SWP presidential candidate Rachele Fruit:

‘Workers need to break from the bosses’ parties, build a party of labor’

By Abby Tilsner
June 17, 2024
Rachele Fruit, SWP candidate for U.S. president, speaks to Harold Etimé at Haitian book fair in Miami May 5. Fruit said SWP opposes U.S. military interventions from Haiti to NATO.
Militant/Mary MartinRachele Fruit, SWP candidate for U.S. president, speaks to Harold Etimé at Haitian book fair in Miami May 5. Fruit said SWP opposes U.S. military interventions from Haiti to NATO.

PHILADELPHIA — “The future of humanity depends on the U.S. working class taking power away from the capitalist rulers and starting down the road to make a socialist revolution,” Rachele Fruit, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. president, told a public campaign meeting here in her hometown May 25.

She said Washington and other major capitalist powers are driven to prepare for more and deadlier wars today, as they compete for markets, spheres of influence and profits. “We oppose Washington’s troops, bases, armaments being placed anywhere in the world. We oppose their military and trade pacts, all of which help them exploit the world’s toilers and prepare for future wars. This will never cease until the working class takes political power.

“The Democratic Party is leading the charge against our constitutional rights. Today their factional target is Donald Trump, but in the long run their sights will be set on working people, the ones Hillary Clinton called ‘deplorables’ and that today the Biden administration calls ‘semi-fascists’ and ‘MAGA Republicans.’ It is working people who are paying the price for the crisis of capitalism, who resist being told how to think and live, and for whom neither the Democrats nor Republicans have any solutions.”

The attacks are coming from Republican Party politicians as well, she said. In Florida, where she lives, “We’ve seen book bannings, attacks on the unions, increased use of the death penalty, attempts to outlaw abortion and more, as well as a recently signed bill mandating that kindergartners be taught about the ‘evils of communism.’”

“Our campaign today will first and foremost defend the Jewish people,” Fruit said. “The Oct. 7 massacre in Israel was the largest anti-Jewish pogrom since the Nazi Holocaust, and has unleashed a firestorm of bourgeois and middle-class Jew-hatred around the world. All spring, reactionary mobilizations have taken place on elite college campuses around the country, including Penn and Drexel here, threatening Jewish students and faculty with calls to ‘Go back to Poland,’ for Hamas to ‘Strike, strike Tel Aviv,’ and more.

“The Israeli people have the absolute right to take all steps necessary to defend Israel’s existence as a refuge for Jews. The Socialist Workers Party calls on working people in the U.S. to condemn the Biden administration for trying to pressure Israel’s government ‘to accept the win’ and not respond to the attack by Iran.

“At the same time, we oppose the deepening sanctions against Iran proposed by Washington and other imperialist powers. It is Iran’s working people — Persian, Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Arab, and Baluchi — who are the biggest potential allies of working people in Israel in the fight against Hamas. They have protested in large numbers in cities, villages and rural areas in 2018, 2019, 2022 and again today, many with their unions, in defiance of the regime. The class struggle in Iran is central to helping overcome the national divisions and uniting all the toilers of the Middle East.

Given the space they need, “the working classes of Israel, Palestine, Iran and the whole region can find solutions in their common interests.”

Cuba’s socialist revolution

“We speak out in defense of the Cuban Revolution. Our job is to never give an inch, even the tip of a finger, to the U.S. rulers’ relentless economic war on Cuba’s sovereignty and the socialist revolution workers and peasants made there. We live in a transitional historical period opened by the Bolshevik-led Russian Revolution in 1917. The fight for workers power was reopened in the Americas with the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959. In both cases, with proper leadership working people defied the most powerful forces on earth, and won.”

Rachele Fruit, SWP candidate for U.S. president, speaks in Philadelphia May 25, inviting everyone to endorse her campaign, join in spreading the word about its working-class program.
Militant/Janet PostRachele Fruit, SWP candidate for U.S. president, speaks in Philadelphia May 25, inviting everyone to endorse her campaign, join in spreading the word about its working-class program.

She described the role of Stalinism in putting a brake on revolutionary struggles before, during and after World War II.

“By order of Joseph Stalin, Moscow ripped apart the efforts of Jewish and Arab workers who tried to build communist parties that could unite the workers and farmers in the Middle East and fight in their common class interests. Instead, Moscow backed some of the most reactionary Arab rulers, including those allied with the Hitler regime in Germany, in the name of Arab nationalism.

“The Stalinists’ refusal to make a united front with the Social Democracy in Germany and organize the power of the working class there to fight to block Hitler coming to power — and then flip-flopping into backing ‘democratic’ imperialist regimes in the U.S. and elsewhere — prevented revolutionary-minded workers in Europe from taking power.

“They made it possible for Hitler to rise to power and for World War II to take place, leading to the deaths of tens of millions of toilers who were sent to fight and die in the interests of competing capitalist alliances,” Fruit said, “on top of the 20 million who died defending the Soviet Union and the 40% of the world’s Jewish population slaughtered in the Holocaust.

Defend Ukrainian independence

“Putin claims that he was forced to invade Ukraine because NATO was too close for comfort, but after two years of death and destruction, it is Russia’s ‘near neighbors’ who feel threatened.

“The result is that capitalist governments in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Finland are all ramping up their military and trying to cement stronger ties with U.S. and European imperialist rulers,” she said. “Romania is building a new air base for 10,000 NATO soldiers and their families.

“Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev claimed Romani, or gypsy, influence on Romania’s national culture means ‘Romanians, as you know, are not a nation, but a way of life.’” Romani were also rounded up and tossed in concentration camps and exterminated by the Nazi regime in Germany.

“Today in Moscow there is a giant billboard that says, ‘Russia’s borders do not end anywhere.’”

Washington responds in kind, strengthening its military might and looking for stronger alliances against both Moscow and Beijing.

“We are not bourgeois pacifists. Our program is not peaceful coexistence. We are for organizing the working class to fight in our class interests. Like the Bolsheviks. Like Fidel did in Cuba,” Fruit said. “We are for the Ukrainian people defeating the Putin regime. We are for Israelis’ defeat of Hamas.”

These two historic confrontations — in Ukraine and Israel — mark a watershed today. They reflect the weaknesses and breakdown of the imperialist order, and the danger of spreading wars and the use of nuclear weapons under extreme pressure. “Only socialist revolutions in the imperialist countries can bring the danger of a world nuclear conflagration to an end once and for all.

“We don’t call for nonproliferation or arms treaties or disarmament because the only disarmament that can avert, or end war,” she said, “is the disarmament of the capitalist rulers by the workers.”

Fruit appealed to everyone at the meeting to endorse the Socialist Workers Party campaign and join in spreading the word about its working-class program.

“What if the U.S. cuts ammunition to Israel, who will supply it?” one participant asked in the discussion after her talk.

“We don’t call on Washington or any imperialist power to provide arms to anyone. The U.S. rulers have their own predatory interests. At the same time, we support the right of Israel to get arms anywhere it can. We back its fight to defeat Hamas.”

Over $600 was raised for the campaign. The following day campaign supporters organized a barbecue, where informal political discussion continued with the socialist candidate.

Click here to contact the campaign.
Click here to subscribe to the Militant.