Peter Camejo, Candidate And Activist, Passes Away
Peter Camejo, Green Party gubernatorial and vice-presidential candidate and longtime progressive political activist, passed away this morning in Folsom, California at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer.
"It is with great sadness and regret that I have to inform you that Peter Camejo died this morning," according to a statement this morning from The Camejo Family. "Peter decided that he would be more comfortable at home, and the doctors agreed. Arrangements were made, and ultimately Peter returned home yesterday. Peter's health had declined rapidly over the last two days due to the aggressiveness of his cancer and the strength of the drugs used to combat his disease. His wife was at his side when he passed peacefully this morning."
Peter is survived by his wife Morella, his daughter Alexandra, his son Victor, three brothers Antonio, Daniel, and Danny, and three grandchildren Andrew, Daniel and Oliver.
"Arrangements and memorial services will be announced at a later date. As a courtesy, the family requests that there be no calls at this time," the statement concluded.
Camejo, the son of a Venezuelan businessman and a veteran of the anti-war movement and numerous battles for social justice and human rights, was one of the best political debaters I've ever seen. Most recently, he became an expert on financially responsible green investing.
He could easily demolish any right wing opponent with his well-reasoned arguments based on his in-depth knowledge of the issues. I've never seen anybody in a debate that knew economics like he did.
He was a vociferous opponent of the Patriot Act and other attacks on our civil liberties and rights.
"I really think the Patriot Act violates our Constitution," said Camejo. "It was, it is, an illegal act. The Congress, the Senate and the president cannot change the Constitution."
He was also a great advocate of the need for third parties in a country dominated by two parties controlled by the rich corporate elite. Camejo was a fierce fighter for fair election laws and practices in the U.S.
"I was the candidate the first time a Green or any progressive third party has ever been in a national televised debate," he stated. "I was in five of them. And the response from the public was overwhelming."
Camejo was the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) presidential candidate in 1976. "He was a leader of the SWP during the years they were among the leaders of the antiwar movement, as a result of their broad-based approach to coalition-building," according to Third Party Watch (http://thirdpartywatch.com). "This approach was unusual among Marxist parties, known for a more sectarian focus on multiple issues. Some years later, Camejo rejected doctrinaire Marxism, but always considered himself a socialist."
Camejo was the Green Party candidate for California Governor three times, in 2002, 2003 and 2006. In 2002, he received 5.3% of the vote and outpolled the Republican candidate in San Francisco. In the 2003 recall election, he placed 4th out of a field of 135 candidates. In 2004 he ran for Vice President as Ralph Nader's running mate.
"Although he had been born in the United States, his parents were Venezuelan and he grew up in Venezuela. He was on the 1960 Venezuelan Olympics team," stated Third Party Watch.
He will greatly be missed by all of those fighting against the criminal cabal that now rules this country, a regime that has murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan while looting and destroying the U.S. economy.
[Note: This article was originally published at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/09/13/18537560.php]