Tag Archives: Chicago

Chicago’s Democratic Party-Controlled Union “Leadership”: No-shows at Huge #FightFor15 Union Rally in Chicago

Huge Midwest Rally for the #FightFor15 Kicks Off – 23 May 2017. Of course no one gave a moment’s thought to picketing the huge building in the background that houses the racist, capitalist Democratic Party criminals who run Chicago like a slave plantation.  (Photo by IWPCHI)

(23 May 2017) –  There was a large and very spirited rally of thousands of union workers from across the Midwest held in Chicago today in support of the #FightFor15 movement.  Unions from Kansas City, Cleveland, and Detroit all showed up in large numbers; but there was one group conspicuously missing: the unions from Chicago itself!  They were M.I.A.  And not one Chicago politician or Chicago AFL-CIO union piecard dared to mount the speakers’ platform at the end of the rally, either.  Frankly, we don’t think anyone missed them; but their absence was an insult to the thousands of mostly black (and Hispanic) workers from throughout the Midwest who spent hours on buses traveling to Chicago to attend the rally, who probably expected to be welcomed by their union sisters and brothers here in Chicago.  Sadly, almost certainly due to Chicago Democratic Party machinations, it was not going to happen.  The so-called “friends of labor” Democrats are scared to death of any manifestation of class solidarity among workers from across the region; and they’ll do anything to prevent “their” Chicago unions from meeting union militants from other Democratic Party-controlled cities in the Midwest.  To the Democrats, union solidarity spells “big trouble down the line.”

Kansas City, Presente! (Photo by IWPCHI)

Detroit union workers brought a large contingent of the pride of black Detroit and their fine banner. (Photo by IWPCHI)

This is a small part of the large group of trade unionists from Cleveland. (Photo by IWPCHI)

The rally was directed by the Democrats leading the AFL-CIO unions that participated (particularly the Service Employees Industrial Union (SEIU); the main targets of their anger were (of course) Donald Trump and the McDonald’s Corporation, which has been fighting against #FightFor15 ever since the campaign was launched.  But for whatever reason the Democratic Party-controlled Chicago unions were complete no-shows at the march and on the podium at the end of the rally.  We attended the march and rally and did not see a single Chicago union banner!  What a disgrace!

Hispanic workers from Chicago and throughout the Midwest were well represented – as usual! (Photo by IWPCHI)

The rally assembles at Daley Plaza, 23 May 2017. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Our very modest abilities to intervene politically in the rally were limited by our organization’s small size;  our slogans were: “Dump the Democrats and Build A Workers Party” and “$15 an HR?  NOT ENOUGH!  We Need a $25 an HR Min. Wage in Chicago!”

Why “dump the Democrats”?  Because the Democrats are one of the two political parties owned and operated by the US big business interests – the capitalist class – who create their wealth by robbing workers of the product of workers’ labor.  In the capitalist system, all profits are squeezed from the labor of the workers; the capitalists are always trying to devise new ways to increase their profits by cutting wages and benefits  and by eliminating as many workers as possible and making the remaining workers do their own  jobs as well as the jobs of those who were fired.

“Get up! Get Down! Chicago Is a Union Town!” Yes it is but thanks to the Democrat-controlled union “leadership” you’ll rarely see Chicago union workers hitting the streets – especially when union sisters and brothers from throughout the Midwest are in town. (Photo by IWPCHI)

March assembly point: ready to hit the streets of Chicago. (Photo by IWPCHI)

The Democratic Party politicians are essentially hired directly by the capitalists through campaign contributions to those politicians.  All Democratic Party politicians get the majority of their campaign funding from the capitalist bosses.  This means that the loyalty of the Democratic party politicians – just like the Republican politicians – it to the capitalist class, not the working class.  The Democrats are the bought-and-paid-for representatives of the capitalist class just as the Republican Party politicians are.

As workers, members of the working class, we can not expect to have our  interests represented by politicians who are in the pay of the capitalists who exploit us!  That is why we place so much importance on the slogan “build a workers party”.  In order for the workers to have honest political representation at city hall, the state house, and in Congress, we have to create workers parties of, by and for the working class that are completely independent of the capitalist class in every way.  If we want to have control of the direction taken by local, state and national government, we must build workers parties based on the trade union membership and fully funded by the workers through donations and party dues payments (just like union dues).  The US working class is 175 million strong; if each worker gave just one dollar a month to an independent workers party, we’d have enough money to run candidates for every local, state and national representative body and soon WE would be deciding what legislation gets passed and what legislation gets dumped in the trash where it belongs!  Until the working class builds its own fully independent workers parties, working people will continue to have to beg the bought-and-paid-for politicians owned by our class enemies – the capitalists – to toss us a few crumbs every once in a while!

Communities United contingent gets ready to march. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Ready to roll! “Whose streets? OUR STREETS!” (Photo by IWPCHI)

“There is power in a union”. Yes but not when the union is on a leash held by the capitalist class through the agency of the Democratic Party. Dump the Democrats and Build a Workers Party! (Photo by IWPCHI)

That is why we have created the Independent Workers Party; we want to be YOUR party.  It is 100% independent of the capitalist class and is fully funded by workers.  As it grows, it will train its members in working-class history and prepare rank-and-file workers to become the honest political leaders the working class desperately needs in order to fight for workers’ rights until we become the majority party in the US and then we can give the entire capitalist system the funeral it has deserved for more than a century and create a revolutionary socialist workers government!  A workers government would pass a modern workers Constitution and Bill of Rights that would “outlaw” racism, sexism, homelessness, poverty and war.  Food, clothing, housing, education and medical care would become permanent “inalienable rights”.  No one could ever be evicted from their home for inability to pay the rent; no one could be denied medical treatment or food because they couldn’t afford it.  College education would be free.  Workers who lost their jobs would get 100% of their pay as unemployment benefits until they got back to work.  Daycare services would be free and available 24/7/365.  This is what 21st century socialism looks like!

Heading north on Michigan Avenue towards the Chicago River – and Trump Tower. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Trump Tower. Chicago home of the new Killer Clown in the White House. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Why do we say “$15 an HR? NOT ENOUGH”?  Because $15/hr is not enough money to live on in any major US city!  Economists say that in order for anyone to be making enough money to live comfortably, their rent should not be more than roughly 1/3 of their monthly take-home pay.  In Chicago, a decent 3-bedroom apartment (for a family with 2 kids) in one of the better neighborhoods costs $1500/mo or more (not including utilities!).  This means that a worker needs to make approximately $4500/mo or $1125/wk., which amounts to approximately $28.25 an hour!  So how can anyone pretend that a $15 minimum wage is going to be anywhere near enough to provide a decent standard of living for a person supporting a spouse and 2 kids?

A few years ago, a group of researchers calculated the minimum wages necessary for workers to live decently in every state in the US.  Here are their results:

Wages necessary to afford just a 2-bedroom apartment in the USA; these figures are several years old. The figures are statewide averages and do not show the much higher “housing wages” necessary to live decently in big cities like Chicago, New York City or Los Angeles.

With the rate of inflation running at around 2% a year, real wages are steadily declining unless workers receive at least the same percentage in a pay raise.  We say that not only is $15/hr not enough for Chicago; but unless the minimum wage is backed up by a full cost-of-living increase indexed to inflation annually, any increase in the minimum wage will quickly be eroded as inflation eats away at the new wage.

The goal of the Democrats and Republicans, working together to represent the best interests of the capitalists who paid them to run for office, is to take their sweeeet time before they raise the minimum wage.  By the time they finally pass the $15 minwage for the country (if they ever do that) it have depreciated so much that it will not be enough to sustain a small family at all.  When the greedheads like McDonald’s Corporation claim that workers are being “too greedy” asking for $15/hr, they are consciously lying.  They know that in fact $15/hr is easily doable – which is why the Democratic Party-affiliated #FightFor15 organization is supporting the inadequate demand of a mere $15/hr.  But they intend to draw out the implementation of this badly needed minimum wage increase for as long as they can, so their wealthy benefactors can rake in their megaprofits for as long as possible before the minwage increase hits them in their pockets!

Heading up N. LaSalle Dr. towards the Rock and Roll McDonald’s for the rally. Taken from the back end of the march, showing the huge numbers of workers who participated.  The cross-street closest to us in this photo is Kinzie; obviously the march stretches down four to six city blocks.  (Photo by IWPCHI)

Arriving at the “Rock and Roll McDonald’s” in Chicago. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Workers were only allowed to stand on two sides of the McDonald’s building, and were not allowed to block the entrances or exits.  The McDonald’s was closed during the rally. Oh, yeah: did we mention that it rained like hell for most of the march?  No? Well it rained like hell for most of the march – but like good union workers everywhere, these Midwestern trade unionists were prepared for any eventuality.  (Photo by IWPCHI)

Chicago Police blocked the exits… (Photo by IWPCHI)

…and entrances to the McDonald’s building – this car appeared to be an employee leaving the site. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Speakers addressed the rally from the back of a flatbed truck. (Photo by IWPCHI)

It appeared that this speaker read a statement from “Patriotic Millionaires” in “support” of the #FightFor15 campaign! Workers, who make up around 75% of the US population, do not need the “help” of millionaires – “patriotic” or otherwise – who represent less than 7% of the population.  (All we must ask of the millionaires is that they please don’t try to stand in the road in front of the workers movement lol)  (Photo by IWPCHI)

Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry was the only top trade union official who addressed the crowd. All of the Chicago union “leaders” seemed to have boycotted the event. A disgrace for them and “their” unions! (Photo by IWPCHI)

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry gave a rousing speech in which she denounced McDonalds’ corporate greed and pledged that her union, at least, would stand up to defend US workers and also staunchly defend immigrant and refugee rights.  Immigrant and refugee rights are indeed under severe attack from the Trump administration – just as they were under the Obama administration.  This too proves that the differences between the Democrats and Republicans are far outweighed by the similarities.  In the final analysis, the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same capitalist coin.  Workers must never allow our enemies in the capitalist class (and their government stooges) to divide the working class aginst itself.  We say: “Full citizenship rights for all immigrants and refugees – NOW!”  Immigrants and refugees are the allies of the US working class, not our enemies.  Our enemies are the in the US capitalist class which exploits all workers and attempts to create divisions amongst workers in every way they can: along religious, ethnic, sexual and every other line.  Unions are our first line of defense against this crap.  “An injury to one is an injury to all!  Workers of the World, Unite!”

