Nov 15, 2014
Five candidates, advocates “for a working class fight based on a working class policy,” were on the ballot this year in Michigan: Sam Johnson, for U.S. Congress, District 13; Gary Walkowicz, Congress, District 12; Mary Anne Hering and Kenneth Jannot, Jr, for the Dearborn School Board, which also is responsible for Henry Ford College; and D. A. Roehrig, for Wayne County Community College Trustee, District 2.
They stood on the same political basis, advocated for the same policy, supported each other. Logically, they should have been put on the ballot as candidates of a new party, organized on a common political basis. And they certainly stood for a policy different than that of all the parties on the ballot: not only the Democrats and the Republicans, but also the three extreme right-wing parties, as well as the environmentalists in the Green party.
But revisions of Michigan electoral law in 1994 and 2012 made it twice as hard as before to get a party on the ballot, but much easier for parties that were then established to stay on the ballot, for example, the Democrats or Republicans or Libertarians.
The five candidates were able to qualify for the ballot, but they were listed on the ballot without a common logo, without a party name, without anything that linked them to each other or which gave even a hint of what they stood for.
Nonetheless, their campaign found a response in the working class districts in and around Detroit, where they and their supporters, who included people who work with The Spark, campaigned. Gary Walkowicz had over 5,000 votes in his congressional district, Sam Johnson had nearly 3,500 in his district, Mary Anne Hering had over 5,100 and Kenneth Jannot had over 2,400, both in Dearborn. D. A. Roehrig, who had over 15,000, was elected. Mary Anne came in fourth in a race which saw the top three vote-getters elected.
The figures aren’t really comparable. In the race for Wayne County Community College trustee, D. A. Roehrig was the only candidate on the final ballot – his opponent, who apparently had been slated for the position by the Democratic Party, was disqualified before the election. Mary Anne’s vote was just over 20% of the people who voted in Dearborn, and Ken’s just under 10%, while both Sam and Gary each had a little over 2% in the much larger congressional districts. In any case, it is safe to say that as many as 15,000 people, if not many more, made a conscious choice to cast their ballot for candidates who said very directly that nothing will change until the working class begins to fight and fights to impose its own answers to the crisis. Beyond those who voted, were the thousands more who were touched by the campaign.
The “Working Class Fight” campaign began in early May when supporters of The Spark began a petition drive to put each of the five on the ballot. They were joined by others who agreed with what the five candidates said and were ready to ask people who agreed with these candidates to sign for them. Certainly, some people signed just out of a simple respect for democratic rights: they thought that everyone should have a chance to be heard. But most signed because they agreed that “the working class should not pay the cost of the bosses’ crisis” – which was one of the slogans of the campaign, a statement that struck a nerve with many working people. The simple act of putting their name and address on a nominating petition for one of these five was a way for many people to say they were fed up, tired of watching the wealthy classes grab a larger and larger share of society’s wealth. And most agreed that it is necessary for the working class to fight – although not many of them were convinced they would soon see such a fight.
In ten weeks time, over 7,000 people signed for Sam, over 6,000 for Gary, with another thousand for D.A., and several hundred for Mary Anne and Ken. Many more who were met in this part of the campaign wanted to sign, but couldn’t because they didn’t live in the district or weren’t registered.
On Labor Day week-end, the “official” campaign began. Several dozen people flooded the streets, seeking to talk to people about the five candidates with a common program. They went wherever people were congregating: the jazz festival in downtown Detroit, the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival, the Labor Day parade, Royal Oak Arts, Beat and Eats, and a church festival in Southgate.
