No. 27 (May-June 2008)  
No. 28,
March-April 2009

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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


Bring Down the Bourgeoisie Through Workers Revolution!
World Capitalism Plunges
The global economic crisis continues to deepen, month after month. With the financial crisis that exploded in September 2008, the international credit system effectively froze. In the past five months, there has been a sharp drop in industrial production, investments, exports, consumer spending, construction and just about every other major indicator of economic activity in virtually every country of the capitalist world. In the U.S, this is already be the longest recession since World War II, and it’s not ending any time soon. In short, the recession is rapidly becoming a depression, although the capitalist rulers don’t want to say so because they fear that would set off an even worse panic. The underlying issue behind both the waves of financial speculation and now the sharp drop in the real economy is the overproduction of capital, and the associated falling rate of profit. Under capitalism, the only way the rate of profit can be restored is through the destruction of capital, by massive bankruptcies producing millions of unemployed, or by imperialist war laying waste to productive capacity. Or, as happened in the 1930s and ’40s, by both. The present global capitalist economic crisis is not cyclical or even structural but systemic. Neither monetarists nor Keynesians can solve it. But as Lenin and Trotsky insisted, capitalism will not collapse of its own accord. A series of transitional demands should be raised pointing to the need bring down the bourgeoisie and institute workers rule.  World Capitalism Plunges  (19 March 2009)
Expropriate the Banks Under a Workers Government!
From Wall Street Crisis to International Socialist Revolution
Break with the Democrats and All the Bosses’ Parties!
Build a Revolutionary Workers Party!
Over the last 15 years, there have been financial crises in a number of countries around the world: Mexico, 1994-95; Thailand, 1997; Russia, 1998; Brazil, 1999; Argentina, 2000 to 2002; the implosion of the information technology bubble in the United States in 2000-01; and from 2007 on, the credit crisis in the U.S. and around the world that began with subprime mortgages. Yet this time the entire capitalist system is at risk. The stock market panic can end up in a full-fledged crash, as in 1929, while the lack of credit is threatening to produce a new Great Depression. The economists and politicians who in the past acted as prophets of the religion of free markets are now nationalizing one financial institution after another. But the dire straits in which the masters of the U.S. economy find themselves will not by itself lead to a positive outcome for the international working class. In the 1960s and ’70s as well, the American empire was bogged down in a losing colonial war, along with great social unrest in Latin America, and a large-scale capitalist economic crisis. But nowhere was capitalism overthrown in the region. This is centrally due to the lack of a revolutionary internationalist leadership.Forging that leadership is key. From Wall Street Crisis to International Socialist Revolution  (2 October 2008)
New Commander-in-Chief, Same Bloody System of Oppression
Obama Presidency: U.S. Imperialism Tries a Makeover
Forge a Revolutionary Workers Party!
On January 20, the baton was formally passed from George Bush to Barack Obama as leader of the the most powerful imperial power in the history of the world, presently mired in losing imperialist wars and the deepest economic crisis in three-quarters of a century. For the U.S. to elect a black president reflected a considerable social change in this country founded on chattel slavery, where Jim Crow segregation continued into the 1960s – and where in the 21st century blacks and Latinos have still been prevented from voting. But this has not changed the system of imperialist capitalism one iota: with Obama at the helm, the U.S. is bombing Iraq and Afghanistan to hell, marauding in Pakistan, supplying the weaponry for Israeli slaughter in Gaza, throwing millions out of work in the U.S. while enslaving workers with starvation wages around the planet. Obama in office will preside over a racist system, and he has already become a war criminal responsible for the deaths of scores of defenseless Afghans and Iraqis. Labor leaders are having a honeymoon with Obama, counting on him to make it easier to unionize by passing the Employee Free Choice Act. Class-struggle union militants look instead to the power of the working class, demanding freedom to organize and independence of the unions from the capitalist state. Obama Presidency: U.S. Imperialism Tries a Makeover  (23 February 2009)

What “Post-Racial” America?
Barack Obama vs. Black Liberation
For Black Liberation Through Socialist Revolution!
The election of Barack Obama as president of the United States was widely hailed as the culmination of the Civil Rights movement. Obama’s campaign was based on the illusion that the United States had moved “beyond race.” The ruling class used the occasion to claim that this proves that racism in the United States has been overcome. But racist discrimination and oppression are woven into the fabric of American capitalism. Racist police brutality is ever-present. Obama and the Democratic Party political operatives who shaped his election campaign stayed away from any mention of struggle against racism. Now black people are being told to be patient. Yet patience will not bring freedom any closer for any sector of the oppressed. Gains won through struggle can also be taken back so long as social, economic and political power remains in the hands of capital. We only have to look at the history of the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. Installing a black president won’t change the racist nature of American capitalism, any more than having Colin Powell as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff  made the U.S. any less imperialist. Today, “diversity” is being promoted as an alternative to equality, which capitalism cannot provide. Genuine freedom and actual social, economic and political equality for blacks in America can only come about through a socialist revolution. Barack Obama vs. Black Liberation  (23 February 2009)
For International Working-Class Action Against the Israeli Militarists, U.S. Imperialism and Its Arab Pawns!
Zionist Mass Murder – Break the Siege, Defend Gaza!

Defend the Palestinian People – For an Arab/Hebrew Workers State in a Socialist Federation of the Near East
Bush and Obama Back Zionist Butchers – Drive U.S. Imperialism Out of Iraq, Afghanistan and the Near East! For an Internationalist Workers Party!
At midday on December 27, Israeli warplanes launched a massive bomb attack on the densely populated Gaza Strip. More than 270 Palestinians were killed as wave after wave of U.S.-supplied F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters dropped more than 100 bombs. The Israeli military said they were targeting Hamas installations, but numerous civilians were killed, including a number of children, as schools had just let out for lunch. The Zionists’ attack on downtown areas was deliberate mass murder. The Israeli slaughter was carried out with the full knowledge and a green light from its imperialist patrons in Washington, as well as U.S. client regimes such as Egypt. The Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International condemn the Israeli mass murder in Gaza and call for action by the international working class in defense of Gaza and the Palestinian people, including efforts to break the siege.  Zionist Mass Murder – Break the Siege, Defend Gaza!  (28 December 2008)
What Will It Take to Defeat the War?
Not Another Popular-Front “Peace Movement,”
Mobilize the Working Class to Fight for Power!
On June 28-29, an “Open National Antiwar Conference” was held in Cleveland, called by a newly minted National Assembly to End the Iraq War and Occupation. Over objections from the conference organizers, centrally Socialist Action, the assembly voted to change the name to include reference to the war on Afghanistan, and to emphasize the connection with U.S. backing for the Zionist occupation of Palestine. (The sponsors of the confab were so right-wing that they feared losing “unity” with Democratic Party supporters of Israel and the Afghanistan war!) What did not change at all was the popular-front character of the new outfit, tying it to the bourgeois parties despite the fig leaf of electoral independence.” Making this utterly clear, it was decided not to call a national antiwar mobilization prior to the November elections explicitly in order to court those forces who wish to aid the Democrats (and therefore want to avoid making problems for the presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama). Here is the leaflet issued by the Internationalist Group at the conference. What Will It Take to Defeat the War?  (28 June 2008)
Unionized Immigrant Workers Win $1.7 Million in Back Pay
Chicago Plant Occupation Electrifies Labor
Against Mass Layoffs: Workers, Seize the Plants – Take to the Streets!
On December 5, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. employers slashed over half a million jobs in November. At almost the same hour, the Republic Windows and Doors plant in Chicago was scheduled to close its doors. But the furious 240 workers refused to take it lying down. The largely immigrant and black workers took over Republic and occupied the plant, vowing to hold fast until they won the vacation pay and severance pay owed them. On the sixth day of the occupation, J.P. Morgan and the Bank of America, two of the biggest banks in the United States, forked over $1.75 million to pay for Republic’s legal obligations. The news of the occupation spread like wildfire through the labor movement. Many asked, could the Republic sit-in spark a wave of labor struggle using militant tactics seldom seen since the ’30s? Republic was an inspiring example of solidarity of Latino and black workers. This time, as a small group of workers won national sympathy. But if other workers react to mass layoffs and plant closures by following the example of the Republic workers in Chicago, and they should, they will be met next time by a massive wall of repression and slander. The key is to forge a class-struggle leadership that can break the stranglehold of sellout bureaucrats who chain the working class to the Democrats.
Chicago Plant Occupation Electrifies Labor  (15 December 2008)
Organize Workers Self-Defense Guards!
For Workers Control of Production!
Leftist Union Leaders Assassinated in Venezuela
Build a Leninist-Trotskyist Workers Party!
