[R-G] The Labor Party Should Join the Greens
tsiblo at hvc.rr.com
Mon Nov 11 00:30:00 MST 2002
I totally disagree with your perspective on joining with the Green Party. I
believe the Labor Party should stop tail ending the Democratic Party and
truly organize in an alliance with the farmers.
Those of us who consider ourselves Leninists should be organizing this kind
of alliance and at the same time based on a clear program get truly
revolutionary party with the goal of emancipating labor as it goal and
finally get down to doing the work which needs to be done in the months
we need to reach out to as many working people as possible and engage in
open discussion as to why this war is wrong and how its not only an attack
on the people of Iraqi but the working people of this and every other
country in the world.
The masses of working people are against this imperialist war and what needs
to be done is to establish the organization necessary to finally dig the
graves of the capitalists. If we don't then they will be digging all of our
graves and frankly I intend to live a long time.
The Democrats and Greens are in crisis and we need to be moving left rather
than to the center. It is a mistake of major proportions.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Yoshie Furuhashi" <furuhashi.1 at osu.edu>
To: <lbo-talk at lists.panix.com>
Cc: <pen-l at galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Sent: Monday, November 11, 2002 1:48 AM
Subject: [R-G] The Labor Party Should Join the Greens
> Labor Notes
> The Labor Party Should Join the Greens
> by Brian King
> Steward, UFCW Local 1001
> November 2002
> It's easy to see from Dan McCarthy's article in the September 2002
> issue that the Labor Party is smaller than it was. I was present at
> both the Cleveland and Pittsburgh conventions in 1996 and 1998, and
> the 1,400 and 1,200 delegates present at those meetings was pretty
> impressive. I was a little sad, but not surprised, to read of the
> shrunken (500) turnout at the convention in Washington, D.C.
> What should labor activists make of the apparent failure of the Labor
> Party to catch on? Better yet, is there anything to be done about it?
> I think it would be fair to summarize LP founder Tony Mazzocchi's
> intention for organizing the LP as his desire to see the labor
> movement represented politically by a party it controls. Tony
> believed the labor movement, like rank and file workers, deserves a
> voice of its own.
> In forming this voice, Mazzocchi and his fellow LP organizers came up
> with a great program and settled on three campaign areas (health
> care, education, and workers' right to organize) that ought to be
> winners. Here's a couple of suggestions that might help get things
> going again.
> Have the Labor Party join the Green party as a caucus. I made this
> suggestion to a friend who had attended the LP convention. His reply
> was "Never happen." I agreed that as things stood now, it was pretty
> unlikely. But I challenged him to come up with an alternative plan
> that would help the Labor Party, or a Labor/Green Party, grow big
> enough to become a real political force. Even if every member of
> every union were a paid-up member of the LP, it would still
> constitute only 13% or so of the working class.
> SIMILAR PROGRAMS
> So why not have the two parties, which are so much in agreement on
> their programs, join forces? Tony Mazzocchi spoke at the 2000 Green
> convention where Ralph Nader was nominated. The Green platform from
> that convention is heavily influenced by the Labor Party's program,
> and would not need many changes to become almost identical.
> This merger would allow Labor Party people to organize workers who
> are not yet in unions into the Labor/Green Party. As it stands now,
> in the LP, members who aren't in unions feel a lot like the third
> person on a date.
> It's only natural that the unions should want to maintain control of
> their own political organization, but if they did it as a caucus in
> the Green Party, it wouldn't have so many bad results.
> One of the most glaring differences between the Labor Party and the
> Green Party is that one runs candidates for public office, and the
> other doesn't, or at least hasn't yet and probably never will.
> The Greens probably place too much emphasis on running candidates.
> They really need to consider the long-term problem of the spoiler's
> role in a two-party, winner-take-all electoral system-what we have in
> the U.S.
> The Greens could build the party with campaigns like the one we're
> working on in the Seattle Greens. We're trying to place on the city
> ballot as an advisory initiative the idea of Representative Jesse
> Jackson Jr.'s (D-Illinois) constitutional amendment proposal to make
> health care of equal high quality a right for every American.
> A "Health Care Is a Right" campaign with the Greens would harmonize
> with the goals of the Labor Party's own "Just Health Care" effort.
> Maybe there could be a joint campaign, prior to a merger. Candidates
> are not the only way to build a political party.
> RUN CANDIDATES
> But candidates are a good way, and the LP needs to consider the
> possibility of ruffling the feathers of Democratic Party supporters
> in the labor officialdom and running a few people for office where
> they won't be spoilers, and where they have a credible chance of
> winning. Again I can hear my friend saying, "Never happen." LP
> leaders are loathe to challenge the leaders of the AFL-CIO by running
> any candidates. This problem leads to my second suggestion.
> Build a stewards' caucus in the Labor Party. An organized force of
> respected rank and file labor leaders would have a wonderful effect
> on the LP. Rank and file leaders are not nearly as prone to bow
> before the desires of high labor officials, especially when those
> officials are so full of it, i.e., their total lack of independence
> from the two major parties.
> An organized stewards' caucus might well have called on the LP to
> support Nader in 2000. As volunteer leaders, members of a stewards'
> caucus would be much more free to take a position of political
> independence, since their paychecks would not be threatened, as is
> often the case in organizations dominated by people who work for
> unions and have to follow orders from on high. This last point is
> especially true in the case of union staff workers who have no union
> to represent them.
> Would the Labor Party have gone for it? Who knows? But it sure would
> have been interesting!
> If we had a stewards' caucus in the LP, it seems that joining forces
> with the Greens would not be such a far-fetched possibility. One of
> the few union locals in the country that endorsed Nader was Teamsters
> Local 174 in Seattle, under reform leader Bob Hasegawa. I attribute
> Local 174's support for Nader, to some extent, to the increased power
> of the members in that local. Hasegawa has incredible respect for,
> and faith in, rank and file Teamsters. This kind of atmosphere would
> likely be even more pronounced in a stewards' caucus.
> The Labor/Greens could really become a force in American politics. We
> would look something like the Populist Party did at the end of the
> 19th century: a progressive group that includes everybody, with
> organized workers for an anchor. Let's go for it!
> Brian King is a hospital worker in Seattle.
> * Calendar of Events in Columbus:
> * Anti-War Activist Resources:
> * Student International Forum: <http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/>
> * Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osu.edu/students/CJP/>
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