Internationalist Special Issue
                        November-December 2012  
Special Issue,
November-December 2012

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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

A Capitalist Disaster
Class, Race and Hurricane Sandy
We Need a Workers Revolution

Major disasters serve as an x-ray of the societies in which they occur, laying bare the social contradictions that run like seismological fault lines through them. The devastation of Hurricane Sandy was magnified as it hit the economic and media center of world capitalism, New York City. This was yet again an “unnatural disaster” like so many in the past decade in which warnings were ignored and the death toll multiplied by capitalist-induced chaos, skimping on infrastructure and not only callous indifference towards those affected by it but even a deliberate desire to remove “unwanted” populations. Beyond the wanton vindictiveness of city rulers, Hurricane Sandy highlighted the utter inability of capitalism (and particularly the American “free market” variety) to plan and produce to fulfill human needs. Social democrats and liberals yearn for the bourgeois state to step in and clean up the mess, as if it were a matter of reorienting budget expenditures from guns to butter. This won’t happen as long as capital rules. Occupy radicals and anarchists dream of building a new society based on “mutual aid,” while cooperating with the NYPD, the mayor and the National Guard. The issue is not priorities but power – state power. What it will take to right the wrongs and all the injustices laid bare by Sandy is nothing less than socialist revolution. Class, Race and Hurricane Sandy (16 December 2012)

It’s Showdown Time on the Portland Docks
We Need to Win This One!
Bring Out Workers Power to
Defend the ILWU!
The global grain cartel, made up of some of the world’s biggest, greediest and most secretive monopolies, is gorging on record profits while hunger stalks millions of poor and working people. Now these profiteers are gunning for the hard-won gains of the working class. Their target is the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and ground zero is the Portland docks. On November 29, the Northwest Grainhandlers Agreement between the ILWU and the agribusiness/shipping cartels expired. The employers are demanding huge givebacks from the ILWU, and they are preparing to use force to do so. They want to impose the terms of the concessionary contract at the new EGT grain terminal in Longview, Washington, which the ILWU bureaucracy and many on the left wrongly hailed at the time as a victory. Now we are seeing the consequences. This is class war: there are no neutrals here. Unions should prepare now to stand with the ILWU in building mass picket lines that scabs won’t dare to cross. In case of a lockout, all U.S. ports should be struck, and there should be solidarity action around the globe. All working people must come to the defense of the ILWU.Bring Out Workers Power to Defend the ILWU!  (29 November 2012)

After 55 Days on Picket Line, a Solid Labor Victory Including Union Hiring Hall!
Hot and Crusty Workers Win With Groundbreaking Contract
After months of struggle, immigrant workers at the Hot and Crusty bakery/restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side have made big news for the workers movement. A solid union victory – including a union hiring hall and benefits virtually unheard of in the industry – has been achieved. Dramatic ups and downs marked the campaign from the start. But fed up with abuse and workweeks in some cases of up to 72 hours without overtime pay, the workers’ determination to stick it out, come what may, was crucial to winning this battle. A lockout and threats of migra action did not deter them. Instead, determined efforts were made to win support from NYC unions, as well as students. Hot and Crusty workers did not fight alone. The inspiring outcome has the potential to spark further, wide-ranging efforts to organize low-wage immigrant workers throughout the food industry in New York City, “the restaurant capital of the world.” Hot and Crusty workers showed what class-struggle unionism can achieve.  Hot and Crusty Workers Win With Groundbreaking Contract

For International Workers Action to Defeat Israeli Assault/Occupation!
Zionist Mass Murderers Strike Again: Defend Gaza!
U.S./NATO Imperialists, Israeli Zionists and Arab Islamists: Hands Off Syria!
Defend the Palestinian People – For an Arab/Hebrew Workers State in a Socialist Federation of the Near East

