T.O. Weekly 28: The New FDR Infrastructure Plan – Will it be DOA? ALSO: Palestine (Part 2) and 30th Anniversary of S.O.
The ORGANIZER WEEKLY NEWSLETTER – No. 28 (May 29, 2021)
IN THIS ISSUE:
(1) The New FDR Infrastructure Plan – Will it be DOA? – Editorial by Michael Carano
(2) Palestine Update Dossier
(3) Greetings to 30th Anniversary Forum / Discussion (May 22, 2021)
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(1) The New FDR Infrastructure Plan – Will it be DOA?
By MICHAEL CARANO
The bold economic agenda that President Joe Biden called for while on the campaign trail and that helped him win the presidency has come to a halt, his pre-election rhetoric running out of steam. Now most of his promises have little chance of passing this year, and less chance next year.
Why is this?
The first year of a president is the time when most can get done, and five months into his term the wheels are screeching to a halt. This is due to the Democrats’ self-imposed adherence to the Senate parliamentarian and to their refusal to wage a fight to end the filibuster. Biden’s refusal to strong-arm senators like Krysten Sinema (AZ) and Joe Manchin (WV), or any other recalcitrant Democrat, to overturn the filibuster means that the bold legislation that Biden promised on the campaign trail will be DOA or, at best, will be unrecognizable.
Add to that Joe Biden’s penchant for pursuing bipartisan legislation with the Republican Party, which is committed to blocking or effectively diluting bold action.
There is a path to push through legislation, but Biden and the Democrats say they will not use it in 2021. According to the New York Times (May 3), a “ruling by the Senate parliamentarian means that Democrats can essentially re-open the budget plan they passed in February and add directives to enact the infrastructure package or other initiatives.” Forgoing this battle now and deferring it until next year, when the 2022 budget will be passed, will mean that any attempt to pass the much needed and promised reforms will be impossible since Republicans will invoke fiscal responsibility and demand trade-offs.
Be sure, if Republicans were in the position that the Democrats are in now, the parliamentarian would be ignored or dismissed without hesitation. They would squash the filibuster in a heartbeat to get their way. But the Democrats’ game is bipartisanship, in keeping with the policy directives of their Wall Street sponsors.
Biden promised great progress for infrastructure by Memorial Day 2021. Here we are, and it didn’t happen. Even if the infrastructure bill were to pass this year, which is highly unlikely, we can be sure that conciliatory compromises by Biden will allow the cost, as Republican’s demand, to fall on the back of the working class and the poor. Republicans are calling for “user fees,” as an offset to spending. The price of gasoline at the pump would increase, to give but one example.
The New York Times reports (May 25) that “Republicans are offering $100 billion a year for ten years ($1.4 trillion less than Biden’s initial $2.43 trillion plan).” The Times notes that, “Several Democrats are eager for party leaders to abandon the effort to win over Republicans and instead try to use the fast-track budget reconciliation process to muscle through Mr. Biden’s $4 trillion economic plan for a sweeping infrastructure investment and an expansion of childcare, education, and work-force support with a simple majority” (New York Times, April 5). This fails to take into account that the Democrats have shown no readiness to take control and push through their stated plans, even though they passed COVID relief legislation without Republican support.
Biden’s quest to make the infrastructure bill bipartisan-only means that Republicans will play hard ball and whittle the bill down as much as possible. This will result in critical items in the bill ending up on the cutting room floor.
Regarding the fate of the infrastructure bill, Democratic Senator Carper of Delaware stated, “Initially our goal was sometime this summer, maybe by the fourth of July recess to try to report a bill out of committee. We’ve moved it up like a month and a half. If we can get out of committee on a bipartisan vote by Memorial Day that would be great.” Flowery language from a party that wilts too easily.
In regard to Biden’s plan to raise corporate taxes to half of what Trump cut in 2017 (The Balance, May 10), further Democrat compromises to Republicans will likely shrink the initial 28% tax rate proposed by Biden down to between 22% to 25%. (Trump reduced it from 35% down to 21%.) This, of course, would be only a half measure. We all know, moreover, that corporations do not pay their full tax amount due to loopholes and massive tax write-offs, but this fact is ignored in public discourse. Imagine going into contract negotiations and cutting your demands in half before entering the room. In typical fashion, Democrats compromise with themselves before entering the negotiation room, a hallmark of Democrat excuse making. This item should be reminiscent of President Obama’s decision to make the Bush tax cuts permanent after staunch promises during his campaign to end them.
Even if they were to decide to proceed without Republican support and attempt to overturn the filibuster to pass a bill by a simple majority, or if they attempted to pass the bill through the budget-reconciliation process, they still have right-wing Democrats to contend with. The senators can hold up and further eviscerate the plan. Sinema and Manchin are their go-to excuse. They are not the ace in the hole for Republicans as one might think, they are the ace in the hole for Democrats. Biden is more than happy to shelter behind this wing of the ruling class party
Other Promises Disappear into Thin Air
Below are some of the other promises disappearing into thin air, many of them quietly ignored in all public policy discussions.
• Let us remember that Biden promised police reform before the anniversary of George Floyd’s death. (Politico, May 25)
Goodbye. Maybe later. Add to that Biden nixing his police oversight commission. So long, commission! What about the promised reform to policing? It has been transformed into its opposite — Biden is now pushing $1.9 billion funding for Capitol police, with the support, by abstentions, of “the squad” and other progressives, all of whom ensured its passage by one vote.
• Most important to the working class, other highly popular and promised social welfare programs have now been dropped. These include daycare subsidies, universal pre-K, and extension of the child tax credit. Remember the promise to fight for the $15 minimum wage? Another Democratic Party disappearing act!
• Other important campaign promises have been cancelled from the budget. It will not include pledges such as the public option in health care, prescription drug reform, student debt relief — which had been whittled down from $10,000 to nothing.
