South’s labor movement challenges North Carolina right wing

first_imgPeter GilbertWW photo: Brenda RyanTalk given at WWP conference by Peter Gilbert.When poverty and competition for jobs are intensified during a capitalist economic crisis, one common result is the rise of an extreme right-wing faction in the ruling class.In the U.S., this phenomenon is seen in the far-right Tea Party faction of the Republican Party. In collaboration with certain key corporations, this faction has taken complete control of the state apparatus in North Carolina.In 2011, the far-right took control of the state Legislature — the first Republican legislature in North Carolina since Reconstruction. They attempted to pass a number of reactionary measures, including stripping teachers of dues deduction, repealing the Racial Justice Act, a racist voter ID bill, and a bill that would allow hydraulic fracking for natural gas.Popular pressure forced the former Democratic governor to veto these measures, but that was only a temporary victory. In addition, the Legislature redrew all of the voting districts along racial lines to minimize the voting power of African Americans and secure right-wing control of the state government for the future.In 2012, the far-right elected Gov. Pat McCrory, a former executive with the North Carolina-based Duke Energy, the largest U.S. utility. The same election saw the passage of Amendment One, which made same-sex marriage unconstitutional in North Carolina.With McCrory in office, the right-wing takeover was complete. All of the bills that had been vetoed were quickly passed and signed, along with closing abortion clinics, massive cuts to public education, eliminating tenure for teachers, cutting unemployment support to 170,000 North Carolina workers, rejecting federal funding for Medicaid for 500,000 people, and changes to the income tax system that will benefit the rich on the backs of poor and working people.North Carolina once had a better public education system than many Southern states, and some minimal social welfare programs and some degree of environmental protections. Many of these had been hard won through decades of struggle — so why were they so easily taken away?Before I answer that question, I want to turn to the dramatic and historic fightback this year — mostly in the form of the Moral Monday movement led by the state NAACP. The first Moral Monday in April led to 17 arrests at the General Assembly, with about 50 protesters. Over the following months, this grew to almost 1,000 arrests and tens of thousands demonstrating at the General Assembly. Thousands more have attended Moral Monday demonstrations around the state.Lesson from LeninIn thinking about Moral Mondays, I was reminded of Lenin’s “Lecture on the 1905 Revolution,” where he describes the Bloody Sunday demonstration of January 1905 led by a priest, with a minimum program of “amnesty, civil liberties, fair wages, gradual transfer of the land to the people, [and] convocation of a constituent assembly on the basis of universal and equal suffrage.” These demands and even the religious character of the leadership closely match the Moral Monday demonstrations.Lenin notes that these demands are similar to the reformist demands of “social pacifists” or opportunists who try to “divert the people from the revolutionary struggle,” but he does not criticize them in this context because they show that “the uneducated workers in pre-revolutionary Russia proved by their deeds that they were straightforward people awakened to political consciousness for the first time.”Similarly in North Carolina, the Durham branch committed all of our energy to enthusiastic support of Moral Mondays because thousands of workers are awakening to political consciousness for the first time through the Moral Monday movement and out of the depths of the oppression of the working class.Many of those who attended these demonstrations were newly radicalized workers. They demonstrated their new consciousness and revolutionary potential through their deeds, their willingness to face arrest and crucially, their willingness to follow Black leadership even though the demonstrations were mostly white.I do not mean to suggest at all that we are in an analogous period in North Carolina like pre-revolutionary Russia. Lenin, in describing 1905, goes on to talk about the large number and importance of strikes among the newly developed working class. What we most desperately need in North Carolina is a strong independent labor movement led by the most oppressed workers.To return to my earlier question, the right wing was able to sweep away decades of progressive reforms in North Carolina in a matter of months because we are still the least unionized state; the state with the worst labor laws, not just right to work, but also the Jim Crow Era ban on collective bargaining for public employees.We lack a strong labor movement. The right wing’s worst attacks have fallen on teachers and public sector workers.In Russia, the newly awakened conscious grouping was directed into mass strikes. In North Carolina, it remains to be seen what we can do with this energy. The NAACP leadership has so far kept the energy from being diverted into the Democratic Party. Much of the energy has been diverted into the court challenges to these laws.Our role is and must continue to be to build the labor movement in the South by helping to build the Southern Workers Assembly and deepening our solidarity with all of its members — UE 150, the N.C. Public Service Workers Union, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, the United Food and Commercial Workers local at the Smithfield plant, and the teachers.Organize the South! Build a workers’ world!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Baltimore City Councilmember proposes moratorium on water shutoffs

