Revolution No. 18     
No. 18, September 2021

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked 

Newspaper of the Revolutionary Internationalist Youth and CUNY students from the Internationalist Clubs, for the program of Marx, Lenin and Trotsky, published in accord with the Internationalist Group, U.S. section of the League for the Fourth International

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

What We’re Hearing: “The Last Year Really Opened My Eyes”
Why We Need a Socialist Revolution
As students are finally returning to campus, many are saying that the experience of the last year really opened their eyes. A healthcare system that wasn’t able to handle COVID, racist police terror that led millions to take to the streets. But while Democrats talked of “reforming” the police to gain votes, now that they are back in the White House, the cops keep killing. It’s “endemic to the system,” many have realized. Poverty and skyrocketing inequality; imperialist war abroad and growing repression “at home”; racial, ethnic and gender oppression and all the ways capitalism is devastating the world we live in – these are rooted in the system of production for profit, not human needs, and the ruling class that lives off it. Capitalism can’t be reformed; it must be overthrown. We Marxists are fighting for a socialist revolution, unlike the raft of fake-socialists who help tie the oppressed to the Democratic Party. We call to break with the Democrats and all bosses’ parties and to forge a revolutionary workers party. Why We Need a Socialist Revolution (September 2021)

Bernie Sanders and AOC Peddle Biden’s Bitter Brew
In 2016 and 2020, Bernie Sanders ran in the Democratic presidential primaries promoting a politics of the “99%” against the “billionaire class.” Yet his “political revolution” was just a means to rope disaffected youth and workers into voting for the Democratic politicians. His “insurgent” campaign over, his voters duly delivered to Biden, Sanders was made head of the Senate Budget Committee. For her part, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, together with the rest of “the Squad,” is accused of being “communist,” “unpatriotic,” etc., by misogynistic and racist rightists. In reality, they are liberal Democrats who have pledged allegiance to the red, white and blue, in words and deeds, over and over. As they seek to rebrand the Democratic Party, various reformist groups on the left promote them. The duty of revolutionaries is to tell the truth about bourgeois politicians, not opportunistically tag along whenever they “talk left.” Bernie Sanders and AOC Peddle Biden’s Bitter Brew (September 2021)

“From Black Nationalism to Maoism to Trotskyism”
In Memory of Joe Johnson (1948-2021)

Joseph “Lil Joe” Johnson, whose youthful activism during the rise of the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles was an opening chapter in his life-long dedication to socialism, black freedom and Marxist education, died on June 5 at the age of 73. Born in Louisiana in 1948, he came of age in Los Angeles, where his self-education in the ideas of Marx, Lenin and Trotsky led him to become a mentor to generations of young radicals seeking a road to socialist revolution. In August 2020, comrade Johnson gave this talk, titled “From Black Nationalism to Maoism to Trotskyism,” to the Internationalist Group/Revolutionary Internationalist Youth New York study group. In Memory of Joe Johnson (June 2021)

How Cuba’s Heroic “Wasp Network”ť Stung U.S.-Backed Counterrevolutionaries
After protests in Cuba this past July that were instigated, manipulated and exploited by counterrevolutionary forces, the mainstream media (echoed by much of the left) unleashed a torrent of anti-Cuban smears trying to paint a picture of a revolution on its last legs. In this atmosphere of rampant anti-communism, we bring to our readers’ attention an exciting film called Wasp Network (2019). The film tells the story of the five Cuban spies who in the 1990s risked their lives to thwart terrorist attacks against Cuba. Although the French director is no communist, the film vividly portrays the basic fact that a Miami-based gusano mob has long served as shock troops for U.S.-sponsored counterrevolution in Cuba. Wasp Network achieves something important: breaking through the imperialist propaganda machine, it tells the truth about counterrevolutionary provocations against Cuba and the Red Avispa’s heroic efforts to thwart them. How Cuba’s Heroic “Wasp Network”ť Stung U.S.-Backed Counterrevolutionaries (September 2021)

 Celebrating International Women’s Day
Forum on “Women, Class Struggle and Revolution”
Wash Supply Worker: “We Face Mistreatment and Discrimination”

