Monday, July 25, 2016

The Turkish Labor Party on the coup crisis and two new publications

Here is a new statement from the Labor Party of Turkey (Emek Partisi, EMEP, and related to the underground Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey, the TDKP), a member of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO), about last week's military coup attempt, first published July 21st.  It is also online at:  EMEP chairwoman Selma Gurkan released a short statement opposing both the coup and Turkey's Islamist president Erdogan, calling for "the safeguarding of democratic rights and political freedoms" on July 17th.    
Neither the coup nor the one-man dictatorship!
Attempted coup:  A counter-revolution within the counter-revolution!
On the night on 15 July, Turkey witnessed a take-over of some critical points in two major cities by soldiers. The plotters took over the headquarters of the Turkish Armed Forces General Staff and the Gendarmerie General Command, an air base and Istanbul Atatürk Airport. The Chief Commanders of the armed forces were detained. Fighter Jets were flying low over cities and later, joined by helicopters, bombed certain targets including TBMM (Turkish Parliament Building), the vicinity of the headquarters of the General Staff and Special Forces Command.
Without enough preparation and power, the plotters, perhaps forced to act by the circumstances and possibly abandoned by sections of the armed forces that pledged support, arrived at a dead end within a matter of hours.
Firstly, they could not win over the people and its organised section. The coup was supported no one; no organised body such as a political party or a trade union. The four political parties in the Parliament issued a joint statement against the attempted coup.
On the other hand, the plotters could not get the main troops within the Armed Forces on their side. They were confronted by the police and the Special Forces, controlled directly by the government and numbered in their hundreds of thousands. Political Islamist militants, with jihadists among them, showed their level of organisation in confronting them hand in hand with the police. They responded to the calls to “take to the streets” by the President, whom the plotters failed to capture. Increasing numbers of AKP supporters and people from those sections of the population that insisted on democracy also filled the streets in defiance of the coup.
In a country that has seen almost ten coups, the only successful ones of which were those backed by the US; the plotters could not secure the support of the US, despite the latter’s ambiguous initial stance.
And they were unsuccessful.
However, it cannot be disputed that the line of domestic and foreign policy pursued by the incumbent AKP government and President Erdoğan – who is creating a de facto “one-manship” – dragged Turkey to this circumstance of a coup.
In fact, during the 2010 Constitutional Referendum, the primary claim of the AKP and Erdoğan was that they were “settling the score with the Constitution of the coup” of 1980 and that “there will be no more coups in Turkey”! This has not happened; not only did “settling the score with the constitution of the coup” never took place, on the contrary, all measures taken since have been taken in order to destroy the already weak institutions and freedoms of the country. The claim to “demolish the coup law” was a veil for building a “one-man, one-party dictatorship, removing what’s left from “the rule of law”.
Soon after his election as the president, Erdoğan claimed “a de facto regime change” and stated that the parliamentarian system is “put on hold”. The legislation has been subordinated to executive power. With the aggrandisement of “National Will”; despite the focus only on the “ballot” rather than democratic rights and freedoms; and finally the removal of the immunity of MPs; this has been advanced to a point of getting rid of unwanted parliamentarians. To prove that “National Will” means the “decision of one-man”, people’s “will” demonstrated in the elections held on 7 June 2015 saying “No” to “one-man dictatorship” have been rejected. Through instigation of the Kurdish war – fuelling chauvinist nationalism – the country was dragged into war and chaos and forced into elections on the 1st of November.
Freedom of the press has been almost entirely removed. Freedom of speech, and especially freedom of thought, the right to hold meetings and organise demonstrations have been made impossible. Especially Mayday demonstrations and even the right of the main opposition party members to hold meetings has been denied. Academics who signed a peace petition calling on the government to halt its military operations in Kurdish region have been sacked and imprisoned. Moreover,  it was recently announced that elected administrations of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) municipalities would be discharged and replaced by arbitrary appointments.
