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Vol. 76/No. 47      December 24, 2012

Socialist Workers Party
launches campaign in Chicago
CHICAGO—“I’m running to represent the interests of the working class and farmers—in the 2nd Congressional District and across the country,” John Hawkins said, announcing his campaign for U.S. Congress in the March 19 special election here.

“Their interests are completely intertwined with those of workers and farmers worldwide,” he said.

Hawkins launched his campaign over the Dec. 1-2 weekend, going door to door in Chicago’s Southside working-class neighborhoods.

Hawkins, a glass factory worker and veteran trade unionist, is active in labor solidarity, the struggle for Black rights and the fight against police brutality.

The special election was set by Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn to replace former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned from Congress Nov. 21.

More than a dozen people have declared they may seek the Democratic Party nomination.

“In opposition to the course of the Democratic and Republican parties, who reflect the class interests of the ruling rich,” Hawkins said, “the Socialist Workers campaign will offer the hand of solidarity to our working-class brothers and sisters around the world, who, like working people here, confront the effects of the world capitalist economic crisis. This includes miners and other workers in South Africa who have been striking for three months for decent wages, workers in Spain and Greece resisting austerity measures, and garment workers in Bangladesh fighting for safe working conditions.

“We will campaign for an end to Washington’s war moves, from Afghanistan to Mali, an end to Washington’s 50-year-old embargo against Cuba, for independence of Puerto Rico, and for the unconditional release of the Cuban Five, Oscar Lopez Rivera and other political prisoners.”

“We campaign for a massive government-funded jobs program to address unemployment and underemployment,” Hawkins told those he met.

“This would put millions to work rebuilding and expanding public schools, quality public housing, recreational facilities, public hospitals and neighborhood clinics.”

Many working people in the area responded favorably to the campaign’s call for the firing and prosecution of cops responsible for the killings of Darrin Hanna, Rekia Boyd, Stephon Watts and others in the Chicago area, and for new hearings for the more than 100 inmates still in jail based on confessions elicited from torture at the hands of Chicago police under the supervision of former police Lt. Jon Burge.

“We explain the roots of the capitalist economic crisis and why the bosses are making working people pay for it through layoffs, wars, discrimination and attacks on our rights,” Hawkins said.

“And we explain why working people must organize to fight to take political power into our own hands and replace the dictatorship of capital with the rule of the working class and our allies.”
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