Communist Party of Greece (KKE): Voting ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ Means Same Thing – ‘Yes’

We republish below an official statement of the Stalinist Communist Party of Greece (KKE) denouncing SYRIZA’s bogus referendum scam.  They correctly point out that, in fact, no matter whether Greek workers vote “yes” or “no” in the referendum on the EU’s austerity programme July 5, it will mean the same thing: “Yes”.  That’s because, says KKE, a vote “against” the EU’s austerity proposals will essentially mean a “yes” vote for SYRIZA’s own austerity proposals – which the KKE asserts are “90% identical”!  And they are right about that.  Take a look at the “secret” counterproposal SYRIZA offered up to – and rejected by – the Troika which was leaked to the Financial Times earlier this month.

SYRIZA proposals for restructuring of debt May 2015

These proposals of SYRIZA incorporate almost all of the demands of the Troika, offering up not only the most profitable national assets – sea- and airports – but also the lives of the Greek workers themselves in the form of a gradual raising of the retirement age and other cuts to pensions and what remains of the crumbling Greek capitalist state’s social safety net.

The KKE is a Stalinist party of the Third International which – almost alone among the Stalinist Communist parties of Europe – still defends the USSR and has undergone an incomplete self-criticism of its own counterrevolutionary role as the Greek branch of the Soviet Union’s international “peaceful coexistence with capitalism” betrayal of the working class.  The KKE is a very large ostensibly revolutionary party whose membership boasts some of the finest revolutionary socialist workers of the Greek working class of today; in the Greek legislative election of 25 January 2015 the KKE polled over 338,000 votes, making it the fifth-largest political party in the Greek Parliament.   Unlike the SYRIZA party, inside the Stalinist KKE there still exist actual proletarian revolutionaries with a desire to overthrow the Greek capitalist class and lead a workers socialist revolution.  But in order to do that,the KKE must make a clean break with its appallingly class-collaborationist Stalinist past and embrace revolutionary Trotskyism – which is asking a lot from a party whose leadership consists of dyed-in-the-wool apologists for Stalin – the butcher of Lenin’s revolutionary Communist Party leadership – and millions of Soviet workers and peasants.  The anti-Marxist Stalinist concept that “communism” can be built in a single nation-state must be jettisoned in favor of Trotskyist internationalism.  At the very least, the KKE must jettison every deeply ingrained impulse towards seeking rapprochement with the capitalists of the world – and their demands in the face of the referendum indicate that the KKE is not yet ready to do that:

“The KKE stresses that the people must not choose between Scylla and Charybdis, but must express, with all means available and in every way, their opposition to the EU and its permanent memoranda in the referendum. They must “cancel out” this dilemma by casting the proposal of the KKE as their vote into the ballot box.

  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE EU-IMF-ECB
  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, WITH THE PEOPLE IN POWER”

[Source: Communist Party of Greece, “The referendum on the 5th of July and the stance of the KKE” (no date)]

Although the KKE states earlier in this same article that “the only realistic way out from today’s capitalist barbarity […] is: RUPTURE-DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, UNILATERAL CANCELLATION OF THE DEBT, SOCIALIZATION OF THE MONOPOLIES, WORKERS’-PEOPLE’S POWER”, their “demands” specifically do NOT call for the preparation for a seizure of power by the working class.  And the formula “workers’ – people’s power” implies a “two-class” power-sharing arrangement, not a revolutionary socialist workers government led by the proletariat.

If we had comrades in Greece today, we would seek to sound out the KKE on these questions in an effort to form a “united front” with them and all other revolutionary parties in Greece – especially, of course, the other Trotskyist parties – who seek – at least on paper and in their public pronouncements – to resolve the current crisis of Greek capitalism in favor of the working class permanently through workers socialist revolution.  The vital necessity of close co-operation of all the revolutionary left socialist and anarchist groups is highlighted by the ominous growth and boldness of the fascist “Golden Dawn” party, which polled 50,000 MORE votes this year than the KKE.  It is crucially important that the Greek workers join together in a united front to smash the Golden Dawn scum whenever they rear their heads.  The failure to do so in Germany in the 1930s – a failure caused by the reactionary twists and turns of the Stalinist misleaders of the COMINTERN – paved the way for the rise of Hitler, the crushing of the German Communist Party and the ensuing mass slaughter of World War II.  This, too, is a historical fact which the Stalinist KKE has yet to come to terms with.

Workers socialist revolution is truly the “only way out” for the Greek working class – and all the rest of the workers of the capitalist world as well.  There is simply NO FUTURE FOR THE WORKING CLASS UNDER CAPITALISM!  Capitalism must be overthrown so that the working class may live – it’s really just that simple.  We offer our support (extremely modest as it is) to our working class sisters and brothers in Greece who are organizing the workers to prepare for the seizure of power from the hands of the murderous, morally, politically and financially bankrupt Greek, EU and US capitalist classes.

For workers revolution in Greece and throughout the EU, the Americas and the entire capitalist world! Workers of the World, Unite!

– IWPCHI

**************

[Source: The-referendum-on-the-5th-of-July-and-the-stance-of-the-KKE, retrieved 30 June 2015]

The referendum on the 5th of July and the stance of the KKE

As is well-known, the government of the “left” and in essence social-democratic SYRIZA party and of the “rightwing” nationalist party ANEL, in an attempt to manage the complete bankruptcy of its pre-election commitments, announced a referendum for the 5th July 2015, with the only question being whether the citizens agree or not with the proposed agreement, which had been tabled by the EU, IMF and ECB and concerns the continuation of the anti-people measures for a way out from the capitalist crisis, with Greece remaining in the euro.

 

The coalition government’s officials call on the people to say “no” and make it clear that this “no” in the referendum will be interpreted by the Greek government as approval for its own proposed agreement with the EU, IMF, ECB, which in its 47+8 pages also contains harsh antiworker-antipeople measures, with the aim of increasing the profitability of capital, capitalist “growth” and the country’s remaining in the euro. As the SYRIZA-ANEL government admits, which continues to extol the EU, “our common European home”, the “European achievement”, this proposal of theirs is 90% identical to the proposal of the EU, IMF, ECB and has very little relationship with what SYRIZA had promised before the elections.

 

Fascist Golden Dawn, together with the parties of the coalition government (SYRIZA-ANEL), took a position in favour of a “no” and it also openly supported the return to a national currency.

 

On the other side, the rightwing opposition ND, social-democratic PASOK that governed until January 2015, together with POTAMI (in form a party of the centre, in essence a reactionary party) took a position in favour of a “yes” to the barbaric measures of the Troika, which they state will be interpreted as being consent to “staying in the EU at all costs”.

 

In reality, both answers lead to a yes to the “EU” and capitalist barbarity.

 

During the session of the parliament on the 27/6, the governmental majority of SYRIZA-ANEL rejected the proposal of the KKE that the following issues be placed before to the judgment of the Greek people in the referendum:

 

  • NO TO THE PROPOSALS FOR AGREEMENT OF THE EU-ECB-IMF AND THE GREEK GOVERNMENT
  • DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU-ABOLITION OF THE MEMORANDA AND ALL THE APPLICATION LAWS

 

With this stance, the government demonstrated that it wants to blackmail the people into approving its proposal to the troika, which is the other side of the same coin. That is to say, it is asking the Greek people to consent to its anti-people plans and to burden them with its new anti-people choices, either via a new allegedly “improved” agreement with the imperialist organizations, or via an exit from the euro and a return to a national currency, something which the people will be called on to pay for again.

 

In these conditions, the KKE calls on the people to utilize the referendum as an opportunity to strengthen the opposition to the EU, to strengthen the struggle for the only realistic way out from today’s capitalist barbarity. The content of this way out is: RUPTURE-DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, UNILATERAL CANCELLATION OF THE DEBT, SOCIALIZATION OF THE MONOPOLIES, WORKERS’-PEOPLE’S POWER.

 

The people, through their activity and their choice in the referendum, must respond to the deception of the false question posed by the government and reject the proposal of the EU-IMF-ECB and also the proposal of the SYRIZA-ANEL government. Both contain barbaric anti-people measures, which will be added to the memoranda and application laws of the previous ND-PASOK governments. Both serve the interests of capital and capitalist profits.

 

The KKE stresses that the people must not choose between Scylla and Charybdis, but must express, with all means available and in every way, their opposition to the EU and its permanent memoranda in the referendum. They must “cancel out” this dilemma by casting the proposal of the KKE as their vote into the ballot box.

 

  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE EU-IMF-ECB
  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, WITH THE PEOPLE IN POWER

[END OF DOCUMENT – IWPCHI]

 

SYRIZA: European Capitalists, Not Greek and European Workers, Have the Power to Determine the Way Forward

Today we publish English translations of the latest statements of Alexis Tsipras, head of the reformist, pro-capitalist ruling party SYRIZA regarding the crisis in Greece precipitated by the latest failure of the capitalist system to achieve economic stability.  Instead of leading the Greek working class on the difficult road of overthrowing the capitalist system in Greece and launching a workers socialist revolution in Greece, Tsipras and the SYRIZA tops seek to pressure the Eurocapitalist banker-thieves to honor “Europe’s democratic traditions” – whatever that is supposed to mean.  This is what “European democratic traditions” look like today – highway robbery!

Tell us more about this “European democratic tradition” you speak of, O! oracle!:

“The Greek people will sovereignly decide–and we will respect their verdict–whatever it may be. Above all, it is our duty is to defend the Greek constitution, popular sovereignty and the national independence of our country. We have a sacred duty to honor the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people. We will defend democracy. We will defend popular sovereignty, but we will also defend Europe’s founding principles. And Europe has a long tradition of democracy, which was neither created by the Eurogroup nor the International Monetary Fund—who seem more intent on dividing Europe.

“This tradition was built by the great European leaders: Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Schmidt, Willy Brandt, François Mitterrand, Altiero Spinelli, Enrico Berlinguer. This tradition was built through the people’s struggles. This tradition is Europe’s undisputed democratic acquis.” [Source: Alexis Tsipras at http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-speech-to-parliament-regarding-the-july-5th-referendum/]

That’s clear enough, isn’t it? By their heroes shall ye know them!

