Sunday, July 21, 2019

LET’S STAND WITH MADURO’S VENEZUELA by CINDY SHEEHAN and DAKOTAH LILLY (FIRST APPEARED IN ROL, USA NL #115

 
LET’S STAND WITH MADURO’S VENEZUELA

by CINDY SHEEHAN and DAKOTAH LILLY


What many have been saying for months has now all but been confirmed. Numerous reports have come to light that show damning evidence of embezzlement and fraud committed by the U.S. imperialist-backed usurper and coup plotter in Venezuela, Juan Guaido.

Reports initially came from the PanAm Post, which is a historically ultra right publication that has even done a recent hit-piece on one of the authors of this article, Dakotah Lilly.

What was advertised by the predatory capitalist Richard Branson (Virgin)*  as a “humanitarian aid concert” on the Colombian border town of Cúcuta, Colombia, is now being exposed as nothing more than an act of propaganda and a smokescreen for widespread theft and con artistry. While much of the money was earmarked for the poor souls who decided to desert their positions in the Venezuelan military, the report alleges that this money instead found its way into the pockets of Guaido and his inner circle. According to The GrayZone:

*According to Wikileaks Branson was the founder of the Virgin Group that controls more than 400 companies.
“The cash that was used to entice desperate soldiers and would-be mercenaries to defect became a slush fund for the US-backed coup leader and his gaggle, who spent it lavishly on hotels, expensive dinners, nightclubs and designer clothes. As Guaidó’s gang lived the high life, he covered for their fraud, keeping his lips sealed until it was exposed through a leak by the Colombian intelligence services.”
A “smokescreen” or Trojan Horse caravan of “aid” to Venezuela was also supposed to be forcibly delivered to Venezuela from Colombia at the same time and while the Guaido mob was partying it up on the money from the concert, opposition forces were burning the supply trucks and blaming it on Maduro while screaming, “See, Maduro doesn’t care about the people because he’s not allowing aid to go through!” Of course, humanitarian aid never comes free from the Imperialists and Venezuela has accepted many tons of real aid from other countries.

Meanwhile, according to other reports, the few people from Venezuela who did defect to the traitors’ side received about $106 equivalent in US dollars, have no jobs, no decent place to stay and 20% of their children are malnourished. Many of them have joined
Maduro in front of Chavez projection
drug cartels or other shady border gangs just to survive.

Making all this even more credible are the statements by Luis Almagro, the U.S. boot-licking/anti-Venezuelan Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) who has called for an “investigation that clarifies these serious charges.”

Now that Guaido’s anti-democracy star is beginning to rust, it seems even some of his most fervent friends in the hegemonic media and the U.S. imperialist camp are jumping ship. Meanwhile, the legitimate, constitutional and democratic government of Nicolas Maduro and the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) are working day and night to end the hardships being waged on the Venezuelan people by the oligarchy, empire and the squalid opposition. 

Meanwhile, the United States government is attempting to make its illegal sanctions even more deadly.

This time the Evil Empire is targeting the CLAP system of production and essential good distribution. CLAP stands for, in English, “Local Committees for Supply and Production”, it is no wonder why the empire would target such a program. Not only is CLAP a program which provides basic foodstuff, household goods, and sometimes even toys and games for children to literally millions of Venezuelan families, but it is also a profound expression of popular power. 

Not only are the U.S. imposed sanctions aimed at “Asphyxiating the Venezuelan economy” according to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but the attack is much more cynical than this. This economic warfare being waged by the Empire, its lackeys, and the international establishment and oligarchy are aimed at directly attacking the Venezuelan population’s access to basic necessities.*

*Let us recall that Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of State Madeline Albright had said that the sanctions which helped cause the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi children were “worth it”.

*****



Not far from Venezuela is Honduras, yet another country which
Manuel Zelaya
has suffered at the talons of the eagle of the North. Let us recall in 2009, the coup supported by the Obama-Hillary Clinton U.S. Regime covertly, which saw the ousting of democratically elected left President Manuel Zelaya.

Zelaya aimed at incorporating Honduras into the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of our America, a bloc of anti-imperialist and left-wing countries founded by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The U.S. and its puppets in the region quickly saw Zelaya, as well as much of Latin America at the time, as a threat. Leaked Clinton emails from the time period show that the U.S. sought to keep Zelaya out of the country and even sabotaged efforts to bring him back to his constitutionally elected post as President of the country. Meanwhile, U.S. military officials met with coup plotters on the night before the coup, as well as suppressed the warnings of whistle blowers who sought to alert U.S. authorities of an imminent coup. All of this was A-OK with the U.S.: democracy and self-determination be damned.

What we have seen in Honduras and Venezuela are both extremely similar and extremely different. While there was active yet ultimately unsuccessful resistance from the Honduran people against the coup plotters and the U.S. backed interim government in Honduras (while labor and other activists are still fighting there!), what we see in Venezuela is a 20 year long process of popular mobilization, democratization and emboldening of the organized communities to protect their government of the people.

As one of the co-authors of this article Cindy Sheehan states in the pages of a previous newsletter (ROL, USA Newsletter #113/#114, “One Big Happy ‘Republicrat’ War Party—U.S. Hands Off Venezuela”):

“According to journalist John Pilger, the U.S. has overthrown 67 leaders in Latin America, but I don’t think Maduro will be #68: Maduro and the people of Venezuela are not backing down. Will Trump and his neocons Bolton and Elliot Abrams risk a full-scale invasion, because that is what it will take, and of course, the people will suffer further.”


Still tied down in a half dozen or more wars in the Middle East, does the U.S. Empire have the juice to embark on yet another massive criminal war in Latin America? Yet ultimately it will only be the rising  struggles of the international working class and the oppressed peoples against international capital, headed by U.S. imperialism, that will prevent further large scale U.S. imperialist war. Are we there yet?

Let's Fight to Free the Afro-American Nation by Pearl Haines (FIRST APPEARED IN ROL, USA #115)

First Appeared in in ROL, USA Newsletter #115: July-August 2019


LET’S FIGHT TO FREE THE AFRO-AMERICAN NATION!

by PEARL HAINES

Walk Together by Charles White

The notion that Afro-Americans have to dress a certain way, go to college, get a job, don’t have babies until marriage and stay clear of the law as part of a gradual process of gaining the respect due to us by the Caucasian majority of the U.S. is pushed by liberals. When Senator Bernie Sanders, the center left star, is questioned by Afro-Americans about why he deserves our vote and about his solution to white supremacy at the cruel heart of this settler nation, his main answer is “the black community needs jobs.” Bill Cosby famously espoused this idea in his “Pound Cake” speech of 2005.

We need to push back against the pushers of  “respectability politics” in order to get rid of our own tunnel vision. Sandra Bland, Philando Castile and Botham Jean (just to name a few) weren’t “thugs.” All three were “law-abiding citizens” with steady jobs who still lost their lives to domestic U.S. imperialism. This is evidence that the trite advice of  “pull up your pants stay in school and don’t break the law” isn’t the way that white supremacy will be eliminated. This shaming mantra only serves to put the onus of making Afro-Americans into fully-realized citizens on the oppressed people themselves.

In reality, the death of white supremacy can only be achieved through the liberation of the Afro-American homeland located in the Black Belt South and full reparations.

Land and State Power in the Black Belt South!

Further Reflections on the Communist International by Ray Light (FROM ROL, USA NL #115)

 
 
FURTHER REFLECTIONS ON THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL
 
Featuring the CI’s Outstanding Contribution
to the Philippine Revolution

by RAY LIGHT

“For the proletariat needs the truth, and there is nothing so harmful to its cause as plausible, respectable petty bourgeois lies.”
—Lenin


In our previous Double Issue, Ray O’ Light Newsletters #113 and #114, March-April and May-June 2019, we published my lengthy article entitled “Reflections on the Communist International on the occasion of the Hundredth Anniversary of its Founding (1919-2019).” Its concluding section (VI), entitled “Sixty-Five Years of Mostly Setbacks and Defeats and No Fight for a New Comintern” made the following points:

“... like Leninism itself, its organizational expression in the Third,
Lenin at 3rd Congress of Communist International
Communist International was not defeated from without; rather it was deserted, abandoned and betrayed largely by opportunists among the vanguard forces that achieved state power or some substantial level of autonomy/privilege through the victories guided by the Stalin-led Bolsheviks, the Soviet Red Army and masses and the Communist International.


“At least the past sixty-five years, approximately since the death of Stalin in 1953, have been largely characterized by setbacks and defeats. Yet it is precisely in this sixty-five year period that virtually no effort has been made to re-establish a Communist International in the tradition of the Third International, the Comintern! 

“Those of us who have claimed to be communists in this period have to be held accountable for any failure on our part to make a priority of the building of a new Communist International along with the constant duty to engage in proletarian internationalist activities which helps lay the basis for construction of such a global vanguard organization.” (p. 15, Ray O’ Light Newsletters #113 and #114, March-June 2019)

THE PROLETARIAN TRUTH

Perhaps the most compelling argument I made in the previous article regarding the immense value for the international working class and oppressed peoples of a Communist International then and now was that I unearthed the startlingly courageous and exemplary role, virtually alone and against all odds, played by the Stalin-led Soviet Union and the Dimitrov-led Comintern (including the Spanish Communist Party) in support of the Spanish people’s heroic defense of the Spanish Republic against the Franco fascist army backed by Italian and German fascism in the latter half of the 1930’s.* Indeed, although the Spanish Civil War ended in defeat for the Spanish people, the Soviet Union and the Comintern, including the universally admired International Brigades, the Stalin-led Soviet Union and the Soviet-led Comintern learned the bitter lessons of this “dress rehearsal for World War II” and played the decisive role in the global defeat of world fascism in World War II. This ushered in a period where the forces of anti-fascism, national liberation, socialism and communism were in ascendancy throughout the world.

*This thorough documentation of the real heroes and villains of the Spanish Civil War was surprisingly and grudgingly provided by avowedly bourgeois Princeton professor Stephen Kotkin in Volume II of his massive thousands-page epic, “Stalin.”

Now we are looking back fully one hundred years and are stunned to realize that most of the remarkable accomplishments of the international proletariat and its allies, with leadership and organization provided by the Bolshevik-led Comintern and Bolshevik-led Soviet state power, occurred within just the first thirty-five years of this one hundred years. (This includes the twenty-five years of the CI’s organizational existence and the five to ten years that followed the Comintern’s dissolution in 1943.)  Indeed, the last truly global great advance (following on the heels of the Soviet-led and Comintern-led defeat of global fascism in 1945) was the victorious Chinese national democratic revolution formally declared by Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao tse-tung on October 1, 1949. 

Ironically, it was a second, allegedly “even more important” Chinese revolution, the so-called Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR), launched in the name of Mao tse-tung in August of 1966, that helped seal the end of the Comintern’s period  of proletarian revolutionary advance. From the very outset, the Cultural Revolution principles enunciated in the August 8 and August 12, 1966 documents, had a bourgeois national construction emphasis, displaying a China First strategy that stood in opposition to proletarian internationalist principles. “Self reliance” became the hallmark of the new China.

To the extent that the GPCR paid any attention to the rest of the world, it was on a bi-lateral basis at both the government level and the vanguard party level. This narrow and selfish outlook soon became the unquestioned standard for international relations between and among almost every party in the world.

This bankrupt bourgeois nationalist line of “self-reliance” is the old Titoite line of “every party and every country for itself.” It rests on the prevailing social-democratic “conventional wisdom” (that is, the BIG LIE) that there was something seriously wrong with the Communist International for basically functioning as a world party.

Especially the imperialist rulers, but virtually all the class forces in the world, other than the international proletariat and poor peasantry, have a stake in keeping you and me from learning the proletarian truth about the great Third, Communist International.

*****

I.

 COMRADE SISON’S OUTSTANDING 2006
SPEECH ON THE COMINTERN’S ROLE IN THE PHILIPPINES
 
Jose Maria "Joma" Sison


Comrade Jose Maria Sison is widely considered the most important revolutionary leader of the Philippines over the past fifty years. He was the founding leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in 1968, arguably the most serious Maoist revolutionary organization in the world. This anti-revisionist party has been seen as the continuer of the revolutionary work of the Communist Party of the Philippine Islands (CPPI/CPP), the Philippine affiliate with the Comintern. In addition, unlike most Maoists and almost all other avowedly “communist” leaders, Joma has remained steadfast in his principled defense of comrade Stalin and the rich legacy of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

Nevertheless, when I first studied comrade Sison’s 2006 article on this subject,* I was shocked as well as delighted by how tremendously positive his assessment was of the Comintern’s role in the founding of the CP of the Philippine Islands (CPPI). For a number of years, comrade Sison and I had worked cooperatively and with mutual respect (as we have continued to do). But this close cooperation was in spite of the fact that our respective views of the so-called Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China were polar opposite!

