits and their public image. As Ford spokesman George Trainor said: "Universities and pension funds are divesting themselves of Ford stock.... More state and local governments are not being allowed to buy Ford paper [bonds]." And he expressed worry that some government units had passed legislation prohibiting the purchase of goods from companies with South African operations.

But these laws are weak. The politicians pass them more for show than for anything else. So Ford feels it can get off the handful of prohibited lists by a corporate reorganization rather than ending ties with South Africa.

As well, the struggle inside South Africa had created a bad "investment climate" for the American companies. For this reason too they want to readjust their business connections to South Africa. As Ford vice-president Peter Pestillo stated, keeping Ford's old relationship with South Africa was "quite difficult in view of conditions" in that country.

Workers, students, activists! Keep up the pressure against the companies who make money off white minority rule! Step up the fight against the U.S. backers of apartheid!

The 'Sullivan Principles' had justified investment in South Africa

Reverend Sullivan changes his mind - sort of

The Reverend Leon Sullivan is a liberal black minister and member of GM's board of directors. For ten years he has opposed divestment from South Africa. Instead he called for American firms operating in South Africa to follow the "Sullivan principles." By following these principles they were supposed to be able to change apartheid from within.

The "Sullivan principles" are a code of conduct adopted by many U.S. companies in South Africa which provides an anti-racist cover to their South African holdings. The U.S. companies were supposed to take some measures against discrimination at their workplaces. Meanwhile the multinationals could haul in fat profits because apartheid provided them with cheap black labor in semi-slave conditions.

And so, for ten years one corporation after another found it useful to use the "Sullivan principles" as their smiling face to the world while they continued to reap profits from the low wages enforced by white minority rule.

Meanwhile Sullivan constantly defined and redefined his "principles." Last year, for example, he said that supporters of the "Sullivan principles" must actively disobey apartheid laws and support civil disobedience campaigns by blacks seeking access to whites-only services. Sure thing! Just what the big multinationals are likely to do. You can just see those corporate executives willing to go to jail or see their firm fined millions of dollars in support of the black masses.

The Bankruptcy of Gradual Reform of Apartheid

On June 3 this year, after ten years of pursuing the goal of having the white slavemasters reform themselves with the help of GM, Ford, IBM and other alleged heroes of morality, the Reverend Leon Sullivan changed his mind. He declared that, since apartheid had not been ended, there should be an end to all U.S. investment in racist South Africa.

Sullivan's change of heart is a sign of the bankruptcy of the peaceful reform of the apartheid system through the good offices of capitalist benevolence. The militant movement has long fought the "Sullivan principles," but Sullivan's own call for divestment may help open the eyes of less informed sections of the working people. Ten years of U.S. investment in racism have brought nothing but profits to the multinational corporations and heartache for the black masses.

Sullivan also pointed to the sham nature of various "divestments." He demanded that U.S. companies should not sell parts to South African companies and should "end all business relationships with buyers in South Africa."

And More Than Divestment Is Needed

Furthermore, Sullivan admitted that divestment could only be part of the pressure that must be brought on the South African racists. He came out for a trade embargo and an end to diplomatic ties with the Botha regime. And he held that a trade embargo would only be effective if it involved most major Western powers. His idea was that the U.S. should have trade sanctions against countries that moved in to fill the vacuum left by U.S. companies leaving. (The U.S. may indeed pass trade sanctions against other capitalist countries, but it will be part of a chauvinist trade war and not to put pressure on South Africa.)

The demand for divestment and other sanctions against South Africa is a just demand. Militant anti-apartheid activists have long supported these steps as a means of assisting the liberation, struggle of the South African masses.

But for years Sullivan supported U.S. investment in apartheid. Why has Reverend Sullivan changed his mind? Has Sullivan suddenly become a fierce opponent of the racist rulers?

By no means.

Sullivan Still Places His Hopes on Improving the Racist Rulers

It turns out that Reverend Sullivan still believes that the apartheid government will reform itself.

But let's get this straight from the horse's mouth. At his June 3 news conference to call for divestment, Sullivan said: "Every American moral, economic and political force must be brought to bear to help influence the South African government to move toward dismantling the apartheid system while there is still time." (New York Times, June 4, p. l)

Here we have Sullivan appealing to, the South African government to act "while there is still time," i.e., before a revolution topples the racists. Sullivan doesn't urge on the masses to rise up against the racists. No, according to Sullivan, the task is to help enlighten the South African government. Sullivan looks to that government as the way to avoid revolution.

Despising the revolution, Sullivan turns to the powers-that-be to abolish apartheid. He promotes the fraud of the racists themselves "dismantling the apartheid system." And how will this miracle be accomplished? It is "American influence." Why, the imperialist governments of U.S., West Germany, Japan, etc. will suddenly become moral angels who will force the apartheid masters to change.

Sullivan Still Praises the U.S. Investment Which He Says Should Leave

Today Sullivan confesses that, despite ten years of the Sullivan principles, "the main pillars of apartheid still remain." But he has never given up his illusions in the American and South African corporation men. Why, Sullivan still praises what he terms the "notable record" of the very Sullivan principles that he has to disavow for the time being. He has even gone to the extent of claiming the development of black unions in South Africa was the result of the "Sullivan principles." It wasn't the mass heroism of the black workers that built the black unions; it wasn't the mass defiance of the apartheid police and the building of illegal union structures; no, it was GM and IBM that allegedly forced the apartheid government to tolerate the unions.

And he wants U.S. holdings sold to South African companies that he considers to be for equal rights. (Here we are talking about big capitalists, for only they could buy out the U.S. investments.) Too bad he doesn't list these marvelous creatures. Big South African companies, born and bred on profits from exploiting black labor, for equal rights!

Presumably Sullivan is referring to the liberal white capitalists in South Africa like the owners of the Anglo American Corporation who talk about reform one day and smash black miners' strikes the next. Or maybe he is referring to those firms which follow the principles of the liberal Progressive Federal Party in South Africa, which, it turns out, is denouncing Sullivan's call for divestment. These liberals are in favor of maintaining white domination in South Africa.

Indeed Sullivan delayed his call for sanctions for two years because he claimed to see a "window of hope" even in the "reforms" of chief racist Botha himself.

Panic at the struggle of the masses and faith in the racist butchers and wealthy moneybags. This is the stand of the liberal bigshots.

Opposing Militant Struggle Here

Sullivan and some other liberals may talk about strong sanctions. But their subservience to the capitalists and their fear of the masses means they are incapable of waging a militant fight for their own divestment calls. What type of a struggle can Sullivan mount when he cannot even bring himself to leave his board of directors seat at GM, a company that still does business with South Africa. After all, that would go against his foremost principle that "making it" in the dog-eat-dog world of capitalism is the highest form of achievement, the highest honor that anyone can achieve.

The U.S. Liberals Want to Advise the Racist Rulers How to Avoid Revolution

Liberals like Sullivan don't like the excesses of the racist system. But they are horrified by the militant struggle of the oppressed and the prospect of revolution. What to do? They take it upon themselves to advise the Botha regime that brutal repression cannot by itself stave off the people's revolt. They seek common ground with the Botha regime in pursuit of a common cause: the avoidance of revolution "while there is still time." They want to use sanctions and the whole movement simply to pressure the racists to undertake a few minor reforms.

Support the Struggle in South Africa

Nevertheless, Sullivan's new stand may be of some use in exposing to still wider circles among the masses the anti-racist pretensions of the big U.S. corporations dealing with South Africa. At the same time the rotten stand of the liberals like Sullivan must be exposed. True solidarity with the black people of South Africa requires standing for the development of the revolutionary movement of the black workers and the other oppressed. It requires standing against the treacherous liberal plans of enlightening the racists and allying with them against a revolution. True solidarity means building a powerful movement in support of the fighting masses in South Africa. For revolution alone can achieve the goal of the oppressed -- freedom from apartheid slavery.


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

[Graphic.]

The masses struggle, the Duarte regime totters

Reports continue to come in about the struggles of the working people and youth of El Salvador against the U.S.-backed Duarte regime.

Guerrillas Show Force in San Salvador

During May and June the Salvadoran guerrilla movement sharply increased its activity in San Salvador. The armed rebels have been ambushing police patrols and bombing electrical installations as a show of strength against the ailing Duarte regime.

Meanwhile, in the countryside the guerrillas have hounded the Army with frequent ambushes.

Workers And Student Actions

Workers and students now hold anti-government demonstrations almost weekly in the center of the capital city. On June 2, one thousand students burned tires and halted traffic downtown. The marchers, some of whom were wearing masks and carrying big sticks with nails, shouted "Forward, forward, the struggle is forever!"

Students have also been painting the U.S. Embassy every week with slogans denouncing the Reagan government.

Duarte Regime Continues to Totter

Popular discontent with the Duarte regime is spreading as the Salvadoran economic crisis deepens. The $700 million in U.S. aid to the "death squad" government has not been able to save it from the people's anger. "There is no question that the government is weakening," * an experienced Salvadoran diplomat told the New York Times, adding that "There has been a marked deterioration in the last six months."

The government's crisis has driven the reactionary forces to acts of desperation against the people.

Murders of activists are on the rise, both openly by the security forces and by the death squads. The reactionaries are taking out their wrath even on organizations which are not involved in any type of radical activities.

On May 15 a U.S. Embassy vehicle driven by the National Police ran down and killed a member of COMADRES, a human rights organization of relatives of those "disappeared" at the hands of the government. COMADRES was holding a street demonstration to demand amnesty for political prisoners. On May 28, COMADRES' offices were bombed. An assault was also made on an office of the Lutheran church which works with war refugees and speaks out against human rights abuses.

Thus, as the regime totters, the ground is being prepared for new rounds of confrontation between the working people and the armed exploiters.

Guatemalan peasants fight for land

Over the last year the Guatemalan peasants have been going into motion in the struggle for land.

In May 1986, sixteen thousand landless peasants marched 90 miles to the national palace to demand land. This April 1,500 peasants went on a hunger strike at the national palace when the government reneged on its promise to make three farms available to them.

These have been the first open mass actions of the rural poor since 1980, when Pacific coast plantation workers in southern Guatemala staged a massive hunger strike for a minimum wage. The wave of mass struggles that the country saw at that time was met by a brutal campaign of repression by the Guatemalan military. But during the past year the movement has begun to revive.

Guatemala -- A Country With an Acute Land Problem

Guatemala has one of the most unequal land distributions in Latin America. For example, 54% of the farmers are relegated to only 4.1% of the cultivated land. Furthermore 420,000 peasant families are completely landless.

The only regime to initiate even the most meager agrarian reform, the Arbenz regime, was overthrown by the CIA in 1954. The military regimes that followed over the next several decades defended with extreme savagery the exploitation by the landowners. Today the country has a civilian president, a Christian Democrat, who provides a democratic facade for the military. President Vinicio Cerezo rejected the very idea of agrarian reform before taking office in January 1986. "My government will not carry out agrarian reform because we want peace," he said, by which he meant peace with Guatemala's powerful landholders.

Liberal Priest Tries to Curtail the Peasant Movement

With the militant peasant organizations severely weakened by repression, the leadership of the peasant actions over the past year has been dominated by the reformist National Peasant Association (ANC).

This was founded in 1986 by Father Andres Giron, a priest allied with the left wing of Cerezo's Christian Democratic Party. Giron has worked to control the peasant movement for land, trying to restrict it to what is acceptable to the landlord and capitalist government.

He has collaborated with Agricultural Minister Rodolfo Estrada to develop land use proposals which pay lip service to the peasants' needs, while in reality keeping them under the thumb of the wealthy landowners. Giron is attempting to limit the peasant movement's role to a pressure group to support and influence the Agricultural Minister's policies.

Giron Wants to Sell the Peasants into Slavery

Giron has tried to channel the peasants' demand for land into begging the government to provide credits for the peasants to buy land on the open market. Giron's proposal became a provision in the government's "integral rural development plan" this year. The plan calls for the creation of a state land bank to purchase unused land from landowners and resell it to the peasants.

This plan would allow the landlords to make a profit from their unused land. Meanwhile it offers nothing for the masses of poor peasants who cannot afford to eat, much less purchase land, unless of course they sell themselves into lifelong slavery to pay back the land bank.

As well, studies show that, if the government's plan were implemented, the land which is available on the open market could supply at the most 4% of the peasants' land needs for earning a living.

What a complete farce.

While the most conservative landowners oppose even such proposals as Giron's, some businessmen's and landowners' organizations have praised Agricultural Minister Estrada for working with Giron to try to line up the peasant masses behind the government's land use program.

A Door Is Opened for More Militant Struggle

Despite the efforts of Giron and his Christian Democratic sponsors, the fact that organized peasant actions are taking place in Guatemala on the issue of land may well open the floodgates for the development of a militant mass struggle by the peasants. This March, for example, while Giron was holding negotiations with the government, 300 unorganized peasants took matters into their own hands and spontaneously seized three farms in the coastal province of Suchitepequez.

Indeed, it is revolutionary struggle of the toilers themselves, not miserly schemes based on goodwill from the exploiters, which can lead the way towards ending the oppression of the rural poor.

Soviet leaders cut back oil supplies to Nicaragua: a revisionist stab in the back

In May the Soviet Union drastically cut its oil sales to Nicaragua, leaving Nicaragua with an acute fuel crisis. For the last two years the Soviet Union had supplied 80-90% of Nicaragua's crude oil needs. It will now supply only 40%. The Nicaraguan government has been scrambling to try to make up the shortfall.

On June 6, President Ortega announced a new series of extraordinary measures to deal with the economic crisis. These were the outcome of the Soviet cutback of oil shipments.

This move by the Soviet revisionist leaders is a brutal stab at the Nicaraguan people. The six-year long war by the U.S. against Nicaragua and U.S. economic pressure, including Reagan's trade embargo, have seriously harmed the Nicaraguan economy.

