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Internationalist
                        No. 47  
No. 47,
March-April 2017
 

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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

Break with Democrats, Build a Revolutionary Workers Party
All Out on May Day!
Strike In Defense of Immigrants and All Workers

For Worker/Immigrant Mass Action to STOP Deportations!
Since the moment Donald Trump took office on January 20, a wave of raw fear has swept across immigrant communities that has not abated. The vicious offensive against immigrants has also produced anger and a determination to fight: for immigrant rights, for their rights as workers and for the better life for their children that millions have risked all to achieve. This May 1, there will in effect be a strike by hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers across the United States, perhaps upwards of a million as in 2006. What would be major is for key sectors of U.S.-born workers to walk out in solidarity with immigrants. It is also vital that the struggle to defend immigrants and all workers be waged independently of the Democratic Party. Since Trump’s upset election victory in November, sections of this capitalist party have begun pretending to be an opposition force for the first time in many decades. They’re getting an assist from opportunist leftists eager to be gofers for the latest mass “movement.” While Trump is the immediate enemy, the Democrats are the  key strategic enemy whose stranglehold on labor, black and immigrant organizations and populations must be broken. All Out on May Day! Strike In Defense of Immigrants and All Workers (19 April 2017)

Defend North Korea Against Crazed U.S. War Threats
As we go to press, the United States has dramatically escalated its military provocations against North Korea. The actions of President Donald Trump and his erratic regime could at any moment touch off a war, which would rapidly escalate. This should make it clear to all that North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is its main deterrent against the crazed nuclear warmongers in Washington. It is crucial to defend North Korea and uphold its right to develop nuclear arms for its defense against predatory U.S. imperialism. Defend North Korea Against Crazed U.S. War Threats (17 April 2017)

Defend Syria! Drive U.S. Imperialism Out of the Middle East!
In the early morning hours of April 7, the United States launched a missile attack on a Syrian air base, supposedly in reprisal for a chemical weapons attack that killed up to a hundred people. There is no proof that the Syrian government launched this attack, and considerable circumstantial evidence suggesting otherwise. The U.S. imperialists are the biggest mass murderers on the face of the planet. This is the kind of incident they have typically used to launch their wars, from the U.S. invasion of Cuba in 1898 to the  non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” used to sell the 2003 invasion of Iraq. War hysteria against Syria is being whipped up in unison by the imperialist media, retailing propaganda from jihadi groups in Syria and echoed by an array of capitalist politicians. Trump’s missile strike has united Democrats and Republicans in banging the drums of war. War hawk and (well-paid) defender of Wall Street Hillary Clinton called to destroy the Syrian air force. In the face of this blatant imperialist aggression, the Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International call for defense of Syria against U.S. attack, and to kick the U.S. and its NATO imperialist allies out of the Middle East. Defend Syria! Drive U.S. Imperialism Out of the Middle East! (7 April 2017)

Milo Yiannopoulos, “Free Speech”and the Assault on Universities
The election of Donald Trump marked a renewed push by reactionaries waging a “culture war” to cleanse America of “foreign” elements. With them, professional witch-hunters are revving up a drive to purge leftist and liberal professors from academia, salivating at the prospect of returning to the McCarthy era of the 1950s. A February 1 appearance by the self-described provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California at Berkeley was part of this operation. His speech was canceled after some 1,500 demonstrators came out to protest this provocation. Trump tweeted from the White House threatening to cut off funds to the university. Liberals and the mainstream media complained free speech rights being violated. Nonsense. Yiannopoulos’ declared purpose was to target undocumented immigrants. Such actions are not exercising free speech but deliberate provocations, targeting individuals and groups with the intent of causing injury to them. Yiannopoulos posed an imminent threat, and it was correct to seek to drive him out. But we do not call on university administrators, who represent the ruling class and its state, to ban them. We are for mobilizing mass action – by students, workers, immigrants and all defenders of democratic rights, including the right to free speech – to thwart such dangerous provocations and defend those who would be victimized. Milo Yiannopoulos, “Free Speech”and the Assault on Universities (April 2017)

Revolutionary Struggle for Women’s Liberation,
Not (Capitalist) Welfare State Feminism

Italian Trotskyists on International Women’s Day

A century ago, an uprising that began on International Women’s Day brought down the Russian tsar and led to the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the founding of the first workers state in history. The “global women’s strike” called by feminist groups this past March 8 had a very different character. This varied from country to country. In Italy, the main focus was on individual “masculine violence against women,” and the appeal was to the capitalist state. Non Una di Meno, affiliated with the Argentine Ni Una Menos, called on the United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights to protect women, and organized meetings with bourgeois women politicians. They call for “welfare for all, based on women’s needs,” and call on the government to exercise feminist censorship of the media. In short, what the organizers seek is a kind of capitalist welfare-state feminism. Theirs is a utopian reformist program that would subordinate the struggle for women’s rights to the capitalist state, the biggest enemy of women. And it ignores basic economic demands which go beyond the limits of capitalism, including collectivization of housework, childcare and food service, which are crucial to liberating working women from all-sided social oppression. Italian Trotskyists on International Women’s Day (April 2017)

