Communists rally (& sing) in Chicago

CHICAGO — The 28th National Convention of the Communist Party USA was regarded as a success in almost every way. Close to 500 delegates and guests came together on the Fourth of July weekend to discuss events of the day and to share a fighting spirit of resistance to the right-wing corporate assault on working people’s lives.

Celebrating the revolutionary beginnings of the U.S. and the “second American Revolution” that abolished slavery, convention delegates adopted a new strategic program to defeat the ultra right, expand democracy and continue the fight for a socialist USA — a third American Revolution.

The convention adopted a political resolution on the current situation, along with National Chair Sam Webb’s keynote report, elected a new leadership — an 81-person National Committee — and adopted resolutions on various topics.

There was unanimous support for resolutions on Iraq calling for the troops to come home and praising the work of the Iraqi Communist Party, whose members “struggled heroically” for democratic and economic rights under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and continue to do so under the U.S. occupation. There was similar response to the resolution calling for the extradition of terrorist Luis Posada Carriles from the U.S. to Venezuela.

Delegates attended thought-provoking workshops on issues like labor and globalization, protecting the environment and building the party at the grassroots in the course of struggle. There were lively cultural performances and poetry readings. Delegates who arrived early were stimulated by a labor tour and history talk around working-class Chicago.

Two of the most exciting events were the international solidarity night and the picket in support of striking workers.

International night featured speeches by representatives of communist and workers parties in 15 countries, including the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Communist Party of the Sudan and the Communist Party of Chile. Greetings were read from other fraternal parties that could not attend, including the Communist Party of Cuba, which was barred from attending the convention by U.S. government travel restrictions.

The picket line brought hundreds of communists into the streets to vocally support striking workers at the nearby Congress Hotel. Chanting, “No contract, No peace!” and delegates and guests of the Communist Party convention let passers-by know Chicago is a union town.

Most importantly, the Communist Party convention sent participants home with a fire in their bellies and a hunger for justice. The convention has put the party on solid footing for the struggles ahead. Armed with its unity, its strategic policy to defeat the ultra-right, and its working-class internationalism, the Communist Party is ready for the struggle.

If you didn’t attend, you can’t know how exciting and militant the party convention was. But the documents, speeches, photo gallery and video presentation can be found at www.cpusa.org, the party’s web site. It will give you a taste.