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Archive of Communist Workers Group of Aoteaora/New Zealand up to 2006

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Bolivia: Morales represses landless occupations

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Statement of ORI (Workers Red International)

We reprint a statement of the International Red October (ORI) of Bolivia against the repression of landless peasants’ occupations by Evo Morales Government. Those who say that Morales’ government is a progressive, popular, even revolutionary, government, must answer to these betrayals. The fact is that the ex-Trotskyists who are the left wing of the popular front in Latin America are covering for Morales anti-worker, anti-peasant and pro-imperialist regime. 
The government of Evo Morales savagely represses workers and farmers who occupy land

Spurred on by the numerous declarations of the government of Evo to make an “agrarian reform”, thousands of landless farmers, homeless unemployed and even “cooperative” miners (1) , have seized land in different departments of the country. Some land has even been seized from big landowners in Santa Cruz. In Oruro too, hundreds of poor farmers, – many led by the Movement Without a Roof (2), “cooperativistas” and members of the Movement Without Land (MST), have camped in tents, facing cold and hunger in the hope that the government will make grants of land to those who have occupied it.

On the contrary, Evo Morales, the “government of the people”, the defender of the indigenous peoples ordered that the occupations be savagely repressed and the poor farmers evicted from the land which was then occupied by the military. This action of the government has already caused one death and a number of children are now missing. With tear gas, rubber bullets and dogs, the police savagely attacked the demonstration the landless peasants (MST) with their supporters and relatives staged days after in Oruro.

But not only this, in Caracollo, – a town near Oruro – there was another forced eviction and brutal repression. The government returned to attack and injure the poor farmers with rubber bullets and ferocious dogs, arresting the leaders of the MST.

Is this the government “of the indigenous people” that is going to give land to the poor farmers? Or, on the contrary, while it beats, jails or kills those poor farmers who fight for their right to have shelter, house and land to produce and to be able to live, it defends by force the private property and large farms of the big landowners. The fact is: this is the ‘agrarian reform’ of Evo Morales, representative of the big estate owners; a ‘reform’ in the service of the interests of landowners and the church.

  • No confidence in this repressive government that defends the interests of large estate owners and big farmers, the coca bourgeoisie! 
  • Immediate expropriation of the properties of the landowners and big estate owners! 
  • Distribute all the land among the poor farmers!

The agrarian reform that returns the land to the poor farmers will not come from the hand of Evo Morales – nor his concocted Constituent Assembly. HHe has demonstrated that he is representing and defending the private property of the landowners. Only a workers and poor farmers’ government based on organs of self-determination and workers and poor farmers militias, that expropriates the large estate owners and landowners, will be able to take the land for the poor farmers.

The bourgeois government of Evo Morales is already killing the people!

The government of Evo Morales is another government of the Rosca (3), a servant of the transnational companies and the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie. And as such it defends the property and the interests of the classes it represents.

We saw the so-called “nationalization” made by Evo on May 1st. It was same policy of the Chinese ex-bureaucrats who became the new bourgeoisie of the “mixed economy” when they restored capitalism in China. In Bolivia it only made the state company – YPFB – into a 51% shareholder and partner of the transnational companies that produce most of the hydrocarbons in Bolivia. Thus, this nationalization of Evo Morales, – devised and defended by Chávez, Castro and the WSF along with the fake Trotskyists – was an attempt to expropriate the heroic anti-imperialist struggle of the masses to throw out the transnational companies, to truly expropriate without compensation their assets. Instead Morales protects the right of these companies to make super profits, and in exchange for strangling the revolution, negotiates for a larger share of the profits.

Morales’ policy toward the so much promised “nationalization of the mines” of COMIBOL applies the same principle as his ‘land reform’. So not to frighten the landlords Morales will only make available the state owned barren land of the desert of the high plateau! Nevertheless, the poor farmers have already paid the price of his ‘land reform’ with their dead and wounded and imprisoned. That is the price they have paid for believing in his promises and trying to act accordingly solving the problem of land reform themselves.

On the other hand, while he promises the nationalization of the COMIBOL and all the mines, it has isolated and threatened the wage-earning miners by forming an alliance with the leaders of the cooperatives who employ thousands of rank and file cooperative workers as virtual slaves without any rights (4).

But this nationalisation promise is worthless when Morales has just granted the right to exploit the El Mutún Mountain, the greatest iron (5) reserve of the world, to the greedy imperialistic monopolies, like Jeindal Steel, in a joint venture with the fascist bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz!

It is obvious that the bourgeois semi-nationalization of Evo Morales, along with his promised nationalization of the mines and ‘land reform’, are a fraud perpetrated against the masses! They are part of a plan devised by a popular demagogic bourgeois nationalist leader to deceive the masses, so that the imperialistic monopolies, as well as the mining bourgeoisie and the great landowners, make small concessions to the masses to prevent a real expropriation of their property, and by this means are guaranteed both their property rights and their super profits.

Break with the treacherous labor leaders, agents of the bourgeoisie!

Before these serious attacks on the more radicalized sectors of the peasantry, as with the attacks on the LAB airline workers, and the health female workers in Santa Cruz, the leaders of the main workers and peasants organizations have maintained a shameful silence. Neither the COB, CODs, CORs, nor even the CSTUB have done anything to free the militants imprisoned by the ruling class. A few leaders have made lukewarm declarations of support of the members of the MST and poor farmers brutally repressed by the government. But this is not enough! We need to break the silence now and turn those weak declarations of support into actions to release our prisoners from the claws of the ruling class!

The rank and file teachers of La Paz have shown they are part of the revolutionary vanguard that confronts the repressive government of Evo Morales. Nevertheless, their leaders who claim to be revolutionary Trotskyist members of the POR, did nothing to coordinate the workers struggles, not even with the militant rank and file students that the POR leads in Cochabamba and La Paz (where they are fighting against the university authorities). But this is nothing new, since the bureaucracy of Solares guarantees that the left will maintain the social peace so that the government can try to strangle the revolution and not alarm business interests.

While this situation remains, the COB does not have any weight nor the strength to attack the government because Solares –while he remains in charge – is in fact the guarantor of the destruction of the COB. Yet, the workers still see the COB as their organization. For that reason the congress of the COB planned for the 19th June, must be transformed into a congress of real rank and file delegates with revocable mandate to prepare it for the struggle against the government and the treacherous leaders. This is the only possible way to arm the the COB. Enough of bureaucratic congresses that do not serve the workers fight. For a national congress of delegates of the broad base of workers, farmers, students, etc. Unite the workers ranks and all the sectors in fight to declare war on this repressive government which represents the ruling class.

Following Evo Morales, Chávez, and all whole World Social Forum that defend the interests of the national bourgeoisie, the landowners and the imperialistic monopolies, there will be no gas for the Bolivians, land for the peasants, or liberation of the nation from imperialistic oppression.

Only by defeating the “Bolivarian revolution” – the caricature of socialism of Evo Morales, Chávez, Castro and all the WSF –can the workers and poor farmers of Bolivia return to the revolutionary road of October 2003 and May-June 2005 to take up again their demands raised almost 3 years ago, and go on to the victory of the workers and peasants revolution!

For that reason, against the conspiracy that confuses the masses, there is no time to lose in reviving the semi-soviet of the El Alto workers, miners and peasants as the “headquarters of the revolution”, and to raise once more the demand: ‘Neither 30 nor 50%, nationalization!”

Kick out the transnational companies!

Neither 30% nor 50%! Nationalization without compensation and under worker control of hydrocarbons, all the refineries, pipelines, oilfields, plants, facilities, and all the properties and funds of the bloodsucking transnational companies!

The only way to win minimum demands, for land, the mines, and the gas for all the Bolivian masses, health, decent jobs and wages, etc., is to return to the road of October and May-June. We have to centralize and coordinate our struggles.

It is necessary to create a National Congress of rank and file workers and peasants’ delegates to unite the worker ranks, to defeat the collaborationist leaderships, to organize a great fight to revive the road of May-June, 2005, the road to the workers and peasants revolution. A congress that unifies immediately the CODs, CORs and returns to the tradition of the revolutionary COB of the Theses of Pulacayo so that the workers can prepare for a general strike to defeat the counterrevolutionary government of the popular front and to win all our revolutionary demands:

· Immediate nationalization under workers control of the iron deposit of El Mutún!

· Renationalisation without compensation and under workers’ control of all the mines, LAB, Illimani Water, and all other privatised companies!

· Down with the trap of the concocted Constituent Assembly and the autonomy referendum!Immediate freedom to the poor farmers, the cooperativista workers, and of those in the Movement Without Roof and the Movement Without Land, the comuneros of Ayo-Ayo and other political prisoners in the jails of Evo Morales and La Rosca!

· Punish the assassins of over one hundred worker martyrs of October!

· Sack the murderous officer caste of the Armed Forces!

· For committees of soldiers who democratically choose their officials and who send their delegates to the Workers’ and Peasants’ Congress!

· For immediate wage increases, with a minimum wage sufficient for the family shopping basket and indexed to inflation! Reducing working hours until all who want to work have jobs!

· Expropriation without payment of all the large estates, in the first place of rich territories of the landowners of the East, and distribute the land among the poor farmers! This is the only and true ‘land reform’!

· Only a workers’ and peasants’ government, supported by the independently organised, armed masses, can achieve a true nationalization, fulfil the demands of October 2003 and May-June 2005, and guarantee a truly democratic and sovereign Constituent Assembly!

Unite now all those who are in struggle!

Form a National Committee of struggle!

ORI (International Red October) Bolivia, member of the Fraction Leninist-Trotskyist, June 2006


(1) Self-employed miners organised in cooperatives. When the Bolivian tin mines ceased to be profitable, the government “privatised” the least operative by leasing them to groups of the previously sacked miners –organised into cooperatives- to exploit the remaining few, poor, and laborious to mine, deposits of the mineral.

(2) i.e homeless movement. Many unemployed or poor employed workers do not have theur own houses – that they cannot afford an apartment or small house- and have to live many packed into each room of an old or derelict apartment-house. Or they set up cardboard, tin or adobe huts on an abandoned piece of land, risking eviction by the owner with the help of the police or the gendarmes. Or they go to shantytowns, where they are harassed by the police and the petty criminals. Like in Brazil, in Bolivia these Dwellers Without a Roof are organized in a movement.

(3) Rosca used to mean the group of very rich tin mine-owners that “owned” Bolivia and controlled governments up to the 1950s. But now the word refers to the Bolivian national ruling class, mostly landowners who are also oil barons or small partners of the oil and gas companies, and more recently, also big coca growers.

(4) While it is supposed that the cooperatives have a democratically elected and recallable board of cooperative directors as leaders, the reality is that they are led by an entrenched and treacherous bureaucracy – the equal of that of the COB that seeks agreements with the government and the ruling class. These bureaucrats act as agents of the bosses, deciding about everything (investment, purchase of tools, etc.) , not paying the rest of their fellow miners their share of profits, subcontracting other miners, etc. The rank and file cooperative miners earn even less than a common miner, because the bureaucrats use the excuse of ‘low’ profits and ‘high’ costs to rob the cooparative and fill their own pockets. They have lost the basic conditions of ordinary workers such as health services, pensions, etc. because they are legally considered as “owners”, not as workers under a boss. The same has happened – thanks to the fake Trotskyists that covered for the bureaucrats or became bureaucrats themselves – with the workers of the “recuperated” factories in Argentina, all of which have been turned into “coooperatives”.

(5) In fact, the El Mutun Mountain contains huge reserves of iron and manganese.

From Class Struggle 67 June/July 2006

Stop Israel’s fascist attack on the Palestinian People!

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Leninist Trotskyist Fraction Statement

From the 28 of June, the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel, has begun a new military offensive against the Palestinian workers and people. With the pretext of “freeing” an Israeli soldier who was captured by one of the Palestinian militias, it has surrounded and invaded the Gaza Strip –a territory of 400 square kilometers with a population of one-and-a-half million people –with tanks, ships, artillery and troops. It has launched a massive artillery bombardment against the Palestinian people, already killing 54 of them – including 9 children – by the end of June. With this offensive, imperialism and its Zionist policeman aims a new counter-revolutionary blow at the Palestinian and Middle Eastern masses, and in particular at the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses who are fighting a war of resistance against the US army and who every day send back to the US more dead soldiers in body bags. We reproduce in a slightly abridged version a statement of the FLT.

The situation of the oppressed people of is already a catastrophe and getting worse: the electrical power stations and the bridges were destroyed and all access roads closed. With a temperatures above 40°, the people do not have water, light, food, medicines, fuel, etc. One out of three new-born children dies for lack of basic medicines. Without power the hospitals cannot perform operations or maintain blood supplies or medicines, etc.

The vast majority of Palestinian workers are unemployed. The Zionist State in the last months cut from 88,000 to 11,000 the ‘work permits’ that allow Palestinian workers to be exploited in Israeli and imperialist factories in occupied Palestine. Thousands of workers risk their life every day leaving Gaza and the Transjordan without permits to work for food to feed their children. But today no worker can leave to work.

The Zionist army also entered Ramallah, in the Transjordan, bombing dependencies and detaining almost 100 civil employees of the “Palestinian government” –the so-called ‘Palestinian National Authority’ –accusing them of being ‘criminals’, ‘terrorists’, etc.

