The Workers' Advocate

Vol. 18, No. 1


25¢ January 1, 1988

[Front page:

Israeli zionism is apartheid-style racism--Salute the brave youth of Palestine!;

U.S. out of Central America - no matter what Arias says;

New Year's Editorial--Socialism and the working class]


Campus anti-CIA struggles........................................................................................... 2
Democrats' New Year's resolution................................................................................ 2

Down with Racism!

Howard Beach verdict and protests; Koch cries "reverse discrimination"; Upstate NY actions..................................................................................................................... 3
NYC cops invade grade school; Protests vs. racist talk show; Anti-Klan march in Glendale, Calif.............................................................................................................. 14
The myth about Harold Washington............................................................................. 15

Strikes and Workplace News

Cutbacks mean new concessions for postal workers; Tugboat workers fight 24-hour days; Support rally for IP strikers; Detroit Chrysler workers....................................... 4
New England rail strike; Coal miners rally................................................................... 5

New York homeless shout: Make the rich pay!............................................................ 5
Homeless fight MIT greed............................................................................................ 5

Down with U.S.-Backed Tyranny in Haiti!

Protests vs. election murders; Namphy's election farce; Reagan supports army rule; Liberals want U.S. occupation...................................................................................... 6,7

Apartheid No! Revolution Yes!

Black soldiers and police mutiny; News from townships............................................. 7

Support the Palestinian Struggle!

Israel: apartheid in Middle East..................................................................................... 8
Reagan embarrassed by Israeli brutality........................................................................ 8
What sparked the upsurge.............................................................................................. 9
Who's leading the demonstrations................................................................................. 9

U.S. Imperialism Out of Central America!

Reformism undermines Salvadoran struggle................................................................ 10
Democrats vote more contra aid; Death-squad murder in El Salvador......................... 11
Revisionism and Arias plan........................................................................................... 12

"Perestroika": Gorbachev against the class struggle..................................................... 13

Greetings from Portuguese Marxist-Leninists.............................................................. 14

Meetings celebrate 1917 Russian revolution................................................................ 16
Funds raised for roof for Nicaraguan workers' hall...................................................... 16

Israeli zionism is apartheid-style racism

Salute the brave youth of Palestine!

U.S. out of Central America - no matter what Arias says

New Year's Editorial

Socialism and the working class

Students demand 'CIA Out!'

CIA --Tool of imperialism

Democrats' New Year's resolution: 'Congress and President, working together'


Strikes and workplace news

New York homeless declare...'Make the rich pay!'

Homeless fight MIT greed

Demonstrators condemn Nov. 29 election massacre in Haiti

Namphy's election farce means dictatorship

Liberal Democrats want military occupation in Haiti

[Photo-graphic: Apartheid no! Revolution yes!]

Israeli zionism is apartheid rule in the Middle East

'Big Brother' Reagan embarrassed by Israeli brutality

What sparked the upsurge in the West Bank and Gaza?

Reformist PLO leaders trail behind events

Who's leading the demonstrations?

Ungo and Zamora seek a way out of the struggle in El Salvador

Reformism undermines the revolutionary movement

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

On the book "Perestroika":

Gorbachev against the class struggle

Greetings from the Communist Organization "Workers' Policy" of Portugal

Harold Washington: fighter for the black people or the black elite?

Meetings celebrate 70th anniversary of socialist revolution in Russia

Workers and activists raise funds for a roof for a Nicaraguan workers' hall

"Raise a Roof' --a song

Israeli zionism is apartheid-style racism

Salute the brave youth of Palestine!

In December the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip rose up in an upsurge of anti-zionist struggle. This is the biggest mass upsurge by the Palestinians in years. It signals that even after 20 years of occupation, the Palestinian people are defiant against the Israeli policy of occupation and suppression. The yearning for liberation burns strong in the hearts of the Palestinians, young and old.

After two weeks of intense battles in the streets of the West Bank and Gaza, the Israeli army was able to cool things down during the last week of December. But only after a brutal display of military force. After more than 20 Palestinians were gunned down. After more than a thousand youth were seized and put in prison camps.

But on the first day of the new year, the struggle flared up once again. Roadblocks of burning tires were back on the streets of the West Bank. Young people were back standing up to tanks and armored cars with stones. Funeral processions for the martyrs of December were displays of defiant resistance.

In the front ranks of the current uprising are the heroic Palestinian youths who confront Israeli troops with nothing but stones or homemade fire-bombs. Thousands and thousands of students, unemployed youths, and young workers have come pouring into the streets of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to demonstrate their hatred of the Zionists. They face heavily armed Israeli troops backed up by tanks and armored vehicles. The Palestinians do not hesitate against these odds, even when the Israeli soldiers open fire on them with live ammunition.

The mass upsurge in the occupied territories of 1967 has been greeted with support from Palestinians elsewhere too. Inside Israel itself, a general strike of Palestinian workers shut down many enterprises throughout the country on December 7. Large, militant demonstrations of Palestinians and their supporters took place in Lebanon, Syria and other Arab countries. There were also actions in their support in many other countries, including the U.S.

Repression Shows the True Face of Zionism

The brutal repression of demonstrations by Israeli troops has been another big exposure of the nature of zionism. At last count the number of young people shot dead by Israeli soldiers was at least 24. The soldiers shoot down teenagers for the "crime" of walking in the street calling for their rights.

The Israeli government has been carrying out a South Africa-style state of emergency against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Every day dozens are arrested in midnight raids. Those arrested are thrown into emergency detention centers, herded together like cattle surrounded by barbed wire. Here the Israeli prosecutors try to coerce confessions out of them; those who do not admit guilt are faced with a jail term of at least one year -- if they are even brought to trial.

Meanwhile the Israeli Zionists are threatening to deport many of the arrested militants. This is a long-standing policy of the Israeli government. Over the years of occupation, thousands of Palestinians have been expelled from their homes. This is consistent with the way Israel was founded in 1947, with the forcible displacement of 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland.

Support the Palestinians!

The mass struggle of the Palestinians deserves the support of progressive people around the world. The Palestinians are fighting against a bloody military occupation, a regime which allows them no rights whatever.

The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are not even citizens of any country. They are allowed no rights. Their organizations are banned by the Israeli authorities. They are constantly faced with arrest, torture, death and deportation. Israeli laws destroy their economy and make them dependent on Israel for jobs and consumer goods. At the same time, they are prohibited from living in Israel or having any rights there. And zionist settlers have been steadily moving in, occupying their lands and surrounding them with more bigotry and oppression.

In this situation, the Palestinians have no choice but to struggle. The youth know this well. Most of them have been born and grown up during the military occupation. They stand defiant and taunt the soldiers with the call, "Kill us all or get out!"

The Palestinian struggle is similar in many respects to the struggle of the black people in South Africa. Israeli zionism is a system of racist rule not too different than apartheid.

Just as apartheid in South Africa gets support from U.S. imperialism, so does racist oppression in zionist Israel. The Democrats and Republicans are partners in the subjugation of the Palestinian people.

All who oppose racism and bigotry, all who oppose fascism and tyranny, all who oppose exploitation and injustice must come to the side of the Palestinians.

Let us raise our voices against the oppression of the Palestinians! Let us raise our fists high against the U.S. support for Israeli racism! Let us close ranks in solidarity with the brave fighters of Palestine! Spread the truth about zionist oppression and let us work to build up, in support of the Palestinian people, a mass movement here in the U.S.!

[Photo: Palestinian demonstrators face Israeli troops in Gaza.]

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U.S. out of Central America - no matter what Arias says

The Central American peace plan (Arias pact) has been in operation five months. This month five Central American governments are supposed to judge whether it has been working. Revolutionary Nicaragua will be outnumbered by four U.S.-financed bourgeois regimes, who will vote while looking over their shoulder at the cue cards from the U.S. embassies and the Pentagon military advisers.

Whatever the regimes decide, the balance sheet of the Arias plan is clear.

The Dirty War Against Nicaragua Never Stopped

The Arias plan was advertised as stopping Reagan's dirty war against Nicaragua.

But the CIA war on Nicaragua has been stepped up. CIA airdrops continue to fly supplies into Nicaragua. The contras are being given heavier and more advanced weapons than ever. There has not even been a breathing space, and the murder and arson continue.

"Democracy" Reagan-Style: Death-Squad Murders Continued

The Arias plan was supposed to bring peace and democracy to all of Central America.

But the pro-U.S. death-squad regimes continue to murder the workers and peasants. Sponsored and financed by the U.S., the Duarte regime in El Salvador has continued to stain its hands red with the air war against the countryside and the death squads everywhere. It even continues to solve its own disputes with murders, such as a member of a government commission being murdered by death squads on December 9.

The Liberals Continued to Fund Reagan's Contras

The Democrats in Congress pat themselves on the back for being supporters of peace and the Arias plan. But they have actually flooded the contras with supplies, only now they vote it monthly instead of yearly. And now they have an excuse to find common ground with Reagan -- if just President Arias of Costa Rica says that Nicaragua has been naughty.

Did the Arias Plan Work?

But that doesn't mean the Arias plan isn't working. For it wasn't really designed to bring peace, but to put more pressure on Nicaragua. And the Sandinistas have been making one concession after another. Arias and Reagan demand each concession as the most important step ever. And when it is granted, they declare it is a mere trifle, for the next concession is the real thing.

The Arias pact has been shown to be a simple tool of blackmail. Give another concession, or we will vote more contra funds. Give another concession, or you will be labeled as the violator of the pact. The verdict on whether the Arias plan has been working will be made depending on whether President Arias of Costa Rica and the U.S. State Department think that they can extract still more from Nicaragua.

Do the Boss and the Slave Have Anything in Common?

Why has this one-sided implementation of the pact happened?

Because the Arias plan is based on the idea that there are common interests for peace and democracy between all the Central American states, between revolutionary Nicaragua and the neighboring pro-U.S. regimes. It is also based on the idea that there are common interests between the Reagan government and the Central American people. It pretends that everyone is for "peace" and "democracy," and so everyone can agree.

But there are no common interests. The boss and the slave, the imperialist and the dominated, the millionaire executive and the exhausted worker, will always have different views about peace and freedom.

The U.S. government view of peace is "business as usual" -- it is the "peaceful" exploitation of the Central American workers and peasants, an exploitation backed up by the bayonet. It is the U.S. government that backed the late Somoza's dictatorship in Nicaragua for decades, until its overthrow in 1979. It is the U.S. government that today backs Somoza's followers in the contra war against Nicaragua. It is the U.S. government that backs the savage exploitation of El Salvador, an exploitation backed by death squads and U.S. military advisers, showing what Congress and Reagan dream of for Nicaragua.

The plan talks of "democratization."

But democracy means different things to the working people and to the contra-lovers and the State Department. For the Reaganites, democracy is when the CIA and the bourgeoisie can buy up newspapers and TV, bribe politicians, suppress the workers' movement, and run the Latin American republics from the U.S. embassies. For Reagan, Nicaraguan elections aren't free and genuine so long as the CIA-organized contras and their supporters lose.

The Arias pact is just a way of dressing up the Reaganite interpretation of democracy and freedom as the alleged will of all of Central America, violated by the Sandinista government alone.

The Real Path to Peace and Freedom

The real path to peace in Central America is that the CIA and the Pentagon get out.

The real path to progress in Nicaragua is that the workers and poor peasants consolidate the overthrow of the U.S.-backed Somoza tyranny by advancing towards socialism, as advocated by the class conscious workers rallied around the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua.

The real path to freedom in El Salvador and the other pro-U.S. tyrannies in Central America is the path of revolution against both the local exploiters and the giant U.S. corporations, against both the pro-U.S. regimes and the U.S. advisers and military men.

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New Year's Editorial

Socialism and the working class

The New Year, 1988. Last year saw the stock market crash. It saw the dollar crash on world money markets. It saw the foreign trade deficit mount. The capitalists are worried.

But the workers have been worried for a long time. The years of the Reaganite profit "recovery" have been a constant worry. Real wages are down. Benefits are down. But not everything is down. Layoffs are up. Overwork is up. Part-time jobs without benefits are up.

Marx and Engels put it well. Under capitalism, the ""accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time, accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole...." (Socialism:Utopian and Scientific, Sec. III)

What else but this have we seen during the Reagan "recovery"? A higher and higher percentage of the national wealth, of the GNP, has been accumulating at the upper-income brackets. This is why the rich followed Reagan through lie after lie, through senility, through thick and thin. Some of them still write articles about how things have never been better.

But what is golden for the bourgeoisie is a lead weight on the backs of the masses who produce this wealth. For larger and larger sections of the masses, the news has been grim. Homelessness is up. Rent is up. The condos may be multiplying, but the neighborhoods are in decay.

And now, the stock market crash suggests that even the rain of gold for the rich is threatened. So the rich want more cutbacks from the poor to make up for it.

For a New Society

All this brings forward among the working masses the idea of an alternative to the present system. An alternative to working away one's life for the rich only to be cast off like a rusted-out auto. The idea of a new society, of socialism.

A society where growing material wealth, growing efficiency in production, growing scientific knowledge will mean prosperity, not layoffs and overwork. Where robots will not be competitors pulling down wages, and computers will not be used as new taskmasters, ruthless because not human, monitoring speedup.

A society where the working people will unite with workers of other countries, and not be used as cannon fodder in trade wars and hot wars, and not be faced with race hatred and immigrant-hunting. Where the purpose of life won't be making millions by playing with paper in the stock market but doing something useful, something meaningful.

A society where the working class will plan, and not be at the mercy of the economy as of some freak weather storm.

The Bourgeois World Turned Upside Down

Plan, do you say plan? The bourgeoisie laughs, how can one plan? If we raise interest rates, then the economy will slow down. But if we lower interest rates, then the dollar will collapse. If we end the deficit, the economy will contract through lack of stimulation. But if we keep a deficit, the stock market will crash again.

But the class conscious workers have an answer.

Back in 1917, the Russian people also faced such dilemmas. And on one fine day in October, the capitalists woke to find the world turned upside down. There would soon be no stock market, no guaranteed rate of return on profit, no private speculation on government finances. The workers had spoken, with communist revolution their real voice, and swept it away. The struggle to construct a socialist society had begun.

The Socialist Example

Socialism let the Russian workers, alone among all major countries, stay out of the depression, stay out of joblessness, stay out of degradation. It gave dignity to the formerly oppressed and spit-upon minorities.

The ideas of Leninism and communism, this path to obtain socialism, swept the world. World history revolved around the struggle of the workers' movement and the capitalist struggle to suppress it. The capitalists could only reply with fascism, as now they reply to the workers with anti-strike laws, police, and prisons.

The Rise of Revisionism

But the Russian workers had to deal with an extremely backward country. They were surrounded by stronger capitalist countries waiting to crush them. They faced civil war and invasion. They could not construct a complete socialist system all at once. And unfortunately, in the midst of these hardships, the idea grew up among the Soviet leadership that there was an alternative to the revolutionary class struggle, an alternative to the Leninist teachings. Revisionism, the abandonment of the Leninist class struggle, took root and Russia slid back into a new capitalist restoration, only now it was state capitalism. So today Russia is once again part of the world capitalist economic woes. And so, While the Soviet Union was immune from the depression of the 30's, today it is suffering fully from the present world capitalist economic stagnation and crisis.

Reagan and Gorbachev, Hand in Hand

The capitalists point to Russia and other revisionist countries to try to break the faith of the workers in socialism. Ha! they say, you tried, and look what happened. But the revolutionary workers have for several decades denounced revisionism as no more socialist than welfare state capitalism. The strikes in revisionist countries do not embarrass us. On the contrary we welcome them, for it shows that the workers in the revisionist countries are united with us workers here in rising in struggle. Reagan and Gorbachev recognize each other as brothers fit to hold summits together, and soon the workers of East and West will also unite across the boundaries to plot a joint strategy against the Reagans and Gorbachevs.

For Real Socialism

But how are we to obtain real socialism?

It is not from the bureaucracy of Russia, nor from the economic experts of the West. It is not handed to the workers through bills proposed by Kennedy, nor through arbitration by the labor- management experts, nor from the caseworkers of a welfare state.

