Dear Friends and Supporters,
Bush’s eight years in office, one of the most right-wing administrations in U.S. history, is coming to an inglorious end. In its wake we are left with eroded civil liberties, deteriorating health care, extreme divisions between rich and poor, and the on-going, disastrous occupation in Iraq. We are also facing the worst economic down-turn in the last quarter-century with no hopes of a quick recovery. Big banks and corporations receive massive bailouts while millions have or will lose their homes, their jobs, or are faced with cuts to their wages and benefits. Unfortunately, the worst has yet to come.
The corporate politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, with their eyes on the oval office pay some lip-service to our problems but provide no real solutions. There is a desperate need to fight back, for real social struggle of the sort that won gains for working people in the past and for the building of an independent working-class political party. This is the only way we can achieve a universal free healthcare system, a $12.50 minimum wage, massive investment in public transport and the rebuilding our nations infrastructure.
It is Socialist Alternatives goal to help put struggle back on the agenda. In the recent period we have seen on numerous occasions that working people are prepared to fight when given a lead. In 2006 millions of undocumented workers stood up for their rights in the biggest wave of mass protests in the countrys history. On May 1 of this year, the longshore workers union on the West Coast shut down the ports in a one-day strike against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This years presidential election campaign has also witnessed a politicization of millions particularly around Barack Obama. We have intervened at Obama rallies to explain the need for a clear break with corporate politics and received a sympathetic reception. We recently endorsed Ralph Nader who is standing for president on an anti-corporate platform as well as independent antiwar candidate Cindy Sheehan who is challenging Nancy Pelosi for Congress.
But this years political ferment may be but a prelude to much bigger developments that will likely take place after the election as millions wind up deeply disillusioned by the new, most likely Democratic, administration. The space could rapidly open up for a new political party on the left.
Socialists played a key role in the building of the unions and all previous progressive movements in the U.S. We, too, are developing organizers capable of intervening in the coming struggles and political developments who are capable of working with others to develop a strategy for victory.
Our work and accomplishments over the last few years include:
- We ran a socialist candidate last fall for Boston City Council. With only $4,000, up against Democratic candidates with hundreds of thousands, we received 6.5% of the vote, exposing the enormous vacuum that exists for independent, working-class politics.
- We have mobilized thousands of youth to take bold action against the war in Iraq. We organized student walkouts in Seattle, Minneapolis and Boston. By mobilizing youth and community activists in Minneapolis and Seattle we have pressured the school boards to enact policy which places tough restrictions on military recruiters’ access to the schools.
- We are actively involved within the unions. Our members are intervening in teachers’ unions in New York City and Tacoma to oppose high stakes testing and in the transit workers union in Seattle to oppose giveback contracts.
- We organized a highly successful tour by a socialist activist in Bolivia, raising thousands of dollars for the struggle in Bolivia. In recent years we have organized other tours by leading members of our sister organizations in the Committee for a Workers International. It is vital given the weakness of socialist forces in the US to bring this international experience directly to a wider American audience.
Building an effective socialist organization will be no easy task. It will depend on the time, energy and resources of ordinary working people and young people. We are asking all of our supporters to consider making an annual or semi-annual donation to help us build our organization and our capacity to intervene in social movements.
Our current goals include:
- Producing our newspaper, Justice, more frequently
- Improving our website
- Expanding our organizing staff
- Organizing a student walkout against the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in September
- Organizing another tour for an international speaker in the fall, particularly to popularize the ideas of democratic socialism among a new generation of youth.
We are aiming to raise $5,000 nationally during June and July. No matter how big or how small we sincerely appreciate all the help you can give. With a donation of $50 or more you will receive a one year subscription to Justice, a donation of $100 a 2 year subscription. For a donation of $200 we will also send you a copy of Peter Taaffes important new book, Marxism in Todays World.
Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative National Treasurer
To donate click on the bottom below.