Monday, January 10, 2011

Workers World Party on the Tucson Massacre

Workers World statement: The forces behind the massacre in Tucson, Ariz.
Published Jan 9, 2011 9:17 PM

Jan. 9 — Twenty people were shot, and six of them died, while attending a political rally for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 8. The authorities are now saying they have evidence that the shootings were an attempted assassination of the Democratic Congresswoman, who is in critical condition.

The shooter, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, was captured on the spot by people attending the rally in a supermarket parking lot and turned over to police. He is reported to be a mentally deranged person with a recent history of fascination with right-wing rhetoric.

At this point, no evidence has surfaced in the media or from the authorities that Loughner had accomplices in the massacre of so many people. However, evidence of a conspiracy may turn up later. Let’s not forget, all information is in the hands of the FBI and the Arizona authorities — the capitalist state.

But whether Loughner acted alone or with accomplices, this was a political act. It was not another Columbine. Its target was a politician who had already been verbally attacked and threatened by the far right. It must be seen in the context of the poisonous anti-worker, anti-immigrant, sexist, racist, anti-Muslim, anti-gay and anti-Obama offensive of the Republican right, working through the Tea Party, that has allowed a neo-fascist movement, even further to the right, to ride on its coattails.

Arizona has been the epicenter of this movement. Even the sheriff of Pima County, Clarence Dupnik, said that Arizona had become “the capital for prejudice and bigotry.” John McCain, the Arizona senator who ran for president in 2008 with Sarah Palin, is a war hawk for the Pentagon, which practically owns the state. However, McCain isn’t right-wing enough for Palin, who on her website during the 2010 elections showed a map with Representative Giffords’ district behind the crosshairs of a rifle accompanied by the words, “Don’t retreat, RELOAD!”

But this appeal to violent reaction is not just an Arizona phenomenon. Dozens of states are planning to model their immigration laws on Arizona’s infamous SB1070, signifying that powerful forces in the ruling class are getting behind this anti-immigrant racism.

The right and far-right — and often the “middle,” too — have been using the capitalist economic crisis to scapegoat immigrants, Muslims, unions — anyone but the super-rich who have milked not only workers’ wages and benefits but government social funds to keep their profits coming in despite the crisis.

The ultimate responsibility for this bloody act lies with the millionaires and billionaires who have financed the right in the recent period, beginning with the racist “town hall” meetings against the weak health care bill. They poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the last election to promote Tea Party candidates and the right wing in general.

At a time of economic crisis and mass unemployment that has lasted for more than three years, this kind of divisive, scapegoating politics serves the interests of the entire ruling class, all the way up to the summits of finance capital.

The FBI has now taken over custody of Loughner and the case. This is the same FBI that has been lawlessly raiding the anti-war movement and persecuting solidarity activists.

The FBI stood passively by when armed vigilantes calling themselves the Minuteman Project formed what amounted to a fascist militia along the Arizona-Mexico border and openly hunted down undocumented workers. The capitalist state was totally complicit in this crass violation of bourgeois legality. And on Jan. 6, a member of the Border Patrol fatally shot an unarmed Mexican youth, 17-year-old Ramsés Barrón Torres.

The FBI, Homeland Security and other government agencies spy on and monitor groups and individuals all over the U.S. Reportedly, the killer mentioned the American Renaissance Party, a known fascist group, on his Facebook page. This together with his behavior and other signs, such as recommending Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” would have made him a suspect to be watched — if that’s what the capitalist state was looking for. But they close their eyes to the activities of ultra-right and fascist groups.

The Obama administration has responded weakly to this massacre, trying to reduce it to a non-political event — in the same way that Washington stood by while the semi-fascist Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County was creating a police state for undocumented workers. While this resurgence of reaction is pushed mostly by Republicans, it also feeds on the weakness of the Democratic leaders, who have compromised and retreated on every issue, from health care to Social Security to workers’ rights.

This atrocious act is a wake-up call. The people cannot rely on the capitalist government to protect them from the ultra-right and the fascists. Progressive organizations, community groups, unions and all fair-minded people need to unite in a massive response to the hate and prejudice spewed forth every day in the political establishment and the media. They can be turned back. Now is the time.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Activists Study Revolutionary History

By Jay Rothermel
Published Jan 8, 2011 7:25 AM

Readers and supporters of Workers World newspaper, Workers World Party and the revolutionary youth organization Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) held a 12-week educational class series this fall called “200 Years of Revolution.”

The daunting scope of the classes was more than matched by the interest and enthusiasm of the participants, who met at a local independent bookstore that had earlier featured readings of Fred Goldstein’s “Low-Wage Capitalism” and Karl Marx’s “Capital.”

The classes began with an overview of the development of scientific socialism in the 19th century by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Two weeks each were devoted to the USSR and China. Eastern Europe, Cuba, Latin America, Africa and Asia were covered. Two classes covered U.S. labor and Black liberation struggles. The class on Black liberation was led by a guest speaker from the New Black Panther Party who had participated in many of the struggles discussed.

WW newspapers and books provided reading on each week’s topic. Books by Mao Zedong, Sam Marcy and Che Guevara, and FIST’s “What is Marxism all about?” were snapped up as the classes progressed.

A presentation of 30 or 40 minutes by the class leader, Caleb Maupin of FIST, would be followed by lively discussion periods lasting anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes. The presentation was recorded each week and posted to Cleveland FIST’s YouTube channel. The classes, which can be accessed from anywhere, can prove useful to anyone beginning to study the revolutionary continuity of Marxism.

The liveliest and best-attended class was “History has absolved Cuba.” Participants eagerly shared their excitement, knowledge and long experience defending and supporting that country’s communist course. They also related many useful and constructive personal anecdotes about local and national solidarity efforts. A class participant who had been to Cuba gave some concrete insights into daily life in that country.

Common to all the classes were the basic need for revolutionary mass work in existing working-class institutions (unions, oppressed peoples’ organizations); the importance of independent working-class political action apart from and opposed to the capitalist parties; and the need for workers’ organizations to build alliances with the struggles of nationalities, women, youth and the lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer communities against oppression.

The classes were advertised by leafleting on a local college campus and sending e-mails to contacts made at other local political activities. A Facebook page was also created. All these efforts attracted young people becoming interested in politics.

The scope, knowledge and confidence gained by looking at the world from a working-class perspective will be irreplaceable as we combat Fox News-style ruling-class slanders and move forward with a campaign to abolish capitalism and reawaken the struggle for world socialism.

Articles copyright 1995-2011 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Statement from WWP Cleveland Branch


We in Cleveland, take great inspiration from the Detroit branch.

The Detroit Branch has historically shown vision, leadership, and understanding of the class struggle. It has been the center of mass campaigns bringing slogans such as “Food Is A Right”, “A Job Is A Right”, Moratorium Now!, and “Oil Belongs to the People!” to the masses, and then translating them into mass actions, confronting the ruling class and calling into question the capitalist bosses right to rule over the people.

Through its excellent educational programs, the Detroit Branch has stressed the need to not only overthrow capitalism, but to replace it with socialism.

Fight on Detroit Comrades! Let your revolutionary efforts never be forgotten, and let them blossom into a center of working-class power. The workers and oppressed will move forward to their rightful place as rulers of society, and a new socialist world will bloom into being, amidst the ruins of this rotten cesspool of exploitation.



Cleveland Branch of Workers World Party

Friday, November 5, 2010

Keep The Trauma Center Open! Save Huron Road!

Workers World: What The Elections Weren't

Editorial From The Latest Issue Of Workers World

The election returns are still coming in as we write this, so we reserve comment on those questions that can be clarified once there is more data. However, there are several important observations that can be made, even at this early hour.

This midterm election came as workers in the United States were trying to deal with a third year of major job losses, foreclosures and evictions, and a significant rise in poverty.

