Report: 11 April 2016 Trial of NATO3’s Jared Chase, Crook County Courthouse, 26th & California, Chicago, IL

Report from trial of Jared Chase, Crook County Courthouse, 26th and California, Chicago, IL
11 April 2016

The call was put out once again by the friends, comrades and supporters of the NATO3’s Jared “Jay” Chase to “pack the courtroom” for his trial for an alleged assault on a prison guard at Illinois’ Pontiac prison back on October 4th 2013. His friends and comrades put out this call on Facebook, Twitter and WordPress and it was re-Tweeted by ourselves and who knows how many others in Chicago and around the USA. This resulted in a grand total of about 15 people showing up for the trial. Once again the working class of Chicago – and the major “revolutionary socialist” parties were no-shows.

IWPCHI’s reporter (the writer of this article) showed up at about 8:30 for the trial and once again there was no demonstration outside the courtroom. We had brought a couple of protest signs but when a trio of anarchist comrades of Jay arrived bringing coffee and bananas, they had no signs or banners so our reporter was the only person who stood outside the courthouse with a protest sign that read “FREEDOM NOW for NATO3’s JARED CHASE! PRISON NOW for DEMOCRATS’ KILLER KOPS OF KAPITAL!” Our second sign read: “U.S. POLICE STATE TERROR: FROM GITMO to HOMAN SQ. – MADE IN CHICAGO by the DEMOCRATS”.

The Democratic Party criminals who run Cook County’s “justice system” – one of the most vicious and crooked racist legal systems in the world – have been playing games with the citizenry who must deal with their kangaroo court system by denying citizens the right to bring cell phones into the courthouse. In a criminal justice system in which the police routinely lie on the witness stand and the judges let them get away with it, and which historically has been the scene of rigged trials, judges getting payoffs from defense attorneys and all manner of corruption taking place it’s not hard to understand why these serial criminals would not want people possessing the means with which they could take photographs and make audio recordings of the corrupt practices common in this legal whorehouse.

About a week before Jay’s trial it was announced that Crook County Courthouse would no longer be providing lockers for cell phones so that people could attend their court hearings. Some bullshit reasons were given about the County not having the staff necessary to run the locker operation. The US capitalist class doesn’t want to spend the money necessary to run anything properly, even their for-profit injustice system. We were informed by a homeless man outside the courthouse that some enterprising “roach coach” vendors who park their catering trucks across the street from the Crooked Crook County judicial sewer had installed lockers in their trucks and were charging $2 a locker to store people’s phones while they were in court. Ah, sweet capitalism! What would we do without you?

This reporter and the three anarchist supporters of Jay Chase were outside the courthouse drinking coffee around 8:45. The courtrooms officially open for their sordid “business” at 9AM but usually things get started much later than that. Last time we were at Jay’s hearing Judge Thaddeus Wilson didn’t show up until 10:05. So we figured that we had plenty of time to burn.

As we sat around chatting, the line of unfortunate workers queuing up for their latest encounter with the Chicago Democratic Party’s idea of a “justice” system began to grow. It was a Monday, after all; and in spite of all the yammering the capitalist classes’ bought-and-paid-for politicians have been engaged in about reducing the world’s largest per-capita prison population (“USA(TM)! USA(TM)! USA(TM)! We’re Number One!(TM)”) the cops are so busy busting people over the weekends that the Crooked Crook County Jail is always kept overflowing on Mondays with people who will be forced to either fork over a wad of cash for bond or spend the next 2 months – or maybe years! – in the jail. So the hundreds of people – defendants and family and friends of those already jailed and awaiting their bond hearings and trials – all trying to get into the Crooked Crook County Courthouse at the same time cause a traffic jam that the imbecile Sheriffs cops who work the security detail can’t handle. In fifteen minutes the line was stretching all the way out to the street and it was moving at a snail’s pace. This of course meant that none of these hundreds of people would be able to get to their court hearings on time. Later on, a homeless acquaintance of mine told me that his friend got stuck in that line a while back and was late for his hearing and so an arrest warrant was issued for him because he “failed to appear in court”. This is just one of the many ways that the Democrats destroy people’s lives with their shitty, crooked justice system here in Obama’s phony “home town”.

I wanted to let Jay’s comrades know that I did not want to create a conflict with their decision whether or not to stand up together when Jay was led into the courtroom – as is a long-standing tradition of the US workers movement. The last time I came to Jay’s court appearance (the appearance before the last) I stood up when he entered the courtroom and again when he left, as per the long-standing international working class tradition; and I recieved criticism from his comrades for doing so.  On April 11 I let his comrades know that I was in favor of standing up and thereby upholding this honored and honorable tradition but that I would accept their decision on this question. Judge Thaddeus Wilson – who pretends that the Rev. Martin Luther King is his inspiration – had issued a threat to hold anyone who stood up in solidarity with Jay in contempt of court. Revolutionary Trotskyists do not cower in the face of this kind of provocation from a Kangaroo judge of the capitalist system; but the anarchists apparently do. They informed me that they believe that it is unwise to provoke the ire of the judge when Jay’s liberty is at stake. I replied that there is no justice to be expected from the capitalist system at all and especially not in political cases like Jay’s. Kissing the judge’s ass is not going to get us – or Jay – anywhere. Anyone who thinks that by acting like obedient wage-slaves we can elicit fairness from the worker-militant-hating judicial system of the capitalist class is delusional. But they had decided not to stand up when Jay came into the court, so I let them know that I would abide by their decision – although I disagreed with it.

One of the anarchists and I had  nice conversation in which that person told me  I should look up the Alexander Berkman/Emma Goldman book about the ABCs of anarchism.  (I have looked it up and have read it and it was outrageously counter-revolutionary).  I suggested to them that they should read the Communist Manifesto – which of course they had “read parts of” as so many college-educated youth will say (come on man; the Communist Manifesto is like 45 pages!).

The anarchists spotted some of their comrades in line and as these guys moved up to where we were sitting they cut into the line with their friends and went in. It was only about 9AM at that time and I thought I’d just wait a little while until the end of the line came up to where I sat on the plaza outside the front door of the “courthouse”.

The courthouse screws were out yelling at people to get into two parallel lines: one for women and one for men. There were three times as many men as women, so the men’s line continued to grow and grow until it reached the sidewalk and then stretched southwards down California. I couldn’t see the end of it from where I sat. Men who accompanied their female friends up to the front of the women’s line were summarily ordered to go to the end of the ridiculously long men’s line; this made for some amusing scenes as guys turned around and began their long, embarassed trek back to the sidewalk and down the street to the end of the queue.

Just for the hell of it I decided to wait and see how long it would actually take for the end of the line to reach me, sitting about 25 feet from the front door. It was a nice, sunny spring day and I don’t like to stand in long lines like a moron. I read the latest Chicago scandals in the Tribune (2nd brother shot by cop cleared in court”) and enjoyed the similarity between the front page story about airline passengers at O’Hare suffering long waits in boarding lines due to deliberate understaffing by the TSA who are trying to force people to pay $85 for expedited boarding. “Last month, 1,000 American Airlines passengers missed their flights at O’Hare due to ‘excessive’ TSA lines”. Oh, capitalism! There is no way we could possibly create a better system than you! “[One] flier, who asked not to be named [what is she afraid of? This is the “Land of the Free(TM)”!] said she wasn’t spending $85 to solve TSA’s problem. ‘It’s a scam,’ she said.” Right you are, dear sister! Please contact us! We need intelligent people like you to help us overthrow this rotten capitalist system!

Meanwhile back at the Crookedest Courthouse in the USA, the line was actually still getting longer and I began to wonder if I, by being such a stubborn ass about not getting in line, would miss the opening arguments in Jay’s trial! It was 9:30 and there was no end in sight for the line, which continued to grow. My homeless friend (who I met years ago when I lived in Wicker Park before it became so expensive that workers could no longer afford to live there) and I chatted a while and then he met some friends of his coming out of the courthouse and he left. It was now getting near 10 AM and still the line was running down along the sidewalk.

The women’s line, however, had only a few people in it. Why didn’t the Crooked Crook County Sheriffs’ screws start sending men through the women’s side of the security check? Who knows? You don’t have to have a lot of brains to be a Sheriffs’ cop in Crooked Crook County – or anywhere else. What would these jackasses do if the USA ever cut its prison population back down to the levels it had maintained from the 1920s until the Jimmy Carter era?

The end of the line finally came up to where I was sitting at about 10:20AM. I got into line and managed to get through security at about 10:30. I wondered: how many people had arrest warrants issued against them this morning thanks to the imbeciles running security in the Crookedest Courthouse in “The Greatest Country in the World(TM)”?

So I head up to Courtroom 303 – the lair of Judge Thaddeus Wilson, he of the prominently displayed Martin Luther King, Jr. portrait hanging on the door behind his bench. I enter and – surprise! There is another case being heard and it isn’t Jay Chase’s. Good! I sit down on one of the open spaces on the wooden bench to the left of the door to the courtroom, where I can see all the way back into the vestibule where the prisoners are briefly held after they are led from their cells and just before they enter into the courtroom proper.

This case in concluded and another is called. We all sit and listen quietly to the proceedings. This last case is concluded and the defendant and his lawyer leave the courtroom.

Two large Sheriffs’ cops enter the courtroom; then four more; all seem a bit agitated and I wonder what’s going on. Are they here to handle the “dangerous arch-criminal” Jay Chase?

Suddenly – an announcement from the bench by the (cough!) “honorable” Judge Thaddeus Wilson:
“Due to security concerns I am ordering the gallery to be cleared. Everyone must go out into the hall to be searched.”

Thaddeus thinks he’s being so clever! What an amazing act of jurisimpudence! Wouldn’t Dr. Martin Luther King be proud of him! Dr. King would be disgusted with this criminal in black robes and his dirty little ploy to make Jay Chase’s comrades – who were all sitting peacefully and politely watching the proceedings, not even making the slightest sound or gesture or any conversation at all! – appear to be posing a threat to Kangaroo Judge Thaddeus Wilson’s Kangaroo Court! But Martin Luther King had witnessed scenes like this many times before when he was dragged in front of judges who hated him and anyone else who attempted to fight for civil rights. Judge Thaddeus Wilson has far more in common than he could possibly imagine in his small mind with the bandits in black robes who persecuted Dr. King!

The group of thuggish Sheriff’s cops summoned by Kangaroo Judge Thaddeus Wilson under the false pretense that a “security threat” existed in his courtroom ushered us all out into the hallway to be searched. Male cops searched men and there were a pair of female cops to search the women. I was the fourth in line to be searched so I was back in the courtroom within 4 minutes. When I went in I saw that Jay Chase had already been rushed into the courtroom and his Kangaroo “Trial” was underway!

Jay and his lawyer had already informed the judge that he intended to plead guilty to a single charge of assault in a plea bargain deal. Judge Wilson rushed through the protocol of making sure that Jay understood what he was consenting to. Jay stood tall and firm and answered the Judge’s questions in a strong and clear voice, with his “lawyer” Peter Benesh standing by his side silently. He was pleading guilty; he was waiving his right to a jury trial; he understood the implications; he had not been coerced into making his plea.

