The Workers' Advocate

Vol. 19, No. 10


25ยข October 1, 1989

[Front page:

Make the rich pay for the housing crisis!;

Watch out for Bush's war on drugs--Build the struggle against police terror;



Step Up the Defense of Women's Rights!

Pro-choice actions.................................................................................. 2
Reject NOW's 'overpopulation' line...................................................... 3
Anti-abortion forces seek ban on birth control...................................... 3

Strikes and Workplace News

Pittston Coal; Boise Cascade; Borg Warner; GM protest; Bethlehem; Hayward, Calif. Strike........................................................................... 4

Make the Rich Pay for the Housing Crisis!

Crisis shows need for socialism; Demonstration against cutbacks in Philadelphia.......................................................................................... 5

'War on Drugs' Is War on Blacks and Poor

Will U.S. join war on left in Colombia; Banks and drugs; Bush prefers prisons to education; Police checkpoints terrorize masses................... 6
Democrats want more money for repression........................................ 7

AIDS and drug company profiteering................................................... 7

Down With Racism............................................................................... 8 and 9

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

Sandinista 'mixed economy' can't deal with crisis; 10 FMLN proposals; Bush buys elections in Nicaragua; El Pueblo reprints......... 11

The World in Struggle

Strike wave in Quebec; Strike against Peugeot; General strike in India; Palestine uprising deals with collaborators................................. 12
Resistance spreads in Mexico............................................................... 13
Condemn murder of Iranian communist militant................................. 13

Movie review: 'Do the Right Thing' promises much, says little.......... 14

For Workers' Socialism, Not Revisionist State Capitalism

Soviet miners prepare struggle; Yugoslav workers rally....................... 15

Apartheid, No! Revolution, Yes!

Blacks defy elections; Tutu undermines struggle.................................. 16

Make the rich pay for the housing crisis!

Watch out for Bush's war on drugs--

Build the struggle against police terror


Militant demo confronts Bush in Boston

Pro-choice rallies in Lansing, Michigan and Atlanta

No to new state laws restricting abortion!

Reject NOW's 'overpopulation' hysteria

Anti-abortion movement wants to ban birth control

Grand jury used for political persecution

Strikes and workplace news

Housing crisis shows the need for socialism

Demonstrators denounce cuts in homeless aid in Philadelphia

Instead of a war on drugs, will the U.S. join the war on the left in Colombia?

Where's the 'war on drugs' when it comes to the banks?

Bush prefers prisons to education

Police 'anti-drug' checkpoints -- another way to terrorize the masses

AIDS crisis:

Drug company profiteering is a crime!

Democrats demand more money for repression


Notes from Nicaragua-Part 3

FSLN's "mixed economy" can't deal with economic crisis

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

The World in Struggle

'Do the Right Thing' promises much and says little

Soviet miners prepare for new round of struggle

Yugoslav workers rally against inflation

Death to apartheid in South Africa!

Make the rich pay for the housing crisis!

[Box: Working people, employed and unemployed! Now is the time to push forward the militant actions! The rich and their government are the cause of homelessness. Now is the time to make the rich pay for the housing crisis!]

The capitalist housing crisis has taken a terrible toll. The ranks of the homeless have swollen to four million. Even more are on the brink of homelessness, trapped in growing poverty, soaring rents and crumbling buildings.

But with this growing misery comes growing anger. The victims are fighting back. From New York City to San Francisco mass struggles have broken out. Actions against evictions. Occupations of vacant buildings. Marches against housing budget cuts. Resistance to police abuse. And the October 7 march on Washington, D.C.

Working people, employed and unemployed! Now is the time to push forward the militant actions! The rich and their government are the cause of homelessness. Now is the time to make the rich pay for the housing crisis!

Reaganism Equals Homelessness

Under Reagan, the housing problem became a nightmare. Reaganism meant a profit orgy for the capitalists and growing poverty for the working people. Layoffs, wage-cutting and soaring rents swelled the ranks of those needing assistance for decent housing.

But Reagan just spit at the poor. He cursed the homeless as nothing more than derelicts. The already inadequate "safety net'' of government social programs was sliced to ribbons. Federal assistance for low-cost housing was attacked with a vengeance, dropping from $26 billion to $8 billion.

And while Reagan shook his finger at the poverty-stricken, his rich friends set upon what was left of the HUD budget like sharks in a feeding frenzy. The HUD scandal showed Reagan's contempt for the very idea of public housing.

"Kinder, Gentler" Reaganism

Now along comes Bush promising to be kinder and gentler. He has even sent his HUD secretary, Jack Kemp, to clean up corruption in HUD. But this sudden concern over housing is just a big show. Far from restoring the budget cuts of the Reagan years, Kemp is using the corruption at HUD as an excuse to further gut government housing programs.

Kemp is especially eager to further "privatization'' of housing problems. But it was just such "privatization'' which freed the financial swindlers, construction capitalists, and Reaganite cronies from virtually any regulation and led to Reagan's HUD scandal. Kemp's plan is like fighting a fire by pouring gasoline on it.

The only regulations Bush and Kemp are serious about are those for suppressing the poor. Under the guise of fighting drugs and crime, new rules are being created to speed up evictions of tenants in public housing. Police raids, and mass evictions in the projects have become the last words of Bush's "kinder, gentler" program. In short, Bush and co. are following Reagan's legacy.

Bipartisan War on the Poor

The housing crisis is not just the product of the Reagan and Bush administrations, however. The Democratic Party politicians bear full responsibility as well. Oh sure, some Democrats in Congress quibbled over a few dollars here and there in the Reagan/Bush budgets. But in the end, the Democratic majority in Congress allowed social benefits to be cut, making it impossible for many of the poor to keep pace with housing costs.

Indeed Democratic Party politicians have taken up the Bush/Kemp program against tenants and the homeless as their own. A few weeks ago, the Democratic mayor of Philadelphia, Wilson Goode, slashed the city budget for aid to the homeless by 50% In New York City, Mayor Koch has destroyed a shantytown erected in a park by the homeless, and let loose his police to brutalize housing protests. The Democratic mayor of San Francisco, Art Agnos, has done the same. The Daley administration in Chicago has conducted police raids and mass evictions in the projects under the banner of Bush's phony war on drugs. Meanwhile, in the recent mayoral primary in Detroit, big-time liberals Coleman Young and John Conyers did not discuss rehabilitating abandoned houses and giving them to the homeless. Oh no, they debated who could tear them down faster while finding more ways to evict people. The list could go on, but the point is made. The Democrats are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Capitalism is Behind the Housing Crisis

Why is it that the Reaganite Republicans and liberal Democrats alike have such a similar stand on the housing crisis? The reason is that both parties serve the interests of the capitalist bloodsuckers.

Under capitalism, profit is king and the needs of the masses be damned. Just look at a few features of today's housing debacle. Slumlords raise rents so high that many are driven into the streets. They let buildings decay and abandon them altogether to invest in more profitable ventures. The real estate barons and corporate interests hover over the decayed neighborhoods waiting to level working people's homes and replace them with more profitable luxury apartments or commercial construction.

The capitalist politicians smooth the way for the profiteers. When the poor ask for housing, the government officials say "sorry, we have budget problems.'' But when the super-rich say they need millions in tax breaks for one of their projects, the same politicians are only too glad to help. If the masses protest this state of affairs, the police are sent in.

The housing crisis has demonstrated the bankruptcy of the capitalist system itself. A thorough solution to the housing problems of the masses requires a revolution overthrowing the capitalists, replacing them with the rule of the workers, and building socialism.

Fight the Rich and their Government

Homelessness and the housing crisis are part of the class war of the rich against the working people. Working people, both employed and unemployed, with housing and without, must reply with a determined struggle against their class oppressors. Build up the mass protests and other militant actions! Target the struggle against the capitalists and their political stooges, the Republicans and the Democrats! Only such a struggle can force the wealthy exploiters to provide more decent, affordable housing.

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Watch out for Bush's war on drugs--

Build the struggle against police terror

The last month has seen a surge in the struggle against racism. Protests turned into street battles against racist murders by police in New Jersey and Chicago. Black students unleashed their fury against police harassment by racist officials in Virginia Beach. A march decrying the racist gang murder of a black teenager in New York City also became a melee between black youth and the city's cops. And protests broke out against the KKK and racist skinheads in several other cities.

These mass actions are encouraging not only because they show an awakening to struggle against the spread of racism in this country. But also because they frequently targeted the police and government officials. American racism is not simply a matter of some ugly white people. It is a weapon of the capitalist ruling class to split up the workers on racial and national lines to maintain their system of exploitation. That is why -- from the White House to the Supreme Court and down to local officials and the cop on the street -- racism is being fostered.

That is also why the working class must look with extreme skepticism at the current clamor for a "war on drugs.'' Bush and Congress, Republican governors and Democratic mayors, have all seized on the working people's concerns about rampant drug abuse and crime to drum up support for bigger police forces, more prisons, and harsher laws. They won't give more funds to cut unemployment, or eliminate homelessness, or provide health care, or rebuild the deteriorating school system, or eradicate impoverishment -- the social problems that have given rise to the drug epidemic. Indeed, Bush and Congress have agreed to cut funds for social benefits in order to increase money for police and jails. But such a method for dealing with the drug problem is like treating small pox with a shotgun. The disease can still spread, but the patient is blown to smithereens.

This is what the powers-that-be have in mind for whole sections of the working class. Of course, the politicians don't say this stronger machine of terror is to be used against the black masses or other nationalities or the poor. Oh no, they just speak of sealing off "drug-infested" neighborhoods and cleaning out "drug-plagued" housing projects. But hidden behind the stern words against drugs is the reality of more repression against the masses, of a class war of the rich against the poor.

In this issue of The Workers' Advocate there are a series of articles showing the class prejudice in Bush's "war on drugs." One article shows how government spending is for the police and prisons instead of education, health care, and other needs of the masses. Another article shows how new measures like police checkpoints don't stop drugs but do intensify the repression against the ordinary working people. Another shows that while turning to the seizure of cars and jailings against even "casual" drug users, the government uses kid gloves on the banks which are filling their vaults off the drug trade.

There are other articles as well, articles about the oppressed masses rising in struggle against police terror and racism and impoverishment. And these are important in talking about the drug problem too. Because by standing up to the police and fighting for the real needs of the working people, the masses are taking steps to attack the evils underlying the drug plague. They are building mass movements which can provide our youth with an alternative to getting drawn into the drug world. That can provide the young people with new inspiration, ideals and hope for the future. By organizing and rising in struggle the masses are laying the basis to push aside the drug world, and the capitalist system of exploitation that has spawned it.

[Photo. S. African blacks defy apartheid see back page]

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[Photo: Anti-racist protesters confront police near Brooklyn Bridge in march against lynch mob murder of Yusef Hawkins.]

Inside on pages 8-9:

* Justice for Yusef Hawkins

* What sparked Virginia Beach rebellion?

* Fight racist attacks in Chicago

* Against the Klan, skinheads and police terror

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Militant demo confronts Bush in Boston

A militant demonstration in defense of abortion rights confronted George Bush and the Catholic hierarchy in Boston on September 23. About 150 people turned out and loudly spoke their minds against the right-wing offensive.

Boston's Catholic Cardinal, Law, had invited George Bush to speak at a meeting of Catholic lawyers and judges on September 23. Law has been a prominent local leader of the anti-abortion forces. He didn't invite Bush for just another polite social gathering of the elite. He wanted this meeting to be a symbol of affinity between the Church hierarchy and the White House, a symbol of a common crusade against women and the working class.

The demonstration was a big success. But it took place only because the Marxist-Leninist Party and pro-choice activists took the initiative, working for it despite a negative attitude from the local NOW (National Organization for Women) chapter.

The Boston Branch of the Marxist- Leninist Party decided that it was important for the pro-choice movement not to allow the Bush-Law media event to go unchallenged. It called for a protest, putting out a flyer which was distributed at pro-choice events, universities, neighborhoods and work places. The flyer declared, "Demonstrate against Bush and Cardinal Law, champions of the rich, sexism and racism."

The call was well received by many workers and circles of activists. One group of activists also joined the call for the protest. However, the leaders of NOW were not interested in organizing anything against the Bush-Law gathering.

The morning of the planned protest, Operation Rescue hit the Gynecare clinic downtown, only a few blocks from the Park Plaza Hotel. This was an excellent opportunity to gather pro-choice forces there to resist OR and then march to the Bush event. Unfortunately NOW, despite knowing about the clinic blockade, only mobilized its closest supporters. It did its damnedest to prevent other activists from finding out about it. Eventually however the word got out and the MLP activists arrived there. At 11:30 pro-choice activists were urged to join together in a march to the Park Plaza. NOW leaders jumped up and told everyone to leave their signs, declaring that NOW would go to the Park Plaza later.

About 30 people set off for the Park Plaza, shouting militant slogans. When they arrived, they met a group of students from Brandeis University and other individuals who had already arrived looking for the demonstration. The students cheered and joined together with the newly arrived marchers. The police and Secret Service were taken by surprise as the demonstrators took up positions right in front of the hotel, shouting slogans as buses full of lawyers, priests and judges pulled up.

The police decided to push the gathering across the street. But they were vigorously denounced by activists who pushed back against the cops. After the gathering regrouped on the other side of the street, NOW came marching down. They tried to add some ridiculous slogans like "Free Barbara Bush!" But this was changed by the masses to "She's a right-wing pig!''

The vigorous slogan shouting went on until it was clear that Bush would drive down Arlington Street right past the demonstration. When police stopped traffic for his motorcade, the protesters ran over to the barricades to greet Bush and Law. They shouted, "Down with Bush!'' Activists climbed on parked cars and into trees to get a better position to shout at Bush when he drove by. After Bush finally went in, the demonstration broke up, although some activists stayed around to have discussions.

[Photo: Bush's limousine goes by pro-choice demonstration.]

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Pro-choice rallies in Lansing, Michigan and Atlanta

No to new state laws restricting abortion!

The fall sessions of the state legislatures are beginning, and right-wing politicians are launching new efforts to restrict abortion rights. The July 3rd Supreme Court ruling approving a Missouri law restricting abortions has come as a clarion call for these reactionary efforts across the country.

But the drive to curtail women's rights is being met by a wave of protests.

Over 5,000 people rallied at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on September 24. This was the largest pro- choice gathering in the state in recent years. Busloads of demonstrators poured in, bringing young and old, some traveling hundreds of miles. People were there from even the smallest and most rural communities, looking for the pro-choice movement and eager to express their outrage at the government's drive to turn the clock back on women's right to choice.

Two bills have been proposed in Michigan, one which would require parental consent for abortion in the case of teenagers and another which is patterned after the Missouri anti-choice law affirmed by the Supreme Court. This would ban public funds from having anything to do with abortions, including counseling.

The organizers of the Lansing rally, made up of leaders of NOW and National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), turned it into a platform for liberal politicians, both Democrat and Republican. Governor Blanchard was the featured speaker. They didn't talk about building a mass movement and they didn't talk about the ongoing mass struggles to confront the fanatics of Operation Rescue. No, they wanted the actions to be converted into their election rallies. Although many people at the rally were receptive to the politicians, there were also demonstrators eager to hear of radical perspectives for the fight. The MLP had a contingent at the rally and set up a literature table with a banner declaring "Abortion Rights for Workers and Poor!'' Over 1,400 leaflets and newspapers were passed out and dozens of people came by to buy Marxist-Leninist literature and buttons, as well as to engage in discussions. Issues discussed ranged from what policy for the pro-choice struggle to the question of revolution and the distinction between workers' socialism and state-capitalist Russia, China, etc.

