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Vol. 72/No. 2      January 14, 2008

Róger Calero, SWP candidate for president
Róger Calero, 38, is a writer for the socialist newsweekly the Militant and an editor of its Spanish-language section, El Militante.

Calero has been active for years in the fight for the legalization of undocumented immigrants. Mobilizing along with hundreds of thousands of fellow workers on May Day in 2006 and 2007, Calero marched to demand immediate, unconditional permanent residency for all immigrants. He has taken part in many actions against police raids and deportations by immigration cops.

He has supported strikes and organizing battles in factories and workplaces by workers resisting the increasingly harsh conditions of life and labor being imposed by the bosses and their government. As a result, Calero has become known to workers on the front lines of struggle in many areas, from meat packers across the Midwest to day laborers in New York, cab drivers in Florida, and coal miners in Utah.

He was the Socialist Workers Party candidate for president in 2004. Two years later he led the SWP ticket in New York state, running for U.S. Senate. A member of the Socialist Workers Party’s National Committee, he lives in the Bronx, New York.

In 2000, working as a meat packer in Iowa and then Minnesota, Calero was part of a groundbreaking union-organizing drive at Dakota Premium Foods in South St. Paul, Minnesota. Through a two-year battle that began with a sit-down strike and won broad solidarity in the labor movement and local community, workers there won recognition of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 789 as their union.

In recent months Calero has extended support to the trade unionists at Dakota Premium in their fight against a company campaign to decertify the union.

Born in Nicaragua, Calero has lived in the United States since 1985, when his family moved to Los Angeles. He joined the socialist movement there in 1993.

In December 2002 Calero was arrested by federal immigration cops on his return from a Militant reporting trip to Cuba and Mexico. He had attended a conference in Havana opposing the Free Trade Area of the Americas—a pact aimed at extending U.S. imperialist domination—and a congress in Guadalajara of the Continental Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Students. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service jailed Calero in Houston for 10 days and began deportation proceedings against him.

Calero and his supporters fought back. They won broad support from defenders of immigrant and workers rights, and with the backing of the Socialist Workers Party, prevented his deportation, successfully defending his right to live and work in the United States. That victory set an example of how working people can fight to win, inspiring others to resist and beat back government attempts to deport them.

A supporter of the Cuban Revolution, Calero attended an international conference in Havana in April 2007 in solidarity with the Cuban Five—revolutionaries jailed in U.S. prisons on frame-up charges since 1998. The five were working to protect fellow Cubans from right-wing groups that have launched violent attacks against Cuba with Washington’s complicity.

Over the past year in New York, he has helped build demonstrations for the freedom of the Five, against the police killing of Sean Bell, and for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Calero has recently reported for the Militant from Venezuela about struggles by workers and farmers for land, jobs, and improved living conditions. In November 2007 he participated in the third Venezuela International Book Fair and the second Cultural Festival in Solidarity with the People of Africa, held in Caracas. There he joined discussions and helped to get revolutionary literature into the hands of working people fighting against the devastating consequences of capitalism and its economic crisis.
Related articles:
Socialist Workers Party launches presidential ticket of Calero, Kennedy
Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. vice president
SWP will seek to renew disclosure exemption
Support socialist ticket in ’08!
SWP candidate across the United States  
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