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Last Updated : Oct 09, 2020 03:02 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

US Election 2020: Meet Sunil Freeman, a vice-presidential candidate with roots in Kurukshetra

Born to parents who worked at a refugee camp in Kurukshetra during India's partition, Sunil Freeman is the vice-presidential candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

Image courtesy: lariva2020.org
Image courtesy: lariva2020.org

While California Senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris is probably the most prominent link between India and the 2020 United States presidential elections, she’s definitely not the only connection.

Meet Sunil Freeman. A disability rights activist and cultural worker, vying for the vice presidential office.

Freeman is the running mate of socialist activist Gloria La Riva, the presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). This is La Riva’s tenth consecutive candidacy as either a presidential or vice presidential candidate. The party is on the ballot in 15 states of the US. They are registered under the Peace and Freedom Party in some states.


Roots in Kurukshetra

Not much is known about Freeman. According to La Riva’s campaign, Freeman’s parents met as workers at a refugee camp in Kurukshetra (now in Haryana) during India's partition. He was raised in Washington DC’s Maryland suburbs.

He has reportedly lived most of his life in the Washington DC area, except for a few years in India, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Freeman’s family actively participated in the mass anti-Vietnam War movement, which proved to be a formative experience for him.

A poet and essayist, Freeman joined the PSL in 2005 after becoming an organiser with the ‘ANSWER Coalition’ in the anti-Iraq War movement. He is said to have organised dozens of events in opposition to US’ wars abroad, against the blockade of Cuba, and against sanctions imposed by the US administration against a range of countries.

Freeman’s stand

La Riva-Freeman are contesting on a 10-point “socialist” campaign program focusing on food, housing, water, education, health care and a job or basic income being a guaranteed right. The duo is also proposing a “completely free” education and public healthcare system. This includes cancelling all student debt.

Their agenda also includes substantial changes to US foreign policy and using the military budget for “people’s needs here and worldwide”. According to their campaign, La Riva and Freeman support independence for Puerto Rico and cancellation of the US territory’s debt.

Abolishing nuclear weapons, stopping US aid to Israel, self-determination for Palestinians, and ending the blockade of Cuba and sanctions against Venezuela, Iran are some of the other points on their agenda.

Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the 2020 US presidential elections here
First Published on Oct 9, 2020 03:02 pm