“For this reason, I sent a short extension request again today–this time to the President of the European Council and to the 18 Heads of State of the Eurozone, as well as to the heads of the ECB, the European Commission and the European Parliament.  I am awaiting their immediate response to this fundamentally democratic request. They are the only ones who immediately can–even tonight–reverse the Eurogroup’s decision and enable the ECB to restore liquidity to the banks.” [Our emphasis – IWPCHI.  Source: http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-statement-concerning-on-the-latest-developments/]

That is a lie: the Greek working class has the power to immediately reverse the Eurogroup’s decision – by launching a workers socialist revolution in Greece, repudiating the debt and calling on their fellow workers throughout the world to follow their example!  But this is a course that SYRIZA will not take, because they are not revolutionaries – they are reformist, pro-capitalist politicians who, instead of leading the workers on the road to socialist revolution, are attempting to rescue the morally and economically bankrupt Greek and European capitalist classes and their decrepit, tottering capitalist system.  The means that they seek to employ in the short term: a bogus national referendum on July 5 that will be an attempt to acquire political cover for SYRIZA’s next parliamentary maneuver towards this end.

Unwilling to continue defending Greece from the predatory Eurozone banker-swindlers who seek to seize Greek seaports, airports, and squeeze more concessions and profits from the already suffering Greek workers SYRIZA will (after their EU “partners” – which is what SYRIZA calls those who seek to rob Greece blind: “our partners”! – and their news media spread horror stories for a week threatening an economic catastrophe for the Greek workers)… only after a week of this naked economic terrorism being launched against them 24/7 – ask the Greek people” what THEY want to do!

“Earlier this evening, the Cabinet was convened and I proposed holding a referendum, so that the Greek people can decide.  My proposal was unanimously accepted.” [Source: http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/27/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-address-concerning-the-referendum-to-be-held-on-the-5th-of-july/]  They’re looking for the exits!  This is not the act of a revolutionary socialist leadership but of scared bourgeois politicians who are losing their nerve and looking to buy themselves more time – to figure out what to do next – because they have no idea where they are going!

The referendum SYRIZA seeks to present to the Greek workers – after 7 days of constant EU and ECB threats of all economic hell breaking loose if the Greek workers vote against the EU’s austerity programme – is a truly fine piece of bourgeois political fuckery (please excuse our French).  See if you can make heads or tails out of this:

“Should the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the June 25 eurogroup and consisting of two parts, which form their single proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled ‘Reforms for the completion of the Current Program and Beyond’ and the second ‘Preliminary Debt sustainability Analysis’.”

Got that?  This is the question being posed to the Greek working class by SYRIZA – while SYRIZA’s capitalist “partners” at the European Central Bank (ECB) through their media holdings throughout Europe threaten to destroy the Greek economy if the Greek workers dare to vote “no”!

We’d like to ask SYRIZA: what, exactly, is your plan of action should the Greek workers do as you pretend to urge them to do by voting “no” on this referendum?  Because if they vote “no”, you can be certain that the ECB, IMF and the rest of your “partners” are going to do all they can to punish the Greek workers for their “impertinence”!  They will try, as the US bankers did to Chile in the ’70s, to “make the Greek economy scream” – and will seek to topple the SYRIZA party by any means necessary.  In Greece, the means are already at hand: the Greek Generals will once again be bribed and groomed by the CIA and THEIR EU “partners” to declare a state of emergency, suspend the Greek Constitution and arrest all the leaders of SYRIZA, the Communist Party of Greece and all the most militant trade union leaders, and we will see a new Golden Dawn government installed in Greece while the Greek capitalist class and SYRIZA’s erstwhile Eurozone “partners” “restore order” in Greece!

Tsipras tells the Greek workers: “I personally commit that I will respect the outcome of your democratic choice, whatever it may be.”  These are not the words of a revolutionary working class leader but of a cringing bourgeois politician preparing his alibi to be used to beg for mercy from his Eurobanker “partners” if the referendum should “go against” the wishes of the ECB, IMF and the rest of the capitalist vultures hovering over the Greek countryside!

If you need to convince yourself whether or not Tsipras is a follower of Adam Smith or Marx, listen to whose ghost he summons at this crucial moment for the workers of Greece:

“Yesterday they were blackmailing us with liquidity, today they are blackmailing us with the banks, fear, panic and scaremongering. Eventually, however, even blackmail attempts fail. I would like to remind you today of a great phrase by a politician from the New Deal era in the United States who had stated that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The only thing that the Greek people have to fear today, after so many years of being pillaged, is fear itself.”

That’s not Eugene Debs’s ghost he’s channeling but that of US imperialist President Franklin Delano Roosevelt!  That’s yet another olive branch being laid at the feet of Barack Obama, whose favor SYRIZA vainly sought to curry in the runup to the last series of phony “negotiations” with the Eurothieves.  Obama took the bouquet of roses offered him by Tsipras and threw it on the floor at the G7 meeting, telling Tsipras that is was “time for the Greeks to make some hard choices”.  Incredibly, even now Tsipras is sending boxes of candy to the White House in order to get Obama to put pressure on the EU to come to terms with SYRIZA!  Fat chance!

“‘What it’s going to require is Greece being serious about making some important reforms, not only to satisfy creditors, but also to create a platform where the Greek economy can start growing again,’ Mr Obama said at a post-summit news conference. ‘The Greeks are going to have to follow through and make some tough political choices that are going to be good in the long term.'”

[SOURCE: Financial Times, “Obama says time for Tsipras to make ‘tough choices’”, 8 June 2015]

Once again we say that the only “solution” to the Greek debt crisis is to put an end to the decrepit capitalist system that is responsible for driving the Greek working class into the blind alley it now finds itself in.  The debt should be repudiated; the Greek generals should all be arrested and jailed and the workers of Greece should be armed and prepared to seize power in the next few weeks or months.

But this would take a revolutionary socialist leadership with a revolutionary programme dedicated to the defense of the rights and interests of the working class – not a gang of lawyers for the capitalist class.  SYRIZA is not such a revolutionary party and can not be expected to lead such a struggle.

What they can be expected to do is to distance themselves from any revolutionary parties that WOULD lead such a struggle; to unleash the cops on those parties the moment they take to the streets in protest against SYRIZA’s referendum-swindle.  SYRIZA’s cops can be expected to be unleashed against the revolutionary socialist worker-militants who oppose SYRIZA’s class-collaborationist strategy, thinly veiled as “principled” opposition to the austerity program being imposed by SYRIZA’s EU “partners”!

We warn the rank and file membership of SYRIZA: your leaders, by proposing this bogus referendum are demonstrating their complete unwillingness and incapacity to lead the Greek working class through the current crisis.  You must carefully analyse every statement made by your leaders and ask yourself: do you consider the EU banker -thieves to be the “partners” of the Greek working class? What will the SYRIZA leadership do in the event of a “no” vote? A “yes” vote will be essentially a vote of “no confidence” in the present government and will precipitate calls for new national elections.  Why did SYRIZA’s leadership place itself in jeopardy of facing such an “no confidence” vote just when it had been given the leadership role by the workers of Greece on 25 January?  Why this desire among the SYRIZA leadership not to lead, but to abdicate responsibility precisely at the moment of greatest danger?  Without revolutionary leadership there can be no revolutionary struggle and consequently no revolutionary victory of the workers!

For workers socialist revolution in Greece! No to austerity; dump the capitalist system and fight for a workers socialist government!

– IWPCHI

*******************

The first statement was presented by SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras to the Greek citizenryon 27 June 2015 and can be found here:

http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/27/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-address-concerning-the-referendum-to-be-held-on-the-5th-of-july/

Greek citizens,

For the last six months, the Greek government has been waging a battle under conditions of unprecedented economic asphyxiation, in order to implement your mandate, that of January 25th.

The mandate to negotiate with our partners to bring about an end austerity, and for prosperity and social justice to return to our country once more.

For a sustainable agreement that will respect democracy, as well as European rules, and which will lead to a definitive exit from the crisis.

During the negotiations, we were repeatedly asked to implement memoranda policies agreed to by the previous governments, despite the fact that the memoranda were unequivocally condemned by the Greek people in the recent elections.

We never considered giving in—not even for a moment. Of betraying your trust.

Following five months of tough negotiations, our partners submitted a proposal-ultimatum at the Eurogroup meeting, taking aim at Greek democracy and the Greek people.

An ultimatum that contravenes Europe’s founding principles and values. The values of our common European project.

The Greek government was asked to accept a proposal that will add new unbearable weight to the shoulders of the Greek people, and that will undermine the recovery of the Greek economy and society–not only by fueling uncertainty, but also by further exacerbating social inequalities.

The institutions’ proposal includes measures that will further deregulate the labor market, pension cuts, and further reductions in public sector wages–as well as an increase in VAT on food, restaurants and tourism, while eliminating the tax breaks of the Greek islands.

These proposals–which directly violate the European social acquis and the fundamental rights to work, equality and dignity–prove that certain partners and members of the institutions are not interested in reaching a viable and beneficial agreement for all parties, but rather the humiliation of the Greek people.

These proposals mainly illustrate the IMF’s insistence on harsh and punitive austerity measures. Now is the time for the leading European powers to rise to the occasion and take initiative to definitively end the Greek debt crisis, a crisis affecting other European countries as well, by threatening the very future of European integration.

Greek citizens,

We are facing a historic responsibility to not let the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people be in vain, and to strengthen democracy and our national sovereignty—and this responsibility weighs upon us.

Our responsibility for our country’s future.

This responsibility obliges us to respond to the ultimatum based on the sovereign will of the Greek people.

Earlier this evening, the Cabinet was convened and I proposed holding a referendum, so that the Greek people can decide.

My proposal was unanimously accepted.

Tomorrow, the Parliament will hold an extraordinary meeting to ratify the Cabinet’s proposal for a referendum to take place next Sunday, on July 5th. The question on the ballot will be whether the institutions’ proposal should be accepted or rejected.

I have already informed the French President, the German Chancellor, and the ECB’s president of my decision, while tomorrow I will ask for a short extension of the program -in writing- from the leaders of the EU and the institutions, so that the Greek people can decide free of pressure and blackmail, as stipulated by our country’s Constitution and Europe’s democratic tradition.

Greek citizens,

I call on you to decide –with sovereignty and dignity as Greek history demands–whether we should accept the extortionate ultimatum that calls for strict and humiliating austerity without end, and without the prospect of ever standing on our own two feet, socially and financially.

We should respond to authoritarianism and harsh austerity with democracy–calmly and decisively.

Greece, the birthplace of democracy, should send a resounding democratic message to the European and global community.

And I personally commit that I will respect the outcome of your democratic choice, whatever it may be.

I am absolutely confident that your choice will honor our country’s history and will send a message of dignity worldwide.

In these critical times, we all have to remember that Europe is the common home of all of its peoples.

That in Europe there are no owners and guests.

Greece is, and will remain, an integral part of Europe, and Europe an integral part of Greece.

But a Europe without democracy will be a Europe without an identity and without a compass.

I call on all of you to act with national unity and composure, and to make a worthy decision.

For us, for our future generations, for Greek history.

For our country’s sovereignty and dignity.