• Biden voiced support for eliminating up to $50,000 of student debt — $10,000 for every year of community service up to five years. Biden now says he is waiting for reports from the U.S. Justice Department and Department of Education to decide on his course of action.
According to economist Michael Hudson (The Analysis, May 24 Youtube interview), Biden can end all student debt at no cost to the government or to financial institutions, other than future interest lost. Instead, the government has bought billions of corporate debt in the form of bonds, which does cost the government and is in fact a bailout at taxpayer expense. He goes on to say that this happens only in the United States since most other countries see education “as a public need.” Biden’s dithering, handwringing, and now dropping the cancellation of student debt is a deception (CNBC “Make It,” May 24).
Forbes contributor Zack Friedman argues that “the number one reason Biden is unlikely to cancel student loans is simple: if he wanted to, he would have done it already.” The pause on school debt payments expires October 1, 2021.
• HR1, the election reform bill touted by Democrats, which contains obstacles to third party formation, has also slipped under the radar.
With the corporate interests’ iron-grip control of policy, along with Biden’s history of seeking bipartisan agreement with Republicans, it makes readily apparent the reasons his agenda sits in limbo. The corporate media’s designation of Biden as “the new FDR” and “the most progressive Democrat in history” is falling flat. It is all part and parcel of the rhetorical flourishes Biden and his party used to beat Trump. This tired game exposes the pandering to the aspirations of the working class while bowing at all times to the interests that have always run the country — the capitalist class.
It is the same game we have seen time and time again: the false appearance of parties — Democrats and Republicans — opposing each other when in fact both always do the bidding of the capitalist class and its moneyed elite.
Are we catching on yet to the game? We need a party of, by, and for us. We need a working-class party rooted in the trade unions and oppressed communities.
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(2) Palestine Update Dossier
(May 26, 2021)
[reprinted from Tribune des Travailleurs / Workers Tribune – POID, France]
(a) International Workers’ Solidarity with Palestinian Struggle
The demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinian people around the world have surpassed in size what they have been until now.
In the United States, in particular, our correspondents report, “We have seen demonstrations in the thousands, sometimes in the tens of thousands, in 30 to 40 cities, far more than had taken place in the past. Demonstrators chanted, “We want Justice!”, “Free Palestine!” but also – in reference to the Black Lives Matter slogan – “Palestinian Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe since 1948” – an adaptation of the last words of George Floyd. Others called for an immediate halt to U.S. aid to Israel ($3.8 billion in annual military aid and $8 billion in loans guaranteed by Washington).
In Morocco — whose government, under the aegis of the United States, has recently established diplomatic relations with the State of Israel, we received the following report: “The demonstrations throughout the country were a veritable referendum in terms of size. Among labor organizations, the call to shut down the Israeli diplomatic liaison office in Rabat is being discussed.”
The same was true in Portugal, where a rally of 1,000 workers, young people, and activists was called by the CGTP trade union confederation on May 15. In Italy, major demonstrations took place in Rome (more than 5,000), Milan (5,000), Bologna, Turin, etc. In Canada, too, powerful demonstrations took place, both in the English-speaking provinces and in Quebec. In Pakistan, among the many initiatives was the demonstration in Lahore by the All Pakistan Trade Union Federation behind the banner: “We Stand with the Palestinian People, Stop the Brutality Against the Palestinian People.” [See attached.]
In some countries, the demonstrations had a particular resonance given the local situations. Thus, in Kanaky (New Caledonia), it was the USTKE, the main trade union center of the island, one of the last French colonies, that called on Saturday, May 22, for “a silent and dignified march in the streets of Noumea to mark the strong support of the Kanak people, the USTKE, the progressives, the humanists toward the Palestinian people“, behind two huge banners: “Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Kanaky and Palestine: Same Fight!” and “Netanyahu Assassin. Stop the State Terrorism of Israel!“
The previous morning, in the port of Durban in Azania (South Africa), our correspondents report that several hundred workers, supported by almost all the labor organizations of the Kwazulu province (SAFTU, COSATU, etc.) marched in support of the dockworkers and their union SATAWU, which had called for a strike to refuse to load a ship belonging to the Israeli ZIM shipping company. Chanting songs of the Black people’s struggle against the Apartheid regime, the demonstrators carried banners and placards proclaiming, “Stop Apartheid!”, “Save Gaza!” and “Palestinian Blood is Our Blood!” A few days earlier, a union section in the port of Livorno, Italy, called on Italian dockworkers to do the same.
In Australia, thousands demonstrated for a free Palestine in Sydney and Melbourne.
In Tunisia, demonstrations in several cities chanted: “Tunisians support Palestine!” and “The people want to criminalize normalization with Israel!“.
The strength of the protests in Egypt forced the despotic regime of Field Marshal Sissi to announce the opening of the Rafah crossing to the Gaza Strip on May 15, to evacuate the injured.
Massive demonstrations also took place in Lebanon, Jordan and Baghdad, Iraq, as well as in Turkey.
Thousands also demonstrated in Belgium and in Berlin (Germany) on May 15, despite threats by the Merkel government to punish support for the Palestinians.
In France, where the Macron government has banned demonstrations of solidarity with Palestine, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in dozens of cities across the country on Saturday, May 15.
In London (Great Britain) on the same day, nearly 100,000 demonstrators marched from Hyde Park to the Israeli embassy. “The UK government is complicit in these acts as long as it continues to provide military, diplomatic and financial support to Israel,” the organizers said.
– Reports from our correspondents in the United States, Morocco, Portugal, Italy, Canada, Pakistan, Kanaky (New Caledonia) and Azania (South Africa. Also reports published in IWC Newsletter no. 187.)
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(b) Israel Arrests 500 Palestinian Youth in the 1948 Occupied Territories
[report from our correspondents in Palestine]
On May 24, our correspondents in Palestine sent us the following report:
“Over a period of 48 hours, thousands of Israeli soldiers will be sent out to invade hundreds of homes of Palestinian citizens of Israel in order to arrest 500 young Palestinians in an operation called ‘Law and Order,’ whose proclaimed aim is to settle the score with young Palestinian activists.
