Saturday, October 31, 2009

Zimbabwe: Open letter to Gwisai and the entire IS tendency- URGENT 31.10.09


M Gwisai

It has come to our attention that you have laid a criminal charge against 3 fellow ISO-Zimbabwe members for allegedly forcible entry into the ISOZ office and for theft of ISOZ equipment. We call on you to immediately withdraw such charges as clearly the dispute is within the ranks of the proletariat and thus deserves proletarian methods to resolve it and not the bourgeois courts.

We urge the entire IS tendency to intervene to prevent activists from being subjected to the notorious jails of the Zanu-PF-MDC regime. The criminal case comes up before the bourgeois courts on Monday 2 Nov 2009 so your intervention is urgently required.

The first queston we would like to pose to Gwisai and the entire IS tendency is why members are denied access to their own office in the first place? Surely members have that basic right to enter and to use their own equipment. Such office and equipment are the collective property of the ISOZ, so why are members denied the use of the office and the equipment?
Secondly, the intention of those ISOZ members who took the equipment was to use it for advancing the collective interests of the proletariat, it was not for private use or for private gain. How can this be theft? (even in the bourgeois sense). Why does Gwisai now claim in front of the bourgeois courts that the office and the equipment were part of the private property of his own law firm? Why does he allow that the secret information (on the computers) of the ISOZ be so easily handed over to the hated intelligence services of Zimbabwe?

This forces us to believe that the real fight is over deeper political differences that we outline below:

Background:

1. For years a group within the ISOZ has been raising criticisms of the subjugation of the ISOZ to entryism into the MDC and thus to its politics. This compromising of the revolutionary programme to long term entryism into a reformist party is similar in essence to the subjugation of the SWP to the petty bourgeois coalition, Respect, as well as the subjugation of the SWP to the Labour Party in Britain. This criticism by this group in ISOZ was itself not consistent and has only reached decisive shape in October this year by the declaration of this group to adopt a campaign to expose the bourgeois fraud of the Constitution-making process;This is the ISOZ grouping around Mutero;

2. The dominant grouping, until Nov 2008, was the grouping around Gwisai, which has long defended the entryism into the MDC, stood as MDC parliamentarian, and has tied itself to a bourgeois constitutional approach to the struggle in Zimbabwe. [From the beginning the MDC has had representatives from the bourgeoisie in its ranks and thus was at no stage even a workers' party];

3. In November 2008 at a Congress supervised by members of the IS tendency from South Africa and Botswana, Mutero was elected as national co-ordinator along with a new leadership. A struggle ensued between the 2 factions, which, while it took administrative form, was underpinned by the different political positions- proletarian (Mutero) versus petty bourgeois(Gwisai).

4. Gwisai was accused of changing the password on the email in order to monopolise correspondence. The National Co-ordinating Committee of ISOZ expelled Gwisai for this after having found him guilty.

5. A faction meeting on 18 January 2009 convened by Gwisai 'overturned' the decision. This was purely to provide an organizational platform for the candidature of Gwisai to be chair of the pro-imperialist Zimbabwe Social Forum. From this platform Gwisai is now the deputy chair of the subcommittee on land of the bourgeois Constitution-making process which is being convened by the pro-imperialist coalition government of the MDC-Zanu-PF.

This meeting also 'expelled' most of the leadership that had been elected at the 2008 Congress, that were grouped around Mutero. Under the cover of this expulsion, the rank and file members who wanted to carry on the serious fight of opposing the betrayals in the Constitution-making process, were denied access to their own office. After repeated pleas for the organizational equipment to be returned to the office and to be made available for use by the members, the Gwisai faction continued the lockout. The members forced their way into the office and took posession of their equipment. [The massive Marxist library which members are denied access to until today, is still in the home of Gwisai]. Gwisai laid a criminal charge of forcible entry and theft of possessions of the ISOZ, with the police. The police now have the office equipment. Three, including Mutero, of the large group of members who gained entry into their own office, have been charged and without funds, face the prospect of being jailed in Zimbabwe's notorious prison system.

Call:

1. The International Leninist Trotskyist Fraction calls for the immediate dropping of charges against the 3 members of the ISOZ;

2. We call for the immediate composition of an International Moral Tribune, comprised of members who believe that disputes among the proletariat cannot be resolved in bourgeois courts, to hear Gwisai and to carry out proletarian justice against him for his betrayal of working class principles.

Forward to proletarian justice!
Down with the use of the bourgeois courts to settle disputes among revolutionaries!