— Independent Workers Party – Chicago

 

Advertisements

Emanuel Emails Reveal Close Collaboration Between Democrats, Republicans to Destroy Unions, Rob Workers

We are pleased to publish the full set of the recently released emails from Chicago Democratic Party Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s private email server that were finally divulged after a lawsuit brought against the Emanuel Administration by the tepidly reformist “Better Government Association” (BGA – former Chicago TV newsman Andy Shaw’s hobbyhorse).  We’ve also added the court documents released by the BGA along with the emails, because you never know when the BGA’s website will “lose” the links to the emails and start producing the usual “404 error” page we see all the time with releases like this.

DOCUMENTS:

  1.   rahm-emanuel-personal-email-court-documents
  2. 122116-wls-bga-emanuel-emails settlement agreement
  3. BGA vs City of Chicago_Rahm Emanuel private email server emails (3276 pages. censored)

Like the infamous and insecure private email server of Hilary Rodham Clinton, Rahm Emanuel’s email server is purpose-built to help Democrat Emanuel to hide his behind-the-scenes close collaboration with the Dems’ Republican “opponents” as well as the allegedly pro-union Democrats’ secret collaboration with the anti-union capitalists who bankroll both the Democratic and Republican candidates for all the major political offices here in the “Land of the Free”(TM).  Under the toothless “government transparency” laws, all emails and other correspondence from and to government leaders is supposed to be carried out via official  communications channels where they can be archived and preserved as public records, reviewable by the citizenry via Freedom of Information Act requests.  Every communication of every President, Senator, Congressperson and on down through the government to local mayors is supposed to be subject to public scrutiny – if only after a number of years have passed.  The “secret” private servers of Clinton, Emanuel and other “public servants” are kept secret only from the supposedly supreme power in the US’ phony democracy: the citizens.  In fact, private, illegal communications networks set up by top US politicians and federal agency heads are constantly being revealed which prove to anyone paying attention that the only people who these bought-and-paid-for public servants “protect and serve” are the wealthiest people in the USA: the 10% of the US population who own 75% of the national wealth.  Billionaires like Penny Pritzker and Bruce Rauner have full access to the ears and eyes of politicians like Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel via these “secret” email servers, where they can conspire against you behind your back while they publicly pretend to be at each others’ throats.  These repulsively wealthy people, who actually run the USA in their own selfish interests, have 24/7/365 access to the big-city mayors and all the top politicians who are in their turn busily stuffing their and their friends’ pockets with whatever they can filch from the hundreds of billions of dollars in tax money stolen every year from you, the struggling members of the working class.

Even the cursory examination of the emails which we’ve been able to do provides a rare glimpse into the backroom deals constantly being engineered by the phony “friends of labor” Democrats and their real friends among the capitalist 1%ers who actually run Chicago and the USA.  The billionaire who is now the Republican governor of Illinois – Bruce Rauner – whom the Democrats publicly pretend to be their enemy – turns out to be on a first-name basis with Rahm and is revealed to be actually a member of the (very small) Rahm Emanuel fan club.  “You’re a good politician” Rauner gushes at Rahm in an email in which he and the “friend of labor” Emanuel administration conspire to coordinate their attacks on perhaps the last popular and powerful bastion of union labor in Chicago, the Chicago Teacher’s Union.

Rauner conspires with Emanuel to Crush Chicago Teachers' Union

Emanuel and his Republican allies are seen in the emails conspiring to carefully engineer their attacks on the Teachers Union so as to justify smashing the union. They plan to take pains to minimize the “psychological shock” to the pro-teachers’ union majority of the working-class population of the city when they launch their final assault on the union’s ability to protect tenured teachers from summary dismissals based on their poverty-stricken students’ weak GPAs. In other words, the US capitalist class and their politicians are cutting funding to the very social and educational programs necessary for students to excel in school, and then they plan to use the low test scores generated by their cuts to justify the gutting of the seniority rights of “underperforming” teachers!

The emails were released in a single .pdf file of over 3200 pages, which makes searching the individual emails a chore to say the least.  The Chicago press corps and the BGA itself have bent over backwards to downplay the significance of the evidence of close collaboration between the two capitalist-owned-and-operated political parties of the USA when it comes to attacking the teachers’ union and shoving the greedy agenda of the Chicago capitalist elites  down the throats of the workers of Chicago and Illinois.  The head of the teachers union, Karen Lewis, is herself a close friend of her “opponent” Rahm Emanuel and spends her time in a pantomime of opposition to the union-busting operations of her own Democratic Party directed at “her” union.  As we have pointed out to the workers time and time again, the Democratic Party is not now and never has been composed of the “friends of labor” but is in fact owned and operated – just as the Republican Party is – by the mortal enemies of the workers of the US and the world: the US capitalist class.  So long as the leadership of the US trade union movement is politically shackled to the pro-capitalist dung-cart of the Democratic Party the union movement will not advance a single step but will continue on its downward trajectory into oblivion.  Only a class-struggle Trotskyist leadership of the union movement dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system which systematically robs the working class of the fruits of its labor can lead a resurgence of the US labor movement.

The emails also reveal the careful massaging of the news media constantly being undertaken by the Democrats in order to get the most positive coverage possible for their never-ending attacks on the unions and the working class in general.  The masses must be kept blind and must always have pro-capitalist propaganda driven down their throats continuously lest they discover how badly they are being screwed by their political “friends”.   And of course the media – like the politicians themselves, wholly owned and operated by the 1%ers – dutifully obliges, covering up the actual collaboration between the anti-union capitalist class and the “friends of labor” in the Democratic Party.  “Everyone” wins – except the vast majority of the population in the working class, who see their standard of living being steadily eroded.

The close collaboration betwen the “friends of labor” Democrats and their murderous, racist police is also laid bare by the emails.  Emanuel and ex-Chicago police chief McCarthy fret over news media coverage of the latest atrocities committed by the police and desperately try to maintain the fiction that the police in a capitalist state are supposed “to protect and serve” the working class.  As every intelligent worker knows, the police are the mortal enemies of the workers, racist thugs who think nothing of shooting workers – especially black and Hispanic workers – who dare to stand up against racist police terror.  The cops in a capitalist state have one role to play: they defend the racist capitalist status quo, crushing any attempt of the working class to fight for their rights.  The cops defend capitalist private property and the “inalienable right” of the 1% to 75% of the national wealth!

Democrats have been running the murderous, racist police departments in almost every major US city for ever. Source: Rahm emails, page 220.

Democrats have been running the murderous, racist police departments in almost every major US city for ever.  Source: Rahm emails, page 220.

Democrats' killer cops ever-vigilant to protect citizenry from themselves.  Cop "intelligence" confused by "Guy Fox" masks.  Source: Rahm emails, page 269.

Democrats’ killer cops ever-vigilant to protect citizenry from themselves. Cop “intelligence” confused by “Guy Fox” masks.  Source: Rahm emails, page 269.

We wish we had the time to do a thorough dissection of these emails so we could present you with the juiciest evidence of how the Democrats are selling you out to their wealthy owners day in and day out, but we just don’t have the personnel to enable such a project.  We need honest, hard-working workers to put down their TV remotes and dedicate themselves to fighting for the rights of the working class by joining our party or at least helping us do this work on a regular basis.  Until you start to take your working class political responsibilities to yourselves and your families seriously you will continue to get pummeled by the endless assaults being launched against you by your mortal enemies: the capitalist greedheads and their political hatchetmen in both the Democratic and Republican parties.  The enemies of the vast majority of the population of every capitalist nation-state – the working class – needs the kind of 24/7/365 representation that the top 3% have.  Until you build that kind of organization you will be stuck impotently “speaking truth to power” to a ruling class that is so completely insulated from you that the desperate pleas of your hundreds of millions of workers sounds like a plaintive whisper they need not trouble themselves to notice.

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

 

Report on NATO 3 Defendant Jared Chase’s Court Appearance 18 February 2016

DROP ALL CHARGES AGAINST JARED CHASE AND FREE HIM NOW!

At a pre-trial hearing held today (18 February, 2016), former NATO 3 defendant Jared Chase’s Cook County Public Defender Peter Benesh made an ineffectual attempt to obtain a court injunction prohibiting the shackling of Chase using a “black box” device, which causes physical injury to Chase, who suffers from Huntington’s Disease.  Chase was in court to answer to charges of “aggravated battery to a corrections officer” – a Class I offense, punishable by between 4 and 15 years in the penitentiary.  Yet Chase’s lawyer was repeatedly rebuffed by Cook County Court Judge Thaddeus Wilson for lack of preparation in not asking for this protective court order in the proper fashion.

We were informed about the hearing via the Twitter and WordPress accounts of   “Free the NATO 3”.

In our experience attending hearings like this one (since circa 1979), defendants have almost always had a legal defense campaign orchestrated by one or another revolutionary socialist party. Having had more than a century of experience defending class-war prisoners, the communists know how to run an effective defense campaign in a politically-charged case like this.  Understanding that, in political cases, legal precedent and rule of law have a tendency to fly out the window, the communists do not act as if it’s just “business as usual” defending a political activist:  they organize media campaigns to get out their side of the story in defense of the accused, make sure that their physical presence is asserted before every court hearing with a protest outside the “temple of justice” and make sure that the lawyers in the case understand the nature of how the capitalist frame-up system works in cases involving anti-capitalist political activists.  Effective tactics are employed to let the powers that be understand that the defendant does not stand alone in facing the charges; the revolutionary working class principle that “an injury to one is an injury to all” means that every worker in the USA – in fact, the revolutionary workers movement itself – is on trial, not just the defendant.  Inside the courtroom they stand in solidarity with the accused when the defendant’s name or names are called.  This always pisses off the judges – but the communists don’t mount defense campaigns for their comrades in order to have the opportunity to kiss a judge’s ass.  Communists understand that it is imperative to make it clear to both the accused person(s) and the court and spectators that THIS defendant is not fighting his or her case by themselves – he or she has a strong and militant base of supporters closely watching every development in the case.  Often times major court victories have been won only after huge national and international defense campaigns have made it politically extremely expensive for the bourgeoisie to railroad the defendant.  These class-struggle methods have worked time and time again to expose the injustice of the capitalist system to the world; they alert the working class to the vital necessity of NOT acting as if these cases are just “business as usual”.  The outrageous US government frame-up of the NATO 3  is an attempt by the capitalist state to intimidate the working class and crush political dissent.  Workers must be awakened to this fact and taught not to cower in the face of such criminal conspiracies that the capitalist class and its justice system continuously launch against worker-militants.

For activist groups who are not part of the revolutionary socialist movement, like the NATO 3 folks, these historical lessons have not been incorporated into their defense tactics.  Not having the revolutionary Marxist understanding that there is no justice for workers – especially communist or anarchist workers or trade union militants – in the capitalist courts, they tend to try to “play by the rules” of the court, allowing defense attorneys to kowtow to the judge’s every whim; they advise supporters to “keep a low profile” in and around the courtroom, often even going so far as to assert that the defense attorneys “know” this judge and know how best to “get on the good side of the judge” for a favorable ruling.  More often than not, these class-collaborationist tactics result in complete disaster, with the defendants getting the book thrown at them.  The defense attorneys then express “shock” at the “uncharacteristically severe” sentence handed out by their “friend” the judge.  Revolutionary Marxists don’t fall for this bullshit.

Having been informed by Jared Chase’s supporters’ websites that the hearing today would occur at 9AM, I made certain to arrive early so I could participate in the demonstration that would undoubtedly occur before the hearing.  But when I arrived at 8:45 AM, this is what I saw:

... not a goddamned thing! So excuse me for being disappointed.

… not a goddamned thing! So excuse me for being disappointed.

This was not good.  When I expressed my disappointment later to a handful of his supporters in the court gallery at not having seen the slightest hint of public protest outside the courthouse, I was chastised for being so arrogant in criticising them since  they had been attending all these hearings for all these years and I had not.  As if that matters in terms of the simple expression of disappointment at seeing NO evidence of support outside the courthouse TODAY!  These poor defense tactics usually don’t obtain much sympathy from the judges, who have been instructed by the political powers in the Cook County Democratic machine to “make an example” of the defendants.

While it is entirely understandable that Chase’s supporters are depressed and dismayed at the prospect of their friend spending up to 15 years in prison if he gets the maximum sentence possible in this case, that is no excuse for failing to organize an effective defense campaign and then expressing hostility towards supporters who express their dismay when they show up at court in response to an appeal for support and find no organized support at all!

Progress cannot be achieved by the workers movement if historical lessons go unlearned and if every generation just keeps making the same avoidable mistakes over and over and over again.  Our capitalist class opponents have centuries of experience buttressing their class rule; they learn from their failures and don’t repeat the same stupidity twice!  Likewise, the communist movement has nearly 200 years of experience fighting frame-ups in the courts of the capitalist classes all over the world.  To fail to take advantage of the hard-won experience of the revolutionary communist movement is a major error on the part of any activist group that finds its comrades in a situation like Jared Chase is in.

It was no surprise in this era of mass apathy among US workers that – in Chicago, a city of 4 million – a grand total of 9 supporters of Chase (including this reporter) made the trek to the Cook County Courthouse for the hearing.  It was held in a bizarre glassed-in courtroom in which spectators are entirely sealed off from the actual courtroom, which sits behind a semicircular glass-and-metal barrier that looks like something out of the original Star Wars movie.  No photos could be taken of the courtroom because in the “free and open” court system of Crooked Crook County, the Chief Justice has banned all cell phones from the premises.  Members of the public who wish to observe the proceedings in Cook County Courthouse at 26th St. and California Avenue in Chicago must not only pass a metal detector screening before entering the courthouse, but they must also place their cell phones, chargers and any other electronic recording devices in secure lockers (provided for free by the county) before they are allowed to enter the building.  The criminals running the farcical “justice” system  in Crook County Courthouse – widely acknowledged to be one of the most corrupt in the United States of America – must keep video and audio evidence of their many blatant miscarriages of justice hidden from the eyes of the working class at all costs.

The court hearing in room 303 (which was set for 9:00 AM according to the “Free the NATO 3” website ) never actually got underway until 10:05 when the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus L. Wilson finally graced us with his presence.  Wilson, who is black, has hung a large framed color photograph of the Rev. Martin Luther King on the door behind the bench in order to give the appearance (to the uninitiated) that in his courtroom, the respected principles of Dr. King are upheld.  King would undoubtedly not be amused to know that his portrait is being utilized in this manner in a courtroom in Cook County, where brutal racist injustice is meted out daily to hundreds of primarily black and Hispanic defendants.  Hundreds of people of color are daily shipped to this County Courthouse for “kangaroo court”-style bond hearings at which it’s “your money or the next two months of your life” while you wait in jail for your trial.   Judge Wilson’s courtroom sits directly above a filthy, overcrowded basement prison dungeon where hundreds of people are crammed into holding cells awaiting trial; this is a place completely at odds with everything Dr. Martin Luther King stood for.

On the dark, smoked glass barrier that stands between the public and the “bar of justice” are affixed a number of printed and crudely hand-lettered signs threatening the citizenry – who are supposed to be those from whom Judge Wilson derives whatever limited power he actually possesses – not to do a multiplicity of things.  “Absolutely No Food or Drinks Allowed in this Courtroom” one declares.  “DO NOT ENTER UNLESS YOUR NAME IS CALLED” screams another.  If a citizen dares to enter the courtroom he or she has paid for many times over with their taxes – what would happen?  Would the altar of justice be rendered unclean by an unindicted citizen’s presence?  Would it have to be then reconsecrated to the gods of justice, Crook County-style?   No children are allowed to cry or call out to a parent, sister or brother they see being brought into the courtroom in handcuffs and prison rags: “Children must be kept quiet or you will be asked to leave!”  Surely Martin Luther King would endorse all this! A child crying out at seeing her father for perhaps the first time in months or even years would be cast out of the room by the “honorable” Judge Wilson!  Such is justice in Crooked Crook County, USA, run for the past 100 years by the “lesser evil” Democratic Party!  Everything is crooked about this place: the huge cockroaches at the jail skitter crookedly across the floors and the walls; even the birds flying over this place seem to fly sideways.  Let’s not even mention the crooked guards!

While we waited for Jared’s case to be called an attorney emerged from the courtroom into the spectators’ seating area to converse with his client, who was seated among us.  They openly discussed their strategy right there where it could be heard by all the court employees and the judge via the intercom system connecting both rooms.  There is no private place in this courthouse for attorneys and their clients to discuss their cases!  The image of Martin Luther King gazes pensively down from the wall of Judge Wilson’s courtroom upon this farce.  If only that portrait could come to life to tell Judge Wilson what it thinks about the monstrous scenes that have played out in that courtroom under its eyes day after day after brutal day!

Finally, at around 10:32 AM, Jared Chase is led into the courtroom.  As he enters, I stand up in solidarity.  “SIT DOWN!” bellows the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus Wilson.

Chase is a big guy; 6 feet tall, perhaps a bit more.  Thinnish but well-muscled in his brownish v-necked prison shirt and matching brown pants, he looks as healthy as can be expected – given the circumstances of his confinement in a hellhole Illinois state prison in Pontiac – to me, who has never seen him before.  But to his friends he “looks very thin and gaunt, and his health is visibly not well.”

Chase stands erect, calm and collected; his hands are not manacled but I can’t see his feet.

There is some preliminary chatter between the judge, prosecutor and Jared’s Public Defender Benesh.  Then Benesh asks the judge for a court order to prevent Chase’s being manacled with what is called a “black box”.

"Black Box" restraint. Used to attach chains from leg irons to wrist cuffs and chain waist belt.

“Black Box” restraint. Used to attach chains from leg irons to wrist cuffs and chain waist belt.

This high-security restraint is usually only used for the most dangerous inmates: murderers and terrorists.  In spite of the fact that all of the “terrorism charges” that the government had brought against the NATO 3 were repudiated by the jury in the original trial, Chase is still being periodically subjected to this abuse by the prison screws when they transfer him to court for trial.

Benesh is asking the judge for a “court order” prohibiting the use of the “black box” on Chase.  He states that there is an existing doctors’ order that these restraints not be used on Chase due to his suffering from Huntington’s Disease, which causes sufferers to shake uncontrollably.  This shaking, combined with the harsh restraints, has been found to be causing injury to Chase, Benesh explains.  The use of harsh restraints “cuts off circulation” of blood in Chase’s hands.

Who do you want me to order to stop using the restraints?” asks Judge Wilson?

Benesh appears to be somewhat taken aback by the question.

“Who do you want the court order to be issued to?  Eye-Doc?” asks the judge again, indicating the acronym for the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), as if to prompt Benesh… who appears to fumble for an answer.

“In terms of transport…” Benesh begins to reply.  “We are asking that the least restrictive means possible should be used.”  He describes a less physically punishing type of restraint known to be used by IDOC.

Judge Wilson advises Benesh to “talk to IDOC… I am not in a position to order such a thing.  You can file a Federal lawsuit against IDOC if they are not following doctors’ recommendations.  If it’s within my authority I’ll do it.  I don’t know of any need for extra security.  But just based on oral statements  I’m not going to do anything.”

It appeared that Benesh was unprepared to properly ask Judge Wilson for a court order, having not submitted to the court any legal document for the judge to review and sign!  Not only that, but Benesh seemed uncertain who it was that he wanted the judge to order to stop using the “black box” restraint!  Unbelievably poor preparation for the hearing by Benesh – not at all atypical for the Public Defenders here in the “Land of the Free(TM)”.

It’s pretty outrageous that the Public Defender’s Office had their client dragged in chains all the way to Cook County Jail from the dungeon at Pontiac Correctional Center – a distance of 100 miles – so they could challenge the state’s use of cruel restraints used when he is transported from jail to court and back, causing physical harm to him – and then the PD wasn’t even prepared to properly ask for and obtain the court order necessary to get the chains removed!  Sadly, this kind of third-rate legal defense for the poor is common, not only in Crooked Crook County but all over the USA – and in all the “advanced” countries of the capitalist world.

Benesh then asked for a status hearing to be set for March 23rd.  He appeared not to have submitted any requests for discovery of evidence such as videos of the alleged physical altercations between Chase and prison guards that led to the present assault on a prison officer charges against Chase.

The judge agrees to set a status hearing for March 23rd at 9AM and for the trial to begin on April 11th of 2016.  Chase is dismissed and I stand up again in solidarity as he leaves; and I and all Chase’s friends and supporters leave the courtroom.

Moments later Public Defender Benesh comes out into the hallway and I introduce myself and ask him for his business card.  He says “no problem” and goes back into the courtroom to take care of some other legal business.  After a few minutes he comes back out again, accompanied by a female colleague, and I ask him a few questions.

I had heard from one of Chase’s supporters that there might be video evidence available in this case.  Is Benesh aware of any?  “Not that I’m aware of; and I don’t know if it would be helpful or not if there was” he replied.  Surprised at his answer I ask “really?  No videos at all?”  (There are cameras all over the jails).  “No I don’t know of any”.  “Have you asked if there was any such evidence through the discovery process?” “No.” he replied.

“The next hearing on March 23rd; will Jared have to appear in court again for that?” I ask.  “Yes, he’ll be appearing at all of the hearings”.  This is a real ordeal for Chase, who has to come, shackled, all the way from Pontiac to Chicago, especially considering his health.

“What is the specific offense Chase is charged with and what are the potential penalties?” I inquire.

“He is charged with ‘aggravated battery to a corrections officer’, which is a ‘Class I’ offense, punishable by 4-15 years in prison” Benesh replies.  Very serious, indeed.  (For a description of the incident as related in a letter from Chase to a supporter, click here).

I ask Benesh if he has been on the case from the beginning of the NATO 3 trial; he says: “I just got this case two weeks ago from my colleague in the Public Defender’s Office.  I had nothing to do with the earlier case; this case has nothing to do with the original one”.  But of course, this is not true at all!  This case has EVERYTHING to do with the earlier case; Chase is a political prisoner who was framed up by undercover cops in the first place!  If that frame-up hadn’t been successful, this assault case would never have occurred!

This is what we meant earlier in this article when we spoke of the danger of having inexperienced defense attorneys who do not understand the difference between a typical criminal case and one involving a political frame-up.  This lawyer appears to be unaware of the very political nature of the charges his client is facing.  “Business as usual”; just another assault case in the hideously overloaded docket of the vastly understaffed and underfunded Public Defender’s office.

It’s too bad that the crew of “Free the NATO 3” supporters didn’t bother to talk to this new defense attorney for their comrade!  They had all just walked away from the courtroom without even bothering to talk to their comrade’s new lawyer!

It was not a very impressive performance by the “Free the NATO 3” defense campaign.

Later on that evening, I checked the “Free the NATO 3” WordPress site to obtain more background information about the case and to see if they had written a report about the hearing; commendably, as we stated above, they had. Their article criticises that I stood up in solidarity with Chase as he was led into the courtroom: “While prisoner supporters have employed the tactic often to stand up when the defendant’s name is called in various cases, Judge Thadeus [sic – IWPCHI] Wilson issued an injunction in the NATO 3 case preventing supporters from doing so, and does not respond kindly to this. So please remain seated when Jay’s name is called, as protest tactics or standing up only backfires on Jay.”

This expresses quite clearly the touching faith that these so-called “anarchists” have in the “impartiality” of the US capitalist “justice” system!

The “Free the NATO 3” website operated by these folks appears to offer a decent amount of information about the case – including copies of Judge Wilson’s outrageous piece-of-shit injunction against displays of class solidarity for political prisoners who appear in “his” courtroom.  Unfortunately, the amateurishness of the anarcho-reformists reared its ugly head again when we tried to download a copy of this fine example of legal treachery; we received a “404- File Not Found” error.  We left a message on that page so the website admins could fix the problem; checking it again today a week later, we found that it has still not been corrected.  We left another message, for what it’s worth.

***

This should serve as a warning to young activists trying to decide between joining a revolutionary socialist organization or a more loosely organized “anarchist” or other activist group.  It a choice between joining a party of organized, disciplined revolutionaries who will know how to avoid a cheap police entrapment scheme and defend you if you get framed up on bogus charges or joining a group that will fall right into a trap set by a pair of half-assed Police Explorers who infiltrate their organization on the first try.  In a revolutionary socialist party, youth members are taught about the history of police entrapment schemes; internal party discipline requires them to report provocations like the one launched against the NATO 3 defendants to party leaders, who know how to deal with these things properly.  It would be almost impossible for this kind of entrapment scam to ensnare a youth member of a revolutionary Trotskyist party; for amateur “activist” and “anarchist” organizations, this is not the case.  So choose wisely when you choose the revolutionary political organization you want to join.

***

One last glimpse of the “justice” that takes place in the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus L. Wilson’s judicial chamber of horrors:

A tall, well-groomed black man in a new winter jacket stands calmly before the dais upon which Judge Wilson sits.  A few feet to his  right, a middle-aged, stooped blonde white female Assistant District Attorney is trying to make this man look like Capone times ten.  She rattles off a seemingly endless number of arrests and convictions for petty offenses this man has suffered all his life for the “crime” of being a black man living in Democratic Party-run Crooked Crook County.  She chatters on: case after case, from the 1990s to the present.  Only after she has made it up to June of 2008 does the “Honorable” Judge Wilson stop her, saying tiredly: “That’s enough.  I get the picture”.

Perhaps it was a trick of the light, refracted through the smoked glass barrier of the courtroom… but we swear we saw the left hand of Dr. King move in front of his eyes; his shoulders seemed to heave spasmodically.  He appeared to be crying.

Thanks to the poor defense work today by Atty. Peter Benesh of the Crook County Public Defender’s Office, Jared Chase will once again most likely by dragged in chains – including the “black box” apparatus that is causing him physical harm – from Pontiac “Correctional” Center to Crook County Courthouse for his next status hearing on March 23; his trial is scheduled to begin on April 11.

— IWPCHI

 

 

 

 

 

Report from “Black Lives Matter” Demo at City Hall, Chicago 31 December 2015

About 150 demonstrators from Black Lives Matter, Revolutionary Communist Party, Socialist Alternative, Independent Workers Party of Chicago and other worker-activists occupy the ground floor of Chicago's City Hall on 31 December 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

About 150 demonstrators from Black Lives Matter, Revolutionary Communist Party, Socialist Alternative, Progressive Labor Party, Independent Workers Party of Chicago and other worker-activists occupy the ground floor of Chicago’s City Hall on 31 December 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Chicago, IL, USA (31 December 2015):  About 150 activists in Chicago (IL, USA) held a spirited and righteous – if politically naive – demonstration at City Hall on the final day of 2015, calling on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign.

Activist Addresses "Black Lives Matter" Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Activist Addresses “Black Lives Matter” Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Led – apparently – by “Black Lives Matter” activists (we were never able to confirm it), the crowd assembled on the first floor of Chicago’s City Hall and was addressed by speakers from – probably – BLM.  A dozen or so police monitored the demonstration and basically let it occupy the ground floor in front of the elevators for 45 minutes, at which time the entire demonstration boarded the elevators and headed to the 5th floor, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office is located.  There the crowd reassembled in the hallway just outside his office; various speakers addressed the crowd and led it in chants calling for Emanuel to step down.

Activists Address "Black Lives Matter" Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Activists Address “Black Lives Matter” Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Outrageously, there was no sign of any trade union members in attendance, and only a couple of the city’s main revolutionary socialist groups had a presence there, including the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) – who brought an excellent banner along.  Socialist Alternative was there as well, as was the Progressive Labor Party.  The International Socialist Organization and the Spartacist League were nowhere to be found, though they may have been at the earlier Democratic Party-led demo featuring Jesse Jackson and Father Michael Pfleger.  Unfortunately, we don’t have enough members to cover both demonstrations! Those larger parties do, though, so it’s odd that they missed the demo we attended.

"A Fish Rots From the Head - Impeach Rahm" protest sign at Black Lives Matter demo at Chicago (IL, USA) City Hall, 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

“A Fish Rots From the Head – Impeach Rahm” protest sign at Black Lives Matter demo at Chicago (IL, USA) City Hall, 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

After about a half an hour in front of the (apparently empty) Mayor’s office, the demonstration headed to the street and began a march from City Hall to the site on Michigan Avenue near the Tribune Tower (where the city is to have its “Chicago Rising” New Year’s Eve soiree), marching right down the middle of the street as the cops frantically tried to keep the traffic disruption to a minimum.

Chicago Cops on Bicycles Vainly Attempt to Corral Black Lives Matter Protest in Chicago 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Chicago Cops on Bicycles Vainly Attempt to Corral Black Lives Matter Protest in Chicago 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

The “Chicago Rising” New Year’s Eve event was  originally supposed to be free of charge to the public – but out of alleged concern for “public safety” the city fathers chose instead to sell tickets to the event for the “low, low price” of $90 or $150 per person!  In order to get to the Hyatt Hotel on East Wacker Drive where the giant LED star symbolizing Chicago’s “Rising” was to ascend the building, citizens had to pay $150 at ticket booths that were set up behind barricades blocking off the street.  This is in keeping with the Democrats’ apparent desire that only the rich be allowed to participate fully in the cultural life of Chicago while the poor and working class citizens can all just go to hell.

Black Lives Matter demonstrators advance on Trump Tower from Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL (USA) on 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Black Lives Matter demonstrators advance on Trump Tower from Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL (USA) on 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

The police, on bicycles, had apparently been ordered to keep their bloody “hands off” the demonstration; they made a futile attempt to block the protestors from marching from Trump Tower to Michigan Avenue – but after the protestors, urged on by a young woman activist, quickly were re-routed around the police daisy chain, the cops otherwise left the protestors to their own ad-hoc devices. This may have been due to previous arrangements with the organizers of the demonstration: we observed one of the men leading the chants “fist bumping” a number of bicycle cops in a far too friendly manner.

The marchers briefly blocked the intersection at Wacker and Michigan Avenues just south of the bridge over the Chicago River.  It looked to us as if they’d be there for a while, so we took a break at a local pastry shop for less than 10 minutes. By this time the crowd had dwindled to about 50 people or less.  When we emerged from the coffee shop, the demonstration had disappeared.  We overheard the police on their radios saying the demo was at Washington and Michigan, but even though we immediately headed to that location and arrived in 5 minutes, the demo had vanished without a trace and we were unable to relocate it!

Revolutionary Communist Party banner: "Murdered by Police" at Black Lives Matter demo in Chicago, IL (USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Revolutionary Communist Party’s excellent banner: “Murdered by Police” at Black Lives Matter demo in Chicago, IL (USA) 31 Dec 2015. Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones presente! (at top of banner L and R encircled in red)  Photo by IWPCHI

There seemed to have been very little in the way of planning for this march; no one was informed as to where it was headed or if there would be any events later on.

