HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Socialist Workers Party in Philadelphia completed a statewide campaigning effort to get out the party’s program and win ballot status for Chris Hoeppner, the party’s candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 3rd District. Campaigners collected 2,422 signatures, well over the amount required, days earlier than anticipated, introducing thousands of working people to the party and its candidates, selling 59 Militant subscriptions and 46 books by SWP leaders and other revolutionaries.
The petitions were filed here July 27 where Hoeppner was joined by fellow SWP candidates in Pennsylvania, Osborne Hart for U.S. Senate and Candace Wagner for governor, as well as Larry Otter, the SWP campaign’s lawyer.
“I think something needs to be done about policing the police,” car salesman Chris Paden told Wagner and campaign supporter Miguel Zarate in Philadelphia July 22.
“The police can’t be policed or reformed under this system,” Wagner said. SWP members join actions to demand the prosecution of cops involved in killings and brutality against working people. “We’re not in favor of the demand to ‘defund the police.’ When working people take power, we’ll replace the police; they can’t just be abolished.”
Paden signed the petition to put Hoeppner on the ballot, subscribed to the Militant and purchased the books Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power and Cuba and the Coming American Revolution.
While most campaign teams took place in Philadelphia, several went to small towns and rural areas around Lebanon County, Hershey, Allentown and West Chester.
Wagner and Hoeppner were interviewed by the Hershey Sun and Chester County Press. The party has a long history in those areas. It championed the formation of the Kaolin Workers Union, a union that represented mushroom workers in Kennett Square. And the SWP built support for the hard-fought strike by 2,700 members of Chocolate Workers Local 464, affiliated with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union, in 2002.