The Workers' Advocate Supplement

Vol. 1, #4


May 25, 1985



Other May Day Speeches:

Proletarian Internationalism and the Struggle Against the Democratic Party …............. 18
On the Present-Day Significance of the Wrong Views of the 7th-CI Congress.............. 25
Boston Transit Workers: What Happened to the Contract? ............................................. 6
Postal Workers: Lots to Lose and Nothing to Win in the 'Crew of the Month' Game...... 7
Detroit Auto Workers': Reactionaries Fail to Stop the Distribution Among the Workers of Literature in Support of the Revolutionary Struggle in S. Africa..... 9
Support KOMALA and the Revolutionary Toilers of Kurdistan Against the Tyranny of KDP and the Kurdish Bourgeoisie .................................................................................... 11
KOMALA Communique ................................................................................................... 13
From 'Radio Voice of the Revolution' ............................................................................... 16

May Day and the Lessons of Viet Nam





The Communique of the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran, KOMALA, (Representation Abroad) ON THE RESUMPTION OF CONFLICTS IN ORAMAN

A selection from two radio broadcasts of the "RADIO VOICE OF THE REVOLUTION"



May Day and the Lessons of Viet Nam


May Day is a time when the class-conscious workers rededicate themselves to the struggle. This year the Marxist-Leninist Party put forward the central slogan of "Organize the Struggle Against the Reaganite Offensive!". The Party carried out extensive work. The April 1st issue of The Workers' Advocate was a special issue for widescale. distribution. It linked the celebration of May Day with the struggles against Reaganism, against apartheid and against the U.S. imperialist war drive, and it was distributed in large numbers at the April 20th and other demonstrations, at factories and in the communities. Capping off the campaign were spirited May Day demonstrations in Chicago and New York City and meetings in New York, Buffalo, Chicago, Oakland and Seattle.

The speeches at these meetings dealt with the 10th anniversary of the defeat of U.S. imperialism in Viet Nam, with the current situation facing revolutionary work in the U.S., with the correct application of united front tactics, and with the erroneous orientation on united front tactics set forth by the famous Seventh Congress of the CI.

The meetings also marked with sorrow the death in April of Comrade Enver Hoxha, leader of the Party of Labor of Albania, a comrade whose life and work were linked with the victory over the German and Italian fascist occupiers in, World War II, with the continuation of the struggle to socialist revolution, and with the break with Yugoslav, Soviet and Chinese revisionism. Our Party, without glossing over the major weaknesses in the current stands of the PLA, honors the memory of this great communist, Comrade Enver.

Below we reproduce one of the speeches at the New York May Day Meeting. Elsewhere in this paper we reproduce two speeches from the Chicago meeting.


History does not flow in a steady trickle. There are times of quiet, and even of reverse and setback. And there are times of tumult, of storm, of burning struggle. The 1960's was such a time.

In Viet Nam, millions of people were rallying to the fight for national liberation, against U.S. aggression. In a score of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, armed movements were being launched against colonialism, and against reactionary regimes and imperialist domination. Western Europe was rocked by mass upheavals. Eastern Europe too felt the storms.

In the U.S., mass fires burned on a myriad of fronts. Millions took part in the fight against the U.S. war on Viet Nam. Millions took part in rebellions in the black communities from coast to coast. And a powerful strike wave was coming up in the factories and other workplaces. Even the imperialist army was rocked by rebellion.

These struggles wrote a proud chapter in the history of the American working class. They are part of our revolutionary legacy today.

Our celebration of May Day this year coincides with the tenth anniversary of the defeat of U.S. aggression against Viet Nam. It seems appropriate, therefore, that we should look this evening at some of the lessons of this war and of the struggle against it.

The Bourgeoisie Mourns Its Loss in Viet Nam as Reagan Mourns the Nazi Dead at Bitburg Cemetery

Certainly we are not a1one in doing so. Time magazine has devoted an issue to this anniversary. Newsweek has devoted an issue to it. ABC's Nightline has given it an entire week of broadcasts. And Richard Nixon has written an entire book for the occasion.

The bourgeoisie's final word on the lessons of Viet Nam is yet to be had, however. This will be done tomorrow, when Reagan lays a wreath at Bitburg cemetery in West Germany in memory of the dead of Hitler's army.

This is not an idle connection; these two issues have more in common than two wars and two different attitudes towards those wars. Richard Nixon has written: "No More Vietnams... should mean. we will not fail again." Tomorrow, at Bitburg, Reagan will be hinting at the full implications of this, namely, the whitewashing of German fascism and the taking over of its mantle by U.S. imperialism.

The official line of the Christian Democrats in West Germany is to distinguish between the bad Naziism of Hitler and the good Naziism of the German bourgeoisie. They have said as much from the floor of the Bundestag. Any excesses committed under Hitler were the fault of Hitler alone. After all, the German bourgeoisie "only" spawned Naziism, financed the Nazi Party and brought Hitler to power, it "only" profited from the brutal suppression of the working class movement, from Hitler's war preparations, and from working slave labor to death; it "only" wholeheartedly supported Hitler's aggression, and was very sorry to lose the war.

Reagan is endorsing the line of the West German Christian Democrats. Reagan is trying to whitewash the history of fascism in Germany.

There is more to this than Reagan's desire to bolster present-day reaction in West Germany.

For more than a decade, the bourgeoisie in the U.S. has been very upset about its loss in Viet Nam, and about the storms of struggle which shook the U.S. in the 1960's. While Carter made bland attempts to induce amnesia on these questions, the Trilateral Commission was publishing learned papers on the limitations and dangers of democracy. And the Heritage Foundation was publishing less learned but more pointed documents on how to further limit this danger.

Today, in discussing the tenth anniversary of its defeat in Viet Nam, the bourgeoisie is not only whitewashing its own crimes; it is discussing how to never lose again. In a very real sense, tomorrow's ceremony at Bitburg has as much to do with America and the war in Viet Nam as it does with Germany and World War II. Today, Reagan cannot speak openly about restoring Jim Crow, but he can hire a lesser functionary who does. And there are other things which Reagan cannot speak about openly. But he can lay a wreath at Bitburg.

Tomorrow's ceremony at Bitburg is a good indication of what the Reaganites have on their minds. And it lends a certain urgency to learning well the lessons of the past.

The Rich Legacy of the Mass Struggle of the 1960's

The Marxist-Leninists have their own lessons to draw from history, and we do so from a rather different perspective than do the Nixons and the Reagans.

It is not possible this evening to do justice to the rich legacy of the 1960's. It is, however, possible to draw out a few of the most appropriate lessons for today.

Imperialism is a Colossus with Feet of Clay

The first lesson of the war in Viet Nam is that U.S. imperialism lost it. While this may seem a trifle obvious, it is worth belaboring, if for no other reason than that the Reaganites are today denying it. According to Nixon,U.S. imperialism won the war, but somebody lost the peace. Not Nixon he had resigned from office and been awarded his pardon by then. According to the mainstream of Reaganite thought, the war was lost by the press and unnamed politicians, who tied the hands. of the Pentagon and winked at the anti-war movement. None of this is true.

U.S. imperialism lost because the Vietnamese people rose up in their millions in a war of national liberation, and U.S. imperialism, with all the resources of its bloated war machine, could not defeat the Vietnamese people in a protracted struggle. The Vietnamese people persisted, persisted with worldwide support and sympathy, and it was U.S.. imperialism which went into crisis and was shaken by internal rebellion.

Viet Nam shows that no matter how strong the capitalists and their war machine look, they can be defeated.

The American Working People Took Part in the Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism

The second lesson of this history is that the struggle in the U.S. made an important contribution to the defeat of U.S. imperialism in this war. The capitalist warmakers needed a quiet rear at home; they did not get it. Millions rose up in struggle against the war; millions rose up in other struggles. 'The rebellions in society could not but spill over into the army. These factors made it increasingly difficult to use U.S. troops in combat, and, therefore, to continue the war.

Today it has become fashionable to dismiss the importance of these struggles and minimize their impact. But these struggles, which denied U.S. imperialism a quiet rear and shook even the imperialist army itself, made an important contribution.

Indeed, much of the politics of the bourgeoisie for the past decade have centered around this point. How to obliterate the memory of these struggles. And how to avoid them in the future.

The anti-war movement in the U.S. became a powerful force because of the impact of the war. Millions of youth were drafted; thousands came home in body bags. The war gripped society, confronting every movement and exacerbating every contradiction. Black people, themselves rising in struggle, in large numbers saw the war as racist in its own right and as a challenge to their struggles. Soaring inflation, fueled by the war budget, had a palpable impact on a large section of the working class. These contradictions erupted in diverse struggles, which intertwined with and strengthened the struggle against the war.

The war in Viet Nam was also accompanied by war propaganda and repression, but these did not extinguish the struggle.

Today the imperialists are complaining that widespread distrust of new military adventures is an important problem, tying their hands. It worries them that today, even with the minimal open commitment of regular U.S. combat forces, there are many demonstrations and other actions on Central America and South Africa. What will happen, they ask, if troops go, in en masse? We say they are right to be worried; history shows that growing aggression will be met with growing mass opposition.

The mass movement against the U.S. war on Viet Nam leaves us a great legacy. It a1so leaves us some particular lessons about the strengths and weaknesses of.such a movement. Today, with the appearance of protests on scores of campuses against Reagan's support for the South African regime, some of these particular lessons are worth noting.

The Fight Against the Democratic Party Liberals was an Essential Feature of the Mass Upsurge of the l960's

First, an essential issue throughout the fight against the aggression in Viet Nam was the extent of the influence of the Democratic party within the movement.

The Democratic Party was in power from 1961 to 1968 and was waging the war in Viet Nam during this period. Nonetheless, attempts were made by "left" Democrats and their supporters to influence the movement: away from militancy, and away from targeting U.S. imperialism. After Nixon came into office and with fiasco staring the American military in the face, the mainstream Democratic politicians suddenly became opponents of the war. Repeated attempts were made to take over the movement. Repeated attempts were made to tailor the movement to something acceptable to the imperialists. Thus, for example, slogans to condemn U.S. imperialism and its aggression were opposed; the Democrats preferred demands for negotiations. In other words, demands that would para1yze the movement in the face of Kissinger's phoney peace initiatives.

In the 1960's, the extent to which a section of the movement broke from the influence of the Democratic Party was perhaps the most important factor for the strength, cohesion and militancy of the movement.

Today, the question of the fight against the Democratic Party remains a key issue in the movement. While the Democrats in Congress play at opposing over-the-table funding for the contras, Reagan has imposed a trade embargo on Nicaragua: the very embargo proposed by Mondale during the election campaign last year. And meanwhile, today's New York Times reveals that Tip O'Neill has entered into secret negotiations to reverse last week's vote against providing "humanitarian" aid to the contras you know, "humanitarian" rations, "humanitarian" boots and uniforms, "humanitarian" bullets. With friends like this, the movement needs no enemies. Imperialist aggression is a bi-partisan cause. The fight against Reaganism must also fight be a fight against the Democratic party.

Base the Struggle on the Working Class

Another lesson is that the movement against imperialist war, a movement in the interests of the working class, must appeal to the working masses. It is the rich who make imperialist wars; it is the workers who must pay for them in blood.

At the height of the fight against the war in Viet Nam, large numbers of working class youth came into the movement. As the movement extended from the colleges in the high schools, thousands of youth from working class families came into motion. When the movement spilled over into the army, it was embraced by thousands of soldiers and sailors, workers in uniform. From the earliest demonstrations, workers had participated as individuals and in trade union contingents, and, their numbers grew.

This took place despite the refusal to appeal to the working class by the New Left ideologues who influenced the movement and who viewed workers as somewhat more backward than Neanderthal man and somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan.

