Saturday, May 03, 2008

PSL presidential candidate (Gloria La Riva) addresses San José students

Free quality education should be a right, not a privilege

The Party for Socialism and Liberation recently participated in a political forum hosted by the MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center at San José State University. Representatives of the Green Party and student representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties were also on the panel.

Gloria La Riva PSL presidential candidate Gloria La Riva

The PSL’s presidential candidate, Gloria La Riva, struck a chord with the audience as she broke down the political system in the United States from the perspective of a socialist and revolutionary. The other panelist found themselves referring to Gloria’s statements in their responses several times throughout the event.

The crowd of mostly working class students and community members nodded their heads in agreement; many times breaking into applause after her statements.

Many students at SJSU struggle with a full load of classes while working full- or part-time jobs. Commuting to campus can make student activism difficult.

One student speaker disclosed how the administration worked to discourage or even inhibit activism and organizing on the campus. She also explained how the Educational Opportunity Program, meant to facilitate the transition from high school to college, has been dismantled in an attempt to keep underrepresented students out of the university. The same panelist had been involved in sending a delegation of students to participate in a rally at the state capitol against the budget cuts in education.

The capitalist class and their representatives in government—including Democrats and Republicans alike—will never put education before profits on their own accord. The Party for Socialism and Liberation campaign platform calls for free high-quality education from pre-school to through college.

Hi, Abel. Were you in Justin Herman Square, May Day afternoon early? Gloria spoke there around 1:30 pm, and was strong. But the event for me was VERY depressing. I'd come over from Benicia to help Cindy Sheehan gather signatures, but she got lost in the general labor-number-1, peace-an-associated-number-2, "protest generally" flavor of the event. As I left, I heard the speaker saying something to the effect that all the ports (on the west coast?) had been shut down for the first time in history. But I was so choked up by nostalgia for protest generally in SF, and the swallowing of the Unseat-Nasty-P campaign by others more nostalgic than even I was, that I couldn't stop. And I caught the 2pm ferry back to Alameda and drove on "home" to Benicia -- almost blind with rage and regret.

- Lloyd
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