From the Communist Party USA’s latest Peoples Weekly World
NEW YORK — The mood was upbeat as leaders of the Communist Party and invited guests met here July 7-8. Buoyed by the sea change in the country’s atmosphere since last fall’s congressional elections, meeting participants from Oakland, Baltimore, Hartford and points between, analyzed the impact of that change on the labor and people’s movements. The meeting also projected a course of struggle in the new political landscape.
The Iraq war, health care, the Big Three auto negotiations, immigrant rights, racism, equality and the 2008 elections were the main topics considered in the meeting. Reports and comments interwove examples of the Communist contribution to the movements, and why a larger party is necessary. Many spoke with appreciation about this newspaper — the People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo — and the Young Communist League. Twelve YCL leaders attended the meeting.
Labor Commission Chair Scott Marshall delivered the opening report. He focused on the labor movement today and new responses to capitalist globalization. Marshall projected how Communists can help build and deepen these developments, including building the party among workers.
Marshall highlighted the union movement’s role in pressing to end the war in Iraq and for equality, including for immigrant workers. Plus, he said, labor is putting together a sophisticated political strategy and apparatus for national, state and local elections and for pro-working-families legislation like the Employee Free Choice Act.
Sam Webb, Communist Party national chair, highlighted sections of a comprehensive report he sent out prior to the meeting. Webb placed considerable weight on the need for the left to develop broad and unifying tactics in the struggle to end the Iraq war and in the 2008 elections.
“Narrow and divisive tactics aren’t so much a problem among the core class and social forces in our country, like labor, the African American people and women. But it can be a challenge among the left and peace movement,” he said.
Webb said the 2008 elections could be a “turning point” for the direction of the country. Increasing the Democratic majorities in Congress and defeating the Republicans in the White House “has to be the main focus,” he emphasized. “Our goal cannot just be increasing the progressive voice in Congress, as important as that is; it has to include center forces as well,” he said.
“The Bush administration can still inflict a lot of damage in its last 18 months, so we have to still maintain that focus,” he cautioned.