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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Kucinich, Nader address D.C. interests

Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich and Green Party leader Ralph Nader berated politicians for neglecting issues affecting District residents at a rally in northwest D.C. Tuesday night.

More than 500 people rallied for issues affecting D.C., including voting rights, health care and funding for public libraries.

The rally, held at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church on M Street, also featured a speech by Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and a performance by the Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers.

Sparking the crowd’s enthusiasm, Kucinich, a Democratic congressman from Ohio, spoke about the lack of public health care for D.C. residents. He ended his speech with a chant of “Open up our hospitals!”

The closing of D.C. General Hospital, the only public hospital in the District, has been heavily criticized by residents and local politicians.

Echoing the words of hospital officials, Vanessa Dixon, a representative for the D.C. Healthcare Coalition said, “The health care plan put in place by the mayor is an abject failure.”

Kucinich also focused on foreign policy and lamented the Bush administration’s policies in Iraq.

In his attempt to “create a new administration that is truly going to cater to the democratic principles of truth, justice and peace,” Kucinich said he would give the United Nations more power to police and reconstruct Iraq if he were elected president.

A Kucinich campaign representative described the congressmanAs presidential bid as an “uphill battle” with “a lack of media coverage and terrible name recognition.” With 10 democratic presidential contenders, Kucinich, at the bottom of the heap in polls, has little chance of winning.

Nader, the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2000, did not say whether he would run in 2004. A consumer advocate for more than 40 years, he criticized what he said were the wasteful practices of corporate America and said that corporations should “apologize to U.S. taxpayers.”

D.C. is the 17th stop on Nader’s “Democracy Rising” tour, which focuses on issues affecting local communities.

“Patronizing local civic groups is the essence of patriotism,” Nader said.

The rally also served as a forum for local interest groups. Anti-war groups, vegans, socialists, groups pressing for the legalization of marijuana and D.C. statehood advocates were on hand distributing literature and talking to attendees.

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