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News :: Politics
Camejo Speaks Truth To Confusion at NU
22 Sep 2004
Flanking the front entrance to the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute on the North Eastern University Campus were two young converts to the socialist cause. In their hands they flashed the socialist worker and pushed it on people in charming ways such as “Happy Socialist Worker!” Knowing how to keep myself independent of dogmatic political organizations I cut off one girls query of “Have you seen our paper before?” to ask what room the event would be held in. Once inside I was swimming in a river of socialists pushing their literature and newspapers, asking for donations from idealistic college kids. What the hell was I doing here? I had to remind myself that I came to see one of the Green party’s heroes make a speech, Nader’s Running mate, Peter Miguel Camejo. I heard him talk, and he was pretty brilliant, but what struck me more was the political confusion on the North Eastern Campus and the possibility that it might be the same on college campuses across the country.
camejo6.jpg
I was somewhat solaced when I sat down inside and noticed the conspicuous absence of socialist newspapers in the young audiences hands, yet I couldn’t help but think back to 2000 when Nader and his then running mate LaDuke were drawing thousands to their rallies, and the crowds that came were mostly made up of progressives but included a cross section of the left, and a few from the right. Ah, the good old days, when we talked about the issues instead of ABB (Anybody But Bush.)

Things are different now. Waiting to pounce on Camejo by the front entrance were two Boston Constables and an accompanying NU security officer. According to Mike Richardson, Camejo’s National Ballot Access Coordinator, they were there to serve papers to Camejo for a lawsuit filed by democrats in Arkansas. Arkansas is one of the 14 states that has so far kept Nader/Camejo off the Ballot. Once Camejo accepted these papers and smilingly told the constables to “take care,” Camejo was officially off the ballot in that state.

The battle for the ballot in Arkansas is just one story in 50 around the country where bellicose democrats have attacked the Nader campaign's ability to be listed on the ballot, and although when you read on it sounds ridiculous, it isn’t the most egregious abuse of the political system the democrats have committed. Just today they were thrown off the ballot in Hawaii for being just 39 names short and in New Mexico a judge’s decision was invalidated when it was disclosed that she had just given a $1000 donation to the Kerry campaign, now three State Supreme Court Justices have refused to hear the case there. But last night it was Arkansas.

“Arkansas has some of the most obscure state laws on ballot access around,” says Richardson. Many challenges were brought against the Nader group there but their increasingly savvy legal team maneuvered through them until a small clause was noticed by the democrats. The clause states that a petition to be on the ballot must include language that indicates that they support Nader being placed on the ballot AND that they will vote for him. The latter condition is unique to Arkansas and well forgotten, because (and this is the kicker) the Nader campaign used a State supplied form for their petition! Richardson is positive that the Arkansas decision can be appealed, “we can challenge the validity of the law itself or counter that the state is at fault for providing us with a faulty form.”

While Camejo was signing off on these papers in the back of the room, the other speaker of the evening, Didrick Muhammad of United for a Fair Economy, coordinator of the Racial Wealth Divide Education Project, and former National Coordinator for the Al Sharpton Campaign, was fending off an attack. It became increasingly clear throughout the evening that members of the cult-like Larouche wing of the Democratic Party were strategically peppered throughout the room, and they were accusing Al Sharpton of some typically undecipherable offence. Understandably frustrated, Muhammad took the bait, “I am so sick of these little Larouche kids trying to break up our meetings, why don’t you hold your own events instead of trying to disrupt others?”

Shortly, Camejo took Muhammad’s place behind the podium and began to speak. If you’ve never heard him orate before, it is worth hearing him out whether you agree with his ideas or not. He is an imminently sensible reasoner with an excellent ability to chop complicated ideas down into concise, memorable points. Having been the green candidate for Governor up against “the Terminator” he expounded on the Greens massive successes in California over the last four years, and they are impressive. After winning 5.2% of the vote in the state and 17% in San Francisco, and participating in the most watched televised debate in a race other than presidential in history, Camejo and the Greens had a new notoriety in California. (Source: California Secretary of State)

That new recognition was put to use almost immediately in the San Francisco Mayoral race. The republicans had endorsed a candidate named Gavin Newsom, a right leaning democrat. He was unable to acquire 50% of the vote in the first election and under San Francisco’s code this called for a runoff. It was Gavin Newsom vs. the second biggest vote claimer, Matt Gonzalez of the Greens. Without the “spoiler effect” Gonzalez almost won the election, with 47% of the vote to Newsom’s 53%, a final difference of less than 15,000 votes.

Camejo used this example of the Green party’s power, sans spoiler, to show the need for electoral reforms such as Instant Runoff Voting, and to attack the democrats for blaming the greens for Bush’s win in 2000 instead of blaming themselves for not representing what Americans truly think. He also lambasted the democrats and the republicans for their uneven tax policies, their position on the war, their ignorance of the coming rise in oil prices, and their support of Iyad Allawi, former CIA operative and terrorist, now US appointed Prime Minister to Iraq.

During Camejo’s speech, several Larouchie’s spoke loud gibberish and were eventually forcibly removed by collective decision of the crowd (with the willing help of Indymedia). At the end of the rally they sung a song calling Nader a Nazi. Do I have to dispute this? Well, considering one young woman’s comment “Who’s Larouche?” I suppose I should take a stab at explaining this phenomenon. Lyndon Larouche is a strange and hard to decipher figure within the Democratic Party. He is called a fascist or a communist by the republicans, and a fascist or a populist pedagogue by the democrats yet he has powerful connections within both parties as well as governments around the world because of a well organized international network for spying and propaganda. Most recognize Larouchites as a Fascist organization with echoes of the Nazi party. His organization is currently recruiting heavily on college campuses throughout the country using techniques that could easily be considered brainwashing. Students beware! Do not give a Larouchie your contact info! You will be hounded relentlessly, encouraged to quit school, and pushed into recruiting new members and possibly taking money from little old ladies! (Not an exaggeration, read here.)

