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Socialist Workers candidates in Pennsylvania offer
Working-class alternative to all capitalist parties
Socialist Workers launch ballot drive in New York
Canadian gov’t transforms military to fight ‘war on terror’
Washington, Tokyo push for sanctions against north Korea
London sends more troops to Afghanistan
U.S. coal miner tours New Zealand
Women’s rights supporters mobilize to defend Mississippi abortion clinic  
1956 Hungarian revolution sought to strengthen gains of workers state

A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people
Vol. 70/No. 27July 24, 2006


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(lead article)
Socialist Workers candidates in Pennsylvania offer
Working-class alternative to all capitalist parties
They campaign for unionizing workers;
immediate legalization of immigrants;
troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan now!
Will challenge Pennsylvania ‘loyalty oath’
Militant/John Studer
Osborne Hart, Socialist Workers Party candidate for governor of Pennsylvania.

PHILADELPHIA, July 12—“We’re campaigning to support workers’ struggles to organize unions and mobilize union power to defend working people from attacks on our wages, working conditions, and rights by the employers and the government,” said Osborne Hart, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, in a press release sent out to media throughout the state today.

“We join with the millions of working people who have demanded immediate and unconditional legalization of all immigrants. By downing their tools and taking to the streets this spring in numbers never before seen in the United States, millions of workers engaged in what was in fact a multicity general political strike for the first time in U.S. history. This movement for legalization of immigrant workers has strengthened the working class, its allies, and the labor movement. It has changed politics in this country,” Hart said.

“We also demand the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. and other ‘coalition’ troops from Iraq and Afghanistan,” the socialist candidate continued. “We say: No to economic sanctions and military threats against Iran and north Korea! End Washington’s Cold War on Cuba! U.S. hands off Venezuela!”

Hart, who is a warehouse worker in Philadelphia, is joined on the Socialist Workers Party ticket by Tony Lane, a Pittsburgh-area coal miner, who is the party’s candidate for lieutenant governor; Ved Dookhun, a Pittsburgh-area foundry worker, for U.S. Senate; and Cindy Jaquith, an electronics factory assembler, for U.S. Congress in the Pittsburgh-area 14th Congressional District.

John Staggs, the SWP candidate for State House District 198 in Philadelphia, has announced he will not sign the “loyalty oath” the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires candidates to swear to. “It is flagrantly unconstitutional,” said Staggs, a packinghouse worker, in announcing his campaign. “And we’re determined to ensure that anyone who chooses to pull the lever for the SWP candidate in November will be able to do so.”

Supporters of the Socialist Workers 2006 campaign will be on the streets July 22-30 to gather more than 1,000 signatures to put Staggs on the ballot in the north Philadelphia district, more than twice the requirement.

The socialist workers are taking their campaign throughout the state, from the Hazleton area, where workers are fighting against anti-immigrant measures proposed by Mayor Louis Barletta (see “Mayor in Pennsylvania city promotes anti-immigrant measures” in last week’s issue), to the coalfields in the western region of the state, where miners and other working people are discussing ways to fight effectively to ensure that no one has to die on the job.

On July 12, Hart and other SWP campaign supporters joined a candlelight vigil in Hazleton called by the Hazleton Area Latino Taskforce, a group organized to fight to defeat the anti-immigrant ordinance proposed by the mayor. Hart and other socialist campaigners have been in Hazleton a number of times in the last three weeks to advance the fight against the ordinance.

Dookhun and Lane have recently visited the Light of Age mosque in Pittsburgh to express their opposition to the June 30 raid conducted by FBI agents during prayer services (see photo story in this issue). Members of the largely African-American congregation were detained and interrogated on the street while the FBI searched the facility and blocked off surrounding streets for several hours, Lane said.

Hart, Staggs, and other socialist candidates from Pennsylvania and around the country will speak at a public meeting at the Philadelphia campaign headquarters at 188 W. Wyoming Street, at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 23.

“Many people we talk to are surprised and appalled to find out that Pennsylvania officials require a ‘loyalty oath,’” Staggs said. “Today, when the government is stepping up attacks on our political rights—from FBI raids in Miami, to attacks on immigrant rights in Hazleton, to the illegal detention of prisoners who have never been charged in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba—the state’s insistence on keeping a “loyalty oath” on the books shows they intend to use it against workers who organize to respond to the attacks by the employers and the government.”

In the 2005 Pittsburgh mayoral election, Socialist Workers candidate Jay Ressler challenged the loyalty oath, refusing to sign it when he filed nominating petitions. The relevant section of a state affidavit requires a candidate for public office here to “swear…that I am not a subversive person as defined in the ‘Pennsylvania Loyalty Act.’”

Allegheny County election officials certified Ressler for the ballot in July 2005. At the time, Brian McDonald, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of State in Harrisburg, refused to say whether this precedent covered statewide elections. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” he told the Militant. (See “Pittsburgh: Socialists score victory for political rights” in Aug. 1, 2005, Militant.)

“Well, we are crossing that bridge today,” Staggs said.

“We aim to defend the right of all workers to use whatever arena they can to fight, from the picket line to the ballot box. The Socialist Workers campaign is presenting a working-class alternative to the Democrats, Republicans, and other capitalist parties,” Staggs said. “Working people must rely on our collective power and solidarity and organize independently of the capitalists and their parties to advance the common interests of workers and farmers around the world. We need to build a revolutionary movement that will lead the fight to take power out of the hands of the ruling billionaire class, establish a workers and farmers government, and join the worldwide struggle for socialism.”
Related articles:
Socialist Workers launch ballot drive in New York
Back Socialist Workers campaigns!
Socialist Workers Party campaign platform for the mid-term elections in November 2006
Initial list of Socialist Worker Party candidates in 2006

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