Real socialism is the rule of the workers as a class. Bringing it into existence, and administering and running it after the revolution, requires the mass initiative of the working class. It requires a working class that is energetic, self- confident, disciplined, and supremely determined. And the conditions for such a working class are created by capitalism itself. For Marx not only denounced capitalism, but he showed how socialism was arising. He showed that capitalism not only brought mass misery and oppression, but that "with this too grows the revolt of the working class, a class always increasing in numbers, and disciplined, united, organized by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist production itself.'' (Capital,Vol. I, Part VIII, Chapter XXXII)

And what did we see all around the world in 1987? Capitalist development and capitalist oppression brought forth a development of the workers' struggle. All around the world in 1987 we saw the working class being set into motion. From South Korea to South Africa, from Latin America to stirrings in the revisionist countries.

In the U.S. too, the workers struggled, but the domination of labor bureaucrats and the liberals kept the struggles weak and disunited. Nevertheless, one can see that it is among the working class that the hatred for Reagan festers, while the liberal bourgeoisie has proven Reaganite and rotten and militarist through and through and the reformists have proven to be handmaidens of the liberals.

A Party of Class Struggle and Socialism

But for the working class to step forward as a consistent revolutionary force, for it to come to the center of both the political and economic struggle, for it to build socialism, requires that the workers have their own political party. The revolutionary political party is the highest form of working class organization, the building of which gives a hundredfold impetus to all the myriad of other working class organizations.

This is why it is important that January 1, 1988 marks the eighth anniversary of the founding of the MLP, the party of revolutionary struggle and socialism. And we see that in the long years of Reaganism it was the Party that upheld the path of struggle. The Party gave voice to the militant workers who opposed both the open Reaganism of the conservatives and the refined Reaganism of the liberals. It was the Party that concentrated the sentiment and intransigence of the downtrodden. Whether it was upholding revolutionary solidarity with the Central American toilers or upholding the workers' interests against the trade union bureaucracy, the role of the revolutionary party against the treachery of the Democratic Party and its reformist fringe was demonstrated.

The Weapon of Theory

The working class must take a serious attitude to theory as well. A revolutionary working class party must not simply react to events, but make them. Prior to the October revolution, millions of workers rallied for socialism although no socialist country yet existed. They saw how the growth of large-scale production created the prerequisites for socialism. They were convinced that just as the capitalists had taken over from the feudalists, now it was time for the workers to take over from the now obsolete capitalists. And today, although revisionist capitulation to capitalism has robbed the world of any socialist country (except Albania, whose abandonment of any real struggle against the revisionist ideology threatens its socialist nature), socialism is not dead. As long as the working class fights for its rights, and as long as large-scale production exists and grows, the struggle for socialism will come back again and again, stronger each time.

Against Gorbachev

But the treachery of revisionism puts a number of tasks before the working class. 1987 saw an intense campaign for revisionism led by Soviet leader Gorbachev. And the capitalists are echoing this campaign, trying to convince the workers that it is either Gorbachev or them, the only two alternatives, as if the workers could only choose to work for GM or Ford but not to run the whole economy themselves. Time magazine may make Gorbachev its man of the year, but each passing day will bring Gorbachev the hatred of more revolutionary workers in the East and West. Gorbachev and the "market socialists'' around the world must be branded as the capitalist ideologues they are.

Gorbachev wants to replace Marxism and communism with his "new thinking." So it will be a good time to study the theory of Marx, Engels and Lenin on socialism. This theory, and the experience since the October Revolution, proves the need for the scientific socialism of Marx and shows the bankruptcy of the "market socialism" and "stock market socialism" of the present-day revisionists.

This also involves the study of the history of the Soviet Union itself. What is needed is not a utopian attempt to answer every question in hindsight. What is important is to show how socialism and Leninism brought unprecedented gains to the workers' movement and allowed the Soviet workers to stand up and rally the workers of all the world around them. What is important is to show the abandonment of revolution that led to a revisionist upper stratum turning into a new capitalist ruling class and destroying the socialist accomplishments. This history is tied up completely with the line for the working class struggle around the world.

These theoretical tasks will stiffen the fighting spirit of the activist workers. 1988 will be a year to wage the class struggle, and a year to spread the Leninist theory among the militants arising in that struggle.

Onward into the New Year!

What pains the bourgeoisie arouses hope among the workers. However painful the economic catastrophes ushered in by the stock market crash, the dollar crash, the industrial crisis, etc., the tottering of the capitalist system arouses the desires of the masses for something better, for a system without exploitation. It is creating the conditions for the development of a new mass revolutionary spirit among the workers. And it is the revolutionary movement alone which can lead out of the crisis-ridden capitalist hell. It is the proletarian revolution for socialism which is the hope for the emancipation of all mankind.

Unite against the Reagans and Gorbachevs of the world!

Socialism lives in the revolt of the working class!

Celebrate the eighth anniversary of the Marxist-Leninist Party, the party of revolutionary struggle and socialism!

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Students demand 'CIA Out!'

The fall semester was a busy one for student activists opposed to the CIA. Protest actions were reported in the East at the Universities of Vermont and Massachusetts, and the State University of New York at Albany; in the Midwest at the University of Wisconsin, Kent State and Bowling Green State in Ohio, and Western Michigan; and in the West at the University of California in Santa Barbara and the University of Washington.

A number of these actions grew into major battles with the school authorities who stepped in to defend the CIA.


At the end of October, 40 students occupied and blockaded administration offices at the University of Vermont in Burlington. The protest began on the steps of the university theater as a speak-out against the CIA.

Police climbed in through a second- floor window of the administration building and arrested 19 occupiers. Disciplinary measures against the students are now pending and may well give rise to another round of struggle.

Meanwhile, another demonstration was taking place at the Federal Building in Burlington. The CIA was conducting interviews there to avoid on-campus protests. But to their dismay, activists showed up here too. One activist threw a bag of blood in front of the recruiter, declaring, "This is the real cost of security and intelligence in our country."

Western Massachusetts

On November 9, a hundred students from New England colleges joined local residents to stage a spirited anti-CIA action in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Last spring there had been a huge anti-CIA demonstration at the nearby Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts. To prevent another angry confrontation, the CIA moved this fall's recruitment session off campus to Springfield.

Twenty people sat down in front of the building's doors. Police waded in and made arrests. Young people shouting "Charge the CIA" ran two blocks down Main Street to try to block buses carrying prisoners off to jail. Mounted police intervened to stop them. In all, 24 people were arrested.

Meanwhile, 500 people rallied at UM-Amherst the week before to denounce the CIA.


On October 7, the CIA made a surprise visit during "Career Day." About 30 students picketed the event. Activists demanded a moratorium on the CIA recruiting until students were able to have their say. They gave the university until October 27 to reply.

On October 26, a petition signed by over 400 students was presented to the authorities. A hundred people rallied the next day, but the president was conveniently out of town. Demonstrators then marched to the office of the vice-president. In the face of the opposition, he agreed to a temporary moratorium.

But soon after this, five students were informed that they were being charged by Delta Sigma Pi, a business fraternity and organizer of Career Day, with disrupting the recruiting fair. They face suspension or expulsion from the school. The campus newspaper quoted a fraternity member saying that the administration had wanted them to file the charges.

These are really flimsy charges. Indeed, charges had to be dropped against two of the five when it was learned they weren't at the October 7 protest. They had merely written letters to the campus paper protesting CIA recruitment.

Santa Barbara, California

In October, students and faculty here discovered a CIA agent on the faculty. Last spring, the CIA proposed paying for a two-year research and teaching appointment to the school's Political Science Department. The head of the department consulted a few of his colleagues and gave the CIA his approval. This fall, a new head of the department discovered the appointment.

With the appointment made public, there was an angry response on campus. Students demanded that the CIA agent, George A. Chritton, Jr., be removed. But the political science faculty voted instead that, although Chritton shouldn't be allowed to teach, he could be a "Visiting Fellow."

On November 5, more than 800 students rallied in protest. A hundred and fifty sat in at the administration building; among them 38 were arrested.

The next day, the chancellor of the school accepted the "Visiting Fellow" plan. She also raised the possibility of renewing the appointment.

On the 16th, 1,200 people rallied in another demonstration.

It appears that while student protests are moving CIA recruiting efforts off campus in many places, the CIA is stepping up attempts to directly place agents on campus. The CIA acknowledges that this is aimed at spreading a positive image of the CIA and at helping "enhance recruiting efforts." Besides Santa Barbara, the CIA admits to having placed agents at Texas, Georgetown and another school (many suspect this is Harvard). Two more appointments are being processed and several additional requests are reported pending.

While the placing of current CIA employees directly on university teaching staffs may be new, there has long been collaboration between the CIA and the universities. The CIA has used universities as centers of research as well as to cultivate ties with professors who carry out many services for U.S. imperialism.

The university-CIA connection is one that well deserves mass opposition.

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CIA --Tool of imperialism

CIA Out! This cry resounded on university campuses around the country this fall. From Burlington, Vermont to Santa Barbara, California, students demonstrated to protest the criminal activities of the CIA.

Most of these actions were organized to oppose CIA recruiting at the universities. The CIA has been busy sending its recruiters to schools, and college administrators have greeted the CIA with open arms. But progressive students and teachers are standing up and saying No!

In some cities, the CIA has moved its recruiting efforts off campus to avoid student protest. But students went ahead and organized demonstrations outside some of these recruiting centers too.

Meanwhile, at the University of California in Santa Barbara, students are fighting against the school keeping a CIA agent on the faculty. Here students and teachers discovered that the administration had collaborated with the CIA to place this agent on the faculty last spring. The campus responded to the disclosure with outrage.

For several years now, student activists around the country have been organizing actions against CIA recruiting. At some schools there have been large struggles, such as at the University of Colorado in Boulder during 1985.

Over the last year the movement has spread. And in a few places, the recent anti-CIA protests developed into major battles with the university administration. Elsewhere in this issue we report on some of these struggles.

Contragate Exposures Fuel Protest

The latest wave of anti-CIA struggle comes in the wake of the contragate exposures. These disclosures lifted a corner of the veil of secrecy and cover- up with which the CIA is usually treated in the establishment media.

As a result, there was more publicity than usual about the role of the U.S. terror network, especially in the intervention in Central America. The U.S. intelligence apparatus was again exposed for its activity backing up the contra terrorism against the Nicaraguan people. And it was shown to be involved in drug deals and other corrupt activities to finance the contra war.

In the recent anti-CIA actions, opposition to CIA terrorism in Central America has been a major theme.

The crimes of the CIA which were revealed during contragate are not exceptions of some kind but the very lifeblood of the U.S. intelligence establishment. Indeed, from its very founding the CIA has been involved in contragate-style corrupt and murderous activities -- and even worse.

A Long Trail of Blood and Tears

The CIA was founded in the post- World War II period to help U.S. imperialism gain world domination. Wherever there were struggles of the workers and peasants, wherever there was any kind of left-wing activity, the CIA was on the scene conspiring to prop up exploitation and tyranny.

Every decade since then, the name of the CIA has been linked with terrible crimes against the world's peoples.

In the 1950's the CIA brought to power the Shah in Iran and the bloody military regime in Guatemala. In the 60's the CIA was an arm of the U.S. aggression in Indochina. There it gained notoriety for heading up Operation Phoenix, which assassinated tens of thousands of Vietnamese suspected of connections with the liberation fighters. (Indeed, some of the contragate principals cut their teeth during Operation Phoenix.) In the early 70's, the agency became infamous for the bloody coup in Chile, which brought to power the brutal dictator General Pinochet.

And these are merely some of the big crimes. The CIA has left a long trail of blood and tears in spots around the globe. Look around the world today and you can easily see the legacy of the CIA: You can see it in the death-squad regimes in Latin America. You can see it in the fascism of General Pinochet. You can see it in the Nazi war criminals like Klaus Barbie, who fled justice after World War II by escaping to South America with U.S. help.

The CIA Is a Cornerstone of the U.S. Imperialist System

The record is clear. The crimes of the CIA are an integral part of Washington's international policy. No matter whether a Democrat or a Republican sits in the White House, the CIA remains a vicious terror network in the service of the capitalist rulers.

The campus anti-CIA actions are welcome events. They are helping to build up opposition to U.S. imperialism.

And there is more work that needs to be done. There is need for more exposure of the crimes of the CIA. More actions wherever the CIA sends out its representatives. And in the course of building up these struggles, there is the need to make the connections clear -- condemnation of the CIA will be most effective when the CIA is linked to its roots, the system of rule by the capitalist billionaires.

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Democrats' New Year's resolution: 'Congress and President, working together'

Democrats selected Rep. Dale Kildee from Hint, Michigan to make the "Democratic response" to Reagan's weekly radio remarks. He painted in glowing colors a picture of rapturous cooperation between Reagan and the Congressional Democrats, stating:

"We in Congress look forward to 1988 with high expectations. We hope to work closely with President Reagan to make his last year in office one of great progress for human dignity."

Indeed, this progress is supposed to be here already. Kildee stated that: "Congress and the President, working together, have made significant progress [in 1987] toward achieving this goal."

As wages fall, the economy falters, and the CIA continues its airdrops for the dirty war in Nicaragua, one might well wonder at what the Democratic Party considers "human dignity." But there can be no question that the Democratic Party has worked closely with Reagan. From their famous "honeymoon" with Reagan in the first year of his Presidency, to their touching concern to ensure close cooperation with him in the last, "lame duck" year of his Presidency, the Democrats have marched along with Reagan, grumbling and quibbling, but always going in the same direction.

Take the war on Nicaragua. The Democrats vowed to pass no more contra aid. But Reagan insisted. So they passed one bill after another for more contra aid. They promised Reagan not one, but several more contra aid votes in 1988, and they outlawed in advance filibusters and delaying maneuvers. The Democrats broke their anti-contra promises to the people, but they surely have succeeded in working closely with Reagan.

Take Reagan's military adventures around the world. The Democrats have even suspended the War Powers Act to give Reagan a free hand in sending battleships to the faraway waters of the Persian Gulf. And Democratic Party Presidential hopefuls are falling over each other to show that they are militarists too, from Senator Gore's tough-man act on defense to Reverend Jackson's endorsement of military action in the Persian Gulf.

With "enemies" like the Democratic Party liberals, does Reagan need friends?

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Howard Beach verdict proves need for strong anti-racist movement

The Howard Beach verdict is in. Three of the killers of Michael Griffith have been convicted of second degree manslaughter and first degree assault charges.

While it is good to see the racists convicted of felonies, we cannot say that justice has yet been done. Despite very strong evidence, they were acquitted of second degree murder charges -- the only charges that carried a mandatory and lengthy prison sentence. Unless the judge hands out long and consecutive sentences, the killers will walk free in just a few years. And there remains the question of appeals by the defense lawyers.

Yet Mayor Koch, Governor Cuomo, Manhattan Borough President Dinkins and a host of other officials are proclaiming that the Howard Beach trial and verdict should restore our faith in the workings of the justice system; the verdict is supposed to prove that racist attacks will not be tolerated by the authorities in New York City.

What a laugh! The "justice system" was ready to let the killers walk without so much as a trial. Only one thing stood in their way: thousands of black and anti-racist demonstrators marching on Howard Beach and Koch's residence demanding justice for Michael Griffith. Until the protests erupted, the police, Queens DA Santucci, and an earlier judge could not find enough evidence to prosecute the killers for jaywalking, let alone murder!

Just look at what happens without the mass movement. On the same night as Michael Griffith's murder, two Hispanic youths fell under an orgy of baseball bats and lead pipes. Yet, in a barely publicized event during the Howard Beach trial, their racist attackers were freed. Insufficient evidence.

The convictions in the Howard Beach case are the exception, not the rule. When it comes to prosecuting racists, the wheels of justice do not turn on their own. The masses, the struggle, the anti-racist movement -- these are the levers which can compel "justice" to shed its blindfold.

(Excerpted from the Dec. 27 leaflet of the MLP-New York.)

Protests shut down rush-hour traffic

[Photo: Hundreds of anti-racist protesters near the Brooklyn Bridge.]

Angry protests erupted in the courtroom as the verdict in the Howard Beach trial was read. Many of the 300 spectators, upset that the racist killers were acquitted of murder charges, joined in shouting statements like "Murderers, Murderers. You let them get away with murder!" Three protesters were dragged by police from the courtroom for opposing the outrage.

