No. 43  
No. 43,
May-June 2016

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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

Yet Another Massacre: For a National Strike Against the Criminal Government
Mexican Teachers Strike Braves Murderous Repression

Mexico just had its Bloody Sunday. In Russia, the police attack on a march of workers who only wanted to present a petition to the Tsar sparked the 1905 Revolution. In Mexico of 2016, the massacre of Sunday, June 19 in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca against teachers, students, social activists and parents could be the detonator for an explosion of class struggle around the country. The protesters are fighting against the disastrous “educational reform” which seeks to destroy independent teacher unionism. For five days they defended a barricade on the superhighway to Mexico City, managing to stop a caravan of the Federal Police. Yesterday, the federales took their revenge. But instead of frightening people, it had the opposite effect. Today tens of thousands filled the streets from sidewalk to sidewalk in the city of Oaxaca to express their solidarity with the teachers. “Not with bullets, not with machine guns will the people be silenced,” they shouted. It is essential that the mobilization have an internationalist class character, not nationalist such as bourgeois sectors are trying to foist on the movement, in particular those around the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. What’s needed is a revolutionary leadership that takes on the fundamental enemy, capitalism, and extends the strike to key sectors of the Mexican proletariat and beyond the border, against this “reform” designed by the financial agencies of imperialism. Mexican Teachers Strike Braves Murderous Repression (20 June 2016)

Unionize Verizon Wireless, Aid Philippines Call Center Workers!
Verizon Strike Beats Back Company Assault, But With Big Healthcare Givebacks
From mid-April to late May, nearly 40,000 members of the CWA and IBEW waged a determined strike against Verizon Communications in the largest and most important walkout by workers in the U.S. in recent years. Through 45 days on the picket lines, the multiracial Verizon workforce showed enthusiasm for the strike that was inspiring to other workers. The company was feeling the pinch, as installation, repair and maintenance lagged while sales at non-union Verizon Wireless stores were being affected. But the union was under pressure from the courts and the Democratic Obama administration. Strikers were sent back to work without a contract and are voting on an outline of a tentative agreement. While union leaders are loudly proclaiming victory, beating back a number of Verizon's most egregious demands, workers will take a big hit on health-care costs, so much that this (together with inflation) may wipe out most of the wage gains. Union support for Democratic candidates Sanders and Clinton only perpetuates the biggest obstacle to winning real victories for labor: the chains that bind workers to this capitalist party. Verizon Strike Beats Back Company Assault, But With Big Healthcare Givebacks (12 June 2016)
Stop the Scabs, Build Mass Pickets No One Dares Cross
Verizon Strike: A Fight for All Workers
Unite With Workers Around the World to Win!
On April 13, almost 40,000 workers at the tech giant Verizon walked off the job. Now in its fifth week, the walkout is the largest in the United States since the last Verizon strike in 2011.Verizon bosses want to bust the union by slashing the number of union jobs (and brutally exploiting call center workers around the world) and whittling down and eventually selling off the company’s unionized wireline business while building up the more profitable, overwhelmingly non-union Verizon Wireless subsidiary. Now Obama’s White House is putting the arm on the unions, and has sent in a federal mediator – a direct danger to the workers’ struggle. Reliance on the bosses’ government and politicians spells defeat – when what’s needed is a solid victory for labor. It’s necessary to elect strike committees and bring out the power of the entire labor movement to shut down scab operations and win the strike.  To defeat this onslaught also requires breaking with the Democratic Party. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have spoken at Verizon strike rallies. But Democrats are no friends of labor. Democratic politicians, union officials and Verizon CEO McAdams all talk of saving “American jobs,” but flag-waving only helps the bosses. Supporters of the Internationalist Group, CUNY Internationalist Clubs and Class Struggle Education Workers have come out to support the strike since Day One: if Verizon workers win, we all win. Verizon Strike: A Fight for All Workers (20 May 2016) 
Freedom for Black Lives Matter Organizer Jasmine Abdullah!
California “Lynching” Conviction Is a Threat to All!
Mobilize Labor/Black/Immigrant Power – Only Revolution Can Bring Justice!
On June 1, 28-year-old Black Lives Matter organizer Jasmine Abdullah (Richards) was grotesquely convicted in near-by Pasadena under a California law until recently known as “felony lynching.” At her trial, an entirely non-black jury accepted the prosecution’s outrageous claim that Jasmine’s non-violent effort to protect a young black woman from police brutality was a crime legally equivalent to participating in a KKK lynch mob for the purposes of murdering that woman.  Jasmine’s conviction sets a new precedent for the criminalization of protest activity, and is a threat to all those who would speak out against injustice. As we have seen time and time again across the country, this latest drive in California to further repress black activists on behalf of the capitalist rulers is spearheaded by a black Democrat: Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacy. Across the country there has been a push to draw Black Lives Matter activists into the electoral circus of American capitalism, and the Democratic Party in particular. Illusions in the Democrats serve as a roadblock to class struggle against racist repression. We call to break with the Democrats and all capitalist parties, and for labor-black-immigrant mobilizations against racist cop terror. California “Lynching” Conviction Is a Threat to All! (7 June 2016) 

