Internationalist No. 17 (October-November
Special Supplement
2d Edition
January 2008

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

click on image to download pdf


For a Class-Struggle Fight Against the Racist Union-Busters!
Defeat the Capitalist Onslaught Against Public Education!
Teachers, Minorities, Immigrants Targeted
The public school system is the focal point of an assault by key sectors of the U.S. ruling class. “Education reform” was a top issue for both Democrats and Republicans in last year’s presidential election, as it is in the New York City mayoral election this coming fall. Masked by phony pro-children rhetoric and squabbling over vouchers, there is a “bipartisan” consensus to “reinvent” public education to reflect the demands of the capitalist market. As usual, teachers are portrayed as the obstacle to high standards and improving schools. The effect of this and similar reforms around the country will be to dramatically increase the tendency to a two-tier education system, with more rigorous schools for those considered “college bound” and barracks-like “academies” for those tracked to be low-wage unskilled labor. The purpose of all the rulers’ talk of “standards” is not to improve the chances for poor inner-city children – they don’t give a damn about that – but to make the labor force more “competitive” globally with its imperialist rivals, to “Americanize” the new wave of immigrants, and ultimately to prepare the population for war.  Defeat the Capitalist Onslaught Against Public Education!  (June 2001)

Equal Language Rights for All! 
Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants!
Bilingual Education Under Racist Attack
The nationwide campaign against bilingual education is escalating. Last November, two states had a reactionary referendum on the ballot outlawing programs with classroom instruction in non-English languages. They even threaten to jail teachers for using any language other than English. The attack on bilingual ed goes together with the detentions of thousands of immigrants following the 11 September 2001 WTC attack and preparations for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. It is part of the hysteria against “foreigners” which accompanies imperialist war. It underscores the urgent need for the workers movement to mobilize in defense of immigrants’ rights, including demanding full citizenship rights for all immigrants, no discrimination against any language, and defnese of bilingual education against racist assault.  Bilingual Education Under Racist Attack  (January 2003)

Students: Ally with the Working Class!
Smash Racist Purge of CUNY–

Fight for Open Admissions, Free Tuition!

In his annual “state of the city” speech last year, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani launched a campaign to exclude more than half of all incoming students from the City University of New York (CUNY). This year in his report the mayor ranted against CUNY, saying “that’s a system we would blow up.” A blatantly racist purge is being carried out in the name of “standards.” The door is to be slammed in the face of all those who fail even one of three entrance exams. Remedial courses for incoming students are to be eliminated, first from the four-year colleges and then from the two-year community colleges. Particularly targeted for exclusion are racial minorities, immigrants and women. As one student protester’s sign proclaimed at a January 4 hearing on CUNY, the aim of this purge is to introduce “educational apartheid.”
Smash Racist Purge of CUNY  (February 1999)
NYC Mayoral Child Abuse: Bloomberg/Klein Beat Up on 8-Year-Olds
Forced Flunk-Outs and the Assault on Public Education
What It’s All About: Corporatization, Resegregation and War

NYC billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg and his flunkey, schools chancellor Joel Klein, have set a quota of 15,000 3rd-graders to be deliberately failed. This is child abuse on a grand scale. The racist city rulers have set out to ruin the lives of these primarily black, Latino and immigrant students in a cynical electoral ploy, and to further a bipartisan capitalist agenda of privatizing, corporatizing and resegregating public education. Moreover, this use of standardized tests goes hand in hand with the drive to undermine or break teachers unions, and to regiment the population for imperialist war. Forced Flunk-Outs and the Assault on Public Education (19 April 2004)  
NYC Department of Education: Corporatization, Repression and Union-Busting
Since taking control of the New York City schools five years ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his factotum Joel Klein have relentlessly pursued an agenda of corporatization of public education. This has meant top-down control by managers with little or no educational experience or knowledge; multi-million-dollar contracts for educational entrepreneurs and corporate services vendors; bullying police presence in and around the schools, including beatings and arbitrary arrests of students and teachers; massive testing, with “high stakes” tests victimizing poor, minority and immigrant students; the wholesale elimination of bilingual schools and failure to service English language learners (in a city where more than half the students come from immigrant families); military recruiters trolling school grounds looking for cannon fodder, and much more. Down with mayor control of the schools! To put a stop to the destructive disorganization of public education, New York City schools should be run by elected bodies of teachers, students, workers and parents.  NYC DoE: Corporatization, Repression and Union-Busting!  (6 June 2007)

 Cops Out of the Schools! No to Mayoral Control!
For Teacher-Student-Worker-Parent Control of the Schools

NYC Teachers, Students Under Attack
In the umpteenth reorganization of the New York City schools, NYC schools chancellor “excessed” more than 700 teachers in alternative education programs, forcing them to reapply for their jobs. Hundreds of experienced teachers with excellent records ended up in Absent Teacher Reserves due to the UFT leadership giving up seniority rights in the 2005 contract. Klein told the New York Daily News that “we should be able to terminate those employees” altogether. The DOE has been trying to eliminate alternative education programs for several years. Behind this is a program to corporatize and privatize “public” education. Instead of a quality education being a right, they want to respond to “market forces” by supplying a “two-tiered” education system with good schools for a petty-bourgeois elite and stripped down, scripted 3Rs programs for future low-skilled workers. Now it is revealed that the reauthorization bill for the No Child Left Behind law includes a provision requiring schools to introduce “merit pay” or forfeit federal money.  The union should demand that NCLB be abolished, not “improved,” as UFT/AFT tops want. NYC Teachers, Students Under Attack  (17 October 2007)