Meanwhile, as the verdict was about to be announced, hundreds of protesters staged a rally in Brooklyn. They shouted "No justice, No peace!" They sang protest songs from the 1960's. Placards were raised denouncing the Howard Beach attack and demanding justice. Police brutality and the racist legal system were also denounced.

Three hundred of the protesters then shifted their action to the Brooklyn Bridge where they blocked traffic. Hundreds of other protesters fanned out to key subway stations. They held open the doors of trains and pulled emergency brakes. Rush hour traffic screeched to a halt between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Even the major arteries leading to Queens and Long Island were choked.

The demonstrators carried out their protest in defiance of police threats and a court order banning the protest. Policemen surrounded the rally and flew helicopters overhead. Sixty-nine demonstrators were arrested.

Two days later, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Brooklyn to protest the arrests on Monday. They denounced Mayor Koch and the police for attempting to halt Monday's protests.

Mayor Koch pushes the lie of 'reverse discrimination'

New York's Mayor Koch is a Democrat. He is also a notorious racist. The same day that the Howard Beach racists were being let off the hook, the same day that anti-racist protesters were being dragged to jail, Koch held a press conference to declare his latest in racist wisdom. According to the New York Times, Koch said that he believes that it is the city's whites who are more often the victims of racial attacks than blacks. (Dec. 22)

Incredible! But of course Koch is only repeating the Reaganite lie that blacks are supposedly no longer discriminated against and that now whites are the victims. To push this racist lie, Koch had to sneer at the statistics of his own police department as "biased."

According to the New York City police department, this year there have been 419 reported cases of racist attacks up to November 30. One hundred and sixty- two of the victims were black. One hundred and seventy-seven of the victims were Latino, Asian, Arab, or other minorities. Only 80 whites were reported to be victims, even though whites are the majority of the population. Now, police department statistics count only the reported incidents of attacks with a racist basis. No doubt this is only the tip of the iceberg. And no doubt many reports of blacks "attacking" whites are cases of resistance to racism. Nevertheless, even these police statistics make clear the systematic racism in New York.

No matter how many times Koch denies it, racism is alive and going strong in New York. An example. On Christmas night, another gang of white racists attacked two black brothers, Steven and Sylvester Lamont, in the Bath Beach section of Brooklyn. The racists shouted, "This is our Howard Beach." This is the latest in a long string of incidents where the thugs invoke the name of Howard Beach as their racist banner.

But with the emergence of militant anti-racist actions, Howard Beach is also becoming a symbol of the reawakening of the mass anti-racist movement. It is the building up of this movement -- independent from both the Reaganites and the Democratic Party that harbors such racists as Mayor Koch -- that is essential to putting a stop to all the "Howard Beaches" once and for all.

Demonstrators condemn racist outrages in upstate New York

A series of racist outrages have unleashed a wave of protest in upstate New York.

Denounce Racist Attack on Teenage Girl

On December 12, a fiery demonstration of over 1,000 people marched through the small town of Newburgh, New York. The demonstrators were outraged over the kidnap and rape of a 15- year-old black girl. In Poughkeepsie, New York, another 150 people rallied to denounce the attack on the girl.

She had been abducted on November 25 as she waited for a bus in Wappingers Falls, NY. She was held for three days by six white men whom she identified to be policemen. They sexually assaulted her. They cut off her hair and wrote racist names and "KKK" on her body. Then they dumped her onto a road, wrapped in a plastic bag.

Protest the Assault on Black and Latino Prisoners

The demonstrators in Newburgh also denounced a racist assault on black and Latino inmates by racist guards at the jail in Goshen, New York. Two weeks earlier a meeting of 150 people in Peekskill also protested this attack.

The attack occurred on November 22. The inmates had asked for relief from the unbearably high temperatures in the Orange County jail. The response of the guards was to herd nine black and Latino prisoners into a cell and douse them with fire hoses. They were then ordered to walk through a gauntlet of guards who yelled racist epithets and beat them with clubs and broomsticks. At least one inmate was seriously injured. The guards then took all the wet clothes and mattresses and opened the windows. The inmates were left to suffer as temperatures fell below freezing.

Against Racist Gang

In another incident, a meeting of over 150 people was held in December in Peekskill, New York to protest an assault on a black man in a gas station and the later firebombing of his house.

Alfonso Smith was attacked on November 21 by four young whites believed to belong to a racist gang called the "Worshipers of Hitler." He had stopped at a gas station in Peekskill with his white girlfriend. The thugs, wielding a lead pipe, chased the black man onto the highway in a scene reminiscent of Howard Beach. He was rescued by a passing motorist.

When his companion identified one of the assailants to the police, they refused to arrest the youth. What is more, a local newspaper included Alfonso's home address in its report of the incident. After this, his home was firebombed during Thanksgiving dinner. The police have refused to connect the arson to the racist assault in the gas station. But the protesters in Peekskill demanded punishment of the racists.

[Photo: Anti-racist demonstrators in Newburgh, New York, December 12.]

Protests shut down racist talk show

The Aryan Nations Hour, a racist radio talk show in Utah, was canceled after two weeks because of militant protests and widespread opposition.

The talk show was launched by Dwight McCarthy, the head of the Utah chapter of the Aryan Nations. He declared that "I've been a racist for a long time and I decided to come out of the closet with my beliefs." His first guest speaker was Rev. Richard Butler, the racist head of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, Aryan Nation.

On December 5, the first day the show was aired, a demonstration of two hundred people gathered in a nearby park to voice their opposition. The protesters included students from the anti-racist and anti-apartheid movements at the University of Utah.

They shouted slogans and gave speeches denouncing the openly racist propaganda which was aimed at winning new converts to the cause of white supremacy. There were signs in the crowd such as "Never again!" and "Rev. Satan Butler -- you are not wanted in Utah!" One student declared that "we have a responsibility to find racism and squash it like a bug."

Due to the pressure from both the demonstration and the widespread community outrage, the sponsors of the radio show were forced to pull out and the program was canceled

New York police rampage through grade school

Students, parents and teachers from the Lower East Side International Community School (LESICS) are protesting the racist rampage of New York policemen through their school.

LESICS is a small, predominantly black school for first through eighth graders in Manhattan, New York. On November 6, over 30 of "New York City's finest" showed up to search the school. The principal, who is a black woman, refused to allow the policemen to enter. She argued she had the right to protect the students. But the policemen weren't about to be stopped. They arrested the principal, handcuffed her, and dragged her by the hair to a squad car. She was jailed for almost an hour without charges.

Having removed that obstacle, the policemen invaded the school. They stormed from class to class, assaulting a number of children along the way. They even slammed some kids into lockers.

The object of their Gestapo-style search was a 12-year-old girl. The police claim she had assaulted and robbed three boys in an adjacent school. When they finally discovered her, she was handcuffed and dragged from class to the horror of her fellow students': She was taken to the 7th Precinct jail.

The community was outraged. On November 17 a protest march was held from the school to city hall. Parents, teachers, and about two-thirds of the school's students joined in. They carried picket signs and shouted slogans like "We want education, stop police invasion!" and "Up with education, down with Mayor Koch!"

Anti-klan march in Glendale, California

On November 22, several hundred demonstrators gathered to protest a planned rally by the KKK at the public library in Glendale, California.

The KKK was featuring the notorious racist J.B. Stoner speaking on "AIDS, God's blessing to the white race." Stoner was released from jail in 1987 where he had been serving a sentence for the bombing of a black church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1958. Last year, he led a contingent of white supremacists in their attack on an anti-racist demonstration in Forsythe County, Georgia.

City officials refused to prevent the KKK rally. So anti-racist activists took matters into their own hands by marching on the library. Fearing the anti-racist protesters, Stoner canceled his outdoor speech. He retreated to a nearby Holiday Inn where, under heavy police protection, he spewed his racist filth to a handful of supporters.

The anti-racist protesters were not to be deterred. They marched from the library to the Holiday Inn. The large contingent of police, sent to protect the KKK, cordoned off the area to prevent any more people from joining the protest. Four protesters were arrested. But the demonstrators kept up chants against the "racist terrorists." They were eventually dispersed when the police brought out a water cannon and dogs and threatened to use them against the anti-racists.

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Strikes and workplace news


Government cutbacks mean new concessions for postal workers

In its last-minute haggling over the budget, the U.S. Congress came through with a Christmas "gift" for postal workers. Congress is handing over to the U.S. Postal Service the responsibility to pay retiree benefits for those who retired before the Post Office became a semi-independent corporation in 1974.

On December 21, Congress approved a severe budget cut which, during the next two years, will unload $1.7 billion in federal retirement costs onto the USPS and the postal workers. The original Senate bill proposed a week earlier had mandated a major reduction in postal services and the layoff of tens of thousands of postal workers. Although this proposal was toned down in the House-Senate conference stage of the budget negotiations, there is no reason for the postal workers to feel at ease. Congress obviously envisions taking the knife to the Post Office, whether in one fell swoop or piece by piece.

And whether the federal government continues to mandate specific cuts or lets postal management come up with their own ways to save money, it is clear that the postal workers are being hit by new concessions.

The USPS management has had a few grumbles about where the cuts are to be made, but it has welcomed the cutbacks. The postal managers are out to prove to the government that they can spearhead cost-cutting measures against the workers just as well as the next boss.

Cutting Benefits to Retirees

Four hundred and sixty-nine million dollars -- over a fourth of the cost-cutting mandated by the December 21 budget bill -- is to be taken out of the hides of the retirees.

Retirees could previously choose to collect 100% of their benefits in one lump-sum payment upon retiring. Now those who have chosen that option and are retiring in 1988 and 1989 will be able to collect only 60%. They must wait a full year before collecting the remainder. This is a dirty attack on those who are slaving their lives away for the capitalists.

Watch Out for Other Attacks on Workers

Other concessions from the workers may also come out of the budget deal, but details aren't yet available to us.

For the moment Congress has shelved the original Senate plan to eliminate 15-30,000 postal jobs, end Saturday services, cut window service and other major cutbacks. However, even without this legislation, it is likely that postal management will escalate its own cost-cutting program anyway.

The bill mandates that the USPS cut $430 million from its "operating budget" over the next two years (along with $815 million.from new development projects). And Congress clearly envisions future cuts against the Post Office.

Since the postal managers prefer any cuts to take the form of concessions from the workers rather than' such things as cutbacks in automation projects, they can be counted on to do everything possible to shift costs onto the workers. The USPS doesn't need congressional authority to lay workers off, cut their hours, and impose speedup and overwork on those who remain on the job.

What Are the Postal Workers Being Made to Pay For?

The reason for the latest attacks on the livelihood of postal workers is the fact that the capitalist economy in the U.S. is in crisis. For years now the capitalists have been trying to grab more profits by squeezing the workers harder and harder. This is the meaning of the concessions drive against auto workers, meatpackers, steel workers, etc.

With this money the capitalist sharks speculated on Wall Street. Then on Bloody Monday the bubble burst. And what did the fat cats on Wall Street immediately start to do? They launched a united chorus: cut the deficit. And how is this to be done? By making the workers pay. To "restore confidence" in the financiers, Congress has been busy cutting the budget. The burden falls not on the rich, but on the workers.

And who's doing the cutting? Both the capitalist parties, Republicans and Democrats alike. In fact, the original Senate plan was spearheaded by the Democrats, the same two-faced politicians who say they are the party of the working men and women.

Postal Workers, Get Ready to Fight!

The workers should not quietly accept the concessions in the budget cutbacks. It's the capitalists' crisis, not ours. So why the hell should we be forced to pay?

We shouldn't let the capitalists get away with demanding new concessions from us. Postal workers, we have to get ready now to fight back.

To organize this fight, we can't rely on the union leaders of the APWU, NALC and MHU. They are a bunch of sellout traitors who feel closer to management interests than to the workers'. We cannot forget that it is the union leaders who have helped USPS impose concessions on us like the two- tier wage plan. And we cannot forget that the union leaders are the very ones who have promoted to us that we should support the Democrats. Look where that gets us.

No, the rank-and-file workers need independent organization to fight. The Marxist-Leninist Party encourages rank-and-file action and says we need organization separate from the union bureaucracy.

At a time when a new round of attacks is coming down, we urge all postal workers to resist. Denounce the cut in retirement benefits. Be on the alert for new attempts at job combination, speedup, and overwork in your department. Join together with your co-workers to organize resistance to these measures.

(Based on Dec. 24 "Detroit Workers' Voice," paper of MLP-Detroit.)

Tugboat strike against 24-hour days

Over 500 tugboat workers have been on strike for three months in Baltimore, Maryland; Norfolk, Virginia; and Philadelphia.

The workers are fighting against a vicious attack by two major towing companies. The owners demand a 24-hour workday with a two-days-on, one-day- off schedule. This would replace the current eight-hour day arrangement. The owners also want to impose daily, instead of hourly, wage rates. This plan would effectively drop the workers' pay to minimum wage levels.

In the port of Baltimore, the leaders of the Seafarers International Union (SIU) accepted the concessions contract even after the workers had rejected it. With the SIU hacks' agreement, the Curtis Bay Towing Co. imposed the contract on the workers. But they refused to be trampled upon. They walked out. Curtis Bay immediately fired all 46 workers.

Both the tugboat companies have hired scab crews to try to break the strike. But the strikers are building support from other workers to fight back. At the beginning of December, hundreds of workers from dozens of other work places participated in a solidarity rally for the striking tugboat workers in Baltimore.

3,000 rally to support IP strikers


On November 21, some 3,000 workers marched through Jay, Maine to International Paper's Androscoggin mill. The workers came from many industries throughout New England to support the striking paper workers.

When the march approached the gate, a big Confederate flag was unfurled on top of the mill beside where security guards were watching and filming the demonstration. The Confederate flag has become the symbol of the Alabama-based strikebreaking firm that IP hired to fight this strike.

The demonstrators were enraged. Shouts went up, "Let's tear it down!" And the marchers pressed in on the state police and guards who were protecting the mill gate. Union bureaucrats from the United Paperworkers International Union quickly jumped in to head off the confrontation. And to appease the angry workers, guards pulled down the flag and threw it over the gate. The protesters quickly tore it to shreds. Before any further confrontation could develop, UPIU officials led the workers away to an indoor rally.

The confrontation at the mill gate shows the spirit of the strikers and their supporters to fight the strikebreaking of IP. It also shows how the union bureaucrats have been working to head off a serious fight.

Some 3,500 paper workers have been walking the picket lines for five months at four IP plants in Jay, Maine; De Pere, Wisconsin; Lock Haven, Pennsylvania; and Mobile, Alabama. But the union hacks have refused to call out the rest of the IP workers for a countrywide strike against IP's concessions drive or to allow the strikers to employ mass picketing and other militant tactics to resist the strikebreaking.

In opposition to militant tactics, the union hacks are advocating a "corporate campaign" to advertise the plight of the strikers. And they are calling on the workers to become active in campaigning for Democratic Party politicians. Richard Gephardt was brought in to give his empty promises to the November 21 march. And Jesse Jackson did the same a few weeks earlier. These type of tactics are what resulted in the frittering away of the Hormel meatpackers strike. To win this strike, the rank- and-file workers must find a way to break free of the stranglehold the union bureaucracy has over this strike.

Who fights for the Chrysler workers?

A year ago the workers at Chrysler's Jefferson Avenue assembly plant in Detroit were blackmailed into a new concessions contract. In return, they were promised "job security" with the building of a new plant. But at the end of November, Chrysler began back- pedaling on its promises like crazy.

Complaining about "overcapacity" due to the downturn in auto sales and its buy-up of AMC, Chrysler announced major cutbacks at Jefferson. Six hundred and fifty workers are to be laid off indefinitely. The opening of the new plant will be "delayed" for at least a year, until 1991, and will employ far fewer workers than at present. And Chrysler canceled the promised "interim" project between the end of the production of K-cars (originally scheduled to stop in the fall of 1988) and the opening of the new plant. This means all Jefferson workers could be laid off for two years or more. Many have no prospects of ever returning to the plant.

Hacks from the UAW and Democratic Party Twiddle their Thumbs

The workers were outraged. But their union leaders did nothing. Oh, United Auto Workers (UAW) Vice-President Marc Stepp let off some hot air. He "militantly" declared, "I talked to Coleman Young. He's pretty angry about the reduction." (Detroit Free Press, Dec. 1) Boy, Marc, that probably scared Chrysler to death.

