Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Reposted blogs (someone deleted the old blog)

Saturday, February 04, 2006
Caracas: Meeting of the 6th Counter-revolutionary World Social Forum

The "Bolivarian Revolution" of Chávez, Morales, Castro and the reformist leaders expropriates the struggle of the working class and subordinates it to the bosses!

From the 24 to the 29 of January the Sixth annual meeting of the counter-revolutionary international the World Social Forum met in Caracas, Venezuela.

The WSF along with the "left" of the US Democratic Party, was responsible for betraying the US national ‘day of absence’ against poverty, racism and war called for the 1st of December by a Committee of more than 700 worker and antiwar organisations. This was the first time for years that militant elements in the US working class had coordinated a counter-offensive against the Bush government and the US capitalist class.

It is this same collection of social democrats, Stalinists, "Greens", Castroites, Maoists, and fake Trotskyists – all associated with the WSF - that have mobilised to contain the awakening US working class in response to the crisis of the Bush administration, such as we saw in the Transit strike in New York, to make sure it remains subordinated to the Democratic party of US imperialism.

At the Sixth WSF were all those dedicated to the suppression of US workers struggles and all the mass struggles in Latin America in the name of the much heralded ‘Bolivarian Revolution’.

First up was Chavez declaring "it is necessary to go forward to 21st Century Socialism”, speaking of "socialism or death", shamelessly singing the ‘Internationale’ to close the meeting, and taking photo opportunities with Cindy Sheehan - the mother of the US soldier killed in Iraq who fights for the return of US troops – while at the same time he continues to sell the US regime the oil it needs to occupy Iraq and kill its people!

Or course Chavez never calls on the oppressed workers of Iraq, or the mothers, wives, or daughters of the thousands of Iraqi resistance fighters killed by the invaders, to organise for the military victory of Iraq and the defeat of Anglo-Yankee imperialism!

Following Chavez were all the supporters of Evo Morales, the new president of Bolivia, just finished appointing to his cabinet millionaire industralists like the ministers of Defense and Public Works, and ex-state employees of the former government of the murderer Goni overthrown in a popular rebellion in 2003, as well as peasants, miners and ex-union leaders.

In other words, the Sixth WSF was a meeting for all those backing the class collaboration of Morales who has already announced that he will respect and defend private property, allow the private exploitation of the Mutún mine (the largest manganese deposit in the world) , made deals with the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie (home of most of Bolivia's oil and mineral wealth), with the Spanish firm Corona, and with the oil monopolies, to contine to plunder Bolivia’s gas wealth.

After the Morales cheerleaders came those of the current Ecuadorian government of Palacios such as the Maoist MDP, the Pachacutik and the CONAIE. They had tried to prevent the removal of his predecessor, Lucio Gutiérrez, who fell at the hands of a revolutionary mass uprising. Today these same forces are once more trying to stop the new uprising of the workers and poor peasants led by students, who have been fighting for two weeks against the the signing of a FTA between the Palacios government and the US.

These same leaders went to the WSF to embrace Chávez, who only months ago openly lent millions of barrels of oil to Palacios, thus sabotaging the strike and a political uprising of the workers and farmers of the Ecuadorian provinces of Sucumbíos and Orellana against Oxy and other imperialist oil companies. With the aid of his friend Chávez, Palacios used the Ecuadorian army to fiercely repress the people and to militarize these two provinces.

They can both count on the support of the Cuban bureaucracy of Castro - as can Morales – which also comes to the rescue of the US client regimes of Lula, Kirchner, Tabaré Vázquez, Bachelet and Co., as it prepares to complete the restoration of capitalism in Cuba.

Not to be left behind, there were four ministers of the Brazilian government, representing Lula and the PT (Workers Party), one of the most servile lackey governments of the US ( like Kirchner, who has paid off the billions owed to the IMF in cash) which allows its troops along with those of Argentina and Chile, to occupy Haiti in the service of the imperial master.

The Argentine delegation included the Kirchnerites of the FTV, Barrios de Pie, bureaucrats like Yasky of the CTERA and Gutiérrez of the UOM - today a supporter of Kirchner in parliament. During the WSF a number of workers were attacked and jailed by the police and local politicians in Tartagal and Mosconi (in the North of Argentina), while in Caracas the state servants of Kirchner, the ally of Bush, Repsol and the IMF, met with the union bureaucrats and pro-government officials of the piqueteros (unemployed workers movement), bosses' politicians like Mario Cafiero, the mst, and Nestor Pitrola of the Workers Party which voted for the popular front government of Evo Morales.

Playing a key role in the WSF are the fake Trotskyists who destroyed the Fourth International and became reformists. Today, all are fervent defenders of Chávez, Morales, the Castro bureaucracy, and the "Bolivarian Revolution". They have openly broken with the struggle for the workers and socialist revolution, and have adopted the old class collaborationist policy of "revolution by stages" of Stalinism, telling the workers to put their hopes in the "good", "progressive" bosses, the "anti-imperialist" military, and the "democratic" and "pacifist" imperialists.

So the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’, the ‘star’ of the Sixth World Social Forum, is no more than a cover to disguise the sordid deals the national bourgeoisies make with each other and with the imperialistic monopolies, to decide who gets what share of the profits, according to what resources are available, and how each country is slotted into the global capitalist division of labor. It is also a cover for the politics of the Castro bureaucracy that wants to restore capitalism in Cuba and to re-invent itself as a new bourgeoisie.

