THE PEOPLE OF FLINT: POISONED BY THE WHITE SUPREMACIST, CAPITALIST STATE!

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The people of the heavily black and working class city of Flint, Michigan, are in deep crisis. Why? Studies have shown that the city’s water supply is heavily contaminated with lead. Why is there lead in the water? In 2014, the City of Flint, under emergency management imposed by the state of Michigan, began obtaining its water supply from the nearby Flint River instead of where it had been getting water before, the also beleaguered City of Detroit. This was done as a cost cutting austerity measure. In racist, imperialist America, austerity measures always target and impact oppressed nationality populations and working class first, as a rule. We also suffer harshly the effects of capitalist disregard for the environment. This is shown here in Saint Louis by the Bridgeton landfill fire, which threatens to burn nuclear waste. The working class community residing around the landfill are expected to just suffer from capitalist, imperialist caused cancer and recklessness, and be ready to leave their homes at a moment’s notice when the waste catches fire, releasing noxious radioactivity and ruining entire segments of North County. This austerity water measure wouldn’t have been applied to the places where people like Rick Snyder live, nor would a toxic waste dump be on his doorstep or in his backyard. Almost immediately, the people of Flint began voicing deep concern about the quality of the water after the change. People reported having odd rashes and took note of the water’s color, metallic taste and strong odor. Flint residents began showing up to meetings with jugs of this nasty, brown water that appeared to come from a latrine, as opposed to a tap.

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Despite this concern from the people and the noted, visible change in quality, officials continued to insist that this poisonous water was safe to drink. Safe to drink, yet in October of 2014, a GM plant in the city stopped using the new municipal water in production, because it was corroding car parts. Water from the Flint River is corrosive. When it travels through the old lead pipes that are used in many places in Flint, the lead in the pipes leaches into the water, thus poisoning it. This water is corrosive because for decades, capitalist heavy industry that drew black workers to Flint in the first place dumped caustic, acidic, corrosive substances into this river, thereby polluting it and boosting their profit margins. Now, the white supremacist state of Michigan decided that it was time for Flint to drink the poison.

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In February of 2015, the EPA noted extremely high levels of lead in a Flint resident’s water sample. The next month, a private consultant group hired by the city stated that the water was fine. Why was the water judged as fine? Would Veolia executives or Governor Snyder’s family drink, cook with, or bathe in this? Of course not. What was meant was that this water is fine for the working class majority black population of Flint. This water wouldn’t be delivered to the wealthy areas of Grosse Pointe or Ladue or Beverly Hills or Chesterfield. This water is for East Saint Louis, Gary, Allentown, Bethlehem, and Saint Louis north of Delmar. It’s for us. What happened when the masses continued to complain and voice outrage against the poisoning of their water all throughout the year 2015? The state ignored them.

A top aide to Michigan’s governor referred to people raising questions about the quality of Flint’s water as an “anti-everything group.” Other critics were accused of turning complaints about water into a “political football.” And worrisome findings about lead by a concerned pediatrician were dismissed as “data,” in quotes.

That view of how the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder initially dealt with the water crisis in the poverty-stricken, black-majority city of Flint emerged from 274 pages of emails, made public by the governor on Wednesday.

The correspondence records mounting complaints by the public and elected officials, as well as growing irritation by state officials over the reluctance to accept their assurances.

It was not until late in 2015, after months of complaints, that state officials finally conceded what critics had been contending: that Flint was in the midst of a major public health emergency, as tap water pouring into families’ homes contained enough lead to show up in the blood of dozens of people in the city. Even small amounts of lead could cause lasting health and developmental problems in children.

