Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ralph Nader in Glens Falls This Friday, May 25

Former presidential candidate and progressive activist Ralph Nader will return to Glens Falls on Friday, May 25, 2007 for a variety of events including an appearance at a Glens Falls High School, a local premiere of the documentary “An Unreasonable Man,” and a book signing at Red Fox Books. Ralph Nader’s visit is sponsored by Adirondack Progressives, a group of local people interested in fostering a local dialogue on today’s most important issues.

The day’s events will begin at Glens Falls High School where Nader will speak to students and participate in a student forum from 1 to 2:15 pm. Issues to be discussed could include the Iraq War, the growing imperialist threat of multinational corporations, the dangerous convergence of corporate and government power, and the role of third parties and citizen activism in the political process.

At 1 pm the documentary film “An Unreasonable Man,” a Sundance Film Festival Official Selection, will premiere locally at Aimie’s Dinner & Movie (190 Glen Street, Glens Falls). The film traces the life and career of Ralph Nader, one of the most unique, important, and controversial political figures of the past half century from his public emergence as nemesis of General Motors in 1966, through his leadership of the Consumer Movement, to his latest controversial forays into electoral politics. Following the film, Nader and filmmaker Henriette Mantel will be on hand to discuss the film and take questions from the audience. Tickets are on sale at Rock Hill Cafe (19 Exchange St Glens Falls) and High Peaks Java (153 Maple Street, Glens Falls) for $75 each. The price includes a signed copy of Nader’s latest book, The Seventeen Traditions.

At 3 pm, Ralph Nader will sign copies of his latest book, The Seventeen Traditions at Red Fox Book Store (28 Ridge Street, Glens Falls). The book looks back to the earliest days of Nader’s own life to his serene and enriching childhood in bucolic Winsted, Connecticut. From listening to learning, from patriotism to argument, from work to simple enjoyment, Nader revisits seventeen key traditions he absorbed from his parents, his siblings, and the people in his community, and draws from them inspiring lessons for today’s society. Warmly human, rich with sensory memories and lasting wisdom, it offers a kind of modern-day parable of how we grow from children into responsible adults—a reminder of a time when nature and community were central to the way we all learned and lived.

Ralph Nader is one of America’s most effective social critics. He has run for the office of US President twice, as the candidate of the Green Party in 2000 (America’s third largest and fastest growing political party), and as an Independent in 2004. For forty years his documented criticism of government and industry has had a widespread effect on public awareness and bureaucratic power and has inspired a whole population of consumer advocates and citizen activists.

Nader first made headlines in 1965 with his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a scathing indictment of the auto industry for producing unsafe vehicles that led to congressional hearings and a series of automobile safety laws passed in 1966. Since then Nader has been responsible for at least eight major federal consumer protection laws such as the motor vehicle safety laws and the Safe Drinking Water Act and the launching of federal regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environment Protection Agency (EPA), and Consumer Product Safety Administration, and the Freedom of Information Act of 1974.

Nader also helped establish the PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups) the student-funded and controlled organizations that function on college campuses in 23 states. Their impact alone has been tremendous. The groups have published hundreds of ground-breaking reports and guides, lobbied for laws in their state legislatures, and called the media’s attention to environmental and energy problems. The largest of the Nader organizations is Public Citizen, founded in 1971 and with a current nationwide membership over 100,000.

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