[END OF FIRST STATEMENT – IWPCHI]

***************

The next statement was presented by SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras to the Greek citizenry via a television address on June 28.  Our source can be found here:

http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-statement-concerning-on-the-latest-developments/

Yesterday’s Eurogroup decision to not approve the Greek government’s request for a few days’ extension of the program to give the Greek people a chance to decide by referendum on the institutions’ ultimatum constitutes an unprecedented challenge to European affairs, an action that seeks to bar the right of a sovereign people to exercise their democratic prerogative.

A high and sacred right: the expression of opinion.

The Eurogroup’s decision prompted the ECB to not increase liquidity to Greek banks, and forced the Bank of Greece to recommend that banks remain closed, as well as restrictive measures on withdrawals.

It is clear that the objective of the Eurogroup’s and ECB’s decisions is to attempt to blackmail the will of the Greek people and to hinder democratic processes, namely holding the referendum.

They will not succeed.

These decisions will only serve to bring about the very opposite result.

They will further strengthen the resolve of the Greek people to reject the unacceptable memorandum proposals and the institutions’ ultimatums.

One thing remains certain: the refusal of an extension of a few short days, and the attempt to cancel a purely democratic process is an insult and a great disgrace to Europe’s democratic traditions.

For this reason, I sent a short extension request again today–this time to the President of the European Council and to the 18 Heads of State of the Eurozone, as well as to the heads of the ECB, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

I am awaiting their immediate response to this fundamentally democratic request.

They are the only ones who immediately can–even tonight–reverse the Eurogroup’s decision and enable the ECB to restore liquidity to the banks.

What is needed in the coming days is composure and patience. The bank deposits in the Greek banks are entirely secure.

This holds true for the payment of wages and pensions, as well. We will deal with any difficulties with calmness and determination.

The more calmly we confront difficulties, the sooner we will overcome them and the milder their consequences will be.

Today, we have the chance to prove to ourselves–and indeed, to the world–that justice can prevail.

Once again, we have a historic opportunity to send a message of hope and dignity to Europe and the world.

In these critical hours, as we face history together, we must remember that the only thing to fear is fear itself.

We will not allow it to overcome us.

We will succeed.

The dignity of the Greek people in the face of blackmail and injustice will send a message of hope and pride to all of Europe.

[END – IWPCHI]

******************

The third statement is also by SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras and was delivered to the Greek Parliament on 28 June 2015.  It can be found here:

http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-speech-to-parliament-regarding-the-july-5th-referendum/

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

Today’s meeting has historical significance. I could take time to answer the Leader of the Opposition, but I don’t think it makes any sense to do so—given the important historical nature of the issue before us. A petty confrontation would serve no purpose. There isn’t a single Greek citizen who’s not familiar with your [the Opposition’s] actions and their consequences, your motivation to leave office–and had you remained, the measures you would of signed for: totaling not eight, but sixteen billion euro in cuts, based on the primary surpluses that had been determined by the institutions, at 3% and 4.5%.

But going into detail serves no purpose. Right now, we are making history. Right now, we must assume our responsibilities, and be straightforward and honest. What purpose will yet another parliamentary confrontation serve, well past midnight now, a fact that you bear responsibility for since you insisted that the President not be present during your speech?

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

This day will be remembered as a bleak day in history, a bleak day in our common European, as some who are outside of and beyond any institutional process, outside of and beyond common regulations and treaties of the European Union, chose to convene the Council of Finance Ministers of the Eurozone and exclude one member. This is a very unfortunate development. Our country is a full member, and was excluded from a key process—something that no one has the right to do.

This will be a black mark on European history—a day when one of the Finance Ministers was excluded from a European Council meeting, and the right of a sovereign people to democratically decide their future was called into question.

And what was the main message of the Finance Ministers–with the exception of course, of a few who adopted a different stance? The message was that they do not allow any breathing room for democracy. The Greek people must, therefore, respond with unity.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

In the birthplace of democracy, we will not ask Mr. Schäuble’s or Mr. Dijsselbloem’s permission to allow the Greek people to voice their opinion! We will not ask Mr. Schäuble’s and Mr. Dijsselbloem’s permission to protect and safeguard democracy. The referendum, which allows the sovereign Greek people to decide on their future, will take place as scheduled next Sunday, whether our partners agree or not.

The Greek people will sovereignly decide–and we will respect their verdict–whatever it may be. Above all, it is our duty is to defend the Greek constitution, popular sovereignty and the national independence of our country. We have a sacred duty to honor the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people. We will defend democracy. We will defend popular sovereignty, but we will also defend Europe’s founding principles. And Europe has a long tradition of democracy, which was neither created by the Eurogroup nor the International Monetary Fund—who seem more intent on dividing Europe.

This tradition was built by the great European leaders: Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Schmidt, Willy Brandt, François Mitterrand, Altiero Spinelli, Enrico Berlinguer. This tradition was built through the people’s struggles. This tradition is Europe’s undisputed democratic acquis.

The expression of the people’s will through the use of referendums is not a new phenomenon in Europe. Referendums took place in several countries on the Maastricht Treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon and the European Constitution. So, why is a Greek referendum eliciting such a reaction?

Did anyone attempt to sway French citizens when they were deciding on a fundamental European Union issue – what can be more fundamental than the actual European Constitution, which they voted against – against holding a referendum? Did anyone attempt to dictate what the referendum’s question would be? Did anyone tell them that if they voted “No” on the European Constitution, they would essentially be voting in favor of their withdrawal from the European Union? So, why are some people today so afraid of the verdict of the Greek people, and why are they trying to use blackmail to prevent a referendum? They should consider that blackmail sometimes has the exact opposite effect. And I say this, because some people think that the issue of Greece is a game.

The dignity of a people, however, is not a game, ladies and gentlemen, a people that have been pillaged for five years now by unjust and brutal austerity programs. One and a half million unemployed, three million poor, thousands of padlocks, unemployment, young people leaving the country en masse. These circumstances did not come about during the last five months of intense and real negotiation. These occurred during the past five years of the Memorandum, which imposed harsh austerity – a tragedy that must finally be ended. With the verdict of the Greek people on January 25th, and with new verdict of the Greek people this coming Sunday, the stifling policies of the Memoranda must end once and for all.

We should be aware, however, that the greater the extent of the upheaval, of the reactions, or the blackmail, the greater the problem which cannot be hidden, or neatly explained away by the other side.

Perhaps they believe that by employing threats and blackmail, and by trying to create panic, that they will bend the will of a people seeking to live in dignity. They are making a big mistake. Greece cannot turn back, because our people want to live in dignity. What is the value that the credit rating agencies assign to the dignity of a people? How much do they think it’s worth? What is the going price for the dignity of a people on the stock market? With how many instalments, to repay unbearable and unsustainable debts, can one meet this price?

Yesterday they were blackmailing us with liquidity, today they are blackmailing us with the banks, fear, panic and scaremongering. Eventually, however, even blackmail attempts fail. I would like to remind you today of a great phrase by a politician from the New Deal era in the United States who had stated that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The only thing that the Greek people have to fear today, after so many years of being pillaged, is fear itself. And I bring this up because already an incredible propaganda campaign of fear was launched–just last night–that will only escalate in the coming days, as Sunday approaches.

But they should know that sometimes, when the attempts to terrorize are so blatant, the end result is often the opposite of what was desired. People stand their ground. The Greek people – the previous generations – have gone through great difficulties, much worse than today’s. In the course of our modern history, our people have persevered: the Greek people know how to defy fear and resist it. We are a nation that loves peace. But when war is declared on us, we know how to fight and we know how to win.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

For five months, from our first days in office, we have been waging a tough and sincere fight on behalf of our people and our country, to end austerity and change Eurozone policy. We negotiated despite conditions of unprecedented extortion and financial asphyxiation, in order to implement the mandate that we were given.

Despite these conditions, every citizen of this country knows just how hard Greece has tried during these months, and that the Greek Government has made an honest and real effort to negotiate with determination, with dignity.

From day one, we have remained unwavering on the principle of mutual respect as first stipulated in February – if I remember correctly – by the French Minister of Finance, Michel Sapin. Respect for the verdict of the Greek people for change, and respect as well, for the common rules that unite us in the Eurozone. This was our guiding principle.

We negotiated with our cards on the table and with the desire for sincere cooperation, seeking a fair compromise, i.e. to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with our partners. I want to assure you that during these months, I personally did everything I could to attain this. At the end of the day, however, unfortunately, the extreme voices among the partners and the institutions prevailed.

Despite the fact that there were sincere intentions for an agreement – this was especially the case with Mr. Juncker – there was also insistence on the condition that the agreement be approved by the IMF, something that was quite unlikely since the Fund had stopped disbursements for a year. Since the summer of 2014, the IMF has not disbursed funds for the Greek program, because it knows that there is no prospect of the stability and sustainability of the debt.

The stubborn persistence that the IMF be part of the decision, especially since it is obvious to almost everyone that it will not make further disbursements, was a condition that limited, and indeed suffocated, any chance of an honest compromise. I trust that you are all aware that we exhausted the limits on all of our concessions in order to reach an agreement. Perhaps some people perceived this as a sign of weakness or as an opportunity to shrink our political credibility. As an opportunity to seek revenge and punish a different voice within Europe, to make an example of us to other countries so that they would not resist: to create a fait accompli, that there is no breathing room, that there isn’t the slightest expectation or hope for change in Europe and in the Eurozone where hardline conservatives dominate.

You may even remember that even at the last moment – the last moment! – in an effort to reach an agreement, we submitted equivalent measures to the exceedingly high demands of our creditors – exceedingly high demands compared to our assessment concerning the existing fiscal gap for 2015 and 2016 – with the difference being that we chose to allocate the burdens based on criteria of social justice to those who can shoulder them, and not to those who have been shouldering them for the last five years and cannot take it anymore.

Due mainly to the IMF’s insistence, we were asked to remove or mitigate our proposals on the taxation of wealth. We were asked to eliminate the imposition of a special supplementary contribution on business profits over 500,000 euros, and to increase the rate of taxation of corporate bodies by 3%. We were also asked to restore the employers’ contributions to their previous level of 2.9%, which was in place eighteen months ago.

The IMF’s concern is that “non-recessionary” measures be put in place. This is all the more ironic considering that the IMF officially admitted just a few years ago, that they had made a mistake on the multipliers of the recession, a mistake that has condemned our economy to recession for five years now—all in the name of non-recessionary measures. If we ask the wealthiest to shoulder the burden, the IMF believes we will have recessionary measures. However, if we burden pensions and wages, however, we won’t have recessionary measures; if we increase VAT, we won’t have recessionary measures. So, to indulge this obsession of theirs, the IMF asked us to once again have the pensioners shoulder the burden, and that we should decrease pensions–even the allowance for the lowest pensions. Furthermore, they made it clear that they were not interested in additional revenue resulting from controlling illegal wealth, and that they would not include this in their macroeconomic scenarios.