--
Shaheed Mahomed
African Secretariat
International Leninist Trotskyist Fraction
1st Floor, Community House
41 Salt River rd
Salt River
South Africa
7925
ph 0822020617
fax 0865486048
workersinternational@gmail.com
web www.workersinternational.org.za

affiliated to the International Leninist Trotskyist Fraction (sections in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, New Zealand, USA, South Africa)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Response to Keep Left

2 November 2009, 12:42 pm

With regard to the allegations that Claire Ceruti (of the IS group Keep Left in South Africa) raised with us telephonically on 1.11.09:

WIVL, FLTI or any worker with a minimal class conscience must declare oneself immediately when a current which claims to be socialist denounces another current and puts it in the hands of the bourgeois State; it does not matter in what part of the world we live or wherever we are, since workers do not have frontiers but only chains to be broken. Thus we do not accept your question as to why we are involved in issues in Zimbabwe.

We are not facing a political discussion on the differences you have with the fraction that has got no agreement with the IS tendency position, but we are facing a discussion on the moral and elemental class principles.

Evidently you from the IS Tendency from South Africa (Keep Left) are accustomed to mixing the political discussions with moral discussions (when you make allegations against Adonia and others without a shred of proof); and that method is foreign to the elemental class principles, for us this is the method of Stalinism and the labor bureaucracy within the workers movement.

You tell Gwisai, or whomsoever is sending you, if he condemns or not those methods that are foreign to working class principles; and if he is willing to present the proof about what he says, in an International Moral Tribune, so that an institution of our class judges the issues, as it is correct between organizations that claim to belong to the working class.

We are not discussing the differences you have with the dissident fraction, because we are not discussing the political questions why you have split; what we are discussing about are the questions on the elemental class principles as regards the situation resulting of the accusation of Gwisai before the bourgeois State against the dissident fraction.

If Gwisai does not provide the proof and withdraw the case from bourgeois court, you, Keep Left, part of the same IS tendency of Gwisai, will be accomplices of this.

Shaheed Mahomed

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

South Africa: ANC budget serves imperialism


The Medium Term Budget speech by new Finance Minister, Gordhan, confirms that the ANC government is the agent of imperialism in South Africa.

At a time when the monopolies are repatriating over R200 bn per annum in profits from plundering the working class in South Africa, this shameless regime puts the burden of capitalist's crisis on the backs of the working class. The imperialists are making unheard of super-profits, among them Pick 'n Pay whose annual profit from starving the masses comes in at close to R1 bn.

As a reflection of what is happening to the entire working class, the community of the Matafeni township had 2 schools bulldozed to make way for the 2010 Mbombela soccer stadium. The students sit literally in the dark in temporary structures, freezing when it is cold and too flustered to learn when it is hot. The government has to date not even made arrangements when their schools will be rebuilt. Yet the multitude of consortiums have already made billions in profits from these stadiums at a cost of partnerships with the ANC elite. All these construction companies (Murray and Roberts, WHBO, Basil Read, Group 5, Grinaker) have a major shareholding held by US banks. The billionaire housing Minister even has shares in Group 5.

When the residents of Matafeni rose up to protest against this injustice, many were arrested and today they live under a state of siege, under constant threat of being locked up.

In short, the basic democratic rights are being trampled on by the ANC government who shifts the burden of capitalist's crisis onto the shoulders of the working class. The ANC are direct agents of monopoly capital profiteering.

To add insult to injury, the government will now borrow R640 Bn to fund, mostly, the building of coal power stations that are not needed. Technology exists for 200 000 MW of hydropower from the DRC, but power from there is planned for export to Europe, while Africa is kept in the dark. Solar power technology as developed locally could be used to set up over 24 square km in the North Cape desert to power the entire SA economy, yet the technology has been privatised to the Rembrandt monopoly and exported to Germany.

Cabinet, including the SACP and ex-Cosatu leaders support the increase of electricity tarriff by 45% per annum over the next 3 years. The beneficiaries of the Eskom scam build programme are the same Group 5, Murray and Roberts, etc. In other words the R640 bn in loans is a massive bailout of the US banks, such as JP Morgan Chase who not only control the Reserve bank but the entire economy. It is the working class and the lower middle class who will pay for the loans and interest on it for generations to come, with early death and starvation. This is what the 'shoot to kill' policy of the ANC is really defending- the absolute subjugation of the masses in South Africa to brutal imperialist exploitation. Ask the masses in Kennedy rd, whose leaders are in jail while some of their community have been killed by ANC thugs keen to get their hands on housing tenders. This trampling on the few democratic rights won by the masses here is but a reflection of the same policy of imperialism world wide.

