For International Labor Defense of the Migrant Caravan!
The migrant caravan making its way north has brought into focus the brutal impact of U.S. and world imperialist exploitation, repression and poverty on the the semi-colonial countries. The 7,000-plus migrant caravan of mostly Honduran, along with Guatemalan and El Salvadoran workers, has appealed to the international working class for solidarity chanting ?“migrants are not criminals, we are international workers!” ?It is the duty of the international working class, and in particular, U.S. workers to come to their defense through labor mobilizations and class struggle actions. No one is illegal, let them in! Open the borders! To the rejoicing semi-social democratic post-election revelers we say: to refuse to defend the caravanistas is social imperialism!
Trump, who rode to the Presidency on anti-immigrant racism, has deployed 8,200 troops to the border to prevent their entry, and declares his intention to make that 15,000, more than are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. ??This is an ominous move by a wannabe dictator. Trump had to backpedal after saying the troops had orders to shoot to keep the caravan out. The Posse Comitatus Act (which originally arose as a reactionary compromise with the South after the defeat of Reconstruction) forbids Federal troops from being used domestically for law enforcement. The Pentagon has insisted that the troops will not be used for policing, but for support activities. No one should interpret ?this to mean there is any revolt sentiment against Trump among the top brass. And it would not be beyond the U.S. government to foment an incident. And along with Trump’s troops, racist fascist militias are also mobilizing against the migrant caravan.
Xenophobic Social Reaction and Fascism
Xenophobia is a ruling class game as old as class society. Trump is working as hard as he ever does at anything to make Latinos and Middle Eastern populations the dehumanized “other.” This is hate directed from the top of the Executive committee of the ruling class. This validates the combined nativist/racist violence of white nationalists. Trump SAYS he doesn’t like this violence one bit, which to us appears to be a signal to the “militias” to see what they can get away with. Trump may think he is a clever propagandist visiting the Pittsburgh synagogue last week but ordering all federal building flags flown at half mast after this week’s bar shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, where a cop, i.e. a white person, was killed. For Trump and his ilk the refugees belong in their “shithole countries” facing killer gangs, police, army, paramilitary and even U.S. corporate private death squads. This policy outrage dovetails with Trump’s family separation system, which continues in defiance of the courts (THE LAW!!!) ?To defend the refugees is a working class duty and not only will few others do so now, but also it is past time to realize that to defend our fellow workers from elsewhere we must cost the rulers their profits! We need to strike! Suppose for a moment all Teamsters halted all southern border cargo transport. Trump’s policy, whatever his hates may be, would be punctured in a week! We listen for any defense of the refugees from Brother Trumka and hear crickets.
Imperialism and the Semi-Colonies
It was in Honduras that the U.S. armed ?Contra (“counter revolutionary”) terrorists were trained to wage war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua that came to power by overthrowing the U.S.-backed dictator Somoza. The Contra war left 30,000 dead and thousands more wounded. Hondurans are fleeing the killers of the regime installed by a U.S.-engineered coup d’etat during the Democratic Party administration of Obama (CIA man since college!) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (former “Goldwater Girl”).
In 1954, Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz was removed in an Eisenhower/CIA-hatched operation after his agrarian reform had stepped on the toes of the United Fruit Company. The subsequent 1962-96 Guatemalan civil war led to the death of 200,000, the majority of whom were Mayans. ?The United States provided economic and military aid and the CIA operations led to assassinations, extrajudicial executions, torture and kidnappings. One million Guatemalans were forced to leave their homes.
Many in the refugee caravan are fleeing El Salvador. They are fleeing the killers of a gang born in U.S. prisons. ?Such is the domestic violence in El Salvador where government spasms of repressions ineffectually seek to keep down the robbery and extortion carried out by the gangs that no one feels safe. Kidnappings ?and rapes are epidemic and the way of life in areas the gangs control. The robbery of El Salvador’s resources by U.S. imperialism for more than a century artificially limits economic development, and with no employment opportunities, gangs flourish. But these gangs were formed in the U.S. and are a distorted reaction to U.S. anti-immigrant racism. In fact, the gangs could not recruit or last without it.