first_imgWW photo: Sharon BlackBaltimore is a city that has been in the headlines in recent weeks because of the Black Lives Matter movement and the righteous rebellion against police terror in the wake of the murder of Freddie Grey. However, what has been overshadowed since then is the continuing crisis of water shutoffs in the city.Beginning in early April, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works began shutting off water to properties that were behind on their water bills. This list includes about 25,000 properties and $40 million in unpaid water bills. While the debt may seem considerable to some, it was discovered that roughly $15 million of it was caused by fewer than 400 commercial properties.It was also discovered that none of those commercial properties, some owing millions of dollars, had their water service turned off, while many poor and working people were forced to lose their water supply.In response to this human rights crisis, the People’s Power Assembly began a campaign to end the water shutoffs. Several caravans were set up to travel the city and organize the most impacted communities to fight back.One of the major demands of the PPA was that the City Council hold hearings and enact a moratorium on any further shutoffs of residential properties until the commercial properties had paid their bills. Hundreds of petition signatures were collected demanding an end to the shutoffs.In early June, City Councilmember Carl Stokes introduced such a resolution that would put a moratorium on residential shutoffs until the commercial accounts had been paid. Hearings were scheduled for June 24.On the day of the hearings, the People’s Power Assembly and other Baltimore activists held a press conference and picket outside of City Hall.Inside during the hearings, protesters urged support for Stokes’ resolution, while also demanding that more be done to help the most economically oppressed sections of Baltimore. Activists raised the connection of water affordability to the ongoing problem of gentrification.As a proposed partial solution to the water crisis in Baltimore, the PPA brought the council’s attention to a recent bill passed by the Philadelphia City Council that ties the price of water to the income of the resident.Such a water affordability system would be a strong first step to ensuring access to water for everyone. It would also place the majority of the financial burden of paying for the water system on the wealthy and those most able to pay.With the current level of technological development, clean water is a fundamental human right which should be freely accessible and available to all.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

¡Cuidado con la propaganda de guerra de Estados Unidos contra Corea!

first_img‘Manos fuera de Corea’: el famoso cantante Paul Robeson habla en una reunión pública en Harlem, N.Y., 3 de julio de 1950.15 de febrero — Desde la institución como The New York Times hasta la extrema derecha Fox News, los medios capitalistas de Estados Unidos han estado en una campaña para demonizar a la República Popular Democrática de Corea. Las “noticias” presentadas por estas dos alas del establecimiento capitalista apuntan a desacreditar a los dirigentes de la RPDC y encubrir el sorprendente progreso realizado por este país socialista, a pesar de ser atacado por la guerra y las sanciones.Esta escritora apareció el 12 de febrero en Tucker Carlson News Hour de Fox Tv y en menos de los cinco minutos que me permitieron hablar, me concentré en alertar a los 2,9 millones de televidentes de ese programa noticiero sobre el grave peligro de guerra planteado por el Pentágono, que está discutiendo abiertamente, y en realidad preparándose para un ataque contra la RPDC.Los norcoreanos han estado bajo la mira del Pentágono durante más de 70 años. Los militares estadounidenses han sostenido la ocupación de Corea del Sur desde 1945. Desde 1950 hasta 1953 Estados Unidos arrojó más bombas en el norte de Corea que en posiciones japonesas en todo el Pacífico durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial.Los “juegos” anuales de guerra del Pentágono dirigidos a la RPDC en los últimos años han incluido a las fuerzas armadas de Japón, la antigua potencia colonial que explotó brutalmente en toda Corea entre 1910 y 1945.Reaccionando a tales amenazas a su propia existencia, la RPDC ha sacrificado mucho para desarrollar una defensa nuclear. Si algún país necesita tal disuasión contra el ataque, es Corea del Norte.La gente en los Estados Unidos necesita saber que la administración