Internationalist No. 51  
No. 51,
March-April 2018

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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

Teacher Revolts Across U.S.
Needed: A Class-Struggle Leadership
Beginning in mid-February, a series of statewide teachers strikes broke out, first in West Virginia, then in Oklahoma and Kentucky followed by Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina. They are all states where teachers unions have historically been weak and where salaries and school funding have been at the bottom of the scale nationwide. After years of cutbacks and falling pay, the rebelling education workers (including staff and bus drivers) had had enough and walked out. In each case, the strikes were sparked by rank-and-file teachers holding school-wide meetings and using social media, while the leaders of the state affiliates of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers had to scramble to keep up. And when NEA and AFT tops in West Virginia and Oklahoma settled for token gains, the strikers voted to continue the walkouts. The strikes won important but limited gains, in itself a rare event in recent decades of union defeats. But they lacked a leadership capable of waging hard class struggle and an organizational framework to counter the sellout labor bureaucracy. Central to the lessons to be drawn from these important struggles is the need to break with the bosses parties and fight for complete independence of the unions from the capitalist state. Teacher Revolts Across U.S. (11 March 2018) 

Special: The Great Coal Strike of 1978  
Cops Kill Far More Every Week
Democrats Exploit School Shooting to Push Racist Gun Control

The horrific slaughter of 14 students and 3 teachers at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida set off a national uproar. With young survivors of the massacre in the forefront, a mobilization for gun control was launched. This immediately became part of the liberal campaign to get out the vote for Democrats in the November mid-term elections. The shooting was a heinous crime, but the “movement”  for more restrictions on ownership of firearms is a reactionary drive, thoroughly orchestrated by the Democratic Party, to strengthen the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state. This will not stop a deranged and/or racist mass murderer. Gun control in the United States has from the beginning had a racist character, to disarm African Americans, and in recent decades derived from the backlash against Malcolm X and the Black Panthers in particular. Weapons searches have been used as the excuse for police persecution of black youth (“stop and frisk”) and for outright police terror, such as the 1993 Waco Massacre by Democrat Bill Clinton. The Internationalist Group has from its inception opposed gun control and upheld the right of self-defense, and in particular the right of black armed self-defense. We have called on class-conscious workers to begin the work now of building workers defense guards, based on the mass organizations of the working class and oppressed, to counter the threat of violent racist and outright fascist forces. Democrats Exploit School Shooting to Push Racist Gun Control (April 2018)  
How Armed Self-Defense Stopped a Lynching (April 2018)   
Aiding and Abetting the Capitalist Democratic Party
“Socialists” Chase After Anti-Gun Movement

The cynical exploitation of traumatized youth by the Democratic Party to further its agenda of gun control has provided an X-ray into the politics of a panoply of left groups. When key sectors of the most powerful ruling class in world want to disarm the populace, slashing a key democratic right in order to leave the oppressed defenseless, how do socialists respond? In the last few weeks, as liberals, police chiefs and Democratic mayors (“the bosses of the racist killer cops”) push for gun control, almost the entire U.S. left has marched in lockstep with them. Why? Because they are chasing after the young marchers who have been enrolled in this campaign to bolster the capitalist state. The bourgeoisie’s rule is made possible in large part by its ability to perpetrate violence against those it rules over. Gun control has historically been used to disarm black people and intensify racist repression. While some opportunist leftists voice qualms or reservations about some gun control measures, they all end up supporting them. A “left” that plays into the hands of the Democratic Party can only lead to defeat.
A struggle for revolution is counterposed to this “movement” for gun control and for the Democratic Party of imperialist war, mass deportations and racist police terror. “Socialists” Chase After Anti-Gun Movement (April 2018) 

Drive the Imperialists Out of the Middle East!
U.S./NATO: Get Your Bloody Claws Off Syria!