By this time Kangaroo Judge Wilson had so rushed through the plea deal that only about half of Jay’s comrades had re-entered the courtroom. As they came back and were informed of what had transpired their faces expressed shock and dismay.

Wilson zipped through the plea deal so quickly that I was unable to get it all down. Jay was pleading guilty to an aggravated assault – a class 4 felony – punishable by 1-6 years in prison. Of couse if Jay hadn’t been framed up on the bogus terrorism charges concocted by the Chicago Police and their undercover agent-provocateurs, the “assault” on the guard would never have taken place! (Jay pled guilty to having sprayed a piss/shit combo on a guard’s leg if I understood the rushed proceedings correctly).

Jay waived his right to a pre-sentencing investigation; he was immediately sentenced to one year in jail and one year of mandatory supervised release.

And that was it. Jay was ushered out of the courtroom to be hauled back to rejoin his 1.8 million working class brothers and sisters languishing in the prison hellholes of the “Land of the Free(TM)”.

Jay’s comrades immediately got up and left the courtroom. I waited to see if I could get any explanation of the outcome of the trial from Jay’s ineffectual “lawyer” Peter Benesh.

Attorney Benesh was polite if brusque; he and another attorney working with him on the case – who handled the NATO3 terrorism side of the deal – went out into the hallway and tersely answered my confused questions.

I read my notes on the sentence to Benesh who corrected a couple of things. Then I asked him how much longer Jay would be in jail. “I have no idea” he said. “It’s up to IDOC [Illinois Department of Corrections] to calculate the length of the time Jay will have to serve.” I was confused. “Well when you agreed to the plea deal didn’t you work out in advance how long that would be? How could you agree to a plea deal without knowing what his sentence would be?” Benesh said that the idea was to plead guilty so that Jay could get a reduced sentence and get out of prison as soon as possible which was important due to his serious health issues. I asked Benesh how Jay’s treatment was being taken care of while he was in prison. He said “I don’t know. Obviously not very well” or words to that effect.
I said “Can you make an educated guess as to how long you think Jay’s sentence will be?” Benesh replied: “I have no idea. I’ve never worked with IDOC before, and no one in my office has ever worked with them before. It’s up to them.”

Benesh told me that in the next few weeks or months – basically, at IDOC’s leisure – Jay would be handed what is called a “yellow sheet” from IDOC informing him of their decision regarding the amount of additional prison time he would be forced to serve. “Will you be receiving a copy of that form as well? Could I get a copy of it?” I asked. Benesh replied: “I won’t get anything. Jay will get the yellow sheet”. Astounded, I said: “you won’t get anything?” and Benesh replied: “No.”

So I stood there for a few seconds trying to process this information and trying to think o other questions but couldn’t come up with anything. Benesh and his colleague seemed – as they did the last time I spoke with them – to be in a hurry and in no mood to volunteer any information beyond terse replies to my questions. So I thanked them and Benesh went back into the courtroom and his colleague and I headed towards the elevators. She was walking ahead of me by a few steps. “This is a strange situation; wasn’t that security search something?” I said to Benesh’s lawyer-colleague’s back.

“Weird things happen in this building” she replied without turning to face me as she walked off.

* * * * * * *

Jay’s friends and comrades were standing in a circle listening to one of their number as he explained something to them which I could not hear. The expressions on everyone’s faces was a mixture of shock and deep dismay. I let him finish what he was saying and then I told them what the lawyers had told me… which they already seemed to understand. Brent Betterly was there and his experience being run through the grinding gears of the Illinois “criminal justice system” enabled him to explain to his comrades what it all meant. No one looked pleased. I introduced myself to the guy who had addressed the group because I had overheard him talking to the lawyers earlier and thought he was involved in the fundraising for Jay. But I was wrong. Everyone around this group treats those who they do not know personally with some degree of suspicion, varying from mild suspicion to mild hostility. I’m not used to working with political groups who haven’t assigned someone to be a spokesperson for the group who can handle simple inquiries from concerned working-class citizens and organizations as well as the news media. So it’s very irritating to be treated with suspicion because I’m a “stranger”. “Stranger! DANGER!” is not the typical attitude of professional revolutionary organizations. All of the political organizations I’ve been either a member or sympathiser of – the Worker’s World Party, the Spartacist League and the Partisan Defense Committee – were open and friendly to people who came out to support them at demonstrations and public events of all kinds. Not so with these “anarchists”. Some were almost friendly – I had a sort of conversation with a young woman before the trial – but most of these folks just don’t seem comfortable at all talking with anyone who they don’t know.

As we left the Crook County Courthouse I tried to start a conversation with a couple of people in the hopes that I could establish some kind on ongoing working relationship with these guys. “So what party or groups are you in?” I asked one couple of people. “We’re not in a group” they replied. “Well are you guys anarchists or socialists…?” “No we’re not anything”. Total brush-off. This is no way to do political work, my friends. You have to be capable of establishing contacts with other members of political groups. You either grow or die.

It appears to me that the police entrapment scheme played out upon these young activists had the precise effect the cops wished it to have: it completely deranged them politically and socially. They are now so paranoid against anyone who approaches them on a political level that they have been rendered useless politically. This is the kind of damage that a police infiltration operation is designed to create.
The communist organizations are strong enough to withstand these kinds of attacks; these loose-knit pseudo-anarchoid collective whatevers are just demolished the minute they encounter such a common and predictable police provocation. We warn youth who are interested in joining a socialist or anarchist organization that only the revolutionary socialists have the organizational experience that will make it almost impossible for you to be set up the way the NATO3 were. Youth members of Trotskyist organizations like the Spartacist League or our party are educated right off the bat as to what our party program is and what it isn’t; youth who seek to join our parties agree to study our revolutionary program and must be capable of explaining it to others before they can become members. So you would KNOW that we do not condone or advocate terrorism as a revolutionary method of struggle – we oppose it. So when a couple of Police Explorers like the ones who framed the NATO3 come around trying to get OUR youth members to engage in stupid-ass shit like “throwing molotov cocktails at a bank” OUR youth members IMMEDIATELY recognize the signs of an agent-provocateur and are required to immediately notify the party leadership about this provocation. I simply can’t imagine a youth member of an organization like the Sparts getting set up like these naïve anarchist youth of the NATO 3 were. I’ve never heard of this happening to the Sparts or Workers World or The SWP or even the reformists of the Stalinist Communist Party! It must be said as plainly as this for your own good, dear NATO3 and their supporters: revolutionary communists are just not that stupid! I’m not trying to insult you; I’m trying to educate you as to the vast gulf that exists between the amateurishness of the anarchist grouplets and the Occupy activists and the professional Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist revolutionaries! Very, very few of you would even be considered for youth membership in any professional socialist revolutionary organization.

So the lesson for the youth is: be careful what organizations you join. We should point out the fact that anarchism has been an utterly useless political philosophy since the Bolsheviks proved in 1917 the absolute necessity of organizing a workers STATE in order to defend a workers revolution from the inevitable counterrevolutionary attacks. Anarchists have NEVER led a successful workers revolution anywhere in the world and they probably never will because of their childish and counter-revolutionary aversion to the concept of a “workers state”. Only Marxist/Leninist vanguard parties have ever led successful workers revolutions. EVERY revolution has been led by a vanguard party of some kind – including the American and French Revolutions. If you want to join a revolutionary workers organization go with the pros, not with the amateurs. Your life could be put at risk if you join a half-assed political activist group. The NATO3 case is a case-study on how untrained non-communist political activists can just walk right into a cop frame-up that would be obvious to a 15-year-old communist youth. And believe me: I’ve met 15-year old communist youth who are head-and-shoulders more politically conscious than the wisest anarchist I’ve ever met. Including Noam Chomsky!

As I left the courthouse I tried again to start a conversation with another pair of NATO3 supporters. I told them about my previous work with the Sparts and Partisan Defense Committee as they seemingly tried to walk away from me as if I was carrying the plague. “The thing about this case is that it shows the complete lack of organizational competence of the anarchist groups” I said. “Half of the commies in Chicago are cops” was the reply! “That’s not true!” I replied. These people are simply running scared now that they’ve had their fingers burned on what was probably their very first attempt to engage in political activism. They are useless as political activists. At this stage of development they are even incapable of talking about their own political ideas to workers on the street. Everyone who expresses a level of consciousness greater than that of a naïve teenage anarchist is looked upon with deepest suspicion! “Obviously he must be a cop! It’s impossible that he could be a socialist!” seems to be their reaction to me at least. I do not like being treated like this at all. It pisses me off! Lol! How can you possibly do effective political work with an attitude like this? Perhaps this is why none of the major socialist political parties are involved with the last remaining NATO3 defense case?

When I worked with the Sparts, we didn’t AVOID “strangers” at a demonstration or who had come to participate in a legal defense campaign at a courthouse: WE SOUGHT THEM OUT and introduced ourselves and talked to them! We wanted to know who they were and find out if they would be interested in joining our organization! We sold them Workers Vanguard and tried to get their phone numbers so we could call them after they had a chance to read the paper so we could see how they liked it! You know – LIKE NORMAL HUMAN BEINGS! What has this sorry-ass country come to that “political activists” are afraid to converse with people who come out to support said “political activists”?

I mentioned to one of the NATO3 supporters that I had been trying to send money to the anarchists who had fought the Nazis in Anaheim, California a couple months ago. I couldn’t send the money because the guy who was collecting it was supposedly a “friend” of one of the guys who had been stabbed by a Nazi.
“You have to know people” he replied! That is fucking pathetic! We don’t live in Nazi Germany where political activist organizations have to operate from “the underground”! It’s a worthless type of organization that can’t even raise money from the public for their comrades’ medical care because they can’t get it together to create a trustworthy official organization to collect the funds! This kind of “organization” is engaged in amateurish practices that were completely abandoned by the workers movement 200 years ago! The philosophical bankruptcy of anarchist philosophy is exposed by this kind of third-rate dysfunction exhibited time and time again by anarchist grouplets.

“Many are called; but few are chosen” goes the saying. Revolutionary working class political activism is not a video game; and it’s not a playground for children or amateurs. To have your political group destroyed by the most common police frame-up which a revolutionary communist organization would repel like water off a duck’s back is a disgrace. If you think that what happened to the NATO3 is a savage attack by the capitalist state you should open your eyes and look at the massacre of leftist youth that took place in Mexico; look at the attacks on Communist Party political candidates in India; look at what FARC went through in Colombia the last time they tried to trade guerrilla warfare for legal political work! What happened to the NATO3 was a mere scratch! 3 years in jail is nothing compared to what communists have suffered at the hands of the class enemy from Tsarist Russia to Kuomintang China to Japanese-occupied Korea to Hitler’s Germany, Pinochet’s Chile and D’Aubuisson’s El Salvador – or the ACTUAL ANARCHIST Haymarket Martyrs! If your “organization/collective/reading circle” can’t recover from a pathetic attack like what was thrown at NATO3 then your organization isn’t worth a damn.

