In addition to the Bob Barr campaign’s McCain-Feingold challenge to Saddleback Church’s presidential forum, another third party took issue with the event while applying a different strategy against it.
Gloria La Riva, the Party for Socialism and Liberation‘s presidential nominee joined two local PSL candidates (Lucilla Esguerra and Sergio Farias) and at least 300 other activists in protesting the forum, calling the demonstration a protest of the war and a defense of workers rights:
While the bourgeois candidates hobnobbed with reactionaries in the church, a truer expression of the political process was raging outside. McCainâ€™s supporters were mixing with the Minutemen, the racists, and the anti-gay and anti-abortion protesters. Obamaâ€™s supporters were also out, but did not participate in the anti-war action.
The progressives, anti-war forces and revolutionaries present grew more united as the day went on to defend key issues for the working classâ€”equality for immigrants, women and LGBT people; ending racism; stopping the war; standing with the Palestinian struggle; and more. Time and again, as the right wingers attempted to infiltrate and disrupt the anti-war protest, progressives had to repel them, militantly defending their rights and causes.
At least one PSL member was briefly detained by local sheriffs during the protest, which was officially led by the PSL associated ANSWER Coalition. At its close, La Riva had this to say in drawing a distinction between the event held within the church and the one outside:
â€œObama and McCain are speaking inside Saddleback Church because they want to bow down to reaction. They want to show the bankers and the militarists that they want war; that they support big business; and that they support the oil companies.
â€œBut the people are the ones who make the wealth from our work. We are the ones who have the rights and we will fight for them. It doesnâ€™t matter who wins the presidency, the people will have to stop the war. It wonâ€™t be the Democrats; it wonâ€™t be the Republicans because both have passed every war budget.â€