No. 33 (Summer 2010)  
No. 34,
March-April 2013

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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


We Demand: Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants
Obama’s “Bipartisan” Immigration Reform Is A Fraud
Workers’ Struggle Has No Borders
Phony plans for “immigration reform” are the talk of the town in Washington. Don’t be fooled by the hype. The “reform” they are preparing will not be one to benefit the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, but instead it will serve the interests of the capitalists who profit from their labor. In addition, it will involve ominous attacks on civil liberties and labor rights affecting everyone in the U.S. And it won’t just be because “reformers” are capitulating to the xenophobic, immigrant-bashing right-wingers. The liberal, supposedly “immigrant-friendly” Democrats have unleashed even more repression against the foreign-born than the conservative Republicans ever did. What is emerging is a “reform” that would tell the police where to find the undocumented, could well increase unemployment for immigrants, would lead to an expansion of government police control and at most, for a hefty price, would gain the status of indentured servants or being on probation. This is what the Democrats and “mainstream” immigrants’ rights groups want to cheer about. Not us Marxists. We demand full citizenship rights for all immigrants. A real fight for immigrants’ rights must be a fight against capital, which profits enormously from the present situation in which millions of workers have no legal rights, and which seeks to garner even greater profits by “legalizing” them. Obama’s “Bipartisan” Immigration Reform Is A Fraud (April 2013)

No to Gun Control: Racist Ruling-Class Ploy to Disarm the Population
Who Controls the Guns?
In the wake of the horrific Newtown school shooting and a shooting spree at a shopping center in Clackamas, Oregon this past December, President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have joined with Republicans like New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and the liberal media in launching a drive to tighten gun control laws. There is a division among the capitalist rulers over gun laws, but they all agree on intensified police repression across the board – as well as U.S. imperialist war in Afghanistan and murderous drone strikes in half a dozen countries. So-called “progressives” want to further strengthen the repressive apparatus by disarming the population. All historical evidence shows that “gun control” will not reduce violent crime or prevent rampages by deranged individuals. It will, however, embolden racist police rampages in impoverished African American, Latino, Asian and immigrant areas. The police are there to “serve and protect” the interests of the capitalist rulers and to keep their victims down. That’s why they want a monopoly on violence. Gun control has always targeted exploited populations in order to undercut their ability to resist. In the United States, from colonial times to today, it is an incontrovertible fact that gun control kills blacks. The Internationalist Group says no to gun control and other schemes to keep the working class and the oppressed disarmed in the face of a rapacious ruling class and its murderous, racist state. Who Controls the Guns? (April 2013)
Bogalusa 1965: Deacons for Defense (April 2013)
The Emancipation Proclamation: Promise and Betrayal
The 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation went by with as little public acknowledgement as possible. Unlike the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1 January 1863 was never going to be a holiday in racist, imperialist America. In the U.S. rulers’ campaign of historical amnesia, the issue of how slavery was abolished tops the list of events to be mystified. The second American Revolution – the Civil War – went beyond political rights to pose questions of property. Karl Marx recognized from the outset that for the Southern Confederacy, this was “a war of conquest for the spread and perpetuation of slavery.” Slavery was not abolished by a stroke of Lincoln's pen but by victory on the battlefield, in which freed slaves played a fundamental role. But the northern bourgeoisie refused to turn over plantation land to the freedmen. As a result, the former chattel slaves were reduced to wage slavery or worse, sharecropping and debt peonage, setting the stage for KKK terror and Jim Crow segregation. The struggle for emancipation had run into the limits of a bourgeois revolution. Only a new, socialist revolution can achieve genuine black liberation and bury the heritage of slavery once and for all. The Emancipation Proclamation: Promise and Betrayal (April 2013)

Lincoln, Lincoln, and the Abolition of Slavery
Lincoln has been called a history lesson in film. Dealing with the formal abolition of slavery, it was timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The problem is that history is a casualty of war in Lincoln. At bottom, the film is a political tract billing the United States as an eternal beacon of freedom, and hailing Obama-style liberalism and compromise. Works of art often take liberties with historical details in order to dramatize a point, but the important historical inaccuracies in Lincoln go to the heart of its message. Most striking is the near total absence of African Americans, except for a handful in peripheral roles, and in particular of black slaves fighting for freedom from bondage. Lincoln the movie deliberately excludes the role of blacks in the struggle to crush the slave system. Showing Frederick Douglass would have made it harder to ignore the 200,000 black soldiers who signed up to fight against the slavocracy – and whose contribution was termed “indispensable” to Union victory and emancipation by Lincoln the man – as well as the more than 50,000 among them who gave their lives on the battlefield or in Confederate captivity in this cause. Lincoln, Lincoln, and the Abolition of Slavery (April 2013)

