The “Other” Socialist In the Presidential Race: An Introduction to Gloria la Riva


JARED BALL, PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome everyone
back to the Real News Network. I’m Jared Ball here in Baltimore. With so much focus among the nominal left
on the campaign run of Bernie Sanders it may surprise some that there is another socialist
option for those intending to vote in this country’s 2016 presidential elections. The
Party for Socialism and Liberation has entered the mix with activist and organizer Eugene
Puryear as its vice presidential nominee, and our next guest, Gloria La Riva, as nominee
for president. La Riva is a labor, community, and anti-war activist based in San Francisco,
California with a long track record of activism around labor, the rights of the LGBTQ community,
progressive movements in Latin America, and developing a movement for socialism here in
the United States. Welcome, Gloria, to the Real News Network. GLORIA LA RIVA: Thank you, Jared. Thanks for
having us. BALL: So Gloria, let me start by asking, how
does it feel to be in fact the second, or only the second, socialist in the 2016 presidential
elections? LA RIVA: Well, Eugene Puryear and I are very
excited on behalf of the PSL to be running in these elections. It’s early but we thought
it’s important with all the attention being paid now to the national elections that we
also engage immediately to bring forth a program of fighting for rights for all people in this
country instead of for the billionaires and millionaires who are the candidates right
now. BALL: Well as I sort of alluded to, many will
argue that Bernie Sanders already represents a more viable and socialist option for the
2016 elections. So if you would, tell us what is in fact a little bit–tell us just a little
bit what is in fact the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and please elaborate on anything
that distinguishes your group and your organization from that of the Democratic party or the Bernie
Sanders campaign, and then let’s talk a little bit about your ten point platform. LA RIVA: Well, first, I think we do recognize
that the Bernie Sanders phenomenon is important and interesting because of his numbers that
are increasing in support, even though Hillary Clinton was the one who is getting so much
attention in the media and was seen as the frontrunner for the Democrat party. His program
of saying tax big business, of healthcare for people and other progressive ideas, are
capturing a big part of the U.S. public. However, the reason that the PSL, Party for Socialism
and Liberation, is running in the elections for 2016 is we think that the fundamental
problem is the problem of capitalism, which needs to be completely overturned to really
meet the needs of the people, to save the planet from environmental destruction. And so our program, for example, to really
provide healthcare for all and not just for people with documentation, but for the undocumented
as well, is for example abolish the insurance companies. We call for the seizure of the
banks instead of bailing them out to the tune of almost $1 trillion. Cancel the student
debt so that students can go to school and be able to provide for their future instead
of having a load of debt on their shoulders. We say shut all the U.S. bases down abroad
and bring the troops home. We call for jobs or income for all. And it’s possible. Even under capitalism at
this point there are many things that can be attained, but it will require the movement
of the people in struggle and motion. BALL: But again, so I know you’ve heard this
already and you’ll hear this a lot over the next year, why should we support your campaign?
Why should anyone support your campaign when in fact there is the Bernie Sanders option,
or as others will argue, this will only–any attention drawn to your campaign would likely
hurt the positive potential of what is the lesser of two evils in the Democratic option,
or particularly the Bernie Sanders campaign. How do you all address that particular question?
Particularly around the question of the likelihood that you cannot win? LA RIVA: Well, I think we should bring ourselves
back to 2008 when Barack Obama ran for president, and he captured really the great attention
and support of the people who were fed up with the politics of war, of racism, of George
Bush. And yet after Obama’s victory we saw much of the same. More deportations, more
police brutality, more troops abroad. And the extremely repressive nature of his surveillance
by the NSA and other agencies. So the same thing will take place with Bernie Sanders
or whoever becomes president, because the system is very much entrenched. And we see
the elections, really, in the United States as a way of a panacea, as a way of making
people believe that the system does work, that we have our say by voting once every
four years. And our message in the election campaign of
the Party for Socialism and Liberation is that the only way things change in history,
in society, is when the people mobilize and fight for our own rights instead of waiting
for a politician to make empty promises that will always be canceled out by the lobbyists
that fill the halls of Congress and make the real laws. When people fight back–for example,
this year, last year, we saw the phenomenon of Ferguson which woke everybody up in this
country, which drew attention to every police killing that’s taken place, or virtually every
one, because people fought back in Ferguson. Protested for months demanding justice for
Mike Brown. And now we see that Black Lives Matter is a recognized struggle in this country
of people who are demanding an end to police brutality. It’s the movement that will make
change. BALL: Speaking of which, have you, like the
DNC, endorsed the Black Lives Matter call, or platform? LA RIVA: We are not only supportive of Black
Lives Matter and the demands that also are a part of the movement. Eugene Puryear has
been leading in many of the struggles since Mike Brown’s murder and before that, in Washington,
DC. And our members have been across the country in every town where there’s been police brutality,
been actively in the street, organizing and mobilizing against the police murders. I was
myself in Ferguson the week after and two weeks after Mike Brown was murdered, and was
part of the great, great demonstrations that were taking place, especially the night that
the police brutally attacked us. In fact, I was shot by a rubber bullet. But overall, we think that the phenomenon
of police brutality is deeply entrenched in this country, and it’s getting worse. And
what it will take is continued demonstration. We defend the rebellions that have arisen
in Baltimore, Ferguson, and elsewhere because people just can’t take it anymore. And we
think it will be much more needed to bring real justice against police murderers. For
example, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There have been almost 30 murders by cops in about
four years. And so it’s nationwide, this struggle against police brutality. BALL: Well, Gloria La Riva, thank you very
much for joining us here at the Real News. We’ll certainly be back in touch as we continue
here to continue the campaign and the election cycle for the 2016 presidential elections.
Thanks again for joining us. LA RIVA: Thank you, Jared. BALL: And thank you for joining us here at
the Real News Network. For all involved, again, I’m Jared Ball here in Baltimore. And as always,
as Fred Hampton used to say, to you we say peace if you’re willing to fight for it. So
peace, everybody, and we’ll catch you in the whirlwind.




Comments
  1. There is absolutely no reason to simply expect the same from Sanders as from Obama though. And it will make a huge difference if the people would actually get a socialist elected and then they'd get the same old same, or if they elect someone like Hillary and they'd get the same old same. In the first case, you'd get much more popular resistance, obviously.

  2. It is a dangerous course but the best way to break the monopoly of Democrat/Republican strangle-hold is a strong opposition from both the right and the left.

  3. 1…2…3…waiting for the Sandernistas to flood this with negative comments. Sandernistas are the 2016 version of Paulbots lol

  4. Why would anyone call Bernie a socialist? The first thing he said was that he would support Hillary if the Democrat party chose her just let that marinate. Like Obama he says so many things the public wants to hear only thing is we know he means exactly 0 of it. The corrupt offer you one of every flavor all poisoned.

  5. I agree medical should be openly free but before you do anything like that you must put in place a system that truly prevents illegal immigration & asks US to vote on weather WE want more people here no politician has any right to allow more people into the country they where never given that permission by US, NEVER. With out a real check/balance you fostering people coming here desperate & we already have 50 million in poverty with another 150 million a month from poverty so adding to this is not empathetic it's false charity because there are people right here at home million who are in hell why would you feel as if you have the right to add to that? If you think WE have resources take them directly fro the .1% go ahead but don't help the .1% subvert our society which is in the middle of a revolution like most which is why the leaders in the USA & around the world are creating this situation themselves in order to prevent revolution as they know desperate people aren't going to protest & get arrested are they no they will pick berries or clean houses for the .1% NOT for us we do not need people to pick berries & most of us never own our homes never mind need people to clean them or mow our lawns those are the scab jobs that keep the corrupt in power preventing peaceful revolution. Try to shame people who do not want to work for the corrupt because that means they are helping commit war crimes/crimes against Humanity is not viable these people are not flown in by stork they make conscious choices to not stand & fight at home instead they come here to work for the very people who are giving advanced weapons to their leaders to maintain that corrupt environment. So hey show up here fine but only if you are part of the revolution otherwise you are part of maintaining the status quo(I'm just taking care of my family bullshit because if you took care of them you would not pretend you can work for the corrupt as long as it's to put food on the table, morals are not fungible).

