Workers Memorial Day & May Day: First we mourn then we fight!

CWG(USA), April 28, 2013,


Note from the Editorial Board: In the following we republish a statement from the Communist Workers Group (USA). The CWG is part of the Liaison Committee of Commnists, together with the Communist Workers’ Group (USA) and the Revolutionary Workers’ Group (Zimbabwe). Irrespective of political differences between the RCIT and these comrades we think that this statement formulates a correct position on the Boston bombing as well as on the capitalists onslaught against the working class.


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In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings that killed 3 people and injured 282 on April 15th, the capitalist press has been whipped into an anti-Muslim frenzy of the by now usual sort. We have no idea what happened in Boston. What really happened? We notice the official story is not finding any greater ready acceptance than the official 9/11 story did. This terrible act was allegedly carried out by two Muslim brothers whose family originally emigrated from Chechnya. Just as after 9/11, this incident is being used to whip up anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hysteria and will be used as an excuse to further the U.S. government’s “war on terror” and erode democratic rights. The bombing will doubtless be exploited for all its worth to free the funding for the homeland security racquet from the effects of the sequester.

The people of Boston and surrounding towns were subjected to Gestapo style dragnets while the FBI and Russian intelligence agencies played at finger pointing at each other for their information trading screw-ups. The police and federal agents turned Boston into a police state in the aftermath of the bombings. Calls from the right wing media for more surveillance and the use of inner city drones echo Obama’s stepped up police state tactics. Following Clintons “Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996,” Bush/Cheney’s “Patriot Act” and Obama’s use of the FBI to coordinate dismantling of the OCCUPY movement, the hounding to death of internet activist Aaron Schwartz and the ongoing terror in the black and brown community were every 28 hours racist killer cops murder a black, brown or immigrant person, often by shooting the unarmed person in the back; indicates a trend toward the rise of a Bonapartist dictatorship under the guise of democracy—supported by the workers’ very own rotten leadership in the AFL-CIO and Change to Win(lose!) Coalition.

On April 17th, two days later, in West, Texas, a fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 people, including nine first responders, injured as many as 180, and 60 were still missing as of the 26th. The blast destroyed or damaged 150 buildings. The fire spread to 25 square blocks and one side of West has ceased to exist. The explosion was registered as a 2.1-magnitude earthquake by the United States Geological Survey. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) last inspected the plant 28 years ago and “found five ‘serious’ violations, including ones involving improper storage and handling of anhydrous ammonia and improper respiratory protection for workers. The agency imposed a $30 penalty on the company (NYT Apr 18).” This company was fined last June for violations involving anhydrous ammonia by the federal Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Of course the criminally negligent homicides of workers by the profit-driven bosses are downplayed, as they don’t serve the class interests of the bourgeois media. In the “free market” capitalist economy workers daily face injury and death on the job. Texas is a “right to work” state, where you work the number of hours the boss demands or someone else has your job. This makes accidents happen in plants that are as good as unregulated and where the only law is profit. In right-to-work states, wages are low and attract the untrained and those who are or will be alienated. Just the kind of folks bosses want handling dangerous and explosive chemicals. Judging by the facts you would have to conclude that these conditions and employees are just what these non-union employers wish to have.

On April 25th, 350 garment workers were killed (with at least that many missing) in Dhaka, Bangladesh as a factory complex collapsed. Capitalist terrorists (line supervisors) forced workers to enter the building despite the visible cracks that raised workers’ fears for their safety. This following a spate of deadly sweat shop fires in Bangladesh last year where capitalist terrorists locked doors and windows, forcing dozens to jump to their deaths or incinerate where they fell. The April 25th building collapse resulted in mass demonstrations of workers who burned two of the bosses’ factories to the ground on April 26th. Yet in Bangladesh burning the factories will not end the capitalist wage slavery and terror. Only expropriation of big capital and the running of production under workers control can end their reign of terror! This is the task of the international working class, for which our class requires our own revolutionary international to unite all workers and bury the capitalist mode of production.

That the West, Texas disaster was not a Bhopal is only due to the lower population density in West. And meanwhile Bhopal has had another disaster of its own. A hospital has collapsed, killing hundreds of hospital workers and patients and trapping hundreds more. Expect to see casualties from all over the world in this hospital collapse, as the impossible prices of medical procedures has given rise to “medical tourism,” during this world crisis of the capitalist system.

It is also rather ironic that West is just north of Waco, the same area where, in 1993, a religious sect, the Branch Davidians were targeted by President Clinton’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In a true case of U.S. state terrorism, 83 Branch Davidians were killed by the government after a 51 day siege.

From a Marxist standpoint, the Boston bombings are horrible acts of terrorism that targeted the working class as much as anyone or anything else. Marxists oppose individual acts of terrorism as a method of political struggle, even when directed against legitimate bourgeois targets or politicians. We are for politically organizing the working class to collectively abolish this barbaric and truly criminal system of capitalism once and for all; this we maintain requires a high level of independent working class self organization. As Leon Trotsky wrote in 1911:

“…In our eyes, individual terror is inadmissible precisely because it belittles the role of the masses in their own consciousness, reconciles them to their powerlessness, and turns their eyes and hopes toward a great avenger and liberator who some day will come and accomplish his mission….

…If we oppose terrorist acts, it is only because individual revenge does not satisfy us. The account we have to settle with the capitalist system is too great to be presented to some functionary called a minister. To learn to see all the crimes against humanity, all the indignities to which the human body and spirit are subjected, as the twisted outgrowths and expressions of the existing social system, in order to direct all our energies into a collective struggle against this system—that is the direction in which the burning desire for revenge can find its highest moral satisfaction.” (Why Marxists Oppose Individual Terrorism, November 1911)

These three events come on the eve of Workers Memorial Day, April 28th, and International Workers Day, May 1st. Workers must not let the lessons of these events go unheeded. Our struggle must not be limited to raising the minimum wage to a poverty wage of $15 per hour or to getting more OSHA inspectors. Capitalism has proven itself unreformable; it must be buried. The capitalist politicians are debating ending the 40 hour work week and ending overtime after 40 hours! This is their idea of reform! We have to finish with them and their parties and their state. We have a world to win and we have nothing to lose but our chains!

For an economy where production and distribution are planned and controlled by the workers deputies!

Build a Revolutionary Workers International! Abolish all anti-immigrant laws!

For Workers Power! Forward to a workers government based on workers councils!