*“Impact of the Communist International on the Founding and Development of the Communist Party of the Philippines” (May 5, 2006)

I’ve considered Chinese Party leader Mao Tse-tung an outstanding Marxist-Leninist and revolutionary especially through the victorious Chinese national democratic revolutionary stage in 1949 when Leninist leadership was still formidable in the international communist movement. However, I’ve maintained that Mao’s theory and practice in the post 1949 period and especially his involvement with the Cultural Revolution from 1966 until his death involved conciliation with the Chinese national bourgeoisie and a bourgeois nationalist deviation from scientific socialism that has been manifested mostly in “left” but sometimes in right opportunism.

By contrast, comrade Sison has maintained that “Mao Tse-tung Thought” represents a new, higher stage of communist thought and deeds (i.e. beyond Leninism), and that the so-called “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” was the most important of all the proletarian revolutionary historical events thus far.

One of the most powerful concepts projected in the GPCR is the concept of “self-reliance” of individual communist parties. Moreover, both comrade Sison and I have direct and/or indirect experience with meetings in which Mao in that period expressed strong and clear opposition to Chinese CP participation in multi-lateral meetings of communist parties and groups in the international communist movement and expressed willingness for the Chinese Party to participate in bi-lateral vanguard meetings only. 

Given the above, I was pleasantly shocked to find that in the body of comrade Sison’s substantial article, as he shared the Comintern’s role in the Philippines, there was not even one criticism of the CI’s multiparty and multi-lateral party role there.

In fact, he explains that the Comintern, from its Second Congress on, in the Theses on the National and Colonial Questions (1920), proclaimed, “All communist parties must support by action the national-revolutionary movements in colonial countries. The form which this support should take should be discussed with the communist party of the country in question, if there is one. This obligation refers in the first place to the active support of the workers in that country on which the backward nation is financially, or as a colony, dependent.” It was in accordance with this Leninist principle that the U.S. Communist Party would come to play a large role on behalf of the Comintern in aiding the Filipino comrades in the construction of the CPPI. In addition, the role of the overseas Chinese workers living in the Philippines would place the CP of China in an important role in the building of the CPPI as well.

The Comintern’s Impact on the Founding and Development of the Communist Party of the Philippine Islands (CPPI)
Comrade Sison begins with a description of the evolution of the Philippine working class from “a germinal modern industrial proletariat [that] emerged in the colonial and feudal Philippines under Spain” “in the second half of the Nineteenth Century.” He cites the formation of a union of printers and then the “UOD” labor federation in 1902 that represented an advance from the artisan guilds to modern trade unionism. The founder of the UOD, Isabelo Reyes, had been in prison in Barcelona in 1897 for anti-colonial activities but was released by Spanish authorities from 1898 onward to do anti-U.S. propaganda. Knowledgeable about European political trends, Reyes was most influenced by petty bourgeois nationalism and anarcho-syndicalism. Thus he saw the building of the trade union movement as the way to build the nationalist movement against the new colonial power, U.S. imperialism.

Similarly, Crisanto Evangelista, “the prospective founder of the
Crisanto Evangelista
Communist Party of the Philippine Islands (CPPI)” still belonged to the Nacionalista Party when he represented labor in an Independence Mission to Washington in 1919. Through most of the 1920’s Evangelista and other progressive working class leaders focused on the effort to unite the trade unions and labor federations in the Philippine Workers Congress (COF). In 1925 they established the Partido Obrero (Workers Party) on the basis of the trade union movement and the peasant movement. Though not yet a Marxist vanguard party, the Workers Party enabled the patriotic and progressive labor leaders, the COF majority, to distinguish themselves from “the yellow labor leaders.”

According to comrade Sison, Filipinos proudly point to the fact that, in 1896, they carried out the first bourgeois democratic revolution in Asia. He points out that, likewise, Filipinos should salute the Indonesians for having established their Communist Party in 1920 and the Chinese for having established their CP in 1921, “much ahead” of the CPPI’s founding in 1930. Thus, the CPPI’s experience was with a more organized Comintern (founded in March 1919), including the Indonesian and Chinese parties, than the Indonesian and Chinese comrades had first encountered.

One moving quote, shared by comrade Sison, reflects Lenin’s deep respect for and confidence in the oppressed peoples from the East. Lenin challenged the delegates at the Congress of Communist Organizations of the Peoples of the East in Baku in November 1919, about six months after the CI’s founding, as follows: “The period of awakening of the East in the contemporary revolution is being succeeded by a period in which all Eastern peoples will participate in deciding the destiny of the whole world so as not to be simply an object of the enrichment of others. The peoples of the East are becoming alive to the need for practical action, for every nation to take part in shaping the destiny of all mankind.”

Interestingly, according to comrade Sison, early on “the Comintern established a number of revolutionary organizations of working people including the Red International of Labor Unions (RILU or Profintern) in 1921 and the Peasants’ International (Krestintern) in 1923. Subsidiary offices of both were established in China to cover the Far East and Pacific area. It was under such Comintern-led revolutionary organizations rather than directly the Comintern itself that new forces would be won to the banner of the Communist International.

Under the auspices of the RILU, the Conference of Pacific Transport Workers was held in Canton, China in June 1924. Five Filipino delegates were able to attend. U.S. communist leader Alfred Wagenknecht brought the invitation to the Philippines, made a survey of the labor organizations and arranged the trip of the chosen delegates who accompanied him to Canton. The five delegates were able to meet and discuss with labor leaders from China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Australia, USA, England, France and USSR. They were also able to bring home a conference resolution calling for the immediate independence of the Philippines from U.S. colonial rule. While the five were initially enthusiastic and formed a “Bolshevik secretariat” to issue a secret periodical, they lost their enthusiasm and not one ultimately joined the communist movement. Nevertheless, no doubt some seeds were planted on Philippine soil and the Comintern persisted.

At the Fifth Plenum in April 1925, the Comintern approved its first resolution on the Philippines. It urged the U.S. “CP” to support the liberation movement in the Philippines, encourage the formation of a CP there from the revolutionized trade union and peasant movement and encourage the formation of a national-revolutionary mass party from all groups actively campaigning for national independence.

Comrade Sison observes: “... the communication links with Comintern organizations, the flow of publications from the CI and consultations with visiting U.S., Chinese and Indonesian communists had begun and eventually helped to stimulate a leftward trend in the Philippine labor movement amidst the worsening social conditions and upsurge of anti-imperialist and class struggles.” (My emphasis, ROL)

“In 1925 Evangelista became Secretary of the COF-based Partido Obrero and led it to adopt the Left position of waging anti-imperialist and class struggle but still seeking to reform the existing social system and peacefully demanding independence.” From 1924 to 1928, CPUSA cadre, linked to the China-based RILU Pan-Pacific branch, visited the Philippines and interacted with Filipino labor leaders. They included Harrison George and Earl Browder* who both represented the CPUSA-led Trade Union Educational League (TUEL) in the RILU’s Pan-Pacific branch.

*Comrades George and Browder are quite a pairing. Harrison George, an outstanding son of the working class, was a charter member of the U.S. communist party and later editor of the Daily Worker. Still later, as comrade Harry Haywood described it, the heroic comrade George was victimized as a “premature anti-revisionist.” On the other hand, Earl Browder became infamous as the arch U.S. revisionist who set an example of class collaboration with U.S. imperialism that Yugoslavia’s Joseph Broz Tito followed in leading the disintegration of the international communist movement.

In May 1927 a Pan-Pacific Trade Union Conference held by the RILU established a permanent Pan Pacific Trade Union Secretariat (PPTUS). Though invited, no Philippine delegation had been able to attend that conference. Nevertheless, on behalf of the U.S. workers, Harrison George pushed a resolution expressing solidarity with the workers and peasants in the Philippines and support for their struggles for national freedom and emancipation from exploitation. A month later at the Fifteenth convention of COF it declared its adherence to the PPTUS. The COF and the KPMP (National Federation of Peasants of the Philippines) affiliated with the PPTUS. The KPMP also started communications with the Krestintern. By that fall, Harrison George had already recommended to the Comintern that six Filipino comrades be invited each year to study in Moscow at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East.
Communist University of the Toilers of the East


In March 1928 the RILU invited Crisanto Evangelista and another COF comrade to attend the RILU’s Fourth Congress in Moscow. At the same time Jacinto Manahan, a  KPMP cadre, was invited to come to Moscow to attend the Krestintern Conference.  Evangelista and Manahan stayed in Moscow for three months. According to Joma, “they had lengthy discussions with the Political Secretariat of the Comintern on the question of organizing the vanguard working class party in the Philippines.” The Secretariat adopted a resolution on April 20, 1928, “The Main Task of the Communists in the Philippines.” It outlined a path to building the party including the gradual transformation of “the Labor Party into a party of the masses, into an effective communist party.”

Also in April, Evangelista proposed the sending of Filipino workers to study in Moscow. He visited the Communist University of the Toilers of the East and talked with the director as well as the educational coordinators of the Profintern and the Krestintern. Upon his return to the Philippines, Evangelista arranged for three young workers to study in Moscow at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East. Comrade Galvez finished the full course of three years and joined the KOMSOMOL or Young Communist League of the USSR.  A U.S. communist cadre, Sam Darcy, gave him briefings on party work. When he returned home in November 1931 (after the CPPI was established) Galvez became active in Party Education work. A second comrade had completed two years and went home and became a delegate to the First Congress of the CPP on May 30, 1931.

In June 1929, two more cadre were sent to study at that University in Moscow. One was a peasant organizer, Emilio Maclang. After finishing the three year course comrade Maclang stayed on another year doing translation work into the Philippine national language. After returning home in 1933, he would be chosen as head of the second line of leadership. He became the underground secretary of the CPP as soon as the open leaders of the CPP were imprisoned and banished.

Comrade Sison states that U.S. “communist cadres appeared
prominently as the most helpful to the Filipino cadres in the formation of the CPPI. But comrades of other nationalities, especially the Chinese were also helpful, especially because they had their own labor and youth organizations in the Philippines.” He points out that the Philippine branch of the Chinese CP was established in the early 1920’s, well before the establishment of the CPPI! Also, the Young Communist League of the Chinese CP was formed in 1926 and was otherwise know as the Overseas Chinese Communist Union. The leader of this group as well as two other Chinese comrades later became members of the first Central Committee of the CPPI in 1930. The Chinese communists organized in the Philippine Chinese Labor Federation had close ties with the COF and Partido Obrero.  Indeed, in October 1929 the Chinese Communist Party and the Young Communist League decided that the Chinese communists should assist the efforts of Partido Obrero in forming the CPPI.

Meanwhile, in 1930 the Great Depression engulfed the world capitalist system engendering workers’ strikes and peasant uprisings in the Philippines. There was widespread mass support for national independence from the U.S. colonial regime and  intensified class struggle against the local comprador big bourgeois and the landlord classes. The objective conditions were ripe for the founding of the CPPI. Twenty-seven of thirty-five labor federations and associations in COF broke away to form Proletarian Labor Congress of the Philippines (KAP). KAP and KPMP became the organized mass base for the projected CPPI. The PPTUS recognized KAP as the legitimate representative of the organized workers in the Philippines. The CPUSA-led TUUL (formerly TUEL) reserved a seat in its National Executive Committee for a KAP representative as a form of recognition and support for KAP.

After the formation of KAP, the Committee for a Workers Vanguard Party was set up to recruit the initial membership. By June 1930 there were 96 of them---most recruited from KAP unions. In addition, 60 Chinese communists from the PCLF and YCL were prepared to join CPPI but retained their autonomous all-Chinese nuclei. A convention organized the party on August 26, 1930 and elected the first central committee of thirty-five members.

