This statement was released April 24 by Seth Galinsky, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New York City Public Advocate. He plans to participate in the May Day protest for driver’s licenses for all in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
The Socialist Workers Party encourages everyone who wants to fight against the miserable conditions that capitalism is imposing on us to join this year’s May Day protests to demand amnesty and driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.
We are in the midst of a so-called economic recovery. It’s mostly been a recovery for the rich. Homelessness is at crisis levels. Working farmers are losing their farms and livelihood. Many young people can’t earn enough to start a family, get a car or their own place to live. Millions of people don’t have enough money in the bank to get by if an unexpected crisis strikes.
And what happens when the next downturn hits?
Nonetheless, the official unemployment rate is down. For some, wages have ticked up. Many capitalist bosses from agribusiness to construction complain they can’t find enough workers.
If we organize to fight and win solidarity, working people can take advantage of this to wring concessions from the boss class. And to advance the unity of the working-class in preparation for the bigger class battles to come. We saw the potential in the widespread solidarity that workers won on strike at Stop & Shop.
The capitalist class takes advantage of competition for jobs to pay as little as they can for our labor power and to boost their profits on our backs. They foster myriad divisions — between employed and unemployed, men and women, Black and Caucasian, and between U.S. born and foreign born.
Overcoming these divisions in struggle is the biggest challenge working people face if we are to defend ourselves from attacks by the bosses and their government and chart an independent working-class course toward taking political power into our own hands.
It’s in the interests of working people to fight for amnesty for all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The capitalists depend on this pool of superexploited workers to better compete against their rivals around the world. They try to pit us against each other, to bring down the wages and working conditions of all.
Undocumented workers face additional challenges. In states where they can’t get driver’s licenses they can’t even drive to work — or to the store or for a night out —without risking fines, arrest or deportation.
Other workers denied driver’s licenses — like ex-prisoners or others who owe usurious court fines and fees — suffer similar difficulties.
Organizing to stop the deportations of our undocumented brothers and sisters is key to building a fighting union movement.
Driver’s licenses for all! Amnesty for undocumented immigrants now! Join the May Day protests!