Internationalist No. 23 (April-May 2006)  
No. 25,
January-February 2007

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked\

Click on image to left for pdf version of complete issue.


Struggle to Forge a Vanguard Is Key 
A Revolution Is Brewing In Mexico
As 2007 dawns, Mexico is still reeling from ten months of sharp class conflict. A new government has taken office vowing to employ “the full weight of the state” against those who defy it. Felipe Calderón, the reactionary president imposed by the Federal Elections Tribunal over massive protests, wants above all to assure Wall Street and Washington that he will “preserve economic stability.” The appetites of the head of the right-wing National Action Party (PAN) for a “strong state” are evident, but he comes into office as the weakest government of any in recent history. Not only did protesters shut down the capital’s main square and main thoroughfare for six weeks last summer protesting electoral fraud, workers, peasants and teachers repeatedly defeated police and troops in a series of pitched battles over the last year. Although a six-month mass strike in the southern state of Oaxaca ended with an eruption of cop violence and hundreds of arrests, the tens of thousands of strikers are unbowed. The dramatic clashes of 2006 have sown the seeds of revolution, as the strikes of 1906-07 signaled the coming of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. But the key element for a victorious outcome is absent: a revolutionary vanguard with the program and determination to sweep away the inhuman exploitation and mass poverty of capitalism and set out on the road of international socialist revolution.  A Revolution Is Brewing In Mexico  (10 January 2007) 

State of Siege in Oaxaca, Arbitrary Arrests in Mexico City
Break Calderón’s “Firm Hand” With Workers Struggle
We Demand Immediate Release of the Prisoners and Presentation of the Disappeared Alive
The new Mexican government of Felipe Calderón is starting out under the sign of mass repression. Following the brutal crackdown of November 25, when federal police attacked participants in a peaceful mass march  in Oaxaca, a state of  siege has been imposed on the state. Currently the number of those arrested is estimated at 500, of whom some 300 are still behind bars. Another 100 were jailed in previous weeks, some 60 disappeared and 21 opponents of the bloody Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz killed. Now the manhunt has spread to the capital with the arrest on December 4 of Flavio Sosa Villavicencio, the most prominent spokesman for the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO). Shortly after, the murderers of the American journalist-activist Bradley Will were released. The Grupo Internacionalista is calling for a national strike against repression and for workers actions internationally to demand the immediate release of all those arrested and the presentation of the dozens of disappeared alive..  Break Calderón’s “Firm Hand” With Workers Struggle  (8 December 2006) 

For a National Strike Against Repression
State of Siege in Oaxaca, Preparations in Mexico City
As Mexico prepares to hand over power from President Vicente Fox, of the right-wing clerical National Action Party (PAN), to fellow PAN member Felipe Calderón, the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca is under a state of siege, while Mexico City will awaken December 1 under a virtual police state. In Oaxaca, a peaceful march of tens of thousands of opponents of the bloody governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was brutally repressed by the militarized Federal Preventive Police (PFP) and PRI paramilitaries. Combing the streets for anyone suspected of being a sympathizer of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), the police arrested more than 140 people in the long night of November 25. Since then, cops are searching houses, public transport and kidnapping people on the street. The Grupo Internacionalista warns that this is class repression by a capitalist regime which fears an uprising of the exploited and oppressed. The GI calls for a national strike against repression, the formation of workers defense committees, a break with all the capitalist parties and forging a revolutionary workers party.  State of Siege in Oaxaca, Preparations in Mexico City  (30 November 2006) 

The Lynching of Saddam Hussein
U.S. Rips Apart Iraq
The execution of former Iraqi strong man Saddam Hussein on December 30, ordered by a puppet court orchestrated by the U.S. occupiers, was a hideous display of imperialist barbarism reminiscent of the Middle Ages. It was unadorned state murder carried out on the orders of the conquerors who have subjugated the oil-rich and strategically important Near Eastern country. It may also be a watershed in the history of Iraq, marking the “tipping point” after which it spirals irrevocably downward into a vortex of sectarian and communal strife.

Who Gave Butchers of My Lai, Torturers of Abu Ghraib License to Kill?
What an Obscenity! U.S. Imperialist Mass Murderers
Execute Capitalist Dictator Hussein
The imperialist press reports that the execution of Saddam Hussein is imminent. Saddam was a capitalist butcher and brutal dictator. While U.S. rulers use this as a battle cry for their imperialist invasion and colonial occupation of Iraq, many of Hussein's most heinous crimes were carried at the behest of, and sometimes on direct orders from, Washington. What an obscenity – the world’s biggest war criminals, the torturers of Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, claiming the “right” to hang Hussein after a sham trial that even the imperialist “human rights” groups denounced as a travesty! Imperialist Mass Murderers Execute Capitalist Dictator Hussein  (29 December 2006) 

Working-Class Opposition as Prodi Continues Berlusconi Policies
Italy: Popular Front of Imperialist War and Anti-Labor Attacks
Ever since the “Unione” – Italy’s governing coalition of assorted ex-Christian Democrats, ex-Stalinists and Greens – came into office last April, it has relentlessly pursued two goals: slashing labor costs at home to make Italian industry “competitive” and militarily occupying foreign countries according to the dictates of U.S. imperialism (and its Israeli allies). Prime minister Romano Prodi depends heavily on the Rifondazione Comunista (PRC Party of Communist Refounding) led by Fausto Bertinotti to carry through these plans. The reformist PRC leaders desperately want to please their capitalist masters, but there has been growing working-class opposition to their program of cutbacks, attacks on pensions, privatizations and war. Immigrant workers are particularly targeted. Despite the numerous radical leftists and syndicalist labor militants, Italian capitalism is intact. Workers have shown their willingness to fight. What is lacking is above all a Leninist-Trotskyist workers party to lead the struggle for socialist revolution. Italy: Popular Front of Imperialist War and Anti-Labor Attacks  (31 December 2006) 

Sean Bell Gunned Down on His Wedding Day –
Mobilize Workers’ Power Against Police State Repression!

50 Bullets: Racist NYPD Cop Execution, Again
In the early morning hours of November 25, a squad of New York City police surrounded a car of three unarmed black and Latino men, and unleashed a hail of 50 bullets. The killer cops murdered the driver, Sean Bell, on the day he was to marry his fiancée and badly wounded Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield. As the New York Police Department desperately tries to find someone to frame for the bloody crime their cops perpetrated, angry demonstrators recalled the 1999 murder of Amadou Diallo in the doorway of his home by a police death squad that fired off 41 shots. Democratic politicians rushed to line up behind Republican mayor Bloomberg to head off mass protests and keep a lid on New York. What’s needed is to mobilize power – the power of the multiracial working class along with black, immigrant and other oppressed “minority” populations who together are the overwhelming majority of New York – to put a stop to police brutality. And that will take nothing less than socialist revolution.  50 Bullets: Racist NYPD Cop Execution, Again  (5 December 2006) 

Statement of the Internationalist Group to Sept. 15 Oakland Rally
Mobilize Workers Power to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!
Mumia Abu-Jamal is the foremost class-war prisoner in the United States today. He was framed and sentenced to death for his calls for revolution. The threat of execution continues to hang over his head 25 years later because the racist rulers are determined to silence the eloquent “voice of the voiceless.” The Internationalist Group, section of the League for the Fourth International, has fought since its inception for workers action to free Mumia Abu-Jamal. Our comrades of the Liga Quarta-Internacionalista do Brasil in April 1999 initiated the first labor action for Mumia’s freedom. Mumia’s conviction was no aberration but the normal working of the legal system designed by the slave masters to keep black slaves in the chains of perpetual bondage. We call not for a “new trial” by this bourgeois injustice system which has condemned thousands of innocents to die, while U.S. imperialism lays waste to Afghanistan and Iraq. Rather, we appeal to the working class to mobilize its tremendous class power to free Mumia and defeat the imperialist war abroad and the bosses’ war against the poor, minorities, working people and immigrants here.  Mobilize Workers Power to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!  (15 September 2006) 

UFCW Should Shut Down Meatpackers Nationwide!
Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants!

Migra Arrests Over 1,200 in Packing Plant Raids
On December 12, federal immigration (migra) cops swooped down on Swift & Co. meat packing plants in six states, arresting almost 1,300. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICEE) division of the Homeland Security Department bragged that they were the largest workplace raids ever in U.S. history. Around the Midwest anger and anguish boiled over as workers and family members cried out, “What about the kids?” Five of the six plants are unionized, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union has gone to court asking for an injunction. But much more is needed: the UFCW should shut down every unionized packing plant in the country, and all of labor should mobilize in defense of immigrant workers under racist government attack.  Migra Arrests Over 1,200 in Packing Plant Raids  (13 December 2006) 

