Socialist campaign: on to next 365 days!
Back fight to unionize all workers!
Legalization of all immigrants now!
U.S. out of Afghanistan, Iraq now!
Anthony Dutrow, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Congress in 18th District in Texas, campaigns November 2 at Pilgrims Pride meatpacking plant in Lufkin, Texas.
BY MARTÍN KOPPEL
In the final week of the election campaign, from Los Angeles to Boston to Miami, the Socialist Workers Party candidates and their supporters offered solidarity to workers striking to defend their unions, took part in candidate debates, joined protests demanding freedom for five Cuban revolutionaries in U.S. prisons, spoke at university campuses, and campaigned in working-class neighborhoods and at factories and mines around the country.
In Atlanta, Lisa Potash, the SWP nominee for Georgia lieutenant governor, headed up an all-day campaigning team November 6 at Georgia State University, reaching hundreds of students with the socialist platform. Many students who are also workers were glad to find that the SWP platform begins with the need for unions in order to respond to the bosses attacks on wages and working conditions.
In New York City, at an October 30 event sponsored by a campus group at the College of Staten Island, SWP gubernatorial candidate Maura DeLuca debated the Green and Libertarian candidates. In contrast with her opponents, who discussed politics in a New York framework, DeLuca said, Our campaign begins with the interests of working people in the world. She opposed U.S. threats against both Korea and Iran, defending the right of these and other countries oppressed by imperialism to develop nuclear power and other energy sources needed to make social and economic advances.
Beyond Election Day, the socialist candidates have invited their supporters to join them in continuing to campaign for the revolutionary working-class perspective365 days a year.
Below are reports from California and Texas on the Socialist Workers Partys wind-up canvassing efforts.
BY ARLENE RUBINSTEIN
LOS ANGELESIn the home stretch, Socialist Workers Party candidates here and in the San Francisco Bay Area campaigned at factory gates, in workers districts, and on campuses, and took part in debates.
Here in Los Angeles, Michael Ortega, the SWP candidate for U.S. Congress in District 35, joined immigrant workers from Oaxaca, Mexico, and their supporters at a protest outside the Mexican consulate. Daily vigils at the consulate have condemned police attacks against striking teachers in Oaxaca.
Naomi Craine, a sewing machine operator and socialist candidate for Congress in the 34th District, campaigned in Koreatown, a largely Korean and Latino working-class area.
Our platform starts by pointing to the importance of struggles by workers to organize unions and to mobilize union power to defend ourselves from the bosses assaults. We also join with other workers in calling for legislation providing unconditional, immediate legalization of all undocumented immigrants. This fight helps strengthen all working people, Craine told workers and others at the Assi market who stopped to talk. Workers at this market have been fighting for union recognition for several years.
The Socialist Workers Party ran James Harris for governor of California and Lea Sherman for U.S. Senate. On October 27 they were certified as official write-in candidates, along with SWP congressional candidates Naomi Craine and David Argüello.
In San Francisco, Joel Britton, the SWP candidate for the Board of Education, took part in a candidates debate before the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle and in a candidates forum sponsored by the San Francisco Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
On November 5 Chauncey Robinson, SWP candidate for California secretary of state, joined Britton and Sherman at a Socialist Candidates Speak Out sponsored by the Militant Labor Forum in San Francisco. Robinson reported on rallies she had joined at the University of California in Los Angeles to protest the fact that the freshman class of nearly 5,000 there includes only 96 African American students. She also called for ending the denial of diplomas to high school students who fail new exit exams but have otherwise met all graduation requirements.
AsianWeek, a newsweekly widely distributed in San Francisco, ran a feature in its November 3 issue, School Candidates Size Up Gwen Chan. Chan is the acting superintendent of the San Francisco public school system and described by AsianWeek as the first APA [Asian Pacific American] superintendent in a city where more than half the students are Asian American.
The paper quotes from a response by Britton to a question posed by AsianWeek to all the candidates on Chans performance:
The solution to the deep ongoing educational problems faced by working people, it quoted Britton as saying, will not come from superintendent Chans office or whoever succeeds her. Questions of inequalities...need to be addressed by the kind of massive mobilizations that took place last spring demanding Legalization Now! for all the undocumented immigrants.
BY JACQUIE HENDERSON
LUFKIN, TexasTaking a message of solidarity with striking Goodyear workers and Houston janitors, Socialist Workers Party candidates Amanda Ulman and Anthony Dutrow and their supporters traveled to four eastern Texas cities during the final week of the campaign. Ulman and Dutrow are the partys nominees for U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress in District 18.
In Beaumont, workers at a Goodyear chemical plant stopped to talk with Ulman and Dutrow alongside the highway as they went into work early in the morning of November 2. The workers have no union and had heard only the companys side of the news on the strike by 15,000 union Goodyear workers in the United States and Canada until they met the socialist campaigners. Fourteen workers bought copies of the Militant, which has regularly covered and supported that fight.
On the campus of Angelina College in Lufkin, a student told socialist candidates that he and other students had collaborated with workers at the local Pilgrims Pride chicken plant who organized walkouts May 1 to demand legalization for undocumented immigrants.
Were for the unconditional, immediate legalization of all immigrants, Ulman said on a visit to the Pilgrims Pride plant, as dozens of workers stopped during shift change to talk with the candidates. Ulman and Dutrow, both meatpackers in Houston, explained that their campaign points to the need for workers to use union power to defend their interests and to organize unions where there are none.
Workers explained how on May 1 they had walked off the job, shut down the plant, and held a large pro-legalization march in the town.
At the Goodyear plant in Tyler, strikers welcomed Dutrow, a frequent visitor to their picket line, and greeted Ulman on her first visit. They confirmed that their strike was still going strong (see front-page article).
At the large Tyson Foods chicken plant in the town of Center, some workers coming off the day shift waved in support of the socialist campaign sign on the Goodyear strike and stopped their cars to find out more about the SWP ticket. Dozens took campaign brochures and 18 bought copies of the Militant.
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