Atlanta Rally Draws 500

Over 500 pro-choice supporters rallied in Atlanta on September 13 at the Georgia State Capitol. This rally was also directed against the threat of new restrictive legislation.

Earlier that week, pro-choice activists had held a picket protesting Jerry Falwell's appearance at a local church. Falwell is a prominent backer of the Operation Rescue movement which harasses women who go to abortion clinics. He was introduced by his supporters as the "savior of thousands of precious little blue-eyed babies,'' a telling exposure of the racist prejudices that are rampant among the "pro-life'' hypocrites.

In coming days, more pro-choice demonstrations are expected, from New York to Tallahassee to San Francisco. And a national mobilization has been called for November 12 in Washington, D.C. Demonstrations are also planned for the October 14 weekend across Canada, where the right to choice is also under attack from the right wing.

[Photo: MLP literature table at pro-choice demonstration in Lansing, Michigan.]

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Reject NOW's 'overpopulation' hysteria

A widespread popular movement has emerged across the U.S. to defend women's right to choose. Pro-choice activists are discussing how to mobilize the strongest fightback in defense of abortion rights. Unfortunately leaders of such groups as NOW are promoting gimmicky shortcuts instead of the hard work needed to mobilize the masses into struggle. They talk of finding "new" themes to attract "new allies." They paint scenarios of attracting millions of new people only if the movement can come up with the proper hype.

One "new" theme that's been adopted by NOW is the tired old rhetoric of "overpopulation." They raise the specter that there are too many poor people around, and that's why it's urgently necessary to defend abortion rights if we are to save the planet.

This appeal strikes a dagger inside the pro-choice movement. It has justly created concern, especially among national minority women who know from long experience that this is a codeword for a racist assault against minorities and poor communities.

At this summer's NOW convention, Molly Yard, president of NOW, spoke of reaching out to new allies, which she described as those concerned with the "environment." And last month NOW held a five-day, nine city, Freedom Caravan for Women's Lives in New Jersey. Here again it trotted out its scare campaign. The caravan featured a film which showed scenes of poverty around the world and strongly implied that overpopulation is the most important threat facing humanity.

Yes, a lot of countries in the Third World face the pressures of large populations. Yes, a lot of poor families abroad and here have a tough time providing for themselves. But the root cause of poverty in these communities isn't overpopulation, but the system of exploitation. Exploitation by landowners and capitalists. Inadequate, or the total absence of, social benefit systems. The bottom line is, even if population growth goes down, the basic problems of the poor majorities will remain until the economic order is overthrown.

Family planning and the "overpopulation" ideology are two separate things. Progressive people support the poor being provided with access to education and the means of birth control. But we cannot support the "population control" ideology, which sees, population as the key issue facing poor people and even provides the basis for outrages against the poor, such as eugenic breeding schemes and forced sterilization. No one who claims to stand for democratic rights can lend their voices in this direction.

NOW's position on this isn't all that new. Last year in Michigan's referendum on Medicaid funding for abortions, the liberal feminist forces in charge of the campaign put out TV spots suggesting that voters defend Medicaid funding because otherwise there would be many more welfare children that taxpayers would have to bear the costs for.

The bottom line of this whole line of thinking is: we should defend abortion rights by pandering to prejudices against the poor and minorities. We say in opposition, to hell with this rotten view. We don't want the "allies" that NOW wants to woo with such anti-poor bigotry. We want to build a movement in defense of democratic rights, a movement in defense of the workers and poor, not a movement of the elite against the masses.

NOW's position on this is so backward that even some reformist forces who normally idolize NOW have been forced to criticize this stand. But these very same forces continue to promote that NOW is the leader and main force of the women's movement and we should just be their footsoldiers. They are opposed to building the movement on an independent footing from bourgeois misleaders. (See for example a series of articles in the September 1989 issue of Socialist Action.)

Contrary to what such reformists say, this is not an isolated stand of the NOW leadership. The bourgeois prejudices of the NOW leaders have also been seen in their stand against militancy in clinic defense and in their toadying up to the liberal politicians. Such stands flow from NOW's liberal bourgeois politics. NOW is appealing to upper class prejudices, because it is an organization based on promoting the interests of upper class women and those aspiring to join them.

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Anti-abortion movement wants to ban birth control

Mr. Joseph Scheidler, dressed all in black, came to harass women outside a Detroit women's clinic on Saturday, September 16. Around 60 of his Christian fanatic supporters were there early to create the right conditions for his highness' appearance. But twice as many pro-choice activists also turned out. They kept up a steady barrage of slogans against the right-wing opponents of women's rights. Mr. Scheidler could not take more than an hour of this. And he fled.

Who is Joseph Scheidler? He's executive director of the Chicago based Pro-Life Action League. He's described in one press account as "one of the founding fathers and major tacticians of the anti-abortion movement."

But we'll let Scheidler speak for himself, because he's so eloquent in exposing the backward character of the anti-abortion movement. He willingly admits that his movement doesn't just want to ban abortion, but all birth control.

He says, "I would like to outlaw contraceptives." He adds that "we're opposed to all" methods of birth control. "We think the contraception mentality is a pro-abortion mentality. It's opposed to life."

And why this stand? It's because these reactionaries are die-hard opponents of sex. They believe that sex should only be meant for procreation. Thus Scheidler has also said, "I think contraception is disgusting -- people using each other for pleasure."

Although Scheidler says that he thinks that banning contraception is not "feasible," don't think that these religious tyrants aren't busy working towards that goal.

Robert Marshall of the American Life League declares, "We are opposed to any government program or law that would allow distribution of birth control to the unmarried," including the divorced and widowed. These forces are also working towards repeal of the privacy right, which, besides being the basis for the Roe v. Wade ruling, is also the judicial basis for the legal distribution of contraception.

Meanwhile, the anti-abortion movement is actively working to pressure the government not to fund birth control research and to pressure private medical companies to stop research into safer methods of birth control. In the Reagan years, they succeeded in cutting back birth control research at government agencies like the National Institute of Health. (Most of the quotes from the anti-abortion spokesmen appeared in the Detroit Free Press, Sept. 23)

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Grand jury used for political persecution

In school and on TV, one is told that the American system of justice means that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. But the truth is a little bit different. It is only those with money, or bloodstained army officers and imperialists like Oliver North, who get kid-glove treatment.

A demonstration took place in Chicago on September 25 against the use of grand juries for political persecution. Grand juries do not decide the outcome of a criminal case, unlike an ordinary jury. Instead they are supposed to hand down indictments which will be tried before other courts. On the grounds that they only prepare indictments, rather than give verdicts, there are few safeguards for the accused. The grand jury works in secret; there is no cross examination or confrontation of government witnesses; there is no right to know the government case; in fact, there is no defense allowed at all. However, the accused -- in fact, anyone whom the grand jury sees fit to call as a witness -- can be forced to testify on any subject whatsoever, without benefit of a lawyer's presence. A witness who refuses to answer can be jailed for contempt of court.

The grand jury in Chicago said it was investigating a case of threatening letters sent to a Chicago-based federal government attorney on the stationary of the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and the Progressive Labor Party. In fact, even the FBI doubts that these letters had anything to do with these two organizations. If this is sufficient reason to harass an organization, then any right-wing nut or FBI agent can simply send a fake letter in the name of the group. Yet the grand jury has demanded that two individuals, Bob Wells and Henry Bortman, who rented the post office boxes used by the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee, appear and testify.

Wells and Bortman point out that once one appears before a grand jury, one can be questioned about anything. One can be asked to list names of other activists or provide any information one knows about political activities. They believe that they are being investigated on such a flimsy basis -- such as being asked to bring public documents to the grand jury, which the grand jury could obtain more easily by sending a court officer to a public bookstore -- as a pretext to ask political questions.

Wells and Bortman have declared that they will not cooperate with the political use of grand juries even if they should be jailed.

All progressive people should support the stand of refusal to give information about progressive political activists to grand juries. It is an act of political dictatorship for the government to insist on the right to know membership and "who does what" and other information about left-wing political groups which it opposes. It would allow the government to prepare a more accurate Nixon-style "enemies list" for harassment, and it would be a demand that the political police have all rights and the people none. The working class can only win its freedom by struggle against such repression and by having utter suspicion for and hatred of the repressive institutions of the exploiting class.

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Strikes and workplace news


Pittston miners seize processing plant

[Photo: Striking miners take over Pittston Coal plant]

Nearly 100 coal miners boldly marched into the Pittston Coal Group's Moss No. 3 preparation plant on September 17 and shut it down. This is the second-largest coal processing plant in the country and Pittston's biggest money-making operation. For three days the miners maintained their sit-in at the plant in Clinchfield, Virginia.

Taking this to be a new offensive in the six-month strike, thousands of miners from across the coal fields quickly converged on the plant. They rallied outside to defend the occupiers from any attempt to remove them by state troops, who had been ordered in by Virginia's governor. Eastern Airline strikers, a caravan of 100 workers from New York, and other workers joined the miners' vigil outside the plant.

Pressure was quickly mounted against the miners. On September 18, a Russel County Circuit Judge ordered the United Mine Workers (UMW) to pay, within a week, the total of $25.4 million in fines that had previously been levied against them. The next day, Pittston demanded that the courts take further actions against the workers. Then on September 20, Virginia state authorities ordered the miners to leave the plant by 7:00 p.m. or face seizure of the union's strike and defense funds.

There were as many as 5,000 miners and other workers outside the plant, ready to defy the government's threats. But the UMW leaders ordered the sit-in ended. At 9:20 the miners voluntarily evacuated the plant.

The UMW leaders had organized this action to be what they called a "nonviolent, peaceful sit-in'' -- basically a publicity stunt, which would collapse at the first serious pressure. But the rank- and-file miners saw it as a chance to finally shut down this major Pittston operation and to turn the strike to more militant tactics. Obviously, the rank and file must take this strike out of the hands of the union bureaucrats if they are going to win.

Minnesota strikers destroy scab labor camp

[Photo: Rally of 11,000 workers in St. Paul, Minnesota supports strike against Boise Cascade paper mill, Sept. 16]

Over 500 construction workers stormed a temporary housing camp for scab workers at Boise Cascade in International Falls, Minnesota on September 9. The workers had been on a wildcat strike for two months against the use of scabs in constructing a Boise Cascade expansion plant. The strikers destroyed 60% of the camp -- setting trailers on fire and overturning cars. They were finally dispersed by tear gas thrown by state police. As many as 40 workers were arrested, and dozens more were injured.

The capitalists and their government were shaken by this powerful action. They moved quickly to prevent any further outbreaks and to take revenge on the strikers. Rudy Perpich, Minnesota's Democratic governor, put the National Guard on alert to stop any further "labor riots.'' Perpich is already notorious for calling out the National Guard against Hormel strikers four years ago. The courts refused to release at least 28 of the workers until they posted cash bonds of up to $50,000 a worker. Another 21 workers are being sued for $50,000 each for supposed property damage. And authorities have threatened to arrest hundreds of other workers who were filmed while taking part in the action against the scab labor camp.

As well, the capitalist newspapers are trying to smear the strikers' attack on the scab labor camp as being "racially motivated.'' They don't mention that Boise Cascade is using the BE&K strikebreaking firm to hire the scabs. It is notorious for tricking black workers from Alabama and other southern states to move to supposedly good-paying jobs, only to find themselves in the middle of a strike. And every time the strikers take action to stop the scabbing, the BE&K uses the same trick of charging the strikers with racism.

Workers Defy the Union Bureaucrats

The wildcat strike began July 18. Some 200 building trades workers walked off the job in protest after their union officials signed a sweetheart agreement with the BE&K union-busting firm. The agreement allowed BE&K to use scabs to fill 80% of the construction jobs on the $535 million expansion project of Boise Cascade. This is the largest single construction project in Minnesota history. It will eventually employ over 2,000 building trades workers.

The leaders of the building trades unions opposed the construction strike. As well, the leadership of the production workers at the mill, the International Wood Workers (IWA), ordered its members to continue working.

But the construction workers defied their leaders and won widespread support among other workers in the area. Several production workers were recently suspended for taking part in the September 9 action. And on September 16, over 11,000 workers from different industries rallied at the state capitol in St. Paul to protest the union busting.

Union bureaucrats called the St. Paul rally in the hopes of diverting workers away from the struggle at the plant and into a toothless boycott and begging Democratic politicians to revoke tax cuts previously given Boise Cascade. Building trades leaders postured in support of the strikers, but refused to explain why they signed the sellout contract and refused to sanction the strike. The local IWA president continued to distance himself from the strike. And the bureaucrats joined hands to decry "violence,'' as if the strikers' action was to be equated with the violence of BE&K thugs and the state police.

Despite the various tricks of the union hacks, the strikers continue to burn with anger and are determined to win their strike. And they are getting support from other workers throughout the state.

Bethlehem strikers demand payback for concessions

Over 1,000 steelworkers struck Bethlehem Steel's Freight Car Division in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in August.

The freight workers have faced an onslaught of concessions over the past few years. They are still working at 1982 wages, even though Bethlehem has tripled its annual profits in the past year. The strikers are demanding full restoration of their medical benefits and their wages. They have been joined on their picket line by office and technical workers.

GM workers protest overtime

Some 600 second shift auto workers held a protest march against excessive overtime inside their plant on August 17.

The body shop workers at the GM Lake Orion plant in Pontiac, Michigan have been forced to work 10, 11, or 14-hour shifts seven days a week since model changeover time in mid-July.

The workers complain that their union leaders don't do anything for them. The workers are taking matters into their own hands. This job action is a clear illustration of their determination to fight inhuman working conditions.

2200 strike Borg Warner

Twenty-two hundred workers struck the Borg Warner auto parts plant in Muncie, Indiana on September 7. The production of parts for Ford and GM was brought to a grinding halt.

The Borg Warner capitalists have demanded a concessions contract. Its demands include cuts in hospitalization and other benefits, changes in job classification, and job combination.

Despite a record profit-making year, Borg Warner is demanding more sweat from the workers. But the workers have had enough of concessions and are fighting back.

Bakery strikers defy knife-wielding scabs

For the past two months, 65 production workers have been on strike against New Life Bakery in Hayward, California.

The workers, mostly Latino women, struck after 14 workers were fired for signing union authorization cards. They are determined to fight their sweatshop conditions and improve their minimum wage status through organizing a union.

On August 8, the bakery picket line was attacked by 16 knife-wielding men who had charged out of the bakery. The thugs were led by none other than the bakery owner's two sons! The women were slashed and punched. Some were knocked to the ground and kicked. The police arrived and confiscated the bloody knives of the scabs. However, the police made no arrests.

Picketers have also been threaten with deportation. The hated migra (U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service) is a constant menace against the workers.

On August 18, over 300 workers from various workplaces joined a mass picket line at the Bakery. They came out to protest the knife assault and other attacks on the strikers.