Socialist revolution is the triumphant insurrection of the workers and poor peasants that seizes the power, overthrows the bourgeoisie and expropriates the imperialistic monopolies and all the bosses. That is the only way that the anti-imperialist struggle can be carried through to completion, breaking with the imperilialists and their national bourgeois junior partners and making a planned socialist economy possible.

That is why there are only two roads for the working class and the exploited masses of Latin America: either the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ in which the proletariat submits to the continued exploitation, misery, massacres and imperialistic sacking of our nations; or, the struggle for a victorious workers socialist revolution on the road to the Socialist United States of Central and South America which can plan production where the gas, iron and managnese of Bolivia, the meat and the soyabean of Argentina, the copper of Chile, the minerals of Peru, the oil of Venezuela, the industry of Brazil, etc., are all used to meet the needs of the vast majority of the exploited and oppressed workers and poor peasants.

Today the most important step along the socialist road for all workers and poor peasants of the continent, is the fight for the victory of the heroic revolution of the Bolivian workers and peasants which the popular front goverenment of Evo Morales, backed by the counter-revolutionary WSF, is today trying to destroy.

Against the WSF, expropriator of the struggles of the masses!
For the Workers' and poor Peasants' Revolution!
For a Socialist United States of Central and South America!
Translated and condensed from
Supplement to Democracia Obrera 3rd February 2006

posted by dave @ 2:16 PM 0 comments

Friday, January 13, 2006
Chile - Declaration on the El Teniente Strike

Workers International Party (Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction) 2006-01-10

For a Workers' and poor farmers' national congress of rank and file delegates!

For an indefinite strike of the contract workers of the El Teniente mine!

To all the contract workers of Andina of the Andes, Chuquicamata in Calama, Ventana in the V Region, all the privatised mines of the country, and all the sectors of the workers in struggle in every workplace. Hold rank and file meetings to elect 1 delegate for each 100 workers to go the the strike of the contract workers of El Teniente, to fight for the formation of a National Congress of the working class and exploited people of Chile.

For 5 days the contract workers of El Teniente, Andina, Chuquicamata, Tomic and Ventana have held an indefinite strike for a US $972 bonus for 2005. Over these days the class enemy of the bosses’ parties, the presidential candidates Bachelet and Piñera, the church which was part of the Pinochet fascist regime, the press etc., have all been preaching peace and reconciliation. The government tries to deceive the striking workers by changing the law on subcontracting claiming to have the interests of the workers of the subcontractor companies at heart. It wants to bring contract workers under the ‘legal’ coverage of the existing workplace unions. Lagos, Bachelet and Pinera want this law changed urgently because over 50% of Chilean workers are currently working under subcontracts. But the purpose of this new law is to break the strike using the official union leadership to prevent it from spreading and developing into a national strike that sets off an uprising in the whole Chilean working class capable of smashing the FTA with US and European imperialism, breaking with the IMF, and bringing down the ‘socialist’ government of Lagos that covers for the Pinochet regime – in short, of revolting against the re-colonisation of Chile.


The Government is ruthless. There is no bonus on the agenda in its negotiations with the CUT and the Coordinatora [national union of the contract workers]. Only secondary questions that can be included in the reformed law are being discussed. Lagos has already rejected any bonus for contract workers because this would reduce the superprofits of imperialism. That is because the huge profits made by the state-owned Codelco in 2005 (around 33% of the copper production in Chile) do not go to the State but to pay the external debt to the imperialist IMF, or to buy new weapons for the Chilean military to use against the people (10% of the copper revenue funds the Armed Forces). It is a sad joke that Lagos claims that he will use the money the contract workers claim in bonuses to help benefit youth in poverty when his government has privatized many state companies; the ports, health and education, road construction, bridges etc.; in short, when it is his policies that are responsible for the poverty and oppression of workers in Chile.

We can gain nothing from reforming a law that ‘legalises’ the slavery of the working class. We must fight to defeat it. But who is against this law? Not the leaders of the CUT [trade union federation] who are the puppets of the Ministry of Labor and the Government. Not the leaders of the Coordinatora who also agree with the Government’s law. Only the workers who have gone on strike are against this law. The bourgeoisie only grants concessions to workers when it is afraid of losing everything, and these conquests can only be defended by constant struggle. Instead of negotiating with the class enemy over the terms of their exploitation, workers must go on the offensive and fight to smash the subcontracting law of Lagos, the FTA, Pinochet’s 1980 constitution, and the plundering of copper by imperialism, by renationalising the industry under workers control!


The indefinite strike has been very strong up to now. In Rancagua the highway 5 South that is used to transport copper has seen strong confrontations with the police. In the cities the strikers have mobilised to stop the buses carrying strikebreakers. There have been many demonstrations in support of arrested comrades. Similar strong actions have been made by the comrades of the Andina mine, who have cut the highway to Mendoza (Argentina) to stop buses reaching the mine.

Despite threats of dismissal, non-renewal of contracts, use of strikebreakers etc., the strike has held firm. But the contract workers of Codelco who are leading the struggle against super-exploitation cannot be left to fight alone for one more second. By uniting the miners with the maintenance and service contract workers in the fight for the bonus, they have set an example to the workers of the whole country on how to fight for their demands. But the leaders of the CUT and the Coordinatora do nothing to unite and generalise the strike. By burying the demands in negotiations, these leaders hold back the offensive, preventing the building of the strike through street protests, pikcets, barricades and workers self-defence committees.

