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News and reports

October 15, 2004 | Pages 10 and 11

News from the Nader campaign

NEITHER THE Democrats nor the hurricanes could stop Ralph Nader from speaking to 1,000 people gathered at the University of Florida in Gainesville on October 1.

The independent candidate for president argued that if you want to challenge the system, you have to do it now--or you'll be stuck worrying about the fortunes of the "least worst alternative." Several people signed up to canvass for Nader.

-- In Providence, R.I., an overflow crowd of more than 800 people turned out on just three days' notice to hear Nader speak at Brown University on October 6. He was greeted with standing ovations both before and after his speech, despite an unprecedented campaign waged by Brown to prevent his appearance. Although Kerry supporters organized to get many attendees to wear Kerry-Edwards stickers, countless students and activists said that Nader had won their votes.

-- At the University of Vermont, 800 people packed the Ira Allen Chapel to hear Nader speak on October 5. Nader condemned the warmongering, corporate, two-party system, declaring that this election was not "the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans" but "the difference between the Democrat-Republicans and the needs of the American people."

-- In Chicago, more 200 people turned out at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) for a panel meeting featuring Nader's running mate Peter Miguel Camjeo. The event, which also featured Socialist Worker's Alan Maass, was part of the International Socialist Organization's Midwest Socialist Conference and was endorsed by the Green Alliance, the UIC and Northwestern chapters of Students for Nader, Pilsen Greens and Solidarity.

Camejo laid out the so-called difference between the two major parties this election. "The Republicans lay out what the rich need," he said. "The Democrats figure out how to get people to go along with it, even though it's not what they want." Members of Students for Nader helped introduce the event, urging audience members to join the campaign.

Dave Buckingham, Alan Geering and Alden Eagle contributed to this report.

Fight racism at UMass Amherst
By Yuval Sivan

AMHERST, Mass.--About 250 students, faculty and staff rallied in front of the Student Union to protest racism at UMass Amherst.

The anger was sparked by the revelation of photographs taken last semester of members of the Student Government Association (SGA) drinking and joking during a private party in a university office--in front of a caricature they had drawn that mocked the African, Latino, Asian and Native American (ALANA) Caucus using KKK imagery.

Protesters called attention to the larger climate of racism at UMass and then marched to the administration building to demand that the university stop the racist incidents on campus and start paying attention to diversity. Recently, a fight broke out among three white and three Black students, in which a Black student was called "nigger" and received a puncture wound in the neck.

Demonstrators also pointed their finger at the administration, which has repeatedly cut the funding of support programs for gay and lesbian, women and other minority students--like advising, advocacy and counseling services for ALANA students and the Malcolm X, Stonewall and Everywoman's centers.

"They keep putting one group against the next, saying that there's only so much to go around, and creating the kind of climate that lets a few white students think they can draw racist cartoons and get away with it," said Professor John Bracey of the African American studies department. "And then they turn around and put pictures of smiling black students on every brochure."

We won't stand for racism on our campus!

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