The primary political demands of the protest leaders were for the resignations of Emanuel and Alvarez and for an elected civilian police review board to be created to “oversee” the cops.  The protest leaders also urged the demonstrators to register to vote, although it was not clear who they intended us all to vote “for”!  Seeing that they do not even call for a new political party to be formed we can only conclude that they intend to vote for the Democrats again, since the Republicans are so convinced that it would be futile to run candidates for Mayor in this heavily Democratic city, they don’t bother to do so.

The “Black Lives Matter” movement has done an excellent job of organizing powerful demonstrations against police murder which has exposed to the entire world the deep racism that remains at the heart of the US capitalist system.  But their demands fall far short of what is necessary to end the endless series of killings of black workers by the racist cops.  Nothing short of workers socialist revolution is necessary to put and end once and for all to racism and racist killer cops here in the USA and throughout the entire capitalist world.  We see racist cops attacking workers in EVERY capitalist state, from the US to France to South Korea, Egypt and Israel.  The killer kops of kapitalism are the enemies of the working class!

The idea that an elected civilian police review board would give the workers “control” over the police department is a popular one. Unfortunately it is our duty as revolutionary Trotskyists to tell you, sisters and brothers, that it is completely impossible for the working class to exert “control” over the police in a capitalist state!  The police exist to protect the private property rights of the capitalist class – the wealthiest 10% of the population. The capitalist state is not “neutral” when it comes to adjudicating the endless conflict between the workers and the capitalist bosses.   The cops, courts and the military in every capitalist state are owned and operated by – and exert their power in the interests of – the capitalist class.  The only way that the working class can truly “control” the police is if the workers overthrow the capitalist state itself and replace it with a revolutionary socialist workers state. THEN – and only then! – can we have complete control over the killer kops of kapitalism – and put them in jail where they belong!  Those who tell you, sister and brother workers, that you can “control” the cops without first overthrowing the capitalist system are either naively misleading you… or are consciously telling you lies – plain and simple.  We believe that when it comes to the majority of Black Lives Matter activists it is naivete rather than deliberate lying going on; although some of the BLM leaders are definitely in the camp of the Democratic Party and therefore are deliberately trying to keep the protests well within the boundaries of what is “acceptable” to the capitalist class enemy.

We spoke with a number of activists from different groups, emphasising the vital necessity of organizing a revolutionary socialist working-class political party to break the stranglehold enjoyed by the twin parties of capital in the US’ completely undemocratic political system.

Socialist Alternative's Leaflet Pushes Pro-Capitalist Democrat Sanders for President! Leaflet acquired from Socialist Alternative activist at "Black Lives Matter" demo, City Hall, Chicago 31dec2015. Pro-Sanders meeting to be held at Chicago Democratic Party hangout "Manny's Deli" on near south side! Photo by IWPCHI

Socialist Alternative’s Leaflet Pushes Pro-Capitalist Democrat Sanders for President! Leaflet acquired by IWPCHI from Socialist Alternative activist at “Black Lives Matter” demo, City Hall, Chicago 31 Dec 2015. Pro-Sanders meeting to be held at Chicago Democratic Party hangout “Manny’s Deli” on near south side! Photo by IWPCHI

The self-described “Trotskyists” of Socialist Alternative were handing out leaflets pushing the candidacy of the phony-socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders!  We criticised this policy as basically being an outright betrayal of the working class.  SA defended their support of Sanders by claiming that since the workers were naively supporting him, and because, in SA’s analysis, Sanders is a social-democratic improvement over Hillary Clinton, SA should not discourage workers from supporting Sanders.  This is not revolutionary Trotskyism at all, but tailing after the naive political backwardness of US workers instead of leading them away from pro-capitalist candidates and in the direction of revolutionary socialism.  Sanders is a pro-capitalist candidate who has garnered financial support from the National Association of Realtors – among other sections of the US bourgeoisie.  Sanders has also come out side-by-side with Hillary in support of the US’ murderous war against the workers of Afghanistan, as well as the US’ cynical and fraudulent “War on Terror”.  Encouraging workers to vote for such a pro-capitalist, pro-war cretin as Sanders amounts to a complete betrayal of the working class and is the opposite of revolutionary Trotskyism.

The other extreme pole of the revolutionary working class party vis a vis electoral politics was represented by the RCP, whose rep stated to us that it was pointless to participate in bourgeois elections at all!  Workers should simply join the RCP and organize demonstrations.  Eventually- according to the RCP – the demonstrations will become so large that we can immediately overthrow the capitalist system!  The only problem with this concept is that it has never succeeded in the history of the world.  The revolutionary workers party must prove it will fight intransigently for the interests of the working class by leading strikes and by producing honest and self-sacrificing leaders who always uphold the highest principles of the revolutionary socialist movement – including as elected representatives of the working class in legislative bodies.

We say that a revolutionary workers party needs to utilize all methods at its disposal to organize the working class and to prepare them to overthrow capitalism.  We should participate in bourgeois elections while it is legal for us to do so, seeking non-executive elective offices only.  At the same time we must never stop pointing out to workers that revolutionary change will require more than simply electing a “socialist President”, as it has time and time again been PROVEN that the machinery of the capitalist state can not be seized and forced to work in the interests of the working class; it must be completely overhauled from top to bottom and a workers state created to completely replace it.  Marx and Lenin taught that trying to use the capitalist state machinery to defend the rights of the working class would be like trying to force a steel mill to produce baby clothing; it’s impossible!  The capitalist state was designed to defend the private property rights of the capitalist class and it cannot be reformed to promote and defend workers’ rights; the capitalist state must be “smashed” or broken up to its foundations and an entirely new workers state created in its place.  Every fake-socialist party that has ever tried to use the capitalist state machinery to defend the workers’ rights has failed and usually ends up being overthrown in a military coup and its party leaders and many of the best leaders of the trade unions executed.  One of the most tragic examples of this occurred in Chile with the fake-socialist Allende government in 1973.  The Venezuelan working class, betrayed by the “Bolivarian” fake-revolutionaries known as the “Chavistas” are today heading down the same disastrous road to defeat taken by Allende and his fake-socialist party. “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it”.  We in the Independent Workers Party of Chicago study history so that hopefully we can prevent such a disaster from occurring to the workers of the United States and the rest of the world in the future.

To refuse to participate in bourgeois elections is to render the revolutionary workers party utterly useless to the working class from now until the time of the workers revolution.  The Bolsheviks of Lenin demonstrated very clearly how a revolutionary socialist party could utilize the bourgeois democratic system to effectively and in a principled way put forward a revolutionary socialist program.  In this way they were able to continually expose to the eyes of the workers and peasants of Russia the utter political bankruptcy of the capitalist system and its hired politicians of all stripes.

What’s the point of organizing a political party if you’re not going to participate at all in any political process except the revolution itself?  How do we get from where we are today to where we want to go?  Revolutions can’t just be pulled out of the air.  It takes years for a revolutionary party to prove to the working class that it means exactly what it says and that it will not sell out the workers in exchange for government offices.  The example set by the Bolsheviks of Lenin in the period leading up the the great Russian Revolution of 1917 is the model upon which the Independent Workers Party of Chicago is based.  We encourage all workers to read “The History of the Russian Revolution” by Leon Trotsky (who became Lenin’s right-hand man during the Russian Revolution) to see how Lenin’s Bolsheviks masterfully used bourgeois democratic processes to lead the Russian working class to understand the absolute necessity to overthrow the capitalist system – not just in Russia but throughout the entire world.  The Bolsheviks’ revolutionary socialist program never led them to present frauds like Bernie Sanders and the Democrats as “friends of the working class”, nor did it lead them into the dead end of refusing to participate in bourgeois elections.  A truly revolutionary socialist party with a truly revolutionary socialist program avoids both of these extremes easily.  That’s the kind of program Marx, Engels and Lenin created; it’s the kind of program Trotsky defended; and it’s the kind of program we aspire to base our revolutionary Trotskyist party on.  They were the best leaders the working class ever had and we’d be betraying your trust if we urged you, our working class brothers and sisters, to follow any example besides theirs!

Workers of the World, Unite!

—- IWPCHI

 

Prosecutors Get Indictments from Grand Juries 95% of Time – Unless They Are Pretending to Attempt to Indict a Cop

In Ferguson, MO, the citizens are nervously and angrily awaiting the decision of a Missouri Grand Jury regarding whether or not the cop who wantonly murdered Michael Brown will be indicted for murder or not.

In Gretna, Florida a similar situation exists: there, members of yet another black family mourning the cop murder of one of their kids await the “verdict” of a Grand Jury decision as to whether or not a local cop will be indicted for the murder of a mentally ill unarmed youth – shot to death in his own home after his mother called the cops to help her handle her son’s refusal to go with her to a local hospital for treatment.

The likely outcome in both cases?  The cops will be acquitted by the Grand Jury and the respective towns will quite justifiably erupt in anger against the grave injustice that has been committed by the police and a justice system in which there is no justice for workers – especially if they “happen to be black”.  It is a fact of the U.S. Criminal Injustice System that even though prosecutors can get Grand Juries to indict 95% of the time, “somehow” they almost always fail to do so when the accused is a cop. “The fix is in” every time when it’s a cop facing a potential murder charge. We fully expect that the Mike Brown case in Ferguson, MO will not be an exception to this rule.

Grand Juries in the United States are notoriously unfair.

There is a famous legal saying that Grand Juries are so biased in favor of the prosecution that they could be expected “to indict a ham sandwich”.  The Wikipedia article on “Grand Juries in the United States” quotes from “Eliminate the Grand Jury” a much-cited 1973 essay by the late William J. Campbell –  a US Attorney and at one time the longest serving Chief Judge in the Northern District Federal Court in Chicago – in which he calls for the complete elimination of the corrupt Federal Grand Jury system: ” “[T]oday, the grand jury is the total captive of the prosecutor who, if he is candid, will concede that he can indict anybody, at any time, for almost anything, before any grand jury.” Campbell cites a famous study of the Grand Jury system by

A couple of months ago, a friend of ours was present at a local “temple” of notoriously racist justice here in Chicago’s Crooked C[r]ook County: the infamous Skokie Courthouse (where the conviction rate is an astoundingly Saddam-Hussein-regime-like 90 percent plus). There, he overheard two cops babbling to each other in the inimitable, timeless manner of all pigs throughout human history.  When they started stupidly yapping about one of their recent experiences as a member of a Grand Jury in Chicago, he opened up his ears real wide and grabbed a notebook and started jotting down their priceless nuggets of pig-wisdom.