In the nine weeks leading up to election day, the campaign tried to go wherever working people gathered: farmer’s markets, street fairs and festivals, parades, bus stops, neighborhood markets, secretary of state offices, post offices, libraries, community colleges, downtown at lunch time, a classic car show, political events. While the districts for Dearborn school board and Wayne County Community College were relatively contained, the two congressional districts, each touching over 700,000 people, stretched for miles. District 13, after the latest gerrymandering that cut Detroit into slices, includes the middle of Detroit and its far northwestern and western districts, along with the cities of Highland Park, Redford Township, Dearborn Heights, Inkster, River Rouge, Ecorse, Melvindale, Wayne, Westland, Garden City and Romulus, and it wound around the eastern part of District 12. Twelve started at Dearborn and stretched 30 miles south past Allen Park, Lincoln Park, Taylor, Southgate, Wyandotte, Riverview, Trenton, Woodhaven, Flat Rock and Gibraltar; then it went west for 50 miles through Belleville, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Scio Township, hitting eight other township along the way.
The candidates attended and spoke at public meetings organized by The Spark in September, which focused on the attacks on the schools and public services; and in October, which raised the problems of unemployment and working class income.
The campaign itself organized a rally in Detroit at the end of October, where the five candidates spoke to an enthusiastic audience. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a light supper of salad and mostaccioli with meat sauce, prepared and donated by one of the campaign’s supporters, as well as desserts, donated by two different supporters.
Mary Anne and Ken spoke at a League of Women voters’ forum and a three neighborhood meetings, all organized in Dearborn for the school board candidates. Someone who attended those forums said afterwards that the two of them were the only ones who really spoke to the problems besetting the schools, the only ones who tied those problems to the larger question of how this capitalist society is draining the wealth from the schools, using it to enrich the capitalist class and the banks. Gary and Mary Anne were interviewed on a radio program organized to discuss labor issues. Gary spoke at a Democratic Party Club meeting downriver. D.A. spoke at the Hamtramck Festival and later at a candidate forum in the Hamtramck library.
A few people opened up their homes or clubs to the candidates, so more people could hear them. A supporter of Sam organized a neighborhood barbecue in Detroit, where Sam spoke, then enjoyed hot dogs and chicken coming right off the grills as evening settled in. A former co-worker of Sam’s from McGraw took material into the church of which he is a pastor, and also into the Action Group of Pastors. Several churches in Detroit called to ask for material about Sam for their parishioners.
Gary’s supporters at Ford’s Dearborn truck plant passed out literature for him, and talked to their co-workers, building up support for both Gary and Sam – since many of the workers at the Rouge come from Detroit. Campaigners stood out in front of Chrysler’s Truck plant in Warren Michigan, where there were still people who knew Sam or knew of him from his many years as a militant at Chrysler.
And always, always, the campaigners spread through the districts, talking to anyone who was attracted by their slogans. Many were. Because the fact is, the capitalist crisis, which is what the campaign was talking about, has battered the working class.
The five candidates denounced the fact that the capitalist class has protected itself at the expense of the working class and the rest of the ordinary population. And they expressed the outrage felt by many people listening to the claims that “we” are enjoying a recovery. No, they said, there is no recovery for the ordinary people. There is a recovery in profits – but instead of those profits being put to socially valuable use, protecting the lives and welfare of the working population, they were hoarded, distributed for the benefit of a tiny owning class, the one-tenth of one per cent of the population. Those hoarded profits were thrown into speculation, paving the way for a new more catastrophic collapse than the one we lived through in 2008-09.
No, there is no recovery today for the working class. The share of people with jobs is the smallest it’s been in decades. Conditions at work deteriorate as the companies squeeze more profit out of each worker by increasing the intensity of work. The standard of living continues to sink, pulling the ordinary people back forty years. Retirees watch as their pensions are grabbed away from them. And the cities become the new target for a voracious capitalist class intent on grabbing wealth wherever they can find it. Schools are pillaged, city services left to founder – all so more money can be taken by the banks, the so-called “developers” and the new “entrepreneurs.”
There is no answer to this situation unless the working class once again takes up the fight in order to impose its own answers to the crisis. It’s true there is no fight today – the five candidates agreed – but this greedy capitalist class will push the workers to fight, sooner or later. And when the fight begins, it’s important that workers aim their fight at taking back the accumulated wealth of this capitalist society and use it to provide a job for everyone who wants to work, and an adequate income for everyone in this society, including those who are retired or are in some way disabled. It’s important that the working class use its position in this society to discover that wealth, use its power to take that wealth, put it to use providing not only jobs and income, but also providing the schools the next generation needs, providing the services that allow the population to have a comfortable life.
