Is there an alternative to the “look out for number one,” profit-driven capitalist system? Do we have to accept that the bosses are constantly trying to speed our work up, cut corners on safety, push down our wages? Do we have to just grit our teeth and bear the U.S. rulers’ unending wars abroad, their police brutality, and all the indignities of life in the American capitalist “dream”?
Is this all just the result of our unalterable selfish “human nature?” That’s what the propertied rulers would like us to think. That capitalism is eternal, the best of all possible worlds.
Working people and youth have the opportunity to see that something else is possible by joining the international May Day brigade to Cuba April 21 to May 5. To see what Cuban workers and farmers have accomplished by making and defending the revolution that brought them to power in 1959, then overturned capitalist relations and offered solidarity to struggles worldwide. In the course of their revolution they became different people.
Participants will do agricultural labor with Cuban workers. They’ll visit health centers and talk with leaders of trade unions and other mass organizations. A high point will be joining the million-strong annual May Day march in Havana. Here you’ll see the self-confidence, combativity and discipline of Cuba’s workers and farmers.
A young worker in Erie, Pennsylvania, told members of the Socialist Workers Party who knocked on his door that he didn’t know much about the Cuban Revolution. But when he heard that small farmers can’t lose their land because of unpaid debts, that health care is a right not a commodity, that a goal of the revolution is for workers to take control of production, he said, “That makes sense” and started looking into the brigade.
Because of the U.S. rulers’ economic attacks on their revolution and record of colonial wars worldwide, Cubans often get the false impression that there are few working-class or social struggles in the U.S.
Brigadistas can help show the reality of what life and politics is like in class-divided North America. They can explain the struggles they have been involved in from the recent strike at Wabtec to protests demanding amnesty for immigrant workers.
“The class struggles in our countries are more strongly interconnected than ever before,” Socialist Workers Party leader Mary-Alice Waters told Cubans at a discussion at the Havana International Book Fair Feb. 14. “Sharing the histories and experiences of working people in our two countries and learning from each other is indispensable. Only along that road will we be able to draw honest lessons from our defeats and victories alike.”
Join this year’s brigade to be part of doing just that.