Building the movement in the working class does require a determined struggle against the AFL-CIO bureaucracy which is pro-imperialist. And it requires overcoming 101 invisible obstacles to the participation of the workers in the political movement. But these efforts are necessary. It is the working class, the exploited class and the largest class numerically, which is the greatest potential bulwark of the struggle against imperialist war.

Build the Revolutionary Party of the Working Class

A final point on the struggle against the war in Viet Nam concerns the Marxist-Leninist Party. At that time, there was no such party and this was a factor in the weaknesses and inconsistencies of the movement. There were at that time activists coming to revolutionary conclusions and taking up Marxism-Leninism. Indeed, many of those who have contributed to the building of our Party today came out of the struggles of that time. But at that time there was no Party. Among the revolutionary activists there was no clear assessment of the sinister role of the Democratic Party, of the path to build the movement in the working class, or of the other burning issues in the movement. Having a Marxist-Leninist Party does not by itself guarantee that things will go well with a movement. This depends upon many factors, most of which are out of the Party's hands. But it does guarantee that there will be a consistent fight for targeting, and not conciliating to, imperialism; for militant tactics; and for a rupture with the influence of the Democratic Party. As new struggles and new movements emerge, the revolutionary agitation, tactics and organization put forward by the Party are crucial to their vigorous development.

The Mass Upsurge of the 1960's Gave the Lie to the "American Century" of the 1950's

Comrades and friends, these are some of the most important points to be remembered as lessons of the 1960's, of the imperialist aggression against Viet Nam and the struggle against that war. There is, however, one final observation that I would like to make. This is that the l960's followed the 1950's.

No, this is not a lesson in arithmetic.

Following World. War II, the U.S. emerged as the foremost imperialist power and a bulwark of reaction on a world scale. The U.S. sphere of influence encircled the globe. U.S. corporations made themselves at home wherever there was money to be made. The U.S. went to war in Korea; with greater success it intervened in Lebanon and in Guatemala. At home, McCarthyite repression stifled progressive voices, while crumbs from the loot the rich were hauling in from abroad created among some the most fantastic illusions about the good life. In fact, U.S. imperialism faced many major setbacks in this period and the black people's struggle also resumed, but still the U.S. bourgeoisie thought it was sitting on top of the wor1d.

This was dubbed the "American Century". The "American Century" lasted less than a decade. The imperialists had figured on a hundred years of peaceful exploitation. What they reaped was the whirlwinds of struggle of the 1960's.

During the past several years, the Reaganite offensive against the masses has taken its toll. In the face of tremendous attacks against the working class, against black people and; other oppressed nationalities, against women, against youth, in the face of outrageous sabre-rattling and international bullying, there has been relative, calm, brought about chiefly by the ferocity of the capitalist offensive and the collaboration in that offensive of the trade union bureaucrats, the black bourgeois politicians, and others.

But beneath the surface. not all is peaceful. The bourgeoisie had no sooner finished congratulating itself on the restoration of the 1950's on the college campuses, when anti-apartheid actions broke out on scores of campuses. This is not the stuff class peace is made of, And when such a movement can catch fire so rapidly, it reflects much greater workings beneath the surface.

Beneath the surface, the contradictions of capitalist exploitation have been intensified by robbing millions, of their livelihood and dignity. Beneath the surface, the contradictions of racism and' national oppression have been brought to a boil by Reagan's segregationist offensive. And imperialism's inevitable striving toward war and aggression - and make no mistake about it, the monopoly capitalists will persist in war and aggression until they are overthrown - this striving runs up against all the other tensions and contradictions in the society.

The recent eddies of struggle - the scattered, but bitterly fought strikes, the small bursts of mass resentment against police racism, and the recent wave, against apartheid - reflect that there are revolutionary storms in the making. No one can fix a date for this; no one can predetermine the precise path. In fact, with the growth of Reaganite reaction, such storms break out only under the most bitter and difficult circumstances. But these circumstances will only make for more bitter, more determined struggles. The storms are coming and all the wreaths in the world laid at Bitburg will not stave them off.

Uphold the lessons of Viet Nam!

Organize the Struggle Against the Reaganite Offensive!

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

Death to Apartheid!

Workers of All Countries, Unite! <>

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The following leaflet was issued by the Boston Branch of the MLP on May 8, 1985. It also reprinted on the back the article "Down with Reagan's Embargo Against Nicaragua!" from the May 1 issue of The Workers' Advocate.


It has been a month and a half since our contract expired, and still no word from our union officials on what issues are being discussed. They have not lifted a finger to organize the rank and file to fight for our demands. Instead of a clear, sharp fight over our demands, they are following a policy of letting negotiations drag on for months, if not years, while the workers are kept in the dark.

Of course this is nothing new for T workers. The union bureaucrats have Worked this way, for years. On the last contract they dragged on negotiations for 1 1/2 years after the contract expired and then put the contract in arbitration when the workers rejected it. While this process dragged on, the T management implemented its management rights offensive step by step. Part time was introduced, seniority on overtime went by the boards, work was subcontracted out. The endless negotiations served to disorganize the workers struggle while the T just took what it wanted.

There are definite signs that we are seeing a repeat performance this year. While negotiations drag on, the T management is arrogantly stepping up its harassment of the workers. Over the last, few weeks they have written up hundreds if not thousands of workers and handed out suspensions left and right over the most petty uniform violations. This absurd campaign of harassment is designed to do nothing but put workers "in their place". And while our union officials spread rumors that they are "fighting" (begging would be a better word) for medical coverage for part-timers, the truth is that the T advisory board is calling for shifting the cost of medical benefits on to all the workers, both part and full time.

If we are to stop the rapid deterioration of wages and working conditions we must reject this policy of endless negotiations and arbitrations. We must take up a policy of an open mass struggle of all the workers for our just demands. In recent months the idea has caught on on the Red and Orange Lines of using petitions and other forms to rally mass support for workers who are unjustly suspended or attacked by the management. This is a good development. If we are going to fight we are going to have to organize the fight on our own. Our union officialdom will never do it. Militant workers should agitate against every abuse of the MBTA management, against the policy of endless negotiations and useless arbitration and for mass active resistance to the management rights offensive.

We say: mass resistance to fascist harassment and suspensions!

Fight to make everyone full time and abolish the part time system!

No concessions on wages: or medical benefits, the T must foot the bill!

[The leaflet continued as follows:]

The Alewife Station Scandal

Over the past month and a half, since the Alewife station opened, many workers who work out of that station, especially yard motormen, have been coming down sick with sever irritation of the eyes, throat and nose and with nausea. The reason for this wave of sickness. is that the tunnel between Porter and Alewife stations is built right through the middle of a toxic waste dump purchased from the W.R. Grace Company. So far it is known that this dump contains acetone, napthalene and benzene. Benzene is a more dangerous poison and carcinogen than dioxin, a chemical which forced the evacuation of a whole town in Missouri. These poisons are seeping down into the tunnel, making workers sick and endangering the health of the public.

Currently a scandal is breaking out in Cambridge around the Grace Company's plans to sell more of this toxic waste dump land for commercial development around Alewife station. The Grace Company is claiming that the toxic levels are low enough on the surface that if extreme precautions, are taken to keep dust down, the danger to the public can be kept to "acceptable" levels. But if things are that bad on the surface, what about the workers and passengers who travel through a dusty tunnel below the ground which is constantly being polluted by seepage from the waste dump around it?

The MBTA management knowingly built the Alewife extension through the middle of a toxic waste dump. Even during construction so many workers from Perini construction company got sick from the chemicals that they filed a class action suit for damages. Still the T went ahead with construction and opened the line in callous disregard for the safety of the workers and the riding public.

The fact that the T went ahead and spent millions of dollars building a line through a toxic waste dump is a big exposure of the government's propaganda that the management rights offensive against the T workers is aimed at cutting costs and improving service to the public. No. All they are concerned about is that there be enough money for the contractors and handouts to the rich corporations and developers - the workers and the public be damned.

The Alewife station scandal is an outrageous example of capitalist profiteering. T workers should rally in defense of the workers who are being daily poisoned on the Red Line. We should expose what is going on to the public and demand that Alewife be closed until repairs can be made to prevent any seepage and until the poisons are cleaned out of the tunnel. <>

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The following leaflet was issued by the New York Metro Branch of the MLP on May 13, 1985.


The Postal Service has come up with a new scheme to tighten work discipline and raise» productivity among the LSM operations - it's called "Let's be Crew of the Month". This game is a devious way to raise productivity; management could easily use it to attack LSM operators in a variety of ways and is presenting it as a game to hide the real motives and gain the workers cooperation.

Each week the LSM crews are ranked by their overall accuracy in sorting and the lucky top crew gets their picture taken and one free coffee and donut (total value 80 cents - if you want a fancy donut you pay the difference). From among the crews that aren't on 'top, the 20 most accurate operators also get the same reward.and their names posted, just as a little consolation for having to work with "lousy" operators. Then each month a top, top crew is named Crew of the Month and from the remaining crews the top 20 operators are named Operators of the Month and these lucky workers get the grand prize of a free lunch (they're keeping the price limit a surprise but don't be too hungry).

Careful effort has been made to draw the workers into this petty competition. The idea was first floated among the LSM operators at a series of task force meetings where suggestions were taken for how to judge the workers performance and what the prizes should be. The task force was set up supposedly to open up communication and increase employee involvement in raising productivity. Representatives from the LSM crews and other sections of clerks were handpicked to attend and give their ideas, and were asked to report back to their crews and get feedback on both this competitive scheme and other minor changes in the work. This task force quickly proved itself to be a one way mouthpiece for management dictate if not a total joke when the worker representatives were given a strict 5 minute limit in time off the work floor for making this report and getting feedback. In fact this task force was primarily for the purpose of pushing the idea of competition among the workers and management had no interest in anything negative the workers had to say about it. At these meetings any objections to the whole idea or criticism of the means of measuring job performance were either ignored or deliberately misunderstood.

Then the scheme was launched with a whole series of pep talks. The big shots devoted a whole 10 minutes away from production time to push the program with lots of smiles and promises. Supervisors exhorted their crews during safety talks, "We want to be Crew of the Month!" The whole thing has been pushed as a big game with lots of winners' and no losers. But this is a big a fraud as the task force was.

Driving the Workers Beyond All Limit

The only winners in this game are management and the workers have a lot to lose. Management has some clear objectives in this that have nothing to do with coffee and donuts. The first thing is this will set a higher standard for accuracy in keying. Management promoted this kind of competition between flat-sorting machines about a year ago when the acceptable daily production total was 45,000 flats per minute, and over 60,000 was considered excellent. The workers played along and for several weeks they worked as hard as they could competing against each other and all the machines were breaking 60,000 on a daily basis. Then came a safety talk one day about how 60,000 wasn't really so great because the machine capacity was more like 90,000 a day. So, having found out what the game was really about, the exhausted flat-sorters decided it was time to quit. But of course at that point 60,000 was the only acceptable daily total.

The real goal of the game is for the workers to drive themselves with the greatest, possible exertion and discipline. They tried to float this game in the OCR unit' as well. There the workers are already driven at an exhausting pace by the machines themselves. There the workers are grateful for any jam, breakdown, or overload because that's when they get a few moments of blessed relief. There the workers were in no mood to play games so the competition never got off the ground.

Stepping Up Surveillance of the Workers

Now management wants the LSM operators to play Let's Compete. And just to make this fun game possible management is going to do more frequent, more continuous, and more detailed monitoring of how every individual LSM operator is keying than ever before. Is this only to reward those who are doing well?!? Don't kid yourself for one minute! What's being looked at is the errors. It's only a matter of time before more detailed, higher standards are brought into the game, and the harassment begins. Management has everything to win and the workers have everything to lose by this kind of detailed inspection of how operators are keying.

