Protesters demanding justice for Alton Sterling.
The Gloria La Riva for President 2016 campaign is pleased to announce that La Riva and her national running mate Eugene Puryear will appear on the Louisiana ballot for the November election.
Looking at any number of realities in Louisiana will convince you of the necessity for intensified struggle for people’s needs and for justice. The history of these realities in Louisiana has involved the Party for Socialism and Liberation in many struggles over the years and has lead the Party to seek ballot status in the Bayou State twice before, in 2008 and 2012, and now again in 2016.
Most recently, La Riva and campaign supporters traveled to Baton Rouge to stand with the Black community, who were rising up against racist police terror following the murder of Alton Sterling. La Riva was arrested along with over 100 others when the police attacked a peaceful protest there.
Now more than ever it seems that the idea of socialism is on the minds of the people and this new consciousness, found throughout the United States, has created a new electoral organizing platform to promote building a new army of leaders to fight for a rational system free of racism, prisons and
The La Riva/Puryear ticket in Louisiana will be just that platform.
Calling for the end of racist police terror and mass incarceration
Louisiana leads the world with the most people under “correctional control” with one in 26 adults in the state tied in some way to the system of mass incarceration. For African Americans, this figure is 1 in 7 adults.
Louisiana is also home to some of the most egregious excesses of the so-called justice system including two cases where the struggle for justice was central in winning victories.
The case of the Angola 3 — Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox and Robert King Wilkerson is one. Wallace and Woodfox were framed for the stabbing of a prison guard during an uprising in the prison. King Wilkerson was also given charges for the so-called conspiracy. The three men had been organizing for the desegregation of the prison, for better conditions, and against rape and violence. They were members of the Black Panther Party.
These men became known worldwide as the Angola 3. They were also the longest held prisoners in solitary confinement in the United States — two of them spending more than four decades in a 9” x 6” cell. After decades of outcries from around the world the three men were eventually released — Wallace died just three days after his release in 2013 — but they became advocates against the torturous conditions of solitary confinement and are symbols of this struggle.
The Jena Six
The Jena Six all attended college as a result of the national outcry for justice.
In 2006, a struggle began in Central Louisiana around the case of the Jena Six. A Black student sat under the only tree on the school grounds to eat lunch. The next day a noose appeared in the tree as a threat and statement to any Black student in the town of 3,000 people that Jim Crow standards existed on the school playground.
Robert Bailey, Theo Shaw, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, Mychal Bell, and Jesse Ray Beard were charged with attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder when they defended themselves against a racist white student who was armed with a sawed-off shot gun.
Protests in Louisiana and around the country led to a larger organizing campaign that brought 50,000 demonstrators to Jena on September 20, 2007. The strength of the struggle was able to overturn the convictions against the Jena Six–all of whom successfully attended college as a result.
“The emancipation of the Jena 6 is due to the outpouring of support nationally to stand against the virulent racism that wants nothing more than to continue Jim Crow standards,” said Eugene Puryear, the PSL’s national vice-presidential candidate, who was an organizer for the case in Washington, D.C.
While oppressed and poor people fill the jails cells of Louisiana in prisons that often were the site of slave plantations, like Angola Prison, the racist police carry out Klan-like street executions using daily
violence and repression to attempt to terrorize African Americans and others.
Devin Gilmore and her children.
In July, Alton Sterling was murdered by two cops as he was selling CDs in front of a local convenience store. His murder by the racist police sparked protests in Baton Rouge and nationally.
Gloria La Riva, the only presidential candidate to express her solidarity with the people of Baton Rouge fighting racism, traveled there to stand with the people during the weekend of July 8-10.
“I love the fact that she’s part of the minority! She proved to us that she will go to war behind her people when she was protesting and went in jail with those who also protested! Far as I can see, she shows true leadership! The candidates we have are not showing that!” said Devin Gilmore, a mother
of a two-year-old and a seven-year-old, who lives and works in Monroe, La., and is a supporter of the PSL campaign in Louisiana.
For the Earth to live, Capitalism must end
Seize BP banner drop.
As vile racism pollutes the social climate of the state, the reign of capitalism in Louisiana also means the destruction of the water in this Gulf state. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill just 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana was the worst oil spill in history. The explosion at the BP rig left 11 workers dead and 17 injured as 200 million gallons of oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico for weeks.
Profit-hungry BP in response dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of Corexit and other toxic dispersants — banned in 19 countries — to conceal the disaster.
This capitalist-driven disaster destroyed the livelihood of many of those who worked in the Gulf’s fishing industry and the toxic contaminants have resulted in a marked increase of health problems from those exposed to the toxic oil and contaminants that are polluting the fragile waterways in Southern Louisiana.
The PSL Presidential campaign is proud to stand with the people of Louisiana in the the continued struggle for true justice and for a system in the interest of people’s needs: socialism.