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Internationalist
                        No. 48  
No. 48,
May-June 2017
 

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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

There Is No Justice for Black People in the Racist Capitalist CourtsBlack America Under the Gun
Workers Revolution Will Avenge Philando Castile
The acquittal of the cop who gunned down Philando Castile on 6 July 2016 as he sat in his car in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, is proof positive that the whole system is rigged so that police can kill with impunity. Anyone who saw the heart-wrenching Facebook Live video by his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds, as millions did, knows. Anyone who saw the horrifying police dashboard camera video and audio, as the jury did repeatedly, of the frenzied cop pumping bullets into Philando with Diamond and her four-year-old daughter in the car with him, can have no doubt. Philando Castile was executed, the ultimate penalty of “driving while black.” And his executioner walked. It’s the way the system works. Kill-crazy cops are an expression of the fact that American capitalism is based on the oppression of black people, which has continued from the days of chattel slavery through Jim Crow segregation to today’s mass incarceration. Nothing short of workers revolution will change that. Today the police kill with abandon under Republican Trump. Yesterday they did the same under Democrat Obama. Various liberals and opportunist pseudo-socialists call to join together in a broad “resistance” to Trump, meaning they want to make a “popular front” with the Democrats, chaining black people to the party whose mayors preside over police murder across the country. Changing which capitalist party is in office will not alter things. We must fight instead to build the nucleus of a multi-racial and multi-ethnic revolutionary workers party that can attack the scourge of racial oppression at its roots. Black America Under the Gun (27 June 2017)
 
Introducing Permanente Revolution,
German-Language Newspaper of the LFI

The League for the Fourth International announces the publication of the first issue of its German-language newspaper, Permanente Revolution. We take the name from the weekly paper of the German Trotskyists (Bolshevik-Leninists) in the early 1930s. The appearance of Permanente Revolution is the outgrowth of internal fights in the International Communist League (Spartacist tendency) during 2015 over the ICL’s increasingly social-chauvinist line over the European refugee crisis. This led a longtime member of the editorial board of Spartakist and of the Berlin local leadership of the ICL's German section to leave the ICL after hopes of self-reform of the centrist ICL proved illusory. After a period of discussions and common work, the LFI is undertaking, together with its supporters in Germany, the publication of a newspaper to intervene in class and social struggles and to win cadres in left milieus to the perspective of international socialist revolution. Introducing Permanente Revolution (June 2017)

It Will Take Workers Revolution to Get Rid of Austerity
Corbyn’s Labour Party Surges, But “Welfare State” Capitalism Is Dead

Last year it was the surprise vote to leave the European Union – “Brexit”that led to the downfall of the Conservative prime minister and set off panic among the bankers of the City of London. Then this past June 8, a “snap election” called by a new Tory prime minister (Theresa May), led to a huge increase for the opposition Labour Party, whose leader Jeremy Corbyn, was said to be “unelectable” because of his mildly leftist politics. And only days after the vote, came the monstrous fire at Grenfell Tower that killed at least 79 people and crystallized the mounting fury at the Tories and their policies of rampant deregulation and privatization. Corbyn’s leadership of Labour has awakened hopes, particularly among young people who have known nothing but “neoliberal” austerity all their lives. But despite the euphoria of the reformist left, revolutionaries must drive home that the only way austerity for working people will be ended is through international socialist revolution, and more particularly through the overthrow of the capitalists’ EU by continent-wide workers struggles leading to a Socialist United States of Europe. Corbyn’s Labour Party Surges, But “Welfare State” Capitalism Is Dead (29 June 2017)


U.N. Get Out! Unite with Dominican and U.S. Workers to Smash Imperialism!
Haitian Workers Brave Repression in Fight Against Starvation Wages

On May 19, workers in several plants in the SONAPI industrial park in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince walked out demanding a raise of the minimum wage, presently around U.S. $5.50, to US$12.60 a day. More than doubling the present rate would not even remotely be enough to live on. But just to win such minimal demands and to combat the starvation wages imposed on Haitian workers by imperialist capitalism requires active solidarity by labor and working people in the United States. In 2009, the U.S. embassy mounted a major operation to roll back an attempt to raise the minimum wage. And when she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton siphoned off millions in earthquake relief funds to fund construction of a sweatshop by a notorious South Korean wage-gouger and union-buster. Major retailers make superprofits based on the superexploitation of Haitian garment workers because Wall Street and Washington want it that way. Every turning point in Haiti’s history was the result of events in the imperialist centers, and it is there that crucial fights in the next Haitian revolution will be fought. The Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International have paid particular attention to Haiti since our inception. In every struggle, we seek to lay the basis for revolutionary workers parties on both sides of the border that divides Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in the heart of U.S. imperialism and internationally. Haitian Workers Brave Repression in Fight Against Starvation Wages (26 June 2017)

Social Democrats Organized Diversion Against Efforts to Drive Fascists Out of Portland
How Do You Spell Class Collaboration? ISO