Portland Unions Denounce FBI Raids, Grand Jury Witch Hunt of Activists
Last July 25 several homes of activists in the Pacific Northwest were broken into by federal agents who claimed to be seeking evidence for a grand jury investigation of “vandalism” during May Day demonstrations in Seattle. However, the warrants specifically mentioned “black clothing” and “anti-government or anarchist literature” as items to be seized. The “investigation” was really a fishing expedition designed to force activists to turn over information on their friends and fellow activists. Three of those targeted in the raids heroically refused to testify and were held in a federal detention center for months, and one is still in prison. We demand that Maddy Pfeiffer be released and any and all proceedings against anyone targeted in this dragnet be dropped and their records expunged. Portland unions have
in the past led struggles against police cooperation with the feds’ Joint Terrorism Task Force. In keeping with this, supporters of the Internationalist Group initiated a resolution against FBI repression which has been endorsed by five Portland-area unions. Portland Unions Denounce FBI Raids, Grand Jury Witch Hunt of Activists

Bring Out Workers’ Power to Stop “Stop and Frisk” Cold
East Flatbush Police State: Racist NYPD Kills Again
It Will Take Workers Revolution To Avenge Kimani Gray!
On March 9, 16-year-old Kimani Gray was murdered in cold blood by two plainclothes NYPD cops, shot to death with three bullets to the back. Police officials praised it as a  “good shooting.” Four days later, police arrested almost 50 people protesting this wanton killing. Councilman Jumaane Williams denounced “outside” forces for stirring up trouble. But it is the NYPD who shot an innocent youth, guilty of nothing, and have now turned East Flatbush into a police state. We demand that all arrested demonstrators be freed and the charges dropped, and call for police to get out. The murder of Kimani Gray will amplify the outcry against the NYPD’s racist “stop and frisk” policy, but the pressure groups linked to the Democratic Party only want to clean it up. Police brutality and black oppression will not be reformed away by cop watches, civilian review boards, civil rights lawsuits or lashing out in desperate acts of impotent rage. They are written into the bedrock of racist American capitalism. There should be a mass mobilization of union power along with the millions of oppressed black, Latino and immigrant residents against police brutality and murder. Not just another Sunday parade, but surround City Hall and really occupy Wall Street until the NYPD’s racist “stop and frisk” is stopped cold. East Flatbush Police State: Racist NYPD Kills Again (19 March 2013)

For a Nationwide Strike to Smash Capitalist Education “Reform”!
Mexican Government Busts Its Labor Cop Gordillo to Crush Teachers’ Resistance

Peña Nieto, Hands Off the Teachers!
Let the Government Agent Gordillo Go, So Teachers Can Try Her for Murder

The arrest of the “president for life” of the corporatist National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), Elba Esther Gordillo, in a massive military operation was obviously a settling of scores at the highest levels of power. For misappropriation of funds and obscene corruption you could arrest nearly the entirety of the country’s rulers. At the same times, Elba Esther Gordillo was the perfect target in order to promote Peña Nieto’s privatization agenda. especially his education “reform.” The Elbazo was intended to crush any resistance from the side of the teachers, and thus its real targets are the dissident teachers of the National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers (CNTE). The CNTE leadership, however,  has made a monumental error in cooperating with, and even egging on, the attorney general’s “investigation.” This reflects its political subordination to the bourgeois opposition of the PRD and MORENA. All of Gordillo’s crimes – and they are much worse than the official charges – were extolled by, or committed in the service of, the same criminal state that now wants to try her. We insist that this state criminal should be tried by the colleagues and family members of the teachers who fought against corporatist control, and because of this were gunned down, tortured and disappeared on the specific orders of the clique of state agents. The installation of a new government flunky as leader of the SNTE after an interview in the interior ministry underlines the nature of this pseudo-union as labor police for capital.  The goal of class-conscious educators should be to build a genuine education workers union, completely independent of the state and without any political ties to any of the bourgeois parties.  Mexican Government Busts Its Labor Cop Gordillo to Crush Teachers’ Resistance (March 2013)

Scabs Loading Ships – Grain Shippers Declare War on Union
ILWU Locked Out in Vancouver, WA
For Longshore Solidarity Actions!

