Socialist Workers Party and Communist League candidates and members are responding to political opportunities opened up by the continuing crisis of capitalism and the working-class resistance it spawns to meet and exceed this spring’s goal of signing up 1,350 Militant readers, sell the same number of books by SWP and other revolutionary leaders, and raise $165,000 to help cover the cost of producing the paper.
Book sales have already gone way over the top. The eight-week campaign ends May 16.
The Militant is the only place where working people can find out about the skirmishes workers and farmers are waging, seeking to push back against moves by the bosses and their government to offload the crisis of their system on our backs.
Examples are our coverage of the battle by working people in East Palestine, Ohio, to force Norfolk Southern bosses and the government to clean up toxic contamination from the train derailment there and provide for long-term health care; mushroom workers in Washington state fighting to defend their union; and to UPS workers mobilizing to win a new contract that meets their needs.
The Militant covers SWP candidates across the country explaining that working people need to break from the bosses’ two parties, the Democrats and Republicans, and form our own party, a labor party based on our unions. In the May 6 election for mayor in Fort Worth, Texas, SWP candidate Alyson Kennedy popularized this perspective in her last statement featured in the media. “We need a fundamental class change,” she said, “a government of workers and farmers.
“Another challenge is defending constitutional freedoms,” she said, “freedom of the press, freedom against arbitrary search and seizure, freedom of assembly — needed by working people to carry out our struggles for better conditions.” Kennedy got credit for 2,206 votes, 5.2% of the total.
While knocking on doors in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, SWP members Dan Fein and Leroy Watson spoke with Ebony Scott-Anderson May 7. Three days earlier she attended a community meeting to discuss the city’s plans to house immigrant asylum-seekers at the shuttered South Shore High School in her neighborhood.
“I’ve got nothing against migrants coming here,” Scott-Anderson said, “but city authorities should have consulted us before making their decision to house them in our neighborhood. At the school they will get just a bed, a toilet and food.”
“The capitalist rulers use divide and rule to pit immigrants against U.S.-born workers,” Watson said. “We need solidarity, not divisions in the working class.”
Scott-Anderson still wanted to see the new immigrants housed elsewhere. “The convention center is better equipped for the immigrants,” she said.
“Leroy and I marched on May Day with signs calling for amnesty for undocumented workers,” Fein said. “Our unions must take the lead in fighting for this demand. It’s a question of uniting the working class for struggle against the bosses.”
After more discussion, Scott-Anderson got a Militant subscription and 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. The book contains the political resolution adopted at the last party convention and other SWP statements.
A team of campaigners from the SWP in Seattle participated in the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association conference in Tacoma May 6. Its theme was “Labor Resurgence: Learning from the Recurring Conflict with Capital.”
“Things are getting worse. We need to do something,” Cynthia McGill told SWP member Michele Smith upon spotting the party’s literature table set up there. Smith showed her The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us and raised the upcoming confrontation between UPS bosses and Teamsters fighting for a new contract. McGill wanted to learn more about these kinds of questions and bought that book along with eight other Pathfinder titles for herself and her son. Participants got a total of 11 Militant subscriptions and 21 books there.
Just a few weeks after the spring campaigns are concluded, the SWP-sponsored International Socialist Educational Conference will take place at Oberlin College in Ohio, June 8-11.
The conference will include reports by SWP leaders, classes and discussion about using the party’s upcoming 2023 and 2024 election campaigns to deepen participants’ political understanding of the party, its communist continuity and the road forward for working people today.
At the center of the conference will be discussion on the political course presented in The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us: The Socialist Workers Party Looks Forward.
There is still time for readers to join in making our goals! Contact the SWP or Communist League branch nearest you or contact the Militant directly. The final chart will appear in next week’s Militant.