The U.S., British and French missile attack on Syria on April 14, was blatant imperialist aggression. Coming almost exactly a year after Trump’s previous attack, it was based on the same pretext: supposed retaliation for alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on the civilian population. This is an imperialist lie, and quite likely an orchestrated provocation from the start. Any blow struck against the U.S./NATO imperialists and their allies in Syria is in the interests of the world’s workers. Antiwar demonstrations have raised demands such as “U.S. Hands Off Syria,” “No War in Syria” and similar slogans which avoid taking sides in the battle. These are liberal and reformist appeals for a more “peace-loving” U.S. imperialist foreign policy, in contrast to the revolutionary call to defend Syria and defeat the Western imperialists. War planners in Washington seem to figure they can strike in Korea or the Middle East with impunity, but one misstep (or deliberate provocation) could lead to a far wider conflagration. The Middle East is already on the brink of a regional war.  While there are are several wars going on simultaneously in Syria, one layered over the other, the Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International have called from the outset to drive the U.S./NATO imperialists out of the Middle East, including by workers action in the imperialist heartland.  U.S./NATO: Get Your Bloody Claws Off Syria! (15 April 2017) 

Workers Revolution Will Avenge Marielle Franco
For Workers Mobilization Against Military-Police Occupation!
Drive the Military Police and Army Out of the Favelas!

The assassination of Marielle Franco, a councilwoman in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 14 was a state crime. It was a summary execution carried out by professionals. The reason for the attack is utterly clear: it was a reprisal for Marielle’s denunciation of the racist repression that for many years has been carried out by the multiple police and military forces in Rio, particularly in the impoverished favelas (slum districts) like the Maré district where she grew up. Now, as the rapporteur of a commission named by the city council to monitor the intervention of the army in Rio she had become a priority target to be eliminated by the “forces of order.” Around the world, Marielle’s execution has been met with protests and demonstrations expressing grief for the loss of this fighter, a comrade fallen on the field of battle. But now is the time not just for rendering homage. This must be the spark to set off a struggle to massively mobilize the power of the working class to expel the UPPs (Police Pacification Units), the PM (Military Police) and the army from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and to defeat the army/police occupation of the city.  Racist Execution in Rio (16 March 2018) 

The “Anti-Fascism” of the Bourgeoisie is a Fraud
Lesson of Macerata: For Mass Worker Action to Defend
Immigrants and Stop The Fascists!

The point-blank shooting by a fascist of six African immigrants in the Italian town of Macerata on February 3 was attempted mass murder. Taking place in heat of the election campaign,Matteo Salvini of the Lega (formerly Northern League) justified the fascist gunman’s actions and called for expelling half a million immigrants. His coalition partner Silvio Berlusconi then one-upped him by calling for deporting 600,000. In response, more than 25,000 people marched in the small town to denounce the murderous fascists. There were significant numbers from the bourgeois popular-frontists, but also hundreds of workers, from the metal workers of the FIOM, to members of the syndicalist SI COBAS and the CGIL, who together showed the potential for working-class mobilization. Politically, though, it was a different story. Almost all of them call on the capitalist state to act against the fascists. Yet the repressive apparatus of the bourgeoisie is a breeding ground for the fascist action squads, and their ultimate protector. We of the Nucleo Internazionalista ­d’Italia, section of the League for the Fourth International, say that what is needed are mass mobilizations that bring out the power of the working class to stop the fascists. Lesson of Macerata (24 February 2018) 

(italiano) La lezione di Macerata (24 febbraio 2018)
Bourgeois Populism and Social-Democratic Reformism: A Dead End
Italy: Anti-Immigrant Election Hysteria
The campaign for the March 4 Italian elections has been dominated by vile xenophobic anti-immigrant chauvinism. All the competing bourgeois parties and coalitions attack the bogeyman of “illegal immigration.” The racist Lega (ex-Nord)  rails about the “invasion of aliens, drug pushers, delinquents and illegals,” raising slogans such as “Italians first! Now or never! Stop the invasion!” With the populist Cinque Stelle (Five Star) movement running first in the opinion polls, its historic leader, Beppe Grillo, recently called for immediately deporting all “illegals.” The strategy of the Democratic Party government has been to put itself at the head of the anti-immigrant hysteria by aggressively extending the sway of Italian imperialism in the Mediterranean, Libya and to the south. This imperialist drive to the south is accompanied by a campaign of all-sided racist repression against immigrants and refugee seekers in Italy. What the domesticated left is counterposing to the three main bourgeois coalitions of Forza Italia/Lega, Cinque Stelle and the PD with its various appendages of homeless bourgeois politicians, is a mixture of bourgeois populism and social-democratic reformism. in the present climate of anti-immigrant hysteria and fascist attacks, what is needed are mass mobilizations bringing out the power of the working class to stop the fascists. Above all, we must forge a genuinely Leninist-Trotskyist vanguard.  Italy: Anti-Immigrant Election Hysteria (24 February 2018)   
(italiano) Elezioni del 4 Marzo: Isteria anti-immigrati (24 febbraio 2018) 
Imperialist “Murder & Torture Inc.” Targets Baruch:
A Threat to Us All

CIA Out of CUNY Now!

