Save “Our” Democracy!??

by Christian Gebhardt

The Republicans are out to bring down “our” democracy. The upcoming midterm elections will be a choice between an extremist autocracy or the real deal: the “best democracy” we’ve ever seen on earth. Or at least that’s what the Democrats are trying to make us believe three months ahead of the midterms in November. Afraid of losing their razor thin majority, the Democrats are pointing to the fact that more and more Republican primaries are swinging towards the Trump-backed candidate instead of the “moderate” choice. These radical Trumpers will be a threat not only to democratic rights (e.g. abortion rights or gay marriage) but also to democracy as a whole. More

Biden’s Visit to Two Pariah States

by Dave Stockton

Joe Biden has ended his four day trip to the Middle East with little to show for it except a further soiled reputation as a champion of human rights.
The two states he visited, Israel and Saudi Arabia, are still vital to America’s continued hegemony over the region, a domination shaken but not overthrown by events over the last decade. The disrupting factors have not only been the aftershocks of the Arab Spring in Libya, Sudan and Syria and the hostility of enemy states like Iran but also the defiance shown by US allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia. More

Dirty Talk: DSA Congress Clings to Democrats

by Andy Yorke (originally published in Fifth International 22)

The growth to nearly 95,000 members of the Democratic Socialists of America, DSA, in the last few years of mass struggles and political mobilisations, was reflected in its biennial national Convention in the first week of August 2021, when over 1,000 people met virtually to debate resolutions affecting the way forward. It also revealed a polarisation within the organisation and a significant shift to the right by its leadership. More

Amazon Staten Island — A Victory for Rank-and-File Organizing

by Dave Stockton

April 1, 2022, witnessed one of the most striking victories for US Labor in quite a time. At the huge JFK8 Amazon warehouse on Staten Island in New York City, an official ballot for union recognition, conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, saw 2,654 workers voting in favor and 2,131 against. Just a month later, however, a damper was put on celebrations by the announcement on May 2 that a similar ballot at a second Staten Island warehouse, the LDJ5 sortation center, employing roughly 1,500 workers, had failed, with 618 workers voting no and 380 voting yes. More

Despite the Pandemic — The Working Class Awakens

by Marcus Otono

Something is happening with the US working class despite the resurgence of the pandemic with the Omicron wave. They are awakening to militancy. And while it’s true that this newly found strength of purpose has, arguably, been building since the great Wisconsin uprising of 2011 and the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter protests in succeeding years, it has taken a decade to reach the organized working class on a widespread basis. More

Camp Bliss — More Like Camp Hell

by Dave Stockton

More than 4,300 teenaged children are presently interned in an “emergency shelter” at the Fort Bliss military base in El Paso, Texas. 12 huge tents are packed with hundreds of bunk beds in close proximity. Recent accounts given undercover by shocked staff members to BBC reporters and confirmed by reports in the El Paso Times, reveal conditions which are an absolute disgrace to the richest democracy in the world. More

Hands Off Local Labor Councils!

Workers Power USA

At the weekly meeting of the Aggregate of Workers Power USA on May 19, 2021, WPUSA chose to endorse an open letter to Richard Trumka and the national AFL-CIO in regards to their heavy-handed abuse of power over their local labor councils. Specifically, the Vermont Labor Council and their resolution to call for a general strike if Trump did not cede power to the newly elected Joe Biden. The resolution was overwhelmingly approved back in late November 2020 by the majority of the members of the local council and its leadership. More

Killing of Andrew Brown Jr. Shows Justice Can only be Won by Mass Action

by Tom Burns

On April 21 police in Elizabeth City, North Carolina shot Andrew Brown Jr in the back of the head. Brown family attorney Wayne Kendall told CNN, “This was, in fact, an extrajudicial killing, an execution if you will.” Coming one day after the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, it indicates that welcome as this was, and despite President Joe Biden’s promises on police reform, US cops still feel free to use lethal force on “suspects” at the slightest excuse, especially if they are African Americans. The event comes only ten days after the murder by police officers of Daunte Wright at a traffic stop in a suburb of Minneapolis. More

George Floyd Murder Trial Verdict: a First Victory for Mass Action

by Tom Burns

Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd on April 20, 2021. So obvious was his guilt, and brazen his defense, that if he had not been convicted the social explosion would have been incalculable in its consequences. It is a victory for his family, and for Black Lives Matter supporters and antiracists in the USA and in many other countries. But it is only a first step in tackling the country’s racist police. More

Police Killings, this Time it’s Chicago

by Tom Burns

Late last month, a 13 year old boy named Adam Toledo was shot by Chicago police. Adam was a Latino. Immediately after the incident, Chicago police stated that there had been an “armed confrontation.” They claimed that Adam Toledo tossed a gun to the side when confronted by officers, implying a clear justification for the use of violent force, as required by law. However, recently released body camera footage has seen the police retract. In it, Toledo is ordered to put his hands up. He did so, both hands were clearly empty. The officer still shot him. More

Daunte Wright’s Murder Shows Police Cannot Be Reformed

by Tom Burns

April 11, 2021 saw the murder at a traffic stop of Daunte Wright, aged 20, by police officers in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. Police allege that Mr. Wright had an outstanding arrest warrant and attempted to get away in his car. The vehicle would travel a few blocks before colliding with another vehicle after the shooting. Daunte’s girlfriend was in the car and was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. The police officer involved in the shooting claims she mistakenly drew her gun instead of a taser. The ensuing protests saw the police deploy tear-gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. More

The Roots of the Rise in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

by Benji Weiss

In the year since the murder of George Floyd, the harsh reality of the racism still experienced by African Americans, 150 years after the abolition of slavery and half a century since the civil rights movement, was witnessed by the whole country and then by the world. More

Support Bessemer Workers – and Imitate Them

by Dave Stockton

A labour organising drive in the town of Bessemer, Alabama, (population 26,680) has caught the attention of trade unionists and socialists worldwide. The reason? Workers, union organisers and community activities there have taken on a veritable Goliath of modern capitalism – Jeff Bezos’ Amazon, the second largest retailer, behind Walmart, in the USA, where it still does 60% of its business. More

The New Face of the Supreme Court

by Ada Wallace

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg during the 2020 election shook public trust from the already-faltering American populace. The announcement of her replacement, Amy Coney Barrett – a religious extremist – resulted in predictable pandemonium. More

The Return of the USA

by Dave Stockton, Red Flag

“America is Back!” was the message of Joe Biden’s first major speech on foreign affairs. According to Reuters, he expressed, “aggressive approaches to China and Russia, urged Myanmar’s military leaders to halt their coup, and declared an end to US support for a Saudi Arabia-led military campaign in Yemen.” More

Biden Promises to “Build Back Better”

by Dave Stockton, Red Flag

Most of the world’s political leaders are rejoicing over the replacement of Donald Trump by Joe Biden. They have hailed it as a comforting reassertion of American Democracy, after four years of disruption of the international institutions that manage the increasingly conflicted interests of the major imperialist powers. More

Georgia Senate Runoffs — Democrats Win Both

by Marcus Otono

The “long, strange trip” that has been the 2020 elections in the USA finally ended on January 5, 2021 with the state of Georgia’s Senatorial runoff elections. These elections provided a fitting coda to an electoral season that was more unusual than any in recent memory and, maybe, ever. Almost as an afterthought, the races also provided the final party-line makeup of the US Senate for the next two years. More

Statement on Trump’s Fascist Provocation

International Secretariat and WPUSA

The storming of the US Capitol by a mob of fascists, at the instigation of Donald Trump, was an abortive attempt by the cornered but still vicious President to coerce the Congress (and the Vice President) into abandoning the certification of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. More

What Can We Expect from Bidenomics?

by Marcus Otono

It’s tempting to look at Joseph Robinette Biden’s 50 year career in politics, 48 of them on the national level in the Senate and as Vice President, and do a “hot take” on how he will govern and what his economic policies will be based on that lengthy record. And it would be correct to do so if all you were trying to do was assess where his political and economic instincts lie. However, if 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that any purely historical assessment, whether of parties or politicians, doesn’t hold water under the crushing conditions of the nation’s continuing and multiple crises. More

