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Bulletin for the Emancipation of Labor: 5


Flash! This Just In:
Capitalism Cannot Be Reformed!

So it was December 16, a very chilly Saturday in Boston, and I was standing in front of The Gap on Newbury Street, watching false consciousness lead people to buy what they do not need with money they do not have. Not that I was loitering, my usual activity in Back Bay; instead, I was participating in a demonstration called by the opponents of sweatshop capitalism.

I had the good fortune to be demonstrating beside militants of the IWW and the Socialist Party/YPSL when a police prisoner transport wagon pulled up in front of The Gap; hyena-like, the police began to approach and harrass us as our numbers decreased. Given the order to move off a certain patch of public sidewalk in front of a Gap entrance, one of the demonstrators began to object, since The Gap does not, in fact, own the sidewalk. Infuriated at being contradicted, a cop grabbed the objector, who was holding a cane, and shoved him several feet down the pavement, at the same time threatening to arrest another demonstrator, who had protested the cop assault. Now all of this is quite legal; under capitalism, the owners of The Gap have the right to enrich themselves from the toil of overseas workers, who in some places receive the princely sum of eighteen cents an hour, and the police have the job of intimidating anyone who opposes exploitation.

This one incident on a picket line is the answer to the Greens, and their Shachtmanite and Taafe-ite cheerleaders, the ISO and “Socialist” Alternative, whose hero Ralph Nader claims that capitalism can simply be litigated into providing justice.

Guess again, reformists: when the capitalists and their cop henchmen will not tolerate even peaceful, legal protest without resorting to intimidation and repression, one wonders what extremities the police would resort to in the face of a real workers’ onslaught, and the position of the IWW and the Socialist Party that this utterly rotten and exploitative system cannot be reformed, but must be removed through labor action, is vindicated by life itself.

Reported by C.D. Jackson

A Tilt to the GOP?
SWP: "Dems Tried to Steal Fla. Election"

In a truly bizarre act, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has charged that Democrats in Florida attempted to steal the November presidential election. In a front page article entitled “Socialists Plan School in Atlanta on Marxist Politics,” The Militant for January 15, 2001 mentioned “the attempt by the Democratic Party to steal the [2000] election.” In fact, the entire U.S. population has just witnessed the successful attempt by Republican officeholders to put George W. Bush in the Oval Office, even though Al Gore got 500,000 more votes. Of course, courting any one of the bourgeois parties is no part of Marxist politics, even though most of the U.S. “left,” except for the Socialist Party, went running after Gore or Nader. Is the SWP planning to extend (surreptitious) support to the GOP? Last year the SWP advised its trade unionists not to upset the unions’ bureaucratic leadership, so anything is possible. Emancipation will keep you informed.