As soon as the U.S. elections were over, the Zionist Israeli government launched a rain of death against the beleaguered Palestinian population of Gaza. If U.S. president Barack Obama began his re-election campaign with the murder of Osama bin Laden, Israel’s war criminal premier Benjamin Netanyahu launched his campaign for the January 2013 elections by the terrorist assassination of Ahmed al-Jabari, the head of the al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas. This was accompanied by a full-scale barrage of indiscriminate aerial bombing, that killed dozens of Palestinians. Meanwhile in Egypt, while Cairo masses denounce the Israeli terror bombing, the Muslim Brotherhood government is calling for a ceasefire while continuing to keep Palestinians locked up in the tiny Gaza Strip. The attack on Gaza is a prelude to a wider Middle East War. We demand: imperialists, Zionists and Islamists, Hands off Syria. Smash imperialism and Zionism through international socialist revolution. Zionist Mass Murderers Strike Again: Defend Gaza! (17 November 2012)

Oppose Obama/Romney, Break with Democrats and Republicans
No Choice for Workers in Capitalist Election Shell Game
Build a Revolutionary Workers Party!

The world’s attention is focused on the American presidential election pitting Republican Mitt Romney against Democratic president Barack Obama. But the idea that millions of poor, working-class and middle-class voters can determine the fate of the country is an illusion. The electoral battle is between two multi-millionaires who are proposing to manage the affairs of capital. Their issues are over how exactly to wage the capitalist war on the workers or which country to invade next. Profits up, wages down and persistent mass unemployment: that is the state of the American economy today. Yet the labor bureaucracy ties the workers to the capitalist parties that are screwing us. The working class needs to oust the bureaucrats, break with the Democrats and build a workers party, a revolutionary party to champion the cause of all the victims of capitalism and lead the class struggle forward to a fight for power. Our issues – racism, oppression of women, attacks on immigrants, poverty, economic depression, imperialist war – can only be solved by expropriating the capitalist system and launching the socialist revolution which is key to liberation for all. No Choice for Workers in Capitalist Election Shell Game (5 November 2012)

Working Families Party: Putting Lipstick on a Pig
The Working Families Party, in spite of what its name implies, is no more than a tool used by politicians and union bureaucrats to bolster support for the Democrats. What it does is offer another ballot line for Democratic candidates: hardly an alternative. To build a real workers party that can lead the class struggle it’s necessary to break with all the capitalist parties, the Democrats first and foremost. And to do that, we have to drive out the pro-capitalist labor bureaucracy, which is tied to the Democrats by an umbilical cord.  Working Families Party: Putting Lipstick on a Pig (5 November 2012)

Oppose Democrat/Republican Drive to Police-State Rule
Barack Obama’s Global Assassination Bureau
Democratic president Barack Obama began his re-election campaign over the May Day 2011 weekend, when a Navy SEAL hit squad killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and NATO war planes bombed a residential compound in Tripoli, Libya attempting to murder Muammar Quaddafi. At the Democratic National Convention in September, the delegates broke into cheers of “USA, USA” when speakers mentioned the bin Laden execution. Such “targeted killings”(assassinations) have become the administration’s signature tactic in waging its terror war. Over the last several years, almost 3,000 individuals have been killed in “precision” strikes by U.S. “drone” aircraft. Now journalists report that this program has been systematized into a “disposition matrix” (kill list) in which “nominations” (individuals marked for death) are personally approved by the U.S. president. Instead of complaining of leaks, Democratic campaign officials are reveling in the revelations, supposedly showing that Obama is not “soft on terrorism.” Indeed, the biggest international terror masters are to be found in the White House Situation Room. 
Barack Obama’s Global Assassination Bureau (4 November 2012)

Workers Must Rely on their Own Power, Not Capitalist Parties
Fast Food Workers Need a Whopping Raise And a Fighting Union!

Recently, some 200 workers carried out a first-ever strike at New York City outlets of McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Domino’s Pizza. Demonstrators chanted, “We can’t survive on $7.25,” the minimum hourly wage nationally, and in New York state. This was the kick-off of a campaign for a $15 an hour wage. Fast food workers are certainly not going to be unionized by the losing tactics the labor bureaucracy has relied on for years. But they won’t win by relying on legal gimmicks, favorable media coverage and “support” from Democratic elected officials. Organizing fast food workers to win a huge wage increase will take militant union action defying the bosses’ anti-labor laws. This requires total independence from the capitalist parties and politicians.  Fast Food Workers Need a Whopping Raise And a Fighting Union!  (5 December 2012)