—- IWPCHI

Patriots’ Day 2016: The Battle of Menotomy, 19 April 1775

Patriots' Grave, Old Burying Ground, Arlington, Massachusetts. Burial place of nine of the eleven American colonials killed in the battle at the Jason Russell House during the first day of the American Revolution (April 19, 1775). This battle was the bloodiest skirmish of that first day. The graveyard is behind the Unitarian Church at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Pleasant Street. By Daderot at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18003465

Patriots’ Grave, Old Burying Ground, Arlington, Massachusetts. Burial place of nine of the eleven American colonials killed in the battle at the Jason Russell House during the first day of the American Revolution (April 19, 1775). This battle was the bloodiest skirmish of that first day. The graveyard is behind the Unitarian Church at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Pleasant Street. Photo by Daderot at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18003465

Of course everyone who has read anything about the American Revolution knows about the Battles of Lexington and Concord which took place on 19 April 1775.  But what fewer people are aware of is the fact that after the British troops had finished their bloody work in Lexington and Concord, they had to march all the way back to Boston – a distance of 10 miles.  In getting to Concord these redcoats had already made that hike once on that day; now they would have to do it all over again.  They were tired and hungry and highly stressed out as you can imagine: what had once been a peaceful colonial possession of Great Britain in which British troops were looked upon with respect and honor by the colonists was now transformed into a seething insurrectionary province in which a large percentage of the population saw the British Army as enemies and oppressors.

The British Army in 1775 was the equivalent of the US Army today: the world’s most powerful fighting force.  Equipped with the most modern weaponry and led by the best-trained officers in the world at that time, taking up arms against the British was no trifling matter.  The British generals were supremely confident that they would quickly put an end to the insolent uprising of the rabble-rousing rebels in Boston.  They intended to capture the leaders of the rebellion and hang them as the traitors to the Crown they were.

The British commanders carried out their mission on April 19th with the usual savage professionalism and ruthless efficiency the British Army was known for by its many victims worldwide.  Opposing them was an unprofessional colonial militia loosely organized, poorly armed and led and for the most part by men untrained in the “arts” of 18th century warfare.  This state of affairs had all the hallmarks of a disastrous and foolhardy enterprise on the side of the traitorous rebels.  How could they possibly expect to prevail over the mighty British Army?

As the redcoats who had skirmished with the rebels at Lexington and Concord rested, ate and were relieved by fresh troops from Boston who had been sent to reinforce them for their long march back through rebel territory, the traitorous militia (remember – in 1775 the term “patriot” was not the usual appellation affixed to those who dared to rebel against the lawful authority of the King and his colonial representatives) prepared to obstruct and harass the British troops as they headed back to Boston along the same road (at that time the only direct route to take) which they had come up on earlier.  Minutemen from all over Massachusetts took up positions in houses and behind the low fieldstone walls that ran along property lines between the farms along the route.

The British undertook to carry out their mission with the customary caution and professionalism of any trained military force at the time.  The main body of their force would march in formation along the road; skirmishers would be sent out into the fields along both sides of the road to protect the British lines, keeping any attackers far enough away from the main body of troops so that any shots they would fire would fall short.  Those flanking parties would also kill or capture any rebels they found in possession of arms along the way.

The Minutemen – led by unprofessional soldiers – were not even aware of the fact that these forces protecting the flanks of the British main force could be expected to be present; so they set up their defense close to the road, leaving their own rear wide open to attack by the flanking parties.

Try to imagine what it must have been like to be a British soldier on that day.  We have actually walked the route taken by the British from Lexington Green along what is called in Massachusetts the “Battle Road”.  It’s a long winding road over low rolling hills and dales with – even to this day – the characteristic stone walls of New England running along it and out across what remains of the farmers’ fields of the 1700s.  Now, much of that terrain is wooded; back in the 1700s it was mostly bereft of trees.  Wearing their trademark bright red coats, the British regulars would have been easy targets as they marched along and over the low rolling dirt road to Boston.

From the time the British troops formed up and began their march until they finally reached Charlestown, the Minutemen intended to obtain their revenge for the blood and lives of the colonials that had been taken in the unprovoked attack by the British in Lexington and Concord.  Hiding behind the stone walls, snipers picked off the redcoats with ease, while the British flanking parties drove the snipers out of hiding and back along the road towards Boston, where they took up new positions and prepared to harass the British again.

As the British entered the town of Menotomy they were faced suddenly with the problem of how to run the gauntlet of houses positioned right on the street on both sides of the road all the way through this town.  Minutemen had taken up positions in the upper floors of these houses and as the British approached they opened fire on the redcoats with deadly accuracy, killing and wounding many.  It turned out that Menotomy – now called Arlington – would be the scene of the most brutal and bloody fighting of the 19th of April.  Enraged by what they perceived to be “cowardly” attacks from cover by the rebels (it was considered to be an improper form of warfare; in the 1700s, massed armies were supposed to meet on an open field of battle and shoot and stab it out bayonet to bayonet) the British stormed into the homes of the rebel colonists, bayonetting and shooting everyone they could find in the buildings – especially those in possession of weapons.  No mercy was shown; men, women and children were viciously bayonetted and shot at point-blank range; many were killed and grievously wounded.

Perhaps the best example of the savagery of the British attack is shown by what happened to heroic rebel patriot Captain Samuel Whittemore.  This aged Menotomy patriarch had been born in England and was a veteran of the British Army who had fought in the French and Indian War on the side of the British as a youth.  But now at age 69 he had “turned traitor” and was armed to defend his fellow citizens from the lawful authority of his native country!  He was no flag-waving worshipper of the status quo such as we see all over the USA today: cowardly nationalists who wrap themselves in the colors of the USA and who attack anyone who dares to oppose the brutal and despotic US government of today which has murdered millions of innocent workers worldwide in its anticommunist wars over the past 1oo years and which has legalized torture and the assassination of US citizens on the President’s orders!  How many of these flag-waving US patriots of today would have been in the ranks of the traitorous rebels of 1775?  Not many!  It is easy to support the American Revolution today; but back then, it took tremendous courage to oppose the lawful governmental authority of Great Britain in words – not to mention opposing it arms in hand!  American Revolutionary leaders claimed after the war was successfully concluded that they never had the stalwart and unwavering support of more than around 30% of the population of the colonies at any time during the revolution.  Of course, the other 70% were either outright supporters of the Crown or were just waiting to see who would come out the winner before they would decide which flag to wrap themselves in.  They probably kept two flags at the ready at all times – one to fly when the British were in the neighborhood and a rebel flag for when the Minutemen were around.  Today’s flag-waving “patriots” in the USA who proclaim the US to be “my country right or wrong” and who tell modern-day US revolutionaries that “if you don’t like the US government, get out of the country!” are the modern equivalent of the hated pro-British Tories of the Revolutionary era.  These knee-jerk flag-waving patriotic worshippers of the US flag and its vicious worker-hating and veteran-abusing government don’t have a rebellious bone in their bodies!

Captain Sam Whittemore was not a knee-jerk patriot; he was a heroic man who dared to put his life on the line against the tyranny of what had once been, in his mind and the minds of his fellow rebels,  “their” government!  Cowards like today’s flag-waving worshippers of the disgusting, racist and murderous US capitalist status quo who lived in British colonial America lie in their graves – unknown to history. This granite monument in Menotomy, Massachusetts to American Revolutionary war hero Captain Sam Whittemore tells of a man who dared to challenge – not worship – despotic government:

Monument to one of the heroic "Old Men of Menotomy" Samuel Whittemore in Menotomy (now Arlington) Massachusetts. By Bhenricksen at English Wikipedia - Own work by the original uploader, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29116756

Monument to one of the heroic “Old Men of Menotomy” Samuel Whittemore in Menotomy (now Arlington) Massachusetts.   Photo by Bhenricksen at English Wikipedia – Own work by the original uploader, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29116756

Sam selected a position that gave him an excellent view of the road from Lexington, and sat down to wait. His fellow minuteman from Menotomy pleaded for him to find a safer position, but he choose to ignore them.

“His fellow minuteman started firing at the oncoming British Grenadiers of the 47th Regiment of Foot, falling back to reload, then firing again. Sam waited. Finally, when the column was directly in front of him, he stood and fired his musket. A grenadier fell dead. He drew his two pistols, firing both at almost point blank range. Another grenadier fell dead, a third fell mortally wounded. The British soldiers were on top of him, he had not the time to reload his musket or pistols, so drawing his sword, he . started flailing away at the bayonet wielding soldiers. A soldier leveled his Brown Bess musket, at point blank range and fired. The .69 calibre ball struck Sam in the cheek, tearing away part of his face and throwing him to the ground. Sam valiantly tried to rise, fending off bayonet thrusts with his sword, but he was overpowered. Struck in the head with a musket butt, he went down again, then was bayoneted thirteen times and left for dead.

Using a door as a makeshift stretcher, Sam was carried to Cooper Tavern, which was being used as a emergency hospital. Doctor Nathaniel Tufts of Medford attended to Sam. He cut off his bloody clothes, and exposed the gaping bayonet wounds. Sam’s face was horribly injured. Doctor Tufts knew the injuries were fatal, stating it wouldn’t do any good to even dress the wounds. Sam’s family and friends insisted and Dr. Tufts did the best he could. He tried to make the old man as comfortable as possible. After his wounds were attended to Sam was carried to his home, to die surrounded by his family. To everyone’s utter amazement Captain Sam Whittemore lived! He recovered and remained active for the next eighteen years. He was terribly scarred, but always was proud of what he had done for his adopted country. He is quoted as having stated that he would take the same chances again.”  [Source: ““Never Too Old: The Story of Captain Samuel Whittemore” by Donald N. Moran]

By the time the British had fought their way through Menotomy, they had the bodies of an additional 40 dead and eighty wounded redcoats to add to their burden from Lexington and Concord to carry back to their ships in Boston Harbor.

When the workers socialist revolution in the United States finally gets underway to overthrow OUR despotic and ruthless government, it will be led not by today’s cowardly flag-waving worshippers of the powerful and wealthy; it will be led by man and women like Captain Samuel Whittemore who have the courage to fight to the death if necessary against tyranny – especially when it comes from “our own” government!

— IWPCHI

 

Greed-based Capitalism Is Destroying the World; Why Workers Socialist Revolution Is Our Only Hope for Survival

Just as it is difficult to get people to read the warning labels on over-the-counter medications – a self-imposed ignorance which leads to the deaths of 100,000 US citizens a year – it’s very difficult to get people to read anything about socialism, which is the cure for the ills of greed-based capitalist society.  Even though the capitalist system is, as you read this, doing all it can to prepare to incinerate the planet in a nuclear World War III, still you refuse to read the warning labels  socialists like us have been writing in opposition to capitalism since 1848.  The capitalist system is killing you slowly now but will – unless you do something about it, sister and brother workers – will be killing you at a much faster rate very, very soon.  We know that you have been “taught” by the capitalist class that socialism is bad for you and greed-based capitalism is the best of all possible worlds.  Please just take a couple of minutes to allow the socialist opposition to make a few observations about the state of the world in 2016 for your consideration.  We’ll try not to bore you to death.  The re-runs of “M.A.S.H.”, “Andy Griffith”, “The Jeffersons” and “Bernie Mac” can wait. (For those of you who think we’re being condescending, watching “The Magnificent Ambersons” or “Do The Right Thing” for the umpteenth time is just as pointless).

