Workers World Party

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The Workers World Party is one of the most hardcore marxist organizations of any consequence in the US, and was founded in 1959. It has a newspaper, the Workers World whose banner line is "Workers and Oppressed Peoples of the World Unite."

Workers World Newspaper

A weekly newspaper, Workers World isn't shy about bragging about what the Workers World Party and its various fronts have been doing. Selected issues will be profiled here in terms of WW Staff and writers, and an occasional article or photograph worth knowing about.

Staff

It should be noted that many of the staff were also writers for the paper, as well as being leaders of various WWP fronts. Over time, most of the writers who are members of the WWP will be identified as so, though it should be noted that not every contributor is known as a member of the WWP. However, their writing for a diehard communist party publication tends to indicate that they either support or are sympathetic to it.

As at 1981, the following worked for the newspaper:[1]

As at 1985, the following worked for the newspaper:[2]

Contributors

The following contributed to the December 11, 1981 issue of the newspaper:[1]

The following contributed to the December 26, 1985 issue of the newspaper:[2]

WWP Activities

Major fronts/events will be listed by their name and members/activities etc. These are regional and local activities, including conferences and forums. The reason for listing minor events is that they often have the names of WWP leaders/members with other identifications, such as a leader of an organization created by the WWP.

Dec 5, 1981 Event

A WWP event was held on December 5, 1981, in Rochester with "Over 80 activist and organizers came from the Upstate cities of Ithaca, Buffalo, Geneva, Binghamtom and Courtland as well as Rochester." Among the speakers were:

National Days of Resistance

National Days of Resistancen lasted from April 24 through May 2, 1981.

National Sign the Treaty Now Coalition - 1973

A flier was distributed in January, 1973 by a NYC-based group calling itself: National Sign The Treaty Now Coalition. The flier's theme was "Nixon, You Lied! Stop the Bombing, Sign The Treaty and Get Out Now" regarding the Paris Peace Agreement that was supposed to end the war in Vietnam. The flier read in part,

"On Jan. 20, Nixon will be inaugurated for four more years as President. He was elected on the promise that "peace is at hand". But he continues the war. he has ordered the largest tonnage of bombs in history - 5 times the total dropped on Hiroshima and Nagazaki (sic) - have been dropped on Vietnam. The vast majority of the people in the world, including the American people, are more than ever outraged at Nixon's policy of war. We demand an end! We must be in Washington on inauguration day, Sat., Jan. 20, to demand that Nixon sign the 'original 9 point treaty' negotiated with the representatives of the Vietnamese people on Oct. 20. This is the treaty which Kissinger said (before the election) had only a few minor points to work out."'

The following is a partial list of the sponsors listed on the flier. This list was heavily loaded with Workers World Party fronts, not all of whom were identified as such.[3]

U.S. - Hands Off Iran! March and Rally Dec. 1, 1979, NYC

An ad appeared in the November 29, 1979 issue of the Guardian marxist newspaper announcing a protest against U.S. policy towards the Moslem extremist-dominated revolt against the Shah of Iran.

AD HOC COMMITTEE FOR JULY 2 EMERGENCY MOBILIZATION (1983)

A two-column wide, full page length ad appeared in the May 1, 1983 Sunday edition of the New York Times (NYT) on Page E7, produced by a group known as the "Ad Hoc Committee for July 2 Emergency Mobilization", located at 19 W. 21 St., 7th Floor, NY, NY, 10010 (212) 741-0633.

This organization was sponsoring, in the ad, "A Call to Action July 2 Wash, D.C." with the them of "No Viet Nam war in Central America!". It was aimed at the Reagan policies of stopping the advance of communism in Central America and the Caribbean, where the US was later to liberate Grenada from both domestic communists and Cuban forces, as well as helping the Nicaraguan freedom-fighters trying to topple the marxist dictatorship of the Sandinistas (FLSN) in Nicaragua.

The text of the ad is as follows:

INSERT HERE "JOIN WITH US!"

