The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Firebombing of SWP campaign office:
An attack on all working people

Sep 27, 2004

A bookstore and campaign office of the SWP (Socialist Workers Party) was firebombed in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, in the early morning hours of September 11th.

The office was severely damaged in the fire. Any books that were not burned were made unusable by the smoke.

No one has yet been caught and no one has taken credit for the act, so it's not completely certain what the motivation was.

But given the history of such acts in this country, it's likely that the SWP was targeted for their militant activities.

The SWP is one of the few parties running candidates in opposition to both Bush and Kerry in the November election. They and their candidates have stood clearly against the war in Iraq, and for the rights of workers, black people and women.

"This is an attack on the rights of working people to think and act," said Brian Taylor, SWP Senate candidate in Pennsylvania. "It is aimed at intimidating anyone who wishes to speak out in defense of the working class."

It's not surprising that the police have not yet arrested anyone for the crime. Solving cases of attacks against activists has never been high on their list of priorities.

But it's in the interest of all workers, and anyone committed to social justice and to putting an end to the war in Iraq, to speak out in protest against this act of intimidation.

The Socialist Workers Party is asking that people send a message to Hazelton Mayor Louis Barletta, 40 N. Church Street, Hazelton, PA 18201, asking that all possible steps be taken to apprehend those responsible.

The SWP also asks for money contributions to the 2004 Socialist Workers Campaign, to help rebuild the office.