Walkout at Smithfield Packing Beats Back Attack on Immigrant Workers
North Carolina Labor Revolt
On November 16, the workers at Smithfield Packing Company in Tar Heel, North Carolina scored a victory as over 1,000 black and Latino workers went on strike to defend immigrant workers fired because of problems with their documents. The successful walkout at the non-union plant was fueled by mounting frustration over the harassment, degradation and horrendous working conditions all workers at the plant endure. Conditions at the plant come right out of the pages of Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle about the Chicago meatpacking industry a century ago. By winning the jobs back for 75 immigrant workers, the two-day strike showed that it is possible to resist the federal government’s anti-immigrant witch-hunt. It also overcame management divide and conquer tactics of setting one ethnic group against another. Smithfield workers have shown great willingness to struggle. To win the battle for unionization and defend workers rights, what’s needed is a class-struggle leadership that doesn’t play by the bosses’ rules. Labor’s gotta play hardball to win.  North Carolina Labor Revolt  (December 2006)  
For a National Strike to Demand: Police and Armed Forces Out!
Oaxaca Is Burning: Showdown in Mexico
Down with the PRI, PAN and PRD! Break with López Obrador
And His Popular Front! Form Workers Defense Committees!
The militant strike and mass rebellion that has convulsed Oaxaca and is now shaking all of Mexico has entered its decisive phase. The invasion of the state by the federal police and armed forces has unleashed a wave of opposition throughout the country and is reverberating internationally. It is clear to everyone that the military deployment has not had, at all, the intended effect of intimidating the population. The Grupo Internacionalista has called for key sections of the working class to launch a national strike against the repression. What is standing in the way of the necessary mobilization is above all the popular front around the PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution) and its standard bearer Manuel López Obrador. This bourgeois party seeks to contain the struggle in order to defend the interests of capital. Then comes the massacre. The key for Oaxacan teachers and their allies in opening the road to a revolutionary uprising of the workers, peasants and all the exploited and oppressed is to struggle for proletarian independence from all bourgeois parties and politicians. Oaxaca Is Burning  (10 November 2006) 


“Comrade President” Capitalizes on the Confidence of Washington and Wall Street
Brazil: Lula vs. Alckmin, Candidates of Capital Against the Workers
On October 1, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva fell short of a majority of the votes on the first round of Brazil’s presidential election. The accumulation of scandals cut into his support from the middle class of São Paulo. For the second round, Lula fell back on his base among the poor of the Northeast, which had benefitted from government welfare programs. But the key was support from Wall Street and top Brazilian capitalists, who made bundles of money hand under the government led by Lula’s Workers Party (PT). Now that he has been re-elected it will be war on the gains of the working class. The Liga Quarta-Internacionalista declared that there was no choice for the workers between Lulas bourgeois popular front and the rightist candidate Geraldo Alckmin, or the candidate of the “Left Front,” Heloísa Helena. The Catholic socialist and pseudo-Trotskyist often attacked Lula from the right, opposing womens right to abortion and denouncing peasants for invading Congress to demand agrarian reform. Unlike the rest of the Brazilian left, the LQB has consistently opposed voting for any candidates of a popular front. Brazil: Lula vs. Alckmin, Candidates of Capital Against the Workers  (October 2006) 

“Fight the Right” Rhetoric and Apologies for “Labor” Death Squads
GEM: Caboose of the Mexican Popular Front
For the past six months, the Mexican working class has been the target of a series of murderous assaults by the forces of “law and order,” in each case carried out by police under the orders of all three of the major capitalist parties, the PAN, PRI and PRD. By railing against “The Attacks of the PAN,” the Grupo Espartaquista de México is trying to sidle up to supporters of the bourgeois populist Party of the Democratic Revolution and its presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). Last year the GEM gave backhanded support to AMLO by opposing the lifting of his executive immunity (which didnt stop him from running for president). The GEM and its mentors in the Spartacist League/U.S. have been moving to the right for some time, but in the heat of the convulsive class battles that have shaken Mexico this year, their torturous formulas have led them to imitate classical popular-front politics, and worse. In attempting to force an American framework on semi-colonial Mexico, pretending that the corporatist labor bosses appointed by the capitalist state are just a bunch of sellout union bureaucrats, they end up apologizing for “labor” death squads that are literally killing strikers in Oaxaca.   GEM: Caboose of the Mexican Popular Front  (7 October 2006)  

Spirited Solidarity Picket in New York
“Oaxaca Teachers, We Are With You!”
On September 21, some 150 teachers, professors, trade-unionists, students, leftists and community activists joined in an energetic picket outside Mexico’s Consulate General in New York to “Protest Repression in Oaxaca, Mexico – Defend the Striking Teachers.” The picketers were demonstrating militant solidarity with the 70,000 teachers in the southern Mexican state on strike since last May 22, who have braved massive police repression and death squads that have killed at least five strike supporters in the last month. “Maestros oaxaqueños, estamos con ustedes” (Oaxaca teachers, we are with you), the NYC demonstrators chanted. The chant was so loud, in fact, that it was heard all the way to Oaxaca, via a live broadcast from the picket line to the strikers’ station, Radio Plantón (Sit-In Radio). Over several weeks, union activists from the Professional Staff Congress and the United Federation of Teachers gathered support for the protest in support of the Oaxaca teachers. The Internationalist Group and the Internationalist Clubs at CUNY played an important role in initiating and building the picket along with activists in the PSC and UFT. “Oaxaca Teachers, We Are With You!”  (21 September 2006) 

To contact the League for the Fourth International or its sections, send an e-mail to: internationalistgroup@msn.com