The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 81/No. 29      August 7, 2017


SWP takes campaigning deeper into working class

RAVENA, N.Y. — “The rulers’ political crisis is deepening,” Margaret Trowe, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor of Albany, told Danielle Sitterly, after knocking on her door here July 22. “Neither Democrats nor Republicans have a solution to the economic decline, and millions of workers are losing confidence in both of them, and in the political swamp in Washington. Only the working class has a solution — to organize a movement of millions that can end the dictatorship of capital.”

“To me it’s more like a tyranny,” said Sitterly, a disabled worker who cares for her three children.

Trowe underlined the importance of organizing the unorganized and supporting unions to strengthen the fight against growing boss attacks on workers.

But sometimes unions don’t do enough to support workers’ struggles, Sitterly responded. “My husband works at a big plant where he’s forced to work massive overtime,” she said.

“In many unions the officials don’t organize the kind of fight necessary to take on the bosses’ attacks,” Trowe said. “They tell us to rely on the Democrats to protect us. But this is a deadly trap. We need to organize ourselves, to strengthen our unions into democratic, fighting organizations capable of taking on the employers and both their political parties, the Democrats and Republicans.”

Sitterly told Trowe that she was concerned with the radicals and liberals on the campuses who “are intolerant of any point of view they disagree with. They shout down people with different ideas or try to get them fired.”

Trowe described how she and other SWP members recently went to Middlebury College in Vermont after some students there shouted down conservative academic Charles Murray and physically attacked him and the professor who invited him to speak.

“We debated with students, explaining how suppressing free discussion always hurts the working-class movement,” said Trowe, showing Sitterly the book Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? Class, Privilege, and Learning Under Capitalism by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes, which contains a polemic against Murray’s book, The Bell Curve.

“We need to debate with people like Murray, who say there is an intelligent ‘cognitive elite’ that is rich and in power because they’re smart,” Trowe said.

“Behind the election of Donald Trump as president, the rulers see the working class beginning to discuss how they can assert their class interests against the growing carnage of capitalism they face,” said Trowe. “They increasingly fear the working class because they expect growing class battles where workers learn our worth and capacity to build a successful revolutionary fight for political power.” Sitterly got the book and subscribed to the Militant, and said she wants to stay in touch.

SWP members and supporters around the country are stepping up their efforts to get out to workers’ neighborhoods as well as strike picket lines and social protests to discuss what our class faces today and the party’s program.

In doing so, we introduce workers to Are They Rich Because They’re Smart?; The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record; Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, all by Jack Barnes, and Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? by SWP leader Mary-Alice Waters.

Campaigning in North Minneapolis July 22, David Rosenfeld, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Minneapolis mayor, met Catrice Lynch, a preschool teacher’s aide who goes to college part time. “I can’t afford health care even though I’m working 40 hours a week,” she said.

“Insurance is designed to make profits and prevent you from going to the doctor,” responded Rosenfeld. “The solution is to fight for health care for all, not health insurance for profit. We can make gains on this as we organize to unify our class and fight for political power, like they did in Cuba with their revolution in 1959.”

Last week campaign supporters in Minneapolis organized teams throughout the area to introduce the party, selling 12 Militant subscriptions and 11 campaign books by party leaders. They gathered 164 signatures for a total of 331 out of the 750 needed to go well over the filing requirement to place Rosenfeld’s name on the ballot.

While visiting the Skyway neighborhood just south of Seattle, Mary Martin, SWP candidate for Seattle mayor met Elisa, a house cleaner who’s originally from El Salvador.

“There are real problems in every country including in my home country and here in the U.S.,” Elisa said, pointing to the growing drug trade that preys on working people.

“The drug trade is a big business under capitalism,” Martin said. “And this won’t end until the working class removes the capitalist class from political power through a socialist revolution. One of the first things the revolutionary government in Cuba did after workers and farmers took political power there was to close down the gambling, drug and prostitution trade that devastated the lives of many.” Elisa purchased the Spanish edition of Are They Rich Because
They’re Smart?

To join SWP members campaigning in your area, contact the branch nearest you listed on
page 4.

Tony Lane in Minneapolis and Edwin Fruit in Seattle contributed to this article.

Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home