As the International League of Peoples’ Struggle US chapter, we firmly stand against and condemn the Zionist smear campaign launched by Michael Rapaport and his Zionist cronies against our Palestinian comrades from Within Our Lifetime, a member organization of ILPS. They have circulated a video of Within Our Lifetime’s chairperson Nerdeen Kiswani speaking out against Israel and subjected this comrade to a flurry of online attacks, twisting her remarks as antisemitic and threatening to get her expelled from CUNY Law School, where she currently studies.
The video mentions neither Jewish people nor Judaism—only the Israeli settler-state. We reject the lie that the fight against Zionism is antisemitic and stand along side our comrades in declaring that Zionism itself is antisemitic. From the beginnings of the creation of the illegal state of Israel, Jews have stood with Palestine and against the occupation. Furthermore, painting the fight against Zionism as antisemitic invisibilizes the many Palestinian Jews which have lived in Palestine for centuries before Israel even existed and who have fought against the occupation of Palestine. In fact, we acknowledge that Palestinian resistance is justified because of illegal occupation.
The IDF is a fascist institution which has violated the human rights of Palestinians in order to continue to uphold Zionism and the illegal settler colony of Israel. The flag of Israel represents the millions of displaced Palestinians, waiting and fighting to return home. To uphold these symbols as symbols of freedom and truth is a lie and turns a blind eye to the genocide currently taking place. We also recognize that the roots of Zionism are in the global system that is imperialism—especially U.S. imperialism.
Because of this, ILPS US stands firmly with Palestinians in their fight for their liberation and the right to return. As an anti-imperialist alliance, we firmly oppose all forms of imperialism, including Zionism. We stand with Within Our Lifetime as they expose the truth about the Israeli settler occupation and bravely oppose it. We stand with their chairperson, Nerdeen Kiswani, as she faces vicious personal attacks from Zionists trying to expel her from a public law school that remains one of the most progressive in NYC. We need more peoples’ lawyers and law students like Nerdeen, ready to defend those seeking their liberation and basic human rights.
On this year’s Juneteenth, ILPS US commemorates the struggle of enslaved Africans for freedom within the United States—a struggle which rages on until today. We condemn to the utmost extent the U.S. imperialist state which continues to oppress and repress Black people through criminalization, mass incarceration and systemic racism that disproportionately impoverishes and marginalizes Black communities. We especially condemn Trump’s vile public campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of one of the most brutal racial killings in U.S. history. Such a pompous and racist demonstration held on Juneteenth, a national holiday that celebrates the Black struggle for emancipation, proves the outright brutality and callousness of the US imperialist state against Black people’s fight for self-determination. Most importantly, ILPS US marches in step with the masses of the United States who take action today and have been actively fighting against police brutality and racist state repression, and are rising up for Black self-determination and liberation.
Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, recalls June 19, 1865 which was the day that approximately 250,000 Texan slaves were notified of their freedom and the end of the Civil War, though their freedom had already been announced in the Emancipation Proclamation two years prior. Today, we recognize that the abolition of chattel slavery was borne through the strugggle of enslaved Africans, not through the moral goodwill of white colonizers like Abraham Lincoln. We remember the legacies of Black abolitionist leaders like Frederick Douglass and Harriett Tubman alongside the masses who took up arms and rebelled against their slave owners throughout this period in U.S. history.
The might of the United States as an economic and political superpower has only ever been possible through generations of mass exploitation. The hoarded wealth of the empire was built on the backs of enslaved Africans, who generated the labor power necessary to build the foundation of this country’s economy. The abolition of slavery at the end of the Civil War was therefore not a result of the humaneness of the White ruling class, but was a material consequence of an increasingly obsolete mode of production that relied on slavery.
Today, we are seeing once again that a system in decay is contributing towards a revolutionary situation. Economic crises compounded with the unrelenting racist violence and terror of the U.S. imperial state, especially against Black people, provide the backdrop to today’s mass uprisings which were set off by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and many others. Neoliberalism has so glaringly failed to address the needs of the people and the masses are fighting back.
