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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 October 2004

US Elections: Putting An Alternative

SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE (the Socialist Party's counterpart in the US) were recently invited to participate in a "Presidential debate watch" event at Kennedy High, Minneapolis.

Ty Moore

Nearly 1,000 students had packed into a huge lecture hall to watch the official Kerry/Bush debate, and then to a panel discussion afterwards with student reps from the Kerry, Bush, Ralph Nader (independent and anti-corporate radical), and David Cobb (Green Party) campaigns. I spoke on behalf of Socialist Alternative and Students for Nader.

We passed out several dozen "Let Ralph debate" signs that could be seen here and there throughout the audience, and prominently in the section where our branch and supporters sat.

Each campaign rep spoke before the debate started for two minutes. The Kerry and Bush reps went first and gave drab, personalised little talks on why they liked their candidates.

My speech began with the lines: "We already know who the winner of the 2004 election is - the winner supports the occupation of Iraq, the winner opposes gay marriage, the winner..." etc.

This initially was received with dead silence, then muted booing, then, responding to the boos, even louder cheers from wide sections of the overwhelmingly pro-Kerry audience.

I got the biggest applause of any speaker when I said: "These debates we are about to watch are a total farce. They are a theatrical gimmick, stage-managed by corporate America to provide the illusion of genuine democracy."

After the debate, a moderator asked us on the panel various questions and again the stark contrast between the answers I and the Cobb rep (who was actually quite a radical student Green) gave, compared to the hum-drum crap from the Kerry and Bush reps, created a very electric and polarised mood in the vocal room.

After the event our table was mobbed as the location for heated discussions and debates, lasting nearly an hour after the event.

Minneapolis Socialist Alternative branch has recruited eleven new members in the last few weeks - four of the new members are students from Kennedy High and six out of the eleven are women.

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In The Socialist 16 October 2004:

A Socialist World Is Possible

PCS Strike Ballot: Vote 'Yes' To Defend Jobs And Services


International socialist news and analysis

Iraq - Withdraw The Troops

'Solid' General Strike in Nigeria Shows Fury At Elite


Pensions

Fight Back Against A Future Of Pension Poverty

A Socialist Guide To The ESF


European Social Forum

The Socialist Party at the ESF:

Did The Anti-War Movement Fail?

CWI - Building Socialism Worldwide

How a socialist economy would work

Workers Must Fight Attacks On Living Standards

Italy - Mass Struggle And The Forces Of The Left

International Socialist Resistance: Get Organised And Fight For Socialism


International socialist news and analysis

The Lessons Of Chile 1970-73

International Workers' Solidarity

US Elections: Putting An Alternative


 

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