Human society has reached that impasse at which we must break from our past and boldly stride forward down a different road if we are to survive the nuclear age. It is probable that all advanced civilizations are faced with the same dilemma: once the civilization is technically capable of harnessing the power of the atom, does it transition to a regime in which that power is put to the service of that civilization or is it used to destroy that civilization? Of course this depends on the political and economic stage reached by a given society at the time during which the power of the atom is harnessed. Tragically for the human race, the capitalist world reached this stage just before the socialist world; the capitalists immediately seized the opportunity to murder 200,000 Japanese workers – largely to intimidate the USSR and prove that the capitalist USA had the Bomb and were crazy enough to use it. A society that achieves this power, if it is an egalitarian society, can make the transition through the nuclear stage of development without destroying itself. A society that is based on selfishness and greed, and divided into constantly warring nation-states has very little likelihood of making a successful transition through the nuclear minefield. In the USA and Europe, the working class has abandoned its historic leadership role that it must take upon itself if the human race is to survive. We are letting people whose love for money over all else has so deranged their minds that they have become utterly irresponsible and pose a threat to the future existence of the human race. Will we allow our human civilization to be sacrificed on the altar of Mammon? Are we that stupid? The selfish greedy capitalists who own and operate the nuclear arsenals of the “Free World(TM)” are the LEAST CAPABLE of leading the human race through this stage of human evolution; they are the MOST LIKELY to plunge this planet into a nuclear war from which human civilization may not survive. We have let the greedheads and militarists call the shots and run the tables for far too long; this is why so much of the wealth of the capitalist world is being spent not on cures for cancer or to end human suffering in the world but to create military arsenals capable of destroying the planet many times over. It is our sincere and deeply-held belief that unless the working class seizes these weapons of mass destruction from the hands of the mass-murdering capitalist classes who have proven time and time again their willingness to use their wealth and military power to plunge the entire planet into barbarism the human race will not survive the challenge it has set for itself in negotiating a safe passage through the nuclear abyss.

Why Socialism?

1) Revolutionary socialism – the most modern and principled variation is the Trotskyism we represent – is a political philosophy that posits that all working women and men all over the world are sisters and brothers and that all workers should unite and fight to overthrow the capitalist system that is organized to systematically rob the working class blind. The capitalists in the USA, whose massive wealth was initially based on the system of slavery and a racist ideology of “white supremacy” that was devised in order to justify the enslavement of people of color ridiculed this fundamental idea of the Marxists as being utopian and not based on what the capitalist called the scientific principles of “Eugenics”. DNA research has proven the Marxists were right; Eugenics now stands as a totally discredited pseudo-science. Still, to this day, the capitalist world is dominated by a tiny class of filthy rich white men who believe that they are racially superior to everyone else on the planet and who believe that they have the “right” to rule the world. What does this mean? It means that the current division of the world into competing nation-states led by “racially superior” minorities (in Europe and the USA, rich white men) is a gross injustice and a fraud being perpetrated against the workers of the world. The racist ideologies that are the fundamental basis of fascism lie in tatters, utterly destroyed by modern genetic science. The workers of the world ARE sisters and brothers, yet are driven by the capitalists of the world to mistrust and hate each other and organized into armies to kill one another. Revolutionary socialism is the ONLY political philosophy that stands unalterable opposed to this state of things – which is why we are proud not only to call ourselves anti-capitalists but revolutionary socialists – Trotskyists.

Socialism is a political philosophy that seeks to create a far more democratic society than is possible or has ever been created under capitalism. Socialism dedicates itself to organizing the global economy for the benefit of the vast majority of the world population: the working class and peasantry. We have as our goals the complete eradication of hunger, homelessness, racism and sexism from the face of the Earth. We seek to create an economy that fully funds human needs, and that GUARANTEED all the fundamental needs of the human race for food, clothing, shelter, education and health care. Capitalism does not and can not provide such a guarantee. Anyone who tells you that capitalism can do this is a liar.

The challenges that face the human race today are enormous and can only be effectively dealt with on a global scale in a spirit of international fraternity and cooperation. The capitalist world, organized as it is into competing capitalist nation-states, infused with nationalism and led in each state by a tiny cabal of ultra-rich greedy individuals is NOT capable of tackling these tremendous challenges to the future survival of the human race. We stand at the juncture of two roads; one leads to a potentially prosperous socialist future in which a unified human race harnesses all its strengths – human and economic – to tackle these issues. The other road is the road of capitalism and after 400 years of evolution of the capitalist system we already know what we can expect if we stay on this road: small wars growing into bigger wars and then World Wars. The next world war could put an end to the existence of human civilization. Either the human race is going to develop an economic basis for an egalitarian socialist future or the promise of humanity will end most likely in a global nuclear conflagration. WE MUST EVOLVE BEYOND CAPITALISM! It is a matter of life and death not just for the human race but also perhaps for the planet itself. Socialism will take the wealth now being squandered on armies and gold-plated toilets for the rich and put it to use increasing the standard of living of all the people in the world, starting by eliminating once and for all hunger in the world and providing decent clothing, housing. education and health care for all the world’s people. Capitalism has had more than 300 years to do this and has failed miserably.

2) Capitalism is inherently undemocratic. Boasting of being more democratic than socialist countries it is in fact not even close to being as egalitarian and democratic as socialist countries of Cuba China, USSR and North Korea and Vietnam. The US capitalist class is only about 3% of the US population but possesses more than half of the national wealth. How can this state of things be called “democratic”? When result of 250 years of capitalist “democracy” in the USA results in 10% of the population owning 75% of the national wealth, obviously this is nothing even CLOSE to being a democracy. The thoroughly fraudulent nature of bourgeois democracy is fully exposed by the enormously unequal distribution of wealth in even the most “”advanced” capitalist nation-states. The capitalists and their apologists never tire of cynically asking the world “why is there so much violence in our society”? Well when they force 75% of the population to fight over a mere 25% of the national wealth, of course there will be violent conflict. Aside from the revolutionary socialists, no political force in the capitalist world – including the fake-socialists of the 2nd International like Bernie Sanders – wants to change the status quo because all of the pro-capitalist politicians and propagandists defending capitalism are profiting from it personally. And a great many of them are envious of the ultra-rich and harbor delirious dreams of some day reaching the top of the capitalist pyramid.

3) Capitalism is killing the planet. The climate crisis facing the world today simply can not be dealt with on a nation-by-nation basis under an economic system that rewards selfishness instead of generosity and international co-operation. The capitalists of the world are all out to rip each other off and to trick their competition into cutting deals that largely benefit only themselves. This kind of vicious “look out for #1” philosophy is what lies behind all the attempts by wealthy people to bastardize scientific research on climate change in order to buy themselves a few more years of stuffing their bank accounts with cash derived from environmentally destructive capitalist enterprises. All these people care about is money; this places the welfare of the entire population of the planet in the hands of a few million greed-infected mentally ill capitalist profiteers.

4) Capitalism is retarding the pace of advancement in science. In seeking always as their primary life-goal to stuff their bank accounts with cash by any means necessary, the capitalists only wish to invest in projects designed to increase their wealth by the largest margin possible. Large-scale scientific projects that seek simply to increase human understanding of the universe are, to the capitalists, a waste of time and money. Therefore incredible amounts of scientific research that would bring about a greater understanding of our place in the Universe are put off while all the capitalists invest trillions of dollars on the “next big profit-making bubble”. Reduplicating efforts to invest in mining in order to profit from the growth of the Chinese economy, the capitalists wasted billions developing environmentally destructive strip-mining operations which then went immediately bankrupt when Chinese economy experienced an entirely predictable periodic correction. Meanwhile scientists seeking funding for important research projects on everything from studying gravitational waves to a cure for cancer must go around hat in hand begging for funds. They are forced to spend almost as much time on seeking funding as they spend actually doing research. This is depriving the human race from the benefits of research that should – and would be under socialism – fully funded by the government.

5) Capitalism is killing people. Hundreds of millions of workers in the capitalist nation-states of our planet are going hungry every day and starving to death because for the capitalists it is just not profitable enough to feed them. Like everything else under capitalism, that which does not make a capitalist richer fast enough is going to not receive investment dollars. In always seeking the greats profit margins possible the capitalist class denies basic human needs to more than one third of the global population. This state of affairs is completely unacceptable to only one political force in the world: the communists. The capitalist class and its acolytes never tire of coming up with all kinds of bullshit reasons why it is just not possible at this time to feed the world. They tell us that eliminating hunger is not possible! That’s a lie. They tell us that ending warfare is not possible; that, too is a lie. The reason warfare exists is as yet another profit-making enterprise for the capitalist class. War is extremely profitable; there is hardly anyone among the stockholding class that doesn’t have at least some kind of investment in an enterprise that manufactures the weapons of war, or which makes its money rebuilding infrastructure destroyed by the endless for-profit wars created by the capitalist class. The capitalists make money destroying people and infrastructure via warfare; and they make money repairing the damage they caused – nice, eh? Yet you, the workers of the world, not only stupidly allow them to force you to provide the finance through your taxes for these profitable wars; you also willingly send your sons and daughters to do the killing and destroying for them. If the capitalist class deserves condemnation for its bloodthirsty ways, can you, who finance their wars and provide the soldiers for the wars be let off the hook for doing so? We think not. Until each and every one of you understands that by supporting the capitalist system as you do, the blood of the millions of workers being butchered and starved by YOUR GOVERNMENTS is on YOUR HANDS TOO! You cannot hide from this fact, sister and brother workers of the US and the NATO countries!

Only by overthrowing the global greed-based individualistic capitalist system and replacing it with a cooperative rationally-planned global egalitarian democratic socialist system can we finally harness the full potential of the human race and tackle the global climate crisis that threatens the future existence of our human family. Trying to deal with global problems in a world made up of competing capitalist nation states constantly trying to rob each other blind is not going to work! Time is not on our side, sisters and brothers! We must immediately start organizing the revolutionary socialist political parties of the working class that are essentially necessary to the successful overthrow of rapacious global capitalism. If we fail to do this, we will be bequeathing our children a future of endless war over everything from water to oil. This hideous capitalist future that rises up like a spectre before us is not a fait accompli. We must make the effort necessary to tear ourselves away from the endless entertainments the capitalist provide us to keep us distracted while they plunder the planet and murder our working-class sisters and brothers all over the globe. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO WAKE UP AND GET THIS PROJECT GOING? Every day of delay is making the cost of undoing the damage being inflicted by the capitalists that much higher! The Democrats are owned and operated by the capitalists; so are, of course, the Republicans. We need new parties of by and for the working class and we need them now! There are some that are existing and others like ours that aer just getting started. But thanks to the Internet we can get new working-class political parties up and running and financed in just a few months. THE FUTURE IS NOW! THERE IS NO FUTURE FOR THE WORKING CLASS UNDER THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM! CAPITALISM MUST DIE SO THAT THE WORKING CLASS MAY LIVE! WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!

