Internationalist 61 
No. 61,
September-October 2020

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

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

Trump Looks to Cops and Fascists, Democrats Appeal to Pentagon Brass
Repression Elections 2020
You Can’t Fight Trump with Democrats
U.S. capitalism is in a heap of trouble, and as usual, the working class and oppressed are paying the price. It’s about to get a lot worse. The country is beset by a deadly plague, the worst in a century. The economy is in a new depression, the deepest since the 1930s. An explosion of outrage over racist cop brutality brought millions into the streets daily in the largest sustained protest movement in U.S. history. The ruling class is sharply divided after a failed impeachment process, while U.S. society is deeply polarized over just about everything. And now we are on the eve of an election which could easily – even likely – set off weeks of turbulent unrest and perhaps a constitutional crisis not seen since 1876. In answer to Trump’s “law and order” campaign, Democratic standard-bearer Joe Biden calls to shoot “rioters” in the leg while his running mate, Kamala Harris, brags she was California’s former “top cop.” Neither Republicans nor Democrats will or can do away with the terrible scourges brought upon us by the decaying capitalist system of war, poverty and racism which they represent. We need a workers party to fight all the bosses’ parties on a revolutionary program to sweep away the entire capitalist system. Repression Elections 2020 (30 October 2020)

Brazil: Workers Power Candidacy Against Capitalist Rule
Comrades Carlos Alexandre Honorato (Cerezo) and Geraldo Ribeiro of the Liga Quarta-Internacionalista do Brasil are running on a Workers Power Candidacy Against Capitalist Rule for mayor and deputy mayor of Volta Redonda, site of the largest steel plant in Latin America. They are presenting a class-struggle program, including demands for free and rapid COVID-19 tests for all, expansion of the public health care system under workers control, teacher-student-parent-worker control of the schools, union control of hiring, all police and military out of the impoverished favelas, and the formation of workers councils as the basis for a workers and peasants government. Cerezo is a former steel worker who played a leading role in the 1988 strike that won the six-hour workshift in the face of army occupation. Geraldo led the historic struggle to expel police from the municipal workers union. The bourgeois courts have banned the independent workers campaign, which unlike all the rest refuses to take one real (the Brazilian currency) from the state or bosses, but the class-struggle campaign continues. Brazil: Workers Power Candidacy Against Capitalist Rule (28 October 2020)

Close the Camps – Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants!
Down with Racist Fortress Europe!

Greece: Moria Fire Ignites More Racist Repression
As flames engulfed the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos on September 8, burning it to the ground, Europe’s “forgotten” crisis was made visible once more. In the midst of a global pandemic that has claimed over a million lives, Greek authorities locked down the open-air prison with its nearly 13,000 migrant refugees. After protests against the lockdown, and pushed to the edge by spending many months and even years in the  squalid camp, Europe’s largest, some camp residents set it ablaze. The desperate act of rebellion was fueled by years of humiliation and dehumanization, carried out under the racist immigration policies of the German-dominated European Union (EU) and its Greek border guards.With a rightist government and outright fascists cooperating in immigrant-bashing rhetoric and actions, the League for the Fourth International calls to close the concentration camps, free all migrants and allow them the same freedom of travel as everyone else while demanding asylum for refugees and full citizenship rights for all immigrants. We also call for workers action against racist attacks, and for refugees fleeing the devastation caused by imperialism, we say: let them in! Greece: Moria Fire Ignites More Racist Repression (28 October 2020)
Greek Refugee Crisis Redux: Made in Germany (28 October 2020)  
In Wake of Upsurge Against Racist Cop Terror
Democrats’ Pro-Cop Ticket Vies with Trump Over “Law and Order”

So this is what “democracy” looks like, USA-style, as election season enters its final stretch: a hellscape for the oppressed, workers and youth. Unending police murder of black people, hundreds of thousands dead of coronavirus, millions unemployed, fascistic vigilantes gunning down anti-racist protesters, and now the West Coast up in flames. It’s not an apocalyptic Hollywood movie – it’s the “death agony of capitalism” 2020. And after millions come out in the streets demanding an end to police terror; after “progressive” Democrats (and their echo chamber on the reformist left) work overtime to channel protest into calls for “defunding” the cops; after these same “progressives” fall in line behind the upcoming nominee – the result is the most ostentatiously pro-cop Democratic ticket in decades. While many organizers of Black Lives Matter protests this summer urged people to vote (Democratic) in November, this is what they get: Joe Biden, a “shoot ’em in the legs” segregationist for president and Kamla Harris, a “lock ’em up” top cop for veep. Revolutionary Marxists call to break from and defeat the capitalist parties of racist cop terror, poverty and war, and to build a workers party to fight for a workers government. Democrats’ Pro-Cop Ticket Vies with Trump Over “Law and Order” (18 September 2020)
The Rap Sheet of “Top Cop” Kamala Harris (18 September 2020)
As U.S. Convulsed Over Racist Police Murder
SL Silence = Capitulation to the Democrats

