The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 81/No. 28      July 31, 2017

(front page)

SWP campaigns in working class to expand reach of party

Militant/John Naubert
Mary Martin, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Seattle mayor, discussing workers’ need to fight for political power with Gary Nobles by his home in South Seattle July 15.
Mary Martin, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor in Seattle, led a team of party members and supporters to South Seattle July 13 to talk with workers there about the deepening economic, political and moral crisis of the capitalist rulers and their system and the party’s efforts to reach, get to know and work with those attracted to what it has to say.

“The working people here do all the work and somebody else takes the credit,” Gary Nobles, a disabled auto mechanic, told Martin when she raised these questions after knocking on his door. “And another thing, they have a law for everything and when they have it out for you they use it against you.”

“The fact is working people make everything anyone uses today,” Martin said, “but the profits go to the bosses, not to us. And this is how they decide what they hire us to make — what will reap the highest profit, not what people need.

“Until working people organize in the millions to take power out of their hands and run society ourselves and work together to eliminate want and inequality, to build culture and solidarity,” she replied, “workers’ skills and talents won’t be realized.”

Socialist Workers Party members and supporters are knocking on doors in cities and small towns across the country to discuss with working people, the party’s perspective on how to respond to the capitalist crisis.

As part of these discussions, SWP members and supporters introduce workers to Are They Rich Because They’re Smart?; The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record: Why Washington Fears Working People; and Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, all by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes, as well as Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? by SWP leader Mary-Alice Waters. And they work to expand the circulation of the Militant, the party’s paper.

“Every day I try to find ways to fill prescriptions when people can’t afford the medicines,” a pharmacy technician named Ellen told Martin at her door. “But it seems like it always ends up that their only option is to buy fewer pills and try to stretch out the dosage till the next month. They’re not getting the medicine they need.”

“The disaster of health care under capitalism is part of the carnage facing the working class for which neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have any solutions,” responded Martin. “What they offer us isn’t health care, it’s inadequate insurance and exorbitant drug prices, things that make those bosses rich, while more and more of us get less and less care. Workers need to organize to fight for government-funded cradle-to-grave health care coverage.

“It will take a socialist revolution like workers and farmers carried out in Cuba to implement this once and for all,” she said.

Socialist campaigners knocked on doors across the Minneapolis area over the July 15-16 weekend, discussing politics with workers and making progress in collecting the 750 signatures needed to go well over the filing requirement to put David Rosenfeld, SWP candidate for mayor, on the ballot.

“I work two part-time jobs in the construction industry and I can’t find a job that doesn’t pay minimum wage,” 25-year-old Brenda Kelly said when SWP members explained who they were. “We need fundamental change.” She got a Militant subscription and signed to put Rosenfeld on the ballot.

Dozens of other workers got Militants, including seven who purchased subscriptions and 10 books by SWP leaders, and more than 160 people signed the petitions.

Socialist Workers Party members and a port trucker they work with from Los Angeles joined a July 15 picket line in front of a detention center in Henderson, Nevada, where four backers of framed-up ranchers Ammon and Cliven Bundy are being held on charges growing out of their successful protests to stop government agents from seizing the Bundys’ cattle.

“They call this building a justice center. No. This is a jail,” Ryan Farnsley, a member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees who works as a facilities technician for the city of Peoria, Arizona, told party members who joined the protest.

“We say there is a dictatorship of capital where the government and both parties defend the interests of the capitalist class,” said SWP member Bernie Senter. “My party says working people need to take political power in a revolution that mobilizes millions of workers, farmers and ranchers.”

Party members got a good hearing from those at the rally, who were interested in their explanation that the Bundys’ fight to defend their access to the land is a fight for the working class.

To find out how you can get involved, look up the SWP branch nearest you on page 8.

Edwin Fruit in Seattle, Tony Lane in Minneapolis, and Deborah Liatos in Los Angeles contributed to this article.  
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