Defend the Union Hiring Hall – No Concessionary Contracts!
Scab Cargo – Too Hot to Handle! For Mass Pickets on the Docks!

On February 27, the United Grain Corp., owned by Mitsui, locked the members of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 4 out of its Vancouver, Washington terminal and began operating using management personnel and scabs. This is the first time in decades that a West Coast port facility has worked a ship with scabs. Two months earlier, the grain shippers had imposed a union-busting contract. From that moment, there should have been mass pickets shutting down all the terminals of the grain monopolies, with the threat to close every port on the West Coast – as well as East and Gulf Coast ports – if there was any attempt to operate with scabs. Now that this has happened, a call should go out from the union for dock workers everywhere to refuse to unload the scab cargo. All Mitsui cargo ships must be treated as strikebreakers and union-busters! But instead, the ILWU leaders ordered the membership to work under the imposed contract, negotiated a concessionary deal with one of the shippers (Cargill/Temco) and now they are making flag-waving appeals against the Japanese-owned company. This is a dead-end. International workers solidarity and a class-struggle program are key to winning this crucial battle.  ILWU Locked Out in Vancouver, WA – For Longshore Solidarity Actions! (12 March 2013) 
There Are No Neutrals In the Class War on the Docks
Why We Defend the ILWU and All Workers
…Including Against the Sellout Labor Bureaucracy
In recent weeks, a showdown has loomed on U.S. docks between the shipping bosses and port workers that has rattled the capitalist ruling class. On the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, the International Longshoreman’s Association prepared to strike container shipping while the employers threatened to lock out 14,500 ILA members. On the West Coast, the grain shippers been demanding a giveback contract from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which would effectively bypass the union hiring hall, slash workers’ vital safety protections and gut union power. Yet in the midst of the Northwest grain battle, an Occupy activist Peter Little publishes an article vociferously arguing against the call to defend the ILWU. While posing as ultra-left, this policy if actually carried out would aid the employers who are hell-bent on destroying ILWU union power on the waterfront. And blaming sellouts on the nature of unions lets the bureaucrats off the hook. We in the Internationalist Group say: all those who stand with the exploited and oppressed must come to the defense of the ILWU in this fight. And that defense includes forthrightly opposing the capitulations and betrayals by the labor bureaucracy which sells out vital union gains in the vain hope of an impossible “cooperation” with capital, endangering the workers organizations they preside over. Why We Defend the ILWU and All Workers (5 January 2013)

Labor Misleaders Bank on Democrats’ Flim-flam
The Betrayal of the NYC School Bus Strike
Needed: A Class-Struggle Union Leadership
Fighting for a Workers Party
On Friday, February 15, the month-long strike by the 8,100 school bus drivers and matrons of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 was called off by the union leadership. There was no vote by the members, the decision was announced in a 45-minute teleconference call. The media proclaimed a “win for NYC mayor Bloomberg. Although relieved to be earning a paycheck again after weeks of watching bills pile up, many strikers were angry about being sent back to work with empty hands. ATU leaders said in “suspending” the strike they were honoring the request of a letter from the five Democratic mayoral candidates. Actually, the union leadership requested the letter, to give them a face-saving way to end the strike. The defeat of the strike is a bitter pill for the workers to swallow. Yet for union militants, this underlines the need to draw the lessons of this strike, in order to prepare a battle plan for victory in the future. There must be a fight within the mass organizations of labor, the unions, for a revolutionary program to wage all-out class war, which is what we are facing. To win this fight it will take solidarity action by teachers, students, parents, transit workers and all NYC unions to shut the city down. The key lesson of the strike is the need to build a class-struggle leadership to fight for total independence from the capitalist state and the capitalist parties. The Betrayal of the NYC School Bus Strike (February 2013) 
A Test for the Left (February 2013) 
Wildcat? (February 2013)  
To contact the League for the Fourth International or its sections, send an e-mail to: internationalistgroup@msn.com