At a rally concluding the partys national convention June 17-19 in Oberlin, Ohio, James Harris, the partys candidate for U.S. Senate in California, described the openings to present a communist platform to growing numbers of working people and youth. We are beginning to live through times of tremendous economic crisis, wars, and social dislocation, he said. These are conditions few workers have ever seen before.
The capitalist rulers assaults on workers social wage are accelerating at a rapid pace. Jobs are more difficult to get and hold onto. Working people face greater obstacles to receiving unemployment benefits, attacks on health care and pensions, and speedup on the job, explained Harris.
Workers facing these deteriorating social conditions are going to be looking for alternatives. They will be looking for radical ways to address the crisis, which seems to have no end in sight. The SWP campaign will explain how these conditions are the result of the dictatorship of capital, he said.
The socialist candidates will advance immediate demands to defend the working class against the devastating impact of the capitalist crisis on workers livesunemployment insurance for as long as a worker is unemployed, wages to automatically rise when hours are cut, workers control of safety on the job to protect the life and limb of workers and impede disasters like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from occurring. Socialist candidates will be calling for all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and all other parts of the worldnot one penny for Washingtons wars, Harris said.
Under capitalism, any gains won by working people are temporary as the capitalists keep pushing to reverse any social advance that cuts into their profits. Our campaign will explain the necessity of a revolutionary struggle by workers and farmers to conquer power, expropriate the exploiting capitalist class, and place state property at the disposal of the working-class majority, explained Harris.
From July 10-18 campaign supporters in New York will be collecting 7,000 signaturesdouble the legal requirementto place on the ballot Róger Calero, SWP candidate for Congress, 15th C.D.
In Des Moines, Iowa, a petitioning drive is also being organized July 10-18 to collect 2,000 signatures for governor and lieutenant governor. Another 450 signatures will be collected there to place Rebecca Williamson, SWP candidate for U.S. Congress, 3rd C.D., on the ballot.
In Washington, D.C., supporters will be gathering 6,000 signatures July 24-August 1 to win ballot status for SWP mayoral candidate Omari Musa.
Fighting to win ballot status for the SWP in a number of states is important to defending the legal rights of working-class parties, Angel Lariscy, who is organizing the petitioning drive in New York, told the rally.
As we petition well speak to thousands of workers and youth. Many will be interested in learning more about the campaign. They will buy Militant subscriptions and the new Pathfinder book Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, she said. Lariscy introduced a dozen young people on the stage who will be campaigning for the SWP candidates during the petitioning drives this summer.
Also on the platform of the windup celebration was Julie Bingham, one of the organizers of the Pathfinder Print Project. She explained that over the past year some 260 volunteers made a big contribution to keeping Pathfinder books in print. Over the last 12 months they have produced 171 books7 new, 60 upgrades, and 104 reprints, she said. The organized supporters auxiliary of the communist movement has also won 464 people to become regular monthly contributors to the partys work, Bingham said, and is shooting for 500.
Basir Ambok, who was born in Malaysia, told the rally about the new openings for getting a hearing for communist literature there and throughout Southeast Asia. The Pathfinder title Womans Evolution is being translated into Indonesian, he said, and will provide new opportunities to reach out to working people there.
In response to an appeal by Rebecca Williamson for funds to help build the Socialist Workers Party, rally participants contributed $25,100.
Concluding the rally, SWP leader Dave Prince reported that pledges of $459,700 had been made to the Capital Fund, which finances the movements long-term publishing projects.
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