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Vol. 76/No. 31      August 20, 2012

Agenda? ‘Unite workers,
build movement to transform society’
Maura DeLuca, SWP vice presidential candidate, tours LA
LOS ANGELES—“What is the main agenda of the Socialist Workers Party?” asked Rolando Nichols, one of two reporters from Mundo Fox 22, who conducted an Aug. 1 prime time interview with Maura DeLuca, SWP candidate for vice president.

“To unite the working class, construct a movement that can change society completely to a system not based on profits but on human needs,” said DeLuca.

Nichols asked if the SWP was “anti-American.”

“Here in this country under capitalism and in other countries in the world the majority of people are struggling every day,” DeLuca replied. “Many have lost their jobs, their homes, their health benefits. Things are getting worse and will continue to worsen until we unite with confidence that we can change these things.

“We have examples in U.S. history,” she added, “like the revolutions against slavery and Jim Crow segregation.”

DeLuca met with a dozen port truck drivers in Wilmington Aug. 4, including some who were part of a successful Teamster union organizing drive at Toll Group in April.

DeLuca discussed their fights and related her experiences meeting with tomato farm workers in Madera, Calif., who had just won representation by the United Farm Workers union, and with immigrant taxi drivers in Miami, fighting against cop abuse and conditions on the job.

That evening, DeLuca joined Arlene Rubinstein and Ellie García, the party’s candidates in California’s 33rd and 34th Congressional Districts, at a citywide public campaign meeting.

She related her experiences talking with the port truckers and with workers resisting the employers’ assaults as she has toured around the country.

“The discussions workers are having and the SWP campaign is joining,” DeLuca said, “seek to address the root cause of the capitalist crisis of production and trade, and the way workers can organize and fight against it, linking up with each other, seeing ourselves as a class—this is the starting point of building a vanguard movement that can lead the fight to take power out of the hands of the bosses and their government.”

García told those at the meeting that she and Rubinstein joined protests in front of the police station in Anaheim the day after the cops killed Manuel Díaz on July 21, and again on July 29. They spoke with members of Diaz’s family and the families of others who have been killed by the Anaheim cops in recent months and years.

“We have to understand the role of the cops,” DeLuca said. “Who they are there to ‘serve and protect.’ You see this in Anaheim sharply now, but it’s true all over, in working-class neighborhoods and on workers’ picket lines.”

At the July 29 action, García was interviewed by Telemundo, a major Spanish-language TV station.

“Our campaign calls for the cops who shot and killed Manuel Diaz to be prosecuted and jailed,” she said.

The morning before the Aug. 4 program, DeLuca had a chance to meet with Theresa Smith, one of the leaders of the fight against police brutality in Anaheim. Smith’s son, Caesar Cruz, was killed by Anaheim cops in 2009. She told DeLuca she has been protesting every Sunday in front of the police station “since the Sunday after he was killed.”

They also talked about the Cuban Revolution and the fight to win freedom for the Cuban 5, five revolutionaries imprisoned by the U.S. government for monitoring plans by counterrevolutionary Cuban-American groups with a 50-year history of deadly attacks on Cuba.

DeLuca showed Smith the Pathfinder Press book Women in Cuba: The Making of a Revolution Within the Revolution and explained how the day-to-day work of the workers and peasants there transformed them as their revolutionary struggle transformed Cuba. ”I have always liked Cuba,” Smith said, “but just didn’t know much about it.”

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