When a June 4 white supremacist rally brought several hundred fascists and racists to Portland, Oregon, it was vastly outnumbered by up to ten times as many anti-racist demonstrators. But there were three separate counterdemonstrations. While the protest called by antifa (anti-fascist) groups and a union mobilization called by Portland Labor Against the Fascists sought to drive the racists out, the third, by social democrats and liberals, was called explicitly to avoid confrontation with the fascists. If it was not for the massive police presence and the “Portland Stands United Against Hate” diversion – the work of the International Socialist Organization (ISO), which organized the City Hall rally in coordination with the mayor/police chief – the racist provocation by white supremacists and Nazi lovers could have been dispersed. Not only did the ISO call its event to undercut the labor mobilization, even overturning a decision by the organizing meeting it convened to join with the union action, it sought to point the finger of blame for any violence that might occur at the labor and antifa demonstrations. This is what social-democratic class collaboration looks like. How Do You Spell Class Collaboration? ISO (28 June 2017) 

Police Protect Vastly Outnumbered Racists
Portland Labor Mobilizes to Stop Fascist Provocation
Militants from 14 Area Unions Point the Way Forward
The June 4 rally of white-supremacist and outright fascist Trump supporters in Portland, OR was protected by triple lines of heavily armed police. However, it was surrounded by far greater numbers of furious protesters outraged by this brazen provocation barely a week after the double murder by a local Nazi. One of three protests, a mobilization called by Portland Labor Against the Fascists, brought out several hundred union members and supporters, including members of at least 14 area unions.  The labor mobilization stood its ground to the very end, with non-stop chants and speeches that reverberated throughout the area for over six hours until the last of the racist and fascist scum exited on buses protected by the police. This marks the first significant working-class action in the U.S. against white supremacists in decades. June 4 points to the potential for organizing workers defense guards that could send the fascist vermin scurrying back into their holes. It was an important first step in bringing out the power of the labor movement in defense of working people, immigrants, Muslims and all those targeted by the all-round reactionary offensive coming out of Washington. And it sharply posed the need for a workers party fighting to overthrow the capitalist system that breeds fascism, and to replace it with the liberating rule of the working class. Portland Labor Mobilizes to Stop Fascist Provocation (8 June 2017)

(Español) Movilización obrera en Portland para poner alto a una provocación fascista (8 de junio de 2017)
A Call on NYC Labor to Mobilize Against June 10 Anti-Muslim Hate Rally
From
the Internationalist Group, Class Struggle Education Workers and Trabajadores Internacionales Clasistas (Class Struggle International Workers)

New York City is a union town, and an immigrant town. We have enormous potential power Workers – black and white, Latino and Asian, Muslim and Jewish, born here or abroad – make every wheel turn. But now we are all being targeted by outright fascists and violent race-hate groups of the “alt right,” who have announced they will hold a vicious Muslim-bashing action on June 10 at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan. It is crucial to bring out the power of New York’s multiracial working class and opponents of racist, anti-immigrant bigotry, to shut down the fascists and their June 10 provocation. NYC’s powerful labor movement must not stand by while fascists try to bring their racist terror to our town. Now is the time to bring out the united power of the working class in a massive labor/immigrant mobilization to stop the fascists here in New York on June 10. A Call on NYC Labor to Mobilize Against June 10 Anti-Muslim Hate Rally (30 May 2017)


Mobilize Labor’s Power to Bust the Union-Busters!
It Will Take Hard Class Struggle to Defeat “Right to Work”
By Class Struggle Workers – Portland

The labor movement in the United States is under full-scale attack, and its leaders are lying down and playing dead. They have no plans to fight the rightist capitalist onslaught spearheaded by Donald Trump. Worse yet, having been burned by their support for Democrat Hillary Clinton, the professional defender of Wall Street who didn’t even bother to go through the motions of pretending be a “friend of labor,” and whose economic policies have led to the destruction of hundreds of thousands of union jobs, top labor leaders are doing everything they can to play ball with labor-hater Trump. The paralysis of union tops in the face of threatened “right-to-work” legislation, or a potential Supreme Court decision that would do the same to public sector workers, is a declaration of bankruptcy. It demonstrates again that their fundamental loyalty is to the capitalist system, not the working people they claim to represent. What’s needed is to build a fighting opposition inside the labor movement based on a program of sharp class struggle, against the suicidal class collaboration of the present pro-capitalist labor bureaucracy. There’s got to be a clean sweep, or the unions are going down. It Will Take Hard Class Struggle to Defeat “Right to Work” (April 2017)

Enough is Enough: Stop the Scabs! Defeat the Cable Bosses!
Mobilize Telecom & All NYC-Area Labor to
Win the Spectrum Strike

June 10 marked the 75th day of the bitter strike by 1,800 cable workers against Spectrum, formerly Time Warner Cable.
For the past four years, Spectrum workers have been without a union contract. The determination of the strikers is an example to all defenders of workers’ rights. More than that, this battle is a test for the entire labor movement. New York-area union leaders have made speeches about solidarity, while relying on empty promises by Democratic politicians. But what’s needed – and long overdue – is for the unions to use their collective muscle now to help the Spectrum workers win. Bringing together AT&T Mobility and Spectrum workers, and beefing up picket lines with Verizon workers and big (not just symbolic) contingents from building trades, hotel and restaurant, hospital, Teamsters and other key unions can stop the scabs, defeat the union-busters, and win this battle in the interests of the entire workers movement. Mobilize Telecom & All NYC-Area Labor to Win the Spectrum Strike (11 June 2017) 

