Thank you everyone for
being here today. I am so honored and extremely humbled to have been selected
by my comrades to be your vice-presidential candidate in the upcoming 2012
elections. I will begin by saying I will not let you down my comrades and
fellow workers, this struggle means to much to so many and in so many of our
cases the only real future for so many people we love.
The struggle that I am
talking about, the fight between the ruling class, the Bosses, the ones who
legally own virtually all of the wealth of society and the working class, the
99% of people who produce the wealth and make this country function is not a
fight that our party takes on from the outside looking in. Our party is born
from the working class, all of our members grew up fighting in the class
struggle individually, maybe growing up
as a woman, growing up black, growing up on minimum wage, living homeless being
straddled with debt and school loans etc etc But now we fight all those issues
like a raised fist in the air, collectively, unified and strong.
And since we don’t see
ourselves as separate from the working class you will never hear us ask “what
can our party do for the poor and working people of this country?” An absurd
question if you think about it! But you will hear countless politicians repeat
this question in different way in the coming election year. “What can we do for
the poor and working people of this country?” the democrats and republicans
will ask rhetorically, fronting like they really give a damn outside of their
own narrow interests.
But not our party, that
is not our perspective in the PSL. As workers we think that the real should be
“What can we the working class do for ourselves?” You see we view the world
through fundamentally different lenses. We understand that never before in
history has the gears and functioning of society been placed so squarely in the
hands of our people the working people. And so we do not see ourselves as
powerless but as powerful! We see the working class as the world’s biggest
philanthropists — giving of ourselves day in and day out to build the cities,
raise the crops and advance the technologies that increase the wealth of
What can the working
class do for itself? We can organize ourselves, we can harmonize, we can unite
and act in concert and in doing so we could run our own government. The good
working people of this country and of the world we could elect honest men and
women to office. Those men and women of our communities could make just
constitutions, enact just laws and repeal vicious ones. By acting together we
could shut down wall street and take hold of the biggest banks and the wealth
they’ve stolen from our people. And that is what our electoral campaign is
about we want to say for real “yes we can! Together we are invincible!”
You know, growing up
undocumented my parents always told me to never let anybody try and intimidate
me, put me down or make me feel unworthy because of my legal status. You are
just as good and important as anybody else and those concerned words from my
mom and dad always stuck with me then and still to this day.
I know and my family
knows that immigrant workers have been scapegoated as part of a racist campaign
to blame immigrants for the problems of unemployment and the other social woes
that effect the workers.
But it’s not immigrant
workers who are the problem. It is the plutocrats, the oligarchs, the
capitalists, the 1 percent.
Now that the occupy
movement has spread around the country under the slogan “the banks got bailed
out, we got sold out,” even liberal commentators are emboldened to speak out
and expose the intense class polarization that is allowing a tiny few to become
ever richer while the masses of people become ever poorer.
Yesterday the economist Paul
Krugman wrote in the New York Times a piece called “Oligarchy, American Style”.
Krugman is a liberal and not a socialist, he is a critic of the worst abuses of
capitalism but asserts that the problem is not the capitalist system but
pro-business policies promoted by the Republicans and, in his view, too
frequently embraced by President Obama and the Democratic Party leadership.
It’s significant that
this article – again, titled “Oligarchy, American Style” – appeared today in
the New York Times. He uses the growing occupy movement as a frame of
The facts speak for
themselves. Currently U.S banks, to quote the NYT, are completely “awash with
cash”, a record 8.9 trillion dollars to be exact in money the banks are basically
just sitting on instead of investing in our communities, cities very much like
Chicago or where I’m from NYC who are desperate to save our social services and
school budgets. In NYC food prices have sky rocketed and the latest reports
from the Food Pantries who feed the hungry paint a stark picture of what life
is like for the majority of the residents of NYC. In the richest city, in the
richest country in the world approximately 1.3 million people — mainly women,
children, seniors, and the working poor — rely on soup kitchens and food
Approximately 3 million
New Yorkers in a city of 8 million people currently experience difficulty
affording food for themselves and their families.
One out of every three
NYC residents who have a job experienced difficulty affording needed food in
If we were to take all of
the families with kids in NYC, a full 76% of them would report as having
trouble affording basic food stuff during sometime last year a 38% increasing
since 2003. That’s more than 3 out of every 4 families in one of the richest
cities on the planet.
And these stats can be
replicated across the country NY is not unique by far.
But where is all this
wealth going then if it is not going to us the 99%? The U.S Congressional
Budget Office report quoted by Krugman shows that “essentially all of the
upward redistribution of income away from the bottom 80 percent has gone to the
highest-income 1 percent of Americans.” But in fact the Times reports it is the
top .1% the richest thousandth of Americans who saw their real incomes rise
more than 400 percent over the period from 1979 to 2005. In contrast, these
days workers with a college degree are actually LESS likely to get workplace
health coverage than workers with only a HIGH SCHOOL degree were in 1979.
Comrades and friends the
current situation we find ourselves in is completely incompatible with
Can anyone seriously deny
that our political system isn’t fully based on the power of the dollar?
Power in this country is
not elected, it is purchased. No one can vote on where the banks invest, on how
industry will use the resources of the planet or whether to give everyone a
job, these are decisions that are decided in boardrooms over coffee and donuts
by the 1% or even more correctly .1% Our party and this campaign does not
expect change to come from the electoral process but rather be made on the
Fully understanding this,
our Party still refuses to throw our hands up ever four years and abandon our
class in the face of a rigged election system. Instead, we intend to crash the
party figuratively, and at times literally, and make sure that our needs are
heard, that the hungry can say they represent me, that the persecuted the hard
working and the disillusioned can say “hey there is another way!” Who will call
for the end of ALL U.S military bases? Who will call for the abolition of
insurance companies and quality healthcare for everybody? Who will hold high the needs of our
communities if not us ourselves?!
This campaign is not a
long list of promises, this campaign is not looking for a nicer and more just
Capitalism, this campaign is about exposing the need to shake the bosses off
our backs. We respectfully ask everyone who is hear in this coming year to
judge us, hold us to what we say we are about, ask us why? And how come? Look
at where we choose to fight, look at who we will choose to stand alongside of.
And if you like what you see then join us sisters and brothers in making this
campaign a success. As Malcolm X said “the future belongs to those who prepare
for it” let us prepare.
I invite each and every
one of you to join us in the struggle.