Elections: Democrat President, Divided Congress

International Secretariat, League for the Fifth International

Joe Biden looks certain to be the next President of the USA but, despite a record turnout of some 160 million voters, this was no “blue tidal wave.” On the contrary, the Democratic party failed to win the Senate and even lost seats in the House of Representatives. Whatever the outcome of any of Trump’s avalanche of appeals, that outcome is unlikely to change. More

Crisis in the USA

International Executive Committee, League for the Fifth International

The USA today is facing a combined series of social crises on a scale not witnessed since the Second World War – the deeply interrelated coronavirus and economic crises, the climate crisis and a deep political crisis of Trump’s presidency, related to his inciting the police and white racists against the country’s black citizens and immigrant communities to boost his chances of winning a second term. However, the November election is not going to resolve any of these and may indeed plunge the country into a period of civil strife not witnessed for fifty years. More

Corporate Gas-lighting — Starbucks Copaganda

by WPUSA and P

Businesses are tangibly supported by the police because the police protect the capitalist’s right to ownership of said businesses by punishing any kind of theft or damage directed at the business. This is a simple fact of life. Deterring theft and damage is only the most common job of police, though, their most critical job is deterring workers from challenging the boss’ right to ownership of commonly made products and commonly worked property. More

Louisville Grand Jury decides Black Lives do not Matter

by Dave Stockton

Once again, protests against police racism have erupted across the nation. This time it is against the United States’ INjustice system, following the announcement that a grand jury had refused to bring charges against three plain clothes police officers for shooting and killing Breonna Taylor, a twenty-six-year-old African American medical technician, in her own home. More

Kenosha Shootings Show Need for Self Defence

by Dave Stockton

In Kenosha, Wisconsin, at 5.00 pm. on Sunday, 23 August, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back whilst getting into his car, by a police officer, Rusten Sheskey. Blake’s three children were in the back seat of the car and witnessed the whole horrific event. Miraculously, he survived but the shots severed his spinal cord and he is paralysed from the waist down, probably for life. More

“Top Cop” Kamala Harris: The New Face of Oppression and Repression

by Marcus Otono

With the selection of Senator Kamala Harris who, as California’s chief prosecutor, liked to call herself the state’s Top Cop, Joe Biden has driven the final nail in the coffin of the brief “socialist” rebellion by Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and their followers. More

The Great American Myth – Trump’s Version

by Ada Wallace

As Trump took to the podium at Mount Rushmore on July 4th, he told a tale of the Great American Myth – a story of abundant prosperity, freedom, equality, and, most importantly, the US as a heroic victor in the perpetual battle of good vs. evil. More

Trump Toys With a Police State

by Dave Stockton

For the last ten days, Donald Trump has been trialling a presidential coup d’etat, starting in Portland, Oregon but now being extended to Chicago. In his usual style, he claimed that anarchist violence in Chicago is “worse than in Afghanistan”. This is not only a response to the Black Lives Matter movement against the US’s killer cops, but to his accelerating slump in opinion polls. On the basis of an executive order “to protect federal property” he was able to deploy the considerable range of federal police forces, militarised over the past two decades under the excuse of the War on Terror. In Portland, 40 miles from the Canadian border, he is deploying Customs and Border Protection forces sent from the Mexican frontier! More

Coronavirus — The Looming Economic Emergency

by Marcus Otono

We have established and supported our position on the crisis of capitalism engendered by COVID-19 in two previous, detailed articles on the subject. Our position was and is simple. The capitalist system in the United States is more concerned with the “health” of the owners’ profits than it is with the health of the workers that create that profit. We further asserted that the reopening of the economy at the time that it was being foisted on US workers in late April and May of 2020, over the objections of a majority of the workers and citizens, would lead to another spike in viral infections and deaths. Unfortunately, we proved to be prescient in both cases. A choice between profit for the owners and preventing death for the workers is no choice at all for the ruling class. Profit always wins. More

