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A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people                              
Vol. 80/No. 7      February 22, 2016



2000-16 Militant Index
Now Available Online
(lead article)

Join the Socialist Workers Party
2016 US presidential campaign!

Alyson Kennedy for president  ❖  Osborne Hart for vice president

Militant photos: Left, Laura Anderson; right, Hilda Cuzco
Socialist Workers Party candidates Alyson Kennedy, front in sunglasses, marching on 2014 picket line with Steelworkers on strike at Sloan Valve in Franklin Park, Illinois; Osborne Hart, far right, at November 2015 rally in Philadelphia demanding $15 minimum wage and a union.

A working-class alternative to the capitalist parties

Join Alyson Kennedy and Osborne Hart, Socialist Workers Party candidates for president and vice president, and other SWP candidates and their supporters fighting alongside workers in cities, towns and farming areas against depression-driven attacks on our living and working conditions. The bosses and their government are escalating assaults on the working class and our unions to shore up profits at our expense.

All the bourgeois candidates — from socialist Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party to demagogue billionaire Donald Trump, John Kasich, Marco Rubio and other Republicans — aim to rescue capitalism from an economic, social and moral crisis as production, trade and employment contract.

In Flint, Michigan, Democratic and Republican officials alike told working people it was OK to drink poisoned water. In workplace after workplace job safety goes out the window as employers impose speedup and either lengthen the workweek to increase exploitation or slash hours to boost their bottom line. They scapegoat immigrant workers, seeking to intimidate them with deportations to drive down wages and divide the working class.

The ruling capitalist families use Washington’s economic and military forces to protect their investments and interests abroad against any who rise up to struggle for national sovereignty and to close the chasm between their conditions of literacy, electrification and sanitation and those in the imperialist countries.

The Socialist Workers Party campaign poses a working-class way forward out of the dog-eat-dog, crises-ridden capitalist system.

The SWP strives to advance the class-consciousness and self-confidence of workers as we fight together. We know from history that working people, relying on our own power, solidarity and mobilization, can take over and run the mines, mills, railroads and factories — without the bosses.

As we gain experience in struggle we become different people, capable of organizing our class and its allies — millions strong — to overthrow rule by the billionaire capitalist families and establish a government of workers and farmers.

Socialist Workers Party supporters fight within the ranks of labor to transform the unions into effective fighting instruments against the employing class and its government. The labor movement can become a powerful force for human solidarity — championing the fight for $15 and a union; for a government-funded public works program to create jobs, build schools and medical, child care and recreation centers, replace crumbling infrastructure and other things working people need; the fight for Puerto Rican independence; for free preventative and comprehensive medical care for all; to extend equal protection under the law to women who seek an abortion; to demand that cops who kill or brutalize working people be prosecuted.

SWP campaigners point to the need to break from the bosses’ parties and build our own independent labor party based on the unions.

Kennedy and Hart point to the example of how Cuba’s working people made their 1959 revolution, an example for working people in the U.S. They demand Washington end its brutal economic embargo against the Cuban people and return the Guantánamo naval base. Hart is in Cuba at the Havana International Book Fair, the better to tell workers here about Cuba’s socialist revolution.

In the 1950s workers and farmers across Cuba, led by Fidel Castro and the July 26 Movement, learned as they organized and fought to overthrow the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship. They became different men and women, capable of working together to change society to meet their needs.

Working people took over and began to run U.S.- and Cuban-owned factories, sugar mills, utilities and banks. The revolutionary government backed landless rural laborers in an agrarian reform that turned cultivation of the land over to the tillers.

They destroyed the old army and police and built new armed forces, militia and police out of their own ranks to defend, not oppress, working people.

The revolution enforced laws putting an end to racial discrimination, drew women into the workforce and revolutionary political activity and made abortion a woman’s choice.

The Cuban Revolution extends internationalist solidarity, from sending almost 400,000 volunteers to fight against apartheid South Africa’s invasion in Angola to sending doctors to help lead the fight against Ebola in West Africa.

A similar transformation began among many Blacks active in the fight against Jim Crow, worker combatants in the building of the CIO and stalwarts of the decade-long fight against Washington’s war in Vietnam. Malcolm X said fighters “find their self-worth” in the course of such struggles.

A victorious revolutionary struggle by working people here in the U.S. can inspire emulation worldwide.

Candidates who are fighters

The Socialist Workers Party candidates have taken part in rallies of Pennsylvania Steelworkers locked out by Allegheny Technologies and Verizon workers without a contract. They are part of the fight for $15 an hour minimum wage and to organize unions.

The fight against police brutality and killings is their fight. They have joined protests at home and across the country, demanding cops who killed youth and others — African-American, Latino and Caucasian, from Freddie Gray in Baltimore to Laquan McDonald in Chicago to Andrew Thomas in Paradise, California — be charged and jailed.

They are part of the effort to free Dwight and Steven Hammond, Oregon ranchers jailed twice on trumped-up arson charges. The SWP candidates demand the arrest of the FBI and Oregon cops who killed Robert LaVoy Finicum, one of the ranchers who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to protest the imprisonment of the Hammonds.

The Socialist Workers Party speaks out against Washington’s imperialist military attacks — from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria. SWP candidates fight the rulers’ efforts to use workers’ revulsion at Islamic State’s terrorist acts to scapegoat Muslims and roll back workers’ rights.

Through our experiences, workers will see more and more that all political questions are class questions. We will see that here, as in Cuba, the only way forward is to organize independent working-class struggles that point toward overturning the dictatorship of capital, building a new society based on human solidarity and joining the worldwide fight for socialism. This is a life truly worth living.

Join the Socialist Workers Party campaign!

Related articles:
The SWP candidates
Sanders’ socialist reform program aims to save crises-ridden capitalism
‘Workers need control on job to ensure safety’

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