These are the ideas that were discussed with working people for the last number of months in southeastern Michigan, the areas in and around Detroit. The fact that several thousands of people gave their vote to one or more of these candidates shows that there is a current in the working class that agrees, not only that workers should not pay the cost of the crisis, but also that the working class needs its own voice, its own policy.
[For more information on the campaign, we have reprinted two of the campaign’s leaflets, as well as the speeches the five candidates gave at the October 26 rally. A website, which was organized by someone who agreed with the goals of the campaign, has posted much more material, including some videos and audio recordings. That material is still available at www.workingclassfight.com.]
I want to introduce all the candidates: Sam Johnson, running for Congress, District 13; Gary Walkowicz, for Congress, District 12; D.A. Roehrig, for Wayne County Community College Trustee, District 2; Kenneth Jannot Jr. and myself, Mary Anne Hering, running for Dearborn School Board, also responsible for Henry Ford College.
The five of us ARE RUNNING TOGETHER ON A COMMON SLATE, A COMMON PROGRAM: We are using this election to say things that no one else is saying.
We are putting forth a program based on what the working class needs, to let working people have something to vote for that they can really agree with. And that is this: Working people should not pay for the bosses’ crisis. We stand For a Working Class Policy! For a Working Class Fight!
We are running three candidates for school boards to be the voice for students, parents, teachers, full and part-time, custodians, secretaries, engineers, bus drivers, food service workers. All the young people deprived of a decent education, whether at K-12 public schools or community colleges. All those who do the work to make the schools run. All those who are adversely affected by the cuts to public education that are part and parcel of the economic and political policies of this society.
From federal to state budget cuts, every city is trying to divide up the smaller amounts of money going toward public education. Take for instance, the district where Ken and I are running, Dearborn. Official figures show that Dearborn is getting 40 million dollars less than it did five years ago from the state. Less money with more students.
The losses are much greater in other working class cities – like Detroit and Inkster and Warren. But public education has taken a hit everywhere.
We could be here all night chronicling what those cuts have brought about. Schools have been closed – more in some cities, like Detroit, but schools, particularly in working class areas, have been cut. Whole districts have been shut down – like in Inkster, and Highland Park. Class sizes are too big – again, cities like Detroit are infamous for the 40 and even 50 something young people in the class room. We have heard parents concerned about 30 something number of kids in classrooms at the grade school level. Grade school, where very young children obviously need more individualized attention.
Teachers have been cut – often experienced and veteran teachers. In many places, it can be weeks into the school year before there are even teachers assigned to classrooms. Support staff has been cut, and work loads have been doubled up. Just Friday, when I was getting my hair cut, and we were all talking in the shop, one of the customers, a secretary, in a payroll department of a school system, said how there used to be four people doing the work, and now there are two of them. And she said her car is filled with work that she brings home with her.
Libraries have been closed, and for those that remain open, the hours have been drastically cut. In school systems where there had been after school programs, they have been cut, so there often is nothing for children and teenagers to do after school. Or they end up competing with each other to see which one of them gets selected for a program that hundreds have applied to attend. Classes have been cut, so, for example, high school students, who are seniors and who may want to take a physics class, find themselves having to take some subject that doesn’t apply for their graduation. There has been increased hiring of part-time teachers with no benefits at the college level. Where Ken and I work, for example, 79 percent of the teachers are part-time, with no benefits. Jobs, like custodians have been privatized. For example, in a recent school district in Ann Arbor, a more prosperous city, the janitors had to reapply for their jobs, and if they got rehired, it was at drastic cuts to wages and benefits. And many school districts, although they don’t privatize outright, gradually replace full-time employees, with part-time, temporary employees, paving the way to replace the whole workforce with cheaper labor. The hours of food service workers have been cut, and their health care costs have increased. And of course, tuition costs have increased at most community colleges, where the working class tends to gets its higher education.