For his part, Mayor Young simply threw up his hands. "What can I tell you?" Young cried, "There are layoffs and cutbacks across the industry.... I hope it's temporary, but that's the way it is." (Detroit Free Press, Nov. 23)

Obviously, turning for help to the UAW hacks or the Democratic Party politicians they kiss up to would do nothing for the workers. So workers turned to the Marxist-Leninist Party.

Stickers and Black Armbands Spread Protest Through the Plant

The Party met with other militants in the plant to discuss what to do. A protest campaign was decided on. This campaign included the wearing of black armbands, stickers, and putting out an issue of Detroit Workers' Voice devoted to this protest against Chrysler and featuring a "wanted poster" denouncing the sellout by Marc Stepp.

In mid-December the campaign was launched. Over 600 workers wore black armbands to protest the layoffs. More than 1,000 stickers -- which declared "Stop the Layoffs! Fight for Every Job!" -- were plastered all over the walls inside the plant. And Detroit Workers' Voice, with its "wanted poster," spread through the plant like wildfire.

This campaign was not just a one-shot protest. It was aimed at helping the workers to get better organized so that, whether they are working or laid off, they can be mobilized into the fight. During the protest dozens of workers signed up to continue receiving Detroit Workers' Voice at their homes and to be part of a phone tree, so that even if laid off they could be informed of and join in mass actions at the plant.

The December protest is just the beginning of a determined fight against the layoffs at Jefferson.

Railroad strike spreads through New England

A wildcat strike against unsafe conditions at the Lawrence freight yard quickly spread across New England to bring out 1,200 railroad workers against rail lines owned by Guilford Industries.

The wildcat began after a worker was killed November 12 by a runaway boxcar. The accident was a result of the unsafe conditions caused by concessions cutbacks.

In the spring of 1986 the workers at four rail lines in Timothy Mellon's holding company, Guilford Industries, waged a militant three-month strike. Mellon's concessions drive was beat back as the strike spread to shut down all freight service from Maine to Philadelphia and the commuter rail service in Boston. The strike ended by congressional intervention.

But at one of the Guilford companies, Springfield Terminal, the strike was weak. There Mellon was able to force his concessions down the workers' throats. A year later, when the workers at the other companies had let down their guard, Mellon used a paper shuffle against them. He imposed his concessions by making them all employees of Springfield Terminal. Overnight they found that he had cut their wages by $3.50/hour, reduced crew sizes, and changed work and safety rules.

Mellon has made no secret of the fact that he considers Guilford to be the trailblazer for all the railroad capitalists. He openly brags that if Guilford can enforce their concessions demands on the workers, then this will open the door for other railroad owners to do the same. Clearly, the Guilford Industries workers face a' very difficult struggle and deserve the support of all workers. Solidarity actions by other railroad workers, such as those carried out in the last strike, are essential.

Unfortunately the union officials are not following this policy. They were forced to sanction the workers' wildcat. But since then they have been doing everything possible to limit the scope of the strike. While Guilford workers picket the Somerville train yards, union officials tell Amtrak workers at the same yards to keep working. To achieve the unity that they need, the railroad workers will have to defy the tight reins of the union bureaucracy and take matters into their own hands.

(Based on the Dec. 1 "Boston Worker,'' paper of MLP-Boston.)

Coal miners fight for job security

Over 500 strikers and their supporters from the Big Horn and Decker coal mines staged a march and rally in Sheridan, Wyoming on December 5. The miners have been on strike since October, fighting for job security and against the companies' unilateral wage cutting. The solidarity rally was joined by a delegation of miners who are on strike in Beulah, North Dakota and by workers from other industries in the area.

The issue of job security is also the key question in the underground miners' contract which expires January 31. Some 45,000 underground miners have lost their jobs since the last contract in 1984. While smaller companies are being run out of business, the biggest companies are eliminating jobs by switching production to nonunion mines or by leasing operations to other companies (most frequently the new companies were hastily created by the old companies).

The fight for job security requires a most determined, united strike of all the miners. But United Mine Workers head Richard Trumka is calling for the same "selective strike strategy" that lost the last national contract fight back in 1984. What is more, the mine owners' organization recently signed a mutual aid pact that would allow member companies hit by a selective strike to draw financial support from the remaining member companies. The mine owners have united their forces to break the miners. To resist, the coal miners must unite their own forces for a countrywide strike.

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New York homeless declare...'Make the rich pay!'

On December 20 over 3,000 people participated in a vigorous march to protest the terrible housing conditions in New York City. The Marxist-Leninist Party took part. Its banner, which declared "Make the Rich Pay for the Housing Crisis," was very popular. As well many demonstrators joined in shouting the militant slogans raised by the Party contingent such as, "House the homeless right away -- Make the rich pay I" and "Housing Yes! Contras No! Koch and Reagan got to go!"

The march was originally billed as a candlelight vigil. And its organizers tried to promote a reformist, non-class approach to the housing problem. They called for all classes, and all bigshot capitalist politicians, to join together in the name of "humanity" to ease the plight of the homeless. But the vigorous and loud demonstrators broke the stifling atmosphere.

The MLP worked hard to encourage the militancy. The Party's leaflet, which drew out the class nature of the housing problem and called for building the class struggle, was popular. Below we reprint excerpts from the December 20 leaflet of the MLP-New York which was distributed at the march.

Make the Rich Pay for the Housing Crisis

In New York City billions of dollars have been made in real estate speculation. The big profits are in commercial construction and luxury housing. So luxury high rises go up in Manhattan, thousands of rental apartments are lost to condo and co-op conversions, and thousands more are warehoused. Meanwhile, the South Bronx bums. The result is an acute shortage of affordable housing.

One of the factors making real estate speculation in New York so profitable is the billions of dollars in tax giveaways by the city government to the banks, corporations and real estate operators. The city government pleads poverty when it comes to low-income housing. But let a Dreyfus Fund, or an NBC, or a Donald Trump pick up the telephone, and millions of dollars in tax breaks are ready and waiting.

Meanwhile, some 60,000 vacant apartments in New York are being warehoused by the city government itself under the In Rem program for tax delinquent properties. But of course the city has no funds to reopen these apartments -- the money has been given away to the rich.

The 30,000 people, many of them children, herded into overcrowded city shelters and welfare hotels are victims of the class war of the rich against the working people. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Another 100,000 are living doubled up, with two or more families in an apartment. And still hundreds of thousands more are paying 40% and up of their income on rent. They are increasingly unable to both feed their children and keep a roof over their heads at the same time. They don't know from one month to the next whether they will be able to keep their apartments.

In the wake of the October stock market crash big corporations immediately announced that the workers would have to pay for the crash through more lay-offs. Meanwhile, Congress has already launched a new round of cutbacks in social spending and is promising more. The city government has announced hiring and spending freezes. And this is just the beginning.

What we need is a fight against the rich and their government. What we need is a mass movement that fights through demonstrations and other militant actions. Make the rich pay for the housing crisis!


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Homeless fight MIT greed

At the end of November, 200 people jammed the lobby of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to protest its mistreatment of the homeless.

Earlier MIT police had forcibly evicted two dozen homeless people from a vacant lot owned by the Institute. Nine people were arrested and two were injured by the police.

The homeless people had set up a community of tents and lean-tos for over a month. They were protesting the fact that MIT has possession of three apartment buildings in the area and has purposefully kept them vacant. MIT has grandiose plans to renovate the 50-acre area and create a $250 million research and development park.

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Demonstrators condemn Nov. 29 election massacre in Haiti

Thousands of Haitians resident in the U.S. and Canada took to the streets following the November 29 election day massacre in Haiti. Demonstrators in New York, Miami and Montreal denounced the bloodthirsty Namphy regime and its imperialist backers.


Within hours of the election day killings, Haitians were on the streets of Little Haiti in Miami denouncing the massacre.

Then on December 5 over 15,000 marched in Little Haiti, in what is reported as the largest demonstration in southern Florida in years. The main slogan was: "No U.S. intervention; down with the CNG!" (The CNG, or National Council of Government, is the military junta headed by General Namphy.) Many people shouted, "Down with Namphy, down with Reagan!" And many banners and chants proclaimed, "No more 1915!" (1915 was the year of the last U.S. invasion of Haiti, when U.S. Marines landed to "restore stability and democracy.")

New York

On November 30th, 2,500 people demonstrated in New York City. Protesters began their demonstration at the Haitian consulate and ended six hours later at the U.S. State Department office. The masses carried effigies of Namphy and Uncle Sam and chanted slogans: "Down with the junta! The junta is a U.S. puppet! No Yankee solution! Power to the people! No U.S. intervention! Revolution! Revolution!"

Then on December 7 several thousand people marched in New York City again to support a general strike which was underway in Haiti.


On November 30, a hundred Haitians gathered in a mass meeting. The next day, still another gathering of 300 took place. The mood of the meetings was decidedly radical; a good deal of the discussion among the masses revolved around the need to prepare for armed insurrection in Haiti.

On Wednesday, December 2, there was a nighttime rally of some three or four hundred. It marched from Government Center to the Haitian consulate and back. Although the official slogans did not include openly revolutionary calls, some activists did raise the cry in Creole, "Only one solution -- revolution!"

On Friday afternoon there was a picket of some 25 people outside the consulate building.

Militants of the MLP took part in several of the Boston actions. Copies of the December 1 issue of The Workers' Advocate were eagerly grabbed up for its timely coverage of the November 29 events in Haiti. Some Haitian activists, who had had some hope against hope that the November 29 elections would bring change, praised the MLP for its consistent stand opposing illusions in the November 29 elections. The MLP had been the only force in the movement in Boston which publicly agitated against the idea that the elections would bring any change.

Another demonstration was planned for Saturday, December 19, at Government Center. But Mayor Flynn refused to give a permit. Flynn and other liberal Democrats parade themselves as friends of the Haitian people, but their acts prove that they are false friends.


On December 12, some 70 Haitians demonstrated at the Federal Building. There were slogans against Namphy and the Duvalierist gangsters. Among the speeches, any statements against Namphy were strongly applauded by the demonstrators.

However, the leaders of the demonstration promoted the politics of begging the Democratic liberals to pressure Reagan on Haiti. Some speakers even echoed the liberal calls for U.S. intervention in Haiti.

Support the Sentiment in Favor of Revolution

The protest actions among Haitian immigrants around the U.S. show the deep-felt anger that they have towards Namphy and the Duvalierists.

They also show that there is a strong current of radicalization. The collapse of the November 29 elections have had a strong impact blowing aside the illusions promoted by liberalism that peaceful change is possible under the military regime. Ideas in favor of revolution are on the rise. However, there are different political trends vying for influence. As the Chicago rally shows, one can even find the influence of the Democratic Party liberal proposals for U.S. occupation of Haiti.

[Photo: Demonstrators in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood. Placard declares "Occupation of Haiti: Never Again!"]

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Namphy's election farce means dictatorship

At the end of November, elections in Haiti collapsed due to an orgy of right- wing terror from the military regime and its Tontons Macoutes death squads. Now General Namphy is planning his own elections for January 17.

Not surprisingly these will be a complete mockery of democracy.

Namphy Shreds the Constitution...

In his plans for the January 17 election Namphy ignored Haiti's new constitution ratified just last spring. At the time this constitution was ratified, liberals in Haiti and abroad hailed it as a big step forward for democracy for Haiti. But recent events show again that a piece of paper cannot guarantee rights for the masses; only the struggle of the people can do that.

Namphy dismissed the civilian electoral council that was in charge of the previous election and appointed his own electoral council. But he refuses to even divulge who the members are.

Namphy rejected the idea of having civilian poll watchers. At his election the polls will be patrolled by soldiers; no civilian observers will be allowed in.

Namphy also rejects the use of secret ballots. In his election, voters will mark their ballot and then hand them to the officer in charge, who will inspect them for "irregularities" before placing them in the ballot box.

The constitution had also provided that anyone who served former dictator Duvalier "with zeal" could not run for office. Under this provision the former electoral council invalidated several candidates. But now Namphy wants to make sure these candidates are allowed to run. One of his new regulations provides for a fine of $200 and 25 days in prison for "unjustified" challenges to a candidate.

If you don't like these new regulations, Namphy wants you to keep your mouth shut about it. Another new regulation provides for two years in prison and $200 in fines for anyone who urges people to boycott the election. (Note that $200 is a pretty big fine in a country where the average annual income is $150.)

In a country ruled by military and death-squad terror, elections organized along such lines can hardly be a measure of the popular will. The result of Namphy's fascist-style elections has already been decided by the regime.

...While Continuing the Massacres

But Namphy is not just passing new regulations. His troops are also actively suppressing any opposition to his fascist election plans. To prevent any opposition from getting organized, all schools in Haiti have been closed since November 29, and all but one radio station (which is government-run) have been closed down.

Disappearances have been taking place in Port-au-Prince, especially in the poor working class district of Carrefour Feuille. This neighborhood was the main area in which neighborhood defense groups were organized, to defend the community against the rampages of reactionaries in the days leading up to the November 29 election. These defense groups killed a number of right-wing terrorists, who all turned out to be policemen or private security officers.

Now the rightists are taking their revenge. Armed thugs -- apparently soldiers or policemen -- have been making sweeps through Carrefour Feuille. Organizers of the neighborhood defense groups have their houses marked with a red dot, the mark of death. Many have been killed or beaten.

Many participants in the defense groups have also been rounded up and taken away. It is reported that 46 of these were murdered in a mass killing at Fort Dimanche, the military camp just outside the capital.

In another atrocity, on December 21 military men fired on a memorial march for victims of the election day massacre. As the march emerged from a church three gunmen fired into the crowd, killing one and wounding four.

Only Revolution Can Bring Democracy

The November 29 election was tragedy; January 17 will be farce.

The issue facing the masses is becoming clear and sharp. Either Haiti will return to a Duvalierist tyranny, whitewashed by a total farce of elections. Or the people will impose their own solution by smashing Namphy's regime and establishing a revolutionary democracy based on the workers and peasants.

Reaganites bless Namphy's army rule

It may be clear to the whole world that Namphy's election planned for January 17 in Haiti is a complete travesty. But wouldn't you know it -- the Reagan administration is working to support the fascist election fraud.

In the words of State Department spokesmen, the Haitian election has been merely "rescheduled." And on December 26 Richard Holwill, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Caribbean Affairs, revealed that the U.S. is trying to persuade the civilian opposition candidates to agree on a single candidate who would be acceptable to the army.

Just imagine! The army scraps the November 29 elections. It murders and terrorizes Haitians. It sets up new elections where voters will have to show their ballots to the regime. And Washington wants to make sure that the opposition puts up a candidate who would be acceptable to the military! What a brilliant demonstration of Reagan's support for democracy in Haiti!

So far the main kink in Namphy's election plan is that the main opposition candidates have refused to participate in them. This isn't because they are genuine fighters for democracy; if they were, they would be supporting revolutionary struggle. No, they simply do not want to lose the image they cultivate as democrats.

The Reagan administration wants desperately to help Namphy remove this thorny problem and smooth the way for his January 17 elections. This stand of the Reagan administration is no surprise. To them, the army is what counts.

All through 1986, as Namphy's regime took one step after another against the masses and against the November 29 elections, the U.S. continued to promote Namphy as a paragon of democracy.

As late as October -- after Namphy's troops had shot down many demonstrators, after Namphy had tolerated the massacre of hundreds of peasants by Tontons Macoutes, after two presidential candidates had already been assassinated, one of them openly by the police -- Elliot Abrams (who heads up Reagan administration policy on Haiti) told Time magazine: "While mistakes have been made, the CNG has contributed importantly to laying the groundwork for a new, more democratic Haiti."

And even after U.S. congressional observers saw Namphy's troops shooting down people during the November 29 elections, the Reagan administration still insisted on supporting Namphy. A day after the massacre, Abrams told the New York Times: "I wouldn't say it took us by surprise. We...never thought the election was a sure thing.... I don't think our policy backfired at all." Abrams' only criticism of Namphy's handling of the election was that it was "inadequate." (What would be more "adequate" than killing 34 people -- killing twice as many?)

Why does Reagan persist in supporting Namphy? Because the imperialist view is that the army headed by Namphy is the only force standing between Haiti and "instability" -- by which they mean civil war and revolution. Though they provide money to the civilian "opposition," they aren't sure this section has enough ability or social base to keep down the masses. The U.S. would like to see a civilian mask on the Haitian government, but real power must remain in the hands of the army.

