Thursday, April 29, 2010

SPUSA May Day Statement

Socialist Party May Day Statement

Socialism – An Idea Whose Time Has Come!
“Ideas,” someone once wrote, “move rapidly when their time comes.” As we gather to celebrate May Day, the continuing capitalist crisis makes socialism an idea ready to move rapidly. While the banks have received trillion dollar bailouts, working people still face mass unemployment, state and local budget cuts and deepening personal debt. Capitalist crisis has made the socialist vision of a world where human needs are put ahead of individual profits even more relevant. Our task on May Day is to convert socialism from a good idea into a movement to transform our society.

Capitalism Exposed
The recent economic crisis was more than a banking crisis or a housing price bubble. It was a demonstration that there is a fundamental problem at the center of capitalism. That problem lies in the nature of corporations themselves. Noam Chomsky once described corporations as “unaccountable private tyrannies.” There is no democracy inside of a corporation and, as a result, there is no democracy on our worksites. Corporations are undemocratic entities created only to make profits from exploiting the labor of workers.
The undemocratic corporate model now also dominates American politics. A corrupting system of campaign donations and lobbying ensures that both Democrats and Republicans serve the interests of corporate America. When corporate profits declined, politicians began handing out trillions of dollars in public money to them. When these same corporations fired millions of workers, neither Democrat nor Republican attempted to stop them.

Socialist Solutions
Socialism offers an alternative to undemocratic profit-mad capitalism. By ensuring that people’s needs for housing, healthcare, education and employment are guaranteed, a socialist society will offer equality of opportunity. By bringing democracy to the economy through worker’s control of production, we will make sure that the place where most people spend their adult lives operates democratically. By organizing participatory budgeting, we will put people at the center of the system – fully empowered to make decisions concerning the future of the society they live in.
The powerful necessity of socialist ideas can be seen most clearly with the issue of immigration. The capitalist state presents restrictions and police actions as the proper way to keep immigrants in line. Conversely, socialists support the rights of all workers regardless of their status. We support the creation of an unconditional amnesty program and seek to build solidarity amongst workers throughout the world. Where capitalism offers ICE raids and the Border police, we support human freedom and social solidarity

May Day- Our Day
May Day is our day. A day when trade unionists, anarchists and socialists gather to state clearly that another world is possible. This other world is a democratic participatory one, where resources are shared for the betterment of humanity. However, democratic socialism will not come about spontaneously – we must get organized. So, today we invoke the names of Eugene Debs, of Caesar Chavez, of Dr. Martin Luther King to call on all working people to join the struggle for socialism. Move rapidly, act boldly, we have a world to win!

Visit the SPUSA May Day 2010 Page

Help out our Virginia Comrades!

Help out our comrades from the Socialist Party of Central Virginia; please sign their petition protesting the order to hire and pay off-duty officers to police their May Day parade.

Below is their letter:

Hi friends,
The Richmond Police Department has decided that the May Day parade planned for this Saturday must hire and pay for police presence in order to parade in the streets.
We are doing our best to resist this on a number of grounds. This creates a terrible precedent for other groups in Richmond to have to follow. This is an assault on our rights to peaceably assemble, and the RPD has already violated numerous ordinances in an effort to deny granting any permit at all.

A lawsuit is being planned, with the help of the ACLU, in the event that the parade will have to be on the sidewalks instead of the streets, but we hope that with enough public pressure we will be able to have our parade on our terms.

PLEASE follow this link and sign our letter,

A press conference and picket will be held tomorrow (Thurday 4/29) at 5:00 pm in Richmond in front of the Police Head Quarters on Chamberlayne Avenue where Captain Shamus and Sgt. Selander's Special Events Division is located.

This is how the petition reads-
Free Speech for Richmond's May Day!

Dear Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood:

I am writing to protest the fact that the Richmond Police Department is attempting to deny a parade permit to organizers of a Richmond May Day Parade planned for this coming Saturday, first by failing to respond to the organizers' permit application within the time limit imposed by city law, and second by demanding that the organizers first agree to hire two off-duty police officers, a requirement not included in the relevant city ordinance. I urge the City of Richmond to do the right thing, respect the First Amendment right to peacefully assemble and immediately grant the parade permit.

The New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, Richmond Free Press, Richmond Voice The Virginia Defender, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Style Weekly, WRIR, Richmond-area Clear Channel radio stations, WTVR Channel 6, WRIC Channel 8, NBC Channel 12, May Day 2010 Richmond Organizing Committee


[Your name]

For more info on Richmond May Day go to

and please pass this on to your friends!

