Freedom Socialist Letters to the editor December 2012

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Great candidates

It was so good to vote for two people I know for president and vice president, Stephen and Christina. To vote for socialists. To vote for community activists. To vote for a gay man and a long time union activist and community organizer. To vote for a woman of color. To vote for two candidates who speak about the poor and corporate greed — this was meaningful voting!

Thank you for running these two great candidates and human beings. Stephen and Christina may not win, but they raised issues that the look alike, act alike, corporate lap dogs, Democrats and Republicans never do.

Roger Yockey, Lynnwood, Wash.

Activists fined

On Aug. 1, top-two election system supporters in California won a court order, requiring six grass-roots individuals who filed a lawsuit to overturn two problems with California’s system to pay $243,500. A top-two system places all candidates on a single primary ballot, and all voters use that ballot. Then, in the general election in November, the only candidates who can run are the two who got the most votes in the primary.

In California, party labels are only permitted for the qualified parties, and it is very tough to become a qualified party in California. So even though socialists may want to run, they can’t print a “socialist” label on the ballot, because no parties with “socialist” in their name are ballot-qualified in California. They would need 103,008 registered members to become qualified.

Four voters and two candidates, including a Socialist Action candidate, filed a lawsuit against the California law that restricts party labels for some candidates.

Not only did the state courts uphold the discriminatory law on labels, a San Francisco Superior Court judge determined that just filing a lawsuit against the discriminatory law “injured the public interest.” That judge, Curtis Karnow, says the six individuals must now pay $243,500 to the attorneys who intervened in the case to defend the existing discriminatory law.

The six plaintiffs include Jeff Mackler, a leader of Socialist Action in California. The six are appealing the judgment on attorneys’ fees, and may soon establish a defense committee.

Richard Winger, San Francisco


Israel shatters truces

On Nov. 15, three Israelis were killed as a result of rocket fire from Gaza.

This came after Israel had killed 13 Palestinians, including three children and a woman, and injured 115, including 26 children and 25 women since Nov. 14.

This will be presented by Israel — and sympathetic or careless world media — as another justification for Israel’s attacks on Gaza to stop rocket fire. But this narrative is false.

Where there was calm and an effective truce, Israel chose to shatter it, bringing about the current deadly escalation.

In general, Palestinians fired rockets, or attacked the Israeli army, as a response to Israeli attacks, seeking to avoid escalation and publicly embracing a truce. See the timeline here.

On Nov. 14, Israel carried out the extrajudicial killing of Hamas military chief Ahmad al-Jabari.

The rest is tragic history, some undoubtedly yet to be written in innocent blood.

Israel has a long, well-documented history of breaking cease-fire after cease-fire, but you would never know it by watching the news or reading, say, The New York Times.

It is also important to keep in mind the context that Israel and Palestinians in Gaza are not symmetrical “sides.” Gaza is a small, impoverished enclave, home to 1.6 million people, some 80 percent of whom are refugees. Gaza is under a tight siege and blockade by Israel, the occupying power.

Ali Abunimah, excerpted from his blog on Electronic Intifada

Editor’s note: Also see Stop Israeli aggression against Gaza, a Freedom Socialist Party statement.


Love the article

Monica, I read your article on “Standing with the sisters who stand up to the Vatican” [Vol. 33, No. 5]. I knew some of the details but your article made things very clear. I loved it and your stand. Thanks for speaking up for those of us who are not as well-spoken as you.

I appreciate your dedication and “wordsmenship!”

Kay Linton, Orlando, Fla.

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