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Vol. 71/No. 25      June 25, 2007

Socialist workers build party convention
(front page)
June 13—Socialist Workers Party members and supporters, and Young Socialists, are building the party’s 45th constitutional convention. The gathering will take place July 5-7 at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

There delegates will discuss and vote on reports and a political platform, which is being discussed by party branches in preparation for the convention.

The platform includes a report by SWP national secretary Jack Barnes, titled “Organizing the Communist Movement to Meet Our Openings in Mass Work.” It was adopted by the party’s National Committee last September.

“The massive proletarian street actions and one-day nationwide strike for the legalization of immigrant workers last spring registered a new strengthening of the working class and working-class vanguard, one that is irreversible short of major defeats in the class struggle,” says the report, referring to the massive May 1, 2006, strike that drew over 2 million workers.

“Our focus must be on the explosive potential of proletarian actions in defense of the working class,” it continues. “We aim to be part of this process, helping to involve more and broader segments of our class, on the job and off, through our unions, and in other ways.”

Delegates will discuss these conclusions in light of further experience, including this year's May Day actions, which drew more than 400,000 workers nationwide demanding legalization of the undocumented. The SWP National Committee report explains that the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States represent something new both for the bosses and for the working-class movement in this country. These workers "have become a permanent part of the hereditary proletariat of the United States, while often remaining a part of the hereditary proletariat of their country of origin as well," it says.

The capitalist class depends on this pool of superexploited labor, the party's platform notes. The bosses can't disentangle their need to compete and maximize profits from this expanding source of labor power. At the same time, this change poses growing problems for the U.S. rulers, especially as a mass political vanguard develops among these workers, with all its unevenness, resisting the bosses' offensive. The capitalist class can't do without these workers, and it can't do with them.

Convention sessions will be surrounded by classes, movie showings, and recreational activities. Classes will include discussions on "The Second American Revolution: Marx and Engels on the U.S. Civil War"; Ernesto Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution—this October marks the 40th anniversary of the revolutionary leader's murder in Bolivia by that country's military working with the CIA; and on Thomas Sankara and the Burkina Faso revolution. Sankara, one of the foremost revolutionary leaders in Africa, led a democratic revolution in that West African country, a former French colony called Upper Volta. November marks the 20th anniversary of his assassination.

On the way to the convention, party members are involved in a range of activities. These include working-class struggles such as the fights against immigration raids and deportations, struggles against cop brutality, and work in defense of the Cuban Revolution, including activities demanding freedom for the Cuban Five (see Young Socialists column on page 4).

In the week before the convention, SWP members and Young Socialists from the South and across the country will participate in the U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta (see front-page article and editorial). Their work there will mark the convention.

Those interested in attending the convention can contact the nearest SWP branch.  
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