Sunday, November 06, 2011

OAKLAND LEADS THE WAY


November 2nd the working class of Oakland outflanked the labor bureaucracy, the Democratic Party, the cops, the anti-labor Taft-Hartley law and kicked Wall Street where it counts by shutting down the Port of Oakland.

A racially diverse cross-section of Oakland 10-20,000 strong, made up of workers (organized and un-organized), unemployed, youth, students, parents, elders, disabled, marching bands, affinity groups, anti-police brutality groups, every variation of socialists, communists and anarchist and the OWS activists marched from between three and five miles to the furthest berths at the port of Oakland to assure adequate picket lines were formed up at each gate.

As each person crested the rise on the bridge over the train yard and saw the mass of picketers in front and behind them, they must have become aware of the unique nature of this mass picket line forming up, the enormity of the power of the so-called “99%” was becoming self evident. With that image an understanding, a shift in consciousness percolated across the crowd as the solidarity was experienced, the working class of Oakland was becoming self-aware and was self-expressing! We had broken out of our isolation, our atomization and demoralization and were putting our stamp on the international class struggle in a profoundly significant and exemplary manner! The union tops won’t fight the Taft-Hartley anti-strike laws but the working class showed that as a class we could!

WHY TODAY'S LABOR LEADERS CAN’T LEAD

  1. As the international crisis of capitalism imposes austerity on all the working people, dependent peoples, marginalized and specially oppressed communities the labor bureaucracies have displayed their inability to respond with appropriate class force to turn the tide against capital and in favor of labor. At least three factors prohibit labor, under the current leaderships, from launching the overdue counter attack. First: no working class political independence, second: anti-labor laws, third: professionalization, institutionalization and class collaboration of labors’ leadership
  2. Decades of ignoring the class divide between workers and capitalists in politics and thereby preventing workers’ independent political action by channeling labor into the “big tent” of the capitalist Democratic Party, this prevents independent working class political action and perpetuates class collaboration politics.
  3. Anti-labor laws such as Taft-Harley prohibit secondary strikes, sympathy strikes and ultimately General Strikes. Such laws are regularly evoked in the bosses’ courts to crush job actions, keeping the labor leaders from ever considering any strike action let alone secondary strikes, or a general strike. Once the strike is off the table labor is left toothless! Workers with signed contracts containing no-strike clauses have signed their class power away!

The labor tops are often sent to (or emerge from) academic training in labor relations at institutions which promote class peace! These labor academies do not view the historic interests of the working class as separate from and antagonistic to the interests of capital. They do not teach a critique of the political economy of capitalism. They accept as given the entrenched and perpetual nature of capitalism without ever entertaining the possibility that the contradiction between social production and individual profit accumulation is non-sustainable. They deny the historical inevitability of the deepening of capitalist crisis leading to barbarism and inter-imperialist war. All the while they are drumming into labor leaders heads what cannot be done instead of what has been done and what needs to be done. These institutions perpetuate the most backward forms of trade unionism. They promote class peace even while capital launches class war. Their assigned task is to keep the rank and file in line, disorganized, demobilized, atomized and demoralized and voting for the Democratic Party. To the extent that they are successful the unions serve capitalism, to the extent that workers break out of these constraints unions can become the schools for class struggle and worker’s power!

OUTFLANKING THE LABOR TOPS!

This week in Oakland the ranks of the working class and labor burst through the containment of the labor leaders edifice. Responding to the brutal police riot on Tuesday October 25th when police fired a “non-lethal” projectile point blank, critically injuring two term Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen, the dye was cast. News of Scott’s injury flashed twitter speed around the world and immediately all eyes were on Oakland. News that Egyptians were marching on the American Embassy in solidarity with Oakland swelled internationalist fervor across the OWS movement while live feeds flashed demonstrations across a thousand cities standing militant vigil for Olsen.

The Occupy Oakland (OOM) movement took the bold step of calling for a General Strike despite not having the social leverage to accomplish the task and shut down the entire city. It was quickly acknowledged that labor would not down tools but that with enough pressure the Port of Oakland could be closed, the mis-named general strike would manifest as a day of action culminating in a mass picket to shut the port.

Even though the labor unions respond to the call of the OOM not one union dared to defy Taft-Hartley by of calling their members to walk out in unison and join a General Strike. The Alameda Labor council, the SEIU 1021, OEA, Local Carpenters, the CNA and the ILWU all sent letters of support to the General Strike as a Day of Action rather than as a strike. Workers were encouraged to take vacation days to attend the General Strike!

Bottom line: if you have to take a vacation day to attend the General Strike-it’s not a General Strike. If you ride the BART train or AC transit bus to the General Strike and the fares are being collected it is not a general strike? Despite the inability of organized labor to launch a General Strike they were able to provide many of the amenities necessary for a Day of Action. OEA paid for the toilets and the Alameda Labor Council paid for a lunch for all while union member volunteers cooked and served. But when it came time to shut down the port it was the Oakland rank and file working class not the labor tops who took the lead!

THE INTERSECTION OF ANTI-POLICE BRUTALITY, LABOR AND OWS

When OWS emerged in Oakland, youth, the Black and Brown community and the most radical elements the labor movement were already primed to present the generally white “middle class” OWS with tasks that would challenge the movement on questions of special oppression, class exploitation and class struggle.

The Oakland community had been organizing against police brutality for the last three years following the BART police execution of Oscar Grant, a young black worker and father. As the racist and anti-working class nature of this police brutality unraveled, a block between labor activists and anti-police brutality activists developed into a one-day political strike by the ILWU local 10 on October 23rd 2010. This action shaped and promoted the development of an anti-racist class consciousness among many workers and youth in Oakland.

Again during the occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol last winter many of these same forces came together around the April 4th 2011 ILWU 10 port shut down in solidarity with public workers. These actions exemplified for many, the role labor could and should be playing in organizing actions to defend the most oppressed communities and the interests of the entire working class.

These actions over of the last two years as well as the fight against cuts in education funding, the struggle of public workers, the young, the old and the disabled brought many forces together who would play a role in the OWS and the General Strike/Day of Action.

In a feeder march from Laney College to join the noon General Strike rally, AFT and OEA and UTR teachers, two groups of high school students, the black student union, entire classes of students, Labor Black and Brown activists, and various socialist groups marched on and served a symbolic eviction notice to the Oakland School Board.

The spirited crowd swelled to over 1,000 and marched right past the giant and welcoming banner of the “Oakland Commune” at 14th and Broadway in order to march on the banks! At the Laney rally 40 posters were distributed calling for “Nationalization of the Banks under Workers Control”, “Break with the Republicrats” “Build a Workers Party that Fights for a Workers Government.” These signs could be seen throughout the duration of the march. When these posters were distributed recipients were encouraged to read carefully and choose only posters they agreed with. This indicated to us that the sea of “tax the rich” posters we always see at OWS actions could easily be replaced by posters with more advanced slogans and transitional demands.

INTERNATIONALISM ON THE RISE?

From the first pizza pie ordered by the Egyptian movement and sent to the public workers at the Wisconsin Capitol occupation last winter a new internationalism has been developing in the working class. For possibly the first time since the days of the Spanish Civil war American workers have started to look internationally for class inspiration. The uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa provide many warnings and lessons.

Despite the media focus on Tahrir square much of the background organization came from the working class quarter which engaged in rolling waves of strikes and the formation of neighborhood committees to defend both against the cops and thugs. Yet despite toppling Mubarak, the occupy movement has been disbanded, many anticipated openings and freedoms are restricted and the hated military still imposes the rule of imperialism over Egypt.

Despite many violent clashes and the hundreds killed and disappeared by state repression, illusions in pacifism and parliamentarianism disarmed the working class both politically and militarily and held back the rising demand of the most oppressed for working class power. Conversely weapons as we see in Libya often come at a price. The National Transitional Council in Libya made its peace with imperialism to affect the defeat of the hated Gadhafi regime. In turn the new government has taken the task to militarily disarm the revolutionary fighters whose self-organization and loose confederation allowed the NTC to assume the leadership role while the youth did the fighting and dying. And in Tunisia, where the first spark that set the stage for 2011 was struck, the constituent assembly model promoted by “Western Democracy” has shown it can be counted on to maintain neo-colonial servitude and has been given the task of and has managed to exclude the revolutionary youth who brought down the old regime from the newly forming bodies of governance!

Working class political independence is based on the formation of representative bodies composed of the democratically elected workers deputies subject to immediate recall, to form factory committees, neighborhood councils, and inter-factory and inter-district workers councils supplemented by the unemployed and marginalized layers of the population similarly organized which jointly take to themselves the tasks of seizing, defending and reorganizing the economy. The formation of workers councils of this sort are essential to centralize and guide the strike movement to win the soldiers to the peoples side and take united action to defend the socially created wealth from the prying hands of imperialist exploiters and their comprador lackeys enjoying the fruits of subservience to imperialist dictates. To be victorious is to establish a workers’ government and a workers’ state. The illusions in pacifism, gradualism, reformism and faith in the parliamentary road must all be navigated and swept aside by the concrete experience of the masses; this is the process of consolidating the lessons of the class struggle. Other wise the movement will be defeated, disarmed and the rule of capital will perpetuate with increased levels of exploitation and misery. Many of these same lessons in working class independence, in rank and file organizing, in workers’ democracy which need to be learned for successful revolutions in MENA need to be learned here as well. And just as the Egyptians sent pizza to Wisconsin and marched on the American Embassy in solidarity with Oakland and Scott Olsen, OWS needs to develop an internationalist consciousness and oppose and fight to defeat US imperialist wars, and interventions otherwise OWS falls into the trap of nationalism and social pacifism. THE VICTORY OF THE 99% MUST BE INTERNATIONAL OR NOT AT ALL!

THE ROLE OF REFORMISTS, CENTRISTS, PACIFISTS AND ANARCHISTS

Under the guise of adherence to process the OWS movement has developed many lists of the wrongs of capitalism but has assured discussion of demands are not entertained to define the movement. This echoes back to a debate at the turn of the last century in German Social Democracy between Rosa Luxemburg and Eduard Bernstein. Bernstein is famously remembered for arguing that the movement is everything and the program is not essential. Rosa Luxemburg on the other hand argued for making the program of social democracy concrete by clearly defining the nature of the economic crisis, the tasks of the working class and the need to adhere to class based and internationalist principles. The collapse of international social democracy in the face of the imperialist war that broke out in August 1914 (European socialists supported their national ruling classes instead of opposing the inter-imperialist war) was the consequence of Bernstein’s method. Today as the “99%” tries to self define the lesson of 1914 should not be ignored.

By perpetuating a programmatic vacuum, in the name of the openness of the process of the movement, the politics of the dominant paradigm, of the liberal/progressive critique are expressed as the “logical” or “common sense”, sometime spoken/sometimes unspoken, demands and direction of the movement and as such, without nary a hint of discussion, act to edge out, contain and prevent debate over working class program and revolutionary action.

To the “99%” who see the gross inequalities of wealth distribution as well as tax codes, which allow wealth to accumulate unencumbered by the 1% and their cronies, this awareness manifests across the OWS as the demand “tax the rich”. “Tax the Rich” posters are ubiquitous and it appears that all labor, liberals, progressives and socialists come together around this demand.

Despite reflecting the subjective desire of the “99%” for justice this demand actually perpetuates illusions in the ability of this decaying system to be reformed by simply adjusting the tax code. Significantly accompanying this demand is the admonishment of the corporate elite for their greed. This critique of capitalists as merely a cabal of mean and nasty, greedy thugs who can be brought into line by tax reform erects a roof before laying the foundation.

If greed alone were the problem, then indeed taxation could tweak the system. But greed is part of the super-structural alienation resultant from a system predicated upon and legally bound to enforce pursuit of profit above all else. This system of capitalism binds the process of production in a contradiction between social production and individual wealth accumulation. This basic contradiction cannot be taxed away. The task at hand to resolve this contradiction is therefore not to simply tax the rich but rather to expropriate the vast quantity of finance capital being horded and/or invested in speculation by the big banks and corporations and put it under the productive control of democratic councils convened by workers representatives and representatives of the specially oppressed communities, unemployed, and marginalized peoples.

But this basic working class perspective can only find voice under the watchful eye of the facilitators who either limit the time of the revolutionary socialists during vox populi or rule such discussion out of order when they are interjected in other “logistical” or “action” oriented discussions. For revolutionary workers it is a basic understanding that politics and program precede action and logistics. This primacy of program is necessary to assure we know where we are going the actions should flow from the program and not visa-versa. Whereas the “tax the rich” demand based on the “greed” critique has emerged as the unifying direction of the movement, in absence of a real debate over program, this reformist program dominates. But as our experiment, with distribution of posters at the Laney march and as the applause our speaker received while calling for nationalization of banks and finance capital under workers control and for a workers party that fights for a workers government during a limited one and a half minute speech during a vox populi reveled, the participants in the movement are open to demands which challenge the rights of capital to control production. “Tax the rich” does not challenge that right!