Executive power was strengthened by the “Internal Security Act”, giving exceptional powers to the police and district and provincial governors. In the war waged in Kurdish cities, armed forces are protected by granting of immunity; soldiers cannot be put on trial without the Prime Minister’s consent. This course is domestically carried out by renewed alliance with the Ergenekon soldiers, who were erstwhile arrested for plotting against the government, in the name of “fighting terror” instead of the “peace process”. War policies like surrounding of cities by tanks and cannons, killing thousands of people, removing democratic rights and freedoms have forced the country to a situation where it cannot be governed under ordinary circumstances. Above all, increasing use of the arms allowed soldiers to increase their influence on the governance of the country. This made the country more prone to coup attempts.
The judiciary has been subordinated to executive power: through “special courts”; alleged “coup plotters” with differing identities; through the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, made up mostly of appointed members. A third of the judges and prosecutors have been relocated. Before the coup attempt it was stated that except for the Presidents of the Court of Cassation and the Council of State, all members of both institutions would be appointed by the executive power.  The failed coup was followed by the dismissalls and detentions of  2745 judges and prosecutors, including two members of the Supreme Court, 140 members of the Constitutional Court and 48 members of the Council of State.
The same course has been advanced in foreign policy pursuing politics of war within the scope of New-Ottoman expansionism. The impracticability of it after the Russian intervention in Syria and the disharmony with US foreign policy caused displeasure and pursuit of alternatives among the dominant forces. AKP government’s “red lines” on Syria relating to Kurdish issue and the future of Bashar Assad regime lost all meaning and forced a policy change.. It adopted a political line of normalising relations with Israel and Russia. However, the collapse of foreign policy targets –focused on politics of war- led to a conflict among the ruling cliques and provoked military pursuits.
Furthermore, steps taken to unite the ruling classes in the name of transition to a one-man, one-party dictatorship led to discontent and bitterness among reactionary forces. Tax penalties and exclusion from government tenders and sharing of government resources, introduced in an attempt to “convince” even traditional monopolistic capital groups, are some of these steps.
Most serious sanctions targeted the Gülen Movement, an ally of the AKP since its foundation but fallen out with after the 17-25 December corruption investigations. This Movement is not only Islamist but also a big monetary fund. With its bank and investment companies, the largest mining company in the country, widespread investment in media and education sectors, and through its alliance with AKP, this group penetrated most of the state apparatus; primarily within the police, judiciary and the Armed Forces.
Following 25 December, this group was declared a “terrorist organisation”, its bank and mining company were seized, media and education institutions were closed down; companies and members prosecuted and imprisoned. Following the clean-up in the judiciary and the police, as the appointments and promotions in the Armed Forces at the end of August approached, inquiries, arrests and court proceedings targeting members of this group had already started. This was the “last straw”; the organised forces of this group and other discontented groups in the army attempted a coup; aware of the clean-up lists, instead of being discharged and jailed, they were, in a way, forced into this attempt.
This failed coup has emerged as a showdown within the ruling class.
It was undeniable that the coup – with its first stated measures of martial law and inhibition – was going to advance the rise of reactionism in both domestic and foreign policy and hence repelling it was important. However, it is clear that the attempted coup has strengthened the hand of the one-man, one-party reactionism of the AKP. President Erdoğan called this attempt a “gift from god” and stated that it gives him a “chance to cleanse the military”. This attempt exposed the Islamist ideological make-up of the police and the existence of a militant organisation loyal to Erdoğan that played a significant role in suppressing the coup after Erdoğan called them to take to the streets. It also strengthened this organised basis of AKP within the population. Now, under the pretext of a rushed “clean-up of the plotters”, an extreme “clean-up” among the judges and prosecutors along with the police and the army has started. It is clear that this will serve the aims to create a state mechanism that follows only the orders of “one-man”. The AKP government has already started to legitimise this purge under the pretext of  fighting against the “Gulenist terrorism” and of cracking down on the plotters of the coup. It has used failed coup as a catalyser to unite the population – starting with the bourgeois opposition – around its own objectives.
Our party, EMEP, clearly opposed the coup. Our party warns everyone that the defeat of the coup alone does not necessarily mean “democracy” is the winner. It will be gained by a difficult struggle. We call on everyone to the struggle to prevent the one-man, one-party dictatorship.
Unity & Struggle #32
A new issue of Unity & Struggle, the biannual journal of the ICMLPO, is out.  It has statements from the ICMLPO as a whole and member parties.  The contents of this issue are:

On the International Situation and Our Tasks
Rules of Organization of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations
Fifty years ago Manuel Lisboa founded the PCR in Brazil
Revolutionary Communist Party – PCR
Burkina Faso
Regarding the Terrorist Attacks in the West Africa Sub-Region and its Problems
Revolutionary Communist Party of Volta – PCRV
Peace and the Road to Power
Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist) – PCC(ML)
‘United Europe’: The Growing Popular Resistance and Reformist Bail-Outs
Workers’ Communist Party of Denmark – APK
Dominican  Republic
The Main Question for the May 15 Elections in the Dominican Republic
Communist Party of Labor – PCT
The Ideological and Political Confrontation with Reformism
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador – PCMLE
“Left Front”: an evaluation of our experience
Workers’ Communist Party of France – PCOF
Solidarity with Migrant Refugees
Movement for the Reorganization of the KKE (1918-1955)
Preface to the Indian Edition of the Textbook of Political Economy (1955)
Revolutionary Democracy
The Modern Proletariat and Internationalism
Communist Platform
Merge Marxism-Leninism with the Working Class and the Popular Masses
Communist Party of Mexico (Marxist-Leninist) – PCM(ML)
Xenophobia and How the Working Class Should Respond
Position of the Peruvian Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) regarding the Elections of April 10 and June 5, 2016
Peruvian Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) – PCP(ML)
Is There a Need for a Marxist-Leninist International?
Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist) – PCE(ML)
Some Questions about Tactics
Workers’ Party of Tunisia – PTT
A Global Perspective on the Middle East
Labour Party – EMEP
It is Necessary to Face the Present Political Moment with Revolutionary Energy and Boldness
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Venezuela – PCMLV
To get a copy in the US, send $5 dollars (the cost for Canadian addresses is $10 and other countries $15) to:
George Gruenthal
192 Claremont Ave., #5D
New York, NY 10027
This Land is Their Land
George Gruenthal is also the author of a brief (130 pages) and illustrated history of the US from a working class progressive perspective, This Land is Their Land:  A Revolutionary Working People's History of the US.  The title is similar to Howard Zinn's famous A People's History of the United States, but it was actually inspired by Pablo Miranda's Mi pais, la tierra y sus gentes, about Ecuadorean history.  Gruenthal writes "I decided that it would be helpful to progressive readers in the U.S., and particularly young people, to have a similar history of the U.S.  Of course, the inevitable weakness in a work of this size that tries to deal with such a complex subject is that it is not possible to deal even with all major events." The contents are below.  To order a copy send a check made out to George Gruenthal, a money order, or cash for $4 dollars ($9 for Canada and $12 for everywhere else) to 
Red Star
P.O. Box 1641
Manhattanville Sta.
New York, NY 10027
Red Star Publishers is another good resource - their catalogue is online at .  People outside of the US can contact George to get the whole book free as a pdf file.  I'm considering talking to local bookstores about ordering copies.   
1. The Americas before Columbus
Buffy Sainte Marie: My Country ‘Tis of Thy People You’re Dying
2. African Slaves
European Indentures
3. Formation of the 13 Colonies into a Single Country
4. Andrew Jackson, “Representative of the  Common People,” Indian Fighter and Slave-owner
5. Compromises and Struggles between the  Plantation South and the Capitalist North
Slave Rebellions
6. The Mexican American Wars, 1836-1848
7. Civil War
8. Reconstruction and the Development  of the Afro-American Nation
Reconstruction Governments
9. The Unification of the U.S. Capitalist State
10. 1886 and the Fight for the 8-Hour Day
Lucy Parsons
11. 1880 to 1920
Joe Hill
12. Development of Imperialism and  the Spanish-American War of 1898
Major General Smedley D. Butler
13. World War I
14. The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia  and its Influence on the United States
15. Formation of the Communist Party
16. Reformist and Revolutionary Organizations  within the Black National Movement
Claude McKay
17. The “Roaring Twenties”
18. The Great Depression
Early Workers’ Struggles
19. Workers’ Struggles During the New Deal
20. The International Situation  Leading up to World War II
21. World War II and the Role of the Major Powers
Bertold Brecht
22. The International Consequences of World War II
23. Post-World War II, McCarthyism and  the Trade Union Movement
24. The Korean War
25. The Civil Rights Movement
Malcolm X
26. The Rise of the Revolutionary  Afro-American Liberation Movement
The Black Panther Party
Gil Scott Heron: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
27. Other Revolutionary National Movements
The Chicano/Mexicano Movement
Asian-American, Native American and Other Movements
28. The Vietnam War and the Anti-War Movement
Phil Ochs: Love Me, I’m a Liberal
29. The Women’s Movement
The Movement of the 1970s
30. The LGBT Movement
31. The Rise and Decline of the  New Marxist-Leninist Movements
32. A Period of Ebbs and Flows
The International Situation
33. From the 2000 Elections to the Attacks of 9/11/2001
34. “Terrorism” and Endless Wars
Invasion of Iraq
35. Scapegoating of Muslims and the PATRIOT ACT
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
36. May Day 2006 and the Immigrant Rights Movement
37. The Crisis of 2008 and the Decline of U.S. Imperialism
38. Inter-Imperialist Crises and Internationalism
The Class Nature of Russia and China Today
The Internationale