One thing is certain, the workers will not win if instead of trusting in their own forces, they allow their fight to be subordinated to the politicians, the church, the fascists, the mayors and the bureaucrats. Comrades, if we want a strong union of contract workers we cannot allow it to become dependent on the state. The state unions are legally recognised but impotent in the face of the privatisations. We must build the union on the basis of rank and file solidarity with the working class method of workers democracy and direct negotiations independent of the state and the union bureaucracy.

Only a rank and file union can demand that the leadership of the CUT, Martinez (head of the Coordinatora) and the Communist Party, break with the bourgeoisie and with the civil-military pact of the government of Lagos and all those who backed the Pinochet coup. We must demand that the union leaders immediately summon a National Congress of workers and poor farmers based on rank and file delegates to strengthen the indefinite strike of the contract workers of El Teniente! Organizations like the CAT, the SINTRAC, CGT MOSICAM, the National Coordinatora of Dock and Ship Workers, all the unions and federations of the country, must break with class conciliation and give support to a National Congress.


The contract workers of El Teniente are the symbol of Chilean working class slavery. The contract workers of all the other mines, all the factories, workplaces, ports and plants, must send one delegate for each 100 workers elected by mass assemblies, to El Teniente, to make a National Congress that can begin immediately to plan and prepare for a national general strike of masses; to create Self-Defence Committees to face the repression of the police; to defeat the subcontracting system completely, the privatisation of the mines, by bringing down the Lagos Government and the Pinochet regime – the Agreement of the Constitution of 1980 – of the client state of US imperialism’s IMF and FTA.

The Congress must plan for the re-nationalisation without compensation and under workers’ control of the whole copper industry! The non-payment of the external debt! The break with all Free Trade Agreements! An end to 10% of the copper revenue going to the Armed Forces! An end to the military investments to stop the Chilean bourgeoisie acting as the servant of US and UK imperialism and using the Chilean army to smash the Bolivian revolution!

Only by these means will the contract workers of Codelco win a bonus of 1 million 600 thousand pesos (US$972) and the same conditions as the wage workers of Codelco. For a 7 and a half hour day without increased work! For equal pay for equal jobs, including overtime and other payments! It is vital that the contract workers get the same conditions as the wage workers as this is the only way to unite the workforce against the subcontracting system. There have been over 9000 ‘regular’ jobs, ‘protected’ by the union under collective agreements, lost since 1990 to the subcontracting system.


We are the militants of Internationalist Workers Party (POI), members of Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction (FLT). We think that proletarian internationalism is the most urgent demand of the Chilean working class. Since 2003 the vanguard of the working class struggle of the Latin American continent has been the miners of Huanuni, Bolivia. They fight for the nationalisation of the Bolivian mines and the gas under the control of the workers, leading the struggle of all the American working class to strike a blow to the head of the bourgeoisie and its private property, that it has defended since the 1970s by means of military dictatorships and which it continues to defend by its ongoing repression and massacres.

Our continent continues being plundered and bled by imperialism. The natural resources and the enslaved manual labor is imperialism's main prize. It is the same in the US where mine owners have killed 13 miners in West Virgina because they took their profits without paying for the safety of the miners. This was what happened in 2004 in Rio Turbio in the south of Argentina in August 2005 when 14 coal miners died in a Rio Turbio coalmine after a gas explosion, and in El Teniente coppermine in 2005 where 12 workers were killed. The demands of the miners of Huanuni is the only way to stop the imperialists from murdering miners for profit, because the workers would control and manage the mines ensuring good health and safety conditions.

The manifesto of the miners of Huanuni and the Bolivian working class, is the internationalist manifesto for the whole American working class. For that reason it is necessary that the Chilean working class fights for the renationalisation without compensation under workers control of copper and all natural resources. But even more important, is that the workers of the continent rally in support of the victory of the Bolivian revolution. The Bolivian working class holds the key to the victory of the working masses and poor farmers of South America. With the gas controlled by the Bolivian workers, the fuel necessary for all industry to operate under the control of workers in the Continent would be made possible. This and no other reason is why the Leninist-Trotskyists of POI say that the victory of the Chilean working class will be decided in the streets of Bolivia, in La Paz, in El Alto, Oruro, etc.


posted by dave @ 10:23 AM 1 comments

Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Iraqi, Venezuelan and US workers can unite to shut down US Big Oil’s War!

While Big Oil makes record profits [see Palast and Pringle articles below], Iraqi, Venezuelan and US workers have the power to shut down Big Oil and its oil for war. In Iraq the rebuilding of the Oil workers unions provides a platform for workers to fight to gain control of the nationalized oil industry back from Big Oil. At the same time Big Oil profits has driven up the cost of oil to US workers. Chavez provision of cheap heating oil to US workers opens up the opportunity for a higher level of class unity between Venezuelan and US workers that can block the supply of US oil for the war machine in Iraq!

