No. 33 (Summer 2010)  
No. 33,
Summer 2011

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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


Defend Libya – Defeat U.S./U.N./NATO War!
Imperialist Marauders in the Quicksands of North Africa
“Antiwar” Social-Democrats Back Pro-Imperialist Rebels,
Paving the Way for Bombing
The United States and its NATO allies have embarked on a war of imperialist domination against Libya – yet despite their overwhelming firepower, they could soon be caught in the shifting sands of North Africa. The initial pretext was to protect civilian lives, but that cover story was soon blown. The purpose of the war is to topple (and possibly murder) Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi and nail down imperialist control of this strategically placed, oil-rich North African and Mediterranean country – or failing that, to dismember it. From the beginning the uprising in Libya, although it fed on the frustrations of youth and working people with the authoritarian Qaddafi government, was in fact led by pro-imperialist forces. The prominent role of Islamists, many of them former members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is perfectly evident. The monarchists and civilian and military leaders with CIA ties of long standing, play a leading role. So long as it was a civil war between them and the Qaddafi regime, Trotskyists took no sides. But since the French/British/U.S. began military operations under the cover of the United Nations and now formally run by NATO, the Libyan insurgents are effectively agents of imperialist domination who must be defeated.  Imperialist Marauders in the Quicksands of North Africa  (8 April 2011)

Greek Revolt Against Bankers’ Diktat
Upheaval in Europe Over Capitalist Austerity
The Only Solution: Europe-Wide Socialist Revolution!

After a series of workers struggles in 2010 in Greece, France and elsewhere, and the revolts in North Africa earlier this year, a new wave of mass struggle has broken out in Europe in response to the drive by the capitalist rulers to saddle the workers with the costs of the global economic crisis. On June 5, 100,000 gathered in Syntagma Square, followed by several days of rolling strikes in state-owned companies, a one-day general strike on June 15, and a two-day general strike – the first since the overthrow of the military junta in 1974 – on June 28-29 as parliament voted the austerity/privatization package. But the PASOK government succeeded in ramming its bill through parliament. Despite hundreds of thousands in the streets and thousands camped out in central squares, capital is winning round two of its offensive against labor. With the parliamentary “left” implementing the capitalists’ program, the “extra-parliamentary” left calls for limp trade-union tactics (more marches and symbolic “general strikes”) that are doomed to failure, while default and exit from the euro would hit workers with runaway inflation and even more massive unemployment. The only real answer to the capitalist crisis is Europe-wide socialist revolution.
Upheaval in Europe Over Capitalist Austerity (12 July 2011)
Portugal, Spain: Unemployed Youth Take the Plazas
Rebellion of the Outraged
Not Empty “Real Democracy,” But Fight for Workers Power!
For the last two months, across southern Europe hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to denounce economic policies which have produced misery on a scale not seen since the last Great Depression in the 1930s. Rather than limiting themselves to the usual mass marches, from Portugal and Spain in the west to Greece in the east, tens of thousands, mainly youth, have occupied city centers for weeks in an upheaval that has taken the name of los indignados, “the outraged.” What particularly sparked their rage is that in all three countries, the ruinous policies have been imposed by governments calling themselves “socialist,” who were elected because they claimed to defend the population against the plutocrats. The initiators of the Spanish protests have seized on this sense of betrayal to pose the issue as one of “democracy,” saying that the rules must be wrong in a system where no matter what the people vote for, governments obey the dictates of the banks. With such bourgeois electoral demands and populist appeals, the
“movement” for “Real Democracy Now” has attracted some unsavoury rightists. But although many protesters say today they are not “against the system,” in the course of the struggle some will discover that the root of the problem is capitalism. Rebellion of the Outraged (12 July 2011)

Barack Obama’s 2012 Reelection Campaign Has Begun
U.S./NATO Murder, Inc.
On May Day weekend, the United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization went on a killing spree in North Africa and South Asia. On April 30, NATO warplanes bombed a residential compound in Tripoli where Muammar Qaddafi was present in a blatant but unsuccessful attempt to murder the Libyan leader. The next day, U.S. commandos assaulted a residence in a suburb of the Pakistani capital and proceeded to execute Osama bin Laden. The U.S. and its NATO imperialist allies are in the assassination business big time. The last thing the U.S. wanted is to have Osama bin Laden alive in its possession, and it sure didn’t want him in front of a court where he could tell all about how he and the CIA and the Pakistani ISI worked hand-in-glove in their covert war against the Soviet “infidels” in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Bin Laden is held responsible for the deaths of some 2,600 civilians in the 11 September 2001 attack on NYC’s World Trade Center, but the U.S. has wantonly slaughtered far, far more innocent civilians in nearly a decade of war since then. The “war on terror” is in reality a war to terrorize the world into submission to the dictates of U.S. imperialism, and it
’s part of the capitalist war being waged against poor, oppressed and working people here. U.S./NATO Murder, Inc.  (11 May 2011)