They also asked us to voluntarily opt out of the EU acquis of collective bargaining, which is enshrined in Article 28 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and to keep the minimum wage in the private sector at the current, near-poverty levels. They asked us to legislate collective redundancies and employer lock out, conditions that the Troika itself had agreed to exclude from pension reform in 2013.

And while we had agreed to start reforming the pension system in October, the IMF demanded that the reduction in the main and supplementary pensions take place earlier, in order to predetermine the content of the reform. The IMF also demanded a dramatic increase of VAT on tourism, i.e. hotels and catering, from 6.5% to 23%. The IMF’s insistence raises a number of legitimate questions: Whose agenda are they serving? What special interests are they representing? Whose interests are served by condemning the most powerful, competitive advantage of our country internationally—tourism—to sudden death? This is akin to issuing a travel guideline advising tourists to not come to our country.

Furthermore, the IMF did not provide anything more concrete on the issue of the debt, aside from the usual vague promises made to previous governments, that the debt would be dealt with at some point. In addition, they provided an extremely tight schedule of financing, whereas according to the decision of February 20th, the completion of the current evaluation on June 30th automatically results in the disbursement of the last outstanding installment of 7.2 billion euro. By extending the current agreement until December 2015, four monthly evaluations were added.

In short, the IMF told us that they would dispense liquidity drop by drop and under tight supervision, while at the same time they would retain the right to unilaterally decide in October whether or not to disburse the instalments of 3.5 billion euro that have been due since 2014. In other words, they were not asking us to agree. They were asking us to hand over our political dignity. They were asking us to once again attack employees and pensioners. They were asking us to sign another Memorandum with harsh terms that would lead to further recession, and the slow death of the Greek economy.

We did not accept. We refused. This was not a matter of compromise. We refused to hand over our country so that it could serve as a new economic colony to foreign interests, and our economy to a new recessionary blackout.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

Now is not the time for petty arguments between the parties, although I understand that perhaps our stance has surprised you. You were certain that we would surrender. Despite the obvious contradiction, you’ve been saying that we’ll lead the country to destruction if we don’t sign an agreement, but if we do sign, then we’ll be condemning the country to another memorandum. You’ve stated this repeatedly. You were certain that we would cave. There may even be a little envy deep inside some of you because we did what you didn’t dare to do–even though you might have wanted to: to resist!

But now is not the time to fight. We must create conditions of accord, for the widest social and political consensus to defend Democracy and the right of a people to be rid of austerity after five consecutive years. The entire political leadership of the country must, above all, protect the right of our people to be the masters of their decisions and to determine the course of the country. The day following the democratic choice, and a proud ‘No’ to subjugation and to indignity, our country will have a much stronger negotiating position, and it will be the moment of truth for the creditors. They will finally understand that Greece is not going to surrender, that Greece is not a game that is over.

Our intention for a truly honest compromise and for a truly sustainable agreement will permanently remain on the table, but there needs to be sincere desire to negotiate in good faith, not just to engage in blackmail. The wider the social and political consensus of our people who will express their opinion sovereignly as required by the rules of democracy and the stronger the will of our people is, the stronger the country’s position will be in international affairs. Only then will it be possible to achieve an agreement that allows for strong growth, the restoration of social justice and cohesion, and country’s productive reconstruction.

I want to make it absolutely clear that our decision that the Greek people express their will sovereignly is in no way a decision to break with Europe. It is a decision to put an end to extortion and coercion, practices that have become all too common in Europe. It is a decision to return to Europe’s founding values, of respect for the European acquis, a decision to return to the Europe of principles and democracy. And it’s a decision of dignity against practices of raw economic blackmail.

I hear a lot of people saying, both in this room and among hardliners in Berlin, that Europe represents the harsh memoranda, that Europe is equivalent to the constant subjugation to austerity, austerity without a future. Should we accept this? Shouldn’t this be disputed? We have an enormous responsibility both to our people and to all the citizens of Europe who saw the political change in Greece with great hope, hope for the necessary change and transformation of Europe.

If we do not challenge this doctrine now, then we are putting an end to hope. We are putting an end to hope for the necessary transformation of Europe. The peoples’ vision comes to an end, as well as our vision for a Europe of solidarity and social cohesion. We would have to accept, to admit that we have, and will have, a Europe of punishment, a Europe of blackmail, a Europe of ultimatums that its people will not love, but will remain by compulsion and not by choice.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

I am confident that the Greek people will rise to the historical occasion and will reject the ultimatum. In past instances, when an ultimatum was presented to the Greek people, they responded accordingly. It will send a message of democracy and dignity throughout Europe. Because a ‘No’ is at the same time a big “yes”; a big ‘yes’ to the Greek Government’s decision to reject an offensive ultimatum.

It offends not only the Greek people, but also the democratic tradition of Europe, the principles and values ​​of the Enlightenment and of the French Revolution. It offends the post-war democratic tradition, whereby the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats – not the Left, as it wasn’t in power – cooperated to help build the European welfare state, which until yesterday, this European welfare state was a global standard and a feature of Europe’s political diversity. It is these principles and values that ​​we are defending: democracy, equality, solidarity, mutual respect, human dignity and social rights.

We are defending – and will continue to do so at any cost – the right of every European citizen to choose their governments, to make crucial strategic choices concerning their future, to choose their governments regardless of whether they are liked by the bureaucratic elites that unfortunately rule Europe today and have led it to these impasses. For this reason, I ask of the Parliament now to approve yesterday’s Cabinet decision to hold a referendum on Sunday, July 5th, while assuring the Greek people once again that this government will not betray their expectations, it will not kill their hope.

And I am confident that everyone, both inside and outside the country, will respect the democratic right of a people to assume responsibility and decide for themselves on the critical issue before them. I say this, because I have the feeling that many would like to do everything in their power to prevent this option. Some have characterized this inherently democratic process as “coup”. The choice to uphold democracy…a coup! Some have even called for the President of the Republic himself to violate the Constitution and the Parliament’s regulations. Those of you who are appealing to the President of the Republic, what exactly are you requesting? A request that is also a dangerous civic choice? Are you asking that the President of the Republic violate the Constitution and the Parliament’s regulations?

In these critical times we all need to assume our responsibilities. And when the responsibilities are heavy, strong shoulders are required to bear them. Courage is required. Bravery is required. Virtue is required. Patriotism is required. And I assure you that the current President of the Republic has all of the above.

Irrespective of everyone’s political beliefs, all of us will be called upon to fight the battle for democracy, dignity and hope. We pledge that from Monday 6th July, with the strength of the popular verdict, we will continue our efforts.

And of course – perhaps I do not need to repeat this – all of us remain absolutely committed to democracy. The results of the democratic choice of our people will be respected, whatever their choice may be. But I want to make this clear: Any attempt for this referendum to be converted from a referendum to reject the new Memorandum to a referendum on the country’s currency serves to undermine the democratic process itself, and reveals the hidden and underlying aspirations of the Memorandum supporters.

This is exactly what the most extreme and conservative memorandum forces want—those who are mainly outside the country, as well as those who blindly repeat their views here. I want to reiterate that it is neither the intention nor the decision of the government or of the Greek people to equate the memorandum with our country’s membership in the European Union.

Greece is neither a visitor nor a guest in the European project. We are equals among equals. No one has the right, not even institutionally according to the European Treaties that we all signed, to show us the to the door to exit from our common home. We do not intend to concede this right to anyone for any reason whatsoever.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

The political change and the popular mandate of January 25th actually provided Europe with an opportunity to change course. Let’s not give up on this. It provided the Troika with an opportunity to transform, to become institutions that will respect the democratic acquis. They did not embrace this. They chose to remain the Troika, which kills democracy in Europe.

The crucial choice of the Greek people today concerns the future of Europe, as well as the future of Greece. I am certain that the Greek people will not be distracted by threats, blackmail, scaremongering, and provocations, and that next Sunday, they will choose bravely, with courage and virtue–exactly how they define the conditions of their freedom. They will seize this moment in history and will send a strong message across Europe, a strong message of dignity worldwide.

In these hours, Europe is looking to Greece. It is awaiting the “No” vote that upholds the dignity of the Greek people, and we have a strong responsibility to not disappoint these hopes.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to say that the Parliament today must support sovereign choice regarding a democratic process. For every citizen of this country, this is a choice to move forward. We have no right to go backwards. We have no right to disappoint the hopes and expectations of the Greek people that our country not be condemned to being a debt colony for decades to come.

We do not have the right, with our choice and our signature, to put an end to democracy in this region, where democracy has been alive for 2,500 years. We do not have the right to afford the opportunity to technocratic institutions, to organizations with no accountability and that have not been elected by European citizens, to prohibit a sovereign people from having the sovereign right to determine the affairs of its territory and future.

The choice lies with all of us, and it is mainly a choice of hope, dignity and democracy. We owe it to our children, we owe it to the future generations, we owe to the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people so that this country can be sovereign, its people free, so that it can be a country with democracy, popular sovereignty and pride.

We are accountable to those proud struggles, to history, to the future, to the future of our people who deserve to live with a prospect, with hope.

Be well.

 

DEFEND NORTH KOREA! In Racist Provocation by U.S., Navy Frigate “Chancellorsville” Sent to Japan to Threaten N. Korea, China

Once again, the United States, through its endless military provocations against the embattled workers state of North Korea, has raised the threat of war in the Pacific – and has been called out on it by North Korea.

And once again, the bourgeois press of the USA dutifully snaps to attention and spreads pro-US propaganda in the service of its owners, the numerically tiny US capitalist class, distorting the protests of the North Koreans into irrational-sounding declamations coming out of left field somewhere.

Completely lost in the propaganda of the US-capitalist-class-owned news media is the obvious racist message being sent to the Korean, Japanese and Chinese people: the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser being sent there is named… the U.S.S. Chancellorsville!

Does that name ring a bell? It should; the name of the vessel is a”tribute” to the US Civil War battle fought in 1863 – and WON by the slavery-defending Confederate military forces! It is, in fact, quite appropriate that the US Navy would send a death-dealing warship so named to Asia – a continent where the US military has long played out its racist strategy to reconquer the workers states of China, North Korea and Vietnam, in an attempt to return these heroic workers states to the status of brutally exploited colonial possessions they were – before the workers successfully overthrew capitalism in their respective countries, after decades of bloody struggle.

