FIGHT FOR COMMUNISM!
International Communist Workers Party
EL SALVADOR— May Day came and thousands of workers overflowed with enthusiasm, showing working class pride throughout the Salvadoran capital in two simultaneous marches. One left from the west of the capital and the other from the University of El Salvador, where the chants of "Fight to Victory, Workers to Power" and "Let's Destroy Capitalism…Let's Build Communism" were heard through the loudspeakers of the sound trucks. Comrades of the International Communist Workers' Party took the microphones in the sound cars and did not miss the opportunity to chant the Party's slogans on this historic day for the working class.
"Where can we call to continue receiving Red Flag?" asked some workers who had gotten the paper. "Can we stay in contact?" asked a comrade who was distributing Red Flag.
"We are teachers and yes, we are interested in continuing to read the newspaper."
They gave us their names so we could keep in contact in the struggle for communism.
"Now we have Red Flag newspaper and it will be useful for the discussion at our next meeting with the members of the organization," said a worker.
There were many conversations with workers, students from the University of El Salvador, teachers and farmworkers who participated in the May Day marches in San Salvador. Contacts were made to continue organizing with these workers.
We always meet up with comrades who, every year, anticipate getting the communist news. In addition, this year, workers who belonged to the old party came to us to find out how to meet with us again, now with the flag of the communist workers.
The members of ICWP in charge of distributing Red Flag and Mobilize the Masses for Communism (MMC) distributed 1200 newspapers and 1000 MMC's, in addition to 350 leaflets made by comrades from the western part of the country. They hung banners on overhead street crossings where workers would pass as they marched. Comrade workers from the west of the country carried another enormous banner, a bold action, as were the shirts they wore which were well liked.
"Give us one of these shirts. We want to keep it," said some young environmentalists.
There's always a hair in the soup. A politician from the fmln said to a comrade who was passing out literature, "Why are you carrying communist propaganda, if the FMLN doesn't agree with this?"
"Clearly they don't. They are an electoral party, representing capitalism," the comrade replied. In contrast to this politician's statement, hundreds of workers avidly read Red Flag. At the end of the march many were sitting and reading the communist literature.
At the end of the march that left from the National University, the workers insisted that the banner that men and women workers carried be put in front of the main stage because its message, "Marx lives, Communism lives, Workers of the World, Unite," with the image of Marx, represents the ideal of the workers' communist struggle in every corner of the world. The workers also invited the comrades to come onto the stage to give a two-minute greeting about the struggles of the international working class.
Follow up meetings have been planned to critically and self-critically evaluate the positive and negative aspects of this great activity and to plan many more actions in the clubs. The International Communist Workers' Party participated in both marches so that many more people can realize that there is a communist reality, that elections are not the road for the working class to come to power. The masses can realize that there is a Communist party that represents the lives and feelings of the workers of this country and the whole world.
LOS ANGELES, May 6th — "Capitalism killed him," said an MTA driver. Capitalism murdered Alberto, a 13-year veteran MTA driver from Division 15, last week. He was 47 years old.
The LA Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the California Employment Development Department, the United Transit Union – all capitalist institutions – played a critical role in his murder. Alberto's suicide note read:
"I have been struggling with feelings of depression, despair, worthlessness and anxiety since the loss of my job. I did not want to lose my home, my animals and my life as I knew it. I could not cope with the feelings of despair and hopelessness, trying to find my place at the right job I could excel at."
MTA fascist racist managers destroyed this worker's life. They fired him because he was always fighting them for what he considered was right. They applied the "third accident rule" to him.
"Some of my accidents should not have even been labeled as accidents but incidents. Yet I was terminated all the same," he wrote.
MTA uses this fascist tactic to stress out and fire workers like him who try to apply the work rules to do what's best for all drivers. They do this to try to terrorize all workers into submission, to steal workers' pensions, and to hire two new operators with the salary and benefits that are paid to one Tier Two or Tier One operator. Money, as usual, is their only concern—regardless of how many workers' lives they destroy.
The government "of the people, by the people and for the people" – this "wonderful, democratic" US government – also contributed greatly to his death by denying him his unemployment benefits. This took a tremendous toll on him:
"What stems at the root of some of my most bitter and heartfelt feelings is how could the reason for my termination be labeled Misconduct by the California State Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. An accident, since my termination was based on safety, is something that is unintentional, but yet was considered Misconduct by them."
MTA, knowing that the Unemployment Office automatically denies benefits to anyone terminated with the label "misconduct," labels all termination cases as such. Thus, they don't have to pay their share of these benefits. Art Leahy, the CEO of the MTA board that denies those benefits, is paid more than $440,000 a year.
This further increased this worker's levels of anxiety, stress and depression. Since: "I was denied Unemployment Insurance; it also denied me benefits that your average American citizen could obtain to aid in assisting them from having their homes foreclosed on… I refuse to become homeless. I just rather die!
"Being terminated and unemployed is like a 'Kiss of Death.' When you apply for work and have to answer the question, 'Why did you leave your last place of employment?' I have to check off the box that reads termination. I have been worst off during this time than an ex-con getting out of prison… with every application to prospective employers. I lost all pride in myself and sense of self-worth."
The UTU officials did not help. They are servants of the capitalists. They appealed his termination just to go through the motions. When it came to fighting for his unemployment benefits, he wrote: "I love it how my Union did not wish to assist me with this."
Communism is a life worth living and fighting for
Don't expect the MTA or the UTU/SMART officials to honor this worker. Only we can honor our dead. And, the best way to do that is to commit our lives to destroy this murderous racist capitalist system that treats us like trash to be sacrificed for their profits.
Collectively we can and will build a communist world where every one's contribution, no matter how small or large, will always be welcomed and appreciated. No one will ever be fired, because there will always be useful collective work to be done, no matter where we go.
Only a communist world, based on workers' needs, can eliminate the stress, depression and despair that lead to self-destruction. We must learn to turn every attack on our class into something to build our movement.
Our MTA brother and Bangladeshi sisters and brothers buried alive last week in a collapsed garment factory did not die in vain. Their murders have strengthened the commitment of ICWP members and Red Flag readers, here and internationally, to redouble our efforts to rid the world of capitalism's horrors.
If you become a regular reader of Red Flag, help distribute it to your co-workers, friends and family, write for it and contribute economically to guarantee that it continues to spread its revolutionary communist message, and even better, if you join IWCP, our brothers and sisters will definitely not have died in vain.