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Vol. 80/No. 17      May 2, 2016


Reporter’s notebook: SWP candidates on

campaign trail

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Socialist Workers Party vice-presidential candidate Osborne Hart met here April 8 with more than a dozen relatives of people killed by city or county cops.

“In 2013 we started to do protests week after week because we needed answers, and more families came,” Nicole Ramirez Moran told Hart. Her brother Jorge Ramirez Jr. was killed by Bakersfield police in September 2013.

“The media pull up things done when people who have been killed were young” to justify the actions of the cops, said Serena Gonzales, who hosted the meeting. Her unarmed brother James De La Rosa was shot and killed in 2014 by cops who claimed he reached for his waistband as he exited his car. “Enough is enough,” she said.

“As Malcolm X pointed out, they try to turn the victims into the criminals and the criminals into the victims,” Hart said. “Police brutality isn’t a case of bad apples, but of the system that uses cops to keep the working class in line, to serve and protect the wealthy rulers. The protests around the country have had an impact. You see charges against some cops now.”

Hart said several mothers active in the fight against police brutality, who were invited by the Federation of Cuban Women, would join May 1 workers’ celebrations in Cuba. “They made a revolution there and the role of police is totally different because of it,” he said.

— Laura Garza

LONGVIEW, Wash. — Osborne Hart and Mary Martin, SWP candidate for governor of Washington, met here April 5 with union dock and paper mill workers who have gone through labor struggles in recent years.

Dan Coffman, former President of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 and a leader of the 2011-12 fight against EGT Development’s union busting, told Hart and Martin he appreciates Militant coverage of the fight of ranchers and farmers in the West. “Robert Finicum was murdered by the government and the Hammonds never should have been put in prison, let alone twice,” he said, referring to the FBI and police killing of Finicum in Oregon Jan. 26 and the frame-up of ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond that Finicum and others were protesting by occupying a wildlife refuge.

— Edwin Fruit

WASHINGTON — “We need $15 and a union right now. These politicians never think about the cost of living. When I was 15, I made 99 cents an hour and it went further than $11.50 today,” Danielle Hendrix, a cashier at the National Zoo, told Glova Scott, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Congress here at a protest by federal site contract workers April 14.

“It will be a fight,” said Scott, “but it’s not impossible for millions of working people to organize unions and use them to fight for workers power.”

— Arlene Rubinstein

Related articles:
‘Workers need our own party, a labor party’
Socialist Workers Party joins labor struggles, goes for ballot
Spring subscription drive, April 2-May 17 (week 2) (chart)
Militant Fighting Fund, April 2-May 17 (week 2) (chart)
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