Irritation by state officials over the reluctance to accept their assurances? This is almost tantamount to telling a slave that they should be content with their lot and not struggle for freedom, or telling a minimum wage worker that they should be happy that they have a job in the first place. Lead is a poisonous substance. Even small, trace amounts of it can have detrimental effects on small children, ranging from seizures to cognitive difficulties. Why should the people of Flint not be only reluctant to accept these bogus assurances, but directly and militantly challenge these ridiculous lies? Should the people sit back and watch as they’re poisoned to death to save a few dollars? Despite repeated tests from a variety of agencies and medical and environmental professionals showing how badly the city’s water is contaminated and how detrimental this is to the health of the people of the city of Flint, and continued complaints and internet posts from the people of the city detailing their suffering, the state still continued to insist that this water was fit for the consumption of human beings until the closing months of 2015. Now, the area is under a state of federal emergency, and the progressive people of other areas are buying and bringing bottled water in solidarity with the poisoned people of Flint. This is what capitalism and imperialism delivers to the working people of Flint, Michigan, the working people of the United States, and the working people of the whole world. Poison, pain, death, and suffering, all while the capitalists insist that everything is fine.

The crisis in Flint is the direct result of environmental racism and attempted genocide against the population of this majority black city. Environmental racism is nothing new. Indigenous people in the Southwest are poisoned by nuclear waste and uranium mining, and in our own backyard, East Saint Louis, the environmental situation is marked by:

one of the highest rates of child asthma in the country…lead poisoning, educational disparities, unemployment, and toxic exposure…a deteriorating infrastructure and financial vulnerability further weakens the fight against chemical industries within East St. Louis.

Governor Rick Snyder and his administration bear blame for the situation of Flint. The release of e-mails shows that he and his clique bore no genuine concern for the city or its residents, but was simply irritated and concerned about the political. The order of things that produces and props up people like Snyder, white-supremacist capitalism-imperialism, is responsible. It poisoned the Flint River for years, it buries nuclear waste under our soil, sprays experimental substances over our neighborhoods, and then decide to kill us further than they do by compelling us to work for them, to save their state budgets. Under capitalism, poisoned water, air and soil is normal, and to the capitalists, fine. They don’t have to live where it is. To defeat poisoned water, air and soil, and protect the natural resources that are necessary for our survival on this planet, we have to defeat capital-imperialism. To kill a poisonous weed or unwanted plant, the gardener must remove it and any trace of it from the soil. Governor Snyder and others who sold poisonous lies to the people of Flint should be hounded from office and spend every last moment of the rest of their lives in shame and scorn. The people of Flint should receive the recompense that they have demanded for the pain and suffering that they’ve suffered at the hands of Snyder and his system. Victims of environmental racism and attempted genocide at the hands of racist government officials and their capitalist system must unite and together work for the demise of the system that is literally driving the entire world to crisis. All progressive-minded and revolutionary working class people and students must unite to combat environmental racism, through more than just marches, meetings, and rallies. We have to seriously study revolutionary theory and engage with the masses in practice to produce truly revolutionary politics

COMPENSATION AND JUSTICE FOR THE PEOPLE OF FLINT!

DOWN WITH POISONOUS CAPITALISM-IMPERIALISM!

UNITE AND FIGHT! BUILD A REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT!

 

 

Bernie Sanders Can Not Liberate Us!

Much ado has been made about the candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) for the Democratic Party nomination for Presidency of the United States. Although he makes much of his supposed status as an independent (while simultaneously hitching his wagon to the bourgeois Democratic Party, caucusing/voting with them in the Senate, and running for the party’s nomination for President), has attracted quite a dedicated and almost cult-like following among certain groups of college students, youth, and supposedly progressive elements of American society (who are overwhelmingly white), played a bit of a role in the 1960s mass struggle for civil rights, and proclaims himself a socialist, even a cursory and lazy examination of his record shows that he is ultimately an enemy of the interests of the oppressed masses, worldwide.

Freedom fighter Assata Shakur sought and received political asylum in Cuba after a successful liberation from prison in 1979. Naturally, this was a major blow to the interests and prestige of the imperialist United States, and there has been much clamor for her extradition so that she can be returned to prison to finish serving her sentence after being legally railroaded. On September 14, 1998, there was a vote on a particular Congressional resolution.

Calling on the Government of Cuba to extradite to the United States convicted felon Joanne Chesimard …and all other individuals who have fled the United States to avoid prosecution or confinement for criminal offenses and who are currently living freely in Cuba.

Listening to the social democrats and regular Democrats who relentlessly and tirelessly agitate for Sanders, one would believe that he, supposed anti-imperialist and “political revolutionary”, would be firmly against returning Comrade Shakur to the United States. Yet, Sanders voted against the revolution. He believed, and still believes, that Shakur is a murderer and belongs in prison to be tortured, brutalized, maimed, and possibly even secretly killed by reactionary corrections officers. Sanders, the reactionary and friend of the police and criminal injustice system, has no right to use the words political revolution together. He oppresses revolutionaries. More recently, in August of last year, activist women of color in Seattle took control of the microphone at a Sanders rally to hold discourse on racism in the Seattle area and Black Lives Matter, and were mercilessly booed, certain members of the almost entirely white audience called for their tasing and arrest, and they also targeted misogynistic slurs at them. These are the so called progressives. What did Sanders himself say? He gave a lukewarm statement that never addressed the concerns of the sisters who “interrupted” his rally. Just three days ago, Sanders came out against reparations for oppressed nations, saying that:

“Its likelihood of getting through Congress is nil,” he told Fusion in an interview. “Second of all, I think it would be very divisive.”

The Vermont senator called for “massive investments in rebuilding our cities,” creating millions of decent-paying jobs, and making public colleges and universities tuition-free.

What type of political revolutionary worries about what will and won’t go through Congress, and vaguely calls for “investments” in rebuilding cities that were destroyed by capitalism in the first place? A counterrevolutionary and a reactionary!

The social democrats also make the claim that Sanders has a correct, anti-imperialist foreign policy, comparing his positions to that of the fascist, Trump. Yet, an examination of the behavior of his campaign staffers and his own stated positions reveal the truth. Sanders’ campaign threw out activists who raised questions regarding the situation of the oppressed Palestinian nation last October, Sanders himself has told activists around the Palestine issue to “shut up”, and a Sanders campaign page lays out his position on Israel and Palestine.

“The hatred, violence and loss of life that define this conflict make living an ordinary life a constant struggle for both peoples. We must work with those Israeli and Palestinian leaders who are committed to peace, security and statehood rather than to empty rhetoric and violence. A two-state solution must include compromises from both sides to achieve a fair and lasting peace in the region. The Palestinians must fulfill their responsibilities to end terrorism against Israel and recognize Israel’s right to exist. In return, the Israelis must end their policy of targeted killings, prevent further Israeli settlements on Palestinian land and prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes, businesses and infrastructure.”

Sanders calls for a two-state solution (disregarding the fact that Israel has already swallowed up most of what would be a Palestinian state, as shown in this graphic). Palestine with its current borders wouldn’t be a state, it’d be a functional Bantustan.

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He also is so arrogant as to tell an oppressed people facing extermination that they must cease struggling for survival, and recognize the legitimacy and right to exist of the state that is trying to take all of their land, shoots them, and restricts their movements and access to their friends and families, among countless other outrages that occur on a near constant basis. It is impossible for a genuine friend and ally of Palestine to uphold such an imperialist, racist, genocidal line. We know that the only statehood must be that of Palestine. Israel is a criminal imposition of Western imperialists, a settler-colonial state designed to be an imperialist foothold and watchdog over the Middle East, and a constant warmongering element that routinely drops bombs on civilian neighborhoods and disrupts basic infrastructure. As of January 15, 2016, hundreds of thousands of Gazans are freezing, because Israel has curtailed their gas supply. Can we, progressive students and youth of Saint Louis, support Sanders when it was the Palestinian people that supported the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, teaching the people how to counter the impact of toxic chemicals such as tear gas and pepper spray? No!

EMBRACE REAL REVOLUTIONARY POLITICS, NOT CAPITALIST BANDAGES!

BUILD A TRULY LIBERATORY MASS MOVEMENT, NOT A PHONY REVOLUTION AT THE POLLS!

STAND WITH ASSATA SHAKUR AND THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE!

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: Reclaim and Uphold his Anti-Imperialist, Anti-Capitalist Legacy!

