Freedom Socialist Party

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Freedom Socialist Party
ChairmanDoug Barnes
Founded1966 (1966)
HeadquartersSeattle, Washington
NewspaperThe Freedom Socialist
International affiliationCommittee for Revolutionary International Regroupment (CRIR)
Website Edit this at Wikidata

The Freedom Socialist Party is a left-wing socialist political party with a revolutionary feminist philosophy based in the United States. It views the struggles of women and minorities as part of the struggle of the working class. It emerged from a split in the United States Socialist Workers Party in 1966.[2] The party's Seattle branch, with support from individuals in other cities, split off from the SWP over what it described as the SWP's entrenched opportunism and undemocratic methods. The party has branches and members in the United States, as well as Australia, England, Germany and New Zealand.[3] The current National Secretary of the FSP is Doug Barnes.


Freeway Hall in Seattle's Northlake neighborhood was for many years the FSP headquarters.

The immediate forerunner of the FSP was the Kirk-Kaye tendency within the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), led by Richard S. Fraser (Kirk) and Clara Fraser (Kaye) who were then married.[4] At the time, Richard Fraser was seen as the central leader of the tendency due to his development of the theory of revolutionary integrationism. In addition to their distinctive position on civil rights, derived from the theory of revolutionary integrationism, the tendency also took a position that was more sympathetic to China than was the norm in the SWP, in part this being due to the alliance between the Kirk-Kaye tendency and the looser tendency of Arne Swabeck and Frank Glass.

New Freeway Hall, Columbia City, Seattle, Washington, party headquarters.

Political differences, as articulated by the tendency, included what was characterized as the SWP's uncritical support of the Black nationalist views of the Nation of Islam, its orientation towards the labor aristocracy and business unionist leaders, its opportunism in the anti-Vietnam War movement, and its dismissive attitude towards the emerging feminist movement. The nascent FSP advocated the class solidarity of Black and white workers, called for a greatly expanded understanding of and attention to women's emancipation, and urged the anti-war movement to support the socialist, anti-colonial aims of the Vietnamese Revolution.

The FSP became a pole of attraction for Seattle leftists opposed to the SWP's internal politics and established a home at Freeway Hall.[5][6][7] The party formed Radical Women with the dual goal of building a revolutionary socialist feminist organization and teaching women the organizational and leadership skills that were often denied to them in male-dominated organizations.[8]


Former logo

The FSP is politically Trotskyist.[9] FSP leaders Clara Fraser (1923–1998) and Gloria Martin (1916–1995) built on the socialist analysis of women's oppression to create a Leninist party that is "socialist-feminist" in ideology and practice.[10][11] The party views the liberation struggles of women, people of color and sexual minorities (such as gay people) as intrinsic to working class revolt, and it looks to these specially-oppressed sectors of society to provide revolutionary leadership. Women comprise a predominant part of the party leadership. Overall, membership is very diverse and is composed of all genders and races. The party characterizes its National Comrades of Color Caucus as offering the party's diverse ranks of people of color an opportunity to work together as a team to grow as leaders and provide direction for the party's work in people of color movements.


The party has frequently supported united front efforts on a number of issues and often helps other socialist groups get on the ballot, while simultaneously running its own candidates for office. The FSP was affiliated with the Committee for a Revolutionary Socialist Party, an attempted united front of various Trotskyist parties in the 1970's and 1980's.[12] The United Front Against Fascism (UFAF) was founded by the FSP and included a broad coalition of the Left, the LGBT community, labor unionists, feminists, people of color, Jews, and civil libertarians. UFAF took the lead in mobilizing against neo-Nazis in the Pacific Northwest in the 1980s and 1990s.[13][14][15][16][17][18]

The party has branches in a number of U.S. cities, as well as one in Melbourne, Australia. The Freedom Socialist newspaper is produced six times a year. Red Letter Press is the party's publishing arm. The FSP is affiliated with Radical Women, an autonomous socialist feminist organization. In 2003, Red Letter Press and its managing editor, Helen Gilbert, were the target of a complaint to the Federal Election Commission by the campaign committee of perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche. LaRouche alleged that Gilbert and the FSP publishing house, which had issued a pamphlet by Gilbert critical of LaRouche's ideology and political history,[19] were in violation of campaign finance laws. The FEC found LaRouche's complaint to be without merit and dismissed it.[20]

Election results[edit]

The FSP has fielded electoral candidates in the United States for local, state, and federal offices. FSP candidates usually run as official FSP candidates, in contrast to the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

No FSP candidate has yet won an election.

Presidential elections[edit]

Year Presidential candidate Vice presidential candidate Popular votes % Electoral votes Result Ballot access Notes Ref
2012 Stephen Durham Christina López 117
0 Lost
164 / 538
write-in campaign [21][22][23][24][25]

In 2016, the FSP critically endorsed Jeff Mackler of Socialist Action for president.[26]

In 2020, the FSP again critically endorsed Jeff Mackler of Socialist Action for president.[27]

Congressional elections[edit]

Year Candidate Chamber State District Votes % Result Notes Ref
2018 Steve Hoffman Senate Washington Class 1 7,390
Lost blanket primary, did not advance to general [28][29]

State legislature elections[edit]

Year Candidate Office Area District Votes % Result Notes Ref
2004 Jordana Sardo State Representative Oregon 45 2,297
Lost ran as Freedom Socialist Party candidate [30][31]
1998 Marian Sunde State Senate California 22 7,665
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [32][33]
1998 Adrienne Weller State Representative Oregon 18 496
Lost ran as independent candidate [32][34]
1998 Guerry Hoddersen State Representative Washington 37 1,439
Lost ran as Freedom Socialist Party candidate [32][35]
1998 Stephen Durham State Assemblymember New York 71 366
Lost ran as Freedom Socialist Party candidate [32][36]