U.S. capitalism is mired in deep crisis, with 200,000 dead from COVID-19, 50 million having lost their jobs, over 1,200 civilians killed by police so far in 2020, and now a putrid election campaign in which Democrats and Republicans vie over who can best carry out racist repression. While most of the left has gone along with the Democrats’ “law and order” ticket, who has been fighting against the Dems and all capitalist parties? The Internationalist Group has done so since Day One of the wave of anti-racist protests, in our press, polemics, placards, banners, chants and speeches. The Spartacist League, in stark contrast, has not said one word about the continuing pandemic of racist police murders, and has been absent from the mass marches. Politically, their absence from the battlefield destroys any remaining pretense of providing leadership, much less revolutionary leadership. These ex-Trotskyists turn their backs on youth seeking to fight racist oppression. The latter-day SL provides no opposition to the Democratic Party. On its epitaph, we can read: when the U.S. blew up over racist cop murder, when Democrats were misleading millions into a dead-end, they did nothing. SL Silence = Capitulation to the Democrats (2 October 2020)

Prepare a Joint UFT/AFSCME/TWU Strike Against “Doomsday” Cuts
NYC Teachers: Use Your Union Power to Make Schools Safe to Reopen

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to reopen city schools on September 10 sparked widespread unrest among teachers and other school employees. The pressure from the ranks was so strong that, on August 19, United Federation of Teachers (UFT) leader Michael Mulgrew held a press conference in which he said the union would be prepared to strike if union demands for a checklist of safety conditions are not met. As the deadline approached, Mulgrew and de Blasio announced a deal to delay reopening until September 21, but the union tops abandoned their demands for testing of everyone entering NYC school buildings. Class Struggle Education Workers calls on the union and teachers to ensure that every classroom in New York City is made safe, every school building has to be approved by a committee of educators and families in that school, thousands of new teachers and educators should be hired, and a joint strike against layoffs together with transit workers and all city employees be prepared that can shred the no-strike Taylor Law.  NYC Teachers: Use Your Union Power to Make Schools Safe to Reopen (6 September 2020)
A Class-Struggle Program to Reopen New York City Schools Safely (6 September 2020)

Get Ready to Strike to Make NYC Schools Safe to Reopen (30 August 2020) 
Defeat the Bipartisan Capitalist Attack on Public Education
The Fight Over Reopening Schools Is a Class Battle

On July 7, Donald Trump held a series of White House events to demand that schools be reopened throughout the U.S. for in-person instruction in the fall, after they had shut down in March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The presidential diktat was part of his reelection drive. But while Trump’s aim was transparently political, where transmission rates are low, schools should be reopened, safely, in view of the damage to the education, development and well-being of children resulting from keeping them out of school. “Remote learning” is an oxymoron, and greatly intensifies racial and class gaps in education. This article is a detailed analysis of the issues and class forces behind the battle over opening schools. Calls by various liberals and reformists to keep schools closed until COVID-19 is no more are deeply reactionary and play into the hands of enemies of public education, both conservative and liberal, who want to replace public schools (and teachers) with remote instruction, as part of their agenda to privatize public education. What’s needed is to bring out the power of labor together with all the oppressed to push through longstanding demands for quality education which are now key to safely reopening the schools. But that requires a revolutionary leadership that breaks with all parties and politicians of the ruling class to wage a class offensive. The Fight Over Reopening Schools Is a Class Battle (6 September 2020) 

Mobilize Workers Action Against Racist State Terror!
Los Angeles: Outrage Against Murder of Dijon Kizzee
Only Revolution Can Bring Justice!

On August 31, 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee was gunned down in a hail of bullets to the back by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies for supposedly riding his bike in an “illegal manner.” The day before the murder of Dijon Kizzee, a whistleblower’s testimony surfaced, shedding light on a murderous gang within the LASD’s Compton station called the “Executioners,” which recruits members based on their “success” in committing racist murders in the streets. The Internationalist Group calls for labor/black/Latino/immigrant mobilization against police terror. In contrast, many liberals and pretend-socialists seek instead to divert struggles against cop terror into the dead end of trying to reform the unreformable police. The is reflected in calls to “defund” and for “community control” of the police/sheriff’s department. The idea that the ruling class – the capitalists and their politicians – would let those whom the police are intended to repress control the repressors shows a fundamental (and in the case of would-be socialists, willful) misconception of the nature of the capitalist state. Los Angeles: Outrage Against Murder of Dijon Kizzee (6 September 2020)