This is the true face of the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel, artificially created in 1948 by means of the military occupation of the territory of the nation of Palestine, the expulsion of its inhabitants, their systematic extermination and displacement on the assumption of an historic ‘Biblical right’ , and maintained since then by Anglo-Yankee imperialism as its police force to keep the Palestinian and Middle Eastern Masses subservient to the imperialistic powers and their demand for oil!

The new fascist offensive aims to smash all resistance and impose an apartheid state of Palestine

The Palestinian masses, with its nation under occupation, condemned to live as prisoners in their own land, are prisoners in “ghettos” and concentration camps that are no better than the Warsaw ghetto of the Nazis. This new military offensive is the continuation of the defeat of the huge revolution that the Palestinian people began in September 2000. It aims to complete that defeat, with the reimposition of a fascist barbarism by the Zionist invaders of the nation they have occupied for more than half a century.

At the same time, it is the response of US and British imperialism to the refusal of the Palestinian resistance to accept defeat of their revolution. Not one day has passed since 2002 when there has not been demonstrations against the apartheid wall in Transjordan, against the confinement of the people in ‘Bantustans’ and concentration camps surrounded by the Zionist army and the fascist colonies, against the recurrent massacres and murders of the Zionist army, struggles to liberate more than 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners in the Zionist jails, including over 500 women and children.

If the military offensive of the army of Olmert and Bush is victorious, then immediately we will see the imposition of the ‘Road Map’ to complete the formation of a “Palestinian state”, separated from an Israeli state, and consisting of small strips of barren, over-populated territory, without infrastructure and water, isolated from one another, behind walls like Transjordan, and surrounded by the Israeli army and the fascist colonies.

If they succeed in this offensive, imperialism and its Zionist agent will be more confident of being able to finally smash the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses, of advancing its plans to attack Iran, and also to intensify its attacks against the workers of the United States and the European imperialist powers.

There is no middle road when facing the life and death struggle of the Palestinian people who have been fighting to throw out the Zionist occupants of their land more than half a century: one is unconditionally with the Palestinian people, or one is in the trench of the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel, and the imperialists Bush, Chirac, the UN and the other bandits.

Cynically, the world bourgeois media worries about the fate of the Israeli soldier taken prisoner, while it couldn’t care less about the deaths and the suffering inflicted on the millions of oppressed Palestinians that try to defend their land from the occupyers. As revolutionary Trotskyists we defend the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to defend themselves and to fight against the Israeli occupying troops with any means at their disposal. The right to fight to defeat the Zionist invader and to destroy the Zionist state, is an inalienable democratic-revolutionary right of the Palestinian people.

The Palestine bourgeoisie of Al Fatah and Hamas: prison guards of the enslaved Palestinian people

At the same time, we say very clearly that the long suffering of the Palestinian people will only end with the destruction from the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel. This will not be won under the leadership of the Palestinian bourgeoisie. No, on the contrary, it will be necessary for the working class and the exploited people to break all ties to the national bourgeoisie.

The Palestine bourgeoisie betrayed the historic struggle of thePalestinian people for its national liberation and it have become the prison guards of its own people, first by making the Oslo agreement and today by supporting the ‘Road Map’ that implements the Oslo Agreement.

In 1993, by signing the Oslo agreements the PLO and Al Fatah, headed then by Yasser Arafat, openly renounced the struggle for the destruction of the State of Israel, recognizing its ‘right to exist’, and accepting the plan to create the fiction of a ‘Palestinian state’ coexisting by its side. Those agreements introduced the farce of the “Palestinian territories” under the so-called government of the Palastinian National Authority and its police, as prison guards of their own people as slaves confined to ghettos and concentrations camps.

It was against that new system of control that the masses revolted in September of 2000, starting the heroic Palestine revolution. The oppressed workers rose up, took the police stations from the ‘Palestinian National Authority’, disarmed it and forming their own workers and peasants militias in the towns and camps. Breaking from their own bourgeois police guard and arming themselves, the Palestinian workers and peasants immediate raised to a higher level, the struggle for national liberation, and opened the road to the the destruction of the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel.

To smash that revolutionary upsurge, the the Zionist state sent in the army to disarm masses while at the same time protecting the bourgeois leadership of Palestine by locking up Yasser Arafat and his cabinet in Ramallah. By ensuring that Arafat survied the revolution, the Zionist state rearmed the Palestine bourgeoisie (channelling Billions of “international aid” through international companies such as the one that supplies the cement for the wall around Transjordan) to control its own people behind the apartheid Wall. The brigades of Al Aqsa and Al Fatah, and then the brigades of Ezzedine Al Kassam of Hamas, at once began to repress the workers and peasants militias proving that they were in fact the new “Palestine” police whose task was to suppress the revolutionary masses.

Hamas succeeds Al Fatah as the jailhouse guards

Because it openly attacked the Palelstinian people the bourgeois leadership of Al Fatah was widely discredited in the eyes of the masses. This is why another bourgeois fraction, represented by Hamas (the fraction of the commercial bourgeoisie, related to the bourgeoisie of the Bazaar of Iran) replaced Al Fatah as the leadership of the “Palestinian Territories’. It was this fraction represented by Hamas, that won the legislative elections last February, and formed the new government chosing the Prime Minister and cabinet, while Al Fatah is now represented only by the Presdident Abu Mazen.

Hamas demagogically won the elections with its policy of the destruction of the State of Israel, manipulating therefore the feeling and the aspirations of the vast majority of the Palestinian people. But as soon as it became the Government, Hamas made a ‘truce’ with the Israeli state for 10 years. That is, it guaranteed the existence and survival of Isael by undertaking the task of policing its own people. This proves yet again, that the liberation of the Palestinian people can only be won by the working class leading the poor peasantry, and destroying the Zionist-Facist state of Israel.

Hamas has already renounced the historical fight for the destruction of the State of Israel. But it has tried to convince the Israeli state that the best way to control the Palestinian people that the it still fights for the destruction of the State of Israel. With those arguments, Hamas tried to get the Zionist state to release the “international aid” and withheld taxes to the Palestinian government.

But the Zionist bourgeoisie – backed by US imperialism – rejected this deal with Hamas. They want to see all the fractions of the Palestine bourgeoisie on their knees before Israel. So while the prison guards fight among themselves, the Zionist state sends in its military forces to make clear who commands the jail.

Only the workers of the whole Middle East can destroy the state of Israel and imperialism

The undefeated Palestinian people have suffererd more than half a century of massacres and betrayals, because the leaders of the national liberation struggle are the national bourgeoisie. The Palestine bourgeoisie, like all national bourgeoisies, are the junior partners of imperialism. They would prefer to go to prison like the Hamas leadership today, and that its people got killed, than arm the masses.. It knows that if the Palestinian people were armed not only would they destroy the state of Israel, but as already happened in 2000, they would destroy the national bourgeoisies power and private property. Therefore, it hides the weapons so that the masses cannot get them, and forces them to face the murderous attacks of the fifth biggest army in the world, armed to the teeth by imperialism, with empty hands.

The only then way then, that the Palestinian masses can face the Zionist military offensive, is to break all political subordination to its own bourgeoisie, and take the leadership of the national liberation struggle into its own handes. It must form workers and peasants militias and arm the Palestinian people and fight for the destruction of the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel. Otherwise the blood of its martyrs will again be used by the Palestinian bourgeoisie as a currency in its negotiations with imperialism and the Zionist state.

In that way, the masses of occupied Palestine can be united in struggle with the millions of Palestinians expelled from their land by Zionism and who now live Lebanon and Jordan. The heroic masses that resist in Gaza and Transjordan, have a powerful rearguard in the millions of Palestinian workers and who live in the south of where their militia forced the Israeli army to retreat in June 2000 in first engagement of the coming Palestinian revolution! There are many battalions able to confront the Israeli army on the East Bank of the Jordán River, in Jordan, where almost half the population is Palestinian.

Break with the bourgeoisie of Al Fatah, Hamas, Hizbollah, etc., so that the Palestinian masses can be armed to defeat the Zionist offensive and open the road to the destruction of the State of Israel. Break with Hizbollah so that the Palestinian masses in Lebanon can engage the Zionist state with their armed forces. Break with the Jordanian bourgeoisie – whose monarchy is responsible for terrible massacres against the Palestinian people, to allow the Palestinian masses of Jordan to split the Jordanian army and unite with its brothers and sisters in occupied Palestine. Build workers and peasants militias to take the leadership of the national liberation struggle, and retake the road of the revolution of 2000 that leads to the victory over imperialism. For a workers and peasants revolution capable of destroying the state of Israel, and creating a secular, democratic and nonracist Palestinian State where the workers and of all religions can coexist peacefully!

Re-entering the road to revolution, the Palestinian working class can lead a united struggle in the Middle East to defeat the imperialist troops in Iraq, stop any attack on Iran, and win a new Vietnam war that buries in the sands of the desert both imperialism and its Zionist policeman.

Stop the ‘oil wars’ of the imperialists and their national bourgeois junior partners!

The national bourgeoisies of the Middle East states, “condemn” the new Zionist offensive, but do not move a finger to support the Palestinian people. This is because these bourgeoisies are the junior partners of imperialism in plundering the oil of the region and the superexploitation and oppression of their own workers. Such is the case with the Iranian bourgeoisie and French imperialism; the Iraqian bourgeoisie –Sunni and Shiite – and US and British imperialism. Those national bourgeois regimes –from North Africa, to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, are exploiting and repressing hundreds of millions of poor workers and peasants who live in the most extreme poverty and misery, while under their feet are the greatest oil reserves in the world. They also get their share of the profits from the million of workers who move from country to country to work in oil wells living in squalid camps and guarded by the mercenaries of the oil companies.

The bloody occupation of Iraq, the warlike threats against Iran, and the Zionist offensive against the Palestinian people, are all part of the “oil wars” of the imperialist powers and the national bourgeoisies of the region. For that reason, the Egyptian bourgeoisie sent 2500 police to the border with Gaza to guarantee that no Palestinians can escape to Egyptian territory. The Syrian bourgeoisie, although equipped with artillery, allowed Israeli helicopters to fly over Damascus in a clear military threat, but did not more than verbally “repudiate” that action. The Iranian bourgeoisie, that constantly threatens a “mother of all battles” against the state of Israel and the imperialism, does nothing but request that the UN Security Council meets…that same den of imperialistic thieves that imposes sanctions against Iran for its nuclear development!

Only the working class can stop these “oil wars”, because it has no class interest that ties it to imperialism, only chains to break. The most urgent task is to unite the ranks of the working class of the whole Middle East, so it can use the most powerful “missile” of all against imperialism and the bourgeoisies agents: to attack its private property and its super profits with a generalised struggle to expropriate the imperialistic oil monopolies, and the nationalization without compensation and under working control of the oil and gas wealth in all the Arab nations, and the whole Middle East.

One world working class, one fight!

In order to be able to go in aid of its Palestinian brothers and sisters the workers of the Middle East must break all the chains to their own native bourgeoisies. The heroic Iraqian resistance must break with the Shiite and Suni bourgeosies to unite with the Palestinian masses in one fight against imperialism and the state of Israel. The Egyptian workers and exploited must break with their oppressive bourgeoisie to demolish the border that separates them from their Palestine brothers and sisters, and provide arms, food and medicines so that they can oppose the Israeli army. The workers and exploited people of Iran must break with their nation bourgeoisie and send arms, missiles etc to the Palestinian people. Defeat imperialism and expropriate its monopolies, destroy the State of Israel, overthrow the lackey bourgeois regimes, and create worker-peasant governments within a Federation of Workers and Peasant governments of the Middle East.

The fight to destroy Zionist-Fascist state of Israel is also task of working class of the imperialist powers that created Israel, finance it and supply it with arms. The proletariat of the US, Britain, France and other imperialist powers have the key to stop the Zionist offensive and to defeat imperialism in Iraq. Paralyse the imperialist war machine and the Zionist war machine by workers boycotts strikes, mobilizations and pickets. Stop all shipments of arms, equipment and provisions to the Zionist State and the occupying armies of Iraq. Provide the Palestinian masses and the Iraqi resistance with arms, food and medicines, so they can defeat the imperialists and the Zionists!

But to defeat imperialistic powers we have to defeat the labor bureaucracy, the labor aristocracy and the leaders of the World Social Forum that chains the workers and peasants to the popular front with the imperialists.The working class and the exploded ones of Latin America must take the lead in the defense of the Palestinian people. It’s long struggle for national liberation is the same fight as that of the workers and poor peasants of Latin America to remove the imperialist yoke.

But the World Social Forum leaders like Fidel Castro are demanding that the UN intervene to stop the Zionist offensive in Gaza and return to the ‘Road Map’! Kirchner, Lula, Chávez, Morales and Co., “condemn” the attack of the Zionist army, and plead for “peace”. At the same time they are preparing to sign at the Mercosur meeting on 20 and 21 July, a Free Trade Agreement with the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel, while the working class and the Palestinian people are killed and injured. Down with the FTA with Israel!