In this context of widespread class struggle, we celebrate and draw inspiration from the Black liberation struggle that Juneteenth represents and is very much alive today, from the first slave uprisings to the Black Power movement of which the Black Lives Matter movement itself was drawn from.
We stand with the struggle of Black working-class people and oppressed nations who are setting the pace of revolution in the U.S. We resist the liberal, corporate and reformist attempts to co-opt the masses’ militant struggle and defuse the confrontational outrage against the state. We support the popular calls to defund and seize community control of the police towards a vision of a new society where the bourgeoisie would no longer be in power, discarding the need for the police as enforcers of the status quo and defenders of the bourgeois ruling class.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle-US Chapter (ILPS US) expresses its firmest solidarity and support to the Black liberation movement, the friends and family of George Floyd and to all of the people taking to the streets in Minneapolis and elsewhere to demand justice, accountability and an end to racist and colonial police terror.
As the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression stated,
“Yet another murder of an unarmed Black person in the month of May. Finan Berhe, in Springfield, MD, Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY and now George Floyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN and all this in the worst pandemic in a century. What an outrage, what an American made tragedy that the lynching of Black people continues unabated, that racist terror continues to stalk the land like a beast of prey.”
The officers responsible for the death of George Floyd would not have been arrested and charged if not for the militant struggle waged by the people of Minneapolis. The recent murders are a reflection of the institutional, racist, oppressive structure of U.S. policing linked to imperialism and neoliberalism.
Black lives are being taken by police during a global pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black people in the U.S. This pandemic has already exposed the contradictions of capitalism as a system that hordes profit for the elite, keeps basic human needs inaccessible to the poor and working class, and leaves individuals to find their own means of survival. During COVID-19 when resources are desperately needed, thousands of dollars go instead to the police to terrorize black communities, attack protestors, and defend the riches of the ruling class.
We condemn the police’s militarized practices against protestors, which includes firing marking rounds, flash bang grenades, and deploying tear gas. We condemn the ruling class – including mayors and governors across the U.S. – who sanction increased terror and violence against people, prioritizing the safety of property and businesses over the safety of people and communities. The current imposition of curfews across multiple cities and deployment of upwards of 5,000 National Guard troops across the nation are martial law tactics in an increasingly militarized state to control the peoples’ uprisings against this rotten racist and imperialist system.
Just as the U.S. military is a force of occupation in colonial and semi-colonial countries around the world, time and time again we see that the U.S. police nationwide are also forces of occupation inside cities and communities. Thus, it is no surprise that the U.S. police and U.S. military continue the sharing of tactics and joint colonial approach to wage terror on poor, working class, Black, and Brown communities both at home and abroad. The promise of the Trump Administration to Minnesota Governor Tim Wallace to provide military support to the racist and violent policing of protesters in Minneapolis exposes the links between domestic and foreign imperialist U.S. policies.
The guise of national security and combating the destruction of property has turned the U.S. imperialist state and its coercive instruments more violent and more terrorist than ever before. The aggravated use of militarized police force on civilians organizing actions is a violation of peoples’ civil and political rights. We must expose and oppose imperialist violence and aggression at home and abroad in the spirit of genuine internationalism.
We must move toward escalated and meaningful action in solidarity with the Black liberation movement. There is a profound legacy and history of internationalism and joint struggle against the imperialist state that resonates in the past, present, and futures of all anti-colonial, anti-imperialist liberation struggles around the world. We know that these structures will not budge without a united mass struggle that calls for a new social order.
Tens of thousands have already mobilized in different cities across the nation, making clear that we must resist the state-sanctioned terror being waged by police forces and vigilantes against oppressed communities. As we continue to resist, we must also learn from Black revolutionaries to not just rebel, but to also organize.
The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Department is part of a larger history of heinous crimes committed by United States locally, nationally, and globally, from the genocide of Indigenous peoples and the enslavement of Black people (which continues today with their mass incarceration), to the killings of Black and indigenous peoples, especially Black and Indigenous women and trans communities, to continued wars of aggression and murderous sanctions of U.S. empire.
Imperialism is digging its own grave by agitating the masses of oppressed people around the world. We will continue to heighten its contradictions through united mass struggle and growing people’s defense of their lives and livelihood.
The ILPS US Chapter calls on all people of the world to fight for liberation and justice against all forms of oppression and exploitation by U.S. imperialism and its accomplices. We urge people to 1) mobilize and continue speaking out in solidarity, and 2) join organizations and alliances against imperialism to continue the struggle for a new world.
In the spirit of international solidarity, we support the uprisings in Minneapolis and around the world, and honor the traditions of Black struggle, Black organizing, and Black resistance.
This International Workers Day, ILPS US joined the call of the workers of the world asserting their health, safety, livelihood and lives over the greed of the capitalist system. While the ruling class attempts to continue using neoliberal policies to squeeze profits out of the working people in the midst of the global health crisis it has itself generated, we stand with the workers fighting for a new system in a future free from imperialism.
We are inspired by the revolutionary optimism of the working class, who see resistance and struggle as the only way forward. Over 100 workers strikes, sick outs, pickets and slow downs sprouted around the country, including workers in health care, delivery services, warehouses, meatpacking, transport, shipping, fast food and many other industries. Workers must continue fighting for their basic rights which is ultimately a fight for our lives where only a socialist future can ensure the elimination of oppression and exploitation of the majority of the people across the globe!
Healthcare & Social Services, Not War! Mass Testing, Not Mass Extinction! Power to the Workers! Socialism is the Cure!
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle – US chapter (ILPS US) expresses our deep and genuine solidarity with the people of Venezuela and their government under duly-elected President Nicolas Maduro. We absolutely reject the war mongering of the Donald Trump administration, including the fabricated charges of drug trafficking against President Maduro, the deployment of the U.S. Navy to Venezuela under the flimsy guise of fighting drug trafficking, and the continuing economic sanctions in an attempt to destroy the Venezuelan economy and destabilize the government.
To blindly follow Trump’s statements without question is an outright denial of facts and history. One only has to look at Trump’s own personal history of blatant lies (most recently with his handling of the entire COVID 19 pandemic) to uncover his tactics of creating his own truth for the sake of consolidating more power for his family and crony dynasty. It is the same type of lies the US has used in its long history of military intervention and imperialist violation of the sovereignty of other nations — deposing democratically elected leaders across Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe.
We recognize Maduro and the Venezuelan people’s desires for fraternal relationships, cooperation, exchange and respect as true signs of international solidarity. We applaud Venezuela’s response to the COVID 19 pandemic which supports workers and their families by guaranteeing workers’ wages and banning lay-offs.
The ILPS US commits ourselves to exposing and opposing imperialism, its neoliberal policies and its neo-fascist leaders, and we demand the US government focus instead on providing for the dire needs of the vast majority of the working class families and impoverished people within the US. We call for the lifting of US sanctions against Venezuela along with those against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China, Iran, Cuba, Palestine and elsewhere, which only serve to strangle and deprive the people of much needed medical supplies and other basic necessities for their survival. The world is in crisis, which needs international solidarity and a concerted effort to not only fight COVID 19 but also to bring an end to the deeper pandemic of imperialism and build towards the genuine solution to the crisis–a socialist future!
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle-US chapter (ILPS US) stands with the masses of the world who are fighting to uphold our health and livelihood, as we face the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID19) pandemic. We applaud and cherish the workers on the frontlines, who are providing health care, serving food, constructing medical facilities, cleaning buildings, manufacturing essential supplies, and continuing to keep our communities going and the economy afloat, even at risk to their own health and lives.
The state of emergency that we are now facing in the US and in the world openly exposes the pandemic as the direct result of the crisis of imperialism. What else can be expected from a privatized health care system designed to bloat the profits of insurance and pharmaceutical corporations? What else can be expected from the Trump administration, which has cut billions of dollars from the budget of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while inflating the budget for the military to over $700 billion, the largest amount in history? What else can be expected when the government’s first reaction to the virus is to direct over $1 trillion dollars into the banking system and stock market to prevent Wall Street from collapsing, while haphazardly leaving it up to states to patch together support for workers who are ill and need to stay home or are being furloughed or laid off from workplaces that are being shuttered? What else can be expected from a system that foments racism against Chinese and other Asian peoples in a divisive attempt to scapegoat at a time when we most need solidarity and cooperation?
