The Militant (logo)  
   Vol.66/No.33           September 2, 2002  
‘Capitalism has nothing to offer’
VANCOUVER, British Columbia--Beverly Bernardo, the Communist League candidate for mayor of Vancouver, brought her campaign to 1,500 dockworkers rallying in Seattle August 12 as part of their fight for a contract. There she joined David Ferguson, who recently launched his campaign for U.S. Congress on the Socialist Workers Party ticket in Seattle.

Bernardo’s campaign had begun the weekend before, as campaign supporters joined her on a trip to talk with workers in the West Kootenays region of British Columbia (B.C.), where they learned of the poisoning of 65 construction workers at the Teck Cominco lead and zinc smelter in Trail.

"These workers are fighting to get the truth out and win just compensation from the company and the Workers Compensation Board," said Bernardo.

The team was able to get a better picture of the impact of the austerity measures being imposed by the B.C. government. "The cuts to social services are felt more deeply in rural areas," she said.

The resistance to the provincial government’s cuts is widespread. The team to Trail unexpectedly ran into a protest by the British Columbia Government Employees Union at the Coquihalla highway toll. The workers opposed the privatization of B.C. highways and were letting people through without charging them the usual $10 fee.

At a campaign event in Vancouver August 10, Bernardo, a meat packer, spoke together with Ferguson. "Capitalism has nothing to offer working people and youth--either at home or abroad," she said. "No matter who is elected November 16, they will organize the next round of assaults on behalf of the ruling rich. The Communist League campaign offers a revolutionary program to unite working people around the world in a common struggle that can take on and defeat the imperialist rulers in Canada and elsewhere.

"We join with the struggle of Native people in rejecting the results of the illegitimate and racist referendum held by the provincial government," said the socialist candidate. "We call for Quebec independence as well as for immediate relief for farmers in Alberta and Saskatchewan, who are facing a devastating drought."

Many of the participants at the forum had questions about the socialist campaign’s response to the escalating imperialist war drive. "What we see now is a snapshot of U.S. military might," Bernardo said. "This hides the truth: that the imperialists are acting out of weakness, not strength. We join with the unbreakable fight of the Palestinian people for their land and against Israeli government brutality; with mobilizations of working people across Latin America against the imperialist-imposed social catastrophe; and with the people of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, and north Korea standing up to the economic and military threats of Washington and other imperialist powers like Ottawa."

Bernardo encouraged all those in attendance to "campaign with us, using our campaign newspapers, the Militant and Perspectiva Mundial, on street corners and college campuses in order to meet other workers and youth. We bring our campaign to workers at factory gates and on the job, including to my co-workers in meatpacking; to strikers and to fighters for immigrant rights; against police brutality; and in opposition to the government and employer attacks on workers’ rights."
Related articles:
Socialist campaign joins strikers, opposes war drive
6,000 sign to put socialist worker on ballot for mayor in U.S. capital
Candidate for Nebraska governor gets ‘enthusiastic response’ in South Omaha
SWP candidate in Iowa gains ballot status  
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