Saturday, July 16, 2016

March on the Democratic National Convention! July 25th

Buses will be leaving from Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte (and throughout the country, including Norfolk, Atlanta, and Nashville) for a demonstration on the opening day of the DNC, Sunday, July 25th.  The Raleigh bus departs from the Amtrak station at 12:19am and gets to Philadelphia at 9am; the return trip is 10am Sunday to 6:40am on Monday.  For bus information, see and demo information is at .  The DNC is July 25-28th.  The Republican NC is July 18-21 in Cleveland, and there must be plans for demonstrations there, but I haven't heard about any organized rides from the Triangle area.   

Saturday, July 09, 2016

ICMLPO on UK's vote to leave the EU

This is a statement from the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO) on the UK's recent vote for Brexit from the European Union.  There is lots of information on the BBC, broadcast daily on NPR and PBS here, but the BBC portrays the vote to leave as generally rightist, xenophobic, economically depressed, and populist (a derogatory term in Europe and increasingly on NPR, applied to Trump, Sanders, the various anti-EU parties, and Venezuela).    
After ’Brexit’:
The struggle against ‘United Europe’ of the monopolies and neoliberalism must be intensified
mainly fighting against one’s “own” bourgeoisie
The British referendum to remain in the European Union or to leave resulted in a vote for Brexit that was not anticipated by the European and global elite, the capitalist governments and media, presidents and financial speculators. In spite of a major campaign of intimidation, the majority voted to reject the EU and Cameron’s scheme. This has been a major blow to the EU elite and the plan to complete the building of the ‘United States of Europe’ by 2025 and has left not only the UK, but also the EU in an uncertain political situation, where many different forces are trying to assert themselves.
The Leave-vote was not a vote of the right; it was not a racist or xenophobic vote, as the fervent supporters of the European Union try to tell. It was a broad popular vote of 52 percent against 48, solidly rooted in the British working class. It was a vote of the workers, of the popular masses, of the poor against the rich, of the ordinary people against the bankers and financial wizards of the City of London, assisted by divisions within the British bourgeoisie and its ruling party. It expressed their wish to regain sovereignty and to reverse the neoliberal platform of the European Union that makes the rich richer and broad working and popular masses ever poorer.
Both in Scotland and Northern Ireland a majority voted to remain in the EU. This reflects the protests against the reactionary imperialist and colonialist English bourgeoisie and unclarity about the class essence of the United Europe of the monopolies. Forces fighting for the unification of Ireland and for Scottish independence have demanded referendums to this end. This is the right of oppressed nations.
But to kick out one reactionary imperialist bourgeoisie to replace it with the united reactionary and imperialist bourgeoisie of the EU is not in the interest of the workers or the broad masses of any nation.
The European Union is the project of the European monopolies, their governments and political parties for a single market of maximum profits protected by tariff walls and now with barbed wire to prevent refugees from bombs, wars, hunger and exploitation from crossing the borders. The United States of Europe is a vision of a new imperialist and neocolonialist superpower, impossible or reactionary all along the line. It is not a project of peace, of prosperity and welfare, of the peoples. Neoliberalism is its economic doctrine, established in the treaties of the EU and obligatory politics of the member countries, accentuated by the rule of the Euro that was imposed in most countries of the Union.
Where referendums have been held about the basic treaties implementing closer integration and new steps in the economic, monetary, political and military union, the results have in most cases been resounding No’s that have been discarded in practice. So-called populist right forces have been able to take political advantage of this ever-increasing anger with both the practical implementation of the economic and political dictates that have impoverished broad strata and with the plans for new steps towards more of the same. They have presented themselves as the defenders of the nation and the national interests against the EU, distorting the true class character of the European Union, scapegoating the immigrants and refugees as the cause of the impoverishment of the broad masses. The ‘struggle’ of these forces against the United Europe of the monopolies is weak, inconsistent and divisive. Exactly for these reason they are strongly promoted by the bourgeois media, which are seeking to hide the class character of the struggle against the European Union and its super-state.
Let us condemn, unmask and vigorously combat the movements and parties of the extreme right, the nationalists, racists and fascists that use a “social” demagogy to help the bourgeoisie divide and exploit the workers and the popular masses, clip freedoms and political rights of the peoples.