On March 10, the CUNY Internationalist Clubs held an online forum titled “Women, Class Struggle and Revolution” in honor of International Women’s Day. The forum highlighted the oppression of black, Latina and immigrant workers thrown into sharp relief by U.S. capitalism’s triple pandemic of COVID-19, economic crisis and racist police murder. A featured speaker was one of immigrant women workers of the Wash Supply in Manhattan, who had just been fired two weeks earlier for forming a union. That same day, the courageous workers attended a demonstration in solidarity with unionization efforts at the Amazon warehouse in Alabama. Other speakers spoke on the triple oppression of black women and on the struggles of women workers from Bangladesh to Mexico to New York City. Forum on “Women, Class Struggle and Revolution” (September 2021)
Black Women Face Capitalism’s Triple Pandemic (September 2021)
Bangladesh, Mexico, NYC: Women Workers In Struggle (September 2021)
On Rejecting Anarchism and Joining RIY
Radicalized By George Floyd Protests

Last summer’s protests against the racist police murder of George Floyd drew millions into the streets, many of them young people getting involved in politics for the first time. A letter of application to the Revolutionary Internationalist Youth recounts the comrade’s radicalization, followed by disillusionment as the protests were being channeled into votes for the Democratic Party. The experience of organizing her own no-leaders, no-hierarchy protest brought home that “anarchists are extremely liberal in their beliefs and reliance on identity politics, despite their hatred of capitalism. Graffitiing banks will never bring an end to capitalism. Only the international organized revolutionary working class can.” Radicalized By George Floyd Protests (September 2021)

Response to “Left Voice” Supporters
Real Reds Don’t Bow to Anti-Communist Bans

Anti-communist bans and restrictions on free speech rights have been attempted by City University of New York (CUNY) authorities many times, from the 1930s to today. All the more alarming when attempts to censor communists are carried out or backed by students or faculty themselves. We reprint here the response of an activist of Class Struggle Education Workers in an exchange with two reporters for Left Voice, part of a media network of the current calling itself the Trotskyist Fraction. The April 2021 letter details the shameful role of LV in helping to ram through a ban on leftist literature at a “7K or Strike” conference slated to discuss strategy and perspectives in the fight against poverty wages for adjuncts at CUNY (reported in Revolution No. 16). Also appended is a letter from immigrant workers of Trabajadores Internacionales Clasistas protesting the ban. Real Reds Don’t Bow to Anti-Communist Bans (September 2021)

Capitalist Profit System Kills
“Africa Starved of Vaccines”: An Imperialist Crime

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a crash course in the dysfunction and chaos of capitalist society. At the start of the pandemic, with hospital ICUs overflowing with patients, those who tested positive (if they could get a test at all) were sent home to infect their families. When vaccines were developed and available for widespread distribution, this was a big advance. But, predictably, rich countries gobbled up the lion’s share of supply. This is not some random “inequity,” as liberals would have it. It is the workings of imperialism. Case in point: Africa, where only about 4.6% of the population has been even partially vaccinated, while the world’s richest countries hoard 1.9 billion surplus doses – enough to vaccinate the entire adult population of the African continent. An internationally planned economy would put technology and resources to work to provide vaccines for all and eliminate world hunger. The ills of the capitalist order cannot be fixed with reformist band-aids, they must be uprooted through world socialist revolution. “Africa Starved of Vaccines”: An Imperialist Crime (September 2021)

Solidarity from CUNY – All Out to Win
Victory to the Columbia Grad Workers Strike!
Leaflet of CUNY Internationalist Clubs and Revolutionary Internationalist Youth

On March 15, the Graduate Workers of Columbia University launched a strike against the haughty barons lording it over this fiefdom of academic privilege in New York City. The strikers, members of UAW Local 2110, denounce the poverty wages they receive while Columbia sits on an endowment of over $11 billion. To defeat the anti-union administration and its ruling-class godfathers is a question of power. On strike means shut it down. All classes should be stopped, now, and students brought out en masse to the pickets and rallies. Moreover, for university strikes to win, all sectors of the campus workforce need to unite in genuine solidarity – one out, all out. At the City University of New York, solidarity with the GWC is connected with the fight against adjunct poverty, the two-tier labor academic system and conditions making it harder than ever for students to get an education. Victory to the Columbia Grad Workers Strike! (16 March 2021) 

To contact the Revolutionary Internationalist Youth, write to: revinternationalistyouth@gmail.com

To contact the CUNY Internationalist Clubs, write to: cunyinternationalists@gmail.com

To contact the Internationalist Group and the League for the Fourth International, write to: internationalistgroup@msn.com