While continuing to organize against the war and on community issues, Socialist Alternative energetically campaigned for a vote for Ralph Nader in the presidential elections, arguing that building mass movements independent of the two parties is the surest way to win the change we need.
Nader, while not a socialist, has offered the strongest left-wing challenges to the two-party system over the last period.
We were the first socialist group to recognize the importance of his campaigns in 2000 and 2004, and the only one to support his campaign in 2008 while most of the left bent to the pressure to support Obama.
Across the country, we played a key role in building Nader rallies. In May, we helped organize a Nader rally of 400 people in Seattle, which had a prominent speaker from Socialist Alternative alongside Nader. We also organized a Nader rally of 130 people in Tacoma.
We also mobilized for a rally of 150 with Nader in Boston, and when our representative spoke to fire up the crowd before Nader came on, he was praised as “a tough act to follow” by the MC.
In Minneapolis we helped build a rally of 1,500 for Nader during the Republican National Convention, as well as a rally of 350 on Halloween where our speaker gave welcoming remarks, making the case for a new party for working people.
We collected signatures for ballot access, distributed yard signs, stickers, buttons, and campaigned on the Internet to raise the campaign’s visibility and help it break through the corporate media blackout.
We advocated our support for Nader at antiwar demos on October 11th and at the RNC protests. Our members campaigned in their workplaces and unions.
In Minneapolis, 60 people attended a debate we organized with two Democratic City Councilors, Elizabeth Glidden and Gary Schiff, on who to support for president. In Seattle, 75 people came to our lively debate with Seattle City Councilor Nick Licata. The Seattle debate was covered in Real Change, a local community newspaper.
When Obama was facing accusations of being a “socialist” a columnist with the Seattle Times called us about it. An interview with the editor of Justice was published on the front page of the local section explaining how Obama was a corporate candidate and how genuine socialists were supporting Nader.