Socialist Equality Party gains ballot status in Louisiana

The Socialist Equality Party successfully completed its bid for ballot status in the state of Louisiana for the SEP's candidates for president and vice president, Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer.

Requirements to get on the ballot in Louisiana are relatively simple when compared to the extremely anti-democratic conditions placed upon independent candidates in other states. SEP supporters had to sign up electors in each of the state’s six congressional districts, plus two at large. Nevertheless, ballot access in the state represents a milestone in the SEP’s presence in the American South.

In campaigning for electors, SEP supporters encountered widespread disgust with both the Democrats and Republicans throughout the state. The enthusiasm with which workers responded to campaigners’ explanation of the social rights of the working class expresses not only the deep alienation from official politics, but also to the hunger for an alternative to the profit system.

In addition, SEP campaigners met with deeply-held egalitarian sentiments in the working class, even as the ruling elite is dispensing with democratic forms. Workers expressed outrage that the banks receive virtually unlimited funds even as their own conditions continue to deteriorate.

Louisiana has been ravaged by two world-historic disasters within the past decade. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, which killed over 1,200 people and flooded 80 percent of New Orleans, the ruling class seized upon the catastrophe to turn the city into a test-bed for reaction. Schools were either closed or converted into charter schools, hospitals were closed and replaced with “community clinics,” and bus service cut to the bone.

In the case of the 2010 BP oil spill, after participating in a massive cover-up of the extent of the spill, the Obama administration moved in to protect BP by setting up the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. The fund provided a paltry sum to people who had their lives ruined by the oil giant in exchange for their signing away their right to sue BP. Two years later, only a small fraction of the total fund has been paid out.

As a result of these and other outrages, the class lines are becoming more clearly drawn in the consciousness of hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the state and tens of millions nationally. The crucial question is the building of a political leadership based on the independent interests of the working class. This is the aim of the Socialist Equality Party’s presidential campaign.

The SEP calls for the widest possible turnout among its supporters in Louisiana. To participate in the election campaign during the final weeks before November 6, contact the SEP today by visiting socialequality.com today. Vote for Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer, support the campaign, and join the Socialist Equality Party!

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