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Vol. 80/No. 18      May 9, 2016

(front page)

Join with SWP to back strikers, get on ballot,
build conference!

Militant/Jacquie Henderson
David Rosenfeld, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Congress in Minnesota, at St. Paul rally for $15 an hour and a union April 14. SWP candidates call for solidarity with union battles.
Across the country — from Fort Morgan, Colorado; to Opelousas, Louisiana; to Rutherford, New Jersey — communist workers are explaining the Socialist Workers Party program, engaging in political discussion and making progress in several states putting the party’s presidential ticket of Alyson Kennedy and Osborne Hart on the ballot.

SWP members and supporters have been walking East Coast picket lines and building solidarity for the 39,000 workers on strike against Verizon. At an April 25 rally of hundreds at the statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey, communist workers introduced Verizon strikers to the party and its paper, the Militant. Some 30 of them signed to put the SWP on the New Jersey ballot.

SWP teams have fanned out across that state knocking on workers’ doors, discussing the deepening crisis of capitalism and the need to build a powerful movement of workers, who through struggle will become capable of ending the dictatorship of the billionaire rulers. In 10 days of campaigning, 800 people have signed petitions toward the 1,500 goal, and several dozen have subscribed to the Militant.

The Militant feature last week on Cuban internationalist medical volunteers fighting Ebola in West Africa gave a vivid example of why workers should make a revolution and build a society based on human solidarity, the opposite of the dog-eat-dog social relations that prevail under capitalist rule. It helped convince many people to subscribe.

Presidential candidate Kennedy campaigned in New Jersey and took part in the monthly 34 Women for Oscar López protest in New York. She will speak on behalf of the SWP supporting independence for Puerto Rico at the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization hearings in June.

West Coast SWP campaign organizer Joel Britton traveled to Denver to speak at a house meeting April 24 where $1,000 was raised to cover efforts to put the party on the ballot in Colorado. Four people picked up copies of The Cuban Five Talk About Their Lives Within the US Working Class: “It’s the Poor Who Face the Savagery of the US ‘Justice’ System.” This and other books that help explain the party’s program are on special for Militant subscribers (see details on page 8).

Ballot drives expand the party’s geographical reach and its contact with labor and social struggles. “We learned that Teamsters meatpackers in Fort Morgan had voted down a contract offer from Cargill,” said Karen Ray from Denver. “We went there and learned that Somali meatpacking workers are fighting Cargill’s challenge to unemployment benefits paid out after the company fired 150 Muslim workers in December in retaliation for their job action protesting the denial of prayer breaks.”

When Osborne Hart joins supporters April 29 to file the party’s application for ballot status, he will visit Fort Morgan.

International conference June 16-18

As socialists join labor and social struggles and introduce workers and young people to the Socialist Workers Party, they are also inviting them to attend the party’s conference in Oberlin, Ohio, June 16-18. Participants in the international gathering will take part in presentations, classes and discussion on how to strengthen working-class struggles and build a revolutionary party.

“I’m motivated to go to the conference by the clarity the party gives to so many issues,” Rose Engstrom, a worker in Minneapolis, said in a phone interview April 26. Engstrom got involved in the fight against police brutality after cops killed 24-year-old Jamar Clark last November. “Some of the people demanding the police be prosecuted came to hear Alyson Kennedy when she spoke here,” Engstrom said.

Kennedy presented the importance of this fight in the context of what the working class needs to move forward. “I got good feedback from several of the people who were there,” Engstrom said. “We announced the conference at the meeting, and I’m following up. It would be great if some of them could come.”

Workers behind bars also value the political perspective of the Socialist Workers Party and the Militant. At prisons across the U.S. more than 120 workers are subscribers, and their papers get around.

“I am a past subscriber,” writes a prisoner in South Carolina. “I have moved to another prison and missed getting it. Thank you for sending this great newspaper to prisoners and your support.”

Joe Swanson and Chris Steffen in Lincoln, Nebraska, have won new readers among young people who organized an April 9 abortion rights rally at the state Capitol. They convinced five long-time readers to renew and four of them to get The Cuban Five Talk About Their Lives Within the US Working Class. Five subscribers contributed to the Militant Fighting Fund, which helps keep the paper going.

At the end of the third week of the six-week subscription and fund drives, 773 subscriptions have been sent in toward the quota of 1,550 and $28,760 toward the fund quota of $110,000.

To join the Socialist Workers Party in its political campaigns, contact a party branch listed on page 6.
Related articles:
‘Workers, unions need to control job safety’
Verizon strike is fight for all workers!
Spring subscription drive (chart, week 3)
Militant Fighting Fund (chart, week 3)
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