Cleaver Picked at P&F Convention


Fifth Estate # 61, Sept. 5-18, 1968

ANN ARBOR—The Peace and Freedom Party nominated Eldridge Cleaver as its Presidential candidate August 18th at the Party’s national convention.

The selection of a Vice-presidential candidate will be up to each state or combination of states, because the Convention as a whole could not unite behind a national Vice-presidential candidate despite Cleaver’s proposal that Jerry Rubin fill that spot on the ticket.

In Michigan Cleaver will be running on the New Politics Party ticket, which is affiliated with the Peace and Freedom Party. The vice-presidential candidate will be Larry Hochman, Associate Professor of Physics at Eastern Michigan University.

Cleaver, the Minister of Information for the Black Panther Party, told newsmen his California-based group got together with the Peace and Freedom Party in an attempt to provide the Party with a broader base—to include the Yippies (Youth International Party) under Rubin, who is considered their leader.

There was no indication as to how a Vice-president would be chosen if the Party gained access to the White House in the November election.

However, this is not an issue with Party organizers who hope to use the electoral process to address themselves to all the people who can be reached and enlist them in support of the Peace and Freedom Party’s goals. A major goal is to gather people dissatisfied with the present state of insanity and give them a political direction.

Cleaver won the nomination with a hundred and sixty-one and a half of the total two hundred and nineteen votes cast. Fifty-four votes went to Dick Gregory. (Both Gregory and Cleaver spoke to the Convention Saturday night.) Three delegates voted for Senator Eugene McCarthy, and the remaining half-vote was shared by Doctor Benjamin Spock and Mrs. Martin Luther King.

The platform of the Peace and Freedom Party was formulated on the lass day of the Convention, and includes:

—support of the Vietnamese people and a demand for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam;

—support for “community control and the right of armed self-defense toward liberation of the oppressed people in America;”

—support of the rank-and-file workers to “gain control of their unions, the fight to end racism in the unions, the organization of the unorganized, including migrant workers;”

—opposition to the Draft.

On local organizing, the Convention adopted this statement:

“Peace and Freedom will support and initiate community struggles around jobs, housing, schools, police control, labor demands, taxes, health, public transit, prisons, corporate exploitation, the draft’, and opposition to gun control—and unite them by showing how these immediate issues are part of the larger struggle to transform American society.”

A meeting of the Cleaver for President Committee will be held at St. Joseph’s Church on Woodward at King, at 8p.m., September 12.