On the Oncoming Educational-Health Crisis

by Alistair O’Gara

Many people have seen posts on social media stating that the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, claimed that “only 0.02% of children will die” when re-opening schools come fall. Of course, this particular statement has not been verified by anyone and has likely been an outright fabrication, though certainly it is in character for DeVos. Isn’t it? More

The Cop Question: Reform? Defund? Abolish?

by Mo Sedlak

The murder of George Floyd, committed by four policemen in Minneapolis, USA, and the massive police violence against solidarity demonstrations in the USA and worldwide has once again shown that the police and a safe life for racially oppressed people are not compatible. While under attack from politicians, media and uniformed terrorists on all sides, the movement is now discussing how to deal with the police. The most important positions (though there is overlap) are a police reform (“8 can’t wait”), the reduction of resources (“defund the police”), or the abolition of the police (“abolition”). Revolutionaries must participate in this debate in solidarity. For this, they can look back on a long tradition of demanding the destruction of the oppressive state apparatus. More

Workers Power – USA Reports – Part I

Workers Power in the United States has never made any pretense of being any sort of “mass party” of either workers or the oppressed. Indeed we understand that in the grand scope of political groups in this country, we are a vanishingly small, although growing, group of like-minded comrades attempting to make a difference in this country and the world, along with our international comrades in the League for the Fifth International. More

Self-defence is no Offence! — Solidarity with the #blacklivesmatter Rebellion!

by Martin Suchanek and Jaqueline Katherina Singh

George Floyd was murdered in a brutal and cowardly fashion by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on a public street in front of bystanders on the morning of May 25th. One of them videoed the whole event and now millions worldwide have seen it. It has triggered two week of mass demonstrations not only in the USA but worldwide. These have raised not just the oppression of African Americans but similar racist police killings on all continents, demanding an end to them and to the impunity granted to the killers. More

Statement on the 2020 Rebellion

Workers Power – USA, June 2020

For over a week now, US cities have been convulsed by an unprecedented wave of militant fightback precipitated by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN by Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department. For almost nine minutes, Floyd, a black man, was held down by Chauvin’s knee on his neck in front of cameras while Floyd begged for his life. Even after he lay limp and unresponsive, Chauvin continued his torture of Floyd for several minutes more even though bystanders filmed the murder and begged the cops to get up and let him breathe. George Floyd died and will never breathe again. Another victim of a long, long line of death by cop for a black person in the USA. More

Minnesota Not-So-Nice – The Killing of George Floyd

by Jamie Kruger

When officer Derek Chauvin was kneeling on George Floyd’s neck on a Minneapolis street last Monday, it probably felt like routine to the white man who has a long record of abuse and excessive force. And in a sense it was: African Americans in the US suffer from racist actions on a daily basis. For his partners in crime, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng, everything seemed normal as well—providing cover for the abuse, making sure no bystanders get in the way. More

Trading Lives for Profit – Updating the Reopening

by Marcus Otono

As inevitably happens during class struggle, the battle lines eventually sharpen into “Which side are you on?” moments. That’s happening now with the Covid-19 crisis. More

Vote for the Lesser Evil? NO – Form a Working Class Party!

by Christian Gebhardt

The timing of Bernie Sanders’ decision to back Joe Biden, calling him “a very decent man”, may seem strange, coming at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when the need for Medicare for All was never more obvious and never more popular. But the decision comes as no surprise for revolutionaries in the United States or around the world. America’s most famous “democratic socialist” is leading his enthusiastic young campaigners into the Biden trap just as he did for Hilary Clinton last time around. More

The Grand Reopening – Profit and Death in the USA

by Marcus Otono

We’ve seen it coming for weeks now. Actually months if you count the initial denigration of the threat of the coronavirus and Covid-19 for the US by the Trump administration. Even after Trump pivoted and decided that the death toll from this easily spread viral infection would play havoc with his reelection campaign, the signs always pointed towards to the swift reopening of the US economy. He first floated the idea of an Easter weekend reopening. When that was shot down by the facts of an increasing infection and death rate, he pointed to May 1st… More

