Grassroots and rank and file organizing is at the very essence of the process of social change, CPUSA National Organization Secretary Elena Mora told the CPUSA National Committee (NC) in February. Communists aren’t the only ones talking about how to build and strengthen grassroots organization. In the labor movement and other movements there is much discussion on this very issue as well, Mora said.

“A recent issue of The Nation, in an article on the anti-globalization movement, quoted Ohio Congressman Sherrod Brown who said that a vital task for that movement is to organize grassroots electoral pressure, for the coming elections and in an ongoing way to influence national policy on globalization. The National Organization for Women is planning local actions on International Women’s Day to pressure Congress to reject Bush’s right wing judicial nominations,” Mora said.

So in a bold move the CPUSA is organizing a national grassroots organizing conference on June 28-30 in conjunction with its June NC meeting.

Why a national conference? Mora said, “To make the kind of change in approach and thinking that we’re proposing requires some very special steps. The conference would be both to exchange experience and ideas but as well to have an opportunity for the whole leadership to discuss this new emphasis on the grassroots.”

In the call to the conference Mora highlighted the grave dangers facing the world with the Bush Administration’s unending war policies linking it to the serious economic, environmental and social issues that face the overwhelming majority of people in our country and the world.

“With Bush at the helm, the ultra right has declared open season on the working class, on women, on racially and nationally oppressed people, on immigrants, on young people and senior citizens, on gays and lesbians. It has in its sights every measure that protects workers on the job, every law that guarantees women’s reproductive rights, every regulation that protects our air, water and land against corporate polluters,” she wrote.

Mora also underlined the importance of the labor and people’s struggles that are taking place despite the difficult political atmosphere created by Sept. 11. “The fight against the Bush administration’s obscene ‘guns-not-butter budget’ is heating up. Most important is the fight to take control of the Congress away from the ultra right in the November elections,” she said.

The role of Communists in this period is critical, Mora argued, and the grassroot component of Communist organization – the clubs – is critical as well. “Strengthening the clubs is fundamental to the grassroots coalition-building that is the basis for, and the only path towards pro-people, anti-corporate change. And only a Party with a strong grassroots organization will be able to play its unique role in building the democratic, majority movement that will bring about the revolutionary transformation to a socialist society,” she said.

To learn more about grassroots organizing go to www.cpusa.org The author can be contacted at talbano@pww.org

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