The second big way management wins and the workers lose is by the workers taking up the game and starting to criticize each other for their job performance. Management wants to turn every LSM operator into a supervisor who will tell fellow workers, "Stay awake! Pay attention! Key right!" Not only is management trying to get the workers to work harder and set new, higher production standards; now management is trying to get the workers to crack the whip at each other as well. All the smiles and promises in the world can't cover the fact that this "game" is a big attempt to get the workers to hang themselves and each other. And management, with its usual generosity and benevolence, will spring 80 cents or a sandwich for the workers who play.

Postal Workers, Fight the Productivity Drive!

Postal workers, beware! The productivity drive is not a game! Don't be sucked into a competition to see who can work hardest! Don't play along with this "friendly" attempt to raise production standards! Management wants the workers to drive themselves like machines all the time and for that purpose alternates between deceptive smiles and promises and vicious threats and harassment. Postal management at every level has been studying public relations techniques. This is behind all the recent noise about "employee involvement". This is why productivity has been turned into a game. In industry after industry the productivity drive has meant reducing the work force while. speeding up, overworking and cutting the wages of the remaining workers. The postal management that wants to play "Let's be Crew of the Month" is no different from the postal management that just tried to impose a two-tier wage system (and did impose the "modified" two-tier system), cut paid sick leave; and night differentials, and is only now beginning to fill vacancies in crews and tours after two years of deferred hiring. Don't fall for the cheap bribes and pretty packaging of this dangerous "game". The workers can only defend themselves and their interests by organizing themselves to resist the attacks of the productivity drive. <>

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Two Reactionaries Attempt to Disrupt Distribution of Literature Supporting the South African Peoples Revolutionary Struggle

The following leaflet was issued by the Detroit Branch of the MLP on May 10, 1985.


On Friday, April 26th, the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party organized a day of solidarity with the people's struggle in South Africa, at the Jefferson Assembly Plant. At the Freud St. gate the Party set up a banner, a literature table and distributed hundreds of pieces of free literature on the struggle in South Africa. The literature was warmly received by the workers, who thanked the comrades for providing them with more news and information. on the movement in South Africa.

But news of the growing struggle in South Africa wasn't welcomed by all. On Friday, two separate incidents took place in which reactionary elements attempted to suppress the distribution of the literature.

1) At the Freud gate, a reactionary stood in the gate and attempted to snatch the literature out of the workers' hands as they made their way past the gate.

2) After the distribution was over, a racist Chrysler security guard driving a Chrysler truck attempted to run down several MLP (Marxist-Leninist Party) supporters and a group of city workers as they stood talking on a side street near the plant.

Here are the facts:

1) Reactionary at the Gate

At the Freud gate, a man in his 50's came out of the plant after day shift and began drinking beer near the food truck. Soon afterward he began making nasty. comments toward the MLP supporters distributing the literature.

He went into the guard shack and talked on the phone for about 5 minutes, presumably to a high level guard. When he came out of the guard shack he was all puffed up and he told the MLP militants that they would have to leave the, area and that they could. not pass out the literature. The comrades patiently explained to this man that we had been distributing literature at Jefferson for more than 10 years, that he didn't have to take the literature if he didn't want to, but that he didn't have the right to tell other workers that they couldn't read it. After all, the workers themselves can decide what they want to read and what they don't want to read.

The man then went back into the guard shack and made another phone call. This time when he came out he stood inside the gate on Chrysler property and attempted to snatch the literature out of the workers' hands as they walked pass him. He caught some workers by surprise and took the paper out of their hands. Other workers put the paper behind their backs and told him to mind his own business. A few others put their fist in his face and said: "Go ahead and try to take it away!" And a group of four denounced him and told him to leave the workers alone. A few workers gathered around and said that they thought that he was some former UAW hack or maybe an ex-foreman. He works in Chassis.

Inside the plant on Friday, workers in many departments were discussing the incident and were very upset that this guy would try to take away their right to read and discuss literature with news on the liberation struggle in South Africa.

2) Chrysler Security Guard Tries to Run Down a MLP Supporter

After the workers went into the plant, MLP militants walked to their cars on one of the side streets near the plant. When they got to their cars they met a group of city workers cutting grass and tall weeds in a vacant lot. Five or six city workers were standing next to a pick-up truck getting out shovels, rakes and other tools. The MLP supporters gave the city workers the same literature that was passed out at the Freud gate a few minutes earlier.

The MLP militants soon realized that they were being followed by a Chrysler security guard driving a dark red Ramcharger truck. Before they knew it, the security guard tried to run down one of the militants. The comrade jumped to the side but the racist guard grabbed his shirt and dragged him down the street at about 25 mph. This reactionary, racist guard was clearly upset about the distribution of news about the workers' struggle in South Africa. It was very lucky that the comrade didn't fall underneath the wheels where he could have been seriously injured or killed. After being dragged about 50 yards, the comrade was able to reach into the truck and tear the glasses off the face of this cowardly racist. At this point the guard stopped the truck and the comrade walked back to where the city workers were standing.

The guard then made another pass and tried to run down the Party militants and the black city workers! Together the militants and the city workers denounced this reactionary racist guard. The city workers, holding their shovels, rakes and pitchforks in. the air, challenged the guard to get out the truck, but he sped away.

After a few minutes, the MLP militants got into their cars to leave when this reactionary guard drove up again and smashed into the side of one of the cars, leaving hundreds of dollars of damages, and then sped away.

What do these events show?

1) All reactionaries, from Ronald Reagan on down, are in a frenzy over the growing revolutionary struggle of the black workers and other oppressed masses in South Africa.

2) The Reaganites are very upset over the growing movement in the U.S. to support the struggle in South Africa. They are attacking the solidarity movement. In particular, they don't want the workers in the U.S. to participate in this movement. This is why the reactionaries have jumped out at Jefferson Assembly and are attempting to suppress the auto workers right to read progressive and revolutionary literature.

The MLP wi1l always defend the working class

The MLP is a party of the workers. The MLP exists to defend the working class. The MLP works to build the struggle of the workers against the reactionary offensive of the capitalist class. Here in Detroit, the MLP has been in the thick of the workers' struggle. for more than 10 gears. Party literature has always been distributed and well received by the workers, whether it be at Jefferson or Dodge Main, Ford Rouge or Willow Run. The Party wholeheartedly takes up the defense of workers under attack by Chrysler, whether it was Nagi Mohammed at Dodge Main or Tom Curry at Jefferson. From day one, the Party has been in the forefront of the fight against concessions and the productivity drive. The Party has always supported the people's struggles around the world from Viet Nam to El Salvador to South Africa. Jefferson workers: the MLP will not give up its defense of the working class. The MLP will not be cowered by the attacks of some wild reactionaries.

Jefferson Workers:

These reactionary attacks must be exposed and denounced throughout the plant. Spread the word that the racists and reactionaries are trying to suppress the Jefferson workers' right to read and hear about the revolutionary struggles of the people in South Africa. The movement to support our class brothers and sisters in their struggle in South Africa is growing stronger.

Support the Struggle in South Africa

Down with Apartheid!

Down with Racist Reagan!

Workers of All Countries, Unite! <>

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"We would like to carry on our relations and our struggle with the KDP [the Kurdish Democratic Party, the bourgeois nationalist party of the Kurdish exploiters] peacefully in so far as the KDP is prepared to do so We are aware of the extent of the harm that the outbreak [of civil war in Kurdistan - or, as the KDP calls it, general and overall conflict - would do to the revolutionary movement of the Kurdish people, and to the revolution in Iran in general.

"Nonetheless it would be a gross mistake to imagine that we will be able - or have been able - to prevent the armed aggression of the Kurdish bourgeoisie in Kurdistan merely through political means. The attainment of such particular conditions in the political and class struggle in Kurdistan7requires complete readiness for an all-sided confrontation with any level of forceful aggression on the part of the bourgeoisie, and the adoption of such practical policies which would convince the KDP of the futility of such actions, or, in the case of the KDP committing them, would make it completely regretful."

(From the central organ of the Communist Party of Iran, the Komonist, No. 15, December '84, cited in a recent statement of the Communist Party of Iran, the Committee Abroad,' about the resumption of conflicts in Oraman.)

In the January issue of The 'Supplement we reported on the armed attacks of the bourgeois» nationalist Kurdish Democratic Party against the workers and peasants of KOMALA, the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran. These attacks represented any attempt by the Kurdish bourgeoisie and other exploiters to establish unchallenged hegemony in Kurdistan through bloody repression,of the toilers. We reprinted the Communique of the Paris foreign office of KOMALA which gave extensive information on the then latest incident, which took place in Oramanat on the 16th November.

All this concerns the Iranian section of Kurdistan, where a struggle is going on against the bloody up regime of Khomeini and his IRP. The struggle in Kurdistan is directed both against the national oppression of the Kurds and against the general counterrevolutionary nature of the IRP regime. The KDP, representing the bourgeois section of the Kurdish movement, fears the revolutionary Kurdish toilers more than it fears IRP reaction. Thus, in the middle of the struggle against Iranian reaction, and faced also with Iraqi reaction due to the ongoing Iran-Iraq war, the Kurdish toilers find that KDP has repeatedly turned its guns on KOMALA, And the murderous attacks of the KDP on the revolutionary toilers of Kurdistan also show its fear of allowing the Kurdish toilers to democratically decide for themselves the question of which political force to support.

Recently we have received information} from the foreign representatives of the CPI concerning the further development of the situation. KOMALA and the KDP had agreed on an investigations committee for the incident in Oramanat and a two-month truce. During this period the KDP sabotaged, as usual, the work of the investigations committee and boasted over the radio about its military attacks on KOMALA. A recent plenum of the KDP has declared that "We will turn every local conflict into an overall conflict"; and KDP's radio, referring _to its murders of communists and toilers as in Nov. in Oramariat, has smugly declared that: "They don't hand out sweets in wars. Whoever is stronger wins."

In this situation, KOMALA felt compelled to show the KDP that its attempts to suppress the toilers by force would not succeed. Thus, when the two-month truce expired on Jan. 26th, KOMALA launched a counter-offensive in Oraman against the KDP and inflicted a heavy defeat on the KDP. Immediately following the battle of Jan. 26th, KOMALA sent a letter to the Politbureau of the KDP calling for negotiations to end the clashes and declare a ceasefire. KDP immediately refused this proposal, and a series of confrontations continued in the following days. The statements we report on below do not extend beyond January.

Once again, we take the opportunity to condemn the KDP, which, in the face of the military threat that Iraqi and Iranian reaction poses to the Kurdish people, has forced these battles on the Kurdish toilers. It is the attempt of the Kurdish exploiters to establish their hegemony through terror against the Kurdish toilers that has caused these battles. It is the KDP that has declared that it cannot allow the political differences among the Kurdish people to be settled by democratic political means. And it is the revolutionary forces of the workers and peasants, among whose major organizations stand KOMALA and the Communist Party of Iran, that deserve the wholehearted support of the American class-conscious workers and revolutionary activists.

Below we reprint two documents from the CPI on these developments. First there is the Communique of KOMALA's Representation Abroad "On the Resumption of Conflicts in Oraman", which contains within itself the communique of the local committee in the Oraman section of Kurdistan on the evens, of Jan. 26. We also reprint "A Selection from Two Radio Broadcasts of the Radio Voice of the Revolution" prepared by the CPI - Committee Abroad. We have made a few minor grammatical changes, the main one being dividing, without alteration, one of the paragraphs of the Communique into subparagraphs for easier comprehension.