Break from the Democrats and All Capitalist Parties!
Unchain Labor’s Power – Build a Revolutionary Workers Party!
What It Will Take to Defeat the War on Public Workers Unions
Against Mass Layoffs: Labor and Students, Shut NYC Down!
Across the United States and around the world, labor is under frontal attack by capital. In the worst economic crisis since the last depression, the bankers and capitalists who set it off are trying to make their victims pay. Wisconsin teachers and most government workers have had their right to collective bargaining canceled. This marks a decisive moment for unions across the country, equivalent to Ronald Reagan’s destruction of the PATCO air controllers union in 1981. And it is not just coming from the far right: in New York, liberal Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo is spearheading attacks on public sector unions. On May 12, a march on Wall Street was called by NYC labor, but while protesting threatened teacher layoffs and budget cuts, its political message was to support the DemocraticParty. The labor misleaders back the capitalist system while the entire capitalist class is waging war on labor. In Wisconsin, the union tops squelched momentum for a general strike. It is necessary to break with the Democrats and oust the bureaucrats, to forge a class-struggle workers party. In the face of mass layoffs, labor and students should shut NYC down with a citywide strike, and shred the no-strike Taylor Law. 
What It Will Take to Defeat the War on Public Workers Unions  (12 May 2011)

Defeat Governor’s Legislative Coup d’État
Wisconsin: For a General Strike Now!
Break with the Democrats, Republicans and All Capitalist Parties!
Build a Class-Struggle Workers Party!
A law challenging the very existence of unions of government workers has just been rammed through the legislature in Wisconsin. In addition, wages have been slashed by up to 10 percent to make up for cuts to health insurance and pensions. The labor movement and workers nationwide and internationally are vividly aware of the stakes. There has been a lot of talk in the last three weeks about a general strike. The Wisconsin South Central Labor Federation even voted to authorize one. But now that the moment of truth has arrived, the union bureaucrats have gotten cold feet. They are doing everything to prevent strike action and instead to divert anger at this vicious law into a drive to recall Republican senators, to be replaced by Democrats, whose “alternative” budget bill would also have drastically slashed wages and benefits. There should be no delay: this is the hour for powerful labor action. A general strike is needed to shut down Wisconsin now! Wisconsin: For a General Strike Now!  (13 March 2011)

Republicans, Democrats Are the Parties of Capital
We Need a Class-Struggle Workers Party!
Wisconsin: Mobilize Workers’ Power to Defeat Union-Busting Bill!
On February 17, thousands of protesting workers and students occupied the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison while tens of thousands surrounded the building for the third day in a row. They were seeking to block the vicious “budget repair” bill being rammed through the state legislature by Governor Scott Walker, which would eliminate the right to collective bargaining for almost all public employees. Similar measures are in the works in Ohio and elsewhere. The assault on labor is not just some right-wing Tea Party affair – it is a bipartisan capitalist attack. But its being met by the most massive labor mobilization in the United States in years. What’s happening in Wisconsin shows that the working class is mad as hell and ready to fight. It will take nothing less than a statewide general strike to defeat labor hater Walker, yet union leaders block militant action as they chain workers to the Democrats. We have the power to stop Walker in his tracks. To mobilize that power it’s necessary to break with the parties and politicians of capital and build a workers party that can wage this class struggle through to victory. Wisconsin: Mobilize Workers’ Power to Defeat Union-Busting Bill!  (18 February 2011)

(19 February 2011)
You Can’t Fight the Union-Busters Without Fighting Capitalism
Lessons of Chicago CORE
CTU “Reformers” Bow to Democrats, Accept Layoffs –
Build a Class-Struggle Opposition!