“The Israeli police claim that they have a ‘data bank’ to target the upcoming arrests. According to official Israeli statements, thousands of security forces from all units and brigades, including the notoriously brutal Border Guards and reserve soldiers, will be deployed to carry out this operation in our villages and cities. This is a declaration of war.
“The Israelis will be invading 500 homes to kidnap our children and youth. This is not a mere “terror operation” or “intimidation policy.” It’s an unprecedented declaration of war against the Palestinian citizens of Israel, which the authorities want to implement in complicit silence. Our people must act now to resist this war, the world must move Now, before the criminals invade our neighborhoods and our homes.”
On Sunday evening [May 23], the arrests began. The Israeli government is aware of the precedent set by the mass demonstrations of the Palestinians “from within the 1948-occupied territories” [the State of Israel], who represent one fifth of the Israeli population; hence the operation to punish and terrorize the “leaders.” It is the responsibility of all those who have shown their solidarity with the Palestinian people the world over, and of all their organizations, to engage immediately in a solidarity campaign for the immediate release of the imprisoned youth. — Tribune des Travailleurs
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(3) 745 Israeli Jews Issue Call: “Stop Israel’s Apartheid!”
An Open Letter to the International Community
We, Jewish Israelis, oppose the actions of the Israeli government and hereby declare our commitment to act against them. We refuse to accept the Jewish-supremacist regime and call upon the international community to immediately intervene in defense of the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, the Galilee, the Negev, al-Lydd, Yafa, Ramleh, Haifa and throughout historic Palestine.
Jewish supremacy is the cornerstone of the Israeli regime, and its consistent objective is to transfer and obliterate the Palestinian people, their history, and their national identity. This objective manifests in continued acts of ethnic cleansing by means of evictions and home demolitions, brutal military occupation, denial of civil and human rights, and legislation of a series of racist laws culminating in the Nation-State Bill, defining the State as “the Nation State of the Jewish People”, and them only.
All the above effectively form an Apartheid regime creating Bantustan-like and Ghetto-like areas for Palestinian native communities. We believe that Zionism is an unethical principle of governance that inherently leads to a racist Apartheid regime that has been committing war crimes and denying basic human rights from Palestinians for over seven decades.
Such crimes and violations include: the destruction of hundreds of towns and villages and depopulating them of 750,000 Palestinians in 1948, alongside the active prevention of return of refugees; the systematic expropriation of Palestinians’ lands and transferring them to Jewish ownership under the auspices of the state; the occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights and the application of a colonizing military regime, ruling over millions of Palestinians; the gradual annexation of the territories occupied in 1967 by violently engineering demographics; the ongoing siege on the Gaza strip and persistent massacres of the Gazan population by the Israeli Air Force; political persecution of Palestinians throughout Palestine and the ongoing incitement against the political leadership and society at large. All of these atrocities take place due to the impunity Israel receives from the international community and especially the United States.
In recent weeks, the Israeli government has up-scaled its attempts to seize Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem (especially in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood) and house Jewish settlers in them with the aim of completing the Judaization of the city that began in 1967. During the month of Ramadan, Israeli forces intensified their violent onslaught on the Al Aqsa Mosque compound while giving settlers the green light to vandalize and physically harm Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem and throughout the ’48 territories. Mobs of settlers are acting under the auspices, and in coordination with the Israeli police. Israeli media is taking part in the unhinged incitement against Arab citizens of Israel. As a result, the Jewish mobs receive impunity for their violence, while hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel are arrested for protecting their homes and communities, or simply for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
As we write this statement, Israel is committing yet another massacre in the Gaza ghetto. Israel has declined several third-party offers to negotiate a cease-fire agreement with Hamas officials, and has continued to bomb neighborhoods in Gaza. The inhumane siege on approximately two million people continues.
As individuals who belong to the side of the oppressor, and that have tried for years to shift public opinion in Israel in order to change the foundations of the current regime, we have long come to the conclusion that it is impossible to change the Jewish supremacist regime without external intervention.
We call upon the international community to intervene immediately in order to stop Israel’s current aggressions, to adopt the demands of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; to work towards the actualization of the Palestinian Right of Return and to bring about historic justice; to reach a just and democratic solution for all, based on the decolonization of the region and founding a state of all its citizens.
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(c) The Unity Intifada – Manifesto
On Tuesday May 18, a powerful general strike forged the unity of the Palestinian people in all its components — the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the 1948 occupied territories (the current State of Israel), as well as the refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. In this strike, which was called under the heading, “From the Mediterranean to the Jordan River,” a leaflet, titled “The Manifesto of Dignity and Hope – The Unity Intifada,” was distributed widely. It has been transmitted to us by our correspondents.
The Dignity and Hope Manifesto
The Unity Intifada
People of Palestine,
Here we are, writing a new chapter of courage and pride, in which we tell a story of justice and of the truth that no level of Israeli colonial repression can erase, however cruel and brutal that repression may be.
The story of truth is a simple one in our land: the truth is that Palestinians are one people, one society. Zionist gangs forced out most of our people, it stole our homes and destroyed our villages. Then Zionism decided to shred what remained of Palestine, isolating us and separating us in small strips of our land.
They tried to turn us into different societies, each living apart, each in its own separate prison. That is how Zionism has sought to control us, that is how they worked to fragment our political will, and to prevent a united struggle in the face of racist settler colonialism in all of Palestine.
This is how Israel imprisoned us in prisons of isolation; some of us caged in the “Oslo prison” in the West Bank, some in the “citizenship prison” in the part of Palestine occupied in 1948, some of us isolated by the monstrous siege and ongoing, devastating assault on the “Gaza prison,” some of us isolated under the systematic Judaization campaigns on the “Jerusalem prison,” and some isolated from Palestine altogether, dispersed across all corners of the globe.
It is now time for this tragedy to end.