"Partial List of signers"** (** organizations listed for identification only); *(coordinator)

"Workers World", December 26, 1985, p. 7

Article by Neville Edwards, NYC, "Heroes Day actions in U.S. back ANC, SWAPO" Benefit concert for the ANC, NYC, Dec. 13th, "Initiated by the U.S. Out of Southern Africa Network".

Quote: "Our dollars will help the military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, of the ANC {African National Congress]] to break the back of the apartheid regime." *Marjorie Lloyd

Detroit Special Forum, Wayne State University WSU, Dec. 14, 1985 "Defending the Freedom Struggle Against Apartheid - Tasks of the U.S. Movement"

Speakers:

Workers World Party fronts over time

A list of WWP fronts will be published below but a Keywiki page will be developed for each of them in order not to take up a lot of space in this WWP section. The two main 1970s sources of citations for these fronts will come from the HISC "The Workers World Party and Its Front Organizations", Study, April 1974, the HISC study "Terrorism: A Staff Study, Aug. 1, 1974[6], items in the "Congressional Record" during the 1970's (particularly by Rep. Larry McDonald (D-GA)) and from the fronts' own mailings and publications.

Information on WWP fronts from 1980-2013 come from the fronts themselves, articles in various newspapers, and internal security newsletters, as well as from the extremely reliable "Information Digest".

WWP Fronts:

Many of these fronts can be found in the HISC study on "The WWP and Its Front Organizations", HISC, April, 1974, Chapter IV - Fronts

Affiliations

In the December 11, 1981 issue of the Workers World, an article entitled "Rochester APC regional report-back: Upstate NY builds for Days of Resistance" was published. APC stands for All-Peoples Congress, a WWP front which was concerned with economic, labor and domestic issues.[1]

Moratorium NOW!

On Sept. 17, 2008, the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions sponsored a rally at the Michigan State Capitol, demanding the State Legislature enact SB 1306, a two-year foreclosure moratorium bill. Represented at the rally was UNITE HERE, Change to Win, United Auto Workers, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of Teachers, Green Party of Michigan, Detroit Greens, the Cynthia McKinney presidential campaign, Students for a Democratic Society, National Lawyers Guild, Workers World Party, Food Not Bombs, Critical Moment, Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice, Michigan Welfare Rights, Call ’Em Out, Latinos Unidos of Michigan, Grand Rapids Latino Community Coalition, Joint Religious Organizing Network for Action and Hope, Adrian Dominican Sisters & Associates for Peace. The following led or spoke at the rally: Sandra Hines and Abayomi Azikiwe of the Moratorium NOW!; Kris Hamel; Reverend Ed Rowe, Central United Methodist Church; State Representatives Gabe Leland, Shanelle Jackson, Bettie Cook Scott and Steve Tobocman; State Sen. Martha G. Scott; Rubie Curl-Pinkins and her daughter Nikki Curl; Jerry Goldberg, people’s attorney and coalition leader; Juan Daniel Castro, Grand Rapids Latino Community Coalition; Linette Crosby; Larry Holmes, a leader of the Troops Out Now Coalition; Robert Pratt of UNITE HERE; and Rosendo Delgado of Latinos Unidos of Michigan.[7]

Moratorium NOW! is affiliated with the Bail Out the People Movement and is controlled by the Workers World Party. The organization's office is located at the Central United Methodist Church and holds meetings there.[8][9]

Solidarity with Sept. 24 FBI Raid Activists

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression lists Workers World Party as one of the organizations that has issued a statement of solidarity in support of the activists raided in the September 24, 2010 FBI Raids.[10]

2003 National Conference

The following is a partial list of speakers for the Dec. 6-7 2003 National Conference on Socialism. Unless otherwise indicated, speakers are members of the Party.[11]

2009 National Conference

Wwp conf 1126.jpg

Program Schedule for National Conference of Workers World Party: 50 Years in the Struggle for Revolution and Socialism.[12]

Saturday, November 14, 2009

  • Opening Plenary Session: The Global Capitalist Crisis, the Coming Class Struggle, the Obama Administration and the Fight for a Socialist Future

Chair: Dianne Mathiowetz; Opening: Elena Everett; Speakers: Sara Flounders, Fred Goldstein, Teresa Gutierrez, Larry Hales, Larry Holmes

Chair: Sharon Eolis; Speakers: LeiLani Dowell, Julie Fry, Jerry Goldberg, Deirdre Griswold, Monica Moorehead; Cultural Performance: Nana Soul, Black Waxx Recordings Greetings and Solidarity messages

Sunday, November 15

  • Continuing Floor Discussion from Saturday Chair: Richard Kossally
  • Final Plenary Session: Building a Revolutionary Proletarian Party

Chair: Joyce Chediac; Speakers: Kris Hamel, Steve Kirschbaum, Dee Knight, Richard Kossally, Mike Martinez

Two main themes ran through the 2009 Workers World Party National Conference: the revival of serious class struggle in the United States as the capitalist crisis brutally strips the workers and oppressed of their jobs, homes and health, and the need to strengthen international workers’ solidarity in the face of corporate globalization and increasing militarism and war.

No one took these huge tasks lightly. But the many speakers resonated with confidence that WWP, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, had the experience and the program to rise to the challenges.

“Don’t be afraid of hard issues,” said Secretariat member Larry Holmes in a summation of the conference. “Surviving through years of political reaction has made us tougher. We have what the workers need. Build a workers’ world!”

The conference was held on Nov. 14-15 in New York. Even more than in previous years, this one rocked with the input of those most oppressed: African American, Latino/a, youth, lesbian, gay, bi and trans, and immigrant activists, who spoke from the stage and from open mikes in the audience. The majority of speakers were women. The diversity reflected the party’s long history of applying affirmative action internally while fighting racism, male chauvinism, immigrant bashing and oppression of LGBT people.

The youth group Fight Imperialism, Stand Together detailed how the worst economic crisis since the Depression of the 1930s was devastating young people. FIST held a workshop so youth from different parts of the country could exchange ideas on how to coordinate struggles on campuses and in the communities.

WWP founding members Milt Neidenberg, Deirdre Griswold, Jeanette Merrill, Frances Dostal, Art Rosen, Rosie Neidenberg, were in attendance..

Allies from different organizations and unions brought greetings to the conference and contributed to the discussion. A high point was a talk by Armando Robles, president of the United Electrical Workers local that carried out a successful occupation of the Republic Doors and Windows plant in Chicago. Dante Strobino of FIST, himself a UE organizer, introduced Robles. Jill White of Chicago WWP told of organizing a massive solidarity demonstration with the Republic workers.

In the opening session FIST leader Larry Hales reviewed the horrific statistics of youth unemployment and poverty, particularly in communities of color. Capitalism makes people “bruised, brutal and hurt,” said Hales, but there’s “a better world to fight for” and young people can be made into revolutionary fighters for socialism.

Teresa Gutierrez, a member of the party’s Secretariat who recently went to Honduras and then to a conference on migrants in Greece, called the waves of migration caused by lack of opportunity a “crime of capitalism” and saw the 200 million uprooted workers around the world as “an army in the making.”

Dispelling any notion that the present “recovery” will help the workers, Secretariat member and author Fred Goldstein went over the figures: more money in the pockets of the rich even as the job hemorrhage continues.

How militarism is deepening the economic crisis was addressed by Secretariat member Sara Flounders. Capitalism can’t live without the enormous Pentagon budget, but it’s dragging the system down. Even with all its weaponry and high-paid mercenaries, the U.S. can’t defeat the resistance in Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world.

Jen Waller, a young activist, saw no future for the world under capitalism, which exploits the land and the people. Julius Dykes, an autoworker with 25 years’ seniority, told of the anger and fear among workers regarding another upcoming layoff and how a friend had committed suicide. He praised the party’s work in the Pittsburgh Jobs March and Tent City, and urged a national jobs march.