Iraqi Oil Workers Against the Occupation and for Workers Control of Oil

The formation of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU) independent of both the main union federations is a significant step forward. Representing over 23,000 workers in the key oil industry, across 3 provinces and nine state oil and gas companies, the union has a militant record and strong positions against the occupation and against privatization of oil.
“The union has on two separate occasions halted oil exports through strike action over unpaid wages, repressive Baathist managers and officials in the Ministry of Oil and land allocations for employees. It has successfully reconstructed infrastructure, port equipment, drilling rigs and pipelines without the help of foreign companies. It has succeeded in canceling the last two tiers of the Occupation’s Order 30 wage-table and raising the minimum wage for Iraqi oil workers from 69,000 Iraqi Dinar (US$32) per month to 102,000 ID (US$60) per month.
The union’s ‘Troops Out’ policy calls for the immediate withdrawal of all occupation forces from Iraq.” It’s policy on ownership states “The privatization of oil and industrial sectors is the objective of all in the Iraqi state/government. We will stand firm against this imperialist plan that would hand over Iraq’s wealth to international capitalism such that the deprived Iraqi people would not benefit from it.”

While Big Oil can maximize its superprofits from the control of Iraqi oil without privatization (see previous story) the IFOU has the potential to take control of the oil industry from below and close down the imperialist siphoning of Iraq’s oil wealth. But they cannot do it alone. It is necessary for workers in the imperialist countries to shut down Big Oil at home, and for Venezuelan oil workers to take the lead in shutting off the supply to US oil for war.

Venezuela: for workers democracy in the oil industry

Chavez is using Venezuelan oil as a ‘geopolitical weapon’ threatening US supplies, offering cheap oil to US workers, making plans for an alternative energy bloc in LA etc. But there is a problem. Chavez and his LA partners are national leaders who will not go all the way to nationalise and put under workers control the most powerful imperialist corporates – Big Oil. At best Chavez, Lula, Kirchner and Morales (the likely new Bolivian President) can only negotiate shares of the oil wealth to be retained in their countries. This leaves the giant share being of oil and gas being pumped out of LA and used power monopoly capital and its war of Terror. Only real worker ownership and control of oil and gas can reverse this process, stop the war for Big Oil, and make oil available to meet the needs of the masses of the world.

Under Chavez’ control oil is being used as a weapon against workers. Not only to fuel the war in Iraq, but to strike break in Ecuador and at home in Venezuela where anti-strike legislation can be used by Chavez to lock out oil workers. Even the deals done with the Caribbean states and with China for cheap oil may not end up benefiting workers but the capitalists who are on the way back in Cuba and raking off huge profits from China. Unless oil is under real workers control it becomes a subsidy from the Venezuelan people to monopoly capital. The only way to ensure that workers benefit is to make sure that the ownership and control of Venezuelan oil is in the hands of the workers, so that its production and distribution can be planned by workers for workers.

US Workers: Hurricane Katrina and cheap oil

We can see how this would work in the case of the supply of cheap oil to the US. Chavez offer is for cheap oil to be administered by the Venezuelan owned Citric collaborating with local authorities. But Venezuelan oil workers could do better than that by offering free oil and demand that it be distributed by rank and file union groups in the US. This would become a platform to launch real workers control in Venezuela so that workers could renegotiate the current deals with Big Oil for exploration and exploitation of oil and gas. Chavez and the Bolivarian state energy policy of creating an alternative Latin American energy company called Petrosur, which would integrate regional oil and gas industries. But this plan is not based on the expropriation of the key Big Oil players in Latin America, Repsol, Petrobras, Exxon etc. It is an attempt to negotiate better terms with Big Oil. The limits to this collaboration with Big Oil are evident in Chavez deals with Kirchner, supplying oil to Ecuador to replace that lost by strike action, and his plans to introduced no-strike laws in Venezuela.
Real workers control will only result form the transformation of the workers organizations that co-manage nationalized industries along with the state taking complete control of industry from the state. The oil workers can show the way by fighting to take control of production and distribution of oil, setting the price and end use of oil.

No Oil for War! Iraqi and Venezuelan oil workers unite to smash Big Oil’s monopoly!
Oil for the Poor! Iraqi, Venezuelan and US oil workers unite to defend the rights, wages and conditions of oil workers! Unite to distribute oil to the workers of the reserve army of unemployed in the US under rank and file control!
No Oil to strike break! Follow the lead of the Venezuelan oil workers who condemned Chavez’ sale of oil to Ecuador as strike breaking!
Workers control of production and distribution of oil to meet the needs of the world’s workers!

Greg Palast exposes Big Oil and Pentagons fight over how to steal Iraqi Oil

Recent evident proves beyond doubt that oil was the prime motive for the invasion of Iraq. Big Oil has gone on to make record profits. We argue that oil workers in Iraq, and in oil producing countries like Venezuela, and workers in the imperialist countries like the US, can unite to close this war and occupation down.

Greg Palast recently reported on the evidence that the invasion of Iraq had been long planned to seize control of the oil resources. The only issue was privatize or not.

“. . .Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protesters claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered.

In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department "pragmatists".

"Big Oil" appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.

Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US.

We saw an increase in the bombing of oil facilities and pipelines [in Iraq] built on the premise that privatisation is coming Mr Falah Aljibury An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant, Falah Aljibury, says he took part in the secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d'etat.

Mr Aljibury himself told Newsnight that he interviewed potential successors to Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Bush administration.

