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Vol. 81/No. 10      March 13, 2017

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Socialist Workers Party says fight for amnesty

NEW YORK — “The Socialist Workers Party demands amnesty for workers without papers and an end to government raids and deportations,” said Osborne Hart, the party’s candidate for mayor of New York, as he joined working-class protests across the city and at a Feb. 25 meeting publicly launching his campaign.

“Above all, working people need to overcome the efforts of the bosses and their government to divide immigrant and native-born and get us to fight among ourselves,” Hart said.

“The road forward is to unify the working class, to chart a course to take political power out of the hands of the propertied rulers,” he explained.

“And we demand an end to all immigration ‘tests’ that seek to bar people from entering the country because of their religion, nationality or political views,” Hart said. “Leaders of my party have faced the threat of deportation because of their political activity, and we’ve fought and won the right of every one of them to continue to do politics in the U.S.”

Hart joined protests against deportation raids in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and in Massapequa Park, Long Island, and an action in support of the Teamsters union organizing drive at Sims Recycling Center in Brooklyn.

Hart joined other party members in taking the SWP’s working-class campaign to workers’ doorsteps and workplaces. He campaigned at the Hunts Point produce market and meatpacking facility in the Bronx Feb. 23 from 3 to 6 a.m., where many of the 8,000 workers had joined the “Day Without Immigrants” a week earlier.

More than 50 workers gathered that morning, holding placards reading, “I am not a criminal,” and urging fellow workers to take off work.

“What you did was similar to what happened in 2006, when hundreds of thousands of workers took off work on May Day, protesting government attacks and raids against workers without papers,” Hart said. “We need to keep organizing, talking with other workers and building solidarity.”

Thirty-seven of the workers got copies of the Militant. And a number asked to set up a meeting to discuss what to do next with party members.

The protest in Elizabeth was held at the privately-run federal detention center there, where immigrant workers in the area picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are taken. “The government wants to give freer range to the bosses who run and profit from these centers,” Hart told participants. “We’re against all the government’s prisons. Stop the raids and deportations!”

“What is happening is not peculiar to the current president. Trump is not out to deport millions of immigrants,” Hart told those at the campaign-launch meeting. “He is acting on what capital needs — cheap labor to weaken and divide the working class and maximize their wealth.

“They pit workers against each other, using the tactic of divide and rule,” he said. “This fight is vital to building the union movement. And that’s central to being able to defeat growing attacks by the bosses.

“But far from being terrorized, workers — immigrant and non-immigrant — are responding in the streets,” Hart said. “And we find that as we knock on workers doors across the city and beyond, they want to discuss what’s happening. And they are attracted to a party that looks at all politics from a class point of view.

“There are two classes and three parties, we explain,” he said. “The boss class has their Democrats and Republicans, and the workers have the Socialist Workers Party.”
Related articles:
Amnesty Now! Stop raids, deportations!
Trump attack on immigrant workers faces obstacles
Founder of sanctuary group fights her own deportation
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