On July 30, a national “Save Our Schools March” was held in Washington, called by a host of liberal education luminaries and both national teachers unions. As the unions (AFT and NEA) go along with the corporate education
reform program, at most seeking to limit the damage, a number of dissident groups have sprung up. The model is the Community of Rank and File Educators (CORE) in Chicago, which ousted the notoriously corrupt incumbent union tops in June 2010. Yet once in office, CORE has followed the same script as its predecessor, doing nothing about mass teacher layoffs except a court suit on procedural issues. This spring, the Chicago Teachers Union president endorsed an Illinois law gutting teachers right to strike. Such sellouts are not isolated incidents but universal for reformist opposition groups who have won office in various unions. While leftists often play a key role in organizing them, their program of simple trade unionism is impossible in this epoch of capitalist decay, when union gains, and unions themselves, are being systematically destroyed. It is necessary to build a class-struggle opposition to take on capitalism and the capitalist parties which are waging a class war on public education, now spearheded by Democrat Obama. Lessons of Chicago CORE (30 July 2011)
Feds Break Into Homes, Seize Documents, Subpoena Activists
Denounce FBI Raids on Leftist Antiwar and Solidarity Activists
Imperialist War Abroad Means Police-State Repression “At Home”
Early in the morning on September 24, agents of the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) barged into eight homes in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Chicago, Illinois, breaking down doors in a coordinated raid against leftist activists. More than a dozen people were served subpoenas ordering them to appear before a grand jury supposedly investigating “material support to terrorism.” Those targeted include University of Minnesota and University of Illinois staff members and unionists who have been outspoken in opposition to U.S. policies. They include activists associated with Students for a Democratic Society, the Colombia Action Network and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO-Fightback) group. The labor movement and all defenders of democratic rights should respond with powerful mobilizations to denounce this political persecution, the latest in the “home front” of the imperialist “war on terror.” Denounce FBI Raids on Leftist Antiwar and Solidarity Activists  (28 September 2010) 

Mobilize the Power of the Working Class to Defeat the Militarized Popular Front
Brazil: Reformists Tail After “Strike” By Militarized Firemen in Rio de Janeiro
In June, the firemen of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro launched what was advertised as a “strike” for higher salaries. In fact it was a mutiny by an armed force of state repression seeking to tie its pay and raise its military prestige to that of elite units of the state police. Unlike in many countries where firemen are part of the civil administration, in Brazil they are auxiliary military forces who play an important role in repression, particularly of the poor black population of the favelas and morros (hillside slum areas). In addition to participating in military/police occupations of the poor bairros, many firemen lead milícias, death squads which terorize these areas. The main reformist tendencies to the left of the governing Workers Party ostentatiously supported the action of the militarized firemen, while smaller centrist groups called for
demilitarization and even disarming of the Corps. Both spread democratic illusions in repressive forces which are the backbone of the capitalist state, and must be swept away by workers revolution. The Liga Quarta-Internacionalista do Brasil and the Comitê de Luta Classista trade-union tendency fought against linking an ongoing Rio teachers strike to the movement of the firemen. Demanding the ouster of any and all police the armed fist of the bourgeoisie from the unions, the LQB made history in 1996 by doing this in the municipal workers union of the steel city of Volta Redonda.  Brazil: Reformists Tail After “Strike” By Militarized Firemen in Rio de Janeiro (30 June 2011)

Canadian Federal Election
Not Maple Leaf Social Democracy But Fight for Workers Power!
NDP: Party of Imperialist War on Libya, Capitalist Austerity “at Home”
Forge a Revolutionary Workers Party!
With Canadian fighter jets flying bombing Libya, under the NATO operational command of a Canadian general, Canada went to the polls on May 2. With a slight increase in its share of the vote and less than 40 percent of the total, the Conservative Party gained a majority in parliament. The Liberal Party took a beating while the Bloc Québécois was almost wiped out. The most right-wing Canadian government in memory will push through a program of capitalist austerity, a beefed up military and a crackdown on “crime”: more cuts, more jets and more jails. While the Tories promise to go at it with a vengeance, the media and the left focused on the surge in the vote for the New Democratic Party, the so-called “orange wave.” Actually, the NDP are more akin to “parlor pinks,” a collection of well-behaved social democrats who are not about to make waves in Ottawa. With a majority of its parliamentary caucus from Quebec, the double-talk on sovereignty from these Canadian nationalists will be exposed. Most of the opportunist “socialist
left called to vote for the NDP, and the Stalinist/ex-Stalinist reformists will join them in buzzing around this social-imperialist war party. Not Maple Leaf Social Democracy But Fight for Workers Power! (27 May 2011)

CUNY Board of Trustees Backs Down After Denial
of Honorary Degree Provokes Outrage