In June this year, Obama launched a military coup against the people of Honduras. The masses are still resisting but the coupists are being given cover by the US military base in Honduras. US imperialism now plans 7 new military bases in Colombia; they have budgeted for US$1 trillion for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, and will set up Africom head quarters in Ghana.

Rather upsurprising both the SACP and Cosatu leaders welcomed this budget, this attack on the working class. The so-called national democratic revolution is nothing but a get rich scam for the black middle class to become overnight billionaires on the backs of the working class. This is the essence of the ANC-SACP-Cosatu alliance.

The time has come for the working class to break free from the alliance, build independent structures of the working class, uniting employed, unemployed and soldiers, in action committees from local to national level. To eat we need to nationalise the land, to nationalise the land means expropriating all the banks, centralising them under workers' control; to have work we need to expropriate all imperialist assets and place them under working class control. needless to say no capitalist should be compensated. Share the work among all those who can work without loss of pay. To centralise the struggles we need to organise a general strike.

Don't be fooled by the fake struggle waged by the Cosatu and ANC leaders supposedly against labour brokers. The biggest users of labour brokers are the imperialist companies; they will just do as Shoprite has done, institutionalise mass contract workers at slave wages. The only way to end casual work and slave wages is to expropriate all imperialist companies.

Down with the imperialist budget!
Make the capitalists pay for their crisis!
Down with the government of billionaire and BMW ministers, who act for imperialism!
Forward to a workers' government!
Forward to Socialism!

--
Shaheed Mahomed, Secretary, Workers International Vanguard League
workersinternational@gmail.com
web www.workersinternational.org.za

affiliated to the International Leninist Trotskyist Fraction (sections in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, New Zealand, USA, South Africa)

US: Why we need a general strike to win against the massive attacks on students and workers


(a Balance Sheet of the October 24 Mobilizing Conference to Save Education held at UC Berkeley)

The September Day of Mobilization

The reformists and fake-leftists who, are at the moment in charge of the emerging student/workers movement on the California campuses, have a limited perspectives of sporadic one day “strike”, and protests that only exhausts, demoralizes and lead the movement to a dead end. This strategy does not bother the ruling class.

First we need to qualify what is a strike. A strike is a fundamental tool of the working class in the class war. The capitalist class does not give any concessions unless it has to under the pressure of antagonistic forces and power of the working class. A real strike must be enforced by solid uncrossable and if necessary violent picket lines. The picket line is the means of the working class to defend itself. Taking them to their logical conclusions the picket line turns from a defensive tool into offensive tools: from picket lines to defend strikes to workers’ defense guards to defend the overall needs and conquests of the working class, leading ultimately to the struggle for power to overthrow capitalism. The first rule for a strike to win is: it needs powerful picket lines. The second rule is that nobody crosses the picket lines. Without these fundamental rules a strike is not a real strike.

With this in mind the September 24th day of action was not a day of strikes it was a day of protests where many students cut classes and some workers were AWOL. The students and the workers who participated in the walkout did not set up serious picket lines. At UC Berkeley, for example, the picket lines were set periodically in one location and they did not seriously try to stop scabs from going in to work or class. So thousands of students went to classes and ignored the day of protest. During the big rally in the middle of the day, our organization went into the Administration building to see if the workers honored the strike. We found out that the majority of the workers were working all offices were open and doing business while 5,000 were “on strike” just feet away on the steps of the building!

The lessons are that a day of protests a couple of times a year do not work. They do not force the capitalists and their servants at the Board of Regents to stop the relentless attacks. In turn, the ruling class will go on with its plans of raising fees (in reality tuition) in January, and laying off staff and faculty members in the middle of March 2010.

From the very beginning the strategy of the reformists in charge of the movement was to derail it to go nowhere. The type of protests they initiated without real strikes are particularly ineffective especially when the capitalist system is in the deepest crisis since the 1930’s. Right now the capitalists want to destroy the public education system as part of their drive to lower the standard of living of the US working class, to that of the workers in the semi-colonies that US imperialism enslaves. Obama has unleashed education secretary Arne Duncan to privatize, the as of yet not-for-profit frontier of, public education. The threat of educated proletarian youth rising up to stop their plans through united action with workers makes them tremble with remembrance of May ’68. The only way to restore the US capitalists’ profits is through brutal competition against other imperialist rivals to drive down the wage base and expectations of social services in the United States. This is being done right now in conjunction with their attacks on workers wages, security and conditions in semi-colonies. The brutal attack by majority stockholder Warren Buffet on the Kraft food workers in Argentina last month is one of hundreds of such attacks on workers across the semi-colonies.