For International Workers Solidarity! ?For Workers Revolution From South America Through Central America to North America!
Under imperialism, the bourgeoisie has long ago exhausted any progressive role. The outrages of the know-nothing Trump immigration policy are a seamless transition in all but optics and liberal spin from the policies of the progressives’ beloved Obama, who only yesterday was correctly decried as the “Deporter in Chief.” Family separation was already begun without especial media attention.
The century and more of developmental stagnation of productive forces applies not only in the imperialist countries, but equally and worse in the semi-colonies. ?National independence from imperialism, agrarian reform, and the other bourgeois democratic tasks can only be achieved in the semi-colonies through the working class at the head of the masses overthrowing the comprador bourgeoisie and completing ?the national-democratic revolution through socialist revolution. This is the Trotskyist political program of Permanent Revolution, as opposed to the reformist social democrats and Stalinists who preach a two-stage revolution:, one the democratic and the second the socialist, that they may pretend at times to lead but have no intention of ever fulfilling. The weak bourgeoisies cannot break their ties to imperialism and petty-bourgeois socialism strikes poses of “anti-imperialism” as they support various counter-revolutionary dodges: strongmen, (“Revolutionary”) Constituent Assemblies, Peoples Fronts, even guerrillas in exceptional times.
International working class solidarity with refugees is more crucial than ever. Coordinated labor actions by Mexican and U.S. workers in defense of the migrant caravans would go a long way towards forging unity across the Americas. Mass mobilizations of contingents of trade unionists are needed at the border, including labor defense guards to defend the migrants against the fascist militias. Labor political strikes demanding “Hands off the immigrants! Let them in!” would get the biggest bosses’ attention right away! Transport workers should make sure that the immigrants get to where they want to go on the bosses dime and make it known that freight can stop if they don’t! Labor should appeal to the rank-and-file soldiers to refuse to follow their officers’ orders and side with the immigrants. It is time to unionize the enlisted ranks!
Right now, when bosses are crying that jobs are hard to fill, is exactly the moment to tell them we don’t fall for their wage stinginess and we won’t stand for their racism. Many ranchers have already made known they will not have Trump’s wall and that they depend on hiring their Mexican neighbors regularly to make their family businesses viable. At the border itself this is the majority sentiment and workers elsewhere should learn the truth, come to the border and be welcome ?and reject the hate program of the racist landlord crook from Queens, New York!
For the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the border!
No one is illegal! Tear down the fences and disband the Border Patrol! Abolish ICE! Down with Trump’s Muslim ban! Asylum for all refugees! For free movement of all workers across the border! No fines or fees!
Full citizenship and employment rights for all workers! Reunite the kids with the parents and drop all charges!
Down with racism and racial profiling! No scapegoating of oppressed peoples! Down with English-only bigotry! For mass Labor/Community militant actions to stop ICE raids and deportations!
For labor political strikes to defend immigrant workers! For labor defense guards to defend immigrants at the border and to drive ICE from the workplaces and the communities!
Free all detained undocumented workers! Down with E-Verify!
Let workers choose where to work by demanding that all workers who do the same work get the same contract, same wages, and same working conditions, regardless of country! Demand ?the “prevailing rate” in the western imperialist center become the international standard wage.
An injury to one is an injury to all! For international working class struggle!
Fight for full employment at full union rates and benefits for all! For 30 hours of work for 40 hours pay to spread the available work and do the neglected, socially necessary environmental remediation!
Nationalize major industries and the financial sector without compensation under workers control to provide adequate access to credit and to get the wheels of industry rolling again!
American workers: The main enemy is right here at home and it is the U.S. capitalist ruling class! U.S. military out of the Middle East! Defeat U.S. imperialism in Latin America, in the Middle East, and everywhere!
Break with the Democrats and Republicans!
Build an internationalist fighting workers’/labor party to struggle for a workers’ government to abolish capitalism and its system of national borders!
For a new revolutionary Workers International, the World Party of Socialist Revolution!
For socialist revolution throughout Latin & North America and the Caribbean! For a socialist federation of the Americas and the Caribbean!