3 IMCWP, Contribution of Communist Party, USA

6/22/01 12:58 PM
  • USA, Communist Party USA 3rd IMCWP En North America Communist and workers' parties

Communist Party, USA
by Roberta Wood

I would like to extend warm greetings on behalf of the
National Committee of the Communist Party USA and our
Chairman, Sam Webb.

We thank the comrades of the KKE for your hospitality. Your
initiatives in calling international meetings have made a
valuable contribution to the world communist movement.
Today's gathering is certainly timely. New developments
also call for increased analysis of, and vigilance against,
dangers from the ultra right.

In the US we are experiencing a right wing political
assault on democracy at the same time as the economy is
undergoing a cyclical downturn. The taking of the
presidency by George Bush was more of a selection than an
election. Right wing authorities at all levels of
government brazenly refused to count massive members of
votes, especially in Black, Latino, and working class
precincts. This took place against the background of mass
layoffs and plant shutdowns in industries from steel and
auto to electronics and high tech. Over � million workers
have lost their jobs since the beginning of the year. At
the same time many of the social programs which allowed for
the survival of the unemployed and their families have been

The downturn appears to be global in nature. No one knows
how deep it will go, but our feeling is that the potential
is there for a very deep crisis. Why were the forces of
monopoly capital willing to sacrifice the US Supreme
Court's carefully contracted mantle of impartiality to have
a Bush administration in the seat of power? We think this
unprecedented level of intervention in the election process
was a result of monopoly capital's urgently felt need for
total corporate control when the impending economic crisis
takes hold. They want the assurance that the crisis will be
resolved on the backs of the working class and oppressed

The political assaults is many-sided. The political extreme
right and their big corporate sponsors are now moving with
all means at their command to try to destroy both the
political and economic strength of the trade unions. We see
an increased attack on workers' rights to organise, to have
a union. Five leaders of the longshoremen's union in
Charleston, North Carolina are under house arrest and
facing prison terms for nothing more than picketing to
defend their union jobs. The outpouring of solidarity from
around the world has been tremendous; many more solidarity
actions are planned in ports across the world on the
opening day of the trial.

We have seen other assaults on democracy, including the
dismantling of programs remedying racial discrimination,
attacks on public education, on separation of church and
state, on women's rights to access to medical abortion, and
the growth of a huge prison industry with an unprecedented
percentage of our population, especial African American,

In a new development in the US, an energy crisis has been
created by oil monopolies to produce unbelievable profits.
Popular reaction to this has included calls for greater
regulation and public ownership.

As we all know, attacks on immigrants are linked to racism
and imperialism, forces the massive dislocation of working
people when enormous transfers of wealth from developing to
developed countries as well as war make survival impossible
for millions of workers in their home countries. In the US
we have seen the total militarisation of the US - Mexican
border. The diabolical policies of the border patrol force
desperate immigrants who lack legal papers to wander
through hundreds of miles of the Arizona desert. Just last
month a party of 14 young Mexicans died a horrible death,
adding to more than five hundred who die of dehydration and
exposure each year on this desert.

Our Party is deeply convinced that the assault on democracy
and the rise of the ultra right have a material base in the
growing concentration of wealth and power in the world.
�Merger mania� has fuelled the emergence of huge global
corporations, some with greater financial resources than
the economies of many countries. The set backs to socialism
have loosened all restrains on world imperialism's global
plundering and profiteering. It will take the world labour
movement to reign in imperialist globalisation.

Unbridled US military power is a new and dangerous feature
of globalisation. The existence of only one worlds
super-power does not mean an end to war dangers. We can see
this looking at the military destruction rained down on the
Balkans, the continued bombing of Iraq, the brutal US
supported Israeli occupation of Palestine, or even the
continued test bombing by the US Navy of the Puerto Rico
island of Vieques. Trade tensions are a sign of
inter-imperialist rivalries, leading to new war dangers. US
co-operations and banks are aided in their world plunder by
the American government and military. The new military
program called Missile Defence Shield and the expansion of
NATO are examples of this. We are encouraged to see the
tremendous outpouring of resistance across Europe and the
world and especially hail the tremendous AKEL victory in
the heart of Nato's �sphere of influence�.

We have witnessed dramatic shifts in the US labour
movement. Our national labour federation, the AFL-CIO, has
removed its anti-Communist clauses from its constitution,
finally marking the end of the Cold war era. It is a new
day now with a growing spirit of decades, due mainly to
massive job loss in the organised sectors, many unions have
launched creative and new approaches to building
membership, taking into account conditions of new
industries, part-time and contingent work forces, special
problems of immigrant workers, and the multi-racial,
multi-ethnic male-female characteristics of our working
class. Unity to confront corporate power requires greater,
more direct challenges to racism and discrimination.
Organised labour has taken great pains to build unity and
coalition with African Americans, Latinos and all those who
suffer racial and national discrimination. Labour has also
vigorously pursued coalition relations with the women's
movements youth movements, immigrants rights groups,
environmental movements, rural and farm movements, lesbian
and gay movements, and all others who are victims of
corporate greed and discrimination, etc. There is a new
level of independent political action including a new
emphasis on labour candidates.

There is an interest in international solidarity. For
example, our steelworkers union sent a delegation to
Colombia. The delegation is reporting back to US workers on
the murders of trade union leaders including the role of US
corporations like Coca Cola and US military aid. Labour
helped organise militant demonstrations against FTAAA (Free
Trade Agreement of the Americas) across the country and is
now gearing up to fight to fight a procedural manoeuvre
that would allow it to pass through Congress with little
debate. In addition, there is a growing rejection of the
old class collaboration policies. For example, one labour
federation in California issued a paper calling for a
discussion and questioning the role of US labour in
supporting CIA and State Department interventions to break
unions in Chile in the 1970's.

Not surprisingly in this atmosphere, Communists are finding
more and more doors open to us in the labour movement,
including many opportunities to work in coalitions. All of
these new developments profoundly affect our working class
and labour movement. We are now developing a new Communist
Party Labour program. Please see me if you would like a
draft copy of that program.

Our own Party convention will be taking place in just 2
weeks. Internationalism will play a large part in our
discussions. I hope to report on these weekends'
deliberations as that meeting.

We believe strongly that the Communists and the left must
play a role in uniting the world labour movement against
imperialist globalisation. We need to develop effective
strategies to fight global economic and social crises. We
need new thinking on possibilities for joint actions.
World-wide, Communists have a responsibility, along with
the labour movement, to figure out strategies for both
unity and action. Our meeting his weekend is a great
initiative in that direction.