Letters . . . April 10, 2024

29 March 2024 159 hits

In the struggle for Gaza, it’s clear—liberal fascism is the danger.

Since October 7, when Hamas killed 1,000 Israelis and the Zionists began bombing Gaza murdering more than 32,000 Palestinians so far, comrades in the community and organization we participate in have been active against genocide and starvation in Gaza. In mid-October Progressive Labor Party (PLP)  members distributed hundreds of leaflets titled Hamas/Israel War Means: International Working Class Fight Back; Join Progressive Labor Party. Comrades spoke at meetings and led a well-attended forum at the organization. We continued distributing leaflets and CHALLENGE in the community. We attended mass protests in the city helping distribute thousands of CHALLENGEs.               
Recently PLP members have begun to work with a group of the organization’s staff, mostly young members of a UAW local, who are angry at the lack of response by the directors to the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. The group wrote a letter to the directors with five demands, notably a call for a permanent ceasefire, support for the boycott, divestment, a sanctions movement against Israel, and support for the uncommitted movement of voters. PLPers helped the group get 20 signatures from worker members while staff got 40 signatures from other staff.

The letter included staff and worker statements like, “We mustn’t let Biden off the hook by fear of a Trump presidency.” “Stop the genocide now. No concessions!”  Staff said that while Netanyahu and the Israeli government prepare to bomb Rafah, Biden, and U.S. imperialists give Israel billions of dollars for armaments! Citibank is in Israel and the war and gives money to the community organization. The directors revealed their loyalty to imperialism and the Democratic Party saying, “We can take money from Citibank even if we don’t agree with their investments.” To a member's call for no concessions, the directors said, “We understand the outrage about Gaza, but it’s a problem. We need to win the election for Biden and the Democratic Party.”
Their problem is that many young people and workers see the connections between the liberal fascist so-called lesser evil and the capitalist system. The opportunities for a revolutionary communist party, PLP, are growing! One new comrade has stepped up to take more leadership and we have a new member of our club. We will continue to be involved in the community organization with our new friends and seize every opportunity to put forward our Party’s ideas. Now it’s time for PLP members to build a base and invite new friends to our study group and PLP’s May Day on May 4. We got this!


How I ended up joining PLP

From February 17-19 2024, Progressive Labor Party’s West Coast collective gathered for a meeting in Southern California. I got to be a part of this gathering, and the experience led me to join Progressive Labor Party. We discussed current events- the ongoing imperialist war in Gaza perpetrated by fascists around the globe, current political leaders, and each of the struggles our class has been facing in our day-to-day lives. Everyone’s diverse background and individual struggle somehow led us all here, as we pursue the same ultimate goal of working-class revolution communism. Our stories were validating and uplifting, knowing so many of us fight the same cause across all of California and in different divisions of work and education. A comrade/student at California State University has been fighting relentlessly against the administration’s efforts to silence her, as she and other students fight against a tuition increase while the CSU administration hoards billions of dollars. Their retaliation against her protesting voice goes to show that her efforts are not in vain- the bosses have been rattled.

I never cared to learn/teach myself history before joining PLP’s study groups, which opened my horizons to learning global history through a non-capitalist and anti-imperialist perspective. For the first time in my life, I could see patterns throughout human civilization and gained a better understanding of why the condition of the globe is as fucked up as it is today, in all senses of the word! Environmentally, economically, socially, etc… With that understanding, I gained hope on how we can move forward toward a better society. I love to learn history now and do my best to talk about it and teach it to others who are without a background in history. After these engaging discussions, and meeting other members of PLP across California, I joined.

Our bonds motivates us to learn and fight

The most important and lasting part of the cadre school to me was the bonds and camaraderie that we built, for it will surely help us further develop and strengthen our future struggles. Seeing the entirety of the Los Angeles group together with those from Northern California was inspiring due to us being able to organize such an event, share stories, and build lasting friendships. To me, strong relationships and understanding that you can rely on a comrade is the most important part of maintaining the struggle. Although everyone has their reasons and motivations for joining the Party and starting in the struggle, it is the day-to-day check-ins with comrades that keep us accountable to not forget our commitment to the fight. And it was during the cadre school retreat, we exchanged contacts along with planning and organizing to keep in touch regularly.

Furthermore, it was making these bonds that made learning about our comrade’s struggles more important and inspiring for us. From the Bay down to LA, there were current, but also older stories that inspired us. Being able to learn from members who experienced many more years of struggle than us proved most encouraging since their lessons provided us with hope but also paths for self-criticism. One cool conversation that got me thinking was about religion and how communists grapple with the institution of religion and their own beliefs. Moreover, how religious institutions provide a model of why community, solidarity, and organizing are so vital to human nature. Lastly, our youth in the movement committed to struggles on college campuses across California proved most inspiring since it will be their initial experiences in their respective struggles, and the lessons they will learn will prove fruitful.


Black-Red series evokes memory of women’s prison protest

The current CHALLENGE series, revisited from 2017, on the Civil Rights Movement is very much appreciated by workers, such as those in our discussion group. Not all comrades had the experiences these articles discuss. Younger readers thirst for the stories to apply the messages they carry to current struggles.

One anecdote recalled from the 1960s is pertinent now because of Women’s History Month.  I came out of a subway to find a demonstration organized by the Civil Rights Movement at the Women’s Prison in Greenwich Village. There were all sorts of protests and marches all over the city at the time, much like today. I was moved to join this one, whose aim was to “shut it down”. That was eventually accomplished due to the abuse at the jail, everything from rats to sexual predation by the staff.  Our wonderful Black southern spirituals adapted with protest lyrics, such as the song Turn Me Round, could be heard from afar.

The idea that a women’s prison protest, with meaning for the women’s movement, could be part of the struggle against racism, was a direct result of the strength of a momentous Civil Rights Movement, which could include other reform struggles rather than focusing on racism alone.

Unfortunately, despite the Civil Rights Movement’s strength and breadth, it was unable to defeat all the sell-outs, anti-communist reformists, and other swine such as Joseph McCarthy.  It was the Progressive Labor Party that turned the tables on his House Un-American Activities Committee when it tried to prosecute us after a Cuba trip to break the travel ban.