Therefore the first condition, for the workers and peasants of Latin America to support the struggle of our class brothers and sisters of Palestine, is to break with the bourgeoisies, their regimes and their governments, and the union bureaucracies, Castrioists, and fake Trotskyists, who are today part of the World Social Forum.
Emergency Call to the world working class

The Leninist Trotskyist Fraction (FLT) calls on the world working class to take up the revolutionary program of struggle for the liberation of the Palestinian people that we have advanced. Take to the streets to fight for the destruction of the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel, and for the defeat of imperialism and the victory of the heroic Iraqi resistance. Surround the US and Israeli embassies everywhere in the world; use stoppages, boycotts, pickets and general strikes to stop the shipment of arms to the Zionist state and the imperialist army in Iraq. Supply arms, equipment, food and medicines to the heroic peoples of towns Palestine and Iraqi that are fighting for their national liberation. The world working class, the only one that can defeat imperialism and its Zionist policeman, must fight side by side with its class brothers and sisters of Palestine, Iraq and the whole Middle East!

· Stop the genocidal attack of the the Israeli state and its army against the Palestinian workers people!

· Immediate and unconditional freedom for the more than 10,000 Palestinian fighters held in Israeli jails!

· Down with the “Road Map” of the imperialistic butchers, the Zionist state and the Arab bourgeoisies, that wants to create an apartheid Palestinian state!

· Paralyze the imperialist war machine and the Zionist war machine by workers boycotts strikes, mbilizations and pickets.

· Stop all shipments of arms, equipment and provisions to the Zionist State and the occupying armies of Iraq!

· Provide the Palestinian masses and the Iraqian resistance with arms, food and medicines, so they can defeat the imperialilsts and the Zionists!

· Workers and peasants militias and arms for all Palestinian people to take the leadership of the national war of liberation gainst the Zionist occupier!

· For the destruction of the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel!

· Only a workers government of the self organised and armed Palestinian masses can guarantee a secular, democratic and nonracist Palestinian State!

· For a Federation of Workers and Peasants Republics of the Middle East!

· For the military defeat of all the invading troops, and for the victory of the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses!

· Out with all the imperialist troops from Afghanistan and the Middle East!

· UN and imperialist hands off Iran!

From Class Struggle 67 June/July 2006

Is Zionism Fascism?

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We reprint below [in a separate post] the FLT statement in opposition to the Israeli attacks on Gaza. The FLT takes the view that the Israeli state is ‘Zionist-Fascist’. CWG has historically opposed the analysis of Israel as a ‘fascist’ regime as it is a form of democracy. We are opening this question up for debate in our group. Here a CWG member puts the outline of an argument in support of the ‘Zionist-Fascist’ position.

Fascism is an extreme social movement that arose in Europe between the wars in response to the crisis-ridden capitalism of the early 20th century. It emerged under the threat of a workers’ revolution when bourgeois democracy had exhausted its ability to contain the working class. Its function was to smash the revolutionary vanguard before it could mobilise the working class in a revolutionary uprising. It employed an extreme nationalist, racist ideology in order to bind together the middle classes with sections of the working class in the name of defending the nation from communism.

Zionism is the founding ideology of the Israeli state. It is based on several founding myths that declare Jews’ God-given right to be the exclusive occupants of Palestine. It defends that right by constant reference to anti-semitism and the ‘holocaust’.

Zionism as a doctrine fatalistically submitted to anti-semitism. In the Europe of the early 20th century anti-semitic movements called on all Jews to ‘get out’. Zionism took up this call to provide a homeland to escape to. Yet in doing so, Zionism made many deals with the European ruling classes, not least the Nazis, in return for their cooperation in transferring Jews to Palestine.

The cost of these agreements to Jews was millions of more deaths than would have been the case had the Zionists not existed. The Zionists agreements with the Nazis were to concentrate Jews for shipment to labour camps and extermination camps in exchange for the freedom to select and relocate some Jews to Palestine. Where the Zionists were weak, resistance to Nazi extermination saved the majority of Jews. In some countries active opposition prevented any transportation and killing (Denmark). Where Jews fled Europe into the Ukraine or Russia they survived in their millions.

Thus Zionism is not an antidote to fascism but its junior partner in the death and destruction of Jews. The sacrifice of Jewish workers can only be explained by a Zionism that is the class ideology of Jewish capital. The Zionists representing the interests of the Jewish bourgeoisie which needed a homeland to defend their capital. Jews as finance capitalists facing the collapse of European capitalism before and after WW1 were both bankrupted by national capitals with which they were associated and forced to flee. Those who could not move their capital to new countries wanted to found a Jewish state to protect their capital. Not only that, they wanted a Jewish working class, selected from the European working class to establish a capitalist economy in Palestine.

The price paid by Jewish workers who were rounded up by Zionist organisations to feed the Nazi’s labour and extermination camps proved that Zionism was motivated by exactly the same class interests as the Fascists in Europe. They wanted to select a racially pure and strong stock out of those ‘concentrated’ in Europe, take them out of the hands of the ‘anti-semites’ who would work them to death, and save them for shipment to Palestine where they would become the core of a Jewish working class. Just as the European capitalist powers were prepared to sacrifice millions of workers in wars to defend their capital, the millions of weak, old and otherwise defective Jews who would not be of any ‘use-value’ in Palestine were similarly sacrificed.

But if Palestine was already being formed as a racially pure Jewish state in collaboration with the fascists, could it be any less fascist? First, Zionist reactionary nationalism was the ideology of Jewish capital facing destruction during the capitalist crisis of the interwar years and organised bourgeois, petty bourgeois and working class settlers to found a national homeland for Jewish capital.

Second, the class collaboration with the Nazi’s scapegoating of Jews, betrayed working class Jews into the labour and extermination camps and played into the Nazi’s objective to smash the communist movement. This complicity was critical, since working class Jews were strongly overrepresented in working class struggles and revolutionary organisations and even more so in the leadership of these organisations. Where the Zionists were unable to separate Jewish workers from the rest of the working class their role in the resistance proved that this was the only way to defeat fascism.

Finally, the very act of establishing the state of Israel mimicked the Nazi invasion and seizure of foreign lands. Palestine was already occupied by a large majority of non-Jews. The peasant and working class inhabitants were evicted, relocated in ghettos and concentration camps, and then terrorised by a policy of military genocide.

Dave Brown

From Class Struggle 67 June/July 2006

Written by raved

January 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm

France: Long live the Paris Commune!

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France, 4 April, 2006: Long live the struggle of the students, young people and the workers against the vicious attack of the government and the bosses! In order to defeat the CPE and labor flexibilisation, and end the slavery of the working class and its youth the workers and exploited people must send the imperialist Fifth Republic of Chirac-Villepin-Sarkozy, the imperialist state, and the union bureaucracy, to the rubbish bin of history/ Is necessary to make France a Baghdad every night and day, and Paris a Commune!

Indefinite General Strike!

An enormous struggle of the masses shakes imperialist France. On the days of the 7, 16, 18 and 28 of March, university and secondary school students, young workers of the “Cités” – the workers neighborhoods – and the education and public sector workers, and to a lesser extent of the private sector, took to the streets in their millions in all the cities of France, confronting the government of President Chirac and Prime Minister Villepin responsible for the vicious attack on young workers with the “First Job Contract” (CPE) and other measures combined in the cynically named “equal opportunity law”.

This law, passed by parliament and promulgated by Chirac [though suspended until a new law is passed], allows the bosses to make young workers under 26 years of age work without rights and protection from dismissal; to make 14 year-olds into apprentices, and 15 year olds work at night, among other measures. It is the imposition of a true slavery onto the whole generation of young workers. This ruthless attack is an example of what the French imperialist bourgeoisie has to do to defeat to its own working class and enable it to embark on new adventures and wars to win new markets, zones of influence, oil fields and other resources from the ex-workers states like China and Russia, in competition with US imperialism.

It is not accidental that French imperialism is going on the offensive against its own working class. It must defeat it not only to extract more profits at home, but also in its intense rivalry with US imperialism. French imperialism is now embarked on a bitter competition with US imperialism for the repartition of the global economy. The US has stolen a march in Iraq and subordinated Britain, Italy and Spain. The French imperialists have responded by taking the initiative to bully Iran over nuclear weapons in the hope of winning a share of the spoils of any war against that country. It has stopped US corporates from privatising French state assets such as Gas France. Chirac recently threatened to use France’s nuclear arsenal against any threat to “the integrity of the territory, the protection of the population and the free exercise of the sovereignty” of France, its strategic supply lines and its “allied countries”. (Clarin, March 2006).

This attack on youth jobs at home is clearly linked to the policies of French imperialism abroad. But it has met a strong response from the students, workers and the exploited young people in the migrant communities. The university students were first into the trenches to lead the counter-attack, occupying or blockading 60 out of the 80 universities in France, confronting the riot police who forced the evacuation of he Sorbonne – the symbol of May 1968.

But the movement took a leap forward on March 16 when the mobilization of the students was joined by the young workers of the suburbs, the new generation of the French proletariat whose heroic rebellion of October-November of 2005 was a ‘curtain-raiser’ for the current struggle of the masses. Those that came to the aid of the students were those young workers who had risen to the shout of “Every night we make Paris a Baghdad”. Fighting for work, decent wages and freedom, but abandoned and isolated by the privileged workers and the labor bureaucracy of the unions and their parties, they were ruthlessly repressed with almost 800 imprisoned many deported and more than 4000 put under police supervision.

With the powerful energy of young workers – one of the most oppressed sectors of the French proletariat – the struggle took a big step forward. Then the secondary students began to join in large numbers, mainly from the “Cités”. The massive mobilization of Saturday 18 of March, saw more than a million students, workers and youth unite across the country, proving that the fight against the CPE was becoming a struggle of the whole French working class, indeed a political fight of the masses.

The shout of “Drop the CPE now or indefinite general strike” raised by hundreds of thousands of workers and students in the streets of Paris showed clearly that the masses understood perfectly that they could not stop the CPE and the “equal opportunity law” and their other demands, without the credible threat of a general strike. Thus, the enormous mass struggle has put on the order of the day the indefinite general strike to defeat the government of Chirac-Villepin-Sarkozy, along with the imperialistic regime of the Fifth Republic, ending the CPE and all the anti-worker laws, releasing the prisoners from the October-November youth rebellion as well as those arrested in the present struggle, and imposing the demands of the students, young workers and all workers and exploited people.

But between the masses and the general strike there is a large barrier: the union bureaucracy of the CGT, CFDT, FO and of the student union UNEF, along with the social-imperialist parties – the Socialist Party (PS), the Communist Party (PCF) and the pseudo-Trotskyists – all, as we shall prove, the faithful subjects of the imperialist Fifth Republic.

But in spite of all its efforts, the bureaucracy could not prevent the development of the struggle and the convergence on the streets of the students, the young workers of the Cités and other workers. This has forced it to try to take over the leadership of the struggle including the demand for a general strike. But it refuses to make the call for an indefinite general strike.

Thus, the enormous mobilisation of the masses on the 28 of March was not a general strike: it was a day of partial strikes and marches uniting 3 million workers and students all over the country. It was a ‘day of action’ called by the union bureaucracy, the PS and the PCF to prevent a general strike and to put pressure on the government to force them to negotiate. By this means the bureaucracy was responsible for rescuing the government and keeping in power the repressive, anti-worker and imperialist killer of colonial peoples – the Fifth Republic regime!

But this is not the last word on this enormous class struggle that has been unleashed. The bourgeoisie strikes back: it needs to defeat the working class. On the 30 of March, the Constitutional Council ratified the CPE and the “law of equal opportunity”. On 31 of March, Chirac announced that he would pass the law with two cosmetic changes – the probationary period would be reduced to one yea, and the employer would have to give a ‘reason’ for dismissing a young worker. But of course the worker cannot use this ‘reason’ to contest the employers right to sack him or her. The amended CPE passed by Chirac is ‘suspended’ while a new law is drafted with the agreement of the student and trades union leaders and then voted on.

Against this subterfuge the students have renewed their opposition. Secondary students in their thousands walked out of school to block the railways and roads; and the occupations of the universities have been maintained. After the speech of Chirac, thousands of young students and workers spontaneously went into the streets of the cities, in particular Paris: they stayed on the streets all night and at dawn gathered in the historical Montmartre – where the Commune of Paris in 1871 began -, and they painted on the walls “Revenge 1871″ and ” Long live the Commune “.

The union leaders have been forced by this further spontaneous upsurge to call another “day of action” i.e. partial strikes and marches for the 4 of April. But the unions of Air France have already announced that they will strike for 24 hours on 4 April so that the workers can participate in the marches against the CPE. And in response to the union leaders call for another limited ‘day of action’ to pressure the government, the national Coordination of students has called to transform the 4 of April into the beginning of indefinite general strike! And the General Assembly of university in Paris voted to march on Monday 3 April to the headquarters of the CGT (CP led union federation) to demand indefinite general strike!

In the next days and weeks it will be decided in the streets whether or not the treacherous leaders of the workers preventing the general strike, and save the French bourgeoisie, its government and its regime yet again; or, on the contrary, the spontaneous revolutionary energy of the masses can sweep the away the barriers and begin the general strike, “the great day when the oppressed meet their oppressors” – as Leon Trotsky said – that will revive again for the French working class, after almost 40 years since 1968, and 135 years from the insurrection of March 1871, the ‘revenge’ of the glorious Paris Commune, and open the road to revolution.

