Saturday, August 26, 2006

Socialist candidates in Massachusetts: U.S. hands off Cuba!

The Militant

Vol. 70/No. 33, September 4, 2006

BY TED LEONARD

BOSTON—“Washington doesn’t like the Cuban Revolution because it shows you can organize society in a different way — in a way where the interests of workers and farmers, the vast majority, come first,” said Laura Garza, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Congress in Massachusetts’ 8th District. She was speaking here August 15 during a half-hour interview on a local Spanish-language cable television station.

“We oppose the U.S. government’s embargo of Cuba and its travel restrictions,” she said. “Young people and others should be able to go to Cuba to see it for themselves.”

Garza, a garment worker and member of UNITE HERE Local 187, filed petitions August 17 with the Secretary of State’s Election Division to gain ballot status in the November elections. Her campaign supporters turned over 4,300 signatures on nominating petitions. Of these, 2,253 — more than the requirement of 2,000 — had been certified as valid by city clerk offices in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and Chelsea, which make up the congressional district. The clerk of the state’s Election Division told Garza she would appear on the ballot in November. Challenges to the petitions can be made up until September 1.

The Socialist Workers candidate for governor, John Hawkins, a meat cutter and longtime fighter for Black rights, is running a write-in campaign.

In a news release issued August 15, Garza said, “I am running to support workers’ struggles to organize trade unions and to use and extend union power to defend working people against the bosses’ assaults. I support legislation to legalize all immigrants now. I have joined the mobilizations to demand legalization and will continue to help mobilize in support of that fight.”

The SWP candidates and their supporters have been busy building the September 7 March on Washington for immigrant rights and the August 24-27 tour of Jesse Díaz in Boston. Díaz is a co-founder of the Los Angeles March 25th Coalition, one of the organizations that not only helped mobilize hundreds of thousands in Los Angeles for immigrant rights but joined in calling the nationwide May 1 strike.

At a recent meeting here of groups building the September 7 march in Washington, organizers announced that eight buses have been reserved in the Boston area and tickets are available for $25.

On August 19 the Socialists Workers campaign organized a program featuring the two Massachusetts socialist candidates and Róger Calero, the SWP candidate for U.S. Senate in New York. It was entitled, “Legalize all immigrants! Build and strengthen our unions! Oppose Washington’s war drive!” Participants contributed more than $700 to the SWP campaign.

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