In these days, we write a new chapter, a chapter of a united Intifada that seeks our one and only goal: reuniting Palestinian society in all of its different parts; reuniting our political will, and our means of struggle to confront Zionism throughout Palestine.
This long Intifada is, at its heart, an Intifada of consciousness. It is an Intifada to overthrow off the filth of quietude and defeatism. Because of it, the brave generations to come will have been raised, once again, on the fundamental principle of our unity. It will stand in the face of all the elites working to deepen and entrench the divisions in and between our communities.
This Intifada will be a long one in the streets of Palestine and in streets around the world; an intifada that fights the hand of injustice wherever it tries to reach, that fights the batons of cruel regimes wherever they try to strike. This is an Intifada of bared chests and foreheads held high armed with revolutionary goals, deep knowledge and understanding, and the organizational toil and commitment of every individual and collective in the face the bullets of the Israeli occupation wherever they are fired.
Long Live a United Palestine
Long Live the Intifada of Unity
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(3) Greetings to Socialist Organizer 30th Anniversary Forum and Discussion (May 22, 2021) — Part 1
On May 22, Socialist Organizer held a virtual forum / discussion to celebrate our 30th anniversary. The event was a huge success, with greetings presented from across the United States and internationally.
The report-back on what one participant called an “historic gathering” will be presented in two parts, as we still are transcribing many of the presentations.
Part 1 below includes a few of the emailed messages from the United States and most of the greetings that we received internationally from sections of the Organizing Committee for the Reconstitution of the Fourth International (OCRFI).
Part 2 (in our next issue) will include major excerpts from the statements and greetings from Daniel Gluckstein, François Forgue, Mya Shone, E.J. Esperanza, Monadel Herzallah, Clarence Thomas, Donna Dewitt, Millie Phillips, Connie White, and Alan Benjamin.
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Message from Saladin Muhammad
I am very sorry for missing the 30th anniversary of Socialist Organizer (SO).
We have worked together in the early development of the Labor Fightback Network, Labor Party Advocates, the founding of the Labor Party, and Gulf-Coast Katrina support.
I read the SO newsletter and other literature sent.
Don’t stop requesting!
[Note: Saladin Muhammad is the convener of Black Workers For Justice (BWFJ) and a co-convener of the Southern Workers Assembly. He is based in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.]
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Message from Cliff and Marush Conner
We want to express our appreciation and gratitude to our Socialist Organizer comrades and your international allies for your thirty years of leadership in the resistance against the many forms of oppression and injustice perpetrated by international capitalism, and especially U.S. imperialism and its “forever wars.” Keep up the good work, and let’s hope it won’t take another thirty years to achieve the final triumph of the international working class.
New York, N.Y.
[Note: Cliff Conner was co-editor in the 1960s and 1970s of the International Socialist Review, the theoretical magazine of the Socialist Worker Party.]
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[Note: The 30th anniversary meeting featured opening video-taped presentations from Daniel Gluckstein, on behalf of the Coordinating Committee of the Organizing Committee for the Reconstitution of the Fourth International (OCRFI), and François Forgue, on behalf of the French section of the OCRFI. These two messages will be transcribed as soon as possible. The third video-taped presentation from our French comrades — the presentation by Christel Keiser — was sent to us in writing and is translated below.]
From Christel Keiser – POID (France) Working Women’s Commission
I bring greetings to this meeting of Socialist Organizer on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the U.S. section of the Fourth International.
I would like to take this opportunity to report on the political work undertaken since the beginning of the year by various sections — including yours and mine — in the direction of working women.
As you know, the appeal launched two months ago by Rubina Jamil (APTUF, Pakistan) and myself, endorsed by more than 300 women workers from 32 countries, opened the perspective of an “International Meeting of Working Women” to be held on the eve of the World Conference against War and Exploitation.
On the occasion of March 8, 2021, international day of struggle for the rights of working women, many initiatives were taken around this call.
I know that in the United States, on March 7, a videoconference brought together 44 participants, including 13 of the 17 signatories of the international appeal, among whom were labor activists and activists of Black organizations, engaged for years in the fight for women’s democratic rights.
In Pakistan, APTUF took the initiative to organize, on March 7, an assembly of women workers, in particular brick kiln workers, industrial workers, domestic workers, etc., who took the floor. Then a march was organized by the trade union federation.
In Italy, on March 10, a conference brought together 58 participants, on the initiative of the women workers’ commission of the monthly workers’ newspaper Tribuna Libera, a commission formed a year ago. This meeting was prepared by a survey on the conditions of women workers, filled in by more than 200 women workers all over the country.
In Mexico, the comrades organized a meeting by video conference with 12 speakers, among them political and trade union activists, maquiladora workers, agricultural workers, young people, academics, etc.
In Morocco, a meeting brought together signatories of the international appeal, women workers, workers’ activists and trade union leaders, testifying about the conditions of women workers in different sectors (in particular the tragedy that struck the workers, mostly women, of a clandestine textile workshop in Tangier in February), but also about the question of democratic rights (Family Code
In France, a public meeting was organized by the POID’s working women commission (online due to the health restrictions imposed by the government) in which more than 2,000 comrades participated. 25 speakers took the floor, members and non-members of the POID, reporting on the struggles in which they are engaged, especially in the most exploited sectors of the working class. The forum was constituted as a delegation to the international meeting. A booklet reporting on this meeting was published.
These advances took place within the framework of the International Workers’ Committee Against War and Exploitation, for the Workers International formed in Mumbai. But, as far as we are concerned, we Trotskyist militants, they are the result of theoretical elaboration from a Marxist point of view on the double oppression of women, an elaboration which found its expression notably in a conference of the Fourth International which was reported in the review The Internationale; it was also the result of the re-establishment of a monthly column in The Workers’ Tribune and of practical initiatives. These advances are also the fruit of a practical elaboration that is reflected in specific mobilizations to which we have contributed recently, both on the terrain of the class struggle and on the questions of housing and, more broadly, of living conditions
These first elements of our work indicate the possibilities opened by the call for the international meeting of working women that I hope we will soon be able to convene.
