The 20-plus candidates vying for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination want to compete with President Donald Trump over who should be the chief executive officer for the capitalist class and command its armed forces in the wars the U.S. rulers wage around the world.
In the course of the Democratic Party debates each candidate offers ways to patch up the system of exploitation and oppression, the opposite of the course presented by candidates of the Socialist Workers Party to unify and mobilize working people to overthrow that system.
“Capitalism has long outlived any productive role in society. We need to build a working-class movement, independent of the two capitalist parties, that fights to advance the working class to take political power,” Malcolm Jarrett, SWP candidate for Pittsburgh City Council, told the Militant.
Jarrett is one of several SWP candidates around the country presenting this political perspective as they campaign door to door in working-class neighborhoods, at labor protests and picket lines, and other protest actions. He submitted 240 signatures July 30 to get on the ballot for District 1 of the City Council.
“We can use the campaign to give voice to working people involved in social struggles, and fights against the back-breaking working conditions being imposed by the bosses,” Jarrett added.
Amnesty for undocumented workers
“My campaign demands an amnesty for undocumented workers,” Rachele Fruit, SWP candidate for Atlanta School Board, told construction worker Phillip Whiting at his home in that city Aug. 3. Whiting gave Fruit a “high-five.”
“The government wants to make it harder for us to organize unions by keeping a section of the workforce afraid they could be deported,” Fruit said.
“And let me tell you — they don’t want to deport them all,” said Whiting, describing how bosses at construction sites he has worked on assign jobs based on workers’ race, sex and country of origin. He got a subscription to the Militant and a copy of Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes.
The day before, Fruit joined a demonstration in northwest Atlanta to protest the emission of a cancer-causing compound, ethylene oxide, by the Sterigenics plant, which sterilizes medical products.
Georgia Health News and WebMD issued a report July 19 that emissions of the compound from the plant are way beyond what the Environmental Protection Agency considers to be “acceptable.” A town hall meeting of 200 followed on July 30.
Judy Renfold, 46, who lives a half-mile from the plant, told Fruit at the demonstration that she is worried about her 6-year-old son’s health. “I don’t want to sell the house to another family that would face the same emissions. It’s not ethical. The company should buy out these homes.”
Barry Goppman, 72, told Fruit, “The plant has been here since 1972. Why did it take so long for this to become public knowledge?”
“The government protects the interests of the bosses,” Fruit responded. “That’s why it’s necessary to break with their two parties and organize an independent fight.”
The SWP campaign explains why workers and their unions need to fight for workers control over production and safety.
In Quebec, Pierre-Luc Filion, Communist League candidate in the federal election in the constituency of Longueuil-St. Hubert, recently walked the picket lines of United Steelworkers on strike at the Galvano plating plant (see article on page 5). He also joined with Service Employees International Union Local 298 workers who struck for a $15 an hour minimum wage at senior residences in Quebec.
“The biggest obstacle facing us is our tendency to underestimate ourselves, to underestimate what we can accomplish, to doubt our own value. That’s why we need to build our own party, independent of the bosses’ parties,” Filion told Jean-Guy Touchette, an office worker at Bombardier, while going door to door in Montreal Aug. 2.
Filion has joined weekly rallies held in solidarity with protests in Algeria, demanding an end to military rule there. In April President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was forced to resign. The army postponed a presidential election due on July 4, refusing to set a new date. Tens of thousands took to the streets demanding the removal of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah July 19.
Filion addressed an Aug. 3 rally in Ottawa, where protesters demanded the Algerian authorities release those arrested during the anti-government demonstrations. He explained that the imperialist rulers in Canada exploit working people worldwide. “What they do in Algeria and other countries is an extension of what they do to working people here,” he said.