  6. We need a true Socialist,I don't trust Bernie Sanders.I also don't trust an immigrant as Socialist politician.For Socialism to work there must be strict immigration control to prevent freeloaders from over burdening our system and abusing it.If you don't work you don't eat,nor reap the benefits of working socialist.If you don't contain your child birth,you don't reap the benefits and face deportation if you are not a citizen.Socialism only works if everyone contributes and lives unified.Those who abuse benefits or don't contribute their share must be removed from Socialism.Those who support discrimination and racism must be removed to prevent corrupting Socialism.

  7. I wish people wouldn't run for president without meaningful work experience. Kshama Sawant has the right idea. Start at a reasonable position, like city council. Then maybe state congress, then federal congress or governor, only then after at least a decade of experience run for president. Ms. la Riva might have all of the right ideas but that alone isn't enough to run a country. They need to do the grunt work first.

  8. Wow. So happy to hear this. Maybe I've finally found someone I can vote for without puking. Thank you TRNN. "Eviva socialismo e la libertad!"

  9. I'm a Muslim and an immigrant and we need a Socialist leader. Socialists stop wars abroad and make living better at home. Conservatives hate me and Liberals just make minorities promises that they never keep. Only Socialists stand up for people.

  10. Gloria La Riva is can help by presenting a credible alternative to Hillary if the democratic party sidelines Bernie Sanders. The Democratic party leaders need to understand that if they can lose part of their democratic base to Gloria La Riva and the socialist party if they reject Bernie Sanders in Favor of corporations and Hillary Clinton.

  11. you see globalization, I see structural violence, you see money as an economic tool, I see economic slavery. I'm sorry but I will never believe monoculture was a good foundation for capitalism

  12. To be sure, Sanders is not a revolutionary socialist, nor an anti-capitalist. He is a remedial socialist, or just a remedialist and not a socialist at all if you say socialism and capitalism are antithetical. His rhetoric about "a political revolution" is hyperbole, at best. What we'll get if he's elected is a limited rollback of the rollback of the New Deal, as opposed to a continued rollback of the New Deal if any of the rest are elected.

    But he actually could win. The party has the deck stacked against him, but if he keeps building momentum like he has been, they may not be able to stop him. And if nominated, he currently polls about as well against Republican prospects as Hillary does.

    Where I live (NC), and in many states, there is no chance the PSL ticket will even be on the ballot. You need 90,000 signatures. They might get qualified as a write-in (500 signatures). The ISO has done that in the fairly recent past. In 2004, as one of three qualified write-ins, they got about 850 votes. That was more than Nader (unaffiliated) and Cobb (Green) combined, but still not very many.

  13. You can't achieve real change with just simple reform, you need a revolution. Socialist should strive more for helping revolutionary potential than trying to reform.

  14. She should have run as a Democrat. She would get more political attention and could have been the VP for Bernie. But no, she doesn't understand that people don't vote for third parties besides Independents.

  15. Fucking psychopath. Any waste of space who supports this stooge deserves a slap in the face with a book on the basic principles of macroeconomics

  16. The Constitution Party and the Party for Socialism and Liberation Party don't get fair coverage in the News.

  17. Happy Birthday, Gloria, August 13th, same as Fidel! I do hope you get up on youtube a full presentation of your presidential platform, with broadcast quality audio using a microphone near your mouth!

  18. Why is Gloria La Riva, Presidential candidate of the Peace and Freedom Party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the Liberty Union Party, not on the Florida sample ballot?

  19. she speaks good social points but I can't agree on taking away Insurance since some people pay for it out a their own pockets to get a good service. Hell I wish Student loans were closed and no longer existing but this isn't a share the wealth sorta government. Which is a good thing. These runners are by far a joke. 😒

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