Baltimore 2020 Conference for Independent Politics

Website: www.lcipcampaign.org — email: baltimorefightback@gmail.com
c/o LFN: PO Box 3101, Oakland, CA 94609
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UPDATED CONFERENCE APPEAL

“Breaking the Grip of the Two-Party System”

July 31 to Aug. 2, 2020Baltimore, Maryland

Sponsored by the Labor Fightback Network (LFN), the Ujima People’s Progress Party (UPP), and Labor and Community for an Independent Party (LCIP)

Today, as the COVID-19 pandemic rages across the United States, a resurgent, fighting spirit has flared up among frontline workers deprived of protective gear and measures essential to ensure their safety and that of their families and broader communities. Their daily struggle has amplified the resistance of other workers — teachers, autoworkers, and others — who over the past few years have been fighting to take back their unions and fend off the bosses’ assault on their rights, wages, benefits, and working conditions. In oppressed communities across the United States, the same fighting spirit continues to take on police brutality, mass incarceration (targeting Black and Brown people disproportionately), gentrification and evictions, environmental injustice, and attacks on immigrants. In many cases, these movements overlap and support each other.

As an expression of this urge to fight back, the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” gained widespread support. We recognize that this support for Sanders represented a massive and positive desire for fundamental change. Having said that we also recognize that Sanders has been running as a candidate in the Democratic Party, which is rightfully called the “graveyard of social movements.” He also has affirmed to this day that he will campaign for a Democratic Party victory — even with Joseph Biden, the corporate-sponsored frontrunner opposed to Sanders’ platform, anointed by the party leadership.

With inequality skyrocketing, healthcare costs and student debt mounting, climate change roiling the planet, democratic and civil rights (especially voting rights) under increased assault, wages and benefits evaporating, as well as gentrification and the lack of affordable housing on the rise, a majority in the United States (57%) called for a new independent political party. (Gallup Headlines, July 19, 2019)

Now the crisis confronting the working class and communities of the oppressed will deepen under the impact of the economic and social shutdown that has been imposed to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. How will working people pay the accumulated debts from unpaid rent, mortgages and other loans, as well as costly utilities? Will we be confronted with the unacceptable choice of paying astronomical increases in healthcare insurance or losing coverage? We know full well that it is the working class and communities of the oppressed who will bear the brunt of the corporate bailout – disguised as a stimulus package – as Democratic and Republican politicians will declare that there are no more public funds available and as bosses maneuver to break union contracts and coerce the rollback of wages and benefits.

Unfortunately, the leadership of unions and of many organizations representing oppressed nationalities remain to this day tied at the hip to the Democratic Party — a party that implements the permanent war agenda of global capitalism. This relationship is the number one obstacle to building working-class power and advancing the interests of the working class and all oppressed people.

A bolder worker fightback is essential.

New Openings for Independent Working Class Politics

More than 700 leading labor and community activists have endorsed a Statement of Purpose — at the initiative of Labor and Community for an Independent Party (LCIP) — that calls for running independent labor-community candidates at the local and state level, as a step in the effort to build a new independent mass labor-based political party.

These candidates — mandated by local labor-community coalitions — are not limited to electoral politics; they must be fighting for the issues contained in their fightback platforms. This will help to cement the alliance between labor and the oppressed communities.

An important step has been taken to promote this orientation, with the convening of the “Break the Grip of the Two-Party System” regional conference on December 7, 2019, in Cleveland, OH, sponsored by the Labor Education and Arts Project (LEAP), in cooperation with the LFN and LCIP.

In keeping with these developments, the LFN, the Ujima People’s Progress Party (a Black workers-led party based in Baltimore), and LCIP are convening a national conference for independent working class politics.

Such a national conference, of course, needs to incorporate the fight for independent Black working-class political action. Nnamdi Lumumba, convener of the Ujima People’s Progress Party, expressed well the articulation of the struggle for independent Black working-class politics and for a Labor-based party at the December “Break the Grip” conference in Cleveland, stating:

“We need to organize people around their own class interests and their own interests as nationally oppressed people. Helping to break the active or even passive support to the two capitalist, imperialist and white supremacist parties has been a fundamental goal of our efforts as the Ujima People’s Progress Party, as we seek to build a Black workers-led electoral party.

“While we support a national labor party that recognizes both the shared and independent struggles of oppressed and exploited workers on the job and in their communities, we affirm that nationally oppressed people have to center the discussion and self-organization around their own specific oppression. … Having said that, we need to create a mass-based working-class party that says capitalism does not serve you, imperialism does not serve you, and racism does not serve you.”

If you agree, please endorse this call by filling out the coupon below. Let us know if you would like to build a coalition in your city with the aim of running independent labor-community candidates at the local level and advancing the struggle to build a new mass working-class party rooted in the unions and communities of the oppressed..

[See endorsement / support coupon below.]

CONFERENCE ENDORSEMENT / SUPPORT COUPON

[   ]  I endorse this conference.  [   ]  Our organization endorses this conference.  
[   ] Enclosed is a contribution of $ ____ to defray costs (check payable to LFN).

[   ]  I/We would like to build a coalition in our city with the aim of running independent labor- community candidates and advancing the effort to build a new mass working-class party.

NAME

UNION / ORG & Title (for id. only)

CITY       
STATE                  
TEL                  

EMAIL

 Return to LFN, PO Box 3101, Oakland, CA 94609 — or to above email address and/or baltimorefightback@gmail.com.

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