The social-democratic, socialist and left reformist forces of the EU and the trade union organizations that they lead have been partners in the creation of the monstrous European Union of today, of the disastrous Euro and the devastating neoliberal policies – while at the same time promoting the idea of a better EU, a reformed Union, a Europe of the peoples, a ‘social’ Europe. These are illusions that serve the monopolies. Facts and all experience show that the EU cannot be reformed to the advantage of the workers and peoples. If the shackles of the neoliberal anti-worker and anti-people treaties and institutions of the EU shall be broken, they must be abolished. The EU and the euro are failed projects.
The reformists and especially the left reformist ones like the European Left Party and its member parties from Syriza and Podemos to the German Die Linke and the French Parti Gauche, play a very dirty role as defenders of the European Union, while they promote themselves as strong forces against neoliberalism. This is a fraud as demonstrated by the Syriza government. They have opposed the creation of broad popular movements combining the struggle against the European Union with the struggle against neoliberalism, and replaced the class antagonism between Capital and the workers with a political struggle between left and right.
This position of the left reformists will inevitably, when no strong and broad movements against the European Union and the euro exist in a specific country, leave an open field for the right populist EU critical forces, who engage in social demagogy and concerns for the plight of the working masses. The left reformists are guilty of a great betrayal.
The struggle against the neoliberal EU is not only manifest in the movements to leave the Union and for referendums in various countries about leaving the Union or abolishing the Euro, but also in the labor struggles and broad popular struggles against the neoliberal political and economic reforms implemented in all the countries of the EU.  All these reforms carry the stamp of the European Union, such as the labor reform promoted by the Hollande government, the so-called law “El Khomri”, which the French workers and combative trade unions are heroically fighting in spite of police state measures.
We express our full support to the workers, the young people and the popular masses, to their combative organizations, that are struggling against the neoliberal and reactionary reforms, despite the repression and the criminalization of the protest; we invite all the workers and the oppressed peoples to develop international solidarity more and more.
Such concrete struggles must promote the political struggle against the EU and reject the illusions that the European Union can be reformed into a progressive institution in the service of the workers and peoples. The reactionary pro-EU bourgeoisie of each country is weakened outside the institutions, framework and treaties of the Union. Class solidarity of the workers transcends national borders within and outside the European Union.
In the UK the workers’ movement and the progressive and revolutionary forces must rise to stop the plans of the different factions of the bourgeoisie to eliminate the result of the referendum or to impose new neoliberal measures, to ferociously attack the migrants and burdens on the masses around a Brexit-agreement with the EU.
The Brexit vote has encouraged popular and workers forces all over the European Union and outside it to strengthen their struggles. Broad movements in the EU are developing, demanding referendums in their counties to leave or to remain. In countries with special agreements with the EU such as Norway and others the struggle against their neoliberal nature is developing.
In this scenario, it should be clear that to break up with the European Union is an empty slogan if is not closely linked to the struggle of the workers, the labouring masses and the peoples against the dominant classes of their own country and their reactionary and opportunists servants.
The struggle against the European Union will be successful only if is founded on the solid base of the struggle of the working class and the broad popular masses against their own bourgeoisie to defeat it.
Therefore, broad workers and popular fronts should be created, or strengthened where they already exist. They should fight for the economic and political interests of the workers, for the democratic liberties of the oppressed majority, against the imperialist wars and the warmongering alliances like NATO, against militarization and the formation of police States, for sovereignty and national independence, for the rights of nations to manage their own affairs and destiny.
The lessons of the referendums in the countries of the EU, and also of the Brexit, is that the protests and the economic battles against the consequences of the crisis and the neoliberal and austerity measures necessarily become a political fight against the bourgeois governments and the supranational institutions of capital. Our task is to indissolubly tie both of them in one class struggle of the proletariat to defeat the bourgeoisie and build the new society without the exploitation of man by man.
July 2016
Coordinating Committee of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO)