PSL Presidential Candidate Peta Lindsay tours four New England states

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The Party for Socialism and Liberation’s Presidential Candidate Peta Lindsay is on the New England leg of her tour. Check out the reports and media coverage from the tour below, and make sure to find an upcoming tour event in your area! The next leg of the tour is Oct. 15-21 in Upstate New York, with stops in Albany, Ithaca, Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo.

On October 9, Lindsay spoke by invitation to two Psychology and Law classes at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut. She spoke to the students on the importance of people’s movements furthering progressive and revolutionary goals, citing as an example the euphoria surrounding Obama’s election.

“There were millions of people in the streets celebrating Obama’s victory, waving goodbye to Bush’s helicopter,” Lindsay told the students. “With that amount of mass support, Obama could have done anything – if he had wanted to call for a march for jobs, or for universal healthcare, or for equal rights, he could have done that. But he didn’t.” Lindsay explained the use of bipartisan politics under capitalism, the creation of a pendulum that swings from one bourgeois party to the other and the funneling of working-class outrage into the elections.

Discussion was passionate and included the Cuban revolution, the role of overproduction under capitalism for the revolutionary transformation of society, the nature of the revolutionary government with the reversal of class relations, and the transition from survival-based work incentive to fulfillment-based work incentive under socialism.

That same evening, Lindsay appeared at the New Haven Public Library for a public presentation. This event brought people from the greater New Haven area. The audience had important representation among it — New Haven residents whose interests are immediately reflected in the PSL’s program: working, poor and homeless people, students, immigrants and victims of police brutality.

After presentations on the importance of a revolutionary party and the meaning of membership in the PSL by New Haven branch members, Lindsay addressed the group. She put into perspective the obscene wealth of the U.S. ruling class; the biggest bankers and CEOs whose ranks “even Mitt Romney, Mr. 1% himself” couldn’t join. She explained the absurdity of the fact that a capitalist can gross tremendous profits without getting out of bed, while the inactivity of a worker would not only result in no pay and job loss, but also deal a direct blow to production. The audience was also rightly enraged by the atrocious statistics of imperialist war expenses, and the immediate cost to the working class at which those wars come. One day of the war in Afghanistan, Lindsay said, could solve the financial issues facing the entire Philadelphia public school system.

On October 10, the campaign traveled to Brattleboro, Vermont, to a speak to a packed history class at Brattleboro Union High School. The visit was organized by a nonpartisan student Political Action Committee (Brattleboro PAC) that was formed to get students interested and involved in this year’s elections. The PSL was extremely well-received. Lindsay spoke on the importance of youth involvement in the struggle and the contradiction of legal youth disenfranchisement under capitalism. “If someone tells you, you have to wait until you’re 18, wait until you’re 35, don’t listen. If you wait for permission to struggle, you’ll never get it,” Lindsay said.

Later that day, a group gathered at a local cafe in Providence, Rhode Island, Tea in Sahara, to join Lindsay on her stop through the city. The event was put together in conjunction with the Providence Africana Reading Collective (PARC), a local community group who believes in liberation through education.

The meeting was comprised of local community activists, students from Rhode Island College and Brown University, a teachers. Using the campaign’s 10-Point Program as a point of reference, the comments and questions from those in attendance created a rich and varied discussion.

Lindsay addressed the group on why the PSL is running a presidential campaign, explaining that the PSL believes we need to go beyond the ballot box and into the streets by organizing in our communities and workplaces to build a mass movement that can win real change. She went on to explain that throughout history, it was mass movements of ordinary people who won all progressive change and not the particular politician in office at the time. Topics of discussion ranged from the role of U.S. military bases around the world, the epidemic of racist police brutality and the attack on women’s rights. In addition to addressing those particular issues, the conversation at times turned more casual, touching upon how some got involved in activism and began relating to socialist ideas.

Campaigning continued in Rhode Island on October 11 at Rhode Island College and Brown University. Lindsay tweeted from Rhode Island College, “Over and over same experience on campuses, people telling us they like socialism but didnt know there were other socialists!” (@PetaLindsay)

The New England leg of the tour will continue October 12 with a forum in Boston, Mass., and wrap up with campaigning in Burlington, Vt., on October 13 and October 14. See details.

In New England, the Party for Socialism and Liberation’s Lindsay/Osorio Campaign is on the ballot in Vermont and Rhode Island, but supporters are encouraged to write in Peta Lindsay and Yari Osorio everywhere!

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