Camejo addressed the disruptive party directly by pointing out that this is precisely how the Democratic Party would act if they felt threatened by a potential rise in Green influence and support for an electoral system that would make third parties more viable. Nader himself is rumored to be arriving in the state on October 4th for a Rally and Fundraiser. Watch http://boston.indymedia.org for upcoming coverage.


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Comments

Indymedia: if it's red-baiting, it belongs here!
23 Sep 2004
Well, the author clearly dislikes socialist parties! And maybe there was something in there about Camejo's speech -- I think I missed it.

John Parker for President!
http://www.vote4workers.org/
Re: Camejo Speaks Truth To Confusion at NU
23 Sep 2004
Actually, he said next to nothing about socialist parties after the secnod paragraph...
Re: Camejo Speaks Truth To Confusion at NU
23 Sep 2004
Red herring=workers world party

I don't dislike all socialist parties, I actually consider myself in agreement with a number of socialist principles, but I don't like people who are dogmatic in their approach. The smartest people in this world are those who will admit they don't know a damn thing for sure. ISO members and WWP members like yourself always insist they have the answers, and that in itself is suspect to me and a big turnoff. -Just my personal opinon- nothing to do with indymedia at all. Socialists that insist they know the truth remind me of everything that went wrong with socialism. Socialists who admit the possibility of their own fallability are at least thinking.

To me, it's the collective knowledge of the people that knows what is right, and I trust no single individual to make a better decision than a collective of persons. In the same way I trust no group of persons that adheres to exactly the same philosophy.

In fact it's really funny that you say we're red baiting because we seem to get it from all sides. We are accused of being communists, anarchists, a bunch of things I wouldn't want to repeat, fascists, democrats, "white upper middle class college trust funders" and all sorts of things. What's next I wonder? I haven't been called a McCarthyite yet, or when will I get called a Nazi? And really, out of all the people that criticize, I've never seen one step up and join the collective or even write an original news story for us. Indymedia as I see it is a forum of voices, and inside the collective we hardly ever agree easily on anything. I dare you all to get involved. I dare you to do some work around here. And I double dog dare you to accept another persons opinion.
I have the answers!
23 Sep 2004
Yes, I insist upon it!
Re: Camejo Speaks Truth To Confusion at NU
23 Sep 2004
This is the FIRST and Last time I vote Democrat. I've been a third party voter for years.
Greens Party IS for the people. (I want Bush OUT!)
Vote to end loonacy. Patriot Act. Environmental nightmares. Beating up the elderly and middle class. Constant lies to the American people.
Vote!
Re: Camejo Speaks Truth To Confusion at NU
23 Sep 2004
Thought I should point out that voting for Kerry won't end the Patriot Act, he voted for it and stands by it.
Also, the LaRocche people ARE assholes. On the last day of the DNC we were rallying at Copley Square (protesting the Democrats and Kerry) and those kids came up as a choir with a LaRouche banner and starting singing. Quickly the media swung over to them. They were mooching off our event and disrupting it, just like they are described in this article. (Needless to say about twenty of us, mostly drummers, went over to them and drowned them out, and they quickly left).
Also, I don't have a problem with socialists, I believe in a lot of socialist ideas like universal healthcare and workers' rights, but the people who sell those papers are so annoying. You shouldn't be trying to convert people like that (not to mention make them pay for it).
Re: Camejo Speaks Truth To Confusion at NU
24 Sep 2004
unfortunately, gang, m-l kids have every right to sell their papers at such a gathering

pete can express his opinion that they are annoying--which they often are--but indymedia readers can hardly attack them for participating in an independent publishing enterprise paid for almost solely by money raised selling papers on the street

try hawking papers sometime, even the Indypendent, and see if you can do it without annoying some people. . .
Re: Camejo Speaks Truth To Confusion at NU
27 Sep 2004
Just to confirm,I gave my info to larocche campaign and they are persistant as all hell. They kept calling me trying to get me go to a "Training" in pennsylvania or Virginia. So let me second the motion do NOT give LaRocche any info if you dont want to be hounded for weeks.
Re: Camejo Speaks Truth To Confusion at NU
01 Oct 2004
Don't you think that powerful organizations fund these political organizations that differ from the idealogy of the Democrats and Republicans in order to keep the political infighting going strong in order to keep eye off the major issues that need resolution ASAP?? Divide and conquer on a grand scale!! By no means am I A conspiracy theorist just a realist who thinks that real solutions comes from individuals and groups that are allowed to grow and prosper in their own right as opposed to central authorities governing the WHOLE process of all nations. It should be a consensus among all nations and countries to live in harmony with each other despite differences not to have everyone conform to an idealogy that outside forces dictate to the masses.
Re: Camejo Speaks Truth To Confusion at NU
02 Oct 2004
Nice comment Xavier, but I just want to clarify one thing. Lyndon Larouche is a democrat, and he does have some powerful supporters in our government and internationally. Unfortunately, he's a little bit scarier than "fringe". Just because we can all tell he's insane doesn't mean he can't get things done.
depression
04 Jun 2006
Nice site... Cool guestbook...