Red Flag Newspaper
International Communist Workers Party
November 12—Thousands of students at dozens of US universities marched, rallied, and held sit-ins to support their brothers and sisters at the University of Missouri and to protest racism on their own campuses. Some have won demands for the resignation of college officials. But to end racism forever they need to ally with workers and soldiers to mobilize for communism. More next issue.
LOS ANGELES — My name may not be so important. Today I just want to say how Red Flag became a part of my story.
Where I come from is also perhaps not necessary to mention, because what I have to relate ultimately affects people in different places all over the world.
I came to the US because of the need to improve our life for me and my children. Workers under capitalism are always forced to move in search of better pay, in search of a better price for our labor power. At the same time, the bosses are always looking for an easier way to cheapen our labor power, always paying us the lowest wages possible so as to maximize their profits.
I am a garment worker, and ever since I started working it has been my lot to suffer insults, humiliations, and discrimination by the employers.
Knowing our need, they take advantage of us, enslave us and force us work as if we were machines or robots without any rights or benefits.
Working for Jean Mart has been an experience to remember. I am not going to mention how grateful I am with the owner for the opportunity to work for him for so many years. That’s what they try to tell us—to be grateful that at least we have a job. On the contrary, he should be thanking me for offering him a source of so much wealth.
The people that he has under his command, like the supervisors, have been unjust, inhuman and even despicable in the way they treat us. It is so humiliating!
One of these supervisors always mentions that we should put up with the bad treatment we receive because of our need to pay the rent, buy food for the family, pay all the bills, etc. That’s wage slavery.
There is an area in Jean Mart where people are treated even worse. We call that place “small village, big hell.” What people go through there is really extreme exploitation.
The people who manage it are ruthless. They count the times you go to the restroom and they demand extreme quantities of forced work. And don’t even think of missing work.
When Red Flag appeared outside the factory it was like a light of hope among me and my co-workers. We have looked for it so it can help us express our feelings and speak the truth. Now the people who run the place have changed a bit. However, I recognize that exploitation continues and we need to eliminate it by mobilizing the masses for communism.
Perhaps Red Flag isn’t a place where I can solve my legal problems or the problems of my labor rights. Under capitalism this can never be resolved. In fact, Red Flag does help make clear the problem of wage slavery.
Also, it helps a lot so that we can learn about how or what the working class is living through around the world.
I have shared Red Flag with coworkers, my daughters, friends and neighbors. I recognize that Red Flag needs to get to a lot of workers and in this way it can help to win the world we desire.
November 12—Tens of thousands of workers march in Greece, many with red flags, in a 24-hour nationwide general strike against the so-called “leftist” Syriza government. Students and retirees joined the protest against austerity cutbacks. General strikes are common in Greece but this was the first since socialist Alexis Tsipras was elected on an anti-austerity platform. While Syriza is putting cutbacks into effect, it also called for support of the general strike. “Are we marching with Alexis to topple Tsipras, or with Tsipras to topple Alexis?” asked a striker sarcastically. This is a pivotal moment. Masses are losing faith in misleaders who promise workers the moon but do the capitalists’ bidding. They are seeking a real solution. That solution is communism. Let’s redouble our efforts to get Red Flag into their hands.
SOUTH AFRICA—“I want to join the Party,” said a student at a meeting after a day of distributing Red Flag at a University. He had a long discussion the night before about the difference between black consciousness and communism with a group of comrades, including his neighbor. He agrees now that he needs to help mobilize his friends for communism. Three of his friends came and had a lot of good questions about communism and education. They planned an International Communist Workers’ Party study group at their comrade neighbor’s house and agreed to come to the Communist conference.
“I am a communist. I was a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP) but I renounced my membership because they aren’t really communists,” a campus worker told a Red Flag comrade. After receiving Red Flag, he eagerly agreed to come to our Communist Conference and made a plan to meet beforehand with a comrade who lives near him.
Masses of students in South Africa have gone on strike for free education and against outsourcing of campus jobs. At the school, we quickly distributed over 100 papers, all we had. Many students and workers were interested in the fight for real communism and ICWP. Eighteen people, women and men, gave their names to be in touch with ICWP.
A student who got a copy of Red Flag said, “Oh, you’re a Communist Party? I want to go on strike right now.” Another excitedly asked how to get in touch with the Party. It’s good to mobilize on this campus because students come from different provinces of the country. Many are future workers. Campus workers were also excited about the paper and our communist ideas,
We met a young student leader who is a member of the African National Congress (ANC). Frustrated with the ANC and the government, he said it’s impossible to change the ANC from within.
We had a good talk. He was in the struggle for free education. We said even if it’s free, it’s capitalist education. He said they were fighting to “de-colonize” education. We explained that we need a communist revolution to build education around meeting workers needs in a society dedicated to that.
He complained that too many students support the right-wing Democratic Alliance. He listened seriously as comrades explained that the working class needs a communist revolution, not elections. We shouldn’t try to reform capitalism, which can’t be made to meet workers’ needs.
He wondered if the ANC would be willing or able to relinquish power without a civil war. A comrade explained that there are many civil wars and that capitalism itself will never relinquish power to the working class. Workers, soldiers and students have to mobilize the masses for communism to take power.
Then in the shared jitney taxi on the way back from the school, we were talking about the Brazilian anti-slavery movie “Quilombo.” This movie showed how runaway slaves built a society based on sharing everything. That’s how we met two students from Angola who speak Portuguese. We started talking and they got out of the taxi with us to keep talking. They agreed to come to the conference.
The potential to mobilize the masses for communism is huge. The comrades are tireless. The communist future belongs to the working class.
South African Students Protest Education Fees in October