IWPCHI

Brussels Bombings: Abhorrent Attacks on Civilians Must Not Be Allowed to Lead to Retaliation Against Our Innocent Working-class Muslim Sisters & Brothers! Defend Muslim workers against racist/fascist attacks! Muslim refugees must be welcomed and defended in USA!

[Editor’s note: This article was hastily composed in response to the hideous terrorist attacks in Brussels that took place today (22 Mar. 2016).  We reserve the right to modify the statements made here in haste at a later time, although we doubt that we will find much to modify.  We feel that it is imperative that our party makes clear simultaneously our opposition to the tactics of the ISIL/ISIS terrorists while at the same time expressing our understanding that the MILLIONS of mostly Muslim victims of US/NATO attacks since 1990 cry out for vengeance!  But it is only through workers socialist revolution which overthrows the bloodthirsty savages of the US and European capitalist classes that the deaths of millions of our working class Muslim sisters and brothers and their children can be avenged.  Escalation of warfare being urged on by the fascist and fascist-leaning politicians of the US and Europe must be opposed by all decent workers in the US and the NATO countries!  There is no civilized future possible for the working classes of the world under capitalism!  The capitalist system must die so that the working classes of the world may live!   All decent workers in the United States and Europe must prepare to defend WITH OUR LIVES the embattled Muslim communities of the USA and Europe against the attacks of the anti-Muslim bigots and their fascist allies!  WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! — IWPCHI]

First of all we want to offer our condolences to the families and friends of the working-class victims of the terrorist attacks that took place in Brussels today.  No matter how justified – and there are two million dead mostly Muslim children, women and men, mostly victims of indiscriminate US/NATO attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Kurdistan and Syria, whose murders are being avenged via these attacks on civilians – terrorist attacks on civilians are never justified!  It is as abhorrent when the US/NATO military forces kill civilians as it is when ISIS/ISIL or anyone else does it.  The Trotskyist movement, in complete consonance with the entire history of the revolutionary Marxist movement, is opposed on principle to the tactics of the terrorists.

Communist workers and all decent working-class fighters against racism and those willing to sacrifice their lives for the right of freedom of worship must prepare themselves to take up their position as the most intransigent and heroic defenders of our Muslim sisters and brothers and of their homes and their mosques in the USA and all over the world! We must defend Muslims and their places of worship just as communists and anti-racist workers  in the USA defended black workers and their places of worship when they were being attacked by the Ku Klux Klan during the Reconstruction and Civil Rights movements! The principle of the right of freedom of conscience is one of the greatest victories of human history fought for and conquered by the heroic fighters of 1775 up to this day. To abandon the defense of freedom of conscience and freedom of worship that the United States of America was founded upon is treason to the most honorable revolutionary ideals of the American Revolution and to the heroes of the union forces in the US Civil War and the US veterans who died fighting fascism in WWII. They did NOT give their lives so that their descendants could stand by and watch the United States turn into a fascist country! We, the workers of the United States, will not stand by and allow a Muslim Holocaust to take place in our nation as the mass of deluded German workers stood by and allowed a Jewish Holocaust to take place in Hitler’s Germany!

US policy has consistently since the end of WWII played directly into the growth of the Islamic fundamentalists via the US policy of opposing political forces who wished to create western-style governments opposed to theocracy: this was due to fact that these “anti-capitalist” forces in the Muslim world opposed to “US national interests” (meaning the interests and overseas investments of the tiny US capitalist class) were led primarily by Communist parties and the militant working-class citizenry throughout the Islamic world.

In Iran the US supported the rise of the Shah, and gave him money and military equipment to crush the communist-led workers movement. This left only one way to safely protest against the hated Shah: through the offices of the Imams. The same was true in all of the other majority-Islamic nations all over the globe, from Pakistan to Indonesia.

In Afghanistan when the USSR was invited into the country in order to defend – again – a government that sought to modernize the country along western lines, establishing a more democratic country in which women had equal rights with men, the US gave guns and military training to the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist side, which they intended to build up into a “bulwark against communism. They succeeded. The Western-oriented communist-backed government was destroyed and in its place an Islamic theocracy was created. This gave to the Islamic fundamentalists a training ground from which to organize forces to crush the workers movement in Afghanistan and then to spread their fundamentalist doctrine throughout the world. The great “victory” of the Islamists over the USSR – made possible only by the US intervention there – inspired the rise of Islamic fundamentalist ideology all over the world. The principal leaders of the Islamic insurgency in Afghanistan included Osama Bin Laden; he went on to organize Al-Qaida, which of course is alleged to have been responsible for the 9/11 attacks in the USA. Another great ‘victory” for the Islamic fundamentalists was obtained; and on those twin “victories” have been established the current phase of Islamic fundamentalist organization, that of ISIL/ISIS.

The overthrow of the Shah’s government in Iran, due to the criminal failures of the Stalinist and pseudo-Trotskyist working-class opposition in Iran, who themselves backed the rise of Khomeini, led of course to the rise of an Islamic theocracy in that nation. The responsibility for the creation of this theocracy can be placed firmly on the doorstep of the White House. For 25 years they – and their NATO allies cheered as their hero the Shah crushed the communist-led workers opposition in Iran; they sent him CIA agents to teach his SAVAK how best to torture the communist and Islamist political prisoners. Should it have been a surprise then that the revolution in Iran turned out to have been virulently anti-Western?

In Egypt the United States has backed the regimes of some of the most vicious scum ever to have walked the streets of Cairo. From Sadat to Mubarak, these regimes have done all in their power to crush the workers’ movement and to keep the workers in dire poverty. While they did this, the leaders of the USA, walking on the bones of the Egyptian worker-victims, solidified their personal friendships. When the uprising in Egypt resulted in the overthrow of the hated Mubarak Government, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton whined about how sad she was to see the Mubaraks treated so, as, to her and her husband Bill “the Mubaraks are like family”.

Israel’s savage treatment of the Palestinians has been a feature of that regime since it first imposed itself on the region. The European allies of the United States – eager to be rid of what was left of the European Jews – fulsomely welcomed the creation of Israel and have backed it with money and military training and equipment. Israel has used this materiel to impose its will and in its endless seeking of Lebensraum in a Greater Israel. Homes of mostly Muslim workers and farmers and their lands have been destroyed and confiscated, making them refugees in their own country! And still the US cheers on Israel; it is nearly impossible to find a Congressman or Senator with the courage and decency to vote against an appropriations bill for Israel. Israeli leaders, many with their hands still dripping with the blood of their Palestinian victims, are warmly embraced by the entire membership of the US Congress and hailed as “our brothers”! This is how the entire USA has come to be held responsible for the oppression of tens of millions of Muslims in the world! And the US press pretends not to know any of these things when a 9/11 or Madrid or London or Brussels bombing takes place! They act as if it is the MUSLIMS who are attacking the West for NO GOOD REASON! They have good reasons, dear brother and sister workers of the USA and Europe. Your governments have bought, a thousand times over, every bullet and every bomb being hurled against the West today! Millions – literally millions – of Muslim trade unionists, union members, and worker-communists have been savagely murdered throughout the Muslim world so that the capitalists of the USA and Western Europe could grow fat on the profits obtained with the price of the blood of millions of workers! Women and children have been slaughtered by the US and their European allies – and continue to be butchered every day by the sons and daughters of the USA, now members of the US military forces. Your sons and daughters murder children in Muslim Afghanistan and Pakistan – as if in a video game – operating killer drones from the safety of air bases in Nevada! And you want to know “why do they hate us?” Are you serious? Your “hero” sons and daughters in uniform murdered over a million mostly Muslim Iraqis in the last Iraq war alone, and hundreds of thousands in the previous war… men, women and children! Yet you never stop fawning over these mass-murderers and never stop saying to them “thank you for your service”! Well what their glorious “service” has resulted in, dear tender workers of the USA, is the murder of well over two million Muslims in the past 25 years! The victims of the US military heroes – YOUR sons and daughters, sister and brother workers! – were your very own working class sisters and brothers in the Muslim world! Working men, women and children just like yourselves! They were slaughtered at the behest of the US capitalist class, which was seeking to fill their pockets with blood money in the form of oil profits – and YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS in the US MILITARY did the KILLING! “We thank you for your service”???? And you have the NERVE to ask “WHY DO THEY ATTACK US”???

Until the working class of the United States wakes out of its largely self-induced cozy self-comforting cocoon of lies about their own personal responsibility for the murders of millions of their fellow workers all over the Muslim world, and puts an end to the slaughter by overthrowing the vicious money-grubbing and blood-drenched US capitalist class and its hideous system, these attacks are GUARANTEED to continue; and they will happen right here in the USA as well. Every time one of your sons and daughters drops a bomb on a wedding celebration; every time your sons and daughters drop a bomb on a funeral procession; every time US partner in murder Israel launches a punitive expedition imposing collective punishment on the Palestinians for launching impotent rockets against a military that retaliates with white phosphorous bombs; every time that the US killer drones operated by YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS murder innocent Muslim fathers and sons working in their fields in Afghanistan or Pakistan – you must understand that there will be retaliation. Because like you, our Muslim sisters and brothers love their families, and their children. And when the most powerful country in the world teaches its children how to kill and then sends its sons and daughters half-way around the world to mass-murder people they don’t even know, there will be retaliation. Right now they can only retaliate with suicide bombers, but this will not remain the case forever. Unless we, right here in the belly of the US imperialist beast, organize as workers to stop the mass-murders of our Muslim sisters and brothers all over the world by the REAL ENEMY: the US capitalist class and THEIR military, we are all personally responsible for every murder of every innocent civilian killed by our sons and daughters in uniform. If you, brother and sister workers, decide instead to follow your greatest enemy – the US capitalist class – and continue to send your daughters and sons into the US military – then you have NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN when the sons and daughters of men women and children who have been murdered by YOU return to kill you and YOUR sons and daughters!

We will remind our ignorant working-class sisters and brothers that the United States represents a mere 4.5% of the world’s population. It has NO RIGHT to declare itself – in the name of “democracy no less! – the arbiter of truth and justice in the world – especially since “truth and justice” have NEVER been the foundation stones of the United States, which was founded on the three “pillars” of genocide, slavery and brutal exploitation of the US working class! Those of you our working-class sisters and brothers who, like your “heroes” in Washington DC and the Pentagon, believe that the US military, through vicious murderous reprisals can put the well-justified anger of 1.7 BILLION Muslims to rest are sadly, horribly deluded. For 370 million to vanquish and hold in subjection 1.7 billion is no small task. The slaughter necessary to carry out that mission will make the US far and away the most blood-drenched regime in all of human history. If you decide to go down that road, be aware that it will end in the total destruction of the United States, just as Hitler’s Germany was completely destroyed by 1945. 4.5% of the world’s population will not prevail over 95.5%. You can rest assured that it will prove to have been a suicide mission you launched against the world. The US can not and must not be allowed to continue to roll its tanks down this road of bones.

