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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media Contact

Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications
503/777-7574
beth.sorensen@reed.edu


SOCIALIST CANDIDATE DAVID McREYNOLDS TO SPEAK AT REED

Socialist party presidential candidate David McReynolds will speak on "Jobs, Peace, and Freedom in the 21st Century" on Sunday, May 7, at 7 p.m. in Reed's Vollum Lecture Hall. His talk is sponsored by the Reed Student Action Office and is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Reed events line at 503/777-7755.

At age 70, David McReynolds has been an activist for more than half a century and is an untiring advocate of the need for a cooperative and ecological alternative to the current world order. As a student at UCLA, inspired by pacifism and disillusioned with the cold war, he broke with his conservative religious background and fell in with the bohemian socialists, as he calls them. In 1956 he moved to New York to write for Liberation magazine and in 1960 joined the War Resisters League (WRL). He worked for the WRL for 39 years, until his retirement last year, speaking and demonstrating around the world against war and militarization. He was a leading figure in many anti-Vietnam War coalitions and traveled to Vietnam in 1966 and 1971. He also photographed Pol Pot's death pits in Cambodia and spoke out against U.S. support of the regime. In 1989 he went to Libya to help establish contact with that country, and after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991 he went to Baghdad to help negotiate the release of several hostages.

He was among the first openly gay political candidates (running for congress in 1958 and 1969 and then for president in 1980 as a member of the socialist party). His goal as a third-party candidate is to broaden the scope of political debate. "There are issues that are never addressed by Gore and Bush that need to be talked about," says McReynolds. "Things like the failure of the drug war, the growth of the prison system, the Iraqi sanctions, the military budget, the fact that we don't have any serious affordable housing. These are not exactly radical issues."

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