Special Issue Summer 2012  
Special Issue,
Summer 2012

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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

What Happened to the "Arab Spring"?
Storm over the Middle East
U.S./NATO Imperialists Hands Off Syria!
For Workers Revolution!

A year and a half after a wave of protest and revolt swept through the Arab East,  in Tunisia and Egypt military-based authoritarian regimes have been replaced by military-based pseudo-democratic regimes with weak Islamist governments subordinate to imperialism. Last year, everyone from Barack Obama's White House to the bourgeois media to the vast majority of the left were all hailing the "revolutions" in Cairo and Tunis. Key to perpetrating the fraudulent illusion of revolution was proclaiming its goal as simply "democracy." In this era of capitalist decay, the imperialists will not tolerate even limited bourgeois democracy for those who toil in the workshops of "globalized" capitalism. Today the military still holds the whip hand. Yet the civil war in Syria and U.S./Israeli threats to "bomb, bomb Iran" could set off a conflagration engulfing the region. And the working class is beginning to move, notably in Egypt. Storm over the Middle East  (May 2012)

Portland Trotskyist Study Group Fuses with Internationalist Group

After intensive discussions, visits and several months of joint work, the members of the Portland, Oregon Trotskyist Study Group and the Internationalist Group have decided to unite their forces in a single organization, the Internationalist Group, U.S. section of the League for the Fourth International. The members of Portland Trotskyist Study Group have a number of years of experience on the left, both as unionists and members of socialist groups, among them the International Socialist Organization. They fought against bureaucratic sabotage to build support for the courageous longshore workers of Longview, Washington battling a union-busting attack. The comrades of the PTSG see this as a big step forward in embracing authentic Trotskyism against the parodies they had known of various currents which falsely claim the legacy of Leon Trotsky, co-leader together with V.I. Lenin of the 1917 October Revolution. Together we see this as an opportunity and challenge to build a class-struggle opposition in the workers movement on the program of revolutionary Marxism. The fusion of the PTSG with the IG is an expression of revolutionary regroupment which will be vital in seeking to reconstitute an authentically Trotskyist world party of socialist revolution.
Portland Trotskyist Study Group Fuses with Internationalist Group  (July 2012)

Explosion of Outrage in Orange County, California
Anaheim Cops on Murderous Rampage Against Latino Youth
Mobilize Workers' Power Against Racist Cop Terror

A wave of outrage has swept through southern California in response to a rampage of racist shootings of Latino youth by the Anaheim police.  When cops gunned down two young men, Manuel Angel Diaz and Joel Acevedo, on July 21 and 22, residents immediately took to the streets. They were met with even more vicious cop terror. When hundreds of protesters were denied entrance to a city council meeting, the media labeled it a riot. The city had become a war zone, "Anaheimistan." Demonstrators chant, "The whole system is guilty." American capitalism is racist to the core. Capitalist politicians need their killer cops to defend their class rule. To fight police brutality it is necessary to mobilize an even more powerful force, that of the working class without whose labor capitalism would grind to a halt. There should be a strong mobilization of labor's power in conjunction with the Latino, African American and Asian poor and working people to stop racist police brutality. Ultimately, there can be no "solution" to the pervasive racial profiling, to black oppression and the super-exploitation of immigrant labor short of overthrowing the ruling class that profits from it. Anaheim Cops on Murderous Rampage Against Latino Youth  (3 August 2012)

Part of a Whole System to Criminalize Black and Latino Men
Thousands Protest Racist NYPD "Stop and Frisk"
Police "Serve and Protect" Capital – It Will Take Socialist Revolution to Get Rid of Racist Cop Terror

In New York City last year, some 685,000 people were stopped by police on the basis of the color of their skin. The police practice of "stop and frisk" is racial profiling with a vengeance. On June 17, some 15,000 people marche down Fifth Avenue to protest this policy. But the Democrats and labor bureaucrats who headed up the march only want to modify the practice with a few cosmetic "reforms" that would only sanitize the image of the police while doing nothing to stop the massive dragnet operations against the black and Latino communities. "Stop and frisk" is part of a system of dominating the ghettos and barrios with police terror, and criminalizing an entire generation of young black and Latino men. The police are the backbone of the capitalist state and cannot be reformed. Nothing short of socialist revolution that sweeps away capitalist rule can put an end to cop brutality. Without a revolutionary leadership based on the social power of the working class, the current protests cannot break through the blue wall of police power. Thousands Protest Racist NYPD "Stop and Frisk"  (21 July 2012)

    Defend Malik Ayala and Jazz Hayden (21 July 2012)

We Don't Beg, We Demand: Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants!
The Empty Election Promises of "Mr. Deportations" Obama
Forge a Revolutionary and Internationalist Workers Party!

