Saturday, September 30, 2017

Puerto Rico. Capitalist caused Global Warming and Climate Change. (And the uncaring Trump White House).

Global Warming/Climate Change. Hurricane after hurricane
By Sean O'Torain.

Hurricanes, flooding, destruction, from Texas to Louisiana to Florida and worst of all, now in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.. These catastrophes are destroying the lives of millions of working class people. On top of this suffering we have the Predator in Chief attacking Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and saying the people of Puerto Rico want everything done for them. Meanwhile he plays golf. This creature in the White House thinks only of himself and related to this feeding the backward racist and tightening ideas of the people who support him. He is n a monstrous person. 

The cause of these catastrophes in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the other islands of the Caribbean must be identified. Sure there have been storms and hurricanes in the past. But so many and so powerful? Never.  Add to this the rising sea levels and global warming and the conclusion is inescapable. Climate change/global warming is at the root of these crises. 

Again in relation to the creature in the White House. He says climate change and global warming has been dreamt up by the Chinese government. That is what he says to his audience in the US. But Trump has a golf course in the west of Ireland. Near the sea. He is trying to get government grants there to shore up the coast line against raising sea levels. No talk of climate change and global warming there. What a liar and hypocrite. 

At the root of global warming/climate change is the mad addiction of the international capitalist class to profit. These catastrophes are not acts of some imaginary god or natural disasters as the capitalist mass media claims. They are the result of global warming/climate change and capitalism is the cause of global warming/climate change.  It is to the capitalist class and the capitalist system that we must place the blame. 

The horrific consequences of hurricane Harvey are yet to be felt.  The shutdowns and startups of Texas chemical plants alone in the wake of Harvey produced four million pounds of emissions as of this week, 10% of the state’s annual unplanned emissions, including 49,000 pounds of cancer causing benzene and butadiene.  “About one million pounds of chemicals came from other malfunctions during the storm” according to the Wall Street Journal.  

Part of this is the profit mad criminals who block regulation and zoning laws. There are real people that make conscious decisions that are behind these catastrophes; they are not accidents.  The Texas Association of Homebuilders has blocked practically any regulation or zoning laws that restricts their right to build whatever they want, how they want and wherever they want.

When a poor person or working class person gets caught in some petty criminal activity, more often than not driven by necessity, their faces are all over the TV. Some of those directly responsible for the severity of Harvey’s damage have faces too but the finger is not pointed at them; we don’t get to see them. Facts For Working People shared their faces with our readers in a previous post.

It is against this background that we would like to comment on the present catastrophe in Puerto Rico. We do so hesitantly as we do not have direct contact with people on the island. This capitalist made catastrophe in Puerto Rico is made worse by a number of factors. One is the vicious attacks US capitalism has waged on working people’s living standards and the island’s infrastructure forcing the working people of the island into greater and greater poverty so capitalists can get their pound of flesh, their interest and profits. 

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”, said Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, Obama pal and former Israeli Defense Force man. Rahm’s Wall Street friends and their paid for politicians agree and intend to use this crisis to make a stronger case for privatization and sell off publicly owned sectors at knock down prices so they can be milked dry for profits. 

There is also the undoubted racism of the Trump regime. The speed and the amount of resources sent to Texas/Louisiana were much faster and much greater than what we are seeing in Puerto Rico.   In the US with every action of capitalism there is always the racism. 

Having said this we would like to make the following observations. The situation in Puerto Rico is a catastrophe for the working people of the island. But there is more than that. The entire capitalist enterprise on the island, the economy, the infrastructure, has been brought to a halt. The state apparatus has only a tenuous hold on the situation.  The capitalist regime on the island is not able to deal with the situation. They are reduced to appealing to Trump and US imperialism for help. In this situation those who oppose capitalism and seek its overthrow and those who see the working class as the force that can bring this about, have to draw conclusions, state these conclusions and fight for them.

Catastrophes like we are witnessing in Texas, and Louisiana with hurricanes  Harvey Irma Maria and now in Puerto Rico and the other Caribbean islands, hold dangers for the capitalist class. In Texas/Louisiana people were forced to take action to help themselves.  We produced on this Blog images of working people helping each other, carrying each other taking action to save each other. These images made very clear that working people of whatever race and gender or sexual orientation rushed to help each other. Under the impact of the crisis, working class people gave no thought to what race or gender or sexual orientation a person was------- they needed help and they were helped. 

This is not a welcome sight for the ruling class and its state. These forces see working class people taking their situation into their own hands and helping each other out as a threat.  They want working people to go back into their boxes, they want the working class to be atomized, they want the working class to see things in an individualisict manner, they want the working class to feel they have no alternative but to depend on the capitalist state, they want to be able to keep their racist and sexist propaganda simmering in the working class. 

The experience of the working class in Texas/Louisiana where working people united and helped each other, something that occurred during Katrina as well, the capitalist class want eradicated from the memory of the working class as quickly as possible. This Blog put forward suggestions to the working class people and the half million rank and file trade union members in Texas/Louisiana as to steps that could be taken that would allow the working class to take control of the situation. 

