Saturday, January 8, 2000
322 W. 48th St. Main Floor
(between 8th and 9th Ave.)
Yeltsin's capitalist regime, aided by the U.S. government, has devastated the conditions of the workers in Russia and other former Soviet Republics. Factories have closed, millions of workers have been laid off, and those still working go unpaid for months. The resources of the country are sold off at bargain-basement prices to the native and foreign monopoly corporations, especially U.S. corporations.
At the same time, the workers are standing up and fighting back. Forming organizations such as the union "Defense," workers in many plants throughout the country have taken over factories, running them themselves and paying themselves. They have had to fight off the police called by the capitalist owners, as in the cellulose plant in Vyborg, Leningrad region and other factories.
Workers in the U.S. are constantly threatened by privatization of government services. Soviet workers have had to face the privatization of the whole economy.
In 1917, Russian workers shook the world by setting up the first socialist state based on Soviets, or Workers' Councils. In 1919, during the Seattle General Strike, workers inspired by the Russian revolution, formed their own workers' councils which ran the city for several days. Today the actions of the Russian workers are again an inspiration to workers throughout the world.
The U.S. workers' movement is also again showing its militancy. Longshore workers along the West Coast shut down the ports in the recent fight against the WTO, as they did in April for Mumia Abu-Jamal. And in New York City, transit and other municipal workers are gearing up for the fight for decent contracts and against slave labor workfare.
Our main speaker on January 8 will be someone who lived for several years in the Soviet Union/Russia and is in regular contact with the workers' movement there. Others will speak on the importance of the Russian workers' struggles for the US workers' movement.Sponsored by: U.S. Friends of Soviet People
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