Marlon Pierre-Antoine on the Anniversary of the Iraq War & Rebuilding the Antiwar Movement

21 03 2010

Click here to watch.


1 Million dead – no more! March against the 7th anniversary of the war this Saturday!

16 03 2010

March 20th is the 7th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, a war that
has taken the lives of thousands of soldiers and nearly 1 million
civilians’ lives. The United States spends more on its military than all
other countries combined – $857 billion in 2010 alone. Both mainstream
parties agree that Iraq will continue to be occupied after the official
withdrawal date next year. Socialist Alternative invites you to protest this
horrific war on Saturday. We demand an end to this war that is
destroying our economy and breaking the people of the Middle East!

WHERE: The Corner of 1st St and 4th Ave in front of the U.S.
Department of Justice

WHEN: Saturday, March 20th @ 5PM

March 4th – Continue the fight!

5 03 2010


Tens of thousands on the streets of California – in strikes, walkouts, and protests. Thousands more across the country – in New York City, Minneapolis, Chicago, Orlando and more. Militant union locals, socialist parties, student groups – coming together.

Socialist Alternative was an early endorser of the Californian workers’ and students’ call for March 4th. And in Cedar Rapids, our branch responded by organizing a relatively small but important protest that marks the next phase of the national and international struggle, as well as here in Iowa. On the local news tonight, almost without precedent it was reported that there are people in the Hawkeye State organizing and saying NO to the bipartisan consensus of cuts, cuts, cuts. We went on camera and put forward our program – let the rich pay for the crisis they made, full funding for human needs instead of War and Wall St. – and boldly stated, when asked, that to realize that program a socialist transformation of society would have to be carried out by the people.

So, what’s next? All the organizations and individuals involved in March 4th must build on this empowering experience. To begin, we should turn out for the strongest possible coalition to demonstrate on March 20th – the seventh anniversary of the predatory, imperialist Iraq war that has cost the Iraqi and American masses so much pain, and only benefits big business interests. But we also have to look beyond that, as well.

To win, the working class, including the students and the unemployed, need a fighting program, concrete demands to struggle for. We need  a mass political party that not only represents us, but is *made* of us – democratic from the ground up, with no illusions in the ‘benevolence’ of the ruling elite to grant us concessions. In short; March 4th has shown that in America there is a desire to struggle. What we need now, then, is a vehicle for that struggle.

We urge everyone reading this to sign our petition against Governor Culver’s program of savage cuts and attacks on our living standards. Click here to view it.

And, if you agree with our view that there is a burning need to restructure politics & the economy along truly democratic lines, we encourage you to join Socialist Alternative, the organization where the most conscious, determined elements of the working class come together to learn the history and the art of the labor movement, and to lay the foundation for that political vehicle our class so desperately needs.

[A video of a speech by S.A. member Tiffany Van Tomme will be uploaded soon.]

media links: – Protesters want education rights – Cedar Rapids group takes part in national day of action

March 4th drawing closer: march with us to defend education and social services!

24 02 2010

76th Avenue & Kirkwood Boulevard SW

You can join our facebook group here. Let us know by email if you would like a sign or banner to hold at the event!


Workers and students in Iowa and Across the country are paying for a recession we didn’t create; say NO to a 10% ($600 million) cut to the state budget that will hit our vital social programs- food stamps, medicare and education- when we need them the most.

$332 million in cuts are to education. The Free Lunch Program is being slashed, as is the College Aid Commission that helps low income students afford higher education

We can’t afford to sit back and let our welfare be sacrificed for profit. Student and worker organizations from California to Vermont to Iowa will be protesting on March 4th to demand a reversal of the cuts packages, a federal bailout of state budgets in deficit and an economic recovery program that puts human needs- not war and Wall Street- in priority. Join us!

For more information, contact or call (319) 210-332

VIDEO: Marlon Pierre-Antoine on the crisis in Haiti

11 02 2010

Say No to Culver’s Cuts – Mobilize in C.R. to defend social services and education!

14 01 2010

By Marlon Pierre-Antoine

In the corporate media there is total consensus: Democratic Governor Chet Culver is being ‘forced’ to implement a 10% ($600 million) across the board cut to the state budget due to the world economic recession’s impact on Iowa. With the support of both his own party and the Republicans, no program is off limits – Medicare, food stamps, public education and more are all on the chopping block, hitting working people hard but particularly the state’s poorest residents, such as the thousands of unemployed workers who have lost their jobs since the beginning of the recession or the nearly 800 public sector workers who will be laid off as a result of the budget. According to Culver, further cuts will be ‘necessary’ in 2011.

This recession was caused by rampant financial speculation, at the heart of the capitalist system itself, which amplified the effects of the housing bubble’s collapse in late 2008. In its aftermath the bipartisan policy at both federal and state levels has been the same: bailouts and ‘golden parachutes’ for the rich, service cuts and layoffs for the poor. There are 113,100 unemployed workers in Iowa – 6.7% of the total labor force, a figure that is even higher among those under 29.

Fifty-nine percent of this year’s round of cuts, $332 million, will be to education, hitting the free lunch program for low income students, early childhood education and Iowa State University, among others. The state’s College Aid Commission’s budget is being slashed by $6.3 million, condemning high school graduates who can’t afford the prohibitive cost of college to a life of low-wage jobs in the service or retail sectors.

The contemptuous attitude of capitalism’s public representatives towards ordinary working people is shown by Culver’s assurance to the rich that any tax increases are “off the table.” This budget is a blatant attempt by Corporate America to make workers, students, and middle class people foot the bill for their crisis. This phenomenon is not unique to Iowa – similar budgets are being forced through across the country, most notably in California where a fight-back movement has emerged, with mass demonstrations and school occupations that have forced Governor Schwarzenegger to concede more funding to education.

For the Californian workers and for us in Iowa, the battle has just begun. The unions and and student organizations in California that initiated the movement there have called for a National Day of Action to Defend Education on March 4th. Local actions are being planned across the country, and Socialist Alternative in Cedar Rapids will be protesting in opposition to the cuts and for a solution to the state’s budget crisis that benefits students and working people. We are appealing to the American Federation of Teachers in Cedar Rapids, the Hawkeye Labor Council, student organizations, the Linn County Green Party and all progressive community organizations to join our branch in building an opposition to the corporate parties and their anti-worker, anti-poor attacks. We didn’t make this crisis; we refuse to pay for it!

  • NO slashing social services, NO layoffs, NO tuition hikes, NO college grant cuts
  • Funding for human needs, not war and Wall Street
  • For a massive public works program to rebuild downtown Cedar Rapids and provide jobs at union wages and conditions
  • For a federal bailout of the Iowa state budget
  • No support for the pro-cuts politicians! Unions, socialists, Greens and community groups should run pro-worker candidates against Governor Culver and the state Democrats and Republicans.

Take Action to Defend Education on March 4th!

12 01 2010

The Cedar Rapids branch will be organizing a local action on March 4th in defense of education and social services. For us this will be the opening round of an ongoing campaign against Democratic Governor Culver’s 10% across-the-board cuts to the state budget, which will wreak disastrous effects on the Iowan working class, especially the worst-off among us. Below is an article from the latest issue of Justice on March 4th.

Take Action to Defend Education on March 4th — They Say Cut Back – We Say Fight Back!
Jan 7, 2010
Pete Ikeler, Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York
All across the country, education is under attack. State governments have slashed the budgets of public universities, raised tuition, and cut jobs. Just last month, the University of California Board of Regents decided to increase tuition by 32% – that means students will have to pay $2,500 more each year. Students in the State and City Universities of New York have also endured tuition hikes for each of the last three semesters; a new round of cuts totaling almost $150 million is now on the table. But these are only the most recent examples.
We know that the money is there! Trillions, yes, trillions, have been handed to warmakers and big banks. At a time when enrollment in community colleges and job training programs is at an all-time high, state governments are cutting the funding! They use as their excuse the loss of tax revenue resulting from the current economic crisis. Capitalism cares about short-term profits, and public education isn’t a profitable “industry.”

But we have to make it clear: We didn’t make this crisis, and we won’t pay for it! It was the billionaires on Wall Street who caused this, not the students, educators, and parents. We need a public education system that offers free, quality education for all. Not just so we can be prepared for a harsh life under American capitalism, but so we can learn about the things that interest us and grow as human beings.

Students in California have shown the way through militant action. They’ve occupied buildings and staged massive demonstrations on the Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Davis campuses. For March 4, student groups and teachers’ unions across California have called a statewide day of action. But they are not alone!

This call has been actively supported by students and educators in New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois, and across the country. The call has now gone out for March 4 to become a national day of action in defense of education. Get in touch with Socialist Alternative to find out what’s going on in your area. Be a part of the fight to take back education and run it in the interests of students, workers, and the community – not for capitalists and their politicians! We demand:

  • No Cuts, Layoffs, Fee or Tuition Hikes
  • Fund Human Needs, Not War and Wall Street
  • For a Federal Bailout of State Budgets
  • Build Actions on March 4 to Defend Education and Tax the Rich!