Statement by Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New York City mayor, Feb. 10.
In the face of deepening boss attacks, government coronavirus lockdowns and with millions of us unemployed, workers are finding ways to stand up and fight back. These include the weeklong strike that won higher wages for produce workers at the Hunts Point market in the Bronx, to the strike for safer conditions by refinery workers in St. Paul Park, Minnesota, and the unionization drive by workers at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.
These fights remain sporadic. But anywhere workers join together to struggle for jobs, wages, more control over production and union rights, they deserve solidarity from other workers and our unions. Their example wins sympathy and inspiration from others.
The employers’ drive to boost profits off our backs and the disdain their government shows to working people, who they consider to be human trash, ensures that fights for jobs, union rights and dignity will continue to take place. If hiring picks up in the months ahead more and more workers will gain confidence that we can fight for what we need and deserve.
Such struggles will be a school for rebuilding the labor movement, demonstrating the courageous, disciplined and united action workers are capable of organizing.
Out of such struggles a battle-hardened cadre and class-struggle leadership of the working class can be forged. There is no better way to learn about this than to read and study the four-volume Pathfinder series on the rise of the class-struggle Teamsters union in the Midwest in the 1930s, written by SWP leader Farrell Dobbs, starting with Teamster Rebellion.
To be effective in any struggle, workers and farmers need our constitutional rights to discuss, debate and organize free of harassment from the cops, FBI spies and the government. President Joseph Biden’s administration, cheered on by the liberal media, is attacking these rights. They claim Donald Trump and his supporters stirred up an uprising of “domestic terrorists” who have to be hunted down and made to pay. Their target is the working class, whose potential power they fear.
For decades the U.S. rulers have used their spies, cops and courts to go after workers and our unions, hamstring our organizations and frame up our best fighters. In the same way they’ve gone after opponents of their imperialist wars abroad, fighters for Black rights and vanguard political groups like my party, the Socialist Workers Party.
Fearing the bigger struggles of workers and farmers to come, the capitalist rulers seek to limit our rights and sharpen their repressive weapons to use against us. Speaking out against every assault on political rights by the government and its political police is essential in preparing for the battles ahead.
Growing working-class struggles pose the need for workers to break with the twin parties of the bosses, the Democrats and Republicans, and build our own political party, a labor party. Such a party would speak and fight in the interests of all those exploited and oppressed by capital, from family farmers, small shopkeepers and the millions of workers without government-approved papers.
The only road forward today is fighting for the needs of working people against the capitalist rulers — one class, ours, against the opposing class, theirs. A labor party would strengthen this course, and advance working people’s self-confidence and class consciousness. It would draw together a movement of tens of millions to overturn capitalist rule and bring to power our own workers and farmers government. Such a government is the strongest weapon we can wield to carry through the fight against all forms of exploitation and oppression bred by the capitalist system.
The Socialist Workers Party is running a national slate of candidates to set an example of what a working-class party speaking and fighting for our class can do. Join us!