Monthly Archives: June 2013

Now is the time! Unite and fight!

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RED SALUTES TO THE WORKING CLASS OF TURKEY! SELAM, YARATANA!

The world’s eyes are on the ongoing struggle in Turkey, where the people of Turkey are fighting against the repressive state and the capitalist development that it has undertaken.  While the dynamics on the ground are very complex and are rapidly developing, the massive demonstrations, strikes, and street battles have opened up new revolutionary potentials within Turkey.   This has inspired people throughout the world to struggle against the capitalist system and the repressive state.  With that being said, we endorse and repost a solidarity statement below.  For more information, and to sign the statement you can go here.

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

Red salutes to the working class of Turkey!  Selam, yaratana!  As internationalists and revolutionaries, we pledge our undying solidarity the working class of Turkey and its allies in its struggle against the Justice and Development Party government (AKP).  We are honored to greet you 50 years after the death of your great socialist poet, Nazim Hikmet on this day of June 3rd, 2013.

We watch with horror as you and your allies are gassed, beaten, shot at, and arrested by the brutal police forces of Erdogan and his authoritarian government.  We are impressed and humbled by your commitment to fight this repression, particularly the workers of KESK and Hava-Is in their strikes against the capitalist state. We hope that more workers will follow your lead and example and help spread the Taksim movement to every corner of Turkey and beyond.  Only a worker’s movement has the ability to bring the powers that exist to its knees in a way that no other class can.

Solidarity to the Turkish metal workers, who faced repression last November in Bursa and continue their struggle against the yellow trade unionists and other anti-labor pawns.  Solidarity to the brave students of Middle East Technical University, who were savagely attacked by the police in December of last year.  Solidarity to the youth of Turkey who have been arrested and called “plunderers” and “extremists”—your brave actions will not be forgotten.  Solidarity to all those workers and their allies who are now beginning to come together to fight against their capitalist oppressors.  We hope for your victory and urge you to be wary of those who come in the name of “help”.

May the fire of TEKEL continue to set your enemies ablaze in these difficult, but necessary times.

YAŞASIN GENEL GREV!

Stand in Solidarity with Mexican Teachers! Wednesday June 5th at 5pm

     In solidarity with the organizing efforts of Classroom Struggle in Oakland, and the struggles of teachers in Mexico, we re-post Classroom Struggle’s invitation to a protest this Wednesday in solidarity with the teachers’ struggle in Mexico. As communists, we support this demonstration of international proletarian solidarity, an essential component of a victorious international communist revolution.  Let’s connect the local struggles against the continuing destruction of quality public education for the working class and people of color in Oakland with the struggles of Mexican educators and students, so that we may win both struggles and build momentum towards the overthrow of capitalist dictatorship by democratic organs of workers power!

Stand in Solidarity with Mexican Teachers!

  
    Teachers throughout Mexico – from Michoacan and Guerrero to Mexico City – have been taking to the streets in opposition to a set of “reforms” imposed by the Mexican government, under the leadership of newly elected president Enrique Peña Nieto.

     These “reforms” include: increase in the amount of standardized tests, decrease in the power of the teacher’s union (SNTE) in controlling hiring practices, additional power to administrators and bosses throughout the Mexican public education system, and an attempt by the government to force more of the costs of schools onto parents through a measure promoting decentralized budgeting under the guise of “school autonomy.”

     These are the same “reforms” that we’re facing here in the US – from No Child Left Behind to Race to the Top. We need to learn from our counterparts in Mexico, and support their efforts.

     Let’s gather together at the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco, this Wednesday June 5th, to educate ourselves and take on simple tasks we can take to support the teachers in Mexico fighting for quality education for students, parents, and teachers. We will have informational flyers and sign making materials.

Join Us!

When: Wednesday, June 5th @ 5pm
Where: 532 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94105
Contact us for more info: classroomstruggle@gmail.com 

“The Woman is the Proletarian of the Proletariat” – Flora Tristan

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The purpose of this essay is to summarize a key text on the relationship between patriarchy and capitalism, written by a socialist feminist organization Advance the Struggle is politically close to, Pan y Rosas. In their book, Pan y Rosas: Gender and Class Antagonism under Capitalism, the author Andrea D’Atri wages political war against the various strains of liberal and postmodernist feminism, boldly upholding the mantle of revolutionary feminism from the beginnings of the capitalist era in Europe to the modern struggle against the brutal conditions women face in Latin America and worldwide.

Pan y Rosas, a women’s socialist organization under a larger Marxist-Trotskyist formation in Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, and other Latin American nations,  takes its namesake from the 1912 Bread and Roses strike by women textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts. They synthesized the strike for higher wages and for better living conditions, thus the title “bread and roses”, signifying their desire for a higher standard of living that would afford them the ability to enjoy the knowledge, culture, and freedom every human beings deserves but is largely denied, particularly for most women, who are forced to work for a paid wage and perform unpaid domestic and caring labor.

Sex against sex or class against class?

All women are oppressed by patriarchy, but the majority are also under the tutelage of waged work and dispossession. For example: are Ivanna Trump (billionaire clown Donald Trump’s wife) and Hillary Clinton closer to the majority of working and poor women, or to the bourgeois class they belong to? Although patriarchy precedes capitalism by thousands of years, the former takes a specific form under the latter. Under this system, the reproductive labor, such as cooking, cleaning, washing, having babies, raising children, etc., necessary to maintain our species and reproduce new generations is primarily performed by working-class women. Patriarchal ideology socially constructs women’s domestic labor as a natural function extending from their biology. Even though this labor is crucial in reproducing workers’ needs to eat, sleep, procreate, etc., in order to work day in and day out for the boss, this ideology allows for capitalists to maintain it as unpaid and therefore keep wages down and profits high. Working women’s role as waged and domestic workers has been dubbed the “double-shift,” since the end of the 9-5 simply means the end of the first shift for women, after which they return home to perform their other, albeit unpaid, shift. Because under capitalism women are primarily viewed as baby-making machines, struggles around bodily autonomy and reproduction rights can challenge  capital’s narrow framing of sexuality in a heteronormative manner. Part of the reason the typical nuclear family is upheld as the ideal under bourgeois society is because it assures a constant replenishing of the labor force with young workers who can work faster, longer, and will feel less entitled to the benefits older workers demand. Homosexuality is therefore seen as a break in this relationship because it removes procreation as the main goal or desire of romantic/sexual relationships.

The 20th century was the century of the miniskirt, jeans, the right to vote, contraceptives, legal abortion, etc., all achievements through a century of struggle, but what does it mean to talk about progress when so many women around the world die from hunger, preventive disease, abortions, pregnancy, unemployment, etc? Capitalism’s growth has been contradictory; for while it lays the basis for ending thousands of years of patriarchy by reducing the grip of the family and the male patriarch  through forcing women into the public workforce, it has also deepened the misery poor and working-class women encounter through the ideological and violent enforcement of women’s gender role in society. According to our comrades in Pan y Rosas, and the defining element of our feminist framework, the central subject of women’s liberation is the class relation, the axis that can unite proletarian, poor, and all oppressed women in the war against capitalist-patriarchy.

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