On November 27, three leftist union leaders in the Venezuelan state of Aragua – Richard Gallardo, Luis Hernández and Carlos Requena – were gunned down by an assassin. The murder came hours after the unionists had led a workers occupation of a Colombian-owned milk plant which had been brutally broken up by state police. All three were leaders of the UNT (National Workers Union) and of the USI (Socialist Left Unity), a party which has opposed attempts by the government of Hugo Chávez to impose state control of labor, and has fought the rightist opposition backed by imperialism. They may have been murdered by assassins hired by the Colombian company, by elements connected to the police of outgoing state governor, a former Chávez ally, or by supporters of a current official of the governing United Socialist Party. In any case, despite Chávez’ socialist rhetoric, the reality of the bourgeois Bolivarian “revolution” in Venezuela today is that leftist unionists are murdered while the forces of capitalist state repression back up the bosses. While many leftists have called on the Chávez government to investigate, Trotskyists call for organizing workers defense guards and imposing workers control of production. Venezuela today is stuck at a crossroads. Building a Bolshevik-type workers party based on Trotsky's program of permanent revolution is key. Leftist Union Leaders Assassinated in Venezuela  (4 December 2008)
Venezuela: Impose Workers Control on the Road to Socialist Revolution
Smash Counterrevolution with Workers Mobilization!
No Political Support to the Bourgeois Populist Chávez –
Build a Revolutionary Workers Party!
On 2 December 2007, Venezuelans voted on a proposal to reform 69 articles of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic, adopted in 1999. Both supporters of President Hugo Chávez (who voted “yes”) and rightist reactionaries (who voted “no”) portray the measures as opening the door to socialism in Venezuela. This is not the case. The various changes aimed at strengthening presidential power and instituting a series of social reforms that do not go beyond the limits of capitalism. The League for the Fourth International called on class-conscious Venezuelan workers to cast a blank ballot (abstain) on the constitutional referendum. At the same time, in the face of capitalist attempts to create artificial food shortages, the LFI urged Venezuelan workers to impose workers control on the entire agricultural/food manufacturing and marketing chain. Venezuela: Impose Workers Control  (1 December 2007)
Mobilize Workers Action to Defend Immigrant Workers!
Lynch Mob Murder on Long Island
Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants!
Just before midnight Saturday, November 8, an Ecuadorian immigrant worker, Marcelo Lucero was brutally beaten and then stabbed to death by a lynch mob of drunken teenagers in Patchogue, Long Island. This is not an isolated incident but part of a pattern of racist violence against immigrants on the island, and in Suffolk County in particular where the county executive has made immigrant-bashing his election trademark and police regularly harass Latino residents. It was the latest of a number of deadly anti-immigrant attacks taking place as the federal government intensifies deportation raids across the country. And it came only days after the election of Barack Obama, the first black president in the history of the United States. Various immigrant rights groups pretend that the Democratic president will provide immigrants with a “path to citizenship.” Yet both of the partner parties of American capitalism are in a frenzy to “control U.S. borders” and treat immigrants as the “enemy within” as they wage imperialist war from Afghanistan and Iraq to Latin America. It is up to the workers movement and all defenders of immigrant and minority rights to stop the lynchers and the racist rulers. Lynch Mob Murder on Long Island  (11 November 2008)
Mobilize Working-Class Struggle to Free Troy Now!
Abolish the Racist Death Penalty! Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!
Troy Davis Must Not Die!
There Is No Justice in the Capitalist Courts
On October 24, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a last-minute stay of execution for Troy Anthony Davis. He had been scheduled to be murdered by the state of Georgia three days later. Now the deadline has been pushed back at most to November 18, but it could come well before then. Davis, a 40-year-old black man, was convicted of the murder of a Savannah police officer in 1989. His conviction rested solely on the testimony of witnesses. Since the trial, seven of the nine eyewitnesses have recanted their testimony, several saying they were coerced by the police into fingering Davis. Three witnesses have said that another man admitted to killing the policeman. That won’t even get Troy Davis a hearing, much less set aside the guilty verdict, under the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, signed into law by Democratic President  Bill Clinton, which puts impossible limits on the admissibility of exculpatory evidence. Troy Davis is innocent, but Troy Davis is black and this is capitalist America, where black oppression is “enshrined” in the system of racist repression. The death penalty is a direct legacy of slavery. The power of the working class must be brought to bear, yet the labor bureaucracy and civil rights groups leaders are mobilizing their members and resources to vote for Democrat Barack Obama, who defends the death penalty. The Inter­na­tionalist Group calls on working people and the oppressed to mobilize to stop this legal lynching, to free Troy Davis and abolish the barbaric death penalty! Troy Davis Must Not Die!  (27 October 2008)
Canadian Federal Elections:
No Choice for the Working Class
Forge a Revolutionary Workers Party!
