Introduction, Friday, June 17, 2016
I posted the following Open Letter to Bernie Sanders to my website <ru4peace.wordpress.com> on Tuesday, June 14, before Bernie’s national live stream address to his supporters. Last night, importantly, he re-affirmed his vow to continue his fight for a political revolution into the July Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, but he shifted the emphasis somewhat, from winning the nomination to transforming the Democratic Party If I had time to re-write my Open Letter now, I might change how I express a few points, but overall, I believe my central points remain valid. IF Bernie does not get the nomination of the Democratic Party, I hope he will announce his own campaign for re-election to the Senate in 2018 and begin forming a new party for this purpose, a Peoples Democratic Party, based on the principles of his current campaign: 1. no corporate funding, 2. electoral reform, and 3. economic, social, racial, and environmental justice. To this, I would add international justice, along the lines suggested by Dr. King in his 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” speech, where he called for a “radical revolution of values” without which the “giant triplets” of racism, poverty, and militarist cannot be overcome. This would allow him to support Clinton and work to defeat Trump, thereby keeping his support with Democratic Party types, while at the same time allowing his independent supporters to keep on Bern-ing with a new party. In the following “Open Letter to Bernie Sanders” I discuss this more fully.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Thank you for your speech last Tuesday night. I confess that I was a bit down after listening to the political pundits pontificating and speculating on when you would concede and unify the Democratic Party. But then I tuned into your speech and heard, “Please welcome, the next President of the United States, Bernie Sanders!” After that introduction, you said, in part: “We are going to fight hard to win the primary in Washington D.C., and then we take our fight for social, economic, racial, and environmental justice to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania” (applause)” Further, “I am pretty good at arithmetic, and I know that the fight in front of us is a very, very steep fight. But we will continue to fight for every vote and every delegate we can get.”
Definitely not a concession speech. Thank you also for holding your ground in Thursday’s meeting with Obama. No sheepherding there! I trust you will continue to hold your ground when you meet with Hillary Clinton after the D.C. primary.
I don’t know exactly what you have planned but I do know that it is far more important to unify your supporters, the Berners, than to try to unify the un-unifiable Democrats. There will be plenty of time for Clinton to unify the Democrats after—and if—she actually wins the nomination. Your responsibility is to move the political revolution forward. And let me tell you how I think that can be done.
I’m with you all the way to the White House, Bernie, ever since I heard you tell George Stephanopoulos back in June of 2015,
We are going to win New Hampshire. We are going to win Iowa, and I think we are going to win the Democratic nomination, and I think we’re going to win the presidency. And I’ll tell you why, George, the American people are sick and tired of seeing the disappearance of the great middle class of this country . . . and the American people are saying, ‘Enough is enough.’ We need to create an economy that works for all of us and not just a handful of billionaires.
That this was a brilliant political move is evidenced by the thousands that immediately rallied to your campaign and the millions who voted for you. You correctly assessed the mood of the American people and knew how to address our needs. This is testament to the integrity and consistency of purpose you have displayed in your fifty years of political life.
Ever since last summer, I’ve been Bern-ing away, and will continue to do so until you are in the White House. But while continuing to look forward to your nomination, I think we must also think the unthinkable and ask: Suppose Bernie Sanders DOESN’T get the Democratic Party nomination?
I know that you pretty much have to support the Democratic nominee, since you accepted that as a condition of running in the primaries and caucuses of the Democratic Party. But the rest of us made no such commitment. There are many who, like myself, would rather go to Hell than vote for Hillary Clinton.
I’ve signed the “Bernie or Bust” pledge and, if you don’t win the Democratic nomination, plan to vote for another socialist who I believe is the best woman for the job, Gloria La Riva, candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. However, there is another petition urging you to run as an Independent through November, circulated by the Movement4Bernie and Socialist Alternative. I have not and will not sign this pledge since it is asking you to do something which you’ve already said you would NOT do. Such a move would not only jeopardize your most important political asset, your integrity, it would also cost many if not most of your supporters who plan to support Clinton if she wins the nomination of the Democratic Party. Of course, if YOU decide an independent campaign is the best course, I will continue to support you.
I know that Obama and the pundits—mostly advocates of the Democratic Party—are saying that that you’ve waged a good fight and raised important issues, but now its time to join Hillary Clinton and unify the Democratic Party in defeating Trump. But to give up the fight before it’s over, meaning before all the votes and the delegates’ votes have been counted, would be a big mistake.
As I said earlier, rather than joining in any attempt to unify the Democratic Party, which would inevitably involve unifying under Clinton and Obama, I hope you will unify your supporters, the Berners. You can do this by endorsing Clinton when—AND IF—the vote is taken and she actually does become the nominee. This would be keeping your word and would help retain the support of those working to reform the Democratic Party. But, sometime after the convention itself, I hope you will announce your candidacy for re-election to the Senate in 2018 and the formation of a new party which will not only support your re-election but also begin to run candidates in 2018 at every level: federal, state, and local. This would keep faith with your supporters who are working for a real political revolution.
This new party—I suggest the name Peoples Democratic Party—would be based on the same principles as your campaign: 1. no corporate funding, 2. electoral reform, and 3. economic, social, racial, and environmental justice. To this I would add international justice, along the lines urged by Dr. King in his “Beyond Vietnam” speech of 1967. King also called for revolution, a “radical revolution of values.” For many of us, as I will discuss in another letter, this means a revolution in the social order, a socialist revolution,
Of course, if Clinton and the Democratic Party agree to give up their funding from Wall Street and the corporations and make the appropriate changes in the platform, such a party might be unnecessary.
Such a Peoples Democratic Party would recognize that it could not achieve its goals by electoral means alone, and would actively support mass organization, direct action, a militant labor movement, and establishment of alternative institutions in neighborhoods, workplaces, unions, schools, and the armed forces everywhere.
This strategy of forming a new party that will not compete in the current election cycle would also be a way of sidestepping, for the time being anyway, one of the major points of division on the left, between those that choose to work within the Democratic Party and those that refuse to do so.
This would also allow Berners to continue to build the political revolution and work to defeat Trump without folding themselves into the Democratic Party.
I think you are the only person to lead such an effort to build a new party that will do what the Republican Party did in 1860: challenge the two dominant parties and win. You are the only person that can unite the millions of your millennial supporters. Therefore, you have a responsibility to do so.
I think that, within the next few months, it will become obvious that the Democratic Party cannot and will not reform itself. It will not give up its corporate funding and will not support the key elements of your program for economic, social, racial, and environmental justice. When this becomes increasingly obvious to your truly progressive supporters in the Democratic Party, they too will begin looking more favorably at your Peoples Democratic Party and the political revolution can continue to unfold.
For my part, I will keep right on a-Bern-ing.
In peace and solidarity,
Campaign for Peace and Socialism
How to Vote for Bernie Sanders
MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT! Hundreds of thousands of Americans, in New York, Arizona, and elsewhere, have been denied their right to vote, either by design or accident. Follow these steps to make sure you can vote for your candidate, Bernie Sanders. (This information is for California voters only. Every state has its own requirements. For information on other states, go to: http://voteforbernie.org.)
First of all, CHECK YOUR PARTY REGISTRATION STATUS. Instructions vary by county. All counties are listed at: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/registration-status/
IF YOU ARE REGISTERED DEMOCRAT, you will receive a Democratic Party ballot and can VOTE FOR BERNIE on June 7 or by mail, no sweat.
IF YOU ARE REGISTERED AS “NO PARTY PREFERENCE,” you can request a Democratic Party ballot from your County Election official or poll worker, and VOTE FOR BERNIE.
IF YOU ARE REGISTGERED AMERICAN INDEPENDENT, GREEN, LIBERATIAN, OR PEACE AND FREEDOM, or you are not registered, you will need to re-register by May 23, which you can do online at: http://registertovote.ca.gov. You have two options:
OPTION ONE: (simplest) Register Democrat. You will automatically receive a Democratic presidential ballot, no sweat.
OPTION TWO: (a two-step process)
Step One: Check the box that says: “No, I do not want to disclose a political party preference.”
Step Two: You must request a Democratic presidential ballot from your county elections office, or the poll worker at your polling place. For official information, see the CA SOS website at:
No Party Preference Information: Voting in Presidential Primary Elections:
Whichever option you choose, be sure to check your registration status after a week or two, following the instructions above.
The deadline for registering for the June 7 primary is May 23, but it’s better not to wait. Given what’s happened in New York and elsewhere, it’s best to re=register asap, so you’ll have time to correct any problems.
NOTE: College students may vote EITHER at their home or college residence, BUT NOT BOTH!
BEWARE: Some voters who think they are registered independent, and therefore eligible to make a choice between Clinton and Sanders, actually aren’t. They may be one of the nearly half a million Californians registered in the American Independent Party, a minor party founded by the infamous segregationist, then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace in his 1968 run for the presidency. A Los Angeles Times poll of a sample of those registered in the American Independent Party found three out of four thought they were registered as independents, not members of the party founded by the infamous segregationist. Among those who said they were fooled were celebrities Sugar Ray Leonard, Demi Moore and Emma Stone. Unless they change their registration, they will be able to cast a primary ballot only for an American Independent Party nominee.
AFTER YOU VOTE ON JUNE 7, be sure to register back into the Peace and Freedom Party, or whatever party you choose (unless you like being a Democrat). You will still be able to vote any candidate you want in the November General Election.
Here’s a link to my 26 page paper, “Bernie and Beyond: A Socialist Perspective on the Sanders Campaign,” which concludes:
We might prefer that some other figure, such as Gloria La Riva of PSL or Jill Stein of the Green Party, were receiving the kind of mass support and media attention that Sanders has earned. But that is not a choice we get to make. In the real world, Sanders deserves socialist support in his campaign for the Democratic nomination and beyond. No one knows what a Sanders presidency would be like, but we all know what the usual suspects will give us.
I’m preparing a statement on this. Will post it soon.
Meanwhile, check out these links:
Statement in Support of the South Central Farmers in Los Angeles
by Eugene E Ruyle, Peace and Freedom Party Candidate for
California Assembly, 15th District (East Bay Area)
(denied place on November ballot due to undeemocratic electoral laws, so that only candidates of the two war-addicted, pro-capitalist corporate parties will appear)
For twelve years, from 1994 to 2006, the South Central Farm was an oasis of ecological diversity in the industrial wasteland of South Central Los Angeles, The 14 acres were farmed by about 350 families, mostly immigrants from Mexico and Central America, who grew an estimated 100 to 150 species of plants for food, herbal medicine, and spiritual uses. This diversity led UCLA to establish an agricultural research station there.
However, in spite of widespread support for the urban farm, the City of Los Angeles sold the land to developer Ralph Horowitz, in a closed door session in 2003. The movement to Save the South Central Farm included such celebrities as Joan Baez, Leonardo DiCaprio, Danny Glover, Daryl Hannah, Julia “Butterfly” Hill, Ron Kovic, Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader, and Willie Nelson. Although supporters had raised enough funds to purchase the land for more than he paid, Horowitz refused to sell. On July 5, 2006, he ordered the farm bulldozed amidst protest and acts of civil disobedience. For the last eight years, the land has remained vacant, although developer Horowitz wants to move a garment factory and three trucking centers to the site. Last August, dozens of Farm supporters jammed a City Planning Commission meeting and demanded the EIR before development could begin. That turnout forced the City to reassess its position and require an Environmental Impact Report and public comment.
Until tomorrow, Thursday, July 17, 2014, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission is asking for public comments on the environmental impact of the development plans. To see sample letters and send an email to the Planning Commission in support of preserving green space for the Central Alameda neighborhood, CLICK HERE:
The South Central Farm is not alone. It is only one of the efforts to protect urban space in California from wanton development. Here in the Bay Area, we have Occupy the Farm, fighting to protect the Gill Track Farm in Albany from UC development plans. For more info and to sign a petition, CLICK HERE
FROM THE PEACE AND FREEDOM PARTY PLATFORM
- Restore and protect air, water, land and ecosystems.
- Outlaw destructive practices such as clear cutting, fracking, mountaintop removal, tar sands extraction, and offshore drilling.
- Promote conservation and develop solar and other renewable energy to replace nuclear power and fossil fuels.
- End environmental racism: no toxic dumping in anyone’s back yard.
- Massive development of public transportation available free or at nominal fares.
- Promote an environmentally sound agricultural system which meets human needs and protects farm workers’ labor rights and standard of living. No genetically engineered organisms in food production.
END THE WARS AND TAX THE RICH
Shut Down the War Machine
Guaranteed Jobs with Decent Incomes for All
Free Education & Health Care for All
Defend Our Personal Freedoms & Political Rights
Protect & Restore Our Mother Earth
Election Results for our candidates:
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The GOOD NEWS is that nearly 200,000 Californians voted for the socialist candidates of the Peace and Freedom Party.
As of June 11, the vote totals for our candidates are as follows:
For Governor, Cindy L. Sheehan, our Peace and Freedom Party candidate, received 46,607 votes, 1.2% of the total.
For Lieutenant Governor, Amos Johnson, our Peace and Freedom Party candidate, Peace and Freedom Party, received 35,504 votes, 0.9% of the total.
For Controller, Laura Wells, the Green Party candidate endorsed by Peace and Freedom, 206,709 votes, 5.6% of the total.
For Treasurer, Ellen H. Brown, the Green Party candidate endorsed by Peace and Freedom, received 240,336 votes, 6.5% of the total.
For Insurance Commissioner, Nathalie Hrizi, our Peace and Freedom Party candidate, received 189,589 votes, 5.2% of the total.
In the 12th Congressional District (San Francisco), Frank Lara, our Peace and Freedom Party candidate,received 2,108 votes, 1.9% of the total.
In the 34th Congressional District (Los Angeles), Howard Johnson, our Peace and Freedom Party candidate, received 3,261 votes, 11.3% of the total.