Of course, this Blog has as yet no influence with significant numbers that is the tens and hundreds of thousands of working class people. And with the leaders of the trade unions being just as afraid of independent action of their rank and file and working class people in general as the bosses, such action was not taken. Nevertheless, it is the duty of anti-capitalists and socialists who believe in the need to end capitalism and who believe that the working class acting independently, and in our own interests, is the force that can accomplish this, to put forward this call for the working class to take independent action. 

Puerto Rico: the worst hurricane in a 100 years.

In Puerto Rica, the situation is worse than in Texas/Louisiana or Florida. The housing, the water supply, the power supply, the health care system, the infrastructure have been all but wiped out. The capitalist politicians who run the island on behalf of the US capitalist class are reduced to pleading to this class and its racist system and its racist Predator in Chief for help. It is nauseating to see some of the members of this elite in Puerto Rico, not Mayo Cruz, licking Trump’s boots to try and get him to act. 

This Blog believes that while we have next to no influence in Puerto Rico, and for that matter in the millions and tens of millions of workers in the US and Puerto Rico, we have the responsibility to point out certain realities. US capitalism and its subservient regime in Puerto Rico and international capitalism are responsible for the catastrophe on the island. Whatever “solution” they come up with will be at the expense of the Puerto Rican working class. There could be an alternative.   

There is a working class in Puerto Rico. It has been active in struggle over the past period against the cuts imposed on it by the island’s capitalist government and its string pullers in Wall Street. There have been strikes and struggles. There are unions in Puerto Rico. These unions have links with and in some cases are part of the unions such as the Teamsters and Afscme.  We have no illusions that the leaders of these unions will act. Not only that, the leadership of the AFL-CIO opposed the waiver of the Jones Act to allow the quickest possible and the greatest possible shipment of aid to the island.  Instead of opposing the waiver, they should have agreed to it, and beyond that, the heads of organized labor should have been in the forefront of the call to waiver it. Along with demanding a waiver of the Jones Act before Trump was forced to act, they should launch an organizing campaign to organize all the crews on the different ships that come to the island. This is the way these union leaders should deal with it. But they will not. So we are back again to the rank and file of the trade unions and the working class communities. We suggest the following action. 

The rank and file of the union movement to put out the call and take the initiative to organize working people’s committees across the island of Puerto Rico. The rank and file of the various unions and their locals can provide leadership on this and can provide a spine for a network of workers and community councils throughout the island. This network then to move to take charge. Move first to organize forces to take over the docks where the containers filled with supplies are held and distribute these supplies. Move to identify the main roads that have to be repaired to get these supplies distributed. Appeal to the ranks of the state apparatus and the US forces that are being sent to the island to join with and cooperate with and act in coordination with and under the leadership of the workers’ and community councils network. 

This network to elect a central leadership to coordinate the entire action. At the same time this network to appeal to the 14 million strong AFL – CIO rank and file throughout the US for support. All supplies and help raised by the AFL – CIO rank and file to be funneled through this network. The rank and file of the AFL-CIO to set up a central support body for this solidarity work. Such action would get a lot of support. 

A few things would flow from this. The capitalist class and the union bureaucracy would do everything in their power to prevent such a development. However, steps taken in this direction would have widespread support. Steps taken in this direction to the extent they had success would also begin to build a new network of activists in the union movement which need not disappear when the worst of the crisis in Puerto Rico would be over but could be kept in place to deepen and widen the struggle on all the issues facing the working class, increased poverty, increased global warming and pollution, increased racial and sexual repression, increased repression of the working class as a whole. 

The tragedy in Puerto Rico has the potential to change the situation not only on the island but also in the working class on the island and in the US. What is needed is a core of working class fighters in the work places, the ranks of the unions, the working class communities. What is needed is a mass fighting movement of the working class to take on the offensive of capitalism.

Flowing from this what is needed is a working class party that fights capitalism and fights for democratic socialism. Such forces do not exist so the working people of Puerto Rico, of Texas/Louisiana, of Florida, of the other Caribbean islands are left at the mercy of the vicious profit addicted capitalist class; a vicious looting and planet destroying bunch of criminals who, if independent working class action is not taken, will once again succeed in preserving their system dragging it back from the abyss. Not only that; they will at the same time, seek to exploit these catastrophes to their own advantage. 

Those of us involved with the Facts For Working People Blog believe these crises demand independent action by the working class, demand an organized anti capitalist force to be built in the working class, demand a mass party of the working class, demand a revolutionary current within this party. Such forces could provide the leadership and structure that can organize and give guidance in such situations as Puerto Rico, Texas, Louisiana etc. The building of these forces is the task facing the working class and a task with which this Blog wishes to help.  Those of us that have sustained this blog want to place it at the service of the working class in the struggle for socialism. Others who wish to help with this task, others who wish to work together to this end please contact us at:

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