Any anti-capitalist mass movement must take as its starting point these objective conditions. Since the ruling class is in the middle of brutal attacks against workers and students, the only way to stop it is to use the powerful fist of the mass movement. In order to win we must have mass picket lines shutting down all the colleges, and the universities in the state until the demands are met. This shutdown must be enforced by massive picket lines that prevent anyone from crossing them. If necessary scabs and the thugs of the state must be dealt with by force of the mass pickets. The reformists do not want to take this road because they have no strategy for socialist revolution and have taken to themselves the job of perpetuating illusions in capitalism’s ability to be “tamed”. In turn they have become the tools of the bosses ideology in the movement serving capitalism by channeling the anger of the workers and students into the strategy that the capitalists gladly accept: toothless protests.


The big Betrayal on Oct. 24th

Saturday’s Mobilizing Conference to Save Public Education showed that the vanguard of the working class in California consists of working class youth and young workers who are ready to organize a general strike before the massive tuition hike in January. The young students and workers, many of them are Latinos and black, want to take up the militant traditions of class struggle in the Bay Area. But the reformists CRIMINALLY derailed the Conference to nowhere. Despite claiming, in the agenda, their intention to launch action which can “win” the conference closed without a winning strategy, without demands and with actions too far in the future to have an impact on the looming attacks we face..

The Conference was attended by between 700 and 1000 delegates from different state universities, colleges, as well as over 100 K-12 educators. Dozens of different unions’ members attended. The self appointed leadership (who call themselves facilitators) was composed primarily of an organization called LA VOZ de los trabajadores. It is a reformist organization that is centered in Latin America around the International Workers League, and it is known for its Spanish name the LIT. The LIT is responsible for many betrayals of the working class in Latin America (for an extensive expose see HWRS website www.humanistsforrevolutionarysocialism.org ).

As we explained in our flyer for the Oct. 24th Conference the LIT “creates and perpetuates illusions in capitalism’s ability to deliver by calling for an elected Board of Regents instead of fighting for student/worker/teaching faculty control of the university system. Their faith in reform is made apparent in a banner headline in their press, La VOZ de los Trabajadores, asking: ‘OBAMA ARE YOU LISTENING? WE’RE FIGHTING BACK!’ As if, this ‘bought and paid for,’ pretty boy of Wall Street, whose job it is to impose the cuts, will turn his back on big capital and put the interests of the working class”.

The LIT’s method of derailing the Conference was re-enforced and supported by other left organizations such as the reformist fake Trotskyists of Socialist Action (Usec), International Socialist Organization (ISO), Socialist Organizer and The Revolutionary Workers Group. We joined the militant youth in a battle against the reformists from the very beginning of the conference, our speaker called on the conference, to organize an indefinite extended general strike by the students, union workers and the oppressed based on a transitional program (a bridge between the present consciousness of the working class and the Socialist Revolution), to loud applause. The only political speech the LIT member gave was by a cadre, whose only politics was to say that the Conference’s purpose was to build . . .a big movement against the attacks. The rest of the LIT’s interventions were about logistics to destroy the democracy and derail the Conference.

This was not an accident. The reformists came prepared and the various fake socialists joined forces, to prevent ANY POLITICAL DISCUSSION in the Conference. They came prepared to prevent any discussion of the demands of the movement and they accomplished their task. They explained this shamelessly in Agenda itself: “The conference will not be voting on top demands or voting on the specific demands of the statewide action. Why? The process of collectively discussing and deciding on top demands is a very long process and there is simply not enough time at today’s conference to adequately and democratically do this.” (from the agenda of the conference).

So the self-appointed administrators of the conference, not elected by the conference participants, bureaucratically decided in advance that the conference will not come out with demands. It should go without saying that the agenda should have been decided upon by the students and workers at the conference. Only a democratic voted agenda can decide or not decide what are the tasks of the conference. It should not have been up to conference’s jailers (self-appointed administrators) to decide this in advance! This is not only a complete abuse and betrayal of workers democracy, but it even below the standard of corrupt formal bourgeois democracy. And secondly, how can the mass movement take any “actions” against the capitalists and their attacks without demands and a program to fight for? The only answer these reformists led by the LIT had was . . . in a later conference!

The LIT and their few supporters in the podium deliberately stopped all political discussions by giving each person one minute to speak, although their own agenda (that was never voted on by the people) suggested 2 minutes a person. Instead of a political discussion about demands and program these rascals stated that people should put their suggested demands in a . . .box to be dealt with later. The well known class traitor, sporting his AFL-CIO jacket, Alan Benjamin of the mis-named Socialist Organizer group became the enforcer for this policy by opposing a proposal in the K-12 workshop session to call on the conference to address demands in the afternoon session, Benjamin argued we must follow the conference agenda as if it was written in stone and even though it was never voted on by the conference participants.

