Cynthia McKinney gains write-in status in North Carolina
Published Jul 31, 2008 11:53 PM
Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney was in Durham, N.C., on July 22 to
rally support for her Power to the People campaign. The North Carolina Greens
had been organizing since McKinney’s July 12 endorsement by the national
Green Party to collect the 500 signatures of registered voters needed to allow
McKinney to be a write-in candidate.
Left to right: FIST member Rima L'amir, Theresa El-Amin, David Josué,
Cynthia McKinney, Dante Strobino and Rev. David Foy at Know Bookstore. In front
of McKinney is Green Party member and FIST activist, Elena Everett. Josué
is McKinney's staff assistant.
Photo courtesy of Green Party
North Carolina has some of the harshest ballot-access laws requiring 2 percent
of the population, or over 70,000 valid signatures, to qualify to be on the
ballot. Only parties with hundreds of thousands of dollars at their disposal
can afford to organize to collect enough signatures to be eligible.
According to the N.C. Green Party, just over the 500 needed signatures were
collected for her to be a write-in candidate. McKinney and the N.C. Green Party
delivered the signatures to the Board of Elections on July 22, the cut-off
Following the delivery of petitions, a press conference was held where the N.C.
Green Party, Southern Anti-Racist Network, Workers World Party and its youth
group Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) spoke about their support for
McKinney. Many mentioned the importance of an African-American woman like
McKinney being in the forefront of the struggles against racism, war and the
oppression of the international working class.
After the press conference, Theresa El-Amin—long-time civil rights
fighter, Southern Anti-Racist Network organizer and recent Green Party
member—organized for McKinney to speak at a local Black bookstore in
Durham called Know Bookstore.
The bookstore was packed with dozens of supporters. McKinney spoke strongly
about her work around fighting for reparations and put that in the context of
the historic efforts made by W.E.B. Du Bois, who in 1948 brought the cause of
African-American people to the U.N. McKinney stated that in response to
DuBois’s efforts, he was told by the NAACP and others, “Now is not
McKinney elaborated on Paul Robeson bringing a similar complaint about the
unjust treatment of African Americans to the U.N. in 1952, but he was also
rebuffed. She was able to convince other members of the Congressional Black
Caucus to attend the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa,
in 2001 only to return to the 9/11 disaster, which, once again, put the
struggle for recognition of the international call for reparations on the back
McKinney then talked about her other positions, including getting the U.S.
immediately out of Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere and her support for a free
Palestine. She raised questions of democracy and talked at length about the
hundreds of millions of dollars of capital being lost by African Americans due
to the current housing foreclosure crisis.
After her speech, the crowd asked for her thoughts on two controversial
questions—Zimbabwe and Darfur. She tied Zimbabwe to the land question and
the issue of Western interference. On Darfur, she raised Western meddling, oil
interests and geopolitics. She never once attacked the governments of Zimbabwe
and the Sudan; in fact, she defended them on the basis of support for
The writer spoke at the July 22 press conference representing FIST and
Workers World Party.
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