I am more than ever convinced that, in the building of the Socialist Organizer and more generally of the sections of the Fourth International, the struggle for the emancipation of women and against their double oppression will be an important determination of our politics and a factor of progression in the period to come.
I thank you for your attention.
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Haïti Liberté newspaper salutes the Socialist Organizer on its 30th anniversary, which comes at a critical moment in world history.
The U.S. ruling class has managed, at least for the moment, to wrest power back from the Trump faction, which threatened to undermine U.S. imperialist dominance in the world due to its incompetence, nepotism, corruption, and grand-standing.
However, the conditions which led to Trump’s emergence have not improved. They have worsened. And the Biden/Harris administration is leaving in place or has even doubled down on almost all the international policies and postures which the Trump administration set in place, including that regarding Venezuela, Cuba, China, Russia, Israel, and Palestine. Today, Israel’s extraordinary aggression, with complete U.S. support, against the Palestinian people is now being called a second Nakba. This is already sending shockwaves of indignation and rebellion worldwide.
Biden is also continuing Trump’s policies in Haiti, offering total support to de facto president Jovenel Moïse’s plans to hold elections later this year. Although the opposition to his corrupt and repressive regime is dominated by the bourgeois opposition, whose leaders supported the 2004 coup d’état against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haïti Liberté has been working hard with allies to create an alternative proletarian leadership, which can lead the Haitian people down a truly revolutionary path. We thank the Socialist Organizer for all of its help and solidarity in support of our efforts.
So in recognition of the importance of solidarity among revolutionary worker forces across the globe, we offer our gratitude and support to our Socialist Organizer comrades on this auspicious occasion.
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[Note: This message was read at the meeting by cde. Paul Nkunzimana.]
Dear comrades of Socialist Organizer,
For the Liaison Committee of Trotskyists in Canada, this is an opportunity to extend its fraternal greetings to you on the occasion of the celebration of your 30th anniversary on May 22, 2021.
Dear comrades, over the past 30 years, the situation has been marked by the deepening of the crisis of imperialism, the last stage of capitalism, as explained comrade Lenin in his brochure Imperialism, the final stage of capitalism. At this stage, as anyone can see, capitalism can survive only by destroying the proletarian and popular conquests in each country and globalizing war.
These facts are aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic which is killing a lot of people while the system continues to lay off workers, attacks workers’ rights, schooling, healthcare, civil rights, and extends the wars over all the continents under the aegis of US imperialism. The permanent Israeli war and the carnage against Palestinian people today in Gaza, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and all over Palestine is an additional proof of this fact.
The working people and the oppressed around the world, as you remind us, are fighting back against the aftermath of a capitalist system in terminal decay; mobilization of workers and oppressed to protest the police murder of George Floyd and against institutional racism under the banner of Black Lives Matter; the mobilization of workers and peasants in India fighting back against the counter-reforms which favor agribusiness; the mass uprising (Hirak) in Algeria to put an end to the ‘system’… Many other mobilizations and strikes are taking place in Chile to put down the institutions inherited from the Pinochet dictatorship, in Colombia against the laws impoverishing the population and for social demands.
In Canada, too, despite the pandemic, you can see a lot of strikes in the sectors of healthcare, education, transportation, etc., for the renewal of collective-bargaining agreements. In many countries around the world, workers and people are mobilized, and organize demonstrations to free Palestine and to put an end to the genocide that Israel is committing in Palestine.
Comrades, all this movement in reality calls into question the regime of the private ownership of the means of production. That’s why the task of building the revolutionary party is imposed in each country and the condition is the construction of the sections of the Fourth International firmly inserted in the class struggle.
Comrades, you are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Socialist Organizer. You participated in the re-proclamation of the Fourth International in 1993 and actively in the struggle against the attempt to destroy the Fourth International in 2015. Your experience of creating your independent expression organ, The Organizer Newspaper, your goal of building the independent Labor Party including the Black workers party through the fight for independent candidates in the next elections and preparing the World conference against exploitation and war. inspire us for our activities.
Forward for the Reconstitution of the Fourth International!
The Liaison Committee of Trotskyists in Canada
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Dear friends, dear comrades,
On the occasion of the celebration of your 30th anniversary of the founding of Socialist Organizer, we, the editorial board of Workers Tribune (Morocco), send this message to celebrate this anniversary with you and with all comrades and workers in the United States.
Dear friends, dear comrades, we follow with pride and enthusiasm your political activity, your struggles, especially your struggles in the direction of Black workers, and all the political positions you take in favor of the struggles of peoples and workers throughout the world, who are suffering the full force of the aggression of imperialism, especially U.S. imperialism.
In a world situation characterized above all by an unprecedented decay of the regime based on private property of the means of production, a decay to which the health crisis of Covid-19 is added to feed and fan the offensive against the workers and the peoples, to feed the march to barbarism, the workers’ movement is on the alert. At a time when all the governments of the capitalist countries are supporting the Israeli government, which has unleashed a bloody war against the Palestinian people, to drive them from their homes, the workers and activists of my country feel proud to see the workers and young people in the United States demonstrating by the tens of thousands (25,000 demonstrators according to the press) in Michigan, in support of the Palestinian people who are suffering from the aggression and extermination and Apartheid of the State of Israel.
We intend to fight with you, within the framework of the International Workers Committee (IWC), for a better future for our class and our brotherly peoples.
Fraternal greetings from Casablanca
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[Note: The first-part of this two-part greeting was presented by cde. Juan Carlos.]
The militants of the Internationalist Communist League (LCI) of Mexico, a member group of CORCI, send our solidarity greetings to the comrades of Socialist Organizer, on its 30th anniversary. We also greet the comrades, youth, trade unionists and leaders of the Black and Latino movement who are present at this gathering.