Cops Shoot Jacob Blake in the Back, Shackle Him to Hospital Bed, Anti-Racist Protesters Murdered by Fascistic Gunman
Cops, Feds and Fascists Unleash Racist Terror in Kenosha, Wisconsin
For Mass Worker/Black/Immigrant Action!
Jacob Blake lies paralyzed in his hospital bed, shackled by hand and foot, after being shot with seven bullets to his back by police in the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 23. Two days later, anti-racist protesters Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum were murdered by a rifle-toting 17-year-old white supremacist vigilante from Illinois, Kyle Rittenhouse. Racist Republican president Donald Trump has dispatched hundreds of militarized forces to lock down Kenosha, while pro-Trump fascistic militias descended on Kenosha. But it was the Democratic mayor and Democratic governor who unleashed the racist police on demonstrators, imposed a curfew and brought in the Wisconsin National Guard to suppress the protests. Cops, Feds and Fascists Unleash Racist Terror in Kenosha, Wisconsin (28 August 2020)
Internationalists Rally in Solidarity with Kenosha Anti-Racist Protesters (14 September 2020) 
RIY Denounces Police Abduction of Spokane Activist Jeremy Logan (13 September 2020) 

NYC demo in Solidarity with Kenosha Anti-Racist Protesters  (28 August 2020) 
Trump and Democrats Assault Protesters
Police State Portland: Cops and Feds Get Out!

Following Donald Trump’s attempt to impose martial law in Washington, D.C. in the first days of June to put down protests over the racist police murder of George Floyd, the racist pyromaniac in the White House is at it again. Now he’s seeking to provoke explosions of unrest as an election tactic, in order to pose as the “law-and-order candidate.” The police-state tactics of federal agents dispatched to Portland, Oregon, intended to terrorize, have instead escalated the massive Black Lives Matter protests. Trump’s use of his Gestapo of secret police forces, assaulting protesters to sow terror, is an ominous threat to the democratic rights of all. It is a major step toward the imposition of direct military/police rule. But while Democrats pose as heroes of the “resistance,” the reality is that the vast majority of the thousands of arrests and innumerable brutal beatings of protesters in the last few weeks have been carried out by police forces under the command of Democratic mayors and governors. The Democrats threaten lawsuits and legislation, but that won’t stop Trump and his stormtroopers. The Internationalist Group calls for workers strikes and mobilizations together with all the oppressed, against racist repression and martial law threats. In the present sharp crisis, the IG and Class Struggle Workers – Portland raise the call: “Cops and feds get out!” Police State Portland: Cops and Feds Get Out! (21 July 2020) 
Now Even More Police Are Occupying Portland (5 August 2020)
Capitalism Is Killing Us
Homelessness and Coronavirus in NYC

Much of New York City ground to a standstill amid the coronavirus pandemic. State and city governments appealed to the population to “Stay Home, Stay Safe.” This was impossible for 4,000 homeless people living on the street, as well as for another 79,000 in city shelters, who have no place where they can safely “stay home.” The latest figures show 961 confirmed COVID-19 cases in homeless shelters, of whom 76 have died from the disease. In 2013, Democrat Bill de Blasio ran for New York City mayor with a campaign highlighting the fight against homelessness, which had ballooned under Republican plutocrat mayor Michael Bloomberg. De Blasio has since issued plan after program after initiative, yet the numbers in city homeless shelters keep increasing. There are plenty of rooms to be had in empty hotels and vacant luxury apartments to house the homeless. They should be occupied now! But ultimately it will take international socialist revolution to lift the impoverished out of destitution. Homelessness and Coronavirus in NYC (24 May 2020)
Friedrich Engels on the Housing Question (May 2020)
Defeat Uber and Lyft Bosses’ Prop 22 in California!
California is the land of propositions, which purport to allow “the people” to vote on laws. While on occasion some limited reforms may be passed, more often the rulers use propositions to get popular “approval” for reactionary attacks on workers, black people and immigrants. Recall Props 187, 209 and 227, and the infamous Prop 13. This year there is a new reactionary proposition on the ballot. Proposition 22 is written on behalf of the bosses of the Uber, Lyft, Doordash and Instacart “app-based” taxi and delivery companies. The measure would roll back AB5, a California law enacted last year that required app-based employees to be given the same rights and protections as any other workers under the labor laws. Vote No on Prop 22, and check out the article about other ballot items. Defeat Uber and Lyft Bosses’ Prop 22 in California! (October 2020)

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