The present struggle of the masses in France, foreshadowed by the revolt of young workers last October-November, along with a general strike in Belgium, the awakening of sections of the US working class against the war of Iraq, and now the huge mobilizations of more than a million Latino workers in the United States against the new immigration law, is evidence that we have entered a time of renewed struggle of the main battalions of the working class: the proletariat in the imperialist countries.

Long live the struggle of the students, workers and youth against the ferocious attack of the government and the bosses! Unite the militant students, young workers and the whole of the proletariat to demand an indefinite general strike until the CPE and the “law of equal opportunity” is defeated, all the workers demands have been won, and no part of the regime of the Fifth Republic of Chirac-Villepin is left standing, including its class collaborators, the social-imperialist parties and the union bureaucracy!

The labor aristocracy and bureaucracy of the Fifth Republic, its unions and parties: A “Holy Alliance” to prevent the general strike

The general strike is the order of the day! The militant masses know that only by defeating the government and the regime will they be able to impose their demands. But the labor bureaucracy and its parties, the loyal subjects and servants of the imperialist Fifth Republic, have formed a “Holy Alliance” to prevent a general strike. Forced to take the lead by the mass pressure of the movement, the “inter-union” formed by the union bureaucracy of the CGT, the CFDT (led by the PS), the FO (Workers’ Force) and other unions, along with the leadership of the National Union of Students of France (UNEF), have been surfing the crest of the wave to try to control it, and to prevent it from overflowing the barriers and becoming an independent uprising of the workers.

For that reason, the ‘inter-union’ has refused to call a general strike, and has instead used a series of ‘days of action’ to pressure the government to withdraw the CPE and open negotiations. Thus, when the Constitutional Council confirmed the law, they called on Chirac “to use his constitutional prerogatives to withdraw the CPE”. Now that Chirac and his ministers have invited the ‘inter-union’ to negotiate a new law, they want to use the April 4 ‘day of action’ as a “show of force” to strengthen their position in the negotiations on the CPE due to begin on April 5.

In this way the bureaucracy collaborates with the maneuver of Chirac and the employers to introduce the “tsunami” of the CPE knowing that it would meet strong opposition, and then to pretend to “back down” and instead pass a “hurricane” called the “law of equal opportunity”. This new law will continue to impose flexibility and casualisation on young workers, but will have some cosmetic changes, will be blessed by “consensus” with the ‘Holy Alliance’ and voted in Parliament not only by the deputies of the UMP, but also by those of the PS. That is the trap that the Chiracs-Villepin-Sarkozy and their servants of the labor bureaucracy and the social-imperialist parties have set for the masses.

This treacherous union bureaucracy is the same one that ordered its stewards to beat-up the young workers of the Cités when they confronted the police with the shout of “national Police, military servants of capitalism”! Many of the hundreds of young people who were arrested in this struggle were handed over to the police by the thugs of the union bureaucracy, proving that they are the internal police of the labor movement in the service of the bosses, its state and its imperialist regime!

Down with the labor bureaucracy of the CGT, CFDT and other federations and unions, paid agents of Chirac and the Fifth Republic, opponents and jailers of the students in struggle and the heroic young workers of the suburbs!

No less treacherous a role is played by the social-imperialist parties based on the privileged labor aristocracy that lives off imperialist super-profits, such as the PS and Communist Party. But most treacherous of all are the pseudo-Trotskyists like the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR). After the Constitutional Council confirmed the CPE and the “law of equal opportunity”, these parties published a scandalous common declaration stating:

“the organizations and the political parties of the left solemnly require that Jacques Chirac withdraws the CPE and opens negotiations with the unions before taking the law back to the Parliament. Knowing the exceptional conditions of the elections in 2002, there will be serious consequences if the law is passed.” (“Declaration of the Left, Le Monde 31/03/06, signed by the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, Greens, the LCR, among others).

This confession is proof of guilt! These parties are the faithful subjects of the French Fifth Republic and its ‘monarch’ Chirac, advising him that it is in his interests to withdraw the CPE, just as during the rebellion of young workers last year, they appealed to Chirac to end the state of emergency and to “defend democracy and civil peace”, even while Chirac’s police militarized the Cités and hunted down the young rebels! The cynicism of these treacherous leaders has no limit! Full of self-importance they remind Chirac that he only won the elections of 2002 thanks to the votes of the masses under their influence. Now they ‘threaten’ with another ‘day of action’ so they can meet him on April 5th to arrive at a ‘consensus’! Here they gamble on being able to use the ‘extreme left’ to control the strikes and marches on April 4th so that this mobilisation can be used to ‘pressure’ Chirac in the negotiations.

The “extreme left” of the Fifth Republic Regime

The imperialist Fifth Republic also has its subjects on the “extreme left”, as the fake Trotskyists of the LCR, and the PT are commonly called in France. These currents, that have thousands of militants, and who lead or influence a layer of the workers and students vanguard, are a key element in the support of the regime of the Fifth Republic, and have for decades defended the regime from the masses uprisings in France.

They called for a vote for Chirac against Le Pen in 2002; they called on the masses to vote in the referendum on the European Constitution in 2005; during the youth rebellion of October-November of 2005 they hung upon the apron strings of the ‘Republican left’ defending ‘democracy’, and talking of restoring ‘civil peace’. The LCR, PT, and LO are the ‘left leg’ of the ‘Holy Alliance’ that contained and repressed the rebellion of young workers. Alain Krivine, a leader of the LCR traveled to Palestine to tell the heroic people that they must accept the imperialist plan for ‘two states’. In Brazil, Miguel Rossetto, leader of the LCR’s fraternal party (Socialist Democracy), is the Minister of agrarian reform in the pro-imperialist government of Lula, protecting the property of the landowners who kill the landless peasants.

Now the LCR has signed the official statement of the ‘left’ parties begging Chirac to withdraw the CPE. These true reformists even manage, as they say in their leaflets, to call for a “general strike” to defeat the government – that is to say, Prime Minister Villepin – but they stop short of a general strike to remove the ‘sacred’ Fifth Republic and its ‘monarch’ Chirac. They even criticise some union leaders, but never do they say it is necessary to defeat the union bureaucracy in order to make a indefinite general strike. For them the ‘general strike’ is merely to win a “better redistribution of wealth”.

Lutte Ouvrière, on the other hand, does not even raise the general strike for the purpose of reforms. It only mobilizes for the withdrawal of the hated CPE. The Lambertist Workers Party (PT), faithful to their line of ‘defense of the democracy’ and the ‘French Republic’, demands the withdrawal of the CPE as ‘unconstitutional’. The PT are in the leadership of the CUT union bureaucracy in Brazil, which collaborates with Petrobras (partner of the French Totalfina) to plunder Bolivian gas and strangle the Bolivian revolution.

The betrayers of Trotskyism have moved openly onto the terrain of reform. They are the “extreme left” of the imperialist regime of the Fifth Republic, oppressor and butcher of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples, and exploiter and repressor of its own working class.

The masses have begun an enormous political fight. They have forced the leaders of the unions to form the national “inter-union”. They have begun to build their own organs of political struggle. The university students occupy the faculties with their barricades and make their decisions in daily general assemblies. The same happens in the secondary schools that have joined the struggle. They have created a National Coordination of students, mandated, with rotating chairs, delegates elected by each general assembly and meeting each week, rotating from city to city.

In its last meeting in Lyon on April 1-2, it voted for an indefinite general strike. In the city of Lille, the General Assembly unites students with local and regional unions, associations of unemployed people, immigrant workers ‘without papers’, and has also called for an indefinite general strike from the 4 of April. Coordinations have been formed in four other departments – Girond, Loire Atlantique, Sarthe and Vienne, also calling for an indefinite general strike. For the 4 of April, they announced that all education workers of all levels, postal and communications, mass media, transport, bank, energy, chemical, commerce and construction workers will go on strike.

In order to overcome the counter-revolutionary resistance of the apparatuses of the ‘left’ parties and the unions and their ‘united front from above’, and to turn April 4 into an indefinite general strike, it is necessary to create a National Coordination of Struggle made up of mandated delegates of all the unions and workers organizations in the national “Inter-union”, of the national Coordination of students, each school and occupied faculty and the workers of each militant factory and workplace, and the delegates of the young people of each Cite and workers district, organized by locality, and region. This national Coordination of workers and student in struggle must become the new leadership of the working class in place of all the treacherous leaders of the ‘left’ parties and union confederations.

A National Coordination of struggle must summon and organize and indefinite general strike until the CPE and the “law of equal opportunity”, to the government of Chirac-Villpein-Sarkozy, his economic plan and the imperialist regime of the Fifth Republic, is defeated.

It must raise a program to unite the workers ranks, now divided by the privileges of the labor aristocracy and bureaucracy:

  • Down with the CPE, and the law of “equal opportunity” that is in reality the law of flexibilisation and casualisation! 
  • Down with Chirac-Villpein-Sarkozy, their anti-worker economic plans and Fifth Republic Regime! 
  • Useful work and a living wage for all! Redistribute the work hours among those willing to work with a minimum wage at the level of the cost of the family shopping basket, indexed automatically to inflation! 
  • Unemployment wage at the level of the minimum wage for all unemployed workers without conditions and time limit! 
  • For the younger generation of workers! 
  • Four hours work and 4 hours of study paid by the employer’s association and their state! 
  • Ban night work and unsafe and unhealthy work! 
  • Equal work, equal wage and the same conditions for all the young workers from 16 years! 
  • Free schools and universities and with unrestricted entry for all the young people who want to study! 
  • All political, social, economic and union rights for all youth! 
  • Immediate and automatic French citizenship for all the worker immigrants, who comprise of the French working class!  
  • Down with all laws that destroy the past gains of the working class, their pensions, their social security, public education and health! 
  • Re-nationalistion without payment and under workers control of Gas France! 
  • No to the privatizations of EDF and other public companies! Put these companies under workers control! 
  • Down with commercial secrets in the banks, the key industries, transport and in all the branches of production, so that the workers prove that the bourgeoisie waste human labor to make their enormous profits! 
  • Workers control of the production in all the factories and companies of the country in the hands of factory committees! 
  • Against the police! Against the gangs of thugs of the union bureaucracy! 
  • Form committees of self-defense of workers, young workers of the Cités, and of the students

The bourgeoisie has responded to the latest upsurge of struggle with a new outbreak of repression. As it did against the young working people of Cites in November last, the French imperialist state has arrested hundreds of young students and workers at each march or picket. Hundreds have been taken to court, and many condemned to prison by summary judgments. Each march ends with an attack by the police: there are tens of wounded, among them a union activist in a coma and in danger of dying after being brutally beaten by the anti-riot police, the CRS.

  • Immediate freedom for the imprisoned young working people from October-November of 2005! 
  • Freedom and withdrawal of charges for all arrested workers and student militants! 
  • Stop the repression against the workers and students in struggle! 
  • Dissolve the police and the gendarmerie!

In the universities, the rectors organize the bands of “daddy’s boys” to break the occupations and to attack the students. And at the same time the thugs of the union bureaucracy, attack and hand over militants to the police. It is necessary to form pickets and self-defence committees of all the student and workers organizations in struggle, in each district, locality and region, to defend the struggles and the lives of the exploited from the police, to eject the union thugs from the workers’ ranks, and to build the basis of a centralized workers militia across the whole country.

“A people that oppresses another cannot be free itself”

The workers aristocracy and labor bureaucracy acts to prevent the workers of France, Spain and Germany from breaking with their own imperialistic bourgeoisies. This stopped a workers movement from going to the aid of their class brothers and sisters in Iraq. It allowed French imperialism free hands to occupy the Ivory Coast and use military repression to continue their enslavement in Africa. Then, at the end of the last year, it acted to impose ‘social peace’ on the young migrant workers in the name of the imperialist Fifth Republic. These actions have strengthened the regime of the imperialist French bourgeoisie which now attacks the French proletariat again!

The more it plunders and kills in the colonies and the semi-colonies, the more the French bourgeoisie treats its own working class in the same way that it deals with its slaves in Africa and the Pacific. It attacks and destroys the historic gains of wages and conditions. It imposes severe labor flexibilisation and casualisation. And when the exploited rise up it responds, with a state of emergency, and with batons, repression and mass arrests, as it did against the young workers last year, and as it does today against the enormous mass mobilizations.

“A people that oppresses another cannot be free”, Marx and Engels said more than one hundred years ago. That is why the students and workers who are fighting against the ‘precarite’ today must adopt the slogan of the young workers of October and November: “Every night make Paris a Baghdad”. That means taking responsibility to defend the oppressed Iranian nation today threatened by the French, English and Yankee imperialists and their “den of thieves” the UN. This also means taking into their own hands the struggle for the military defeat of all the imperialist troops in Iraq, in Afghanistan, the Ivory Coast, and every other oppressed nation. They must also make as their own, the fight for the restoration of the dictatorship of the proletariat by socialist revolutions in Russia, China and all the former degenerated workers states who have been turned by their ex-stalinist bureaucracies, now national bourgeoisies, into capitalist colonies and semi-colonies full of MNC assembly plants employing enslaved manual labor.

