Weymouth Resident Gearing Up To Build A Socialist Workers Party of Massachusetts

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/02/24/weymouth-resident-gearing-up-to-build-a-socialist-workers-party-of-massachusetts/

Nick Giannone isn’t a fan of the Democratic Party, but maybe not for the same reasons as most people who dislike it.

The 45-year-old is working on establishing a political party to the left of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. He is the founder of the Workers Party of Massachusetts, a socialist party that hopes to earn the ability to qualify as an official political designation by the end of the month. To do so, Giannone needs the signatures of 50 registered voters pledging to join the party to present to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.

So if he’s a left-winger, why isn’t he a Democrat? He explained his reasoning to NewBostonPost via email last week.

“The biggest distinction between the Democratic Party and the Workers Party is that the Democrats are an organization built to uphold the capitalist system and despite Republican rhetoric about the Democrats being socialists they would be a center-right party almost anywhere else in the world,” Giannone said in the email message. “The Workers Party supports the overthrow of the capitalist economic system and the establishment of both working class political power and a socialist economy and none of those things are in the Democratic Party platform.”

In fact, Giannone isn’t coming at this with a background in Democratic politics at all. He said he is starting the party because he sees an opening on the Left in Massachusetts that neither major party can fill.

“Lack of independent working class political representation where we live was the main inspiration for establishing the Workers Party,” he wrote. “Most of the founding members of the Workers Party have been involved in socialist organizations and movements that are primarily based in the immediate Boston and Cambridge area and we feel the need to expand the reach of socialism into working class communities outside the big cites. We believe that participation in electoral politics as a primary focus and a commitment to organize in new areas sets us apart from the existing socialist organizations who we agree with in many respects while acknowledging their limited political presence.”

Giannone grew up in Weymouth and lives there now. As for why he is a socialist, he told NewBostonPost, “A combination of working for a living and struggling under capitalism inspired me to be a socialist.”

Last year, Giannone was the party’s first ever candidate on the ballot in a state legislative race. He put Worker’s Party as his designation on the ballot and got 5.0 percent of the vote while running in the Fourth Norfolk District, which includes 13 precincts in Weymouth and one in Hingham. It was a three-way race; incumbent Democrat James Murphy won re-election with 64.7 percent of the vote. However, Giannone, a union boilermaker, did better where people were more familiar with him and his message. He got 11 percent of the vote in Weymouth’s first precinct, his home precinct.

Was that higher result because those voters in that area had more exposure to his socialist ideas? Giannone says yes and no. 

“There has definitely been an increased openness to socialism but this results from exposure to capitalism as much as exposure to the socialist ideas themselves,” he wrote. “Wars of aggression, financial crises, and other failures of capitalism push people to look for solutions outside the system and this has resulted in a renewed interest in socialism.”

He also said that the kinds of economic problems that the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated should make more people open to his ideas.

“COVID-19 has definitely exposed how wealth disparities affect people in a pandemic whether we’re talking about access to healthcare or who gets sacrificed for the economy in the name of being an ‘essential worker’,” he wrote. “This situation has also exposed the limitations of the system to meet the needs of people who are struggling to survive all the effects of the pandemic. The Workers Party prioritizes people over profits and supports reforms such as universal healthcare and expanded workers’ rights to organize and strike and we believe that a socialist system would be better equipped to fight a pandemic.”

The Workers Party of Massachusetts web site lists an array of policy stances. They include implementing a progressive income tax in Massachusetts, establishing universal health care in the state, lowering the voting age to 16, and letting everyone — regardless of immigration status — vote, attend college free of charge, and get free abortions. The party would also reestablish rent control, would provide free public transit, opposes charter schools, and would implement what it calls a “socialist Green New Deal.”

However, one stance the party has may surprise some:  “Repeal gun laws that restrict working class self-defense.”

Giannone explained what that means.

“I would like to see an unrestricted carry policy similar to what New Hampshire has,” Giannone said.

Unlike Massachusetts, people in New Hampshire do not need a license or permit to carry a firearm openly or concealed. (A state statute in New Hampshire sets forth standards for gun licenses, but also says the availability of gun licenses “shall not be construed to impose a prohibition on the unlicensed transport or carry of a firearm in a vehicle, or on or about one’s person, whether openly or concealed, loaded or unloaded, by a resident, nonresident, or alien if that individual is not otherwise prohibited by statute from possessing a firearm in the state of New Hampshire.”)

Giannone previously told NewBostonPost that he may run for state representative again in 2022. However, he also laid out the party’s bigger goals for not only this year, but next year as well.

“We haven’t ruled out running candidates in the 2021 municipal elections but our main focus for this year is consolidating our local organizations and our statewide structure to prepare to run candidates in the 2022 state elections,” he wrote. “In 2022 we hope to run statewide candidates to secure the 3% of the vote required for official party status in addition to running candidates for the Massachusetts Legislature in areas we have local organizations. We plan on utilizing all of these campaigns to promote revolutionary socialist politics, mass movements, and independent working class electoral activity in Massachusetts.”

Giannone also invited the rest of the working class to join the party.

“The capitalist class already has 2 parties and until we establish our own political organization, the working class will always be manipulated to serve interests other than our own,” Giannone said. “We encourage all working class people in Massachusetts to get involved in building a party of our own.”

More information on the Workers Party of Massachusetts is available on its web site: https://workerspartyma.wordpress.com.