La Riva/Banks to appear on Colorado ballot in November: The crisis of capitalism challenged as socialist campaign expands through the West

The Gloria La Riva for President 2016 campaign is pleased to announce that Gloria La Riva will appear on the Colorado ballot for the November election along with her running mate, Dennis Banks.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation has achieved ballot status for the 2016 General Election in Colorado, marking the third time the PSL appears on the ballot in this Rocky Mountain state. Presidential candidate Gloria La Riva and running-mate Dennis Banks will be on the ballot. 

Socialism is becoming more popular as the people realize the two-party system works only for the rich. The PSL hopes that having socialist candidates on the ballot will open doors for change and struggle.

animas-river-mine-waste-water-jpeg.jpgThe Animas River, now yellow from being contaminated by mining companies.

When people think about Colorado, they tend to think of the beauty of the mountains and rivers. What they don't see is the amount of damage being done to the environment and the tremendous amount of racism that exists.

One of the biggest environmental tragedies in Colorado happened just a few months ago. EPA workers were moving concrete at the Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colo., which stopped operating in the early 1930s. The damn that was holding millions of gallons of waste from the old mine broke. Three million gallons of toxic waste was released into the Animas River. A yellow plume of toxins stretched 100 miles. The contaminated water contained such toxins as lead, mercury and arsenic. This spill affected water in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Drinking water stations on the Navajo Nation had to be shut down. The people had no water to drink, irrigate their crops or to water their animals. The EPA tries to play down the impact of this spill. They say it will fall down into the sediment when in reality these waters will never be safe again. Heavy metals don't go away. They will remain affecting every generation to come. The owners of the mine and their rich friends are living in luxury far away from this disaster with no concerns for the damage to the earth and the people living there

Major oil companies such as Exxon and Shell have purchased water rights from farmers and others who hold the mineral rights. They have done this to prepare to start fracking again in Colorado. Ten years ago the residents saw the results of fracking when they could light the water coming out of their faucets. Methane gas had gotten into the water supply. Oil rigs are going up all over the state.

Supporters of the PSL presidential campaign are inspired to see candidates who advocate for using truly sustainable energy and seizing the oil and coal companies to stop fossil fuel pollution. The people of Colorado agree that urgent steps are needed to reverse climate change.

The pervasiveness of racism is apparent in the state’s military towns like Colorado Springs, and playgrounds for the rich like Boulder, Aspen, Vail and Breckenridge where politicians of the rich endorse the segregation preempted by the landlords and racist violence at the hands of the police.

Jason Metter a campaign supporter from Denver stated, "the police in Colorado have gotten out of control" There have been 20 people killed by Colorado Law Enforcement in the past seven months. This comes out to be three people a month. Jason also explained that "many of the shootings are racially motivated and unnecessary." This is not only true in Colorado, but throughout the country.

In 2015, an explosive device was thrown at the local office of the NAACP in Colorado Springs.  The Gazette reported that  “ No one was hurt but the outside of the walls were charred.”  The FBI refused to label this a hate crime; instead they called it a possible case of domestic terrorism. The branch was founded in 1920 and has been at the forefront of advocacy since that time, including participating in the protests that erupted nationally over the police killings of unarmed black men last year. Grady Willis, a member of the local NAACP, said: “this may be the reason that the explosion happened.” 

Denver_BLM_protest.jpgBlack Lives Matter protest at the state capitol in Denver.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Hate groups have a long history in Colorado.” The group lists 17 hate groups in the state, including the Loyal White Knights of the KKK.

Last year a terrorist attack in Colorado Springs took place at the Planned Parenthood clinic killing three people. This armed attack on a woman’s right to have an abortion and women’s healthcare took place in the context of a larger right-wing assault on the family planning and women’s health care provider. The right wing had been promoting a selectively edited video with actors posing as medical researchers who secretly recorded a conversation with a Planned Parenthood doctor about fetal tissue donation for research purposes, juxtaposing clips to make it seem like Planned Parenthood was involved in selling fetal tissue for profit.

Despite these challenges the people of Colorado are eager to organize and they hope to win the inevitable struggles ahead of them.  There are currently no large activist groups in the state, but  protests and rallies still go on.  People come together via word of mouth, social media and a strong determination to have their voices heard.  

The PSL campaign in Colorado has been been working with organizers around the state and plans to carry out a dynamic campaign to promote the idea of socialism and struggles in the state as many have voiced the need for a real people’s alternative to the parties of the rich.