No. 54,
November-December 2018

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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

For Workers Action to Defend the Caravan:
Border Flashpoint in the Racist War on Immigrants
We Say: Let Them In – Free Them All – Let Them Stay!
The war on immigrants reached a flashpoint on the border between the United States and Mexico on November 25. In two dozen cities around the U.S. there were demonstrations of solidarity with the caravan of migrants from Central America, mainly from Honduras, that has arrived at the border city of Tijuana. Meanwhile, hundreds of members of the caravan tried to enter the U.S., only to be repelled by joint action of the Mexican and U.S. immigration police. The U.S. Border Patrol fired scores of tear gas grenades into Mexico. But instead of protesting this blatant act of imperialist aggression, the servile Mexican government arbitrarily arrested several dozen migrants who sought to get around the police barricade. In the U.S., Internationalist contingents participated in caravan solidarity demonstrations in San Ysidro south of San Diego, California, as well as Portland, Oregon and New York City. While demonstration organizers focused protest exclusively on Republican Trump, the Internationalists denounced the “deportation machine of Democrats and Republicans. ” Border Flashpoint in the Racist War on Immigrants (November 2018)
Video of Internationalist contingent in November 25 NYC caravan solidarity demo
Break with All the Bosses’ Parties and Politicians!
Midterm Elections: No Win for Working People

So the Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, while the Republicans held onto the Senate. A “blue wave”? Hardly. And it’s no gain for poor and working people. The capitalist party that has presided over most of U.S. imperialism’s wars for the last century, the party that under Barack Obama shoveled out $16 trillion dollars (that’s $16,000,000,000,000) to bail out banks and corporations following the 2008 Wall Street crash while millions were being evicted from their homes, managed to update its image by putting more “diverse new faces in (some) high places.” This is a “victory”? That’s what the liberals and various “moderate” left groups are proclaiming. Not in our book. Meanwhile, Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi has called for bipartisanship and finding “common ground” with the Republican Party of reactionary bigot Donald Trump. With the capitalist government divided between the Republican-controlled White House and a split Congress, the likely outcome is more Washington deadlock … and frustration all around. In this perilous period, it is key to unchain the power of the workers and oppressed from the bosses’ Democratic Party. Midterm Elections: No Win for Working People (17 December 2018)

For International Workers Solidarity! Let Them In!
Central American Caravan: The Left Caught Between Chauvinism and Liberal Utopianism

Today, thousands of Central American caravan members are stranded at the border in Tijuana, Mexico, blocked from entering the U.S. and vilified by Republican president Trump who issued a lethal force (shoot-to-kill) order to U.S. troops stationed there (along with thousands more Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection police) to keep them out. They are facing an already existing wall built by Democrat Clinton. As an elementary act of international workers solidarity, the Internationalist Group/League for the Fourth International call to let them in and for full citizenship rights for all immigrants. Various opportunist left groups have
embraced the call for “open borders,” which like the call to “abolish I.C.E.” – is an empty slogan intended to give a radical-sounding cover to the opportunists’ tailing after “progressive” Democrats who are for secure borders. Then there is the Spartacist League, which even after stating that the Hondurans and other Central American migrants in the caravan were “desperately fleeing” the “devastation made in USA” refuses to call for asylum or just to let them in. Against the liberal delusions of “open borders” under capitalism spread by social-democratic reformists and the chauvinist “no asylum for refugees” policy of the centrist ex-Trotskyists, a genuine struggle for immigrants’ rights can only be based on a program of international socialist revolution. Central American Caravan: The Left Caught Between Chauvinism and Liberal Utopianism (17 December 2018)

Against Officially Sponsored Xenophobic Attacks:
Mexico: For Workers Action to Defend Immigrants!
AMLO Offers to Act as Trump's Border Patrol
Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants – Asylum for the Refugees!
After traveling 3,000 miles from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to Tijuana, thousands of members of the Central American caravan are now stuck at the U.S. border. There they are up against a border wall fortified with concertina wire, the Border Patrol and U.S. military forces with “shoot-to-kill” orders. On the Mexican side, they face the threat of attacks by xenophobic mobs egged on by Tijuana authorities, and raids by municipal police and agents of the Mexican migra. Now, a week before the Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador is to take office, AMLO’s interior secretary says the new government has agreed with the Trump administration for Mexico to be a holding pen for refugees requesting asylum in the U.S., a process that could take years. The Grupo Internacionalista in Mexico and the Internationalist Group in the United States call, as an elementary act of international workers solidarity, to let the migrants in, for full citizenship rights for all immigrants
(both in Mexico and the U.S.), and for workers mobilization to protect the migrants against racist attack and official repression. Mexico: For Workers Action to Defend Immigrants!