Unlike other communist parties in East Asia, the CPPI was established legally despite its proclaimed aim of overthrowing U.S. imperialism and the capitalist system. In fact, the party was formally launched at a public rally on November 7, 1930, the thirteenth anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia. During the rally, about 3000 of the 6000 attending masses of workers and peasants filled out applications for party membership! Clearly, the new CPPI was vulnerable to persecution. The U.S. colonial authorities carried out intense surveillance and disrupted the legal mass actions of the new party in 1931.  They carried out mass arrest of the CPPI leaders and the delegates to the First Party Congress. They filed charges of sedition and illegal association against the party leaders who were subsequently sentenced to imprisonment and exile in 1933, after a number of court appeals.

Soon after the founding of the CPPI, the Comintern sent U.S. communist leader Eugene Dennis to the Philippines to investigate the CPPI’s situation and make recommendations. He reported that the CPPI had considerable broad influence and that its formation had great significance for the workers and peasants and the revolution as a whole. It laid the basis for the development of the national liberation movement under proletarian class leadership. However, comrade Dennis also found that the party was lagging behind in the development of the strike movement it led and was failing to organize the growing mass discontent of the peasantry. Basically, the CPPI was working in opposition to the mass line—from the masses to the masses; instead, its tendency was to work from the top down and not through mass work from below.

Dennis observed that the CPPI was functioning mainly as a propaganda organization and not yet as a fighting force of the workers and peasants. And there was no effective organizing of women and youth. He noted a tendency to rely on legal battles in the courts and to solicit local politicians in the bourgeois parties. Finally, there was political and organizational confusion caused by failure to make distinctions about the scope of activity and the political level of the CPPI, the KAP, the KPMP and the Anti-Imperialist League.

According to comrade Sison: Following the recommendations of comrade Dennis, the Comintern advised the CPPI to hold its First Party Congress within six months and to make intensive preparations for it at lower levels of the party. The Comintern warned the party that its legal existence would be of short duration because U.S. finance capital was preparing to suppress the party. On that basis, the Comintern wisely advised the CPPI to build an underground apparatus that was not isolated from the masses but still linked to them through mass organizations and mass struggles.

Comrade Sison observed: “The CPPI took the Comintern advice and held its First Congress on May 30, 1931. The 400 delegates were very representative of the toiling masses ... The spirit of proletarian internationalism was manifested by resolutions in solidarity with the Chinese workers and in support of the Soviet Union and by decisions strengthening ties between KAP and the PPTUS as well as the Trade Union Unity League led by the CPUSA. The Congress passed a resolution formally applying for affiliation to the Comintern.”

On September 7, 1931 the CPPI received the reply to its application for affiliation that begins: “The Executive Committee of the
Georgi Dimitrov
Communist International greets the formation of the CPPI and approves the decision of the First Congress of the CPPI in May 1931 to request affiliation to the CI. This decision will be presented to the Seventh World Congress of the CI for confirmation.” Among other things, the Comintern’s reply states: “The organized crystallization of the Communist Movement in the Philippine Islands and its affiliation to the CI ... represents the surest guarantee for the victorious carrying through of the anti-imperialist and agrarian revolution in the Philippines.”

But comrade Sison points out: “The CPPI did not pursue the whole line of the anti-imperialist and agrarian revolution in order to overthrow the enemy and establish a government of the workers and peasants, as indicated by the Comintern ...” “The CPPI made statements for overthrowing U.S. imperialism, the entire bourgeoisie and landlord class and attaining what the working class had achieved in Russia. But such statements were merely rhetorical.” According to comrade Sison, the CPPI did not see that U.S. colonial rule and the chronic crisis of the semi-feudal economy were favorable conditions for armed revolution. Instead, the CPPI competed with the Nacionalista Party and other bourgeois parties in verbal demands for immediate, complete and absolute national independence within the legal and political processes of the U.S. colonial system.”

Regarding the agrarian revolution, “the CPPI had no comprehensive grasp of how to carry it out by integrating armed struggle, land reform and mass work and doing so within the framework of the national democratic revolution ... in the entire decade of the 1930’s, it sweepingly denounced as anarchist all the armed peasant revolts which occurred in various provinces of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It rejected these to justify avoidance of agrarian revolution.”

Immediately after the U.S. colonial authorities cracked down on it in 1931, the CPPI membership of 2000 abruptly shrank to only a few hundreds. It was a membership with a generally low level of ideological and political consciousness and with no experience and organizational preparation against repression. After serving their prison sentences, the CPPI leaders were banished to different provinces in the Philippines. They could have easily escaped their banishment and pursued the line of anti-imperialist and agrarian revolution. But they did not. They preferred to be where they were banished, although they continued their links with the CPPI underground. Second line leader Maclang took Evangelista’s place from 1933 to 1935 and Rufino Tumanda replaced him as general secretary from 1935 to 1938. Tumanda had been a Filipino member of the CPUSA and had founded the Filipino Anti-Imperialist League in Brooklyn. Neither Maclang nor Tumanda could stop the shrinkage of the CPPI membership down to only 197 members in 1938.

While the party membership remained small in this period, comrade Sison points out that the active party members within KAP and KPMP had wide influence in Manila factories and some Central Luzon towns respectively. And the CPPI-led League for the Defense of Democracy had increasing influence, especially among the intelligentsia. The Popular Front, formed in 1936, gave the underground CPPI more room for maneuver. But it became so focused on electoral work against the ruling Nacionalista Party and in this effort they even included the pro-Japanese imperialist Sakdalista Party, so the Popular Front had difficulty drawing masses in to the fight against fascism in Japan, Germany, Italy and Spain until 1938.

*****

Despite being underground, in 1934, with the assistance of the CPUSA, the CPPI was able to send a three person delegation to the strategically important Seventh World Congress of the Communist International. The Seventh Congress (postponed until 1935) stressed the need for the development of a broad anti-fascist united front of communist and non-communist forces and targeted the fascist powers as the gravest dangers to humanity.

Also at the Seventh Congress the CPPI application for membership was approved by the Congress. And due to its postponement the three Filipino comrades were able to spend the year studying at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East. In 1935 five more Filipino comrades, escorted by CPUSA cadre Isabelle Auerbach, wife of Sol Auerbach (aka James Allen), traveled to Moscow to study. They included two KPMP cadre, two tobacco workers and a dock worker. They were able to return home in 1937 and 1938. But other Filipino comrades were unable to get there because of the full-scale war of aggression of Japan against China.

Comrade Sison points out that, as a new Comintern affiliate, “the CPPI had a highly creditable record of proletarian internationalism from the beginning.”

With justifiable pride, he listed the following CPPI contributions on the world stage. “It supported the revolutionary movements of the Indonesian, Chinese, Indochinese, Malayan, Indian and other peoples against the colonial powers and their puppets. Filipino-Chinese communists belonging to the CPPI either supported the Chinese revolution from the Philippines or went to China to join the CCP and the people’s army. Filipino members of both the CPPI and the CPUSA joined the Abraham Lincoln Battalion to fight on the side of the Spanish republicans against the fascist forces of Franco in the Spanish civil war.”

In 1936 James Allen was directed by the CPUSA to go to the
James Allen
Philippines, in the words of comrade Sison, “to promote among the Filipino communists the implementation of the anti-fascist popular front line of the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern. It also mandated him to work for the release of the imprisoned and exiled CPPI leaders and the legalization of the CPPI and explore the merger of the CPPI and the Socialist Party led by Pedro Abad Santos. Comrade Allen’s legal job in the Philippines was as a correspondent for the prestigious liberal U.S. magazine, the Nation.*

*He and his capable wife, Isabelle Auerbach, stayed in the country from August to November 1936.
Incredibly, with much CPUSA-CPPI-Comintern cooperation, the U.S. comrade successfully fulfilled all these ambitious goals!! On the implementation of the Seventh Congress line on the struggle against fascism, Allen knew well Rufino Tumanda from his days as a CPUSA member in New York City. Comrade Tumanda arranged meetings with the leaders in their places of exile eventually organizing a meeting with 25 central comrades for briefing James Allen and consulting with him on the situation.*

*Allen was also able to develop close relations with Socialist Party Chairman Santos, Bishop Aglipay and personalities in intellectual circles.
 In September 1936 the CPPI Central Committee issued a manifesto entitled, “Forward for the Formation of the Popular Front” in which they called for an alliance but one aimed against the Commonwealth government, particularly the Quezon-Osmena coalition. In October 1936 the CPPI leadership held a conference to organize the Popular Front. But it “united” a hodge-podge of organizations, including pro-Japan and pro-fascist organizations, based on the commonly held position that the Popular Front was for the purpose of electoral opposition to President Quezon as a traitor to national independence and to demand immediate separation from the USA. (The objective of opposing fascism and war from the direction of Japan and other fascist powers was unclear to CPPI cadre for at least two years.)

Guerrillas in Luzon during WWII


On November 23, 1936 James Allen had a day-long interview with Philippine President Quezon on a whole range of issues. Among other things, Allen urged Quezon to release the communist leaders in order to strengthen national unity against the growing threat of aggression from Japanese fascism. Quezon was noncommittal about the release of the communist leaders. But on New Years Day of 1937 he used his presidential power to release them on a conditional pardon.

Even in September of 1937 the CPPI Central Executive Committee issued a statement declaring that the immediate recognition of Philippine independence would save the Philippines from possible invasion by Japan. James Allen wrote a long letter to Socialist Party chairman Pedro Abad Santos to explain that the demand for immediate independence or the U.S. agreement to such a demand would be precisely the invitation to invasion by Japan. Allen’s letter, published in the Philippines Herald on November 1, 1937, “served clear notice to the CPPI to direct its fire against the threat from Japanese fascism.” Even before it appeared in the Philippines Herald, the CPPI leaders must have gotten the message. For they had finally agreed to the terms of the release on October 16 more than nine months after Quezon’s conditional pardon! And, upon the request of the CPUSA(!), Quezon permitted CPPI leader, Crisanto Evangelista to go to the Soviet Union, where he received medical treatment for tuberculosis  for more than a year.

Comrade Allen was back in the Philippines in August 1938 for preparation and holding of important CPPI gatherings. The CPPI Central Committee held a meeting on August 28-30, 1938 to discuss and approve two documents. “Memorandum on the Chief Tasks of the CPPI” declared that the central task of the CPPI was to organize a national democratic front against Japanese militarist fascism as the main obstacle to the establishment of an independent democratic Republic of the Philippines. It was also decided that the CPPI would disassociate itself from Pro-Japanese and terrorist elements to carry out the immediate and most urgent task of ensuring legality for itself and to convene in the near future an open Congress.

On October 29-31, 1938 the Third Congress of the CPPI was held under the theme: “For a National Democratic Front Against Reaction and Japanese Aggression, For Security, Democracy, Peace and Freedom!” It represented the move from the underground to legality for the CPPI which, in exchange, accepted the Commonwealth government, its constitution and the U.S. “promise” to grant Philippine Independence in 1946. The Congress also served to merge the CPPI with the Socialist Party; they became the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The CPP approved a new party constitution and elected a new leadership that included Chrisanto Evangelista as Chairman and Pedro Abad Santos as Vice Chairman.

*****

Comrade Sison observes that, “The threat of Japanese invasion was strongly discerned in the Philippines from 1938 onwards.” And, as he notes, some of it was due to the following: Japanese aggression in China and against Indochina served as a forewarning to all Asian peoples. The Chinese residents in the Philippines actively campaigned for support for China against Japanese fascism. The Spanish Civil War also marked the Philippines: on the one hand, the Spanish super-rich and the Spanish-dominated Dominican and other religious orders provocatively sided with the Franco fascists; on the other, the progressive forces and the Filipino people opposed them. 

But, certainly, the political accomplishments of the Comintern, guided by its Seventh Congress and including its CPUSA cadre working with the CPPI in implementing the Comintern line, had played a major role in helping to accomplish this political sea-change.

Less than two months before the Japanese invasion on December 8,1941 the CPP Central Committee called on its organized masses to prepare for armed resistance.*

*They also appointed a second line leadership headed by Dr. Vicente Lava to assume leadership if the first line of leadership was eliminated by the Japanese invaders. And all this occurred shortly thereafter.

