SEP candidate Joe Parnarauskis to speak at University of Illinois

18 September 2006

Joe Parnarauskis, the SEP candidate for Illinois state Senate from the 52nd District, will speak at a campaign meeting to be hosted by the Students for Social Equality on the University of Illinois campus on Wednesday, September 20.

Wednesday’s meeting will be the first public meeting of the 2006 SEP campaign in Illinois’ 52nd District, which includes Champaign-Urbana and Danville, as well as the first meeting since the Democrats began their two-month legal campaign to remove Parnarauskis from the ballot.

A life-long resident of the district and a registered nurse for two decades, Parnarauskis, 52, grew up in Westville, a community rich in the history of coal mining. His campaign seeks to give a voice not only to the intense anger and opposition of millions of working people to the growing inequality in the US and the policies of the Bush administration, but also to their disgust with the right-wing policies of the Democratic Party.

The SEP campaign stands for an end to the war in Iraq and a halt to the assault on democratic rights at home. Parnarauskis and the other SEP candidates running in the 2006 election oppose the staggering concentration of wealth and power within the corporate and financial oligarchy that rules America and call for a break with the two-party system of Republicans and Democrats.

In Illinois, although the SEP candidate has met all the legal requirements for the November 7 ballot, the Democrats on the Illinois State Board of Elections are seeking to deny the citizens of this district—including the hundreds of University of Illinois students who signed his petitions—their constitutional right to vote for the candidate of their choice.

Parnarauskis’s campaign submitted nominating petitions with the names of 4,990 voters in the district, well above the 2,985-signature requirement, to qualify for ballot status.

Despite the recommendation of the election board’s own hearing examiner, the four Democrats on the eight-member board are blocking the certification of Parnarauskis’s name. With the ballots scheduled to be printed this week, the SEP will seek Tuesday a court order compelling the election board to come to a decision and certify Parnarauskis.

At the meeting, Parnarauskis will review the details of his fight for ballot access, while placing it into a broader perspective. The Democrats are everywhere terrified of any political movement that expresses the sentiments of the broad majority of the population, including opposition to the war in Iraq and the attacks on democratic rights, as well as popular anger over the staggering growth of social inequality. This is because the Democrats, like the Republicans, have always defended the interests of the rich and big business—the same interests that are behind the drive to use military power to plunder Iraq and prepare new and even bloodier wars of aggression.

The meeting is open to the public, and all workers and students interested in finding out more about the SEP campaign are warmly encouraged to attend. Following the meeting, Parnarauskis will take questions from the audience.

For more information contact the Students for Social Equality at uiuc.socialequality@hotmail.com.

Campaign meeting

Wednesday, September 20, 7 p.m.
205 Gregory Hall
Corner of Wright and Armory
Southwest corner of the Quad
Champaign, Illinois

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