Red Flag Newspaper
International Communist Workers Party
August 21—Masses recently poured into the streets of Gujarat, fascist Modi’s home state, in outrage at horrific violence against Dalit youth. Hindu vigilantes tied four youths to an SUV, stripped and mercilessly beat them with iron rods for 30 minutes. A video went viral, seen by an estimated 750 million people.
Such violence, and worse, takes place every day. Gang rapes, home burnings, and murders by police and other fascist thugs are part of daily Dalit life. Dalits are the most super-exploited and oppressed workers under the Hindu caste system.
With this attack the simmering anger boiled over. Two million protested in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city. Many other cities followed. In Mumbai, defiantly angry masses brought traffic to a standstill, despite pouring rain.
The pro-Dalit mass movement in Gujarat is attracting millions: Dalits, Hindus, Muslims and others. A large march is gathering momentum as it crisscrosses villages and cities where masses of Dalits publicly pledge not to do jobs traditionally assigned to them, like removing dead cattle and cleaning sewers.
Our relatively few comrades of the International Communist Workers’ Party (ICWP) in India might easily feel overwhelmed. Sometimes communism seems remote and difficult. But we are intensifying the struggle to mobilize the angry masses for communism. Only communism can destroy the brutality and exploitation of capitalism and, with it, racism, sexism and the caste system.
From Kashmir to Manipur: Masses Must Reject Pacifism and Nationalism
In the northern state of Kashmir, every village and city erupted in violent protests after soldiers killed a 22-year-old. Hospitals are filled with the seriously wounded. Many have multiple rubber-bullet wounds. The bullets are designed to explode after penetration. Health care workers are overwhelmed. As in Gaza, the police and the military attack ambulances carrying the injured and dead.
The masses are defying this state-sponsored violence in relentless street battles, many led by women. Funeral marches after police kill a Kashmiri attract fifty thousand or more. The state government, run by Modi’s party with a local political ally, has become completely ineffective and hides behind the army.
The northeastern state of Manipur, along the Chinese border, has a rebellious anti-Indian population. The Indian army has occupied Manipur. It rules with ruthless violence, including mass killings and rape.
Sixteen years ago, the activist Irom Sharmila started a hunger strike against this state repression. She was locked in a hospital and force-fed, becoming a symbol of defiance. Many hailed her courage and sacrifice. A mass movement grew around her, attracting millions.
An ICWP comrade admitted that he became emotionally attached to Sharmila’s plight. He wanted to support her mass movement. Another comrade then researched the reactionary line of the hunger strike. He found that Sharmila is supported by Human Rights Watch, funded by the US State Department with CIA ties.
Now Sharmila has broken her fast. This Indian nationalist and super-Gandhian is running to be governor of the hungry and angry masses. This detailed information, along with a very direct attack on the danger of the reformist political movement, helped convince our comrade that organizing for ICWP and communism is the only solution.
At first the comrade was angry, but later he was thankful for the direct and honest struggle. He understands that the masses can be won to communism. He said that lack of confidence in the masses leads one to flirt with reform. He promised to move forward with translating Mobilize the Masses for Communism. Distribution of this document will help enormously.
Unity and conflict, friendship and principled struggle: this is how respect and confidence in the party grow. Red Flag circulation in India has reached over 800. We can win tens of thousands to communism and ICWP there. The seeds we have planted have begun to sprout. This should give us all, comrades and Red Flag readers everywhere, more confidence to advance the work.
A Dalit worker in India writes, saying that he is “a dedicated communist” and wants to join us. Dalit workers are among the most oppressed sections of the working class worldwide. He says:
Comrades, I am very excited to meet you. My family is dedicated to Communism. My brother and my son are both dedicated. We are struggling here. We have organized various fights against injustice.
Recently we are trying to establish solidarity of Dalit and Muslim communities in Gujarat because the capitalists use both of them for riots against each other.
I have gone through the ICWP website. I think it is great. I will send my reports from the field. Kindly try to include them.
This comrade says that Gujarat is a model of fascist exploitation of workers, including women, Dalit, Aadivasi and minorities.
We are fighting against it here. And we will bring it down. Red and revolutionary salute to the comrades!
USA—Following the police shooting of Sylville Smith in Milwaukee, WI, by a black cop on August 12, hundreds of people took to the streets, burning buildings and police cars. This mass anger reflects the revolutionary potential of black workers. It also reveals why the bosses won’t end police terror. They are deathly afraid of that revolutionary potential.
Milwaukee has a long history of institutionalized racism. Students pushed out of substandard schools, high unemployment, racist police terror—welcome to any black or Latino working-class community in the USA. It’s all the same. Just fill in the blank. Baltimore? East Los Angeles? Baton Rouge?
Racism is worldwide and so are the rebellions. Millions of Dalits and others marching in the industrial cities of India, the ongoing rebellions in Rio de Janeiro, frequent uprisings in the townships of South Africa all have a lot in common with Milwaukee.
The uprising in Milwaukee, and uprisings in Baltimore in 2015, Los Angeles in 1992, and Detroit, Newark and Milwaukee itself, all in 1967, reflect mass anger at racist capitalism. But burning buildings is an act of desperation. Workers are furious and frustrated. They’ve lost hope that capitalism can bring them a better future. Communists bring a plan to these struggles. It’s based on what we’ve learned from history. It centers around the vision of a communist future—something worth fighting for.
Only communist revolution can eliminate the material basis of racism: the desperate competition for a survival wage. It will allow us to build a communist society where we live and work together and look out for each other. Eliminating private property, we’ll eliminate the need for cops. Period. The main job of the cops is to protect private property. They make sure that if you don’t have money to buy food you starve. They make sure that the bosses can keep the astronomical profits they steal from our labor.
Communism will free us from the need to slave to pay the bills. We’ll collectively plan, produce and share for need. Planning and working collectively we’ll build working-class solidarity. With no private property, no profits and no price tags on food, we won’t need cops. We’ll solve social problems by looking out for each other—not by calling the cops.
It’s a set-up
In black and latino working-class communities people are unemployed, underemployed, marginalized, and desperate. The rulers in their insatiable thirst for profits continuously shift jobs to areas where extreme racism forces workers to work for starvation wages. Jobs have moved from the US to Mexico, from Mexico to Honduras, from South Africa to Botswana, from China to Bangladesh. By smashing borders and ending wage slavery we can destroy the material basis of racism.
Capitalism makes survival itself a crime. Drug-dealing, the war on drugs, the prison-industrial complex, make up the ruling class’s plan to contain the revolutionary potential of black workers—revealed in the uprisings of the 1960s and 70s.
Cops, the media and politicians try to get us to blame the victim. As they did with 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland. As they do with every Dalit killed in India and every Palestinian killed in Israel. In the case of Sylville Smith and 14-year old Jesse Romero in East Los Angeles, the police will justify shooting a suspect by evidence of a gun which may or may not have been on the scene. People know it’s the cop’s word against that of the suspect—whose voice has been forever silenced.
Anger at racist structures and racist police terror must lead to a mass mobilization for communism. We can’t just burn down a beauty salon or a gas station and then go home. We have to have a plan. We must build networks of Red Flag readers in the factories, schools and barracks to organize a political response to every police murder and to build for a communist revolution.
Our plan involves political strikes of bus drivers and garment workers, aerospace and auto workers from Seattle to Port Elizabeth. Workers have the power to shut it all down. Bus drivers can build class solidarity by showing what communist society would look like—refusing to collect fares as they take workers where they need to go. High school and college students can walk out of class and bring workers and soldiers the message of revolution to end racist police terror and mobilizing for communism—a world worth fighting for.