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Liberal Democrats want military occupation in Haiti

While the crisis in Haiti deepens, Reagan continues to place his faith in the ability of the army to keep down the people. But there is growing concern among the liberal politicians of the Democratic Party that Namphy's army will not be enough to restrain the angry masses of Haiti. There is a growing clamor for military intervention to stave off civil war.

For some time now, there has been some discussion inside the Democratic Party about the need for an outside military force in Haiti. Now, after November 29, this call has been taken up by many influential politicians among the Democrats.

The day after the November 29 fiasco, the liberals launched a media blitz to pressure Reagan into organizing an invasion of Haiti. Walter Fauntroy (D- D.C.), head of the Congressional Task Force on Haiti, went on TV talk shows calling for an occupation. And the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Melvyn Dymally (D-Calif.), called for a "peacekeeping force."

Also liberal newspapers like the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Detroit Free Press have called on the government to consider organizing a military force to intervene in Haiti.

But Reagan Already Has His Man in Place

But Reagan, who was only too quick to send Marines into Grenada and Lebanon, and who has been busy making plans to invade Nicaragua, is opposed to a U.S. invasion of Haiti, Not because he has anything against military aggression, but because the Reaganites feel that Namphy is sufficient to suppress the masses, protect the exploiters, and keep imperialist investments secure.

What Do the Liberals Consider Catastrophe?

The main argument of the liberal politicians is that only an outside military force can avert "impending catastrophe" in Haiti. Thus, according to them the decades-long Duvalier dictatorship was not a catastrophe; nor the starvation wages paid in the factories of Haiti; nor the rampaging death squads which have killed hundreds since last summer's upsurge.

No, the "catastrophe" is yet to come. What has these bourgeois gentlemen scared stiff is the thought that the brutal dispersal of the November 29 elections will push the workers and peasants of Haiti toward another uprising. The "catastrophe" they want to avert is the revolution.

Painting Occupation as Liberation

But to hear the earnest cries of these gentlemen one would think that defending the rule of the rich in Haiti is the furthest thing from their minds. They say they only want to save the people from the barbarity of the Tontons Macoutes and ensure human rights.

If the Democrats were so interested in suppressing the Macoutes, why did their congressmen, including Mr. Walter Fauntroy, join with Reagan in sending millions of dollars of military aid to Namphy when Namphy's army was busy protecting the Macoutes from the people?

The Democrats are a party of the rich and their main concern is the. same as Reagan's -- to protect the privileges and profits of the capitalists and landlords.

The Marines Will Not Bring Democracy

The editors of the Boston Globe put it quite plainly. They ask Reagan to "take the lead in the Organization of American States to create a hemispheric task force that would maintain order until an election was held and for two or three years afterward. Meanwhile, the Haitian army would be confined to its barracks until a new government was firmly in control." (Dec. 10)

The liberals know that an army such as Haiti's, so full of bluster and new M- 16's today, would not stand a chance against a mass popular uprising. So they want to send U.S. (and possibly Canadian, French and Caribbean troops) to protect the army and demobilize the people. After the movement has been suppressed, power would be restored to the generals.

It is clear that the Democrats' opposition to Reagan's love affair with the Namphy regime is no opposition at all. Under the banner of "democracy," the Pentagon sent half a million troops into Viet Nam and killed two million Vietnamese workers and peasants. Under the banner of "democracy," the White House and the Congress are waging the brutal contra war against the people of Nicaragua. Now under the banner of democracy," these same imperialists are talking about occupying Haiti "for two or three years"!

Sure, there needs to be a military force to stop the Tontons Macoutes and the Duvalier army. But imperialist troops will never help the people of Haiti. It is only the workers and peasants themselves, taking the U.S.-supplied weapons away from the Macoutes and the army and using them for a revolution, that will stop the death-squad dictatorship and build a new Haiti.

In this fight, the American working class will be on the side of the Haitian workers and peasants. Solidarity with Haiti calls for opposition to Reagan's support for Namphy and opposition to liberal imperialist calls for occupation.

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[Photo-graphic: Apartheid no! Revolution yes!]

From the townships of South Africa

Despite Botha's press blackout, some news of black resistance continues to filter out of South Africa.

Near Cape Town

There have been a series of attacks on policemen in Nyanga township near Cape Town. On December 18, ten constables marching through Nyanga were attacked with guns and a hand grenade. That week three policemen were killed in similar attacks in Nyanga.

Resistance Continues to Inkatha Terror

In the townships around Pietermaritzburg, the reactionary Inkatha organization of Zulu chief Buthelezi is pressing its forced conscription campaign among black youth. Blacks who refuse to pay Inkatha membership dues are driven into exile or killed.

But many black youth opposed to Inkatha's collaborationism with the racists are organizing to fight the conscription campaign. Many of them have moved into the township of Edendale, where they have organized street defense committees. This has led to some sharp fighting in the townships; during December at least 17 people were killed.

In one incident, Inkatha thugs set up a roadblock and stopped a bus on which they suspected some anti-apartheid militants were riding. Apparently they planned to terrorize the passengers. But instead the passengers came off the bus and killed the Inkatha gangsters.

In another incident, local police came to support Inkatha. A crowd of youth fighting the Inkatha thugs set up a street barricade and defended themselves with rocks. Police came out and dispersed the youth with guns, wounding one girl.

There are attempts by certain liberal and reformist forces to negotiate a truce between Inkatha and the anti-apartheid youth. But Inkatha chief Buthelezi refuses to negotiate. This is the same Buthelezi who drools at the prospect of negotiations for "power sharing" with the racist Botha regime.


The reformists however do not limit their efforts to trying to negotiate a truce. They are also counseling the anti-apartheid youth to exercise "restraint." This is shameful. In the face of Inkatha terrorism, the anti-apartheid militants have no choice but to stand up and fight back. After all, Inkatha terror is merely serving as an accessory to the repression of the South African regime against the anti-apartheid struggle.

Black South African soldiers and police mutiny

Last month the racist South African regime was shaken by two mutinies of black soldiers and policemen. Although the core of the South African security and armed forces are white, the regime does make use of a section of blacks in its police and military. Cracks in these forces suggest that the crisis of the racist regime is getting deeper.

An Army Mutiny in Namibia

In early December, 400 black soldiers in Namibia went on strike rather than carry out orders directing them into Angola. The soldiers are part of the Southwest African Territorial Force, a branch of the South African army. These soldiers are employed by South Africa in its war of suppression against the black people of Namibia (southwest Africa); but the soldiers refused to participate in South Africa's latest invasion of Angola.

South Africa has been invading Angola on and off for over a decade. One reason for these invasions is to prevent Angola being used as a base by 1 Namibian guerrillas; the other is to destabilize Angola itself.

The latest invasion began in October, when 3,000 South African troops went into Angola to protect the UNIT A forces, which a decade ago degenerated into joining with South Africa. But the South African troops ran into trouble. The Botha government admits 37 soldiers were killed; Angola says the casualties were higher. To bolster the morale of their troops, South Africa for the first time admitted having soldiers in Angola. Racist chief Botha made a well-publicized morale-boosting tour of the front-line troops.

But the mutiny in Namibia shows that black troops are not enthusiastic about being used as cannon fodder in this war.

Police Mutiny in Black Township

On December 10, dozens of police constables revolted against their white commander in the black township of Sebokeng, near Johannesburg. These constables are the day-to-day force in the townships used to suppress demonstrations and to root out anti-apartheid fighters.

The black constables were angry about pay and job discrimination. They were going to a meeting with higher commanders to complain when they were stopped by white riot police, who ordered them out of their vehicles. When the constables tried to proceed on foot, the riot police fired at them with tear gas and buckshot. The constables returned fire; there were injuries on both sides.

This clash shows that the pressure which is on the black forces of repression is beginning to tell. The black constables are recruited from among the black masses, to be used against them. They are justifiably ostracized by the black community. Now when they object to the way the white authorities treat them, they are treated with typical racist arrogance. This can only mean more revolts and mutinies.

While these mutinies are not reported to have linked up with the anti-apartheid revolutionary struggle, they do indicate that the apartheid military and police machine are beginning to crack. They are one more sign that revolution is knocking on the racists' doors.

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Israeli zionism is apartheid rule in the Middle East

The brutal treatment of Palestinian demonstrators has once again brought to the world's attention the savage nature of Israeli zionism.

Even among the Jewish people in Israel, who are still under the influence of zionism, there has emerged some criticism of the government's suppression of Palestinians. On December 26th, 2,000 Israelis marched in a demonstration in Jerusalem protesting the repressive measures of Israeli troops in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Police dispersed the march with tear gas.

And there are signs of anti-militarist activity among Israeli youth.

In November a group of 50 teenagers about to be drafted into the army wrote to Defense Minister Rabin saying they will refuse to serve in the "occupied territories." Their leader's letter said, "I don't want to be an occupier. I understand the Palestinians. I can't go to the West Bank and Gaza Strip and see the hate iii their eyes." And after the December upsurge among Palestinian youth the same young man declared that sending the army into these areas was just "more fascism."

More recently, a group of reservists in the Israeli army has signed a petition pledging to refuse service in repressive campaigns against the Palestinians.

"National Unity" for Repression

These are encouraging developments, which show anti-militarist sentiment emerging among the Israeli population. But Israel still remains one of the most militarized countries on earth, and the main political parties of zionism remain thoroughly committed to savage repression of the Palestinians.

The two major parties in Israel are the conservative Likud coalition and the liberal Labor Party.

Theoretically, the two parties are supposed to have some differences over policy towards the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Likud is committed to maintaining Israeli control over them, while Labor's position is to use them as bargaining chips, holding out the possibility of giving them up in exchange for concessions from the Palestinians and neighboring Arab states.

But in fact these differences mean nothing, since Labor and Likud rule Israel jointly in a "national unity" government that constantly expands the oppression of the Palestinians. This was graphically illustrated during December. Defense Minister Rabin of the Labor Party is the man directly responsible for the military repression carried out against Palestinian demonstrations. It was Rabin who ordered Israeli soldiers to "shoot to hit" the leaders of demonstrations. Rabin's "iron fist" policy earned the praise of Likud politicians.

Oppression Similar to Apartheid

Rabin's policy is no different than any Israeli leader's since the founding of Israel in 1948. Israel was founded as an imperialist outpost in the Middle East. Israel was promoted to the Jewish victims of the nazi holocaust as a place of refuge for Jews. But its establishment could not be a progressive step, since it was based on the expulsion and oppression of the Palestinians. It brought to power a zionist bourgeois regime in the service of Western imperialism.

The zionist system of rule is similar in many respects to South African apartheid. Over a million Palestinians live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which are under the military jackboot. The people there are accorded no rights whatever.

Liberal apologists for Israel contend that Israel does not want these territories, that they have taken them over as some kind of international obligation to maintain law and order. But in fact Israel exercises an ever-growing control over their economic and political life. The zionist chieftains do not hide their openly annexationist designs over these territories.

Thousands of zionist colonists have been sent into the West Bank and Gaza Strip to set up settlements, expelling the Palestinians from their land and forcing them into the position of agricultural laborers.

Like the black homelands in South Africa, Israel also uses the territories as pools of cheap labor for Israel. Tens of thousands of Palestinians cross into Israel every day to work as waiters, dishwashers, truck drivers, construction laborers, etc.; but they are forbidden to stay overnight in Israel. And their attempts at labor organization are severely repressed.

Many laws are designed to make the West Bank and Gaza Strip completely dependent economically on Israel. Residents of these areas are forbidden from importing many goods, especially agricultural products, except from Israel. They are prohibited from setting up new markets, and must do their shopping in Israel. They are not allowed to produce goods which compete with any products of Israel.

There are also hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who reside inside Israel. Formally they are Israeli citizens. But for many years these people suffered official legal discrimination. And today, while official anti-Arab laws have been removed from the books, the discrimination remains. Many rights and benefits for Israeli citizens are based on their service in the military, which most Arabs are not allowed in.

Given the racist, reactionary nature of the zionist state, it is no surprise that in its international relations Israel cultivates ties with the most reactionary regimes. Israel has maintained very close ties, including military co-operation, with South Africa. And the Zionists have given aid to the death-squad regimes of Central America.

Let All Working People Unite Against Zionist Rule

Israel's fierce repression of the Palestinian demonstrations has helped expose Israeli oppression within Israel, among those who have illusions in a democratized zionism without occupation and annexations. Such a development also took place during Israel's brutal invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

This is all to the good, and it should be carried further, to a break with the basic racist nature of zionism. The idea of a democratized Israel is a pipe dream; a state based on theocracy and the dispossession of an entire people cannot be turned into a democracy.

Zionism feels arrogant and self-assured after occupying the West Bank and Gaza for the past two decades. But the zionist policies will bring about their own destruction. With their savage oppression the Zionists have created a huge pool of landless, stateless people; a people whose property and basic rights have been expropriated; a people made up mostly of proletarians and unemployed; a people who have nothing to lose but their chains. These people, especially the youth, want a revolution against zionism.

A fighting union between those emerging to oppose Israeli oppression among the Jewish working people in Israel and the oppressed Palestinians would bring much closer the death knell for Israeli zionism.

[Photo: Confronting the forces of Zionist repression at a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.]

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'Big Brother' Reagan embarrassed by Israeli brutality

The treatment of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli soldiers in December was so nakedly brutal that even the U.S. government was forced to utter a few words of criticism. Reagan's State Department issued statements saying the troops were using "harsh security measures and excessive use of live ammunition." And the U.S. declined to veto a resolution in the UN condemning Israeli repression.

But don't think that this changes anything about U.S. policy. At the same time, Washington made plain its own opposition to the Palestinians. It denounced resistance by the Palestinians. The State Department also issued statements supporting Israel's right to "exercise law and order" in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and concluded from this that the Israelis are perfectly right to smash Palestinian demonstrations. Only the U.S. government urged Israel to make more use of nonlethal methods of riot control -- water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas -- instead of live ammunition.

The main concern the U.S. government expressed is that getting a reputation for excessive brutality "harms Israel." In other words, their concern is for Israel's reputation. In Washington's view, the Zionists have every right to gas, beat, jail and expel the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; only they should try to keep the body count down.

Reagan backed this up with a cynical statement of his own, when he told reporters that "there were provocations from both sides." This is reminiscent of Reagan's view that the blacks in South Africa struggling against apartheid are to blame for the violence when the army invades black townships. It is typical Reaganite logic, equating the fascist oppressor with the oppressed.

Strengthening Ties with Israeli Zionism

While issuing halfhearted criticism of the zionist military actions, the Reagan administration was at the same time strengthening ties with the very same armed machine. The U.S. government recently approved a set of new regulations that allows closer cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli military and allows Israeli military contractors to bid on U.S. defense contracts. And the flow of U.S. military aid to Israel continues unimpeded --$1.8 billion worth in 1987.

This shows the U.S. government's criticism of Israeli excesses to be the grossest imperialist hypocrisy. The zionist state -- a racist, theocratic state -- could not stand for long without the constant, massive aid and support of Big Brother U.S. imperialism. Despite a mild murmur here and there, support for Israel and its oppression of the Palestinians is one of the bipartisan bedrocks of U.S. foreign policy.

In our support for the Palestinian liberation struggle we American workers must target U.S. imperialism at home, as well as Israeli zionism overseas.

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What sparked the upsurge in the West Bank and Gaza?

What's behind the explosion among the Palestinians?

As the reactionaries that they are, the Israeli government claims that the demonstrations were started by "outside agitators.'' Their view is that the occupied territories were calm and quiet until a few "terrorists'' managed to infiltrate the territories and stir things up. But if a few "terrorists" can get all the students to go into the streets and even get all the workers to stay away from their jobs, there must be something deeper at work here.

Even the Israelis' own actions show this scenario to be a big lie. Government officials announced that, to put down the demonstrations, they were going to arrest a few of the main organizers. The army then went out and arrested over 1,000 Palestinian youths. How can this be the work of "outside agitators" if the "few" ringleaders turn out to be a thousand young adults living in the West Bank and Gaza?