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Housing crisis shows the need for socialism

The founders of communism, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, lent their voices to the protests against homelessness over a century ago. And they showed that the housing crisis is one of the inevitable by-products of the capitalist system and its impoverishment of the working masses. In Engels pamphlet, The Housing Question, he describes this process as follows:

"Whence the housing shortage then? How did it arise? is a necessary product of the bourgeois social order; cannot fail to be present in a society in which the great laboring masses are exclusively dependent upon wages (capitalist wage-slavery -- ed.) which improvements of the machinery, etc. continually throw masses of workers out of employment; in which violent and regularly recurring industrial fluctuations determine on the one hand the existence of a large reserve army of unemployed workers, and on the other hand drive the mass of workers from time to time on to the streets unemployed;...and in which finally the homeowner in his capacity as capitalist has not only the right but, by reason of competition, to a certain extent also the duty of ruthlessly making as much out of his property in house rent as he possibly can. In such a society the housing shortage is no accident, it is a necessary institution and can be abolished together with all its affects on health, etc. only if the whole social order from which it springs is fundamentally refashioned.'' (Part Two, Section 1, pp. 41-42 of the Progress Publishers edition, 1970)

Engels goes on to explain why the government, under capitalism, does next to nothing to alleviate the housing problem. He states:

"It is perfectly clear that the state as it exists today is neither able nor willing to do anything to remedy the housing calamity. The state is nothing but the organized collective power of the possessing classes, the landowners and the capitalists, as against the exploited classes, the peasants and the workers. What the individual not want, their state also does not want. If therefore the individual capitalists deplore the housing shortage, but can hardly be moved to palliate even superficially its most terrifying consequences, the collective capitalist, the state will not do much more.'' (Part Two, Section 2, p. 65)

In The Housing Question Engels explains that a social revolution which places the workers in power is needed to undertake a full solution to the housing problem. To begin with, the workers, having seized power, can fairly easily eliminate the immediate housing shortages by taking over the buildings of the wealthy. Engels writes:

"But one thing is certain: there is already a sufficient quantity of houses in the big cities to remedy immediately all real 'housing shortage,' provided they are used judiciously. This can naturally only occur through the expropriation of the present owners by quartering in their houses homeless workers or workers overcrowded in their present homes. As soon as the proletariat has won political power, such a measure prompted by concern for the common good will be just as easy to carry out as are other expropriations and billetings by the present-day state.'' (Part One, pp. 30-31)

Of course, there will be broader and more complex housing issues to face after such initial measures. But only the revolutionary rule of the working class is motivated and able to resolve these problems in the interests of the workers and poor.

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Demonstrators denounce cuts in homeless aid in Philadelphia


Protesters waving placards and shouting slogans jammed into Philadelphia's City Council chambers on September 14. They denounced the city government's decision to slash benefits for the homeless by 50%. Placards declared the activists would fight back. They also targeted council members as puppets of city business interests. In a huff, the president of the City Council ordered police to remove an activist holding an effigy of a council member.

The new city budget is another atrocity against the homeless. Local officials say there are about 12,500 homeless in Philadelphia. But even before the new budget, Democratic Mayor Goode's administration had cut the number of beds in shelters from 5,500 to 2,650. The new budget would close the shelters completely. Meanwhile, the homeless have been forced to pay 15% of any earnings they make to the shelters. As well, the city has used new regulations to evict some 300 homeless people from the shelters.

One might expect that Mayor Goode would at least be apologetic about the brutal budget cuts. Not at all. Why, according to Goode, "guaranteeing shelter to everybody who comes along'' won't "give people the tools they need to function as self-sufficient individuals.'' Evidently Goode does not consider shelter as one of ' 'the tools the homeless need to function." Spoken like a true tool of the rich! Is it any wonder that the head of the Greater Philadelphia First Corporation, which represents 31 big corporations in Philadelphia, praised the "priorities" of the new city budget.

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Instead of a war on drugs, will the U.S. join the war on the left in Colombia?

Bush's "war on drugs" includes what he calls the "Andean initiative." This plan includes $261 million in military hardware for Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. This is on top of the $65 million already en route to Colombia. The plan also includes hundreds of U.S. military "advisers" who have been given more freedom to join in local military patrols. And the plan promises the three Latin American governments another $2 billion over the next five years if they make "progress" in the "war on drugs."

Bush says he is unleashing the Pentagon and CIA to help the Latin Americans nail the wealthy drug cartels. But concern has already begun to surface that the increased show of force will eventually be directed against the workers, peasants, and leftist guerrilla movements in these countries. And for good reason.

Colombian Decrees for a State of Siege Also Directed Against the Left

Colombia, for example, is ruled by an oligarchy of rich capitalists and plantation owners. The present Barco regime rules for the oligarchy and is a thoroughly reactionary government. A government which has stained the country with the blood of its fighting workers and peasants. A government which has for many years made an alliance with the drug cartels to wage a dirty war on the Colombian working people.

Although Barco is at present in a bloody fight with the drug cartels, his decrees for a state of siege are directed against the left as well. They call, for example, for a "war against the violent" -- an expression used equally against both the assassins serving the drug lords, on the one hand, and the leftist guerrillas and popular movements, on the other. Some of the specific decrees expand penalties for rebellion and sedition, allow the holding of suspects incommunicado for seven days, give military judges the right to order break- ins at places where it is suspected people live who have worked against the public order, etc. These are worded in such a way that they can be used against unionists, guerrillas, and leftist parties as easily as against drug traffickers.

The Dirty War on the Colombian Masses

And there is every reason to believe Barco will use these decrees against the left. After all, the Barco government and the military command have been behind assassinations and massacres that have killed 15,000 union organizers, peasant activists, members of underground leftist parties, and guerrillas in the last year alone.

The death-squad massacre of 28 banana workers last year is typical of the activity of this regime. An army major, the head of the B-2 Intelligence Unit of the Votigeros Battalion, provided a paramilitary group with the names of suspected leftist sympathizers among the banana workers. He housed the killers in the luxurious Medellin Intercontinental Hotel. And paid the more than $1,000 bill with his Diners Club credit card.

All of this was documented by a judge who had to eventually flee the country due to death threats. It began when she was arrested by police at an airstrip located in a region well known to be ruled by the drug lords. After being detained for eight hours, the police forced her onto a plane back to Bogota. She was then personally threatened by a high- ranking military officer. And finally, President Barco's protection program sent her out of the country. (See article by Juan E. Mendez, executive director of Americas Watch, in the August 31 issue of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.)

Another judge, Maria Elena Diaz Perez, stepped into the case. She handed down an indictment against the assassins and three members of the armed forces who had masterminded the massacre. But she was quickly assassinated on July 28, 1989. (See Robin Kirk's "Behind the Cocaine Curtain: Dirty War Escalates in Colombia," carried in Extra! in September, 1989.)

The murder of Judge Perez indicates the fact that, while the Barco regime complains of drug traffickers' assassinations of judges and other officials, numbers of these killings have been done to protect military officers who were involved in attacks on the working masses.

Drug Lords Have Been Part of the Government's Dirty War

The Colombian drug traffickers have been part of the government's dirty war on the masses. Politically they are right- wing fanatics who have actively advocated the bloody crushing of the left in Colombia. The death squads of the drug lords were originally established to terrorize peasant and worker union leaders and leftist guerrillas in the cocaine-growing regions.

The drug lords' political views, and the protection of their billions in drug money, could not help but lead them to an alliance with Colombia's military. The military provided them intelligence against leftists, at times masterminded the paramilitary operations, and at the very least looked the other way as they carried out their murders.

These were not only individual assassinations, but outright massacres. Last November, for example, three carloads of heavily armed men entered Segovia, sought out known political activists, and also shot randomly at passers-by and cafe patrons in the main square. They left 43 dead in less than half an hour.

Neither the local police nor the military made any attempt to restrain the killers, who drove into and left Segovia by the town's only road, which winds around a major military base. The troops simply looked the other way.

Why the Present Fight Between Drug Lords and the Government?

Although the drug lords share right-wing views with the Colombian regime, and have worked with it in the dirty war on the masses, they have not yet won respectability among the ruling circles that dominate the country. Their new-found billions from drug running have made them rich, but they appear to also want an open share of government power.

This has led them to make attempts to both buy and force their way into power. They have not only bribed individual military officers and government officials. They have also offered the government several deals by which they would receive amnesty from the law in exchange for helping to pay off the national debt or providing funds for economic development. On the other hand, they have used their death squads to hit officials when they disagree with them or when they've been threatened.

While a number of Colombian officials are interested in negotiating with the drug cartels, it appears the traffickers' bribery and assassinations threaten the stability of what is already a shaky regime. The oligarchy, under pressure of U.S. imperialism, seems to want the drug lords under control. And, for the moment, this has led to the government's current sweeps and arrests.

But in its fight with the drug lords, the Colombian regime has not forgotten about its aim to exterminate the leftists. Colombia's "war on drugs" is being organized to turn at a moment's notice on the leftist organizers of the mass movements. The military advisers and hardware sent by Bush are just so many more weapons that can be turned against the masses. Here in the U.S. we must support the workers and peasants, and tell Bush to keep his bloody hands out of Colombia.

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Where's the 'war on drugs' when it comes to the banks?

Bush's "war on drugs" is taking its wrath out on the "casual user" -- with plans to revoke driver's licenses, confiscate cars, and impose mandatory sentences. As told by William Bennet, Bush's drug czar, "The only thing that will deter the casual user is the fear of being caught."

But what about those getting rich off the drug trade? What about the banks? There's really nothing in Bush's plan to nail them.

The drug trade, although illegal, is a big capitalist enterprise. And as with all big business, it can't be conducted without the banks. Narcotics experts estimate the drug business to be worth about $300 billion a year. Some say it is worth as much to the banks as the oil industry.

Most of this business is in laundering the illicit drug money. Recently even Business Week admitted that the drug "cartels launder vast sums of money, often through U.S. banks and with the help of American lawyers and financial experts." (Sept. 11)

An idea of the value of this laundering to the banks can be gotten from the Treasury Department's investigation of the laundering of drug funds for 1985 and 1986. That investigation found some of the biggest U.S. banks involved in many shady deals, including drugs. The Bank of Boston, for example, was found guilty of failing to report $1.2 billion in large domestic and international cash transactions. The Crocker National Bank was caught failing to report the transfer of some $3.43 billion in cash from banks in another country. The Bank of America was also found guilty of not reporting some 17,000 cash transactions, each of which more than exceeded $10,000. There were similar findings against Chase Manhattan Bank, Manufacturers Hanover Trust, Chemical Bank, and Irving Trust Company. After these cases came to light, another 60 banks came forward to disclose their own money laundering.

So what did the government do to these banks? Were they surrounded by police? Were the bank executives handcuffed and hauled off to jail by narcotics agents? Were they evicted from their homes? Were their cars impounded? Were their drivers' licenses even revoked?

No. Instead they were given small fines and allowed to go on about their business. The fines ranged from $10,000 to a few hundred thousand.

Only with Bank of America was the fine half way steep -- $4.75 million -- and this is still small considering the amount of money being thrown around.

Obviously, the banks have a major involvement in the drug trade that is plaguing the country. But Bush will hardly touch them. It seems the "war on drugs" is only a war on the poor, not on the rich capitalists.

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Bush prefers prisons to education

It is well known that the growth of drug abuse is connected to the impoverishment of the masses -- the joblessness, wage cuts, high rents, poor health care, deteriorating schools, lack of drug treatment programs, and more. But Bush's "war on drugs" emphasizes hiring more police, building more prisons, putting on more prosecutors -- in short attacking the masses rather than treating the disease.

Bush is only following the well-worn footsteps of Reagan before him. According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, expenditures for "criminal justice" in the last few years have increased four times as rapidly as for education, and twice as rapidly as for health and hospitals. (Washington Post, National Weekly Edition, September 18-24)

Since 1980, the number of adults behind bars had doubled. And in just the last six months, the prison population has grown more than in any previous full year. The latest figures show that one adult in 55 is under some form of correctional supervision, half of them for drug-related offenses.

Bush's Attorney General, Dick Thornburgh, claims this proves that "The criminal justice system is working. People who break the law do pay the price." But really what it shows is that Bush is willing to jail virtually an entire generation of young people rather than educate them, or provide them with health care, or give them jobs or any hope for the future.

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Police 'anti-drug' checkpoints -- another way to terrorize the masses

Last month John Kelly came up with a new plan to supposedly stop drugs. Kelly is a Democratic state senator from the wealthy Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Woods. His plan involved using the National Guard to cordon off ghettos and check anyone coming in for illegal narcotics. He claimed this was a surefire way to stop drugs, and that it would be welcomed by the masses. But many saw this as nothing more than a new scheme to harass the workers and poor with a virtual occupation army. The idea did not sit well with the black masses of Detroit.

Still, the Sheriff of Wayne County (which includes much of metropolitan Detroit) began to carry out part of Kelly's plan. On September 19, Sheriff Ficano set up the first of a series of planned police checkpoints. This one was in Inkster, a poor black suburb of Detroit. For three hours cops stopped motorists, asking for licenses and car registrations. If they noticed "anything suspicious" they searched the vehicle.

The checkpoint failed to uncover any drugs. But of the 76 cars stopped, 44 were given tickets for minor violations. And five people were arrested. One of the five, Eddie Seymore, was arrested on a weapons charge, because a BB gun sat on the floor of his car. Cops surrounded the car with drawn guns, handcuffed Seymore, and hauled him off to jail for several hours before dropping any charges. Seymore said, "When I was in Viet Nam, I never saw so many guns pointed at me. I am convinced that if I had moved or fainted, I would have been shot by 10 police officers. I felt like the police wanted to kill somebody. I felt I was going to be a statistic. Why should my life go down the drain at a checkpoint just because I had a BB gun in my car?"

Obviously these checkpoints are not going to stop drugs. Rather, they are another means of police terror against the masses. Whether proposed by Democrats or Republicans, the "war on drugs" is just this -- a campaign of harassment and police abuse on the working people.

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AIDS crisis:

Drug company profiteering is a crime!

The government's cynically slow response to the AIDS crisis and the profiteering of the drug and insurance monopolies have become the real epidemic in the AIDS crisis. They reveal how the capitalist health care system thrives on the desperation of the sick and how it is a fetter on fully mobilizing medical resources for research and development.

Today, with the full introduction of the AZT drug to treat AIDS, the drug companies are preparing to make a literal killing, in lives and profit dollars.

Only after 90,000 deaths worldwide, five years after the anti-viral drug AZT was submitted for approval, has the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) given final approval for Burroughs-Wellcome to publicly market it. AZT is by no means a cure to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus, which is believed to cause AIDS). As a maintenance drug, one which must be continuously taken, it has shown some positive effects for stabilizing or slowing the disease. But it also has many negative effects, since it is highly toxic to humans.

AZT Drug Maker to Pocket Billions

AZT was first synthesized in 1964 as a possible anti-cancer agent through the Michigan Cancer Foundation. AZT was almost shelved as not having medical value until 1984 when Burroughs-Wellcome submitted AZT to the National Cancer Institute's federally financed research of anti-AIDS drugs.

Some drug companies have realized that huge profits can be made from the AIDS crisis, and competition to develop AIDS treatments is becoming fierce. Capitalist medicine in the U.S. allows private drug companies to monopolize for years exclusive rights to medicines they develop, as if the health of the masses is their property. The sole licensed manufacturer of AZT, Burroughs-Wellcome, is among the biggest in the pharmaceutical industry. This is the company that markets such over- the-counter brand names as Empirin, Sudafed, Actifed, and Neosporin.

When the Health and Human Services Secretary announced on August 18 that AZT appeared to slow the progress of asymptomatic AIDS-related infections, Burroughs-Wellcome stock jumped 32 percent. B-W holds the monopoly on AZT and has no restriction on what it can charge, so it has set the price well beyond what people with AIDS can afford, making it the most expensive prescription drug in history.

B-W knows there is demand for any type of treatment for AIDS, and capitalist drug suppliers will always try to charge whatever they feel the market will bear. Their concern is not for saving lives, but how much money can be made from a potential market of 600,000 HIV- infected people.