Originally ordered in 1984 under the administration of racist, anticommunist pig Ronald Reagan, the naming of the “Chancellorsville” was no accident – and neither is the fact that it retains this repulsive name in the face of widespread opposition being organized by decent human beings of  all races, creeds and colors to monuments “in honor of” the Confederacy that exist all over the United States (principally in the states that made up the Confederate States of America).  It is long past the time that the workers of the United States rose up against the racist US capitalist class and their KKK friends and removed every last monument to the Confederate slaveocracy that stands in this country!  But that glorious day will not come until the workers overthrow the US capitalist class in a workers socialist revolution – only then can we finally FINISH THE CIVIL WAR!

So, why would those wacky North Koreans get all upset about one little ship being sent out to patrol in their home waters?  Take a peek at the armament the “Chancellorsville” carries and try to imagine how the US Government would react if the Chinese or North Koreans  sent ships like this to patrol inside the US’ self-declared 200-mile limit of its territorial waters:

Armament: 2 × 61 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems containing

8 × RGM-84 Harpoon missiles
2 × Mk 45 Mod 2 5-in/54-cal lightweight gun
2 × 25 mm Mk 38 gun
2–4 × .50 cal (12.7 mm) gun
2 × Phalanx CIWS Block 1B

2 × Mk 32 12.75-in (324 mm) triple torpedo tubes for lightweight torpedoes

Aircraft carried: 2 × Sikorsky SH-60B or MH-60R Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.

[Source: Wikipedia, “USS Chancellorsville (CG-62)”]

Moreove, as the North Korean Central News Agency points out in their article: “Military experts are unanimous in commenting that it is the first time for the U.S. to deploy overseas the warship with such striking-capability… If the [total currently-anticipated number] of US warships are deployed [to Japan], the number of the warships in the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka will reach 14 including

the [nuclear-powered supercarrier U.S.S.] Ronald Reagan to be deployed at the end of this year, the appearance of the largest-ever warship fleet in Japan since World War II, foreign press reports said.” [phrases in brackets added by IWPCHI]

The North Koreans go on to state that their concerns about the growth of the US Naval flotilla are not the product of their own imaginations but that in fact “the U.S. Navy base command in Yokosuka claimed it is part of the U.S. ‘strategy for making a switchover to Asia-Pacific’ in a bid to ‘contain’ the DPRK and China”.

The insatiable greed of the US capitalist class leads it – like the capitalist classes of all major industrialized states – to seek endlessly to expand its access to raw materials and markets of every foreign nation-state on Earth.  They seek to drive hard bargains with “Third World” countries like North Korea, ruthlessly exploiting their national resources and squeezing profits from their workers.  The reason the US is so maniacally intent on attacking North Korea is that N. Korea is the ONLY country left in the world that absolutely refuses to allow the capitalists to operate inside their borders!  The world’s capitalist classes are not allowed to extract ANY profits from North Korea – which is intolerable to the greed-addled imperialists!  And so the US capitalist class spends billions of US dollars annually to isolate, threaten and – they hope – ultimately to conquer North Korea and crush its heroic working class!  The workers of the United States must defend North Korea’s right to exist and demand that the United States military be withdrawn from Asia immediately.  These US capitalist greedheads will launch WWIII out of sheer lust for profits if they can ever delude themselves into believing that it can be done “profitably” – i.e. with “acceptable” numbers of US citizens annihilated in a Chinese/N. Korean counterattack.  We must not let this happen!

The North Korean workers state is NOT our idea of an “ideal” workers state – far from it.  There is much to admire about the heroic internationalist history of the Korean working class.  It could well be argued that there would never have been a Chinese Revolution if not for the major contributions of exiled Korean communist workers – who provided vitally important revolutionary communist leadership in China while Korea and China were under brutal Japanese occupation. Having helped lead the Chinese working class to power in 1949, the Koreans launched their own revolution, this time against the savage military assaults of the US imperialist war machine.  In spite of the butchery of 3 million Koreans and the near-complete destruction of North Korea (it is said that no building above two stories was left standing between Seoul and the Chinese border after the US bombing campaigns) the North Koreans, with the assistance of the USSR and China emerged victorious.  The victory won at such a tremendous cost by our North Korean working class sisters and brothers and their heroic leaders (there is nothing phony about the achievements of the great revolutionary leader Kim Il Sung) stands to this day as a victory for every worker on Earth! We must defend North Korea against any attempt by the capitalists to overthrow socialism in North Korea and to return it to the status of a vassal state of US or EU imperialism!

The North Korean workers state, is, like the USSR (formerly) and China, led by a bureaucratic caste that has usurped political power from the N. Korean workers and rules over the nation with an iron fist.  The North Korean government is fundamentally nationalist – which in itself is a complete abandonment of the principles of revolutionary Marxism, which is thoroughly internationalist.  In pursuit of something called “the Juche Idea” –  a quasi-religious and mystical philosophy that claims, among other things, that mountains possess magical powers and that genuine revolutionary hero Kim Il Sung was some kind of god – the North Koreans seek to achieve the impossible: complete economic self-sufficiency in a nation-state the size of West Virginia!  Thanks to their planned socialist economy (and the massive assistance from China and, previously, the USSR) until recently the North Koreans have been able to do quite well.  A series of severe droughts that hit that tiny country hard caused the collapse of North Korean food production and reportedly caused famine in the country – not at all surprisingly – which was undoubtedly exacerbated by the mismanagement of available resources by North Korea’s  autocratic Kim Il Sung-ist bureaucracy.  Back in the ’70s compared to capitalist South Korea  (which has of course  been massively subsidized by the West), the standard of living in North Korea was actually HIGHER than in the South.  Even today, the planned economy of North Korea holds up well against that of South Korea:

GDPs of North Korea and South Korea, 1960-2015. Source: Trading Economics

GDPs of North Korea and South Korea, 1960-2015. Source: Trading Economics

But with the collapse of the USSR and the continuing degeneration of the Chinese Communist Party into an emerging capitalist class sucking up to US imperialism – both of which threaten the subsidies necessary to keep this tiny nation-state afloat – the North Korean workers state is doomed economically.  If China was to cut off all subsidies to North Korea (a situation which the United States is trying desperately to bring about, and which the continued degeneration of the Chinese Communist Party into a gang of capitalist swindlers threatens with every passing day), then the economic pressure on North Korea could become so great that they would have to make major concessions to the imperialists just in order to survive as an independent state.   The situation can ONLY be resolved in North Korea’s favor if capitalism is overthrown throughout Asia and eventually around the world.  This alone will provide North Korea with the socialist trading partners it needs to prosper.  Unless the North Korean working class can organize itself to depose the ruling Kim Il Sung hereditary “communist monarchy” in a pro-socialist political revolution and return to the road of revolutionary Marxist internationalism, the days of North Korea will be numbered.  This, if it were to occur – just as with the collapse of the USSR – would represent a major defeat for the working class of the world.  This is why we say: DEFEND NORTH KOREA!  US IMPERIALISM: KEEP YOUR BLOOD-STAINED HANDS OFF THE WORLD!  US workers must fight to force the US Government to withdraw its military forces from Japan and from all territories outside the US mainland.  The US capitalist class does not have the right to intervene in the affairs of other countries.  The workers of the US must overthrow the US capitalist class before these greed-infected capitalists launch World War Three, killing perhaps hundreds of millions of workers all over the globe and maybe even wiping out the human race – to say nothing of what such a war would do to the ecosystem of this planet which any “lucky” survivors would be left with!

We republish below the complete text of the North Korean statement on the deployment of the “Chancellorsville” and the larger, ominous threat of a regional war posed by the US’ war moves in their racist “pivot to Asia”.

The statement is in the inimitable butchered English translation sadly common in all official Korean-English translations produced by the North Korean government.  The bourgeois press can snicker all they want at the bad translations; the message is very serious, and the threat so keenly felt by the North Koreans is not a joke at all.  After all, in the US thoroughly racist Korean War, launched just after the equally racist nuclear war crimes at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 3 million Korean workers were butchered by the US military.  The North Koreans have every right to protest vigorously every time the US imperialist war machine appears on the horizon.

– IWPCHI

http://www.kcna.kp/kcna.user.article.retrieveNewsViewInfoList.kcmsf

KCNA Commentary Accuses U.S. of Its Moves to Launch Nuclear War

Korean / English / Chinese / Spanish / Japanese

Pyongyang, June 29 (KCNA) — The U.S. military moves to launch a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula at any cost have reached an ever more undisguised and full-fledged phase.
Recently, latest missile cruiser Chancellorsville of the U.S. Navy equipped with Aegis system anchored at the U.S. military base in Yokosuka, Japan.
Belonging to carrier flotilla, it has the mission to strike naval and underwater targets while performing missile defense and anti-air defense duties. Military experts are unanimous in commenting that it is the first time for the U.S. to deploy overseas the warship with such striking-capability.
Two cruisers equipped with similar missile defense system will be deployed in Yokosuka late in 2017.
If the above-said warships are deployed, the number of the warships in the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka will reach 14 including the U.S. nuclear carrier Ronald Reagan to be deployed at the end of this year, the appearance of the largest-ever warship fleet in Japan since World War II, foreign press reports said.
As regards the deployment of three warships equipped with Aegis system, the U.S. Navy base command in Yokosuka claimed it is part of the U.S. “strategy for making a switchover to Asia-Pacific” in a bid to “contain” the DPRK and China.
It was also reported that the U.S. is mulling temporarily deploying four Global Hawks at the Misawa airfield of Japan from July.
All these military moves under the pretext of “containing the DPRK and China” are aimed to kick up an overall nuclear war racket against the DPRK in the ground, air and seas.
This fully revealed once again the aggressive nature of the U.S. imperialists who are making no scruple of periodically disturbing peace and stability in the region to attain their strategic and avaricious purposes.
Through a statement of the National Defence Commission the DPRK declared before the whole world that its army and people would launch a nationwide action of a new high level against the robber-like U.S. imperialists.
As clarified in the statement, the frantic moves the U.S. has stepped up for a nuclear war by introducing Chancellorsville, Global Hawk and the like would face stronger counter-actions of the DPRK.
The U.S. would be well advised to bear in mind that the DPRK has already put in place powerful strike group equipped with strategic and tactical rockets to cope with its missile threat.
The U.S. is required to pay heed to the DPRK’s warning that it is ready for conventional or nuclear or cyber wars.
The world people still remember and will never forget such crime committed by the U.S. against humanity 70 years ago as dropping atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki to achieve its strategic aim.
It is a serious miscalculation and daydream for the U.S. to think it can employ the same method on the Korean peninsula as what it did to attain its purpose.
It is as clear as a pikestaff that if the U.S. nuclear maniacs ignite a nuclear war on the peninsula at any cost, they will perish in the flames kindled by themselves.
After all, the U.S. styling itself “the world’s only superpower” will precipitate its final ruin. -0-

 

UPDATE: SOUTH AFRICA: Full text of “Marikana Commission of Inquiry Report” aka the “Marikana Report”

[26 June 2015: This article has been edited to include more complete information about the documents we have published here – IWPCHI]

We publish here the full text of the South African official commission of inquiry into the infamous massacre of striking miners in August, 2012 at Lonmin Mine.

