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Vol. 75/No. 9      March 7, 2011

Build solidarity,
sell the ‘Militant’!
(lead article / Letter from the Editor )

The Militant newspaper applauds the tens of thousands across Wisconsin who have mobilized at the state capitol this past week to defend working people and thwart union-busting legislation. It is the first major mobilization of working people since the capitalist crisis dramatically worsened in early 2008.

The fighting example of workers in Wisconsin is picking up the spirit of workers, farmers, students, and others in many parts of the country. More solidarity actions are planned, and more are needed.

The Militant calls on its readers to solidarize with public workers protesting in Wisconsin, and aid their struggle by getting the socialist newsweekly into the hands of as many workers as possible—in Wisconsin and across the country.

Take a day off work and talk to your coworkers; hop in a car and get to the protests in Wisconsin. Hundreds of workers there have already bought copies of the Militant and dozens have become new subscribers. More readers builds solidarity and strengthens the fight.

The Militant helps explain that the employers and their government are trying to boost sagging profit rates by squeezing more out of working people, cutting our wages, speeding up our jobs, making us pay more for health care, and eliminating pensions. This is a bipartisan attack. While the governor of Wisconsin is a Republican, similar assaults are being organized against working people in California, Illinois, New York, and other states where the Democratic Party is in control.

If the labor movement is to turn back the attacks of the employers and their government, solidarity must become the order of the day. The bosses can be effective in pitting working people against one another by underscoring that some public workers have benefits while other workers do not.

The unions can cut across that message by championing the entire working class, and fighting to represent the interests of those who are the worst paid and worst treated.

Democrats and Republicans alike, and some trade union officials, say that public workers in Wisconsin should give up their wages in order to "share in the sacrifice." Socialists don't agree. While the capitalist governments in Washington and in every city and state pronounce large banks and other businesses as "too big to fail," working people are expected to bear the burden of the depression and social crisis of the capitalist system on our backs.

Working people can get no help from the twin representatives of the employer class—Democrats and Republicans. Workers need a labor party that speaks out clearly in the interests of working people and that will help to organize the fight for relief from the ravages of the capitalist crisis, for jobs, better working conditions, and guaranteed health care and retirement. Working people need a labor party in the fight for political power.

With this issue the Militant is building a solidarity campaign for the public workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere who are the main targets of the employers’ assaults now.

Workers, farmers, and youth who would like to join teams to go to Wisconsin and sell the Militant to many interested fighters can call any of our organizing centers in the Midwest: Chicago (773) 890-1190; Des Moines (515) 255-1707; and Minneapolis (612) 729-1205. Or meet up with socialist workers from other areas who will be going to Wisconsin by contacting one of our distributors listed on page 8.

—Paul Mailhot, Editor
Related articles:
‘Workers have to back each other’
Iowa unionists back rights of public workers
‘Appalled’ at gov’t assault, workers buy ‘Militant’
On the Picket Line
Illinois meeting discusses union fight for safety  
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