The Labor Party needs your support! Now.

MD575151 at MD575151 at
Sat Jun 29 19:33:09 MDT 1996

The newsweekly, "The Militant", reports on the founding convention of the US
Labor Party;

>   CLEVELAND - Some 1,400 delegates and observers attended the
>founding convention of the Labor Party here June 6 - 9. The new
>party is structured as a group to put pressure on the Democratic
>and Republican parties, without running candidates of its own in
>the elections....
... No to ban on endorsing Democrats
>   Almost all discussion and debate at the four-day convention
>centered on proposals for the new party's constitution and
>program. Early on, a proposed amendment to the constitution that
>would prohibit the Labor Party from endorsing Democratic or
>Republican party candidates was overwhelmingly defeated...On the third day,
a proposal was issued jointly by the
>constitution and program committees which concluded, "The Labor
>Party will not endorse candidates of any kind, will not run
>people for office, and will not spend any Labor Party resources
>on electoral campaigns, at least until we prove capable of
>recruiting and organizing sufficient numbers of working people
>around a new agenda.".
.....A weighted voting procedure was established,
>however, which gave the officialdom virtual veto power on all
>questions. For example, a representative of each international
>union was given a voting card worth 100 votes. At-large
>delegates had cards worth only one-fifth of a vote. Other union
>officials got weighted votes in between...There was some debate over
abortion rights. The original Labor
>Party platform included a vaguely-worded statement of support to
>"informed choice and unimpeded access to a full range of family planning
>and reproductive services for men and women." A delegate from the
>California Nurses Association proposed the party go on record as
>supporting a women's right to choose abortion. This was rejected. One
>local official of the OCAW declared, "While I'm for it, my members just
>wouldn't understand why this should be part of a labor party platform."

   These are all very important critiques of the Labor Party.  The Militant
has done an important job in making us all aware of the work that has to be
   However, The Militant also does not urge, and hints us not to, participate
in this new Labor Party.  This is a severe mistake.  It is not enough to know
the problem, but you have to solve it.  The Labor Party must be supported
because it is the only proletarian party with the potential of becoming a
mass party.  Yes, the party is misguided in many ways, but it is a
proletarian party none the less.

A man named Frederick Engels explains the importance of such a party;
    "The first great step of importance for every country newly entering into
the movement is always the constitution of the workers as an independent
political party, no matter how, so long as it is a distinct workers party."

    At this moment there exists a worker's party larger then any other in the
US.  Unfortunatly the bosses and their bullys in the movement may be able to
deform this potential advancement.  I am embarrassed that so many otherwise
committed socialists are putting on a "holier then thou" face and turning
their backs on the workers across the country.
   The fact is that the rank and file of workers do support a fighting
program.  They want a real party and they want to win their battles.  I know
this first hand as I have attended several meeting of the Seattle Labor Party
chapter.  The problem is that the "leaders" are having their way with the
party.  The only way that these henchmen can be stopped is if the rank and
file are able to raise their voices and fists in an effort to form a bottom
to top power structure.  Those of you who sit by idly and watch the Party go
dowm the gutter are as guilty as the capitalists who tremble at the thought
of a proletarian party.

 >   The Labor Party doesn't have to be like the
>Democrats and Republicans...

    My thoughts exactly.

 With hope, though always lacking optimism,

                 ---Mike Dean

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