Oct 11, 2010

Socialists Report Back on One Nation March: La Botz Leads Socialist Contingent

From Billy Wharton at The Socialist Webzine:
Amid the hundreds of thousands of working people gathered in Washington, DC on Saturday for the much heralded “One Nation” march there was a small group looking for more than just turning the voting lever for a Democrat in November. The newly minted “Socialist Contingent” made its presence felt at this massive march as hundreds of eager supporters carried signs calling for jobs for all and an end to the wars. Call it a small step forward for a socialist movement usually racked by internal divisions.

The One Nation march was a joint project of the AFL-CIO and NAACP and aimed to counteract the recent Glenn Beck rally by acting as a left pressure bloc on the sagging Obama Presidency. Organizers presented a post-ideological description of the event that relies on the “hope” language long abandoned by Democratic Party candidates.

Yet, the newly formed “Socialist Contingent” offered a far more radical vision of what October 2nd could be about. They were FOX News’ nightmare brought to life - Socialists! Hundreds of them! Armed with a message that we may be living in a country with two nations - the rich and the working people - instead of one.

The Contingent grew out of the insurgent Ohio Senate campaign of veteran labor activist Dan LaBotz. LaBotz accepted the challenge of becoming the Socialist Party USA candidate in that region and has converted his quest into a broader left campaign. Radical activists of different stripes have supported him and, in the process, gotten to know one another through engaging in grassroots struggle.

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