Member, Socialist Equality Party (and predecessor Workers League
Reporter, World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) news service and other
SEP publications, 1979-present.
Born in 1950.
"JIM" LAWRENCE of
Vice Presidential Nominee
Lawrence, 65, is a retired auto worker. He worked at General Motors
plants in the Dayton, Ohio, area for 30 years and is a member of the
United Auto Workers. Lawrence was also an SEP nominee for Congress
Auken-Lawrence Campaign - Official Site.
Socialist Equality Party
- Official Site.
World Socialist Web Site -
Official SEP News Service.
Socialist Equality Party (SEP) was originally named the Workers League.
The Workers League was founded in 1966 as a Trotskyist communist group
closely associated in political campaigns with the Socialist Workers
Party (SWP). The goal of these Trotskyist groups was a build a working-class
"Labor Party" in the US, affiliated with the International
Committee of the Fourth International (the global Trotskyist umbrella
network). They believe that "the egalitarian and internationalist
legacy of the Russian Revolution" could have succeeded, but was
"betrayed by Stalinism" and its progeny. When the SWP drifted
away from Trotskyism in the early 1980s, the Workers League broke with
the SWP and began fielding its own candidates (rather than backing SWP
nominees, as it did in the past). The Workers League fielded its first
Presidential ticket in 1984. The Workers League later changed its name
to the Socialist Equality Party in 1994. The Michigan-based SEP has
regularly fielded Congressional and local candidates in several states
(mainly in the Midwest) in the 1980s and 1990s. 1996 SEP Presidential
nominee Jerry White was on the ballot in only three states and captured
just 2,400 votes. After 1996, the SEP failed to field any candidates
for any office until an SEP member competed in the 2003 California gubernatorial
recall election (6,700 votes - 14th place out of 135). In January 2004,
the SEP announced that it would field the Van Auken-Lawrence ticket
for the 2004 Presidential race and field as many Congressional candidates
as possible. The SEP said its candidates are "running on a democratic
and socialist program to defend the interests of working people and
to oppose war, social reaction and attacks on democratic right."
The SEP is very realistic about its chances for success in the election.
"We understand very well that our candidates will, in the present
situation, win only a limited number of votes. But the purpose of our
campaign is to raise the level of political debate within the United
States and internationally, to break out of the straitjacket of right-wing
bourgeois politics and present a socialist alternative to the demagogy
and lies of the establishment parties and the mass media. Our campaign
is not about votes. It is about ideas and policies," explained
an SEP release. The plans to use the 2004 race as a platform to "lay
down the programmatic foundations for the building of a mass movement
for a revolutionary transformation of American society." Part of
that platform invovled replacing captialism with a Marxist system. The
SEP also vows to remove all US soldiers from the Middle East, denounces
imperialism, promises to "dismantle the Pentagon war machine"
and eliminate weapons of mass destruction held by the US, and adopt
"a socialist foreign policy based on international working class
solidarity." If the SEP ticket gets on any ballots in 2004, they
are unlikely to draw many votes.
P.O. Box 48377
Oak Park, Michigan 48237