Internationalist No. 29 (Summer 2009)  
No. 29,
Summer 2009

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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


For Workers Revolution Against the Islamic Dictatorship!
Mass Protests Rock Iran:
No to All Wings of the Mullah Regime!

U.S. Imperialism Hands Off!
For more than a week, Iran has been convulsed by mass demonstrations denouncing election fraud. Hundreds of thousands have repeatedly taken to the streets to denounce the government, which is now threatening, and beginning to carry out, a bloody crackdown. This time around, imperialist intervention is veiled: the White House feigns neutrality, the Western media go all out for the opposition, while in the background various agencies provide vital technical aid. In reality, all candidates in the presidential vote swear allegiance to the Islamic Republic, and the supposed moderate reformers are no less butchers and enemies of poor and working people than the conservative “populist” government. The situation cries out for revolutionary leadership independent of all factions of the theocracy, to wage a struggle for workers revolution against imperialism and clerical reaction. Mass Protests Rock Iran: No to All Wings of the Mullah Regime

For Workers Revolution Against Mullah Rule!
Iran’s Islamic Republic in Turmoil –
What Program for Struggle?

Free Jailed Protesters and Labor Activists!
U.S. Imperialists Hands Off!
Iran is still wracked with turmoil a month and a half after the hotly disputed presidential elections. Aggressive attacks on demonstrators by repressive forces under the command of President Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei have not been able to stop the demonstrations. So far protests have hewed to the political limits laid down by the theocratic regime, but if the struggle deepens against an increasingly militarized regime, that could be called into question. Most of the left internationally has fallen into line either behind the hard-line government or the Islamist reformers led by former prime minister Mousavi. Yet the contending camps are both committed to maintaining clerical capitalist rule. While fighting against the “electoral coup d’état,” Trotskyists say Iranian workers should seek not to install Mousavi in office but to raise democratic demands, including for a revolutionary secular constituent assembly, as part of a struggle to establish their own class rule, by bringing down the Islamic Republic and establishing a workers and peasants government that initiates socialist revolution. Iran’s Islamic Republic in Turmoil –What Program for Struggle?

Mobilize the Workers To Defeat the Putsch!
Honduras: Coup d’État in the Maquiladora Republic
Yankee Imperialism, Hands Off!
For a Federation of Workers Republics of Central America!

In the early morning of Sunday, June 28, some 200 soldiers of the Honduran army kidnapped the president of the republic, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, at gunpoint and expelled him from the country. This first coup of the presidency of Barack Obama awakened fears of a return to the “years of blood,” when Honduras served as a launching pad for Nicaraguan contras and Salvadoran death squads which sowed terror throughout Central America. The overthrow was opposed by virtually every international governmental organization, the U.S. secretary of stated claimed she condemned it, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez vowed to overthrow the usurpers, but the military mutineers are still in power. Revolutionary Marxists stress that to defeat the coup we can only count on mobilizing the working people, in Honduras as well as throughout Central America, in Mexico and the rest of the continent. Honduras: Coup d’État in the Maquiladora Republic 

Sweep Away the Coup Plotters, Generals and Capitalists!
Fight for a Workers and Peasants Government!

Honduras: The First Coup of the Obama Administration
The ouster of President Manuel Zelaya by Honduran generals at the end of June sent shudders through Latin America. We warned the day after the military takeover that those fighting against it should beware of U.S. intervention (rather than appeal for it). Whether Republicans or Democrats are in power, U.S. imperialism is still the power behind the most reactionary forces in the hemisphere. The U.S. government as a whole, not just one putative faction, was preparing the ouster of Zelaya. For the past month, Honduran trade unions, peasant and indigenous groups have been insistently mobilizing in the streets against the civilian-military dictatorship. A real general strike that shut down the maquiladoras, banana and mining sectors, cutting off Honduran exports would have a considerable impact. But that represents a whole different political orientation, organizing on a program of internationalist class struggle rather than on the bourgeois-democratic and nationalist basis that has dominated so far. The important participation of the unions in the resistance should be used not to restore conditions to what they were on June 27, but to fight against all the capitalist politicians and their system that has condemned three-quarters of the Honduran population to a life of misery.
Honduras: The First Coup of the Obama Administration