The second part of the Conference was broken to smaller groups for “discussion” and suggested resolutions by each group. HWRS participated in two workshops. One of these workshop consists of a proletarian group of the community colleges (which are a two years colleges for working class youth working for associate degrees with hopes of moving to the state university but most likely find themselves on a trajectory to gain a trade skills or more likely end up unemployed), the other was a teacher K-12 workshop. There were two hundred plus strong working class youth in the community colleges workshop. And once again the LIT and Revolutionary Workers Group members appointed themselves as administrators. But against all their maneuvering HWRS put forward a resolution for an indefinite general strike to be prepared and coordinated in the universities, colleges, the unions and the oppressed communities. Despite the reformists efforts to stop it, it passed by a clear majority. Then a student’s resolution to start an indefinite general strikes in the universities starting March 4th also passed.

Yet, when the general assembly re-convened the LIT and their backer on the podium deliberately ignored the agenda and the democratically voted resolutions for a general strike. According to the agenda there was supposed to be “open discussion of proposals and voting” between 2:30 and 4:00.. But the self-appointed bureaucrats went straight to the vote without any discussions. When we objected, to the deliberately ignored and the democratically voted upon resolutions for a general strike, we created an up -roar in the hall. We received loud support particularly from Students from San Francisco state University and UC Santa Cruz who are clearly in the vanguard of the student movement. We raised objections to the reformist concept of having “actions” and “strikes” without a program or demands.

The LIT and their supporters answered that this could be dealt with in the . . . next Conference. The LIT (and their supporters on the podium) wickedly maneuvered, proposing to vote as one bloc dozens of proposals (in which one of them was about the general strike), thus totally diluting and preventing a vote on specific actions such as an extended general strike. Then they destroyed the whole purpose of the conference by proposing that each school will decide separately what actions . . .they (each school) want to do. Jeff Mackler of Socialist Action played a big role in this particular diversion. To add insult to injury the reformists passed a resolution for a “a day of actions and strikes on March 4th, with another general assembly sometimes in February”.

This was a massive betrayal because on January first the state will impose a significant hike in fees. Thus the “action” will take place two months after the fee hike, and many students will likely feel betrayed and demoralized. And in the middle of March there planned layoffs of faculty and staff (this was the reason for an indefinite strike in the universities starting March 4th that one of the students raised.). Obviously one day of protests two weeks before the layoffs is not a winning strategy despite the agenda promising to forge one.

Ten minutes before the end of general assembly (after most people already left) the reformists allowed a “discussion” on program, which was originally allocated one and half hour. In this miserable 10 minutes, each speaker was allowed only 30 seconds, and the laundry lists of demands was deferred to the conference in February. This was such a colossal betrayal of revolutionary politics and basic concepts of workers’ democracy that we can even say that it is a betrayal of . . . the LIT’s own reformist politics. They no longer practice the classic reformist concept that, “the movement is everything and the program is secondary.” Now the LIT’s politics is that the program is nothing, the movement is secondary, and the movement’s logistic is everything! Oct. 24th was an illustration that the bourgeoisie does not necessarily need Social Democracy and Stalinism to stop the mobilization of the masses. All the fake Trotskyists have lined up for the job formally done by the Stalinists and the Social Democrats and they are doing a fine job for the capitalists.

The fake Trotskyist left led by the LIT destroyed the conference’s potential to spark militant joint worker and student actions across the state and nation. They defused the potential to organize and launch an indefinite general strike in the universities and potentially in coordination with key unions in the heat of battle today. The Richmond teachers, the San Francisco Hotel workers, the furloughed state workers and the Palo Alto city employees; all have voted strike authorizations and are strike legal today, and would gain strength from an immediate and indefinite strike call coming out of the conference. But the conference lost the possibility of being the spark to unite these struggles.

Despite being sabotaged the potential to launch a winning fight is not lost. The Oct 24th conference illustrates that a mass movement is beginning to heat up in the US, and that there is a strong proletarian vanguard in the movement. We will do everything we can to energize and support this vanguard with revolutionary theory, actions and spirit. The students want an indefinite general strike before the tuition’s hike in January. We will work with the students from San Francisco State and other colleges who are working to organize an emergency conference to build for such a general strike. We know from history that when the working class and the oppressed in the US start fighting back they move very fast. We also know from history that a leadership and revolutionary program is critical for a successful upsurge. This is why our group the HWRS is joined in the middle of the fight with the rising vanguard of the youth, the students, workers and the oppressed.