Imperialist Offensive Threatens Slaughter
Defend Raqqa – Drive U.S./NATO Imperialists Out of Syria and Iraq!
A new stage has opened in the fighting in Syria and Iraq with the launching of offensives against the Islamic State (I.S.) by U.S. imperialism and its allies. On May 24 the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a military front dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), announced the beginning of a drive on the de facto capital of the I.S. in Raqqa. They are participating in a military operation under direct U.S. command. Already U.S. commandos have been sighted carrying out operational activities at the front. Moreover, three days before the offensive was announced, the head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, flew secretly to the area for an on-site inspection of preparations. Dropping leaflets calling on the population to flee the city, the imperialists are preparing a slaughter. Amid the all-sided communalist/sectarian civil war raging in Syria, internationalist communists (Trotskyists) call to defend Raqqa against the U.S.-led attack and the Kurdish and Arab forces serving as ground troops for the imperialists. In Iraq, the Shiite sectarian regime has launched an attack on the I.S. stronghold of Falluja, while U.S. and Kurdish forces threaten Mosul. We call to drive the imperialists out of the region and to defeat them by international workers action. Defend Raqqa – Drive U.S./NATO Imperialists Out of Syria and Iraq! (31 May 2016)

Communism Lives … Just Not in the SL/ICL
SL/ICL: Haunted by
Revolutionary Trotskyism

Joint Statement of the Expelled Better-Late-Than-Never Faction and the Internationalist Group/League for the Fourth International
On April 16, the Better-Late-Than-Never (BLTN) Faction of the International Communist League (ICL) put forward its Declaration of Faction calling to “Return to the Road of Genuine Spartacism” and to “Regroup with the IG/LFI on the Basis of Their Revolutionary Continuity!” The very next day they received a response from the Spartacist League’s Los Angeles local, falsely claiming that the declaration was written in collaboration with the IG and cynically saying it considered the declaration a statement of resignation. The BLTN responded that claims they couldn’t have written the document were not only untrue but an insult to the intelligence of the ICL membership. The Faction notably exposed how the party that had uniquely waged a principled struggle to defend the DDR (East Germany) and USSR responded to defeat by dumping Trotsky’s analysis of the dual nature of the Stalinist bureaucracy and whitewashing the role of the bourgeoisie and its social-democratic agents in the capitalist counterrevolution. It also independently investigated key political differences between the ICL and the LFI on Brazil and Mexico, as well as challenging the SL on key issues concerning the class line and black oppression in the U.S. The Better-Late-Than-Never Faction Declaration is a challenge to those in the SL/ICL who truly want to make a revolution. The report on the latest conference of the Spartacist League/U.S. makes clear, the SL is a dying party. It is crucial to understand that the decline of the SL/ICL is a direct result of its political/programmatic degeneration. An agreement between the BLTN and the IG/LFI calls for carrying out common work aiming at an early fusion. SL/ICL: Haunted by Revolutionary Trotskyism (13 May 2016)

Forward to Reforge the IV International, World Party of Socialist Revolution
Back to Trotskyism!
By Giulia and Carlo
Two comrades who were the principal leaders of the Lega Trotskista d’Italia (LTd’I), Italian section of the International Communist League (ICL) from 1993-1999, with 21 and 27 years in the Spartacist tendency respectively, have declared their political solidarity with the League for the Fourth International. In 1999-2001 they were subjected to vicious political persecution involving grotesque accusations of faking illness, making false charges against the ICL leadership and hiding political differences. After a change of the leading cliques, the ICL concluded that the persecution was a “bureaucratic witchhunt” based on “gross exaggerations or outright falsifications,” but it never informed the comrades of this. They detail how the ICL’s abandonment of the revolutionary program in Italy reflected the broader political degeneration of the ICL, from dropping the call to defeat its own imperialist bourgeoisie after 9/11 (and supporting U.S. invasion of Haiti in 2010, later repudiating this social-imperialist betrayal) to trade-union issues in the U.S. to Greece and Syria today. Their document puts forward an internationalist program of class struggle, notably on women's oppression and for full rights for immigrants and refugees, a burning issue in Italy today in the fight for a socialist united states of Europe. They conclude: “The present ICL is no place for a communist. For those in the ICL who may still want to be communists, we urge you to read and study the literature of the League for the Fourth International, as we did and in doing so recognized the genuinely Trotskyist program we were won to years ago.” Back to Trotskyism! (11 May 2016)