It was released by the “Rand Daily Mail” (RDM) in two parts versions: part one is an introduction a 660-page version of the report, sourced from

Source for version 1 of Marikana Report from RDM_large

Part two, the report itself, is apparently a slightly different version of the same report – it runs to just 646 pages and was sourced from

Source for version 2 of Marikana Report from RDM_large

We have yet to determine what other differences (if any) exist between the two versions beyond a cover page that appears only in version 1.

We have just acquired this via the RDM, which published the full text of S. African President Jacob Zuma’s remarks made upon release of the report as well as the full text of the report itself at http://www.rdm.co.za/politics/2015/06/25/marikana-report-the-public-statement.

The Lonmin Massacre proved that there is no future for the workers of South Africa under a pro-capitalist ANC government willing to order the murder of striking workers in order to prove the ANC’s loyalty to the capitalist class of the South African Randlords!  There is no future for the workers of South Africa or any other part of the world under capitalism – only a workers socialist government can create a future for the workers, and only after the overthrow of the capitalist class and their capitalist system, which are based upon the systematic exploitation of billions of workers by the numerically tiny capitalist class.

Workers of the World, Unite!  For workers socialist revolution NOW in South Africa and throughout the capitalist world!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

marikana-report-1

Report of the Marikana Commision [sic-IWPCHI] of Inquiry

 

 

Why Socialism? Part One

Q: Why does the Trotskyist Independent Workers Party of Chicago call for a workers socialist revolution to overthrow the capitalist class and its capitalist system and to replace it with an egalitarian workers socialist republic?

A: At the root of all social ills and evils is the capitalist class and its anarchic economic system, which is designed to exploit the many (theworking class) for the benefit of the few (the capitalist class).

Poverty; war; homelessness; police brutality; racial and sexual discrimination; all of these are caused by the normal workings of the capitalist system, an economic and political system designed to facilitate the systematic exploitation of the world’s natural resources and the labor power of its’ human population.

Capitalist economies are designed to funnel the profits created by the exploitation of human beings and natural resources into the hands of a tiny minority of people who run the world’s economic and political systems for their own selfish ends.  Only about 170,000 people on planet Earth are the richest people, capable of spending $150 million on a single painting and still having more than enough money left over to live like kings and queens.  ALL of their wealth is derived from the exploitation and superexploitation of workers, who make up the vast majority of the world’s population.

The capitalist system is based firmly on the “nuclear family”: one male and one female (or, now, two female or two male) wage- and debt-slaves raise the next generation of wage- and debt-slaves for future exploitation by future generations of capitalists.  The wage-slave parents carry out their responsibilities of inculcating in the heads of their children respect for the capitalist system and its police and military forces, and a robust belief that “our country” is better than all the other countries and must be defended at all costs.  Hatred of various despised races and religions is handed down, generation after generation, all to the benefit of the capitalist class, which can thereby organize the workers into military units to go anywhere in the world to defend the domestic and foreign investments of the capitalist masters.  The work of feeding, clothing, sheltering and health care of the young wage-slaves is financed using the wages and debt incurred by the parents, which is another huge gift to the capitalist class, as it means that the wages paid out by capitalists on the one hand are almost entirely returned to the capitalists through the economic activity of the wage- and debt-slave parents.  In the modern era, the capitalists have found that it is a far more effective method of social control to “pay” workers by extending them credit, rather than by actually paying wages.  This keeps the wage slaves drowning in debt, which forces them to work harder and longer every year to keep their heads from going deeper under water than they already are.  The proof that this system works effectively at brainwashing the wage- and debt- slaves into defending their own exploitation can perhaps best be seen here in the United States, where the vast majority of the heavily indebted wage- and debt-slaves are convinced that they are enjoying a “freedom” not to be surpassed anywhere in the world.

To call countries like the United States “democracies” is the capitalist class’ idea of a good joke.  They have successfully conned millions of wage- and debt-slaves (collectively known as “the working class”) into believing that they actually have a role to play in deciding which gang of politicians hired by the capitalists will get to “run the country” over a set period of time.  In fact, in “bourgeois democracies” like the USA and Great Britain, the working class plays almost no role at all in making such decisions.  It is the tiny minority of the capitalist class who finance every major political campaign and who decide well in advance of any election which party politician will be hired to do the bidding of the capitalist class.  Any politician deemed to be insufficiently loyal to the capitalist class, insufficiently dedicated to the continued existence of the capitalist system, will find him or herself unable to raise the funds necessary to get their name on the ballot.

The current US presidential campaign is a perfect case in point:  Hillary Clinton has raised over $1,000,000,000.00 for her Presidential run already.  She did not get the vast majority of that money from the working class: she was given it by the richest 1% of US citizens – the capitalist class.  And that money comes with a lot of strings attached: Ms. Clinton has made binding promises to each and every major donor to her campaign that whatever it is that they want done under  Clinton presidency will get done whether it is politically popular among the workers or not.

In every capitalist country in the world the capitalist class wields its massive wealth to sabotage any attempt made by the workers to fight for their rights, even to the extent of creating phony “political activism” NGOs and other organizations that pretend to defend worker rights but which invariably actually are financed by and therefore beholden to the capitalist class.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, 360.org and the Tor Project – to name but a few – are all firmly in the pockets of the big capitalists.  They will never, ever do either of two things: 1) oppose the “right” of capitalists to exploit workers and to amass tremendous private fortunes and 2) during times of “class peace” they will NEVER form any political party in opposition to the political parties of the capitalist class or to oppose the fundamental class interests of the capitalists.

Even this near-total control of the political and economic systems is not enough for the top capitalists, whose massive wealth alienates them more and more from the working classes of the world: they are not surprisingly terrified of the workers someday organizing themselves to topple the capitalist class from its increasingly precarious position atop the social pyramid.  This is why the capitalist class of the US, for example – in spite of decades of statistics showing a long-term decrease in violent crimes – has demanded that its hired politicians allocate more and more money to the military and police forces whose real role is not “to protect and serve” ALL classes of people, but, in the final analysis, to protect and serve the 1% of the wealthiest from the justified rage of the oppressed workers.

This is why, as more and more wealth has been squeezed out of the blood, bone and sinew of the working class and transferred to a smaller and smaller percentage of the capitalist class we have seen a concomitant increase in police and military brutality across the capitalist world.  The United States Government – wholly owned and under the direction of the US capitalist class – has even re-legalized torture and the right of the principal political representative of the capitalist class – the President of the United States – to order the extralegal assassination of US citizens who dare to oppose the class interests of the leaders of the US capitalist class.  Police brutality is not an aberration under the capitalist system, as the reformists dutifully and continually teach the workers; it is the norm and the necessary corollary of an economic and political system which ruthlessly exploits the many for the benefit of fewer and fewer.

Also in contradiction to what the reformists preach, environmental degradation and war are also symptoms of “normal” conditions of life under the throughly irrational capitalist system.  In their mad, global quest for more and more wealth, the capitalists must search in nation-states not their own for opportunities to enrich themselves, which brings them face-to-face with three sources of opposition: the raw materials they seek are in the possession and under the control of another nation’s capitalist class, and those raw materials are being worked by that nation’s workers.  The capitalist class of major imperialist countries first attempts to arrange a business deal with their competitor capitalists in that foreign nation-state under which the imperialist power gets the majority of the profits.  If the capitalist class of that minor nation-state proves to be unwilling to allow this to happen, then the imperialist power unleashes its secret police forces as well as its banking power to try to engineer a political change inside the target country that benefits the US capitalist class.  They will attempt to purchase politicians and capitalists; if that fails to work, the CIA will assassinate the obstreperous opponent of the US capitalist class.  If that fails, then they send in the Marines and overthrow the government under some phony pretext.

The military forces of a capitalist state do not defend the “national interests”, as the bourgeois press owned by the capitalist class would have us believe: they defend the foreign investments of the US capitalist class, making it “safe” for US capitalists to risk their stolen wealth by opening mines, oil fields and agricultural lands to their untrammelled exploitation.  If workers in these targeted countries rise up in revolt against the oppressive governments forced upon them and supported by US political and military intervention, the US capitalist class, through its secret police agencies and its military discover who the uppity slaves are among the workers and order their hirelings in that targeted country to arrest, torture and imprison those rebels – or they just have them murdered, or have the CIA/Navy Seals/Special Forces do it for them.

Lastly, the capitalist system is an ad-hoc system, under which, since every billionaire is free to invest his or her stolen wealth as he or she sees fit, no one is in control of the economy.  It lurches forward, propelled only by the blind lust for personal wealth of the capitalists.  Occasionally, opportunities arise to obtain superprofits in one or another economic sphere: it might be the spice trade in one era, oil production and distribution in another or even real estate.  Once it becomes clear to the smaller capitalists that the big capitalists have created a “bull market” in a certain economic area (let’s say real estate), hundreds of billions of dollars are rerouted from other spheres of exploitation and into the “booming” real estate sphere – and an economic crisis is precipitated.  As more and more investors seek to enrich themselves in this one area of the economic “boom”, prices begin to rise far beyond the intrinsic value of the property in demand, until the economic bubble bursts, causing extensive damage to the national or even the global economy.  Since no government in any capitalist state actually has anything like real “control” of the economy, the politicians and bankers find themselves unable to repair the damage they themselves created due to their unquenchable greed.  In the end it is the working class that is made to pay for the damage: social spending is cut and taxes are raised to plug up the financial holes created by the blowout of the speculative bubble.  And then the cycle begins anew.

To Be Continued – IWPCHI

 

“To A Certain Class of Citizens” (with apologies to Walt Whitman)

[This is a slightly edited version of Walt Whitman’s poem “To a Certain Civilian”, which we would address to all those who denigrate the idea of workers socialist revolution and our project, however modest, to create revolutionary socialist Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist vanguard parties of the working class from Chicago to Kolkata.  We read this today and thought it perfectly captured our attitude to those who sneer at the efforts of those who seek to emancipate the working class from capitalist wage- and debt-slavery worldwide, and also our attitude towards those who attempt to trick the workers into adopting every half-assed form of struggle they can imagine, all the while denigrating and slandering the only method that has ever led to a successful seizure of power and lasting victory by the working class: the Leninist vanguard party.  –  IWPCHI]

“To a Certain Class of Citizens”

Did you ask dulcet rhymes from us?

