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How Does the Communist Party Work?
Members of the Communist Party belong to clubs in their communities or workplaces. Some clubs are citywide or regional. In the club, members work together to support and initiate struggles for workers rights, peace, equality and justice. We give special emphasis to coalition building and working to strengthen our unions.
Most clubs meet monthly. Meetings include study and discussion of both current developments and long term strategy and tactics. Some members participate in discussions and activities through on-line clubs. In states where there are clusters of clubs they work cooperatively as a district.
Every four years, the party holds a national convention. Delegates elected from the clubs assess the current political situation, set policy and elect a national committee.
The Young Communist League, an independent organization, works alongside the Party at the local and national level.
The national headquarters of the party is located in New York City.
What Does the Communist Party Stand For?
The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign.
But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit - socialism.
We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.
Until we win enough support to change the system, communists call for radical reforms under capitalism. We call for nationalization of the banks, railroads, and industries like steel and auto. Everyone who wants to work should be guaranteed a job or get unemployment payments until she/he can find a job. We say put the unemployed to work at union wages on massive public works programs to rebuild our cities, provide affordable housing for the homeless, build mass transit, and clean up the environment!
Our outlook is based on the social science of Marxism-Leninism. We study history, politics and economics in order to change the world.
Yes. The right to belong to the Communist Party is protected by the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
But vigilance to protect these fundamental democratic rights of the American people has been needed throughout our nation's history as corporate interests have repeatedly attempted to outlaw the Communist Party (along with other progressive groups such as trade unions, civil rights groups, etc.)
From the Palmer raids of the 1920s through the McCarthy witchhunts of the 40s and 50s, to today's rabid radio talk show hosts, right wing politicians and corporate interests have never stopped trying to intimidate workers by making it seem that being a communist or favoring socialism and workers rights is illegal. Nevertheless, in recent years many states, counties, unions and other organizations continue to replace outdated anti-Communist clauses with more democratic and inclusive policies.
What Has the Communist Party Accomplished?
Founded in 1919, the Communist Party has helped win important changes in our country. Communists helped organize the great industrial unions including steel, meatpacking and auto. Communists were pioneers in the 1930s in the fight for Social Security, unemployment compensation, the 8-hour day and the 40-hour week. They took a lead in the fight against lynching and to save the Scottsboro Nine. Communists were among those who developed militant direct action tactics - such as the sit-down strikes that helped win unionization of the auto industry. At the height of the Great Depression communist neighborhood clubs organized mass unemployed councils that put back the furniture of evicted neighbors. In rural areas, communists organized to block bank auction of foreclosed farms.
Fighting Jim Crow, communists helped lay the groundwork for the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. During the Spanish Civil War and in World War II, Communists volunteered to fight fascism. Many died in battle. In the Korean War and early days of the war in Vietnam, Communists were among the few who openly opposed the war. Their pioneering work helped build a huge peace movement.
In the labor movement of the 1970s , 80s and 90s communist workers along with other progressive rank and filers helped build caucuses to fight for more democracy, diversity and affirmative action and against "business unionism."
In the 1970's Communists led the movement to free Angela Davis continuing the party's commitment to defend victims of political repression. We worked for peace and nuclear disarmament. Communists always focus on opposing the U.S. government's role in supporting dictatorial regimes abroad, from apartheid in South Africa to the fascist dictator Pinochet in Chile.
Why is the Working Class at the Heart of the Communist Party Program?
The working class and working people as a whole are the overwhelming majority of society. The working class creates everything that the world's people need to survive and thrive - from food, housing, health care, energy, education to transportation, music and art. Because working people make the country go, they are also uniquely positioed to change the society. Workers, when united and working together with other oppressed people, have the power to change the world.
The Road to Socialism USA, the program of the Communist Party, is aimed guiding the struggle to eventually win political, economic and social power for working people so they can make sure that everyone fairly and equally enjoys the fruits of their labor.
Why is the Fight against Racism, Sexism, and Oppression so Important?
We make the fight for equality an important part of every struggle we fight. The Communist Party fights for full equality for people of all races, for women and men, straight people and LGBT, for speakers of all languages, for young people and older people, and for people of all religious beliefs or none. The U.S. working class includes millions of immigrant workers. We stand for full rights for these workers, regardless of their documentation status. We believe in equality because it is just and right. Even more, the fight for equality is key to uniting the working class into a powerful force for the changes we need.
Is the Communist Party part of an International Movement?
Yes! We are internationalists. Capitalism is a global system of exploitation and oppression. We have relationships of solidarity with communist and workers parties in countries across the globe. We believe that the world working class, and those oppressed by capitalism in any form are natural allies. We work in solidarity with all movements around the world that struggle for independence, peace and economic and social justice.
We believe that the freedom and advancement of the American people is closely tied to the freedom and advancement of all working people and the oppressed around the world.
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