Support workers, farmers in East Palestine!

April 3, 2023

Workers, farmers and small proprietors in East Palestine are fighting to take control over the cleanup and rebuilding of their region. They need solidarity from your union, fellow workers and from farmers with their struggle. Let them know they’re not on their own!

Out-and-out contempt for their lives and livelihoods has marked the response of rail bosses, the government and the army of lawyers who have descended on the Ohio town since the Norfolk Southern toxic train derailment. The poisoning of soil, water and air killed wildlife and threatens residents’ long-term health. Many small businesses in the area were forced to shut down.

It falls to the working class, our unions and to working farmers to build the solidarity that’s required. An outcry by area residents already forced rail bosses to rip up tracks they hurriedly re-laid in their quest for profit and to remove tons of contaminated soil.

“They thought we’d just take this, but we won’t be quiet,” East Palestine florist Joy Mascher told the Militant March 16.

Every show of support — like the “Jeep invasion” caravan and delivery of farm supplies from Indiana reported in this issue of the Militant — reinforces their fight and their determination to continue.

This fight goes hand in hand with efforts by rail workers across the country to fight to take control of their schedules, crew size, train lengths and other conditions crucial to their lives and livelihoods out of the hands of rail bosses whose only concern is profits.

The disaster left in the wake of the derailment is a result of the workings of capitalism. It shows

that workers’ needs cannot be reconciled with those of the bosses, nor the government and political parties that serve them.

The working class not only creates all wealth with our labor, but is also the bearer of solidarity. Doing so is the road to building our unions, acting on the interests workers and farmers share in common and forging the unity we need for the deepening class struggle that lies ahead.