Did you seek the citizen’s peaceful and languishing rhymes?

Did you find what we sang erewhile so hard to follow?

We were not singing erewhile for you to follow, to

understand – nor are we now;

What to such as you anyhow, such poets as us?  therefore leave

our works,

And go lull yourself with what you can understand, and with

pop-tunes,

For we lull nobody, and you will never understand us.

— (With apologies to and deep respect for Walt Whitman),

IWPCHI

At NRA Convention, “Former” CIA Operative Pushes ‘Islamists Taking Over US Cities’ Big Lie

[Editorial note: we prematurely published this article before we had checked out the assertions made by “ThinkProgress” in their series of articles on the subject.  We regret to say that we hit the “publish” button too soon on this story, and so had to edit it significantly before formally “releasing” it as we usually do via an announcement on “Twitter”.  We apologise to any of our readers who read the earlier, hastily released and inaccurate version.  – IWPCHI]

Last week we read with marginal interest a ThinkProgress’ article by Kira Lerner entitled “Islamic Extremists Have Seized Control Of U.S. Cities, Says NRA Seminar“.

The article’s implication that “the NRA” had endorsed the speaker’s viewpoint, we thought, was perhaps taking things a bit far; obviously, the NRA’s conventions will have many people giving presentations at them, and it’s doubtful whether the NRA has the opportunity to scrutinize every speaker’s remarks before that person gives their presentation (if the speakers even submit their prepared speeches – if such even exist – in advance).  Nor can the NRA (or any other organization in the world, for that matter) control every crazy utterance that comes out of every speaker’s mouth at a public forum – even one they are hosting.  So we quickly scanned the article and put it aside for later reading.

There have been a series of reports in the US news media asserting that there are certain areas of European and American cities, “controlled” by citizens who happen to be Muslims, where Sharia Law reigns and the cops are afraid to go.  Fox News has spread these lies, and ThinkProgress describes Fox News’ repudiation of its own story on the subject dealing with the European “no-go” zones.  Fox had hardly finished apologising for the fabricated story about “no-go” zones in Europe, when they forged ahead with another claiming not only, falsely, that there were “hundreds of Muslim-controlled areas outside Paris that outsiders and cops don’t dare to explore – they chose just to give it up” but also that “we have them here in the United States, too – I bet you did not know that.  Nearly two dozen enclaves, popping up across nine different states”:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/3988810478001/how-muslim-enclaves-are-spreading-across-the-us/?#sp=show-clips

The cretin Fox News uses to spread their lies about Muslim “no-go” zones here in the USA (known as “private property” to the rest of us) is a Christian lunatic and former editor of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority Report, one Martin Mawyer.  Mawyer’s organization, “Christian Action Network” is, like the Falwell operation, based out of the aptly-named Lynchburg, Virginia.  Mawyer’s idea of “What Would Jesus Do” is perhaps exemplified by his attacks on gays, as described by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2005:

“In his ‘dirty and dangerous’ battle against ‘militant homosexual groups,’ Mawyer has not held back. In 1997, after Ellen Degeneres came out as a lesbian on her TV sitcom, Mawyer accused her of ‘DUMPING HER FILTHY LESBIAN LIFESTYLE RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF YOUR LIVING ROOM!! … If we allow the tidal wave of gay and lesbian smut to continue to pour into our homes, it will utterly consume us in no time at all!’

[…]

“CAN caused a national stir when TV stations refused to air its inflammatory ad attacking Hillary Clinton, who was then running for U.S. Senate.

“Over ominous drumbeats, the narrator intoned: ‘It is rumored that Hillary Clinton is a lesbian. It is rumored that Hillary Clinton supported homosexual marriage. It is rumored that Hillary Clinton will leave her husband upon taking office. … Sometimes, rumors are true. Shouldn’t you know the truth? For more information on traditional family values, please contact the Christian Action Network.'”

[Source: Southern Poverty Law Center, “Intelligence Report, Spring 2005,
A Dozen Major Groups Help Drive the Religious Right’s Anti-Gay Crusade”]

After spreading these “Big Lies” about Muslim “no-go zones” in a manner that Goebbels himself would have been proud of, which even caused the disgusting British Prime Minister David Cameron to protest against the Fox broadcasts (to his credit he called out the Fox “terrorism expert” Steven Emerson as “a complete idiot”, proving once again that even a stopped clock, etc. etc.), Fox put its bushy, self-soiled tail between its legs and quietly repudiated in soundbites what they had previously asserted in screaming feature stories.  The Fox then slunk off back to its den to work on a new plan of action.  Almost immediately, they came right back with their “new” allegations, with a new “expert” to sell almost the exact same garbage.  Mawyer, not incidentally, is selling videos of his most recent “exposes” of Muslim “enclaves in the US – at $20 a pop.

They say “god works in mysterious ways”.  There’s nothing mysterious about how Martin Mawyer works: he’s out to make a lot of money, and he doesn’t care how he gets it.  Apparently finally aware that “the gays” have triumphed in the US over his kind of rabid homophobia, he’s now trying to push a scaremongering anti-ISIS video that berates them – for their attacks on gays.

This is what Fox calls “fair and balanced” news coverage.

All well and good, ThinkProgress.  But in your own otherwise decent story on the subject regarding the NRA convention, why do you egregiously mischaracterize the man who, at that convention, retailed the very same lies?

“Author Steve Tarani said during a presentation in Nashville on Sunday that he has witnessed the alleged ‘no-go zones’ — areas where police cannot enter — while shadowing a friend who serves on the Detroit Metro SWAT Police on a drive in Dearborn, MI.”

[Source: ThinkProgress, “Islamic Extremists Have Seized Control of U.S. Cities, Says NRA Seminar” by Kira Lerner, 14 April 2015]

“Author”?  Is that all you have to say about Tarani?  At the NRA convention, according to ThinkProgress, “author” “Tarani’s comments were part of an hour-long seminar in which he discussed what he claims are the threats Americans face on a daily basis […] ‘mass murders, beheadings and suicide bombings’ are increasing […] [the USA’s] ‘porous borders’ are letting extremists and terrorists into the United States. ‘It’s possible that at least 20 percent of what comes over that border — that’s a big number, guys — is Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ethiopian al shabaab, known gang members and supports of the cartel'” Tarani asserted.  Strong stuff!  The stuff from which legends – and lynch mobs – are created!

So who is this “author” Tarani?  Checking out the NRA convention website, where their list of speakers can be found, we easily found the listing for the “author” in question:

Description of

Description of “author” Steve Tarani’s presentation to NRA Convention in Nashville, April 2015

Exciting stuff!  But wait: what’s this? “Ex-CIA personal protection expert?”  How fascinating! Always these scum are “EX”- this or that.  How very convenient.

What more can we find out about this “ex-CIA” man who goes to right-wing gun-nut conventions spreading lies about how “the Moozlims are comin’ after us! Grab yer gunz, white folks!”?

The NRA’s own website gives us more.  Isn’t it strange that ThinkProgress’ intrepid “non-partisan” reporters stopped reporting right where the story actually begins?

Steve Tarani's bio from the same NRA Nashville 2015 website.

Steve Tarani’s bio from the same NRA Nashville 2015 website: “ex”-CIA, “ex”-Dept. of Energy, “ex”- Defense Department, “ex”- this, “ex”- that. What bullshit.

We see “ex”- National Security State scum like him all over the bourgeois press.  From the repulsive “ex”-CIA agent Robert Baer to the tag-team of “ex”-Pentagon brass CNN and all the major news organizations used to “analyze” all the reasons why destroying Iraq was “in the national interest”, these “ex”- es will not stay in Texas.   We charge that Tarani and his kind are being used by the CIA to spread deadly propaganda to some of the most heavily armed and unhinged human beings in the US in a way that will not get the CIA in trouble under the laws that expressly prohibit organizations like the CIA from undertaking disinformation campaigns inside the USA.  So these CIA assets just pretend to retire, and then, as “ex”- CIA, they are free to spread their lies as “loose cannons”.  Of course they are also free, on top of their not-at-all insignificant federal pensions, to go around collecting fat paychecks from the news agencies and right-wing conventions like the NRA’s – scaring the shit out of the NRA yahoos who are already so frightened of their own neighbors that they have amassed home arsenals in order to “prepare for the day” that cretins like “terrorism experts” and “ex”-CIA men like Steve Tarani give them the green light to pick up their torches, strap on their weapons and head out to the Big Red Herring-Shoot.  These rat-bastard “ex”- CIA scum are dangerous, indeed!

So why did ThinkProgress omit the intriguing details of Tarani’s curriculum vitae?  Is that how the “non-partisan” “friends of labor” warn “labor” about its mortal enemies?  Not very nice at all.  Trust “ThinkProgress” as far as you can  throw a punch.  And watch your back when you’re around them – because they’re nothing but a gang of Democratic party wolves in sheep’s clothing, as you’ll see in our next article.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

240th Anniversary of the ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’ – Start of the New American Revolution – Patriot’s Day

In honor of the 240th anniversary of the beginning of the American Revolution – which began on this day, April 19, 1775 at the Battles of Lexington and Concord – we present a newspaper article that appeared in the Essex (Massachusetts) Gazette of 25 April 1775 – a compendium made by the Gazette’s editor of the events that took place on that day.

It might seem strange that our organization, which is dedicated to the overthrow of the US capitalist class of 2015 (many of whom have ancestors who fought and died in the American Revolution) would celebrate the victory of the then-emerging US capitalist class over the British royalists.  But we recognize that the American Revolution was a major step forward on the road to the emancipation of the working class internationally.  Even though the US revolution was led by a coalition of rather conservative mercantile capitalists and slave-owning aristocrats, the principles that were promulgated by the US revolutionaries broke new legal and philosophical ground that would lead inevitably to the development of the theory of the class struggle and the socialist ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.  In other words, the socialist movement owes a great debt to the revolutionary thinkers – and actors – of the US revolution – men and women like John Parker, Prince Estabrook, Mercy Otis Warren, Thomas Paine, Deborah Sampson, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and the thousands of unsung heroic brave working men and women.  They risked their lives and their fortunes in what, at the time, seemed as impossible a struggle against what was then the world’s most powerful military as does our fight today to topple the ruling class of the USA, whose military juggernaut frightens the most cowardly among us.  In fact, it is the audacity and the boldness of the American revolutionaries of 1775 who we look to for proof that “for brave men and women, there is always a remedy for oppression”.  No military, no King, no ruling class is too powerful to be brought down by the united power of the working class!  The British found this out in 1775; time and again the modern US capitalist class has been forced to submit to the strength of the insurrectionary working class as they took on the most powerful military in the world – that of the United States – and won.  In the USSR, China, Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba, the United States was unable to prevail against the united forces of the workers and peasants of countries who no one believed could ever win against the military might of the USA.  The US working class, too, will someday prove the naysayers wrong, following the trail blazed by the heroes of 1776, 1789, 1871, 1917, 1949, 1953, 1959 and 1975.
Today’s US capitalist class, by  re-legalizing torture and legalizing the assassination of U.S. citizens, has forever and irrevocably forfeited its “right” to rule over the working class of the USA.  It is the duty of every decent member of the US working class to dedicate their lives and fortunes to the overthrow of this savage ruling class, responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of our sister and brother workers all across the globe and the continuing torture and murder of our brothers and sisters right here in the US via the US national security police state and its prison-industrial system.

As in the US Revolution, where the Sons of Liberty, the Committees of Correspondence and the Provincial Congresses constituted the leading vanguard of the revolution in their day, today we need to create political parties capable of taking power from the ruling class and of taking the responsibility of running this country in the interests of the working class.  A Leninist-Trotskyist vanguard workers party is the modern-day equivalent – for the workers – that the Sons of Liberty and the Montagnards were for the emerging bourgeoisie.  Without a revolutionary socialist vanguard party to lead the working class in struggle, there can be no victory for the workers.  EVERY successful revolution, from 1776 to today, has been led by a vanguard party of some kind.  Those activists who oppose the formation of revolutionary vanguard parties are not revolutionaries but mere reformists, who seek to saddle the workers to the political dead-end of begging our “rightful rulers” to toss us a few crumbs from time to time to keep us happy.  This form of struggle that relegates itself to “speaking truth to power” does not believe that it can prevail against the “oh so powerful” ruling capitalist class – so it settles for the position of “disloyal opposition”.  By doing so, rather than putting a final end to capitalism, which is a system by which a tiny minority of wealthy people exploit the working class of the whole world, ends up keeping this decrepit system on life support.  We say: PULL THE PLUG ON CAPITALISM NOW!  We don’t want to SAVE it; we do not wish to prolong its existence for another minute!: we want to DESTROY it!  In its place we will build an egalitarian, democratic workers government where the exploitation of man by man will cease to exist.  It’s up to todays workers to make the new American Workers Revolution happen!  Join us!

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

[Editor’s Note: The article below was transcribed by us from the copy of the newspaper available on line at the Massachusetts Historical Society.  We have kept the original spellings and punctuation as well as the original newspaper column format of the text; we have for ease of reading replaced the “f”s used in place of “s”s. – IWPCHI]

DeCosta_English_Lexington_Concord_Siege_of_Boston_1775

Essex (Massachusetts) Gazette, 25 April, 1775

Page 3, Column 2

SALEM, April 25.

Last Wednesday, the 19th of April, the Troops
of his Brittanick Majesty commenced Hostilities
upon the People of this Province, attended with
Circumstances of Cruelty not less brutal than
what our venerable Ancestors received from the
vilest Savages of the Wilderness. The Particu-
lars relative to this interesting Event, by which
we are involved in all the Horrors of a civil War,
we have endeavoured to collect as well as the pre-
sent confused State of Affairs will admit.
On Tuesday Evening a Detachment from the
Army, consisting, it is said, of 8 or 900 Men,
commanded by Lieut. Col. Smith, embarked at
the Bottom of the Common in Boston, on board
a Number of Boats, and landed at Phips’s Farm,
a little Way up Charles River, from whence they
proceeded with Silence and Expedition, on their
Way to Concord, about 18 Miles from Boston.
The People were soon alarmed, and began to as-
semble, in several Towns, before Day-Light, in
order to watch the Motion of the Troops. At
Lexington, 6 Miles below Concord, a Company
of Militia, of about 100 Men, mustered near the
Meeting House ; the Troops came in Sight of
them just before Sun-rise ; and running within
few Rods of them, the Commanding Officer ac-
costed the Militia in Words to this Effect :——
Disperse you Rebels—-Damn you, throw down your
Arms and disperse
:” Upon which the Troops
huzza’d, and immediately one or two Officers dis-
charged their Pistols, which were instantaneously
followed by the Firing of 4 or 5 of the Soldiers,
and then there seemed to be a general Discharge
from the whole Body : Eight of our Men were
killed, and nine wounded. In a few Minutes
after this Action the Enemy renewed their March
for Concord ; at which Place they destroyed se-
veral Carriages, Carriage Wheels, and about 20
Barrels of Flour, all belonging to the Province.
Here about 150 Men going towards a Bridge, of
which the Enemy were in Possession, the latter
fired, and killed 2 of our Men, who then returned
the Fire, and obliged the Enemy to retreat back to
Lexington, where they met Lord Percy, with a
large Reinforcement, with two Pieces of Can-
non. The Enemy now having a Body of about
1800 Men, made a Halt, picked up many of their
Dead, and took Care of their Wounded. At
Menotomy, a few of our Men attacked a Party of
twelve of the Enemy, (carrying Stores and Pro-
visions to the Troops) killed one of them,
wounded several, made the Rest Prisoners, and
took Possession of all their Arms, Stores, Provi-
sions, &c. without any Loss on our Side.—–The
Enemy having halted one or two Hours at Lex-
ington, found it necessary to make a second Re-
treat, carrying with them many of their Dead
and Wounded, who they put into Chaises and
on Horses that they found standing in the Road.
They continued their Retreat from Lexington to
Charlestown with great Precipitation ; and not-
withstanding their Field Pieces, our People con-
tinued the Pursuit, firing at them till they got to
Charlestown Neck, (which they reached a little
after Sunset) over which the Enemy passed, pro-
ceeded up Bunker’s Hill, and soon afterwards
went into the Town, under the Protection of the
Somerset Man of War of 64 Guns.
In Lexington the Enemy set Fire to Deacon
Joseph Loring’s House and Barn, Mrs. Mulliken’s
House and Shop, and Mr. Joshua Bond’s House
and Shop, which were all consumed. They also
set Fire to several other Houses, but our People
extinguished the Flames. They pillaged almost
every House they passed by, breaking and destroy-
ing Doors, Windows, Glasses, &c. and carrying
off Cloathing and other valuable Effects. It ap-
peared to be their Design to burn and destroy all
before them ; and nothing but our vigorous Pur-
suit prevented their infernal Purposes from being
put in Execution. But the savage Barbarity
exercised upon the Bodies of our unfortunate
Brethren who fell, is almost incredible : Not
content with shooting down the unarmed, aged
and infirm, they disregarded the Cries of the
wounded, killing them without Mercy, and
mangling their Bodies in the most shocking
Manner.
We have the Pleasure to say, that notwith-
standing the highest Provocations given by the
Enemy, not one Instance of Cruelty, that we
have heard of, was committed by our victorious
Militia ; but, listening to the merciful Dictates
of the Christian Religion, they “breathed higher
Sentiments of Humanity.”
The Consternation of the People of Charles-
town, when our Enemies were entering the
Town, is inexpressible ; the Troops however be-
haved tolerably civil, and the People have since
nearly all left the Town.
The following is a List of the Provincials who
were killed and wounded.
KILLED.      Messirs. *Robert Munroe, *Jonas
Parker, *Samuel Hadley, *Jonathan Harrington,
*Caleb Harrington, *Isaac Muzzy, *John Brown,
John Raymond, Nathaniel Wyman, and Jedidiah
Munroe, of
Lexington.—-Messirs. Jason Russell,
Jabez Wyman, and Jason Winship, of
Menotomy.
—-Deacon Haynes, and Mr.—— Reed, of Sud-
bury.—-
Capt. James Miles of Concord.—-Captain
Jonathan Willson, of
Bedford.—-Capt. Davis, Mr.
——- Horsmer, and Mr. James Howard, of
Acton.
—-* Mr. Azael Porter, and Mr. Daniel Thompson,
of
Woborn.—-Mr. James Miller, and Capt. Wil-
liam Barber’s Son, aged 14, of
Charlestown.—Isaac
Gardner, Esq of
Brookline.—-Mr John Hicks, of
Cambridge.—-Mr. Henry Putnam of Medford.—-
Messrs. Abednego Ramsdell, Daniel Townsend, Wil-
liam Flint, and Thomas Hadley, of
Lynn.—-Messrs.
Henry Jacobs, Samuel Cook, Ebenezer Goldthwait,
George Southwick, Benjamin Daland, jun. Jotham
Webb, and Perley Putnam, of
Danvers.—-Mr. Ben-
jamin Peirce, of
Salem.
WOUNDED.      Messirs. John Robbins, John Tidd,
Solomon Peirce, Thomas Winship, Nathaniel Farmer,
and Prince Easterbrooks (a Negro-Man) of
Lex-
ington.—-Mr.——– Hemmenway, of Framingham.
—-Mr. John Lane, of Bedford.—-Mr. George Reed,
and Mr. Jacob Bacon, of
Woborn.—-Mr. William
Polly, of
Medford.—-Mr. Joshua Felt, and Mr.
Timothy Munroe, of Lynn.—-Mr. Nathan Putnam,
and Mr. Dennis Wallis, of
Danvers.—-Mr. Na-
thaniel Cleaves,of
Beverly.

MISSING.     Mr. Samuel Frost, and Mr. Seth
Russell of Menotomy.

Those distinguished with this Mark [*]were killed by the first
Fire of the Enemy.

We have seen an Account of the Loss of the
Enemy, said to have come from an Officer of one
of the Men of War ; by which it appears that
63 of the Regulars, and 49 Marines were killed,
and 103 of both wounded : in all 215. Lieut.
Gould of the 4th Regiment, who is wounded, and
Lieut. Potter of the Marines, and about twelve
Soldiers, are Prisoners.
Mr. James Howard and one of the Regulars
discharged their Pieces at the same Instant, and
each killed the other.
Our late Brethren of Danvers, who fell fight-
ing for their Country, were interred, with great
Solemnity and Respect, on Friday last.
The Public most sincerely sympathize with
the Friends and Relations of our deceased Bre-
thren, who gloriously sacrificed their Lives in
fighting for the Liberties of their Country. By
their noble, intrepid Conduct, in helping to de-
feat the Forces of an ungrateful Tyrant, they
have endeared their Memories to the present Ge-
neration, who will transmit their Names to Pos-
terity with the highest Honour.

We suppose a circumstantial Account will be prepared and pub-
lished by Authority. The above is the best we have been able
to obtain. We can only add, that the Town of Boston is now
invested by a vast Army of our brave Countrymen, who have
flown to our Assistance from all Quarters. GOD grant them
Assistance in the Extirpation of our cruel and unnatural Enemies.
Marblehead Harbour is now blocked up by the Lively Man of War.

[END – IWPCHI]