Not only does the Soviet action hurt the resistance to the U.S.-contra war, but it is also the toiling masses of Nicaragua who will bear the brunt of these latest austerity measures.

Soviet Revisionists Bend to U.S. Pressure

Revisionist supporters of the present-day Soviet Union never tire of lecturing workers and activists about how the Soviet Union is still socialist and about how it is a mighty force against U.S. imperialism and the true ally of revolution in the oppressed countries.

This is a myth. And this lie is again shattered by the Soviet cutback of oil to Nicaragua.

The Soviet Union never supplies Nicaragua with enough oil to prevent painful shortages. But now, by cutting oil supplies, the Soviet revisionist leaders are only caving in to U.S. pressure to strangle Nicaragua. Nicaragua is a tiny country facing up to U.S. imperialism. Its oil needs are small, while the Soviet Union is one of the world's major oil exporters. There is no logic for the Soviet action against Nicaragua other than an attempt to appease the Reagan administration.

It is well known that the U.S. has put a great deal of pressure on its capitalist allies around the world to tighten the screws against Nicaragua. In particular, they have tried to get other countries to cut oil shipments to Nicaragua.

Indeed, the bourgeois government of Venezuela stopped selling oil to Nicaragua in 1984 and Mexico in 1985. Both claimed that it was because of Nicaragua's failure to make payments. But the real story is that U.S. imperialism was strong-arming these and other Latin American bourgeois governments to take measures against Nicaragua. Now Nicaragua has again been forced to approach these countries for oil. There are some reports that Venezuela and Mexico may sell it some oil, but what terms they will exact is not known.

The Tower Commission report on the Iran-contra affair described that when Reagan's men, McFarlane and North, went to Iran to strike a deal with officials of the Khomeini regime, an important item on the agenda was getting Iran to cut off oil sales to Nicaragua.

Sandinistas Apologize For Russian Revisionists

And what has been the response of the petty-bourgeois Sandinista government to the Soviet action? It turns out, they are making excuses for Moscow's actions.

The Sandinista daily, Barricada, carried Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Cooperation Henry Ruiz' explanation on May 28 that the Soviet Union could not totally fulfill its delivery of crude oil "...because this socialist country currently has difficulties with its natural reserves." What a flimsy excuse! The oil needs of Nicaragua, a poor country of three million people, are merely a drop in the bucket for a superpower oil exporter.

But if this wasn't bad enough, the next day Barricada bent over backwards to further apologize for the revisionists. It headlined the statement, "USSR has not broken trade agreement." It carried a government declaration which said that "an erroneous impression has been given that the Soviet Union has failed to fulfill its supply agreement." It proceeded to announce that the Soviet Union had agreed to supply 300,000 tons of petroleum. But this is just what the Soviet Union cut its shipments down to!

What a cover up. (These statements are favorably reprinted in the June 19 Militant, newspaper of the SWP which supports the Sandinista regime.)

Soviet Revisionists -- No Friends of the Nicaraguan Revolution

The Soviet cutback of oil is one more proof that the Russian revisionists are no friends of the Nicaraguan revolution.

The present-day Soviet Union is a state-capitalist country ruled by a rich class of bureaucrats. It plays the dirty game of imperialist power politics. This involves haggling over spheres of influence, and small peoples like the Nicaraguans are readily sacrificed over the bargaining table.

The cutback of oil is undoubtedly part of the latest wheelings and dealings between the imperialist superpowers. Gorbachov has eagerly been looking for an arms deal agreement with Reagan. And he has openly declared his readiness to discuss deals over various "regional conflicts." Now we see one practical outcome of this.

Supporters of the Nicaraguan people's struggle against U.S. imperialism should denounce the treachery of the revisionist leaders in Moscow.

A new alternative in union organization emerges at San Antonio Sugar Combine in Nicaragua

Strike actions broke out in December at the massive San Antonio sugar plantation when management announced the closing of the workers' commissary. Pay for field laborers is so low that there would hardly be much point in working except for the chance to buy food and other necessities at the commissary's reduced prices. Therefore many workers downed tools. Despite firings and other management attacks on their struggle, militant workers are now getting organized. The following is from "Prensa Proletaria," May '87, translated by WA.

A new Unified and Independent Union of Sugar Industry Workers (SUITRA) has emerged at the San Antonio Plant in the thick of the struggle for a fighting, revolutionary, class union policy. The new union is uniting the field laborers and refinery workers who want an alternative to the old unions which served the interests of management: the Confederation of Trade Union Unification (CUS) and the Sandinista Workers' Center (CST).

San Antonio is a private enterprise which sends its profits abroad in dollars. The union trends linked to the U.S. embassy, like CUS, or to the Nicaraguan government, like CST, have collaborated with management to implement quotas and work methods which benefit San Antonio's elite owner group, the Pellas. Thus, the sugar workers have been enduring great sacrifices, not for the benefit of the people, but for the Pellas family.

However, the ruthless labor policy and working conditions at San Antonio are generating a strong movement for class independence by the workers. This movement is spreading to other sugar' centers. The result is that important sectors of the working class are resisting the policy of mixed economy [which allows private enterprises such as San Antonio to profit from the workers' sweat]. In this way the sugar workers are fighting one of the forms of class conciliationism that the bourgeoisie and Sandinistas are trying to push, against the tide of history, onto the workers.

A portrait of a revolutionary fighter

(From "Prensa Proletaria," May '87. Translation by WA.)

Euladio Antonio Tinoco Perez, a militant of the Marxist-Leninist Youth [youth organization of the MLPN, formerly MAP-ML] fell in combat against the mercenary contra bands on February 24. Euladio was an outstanding revolutionary who, from an early age, was part and parcel of the struggle of the people.

Euladio fell in combat in the outskirts of Villa Revolucion in the Department of Boaco, Fifth Region. This is an area which has been constantly hit by Reagan's "freedom fighters" and the internal right wing of our country. However, sacrifices like that of young Tinoco have reestablished, for the time being, tranquility for the population of these areas.

Euladio was born in Boaco the 17th of March, 1963. In the beginning of '78, at the age of 15, he joined the Student Association of the National Institute of Boaco. His advances in revolutionary consciousness and action led to his recruitment by the Revolutionary Youth Brigades, led by MAP-ML. The brigades organized the youth to develop revolutionary action against the genocide [by the U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship]. Tinoco was part of the nucleus of founders of this fighting contingent of youth.

His fighting spirit led him to be one of the first builders of contact bombs in this department. With this specialty he applied himself to a series of tasks of agitation and blows against the National Guard. He played an outstanding role in the insurrectionary actions of September 1978.

In 1979, along with the Sandinista columns, he participated in the taking of Camoapa. After the triumph he took part in the literacy campaign, and in '82 enrolled as a field worker in the Modesto Duarte enterprise of MIDINRA in the Fifth Region. In 1984 he joined the teams mobilized by MAP-ML for the election campaign.

In 1985 he signed up to fulfill his Military Service and participated in the battles of Guayabo, Nueva Guinea, Monteverde, Santo Domingo, Cana Brava, and La Bodega, among others.

In July of 1986 he was called upon by the Marxist-Leninist Youth to serve as his region's delegate to the Ninth International Camp of Anti-Imperialist and Anti-Fascist Youth. On the eve of taking part in this task, he was wounded in combat in Los Cerritos. After recuperating from the wounds, he joined the Battalion of Irregular Struggle in Camoapa, where he remained mobilized until the 24th of February, falling in combat against the bands scarcely a month before the date of completion of his military service.

At his funeral, his brother Ronald Tinoco, delegate of MAP-ML in the Fifth Region, said: "Antonio was a Marxist-Leninist fighter, who struggled for the ideas and objectives of the workers and peasants, and not for a program of class conciliation."

Euladio Tinoco was a working class fighter, a model of consistent youthful militancy in the revolution.

[Prensa Proletaria masthead.]

On political pluralism in Nicaragua

Recently, ''Socialista," organ of the revisionist Socialist Party of Nicaragua, invited representatives of various political trends to state their positions. The following is part of the response of Isidro Tellez, General Secretary of the MLPN, reprinted in the May '87 issue of "Prensa Proletaria." Please note that the measures listed in the third paragraph below do not refer to Reagan's dreams for Nicaragua. Rather, they refer, without exception, to actual measures and statements of the Sandinista government.

The Sandinista petty bourgeoisie has introduced the concept of "political pluralism" to give an attractive name to the same old class conciliationist policy of social democracy. "Political pluralism" seeks to justify, as well as legalize, institutionalize, and make moral, the domination of the bourgeoisie.

"Political pluralism" advocates that the working class not only give up the political and ideological struggle against the bourgeoisie, but also come out in defense of its rights. This goes against the interests of the working class.

In Nicaragua the workings of the policy of "political pluralism" have been clear: it says to the workers, "You don't need cost-of-living increases, the working day is doubled, the annual bonus will be cut, production quotas will grow, you will be working without pay, you don't need collective bargaining agreements any more. Factory commissaries (for the workers) are an arm of speculation and the black market, no more Agrarian Reform is needed. Bus fares are raised, we need nudist camps in Montelimar, gambling casinos in the hotels, and 'Caprice' stores for the privileged strata."

"Political pluralism" says that the workers demand that the price of food in the restaurants get raised, that the price of movie tickets increase, that medicine must no longer be free, that it is necessary to stop building classrooms, etc.

At the same time, the workers supposedly go around saying that the employers must receive special incentives so they don't get alienated, and that this has to include stimulation in U.S. dollars, that the capitalists be given 100% bank financing, and that the nationalized fortunes, and the foreign debt left by Somozaism and multiplied by Sandinism, be paid for. The workers supposedly say that private and religious education are needed, that it is necessary to attract foreign investment, and that our forests be handed over to the Costa Rican and Swedish entrepreneurs.

It can be seen that "political pluralism" has been used by the [Sandinista] center to reach towards the right in all fields: economic, political, ideological, institutional. The PMLN (--censored--); our parliamentary representatives do not have the right to present bills; we are not permitted to take part in any of the supposedly pluralist delegations of the National Assembly in international events; (--censored--); they fire workers who link up and organize with us; we are not permitted to sign up trade union locals through the the Trade Union Center of FO, etc. Obviously, "pluralism" is toward the right and not toward the option of advancing and deepening the revolution, which is our option.

(Translator's note: in the passage above charging the authorities with encroachment upon the democratic rights of the revolutionary forces, two phrases were deleted from "Prensa Proletaria" by order of the Sandinista censorship. Translated by the WA.)

Support the Nicaraguan workers' press!

The Nicaraguan working people need our help against U.S. imperialist aggression. Th® 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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The World in Struggle

[Graphic.]

Reagan denounced by youth of Berlin

On June 12 Reagan visited Berlin and, as on his visit there five years ago, he was denounced by the German youth.

Beset with low wages and high unemployment and living under the constant threat of a nuclear war between the superpower blocs, the youth of Berlin feel nothing but contempt for this smug imperialist. Just as on Reagan's previous visit, the anti-Reagan demonstrations turned into violent clashes with the police.

There were a couple of differences between this year's demonstrations, though, and those of five years ago.

For one thing, the West Berlin authorities mobilized the largest security force in the history of West Berlin -- 10,000 riot police brought in from all over West Germany. When the youth demonstrated on June 11, they found themselves hemmed in on all sides by masses of armed men. This made it more difficult for the demonstrators to spread their protest through the city.

Social Democrats Sabotaged Anti-Reagan Action

For another thing, the leaders of the official youth groups have lost their enthusiasm for anti-Reagan demonstrations. The June 11 demonstration was endorsed by 150 left-wing and environmentalist groups. But among the main organizations, such as the Social Democratic Party's youth group, there were strong doubts about the value of more anti-Reagan events.

A lead article in the Berlin "alternative" daily Tageszeitung with a radical reputation opposed any demonstrations on the grounds that Reagan has turned over a new leaf and is now negotiating with Gorbachev to remove medium-range missiles from Europe. Imagine that! They actually think that Reagan has changed into some sort of pacifist.

Some Social-Democrats argued that Reagan is now a lame duck president weakened by contragate, and so who cares about him any more?

But these were just excuses to oppose organizing militant protest. Indeed, behind the various flimsy excuses, the main thing feared by the reformist leaders was that a demonstration might bring out tens of thousands of dissatisfied youth eager to express their hatred for the warmongering leader of the NATO alliance.

So these forces did not make a major effort for the anti-Reagan demonstration of June 11, and inside the demonstration the leaders worked to keep the slogans and behavior of the protesters tame and acceptable to the police. Even so, the Berlin youths' hatred for Reagan is such that 24,000 came to the march, and near its end a couple of thousand demonstrators broke off from the main march and directly confronted the police.

By the time Reagan arrived the next day, the Berlin authorities had the city all spruced up -- the glass was swept up, the burnt-out cars hauled away, and a crowd of "Reagan supporters" set in place like extras on a movie lot. For Reagan's speech at the Berlin Wall, U.S. Army authorities hastily mobilized a house painter to whitewash over slogans that had been painted on the Wall by protesters the day before. These included the calls "Against imperialism!," "Reagan go home!" and "Yankees out of Nicaragua!"

Hi-tech GM plant in Spain hit by strikes

GM thought it had a better idea. Don't build a new auto plant in an urban area with a high concentration of unionized plants. Instead put it out in a semi-rural area, an area with high unemployment where the residents will really appreciate the plant. Thoroughly screen all prospective employees and train them to enjoy working with the latest hi-tech machinery. The result will be a model of modern capitalist management, with docile workers glad to accommodate every whim of the corporation.