People with AIDS are paying up to $8,000 a year ($22 a day) for AZT treatment. A 500 milligram dose of AZT costs patients between $12-$20, yet it only costs Burroughs-Wellcome 15 cents for the medicine and between $1.50-$2.50 to manufacture the capsules, for a total of $2.65 for the same dose. (San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 5) The price paid by patients is five to eight times the cost to produce, and because it is a maintenance drug rather than a cure or vaccine, those who must buy AZT will "maintain" Burroughs-Wellcome's profits for years. All that, with no certain assurance of improved health. Analysts have estimated that B-W may realize as much as $1 billion in annual sales of AZT!

When criticized for its blatant profiteering, B-W justifies the high price with the cost of research and development, though they never bore the cost alone. It is hard to believe B-W spent very much because their research was federally subsidized before FDA approval.

Ironically FDA approval effectively terminated federal subsidies for people with AIDS who received AZT through participation in testing programs. A one-year extension on some subsidies is about to end this September, yet all these subsidies appear to have propped up the price and meant even more government dollars to B-W.

When Burroughs-Wellcome met with AIDS activists during the week of September 9, 1989 to discuss lowering the price of AZT, the company let it be known that they didn't need to negotiate with anybody over price. According to two of their spokespeople the price of AZT was "a bargain," a result of their "compassionate" pricing policy.

Protests Force Small Concession

Yet within two weeks Burroughs-Wellcome came out with the announcement of a 20% price cut in AZT, i.e., bringing the price down to $6,500 per year from $8,000 per year. Now there's compassion for you!

Clearly this move was made only because of the pressure brought to bear on Burroughs-Wellcome on both sides of the Atlantic. On September 14, AIDS activists in San Francisco, New York and London staged protests at the financial markets. They shut down trading for four minutes in New York, where activists were arrested for advocating a boycott in response to Burroughs-Wellcome's "compassion."

If AZT is such a bargain, why does no one want to make it available to those who might benefit from it? Why did Medicare only recently begin to reimburse a portion of AZT costs for those patients already impoverished enough to qualify? (Current rules stipulate patients must have been on disability for two years and have exhausted all other resources to qualify for Medicare.) Why does California state insurance refuse to cover the cost of AZT and instead cut back the budget for AIDS in that state? Why do private insurers not cover ACT and instead continue to cancel life and health policies for people with AIDS?

The AIDS crisis is a serious indictment of monopoly capitalist health care in this country. AIDS shows that the insurance and drug monopolies profit from letting patients continue to suffer, and restricting better care to those who can pay the most. Meanwhile, the U.S. government's miserly response to this crisis in health care has been motivated in part by bigotry against people with AIDS. Since AIDS has especially hit gays and poor people in minority communities, the government hasn't considered this much of a priority. After all, imperialist "national interests" place more importance on building new weapons of mass murder than on the health of the people.

The AIDS crisis sharply brings home the lesson that no people should have to be at the mercy of large monopoly corporations in this way. Lowering the artificial costs of treatment would bring down the social cost to any health care system. But when the U.S. imperialists balk at spending even $5 billion a year on AIDS, and throw hundreds of billions at the Pentagon, it is clear they could care less about saving the lives of the workers and poor with AIDS.

Working people, we must oppose the slow and cynical response to the AIDS crisis. It is important to keep up the exposure and pressure against the drug manufacturers and the government.

Meanwhile, the AIDS crisis should serve as a lever to spread discussion about the need to mobilize struggle against the vastly inadequate health care system. The health of the working people cannot be left at the mercy of the profit system. We must fight for a national health care system that meets the needs of the workers and poor. While it is important to fight for improvements even under capitalist conditions, the best care system for the workers will require abolishing the profit system altogether. It will require the socialist rule of the working class, where workers won't simply be consumers of health care but also take part in planning, organizing and implementing medical care as part of active involvement in building a new society.

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Democrats demand more money for repression

Bush laid out his $7.9 billion "war on drugs" plan on September 5. And it is fairly obvious that the plan has little more in it than increased repression against the masses. Indeed, even various narcotics experts and liberal columnists raise serious doubts that this plan will have any effect on the drug epidemic other than jail more ordinary people.

So what was the response of the Democratic Party -- which likes to claim itself a party of the workers and minorities -- to Bush's plan for more repression against the masses? They shouted, "Too little, too late."

Oh yes, there were some Democrats who complained that Bush should give a few pennies more to drug education and rehabilitation. And there were a few Democrats who griped about Bush paying for his plan by cutting social benefit programs -- such as his proposal to eliminate a $194 million program to relieve unemployment. But on the whole the Democrats spent their efforts bitterly criticizing Bush for not pouring enough money into repression against the masses.

Senator Joseph Biden -- who was made the Democrat's spokesman to rebut Bush's plan -- declared, "In a nutshell, the president's plan does not include enough police officers" for drug arrests, or "enough prosecutors to convict them, enough judges to sentence them, or enough prison cells to put them away for a long time."

And the ultra-liberal Jesse Jackson chimed in, "What about real money to fight a real threat? To fight a war on drugs, it must be adequately funded. This is a bit little and a bit late."

In fact, some Democrats got so excited for a more repressive "war on drugs" that they blurted out a call for increasing taxes to pay for it. But, embarrassed that they would be labeled the party of high taxes, the Democratic Party chairman Ron Brown chastised them.

Eventually, the Democrats rallied around the proposal of Robert C. Byrd, the liberal from West Virginia. He called for increasing the spending by some $2.2 billion and to pay for it with an across-the-board cut in the budget. That is to say, instead of cutting targeted programs like Bush suggested, Byrd proposed to cut social benefit programs across the board. So much for the Democrats' complaints against Bush's planned cuts. Of course, Byrd claimed this was more "fair" since it is supposed to cut Pentagon spending "equally" with social benefits.

In the end, Bush and the Democrats have worked out a compromise similar to Byrd's proposal. This only shows that the Democrats, like the Republicans, aren't interested to address the serious social problems that have spawned the drug problem, such as unemployment and impoverishment. They have simply joined Bush's war plan, and the masses will suffer for it.

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Angry black protest confronts killer police in Chicago

A crowd of 200 angry black people confronted the police in Chicago's South Shore community on Sunday, September 10. They denounced the racist murder of Leonard Bannister by a Chicago cop. They pelted cops with bricks and pieces of glass. They also confronted City Alderman Beavers, who had shown up to shake the cop's hand. A trash can was thrown through the store window where the cop and Beavers had fled. The masses complained that the store owner was alibiing for the cop and may have given him a "drop gun" to plant on the dead man. The store was set on fire. The black people shouted for justice.

Only hours before this, Leonard Bannister had been murdered in cold blood by the policeman Lowell "Six-point" Hartfield. In a typical act of harassment, the police had stopped and searched a group of young black men who were hanging out on the corner. Bannister was running on the other side of the street. Hartfield ordered him to come over to be searched. Bannister raised his hands and submitted to the search. But then, for no apparent reason, the cop shot Bannister twice in the head. Paramedics arrived on the scene a short time later. But they were sent away. The police left Bannister's body to lie in the street for more than an hour.

On Tuesday and Wednesday renewed protests broke out, and the store was again set on fire. In the three days of protest, at least 20 people were arrested and charged with "mob acts" and "mob riots."

On September 14, dozens of protesters gathered in front of the Police Review. And on September 16, the protests moved to the front of Alderman Beaver's offices. Three days later more than 500 people gathered in a community meeting to demand justice for this killing.

Many people see this and other incidents as evidence of a renewed racist rampage since Richard Daley became the mayor. And certainly this liberal Democrat, like his father, is a racist. The late, elder Daley was notorious for many racist acts, including ordering police to "shoot to kill" black people in the rebellion that erupted after the assassination of Martin Luther King. And the junior Daley insists his father was right.

But it must also be seen that Police Superintendent Leroy Martin, who heads up the police, is a black man appointed during the administration of Harold Washington. While decrying Daley's police abuse, some "respectable" black leaders are praising Martin even as he presides over the surge in racist attacks. These bourgeois black leaders are more interested in getting another cushy position than in building a real fight against the racist police. The truth is that the racism we face has been spawned by the capitalist system. -- And anyone who supports that system, whether Democrat or Republican, white politician or black, will be part of the racist machine of oppression.

Blacks lash out at racist murder by New Jersey police

Hundreds of angry black youth took to the streets of Vineland, New Jersey at the beginning of September. They were outraged at the racist statements by the police chief. They rampaged through downtown, laid siege to a fire station, and battled police with rocks and bottles. The rioting continued for three nights in a row.

The day before, a white cop had brutally shot to death a young black man.

The police claimed they were arresting the man on charges of armed assault and parole violation. But even before an investigation into the incident, was begun, the chief of police declared that the shooting was a "justifiable homicide." And he went on to say that "it's business as usual."

It's unusual to see a policeman speak so openly, and the next day the police chief tried to take it all back. But the cat's out of the bag. The racist murder of black youth is simply "business as usual" for the police in this country. The fighting masses need to get organized and build a conscious movement to stand against the racist government.

March protests KKK and racist "war on drugs" in Rochester, NY

Shouting "The cops and Klan work hand in hand!" about 150 people marched through Rochester, New York on August 19. The marchers came out to oppose an announced recruiting drive of the KKK in the city. In a picket at the police station and jail, the protesters denounced the institutional racism of the government and the police. The demonstration also targeted the county office building, the Rochester city council and the Chase-Lincoln Bank for their racist policies.

Speakers pointed out that the city government closed eight recreation centers in the inner city, and then blamed the youth for hanging out on the streets. Then, taking a cue from Bush's "war on drugs," the city increased the number of police, stepped up harassment of the youth, and started construction of a new $14 million jail. Marchers denounced the city's hypocrisy. Some pointed out that the roots of the drug problem -- exploitation, poverty and discrimination -- spring from the capitalist system itself.

Latinos stand up to the Klan in Georgia

Gainesville, Georgia is a small town of about 25,000 people. Thousands of Spanish-speaking workers labor in the area's poultry industry. During the last week of August the KKK left leaflets on the front doors of Latino workers, threatening to drive them out of town. The leaflets announced a racist march. On September 2, about 250 nazi, skinhead, KKK and Aryan Nation thugs held a rally downtown.

But they were opposed by hundreds of anti-racist demonstrators. Georgia police sent in hundreds of cops to protect the racists from the wrath of the masses. But the large and spirited anti-racist demonstration showed that working and progressive people will not be intimidated by racist cowards and bullies like the KKK.

Skinhead attacks denounced in Portland, Oregon

Racist attacks have increased in Portland since last November's murder of Ethiopian immigrant Mulygeta Seraw by a gang of skinhead thugs.

However, anti-racist activists have organized a number of demonstrations to rally minorities and other progressive people against the racist menace. The latest action brought out nearly 100 people on September 2. They protested the recent racist skinhead attack on a Latino man.

Chicago cops set up black teens for racist beating

Two 14-year-old blacks were waiting at a Chicago bus stop August 14. They had just left a White Sox baseball game. Two white police officers confronted them and demanded to know what they were doing "in this neighborhood," One of the boys showed them his ticket stub. The cops threw them in the squad car, calling them "niggers and f...heads." The female officer punched one youth in the face, shouting, have you ever had your "ass kicked by a big fat white woman."

The cops dumped the youth off near a school yard in Canaryville where white toughs hang out. This is a segregated white enclave, only two blocks from Mayor Daley's home. They were immediately assaulted and chased by a gang of five or more white thugs. They were hit with bricks, bottles and sticks. The racists yelled, "Niggers don't belong in our neighborhood."

One of the youths escaped serious injury. The other young man was beaten unconscious. A white resident of Canaryville rescued him and called an ambulance. The youth who escaped was found later by his concerned family, wandering lost in the neighborhood.

Mayor Daley and Police Superintendent Martin tried to hush up the incident. And after it came out, they claimed it was an isolated incident that did not demonstrate there is a problem of police brutality in Chicago. Oh no, The police just beat and murder black people. That's no problem for Daley or Martin. Enough is enough. It's time to fight back.

Bush sends troops to suppress the poor in St. Croix

Hurricane Hugo devastated the Virgin Islands, including the U.S. territorial possessions. On the island of St. Croix (population 53,000) almost every single building was seriously damaged by the hurricane, and many were simply blown away.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, a spate of looting broke out. Poor people who had almost nothing to begin with, and had now lost everything, began taking things from damaged stores.

One can get a sense of the desperate poverty of the people from the fact that the island's National Guard troops sent in by the governor to maintain order actually assisted the looting, organizing it with army trucks.

In this situation, the colonial overlord in Washington, George Bush, called out his elite military forces to restore order. Bush sent 1,200 troops into St. Croix to stop the looting and safeguard the privileges of capitalist property. These troops are specially trained to suppress civil disturbances and are called the Ninjas.

They are similar to the "anti-terrorist" Delta squads beefed up during the Reagan era.

While rushing in the Ninjas, Bush was a little slower about rushing in disaster relief. Four days after the hurricane flattened St. Croix, no relief supplies had arrived. There was no running water, no electricity, no phone service, very little food, and no hospital services.

There was also no talk from the White House about creating a "kinder, gentler" Virgin Islands. The U.S. Virgin Islands are a racist outpost of American imperialism, with the black majority impoverished and exploited by a small minority of rich white business owners and by the tourism corporations. But' Bush could rest easy, knowing that capital was being protected by his Ninjas.

LAPD wears the apartheid banner

The notoriously racist Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is scrambling to cover up yet another scandal in its midst.

The August 23 Los Angeles Times reports that two homicide detectives drove an unmarked police car decorated with an emblem of the South African flag with the words South Africa on it. After complaints reached police officials, a supervisor was allegedly ordered to remove it. But the racist symbol remained on the car for more than another week. It was only removed when a television crew was dispatched to film it. LAPD officials assured everyone that the Internal Affairs Division will "investigate" the matter. Wow! Isn't that good to know?

At the same time, black police officers complained that white cops were openly wearing nazi swastika rings while on duty. No action has been taken on this outrage.

Streets taken over in protest of racist murder


7,500 demonstrators stormed through Brooklyn on August 31. This was the third and largest protest against the racist murder of Yusef Hawkins.

Angry black youth poured in to the march. Shouting "Whose streets? Our streets!" and "Freedom or death!" the marchers snarled rush hour traffic in all directions. Heading for City Hall, they reached the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. But hundreds of policemen in riot gear blocked their way. The police attacked the front line of the demonstration and began beating protesters. In the moments that followed, activists surged on to the bridge to defend those being attacked. The protesters fought like hell. Some 24 cops were injured. Following the clash, the crowd refused to leave until those that had been arrested were released. It is reported that three of the six being held by the police were finally let go.

Two days later, several hundred people shouted "Justice, justice, justice for Yusef" in front of Mayor Koch's apartment in Greenwich Village. Meanwhile, another 200 demonstrators confronted racists in the white enclave of Bensonhurst, where Yusef was murdered. The next day, a march organized through churches in Bensonhurst brought out 200 people who condemned the racists and laid a wreath at the site of the murder.

The militant stand of the youth at the Brooklyn Bridge, and the spread of anti-racist protests, is a welcome sign. Because it is only by organizing the masses and building up the anti-racist movement that the tide of racism -- from the White House down to Bensonhurst -- can be turned.

Hawkins Murder Part of Systematic Racism

Yusef Hawkins was murdered solely because of the color of his skin, pure and simple. A black teenager checking out a used-car ad in an all-white neighborhood. This was his only "crime." But it was cause enough, in racist America, for a mob of dozens of whites to attack him. Hawkins was shot and killed because he was black.

This murder is a symptom of the poison of racism that is being spread through this country by the capitalist ruling class and their police, and courts, and politicians. In New York City there are some 400 cases of racist attacks that are reported to authorities every year.