Secret sell-off plan

The industry-favoured plan was pushed aside by a secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq's oil fields. The new plan was crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq's oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive increases in production above Opec quotas.

The sell-off was given the green light in a secret meeting in London headed by Fadhil Chalabi shortly after the US entered Baghdad, according to Robert Ebel.

Mr Ebel, a former Energy and CIA oil analyst, now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told Newsnight he flew to the London meeting at the request of the State Department.

Mr Aljibury, once Ronald Reagan's "back-channel" to Saddam, claims that plans to sell off Iraq's oil, pushed by the US-installed Governing Council in 2003, helped instigate the insurgency and attacks on US and British occupying forces.

"We saw an increase in the bombing of oil facilities, pipelines, built on the premise that privatisation is coming."

Privatisation blocked by industry

Philip Carroll, the former CEO of Shell Oil USA who took control of Iraq's oil production for the US Government a month after the invasion, stalled the sell-off scheme.

Mr Carroll told us he made it clear to Paul Bremer, the US occupation chief who arrived in Iraq in May 2003, that: "There was to be no privatisation of Iraqi oil resources or facilities while I was involved."

Ariel Cohen, of the neo-conservative Heritage Foundation, told Newsnight that an opportunity had been missed to privatise Iraq's oil fields.

He advocated the plan as a means to help the US defeat Opec, and said America should have gone ahead with what he called a "no-brainer" decision.

Mr Carroll hit back, telling Newsnight, "I would agree with that statement. To privatize would be a no-brainer. It would only be thought about by someone with no brain."

New plans, obtained from the State Department by Newsnight and Harper's Magazine under the US Freedom of Information Act, called for creation of a state-owned oil company favoured by the US oil industry. It was completed in January 2004 under the guidance of Amy Jaffe of the James Baker Institute in Texas. . .”

View segments of Iraq oil plans

This plan worked. Not only are Iraq’s oil fields now controlled by Big Oil but oil profits have never been higher The ‘results are in’ according to Evelyn J Pringle:

“By the end of 2004, the big three American oil companies, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobile, and ConocoPhillips, realized profits of $33.6 billion during Bush's first three years in office.

. . .On October 27, 2005, Reuter's reported that Exxon Mobil posted a quarterly profit of $9.9 billion, "the largest in U.S. corporate history, as it raked in a bonanza from soaring oil and gas prices." Exxon's record earnings topped the $9 billion net profit previously reported by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Reuters said.

Exxon reported third-quarter net income up 75 percent from the year-ago period. "It was among the biggest quarterly profits of any company in history, and amounted to a per-minute profit of $74,879.23 during the quarter," according to the October 28, 2005 Wall Street Journal.

"Shell, the third largest oil company by market value behind Exxon and Britain's BP PLC, said its third-quarter net income rose 68 percent to $9.03 billion, on $76.44 billion in revenue," the Journal reported.

According to the Federal Energy Information Administration, the price of a gallon of regular gas in the same week the profits were announced, was up 28% from a year ago. Natural-gas prices have almost doubled in the past year and the EIA predicts that owners of gas-heated homes will see a 48% hike this winter over last year's already inflated prices, and homes heated with heating oil could see a 32% increase.”

Big Oil’s massive profits are at the expense of workers and poor peasants everywhere. Big Oil must be the main target of worker’s expropriation and control from Iraq, to Caracas to New Orleans!

posted by dave @ 8:24 PM 0 comments

Friday, December 02, 2005
French Youth Make Paris Baghdad!

This article is a freely translated and adapted summary of parts of a longer article by the Internationalist Trotskyist Fraction (Fourth International).
We are grateful for the use of this material for which the responsibility of any errors of translation and interpretation is ours.



For a General strike to defeat to the government of Chirac-Villepin- Sarkozy and to impose the demands of young workers, railworkers and all workers in struggle!

Long live the heroic revolt of young workers and their slogan "Every night we make Paris a Baghdad"!

For more than three weeks in October, cars, police stations, schools, and factories burned every night in the working class dormitories, called "Cités" of greater Paris and in more than 300 cities all over France. The spark that set alight the fire was the fatal electrocution of two young people of 17 and 15 years when they hid from pursuing police inside a high-tension transformer in Clichy-sous-Bois (department of Seine-Saint Denis, district 93), Paris. On Friday 28 October, a revolt of young workers began all over district 93. On the Sunday the CRS (police anti-riot) tear-gassed women and children in a mosque, and the Interior Minister Sarkozy went on TV and promised to ‘clean up the rubbish’ and the ‘scum’ ("racaille", or rascals) of the Cités. This reactionary response of the Government poured gasoline on the fire so that the revolt spread all over France.

This tremendous rebellion of young working people all over France was both anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist. To the shout of "This is like Iraq", and "Every night we make a Baghdad", youth took as their own fight the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses against the imperialistic occupation. It was also an anticapitalist revolt of youth for jobs that was inseparable from the resurgence of struggles of French, Belgium and Spanish working classes.

The rebellion was not Islamic. Islamic students did not join their rioting friends even when living in the same neighbourhood. Islamic Mullahs were brought in by the government to calm things down. The result was the burning of the main Mosque in Lyon. Nor is it the rebellion of the ‘marginalised’ or ‘poor’ that can be socially engineered out of existence. Capitalism does not exclude or or create poor people, except as a consequence of exploiting and oppressing workers, employed or unemployed. You cannot eliminate poverty without eliminating capitalism; or for starters Sarkosy!