This is a special occasion to strengthen our ties and share our struggles and experiences.
Those of us who defend the program of the Fourth International are aware that Marx’s phrase “Proletarians of all countries unite” is not an empty phrase.
It concentrates the need for international organization in the struggle against this capitalist system. The workers of the world must be united to fight against a common enemy that condemns us to exploitation and discrimination, to fight against wars, hunger and racism.
The struggle for socialism in the United States is the key to achieving the worldwide emancipation of the working class, the tasks of the U.S. proletariat are of the utmost relevance for workers everywhere.
We know that the work you have done during these thirty years is very important, you have contributed to the fight for class independence.
Your united front initiatives, your defense of workers’ rights, your international solidarity campaigns and your impulse to build a labor party, are pillars of the work of the Fourth International.
As Mexican militants we want to highlight the work we have done together all these years.
We have participated together in initiatives such as the International Tribunal for the prohibition of child labor, in the campaigns for the abrogation of the Free Trade Agreement, in the joint struggle against measures against migrants, against repression and its criminalization, in continental and world conferences against war and exploitation, and in the struggle against the exploitation of children.
Your continued participation in the congresses of the Mexican section has allowed us to clarify our political orientation and practical action.
We have organized youth camps, where your contributions have always been of the greatest importance for the formation of our militants, I am not lying when I say that both comrades who are present before you today have been formed in militancy and in the best traditions that you represent, thanks to this collaboration.
Without the clarification that you contributed, on the crisis that crossed the Fourth International in 2015, it would not have been possible to resist it and to constitute ourselves as members of the Organizing Committee for the Reconstitution of the Fourth International and to give continuity to the program of struggle for the socialist revolution.
Despite national differences there are common tasks on both sides of the border, slogans and struggles that we develop in parallel.
We fight for union independence, for unions to be democratic, independent and fighting organizations that guarantee the rights of workers. In Mexico we fight for the democratization of the unions, for the constitution of unions where there are none and for an independent trade union center, today we act within the New Central Workers’ Union (NCT).
We fight against discrimination and racism, we fight against the immigration policies of both governments, for the legalization of Mexicans in the U.S. and Central Americans in Mexico, against the wall of shame and the militarization of both borders.
We fight against repression and for the release of political prisoners.
We fight for a future for the youth, for the right to free education, for the right to work, against labor precariousness.
We fight for the emancipation of women, for equal pay, for childcare, for equal services and rights, we also fight against feminicides, and for the right to decide about their own bodies.
We fight for the construction of an independent workers’ party, we do it within the Political Organization of the People and the Workers (OPT), just as you do, discussing with different sectors in conditions of workers’ democracy.
The workers on both sides of the border must be united, the binational work we have done is an example of concrete internationalist struggle.
Today the struggle against the T MEC unites us as a working class.
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[Note: The second part of this two-part greeting was presented by cde Liliana.]
I’m so glad to be invited to the SO anniversary and class struggle celebration.
We, who we are here, are clear that the USMCA — or NAFTA 2.0 — is a treaty that benefits big capital, mainly U.S. capitalists. Countless pages have been devoted in the newspapers and many hours in the news to speak of the “benefits” of these “free trade” treaties for the three countries that are included (US, Mexico and Canada).
But this NAFTA 2.0 has not resulted in improvements for the lives and working conditions of the workers or their families. There have only been gains in the stock market of companies that have been able to take advantage of the advantages of the treaty, such as those that manufacture products in Mexico, the automotive and agricultural industries that mainly export to the United States.
Mexico, especially in the border region with the US, has announced with great fanfare that investments thanks to the USMCA are on the rise, even in these times of health emergency. It is well known that Mexico is attractive for investment due to its variety of natural resources, the low cost of land, energy and water and the most precious thing: cheap and skilled labor. The daily experience of the workers has been:
• reduction of hours or dismissals with their rehiring at a lower salary and fewer rights, another trap they use is to withdraw them from their companies to send them to an outsourcing company doing the same work that they previously did in the same workplace with a lower salary or fewer labor rights.
• Labor flexibility and wage restrictions are clear policies that have been more persistent and constant since the signing of NAFTA and NAFTA 2.0. The government uses a rhetoric that it is all about fighting unemployment and crises, all the while that it is permitting greater labor flexibility, giving privileges to companies that come to invest mainly at the border with US. The result are “reforms” to our Federal Labor Law, generating greater unemployment and precariousness, wage inequality and as a consequence greater crisis and poverty for working people and the poor.
• Increased exploitation for agricultural workers in companies that export to the US and Canada in the name of competitiveness, including using child labor, because it costs less to have more cheap workers than using machines to replace child labor and give adult workers better wages, better working conditions and full labor rights as established by Mexican law.
• Increased prices in gas, gasoline, electricity and water for the population, but not for Big Business, since the USMCA demands that state companies enter in the logic of the free market and eliminate subsidies so that the market “not be distorted.”
• Not being able to decide on the full use of natural and energy resources for the population, putting the interests of corporations first.
• Increased dislocation, social decomposition generated by the relaxation of laws and regulations not only labor, for the benefit of foreign investment that has generated more poverty among the population and generated a breeding ground for femicides, murders, disappearances and the successful increase of drug trafficking, networks of trafficking of women, girls and boys, which have been legitimized and laundered with the investments of the USMCA and corruption.
This renewal of NAFTA, now called USMCA, has been promoted among unions and workers as one that has benefits, mainly paragraph 21, and many have said: Better bird in hand! (Something is better than nothing). But we cannot accept a treaty that has hurt workers, undermined our national sovereignty only in search of an paragraph in a treaty that is supposed to promote democracy in the unions, without minimizing the need for union democracy. But the negative consequences are far greater than what can be obtained.