But in most cases the racists are never charged or are let off with a slap on the wrist. In fact, it is the police and courts that set the example for these racists. Police murders and beatings are standard practice of the New York Police Department, and most times the policemen get no punishment at all.

Only a week after the Brooklyn Bridge skirmish, police in the Bronx arrested, handcuffed and for 20 minutes beat Henry Hughes. He died for supposedly snatching a purse. Nearby witnesses said the police were shouting racial slurs. And when they tried to intervene, the cops threatened them with their guns. Of course the Police Department denied using any excessive force. They say they are holding an investigation. In the meantime the cops involved are still on the force at desk jobs.

And so it goes -- the racist police are still in uniform. Bernhard Goetz walks the streets, a free man. The Howard Beach murderers are let off with next to nothing in jail time. The system is racist to the core. It must be fought.

Mayor Koch Defends the System

But Mayor Koch defends the system. "Racial relations are far better than in other cities," he declared, "[only] not good enough." Obviously not good enough for Yusef Hawkins. Or the victims of Howard Beach. Or Henry Hughes. And, unfortunately, the list goes on and on.

Koch actually belittled the significance of the racist murder of Hawkins, claiming "this is more than a case involving bias. It is a spumed lover." And then he turned around and denounced marches against racism in Bensonhurst. He actually claimed that people who are marching against racism are intensifying racism.

Obviously, Koch can't see the systematic racism because he's looking in the wrong direction.

Dinkins Calls for Racial Unity to Calm the Militant Protests

But people shouldn't think Koch's mayoral opponent David Dinkins, the black president of the Manhattan Borough, will build up the movement against the racist system either.

With appeals for "racial unity," Dinkins was able to parlay the anti-racist outrage against Koch into a victory in the Democratic Party primary, giving him a good shot at becoming mayor. And to be sure, a Dinkins administration will end the open incitement to racism that New York faced with Koch.

But Dinkins is not an anti-racist fighter from the mass movement. He is a Democratic Party machine politician who has labored for years building up the very system that Koch has presided over. His liberal platform differed little from that of Koch. Although endorsed by many union bureaucrats he made it clear he was not about to "give away the store to labor." And while appealing for "racial unity" he also supports the ruling class "war on drugs" -- which is little more than a code word for more police terror against the black working people.

Dinkins also indicated that he is not in love with the mass anti-racist movement. He declared he supports the "peaceful demonstrations led by members of the clergy" -- especially those that were little more than pep rallies for his election. But what about militant protests, protests that hit the racism of the police and courts, protests that target the capitalist ruling class of this racist system? Dinkins is not in favor of such protests. He is, after all, a capitalist politician, beholden to the wealthy and powerful who bankrolled his political career.

Militant Mass Struggle, Not Hope in the Politicians of the Rich

The August 28 leaflet of the Marxist-Leninist Party, New York had it right. "It will not be enough to convict Hawkins' many killers and send them away forever; they are just the lowest form of thug that racism breeds. It will not be enough to send Koch packing from City Hall; responsible as he is, Koch is only a prominent representative of the racist capitalist system.

"To gain justice for Yusef Hawkins, and turn back the tide of racism, we must build a broad and militant mass movement, embracing working people of all races and nationalities. The anti-racist movement must confront the whole of racist society, reaching to Bush and the Supreme Court -- who legitimize racist practices -- as well as to the Kochs, police and racist gangs who incite and carry out the terror.

"This racism must be stopped. It is time to build up a fighting movement of the masses to confront the racist terror and bury it forever."

[Photo: Protesters angrily denounce murder of Yusef Hawkins.]

What sparked the rebellion in Virginia Beach? RACISM!

Labor Day weekend news from Virginia Beach, Virginia read: "Students Rampage" and "bottle throwing melee." Over and over again the capitalist press insisted that: "Rioting broke out for undetermined reasons." Both the AP and UPI news services claimed, "The cause of the uproar remained in dispute."

Much column space and numerous pictures filled the papers with the alleged crimes of the mostly black students. An example: "Thousands of college students attending a weekend fraternity and sorority gathering went on a rampage in this resort city early Sunday, firing shots, looting or damaging more than 100 stores, and setting fires." (AP and UPI, September 4) 75-100,000 college students, mostly black, from all over the east coast traveled to Virginia Beach for their tenth annual get-together before the start of the school year. Yet they supposedly decided to stop partying and tear up the town instead, for no reason, and without any provocation.

That may make sense to racist newspaper owners who kiss up to the powers that be in Virginia Beach and print whatever lies they are told. Apparently, the black students are criminals by virtue of their race. The city officials and police are innocent by virtue of their power. Repeat the same lies over and over. That's capitalist news -- no matter what really took place.

City Officials Planned to Make Hell for Black Students

Months prior to the annual Greekfest, city officials in Virginia Beach laid plans to set up the black students for attack. The plan was to subject the students to continuous racist police harassment, brutality and price gouging, and to refuse to allow the students any means of enjoying their holiday weekend. Their aim was to drive the black students out of Virginia Beach for good.

On August 21, two weeks before the event, the mayor requested that the governor put the National Guard on standby alert. The police force of Virginia Beach was beefed up with cops from neighboring cities. As students arrived they faced hundreds of policemen patrolling Atlantic Avenue in riot gear.

The City Council adopted new laws giving the police power to disperse "illegal assemblies." Policemen were given a free hand to harass and slap $100 fines on students for playing radios or even talking with one another in the streets. Hundreds of students were fined for those "crimes" as well as jaywalking, not wearing a shirt, profanity, shouting, drinking beer in a public place and so on. Female students had their purses snatched by police and searched for drugs.

The city denied students the use of the coliseum for concerts and other activities, leaving the students with almost no organized entertainment.

The local businesses also played a role in the racist scheme to drive the students out. The price for a hotel room was suddenly jacked up, in some cases to 300% of what the students had paid last year. Hotel owners forced students to wear I.D. bracelets or carry I.D. cards and receipts to enter their hotels. Hotels also refused to allow the students to have guests in their rooms, and denied them access to the beaches. Stores attempted to gouge the students with increased prices. And some local establishments were reported to have refused entry to black students.

Police Launch All-Out Attack

Late Saturday night thousands of students were outside on the streets partying. Subjected to the constant harassment by police, pockets of resistance began to break out.

Without warning, hundreds of police in riot gear, state troopers and National Guardsmen moved in to drive the students off the streets. They charged into the crowd of students swinging their billy clubs, and striking everyone not fast enough to get away. Some were pushed into walls and lines of police, then beaten. 160 were arrested Saturday night.

Sunday night the police swept Atlantic Avenue with riot tanks and attack dogs. Massive arrests were made on the streets and beaches. Hotels were raided and students were dragged out of their rooms, beaten and arrested.

This was clearly a racist set-up.

Students Fight Back

The students resisted the attack with bottles and rocks. Shouts of "fight the power" became the students' slogan. A number of businesses were trashed and looted as the rebellion continued.

The Washington Post reports that 1,235 people were charged with 1,346 offenses. Scores more students were injured. Jail was set up on a municipal tennis center. Many were held for hours until the officers who had arrested them arrived to make the charges. No phones or bathrooms were available to the students.

Officials Praise Racist Police Brutality

Officials heaped praise on the police attack and issued veiled threats for next year.

City Manager Aubrey Watts Jr. said, "It's incredible that they (police) were able to restore law and order without firing a single shot or using fatal force." State Guard Commander Major General John Castles boasted, "I am extremely pleased with the professional manner in which our soldiers performed their duties." Mayor Meyera Obemdorf claimed the "police acted with extraordinary restraint," and declared "we will not tolerate lawlessness from anybody." Obviously, being black was enough to be against the law in Virginia Beach on Labor Day weekend.

A "rampage," a "riot for unknown reasons?" Hardly. Police harassment and brutality, robbery and racist persecution by the hotel owners -- these were more than enough reason for the black youth to rebel. Many of the students have vowed to return next Labor Day and renew the fight against racist persecution at Virginia Beach. Others vowed to reinvigorate the anti-racist struggles on their campuses. They are right to do so.

[Photo: Black students stand up to racist police attacks in Virginia Beach, Sept. 3.]

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Notes from Nicaragua-Part 3

FSLN's "mixed economy" can't deal with economic crisis

(Below is the third installment, and excerpts from the second installment, from the report from the MLP, USA delegation that visited Nicaragua in July. For the full second installment, see the September issue of "Workers' Advocate Supplement.")

On July 5, 1979, two weeks before the final triumph of July 19, the working people of Jinotepe rose in insurrection and liberated their city from the hated National Guard of the Somoza dictatorship. We traveled to Jinotepe on the day of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the insurrection.

Nearly the whole town, some 10,000 people, came out for the festivities. Part of the crowd pressed in to hear the speeches of commandante Henri Ruiz and other Sandinista (FSLN) officials. If there was little fire among these listeners, there was at least respect and interest in what the FSLN leaders had to say. But most were not paying attention to the speakers at all; they were taking in the afternoon holiday, enjoying the parade or the sweet things to eat.

What we saw in Jinotepe gives the lie to the whole Reagan/Bush propaganda. The people of Jinotepe are clearly not groaning under the weight of a hated tyranny. They are clearly not cringing in fear of the "totalitarian" commandantes. Quite the opposite. The FSLN leaders move as relaxed and easily among the people as government leaders almost anywhere. They are supported by some, respected by many more, and tolerated by the overwhelming majority. This is the same majority that rose in revolution and smashed the Somoza dictatorship. And there is an acceptance of the FSLN as a participant in that revolution and for defending the revolution from the efforts of the CIA to overthrow it.

However, we saw something else that was striking in Jinotepe: the fires of passion for the FSLN are cooling. This began several years ago and this year it has gone further. The Jinotepe celebration was a far cry from the combination of jubilation and militancy that we saw at such FSLN events five years past. It was more like the typical political rally one might expect on an official holiday.

In years past, the walls of Managua were plastered with drawings of barricades and rifles and FSLN appeals to arm the people, to defeat imperialism, and other militant slogans. But for the 10th anniversary of the revolution, the FSLN plastered the walls with valentines and the slogan "Never has there been so much fatherland In the heart."

The FSLN Is Undermining Its Own Support

The economy is the biggest wound that is weakening the FSLN's support. Indeed, what are people talking about in Nicaragua these days? They are talking about the hyperinflation, the cutbacks in social services, the plant closings and layoffs. The economy is the number one topic and the focus of political debate. Just travel to Nicaragua and you will see why. The economy is a basket case.

In past visits we have seen acute shortages of everything from toilet paper to car parts. Factories were stalled for lack of supplies and spare parts. Speculators kept the market shelves empty and black market prices were sky high. Poor Nicaragua was being pressed to the wall by the CIA's contra war, economic blockade and capitalist economic sabotage.

It is still being pressed hard. At the same time there is a creeping "normalcy." Instead of a shortage of toilet paper, it is being hawked on the street corners. Cars are moving as car parts are^becoming available. Markets are starting to stock goods as the hoarders and black marketeers are becoming legal traders.

This clatter of commerce may sound like an improvement. But down below, the working people's struggle for survival is growing more desperate. The symptoms of hunger and misery are spreading in the more "normal" fashion -- symptoms that a traveler might see in some other Central American countries or other Latin American basket cases. This is not just because there is still a war and a blockade, but also now the full force of capitalist "free market" economics is being unleashed on the country.

Hyperinflation and the Dollar Economy

This spring there were up to five devaluations of the Nicaraguan currency, the cordoba, in a month. In May, a dollar was worth 9,000 cordobas. By June, it was 20,000 cordobas at the official rate, 25,000 on the legal "parallel market," and 26,000 on the black market. Prices are being allowed to fly out of sight to keep pace. The few remaining price controls go unenforced. In a month the price of a Pepsi jumped from 2,000 to 4,000 cordobas. The price of gasoline nearly doubled to 37,000 a gallon ($1.50) to match the international price.

Meanwhile, wages are held in check. In May the teachers waged a national strike and won a 50% raise in their monthly salary, from 150,000 to 225,000 cordobas. That is less than $10 a month, which cannot pay for food, bus fare and other necessities. Many workers earn less than that.

The resentment against the hyperinflation is compounded by the rise of a parallel dollar economy. You can buy everything from hair conditioner to computers in Managua these days. The only hitch is you have to pay in dollars.

This creates something of a "dollar apartheid," with a whole system of dollars-only stores. When we went to an auto parts shop, the door was kept bolted until the two guards behind the glass were convinced that we carried dollars. (This particular shop specialized in Soviet and East German parts, and the Soviet and East German "friends" of Nicaragua also only accept dollars.)

But apart from foreign visitors who has dollars? Government officials, businessmen who are provided dollars by the government, wealthy people who have an outside source. Everyone else sinks with their worthless cordobas.

No More Protection for the Working People

The pain of high prices is aggravated by cuts in social programs. The working people have had it hard before. They have suffered shortages and black market price gouging. However, they also have had a degree of protection. There were price controls and subsidized distribution of food and clothing through work place commissaries. There was a free health care system and free distribution of medicine. There were relatively large state investments in education, childcare, sanitation and other pressing needs of the people.

Now these protections are being torn down. The right-wing businessmen (puffed up with U.S. dollars) have been fuming against price controls and other supposedly "totalitarian" state regulations. The government has caved into these pressures and has accepted a free market" policy.

Moreover, recent austerity budgets have gutted subsidies and other social programs. Everything from cereal, to school books, to medicines have to be purchased at the hyperinflated prices. The protective cushion of reforms that the working people gained in the revolution has been pulled out from beneath them.

Capitalist Sabotage

Meanwhile the local Nicaraguan capitalists have not been won over by the "free market" reforms. Their sabotage continues to be another factor crippling production. Plantation owners refuse to plant or harvest crops. Business owners sell off machinery, refuse to invest in upkeep, and let their factories rust. This is because profits are lower than what they want. It is also their way of adding fuel to the political pressure for dismantling the revolution.

FSLN's Program Swamped by Capitalism

U.S. corporate TV and newspapers sneer at Nicaragua's economic mess. They sneer that this is what happens when revolution interferes with "free market" capitalism. With these sneers, however, they cover up the economic rape of Nicaragua by the Somoza dictatorship and the U.S. corporations. They cover up the staggering blows of the U.S. war on Nicaragua. The economic blockade has shut down export markets, severed lines of credit, and robbed Nicaragua's U.S.-made factories of spare parts and machinery.

Beyond that, these sneers from the voices of U.S. big business cover up what is going on in Nicaragua. On the economic field the FSLN has already cried uncle in the face of the pressures of the CIA and Nicaraguan big business. Its early attempts at sweeping reforms have been in full retreat over the last four years. Gone are the big campaigns in education, medicine and other social programs. Gone are the attempts to build up a large state sector in industry, state regulation of prices, and other protections for the masses. Gone are the Sandinista dreams of a flourishing peasant and cooperative sector. The new Sandinista "free market" measures are making worse all the problems of the CIA's war, the U.S. economic blockade, and the sabotage by the local capitalists.

Organizing the Revolutionary Workers' Movement

The worker, the poor peasant, the brave men and women who made the revolution, are once again being tossed into all the uncertainty of unemployment, hunger, and want. "Free market" capitalism is starving the people and Sandinism offers no alternative. For the working people, survival means turning to independent organization and struggle.

Take the case of the teachers. In April, some 1,000 trained educators quit their profession because they could no longer live in the face of the hyperinflation. In May, the rest of the teachers went on strike to gain some relief. Up until this time the teachers had been a center of support for the FSLN. But the FSLN-controlled teachers union -- ANDEN -- defended the government's austerity policy and opposed the strike action.