Bloomberg/Klein School “Reform” Flunks Out
“Merit Pay,” Witchhunting and Corporatizing Public Education
Close Down the “Rubber Rooms” – Reinstate All “Excessed” Teachers! For Union Control of Hiring!
The mounting attack on New York City teachers by schools chancellor Joel Klein and billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg is only the tip of the iceberg. A full-scale assault on public education being waged by the Republican White House, the Democratic state house and top capitalists like Bill Gates. They are out to reshape the workforce to “compete in a global economy,” and for that they want to put the schools under private control, push most students out by the 10th grade and bust teachers unions. The day before national test results revealed that New York City schools failed to improve math and reading scores, Klein announced that the NYC Department of Education had set up a “Teacher Performance Unit” to drive out teachers they want to get rid of. Yet instead of fighting to defeat the drive to corporatize and privatize public education, United Federation of Teachers leader Randi Weingarten negotiated the introduction of “school-based” merit pay. “Merit” or “performance” pay, however you package it, is a threat to the very existence of the union. “Merit Pay,” Witchhunting and Corporatizing Public Education  (26 November 2007)

Militant Protest Sinks BMCC “Homeland Security” Program
A firestorm of protest by students and faculty at the Borough of Manhattan Community College defeated an ominous Homeland Security program that campus administrators sought to sneak in. Planned courses included interrogation techniques and technology for surveillance. The sinister program was dropped because of the campaign of protest and exposure initiated by the CUNY Internationalist Clubs last fall.  Militant Protest Sinks BMCC “Homeland Security” Program  (25 March 2005) 
Brazilian Workers Mobilize for Freedom for  Mumia Abu-Jamal
Over the last month Brazilian workers have undertaken a series of strikes and demonstrations that have begun to translate calls for freedom for death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal into labor action. A November 10 work stoppage by the CUT labor federation of the state of Rio de Janeiro made freedom for the renowned U.S. black journalist one of its demands. On November 22, a labor-centered march in Rio for the "Day of Black Conscioiusness" also raised the call to free Mumia as one of its key demands, as did a strike by bank workers two days later. On December 7, Rio teachers struck for half a day, including among their demands freedom for Jamal. This shows the potential to mobilize powerful working-class action to free Mumia and block the capitalist state murder machinery.  Brazilian Workers Mobilize for  Freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal (9 December 1999) 
fter Massacres at Sicartsa Steel Mill and Atenco
Mexico: Oaxaca Teachers Repel Bloody Cop Assault
With two weeks to go before Mexicos presidential elections, in a blatant provocation the government of Oaxaca ordered the violent police eviction of striking teachers who for the past three weeks have been occupying the center of the state capital. This is how the Mexican bourgeoisie prepares its electoral farce drenched with workers’ blood. But they only succeeded in shooting themselves in the foot, and the eviction failed miserably. After three hours of pitched battle, the 40,000 strikers managed to break through police lines and throw out the repressive forces. Coming after the massacres of steel workers in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán and of peasants in San Salvador Atenco, it is urgent to launch a national strike against the murderous government. Above all, what is required is a political response to the bourgeois class offensive. The Grupo Internacionalista calls for no vote for the PAN, PRI, PRD or any other bosses’ party, to break with the popular front around PRD candidate López Obrador, and to forge the nucleus of a revolutionary workers party.   Mexico: Oaxaca Teachers Repel Bloody Cop Assault  (16 June 2006) 
Spirited Solidarity Picket in New York
“Oaxaca Teachers, We Are With You!”
On September 21, some 150 teachers, professors, trade-unionists, students, leftists and community activists joined in an energetic picket outside Mexico’s Consulate General in New York to “Protest Repression in Oaxaca, Mexico – Defend the Striking Teachers.” The picketers were demonstrating militant solidarity with the 70,000 teachers in the southern Mexican state on strike since last May 22, who have braved massive police repression and death squads that have killed at least five strike supporters in the last month. “Maestros oaxaqueños, estamos con ustedes” (Oaxaca teachers, we are with you), the NYC demonstrators chanted. The chant was so loud, in fact, that it was heard all the way to Oaxaca, via a live broadcast from the picket line to the strikers’ station, Radio Plantón (Sit-In Radio). Over several weeks, union activists from the Professional Staff Congress and the United Federation of Teachers gathered support for the protest in support of the Oaxaca teachers. The Internationalist Group and the Internationalist Clubs at CUNY played an important role in initiating and building the picket along with activists in the PSC and UFT. “Oaxaca Teachers, We Are With You!”  (21 September 2006) 

Leaflet and Endorsers for Sept. 21 NYC Picket  (September 2006) 
Fact Sheet for Sept. 21 NYC Picket  (September 2006)

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