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On the Death of David McReynolds
For immediate release: August 17, 2018
Statement of Howie Hawkins on the Passing of David McReynolds
(David McReynolds, the long time head of the War Resisters League, was twice the Socialist Party nominee for President. Howie ran for Congress on the Green Party ticket in 2004 when McReynolds was the Green Party nominee for US Senate.)
I will greatly miss David McReynolds, who died this morning. David was a longtime leader of the movements for peace and a socialist internationalism that opposes imperialism and authoritarianism East, West, or South. He was arrested in demonstrations opposing nuclear missiles in both the U.S. and Moscow.
I first met David in 1973 when I arranged for him to speak at Dartmouth College about ending the wars in Vietnam and all of Indochina and building an independent party of the left. David had just led the founding of the Socialist Party USA out of the ashes of the old Socialist Party of America associated with Eugene Debs, Norman Thomas, and A. Philip Randolph.
I immediately joined SPUSA while remaining a member of the People’s Party that had run America’s baby doctor, Ben Spock, and DC Statehood Party founder Julius Hobson for president and vice-president the year before. I got a hold of David through the People’s Party speakers bureau for which David was a featured speaker. Third-party leftists were talking about merging the People’s Party, SPUSA, and the post-SDS New American Movement.
Over the next 45 years, we were often at the same demonstrations together against aggressive U.S. wars, sometimes on the same panel about independent political action, and, in 2004, on the same Green Party ticket in New York State, David for U.S. Senate and me for U.S. Congress from the Syracuse area.
David was engaged to his last days, sending out environmental and anti-war news to his contacts. David’s was a long life – 1929-2018 – well lived.