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A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people                              
Vol. 80/No. 41      October 31, 2016



Available Online
(lead article)

SWP is party of working class, fights for solidarity

Trump, Clinton broadly distrusted by workers

Militant/Jacob Perasso
“I’m glad you’re talking about the crisis in Haiti,” college student Justin Boatswain told Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate Alyson Kennedy Oct. 16 by his house in Brooklyn, N.Y.
NEW YORK — As election day nears, more workers view both Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton with revulsion. A video of Trump bragging about groping women and accusations of sexual misconduct have been the focus of a media frenzy for days. Given less attention is the release of hacked emails and documents reflecting Clinton’s fawning relationship with billionaires and bankers and her contemptuous attitude toward working people.

By contrast, the Socialist Workers Party represents the interests of the working class. Its presidential candidate Alyson Kennedy and running mate Osborne Hart — both longtime fighters with proletarian integrity — are presenting a way forward for workers and farmers.

“Clinton and Trump are the most broadly distrusted candidates ever to run for president,” Kennedy said at a campaign meeting here Oct. 15.

“Because of the worsening conditions we face, the working class is the issue in the elections,” she said. “And after the elections the workers Clinton dismisses as ‘deplorables’ and that Trump plays demagogically to — the millions of Caucasian, Black, Latino and Asian workers who are angry and looking for a way forward — are not going away.

“The propertied rulers sense that the future of their crisis-ridden system portends depression and war,” she said. “They have no proposals to surmount the crisis. This is the single greatest source of the deepening factionalism, demagogy and degradation of political discourse and the ‘pornographication’ that marks capitalist politics.”

The capitalist media has dropped any pretense of objectivity. Most journalists echo Clinton’s pious outrage against Trump’s anti-woman behavior. At the same time they brush aside the evidence of sexual misconduct by former President Bill Clinton, Clinton’s husband and a key figure in her political team, and her participation in efforts to malign and dismiss those who raise accusations against him.

“If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week,” they’ve heard the accusations against Trump, Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel wrote Oct. 16. “But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.”

A series of hacked emails, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act and reports by FBI sources have provided new evidence of Clinton’s dealings. “Voters might not know any of this,” Strassel writes, “because while both presidential candidates have plenty to answer for, the press has focused solely on taking out Mr. Trump.”

Economic crisis in Puerto Rico

Two fighters against Washington’s colonial domination of Puerto Rico joined Kennedy, who recently led a solidarity delegation to the island, on the platform at the Oct. 15 meeting in New York.

“Puerto Rico is undergoing a profound economic crisis today,” said Manuel Meléndez Lavandero, co-spokesperson of A Call to Action on Puerto Rico. “The two dominant political parties are pawns of Washington and Wall Street. But consciousness is changing. More Puerto Ricans now say, ‘Yes, we’re a colony.’”

“Puerto Rico’s $70 billion debt is unpayable,” Meléndez said. “It is a product of Wall Street pressure and corporations extracting hundreds of billions of dollars in profits from our country.”

Walter Alomar, a member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and president of the Organization for Culture of Hispanic Origins, condemned Promesa, the U.S. government law enforcing Puerto Rico’s debt repayment.

“I’ll tell you what Promesa promises,” he said. “To lower the minimum wage to $4.25, cut pensions, sell the power company, ban strikes by public workers and make the Puerto Rican people foot the bill!”

“It’s eight years since the near meltdown of U.S. financial markets,” Kennedy said, “and there’s no recovery for the working class. A slow-burning depression is just beginning. The capitalist rulers slashed interest rates and bought up securities to prop up markets. But debt is growing, the capitalists aren’t investing in production and international trade has plummeted.

“The ruling U.S. families use their state power to protect their investments,” she said. “That’s what Promesa is about.”

Workers everywhere “sense we’re living through a crisis of the world capitalist system like nothing we’ve ever seen,” Kennedy continued. “Many are open to the perspective of building a movement to end the dictatorship of capital.”

“The governor of Florida got on TV to shout, ‘Evacuate!’ but did nothing to make it possible,” Kennedy said, describing campaigning in that state as Hurricane Matthew approached. “More than 40 people have died in the U.S. and 1,000 in Haiti!

“Contrast this with Cuba, where working people made a revolution,” she said. “President Raúl Castro went to eastern Cuba before Matthew hit to lead the evacuation and prepare for rebuilding. No one died.”

The next day, knocking on doors in Brooklyn, Kennedy met college student Justin Boatswain. “I’m glad you’re talking about the crisis in Haiti,” he told her. “I have family members there who are devastated. And it’s true what you say, that the Mideast wars never end. The U.S. government doesn’t go to help the people there, they go to take over land and oil.”

Meanwhile, SWP vice-presidential candidate Hart has been campaigning in Minnesota and North Dakota. In Minneapolis Oct. 18 he talked with Francisco Coronado, 22, who works painting military equipment.

Coronado agreed when Hart said, “The boss class has us pitted against each other competing for jobs. The working class needs to act together. They aren’t rich because they’re smart. They got rich off our labor.”

“They divide us all up and pay as little as they can,” Coronado said. “Not just from different countries. They divide us all, and pit men and women against each other. It’s not right. We need to change this.”

Related articles:
SWP candidate speaks to Wash. high school students
SWP: ‘Standing Rock part of working-class resistance’
‘Workers in Puerto Rico and US face common enemy’
SWP candidate for president makes solidarity, fact-finding trip to US colony
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