Revolutionary Worker #1089, February 4, 2001, posted at http://rwor.org
The new RCP Draft Programme will be published in the Spring of this year!
The publication of the Draft Programme will start up a whole new round of discussion and debate. In order to involve as many people as possible in this process--including large sections of the diverse proletariat in the U.S.--the Party will publish the Draft Programme simultaneously in English and Spanish.
The translation of the Draft into Spanish is a major project, and people have stepped forward to take part in this important--and exciting!--effort. But this project will also impact the Spanish edition of the Revolutionary Worker/Obrero Revolucionario. During February and March--starting with our next issue--we will need to make adjustments in the weekly publication of the Obrero Revolucionario. The OR will have fewer pages during this period--and there might be some weeks when there will be no Spanish edition.
From the first issue of the RW/OR, we have published a weekly edition in Spanish. The RW/OR is the only national weekly newspaper with a separate and complete Spanish edition. The OR has been embraced by Spanish-speaking revolutionary masses as their paper. As a group of immigrant proletarians recently said, "This paper is the voice of people like us who otherwise wouldn't have a voice."
So we hope our OR readers will understand the need for these adjustments during this period. And we hope that through the whole process of forging a new RCP Programme, more people will see the importance of a bilingual revolutionary movement and take up the many tasks of translating for the revolution, including translation of the OR.
Right now, the RCP is concluding an intense process of pulling together a year's work of investigation and discussion held outside and inside the Party. The results of the investigation and discussion are being combined with all that the Party has learned in its 25 years about revolution. All this will be concentrated in the new Draft Programme.
Following the publication of the Draft Programme, the Party plans to exchange views with diverse forces and encourage an atmosphere of debate over decisive questions of the revolution. Squads of revolutionaries will meet and discuss with all those who are searching for a better world--to learn from their opinions, criticisms, and suggestions. And through this process, the Party will further sharpen its understanding and line and produce a new Programme for revolution.
It is crucial that the Draft Programme comes out in Spanish as well as English and reach those who are deprived of their voice under this chauvinist system. It is crucial for the whole revolutionary movement that Spanish-speaking people in this country are able to fully participate in the forging of the new RCP Programme.
We urge people to get involved in the discussions and debate that will go on based on the Draft Programme--become a part of the great process of forging a new Programme and making it a powerful force in the further development of the revolutionary movement and our vanguard Party. We hope to be talking with a lot of people who read the Draft in Spanish and to discuss their opinions and critiques of the translation--so that the Spanish version of the final Programme can be even sharper and more powerful.
Translating the Draft Programme and printing it in English and Spanish will take a lot of money. And funds are also needed for the big plans for the Draft after it's published, including taking it out among Spanish-speaking masses. We call on people to contribute to and raise money for the translation and publication of the bilingual Draft Programme.
"A Party Programme--a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Programme--is a battle plan for destroying the old and creating the new. It is a kind of road map for how to win the revolution--and a clear statement of what winning in the fullest sense really means. It is a tool for understanding this society and the world, and for identifying all the forces who will make revolution--proletarian revolution.
"As Mao Tsetung said: 'Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of the first importance for the revolution.'
"Our Programme will be a Programme for revolution in the U.S., and it will be part of the world revolution."
From "Plan for a New Programme
of the RCP, USA: An Announcement
and a Call to the People" Central Committee,
RCP USA, October 1999, RW #1028
Back in 1979, when the Party began to publish the RW as a national weekly newspaper, it also began publishing a weekly edition in Spanish, the Obrero Revolucionario (OR). It was committed to becoming bilingual even before the waves of immigration from Central America and Mexico in the '80s, and recognized that without the participation of Latino immigrants, there would be no revolution in the U.S.
Right away, Spanish-speaking masses came forward to support the OR. A number of them joined the selling teams: young Mexican peasants, Salvadoran students and proletarians. In the buildup for historic May Day 1980, at least one selling team conducted all its meetings in Spanish. And as more and more young Salvadoran rebels made their way to Los Angeles, the OR found its way into the meetings of fledgling support groups. OR reporters would listen to the crackly broadcasts over short-wave radio--no Internet in those days!--from Monseñor Romero's radio station, and write articles exposing imperialism to strengthen the people's struggle.
The OR was increasingly linked to the Party's analysis that there was indeed a "real proletariat" in the U.S., in garment factories, day labor corners, restaurants, etc. Some French revolutionaries, visiting the Mission District in San Francisco at that time, were amazed that we would go out to street corners and engage ordinary Latino proletarians in discussions of world politics. In L.A., we would sell at downtown bus stops and barge into garment sweatshops with red flags and agitators. The local bourgeoisie, defeated in May 1980, was anxious to stop these MLM politics from taking root in our social base--the battle was on. So every time we sold downtown, LAPD Metro Division would be out looking for us, ready to arrest or attack us. We took some losses, but--we sold downtown almost every weekend, Saturday and Sunday. The Party gained stature in the eyes of the immigrant masses; they bought the RW/OR right in the face of the police, snatching up and distributing the newspapers that the police tossed to the side when they busted us.
The masses still respond this way today. What do Latino masses see in the OR? People commonly tell us: "It tells the truth." It helps to satisfy the thirst that people have to understand the world. A Mexican woman we met at a laundromat told us: "I bought that paper for the first time some three years ago. There was an article on a country in Africa, and that article finally explained to me what the word imperialism means."
The RW/OR is still the only national weekly newspaper with a separate and complete Spanish edition. It plays an important role in forging revolutionary consciousness on the other side of "la linea" [the border] as well. It is not uncommon for people to first encounter the OR in Mexico, where, as one man put it: "We buy the paper and quickly hide it inside our jackets." People pass the OR from friend to friend to friend; in one case, the issue traveled from DF to northern Mexico. An article from earlier this year illustrated the paper's cross-border influence, when UNAM strikers and supporters used the OR reporting on the WTO demos in Seattle to defeat defensive [political] lines in their own movement. It is a truly international, and internationalist, newspaper.
Presented at the 25th Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Onlinerwor.org