Right? Wrong. The workers at GM's new plant in Figueruelas, Spain learned quickly that the modernistic plant staffed with 6,200 workers and hundreds of robots is just a more brightly polished example of the same old capitalist exploitation. Workers call the plant "the golden cage" because of its hi-tech beauty but rotten working conditions. And they have been building a strike movement against these conditions.

For the last three months the workers have been organizing one-day strikes against GM's attempts to extend the workday. There were five such strikes in April, five in May, and seven in June. These stoppages are getting more intense as GM management gets more and more frustrated with its supposedly "docile" work force. On June 4 the striking workers held a rally in the nearby city of Saragossa, where they clashed with the local police.

GM opened the plant in northeast Spain in 1982 with the latest hi-tech machinery. The welding on auto bodies is 90% computer controlled. The plant produces Opel Corsas and Kadetts for the European car market, and since opening GM has pushed production up to 82 cars per hour.

In the process, GM management cut into the workers' lunch time and break times. Workers are also angry about working conditions on the sped-up assembly line and about GM's trampling on job classifications. And since the workers have gotten into motion, they have put forward other demands against GM -- for better sick pay, vacations, etc.

The one-day strikes have badly hurt GM's ability to deliver cars and spare parts to its European dealers on time, and have caused a drastic drop-off of orders.

GM deliberately built its Opel plant in an area of high unemployment. This was also an area dominated by a generally conservative outlook. And the corporation concentrated on hiring young workers -- those with a minimum of experience in the class struggle. Job applicants were subjected to a series of psychological tests designed to weed out militants. And successful applicants were given final training in West Germany for months at a time.

Some of these procedures are being followed by GM at its new Saturn plant in Tennessee. And by other automakers when they set up brand-new plants in far-flung places. The capitalists have all kinds of tricks for weeding out militants and for diverting workers away from struggle.

But capitalism remains capitalism just the same. Nothing can hide the barbarities of exploitation. And workers are inevitably pushed into collective action.

Shultz blesses death squads in the Philippines

Secretary of State George Shultz paid a visit to the Philippines in mid-June.

Shultz went to pay homage to President Cory Aquino, one of today's brightest stars in the U.S. world empire. Since the Reaganites gave up supporting the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, they are now avid supporters of Aquino and her misnamed "people power" regime.

The Shultz visit came on the heels of Aquino's victory in the May parliamentary elections. She used this victory as an occasion to consolidate her power and reinforce her military push against the leftist insurgents of the New People's Army (NPA). With overwhelming control of the newly-elected parliament, Aquino feels more confident than ever to strengthen ties with the U.S. and widen the war.

For his part, Shultz went to show that U.S. imperialism backs up the Aquino regime in its violent campaign against the Filipino left. And he came right out and declared his support for the right- wing death squads in the Philippines.

Aquino Consolidates 'People Power' Against the Left

The election itself was an occasion for Aquino to mobilize her latest cynical development of "people power" -- the right-wing vigilante groups which are cropping up across the country. These groups are being launched with government and military support to spy on and terrorize the left and its sympathizers.

(For more about them, see the article "In the name of 'People Power' Aquino encourages death squads" in the May 1 Workers' Advocate.)

These groups were used against a coalition called the Alliance for New Politics (ANP) that ran a slate of candidates in the election.

This coalition was made up of activists connected to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and various left mass organizations. In the elections the ANP was the force opposing the Aquino regime from the left, but unfortunately, due to the ideological weaknesses dominating the CPP and the Filipino left, the ANP's politics did not go beyond a militant reformism.

During the election campaign 26 campaign workers for the ANP were murdered, most likely by right-wing vigilantes or the military. And for the election itself, one-third of the nation's precincts, areas in which the ANP was expected to do well, were put under the direct control of the military. The army in turn announced that on the big islands of Mindanao and Negros, which are strongholds of the left, it would utilize vigilante groups to "help protect the ballots."

Not surprisingly, then, the electoral results showed that the ANP did worse than it was widely expected to do.

Shultz Praises Aquino's Militarism

Following her election victory, Aquino felt confident to further step up her war against the NPA. And the U.S. government stood by her side.

On June 11, the U.S. delivered ten new Huey military helicopters to the Philippine army. In a ceremony handing over the helicopters, U.S. officials bragged that the aircraft would "increase troop mobility" for the government's counterinsurgency campaign. The next day President Aquino made a speech denouncing the rebels and threatening, "We will bring the war to them."

When Shultz arrived on June 13, he got right to work praising Aquino's counterinsurgency strategy. Shultz stressed the use of military power to crush the insurgents. Shultz also went out of his way to endorse the right-wing vigilantes.

He argued that the paramilitary groups "are being organized within the framework of government authority. They are not sort of free-floating vigilante groups, and President Aquino has supported that approach and we support what she is standing for." (New York Times, June 17) In other words, since the death squads are government-organized, then everything is fine. So much for the U.S. crusade against state terrorism!

Aquino appreciated the support. One of her main supporters in the new parliament, Ramon Mitra, told reporters that he is confident the U.S. bases will be re-approved when the present agreement expires in 1991.

Death Squads Are Not New for U.S. Imperialism

Of course, in endorsing the death squads, Shultz is actually just endorsing the sort of organizations that the U.S. itself, through its terror network of the CIA and related organizations, is infamous for setting up in Latin America and other countries.

And the hand of the U.S. imperialists shows through in the creation of the Philippine death squads as well. John Singlaub, retired U.S. army general, close comrade of Oliver North and organizer of private aid to the Nicaraguan contras, made a long visit to the Philippines last year just before the public appearance of the vigilante squads. At about the same time Reagan greatly expanded the CIA station operating out of the U.S. embassy in Manila. It should also be noted that Lt. Col. Franco Calida, founder of one of the most murderous vigilante groups, is a professional military man trained by the U.S. Special Forces.

The Aquino government, with full backing from the U.S. imperialists, is going ahead with its plans for full-scale war against the left. This calls for the building up of a strong, revolutionary response by the workers, youth, and poor peasants.

The toilers of the Philippines have a powerful fighting tradition. Today it is more crucial than ever that leftists in the Philippines rid themselves of any remaining illusions in the "people power" regime of Corazon Aquino. And instead of coming up with new dreams of progress through alliance with this or that section of the bourgeoisie, the Filipino left is faced with the task of developing a truly revolutionary policy, a policy based on the class independence of the proletariat and other toilers.

[Photo: George Shultz, adorned with a "Cory doll," meets with Cory Aquino and endorses her plan to use death squads against the people.]

First issue of Marxist-Leninist journal 'Red Dawn' in Sweden

The Workers' Advocate has just recently received the first issue of the journal Red Dawn from Sweden.

Red Dawn is the work of the comrades of the Communist League of Norrkoping, an organization of Swedish Marxist-Leninists mainly based in the industrial city of Norrkoping.

The comrades of the CLN have roots in the mass movements which rocked Sweden in the late 1960's and 70's. They have been part of the workers' movement, the youth and student movement, and the anti-imperialist and solidarity movements.

Out of their experience, they learned of the treachery of social-democracy and revisionism and gravitated towards revolution and Marxism-Leninism. They were involved in several efforts by Swedish leftists to break with revisionism and rebuild a genuine communist party. But the main leaderships of these parties refused to make a serious break with revisionist ideas and practices.

Most recently, the comrades of the CLN were active in the building of the the Communist Party of Sweden (KPS), which came out against both Soviet and Chinese revisionism. But soon these comrades, because of their revolutionary instincts, became profoundly dissatisfied with certain problems in the international Marxist-Leninist movement and tried to raise these issues for discussion inside the KPS. One of the main issues they were disturbed about was the support given by the Party of Labor of Albania and several other parties to the murderous Khomeini regime in Iran.

But the KPS leadership refused to deal with these burning issues and they forced out the left current. It may be noted that the KPS is one of those centrist parties which has in the past internally acknowledged discomfort with certain international stands of the PLA but refuses to allow any discussion of these questions among the communist rank-and-file. Instead it believes in behind-the-scenes intrigue.

The left current regrouped as the Communist League of Norrkoping. However, not only were they faced with harsh pressure and ostracism by the leaders of the KPS, but the CLN was formed at a time of decline in the mass movements and when liquidationist views have been running rampant through the Swedish left. The Swedish comrades have faced a difficult situation in their struggle to organize a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist current.

The comrades of the CLN plan to put out Red Dawn several times a year. For the moment, it is to have a mainly theoretical character.

The first issue of Red Dawn contains an article on "Comintern, Cominform and Modern Revisionism." It goes into the historical evolution in line that preceded the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956. It discusses the reasons behind the creation of the Communist International in 1919. It compares the Cl's general line in its first 15 years with changes that took place in the mid-30's, manifested at the 7th World Congress in 1935. It shows that the capitulation- by the communist parties before western imperialism and the bourgeoisie at the end of World War II in France, Italy, Greece, etc. was the logical culmination of the line launched by the 7th Congress.

This issue of Red Dawn also carries articles about the struggle of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists and introducing the Communist Organization -- Workers' Policy of Portugal. It also reprints the article "Who should decide the controversies in the international Marxist-Leninist movement? Silent stagnation or rank-and-file discussion," from The Workers' Advocate of October 1,1986.

The Workers' Advocate welcomes the publication of Red Dawn and looks forward to its future editions. We reprint below the introductory article from Red Dawn, No. 1. It was translated by comrades of CLN and polished by The Workers' Advocate staff.

* * *

Since a hundred years ago, May Day has been a day of solemnity for the international working class. It has been the day when workers all over the world have gone out on the streets and squares to show their hatred against the capitalist system, their desire to struggle for a better world without exploitation and oppression, and to celebrate the victories in the struggle of the class.

May Day is the day of socialism and international solidarity.

May Day is also a day when one can obviously see and hear the hypocritical demagogy of the fifth columns of the bourgeoisie inside the working class movement, the reformists and revisionists of all hues, who the bourgeoisie uses to mask itself with.

Look at the demonstration of the social-democratic SAP! [This is the ruling party in Sweden.] It's a reformist demonstration. The SAP is the loyal defender of capitalism. Its policy has never done anything of harm to capitalism. On the contrary, they have done everything to keep this system running, off which their leaders live so well. They have taken upon themselves the responsibility to keep down the struggle of the working class.

Or look at the demonstration of the VPK, KPML(r) and other small "left" parties! They stand for a revisionist policy, i.e. they act under a communist cover but after all give their support to social-democracy. They see nationalizations as a solution for the crisis and even as a step towards socialism. They restrict the struggle to a few cents more an hour and parliamentary vote-bartering deals. And they drag socialism in the mud by putting forward the Soviet Union as socialist.

No, the liberation of the proletariat must be its own work. There are several obstacles, because the class enemy is skillful. The main obstacle today is the fact that there is no genuine communist party in our country which is able to organize and lead the independent movement of the working class. And such a party has not existed since half a century ago, when the old Communist Party retreated before the pressure of the bourgeoisie and began to subordinate itself to social-democracy in the name of the "popular front." All efforts since that time to reconstruct a communist party have failed. That is because none of the several breaks with the revisionist currents has gone deeply and really led to the uprooting of revisionism.

The Communist League of Norrkoping is a small organization. We cannot put as our immediate task to reconstruct the party. That would be worthless since we have not "distilled" our orthodox Marxism-Leninism and through scientific analysis worked out a strategy and tactics for its implementation in Swedish conditions. This demands a more careful and deeper break with revisionism than all the earlier breaks since 1956 altogether! But it has to be done, because on this depends the survival of the revolutionary left!

[Address.]

*Two revisionist parties in Sweden. VPK is the "Eurocommunist" party. This is the biggest revisionist party and has representation in parliament. It collaborates very closely with the social-democrats. The KPML(r) is a "militant" phrasemongering party which claims to be adherents of Stalin and strongly supports the Soviet Union.

The Korean masses, not the liberals, are the force against tyranny

Tyranny does not disappear by its own goodwill. It has to be uprooted. Today the masses in South Korea are showing again that the real force against despotism is the power of militant, mass action.

But militancy in the struggle isn't the common stand of all in the Korean opposition; it is the product of a struggle of political trends. From the news media, you'd get the impression that everyone in the opposition in South Korea is fighting for the same thing. But in fact, there are two major forces within the opposition.

Radical Activists Versus Liberal Politicians

On the one hand there are the Kim Dae Jungs and Kim Young Sams. These are bourgeois liberal politicians. They preach moderation, peaceful protest, and sitting down with the dictator to discuss constitutional reform.

And then there are the militant fighters on the streets. These are mainly radical activists, in large part college students, who urge the overthrow of the dictatorship first, and filling in the details on the new regime later.

The bourgeois liberals are looking for careers in the National Assembly and hope to be part of the next government. They want to preserve much of the institutions of the present regime; they want to maintain close ties with U.S. imperialism; and they do not question the basic social order in South Korea.

The radicals, on the other hand, are working for the destruction of the repressive machinery of the government and the expulsion of U.S. troops from Korea. Many among them also want to improve the conditions of the Korean workers.

These differences lead to a difference in tactics over how to oppose the dictatorship. The liberals preach constitutional negotiations and getting U.S. support behind them as the answer to the crisis in South Korea. The radicals, on the other hand, advocate mass action as the way to push forward the movement. As the mass demonstrations have grown, it is the radicals who have led the masses in fighting the forces of the dictatorship.

Liberals Try to Make a Comeback

The difference between the two trends became sharper this spring as the liberals went into a tailspin after Chun cut off constitutional negotiations with them on April 10. This meant a dead end for their reformist scheme. Taking advantage of this crisis, the radicals came forward as the active elements in May when they commemorated the 1980 Kwangju uprising with militant demonstrations.

The liberals tried to make a comeback with a demonstration planned for June 10. This was the day on which Chun announced that his party would name a presidential successor to him. The liberals announced they would hold a protest demonstration on the same day, and they formed a broad coalition to organize it.

