“Democracy” in this society provides workers with the opportunity to elect a Republican or Democrat every four years to become the CEO of the capitalist state machine. That machine, the capitalist government, manages the interests of the bankers and corporate bosses. It is a machine that rules over a global empire. Spending at least $700 billion each year on military product, the White House manages a vast global network of 750 military bases in 130 countries.
The candidates of the Democratic and Republican Party can gain the nomination only if they have convinced sufficient sectors within the capitalist ruling establishment that they will provide the leadership that suits their class’ needs. That is the reason that the various candidates, in spite of their different personalities and affiliations, end up sounding so very similar. This system, because it always favors the bankers and militarists, is viscously anti worker and anti-poor. Thus, “democracy” as it is currently organized, allows each working class voter to choose who will oppress them for the next four years. That is not a great choice.
The PSL’s intervention the 2008 elections provides people with a true alternative. Our program is rooted in fundamental working-class interests: peace, not war; jobs and people’s needs; equal rights for all; and socialism.
For these reasons, we are thrilled to be on the ballot in New Jersey, Iowa and Utah, as well as Arkansas, Vermont, Colorado, Florida, Washington, with more states to come. These tremendous accomplishments could not have been possible without the hard work of dedicated PSL campaign volunteers. The La Riva/Puryear campaign is a grassroots campaign with no paid campaign workers.
For the past five weeks, volunteers have been fanning out through all five boroughs in New York City to collect 30,000 signatures of registered voters in order to qualify for ballot status in New York State. That is a huge effort and we are almost finished. Because of the huge sacrifice of volunteers, the PSL’s La Riva/Puryear campaign is almost finished with this task. And then it will be on to the final states.
Because we have also achieved ballot status in New Jersey, again with the help of volunteer petitioners and electors, tens of millions of people in the New York and New Jersey area will hear the message of the La Riva/Puryear campaign.
Ballot access in Utah required 1,000 valid signatures of registered Utah voters. PSL campaign volunteers focused their successful petitioning efforts at the Utah Pride Parade and Festival, which is attended by tens of thousands of people from Utah and neighboring states who support LGBT equality.
In order to achieve ballot status in Iowa, we were required to collect 1,500 valid signatures of Iowan voters. Our volunteers collected over 1,900 signatures to ensure that PSL would be on the ballot. PSL campaign volunteers petitioned in cities and towns all over Iowa, including Davenport, Waterloo, Des Moines and Iowa City. Much of the petitioning was conducted at festivals, such as the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival and My Waterloo Days Festival.
Workers’ voices will be heard
It is of critical importance that the PSL campaign will be active throughout Louisiana in the coming months. Gloria, Eugene and the PSL have been fighting for the Hurricane Katrina and Rita survivors since 2005. They have gone repeatedly to New Orleans. On September 24, 2005 they were leaders of the mass anti-war protests in Washington DC and San Francisco that brought together hundreds of thousands of people under the slogan: From Iraq to New Orleans, Fund Peoples Needs Not the War Machine. They have also been to Jena, Louisiana to stand with the Jena 6 and their families. Eugene has been a leader of the national campaign to win justice for the Jena 6.
It is also extremely important that the PSL will be on the ballot in Iowa in 2008. As the U.S. government continues to spend $425 million a day on the Iraq war—spending supported by capitalist candidates Barack Obama and John McCain—Iowan workers endured unimaginable suffering in June when massive floods ravaged the state. At least 28 people died, and those who survived were left to fend for themselves. Their homes were destroyed, many lost their jobs, and 17 percent of the region’s crops were damaged. Most of the levees in the affected areas failed due to underfunding and a stunning lack of government coordination.
Unlike the capitalist politicians, who feign empathy for the working class during the elections only to facilitate the domination of the capitalist class, our socialist campaign stands with workers and oppressed people.
Immediately after the flooding started, PSL Presidential Candidate Gloria La Riva, PSL Illinois State Assembly candidate John Beacham, and PSL Chicago organizer Stefanie Fisher visited the flood-devastated areas of Iowa to help in emergency-sandbagging efforts. The PSL was there to express solidarity with the affected communities and demand full and comprehensive relief for flood victims.
Having achieved ballot access in Iowa, the PSL’s demands for justice for flood victims will continue to be heard loud and clear. We will expose the twin parties of capitalism as the frauds and liars they are. Our campaign gives a voice to the people.
Likewise, it is critical that New Jersey workers’ voices be heard during the elections. The PSL will make sure that happens. The rate of poverty in New Jersey is the highest of all states in the Northeast. Fifty percent of income earned in New Jersey is held by 20 percent of the households, while the bottom 20 percent of households earns less than four percent of all income in the state.
The experience of petitioning at Utah Pride also reinforced the importance of the PSL’s electoral intervention. In 2004, a state constitutional amendment was passed defining marriage as only being “between a man and a woman.” It also banned civil unions and domestic partnership benefits. The PSL’s campaign will demand full marriage equality in Utah and across the country, a demand that will not be touched by Obama or McCain. We are a fighting campaign.
We want to speak to the tens of millions of working-class and oppressed people who desire real change but will not get it through the capitalist electoral process. We want to fight shoulder to shoulder with our class—the working class—in every struggle against the profit system. We want to be a catalyst to raise working-class consciousness in every arena. Most importantly, we want to spread the ideas of revolution, of true change.
At this very moment, PSL campaign volunteers are working around the clock to get the La Riva/Puryear PSL Presidential Campaign on the ballot in other states across the country.
We need your financial help to continue this effort.
Ballot access, concrete solidarity and struggle are necessary components of the PSL’s 2008 presidential campaign. Our necessary work can only continue with your assistance.
Please make a generous donation to the PSL today at: https://secure2.convio.net/peppsl/site/Donation2?idb=1768117007&df_id=1120&1120.donation=form1&JServSessionIdr011=z14g14d192.app5b
1) Please make an urgently need donation to the La Riva/Puryear PSL presidential campaign today: https://secure2.convio.net/peppsl/site/Donation2?idb=1768117007&df_id=1120&1120.donation=form1&JServSessionIdr011=z14g14d192.app5b
2) Go to this link to volunteer with the VotePSL campaign: http://www.pslweb.org/site/Survey?SURVEY_ID=1461&ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS
3) Go to this link to go to VotePSL.org and read more about the campaign: http://www.pslweb.org/site/PageServer?pagename=votepsl_home