The more they adopt the anti-imperialist struggles to the full, the closer will be the workers and students to winning their present struggle, and opening the way to the socialist revolution in France.

  • Down with the Fifth Republic, imperialist exploiter and oppressor of its own working class, and killer of the peoples of Africa, of the Pacific, of Asia!
  • French imperialists hand off Iran and all Middle East!
  • For the military defeat of all the imperialistic troops in Iraq, for the victory of the Iraqi resistance!
  • For the immediate liberation of the Martinique, Guyana, the Kanak islands and other ‘Dominions and transoceanic territories’ under French colonial slavery!
  • Out with the French genocidal troops from the Ivory Coast, Kosovo, etc.!
  • French imperialists hands off the nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America!
  • Equal wages and the conditions of work for all the workers of the colonies of France, and its monopolies, banks and companies in the colonial and semi colonial countries, for the expropriation and nationalization of capitalist property without payment and under workers control in those countries!

So that the working class and the exploited ones live, the Fifth Republic must die.
For a Republic of Workers Councils in France, for a Socialist United States of Europe!

We wrote this declaration a few hours before the strikes and marches on the 4 of April. The task of the hour is to build a National Coordination of militant worker and student organisations and to make an indefinite general strike with pickets, marches, blockades and committees of self-defense, to open the way to the overthrow, the imperialist regime of the Fifth Republic of Chirac, Le Pen, the union bureaucracy and the social-imperialist parties. A successful general strike that defeated the government and its attack on young workers jobs, would open a pre-revolutionary situation, putting onto the agenda the struggle for state power by the working class and its councils and armed militias, capable of giving birth to a Workers Republic on the ruins of the Fifth Republic.

Like the revolt of the young workers last year, today the struggle of the masses in France must become a common struggle of the continental European working class. Only by this means can the offensive of the European imperialist bourgeoisies against the historic living standards of the masses, the attacks on the colonial and semi colonial world, on the heroic Iraqi resistance, on Iran, on the oppressed peoples in Europe – in Ireland, the Basque Country, Kosovo, Chechenia etc,- be defeated. This united continental struggle cannot be won without breaking from the privileged labor aristocracy and the class collaborationist labor bureaucracy.

A strong advance in the revolutionary struggle in France would open the only road to the liberation of the European proletariat: the United Socialist States of Europe, from Portugal to Russia, where workers can overthrow the imperialist bourgeoisies in the West, and at the same time remove the restored capitalist semi-colonies in the East, united with the revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggle of the workers and exploited people of the of the semi-colonial and colonial world.

For an International Conference of Principled Trotskyists to create a new world wide party socialist revolution and to refound Trotskyism in France under the program and the legacy of the Fourth International of 1938!

The invasion and occupation of Iraq; the containment of the Bolivian revolution and the anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggles of the Latin American masses by the continental politics of the popular front ; the intensified wage slavery of workers by the imperialists MNCs and the new bourgeoisie in China; the recolonization and plundering of the ex-workers states of the old Eastern Europe and USSR, have allowed the European imperialistic bourgeoisies to make a brutal offensive on their working classes.

What motivates this attack is the necessity for the imperialist bourgeoisies to compete for spheres of influence, oil reserves, new sources of raw materials and cheap manual labor in the colonial and semi colonial world, in particular the race for the colonization of China and Russia now restored by the ex-stalinist bureaucracy to the world capitalist economy.

Against this offensive workers are beginning to fight back. Sections of the US working class are starting to oppose the war on Iraq, and the most exploited sectors, the Black and Latino migrant workers are mobilising in their hundreds of thousands against the new immigration law for the Great American Strike of May 1, 2006. Today, the workers and students of France have declared that they will not be ‘flesh’ for the bosses, nor ‘cannon fodder’ for the imperialists. And like the US working class, it is the most oppressed sections of the class, the young workers of the Cités, who led this fight at the end of last year.

The oppressed workers of the US and France are throwing all the rotten, fake Trotskyists, who became the voice of the labor aristocracy and complained that the workers in the imperialist countries would have to go through years of economic struggles before being able to fight for socialism in the distant future, into the rubbish bin of history. Because today the most oppressed workers have shown that they are capable of mobilising a political fight in the imperialistic countries which can organise independently of the unions of the labor aristocracy and the bureaucratic leadership.

The fate of the world working class today hinges on the outcome of the present struggle of the French students and workers, and of the working class of the United States and its undisputed vanguard, the millions of Latino workers and immigrants. The main obstacle blocking this proletariat is the counter-revolutionary character of their main political currents, most of them associated with the World Social Forum, including the fake Trotskyists who have gone over openly to the camp of reformism, and the most abject class collaboration.

With the emergence onto the stage of the militant layers of the proletariat of France and the US, it is the urgent task of the healthy forces of Trotskyism to call an International Conference which can regroup these forces around a revolutionary program, and which fights without quarter to defeat the class collaborators of the WSF, in particular the renegades of Trotskyism, and to refound the World Party of Socialist Revolution. In this way, French Trotskyism can be refounded, defeating the fake Trotskyists, and recuperating the forces of the Fourth International of 1938 to provide the heroic and self-sacrificing young workers, women workers, migrant workers and all the most oppressed sectors of the French proletariat, the revolutionary leadership they justly deserve.

Fraction Leninist-Trotskyist, April 4, 2006 (Trans. from Spanish)

From Class Struggle 66 April/May 2006

May 1! Solidarity with US Migrant Workers!

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On this May Day, 2006 we recognise and honour the struggles of oppressed people everywhere. We must take as our own the cause all those of the Iraqi resistance, the Palestinean people, the French youth, the Nepalese masses, the Bolivian workers and peasants, among many others. All of these struggles are fighting the same global capitalist system faced by the US migrant workers who are calling for international action in support of their national stoppage on May 1. In many ways, these struggles will all be represented as one global class, one global fight, on May Day when the US migrant workers are calling for global solidarity against all US Corporations around the world!

Years of subordination to “their” imperialistic state has almost ended any internationalist consciousness in the US working class. For this reason the US workers celebrate their ‘Labour Day’ in September not on May 1st like the rest of the world. Nevertheless, May 1st for the worlds workers marks the commemoration of the “Martyrs of Chicago”, executed because they struggled for the 8 hour day in 1886. They were martyrs to the cause which has since been won by workers in many countries only by more strikes, mobilizations, actions and skirmishes with the police.

Now, the coalition of workers organizations, immigrants and anti-war groups have formed a movement against the reactionary law that seeks to criminalise migrant workers. They have called a “National Strike of Immigrants” for 1st May to prove that migrant workers do not ‘ruin’ the economy, but actually ‘run’ the economy, contributing billions of dollars more than they cost in welfare payments etc.

The undocumented workers have said “enough is enough” to the deaths at the hands of the border police and the “patriotic” para-military gangs that patrol the borders to defend their “American way of life”. Enough deaths in containers and trucks trafficked by dealers in human carcases with the complicity of governors and politicians. Enough of dying of hunger and dehydration in the desert.

They have said “enough!” to the discrimination that locks the undocumented workers out of the hospitals, the schools, and the right to be exploited “normally” like the rest of the workers. Enough of the wage slavery that allows employers to profit from their lack of rights.

The struggle of the migrants has aroused sympathy and support among the whole US working class as they joined with migrant workers in their massive marches and demonstrations in the last weeks. On April 10 another massive demonstration showed that the movement is growing.

The May 1st nationwide strike has adopted the slogans of “no work, no shopping, no school”, in an effort to mobilise many of the immigrants, legal and illegal. The call has also gone out to all those who support them to boycott all US corporations and their products in the whole of Latin America and the world.

This call must be taken up by all the rank and file of all workers organisations base and political parties that claim to be part of the working class to make May 1st a true international workers day! We must renew the demands of the the Million Worker march of December 1, sabotaged by the union officials.

  • Strike for the unconditional legalization of all the illegal immigrants! 
  • Smash all “anti-terrorist” persecution of immigrants! Oppose War, Racism and Poverty! 
  • Decent work for all! Free Public health, education and housing!

“We are America”, “We are those that you made walk to the U.S.A.”

Millions of protesters for weeks during March took to the streets in many US cities with placards carrying the above slogans, against the new law to criminalise migrants that is being debated in both Houses of Congress which is designed to control and to discipline the flow of migrants in the reserve army so it can be turned on the fill the available menial jobs, and turned off when the labour market is full with sacked workers from the closure of scores of plants and thousands of dismissals such as in the auto industry. Its purpose to keep an oversupply of labor necessary to ‘lower labour costs’ and so boost the falling rate of profit of US corporations to the level they can earn in low wage countries such as China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, etc.

Such workers are prevented from demanding decent wages, hours and conditions because they can be fired and replaced immediately without the wages due to them. The US imperialist state is so cynical it has recruited thousands of illegal immigrants in the armed forces to go to Afghanistan and Iraq in return for the promise of citizenship on their return. Recently Bush made a public relations event where he ‘granted’ in a ‘special act of grace’ citizenship to the families of soldiers who had been killed in the ‘war on terror’.

Added to the 12 million illegal migrants, are the “legalized” migrants and their families numbering about 24 million (around 12% of the population of the country), whose status is always subject to revision, thanks to the anti-terrorist laws,and other laws such as anti-strike laws, anti-union laws which can be used to ‘criminalize’ workers. The current law under consideration proposes to make it easier to revoke the ‘legal’ status and to deport workers (as in France). This law would hit “legal” Latino and Caribbean workers who are currently the majority in unionised workplaces, especially in the South, the West Coast and in New York, such as the dockworkers, food packers, processors and freezers of chickens, truck drivers, doormen, transit workers (as in New York), etc.

Many of these ‘legals’ came out on the marches because they could see that the attack on the ‘illegals’ is also an attack on them. Even the ‘middle class’ recognized that the attack on the immigrants was not about ‘race’ or ‘ethnicity’ but about class, because “we are workers, one and all”. The strength of the demonstrations forced the mass media to take notice, if only to give most air time to interviews with vigilantes (“the Minutemen”) who “take care of the borders”, beating, maiming, and even killing those who try to come to the US to find a a job that allows them and their families to eat.

The revolutionary struggle of the Latin American masses arrives at the heart of Yankee imperialism!

In Latin America today there are great anti-imperialist struggles that have overthown the governments of the client state of imperialism, notably the revolutions in Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia. While these revolutions have been diverted and tied up in dog collars by the Popular Front governments in those countries, they have nonetheless opened up a revolutionary road that goes to the heart of the US imperialist state.

It was these struggles, along with the Iraqi resistance, and the attacks on them at home, that forced the US working class to wake up from its American ‘dream’, and embark on a series of steps such as the Million Worker March; to condemn the Patriotic law; the war in Iraq; the war against jobs, health, education and housing at home; and more than anything, to express their anger at the disaster of Hurricane Katrina caused by US capitalism. This growing outrage resulted in the December 1 strike “against the war, poverty and racism”. It was such a threat to the ruling class that it was sabotaged by the Democratic Party. To add to this growing momentum of class struggle, the revolutionary struggles of the Latin American masses has spread into the USA through the Latino immigrants who refuse to be treated as criminals as well as slaves.

Today, US migrants are entering the fight alongside the heroic Bolivian workers and farmers who have brought down three governments; the Ecuadorian masses that have overturned four governments; the hard fights of the masses who have many times stood up against the “progressive” governments praised by World Social Forum and Fidel Castro in Argentina, in Chile, in Peru; the mobilizations in Central America against the Free Trade Agreements; the Mexican protests against the killings on the border and the eviction of farmers from their land; and the ground-swell of workers opposition to Chávez’ “Bolivarian Revolution” that threatens to strangle the revolution in Venezuela.

The great uprising of the US migrants has so far survived the attempts by the church, the NGOs, the union bureaucracy and the fake Trotskyists, to divert and contain it. Within weeks it has become a massive challenge to the Government. The determination of the migrants is strong but to defeat the Government the struggle has to become taken up by the whole working class, migrant and non-migrant, ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’. It must become part of the same struggle to end the war against Iraq and US imperialist attacks on the Latin American masses!

But the dangers of diversion and containment are real. So far the leaders of the movement have directed its force against the corporate owners and the Democratic party in an effort to get the Democratic members of congress to vote against the proposed law. In Washington, the marchers surrounded the Capitol and celebrated a ‘victory’ even while the Senate was voting to make them ‘outlaws’! Of course, this is to be expected from the Catholic Church and the NGOs who led the protest.

But much more shameful were the actions of the union officials and parties of the ‘left’ including the fake Trotskyists. None of them demanded that all workers, regardless of their union or lack of union, legal or illegal, daily workers or contract workers, victims of Katrina, those engaged in strike actions, or protesting the war etc., should unite to fight!

But again this does not surprise us. They sabotaged the nationwide strike on December 1 last year; the Transit strike in New York was left isolated –not only by the bureaucrats but by the “revolutionary” groups of the World Social Forum. Many other disputes such as Delta Airlines, Eastern Airlines, the auto workers at Delphi, General Motors, Ford, etc. remain isolated. So it is to be expected that they will leave the struggle of the migrants in the reactionary hands of the Church, and reformists and pacifists of the NGOs.