Humanist Workers for Revolutionary Socialism, October 27, 2009

www.humanistsforrevolutionarysocialism.org

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

India: Workers Roar and tremors felt in US and Canada


Rico Workers
’ Strike in India, Forces Canadian and US Auto Manufacturers to Down Their Shutters!
-Our Delhi Correspondent/ 26.10.2009


The ongoing talks for reconciliation between employers and workers of Rico Auto Industries at Manesar, Gurgaon, broke down today as workers refused to relent till their demands were met by the employers, which include a compensation of Rs. 50 lakhs for the worker shot dead by the police and security guards of the factory, last Sunday and reinstating all the dismissed workers. Workers are also demanding an inquiry into the incident and prosecution for those who resorted to violence.

The workers strike at Manesar has resulted into severe crisis in auto manufacturing industry in US and Canada, where auto manufacturing giants like Ford and General Motors have been forced to shut down their plants due to shortage of transmission parts being supplied by the Rico Auto Industries, at Manesar, India.

While the shutdown of General Motors company in North America is on the anvil, the Ford has already declared a shut down of its plant at Oakville, Ontario, starting from tomorrow for a week.

The newspapers in Canada have reported that during week long shutdown, Ford alone would face a loss of production of more than five thousand cars. Ford produces the Edge SUV, the Flex, Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKT seven-passenger vehicles at this plant. In case the workers’ strike at Rico Industries continues further, there is every likelihood that the shutdown would also continue at Ford. The company has already made declaration in this regard through its spokesman Todd Nissan.

The locked out employees get 65% of regular pay, which is paid conjointly by the Ford and employment insurance companies. The Oakville plant in Canada has been running two shifts, employing about more than 3,000 workers. The insurance companies of US and Canada, would thus be another casualty of the agitation of workers at Manesar.

The shut down at Ford has been forced at a time when Ford had recently announced that it would build a new lower-priced, small car for the Indian market called the Figo, with prospects of its export to other parts of Asia and Africa.

Production at auto plants in US and Canada was already forced to be slowed down since earlier this month, with the intensification of ‘slow down’ stir by workers in Rico Industries in Manesar, India.

The workers of Rico Industries had been demanding higher wages and better working conditions. However, the strife has worsened since last Sunday, when the employers in collusion with the local police and more than 1000 hired goons had attempted to break the agitation of workers through violence and fired upon the agitating workers, leaving one dead, four suffering bullet wounds and more than 65 workers badly injured on the spot. In retaliation to the violence workers resolved to reinforce their agitation, while workers from other factories came out in solidarity with agitating workers of Rico and an unprecedented demonstration accompanie dby general strike in the region, was held on October 20, this week, against the capitalist bosses and the government, in which, more than one lakh workers, duly armed with Lathis etc. had participated. (see the report: http://new-wave-nw.blogspot.com/2009/10/one-lakh-workers-go-on-flash-strike-to.html)

The corporate media has expressed its concern over the workers’ action and the militancy shown by it. Wall Street Journal has written that, “The strike has offered another glimpse into India's mercurial manufacturing sector. Labor unrest can erupt quickly in India, leaving companies with little time to negotiate with disgruntled employees or adjust to a strike. The labor troubles, especially in India's lucrative automobile industry, have prompted warnings from foreign companies that they might consider shifting operations from the country if strikes continue to hamper production”.

Seeing the devastating consequences of the workers’ stir, however, the management of Rico industries has started to relent. Surinder Chaudhary, vice-president for human resources at Rico Auto Industries, told that the company is continuing to take back the terminated workers, following weeks of work stoppages due to strikes. He told that on Friday, 900 workers showed up for shifts, and there was further expectation of 2,000 to return over the next few days.

The hopes of the company however, proved to be mis-founded after the conciliatory talks broke down today, as workers continued to press for unconditional acceptance of all their demands by the management. The company spokesman however, termed the strike by the workers as illegal, saying that no prior notice of the strike has been given by the workers to the employers.

By their experience, the workers have learnt that all legality is directed against them. The provisions of prior notice of strike envisaged in Industrial Laws are a device to alarm the employers to make arrangements in advance to subterfuge the action of workers. The flash strikes, slowdowns etc. defying all provisions of Industrial laws, hitting at most opportune moment, are proven the best ways to deal with employers.