People representing various struggle groups took the mike to thank WWP for its support.

Pam Africa of International Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal acknowledged the party, and particularly Secretariat members Monica Moorehead and Larry Holmes, for their work in Millions 4 Mumia and in building a massive Madison Square Garden solidarity meeting for the imprisoned revolutionary journalist.

Brenda Stokely of the Million Worker March Movement raised the need to bring the working class together for a strong May Day demonstration and the importance of education on the history of class struggle.

Ignacio Meneses of the U.S./Cuba Labor Exchange called WWP “a point of reference for the struggle in the U.S.”

Shafeah M'Balia of Black Workers for Justice in North Carolina brought greetings from her group on behalf of “the oppressed working class of the Black nation.” She told of the many programs BWFJ has initiated to bring together women, workers and youth.

Representatives of Freedom Road Socialist Organization and the Vancouver Mobilization Against War and Occupation were invited to the stage to deliver solidarity statements. Both groups have worked with WWP in a number of struggles. Bernadette Ellorin expressed greetings from BAYAN-USA.

Community organizer Rosie Bonds, aunt of baseball great Barry Bonds, told of homeless women sleeping under freeways while luxurious officers’ quarters go vacant at the nearby closed Alameda Naval Air Station. She is now distributing Workers World newspaper in Berkeley, Calif.

Other plenaries covered the global flashpoints of U.S. imperialist aggression and WWP’s 50 years of struggle guided by its Marxist analysis.

Monica Moorehead spoke on the task of a workers’ party to build solidarity within the broader political movement, especially defending the right to self-determination for oppressed nations. She explained the need for a workers’ party to build unity among its ranks if it hopes to win over the most class-conscious fighters.

Support for Palestine was covered by Bill Doares and Judy Greenspan. Doares recalled how back in the 1960s, when most progressives here refused to criticize Israel, WWP demonstrated in support of Palestine during the June War. Joyce Chediac talked about the struggle of Palestinians in Lebanon and the Lebanese people, who are represented by Hezbollah. All three speakers had been to the Middle East in the past summer.

Berta Joubert-Ceci, fresh from a solidarity delegation to Honduras, told how the people are struggling to take back the wealth stolen by the oligarchy and U.S. transnationals. “The coup started when President Zelaya raised the minimum wage by 60 percent,” she reminded everyone. The Honduran struggle is part of a popular upsurge in all of Latin America. A message to the conference from Juan Barahona, leader of the Honduran Resistance, was read.

Abayomi Azikiwe of the Michigan Moratorium NOW! Coalition and a contributing editor to Workers World newspaper traced the connection between the struggle for jobs and homes in Detroit and the mass dislocation and poverty in Africa caused by imperialism. Another dynamic speaker from the coalition was Sandra Hines, who called Detroit, with nearly 30 percent unemployment, “a Katrina without the water.”

Another Detroiter, Jerry Goldberg, spoke of building the party when the Midwest was a stronghold of organized labor. Autoworker Martha Grevatt of Cleveland reported how GM, Ford and Chrysler have abandoned Detroit, creating a disaster that is not “natural.” But Chrysler workers rejected recent concessions by a vote of 3-1, presaging renewed struggle in this vital industry.

LeiLani Dowell spoke of the party’s contributions to the struggle for women’s and LGBT rights, and later on Bob McCubbin introduced Stonewall rebellion participant Sebastian Pernice.

Sharon Black of Baltimore stressed how crucial Black-white unity was in building the Pittsburgh Jobs March.

John Parker of Los Angeles commended the party’s courage and commitment in fighting against foreclosures and heading off attempts to divide the working class.

Julie Fry gave examples of WWP’s long history of support for the Cuban Revolution.