Trump y el Pentágono están jugando con fuego. La RPDC luchará si es atacada. Tiene la voluntad y la capacidad de defenderse. No va a rendirse ante las amenazas. Nunca lo ha hecho.Propaganda de guerra, sutil y rabiosaNi el diario The New York Times ni Fox admitirán que promueven una guerra. Carlson dijo “No estoy en guerra” cuando lo empujé. Pero sus “noticias” son propaganda de guerra y están dirigidas a preparar a la gente de este país para que acepte una guerra contra la RPDC y hacerlo parecer como una cruzada “humanitaria”. Crean historias sensacionales para poner a la RPDC en la peor luz. Fox está frenético; el diario The New York Times suele ser más matizado, aunque todavía tiene un sesgo brutal contra la RPDC.Carlson de la cadena Fox pinta la imagen más sombría imaginable de la vida en la RPDC. La gente se muere de hambre, se los mantiene en la ignorancia, son esclavos del estado, etc. Eso es lo que este millonario “periodista”, portavoz del multimillonario Rupert Murdoch, les cuenta a millones de personas aquí.¿Por qué no habla sobre el hecho de que la RPDC tiene una alfabetización del 100 por ciento, la más alta del mundo? Incluso el Libro de Hechos de la CIA admite esto. Curiosamente, su lista de tasas de alfabetización de los países no incluye los EUA. Ni Corea del Sur.No es de extrañar. Según un estudio realizado a fines de abril del 2013 por el Departamento de Educación de EUA y el Instituto Nacional de Alfabetización, 32 millones de adultos, o el 14 por ciento de la población en los EE. UU., no podían leer. Además, el 21 por ciento de los adultos leen por debajo del nivel de quinto grado y el 19 por ciento de los graduados de la escuela secundaria no podían leer. Para un país tan rico como Estados Unidos, este es un escándalo monumental.Y no culpe a los niños o sus maestros. Es un reflejo del atraso cultural impuesto a la gente de este país por la pequeña clase de multimillonarios que controlan el gobierno y los medios de comunicación y socavan monetariamente al sistema de educación.¿Por qué Fox y The New York Times no mencionan que la atención médica en la RPDC es gratuita y que el país ha reducido su tasa de mortalidad infantil en más del 80 por ciento desde 1950, a pesar de la guerra y las sanciones? O que continúa reduciendo la mortalidad materna — la tasa a la que las mujeres mueren como resultado del parto — a la vez que la mortalidad materna ha aumentado en los Estados Unidos.El crimen no es que un país como la RPDC, que fue destruido por los bombarderos de Estados Unidos en la guerra de 1950-1953, tenga que dar prioridad a la defensa mientras se mantiene en pie por sí mismo. El crimen es que un país como los EUA, que ha estado entre los más desarrollados del mundo durante al menos un siglo, no puede proporcionar una educación decente y atención médica para su pueblo.Un medio sensacionalista y mentiroso¿Qué papel juegan los medios en la promoción de los objetivos imperialistas? Mucho. Tomemos, por ejemplo, la guerra que comenzó en 1898, la llamada guerra hispanoamericana.A la gente de los EUA se le dijo que España, el gobernante colonial de Cuba, había destruido un buque de guerra estadounidense nombrado The Maine, en el puerto de La Habana. Los periódicos Hearst de la época, que habían estado luchando por una guerra contra España, publicaron titulares gritando durante semanas: “¡Recuerden el Maine!”. También lo hizo el papel del rival de Hearst, Joseph Pulitzer, que igualó a Hearst al imprimir historias distorsionadas y exageradas. (Pulitzer intentó limpiar su reputación de “periodismo amarillo” dejando dinero a la escuela de posgrado de periodismo en la Universidad de Columbia,— y funcionó).Cuando Frederic Remington, un artista que proporcionó al periódico Hearst con ilustraciones, cablegrafiadas desde Cuba en 1897 de que “no habrá guerra”, Hearst respondió con un cable, “Tú proporcionas las imágenes, yo proporcionaré la guerra”.Esta incesante propaganda fue el preludio de una guerra de tres años. en el que la clase dominante de los Estados Unidos logró reemplazar a España como gobernante colonial de Filipinas, Cuba y Puerto Rico. Mientras los Estados Unidos afirmaban que estaba “liberando” a Cuba y Filipinas, donde los revolucionarios ya estaban luchando contra los colonizadores españoles, eso era una mentira. La guerra con España se libró por razones puramente económicas — abrir el acceso a los capitalistas estadounidenses para explotar la mano de obra y los recursos de las que habían sido colonias de España. Una vez que España fue derrotada, los Estados Unidos virtieron su ejército contra los combatientes de la independencia tanto en Cuba como en Filipinas.¿Recuerdan el Maine? Bueno, en 1974, el Almirante de EE.UU. Hyman Rickover encargó una investigación de la Armada sobre el hundimiento del Maine. La conclusión: el barco se había destruido debido a un incendio que encendió municiones almacenadas a bordo. España no tuvo nada que ver con eso.Tenemos que estar listos para combatir la propaganda bélica contra la RPDC y exponer cualquier pretexto para una guerra inventada por el Pentágono y sensacionalizada por los medios capitalistas.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Prisoners continue to strike!

first_imgMore “inside” actions in the National Prison Strike have been reported since the Aug. 28 roundup in Workers World. (tinyurl.com/y9ssw4sa) The strike was originally called by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak for Aug. 21 through Sept. 9. One key strike demand, “End prison slavery!” refers to widespread state and corporate exploitation of prisoners who receive no or little compensation for work. This slavery is still permitted under the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.North Carolina – Despite denying prisoner protest or strikes to the media, the North Carolina Department of Public Services privately admits in its infraction forms that prisoners are being thrown into segregation for strike organizing. There are rumors from prisoners of strike participation at 11 North Carolina facilities, with confirmation of organizers being put in segregation in at least two prisons. (Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee)South Carolina – Prisoners are reportedly on strike in Broad River, Lee, McCormick, Turbeville, Kershaw and Lieber correctional institutions. The actions include widespread workstrikes, with only a few prisoners reporting to their jobs, and commissary boycotts. (Jailhouse Lawyers Speak)Georgia – Prisoners in the main maximum state security facility, Georgia State Prison—Reidsville, have reported a strike. (JLS)Florida – Five Florida facilities are evidently seeing strike activity: Charlotte Correctional reports 40 refusing work and 100 boycotting commissary. Dade Correctional prisoners say 30 to 40 on strike. Franklin Correctional reports 30 to 60. Holmes Correctional reports 70. Appalachee Correctional reports an unknown number. (JLS)Texas – In solidarity with the national strike, two prisoners in a Gulf prison messaged they are on hunger strike in segregation, as is Robert Uvalle in Michael Unit, Anderson County, who has been in solitary for most of his 25 years inside. (IWOC)Indiana – Prisoners in the segregation unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Institution began a hunger strike Aug. 27, demanding adequate food and an end to cold temperatures in the unit. (IWOC)Washington state – Twenty people detained at Northwest Detention Center were sent to segregation on Aug. 30 after they, and eventually at least 30 others, demanded an end to a new requirement that they stand up as the warden enters each pod. NWDC is a private immigration prison located in Tacoma. On Aug. 21, about 200 people at NWDC went on hunger strike in solidarity with the National Prison Strike; about 60 people continue to hunger strike into a second week. (NWDC Resistance)FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

A Yugoslavia war anniversary raised the role of U.S.-NATO aggression

first_imgNew York, March 24 — Today opponents of the 1999 U.S.-NATO war against Yugoslavia gathered in Ralph Bunche Park, across from United Nations headquarters, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the air attack directed mainly against civilian targets in Serbia. The 78 days of bombs and rockets killed 3,000 people, destroyed hundreds of schools and collapsed bridges and hospitals.March 24 demonstration at the U.N. denounces 1999 war against Yugoslavia, says ‘Kosovo is Serbia.’The war and subsequent imperialist intervention in the Balkans completed the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, a multinational state of 20 million people. Yugoslavia had remained sovereign and socialist since its partisans drove out German imperialism in 1945. Now what remains are six small capitalist countries, semicolonies of Western imperialism. Already three of them are NATO members.In addition, there’s the rump region called Kosovo, a province wrenched out of Serbia in violation of international law. There the U.S. military built Camp Bondsteel, its major base serving NATO in the Balkans.Speakers at the rally had been active opposing the U.S.-NATO war in 1999. Besides reviewing the war crimes of the Western powers and their Balkan lackeys, some pointed to the insidious role of NATO. NATO expands role during warSara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center who visited Yugoslavia during the bombing, underlined that it was at NATO’s 50th anniversary meeting in April 1999 — during the bombing — that the U.S. pushed through its strategy of expanding NATO membership and area of intervention. Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary then joined and brought NATO membership to 19 countries. There are now 29 members, with some on or near Russian borders, plus nine “global partners,” including Colombia. President Donald Trump has announced his intention to invite Brazil to join. NATO began its expansion with its first open aggression aimed at Yugoslavia. Since then, NATO opened the war against Libya in North Africa and participated in the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, all under U.S. military direction. The military alliance, whose name — North Atlantic Treaty Organization — implies a limited area of responsibility, now intervenes worldwide.In the period just following World War II, the United States was by far the dominant imperialist state, measured both by its economic and military power. Originally designed to confront the Soviet Union and to prevent workers’ revolutions in Western Europe, NATO’s structure puts Washington in control. The U.S. president always chooses the NATO commander, and the general in charge is always from the Pentagon.While U.S. world economic dominance has constantly decreased, its power of destruction is still preeminent. NATO has been U.S. strategists’ choice instrument for keeping the other imperialist powers under