We are against any cuts to public education, programs, jobs, services and benefits. We are running to denounce these cuts – to say that they are outrageous. And if we are elected, we will use our positions on the school boards to draw attention to this outrageous situation. The situation where the next generation of young people is deprived of a full, quality, affordable education – from their academic, to their athletic and their cultural experiences that they all deserve and need.
But the future of education, whether it’s Dearborn, or Inkster, or Ann Arbor, or Warren doesn’t get decided on the local school board. It gets decided by money. Federal money. State money. And local taxes. Up until now, the political and economic decisions have been made higher up and they have given away public monies to tax breaks for corporations, bailouts for banks.
We will use our positions on the school boards to try to organize students, parents, teachers, bus drivers – all those groups of people affected by these cuts. Ken and I are in Dearborn, David is in Wayne County. We will try to link people in these communities with other people in other communities who are ready to make a fight – to keep their jobs, to make sure their children and grandchildren have a quality education, to demand that the money we pay in taxes should go for what it is we need in our schools and our communities.
We stand confident that the future can be decided by ordinary people. We are confident that the working class can use its power to impose what it wants, and that can ensure a better future for future generations.
Every year there is winter, right? So why is it every winter there aren’t enough plow drivers, not enough salt, and every spring the winter damage to our streets isn’t calculated and a plan made?
April showers bring May flowers, the old farmers’ saying, right? Rain is a normal thing, right? So normal it is natural, right? So why do our basements flood, why are our streets washed out? Why do we have old crumbling infrastructure? The politicians who run the cities know it, but won’t handle it. Why, for every rain storm, do they act like it’s a surprise?
Every storm we have downed power lines, and homes cut off from service. Can’t DTE plan? Do they not understand, if you don’t bury power lines, and leave them swaying in the wind, they can snap in the wind?
Roads are a mess; lots are left unmowed during most of the year while Duggan goes around fining homeowners.... The school system is turned into a human catastrophe because it’s being turned over to bankers and businesses. They all cry “broke,” they all cry “surprise” as everything collapses. I live here. I wasn’t surprised when the bridge over Davison Freeway near Conant had to have emergency work done on it because it was deemed an imminent danger. Most of you have seen that bridge, that dilapidated piece of concrete looking like it was hanging by a shoe string. We know it – so why was it a surprise to them?
It’s because these bankers, bosses and big business owners live in a different world. There is money to educate THEIR kids, to pave THEIR roads. They don’t need to wonder if it’s safe to drive over the roads. They don’t have to wonder if the school they send their kids to is filled with asbestos.
Now there is all this fuss about Ebola. The rightwing is certainly trying to whip up fear and panic. The science is clear: it is pretty hard to transmit Ebola. However, in the back of our minds we know what a rickety infrastructure we have and how bad the hospitals already are, transmitting diseases.
I worked at a hospital and I could tell you horror stories about the way they operated. I’ll leave you with two stories that bring me to my conclusion.
First, there was a housekeeper who was the only person in a Warren hospital who knew how to handle mercury contamination.
A housekeeper told me the story when I worked there. The staff brought in a patient who was contaminated with mercury. Everyone, including the bosses, had no idea what to do. They brought him right into the ER, so the whole ER had to be de-contaminated and later closed because of it. It was the night shift housekeeper, a veteran there, who let them know the proper procedure. She informed the bosses that they had an isolation room where the patient could be sprayed off.
A worker knows how things should be done – this is my first point. It was the housekeeper, not the boss, who knew what to do.
We workers know the problems and we can fix them. It is time we put our needs on the table, put our hands on the money taken from our hard work and fight for a better life.
Second story, the hospital boss praises the seven-minute clean-up of a hospital room.
