SWP members present the party’s program and record of struggle as the way forward out of capitalism’s march toward war and depression and invite others to join them.
Many workers and young people respond to the appeal. Tabitha Osborne-Rich first heard of the Socialist Workers Party when Mary Martin, the party’s candidate for governor of Washington, spoke at her high school in Snohomish in October. A few weeks later, she joined Martin to knock on doors in the working-class neighborhood where she lives, enjoyed the experience, and did it again on Nov. 4.
That day they met Denise, who works at an assisted living center for the elderly and makes just above minimum wage. “I just moved into this rental house from an apartment, but it’s impossible to buy a home!” she said.
Osborne-Rich said neither of the capitalist parties solve the problems workers face and showed her The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record. Denise told her to come back with the book early in the week when she gets paid.
Osborne-Rich wants to continue joining with party members to reach workers.
The SWP rejects the rulers’ contemptuous portrayal of our class as “deplorables” or “irredeemable,” as Hillary Clinton called us and the pro-Clinton media repeated. The rulers’ fear the working class, fear its potential to gain confidence through struggle and rise to end the dictatorship of capital, to build a new society on proletarian bonds of solidarity.
There are no sustained labor or social struggles to join and help lead forward today. But there is a wide-ranging and angry discussion going on about the crisis conditions the bosses and their government are pushing on our backs — in workers’ homes, bars, barbershops and elsewhere. The SWP is joining this discussion to win workers to the party.
On Nov. 11 Militant Labor Forums across the country will discuss the results of the elections and the political course the party is on. The gatherings will point to the example the Cuban Revolution sets about the capacity of working people to transform themselves in revolutionary struggle and overthrow the dog-eat-dog social relations of capitalism.
Along with other members, New York SWP leader Jacob Perasso visited the picket line of workers at the Momentive Performance Materials plant in Waterford, New York, Nov. 4 to express solidarity. The 700 members of IUE-CWA Local 81359 had walked off the job two days earlier. The socialists discussed how the capitalist crisis spurs bosses to attack unions. They described how the SWP goes door to door in working-class areas to promote its program, recruit and build support for struggles such as theirs.
“I have friends and family that would be interested in what you are saying,” striker Brandon Gulneck, 23, told them. “You should come to Stillwater, where I’m from, to knock on doors.”
“We’ll be back in a couple days,” Perasso responded, “and it will help if you can join us.” Gulneck said he looked forward to it.
Members in New York have gone to workers districts in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and Yonkers; to Weehawken, Jersey City and Elmwood Park, New Jersey; and to Vermont. They have joined party members in Philadelphia to show solidarity with the SEPTA transit workers who were on strike there.
“People are eager to discuss what workers can do about the economic and moral breakdown of capitalism,” said Emma Johnson from SWP in New York.
“We met a Dominican-born woman in Washington Heights who was quite interested,” Johnson reported. “She works making sandwiches and doesn’t make enough to pay the rent so she shares an apartment with several roommates. We discussed how the crisis affects workers in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and how Cuba’s workers and farmers made a revolution. She bought a copy of The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record and thanked us for coming. We’re organizing to get together again and talk some more.”
Jacob Perasso in New York and Mary Martin in Seattle contributed to this article.