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Internationalist
                        No. 60 
 
No. 60,
May-July 2020
 

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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

Millions Take the Streets in Upheaval Against Cop Murder Machine
To Uproot Racist Oppression: Socialist Revolution

The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis cop set off a wave of outrage that swept across the United States and has continued for weeks. Millions of people took to the streets to denounce the racist police murder of black people. As protests spread cops geared up for battle attacked demonstrators. Democratic mayors and media screamed about “looting” to justify “law-and-order” crackdowns, while the incendiary racist Trump called to shoot looters and brought in thousands of troops to the capital. These have been the largest sustained protests in U.S. history. Seeing the shift in public opinion, Democratic mayors, who are “the bosses of the racist killer cops,” tried to coopt protests by pretending to shift some funds from the police to social programs. Yet none of the many plans to “reform” the police have ever succeeded because racist and anti-working-class repression is the essential function of the police. The only way to put an end to the cop murder machine is through socialist revolution. The combustible material that can fuel a revolution is everywhere. What’s urgently needed is revolutionary leadership. To Uproot Racist Oppression: Socialist Revolution (10 July 2020)
Opportunist Word Games to Justify Tailing Democrats
“Abolish the Police” Under Capitalism?
As activists call to “defund” the police while Democratic leaders call for more funds to the cops, in a presidential election pitting “shoot the looters” Trump vs. “shoot ’em in the legs” Biden, the Democratic Party is worried about energizing young voters. The need a little help from the opportunist left, to get out a “Dump Trump” vote in November. The Democratic (Party) Socialists of America were glad to oblige, Opportunist leftists present “abolish the police” as if that is the true meaning of protests calling to “defund the police.” But the actual role of the “abolish” demand is  to tie BLM protests to budget machinations by Democratic politicians. The Internationalist Group calls instead to snash the racist capitalist state with workers revolution. “Abolish the Police” Under Capitalism? (10 July 2020)
Cops Out of the Unions – Now!
By Class Struggle Workers – Portland

The racist police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others have highlighted why police of all kinds have no place in the labor movement. The demand “Police Out of the Unions” is a crucial aspect of bringing the power of the working class into the fight against racist oppression today. The labor bureaucracy has brought the class enemy‘s thugs into our labor movement through many doors. Major unions including the SEIU, Teamsters and AFGE include thousands of police in their cop affiliates. Moreover, policing is not solely relegated to police departments. It is also carried out by prison guard and security guards. Class Struggle Workers – Portland demands that ALL police “unions” and locals or affiliates of other unions be removed from the labor movement. In addition, defenders of labor and the oppressed must demand that prison guards and security guards should also be removed from the unions. Cops Out of the Unions – Now! (7 July 2020)
No to Military/Police Rule: Mobilize Workers Power!
Trump and Democrats Stage Ominous Trial Run for Martial Law

