Workers World Party selects candidates
By Deirdre Griswold
The national leadership of Workers World Party
met here on May 23 and selected party candidates to run in this
year's presidential election. Representatives from party
branches around the country gave their unanimous approval--and
a cheering, standing ovation--to a proposal from the
Secretariat of the National Committee that the candidates for
president and vice president, respectively, be John Parker of
Los Angeles and Teresa Gutierrez of New York.
The selection of Parker and Gutierrez reflects their
valuable work in the party over many years, their commitment to
the struggle of the multinational working class in this country
and around the world, and their ability to carry out and defend
the party's program with courage and determination.
Both have upheld the party's strong anti-imperialist
positions, traveling abroad to better understand the problems
in countries targeted by CIA subversion and Pentagon aggression
and then getting that knowledge out to the workers here through
many public venues.
Parker went to Sudan and visited that country's main
pharmaceutical plant after it was demolished in 1998 by a U.S.
missile strike. He has been to Iraq and seen the terrible
effects of sanctions on the people there, especially children.
He also did solidarity work in Cuba in 1997 with the Venceremos
Gutierrez has met with progressive forces in Colombia,
Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico. She recently was part of a
delegation to the Dominican Republic investigating the use of
that country as a training ground for the paramilitaries who
attacked Haiti and helped the U.S. depose its elected
president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
She has visited Cuba many times in solidarity with that
besieged but politically strong socialist country, and was a
major organizer of the powerful 1992 "Peace for Cuba" rally
held at New York's Javits Convention Center that demonstrated
the widespread support Cuba enjoyed in that difficult period
after the collapse of the USSR.
John Parker was only 18 when he organized his first union
election--at a small steel plant in New Jersey. An African
American, he has worked at a variety of other jobs, including
teaching at a public school in Newark. After moving to Los
Angeles with his family several years ago, he became a leader
in the anti-war movement there and helped organize and chair
several large rallies against the U.S. war in Iraq, sponsored
by the ANSWER Coalition. He then worked hard to mobilize
anti-war forces to support the 80,000 grocery workers on a
strike/lockout against three giant southern California food
Teresa Gutierrez first became politically active in the
Chican@ movement in Texas. She eventually moved to New York to
be part of a multinational party that puts the struggle against
racism and national oppression at the top of its agenda, as an
indispensable part of uniting the working class as a whole in
the struggle to end capitalism and build a socialist society. A
proud lesbian, she brings consciousness on the need to combat
sexist oppression to all her work.
These two working-class candidates will be running against
the pro-war, pro-intervention, pro-big business politics of
George W. Bush and John Kerry. They will use the election to
bring another vision of the world to a public that is saturated
day in and day out with the cynical view that the political
arena belongs only to those who can play the millionaires' game
and make the deals that buy elections.
The Parker-Gutierrez campaign will reach out to the class in
society that is made up of the millions, not the millionaires.
It will encourage mass action and class struggle and will warn
all those struggling for a better world not to rely on
capitalist elections to solve their problems. Their campaign
will also extend a hand of solidarity to the most oppressed,
many of whom to this day are still denied even a minute
semblance of bourgeois democratic rights and fill the prisons
in this country.
It will be a breath of fresh air, coming at a time when so
many who are appalled at the cruel, adventurist and repressive
character of the Bush administration are finding out that Kerry
has nothing to offer them on ending the Iraq occupation or on
the deepening crisis for the workers in this country that is
exacerbated by imperialist globalization.
Workers World newspaper will be covering the Parker-
Gutierrez campaign in depth over the next few months.
Reprinted from the June 3, 2004, issue of
Workers World newspaper
This article is copyrighted
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