SEP to hold public meetings in final weeks of 2004 US election campaign

The Socialist Equality Party is holding a series of public campaign meetings in the two weeks leading up to the November 2 US election.

In line with the international character of our 2004 campaign, SEP presidential candidate Bill Van Auken will speak at a meeting in London on October 16 sponsored by the SEP of Britain and the World Socialist Web Site. Van Auken will then travel to Sri Lanka, where he will address two public meetings of the Sri Lankan SEP—in Colombo, October 23, and in Kandy, October 25. The topic will be “The US Elections and the War Against Iraq.”

Van Auken will also speak at a public meeting in New York City on October 30, and SEP congressional and local candidates will address meetings in Bangor, Maine (October 17), Davis, California (October 21), Seattle (October 22), Monroe, Michigan (October 22), Ann Arbor, Michigan (October 24), Minneapolis (October 28), and Champaign, Illinois (October 28). Further public meetings are planned in other cities.

The full schedule of campaign events can be found on the “US SEP 2004 Election Calendar”, and we will update the calendar as new meetings and appearances are scheduled.

The SEP’s presidential and vice presidential candidates, Bill Van Auken and Jim Lawrence, have gained ballot status in New Jersey, Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado and Washington State. We are currently appealing the disqualification of our presidential nominating petitions in Ohio before the state’s Supreme Court.

Jerry White, the SEP congressional candidate from Michigan’s 15th Congressional District, which includes the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the downriver suburbs of Detroit, is on the ballot, as is our candidate from Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, Carl Cooley.

David Lawrence, the SEP candidate for Congress from Ohio’s 1st Congressional District (Cincinnati), was undemocratically barred from the ballot and is running as a write-in candidate.

John Christopher Burton, from California’s 29th Congressional District (Pasadena), is also running a write-in campaign. Burton was the SEP gubernatorial candidate in last year’s California recall election.

Tom Mackaman, SEP candidate for state representative in Illinois’ 103rd District, is on the ballot, having defeated an attempt by the Illinois Democratic Party to deny him ballot status on the basis of an indiscriminate and bad-faith challenge to his nominating petitions.

The SEP and Mackaman, a graduate student at the University of Illinois, are currently engaged in a struggle to oppose the anti-democratic efforts of the University of Illinois to silence him by threatening disciplinary action for using his student email account in connection with his campaign.

Mackaman’s schedule includes a debate October 13 hosted by the American Association of University Professors at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; meetings with U of I students on October 18 and 19; and a “By the People” televised debate on Public Broadcasting System station WILL on October 21.

Mackaman will be joined by SEP congressional candidate Jerry White and vice presidential candidate Jim Lawrence for a public meeting at the University of Illinois in Champaign on October 28.

Michigan congressional candidate Jerry White will speak at a meeting at Monroe Community College on October 22, where he will be joined by Mackaman. The White campaign will then hold a public meeting at the University of Michigan on October 24.

On Friday, October 15, White spoke on behalf of SEP presidential candidate Bill Van Auken at a “Multi-Party Presidential Debate 2004” at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. White was joined on the platform by the presidential candidates of five other “third” parties.

Also on Friday, Carl Cooley, SEP candidate for Congress from Maine’s 2nd District, participated in a one-hour televised debate carried by Maine’s Public Broadcasting station. The Cooley campaign will hold a public meeting in Bangor on Sunday, October 17.

A number of events will be held on the University of California, Davis (UCD) campus for SEP congressional candidate John Christopher Burton. On October 20, the UCD Students for Social Equality will host an information table and on October 21 it will hold a public meeting at which Burton will speak.

The World Socialist Web Site will provide comprehensive coverage of SEP campaign meetings and other appearances by our candidates.

The Socialist Equality Party 2004 Election Platform, recently made available in printed form, outlines the socialist and internationalist perspective of our campaign, and SEP supporters are engaged in a wide distribution of the platform.

Readers and supporters are urged to attend and help build these activities and order bundles of the Socialist Equality Party 2004 Election Platform [https://secure.wsws.org/st-order.htm] to distribute in their areas.