In the western region a 20-member strike committee was set up outside the ANDEN leadership structure. A section of this committee became ensnared by the right-wing parties and their unions. Thus in Leon the teachers followed CAUS, the union center of one of the Nicaraguan revisionist parties (who call themselves "communists" but actually work closely with the right-wing parties).

Another bloc of five on the teachers' committee -- from Chichigalpa, Corinto, and other towns of the region -- took a stand for independent struggle. They wanted nothing to do with the right-wing groups and they denounced the attempts of the U.S. embassy to exploit the strike. This bloc worked with the Marxist-Leninist workers of FO (the Workers' Front), the true communist force in Nicaragua.

Or take the dwellers of Ciudad Sandino on the outskirts of Managua. They looked towards the Committee of Popular Struggle to deal with the collapse of public and social services which is making life intolerable in this working class barrio. There is an acute lack of schools, childcare, water, electric power, sanitation, and transport. One corner of this huge barrio has been cut off from bus service because a bridge is needed over a small washout. It is already painful enough to get to and from work on the overcrowded and expensive buses without adding a long hike to the nearest bus stop.

The officials paid no attention until the residents held a meeting and launched a protest. For this protest the masses turned to the barrio's Committee of Popular Struggle, one of such committees being encouraged across the country by the Marxist-Leninist Party.

The economic crisis has hit hard blows at the trade union and other organizations of the workers. But the forces of capitalism are also compelling the workers and exploited to regroup and reorganize for struggle. There is a prospect of a revival of the revolutionary workers' movement. And it is the active and organized workers which are the force that can turn back the U.S.-sponsored counterrevolution that is strangling Nicaragua.

[Photo: Children at the blackboard of a makeshift school run by a Committee of Popular Struggle in Ciudad Sandino.]

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


Bush wants to buy the the Nicaraguan elections

Bush wants. to buy a Nicaraguan president. He is demanding Congress grant millions of dollars to subsidize the right-wing candidates in the upcoming Nicaraguan elections. In Nicaragua, suffering from U.S. economic blockade, a few million dollars goes a long way. So Bush wants $9 million, with up to $4 million of this to go for the campaign of pro-contra presidential candidate Violeta Chamorro, publisher of the CIA-backed paper La Prensa.

This is freedom, capitalist-style. Every dollar has the vote. Affirmative action for dollars, not people. Since the imperialists have the most dollars, they think they have the right to rule the world.

Congress is debating with Bush how the money should be given. If it is done too openly, they are afraid that their favored candidates might be discredited as a tool of the CIA. But even if Bush and Congress don't reach an agreement, the CIA can continue with covert financing. After all, the entire contra dirty war against Nicaragua is organized through the CIA, so what's a few million dollars more?

If Bush and Congress think that buying the elections in Nicaragua is the path to democracy, why don't they give millions for each governor, senator and representative race in the U.S. as well? Why should candidates have to bother raising the money from the corporations and the millionaires, who pay the huge sums necessary for the campaigns of their favored capitalist yes-men? It would be easier for approved candidates to simply get a stipend from a joint White House-Congressional committee which will decide who deserves to win. After all, what's good enough for Nicaragua should be good enough for New York and California.

From the Nicaraguan workers' press

El Pueblo, the voice of the militant activists, arose in the revolutionary struggle against Somoza. After the overthrow of Somoza it supported the struggle for workers' control over the factories and other workers' and peasants' movements. It was then closed down by the Sandinista-bourgeois coalition government of the time, as the Sandinistas repressed the class-conscious workers in an attempt to maintain the goodwill of the bourgeoisie. Other papers, such as the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua's Prensa Proletaria, kept alive the workers' press.

Now El Pueblo is published again, three times a week.

Many articles have dealt with the economic crisis. They have shown how the bourgeoisie is sabotaging production despite the subsidies lavished on them by the Sandinistas. And they show how the Sandinista policy has come down particularly hard on the workers, cooperatives, and small producers.

Cotton growers won't pay wages

Below are excerpts from an article from the August 15 issue of El Pueblo. It uses statements from the Sandinistas' own peasant organization, the ATC:

In spite of the definite concessions that the government has been giving to the big cotton growers throughout the past year, they are persisting in their anti-worker positions, according to yesterday's statements to El Pueblo from the head of the Association of Agricultural Growers (ATC), Heberto Reyes.

According to Reyes, the big cotton growers of Leon are refusing to pay the minimum wage specified by the ATC for harvesting cotton.

The resistance of the big producers came about when the Ministry of Labor authorized a wage of 21,072 cordobas per day, while the ATC insisted that the standard be 25,641 cordobas per 7,500 yards worked.

"We think that the producers have sufficient resources to pay the 3,000 cordoba difference in case the bank doesn't cover this cost in its funding," said Reyes.

Besides this pay, which the ATC justifies as in accordance with the cost of the basic basket of eight necessities, the employers must pay 100% of the cost of the meals.

"While the government meets its obligations with the private producers, the producers don't want to commit themselves to meeting even their most minimal obligations to the workers, claiming that they don't have the resources."

Reyes denounced sesame, soy and cotton producers William Gurdian and Mauricio Pallais who refused to renegotiate collective contracts.

Quo vadis the revolution?

In the August 29 issue of El Pueblo Carlos Lucas Arauz wrote an article "whither the revolution?" It began by citing a speech of Reagan's of Sept. 8, 1987 which arrogantly dictated demands to the Sandinista government. The article pointed at:

"This speech is a summarized expression of the U.S. program against the Nicaraguan revolutionary process. The points demanded by the U.S. have been as stated: Ceasefire; General amnesty; Release of Somozista prisoners and contras; Fixing a date for internationally supervised elections; Recognize the political rights of the internal reaction; To continue the war if these conditions are not met."

The article went on to point out:

"Today, these points have all been accepted by the Sandinista government through various exchanges and meetings of all types, including talks directly with the leadership of the counterrevolution. After the government's meeting August 3 and 4 with the political parties, and the [Central American] Presidents' meeting in Tela, Honduras, U.S. imperialism can consider itself satisfied in the carrying out of the above demands."

The article went into detail into the various points. For example, it dealt with the U.S. demand for political rights for the local reactionaries. It pointed out:

"This is another point originally demanded by Reagan, which has been carried out particularly through the agreements in the National Dialogue. They include accords for revoking, reforming or approving laws concerning the media, public order and security, the functions of the police, etc. So, 30 minutes in free media time to the right- wing political parties; guarantees against confiscation for 'purely political reasons'; and freeing of prisoners in these parties who have been involved in counterrevolutionary activities.

"The amazing thing in all this is how imperialism, the contras and the internal reaction, now in a precarious alliance designated as 'UN' [United Nicaraguan Resistance], reserve the right to dictate, according to their own interests, whether the concessions by the Sandinista government are satisfactory or not. Meanwhile, the continuation of the war, like the sword of Damocles, is hanging over the whole process of negotiations and accords.

"In this sense the Sandinista government is playing the role of the child in the parable of San Agustin, who wanted to put the ocean into a little hole he had dug. There can be no guarantee that imperialism and the internal reaction will be satisfied with the government's concessions.

"This is especially true since, as the Sandinistas fall apart in front of the masses, the masses seek out new revolutionary options, not contained in Sandinism. In other words, there is the reality that mediating away Sandinism does not mean that the revolutionary process is mediated away -- which is the real political aim of the U.S. and the internal reaction.

"The U.S demands expressed by Reagan have been completely satisfied, as we see. But both the revolution and the counterrevolution are still seeking more favorable conditions to organize and express themselves in practice with more energy.

"The 'Quo Vadis' [whither is it going] of the revolution has not yet been answered. The Nicaraguan proletariat, the revolutionaries in general, have the next pages in Nicaraguan history still blank for the answer to be shaped."

Talk of peace and reality of war in El Salvador

The pro-U.S. government of El Salvador is stepping up repression. Earlier this year, the fascist ARENA party came to power with the idea of drowning all resistance in blood. This represents the desperation of the Salvadoran oligarchy of wealthy landowners and capitalists in the face of a revolutionary movement that has survived years of counterinsurgency war.

Despite the ARENA government, the crisis continues to deepen. Mass struggle in the cities continues, from political protests to union organizing. The armed guerrilla forces continue to defy the Salvadoran army despite its American advisers, American weapons, and American money. On September 26, for example, after an 11-day truce expired, the popular forces attacked government positions in nine provinces. This was in response to the actions of the Salvadoran army, which had sought to use the truce to intrude on guerrilla areas, and which had detained workers, students, and activists.

The Negotiations Are Dead, Long Live the Negotiations

Yet the leadership of FMLN, the main armed organization, continues to promote the idea that the regime and its U.S. backers will agree to the popular demands. Their new strategy believes that replacing radical reforms and socialism by vague talk of democracy and progress will suffice to establish a framework for 'agreement with the Salvadoran oligarchy and the American government.

The FMLN had proposed a deal to the Christian-Democratic government before the last elections. (See "No more attempts to avert the social explosion!" and "Rhetoric vs. reality in Salvadoran 'political solution'" in the March 1 Workers' Advocate.) Now it is trying the same thing with the ARENA fascist government that replaced the Christian-Democrats. The FMLN proposals demand, in essence, a return to the situation that existed in the 70's prior to the escalation of open civil war.

So on one hand, the FMLN leadership has truly said that ARENA is out for a total military bloodbath, while on the other they base their negotiating strategy on the idea that it will sign an agreement to respect democratic political activity, and the agreement will be respected. But even if such an agreement were reached and implemented, it would merely restore the conditions that led up to the countrywide civil war of the 1980's.

Most We Agree?

True support for the Salvadoran struggle does not mean agreeing to every plan the FMLN leadership puts forward. This is not just because different Salvadorans, and different sections of FMLN, disagree among themselves. It is not just because the FMLN leadership's ideas have changed more than once, nor just because their new plan is inspired by Gorbachev's corrupt "new thinking." It is first and foremost because solidarity work requires something much harder than simply repeating the latest communique, but something much more worthwhile. It requires studying what is actually going on in the world, and it means opposing the imperialists in the U.S. and the reactionaries in El Salvador. It means having one's own standpoint on the burning issues. Only this can provide real support for our class sisters and brothers, the insurgent toilers of El Salvador.

The FMLN leadership's plan, for example, puts forward the idea that U.S. imperialism can be pushed to become reasonable if only the Salvadorans give up dogmatic demands for social change. It even suggests that the U.S. government will divert money from military aid for crushing the Salvadorans and convert it to money to benefit the people.

If the solidarity movement here were to support such a perspective, it would amount to giving up anti-imperialist work and becoming a fringe of the Democratic Party or the liberal churchmen. It would mean abandoning work for the self-determination of El Salvador and agreeing that, ultimately, Congressional deliberations should decide the fate of El Salvador. It would mean banking everything on lobbying imperialism, and losing all faith in the capacity of the working masses, either here or in El Salvador, to stand up in their own interests.

Radical Rhetoric About Surrender

The new negotiating plan is based on a deal with the oligarchy and giving up the class demands of the toilers. But at times it is defended with the most revolutionary rhetoric. If rhetoric could kill, the army and ARENA would be all but dead and buried.

Take the September 1989 issue of NACLA/Report on the Americas. It has a number of articles defending the proposals from the FMLN leadership, including interviews with top FLMN leaders. There is talk of this being the period of "strategic counteroffensive." And Commander Leo Cabral, member of the Political Commission of the General Command of the FMLN, tells us that "strategic time cannot be ten years. For the revolution strategic time is six months, a year, a year and a half...." (p. 29) Why, as far as he is concerned, "this insurrection has already begun, and if the army doesn't realize it, that's their problem." (p. 24)

But it is a strange type of insurrection indeed. NACLA believes that "the two lines of insurrection and negotiated solution are intimately connected. The pursuit of negotiations and a multi-class alliance can only develop to the degree that an insurrectionary victory becomes a realistic possibility." (p. 34) So it is an insurrection whose point is simply to convince ARENA to sign on the dotted line.

And what is the goal, what type of society is to be built? Commander Francisco Jovel, one of five members of the FMLN General Command, says that "...capitalism has proven incapable of finding solutions to the principal problems of the masses, even in its most democratic forms." (p. 30) But, at the same time, "We in the FMLN are not talking about installing a socialist regime should there be a popular victory.... we simply propose the establishment of an authentically democratic society." So democratic capitalism won't solve anything, yet they are to build an "authentically democratic society" which does not go beyond capitalism. The word democracy is supposed to cover up the fact that agreement with the U.S. imperialists and the Salvadoran oligarchy will not produce a society that will solve any problems of the masses.

The radical rhetoric means little, if everything ends up subordinated to what one hopes can be accepted by Bush, Congress, ARENA, and the Salvadoran military.

Continue the Struggle Against Imperialism

Were the FMLN negotiating plan to bear fruit, the revolutionary activists in El Salvador and the militant toilers would find themselves in great danger. They would risk giving up the fruits of a decade of struggle. It is necessary for the revolutionary forces to be flexible, to adjust to the changes in the objective situation, and to pursue mass tactics. But when such tactics are based on illusions in finding a common framework with U.S. imperialism and the local oligarchy, they are not smart tactics, but defeatist renunciation of the revolutionary cause.

The solidarity movement must continue to expose and condemn imperialism.

We must support revolutionary struggle in El Salvador and take the side of the workers and toilers against the rich. We must keep in mind the truths of the class struggle, and not pursue the illusion that vague phrases about democracy will provide a platform to reconcile White House and Salvadoran peasant, ARENA fascist and exploited workers.

And we must support true self-determination for El Salvador, and scorn those who think that liberation will come from lobbying Congress and the White House about what is best for American bourgeois interests.

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The World in Struggle


Strike wave sweeps Quebec

Public sector workers rocked the Canadian province of Quebec with a massive strike wave during September.

The strikes began on September 5 with the walkout of 40,000 nurses employed in Quebec hospitals. The nurses are fed up with low pay and rotten working conditions. Their one-week strike won widespread public support and embarrassed the government, which tried to force the nurses back to work by fining their union.

The next week 225,000 other public sector workers struck. This included other hospital workers, school board support staff, and teachers (in primary and secondary schools and junior college). Their strikes paralyzed the health care system, schools, and government services for two weeks.

The public sector strikes mark a rebellion against years of deep cutbacks in government spending in social programs. So much anger has built up that the nurses and hospital workers were ready and willing to carry out illegal strikes in defiance of two harsh anti-strike laws.

The Quebec government was able to negotiate an end, at least temporarily, to the strikes by the end of September. The nurses got a contract, but the other sectors went back without agreements. But Prime Minister Bourassa refused to cancel fines and sanctions imposed on the nurses' union during their strike, which amounted to more than $25 million.

The strike movement was cut short in large part because the trade union chieftains did not have the resolve to carry the struggle forward. There was in fact a good opportunity to press the struggle, as the capitalist government was embarrassed in the midst of provincial elections. But the union officials repeatedly swore that they wanted to avoid a "social crisis.''

Meanwhile the capitalist parties vying for electoral victory exposed themselves as enemies of the working people. The leader of the opposition bourgeois nationalist Parti Quebecois rushed to give Liberal Prime Minister Bourassa his full support in taking government action against the strikes.

[Photo: Quebec public sector workers rally, Sept. 18.]

French auto workers strike Peugeot

Some 1,000 striking auto workers demonstrated outside the Paris headquarters of the Peugeot company on September 18. Peugeot is Europe's third largest auto maker. The demonstrators came from the company's assembly plants in Alsace in the northeast of France.

