DALLAS — “I believe what the Socialist Workers Party candidates stand for, over what we have now,” nurse Amanda Allen told SWP candidates Alyson Kennedy and Malcolm Jarrett, running for president and vice president, in Forney, a small town east of Dallas Sept. 17. She endorsed the SWP’s 2020 presidential ticket.
Referring to the Democrats and Republicans, she added, “Neither party says what they will do for working people other than the promises they never keep.”
SWP candidates say working people need to build their own party, a labor party based on our union struggles, that would organize workers in their millions to defend their interests all year round and chart a course to take power out of the hands of the capitalist class.
Allen first met SWP members at a Juneteenth protest here against police brutality, where she subscribed to the Militant and bought several books by party leaders. She spoke with Kennedy and Jarrett when they came to Forney and then joined them in campaigning among other working people in the area.
As the Nov. 3 election approaches, SWP campaigners are stepping up efforts to win endorsers for the party’s ticket, along with signing up subscribers to the Militant, getting books by party leaders and other revolutionaries into the hands of those they meet, and raising demands aimed at winning some protection for working people from the impact of the crisis and that point a way forward for the working class.
This effort will get a boost from the eight-week fall Militant subscription, book and SWP party-building fund drive that begins Sept. 26 and runs through Nov. 24.
Kennedy and Jarrett campaigned in Texas and Oklahoma Sept. 16-20. They spoke with workers on their doorsteps, living rooms and in Walmart parking lots.
“We were proud to host Alyson and Malcolm and thank them for explaining their platform,” Camille Landry, the proprietor of Nappy Roots Books, told customers when the socialist candidates visited the store. Nappy Roots specializes in African American literature.
With tens of millions thrown out of a job, bosses are trying to speed up the pace of work, cut wages and force workers to toil in more dangerous working conditions. The SWP 2020 campaign platform puts front and center the need for a fight for jobs. It explains that as workers stand together against the bosses’ attacks we can take steps toward building a union in every workplace. (See platform.)
In southwest Dallas, Kennedy and Gerardo Sánchez, the party’s candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, met Nelson Marroquín, who was preparing to paint his porch Sept. 19. “I was out of work for two and a half months after coronavirus began,” Marroquín said. “Now I only get four or five days a week.”
“I have met many workers like you who are working, but with shorter hours,” Sánchez said. “Unions need to demand cutting the workweek with no cut in take-home pay to spread around the available work, our platform explains.
“And working people need to fight for a massive government-funded jobs program with wages we can live on,” he added.
“Everything is controlled by people in power,” Marroquín said. “The rich don’t have any idea what is happening to us.”
“The capitalists seem like they are an all-powerful class,” Kennedy told him. “But it is possible for workers to fight for better conditions. We are the ones who produce the wealth in society and can fight for a world that is not based on the profit system.” Marroquín bought a copy of the Militant.
Next door, contractor Adrian Rangel told Jarrett he hadn’t worked in months. “And I have gotten no unemployment benefits,” he said.
“Our campaign doesn’t just talk about joblessness and deteriorating conditions, it talks about what we can do,” Jarrett said. “Working people must stand up and fight to change our conditions.”
“The strike in Canada of 1,400 Dominion grocery store workers is an example of fights happening today that need our solidarity,” Jarrett added. Rangel subscribed to the Militant.
The SWP platform calls for unemployment benefits at union scale for all those thrown out of work, whether they are considered “self-employed” or whether or not they have papers the government views as proper.
Kennedy met Falesha Joyner in Oklahoma City Sept. 18 while campaigning in a largely African American working-class neighborhood. Joyner was severely injured and her mother, niece and nephew were among the 168 people killed when right-wing terrorist Timothy McVeigh set off a bomb at the federal building there in 1995.
“Those effected were supposed to get help from the government, but a lot of us, including my family, never saw a thing,” Joyner said. “Along with others I protested.”
Kennedy said, “The only thing that will better the conditions of working people is standing up and fighting for our rights.”
“Yes,” Joyner said, “that is why I went with my daughter to a march in this neighborhood for George Floyd. Thousands of people came.” She got a copy of the Militant.
Win new endorsers!
Campaigners in Minnesota have won several new endorsers for the Socialist Workers Party ticket.
Christopher Pennock, a member of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said he endorsed “because I want to vote for a society that values workers and farmers.”
“As a letter carrier and shop steward I see every day the damage that capitalism does to my co-workers,” he said. “Workers need a political party of our own that will fight for our interests.”
August Nimtz, a professor at the University of Minnesota and activist in the fight against the U.S. rulers’ economic war against revolutionary Cuba, also endorsed.
See the campaign office nearest you.
David Rosenfeld in Minneapolis contributed to this article.