Witch Hunt Against Tony Kushner Spiked
McCarthyite witch hunting in academia was spotlighted this month when the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York overturned a faculty recommendation to award an honorary degree to renowned playwright Tony Kushner. The motive for this unprecedented action by the CUNY Board was Kushner’s defense of the Palestinian people oppressed by Zionist Israel. This was the second time in the space of a few months that blacklisting by officials of the City University of New York caused an uproar. Class Struggle Education Workers and the CUNY Internationalist Clubs protested this latest attack, saying that it is the Board of Trustees itself that is the real culprit and should be abolished and replaced by democratically elected representatives of students, teachers and workers. A review of Kushner's richly rewarding play highlights his discussion of Marxist ideas, dialectics, alienation of labor, the origins of the struggle against the oppression of homosexuals, sexuality, reform and revolution, and much more.
Witch Hunt Against Tony Kushner Spiked  (21 May 2011)

“War on Drugs” = Capitalist War Against Workers and the Poor
Mexico: Against Militarization, Fight for Workers Revolution
Forge a Revolutionary Workers Party!

In early May, a March for Peace with Justice and Dignity arrived in Mexico City demanding an end to the violence which during the first for years of Felipe Calderón
s presidency has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people. In recent months, clandestine mass graves have been discovered holding hundreds of dead, many of them Central American immigrants. Although diverse sectors are participating int he march, including unions and leftists, they all call on the state to put an end to the violence. Yet the source of the violence is precisely the capitalist state, and in order to combat it we must wage a class war against all wings of the bourgeoisie. Revolutionary communists call for the elimination of all laws against drugs, for full citizenship rights for all immigrants, for the expulsion of imperialist agents and, in times of sharp class struggle, for the formation of workers self-defense groups. Ultimately, the only way to put an end to the violence perpetrated by the ruling class and its state is through socialist revolution extending into the imperialist heartland. Mexico: Against Militarization, Fight for Workers Revolution (7 May 2011)

Qaddafi and the Imperialists: On and Off
Back in the early 1970s, shortly after he took power, kicked the U.S. out of its gigantic air base and set up a National Oil Corporation, Muammar Qaddafi was hailed by much of the left as an “anti-imperialist.” Despite his rhetoric, from the outset the Libyan leader was prepared to cut a deal with U.S. imperialism – and did, whenever it would let him. The U.S. spy agencies early on sized up Qaddafi as a fanatical anti-communist, as he helped thwart a coup by left-wing officers in Sudan. In the 1980s the Reagan administration, with its close ties to the oil companies, repeatedly tried to assassinate the Libyan leader, killing hundreds of Libyans in the process. But from the mid-1990s on, Qaddafi sought to ally with Washington in fighting Islamic fundamentalism. He also invited in imperialist corporations, followed economic policies advocated by the International Monetary Fund and staunched the flow of African immigrants to West Europe. Today both the Libyan regime in Tripoli and the opposition in Benghazi are seeking the blessing of Washington. Trotskyists oppose both politically while defending Libya and seeking to defeat the imperialist onslaught. Qaddafi and the Imperialists: On and Off  (April 2011)
From Messengers for Qaddafi to Cat’s Paws for Imperialist Intervention
Libya and the Opportunist Left
Over the decades authentic Trotskyists have defended Libya against imperialist attack while giving no political support to Muammar al-Qaddafi. For opportunist leftists in the early years, however, it was enough that Qaddafi taunted Washington. They portrayed the Libyan leader as a paragon of the “Arab Revolution.” If some of Qaddafi's erstwhile leftist cheerleaders are conflicted, it is not because they suddenly discovered Marxist principles but because the various constituencies they are tailing are in conflict. Today various social democrats champion the cause of the monarchist, Islamist, ex-Qaddafi and pro-imperialist Libyan rebels in the name of a “democratic revolution.” Their claim that only a few leaders at the top are begging for the imperialists to bomb Qaddafi to oblivion is a self-serving myth. Their paper opposition to Western military intervention is an attempt to cover the fact that these reformists shamefully paved the way for the imperialist attack. Some go even further and support, or refuse to oppose, imperialist intervention. Even “discussing” with such open social-imperialists is an abomination: it is not only necessary to fight against imperialist intervention tooth and nail, it is an obligation to defend a semi-colonial country under attack, whatever the pretext or its internal regime, and to seek the defeat of the imperialist attackers, no matter how “democratic” or “humanitarian” they claim their mission to be. Libya and the Opportunist Left  (April 2011)
Defend Libya Against Imperialist Attack!
Defeat U.S./U.N./NATO Assault!
Defeat the Monarchist/Islamist Opposition, Cat’s Paw for the U.S.!
For Workers Revolution Against Qaddafi Police State!
The United Nations Security Council has voted to launch military action against Libya in the guise of “protecting civilians.” After weeks of the Western media churning out war propaganda and liberals clamoring for “humanitarian” intervention, the U.N. issued a declaration of imperialist war. The alleged “humanitarian” concerns are the same kind of smokescreen used to justify the U.S./NATO attack on Yugoslavia in 1995 and 1999, as well as the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, supposedly (among other pretexts) to defend the Kurds and Shiites. The “no fly zone” and air strikes to bomb Libyan forces authorized by the Security Council resolution represent a major shift from what was a civil war between the brutal bourgeois Qaddafi regime in Tripoli and a monarchist/Islamist/pro-imperialist opposition in Benghazi. Now, in the face of the U.N. action and giving no political support to Qaddafi, revolutionaries and all opponents of imperialism are duty-bound to defend Libya while calling for the defeat of the U.S./U.N./NATO attackers. Defend Libya Against Imperialist Attack! Defeat U.S./U.N./NATO Assault!  (18 March 2011)