The youth revolt opens a new stage in the fightback of European workers against the bosses reactionary attacks.

It is clear that the rioting youth are one of the most oppressed sections of the French working class - the reserve army of labour made up principally of migrant worker or their descendants. It is no accident that the youth revolt comes at the same time as other major working class struggles are building up in Europe. In France, the transport workers of Marseilles went on strike for 46 days. They have been joined by sailors of the Merchant Marine (SNCM), electricity workers of the EDF , and many other industrial struggles.

On November 21 a national strike of railworkers against privatization and for a wage increase began. This national strike could have become indefinite, but after Chirac promised not to privatise rail the workers voted not to continue the strike on the 24th. In Belgium, also in October the working class made two enormous active general strikes, while in Spain strong struggles are developing in particular that of the workers of SEAT.

All of these struggles threaten to break the tenuous grip that the ruling class has on Europe thanks to the treacherous reformists, stalinists and fake Trotskyists who so far have rallied workers to the utopia of a ‘social Europe’.

Down with the labour bureaucracies, servants of the European imperialistic bourgeoisies!

Those that give holiday speeches about the "Europe of the workers" and against the "Europe of Capital", today, when the rebellion of the young workers threatens to join forces with the striking Belgian working class and raises the spectre of a united European workers movement, try to isolate the youth and douse its rebellious spark for fear that it might spread into a prairie fire that can destroy the Europe of Capitalist Imperialism!

But even as they desparately try to hold back independent workers struggles by defending capitalist ‘democracy’ against ‘fascism’, the democratic imperialists, Chirac, Sarkody, Villepin etc have little faith in the ability of the reformists to hold back the rising tide of labour militancy. A year after calling on workers to vote for Chirac as the ‘democratic’ alternative to ‘fascist’ Le Pen, and months from the ‘victory’ of a ‘No’ vote against the ‘neo-liberal’ Europe, the Socialist Party, Communist Party, Workers Fight (LO) and the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) etc now see that Chirac and Sarkozy acting like fascist Le Pen. In desperation the SP and CP are using the fake Trotskyists LO and LCR to lend a spurious ‘revolutionary’ credibility to ‘restoring order’ and maintaining ‘social peace’ to keep alive their fading utopia of a 'social Europe'!

For a continental workers congress, of rank and file mandated delegates

But this fight has only just begun. The street fighting of rebellious youth has been suppressed for now. But it has already revealed 'emperor' Chirac to be naked. Not only him, but the reformists are naked too. What drove the youth to spontaneously revolt, the terrorism of the French police state, has but one cause – the crisis of French and European imperialism. This cause will not go away and must make the bosses state use more force to suppress and smash the emerging workers struggles.

It is no accident that the state of seige came into force on 21 November the same day that the national rail strike began. It has been extended for three months. The French imperialistic bourgeoisie is preparing to use state force to smash the growing anger of the working class which threatens to come together in a single torrent. If the treachery of the reformist leaders manages to isolate the heroic fighters of the working youth of France from the other struggles of workers, and brings about its defeat, the result will be a new slavery and "apartheid" against youth in the reserve army of labour.

The imperialistic bourgeoisies in the US and in Europe are driven to go on the offensive against their own workers. They can use the world wide reserve army to drive down wages and conditions at home.

The restoration of capitalism in China has created a vast pool of cheap labour of many millions of workers. In the former worker states of Eastern Europe, new "assembly plants" have been build to take advantage of the cheap labour. Smashing Afghanistan and occupying Iraq strengthens imperialism’s hold over the middle East and Central Asia where in India and Pakistan there are huge reserves of enslaved manual labor. European Imperialism has within a few kilometers of its coasts an massive labour reserve of hundreds of million workers in black Africa and the Magreb - many from which, risk their skins on the fences of Ceuta and Melilla trying to enter Europe to find work.

But even with this huge world-wide reserve of labour at its disposal, the European imperialist bourgeoisies must go on offensive to take back the most important gains won by their own workers. The crisis of the world economy has revived the rivalry between the US and the EU. To compete with the US, the EU must cut its labour costs also. The revolt of French working youth, to the shout of "Every night we make of Paris a Bagdad", it is a magnificent answer to these attacks, and joining forces with the railworkers strike, the two Belgian general strikes, the struggles of Spanish and German workers, makes it clear that the united fight of all European workers based on a Transitional Program must be the next step.

* Work for All! A sliding scale of working hours without loss of pay, equal pay for equal work, must be raised against the imperialistic regimes and governments.

* A great united action of workers over the continent, in support of the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses and for the military defeat of the Anglo-Yankee troops! For the immediate withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan!

* For the right to national self-determination of the oppressed peoples of Europe - Ireland, the Basque Country, Kosovo, Chechenia! For the right to self-determination of the colonies and semi-colonies of Europe in Africa and the Pacific!

* Smash the labour bureaucracy and its social imperialist parties that led to the betrayal of the former workers states, acting as bourgeois agents of the imperialists to make these countries capitalist semi-colonies!

* For the creation of a new world party of socialism to lead the fight for social revolution in Europe, and the recovery of the former workers states, and a Socialist United States of Europe, from Portugal to the Russian steppes!

posted by dave @ 9:52 PM 0 comments

Monday, November 21, 2005
NZ Troops out of Afghanistan Now!

The withdrawal of some of the US troops from Afghanistan has put pressure on NATO seek further troops from NZ to add to the SAS troops already present.

In solidarity with the US Nationwide days of Action Dec 1-3 we call on worker militants to organise to get NZ troops out of Afghanistan and end NZ's involvement in the War Of Terror!

WAWOT has organised a 'teach-in' on the War Of Terror, Sunday, 4 December 2-4 pm Grey Lynn Community Centre, 510 Richmond Road, Auckland.


‘Teach-in’ in Solidarity with the US Nationwide Days of Action against Poverty, Racism and War, Dec 1-3.

“Building opposition in the labour movement to NZ’s role in the WOT as part of international labour movement.”

Sunday, December 4, 2-5 pm, Grey Lynn Community Centre, 510 Richmond Road, Auckland

Come along, discuss, debate and organise to get NZ troops out of Afghanistan! plus:

(1) Labour takes a leading role in the Dec 1-3 US Nationwide stoppage for the global anti-war movement! What about Aotearoa/NZ!

(2) Solidarity with the Iraqi Resistance and the building of fighting, democratic unions to lead the resistance. How can we help?

(3) Involving unions in local actions against NZ companies that are profiteering from the WOT - ANZ, Oscmar, etc.

(4) Organising labour to fight the Anti-terrorist legislation in NZ, Australia designed to repress working class anti-capitalist opposition.

Sponsored by WAWOT (Workers Against the War Of Terror)
We are a group of worker militants in unions or community organisations dedicated to defeating imperialist wars. We say that only organised labour has the power to stop bosses’ wars -
phone 027 2800080

posted by dave @ 12:16 PM 0 comments
Friday, November 04, 2005
Defeat Bush, Howard & Clark's War Of Terror!

Support the Dec 1 US National Day of Absence against Poverty, Racism and War!
NZ out of Afghanistan!
Stop ANZ war profiteering!
International Day of Solidarity with Venezuela, December 2!
Unite Workers Against the War Of Terror!

The US imperialist sheriff and his Deputy, John Howard, closely followed by the Deputy’s Dog, Helen Clark, are riding roughshod over the oppressed of this world. They are doing this because US imperialism and its weaker allies such as Australia, Britain and Italy, and its ‘good friends’ like NZ , must grab what is left of the world’s resources to overcome the crisis of monopoly capitalism caused by falling profits.

The cynical wars for ‘democracy’ and the ‘cancelled’ debt in Africa and Iraq are a cover for monopoly capitals plans to re-colonise the world. In the Pacific region the ‘peacekeeping’ role of Australia and NZ is a front for monopoly capitalism’s plunder of the Pacific’s economic resource base and reserve of migrant labour.

When this fails and resistance rises up against the WOT, domestic anti-terror laws are used to criminalize and jail political opponents of the WOT. To defeat the WOT it is necessary for workers to mobilize internationally against the roots of the WOT, the crisis-ridden global capitalist economy that threatens to destroy humanity and nature.

War Of Terror
Bush and his neo-cons planned the WOT well before 9/11 to occupy Afghanistan and get a strangle hold on the Central Asian oilfields. Then they lied about WMD to invade Iraq to gain control of Iraqi oil from China, Russia and the EU, and bust the OPEC cartel.

The new Iraqi Constitution guarantees Big Oil like Exxon-Mobil, Shell etc around 80% control of Iraqi oil. Big Oil is backed up by the IMF, WB and the JP Morgan Chase bank consortium (which includes ANZ ) to ‘reconstruct’ Iraq along the lines of a free market where monopoly corporates like Halliburton, Bechtel etc., can rip off the tiny share of oil wealth left in the hands of Iraqis.

The scandal of ‘kickbacks’ paid to Saddam Hussein during the UN imposed ‘oil for food’ scheme in the 1990s is a smokescreen designed to blame companies like Fonterra which supplied vital imports during the embargo which killed a million Iraqis, and to cover up the ruthless imperialist multibillion dollar plunder of Iraq planned in the 1990s and now being put in place.

The imperialist posse is using the WOT to invade, terrorise and recolonise oil rich and mineral rich countries. Not just pre-emptive wars against Afghanistan, Haiti and Iraq, but the threat of preventative war against Cuba, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. The US justifies this mounting genocide, terror and torture as a war for ‘democracy’ against Islamic ‘fundamentalism’, ‘drug cartels’ or ‘rogue states’ for which they themselves are responsible.

From the Taliban and Saddam Hussein to Castro, Chavez and Aristide their regimes are the product of US imperialist policies that created the oppressive conditions out of which they emerged as allies or opponents.

The WOT has got nothing to do with ‘democracy’ and everything to do with eliminating ‘rogue’ nationalist regimes and imposing imperialism’s dictatorship under the cover of ‘democracy’. Thus the recent Iraqi Constitution was dictated by the US to guarantee continued control of Iraq oil by Big Oil and Big Banks.

Anti-terror torture laws
Imperialism and its allies suppress rising opposition at home with draconian anti-terror laws that allow the arrest, incarceration and torture of ‘suspects’ without legal rights. Blair used the London bombings to immediately suspend basic civil rights and authorised a ‘shoot to kill’ policy the led to the killing of the Brazilian migrant worker John Charles de Menezes.