Furthermore, an Israeli government report released shortly before the uprising shows that the regime was well aware of a rising mass movement. The border police in charge of security in the West Bank and Gaza issued an annual report in mid-November showing that violent resistance in the occupied West Bank soared dramatically in 1987. This is despite the fact that the reported number of armed attacks associated with PLO guerrillas continued the steep decline of the last few years. But violence associated with spontaneous demonstrations of teenagers rose steeply this year. Stone-throwing incidents soared from 293 in 1986 to 615 by mid-November in 1987. Roadblocks erected during anti-Israel outbreaks rose from 55 to 226.

So the Israeli government was well aware that a mass rebellion was brewing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This was not a rebellion stirred up by a few "outside agitators." This grew through a daily, hour-by-hour, yearlong confrontation between the Israeli state and the masses in the West Bank and Gaza. It was the culmination of decades of oppression. It was the anger and frustration of the youth, and it also reflected the anger and frustration of their parents, who have suffered under the zionist jackboot for decades.

The Israelis' response to this brewing storm was simply to step up their savage repression.

In mid-November news of the latest atrocity by the Israeli secret police came to light. Salem Hamdan, a 23-year-old Palestinian who had been going to college in Jordan, was arrested soon after returning to his parents' home in the West Bank. Salem was taken in for interrogation, presumably about recent mass actions by West Bank youth. Three days later Salem's parents were told he had died in prison "of snakebite." But on receiving Salem's body, his parents perceived that he had been badly beaten and tortured.

It is this type of degradation and brutality that led to the latest explosion. And the Israeli regime will be faced with many more such rebellions until the Palestinians are able to win their freedom.

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Reformist PLO leaders trail behind events

Who's leading the demonstrations?

The explosion of activity by Palestinian youth has once again shown the determination of the Palestinian people to continue their decades-old fight for liberation. At the same time, it has yet again brought out the bankruptcy of the national-reformist leadership of the PLO. It has again highlighted the vital need before the Palestinians to forge a new, revolutionary alternative capable of organizing their movement towards victory.

From all reports, the latest mass upsurge took place independently of the PLO leadership. Since it began, some PLO groups have been scrambling to catch up with the upsurge. But the main leaders, including Yasir Arafat, continue to take a passive stand toward events. They have nothing to offer the militants by way of guidance for the struggle.

Who is organizing the demonstrations? Reports from the scene indicate that the protests are spontaneous actions by the masses. This does not mean that they are completely unorganized. But the organization that exists appears to be networks of militants based directly among the masses. The fighters are referred to as "the guys." Although there are the influences of various established political trends, the networks of fighters do not appear to be directly associated with any of the traditional trends.

Apparently Islamic fundamentalism has taken advantage of the bankruptcy of the PLO to make some inroads among the masses in the last period. This is unfortunate since this ideology, despite appearing militant on the surface, is a deeply conservative and right-wing ideology which cannot offer the Palestinians a progressive alternative.

But for now the situation generally appears to be very much in flux. A new generation of fighting youth are coming up to struggle. The tasks of forging stronger organization and developing a theoretical alternative to the bankrupt trends of the past are still ahead of them.

Arafat Calls for UN Intervention

The leadership of the PLO has trailed in the wake of events. In fact the main PLO leaders are dismayed by the upsurge of the masses. When they see Palestinian youths battling Israeli troops, their eyes are closed to the heroism and militance of the youths; all they see is the repression of the Zionists.

In the midst of the upsurge, when the Palestinian youths were pouring into the streets to do battle, Yasir Arafat gave interviews in which he said everything that was happening was merely the result of an Israeli conspiracy. He called on the UN Security Council to "condemn this organized official terrorism... and to find the ways and means to protect our people."

This shows that the PLO leadership has no faith in the capacity of the Palestinian masses to advance their fight for liberation. Although the PLO guerrilla groups emerged in the late 1960's as a movement with national-revolutionary features, since the early 70's the PLO leadership has represented a national- reformist trend. More and more they have turned away from the struggle. More and more they have sought the good graces of others like the Arab bourgeois states, the superpowers, the UN, etc.

Begging the UN to come save the Palestinians is ridiculous. The UN may have passed one or two resolutions criticizing zionism, but has not -- and never will -- do anything about winning basic rights for the Palestinian people.

Now Arafat calls for UN intervention. Presumably he has in mind a "peacekeeping force" like the UN troops in Lebanon which act merely as traffic cops giving the green light to Israeli invasion forces. This has nothing to do with defending the Palestinian masses from Israeli state terrorism.

The Fight Needs Revolutionary Marxism-Leninism

In contrast to Arafat, again and again ordinary Palestinians interviewed about the fighting do not express despair about Israeli repression. They know that struggle will confront repression; but the issue for them is not to wring their hands about it but to overcome it.

What the masses need is not UN "peacekeepers," but revolutionary organization. The masses are ready and willing to fight. What they need to carry their fight forward to victory is theoretical clarity and organization based on that.

They need to understand what is behind the bankruptcy of the PLO leadership. It is revolutionary Marxism-Leninism which points out that the national-reformism of Arafat and company is based on the fact that they have come to represent the interests of a definite class -- that of the Palestinian bourgeoisie. An alternative to the PLO leadership must be based on the downtrodden classes, the toilers. An alternative to the PLO leadership requires not only a revolutionary orientation opposed to reformism in the national liberation struggle, but it also requires expanded concern for the economic and social interests of the exploited masses.

Fundamentalist Islam cannot offer such an alternative. Neither can refined varieties of the same old bourgeois and petty-bourgeois nationalism. And that includes the left-nationalism which parades itself as Marxism in the form of the PFLP or DFLP. Militant fighters among the Palestinian people should look towards the revolutionary ideas elaborated by the classic teachers of revolutionary Marxism -- Marx, Engels and Lenin.

[Photo: Young Palestinian militants on the West Bank throwing rocks at Israeli troops.]

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Ungo and Zamora seek a way out of the struggle in El Salvador

Reformism undermines the revolutionary movement

The revolutionary struggle in El Salvador continues to shake the Duarte regime. U.S. imperialism has sent military "advisers" and hundreds of millions of dollars of weapons to prop up the death-squad regime. But they have been unable to subdue the rebellious workers and peasants.

Unfortunately the masses must also overcome opposition to revolution from within their own ranks. Reformists like Guillermo Ungo and Ruben Zamora, two of the top leaders of the FDR/FMLN (the main anti-government organization), are opposed to continuing the revolutionary struggle. They may even abandon the FDR/FMLN.

At the end of November, Ungo and Zamora temporarily returned from exile to El Salvador. There they declared that the struggle to overthrow the death-squad regime was hopeless. While themselves wearing bullet-proof vests, they put forward as an alternative constructing a new party that would operate as a legal opposition under the fascist dictatorship.

Ungo and Zamora's trip to El Salvador was not only a geographical homecoming but a political homecoming as well. At the time of the coup which brought an end to the Romero dictatorship in 1979, Ungo and Zamora were not part of the insurgent masses but of the timid bourgeois reformist opposition. They eagerly joined the new civilian-military government and promoted the illusion that it would bring democracy and social measures for the poor.

But it soon became apparent that the new junta was just another version of the old tyranny. Even the reformists were hit heavily by repression. No matter. The reformist Christian-Democrat Duarte went on to serve as the "humane" front man for the military. Meanwhile the Popular Social-Christian (dissident Christian-Democrat) Zamora and the social-democrat Ungo went into exile and joined the FDR/FMLN, forming a coalition or bloc with the organizations of the armed resistance.

Ungo and Zamora postured as revolutionaries but in fact they constantly looked to schemes for reconciling with the regime and abandoning the armed struggle. Now these efforts have led Ungo and Zamora right back to the bankrupt path they stood for in 1979.

Renouncing Revolution

Zamora spelled out his present views in a speech at the Catholic University in San Salvador. It was reported on in the New York Times of November 30.

The newspaper states, "Mr. Zamora also criticized some of the most deeply held ideas of the armed guerrilla movement. He said that a military victory was not possible..." (emphasis ours). Thus he advocated that the overthrow of the junta was impossible. This is shameful. It is denying the very possibility of defeating the death-squad regime.

This is no mere call for a reassessment of some military tactics. Zamora reveals his hostility to revolutionary organizing in general. According to the New York Times, he denounced clandestine work in favor of "public" work. But can one imagine a serious struggle without secret organizing when it is a matter of opposing a death-squad regime that has murdered tens of thousands of its opponents? It's absurd! Even trade union organizers are routinely assassinated by the police and death squads. Indeed government officials can get mowed down (as in the death-squad murder on December 9 of Rene Joaquin Cardenas Vargas, member of a government commission). But evidently Mr. Zamora is offended by the workers organizing secret meetings. They should apparently put their faith in bullet-proof vests instead.

Nor is it a question of trying to spread the views of the insurgent workers and peasants further. Everyone knows that the rebel forces are able to use clandestine methods to back up broad dissemination of their views among the population. What Zamora is upset about is not some lack of broad work. He is upset about secret organizing because he opposes revolutionary work among the masses.

Abandoning the Struggle Against the Salvadoran Exploiters

What kind of things could one advocate with such open work in the face of the death squads?

Well, Ungo and Zamora want some mild reforms. But Ungo and Zamora demand that the workers and peasants abandon their demands against the capitalists and landlords. According to the New York Times, Zamora advocated that "the conflict was not and should not be between social classes." It apparently just sprang from the air. The great poverty and exploitation in El Salvador must just be irrelevant. And Zamora called on both the businessmen and the toilers to confine themselves to "minimum demands." Why, how easy it is to reconcile worker and capitalist, peasant and landlord!

Zamora argued that trade unions should take a hands-off attitude towards the struggle of political parties. This would help cut the workers' movement away from the revolutionary movement. It would help Ungo and Zamora remove the class character from the political struggle. And it would help push the unions towards becoming timid collaborators with the businessmen, with "minimum demands."

As well they wanted any perspective but permanent capitalism to be wiped out. Zamora "made it clear that for him private property and private enterprise were necessary parts of any working economy."

Not Much of a Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Either

Ungo and Zamora's plan also means abandoning the struggle against U.S. imperialism. They still say a few words against the U.S. military advisers. But their plan is to work hand hr hand with U.S. capitalism.

Ungo visited the U.S. from December 3-5. He met with UN diplomats, many congressmen, and with bourgeois reporters. The Guardian, in reporting this, adds that FDR official Francisco Altschul told them that "The trip [by Ungo] was very positive. There is an increasing understanding [among Americans] that the situation in El Salvador isn't 'solved' [by U.S. support for the Duarte regime], as many had hoped." (Guardian, Dec. 16) What Americans are being referred to? Ungo, in his trip, was dealing with the politicians and spokesmen of the bourgeoisie, not with the American working masses. It was in a meeting in the Senate Caucus Room that he chided the imperialist politicians for having only "low-intensity interest in El Salvador and low-intensity solidarity." You would think that the hundreds of millions of dollars in blood money and the military advisers and the death-dealing aircraft and helicopter gunships were signs of imperialism's high level of "interest in El Salvador and solidarity" with the Salvadoran exploiters. The problem is not the low level of solidarity, but who imperialism's class brothers are. But Ungo, mesmerized by the flow of U.S. dollars, gets everything backward.

Ungo and Zamora want to tone down the struggle until it is acceptable to the U.S. Congress. They want a new party in El Salvador that won't antagonize Congress, and they want solidarity between Congress and their brand of Salvadoran reformism.

Building Another Reformist Party

Ungo and Zamora's alternative to revolutionary work is creating an open, non-clandestine party. What Zamora calls democracy in his speech is simply the right to run against the reactionaries in elections. Such a party, designed for elections, would have to rely on the good will of the regime for its very physical survival.

Their plans are based on the myth that all sorts of wonderful things can take place without the overthrow of Duarte's death-squad regime. Thus Ungo is enthusiastic about the alleged "political space" in El Salvador today. Showing the absurdity of this plan, he himself compares El Salvador to the vicious dictatorship in Chile. He states that "El Salvador is like Chile.... Duarte's regime is the same type of regime. El Salvador is not a democracy." (Ungo describes return from exile," Guardian, Dec. 16)

But, believe it or not, Ungo compares El Salvador to Chile for the sake of pointing to the great opportunities of being a legal opposition. He believes that, both in Pinochet's Chile and Duarte's El Salvador, the masses should abandon revolutionary work. He states that "In Chile, there is more political space now.... Pinochet has been weakened so he has to give more ground to the popular forces to demonstrate and do their work." (Ibid.)

Zamora promises that a "genuinely democratic" system could emerge from his plans. But he also says he has no illusions about a new party winning the presidency or even a large bloc of seats in the National Assembly. (New York Times, Dec. 3) Yet this party is supposed to be the powerful force that will civilize El Salvador while the revolutionary struggle is allegedly hopeless.

A Repetition of Duarte's Strategy

But all this is no different than the path advocated by Duarte. Duarte claimed he would bring democracy to El Salvador through elections held under the tyranny of the military and the death squads. Only Duarte's Christian Democrats actually won elections -- and still remain a figurehead for the exploiters and the death squads.

Today Duarte is more and more exposed before the masses. So Ungo and Zamora want to step into the "political space" created by Duarte's bankruptcy. They want to duplicate Duarte's strategy, appeal to the bourgeoisie to support them, and promise to give up any demand beyond timid reforms.

Preparing to Cut Away from the Insurgent Masses

While they were in El Salvador, Ungo and Zamora not only publicized their reformist platform, but took steps to build an organization to carry it out. They met with the various reformist forces to form the "Democratic Convergence." Meanwhile, it was reported that aides to Ungo and Zamora stated that they may have to cut their ties to the FDR/FMLN in order to continue their work of building a bourgeois reformist party.

The Arias Plan Aims to End the Revolution

While the U.S.-backed Duarte regime tries to crush the rebels with force, the Arias plan has escalated the diplomatic pressure on the anti-government forces. It demands the end of the revolutionary struggle in return for empty promises of reform by the Salvadoran rulers. Ungo and Zamora are capitulating to the pressure of the Central American accords. Ungo himself called their trip to El Salvador "a continuation of the [Arias] peace process." (Guardian, Dec. 16, p. 12)

The Danger of the Reformist Platform of the FDR/FMLN

Ungo and Zamora may take their plans to actually splitting with the FDR/FMLN. But their ideas are a continuation of the basically reformist platform adopted in 1984 by the FDR/FMLN. This platform has opened the way for Ungo and Zamora. (See the article on the debate on the program of the FDR/FMLN in the August 10, 1984 issue of The Workers' Advocate.)

Ungo and Zamora have taken these ideas to the extreme. From "power- sharing" with the forces of military dictatorship, Ungo and Zamora have reached the point of seeking accommodation under the open rule of the present regime. Their antics are showing the great danger of reformism and the need to fight against it. □

[Photo: Salvadoran workers protest Duarte's austerity measures in San Salvador last January.]

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

Democrats sigh about peace... and vote millions for the contras

Once again the Democratic-controlled Congress has given aid to the contras. On December 22 another $8.1 million in "non-lethal" aid was passed to finance Reagan's dirty war on Nicaragua.

But this is not all. Congress also agreed to allow 1.5 million pounds of weapons and ammo previously allocated to be sent along with the "non-lethal" aid.

As if this was not bad enough, Congress also passed a provision that allows the CIA to funnel aid to the contras under the banner of "intelligence sharing'' even if other funding is cut off.

And to top it all off, Congress promised in this bill to allow not one, but two more contra funding votes, first on February 3 and 4, and then after July 1. They are to be held under special rules to prevent anything from blocking or postponing them. This dual vote allows the Democrats to make a show of cutting down Reagan's request on February 3-4, and then voting the remainder later in the year anyway. And just in case contra aid fails on February 3-4, previously allocated aid could still be delivered until February 29. (And additional aid could continue to flow through the various loopholes that Congress has "investigated" but consciously refused to plug.)

Behind the Peace Talk -- Bloodstained Hands

The Democratic Party liberals say they're firm opponents of Reagan's military aggression in Central America. For months they have been hyping the Arias pact which they claim will bring peace. But no amount of peace rhetoric can hide the bloodstained hands of the Democrats.

Since the Arias pact was signed in August the Democrats have approved aid for the contra war three times. In September they approved $3.5 million for the war effort. The Democratic Speaker of the House, Jim Wright, swore there would be no more aid. Two months later another $3.2 million was approved.