“Bolshevik Bobbies”? You’ve Got to Be Kidding
Her Majesty’s Social Democrats in Bed with the Police
Britain: The Logic of Labourite Reformism

On April 1 and 2, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown played host to delegations of politicians and bankers from 19 other leading capitalist powers at the Group of 20 (G20) summit in London. While “world leaders” huddled to plan new rounds of slashing cuts to public services and trillions in handouts to the biggest banks, tens of thousands of protesters attempted to assemble to voice their opposition to the plans of the rulers. Instead the “forces of order” gratuitously beat, slammed, shoved, manhandled and “kettled” the demonstrators. Britain’s ostensibly socialist left naturally condemned the cop violence, but how to stop it is another matter. The Socialist Party of England and Wales, the leading section of the Committee for a Workers International (CWI) led by Peter Taaffe, called for investigations and changing police “tactics.” “Bringing the police to accept responsibility,” suggested the Socialist Appeal group in the Labour Party, the mother group of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) led by Alan Woods. Both groups, epigones of the Militant tendency of Ted Grant, consider the police to be “workers in uniform.” While accurate when applied to soldiers conscripted into the army, this is dead wrong when applied to the police, which is a body of professional agents of repression. Yet no matter how much bloody evidence cops serve up to the contrary, the CWI and IMT persistently raise their “trade union rights” and lobby the labor movement to admit these deadly enemies of labor with open arms. Her Majesty’s Social Democrats in Bed with the Police (July 2009)

Obama/Democrats’ Conciliation Emboldens Reactionaries
Assassination of Courageous Doctor in Wichita:
War on Abortion Rights Escalates
Mobilize to Defend the Clinics!
Abolish All Restrictions – For Free Abortion on Demand!

The vile murder of the courageous abortion doctor George Tiller marks an escalation of the war on women’s right to abortion. The constitutional protection hangs by a thread – a single vote in the Supreme Court. The “god squads” are in a frenzy, harassing women patients and abortion providers at the clinics. The reaction of the bourgeois feminists has been to look to the Democratic Party and the government of Barack Obama in the White House. Yet the Democrats are not allies but enemies of women’s rights. Obama opposes the late-term abortions that Dr. Tiller provided while seeking “common ground” with the Bible-thumping bigots who harbor the abortion doctor killers. And the police, from local cops to the FBI, give a free pass to the assassins, whom they know well. Assassination in Wichita  – War on Abortion Rights Escalates  (11 June 2009)

Internationalist Group Statement
At Stella D’oro, the Struggle Continues
Mobilize NYC Labor to Stop the Plant Closing – No Concessions!
On July 7, after 325 days on strike, workers at the Stella D’oro bakery in the Bronx went back to work under the contract that the company management had ripped up. The scabs who had replaced them were gone. Yet while workers were glad to be back on the job, the owners viciously announced they would shut the plant for good. With their steadfastness, the strikers beat back one attack. Now they face a new assault that is just as serious. For Stella D’oro workers and all New York labor, la lucha continúa – the struggle continues! At Stella D’oro, the Struggle Continues

NYC Labor: Scab Cookies Are “Too Hot to Handle”!
Mobilize New York Unions’ Power to Win the Stella D'Oro Strike!
The struggle of the bakery workers at the Stella d’Oro cookie factory in the Bronx, on strike since last August 15, has reverberated through New York City labor. The company’s use of low-paid scab labor to run the struck factory is a threat to unions throughout the city. But paper resolutions expressing fine sentiments of labor solidarity are not enough. The fact is, NYC union officialdom has not actually done anything to use its power to win the strike. If it had, the strike would have ended in a victory months ago. We need to massively mobilize NYC labor in action to beat the union-busters at Stella D’Oro! Mobilize New York Unions’ Power to Win the Stella D'Oro Strike!

