Red Flag Newspaper
International Communist Workers Party
The militant strike of 80,000 farmworkers at the peak of the tomato harvest season in the San Quintín Valley reveals these racist wage-slavery conditions: rat-infested labor camps without functioning bathrooms and with armed guards.
These workers, who produce tons of fruits and vegetables for the US market, produce millions of dollars in profits for the Mexican and US bosses.
The strikers are blocking freeways to the US and demanding a wage increase, shorter work days, paid overtime, to participate in the health care system, and an end to sexual attacks on women farmworkers.
Under capitalism, there is no “fair” wage or “good” working conditions, “adequate” medical care, much less “respect and dignity” for the workers. Capitalist wage slavery dehumanizes us. Our historic task is not to demand transitory reforms, but to end wage slavery.
Most of the farmworkers are indigenous workers from the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Sinaloa. Super-exploited and racially discriminated against, they have great potential to provide crucial leadership to mobilize the masses for communism. Only Communist revolution will end this racist wage slavery!
In a communist society, we will integrate the cities and the fields; we will all produce food and industrial products, work in health care, construction, etc. We will work and mobilize together to plant and harvest healthy crops in a healthy environment. We will use machines whenever possible to aid the work—not to “layoff workers” but to give us more time to study, travel, and participate in regular social activities.
We need communist solidarity with these striking farmworkers who are exposing racist capitalism as the root of all our problems. Together we must mobilize for a world where we produce only to meet the needs of the international working class, not for the profits of the racist bosses.
One glance down the street confirmed that I was not living under communism! On the next block I saw dozens of SWAT police with guns drawn and military-style humvees. I heard someone on a bullhorn demand “Come out of the house with your hands up!”
A female cop was waving her gun around ordering people to get back in their houses. I grabbed my dog and told my friend to go into the house. Helicopters began circling overhead. The cops were invading our neighborhood!
Under communism we will do away with the racist paramilitary police force that terrorizes workers under the slightest pretext. This level of force will only be used against enemies of the revolution, for example, diehard armed racists. Certainly not kids fooling around, which, as it turns out, sparked the invasion.
It all started with two black teenagers playing with BB guns. They passed by the house of our friends, a Boeing worker and her forty-one year old son, who also works at Boeing. The son saw them and thought it was a dangerous and stupid game, but he did not call the police because “he didn’t want the blood of two more young black men on his conscience.” A Samoan neighbor reacted the same way.
Under communism, two kids showing bad judgment would not be a big deal. Friends and neighbors would deal with it in a comradely fashion. “Mind your own business” is not a communist principle.
Our friend was surprised when the SWAT team showed up on his doorstep and demanded he walk out of the house backwards with hands in the air.
They first targeted him with three rifle scopes. When he came out, he had eight guns trained on his head. No less-than-lethal force here!
He explained he recently had shoulder surgery so he could not bring his arm behind his back to be cuffed. But they told him to shut up and forced his arm to rotate, causing painful damage to his surgical area.
Meanwhile several people from the neighborhood told the cops they had seen the kids with the BB guns and they had the wrong guy! But they were ignored.
When the cops realized that they really
didn’t have evidence to arrest him, they uncuffed him and left without an apology. Luckily, they were surrounded by a multiracial crowd of workers from the neighborhood. Otherwise they could have shot him!
Our friend told us later about several incidents of racial harassment from cops who regularly followed and stopped him near the high school he used to work at. “It’s the same everywhere,” he exclaimed angrily “New York, L.A., Ferguson, and right here!”
Saturday night we had a potluck at our house with friends and co-workers to discuss the rise of racism and the communist response. That was when we found out that it had been the house of our friend that the cops had invaded and her son who had been targeted! Not coincidentally, they are the only black family on that block.
We talked for a long time about how under communism this would never happen. Under capitalism we have no protection – certainly not from their laws, which they pay no attention to.
People at the dinner all contributed to the conversation, including our friend, who also raised concerns about the increasing homeless population.
Hundreds at her former Boeing plant have been discussing it also. Workers she hasn’t talked to for some time have texted and called her. Some have volunteered to help distribute this issue of Red Flag, with this article, in the factory and to neighbors. A political strike at Boeing would certainly set the right tone.
As people were leaving our house to go home, she said, “What you said here tonight has made me start to think in a different way.” Yes!! That’s why she needs to join the ICWP and become a communist!