Comrade Sison points out that, “The Peoples Army Against Japan (Hukbalahap) was founded only on March 29, 1942, and the plan
Hukbalahap Guerrillas
for building the Barrio United Defense Corps was also laid out belatedly.” And Joma points to the “much earlier urgings” by Chinese comrades in the Philippines to build the peoples army and incorporate the Chinese fighters. These urgings had not been heeded by the CPPI leadership. Finally, Comrade Sison acknowledges that, “It would be in the course of fighting the Japanese occupation force from 1942 to 1945 that the CPP would be able to develop armed revolutionary strength, carry out land reform, expand the mass base and establish local organs of political power.” What a great accomplishment at long last!
Indeed, given comrade Sison’s account of the relatively slow political development of the CPPI and its antecedents in the twentieth century history of the Philippines, and the consistently positive role played by the Comintern and especially its U.S. and Chinese communist cadre, it seems doubtful that any of the heroic accomplishments that resulted in and from the powerful Hukbalahap-led resistance movement would have been achieved in the absence of the Communist International’s role.

*****

CONCLUSION: I admire Comrade Jose Maria Sison for his unblinking honesty, courage and integrity in dealing with this portion of the Philippine peoples history. In the body of his article, the comrade is quite critical of many Filipino militants in the period prior to the founding of the CPPI and even afterwards who exhibited a consistent rightist tendency to rely on legalism and resisted the initiation of the armed revolution. The delay in launching the armed agrarian revolution, as comrade Sison points out, severely limited the capacity of the Filipino people to liberate the country in the follow-up to the defeat of Japanese fascism. Also, comrade Joma was critical of many Filipino activists, including aspiring communists, who were unable or unwilling to embrace the anti-fascist united front tactics and strategy projected by the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern.*

*Clearly, some of this difficulty had to do with short run thinking and with identity politics—Filipino cadre being reluctant to unite with the immediate and white U.S. imperialist oppressor country (USA) against the only Asian imperialist power (Japan). And, after all, U.S. imperialism had robbed the Filipino people of the fruits of their national democratic revolutionary victory over Spain. From 1899 until 1902 about 125 thousand U.S. troops were unleashed against the Filipino people. Close to 200 thousand Filipino combatants were killed. This bloody history of the U.S. in the Philippines had to have had a big impact on this question as well as on any hesitation to launch the armed revolution in the 1920’s and 1930’s. (See Philippine Society and Revolution)
It is remarkable, in light of the many substantial criticisms that comrade Sison’s historical narrative contains with regard to the Filipino leadership,* that there is not even one criticism of the Comintern or its CPUSA, Chinese and other cadres dealing with the sharp and complex class and national struggles in the Philippines over the decades of the Comintern’s organizational existence (1919-1943)!! This underscores the high regard in which comrade Sison holds the role of the Comintern there.

*Comrade Sison’s willingness to criticize Filipino leaders is a real strength and in stark contrast with the prevailing liberalism in so much of today’s left. For he expects the Filipino cadre to meet the challenge of providing leadership capable of mobilizing a successful national democratic revolution leading to socialism.

However, when he arrives at the Conclusion of his article, comrade Sison seems to be struggling to reconcile his support for the “self-reliance” mantra of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of China and Chairman Mao with the outstanding facts that he himself has brought to light regarding the exemplary role played by the decidedly multilateral Comintern in the struggle for the Philippine National Democratic Revolution leading to Socialism. 
New People's Army of the CPP



Comrade Sison makes statements such as the following: “It is interesting to study how such impact [of the Comintern and the CPUSA] has been favorable and unfavorable ...” He extends the period he is now assessing well beyond the period of the Comintern, stating, “The Comintern and the CPUSA had far reaching influence on the CPP long after it lost contact with them at the outbreak of World War II in the Asia-Pacific region. The influences are positive and negative.” It appears that comrade Joma wanted to refrain from drawing conclusions about the tremendously positive historical experience he had just focused on. Certainly, one conclusion could well be that efforts to build a new Communist International should be seriously undertaken.*

*Evidently, comrade Sison has recently revived the conclusion  of his 2006 speech/article, apparently ending with the end of the Comintern period. We have not seen this new version but would welcome such a revised version that focuses, as the body of the article did, on the exemplary role of the CI in the Philippines and draws appropriate conclusions.

*****

Right from the beginning in 2006, comrades from Revolutionary Organization of Labor-USA (ROL-USA) including myself encountered a lack of enthusiasm for comrade Sison’s article throughout the Philippine movement in which Joma has been the most recognized and admired leader! It seems to reflect the same  political dilemma between Maoist bourgeois nationalist “self-reliance” and the unquestioned exemplary role of the Communist International in the history of the Philippine Revolution.

Consequently, since 2006, we have actively promoted the article while the Philippine movement barely put it into print. Meanwhile, by mutual agreement, over these past dozen years, I have sporadically led several study presentations/discussions of comrade Sison’s article with groups of Filipino activists in several geographical locations. The groups have all had some positive responses but no strong follow-up about how we can begin to build up a new international working class and communist movement in our time.

*****

II.

THE LENINIST METHOD AND THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL

The time is long past due for the serious revolutionary working class forces around the world to once again take up the Leninist Method. The catastrophic betrayal of the international working class by the leaders of the Second International in World War I proved that their “old methods of fighting were inadequate and impotent in the face of the omnipotence of finance capital.”

Once again today we face “the omnipotence of finance capital,”  after the total collapse of the Socialist Camp and the utter destruction of any effective international communist movement in the period since the GPCR was launched more than fifty years ago.
V.I. Lenin and J.V. Stalin
It is necessary once again “to drive out all philistinism, narrow-mindedness, political scheming, renegacy, social-chauvinism and social-pacifism,” as Stalin described the task of the Leninist Method in the World War I period. (Foundations of Leninism, 1924, Chapter II Method, p. 14)

In brief, according to Stalin, the requirements of the Leninist Method are the following:

“Firstly, the testing of the theoretical dogmas [of the Opportunists] … in the crucible of the revolutionary struggle of the masses, in the crucible of living practice–

“Secondly, the testing of the party policies, not by their slogans and resolutions … but by their deeds, by their actions ...

“Thirdly, the reorganization of all party work on new revolutionary lines ... training and preparing the masses for the revolutionary struggle ...

“Fourthly, self-criticism within the proletarian parties, their education and training on the basis of their own mistakes ...”

Regarding the testing of theoretical dogmas: The socialist countries that dominated the socialist camp in the post World War II period, put forth the concept that the contradiction between the socialist countries and the major capitalist countries was the focal contradiction in the world, that this contradiction could be resolved on the basis of peaceful competition between them leading to a peaceful transition to a socialist world. The actual principal contradiction had become the contradiction between the oppressed peoples of  Asia, Africa, Latin America, Arabia and Afro-America and imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism. And its resolution involved national democratic revolution, including armed struggle, against international capital. The revisionists who came to dominate almost all the socialist countries soon after Stalin’s death also could promote the “non-aligned” movement for oppressed peoples who stubbornly continued their fight for freedom and whose fight was jeopardizing the rapprochement between the individual socialist countries and imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism.

Regarding the testing of party policies: not by their slogans but by their deeds, by their actions: While the socialist countries now raised “peace” as their main slogan rather than proletarian and national democratic revolution there was a growing betrayal of the oppressed peoples by the increasingly degenerate revisionist forces in the leadership of the socialist camp.* They ultimately competed with each other to gain favor with U.S. imperialism in particular. Indeed, one early and important example was the collaboration of the Khrushchevite revisionists with U.S. imperialism and the United Nations in the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the outstanding Congolese leader as early as 1960. Certainly, both Russian and Chinese revisionism purchased their respective rapprochements with bestial U.S. imperialism with the blood and sacrifice of the heroic Vietnamese people as the Vietnamese and other Indochinese peoples were inflicting military defeat on the hegemonic imperialist power.

*In April of 1968 I observed: “… the two main characteristics of the international situation have been (1) the intensification of the contradiction between the oppressed nations and U.S. imperialism; and (2) the development of a policy in most socialist countries of betrayal of the oppressed nations based on the ascendancy of the national bourgeois class in the socialist countries.” (“The Role of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the International Marxist-Leninist Movement: The October Revolution vs. the ‘Cultural Revolution,’” Youth for Stalin, April 1968, p. 33)

Clearly, such a revisionist-led international communist movement, rather than reorganizing its party work on new revolutionary lines, was doing the exact opposite of what Stalin described for Leninist housecleaning: it was opening the floodgates to “all philistinism, narrow-mindedness, political scheming, renegacy, social-chauvinism and social-pacifism.”

Finally, regarding self-criticism within the proletarian parties, their education and training on the basis of their own mistakes, let us look at the attitude of today’s so-called communist parties and groups toward the Communist International in this hundredth year since its birth.

Despite the tremendous successes during the first thirty years beginning with the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia and the formation of the Communist International by 1919, there has been a tendency even in the most serious revolutionary parties of recent memory to blame the Communist International (and Stalin) for all the many failures of the proletarian revolutionary cause over the past fifty years, despite the fact that the Comintern was dissolved by its leadership seventy-five years ago and also that Stalin died sixty-six years ago!! This is also despite the fact that these current forces have almost total absorption in their own respective national affairs and hardly any concern for the rest of the international working class and oppressed peoples!*

*See my brief discussion of the tragic 1977-1978 war between Vietnam and Kampuchea in my previous article. (p. 7, Ray O’ Light Newsletter #113/#114)

The argument goes something like this: “The Comintern made so many errors in my country (or in the world, etc.) that it has prevented my country’s party, etc. from being successful all these years.” (I took special note of this tendency during 2017, the centennial year of the Victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia.) This argument assumes that my country’s individual national party and our national cadre are superior to the collective unity of thought and action that the international working class possesses when we are organized together. It assumes further that my country’s party would have made less errors and less serious ones had we been free of “the burden of the Communist International.” Consequently, today’s opportunist dogma subscribes to the view that proletarian international organization, if even needed at all, should be based on the autonomy of each individual party and individual country rather than being constituted as a world party functioning on the basis of democratic centralism.

As I stated earlier, this bankrupt bourgeois nationalist line of “self-reliance” is the old Titoite line of “every party and every country for itself.” It rests on the prevailing social-democratic “conventional wisdom” (that is, the BIG LIE) that there was something seriously wrong with the Communist International, which did basically function as a world party. And all the class forces in the world, other than the international proletariat and poor peasantry, have a stake in keeping you and me from the proletarian truth.

This second major article reflecting on the occasion of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Founding of the Comintern has featured the unqualified endorsement of the CI’s contribution to the establishment and development of the Communist Party of the Philippine Islands (CPPI) by comrade Jose Maria Sison, the Filipino comrade whose own valor and deeds over the past half century in the struggle for the Philippine revolution have earned him the preeminent credibility on this subject. His testimony is all the more remarkable because it flies in the face of the prevailing slightly negative /dismissive dogma regarding the Communist International and proletarian internationalism within the current Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) which comrade Sison founded!

In my view, comrade Sison’s unqualified endorsement of the Communist International’s role in the Philippine Revolution during its entire organizational existence stands with the remarkable facts about the heroic and exemplary role of the Stalin-led Soviet Union and the Soviet-led Comintern (in stark contrast with the shameful and treacherous role of almost all other political parties and governments) in the Spanish Civil War that was “the dress rehearsal for World War II.” These two indisputable concrete examples of the invaluable role of the Communist International expose the BIG LIE that the Comintern was a big problem for the international working class and the oppressed peoples. Quite the opposite is true!

The experience of the international working class with the Comintern’s marvelous role in the Spanish Civil War and in the founding and development of the Communist Party of the Philippines helps constitute a Red Banner of Leninism around which the international working class and the oppressed peoples can build anew a proletarian revolutionary organization that can meet and defeat international capital in our time.


LONG LIVE LENINISM!    
TOWARD A NEW COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL!

