The following statement was issued, May 9 by John Studer, Socialist Workers Party national campaign director.
After three decades of retreats something new is happening in the labor movement. With courage and determination teachers are showing in practice the capacities workers have to organize united and effective action as they combat assaults on wages, deteriorating school conditions and workers’ dignity.
By using union power and building a social movement in support of their fight they have set an example to millions of workers looking for ways to say “No!” to what the capitalist rulers are doing to us.
This includes the consequences of the broader social and moral crisis of capitalist rule — from never-ending wars, to cop brutality, attacks on women’s right to abortion and spreading drug addiction.
These battles have erupted in states where Hillary Clinton slandered workers as “deplorable.” She claimed women there voted for Donald Trump because male relatives told them to. But a majority of those on strike in these states today are women. They are not waiting to be told what to do but are relying on their own capacities to build unity, reach out for solidarity and fight, inspiring workers everywhere. This is a product of the irreversible changes in the way both women and men think about women’s place in society. And it’s why the fight for women’s equality has increasing weight in politics today.
Teachers and other school workers have refused to be divided, holding out in their fights to ensure that the broadest number of workers gain from whatever they win. They’ve organized to make sure children get fed and cared for when they walk out, winning over students and parents to their fight.
Facing federal, state and local governments that care nothing for what they confront, more are coming to the conclusion that appeals by Democratic and Republican politicians that “we” Americans must sacrifice together are based on a lie. Workers face an irreconcilable fight against bosses and their political parties whose only solution to the crisis of the capitalist system today is to offload it onto our backs. Our interests are not theirs, but lie with fellow workers worldwide.
All workers have a stake in the battles waged by teachers today. Join the thousands who will march in Raleigh, North Carolina, May 16.
The Socialist Workers Party is preparing to announce its 2018 candidates — workers who have been participating in and championing these struggles. They will point to how working people will be transformed through the bigger class battles that are coming, gaining the capacity to draw all the oppressed and exploited alongside them, to overthrow the capitalist rulers and take political power into their own hands. Join our campaign!