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The Communique of the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran, KOMALA, (Representation Abroad) ON THE RESUMPTION OF CONFLICTS IN ORAMAN

We [the Representation Abroad of KOMALA - ed.] have been informed of the resumption of the conflicts in the Oraman region, through the communique of the "Oraman" Committee of the Kurdistan Organization of the CPI - Komala. While publishing the communique of the Oraman. Committee, we shall also put forward our views in this regard.

The Communique of the Oraman Committee (Komala) on the 26th January Incident

Masses of Kurdistan, workers and toilers, militant people of Oraman!

The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, by thwarting all the attempts of Komala for the peaceful solution of the 16th Nov. Oraman tragedy and by drawing to a dead end the work of the fact-finding commission, has shown in practice that it does not want to give up its warmongering policy against Komala, and introduce [to the people, i.e. identify the criminals who created the 16th Nov. massacre of Komala Peshmargas [armed fighters against Khomeini despotism] in "Oraman". It has thus left the way open for the repeat of such incidents.

The KDP did not use the last chance which Komala had given and left no other alternative but armed response to the bellicose policy of the KDP. Thus, we have no other way but to respond to the offensive by our own offensive in order to defend ourselves and our political activity. The 26th Jan. incident took place as a result of the rejection of any peaceful solution by the KDP, and this was the continuation of the attempts we made in order to defend democracy and the freedom of political activity against the military offensive of the KDP. The clashes between the Peshmargas of Komala and the KDP in "Oraman" began early morning on 26th January and lasted until 4 p.m. on the same day. During the morning clashes, 3 Komala Peshmargas lost their lives and the KDP's bases suffered heavy casualties. From the beginning, Komala's Peshmargas positioned themselves on Oraman's strategic heights and took control of these positions. But from 8 a.m. onwards, there was a change in the scene of the clashes. The Iraqi bases, which overlooked all the heights of the region, began pounding our positions, and simultaneously allowed the KDP forces to advance towards our bases, using the hilltops and the facilities in the (Iraqi) bases, and relying on the support of their artillery and heavy gunfire. During these clashes some more of our comrades were killed, and, because of a two-sided pressure, Komala's Peshmargas were forced to leave the positions, and thus the battle ended at 4 p.m. on 26th January.

Militant people of Paveh, Nosood, and Nodshed! Toilers of the Oraman region!

There was no other way left to us but to respond by arms to the KDP's aggressions in Oraman, in order to defend democracy, the gains of the revolutionary movement of Kurdistan, and your interests. Komala is the defender of your rights and your struggle against any aggressor who wants to trample on your rights. We call on you to rally around Komala to defend your rights, to defend democracy and freedom, and to advance towards greater victories, and rise in protest against the, anti-democratic and anti-toiler policiesof the KDP, in any way you can.

The Oraman Committee

27th Jan. 1985

* * *

[The Communique of the Representative Abroad of Komala continued, after reprinting the Communique of the Oraman Committee of KOMALA, as follows:]

The KDP representatives in the joint commission which had been set up to review and investigate the 16th Nov. incident in Oraman - after explicitly evading giving their views or commenting concretely on clear, telling and numerous documents, which had also been signed by themselves, after disrupting for a long time, and under a variety of excuses, the work of the commission in publishing its findings and causing delays in this work, in the end, by refusing to give their views - which thus endorsed the KDP leadership's seal of approval on the open crimes of the KDP agents in Oraman; - they drew the work of the commission to a dead end and showed in practice that for them - the favorite party of the Kurdish bourgeoisie - these commissions are only tools for killing time, for deception and sophistry, and for being able to always play down the incident, in some form, reduce its intensity and depth, by the passage of time, and in their mind, make it be forgotten, and prepare the grounds for another offensive on Komala. A glance at the results of the many commissions which have been set up so far, after the KDP forced confrontations on us, in order to investigate the events and declare the results, show what respect a bourgeois party has for such investigations - even in their legal aspects - when its class interests and social existence are at stake!

The work of the commissions to investigate the Swisney clashes in the Mokryan region, and the Galieh clashes in the Marivan region, ended up where the Qraman Commission has ended up today. In those commissions, too, the KDP refrained from giving its views and did not ever agree to publicly declare the results and publish the signed documents, even by its own representatives. In our view, this is a true and obvious reflection of this party's attitude towards the question of democracy, even in its most common. and basic form (the legal examination of an incident). Our participation in these commissions has not been out of belief in the "democratic" character of the KDP, but precisely in order to show that the only principle the KDP adheres to and which permits it to prescribe any crimes in order to attack us and weaken the revolutionary movement of Kurdistan, is the principle of class interests. By our active participation in these commissions, we have always made the KDP reveal its true class nature and essence in front of the revolutionary movement of Kurdish workers and toilers, at times in its crudest form. By participating in these commissions, and basically, by agreeing to such commissions - which have passed [failed] their test over and over again we have wanted to show to what extent we are. willing to carry on our struggle with the KDP through unarmed means, and to what extent we regard these [armed] confrontations as harmful to the movement, under these conditions.

But on the other hand, and while wishing to keep to this principled policy, we have never said that silence before the KDP's attacks on us, does not harm the movement. We have repeatedly said that we consider any attacks against Komala as a serious attack on revolutionary democracy and the interests of workers and toilers. We have unambiguously declared that we shall reply to any KDP attacks by our reciprocal offensive. And thus if "war is the inevitable continuation of politics" and if this policy is now being pursued by the KDP, which ridicules and despises any investigation and research: so, that, through such attacks, it may undermine the existing democracy in Kurdistan, frighten and dishearten the masses, and prevent their daily-increasing enthusiasm for real- organization on the basis of their class and political consciousness - by enforcing the policy of arms and intimidation - and if, in the light of this policy, any offensive and aggression on the revolutionary proletariat and the gains of this movement are considered legitimate - so that the close and distant class allies of the KDP, too, become informed and pleased of the KDP's competence and "strength and efficiency" in ceaselessly opposing the extension of democracy, the growth of the political and class consciousness of the masses, and the revolutionary deepening of this movement, and grant the KDP the permission, for open, dealings and compromise - then our policy, too, in this concrete struggle is the policy of retaliatory offensive.

When the political force of the bourgeoisie draws the "war card" to smash democracy, the retaliatory offensive by the revolutionary proletariat is the same policy, and under these conditions, the only true policy to extensively and consistently defend the revolution and the interests of workers and toilers. If the KDP resorts to war so as to intimidate and drive back the masses through weakening and attacking Komala, by [the KDP] committing any crimes, Komala, too, is forced to mobilize and employ the greatest potential of the revolutionary workers and toilers to show to the rabid and alarmed bourgeoisie that now such a balance of forces exists in Kurdistan which will turn any "bad dreams for democracy" into a "painful nightmare" for the bourgeoisie.

The ceasefire which came to force after the 16th Nov. incident with the start of the work of the fact-finding commission, now that the KDP has brought the work of the commission to a halt, practically loses its meaning.

We had declared from the very beginning that those responsible for this crime must be introduced [identified] and tried. We had said that if the KDP wanted to suspend and leave to oblivion the work of investigation and research, in its routine manner, then we would reserve ourselves the right to respond directly and punish those responsible for this crime. Thus, we had clearly tied the fate of the ceasefire to the real outcome of the work of this commission, and had reserved [to] ourselves the right for any retaliatory measure. In fact the Oraman war which had been imposed on us by the KDP, had not ended. We agreed to a ceasefire which would be anew attempt to prevent the continuation and escalation of the conflict. We agreed to the formation of a commission which would be «able to announce the results of its work and findings, as soon as possible. We considered this as a principled action, only in the revolutionary interests of this movement. We did not wish the spread of this confrontation and proved this throughout the period of the ceasefire and through our endeavors in this commission.

But because of the historical task and mission that we have, we can never permit the KDP to consider, the murder, execution and burning of our communist comrades as a sign of our weakness, and impudently claim on its radio: "They don't hand out sweets in wars. Whoever is stronger wins." We cannot allow the KDP to wash its hands in the blood of Kurdistan's toilers and present the sweets of the session of end of democracy, on a silver plate, to its world and Moslem class allies.

If the logic of war is that the KDP wants to taste the balance of forces and portray the success in the murder of communists as a sign of its strength, then, the response by the revolutionary proletariat is to let the bourgeoisie feel the bitter taste of this unhappy experience.

The 16th Nov. war was resumed by our counter-offensive on 26th January, when the ceasefire came to an end. The "26th Jan." is the natural continuation of the war which the KDP had begun in which, according to the KDP, "no sweets are "handed out".

Therefore our retaliatory action, too, is in fact the expression of the most obvious and natural policy under these conditions, in the continuation of the consistent defense of democracy and the interests of workers and toilers. The KDP must now, return to its policies, in the clear terms of the resolution if its plenum - "We shall turn every local conflict with Komala into a general conflict" and declare to all the workers and toilers and the militant masses of Kurdistan, for what concrete reasons resorting to "a general conflict" with Komala has become the political document and teaching of this party, and that after holding negotiations with the Islamic Republic regime?

The KDP must know what price it will pay for any conspiracies against the interests of workers and toilers. If its policy is war, then only the policy of revolutionary and resolute offensive will make it revise this policy.

* * *

Finally, we address all those organizations, currents and individuals who in the real and revolutionary sense of the word are interested in the fate of the movement, in Kurdistan, and declare that the Oraman battles are the elementary manifestations of a class war, although prematurely.

Today in Oraman and tomorrow throughout Kurdistan we are probably going to witness some new deve1opments. It seems that complex equations will appear before us, in particular after the recent actions and warmongerings by the KDP. And in that case, and if the KDP, in commitment to the resolution of its central committee plenum, prepares to impose a general war on us, it is clear that this movement will take on a particular form.

The analysis and conception of all that may happen is not easy from now, but we find it necessary to point out that in this arena of class struggles with their own bourgeoisie, too, the workers and toilers of Kurdistan must recognize their real allies in Iran and the world and be able to count on their unsparing and serious support.

Jan. 31, 1985

The document ended with the note that "For the details of these incidents, please see the selections from two radio broadcasts of the "Voice of the Iranian Revolution". It was signed


B.P. 306-16

75767-PARIS CEDEX 16


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A selection from two radio broadcasts of the "RADIO VOICE OF THE REVOLUTION"

The following transcription from the broadcasts of KOMALA's radio station in Kurdistan was signed by the Communist Party of Iran - The Committee Abroad with the address O.I.S., Box 50040, 104 05 Stockholm, Sweden.


In the two stages of the confrontations on 26th January in Oraman, altogether 12 Komala Peshmargas lost their lives, and in the first stage of the confrontation alone, at least 38 KDP Peshmargas were killed. We broadcast the news of this confrontation on the "Radio Voice of the Revolution" on 27th January, quoting the Oraman Committee of Komala.

We said that the 26th Jan. confrontation in Oraman took place in two stages and pointed out that in the first stage of the confrontation, 3 of our communist Peshmargas lost their lives, and the KDP's bases and forces suffered heavy casualties. We also added that in the second stage of the conflict, too, which began,7 o'clock in the morning, we lost a number of our comrades. In our view, this news gave a realistic picture - however general - to the people of Kurdistan. But of course what was broadcast from the "Voice of the Revolution" on 27th January, did not include the number of all the casualties on both sides. We also delayed the announcement of the exact number of casualties until today, that is, nearly a week after the 26th Jan. incident, so that the extensive military dimensions of the incident would not cast shadow on its political aspects. This was because, we repeat, we don't wish to make capital out of our military victories against the KDP, and consider the method of political struggle as the correct method.

We do not need and did not need to rely on our military victory against the KDP in order to prove our political legitimacy and to show our resoluteness against the KDP, in the eyes of the people, of Kurdistan. We have frequently said and repeat that what makes us resort to retaliatory attacks against the armed offensives of the KDP is the fact that the KDP leadership has still not wanted to give up its acts of bullying and intimidation; We practiced put into practice our warnings against the KDP and took up armed offensives against its military offensives when we became sure, for the umpteenth time, that the KDP leadership cannot understand any other language than the language of force and military power.

