International Women’s Day: News From the US
Election of Donald Trump: Its Effect on International Women’s Day 2017
This year marks the 104th anniversary of International Women’s Day started by communist Clara Zetkin. Though American women have made some gains since that time there are many more that still need to be fought for. To this day, women in the US are not entitled by Federal Law to maternity leave, sick days for themselves or for ailing children or parents, vacation time, daycare services, or welfare benefits that help women take care of their own children or their ailing parents. This shows a complete disregard for the position of women and of the family.
Under President Donald Trump women’s rights are continuing to erode. Donald Trump has threatened to appoint Supreme Court judges who would repeal Roe v Wade and to exempt Big Corporations from providing birth control to female employees.
Women represent the backbone of the family and society. They help raise the next generation of workers. Yet, women continue to live in a state of constant crisis, going from a paid job at work to an unpaid job at home without any time of their own due to low wages, high inflation, and constant cuts in social services.
Trump’s cabinet is stacked with multi-billionaires whose policies, such as housing, job creation, job safety, healthcare, environmental protections are against working people. Under the Trump Administration there will be further drastic cuts to social services, such as Foodstamps, headstart programs, and Medicaid and also privatization of social security and education. These cuts are not being made because there is a lack of money; but because the government’s priorities are for the profits of big corporations, not for the benefit of society. Over $1 trillion continues to be spent on wars that benefit military contractors; while over ½ trillion is spent on government subsidies to billionaire Big Corporations like Exxon and Wal-Mart. Yet while officially 57% of the US budget goes towards military spending, the Trump Administration is demanding cuts be made to the Foodstamp program that represents a mere 1% of the budget. A program that is literally a lifeline to 1 in 7 hungry Americans; 83% of which are: children, seniors, and the disabled.
Since Trump’s inauguration, there have been many women’s rights marches throughout the country; mainly organized by the Democratic Party whose motto is “Voting Democratic will ensure Women’s Rights”. However, Let’s not forget that it was Democrat President Jimmy Carter who voted against the Equal Rights Amendment and for the Hyde Act; Democrat Bill Clinton who destroyed Welfare; and Lastly Democrat Barack Obama who in 2011 during a high inflationary period that was combined with high unemployment slashed Foodstamps & also turned around and signed an act virtually eliminating it in 2021. Capitalism is based upon cheap labor and exploitation. The Democrats and Republicans represent the left and right wing of the same bird. Under such conditions, women with hungry children are the easiest to exploit and there is little economic incentive for either party to change the system.
Although Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Party is using these marches for its own ends, other truly progressive women’s groups like Code Pink, and smaller groups like Women Warriors, PSL, and PC USA (Party of Communists USA) have been able to come forward to refocus the spotlight on the conditions of working women under capitalism and to try to mount an offensive; not only to maintain the rights women currently have, but to demand greater rights. If perhaps nothing more, Trump’s presidency has had the affect of mobilizing women on the streets and opening up the subject of Women’s Rights in a way not seen since the 1970’s; something that would not have happened if Hillary Clinton had been elected to office.
Correspondent for Labor Today
Women’s Commission, Party of Communists USA (PCUSA)
The PCUSA denounces the arbitrary arrest and barbaric torture of Taly Nayandra Figueira dos Santos, cadre of the PCB in Manaus, capital of the Amazonas, on the 25th of February by the military police. In particular, we denounce the physical and psychological violence used against her during her detention, and consider it an attack on us. “An injury to one is an injury to all.”
The evidence underlines that the arrest of comrade Taly and one more member of the PCB was deliberate. The comrade was a candidate for the position of Deputy Mayor of Manaus in the local elections of 2016, was recognized by the police detachment, was insulted for being a communist, was struck and lost consciousness in the detention centre, and received open threats against her life.
The PCUSA expresses its solidarity with comrade Taly Nayandra and the Brazilian Communist Party. The state and federal authorities responsible for this cowardly attack must be held accountable for their total lack of respect for democracy and freedom of expression.. The case must be unraveled and the responsible ones should be exemplary punished. No act to terrorize, criminalize or restrict the activity of the communists will succeed! This act of cowardice of the state authorities in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil will NOT go unchallenged.
The International Department of the PCUSA
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
The voice of American Communists: PCUSA on Trump, Cuba-US relations and opportunism
On the question “How do you think Trump’s presidency will affect the US working class”, the PCUSA says:
“There can only be one answer to this question. “In a very negative way.” In his first days in office we have already seen Trump coalesce around extreme right wing forces, scapegoating immigrants for America’s problems that have been created by the global crisis of capitalism. We have seen a rise in everyday prices. Gasoline prices have gone up .40 cents per gallon in the last month in California. Food prices are rising substantially. Trump’s accomplices in the Congress have introduced anti-labor legislation to cripple union organizing. Trump is now threatening to make war against Iran and to nullify the U.S. Iran Nuclear deal that was negotiated last year. He is attempting to place someone on the Supreme Court of the United States that is young and will serve right wing attacks on our Constitution for years to come. None of this bodes well for the working class”.
The US-Cuban relations will deteriorate under Trump’s presidency says the PCUSA. Here’s the full answer:
“We believe that U.S. – Cuba relations are going to deteriorate under a Trump administration. The economic embargo against Cuba will continue indefinitely. Diplomatic relations will be strained. The new diplomatic relationship established between our two countries is sure to be broken off. We see only that Trump will try to co-opt the leadership of the Cuban Communist Party with increased sabotage, spying, and wrecking. Trump’s people will use diplomacy as a cover for their covert activities. We expect that the Cubans will respond in kind. In interstate relations there must be a degree of trust. The Cubans do not trust Trump, and with good reason.”
The PCUSA rejects the type of political forces such as the CPUSA (Communist Party USA) and PLS (Party of Liberation and Socialism) which it regards as opportunist/reformist parties. More specifically, the PCUSA Council of Secretaries points out:
“We are proletarian internationalists. We reject social-democracy, as Lenin did when he formed the Communist Party in Russia. He called for the formation of “a party of a new type.” We are the only truly Marxist-Leninist party in the United States. We are not Trotskyites and we reject Trotskyism as being anti-Marxist and anti-Leninist. Because our party was formed out of the ashes of the old, corrupt CPUSA, we are familiar with their betrayal of communist principles and discipline. In 2014 it was necessary to declare our independence and ally ourselves with other forces that were not part of the CPUSA, but knew of its recent history of right wing opportunism. The main core of our members are former members of the CPUSA, but not all of us. We are united together by our “unity principles” which state unequivocally that we reject all forms of opportunism and distortions of Marxism-Leninism.
“We see the CPUSA and the PSL and groups like them as a greater threat than the bourgeoisie because these groups serve the interests of capitalism while at the same time deceiving the working class; by sounding more militant, by pretending to be “national liberation” forces; by misdirecting the working class into unproductive forms of struggle. To us these groups are very dangerous. We don’t consider them to be part of a united front against fascism and war. We see them as indirectly serving the interests of the Trump forces. On the international scene, there are too many groups who are infected with opportunism and thus ill equipped to effectively participate in united front activity against the whiff of fascism that is represented by the Wall Street clique around Trump. We believe that the mission of these formations, and their main role as opportunist / reformist formations,is to create confusion and misinformation among the working class and its allies. The opportunists of the Social Democratic CPUSA seek to cover up their misdeeds by maintaining the title “Communist” in their name. We believe that the truth will eventually expose the CPUSA and its revisionism”.
By Angelo | April 9, 2014 |
There should be alarm bells all across the left this week as the Transit Workers Club of the New York District Communist Party was expelled by one man: Bill Davis. The Austin Hogan Club was the shop club of the CPUSA in NYC. Its members worked primarily for the Metro system. Bill Davis had this to say in a letter addressed to the expelled members: “Enclosed is a check for $96.00 that was submitted on 12/3/13 as dues. It can’t be accepted as dues since the people involved are not members of the Party.” Notice here that the dues were sent in on 12/3/13 and the CPUSA’s response is dated March 20, 2014, some 3 months later. Does it take the CPUSA 3 months to process dues payments? The letter goes on to say that “[T]he Austin Hogan Club has demonstrated in many ways and on many occasions that it does not respect the Communist Party, its duly elected Leadership and enacted policies. The club has not participated in any of the events and activities of the Party nor has it supported the national or district policies of the Party, including those related to transit.”
