Shouting "We support war resisters, they're our brothers. They're our sisters," the picket line stretched an entire block and was joined by activists from TONC, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition, Workers World Party, International Socialist Organization, Vets for Peace, Smedley Butler Brigade, Women's Fightback Network, Stonewall Warriors and Boston School Bus Drivers Union, Steelworkers Local 8751.
Mike Spinnato from IVAW told WW, "Reading Howard Zinn's 'People's History of the United States' opened my eyes to the reality of what armed forces recruitment was really about."
FIST organizer Miya spoke on the connection between the military recruiting oppressed youth to fight and die abroad and the need for jobs for youth, not jails and war.
The above is from Monica Moorehead's "Activists demand: 'Hands Off Iran!'" (Workers World) and there are stories of more protests in the article from across the country. We zoomed in on that one due to war resistance.
Now we're moving over to the US presidential race. Ralph Nader is the independent candidate for president, Matt Gonzalez is his running mate. Yesterday another state was added. From Jon Lender's "Nader Likely To Be On Presidential Ballot In State" (Hartford Courant):
Ralph Nader's supporters submitted nearly 17,000 petition signatures to state officials Wednesday, saying they have assured the longtime consumer activist from Winsted a spot on the November presidential ballot's Connecticut Independent Party line.
By law, they needed only 7,500 signatures of registered voters, so state officials said their total is probably sufficient to survive a two-week verification process and place Nader on Connecticut voting machines with the two major-party nominees. Nader's running mate is Matt Gonzalez of San Francisco.
Petitions also were submitted by Wednesday's 4 p.m. deadline on behalf of presidential candidates for the Green and Libertarian parties.
As the Nader campaign continues to gather momentum, more and more in the mainstream media begin paying attention to the campaign. This is from Maria Recio's "Just when you thought it was safe, Nader's coming back" (McClatchy Newspapers):
Nader accuses the news media of being in a "cultural rut" by ignoring him. He said he'd been on national television only 10 seconds this election cycle.
"Put me in all the debates and we'll have a three-way race," Nader said of likely Democratic nominee Barack Obama and Republican nominee John McCain.
An AP-Ipsos poll released Tuesday shows Obama with a 6-point lead over McCain and Nader at 3 percent among registered voters. Recent CNN/Opinion Research polls scored Nader's support at 6 percent.
His critics worry about a repeat of 2000.
Nader, who's called Bush a "raging pit bull," hates the spoiler label that's been hung on him since that election, saying it's "a contemptuous word of political bigotry."
As for Obama, Nader said he "lost all respect for him" when the Illinois senator spoke out against impeaching Bush. Nader supports impeachment because of how Bush handled the lead-up to the war in Iraq.
David Cook's "Nader, still in the presidential ring, sees in Obama a decline in 'fortitude'" (Christian Science Monitor) documents a wide ranging discussion Nader held with reporters yesterday:
The longtime consumer advocate spoke the day after the release of an Associated Press-Ipsos national poll showing him with support from 3 percent of likely voters. Senator Obama led with 47 percent, while the GOP’s Sen. John McCain was favored by 41 percent.
Support for his fifth bid for president "will be much greater than" in 2004, Nader predicted. In the last presidential election, "the Democrats filed 24 lawsuits in 18 states in 12 weeks to get us off the ballot and harassed our petitioners. So we didn’t get on a lot of ballots." The ticket of Nader and vice-presidential candidate Matt Gonzales, a civil rights attorney from San Francisco, will be on 45 state ballots this November, he said.
Earlier this year, Nader called Obama "a person of substance" and "the first liberal evangelist in a long time." But Wednesday morning, his assessment of the first-term senator from Illinois was critical.
"All these candidates of the major parties know far more than they act on. And that gap is the fortitude gap. Do they want to demonstrate political courage? Do they want to spend their capital?" Nader said. "Obama has demonstrated a decreasing level of fortitude, a decreasing willingness to spend his capital. I think for the bottom 100 million Americans -- low-income whites, blacks, and Latinos -- he is not really associated in this town with any comprehensive proposal -- economic, political, social. And we expect more of him."
Nader added, "People who have fought the civil rights battle economically, politically, legally, as we have since the '50s, would often talk about - would happen if we had an African-American president or chairpersons of major congressional committees. It doesn’t look like it is going to be what we all thought it would be."
Arguing for the media to do their job is Sheila Lyda who writes "Media should cover all 6 candidates" (The Arizona Republic):
I am thoroughly upset with the media's attention to the election candidates.
I wonder how many people know that there are six candidates for the presidency; yet all we ever hear about are the Republican and the Democrat. We also have former Congressman Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party; pastor and radio talk-show host Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party; former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party; and Ralph Nader who is running as an independent.
I thought the money the candidates raised for their campaigns was for the paid media coverage as well as the traveling they do. This makes me wonder if they also pay to have normal news coverage.
Why is there never any mention of the other candidates? Anyone who wants to know about the other candidates can go online to sites such as Wikipedia.com.
- Sheila Lyda,Phoenix
And Julie notes the Nader campaign video below.
Meanwhile Skip notes "DVD: Stop-Loss" (Third) about Kimberly Peirce's excellent Stop-Loss. And he suggests everyone check out his country's At the Movies which
has text (transcript of the discussion as well as Margaret Pomeranz' review of the film) and video.
Wally's "THIS JUST IN! CHUCKLES ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL!" and Cedric's "Barack's misadventures" (joint-post) covers the campaign beat. Others posting last night sought to highlight favorite films from the eighties. Be sure to check out Rebecca's "st.elmo's fire and heathers," Mike's "Jumping Jack Flash," Marcia's "Pee Wee's Big Adventure," Ruth's "Private Benjamin," Elaine's "Michelle Pfeiffer" and Kat's "The Godfather III, Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" and, though they went up this weekend, let's note Trina's "Garlic Soup in the Kitchen" about the economy and Betty's "Heckle & Jeckle" about Betinna's campaigning for Ralph.
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