Local elections[edit]

In 1991, the Seattle FSP ran two members for Seattle City Council, who campaigned on guaranteed income for families living in poverty, community control of the police, and domestic partnership rights for same-sex couples.[12]

Year Candidate Office Area District Votes % Result Notes Ref
1991 Heidi Durham City Council Seattle Lost nonpartisan blanket primary, did not advance to general [12][37]
1991 Yolanda Alaniz City Council Seattle 1 27,991
Lost non-partisan election, advanced to general [12][38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Red groups in the United States" (PDF). Cortland.
  2. ^ Alexander, Robert. International Trotskyism, 1929–1985: A Documented Analysis of the Movement. Duke University Press, 1991, p. 936.
  3. ^ "Where We Are". Freedom Socialist Party. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  4. ^ Sheppard, Barry (2005). The Party: The Socialist Workers Party, 1960-1988, Volume 1. Resistance Books. p. 104.
  5. ^ Crowley, Walt (2010). Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle. University of Washington Press. pp. 21–22.
  6. ^ Winslow, Barbara (2007). "Primary and Secondary Contradictions in Seattle: 1967-1969". In Rachel Blau DuPlessis; Ann Barr Snitow (eds.). The Feminist Memoir Project: Voices from Women's Liberation. pp. 227, 230–231, 235–236.
  7. ^ McKay, Ian (2005). Rebels, Reds, Radicals: Rethinking Canada's Left History. Between the Lines. p. 242.
  8. ^ James, Edward T., Janet Wilson James, Paul S. Boyer. Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary, Volume 5. Harvard University Press. p. 414.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Baxandall, Rosalyn (2001). "Re-Visioning the Women's Liberation Movement's Narrative: Early Second Wave African American Feminists". Feminist Studies. 27 (1): 225–245. doi:10.2307/3178460. hdl:2027/spo.0499697.0027.116. ISSN 0046-3663. JSTOR 3178460.
  10. ^ Love, Barbara J. (2006). Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975. University of Illinois Press. p. 158. ISBN 9780252031892.
  11. ^ Ware, Susan; Stacy Braukman (2005). "Martin, Gloria". Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary, Volume 5: Completing the Twentieth Century. Harvard University Press. pp. 414–415.
  12. ^ a b c d "Clara Fraser papers - Archives West". Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  13. ^ Kubelbeck, Amy (Aug 4, 1990). "Groups Of Gays Protest Picnic". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
  14. ^ Lacitis, Erik (1991-07-16). "An Ax To Grind -- When It Comes To Skinheads And Nazis, Loggers, Gays Unite". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
  15. ^ Angelos, Constantine (1990-05-19). "Rice, Citizens Groups Join To Declare Seattle Won't Tolerate Hate Crimes". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
  16. ^ Gough, William (Dec 8, 1991). "A Gathering Of Neo-Nazis -- Encampment Draws Protest". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
  17. ^ Reang, Putsata (Oct 2, 1996). "Supremacist Guilty In Klan Scuffle -- Federal Way Man Broke Free- Lancer's Camera". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
  18. ^ Wilcox, Laird (2002). "Who Watches the Watchmen?". In Jeffrey S. Kaplan, Heléne Lööw (ed.). The Cultic Milieu. Rowman Altamira. pp. 334–335.
  19. ^ Helen Gilbert, "Lyndon Larouche: Fascism Restyled for the New Millennium",
  20. ^ "COMPLIANCE CASE MADE PUBLIC". Federal Election Commission. November 4, 2004. Archived from the original on August 31, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2009.
  21. ^ "Federal Elections 2012" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. July 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2019.
  22. ^ Durham/Lopez campaign website,
  23. ^ Ballot Access News, January 29, 2012, "Freedom Socialist Party Nominates its First National Ticket".
  24. ^ The Green Papers "Votes for Stephen Gaylord Durham".
  25. ^ Ballot Access News "New York State Posts Final 2012 Election Returns Tally; Presidential Vote Increases by 400,332 Votes".
  26. ^ "This Year of the Detestable Election, exercise your democratic rights with a protest vote!". October 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  27. ^ "FSP endorses Socialist Action candidate Jeff Mackler for president". October 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  28. ^ "Union stalwart and socialist feminist Steve Hoffman runs for U.S. Senate". Freedom Socialist Party. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  29. ^ "United States Senate primary election in Washington, 2018". Office of the Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  30. ^ "OR State House 45 Race - Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  31. ^ Martínez Zapata, Eduardo (October 2004). "FSP candidate Jordana Sardo challenges the corporate-welfare tax system in Oregon". Freedom Socialist Party. Archived from the original on November 27, 2020.
  32. ^ a b c d Averill, Linda (October 1998). "Enthusiastic support puts radicals on the ballot in four states". Freedom Socialist Party. Archived from the original on November 27, 2020.
  33. ^ "General Election - Statement of Vote, November 3, 1998". California Secretary of State. December 12, 1998. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 11, 2017.
  34. ^ "1998 General Election Official Results ED/19/58867". Oregon Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 21, 2019.
  35. ^ "Elections Search Results November 1998 General". Washington Secretary of State. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  36. ^ "1998 Election Results". December 15, 1998. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 18, 2020.
  37. ^ Bauer, Andrea (December 2015). "Farewell to Heidi Durham: Revolutionary feminist and fighter for the oppressed". Freedom Socialist Party. Archived from the original on June 11, 2023.
  38. ^ "General and Special Elections - CityArchives". 1963-10-25. Retrieved 2022-08-21.

Further reading[edit]


Articles and interviews[edit]


  • Ellie Belew, High Voltage Women: Breaking Barriers at Seattle City Light, Red Letter Press, 2019.