Monday, November 19, 2012

Which way forward for the Oakland Port Workers Assembly

How can the Oakland Port Workers Assembly support the SEIU 1021 strike - building the class wide solidarity needed to win a non-concessionary contract? 

We have seen many one day strikes (the CNA makes a regular practice of using them as do the European trade unions) and they do not result in winning contracts. In fact, they are used by the union leaderships who tie the workers to the capitalist bosses’ political party, as a pressure release valve when leadership feels heat from the rank and file. However, in this period of capitalist crisis non-concessionary contracts will not won by one-day strikes or even a series of them.

Our support for the strike action at the port by SEIU 1021 this week must be unwavering and show that the Assembly is mobilizing boots on the ground and bringing the information about the Port to our co-workers and communities.  But we would be remiss if we were to say nothing about the failed strategy of one-day and limited duration strikes, about who promotes them, the whys  and how’s and that they disarm the working class.
Our assembly has a choice to make.  Will we limit ourselves to doing the work the labor council should be doing, substituting ourselves for the work the accumulated resources of labor (under control of the leaderships) should be put too?   Of course we must!  But this is not enough.

Read On

Friday, November 16, 2012

Support the Palestinian Resistance! Defeat the Zionist killing machine!

New Wave of Israeli terror against Gaza: Support the Palestinian Resistance! Defeat the Zionist killing machine!
Topnews photo
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 15.11.2012,
1. The Israeli state has again launched on 14th November a murderous wave of airstrikes and rocket attacks against the Palestinian people in Gaza. In the first 24 hours they have already killed at least 15 Palestinians – including several children and a pregnant woman – and injured more than 150. These numbers are rising every hour. Among the dead is also Ahmed al-Jabari, head of Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’ military wing).

2. This is just the latest round of killing and oppression against the Palestinian people. Remember the war which Israel launched against the Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009 when it slaughtered 1.400 people! In fact the whole history of Zionism and of Israel since its foundation in 1948 is marked by oppression and expulsion of the Palestinian people. Israel is a capitalist Apartheid state which systematically oppresses the Palestinians.

3. While the Israeli state is the killer, it couldn’t do this dirty job without the decades-long support from Western imperialism. It could not even exist without the massive military and financial aid, which it receives every year from the Western Great Powers (e.g. Israel is the No. 1 among the recipients of U.S. foreign aid). Israel gets this support because it is acolonial settler-state which acts as a watchdog of the US and European imperialist interests in the Middle East.

4. The international workers movement and all progressive organizations must rally to the support of the Palestinian people who heroically defend themselves against the Israeli killing machine. We need solidarity actions all over the world – demonstrations, strikes, direct actions against Israeli and US symbols, boycott actions etc. The RCIT calls for:
  • Defend Gaza! Victory to the Palestinian resistance! Defeat the Israeli aggression!
  • Egypt must immediately open the border to Gaza! It must terminate all relations with Israel, including its ongoing gas deliveries to Israel.
  • For unconditional material and military support for the Palestinian people and the armed resistance to fight the Israeli army!
  • Transport workers: Stop all deliveries to Israel! Trade unions and all progressive organizations must support the ongoing global boycott campaign against Israel! Shut down the Israeli embassies all over the world! The racist trade union in Israel “Histadrut” should be expelled from the “International Confederation of Free Trade Unions”. For international trade union support for the Palestinian unions and for anti-Zionist workers organizations inside Israel! Progressive academic organizations should break off contact with Zionist institutions in Israel. At the same time they should expand cooperation with Palestinian and Jewish anti-Zionist forces.
  • Unite the Arab Revolution with a renewed Intifada in Palestine! For committees and councils of action in enterprises and towns to organize such an Intifada from below.
  • Israeli worker, Activists of the “tent city” movement: Raise your voice and demonstrate in protest against the aggression of “your” government! Israeli soldiers: Do everything possible to sabotage these war crimes!
  • Support the Syrian Revolution against the reactionary Assad dictatorship!
  • Down with the sanctions against Iran! Defend Iran against imperialist and Israeli war-mongering!

