Freedom Socialist Candidate for U.S. President Tours California in April

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Durham/López campaign takes pride in working class roots and says it offers voters a means to protest the “rigged political system.”

Stephen Durham, who is vying for the Peace and Freedom Party (PFP) nomination in the California presidential primary, will campaign in the state from April 12 to May 2. Calling his whistle stop tour the “un-millionaire campaign,” Durham will speak at public forums, walk union picket lines, take part in immigrant rights marches on May Day and talk with voters in Santa Cruz, Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.

Durham is the New York City organizer of the Freedom Socialist Party (FSP), writes for the Freedom Socialist newspaper and works out of the FSP’s storefront in Harlem. A member of the party’s National Committee, Durham is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese and frequently represents the organization in Latin America and the Caribbean where he collaborates with socialists, unionists, feminists and queers.

His running mate, Christina López, is a longtime feminist and immigrant rights advocate who is co-founder of Sisters Organize for Survival, a Washington state group that is fighting state budget cuts that affect women, the poor and workers, especially those in the public sector.

Durham to speak first in Santa Cruz on April 14

Durham will kick off his tour at a Presidential Candidate Forum hosted by the Peace and Freedom Party on Saturday, April 14, 7:00pm at the Resource Center for Nonviolence, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz. (see Durham’s complete California itinerary below).

California is unusual in that the Peace and Freedom Party, which has a socialist platform, also has ballot status. In other states, Durham and López are running a write-in campaign to “give voters a chance to register a protest against an election machine run by millionaires and billionaires.” Restrictive federal ballot access laws differ from state-to-state and are a stumbling block for many small parties.

Durham points to the fact that barely half of all eligible voters cast ballots in the 2008 presidential election. “Today, more people identify as independents than as either Republican or Democrat because neither party represents workers, youth, women, people of color and the millions of people without jobs and housing.’

The “real” socialists

Durham and López call their campaign “the real socialist alternative,” as opposed to President Obama who is often accused of being a socialist by conservatives.

Based on a theme of “vote for the greater good, instead of the lesser evil,” their platform includes: a massive jobs program funded by dismantling the Pentagon, closing U.S. military bases around the world and nationalizing major industries under workers control; free, quality multicultural education through college; ending the war on drugs, police spying and racial profiling; an end to discrimination based on race, gender, age, nationality, sexuality orientation, immigration status, and physical ability; safeguarding freedom of speech and association; and heavily taxing the super-rich, among other things.

The candidate’s California connection

Durham is returning to his California roots with this tour. He grew up in southern California and was radicalized as a student and campus worker at the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) where he took part in the student movement to end the Vietnam War and was a pioneer in the fight for gay rights. While at UCB, he stood with students of color in the difficult battle for Third World Studies. A resident of Los Angeles in the 1970s and ’80s, he led efforts with other left groups to defend immigrant rights and oppose police brutality. His work as a waiter led him to become a militant with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union.

The fight to get Durham’s name on the California primary ballot

In early February, a controversy arose when California Secretary of State Debra Bowen released the names of presidential candidates to be listed for the June 5 primary and omitted two of four candidates submitted by the Peace and Freedom Party, including Durham. On February 28, with public pressure mounting and lawsuits in the works, Bowen added Durham to the primary ballot.

Civil liberties attorney Robert Barnes was preparing to file suit against Bowen in federal district court on behalf of Durham, if Bowen had not changed her mind. In a statement to the media, Barnes noted the importance of protecting minority views: “If the Secretary of State in the past could have decided which candidate they considered viable,” he wrote, “abolitionist parties may have never found their voice, feminist voices never found their platform, civil rights advocates and war opponents never found their audience.”

California endorsers of the “un-millionaire” campaign

Durham and López are gathering endorsements for their campaign. Among the California supporters are: James Lafferty, Executive Director, Los Angeles National Lawyers Guild; Richard Brown, ex-Black Panther, co-defendant of the San Francisco 8, co-founder of the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights; Puerto Rican Alliance of Los Angeles; Tanya Smith, past president of UPTE-CWA 9119, Local 1, Berkeley; Moisés Montoya, member of Occupy Oakland Labor Solidarity Work Group; Merle Woo, earlier Peace and Freedom Party candidate for California governor; and National Radical Women.

Durham’s tour is sponsored by the Freedom Socialist 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee,

To schedule a California interview or speaking appearance, contact Toni Mendicino, Bay Area campaign coordinator, at 415-730-2917 or Mary Ann Curtis, Los Angeles campaign coordinator, at 323-610-2479. For all other requests, contact Doug Barnes, national campaign coordinator, at 206-326-9771 or


Durham’s California Itinerary

Northern California

Saturday, April 14, 7:00-9:30pm
Peace and Freedom Party Presidential Candidate Forum
Resource Center for Nonviolence
612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz,
For info:

Sunday, April 15, 2:00-5:00pm
Meet the candidate in Oakland at a “Un-millionaire House Party”
3033 Sylvan Ave (at Maple, near Fruitvale BART), Oakland
Sponsor: Freedom Socialist 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee
For info or to arrange rides from BART: 415-730-2917

Monday, April 16, 6:30pm
Durham will take part in a Sacramento Peace and Freedom Party “Meet and Greet”
with other Presidential and U.S. Senate candidates
Integrate Sacramento, 1529 28th Street, Sacramento
Sponsor: Peace and Freedom Party Sacramento County Central Committee
For info: 916-320-9186 or 916-422-5395

Tuesday, April 17, 7:00-9:30pm
Public Forum featuring Peace and Freedom Party Candidates and Issues
Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission Street (at 24th Street), San Francisco
Sponsored by Peace and Freedom Party’s San Francisco Central Committee

Thursday, April 19, 6:00-9:00pm
Talk with Durham over tasty morsels and delicious libations at an
“Un-millionaire Campaign Open House and Reception”
New Valencia Hall, 747 Polk Street (at Ellis Street), San Francisco
Sponsor: Freedom Socialist 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee
For info: 415-730-2917

Southern California

Saturday, April 21, 2:00-4:30pm
“American Third Parties Presidential Debate”
Echo Park United Methodist Church
1226 N. Alvarado St., Los Angeles
Sponsor: The Maggie Phair Institute
For tickets: 323-732-6416

Sunday April 22, 1:00-4:00pm
“The Party of the 99%, Our Candidates and Issues Forum”
Peace Center West, 3916 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City
Sponsor: Peace and Freedom Party, Los Angeles County
For info: 323-960-5036

Saturday, April 28, 3:00-7:00pm
Enjoy finger-licking good food and talk with the candidate at an “Un-millionaire House Party”
5121 South Van Ness Avenue, Los Angeles
Sponsor: Freedom Socialist 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee
For info: 213-479-0960


Northern California campaign headquarters
New Valencia Hall, 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
415-864-1278 –

Southern California campaign headquarters
Solidarity Hall, 2122 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018
323-732-6416 –


Contact: Doug Barnes, Campaign Manager

Freedom Socialist 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee
4710 University Way NE, Ste. 100
Seattle, WA 98105
Phone: 206-985-4621


Baltimore – Email:

Port Angeles, Wash. – Tel: 360-452-7534 – Email:

Los Angeles – Tel: 323-732-6416 – Email:

Portland, Ore. – Tel: 503-240-4462 – Email:

Newark, NJ – Tel: 973-643-0499

San Francisco – Tel: 415-864-1278 – Email:

New York City – Tel: 212-222-0633 – Email:

Seattle – Tel: 206-722-2453 – Email:

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