Boasting of the employers that they would shift their establishment to some other location or country in face of offensive of workers, is devoid of genuine basis. After eruption of general crisis of world capitalism and simultaneous decline of Stalinism, the capitalists are facing widespread resistance from the working class. The intrusion of international capital in peripheral countries on an unprecedented scale, in search for more and more profits, has already made the backward countries a hotbed of militant labour struggles, while the advanced parts of the world are saturated and hardly permit such shifting in view of fast declining rate of profit in them.

The global integration of economy has placed immense power at the disposal of the working class. The workers in different countries are more and more emerging as a single international working class, having a global impact, character and unity of interests and above all an undivided class will and a single historic mission. Every individual workers’ struggle on the globe, demonstrates the fact that the time of capitalism is nearing with each skirmish. The day is not very far when it would find no place on the earth to ‘shift’ or even 'move'.

Reprinted from new wave blog

Monday, October 26, 2009

USA: Fighting the Cuts in Education

FROM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TO THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL:

ONLY WORKERS’ ACTIONS CAN SAVE PUBLIC EDUCATION!



For control of our public universities by faculty, staff, and students; abolish the Board of Regents!

For parent-teacher-staff control of public schools; down with school boards and state trustees!

Stop the Democratic Party/CTA drive to privatize through charter schools!

For mass actions by students, parents, teachers, and workers,

up to a prolonged general strike, to defeat all attacks on public education and public workers!



Richmond, California, located in the West Contra Costa Unified School District and sitting in the shadow of Chevron, is Ground Zero in the attack on public education. Chevron draws down $14 billion in annual profits and enjoys tax breaks via Proposition 13 and the corporate tax deals cut in Sacramento to pass the budget this year. All the while, schools are bulldozed; teachers and staff are fired; classes are overcrowded; and public education in California has become the laughing stock of the educated world. Youth in this district are more likely to go to prison or war than to get a good education and a decent job. Even now few can afford the University of California. Yet they plan to increase fees to over $10,000!

The swells and overstuffed suits on the Board of Regents, the school boards, the legislative and executive bodies (from the State Capitol to the White House), and their paymasters on Wall Street, led by JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Goldman Sachs etc., blather endlessly about their commitment to cutting costs. Meanwhile, their wealth and profits soar, in contrast to homeless encampments which bloom outside our cities. WHO WILL STAND UP TO THIS INJUSTICE? WHO WILL FIGHT FOR OUR KIDS EDUCATION?

Despite the clamor of the media pundits, who last week celebrated a jump in the Dow, the current crisis shows no let up for the working class, the unemployed, or our students. CEOs and public administrators see only one way to balance their books, via wholesale attacks on the living standards of working people. One in seven people internationally live in poverty. 40 million in the US join the 2 billion worldwide surviving in poverty, alongside a billion who live on less than $1.00 a day. We are now told to expect a jobless “recovery” while the economy shreds a quarter million jobs monthly, and the stock market skyrockets as profits return to the financial capitalists. The bailout is working – but only for Wall Street – and at our expense!

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and their ilk have hoarded billions to pay obscene bonuses to their best thieves this Christmas. The treacherous leaders in the union bureaucracies, the union supported politicians, and the reformists posing as socialists only give cover to these accepting furloughs, lower wages, cuts in pensions, and increased health care costs, and to stand by as immigrants are scapegoated and deported. While Wall Street and the military receive billions of dollars from Washington, we are told: “Don’t fight back; you can’t win, because there is no money for education and social services.”

Most of all, we are told: “This is simply a crisis of the financial sector, caused by foolish people who let themselves get talked into mortgages they couldn’t afford.” They don’t want us to see the big picture. The truth is that the entire edifice of the capitalist economic system is rotten to the core. The present economic crisis is not a matter of bad mortgages transformed by Wall Street machinations into “toxic assets.” Rather, it is a classic crisis of overproduction, caused by inter-imperialist rivalry lowering workers’ standard of living in order to boost profits, until the workers can no longer afford to buy the goods they produce. This inherent structural weakness in capitalism means that for the bosses and their profits to survive, Wall Street needs you to take the hit – you, your kids, your grandkids, and your descendants ad infinitum!

Instead of explaining this truth, the fake socialists join the chorus of liberals and progressives who create the illusion that simply putting pressure on Obama will stop the cuts and save our education. One fake socialist group, the LIT-FI, creates and perpetuates illusions in capitalism’s ability to deliver by calling for an elected Board of Regents instead of fighting for student/worker/teaching faculty control of the university system.. Their faith in reform is made apparent in a banner headline in their press, La VOZ de los Trabajadores, asking: “OBAMA ARE YOU LISTENING? WE’RE FIGHTING BACK!” As if, this “bought and paid for,” pretty boy of Wall Street, whose job it is to impose the cuts, will turn his back on big capital and put the interests of the working class first.

