- Was the U.S. vice-presidential nominee of the Workers Word Party in 2004
- Former co-director of International ANSWER
- Characterizes America as a greedy, racist, imperialistic, and war-mongering nation
Born in Mexico in January 1951, Teresa Gutierrez has been a Communist political organizer in the United States throughout her adult life. She proudly identifies herself as a “Marxist,” a devotee of The Communist Manifesto, an immigrant-rights activist, and a foot soldier in “the Chicano liberation struggle.” A member of the Secretariat of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP), she has also served variously as chair of the U.S. Out-of-Columbia Committee, deputy secretary-general of the International Migrant Alliance, and co-director of the International Action Center and International ANSWER.
In 1994 Gutierrez was an initiator of the International Peace for Cuba Appeal, which opposed America’s economic embargo against the Communist Caribbean nation. Other prominent initiators and endorsers of this Appeal included Philip Agee, Ed Asner, Brian Becker, Harry Belafonte, Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark, John Conyers, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Falk, Thomas Gumbleton, Woody Harrelson, Corliss Lamont, Mario Obledo, Charles Rangel, Pete Seeger, Martin Sheen, Paul Sweezy, Alice Walker, Lucius Walker Jr., Maxine Waters, Quentin Young, and Howard Zinn.
Over the years, Gutierrez has made numerous trips to Cuba, Haiti, and Venezuela to publicly denounce American “imperialism” and express “solidarity” with Marxist elements in those places.
By Gutierrez’s telling, America has long waged “a war” on “oppressed” Mexican immigrants through such measures as “mass incarcerations and mass deportations,” “untold dehumanization and degradation,” “racial profiling,” and “militarization of the border.” Reasoning from the premise that the Southwestern United States was wrongly stolen from Mexico, Gutierrez commonly refers to Mexicans residing illegally in the U.S. as “migrants” who are entitled to move about freely in a region that rightfully belongs to them, rather than as “immigrants,” a term which connotes outsiders. In a similar spirit, Gutierrez references American citizens as “so-called” citizens.
Characterizing business owners as “capitalist pigs,” Gutierrez charges that for decades Mexican laborers in the U.S. have been “vilified,” “demonized,” and subjected to incessant “capitalist exploitation,” “abominable working conditions,” and “racist attacks.” She asserts that “the globalization of the capitalist economic system” is “exactly what Vladimir Lenin named it” decades ago: “Predatory, bloodsucking, murderous imperialism.” And while this “U.S. imperialism has extended its tentacles around the world,” adds Gutierrez, it will eventually be destroyed by an “inevitable” economic crisis that “will ultimately lead to a better and more just society” featuring “socialized ownership and control.”
Aiming to help “accelerate” this final “destruction” of capitalism, Gutierrez would prefer for workers to “seize” the reins of political power through armed uprising rather than elections. “We have a duty,” she says, “to turn this—the headquarters of imperialism—into the center of revolutionary gravity…. Right here, in the belly of the beast, we’re going to move right to its heart and we’re going to yank that sucker out.”
Gutierrez celebrates the fact that the immigrant-rights movement has “revived the class struggle in the U.S.”—what she terms the “irreconcilable struggle between the ruling class and the working class,” the “exploiters and exploited.” “Workers World Party could ask for no greater development,” she says, “short of the revolution. Because history shows that an upsurge of oppressed people can impact every other struggle.”
In 2009 Gutierrez was a coordinator of the the New York May 1st Coalition, an alliance of more than 40 immigrant- and worker-rights organizations in the New York area. This coalition held a rally at Union Square to celebrate International Workers’ Day (May Day) and to urge President Barack Obama to authorize “comprehensive immigration reform” that would result in “an end to raids and deportations, and the legalization of the more than 12 million estimated undocumented immigrants in the United States.”
In 2010 Gutierrez condemned Arizona Law SB 1070, which authorized state police to check the immigration status of criminals suspected of being in the U.S. illegally, as a “repressive” statute that represented “a threat to all immigrants, an insult to every Latino and Latina person, an assault on every person of color, and an attack on all workers.” Gutierrez also denounced “arch-racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio” and other “reactionaries” who “falsely blame all problems of U.S. society on immigrants.
For additional information on Teresa Gutierrez, click here.