DES MOINES --- Iowa's Socialist Workers Party candidates want to win election in 2010, but they're more interested in launching a movement to empower workers.
"Working people in Iowa and around the country face a crisis of the capitalist system," said David Rosenfeld, a 47-year-old tire factory worker in Des Moines who filed signed petition papers Thursday to be on the Nov. 2 general election ballot as a candidate for governor.
"We're under attack in terms of the cutbacks in social services, in terms of long-term unemployment and the permanent state of war in this country. Unless working people begin to organize themselves as a movement that can exercise power as opposed to relying on politicians that represent the dictatorship of capital --- those are Democrats and Republicans --- we're going to continue to get hammered in this crisis," he said.
Helen Meyers, 65, an industrial worker and unionist from Des Moines who is running with Rosenfeld as his lieutenant governor, said SWP members are willing to take unambiguous stands on the issues.
"We are for full legalization of all immigrants now that are in this state and throughout the country. We stand four-square on the right for women to have an abortion. We think you can never have equality among women until women have a right to control their own bodies. We're for a unionized state. The social services need to be expanded, not closed up," she said.
Rosenfeld said he wants to build a labor party based on a powerful union movement that would demand millions of jobs producing housing, schools and levees, as well as the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.
"Workers need to unify as opposed to being pitted against each other" with issues such as illegal immigration, he said.