This National Coalition for a Democratic Constitution was a loose network of politicians led by Kim Young Sam and Kim Dae Jung, the leaders of the major opposition party. It also included trade union leaders and clergymen. And it also included some student groups.

Radicals Use Hit-and-Run Tactics to Dominate the Streets

But the June 10 demonstration turned into another victory for the radicals, who went into it for the purpose of turning it into a militant action. And for the first time in years, the radicals were able to avoid simply being arrested or dispersed in the streets of Seoul.

Thousands of radical students showed up for the day's demonstrations armed with rocks and firebombs ready to confront Chun's riot police with small- group tactics. The students used hit- and-run tactics that kept the police running all over the city. When police surrounded groups of students and pelted them with tear gas, the students would melt away and then regroup on some other street. And when students found themselves superior in force to the police, they overwhelmed the police and stripped them of their riot gear. Fierce hand-to-hand fighting took place in some locations.

With these tactics the radicals disrupted central Seoul for over five hours. Similar demonstrations were also held in Pusan, Kwangju, and other cities.

The Cathedral Sit-In

The radicals followed this up the next day with another innovative action. Hundreds of students occupied the Myongdong Cathedral, the center of Roman Catholicism in Korea. They used this strategic spot in the center of the capital to give speeches denouncing the dictatorship, to call for and organize mass actions, and to serve as a rallying center for the masses' hatred of the regime.

This threw the regime into a quandary. They couldn't stand to have a continuous anti-government demonstration going on in the middle of Seoul. On the other hand, the students were entrenched behind barricades and could not easily be dislodged. To force them out the government would have to launch a violent attack on the cathedral, which could mean difficulties with the influential Catholic community. While the government hesitated, groups of priests and nuns came out to show their support for the students, delivering food to them, etc.

The government brought up thousands of riot police and laid siege to the cathedral. But the students merely dug in deeper. During the day marches of thousands tried to break through police lines from the outside to lift the siege. During these attempts huge battles took place outside the cathedral.

At night the cathedral became the rallying point for the liberals. They organized candlelight vigils for democracy at which thousands prayed and sang. But despite the moderate nature of these events, they too came into conflict with the riot police. Thousands of people learned firsthand what it meant to be tear gassed, to be pushed and clubbed by Chun's thugs. And inevitably the masses fought back.

Thus, in the street actions the radicals' leadership again stood out. It was the militants who developed ways to bring the anti-government demonstrations into downtown Seoul. It was the radicals' seizure of the cathedral that galvanized heretofore passive sections of the people into action. Defense of the besieged students became a focal point for all those fed up with the Chun regime.

The Cardinal Cuts a Deal With Chun

At this point the church hierarchy stepped in to prevent the students', support from growing wider. Not wanting the church to be the center of a burgeoning protest movement, Cardinal Southwan Kim, head of the country's Roman Catholics, made a deal with the regime: the government would allow the students to leave the cathedral, and the church would make sure they left. Late on the night of June 14, the thousands of riot police ringing the cathedral suddenly withdrew, leaving the way open for the students to leave.

At first the students refused to go. Their leaders explained, "Safe passage is not our goal. Our goal is to overthrow the government.'' But church officials convinced them that the church would no longer give them any formal right of sanctuary.

So the students left the cathedral on June 15. But the students maintained their honor in withdrawing. They held a rally before leaving at which several students cut their hands and wrote in blood on a large paper banner, "Down with the dictatorship'' and "Oust the Americans.'' The students were taken in buses to the campus of Yonsei University in Seoul.

Later that same day a number of police were injured when they tried to suppress protesting students at Yonsei University, and tens of thousands of students protested on other campuses throughout the country.

The Crisis Deepens Farther

The government hoped that the end of the siege at Myongdong Cathedral would mean the end of the protests. But the next week the protests grew even stronger, more militant, and more widespread.

In Pusan, 10,000 people took over downtown streets the night of June 15. Then on June 16 demonstrators launched repeated assaults on the U.S. consulate, forcing employees to evacuate the building.

In Chinju, protesters burned four police sentry posts on June 16. Seven armored police cars were burned in the city of Taejon. And in Chonan protesters attacked a police station and destroyed a tear gas truck with firebombs.

On June 17 Chun closed all university campuses in Korea. But that did not stop the protests. In Pusan thousands of demonstrators battled police with barrages of rocks and gasoline bombs, seized a public building and held it against police assaults.

Anti-Tear Gas Day

On June 18 thousands of ordinary citizens in all the major cities held an Anti-Tear Gas Day to protest the government's use of tear gas to disperse demonstrators. Since June 10 riot police had fired so much tear gas in Seoul that the city's trees were wilting. A perpetual haze of gas hung over the city night and day.

True to form, Chun's police attacked the peaceful protests with tear gas. This outrage spurred the movement to renewed energy. Tens of thousands of protesters poured into downtown Seoul and seized the center of the city. When the riot police attacked, the protesters were so numerous and so aroused that often they turned the table on the police, surrounding them and forcing them to surrender.

The Government Tries to Undermine the Protests

After this militant display, the government began making sounds of conciliation. Government spokesmen began issuing statements saying the regime was ready to make concessions, to renew constitutional negotiations or grant some democratic reforms.

The attempt worked on the liberals. These statements had the effect of dampening the actions called by the liberals. The candlelight vigils, prayer sessions, and peaceful protests died out. Kim Young Sam, who had announced he would organize the biggest demonstration ever on June 26, now announced he was willing to cancel the protest if government leaders would meet with him.

But the radicals continued their actions. Fierce fighting with the police continued, especially in Pusan, where on June 21 demonstrators burned four police sentry posts. Keeping up the pressure in this way was a crucial step, at a time when the liberals were capitulating to the government's blandishments.

Kim Meets With Chun...

Finally, on June 22, dictator Chun made the formal offer to meet with opposition leader Kim Young Sam. The Korean and American bourgeoisie heaved a sigh of relief, hoping that now there would be a way to end the mass movement.

Kim said he was canceling the June 26 demonstration. To keep up some militant face, though, he set two conditions on the meeting: Chun would have to release all protesters detained since June 10, and would have to release Kim Dae Jung from house arrest. But when Chun did not meet these conditions, Kim went ahead with the meeting anyway, saying the release of the detainees was "just a formality." Chun later released Kim Dae Jung, but not completely, as events a few days later showed.

...But Comes Away With Nothing

The bourgeoisie's hopes were dashed by the Kim-Chun meeting. The only "concession" Chun would make was to allow discussion of possible constitutional revision to take place in the National Assembly. This meant to allow the talkshop parliament, which is powerless and in any case dominated by Chun's party, to take up a discussion on which it had already spent a year and got nowhere. Chun would not allow any deviation from the schedule of presidential succession; he would not consider making any democratic reforms immediately; and he would not even agree to the liberals' plea for direct talks between himself and the opposition.

The liberals tried to salvage something from the meeting by saying it was a victory just to get Chun to sit down and talk with the opposition. But Kim knew he had gotten nothing. He came out of the meeting and had to announce that he was re-endorsing the June 26 demonstration.

The Radicals Keep the Ball Rolling

Fortunately there was still a demonstration to endorse. This was because the student radicals had refused to be swept along with Kim's enthusiasm for meeting Chun. They had insisted that the demonstration of June 26 be held regardless of how the meeting turned out. While Kim was eating lunch in the dictator's Blue House, the students were holding a meeting of 20,000 in an outdoor amphitheater to plan the protest.

When the demonstration began on June 26, the police quickly scooped up the two Kims and their close followers and took them home. That was the end of the liberals' attempt at leading the protest. But it was only the beginning for the radicals. In scenes reminiscent of June 10, huge battles took place in all the cities of South Korea.

The Liberals Must Not Be Allowed to Steal the Fruits of the Struggle!

The evolution of the movement against the Chun dictatorship in recent months drives home a few lessons. It shows that liberal schemes of dialogue with Chun go nowhere, while it is the fighting masses on the streets led by the radicals who are shaking the regime.

All efforts to do away with the street actions -- whether by the police repression or by talk of concessions -- have so far failed. As we go to press, the militant demonstrations continue to rock South Korea.

But while the radicals have successfully put a militant stamp on the struggle against the dictatorship, they face the task of better differentiating from the liberals what the goal of the struggle against Chun should be. To build the movement independent of the liberals, the radicals have to work hard to mobilize the workers into the struggle and they have to agitate even stronger for a revolution and for a revolutionary power to replace the Chun regime with.

Otherwise, should Chun fall, it is the liberals who would take advantage of the vagueness in the consciousness of the masses about what Chun should be replaced with. While the masses do the actual fighting and sacrificing, it is the liberals who would end up reaping the fruits of the struggle.

That would not be the best outcome for all the energy that is being displayed in the current struggle. What South Korea needs after tyranny is not a liberal capitalist order, but a revolutionary democratic order.

South Korea is a developed industrial country today. From the economic standpoint, the country is clearly ready for a socialist revolution. But the working class is nowhere near prepared for this. There is very little by way of working class organization and the Korean workers have not had much experience in organizing their class struggle. Under these conditions, the most favorable outcome for the working class from the present struggle against tyranny would be a revolutionary-democratic system. This would provide the best conditions for the flourishing of the class struggle and for the independent organization of the working class. And the development of the class struggle would set the socialist revolution on the agenda.

[Photo: Demonstrators overwhelm police and hold them captive in Seoul.]

Liberals whine, Reagan squirms, and Chun keeps U.S. support

The liberal politicians and press in the U.S. are making noises that Washington must support democratic reform in South Korea.

But where has been their concern over the last 40 years? Tyranny in South Korea didn't just spring up last month. The U.S. government has dominated South Korea ever since the end of World War II. It fought a bloody war in the early 50's to defend this domination. There are still tens of thousands of U.S. troops there and many U.S. bases. There is a tight all-round alliance between Washington and the regime in Seoul. And what has been the result of this U.S. presence?

South Korea has been under the thumb of one dictatorship after another. The Chun regime is just the latest tyranny that is backed up by U.S. power. And U.S. support for dictatorship has gone on, no matter whether Democrats or Republicans were in the White House.

But today the liberals look at South Korea and claim to see something odd, even contradictory. How can it be, they say, that a country created and protected by the United States can be so undemocratic?

A glance around the world is enough to see that there is no contradiction at all. The U.S. is one of the principal backers of tyranny and despotism.

What the American liberals are worried about is not the oppression suffered by the Korean people. No, what they fear are the mass actions that keep going on. They worry that these demonstrations may bring about a mass uprising and shatter U.S.-backed capitalist stability in South Korea.

Liberals Push Reagan to "Be Active"

This is what lies behind all the liberal complaints about Reagan not being "active enough'' about the crisis in Korea. As the masses kept fire-bombing policemen in Seoul, Pusan, and other cities, the American liberals cried out that Reagan was not paying enough attention to Korea. The liberals want Reagan to pressure Chun for a few reforms that could quiet down the mass protests.

The Reaganites, die-hard reactionaries that they are, were first somewhat befuddled by this. They tried to pass it off by saying that the issue of democratic reforms was strictly an "internal matter'' for South Korea. But the huge demonstrations continued, and the liberals reminded the Reaganites that South Korea has "close ties'' with the U.S.

Secretary of State Shultz then tried to shift blame for the crisis to the Korean liberals, saying they were intransigent in negotiations. And other spokesmen tried to lay the blame for violence on the masses, saying the U.S. regretted the violence of "both sides.''

These were typical Reaganite gaffes, reminiscent of when Reagan blamed "both sides'' for vote fraud in the Filipino election campaign of Corazon Aquino against Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

In Korea, it is no secret that it was the dictator Chun who spurned negotiations with the liberals, and it does not take a sage to see that it was his police that came down against even the mildest forms of public protest in the streets of South Korea.

Reaganites Begin to Shift

So the liberals kept up their agitation for Reagan to "do something.'' Liberals in Congress like Sen. Ted Kennedy CD- Mass) began proposing bills that called for democratic reforms in South Korea. And Rep. Stephen Solarz (D-NY), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Far East, insisted that the U.S. support the Korean liberals' demand for resumption of constitutional negotiations.

For months the Reagan administration had been echoing Chun's call for making "stability'' a priority over democratic reforms. But under pressure from the Democrats, after a week of intense demonstrations in South Korea, the administration began to shift its stand. The White House announced that Reagan had sent a letter to Chun urging some vague democratic reforms.

This is similar to how the Reaganites, faced with growing unrest in the Philippines and under pressure from the Democrats, finally began to wake up to the need to cut loose from Marcos.

And to show that he was paying attention, Reagan sent a special envoy to Korea to investigate.

Reagan's Special Envoy: A Bagman for the Nicaraguan Contras

Reagan's special investigator was Gaston Joseph Sigur, a long-time State Department flunky and Reagan loyalist. Sigur isn't even a particularly prominent bourgeois diplomat. His main notoriety has come from the contragate hearings, where he received notice as one of Oliver North's minions. North sent him to Taiwan and China to solicit funds for the Nicaraguan contras. But liberal Congressman Solarz described Sigur as "a voice for prudent policy'' who is "moving in the right direction.'' (New York Times, June 24)

When first appointed, Sigur said he had no idea what he was supposed to do in Korea, and did not know if he would be meeting with opposition politicians. But Solarz got on his high horse and insisted this was absolutely necessary. So in Korea Sigur did make a highly publicized visit to Kim Dae Jung.

Kim was pleased as punch to receive this visit from the U.S. imperialist emissary. He told Sigur that the U.S. should come out openly in favor of democratic reforms. But after the meeting, and despite the continuing demonstrations, the U.S. still refused to specifically endorse any reforms. The most that the Reagan administration will so far say is that it supports continued discussion between Chun and the liberal opposition figures.

Reagan Stands Tall for U.S. Imperialism

But this is precisely the position of Chun himself. No wonder then that Sigur insists that "democratization'' is already "underway'' in Korea.

Unwilling to grant any concessions, Chun is trying to stall the opposition by calling for more discussion with the liberals and for debate in the National Assembly. Meanwhile, Chun and his cohorts remain in power.

So while the pro-U.S. Korean liberals work so hard to sell out the mass struggle, the Reagan administration still refuses to help them into a share of power. This may change, if the movement continues to develop, but so far Reagan does not want to abandon.the policy of 40 years of support for dictatorship.

It is possible the U.S. could repeat the policy shift that it carried out with respect to Marcos in the Philippines. But so far it is inclined not to. And the bourgeois editors never tire of pointing out that there is allegedly no parallel with the situation in the Philippines. Marcos was corrupt and his economy was falling apart, they say, but as for South Korean dictatorship, they have not tired of words of praise.

[Photo: Seoul riot police beat a hasty retreat.]

The Chun regime--a fierce dictatorship

Chun Doo Hwan came to power as the champion of militarist reaction to suppress the masses. In May 1980 a rebellion in Kwangju succeeded in liberating the city from military occupation for a few days. Chun was the general who stamped out the rebellion with army paratroopers, killing hundreds. Chun had himself named president later that year.

Recent events have shown time and again the lack of elementary freedoms in South Korea. Political opposition is repressed. Opponents of the regime are jailed, beaten and tortured. The press is muzzled. Any group that forms on a street is subject to being tear gassed.

Formally, the people have the right to vote, but it is a sham. The citizens of South Korea cannot directly vote for government leaders. The president is chosen by a rigged electoral college which is stacked in favor of the ruling Democratic Justice Party.

As well, Chun's regime has continued the long-standing policy of South Korean dictatorships of fierce anti-communism. To be caught reading Marxist literature in South Korea is to be subject to arrest for treason.

Paradise for the Capitalists, Hell for the Workers

Nearly everyone admits that the South Korean regime is not a democracy. But, many in the bourgeois media say, South Korea is an economic miracle. So why knock success?

There has indeed been rapid capitalist development in recent decades. And yes, South Korea is prosperous -- for the capitalists. A whole new breed of South Korean millionaires has emerged in the last decade.

But the paradise for the exploiters is based on the sweat and toil of the South Korean workers. Under rigid discipline, at extremely low wages, the South Korean workers are forced to slave away at a work week that is among the world's longest -- 63 hours for the average industrial worker.

Organizing against these conditions is difficult under the Chun dictatorship. The state severely represses any working class political action. Trade unions are illegal except for officially sanctioned government unions, which do not oppose the employers. Work places and labor unions are staffed with spies. Militants are regularly singled out, beat up and thrown out of the work places.

Strikes are illegal except in extremely rare cases -- only a couple of strikes have been declared legal since Chun took power -- and the police don't hesitate to attack illegal picket lines. Some workers languish in jail for years, subjected to torture, after daring to go on strike.

A Garrison State

South Korea is one of the most militarized countries on earth. Universal conscription is used to maintain a huge standing army, and Chun maintains a force of riot police 200,000 strong to suppress dissent. South Korean dictators have become notorious for building police bureaucracies that ape those of the U.S. terror network. For example, they organized their own Korean CIA and Korean Special Forces. South Korea was a major supporter of U.S. imperialism's war of aggression in Viet Nam.

One of the most prominent members of the military establishment is Roh Tae Woo, the man Chun has chosen to succeed himself as president. Roh graduated with Chun from the Korean Military Academy in 1955. They served together in Viet Nam. When Chun made his bid for power, Roh provided the crucial force by sending his infantry division into Seoul. In the Chun government Roh has headed up the Defense Security Command, the network responsible for political surveillance, as well as other ministerial posts.

Down With the Dictatorship!

The Korean masses are fed up with generals and dictators. They yearn for democracy. But the Chun regime will not fall of its own accord. It is held in place by the South Korean bourgeoisie and U.S. imperialists, who depend on the regime to keep a tight hold on the toilers.

The street demonstrations have shaken up the South Korean bourgeoisie and the U.S. ruling class. They want to stop the mass movement, but they do not want to give up the dictatorship just yet. And in case things keep getting hotter, they are trying to work out a deal through which the liberals get some privileges.

But a deal between Chun, the U.S., and the liberals isn't what the masses are fighting for. There can be no real achievement of democratic rights so long as the bloated militarist and repressive apparatus is not broken.

For that, it is necessary that the Chun regime be overthrown by the revolutionary struggle of the masses. For that, it is necessary to establish a revolutionary power.

Overthrow the Chun dictatorship!

U.S. imperialism, get out of Korea!

Support the struggle of the South Korean people!

How the reformists undermine the fight for immigrant rights

'Line of March' retreats in the face of Simpson-Rodino

The editors of the reformist paper Frontline are giving the allegedly inflexible left another lesson on "tactical flexibility." This time the issue is immigrant rights and the struggle against the new anti-immigrant Simpson-Rodino law.

Like other reformist forces, Frontline is advocating a policy of narrowing down the fight for immigrant rights to make it more acceptable to the Democratic Party liberals. Although unlike some others, Frontline tries to give militant-sounding arguments for this cringing policy. (Frontline is put out by Line of March, a self-styled "Marxist-Leninist" group which is actually pro-Soviet revisionist.)

The Frontline editors pose as angels who stand for all types of good things. In their May 11 editorial, they condemn Simpson-Rodino and the whole "body of immigration law which is already racist, repressive and unjust." And they assure the reader that they stand for the defense of all immigrants and for "the long-term goal set at full and equal rights."

But this is puff. The real message of their editorial is that to target Simpson-Rodino is "mechanical and tactically ineffective." They argue that instead what is needed is "flexibility," focusing on "particular abuses" against the immigrants. The Frontline people, however, aren't in favor of the mass struggle on these issues either. As we shall see, their idea of "flexibility" only means binding the movement into a rigid lock-step with Democratic Party politicking.

How is Fighting Simpson-Rodino "Tactically Ineffective"?

For a decade, conscious workers, immigrants, and progressive activists had been fighting the plans for a sweeping racist and anti-worker immigration reform. Since this reform (Simpson-Rodino) became law last November, immigrant communities have responded with shock, outrage and protests. On May 5, the day the law came into force, thousands of people across the country marched to denounce Simpson-Rodino.

Nonetheless, a number of reformist elements, Frontline/Line of March included, were noticeably unenthusiastic for these protests. Frontline's May 11 editorial helps to explain why.

In making their case, they are forced to give a nod to the years of struggle against Simpson-Rodino. "The unifying stand of total opposition to Simpson-Rodino," Frontline concedes, "has long served to bring together the most progressive forces in the immigrant and refugee rights front." But now with the law coming into force, they argue, this "stand of total opposition to Simpson-Rodino" has become counterproductive; the movement must now focus on "specific campaigns" against the particular abuses against immigrants.

It may appear hard to understand where they are coming from with this. They admit that the new law is "thoroughly flawed" and repressive against all immigrants. As for the potential for struggle against it, the week before the date of their editorial witnessed some of the most widespread protests yet against Simpson-Rodino. Surely the agitation now has to reflect that the law is being implemented, But that doesn't mean reconciling to this police-state measure and dropping the appeals against it.

In any case, the Frontline people have something else in mind. They have come to the conclusion that appeals against Simpson-Rodino just won't play well in Washington. The new law passed Congress "in a fairly decisive manner," they reason and therefore: "the new demand articulated by some forces on the left -- the immediate repeal of Simpson-Rodino -- is a mechanical and tactically ineffective response to a much more complicated political situation."

What a sham! First they perform a sleight of hand. They attribute to unnamed "forces of the left" the demand for "immediate repeal" of the new law. Apparently, this is supposed to be a biting rebuke of infantile and impatient leftists who fail to recognize that prospects in Congress for its appeal are not good -- why, debate on such a thing is not even on the Congressional calendar! But with this rebuke, Frontline is only showing its slave-like attitude towards the reactionary Congress.

The issue is not "immediate repeal." The issue is: are you for or against building the struggle (protests, agitation, etc.) directed against this police- state law that is now coming down on the immigrant communities? And Frontline's answer is no, such a struggle is "tactically ineffective." After all, in the present "complicated political situation," none of their Democratic heroes in Congress will touch this demand with a ten-foot pole. Such is the "practical," "realistic" and totally cowardly and opportunist reasoning of the reformists.

Mass Struggle Isn't Part of Their "Flexible Tactics"

The Frontline editorial counsels that the new focus should be on particular aspects of the attacks on the immigrants. Here, again, they put on their angel wings and give a list of good things that need to be fought for: "repeal of the employer sanctions"; "suspension of all deportations"; "an end to INS abuse"; etc. Indeed, all expressions of the oppression of the immigrants -- from these major fronts to the apparently petty harassment -- need to be seized on to rally the masses in the immigrants' defense.

The problem is not that Frontline poses the importance of dealing with the particular attacks. The problem is that they counterpose this to the general struggle against Simpson-Rodino and for full rights. They pit one against the other, when what is needed is to combine these two aspects into a mighty fist of mass struggle that can beat back the government offensive against the immigrants.

But here we find a further problem. The Frontline editors skip over the main thing: the mass struggle. When they talk about the need to "zero in on particular aspects" of the attack on the immigrants, they make no connection between this and mobilizing the immigrants and other workers into action. This is because they are totally zeroed in on Congress and legislation.

In turn, this infatuation with Congress is what lies behind their eagerness to break up the struggle into separate, unconnected parts. By scrapping slogans against Simpson-Rodino and chopping up the demands for immigrant rights into small pieces they hope to make the issue more digestible to the capitalist politicians. As well, they hope for greater "tactical flexibility" to jerk the movement in line with the latest wiggle in Democratic Party maneuvers.

Tying the Movement to the Democrats

For instance, the Frontline editorial is most excited about the demand for a suspension of deportations of Central American refugees. One might think that their urgency in this is motivated by particular concerns about the fate of these refugees; the importance of this fight for the struggle against U.S. intervention; or some other high-minded consideration. But nothing of the sort.

They say this issue was "opened up" by El Salvador's President Napoleon Duarte and his recent plea for the U.S. to suspend the deportations because they are placing an economic burden on his death squad regime. This is supposedly giving attention to the legislation for such a suspension that has been sponsored by the liberals Moakley and DiConcini in Congress. So this question is to receive the urgent attention of the movement, not on its own merits, but because it may possibly get to a Congressional committee.

The editorial poses one other consideration in judging tactics. For the reformists there really is something above and beyond pushing legislation for the liberal Democrats. That is Democratic Party electioneering. The Frontline editorial concludes by stressing the importance of the 1988 elections for making the rights of the foreign-born "a legitimate political issue in the U.S."

In other words, maybe the Democratic Party (or at least some of its candidates) can be convinced to put in a hypocritical phrase about the rights of the foreign born in a platform statement. But first we must behave ourselves, demonstrate our "legitimacy" in the eyes of bourgeois opinion, and purge the movement for immigrant rights of nasty "inflexible" demands, such as against Simpson-Rodino and for full rights for the immigrant workers.

Down With Simpson-Rodino! Full Rights to the Immigrant Workers!

Too much damage has already been done by the efforts of the reformists to narrow the fight for immigrant rights to what's acceptable to the capitalist liberals. This is one factor working to diffuse and disorganize the protests against Simpson-Rodino and in defense of the immigrant workers. (For further discussion of the undermining role of reformism see "Working class internationalism and the immigrants," The Workers' Advocate Supplement, May 20, 1987.)

What we need is wide "tactical flexibility," if you will, in order to make use of every outrage, every deportation, every firing in order to press the fight against Simpson-Rodino and all the reactionary steps against the immigrants. We need to link up the fight against all the different forms of humiliation and abuse with the just demand that all workers in this country, native or foreign-born, must enjoy full and equal rights.

With this approach we can build up a militant, cohesive struggle that will not be sidetracked to suit the bourgeois politicking of the liberal Democrats. Such a fighting movement of the working masses can provide the best defense of the immigrant workers. This includes the best possibility of wringing concessions out of the government. Cringing before the capitalist liberals, on the other hand, simply means wringing the life out of the movement.


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Reagan denounced by youth of Berlin

On June 12 Reagan visited Berlin and, as on his visit there five years ago, he was denounced by the German youth.

Beset with low wages and high unemployment and living under the constant threat of a nuclear war between the superpower blocs, the youth of Berlin feel nothing but contempt for this smug imperialist. Just as on Reagan's previous visit, the anti-Reagan demonstrations turned into violent clashes with the police.

There were a couple of differences between this year's demonstrations, though, and those of five years ago.

For one thing, the West Berlin authorities mobilized the largest security force in the history of West Berlin -- 10,000 riot police brought in from all over West Germany. When the youth demonstrated on June 11, they found themselves hemmed in on all sides by masses of armed men. This made it more difficult for the demonstrators to spread their protest through the city.

Social Democrats Sabotaged Anti-Reagan Action

For another thing, the leaders of the official youth groups have lost their enthusiasm for anti-Reagan demonstrations. The June 11 demonstration was endorsed by 150 left-wing and environmentalist groups. But among the main organizations, such as the Social Democratic Party's youth group, there were strong doubts about the value of more anti-Reagan events.

A lead article in the Berlin "alternative" daily Tageszeitung with a radical reputation opposed any demonstrations on the grounds that Reagan has turned over a new leaf and is now negotiating with Gorbachev to remove medium-range missiles from Europe. Imagine that! They actually think that Reagan has changed into some sort of pacifist.

Some Social-Democrats argued that Reagan is now a lame duck president weakened by contragate, and so who cares about him any more?