Ray Sheds Light on Xenophobia and Alexander Acosta (SOAPBOX PODCAST JULY 16, 2019)

Ray Sheds Light on Xenophobia and Alexander Acosta (SOAPBOX PODCAST JULY 16, 2019)






Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
July 16, 2019



Guest: Ray Light
Topic: The Border Crisis, the Epstein Crisis and the
Empire Crisis

This week, Cindy Sheehan welcomes back Ray Light of the 
Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA
They chat about current events from a revolutionary/Leninist
aspect.
Please listen, learn and rise up!
*****

CINDY SHEEHAN'S SOAPBOX 

http://cindysheehanssoapbox.blogspot.com/p/tax-deductible-donation.html



https://www.facebook.com/Cindy-Sheehans-Soapbox-Radio-Show-188031143274/
 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA Newsletter #115: (July-August 2019)

Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA Newsletters: March-April 2019 No. 113 & May-June 2019 No. 114 DOUBLE ISSUE


July-August 2019

_________________________________________________

FURTHER REFLECTIONS ON THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL
 
Featuring the CI’s Outstanding Contribution
to the Philippine Revolution

by RAY LIGHT

“For the proletariat needs the truth, and there is nothing so harmful to its cause as plausible, respectable petty bourgeois lies.”
—Lenin


In our previous Double Issue, Ray O’ Light Newsletters #113 and #114, March-April and May-June 2019, we published my lengthy article entitled “Reflections on the Communist International on the occasion of the Hundredth Anniversary of its Founding (1919-2019).” Its concluding section (VI), entitled “Sixty-Five Years of Mostly Setbacks and Defeats and No Fight for a New Comintern” made the following points:

“... like Leninism itself, its organizational expression in the Third,
Lenin at 3rd Congress of Communist International
Communist International was not defeated from without; rather it was deserted, abandoned and betrayed largely by opportunists among the vanguard forces that achieved state power or some substantial level of autonomy/privilege through the victories guided by the Stalin-led Bolsheviks, the Soviet Red Army and masses and the Communist International.


“At least the past sixty-five years, approximately since the death of Stalin in 1953, have been largely characterized by setbacks and defeats. Yet it is precisely in this sixty-five year period that virtually no effort has been made to re-establish a Communist International in the tradition of the Third International, the Comintern! 

“Those of us who have claimed to be communists in this period have to be held accountable for any failure on our part to make a priority of the building of a new Communist International along with the constant duty to engage in proletarian internationalist activities which helps lay the basis for construction of such a global vanguard organization.” (p. 15, Ray O’ Light Newsletters #113 and #114, March-June 2019)

THE PROLETARIAN TRUTH

Perhaps the most compelling argument I made in the previous article regarding the immense value for the international working class and oppressed peoples of a Communist International then and now was that I unearthed the startlingly courageous and exemplary role, virtually alone and against all odds, played by the Stalin-led Soviet Union and the Dimitrov-led Comintern (including the Spanish Communist Party) in support of the Spanish people’s heroic defense of the Spanish Republic against the Franco fascist army backed by Italian and German fascism in the latter half of the 1930’s.* Indeed, although the Spanish Civil War ended in defeat for the Spanish people, the Soviet Union and the Comintern, including the universally admired International Brigades, the Stalin-led Soviet Union and the Soviet-led Comintern learned the bitter lessons of this “dress rehearsal for World War II” and played the decisive role in the global defeat of world fascism in World War II. This ushered in a period where the forces of anti-fascism, national liberation, socialism and communism were in ascendancy throughout the world.

*This thorough documentation of the real heroes and villains of the Spanish Civil War was surprisingly and grudgingly provided by avowedly bourgeois Princeton professor Stephen Kotkin in Volume II of his massive thousands-page epic, “Stalin.”

Now we are looking back fully one hundred years and are stunned to realize that most of the remarkable accomplishments of the international proletariat and its allies, with leadership and organization provided by the Bolshevik-led Comintern and Bolshevik-led Soviet state power, occurred within just the first thirty-five years of this one hundred years. (This includes the twenty-five years of the CI’s organizational existence and the five to ten years that followed the Comintern’s dissolution in 1943.)  Indeed, the last truly global great advance (following on the heels of the Soviet-led and Comintern-led defeat of global fascism in 1945) was the victorious Chinese national democratic revolution formally declared by Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao tse-tung on October 1, 1949. 

Ironically, it was a second, allegedly “even more important” Chinese revolution, the so-called Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR), launched in the name of Mao tse-tung in August of 1966, that helped seal the end of the Comintern’s period  of proletarian revolutionary advance. From the very outset, the Cultural Revolution principles enunciated in the August 8 and August 12, 1966 documents, had a bourgeois national construction emphasis, displaying a China First strategy that stood in opposition to proletarian internationalist principles. “Self reliance” became the hallmark of the new China.

To the extent that the GPCR paid any attention to the rest of the world, it was on a bi-lateral basis at both the government level and the vanguard party level. This narrow and selfish outlook soon became the unquestioned standard for international relations between and among almost every party in the world.

This bankrupt bourgeois nationalist line of “self-reliance” is the old Titoite line of “every party and every country for itself.” It rests on the prevailing social-democratic “conventional wisdom” (that is, the BIG LIE) that there was something seriously wrong with the Communist International for basically functioning as a world party.

Especially the imperialist rulers, but virtually all the class forces in the world, other than the international proletariat and poor peasantry, have a stake in keeping you and me from learning the proletarian truth about the great Third, Communist International.

*****

I.

 COMRADE SISON’S OUTSTANDING 2006
SPEECH ON THE COMINTERN’S ROLE IN THE PHILIPPINES

 
Jose Maria "Joma" Sison


Comrade Jose Maria Sison is widely considered the most important revolutionary leader of the Philippines over the past fifty years. He was the founding leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in 1968, arguably the most serious Maoist revolutionary organization in the world. This anti-revisionist party has been seen as the continuer of the revolutionary work of the Communist Party of the Philippine Islands (CPPI/CPP), the Philippine affiliate with the Comintern. In addition, unlike most Maoists and almost all other avowedly “communist” leaders, Joma has remained steadfast in his principled defense of comrade Stalin and the rich legacy of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

Nevertheless, when I first studied comrade Sison’s 2006 article on this subject,* I was shocked as well as delighted by how tremendously positive his assessment was of the Comintern’s role in the founding of the CP of the Philippine Islands (CPPI). For a number of years, comrade Sison and I had worked cooperatively and with mutual respect (as we have continued to do). But this close cooperation was in spite of the fact that our respective views of the so-called Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China were polar opposite!

*“Impact of the Communist International on the Founding and Development of the Communist Party of the Philippines” (May 5, 2006)

I’ve considered Chinese Party leader Mao Tse-tung an outstanding Marxist-Leninist and revolutionary especially through the victorious Chinese national democratic revolutionary stage in 1949 when Leninist leadership was still formidable in the international communist movement. However, I’ve maintained that Mao’s theory and practice in the post 1949 period and especially his involvement with the Cultural Revolution from 1966 until his death involved conciliation with the Chinese national bourgeoisie and a bourgeois nationalist deviation from scientific socialism that has been manifested mostly in “left” but sometimes in right opportunism.

By contrast, comrade Sison has maintained that “Mao Tse-tung Thought” represents a new, higher stage of communist thought and deeds (i.e. beyond Leninism), and that the so-called “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” was the most important of all the proletarian revolutionary historical events thus far.

One of the most powerful concepts projected in the GPCR is the concept of “self-reliance” of individual communist parties. Moreover, both comrade Sison and I have direct and/or indirect experience with meetings in which Mao in that period expressed strong and clear opposition to Chinese CP participation in multi-lateral meetings of communist parties and groups in the international communist movement and expressed willingness for the Chinese Party to participate in bi-lateral vanguard meetings only. 

Given the above, I was pleasantly shocked to find that in the body of comrade Sison’s substantial article, as he shared the Comintern’s role in the Philippines, there was not even one criticism of the CI’s multiparty and multi-lateral party role there.

In fact, he explains that the Comintern, from its Second Congress on, in the Theses on the National and Colonial Questions (1920), proclaimed, “All communist parties must support by action the national-revolutionary movements in colonial countries. The form which this support should take should be discussed with the communist party of the country in question, if there is one. This obligation refers in the first place to the active support of the workers in that country on which the backward nation is financially, or as a colony, dependent.” It was in accordance with this Leninist principle that the U.S. Communist Party would come to play a large role on behalf of the Comintern in aiding the Filipino comrades in the construction of the CPPI. In addition, the role of the overseas Chinese workers living in the Philippines would place the CP of China in an important role in the building of the CPPI as well.

The Comintern’s Impact on the Founding and Development of the Communist Party of the Philippine Islands (CPPI)
Comrade Sison begins with a description of the evolution of the Philippine working class from “a germinal modern industrial proletariat [that] emerged in the colonial and feudal Philippines under Spain” “in the second half of the Nineteenth Century.” He cites the formation of a union of printers and then the “UOD” labor federation in 1902 that represented an advance from the artisan guilds to modern trade unionism. The founder of the UOD, Isabelo Reyes, had been in prison in Barcelona in 1897 for anti-colonial activities but was released by Spanish authorities from 1898 onward to do anti-U.S. propaganda. Knowledgeable about European political trends, Reyes was most influenced by petty bourgeois nationalism and anarcho-syndicalism. Thus he saw the building of the trade union movement as the way to build the nationalist movement against the new colonial power, U.S. imperialism.

Similarly, Crisanto Evangelista, “the prospective founder of the
Crisanto Evangelista
Communist Party of the Philippine Islands (CPPI)” still belonged to the Nacionalista Party when he represented labor in an Independence Mission to Washington in 1919. Through most of the 1920’s Evangelista and other progressive working class leaders focused on the effort to unite the trade unions and labor federations in the Philippine Workers Congress (COF). In 1925 they established the Partido Obrero (Workers Party) on the basis of the trade union movement and the peasant movement. Though not yet a Marxist vanguard party, the Workers Party enabled the patriotic and progressive labor leaders, the COF majority, to distinguish themselves from “the yellow labor leaders.”

According to comrade Sison, Filipinos proudly point to the fact that, in 1896, they carried out the first bourgeois democratic revolution in Asia. He points out that, likewise, Filipinos should salute the Indonesians for having established their Communist Party in 1920 and the Chinese for having established their CP in 1921, “much ahead” of the CPPI’s founding in 1930. Thus, the CPPI’s experience was with a more organized Comintern (founded in March 1919), including the Indonesian and Chinese parties, than the Indonesian and Chinese comrades had first encountered.

One moving quote, shared by comrade Sison, reflects Lenin’s deep respect for and confidence in the oppressed peoples from the East. Lenin challenged the delegates at the Congress of Communist Organizations of the Peoples of the East in Baku in November 1919, about six months after the CI’s founding, as follows: “The period of awakening of the East in the contemporary revolution is being succeeded by a period in which all Eastern peoples will participate in deciding the destiny of the whole world so as not to be simply an object of the enrichment of others. The peoples of the East are becoming alive to the need for practical action, for every nation to take part in shaping the destiny of all mankind.”

Interestingly, according to comrade Sison, early on “the Comintern established a number of revolutionary organizations of working people including the Red International of Labor Unions (RILU or Profintern) in 1921 and the Peasants’ International (Krestintern) in 1923. Subsidiary offices of both were established in China to cover the Far East and Pacific area. It was under such Comintern-led revolutionary organizations rather than directly the Comintern itself that new forces would be won to the banner of the Communist International.

Under the auspices of the RILU, the Conference of Pacific Transport Workers was held in Canton, China in June 1924. Five Filipino delegates were able to attend. U.S. communist leader Alfred Wagenknecht brought the invitation to the Philippines, made a survey of the labor organizations and arranged the trip of the chosen delegates who accompanied him to Canton. The five delegates were able to meet and discuss with labor leaders from China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Australia, USA, England, France and USSR. They were also able to bring home a conference resolution calling for the immediate independence of the Philippines from U.S. colonial rule. While the five were initially enthusiastic and formed a “Bolshevik secretariat” to issue a secret periodical, they lost their enthusiasm and not one ultimately joined the communist movement. Nevertheless, no doubt some seeds were planted on Philippine soil and the Comintern persisted.

At the Fifth Plenum in April 1925, the Comintern approved its first resolution on the Philippines. It urged the U.S. “CP” to support the liberation movement in the Philippines, encourage the formation of a CP there from the revolutionized trade union and peasant movement and encourage the formation of a national-revolutionary mass party from all groups actively campaigning for national independence.

Comrade Sison observes: “... the communication links with Comintern organizations, the flow of publications from the CI and consultations with visiting U.S., Chinese and Indonesian communists had begun and eventually helped to stimulate a leftward trend in the Philippine labor movement amidst the worsening social conditions and upsurge of anti-imperialist and class struggles.” (My emphasis, ROL)

“In 1925 Evangelista became Secretary of the COF-based Partido Obrero and led it to adopt the Left position of waging anti-imperialist and class struggle but still seeking to reform the existing social system and peacefully demanding independence.” From 1924 to 1928, CPUSA cadre, linked to the China-based RILU Pan-Pacific branch, visited the Philippines and interacted with Filipino labor leaders. They included Harrison George and Earl Browder* who both represented the CPUSA-led Trade Union Educational League (TUEL) in the RILU’s Pan-Pacific branch.

