Róger Calero for president


Róger Calero is the Socialist Workers Party candidate for president. Calero, 39, has been active in the fight for legalization of undocumented workers for many years. He participated in the large nationwide May Day demonstrations demanding legalization for immigrants beginning in 2006, and in subsequent years. In July, he joined a march of 1,500 people in Postville, Iowa, protesting the immigration raid, detentions, hasty trials, and deportations of nearly 400 packinghouse

workers who worked at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant. The SWP presidential candidate calls on the unions to organize all of the unorganized! He explains that fighting for and winning the demand to legalize all immigrants is a life and death questions for trade unions today. 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. He was the SWP candidate for president in 2004.


In 2000, working as meatpacker in Iowa and then in Minnesota, Calero was part of a ground-breaking organizing drive for a union at Dakota Premium Foods in South St. Paul, Minnesota. The two-year battle that began with a sit-down strike and gained broad solidarity from workers won of the union at the plant, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 789. This year, Calero has extended solidarity to trade unionists at Dakota Premium who beat back a company campaign to decertify the union and won a new contract at the plant. His campaign calls on fellow workers to emulate and extend these struggles. Calero 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 from meatpackers across the Midwest, to construction workers in New York City, to coal miners in Utah.


Calero has joined protests against the Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. and coalition troops from these countries, and everywhere else U.S. troops are stationed.


Calero has marched and participated in numerous activities opposing police brutality and cop killings.


Calero is a writer for the socialist newsweekly, the Militant and an editor of its Spanish-language section, El Militante. In 2002 he was arrested and jailed in Houston by federal immigration cops on his way home from a reporting trip to Mexico and Cuba. Calero and his supporters fought back, won broad support from defenders of immigrant and workers rights and prevented his deportation.


He has participated in picket lines and other actions for the past decade in support of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, and René González, known as the Cuban 5, who were railroaded to prison in 2001 by the U.S. government for keeping tabs on rightist groups in Florida planning violent attacks on the people of Cuba. He has marched during this campaign in support of Puerto Rican activists being held in U.S. jails for fighting for the independence of their country.


Calero, a supporter of the Cuban revolution, campaigns in opposition to the U.S. government’s economic embargo and travel restrictions on U.S. citizens wanting to visit Cuba. He calls for normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba. Calero earlier this year participated in a 2008 fact-finding trip to New Zealand and Australia meeting with workers and others on the frontlines in those countries resisting assaults from their rulers.


Alyson Kennedy for
vice president


Alyson Kennedy, 57, has been a socialist and trade union fighter for more than three decades. Originally from Indianapolis, Kennedy joined the socialist movement in 1973 in Louisville, Kentucky. A long-time fighter against racism and discrimination, she was part of the fight to desegregate public schools there in the mid-1970s. She has participated in numerous activities and protests over the past three and half decades in defense of affirmative action and in opposition to racist discrimination.


Kennedy has been active in the fight against imperialist war, beginning with the movement against the U.S. war in Vietnam. More recently she has joined demonstrations demanding an end to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Kennedy has worked in coal mines in Alabama, Colorado, Utah, and West Virginia, first joining the United Mine Workers of America in 1981. She has also worked as a seamstress in garment factories and as a steelworker.


From 2003 to 2006 Kennedy was a leading militant in a union organizing battle at the Co-op mine outside Huntington, Utah. The miners there, in their large majority immigrants from Mexico, fought for UMWA representation, to win safer working conditions, an end to abuses by the bosses, and improved wages which were under $7.00 an hour at that time. In winning support for the struggle and explaining its accomplishments, Kennedy and other Co-op miners spoke before unions and other organizations in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, California, Washington State, and elsewhere across the United States, as well as in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The battle won widespread solidarity and became a powerful example for working people of how to fight, at a time when the coal bosses’ profit drive has put miners in unsafe—and too often, fatal—working situations.


Kennedy became a prominent defendant in a lawsuit filed by the Co-op bosses designed to harass and intimidate the leaders of that struggle. Other defendants included several other miners, the UMWA, the Militant newspaper, and scores of supporters of the unionization drive.


Kennedy has also been a member of the garment workers’ union UNITE, United Steelworkers, and other trade unions. In St. Louis, she was the Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2000. She now lives in Newark, New Jersey.


Kennedy has participated over several decades in battles to defend women’s equality and in defense of abortion rights. As a union miner, Kennedy was actively involved in the Coal Employment Project, an organization founded in 1977 that championed women’s fight to get hired in the coal mines and oppose harassment on the job.


Since the beginning of the 2008 campaign Kennedy has joined workers struggles in numerous cities. She met with independent truckers protesting skyrocketing fuel prices in Georgia and New Jersey. She has spoken on numerous college campuses. Recently she completed a fact-finding trip to Edinburgh, Scotland; London, England; and Stockholm, Sweden, meeting with workers, youth and immigrants.