NEWARK, NJ, November 29 — “I really need to know how I can become a member of this group,” exclaimed a young high school student at a recent study group organized by a high school PLP club. We have recently seen an upsurge of interest among students and parents.
Many students who attended the study group later joined PL members at the polls on election night to distribute our election pamphlet to workers going in to vote. Afterwards they returned to a teacher’s house to watch the returns and further debate whether or not to support Obama.
Later, three of those students joined us in Brooklyn to demonstrate against the racist bosses at Agriprocessors (see CHALLENGE, 12/10). Those who couldn’t come eagerly asked how it went.
These responses were born in the club’s bi-weekly study groups, analyzing PLP’s election pamphlet. High school students, teachers and interested parents — Asian, Latin, black and white — discussed the then upcoming election and its meaning for the working class. We’ve had over 15 participants, the most since the club was formed. We covered many topics — from who holds the real power to what life would be like under a communist world led by PLP.
Obama’s “Change” was without a doubt the hottest topic. Many students and parents are convinced Obama will create the change workers need. One teacher responded by saying, “Yes, there will be change, there will always be change, but who will it benefit? Wall Street doesn’t put millions of dollars behind a candidate so he can turn around and give power to the working class. The only change that we need will come from the workers who run this world.”
One parent, a NJ Transit bus driver, agreed, but also said Obama is what we need right now because the working class isn’t organized well enough. While he disagreed with our position not to vote, he still remains friends with, and continues to support, PLP.
We still meet regularly with these students. Many are still excited and want to know more about communism. The newest club member now leads the sessions, currently reading “Marx for Beginners” by Rius.
We’re trying to use the momentum gained from our activity during the bosses’ election to build the Party among students and parents in our area. Although many people around us have dangerous illusions about the Obama presidency, that he will solve workers’ problems, we know our lives will worsen.
Capitalism’s contradictions are becoming clearer to workers everywhere. This offers opportunities for PLP’ers to expose him and his capitalist system, particularly as imperialist wars and fascist exploitation come down even harder on our class.
While the rulers may win workers to believe in their representative, this honeymoon can’t last forever. That’s why it’s more important than ever to maintain personal as well as political ties to those around us. Through consistent struggle, we can expose Obama and other misleaders for what they really represent –– ruling-class interests.
While many of our friends are planning to attend Obama’s inauguration, we are struggling with them to begin building for our most important event — May Day. Although nearly five months away, we’re planning events from now until then for students, parents, and teachers to help organize for, and participate in, May Day, to enable them to see themselves not only as Party friends and member, but eventually as leaders.