Who We Are
We — trade union, community, and political activists from different backgrounds — have decided to constitute ourselves as the Labor and Community for an Independent Party (LCIP) with two intertwined objectives:
Our first objective is to promote running independent labor-community candidates at a local and state level around a platform that embraces workers’ and communities’ pressing demands. The explicit aim is to advance the effort to build a mass working-class party rooted in unions, youth, and communities of the oppressed. With this objective, we will build support and principled unity with national liberation movements of Black people and other oppressed nationalities within U.S. borders in their community and electoral campaigns. The platforms of these independent candidates need to be discussed and approved by labor-community assemblies, and the candidates must be answerable to these assemblies and to the coalitions formed for this purpose.
Our second objective is to promote widely in the trade union movement a committee that advocates for a Labor-Based Political Party. A resolution adopted by the October 2017 national convention of the AFL-CIO affirmed that, “whether the candidates are elected from the Republican or Democratic Party, the interests of Wall Street have been protected and advanced, while the interests of labor and working people have generally been set back.” A second convention resolution concluded that, “the time has passed when we can passively settle for the lesser of two evils politics.” The committee’s goal will be to promote the discussion inside the labor movement about the need to break with the “lesser of two evils politics” and to create a “Labor-Based Political Party” — a reference to the title of a forum organized by key labor officials at the October 2017 AFL-CIO convention. In order to create such a mass working-class party, we will organize to raise awareness in the unions of the need to break with the Democratic Party.
“The time is now to get this effort off the ground”
We are living under a capitalist system in crisis — a system that only knows how to stem its growing crisis by fueling speculation and war spending, on the one hand, and by slashing workers’ wages and working/living conditions, on the other.
Working people and all the communities of the oppressed are in a dire situation because the bosses have been able to count on their twin parties — the Democrats and Republicans — to do their bidding over decades.
To beat back this racist and anti-worker offensive by the employers and the politicians in their pay, we must build democratically run coalitions that bring together the stakeholders in labor and the communities of the oppressed, so that they have a decisive say in formulating their demands and mapping out a strategy.
Most important, we need to put an end to the monopoly of political power by the Democrats and Republicans. The labor movement and the leaders of the Latino and Black struggles need to break with their reliance on the Democratic Party and build their own mass-based independent working class political party — a Labor-Based Political Party rooted in the struggles of the unions and all the oppressed communities.
At a time when close to two-thirds of the voting-age population favors the formation of a mass-based independent political party (September 2017 Gallup poll), the time is now to get this effort off the ground.