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Socialist Workers Party still struggling to be heard

Merdies Hayes | 10/3/2012, 5 p.m.

In 2009, she organized a number of rallies for bakery workers during an 11-month strike at Stella D'Oro Biscuit Co. in the Bronx, N.Y. DeLuca joined the SWP in 2006.

"Our campaign is focusing on worker's struggles," DeLuca said in August in New York City. "Jobs are the prime issue this election. The two other parties are pitting the middle class and working poor against one another. This is particularly true in the inner cities. Our focus is on the dignity of the working class, specifically the working poor. Therefore, we advocate an open border. We encourage affirmative action programs. We push for true healthcare and not just lip service. The so-called Obamacare is more about insurance providers covering their bottom line as opposed to providing needed medical care for the less fortunate. And we strongly advocate that all our service personnel be removed immediately from Iraq and Afghanistan."

Harris said there will be no solution to the illegal immigration issue until all immigrants are declared legal. The party believes the immigration debate itself is pitting workers against one another.

"Because the working class must rise to a better position, the ruling class is bent on driving down wages," Harris said. "This is made worse by one class benefiting over another . . . as is the case with poor immigrants from Mexico who must provide the same expected amount of work, but at virtual slave wages."

The Socialist Workers Party has traditionally held radical social-political views and places a priority on "solidarity work" to support strikes and labor disputes. Its origins trace back to the former Communist League of America founded by members of the Community Party USA. One of its most famous political candidates was Norman Thomas who, in 1936, received only about 188,000 votes for president.

During World War II the party participated in a number of labor strikes against the defense industry, and supported African American civil rights demonstrations, such as A. Philip Randolph's famous March on Washington movement.

"History may tell us that the WPA provided employment and economic relief during the Great Depression, but it was not adequate," DeLuca said. "Our program will be organized and administered by the people. These are the unemployed workers who know their respective professions--and where the work is badly needed--more so than the politicians."