The Socialist Workers Party is on the ballot in New Jersey! The June 14 deadline passed with no challenge to the 1,500 signatures SWP campaign supporters collected for Joanne Kuniansky, the party’s candidate for New Jersey governor. The party plans to celebrate with a barbecue July 4.
Helping get out the word about the ticket of 19 SWP candidates across the country and the party’s working-class program is one of the key goals of the international drive to sell 1,400 Militant subscriptions, the same number of books by Socialist Workers Party leaders and other revolutionaries and to raise $145,000 for the Militant Fighting Fund. The Militant urges its readers to join in the drive’s final week and take each one of the goals over the top.
SWP campaigners found interest in the party’s candidates at Juneteenth commemorations around the country. The events mark June 19, 1865, after the victory of the North in the Second American Revolution, when Union soldiers rode to Galveston, Texas, and told slaves there they were free — two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
“How are you different from Mayor [Jacob] Frey?” retired steelworker Robert Johnson asked Doug Nelson, SWP candidate for Minneapolis mayor at a Juneteenth event there.
“I’m not going to lie and tell you someone in office can solve the problems workers face today,” Nelson replied. “Workers need to join together to build solidarity with each other’s struggles, like the locked-out oil refinery workers defending safety on the job at Marathon Petroleum in St. Paul Park.”
“I hope you win,” Johnson said, signing the petition to put Nelson on the ballot.
One participant was circulating in the crowd with a portable speaker. He invited Nelson to address the crowd.
“The bosses have their two parties,” Nelson said. “We need a labor party of our own.” The SWP campaign explains that working people need to take political power into our own hands.
After he spoke a number of workers came to the booth the SWP had set up to discuss the challenges facing unionists today. Supporters collected 58 signatures to get Nelson on the ballot and four people subscribed to the Militant. Five books were sold.
Campaign supporters are making a special push June 26-27 to get enough signatures to secure Nelson’s place on the ballot. Contact the SWP branch in Twin Cities, listed in the directory.
“They don’t teach us in school about people like this,” Elijah Glover remarked as his eye caught the title Thomas Sankara Speaks, at an SWP campaign table at the East Point Juneteenth festival near Atlanta. The book describes the popular revolution in Burkina Faso led by Sankara that held power 1983-87.
Glover picked up Socialism and Man in Cuba by Che Guevara, one of the leaders of the Cuban Revolution. “Che explains how working people transformed themselves,” Rachele Fruit, SWP candidate for mayor of Atlanta, told Glover, “as they took control of their own destiny and through a socialist revolution built a society based on solidarity and not the dog-eat-dog mentality of capitalism.”
Glover bought the book and a subscription to the Militant. Nine subscriptions and 15 books were picked up by visitors to the SWP table.
Supporters of Dennis Richter, SWP candidate for governor of California, set up a table at a Juneteenth event in Los Angeles.
“I’m doing a paper for school on Maurice Bishop,” high school student Kimathi Talton told campaigner Deborah Liatos.
Bishop was the central leader of the New Jewel Movement that led working people in Grenada to overthrow the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Eric Gairy in 1979 and establish a workers and farmers government. Bishop was assassinated in 1983 as part of a counterrevolutionary coup by New Jewel Movement member Bernard Coard, paving the way for a U.S. invasion of the island.
Talton told Liatos he thought “vanguard parties have had problems” and this contributed to the overthrow of the revolution in Grenada. Liatos explained that wasn’t the cause. She pointed to Bishop’s record and that of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and the July 26 Movement he led “who base their program and actions on their confidence in the masses of workers and farmers.”
Acting as a vanguard of millions, the leadership of the Cuban Revolution showed “it is possible and necessary for working people to make a revolution in their interests.”
Talton, who said he wants to visit Cuba, signed up for a subscription to the Militant. He also wants to get a copy of Maurice Bishop Speaks as soon as possible.
If you want to join SWP candidates campaigning and help advance a working-class road forward, or to subscribe to the Militant, get books on revolutionary working-class politics, or contribute to the Militant Fighting Fund, check the directory. Or visit themilitant.com.