But the interesting point is the way the KDP's radio has responded to this. The KDP leadership, which was aware of the real number of its casua1ties, first, with lamentations, divided this number into dead and injured. Then it announced that the conditions of the injured was grave. And after two or three days, surprised by our several days of silence about the number, of the KDP's casualties, like someone who from fear of drowning seizes on a piece of straw, helplessly tried to save face. It said nothing more of the conditions of the injured. Amidst the wailings and lamentations, its boastings, too, began. What else can one call this but a childish behavior? Is not such a childish method by the KDP leadership, which is itself well aware of the dimensions of its military defeat, the height of self-deception? The KDP leadership is only fooling itself. As we have said before, so far as it concerns us and the people of Kurdistan, the counting of the number of the dead and victims is the last thing that will help the political assessment of the 26th Jan. incident.

So far as it concerns the KDP leadership, which knows no other logic but the logic of force and violence, does this self-deception change the reality? The truth is that the KDP leadership knows" its own position better than anyone else, and we have repeatedly said and will say it once again that we want the political differences between us and the KDP to be fought in the political [i.e. not the military] arena.

We chose the policy of reciprocal offensive against the armed attacks of the KDP for such a cause. Why is the KDP leadership so frightened of entering the arena of political struggle? Why does it lack the self-confidence for a political struggle with us? Instead of self-deception and childishly seeking to find a solace, the KDP leadership had better answer these questions. This is in every way in the interests of the KDP, too. Because if the KDP wants to carry on with its military adventures, we are warning it, it will meet our retaliatory and resolute offensives.

* * *

Militant listeners!

To inform you more about the incidents that took place in connection with the 26th Jan. confrontations, we shall take a look at the news, received so far from the various parts of Kurdistan:

As you know, following the 26th January confrontations and on the same day, in a letter to the Politbureau of the KDP, the central committee of Komala called for negotiations in order to end the clashes and declare a ceasefire. On the, evening, of the same day, the KDP Politbureau gave a negative reply and announced that it was not prepared to negotiate. Also, according to the news that we have received from the Kermanshah region, on the evening of 26th January, the KDP Peshmargas in this area attacked a Komala base which the Peshmargas had left earlier and seized all its equipment. According to further news, on 27th January in the Marivan area, a number of KDP Peshmargas in the village. of "Be Leche Soor" confiscated five G-3 rifles and some other equipment belonging to Komala, which were being kept secretly. On 28th January, the KDP Peshmargas seized some of Komala's equipment in a Komala base which had been left by Peshmargas. On 29th January, a 4-member team of KDP Peshmargas which had been commissioned to survey our bases in South Kurdistan, was met with the Komala Peshmargas counter-ambush, which resulted in clashes. During these clashes a KDP Peshmarga was killed, and the other three were arrested by Komala's Peshmargas, one of whom was injured. Again, on 29th January, KDP's Peshmargas left the camp of KDP's Marivan Committee.

According to the latest news from the Oraman Committee, in the course of the 26th Jan. confrontations, 12 communist comrades, 12 revolutionaries of the path of emancipation of workers and toilers' and militant people of Kurdistan, lost their lives. Three of these comrades were killed in the first stage of the confrontation. They were:

1. Comrade Mohammad Rashid Sadeghi (Dareh Hajijy)

member of the Communist Party of Iran and the commander of Pal (a company)

2. Comrade Salarh Hamzeh (Dareh Hajijy)

Komala Peshmarga

3. Comrade Sahebe Naseri

Komala Peshmarga.

In the second stage of the confrontation, we lost the following comrades:

1. Comrade Mohammad Ghasem Moradi

member of the Communist Party of Iran, and commander of Pal (a company)

2. Comrade Ata Aminian

member of the Communist Party of Iran and responsible for the Pal's communications

3. Comrade Jalal Kianpur

candidate-member of the Communist Party of Iran and commander of Unit

4. Comrade Amir Rostami

the political officer of Unit

5. Comrade Parviz Golafshan

Komala Peshmarga

6. Comrade Gila Andaliby

Komala Peshmarga

7. Comrade Saleh Karimy (known as Salah Sanei)

Komala Peshmarga

8. Comrade Bahrain Ghaderi

Komala Peshmarga

9. Comrade Arsalan Ghotby

Komala Peshmarga.

This is not the first time that a number of revolutionaries of the path of democracy and socialism have been martyred in the course of confrontations with the KDP. if in the previous clashes, tens of the most noble [sons and daughters] of the workers and toilers of Kurdistan fell victim to the KDP's armed attacks, this time too, 12 devoted and conscious comrades of Komala heroically and pridefully sacrificed their lives in the arena of a retaliatory armed offensive, in the path of defending democracy, freedom and Kurdistan's movement, in the path of safeguarding and extending, the gains of this movement, in the path of defending the basic rights of the toiling people in Kurdistan, and in the path of the definite emancipation of all the exploited and oppressed.

On the loss of these comrades, we extend our condolences to the workers and toilers of Iran, to all the militant people of Kurdistan, and to the families of these dear comrades.

Jan. 31, 1985 <>

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May Day Speech

The following was one of the two main speeches delivered at the MLP May Day meeting in Chicago on May 4.


Comrades and friends,

Annually, the working class celebrates May Day under the banner "Workers of all Countries, Unite!" This year - the tenth anniversary of the defeat of U.S. imperialism's aggressive war against Vietnam, that banner has special significance for the American proletariat. Opposition to one's "own" government in unjust war; support for the revolutionary liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations, especially when they are directed against one's "own" bourgeoisie - these are the touchstones of proletarian internationalism, the great principle which unites the workers of all lands as they celebrate May Day. And it is this principle which we reaffirm when we commemorate the defeat of U.S. imperialism in Vietnam, when we celebrate our proud contribution to that glorious whipping which the U.S. imperialists received at the hands of the fighting masses of Indochina, and from which they still smart today. [Enthusiastic applause]

The mass movement in the U.S. against the war in Vietnam was, for many of us here tonight the great school in which we received our elementary education in politics. Indeed, large sections of the masses awoke to political life and became. radicalized through that movement. Mass disaffection arose with the capitalist parties and politics, including the Democratic Party and its liberal imperialism. Of course, this movement also had its conspicuous weaknesses and limitations: solid revolutionary organization was not firmly established among the masses, and there were still many illusions about the Democratic Party and in reformism. But overall, what a glorious chapter in the history of our class this was, and who among us who fought in that movement does not today feel how fortunate we were to come of age at such a time, in such a struggle!

And, in fact, a generation of our people grew up in that struggle. Ronald Reagan would have us forget that struggle for the solidarity with the laboring masses of other countries, upon which it was based, was treason to his class, the capitalist class which rules this country. But the millions of workers, their sons and daughters, have not, will not, and cannot forget our alma mater: if it is only the Marxist-Leninist Party which has the theoretical clarity and revolutionary forthrightness to uphold the positive and to learn from the negative lessons of that movement, it is nevertheless the millions who fought in the movement who still retain those progressive sentiments and traditions in their bones, who, together with their younger brothers and sisters, will once again be roused into action if only we, the advanced section of our class, remain true to and uphold those lessons and that tradition.

No to Nostalgia! Make Struggle a Living Reality!

This means that for us we cannot cherish that tradition as a nostalgia. It is the characteristic of reactionaries of such imperialist mummies as Ronald Reagan - that they live in a present bathed in nostalgic memories: memories of the golden old days before the divisiveness of the Vietnam era, allegedly before the advent of the black people's, movement against racial oppression when there was supposedly no racial strife, before the lamented passing of the Waffen SS [referring to the Nazi troops honored by Reagan with a wreath at the Bitburg cemetery in West Germany]. This bourgeois nostalgia - a nostalgia for something which in fact never had any reality, for something which in fact is only a formaldehyde fantasy concocted out of their mummified brains - this reactionary utopia of theirs is always located in the past. Because they are dying, because their present reality is but a final crisis with no future, there is nothing for them but to look to the past with nostalgic longing.

But it is characteristic of revolutionaries and progressives that they preserve their traditions as living realities that they look to the past for inspiration for the present, for lessons for the future. So tonight, in true revolutionary fashion, let us commemorate the anti-war movement of the past decade by concentrating on how to build and strengthen the anti-war movement of the present decade. Because the workers of the world will not let Ronald Reagan forget the defeat of U.S. imperialism in Vietnam. The working masses of Central America and South Africa are preparing Ronald Reagan new defeats; the working masses of the U.S. are preparing Ronald Reagan a new revolutionary anti-war movement.

The Upsurge in the Anti-Apartheid Movement

No doubt the most significant development in the anti-War, anti-militarist struggle over the past period has been the vigorous movement against apartheid which emerged this spring, called forth by the heroic struggle which the laboring masses of South Africa are waging against the racist regime. A most notable aspect of this movement are the numerous mass actions of students protesting university- corporate investment in South. Africa, actions which have spread to colleges across the country this semester.

These actions are especially notable because they have swelled up from below: from the masses, from the youth inspired by the revolutionary movement in South Africa, These struggles have the feel of genuine mass actions - not token protests organized by corrupt reformists, but a spirited struggle based on the masses which finds expression in more militant and confrontational tactics such as sit-ins and building occupations. In Berkeley, to mention only the most prominent instance, hundreds participated in the sit-in on the steps of an administration building, thousands participated in numerous rallies, and a one-day strike against apartheid was honored by up to 80% of the students and faculty. And the 160 sit-in protestors who were arrested all identified themselves to the police only by the name of Steven Biko [black South African student leader murdered by the racist apartheid rulers of South Africa].

Struggles such as these cannot fail to remind us of the earlier days of the '60s: student struggles against the war, against university military research, against ROTC on campus. Nor can these struggles fail to excite the broadest masses of the minorities and working people, whose sentiment against apartheid and in support of the revolutionary struggle in South Africa is quite broad and intense. And this new motion against apartheid is already invigorating the other currents of the anti-war, anti-militarist movement. Thus, the April 20th demonstration in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere was notable for the militant spirit of the participants, and for the fact that many new people, inspired by the anti-apartheid struggle, participated in them.

Our Party greets the development of the anti-apartheid struggle with the greatest enthusiasm. And, at the same time, we recognize that this and similar developments of genuine mass motion against imperialism place the greatest responsibility on us and on other activists who genuinely desire the development of a real mass struggle against imperialism. We must recognize that, to a very large degree, the fate of the anti-war, anti-militarist struggle hinges on our activity. That tremendous potential for a broad, mass struggle against imperialist war, the positive developments which recently have occurred - make no mistake that the bourgeoisie is preparing to suppress them. Make no mistake that the capitalist class has a political force [in addition to its forces of outright repression] organized and in place, which is dedicated to the single mission of liquidating these developments.

Just as the political forces of the bourgeoisie have sat on the movement in solidarity with the revolutions in Central America, just as they have sat on the anti-nuc1ear movement and sought to channel it into unity with Pentagon generals [referring to such liberal and reformist activities as the agitations for "more bang for the buck" for the fraudulent "nuclear freeze", for faith in "arms control" talks between the superpowers, etc.], so too they are working to squash the latest, positive developments in the struggle. against apartheid. It is the responsibility of our Party and of all genuine activists to oppose and defeat the bourgeoisie's suppression and liquidation of the anti-war movement. Of course, we have the sentiments and the best interests of the working masses on our side, but their sentiments are not enough - we must win their minds. And it is only we who can win them.

Liberal Democrats -Tool of the Bourgeoisie to Block the Movement

Of course, the bourgeois force organized to sabotage the movement is the Democratic Party. Like its Republican counterpart, the Democratic Party is a party of imperialism and war; and it is the Democratic Party which launched both the Korean War and the Vietnam War. But, unlike the Republican Party, it is well adapted and equipped to deceive the masses, to foist itself upon the mass movement and to press it down with the dead weight of imperialist liberalism and of its reformist hangers-on. Because of its oppositional posturing against Reagan, it is far more difficult for,the masses - especially the politically inexperienced masses newly entering the movement - to see it for what it is. But if the movement against militarism is to advance, it is decisive that the masses do just that - see it for what it is - and it is our responsibility to expose the Democratic Party.

Playacting of the Liberal Democrats Over Aid to the Contras

Look, for example, at the despicable role the Congressional Democrats are playing on the question of Nicaragua. This past month, there was a great hoopla in the press about the Congressional Democrats opposition to Reagan's request for $14 million in military aid to the contras, who are waging a counterrevolutionary war against Nicaragua that the CIA is organizing. This measure went down to defeat, and the newspapers all proclaimed a victory for the Democratic Party's opposition to increasing military intervention in Nicaragua. After a full four years of conniving with Reagan to implement this policy of aggression against Nicaragua, indeed, to implement every feature of the Reaganite offensive against the masses, finally, by a slim majority of two votes in a House where the Democratic Party has a sizable majority, the press informs us that the Democrats defeated Reagan.

But wait a minute! No sooner did the measure go down to defeat than the Democrats and Republicans began negotiations on a compromise measure to provide aid to the counterrevolutionaries; and just this past Thursday, the House Democratic Party leadership met to figure out the conditions on which they would support aid to the contras.

And wait just another minute. Let's look at what the Democratic Party alternative to Reagan's proposal was. They proposed that the same sum of $14 million be directed toward "humanitarian" aid for "refugees" and to fund the Contadora peace initiative (Contadora is the group of reactionary, Latin American governments that are trying to impose a U.S. imperia1ist-dictated peace agreement on Nicaragua).

The $10 million of this sum that that was to go in aid to "refugees" was to support those elements from Nicaragua who are already living in refugee camps in Honduras and to incite more people,to cross out of Nicaragua into these camps. In fact, the U.S. - through AID and other groups - has already poured millions into the funding of these camps. This "humanitarian" aid to refugees is direct and vital aid to the contras - it is essential to them for fueling the exodus of disaffected elements out of Nicaragua and to sustain the camps in Honduras. These elements are then recruited into the counterrevolutionary guerilla forces and the camps serve as actual bases for the contras from which they launch attacks. For example, the Rus-Rus camp- supported by such humanitarian aid - served as recruiting ground for 500 contras, trained by 14 imperialist American volunteers, and the launching pad for incursions into Nicaragua. What is more: AID has also used humanitarian aid to build a bridge in Honduras near the Nicaragua border, a bridge which one day may come in quite handy for carrying invading forces into Nicaragua.

So what does the Democratic Party opposition to Reaganite intervention in Nicaragua really amount to?

One, the covert aid to the contras continues right along; covered over by all the hoopla about the Boland amendment and the defeat of the $14 million Reagan proposed is the real dirty business of organizing and financing the counterrevolutionary war against Nicaragua: a war which everyone knows goes on despite all the talk shop nonsense conducted in Congress and which the Democratic party does nothing to oppose, in fact, the Democrats connive at it. Just listen to a highranking Honduran official quoted in today's New York Times:

"We consider the vote in Congress to be a farce. Any U.S. corporation could come up with $14 million."

This reactionary knows exact1y what the Democratic Party opposition to Reagan in the talk shop Congress is worth - absolutely zero.

Two, a tactical squabble over how best to support the counterrevolutionary war should the covert CIA and armed forces assistance to the contras be supplemented through open military assistance in the form of the public provision of guns and ammunition? or through indirect military assistance in the form of new recruits and staging areas for terrorist attacks against Nicaragua - this tactical difference is inflated to look like principled opposition by the Democratic party. In fact, the Democratic Party has never opposed Reagan's objective of bringing Nicaragua to its knees - to say "uncle", as Reagan put it. They merely have differences over the method.

Tactical Differences Over How to Achieve the Same Objectives

If we look at the Democratic Party's so-called opposition to Reagan on El Salvador or South Africa, we will find the same thing. Mere tactical differences, differences on the surface over the how, while at the bottom, on the essentials, unity over the what, agreement on the goal of U.S. policy in Nicaragua, El Salvador and South Africa of suppressing the revolution and preserving or restoring the reactionary regimes.

Thus the Democratic Party's opposition turns out to be nothing but a posture which hides the politics of slightly modified Reaganism - a slightly liberalized imperialism. It is clear, therefore, that any anti-war, anti-militarist movement, in the U.S. must be built in opposition to the Democratic Party;

It must teach the masses coming into motion against war and imperialism that the Democratic Party is the same in essence as the Republican Party by exposing its phoney posturing.

"Left"-wing Footmen of the Democratic Party

But the official leadership of the contemporary anti-war movement is working to tie the movement hand and foot to this Democratic Party, this party of disguised Reaganism.

Just look at the 'bright lights promoted by the official leadership they are the left~wing darlings of the Democratic Party," There. is Jesse Jackson, who on April 20th went down on his knees before the White House and raised his eyes to heaven to pray that Reagan be converted to peace like some modern day Saul on the road to Damascus. Or there is Coleman Young, the Mayor of Detroit, who from Monday through Friday does business with the South African racists because, as Coleman says, bucks is bucks, and on his day of rest wraps his girlfriend in mink and jets off to D.C. to go to a symbolic arrest in front of the South African Embassy because it is the latest in liberal chic and a nice opportunity to chat with the arresting officer over the latest in flak jackets to increase police efficiency.

Just look at the so-called organizers of the movement - at the social-democrats, revisionists, trotskyites and labor bureaucrats who are tied hand and foot to the Democratic Party.

Here is a special issue of the Guardian put out this spring entitled, ironically, "Building A Movement". More aptly, the lead article is entitled "Getting out of the left Ghetto"; now we know what they are moving away from. Let us just quote some of these buckaroos of Democratic Party flunkeydom to see where they want to go. One John Shochs, a leader of the DSA, offered his keen insights on how to "break out "of the left ghetto" - get involved with progressive Democratic Party candidates. "Demoism is not a political strategy," opined Shochs, "it won't affect the relation of forces within the government but electoral work in the Democratic Party will."

The granddaddy of Democratic Party flunkeydom and liquidationism echoed the views of the DSA's Shochs in their special issue of the Daily World distributed at the April 20th demonstrations: "Many among the people's forces (meaning the official leadership of the movement) view their role as pressuring the Democratic Party to nominate and elect firm anti-Reagan candidates...." significantly, the CP added that "an election in and of itself does not automatically change the complexion of Congress. You have to ask 'What kind of Democrat' and here the role of the independent force is crucial. They can exert pressure on those Democrats to fight for the real needs of the working people."

As the CP clearly indicates, the game of these birds is to convert the movement into a pressure group trying to influence the Democratic Party. And herein lies the main difference between the Republican and Democratic Parties. The Democratic party is equipped with this left-wing auxiliary of social-democrats and revisionists: it is they who portray every tactical difference between the Democrats and the Republicans as a great difference in principle, it is they who whitewash the imperialists of the Democratic party as great champions of peace, they who foster countless harmful illusions in this party within the anti-war movement.

For or Against the Revolutionary Spirit of the Movement of the '60s

Again, it is instructive- to look back to the experience of the movement against the war in Vietnam: the movement was strong and remained strong to the extent that it opposed the peace plans of Robert Kennedy, of Hubert Humphrey - and, for that matter, of Richard Nixon. Why the Democrats had no monopoly on imperialist "peace plans" and yes, even madman Nixon, you recall, had a peace plan (otherwise known as carpet bombing). The movement was oppositional to the extent that it refused to tailor its positions, its slogans to the Democratic Party liberals. [The speech then referred to the slogans of the reformist leaders of the April 20th demonstration.]

No wonder the reformist leadership all swears again and again that they are not building a movement like the movement against the war in Vietnam: they are in accord with Reagan in wanting to bury the militant decade of the 1960s once and for all.

But we must preserve the important lessons and traditions of that struggle. Not support for humanitarian aid to the contras or for the Contadora peace plan, but support for the revolutionary struggle of the workers and peasants of Central America. Not support for negotiations between the conciliators and the racist Botha regime in South Africa, but support for the revolutionary movement in South Africa and the building of a movement. in the U.S. which opposes the all round U.S. support for apartheid. Not tailing after the Democratic Party, but exposure of it, opposition to it in order to build a genuine anti-militarist, anti-imperialist movement.

For or Against the Vietnam-era Style Protest

Again and again the reformists disclaim building a Vietnam-era style protest, this is the other essential aspect of their renegade litany; not just opposition to militant politics but also opposition to the mass, militant style of protest of the Vietnam era and insistence that they are building a peaceful movement through lobbying, through picketing in mink coats and through other activities which attract the liberals. This, the reformists claim, is their new style protest.

In fact, there is nothing new in it. This style of protest was around in the '60s: it was the negative side of the movement, the side which predominated in the earlier days and which had to be overcome for the movement to develop in mass participation and militancy. In fact, this style of organization - and the entire method and tactics of the reformists for organizing the movement - is patterned on the methods of the Democratic Party for building the liberal-labor coalition. This is what the official leaders of the April 20th demonstration called building unity "on a non-partisan, non-exclusionary basis" - excluding anything that would upset the liberals. To cite the Guardian again, these leaders see Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition as an example of how the movement should be built that is, should be tied head and foot to the Democratic Party liberals.

Thus, the reformists are not only tailoring the politics of the movement, but its forms of organization, its methods of work, to the needs of the Democratic Party liberals. This means that the movement is not built, tactics are not elaborated, forms of organization are not established on the basis of what the needs of the masses are, on how best to draw them into motion, but on the basis of what the needs of the liberals are, on how best to draw them into motion.

Who responds to large demonstrations and is drawn into motion by them? The masses. To hell with demo-ism shouts the reformists.

Who responds to lobbying and the thrilling prospect of exchanging pleasantries with the police while being escorted in a mink coat to a prearranged arrest? The liberals. Onward with lobbying and mink coat pickets say the reformists.

This means that the movement is not built on the basis of supporting the revolutionary struggles in Central America and South Africa, on the basis of determining how best to support the revolutions against U.S. imperialism - not these principles dictate organizational work, but rather the pragmatic interests of the Democratic Party politicians and hacks.

Why Wasn't There a National Demonstration in Fall 1984?

For example, last fall was a vital time to organize solidarity with the, revolutionary masses of Nicaragua, as Reagan was steadily building up military pressure culminating in the MIG scare following the election, and attempting to discredit the elections being held in Nicaragua at; that time. But the reformist leaders, including the organizers of the "Emergency Action Against Intervention" who were trying to pose as more militant than the other reformists, refused to mobilize for a national demonstration, in fact, for any action - at that time.

Why? Because they and all the hacks of the Democratic Party were busy. organizing for Mondale's campaign; as Jesse Jackson said at that time: "It's time to move from demonstrations to registration."

"Unity" with the Liberals and the "Center"

Once we grasp how the reformists organized within the framework of the liberal-labor coalition, then we can answer the question: what sort of non-partisan, non-exclusionary unity is it they are, always mongering? Unity of the fighting masses is necessary to build the mass struggle. But what kind of unity do the reformists call for, and what affect does, it have on the movement: does it strengthen it and broaden it, or does it weaken it and narrow it down?

To the reformists, unity means only one thing: unity with the liberal bourgeoisie. Thus the fundamental conditions for their unity are: nothing to offend the liberals, no anti-imperialist slogans, no militant actions, nothing beyond the framework of the tamest liberal politics and methods of organization.

Furthermore, unity to them means "broadening" the movement by stretching the thin substance of liberalism in the direction of Reaganism, by moving to the right to encompass the lowest common denominator.

And, for example, the organizers of the April 20th demonstration in San Francisco united with the local trade union hacks only by dropping the national slogan on the Middle East - because the labor bureaucrats there are such raving Zionists, that they oppose even the tamest sentiment of peace in the region as an affront to Israeli aggression and expansionism.

This whole policy of unity by moving to the right was summed up by Carl Davidson of the pro-Chinese revisionist "League of Revolutionary Struggle": "It's fine to unite left and progressive forces, but you've got to win over the center as well." In other words, accommodate the movement to the reactionary trade union bureaucrats, the moderate politicians, and the liberal bourgeoisie.

This whole concept of unity means forcing the advanced section of the movement to conciliate and accommodate the most backward. Nay more, it means forcing the whole movement to bow down to the political hacks and the "enlightened" imperialists. It means taming all opposition sentiments, suppressing all militancy to suit the liberals.

The "Left"-Wing of the "Left"-Wing of the Democratic, Party

To build the anti-war, anti-militarist movement, it is necessary to split from the politics of the reformists and from their organizational methods and style. There are those forces in the movement, a section of the "left" social-democrats and "left" Trotskyites who in words speak for anti-imperialist politics and slogans, in words speak for opposition to the Democratic Party. But in deed they confine themselves to working entirely within the organizational forms and coalitions of the reformists; in practice they stay with the reformist liberal- labor coalition. The eyes of these "left" social-democrats are completely riveted on the "left" fringe living off the Democratic Party coalition, their work is completely confined within this framework.

And it is by their deeds which we must judge them, not by some cheap words not worth the paper they are printed on.

The MLP's work shows how to split from the politics and organizational forms of the reformists. Our policy is not a sectarian policy; we work among other places, in the forms dominated by a reformist leadership - that is, we work within the mass forms which from time to time the reformists are forced to organize in order to. influence the masses. We organize for mass demonstrations although their official leadership is reformist. Thus, our contingents which participated in all the April 20th demonstrations were effective rallying points for the anti- imperialist forces and were able to influence sizable sections of the marches.

The content, the aim of the Party's work is not to form the leftwing of the leftwing of the Democratic Party: it is to split the masses, to split the movement from the Democratic Party. For this work to be successful, the independent work of the Party is decisive. Thus, while the "left" social-democrats spent the whole of last year trying to push the April 20th,leadership to the left, going from one hack meeting to another, our Party opposed the treachery of the reformists in deeds by organizing independent actions in support of Nicaragua and El Salvador- On example of the importance and the effect of the Party's independent work is provided by our comrades in Boston, where together with student activists who were upset with the liquidation of action by the official reformist leaders, we organized a major citywide demonstration without the blessings of the reformist bigwigs - a militant, fighting demonstration on April 3rd in which 200 people participated, a demonstration in which the activists decided for themselves not to be a platform for the liberal imperialists.

The work of the party, its independent organizing both outside and inside the actions organized by the reformist coalitions, has as its aim the building of the movement on a different, an oppositional basis of unity. It is not the unity of the masses with the liberals, not the toning down of opposition to war and military to suit the needs of reformism, not a subordination of the proletariat in the U.S. to the liberal imperialists of the Democratic Party. This unity is fundamentally antagonistic to liberal-laborism. It is the unity of the proletariat and anti-imperialist masses in the U.S. with the working class of all countries; - a unity directed against our "own" imperialist bourgeoisie and both its political parties.

This type of unity between. the American working class and those people fighting our "own" bourgeoisie is in the best tradition of the anti-Vietnam war movement. This type of unity directed against the Democratic Party is in the best tradition of the anti-Vietnam war movement. It is this unity, forged in the struggle of the '60s and '70s which allows us, to stand up today and proudly celebrate the defeat of U.S. imperialism in Vietnam. And it is this unity which will help forge new defeats for U.S. imperialism in Central America and South Africa and around the world,which will create new occasions for celebration by the proletariat on future May Days.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the defeat of U.S. imperialism in Vietnam, let us, the advanced detachment of the American working class, dedicate ourselves to forging this revolutionary unity, this proletarian internationalism with the laboring masses of Nicaragua, El Salvador and South Africa, with all peoples oppressed by U.S. imperialism to help them thrash that imperialist beast back into its lair where we are sharpening the sword for the final, the death blow - so that the workers of other countries can look on the American proletariat and say: you American workers, whose struggle gave birth to May Day, you know how to- uphold its tradition, you know how to celebrate it in a revolutionary fashion. <>

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May Day Speech

Below is the text of the second main speech delivered at the MLP May Day meeting in Chicago on May 4.


Comrades and friends,

Today we are celebrating May Day, and it cannot but fill our hearts with joy.

We have defiantly marched out onto the streets of Chicago and declared before everyone that our cause, the cause of the working class, is the cause of the future, the cause of hope, the cause of truth, the cause of socialist liberation. We are today lighting a spark that will flare into a raging flame, a flame that will burn to the ground the tyranny of Reaganism. We are forging in this,fire a hammer of steel, a hammer that will smash to dust the chains of capitalist slave driving and will open the way to a new life where there are no exploiting masters and exploited slaves; a new life where we, the working people, will share the fruits of our own sweat and blood and run the country for the common good. Today, we here are planting the seeds for the glorious future harvest.

And not only here in Chicago, but- from the east coast in New York to the west coast in San Francisco and Seattle, our comrades are holding high the banner of the emancipation of the working class. And not only in the United States, but in one country after another comrades are spreading the truth, the working masses are marching, and the song they sing is our song: Workers of All Countries, Unite!

But comrades, if we are to succeed in this great movement it is not enough that our hearts are pure and full of the spirit of struggle. Our minds too must be unshackled. We must have the most advanced revolutionary theory to guide us. We must learn and defend the precious truth of Marxism-Leninism.

The revolutionary working class movement is not like a new born baby. There is nearly a century and a half of struggle under the belts of the insurgent workers. There is the experience of brilliant victories such as that of the 1917 October socialist revolution of the Bolsheviks which for the first time established a stable socialist system; or that of the heroic defeat of fascism in World War II. But there is also the experience of dreadful setbacks, of the Khrushchovite betrayal, of the loss of the socialist bastion in Russia, of the revisionist corruption of communist parties in country after country. Comrades, Marxism-Leninism is the theory that has provided the guiding principles that have led to the greatest,victories; and Marxism-Leninism is the theory that teaches us the lessons from the most devastating setbacks.

It is for this reason - to defend Marxism-Leninism from the revisionist distortions and corruption, to school our Party in its principles, to bring to the working masses the life-giving truth of the revolutionary science of the working class - it is for this reason that our Party has chosen this May Day to begin to release documents from its study of the history of the working class movement in the mid-1930's and its criticism of the orientation provided to this movement by the 7th Congress of the Communist International.

The 7th Congress of the Communist International - A Backward Turn in the Line of the International Marxist-Leninist Movement

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 7th Congress of the Comintern. What was its significance?

[The speech then referred to the critical moment at which the 7th Congress met, a moment when a gigantic clash between the working masses and the bourgeoisie was in the making. The blight of fascism was spreading, as the bourgeoisie made use of fascism as its,spearhead to slaughter the revolutionary movements around the world. Capitalism was facing a severe crisis, but at the same time the communist movement faced the most savage and brutal test. The revolutionary crisis was deepening, but it was proceeding in a unique way with many complexities, It was the task of the Seventh Congress to make a most careful and accurate assessment of the situation, to give guidance in adjusting communist tactics to the developing situation, to show how to rally every ounce of the revolutionary capacity of the working masses against the fascist danger, and to uphold the path of the socialist revolution. The speech then proceeded as fol1ows:]

Unfortunately the Seventh Congress did not meet up to these requirements. The 7th Congress Congress centered its attention on the building up of a united front to fight against fascism. If the Seventh Congress had upheld the basic principles of Leninist united front tactics, tactics that had been hammered out and elaborated at many of the preceding congresses of the C.I., and if it had adopted and applied these tactics to the crucial tasks of the moment in the fight against fascism, then we could judge today that this had been a correct and essential congress.

But this was not what the 7th Congress did. Rather, it changed the line. As Dimitrov said, in his Report to the Seventh Congress, "Ours has been a Congress of a new tactical orientation for the Communist International." And what this new tactical orientation actually meant was to turn away from Leninism-and change the entire general orientation of the communists.

[The speech pointed out that the "new tactical orientation" introduced by the Seventh Congress harmed the anti-fascist struggle waged so heroically by the communist parties. Despite the erroneous views from the 7th Congress, it was the world communist movement, through its struggle and its bloodshed, through its rallying of the working masses and through its numerous martyrs, that was the foremost force in smashing the fascist offensive that culminated in World War II. But the "new tactical orientation" damaged the ability of many parties to link the anti-fascist~strugg1e to the building of a powerful movement for revolution, and in a number of cases led to communist parties letting the fruits of hard-fought victories over fascism fall from the hands of the toilers into those of the Western bourgeoisie.]

What is more, the orientation set,at the 7th Congress opened the door to an opportunist corrosion that ate away at the revolutionary heart of the communist parties. It would be quite some time from the 7th Congress of 1935 to the flowering of open Khrushchovite revisionism in the mid-1950's, with its utter destruction of communist party after party and its blight against socialism and the revolutionary workers movement around the World. But harmful and even liquidationist practices were already being brought into the communist movement at the 7th Congress; and once embedded in the parties, and once built upon, these practices opened the way to the eventual revisionist betrayal.

The Significance of the 7th Congress in the U.S. Movement Today

Still, comrades, the damage done by the 7th Congress does not end here. This is not just some question of history, a tragedy of the past that is long forgotten. No, the orientation provided by the 7th Congress still-haunts the movement today and comes up in a most immediate way in determining the line of march for the struggle against Reaganite reaction.

Today in the United States, the Maoist and pro-Soviet revisionists are picking up the theses from the 7th Congress to try to give a communist coloring to their Browderite liberal-labor politics. They are trying to justify, in the name of communist united front tactics, their loving embrace with the sold out trade union bureaucrats, their fawning on the traditional misleaders of the black people and other oppressed nationalities, and their unity with the socia1-democrats and with the entire corrupt swamp of the left-wing of the Democratic Party.

Let us take a look at what today's revisionists themselves say.

For example, a couple of years back the Maoist sect known as the "Communist Workers Party" announced its "strategy and tactics for the 80's", and here, they set forward the 7th Congress of the CI and American Browderism as their model. The CWP declared:

"At the Seventh Congress of the Comintern, the call for the united front against fascism was made. This led to the alliance between the CPUSA and Roosevelt." And they claimed that with this path "the CPUSA grew. And it was under the leadership of Earl Browder that made the CPUSA grow numerically.... He made the CPUSA massive...." And they concluded, "We must examine this question closely because that's a phase that we ourselves must go through...." ("Strategy and Tactics of the 80's" - "the united front and party building", Workers Viewpoint, Dec. 22-29, , 1982)

Thus the Maoist CWP set out as its model the orientation of the 7th Congress, which it identified with the orientation of alliance with the liberal bourgeoisie of the Democratic Party, the orientation of the notorious revisionist and leader of the liquidation (dissolution) of the CPUSA in 1944, Browder. We must say that the CWP has done a good job of following this model for no sooner had they announced their support, for Mondale in the last elections, then they also announced the closing down of their newspaper and showed that they were tumbling down into the abyss of complete liquidation. Browder would be proud.

But let's take another example. The pro-Chinese revisionist clique called the "League of Revolutionary Struggle" fully agrees with the estimations of the CWP. Recently, their theoretical journal Forward, the LRS declared:

"...Hitler had taken power in Germany. Increasingly, the international communist movement sought to build the broadest possible united front to stop the spread of fascism. Without abandoning their commitment to socialism, communists tried to ally with bourgeois politicians like President Franklin Roosevelt in the U.S. in a common struggle against fascism." And the LRS claims this path led the CPUSA to become "the dominant force on the U.S. left and a major force in U.S. society....It came to wield real power in the Democratic Party...." (Forward, January 1985) (So the tail wagged the dog, the revisionist Browder wagged the liberal bourgeoisie. And the LRS, like the CWP, hails this to be the path for today, the path of "support(ing) the Democrats against Reagan", of "support(ing) one sector of the bourgeoisie in order to defeat the other..." (Unity, Aug. 3l-Sept. 13, 1984)

But still, one final example. The granddaddy of the revisionists, the official pro-Soviet revisionists, the so-called Communist Party of the USA, tells us:

"It is true, we are not being challenged by a fascist administration. However, in a sense your tactics are somewhat similar to the tactics in the struggle against fascism..." And they tell us those tactics are that "of unifying the forces of the all people's front" including those important forces, even within the ranks of monopoly capital" and paying "special attention to the issues and forms that will unite and bring together the supporters of Mondale and the supporters of Jackson." (Political Affairs, July -1984 and Jan. 1985)

The so-called Communist Party of the USA lost its original communist and revolutionary character and became utterly revisionist decades ago. The Seventh Congress of the CI helped open the CPUSA to the corrosion of Browderite revisionism, and Khrushchovite revisionism finished the job of corrupting the CPUSA And today the CPUSA recommends to everyone to follow the same road that led it to hell beginning in the mid-1930's.

Thus it can be seen how the Maoist and pro-Soviet revisionists are picking up the 7th Congress to give a communist coloring to the sellout liberal-labor politics of joining hands with trade union bureaucrats and other reformist misleaders in a holy alliance of "labor" and liberals in the Democratic Party.

Fostering Liberal-Labor Politics Around the World

But this is not just a question of U.S. politics. In recent years we have seen the issue of the united front being thrown up time and again to justify subservience to social-democratic and reformist politics and alliance with the liberal bourgeoisie in countries around the world. Take, for example, Iran. There, in the name of a united front against the hangman regime of Khomeini and the Islamic Republican Party, attempts are still being made to rally the proletariat and toiling masses behind the liberal bourgeoisie. Our Party, at the time of the June 1981 Khomeini-IRP coup, did not rule out the possibility of the Iranian left using the contradiction between Bani-Sadr and the IRP mullahs. Yet we held, that, in any event, the toilers must keep up their vigilance against the liberal bourgeoisie and maintain their organizational and political independence. But, originally for the sake of putting Bani-Sadr's name at the head of the Council of National Resistance, some revolutionary forces began to adapt their program to make it acceptable to the liberal bourgeoisie. They turned the essential concrete measures necessary to defend the interests of the workers and peasants into vague and meaningless generalities; they forgot about the essential fight for the right to self-determination of the oppressed nations, such as the Kurds; they toned down the fight against imperialism, and they sank deeper and deeper into the quagmire, even flirting with the reactionary Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. And still some justify this submergence of the interests of the toilers to the interests of the liberal bourgeoisie as an essential tactic of Marxism-Leninism.

Or let us take another example. Comrades will recall that the question of correct united front tactics was thrown up directly in the public debate between two Marxist-Leninist parties of Western Europe over the orientation for the anti-war movement. One party erroneously put forward an ideological stand that, if applied consistently in practice, would lead to boycotting, or at least displaying morbid suspicion and hesitation, to much of the mass movement because of the temporary domination of the big mass actions by revisionists and social-democrats. The other party, in the name of staying close to the masses who were under social-democratic influence, tended to adapt their "stand and slogans to that of the "left" social-democrats. Echoing themes found in the 7th Congress of the CI, this party put forward an ideological stand that laid aside the essential battle against social-democracy and reformism; that toned down the work against the imperialism of "their own" bourgeoisie; and that detached the anti-war struggle from the class struggle and the revolution. This ideological stand harmed the practice of this party in the struggle against the imperialist warmongers, but nevertheless this policy was justified as the very pinnacle of communist mass tactics and long theoretical articles were written defending it, including discussions of the experience of the l930's. Our Party declared that both stands were wrong and that, despite the apparently opposite character of these views, they had much in common and that the ideological stands put forward by both parties in this polemic, if implemented consistently in practice and persisted in, would lead in the direction of a liquidationist policy, although from somewhat different directions.

Thus we can see, whether we are concerned with the revolutionary work in the U.S., or in Iran, or in Western Europe, or elsewhere, we find ourselves face to face with the issue of united front tactics. It is essential to clarify and defend the Leninist united front tactics and to clear away the harmful views from the 7th Congress of the CI which are being dredged up today to the detriment of the class struggle.

Study the Polemic on the Seventh Congress of the CI!

Comrades, it is not possible tonight to go into the many questions that come up on the 7th Congress. Our Party has published extensive material that supports and explains the Comintern's earlier elaboration of united front tactics, beginning with the first article of the series "United Front Tactics Are an Essential Tool of the Proletarian Party" in the Jan. 1983 issue of The Workers' Advocate. And with the May 1st issue of The Workers' Advocate Supplement we are beginning the criticism of the 7th Congress. More will be published in the future.

[The speech then pointed out that the examination of the 7th Congress requires serious study and discussion because the documents of the 7th Congress. are deceptive. There are some fine words that can be quoted from these documents, but these contradict the main theses and statements of the Congress and do not represent the actual line of the Congress. Therefore not only must the documents be examined thoughtfully, but they must be compared carefully with the actual practice of the parties in that period. The speech continued and stated:]

From our Party's study we have found that the 7th Congress changed the orientation on a whole series of questions besides the united front in itself and led along the road of abandoning the revolutionary struggle for the liberation of the colonies, of rejecting the Leninist orientation for the anti-war struggle in favor of pacifist agitation, of introducing liquidationist tendencies in the world communist movement, and more. Together all of these changes actually represent a backward turn in the general line of the Communist International.

[The speech pointed out that the 7th Congress centered on the question of the united front, and it went on to briefly point out on several issues how the Seventh Congress rejected the previous united front tactics developed by the previous congresses of the CI. It then stated:]

The 7th Congress turned away from all of the fundamental ideas of the Leninist united front tactics and essentially turned them into simply one single, harmful idea, and that was that the communists had to make all-encompassing agreements with the social-democratic and reformist leaders, who could be expected to fight the class enemy. The communist parties had to achieve, comprehensive agreements at the top, agreements "from above", and these agreements were to achieved, as the leader of the French Communist Party at that time, Thorez, put it, "at all costs". Otherwise these parties were not to be regarded as following united front tactics. And in the pursuit of these agreements the 7th Congress set along the, road of bartering away for the sake of 'agreement with the reformists, one fighting position after another, and even bartering away the independent communist organization. For example, Dimitrov announced that world communism was now ready to give up communist fractions in the trade unions so as not to frighten away the labor bureaucrats and social-democrats. This example, and other liquidationist tendencies that appeared at the 7th Congress, were most harmful for the experience of the world proletarian movement had long proved that the independent and strong organization of the communists among the masses is absolutely indispensable for correctly employing united front tactics (and for utilizing proper agreements "from above" when that is appropriate).

Marxism-Leninism teaches the working class to build its own political party, separate from and opposed to all capitalist parties. It is the first principle of Marxism-Leninism that class conscious workers and activists should dedicate themselves to building the proletarian party, to extending the party's links with the masses, and to making it into the guiding center for the revolutionary movement.

Marxism-Leninism also teaches that this party must be built in the thick of the class struggle. It must win the trust and allegiance of the majority of the working class through leading the workers in struggle against the class enemy. United front tactics are an essential tool of the party in carrying out this task.

Our Party Makes Constant Use of United Front Tactics

It is chiefly because we have carried out constant work to build up the Marxist-Leninist Party and waged a relentless struggle against every manifestation of liquidationism that our Party has been able to successfully employ united front tactics.

Take, for example, the question of the economic struggle of the workers. Our Party has avoided the sectarian stand of denouncing the workers' economic struggle because it is not pure, but under the leadership of the reactionary labor bureaucrats. Instead we have united with the rank-and-file workers, not just communist and revolutionary workers at the base but also workers of varying po1itical stands and varying degrees of consciousness, shared weal and woe with them, and sought to raise the fighting spirit and enthusiasm of the working class. Because we have worked arduously to build up party organization and influence in the factories we have been able to gauge the mood of the masses, to use even the smallest skirmishes to advance the struggle against the capitalists, and we have known how to carry out forceful exposures of the labor bureaucrats on the basis of their sabotage of the ongoing struggle, on the basis of uniting with the militant actions of the working, masses.

This use of united front tactics has been quite successful and has won our Party the respect of militant workers.

But let us take another example, that of our extensive use of united front tactics in the movement against U.S. imperialist aggression and warmongering. While putting forward the whole truth to the masses about the need for socialist revolution to eliminate the war danger, we have at the same time carefully gauged the level of consciousness of the masses. Our Party's tactic of putting anti-imperialism in the forefront of the struggle against reactionary war and of exposing the treachery of the Democratic Party has been well designed to unite the masses who are coming into struggle, to help them break the coalition with the bourgeoisie imposed on them by the reformists and instead form a militant front against the warmongers, and to encourage the building of anti-imperialist organization.

Here too we have met with success. With these tactics we have been able to unite with the masses in the big demonstrations, to encourage their enthusiasm, and to begin to mobilize them against the Democratic Party liberals.

Because of this careful work we were able to encourage rank-and-file student activists in Boston, activists under the influence of the reformists but chafing against the policy of the liquidation of militant action that the reformist and liberal leaders were following, to hold a militant, city-wide demonstration without the blessings of the official movement leaders and, moreover, to take a conscious decision that the demonstration would not be used as platform for the liberal imperialists of the Democratic Party. These activists took a stand of supporting the revolutions of the masses in Central America rather than a U.S.-imperialist dictated peaceful political solution. They didn't rely on big-name liberals to draw a crowd but appealed directly to the masses This demonstration was a sign that the activists were moving to the left, to the standpoint of struggle, although they still have far to go in throwing off the reformist influence. And this demonstration showed that our Party's united front tactics united us with those activists who wanted to fight the Reaganite enemy and helped encourage their independent action.

As well, because of our careful work, our Party was able to hold a successful anti-apartheid demonstration in Buffalo during this period, even though the reformist and liberal leaders were sitting on their hands. This demonstration began to release the initiative of the masses, leading to hospital workers passing a union resolution denouncing Reagan's support for the racist South African regime, and also spurring on a student group to hold its own militant campus demonstration and rally in which Party representatives were included as speakers.

And still more examples could be given.

These recent victories show not only the great importance and power of united front tactics when they are correctly applied, but they also show that absolutely. essential to successful united front tactics is the building up and strengthening of a genuine Marxist-Leninist party of the working class.

Comrades, on this May Day we are launching the criticism of the orientation given at the 7th Congress of the Comintern because this is essential if we are to clarify and make proper use of the Leninist tactics of the united front. But, more than this, the criticism of the 7th Congress is necessary to intensify our struggle against the revisionist liquidators and to strengthen the building the genuine vanguard party of the working class.

Comrades, before us is a long and arduous road, full of sacrifices and struggle, but at its end waits the golden sunlight of socialism. On this May Day let us rededicate ourselves to this goal and shoulder the task of building the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary party, the invincible weapon for the emancipation of the working class. <>

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