SWP candidates advance program for working class to take political power

By Brian Williams
September 4, 2023

Socialist Workers Party candidates and members are discussing the party’s revolutionary program with fellow working people as they campaign door to door, visit union picket lines and join protests against the effects of the capitalist crisis.

They’re also getting back to Militant readers to encourage them to renew their subscriptions, helping to build the paper’s long-term readership.

Seth Galinsky, SWP candidate for New York City Council and party member Roy Landersen joined a protest of 300 in New York Aug. 20 to demand freedom for imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny and other political prisoners in Russia, and for the end of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Most participants were recent immigrants from Russia.

“Protests like this show that it’s not the Russian people who are responsible for the invasion,” Galinsky told those he met. “It’s the government of Vladimir Putin. Winning more people in Russia to the side of the fight for Ukraine independence is crucial to stopping the war.”

Galinsky pointed out that V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky, leaders of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, backed Ukraine sovereignty and its right to be independent. But Putin and the regime in Moscow don’t want working people in Russia to know that history. Galinsky showed protesters the Russian-language edition of The History of the Russian Revolution by Trotsky.

“You think that book tells the truth?” one person asked him.

“Yes,” he said. She bought the three-volume set. Two participants subscribed to the Militant and dozens took copies of the party’s statement against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, including translations of it into Ukrainian. Another participant who is Russian took the statement to give to her Ukrainian roommate.

In Seattle, Vincent Auger, SWP candidate for City Council District 1, and party member Barry Fatland met Teamsters union member Samuel Chesneau at his doorstep Aug. 14. “Our campaign supports fights by the unions,” Fatland said, “and we’re for organizing independent of the Democrats and Republicans. What’s needed is a labor party based on the unions that can represent the interests of all working people whether they’re in a union or not.”

“I give as much attention to voting for the two parties as I would to a poll on my favorite soda,” Chesneau said.

“The kind of social programs working people need to improve our working and living conditions won’t be given to us by the bosses and their government,” Auger said. “We need to fight for them.”

Chesneau agreed: “The only way for us to get what we need is to cut into their revenues.” He was interested in the informational picket line by Alaska Airlines flight attendants that the SWP members told him about. Chesneau signed up for a Militant subscription and got the book Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes.

In Montreal, members of the Communist League participated in an Aug. 9 protest of dozens to oppose the deportation of an Indian couple, Rajvinder Kaur, 70, and Randhir Singh, 79. They are seeking asylum. The Canadian government had said they would be sent back to India Aug. 12. However, in response to protests and other publicity about their case, the government backed down.

The Communist League literature table at the action became a lively spot for political discussion. One participant bought Che Guevara Talks to Young People, and another, Women in Cuba: The Making of a Revolution Within the Revolution.

In Minneapolis, Edwin Fruit and Gabrielle Prosser, SWP candidates for City Council in Ward 1 and 11, are on the ballot after each paid the $250 filing fee.

Prosser told the Militant, “We’re looking forward to discussing with fellow workers and working farmers — our allies on the land — how we can resist the scourge of the capitalist crisis on our livelihood. We’re looking forward to the opportunities to expand the reach of the Socialist Workers Party.”

To join in campaigning with SWP candidates, contact the campaign offices.