The Democratic liberals did somersaults trying to justify their treachery. They boasted that giving this aid was just a clever ploy to end contra aid for good. If they gave this aid, they claimed, they would supposedly receive guarantees from other members of Congress to block any future aid.

The result of this "brilliant" plan? It's just a few weeks later, and Congress has already passed another $8.1 million aid package. And there is to be yet another contra aid vote on February 3 or 4. So the $8.1 million need only cover a little over a month. It amounts to an annual rate of funding that comes close to the $100 million bill of a year ago.

The Democrats have again confirmed that they are nothing but two-faced liars.

More Aid Than the Contras Can Absorb

Indeed, while promising to end the contra war, the Democrats have approved so much aid that the contras are having trouble absorbing it all. About a year ago, Congress approved $100 million to finance the contras. But some of it was still unshipped at the end of 1987. The 1.5 million pounds of weapons accompanying the latest aid proposal came from this backlogged aid, and is in addition to the $8.1 million.

"Humanitarian" Aid + "Non-Lethal" Aid = War

Congress has used tricky names to prettify their financing of the contra butchers. They call it "humanitarian" aid or "non-lethal" aid. But the purpose of this aid, along with the outright military supplies, is the same -- to wage war on the Nicaraguan people. It is such aid and CIA direction which recently allowed the contras to claim that they had launched their biggest offensive ever in late December. In fact, the contras have never been supplied with so much fancy U.S. equipment and assistance as now.

Cowering Before Reagan

The Democratic Party leaders like Wright claim they had "no choice" but to grant the latest contra aid because to vote it down would mean voting against the whole federal budget bill that it was part of. And the Democrats didn't want to be blamed by Reagan for leaving the government un-financed.

What a lame excuse! In fact, Reagan was in the embarrassing position of threatening to hold government operations hostage over a few more millions for an unpopular war. But he can always count on the Democrats going out of their way to keep the pressure up on Nicaragua. When the chips are down, Reagan can't find any excuse too lame, any pretense too shallow, any lie too big, that the Democrats can't swallow it.

The Arias Peace Plan: No Obstacle to die War

This warmhearted attitude toward Reagan pervades the whole aid deal.

The new contra aid legislation calls for the aid to be suspended for a week in January while the presidents of the five Central American countries who signed the Arias peace plan review its progress. But not all aid is suspended, just the openly military aid in this "humanitarian" aid bill. And even this aid resumes if Reagan signs a piece a paper saying that the Sandinista government is responsible for the lack of a cease-fire by this time. Thus the Democrats are going to accept Rambo Reagan's word as the basis for continuing aid. How servile can you get!

Meanwhile the bill provides for a new contra aid vote in the House and Senate on February 3-4. The Democrats already are saying that they may well vote contra aid (as if they haven't already been doing that) depending on the outcome of the Arias plan. And if they don't vote the aid in February, they may well vote it after July 1.

Here we also see that the Arias plan is not an obstacle to Reagan's war but can be quite compatible with it. The war squeezes Nicaragua. Then the Arias plan demands that Nicaragua dismantle its revolution. While Nicaragua decides, the contra war is stepped up. And if Nicaragua does not submit, then there is even more money for war.

The Dissident Democrats Are No Better

Of course a number of Democrats did not vote for this new aid proposal. But this is not because they are friends of Nicaragua. The dissidents only disagreed over just the right combination of military and diplomatic pressure to use against Nicaragua. For example, in the Senate debate, liberals Kerry (D- Mass.) and Cranston (D-Ca.) proposed a substitute bill that would provide more aid if the majority of Central American presidents advise Reagan to do so. Thus, for these senators, the contra war is fine if the reactionary, pro-U.S. regimes who have been helping carry out the U.S./contra war give the OK (Note that Kerry, who is leading a Senate investigation into contra drug smuggling, would nevertheless vote money for these drug-dealing fiends.)

And then there is super-liberal Congressman George Crockett (D-Mich.). He promoted the fraud that accepting the November aid allocation would convince Congress to stop any more aid. So he had to vote against the current bill. But will he stop supporting the Democratic leadership which is carrying out all these frauds? Will he stop supporting the various bills which put pressure on Nicaragua? Will clouds turn into whipped cream?

Down with the False Friends of Nicaragua

Despite their shameless activity, the Democrats still have the nerve to present themselves as great heroes to the movement against U.S. intervention in Central America. But once again the Democrats have shown they are full partners in the Reaganites' contra war. They do not give a damn about the oppressed of Central America. They only care about how to preserve a peace image while working hand in hand with Reagan to finance thousands of fascist thugs to terrorize Nicaragua.

Another death squad murder

Despite the trumpets and fanfare about how the Central American peace pact would allegedly bring peace and democracy, the repression and death- squad murders continue under the U.S.-armed and U.S.-trained regime in El Salvador. The murders aren't even news for the U.S. press except by way of exception. Otherwise newspapers would resemble telephone books with black borders. But the U.S. press did report when the death squads, on December 9, murdered an official of the pro-U.S. Duarte government, Rene Joaquin Cardenas Vargas. Two assassins waited outside his house in a car and then shot him repeatedly in the chest and abdomen.

Cardenas was the eastern region delegate of the Duarte government's Human Rights Commission. El Salvador also has an unofficial Human Rights Commission, whose president, Herbert Anaya Sanabria, had himself been murdered by the death squads a month and a half earlier, on October 27. But unlike the unofficial Human Rights Commission, the Duarte government's commission has little to do with documenting death-squad atrocities. Its concern has been to split and dismember the unofficial commission and to oppose the people's movements.

But the U.S.-trained military and government in El Salvador is so vicious that it eats itself. Political and personal disputes among the various ruling class politicians, and between the "moderate" supporters of Duarte and the right-wing supporters of the ARENA party, are solved in blood. And this is the regime which the reformists believe will allow the workers and peasants to peacefully contest elections, the regime which will allegedly let itself be removed from power if the people say so.

Revisionism admits that the Arias plan aims to destabilize Nicaragua--and supports it anyway

When the Arias plan took effect this past August, most revisionist and reformist groups hailed it like it was the Second Coming of Christ. The Central American accords were supposed to bring an end to the contra war and spread peace and democracy to the long-suffering masses of Nicaragua and all Central America.

The Arias Plan in Action

Five months have gone by for the Arias pact to prove itself. And what are the results?

The contra war has been stepped up. And "democratization" has proven to be mostly amnesty for death-squad murderers and rights for contras.

This has put the reformists and revisionists in a dilemma. Rather than take up the truth and alienate the Democratic Party and the revisionist parties abroad, they are resorting to ever more contorted arguments to find some good in this so-called peace plan.

Creating a New Chile

One of the hot contenders for reigning champion in the department of twisted contortions is the pro-Soviet revisionist "Line of March" group. In the December 7 issue of their newspaper Frontline they confess that the intention of the Arias plan is to create a situation in Nicaragua similar to that in Chile just before the fall of Allende.

But do they condemn the Arias plan for placing Nicaragua in danger of a fascist counterrevolution like the one that has left the Chilean people bleeding for fifteen years under the Pinochet dictatorship since 1973? No! They desperately present this in glowing colors as the transfer of the struggle from military to peaceful means.

"Democratization" According to Arias -- Destabilization

You don't believe it? Then let's get it straight from the horse's mouth. We will be quoting from Frontline's article "Central America peace process moving out of Washington's control." Let's start with LOM's own description of what the promises of democracy in the Arias plan really mean:

Frontline writes:

"Should the Central American agreement be successful, the counterrevolution will not have been done away with, but rather 'demilitarized,'...." The contras will undergo a "tactical shift" in which they "might be willing to forsake the military aggression in an exchange for an effort to restore their former privileges through internal political destabilization waged by exploiting the political opening provided by the terms of the [Arias] agreement...." (Emphasis added)

And they go on:

"The idea behind this strategy of internal political destabilization, not unlike the campaign against Allende's Chile, is not to do away with the armed counterrevolution, but to transfer it intact from the military battlefield to the political terrain in Managua. As a recent Washington Post editorial stated: 'Five years of American support for the contras as a military force failed to gain them a political role in Nicaragua, but now...the Arias peace plan (is seeking) the same end. It's the right end....'"

This past August, LOM hailed the Arias plan's efforts at internal change in Nicaragua as "democratization" and talked about "Nicaragua's willingness to agree to meet a standard of democratization." It clammed up about what the internal changes demanded by Arias actually were. (See our article "Opportunists know better, but laud the Central American pact anyway" in the September 1, 1987 issue of The Workers' Advocate.)

Now LOM is forced to backtrack. They admit the Arias plan is designed to help the contras and their supporters inside Nicaragua carry out "destabilization." Let us listen to them describe what has already happened inside Nicaragua:

What Destabilization Has Already Meant for Nicaragua

"Since the signing of the [Arias] peace plan, the U.S. has sharply increased its support for the internal political opposition. For example, the congressionally funded National Endowment for Democracy has spent nearly $500,000 on bolstering the internal opposition in recent weeks. U.S. embassy officials in Managua have admitted that they are broadening their ties to those pro-U.S. forces in an effort to gain better control over them and direct a well-funded, well-organized internal destabilization campaign. Not a day goes by in Managua without street demonstrations by reactionary forces, provocations by La Prensa, etc. -- all in a very visibly charged political atmosphere." (Emphasis added)

Does this sound like the peaceful ideological struggle promised by the supporters of the Arias pact? Does this sound like more democracy for the workers and peasants to discuss how to satisfy their interests, safeguard their gains from U.S. imperialism, and fight exploitation? Does this sound like more freedom for the masses to organize to accomplish these aims? (The Sandinistas, in line with their petty-bourgeois program, have indeed made the error of clamping down on the class conscious workers and poor peasants with bureaucracy. But, as one can see, the Arias plan is not designed to rectify this.) Or does it sound like the U.S. flooding in money and experts in order to subvert the will of the masses?

Finding Something Positive in Destabilization

How then does LOM try to justify their love affair with the Arias plan now? Frontline writes: "For the revolution, on the other hand, the costs of defense against an enemy operating strictly in the political-ideological terrain is much less than the costs of military defense."

It was the same article in Frontline that invoked the specter of Chile. In Chile, as everyone knows, the cost of destabilization was the fascist Pinochet dictatorship.

Let's look a little closer at what happened in Chile.

Allende, leader of the reformist Socialist Party, was elected president. Though he was a mere reformist, the reactionaries wanted him deposed. Allende refused to give arms to the masses and mobilize them to suppress the counterrevolution. For his failure to suppress the reactionaries, Allende paid with his life. The CIA and the fascists assassinated him. They "destabilized" Chile not through honest public debate but through economic sabotage, fascist demagogy, and bloodthirsty military terror.

This is the reality that hides behind LOM's innocent-looking phrase "strictly in the political-ideological terrain." And LOM itself admits that the U.S. has stepped up its use of these methods since the Arias pact.

Does Destabilization Mean the End of the Military Struggle?

LOM also makes it sound like the military struggle will be replaced by some safer struggle "strictly in the political-ideological terrain." This is utter nonsense!

It should be pointed out that giving, more rights to the contras does not mean an end to their external aggression. The destabilization campaign has already begun, and yet the contra war is going on more fiercely than ever.

Faith in the American Bourgeoisie

How then can LOM be so sure that the contra war will end?

They claim the Democratic Party liberals will cut off aid. Frontline writes: "...important sectors within the U.S. bourgeoisie -- now articulated by House Speaker Jim Wright -- recognize that a campaign against Nicaragua spearheaded by military aggression...has little chance of success...."

A few days after the Frontline article appeared, Jim Wright agreed to ship over $8.1 million in supplies to the contras.

But let us suppose that the Sandinistas give so many concessions that for the time being the Congress agrees to give the contra war a nap. And let us suppose that the internal destabilization campaign is so easily defeated, as LOM assures us. What guarantee is there that the Congress and Reagan won't switch back to reactivating the contra war or other military methods? After all, prominent liberal backers of the Arias plan have written repeatedly that they will support military methods if, after the failure of the Arias plan, there is no other way to support "U.S. interests." (Of course, military methods does not mean only the contras -- some of these "anti-contra" liberals prefer the direct use of the U.S. armed forces.)

LOM wants to avoid the revolutionary struggle to defeat U.S. imperialism. Instead they preach that imperialism will back down, "forced" by Sandinista concessions and "a strict reading of the obligations of the Central American accords" carried out by a verification group consisting of representatives of pro-U.S. regimes in Latin America, a group which LOM glowingly describes as "for the most [part] insulated from U.S. pressures and manipulations." LOM has no faith in the class conscious masses or in revolution. But they have a lot of faith in the Democratic Party, the American government, and the bourgeois, repressive, pro-U.S. regimes in Latin America.

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On the book "Perestroika":

Gorbachev against the class struggle

Last month U.S. bookstores began to carry Soviet revisionist chief Mikhail Gorbachev's book Perestroika: New Thinking for our Country and the World.

The American publisher of the book, Harper and Row, a big publishing monopoly, will sell you the book for $19.95. A hefty sum for workers and poor people. But then, the book isn't really meant for workers. It is written for the bourgeoisie. In it Gorbachev speaks to the capitalist politicians in Washington, Western Europe, and elsewhere, to the heads of the multinational corporations, and others of that ilk. The book is written for the type of big shots that Gorbachev came to hobnob with during last month's summit meeting in Washington.

However, for class conscious workers and those who are revolutionary-minded, the book is a useful reference. Here in one place you can find the basic ideas being promoted by Soviet revisionism for today's world. And since the Soviet revisionists still have influence over sections of the working class movement in various countries, Gorbachev's manifesto is another step in betrayal of the interests of the toilers.

Therefore all who are sincerely interested in defending the interests of the workers and in fighting for a world without exploitation would do well to arm themselves against the misleading ideas of Perestroika.

Gorbachev of course speaks in the name of Marxism-Leninism and communism. But the Soviet leadership has long betrayed the legacy of Lenin and the October Socialist Revolution. Today the USSR is a state capitalist society, and under Gorbachev, it is introducing more and more traditional capitalist forms to the Russian economic and political system.

Gorbachev's book covers a series of themes. It presents in capsule form what the Moscow leaders are trying to do with their plan of "reforms" inside the Soviet Union. It touches on their assessment of Soviet history. It presents their views on the fight against militarism and war. It discusses what the Soviet leaders think about the issues faced by the oppressed countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. And so forth.

In last month's Workers' Advocate we commented on Gorbachev's stand on Soviet women. This article brought out how the Moscow leaders have the same reactionary ideas on women as the capitalists in the U.S. (See "Revisionism and capitalism -- same old tune against women," Dec. 1,1987)

In this issue we want to take up a basic ideological theme that runs through Gorbachev's book.

"New Thinking" Is Another Way of Saying Marxism Is Outdated

Right in the title of Gorbachev's book appears the theme that he stands for -- "New Thinking." This slogan is repeated innumerable times through the entire book.

What Gorbachev means by this is that Marxism-Leninism, which the Soviet Union gives lip service to as its ideology, is "old thinking." Marxism is said to no longer be suitable for today's world. And what he is denouncing are the most basic principles that Marx, Engels, Lenin and the revolutionary workers' movement have historically stood for. Gorbachev denies concepts such as the class struggle as the motive force of history, the necessity for revolution, and the goal of a socialist society free of exploitation.

A Long-Standing Revisionist Trick

Now this trick of presenting Marxism as out of date is not something new. Every figure in the international workers' movement who has wanted to abandon Marxism has come out with the view that changed conditions of the world have nullified the revolutionary core of socialist theory. Indeed, this is how the phenomenon of revisionism (the revising of Marxism into something tame and acceptable to the exploiters) emerged historically.

This attitude is also not new for the Soviet leadership. The Soviet leaders began to turn away from Marxism in the mid-1930's. The view that the basic ideas of Marxism were outdated began to be pushed from that time onwards. This view helped promote the bureaucratic corruption in Soviet society that eventually transformed it back into a capitalist society.

Now we are far from denying that the workers' movement is constantly confronted by new problems. These new problems are the result of capitalist development or new forms of the capitalist offensive against the working people. The workers and their communist vanguard do have to develop tactics to deal with new conditions. They have to be able to mobilize the mass anger and concern over these dangers in such a way as to push forward the revolutionary struggle for socialism.