They Got Bailed Out – Again!
The Coronavirus Version

by Marcus Otono

So much of capitalism in crisis is like the movie Groundhog Day. The bankruptcy of ideas of the system in its senility leads to ever increasing “solutions” that wind up repurposing the same tired strategies with a few added bells and whistles. Or as the capitalists might say, the strategies are “rebranded” and “repackaged” for a new day and a new crisis. More

Raise the Stakes – Unify the Strikes!

by Christian Gebhardt

The corona epidemic has the United States in its grip. Daily we hear about a rising number of infected individuals and sadly the number of deaths is also steadily rising. After ignoring the problem, underestimating the problem and calling it a hoax, even Trump has had to acknowledge what the US is heading towards. Not enough respirators, testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) for our healthcare workers shows us the immediate needs for fighting this crisis, but the bigger question is who can solve this crisis and whose interests need to be kept in focus? More

Bernie Sanders: A Path to Victory for the Working-Class?

by Alistair O’Gara

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been one of the most charismatic and controversial politicians in the US ever since he launched his campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2016 with calls for a “political revolution against the Billionaire Class.” More

Joe Biden 2020 – The Anti-Populist

by Marcus Otono

It’s a pretty simple analysis. In times of populist fervor brought on by a crisis of capitalism, history shows that populists do better in elections than establishment candidates. Recently, this was shown by Clinton’s loss to Trump in 2016 and even more recently by the continued popularity of Bernie Sanders and even Michael Bloomberg, as well as the continuing solid base of support for Trump. The commonality between the three is that none of them are closely associated with the “Washington Consensus” of Democrats and Republicans that ruled, unchallenged, over the political economy from Reagan until the Great Recession. More

New York: Increasing Radicalization of the Protests for Free Public Transport

by Mo Sedlak

On January 31 New York activists took the street for the third FTP (Fuck the Police) day of action. Since the Metropolitan Transport Authority MTA increased fare prices last year, then organized a campaign against fare beating carried out mainly by police violence, the protests have been increasing in size and militancy, with hundreds taking over Grand Central Station. There have also been decentralized banner-drops, graffiti, destruction of turnstiles and the forcing open of emergency exits all over the city. More

Opioid Crisis–Profit from Pain

by Tom Burns

Purdue Pharmaceuticals filed for bankruptcy protection on the night of September 14. In the next few days various groups expressed praise and satisfaction over the maker of OxyContin filing for bankruptcy. Their understanding was that such a move was one of admitting defeat. As the Opioid Crisis continues, many states and individuals have sought recompense from Purdue. They blame this pharmaceutical company for “creating” or “worsening” the crisis. However, such evaluations of the situation fail to fully consider the nature of the opioid crisis. We should emphasize that the entire system of Capital and its reproduction is at-fault for the opioid crisis, both directly and indirectly. Furthermore, we can look to the steps taken by the financial industry in the wake of the 2008/2009 recession as proof that the main malefactors will not see justice. More

Impeachment: Fight Capitalist Corruption, Reject the “Judicial Road” Against Trump

by Mo Sedlak

The Democrats’ emphasis on the impeachment hearings against Trump shows that they favor a strategy of “resistance” within the institutions, and increasingly the judicial system, over winning an electoral majority. This is a signal to the left candidates in the Democratic primaries and especially Bernie Sanders, who arguably has the best chances to beat Trump in a direct confrontation (if the Democratic apparatus supports his bid). The signal reads: We do not want you, and we do not need you. This should be the metaphorical writing on the wall to socialists flocking around the capitalist Democratic Party to abandon that project and build an actual movement against both Republican and Democrats’ politics. More