“Theoretical” Justification for Abstentionism, and Tailing After the PRD
Flim Flam from the GEM on Workers Control
In a curious “polemic” titled “Menshevik Symptomology,” the Grupo Espartaquista de México continues its customary practice consisting of stringing together scholastic arguments adorned with amalgams and sophistry, all in order to justify its opportunist and tailist policies. In practice it puts forth policies which mimic those of the bourgeois-nationalist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and its former presidential candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. It doesnt call for any workers action against the step-by-step privatization of the state oil company Pemex in the counterreform law of the Calderón government, and polemicizes against our call for workers control. These anti-dialectical theoreticians claim that this slogan of the Transitional Program can only be applied in a revolutionary situation. Yet they quote an article by Leon Trotsky saying the exact opposite of what they claim. Nowhere in its writings about Mexico and the global crisis of the capitalist economy does the GEM present a program of transitional demands to serve as a bridge between the present struggles of the working class and socialist revolution. Flim Flam from the GEM on Workers Control
From the Great Miners’ Strike of 1906 to Today: Revolutionary Leadership Is Key
Cananea: A Century of Internationalist Class Struggle
June 1, 2006 marked the centenary of the copper mine strike at Cananea. The conglomerate that now operates the mines, Grupo México, tried to prevent the commemoration; the militant miners of of Latin America’s largest copper mine responded by going on strike. Now they have gone on strike again, as they have almost every year since 1999. This history of militancy goes back to the 1906 Cananea miners strike, one of the key events leading up to the Mexican Revolution of 1910-17. Much has been written about the 1906 strike from the standpoint of Mexican nationalism. But contrary to nationalist myths, that proletarian revolt was a joint effort by anarcho-syndicalist and revolutionary minded Mexican and American workers, who carried red flags at the head of their marches. In the recent strikes as well as one hundred years ago, the key factor is the need for a class-struggle leadership, a revolutionary internationalist party. Cananea: A Century of Internationalist Class Struggle  (December 2007)

En español: Cananea: un siglo de lucha de clases internacionalista  (diciembre de 2007)

Strike in Cananea, Sombrerete, and Taxco in Fifth Month
Mexican Miners Strike for Safety, Against Anti-Worker Attacks
Copper miners in Cananea, in the northern Mexican state of Sonora, have been on strike since the end of July over the deadly dangerous working conditions and anti-worker attacks by the management and government. Cananea, the largest open-pit copper mine in the world, has been owned by the billionaire Germán Larrea and his Grupo México since it was privatized in 1990. The criminally negligent safety conditions at the mine  and smelter have been documented by an international commission of medical and industrial safety experts. The miners are facing the full force of Mexico's corporatist system of state control of labor, including the national miners’ “union” which in the past has repeatedly sided with the government and the bosses against its own members. The “independent” unions which politically support the opposition PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution) have notably failed to back the striking miners. Class-conscious workers in Mexico must defend the striking miners, while fighting to break the corporatist stranglehold, build workers unions free of all ties to the bourgeois state and capitalist parties, and forge a revolutionary workers party. Mexican Miners Strike for Safety  (15 December 2007)

En español: ¡Poner a Grupo México de rodillas con una huelga nacional! (15 de diciembre de 2007)

Police Takeover Fails – Miners Resist
Mexico: Cananea Must Not Stand Alone! For a Nationwide Miners Strike!
Down with the PRI, PAN and PRD, Parties of the Bourgeoisie!
Forge a Revolutionary Workers Party!
Once again the Mexican government of Felipe Calderón has run aground on the  resistance of the battle-hardened miners of Cananea. On January 11, as the federal Labor Board declared their six-month-old strike “non-existent” and ordered miners back to work, an army of 1,000 state and federal police invaded the mining town in the northern state of Sonora. The miners did not surrender and instead put up a stubborn resistance. As a result, a federal court issued an injunction blocking the government back-to-work order. Despite a government vendetta against it, the leadership of the corporatist mineworkers organization has followed the dictates of Mexicos corporatist labor legislation, copied from Mussolini’s fascist Italy. The Grupo Internacionalista has called for a nationwide miners strike in solidarity with the strikers, and for a national strike against the anti-worker policies of the Calderón government. In Oaxaca, Atenco, Lázaro Cárdenas in 2006, and now again in Cananea, the workers have put up a tenacious resistance against the deadly ruling-class attack. However, they are stuck in a cycle of endless resistance when there should be a struggle for power. For that, a revolutionary workers party is needed. Mexico: Cananea Must Not Stand Alone!  (1 February 2008) 

En español: México: ¡Cananea no debe estar sola! (1° de febrero de 2008)

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