Campaigning in working-class neighborhoods in cities and rural areas, members and supporters of the Socialist Workers Party and Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom are finding a lot of interest in the new book, The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us: The Socialist Workers Party Looks Forward by SWP leaders Jack Barnes, Mary-Alice Waters and Steve Clark.
While getting the book out, they’re encouraging Militant readers to extend their subscriptions and for those who have never read the paper to get one.
The book highlights “the opportunities ahead for class-conscious workers, as a decades-long retreat by the working class and trade unions comes to an end,” Waters writes in the preface. “The intensified speedup, longer and longer hours, attacks on job safety, declining real wages, lack of steady employment, and spiraling social and moral blight — conditions produced by the ruling class families in the United States and capitalism’s dog-eat-dog social relations — are pressing more and more working people to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ Workers have begun using our collective economic power and class solidarity in response.”
In Vancouver, British Columbia, Feb. 4, Communist League member Steve Penner and supporter Dan Grant contacted Militant subscriber Janie Benna, a retired teacher who has been reading the paper over the past four years, to discuss what she thought of recent political developments in Canada and worldwide.
She was particularly interested in the Militant ’s coverage of the recent fight by Ontario education workers, who defeated the attempt by the provincial government there to impose an anti-strike law and rotten contract on them.
‘A labor party based on our unions’
“Their determined fight shows both the need and the possibility for working people to build a party of our own, a labor party based on our unions,” Penner said, “that can help lead our struggles against the bosses and their parties and put a workers and farmers government in power.”
Benna agreed. “So many times you see a struggle by working people against a repressive government and the fight fizzles out because there was no organized leadership,” she said. In contrast, she pointed to Cuba’s 1959 socialist revolution that was victorious because it had a revolutionary leadership led by Fidel Castro.
Benna renewed her Militant subscription for a year and purchased The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us. She also donated $18 to help get the Militant, the book and other Pathfinder titles around.
“Sign me up!” said Peyton Huia, a warehouse worker and member of the United Workers Union, when she heard there were Communist League candidates standing in the New South Wales state election in Australia. She was speaking with CL member Janet Roth, who knocked on her door in Sydney.
“My job is very strenuous on my body,” Huia said. “I have workmates who have been injured and they can’t do the work the same as before. I tell my husband I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep working till pension age. Those people who set the age so high sit in offices and don’t know what our work is like.”
Roth pointed to the protests taking place in France opposing government moves to raise the pension age. “It is through workers in our unions taking action like this and on the job that we start to figure out how to advance our interests against the capitalist rulers,” Roth said.
Huia bought a Militant subscription and signed to nominate Robert Aiken as the CL candidate for Blacktown.
Stone Magagna, a biology student at the University of Pittsburgh who subscribed to the Militant last fall, met with SWP members Sergio Zambrana and Candace Wagner at the party’s Pittsburgh branch hall.
“It seems like liberal universities like Pitt are recruitment centers for the FBI and the CIA,” Magagna said. “I hear a lot of bad things about the CIA, but not much bad about the FBI.”
Zambrana explained that the FBI is being refurbished today by leaders of the Democratic Party and the liberal press as part of their drive to prevent Donald Trump from running for president in 2024.
“But the real target of the FBI has always been the labor movement and social struggles. The SWP denounces the armed raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home as a violation of constitutional rights, rights most important to the working class,” Zambrana said. “We explain that defense of these rights is a central challenge facing the working class today.”
Stone liked what Zambrana said. After discussing a growing pile of Pathfinder books, he decided to get The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us and Cosmetics, Fashions, and the Exploitation of Women by Evelyn Reed, Joseph Hansen and Waters, and renewed his subscription. He said he wants to join party members and other unionists in bringing solidarity to the picket line of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette workers on strike.
To help expand the Militant ’s reach and to introduce books on revolutionary working-class politics as widely as possible, contact the SWP and CL branches nearest you.