Bush’s FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Authority) was empowered to suspend civil rights in the emergency of the aftermath of Katrina. Workers can be drafted to work gangs and shot for ‘looting’ food and water for their survival while the corporates move in to profiteer from the reconstruction of New Orleans just like they do in Iraq!

Emboldened by Bush, Howard has used the hysteria following recent bombings in Indonesia to deport a visiting US non-violent protest advocate, and to rush through anti-terror laws that include suspension of habeas corpus and ‘shoot-to-kill’.

NZ rapidly passed anti-terror laws legislation modeled on US and UK laws to earn its share of the spoils that fall off the imperialists table. In the Ahmed Zaoui case it used ‘intelligence’ passed on by the French state that fought a bloody colonial war against Algeria to lock up Zaoui as a suspect terrorist. NZ remains an integral part of ‘Echelon’ the US imperialist spy network that monitors internet communications (protest at Waihopai.

Attack on Labor
At the same time the imperialists and their allies impose new labour laws to smash the unions and defeat organised labour as it begins to mobilize against the WOT. Bush found bipartisan allies in the AFL-CIO to block the Million Worker March against the war in Iraq during the last Presidential election campaign.

US corporates are outsourcing most of their production and for twenty years have used bankruptcy laws to close plants, cut jobs, wages and conditions of their remaining US workers in steel, airline and auto industries.

After abandoning the poor people of New Orleans, Bush suspended labour and health and safety laws to rebuild New Orleans with poor, migrant workers. New Orleans his is a metaphor for US imperialism’s attacks on its own workers rights, wages and social security. The vast majority of US workers are not covered by any decent public health or pension entitlements while CEOs payouts are in the millions of dollars.

Howard’s workplace ‘reforms’ are designed to smash the unions and put workers on individual contracts so they have no power to prevent the complete erosion of their past gains like overtime and holiday pay. Ina this way Howard hopes to follow NZ’s lead in the 1990s in cutting labour costs and boosting the profits of monopoly capital. Clark’s new Labour led government has moved right in agreements with NZ First and United Future. NZ First will try to shut down the border to migrant workers and refugees.

Fight the WOT as a class war!
The WOT is a continuation of imperialist neo-colonial politics which is itself the symptom of the global economic crisis. To restore profits, imperialism must cut costs.

This is what is behind the ‘drive to the bottom’ – the sourcing of the cheapest supplies of raw materials and labour world wide by monopoly banks, energy corporations and manufacturers. The effect is to concentrate and centralise production and destroy the forces of production. Nature is depleted and exhausted and the surplus population is killed off by endemic disease, overwork or genocide.

There is nothing ‘progressive’ about imperialist globalisation and free trade or investment! In China today, the restoration of capitalism has created a huge multimillioned reserve army to boost the profits of monopoly capital. Despite the problems of the former state economy the masses’ needs were better served than by the capitalist world market.

The only way to defeat imperialist destruction of humanity is to eliminate its roots in the capitalist system and replace it with a socialist planned society. Fighting back against the imperialist military machine, and mutinies within imperialist armies, can inflict defeats but they cannot win a decisive victory.

The world proletariat must fight a class war to politicise the masses, win over the rank and file of the imperialist armies, and occupy and control vital economic resources. The vital steps towards this socialist revolution are workers’ and peasants’ militias, a popular constituent assembly and workers ownership and control of production, distribution and exchange.

Victory to Iraq and Venezuela!
Leading the fightback today is the armed resistance and rebuilt unions of Iraq, and the workers movement of Venezuela. Here the defence of national self-determination can only be realised by the mobilisation of the workers to found their own state and plan for a socialist economy.

Victory to Iraq! For a Popular Constituent Assembly!
US reparations for reconstruction!
Big Oil, Big Banks Out! Bush Out!
For workers control of the reconstruction of New Orleans!
US Hands Off Venezuela!
No Venezuelan Oil for the WOT!
End the US blockade of Cuba!
Destroy Guantanamo!
US and Latin American troops out of Haiti! Reinstate Aristide!
Bring down the Howard Government!
No WOT laws!
No workplace reform!
NZ Labour out of Afghanistan!
Occupy and Nationalise Air NZ under workers’ control!
No to FTAs with Chile, China and the US!
Socialise Big Oil, Big Banks and MNCs!
For Workers’ and Peasants’ Governments!
United States of Socialist Republics of the Pacific!

Build and International Workers opposition to the WOT!
International solidarity with the December 1st US Nationwide Strike against Poverty, Racism and War!
International Day of Solidarity with Venezuela, December 2nd!

WAWOT (Workers Against the War on Terror) 027 2800080

posted by dave @ 3:59 PM 1 comments

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Previous Posts
# Film Review: Brokeback Mountain
# Caracas: Meeting of the 6th Counter-revolutionary World Social Forum
# Chile - Declaration on the El Teniente Strike
# Iraqi, Venezuelan and US workers can unite to shut down US Big Oil’s War!
# French Youth Make Paris Baghdad!
# NZ Troops out of Afghanistan Now!
# Defeat Bush, Howard & Clark's War Of Terror!
# Why spoil your ballot when you aint got no bullet?
# Gulf Crisis: International Workers Unite to take up the offers of help from Chavez and Castro

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