*Comrades George and Browder are quite a pairing. Harrison George, an outstanding son of the working class, was a charter member of the U.S. communist party and later editor of the Daily Worker. Still later, as comrade Harry Haywood described it, the heroic comrade George was victimized as a “premature anti-revisionist.” On the other hand, Earl Browder became infamous as the arch U.S. revisionist who set an example of class collaboration with U.S. imperialism that Yugoslavia’s Joseph Broz Tito followed in leading the disintegration of the international communist movement.

In May 1927 a Pan-Pacific Trade Union Conference held by the RILU established a permanent Pan Pacific Trade Union Secretariat (PPTUS). Though invited, no Philippine delegation had been able to attend that conference. Nevertheless, on behalf of the U.S. workers, Harrison George pushed a resolution expressing solidarity with the workers and peasants in the Philippines and support for their struggles for national freedom and emancipation from exploitation. A month later at the Fifteenth convention of COF it declared its adherence to the PPTUS. The COF and the KPMP (National Federation of Peasants of the Philippines) affiliated with the PPTUS. The KPMP also started communications with the Krestintern. By that fall, Harrison George had already recommended to the Comintern that six Filipino comrades be invited each year to study in Moscow at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East.
Communist University of the Toilers of the East


In March 1928 the RILU invited Crisanto Evangelista and another COF comrade to attend the RILU’s Fourth Congress in Moscow. At the same time Jacinto Manahan, a  KPMP cadre, was invited to come to Moscow to attend the Krestintern Conference.  Evangelista and Manahan stayed in Moscow for three months. According to Joma, “they had lengthy discussions with the Political Secretariat of the Comintern on the question of organizing the vanguard working class party in the Philippines.” The Secretariat adopted a resolution on April 20, 1928, “The Main Task of the Communists in the Philippines.” It outlined a path to building the party including the gradual transformation of “the Labor Party into a party of the masses, into an effective communist party.”

Also in April, Evangelista proposed the sending of Filipino workers to study in Moscow. He visited the Communist University of the Toilers of the East and talked with the director as well as the educational coordinators of the Profintern and the Krestintern. Upon his return to the Philippines, Evangelista arranged for three young workers to study in Moscow at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East. Comrade Galvez finished the full course of three years and joined the KOMSOMOL or Young Communist League of the USSR.  A U.S. communist cadre, Sam Darcy, gave him briefings on party work. When he returned home in November 1931 (after the CPPI was established) Galvez became active in Party Education work. A second comrade had completed two years and went home and became a delegate to the First Congress of the CPP on May 30, 1931.

In June 1929, two more cadre were sent to study at that University in Moscow. One was a peasant organizer, Emilio Maclang. After finishing the three year course comrade Maclang stayed on another year doing translation work into the Philippine national language. After returning home in 1933, he would be chosen as head of the second line of leadership. He became the underground secretary of the CPP as soon as the open leaders of the CPP were imprisoned and banished.

Comrade Sison states that U.S. “communist cadres appeared
prominently as the most helpful to the Filipino cadres in the formation of the CPPI. But comrades of other nationalities, especially the Chinese were also helpful, especially because they had their own labor and youth organizations in the Philippines.” He points out that the Philippine branch of the Chinese CP was established in the early 1920’s, well before the establishment of the CPPI! Also, the Young Communist League of the Chinese CP was formed in 1926 and was otherwise know as the Overseas Chinese Communist Union. The leader of this group as well as two other Chinese comrades later became members of the first Central Committee of the CPPI in 1930. The Chinese communists organized in the Philippine Chinese Labor Federation had close ties with the COF and Partido Obrero.  Indeed, in October 1929 the Chinese Communist Party and the Young Communist League decided that the Chinese communists should assist the efforts of Partido Obrero in forming the CPPI.

Meanwhile, in 1930 the Great Depression engulfed the world capitalist system engendering workers’ strikes and peasant uprisings in the Philippines. There was widespread mass support for national independence from the U.S. colonial regime and  intensified class struggle against the local comprador big bourgeois and the landlord classes. The objective conditions were ripe for the founding of the CPPI. Twenty-seven of thirty-five labor federations and associations in COF broke away to form Proletarian Labor Congress of the Philippines (KAP). KAP and KPMP became the organized mass base for the projected CPPI. The PPTUS recognized KAP as the legitimate representative of the organized workers in the Philippines. The CPUSA-led TUUL (formerly TUEL) reserved a seat in its National Executive Committee for a KAP representative as a form of recognition and support for KAP.

After the formation of KAP, the Committee for a Workers Vanguard Party was set up to recruit the initial membership. By June 1930 there were 96 of them---most recruited from KAP unions. In addition, 60 Chinese communists from the PCLF and YCL were prepared to join CPPI but retained their autonomous all-Chinese nuclei. A convention organized the party on August 26, 1930 and elected the first central committee of thirty-five members.

Unlike other communist parties in East Asia, the CPPI was established legally despite its proclaimed aim of overthrowing U.S. imperialism and the capitalist system. In fact, the party was formally launched at a public rally on November 7, 1930, the thirteenth anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia. During the rally, about 3000 of the 6000 attending masses of workers and peasants filled out applications for party membership! Clearly, the new CPPI was vulnerable to persecution. The U.S. colonial authorities carried out intense surveillance and disrupted the legal mass actions of the new party in 1931.  They carried out mass arrest of the CPPI leaders and the delegates to the First Party Congress. They filed charges of sedition and illegal association against the party leaders who were subsequently sentenced to imprisonment and exile in 1933, after a number of court appeals.

Soon after the founding of the CPPI, the Comintern sent U.S. communist leader Eugene Dennis to the Philippines to investigate the CPPI’s situation and make recommendations. He reported that the CPPI had considerable broad influence and that its formation had great significance for the workers and peasants and the revolution as a whole. It laid the basis for the development of the national liberation movement under proletarian class leadership. However, comrade Dennis also found that the party was lagging behind in the development of the strike movement it led and was failing to organize the growing mass discontent of the peasantry. Basically, the CPPI was working in opposition to the mass line—from the masses to the masses; instead, its tendency was to work from the top down and not through mass work from below.

Dennis observed that the CPPI was functioning mainly as a propaganda organization and not yet as a fighting force of the workers and peasants. And there was no effective organizing of women and youth. He noted a tendency to rely on legal battles in the courts and to solicit local politicians in the bourgeois parties. Finally, there was political and organizational confusion caused by failure to make distinctions about the scope of activity and the political level of the CPPI, the KAP, the KPMP and the Anti-Imperialist League.

According to comrade Sison: Following the recommendations of comrade Dennis, the Comintern advised the CPPI to hold its First Party Congress within six months and to make intensive preparations for it at lower levels of the party. The Comintern warned the party that its legal existence would be of short duration because U.S. finance capital was preparing to suppress the party. On that basis, the Comintern wisely advised the CPPI to build an underground apparatus that was not isolated from the masses but still linked to them through mass organizations and mass struggles.

Comrade Sison observed: “The CPPI took the Comintern advice and held its First Congress on May 30, 1931. The 400 delegates were very representative of the toiling masses ... The spirit of proletarian internationalism was manifested by resolutions in solidarity with the Chinese workers and in support of the Soviet Union and by decisions strengthening ties between KAP and the PPTUS as well as the Trade Union Unity League led by the CPUSA. The Congress passed a resolution formally applying for affiliation to the Comintern.”

On September 7, 1931 the CPPI received the reply to its application for affiliation that begins: “The Executive Committee of the
Georgi Dimitrov
Communist International greets the formation of the CPPI and approves the decision of the First Congress of the CPPI in May 1931 to request affiliation to the CI. This decision will be presented to the Seventh World Congress of the CI for confirmation.” Among other things, the Comintern’s reply states: “The organized crystallization of the Communist Movement in the Philippine Islands and its affiliation to the CI ... represents the surest guarantee for the victorious carrying through of the anti-imperialist and agrarian revolution in the Philippines.”

But comrade Sison points out: “The CPPI did not pursue the whole line of the anti-imperialist and agrarian revolution in order to overthrow the enemy and establish a government of the workers and peasants, as indicated by the Comintern ...” “The CPPI made statements for overthrowing U.S. imperialism, the entire bourgeoisie and landlord class and attaining what the working class had achieved in Russia. But such statements were merely rhetorical.” According to comrade Sison, the CPPI did not see that U.S. colonial rule and the chronic crisis of the semi-feudal economy were favorable conditions for armed revolution. Instead, the CPPI competed with the Nacionalista Party and other bourgeois parties in verbal demands for immediate, complete and absolute national independence within the legal and political processes of the U.S. colonial system.”

Regarding the agrarian revolution, “the CPPI had no comprehensive grasp of how to carry it out by integrating armed struggle, land reform and mass work and doing so within the framework of the national democratic revolution ... in the entire decade of the 1930’s, it sweepingly denounced as anarchist all the armed peasant revolts which occurred in various provinces of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It rejected these to justify avoidance of agrarian revolution.”

Immediately after the U.S. colonial authorities cracked down on it in 1931, the CPPI membership of 2000 abruptly shrank to only a few hundreds. It was a membership with a generally low level of ideological and political consciousness and with no experience and organizational preparation against repression. After serving their prison sentences, the CPPI leaders were banished to different provinces in the Philippines. They could have easily escaped their banishment and pursued the line of anti-imperialist and agrarian revolution. But they did not. They preferred to be where they were banished, although they continued their links with the CPPI underground. Second line leader Maclang took Evangelista’s place from 1933 to 1935 and Rufino Tumanda replaced him as general secretary from 1935 to 1938. Tumanda had been a Filipino member of the CPUSA and had founded the Filipino Anti-Imperialist League in Brooklyn. Neither Maclang nor Tumanda could stop the shrinkage of the CPPI membership down to only 197 members in 1938.

While the party membership remained small in this period, comrade Sison points out that the active party members within KAP and KPMP had wide influence in Manila factories and some Central Luzon towns respectively. And the CPPI-led League for the Defense of Democracy had increasing influence, especially among the intelligentsia. The Popular Front, formed in 1936, gave the underground CPPI more room for maneuver. But it became so focused on electoral work against the ruling Nacionalista Party and in this effort they even included the pro-Japanese imperialist Sakdalista Party, so the Popular Front had difficulty drawing masses in to the fight against fascism in Japan, Germany, Italy and Spain until 1938.

*****

Despite being underground, in 1934, with the assistance of the CPUSA, the CPPI was able to send a three person delegation to the strategically important Seventh World Congress of the Communist International. The Seventh Congress (postponed until 1935) stressed the need for the development of a broad anti-fascist united front of communist and non-communist forces and targeted the fascist powers as the gravest dangers to humanity.

Also at the Seventh Congress the CPPI application for membership was approved by the Congress. And due to its postponement the three Filipino comrades were able to spend the year studying at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East. In 1935 five more Filipino comrades, escorted by CPUSA cadre Isabelle Auerbach, wife of Sol Auerbach (aka James Allen), traveled to Moscow to study. They included two KPMP cadre, two tobacco workers and a dock worker. They were able to return home in 1937 and 1938. But other Filipino comrades were unable to get there because of the full-scale war of aggression of Japan against China.

Comrade Sison points out that, as a new Comintern affiliate, “the CPPI had a highly creditable record of proletarian internationalism from the beginning.”

With justifiable pride, he listed the following CPPI contributions on the world stage. “It supported the revolutionary movements of the Indonesian, Chinese, Indochinese, Malayan, Indian and other peoples against the colonial powers and their puppets. Filipino-Chinese communists belonging to the CPPI either supported the Chinese revolution from the Philippines or went to China to join the CCP and the people’s army. Filipino members of both the CPPI and the CPUSA joined the Abraham Lincoln Battalion to fight on the side of the Spanish republicans against the fascist forces of Franco in the Spanish civil war.”