When U.S. president Obama announced on June 15 that he was suspending the deportations of certain undocumented youth, it caused a tremendous stir nationwide. Ten days later the Supreme Court of the U.S. issued a ruling that gave the green light to implementing the central provision of Arizona's racist SB1070 law. The Democrats want to use the false hopes awakened by the former and the justified fears provoked by the latter in order to round up votes for the November elections. But by deporting more than a million immigrants, Barack Obama is in no way a "lesser evil". The two parties of capital represent a system which profits from the superexploitation of millions of workers who lack the most basic rights. It is in the economy where the immigrants' strength lies. They don't vote but they produce the values and create the wealth that the capitalists appropriate. In order to defeat the war against immigrants it is indispensable to forge a workers party capable of fighting against the representatives of capital and their state. The Empty Election Promises of "Mr. Deportations" Obama 

Labor Must Clean its Own House:

For a Class Struggle Opposition in the Union Movement

By the Portland Trotskyist Study Group
Members of an opposition Reform Slate in United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 156 (Oregon and southwestern Washington) were recently brought up on bogus charges and convicted in a rigged union trial after twice winning Local elections. Labor militants should protest this outrage. However, an article by the Workers Action group on this praises the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, better known as the Landrum-Griffin Act. This is dangerously wrong. The LMRDA was enacted in order break union power. Any government intervention into the unions, whatever the pretext, should be resisted. Inviting the biggest gangsters in the world, the U.S. government, to run a union places control in their hands and union members' rights at their whim. We need union democracy in order to better fight capital. You can't do that by appealing to the capitalist state, its laws and courts against our unions, no matter how rotten the leadership. Class-conscious unionists in the building trades have from the beginning insisted instead that labor must clean its own house.
Labor Must Clean its Own House: For a Class Struggle Opposition in the Union Movement  (19 July 2012)

Quality Education Is Not a Commodity But Everyone's Right
Teachers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Stop Work to Stop High-Stakes Test

On June 27 and 28, teachers in Rio de Janeiro are stopping work for an unusual purpose: to boycott a high-stakes test, the SAERJ. This "Education Evaluation System of the State of Rio de Janeiro has nothing whatsoever to do with a scientific diagnosis of the pedagogical development of the students. It is an arm of the enemy in the capitalist offensive to privatize public education. The bourgeois politicians seek to link the wages of educators to the "product," as if education were a commodity purchased on the market rather than a fundamental democratic right of working people and the entire population. The work stoppage called by the SEPE after previous efforts to boycott the SAERJ is a beginning. The combative Mexican teachers have taken resistance to another level in calling strikes to stop these phony evaluations." And because it is an offensive of imperialism, of capitalism in its phase of decay, of systematic destruction of past gains, the reformist trade-unionism of the past no longer works – what's required is a revolutionary international response. Teachers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Stop Work to Stop High-Stakes Test  (19 July 2012)

The Boom of the Lula-Dilma Government Paralyzes the Popular Front Left
Brazil Prepares for Militarized Olympics By Repressing the Poor and Working People

The year 2011 around the world was one of explosive popular uprisings, of workers' struggles, of rebellions by students and youth in general. The bourgeois media present Brazil as an exceptional case. The government of Lula and his successor Dilma Rousseff has made use of the raw materials boom to dish out a few crumbs to the poor, using its welfare programs to reduce extreme poverty. They are silent about the fact that they have only managed to raise the poorest to the level of a brutal "normal" poverty; and that these welfare programs are financed by slashing health care and pension programs. As part of the preparations for the 2014 World Cup (soccer) and the 2016 Olympics, the government has sent the military police after residents of favelas (slums) in eviction operations. At the beginning of 2012, the military police called a "strike." Most of the left scandalously supported this mutiny in the armed fist of the bourgeoisie. In a situation of great social volatility more than ever a leadership is required that can go beyond the merely "democratic" bourgeois program, to intervene in events with a program aiming at international socialist revolution. Brazil Prepares for Militarized Olympics By Repressing the Poor and Working People  (May 2012)