Repeal Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Law

Passed by the Socialist Party USA People of Color Commission April 29, 2010

The Socialist Party USA calls for the immediate repeal of the “Support Our
Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” (SB 1070) in Arizona. This law
sanctions racial profiling and gives cover to the repressive actions of
officials such as the racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Further, we call for an
immediate moratorium on all police raids of immigrant communities; we
demand the closure of the immigrant detention camps and an end to the
militarization of the US-Mexico border.

Arizona has become the epicenter of struggle for the rights of immigrants.
The state offers the clearest example of the abject failure of the current
immigration policies in the United States. These policies rely on the use
of force – ICE raids and the border police – backed up by an equally
brutal labor discipline that traps the undocumented in low-wage dead-end
jobs. The results are well known – the splitting up of families, the death
and criminalization of migrants and a race-to-the-bottom for work
conditions and wages. A 2009 mass march in Phoenix, Arizona led by young
people who had been separated from their undocumented parents and families
highlighted the terrible human costs of these systematic attacks on
immigrants. SB 1070 seeks to take this process a step further by
transforming Arizona into the equivalent of a police state where anyone
with brown skin becomes a suspect. In response, immigrant communities and
their allies, all across the country, are mobilizing to demand an end to
the repression.

Such fervor has not, however, made it to Washington, where Democrats are
preparing reform legislation that amounts to more of the same. Much like
the recent healthcare reform, immigration reform has been watered down to
suit the needs of Republicans and employers. This is no surprise since, as
a candidate, now President Barack Obama never fully distanced himself
from the Republican's positions on immigration: the border wall, more
military presence on the border, and building more detention camps.
Despite this, he still gained the support of mainstream immigration reform
groups who slowed down a vibrant May 1st Immigrant Rights movement. The
now disarmed movement was left without any commitments from Democratic
candidates and with no plans to mobilize after the elections.

The current legislation under consideration will do little to address the
problem. Bills such as “the Dream Act” of 2009, which would provide
conditional permanent residency to a few immigrants who entered the
country as minors or have “good moral character,” will not break the
crisis in Arizona. Instead, such reforms attempt to paper-over the demands
from immigrant communities in order to continue the cycle of
militarization, repression and wage slavery.
Socialists have something significant to offer to the immigration reform
discussion. We call for an unconditional amnesty program for all
undocumented people. This demand is based on our desire to create a world
in which everyone will be able to move freely across borders, to visit, to
work and to live wherever they choose. Amnesty will also allow workers,
documented and undocumented, to begin to advance serious demands for wages
and benefits. Amnesty will move us out of the current immigration crisis
and towards a society based on freedom.
Defeating SB 1070 is an urgent first step in this direction and the
Socialist Party USA encourages our members and allies to join in this

¡No somos criminales, somos trabajadores internacionales!
¡Que viva la justicia y la dignidad de los migrantes unidos sin fronteras!"

Upcoming event:

Rally for Rights :: Manifestación para los Derechos Civiles
May 1, 2009
12:00pm - 2:30pm
Location: National Civil Rights Museum :: Museo Nacional de los Derechos Civiles

Contact us to join the Memphis SP at the rally!

See you there!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Movie Sat. April 24: Capitalism A Love Story

In lieu of the regular monthly meeting on Sat. April 24, The Memphis Socialist Party invites you to join us to watch Michael Moore's CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY to kick off May Day events in Memphis.

What: Capitalism A Love Story
When: Sat. April 24, 4 PM
Where: 2110 Evelyn (Behind Black Lodge Video near Cooper/Evelyn)

For info call 901-722-3790

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Massey Mine Tragedy: Capitalism vs. Labor

The death of 29 miners in the Massey Energy Company's Upper Big Branch mine last week was not an accident, it was the result of a deliberate attempt by a corporation to sacrifice mine safegy, and the lives of mine workers, to make a profit. It is the latest in a long history of capitalism sacrificing the safety and lives of workers for corporate profit.

Despite a supposedly tougher federal law that passed in 2006 after the Sago, W. Va. mine explosion killed a dozen miners, Massey and other companies have been able to use the law as a shield to avoid tougher enforcement measures by appealing safety citations — and overwhelming the weak Mine Safety and Health Administration with a backlog of appeals.
Even though Massey has faced proposed fines nearing $2 million since 2005 and been cited over 1,300 times, it’s paid only a fraction — one-sixth — of the proposed fines. All told, according to the United Mine Workers of America, nearly 50 people have been killed at Massey mines in the last 10 years. In March alone, it was cited over 50 times for violations, many directly related to ventilation violations that allowed the build-up of explosive methane gas that played a major role in the killing of the 29 miners.

