Elections Without Electoralism – Using Elections as a Voice of the Working Class

Host/Sponsor: 
Revolutionary Workers Group; New Anti-Capitalist Party (L’Étincelle)
Room: 
L 2.80
Timeslot: 
SATURDAY June 3rd Session 3: 3:30pm - 5:15pm
Abstract: 
Whether to participate in elections – local or national – is a question that many on the U.S. left are examining today, especially after the Sanders campaign. Although this is not a new question, it is one that is far from resolved. As a consequence, we see socialist and communist groups supporting or running candidates in a wide range of political formations – the Democratic Party, the Green Party, Working Families Party, as independents, and as candidates identified with their own organizations. The electoral activity of revolutionaries doesn’t have to be shaped by the existing political parties. We don’t need to challenge the capitalists on their terms or strive to get elected. We can use these periods of increased political interest and discussion to have working class candidates stand for the independent, self-activity of the working class, and not be bound by elections. In the U.S. there have been some attempts along these lines. In the recent elections in France, the candidates of The NPA (New Anti-Capitalist Party) and Lutte Ouvriere (Workers Struggle) presented working class candidates that represented this perspective. Antoine Perrin, a militant associated with L’Etincelle (The Spark), a grouping in the NPA, will discuss the recent French elections. And activists of Revolutionary Workers Group will talk about the experience in the U.S. past and present and the possibilities for revolutionary electoral activity in the U.S. today.
Panel Track: 
Working Class Struggles in the Era of Trump
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker First Name: 
Eden
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Last Name: 
Foster
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Affiliation: 
Speak Out Now/Revolutionary Workers Group
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Biography: 
Eden has been a working class revolutionary activist in the San Francisco Bay Area for several years and currently works in health care.
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator First Name: 
Marcus
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Last Name: 
Lissey
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Affiliation: 
Speak Out Now/Revolutionary Workers Group
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Biography: 
Marcus has been a revolutionary activist for over 15 years in both the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, and teaches Philosophy in community college.
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator First Name: 
Antoine
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Last Name: 
Perrin
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Affiliation: 
New Anti-Capitalist Party (L’Etincelle, France)
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Biography: 
Antoine has been a revolutionary militant for several years in France with L’Etincelle (The Spark), a grouping in the NPA.
Panel/Workshop Organizer First Name: 
Marcus
Panel/Workshop Organizer Last Name: 
Lissey
Panel/Workshop Organizer Affiliation: 
Speak Out Now/Revolutionary Workers Group
 

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