The babblers were a METRA cop who was just about to enter a courtroom and casually commit perjury in an extremely minor trespassing case (with the likely cooperation and approval of the crooked Crook County prosecutors seeking to maintain their scandalous .900-plus batting average); his interlocutor was a Crook County Sheriffs cop – the bailiff.  Here is the edited conversation – they were already talking about service on a Grand Jury:

Crook County Bailiff (CCB): “It’s like a reunion – you know everyone there – ‘hey, how’s it going?’ ”

METRA cop (MC):  “We heard 899 cases [over 5 weeks – June 2nd to July 3rd]. Not a bad gig.  I had to testify before the Grand Jury 3 weeks before.”

CCB: [I’ve never been on one but my dad was a Chicago cop and he was on several. He said] it was real good money.”

MC: “Oh, yeah!”

Our friend could not resist asking the METRA cop: “Did you indict any ham sandwiches while you were there?”  The bailiff looked at him and said “what?”

He apparently had never heard that one before.  So our friend repeated the question.  Both cops looked at him uncomprehendingly.  Our friend, not wanting to miss the opportunity to pursue the question rephrased it: “Were there any cases that you did not indict?”

MC: “We can’t discuss anything about what goes on there.”

Our friend replied: “That’s OK: I already know the answer.”

[The cops resumed their conversation on other topics.  This doesn’t relate to the Grand Jury but it’s interesting to see what motivates cops – it ain’t “serving the public”. – IWPCHI]

MC: “One of the drawbacks working as a cop for Chicago is you got to live in the city.”

CCB (agreeing): “Uh huh. You guys [meaning METRA cops] get to live anywhere you want.”

MC: “Yeah we’ve got guys living everywhere.  We’ve got a guy who lives in Indiana, a K9 cop: [he’s got a] take-home car…”

CCB: “Cooool”.

MC: “Union Pacific [Railroad] cops get to take home an unmarked car… they’re considered management so they make in the 80’s to 90’s… [thousands of dollars a year – IWPCHI]. […] Lot of guys getting overtime tonight – Jay-Z/Beyonce concert.  They work for SPI.”  [most likely Security Professionals of Illinois]

Screenshot from SPI Incorporated video: SPI Level 2 Taser Training Final Cut

Screenshot from SPI Incorporated video: SPI Level 2 Taser Training Final Cut

[This is another good example of how nearly every story we research leads right into another seedy scandal that would bear investigating.  Thanks to our limited resources, this one’s going to get a pass for the time being…]

IWPCHI

 

 

 

 

 

Revolutionary Greetings to the Workers Attending the 56th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show!

If an alien spaceship was to fly over North Avenue Beach this weekend during the Chicago Air and Water Show, undoubtedly some of the crew would laugh at the stupidity of the human race, madly applauding the spectacle of a display of weapons of mass destruction designed for the sole purpose of – destroying the human race. But it would be as likely that one member of their crew, in possession of a finer knowledge of the history of their own civilization, would point out to his comrades that “it wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were struggling to evolve past the nuclear age”.

What you are witnessing this weekend is the singular spectacle of allegedly civilized human beings teaching their children to approve of our nation’s annual expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons systems capable of bringing about the complete extinction of the human race. It’s a snapshot of life in the United States as humanity struggles through our own nuclear age, hopefully to a higher level of civilization – if we don’t kill ourselves first.

We see our fellow workers and their families arrayed on North Avenue Beach in Chicago to celebrate the thrilling technology our nation’s military can use to slaughter our fellow human beings – right in the midst of the City of Chicago, the murder capital of the USA, where the city government is contemplating the deployment of the Illinois National Guard, armed to the teeth, to patrol the city’s streets in order to “prevent violence”. The citizens of this fair city, you see, are so “up in arms” about gun violence taking place in many of the city’s neighborhoods – “senseless violence” they call it – that they are considering overthrowing their own Constitutional protections against the deployment of military forces to quell domestic disturbances by deploying the military (whose own weapons make the pitiful arsenals of the city’s gangs look like a box of water pistols) to “stop the violence”. It makes us wonder if there is to be found anywhere on this planet a nation as dumb as ours is.

“Why are our children killing one another?” we hear our neighbors cry. “Where does this savage impulse to kill come from?” “What can we do to stop the violence that threatens us on our streets, in our schools and in our workplaces?”

Is it so hard to figure out? The violence comes from the class that runs this country – the US capitalist class – that takes our unemployed daughters and sons and gives them jobs as soldiers, pilots and weapons designers, and who deploy our children all over the world to protect their investments overseas, and to slaughter anyone who dares to oppose the robber barons of the US capitalist class. Our children are taught to accept violence – real violence, the military kind – every day in school, where ROTC programs recruit young women and men to join the military and live a life of “adventure” – adventure that consists of rampaging across the face of the Earth killing their fellow human beings in defense of the U.S. capitalist class and their global investment portfolios. The news media tells us that the most heroic of all our citizens are “our” soldiers who are all “heroes” for “defending our nation”. Hollywood churns out movies and TV shows extolling the noble sacrifice of our nation’s armed forces, deployed all over the world to “fight for freedom” and to wage war on “terrorism”. Our children are taught to believe, by the capitalist class’ bought-and-paid-for politicians, that the final solution to every seemingly intractable human problem lies in bombing those recalcitrant people into submission.

But it isn’t just the US capitalist class and its government and media conglomerates that brainwash our children into worshipping the “military solution” to all human problems; it is YOU, fellow workers! who are teaching your children, by taking them to this festival of the weapons of mass murder and showing them how exciting it is, how beautiful the weapons are, how powerful armed women and men are to change the world for the better, that a better life is possible for us all through mass murder! You, who would raise hell if a swimming instructor “inappropriately touched” your son or daughter during a swimming lesson, and who scream “CHILD ABUSE!” when advertisements are mailed to your home showing a beautiful woman’s (almost) naked body, who think nothing at all of bringing your young and even infant children to the Air and Water Show to praise the glory of our nation’s ability to rain death and destruction on our working-class brothers and sisters all over the world!

Why do you, fellow workers, living here in Chiraq – the murder capital of the USA – bring your children to celebrate weapons of mass destruction which are being used – as you sit there on North Avenue Beach, idiotically “oohing” and “aahing” – in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and a host of other nations to butcher human beings – your fellow workers and their families?

Why do the same disgusting capitalist politicians like the odious Rahm Emanuel, in the middle of such violence taking place on the streets of Chicago, present to the citizens this festival of celebration of the revolting, savage aspect of the human race?

The reason is twofold. One: to dull your innate sense of hatred and revulsion for the weapons of war, to awe you with the power of the ruling class that daily robs you and your family of the necessities of life in order to spend hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth generated through your own sweat and blood and used to slaughter your fellow workers overseas – all in pursuit of the US capitalist class’ insatiable lust for PROFITS; and Two: to scare the hell out of you and your children so you will not dare to fight for your rights against forces poised to be unleashed upon YOU and YOUR FAMILIES should you ever dare to rise up against your exploiters! In the final analysis all this weaponry is designed to defend the filthy rich US capitalist class from “all enemies, foreign and domestic” – including YOU should you dare to fight for higher wages, to defend yourselves from the brutal racist cops rampaging through the streets of our nation armed to the teeth and daily shooting down in cold blood anyone who stands up to their brutality! YOU, brothers and sisters are the source of the fear engendered in the cold hearts of the US capitalist class, who are deploying their weapons of mass destruction throughout the land to protect the 1% from YOU, the working class, who they rob every day of the blood, sweat and tears of your family and its labor in the factories and shops of the capitalist class and whose sons and daughters are sent out to kill and be killed so the US capitalist class can amass even greater fortunes for themselves while you struggle to feed, clothe, shelter, educate and provide basic health care services for yourselves and your families!

These weapons of mass destruction, these highly-trained teams of assassins and murderers the capitalist class and its media hacks teach you to believe to be heroes your children should one day strive to be like, this machinery of mass murder you applaud has, in the final analysis, YOU and YOUR CHILDREN in its sights! Because only YOU have the power to rip the guns out of the hands of the capitalist class and their cops and military – and the capitalists fear your power to do that above all else! It is your children who pull the triggers on the guns and cannon; it is YOUR children who fly the planes, drop the bombs, and kill innocent civilians – families just like yours! Only YOU can put an end to this repulsive national worship of the Pentagon’s tools of mass murder that is the REAL SOURCE of the violence on the streets of our nation!

We are revolutionary socialists – Trotskyists – and it is a principle of our political movement that the working class of the United States – and that of all nations – has no enemies, since we know that all of the people of this planet, of every skin color and every religion and nationality – are descended from common ancestors that lived about 100,000 years ago. Science has proven to us that, as Karl Marx said more than 150 years ago, “All workers are brothers and sisters”. The workers and peasants of China are not our enemies; nor are the workers of Russia, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Iran, Palestine, Pakistan, Yemen or any other nation you can name. All the workers of the world we consider to be our sisters and brothers. We understand that the real enemies of the workers are not our fellow workers overseas whom our national capitalist class tries to get us to hate; our real enemies are the billionaires and millionaires on Wall St. and on Main St., who systematically rob us of the product of our labor every time we go to work, every time we purchase anything and who try to get us to hate our fellow workers overseas so that they can get us to send our sons and daughters into the military where they can be used by the capitalists to defend their hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign investments all over the globe. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, all over the world, the US capitalist class is trying to seize the mineral wealth of other nations for their own selfish personal gain; and they teach our children the dark arts of war in order to steal through military conquest what they can not or do not wish to pay for. It is tax money systematically stolen from your paychecks every week that is used to pay for these weapons of mass destruction you are cheering for that enables them to go around the globe raping the environment and slaughtering the human beings that stand between the US capitalist class and the natural resources that they seek to steal in order to feed their unquenchable thirst for more and more money!

You see the Blue Angels? Imagine that those jets were on their way to your neighborhood to drop bombs on your house because you were the head of a political movement trying to organize opposition to the US war machine. Imagine what would happen to your children if those Ospreys were used to attack your family while you were celebrating a wedding in your yard; imagine those Navy Seals attacking your friends’ house next door. Imagine that it was not a T.V. show or a video game, but a real-life massacre like those that have happened repeatedly to families in Afghanistan, Iraq, in Palestine, Vietnam, North Korea and all over the world where the US capitalist class has deployed these very same weapons of mass destruction that you sit there and applaud, with your children joining in – in imitation of you.

