What The Socialist Workers Campaign Fights For


The worst capitalist financial crisis since the opening of the Great Depression of the 1930s is taking a grinding toll on workers and farmers worldwide. Today the billionaire ruling families and their spokespeople in the U.S. are trumpeting the success of their many-year-long efforts to undermine our wages, job conditions, and living standards. Inflation, fueled by their enormous expansion of individual, corporate, and government debt, steals more from our paychecks. Meanwhile, the rulers openly congratulate themselves for ground they’ve taken in further weakening our unions—workers’ first line of defense. As the employers intensify their “productivity” drive, our labor—which, if organized to meet human needs, could transform living conditions the world over—is instead turned into an instrument endangering our own life and limb. Deaths and injuries mount in coal mines, on construction sites, on the docks, in packinghouses,

sewing plants, and other workplaces. Under the lash of the bosses’ profit drive, our labor ends up not transforming nature to the betterment of humanity, but poisoning the air, soil, and water on which society depends. Protectionist aggression among capitalist powers—and more so against the semicolonial world—rears its bellicose head.


What lies ahead for working people will be many years of sharpening class battles, as we respond to escalating antilabor assaults. These include efforts to divide and weaken us by scapegoating immigrants and dealing blows that fall the heaviest on workers who are Black. The Socialist Workers Party campaigns for a course of action preparing workers and farmers to advance our interests and defend ourselves and our allies against the devastating consequences of capitalism’s deepening world disorder.


Join us in campaigning for the SWP candidates—the working-class alternative in the 2008 elections, running against the capitalist class!

CAMPAIGNING SOCIALIST WORKERS JOIN AND SUPPORT efforts to organize unions and to extend and use union power to defend working people. Since 2006, on May Day and surrounding weeks, a vanguard of our class has mobilized in the hundreds of thousands in cities and towns across the U.S. in defense of immigrants’ rights. Native- and foreign-born workers in Iowa, Colorado, and elsewhere have mobilized in solidarity with fellow workers ounded up in factory raids and then jailed and deported. Packinghouse workers in parts of the Upper Midwest have made gains in organizing and defending their unions.


The socialist candidates call on fellow workers to emulate and extend struggles such as these, in order to fight for dignity on the job, more livable wages, and health and safety protection. The unions must organize the unorganized—all the unorganized. The fight for immediate legalization of undocumented workers, with no penalties or conditions, involves more than basic working-class solidarity. It is a matter of life or death for our unions today.

RISING GAS PRICES, GROCERY BILLS, MEDICAL PAYMENTS, and housing rents and utility rates make little difference in how capitalist and upper-middle-class families ive. It does for us! Moreover, Washington rigs its inflation figures to keep our wage hikes and ocial Security payments low. Nor do the well-heeled face the shattering effects of growing nemployment. The debt slavery that is a permanent fact of life for working farmers is becoming ever more burdensome for working-class families too—home mortgages, credit cards, car inancing, and college loans.


To combat mounting prices and joblessness, the Socialist Workers candidates demand regular cost-of-living increases in all wages and benefits, as well as federal legislation to shorten the workweek, with no cut in take-home pay, to spread available work to all. We demand that Washington increase the federal minimum wage and put millions to work at union-scale wages through a massive program to build homes, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and public transportation. We call for an emergency halt to farm and home foreclosures.


As capitalists plead poverty to rationalize their disregard for the welfare, health, and safety of workers and the public, the socialist campaign demands an end to business secrets. Open the books! Let’s find out! Nationalize the energy industry, including the coal mines, and run it under workers control to enforce job safety, halt pollution of the environment, and make energy safe and affordable.


The affordability, availability, and quality of health care for working people are deteriorating. The federal government must guarantee lifetime medical care and retirement pensions for all. No cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or workers compensation payments.


Workers’ struggles and our unions are weakened by the divisions and reactionary prejudices perpetuated by the capitalists. The socialist candidates call on the labor movement to champion struggles against anti-Black discrimination; for women’s equality and abortion rights; in defense of affirmative action in jobs and education; for a halt to cop brutality; and against all discrimination against homosexuals and other targets of bigotry.


In the guise of “homeland defense” and “fighting terrorism,” both Democrats and Republicans back unconstitutional measures curbing the rights of working people to organize and act in our own defense. The socialist candidates demand repeal of the Patriot Act, an end to stepped-up government wiretapping, spying, and harassment, defense of the rights of the accused and convicted, and abolition of the death penalty.


Shut Guantánamo and other U.S. “detention” centers, ensure full constitutional rights to all in custody, and stop the inhuman practice of torture of any kind and of anyone. Free framed-up workers such as Carlos Alberto Torres, Oscar López Rivera, Haydee Beltran, and others held in U.S. jails for fighting for independence of one of the earth’s remaining colonies—Puerto Rico—as well as Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, and René González, known as the Cuban Five—all railroaded to federal prison in 2001 for keeping tabs on rightist groups in Florida planning violent attacks on the people of Cuba.


IN A BIPARTISAN EFFORT, THE WAR MAKERS IN WASHINGTON are using the military and political gains they have registered in Iraq since mid-2007 to extend the deployment of U.S. troops there and expand and deepen their aggression in Afghanistan. In contrast to both Republicans and Democrats, the Socialist Workers campaign demands immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. and coalition troops from both countries, and everywhere else U.S. forces are stationed. Stop the bombing threats against Iran. Normalize U.S. relations with Cuba and North Korea and end threats and sanctions against them.


We oppose Washington’s drive to block nations oppressed by imperialism from expanding electrification, including by the development of nuclear power, in order to make possible economic, medical, and cultural advance. Cancel the debt of semicolonial countries. Lift all U.S. tariffs, and end protectionist threats parading as “free trade” and all other trading barriers.


DEFENSE OF THE LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS of working people cannot solely be fought out workplace by workplace, industry by industry. It cannot be achieved by union solidarity and militancy alone. The working class needs our own political party. We need a labor party, based on a fighting union movement, to contest against the Democrats, Republicans, and other capitalist parties and to mobilize us in the millions to act in our own defense.


Billions of working people worldwide are being drawn into the financial and economic crises, catastrophic breakdowns, and bloody wars endemic to capitalism. The threat of the use of nuclear weapons looms over us all. The government of the superrich ruling families of the United States—history’s most powerful empire—is the policeman that serves and protects an international order endangering humanity’s very survival.


Working people must build a revolutionary movement of millions to replace the state power and class rule of that tiny propertied minority. We must establish a workers and farmers government that can abolish capitalism, reorganize society in the interests of the vast majority, and join in the world struggle for socialism.