The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 78/No. 22      June 9, 2014

Socialist candidate in Wash.:
‘Support Ukraine workers’
“The Militant newspaper and the Socialist Workers Party campaign champion the fight by Ukrainian workers and farmers to defend their national sovereignty, push back Russian government-sponsored separatist paramilitaries in the east, and broaden openings for working people to defend their class interests,” Mary Martin, the party’s candidate in the 9th C. D. in Washington state, said when she campaigned door to door in Renton May 24. Among those she met were working people from Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

One woman from Moldova, which borders Ukraine on the west and where separatists have set up a rump regime called Transnistria maintained by Russian troops, signed up for a subscription when she saw an article on the Tatars in Crimea protesting Moscow’s occupation and ban on protests. “We are worried that Russia will try to do the same thing to us in Moldova,” she said.

Two Ukrainian women sitting on a porch asked for copies of the paper. They said they could not read enough English to get a subscription, but made a small donation and said they would get a family member to translate it for them.

“Shut down the Tacoma Detention Center, where immigrant workers have been engaged in hunger strikes since March to protest deportations and prison conditions,” Martin told campaign supporters at a picnic May 25.

“My opponent Adam Smith visited the detention center at the request of area immigrant rights organizations,” she said. “He says he has drafted legislation for better government ‘oversight’ of the center, for a raise above the $1 a day detainees are paid and for ‘alternatives to detention’ like home imprisonment with ankle bracelet monitors. My campaign backs the fight for equal status before the law for foreign-born workers. Organize the unorganized!”

“I announced my campaign to co-workers at the popcorn factory where I work when Smith came to shake hands with workers on a prison work-release program. ‘This is a wonderful program’ he told them,” Martin said. “Under work release bosses get tax rebates for hiring workers out of prison. The bosses can dump them for any reason and they’re sent straight back to jail.”

“‘It’s a wonderful program for who?’ said Jim, one of my co-workers. ‘He wants the support of wardens and business owners. I’d rather vote for you.’”

“I find real interest in the fight to free the Cuban Five among co-workers and knocking on doors,” Martin said. The Cuban Five are five Cuban revolutionaries imprisoned in the U.S. since 1998 for defending the Cuban Revolution. “When I show workers the prison paintings of Antonio Guerrero, which depict the conditions the Cuban Five faced in solitary after their frame-up, it strikes a chord, especially among those who have been in jail or have a family member or friend behind bars.”  
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