The call by the racists to slam the door shut in the face of the massive tide of refugee workers from Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan MUST BE OPPOSED by the working class of the USA! We say: OPEN THE DOORS to our sisters and brothers fleeing the war zones CREATED BY THE US GOVT! The lives of these people must be saved; only in this way can we begin to show to our Muslim sisters and brothers all over the world that we, the working class of the USA see them not as enemies but as our own sisters and brothers! For every one “terrorist” among them there are thousands of workers simply trying to survive and to provide a safe place to raise their children!

The call by the racists to launch punitive war against the Muslim world in retaliation for the Brussels attack MUST BE OPPOSED by the workers of the USA and Europe! The rise of Islamic fundamentalism is a human problem based on all the death and human suffering caused by all the PREVIOUS wars launched by the US and its allies against the Muslim world. THE US WAR MACHINE MUST BE STOPPED DEAD IN ITS TRACKS IMMEDIATELY! Every bullet, every bomb that kills another Muslim mother or a Muslim child will only cause more heroic Muslims to dedicate their lives to retaliating against the US and Europe by any means necessary! The US/NATO interventions must end NOW! The US military forces must be withdrawn for all over the planet and returned to the USA. The US war machine must be seized by the US working class members of the military and used to overthrow our main enemy: the US capitalist class! A workers socialist government would use the US navy to rescue the refugees; we would turn the aircraft carriers into hospital ships to help victims of natural disasters all over the world. Instead of being used to spew death and destruction all over the globe for the benefit of 10% of the wealthiest Americans, we would seize their wealth and use it to spread the construction of schools and hospitals all over the planet. Instead of being used to murder our working-class Muslim sisters and brothers our taxes should be used to build new homes to replace the ones the US capitalist class military has destroyed! We should use our wealth to help rebuild the devastated areas of Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We should cut off all military aid to Israel and make that nation’s government learn to respect and deal in a civilized fashion with their own citizens and neighboring countries. THIS is the way forward, brothers and sisters! THIS program will create millions of jobs for US workers and put our nation’s wealth to the uses a civilized nation SHOULD USE ITS WEALTH FOR!

This will only be possible when the workers of the United States rise up and overthrow the bloodthirsty, profit-mad capitalist class of the USA and their capitalist system, and replace it with an egalitarian, democratic workers republic.  The workers of the US must disarm the greedheads before they kill again!  Only then can we begin to make amends for the brutalities that the US capitalist class and its military have visited upon our working-class sisters and brothers all over the world!  If we fail to do this we will be putting our nation on a road very similar to that traversed by the German workers in Hitler’s Germany!  WE MUST NOT ALLOW THE USA TO GO DOWN THAT ROAD, WHICH WILL LEAD TO THE DESTRUCTION OF THE HUMAN RACE!  CAPITALISM MUST DIE SO THAT THE WORKING CLASSES OF THE WORLD MAY LIVE!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago – 22-23 March 2016

Anti-Trump Protest in Chicago and The Limitations of Spontaneous Expressions of Working-Class Outrage

The Independent Workers Party of Chicago – which, sadly, like most revolutionary socialist political parties in Chicago, was not at this historic event – salutes all of those who took part in the anti-Trump protest at UIC! It was a fine act of working-class self-defense against the openly racist provocation represented by the repulsive Donald Trump candidacy. Congratulations to you all! We demand that all charges be dropped against all of the anti-Trump protestors arrested (by the racist Democratic-Party-run Chicago Police Department) at the rally! But it is our duty as revolutionary Trotskyists to tell you that it will take a far more organized and politically conscious movement of the working-class youth to put and end to the capitalist system responsible for the emergence of racist excrescences like the Trump campaign.

The racism and scapegoating of immigrants for the failures of the capitalist system to provide basic human needs for workers – hallmarks of the Trump, and to only a lesser degree, all of the other pro-capitalist candidates’ campaigns in both parties – is one of the fundamental elements of the capitalist system. Nationalism, racism, sexism and religious bigotry are used very slyly by the capitalist class to stay in power by keeping the working class divided along those very national, racial, sexual, ethnic and religious lines. A working class divided along all those lines is so much easier for the capitalists to conquer! By succumbing to the lies of the capitalists and their political attack dogs that “immigrants are stealing your jobs” and that people of different religious faiths or sexualities pose a “threat” to “our way of life” the deluded members of the working class enable their capitalist masters to prevent effective union organizing among workers, thereby keeping wages and benefits down and their profits up. Nationalism, racism, sexism and religious bigotry are deadly poisons force-fed to the working class by the capitalist class through the agency of the pro-capitalist media, politicians, union misleaders and “criminal justice” system. It is the duty of every decent worker to fight nationalism, racism, sexism and religious bigotry with every ounce of strength he or she possesses!

The fact is that none of these evils can be extinguished in society until the capitalist system itself is overthrown and replaced by a revolutionary socialist workers republic. Until workers come to consciously understand this fundamental teaching of revolutionary Marxism, their protests will amount to little more than short-term and partial periodic victories over the more racist elements of the working class organized and led by the capitalist class. Racism will not die by “natural causes” or by moral suasion; it must be deprived of its medium of growth, which is the unequal distribution of wealth that makes up the very poor social soil of the capitalist system. And this deeper understanding of the true source of racism will not “arise spontaneously” in your mind; you need to actually study Marxism to fully comprehend this reality, which is hidden from you by the propaganda produced by the capitalist class in order to justify their class rule.

That racism must be fought is something that the vast majority of US workers – especially those black, Hispanic and religious minority workers who make up the population of most US cities like Chicago and who are the intended victims of the racists and fascists – understand; but only in a general way. This generalized understanding is good enough to provide the impetus for spontaneous demonstrations of outrage against attempts to hold racist and anti-immigrant political rallies like the one we witnessed here in Chicago last week. Trump’s bold and foolish attempt to hold one of his “Klan-lite” rallies in the midst of a stronghold of one of the most racially integrated unionized working class areas in the USA was effectively spiked by the largely spontaneous and wholly justified action of working-class and student youth (with African-American and Hispanic youth taking their role in the vanguard). Chicago, like most major US cities is a “majority-‘minority’” town, where about 70% of the population is black or Hispanic. Chicago is also a stronghold of the US union movement, boasting one of the highest percentages of unionized workers in the USA. For these reasons it was a relative no-brainer for students at the University of Illinois-Chicago and working-class youth living in the black and Hispanic neighborhoods that ring the UIC campus to “spontaneously organize” a massive protest that overwhelmed Trump’s security daisy-chain at his rally.

There are many who will claim that this “spontaneous” anti-Trump rally “proves” that the working class do not need to be led by a revolutionary socialist Leninist vanguard party. But they are just using the “common sense” inculcated in them by the capitalist system – and so they end up being “spontaneously” wrong!

One of the most important lessons taught by Lenin, the great organizer and leader of the Russian Revolution of 1917, is that “revolutionary consciousness does not ‘arise spontaneously’ in the minds of the workers”; it must be brought to them via the agency of trained, professional Marxist revolutionaries.

Now when you first read this, you might well think that it is an absurd statement; but we can assure you that it is no more absurd than it is to say: “the consciousness of a chemist” or “the consciousness of a physicist”, or doctor or any other profession “does not arise spontaneously” in the minds of anyone – no matter how much they would like to become a doctor, physicist or anything else. If you want to become a medical scientist, you must study medical science first – no one “spontaneously” becomes a doctor after years of merely “wishing” to be one! Likewise, in political science, in order to become a professional revolutionary Marxist, you need to first study revolutionary (not reformist) Marxism, under the tutelage of revolutionary Marxists. And for that you need to teachers of Marxist political science.

Spontaneous uprisings of the workers such as the anti-Trump rally, though commendable, are not even capable of ending the candidacy of Donald Trump; and they can not put to eternal rest the forces of fascism. The overthrow of capitalism worldwide must be achieved before the final struggle to destroy racist ideology can even BEGIN! And in order to overthrow the highly organized and professionally-led US capitalist class, it’s economic system, its cops, courts and military – the working class needs something far more powerful than a spontaneous uprising. Only a well-organized and professionally led political party of CONSCIOUS revolutionaries who know precisely WHAT social forces they are fighting and what social forces are their allies – and who are armed with a well-thought-out revolutionary socialist political program agreed upon before the revolution begins – can hope to lead the workers to the final victory over the forces of capital. Any political “leader” who pretends that an elemental mass spontaneous upsurge of the working class will suffice to overthrow the professional, experienced and organized forces of a capitalist class that has more than 300 years of experience wielding state power all over the world… any political leader who makes such a claim can only lead the working class to a very bloody defeat.

So young worker: you have read this far and are still not convinced that we are speaking the truth? That’s fair enough. We assure you that we are not just blowing smoke; we have the past 300 years of history backing up our assertion. Revolutionary Marxists study history in order to understand the evolution of human society; we study the long history of workers revolutionary struggles that have taken place all over the world. And these studies have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only workers revolutions that have ever succeeded were ALL led by a revolutionary Leninist vanguard party like the one we are organizing. It’s just that simple! A modern revolutionary socialist party – which is to say, scientifically, a Marxist/Leninist/TROTSKYIST party – is what we must build if we want to overthrow capitalism and replace it with an egalitarian workers socialist republic in which racists and racism are not allowed to organize political parties or to promulgate their unscientific and abhorrent doctrines at all.

Every successful workers revolution in the 20th century was led by a Leninist vanguard party: in Russia in 1917, China, North Korea, Cuba and Vietnam – ALL were led by Leninist vanguard parties! Anyone who tells you that they “hate” Leninist vanguard parties is telling you, in essence that they “hate” the very idea of actual workers revolution! They aren’t saying it in so many words, because that would drive you away from them. But it is fully implied in their hatred for and intransigent opposition to any attempt to organize the only kind of political party that has EVER succeeded in leading the working class and peasantry to a victory over the capitalist class! Once you join our party, as part of your Trotskyist education you will learn how to “hear” what politicians do NOT say as well as you hear what they DO say!

The history of the workers revolutions of the 20th century also show us that the revolutionary forces of the working class are most effective when they are concentrated into as few a number of organizations as possible – especially during the revolutionary overthrow itself. The same effect is seen on the capitalist side in a time of revolution: all the pro-capitalist parties suddenly jettison their “democratic” masks and appear as an armed unified military force against the rising working class. Only an extremely well-organized revolutionary workers party can stand up to such a force: the Leninist Vanguard parties in the tiny countries of North Korea and Vietnam lost 3 MILLION workers – EACH! during their revolutionary struggles – and were still able to emerge victorious over the forces of the most powerful, ruthless and bloodthirsty capitalist class in the world: the US capitalist class! THAT is the kind of solid and resilient organization necessary; there’s nothing at all “spontaneous” about the organization of a successful workers revolution! So you can see that we are not making things up when we say that the need for the workers of the USA to immediately begin the process of the creation of such a party is the single most important task that lies ahead of you and your fellow workers!

In so far as the anti-Trump rally WAS “organized”, it was done by groups – like “Black Lives matter” and “BYP100” – whose leadership is intensely loyal to the racist, anti-immigrant Democratic Party. These “leaders” to put it simply, have absolutely NO INTENTION of ever leading a revolutionary socialist vanguard party to overthrow capitalism, because they are PRO-CAPITALIST and believe that racism can be successfully fought via legal reforms. The problem with their theory is that people have been trying to fight racism in the USA “through the system” for 300 years; and though major gains have been made that way, the pace of reform remains excruciatingly slow and prone to periodic backsliding. Martin Luther King would be very dismayed at seeing that his Democratic Party is still leading racist police forces all over the USA that are gunning down people of color as if they were dogs. The reformists leading “Black Lives Matter” and other reformist anti-police brutality organizations who wish merely to “settle” for incremental reforms are telling you that they are “OK” with an occasional racist atrocity carried out by the police. Are YOU “OK” with that? WE AREN’T!

None of the single-issue reformist organizations “fighting” police brutality in the US are actively opposed to the future existence of the capitalist system which CREATES AND ENFORCES the racist status quo in the first place! What good is a doctor that prescribes mere pain killers for a dying patient when the CURE for the disease exists and is readily available? Any political “prescription” for fighting racism that does not include the overthrow of the capitalist system is a “prescription” for a life filled with pain and agony, followed, perhaps by death at the hands of the fascists! We oppose such doctors and their prescriptions! We don’t want to keep the racist capitalist system alive for even one more day, because we KNOW what that will mean: MORE DEAD BLACK AND HISPANIC YOUTHS SHOT DOWN ON OUR STREETS BY THE RACIST KILLER KOPS OF KAPITALISM! Go ahead and call us “unreasonable” and “extreme”! We will not compromise where the very lives of our working class sisters and brothers are at stake!

So if you would like to actually “cure” racism once and for all but putting a stop to the capitalist system that spawns it instead of keeping racism and capitalism alive so they can kill again and again, you should contact us! Check us out and give serious consideration to becoming a revolutionary Trotskyist worker-leader. We’re ready when you are; until you make this decision nothing will change.

Workers of the World, Unite!

IWPCHI

Zika Virus: Capitalist Press Spreads Inaccurate, Fear-Mongering Unscientific Information [UPDATED 17 Apr 2016]

Countries with reported cases of Zika virus as of December 2015.

Countries with reported cases of Zika virus as of 4 December 2015.  Source: ECDC, “Rapid Risk Assessment: Zika virus epidemic in the Americas: potential association with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome -10 December 2015”

[UPDATE (17 April, 2016): The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have now BOTH announced that they believe that the latest scientific evidence DOES IMPLY THAT A CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION AND BIRTH DEFECTS EXISTS.  We agree with this statement made by World Health Organization’s Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan: “Though the association [between Zika virus infection and birth defects] is not yet scientifically proven, [researchers have] concluded that there is now scientific consensus that Zika virus is implicated in these neurological disorders. The kind of urgent action called for by this public health emergency should not wait for definitive proof.” We plan to write a new article incorporating this latest information; in the meantime you can review the latest announcements here:

World Health Organization (WHO): (22 March 2016)  http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2016/zika-update-3-16/en/

WHO:  Zika Virus – Questions and Answers  http://www.who.int/features/qa/zika/en/

CDC:  (April 13, 2016)  http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/t0414-zika-update.html

New England Journal of Medicine:  (April 13, 2016)  http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMsr1604338

—IWPCHI]

[Author’s note: this article, though slightly revised today, Mar 15th was originally written on 3 February 2015.  In a fit of uncharacteristic timidity we hesitated in publishing it due to the rather broad declarations made by the author, who is not a medical professional.  Having seen very little to date in the scientific literature that contradicts the gist of the author’s arguments we have decided to “let this bird fly”. We have appended links to latest peer-reviewed preliminary studies on Zika virus released this past week by the New England Journal of Medicine.  – IWPCHI]

As usual, the bourgeois press are eagerly trumpeting the latest health scare news in order to increase their profits, with little or no regard for the accuracy of their statements about the disease or the impact their horror stories will have on the public.

We were doubtful about the first scare stories we heard late last year (2015) as they were big on spreading fear and contained little useful information – as usual. It seems that it is beyond the ability of the capitalist press to report any science story without gross distortion of the facts or, in the case of “emerging diseases”, scare-mongering. But after all, the purpose of the capitalist press is not to educate but to make money. And so we are being bombarded by a flood of absurd and inaccurate fear-inducing articles about Zika virus and its possible effects.  We hope that this article will shed some light on the subject.

Our research into this topic took us to the websites of the New York Times, the Guardian (UK), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as a number of scientific papers on the subject. The links you’ll find throughout the article will take you to many of the sources we used to compile this review of the current status of the Zika virus epidemic.

No scientific evidence exists at this time proving a link between Zika virus and microcephaly

We are happy to report that our investigation of the Zika virus reveals little that should terrify anyone. A Zika virus infection almost never leads to death; in Brazil, where somewhere between 440,000 and 1,300,000 cases of Zika virus infection are belived to have occurred in 2015, fewer than a dozen people had died as of 30 November 2015.  [Source: ECDC – Zika virus epidemic in the Americas 10 December 2015 (see pages 3 and 8)]  Only an estimated 1 in 5 people who are exposed to the virus will even develop any noticeable symptoms! The Zika infection itself usually causes either no symptoms at all or mild illness (such as fever, rash and sometimes vomiting) and is over without any lasting complications usually in less than 2 weeks after onset of symptoms. In other words: Ebola it ain’t!

The loudly and irresponsibly spread stories comparing Zika virus to AIDS and linking Zika virus infections in Brazil to birth defects including microcephaly are – so far as we can determine at this time – utterly without foundation.

A note about how science suffers in the hands of the capitalists

All of these organizations are products of capitalist society and bourgeois science. They exhibit all the weaknesses inherent in all governmental and corporate endeavors in the “for-profit” capitalist world. The governmental and quasi-governmental scientific organizations of the capitalists are forced to justify their existence and the expenditures made in their support to a capitalist ruling class that would much prefer to keep the money in their own pockets rather than spend it on scientific inquiry. In order to keep the government channeling money into their bureaucracies, even “scientists” running organizations like the World Health Organization must remind the world from time to time just how important it is to keep the funding flowing in their direction. Epidemics like Ebola and Zika virus can be expected to be exploited for this purpose by national and international health organizations as well as by the for-profit news media. This is why we often see the supposedly “impartial” scientific bodies of the capitalist world exaggerating or understating the dangers of emerging diseases – depending on which way the political winds are blowing in the capitalist nation-states in which these scientific organizations are based.

The World Health Organization was severely criticised for its slow response to the Ebola outbreak in Africa. That is a major reason why we think they may be “bending the stick too far” in the opposite direction, overreacting to an alleged microcephaly “epidemic” which is in fact merely coincident to the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil. As with everything else, greed-based capitalism poisons scientific inquiry and the news media reportage on scientific topics. The scientific truth is buried under political and economic imperatives of a profit-mongering ruling class that places its own petty self-interest above all else. Political appointees to important governmental posts responsible for the health of millions or even billions of people have proven over and over again to have placed their careers ahead of the public welfare. We’ve seen this with the AIDS epidemic, the Hurricane Katrina fiasco, the Ebola outbreak, the Flint, Michigan (USA) water scandal, the “debate” over global warming and now once again with the Zika virus.

Added to this weakness inherent in bourgeois press reportage on scientific subjects in general and the motivations behind the sensationalist claims made by national and international medical organizations we must add the current hatred of the United States Government and its proxies for the government of Brazil, which is partner to a new economic union of the nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (known collectively as the “BRICS” nations) which represent a serious threat to the current domination of the world’s economy by the United States.  Elements of the Zika virus hysteria appear to be motivated by the US desire to do anything it can do to weaken the government of Brazil economically (Brazil of course being the “B” in “BRICS”).  By exaggerating the impact of Zika virus the US hopes to reduce tourism to Brazil, in particular during the upcoming Olympic Games to be held there this year, thereby putting severe economic pressure on the increasingly unstable current left-reformist capitalist government of Dilma Rousseff of the corruption plagued and grossly misnamed “Partido dos Trabalhadores” (“PT”: in English: “Workers Party”).  This campaign by the US and European press is already bearing its malignant effects; sales of tickets to this summer’s Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro are reportedly going very poorly, and tourism is generally down as well.

The longer the working class allows the capitalist greedheads to run the world, with each passing day the more serious become the environmental and economic problems we all have to face. It is just a matter of time before these idiots destroy the planet through a combination of wars, epidemics and environmental destruction.  While workers pretend that there is nothing they can do to change the world, the capitalists, constantly focusing on satisfying their mad lust for money, will make our lives more and more difficult to bear.  With their new, idiotic campaign against Zika virus, they have undertaken to pointlessly scare the crap out of the world’s expectant mothers over something which has been demontrated for decades to be relatively harmless.

As a revolutionary Trotskyist political party we are not here to make money selling newspapers – we are here to tell the working class the truth about what is going on in the world as best as we can. We don’t benefit by spreading scare-stories like the bourgeois press does; that is one of the benefits of having a political party like ours solely dedicated to defending the rights and interests of the working class.  Sensationalizing such an important story would only bring discredit upon our political party – we have nothing to gain from such chicanery.  So here’s what we’ve been able to discover so far about Zika virus and its alleged link to microcephaly.

Brief historical background on Zika virus

Millions of people have been infected by Zika virus since 1947 and NEVER had there been a related outbreak of microcephaly reported anywhere – until late last year. Is there any reason to believe that something new is happening with Zika virus all of a sudden?  We think it is unlikely.  We could be wrong – we’re not doctors or virologists, and viruses can undergo evolutionary changes that transform harmless viruses into very dangerous forms.  Thankfully, that doesn’t happen very often – if it did, the human race would have been wiped out long ago. 

The Zika virus was first detected in Uganda in 1947; starting in 1951 the virus was detected in humans throughout Africa and, later on, in Asia. In Nigeria in the late ’60s – early ’70s it was found that antibodies produced in response to Zika virus infection were present in the blood samples of 40% of the people tested – meaning that human exposure to the virus was extremely common and that chances of long-term survival after exposure were very high. [Source: Edward B Hayes – Zika Virus Outside Africa]  During all this time that the virus was causing illness in human beings in many countries on two continents NO ONE reported cases of birth defects caused by the virus, nor were there any accompanying epidemics of microcephaly reported anywhere until in the recent Brazilian outbreak of 2015.  In a Zika virus epidemic in French Polynesia during 2013-14 there were reports of Zika virus illness accompanied by the development of Guillain-Barre syndrome  but those reports have not yet been confirmed as it is quite difficult to diagnose accurately.

News reports from Brazil, where an apparent epidemic of cases of microcephaly is now occurring, have screamed that the Zika virus is responsible for these microcephaly cases. BUT AS OF THIS WRITING, THERE IS NOT A SHRED OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION CAUSES BIRTH DEFECTS IN HUMANS!  Something very unusual appears to be happening in Brazil… but it’s so very new that scientists simply don’t yet know what exactly is going on with the apparent birth defect outbreak there.  A closer look at the evidence indicates that the reported microcephaly outbreak may be greatly overstated.

Distribution of microcephaly cases in Brazil as of 28 November 2015. Source: ECDC

Distribution of microcephaly cases in Brazil as of 28 November 2015. Source: ibid., ECDC

Notified - NOT confirmed - cases of microcephaly reported in Brazil, 2010 - 2015. Source: ibid., ECDC

Notified – NOT confirmed – cases of microcephaly reported in Brazil, 2010 – 2015. Source: ibid., ECDC  Scary-looking graph – but over half (66%) of the reported cases of microcephaly examined so far turned out to have been falsely diagnosed, according to Brazilian health authorities quoted in the New York Times (see story below).

Over half of reported microcephaly cases in Brazil proven to have been wrongly diagnosed so far

The hysteria generated in Brazil by the idiot bourgeois press in their lust for profits has led to overstating of the number of actual cases of microcephaly in newborn Brazilian babies. The New York Times reported this past week that in well over half (462 out of 700 cases, or 66%) of the reported cases of microcephaly either no microcephaly was found, or it was equally likely to have been caused by something other than an infection like alcohol or drug abuse by the mother during pregnancy” according to the Brazilian Health Ministry.

Microcephaly is not always easy to diagnose in newborns, as many children are born with slightly smaller heads; in some cases, the parents themselves simply have slightly smaller skull sizes in comparison to the “average” – which is, by itself, not indicative of any brain abnormality at all. The “average” human skull is the median size between the largest and smallest – there is variation in human beings’ “normal” skull sizes. Except in extreme cases it is often necessary to wait for some time – months – before it becomes clear that a baby’s growth rate is not progressing normally.  Since many of the people whose babies are suspected of suffering from microcephaly are poor, their ability to obtain the proper medical care necessary to provide an early and accurate diagnosis is lacking – thanks to the crappy capitalist system which only provides quality health care to those who can pay for it.

Microcephaly cases in Brazil concentrated in northeastern provinces

The current hysteria over Zika and the perceived increase in Microcephaly cases in Brazil may well be leading to overdiagnosis of microcephaly by overly cautions medical personnel. It would be more accurate to say that what we are seeing in Brazil is not necessarily an increase in microcephaly, but an increase in the number of cases diagnosed as microcephaly.   Only time will tell how many actual cases there are.  As these suspected cases of microcephaly are studied over the next few months, it is highly likely that many of the babies will turn out to be developing normally.  It is crucially important at this stage of the investigation into this apparent unaccountable increase in microcephaly cases that all potential causes are looked into, not just Zika virus.  The distribution of microcephaly cases may be indicative of regional exposure to environmental toxins, contaminated food or milk or water or any number of other things.   Focusing solely on Zika could prove to be a costly mistake if it turns out that something else is causing the alarming rise in microcephaly cases.

SOMETHING is going on in northeastern Brazil which is causing a significant number of babies to be born with measurably smaller skulls.  The fact that never before have there been reports of increased incidence of microcephaly accompanying Zika infection – even after hundreds of millions of people having been exposed to it – is very good news and hopefully this long-term trend of no Zika virus-microcephaly link will continue.

 The Brazilian government seems to be focusing on eradication of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. This may turn out to be a waste of time and money as well as a wild goose chase that may have deleterious impacts on the environment. A very broad investigation encompassing all possible ways that pregnant women whose babies are confirmed to have microcephaly may have been exposed to chemicals or toxins known to cause such birth defects must be undertaken. It appears to us to be doubtful that Zika virus is in fact the cause of any actual microcephaly outbreak taking place in Brazil.

Adding to our suspicions that the world is going off on a wild goose chase is the latest data coming in from an even more recent outbreak of Zika infection in Brazil’s next-door neighbor, Colombia. There, additional thousands of people have come down with Zika virus illness – but as yet, thankfully! – no increase in the number of microcephaly cases has been reported there so far (as of 3 February 2016).  That is very good news!

Since the virus and its infection run their course so quickly it is impossible to say for certain whether or not a woman was infected with the Zika virus during her pregnancy unless blood and perhaps even spinal fluid samples were taken from her during the time she was suffering from a Zika infection. Reports that Brazilian women had been infected with Zika virus during their pregnancies were often based on surveys conducted with the women after they have given birth – months after their alleged Zika-related illness may or may not have occurred. It’s quite possible that many of these women whose babies have been born with severe birth defects and who THINK they may have been exposed to Zika virus during their pregnancy were not in fact exposed to the virus while they were pregnant. The media-induced hysteria could be creating create “false memories” in people who are only now, retrospectively “remembering” experiencing symptoms of the disease that were caused by other things.

Intensive studies of the apparrent microcephaly epidemic are underway now and we expect that the scientists investigating this mysterious outbreak of birth defects will be able to determine its cause over the next year.  At this time there is no reason for pregnant women to fear for the health of their babies due to the spread of the Zika virus. Health agencies are urging women living in or traveling to countries where the Zika virus outbreak is ongoing to take basic precautions to prevent exposure to the mosquitoes that carry the virus.  Since the mosquitoes that carry the virus are active in the daytime as well as night, pregnant women are urged to use insect repellent all day as well as mosquito netting while sleeping or resting.   

Based on our survey of the available literature from the WHO, PAHO, and the CDC and ECDC there is no solid scientific evidence at this time indicating that Zika virus definitely causes microcephaly or Guillain-Barre syndrome. The Zika virus has infected millions of people all over the world since the late 1940s and has proven so far to be as harmless as the common cold for the vast majority of people who are exposed to it. Zika is nowhere near as dangerous as “Ebola”.  There is at this time absolutely no reason for people to panic over the spread of this relatively innocuous virus.  We advise people to continue to monitor the situation as it develops over the next year.  Panicking does no one any good – unless you happen to be an owner of a print or broadcast media empire – or the head of state of a declining imperialist power like the United States.

—IWPCHI

[UPDATE 15 Mar 2016:  The latest information on the developments in Brazil relating to the Zika virus and its possible links to microcephaly cases that we have found was published over the past two weeks in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The titles and links are available below.  — IWPCHI

“Zika Virus Associated with Microcephaly” (reporting on ONE confirmed case);  New England Journal of Medicine, 10 Mar 2016

“Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Rio de Janeiro – Preliminary Report” NEJM 4 Mar 2016.  This article relates the findings of the first 88 pregnant women who have been enrolled in a study of the effect of Zika virus in them and their babies.  While prenatal ultrasound exams indicated microcephaly in 4 of the 88 babies examined so far, those results were only confirmed in just one case; two predicted cases of microcephaly based on ultrasound proved UNFOUNDED at birth.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine, "Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Rio de Janeiro - Preliminary Report", 4 March 2016 NEJM (4 Mar 2016) at http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1602412#t=article

Source: New England Journal of Medicine, “Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Rio de Janeiro – Preliminary Report”, 4 March 2016
NEJM (4 Mar 2016) at
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1602412#t=article

Urgent Message to Honduran Government Demanding Justice for Murdered Activist Berta Caceres and Freedom for Gustavo Soto

Message body

International Women’s Day – The Story of the World’s Most Dangerous Woman

Artwork by Christopher Towne, Copyright 2013

Artwork by Christopher Towne, Copyright 2013

We salute International Women’s Day by presenting a compiled .pdf version of Christopher Towne’s graphic novel produced for the international campaign to free Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, an innocent woman tortured, framed and imprisoned by the United States of America in order to make it appear that the US Gov’t. is “winning the ‘War on Terror(TM)'”.

A neuroscientist trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University, Dr. Siddiqui’s name was allegedly mentioned during the 183 waterboarding sessions inflicted on Al Qaeda’s Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.  Wanted for questioning by the FBI, she was apparently seized by Pakistani “intelligence” while visiting her mother in Karachi, Pakistan.  In a kidnapping method that has become infamous as a part of the “War on Terror(TM)”, Dr. Siddiqui along with three of her children, disappeared from the streets of Karachi, Pakistan in March of 2003 while on the way from her mother’s home to the airport.  A team of assailants stopped her car and seized Dr. Siddiqui and her children; her infant child was apparently killed during the abduction.  She was then taken out of the country and held as a “terrorist prisoner” in the world-infamous Bagram Prison in Afghanistan where she was tortured.  She was held for 5 years at Bagram, where she was the only woman prisoner.

Dr. Siddiqui says she was released in 2008 and then rearrested in Ghazni, Afghanistan, allegedly for possessing incriminating documents about bomb making and terrorist attack plans in the USA.  While being interrogated by US military and the FBI the next day (18 July 2008)

siddiqui-aafia-complaint

Dr. Siddiqui was alleged to have made a spectacular attempt to escape; she allegedly seized a weapon from a soldier (who had left it unattended in the presence of an unrestrained “terrorist” prisoner) and then attempted to shoot everyone in the room with it (unsuccessfully) and was herself shot 3 times in the abdomen – almost killing her.

Dr. Siddiqui was never actually charged by US authorities for any terrorism-related charges!  All she was charged with were several counts of attempted murder during her attempt to “escape”!  Despite the fact that the only person actually injured during her “escape attempt” was Dr. Siddiqui herself, she was found guilty and sentenced to 86 years in jail.  The failure of the US Government to even develop a terrorism case against her after years of investigation indicates the depth of the fraudulence of the indictment itself.  It certainly looks as if the FBI’s dramatic “escape” narrative was concocted in order to justify the fact that an innocent victim of torture by the US military and/or its proxies was “shot trying to escape” from the clutches of her torturers – an old Nazi trick.

In researching this case we ran across additional information that may explain why Dr. Siddiqui became the focus of a terrorism investigation: there was another woman named Siddiqui –

velentzas-siddiqui-complaint

Asia Siddiqui – who had also been picked up on the FBI’s “terrorist” radar at least as early as 2006.  It’s difficult to believe that two US female “terrorists” could have almost identical names… is it possible that these two cases… well we’ll have to leave that question unanswered.  In the upside-down world of US “terrorism” investigations, anything can happen.

The graphic novel we present below was produced for the  international effort to free Dr. Siddiqui  by Christopher Towne.  It was originally presented on the  aafiamovement.com website, where you can find the latest updates on the case as well as information about demonstrations taking place on Dr. Siddiqui’s behalf all over the world.

The Story of The World’s Most Dangerous Woman – by Christopher Towne

FREE DR. AAFIA SIDDIQUI NOW!

—IWPCHI