I very much agree with Sam's report. It is a real contribution and will help to bring clarity and greater unity as this phase of the post election struggle proceeds.
The extreme right Republicans have been the main obstacle to progressive change over the past 40 years. In alliance with the unreconstructed labor-hating Dixiecrats they have pushed war, racism, and austerity for working people while supporting the creation and cultivation of a whole new class of the super Billionaires who are at war with democracy. As I see it, the Koch Bros are today's expression of German Industrialist like Alfred Krupp who was the big sponsor of Hitler and the Nazi Party.
In this epic battle, the role of the party in helping to build unity and struggle is indispensible in helping to defeat this threat to humanity. That is why we must continue to keep on pushing, keep on building ties between movements and our party and building mass confidence that the people can win in this complicated post election period.
Sam's report will help our party continue to play that role while it builds its size and influence to new heights.
From the attendance at this conference I have to say, that our party is growing and we have always been working class party but we are becoming more of a grass roots working class party.
I see a lot of new comrades in this room. I say Welcome! and I hope you will share with us made you decide to join the Party.
Here in New York we had a very successful Black history event in February Thanks to the enthusiastic hard work of our collective especially Esteban Nembhard and his contacts, this hall was full...
Last night I had a great experience. I attended the first meeting to reorganize the Ben Davis Club...based in Harlem and Wash. Height. We had 4 nonparty comrades at the meeting two Latinas joined on the spot. And two others agreed to keep attending the meetings.
It makes me so happy to be able to say, The Ben Davis Club of the Communist Party is back!
And it has deeper ties with labor and people's movements uptown then we have dad since the "Free Angela" period.
You know comrades, I am disappointed that this administration saw fit to make new concessions to the right that run counter to the spirit and the letter of the issues that won in the last elections.
I am disappointed but not dismayed or discouraged. This battle against austerity is a battle for the working class and against racism. It is gaining momentum. It is a battle for union rights and against poverty. It is to stop the criminalization of the poor, racially oppressed and immigrants. It is to stop the theft of the people's publicly owned social services.
I believe in that Sam Cook song we heard from that wonderful young man this morning. "Change is Gonna Come".
The Republicans are committed to their belief that the only way out of the economic crisis is austerity for the people. This policy is being rejected in Europe and everywhere working people have the means and will to fight back. The majority of the voters here rejected it in 2008 and 2012 but it has not gone away.
Let's be clear, it was not the unions, not the seniors, not immigrants, not the children, not black, brown and white workers, not the disabled who brought this country to its knees, it was finance capital, and that's who has the means and should pay for the crisis.
There is currently a new scandal on the extreme right on this question.
In 2010 Harvard economists Rienhart and Rogoff coauthored a paper entitled, "Growth in a Time of Debt". Right wing politicians all over the world have used their theories as "proof" that slashing government spending and other austerity measures is the path to prosperity. Paul Ryan and Tim Geithner have both sited the 2010 paper to justify the most vicious attacks on public workers and government social spending. The Rienhart and Rogoff paper is considered, "the most politically influential economics paper of the last decade".
Well recently, a young graduate student at U Mass, Amherst, Thomas Herndon got hold of a copy of the data used in that 2010 paper and found that some basic figures were left out that would disprove their theory that high debt prevents economic growth. Paul Krugman and other top economist have said that Herndon's findings are proof that the pro austerity movement is based, at least in part, on "bogus math".
My instincts are that Rienhart and Rogoff where consciously cooking the data. We've seen a lot of that coming mainly from the extreme right.
But this shows that, the basic arguments used by the Republicans to fire massive numbers of unionized public workers, used to deny needed government created jobs; the basic argument used to push for privatization and destroy Social Security, ---to deny decent education to children, food for the hungry and housing for the ill housed and homeless (those arguments) were based on what has been shown to be "bogus math".
We believe of course that the way out the crisis is to stimulate the economy from the bottom up; put people back to work, rebuild our infrastructure, schools, affordable housing, health facilities. Stimulating the economy by increasing the buying power of the working class is the way to go. After all, workers are the largest number of consumers. Making the rich richer at the expenses of working class especially the poorest sections of the working class will deepen the crisis.
Austerity has a sharp racist edge. Who has the highest unemployment and poverty rates? Who is being victimized by Stop and Frisk, racial profiling and are the majority of the 2.2million people in prison? Who? Black and brown, people. This is structural racism. This mass suffering and deprivation will eliminated with austerity.
Fighting austerity means fighting racism. It means fighting for women's equality. Single moms are special victims of austerity.
46 million in poverty means that its not only people of color are hurting. The fight again austerity is a fight against poverty and the right to organize. I could go on. But it is urgent that we build our party because we are needed to help forge the movements needed to fight this epic battle against austerity.
2014 is approaching. Most of the 60 million SS recipients are barely making it and should get a subsidy or some kind of raise. Not cuts. And they vote...
And while the troops are coming home it's time to transfer that money to job creation meeting critical needs of working families otherwise the crisis will deepen.
Comrades, we must be among those organizers that are helping the millions to find there way to struggle.
The struggle continues. The battle ahead is clear. To move things forward, the labor and people's multi-racial coalition that won the day last November needs to be in the streets in large numbers.
Politicians who align themselves with that coalition have to present a legislative and political program that is worth fighting for. In the style of the New Deal: We still have to make them do the right thing.
I agree with Sam Webb, we have to up the ante on mass struggle.
It's already happening but it needs to be taken to a higher level.
People are ready to do big things to fight for their survival.
They seem to understand that united struggle, building movements is the answer. Struggle can win...
That Chicago school boycott by students against arrogance of Mayor Manuel. That's upping the ante
Those postal workers who stopped the elimination of Saturday delivery were amazing.
Those undocumented youth who step out of the shadows, and put the Dream Act on the national agenda - courageous!
That strike of Walmart workers. Historic.
The organization and strikes of fast food and car wash workers- unprecedented. Struggle can win.
The major black and brown civil rights groups with labor that blocked voter suppression in a number of states and then came to the pols in record numbers (93% African American voters) they put Jim crow back in the ash can of history for now... Magnificent.
Those predominantly black Mississippi students that built solidarity with Toyota workers. Incredible!
2,000-strong labor-organized demo in Harlem against gun violence. Outstanding!
The big immigrant march in DC was right on!
All of these developments show that masses understand the essence of Fredrick Douglass' adage: Struggle can win...
Tonight, black and white high schoolers in rural Wilcox Co. Georgia are defying State authorities and their parents and holding their own integrated Prom. Shades of Greensboro - wonderful!
This is an another example of where today's younger generation is at and another reason why we must build the YCL.
People are upping the ante. I think when Obama said he wants to change things from the bottom up he may not have expected this reaction, but a lot of folks are responding with struggle. They are saying, "We need to do something,""We need to get politically active."
It is clear to me that we can build our party in this atmosphere.
And speaking of that, how many here have seen the documentary "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners?"It is a real contribution. It is an honest portrayal of what happened in that historic struggle; including the role of the Communist Party. It will be very helpful in the fight against anti-communism as we build.
It's not being pushed by the big theaters owners but I was told that the producers are making it available to any group that can bring together a minimum of 80 people at $10 a person. Since a lot of people have not seen the movie, we can use it as a money raiser.
Since Obama was reelected despite all the red baiting and racism directed at him. Some are saying that the growing interest in Socialism is in part a mass reaction to the McCarthyism of the Republicans.
All of this shows change among basic masses and opens the door to build a bigger and bolder movement and party ....
My point is that the new unity coming out of the last election is not lost and is still key to breaking the Republican gridlock and push the democrats of the vacillating center/right. The political left/right balance of forces is far better in the country as a whole then inside the Beltway.
The election has created new divisions in Republicans ranks. Barbara Bush has publicly called on Jeb Bush not to run. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin the darlings of the Tea Party are being pushed to run. My question is, "Is that all you got"?
The Republicans "don't relate to the average Americans". You know who said that? Not somebody on the political left. That quote is from Reince Pricbus the Chair of the Republican Party.
They are going through a so-called post election self examination. They talking about a change in style but not in political substance.
They are working hard to split the Obama electoral coalition and win in 2014 and 2016.
Just last Sunday on the McLaughlin Report Pat Buchanan described their problem. He said, "non white voters are now 40% of the population and 30% of the electorate, but they vote 80% Democratic.""This country is becoming more like California," he added, in California, "only 30% of the electorate votes Republican and there are No Republicans elected statewide."
All I can say is California here we come. To reduce the most vociferous and well financed force on the right to only 30% of the vote nationally is something to work for. The democratic and independent progressive forces would have more space to put up more quality candidates that would fight harder for the people. We could win the fight to democratize the electoral system that would open the door to real electoral independence. A congressional majority that would fight for labor rights, peace, economic and social justice.
And if we build our party as part of this, comrades,
Big change is gonna come.
As the Sam Cooke song goes, Oh, yes it will!