Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for president, issued the following statement July 28. Malcolm Jarrett is the party’s candidate for vice president.
Join the fight to put the Socialist Workers Party 2020 presidential campaign on the ballot everywhere we can! Teams of campaigners are fanning out across Washington state, Tennessee, New Jersey and Minnesota. With backing from working people, the party has already won ballot status in Colorado and Vermont, and is filing in Louisiana Aug. 7. The party’s goal is to be on the ballot in as many states as possible, as we have done every four years since 1948.
All working people have a stake in this struggle! Winning ballot status for the SWP gives us an opportunity to advance building our own political party, a labor party. The Democrats and Republicans both defend the interests of the employers whose attacks we face daily on our jobs, wages, working conditions and dignity at work.
If the political arena is left in the hands of the bosses and their parties, and we spend our time trying to figure out which is the “lesser of two evils,” workers and our unions will continue to face blows from a government that serves the ruling class. But if workers forge our own labor party, we will have a powerful tool to fight to strengthen the unity of all workers and lead millions in struggle for the interests of all those who are exploited and oppressed.
The SWP is putting forward a fighting working-class program. No worker has to die on the job! Work can be performed safely, but as long as the capitalist class controls production, their profits will come before our health, limbs and lives.
To work safely, workers and our unions need to wage a fight to win control over all aspects of production. We should set the line speeds, organize the arrangement of work stations and have total power to put in place other measures necessary to stop coronavirus infections and prevent work injuries.
As workers wrest greater control over production, we learn more about our own capacities and can see more clearly the need for our class and its allies to run the entire economy.
Neither Democratic nor Republican candidates act on the urgent need to reverse the rising joblessness facing the working class.
Our campaign calls for a government-funded public works program to put millions back to work at union-scale pay. Such a jobs program would be used to construct safe workplaces, rebuild and reopen shutdown hospitals and build schools where our children, teachers and other school workers can work safely.
Getting workers back on the job opens the door to acting together to stand up to the bosses and build unions. And, in the process, to build a labor party that can champion and lead these battles and fight for political power. On that foundation future progress for all toiling humanity can be made.
Campaign supporters are fighting to get on the ballot despite obstacles state governments place in front of working-class parties. In New York, for instance, Gov. Andrew Cuomo lowered the petitioning requirements of Democratic Party candidates to be on the primary ballot by 70%, then doubled the requirement for independent parties like the SWP to be on the ballot in November — the highest in the history of the state!
Join in the fight to get the Socialist Workers Party’s presidential ticket on the ballot!