In response, the leadership of the Austin Hogan Club issued this response: “the NY District has purged our Transit Club, Austin Hogan Club of the CPUSA. We will continue to send Pre-Convention documents to the Party in keeping with the Pre-Convention period. And, we will send them to other comrades; both those who are still in the Party and those who chose to step away. ”
This purging is in line with the factional leadership’s unwritten policy of “dropping” “expelling” or simply not accepting dues as payment as spelled out in the CPUSA Constitution. First, the Gus Hall communist club in New York was dropped from membership. Then the Arts and Entertainment Club was dropped from membership by Mr. Bill Davis himself! Then the CP Houston club was dropped and its members purged. This was followed by the Los Angeles Metro Club, and now the Austin Hogan Club. Instead of building up the party, the paid agents of imperialism are driving out honest comrades, usurping power, and moving the party away from Marxism in the direction of social-democracy.
“Given the underhanded and deceitful way in which the NY District has uncomradely treated our club, a club with excellent attendance [a club that functions in a Leninist manner], with solid transit experience and very good influence in transit matters in our union and NYC, we don’t expect a response from them. The very few who remain in the NY District are not known for direct discussions. There has not been an official District-wide meeting since the last convention.” We at the National Council of Communists have to ask, is this the proper practice of “democratic centralism”?
“The upcoming pre-convention District meeting is the first,” states the club’s statement. “They clearly do not want us at that meeting. We are ready to meet if they do hold a hearing on our appeal.”
So what does the future hold? Our party has been hijacked by Quislings and imperialist agents. There is little hope of saving it. “Clearly the 23rd Street leaders, soon to be the Halstead Street leaders, have a lock down on the June convention. Their choice of leadership leaves out most of the more active Districts from participation. That leadership is very narrow and small. It does not reflect the Party, that is, those who are still in and those who are looking at June to see what happens.”
Communists have always fought for social and economic equality; battling against racism, sexism, disability and LGBT bias. In fact, the Soviet Union was the first country to decriminalize “homosexuality” in 1917 and many important LGBT people held important positions of power in the USSR. In the United States, LGBT rights were important to the communist party and many comrades like HARRY HAY who created the Madison School were involved in the fight, even during the repressive 1950’s. East Germany was the first country to legalize birth control, abortion, sexual education, and even advocate LGBT rights as one form of sexuality equal to others during the early 1960’s.
Like racism and sexism; LGBT bias is caused by Capitalism’s need to create scapegoats and pit one set of workers against others to prevent solidarity. Just like racism did not exist for example during the Roman period or the Middle Ages, LGBT bias is a modern creation of Capitalism. Sigmund Freud, for example, when he declared that all men and women were bisexual was not postulating a new theory, but one that had been accepted. LGBT bias and the use of terms like “homosexual” were modern 20th century creations; gaining momentum specifically in the 1920’s with the rise of Fascism. Like Jews, LGBT people were also scapegoated whether in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, or Capitalist America.
One may argue that after the historic Supreme Court decision allowing same sex partners to marry in the US, why is there still a need for LGBT to support communism or join the communist party? Because “Same sex” marriage is not enough. In 29 states for example, it’s still legal to fire someone for being LGBT. Moreover 40% of LGBT youth are homeless. In addition, attacks against the LGBT community will continue as long as Capitalism needs scapegoats to detract attention from economic ills. In fact, the Supreme Court just happened to pass the “Gay” Marriage Act, as Congress passed the TPP. The TPP is a brutal free trade act that undermines all worker and community rights. Under the TPP, states and countries will no longer be able to set or enforce pollution controls or even a minimum wage if it interferes with corporate profits. We need real progressive change. An End to All Discrimination!! Not smokescreens.
- Everyone should be entitled to healthcare benefits, not just married couples.
- Increase number of School Counselors for all students, including LGBT
- End all discrimination in the workplace, housing, adoption services, and public services.
- End homelessness, including the 40% who are LGBT. In the former Soviet constitution, shelter was a basic right as was medical care, and education to the university level.
Join us and make a difference.
Party of Communists, USA
P.O. Box 140434
Staten Island, NY 10314-0434