In the days following the May 25 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis cop, furious protests spread from coast to coast, including right in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. After being rushed to an underground bunker, racist president Donald Trump let loose a barrage of tweets, threatening to shoot protesters. On June 1, he berated governors, called for “total domination” of the streets and threatened to send in active duty troops to suppress demonstrations. In Washington, D.C., he did just that, bringing in thousands of National Guardsmen and the 82nd Airborne. This was a dry run at imposing martial law. Trump was thwarted not by non-existent “resistance” by Democratic governors, who had already mobilized the National Guard, but by the military brass, worried that troops might not follow orders to attack demonstrators. The Internationalist Group called for workers strikes now against racist terror and martial law threats.  Trump and Democrats Stage Ominous Trial Run for Martial Law (27 June 2020)
Mobilize Labor/Black/Immigrant Power Against Cop Terror!
ILWU Shutdown of West Coast Ports Points the Way Forward
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has announced that it will shut down all 29 ports on the U.S. West Coast on June 19, in honor of George Floyd and to protest “police brutality and systematic racism.” This is a big step forward, as daily and nightly mass protests of thousands continue across the United States weeks after Floyd was brutally murdered by a Minneapolis cop. From the outset of the protests, the Internationalist Group has called to mobilize labor/black/immigrant action against racist police terror. In addition to the outrage over the police murder of Floyd, the initiators of the ILWU port shutdown were impelled to take action by President Donald Trump’s threats of gunfire against protesters, and Democratic and Republican governors calling in the National Guard to suppress demonstrations. The ILWU action has been called for Juneteenth, which celebrates the day – 19 June 1865 – that slavery was formally abolished in Texas, the last of the Confederate slave states to be occupied by the Union Army, bringing the Civil War, the second American Revolution, to a close. The only way to break the death grip of the killer cops today is to smash the whole racist police/prison/judicial apparatus of the capitalist state through socialist revolution. ILWU to Shut All West Coast Ports Against Racist Police Brutality (16 June 2020)
“Only Revolution Can Bring Justice”
Presentation at Internationalist Group/Revolutionary Internationalist Youth online forum.
The police are the professionals of racist repression and daily enforcers of capitalist law and order. Today, the call to “defund the police” is extremely popular. But the police are the armed fist of the capitalist state. You can’t take repression out of the police and you can’t take repression out of capitalism. The verbiage about supposedly abolishing the police and abolishing the jails under capitalism is liberal utopian make-believe. As Marx and Lenin insisted, the capitalist state must be smashed in a workers revolution that sets up a new state of the working class to do away with oppression and lay the groundwork for a stateless, classless society. Racism is written into the DNA of U.S. capitalism. Unlike liberals and reformists, revolutionaries tell the truth about what’s needed to uproot racial oppression. Bottom line: there is no justice in the capitalist courts, that black liberation can only be realized through a socialist revolution. “Only Revolution Can Bring Justice” (10 June 2020)

Silent Amidst Mass Upsurge Against Racist Oppression
Spartacist League Declares Bankruptcy

In the almost four weeks since Minneapolis cops murdered George Floyd, the ongoing upheaval against racist police terror is by far the largest sustained wave of protest this country has seen in many decades. “Progressive” bourgeois politicians and their auxiliaries and surrogates on the reformist left are now working overtime to channel protests into updated versions of the same old fakery about “reforming” the police. For Marxist revolutionaries, this is a crucial time to intervene in the ongoing struggle with the communist program. That is what the Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International have been doing. Yet amid the most massive protest movement in the U.S. in decades, the formerly Trotskyist Spartacist League has not published a paper, put out a leaflet or posted a single statement on its website on the killing of George Floyd or the mass protests against racist police terror.
The sepulchral silence of the SL speaks volumes: its abject abdication is a declaration of political bankruptcy. Spartacist League Declares Bankruptcy (21 June 2020)
For Labor/Black/Immigrant Action to Fight Racist Terror
Fury Over Minneapolis Police Murder of George Floyd
“I can’t breathe,” George Floyd kept saying as a Minneapolis police officer dug a knee into his neck. For millions across the country and the world, it hauntingly, unbearably recalls the last words of Eric Garner, the Staten Island, New York man that a cop killed by chokehold in 2014. The racist cop murder of George Floyd set off furious protests in Minneapolis that soon spread to other cities. This latest racist outrage occurs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is killing African Americans and Latinos at staggeringly high rates. The African American, Latin American, Native American, poor and oppressed communities in the Twin Cities, including a sizeable Somali population, have long been targeted by the police. The names Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, Thurman Blevins, Chiasher Fong Vue are testimony that the police lynchings never stop. We call for mass workers action joining with the black population and all the oppressed to shut the Twin Cities down. The inescapable fact is that justice for George Floyd and all those killed by this racist system can only be achieved by socialist revolution. Fury Over Minneapolis Police Murder of George Floyd (28 May 2020)
Bad Apples, Broken Windows and Other Myths About the Police (February 2016)
Jim Crow “Justice” and the Capitalist State (February 2016)
Shipbuilding Workers in Maine Fight General Dynamics Union-Busting
Victory to the Bath Iron Works Strike!

