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Vol. 74/No. 43      November 15, 2010

N.Y. students discuss
possibilities for revolution
NEW PALTZ, New York—The Young Socialist club at the State University of New York here hosted a meeting October 27 for Socialist Workers Party candidates to discuss issues facing working people and youth. The speakers were Willie Cotton, SWP candidate for U.S. Senate, and myself, a freshman here and the party’s candidate for lieutenant governor. Student Callie Miaoulis chaired the meeting of 10 people.

Cotton condemned Washington’s war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He pointed to the example of Cuba, where working people overthrew the tyranny of a handful of wealthy property owners and carried out a socialist revolution. I spoke about the need for working people in the United States to take political power.

The candidates’ support for the legalization of undocumented workers led to some debate. Forrest, a freshman, questioned why undocumented workers don’t apply for legal citizenship. “I think some come to support their families, but some to sell drugs,” he said. “It is a confusing situation I have to think about.” Forrest said he had doubts about the ability of workers in the United States to make a revolution.

“I grew up in a downtrodden area, with poor housing on one side of the tracks and grand houses near the shore,” said Kevin, a student from Bayshore, Long Island. “I’m glad to hear from people noticing this division.”

“Under capitalism everyone feels they have to fight to keep what’s theirs,” said one participant. “How does the underclass prevent the same evils if we make a revolution?”

I responded to that question, “Under capitalism working people are made to think that we’re not capable of much of anything beyond obedience. The example of Cuba shows that we can use the state to advance the interests of the vast majority once we have taken power.”

In the meeting, participants were encouraged to purchase and read Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by Jack Barnes, which addresses all of these issues. Four students decided to do so.
Related articles:
Elections in 2010 signal no change for workers
Socialist candidates in Iowa advance solidarity
‘Moderates rally’ held in D.C. ahead of elections
‘Two-party face’ of capitalism’s ‘one-party system’
Join fight for a socialist world
SWP candidates in 2010  
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