5. The RCIT supports the national liberation struggle of the Palestinian people. That is why in the struggle between the Palestinians and the Israeli state we are on the side of theformer – despite our absolute rejection of the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois forces at the forefront of these struggles (like Hamas). All Palestinians must have the right to return to their homeland. Likewise, the land grab must be reversed and the Palestinians must get their land returned. The return of the displaced people of course means that the Palestinians will constitute the majority of the population.

6. We therefore reject the existence of a Jewish state in Palestine because it can only exist as long as the expulsion of the Palestinians continues to exist. We reject a “two-state solution”. This would deny the Palestinians the right of return. Likewise, a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza would be reduced to a Bantustan, a dependent de-facto colony of the much richer and more powerful Israel. The State of Israel must be destroyed and be replaced by a secular, Arab-Jewish workers’ republic in the whole of Palestine. In such a state, the Palestinians and the Jews, who accept the elimination of the privileges of the apartheid state of Israel, can live together equally and peacefully. We combine this perspective with the struggle for a socialist federation of the people in the Middle East.

7. The RCIT condemns all those reformist forces (like most left-wing social democrats and ex-Stalinist parties) which criticize equally Israel and “terrorist organizations” like Hamas, which defend the right of existence for Israel (including centrists like the CWI) or which refuse to support the Palestinian resistance because it is led by petty-bourgeois Islamist forces like Hamas (including many other centrist groups based in the Western world like the IMT or the British AWL). Of course, revolutionary socialists don’t share an inch of the political goals of thepetty-bourgeois leaderships of Hamas. However only a fool or a servant of imperialism can deny that this is a war between an oppressor state (Israel) and an oppressed people – the Palestinians! The Palestinians fight for their right to live and exist! Any left-wing organization which stands aside in this war, which refuses to support the struggle of the Palestinian resistance under its existing leadership against the Israeli aggression, under the pretext of secular democracy or socialism, betrays exactly such democratic and socialist principles!

8. While we support the heroic struggle of the Palestinian fighters of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other resistance organizations, we warn against any illusion in the petty-bourgeois leaderships of these organizations. The working class in Palestine and internationally need their independent fighting party for socialism. Forward in building a revolutionary workers party as part of a Fifth International based on a revolutionary program! Long live international solidarity!

International Secretariat of the RCIT

The above statement is endorsed by the Liaison Committee of Communists 15/11/12
With one reservation the LCC supports the formation of a new workers International based on the programatic conquests of the 1938 Transitional Program but does not call for a Fifth International.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

India: Struggle in Maruti-Suzuki at Manesar and the Workers Socialist Party

We reprint an article on the long standing workers struggle at Maruti-Suzuki by the Workers Socialist Party of India. 


Two day protest dharna on 7-8 November, organised by the 546 dismissed workers of Maruti-Suzuki at Manesar, under the banner of now defunct trade union, Maruti Suzuki Workers’ Union (MSWU), failed to make any dent, as the pro-corporate media ignored it and its Centrist-Stalinist leaders isolated the action, consciously.

Giving no weight to the protest, Maruti-Suzuki India Ltd. announced that it is gearing up to increase production. “Production is normal at Manesar. By December, we plan to roll out 1,950 cars per day, compared to the 1,700 units we produced in July,” said a company executive.

At present 4000 workers are employed in the Manesar plant, which company is planning to increase to more than 6000, recruiting about 500 per month.

Earlier, Maruti Suzuki had cut by a third its regular workforce and dismissed 546 employees in connection with the violent labour unrest at its Manesar facility on July 18, out of which more than 160 are still languishing in jail.

Workers had been conducting struggle against the sweat shop working conditions and total absence of minimum trade union rights, since 2009, inside the Manesar plant. The month long strike in 2011, had resulted in production loss of 77,000 units to the company. Entering into a blind alley in face of determination of the workers to a spontaneous strike action in 2011, the management had smothered the struggle through outright purchase of the trade union leaders in 2011.

