The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 77/No. 33      September 23, 2013

‘Militant’ brings Syrian toilers’
fight to workers door to door
(front page)
Supporters of the Militant and Socialist Workers Party candidates took advantage of President Barack Obama’s Sept. 10 televised address on Syria to campaign door to door that night in working-class neighborhoods.

In Des Moines, Iowa, supporters used an SWP campaign statement to initiate the discussion (see above). Most workers wanted to discuss the situation in that country, city council candidate David Rosenfeld said, and almost all were opposed to any U.S. military action. Their opposition, however, was largely in the framework of what’s good for “America,” he said.

“It’s like the Gulf War and what happened in Afghanistan,” Kathy Dawson, who is self-employed, told campaigner Helen Meyers. “We go over there to war and are told it would help the economy like World War II, but it didn’t. We’re fighting a losing battle.”

Des Moines campaign supporters explained that working people in the U.S. need to start with the situation facing Syria’s toilers, who are part of the “we” of the international working class — not the false “we” of “America” promoted by the U.S. capitalist exploiters. Syria’s workers and farmers are not simply victims, but are fighting for political space to organize in their own interests against the Assad tyranny. U.S. intervention of any kind would be aimed against those aspirations, in an attempt to shore up U.S. imperialism — a common enemy of working people here and there alike.

“Several people commented that they had never thought of it that way,” Rosenfeld said. Campaigners sold five copies of the Militant and got a $2 contribution.

In Omaha, Neb., socialist campaigner Rebecca Williamson met Guille García, an unemployed worker, on her doorstep. The wars cost a lot of money and soldiers fight valiantly and just die, she told Williamson.

“I showed her the Militant and said we come with the perspective of solidarity with the struggles of workers and farmers in Syria and that this is different from ‘we Americans,’ which is really talking about the interests of the rich. She nodded her head in agreement, ” Williamson said.

In a little more than an hour of door to door campaigning in Seattle, socialist campaigners sold one Militant subscription, six single copies and got a $32 donation, reported SWP mayoral candidate Mary Martin.

Patrick Burningham, who collects salvage building materials and resells them, listened to John Naubert, SWP candidate for Port Commissioner, explain why working people in the U.S. should have as their starting point the interests of fellow workers in Syria in opposing Washington’s bombing threats.

“Well, I haven’t really looked at this in class terms,” Burningham responded. “I was thinking, hasn’t the U.S. done something like this before and will anything we do really change anything?”

Mikala Woodward, who works at a museum, bought a Militant subscription from Martin.

“As a Quaker, I’m opposed to war,” she said. “But even if war were justified, bombing the Syrian people won’t change anything or do any good and it has unintended consequences.”
Related articles:
Solidarity with Syrian workers and farmers!
No to Assad butchery! No to US intervention!
Obama stalls push for military strike
Militant Labor Forum in NY: ‘Stand with workers in Syria’
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