Walkouts Show Potential for Class Struggle
Walmart “Black Friday” Strike Actions, Protests Called at Stores Across U.S.
Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States, Mexico, all of Latin America and the world, with a total of over 2 million “associates” around the globe. It is also almost completely non-union. Walmart management has been found guilty of systematically keeping women and racial minorities in low-paying positions, locking night-shift workers in its stores, bribing governments, exposing workers to serious health hazards, paying less than the minimum wage and keeping workers in part-time positions to avoid paying for health care. Life on the Walmart plantation is hell. Now on “Black Friday,” November 23, the day after Thanksgiving and the biggest shopping day of the year, protests have been called at up to 1,000 Walmart facilities around the U.S. The hidebound labor movement so far has failed miserably to unionize the retail giant. A real strike would aim at Walmart’s supply chain, and would require solid mass pickets that no one dares cross. You can’t do that playing by the bosses’ rules, and Walmart workers can’t do it on their own, but a class-struggle mobilization of union power can. Walmart “Black Friday” Strike Actions, Protests Called at Stores Across U.S.  (19 November 2012)

UFT Censors Opposition to Obama Endorsement
On October 17, the United Federation of Teachers in New York City voted on a leadership motion to endorse Democrat Barack Obama for president. Randi Weingarten, national president of the American Federation of Teachers came in to explain why teachers should vote for a candidate who has been at the forefront of the attacks on teachers unions. But when a delegate and supporter of Class Struggle Education Workers attempted to present a resolution against the AFT/UFT endorsement, the bureaucracy refused to let the body hear the opposition motion, much less vote on it. Moreover, when the leadership motion was presented, no opposition speakers were allowed. The labor bureaucracy chains workers politically to the bosses’ parties, and union reform groups go along, underlining the need for a class-struggle opposition. UFT Censors Opposition to Obama Endorsement (October 2012)

Rip Up the Sellout Contract – Mobilize to Stop Layoffs, Racist School Closures
Chicago Teachers: Strike Was Huge, Settlement Sucks
Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama Are No Lesser Evil
Break with the Democrats – Build a Class-Struggle Workers Party!

The strike by 30,000 teachers and school personnel in the country’s third-largest school district electrified educators and union militants across the U.S. It was the first strike nationally against the teacher union-bashing corporate education “reforms” pushed by both Republicans and Democrats, from the White House and Congress on down to the state house and city hall. Teachers struck against the policies of Wall Street candidate Barack Obama and stood up to his former chief of staff, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. The outcome, however, is something else entirely. The reform leadership of the CTU agreed to a contract that caved in to the bully boy mayor “Rahmbo” and the education deformers on every key point, selling out vital union gains while preparing the way for mass firings and the loss of hundreds, possibly several thousand teachers’ jobs. The union membership should turn down this giveback contract. The rotten settlement underscores that union “reform” caucuses based on simple labor militancy and “union democracy” end up reproducing the bureaucracy they replace. Only class-struggle unionism that openly fights against capitalism can defeat the class war on workers and the oppressed. Chicago Teachers: Strike Was Huge, Settlement Sucks (23 September 2012)
Teacher Evaluations and Illinois Law (23 September 2012)

Police of Popular-Front Government Slaughter Dozens of Workers
Bloody South Africa Mine Massacre Unmasks ANC Neo-Apartheid Regime

On August 16, an elite force of hundreds of South African cops opened fire on workers of the Lonmin mine in Marikana with automatic rifles, using live ammunition at point-blank range. It was, by far, the bloodiest massacre of black people in South Africa since the end of the apartheid regime of institutionalized white supremacy – only this time it was a black president and ministers who presided over the slaughter of striking miners. The capitalist government of the African National Congress and its “partners” of the South African Communist Party, backed by the National Union of Mineworkers, acting on behalf of one of the world’s top mining companies, sought to police the workers and put a violent end to their walkout. . It was cold-blooded mass murder in the service of capital. Such deadly backstabbing is the ultimate recourse of all manner of reformists when the capitalist system they support is at risk. In particular, it is the deadly face of the popular front. It is necessary to break labor from the nationalist popular front and build an internationalist, Leninist-Trotskyist, revolutionary workers party to fight for a black-centered workers government in a socialist federation of southern Africa. Bloody South Africa Mine Massacre Unmasks ANC Neo-Apartheid Regime (29 August 2012)
For a South African Internationalist Trotskyist Group (August 2012)
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