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Bulletin for the Emancipation of Labor: 2

Published by Pro-Labor Citizens, in Defense of the Rights of Workers

No Platform for Fascists!

The news that openly fascist elements are rallying massively to the Reform Party comes barely one year after an armed anti-Semite gunned down children in an attack on a Jewish Community Center in California. These ominous events cannot be ignored.. A socialist response to the growth of fascism must include massive, militant demonstrations to deny the fascists any opportunity to propagate their program of murder, as well as the organizing of workers' defense guards based on the unions to protect those whom the fascists target. This is a fight we must win. In the class battles which are coming, either the workers will prevail, or fascism will destroy us all. There is no third alternative.Read "The Workers' Militia and Its Opponents," available from Emancipation.

Die Grünen: A party in support of war and repression

German Greens Welcome Iranian Tyrant

Green presidential candidate Ralph Nader recently claimed on CNN that he would win the November election if he could get into the October debates. Have you ever wondered what a Green administration would do once it had power? Promises made by a pro-capitalist party like the Greens, whose program never mentions socialism, and by a multimillionaire politician like Nader, who enjoys personal wealth of at least $3.9 million, are less than compelling; since a Green party is already in power, governing Germany as part of a coalition, we can arrive at some idea of what course the Greens would follow if they were elected to run the U.S. by looking at what die Grünen, the German Greens, have done since they entered the German government.

The first fact to be noted is that the German Greens entered a bourgeois government, one designed to assure that capitalism, the system in which property owners exploit working people, should continue. So die Grünen are a party in support of capitalism.

Secondly, one should remember that when the government the Greens did not leave the government they had entered when it supported and participated in the murderous NATO bombing campaign against the Serbian people in 1999. Together with the reactionary German Social Democrats, the Greens directed German military participation in NATO's war against the Serbs. This shows that die Grünen are a party in support of war, as well as capitalism.

A third point is that, in addition to upholding capitalism at home, the German Greens are willing to embrace reactionary and repressive regimes overseas. The visit of Iranian President Khatami to Germany, at the invitation of the Green/Social Democratic coalition, in July of this year, proves this.

When Iranian security forces suppressed student protests against the Islamic regime that rules Iran, twelve months before Khatami's visit, several students were killed, and hundreds of others were arrested. Khatami endorsed the repression of the protesters and declined to help students who were facing torture and death sentences from the Iranian state he heads.

Little more than a week before Khatami's arrival in Germany, ten Iranian Jews were sentenced to prison in a trial closed to the public, conducted without a jury, and universally denounced as unjust and anti-Semitic. Accordingly, 175 members of the German federal parliament and 300 German state legislators signed a protest resolution against Khatami's visit. The Greens reportedly refused to sign this resolution. The entire working-class movement should join in making the demand: Release the ten imprisoned Iranian Jews immediately!

The Green politician Joseph (Joschka) Fischer, who is the German Foreign Minister, defends Khatami's rule in Iran as a "reform process" and the result of "free elections." Neither claim is true. In 1999, the second full year of Khatami's presidency, Khatami's regime executed at least 165 people. It is reported that torture is still standard operating procedure in Iranian prisons. In the weeks preceding Khatami's visit to Germany, the Iranian state banned twenty newspapers, while arresting dozens of journalists and student leaders. Some reform!

More recently, in mid-August, the satirist Ibrahim Nabavy was arrested in Teheran, as were the political commentator Mohamad Khachany, the writer Ahmad Zeydabary, and two others. Release the jailed journalists!

Elections in Iran are, in fact, unfree and unfair. No party can participate without pledging allegiance to the Islamic regime, and an omnipotent "Council of Guardians," elected by no one, scrutinizes every candidate to insure loyalty to Islamic rule. That the German Greens are willing to endorse such despotism, through their cabinet minister Joschka Fisher, demonstrates just how far the Green parties are from revolutionary socialism.

A final point: in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent wholly-justified protests by Iranians and others against the tyrant Khatami, the Green/Social Democratic coalition placed Germany under virtual martial law, arresting fifty Iranian émigrés in Berlin, preventing busloads of Iranians from reaching Berlin from southern Germany, prohibiting 8,000 Iranians from entering Germany, and converting the center of Berlin into an armed camp.

Despite the best efforts of the Greens and Social Democrats in power, Iranian protesters did hold their demonstration; they informed the public that 560 people have been executed by the government Khatami heads and at least eleven people have been publicly stoned to death since the "reformer" Khatami came to power in 1997. This is the regime the German Greens have endorsed through Joschka Fischer.

The actions of die Grünen show us the future of other Green parties: doing what is necessary to sustain capitalist rule in their own countries and supporting war and anti-democratic regimes overseas.

We Are For: