Uptown Vigil: Bury the genocidal capitalist system

05 July 2024 402 hits

NEW YORK CITY, July 1 – Every week since mid-October, a group of uptown Manhattan neighbors has protested at the office of local politician, Adriano Espaillat, to denounce his support for Israeli genocide in Gaza. Espaillat is promoted as the first Dominican U.S. Representative, yet his largest campaign donors come from pro-Israel interests. He’s just another capitalist politician who supports Israeli fascism and genocide, exposing the hypocrisy of identity politics. Progressive Labor Party (PLP) has been giving leadership to this struggle, bringing our communist, internationalist, pro-working class politics to the forefront. Only through communism, where workers run society, can workers in Palestine achieve liberation.

Building the bosses’ gravediggers one worker at a time

The vigils were started to protest the Israeli genocide of workers in Gaza after Hamas's offensive. Hundreds of local workers and youth have participated, many Black, Latin, Arab, and Asian. PLP members have helped organize a teach-in, worked inside committees, participated in mutual-aid events, and mobilized for multiple rallies and marches (including in D.C.). We also supported encampments and actions at several NYC universities. Workers and students have eagerly taken CHALLENGEs and we have been building relationships with those most open to our line.

Our PLP study group has grown both quantitatively and qualitatively. We are discussing Middle East history, internationalism, and the dangers and divisiveness of identity politics. And we have been developing the leadership of our newer Black and Latin members, led by several women.

The ideological struggle: internationalism vs. nationalism

Recently one of the group’s leaders attacked us for distributing our newspaper, even smearing our internationalist position as a form of “soft Zionism,” for saying that workers in Palestine and Israel have common class interests. We argued that at least some Israeli workers can be won to support the struggle against genocide. The critic backed off. Our internationalist ideas, our strong ties with our neighbors, and our consistent work paid off. 

Many workers and youth in the organization recognize capitalism and imperialism as the roots of the Israeli/U.S. genocide in Gaza. However, many also think the solution is a Palestinian state. We say that workers can never be free under the capitalist profit system, no matter what the ruling class looks like.

Combating anti-communism

At a recent vigil,  a newer comrade denounced the lies the U.S. media repeatedly tells about Gaza and the Palestinians: “The same ruling class that lies about Gaza and Palestinians also tells us lies about communism.” This connection made sense to many, who nodded and vocalized their agreement. One neighborhood friend requested we change the speaker order so she could agree with our comrade: “It’s true,” she said, “the rulers lie about communism. To me, communism is communication, community, and collaboration.”

The lies about communism by the bosses are meant to keep workers from fighting for the only solution that will smash the capitalist system once and for all. To defeat these imperialists, we must combat the false ideas fed to workers about communism. Speeches calling out capitalism as the root cause of genocide elicited positive responses. To many, that’s clear, yet solutions remain unclear. Calling out the bosses’ lies around communism is necessary to see that the communist revolution is the only solution for our collective liberation.

“We need an organization”: The  communist Progressive Labor Party

Ideological struggle is important, but we need more working-class fighters to join the Progressive Labor Party. The international working class needs an organization. An organization is necessary to defeat the bosses who hold up this crumbling capitalist system. We have much to learn from our fellow workers' experiences and much to teach from over 150 years of communist workers’ struggle. But one lesson from history is clear. To beat the capitalists we need a communist party to channel all the voices calling for revolution and lead workers to take power. We need a mass party: PLP!

Looking Forward

Our plans going forward are to continue to work inside this organization to build the struggle against the Israeli/U.S. genocide in Gaza. But we are in this struggle to win people, not arguments. With our many points of unity, as we get to know people better, we hope to convince them that communism is the only solution to liberating workers around the world. We want to build a mass communist party to lead revolutions from Palestine to Haiti to Sudan and throughout the world. So we need as many workers and youth as possible to join the PLP and make it stronger.
The struggle against capitalism is long-range and we need to collectively continue to increase our strength. Bonds of trust and camaraderie that we build now will help us overcome obstacles in building a new society. When we unite as one international working class, we have nothing to lose but our chains and no one can hold us back!