Party for Socialism and Liberation
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The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) is a Marxist-Leninist political party in the United States. It was created as the result of a split within the ranks of Workers World Party (WWP). The San Francisco branch and several other members left WWP in June 2004, announcing that "the Workers World Party leadership is no longer capable of fulfilling that mission [of building socialism]". The PSL has since established two national offices in Washington, D.C. and in San Francisco alongside 23 local branches across the country. In 2008, Gloria La Riva and Eugene Puryear ran for President and Vice President on the first PSL ticket. In November 2011, Peta Lindsay and Yari Osorio were announced as the PSL's presidential ticket in 2012.
The PSL sees as its main goal the formation of a revolutionary workers' party, based upon the ideology of Marxism-Leninism. This party would lead a revolution and pave the way towards socialism. Under socialism a new government of working people would be formed. The PSL proposes many radical changes to be implemented by this government. In the political sphere all elected representatives should be recallable, securing freedom of speech for the working class (except in the case of xenophobia or bigotry and to prevent re-establishment of the capitalist system) and the elimination of corporate influence from politics.
Concerning economics the PSL would, among other measures, prohibit the exploitation of labor for private profit, implement a working week of 30 hours and the eradication of poverty through the introduction of a basic income guarantee. The PSL would grant the right of self-determination to all oppressed nations of the US, such as "African Americans, Native, Puerto Rican and other Latino national minorities, the Hawaiian nation, Asian, Pacific Islander, Arab and other oppressed peoples who have experienced oppression as a whole people under capitalism". The current US "colonies", which according to the PSL are "Puerto Rico, Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands and the Mariana Islands", will be granted independence. The PSL would end the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and close all foreign military bases of the US.
Historically, the PSL is generally positive on the former Soviet Union, describing the October Revolution as "the single biggest event that shaped global politics in the 20th century". The PSL acknowledges that the New Economic Policy of Vladimir Lenin led "to a re-polarization of social classes, especially in the countryside". The PSL blames the reforms initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev for the fall of the Soviet Union.
The PSL supports the government of Cuba, and while critical of the current Chinese government, it views the Chinese Revolution favorably. The PSL also supports the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela – a frequent topic in its magazine. It has endorsed activities that call for the release of the Cuban Five – deemed political prisoners by supporters – and called for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles from the US.
The PSL supports the rights of nations to self determination. It has been outspoken in condemning the state of Israel and its role in the Middle East. The PSL also led demonstrations against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in July 2006. The PSL supports the right of return for Palestinian people.
The PSL is a member of the steering committee of the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition (A.N.S.W.E.R.). As one of the most active members of the coalition, PSL has gained notice for successfully forging ties with Arab and Muslim American groups such as the Muslim American Society, Al-Awda and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
The PSL also maintains branches and centers in Austin, TX; Albuquerque, NM; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Inland Empire and Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New Haven, CT; New Paltz and New York City (Harlem), NY; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Seattle, WA; Sioux Falls, SD; and St. Louis, MO.
The PSL often fields candidates for public office. However, because of most states' difficult ballot access rules, the party sometimes uses the ballot line of a different party or is on the ballot as an independent. The PSL has used the ballot line of the Green Party or the Peace and Freedom Party in the past. The party did manage to get on the ballot in 12 states for the 2008 presidential elections, with Gloria La Riva and Eugene Puryear as respectively president and vice president. The PSL managed to gain 6,821 votes, finishing 10th, out of a field of 23 candidates . Below is a selection of other races that the PSL have contested.
|Year||Office||Candidate||On the ballot as||Votes||Position|
|2008||Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, District 4||Marylou Cabral||Non-partisan||23,703 (17.5%)||2/3|
|2008||California State Assembly, District 48||Lucilla Esguerra||Peace and Freedom Party||11,173 (12.90%)||2/2|
|2008||Illinois House of Representatives, District 40||Heather Benno||Green Party||2,276 (10.07%)||3/3|
|2008||Illinois House of Representatives, district 14||John Beacham||Green Party||4,745 (14.5%)||2/2|
|2008||President of the United States||Gloria La Riva & Eugene Puryear||Party for Socialism and Liberation||6,821 (0.00%)||10/23|
|2009||Mayor of Los Angeles||Carlos Alvarez||Non-partisan||3,047 (1.11%)||8/10|
|2009||Mayor of New York City||Francisca Villar||Party for Socialism and Liberation||3,517 (0.3%)||5/8|
|2010||Governor of California||Carlos Alvarez||Peace and Freedom Party||92,856 (0.9%)||6/6|
|2010||Mayor of Long Beach||Stevie Merino||Independent||5,057 (16%)||2/2|
|2010||Ohio House of Representatives||Corey Ansel||Green Party||716 (1.4%)||4/4|
|2012||President of the United States||Peta Lindsay & Yari Osorio||Party for Socialism and Liberation||9,388 (0.01%) ||11/27|
The party's 2012 ticket for President listed Peta Lindsay, a 28 year old activist and educator who is constitutionally barred from serving as President if elected due to her age, and Yari Osorio, who was born in Colombia and is unable to serve if elected because he was born outside of the United States. Lindsay/Osorio were denied access to the Peace and Freedom Party's primary in California for this reason. The PSL was on the ballot in 13 states (Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin).
The party's main publication is the biweekly newspaper, Liberation, which replaced a quarterly magazine, Socialism and Liberation PSL outlines its political perspective, including its assessment of the current international and domestic situation in the pamphlet "Who We Are, What We Stand For". The party also owns its own printing company "PSL Publications" through which it has published multiple printed books such as "Socialists and War: Two opposing trends" by members Mazada Majidi and Brian Becker, and an e-book which was released through amazon titled "A Woman's Place is in the Struggle" by members Ana Maria Ramirez, Anne Gamboni, Gloria La Riva and Liz Lowengard. The PSL's publication company is headquartered at their west coast national office in San Francisco, CA.
- Socialism and Liberation magazine is changing at pslweb.org, accessed 7 June 2008.
- About the Party for Socialism and Liberation at pslweb.org, accessed 4 June 2007.
- Party for Socialism and Liberation: People's Struggle and the Socialist Revolution, August 1, 2004.
- "Part 2: The U.S. drive for global domination". Who we are, what we stand for. Party for Socialism and Liberation. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
- Becker, Brian. "Socialism and the legacy of the Soviet Uni". Why Socialism?. Party for Socialism and Liberation. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
- Cuba Solidarity Campaign at pslweb.org, accessed 4 June 2007.
- CNN.com Full 2008 Election Results, accessed 29 July 2011.
- US Election Atlas at http://uselectionatlas.org, accessed 10 November 2012.
- Winger, Richard. "Ballot Access News » Blog Archive » May 2012 Ballot Access News Print Edition". Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- "PSL on the ballot in 13 states nationwide". Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- Socialism and Liberation
- Who We Are, What We Stand For
- plsweb.org Party's official website (released July 2006)
- AnswerCoalition.org official site
- VotePSL.org PSL 2012 electoral candidates' website
- Socialism and Liberation Magazine