Mobilize NYC Labor to Smash Union-Busting
De Blasio Administration Complicit in Closing of B&H Warehouses

On January 12, the owners of B&H Photo announced plans to close its two warehouses in Brooklyn and shift the work to a site in south New Jersey. This is a transparent move to break the union organization of the B&H workers. The unionization of the largest independent supplier of photo and video equipment in the United States was a stunning gain for immigrant workers in New York. The bosses have been working non-stop ever since to undo their defeat. But there is more to the story than that. Democratic NYC mayor Bill de Blasio is running for reelection calling for “good-paying jobs.” Yet his administration is complicit in the planned closure which would throw 350 union workers out of work. City Hall has been working to expand a major film and TV studio that is pushing the warehouse out of the city-owned Navy Yard. The fight for union jobs at B&H must be a class struggle to win. That means breaking with the Democratic Party and mobilizing the powerhouses of NYC labor in defense of immigrant workers. De Blasio Administration Complicit in Closing of B&H Warehouses (3 March 2017)


For the ICL: The Main Enemy Is in Brussels
Latter-Day Spartacists Call for “Italexit”

There has been a rise in racist frenzy and nationalist chauvinism in Europe with the refugee “crisis,” the anti-immigrant inspired campaign for British exit from the European Union (“Brexit”) and various far right and fascist forces like Matteo Salvini in Italy and Marie Le Pen in France calling for their countries to pull out of the EU and drop the euro in order to better defend Christian culture and deport all “illegals.” The Lega Trotskista d’Italia (LTd’I, Italian section of the International Communist League, ICL) has been tailing behind this chauvinist wave, the latest gambit being their recent call for the Italian bourgeoisie to pull out of the EU and return to the lira. The German Spartacists proclaimed in World War I that “the main enemy is at home.” For the ICL today, like the reactionary nationalist populists, the main enemy is in Brussels. Latter-Day Spartacists Call for “Italexit” (June 2017)

Defend Leftist Lecturer Eleonora Roldán Mendívil!
Germany: Anti-Palestinian Witch Hunt Targets
Leftist and Jewish Activists

In recent months, there have been several incidents of persecution of Jewish and leftist groups and individuals in Berlin, Germany for their pro-Palestinian views. The attackers range from right-wing German nationalists to the peculiar self-described (and grossly mislabeled) “Anti-Germans.” A case of anti-Palestinian censorship that gained international attention is the exclusion of Free University lecturer Eleonora Roldán Mendívil, who taught a class on “Racism under Capitalism.” University authorities canceled her teaching contract after rightist German nationalists slanderously accused her of anti-Semitism. This entire campaign is a Zionist witch hunt against a leftist, and goes hand-in-hand with attacks on Jewish and Israeli civil rights and gay rights activists. Trotskyists defend the proponents of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against right-wing and Zionist attacks and censorship. But rather than looking to the imperialists, we call for international workers action in defense of the Palestinian people, and for Hebrew/Arab workers revolution. Germany: Anti-Palestinian Witch Hunt Targets Leftist and Jewish Activists (22 March 2017)     
“Anti-German” Witch-Hunters Support Zionism and German Imperialism (22 March 2017
L.A. “Sanctuary Clinic” Defends Immigrant Patients
By Class Struggle Education Workers
Class Struggle Education Workers has played a leading role in putting into practice the call to establish committees to defend immigrants in unions, schools and workplaces in the New York area, while helping build protests and mobilizations against attacks and provocations aimed at immigrants, Muslims and basic democratic rights. So it was with great interest that CSEW activists learned that a health clinic in Los Angeles had declared itself a sanctuary from the recent wave of raids targeting undocumented immigrants. In mid-April, the CSEW visited the Clínica Oscar A. Romero in the largely Central American Pico-Union neighborhood of L.A. and interviewed Ana Grande, the director of organizing.
L.A. “Sanctuary Clinic” Defends Immigrant Patients (June 2017)

Anti-Communist Witch Hunt in NYC School
By Class Struggle Education Workers
For the past several months, the Office of Special Investigations of the New York City Board of Education has been conducting an ominous “investigation” in the Park Slope Collegiate school in Brooklyn. The principal and four teachers are charged with communist organizing in the school! This is a throwback to the McCarthyite witch-hunting of the 1950s when over 1,100 teachers in the New York City public schools were investigated and close to 400 were fired or forced to retire over accusations of communist associations. Class Struggle Education Workers says the United Federation of Teachers must fight this tooth and nail, but that requires a new leadership. The UFT was forged in anti-communism,  growing out of the purge of left-wing teachers of the original Teachers Union. Anti-Communist Witch Hunt in NYC School (June 2017)



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