On Monday, June 22, some 4,300 members of Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America/IAM Local S6 went on strike at the Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard in Maine. BIW, which produces destroyers for the U.S. Navy, is owned by General Dynamics, one of the largest military contractors in the world. Amid record unemployment, a global pandemic and mounting pressure from the military as BIW’s order backlog grows longer, the shipyard workers have shown they are ready and willing to fight. In mid-March, 3,000 called out sick demanding the company sanitize the site. What they are up against now is “flat-out union-busting,” said the international president of the IAM, as the company “is exploiting the current pandemic to attempt to outsource work.” The BIW workers’ strike must be taken up by the entire labor movement – a victory here could set the stage for a wave of labor struggles nationwide. Victory to the Bath Iron Works Strike! (29 June 2020)
Fruit Packinghouse Workers Stand Up for Their Rights
Yakima Strikes: The Battle Has Just Begun

After 22 days on strike, workers at the Allan Bros. packinghouse in Naches, Washington, celebrated an agreement with the company and returned to work on Monday, June 1. By Friday, June 5, the other companies settled, leaving Columbia Reach in Yakima as the last ongoing strike. But as many strikers commented, the struggle has only just begun. Over the course of the strike movement that broke out at Allan Brothers on May 7 and spread to eight area packinghouses, many people commented that nothing like this had been seen in the Yakima Valley for decades. As the year began, could the arrogant bosses who own the valley have imagined that “their” workers would dare to defy them by walking out – in the middle of a pandemic! – and force them to the negotiating table? For the strikers, who started with zero, the fact that their struggle made some gains can be a first step on the road to winning a union. Now come negotiations over demands for a pay raise. The courageous Yakima strikers, mostly women, must not stand alone. Action by the entire labor movement is key to achieving a solid victory in Yakima. Yakima Strikes: The Battle Has Just Begun (5 June 2020)
Minneapolis Public Schools Give Cops the Boot
In an historic move, Minneapolis Public Schools voted unanimously yesterday to cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department. Horrified by the cold-blooded killing of George Floyd by an MPD cop, educators in the Twin Cities and throughout the country denounced this racist murder. Students at local high schools and community have been organizing for years to get the misnamed “school resource officers” (SROs) out of the schools. On June 2, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers held a rally outside Minneapolis Public Schools Davis Center in North Minneapolis demanding “No More Police in Our Schools!” At the demo, teachers and parents shared stories about how their African American and Latino kids do not feel safe with MPD officers roaming their hallways. While the number of police in Minneapolis schools is small, the unanimous vote of the school board to remove them has national importance. Minneapolis Public Schools Give Cops the Boot (3 June 2020)
Shutting Down 24/7 Service Is No Answer to NYC Subway Crisis
On May 6, the New York City subway system began shutting down daily for four hours. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the aim is to “intensify disinfecting operations, cleaning its fleet of thousands of cars and buses every night” amid the coronavirus pandemic. Actually, it’s to eject the homeless. To solve the problem of large numbers of homeless camped out in the subways during the crisis, affecting other riders and workers, it's mecessary to provide everyone who needs housing a comfortable, safe place to stay, and plenty of social services. Start with the thousands of rooms standing empty in NYC hotels. But the late-night shutdown is ultimately not about the homeless. Nor is it about cleaning the trains. It’s about money, and profits. Leading capitalist spokesmen in New York have long called to get rid of all-night subway service. But New York City does function 24/7 year-round. To restore 24-hour New York City subway service, we need workers control. Shutting Down 24/7 Service Is No Answer to NYC Subway Crisis (11 May 2020)
To Meet Urgent Demand, Workers Power Is Key
How Capitalism Sabotaged Ventilator Production

As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the country, with New York City as the epicenter, hospitals and government at all levels have been caught wholly unprepared. A
cut-throat ventilator bidding war is going on, in which state governments compete against each other and federal agencies to get their hands on these desperately-needed life-saving devices. There should be a crash program to produce tens of thousands of new ventilators – yesterday! So why hasn’t that happened? Ventilator manufacturers are loath to ramp up production on the massive scale needed because it would virtually eliminate their profits. The ventilator shortage has been known for years. Medical professionals and even some government officials had been ringing the alarm bells, warning that a pandemic would leave U.S. hospitals in the lurch. But when a federal program was begun in 2008 to purchase up to 40,000 new ventilators, the company was bought out by a larger competitor in order to stop production of the lower-cost machine. Workers at General Electric have called on the company to rehire laid-off workers and retool plants to produce the vital machines. Faced with the refusal of the bosses to do so, GE workers should take control to gear up ventilator production, on the road to socialist revolution. How Capitalism Sabotaged Ventilator Production (14 April 2020) 

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

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