Let Them In! Asylum for Refugees! Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants!
For Workers Mobilization to Defend Migrants Against Racist Attacks!
With the Caravan of International Workers
By Ulises Méndez

Honduras is battered by sky-high levels of poverty, disappearances and murders by the police, and one of the highest homicide rates in the world. It’s the aftermath of the coup d’état of 2009, carried out with Washington’s blessing. Today its fruits are being harvested, causing fear, and sowing rage. Accompanying the thousands of young people and whole families in the Central American caravan as it passed through southern Mexico, we spoke with the marchers, offering internationalist solidarity. They spoke of the nightmare they were fleeing, of their dreams of a better life, about how the caravan formed, and much more. The caravan, which started out as one among many, ended up as an exodus of young Hondurans which all the bourgeois forces are seeking to use for their own purposes: Trump, in order to whip up his electorate; the outgoing Mexican president Peña Nieto and the incoming López Obrador seeking to confine the immigrants in Mexico; and the puppet president of Honduras, in order to attack the opposition. The Grupo Internacionalista calls for full citizenship rights for all immigrants and for workers defense against racist attacks, egged on by xenophobic commentaries on social media. What’s needed is to turn the fear into wrath that spurs on the struggle for socialist revolution that transcends all the borders of capital. With the Caravan of International Workers (November 2018)

Chicago’s First-Ever Charter School Strike
Could Rekindle Teacher Revolt Nationwide

By Class Struggle Education Workers/UFT

On Tuesday, December 4, some 500 teachers of the Acero charter network in Chicago walked out. This is the first strike by charter school teachers in the U.S. While nationwide barely one in ten charters are unionized, if that, in Chicago one quarter of these publicly funded but privately managed schools are unionized. In the wake of the explosive teachers strikes from West Virginia to Arizona last spring, this walkout by the Chicago Teachers Union could potentially set off a movement to organize charters nationwide. It is vital that the striking Acero charter teachers receive the support of class-conscious union supporters everywhere. But remember the lessons of the 2012 CTU strike, when militant pickets shook the city, but Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel hard-lined it and the union’s “progressive” leadership rammed a giveback contract down the throats of the striking educators. Chicago’s First-Ever Charter School Strike Could Rekindle Teacher Revolt Nationwide (5 December 2018)

The Tragic Death of Byron Jacobs, Hero of the EGT Longshore Struggle
By Jack Heyman
Byron Jacobs, a fifth-generation longshoreman, was killed on the job in the Columbia River port of Longview, Washington this summer. At the age of 34, Byron was a courageous young union leader and former secretary-treasurer of Local 21 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). He will be remembered for the exemplary leading role he played in the struggle in 2011-12 against union-busting at the Export Grain Terminal (EGT) facility being built in Longview. That battle reverberated across the country as longshore workers, men and women, fought tooth and nail with mass actions in a class war like those in the 1930s that built the union movement. This is the story of that
monumental struggle that faced a hard-nosed employers’ cartel, the bosses’ state and a top union leadership that when the going got tough lined up against the militant union ranks, negotiating a concessionary contract when a decisive victory was possible. The entire ILWU paid the price for that. Byron’s example must be an inspiration to fighters for the cause of the working class everywhere. The Tragic Death of Byron Jacobs, Hero of the EGT Longshore Struggle (28 November 2018)

When the Lumbee Indians Ran Off the KKK (28 November 2018)
The Electoralist Campaigns of the Brazilian Left
In this panorama full of dangers for working people and the oppressed, what has been the response of groups that place themselves to the left of the PT? We can simply dismiss the PSTU (United Socialist Workers Party), which is once again a plaything in the hands of the right, applauding the arbitrary jailing of ex-president Lula, a move intended to prevent him from running for president in these elections. The PCO (Workers Cause Party), on the other hand, calls to “Go with Lula Until the End,” even after he passed the PT candidacy on to Fernando Haddad. The PSOL (Party of Socialism and Freedom) has from its birth functioned as a satellite of the PT. In the current election campaign, it is part of a bloc with the PT and other reformist and capitalist parties in a new popular front that subordinates the workers movement and the left to the bourgeoisie. The MRT (Revolutionary Movement of Workers) criticizes the PSOL for participating in “a front like that,” but is running its own candidates on the PSOL slate, and called to vote for its presidential candidate, Boulos. Genuine Trotskyists refuse to call for votes to any party in a class-collaborationist front. The Electoralist Campaigns of the Brazilian Left (5 October 2018)

Unite with Dominican and U.S. Workers to Defeat Imperialist Attack!
Revolt in Haiti Against IMF-Dictated Austerity

On July 6 while Haitians were glued to the TV sets watching the World Cup, the right-wing government announced that, effective the next day, it was raising fuel prices by up to 50%. In Haiti, a deeply impoverished country, that spelled disaster for several million people living on the edge of survival. And it was ordered straight from Washington. To no one’s surprise but that of Haiti’s rulers and their imperialist overlords in the U.S., the country exploded in protest. In less than 24 hours the government announced the “suspension” of the fuel price hike “until further notice.” But that didn’t stop the popular uprising, as a general strike shut down transportation nationwide. It was the biggest upheaval in Haiti in years. The July uprising staved off the imposition of the IMF-dictated fuel price hike … for now. But given the powerful array of forces determined to keep Haiti under the imperialist boot, the Haitian masses cannot win on their own.  Building proletarian opposition in major industrial countries, from Brazil to the U.S., is how to stop the arrogant imperialist economists from foisting their “soak the poor” policies on Haiti. But such a class struggle requires revolutionary internationalist leadership.  Revolt in Haiti Against IMF-Dictated Austerity (August 2018)

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