Red Flag Newspaper
International Communist Workers Party
LOS ANGELES--A group of high school students recently met with members of the International Communist Workers’ Party, including a veteran of the US Armed Forces who had joined the military to organize for communism.
We talked about how racism is a product of capitalism and how it divides and weakens the working class, preventing it from uniting to fight the capitalist system. That’s not what the system wants you to think, however.
We also talked about how building a Red Army is necessary to win a communist revolution and how organizing in the military will help us do this. At the end of the meeting, three more young people decided to join the Party, two of whom are also planning to join the Army.
The capitalists have their army to maintain power and we must build our own to take power away from them. Our Red Army will defend the working class, fight for it and mobilize the masses for communism. In this way we will eliminate the power of the bourgeoisie.
The majority of the people that enter the army come from the working class. They’re just trying to get money for college or to provide for their families. Capitalists want the power for themselves when the power should be for everyone in the working class. Why should there be people earning less than others? We encourage everyone to join ICWP to get rid of capitalism.
A Red Army will eliminate capitalism and the bosses’ power and all forms of money. It doesn’t make any sense to be enslaved to money, it’s just paper. We will put the power in the hands of the working class so they can decide for society as a whole.
Where are we going to get the soldiers, the fighters for this Red Army? As we mentioned before, the majority of the people that enter the military come from the working class. We must join the bosses’ armed forces to recruit and organize these working-class soldiers to build our Red Army.
“Each one of us can start by getting at least five others, and in turn each one of them can get five more. That way we’ll branch out and become huge,” said a comrade. We also need to be clear on what our goals are and what we are doing, so that other people will not think wrong of us.
“It’s like a string or piece of hair. If you take one single one and pull it hard it can break, but if you braid them together they become strong, ” said another comrade. “When we all come together, we can’t be stopped.”
Others have already done it in the past. We will do it again, learning from the mistakes they made in Russia and China.
High School Students Distribute Red Flag to Garment Workers in Los Angeles
“Would you like Red Flag?” was the question that two other high school student comrades and I asked at least a hundred times this morning. It was our first time visiting a garment factory to distribute Red Flag, although other comrades distribute our communist newspaper regularly at this factory. The workers got off the bus in large groups of at least twenty. Some were arriving late and were practically running toward the factory. They looked tired, with dark circles under their eyes, as they faced another long day at work.
When they were crossing the street, we went quickly to catch up to as many as possible to give them Red Flag. Some came up to us asking for the paper. Others came back for another copy, probably for a fellow worker or family member. Unfortunately, some couldn’t take the paper because they had their hands full with their bags, their coffee, their breakfast.
“It made me glad when a woman came back for another paper for a friend who couldn’t take it because her hands were full,” said Guadalupe.
As we tried to distribute the paper to those who were getting off the buses, another comrade was near the entrance distributing to those we didn’t get to.
“It makes me sad that some people don’t take it. They don’t know it’s for their benefit,” said Samuel.
There were some people who really didn’t want to take it. They don’t know that the articles in the paper are written by workers just like them. They don’t understand that the
bosses exploit them and that capitalism has taught us to be afraid of communism. That’s why some people refuse the paper.
In half an hour we distributed more than 200 papers. It was great. Even though we got there a little late, we were able to distribute a lot.
It’s important to keep visiting the factory to distribute Red Flag. And we would like to encourage others, here and in other places, to participate with us in the distribution of the newspaper. If more people help, we will be able to distribute more papers, and as some people distribute, others can talk to the workers about how communism is good and why we should all fight for a world without borders, money or bosses. We’ll visit the factory again soon, and hopefully next time we’ll have more help.
After two weeks of marching, striking and blocking roads, most of the 80,000 striking farmworkers in Baja California returned to work. Some growers promised a 15% raise in the meager wages of $6.50 to $10.00 a day. About 10% of the workers are still striking, saying that 15% is not enough. They are demanding $20 a day, which is still not enough.
Only communism can meet workers’ needs. Only communism can and will eliminate wage slavery and the market in buying and selling, not only goods, but also workers’ labor power—for the lowest price possible. As long as there is a labor market, the bosses will use racism to force workers into slavery conditions so they can undersell their rivals.
In communism, there won’t be a labor market. Nothing will be produced for sale, only for use. We will all work to produce what our class needs, and we will all do many jobs, mental and manual. No one’s labor power will be bought or sold. There won’t be wages. No boss will profit from our labor.
No one will be deprived of food or water. Workers will plant and harvest collectively, involving many city and farm workers. That way, the work will also be fun and no one will have to work in the hot sun for eight to ten hours a day.
The conditions of farmworkers in Baja California are similar to those that existed before the Mexican revolution, in which millions of farmworkers rose up against the Mexican bosses and fought for ten years against the brutal slavery they were forced to suffer. Unfortunately, they did not fight for communism, but for land and freedom--which they didn’t win.
Today, their descendants are again rising up against brutal racist oppression at the hands of Mexican and US bosses. The conditions they face are also similar to those of farmworkers in other parts of Mexico, El Salvador, South Africa, and the US who are fed up and some of whom are reading and spreading Red Flag.
The hundreds of thousands of farmworkers slaving to produce strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. for the US market must take another path. The bosses’ press builds “leaders” like Cesar Chavez (see previous Red Flag) and his disciples because they fear that workers will reject pacifism and reform and take this revolutionary path.
According to the bosses’ press (La Jornada and the LA Times) the strike misleaders learned from Cesar Chavez, the pacifist reformist sellout UFW President. One of them, Eloy Fernandez, “said he draws from his union organizing experience in California to keep angry protestors in Mexico from resorting to violence.” (LA Times, 3/28)
Another such misleader, Fidel Sanchez Gabriel, also says he learned from Cesar Chavez and organized a union of farm workers in Florida. Many churches and NGOs from the US are trying to steer this movement into a pacifist movement for reforms.
This reformism and pacifism contrasts sharply with the anger and needs of farmworkers and their families, forced into slave conditions in unsanitary labor camps for low wages. They are forced to buy food, diapers and soda from stores which charge them high prices and keep them constantly in debt. They have little to no water. If caught trying to escape from the labor camp, they can be beaten, and their belongings taken. About 100,000 Mexican farmworkers are children under 14 years old.
The pacifism and reformism of these leaders also stands in sharp contrast to the needs of Mexico’s industrial workers, who produce cars and other manufactured goods at wages lower than in China.
Farmworkers should reject the no-win policy of these leaders. Cesar Chavez’ policies have not helped California farmworkers. They are a cruel joke. Today, the vast majority have no union. Only 2000 work under UFW union sweetheart contracts, and these only because the bosses want to keep the UFW and Chavez’ pacifist politics alive. Those under UFW contracts, which include a no-strike clause, get even lower wages than those without contracts.
The bosses fear that workers in the fields and cities will take up the fight for a communist society that meets our needs. Let’s make their worst fears a reality by mobilizing masses for communism.
We invite all workers to join and build the ICWP and to march on May Day for Communism.