Me and a nurse were in a meeting with housekeeping management. They were telling us we needed to cut the time down that it takes to clean two beds and a hospital room to ten minutes. Ten minutes! The bosses bragged about one housekeeper who cut it down to seven minutes. How could you possibly clean well, two beds, a bathroom in seven minutes, was what I thought. The other housekeeper told him, “But every time I go into a room she has cleaned the bathroom is dirty.” The boss stared at her blankly and said, “But she can clean a room in seven minutes.”
The bosses don’t care about us. Their drive for profit is more important than our lives. This is my second point and brings me to my conclusion.
Everyone has cut staff – DTE, the cities, the companies. There are not enough repair men, nurses, cleaners, not enough teachers, not enough road repair crews or maintenance people. All the layoffs have crippled our infrastructure and we are made to pay for the bosses’ cost cuttings, cuts which can be measured in lives.
Put those people back to work. It would reduce unemployment and make the cities a place we want to live.
The thing about those attacks, on schools and on public services, is that there IS plenty of money for all schools, and all public services to be fully funded. The money is there. But it’s been stolen from us, by the Democrats and Republicans, working to protect the interests of the rich. At our expense.
The public schools are SUPPOSED to be funded by the state, and by local property taxes. But at all levels, the bosses’ politicians have been draining those funds – to hand the money to the wealthy, to corporations.
Every time Dan Gilbert buys a building in Detroit, the city gives him a development grant – AND property tax abatements, for up to 15 years.
Ilitch’s big hockey arena complex is largely being paid for by Tax Increment Funds – coming directly out of the school funds. The children of Detroit are paying the price every time one of these developers gets a gift from the city of Detroit!
It’s most obvious in Detroit, but the same thing happens all over. In every city, any time something new is built, the developer, the corporation, gets tax breaks that help to drain funds from city services and schools. And it’s not just people like Ilitch and Gilbert: General Motors played this game of moving its headquarters between Warren and Detroit, and they ended up getting tax breaks from both cities! Ford got grants and tax breaks for its fancy “green” roof at the Rouge (a roof that leaks whenever it rains, from what I hear). Ilitch and Gilbert are small potatoes compared to the Ford family and all the major stockholders of all these major corporations. They’re the one percent of the one percent, and they’re lining their pockets by destroying our cities and our education system.
When funding for public services gets drained, infrastructure crumbles. There’s a direct connection between the grants and tax breaks given to GM, Ilitch, Gilbert, Ford, and others – and the flooded streets and basements in Warren, Dearborn, and Detroit, the streets darkened by non-working streetlights, the moonscape streets we all drove on last winter.
The state also steals money from schools and public services. They’ve done it for a long time. When they started the lottery, they told us the money collected would go to the schools. What they didn’t tell us was that the total money going to schools wouldn’t go up – they’d just divert other money from the General Fund – and turn it over as corporate tax breaks and grants! The lottery is a tax on the working class (who play it in greatest numbers) NOT to benefit the schools, but to benefit the corporations. Out of our pockets and into theirs.
For the past decade at least, federal funds to states and cities – block grants and revenue sharing – have been steadily cut more and more. Then, state money to cities has been cut more and more. State funds for education have been cut in recent years, even though they were supposed to REPLACE local school funding twenty years ago! But of course, it never got to that point – it falls WAY short of anything approaching truly full funding for the schools. So what do people in those communities do? They often agree to tax themselves to try to fund those schools – and working class communities tax themselves at HIGHER rates than wealthy communities do.
We shouldn’t do that.
The money is there. But it’s stolen from us, from our schools and city services, to line the pockets of the rich. We have to take it back.
Think of what would happen if just that money that is SUPPOSED to be collected from corporations actually DID get collected, and go to fund our schools and our public services. Think of how much that would benefit our local economies, with so many people being hired to do the work of repairing our water systems, our roads, our lighting systems; to staff our schools fully, and to build more. Think of how much better our lives would be!
Common sense solutions. But solutions THESE politicians will never act on – because they are there to protect the interest of that wealthy class. And every vote for one of those politicians, Democrat OR Republican, is a vote of support for those attacks.