DSA Convention 2019

by Marcus Otono

The largest openly self-identified socialist organization in the USA today are the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and they held a convention in August of 2019 in Atlanta, GA. This convention was the second since the election of Donald Trump in 2016 that spurred the biggest rise in membership for the socialist left, and especially DSA, in almost a century. In the aftermath of Trump’s election on an openly racist, misogynist, economic and politically nationalist campaign platform, DSA quickly grew to approximately 32,000 members, represented by over 700 delegates for the convention held in 2017. For the convention in 2019 the approximate membership was estimated at nearly 60,000 people, represented by over 1000 delegates. In short, this shows that the organization is still growing at a rapid pace. More

Charles and David Koch: Two Heads of the Bourgeois Hydra

by Robert Biester

On August 21, 2019 David Koch died after years of fighting prostate cancer which he was diagnosed with in 1992. With his death he left behind his brother and a multi-billion dollar company, Koch Industries, which profits off the extraction of fossil fuels, the refining of said fossil fuels, and many other products. This company has in its pockets the groups that preach “free market” and “individualist” ideas that capitalism has thrived on for decades now. These puppets include Americans for Prosperity and Kansas Policy Institute who have helped destroy all attempts at improving public infrastructure by calling such spending “frivolous” and a waste of money. They also have a tendency to call unions the pawn of big government and preach to workers not to organize or else they are hurting the “freedom” of the bourgeoisie. Because “freedom” in bourgeois terms is the freedom to exploit the working class, it is important to discuss the Koch’s influence on American politics and the implications of David Koch’s death on these political escapades. More

The “Cultural Fascism” of Andy Ngo and Quillette

by Marcus Otono

There was another clash between the fascists of the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer and the anarchist collective known as Antifa in Portland, OR the weekend of June 30th. While these dustups have become quite commonplace since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there was a qualitative difference in this time and some of the previous battles between these two ideologically opposite forces. That difference was the beating and injury of a so-called “journalist” for the on-line and right-wing platform called Quillette. More

Climate Change Comes to the Midwest

by Ashley Wherry

Currently the Earth has warmed 1 degree Celsius since the 19th century, and according to the United Nations we are on track for warming closer to 3-5 degree by 2100. We have seen only a portion of the warming expected by the end of the century, and it is already having huge impacts on human life and our environment. More

Solidarity with Rideshare Strike!

Workers Power

On the morning of May 8th Uber and Lyft drivers around the country in several major cities will be striking for job security, livable wages, and fairer commissions on fare rates. This strike was provoked by a 25% pay cut for all Uber drivers and is the second work stoppage by Uber and Lyft drivers this year, with a previous several thousand strong action having taken place in March. More

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – a Socialist in Congress?

Dave Stockton

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez caused a sensation on June 26, 2018, when, in the primaries for New York’s 14th congressional district, Bronx and Queens, she defeated the chair of the House of Representatives Democratic Caucus, Joe Crowley. She then went on to win the election, becoming the youngest woman to enter Congress. More

The Green New Deal – a Challenge to Both Parties

Marcus Otono

The Green New Deal, GND, resolution introduced by Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, AOC, a New York member of the House of Representatives, and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, has been met by widespread enthusiasm from the left. It is an ambitious set of goals for the reordering of US society and economy to fight the looming climate emergency and deal with some of the more vexing economic problems, like the health care crisis in the US and out of control income inequality. More

The Caravan from Central America – Let Them In!
La caravana de Centroamérica – ¡Déjenlos entrar!

Tobi Hansen

They have been on the road since October 12, a “caravan” of more than 7,000 refugees from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, heading for Tijuana on the US-Mexican border. Now they have reached southern Mexico. They have chosen this course of action because they no longer see any hope of a minimally decent and secure life in their own countries. Entire families, including grandparents and young children, see this not as a political demonstration but an expression of sheer material necessity. They march together so they can protect themselves from those who want to exploit and harm them, the people smugglers and the criminal gangs, who kidnap and use fugitives for drug trafficking or prostitution. More

