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Vol. 76/No. 41      November 12, 2012

SWP pres. candidate speaks
against imperialist war drive
SEATTLE—“The Democrats and Republicans talk about jobs, but they have no concrete solution how to put people to work,” said James Harris, Socialist Workers Party candidate for president, as he began a three-day Northwest tour at a rally here Oct. 20. The event was held at the Bethany United Church.

The socialist campaign, Harris said, calls for a massive, government-funded jobs program to build housing, public transportation, health care facilities and other things working people need.

Harris shared the podium with fighters from Yakima and Longview, who have taken goals to get the Militant into the hands of working people in those areas.

Robert Beal, who helped organize Occupy Yakima in the farming region of central Washington, met supporters of the Militant at a May 1 action for immigrant rights held there every year.

“What impressed me the most is that the Socialist Workers Party doesn’t just support workers,” Beal said. “They are workers.”

Shelly Porter, a member of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 in Longview, also spoke. Her local fought for eight months to stop union busting at the EGT grain terminal there. In February EGT agreed to hire ILWU longshore workers. Throughout the 24-hour pickets, demonstrations and other actions over those months, she said, “the Militant was the only paper that told the truth about our struggle.”

Porter has taken a quota of eight subscriptions for the nine-week fall campaign and has already sold six in southern Washington and Oregon. “The Militant is important to me and I want everyone to read it,” she said.

The challenge confronting working people in the U.S. and elsewhere, Harris said, is—through effective struggle against all the assaults on our class worldwide—to begin organizing a revolutionary movement to take political power out of the hands of the capitalist ruling families.

Bryce Horvath, a restaurant worker in his 20s, said he was glad he came to the meeting. “I thought the talk would be kind of fringy, but in fact it was very informative and addressed working-class issues that neither major party deals with,” he said. “I wish other people I knew were here to hear this.”

The following morning Horvath and others joined Harris for brunch.

On Oct. 22, Harris addressed two classes at Shorewood High School in Shoreline, just north of Seattle.

In answer to a question about U.S. economic competition with China, Harris responded that Washington seeks to bolster the position of wealthy U.S. families by militarily encircling China. “This is a war policy the socialist campaign opposes,” he said. “As with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the aim is to extend the influence of the U.S. in that region and take advantage of the oil and other resources there.”

Harris was interviewed by KBCS FM radio, a National Public Radio station based at Bellevue College near Seattle.
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