Social crisis from West Coast fires caused by capitalist greed

Vol. 84/No. 39 - October 5, 2020
A few of the 1,200 workers in the “Hillbilly Brigade” who volunteered to fight fires gather for a meal at Hansen family farm after battling the Riverside Fire near Molalla, Oregon, Sept. 16.

GRIDLEY, Calif. — Since early August wildfires have burned out of control across California, Oregon and Washington state. Over 2 million acres have burned in California alone as of Sept. 20. These are some of the largest fires in that…


Gov’t tells Hurricane Laura victims, ‘You’re on your own’

Vol. 84/No. 36 - September 14, 2020
Damage at July 26 baseball stadium in Artemisa, Cuba, is inspected by local authorities after tropical storm Laura in August. Mass organizations respond immediately to impact of disasters.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana and Texas remain without electricity and water, as the havoc caused by Hurricane Laura is turned into a social disaster, with working people being left to fend for themselves. Residents returning to Lake…


PG&E bosses cop a plea to manslaughter in fire deaths

Vol. 84/No. 15 - April 20, 2020
Joel Britton, left, currently SWP candidate for U.S. Congress, speaks with carpenter Tony Worino in his RV at Camp Fire refugee camp in Chico, California, in December 2018.

OAKLAND, Calif. — On March 23 Pacific Gas & Electric bosses struck a plea bargain with the Butte County District Attorney’s Office, saying they would admit guilt on felony counts stemming from the deadly 2018 Camp Fire and pay a…


Capitalist profit drive fuels Australia bushfire disaster

Vol. 84/No. 4 - February 3, 2020
After deadly wildfires, Australian government belatedly organized evacuation of stranded people trapped on Mallacoota Beach Dec. 31. Inset, volunteer firefighter battles bushfire. Authorities allowed huge buildup of forest and brush, “a time bomb waiting to go off.”

BALMORAL VILLAGE, Australia — Supporters of the Militant  arrived here, 60 miles southwest of Sydney, to discuss the impact of large-scale fires in December and to offer solidarity. We found a hub of activity at the local Rural Fire Service…


Australia bushfires: Capitalism is responsible for social disaster

Vol. 84/No. 3 - January 27, 2020
Resident of Cobargo, Australia, area hard hit by bushfires, refuses to shake hand of Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Capitalist rulers left working people on their own as fires raged.

The following statement was released by the Communist League in Australia Jan. 8. The massive bushfires that have swept south and eastern Australia have had a devastating impact on the lives of many working people. But the social crisis developing…


Hurricane Dorian exposed depth of class divisions in the Bahamas

Vol. 83/No. 35 - September 30, 2019

Hurricane Dorian exposed the class divide between the wealthy ruling families and working people in the Bahamas, the disregard of the government for the lives of the majority who live there and the class values of the U.S. rulers, who…


Disaster facing Bahamians is product of the capitalist system

Vol. 83/No. 34 - September 23, 2019

“We are on our own,” Bahamian volunteer fireman Greg Johnson told the press Sept. 6 in Treasure Cay, explaining the inaction of the government of the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. “It’s deplorable.” Working people were left to…


‘Nationalize PG&E, put it under workers control’

Vol. 83/No. 23 - June 10, 2019
Bianca Alvarado, right, talks with Jeff Powers in Chico, California, in February after wildfire destroyed nearby Paradise, killing scores. Fire was caused by PG&E bosses’ disdain for safety.

OAKLAND, California — The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the state regulatory agency that deals with forest fires, reported May 15 that last fall’s Camp Fire that killed at least 85 people and destroyed nearly 19,000 homes and…


Workers, farmers face social disaster in floods

Catastrophe is product of workings of capitalism
Vol. 83/No. 14 - April 8, 2019
Volunteers from McCook, Nebraska, organize “flood buckets” of supplies to take to areas battered by flooding. Government officials had left those hard hit to fend for themselves.

LINCOLN, Neb. — The government on all levels has left farmers, ranchers and other working people to fend for themselves in the face of flooding that destroyed crops, silos full of grain and livestock on hundreds of thousands of acres…


Capitalism at fault in Alabama tornado catastrophe

Vol. 83/No. 12 - March 25, 2019

BEAUREGARD, Ala. — “People came out of nowhere to help us. It was amazing, people kept stopping by to lend a hand,” John Askew told Socialist Workers Party members lending solidarity here March 8. He was clearing the debris left…