And of course, not a single voice of these traitors has been raised in Mexico and the rest of Latin America to organize a massive struggle across the whole continent in support to the immigrants in the U.S.A. who are members of the same class! Nor to unite the struggle in Latin America and the Caribbean against the exploitation and plundering of imperialism and the FTAA, CAFTA, the IMF, etc!

How is it possible to fight the war in Iraq without also fighting for the rights of immigrants? A fight to legalize migrants and open the borders for all workers in need, would be a fatal blow to the war on terror, and to the US occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, because for one thing, it would release those immigrants who are forced to go to fight to get their citizenship.

Enough of the treacherous politics of the bureaucrats and reformists, who play the game of the bourgeoisie who threaten a tsunami so that the workers can live with a hurricane!

The result of so far is that this so-called “victory” has not shaken the Republicrat regime or big business. It continues to press ahead with criminalisation of those who employ or aid immigrants, enlists many more agents as migrant police with new detection technology, and continues to build the border wall between Mexico and the U.S.A.

But what is more perverse is that they are quite open in allowing a large proportion of illegals to be legalised to work for 5 years provided they do not leave their jobs and get no complaints from their bosses. Any breaches of these slave labor conditions, such as joining a union, will allow them to be deported. If they are ‘model’ workers for 11 years they can apply for a ‘green card’ and residence.

In other words this is a ‘slave charter’ for migrant workers. This creates a new non-unionised workforce able to scab on the workers in the airlinies, GM, Delphi etc who try to fight against the use of the Bankruptcy laws by their bosses with the complicity of the union officials, to cancel their agreements and force them to retire on reduced pensions or face wage cuts of two-thirds.

Many of these plants are being closed and transferred to Latin America, China and other countries of Asia. But the ‘transplants’ of Asian automakers like Toyota in the US are non-unionised, so US automakers will try to use the migrant reserve army to work in any new plants they build for the same low wages, with no social benefits union rights or labour protection.

The bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO and ‘Change to Win’ (the new supposedly “progressive” bureaucracy) as well as many of the ‘left’ cannot mobilise a united fight against the new migrant laws because they concentrate their attack on the Republicans instead of mobilising a movement independent of both the union bureaucracies and both bourgeois parties. In so doing they play into the hands of the ruling class that fears the emergence of a radical militant labor movement that mobilises its power in the workplace to challenge the class rule of the US imperialist regime.

At the same time, the ruling class is trying to capitalise on the fear of migrant workers in the labor aristocracy and the petty bourgeosie to create a social base for a fascist movement to smash any future radical militant movement in the working class. This is why it is Homeland Security that is attacking illegal aliens as “unpatriotic” (waving Mexican flags!) and potential “terrorists”. That is, they plan to recruit the racist, nationalist divisions that have always been used to isolate and smash the militant sections of the US working class, which when aligned with the growing anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggles of the Latin American masses, would become an unstoppable force.

  • For the legalization of all immigrants! 
  • Open borders for all those that want to work in the U.S.A. and any country of the planet! 
  • The struggle of immigrants in the U.S.A. is the same as immigrants in Argentina, in Europe, in Australia and everywhere, for work, education, housing, health, and all other rights!  
  • Unite the proletariat of North, Central and South America! 
  • Down with the union bureaucracies and the treacherous leaders of all kinds, organised in the World Social Forum, that keeps the proletariat subservient to the national bourgeoisies and imperialism!

There is nothing, apart from the treacherous leaders, that stops the unity of the struggles of North, Central and South American workers. These struggles are against the same class enemy trying to smash almost two centuries of workers struggles to impose new defeats and reduce wages and rights to the same level as the reserve army of cheap labor in Asia.

The oppression and super-exploitation of workers in the oppressed nations gives imperialism more power to defeat its own workers at home. Just as the Latin American struggles have strengthened the re-awakening of layers of the US working class, a strong campaign of US workers against the Republicrat regime, halting the ruling class offensive on its rights and conditions, against the anti-terrorist laws, for open borders, for the democratic organization of the unions, for the defense of the victims of the Katrina, for the defeat of the imperialist army in Iraq and Afghanistan), for the popular uprisings in Latin America, and for the young workers and students in France, etc., would give a huge impulse to the struggles in Latin America.

To make this happen we have to defeat the union bureaucracies – the ‘labor lieutenants’ of the bourgeoisie in the ranks of the working class. We have to defeat all the treacherous leaderships grouped in and around the World Social Forum. They perform a vital service for imperialism by organising a continental-wide Popular Front to contain and defeat these struggles, by dividing, isolating and subordinating the revolutionary energy of the workers, the students, the immigrants, the oppressed sectors, to the Democratic Party, the Greens, Fidel Castro, Chavez etc. separating them sector by sector (employed versus unemployed, casual versus career, young versus adult, “national” versus “foreign”, union from union, workplace from workplace, country by country).

We need a revolutionary leadership in the unions fighting for a workers’ program in defense of the work, housing, education and health. We need an action plan against the attacks of the bourgeoisie, for the proletarian leadership of the anti-imperialist struggles and for open borders. It is vital that North American workers understand that their fate is bound to the exploited masses of Latin America and the world. To make this possible we must build, in North America as in Latin America, an internationalist, Leninist-Trotskyist revolutionary combat party, a section of a new Trotskyist International.

Unite the fight from Alaska to Terra del Fuego!

For an internationalist struggle against the treacherous leaders to give the working class of the continent the leadership that it deserves!

Fraction Leninist-Trotskyist April 2006 Translated from the Spanish

From Class Struggle 66 April/May 2006

Bolivia: Long live the revolutionary anti-imperialist struggle of the workers and peasants

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The recent uprising in Bolivia in the last months has taken the world’s centre stage. The workers and peasants rose up in their tens of thousands and forced the hated President ‘Goni’ to flee to Miami. But the revolution was stopped halfway by the leaders of the peasants’ and workers organizations’ who made deals with Goni’s replacement, another US stooge, Mesa. The leaflet below was a joint statement published during the recent uprising in Bolivia before the resignation of Goni in October? It raises the central question of the necessity for a nationwide workers’ congress to prepare for a Workers’ and Peasant’s Government. These demands were reprinted in the paper of our fraternal group Poder Obrero of Bolivia at the height of the struggle in September.

Long live the heroic revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggle of the Bolivian workers and peasants!

Long live the general strike with road blockages across all the nation!

For a workers’ and peasants’ government of the United National Leadership, the COB and of all the workers’ and peasants’ organizations that take part in it, based on the workers’ and peasants’ militia and on the self-organization of the workers and the people!

Out with imperialism and its blood sucking monopolies from Bolivia and the whole Latin America!

On Saturday 20th of September, the land of Bolivia was once again stained with workers’ and peasants’ blood. The army and police assassins, sent by the US lackey Sánchez de Lozada, irrupted with blood and fire in the localities of Warisata and Sorata, where workers and peasants were maintaining a total blockade of roads against the selling of the natural gas resources to the US, for the right to produce coca and for land for the peasants. Six more workers and peasants martyrs fell murdered, among them, a woman and her eight year old daughter; dozens were wounded, imprisoned or missing.

This new massacre of Sánchez de Lozada’s -“Goni” – government and the military-backeed regime, under a new agreement with Yankee imperialism, the gas and oil barons and the officer caste of the army, was perpetrated the day after tens of thousands of workers and peasants went into the streets of La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro and the main cities of the country, extending the peasants’ road blocks against the extraordinary plundering of Bolivian gas proposed by imperialism, the oil monopolies and the government. Once more the Bolivian workers and people rose up shouting the slogans “the gas is ours and not of the foreigners”; “With the gas and the coca, the future of our sons”. “Out with the gringos!”

But the massacre of Warisata did not demoralise the heroic Bolivian workers and peasants. On the contrary, while taking care of their martyrs, they prepared for battle again. In Warisata, they organized a workers’ and peasants’ militia to defend their lives from the assassin army. In Sorata, the people rose up, set fire to the prefecture, the hotels, the police stations, and the city is in the hands of the insurgent workers and peasants, who have declared themselves in a “state of civil war”. Thousands of workers and peasants in the province of Omasuyos – where Warisata and Sorata are – met on September 22 in a general assembly, raising the demands “Death to Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada”, “Civil war, civil war”, and “the gas is not for sale”, and demanding the head of the ministers of Government and of Defense and that of Goni himself.

The indefinite road blocks are now all over the country, leaving La Paz surrounded and forcing the closure of the markets in the capital city. The CSUTCB (Peasants’ Central trade-union) declared a national mourning for 30 days with road blockages and peasants’ strike, along with a peasants’ ‘state of siege’ -which means that the soldiers and the police officers cannot safely patrol the peasants’ communities. At the same time, it has called on the workers and peasants “to occupy the sub-prefectures, municipal offices, and military posts, so that the Wipala (the flag of the indigenous people) is the only national flag raised”.

Today, the workers and the peasants of Bolivia have forced their leaderships – the COB, Quispe, Morales – to set up a United National Leadership of Mobilisations, and to call for a general road blockage and for the indefinite general strike from September 29th, in the defense of the gas, for their particular demands which includes the resignation of the murderous government of Goni and his military regime.

So, the workers and the peasants have risen up again, breaking the truce made last February with the government by the leadership of the COB, Quispe and Evo Morales – members of the World Social Forum -, a truce that aborted the revolutionary uprising when the workers and peasants were mobilising against Goni’s government and his military forces, faced the army in the streets, threatening to divide it and causing divisions among the officers, and beginning the Fourth Bolivian revolution, under the battle cry “Rifles, shrapnel, Bolivia will not be silenced”.

Down with Sánchez de Lozada! Throw the imperialist pirates out of Bolivia!

Long live the heroic struggle and the general strike of our Bolivian brothers and sisters, who show the way for all the Latin American workers and exploited people, breaking the truces and the pacts imposed by the reformist leaderships grouped in the World Social Forum, and confronting the imperialist plunderers and their lackey governments and regimes!

Long live “the war for the gas” of Bolivian workers and peasants!

Fight Yankee imperialism, the imperialist oil monopolies, and the servile government that wants to steal the gas resources!

After having plundered the mineral riches of Bolivia for decades, after having taken the oil, after having left the country exhausted and in ruins, and the workers and peasants in misery, this gang of robbers who are the imperialist oil monopolies, Sánchez de Lozada and the Bolivian bourgeoisie, are ready to perpetrate a new extraordinary robbery against the people. The prize is very valuable: Bolivia has enormous gas reserves, valued at US$80 billion (when the GDP of this country is only US$8 billion), while the vast majority of the population has to use firewood to cook, and suffers cold without heating. The government has decreed the selling of the natural gas to an imperialist consortium (Pacific LNG, a consortium of YPF Repsol, British Gas and British Petroleum), which will build a gas pipeline to the Chilean port of Patillos and from there ship the gas to the United States. This business would make US$1.3 billion dollars of profit per year for 20 years (i.e., US$26 billion dollars!) for this monopoly and Bolivia will get only US$70 million dollars per year in royalties (i.e., US$1.4 billion in 20 years!

The same Yankee butchers and their greedy corporations that invaded and occupied Iraq to get its oil, today want to steal the Bolivian workers’ and peasants’ gas! How true was the cry of our Bolivian class brothers and sisters when, during the mobilizations against the war of Iraq, they shouted: “To Iraq for its oil, to Kollasuyu (indigenous name for Bolivia) for its gas; Gringos out of Iraq!”

Today, before such blatant robbery, the exemplary struggle of the workers and the peasants of Bolivia shows once more that they are not willing to be plundered. They had already shown this in 2000 in Cochabamba when they rose up against the imperialist monopolies that wanted to steal their water, and against the government of Banzer; and by opposing with a civil war the imperialist policy of eradication of the coca; and then last February again rising up against Goni’s generalised attack on wages ordered by the IMF, almost overthrowing the regime and forcing it to retreat. It proves once more that the working class – with its allies the poor peasants – is the only class that does not have any interest in serving imperialism, and for that reason, it is the only class capable of carrying the struggle against imperialism to the end, liberating the oppressed nation from its yoke.

Down with Sánchez de Lozada and the military-backed regime!

Throw imperialism and its plundering monopolies out of Bolivia!

For a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government of the United National Leadership, the COB and all the workers’ and peasants’ organizations that are part of it, based on workers’ and peasants’ militia and on the independent organizations of the workers and the poor people!

This gang of thieves and assassins, massacrers of the people and plunderers of the nation which is imperialism, its insatiable monopolies, the lackey bourgeoisie and the government of Goni, wants to steal the wealth of the people by means of blood and fire, to continue to condemn the people to hunger and misery and reduce Bolivia to a slave colony.

The only way to prevent this happening, to stop the plundering of gas and the natural resources of the country, and to win bread, work, land, living wages, and the right to cultivate coca, is to open up a victorious revolution with the general strike and road blockages, taking control of the factories, the banks, the transport, extending and centralizing the workers’ and peasants’ armed militias, destroying the West Point caste of army officers, overthrowing the murderous lackey government of Goni, smashing every pillar of the regime and expelling imperialism and its monopolies. And then imposing, on these ruins, a government of the United National Leadership, the COB and all the workers’ and peasants’ organizations comprising it, based on workers’ and peasants’ militia and on the independent organizations of the workers and the poor people.

