César Moreno told Socialist Workers Party members Martín Koppel and Roy Landersen that after Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the shutdown of most construction sites in New York March 27, his boss offered him another job — at $10 less an hour. Moreno said no thanks.
Koppel and Landersen were talking to Moreno as part of the Militant’s six-week drive to win new subscribers, get books by working-class revolutionaries into more hands and expand the number of contributors to the $115,000 Militant Fighting Fund. (See chart below.)
SWP members at retail stores, on the railroads and at other worksites join co-workers in organizing resistance to the kind of attacks that Moreno and millions of other workers across the U.S. face today. They discuss with working people in the countryside, small towns and big cities how we can respond to the bosses’ attempts to step up their exploitation. They encourage those they talk with to read the Militant — a crucial and unique source of information about working-class struggles.
The construction site where Moreno worked is nonunion and many of his co-workers are immigrants who don’t have papers the government considers legitimate. “The bosses use the virus as an excuse to gut workers’ wages and conditions,” Koppel said. “They try to pit workers without papers against those with papers.” The biggest division today is between employed and unemployed workers, Landersen added.
The Socialist Workers Party calls for amnesty for undocumented workers as a key demand to unite working people as we stand up to the bosses.
“In the Dominican Republic they discriminate against Haitians,” said Moreno’s wife, Dioleslyn. “In Puerto Rico they discriminate against Dominicans. In Miami they discriminate against Puerto Ricans.”
“The only ones who benefit are the bosses,” added Moreno. They bought a subscription.
In Kent, a small town south of Seattle, former truck driver Dorothy Boon, who grew up on a farm in eastern Washington, bought a subscription to the Militant and a copy of Tribunes of the People and the Trade Unions, after talking to Rebecca Williamson, SWP candidate for U.S. Congress in the 9th District in Washington.
It’s one of several books on special during the drive with a Militant subscription. These books provide those interested the chance to learn more about the kind of party workers need to make our struggles effective. Others are The Turn to Industry: Forging a Proletarian Party and Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, both by Jack Barnes, national secretary of the Socialist Workers Party. See the ad on page 6 for other special book offers.
Radio show with SWP candidates
Minnesota’s KFAI radio’s Catalyst program, hosted by Lydia Howell, broadcast a segment on the Socialist Workers Party 2020 election campaign April 10, featuring interviews with candidates Alyson Kennedy for president, Malcolm Jarrett for vice president and David Rosenfeld for U.S. Senate.
Howell said that the SWP candidates “don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell” of winning, “but their ideas are important.” She encouraged her audience “to broaden your world view of what’s possible.”
“More than 10 million people are out of work,” said Kennedy, a Walmart cashier. “We need to fight for a government-funded public works program to build hospitals” and other things people need.
“There’s a reason there are not enough hospital beds,” she pointed out. “Bosses have made cuts over the last decade, including closing hospitals. It’s been mean and lean for years.” Kennedy added that the capitalist government never stockpiled needed medical supplies like ventilators or masks because that’s not profitable to the bosses.
Howell said she was glad that Kennedy raised that. “I have worked in the service industry my whole life. Now it’s not just supplies on demand, it’s people on demand,” she said. “You go to work at a warehouse or a fast-food restaurant and the manager can say, ‘I don’t need you right now, come back in three hours.’”
The SWP candidates pointed to struggles by workers at Walmart for better conditions on the job. Such struggles “increase the solidarity of these workers and their understanding of what is needed,” Jarrett explained.
The interview is available at kfai.org.
‘Militant tells the truth’
Supporters of the Militant in Washington, D.C., have won new contributors to the fighting fund. After pledging $250, Maurice Peret, a disability rights advocate in Baltimore, thanked the paper “for so faithfully telling the truth and continuing the struggle against the barbaric capitalist class.” A first time contributor, a high school teacher from Chesterfield, Virginia, sent in $250. As a result of the new pledges Washington campaigners raised their goal by $500.
While weekly papers across the country are being forced to stop publication after losing advertising revenue, the Militant is going strong. The paper doesn’t accept any paid advertising. It relies on contributions from its readers and other workers who value its uncompromising defense of working-class interests and who are interested in finding out more about the road forward the SWP presents — the transformation of millions of working people in the course of revolutionary struggle that makes possible the replacement of capitalist rule with workers power.