After the whole leadership of MSWU, headed by Sonu Gujjar, had betrayed the struggle, receiving hefty bribes from the company, the company had started to virtually pulverise the workers inside the Manesar plant. The result was a clash on 18th July 2012, between workers and the ‘bouncers’ appointed by the management, resulting in arson inside the plant, death of an official and injuries to many.

The trade union bureaucracies under Social-Democrats (HMS), Centrists (NTUI), Stalinists (CITU-AITUC) and Maoists (AICCTU, IFTU etc), took no time in condemning the ‘violence’ terming the same as ‘unfortunate’ or a ‘wrong turn’ to the ‘peaceful’ struggle.

Immediately after the incident, on 20th July, the Deputy Commissioner of the city called a meeting of trade union leaders to pacify the nerves of workers, preventing them from starting a broad solidarity action in support of the Maruti Workers.The trade unions affiliated to Social-Democrats, Centrists, Stalinists and Maoists of many hues, not only obediently came in attendance, but pledged support to all efforts aimed at “industrial peace”. These trade union leaders forthwith intervened to prevent the workers at other plants in Manesar, from starting a strike action. This emboldened the pro-corporate state to unleash a reign of repression against the struggling workers. The police immediately arrested more than 100 workers who had been most active in the struggle and started a blind hunt to rope in others. While the trade union leaders held back the Maruti workers to fight back and other sections of workers from coming to their aid, the police registered false cases against the workers, continued to arrest them and subjected them to most brutal torture, as is described in a later investigation by the PUDR team. With the implicit collaboration of these trade union leaders, police thus succeeded in imposing savage terror.

To further isolate the dismissed workers, the trade unions have facilitated the signing of a separate wage settlement with the management in September this year, stipulating historic increase in monthly salaries upto Rs. 14,800/-, and regularisation of 1870 contract/ casual workers. What is being done to meet the imperatives of future increase in production, would be used as a tool to isolate the dismissed and arrested workers.

To keep the movement under their grip and hold back the workers under their control, these capitulationists, covert servants of the capital, have forged an alliance among themselves into a 'unity forum' that includes 14 such trade unions affiliated with different stalinist-maoist-centrist parties and groups. The task of this forum is to keep the workers at Maruti within confines of legal action and insulate them from influence of revolutionary idea of initiating a class action against their class enemies.

Arrest of around 160 workers on fake charges of conspiracy, arson and murder had presented itself as a great opportunity for opening a huge political offensive against the Congress government in Haryana and at Centre. Bare fact, that majority of those arrested included the workers having roots in agrarian communities in surrounding villages of Manesar, cutting across the caste divides of dalit-jat-gujjar, the divide upon which rests the critical built-up of bourgeois politics in Haryana, was a ready bastion for united class action of workers and peasants against the corpoarte state and bourgeois parties. But the trade union leaders, those compromisers, pushed the workers into blind alley of 'peaceful and legal demands'.

Shamelessly opposing the proposal of activists of WSP for giving clarion call to the workers in Manesar and all over Haryana, for a indefinite general strike against the state government, these trade union bureaucrats, misled the workers towards alleged ‘peaceful’ means of sloganeering outside the Haryana Bhawan at New Delhi, representations to state authorities, sending fact-finding teams, legal action in courts etc.

While outrightly rejecting the idea to support the two day protest dharna of Maruti workers, Union leaders at the Gurgaon plant of Maruti-Suzuki, Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU), have indicated they would render limited support to protest rally on Thursday, as expression of ‘solidarity’. “We will not participate in the hunger strike but will support the rally on Thursday”, said Kuldeep Jhangu, general secretary of MUKU.