To carry this decisive combat forward, the United National Leadership, the COB and all the workers’ and peasants’ organizations that take part in it must fight for the dissolution and disarmament of the police and the army and the construction and centralization of workers’ and peasants’ armed militia. This is the only way to destroy the army – a key pillar of the military-backed regime and of the state –at the same time calling upon the rank and file soldiers and the subordinate officers of the army –sons of workers and peasants –to rebel against the West Point caste of sepoy officers, to disarm and destroy it, and to organize themselves in committees of armed soldiers, to coordinate with the workers’ and peasants’ organizations and to join the general strike, putting their weapons in the service of the workers’ and peasants’ militia.

By overthrowing Goni and the military-backed regime and imposing a workers’ and peasants’ government, that breaks with imperialism and expropriates the expropriators; by re-nationalizing without payment and under workers’ control the gas, the oil, the mines, and all the privatized enterprises; by expropriating imperialism in general and breaking with the IMF, the World Bank and the IDB (International Development Bank); by imposing the free production and marketing of the coca, the provision of agricultural machinery, the canceling of the debts and the granting of cheap credit to the ruined small producers of the country, through expropriating and nationalising the banks under workers’ control and the creation of a single official bank; by nationalizing foreign trade; and by taking every measure to guarantee work, decent wages, health and education for the people; only in this way will the Bolivian working class and the peasants be able to finish with the catastrophe, the plundering and the colonial oppression caused by imperialism, the national bourgeoisie and the lackey government.

No new truce or pact with Goni and the gang of plunderers of the people!

For a Workers’ and Peasants’ National Congress of rank and file mandated delegates, democratically elected, to organize the decisive combat and to prepare the insurrection to defeat Goni and the military regime!

After the massacre in Warisata, and facing the indefinite general strike, the government of Sánchez de Lozada once more is trying to negotiate sector by sector, trying “to dialogue” with those organizations that have particular demands, such as the peasants led by Quispe, and ignoring others such as the COB who demand his resignation. For his part, Evo Morales declared that the coca producers of Chapare would not join the road blockages before October 10th because “the executive secretary of the COB was premature in calling for a national mobilization”, and he criticised Quispe for demanding that the representatives of the government go to Warisata to negotiate, saying that Quispe and the government “are gambling with the situation of the country”.

No new truce or pact with the murderous government of Goni and the gang of plunderers of the people!

It is necessary to stop the unity created in the struggle of the workers and the peasants from being broken by the reformist leaderships, and from allowing the energy, the struggle and the blood of the workers and the peasants to be abused by these leaders to establish new truces and pacts with the bosses, and, in this way, to save the government and its military backers. The only way forward for the masses is to create the widest direct democracy, with a workers’ and peasants’ national Congress of rank and file delegates who are democratically elected, mandated and recallable, in the COB and all the workers’ and peasants organizations that are part of the United National Leadership.

At the same time, in every village, every city, in every region, it is necessary to set up strike committees with elected delegates of all the organizations in struggle which become a true workers’ and peasants’ power. This National Congress, a true workers’ and peasants’ parliament – opposed to the power of the exploiters – would become an organization respected by all the masses in struggle, and with an enormous authority to guarantee the construction of workers’ and peasants’ militias, to advance workers’ and peasants’ control over production and distribution, to carry out the expropriation and the nationalisation of the banks under workers’ control, and the formation of a single official bank which releases small ruined producers from debt and provides cheap credit, as well as the nationalization of the foreign trade, and to fulfill these tasks by organising a triumphant insurrection to overthrow Goni and the military-backed regime and then to put in place a workers’ and peasants’ government that the bureaucratic leaderships of the trade unions, Stalinism and social democracy cannot do themselves.

The Bolivian workers and peasants show the way forward for the exploited of the whole Continent to break the collaborators truces and agreements and to confront imperialism and its client regimes!

The fight of the workers and peasants of Bolivia today is the undisputed advance guard of the struggle of the Latin American working class and exploited people to break the truces and pacts that the reformist leaders have imposed on them, tying their hands in the face of imperialism, the employers and the exploiting and repressive client regimes.

This is the road confronting the Bolivian masses today, the one that Fidel Castro imposes, along with the union bureaucracies of the continent, the leaders of the organizations the peasant’ unions, and all the reformist leaders of the World Social Forum. One of deals and class collaboration with pro-imperialistic popular fronts like that of Lula in Brazil, of colonel Gutiérrez in Ecuador, and President Lagos in Chile; or with the supposed “anti-neoliberal” governments like the one of Kirchner in Argentina, all servile lackeys of Bush and the IMF; or with the bourgeois nationalist governments, like the one of Chávez in Venezuela, which use the masses’ fight to blackmail concessions from imperialism, only to turn on the workers as soon as they threaten to erupt into revolution.

The road opened up by the Bolivian workers and peasants, is that of a fight to the end to bring down the government of Goni (Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada) and the military-backed regime – unlike that of FARC in Colombia, which refuses to expropriate a single factory or patch of earth in the territories it controls, and is today preparing to sign a new pact with the murderous government of Uribe and with the blessing of Lula, with the blood of thousand of farmers and city workers killed by the “death squads”.

For that reason, this fight of the workers and peasants must open the way to the ‘fourth’ Bolivian revolution, defeating the reformist leaders, overthrowing the government and destroying every pillar of the military-backed regime, including the officer corps, trained in assassination at West Point, and put in place a workers’ and farmers’ government based on the independent, armed organisations of the masses. This fight is inseparable from the struggle of the Ecuadorian workers and peasants to break the truce and the policy of class collaboration of their leaders and regain the revolution that they began in 1997. It is inseparable from the fight of the Argentine revolution, today retreating under the treachery of the union and piquetero bureaucracy and the reformist leaders, to raise once more its head; from that of the Peruvian workers to throw out the truces and agreements which the CGTP and the stalinists have made with Toledo; with that of Brazilian workers and farmers to break the links of the (PT) Workers Party with the popular front government of Lula and Alencar –which imposes the plans of the IMF, beating workers and massacreing farmers –and with the leaders of the CUT (Central Workers Union) and the MST (landless peasants’ movement), and to begin a political fight of masses against the government of Lula, the lackey of Bush.

Therefore, the insurgency in Bolivia today shows that the exploited people of Latin America face a life and death choice: either the victorious workers’ and peasants’ socialist revolution; or new and terrible defeats as the nations of the continent are turned into colonies and protectorates facing unlimited plunder and destruction. For that reason, the workers and peasants uprising in Bolivia depends on the successful struggles of workers for socialist revolution in each country of the continent, overthrowing the bourgeoisie, destroying its armed forces, and imposing workers and peasants governments based on the independent, armed organisations of the workers and the peasants that put an end to the imperialistic yoke and capitalist exploitation, and go on to form a Federation of Workers’ and Peasants’ Republics of Latin America.

But this historical task will only be advanced if the Latin American proletariat unites with its important ally, the North American working class, and in particular with its most exploited and oppressed fractions, the millions of black and latino workers, exploited and treated like outcasts by the imperialistic bourgeoisie, discriminated against by the US labour aristocracy and the union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO, who therefore suffer the worst working conditions, unemployment, poverty, as well as persecution and harassment by the police. By uniting with the North American workers of Latino origin, the working class of Central America and South America can build unity with the North American working class to weaken imperialism, to advance the revolution in the United States and assure the victory of the continental and world-wide proletariat in the struggle for socialism. But this will only be possible if the working class and the exploited of all the Americas, the United States but also of Latin America, overcome the dominance of the North American labour aristocracy and defeat the AFL-CIO union bureaucracy, the labour lieutenants of Bush and the Yankee imperialist bourgeoisie.

All out support and solidarity with the heroic fight of our class brothers and sisters of Bolivia!

The Bolivian workers and farmers are the leading edge of the fight against imperialism and its client governments in Latin America. They show how all the workers and exploited people of the continent can break the truces and agreements that the reformist leaders have made that tie the hands of the workers before imperialism, the capitalists and their lackey regimes and repressive austerity governments, allowing these regimes to remain and go on the offensive like today in Bolivia. We cannot allow the masses to continue being massacred by the servant Goni and his killer army! Their fight is our fight! Today we must all be Bolivian!

We call on all the workers, student organizations and parties that claim to be for the workers and against imperialism, to immediately act to win support for and solidarity with our class brothers and sisters of Bolivia, with mobilizations in the streets, picketing of Bolivian embassies, and the widest unity in action.

End the massacre and repression!

Long live the struggle of the Bolivian workers and peasants!

Down with the government of Sanchez de Lozada, assassin and exploiter of the Bolivian people!

Fight imperialism in Latin America!

The international Trotskyists that signed this declaration and who fight for the revolutionary program raised here are committed to initiate actions and to participate in united actions in all every way possible to build support for and solidarity with the heroic fight of our Bolivian brothers and sisters.

At the same time, we call on the workers and peasants of the continent, to demand that the leadership of all the political organizations in Latin America who speak in name of the working class and the poor peasants, and of the unions (like the CTA and the organizations of unemployed people of Argentina; the CUT and the MST of Brazil; the CUT of Chile; the CGTP of Peru; the CONAIE and the unions of Ecuador; the PIT-CNT of Uruguay, etc) that they immediately break all agreements with the client governments, and that they break all ties that subordinate these organizations to the employer’s associations. We call on the labour movement to immediately create a continental workers’ and peasants’ movement in support and solidarity with the heroic revolutionary and anti-imperialist fight of the Bolivian workers and peasants, against the imperialism that destroys the people of Latin America and against the governments that are their servants.

We must build a Trotskyist and internationalist revolutionary party, to equip the heroic Bolivian proletariat with the leadership it needs and deserves, and this is the task of the healthy forces of Trotskyist internationalists!

The Bolivian workers and peasants have given us great examples of heroism, of readiness to fight, and of revolutionary will. If they have yet not managed to open the way to the Fourth Bolivian Revolution, it is because of the leaders that they have in front of them, try at each step to prevent it. This life and death situation makes it more urgent and necessary than ever to provide the Bolivian proletariat with a new leadership –a revolutionary, Trotskyist and internationalist party, able to prevent them from sacrificing their forces and having their struggle expropriated once more by the truces, pacts, and class collaborationist alliances with “progressive patrons” and “the patriotic military”.

The program of Trotskyism, of Permanent Revolution – defended in the 1940s by the POR (Revolutionary Workers Party) the Bolivian section of the IV International, became flesh and blood when the Theses of Pulacayo were adopted by the Bolivian working class in 1946 as its revolutionary action program – is now more correct than ever and has passed the test of the class struggle. Unfortunately, Pabloism and the revisionism of the IV International became a political influence on the POR and its leadership, preventing it from playing a revolutionary role in the revolution of 1952 and in the revolutionary events of the Bolivian masses in the second half of 20th century.

Therefore, though Trotskyism has passed the test, the currents that call themselves Trotskyist have not. In the three previous incomplete revolutions – in 1952, in 1971 and 1985 – these currents demonstrated all their impotence, renouncing the Theses of Pulacayo, that is to say, the fight for the armament of the masses and the strategy of building Soviets (or independent armed workers and peasants organisations), and instead subordinated themselves to the bureaucracy of the COB, if not directly to bourgeois nationalistic currents like the National Revolutionary Movement (MNR) or to allies in “the patriotic military”. These are the Pabloite currents that have deprived the Bolivian working class of the revolutionary leadership that it deserved: a revolutionary internationalist Trotskyist party.

Today, at the threshold of a new revolution, the forces that will bring that party into existence are being formed: they are the advanced workers who denounce the leaders who betrayed the Theses of Pulacayo, and who have taken on the task of rebuilding the COB, so that it becomes a proletarian organisation that can lead the peasants and all the exploited people towards a victorious insurrection overthrowing the government and its military backers. They are those workers, the exploited peasants and the heroic women workers who are the driving force of the workers and peasants militias, the assemblies, the strike committees, and the blockades. These, along with the honest Trotskyist militants who oppose the capitulations and betrayals of the General Staffs of the renegade currents of Trotskyism, and who seek a revolutionary way out, are the emerging forces that will create the revolutionary party.

But this party will only be able to make and complete the Bolivian revolution if it joins in the struggle to regroup the forces of a healthy internationalist and principled Trotskyism, if it learns the lessons forged by the acute events of revolution and counterrevolution world-wide, if it adopts the Theses of Pulacayo as a revolutionary internationalist program that sees Bolivia as a link in the Latin American and world-wide revolution, and if it fights against the reformist leaders in Bolivia – the union bureaucracy of the COB, Quispe,, Morales –as an indissoluble part of the wider fight against that new counter-revolutionary international the World Social Forum, and against the renegade Trotskyists that support the WSF.

Only in this way, mounting an internationalist struggle on the ruins of the revisionist and liquidationist currents that usurp the flags of Trotskyism in Bolivia, can the revolutionary internationalist Trotskyist party that the Bolivian working class needs and deserves be built as a section of the world-wide party of the socialist revolution. It is the task of the revolutionary internationalists, on the threshold of the Fourth Bolivian Revolution, to urgently collaborate to regroup our forces by campaigning for an International Conference of principled Trotskyists and internationalist revolutionary workers organizations.

