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Workers World Party, FIST activists, friends mobilize for USSF

Published Jun 30, 2010 5:52 PM

Members and friends of Workers World Party and the youth organization Fight Imperialism, Stand Together carried out a bold intervention in the name of revolutionary socialism during the United States Social Forum held in Detroit June 22-26.

Mumia Abu-Jamal supporters in Detroit.
WW photo

Comrades and friends of WWP and FIST activists from Detroit and other Michigan cities were joined by dozens of WWP and/or FIST members from around the country, including California, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The goal was to make a major push for uniting around the need to overturn capitalism and fight for socialism and to join Workers World Party and FIST if you really want to change the system. Thousands of radical youth and activists of all ages from around the U.S. and the world heard and agreed with WWP’s message and eagerly took revolutionary literature and information.

The WWP contingent could be seen in yellow T-shirts emblazoned with the likeness of assassinated revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara and the slogan “Fight for Socialism/Lucha por Socialismo/Workers World Party/Partido Mundo Obrero/www.workers.org.” The shirts were also sold to help raise funds for the organizing effort.

More than 2,500 copies of Workers World newspaper were sold or distributed during the five-day event, and dozens of trial subscriptions were sold. A front-page article by Abayomi Azikiwe about the crisis in Detroit, with the main headline “Abolish Racism, Capitalism,” and a WWP statement “Fight for Socialism” made the issue especially attractive to USSF participants. Activists also distributed 1,600 copies and sold subscriptions to Left Hook, FIST’s quarterly newspaper.

The Leftbooks.com table was stocked with dozens of revolutionary and progressive titles and attracted a steady stream of visitors throughout the conference. It was organized and staffed primarily by Atlanta WWP and International Action Center organizer Dianne Mathiowetz.

WWP, along with its mass affiliates and related organizations, hosted and spoke at many workshops and discussions during the USSF. They included three well-attended workshops by the Detroit-based Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs; “Creating 30 Million Jobs” by the Bail Out the People Movement; “Youth and Students to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal” organized by FIST and International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; “Capitalism Is Killing Us — Fight For Socialism!” by WWP and FIST; “Stopping War, Fighting for Jobs” by the International Action Center; and “Fight for Education Rights” co-sponsored by FIST and Students for a Democratic Society.

WWP organizers and friends played a major role in the June 25 march and rally at Chase Bank, due in large part to the work and reputation of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition, which has helped pull together religious and labor leaders in support of a moratorium on foreclosures. The coalition had speakers at both the opening and the closing rallies.

Staffers at the Workers World table in the main hall at Cobo Conference Center said they were struck by how activists are fighting back in every city to defend people’s rights. “Many clearly have an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist perspective,” said WWP leader Jerry Goldberg. “There was tremendous openness to Workers World newspaper and to discussing socialism. Hundreds signed up on the party’s mailing list, and many people were interested in party conferences in the fall.”

Hundreds of activists took palm cards about the Nov. 12-14 WWP national conference in New York. Regional conferences in Chicago and Los Angeles are also in the works.