In the 15th Assembly District (Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond), Eugene E. Ruyle, our Peace and Freedom Party candidate, received 2,163 votes, 3.5% of the total.
Note that these totals will change as the count continues. You can check the latest figures at the Secretary of State’s website <http://vote.sos.ca.gov>
Peace and Freedom Party also endorsed a number of write-in candidates. When these results become available, they will be posted on the Peace and Freedom website.
It is encouraging to see greater cooperation between our Peace and Freedom Party and the Green Party. Peace and Freedom endorsed two Green candidates, Laura Wells for Controller and Ellen H. Brown for Treasurer, while the Green Party of Alameda County endorsed Nathalie Hziri for Insurance Commission and Eugene Ruyle for State Assembly. There is a great potential for a Red-Green (and Black) alliance of disaffected people to challenge the domination of corporate capitalism.
But the most encouraging news from the election is the performance of Nathalie Hziri, our candidate for Insurance Commissioner, who receivedio over 189,000 votes, or 5.2% of the vote. This means that Peace and Freedom will most likely remain on the ballot for four more years.
This, however, depends on a bill currently moving through the state legislature (AB 2351), which would help the smaller parties overcome some of the negative effects of the Top Two voting system. Voters did not intend to disqualify these smaller parties from the ballot when they voted for Proposition 14, but that’s what it does. AB 2351 would be a crucial first step in fixing that problem by changing the qualifications for ballot status. For more info on AB 2351, see Ballot Access News http://www.ballot-access.org/2014/05/california-assembly-unanimously-passes-bill-easing-definition-of-political-party/
The BAD NEWS is that California had a less than a 20% voter turnout. Many Californians no doubt saw no reason to vote when your choices are Tweedledum and Tweedledummer. Some might think that such apathy is a good thing, but not when there is a socialist alternative.
The truly UGLY NEWS is that, because of Top Two, only candidates of the war-addicted, pro-capitalist Democratic and Republican Parties will appear on the statewide ballot this fall. This is a giant step backward for democracy in California.
Peace and Freedom Candidate
In the Kick-Ass 15th Assembly District
Including Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, and more
Speech for East Bay Democracy for America Candidates Meetup
Rockridge Public Library in Oakland
Thursday, May 22, 2014 7 PM
by Eugene E Ruyle, Peace and Freedom Candidate
for California Assembly, 15th District
Thank you for inviting me to the East Bay Democracy for America Meetup. My name is Gene Ruyle, it’s a silent “Y” so it rhymes with cool. I’m the guy from the Peace and Freedom Party, the only working class, socialist, and feminist party in this campaign. There was a time when people looked to the Democratic Party for progressive social change in America. We think of FDR and the CIO, the WPA, the Sit-Ins, the Wagner Act, and Social Security. But that was a long time ago, before even I was born.
Let me tell you a story. We have the greatest University in the world, right here in the 15th Assembly District. When I graduated from UC Berkeley in 1963, I paid $150 a year in fees, no tuition. This meant that even with my minimum wage job, I could pay for my education by working two or three hours a week.
Now, tuition is over $13,000 a year — never mind non-essentials like books and food. What happened?
Well, Ronald Reagan happened. Reagan was elected Governor in 1966 with two slogans: “send the welfare bums back to work” and “clean up the mess at Berkeley.” Reagan proceeded to destroy a century of tuition-free higher education in California and started charging tuition in 1968. Since then, it’s been a bipartisan affair of annual tuition hikes for students.
My point is not that the Republicans Are Bad News—we all know that. My point is that the Democrats didn’t stop him. They didn’t stand up and say” “NO. This is the People’s University. You can’t charge tuition.” That’s what FDR would have done. That’s what Pat Brown would have done. Instead, the Democratic Party joined the Republicans in sticking it to the students of California.
So it’s left to the little Peace and Freedom Party to stand up for working class students, and say
“End Tuition in California!”
And I know the politicos are going to join with the bureaucrats and say, “Oh, we can’t do that. Budget Cuts, you know . . . “
Well, the whole purpose of my campaign is to say can do it, and it’s not exactly rocket science. Here’s How:
End the Wars and Tax the Rich
That’s how we get free education, free health care, affordable housing, and everything else workers need in our beautiful state.
FROM THE PEACE AND FREEDOM PARTY PLATFORM
Full free high quality public education
from pre-school through graduate school,
with lifelong learning and retraining.
Cancel existing student debt
From the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education in California
It is recommended that the Regents of the University of California and the State Board of Education reaffirm the long established principle that state colleges and the University of California shall be tuition free to all residents of the state.
Shut Down the War Machine
Guaranteed Jobs with Decent Incomes for All
Free Education & Health Care for All
Defend Our Personal Freedoms & Political Rights
Protect & Restore Our Mother Earth