October 12 of 2003. –
Lucha Marxista (Peru)
Groupe Bolchevik (France)
Communist Workers’ Group (New Zealand)
Grupo Obrero Internacionalista-CI (Chile)
Liga Obrera Internacialista-CI (Argentina)

From Class Struggle 53 November 93-January 04

Written by raved

December 27, 2009 at 9:42 pm

The Social Re-Forum of Aotearoa

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From Class Struggle 52, September/October 2003

The Social Forum Aotearoa is meeting in November at Porirua to gather together those ‘social movements’ in NZ that are broadly anti-globalist and anti-capitalist.  The fundamental problem with these WSF currents is that they are reformist, believing it possible to overcome the defects of capitalism internationally without overthrowing it. The reason for this is that the gurus who dominate the WSF like Naomi Klein, George Monbiot, Noam Chomsky and Walden Bello, say that capitalist exploitation is caused by unequal exchange driven by powerful elites who can be replaced by more powerful masses.  We agree that a ‘A New World Is Possible’. But this must not be the old world order in new clothes, but a new socialist world.
The purpose of this article is to explain why this understanding of capitalism is wrong and why it leads to such disastrous consequences. Some anti-globalists like Monbiot argue that globalisation can only be resisted by an international civil society developing out of the institutions like the UN. This tendency is theorised in the book Empire by Hardt and Negri. Others seek to reclaim national sovereignty from these globalising forces. In NZ, ARENA, the Alliance, some Greens, and academics like Jane Kelsey, take this position (see article on Trade Wars).  These two positions overlap considerably, but can become somewhat antagonistic at the extremes.
We shall show that logically both of these approaches are two sides of a false coin which wrongly mistakes globalisation for a ‘transnationalisation’ of the location of power and wealth.  That is, international capitalism has centralised its power by undermining and then transcending the power of nation states. The question then becomes how to match this global power on an international level, and/or how to fight to reclaim national sovereignty at the local level?
Both strategies result from a common conception that the capitalists use their power to enforce unequal exchange between capital and labour. This inequality can be corrected at either global or local level by mobilising the counter-power of the masses to take over the capitalist state. For example, the ‘anti-globalisation’ movement adopts the strategy of attacking the global headquarters of multinational capital, while others favour the strategy of organising and linking local resistances to globalisation.  
Market fetishism
The key to understanding the different currents of the WSF is to see where they go wrong in their theory of capitalism.  They misunderstand the nature of capitalist political power. They see capital as exploitative because capitalists use their power to extract surplus from producers by underpaying them for their labour during the process of exchange. For them what is wrong with capitalism is the unequal exchange in the market that robs the producers and enriches the bosses.  Therefore exploitation can be resisted by workers mobilising their power and struggling until wages become equal to their value, and by nationalising the wealth accumulated from their past unpaid wages. This is political logic of the exchange theory of David Ricardo the foremost classical political economist critiqued by Marx in Capital.
The problem with Ricardo’s theory of capitalism was that he took the exchange relations of capitalism to be the basis of exploitation.  He equated capitalism with the market rather than with a set of historically unique social relations. 
For Marx, what distinguished the capitalist market from the earlier development of the market was the way it turned everything into commodities which exchanged more or less at their values (the socially-necessary-labour-time –SNLT, or the normal hours of workers using typical machines –required to produce them).
However, Ricardo could not explain why the value of one ‘commodity’, labour, which he agreed created the value in commodities, was paid less than this value. As Marx pointed out, Ricardo failed to understand that capitalism had created a new form of exploitation by making labour-power into a commodity. The capitalist bought the worker’s labour-power in order to create value. Labour-power was the only commodity capable of producing more value than its own value. Its own value was the socially necessary labour-time (SNLT) required to produce the commodities workers needed to consume to replenish their labour-power (i.e. the workers consumption). Because Labour was equal to the value of the product of labour-power the two could not be equated.
By forcing workers off the land and into industry capitalists could buy this labour-power at its value, produced by workers during part of the working day –necessary labour time –but also force workers to work for a longer period –surplus labour time –to extract surplus value and hence profits.  (Marx said if capitalists actually paid workers the full value produced by their labour they were idiots and would soon go out of business.)
Marx discovered this because he used a method of analysis that looked beneath the level of market exchange to the underlying social relations of production. For Marx then, it was necessary to explain how capitalism falsely presents production relations as exchange relations so that workers could become conscious of the need to revolutionise the relations of production.
Marx’s theory therefore reveals to workers how production relations come to be fetishised (re-appear falsely in another guise) as exchange relations. This happens because workers do not see the underlying mechanism of surplus-value production and assume that profits are deducted from wages.   This fetishised ideology of the marketplace where individuals appear as actors exchanging their commodities is the material base of the bourgeois ideology of the state representing individual citizens who can mobilise electoral majorities and reform exchange relations. 
From this ideology flows the concept of class exploitation at the level of exchange, of workers participation in parliamentary politics in popular fronts (all those who are in some way exploited by unequal exchange including small capitalists and even national capitalists) and reformist policies of wealth ‘re-appropriation’ or ‘redistribution’ back to the producers as the property or income of all those ‘exploited’ by capital – e.g. the rationale for Hardt and Negri to replace class with ‘multitude’ i.e. all those exploited by unequal exchange.
But more than this, neo-Ricardian theory becomes a practical application of bourgeois ideology when it is actively used by the petty bourgeois agents of capital as social democracy or reformism. This political doctrine tries to eliminate the risk of revolution by putting ‘socialism’ on the ‘installment plan’. Socialism becomes achievable in easy, progressive stages of equalising exchange, first by means of exhausting the potential of the bourgeois state for reforms such as land reform, nationalisation, social welfare etc. so that at some indeterminate point in the future these reforms  will compound into full-blown socialism. But in effect all that is being ‘revolutionised’ here is the fetishised form of capitalist production relations – exchange relations.  Thus even this reformist agenda pre-supposes getting and using state power step by step to defeat the capitalists.
The problem is that capitalist state power is only incidentally a means of determining the value of wages. That is overwhelmingly the role of the labour market. The state’s real purpose is to organise the interests of the ruling class as a state force to guard against any threat to capitalist productive relations.  The ruling class will not concede any state power if it results in their expropriation.
Therefore capitalist state power has to be taken by force and replaced by workers state power to transform capitalist social relations into socialist relations.  But as long as reformists and their exchange theory socialism continue to dominate the labour movement capitalist state power and capitalist social relations will not be challenged and overthrown. Or worse, any challenge will be defeated because workers are not prepared to take power. 
Global anti-capitalism
This is why those who adopt the strategy of global reforms to take power and equalise exchange are wrong. Hardt and Negri are a good example. They say that the enemy is no longer organised into national capitalist classes, but is united into one global Empire. The bosses’ power is now concentrated in global institutions like the IMF, WB, WTO and the big multinational firms. Since these are no longer located within any one nation state, then the anti-global and anti-capitalist forces must also be organised ‘transnationally’. The struggle that results will allow the ‘multitude’ (or the ‘new proletariat’) to become global citizens, win a ‘social wage’ (i.e. a guaranteed income) and assert its right to re-appropriate’ of capital.
S11 and the war on terrorism proves this theory wrong. The enemy is still imperialism organised on a national basis. US imperialism is based on US national territory and its government and military are violently advancing its interests with the war on terrorism and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Hardt and Negri have been forced to explain the post-S11 imperialist war and growing rivalry between US and EU as a regression of US imperialism back to nationalistic politics. But instead of seeing that this is neither a regression nor something confined to the US alone, they pronounced EU multilateralism as a more progressive stage of transnational capitalism, or Empire, and the UN as the body that represents the reformist potential of transnational government that can made to deliver on the masses’ demand for global citizenship, social wage and re-appropriation.
S11 has therefore knocked down, along with the twin towers, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, the reformist illusion that transnational capital is no longer located in rival imperialist powers. On the contrary, the conflict between the US and EU was not about the US breaking from its multinational obligations, but rather the naked re-emergence of rivalry between US and EU imperialism for control of territory, resources and markets.  Far from reflecting a victory of the ‘new proletariat’ in Europe to pressure Empire to concede its demands, EU imperialism is busy driving down workers living standards, cutting their social wage and ‘re-appropriating’ the gains of past workers struggles.
Therefore if there is no transnational location of power which determines production of surplus, there can be no transnational location of resistance to take power and reclaim the surplus.  This leaves the global anti-capitalists in their millions, reading Monbiot, marching without direction on the streets, incapable of organising anti-imperialist movements to defeat the military power of the imperialist states, and incapable of forming military blocs with oppressed states under attack from imperialism.  Worse, they are diverted from the elementary task of rebuilding independent organisations capable of mobilising workers to combat the deadly popular fronts of the reformist left with the bourgeoisie, religious extremists etc in the name of ‘civil society’. So maybe those who say that the better strategy to fight globalisation is that of reclaiming national sovereignty have a point?
National anti-capitalism
The nationalists at least recognise that power is not globally located outside national borders. Therefore they are usually on the side of oppressed countries against imperialism. But they make the same mistake of fetishising the power of nation states (as opposed to transnational states) to overcome unequal exchange. They think that reclaiming political sovereignty at the national level will allow them to regain control over their economies and the distribution of wealth.
To refute the nationalist position all we need to do is point to the history of social democracy. Whenever mass social democratic parties have become the government and attempted to use state power to radically redistribute wealth or equalise exchange by nationalisation etc, they have been overthrown by imperialist-backed coups or imperialist invasions. The high point of post WW2 social democracy was the 1970s when Chile, Portugal and Nicaragua all attempted to introduce radical social democratic reforms and were all overthrown by right wing coups.
After such defeats, including the fall of the Soviet Bloc, social democracy retreated a long way to the right and adopted neo-liberal policies imposing the costs of imperialism’s crises on the backs of workers and peasants. Where social democrats have won elections, as today in Latin America, not only can they not roll back neo-liberalism and win any substantial reforms, they are forced to attack their working class supporters. For example, Lula’s Workers Party in Brazil, the most left wing party in power in Latin America, is forced to govern in a popular front with the big boss party of Alencar and implement the World Bank’s policies. Lula is now busy suppressing rising opposition within his ranks.
This means that the same state power that the reformists claim can be taken over to win back sovereignty and protect the economy, is inevitably used against them by international capital. The state is the agency of imperialisms’ crisis policies and the means of repressing all challenges to its rule. The reformists dream turns into the workers’ nightmare.
The only power that can win control over the economy is the workers’ power used to overthrow the state and to impose a workers government and socialist plan. And that will not happen unless the domination of the labour movement by reformists in the WSF is exposed as grounded in a petty-bourgeois neo-Ricardian theory of unequal exchange. Not until revolutionary Marxists in the workers movement can build a class conscious vanguard party with a genuinely revolutionary theory and program to leader the masses will the prospect of workers power become real.
As we have seen,  the problem with the global and local strategies being debated in the WSF movement is not that one fights at a global level and the other at a national level, but that both are incapable of winning state power and taking control of, and planning,  the international economy.  This is because they fail to understand to real nature of capitalist production and the capitalist state.
By taking the fetishised forms of capital as real, the anti-globalisation strategy of the internationalists becomes a diversion from the real struggles that must initially be located within nation states. S11 has shown that faith in building an international social democracy on the basis of the UN or even the EU is utopian and dangerous.  It deludes those layers of workers and youth who are idealistically opposed to the effects of imperialism into the dead end of de-territorialised and directionless struggle against a non-existent transnational state. Instead these kids get beaten or shot by US, Italian or German cops and military.
On the other hand, while the nationalists are at least fighting on the ground where the worst effects of globalising imperialism are felt, their strategy is to sow illusions in social democrats winning state power from the capitalists without an armed struggle. As the history of Latin America demonstrates and today again shows, state power will not be conceded to the workers. It has to be taken by force and used by the masses to create workers governments that can take control of the national economies and begin to build federations of socialist republics and economic cooperation between countries.
The task of revolutionaries is to explain to those who are attracted to the WSF solution to capitalist imperialism that it is an adaptation to imperialism not a solution. We say that the WSF is a forum for the promotion of a reformist politics grounded in a fetishised ideology of capitalism. We say the leadership of the WSF hides their reformist politics behind a façade of ‘democracy’ that in effect denies workers’ democracy. The WSF leadership refuses to allow political parties to affiliate because it knows that this would invite serious debates leading to exposure and challenge of their reformist agenda.
As revolutionaries we want to break the rank and file participants in the WSF from its reformist agenda. The way to do this is to demand freedom of speech and organisation within the WSF. In this way those who see the necessity to expose and defeat the reformist agenda can challenge the WSF to take positions on the important questions of our time – the defence of Iraq against imperialism; against Lula’s popular front in Brazil; for workers occupation and control –without compensation –of factories like in Argentina etc.  CWG will do so on the basis of the 21 principles contained in the document calling for a conference of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary workers. As we say in that document, our urgent task is to refound a new world party of socialism that can unite the theory and practice of revolutionary Marxism in a program to overthrow capitalism and build socialism.