Defeat the Pro-Imperialist, Monarchist and Islamist Opposition!
For Workers Revolution Against the Qaddafi Police State!
Libyan Showdown
The imperialist media have sought to portray events in Libya as one more spontaneous mass popular uprising just like others in the Middle East. But in fact the February 17 Libyan “Day of Rage” was announced well in advance by the National Council for the Libyan Opposition, which operates out of Britain and the U.S.  Protesters immediately began flying the flag of the Libyan monarchy, overthrown by Qaddafi in 1969, and one of main groups of the opposition council is headed by the would-be king.  Another component is the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, whic has been an instrument of the American CIA since it was founded in 1981. Also prominent in the opposition coalition, particularly among the fighters, are Islamists, whose leaders fought the Soviets in Afghanistan. To top it off there are defectors from the Qaddafi regime, the very people responsible for his notorious police and special forces. Communists must expose the reactionary ruling-class forces behind this operation and organize for a genuine revolution to bring down the dictatorship of capital and to throw off the yoke of imperialism. Libyan Showdown  (15 March 2011)

Worker Mobilization Brought Down “Pharaoh,”
But U.S.-Backed Army Junta Grabs Power

Egypt: Mubarak Gone, Workers to Power!
End the Siege of Gaza – Open the Border Now!
For a Socialist Federation of the Near East!

On February 11, the Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak was ousted after 30 years in power. After 18 days of continuous protests by hundreds of thousands of Egyptians, and two days after strikes swept across the country, the hated dictator departed. The tenacious resistance of demonstrators in Liberation Square stymied the regime, but it was workers action that was key in ousting the hated despot. That was when Washington gave the green light for the Egyptian generals to move. The slogan “The people want the regime to fall,” borrowed from Tunisia, became, “The people, at last, have brought down the regime.” But although the despotic Raïs (Leader) is gone, the army-based regime that has lorded it over Egypt for more than half a century remains. Talk of “democracy” under the dictatorship of capital, particularly in semi-colonial countries like Egypt, is a lie. The ouster of Pharaoh Mubarak must lead to workers revolution if autocratic rule is to be swept away. Egypt: Mubarak Gone, Workers to Power!  (13 February 2011)
Mass Revolts Against U.S.-Backed Arab Dictators
Egypt, Tunisia: Turn Popular Uprisings
into Workers Revolution!

An aging dictator toppled in Tunisia, another is tottering in Egypt: North Africa and the Near East are in turmoil, Washington is worried, Wall Street has the jitters. The world’s eyes are glued on Cairo as battles rage back and forth in the squares of the Egyptian capital and on the bridges across the Nile. With U.S. troops still occupying Iraq and bogged down in a losing war in Afghanistan, suddenly a new spectre is shaking the imperialist world order: revolution by the wage slaves held down by the modern pharaohs. But even the fall of Arab satraps of the U.S. empire will not bring democracy for the downtrodden and oppressed masses until the stranglehold of imperialism is broken. The key is to forge a revolutionary leadership to mobilize the working masses in the struggle to bring down the dictatorship of capital. Egypt, Tunisia: Turn Popular Uprisings into Workers Revolution  (4 February 2011)

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