But these were just excuses to oppose organizing militant protest. Indeed, behind the various flimsy excuses, the main thing feared by the reformist leaders was that a demonstration might bring out tens of thousands of dissatisfied youth eager to express their hatred for the warmongering leader of the NATO alliance.

So these forces did not make a major effort for the anti-Reagan demonstration of June 11, and inside the demonstration the leaders worked to keep the slogans and behavior of the protesters tame and acceptable to the police. Even so, the Berlin youths' hatred for Reagan is such that 24,000 came to the march, and near its end a couple of thousand demonstrators broke off from the main march and directly confronted the police.

By the time Reagan arrived the next day, the Berlin authorities had the city all spruced up -- the glass was swept up, the burnt-out cars hauled away, and a crowd of "Reagan supporters" set in place like extras on a movie lot. For Reagan's speech at the Berlin Wall, U.S. Army authorities hastily mobilized a house painter to whitewash over slogans that had been painted on the Wall by protesters the day before. These included the calls "Against imperialism!," "Reagan go home!" and "Yankees out of Nicaragua!"


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Hi-tech GM plant in Spain hit by strikes

GM thought it had a better idea. Don't build a new auto plant in an urban area with a high concentration of unionized plants. Instead put it out in a semi-rural area, an area with high unemployment where the residents will really appreciate the plant. Thoroughly screen all prospective employees and train them to enjoy working with the latest hi-tech machinery. The result will be a model of modern capitalist management, with docile workers glad to accommodate every whim of the corporation.

Right? Wrong. The workers at GM's new plant in Figueruelas, Spain learned quickly that the modernistic plant staffed with 6,200 workers and hundreds of robots is just a more brightly polished example of the same old capitalist exploitation. Workers call the plant "the golden cage" because of its hi-tech beauty but rotten working conditions. And they have been building a strike movement against these conditions.

For the last three months the workers have been organizing one-day strikes against GM's attempts to extend the workday. There were five such strikes in April, five in May, and seven in June. These stoppages are getting more intense as GM management gets more and more frustrated with its supposedly "docile" work force. On June 4 the striking workers held a rally in the nearby city of Saragossa, where they clashed with the local police.

GM opened the plant in northeast Spain in 1982 with the latest hi-tech machinery. The welding on auto bodies is 90% computer controlled. The plant produces Opel Corsas and Kadetts for the European car market, and since opening GM has pushed production up to 82 cars per hour.

In the process, GM management cut into the workers' lunch time and break times. Workers are also angry about working conditions on the sped-up assembly line and about GM's trampling on job classifications. And since the workers have gotten into motion, they have put forward other demands against GM -- for better sick pay, vacations, etc.

The one-day strikes have badly hurt GM's ability to deliver cars and spare parts to its European dealers on time, and have caused a drastic drop-off of orders.

GM deliberately built its Opel plant in an area of high unemployment. This was also an area dominated by a generally conservative outlook. And the corporation concentrated on hiring young workers -- those with a minimum of experience in the class struggle. Job applicants were subjected to a series of psychological tests designed to weed out militants. And successful applicants were given final training in West Germany for months at a time.

Some of these procedures are being followed by GM at its new Saturn plant in Tennessee. And by other automakers when they set up brand-new plants in far-flung places. The capitalists have all kinds of tricks for weeding out militants and for diverting workers away from struggle.

But capitalism remains capitalism just the same. Nothing can hide the barbarities of exploitation. And workers are inevitably pushed into collective action.


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Shultz blesses death squads in the Philippines

Secretary of State George Shultz paid a visit to the Philippines in mid-June.

Shultz went to pay homage to President Cory Aquino, one of today's brightest stars in the U.S. world empire. Since the Reaganites gave up supporting the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, they are now avid supporters of Aquino and her misnamed "people power" regime.

The Shultz visit came on the heels of Aquino's victory in the May parliamentary elections. She used this victory as an occasion to consolidate her power and reinforce her military push against the leftist insurgents of the New People's Army (NPA). With overwhelming control of the newly-elected parliament, Aquino feels more confident than ever to strengthen ties with the U.S. and widen the war.

For his part, Shultz went to show that U.S. imperialism backs up the Aquino regime in its violent campaign against the Filipino left. And he came right out and declared his support for the right- wing death squads in the Philippines.

Aquino Consolidates 'People Power' Against the Left

The election itself was an occasion for Aquino to mobilize her latest cynical development of "people power" -- the right-wing vigilante groups which are cropping up across the country. These groups are being launched with government and military support to spy on and terrorize the left and its sympathizers.

(For more about them, see the article "In the name of 'People Power' Aquino encourages death squads" in the May 1 Workers' Advocate.)

These groups were used against a coalition called the Alliance for New Politics (ANP) that ran a slate of candidates in the election.

This coalition was made up of activists connected to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and various left mass organizations. In the elections the ANP was the force opposing the Aquino regime from the left, but unfortunately, due to the ideological weaknesses dominating the CPP and the Filipino left, the ANP's politics did not go beyond a militant reformism.

During the election campaign 26 campaign workers for the ANP were murdered, most likely by right-wing vigilantes or the military. And for the election itself, one-third of the nation's precincts, areas in which the ANP was expected to do well, were put under the direct control of the military. The army in turn announced that on the big islands of Mindanao and Negros, which are strongholds of the left, it would utilize vigilante groups to "help protect the ballots."

Not surprisingly, then, the electoral results showed that the ANP did worse than it was widely expected to do.

Shultz Praises Aquino's Militarism

Following her election victory, Aquino felt confident to further step up her war against the NPA. And the U.S. government stood by her side.

On June 11, the U.S. delivered ten new Huey military helicopters to the Philippine army. In a ceremony handing over the helicopters, U.S. officials bragged that the aircraft would "increase troop mobility" for the government's counterinsurgency campaign. The next day President Aquino made a speech denouncing the rebels and threatening, "We will bring the war to them."

When Shultz arrived on June 13, he got right to work praising Aquino's counterinsurgency strategy. Shultz stressed the use of military power to crush the insurgents. Shultz also went out of his way to endorse the right-wing vigilantes.

He argued that the paramilitary groups "are being organized within the framework of government authority. They are not sort of free-floating vigilante groups, and President Aquino has supported that approach and we support what she is standing for." (New York Times, June 17) In other words, since the death squads are government-organized, then everything is fine. So much for the U.S. crusade against state terrorism!

Aquino appreciated the support. One of her main supporters in the new parliament, Ramon Mitra, told reporters that he is confident the U.S. bases will be re-approved when the present agreement expires in 1991.

Death Squads Are Not New for U.S. Imperialism

Of course, in endorsing the death squads, Shultz is actually just endorsing the sort of organizations that the U.S. itself, through its terror network of the CIA and related organizations, is infamous for setting up in Latin America and other countries.

And the hand of the U.S. imperialists shows through in the creation of the Philippine death squads as well. John Singlaub, retired U.S. army general, close comrade of Oliver North and organizer of private aid to the Nicaraguan contras, made a long visit to the Philippines last year just before the public appearance of the vigilante squads. At about the same time Reagan greatly expanded the CIA station operating out of the U.S. embassy in Manila. It should also be noted that Lt. Col. Franco Calida, founder of one of the most murderous vigilante groups, is a professional military man trained by the U.S. Special Forces.

The Aquino government, with full backing from the U.S. imperialists, is going ahead with its plans for full-scale war against the left. This calls for the building up of a strong, revolutionary response by the workers, youth, and poor peasants.

The toilers of the Philippines have a powerful fighting tradition. Today it is more crucial than ever that leftists in the Philippines rid themselves of any remaining illusions in the "people power" regime of Corazon Aquino. And instead of coming up with new dreams of progress through alliance with this or that section of the bourgeoisie, the Filipino left is faced with the task of developing a truly revolutionary policy, a policy based on the class independence of the proletariat and other toilers.

[Photo: George Shultz, adorned with a "Cory doll," meets with Cory Aquino and endorses her plan to use death squads against the people.]


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First issue of Marxist-Leninist journal 'Red Dawn' in Sweden

The Workers' Advocate has just recently received the first issue of the journal Red Dawn from Sweden.

Red Dawn is the work of the comrades of the Communist League of Norrkoping, an organization of Swedish Marxist-Leninists mainly based in the industrial city of Norrkoping.

The comrades of the CLN have roots in the mass movements which rocked Sweden in the late 1960's and 70's. They have been part of the workers' movement, the youth and student movement, and the anti-imperialist and solidarity movements.

Out of their experience, they learned of the treachery of social-democracy and revisionism and gravitated towards revolution and Marxism-Leninism. They were involved in several efforts by Swedish leftists to break with revisionism and rebuild a genuine communist party. But the main leaderships of these parties refused to make a serious break with revisionist ideas and practices.

Most recently, the comrades of the CLN were active in the building of the the Communist Party of Sweden (KPS), which came out against both Soviet and Chinese revisionism. But soon these comrades, because of their revolutionary instincts, became profoundly dissatisfied with certain problems in the international Marxist-Leninist movement and tried to raise these issues for discussion inside the KPS. One of the main issues they were disturbed about was the support given by the Party of Labor of Albania and several other parties to the murderous Khomeini regime in Iran.

But the KPS leadership refused to deal with these burning issues and they forced out the left current. It may be noted that the KPS is one of those centrist parties which has in the past internally acknowledged discomfort with certain international stands of the PLA but refuses to allow any discussion of these questions among the communist rank-and-file. Instead it believes in behind-the-scenes intrigue.

The left current regrouped as the Communist League of Norrkoping. However, not only were they faced with harsh pressure and ostracism by the leaders of the KPS, but the CLN was formed at a time of decline in the mass movements and when liquidationist views have been running rampant through the Swedish left. The Swedish comrades have faced a difficult situation in their struggle to organize a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist current.

The comrades of the CLN plan to put out Red Dawn several times a year. For the moment, it is to have a mainly theoretical character.

The first issue of Red Dawn contains an article on "Comintern, Cominform and Modern Revisionism." It goes into the historical evolution in line that preceded the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956. It discusses the reasons behind the creation of the Communist International in 1919. It compares the Cl's general line in its first 15 years with changes that took place in the mid-30's, manifested at the 7th World Congress in 1935. It shows that the capitulation- by the communist parties before western imperialism and the bourgeoisie at the end of World War II in France, Italy, Greece, etc. was the logical culmination of the line launched by the 7th Congress.

This issue of Red Dawn also carries articles about the struggle of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists and introducing the Communist Organization -- Workers' Policy of Portugal. It also reprints the article "Who should decide the controversies in the international Marxist-Leninist movement? Silent stagnation or rank-and-file discussion," from The Workers' Advocate of October 1,1986.

The Workers' Advocate welcomes the publication of Red Dawn and looks forward to its future editions. We reprint below the introductory article from Red Dawn, No. 1. It was translated by comrades of CLN and polished by The Workers' Advocate staff.

* * *

Since a hundred years ago, May Day has been a day of solemnity for the international working class. It has been the day when workers all over the world have gone out on the streets and squares to show their hatred against the capitalist system, their desire to struggle for a better world without exploitation and oppression, and to celebrate the victories in the struggle of the class.

May Day is the day of socialism and international solidarity.

May Day is also a day when one can obviously see and hear the hypocritical demagogy of the fifth columns of the bourgeoisie inside the working class movement, the reformists and revisionists of all hues, who the bourgeoisie uses to mask itself with.

Look at the demonstration of the social-democratic SAP! [This is the ruling party in Sweden.] It's a reformist demonstration. The SAP is the loyal defender of capitalism. Its policy has never done anything of harm to capitalism. On the contrary, they have done everything to keep this system running, off which their leaders live so well. They have taken upon themselves the responsibility to keep down the struggle of the working class.

Or look at the demonstration of the VPK, KPML(r) and other small "left" parties! They stand for a revisionist policy, i.e. they act under a communist cover but after all give their support to social-democracy. They see nationalizations as a solution for the crisis and even as a step towards socialism. They restrict the struggle to a few cents more an hour and parliamentary vote-bartering deals. And they drag socialism in the mud by putting forward the Soviet Union as socialist.

No, the liberation of the proletariat must be its own work. There are several obstacles, because the class enemy is skillful. The main obstacle today is the fact that there is no genuine communist party in our country which is able to organize and lead the independent movement of the working class. And such a party has not existed since half a century ago, when the old Communist Party retreated before the pressure of the bourgeoisie and began to subordinate itself to social-democracy in the name of the "popular front." All efforts since that time to reconstruct a communist party have failed. That is because none of the several breaks with the revisionist currents has gone deeply and really led to the uprooting of revisionism.

The Communist League of Norrkoping is a small organization. We cannot put as our immediate task to reconstruct the party. That would be worthless since we have not "distilled" our orthodox Marxism-Leninism and through scientific analysis worked out a strategy and tactics for its implementation in Swedish conditions. This demands a more careful and deeper break with revisionism than all the earlier breaks since 1956 altogether! But it has to be done, because on this depends the survival of the revolutionary left!

[Address.]

*Two revisionist parties in Sweden. VPK is the "Eurocommunist" party. This is the biggest revisionist party and has representation in parliament. It collaborates very closely with the social-democrats. The KPML(r) is a "militant" phrasemongering party which claims to be adherents of Stalin and strongly supports the Soviet Union.


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The Korean masses, not the liberals, are the force against tyranny

Tyranny does not disappear by its own goodwill. It has to be uprooted. Today the masses in South Korea are showing again that the real force against despotism is the power of militant, mass action.

But militancy in the struggle isn't the common stand of all in the Korean opposition; it is the product of a struggle of political trends. From the news media, you'd get the impression that everyone in the opposition in South Korea is fighting for the same thing. But in fact, there are two major forces within the opposition.

