“Break the Grip of the Two-Party System” Conference
Cleveland, Ohio — December 7, 2019
The people of the United States deserve better than what two-party politics has delivered on the important issues — jobs, healthcare, equal justice, peace and the environment. In fact, large numbers of people are ready to move toward independent politics. According to a recent Gallup poll, 57% of the people see the need for a third major political party. Virtually three-quarters of independents (72%) “support a third major political party.”
We may not get too many more chances to give an organized expression to this quest for independent, working class politics. The U.S. could be one cracked head away from Hong Kong, Gaza, Bolivia, or Baghdad. Civil and labor rights are already being strangled by the powerful corporate front group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is pushing anti-protest and anti-labor laws, and by the far-right turn of politics promoted by SCOTUS and by any U.S president who chooses to emulate his or her favorite oppressor of the week.
People of color and low-income people are still fighting for equal opportunity and justice. Mass incarceration rates in the U.S. exceed all other nations at 724 per 100,000 people. Workers struggle to survive on low wages, waiting for their piece of the “American Dream.” In 2016, people in this country spent twice as much on health care than other high-income nations, with 27.4 million people still without health insurance in that period. The U.S. “war on terror” — a bipartisan war on working people at home and abroad — has claimed millions of lives and is expected to cost taxpayers $6 trillion! It’s time to reclaim governance, equal rights, fair pay and dignity for all.
The Labor Fightback Network encourages community and labor activists to venture out and explore the options to build a Labor and Community for an Independent Party (LCIP). We’ll be in Middleburg Heights, Ohio on December 7, 2019 for the “Break the Grip on the Two-Party System” conference https://www.facebook.com/events/486321765290865/ hosted by the Labor Education and Arts Project (LEAP). We’ll be unpacking the main question of an independent political party. The topics for deliberation will include: (1) Medicare for All; (2) endless regime change wars and deadly sanctions vs. international working class solidarity; and (3) forced migration and deportation.
Saturday, December 7. The first session, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. with luncheon, will take place at the Middleburg Heights Branch of the Cuyahoga County Library, located at 16699 Bagley Road’ in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. It will be followed by a dinner session with speakers from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Brew Garden, 18590 Bagley Road also in Middleburg Heights.
Speakers include Margaret Flowers, MD, Co-chair Green Party US; Dan Kovalik, labor and human rights lawyer, author, and radio and TV commentator; Baldemar Velasquez, president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC, AFL-CIO); Nnamdi Lumumba, Representative, Ujima People’s Progress Party; Robert Fitrakis, political science professor and investigative journalist; Alan Benjamin, Editorial Board member, The Organizer newspaper, and there will be local participation, as well.
This conference is being held in cooperation with the Labor and Community for an Independent Party (LCIP), a nationwide network that traces its continuity back to Tony Mazzocchi’s Labor Party Advocates and to the 1996 Labor Party Convention in Cleveland. Our organization, the Labor Education & Arts Project (LEAP), is indebted for their support. The 1996 Labor Party Convention in Cleveland was attended by 1,400 delegates from 9 international unions, over 300 union locals, state and regional bodies and 40 chapters nationwide with union and non-union workers as members. Though there was contention regarding running candidates immediately following the founding convention, it did accomplish adopting a constitution and program. Reconnecting with that effort today should be a top priority of the U.S. labor movement.
The conference is sponsored by the Labor Education & Arts Project (LEAP) and Labor Fightback Network (LFN) in cooperation with Labor and Community for an Independent Party (LCIP), a nationwide network of labor and community activists. On the web at: https://lcipcampaign.org/
Donations, gratefully received, may be sent to: LEAP, P.O. Box 5334, Cleveland, OH 44101 and made payable to same. Alternatively, a donate button appears on our Labor Education & Arts Project social media page: https://www.facebook.com/LaborEducation/.
Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with Section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code. For donations of $25 and above, we will gladly send you, postage prepaid, copies of our LaborFest booklets: “Eugene Debs Centennial” and “A Tribute to the IWW a.k.a. The Wobblies.” If you choose to donate via the donate button on our Facebook page, please send your name and return address to email@example.com.
December 7, 2019 - 12:00 am