Workers, farmers and young people Socialist Workers Party members talk to are attracted to the strike of Marriott Hotel workers who have popularized the cry “One job should be enough!” Many say, “That’s right, I’m working two jobs myself.” Or, “I work, my husband works, and we barely scrape by.”
Workers have also heard about the important victory for voting rights for ex-prisoners in Florida. There are calls now for similar moves in Kentucky, Iowa and New Jersey. Many want to help advance these fights.
Many have friends or relatives who have been used as cannon fodder in U.S. imperialism’s wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. Then they face the delays and bureaucracy of the Veterans Affairs system when they come back to the U.S.
They don’t like the Immigration and Customs Enforcement cops’ factory raids that sweep up their co-workers and neighbors. They’re attracted to the SWP’s demand for amnesty for the 11 million plus workers here without papers the rulers deem sufficient.
Many working people get angry at liberals like Hillary Clinton who call them “deplorables” or who seek to undermine our right to vote when we don’t follow their more-educated “advice” on who to vote for.
This attitude of capitalist politicians and meritocrats toward working people isn’t limited to the U.S. Witness the attacks by the French rulers on the “yellow vests” — farmers, truckers, other workers and small proprietors — protesting a steep increase in fuel taxes. French President Macron says this is the way to get “those kinds” of people to follow his “green” agenda. He calls them “thugs,” contaminated with the same “poison” as British workers who voted for Brexit.
Working people in the U.S. agree wholeheartedly with the slogan one unemployed worker wore to the protest in Paris, “We want to live, not just survive.”
When SWP members campaign on workers’ doorsteps, strike picket lines and at protests, it’s striking the interest we find among workers. It’s another confirmation that liberals and those on the left who claim the working class is increasingly reactionary are wrong.
The SWP will be fielding candidates in 2019 and taking the campaign door to door in working-class neighborhoods in cities, towns and rural areas. It will champion the struggles of the working class, speak out against assaults and indignities the capitalist rulers heap on us and point toward the need for workers to organize to take political power into our own hands.
The bosses’ and bankers’ thirst for profits from our labor means we face threats to life and limb on the factory floor and everywhere else. That’s the lesson from the Camp Fire in California and the deadly results of Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Michael.
There is one country where a revolution by workers and farmers points to a different road — Cuba. Men and women from nowhere, led by Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and the July 26 Movement, overthrew the U.S.-backed dictatorship there in 1959. Working people were transformed in the process, on the road to becoming, as Che said, “new men and women” able to take control of their own destiny. They opened the socialist revolution in the Americas and set a political and moral example of international solidarity.
In Cuba no one is left to fend for themselves. Compare that to the United States where survivors of the California fires are stuffed into overcrowded, disease-ridden “shelters” or left to face the elements in a Walmart parking lot.
Workers, farmers, youth and others attracted to the working-class movement have a unique opportunity to see the revolution firsthand by signing up for next year’s 14th May Day International Volunteer Work Brigade in Solidarity with Cuba April 22 to May 5.
Join the brigade. And then come home and use that experience to point to the example the Cuban Revolution has set for workers and farmers here.