On October 14, voters throughout Canada have been called to the polls to elect a new bourgeois government. The reformist left has mobilized to denounce the rightist policies of the Conservative Party and drive it out of office, appealing for a “strategic vote” in order to “stop the right.” There is no doubt that the Tory Party of Stephen Harper is deeply reactionary, but the Liberal Party has been the pillar of capitalist class domination of Canada ever since Confederation in 1867. It was the Liberals who have led an all-sided offensive against the social gains of the working class since the 1990s. The New Democratic Party, right-wing social-democratic and Anglo-chauvinist to the core, has come out for a coalition with the Liberal Party, while the bourgeois-nationalist Bloc Québécois supports the occupation of Afghanistan by the Canadian Army (throwing in a few “humanitarian” concerns). The candidacies of the two small Stalinist parties are utterly reformist. The League for the Fourth International does not support, even critically, any of the parties presenting candidates in this election. The real solution lies in building a revolutionary Leninist-Trotskyist workers party that seeks to rally the most combative sectors of the working class at the head of all the oppressed in the struggle to overthrow capitalism. Canadian Federal Elections: No Choice for the Working Class  (9 October 2008)
Bring Down the Bourgeoisie Through Workers Revolution!
No to the Bailout of the Capitalist Speculators!
Down with the Dictatorship of Finance Capital!
The financial crisis that has been heating up since early 2007 reached the boiling point in late September. Credit markets virtually stopped functioning. A full-blown panic swept stock markets worldwide. The U.S. economy is in the throes of a recession that could turn into a Depression lasting for years. In these dire straits, the Wall Street speculators who set off this crisis are demanding that the government rescue them with a bailout priced at $700 billion. The actual costs will be far higher, a trillion dollars or more. Meanwhile, the Democrats are pushing hardest for the Bush bailout of the banks. Presidential candidate Barack Obama blames “greed” for the crisis on Wall Street (capitalism without greed?) and says there must be no “blank check to Washington” – meaning he's for putting in a few conditions as window dressing. Following in the Democrats’ footsteps, the AFL-CIO labor bureaucrats called a demo for No Blank Check for Wall Street. Yet no amount of regulation will stop the boom-bust cycle of capitalism. Meanwhile unemployment lines are growing and a million families were thrown out of their homes by bank foreclosures in the last year. While the fat cats, Democrats and bureaucrats are all going for the Bush bailout to prop up U.S. capitalism, revolutionary Marxists oppose this trillion-dollar giveaway to the Wall Street speculators, calling instead for a program of transitional demands leading to the expropriaton of the banks and the entire bourgeoisie through workers revolution. No to the Bailout of the Capitalist Speculators!  (25 September 2008)

Exchange on Transitional Demands  (26 September 2008)
Initiative for Haitian-Dominican Solidarity Against Deportations
New York Protest Against Persecution of Haitian Workers in the Dominican Republic
On August 7, more than 75 people joined in an emergency picket in New York City, organized by an Initiative for Haitian-Dominican Solidarity Against Deportations. This was the first time in recent years that groups representing immigrants from both sides of the Caribbean island and other defenders of immigrants rights joined together in protest against the racist treatment of Haitians in the Dominican Republic. For decades, the Dominican ruling class has extracted superprofits from the near-slave labor of Haitian workers. Then after viciously exploiting them, the Dominican bosses call in the military to dump them back across the border.  The protest was sparked by statements to the press by the Dominican director of immigration that Haitian immigration had become “unbearable,” that recent immigrants should “return to Haiti” and that Dominican president Leonel Fernández should make this a priority in his third term, beginning August 16. The protesters declared that everyone, in the U.S. as well as the D.R. should have equal rights. The Internationalist Group has regularly participated in monthly protests initiated by Grassroots Haiti in front of the Dominican consulate, and in organizing the August 7 united-front initiative. The protest received prominent coverage in Dominican and Puerto Rican newspapers. NYC Protest Against Persecution of Haitian Workers in Dominican Republic  (August 2008)

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