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Socialists campaign against parties of war, depression
Candidates advance program to defend working people

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A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people
Vol. 66/No.31August 19, 2002

Socialists campaign against
parties of war, depression
Candidates advance program
to defend working people

From New York to California and from Florida to Washington State, the Socialist Workers election campaigns are presenting a fighting, independent working-class alternative to the twin parties of big business: the Democrats and Republicans. Through them, workers, young people, and working farmers across the United States are speaking out against the social consequences of the imperialist war drive, slumping economy, and assaults by the bosses.

Young socialists who support the campaigns are getting out on the streets, on college campuses, and elsewhere to meet other young people who are looking for a revolutionary alternative to the bipartisan offensive at home and abroad: youth who seek to build solidarity and common ties of struggle with anyone, anywhere, who is standing up and fighting in the interests of working people against exploitation and oppression.

Socialist campaigners are meeting working people who are involved in the extending and deepening lines of proletarian resistance against the U.S. rulers’ assault--an offensive that’s accelerating as workers and farmers are forced to bear the brunt of the spreading world economic crisis. These include garment workers in Florida mobilizing to win union representation; farmers in the South fighting racist discrimination by the department of agriculture; coal miners resisting the bosses’ productivity drive and disregard for safety; longshore workers on the West Coast standing up to antiunion moves and federal strikebreaking threats; and workers organizing protests to oppose INS raids and deportations and restrictions on immigrants’ ability to receive drivers’ licenses.

Socialist Workers candidates point to the enormous social, economic, and political power of working people and the possibility and necessity of fighting for workers power: a government of workers and farmers that can begin to transform society in the interests of the vast majority.

As they speak out at "soapboxing" street meetings, extend solidarity to workers on strike picket lines, and join other fronts of the resistance, the socialist campaigners explain that the U.S. rulers’ probes against workers’ rights, the imperialist drive toward war, and the employers’ drive against workers’ wages and conditions on the job are all part of the deadly response of the superwealthy rulers to the crisis and weakness of their system of domination. Successive Democratic and Republican party administrations--on the federal, state, and local level--have organized each round of assaults on workers and farmers, and are preparing the attacks to come.

Well before September 11, 2001, the seeds were sown under the eight-year administration of William Clinton for the growing federalization of policing, the building up of a Northern Command to use the U.S. military at home, and the jailing of citizens without charges along with secret jailings and trials of those without "proper" papers.

The U.S. rulers are not only using their military might as they march humanity toward catastrophe. The Clinton administration accelerated the use of trade conflicts as a lever for the U.S. rulers against their imperialist rivals and semicolonial countries. The bipartisan imposition of steep steel tariffs by the Bush White House was an economic act of war along these lines. Washington will also use currency conflicts as part of its growing aggressiveness.

Socialist Workers campaigners explain that these motive forces within the imperialist economy are converging toward a debt implosion and economic depression, and put forward a program for working people to defend themselves in face of this.

Their campaign points to the need for labor to chart an independent working-class course, to break from the two-party shell game, and challenge the bosses in the political arena. The socialist campaign offers working people and youth involved in fights an arena in which to take a stand that advances the interests of all working people.

The Militant will provide regular coverage of these campaigns, keep readers informed of the activities of young socialists, and run statements by candidates like those in this issue. We encourage everyone who supports these perspectives to campaign together with other revolutionary-minded working people and youth as an effective means of building a fighting vanguard capable of leading the future mass battles of workers and farmers to victory.
Related articles:
Workers back socialist ballot drive in D.C.

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