U.S. control, something that went without question in 1949 at NATO’s founding. For contributing money and their youth to imperialist military adventures, the ruling classes of the other imperialist powers get a small piece of the loot stolen from the rest of the world. What the “new” members get is a few crumbs. NATO has been turned into a worldwide police force serving imperialism in an attempt to reconquer colonies liberated during the existence of the Soviet Union. Other speakers at the rally included former Serbian Information Minister Radmila Milentijevic, historian Barry Lituchy and composer Milos Raickovich, who organized the event. Raickovich called for a Yugoslav delegation at the major anti-NATO march in Washington, D.C., on March 30 to protest the April 1-4 NATO anniversary meeting there. (No2Nato2019.org)Catalinotto and Flounders co-edited the book, “Hidden Agenda: The U.S.-NATO War Against Yugoslavia,” 2001.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Police, private security try to suppress antiwar rally in Buffalo

first_imgBuffalo, N.Y. In conjunction with actions in the U.S. and internationally, some 50 anti-war activists demonstrated Jan. 25 in the Canalside district of the Buffalo harbor on Lake Erie. The activists called for an end to U.S. aggression against Iran and for U.S. withdrawal of all military personnel from the entire Middle East region. Buffalo, N.Y.Protesters chanted “Iran wants peace, U.S. out of the Middle East,” “1 2 3 4, we won’t fight a rich man’s war” and “Not U.S. land, not U.S. oil, U.S. off  Iraqi soil!”  Several gave speeches against U.S. imperialism, the devastating repercussions of U.S. wars abroad for people at home and of the desire for peace that the people of Iran share with people in the U.S. When protesters attempted to march around the block, they were intercepted by private security forces employed by LECOM Harborcenter, the property of natural gas billionaires, Terry and Kim Pegula. Activists were falsely informed that the Harbor sidewalk was private property and told to immediately step into the busy street. While demonstrators attempted to determine if this was a legal order, a security guard pushed one protester, first into the street and then into a parked vehicle. The guard then began shouting at a National Lawyers Guild legal observer.  Several protesters intervened when the guard attempted to place the NLG observer in a headlock and finally freed them from the guard’s grasp. Around a dozen cars from the Buffalo Police Department soon arrived, including officers wielding billy clubs and lieutenants who ordered protesters out of the street and off the adjacent Metro light rail line. In the end, no arrests were made, and the Buffalo AntiWar coalition is determined to continue demonstrating whenever and wherever necessary.The successful demonstration was organized by the Buffalo Antiwar Coalition, which includes WWP-Buffalo, IAC-Buffalo, Western New York Peace Center, Green Party of Erie County, Veterans for Peace 128, DSA-Buffalo, U.S. Friends of the Soviet People-Buffalo and U.S. Peace Council-Buffalo. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Pandemic & capitalism are behind the rise of hunger in the U.S.

first_imgFood pantry distribution in Bedford-Stuyvesant community, Brooklyn, N.Y., April 14.Dairy farmers are dumping millions of gallons of milk into lagoons. Produce farmers are plowing fresh vegetables back into the soil. Billions of dollars worth of food is being destroyed. This is happening while millions of people are lining up for miles to reach local food banks which cannot meet the enormous demand — made greater by coronavirus-related layoffs of 22 million workers.Why is this?  Food scarcity does not exist in the U.S. In fact, there is an abundance of food. But many farmers can’t sell to the usual purchasers, such as restaurants, hotels and schools, as many are closed due to the pandemic. The distribution network to those customers has been upended, and thousands of farmers can’t afford to transport food around the country. If food isn’t purchased, if there aren’t markets, if sales can’t be made and profits realized, food is destroyed — rather than donated to the millions who need it.  Under capitalism, food is a commodity. Like all commodities from cell phones to cars, it is produced to be sold at a profit. If farmers can’t afford to ship food, it’s wasted. And if workers can’t afford to buy what sits on supermarket shelves, they go without unless a food bank, faith-based or community organization, or labor union provides it. This is how capitalism operates.If stores are buying less food because their customers stay home due to pandemic cautions or can’t afford to buy it as is true of many newly jobless workers — farmers dispose of it. When restaurants, which routinely purchase half of farm produce, aren’t buying, it goes unharvested, unpackaged, untransported — and therefore, unsold.Hunger in richest countryThe pandemic has highlighted the precariousness of life for workers in capitalist U.S., and it has intensified the contradiction between food production and distribution. It has revealed the widespread hunger and malnutrition that existed in the world’s richest country even before COVID-19 arrived — because many people can’t afford food. It’s not grown or manufactured as a public service. Under capitalism, producing and selling this necessity is a means to an end: profits.Before the pandemic 37 million people here were “food-insufficient,” a fancy term for hungry. About that number received inadequate Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits. Last year, 40 million people had to rely on food banks and soup kitchens. Low-wage workers, seniors and people with disabilities depend on this assistance. But then COVID-19 hit: 22 million people were laid off, furloughed or had wages cut. Some 59 percent of workers — disproportionately Black and Latinx — had been living from paycheck to paycheck. Now, many of the newly jobless can’t afford food for their families and have turned to food banks.News footage showed 10,000 people lined up and waiting for hours at a San Antonio food distribution center. This shocking scene is being repeated throughout the country every day, as demand skyrockets, in some cities by 50 percent. Food bank operators are reluctantly turning away thousands of families in need.Meanwhile, food banks now have to purchase much of what used to be donated — and at high prices.  