Lesson from Mine Tragedy: Union Busting = Death

Massey CEO Don Blankenship Fought Regulators
As CEO, "he has fought with mine regulators, unions, residents of his town and even his personal maid.
His company regularly appeals fines for safety infractions. He has personally gone into mines to persuade workers to abandon union organizing efforts. Massey is fighting lawsuits that claim it contaminated groundwater in Blankenship’s town. A maid supplied by a company she claimed was a Massey unit was forced to fight all the way to West Virginia’s highest court to collect unemployment benefits."

Blankenship was also a Teabagger, speaking out at Tea Party protests against government regulations, global warming, etc. Like other corporate backers of the Tea Party movement, Blankenship sounded like a working class populist railing against "big" government and unions, but he was actually an enemy of labor and the American working class.

Here is the union-busting Massey CEO Don Blakenship speaking at a Tea Party celebration of "American Labor":

It is a perfect example of how corporations are using the TEA PARTY movement to protect their own profits and financial interests over the well-being of the American working class.

In These Times: Will Massey Corp. Ever Face Justice?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Obama is not a Socialist! Tea Party vs. Socialists

CNN Asks Card Carrying Socialists: Is Obama One of Them?

Featuring SPUSA co-chair Billy Wharton

Tax Day Fact Check

Some inconvenient facts for the teabaggers on Tax Day:
From Crooks & Liars:

Over 95% of Working Households Got Tax Cuts
Only 2% of Tea Baggers Know Obama Cut Their Taxes...
...and 52% of Tea Partiers Think Their Taxes are Fair...
...and Think the Federal Tax Level is Over Double What It Is
1% of Families Earned 24% of All Income...
...and 57% of All Capital Income
400 Richest Taxpayers Saw Incomes Double, Tax Rates Halved
Only 1 in 500 Families Pay the Estate Tax
Corporate Taxes Have Plummeted as a Share of GDP
The U.S. Loses $345 Billion a Year to Tax Evasion and Fraud

Taxes for working class LOWER under Obama:

Institute for Policy Studies:Tax Day Talking Points

How to Talk to a Tea Party Activist:

53% of Tax Dollars Goes to the MILITARY

GE, Exxon: Large Corporations Pay NO Taxes!

How 50 Years of Tax Cuts Benefited the Wealthy

Tax the Rich!

Taxes: Myths vs. Realities

Tax, Baby, Tax!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Democratic Party Net Unfavorable Rating for First Time in Two Decades

Democratic Party has Significant Net Unfavorability Rating for First Time in Two Decades

Some serious bad news for Democrats from Gallup. For the first time in nearly two decades, the Democratic party now polls a net unfavorability–54% of registered voters have an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party, while only 41% of voters have a favorable view. This is a huge–and potentially devastating–swing for Democrats over the last few months.

In the past twenty years, Democrats have not had a statistically significant net unfavorable rating. Only back in 2006 did more voters briefly hold an unfavorable view of the party, but that was well within the margin of error. Clearly, the American people have soured on the Democratic Party in a big way. The people meant to be directing the political operations and outreach to maintain popular support for the party have been failing miserably.

The Republican party’s favorability ratings have increased somewhat during the last few months, but registered voters still have a net negative view of the party that is probably lingering from the George W. Bush years. Only 42% of voters view the Republican Party favorably, while 51% view the party unfavorably. This means both parties favorable numbers are well below their recent long-term norms.

It is impressive that in our two-party system, we currently have both major parties with a majority of registered voters having an unfavorable view of them. Assuming a prefect split, only 83% of voters have a favorable opinion of either major top party they are expecting to vote for.


Sunday, April 4, 2010


Today is the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis.

If the racist tea-baggers and conservatives attacking "big government" think Barack Obama is a "socialist," what would they call Dr. Martin Luther King today? Well they called him worse things back then...

Too bad liberal politicians today still lack the courage and "progressive" vision of MLK, who spoke truth to power even when it cost him popularity--and his life.

If people really want to know what a Democratic Socialism is about they should listen to MLK on economic justice, war, inequality, etc...

John Lewis on Martin Luther King: U.S. Lacks a Moral Leader

Bill Moyers, Dr. King's Economic Dream Deferred

His last speech in Memphis