[Marxism] A Report From The 2008 GP-US Convention

Alex Briscoe obeynow20001 at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 13 17:57:03 MDT 2008

I spoke to the convention registrar on Saturday the
12th and he said that 225 had pre-registered.

I was short on sleep so I asked a friend who is a
major anti-war activist to help me estimate the hall
and we came to a figure of 350 to 400 at 11am, right
before the platform vote.

Some time later, about 2pm, with the prez/vp
candidates speaking, I estimated there were approx 600
in the hall.  This was right before the vote of the
state delegations for prez/vp, so this would have been
maximum attendance.  Another Solidarity comrade said
that I was overcounting and that attendance was more
like 500 at the height.

I spoke to Mark Lause after the convention and he
pointed out that attendance at the 2004 convention was

McKinney's pre-vote speech was very short, she
effectively ceded her time to introduce Rosa Clemente.
 Clemente's speech was dynamic and urgent and ended
with the audience spiritedly chanting "Power to the
people", the McKinney/Clemente slogan.

During the vote, CA cast 40+ votes for Nader and 20
for McKinney, so we had the embarassing result of
Nader leading a vote count at a convention he was not
at until HI cast their votes and McKinney finally led
Nader 80 votes to 60.  The man at the projector chose
not to update the results until after HI had voted. 
The primary voters in MA chose Nader over McKinney but
the "powers that be" in the MAGRP chose to ignore this
and award most of their delegates to McKinney by a
large margin.

I have to say that I came as an observer but one of
our Party leaders insisted I be a delegate and sit
with the delegation as I was on the list and they were
short of delegates, I assume.  I complied, since the
whole convention was beyond the point for me.  It
turned out that McKinney/Clemente was nominated on the
first round, so there was no need for me to vote
"abstain" on the second round.

After McKinney/Clemente won, David Cobb (yes, the
figure you all know and love) gave a rousing Music Man
introduction to the ticket, imploring the audience
watching on C-Span to tune in to the real Cynthia
McKinney and a real political party.  I later heard
that C-Span did not turn on the cameras until McKinney
started speaking.

Rosa Clemente started with a 10 minute shout out to
all her supporters, who the Green Party is hoping will
lead the hip-hop generation away from Barack and to
Cynthia.  Some complained that Rosa's shout-out was
too long, but I long ago came to accept 
over-the-top self indulgence in the Green Party.  You
could say that the last six months and this weekend
was one big exercise in self-indulgence.  Anyway, I
just enjoyed the moment.

Rosa's speech was very dynamic and passionate and her
mention of P.A. Campos, his struggle, suffering and
her generation's continuation of his struggle was very

Cynthia McKinney's speech was very professional, with
controlled passion.  You could see that she had
delivered this speech before, and she did it well. 
She stated that the campaign's goal was 5%.

It is heartening to see enthusiasm for McKinney and
Clemente from the diminished ranks of the Green Party.
 However, the occasion is also sad because they will
probably be on the ballot in only 27 states.  The last
I heard, she had only raised $53,000.  McKinney also
has very very little name recognition.  I predict that
she will win the equivalent of 25% of the listenership
of Democracy Now.

I was discussing the race with friendly NY Greens at
the reception afterwards and the conclusion that we
came to was that Nader had a snowball's chance in hell
of getting 5% and McKinney had a snowflake's chance in

Others are gearing up to see if they can help provide
the campaign with the barest of campaign
infrastructure.  McKinney has probably burned through
most of the $53,000 by now, so where she's going to
get more money is anyone's guess.  There is hope that
Greens, and some of the white and Black Left can work
together in some cities to recruit five or so
activists in each city to the Green Party, for the future.



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