Some are spending millions of dollars to transport truckloads of it. Several have had to close just when their help is desperately needed.However, the federal government should purchase fresh produce from farmers and pay to transport it to food pantries or set up distribution centers. It could hire unemployed workers to drive the trucks and hand out the food — but safely. Since this is a capitalist country, the rich and their politicians will balk at this, as they prioritize profit-making, not human needs. Even now with the unemployment crisis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture refused to use disaster powers to expand eligibility for food stamps.A people’s struggle won food stamp benefits in the first place.  That is what it will take for people to get what they need, whether it’s food, housing, health care, jobs at a liveable wage or safe working conditions.The Food Is a Right Campaign, stemming from the All Peoples Congress, backed by Workers World Party, launched a struggle in 1982 to push the government to open its warehouses of “surplus” food.  It sued the Reagan administration and organized many protests. Soon after the lawsuit was lost, this grassroots movement  won the release of tons of food. In socialist Cuba, food production and distribution are highly organized. Food is never wasted. The needs of the people always come first. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Workers’ assemblies

first_imgThis is a slightly edited version of a talk given during the“What Road to Socialism?” webinar held by Workers World Party on May 16.The U.S. claims to be a democracy, but this claim is totally divorced from the reality of class struggle. The wealthy ruling class, which owns most of our economy through the stock market and banking system, also has complete ownership of our electoral process. The politicians we elect are the servants of capitalists, who will never do anything to harm the interests of their masters.This is not a democracy; it is a dictatorship of the rich. True democracy would reflect the popular will of the masses, the bulk of whom belong to the working class. Socialist revolutions aim to take control of the means of production — the levers which control our economy — and establish rule by the working class. That’s why workers’ assemblies are so important, because they can become an engine of workers’ democracy and workers’ control over the economy.The history of socialist revolutions is the history of political base-building. Before the October Revolution of 1917, workers organized into political bodies to control their political and economic lives. This went beyond unionizing. Workers’ councils, even without the sanction of the government, decided the most important political questions of the time. They were the government of a state unto themselves, a workers’ state that fought for the interests of their class.Just as in 1917, the problems we face today can only be solved by a united working class. We need workers’ assemblies to take control of our economy. We need health care and housing to fall under the control of workers’ assemblies. If a business decides its workers are essential, then it’s essential that workers’ assemblies control that business. This is what we mean when we say, “All power to the workers’ assemblies.”Comrades in Workers World Party’s Durham branch have already taken the lead in building workers’ assemblies. There, workers are banding together and vowing to organize the South. And that movement is spreading.The movement is spreading because workers understand that if we don’t organize, we won’t win. Workers understand that if we turn away from building a mass base, we are conceding victory to the ruling class. And workers understand that, in this moment in history, we can’t accept defeat. We have to demand victory.We have to do this now. Nonunion workers must be unionized, and unionized workers must be radicalized. Tenants, apartment blocks and entire neighborhoods must be brought together to fight landlords, developers and police oppression. Socialists must seed ourselves throughout the working class to provide political agitation, education and organization.This is our moral duty — to unite the working class, to build a workers’ democracy, to use all our energy to defy the capitalist ruling class.Motema (he/him) is a contributing editor of Workers World Newspaper and a member of  Workers World Party’s New York City branch. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

¿Respuesta a la amenaza fascista? ¡Lucha de la clase trabajadora!

first_imgPor Workers World Party/Partido Mundo ObreroLos siguientes son comentarios ligeramente editados del seminario web del 8 de octubre del Workers World Party/Partido Mundo Obrero los recientes debates electorales, con el primer secretario del WWP, Larry Holmes, en la ciudad de Nueva York, la principal camarada Teresa Gutiérrez en San Antonio y el camarada moderador Ted Kelly en Filadelfia. Sintonice los jueves a las 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT para un análisis revolucionario de los miembros de WWP y nuestros aliados. Los videos de WWP están disponibles en youtube.com/wwpvideo.Ted Kelly: Hemos hablado sobre el complot fascista en Michigan [donde las milicias neofascistas planeaban secuestrar y matar a la gobernadora demócrata Gretchen Whitmer]. Hemos hablado sobre el creciente peligro contra nuestros hermanos, hermanas y hermanos trans, contra las decenas de miles de inmigrantes en los campos de concentración de los Estados Unidos que están sufriendo de todo, desde la muerte en la pandemia hasta las esterilizaciones forzadas. Entonces, ¿es Trump fascista? Y si es fascista, ¿no deberíamos unirnos a los demócratas para detener a Trump? ¿Qué hacemos si Trump no cede? O peor aún, ¿qué hacemos si Trump gana? Estas son preguntas que creo que están en la mente de la clase trabajadora en este momento.Teresa Gutiérrez: Creo que Trump es un fascista. Si camina como un pato y habla como un pato, es un pato. Pero no vivimos bajo un sistema fascista. Esa es la diferencia. Si viviéramos bajo el fascismo, no podríamos tener esta reunión. Están ocurriendo acciones fascistas, eso es seguro. Pero todavía no vivimos bajo el fascismo. Creo que hay un elemento de la clase dominante que se está preparando para el fascismo. No lo sabemos, no estamos en las salas de juntas donde podemos escuchar estas cosas. Pero tenemos que estar preparados para cualquier cosa.Ésa es una de las razones por las que es tan importante ser internacionalista revolucionario. Hay muchos activistas que no ven el hecho de que muchos de nuestros problemas podrían resolverse quitando dinero al Pentágono. El dinero que se destina a la “defensa” y la guerra de Estados Unidos podría usarse para el alivio de COVID, para el cuidado de la salud, para la educación, etc.Pero no se puede rechazar por voto al imperialismo; no se puede rechazar por voto al fascismo. Hay que arrancarlo de raíz y eso es una lucha intensa. He tenido el privilegio de viajar y conocer a muchos activistas y revolucionarios de todo el mundo, específicamente de América Latina. Allí tenemos hermanas, hermanos y familiares que han experimentado el fascismo, como nuestros camaradas chilenos del presidente Augusto Pinochet, que era fascista. Decenas de miles de trabajadores fueron masacrados en Chile.Aprendemos de estos camaradas lo que se necesita para permanecer en la lucha día tras día, noche tras noche. Por eso tenemos que ser internacionalistas, porque nuestros camaradas, hermanas, hermanos y familiares de todo el mundo han experimentado el brazo desnudo del capitalismo. Tienen mucho que enseñarnos y hay mucho que podemos aprender de ellos.Por eso tenemos que plantear siempre que no hay fronteras en la lucha obrera. No solo nos preocupamos por la clase trabajadora en los Estados Unidos. Nos preocupamos por cada trabajador. Especialmente porque el imperialismo estadounidense ha creado las condiciones que han obligado a las personas a abandonar sus países de origen.El internacionalismo tiene que formar parte de nuestro programa en los próximos días. Es un principio del trabajo del Partido y tiene que ser un principio del movimiento.Larry Holmes: Desde una perspectiva marxista, el fascismo se ve de manera diferente dependiendo de quién eres en la sociedad. Para nosotros, ¿qué es un fascista? Un fascista es alguien que es violentamente racista, violentamente homofóbico, violentamente antiobrero, quiere aplastar a los sindicatos, quiere aplastar a los oprimidos, aplastar a los trabajadores migrantes, llevar a cabo guerras tanto más allá de las fronteras de los Estados Unidos como dentro de la frontera.Desde el punto de vista de la burguesía, dirán que un fascista es alguien que quiere negar la democracia burguesa y ser un tirano, ser un líder autoritario, destituir al Congreso y emitir edictos, etc.Lo que los marxistas entienden es que el fascismo no proviene de alguna ideología. No nace en la cabeza de las personas, ni el ultrarreaccionario ni el estado policial forman parte de él.El fascismo es una respuesta extrema y desesperada a una enorme crisis en el sistema capitalista. Y la burguesía se discute entre sí: “¿Cómo vamos a salvar nuestro sistema?” Algunos dirán: “Bueno, esto es tan malo que la única forma en que podemos salvar el sistema es movilizar alguna base social – la pequeña burguesía, los propietarios de pequeñas empresas – y tratar de infectar a algunos de la clase trabajadora con racismo, homofobia y sexismo”. . Regresar al pasado cuando los oprimidos ni siquiera podían levantar la cabeza. Y hacer lo que sea necesario para aplastar a los sindicatos y aplastar a la clase trabajadora y dividirla”.El fascismo para la burguesía es una solución extrema y dolorosa a lo que ellos creen que es una terrible crisis existencial para su sistema, como que si no hacen algo extremo, ¡podrían perder su sistema!Creo que toda la burguesía es como Trump. Es solo que Trump lo muestra. Pero la burguesía dice las mismas cosas. Toda la mierda sexista y abominable que dice, lo dicen entre ellos. Trump se da cuenta de que hay un sector al que puede llegar, que puede movilizar sobre esa base, siendo “honesto” y llamando a atacar a los oprimidos.La pregunta es ¿qué tan profundo es su apoyo en la clase dominante? Y tiene algo de apoyo en la clase dominante. ¿Y cuál es la fuerza de su base social? Creo que estas cosas estarán en juego en las próximas semanas, a principios de noviembre y más allá.¿Quieres luchar contra estos fascistas? Los demócratas te llevarán a la destrucción. Si se depende de los demócratas, los fascistas ganarán. De hecho, uno tiene que preocuparse si Biden gana y su victoria es aceptada, lo cual es cuestionable, ¿qué hará este movimiento fascista en respuesta a él? ¿Crees que se van a quedar callados? ¿Crees que solo dirán “Perdimos”? ¿Crees que de eso se tratará el 2021?Necesitamos la verdadera estrategia para derrotar al fascismo que se está organizando sobre la base de la clase trabajadora para la lucha de clases de masas, ¡los trabajadores y los oprimidos contra el sistema capitalista! Primero, de formas pequeñas, desiguales, según el lugar donde se encuentre, pero a medida que pasa el tiempo, de formas más grandes y coordinadas. Esta es la lección que aprendieron compañeros y dirigentes del movimiento comunista durante la década de 1930 en Italia, en Alemania, en España y de diferentes maneras, en Chile y en Grecia, no solo ahora sino hace cincuenta años. Los grandes ejemplos históricos son Hitler y Mussolini, pero de ninguna manera son los únicos ejemplos.Este es un punto de inflexión para quienes se ven a sí mismos como socialistas radicales, comunistas, anticapitalistas, que se orientan hacia la clase trabajadora. Se trata de la importancia de la lucha de clases y la necesidad de hacer lo que debemos hacer para organizar nuestra clase. Eso es mucho trabajo. Pero, ¿quién dijo que algo importante no sería un gran desafío y mucho trabajo?Esa comprensión y el compromiso de hacer ese trabajo es lo que te convierte en un revolucionario. No solo una buena retórica o un buen discurso. En una crisis, ¿estás listo para entrar? ¿Estás listo para hacer lo que tienes que hacer? ¿Estás listo para dedicar tiempo, hacer los sacrificios?Teresa Gutiérrez: Sobre el fascismo, la gente debería tomar nota de esto: el camarada Fidel Castro siempre dijo que el fascismo no vendría a Estados Unidos. Y yo le creo. Tiene que ver con la gente de este país. Odiamos a este gobierno. Odiamos este sistema. Pero amamos a nuestra clase trabajadora. Y nuestra clase trabajadora no permitirá el fascismo en este país. Fidel lo creía y yo estoy de acuerdo con él.Los jóvenes saben que no hay esperanza bajo el capitalismo, y por eso que un sector de ellos estaba a favor de Bernie Sanders, que era un abierto “socialista”. Si el Partido Demócrata quisiera un símbolo de cambio, lo habrían elegido. (Sí, es un anciano blanco; ¡parece que no pueden escapar de eso!) Pero estaba a favor de Medicare para todos, y elegirlo habría sido un guiñon de ojo a la base del partido que se estaba organizando y enojado con el capitalismo.Pero los demócratas no hicieron eso y no pudieron hacerlo porque están demasiado en deuda con Wall Street. El Partido Demócrata puede parecer diferente: puede parecer más negro, más moreno, más sindicado, pero, al igual que el Partido Republicano, está en deuda con Wall Street.Workers World Party/Partido Mundo Obrero entiende que hay activistas por los derechos de los inmigrantes y activistas sindicales que tienen un poco de esperanza de que si votan por Biden, este presidente fascista, sexista y supremacista blanco será derrotado. Y debería ser derrotado. No estamos reñidos con esos sentimientos entre las personas que luchan por su comunidad. No estamos reñidos con ellos.Si el Partido Republicano y Trump han pedido a la policía y a las milicias de derecha que salgan a aterrorizar a los votantes en las urnas, creo que deberíamos estar ahí para defender a las personas negras y morenas que pueden estar votando. ¡Imagina! Los republicanos piden que la misma policía que mató a Breonna Taylor vaya a “monitorear” los sitios de votación, muchos de los cuales ya han sido cerrados por los republicanos.Defendemos el derecho de voto de los negros y morenos y de la clase trabajadora.Estoy orgulloso de nuestro Partido por asumir esa posición. Pero del 3 de noviembre al 20 de enero podría ser una tormenta de nieve en este país. Conocemos la arrogancia de Trump. Sabemos que los demócratas no son capaces de luchar contra él. Y sabemos que la única transferencia de poder que debe preocuparnos es la transferencia de poder al pueblo.Entonces, el 4 de noviembre, el día después de las elecciones, tenemos que salir a las calles para organizarnos para el alivio de COVID, detener el terror policial y todas las demás demandas de liberación de los trabajadores y los oprimidos. Ese es nuestro programa. Eso es por lo que estamos luchando. Les pedimos a todos que se unan a nosotros en esta lucha.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Growth Energy Says Senators Introduce Shortsighted Amendment

first_img SHARE Growth Energy Says Senators Introduce Shortsighted Amendment Facebook Twitter Home Energy Growth Energy Says Senators Introduce Shortsighted Amendment Facebook Twitter Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, California Senator Diane Feinstein and Arizona Senator Jeff Flake have sponsored the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says this legislation is incredibly shortsighted. He says identical legislation has been introduced in the past and has always failed to gain traction. Buis says this amendment would eviscerate the Renewable Fuel Standard and keep the U.S. addicted to foreign oil. The legislation is based on false, misleading information – blaming ethanol for an increase in the price of food – but Buis says it is completely devoid of any facts to back it up.If this amendment is adopted – he says it would embrace the status quo of the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, concede the U.S. is no longer serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and seek to pursue a policy that would result in massive upheaval and job loss in today’s booming rural economy. SHARE By Gary Truitt – Jan 16, 2015 Previous articleClosing CommentsNext articleSoy Growers Welcome USDA Deregulation of Dicamba-Tolerant Soybeans Gary Truittlast_img read more