You’d better think about it, because, more and more, the police forces of the United States are being given military-grade weapons; helicopters, grenades, machine guns and all the weapons of war necessary to defend the interests of the US capitalist class from what they KNOW is an inevitable struggle by the working class of the US to fight for higher wages and better working and living conditions. They know that, sooner or later, you are going to be forced to fight for your rights at work, and that you will seek to create political parties THAT THEY CAN’T BRIBE OR CONTROL to defend your rights as workers. You don’t realize this yet – but they do. And they are getting ready for you, as you can see every time the workers of Chicago try to oppose the machinations of the US capitalist class. The deployment of heavily armed police forces in military formations, armed with weapons of mass murder in the cities and even the small towns of the United States is not happening by accident. The capitalist class knows what it wants, and it knows how to get it – and it isn’t always going to be by asking nicely first – and then sticking it to you like they did to Chicago’s teachers last year. As the police response you’ve seen this week in Ferguson, Missouri proves (where the entire police force consists of only 53 cops): even in a tiny town like Ferguson, the police possess weapons indistinguishable from those given to US military units overseas – and they’re trained and willing to use them, children! The class war is coming home, and it is headed for your front door, brothers and sisters. The Obama Administration has even gone so far as to obtain from the US Department of Justice the legal authority to order the assassination of US citizens for writing things and for hanging around with people the US capitalist class doesn’t like! And why has the capitalist class given the NSA the green light to spy on every single phone call, Internet search and email you and your family sends to anyone, anywhere? Are they afraid of you, the loyal members of the US working class?

Now that we’ve drawn your attention to the reality of what it means to celebrate the weapons of mass destruction that the US capitalist class and their mass-murdering military, we’d like to put you on the spot and ask you: knowing all that we’ve told you, do you still wish to wave the flag of U.S. imperialism and teach your children to worship the U.S. war machine? If the answer is “yes”, then you – by your support of this war machine that is being unleashed every day against your fellow human beings – declare yourselves to be the enemies of human civilization and have absolutely no right to complain when you, personally, are held accountable for the war crimes being committed every day in your name. By supporting the U.S. war machine you must accept responsibility for the murders of civilians being committed every day, all over the world by the U.S. military and the C.I.A., who use the very same weapons of mass destruction you have bought, paid for (and which you worship) to commit mass murder and the assassination of untold thousands of your fellow workers around the world – and who now are even assassinating your fellow citizens!

Now that you’ve read this article, you know that the real reason why the U.S. military is deployed all over the world is not to “defend your freedom” – neither Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, China, North Korea nor Cuba possess any means of attacking the United States, and the workers of those countries have never attempted to do so – but to defend the current and planned future foreign investments of the U.S. capitalist class in all these nations – investments being made not to improve your lives or the lives of the people where the investments are made, but simply to make the tiny number of U.S. billionaires and millionaires who own half our nation’s wealth – just that much more obscenely wealthy.  Now you know that the very same U.S. capitalist class that uses its war machine to commit mass murder around the world is the same gang of greedheads that robs you and your family blind every time you go to work or purchase anything from toothpicks to land mines – and you support this! 

And here’s another bit of information for you who worship your own exploiters and their weapons of mass destruction: now that you have read this article, you can no longer pretend to your friends and family that “you didn’t know” the truth about the U.S. capitalist class and what they are really about and what they are really using their military for!  By having read this explanation of precisely what it means to applaud and to teach your innocent children to applaud the murderous, repulsive war machine that the U.S. capitalist class uses to physically destroy every worker in the world who dares to oppose their global thievery – and in spite of this knowledge, still continuing to support the U.S. capitalist class and its war machine – you have become, now, a CONSCIOUS ENEMY OF THE HUMAN RACE!  Congratulations!

One more point we’d like to make before we let you go: you may think that the U.S. war machine can be counted upon to protect you from the very justified wrath of the workers of the world whom you declare to be your enemies by supporting the U.S. capitalists’ war machine that murders them… but know this:  the United States of America represents just 4.5% of the world’s population!  If you believe that there is a future for a nation that represents just 4.5% of the world’s population yet that thinks that it can – through sheer military brutality – force the other 95.5% of the world’s human beings into a state of abject surrender, you are wrong – and you and your nation are doomed to suffer the fate of the last genocidalist capitalist class which dared to attempt such an exercise in futility: the universally-hated German capitalist class that financed Adolf Hitler’s rise to power!

Enjoy the show!

IWPCHI

List of Chicago’s Billionaires Eager to Help the Poor, Homeless

Hooray!  Forbes Magazine – the magazine that celebrates the unbridled greed of the US capitalist class –  just came out with this year’s list of the world’s richest people!  You’ll be proud to know that, while over 30% of US citizens live at or below the poverty level – that’s over 100 million of your fellow wage-slaves, if you’re doing the math – there are 442 billionaires breathing the same polluted air as the rest of us in the US now!  And the total NUMBER of billionaires in the US has actually RISEN in the past year – by a grand total of 27 people!  Isn’t it great to be a worker who has lived long enough to see so many of your fellow Americans doing so well?

But that’s not all, fellow debt-peons!  Get ready for this: the US still has more billionaires than ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!  WOO HOO!  That’s right, WE’RE STILL NUMBER ONE IN AT LEAST ONE CATEGORY: MOST BILLIONAIRES!  That’s billion, with a “B”, baby!  This is indeed the greatest country in the world, where anything is possible if you work hard enough for long enough!

And to think that we at the Independent Workers Party of Chicago were – right up until the other day when we ran across this exciting news in the Chicago Tribune – going around talking about dumb shit like the need to overthrow capitalism in order to bring about a more egalitarian society!  Egalitarianism shmalitarianism – in just under 500 years the US has gone from having NO billionaires to having 442!  Hell, at that rate, in just about a couple of billion years from now we’ll have so many billionaires that no one will ever be homeless or hungry – all you’ll have to do is go down the street and knock on the door of the nearest billionaire and ask for a couple hundred thousand bucks!  They’ll immediately give you enough money to pay the rent for the rest of your life.  It’ll be awesome!  The capitalists are right – capitalism IS evolving into socialism!  All we have to do is wait about 2 billion years and every worker will be a millionaire and there’ll be hundreds of thousands of billionaires!  (Of course, a gallon of milk will cost $10,000.00, but, hey, only ingrates like we used to be would complain about that).

So capitalism is steadily evolving into socialism!  An egalitarian workers paradise will arrive right here in the capitalist US if we just hang on for the next 2 billion years, give or take a couple million!  In the meantime, stop bitching about your crappy pay and your lack of health benefits and the cost of living increasing while your pay shrinks and the fact that you can’t even dream of buying a new car. Someone has to make a few sacrifices here and there in order for those hard-working 442 to amass over a billion dollars each – may as well be the 300 million of you!  What are you, a playa-hater?  Go back to your cold apartment, eat your government cheese and shut up already, you goddamned proto-commies!  If you 300 million red-white-and-blue non-billionaires weren’t such a bunch of lazy, no good, drunken bums you’d all be billionaires too, like these hard-working people on Forbes’ list.  You have no one to blame for your poverty but yourselves – remember that!  Bunch of jealous bastards!

If for some reason you are having trouble paying your bills – most likely because you spent the very generous wages those 442 billionaire owners of the companies you work for give you every week for doing practically nothing on drugs or alcohol – here’s the list of Chicago’s billionaires.  Look them up; give them a call, or just drop by their mansions to say hello and ask – nicely – for a hand UP (not a hand OUT – remember that).  They all like to give money to the poor through the hundreds of charitable organizations that are constantly giving sumptuous banquets in honor of their God-like philanthropy.  They are really a nice bunch of people!  Look them up, go to their homes and just go right up and knock on their doors and tell them your story.  We’re absolutely certain that they’ll take very good care of you – by calling the police and having you kicked off their fucking property, you no-good peasants!  As Mitt Romney said: at least 47% of you aren’t worth the price of the very air you breathe – or words to that effect.  Why don’t you go die already?  If it wasn’t for your 300 million miserable existences, the US would be up to 443 or even 444 billionaires by now!

There are 17 of your fellow Chicagoans who haven’t spent their entire lives feeling sorry for themselves – they picked themselves up by the bootstraps and went out and made a goddamned billion dollars – just like that!  Why haven’t YOU done that?  Because you’re all lazy, good-for-nothing peasants who don’t even deserve the crumbs that fall off the billionaire’s tables that’s why!  Especially all you non-white people!  Oh, we can hear you now, whining: “why aren’t there any non-white people on this list?”  Because your ancestors never worked as hard as J. Christopher Reyes’ ancestors, that’s why!

And don’t let’s hear you goddamned commies point out that, of Chicago’s 17 billionaires, 6 have the name of “Pritzker”, and 2 have the name of “Reyes”.  They all earned every penny of their hard-inherited money!  Goddamned commies!  Go back to Russia!  The Pritzkers have always been tremendously hardworking people, charitable people; the Reyes’ too – unlike YOUR ancestors!  The Pritzkers and Reyes spread that money around… their own families!  They take care of their own, like any good family does!

If you ask any of these people nicely enough, they will certainly be happy to pay your rent or at least put you up in one of the hotels or casinos they own.  Get off your lazy ass for once and go out and do for yourselves!  Before you go around dissing these rich bastards that have amassed billions while you are forced to spend 75% of your monthly income on rent, go to the Pritzkers and ask them for a job, at least!  They love their fellow Chicagoans!  They can’t sleep at night sometimes, they worry so much about the plight of the 35% of the Chicago population that lives at or below the poverty level.  That’s why they give so much to charity – it helps these poor filthy rich people sleep at night!

Here are their names:  we aren’t publishing their home addresses for you – you get off your asses and go find their addresses your own damn selves! And if you really need the help and aren’t just one of those fake “poor” people who actually drive a Mercedes-Benzs to your begging “job” every day – any one of these kind people will see to it that you get what you deserve!  To help you choose which one of these fine fellow Americans to beg for money to pay your bills or student loans, we asked a well-connected Chicago socialite to provide commentary as to the personal qualities of each of Chicago’s billionaires.  Her comments are in parentheses after each philanthropist’s name, job title and company.

1)  Ken Griffin – CEO, Citadel (“Richest guy in Chicago, cheapest as well.  Try him only if none of the others will come through”).