Trade union leaders have actively assisted the management, since very beginning of the struggle, in failing the workers’ struggle, by inducing divisions among the workers and thereby isolating the struggling workers. Firstly, they isolated the striking workers at Manesar plant preventing other sections of workers from coming to their aid. Then they divided the regular and contract/casual workers inside the plant. Then they isolated the dismissed workers from those who were still working. And lastly they isolated those who are under arrest, by cleverly restricting the demand for reinstatement only for those who are not implicated in criminal cases. “We want the reinstatement of all colleagues not charged by the special investigation team (SIT) and a proper and unbiased inquiry into the incident,” said Om Prakash, a member of HMS. Demand for a ‘proper and unbiased inquiry’ is yet another tool for reposing the faith in legitimacy of the openly pro-corporate state.

Workers at Maruti-Suzuki, despite all of their sincere wishes and best efforts, cannot win the struggle against the united might of corporates and the state under them, through their efforts alone. The struggling workers must join hands with their class brethren to launch a real and broad offensive against the combined might of corporate and the state.

Our Party- Workers' Socialist Party (WSP) calls upon the workers to first break away from the trade union bureaucracies and their false and opportunist leaders and turn to our Party, the only party of revolutionary marxism. Most militant of them must organise themselves in ‘action committees’ to head the struggle. These committees must be developed gradually into soviets of workers. The struggle at Maruti-Suzuki, and for that matter every serious conflict between workers and corporates, must be made a spearhead of a revolutionary offensive against the capitalist class and its political rule. Every such conflict must be looked upon as a conflagration having potential to lead to a real revolution, through dragging of working class to the whirlpool of political struggle.

Check Our Earlier Reports:

Monday, November 05, 2012

Revolutionary Greetings to Workers Socialist Party of India


We reprint the revolutionary greetings we sent in response to the New Wave group who invited us to the founding of the Workers Socialist Party of India on the 95th Anniversary of the Great October Revolution.

5th November 2012

Dear Comrades of the Workers Socialist Party of India,

Revolutionary Greetings on this auspicious occasion!

We send our warm greetings and solidarity on your launching of the Workers' Socialist Party from the new wave tendency.

We have followed the new wave for some years and have much agreement with your program.

We especially endorse your purpose in 'resurrecting' the Bolshevik Leninist Party of India.

Our Liaison Committee has much in common with your program in its general outline, though we may differ on your history of the liquidation of the Fourth International. We see those who opposed Pabloism as also complicit in the betrayal of the Bolivian revolution of 1952. Therefore we see the tradition of the International Committee as no better or worse than the International Secretariat.

While we agree with you that India is not an imperialist country we think that China and Russia are both emerging imperialist powers.

Nonetheless, we have one fundamental thing in common and that is the necessity to build a New World Party of Revolution based on the method and program of the Fourth International of 1938. Without such a World Party there is no prospect that the decline and decay of capitalism and imperialism will escape barbarism and make the transition to socialism.

We therefore welcome the formation of the new party and express our revolutionary solidarity in the immense tasks that you are taking on in the subcontinent and internationally.

We also look forward to discussing our agreements and disagreements to test the prospect for fusion.

Dave Brown for the Liaison Committee of Communists

Revolutionary Workers' Group of Zimbabwe
Communist Workers' Group of the U.S.A.
Communist Workers' Group of Aotearoa/New Zealand


7th November 2012 (Wednesday) at 12 pm
Press Club of India
1, Raiseena Road, New Delhi
(Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat)


As you know, years ago we had launched the struggle for a revolutionary program of working class and socialism. We proposed a draft program and comrades participated in the deliberations, leading to forging of a real program. More than one decade, we had mounted an offensive against alien currents inside the movement of the working class- social-democracy, stalinism-maoism and pabloism, and the political trends: bourgeois nationalism, petty bourgeois radicalism and reformism.

Needless to say that this struggle for a program was part of our overall struggle for forging a party of working class and to arm the workers with requisite logistics necessary to trigger the world socialist revolution. Presentation of the program and gathering of comrades around it over years, has created the conditions necessary for creation of such party.

