Statement released March 23 by Joanne Kuniansky, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Congress from New Jersey.
The Socialist Workers Party champions the fight of Ukrainian working people to defeat the bloody invasion of their country by Moscow. We point out that while Washington, Ottawa and other imperialist powers cry crocodile tears over Ukraine, their aim is to strengthen their ability to defend their imperialist interests worldwide as the “world order” wobbles and the beat of war drums grows.
As part of this effort Canadian Pacific bosses and government officials attacked rail workers standing up to bosses’ attacks on pensions, work schedules and safety, claiming the strike would exacerbate grain shortages caused by Moscow’s murderous invasion of Ukraine. Days later Newsweek said a strike by workers at Chevron’s Richmond refinery in California against longer hours and to win better pay will worsen surging gas prices caused by “Russia’s attack on Ukraine.”
The capitalist rulers always try to present what is in their predatory interests as the interests of “all Americans” or “our nation.” Both the Democratic and Republican parties and the trade union officials who look to them push the same line. But the interests of workers and farmers are sharply counterposed to those of the ruling propertied families and their servants in the upper middle class.
Our “we” is with working people the world over with whom we share common interests and a common class enemy. This internationalist working-class outlook is why the Socialist Workers Party campaigns in defense of Ukrainian independence, calls for the defeat of Moscow’s invasion and demands the U.S. rulers get all their troops and nuclear weapons out of Europe.
At times of war the communist movement acts on the fact that the class struggle doesn’t disappear. It doesn’t have a revolutionary policy for peacetime and a peace policy for wartime. The capitalist rulers use war — which is simply a more brutal form of protecting their class interests in the world — to step up exploitation and oppression at home. Our response is to deepen our participation in union battles, building solidarity with struggles like those at Chevron and Canadian Pacific rail, backing struggles by farmers and by workers who are blind, looking everywhere to increase their self-confidence, fighting spirit and class consciousness.
Far from being a diversion from working-class struggles at home, the U.S. rulers’ foreign policies — their troop buildup in Europe, sanctions on Russia and decadeslong record of war and imperialist plunder — are an extension of their profit-driven assaults on working peoples’ jobs, wages, conditions and rights here.
Workers need to act independently on all political questions. We should recognize what Moscow’s war in Ukraine foretells. Capitalism is marching toward bloodier national conflicts, sharper class battles — toward fascism and war. But that future is not inevitable. As the working people of Cuba showed us in 1959, we are capable of leading a revolutionary struggle to take power from the capitalist class and end forever their threat to humanity’s survival. Join us in building a party to make that possible.