Gary Walkowicz, Working Class Party congressional candidate for 2018, gave the following speech at the party convention of September 8, 2019.
We organized a campaign to get the Working Class Party on the ballot in 2016 on the basis of the idea that the working class needed its own party. The WCP ran candidates in 2016 and 2018 and I think we should do so again in 2020.
Look at the situation facing the working class today.
Today different parts of the working class are under attack, which means the whole working class, all of us, are under attack.
There is a rise in violent attacks by the right wing. We saw that in El Paso, Texas where 22 people were killed and many wounded, a massacre aimed at Hispanic people, but one that killed other people as well.
The Trump White House leads the demonization of immigrants, mostly, but not only, from Mexico and Central America, blaming them for this country’s economic problems.
Black people continue to be a victim of police violence, shot down in the streets, with the cops rarely facing any consequences for their actions. And the black population also faces the increasingly violent threats from the right wing, as we have seen in Charleston, South Carolina and elsewhere.
The government, working for their corporate and banker bosses, is continuing its attack on working class organizations. Last week, the feds staged a made-for-the-media raid on the home of the UAW President. And it just "happened" to take place right before the contract deadline for UAW workers at Ford, GM and FCA Chrysler. Certainly, there seems to be some corruption among individuals in the UAW leadership, but this corruption pales in size compared to the corruption that happens every day in every business and every government body in the country, all the way up to the White House. And whatever corruption is there, the workers can decide to root it out.
Why are the feds attacking the UAW? By publicizing corruption in the UAW, the federal government seems to be preparing a plan to take over and weaken the UAW, maybe the most important union in the country. And that means it’s an attack on all the organizations of the working class.
The rise of the right wing, the attacks on working class organizations, all of this happening at the same time; this is not an accident. The capitalist class, along with their allies in the government, has been lowering the standard of living of the working class, and it is preparing for a much bigger attack.
We live in an economy where, for the last 40 years, the standard of living of the working class has been declining. The capitalists have been enriching themselves by taking more and more of the wealth that the workers produce.
We have lived through nearly a whole decade of so-called economic “recovery” in which corporate and bank profits have soared, but working people struggle to make ends meet.
Today, this economy stands on the edge of a cliff. Because the capitalists never pay the workers enough to buy the products that we make, sooner or later, the economy is going to enter another recession. Or much worse, we could be headed for an economic collapse, like the Great Depression, or worse.
Sooner or later, the working class is going to respond, the working class is going to fight. And the capitalists are preparing for that day. They are doing everything they can to weaken us before that fight starts.
So they try to pit white workers against black workers. The capitalist bosses encourage the growth of the right wing and today have put an open racist in the White House—because he works to divide the working class.
The capitalist bosses try to pit native-born against immigrant workers, even try to pit one group of immigrant workers against another group of immigrants. The bosses who steal jobs every day through speed-up, use propaganda to tell us that immigrants are the ones stealing jobs.
The capitalist bosses are trying to weaken the working class by destroying the unions. They pass right-to-work laws, attack union organizing campaigns, and, take control over the unions, as they may be preparing to do today with the UAW.
Yes, the unions in this country today are weak. They are led by people who promote policies of partnership and are unwilling to organize a fight. But today, unions are the only organization that the working class has. If the capitalist bosses rip apart the unions, it would put us in an even worse position and the bosses would attack us even harder. We would be less able to defend ourselves.
The capitalist bosses are trying to divide us and to handcuff us. This is what the working class is facing today. We would stab ourselves in the back if we fall for any of it.
The only way forward for the working class; the only way for the working class to defend itself, is to make a fight. That is the truth and that is what needs to be said today.
THIS is what the WCP should say today. And this is what the WCP should say in 2020. The best way we can put these ideas out there is to use the elections and run candidates to say this.
If we don’t do this and say this, no one else will. And if no one speaks the truth, the working class will be pushed that much further backwards.
We know that many people are angry with Trump. People are rightfully disgusted by this piece of s-h-i-t who occupies the White House. Many people want to see him gone and are hoping that the next election can get rid of him. But what does getting rid of one politician do about the problems that the working class faces? The capitalist class has many more politicians, and the one who comes after may well be worse than Trump. Even if they find one who is less obnoxious and even pretends to on our side, he or she will carry out the policies the capitalist bosses need. The working class will still be under attack.
And we have no way to defend ourselves if the working class doesn’t make a fight. If we don’t run in the election and if we say don’t this, no one else will.
There are also people in some parts of the working class who support Trump. Trump himself pretends to speak for workers, or at least a part of the working class, even while he is trying to divide us, and even while he is cutting our throats.
We have something to say to those workers, too. If we don’t run in the elections and if we don’t say this, no one else will.
We have a lot to say and we have a lot of work to do. We should run candidates in 2020. If would be good to have even more candidates than we had in 2018, maybe some people sitting here.
So again, let me repeat this: The working class needs it own party. If we don’t say this and do this, no one else will.