We take pride in declaring that on the occasion of the 95th anniversary of Great October Revolution, we are making public declaration of our party, under the banner of  "Workers' Socialist Party". In organising the party, we are resurrecting the old BLPI, that existed in 1940's, the only revolutionary marxist party of Fourth International founded by Leon Trotsky. Our program is the program of permanent revolution, the program of fourth international. Here is the link to our program:

You are condially invited to attend the Public Declaration and Press Conference.

Contact: 9810081383

Thursday, November 01, 2012

China/US Rivalry for Asia-Pacific

Chinese anti-Japan protest featuring Chairman Mao

US imperialism as the dominant world power is under threat. The global crisis of falling profits has hit the US and EU economy hard and the great recession must become a great depression to restore profits. As a result US rivalry with other imperialist countries is hotting up as they all compete with one another to increase their ‘spheres of influence’ and their super-profits. The US now faces China and Russia as new, expansionary imperialist powers. The main threat to US imperialism comes from China rising as we have argued for some time. China/US rivalry is the driving force behind global geopolitics today. Grasping this reality is the starting point for Marxist revolutionaries.

China is now the second largest global economy though still lagging well behind the USA. Yet it is overtaking the US at about 8% a year while the US economy lags between 1 or 2%. The US has responded with trade protection and a political and military ‘pivot’ into the Asia-Pacific to contain China’s growing sphere of influence. It is also continuing to try to isolate China’s ally Iran and the influence of China in Central Asia, and stepping up its activity in Africa where China has made big inroads in the last decade. This raises the stakes globally and explains the political and military moves to contain China in the Mideast, Asia and the Pacific.

China as Emerging Imperialist power

China has become a world power today because it is now imperialist. Marxists define imperialism in the way that Lenin did, as the final stage of capitalism in decline when rivalry between giant monopoly corporations backed by their powerful oppressor states compete to divide up the world into “spheres of influence” to extract ‘super-profits’ from the colonies and semi-colonies. This economic competition inevitably leads to political and military conflict. Two imperialist world wars have demonstrated the truth of this theory. The current global crisis of overproduction sets the scene for more wars including a 3rd imperialist world war.

Marxists reject crude dogmas that see the re-emergence of China as a world power as due either to its dynamic revival of pre-capitalist glory, or to a Maoist-type post-capitalist society out-developing capitalism.

China is imperialist today because it had a national revolution that smashed the ancient semi-feudal landlords of pre-capitalist China, and then threw out imperialism and the weak Chinese bourgeoisie in 1949.

The revolution was led by a Maoist bureaucracy at the head of a peasant army that nationalised bourgeois property but prevented workers and poor peasants from taking power. So the ‘post-capitalist’ society that resulted fell well short of a healthy workers’ state and failed to develop the conditions for socialism.

The post-capitalist society did not have the capacity to develop the forces of production to keep pace even with declining global imperialism. China has huge resources and population yet the dictatorship of the Maoist bureaucracy together with China’s national isolation from the world market resulted in the planned economy stagnating. It could not produce enough to meet the needs of the masses nor increase the surplus for the parasitic bureaucracy. The bureaucracy decided in the late 1970s to reintroduce the capitalist market to revive the economy. But once introduced, the law of value began to spread and take over from the plan as the main driver of the economy.

When the Maoist bureaucracy smashed working class resistance to the growing inequalities of the market at Tiananmen Square in 1989 the way was open to restore capitalism to the whole economy. At that point, China was ruled by the law of value. Prices were set by market competition and not state officials so that labour power now became a commodity. The state now served the interests of a new bourgeoisie which exploited wage labour. The top leaders of the Communist Party became a ‘Red Bourgeoisie’. The bourgeoisie began to accumulate surplus profits and China had to ‘go global’ in search of super profits from raw materials and labour. This rapid expansion as a new imperialist power brought it into conflict with the existing imperialist powers, in particular the US.

US Imperialism takes up the Challenge

While China is a looming economic threat is lags well behind the US. However its growth trajectory puts it on collision course. The US has responded economically, politically and militarily. Economically the US is stepping up its ‘trade wars’ ramping up anti-China xenophobia, blocking Chinese investment and challenging ‘unfair’ competition.

China’s threat to the US is most direct in the Asia-Pacific where it wants an economic bloc, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), to advance its interests. The US has responded economically by joining the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) which excludes and isolates China and could create a rival US- dominated Asia-Pacific sphere of influence.

A second purpose is to compete more efficiently with China by using the TPPA to open up the Asia-Pacific economies to US investment on conditions which maximise profits and impose punitive rules to enforce the extraction of super profits. Thus the US wants to enforce its domestic law in the members’ states allowing it to enforce its property rights (see Box). This political domination is backed up by a beefed up military deployment including a missile ring that encircles China (and the whole of East Asia) drawing in key US allies in the region.

China responds to US encirclement

China is building its military capacity (see cover photo of China’s first and only aircraft carrier) but in most parts of the world does not deploy it. It can compete economically and relies on trade and investment deals with national regimes on a so-called ‘win win’ basis in Asia, Latin America and Africa. It has formed economic and military blocs with Asian states to mark its shared sphere of influence over central and South Asia with other powers especially Russia and India such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

However, it sees East Asia and South Asia as its own sphere of influence, and has for years been involved in territorial disputes in the South China Sea such as that with Philippines over Huangjang Island. China has regarded the Paracel and Spratly Islands as part of its territorial waters for centuries. The current reactivation of these disputes reflects first, the competition for control of rich economic resources, and second, control over China’s main sea route to the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Malacca, and a counter to US opening military bases in Australia and the Philippines.

Also indicating the rising inter-imperialist rivalry in the China’s core zone of influence is the recent dispute in the ‘East China Sea’ with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands . This is a small scale version of the long standoff with the US over Taiwan. Like Taiwan, China regards these Islands as part of China much as it regards its ‘internal colonies’ in Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia as Chinese territory. The closer to China’s heartland the more these territorial disputes become inflamed by extreme xenophobia and public demonstrations against ‘foreigners’ and working class support of imperialist military adventures.

3rd World War vs Class War

New imperialist wars are inevitable sooner or later. Both the US and Japan are declining imperialist powers and belligerent in using military power to defend their spheres of influence against China. Japan’s Conservatives want to re-arm and redeploy to ‘contain’ China. China, to expand must sooner or later enter into military disputes with these powers. So far they are proxy disputes and civil wars ranging from Iran to Syria over control of oil in the Middle East and Central Asia. There are the makings of proxy wars in Africa, notably in Sudan where China and Iran are engaged in a shadowy war with Israel and the US. The most dangerous arena for military conflict, however, is in the breaking disputes over China’s claimed core sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific.

In proxy wars between imperialist powers, and in direct military conflict, revolutionaries must be dual defeatists. This means that we oppose fighting on the side of any imperialist power to stop them grabbing of more resources, plundering and destroying humanity and nature. Where imperialism is at war with colonies or semi-colonies we defend them and fight to defeat the imperialist power, unless they are being used as proxies by another imperialist power.

So for example in the South China Sea Islands we defend Vietnam and Philippines against China. But if these nations are acting as proxies for the US, we are for the defeat of both sides while fighting simultaneously for the independence of Vietnam or the Philippines. In the Diaoyu Islands we are for self-determination from both Japan and China and oppose them being used as proxies in a war between any imperialist powers. In the latter case it is enmeshed in Okinawa’s long struggle for independence from both the US military which has bases on the island, and Japan which claims Okinawa.

Revolutionary Marxists call on workers to fight against all attempts by their ruling classes to rally workers behind their national flags into new imperialist wars. Workers have no country, we unite across borders as one international working class to fight to overthrow our ruling classes, seize state power, and bring about a new socialist global society!

Defeat US, Japanese and Chinese Imperialism!

Defend oppressed nations against imperialism!

For a Federation of Socialist Republics of the Asia-Pacific!

For a new World Party of Socialist Revolution!

Class Struggle 102 Sept Oct 2012

CS 102 September