US Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White has accepted an invitation from the Queen’s University chapter of the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) to speak in Kingston, Ontario on the evening of Tuesday March 20. (For details of the meeting, please scroll to the bottom.)
The SEP is intervening in the US elections to bring a revolutionary socialist program to working people. The SEP fights to forge the international unity and political independence of the working class, so that workers in North America in conjunction with their class brother and sisters around the world can take political power and reorganize economic life to meet social needs, rather than produce profits for the few.
The SEP is calling for a break with the big business Democratic Party, which for decades has been falsely promoted by the trade unions as a “people’s party” or at least a “lesser evil.” The Democratic administration of Barack Obama has continued and intensified the right-wing policies of Republican George W. Bush. It has provided trillions to the financial aristocracy in the form of bank bailouts while slashing social spending and auto workers’ wages, asserted a government right to summarily execute US citizens whom the state has labeled terrorists, continued the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and repeatedly threatened Iran with war.
If White has accepted the invitation to come to Kingston it is because socialist internationalism is the axis of the SEP’s and ISSE’s political program. The response of big business and its governments to the 2008 financial crisis has been the same the world over: brutal austerity measures, the criminalization of working class and popular resistance, and an intensification of militarism. Within days of White’s appearance in Kingston, the federal Conservative government and the Ontario Liberal governments are to bring down unprecedented austerity budgets that will target vital public services and social rights, including Medicare, education, and pensions.
In the face of these attacks the ostensible organizations of the working class—the unions and social-democratic parties—have proved worse than useless. The NDP’s European allies, such as PASOK in Greece and the Spanish Socialist Party, have been in the forefront of imposing brutal social spending and wage cuts. The unions are utterly hostile to any struggle to unite workers against the transnationals and to any challenge to the subordination of economic life to capitalist profit. The Canadian Auto Workers opposed any struggle to mobilize Caterpillar workers across North America when the company demanded a more than 50 percent wage cut from workers at its London, Ontario Electro-motive plant. Then, when the company shut the plant down, the union meekly submitted.
The SEP’s intervention in the 2012 elections is aimed at reviving the workers’ movement as an international socialist movement.
All workers and young people in the environs of Kingston and adjacent parts of upstate New York are strongly urged to come and hear Jerry White, the socialist candidate for US president.
Tuesday, March 20, 7:30 p.m.
Ellis Hall, Room 323
58 University Avenue