The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 76/No. 30      August 13, 2012

Socialist Workers Party
launches campaign in NY
NEW YORK—“My boss talks about what he calls ‘savings,’” Paola Batista, a 20-year-old retail worker, told Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Senate here. “But what he means is less workers. The savings is what he puts in his pocket.”

Batista, who is also a student at City College of New York, was one of more than 3,000 residents in Harlem, Upper Manhattan and the north Bronx who signed petitions July 28-29 to put Deborah Liatos, SWP candidate for U.S. Congress in the 13th District, on the ballot.

Like a number of others who spoke with socialist candidates and their supporters campaigning on the streets, Batista bought a subscription to the Militant, the campaign newspaper, and said she would like to keep in touch.

Maura DeLuca, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for vice president, joined Calero and Liatos to help launch the campaign. After seeing in Harlem the “No Stop and Frisk” button she was wearing, Dwayne Elliott, 20, asked her if he could sign the petition.

“The propertied rulers want us to believe we need the police to protect us from ourselves,” DeLuca said. “But through struggle against the capitalist rulers—including their cops—we can learn to replace the rulers’ dog-eat-dog values with working-class solidarity.”

Speaking at a rally at the end of the first day of petitioning, DeLuca said: “Everywhere bosses are trying to establish new conditions, making us work faster while getting lower wages, with less and less concern for our safety—from Caterpillar to Con Edison.

“Bosses are demanding ‘sacrifice,’ trying to convince us that ‘we’re in it together’ against workers in other countries,” she continued. “But we have everything in common with workers around the world and nothing in common with bosses.”

Two electors for the SWP campaign in New Jersey, where socialist campaigners filed 1,830 signatures July 25 to put Harris and DeLuca on the ballot, sent letters of support.

“Join me in supporting our brother and sister James and Maura to victory,” Cesar Sanchez, who is involved in supporting the Cuban Revolution, wrote to the New York rally.

“I am a recent convert from the Democratic Party,” Natasha Salerno, a worker at a chemical warehouse distribution company, wrote. She said she was initially “skeptical” when she heard about the SWP from a coworker, “but as I listened and read about the way politics is headed, where the working class is slowly being squeezed to pay for capitalist gain, I began to get involved and learn more about the SWP and what it means to support them.

“I decided for myself I need to make a change to change the world,” she said. “The journey starts with the first step. May it be the first of many more to follow to overthrowing the capitalists! And I am promoting the strength in numbers of regular everyday workers!”

DeLuca campaigns in Florida

Before flying to New York, DeLuca campaigned in Miami. She talked with taxi drivers fighting for better pay, conditions and dignity.

They recently organized a two-hour work stoppage demanding to know where fellow driver Pierre Paul Kesler, who had been beaten and arrested by cops outside the airport two days earlier, was. (See article on front page.)

“The police wrote my name wrong when they booked me, so no one could find me,” Kesler told DeLuca. Fellow drivers raised $2,000 to post his bail.

Days before her visit, a 36-inch water main broke, flooding several residents in northeast Miami. Deluca went door to door in the area to talk with workers.

“Our campaign is fighting for a government-funded national public works program,” she explained, “to put millions of us back to work repairing the country’s crumbling infrastructure and building schools, hospitals, child care centers and other things workers need.”

DeLuca’s tour ended with a meeting in Miami where she joined Naomi Craine, SWP candidate for U.S. Senate in Florida, to speak about the campaign and celebrate the 59th anniversary of the opening battle of the Cuban Revolution on July 26.

Among those attending were Pedro Rodriguez Medina, one of the founders of the Alianza Martiana, a coalition of Cuban-American supporters of the revolution, and Tony Jeanthenor, president of the Haitian community group Veye Yo. A few days earlier, Craine had spoken before Veye Yo.

Rosario Martinez, organizer of the National Boricua Human Rights Network in Orlando, sent greetings, thanking the SWP for its support and participation in the fight for Puerto Rican independence and to free political prisoner Oscar López Rivera.

Tom Baumann from Miami contributed to this article.
Related articles:
‘Everything we have won comes from mass struggle’
SWP candidate talks with fighting sugar workers
Communist League in UK launches election campaign  
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