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Vol. 75/No. 29      August 8, 2011

(front page)
Socialist candidate in N.Y.-
‘Choice is a woman’s right’
Militant/Cindy Jaquith
Rebecca Williamson, left, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New York State Assembly, 54th District, talks with Laurina Paul while campaigning July 24 in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

BROOKLYN, New York—Laurina Paul, a live-in caregiver, stopped on the street to talk with Rebecca Williamson, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New York State Assembly in the 54th District here, July 24.

“There are a lot of single mothers out there—no one’s helping them,” she told Williamson. Paul’s two sons live with relatives in Brooklyn while she works at a home on Long Island. The train fare from Brooklyn to her job just went from $5.75 to $7—one way, she said. “Imagine if I had to pay that every day.”

Williamson showed Paul an article on the front page of the Militant about defending the right of abortion clinics to function free of harassment. Paul said she opposes abortion because of her religious beliefs. “Our campaign believes every woman should have the right to decide for herself whether to bring a pregnancy to term,” said Williamson. Paul replied, “Well, I guess I’d agree to that.”

Harry D’Agostino, SWP candidate for Assembly in the 27th District in Queens, joined Williamson in campaigning. Both urged everyone they met to take part in the July 31-August 7 actions in Germantown, Maryland, to defend the abortion clinic there from right-wing efforts to close it down. Daral Williams, a construction worker and member of Laborers’ International Union Local 79, stopped to listen. “It shouldn’t be illegal for a woman to choose an abortion,” he said.

Williams talked about the conditions in the construction industry: “It’s real bad now. The only reason I’m working is because I’m an apprentice. We’re cheaper. The journeymen are having a harder time finding work.”

D’Agostino noted that when bosses make fewer people do the same amount of work, speedup takes a big toll on safety. Williams nodded. “They are just looking to make profits,” he said. “I see that everyday in construction where they cut corners on safety.”
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N.Y. weekly interviews Hoeppner  
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