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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Raul Ruiz (D-CA 36) - KeyWiki Progressive/Marxist Profiles

Submitted by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton on March 19, 2014

Take the Fight to the Progressives and the Enemies Within!

Election Facts for 2014:
• Party – Democrat
• State – California
• Location – California 36
• First Elected – 2012
• Candidates in 2014:
Terri Sewell – D
Brian Nestande – R

Raul Ruiz is a freshman Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 36th District of California. He is a new member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Raul Ruiz (D-CA 36)

Just months after he was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, Ruiz’s biological mother died.
This led to his adoption while still a baby by his father’s sister and her husband, and an upbringing in Coachella, California.

In Coachella, “it was the Filipino farm worker strike of 1965 that spurred subsequent strikes across the state for better wages and rights,” United Farm Workers (UFW) leader and Democratic Socialists of America member Dolores Huerta recalled.

Huerta and Cesar Chavez were inspired by the Coachella strikers. “It was the Filipino farm workers’ courage that helped spur them to action,” she said.

Many veteran UFW members from that era still live in the desert. Their influence reflected in groups such as Lideres Campesinas, Pueblo Unido and Promotores Comunitarios del Desierto – a group that Ruiz was involved with.

In the summer of 1990, Ruiz walked from business to business in the Coachella Valley asking them to invest in their community by contributing to his education. He made a promise to “come back home and serve the community as a physician.”

After a stint at UCLA, Ruiz studied at Harvard from 1995 to 2003, did residency work in Pittsburgh, PA and then a final academic year in Boston, MA in 2005-2006. Ruiz then returned to the Coachella Valley in 2007 to work at Eisenhower Medical Center.

Back in Boston, Ruiz performed as a “Danzante” – a folkloric dancer in traditional Aztecan costume with troupes from across New England. It was an activity Ruiz had started at UCLA.


Dr. Ruiz currently serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Communist Connections

While in Boston, Ruiz was involved for several years with the radical North American Indian Center of Boston, a Jamaica Plain-based nonprofit that “provided support services to American Indians.”

The North American Indian Center led to Ruiz’s connection to the Marxist influenced United American Indians of New England (UAINE), a group very closely allied to the pro-Cuba/North Korea Workers World Party.

When leading UAINE activist Bob Gustafson died in 2012, Workers World published an obituary, in the November 21st edition:

Workers World Party mourns the loss of Bob Gustafson, a Warrior of the Mohawk Nation who was at the historic occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973 and was a longtime United American Indians of New England activist. 

Gustafson, who passed away on Sept. 21, was a steadfast fighter for Native-American self-determination, sovereignty and freedom, and a comrade in the struggle for socialism. We will pick up his banner and continue the struggle for liberation for all Native nations.

Day of Mourning Arrest

Ruiz participated for over six years in the UAINE’s annual Thanksgiving Day protest at Plymouth, MA – including a 1997 arrest with 24 other protesters.

The UAINE-led protest typically started at Cole’s Hill, a National Historic Landmark above Plymouth Rock, and the burial site for Pilgrims who died in the first winter after they landed there.

Tensions between authorities and protesters had existed since the first Day of Mourning in 1970. In 1997, tensions boiled over, gaining national attention.

Events turned violent after at least 200 demonstrators left Cole’s Hill, marched through Leyden Street, in downtown Plymouth, and approached a central town square.

Police arrested several protesters after scuffles broke out, with both sides blaming the other for initiating the violence.

Raul Ruiz was taken into custody during a second wave of arrests after the Day of Mourning protesters crowded into Plymouth’s Town Square. “At some point, police began hitting people with clubs,” Ruiz said in his account of the incident. “Another man and I shielded Sam (Sapiel) to prevent him from being hit. The police hit us with clubs, arrested us, and then pepper-sprayed us even though we weren’t resisting.”

Ruiz (left), with Fellow Arrestees

According to the police report, Sapiel was arrested for inciting the crowd after yelling “this is what they wanted,” and pointing to an officer to call him “the Mafia.” Police had difficulty pulling him away from Ruiz and other protesters and the group fell to the ground, the report stated.

In 1998, Ruiz pled not guilty to two misdemeanor offenses of disorderly conduct and tumultuous behavior. He faced up to three years in prison, but the charges were later dropped as part of a settlement that also dismissed claims of police brutality.

While awaiting trial in 1998, Ruiz told the Harvard Crimson newspaper that Thanksgiving is “the glorification of an incident in history which has a direct link to the… poverty and oppression which (Latinos and American Indians) experience today.”

Of the 25 people arrested that day, three: Steven C. Gillis, 36, of Boston; Kazi A. Toure, 47, of New Hampshire; and Stevan C. Kirschbaum, 44, of Roslindale; were leading supporters of the Workers World Party.

Rally Against Racism
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