This cannot be a call for wiping out the basic principles of Marxism, for abandoning the class struggle and the revolutionary movement. Otherwise you overlook what is the source of humanity's problems, and you give up the struggle to find a fundamental solution to such scourges.

Why Gorbachev Thinks Marxism Is Not Relevant

Gorbachev's attack on Marxism is concentrated in Chapter 3 of his book, "How We See the World of Today."

He writes, "We have seen the main issue -- the growing tendency towards interdependence of states of the world community.... The world -- contradictory, socially and politically diverse, but nonetheless interconnected and largely integral -- is forming with great difficulties, as if it is feeling its way through a conflict of opposites."

He adds, "Another no less obvious reality of our time is the emergence and aggravation of the so-called global issues which have become so vital to the destinies of civilization. I mean nature conservation, the critical condition of the environment, of the air basin and the oceans, and of our planet's traditional resources which have turned out not to be limitless. I mean old and new diseases and mankind's common concern: how are we to put an end to starvation and poverty in vast areas of the Earth?" (p. 137; emphasis added)

And he goes on to add to the list of common global concerns the danger of nuclear war.

True, these are all worldwide issues; but that's not what Gorbachev means. He says these are humanity's common concerns, by which he means that these problems are above-class issues. They are supposed to be issues of common concern to capitalists and workers alike, to capitalist and socialist societies alike. Thus these problems are to be solved by international cooperation, cooperation across class lines.

Of course, Gorbachev still gives slight lip service to the class struggle. He still wants to pose as a Marxist and communist. But his is an academic view of class struggle. It is accepted "in general." But it is placed within strict limits. On all practical questions facing the toilers, class struggle is declared to be off limits. This is the Marxism of university professors. A Marxism that denies the need for proletarian revolution against the bourgeoisie.

Pollution and Ecological Damage Are Not Above-Class Issues

This is complete rubbish. Let's take a couple of examples.

It is true that the pollution of the air we breathe and the environment we live in affect us all. But there is a good deal of difference on how people are affected across class lines. Such disasters as Bhopal in India, Pemex in Mexico City, or Love Canal in upstate New York, would strongly stress that the workers face the impact of environmental disasters quite differently than the bourgeois.

More to the point, who is it that is responsible for ecological disaster? Is it not the capitalists? And are they not the very ones who resist tooth and nail attempts to get safety measures, measures to cut down pollution, etc? Are they not the ones to refuse any safeguards because that would cut into their profits?

Ending Starvation Is a Concern Above Classes???

What is most amazing is Gorbachev's suggestion that "ending starvation and poverty in the world" are common concerns. This is so ridiculous that one feels embarrassed to argue against it.

Marxists have always held that it is exploitation which is at the root of starvation and poverty. It is the most absurd reformist lie to say that the exploiters have the concern to end misery for the toilers. Don't the exploiters even use hunger in order to break strikes, lower wages, and enforce their class rule?

Gorbachev does not detail how he thinks the problem of starvation and poverty are to be solved through class collaboration. No wonder! From long before Gorbachev was born, bourgeois philanthropists have tried in vain to solve the problem of poverty through appealing to the benevolence of the rich.

Opposing Revolution Against Imperialism

Take the question of the conditions in the oppressed countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. There the problems of starvation and poverty are the most acute and widespread. The causes of this are to be found in the exploitation of the laboring masses by exploiters, both local and imperialist. Indeed, a good deal of the responsibility for the poverty in these countries is due to the domination of these societies by world imperialism. Revolution against domestic and imperialist exploiters is essential for the liberation of the toilers in these countries.

But Gorbachev is opposed to revolution against imperialism. He comes right out and says that "While we do not approve the character of current relations between the West and the developing countries, we do not urge that they should be disrupted." (p. 139)

No to Class Collaboration! For Class Struggle and the International Unity of Labor!

On every question facing the masses, Gorbachev offers a reformist pipe dream. To him, it is not class struggle and revolution but class collaboration on a world scale and within all countries that offers the way forward. If the masses were to take this idea to heart, it would do incalculable harm. It would set back the toilers in every country. It would mean lying down before the ferocious capitalist offensive which daily, hourly sucks the blood and sweat out of the workers and peasants.

Revolutionary communists say, Reject this revisionist trash! The class struggle is the only way to defend the interests of the toilers. It is the only way to confront and do away with the crimes of the exploiters.

Yes, this is a global struggle. It is true that there are greater international connections in the world of today. Capitalist relations are worldwide. Multinational corporations exploit the labor of working people across national borders. And the capitalists of different countries coordinate their attacks on the toilers. At the same time, this situation has also created greater international connections among the world's proletarians. It has brought forth common issues in the class struggle; in many cases, the particular enemies are even the same. The more the globe shrinks, the sharper the class divisions in every part of the world and the more the potential for revolutionary class struggle. To revolutionary communists, these are reasons not to argue for collaboration across class lines but to develop closer forms of international working class cooperation.


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Greetings from the Communist Organization "Workers' Policy" of Portugal


November 15,1987

To the NEC of the MLP,USA

Dear Comrades:

The 3rd Assembly of the OCPO was convened on November 7 in Lisbon. It analyzed the path pursued by the organization since its founding in March of 1985. It reaffirmed the correctness of our general line of struggle for the rebirth of Marxism-Leninism, for the founding of the communist party of the Portuguese working class, and for the rebuilding of the international communist movement.

Acknowledging the great difficulties which surround revolutionary work in Portugal and around the world, the Assembly considered necessary major efforts to push forward the clarification of the ideological problems in the open through the journal Politica Operaria (Workers' Policy), and to strengthen ties with the workers' movement and with its daily struggles.

The Assembly attributed great importance to developing closer relations with the Marxist-Leninist organizations of other countries and specifically with your Party. Closer relations and a more intense debate are essential for breaking the siege around the revolution mounted by the forces of imperialism and modern revisionism, to revive among the proletarian masses the prestige of revolutionary Marxism, and to launch the basis of the new international communist movement.

We hope that, from now on, it will be possible to share more regularly, between the OCPO and the MLP, experiences in the realm of theory and practice, including meetings for debate.

The Assembly reaffirmed the militant solidarity with your Party in face of the unprincipled campaign against you waged by certain organizations in the so-called Marxist-Leninist trend. This campaign confirms the alarm that clear class positions provoke among those adept at "democratic" working class / petty-bourgeois collaboration.

And it confirms the retreat in growing crisis of the false centrist "Marxism- Leninism."

We wish you successes in your activity, unfolded under difficult conditions. Accept, dear comrades, our sincere

Communist Greetings

from the 3rd Assembly of the OCPO.


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Harold Washington: fighter for the black people or the black elite?

After the sudden death of Harold Washington on November 25, Chicago was draped in an enormous display of official mourning. While newspapers and celebrities poured out eulogies of praise, hundreds of thousands of people came out to pay last respects to Chicago's first black mayor.

During his 1983 mayoral campaign Washington promised that he would fight for the interests of the black masses and downtrodden if only he were elected. After winning office, he promised the great days would come if only he could win a majority in the city council. Now, after his death, the eulogies proclaim the wondrous benefits he would have bestowed on the masses if he had only lived just a little longer. Such empty promises for the masses make up the myth of Harold Washington.

It is the myth that is mourned. And if the masses are to liberate themselves from the stark reality of racist oppression, grinding exploitation, and growing impoverishment they must do away with the myth. For, once all is said and done, the actual legacy of Harold Washington is betrayal of the black masses for the interests of the thin black upper crust.

What Happened to the Fight Against Racism?

Washington is most often praised as a fighter against racism. But what happened to this struggle while he was mayor?

Oh, Washington appointed a black police chief all right. But this hardly helped to fight the racist terror against the masses. In fact, racist attacks in Chicago involving serious injury and arson are reported to have actually increased while Washington was mayor.

What did Washington do to fight these attacks? Did he encourage mass struggle against them? Did he organize the masses to stand up to the racists? No, Washington blocked the mass anti-racist movement at every turn. For example, when the Klan and Nazis wanted to demonstrate in Marquette Park in the summer of 1986, the Washington administration not only gave them the permit to do so but also opposed any counter-actions by the masses. Indeed, Washington's police department -- headed by his black police chief -- dispatched the police squadrons that prevented anti-racist marchers from entering the park to protest the fascist terrorists. Is this the activity of a leader of the anti-racist struggle? Hardly.

What Washington did was to narrow the black people's movement down to a fight for tokenism -- to a squabble with a section of the white Democratic Party officials to get a few more blacks into city administrative positions, a few more bucks for black contractors, a few more services for businessmen in some black neighborhoods. Of course blacks should have equal rights to all of this. But Washington sold out the interests of the black working masses in trade for these few crumbs for the thin upper crust of black professionals and businessmen.

Washington's term of office brought progress for the black bourgeoisie whom he represented. But Washington's legacy for the working masses has been one of undermining the fight against racist terror and discrimination while increasing the layoffs, raising CTA fares, cutting education and teacher jobs, and so forth.

What Will Tomorrow Bring?

Washington was not even cold, when politicians in his coalition began a disgusting squabble over the spoils of office.

Timothy Evans and Eugene Sawyer split Washington's bloc in the city council over which of them would become mayor until special elections are held in 1989. Jesse Jackson caught a jet back into the city to join the wrangling. But the question was only settled when Sawyer cut a deal with Ed Burke, who heads the bloc of white Democrats who have spurred on racist opposition to Washington over the years. This gave Sawyer the majority in the city council to become mayor. It also tarnished his image among the masses.

Evans is using this fact to paint himself up as a fighter against the Democratic Party machine and the true inheritor of Washington's mantle. But it is really hard to see the difference between the two. Both are black aldermen that came up through Mayor Daley's machine, just as Washington did. Both were early supporters of Washington's election campaign and key leaders of his coalition. Both remain stalwarts of the Democratic Party, just as Washington always was till his death.

Just as Washington squabbled with his city council opponents over whether to attack the masses by raising taxes or to attack them by increasing layoffs, Evans and Sawyer bicker. But underneath it all they represent the same class interests. They are spokesmen of the black bourgeoisie which cuts deals with the white ruling class in this country at the expense of the masses. Neither Evans nor Sawyer will fight to make the multinational corporations and billionaires pay to alleviate the plight of the masses. Oh no. Whether Sawyer remains mayor or is eventually swept away to be replaced by Evans, the working masses of Chicago face more of the same cruel oppression.

This is the real legacy of Harold Washington. And it will remain so, until the working masses are organized to fight back. All class conscious workers should work to unite the masses from all races and nationalities into a powerful movement against racist oppression, free of illusions in the Democratic Party politicians, and based on waging class struggle against both parties of the rich.

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Meetings celebrate 70th anniversary of socialist revolution in Russia

On December 5, the Marxist-Leninist Party held public meetings in New York, Detroit, Oakland, and Seattle. The meetings brought out Party comrades and other revolutionary activists for a serious discussion on two themes.

Talks were given exposing the Arias peace pact and discussing the tasks for building up the movement in solidarity with the revolutionary workers and peasants of Central America. There was also discussion of the lessons for today's workers' movement from the socialist revolution in Russia 70 years ago. (For two of the speeches see the December 20 issue of the Workers' Advocate Supplement.) The spirited discussions at the meetings culminated in a celebration of the workers' struggle for socialism with the performances of a number of revolutionary songs and poetry.

The December 5 meetings were the culmination of a campaign through October and November to take the two themes deeply among the working masses. Party papers and leaflets were distributed widely in the work places and working class communities. The Party linked agitation for socialist revolution with the current struggles against concessions, layoffs, and racism. It denounced Gorbachev and the other present-day rulers of Russia for their betrayal of socialism. It exposed their current "reforms" as only saddling the workers with an even starker capitalist exploitation. And the Party worked to inspire the workers with true socialism -- the socialism of Lenin and the October Revolution -- and to show them its importance for guiding the workers' movement forward.

The Party also took this campaign into the solidarity movement. It attended meetings of solidarity groups, showed slides of last year's solidarity tour of the MLP to Nicaragua, and participated in confrontations with contra spokesmen, fights against the "death train" in California, and in other mass actions against U.S. intervention.

In all this work, the Party provided the workers and solidarity activists with detailed facts exposing the imperialist intentions behind the Arias pact. And the Party worked to show them the true force for progress in Nicaragua -- the revolutionary workers and peasants led by their vanguard party, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua. The Party also linked this work with an explanation of how the October Socialist Revolution in Russia shows that revolution is the right path for defeating the imperialists and domestic capitalists in Central America.

The campaign and meetings helped bring the Party among new circles of activists and to consolidate ties previously established. A stronger spirit of solidarity was built with the revolutionary workers in Nicaragua, expressed for example in the money collected to help raise a roof on a Nicaraguan workers' meeting hall (see article on this page).

And the discussion of the principles of socialist revolution was taken wider and made more concrete. The success of the campaign and the militancy of the December 5 meetings was a declaration that the spirit of the socialist revolution in Russia 70 years ago is still alive in the U.S. workers' movement.

[Photo: Detroit, December 5.]

[Photo: Oakland, December 5.]

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Workers and activists raise funds for a roof for a Nicaraguan workers' hall

The campaign among U.S. workers and activists to help raise a roof on a workers' meeting hall in Managua, Nicaragua has met with success. We have already raised more than the goal of $2,000. And The Workers' Advocate has been informed that additional money has been collected but has not yet been turned in and added to the total.

This campaign has been an important demonstration of solidarity of U.S. workers and anti-imperialist activists with the revolutionary workers of Nicaragua. The funds were not raised from the liberal bank-rollers of the Democratic Party or other wealthy big shots. Rather, ordinary workers, students and youth gave what they could to help the Nicaraguan workers.

Money was raised through gate collections at auto plants, transit barns, and postal stations. Circles of workers in steel mills and other work places collected money from their fellow workers. Funds were also raised through special presentations of the slide show on last year's tour of Nicaragua by the MLP. The slide show was taken to meetings of activists in the solidarity movement and into workers' homes. As well, collection cans were filled at mass demonstrations against U.S. intervention in Central America. And the call to help raise the roof brought in hundreds of dollars at the MLP-organized meetings on December 5.

This campaign to provide concrete assistance to the revolutionary workers in Nicaragua has been a welcome antidote to the pie-in-the-sky daydreaming for "peace" promoted around the Arias pact. Backed by the Democrats, the Arias "peace" plan aims to help Reagan and his contras revive from their past defeats. It aims at pressuring the Sandinista government to open the door wider for the big capitalists inside Nicaragua to organize counterrevolution. It aims at strangling the Nicaraguan revolution, but all in sugary-sweet words about "peace."

The roof campaign carried out in the U.S. solidarity movement helped to confront the imperialist "peace" subterfuge with a concrete alternative of support for the revolutionary workers in Nicaragua. It is they who are rallying the people for struggle to defeat the U.S. imperialist aggression, to defend the revolution, and to carry it forward to socialism.

The money that's been raised will now be sent to the Frente Obrero (FO), the trade union center of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua. The FO set up a workers' meeting hall in an industrial zone of Managua as part of its work of organizing the masses in work places all over Nicaragua, from sugar plantations to steel mills. It has wanted to complete the roof over the building to create a better hall for workers to hold mass meetings. The money raised from U.S. workers and activists will help the FO overcome the shortage of materials and funds for this roof caused by Reagan's blockade, the U.S. aggression, and economic dislocation in the country.

Solidarity should not stop here. Supplies are still needed for the Nicaraguan workers' press -- to put out Prensa Proletaria (the newspaper of the MLPN), leaflets by the FO, and so forth. As well, letters of solidarity can be sent to the MLPN and the FO. And most importantly, we must build up the solidarity movement in the U.S. to fight against the contra war and every imperialist maneuver aimed at strangling the Nicaraguan revolution.

Send contributions and inquiries and make out checks to [Address.]

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"Raise a Roof' --a song


Raise a roof, raise a roof for the

workers' hall

To help them organize

Down in Managua they gave the call

Raise a roof for the workers hall

The workers and peasants are fighting

'Gainst Reagan's contra war

And now the so-called "peace plan"

Is pressuring them more


But the Sandinistas hold the cards

And they 're dealing a rotten hand

The revolution, a bargaining chip,

In a game with the contra clan


So the workers must march forward

To defend each hard-fought gain

And to vanquish exploitation

Make a land where the workers reign


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