In 1936 James Allen was directed by the CPUSA to go to the
James Allen
Philippines, in the words of comrade Sison, “to promote among the Filipino communists the implementation of the anti-fascist popular front line of the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern. It also mandated him to work for the release of the imprisoned and exiled CPPI leaders and the legalization of the CPPI and explore the merger of the CPPI and the Socialist Party led by Pedro Abad Santos. Comrade Allen’s legal job in the Philippines was as a correspondent for the prestigious liberal U.S. magazine, the Nation.*

*He and his capable wife, Isabelle Auerbach, stayed in the country from August to November 1936.
Incredibly, with much CPUSA-CPPI-Comintern cooperation, the U.S. comrade successfully fulfilled all these ambitious goals!! On the implementation of the Seventh Congress line on the struggle against fascism, Allen knew well Rufino Tumanda from his days as a CPUSA member in New York City. Comrade Tumanda arranged meetings with the leaders in their places of exile eventually organizing a meeting with 25 central comrades for briefing James Allen and consulting with him on the situation.*

*Allen was also able to develop close relations with Socialist Party Chairman Santos, Bishop Aglipay and personalities in intellectual circles.
 In September 1936 the CPPI Central Committee issued a manifesto entitled, “Forward for the Formation of the Popular Front” in which they called for an alliance but one aimed against the Commonwealth government, particularly the Quezon-Osmena coalition. In October 1936 the CPPI leadership held a conference to organize the Popular Front. But it “united” a hodge-podge of organizations, including pro-Japan and pro-fascist organizations, based on the commonly held position that the Popular Front was for the purpose of electoral opposition to President Quezon as a traitor to national independence and to demand immediate separation from the USA. (The objective of opposing fascism and war from the direction of Japan and other fascist powers was unclear to CPPI cadre for at least two years.)

Guerrillas in Luzon during WWII


On November 23, 1936 James Allen had a day-long interview with Philippine President Quezon on a whole range of issues. Among other things, Allen urged Quezon to release the communist leaders in order to strengthen national unity against the growing threat of aggression from Japanese fascism. Quezon was noncommittal about the release of the communist leaders. But on New Years Day of 1937 he used his presidential power to release them on a conditional pardon.

Even in September of 1937 the CPPI Central Executive Committee issued a statement declaring that the immediate recognition of Philippine independence would save the Philippines from possible invasion by Japan. James Allen wrote a long letter to Socialist Party chairman Pedro Abad Santos to explain that the demand for immediate independence or the U.S. agreement to such a demand would be precisely the invitation to invasion by Japan. Allen’s letter, published in the Philippines Herald on November 1, 1937, “served clear notice to the CPPI to direct its fire against the threat from Japanese fascism.” Even before it appeared in the Philippines Herald, the CPPI leaders must have gotten the message. For they had finally agreed to the terms of the release on October 16 more than nine months after Quezon’s conditional pardon! And, upon the request of the CPUSA(!), Quezon permitted CPPI leader, Crisanto Evangelista to go to the Soviet Union, where he received medical treatment for tuberculosis  for more than a year.

Comrade Allen was back in the Philippines in August 1938 for preparation and holding of important CPPI gatherings. The CPPI Central Committee held a meeting on August 28-30, 1938 to discuss and approve two documents. “Memorandum on the Chief Tasks of the CPPI” declared that the central task of the CPPI was to organize a national democratic front against Japanese militarist fascism as the main obstacle to the establishment of an independent democratic Republic of the Philippines. It was also decided that the CPPI would disassociate itself from Pro-Japanese and terrorist elements to carry out the immediate and most urgent task of ensuring legality for itself and to convene in the near future an open Congress.

On October 29-31, 1938 the Third Congress of the CPPI was held under the theme: “For a National Democratic Front Against Reaction and Japanese Aggression, For Security, Democracy, Peace and Freedom!” It represented the move from the underground to legality for the CPPI which, in exchange, accepted the Commonwealth government, its constitution and the U.S. “promise” to grant Philippine Independence in 1946. The Congress also served to merge the CPPI with the Socialist Party; they became the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The CPP approved a new party constitution and elected a new leadership that included Chrisanto Evangelista as Chairman and Pedro Abad Santos as Vice Chairman.

*****

Comrade Sison observes that, “The threat of Japanese invasion was strongly discerned in the Philippines from 1938 onwards.” And, as he notes, some of it was due to the following: Japanese aggression in China and against Indochina served as a forewarning to all Asian peoples. The Chinese residents in the Philippines actively campaigned for support for China against Japanese fascism. The Spanish Civil War also marked the Philippines: on the one hand, the Spanish super-rich and the Spanish-dominated Dominican and other religious orders provocatively sided with the Franco fascists; on the other, the progressive forces and the Filipino people opposed them. 

But, certainly, the political accomplishments of the Comintern, guided by its Seventh Congress and including its CPUSA cadre working with the CPPI in implementing the Comintern line, had played a major role in helping to accomplish this political sea-change.

Less than two months before the Japanese invasion on December 8,1941 the CPP Central Committee called on its organized masses to prepare for armed resistance.*

*They also appointed a second line leadership headed by Dr. Vicente Lava to assume leadership if the first line of leadership was eliminated by the Japanese invaders. And all this occurred shortly thereafter.

Comrade Sison points out that, “The Peoples Army Against Japan (Hukbalahap) was founded only on March 29, 1942, and the plan
Hukbalahap Guerrillas
for building the Barrio United Defense Corps was also laid out belatedly.” And Joma points to the “much earlier urgings” by Chinese comrades in the Philippines to build the peoples army and incorporate the Chinese fighters. These urgings had not been heeded by the CPPI leadership. Finally, Comrade Sison acknowledges that, “It would be in the course of fighting the Japanese occupation force from 1942 to 1945 that the CPP would be able to develop armed revolutionary strength, carry out land reform, expand the mass base and establish local organs of political power.” What a great accomplishment at long last!
Indeed, given comrade Sison’s account of the relatively slow political development of the CPPI and its antecedents in the twentieth century history of the Philippines, and the consistently positive role played by the Comintern and especially its U.S. and Chinese communist cadre, it seems doubtful that any of the heroic accomplishments that resulted in and from the powerful Hukbalahap-led resistance movement would have been achieved in the absence of the Communist International’s role.

*****

CONCLUSION: I admire Comrade Jose Maria Sison for his unblinking honesty, courage and integrity in dealing with this portion of the Philippine peoples history. In the body of his article, the comrade is quite critical of many Filipino militants in the period prior to the founding of the CPPI and even afterwards who exhibited a consistent rightist tendency to rely on legalism and resisted the initiation of the armed revolution. The delay in launching the armed agrarian revolution, as comrade Sison points out, severely limited the capacity of the Filipino people to liberate the country in the follow-up to the defeat of Japanese fascism. Also, comrade Joma was critical of many Filipino activists, including aspiring communists, who were unable or unwilling to embrace the anti-fascist united front tactics and strategy projected by the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern.*

*Clearly, some of this difficulty had to do with short run thinking and with identity politics—Filipino cadre being reluctant to unite with the immediate and white U.S. imperialist oppressor country (USA) against the only Asian imperialist power (Japan). And, after all, U.S. imperialism had robbed the Filipino people of the fruits of their national democratic revolutionary victory over Spain. From 1899 until 1902 about 125 thousand U.S. troops were unleashed against the Filipino people. Close to 200 thousand Filipino combatants were killed. This bloody history of the U.S. in the Philippines had to have had a big impact on this question as well as on any hesitation to launch the armed revolution in the 1920’s and 1930’s. (See Philippine Society and Revolution)
It is remarkable, in light of the many substantial criticisms that comrade Sison’s historical narrative contains with regard to the Filipino leadership,* that there is not even one criticism of the Comintern or its CPUSA, Chinese and other cadres dealing with the sharp and complex class and national struggles in the Philippines over the decades of the Comintern’s organizational existence (1919-1943)!! This underscores the high regard in which comrade Sison holds the role of the Comintern there.

*Comrade Sison’s willingness to criticize Filipino leaders is a real strength and in stark contrast with the prevailing liberalism in so much of today’s left. For he expects the Filipino cadre to meet the challenge of providing leadership capable of mobilizing a successful national democratic revolution leading to socialism.

However, when he arrives at the Conclusion of his article, comrade Sison seems to be struggling to reconcile his support for the “self-reliance” mantra of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of China and Chairman Mao with the outstanding facts that he himself has brought to light regarding the exemplary role played by the decidedly multilateral Comintern in the struggle for the Philippine National Democratic Revolution leading to Socialism. 
New People's Army of the CPP



Comrade Sison makes statements such as the following: “It is interesting to study how such impact [of the Comintern and the CPUSA] has been favorable and unfavorable ...” He extends the period he is now assessing well beyond the period of the Comintern, stating, “The Comintern and the CPUSA had far reaching influence on the CPP long after it lost contact with them at the outbreak of World War II in the Asia-Pacific region. The influences are positive and negative.” It appears that comrade Joma wanted to refrain from drawing conclusions about the tremendously positive historical experience he had just focused on. Certainly, one conclusion could well be that efforts to build a new Communist International should be seriously undertaken.*

*Evidently, comrade Sison has recently revived the conclusion  of his 2006 speech/article, apparently ending with the end of the Comintern period. We have not seen this new version but would welcome such a revised version that focuses, as the body of the article did, on the exemplary role of the CI in the Philippines and draws appropriate conclusions.

*****

Right from the beginning in 2006, comrades from Revolutionary Organization of Labor-USA (ROL-USA) including myself encountered a lack of enthusiasm for comrade Sison’s article throughout the Philippine movement in which Joma has been the most recognized and admired leader! It seems to reflect the same  political dilemma between Maoist bourgeois nationalist “self-reliance” and the unquestioned exemplary role of the Communist International in the history of the Philippine Revolution.

Consequently, since 2006, we have actively promoted the article while the Philippine movement barely put it into print. Meanwhile, by mutual agreement, over these past dozen years, I have sporadically led several study presentations/discussions of comrade Sison’s article with groups of Filipino activists in several geographical locations. The groups have all had some positive responses but no strong follow-up about how we can begin to build up a new international working class and communist movement in our time.

*****

II.

THE LENINIST METHOD AND THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL

The time is long past due for the serious revolutionary working class forces around the world to once again take up the Leninist Method. The catastrophic betrayal of the international working class by the leaders of the Second International in World War I proved that their “old methods of fighting were inadequate and impotent in the face of the omnipotence of finance capital.”

Once again today we face “the omnipotence of finance capital,”  after the total collapse of the Socialist Camp and the utter destruction of any effective international communist movement in the period since the GPCR was launched more than fifty years ago.
V.I. Lenin and J.V. Stalin
It is necessary once again “to drive out all philistinism, narrow-mindedness, political scheming, renegacy, social-chauvinism and social-pacifism,” as Stalin described the task of the Leninist Method in the World War I period. (Foundations of Leninism, 1924, Chapter II Method, p. 14)

In brief, according to Stalin, the requirements of the Leninist Method are the following:

“Firstly, the testing of the theoretical dogmas [of the Opportunists] … in the crucible of the revolutionary struggle of the masses, in the crucible of living practice–

“Secondly, the testing of the party policies, not by their slogans and resolutions … but by their deeds, by their actions ...

“Thirdly, the reorganization of all party work on new revolutionary lines ... training and preparing the masses for the revolutionary struggle ...

“Fourthly, self-criticism within the proletarian parties, their education and training on the basis of their own mistakes ...”

Regarding the testing of theoretical dogmas: The socialist countries that dominated the socialist camp in the post World War II period, put forth the concept that the contradiction between the socialist countries and the major capitalist countries was the focal contradiction in the world, that this contradiction could be resolved on the basis of peaceful competition between them leading to a peaceful transition to a socialist world. The actual principal contradiction had become the contradiction between the oppressed peoples of  Asia, Africa, Latin America, Arabia and Afro-America and imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism. And its resolution involved national democratic revolution, including armed struggle, against international capital. The revisionists who came to dominate almost all the socialist countries soon after Stalin’s death also could promote the “non-aligned” movement for oppressed peoples who stubbornly continued their fight for freedom and whose fight was jeopardizing the rapprochement between the individual socialist countries and imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism.

