On Friday Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidates for president and vice president, personally submitted over 3,200 signatures to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board in Madison. The GAB requires that candidates submit at least 2,000 signatures to gain access to the ballot in the state of Wisconsin. The signatures were submitted ahead of the August 7 deadline.
In just eight days of campaigning, SEP supporters gathered far in excess of the required signatures from voters throughout the state. Campaigners met workers and youth who were searching for an alternative to the rotten two party political system. Workers and youth throughout the state expressed their opposition to war, social inequality and the attack on democratic rights.
The campaign won broad support, including from workers at the Caterpillar Global Mining plant in South Milwaukee, where SEP supporters discussed the significance of the strike by Caterpillar workers in Joliet, Illinois.
In a statement issued from the west steps of the capitol. White reviewed the lessons of the 2011 Wisconsin protests and the subsequent recall election. He also explained the significance of the SEP’s campaign to gain access to the ballot.
“The thousands of workers, students and young people—in Milwaukee, Racine, Madison, LaCrosse, Eau Claire and other cities—who signed the petitions gave expression to the deep discontent with the two parties of big business and their candidates, President Obama and Mitt Romney,” White said.
“A little more than a year ago, hundreds of thousands were marching around and occupying this capital to fight Governor [Scott] Walker’s attacks on workplace rights and social programs. That powerful movement, which was inspired by and part of an international movement of the working class against the efforts to make workers pay for the financial breakdown of 2008, was sabotaged by the trade unions and diverted into the dead end of a recall campaign to replace Walker with a Democrat.
“The only means in which the working class can defend its most basic social rights—to jobs, health care, education, housing—and oppose the drive for more and even bloodier wars, is to break with the two big business parties and build a mass political party of the working class and fight for socialism.
“All over the world—from Greece to Spain, from Egypt to the United States—workers are confronting globally organized corporations, like Caterpillar, and global banks that are determined to impoverish the working class. The capitalist system has failed in the US and internationally. American workers cannot defend themselves based on a national program. That is why we are fighting for the international unity of the working class—against austerity, wage-cutting and war.
“Our campaign,” White concluded, “is aimed at building a new leadership and providing a new perspective for the working class. In the coming months, regardless of whether Obama or Romney wins, workers will enter into new mass struggles. These struggles pit them against the entire political establishment and the capitalist profit system it defends. The aim of our election campaign is to advance a socialist alternative: to fight for a workers government and the reorganization of economic and political life on the basis of human need, not private profit.”
The SEP calls on workers and youth in Wisconsin, the United States, and internationally to support our campaign. The SEP is the only party that is fighting to defend the rights and interests of the working class. We call on our supporters to donate to the campaign today to help us maintain our political struggle through the November elections.
For more information on the SEP campaign and to get involved, visit socialequality.com