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born today, January 15, 87 years ago. The Civil Rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s that he played a key role in radically transformed American society. The mass movement of the 1960s changed conditions for the masses of black people in the South by effectively struggling against and eventually eradicating restrictive, degrading, humiliating Jim Crow “laws” that were designed by KKK fascist politicians and officials in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to attempt to erase black humanity and maintain white social and economic supremacy over the black majority areas of the South. He suffered through countless beatings, death threats, firebombings, burning crosses on his lawn, and all kinds of other outrages and futile attempts to silence or intimidate him into submission, coming from the racist government and individual reactionary cliques, who weren’t and aren’t necessarily separate from each other. He took measures to defend himself and others, applying for a gun permit in 1956 which the fascistic police denied.

This didn’t deter him from exercising his right to self-preservation, of course.

A recipient of constant death threats, King had armed supporters take turns guarding his home and family. He had good reason to fear that the Klan in Alabama was targeting him for assassination.

William Worthy, a journalist who covered the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, reported that once, during a visit to King’s parsonage, he went to sit down on an armchair in the living room and, to his surprise, almost sat on a loaded gun. Glenn Smiley, an adviser to King, described King’s home as “an arsenal.”

The real history of Dr. King is purposefully distorted and warped by the bourgeois educational system and government. It chooses to portray him as a “good American”, honoring him with the same honor extended to slaveowners, racists, and criminals such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, a memorial in Washington DC. This erasure of the revolutionary legacy of one of the oppressed black nation’s most well renowned and respected revolutionary figures is with the intent of pacifying the black masses and negating our revolutionary potential. Black revolutionaries such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin, Diane Nash, Malcolm X, and W.E.B. DuBois can not be good Americans. Good Americans passively and uncaringly watch or, actively, willingly participate as their brothers and sisters across the globe are bombed, napalmed and shot in the interests of Yankee capitalism-imperialism. Good Americans sit back and watch and cheer as their brothers and sisters who have been driven away from their homes by Yankee capital-imperial policies are deported (under a black president) to be killed, incarcerated in outrageous and shameful conditions, deprived of their rights, and hounded endlessly by racist, xenophobic, fascistic demagogues like Donald Trump. Good Americans watch and cheer as the police kill and incarcerate oppressed nationalities en masse. Good Americans enjoy and support illegal and fundamentally unjustifiable wars, “regime changes”, and other campaigns of oppression and aggression against the people of Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Grenada, Panama, Nicaragua, Chile, Guatemala, Haiti, Laos, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, and countless other nations around the world. Martin Luther King was not a good American. The oppressed masses of color are not good Americans. If Martin Luther King was a good American, as we were taught in school, why would he have made this statement on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before he was killed by the “good American”?

In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seem to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U. S. military advisers in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru.
It is with such activities in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. He said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

This is an anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, anti-chauvinist statement. Martin Luther King, tireless fighter for justice, righteousness, liberation, and self-determination of all oppressed peoples and all exploited peoples everywhere, was not capable of joining the good Americans, because he stood with the revolutionary people of the world, while America stands against the revolutionary people of the world by its very nature. America is a capitalist-imperialist country, which means that it can’t live without exploiting and oppressing the working peoples of the whole world, including those who live within its borders. We as revolutionary students and youth are also incapable of being good Americans, because we love Martin Luther King. We love Mike Brown. We love Sandra Bland. We love Leonard Peltier. We love Chelsea Manning. We love Rosa Parks. We love Huey Newton. We love Nelson Mandela. We love Malcolm X. We love and support the refugees. We love and support the political and economic prisoners. We love the exploited people of the whole world, and work for collective liberation. The good Americans call them terrorists, criminals, and deviants, and work for their oppression, suffering, and doom. The good Americans make refugees and subsequently classify them as “illegal”. The good Americans kill black, brown, queer, and homeless comrades. The good Americans love the jails and prisons, and want to build more. The good Americans love war. We are proud bad Americans.

STUDY AND UPHOLD THE ANTI-IMPERIALIST, ANTI-CAPITALIST LEGACY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR AND ALL FREEDOM FIGHTERS!

RESIST AND REBEL AGAINST ALL ATTEMPTS TO HIDE OR DESTROY HIS TRUE LEGACY!

STUDY HIS EXAMPLE AND BUILD THE ANTI-IMPERIALIST, ANTI-CAPITALIST, ANTI-OPPRESSION MOVEMENT!

DON’T BE A GOOD AMERICAN!

 

What does PSO-STL Want? Our Program

The Basic PSO-STL Platform is simple and directly addresses the needs of the broad revolutionary masses of youth in Saint Louis. We are a revolutionary anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-misogynist, anti-xenophobic, mass organization. We seek to struggle against all forms of oppression of the working class and oppressed nationalities using a diversity of tactics to most directly challenge and combat oppression in all forms. We seek a just economic system where the welfare and interests of the masses of people have top priority. We recognize and see firsthand the basic bankruptcy of the capitalist-imperialist system, which has been shown in the city of Saint Louis by the disparity in provision of basic public services such as schools and drivable roads between the majority working poor African-American northern segments of the city and the majorly white Southern sections of our city. Countless schools have been closed down on the North Side, left to crumble. We also see the bankruptcy and inherent racism of capitalism-imperialism in the Northern part of Saint Louis County, where the black masses receive ruthless exploitation and merciless oppression at the hands of the police and courts, the employees of which do not even live in communities such as Ferguson, Florissant, Cool Valley, Spanish Lake, Normandy, etc. Yet, they come into our working class oppressed nationality neighborhoods every day, give us heavy fines and drag us to court for doing nothing whatsoever. Hundreds of dollars are taken out of individual members of the community for such things as “manner of walking along roadway”, “littering”, and sagging pants. This is a situation akin to that of Apartheid South Africa. To combat this situation and really build a Saint Louis of the people, we must unite around a program and work through mass organizations of youth, workers, students, the unemployed, proletarian women, and oppressed nations. Build the program, know the program, unite, build revolutionary mass movements and mass organizations, and struggle to win!

1. We want community control of all community colleges, universities, technical and trade schools and public high schools as a form of reparations for slavery, colonialism and imperialism and the opening-up of them for use by the community. We want the abolition of all Boards of Trustees.

2. We want guaranteed admission to every Saint Louis school for all poor, working-class and oppressed-nationality students, the abolition of systematically exclusive and objectively racist, classist and generally anti-people admission practices (e.g. placement exams, standardized tests) and an end to all forms of tuition and fees.

3. We want a democratic and scientific education system to replace the current reactionary, bourgeois, undemocratic, white-supremacist patriarchal capitalist education system. We want an education that exposes the true exploitation and oppression of the United States of America, informs us of our true history as oppressed and dispossessed nationalities and prepares us to struggle for collective liberation.

4. We want administrators and teachers who harass, threaten and punish students for political organizing to be removed immediately. We want teachers who suppress progressive and revolutionary ideas to be removed. We want the abolition of all policies that prevent political organizing and the expression of political dissent by students, faculty and staff.

5. We want an end to police brutality, harassment and intimidation in our communities. We want all police to be permanently banned from Saint Louis high schools and universities. We want any security or defense force to be controlled by and made up of members of the community.

6. We demand all of the measures that materially improve our study and living conditions, such as childcare, healthy food, transportation, tutoring, remedial classes, sports facilities, healthcare and housing.

7. We want to transform the schools into centers for promoting national consciousness, developing women’s/queer/oppressed nationality/working class leadership and providing students with skills to serve our communities. We want to transform the schools into base areas for advancing all of the peoples’ struggles for liberation. We want all Saint Louis secondary schools to be tools for achieving these goals.

8. We demand an end to the presence of bourgeois, white supremacist cliques known as fraternities on Saint Louis campuses. These groups are well known for promoting violent, racist, anti-people behavior, sexual assaults, unfair and undemocratic domination of campuses, and generally perpetuating unjust systems and practices.

9.) We demand an end to all ROTC/ROTC/US Military recruitment on campuses, especially those where the majority of the student body is of oppressed nationality status. The students and broad masses of Saint Louis will not continue to perpetuate a system of capitalist-imperialism or offer up their bodies as sacrifices to be run through the wringer and risk life and limb, only to return home without a place to live and no food to eat or clothes to wear. We are anti-imperialists, that means the USA out of other countries, unconditionally.