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Vol. 75/No. 33      September 19, 2011

NY socialist campaign in home stretch
(front page)
NEW YORK—With the special election to take place here September 13, candidates and supporters of the Socialist Workers Party campaign are getting out the word on the working-class alternative to the Democrats and Republicans. As its candidate for Congress in the 9th District, in parts of Queens and Brooklyn, the party is running Chris Hoeppner, a worker at an electronics plant. Rebecca Williamson, Harry D’Agostino, and Seth Galinsky are the SWP candidates for State Assembly.

Williamson, running in the 54th District, went door to door with supporters in Howard Beach, Queens, September 4. They met two Verizon workers who had recently been on strike.

“Our fight is not only for workers at Verizon,” said Yesenia Van Ooijen, a member of Communications Workers of America Local 1106 working in the neighborhood. She bought a Militant subscription and copy of Teamster Rebellion by Farrell Dobbs, two pieces of revolutionary literature the socialists are using in the campaign.

“It’s important you’re standing up,” said Williamson. “Often the union officialdom makes concessions, thinking the bosses won’t come back for more. But if they’re able to push workers down once, they’ll want to push us down even further.”

Residents in the area faced flooding as a result of Tropical Storm Irene. “In the Rockaways you don’t need a hurricane to get floods, just a good rain storm,” said Raymond Ceballos, a building worker at Dayton Beach Park Co-Ops in Far Rockaway since 1992.

Ceballos is a member of Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, which has been on strike since July 7 against planned layoffs and a wage freeze by the board of directors of the apartment complex. Ceballos, a union steward, said strikers offered to suspend the strike during the storm. “We wanted to help and have the experience,” he said. The board’s chair refused the offer.

Harry D’Agostino, SWP candidate for State Assembly in the 27th District, traveled with other campaign supporters to North Dakota and Minnesota over the Labor Day weekend to extend solidarity to locked-out American Crystal Sugar workers. “The strikers were glad to meet us and learn about struggles from other workers who’ve been hit hard by the bosses’ offensive,” said D’Agostino.
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