Radical Activists Versus Liberal Politicians

On the one hand there are the Kim Dae Jungs and Kim Young Sams. These are bourgeois liberal politicians. They preach moderation, peaceful protest, and sitting down with the dictator to discuss constitutional reform.

And then there are the militant fighters on the streets. These are mainly radical activists, in large part college students, who urge the overthrow of the dictatorship first, and filling in the details on the new regime later.

The bourgeois liberals are looking for careers in the National Assembly and hope to be part of the next government. They want to preserve much of the institutions of the present regime; they want to maintain close ties with U.S. imperialism; and they do not question the basic social order in South Korea.

The radicals, on the other hand, are working for the destruction of the repressive machinery of the government and the expulsion of U.S. troops from Korea. Many among them also want to improve the conditions of the Korean workers.

These differences lead to a difference in tactics over how to oppose the dictatorship. The liberals preach constitutional negotiations and getting U.S. support behind them as the answer to the crisis in South Korea. The radicals, on the other hand, advocate mass action as the way to push forward the movement. As the mass demonstrations have grown, it is the radicals who have led the masses in fighting the forces of the dictatorship.

Liberals Try to Make a Comeback

The difference between the two trends became sharper this spring as the liberals went into a tailspin after Chun cut off constitutional negotiations with them on April 10. This meant a dead end for their reformist scheme. Taking advantage of this crisis, the radicals came forward as the active elements in May when they commemorated the 1980 Kwangju uprising with militant demonstrations.

The liberals tried to make a comeback with a demonstration planned for June 10. This was the day on which Chun announced that his party would name a presidential successor to him. The liberals announced they would hold a protest demonstration on the same day, and they formed a broad coalition to organize it.

This National Coalition for a Democratic Constitution was a loose network of politicians led by Kim Young Sam and Kim Dae Jung, the leaders of the major opposition party. It also included trade union leaders and clergymen. And it also included some student groups.

Radicals Use Hit-and-Run Tactics to Dominate the Streets

But the June 10 demonstration turned into another victory for the radicals, who went into it for the purpose of turning it into a militant action. And for the first time in years, the radicals were able to avoid simply being arrested or dispersed in the streets of Seoul.

Thousands of radical students showed up for the day's demonstrations armed with rocks and firebombs ready to confront Chun's riot police with small- group tactics. The students used hit- and-run tactics that kept the police running all over the city. When police surrounded groups of students and pelted them with tear gas, the students would melt away and then regroup on some other street. And when students found themselves superior in force to the police, they overwhelmed the police and stripped them of their riot gear. Fierce hand-to-hand fighting took place in some locations.

With these tactics the radicals disrupted central Seoul for over five hours. Similar demonstrations were also held in Pusan, Kwangju, and other cities.

The Cathedral Sit-In

The radicals followed this up the next day with another innovative action. Hundreds of students occupied the Myongdong Cathedral, the center of Roman Catholicism in Korea. They used this strategic spot in the center of the capital to give speeches denouncing the dictatorship, to call for and organize mass actions, and to serve as a rallying center for the masses' hatred of the regime.

This threw the regime into a quandary. They couldn't stand to have a continuous anti-government demonstration going on in the middle of Seoul. On the other hand, the students were entrenched behind barricades and could not easily be dislodged. To force them out the government would have to launch a violent attack on the cathedral, which could mean difficulties with the influential Catholic community. While the government hesitated, groups of priests and nuns came out to show their support for the students, delivering food to them, etc.

The government brought up thousands of riot police and laid siege to the cathedral. But the students merely dug in deeper. During the day marches of thousands tried to break through police lines from the outside to lift the siege. During these attempts huge battles took place outside the cathedral.

At night the cathedral became the rallying point for the liberals. They organized candlelight vigils for democracy at which thousands prayed and sang. But despite the moderate nature of these events, they too came into conflict with the riot police. Thousands of people learned firsthand what it meant to be tear gassed, to be pushed and clubbed by Chun's thugs. And inevitably the masses fought back.

Thus, in the street actions the radicals' leadership again stood out. It was the militants who developed ways to bring the anti-government demonstrations into downtown Seoul. It was the radicals' seizure of the cathedral that galvanized heretofore passive sections of the people into action. Defense of the besieged students became a focal point for all those fed up with the Chun regime.

The Cardinal Cuts a Deal With Chun

At this point the church hierarchy stepped in to prevent the students', support from growing wider. Not wanting the church to be the center of a burgeoning protest movement, Cardinal Southwan Kim, head of the country's Roman Catholics, made a deal with the regime: the government would allow the students to leave the cathedral, and the church would make sure they left. Late on the night of June 14, the thousands of riot police ringing the cathedral suddenly withdrew, leaving the way open for the students to leave.

At first the students refused to go. Their leaders explained, "Safe passage is not our goal. Our goal is to overthrow the government.'' But church officials convinced them that the church would no longer give them any formal right of sanctuary.

So the students left the cathedral on June 15. But the students maintained their honor in withdrawing. They held a rally before leaving at which several students cut their hands and wrote in blood on a large paper banner, "Down with the dictatorship'' and "Oust the Americans.'' The students were taken in buses to the campus of Yonsei University in Seoul.

Later that same day a number of police were injured when they tried to suppress protesting students at Yonsei University, and tens of thousands of students protested on other campuses throughout the country.

The Crisis Deepens Farther

The government hoped that the end of the siege at Myongdong Cathedral would mean the end of the protests. But the next week the protests grew even stronger, more militant, and more widespread.

In Pusan, 10,000 people took over downtown streets the night of June 15. Then on June 16 demonstrators launched repeated assaults on the U.S. consulate, forcing employees to evacuate the building.

In Chinju, protesters burned four police sentry posts on June 16. Seven armored police cars were burned in the city of Taejon. And in Chonan protesters attacked a police station and destroyed a tear gas truck with firebombs.

On June 17 Chun closed all university campuses in Korea. But that did not stop the protests. In Pusan thousands of demonstrators battled police with barrages of rocks and gasoline bombs, seized a public building and held it against police assaults.

Anti-Tear Gas Day

On June 18 thousands of ordinary citizens in all the major cities held an Anti-Tear Gas Day to protest the government's use of tear gas to disperse demonstrators. Since June 10 riot police had fired so much tear gas in Seoul that the city's trees were wilting. A perpetual haze of gas hung over the city night and day.

True to form, Chun's police attacked the peaceful protests with tear gas. This outrage spurred the movement to renewed energy. Tens of thousands of protesters poured into downtown Seoul and seized the center of the city. When the riot police attacked, the protesters were so numerous and so aroused that often they turned the table on the police, surrounding them and forcing them to surrender.

The Government Tries to Undermine the Protests

After this militant display, the government began making sounds of conciliation. Government spokesmen began issuing statements saying the regime was ready to make concessions, to renew constitutional negotiations or grant some democratic reforms.

The attempt worked on the liberals. These statements had the effect of dampening the actions called by the liberals. The candlelight vigils, prayer sessions, and peaceful protests died out. Kim Young Sam, who had announced he would organize the biggest demonstration ever on June 26, now announced he was willing to cancel the protest if government leaders would meet with him.

But the radicals continued their actions. Fierce fighting with the police continued, especially in Pusan, where on June 21 demonstrators burned four police sentry posts. Keeping up the pressure in this way was a crucial step, at a time when the liberals were capitulating to the government's blandishments.

Kim Meets With Chun...

Finally, on June 22, dictator Chun made the formal offer to meet with opposition leader Kim Young Sam. The Korean and American bourgeoisie heaved a sigh of relief, hoping that now there would be a way to end the mass movement.

Kim said he was canceling the June 26 demonstration. To keep up some militant face, though, he set two conditions on the meeting: Chun would have to release all protesters detained since June 10, and would have to release Kim Dae Jung from house arrest. But when Chun did not meet these conditions, Kim went ahead with the meeting anyway, saying the release of the detainees was "just a formality." Chun later released Kim Dae Jung, but not completely, as events a few days later showed.

...But Comes Away With Nothing

The bourgeoisie's hopes were dashed by the Kim-Chun meeting. The only "concession" Chun would make was to allow discussion of possible constitutional revision to take place in the National Assembly. This meant to allow the talkshop parliament, which is powerless and in any case dominated by Chun's party, to take up a discussion on which it had already spent a year and got nowhere. Chun would not allow any deviation from the schedule of presidential succession; he would not consider making any democratic reforms immediately; and he would not even agree to the liberals' plea for direct talks between himself and the opposition.

The liberals tried to salvage something from the meeting by saying it was a victory just to get Chun to sit down and talk with the opposition. But Kim knew he had gotten nothing. He came out of the meeting and had to announce that he was re-endorsing the June 26 demonstration.

The Radicals Keep the Ball Rolling

Fortunately there was still a demonstration to endorse. This was because the student radicals had refused to be swept along with Kim's enthusiasm for meeting Chun. They had insisted that the demonstration of June 26 be held regardless of how the meeting turned out. While Kim was eating lunch in the dictator's Blue House, the students were holding a meeting of 20,000 in an outdoor amphitheater to plan the protest.

When the demonstration began on June 26, the police quickly scooped up the two Kims and their close followers and took them home. That was the end of the liberals' attempt at leading the protest. But it was only the beginning for the radicals. In scenes reminiscent of June 10, huge battles took place in all the cities of South Korea.

The Liberals Must Not Be Allowed to Steal the Fruits of the Struggle!

The evolution of the movement against the Chun dictatorship in recent months drives home a few lessons. It shows that liberal schemes of dialogue with Chun go nowhere, while it is the fighting masses on the streets led by the radicals who are shaking the regime.

All efforts to do away with the street actions -- whether by the police repression or by talk of concessions -- have so far failed. As we go to press, the militant demonstrations continue to rock South Korea.

But while the radicals have successfully put a militant stamp on the struggle against the dictatorship, they face the task of better differentiating from the liberals what the goal of the struggle against Chun should be. To build the movement independent of the liberals, the radicals have to work hard to mobilize the workers into the struggle and they have to agitate even stronger for a revolution and for a revolutionary power to replace the Chun regime with.

Otherwise, should Chun fall, it is the liberals who would take advantage of the vagueness in the consciousness of the masses about what Chun should be replaced with. While the masses do the actual fighting and sacrificing, it is the liberals who would end up reaping the fruits of the struggle.

That would not be the best outcome for all the energy that is being displayed in the current struggle. What South Korea needs after tyranny is not a liberal capitalist order, but a revolutionary democratic order.

South Korea is a developed industrial country today. From the economic standpoint, the country is clearly ready for a socialist revolution. But the working class is nowhere near prepared for this. There is very little by way of working class organization and the Korean workers have not had much experience in organizing their class struggle. Under these conditions, the most favorable outcome for the working class from the present struggle against tyranny would be a revolutionary-democratic system. This would provide the best conditions for the flourishing of the class struggle and for the independent organization of the working class. And the development of the class struggle would set the socialist revolution on the agenda.

[Photo: Demonstrators overwhelm police and hold them captive in Seoul.]


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Liberals whine, Reagan squirms, and Chun keeps U.S. support

The liberal politicians and press in the U.S. are making noises that Washington must support democratic reform in South Korea.

But where has been their concern over the last 40 years? Tyranny in South Korea didn't just spring up last month. The U.S. government has dominated South Korea ever since the end of World War II. It fought a bloody war in the early 50's to defend this domination. There are still tens of thousands of U.S. troops there and many U.S. bases. There is a tight all-round alliance between Washington and the regime in Seoul. And what has been the result of this U.S. presence?

South Korea has been under the thumb of one dictatorship after another. The Chun regime is just the latest tyranny that is backed up by U.S. power. And U.S. support for dictatorship has gone on, no matter whether Democrats or Republicans were in the White House.

But today the liberals look at South Korea and claim to see something odd, even contradictory. How can it be, they say, that a country created and protected by the United States can be so undemocratic?

A glance around the world is enough to see that there is no contradiction at all. The U.S. is one of the principal backers of tyranny and despotism.

What the American liberals are worried about is not the oppression suffered by the Korean people. No, what they fear are the mass actions that keep going on. They worry that these demonstrations may bring about a mass uprising and shatter U.S.-backed capitalist stability in South Korea.

Liberals Push Reagan to "Be Active"

This is what lies behind all the liberal complaints about Reagan not being "active enough'' about the crisis in Korea. As the masses kept fire-bombing policemen in Seoul, Pusan, and other cities, the American liberals cried out that Reagan was not paying enough attention to Korea. The liberals want Reagan to pressure Chun for a few reforms that could quiet down the mass protests.

The Reaganites, die-hard reactionaries that they are, were first somewhat befuddled by this. They tried to pass it off by saying that the issue of democratic reforms was strictly an "internal matter'' for South Korea. But the huge demonstrations continued, and the liberals reminded the Reaganites that South Korea has "close ties'' with the U.S.

Secretary of State Shultz then tried to shift blame for the crisis to the Korean liberals, saying they were intransigent in negotiations. And other spokesmen tried to lay the blame for violence on the masses, saying the U.S. regretted the violence of "both sides.''

These were typical Reaganite gaffes, reminiscent of when Reagan blamed "both sides'' for vote fraud in the Filipino election campaign of Corazon Aquino against Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

In Korea, it is no secret that it was the dictator Chun who spurned negotiations with the liberals, and it does not take a sage to see that it was his police that came down against even the mildest forms of public protest in the streets of South Korea.

Reaganites Begin to Shift

So the liberals kept up their agitation for Reagan to "do something.'' Liberals in Congress like Sen. Ted Kennedy CD- Mass) began proposing bills that called for democratic reforms in South Korea. And Rep. Stephen Solarz (D-NY), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Far East, insisted that the U.S. support the Korean liberals' demand for resumption of constitutional negotiations.