What fake socialists, liberals, and progressives won’t say is that for us to win quality education, affordable health care, jobs for all, a clean environment, and an end to war, capitalism must die. We must replace this entire system – the economic foundation, the political structures, and the armed power of the state – with workers’ democratic self-management, all the way from the points of production and distribution to the highest levels of decision making and enforcement. What we need is a Workers’ Government run by workers’ power.


Rallies, teach-ins, forums, and one-day work stoppages alone will not end the attack on education. To win, we need prolonged general strike action across the state against the rule of the capitalists, in all the workplaces in both the public and private sectors, in the schools the universities and in the streets. We must fight for transitional demands that can break the grip of the capitalist media and world view on the masses of workers. Our program must include:

1) No layoffs, furloughs, or speed-ups; no fee increases or cuts in programs or classes in the schools or in higher education; no cuts in social services and benefits for the poor, seniors, children, or the disabled.

2) Abolish the Regents! No to fake democratization of the Regents through general election! Down with the drive to privatize public education! Only a university system democratically administered by teaching faculty, staff, students, and the working class community can provide education that serves the interest of the working class, not the corporate elite. FOR STUDENT, FACULTY, STAFF, AND WORKERS’ COMMUNITY CONTROL of the UC, Cal State, and Community College systems and all public schools! Down with the political appointees, elected officials, and state-imposed trustees who strangle our colleges and school districts!

3) FOR OPEN ADMISSIONS! FOR AN END TO FEES (NO TUITION)! STIPENDS BASED ON NEED! From pre-school to graduate school, provide free, high quality education and enough classes for everyone. The existing system is not designed to educate the working class. From grade school though university, it tracks students by socioeconomic class, separating the privileged from those destined for low paying dead end jobs, the military, or prison. In a socialist economy the highest education achievable by an individual would be valued and promoted. But in this era of capitalist decay, higher education and socioeconomic advancement are no longer valued by the denizens of Wall Street and their corporate shills on the UC Board of Regents. DOWN WITH ARNIE DUNCAN’S CHARTER SHOOL DRIVE!

4) JOBS FOR ALL! From an individual’s entry into the working world until retirement, everyone must be guaranteed the opportunity to perform meaningful creative work that serves humanity and pays enough to support a family. To end unemployment and the squeeze on workers’ wages, we demand a sliding scale of wages and working hours: 30 hours’ work for 40 hours’ pay! Share available work! Reclaim advances in productivity from the expropriators!

5) When banks and corporations plead poverty in the face of workers’ reasonable demands for jobs, fair pay, and full benefits, we must fight for the nationalization of failing enterprises under democratic workers’ control, without compensation to the stockholders!

6) ABOLISH CALIFORNIA’S INDUSTRIAL PRISON SYSTEM! The decline in spending on education since the passage of Proposition 13 is closely correlated with the rise of the prison population in California. Each prisoner is a consequence of this system’s failures in education and employment! The system is the crime; the prisoners are only the symptom. Abolish the capitalist system and the symptom will disappear. Prisoners cost $47,000 a year and incarcerated youth cost a quarter million dollars a year – while our public schools operate on $7,000 per student!

7) FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE from cradle to grave. The only thing preventing universal, free, high quality health care is the profit system, which extracts profit from every illness or death. For our families to have health care, the profit system must be driven out of medicine!

8) Stop the two-tier system of contracting out permanent positions.. Offer contract workers permanent union university employment, offer integration into CALPERS with credits for time served. Organize the unorganized!

9) Drive Military & CIA/NSA recruiters out of the universities! Down with all intellectual work that serves the exploitative and military ends of the imperialists. Down with Lawrence Livermore, home of US nuclear weapon research! Rather we need a university that teaches the critique of political economy and the theoretical contributions of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky—not the deceptive system of exploitation and wars! Education withers during imperialist war drives! Defeat US, NATO and Allies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan!

10) For a fighting Workers’ Party. To achieve the above demands, workers and students must break with the Democratic and all capitalist parties (Greens, Republicans, American Independent, and Libertarian) and build a Workers’ Party based in the trade unions, alongside unorganized workers, the unemployed, and their allies in the communities of color and the LGBT community. Only a Fighting Workers’ Party committed to defeating capitalism by revolutionary means and founding a workers’ government can establish a rational socialist plan to win these demands.

HUMANIST WORKERS FOR REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALISM

Working with the FLTI to refound the Fourth International

www.HumanistsForRevolutionarySocialism.org

e-mail: hw4rs@yahoo.com

October 2009 Labor Donated
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