Regarding the testing of party policies: not by their slogans but by their deeds, by their actions: While the socialist countries now raised “peace” as their main slogan rather than proletarian and national democratic revolution there was a growing betrayal of the oppressed peoples by the increasingly degenerate revisionist forces in the leadership of the socialist camp.* They ultimately competed with each other to gain favor with U.S. imperialism in particular. Indeed, one early and important example was the collaboration of the Khrushchevite revisionists with U.S. imperialism and the United Nations in the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the outstanding Congolese leader as early as 1960. Certainly, both Russian and Chinese revisionism purchased their respective rapprochements with bestial U.S. imperialism with the blood and sacrifice of the heroic Vietnamese people as the Vietnamese and other Indochinese peoples were inflicting military defeat on the hegemonic imperialist power.

*In April of 1968 I observed: “… the two main characteristics of the international situation have been (1) the intensification of the contradiction between the oppressed nations and U.S. imperialism; and (2) the development of a policy in most socialist countries of betrayal of the oppressed nations based on the ascendancy of the national bourgeois class in the socialist countries.” (“The Role of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the International Marxist-Leninist Movement: The October Revolution vs. the ‘Cultural Revolution,’” Youth for Stalin, April 1968, p. 33)

Clearly, such a revisionist-led international communist movement, rather than reorganizing its party work on new revolutionary lines, was doing the exact opposite of what Stalin described for Leninist housecleaning: it was opening the floodgates to “all philistinism, narrow-mindedness, political scheming, renegacy, social-chauvinism and social-pacifism.”

Finally, regarding self-criticism within the proletarian parties, their education and training on the basis of their own mistakes, let us look at the attitude of today’s so-called communist parties and groups toward the Communist International in this hundredth year since its birth.

Despite the tremendous successes during the first thirty years beginning with the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia and the formation of the Communist International by 1919, there has been a tendency even in the most serious revolutionary parties of recent memory to blame the Communist International (and Stalin) for all the many failures of the proletarian revolutionary cause over the past fifty years, despite the fact that the Comintern was dissolved by its leadership seventy-five years ago and also that Stalin died sixty-six years ago!! This is also despite the fact that these current forces have almost total absorption in their own respective national affairs and hardly any concern for the rest of the international working class and oppressed peoples!*

*See my brief discussion of the tragic 1977-1978 war between Vietnam and Kampuchea in my previous article. (p. 7, Ray O’ Light Newsletter #113/#114)

The argument goes something like this: “The Comintern made so many errors in my country (or in the world, etc.) that it has prevented my country’s party, etc. from being successful all these years.” (I took special note of this tendency during 2017, the centennial year of the Victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia.) This argument assumes that my country’s individual national party and our national cadre are superior to the collective unity of thought and action that the international working class possesses when we are organized together. It assumes further that my country’s party would have made less errors and less serious ones had we been free of “the burden of the Communist International.” Consequently, today’s opportunist dogma subscribes to the view that proletarian international organization, if even needed at all, should be based on the autonomy of each individual party and individual country rather than being constituted as a world party functioning on the basis of democratic centralism.

As I stated earlier, this bankrupt bourgeois nationalist line of “self-reliance” is the old Titoite line of “every party and every country for itself.” It rests on the prevailing social-democratic “conventional wisdom” (that is, the BIG LIE) that there was something seriously wrong with the Communist International, which did basically function as a world party. And all the class forces in the world, other than the international proletariat and poor peasantry, have a stake in keeping you and me from the proletarian truth.

This second major article reflecting on the occasion of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Founding of the Comintern has featured the unqualified endorsement of the CI’s contribution to the establishment and development of the Communist Party of the Philippine Islands (CPPI) by comrade Jose Maria Sison, the Filipino comrade whose own valor and deeds over the past half century in the struggle for the Philippine revolution have earned him the preeminent credibility on this subject. His testimony is all the more remarkable because it flies in the face of the prevailing slightly negative /dismissive dogma regarding the Communist International and proletarian internationalism within the current Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) which comrade Sison founded!

In my view, comrade Sison’s unqualified endorsement of the Communist International’s role in the Philippine Revolution during its entire organizational existence stands with the remarkable facts about the heroic and exemplary role of the Stalin-led Soviet Union and the Soviet-led Comintern (in stark contrast with the shameful and treacherous role of almost all other political parties and governments) in the Spanish Civil War that was “the dress rehearsal for World War II.” These two indisputable concrete examples of the invaluable role of the Communist International expose the BIG LIE that the Comintern was a big problem for the international working class and the oppressed peoples. Quite the opposite is true!

The experience of the international working class with the Comintern’s marvelous role in the Spanish Civil War and in the founding and development of the Communist Party of the Philippines helps constitute a Red Banner of Leninism around which the international working class and the oppressed peoples can build anew a proletarian revolutionary organization that can meet and defeat international capital in our time.


LONG LIVE LENINISM!    
TOWARD A NEW COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL!



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LET’S FIGHT TO FREE THE AFRO-AMERICAN NATION!

by PEARL HAINES
Walk Together by Charles White

The notion that Afro-Americans have to dress a certain way, go to college, get a job, don’t have babies until marriage and stay clear of the law as part of a gradual process of gaining the respect due to us by the Caucasian majority of the U.S. is pushed by liberals. When Senator Bernie Sanders, the center left star, is questioned by Afro-Americans about why he deserves our vote and about his solution to white supremacy at the cruel heart of this settler nation, his main answer is “the black community needs jobs.” Bill Cosby famously espoused this idea in his “Pound Cake” speech of 2005.

We need to push back against the pushers of  “respectability politics” in order to get rid of our own tunnel vision. Sandra Bland, Philando Castile and Botham Jean (just to name a few) weren’t “thugs.” All three were “law-abiding citizens” with steady jobs who still lost their lives to domestic U.S. imperialism. This is evidence that the trite advice of  “pull up your pants stay in school and don’t break the law” isn’t the way that white supremacy will be eliminated. This shaming mantra only serves to put the onus of making Afro-Americans into fully-realized citizens on the oppressed people themselves.

In reality, the death of white supremacy can only be achieved through the liberation of the Afro-American homeland located in the Black Belt South and full reparations.

Land and State Power in the Black Belt South!




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LET’S STAND WITH MADURO’S VENEZUELA

by CINDY SHEEHAN and DAKOTAH LILLY


What many have been saying for months has now all but been confirmed. Numerous reports have come to light that show damning evidence of embezzlement and fraud committed by the U.S. imperialist-backed usurper and coup plotter in Venezuela, Juan Guaido.

Reports initially came from the PanAm Post, which is a historically ultra right publication that has even done a recent hit-piece on one of the authors of this article, Dakotah Lilly.

What was advertised by the predatory capitalist Richard Branson (Virgin)*  as a “humanitarian aid concert” on the Colombian border town of Cúcuta, Colombia, is now being exposed as nothing more than an act of propaganda and a smokescreen for widespread theft and con artistry. While much of the money was earmarked for the poor souls who decided to desert their positions in the Venezuelan military, the report alleges that this money instead found its way into the pockets of Guaido and his inner circle. According to The GrayZone:

*According to Wikileaks Branson was the founder of the Virgin Group that controls more than 400 companies.
“The cash that was used to entice desperate soldiers and would-be mercenaries to defect became a slush fund for the US-backed coup leader and his gaggle, who spent it lavishly on hotels, expensive dinners, nightclubs and designer clothes. As Guaidó’s gang lived the high life, he covered for their fraud, keeping his lips sealed until it was exposed through a leak by the Colombian intelligence services.”
A “smokescreen” or Trojan Horse caravan of “aid” to Venezuela was also supposed to be forcibly delivered to Venezuela from Colombia at the same time and while the Guaido mob was partying it up on the money from the concert, opposition forces were burning the supply trucks and blaming it on Maduro while screaming, “See, Maduro doesn’t care about the people because he’s not allowing aid to go through!” Of course, humanitarian aid never comes free from the Imperialists and Venezuela has accepted many tons of real aid from other countries.

Meanwhile, according to other reports, the few people from Venezuela who did defect to the traitors’ side received about $106 equivalent in US dollars, have no jobs, no decent place to stay and 20% of their children are malnourished. Many of them have joined
Maduro in front of Chavez projection
drug cartels or other shady border gangs just to survive.

Making all this even more credible are the statements by Luis Almagro, the U.S. boot-licking/anti-Venezuelan Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) who has called for an “investigation that clarifies these serious charges.”

Now that Guaido’s anti-democracy star is beginning to rust, it seems even some of his most fervent friends in the hegemonic media and the U.S. imperialist camp are jumping ship. Meanwhile, the legitimate, constitutional and democratic government of Nicolas Maduro and the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) are working day and night to end the hardships being waged on the Venezuelan people by the oligarchy, empire and the squalid opposition. 

Meanwhile, the United States government is attempting to make its illegal sanctions even more deadly.

This time the Evil Empire is targeting the CLAP system of production and essential good distribution. CLAP stands for, in English, “Local Committees for Supply and Production”, it is no wonder why the empire would target such a program. Not only is CLAP a program which provides basic foodstuff, household goods, and sometimes even toys and games for children to literally millions of Venezuelan families, but it is also a profound expression of popular power. 

Not only are the U.S. imposed sanctions aimed at “Asphyxiating the Venezuelan economy” according to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but the attack is much more cynical than this. This economic warfare being waged by the Empire, its lackeys, and the international establishment and oligarchy are aimed at directly attacking the Venezuelan population’s access to basic necessities.*

*Let us recall that Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of State Madeline Albright had said that the sanctions which helped cause the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi children were “worth it”.

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Not far from Venezuela is Honduras, yet another country which
Manuel Zelaya
has suffered at the talons of the eagle of the North. Let us recall in 2009, the coup supported by the Obama-Hillary Clinton U.S. Regime covertly, which saw the ousting of democratically elected left President Manuel Zelaya.

Zelaya aimed at incorporating Honduras into the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of our America, a bloc of anti-imperialist and left-wing countries founded by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The U.S. and its puppets in the region quickly saw Zelaya, as well as much of Latin America at the time, as a threat. Leaked Clinton emails from the time period show that the U.S. sought to keep Zelaya out of the country and even sabotaged efforts to bring him back to his constitutionally elected post as President of the country. Meanwhile, U.S. military officials met with coup plotters on the night before the coup, as well as suppressed the warnings of whistle blowers who sought to alert U.S. authorities of an imminent coup. All of this was A-OK with the U.S.: democracy and self-determination be damned.

What we have seen in Honduras and Venezuela are both extremely similar and extremely different. While there was active yet ultimately unsuccessful resistance from the Honduran people against the coup plotters and the U.S. backed interim government in Honduras (while labor and other activists are still fighting there!), what we see in Venezuela is a 20 year long process of popular mobilization, democratization and emboldening of the organized communities to protect their government of the people.

As one of the co-authors of this article Cindy Sheehan states in the pages of a previous newsletter (ROL, USA Newsletter #113/#114, “One Big Happy ‘Republicrat’ War Party—U.S. Hands Off Venezuela”):

“According to journalist John Pilger, the U.S. has overthrown 67 leaders in Latin America, but I don’t think Maduro will be #68: Maduro and the people of Venezuela are not backing down. Will Trump and his neocons Bolton and Elliot Abrams risk a full-scale invasion, because that is what it will take, and of course, the people will suffer further.”



Still tied down in a half dozen or more wars in the Middle East, does the U.S. Empire have the juice to embark on yet another massive criminal war in Latin America? Yet ultimately it will only be the rising  struggles of the international working class and the oppressed peoples against international capital, headed by U.S. imperialism, that will prevent further large scale U.S. imperialist war. Are we there yet? 

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BOSTON WAYFAIR WORKERS PUT
MIGRANT FAMILIES ABOVE CORPORATE PROFITS!

by PAT KELLY


Wayfair, an on line shopping company, received an order for over $200,000 in furniture sales from a contractor operating migrant “detention centers” on the U.S.-Mexico border. On June 26th hundreds of Boston Wayfair workers, protesting the squalid inhuman conditions migrant people are forced to live in, went on a one-day political strike in solidarity with oppressed Latino migrants.

Striker Madeline Howard said, “We don’t want our company to profit off of children being in concentration camps”.

Let’s all stand in solidarity with Boston Wayfair workers, our Latino brothers and sisters on the border and with the workers of the world!

The unselfish act of Boston Wayfair workers in defending the hard pressed migrant masses being brutalized by U.S. imperialism, and their indignation at the injustices of the Trump administration, provides us with a shining example of how to fight to build a better life for all working people.


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