“Operation Car Wash”: An Attack by the Police and Judiciary Threatening Democratic and Labor Rights
Brazil: No to Impeachment!
For Workers Mobilization Against the Rightist Bourgeois Offensive
No Political Support to the Bourgeois Popular Front Government

For the past month, Brazil has been engulfed in a deep-going political crisis. A million people marched in right-wing protests around the country on March 13 demanding impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party. In response, a half million protested in the streets on March 18 against impeachment, followed by tens of thousands on March 24 and 31. Meanwhile, a runaway corruption investigation threatens basic democratic rights. At the same time, the popular front government continues to push anti-working-class policies in its attempt to conciliate the aggressive right wing, and the left is divided between pro- and anti-government blocs. The Liga Quarta-Internacionalista do Brasil, calls for workers mobilization against impeachment and the bonapartist threat, and at the same time to use that power against the attacks on working people by the both the feuding bourgeois forces. Brazil: No to Impeachment! For Workers Mobilization Against the Rightist Bourgeois Offensive, No Political Support to the Bourgeois Popular Front Government (April 2016)
Lesson of History: Trotsky and Lenin on Kornilov and Kerensky (April 2016)
World Capitalist Economic Crisis Behind the Rightist Offensive
For Class Struggle Against the Bonapartist Threat in Brazil
In the present acute political crisis shaking Brazil, a string of explosive revelations, shifting parliamentary alliances, arbitrary actions by the repressive apparatus and huge street mobilizations are presented in the bourgeois media as a struggle over “corruption.”  The idea that there is a moral “cleansing” underway among the rulers is an illusion and a pretext. In reality, there are three main elements of the crisis: a political struggle marking the end of the popular-front government, a blatant attempt by the judicial and police organs to free themselves of all civilian control on the road to an authoritarian regime, and underlying it all, the consequences of the world capitalist economic crisis. In Brazil, the street protests over the last year are the result of the defeat of the struggles of the “hot winter” of 2013 and of the struggles against the World Cup of soccer. The government and its left satellites have labeled the offensive against President Dilma Rousseff a “coup d’état.” In itself, impeachment does not signify a rupture of the bourgeois-democratic “order.” But if the repressive organs gain autonomy to effectively dominate the government, whether by a coup or behind the façade of a “technical” or “transition” government, this would in fact be a “state of exception,” inherently anti-democratic even within the bourgeois framework. For Class Struggle Against the Bonapartist Threat in Brazil (April 2016)

Mass Protests to Shut Down Trump Hate-Fest
No to the Democratic and Republican Parties of Deportations, Imperialism and War
Down with Racism and Anti-Immigrant Bigotry
Across the country, Donald Trump’s election rallies have become an orgy of racism. Black protesters and others are beaten by thugs, instigated by the candidate himself. His bigoted diatribes, vile attacks on women and gays, and threats and incitement to violence have spurred thousands to come out with utter justification to protest his race-hate rallies. Yet many of those protesting Trump are backing Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. But the Democrats are the governing party of U.S. imperialism, the deadliest terrorist force in the world. Obama has personally authorized the murder of thousands of innocent civilians by drone strikes, which Clinton and Sanders support, and he has deported over 4.5 million immigrants. Internationalist protesters at an April 14 demonstration in New York City called to break with the Democrats and all bourgeois parties, and to build a revolutionary workers party. No to the Democratic and Republican Parties of Deportations, Imperialism and War (14 April 2016)

Video: At April 14 Shut Down Trump Protest, Internationalists Say No to All Capitalist Parties
Democrats and Republicans Against Women’s Rights
Portland: Class Struggle Picket Slams Right Wing Anti-Abortion Rally

By Class Struggle Workers – Portland
On Sunday, January 17, a group of 50 union activists in the Portland, Oregon area picketed a “youth rally” held by Oregon Right to Life, an anti-abortion group that held a day of action nationally to “mourn” the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and attack women’s right to abortion. With a banner calling on labor to defend abortion rights, Class Struggle Workers – Portland led a determined picket with members of at least seven local unions as well as solidarity and leftist groups. The picketers underlined the far-right and outright fascist politics of ORL leaders, while emphasizing that the Democratic and Republican capitalist parties have both severely restricted women's fundamental right to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The class-struggle rally called for free abortion on demand and for labor to use its power to defend the clinics.  Portland: Class Struggle Picket Slams Right Wing Anti-Abortion Rally (5 February 2016)
Video: Portland Labor Defend Abortion Rights Rally
To contact the League for the Fourth International or its sections, send an e-mail to: internationalistgroup@msn.com