That’s why it’s so important to get out the vote for something different, for the candidates who truly DO speak in the interest of the working class. It’s a way to send the message to other parts of the working class: SOME of us out here understand our interests. Some of us see what they’re doing to us. Some of us see a better way.
I tell people: This election is a way to count our forces. It’s a way to rally our troops. It’s a way to pave the way for the fight that needs to come!
Some might say about our campaign that we can’t win; they would say that people who vote for us are throwing their vote away.
Certainly it’s true that our campaign doesn’t have millions of dollars; we don’t have TV ads; we don’t have billboards; we don’t have the media talking about us and promoting us.
All we have are the volunteers, like the people who are here today, volunteers who will go out and hand out flyers; and talk to their neighbors and family and co-workers; and contribute a few dollars. So yes, we don’t have the same chance to win the election and the people who vote for us realize that.
But you know what, if you vote for the candidates who have the millions of dollars to buy TV ads, and who have the media behind them, then you are truly throwing your vote away – because you are voting for the very people who have attacked the working class and are responsible for the crisis that we face. By voting for them, we are telling them it’s OK to continue attacking us.
Whatever the outcome of the election, we will continue to say what we say here today – THE WORKING CLASS MUST NOT CONTINUE TO PAY THE COST OF THE CRISIS.
The banks and the corporations and the wealthy created this crisis. The banks caused the real estate crisis, charging outrageous interest rates, then throwing people out of their homes when they couldn’t keep up their mortgages. The banks are responsible for the abandoned houses devastating our neighborhoods, and these same banks took trillions of OUR dollars to bail themselves out.
The big corporations are responsible for throwing people out of work and forcing down wages, further deepening the economic crisis for the working class.
The wealthy few created this crisis. The only people able to do something about the crisis is the working class.
This campaign is about giving working people answers to the crisis we face; it is about giving straightforward solutions for the working class to fight for.
This campaign is about helping the working class prepare for the time when it is ready to fight.
The working class has an answer to the unemployment crisis. When you have one person doing the work that three people used to do, then the answer is to bring back to work those other two people, so they have a job, too.
Every year workers’ productivity increases, each worker producing more. But instead of workers benefitting from this increased productivity, the bosses turn it AGAINST us. They have fewer workers working harder and harder. The working class answer is that this increased productivity should be used for OUR benefit. Workers could all work fewer hours for the same weekly wage or more, enough to live decently
The rich get increasingly richer every year, but they get richer by taking from the rest of us. While they get richer, everyone else’s standard of living is going down. The money is there to bring up everybody’s standard of living. We have to take it back from the wealthy few.
People working at McDonalds or working at minimum wage – they work just as hard as everyone else. The money is there to pay them a decent wage.
People on pensions or disability worked hard, why should they live in poverty? The money is there for everyone to live decently when they can’t work anymore.
The working class has answers to the problem of the deteriorating schools in our neighborhoods. Our children should have just as much possibility for a good education as the children of the wealthy. The money is there to hire enough teachers and to fix up the schools. But today this money is being used for corporate tax breaks and corporate subsidies. We have to take back that money and use it for our children.
The working class has answers for public services and facilities that are falling apart. The money would be there to fix the roads and bridges and sewers and water systems, if this money weren’t being stolen by the Gilberts and the Ilitchs. The working class can take that money back and use it for the benefit of all.
That is our program. That is our program today. And it will be our program after the election.
We know that this election won’t change things. We say that, regardless of the outcome of the election, that it is going to take a fight of the working class to change what needs to be changed.
Whatever happens on November 4, on November 5 you will see us out there again, well maybe it will be November 6 or 7, but you will see us out there again saying that the working class needs to fight for its needs, with its own policy.
Most of the things I have to say, people said, but I have a few things to add.
A fight, that’s what it’s going to take.
For the schools, to make them better for the kids, and the next generation, we’re gonna have to make those fights. We’re gonna have to come together and not accept it.
Who’s carrying out these attacks? It’s the upper class, their policies, carrying out those attacks against working peoples. When we understand that we’re the ones that create all the wealth, we’ll know we shouldn’t be catching hell.
Well, when we get that bigger picture of where we fit in at, and what they are, and where these attacks are coming from... then we’ll know that we got the forces to stop it. We have the forces to stop it. But that’s what we got to get, that picture. We have to get more workers to see that.
That’s why I’m running for Congress now. Just to be able to speak out to more working people, about that.
Like the other brother said, we’re not just about getting into office. We won’t be able to fix things just by getting into office. Unless we’ve got a large number of the working peoples to see that, and stand there with us, if we’re in office, carrying out something for the working people, they’d just vote it down. But when we’ve got a large number of the workers to see that, we can send that message, you know, if we gonna have a problem, y’all gonna have a problem.
(Applause and cheering. Paulette: “Let’s make some problems!”)
Because, if the one percent of the population control us, it’s that we accept their policy. One percent gonna control us? How? And once we understand that, when we get a certain number of workers to understand that, we’ll really be able to spread it in a short period of time. Spread it. Like I said, that goes back to the sixties – I was there. And just the rebellion that you make, if there’s enough of you, it backs them up. And they don’t want that – they don’t want that to happen.
That’s why if we, all of us, we understand that, and peoples around us understand that, and we spread it, we’ll get that number again. That’s why we are running.
After the election, we can read how many people didn’t vote Democratic or Republican and voted for us, Working Class Fight. The working class.
That number can add up, because if all those people spread it too why they voted that way. And so, what we’re doing now, it IS a start. To slow it down, to slow what they’re doing, the attacks. Slow the attacks down. Because really, we gotta stop sitting around waiting on the politicians to get it done. (Applause.)
Once you get that bigger picture, of where they’re coming from, you already know what they’re gonna do before they get in office. We are dealing with professional liars who come to us and say they’re gonna do this and they’re gonna do that (applause) ... You already know that. You already know where they’re coming from, by understanding the policy they’re carrying out. And they’re carrying out the same old policy – then you know, if you put them into office, they’re not gonna fix it. Because they’re all about making THEIR change, and doing what THEY want up there. The upper class. They put profit before our lives.
Like I said, I’ve been this way, ever since I was growing up, especially when I got to be a teenager. I ain’t going for it. If it ain’t right, I wasn’t going for it. (Applause and cheering.) And that really went back to the time period, you know, like in segregation against blacks in the South. I wasn’t going for it.... I just figured that I was right – why’s that cop gonna mess with me? Because they’re wrong, and they want to keep that wrongness. That’s what they did.
That’s a division that was created, between the working class, you know...and so, that’s still around some today, but it’s changed some, but it’s still there, that division. I understood the division other ethnic groups that came to this country – I saw that in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. And that’s when I got a bigger picture, in the early ‘70s – that you fight among each other, working class fighting among each other. We can’t do that. We have to fight the ones who set us at each other.
And so, that’s what it’s gonna take, to make the fight that we need, to stop the problems with the schools, and to stop the problems of the city, the services and all that. We’re gonna need to make a fight to stop that. And the more the numbers spread. We’ve got to get that together. Stop waiting on them Republicans up there. Or the Democrats. Because you already know what they’re gonna do, before they get into office.
IF they were here to help the working people. If they were in office to help the working people, they would have done it. That tells you right there – they’re definitely not there to help the working people! They’re the ones that’s carrying out the policy, they’re the ones that’s carrying out the attack, creating the problem that we face today. And it’s getting worse, and it’s gonna get worse, if we don’t get a certain number to stand up and say that we ain’t going for it. (Applause)
I don’t have too much more to say. Once we understand that that’s what it’s going to take, a working class fight, once we get that understanding, every problem that we face, that comes at us, once we bring those numbers together, we can challenge the attack. We need that working class fight. (Applause and cheering, whooping and hollering)