Break the Corporatist Shackles to Unleash the Power of the Proletariat!
The Mexican Steel Workers Strike and the Struggle Against Corporatism
In March 2016, Section 271 of the National Union of Miners. Metal and Steel Mill Workers (SNTMMSSRM) at the ArcelorMittal steelworks in Lázaro Cárdenas in the state of Michoacán, Mexico struck without authorization by the government labor board. This was a strike that the Mine and Mill leadership didn’t want and did everything to avoid. They postponed it 16 times, and the walkout only occurred because “certain workers decided to occupy this workplace,” as the federal Labor Department complained. The strike was over threatened layoffs. But already in August 2015, the SNTMMSSRM leaders had given the company a list of 120 union workers who could be fired, supposedly for being “considered ‘troublemakers’ and low-productivity.” This is the outlook of “corporatist unionism,” subordinating and integrating the unions to the machinery of the capitalist state. Today the SNTMMSSRM is a semi-corporatist union, but the leadership has invariably demanded that the workers submit to the mechanisms of state control embodied in Mexico’s fascist-inspired labor law. This has led to fissures with traditionally militant sections, like the miners of Cananea and the steel workers of Lázaro Cárdenas. The strike underscores that the industrial proletariat must break out of the straitjacket represented by the corporatist apparatus of labor control, and forge revolutionary leaderships in struggle against all wings of the bourgeoisie.  The Mexican Steel Workers Strike and the Struggle Against Corporatism (April 2017)

SL’s “Alternative Facts” in the Service of Social-Chauvinism
Spartacist League vs. Refugees
The 10 February issue of the Spartacist League’s Workers Vanguard has a front-page article on “Trump Escalates Obama’s War on Immigrants.” which raises several slogans, with one notable exception: the it makes no demand to let refugees in. Since 2015, the SL and its misnamed International Communist League have been pushing a chauvinist line of opposing calls for asylum for those fleeing the depredation wrought by U.S. and European imperialism. In order to mask its refusal to call to let refugees into the U.S., and in its frenzy to attack the Internationalist Group, the same issue contains a polemic accusing the IG of promoting illusions in the Democrats with our call to defend sanctuary cities. Thus the SL opposes resistance to Trump’s reprisals against cities that don’t fully cooperate with the I.C.E. police, and doesn’t give a damn whether it is easier or harder for the migra to deport immigrants. The Internationalist Group more than any other organization on the left has protested against the Democratic Party for its record-breaking deportation of immigrants. We have called and undertaken initiatives to mobilize workers independent of the capitalist state, parties and politicians to stop deportations and racist attacks. The social-chauvinist SL/ICL, in contrast, puts forward no program for workers action and recognizes no rights for refugees. Spartacist League vs. Refugees (27 February 2017)

The Crime of Medical Deportations
The advanced state of decay of American capitalism is reflected in the assault on health care, while deportations escalate even beyond the record number under Barack Obama. This is highlighted by a particularly sinister form of deportations that has been taking place for over a decade. Cynically dubbed “medical repatriation,” this involves hospitals (not the government) deporting undocumented immigrants – many of them workers injured on jobs with little-to-no safety standards – while in a comatose or non-responsive state. The escalating number of cases is due to the slashing of funding under Obamacare for hospitals that treat disproportionate numbers of uninsured patients. Yet undocumented immigrants are not eligible for subsidized insurance. With pressure mounting to cut the number of undocumented patients, an important example has been set by NYC Health Care Employees Local 768 of AFSCME DC 37, which last month passed a motion saying that it would not go along with demands to cut care for undocumented immigrants but would continue to serve all those in need and oppose any attempts to discriminate on the basis of immigration status. The Crime of Medical Deportations (March 2017) 
NYC Health Care Workers Say: Mobilize the Power of Labor to Defend Muslims and Immigrants (March 2017) 
No Ban, No Wall – Full Citizenship Rights for All!
Smash Racist Ban on Muslims, Refugees
LET THEM IN!

Immediately after the White House let it be known that President Donald Trump was about to sign an executive order to ban Syrian refugees and visitors from other predominantly Muslim countries, and to begin building his infamous border wall with Mexico, mass protests broke out in New York City and elsewhere. As the Border Patrol began implementing the order, stopping travelers returning home, thousands rushed to airports around the country, chanting “Refugees are welcome here” and “Let them in!” These are the seeds of popular revolt against the brutal anti-immigrant policies of the Trump regime. Democratic politicians tried to climb on the bandwagon. But it was the policies of the Democratic Party that pushed people into the arms of Republican Trump. Popular outrage is not enough. Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter protests brought tens of thousands into the streets, but nothing changed. It is necessary to bring to bear the enormous power of the multiracial working class, including millions of immigrants (documented and undocumented), together with African Americans, Latinos, Asians and students. The Internationalist Group calls to prepare concrete workers action to stop deportations and racist attacks. And we stress that to defeat the racist Trump it’s necessary to break with the Democrats, Republicans and all capitalist parties. Smash Racist Ban on Muslims, RefugeesLet Them In! (29 January 2017)





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