From patient to pill, the system aims to protect and benefit the interests of the ruling class, not the working class.
Now more than ever, we must respond to this crisis by uniting people in collective action for the good of humanity over the endless greed of the capitalist system.
We oppose the US’s continued imposition and escalation of sanctions on countries such as Venezuela, North Korea and Iran; sanctions block medications, medical supplies, food and other basic necessities from reaching the people of these countries who are in dire need now, and have strangled their economies over the long term. We condemn the US military strike in southern Iraq last week and the continued deployment of US troops abroad for military exercises, when resources must be directed to addressing the COVID 19 pandemic. We call for the end of US support to regimes like that of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, which respond to this health emergency by implementing militarized lockdowns instead of providing medical treatment, testing, and monitoring. We oppose the Trump administration’s opportunistic use of the crisis to push its longstanding agenda to cut corporate taxes for the ruling elite, block migrants at the border and terrorize those who already reside in the country, and stifling workers’ rights by cutting the flow of dues to unions. We reject the inclusion of $500 billion in bailout funds for big corporations with no guarantees that these funds will go to workers and not to CEOs and stock buy-backs; especially reprehensible is the $17 billion earmarked for defense industry corporations which already rake in gross profits from the bloated US military budget every year.
As the US Chapter of the ILPS, we echo and add to the demands of the full ILPS: that the affected working people must have guaranteed income regardless of their work situation, and those who are forced to continue working must be provided with proper training and safety precautions, as well as timely and free access to COVID 19 testing and treatment. Governments should redirect their military budgets and corporate bailouts to prioritizing vulnerable communities — freeze rents and evictions, cancel student debt. Children, families, elderly and people with compromised immune systems should be released from detention centers and prisons. Those in power should be held accountable for the health crisis.
The people must unite and exercise their collective action for their basic rights to housing, jobs, health care and education. Assert public needs over corporate greed and imperialist neo-liberal policies. We applaud the government of Cuba for its recent deployment of a team of doctors and nurses to Italy–the current epicenter of the pandemic–leading by example and shining a light of hope through this courageous act of international solidarity.
The cowardly assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani on Iraqi soil, the deployment of more US troops to the Southwest Asia and North Africa region (SWANA), and the belligerent threats of the Trump administration, reveal to the world what billions of people already know: The United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, the single largest threat to the peace and security of Southwest Asia and North Africa, and a rogue state with no regard for international law. The assassination of Soleimani constitutes a war crime, and a violation of the sovereignty of both Iraq and Iran. It makes the world less safe, and increases the chance of an all out war in the region. The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) US Chapter joins with the tens of thousands who took to the streets of the US on Saturday to denounce the assassination and calling for ‘US out of Iraq, no war with Iran!’ We stand with all peace and justice loving people, international civil society, and particularly the peoples of Iraq and Iran in opposing the belligerence of the US terrorist state. We call for the immediate removal of all US troops from Iraq and the whole region, and a lifting of all sanctions on Iran.
US imperialism has long sought to dominate the SWANA region because of its strategic location, and the importance of the flow of oil to world markets. US troops continue to occupy parts of Iraq and Syria, while the US alliance with the Saudi monarchy wages a genocidal war in Yemen. After arming Iraq in its war against Iran in the 1980’s, the US turned against it in the First Gulf War, and subsequent sanctions, which resulted in the death of at least half a million Iraqi children (when asked about the death toll, then-Secretary of State Madeline Albright famously remarked that it was ‘worth it’), before finally launching the 2003 invasion and occupation, leading to approximately one million deaths, and creating the conditions for the rise of ISIS. It was in the war against ISIS where Qasem Soleimani gained his reputation as a general, and he was widely credited with helping to defeat ISIS in the region.
