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Vol. 81/No. 26      July 17, 2017

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Join new Socialist Workers Party branch campaigning in Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. — “We’re meeting workers every day who are affected by the bosses’ deepening crisis, are fed up with the capitalist parties and are giving the Socialist Workers Party’s communist program a hearing,” Maggie Trowe, SWP candidate for mayor here, told supporters July 1 as they prepared to head out and talk to working people in the area. “We say workers must act on the rulers’ crisis by building a movement that transforms millions of workers as we defend our class and become capable of ending the dictatorship of capital.”

Trowe and supporters of the SWP campaign knocked on doors in working-class neighborhoods over the weekend in Albany and a couple of nearby towns, winning several new subscribers to the Militant, and selling books like The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record, Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? and Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes, and Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? by SWP leader Mary-Alice Waters.

“On July 11 we will step up campaigning and begin collecting signatures to put the party on the November ballot as we knock on workers’ doors all over the city, sell dozens of books and Militant subscriptions and win new campaigners,” the candidate said. “We’re inviting anyone who wants to help get out the ideas of the Socialist Workers Party to come and join in.”

Trowe joined retired railroad unionist Jon Flanders to speak at a June 26 meeting organized by Albany Cuba Solidarity, describing their recent experiences in Cuba marching with hundreds of thousands of workers on May Day. Trowe also took part in the 12th May Day International Brigade of 300 workers and youth from 29 countries, did voluntary labor on Cuban farms, and participated in a seminar in Guantánamo, Cuba, calling for Washington to end its over 100-year illegal occupation of Cuban territory there.

Flanders explained the historic ties between revolutionary Cuba and the fight against U.S. colonial domination of Puerto Rico. “The Cuban and Puerto Rican people are like two wings of the same bird,” Flanders said. He contrasted the conditions working people face in the two countries. “The Zika virus is rampant in Puerto Rico, while there have been only a few cases in Cuba,” where the revolutionary government organized house-by-house spraying that has kept incidents of the disease to a handful, he said.

“I went to Cuba for two reasons,” Trowe said, “to show solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and get ammunition to better defend it, and because I believe a socialist revolution in the U.S. is possible and I want to deepen my understanding of how workers and farmers made a revolution and have maintained it since 1959. Then I can use this as an example for working people here to emulate.”

Both speakers and participants in the discussion spoke against recent moves by the administration of President Donald Trump to make travel to Cuba more difficult.

“This is the 12th consecutive administration in Washington seeking a way to overthrow the Cuban Revolution,” Trowe said. “Remember how President Barack Obama explained, when diplomatic relations were re-established in 2014, that new tactics to overthrow the Cuban Revolution were required after ‘doing the same thing for over five decades’ had failed.”

“I like what you say about the working class and I’d like to learn more about the Cuban Revolution,” Adonist Barber, who works in a foster care home, told Trowe when she knocked on his door in nearby Scotia July 1. Trowe said she would send him information about the October Footsteps of Che Guevara Brigade going to Cuba Oct. 1-15.

Albany campaigners, joined by volunteers from New York and Philadelphia, campaigned throughout the region July 1-2 and enjoyed a potluck dinner and party Saturday evening.

As campaigners gathered at a McDonald’s before spreading out to talk about the capitalist social and political crisis today, one person eating there called out to Young Socialist Sergio Zambrana, “Hey, Sergio, it’s good to see you!”

C.J. Turner, a worker from a sharecropper family in Mississippi, had talked with Zambrana on his porch steps the week before and said he liked the SWP program and wanted to meet the candidate. “I’ll talk to my wife Lori and set a time for you to come over.”

Workers and young people from Albany and beyond are invited to join young socialists and the SWP in the campaign and ballot drive July 11-Aug. 15, Trowe said. The campaign will hold a public rally at 5:30 p.m. Sat., July 15, at 405 Washington Ave. in Albany, followed by a dinner and social. Call (518) 903-0781 or email to join the campaign.  
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