"We are gathered at a truly crucial moment in today's history," said Lisa Bergmann, the National Coordinator for the Young Communist League, at the second annual Communist Party USA national conference. "Let's fight together, let's win together."
Various Communists from all over the country gathered in solidarity to discuss the matters of the upcoming election and the sociopolitical implications of the current capitalist stronghold on this country. Matters such as racism, attacks on women, attacks on the LGBT community, and attacks on the environment were discussed, led by a powerful opening speech by CPUSA Chair Sam Webb.
After hearing Webb outline various stages in the long-term struggle for socialism in the United States, starting with the need to decisively defeat the extreme right in the 2012 elections, other delegates stepped up, one by one, to offer their experiences, outlooks, and hopes for the future.
In particular, said CPUSA Vice Chair Juan Lopez, "Racism is the right wing's most powerful ideological weapon. Nothing else carries the same potential to derail the building of a powerful multi-racial peoples' movement. Racism finds its real-life expression in the cold-blooded murder of the Trayvon Martins of our nation. Since 9/11 and the election of President Obama, racist rhetoric and outright violence have escalated."
He also addressed the issue of racial profiling, which, he noted, "takes many forms - on the street level (like Trayvon), in counter-terrorism matters, and against undocumented youth. And for every case that makes the news, tens of thousands do not."
And regarding how the youth feel about all this - and furthermore, about the economic times?
"There is no room for cynicism," Lopez stressed, "if we expect to win against Republicans who are exhibiting fascist tendencies. The defeat of Obama would be a dangerous setback on every front of struggle, especially against racism and for equality for women. It would show that white people were not ready for an African American president, after all."
"This election must become a united crusade for truth, workers' rights, human rights, and justice," said Joelle Fishman, chair of the CPUSA's Political Action Commission. "It must raise class consciousness and bring people into action.
"The senseless murder of Trayvon Martin, victim of racial profiling, tragically illuminates the deadliness of a racist extreme right-wing message carried to its logical conclusion. Now, we enter this election exhausted from three and a half years of hate speech, constant attacks on the integrity of the first African-American president, and anti-worker, anti-democratic laws like Stand Your Ground.
"But," she added, "We enter this election fresh to protect workers' right to organize, outlaw racial profiling, and secure both the right to vote and the fundamental right of women to health care." We enter this election, she said, "To fund public education for LGBT rights, create sustainable jobs, stop foreclosures, close the wealth gap, and make the greedy one percent pay their fair share of taxes.
"A peoples' crusade is essential to turn back the attack dogs; to show how racism and capitalism hurts everyone. We intend to start knocking on doors right away with a working-class message.
"Because," she concluded, "nothing can be taken for granted."