The reformists, pacifists, labor leaders come together to assure this vacuum continues as the content of demands and critique of the system they agree with ultimately feed into the rhetoric of the Democratic Party which sings this song when election time roles around but abandon it when they get power. As we head into the 2012 campaign the role of reformism, pacifism and liberalism join to corral the working class away from independent political action and back to the big umbrella of the Democratic party. The centrists and anarchists play along, by not challenging these reformists and fighting for demands and actions which draw working class solutions based on resolving the basic contradictions of capitalism.

The most egregious variants of these methods are displayed by ex Panther, ex CP member Angela Davis who, for all her experience offers no program other than self-actualization platitudes from author June Jordan, by Michael Moore who evokes the moral imperative against “capitalist greed”, by the ISO which in San Francisco has endorsed anti-working class proposition C and which freely distributes “tax the rich” posters. The ISO at least should have read the 1938 Transitional Program of the Fourth International which develops a program of transitional demands designed to guide workers to take production into the hands of the working class.

Then there are many strains of anarchists. When challenged to a discussion at the OWS in Oakland to compare Marxism and Anarchism the anarchists refused to show up. Most of the anarchists ignore or disparage discussion of program and there are about a hundred who self-isolate by “black-blocking” and refusing to discuss program or preparing for joint action. Rather they go on sprees of window smashing which are easily infiltrated by police provocateurs and used to evoke violent backlash against the entire movement.

Following the port shut down some anarchistic youth and squatters attempted to seize a vacant homeless facility to bring it back to the service of the homeless. This exemplary action challenges the irrationality of capitalism, which allows housing to remain vacant while people are driven out of their homes and onto the streets. This type of movement is essential and should have the support of labor and the communities of the oppressed. It is for that reason that we are convinced the so-called vandals are not real anarchists but are provocateurs and the young and naive easily swayed by these seemingly radical actions. Was the fire which was lit in the street and the window which were broken done by cops dressed as “black blockers” to assure the storm troops had excuse to crush the squatters. These outbursts of violence do nothing to organize the working class and prepare for the seizure of power and are therefore just as counter-revolutionary as the non program/program of the liberals and reformists.

Seemingly opposite are those pacifists who can be heard calling out to the cops, “Your part of the 99%”. These pacifists perpetuate the lie that the state is class neutral and the cops are workers just like the rest of us. This ignores a fact that every working class kid in the UK learns as a child, a fact that most people of color figure out some time in their teen years and that is that the role of the cops is to keep poor and working class people in their place especially when they organize strikes and community self defense or when the 99% decide to fight back. The cops are enforcers for Wall Street. They, as an institution can not be won over by moral arguments any more than stock holders can be convinced to elevate morals and ethics over profit. Ultimately this mythology perpetuated by the pacifists prevents workers and oppressed people from preparing workers, Black and Brown self defense guards and thereby allows the cops, ICE, the racists, the homophobes, and anti-Semites to brutalize our people our movements and smash our organizations and picket lines. The anarchists and pacifists the liberals and fake socialists all come together to disarm the working class by elevating the movement over program and allowing mystifications such as: cops being part the 99%, the crisis of capitalism seen as a moral failure rather than the trajectory of an outdated mode of production unable to contain its own contradictions, the denial of the need to clearly define a working class action program to create a class struggle movement leads the unaware into class collaboration and capitulation to our class enemies program, and adopting a modes of struggle leading to the defeat of our class. Neither window breaking nor turning the other cheek serve us!

THE LIMITS, COMPLICATIONS AND IMPEDIMENTS OF THE OWS PROCESS

“MIKE CHECK” “MIKE CHECK” “MIKE CHECK” This is how you take the floor during the general assembly. “DIRECT RESPONSE” “DIRECT RESPONSE” With a little chutzpah and these two phrases an individual can control the discussion. Is it expedient, yes at times it works and can be used to make group decisions which the majority can understand and decide upon quickly. Many decisions such as how to clean the plaza, to occupy city hall, or call for a general strike, move a crowed to form a strike line, or deciding to march left or right can be accomplished by this method.

At the same time this system combined with consensus and even modified consensus has effectively kept the OWS movement from charting a course toward working class action independent from the ruling class politics. Rather this system allows and promotes the ruling class ideology through the multiple transmission belts of the liberals, progressives, labor leaders, pacifists, fake socialists and anarchists. These political tendencies swim well in the OWS because their role is to prevent the working class from developing a program that guides the working class to the seizure of economic and political power.

The revolutionary workers’ movement since the days of the Paris Commune has a tradition of workers’ democracy which promotes the broadest democratic discussion leading to organized and centralized united class-wide action. This form of organization is derived from the nature of the class war, which has been launched upon us by the bosses. Our enemy is the most organized, centralized, militarized; national security state ever assembled and is united to take every action “necessary” in defense of private ownership of the means of production. Its defeat requires higher levels of organization.

Its defeat will not be accomplished by public assemblies where a handful of reformists can block the development of program or a handful of pacifist can block the formation of labor, Black and Brown self defense guards or the arming of pickets, or the formation of workers’ militias. Invariably in public assemblies using the OWS method a minority will block the assembly from drawing the class lines which are necessary to lead the working class past the illusions of pacifism, the class collaboration of the labor leaders, the moral imperative of the liberals, the ultra leftism and susceptibility to provocateurs of the so-called “black block” anarchists, and the pseudo anti-leadership philosophy being promoted.

Only workers assemblies based on democratic representation by elected workers deputies from the factories, offices, schools, and other workers organizations can mobilize the social power needed to take mass unified action in the form of the indefinite general strike action leading to the seizure of power by the working class. This lesson needs to be learned and relearned by each generation that comes into conflict with capitalism. Such assemblies have emerged in every worker’s uprising since the Paris Commune. But their emergence alone is no guarantee of victory. Indeed the same social forces we see holding back the OWS and “indignados” movements today will find their way into workers assemblies and will do their best to hold the workers back. But in the workers assemblies the working class will be seeking a road to class power and when the working class assembles it has a tradition of taking action based on majority vote not consensus. The revolution will be decided upon and launched by a majority of workers deputies so assembled, unlike the General Assembly of the OWS which has no social weight, the workers deputies assembled represent the power to produce or not!

ARE THE OWS ASSEMBLIES INCIPIENT WORKERS’ COUNCILS?

At this point the OWS has yet to self-define yet it does not lack a class character. Like any army of resistance assembled or assembling the OWS has to address all the logistical and political tasks and in so doing the inherent logic of democratic decision making and socialized work have emerged as a method which is both organic to the task at hand and familiar when looked at historically through the eyes of workers’ and communal resistance movements. Yet despite attracting many workers, unemployed, youth, homeless and specially oppressed people, despite the presence of many well known socialists, anarchists, and communists on the platform of OWS and even facilitating for OWS many apologists for capitalism and ideologically driven capitalists who have long supported the Democrats have made their way to the platform provided by OWS.

In an attempt to self define the movement identifies with the 99%. But that is clearly a rhetorical ploy based on fuzzy sociology. The real ruling class, the top oligarchs are more like 0.01% and they have a good 7-12% of the population materially dependent on and committed to the perpetuation of their rule. But what kind of movement could you build around the slogan “We are the 87.243%!”. This fuzzy sociology allows lots of fudge room which appears in the “Oakland Commune” as a class and racial divide between the most oppressed peoples and the largely Caucasian and often “middle class” OWS core group. Left to its own fuzzy sociology and its own interactive process the OWS is an expression of the radicalized petty bourgeois feeling the pressure capitalism’s implosion. At the same time and despite the fuzzy sociology the class character of the mobilization at OWS can change on a dime, with massive gathering of trade unionists and workers at the encampments. This has happened a number of times with masses of trade unionists coming to OWS in NYC and as happened in Oakland in the days after Scott Olsen was injured when the labor committee assembled.

REVOLUTIONARY LEADERSHIP AND THE ROAD FORWARD

Revolutionary Marxism today recognizes that to overcome the pitfalls of reformism, pacifism, liberalism, anarchism and centrism the working class must construct its own revolutionary party based in the working class and among the most oppressed peoples. The task of building a revolutionary leadership involves a concrete challenge and ongoing critique of these ideologies for leadership of the workers movement. All of these ideologies have a historic record which guides us to understand exactly how they will operate today.

The science of Marxism explains not only how they think, their philosophical foundations and the materialist basis for their ideologies but shows how due to their subjectivity they remain blind to the consequences of their method. Their ideologies are invariably expressions of the radical petty bourgeoisie and the labor aristocracy which feel the crushing weight of capitalism’s collapse but seek to maintain their privileges and to avoid the coming to power of the working class and the most oppressed and marginalized peoples both here and internationally. Note the absence of anti-imperialist demands or even mention of the current spate of attacks on Gaza or the Zionist colonialist plans to build 1000 more homes in East Jerusalem.

So the most pressing task is the construction of an internationalist workers party which hones a multi-national cadre of revolutionaries to intervene in and guide the workers movement to the seizure of power through the development of a living transitional program that expose the limits of capitalism and outlines the working class alternative.

As the OWS movement must outgrow its original base it will draw in more working class people. Revolutionary workers fight to bring a working class program to the mobilization and turn the anti-corporate rhetoric into an anti-capitalist understanding of the task at hand. Developing a program to unite the working class and OWS activists in independent political action must commence. To succeed an action program is needed that leads to the creation of class struggle caucuses intent on transforming the unions into class struggle organizations fighting for the historic interests of the entire working class. Independent workers organizations that unite the most oppressed and marginalized people with the ranks of labor and the OWS participants need to be formed.

Common working class demands should issue forth from independent class struggle organizations to guide the working class into taking actions that lead to class power!

The demand to “Break with the Democrats and all Capitalist Parties” must be in the forefront. The demand to “Build a Workers Party prepared to Fight for a Workers’ Government” follows and shows the road forwarded after breaking with the Democrats. The demand for “Jobs for All” based on shared work at “30 hours work for 40 hours pay” exposes the contradiction between the increased productivity of labor and the declining wages of labor. The demand for “Full citizenship rights for all immigrant workers” unites the most oppressed workers with the rest of the class. The demand for “labor Black and Brown self defense” opposes the viewpoint that the cops have any place in our future or that they are in any way part of the 87.243%. The demand to “open the books of the major finances houses and corporations” exposes the true value of and hoarding of social wealth. The demand to “nationalize finance capital, the big banks and major corporations and run them under the control of the democratic workers assemblies” is the response to the ever present reformist mantra “tax the rich”. The demand to take class struggle a level where we confront Taft Harley and all anti-labor laws through strike actions, general strikes and political strikes elevates the consciousness of the working class to the enormity of the tasks that lie ahead. But despite the enormity of the task it can be accomplished if dedicated and trained cadre unites to bring this method into the heat of the class struggle.

Shutting the Port of Oakland by the rank and file of Oakland’s working class is an opening blow using class struggle methods of direct militant action against the greatest imperialist power. To be victorious it needs to be followed up with armies of militants armed with a class program and clear understanding that only a workers’ government based on workers democracy can resolve this crisis in the favor of the working classes and oppressed people here and across the world. This task requires the building of local, national and international revolutionary leadership cadre united in a revolutionary workers international organization committed to the method of the 1938 program of the Fourth International.

IMMEDIATE TASKS FOR REVOLUTIONARY WORKERS IN THE OWS MOVEMENT!

  • Fight for organizing a real general strike building toward indefinite nationwide general strikes. That means that we need to struggle to convene Workers Assemblies or Workers Strike Committees. We must argue that OWS general assembly cannot substitute itself for Workers Assembly or a General Strike Committee. 
  • The Workers General Strike Committee (WGSC) must be built seriously and professionally not via the anarchist/pacifist petty bourgeois methods of OWS. Only when deputized representative rank-and-file militants from the Bart union, AC Transit, the supermarket workers, ILWU, OEA and other key unions, call for and attend a real strike committee can a general strike become a reality. In addition to representatives from these unions representatives from the oppressed black and brown communities must also have a sizable representation in the WGSC. This is so because without the mobilization of the oppressed and their communities for the general strike, it is not a real general strike. They are subjected to most of the police brutality, racism and poverty. Thus without the mobilization of Black and Brown workers in the communities for the general strike there will not be a genuine general strike. WGSC must win the rank-and-file militants from the key unions who participated in the Nov. 2nd protest. This can be done by mass leafleting at job sites, use of indy-media, KPFA, black and brown media, the left press, labor/workers media, Facebook, twitter etc.
  • Such a combination of representatives of unions militants and Black and Brown community militants should constitute the core for the WGSC. The method of functioning should be workers democracy as it is the only method that has worked successfully in the struggle against capitalism since the days of the Paris Commune.
  • A series of transitional demands that unite the masses against capital should be advanced in the WGSC:

  1. Expropriate the banks and capitalist industries without compensation and place all socialized capital under workers’ control. 
  2. Cops out of Oakland! 
  3. For Labor Black and Brown communities to form Defense Guards against Police Brutality! 
  4. Restore all the cuts and lay-offs from the crisis. 
  5. Stop all the foreclosure. Occupy and defend all the houses stolen by the banks! 
  6. Free education from K1 to graduate school and PhD! For workers, teachers and Students control over all aspects of education! Down with the capitalist mis-education system! 
  7. Down with the twin parties of capitalism. Build a fighting workers’/labor party to fight for a workers’ government!


Humanist Workers for Revolutionary Socialism November 5, 2011
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