Mission Impossible: #YoSoy132 Proposes to Clean Up the Electoral Farce
Mexico: Defeat the Bourgeois Repression of the PRI, PAN and PRD!
Workers to Power!

No Vote to Capitalist Parties and Politicians! Break with López Obrador's Bourgeois Popular Front! Forge a Revolutionary Workers Party!

The sudden appearance on the political scene of the movement #YoSoy132 (I am 132) a month ago has shaken up the previously listless campaign for the July 1 elections. By questioning the media coverage of the Televisa-TV Azteca duopoly and opposing the "imposition" of EnriquePeña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) as president, the students have thrown a wrench into the works. By denouncing the undeniable authoritarianism of PRI rule while barely mentioning the more than 60,000 dead in the "war against drugs" of President Felipe Calderón, it is attempting to prettify the present government of the PAN. Meanwhile, various groups of the opportunist left who habitually tail after every new "movement" are trying to clamber aboard the brand new student movement. The fact that even students of the well-off petty bourgeoisie are mobilizing, both in Mexico and southern Europe, indicates the depth of the world economic crisis. But in order to really fight against oppression and poverty, they will have to break their ties with the ruling classes and take their place along side the proletariat and the oppressed in the class struggle.
Mexico: Defeat the Bourgeois Repression of the PRI, PAN and PRD! Workers to Power!  (June 2012)

Beyond the June 17 Elections
Battle Over Anti-Worker Austerity Comes to a Head in Greece

On the eve of the June 17 Greek elections, imperialist bankers and political leaders are on pins and needles. They fear a worldwide "contagion" like that which set off the 2008 financial crisis following the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment house. But Greek working people face a threat to their very existence, and it won't be solved at the ballot box. Following the earlier May 6 election, Greek rulers and the international markets were stunned by the dramatic increase in the vote for SYRIZA, the Coalition of the Radical Left.
Greece today is seething with discontent on the cusp of a pre-revolutionary situation. June 17 is not one more parliamentary election, and defensive struggles by the workers are wholly inadequate to counter the capitalist assault. Most of the left is hailing the social-democratic SYRIZA, which calls for a bourgeois "left government." But neither the Communist Party (KKE) nor the other left coalition, ANTARSYA, present a program for revolutionary class struggle. Facing mass layoffs and drastic wage cuts, Greek workers should be waging industrial struggle leading to a real general strike and workers control of production, on a program of transitional demands pointing to Europe-wide socialist revolution. Battle Over Anti-Worker Austerity Comes to a Head in Greece  (16 June 2012)

In the Face of the War Measures of the Liberal Government,
Mobilize the Heavy Battalions of the Working Class!

Quebec Student Strike: Defeat the Capitalist Attack

For more than three months, Quebec students have been on strike against the plan of the provincial government of Liberal Party premier Jean Charest to impose a massive tuition increase. Mobilizing up to 300,000 strikers, the students have rocked the Quebec nation. This is the largest student mobilization in the history of Quebec and one of the fiercest social struggles in Canada in recent decades. It is of prime international importance, together with the eight-month-long Chilean student strike last year. These are among the main current struggles against the capitalist war on public education, and on working people in general.Hoping to put an end to the strike, Charest rammed through, in less than 24 hours, an emergency law which amounts to a lockout of the student strikers plus a "Riot Club Law" to prohibit picket lines. To win a struggle against this international offensive of capital, it is necessary to wage a class struggle that goes beyond the bounds of phony bourgeois democracy, which is now revealed as a police state, and to forge a leadership based on a revolutionary internationalist program. Quebec Student Strike: Defeat the Capitalist Attack  (20 May 2012)
To contact the League for the Fourth International or its sections, send an e-mail to: internationalistgroup@msn.com