Han estado en la carretera desde el 12 de octubre, una “caravana” de más de 7,000 refugiados de Honduras, Guatemala y El Salvador, con destino a Tijuana en la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos. Ahora han llegado al sur de México. Han elegido este curso de acción porque ya no ven ninguna esperanza de una vida mínimamente decente y segura en sus propios países. Familias enteras, incluidos abuelos y niños pequeños, ven esto no como una manifestación política sino como una expresión de pura necesidad material. Marchan juntos para protegerse de los que quieren explotarles y hacerles daño: los traficantes de personas y las bandas criminales, quienes secuestran y usan a los refugiados para el narcotráfico o la prostitución. Continuar

The Political Contradictions of DSA

by Marcus Otono

Watching the far left in the United States attempt to make sense of the dizzying rise of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) can’t help but remind one of the old story of a group of blind men attempting to describe an elephant. Their critiques, no matter how virulently or mildly expressed, usually focus on one or two aspects of the overall phenomena of DSA or its history and leave everything else out. Just like in the story, this results in critiques that are not necessarily wrong, but fail to address the essential question: How to transform a group in which tens of thousands of members think of themselves as revolutionary socialists into an actual revolutionary socialist group. More

Workers’ Party Tennessee – A Modest Proposal

by Marcus Otono

The League for the Fifth International has been consistent throughout the entirety of its existence and even in its precursor organizations, about the need in the United States for a party of labor. This was an easy position to support, albeit not so easy to accomplish. And we weren’t alone in seeing this need. Indeed, most of the socialist organizations also supported this position throughout the decades, as witnessed by the many attempts to found said party of labor by groups on the socialist left. More

Middle Tennessee DSA Endorses Prison Strike

Per the resolution passed at the July 2018 general meeting, the Middle Tennessee chapter of Democratic Socialists of America endorses the upcoming National Prison Strike called by incarcerated men and women. This strike, which begins on August 21 and extends through September 9, 2018, is a response to the April 2018 uprising at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, during which seven men lost their lives. More

The More Things Change

REVIEW  On New Terrain: How Capital is Reshaping the Battleground of Class War by Kim Moody

Every 10 years Kim Moody produces a major analysis of the political economy of US capitalism and the working class, identifying problems and possibilities, and advancing a strategy for the labor movement to reverse its decline and begin to advance. On New Terrain is a valuable addition to this at a crucial juncture for the US working class under the Trump-led Republican hegemony. More

Gun Control — Who Controls the Guns?

With the possible exception of abortion rights, there is no single issue in the American political landscape more divisive than the debate over gun control. And just like the abortion debate, the differing sides of the gun debate are rife with contradictions on both sides. More

New York: From Union Struggles to Class Struggle at The New School

In the last weeks of summer term 2018, the New School, a private non-profit research university centered in Manhattan, New York City, was shaken by a series of struggles by its workers who were finally fighting back, and they won overwhelming solidarity from students. More

Strikes and Occupations at The New School

Students and Workers stand up to union busting and firing by the self-proclaimed progressive private university in New York. More

Labor Notes 2018: Successes pose new challenges for union activists

Three thousand trade unionists assembled in Chicago for Labor Notes’ biennial conference on 8-11 April. Many there claimed it was the biggest Labor Notes conference ever. But numbers alone cannot convey the energy, the diversity, the militancy on display. More

One Year of Trump – Horror Without End?

On January 20, Donald Trump’s inauguration took place: a day that will go down in history not for the surprise victory of the right-wing populist anti-establishment candidate. No less impressive was the day after, which saw the largest mobilization since the protests against the Iraq war, with an estimated 5 million people taking to the streets as part of the Women’s March. The international character of the mobilizations anticipated the profound international impact of Trump’s inauguration. More

Another Trickle Down Tax Scam

The Republicans needed a win. After almost a year in power, in both the legislative and the executive branches of government, all they had to show was a president with the lowest approval ratings ever, a massive and very public failure of their initial attempt at governing – the failure to repeal Obamacare, and public perception being driven by the “Outrage of the Week” from Donald Trump’s twitter account. Not to mention an ongoing investigation by Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the American election of 2016 and the Republican collusion in that interference and a Senate candidate in the very Republican state of Alabama with a history of child abuse. So yes, the Republicans badly needed a win. And of course when the Republicans win, the rest of us lose. More

Dump Trump with the DSA?

No week goes by without another “outrage of the week” sponsored by Trump. Climate change, immigration policy, abortion rights or LGBTQ-rights; it seems like everything is under constant debate and attack since Trump took office at the beginning of the year. But, instead of being overwhelmed and accepting the new situation, his opponents have mobilized against him. For example, hundreds of thousands took to the streets on the “Women’s March.” Across the United States, and beyond, more than two million have demonstrated against his policies. More

Medicare For All — Policy or Populist Sop?

On September 13, 2017 Bernie Sanders, the independent Senator from Vermont and erstwhile Democratic Party presidential candidate, introduced his latest version of a reform of the US health care system that he called Medicare For All. While he acknowledged that the prospects for passing in Congress or being signed into law by the ruling Republican Party were nil, his stated purpose was to bring the concept of single payer health care into the conversation that has been on-going since the debate on and passage of the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” in 2010. More

The Revival of the Democratic Socialists

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) grouping has witnessed astonishing growth over the past year, going from around 5,500 members to 26,000. It now claims 2,000 members in New York City alone. The DSA’s growth began with the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2015, thanks in part to Sanders’ self-designation as a “democratic socialist” and his call for a “political revolution.” More

American Dream Turns Into a Nightmare
El sueño americano se convierte en una pesadilla

For 800,000 Dreamers the morning of September 5 saw their American Dream turn into a nightmare. Donald Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. More

Para 800.000 soñadores la mañana del 5 de septiembre su sueño americano se convirtió en una pesadilla. El Fiscal General de Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, anunció el fin del programa de la Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA) de Barack Obama. Continuar

Charlottesville Terror Attack

It’s not like we haven’t warned that this was coming. In article after article on the rise of Donald Trump and his brand of right-wing populism, we’ve stated that, as bad as his policies might be, the worst aspect of his regime would be the emboldening of the fascist and white supremacist elements that make up much of his base of support. More

The Threat of Another Korean War

US President Donald Trump, so far a spectacular failure in his domestic policies, is compensating for this by exercising his power as the Commander in Chief of the most powerful nation in the world. Having launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase and killed 39 ISIS fighters with the “Mother Of All Bombs” in Afghanistan in April, he is now threatening North Korea with a devastating war, conventional or even nuclear. More

Trump’s First 100 Days and the Resistance

In the US, a president’s first 100 days in office is always a period of reflection on the efficacy and direction of any changes in policy from one administration to the next. That’s especially true this year, with the Republican sweep of the US Congress and Presidency, plus holding on to most of the statehouses and governorships. Since May Day coincides,  more or less, with the end of that 100 day period, to analyze May Day in 2017 is to analyze Trump’s first 100 days in microcosm from the perspective of class struggle. More

USA: May Day, 2017

The irony of May Day in the USA is that this workers’ holiday, celebrated officially in 66 countries in the world and unofficially in most of the rest, had its origins in the United States. Most American workers will blithely go about their business on May Day, 2017, and work their eight hours without a thought to the fact that it was the May Day strike in Chicago for the eight hour day that became the focal point for the movement that actually allowed them to have an eight hour day. The anarchists and socialists who struck, fought and, yes, died, for this most basic and embedded of all of today’s workers’ rights have been all but forgotten in their own country. More

For a Workers Party in the USA. If Not Now, When?

Millions on the street against the inauguration. Several thousands with spontaneous protests against the “Muslim Ban”. In Milwaukee alone, about 15,000 took the streets during the actions of “A day without Immigrants”, led mostly by Latinos. As much as the Trump administration provokes nationally and internationally, so too is the diverse and massive resistance. More

Millions March Against Trump

It was the largest international demonstration since the Iraq War. The ‘Women’s March’ on 21 January capped a two day explosion of resistance to the inauguration of Donald Trump. More

“America First” Signals Intensification of US Unilateralism

Anyone who doubted that Donald Trump’s arrival as 45th president of the United States heralded a major change in both the country’s internal and external relationships must surely have been forced to think again by his inaugural address and the barrage of executive orders issued in his first week. More