The Peugeot workers' strike broke out early in September at the Mulhouse plant and then spread to Sochaux, the company's main plant where over 20,000 workers are employed. Several thousand have joined the strike and many more are sympathetic, but as of yet the plants have not been fully shut down. Still, the strike has been successful in hurting the production of a new model car which Peugeot management has promoted in a major ad campaign.

The Peugeot workers are demanding a 30% increase in wages -- 1,500 francs ($230) a month raise on their base pay of 5,500 francs ($920) a month. The company insists that it will not go over a 4.4% total increase in pay, bonuses and benefits.

The workers are not about to take this pittance. In the last eight years, Peugeot workers have been the target of a massive wage and job cutting plan. This has meant an 18% fall in their standard of living and the elimination of 20,000 jobs at Sochaux and 5,000 at Mulhouse. Meanwhile the company's profits have shot up by some 250% in the same period to reach $1.5 billion.

The Peugeot workers believe that it is high time they saw some gains coming their way.

The wage and job-cutting concessions were imposed on the workers in the early 80's when the social-democratic Mitterrand government came to power. At that time this government also included the Communist Party, which is no longer communist but reformist. This government of social-democrats and revisionists helped the auto monopolies, both at state-owned Renault and privately-owned Peugeot, to carry out the anti-worker concessions drive. Workers tried to mount a strike movement to defend themselves, but this was sabotaged by the union bureaucrats associated with the various bourgeois and reformist parties.

The latest strike has been initiated by rank-and-file workers and it is daily growing in strength. To develop the struggle, the auto workers will have to be vigilant against treachery from the union bureaucrats. They have to build organization that really breaks from the tired and impotent reformism of the union officialdom.

General strike in India

A general strike paralyzed India on August 30. Shops were closed, trains were stopped, and schools were empty as the strike disrupted life across this large South Asian country. The strike was especially strong in Calcutta and Madras, where the shutdown of shops and services was almost 100%.

Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi unleashed repression against the strike. Public sector workers were warned that they would be punished for staying off the job, and the government used radio and TV announcements to oppose the strike. The day before the strike, the government rounded up thousands of opposition leaders for detention. And during the strike itself government forces killed at least 11 people.

Like two other general strikes of recent years -- in February 1986 and January 1987 -- this one too was called as a protest against Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the economic policies of his ruling Congress Party. Gandhi's policies have made the prices of daily essentials like food and fuel rise, while workers have been subject to wage freezes and cutbacks. And millions of peasants are facing bankruptcy because they cannot repay government loans.

The force of the general strike offers a glimpse of the potential power in the hands of the toiling masses, and it shows the hatred the people bear for Gandhi's government. Unfortunately, the political forces who led the general strike offer no alternative to the workers and peasants of India.

The popular hatred for Rajiv Gandhi is being cynically manipulated by a mixed bag of bourgeois political parties that are in a coalition against Gandhi. This coalition includes right-wing parties, even religious fundamentalist parties, and also so-called leftist parties such as the reformist Communist Party of India (Marxist). Many of these political forces, including the CPI(M), control provincial governments and they have proved over and over again that they are slaves of the exploiters who suck the blood of the toilers of India.

The opposition coalition is preparing to challenge Rajiv Gandhi in national elections which come up in a few months. But there is nothing of value to the toilers in this electoral competition among the parties of the exploiters. The workers and poor of India have to devote their energies to the difficult tasks of building up an independent movement of the workers, a movement directed against the bourgeoisie and all of their political representatives.

Palestinian uprising deals with collaborators

In recent weeks there has been a flurry of items in the capitalist media about "Palestinians attacking Palestinians" in the West Bank and Gaza strip. These stories are nothing but the latest volley in the long-standing U.S. imperialist campaign to paint the Palestinian people as violence-prone, brutal and uncivilized. The bourgeois writers act oh-so concerned about Palestinian lives, but in truth they are only trying to come up with new excuses for the savage repression of the Israeli army.

The fact of the matter is, there are Israeli collaborators among the Palestinians, and resistance activists are trying to break the back of their treachery. There are spies and traitors living among the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, elements willing to sell out their own neighbors. Israeli intelligence has organized groups of 8-10 collaborators in small villages throughout the occupied territories, and larger numbers exist in the cities.

These collaborators are trained and armed by the Israeli army. On a regular basis they terrorize other Palestinians, vandalize their cars, extort money, harass, beat and shoot residents of the villages. They set up roadblocks and assault people. When the army pulls a raid, they guide the Israeli troops to their village and pick out people to be arrested. They also arrest people on their own, kidnapping village activists who later turn up in Israeli prisons.

Some of the collaborators' activities recently came to light when they kidnapped the mayor of the town of Beit Sahur, near Bethlehem. These traitors were upset about graffiti spray painted in the town that denounced collaborators. There had also been threats against them. So they seized the mayor and held him hostage.

But this trick did not work, as the masses of Beit Sahur surrounded the house they were in and began assaulting it. The collaborators were forced to free the mayor, after which the masses burned their house to the ground.

It is not surprising that such elements exist. The Palestinians live in an occupied territory, where the occupier has superior military power and money for bribery. Nearly all resistance movements have had to deal with spies and collaborators. For example, the resistance movement in countries occupied by the Nazis during World War II also had to deal with collaborators.

The anti-apartheid movement in South Africa also has had to deal with sellouts. Like the black South Africans, Palestinian activists are learning how to deal with collaborators. But when a collaborator is attacked, it is not a case of arbitrary violence, as the bourgeois media depicts it. In most cases, a collaborator is usually warned many, many times to cease his activity before he is actually attacked. Many times this is sufficient. But in cases where the collaborator continues to betray his own people, he is found guilty by the activists of the intifada and justly punished or even executed.

[Photo: Palestinian militants patrol streets of Nablus despite Israeli army threats to shoot anyone wearing a face covering.]


Early on August 20, the Mexican army suddenly moved into Cananea in Sonora state and seized the local open pit copper mine. Miners at work were pushed out by thousands of army troops backed up by armed helicopters. Only later did the government announce that the mine was being closed, at least temporarily, and that all 4,000 production workers at the mine were fired.

The mine closure is part of President Salinas' program of privatization and cutbacks against the working class. Salinas has been trying to sell the mine but was unable to find a buyer. But now, as the New York Times commented, "Mr. Salinas has broken the power of the union and made the mine a much more attractive property."

This is only the latest outrage by Salinas. After attacking the oil workers' union earlier this year, he went on to attack workers at Aeromexico, the government-owned airline. Then in June he fired 1,700 workers at the huge steel making complex in Monclova, Coahuila. All in all, Salinas' attacks on mining and metal workers have reportedly meant a loss of some 60,000 jobs.

Workers Fight Back

But workers are not taking Salinas' vicious offensive lying down. Thousands of steel workers went out on strike in June to protest against the mass firings in Monclova. And the miners in Cananea have been holding a series of mass actions to protest the government's mine seizure. The miners have blocked the main highways around Cananea and held a number of marches in Hermosillo.

In this struggle the miners have had to face the treachery of their union leaders, who are closely affiliated with Salinas' PRI, the ruling party. The leaders of the miners' union refused to call a nationwide strike, as the miners demanded, and instead urged the miners to accept the government's measly offer of severance pay. The Cananea miners have now created their own local strike committee, in defiance of the national union leaders, and are receiving support from other contingents of the working class such as the teachers in Sonora. Mexican-American workers in Tucson, Arizona have sent tons of food to assist their struggle.

The workers have many obstacles to face in developing their struggle. The top bureaucrats of the CTM (Mexican Labor Confederation) have had a cozy relationship with the PRI for decades. Salinas' program is supported by Mexican and international capital as the solution to Mexico's economic crisis. The wealthy capitalists of North America, Europe and Japan are excited to have a regime which is working extra hard to push down the workers so that Mexico can pay back loans to the imperialist bankers. Why, they are even ready to give Mexico new loans! Never mind that this debt problem is a big part of the country's current economic disaster.

Resistance to Electoral Fraud in Michoacan

Salinas' government is also carrying on with the PRI's traditional election- stealing tactics. But the Mexican working people are fed up with such abuses and are demanding a change from "politics as usual."

In last year's national election the PRI employed outright, massive fraud to defeat Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, a former PRI leader who split from PRI on the basis of being true to "the real PRI." Since' then Cardenas has built his electoral coalition into a new party, the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD).

This summer there were elections for state governors in Mexico. PRI's cheating in Michoacan state so outraged the masses there that angry crowds blockaded highways and took over city halls. At least 57 people were injured on August 15 in confrontations between PRI goon squads and supporters of the PRD. Army troops were sent in to intimidate the masses. Meanwhile, protests and highway blockades began to spread in the state of Oaxaca as well.

The PRD has found support from working people who think that Cardenas stands for real changes that will benefit the masses. But the truth is that Cardenas' program is mainly warmed-over old-fashioned PRI rhetoric. He wants to return to traditional PRI-style policies. He wants to tinker with the political system so that the masses do not feel completely alienated from the system of capitalist rule. He wants to renegotiate the foreign debt. And he wants to maintain more of the traditional state- capitalist enterprises and subsidies, which the Salinas government wants to pare down.

But Mexico's crisis is so huge that Cardenas-style traditional PRI-ism isn't workable. Neither for the rich nor for the poor. On the one hand, it doesn't sufficiently meet the demands for stepped-up exploitation made by the capitalists and foreign imperialists; and on the other hand it cannot meet the crying needs of the masses for a better life.

If the working people are to have any hope of getting out of their poverty-stricken condition -- or even to survive in these difficult times -- the whole system must go! The crisis requires radical solutions; a revolution of the exploited masses is essential. Power must pass into the hands of the working majority. The debt to the imperialists has to be scrapped altogether. The squeezing of the poor for the enrichment of the rich bourgeois and landowners must end, along with the over- lordship of the state-capitalist bureaucrats.

Towards that end, building up a revolutionary movement of the workers and poor peasants is the order of the day. The present stirrings among the masses -- from Michoacan to Monclova and Cananea -- show the readiness of the workers and peasants to develop their mass resistance. This movement must be built up squarely in the class interests of the toilers, independent of all the capitalist political forces. The revolutionary movement should of course join in all popular protests against the PRI, including the mass protests involving working people who believe in the Cardenas alternative; but its job is not to tail behind the reformist Cardenas, but to win all the masses who want a real fight over to a truly revolutionary course.

[Photo: Rally of Mexican copper miners demands withdrawal of troops and reopening of Cananea mine.]

Condemn the murder of communist militant Gholam Keshavarz by the Islamic regime of Iran!

Memorial meetings were held in New York and Los Angeles in September in honor of comrade Gholam Keshavarz, a militant of the Communist Party of Iran who was murdered in exile by the Iranian regime on August 26. These meetings were organized by supporters of CPI in the U.S. and attended by Iranian exiles and American supporters of the Iranian people's struggle. The Marxist-Leninist Party delivered a message in memory of comrade Gholam, along with other groups. These meetings saluted the revolutionary working class movement in Iran, the cause for which Gholam gave his life.

Comrade Gholam Keshavarz (Bah- man Javadi) was shot by agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Larnaka, Cyprus where he had gone to visit relatives. Gholam was a well-known figure in the Iranian communist movement who became active in the fight against the U.S.-backed dictatorship of the Shah. He put up staunch resistance in the Shah's prisons. During the revolution of 1978-79, he was one of the first wave of activists who recognized the importance of building up the revolutionary working class movement independent of the bourgeois factions which came to power and prominence with the revolution. He was one of the first cadres of the Unity of Communist Militants, one of the two main organizations which founded the CP of Iran in September 1983. In recent years, the comrade had been mainly working for CPI outside of Iran.

His assassination is part of the latest terror campaign of the mullahs in the wake of last year's cease-fire in the Persian Gulf war. In this terror campaign, the Iranian regime has already murdered thousands of political prisoners in the jails, and it has set its guns on opposition figures abroad.

The Iranian regime represents a brutal tyranny. It is a tyranny bred by capitalist barbarism. And today, under its new chief Rafsanjani, its efforts at stabilizing Iran for imperialist and capitalist exploitation are being welcomed by the capitalist regimes of East and West. Yesterday, the revisionist traitors of Moscow greeted Rafsanjani with the red carpet treatment. Today the West European powers are busy rebuilding bridges. Meanwhile, conditions are being prepared for tomorrow's rapprochement with Washington.

But terror will not silence the revolutionary underground in Iran. The cowardly murder of comrade Gholam will only end up adding more fuel to the fire burning in the hearts of millions of Iranian toilers who yearn for the overthrow of the despotic dictatorship of the Islamic mullahs.

The Marxist-Leninist Party sends its condolences to the comrades and fellow fighters of Gholam Keshavarz. Comrades of our Party had the opportunity to discuss our common struggle for communism with comrade Gholam, and this sharpens our grief.

We reconfirm our commitment to solidarity between the MLP,USA and the Communist Party of Iran and among the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists the world over.

Down with the Islamic dictatorship!

Down with capitalism and imperialism!

Long live the cause of the working class and communism for which Comrade Gholam Keshavarz gave his life!

[Photo: Gholam Keshavarz]

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'Do the Right Thing' promises much and says little

Only a few films depict black life and the struggle against racism. Spike Lee's "Do the right thing'' denounces the racism of the police and is dedicated to the memory of a number of people murdered by the police. It presents satiric characterizations of black life that the audiences can chuckle at, since the film maker is a black person against racism. And as a result of the film, phrases such as "do the right thing'' have become popular, which is fine.

Yet the basic ideas in "Do the right thing'' are terribly wrong. True, they are no worse than similar ideas presented in one Hollywood film after another. But they are no better either.

Where Does Racism Come From?

The film centers on the issue of racism. Yet what does it say about the cause of racism? One scene consists of a succession of people shouting racist insults at other people. The idea seems to be that racism is simply a fact of human life, something common to all people.

In another scene, three black men talk about an Asian storekeeper in the area. One denounces the Asian immigrants for setting up shops, while another says that the Asians set up shops because the blacks are too lazy to do it themselves. Such discussions can be heard among ordinary people. But the film leaves it at that, without suggesting an alternative. One is left with either racism against the Asians or against the blacks.

Meanwhile the Asian storekeeper is shown denouncing Mayor Koch of New York, but simply for being a Jew. There is no reason shown for the storekeeper hating Koch except anti-Jewish prejudice. Actually ordinary people, including anti-racist Jews, have excellent reasons for hating Mayor Koch, who is one of the chief racists in New York. Just recently he tried to explain away the racist murder of Yusef Hawkins, the black youth who was brutally killed as he went to answer an ad for a used car in the "wrong'' section of Brooklyn. But Spike Lee's film, this supposedly "realistic'' portrait of racism, presents the hatred of Koch as simply anti-semitic raving.

What About Exploitation?

The film's strength is supposed to be its portrayal of the black community. But something's missing. Work. The film's hero Mookie is about the only worker, and he is so half-hearted about it that he only keeps his job due to the indulgence of his employer, the Italian owner of the pizzeria.

Yet despite high unemployment, the black community is predominantly working class. The black workers face racism on the job, being pushed into the worst jobs, productivity drives and speedup, all the issues of the work place. This doesn't mean that only racism in the work place is of interest. But it is to preserve exploitation that the ruling class erects an all-round system of racism, in politics, in culture, in the schools, etc. By neglecting the question of exploitation and class struggle, the film is unable to present where racism comes from -- except from "human nature.'' It is also unable to understand where the forces to fight racism will come from.

Does the Film Show Struggle Against the Police Racists?