China’s tremendous importance in the world was stressed by Secretariat member Deirdre Griswold, who reviewed the political struggles there and their impact on revolutionary movements. She reminded everyone that Sam Marcy, who founded Workers World in 1959, had written as early as 1950 on the profound significance of the Chinese Revolution for the world class struggle.

Tribute was also given to legendary party founders Dorothy Ballan and Vince Copeland, as well as to those founding members still living whose 50 years of experience in the party continue to enrich it today.

At a session on party organization, labor militant Steve Kirschbaum of Boston urged everyone to contribute to the WW national fund drive, while Kris Hamel of Detroit stressed getting Workers World newspaper into the hands of workers with regularity and consistency. Richard Kossally of New York and Mike Martinez of Miami stressed the importance of political education.

It wasn’t all speeches. There was revolutionary music and poetry that spoke to the heart, thanks to Miya Campbell and Nana Soul.[13]

2010 National Conference

poster for the conference

The 2010 National Workers World Party Conference was held on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13 - 14, 2010, and had the tagline, "2010 National Workers World Party Conference".[14]

The following is the order of events.

Opening Plenary Session: The Capitalist Elections, Economic Crisis and Struggle for Socialism: What does it mean for the left and for the working class?
Chair: Elena Everett; Speakers: Fred Goldstein, Teresa Gutierrez, Larry Hales, Larry Holmes; Cultural performances by Miya Campbell and Mike Martinez

Student and youth workshop
Discuss the dynamic student mobilizations on March 4th and October 7th; the struggles against budget cutbacks and to defend public education; rising youth unemployment; the prison industrial complex and political prisoners; the struggles against racism, sexism and lesbian/gay/bi and trans oppression.

Workers World newspaper WANTS YOU!:
Come to this workshop to discuss the many ways we can maximize getting our paper to our class, and if you’re interested in volunteering to work on it.

Community and labor organizing workshop:
If you’re fighting for education as a parent or educator, immigrants’ rights, health care, jobs or for a union - or against foreclosures, evictions, or police brutality, come network and coordinate with other activists.

Second Plenary: First Panel-- The Capitalist Crisis and Role of the Working Class
Chair: Andre Powell; Speakers: Sharon Black, Phebe Eckfeldt, Martha Grevatt, Monica Moorehead, John Parker, Betsey Piette and Dante Strobino

Second Plenary: Second Panel—Youth and Students Fight Back!
Chair: Lila Goldstein; Speakers: Myia Campbell, Ben Carroll, Mike Martinez, Caleb Maupin and Megan Spencer

Third Plenary: Fighting Imperialism, Building Solidarity and Internationalism
Chair: Julie Fry; Speakers: Abayomi Azikiwe, John Catalinotto, Sara Flounders, Berta Joubert-Ceci and Steve Kirschbaum
Guest speakers, tributes and solidarity messages
Cultural Performance by Last Internationale, revolutionary anarchist group performing "Workers of the World Unite!"

Fourth Plenary: Why Workers Need a Workers Party
Chair: LeiLani Dowell; Speakers: Joyce Chediac, Gavrielle Gemma, Peter Gilbert, Deirdre Griswold, David Sole and Gloria Verdieu

Closing Plenary
Chair: Judy Greenspan; Larry Holmes: Summation; Singing of Internationale

Defending Iran

Several U.S.based "anti-imperialist and anti-war organizationsuary agreed on a January 17 2012, conference call to hold coordinated protests across the country on Saturday, Feb. 4. The demands will be: “No war, no sanctions, no intervention, no assassinations against Iran.”

The ad-hoc group that took part in the call decided that although there were only two weeks to organize, it would invite anti-war forces around the world to join in, if possible, so that this emergency action could develop into a global day of action.

All agreed on the need to stop U.S. imperialism and/or Israel from launching a military attack on Iran. There was also a consensus that the new sanctions President Barack Obama signed into law on Dec. 31 — with the goal of breaking the Iranian central bank — were themselves an act of war aimed at the Iranian people. The political activists on the call raised the danger of a wider war should fighting break out in or around Iran.

While the organizations involved had varied assessments of the Iranian government, they all saw any intervention from U.S. imperialism in the Southwest Asian country as a threat to the entire region and to peace. Some of the people on the call who are originally from Iran and who were in touch with family and friends there conveyed the Iranian people’s anger at the recent assassination of a young scientist.

There was agreement to make “no assassinations” one of the demands to show solidarity with the Iranian population as well as to condemn the U.S. and its allies for criminal activities against Iran and its people.

As of Jan. 19, the organizations that called the actions or endorsed later included the United National Antiwar Coalition, the International Action Center, SI! Solidarity with Iran, Refugee Apostolic Catholic Church, Workers World Party, World Can’t Wait, American Iranian Friendship Committee, Answer Coalition, Antiwar.com, Peace of the Action, ComeHomeAmerica.us, St. Pete for Peace, Women Against Military Madness, Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality-Virginia, WESPAC Foundation, Peace Action Maine, Occupy Myrtle Beach, Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, Twin Cities Peace Campaign and Bail Out the People Movement.

Individual endorsers include authors David Swanson, “When the World Outlawed War,” and Phil Wilayto, “In Defense of Iran: Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation’s Journey through the Islamic Republic”; and U.N. Human Rights Award winner Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. attorney general.

People could follow developments on the Facebook link: No War On Iran: National Day of Action Feb 4, www.facebook.com/events/214341975322807/.

John Catalinotto represented Workers World Party on the Jan. 17 conference call.[15]

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Workers World, December 11, 1981, Vol. 23, No. 50
  2. 2.0 2.1 Workers World, December 26, 1985, Vol. 27, No. 52
  3. The Workers World Party and Its Front Organizations, A Study, House Internal Security Committee, April 1974, GPO # 28-301 O
  4. Ad, The Guardian marxist weekly, dated approximately November 29, 1983?) entitled "An Urgent Public Meeting on "The U.S. and The Palestinians", PSC, and an earlier ad by the WWP and its youth arm, Youth Against War and Fascism], Guardian, Nov. 28, 1979, entitled "To All Progressives - Emergency Mobilization, Stop the War Threats, U.S. - Hands Off Iran!, Rally. Dec. 1, 1979, NYC
  5. Congressional Record, Sept. 23, 1975, pp. E4927-4930, "Attacking the Intelligence Community: The National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee(NECLC; Cong. Rec., May 9, 1970, pp. E2170- 2177, "The National Lawyers Guild Reaffirms Support for Revolutionary Terrorism", and Cong. Rec. Dec. 9, 1981, pp. E5725-5730, "National Lawyers Guild: Part II - Organizational Support for Terrorism"
  6. Terrorism: A Staff Study, House Internal Security Committee, HISC, August 1, 1974, p. 94
  7. International Action Center - Boston: People tell Michigan legislators: ‘MORATORIUM NOW!’ (accessed on Feb. 10, 2011)
  8. Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr: Members of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition attending a meeting at the Central United Methodist Church on Nov. 20 in Detroit, Nov. 20, 2010 (accessed on Feb. 10, 2011)
  9. International Action Center - Boston: People tell Michigan legislators: ‘MORATORIUM NOW!’ (accessed on Feb. 10, 2011)
  10. Committee to Stop FBI Repression: Solidarity Statements (accessed on Oct. 6, 2010)
  11. WWP website: Partial List of Speakers for Dec. 6-7 National Conference on Socialism, Dec. 1, 2003 (accessed on Nov. 17, 2010)
  12. http://www.workersworld.net
  13. WW Revive class struggle, strengthen international solidarity, By Deirdre Griswold, Published Nov 18, 2009
  14. WWP website: Program Schedule for 2010 National Workers World Party Conference (accessed on Nov. 18, 2010)
  15. Workers World, Feb. 4 anti-war actions called to stop imperialist threats to Iran, By John Catalinotto Published Jan 21, 2012