Returning to the local effects on the life and working conditions of workers, it is sometimes difficult to identify that this Treaty is actually behind almost everything. A recent example is the movement against the installation in the Baja California desert of a Constellation Brands plant that produces thousands of liters of beer a day and which involved a great mobilization of more than 15,000 people to refuse to install it. The pressure forced the Mexican president to organize a referendum, and we again took to the streets to say: STOP IT! WE WANT THE NEXT GENERATION to HAVE THE RIGHT TO POTABLE WATER!
Despite the company’s drive to build their plant in Mexicali, people won the referendum. But the company has not been dismantled its construction because they rely on the regulations and agreements of the USMCA and threaten the Mexican government with going to an international tribunal, which the USMCA established above the Mexican constitution.
More recently, when the workers of a maquila factory tried to fight for protection for COVID-19, the government established that the workers were entitled to confinement with complete salary in the maquilas that were not essential because they were the first responsible for the increased contagion and deaths among workers.
The home administrative offices in U.S. of these maquilas, basing themselves on the NAFTA and USMCA regulations went against a Mexican presidential decree and forced their plants in Mexico to remain open and working so that they could continue sending supplies and products to the U.S. air force, automotive industry, production of tv´s computers and cellphones, and others.
It is in this manner that we realize that Mexican workers and the Mexican people cannot fight alone, as well as American workers either. The local problems we face may look different between our two countries, but the essence and cause is the same, capitalism — and its immediate instrument: the USMCA.
So if the capitalists and governments imposed these anti-worker policies are united, organized and have clear what their interests are and how to defend them, and that their highest-profit interests always hit workers and their families, why shouldn’t we organize binationally and internationally as well?
¡Viva la Cuarta Internacional!
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I greet your commemoration of the 30 years of Socialist Organizer on behalf of the comrades of OSI, the Italian section of OCRFI-Fourth International, and also on behalf of the editorial staff of Tribuna Libera, the newspaper that commemorated its 20th anniversary in April 2020 and that brings together workers and activists of different origins and tradition of the Italian labor movement.
Tribuna Libera was in fact constituted following the San Francisco Open World Conference, in February 2000. Since then, we have always been able to appreciate your work, your intervention in the class struggle, your method.
There are aspects in common between our work and yours, such as the important intervention in the class struggle, in the unions, in the committees, but also the difficult work of building an independent party which is lacking in the working class in the U.S. as in Italy.
Every time a struggle begins in your country, it is a message for everyone, and in particular the Black struggle, as in the last period, raised enthusiasm and hope. Moreover, we are located in Turin, the city of Fiat, which merged with Chysler and now with PSA: there too, there is a link of the struggles and problems we are facing.
You are the continuity of a historical section of the Fourth International: may your anniversary be the occasion to renew this tradition and to relaunch your work, so important for the whole International.
For my part, I hope to find you soon, in presence, on the occasion of the international conferences.
On behalf of the OSI, Italian section of the International OCRFI
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I congratulate you on your 30th anniversary and wish you success in your work together with all your friends around the world.
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We heartily congratulate the 30th anniversary of Socialist Organizer. For Trotsky the American Revolution was more significant than any revolution in the world because a victory of the American Revolution was the most important step in the road to building socialism. This is still the truth. The effort Socialist Organizer is making in the road to building the revolutionary party in America deserves all the credit. We salute you in your march in the way opened up by Trotsky and James P. Cannon with our revolutionary feelings.
Signed / Sosyalizm
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FROM THE UK
On behalf of the British supporters of the Organising Committee for the Reconstitution of the Fourth International, who publish the monthly bulletin Labour Internationalist, I send you our fraternal greetings and best wishes as you mark 30 years of class struggle as an organisation.
I am writing to you as the Johnson government continues on its course of feeding the capitalists with public funds while facilitating the destruction of hundreds of thousands of jobs as part of an ongoing countrywide attack on pay and working conditions. For the last 15 months, the government has prioritised the capitalist economy and profit over the health and wellbeing of working people and the wider population. This has already resulted in more than 150,000 UK deaths due to Covid-19 – an outrageous and criminal outcome that could have been avoided. And now, in preparation for an anticipated wave of business bankruptcies and mass unemployment in the coming months, it intends to pass a new policing bill that will effectively outlaw public protest.
Of course, the Johnson government has been able to do all this thanks to the shameful support of the Labour Party leadership and the complicity of the Trades Union Congress leadership, citing a so-called “national interest”.
We stand with Socialist Organizer and the OCRFI in the fight for class independence and genuine political representation for the working class, which we know has a particular expression in the United States.
We are closely following your work for an independent political party in the US that would bring together all components of the working class and oppressed communities, in order to stand up for working-class interests and better organise the fightback against the various ways in which capitalism is pushing us towards barbarism. In particular, we salute your constant support for the right of Blacks and all other oppressed peoples to self-determination, which is a precondition for building working-class unity.
We wish you every success as you continue your work.
Long Live the Fourth International!
Editor, Labour Internationalist
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The OSI (Internationalist Socialist Organization), Belgian section of the OCRFI, sends its fraternal greetings to your meeting organized to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the founding of Socialist Organizer.
We know the importance of your political struggle in the most powerful imperialist country. It is always with enthusiasm that we look at the results of your action in favor of a U.S. Labor Party based on the unions and rooted in the working class and the oppressed sectors of society, a party in rupture with the system of the two parties of the capitalists— the democratic party and the republican party. This is a fight all the more crucial that it becomes clear today in the eyes of all that the Biden administration continues and aggravates Trump’s policy.
Full success to your meeting! Long Live the Fourth International and its program!
For the section,
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Dear comrades of Socialist Organizer:
On behalf of the Socialist Internationalist Group of Peru, we send you our fraternal greetings for the celebration this May 22 of the 30th Anniversary of Foundation of your organization that brings together the best representatives of the North American working class.
We bow our banners of struggle in homage to the three decades of complex political work to defend the class independence of the workers in the United States and in the whole world, precisely in the neuralgic center of the capitalist system and against all the obstacles existing there, as well as to carry in deeds proletarian internationalism and to defend and apply our Transitional Program. All this within the framework of the struggle for the construction of the Workers International and the Reconstitution of the Fourth International founded by Trotsky in 1938.
We wish Socialist Organizer the most successful work in the forging of the cadres that guarantee the continuity of the struggle for the construction of the party and be the instrument that helps to raise consciousness and build the bridge between the demands of the workers and the people and socialism.
Our fraternal embrace,
For the Socialist Internationalist Group,
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Message of support and encouragement from comrades in Togo
As you commemorate the 30th anniversary of the founding of Socialist Organizer, the dying capitalist system is showing its ugly face: it is the Covid-19 pandemic whose management, privileging the interests of the big capitalist groups, especially pharmaceutical, has led to more than 3 million deaths in the world and the elimination of more than 250 million jobs, throwing many workers into misery. At the same time, we stand in support of the elementary rights of the Palestinian people that are denied by the Zionist state through the bombing of Gaza; etc.
You fight against this system in the United States, at the center of the capitalist system. We are fighting it in Togo, on its periphery, in a semi-colonial country, under a dictatorship of almost 60 years. But it is the same struggle, an expression of the world unity of the class struggle.
We wish you rapid progress in building the independent workers’ party, an indispensable instrument for the victory of the workers in the United States. This victory will also be ours.
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30 years of “Socialist Organizer” and “The Organizer – for a Labor Party, for a Workers’ International”.
The members of the Internationalist Socialist Group (ISG) congratulate on this occasion!
These 30 years have been marked internationally by the wars in permanence led by U.S. imperialism, and they have had deep brutal consequences for the peoples and for the working classes. In Germany, this course has led to the break with the oath of the German people after 1945, “Never again war!”, carried by the party of the Second International, the SPD, which after 1914 again sided with the bourgeoisie.
Our common position derives from the Alarm Manifesto of the 3rd Conference of the OCRFI in November 2020, in which we declare”
“There is no way out, no future for humanity within the framework of the preservation of this capitalist system based on private ownership of the means of production. The illusions, formulated under whatever form, about a possible improvement or humanization of the system have always failed because of the reality of a capitalist system that recognizes as its only law the profit based on the exploitation of wage labor and that, in order to maintain its profit rates, does not shrink from massively destroying the existing productive forces, starting with the first among them, the productive force of the worker.
“Therefore, for us the struggle for socialism is on the agenda. This change of course requires the building of genuine workers’ parties, the forms of which are peculiar to each country; these parties will be able to fulfill the task of taking power by the working class only when they embrace the proletarian revolutionary program, the program of the Fourth International.”
We face comparable tasks in our countries: It is a question of building an independent workers’ party in the struggle for workers’ politics and workers’ government. On the agenda is the struggle for socialism!
We have therefore founded in Germany the “Committee for a Workers’ Party” with forces of different currents of the workers’ movement, anchored on the basis of the struggle for the defense of the rights of the working class, the defense of wages and collective agreements, the extremely threatened – and in some cases massively ground down – social and political conquests, all of which are the result of over 150 years of struggle of the working class.
The need to build a genuine workers’ party stems from the need to overcome the dictate of profit, which subjects all the rights of the working class, youth, migrants, and especially always women’s rights, to a permanent attack.
The central reason that this regime of the system of private ownership of the means of production can maintain itself is the policy of the leaderships of the traditional workers’ organizations, for whom capitalism is an insurmountable horizon within the limits of which they settle and subordinate themselves in the expectation that “crumbs from the table of the bourgeoisie” will fall to them.
Therefore, they are ready to shackle and to push back the struggle of the working class. What is “Taft-Hartley” for you is, in certain respects, with us the amputated right to strike, which forbids strikes against decisions of capital and governments, in favor of a form of class collaboration within the framework of “co-determination.” The leaderships of the traditional organizations of the workers’ movement defend this “historic compromise” concluded in 1952 tooth and nail, because it provides the basis for the bourgeoisie to give them the hoped-for “crumbs off the table.”
What is missing is the revolutionary leadership capable of helping the working class and all the oppressed to overcome these obstacles and thus pave the way for socialist revolution.
Building this is our historic task as the Fourth International, to which we are absolutely committed.
Your struggle as “Socialist Organizers” to build an independent party in the U.S. that can bring together all currents of the working class and the oppressed has great significance for our struggle. With you and also here in Germany, it is a matter of building a movement that uncompromisingly declares war on exploitation, poverty, racism, imperialism, war and militarism, and the destruction of the environment.
In this sense we send you our solidarity greetings
on behalf of the ISG
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To the comrades of Socialist Organizer
As Socialist Organizer celebrates thirty years of existence, marked by a history of struggle for the political and social emancipation of the working class of the United States and the world, it fills us with satisfaction to know of the persistent and tireless struggle of your militants for the creation of a party that independently and comprehensively represents the working class of this country, the heart of world capitalist imperialism.
Know that your struggle, linked to the fighting tradition of the Fourth International, for the revolutionary organization of the U.S. proletariat, in a situation of unprecedented crisis of the capitalist system, is of an inestimable contribution to the world struggle of the working class for the overcoming of private ownership of the great means of production and for socialism.
Long live Socialist Organizer. Greetings to the men and women who were and are part of this history of struggle for the construction of the indispensable organization of the working class for its liberation from exploitation and oppression.
OCI National Branch – Brazil, May 21, 2021.
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IN THE CHAT (with permission to publish)
Message from Kathleen Bruce
This 30th anniversary meeting has been a wonderful reflection of the Socialist Organizer’s fight and the struggle of the whole Fourth International for socialism and workers’ rights. Thank you all. Thank you for inviting me. Congratulations to the Socialist Organizer and Vive l’Internationale!
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From Timothy Stinson: To all comrades, greetings and thanks for SO’s clear, consistent message of Solidarity and movement toward a workers’ revolution!
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From Alejandra Rivera: Revolutionary greetings from Tijuana, Baja California, México! Luis Carlos and Alejandra