At the same time, the Wall Street billionaires claim to have turned the corner — on profits, not on hiring workers or on the general state of the economy. And so we can read once again about the millions and even billions of dollars channeling into the pockets of the already very rich, even while at least 30 million unemployed and underemployed workers literally don’t know when they’ll ever get a decent paycheck again and tens of millions more are fearful that they, too, can fall into the abyss. With their families, this adds up to a third of the population.

Where was this expressed in the election? If we look at the campaigns run by both Republicans and Democrats, how much hope could be gleaned from what they said?

Did any of them even whisper about the need for a government jobs program that would take the huge government revenues amassed from taxes on workers and spend them on hiring people into real jobs at real wages? That would have gotten a response. But who can get excited about promises that tax breaks to corporations and the rich will somehow produce jobs? Isn’t that what both Democrats and Republicans have prescribed over the last two years — and it hasn’t worked? So only the corporations that stand to make millions from these tax breaks are excited — and they’ve funded this election like money was water.

Considering all the hope expressed by the majority of voters in 2008 that racism could be overcome and discrimination and oppression be a thing of the past, did any of the “major” party candidates take a strong stand against the fear-mongering and scapegoating by Fox News and the Tea Party types? Did they stand up for the rights of immigrants, women, Black people, Latinos/as, Native people, Muslims, lesbian, gay, bi and transgender people? Or were they running for cover from the racist and xenophobic lies of the right-wing, even as the economic crisis takes its fiercest toll on people of color, devastating once-booming cities like Detroit and Cleveland?

The people of Iraq and Afghanistan are still under the gun, their countries occupied by foreign troops using futuristic weapons to keep the people from exercising their right to real self-determination — which can never be imposed by invaders and their political puppets. Does either “major” party admit to what so many people already know in their bones — that these are wars for oil; that Wall Street and the Pentagon have a vested interest in the region and will spend our young people’s lives and trillions of our dollars pursuing fabulous profits while budgets at home are cut to the bone and the environment is degraded even further?

Much has been written about how potential voters in this election, especially young people who were the strongest supporters of Obama in 2008, are disgusted, demoralized, anxious, disillusioned and scared. It has not been reported yet how this affected the turnout at the polls. Did many formerly Democratic voters switch to Republican — or did they just stay at home? Did some workers even wind up opting for Republicans out of fear and anger with the incumbents?

Either way, they will have their eyes opened soon. Whether it’s Republicans or Democrats who control the House and Senate, the layoffs will continue. The foreclosures will continue. Capital will continue to run to where wages are lowest and profits are highest. This crisis of capitalism is not going away and neither big business party has an answer for the working class.

In New York state, this election saw the emergence of a promising new party, the Freedom Party. It represents a break with the Democrats by Black and Latino/a forces that is reaching out to the masses on the question of self-determination for these oppressed nations. The party got tens of thousands of signatures to be on the ballot. Hopefully, it will continue to challenge the racist powers that be.

The way ahead is uncharted. But all of history tells us that material conditions determine consciousness. It was the wretched conditions for labor in the 1800s that led to the development of Marxism, scientific socialism, the first unions and the first international organizations of the working class. It was the whip of racist reaction that led to the movements for civil rights and Black liberation. It was the oppression built into capitalism that led to the struggles for women’s rights and LGBTQ liberation.

Now the whole working class in this country, including all its specially oppressed sectors that take the lead in consciousness and organization, faces a long, hard struggle against a vicious capitalist, imperialist system in decline. Breaking out of the political straightjacket of the two-party system becomes imperative as this class struggle intensifies.

In New York, three upcoming events will help push the envelope of struggle. The first two occur Nov. 6 at St Mark’s Church on the Bowery. From noon to 4 p.m., activists will meet for a regional conference building for an April 9, 2011, anti-war mobilization. Then, from 6:30 to 8:30, the first national meeting of the National Committee to Stop FBI Repression will be held. (see

Threading through these problems and looking at what comes next will the focus of the Workers World Party’s National Conference on Nov. 13-14 in New York. We hope to see you all there.