The film does portray the police as enemies of the black community, simultaneously arrogant against the community and afraid of it. As well, it shows a brutal police murder of a black youth, "Radio Raheem.'' And this part of the film is realistic. Such murders happen all the time in American cities today. The incredible act of choking a man until death, choking him well after he has already been subdued, is in fact the reality in twentieth century American capitalism.

But how is the fight against this racist murder portrayed?

The film doesn't show a fight against the police. Instead the question of "what is the right thing'' centers on whether to throw a garbage can through the window of the local pizzeria and thus initiate the trashing of the place. The attitude of small shopkeepers in the ghetto can vary tremendously. But the particular pizzeria owner involved, despite his shortcomings, is not an enemy of the black people, and he is not the murderer of "Radio Raheem." Indeed, he is portrayed as even paying Mookie his last week's pay (in fact, double his pay) the day after he has seen Mookie initiate the trashing of his store.

Yet presumably the quotations that end the film, from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, present the two sides of this question -- to trash or not to trash. Was Mookie right to throw the garbage can? There is only one little problem. Trashing the pizzeria has nothing to do with fighting the racist murder, and even diverts away from fighting the police. The film, dedicated to the victims of police murder, doesn't show any struggle against the police racists or their masters.

Behind the Images

The film shows many things that will evoke a response of recognition from the film-goer, such as the atrocities of the police; this is its strength. And it evokes the atmosphere of a struggle against racism, right from its start with a song about "fight the power." It gains sympathy this way, especially in comparison to other films. But when one tries to put the images together, the problem begins. Precisely who does the film think should be fought?

It should be noted that "Do the right thing" is not simply presenting a photograph of life. It is intended to send a message. From the name of the film to its ending with the two quotations.

But what is the message? In fact, the film mixes in allusions to anything that seems vaguely popular or black. It doesn't matter if the images are contradictory. It is typical that the film ends by apparently contrasting King and Malcolm X, but throughout the film it promotes a picture of King and Malcolm X smiling together.

Such a lack of ideas could hardly inspire a struggle against the bastions of ruling class racism.

In Whose Interests?

But such a viewpoint is the stand of the black bourgeoisie, which appeals to the masses in the name of the fight against racism, but does so in a way that doesn't antagonize the real sources of racism. Black bourgeois politicians may even go so far as to flirt with talk of "fighting the power," just so long as one is careful not to antagonize the real oppressor power, the capitalist ruling class. They prefer to avoid fighting the large corporations and the police, and they don't want to draw the masses into revolutionary organization; it is safe enough to worry instead about such things as who owns this or that tiny business.

In fact, many white ruling class newspapers and reviewers were quite happy with "Do the right thing" -- only the more hidebound and racist ones raved against it absurdly. These newspapers could promote one racist campaign after another, and still love "Do the right thing." Bourgeois films and ruling class foundations are happy to depict racism as a problem afflicting the masses themselves. They love to present racism as a problem having nothing to do with the oppressive social system but being pervasive in human nature itself. A real struggle against racism has to do better than that.

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Soviet miners prepare for new round of struggle

In July miners across the Soviet Union shook that country's state- capitalist rulers with a powerful national strike. Gorbachev was able to convince the workers to agree to a truce by promising to fulfill most of their demands. The miners decided to give the government until October 1.

That deadline is at hand, and the truce is wearing thin. The government's promises have generally turned out to be empty. And already, miners in such centers of militant struggle as the Vorkuta fields in the far north and the Kuzbas in central Siberia are threatening to walk out again.

The miners' struggle has not only been targeting the government but it also represents a mass rebellion against the official trade union. The workers despise the union officials for long ignoring the workers' grievances. To carry out their strike, the miners organized over the heads of the union bureaucrats.

The mine workers are continuing the discussion among themselves about whether to form their own independent union or attempt to take over the present union apparatus. In the meantime, they are proceeding to both build up their organization of struggle and also challenge the officials within the union apparatus.

In recent months, many work collectives -- a work place level organization connected to the union apparatus -- have been voted out of office and replaced with strike activists. And on September 11, leaders of the miners' strike met in Moscow and formally launched a National Union of Strike Committees.

At this meeting the miners denounced the government for not coming through with what it had promised. They also denounced the Supreme Soviet, the country's parliament, for refusing to schedule a fall session on the workers' demands. Some activists called for renewing the strike.

The Soviet miners' struggle has been a development of great significance. It marks the first major upheaval of the Soviet working class in many decades. It signals that the Soviet workers are beginning to come out as a political force in their own right.

Until now, contemporary political life in the Soviet Union has been dominated by the privileged elite. The ruling Communist Party speaks in the name of the working class, but it has long betrayed the communist revolution of 1917 and the proletariat. Today both its conservative and reformist wings represent the state-capitalist bureaucracy, not the ordinary working people. The other prominent political forces in the Soviet Union have been either pro-Western liberals or bourgeois nationalists of different stripes, concerning themselves not with the masses but this or that layer of the better-off elite.

The miners' struggle has brought forth the first shoots of workers' organization separate from the ruling apparatus. The workers need to build up their organizations, they need to make sure that their struggle is free from the influences of the various wings of the privileged classes, and they need to chart out a program of struggle that is in the interests of the oppressed toilers.

To advance their struggle in the complex swirl of events now rocking the Soviet Union, the workers require their own class party, a revolutionary, communist party. A party of class struggle. A party with a program of truly, working class socialism -- the socialism visualized by Marx and Lenin, not the "socialism" distorted against the workers by the ruling bureaucrats since the mid-30's and turned into rotting state monopoly capitalism.

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Yugoslav workers rally against inflation

"Market socialism" is today's fashion in such revisionist countries like Russia, Poland, Hungary and China. The ruling bureaucrats and their intellectual toadies in these places are singing the glories of the capitalist market. They say Western-style economic reforms will bring prosperity after years of stagnation caused by state- capitalism.

But market socialism -- which is another name for capitalist ''mixed economy" -- has already been tried, and it is a miserable flop. Look at Yugoslavia, where market socialism has been in place for decades now. There the working people desperately try to make ends meet in the face of sky-high inflation and mass unemployment.

However the workers are not quiet. Workers' strikes and protests regularly break out.

On September 13th, 10,000 workers protested in Belgrade against inflation which stands at 900%. Workers from factories in the industrial district of Rakoviza held this mass rally. The meeting sent telegrams to big factories throughout Yugoslavia urging workers to unite against poverty and inflation and urging them to join in a general strike if the situation doesn't change soon.

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Death to apartheid in South Africa!


Black people defy apartheid elections in South Africa

Elections were held in South Africa on September 6. The official winner, to no one's surprise, was the ruling National Party and its leader, F.W. de Klerk. However, the size of its majority was trimmed, gains being made by both the liberal white Democratic Party and by the ultra-racist Conservative Party.

But these are just minor wrinkles in the institutions of white supremacy. The important story about the elections wasn't this -- it was the defiance campaign against the elections waged by the anti-apartheid forces. This campaign was launched to dramatize the absurdity of claiming to hold democratic elections in a country where the vast majority of the people -- over 80% -- are prohibited from voting.

The defiance campaign has succeeded in reviving the anti-apartheid mass struggle. It has continued past the elections. Today the key issue facing the anti-apartheid struggle has become how to contend with a new carrot-and-stick policy of the de Klerk regime. With this maneuver, the regime is trying to prevent the movement from taking on mass, revolutionary proportions.

Struggle and Bloody Repression

The campaign began in early August with sit-ins to integrate segregated hospitals, beaches, and schools. It continued with demonstrations, marches and rallies. As election day neared, the demonstrations grew in militancy, and sharp clashes with police began to take place in the black townships. For example, on August 31 hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police in the townships around Johannesburg, where police tried to disperse them with tear gas and rubber bullets. Schoolchildren in the townships were all boycotting school. Meanwhile, the police were raiding the headquarters of COSATU, the largest black trade union federation.

Two days before the election, the main black trade union centers launched a 48-hour general strike. This was widely observed from Johannesburg to Cape Town. It was especially strong in the industrial areas around Durban and Port Elizabeth. Hundreds of thousands stayed away from school and work. Auto plants and garment factories were shut down. In Durban, 1,000 people demonstrated but were attacked by the police with water cannons.

On election day itself there were sharp clashes with police throughout the country. The police killed some 29 people, making this day comparable in its savagery to the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 and the Uitenhage killings in 1985. Policemen rode around black townships with shotguns, shooting arbitrarily at children playing in their yards.

De Klerk's Carrot-and-Stick Policy

After the elections, de Klerk has again donned the costume of "reform." He now says that some opposition demonstrations will be allowed, so long as they are peaceful. He also banned the use of the sjamboks, leather whips used to beat demonstrators, because of their "negative image internationally." He doesn't say anything about the machine guns, tear gas, water cannons, and cattle prods.

Does the new policy mean that de Klerk has now granted democratic rights to the anti-apartheid movement? Not on your life. The system of repression and systematic denial of rights to the black majority remains fully in place. However, de Klerk has begun to inch towards a new twist in the regime's policy towards the anti-apartheid struggle. While continuing the repression against the revolutionary-minded black masses, de Klerk is now willing to provide a little space for the development of a liberal, respectable, anti-apartheid opposition.

Why this change? For one thing, the fear of a renewed mass upheaval that may again raise the specter of revolution. For another, the desperate state of the economy, which cannot easily absorb another round of international sanctions. The gains made by the liberal white opposition in the elections suggested that a sizable section -- though still a minority -- of the white establishment would like faster steps towards a liberal compromise that could prevent the danger of revolution.

De Klerk's new policy on demonstrations was tested in a large march called for September 13 in Cape Town, to protest the police massacres that occurred on election day. Around 20,000 people were allowed to march, with minimal police presence. The politics of this march were very mild, but its success stimulated plans for more marches in cities across the country.

In the days afterwards, de Klerk showed that he has by no means consented to allowing all demonstrations, but only a certain kind. A few, very liberal-type marches were allowed, but anything else was savagely attacked by police.

On September 19, police dispersed a march of 300 black hospital workers in Johannesburg. In Durban on September 21, police attacked a protest by 400 black students and teachers. And in Pretoria on September 24, police ran amok in the streets, randomly attacking black pedestrians while working to prevent a demonstration of women. A nationwide demonstration of women had been called for that day, to begin at a church in Pretoria. Police cordoned off the church with barbed wire and surrounded the area with water cannon. They stopped and turned back buses carrying thousands of women to the demonstration site. Then they went berserk, beating and arresting hundreds of people in the area. The same day police also raided the headquarters of COSATU once again.

At the same time, to make sure that everyone knows that the new administration remains racist, authorities gave permission to white extremist groups to hold a couple of legal rallies. There the ultra-racists waved their swastika-style banners and raised hate slogans like "Hang Nelson Mandela."

Will the new carrot-and-stick policy hold? That very much depends on whether the regime is successful in channeling the popular ferment into the respectable, liberal path, or whether the masses go beyond such a course. In its new policy, the regime has found some common points with the liberal black leaders such as Desmond Tutu and Alan Boesak. Such elements have in fact wished all along that the regime would reward their efforts to channel the movement in a reformist direction. The advance of the anti-apartheid struggle requires breaking from the confines advocated by such liberal big shots. (See adjoining article on the liberal misleaders.)

Movement Picks Up Again

Meanwhile, the anti-apartheid actions continue to spread, weeks after the election is over. COSATU has now organized a boycott of white businesses for two weeks, beginning September 22. During the boycott black workers are also encouraged to refuse overtime on their jobs. Some demonstrations, both legal and illegal, are still being organized. The End Conscription Campaign has announced the public refusal of 780 whites to serve in the armed forces.

The current campaign has achieved some successes in breaking down racist barriers. Some all-white hospitals were forced to open their doors to blacks. The city of Johannesburg has now integrated all public facilities -- restrooms, buses, parks.

These gains are small, but they are steps won by the mass struggle. They will whet the appetite for bigger victories. And as the movement develops further, it will run into the question of how to overcome the carrot-and-stick policy of the regime. The movement must inevitably deal with the central question in South Africa, the systematic denial of rights to the black majority. The white supremacists have shown no inclination of changing that, and they are not about to give it up. To change that equation of power requires a mass revolution.

[Photo: Rally against racism in Cape Town, South Africa.]

Tutu undermines the anti-apartheid struggle

The resurrection of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa has returned the black liberal and reformist forces to a prominent place in that country's political scene. And once again, these forces, such as Archbishop Tutu and Rev. Boesak, are working hard to undermine the progress of the liberation struggle.

During the height of the upsurge a few years ago, the nonviolence preachings of these leaders were increasingly bypassed, as the masses militantly confronted the racists on an everyday basis. But today, after years of the harsh repression of the state of emergency, the movement finds it difficult to emerge with the full militant force of a few years ago. This is much to the liking of the liberals, who argue that the main fault of the previous movement was its militancy.

Today the liberal and reformist leaders are working to keep the movement confined within the bounds of strict legality and pacifism. They are being given some leeway to channel the masses along this path by the new carrot-and-stick policy of racist President de Klerk. The government has allowed them to carry out some large demonstrations in recent weeks.

For example, on September 13 Tutu led a march of some 20,000 in Cape Town to protest election-day murders of blacks by policemen. Participating in the march with Tutu were the mayor of Cape Town and several city councilmen. An even larger march, of 25-40,000 people, was held in East London on September 27. This demonstration included the white manager of the local Mercedes-Benz factory as well as its black production workers, who were given the day off to attend.

And what are the liberal forces doing in these marches? They are policing them themselves. In Cape Town, they made sure the march route avoided the parliament building. In Johannesburg, a large flank of parade marshals made sure that there would be no attempt by the masses to confront the police. The word has been spread that anyone who gets out of line in these marches is "an agent of the state and part of the enemy."

That large, legal anti-apartheid marches are being held in South Africa is itself something of a victory for the movement. There have been no legal anti-apartheid rallies since 1959. But the question arises, what politics are the leaders trying to impose on the marches and where do they want them to go?

Holding hands with ruling class political leaders and factory managers will not help build up an anti-apartheid movement that brings real liberation for the oppressed blacks. It can only prepare the way for a possible liberal deal between the white establishment and the black upper crust, a deal which does away with some of the surface features of racism, but keeps the key features of white domination and privilege intact. The racist regime does not yet agree to such a deal, but it is willing to provide an opening for such an eventuality , sometime in the future.

The black liberals and reformists hold out for that eventuality, but already they are trying to find some common ground with the regime. For example, Archbishop Tutu said he hopes de Klerk is serious about his vision of a new South Africa, ' 'because that is the vision we want." (New York Times, Sept. 21) And de Klerk was called on to "implement his electoral promises" by a major leader of the African National Congress, a group which speaks r-r-revolutionary rhetoric but has an essentially reformist program of power-sharing with the racists.

But what is de Klerk's vision? De Klerk has said that he is for ending domination by the white minority, but he always couples this with statements that this cannot be replaced by domination by the black majority. But "domination by the majority" is what most people mean by "democracy." So clearly de Klerk does not envision any plan for granting real democracy to South African blacks. At the same time, de Klerk's electoral speeches always emphasized that, "We shall continue to deal with unrest, violence and terrorism with a firm hand."

Tutu and the ANC may be willing to praise de Klerk's "vision," but the black toilers who have been the force of the powerful anti-apartheid struggle, sacrificing so many of their finest sons and daughters, want more. They have hopes for liberation, for power in the hands of the majority. They want the freedom that can allow the workers to carry forward their fight until they win liberation from exploitation at the hands of the capitalist bloodsuckers, who are the bulwark of the racist system.

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