the campaigner

wlym.com

the campaigner

5TheLeftandTeacherstheNeStrikeBy RALPH FOSTER between the leadership's unprincipled centrism,which has lately turned in on labor issues, and theThe Newark Teachers Union, in its current prevalent rank-and-file view that the strike is alife-and-death struggle with union-busting forces in racist offensive against Newark's black community.New Jersey, has been assaulted by court In the past, the YSA has regarded LeRoi Jones as ainjunctions, by arrests, and by fascist-like goon wholesomely progressive nationalist.squads linked to police agent LeRoi Jones.The leadership of the Newark Teacher Union isAll this has found a place in newspaper black; so is 40% of the membership; mostheadlines. It is far less widely known that the NTU important, the union is fighting for improvedis simultaneously being confronted by school conditions as the key demand made againstunambiguous class betrayals on the part of major Gibson & the school board. So much for thesocialist organizations in New York and nationally. "racism" issue.After three weeks' vain attempts to prod these The question of joining the demonstration wasorganizations into active support, however referred to the New Jersey YSA for furtherminimal, for the existence of the NTU, the Labor consideration. Several days later, New York YSACommittee members involved are in a position to organizer Peter Seidman told us the YSA woulddemonstrate that major sections of the left not participate because "your intentions aremovement are prepared to sell the working class sometimes good but your approach is incorrect."down the river in precisely the same way the Seidman later told an SMC meeting that "If theCommunist Party USA did during the Depression. SMC supports the Newark strike, even by a narrowmajority, it will split the anti-war movement."Coalition ProposalAfter refusing to name specific disagreements,The New York Labor Committee immediately Seidman was asked what position the YSA hadbegan to build outside support for the Newark adopted toward the strike. He assured us that heteachers through a strike support coalition supported the strikers, but declined to discuss theincluding trade unionists, unemployed, students, matter. "Read the next issue of the Militant if youthe anti-war movement, oppressed minority groups want to know our position."and leftists. We proposed that this united frontcoalition build strike support around general *SMCdemands in the interest of the working class as a The YSA, which dominates the Studentwhole. Mobilization Committee, prevented it from joiningstrike support action. At the first New YorkAs a first step, we planned a demonstration, held regional SMC meeting since the strike began, Y SAon Friday Feb. 12 in Union Square, New York spokesmen insisted that to discuss strike supportCity. A call for the demonstration went out in was impossible for lack of information.Solidarity.This was the response from the left: This was on Feb. 6, when the strike was a weekold. At the next meeting a week later, Mike*SWP-YSA Weissman, the YSA member who was chairing,After four days of meetings from Feb. 5-9, the made a desperate attempt to avoid discussion. HeYoung Socialist Alliance, youth group of the refused to call on members of his own organizationSocialist Workers Party, found itself unable to and repeatedly recognized on Labor Committeeformulate on the strike. The YSA was torn members. We then introduced motions requiring

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines