passed by the National Action Committee 7/19/2016

On the night of July 15, Turkey was attacked yet again, not by the inveterate bogeymen of Daesh, but by the oldest scourge of Turkish democracy: the military. For the fifth time in the past 56 years, factions within the armed forces attempted to seize control of the country, commandeering the airwaves and deploying tanks and aircraft throughout Istanbul and Ankara.

Unlike the previous coups, however, this one failed within hours, thanks to the incompetence of the plotters, a lack of support from within the rest of the Turkish state, and most critically, steadfast opposition from the Turkish masses. We salute the people of Turkey who recognized this putsch for what it was, roundly rejected it, and put their bodies on the line to defeat it. We recognize that their victory was a victory for democracy and popular power, and a bold example of what mass action
against reaction can achieve. Their bravery will not be forgotten.

It was also a victory for Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP government. Always right-wing and neoliberal, Erdogan has become increasingly authoritarian in recent years, cracking down on the press, civil society, and particularly progressive and revolutionary forces and consolidating further power. They have also reignited the savage, chauvinist war against the Kurds, which has taken the lives of hundreds of civilians in its latest incarnation. These dangerous and criminal practices must be loudly condemned. That said, if the history of modern Turkey has taught us anything, it’s that there is a deep and abiding tendency towards fascism in the Turkish deep state, and particularly within the military. A successful coup would have certainly meant the bloody acceleration and escalation of the AKP government’s most reactionary policies, and given the mass base the AKP still commands, a probable civil war. As in Egypt, the military would not have saved Turkey from the imperfections of bourgeois democracy, but ushered it back into the death-grip of dictatorship, at an immense cost to the working class and minorities of all stripes. The fact that this possibility was quashed in its infancy is worth celebrating, but what follows will not be. Emboldened by the backing of most of the state forces, the public, and even the political opposition, a resurgent Erdogan will take advantage of this golden opportunity to clean house. The government will almost certainly widen the circle of repression beyond the plotters and their accomplices, using the coup as an excuse to accumulate more power and further erode Turkey’s well-earned democratic gains. Furthermore, there are reports that some of the government supporters are carrying out acts of opportunistic violence and abuse against Syrian refugees, women, and others. We support all of our comrades in Turkey who will fight the inevitable backlash and such unacceptable vigilantism, and continue the struggle for a truly free and just society.

Down with oppression, whether in uniform or suits, and up with the Turkish and Kurdish people! The only army worth a damn is the people’s army!

Written by the Labor & Living Wage Commission and passed by the National Action Committee 

The Socialist Party stands in solidarity with the 40,000 Verizon workers who are currently on strike on the East Coast. At a time when Verizon is reporting billions of dollars in profits and compensates its corporate executives with tens of millions, the idea of trying to force workers into reductions in health care and retirement compensation is disgusting.

The hardship faced by the workers bravely standing on picket lines is indicative of a larger problem, one that cannot be solved by a signed contract or pay raise. That problem is capitalism – and the solution is socialism.

We support the right of workers to organize themselves and ultimately take control of their workplace and industry through democratic organization. Had the Verizon workers been able to cooperatively own and run their workplace, the issues that forced a strike would not exist. There would not be a CEO receiving $18.3 million dollars while asking workers to accept less. There would not be a corporation funneling over one billion dollars a month in profits away from the workers whose hard work created those profits. There would not be spouses and parents standing on a picket line while scabs are brought in to do their jobs. Instead, there would be economic democracy and prosperity for all workers.

Instead, there would be socialism.

The argument put forward by the corporate media that Verizon workers are to blame is completely false and only serves to divide us. Rather than denouncing our sisters and brothers for defending their livelihood, we should be standing with them.

We call on our local and state parties on the East Coast to support the striking Verizon workers in anyway possible. We also call on Verizon to
immediately cease its attack on working people and instead agree to a contract that is reflective of the billions of dollars in profits that could only be possible with the strength of Verizon workers.

Solidarity forever!

I've long stopped finding joy in self-flagellation, so I've decided to forego a live viewing of President Obama's final State of the Union address. The transcript will do just fine. But even though I'm inclined to dismiss the State of the Union as an act of political theater, I realize that sounds like a callous dismissal of the millions suffering as a direct result of U.S. imperialism, of the millions suffering as a direct result of domestic economic policy, and a dismissal of the millions suffering as a direct result of the bigotry inherent to capitalism.

Convention states that a response to the State of the Union might include a recital of facts and figures to support our position. I'm a little too pissed for that at the moment. Obama is a smart guy. I suspect he knows that, even with the best of intentions, he or anyone else sitting in the Oval Office will be unable to deliver peace and equality to the working class.

The problems here are systemic. The tragedy in this particular moment is the failure to use the attention of a State of the Union address to discuss the root of the problem (capitalism) and to offer a vision for the solution (socialism).

This could be an opportunity to discuss the effects of neoliberalism on immigration -- on how free trade drives workers from jobs in their home countries as their markets are flooded with highly-subsidized U.S. products, destroying families in the process.

This could be an opportunity to discuss the effects of neoliberalism on domestic workers, how multinationals destroy families by laying off U.S. workers to shift production to sweatshop labor.

This could be an opportunity to discuss how the U.S. taxpayer is financing the slaughter of thousands of innocent lives as our military paves the way for the capitalist's access to international resources.

This could be an opportunity to discuss the continued genocide of the indigenous peoples of the United States and begin an honest discussion about reparations.

This could be an opportunity to discuss the slaughter of black lives at the hands of taxpayer-financed law enforcement.

This could be a discussion about how Washington D.C.'s approach to the climate change nightmare will fall far short of delivering on any sort of
promise to save the planet.

This could be an opportunity to start a discussion about capitalism's need to accumulate on a planet with finite resources, and how anything short of system change will ensure calamity.

This could be an opportunity to discuss the use of taxpayer monies to support an apartheid state in Israel.

This could be an opportunity to discuss the fate of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier, both sitting in jail for decades, both failed by a racist legal system. And about that justice system, this could be an opportunity to discuss the privatization of the prison system, another fine feature of capitalism.

Obama states "We agree that real opportunity requires every American to get the education and training they need to land a good-paying job."

Where exactly are these good-paying jobs?

I just got back from a visit to my hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania, and I imagine many there are holding back tears with laughter at such a proclamation.

Good-paying jobs? Even if we pretended that these things exist, a "good-paying job" is not enough to guarantee a decent life when taking into account the costs of healthcare and education.

Privatized healthcare, privatized education, privatized prison systems ... some are saying the system is failing. The truth is this system is working exactly as designed.

Mr. President governs over a country of indentured servants. Mr. President governs a country that is annihilating the planet and its ecosystems.

If we are somehow going to see an end to the ruse of the State of the Union, I believe it will be because the people will have come together to say "we just can't take it anymore."

We are all hurting. I don't know about you, but I'd like to heal. I imagine you would as well. I can only suggest, in this moment, that you take a peek at what socialism is all about. In socialism, I think you will find that together we can destroy the tumor causing the pain.

My running mate, Angela Nicole Walker, and I believe that the people are going to lead this effort. If you'd like to learn a bit more about the Soltysik/Walker 2016 Campaign, please visit http://www.rev16.us/.

In solidarity,

Mimi Soltysik & the Socialist Party USA's Soltysik/Walker 2016 Campaign

Written by the SPUSA People of Color Commission and passed by the Socialist Party USA National Action Committee 

Laquan McDonald, presente.

The 17 year old child murdered by the Chicago police, represents another in a string of signals sent to the Black community and people of color everywhere. 16 bullets, most in his back, most after he was already down. It was a lynching, the video replayed over and over on social media. The cop has been charged, the police chief has been fired. Does this help? Will it bring justice for terrorized communities? By punishing individual actors without changing the entire broken system, the myth of "bad apples" is perpetuated. This is a systemic crisis in which murder is not only accepted, but encouraged. It is encouraged when cops cover for each other, encouraged when one person is indicted in a murder and another fired for covering it up.

The crisis further reveals its face when civilians, fueled by nationalistic rhetoric that ostracizes and dehumanizes people of color, take up arms against the movement. The shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis was another public lynching, this time by radical racists who weren't wearing a uniform.

The systematic targeting, shooting down of people of color is public lynching. It does not need to happen to everyone, it does not need to happen in every town. Lynching is a warning; stay silent, do not step out of line. If you so much as walk down the middle of the street, if you dare to participate in a social movement, you could be executed in the street. If you are Black or brown in America, you hear the signals loud and clear.

These attacks are not acceptable in any capacity. We can not sit by and stay quiet. We cannot let these Terrorists win. Together, we must organize and face these and all other forms of oppression and repression.

In Solidarity with all People of Color

written by the SPUSA Women's Commission and passed by the Socialist Party USA National Action Committee 

The Socialist Party USA stands with Planned Parenthood and supports every woman’s right to receive comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including access to safe, legal abortions.  We condemn the most recent terrorist attack against a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs and recognize the connection between this attack and the release of videos falsely accusing Planned Parenthood of ‘selling baby parts’, an allegation the alleged shooter specifically mentioned in a statement to the police shortly after his arrest. These false claims have led to a congressional witch hunt which is aimed at shuttering Planned Parenthood for providing healthcare to women and upholding the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Vicious lies like this don’t just prevent women from getting vital healthcare and family planning services, they cost us our lives.

Anti-abortion activists have a long history of using unethical tactics like twisting facts and rejecting medical science in order to rob women of their fundamental right of bodily sovereignty.  The recent upswing in harassment and violence directed at reproductive health clinics nationwide shows that when legal means are exhausted, so-called ‘pro-life’ extremists can and will use cold-blooded murder in order to control women’s lives and bodies.  The Socialist Party USA will continue to fight for a woman’s right to choose and ensure all questions of reproductive healthcare are decisions that will remain between a woman and her doctor.

Passed by the National Action Commission 11/24/2015

From the SPUSA Statement of Principles. “We recognize the right of self-defense in the face of attacks; we also support non-violent direct action in combating oppression.”

The recent attacks in Paris have gathered world-wide media coverage and spawned public outrage. They have been called "attack[s] on the civilized world", but in reality civilized people have suffered from a continued onslaught of military violence--and not primarily that of ISIS.

Thousands of civilians have been killed by US and Russian air strikes in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Millions are now being threatened by politicians who promote vengeance while the US continues its practice of funneling military aid to some of the same forces who claim credit for or inspire events, like the ones in Paris.

In the US, xenophobic governors and other politicians are blaming Syrian refugees for the ongoing violence. Their fear-inducing rhetoric fails to encompass a broader reality, which is that the US and its allies have perpetrated far greater crimes against humanity through military force.
Moreover, incessant operations conducted by Western-led coalitions around the world continue to fuel the fervor of reactionary extremism like that seen in Paris, Beirut, and elsewhere.

In order to end this trend of global violence, we call for the immediate cessation of US military operations around the Middle East, in Afghanistan, and elsewhere. We also call on all people to boldly resist imperialist violence and support people's right of self-determination, particularly among Kurdish self defense forces such as the YPG and YPJ, whose ambition to defend an egalitarian society and economy has remained under threat by both ISIS and US allies. Furthermore, we call on all nations to provide havens for refugees and create spaces where those displaced by war can live safely and with dignity.