ILPS chair emeritus Jose Maria Sison has observed: “In committing his criminal act, Trump is short-sightedly motivated by his selfish desire to overcome his current impeachment and to win the next presidential elections through warmongering and arousing the jingoistic sentiments that favor US imperialism. But the criminal act has serious consequences. The oppressed peoples and self-respecting countries in the Middle East are justly outraged, aroused and mobilized to fight against US imperialism. So are the people of the world, including the American people, who are against the aggressive and terrorist acts of US imperialism.”
Indeed people in over 80 cities took the streets on Saturday to denounce the US war machine — an important first step in building anti-war and anti-imperialist resistance, but the movement must go further. Leading representatives of the Democratic Party have attempted to restrict opposition to Trump to simply procedural issues, accepting the lies of the administration, and continuing to support US war and occupation in Southwest Asia and North Africa. It is crucial that the growing resistance reject the imperial logic of both Trump and the leadership of the Democratic party, and assert our solidarity with the people of Iraq and Iran, affirming that all countries and peoples have the right to national sovereignty and self-determination.
The people who live in the United States have a special responsibility to oppose the crimes of this empire, and to declare that our position is against the empire which threatens the future of the whole planet. We must stand with the people of the world, especially where they are rising up for a better future. Only guided by that internationalism can we fulfill our duty, to expose and oppose the US empire from within. We can learn from, and build with, the courageous forces already in motion against empire: the anti-war veterans, the religious communities, and the indigenous and national liberation struggles within the US. In addition, we have a responsibility to bring many more people into the struggle — the youth who will be recruited as cannon-fodder, the communities that have been targeted for repression, and millions of progressive and conscious people who can see the empire has no future for them. We must develop the leadership of the oppressed and working class people, and engage in a process of unity and struggle with a wide variety of social forces.
The US empire in decline is a rogue state, with no respect of international law, the sovereignty of nations, or the norms of diplomacy; it represents the single greatest threat to life on the planet. The people of the world, united in struggle, represent the solution. ILPS-US calls on our member organizations, allies, and comrades to join us, in deepening our commitment to the struggle against US empire and against US-led wars of aggression, and building deeper solidarity with people all over the world. Show your solidarity at the global day of protest for Iran nearest you on January 25th.
On July 24th, 2019, around 11 PM, after 15 days of mass protests and strikes, Governor Ricardo Rosselló, the governor of Puerto Rico announced his resignation. The protests began in response to a Telegram chat that was leaked to the public by the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, involving the Governor and several other officials. In the chat, the governor and his cronies made misogynist and homophobic comments, mocked poor people and the thousands of people who died in Hurricane Maria, and joked about corruption and scandals among his administration. A day prior to the release of the chat, the FBI arrested several officials, including the ex- Secretary of Education, Julia Keleher, who while receiving a salary of $200,000 a year, closed over 300 schools due to “lack of funding”. These officials were found to be guilty of steering millions of dollars from government projects into unqualified politically connected contractors. After suffering under the weight of austerity measures imposed by the Fiscal Control Board under PROMESA, while trying to rebuild post- Hurricane María, the corruption and this chat were just the latest in a long line of corruption and oppression, the spark that brought thousands to action.
Protesters who gathered from across the archipelago and beyond in San Juan grew to 500,000 people throughout the week, not including protests happening all over the archipelago and among the Puerto Rican diaspora from throughout the United States, Holland, to even the Arctic Circle. The masses in the streets, led by the youth, were attacked by police with batons and tear gas. Reminiscent of the struggle to oust the United States Navy from Vieques, the people took to multiple tactics to protest the governor, from kayaks to dancing to motorcades. The International League of Peoples Struggle applauds the resoluteness and persistence of the Puerto Rican people and their mass mobilizations which were victorious in ousting their governor, a puppet of the U.S. colonial regime!
After the unconstitutional appointment of Pedro Pierluisi as governor, who was the legal counsel to the fiscal control board, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico mandated him to step down, and Wanda Vazquez, the former secretary of Justice, was sworn in this week. The people have made it clear that they are done with the continued corruption of their government, and are now taking to the streets to call for the resignation and ouster of Wanda, as well.
ILPS recognizes, as many of the people in Puerto Rico have made clear, that this crisis is not only the result of the corruption of one political party, but has been caused by the root issue of the colonial system.
The imperialist powers are not taking this fight lightly, as Wall Street has already demanded more discipline and aggressive measures to stop the protesters in San Juan, recommending that more power be given to the Fiscal Control Board (“la junta” as opponents call it) to create “order”, as the hedge fund vultures only care about getting their piece of the debt.
Yet the people’s resolve remains firm. They are organizing assemblies in the various towns to talk about next steps from the ground. We must keep our eyes on the fight against colonialism in Puerto Rico as the masses continue to lead the charge and be ready to respond with our solidarity.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggles-US Chapter condemns the attacks on Palestinian refugee workers in Lebanon and stands in solidarity with Palestinian refugee workers striking for fair jobs and the right to return. Last week, the Lebanese Ministry of Labor made an attack on Palestinian refugees and Syrian refugee’s worker rights.
Several months ago the Lebanese government passed a budget which included sweeping austerity reforms at the behest of the World Bank and other predatory neoliberal international NGO’s. Saad Hariri, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, referred to it as the most austere budget in Lebanon’s history. Since then, different sectors of the Lebanese economy and society have come under assault through increased taxes, or gutted social programs.
As part of these reforms, the Ministry of Labor is cracking down on foreign workers. Labor Minister Kamil Abu Suleiman announced his desire to crack down on “unauthorized” labor. He then proclaimed businesses would have one month to ensure their staff had the proper papers.
With that time period up, the Ministry has been terrorizing (via raids, extortion, etc) Palestinian and Syrian businesses across Lebanon. In addition to the austerity factor, it is also important to note that the Lebanese government has begun attempting to force Syrian refugees to return to Syria. This crackdown is surely part of that brutal initiative.
The people are fighting back. In response to the recent decision on work permits, Palestinian workers and popular and civil committees organized a week long labor strike and boycott of Lebanese goods to demonstrate the importance of their role in the economy. Across 12 camps, they have organized massive collective resistance to yet another stab at their human dignity and rights.
Last week in Saida, the largest city between Sour and Beirut, there was a protest of both Palestinians and Lebanese with 50,000 people. We were receiving reports that damages from the strikes in Saida was at least millions of dollars. Student activities have been canceled because youth in refugee camps wanted to stand with rounds of protests. To reiterate, unemployment in the camps is about 60%. Many are people with bachelors or master degrees are denied professional jobs because they are Palestinian.
Background on Palestinians in Lebanon:
Palestine Refugees fled to Lebanon 71 years ago when Zionist militias forced them from their homes during the Nakba, the forced displacement and ethnic cleansing of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland. There are 12 Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon, where most of the minimal infrastructure and services is provided by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). They have been largely denied all civil rights from the Lebanese government, including citizenship and access to a large number of professions. They also face huge boundaries in accessing quality education, due to deliberate cuts and underfunding of UNRWA as well as a colonial system in which they must pass an exam in English or French in order to go to high school.
All Palestine Refugees possess, under International Law, a Right to Return to their homeland. Palestinians are denied this right and Israel continues to displace Palestinians and settle more land, from occupied Jerusalem, where the IDF is currently demolishing 100 Palestinian homes along the border between occupied-Palestine and Lebanon, where the State of Israel is continuing to build a wall to annex more land from a UN demilitarized zone.
The US Chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-US) joins the millions across the US who are taking the streets on April 14 and 15 to demand an end to US-led wars of aggression, militarization, and neofascism both abroad and here at home.
The military and prison industrial complexes now dominate the US economy, raking in trillions for the war profiteers, while at the same time taking tens of millions of lives, exploiting workers in the production line, destroying the environment, contributing to climate disasters, taking trillions in US tax dollars that can be spent on education, healthcare, housing, job creation, and other social development needs.
But as the US war machine and military hegemony intensifies, so to does people’s resistance around the globe. ILPS-US vows to escalate our resistance with our sisters and brothers around the globe who are waging inspiring struggle not only against US-led war, but for national and social liberation from US imperialism, and seeking a better alternative that puts people’s needs over profit. For more information about the ILPS, visit ilps.info.