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McKinney receives favorable notice from Workers World Party

Cynthia McKinney, who recently took the lead in pledged delegates for the Green Party nomination, has also been meriting positive interest from elements somewhat further to the left.

The Workers World Party, a Marxist-Leninist party that split from the Socialist Workers Party in the 1950s, has been running editorials and articles that speak positively of McKinney’s run in its online/print newsletter, Workers World. Most recently, this past Sunday Workers World posted the complete remarks made by McKinney in solidarity with Palestine at a May 16th rally marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment Israel. Earlier, in a May 28th article written by a member of the WWP’s national Secretariat, in which Barack Obama is given a mixed review on matters of class, imperialism and race, McKinney is put forward as a potential alternative for those dissatisfied with the leading Democrat:

Actually, the only way that progressives can defend Obama against racism and reaction, if and when that’s necessary, is to be positioned outside of and independent of his campaign and the Democratic Party.

It will be up to Black activists to take the lead in explaining Obama’s contradictions and challenging them. If there was ever a time for progressive and revolutionary Black forces to forge some strategic unity, now is such a time.

It is possible that the independent presidential candidacy of former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney could serve as one of the poles to unite around. McKinney was until recently the most progressive and militant Black person in Congress. Indeed, she lost her congressional seat twice as a direct result of her militant antiwar and anti-racist work.

This same article also references McKinney’s guest-speaking spot in San Francisco during the May Day walkout by West Coast longshoremen protesting the War in Iraq. Other election season Workers World notes include a full write-up of McKinney’s work on the Truth Commission for Water Rights entitled “Cynthia McKinney supports fight for water,” and this passing reference in an editorial analyzing January’s Iowa caucuses:

Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who is running an independent progressive campaign in the Reconstruction Party and contending for nomination of the Green Party, was interviewed following the Iowa caucuses. She took a critical view of Obama’s team and program, and what she believes could be a negative impact on the struggle for Black rights. McKinney points out that Obama’s main foreign policy adviser is Zbigniew Brzezinski, the ultimate Democratic Party cold warrior.

Of course Clinton’s foreign policy advisers, like Madeleine Albright and Richard Holbrooke, are the people who planned and executed the war against Yugoslavia. And McKinney doesn’t let her and Edwards off the hook on this. But in discussing Obama, McKinney also notes that by playing down the differences in how Black and white are treated in the U.S., Obama does nothing to help, for example, the people displaced from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.

The WWP’s interest in McKinney is not a quirk of this election cycle. At least as early as 2001, McKinney has been noted for her activism in articles by the party’s 1996/2000 presidential candidate Monica Moorhead (one here on Western involvement in African wars, another regarding a letter sent by McKinney in 2001 to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal). McKinney’s repeated primary losses following redistricting and a hostile Democratic party also merited notice in the newsletter (2002; 2006), but perhaps the strongest statement of support came in 2004, when John Parker and Teresa Gutierrez, the WWP’s presidential ticket of that year, wrote the editorial “Unbossed & unbought” in the run-up to her primary victory:

But the struggle for African American self-determination in the South continues today as it has from the moment the first enslaved African was forcibly kidnapped to Virginia in 1619. African American people and their allies have waged this fight in armed rebellions, in untold daily resistance, in political marches through rural counties and city streets where they were shot at and met by tear gas, police dogs, bludgeons, knives and fists.

Cynthia McKinney will attempt to write another chapter in that struggle, by re-taking her seat in Congress on July 20, the date for this year’s Democratic primary. The winner of the primary is considered a shoo-in for November.

She is supported by a broad coalition united around her–labor unions, women’s rights groups, Jewish progressives, environmentalists, Arab and Muslim organizations, lesbian and gay activists, and anti-racist groups. The 200,000-strong Georgia State AFL-CIO has just endorsed her, saying she is “100 percent for labor as well as other working people’s issues.”

Workers World Party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates, John Parker and Teresa Gutierrez, send Cynthia McKinney heartiest well-wishes for victory!

As of today, the Workers World Party has yet to nominate (or endorse) a presidential candidate for 2008.

About Post Author

Fred Church Ortiz

5 Comments

  1. G.E. G.E. June 3, 2008

    Gregg – From my perspective, the decentralization value is grossly overlooked by most Green leaders.

  2. Gregg Jocoy Gregg Jocoy June 3, 2008

    Oh, no criticism of your post vis-a-vis the WWP was intended Fred. A very prominent member of the South Carolina labor movement told me that members of the WWP were among the first to come to the side of dock workers in South Carolina when they were arrested in a workplace action.

    Personally, I am not a socialist, and while I do know that there are plenty in the GP, and I respect their role, the Green values of decentralization and personal/corporate responsibility would seem to be at least somewhat inconsistent with doctrinaire Marxism.

    Then again, I didn’t even manage to make it out of college. ;-P

  3. G.E. G.E. June 3, 2008

    I have not made up my mind who I’m going to vote for. Right now, Baldwin is leading with Barr nipping at his heels. But I would consider a vote for McKinney or Nader as well, depending on how my top two candidates perform in the weeks and months ahead.

  4. Fred Church Ortiz Fred Church Ortiz Post author | June 3, 2008

    Gregg: Absolutely. This article’s more about the WWP than it is McKinney, in the sense that some have been wondering why they haven’t nominated a ticket yet this year. Given that the party’s official publication is speaking positively of a currently active candidate, and has had some admiration for her for a while now, I thought I’d point these references out. Time will tell if anything comes of it.

  5. Gregg Jocoy Gregg Jocoy June 3, 2008

    I would quickly point out that many who are of a more typicaly libertarian bent might find kind words to say about Congresswoman McKinney’s positions over the years on questions of empire, the war on our youth, aka war on drugs, and her opposition on principle to both the war on Iraq and the USA PATRIOT Act.

    I know it must grind some, but it sure is nice to have four good candidates, each of which is firmly in the mainstream of the Green Party.

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