For months the Reagan administration had been echoing Chun's call for making "stability'' a priority over democratic reforms. But under pressure from the Democrats, after a week of intense demonstrations in South Korea, the administration began to shift its stand. The White House announced that Reagan had sent a letter to Chun urging some vague democratic reforms.

This is similar to how the Reaganites, faced with growing unrest in the Philippines and under pressure from the Democrats, finally began to wake up to the need to cut loose from Marcos.

And to show that he was paying attention, Reagan sent a special envoy to Korea to investigate.

Reagan's Special Envoy: A Bagman for the Nicaraguan Contras

Reagan's special investigator was Gaston Joseph Sigur, a long-time State Department flunky and Reagan loyalist. Sigur isn't even a particularly prominent bourgeois diplomat. His main notoriety has come from the contragate hearings, where he received notice as one of Oliver North's minions. North sent him to Taiwan and China to solicit funds for the Nicaraguan contras. But liberal Congressman Solarz described Sigur as "a voice for prudent policy'' who is "moving in the right direction.'' (New York Times, June 24)

When first appointed, Sigur said he had no idea what he was supposed to do in Korea, and did not know if he would be meeting with opposition politicians. But Solarz got on his high horse and insisted this was absolutely necessary. So in Korea Sigur did make a highly publicized visit to Kim Dae Jung.

Kim was pleased as punch to receive this visit from the U.S. imperialist emissary. He told Sigur that the U.S. should come out openly in favor of democratic reforms. But after the meeting, and despite the continuing demonstrations, the U.S. still refused to specifically endorse any reforms. The most that the Reagan administration will so far say is that it supports continued discussion between Chun and the liberal opposition figures.

Reagan Stands Tall for U.S. Imperialism

But this is precisely the position of Chun himself. No wonder then that Sigur insists that "democratization'' is already "underway'' in Korea.

Unwilling to grant any concessions, Chun is trying to stall the opposition by calling for more discussion with the liberals and for debate in the National Assembly. Meanwhile, Chun and his cohorts remain in power.

So while the pro-U.S. Korean liberals work so hard to sell out the mass struggle, the Reagan administration still refuses to help them into a share of power. This may change, if the movement continues to develop, but so far Reagan does not want to abandon.the policy of 40 years of support for dictatorship.

It is possible the U.S. could repeat the policy shift that it carried out with respect to Marcos in the Philippines. But so far it is inclined not to. And the bourgeois editors never tire of pointing out that there is allegedly no parallel with the situation in the Philippines. Marcos was corrupt and his economy was falling apart, they say, but as for South Korean dictatorship, they have not tired of words of praise.

[Photo: Seoul riot police beat a hasty retreat.]


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The Chun regime--a fierce dictatorship

Chun Doo Hwan came to power as the champion of militarist reaction to suppress the masses. In May 1980 a rebellion in Kwangju succeeded in liberating the city from military occupation for a few days. Chun was the general who stamped out the rebellion with army paratroopers, killing hundreds. Chun had himself named president later that year.

Recent events have shown time and again the lack of elementary freedoms in South Korea. Political opposition is repressed. Opponents of the regime are jailed, beaten and tortured. The press is muzzled. Any group that forms on a street is subject to being tear gassed.

Formally, the people have the right to vote, but it is a sham. The citizens of South Korea cannot directly vote for government leaders. The president is chosen by a rigged electoral college which is stacked in favor of the ruling Democratic Justice Party.

As well, Chun's regime has continued the long-standing policy of South Korean dictatorships of fierce anti-communism. To be caught reading Marxist literature in South Korea is to be subject to arrest for treason.

Paradise for the Capitalists, Hell for the Workers

Nearly everyone admits that the South Korean regime is not a democracy. But, many in the bourgeois media say, South Korea is an economic miracle. So why knock success?

There has indeed been rapid capitalist development in recent decades. And yes, South Korea is prosperous -- for the capitalists. A whole new breed of South Korean millionaires has emerged in the last decade.

But the paradise for the exploiters is based on the sweat and toil of the South Korean workers. Under rigid discipline, at extremely low wages, the South Korean workers are forced to slave away at a work week that is among the world's longest -- 63 hours for the average industrial worker.

Organizing against these conditions is difficult under the Chun dictatorship. The state severely represses any working class political action. Trade unions are illegal except for officially sanctioned government unions, which do not oppose the employers. Work places and labor unions are staffed with spies. Militants are regularly singled out, beat up and thrown out of the work places.

Strikes are illegal except in extremely rare cases -- only a couple of strikes have been declared legal since Chun took power -- and the police don't hesitate to attack illegal picket lines. Some workers languish in jail for years, subjected to torture, after daring to go on strike.

A Garrison State

South Korea is one of the most militarized countries on earth. Universal conscription is used to maintain a huge standing army, and Chun maintains a force of riot police 200,000 strong to suppress dissent. South Korean dictators have become notorious for building police bureaucracies that ape those of the U.S. terror network. For example, they organized their own Korean CIA and Korean Special Forces. South Korea was a major supporter of U.S. imperialism's war of aggression in Viet Nam.

One of the most prominent members of the military establishment is Roh Tae Woo, the man Chun has chosen to succeed himself as president. Roh graduated with Chun from the Korean Military Academy in 1955. They served together in Viet Nam. When Chun made his bid for power, Roh provided the crucial force by sending his infantry division into Seoul. In the Chun government Roh has headed up the Defense Security Command, the network responsible for political surveillance, as well as other ministerial posts.

Down With the Dictatorship!

The Korean masses are fed up with generals and dictators. They yearn for democracy. But the Chun regime will not fall of its own accord. It is held in place by the South Korean bourgeoisie and U.S. imperialists, who depend on the regime to keep a tight hold on the toilers.

The street demonstrations have shaken up the South Korean bourgeoisie and the U.S. ruling class. They want to stop the mass movement, but they do not want to give up the dictatorship just yet. And in case things keep getting hotter, they are trying to work out a deal through which the liberals get some privileges.

But a deal between Chun, the U.S., and the liberals isn't what the masses are fighting for. There can be no real achievement of democratic rights so long as the bloated militarist and repressive apparatus is not broken.

For that, it is necessary that the Chun regime be overthrown by the revolutionary struggle of the masses. For that, it is necessary to establish a revolutionary power.

Overthrow the Chun dictatorship!

U.S. imperialism, get out of Korea!

Support the struggle of the South Korean people!


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How the reformists undermine the fight for immigrant rights

'Line of March' retreats in the face of Simpson-Rodino

The editors of the reformist paper Frontline are giving the allegedly inflexible left another lesson on "tactical flexibility." This time the issue is immigrant rights and the struggle against the new anti-immigrant Simpson-Rodino law.

Like other reformist forces, Frontline is advocating a policy of narrowing down the fight for immigrant rights to make it more acceptable to the Democratic Party liberals. Although unlike some others, Frontline tries to give militant-sounding arguments for this cringing policy. (Frontline is put out by Line of March, a self-styled "Marxist-Leninist" group which is actually pro-Soviet revisionist.)

The Frontline editors pose as angels who stand for all types of good things. In their May 11 editorial, they condemn Simpson-Rodino and the whole "body of immigration law which is already racist, repressive and unjust." And they assure the reader that they stand for the defense of all immigrants and for "the long-term goal set at full and equal rights."

But this is puff. The real message of their editorial is that to target Simpson-Rodino is "mechanical and tactically ineffective." They argue that instead what is needed is "flexibility," focusing on "particular abuses" against the immigrants. The Frontline people, however, aren't in favor of the mass struggle on these issues either. As we shall see, their idea of "flexibility" only means binding the movement into a rigid lock-step with Democratic Party politicking.

How is Fighting Simpson-Rodino "Tactically Ineffective"?

For a decade, conscious workers, immigrants, and progressive activists had been fighting the plans for a sweeping racist and anti-worker immigration reform. Since this reform (Simpson-Rodino) became law last November, immigrant communities have responded with shock, outrage and protests. On May 5, the day the law came into force, thousands of people across the country marched to denounce Simpson-Rodino.

Nonetheless, a number of reformist elements, Frontline/Line of March included, were noticeably unenthusiastic for these protests. Frontline's May 11 editorial helps to explain why.

In making their case, they are forced to give a nod to the years of struggle against Simpson-Rodino. "The unifying stand of total opposition to Simpson-Rodino," Frontline concedes, "has long served to bring together the most progressive forces in the immigrant and refugee rights front." But now with the law coming into force, they argue, this "stand of total opposition to Simpson-Rodino" has become counterproductive; the movement must now focus on "specific campaigns" against the particular abuses against immigrants.

It may appear hard to understand where they are coming from with this. They admit that the new law is "thoroughly flawed" and repressive against all immigrants. As for the potential for struggle against it, the week before the date of their editorial witnessed some of the most widespread protests yet against Simpson-Rodino. Surely the agitation now has to reflect that the law is being implemented, But that doesn't mean reconciling to this police-state measure and dropping the appeals against it.

In any case, the Frontline people have something else in mind. They have come to the conclusion that appeals against Simpson-Rodino just won't play well in Washington. The new law passed Congress "in a fairly decisive manner," they reason and therefore: "the new demand articulated by some forces on the left -- the immediate repeal of Simpson-Rodino -- is a mechanical and tactically ineffective response to a much more complicated political situation."

What a sham! First they perform a sleight of hand. They attribute to unnamed "forces of the left" the demand for "immediate repeal" of the new law. Apparently, this is supposed to be a biting rebuke of infantile and impatient leftists who fail to recognize that prospects in Congress for its appeal are not good -- why, debate on such a thing is not even on the Congressional calendar! But with this rebuke, Frontline is only showing its slave-like attitude towards the reactionary Congress.

The issue is not "immediate repeal." The issue is: are you for or against building the struggle (protests, agitation, etc.) directed against this police- state law that is now coming down on the immigrant communities? And Frontline's answer is no, such a struggle is "tactically ineffective." After all, in the present "complicated political situation," none of their Democratic heroes in Congress will touch this demand with a ten-foot pole. Such is the "practical," "realistic" and totally cowardly and opportunist reasoning of the reformists.

Mass Struggle Isn't Part of Their "Flexible Tactics"

The Frontline editorial counsels that the new focus should be on particular aspects of the attacks on the immigrants. Here, again, they put on their angel wings and give a list of good things that need to be fought for: "repeal of the employer sanctions"; "suspension of all deportations"; "an end to INS abuse"; etc. Indeed, all expressions of the oppression of the immigrants -- from these major fronts to the apparently petty harassment -- need to be seized on to rally the masses in the immigrants' defense.

The problem is not that Frontline poses the importance of dealing with the particular attacks. The problem is that they counterpose this to the general struggle against Simpson-Rodino and for full rights. They pit one against the other, when what is needed is to combine these two aspects into a mighty fist of mass struggle that can beat back the government offensive against the immigrants.

But here we find a further problem. The Frontline editors skip over the main thing: the mass struggle. When they talk about the need to "zero in on particular aspects" of the attack on the immigrants, they make no connection between this and mobilizing the immigrants and other workers into action. This is because they are totally zeroed in on Congress and legislation.

In turn, this infatuation with Congress is what lies behind their eagerness to break up the struggle into separate, unconnected parts. By scrapping slogans against Simpson-Rodino and chopping up the demands for immigrant rights into small pieces they hope to make the issue more digestible to the capitalist politicians. As well, they hope for greater "tactical flexibility" to jerk the movement in line with the latest wiggle in Democratic Party maneuvers.

Tying the Movement to the Democrats

For instance, the Frontline editorial is most excited about the demand for a suspension of deportations of Central American refugees. One might think that their urgency in this is motivated by particular concerns about the fate of these refugees; the importance of this fight for the struggle against U.S. intervention; or some other high-minded consideration. But nothing of the sort.

They say this issue was "opened up" by El Salvador's President Napoleon Duarte and his recent plea for the U.S. to suspend the deportations because they are placing an economic burden on his death squad regime. This is supposedly giving attention to the legislation for such a suspension that has been sponsored by the liberals Moakley and DiConcini in Congress. So this question is to receive the urgent attention of the movement, not on its own merits, but because it may possibly get to a Congressional committee.

The editorial poses one other consideration in judging tactics. For the reformists there really is something above and beyond pushing legislation for the liberal Democrats. That is Democratic Party electioneering. The Frontline editorial concludes by stressing the importance of the 1988 elections for making the rights of the foreign-born "a legitimate political issue in the U.S."

In other words, maybe the Democratic Party (or at least some of its candidates) can be convinced to put in a hypocritical phrase about the rights of the foreign born in a platform statement. But first we must behave ourselves, demonstrate our "legitimacy" in the eyes of bourgeois opinion, and purge the movement for immigrant rights of nasty "inflexible" demands, such as against Simpson-Rodino and for full rights for the immigrant workers.

Down With Simpson-Rodino! Full Rights to the Immigrant Workers!

Too much damage has already been done by the efforts of the reformists to narrow the fight for immigrant rights to what's acceptable to the capitalist liberals. This is one factor working to diffuse and disorganize the protests against Simpson-Rodino and in defense of the immigrant workers. (For further discussion of the undermining role of reformism see "Working class internationalism and the immigrants," The Workers' Advocate Supplement, May 20, 1987.)

What we need is wide "tactical flexibility," if you will, in order to make use of every outrage, every deportation, every firing in order to press the fight against Simpson-Rodino and all the reactionary steps against the immigrants. We need to link up the fight against all the different forms of humiliation and abuse with the just demand that all workers in this country, native or foreign-born, must enjoy full and equal rights.

With this approach we can build up a militant, cohesive struggle that will not be sidetracked to suit the bourgeois politicking of the liberal Democrats. Such a fighting movement of the working masses can provide the best defense of the immigrant workers. This includes the best possibility of wringing concessions out of the government. Cringing before the capitalist liberals, on the other hand, simply means wringing the life out of the movement.


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