Tuesday, 26. March 2019

The question of reparations for slavery has re-emerged in mainstream political discourse. Presidential candidates are being asked about it, and are giving a wide range of answers. What’s more, this question is now being taken seriously. Where in the past the notion was brought up as a means of scaremongering and sowing division among workers and voters — preying on racist, reactionary currents within white populations to depress enthusiasm and turnout — it is shaping up to be a key policy debate this cycle. As black voters make up a large portion of the Democratic base, and as the idea gains purchase among groups previously inclined to dismiss reparations as a notion whose time has passed, candidates are being forced to confront this issue honestly.

On March 5th, DSA’s National Political Committee sent an advisory poll asking all members whether DSA should endorse Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. This poll closed on March 12th at noon EST. The response was overwhelmingly in favor: 76% of participants said Yes, and 24% said No.

The Trump administration and its supporters continue to put out utterly false information about immigrants and refugees in the United States.  But the immigrants’ rights movement is fighting back hard in the streets, in Congress and in the court of public opinion.

Editor’s Note: The article below is a submission to the CPUSA’s preconvention discussion. Comments are welcome.

Recent developments both favor and require we: RECOMMIT TO COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL UNITY! The documents opening our pre-convention discussion are in our best tradition, encouraging contributions. The draft program is strong on growing threats from environmental dangers and wars.

Editor’s Note: The interview below of CPUSA chairman John Bachtell was conducted by Peoples Dispatch from India.

Can you make a brief and general assessment of the US shutdown’s impact on the US working class?

A: The economic impact of the 35-day government shut down, the longest ever, was felt deeply by the 800,000 federal government workers, contractors, and millions who depend on the vital services that the government provides. Many workers went without two consecutive paychecks and were forced to borrow money, go to food banks and miss days of work because they just couldn’t afford to pay for transportation. Many subcontractors, including many low paid workers, will not be paid at all for time lost. And small businesses, restaurants and services that rely on federal workers as customers were severely hurt along with their workers.

For the first time in our lifetimes, Medicare for All appears to be within reach.

For decades, one rogue Senator has repeatedly proposed single-payer healthcare, agitating against the profiteering of private insurers and drug companies while calling for a movement of working people to wrest healthcare out of the market. That Senator is Bernie Sanders, and now he’s on the verge of running for president.

Sanders made Medicare for All a leading demand in his 2016 presidential campaign, drawing out the division in the Democratic Party between billionaire donors, their establishment politicians and millions of working people.

Today, the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (NYC-DSA) issued the following statement on Amazon’s decision to abandon their plan to build HQ2 in Queens, New York. NYC-DSA has been part of a coalition of local community groups opposing HQ2, including Queens Neighborhoods United, Desis Rising Up and Moving Home, CAAAV,Chhaya, Centro Corona,Hate Free Zones, New York Communities for Change, Make the Road NY, Ridgewood Tenants Union, the Justice for All Coalition, and more.

After airport workers threatened a strike and brought Trump to his knees last month, and as they threatened to do so again this coming Saturday, Pelosi has capitulated to his anti-immigrant hysteria and agreed to increases for immigration enforcement, including $7.6 billion for ICE ($512 million over FY2018) and $14.9 billion for CBP ($942 million over FY2018). $1.375 billion is allocated towards border barriers.

Good evening and thanks for tuning in. My name is John Bachtell. I’m the national chair of the Communist Party USA.  Welcome to our response to the State of the Union address. Our country and the world are at a crossroads. Both humanity and nature face existential crises. We face a climate catastrophe and an escalating nuclear war danger.

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