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The following article was written by Glen Ford and first appeared on the website Black Agenda Report on February 22, 2018. It is reprinted here with permission.
“The ruling circles of the imperial superpower set out to destabilize and call into disrepute the government of the home country.”
Robert Mueller, the former head of the national political police (FBI), has indicted 13 Russian nationals for the crime of sowing “discord in the U.S. political system” and encouraging “U.S. minority groups not to vote in the 2016 U.S. presidential election or to vote for a third-party U.S. presidential candidate.”
The defendants’ nationality makes their acts of political speech a crime, in Mueller’s legal view, but “at least 20 Americans” are embedded in the document as unindicted co-conspirators “ because they interacted in various ways with the Russian team’s activities during the 2016 presidential campaign.
These U.S. citizens “were just engaging in politics,” said independent journalist Marcy Wheeler, on Democracy Now! “They were putting together campaign events. They were engaging in online speech. That’s like, you know, the most sacred part of being an American citizen. And yet, they were unknowingly interacting with Russians….”
The Russians will never face trial in the U.S., and it is highly unlikely that the unindicted Americans will be criminally charged -- but that is not the purpose of Mueller’s indictment. The political crime has been defined, for the broad purpose of repressing dissent in the United States. The witch hunt has found a legalistic vocabulary.
Gloria La Riva is a veteran social justice, anti-war and union activist and organizer. She has been active in a number of causes and communities in California and beyond. In the struggle for immigrant rights, Gloria has spoken at many mass marches in California. In 1991, she initiated the Farmworkers Emergency Relief campaign.
Gloria has been a key organizer of mass demonstrations opposing the Iraq wars and produced the award-winning video Genocide by Sanctions in 1998. In September 2005, days after Hurricane Katrina touched down, La Riva traveled to New Orleans, producing the video Heroes Not Looters.
Gloria was an independent candidate for U.S. vice president in the national elections of 1984, 1988 and 1996. In 2008, she was the presidential candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL); she was the presidential nominee of the PSL and PFP for the . was the PFP and the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) nominee for U.S. president in 2016. She also ran as a gubernatorial candidate in 2010 and 2014.
The following statement was issued by Peace and Freedom Party nominee for U.S. Senate John Parker and delivered at the February 15 press conference in Sacramento officially introducing PFP candidates running for office in the June 2018 primary election.
John Parker, a national leader of Workers World Party, is the Peace and Freedom Party candidate for U.S. Senate. He is well-known in Los Angeles, where he resides, as a long-time fighter against white supremacy, police terror and for immigrant and worker rights.
Parker has traveled worldwide and written extensively as an anti-war and anti-imperialist activist often representing the International Action Center. His international experience is critical at a time when Trump’s trigger finger is itching to go nuclear against North Korea and also threatening military intervention in Venezuela, and all the while escalating the war in Syria.
Parker campaigns to end capitalism and fight for socialism, declaring that Trump’s deportations, police terror, giveaways to corporations, white supremacy, misogyny, programs to deepen poverty, and his extreme militarism are part of capitalism, inspired by the previous administration’s record deportations and wars. Your vote for John Parker for U.S. Senate will help to build a movement for revolutionary change.
The following statement was issued by Peace and Freedom Party nominee for California state treasurer Kevin Akin and delivered at the February 15 press conference in Sacramento officially introducing PFP candidates running for office in the June 2018 primary election.
I am running for Treasurer because working people do all the labor, but billionaires take what we make. The ultra-wealthy dominate our economic and political system, keeping major-party politicians from doing anything that will benefit workers to the detriment of the billionaires. I have no intention of representing “all Californians” in Sacramento. I will only represent 99% of them. The One Percent has plenty of representation in Sacramento already.
An excellent example of the distortion in our political system is the question of a California State Bank. North Dakota has a state bank, established back in the day when socialists were represented in their legislature. North Dakota is politically dominated by rather right-wing Republicans today, but the state bank is alive and well, providing important services and saving North Dakota taxpayers millions every year. It is too popular for politicians to kill. But in California, when the legislature passed a bill that merely authorized a study of the possibility of setting up a state bank back in 2011, our oil multi-millionaire governor vetoed the bill. The bankers were determined that no study be done, because it would reveal the immense benefits such a bank would bring to our state.
Last Monday, I submitted my candidate statement to the Secretary of State for printing in the Voter Information Guide. It included this sentence: “A publicly-owned State Bank would save enormous sums for the people.” The following morning, I was pleased to see the Los Angeles Times print an op-ed piece by David Dayen called “A public bank for all, not just pot entrepreneurs.” He provided excellent arguments, but I will be providing more reasons every week on my campaign website.
Help us send statements calling for fundamental change to 19 million American voters living in California!
The Peace and Freedom Party candidates in California’s June 5th election need to pay for their statements in the official voter information guide, sent to 19 million voters, by Wednesday, February 14th.
We hope to reach the voters of the most populous state in the union with strong and clear statements of the need for real solutions to the problems caused by the billionaires. Full-length statements of 250 words each would cost a total of $43,000, so we will have to settle for shorter statements, but every word counts.
Please help! Can you give at least $25 to put one word in the voter’s guide? More or less is fine, but please give something for these campaigns by working-class candidates. Residents of any state may contribute, and people in every state will benefit from putting a left view on major issues before the voters of the most populous state in the union.
On November 6, Californians will be voting in the 2018 Gubernatorial Elections, an election that will also include elections of lieutenant governor, senators, state representatives, attorney general and several key executive official positions.
Seven Peace and Freedom Party candidates to date have filed to run for statewide office in the June 2018 California Primary. Our current slate of candidates, plus one independent candidate the PFP is endorsing, is as follows.
Gloria La Riva — Peace and Freedom Party candidate, Governor
Gloria La Riva is a veteran social justice, anti-war and union activist and organizer. She was 2010 and 2014 candidate for governor, and 2016 Peace and Freedom Party and Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate for U.S. president.
Gayle McLaughlin —
Peace and Freedom Party endorsee, Lieutenant Governor
Gayle McLaughlin is a former two-term mayor of Richmond, where she founded the Richmond Progressive Alliance. As mayor, Gayle led Richmond’s remarkable transformation which included reducing homicides by 75%, increasing the minimum wage, promoting sustainable development, advocating rent control, defending immigrant rights, progressively taxing corporate interests, defending public schools and opposing the expansion of charter schools. Gayle is proudly corporate-free and running for Lieutenant Governor with one concept at center: People First!
John Thompson Parker —
Peace and Freedom Party candidate, U.S. Senator
John is a coordinator of the International Action Center, an elected member of the Peace and Freedom Party State Central Committee, and an activist with the Workers World Party. He is a socialist who seeks to represent the working class rather than the billionaires. John says, “In these days when the Trump administration is trying to divide and weaken the working class, solidarity in each other’s struggles is our most important weapon.” Among John’s top priorities as a U.S. Senator include stopping police killings, redistributing monies devoted to “endless wars” into social necessities such as free healthcare, and ending the prison-industrial complex.
Let’s face it: We can’t fight for working people at the ballot box (or anywhere else) without spending money. We don’t represent the owners of the businesses that pay for and control, directly and indirectly, the major political parties. The capitalists are not going to help us – not one cent.
We need your help to stand up for working people in the 2018 election and beyond.
Spread the word about the Peace and Freedom Party. Encourage your friends to register Peace and Freedom, join the supporting membership program, and get involved.
Here are some introductory handouts you can download and print for distribution. For a more extensive archive of our literature, click here.