Alternative Visions - Which Way for Independent Political Action: Part 3—The USA Labor Party Initiative 1993-2007 - 10/25/14
Oct 25th, 2014 by progressiveradionetwork
Jack Rasmus invites one of the key organizers of the union effort to launch a USA labor party in the 1990s, Mark Dudzic, in the Alternative Vision show’s third weekly show focusing on strategies and tactics for initiating independent political action. Dudzic describes the initial strategy employed by union activists in the early 1990s to launch a bonafide third party in the USA based on the trade union movement. Dudzic describes how the initial ‘labor party advocates’ of 82 union activists and local union officers and staffers launched in Chicago in the early 1990s evolved into the Labor Party Founding Convention in Cleveland in 1996 attended by 1400 delegates. The specific strategies and tactics to form and build a labor party at the time are described by Dudzic, as well as the initial organizational forms of the movement. How those strategies, tactics and organization evolved over time are addressed, as well as how they differ from a ‘Fusion’ party approach used by the ‘working families party’ in New York today. Dudzic also describes how the labor party fared with alliances and running local candidates, what broad social forces initially supported the movement for a labor party in the 1990s, and then changed, leading to its decline beginning in 2000 and after until the official disbanding of the labor party initiative nationwide in 2007. The Labor Party experience raises the question: is a third party, organized from ‘within the union movement’, based upon and relying primarily on support from top union leadership, a viable strategy today for launching independent political action? Subsequent shows in the series will consider more deeply the ‘lessons of the Labor Party’ experience, as well as the experiences of other parties challenging the one Corporate Party (aka Democrat-Republican) in America today. Next Week: interviews and discussions with candidates of successful grass roots local independent elections.