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A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people                              
Vol. 80/No. 10      March 14, 2016



2000-16 Militant Index
Now Available Online

Socialist Workers Party: Defend right to abortion!

SWP candidates join March 2 protests

Militant/Willie Cotton
Supporters of right to abortion rally outside Supreme Court hearing in Washington March 2.
CHICAGO — Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate Alyson Kennedy demonstrated with hundreds of other supporters of women’s right to choose abortion here March 2. Vice presidential candidate Osborne Hart joined a similar rally in Washington, D.C., the same day, as the Supreme Court heard arguments in a challenge to a Texas law severely restricting access to abortion. Campaign supporters distributed a new statement (see accompanying text) calling for a nationwide campaign of public action in defense of women’s right to choose abortion, explaining why this is a fight for the labor movement.

The protests came one day after primary elections in a dozen states where Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump consolidated leads for their parties’ nomination.

Along with liberal hysteria about his “fascist” views, Trump’s advances have provoked a sharp debate within the Republican Party. Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, issued an open letter saying that if Trump becomes the nominee “conservatives will need to find a third option.”

Others have decided it’s better to join him. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Trump Feb. 26 and stood at his side at a March 1 press conference after his “Super Tuesday” victories.

Trump’s statement to the press showed where some of his appeal lies. He focused on employment, attacked the Barack Obama administration for losing “millions and millions of jobs” and promised to bring manufacturing work back in the U.S. Clinton talks about wages and jobs, he said, but she’s been part of the Obama administration and in government for a long time. “She’s not going to straighten it out in the next four years.”

He also praised Planned Parenthood, saying the group had done “very good work for millions of women.”

The Socialist Workers Party candidates told marchers working people need to break from all of the capitalist parties and politicians. The SWP urges workers to join in fights that strengthen the working class worldwide.

Kennedy joined dozens of supporters of the fight to free Oscar López Feb. 27, holding banners and waving Puerto Rican flags at Logan Square, near one of Chicago’s large Puerto Rican communities.

Organized by 34 Women for Oscar, participants chanted “Women, women, women for Oscar! We must free our jailed compatriot!” López has been imprisoned in the U.S. for more than 34 years, much of it in solitary confinement, for his actions in support of independence for Puerto Rico. He was arrested in 1981 and framed up on “seditious conspiracy” charges.

“The SWP campaign is about the struggles of working people and actions like this,” Kennedy told participants in the action. “To step up the fight to free Oscar López, we can build on victories — winning release of the Cuban Five from U.S. prisons in December 2014 and their triumphant return to Cuba, and winning freedom for Albert Woodfox, a member of the Black Panther Party imprisoned in the notorious Angola prison in Louisiana for 43 years. I’ll be spreading the word and building the June 20 international actions demanding Oscar’s release.

Kennedy and a team of supporters took the Socialist Workers Party campaign to workers and young people who turned out to hear Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at Chicago State University Feb. 24.

Sanders blamed “rigged capitalism” for the economic crisis millions face today. “The problem working people face isn’t ‘rigged capitalism’ or ‘crony capitalists,’” Kennedy told people after the program. “This is the way capitalism works. The worldwide economic depression we are living through today is what happens when the bosses’ profit margins shrink. They stop putting money in plants and production, and the economy contracts. They zero in and attack our jobs, wages, working conditions and social and political rights.

“None of the capitalist politicians have any proposals to change this reality,” she said. “Sanders’ talk about higher taxes on the 1 percent won’t make a dent.

“Our class, the working class, has to organize ourselves independent of the bosses’ parties,” Kennedy said. “Our unions have to fight for a massive public works program to provide jobs and build things workers need, from infrastructure to schools to medical and child care centers. And, as we fight we change, we become different people, capable of forging a revolutionary movement to take political power and build a new society.”

“It’s the grinding depression conditions workers face that fuel Sanders’ campaign, as well as that of Donald Trump on the Republican side,” she said.

“The Cuban Revolution is the best example of what we can accomplish when we organize and fight,” Kennedy said. “Working people in Cuba, led by Fidel Castro’s July 26 Movement, defeated the Washington-backed Batista dictatorship, made a revolution and took control of their destiny. The have fought and defended that revolution for 57 years and continue to do so today.”

At the rally 27 people got copies of the Militant and one bought a subscription to read more about the Socialist Workers Party’s activities and campaign.
Related articles:
Socialist Workers Party campaign statement: Defend abortion rights!
No miner has to die, in Russia or US!
SWP candidate Eleanor García joins warehouse workers’ fight

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