Occupy Wall Street and its hundreds of offshoots, cost the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars in a few short months. Cleanup costs, police overtime, lost and disrupted production and countless smaller issues hit cash strapped communities at a time they could least afford it.
If, as some (including myself) predict, the movement expands and becomes better organized and more violent next Spring and Summer, the costs could become astronomical.
If you were an enemy of the U.S., a hostile power intent on bringing America to its knees, would you like to see this movement grow? Maybe even help it along a little? There is some evidence that one country has been doing just that.
That country is Cuba.
The O.W.S. movement got more than a little attention at a recent Cuban sponsored convention of communist led labor unions in Tijuana, Mexico.
The 8th U.S./Cuba/Mexico Latin American Labor Conference took place in Tijuana, Baja California, within sight of the U.S. border, December 2-4., 2011.
Speakers included several high ranking Cuban officials, including Heriberto González del Valle, a professor at the Lázaro Peña National School for Union Cadres in Havana, Dr. Raymundo Navarro Fernández, member of the Secretariat of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba and Cuban Gilda Chacón, representing the formerly Soviet controlled international communist front World Federation of Trade Unions.
At the meeting, João Batista of the Central dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras do Brasil stated that “that the Occupy movement has brilliantly shown the world that “U.S. imperialism” also affects the 99 percent at home.”
Certainly “Occupy” was on the conference agenda. Detroit activist and former conference organizer Cheryl LaBash, wrote in a November 5 article in Worker’s World, the publication of the militantly pro-Cuban Worker’s World Party:
Where is the electrifying Occupy Wall Street movement headed? From capitalist media pundits to the Occupy Wall Street encampments struggling to hold public space in countless cities and towns across the U.S., this question is bubbling underneath the daily actions and police repression.
An opportunity to discuss the experience of other such movements will take place just across the U.S. border from San Diego in Tijuana, Mexico, on Dec. 2 to 4 at the 8th U.S./Cuba/Mexico/Latin America Labor Conference.
It will follow a three-day Workers’ School with instructors from the Lázaro Peña Cadre School in Havana, Cuba.
The “National School for Trade Union Cadres Lazaro Pena” is affiliated with the Cuban Workers Trade Union Central and works with the Cuban office of the World Federation of Trade unions to “train” Caribbean and Latin American labor officials, from its base in Havana.
It is an organ of the ruling Communist Party of Cuba, charged with spreading Castroite doctrine throughout the region, by way of the labor movement.
A key US attendee at the Tijuana conference was Eric A. Gordon, an affiliate of both the Los Angeles Communist Party USA and its front organization, the Los Angeles Workers’ Center – which is headed by communist and Occupy Los Angeles leader Arturo Cambron.
Occupy “city liason” Mario Brito also has a long Communist Party record, as do several others in the organization.
Communist Party members have played leading roles in the “Occupy” movement well beyond Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, October 11, 2011, the Communist Party held a national teleconference to discuss the “Occupy Movement,” which by then had spread to 200 cities. Arturo Cambron, of the Communist Party and Occupy Los Angeles was the key speaker on the call:
Southern California Party leader Arturo Cambron will share how the CPUSA and Young Communist League (YCL) are working in “Occupy Los Angeles.”
This movement, also known as the “99% movement,” is being hailed across the country. Movements and organizations are reaching out in solidarity. The AFL-CIO is opening union halls and offering other material assistance. Ordinary people are donating food, money and materials.
A big challenge for the CPUSA and left, progressive movements is to link these demonstrations with the labor led all-people’s coalition and help deepen understanding that the path to progress must be through electoral and political action including defeating Republican Tea Party reaction in 2012.
We can also play a role in offering more advanced programmatic ideas like nationalizing the banks and socialism.To have a positive impact, the CPUSA and YCL must be a part of the “Occupy” movement, participating at every level and building greater local support for the actions among labor and progressive forces.
Connecticut activist Lisa Bergmann gave a report on behalf of the Young Communist League USA to a gathering of another international communist front, the World Federation of Democratic Youth, in Lisbon, Portugal, November 1-3. Bergmann praised the O.W.S. movement and explicitly linked it to the campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama.
My name is Lisa Bergmann from the Young Communist League USA. On behalf of our organization I would like to thank WFDY and the JCP for hosting this inspiring, well-organized event and for ensuring that the YCLUSA could be here with all of you today. The Young Communist League USA stands firmly, as it always has, united with all of you against U.S. imperialism, greed, and war…
Inspired by the “Arab Spring” and other youth movements in Europe and Latin America, the Occupy Wall Street Movement began in the heart of the U.S. capitalist system, and has now spread to more than 300 cities in the United States. ..
The labor movement in the U.S. has been one of the strongest allies to the Occupy movement. Other participants in the Occupy movement include peace activist groups, veterans, elected officials, immigrant rights groups, and of course the Communist Party and the Young Communist League! The Young Communist League, even though we are in a re-building phase, has participated in Occupy in every city where we exist, and has even initiated the Occupy chapters in some cities. Leaders of the Young Communist League and leaders of the Communist party have been arrested in Chicago on two separate occasions during police raids on the Occupy movement.
Finally, I will speak briefly about the 2012 elections in the U.S. The election of Obama in 2008 was a tremendous victory for the people of the United States and indeed for people all over the world. ..
That said, the fight for jobs and for real solutions MUST include re-electing Obama in 2012. It is the role of the YCL to emphasize this wherever we go, and to try to push youth in the Occupy movement and elsewhere who do not want to work with any politicians to understand that being absent from the political process is only allowing the ultra-right wing to build power… Angela Davis, when visiting Occupy Wall Street on October 31st, said that “It is up to US to build a movement. And it is up to Obama to respond to that movement. But he cannot do it on his own.
The Worker’s World Party also plays a big role in Occupy Los Angeles and other movements across the country from Michigan to New York. W.W.P. member Mike Martinez, also a participant in the Tijuana Conference, explained his party’s strong role in Occupy Los Angeles in a November 2 article for Worker’s World:
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