2)  Sam Zell – Owner, Equity Residential REIT – (“Throws money away like a drunken sailor; if you are mediocre Latino baseball player, the sky is the limit”)

3)  J. Christopher Reyes – Co-chairman of distributor Reyes Holdings  (“Real first name is Ethelbert; in brilliant, headline-making deal in 2008 sold naming rights to first initial to J.C. Penney for a reported $1.75 million; known to give crisp 100 ruble notes from USSR to homeless beggars working expressway off-ramps from back seats of stretch limos.  Thinks that’s a joke, apparently.  On second thought, try other 16 first.”)

4)  Jude Reyes – (“goddamned right there’s a relation, dummy!”) – Co-chairman of distributor Reyes Holdings (“Will not talk to you if you don’t address him as ‘M’lord’ “)

5)  Jay Robert Pritzker – Runs private equity firm Pritzker Group (“Very nice guy and always an easy touch for a couple of bucks if you’re down on your luck – especially if you are young, attractive and female.”)

6)  Ty Warner – Head of Ty, Inc., maker of stuffed toys (“Loves homeless children!  Absolutely hates homeless adults. Bring a street urchin with you for best results.”)

7)  Thomas Pritzker – Chairman of Hyatt Hotels (“Very few people know this, but any homeless person who goes to any Hyatt and can prove they’re homeless – bring a letter from your shelter – gets a free room if they have one available – try it!  Wonderful humanitarian!”)

8)  Neil Bluhm – Casino magnate (“Gives away millions in free food and drinks every year.  Homeless families welcome at all his casinos.”)

9)  Joe Mansueto – Founder and CEO of financial research firm Morningstar (“Working 24/7 on analysis, cure for poverty, very nice guy, soft touch”)

10)  Jean (Gigi) Pritzker – Movie producer & film company owner (“Working on developing film about history of poverty in America, will be hiring 30,000,000 extras for slavery, tenement scenes in next film in naked bid for ‘Best Picture’ Oscar [tm]” )

11) Penny Pritzker – Businesswoman, philanthropist (“One of the geniuses behind scheme to shut down ‘underperforming’ Chicago Public Schools and de-unionize, privatize education in America – Chicago City Council, at Penny’s urging, passed law making it illegal for union members to come within 10,000 feet of her mansions. New law includes controversial proviso that Chicago Teachers Union members caught breaking it can be shot on sight by the Pritzkers’ private security guards”).

12)  James Pritzker – CEO of private wealth firm Tawani Enterprises (“Don’t you wish by now that YOUR last name was Pritzker?”)

13)  Patrick Ryan – Chairman, CEO of Ryan Specialty Group (“The closest this list comes to having an African-American on it now that Oprah Winfrey is a Californian”).

14)  Michael Krasny – Founder, Computer Discount Warehouse (“Gives away free computers to poor if you beg convincingly enough. Bring a starving child with and there’s a very good chance you’ll walk away with a used Alienware laptop”).

15)  Eric Lefkofsky – Groupon co-founder and executive chairman (“Move fast if you plan to ask him for money; may be in the next bed over from yours at Pacific Garden Mission by this time next year”)

16)  Nicholas Pritzker II – Former head of Hyatt’s new hotel development efforts (“Fired for proposing Hyatt-brand chain of budget SROs for poor; very nice, tips very well, especially if you have large breasts”)

17)  David Grainger – Former CEO of W.W. Grainger (“Alleged to have been implicated in scandal in which blood bank blood was used as magenta printer ink in fake HP printer cartridges sold at Grainger.  My sources say he reached an out-of-court settlement in which he agreed to perform 10 hours of community service bussing tables at United Fund executive dining room”).

IWPCHI

Democrats, Republicans Find Common Ground in Union-Busting

The bourgeois press never stops bemoaning the supposed lack of “bipartisanship” in Washington these days.  They want the workers to believe that the twin parties that represent the capitalist class here in the United States – the Democrats and the Republicans – are at loggerheads over every important issue facing the nation today.

Well that’s a load of bull.  The truth is, the United States has a phony democracy in which two pro-capitalist parties pretend to oppose each other in order to fool the workers into believing that they represent a “choice” for the workers, between the “friends of labor”, the Democrats, and the “big business” Republicans.  It’s quite a game of charades they play, and the only people who are fooled are those who are not paying attention to how the capitalist class of the United States really runs things in this country.

The wealthy capitalists give generously to BOTH the Democrats and the Republicans, and only after receiving solemn assurances from the candidates of both parties that they will do nothing in the way of undertaking any kind of wealth redistribution scheme or any foolishness of that sort.  Before the capitalists give a penny to a candidate, they make certain that the prospective senator or congressman or Presidential hopeful is 100% in favor of the rule of the tiny capitalist class over the vast majority of the working class.  Only then do they cut a check for a candidate.  In this way, no matter who wins the election, the capitalists ALWAYS win and the workers ALWAYS lose.

Those who pay attention to these truths were treated to a prime example of the way that both parties can come together when it really matters and find that common ground which they usually pretend is impossible to locate.  And so the Democratic union-busting Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, who has saddled up his hobby horse and ridden off to battle the Chicago Teachers Union received a fulsome endorsement from Mitt Romney and his little Sancho Panza, Paul Ryan in Emanuel’s quest to smash the CTU.

” ‘We stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel,’ Ryan told a group of supporters at a fundraiser in Portland, Oregon. ‘If you turned on the TV this morning or sometime today, you probably saw something about the Chicago teacher’s union strike,’ he said, ‘I’ve known Rahm Emanuel for years. He’s a former colleague of mine. Rahm and I have not agreed on every issue or on a lot of issues, but Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teacher’s union strike is unnecessary and wrong. We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.’ [Source: The Raw Story, “Talks Underway in Chicago teacher strike as Paul Ryan sides with Emanuel” by David Ferguson, 11 September, 2011]

You see, when it comes to union-busting, the masks come off and the unbridled fealty to the capitalist system which comes so naturally to the bought-and-paid-for pro-capitalist politicians of both parties wells up in them like so much ill-concealed kickback cash.

Barack Obama, who is afraid that no matter what he says it will adversely affect his razor-thin lead in the polls over his rival, vulture capitalist Mitt Romney, is laying low and allowing his mouthpiece Jay Carney handle all inquiries relating to the Teachers Strike in Obama’s political home town.

While the President disappears behind a wall of American Flags during the solemn commemorations of the 11 September attacks, the news media has nowhere to point their microphones to get pithy quotes on the Teachers strike.  Mitt Romney, too, is allowing his party’s scarecrows to run point on the issue, filling the webpages of the Romney campaign website with anti-union drivel.  But that is to be expected of these swine.  What about the Chicago Democrats?

Last week, according to the Chicago Tribune, “only” 33 out of 50 Chicago aldermen signed a letter they then sent to CTU President Karen Lewis urging her union to “keep students in the classroom during negotiations” – in other words, keep on working without a contract – something no intelligent capitalist would EVER do – while the Mayor and his cretins at the Board of Education try to wear down the CTU leadership in futile “’round-the-clock” negotiations.

These anti-union Democratic Party swine, who preside over some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the industrialized world are so dependent on the crumbs from the table of the Chicago capitalist class that they do not hesitate to rush to show their allegiance to the capitalist system even in a situation where their “own constituents” support the striking teachers by a huge margin!  In this way the Democratic Chicago aldermen show that they do not represent the interests of working people at all but in fact support the capitalist class, who are seeking to slash spending on schools because, to them, it makes no sense to invest money in educating black and Hispanic youth who the capitalists have absolutely no intention of ever hiring for any job whatsoever! Aldermen and Democratic politicians know that if they want to move up in politics, they have to suck up to the rich scum who finance every politician in the land.  Failure to do this will result in a short political career – or none at all.  These Democrats are far more interested in furthering their own careers and feathering their own nests than they are in fighting for the rights of workers!  These people are, in the final analysis, the arch enemies of labor – even worse than the Republicans – because they PRETEND to be the “friends of labor”, only to stab workers in the back at their first opportunity in order to prove to their capitalist masters that they will defend the capitalist system which is solely responsible for the unemployment, poverty, homelessness, lack of decent schools and utter lack of health care for millions of American workers.  In this way these sold-out politicians of the Democratic Party seek to further their own careers – on the backs of the children of the poverty-stricken working class citizenry that makes up the vast majority of the population in every US city.

Listen to these “friends of labor” as they stab the teachers union in the back:

” ‘It’s disappointing that the decision was made to strike today,’ said Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd. ‘I think it would have been more productive to possibly extend the strike deadline for a few more days.’

“Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th, who last week said the blame for a strike would be shared by Emanuel and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, stood by that assessment while also questioning the need for the union to declare a strike.

“ ‘Are your demands such that you have to strike to get resolution?’ she asked. ‘That’s horrible that you say, “Well, we’re going to show you.’ ”

“Ald. Proco ‘Joe’ Moreno, 1st, noted that three charter schools, where teachers are not part of a union, were open in his ward Monday.

“ ‘It’s ridiculous that they’re striking,’ Moreno said. ‘In my opinion, they had a fair offer, there is a fair offer, and I just think some of the union leadership are hell bent on striking. It’s very unfortunate.’ ”  [Source: Chicago Tribune, “Chicago aldermen split on schools strike”, 10 September 2012]

Hopefully, it will turn out to have been “very unfortunate” for the future political careers of these union-hating Democrats that they ever tried to sign on to Emanuel’s union-busting drive.  These people should be driven out of office on a rail by Chicago’s working class at the earliest opportunity!

But how can we do that, fellow workers, when we do not have a political party of our own to turn to?  What good is it to turn a Democrat out of office if you only intend to put another one IN?  This is why the Independent Workers Party of Chicago seeks to get the ball rolling on the formation of a new workers party – of the workers, by the workers and for the workers, one committed to the goal of abolishing the capitalist system, which is the source of so much unnecessary human misery in this world!  The Democrats SUPPORT capitalism!  You can’t become a Democratic candidate unless you support capitalism – and this is the reason why it is political suicide for workers to vote in favor of the Democrats, whose support to the capitalist system means  more layoffs, more homelessness, more people being thrown out of their homes by the Cook County Sheriffs, more racist cops and more wars for our children to fight and die in!  The only way to put an end to human misery is to put an end to the greed-based capitalist system itself and replace it with a system in which those who labor rule.  “The Capitalist System Must Die so the Working Class May Live” is not merely a political slogan – it’s the demonstrable truth which will become clearer and clearer to everyone who opens their eyes and pays attention to what goes on every time the working class attempts to defend its rights against the capitalist class and its cops, courts and paid-off politicians.  Voting for the Democrats is equivalent to crossing a political picket line and siding with the capitalists against the workers.

IWPCHI