The Central Intelligence Agency – U.S. imperialism’s infamous “Murder & Torture Inc.” – has made an agreement with the City University of New York’s Baruch College to implant agents and recruiters on campus. This is a huge national issue sharply escalating the drive to militarize the university and subjugate it to the dictates of the government. The CIA’s website (cia.gov) states that “as part of CIA’s recruitment strategy,” Baruch has been included in the spy agency’s Signature Schools Program. A Memorandum of Understanding states that along with workshops and other “activities,” the CIA would carry out “simulations” on the Baruch campus. What will they simulate? Waterboarding? Other torture and interrogation techniques? The drive to make CUNY students, faculty and staff cogs in the imperialist war machine is an attack on us all. The CUNY Internationalist Clubs and Revolutionary Internationalist Youth call for massive protest and exposure to stop the CIA from making our university a base for the torture, terror and mass murder it carries out around the world.
CIA Out of CUNY Now! (18 March 2018)  

Boston: Let Siham Byah Come Home! No Deportations!
By Class Struggle Education League
On January 27, hundreds of defenders of immigrant rights from many leftist organizations, labor unions, churches and sanctuary networks rallied in Boston to protest the deportation of Siham Byah. A prominent Occupy Boston activist and single mother, Byah was grabbed by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) police last November 7, torn from her son, beaten in a local jail, driven to Virginia and then deported to Morocco. The Class Struggle Education League, based in Lowell, Mass. and New Hampshire participated in the protest, emphasizing the importance of mobilizing the power of workers action to stop the I.C.E. deportation machine. It also noted the parallel to the struggle against slave-catchers under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, a battle which came to a head in Boston and set the stage for the U.S. Civil War. The CSEL is undertaking joint work with the Internationalist Group. Boston: Let Siham Byah Come Home! No Deportations! (4 February 2018)  

Transport Workers Call for Labor Action to Stop Deportations
Los Angeles: Salvadorans Mobilize
Against Cancellation of TPS

In yet another act of sadistic cruelty, the Trump administration put an end to the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for immigrants and refugees from El Salvador. Some 260,000 Salvadorans, many of whom fled the terror of the U.S.-backed death squad regime during the 1980s civil war, now face the prospect of deportation. The country to which they would be deported is a charnel house of poverty, gang violence and bloody repression as a direct result of U.S. actions. In the Los Angeles area, home to a million undocumented immigrants and more than a quarter million Salvadorans, among them 35,000 TPS holders, outrage over this attack and the racist remarks of President Trump sparked an emergency protest on Saturday, January 13. An important development was the presence of a contingent of “Transport Workers Against Deportations,” whose banner called for “Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants!” and “Organize Undocumented Workers!” This is an important step toward workers action to stop deportation, which the Internationalist Group has long called for. A few days later a rapid response team averted a raid in Koreatown by I.C.E. police. To effectively fight the attacks on immigrants requires a break with the Democrats, who deported millions, paving the way for Trump. Los Angeles: Salvadorans Mobilize Against Cancellation of TPS (31 January 2018) 

German Pilots Show the Way: Stop Deportations Through Workers’ Actions!
Germany: Oury Jalloh and the Fight for Refugee Rights
Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants!
For a Revolutionary Multi-Ethnic Workers’ Party!

After 13 years of cover-up and delay, the gruesome death of Oury Jalloh in a Dessau police cell remains unsolved. The refugee from Sierra Leone was handcuffed by hands and feet on a fireproof mattress in 2005, yet he burned to death in police custody.For years, friends and relatives of Oury Jalloh have been fighting this cover-up of an obvious murder. They organized a commemorative demonstration in Dessau on January 7, the anniversary of his death. More than 4,000 people came to the small town. The Internationalistische Gruppe participated in the powerful protest and called for a class-struggle strategy against racist oppression.  Germany: Oury Jalloh and the Fight for Refugee Rights (January 2018) 

To contact the League for the Fourth International or its sections, send an e-mail to: internationalistgroup@msn.com