August 12, 2005

Working people are under attack as never before. Wage-tiers divide the generations, while pensions and even Social Security are under attack. Families are forced into bankruptcy by medical bills. The government sends troops to a war based on lies and turns Iraq into a slaughterhouse. The institutions on which workers depend have utterly failed to defend them. Democratic as well as Republican politicians eagerly support the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, gigantic arms budgets, savage cuts in social programs, shifting tax burdens onto working people, outsourcing jobs, attacking public education, rewriting bankruptcy laws to benefit credit card companies.

Union officials betray union principles. They work with corporations to undermine workers, sabotaging strikes, from PATCO and Hormel to Caterpillar, Accuride, and the Southern California grocery workers. They replace shop-floor worker solidarity with worker-against-worker Company Teams. They support the war-makers in DC.

Meanwhile most working people, blue-collar and white-collar, employed and unemployed, remain unorganized and largely defenseless. The politicians and the unions are part of the problem. We cannot rely on them and we cannot change them. We have to go around them, to create institutions that we control to fight for the values, the livelihoods, the future of working people.


Recently a number of people met in Peoria, IL to found a new organization called SOLIDARITY NOW. Our goal is to rebuild the culture of mutual support that is natural to working people and gives us our only power. We agreed that Solidarity Now will:

---be controlled by its members;

---build solidarity in the workplace, across industries, across races and genders, across employed and unemployed, across generations, across borders;

---be independent of union officialdom;

---take action to support the values and struggles of working people;

---fight to revolutionize society and create a true democracy based on equality and solidarity.


The assault on working people is part of a class war throughout society over what values will shape it, what goals it will pursue, and who will control it.

Corporate leaders, government officials, and masters of great wealth value inequality, competition, and dictatorial control. They slash wages, out-source jobs, pit worker against worker in bloody wars. Ordinary working people believe in equality, solidarity, and control from below. When workers stand up for each other, or support family and friends, they are resisting capitalist power and advancing equality and solidarity. Millions of people still believe in solidarity and support their fellow workers. Solidarity is still there in our workplaces, in our families, in our communities, in all the relationships by which ordinary people sustain themselves in the face of attacks by the powerful. Solidarity is the basis of strength. People fight back when they feel strong. They feel strong when they feel connected to other people. To resist the corporate assault we need to build connections among people wherever we can.


Is there an alternative to the way we live now? Capitalism, the system under which we live, like Communism, is undemocratic to the core. It offers only more war, inequality, and fear. We need to create a democratic alternative to both systems.

Solidarity values offer a positive alternative to capitalism. Democratic revolution means changing all of society to reflect the best values already present in working people's lives. This is our goal.

Join us! Please copy and pass it on.
SOLIDARITY NOW: Cam Austin, UAW Local 751, kickc@consolidated. net; Michelle Bland, ex-UAW Local 2036, tomchtrbl@ hotmail.com; Tom Laney, UAW Local 879 (ret.), tlaney@localnet.com, 715-962-4365; Billy Robinson, ex-UAW Local 2036, WRobi27316@aol.com, 270-835-2111; Larry Solomon, UAW Local 751 (ret.), LIBERTYWON@NOVANET1.COM, 217-763-4451; Dave Stratman, newdem@aol.com 617-524-4073.

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