US-born Canadian NDP activist B. Ross Ashley endorses Malik Rahim

Found at Op Ed News

While most of the US celebrates the victory of liberalism in the November election, progressives, labor activists and radicals still have a few fights on their agenda. Among the most important is the congressional election in the Second District of Louisiana, where the election cycle was delayed by Hurricane Gustav.

The incumbent is the Democrat William Jefferson, who is due to face trial on corruption charges in early December. He is opposed by a former Black Panther, community organizer, hurricane relief activist, and Green Party candidate, Malik Rahim. http://www.votemalik.com/

Brother Rahim is this year’s recipient of the Thomas Merton Award for his work in Common Ground Relief ; Common Ground, which he, Scott Crow and Brandon Darby cofounded with $50 of personal funding, has mobilized 13,000 volunteers and gutted over 3,000 homes in the Ninth Ward to prepare them for reconstruction. They founded 6 clinics and still run three of them, providing much-needed health care to the poorer residents of New Orleans.

Brother Rahim has been an outspoken opponent of the blatant corruption and obstructionism of Mayor Ray Nagin’s city government, the Louisiana state government, and FEMA. He calls for federally funded Category 5 flood protection; he wants passage of HR 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act; he supports HR4048, the Gulf Coast Civic Works project, and wants a full investigation now on the awarding of contracts for the demolition of public housing developments in New Orleans and their reconstruction.

Born in the USA, but living in Canada for the past 40 years, I’m a Vietnam war resister, a revolutionary democratic socialist, a member of Canada’s New Democratic Party, on the executive committee of the St. Paul’s NDP constituency association; a semi-retired hospital worker, a member of Local 1.on of the Service Employees International Union and of the SMART reform caucus of SEIU. I’m married to Sandie, formerly of Rochester NY.

Working people ought to be politically independent of the parties of capital. Canada’s NDP is an independent social-democratic party with its base solidly planted in the organisations of the working class. I’m in the Socialist Caucus of the NDP which fights to keep it that way. In fact I’m the website manaager, see http://ndpsocialists.ca.

I feel that the US political system does not serve the needs of workers there; in fact the working people of the US need their own party. I [backed] Cynthia McKinney’s Power to the People Presidential campaign, not because it’s Green, but because Sister McKinney has the possibility of becoming the voice for workers in the US if her campaign goes in the best direction.

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