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Party for Socialism and Liberation

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Party for Socialism and Liberation
LeaderCentral Committee[1]
FoundedJune 18, 2004; 20 years ago (2004-06-18)[1]
Split fromWorkers World Party
NewspaperLiberation News
Political positionFar-left
International affiliationInternational Peoples' Assembly[8]
Colors  Red
Elected offices0
www.pslweb.org Edit this at Wikidata

The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) is a communist party in the United States. PSL was established in 2004, when its members split from the Workers World Party. The group believes that a socialist revolution is necessary to overthrow capitalism and establish socialism.[7] The organization works toward this end by organizing and participating in local protests, running candidates in elections, and political education favoring a revolutionary socialist vanguard party.

Notable members include Gloria La Riva, Michael Prysner, Eugene Puryear, Jodi Dean and Claudia de la Cruz. In 2022, PSL said it had members in "over 100 cities".[9] PSL does not release membership numbers.[10]


PSL protesters at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

PSL was formed in June 2004[1] when the San Francisco branch of the Marcyite[11] Workers World Party left the organization. The San Francisco branch, alongside other members, announced that "the Workers World Party leadership is no longer capable of fulfilling [the] mission" of building socialism.[4] PSL co-founders included Richard Becker,[4] Brian Becker,[12] Gloria La Riva,[4] and Eugene Puryear.[12]

At least five PSL members were arrested in 2020 during protests against the Aurora police department.[13][14]

Associated groups[edit]

PSL is a founding member of the ANSWER Coalition,[15][16] which has close ties to PSL leadership. ANSWER's National Coordinator is Brian Becker,[17] a PSL co-founder who said "we do a great deal of work through" ANSWER.[2]

PSL leadership are closely involved with The People's Forum and BreakThrough News. Anchors on BreakThrough News include Becker and PSL 2016 vice-presidential candidate Puryear.[12] Becker also co-hosted a show with John Kiriakou on Radio Sputnik[18][19] of the RT state media network.

PSL is closely tied to the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research and its founder, Vijay Prashad, who has often appeared on BreakThrough News.[12]

PSL was closely tied to Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD or W.O.R.D.), a feminist organization led by PSL core members Peta Lindsay and Gloria La Riva. WORD was founded in 2012 and ceased operation in 2016. WORD protested for abortion access.[20]


PSL's main publication is the website and monthly paper Liberation News,[21] which replaced PSL's quarterly magazine, Socialism and Liberation.[22] PSL's secondary publication, Liberation School, includes longer articles, Party documents, study guides, and other educational materials.[23] PSL also publishes a quarterly magazine targeting women titled Breaking the Chains: A Socialist Perspective on Women's Liberation,[24] and a monthly Reds In Ed newsletter aimed at schoolteachers.[25]


A PSL supporter protesting against the 2021 killing of Ma'Khia Bryant

PSL identifies as a Leninist party[26][27] or Marxist-Leninist party.[4][28][29][30] Independent sources have labelled the PSL as Marxist-Leninist,[3][5][6] Marcyite,[31][32] and campist.[33][31][34]

PSL describes its primary goal as the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the institution of state socialism as a transitionary stage toward a communist society, stating that "humanity today has only two choices: an increasingly destructive capitalism, or socialism".[7][35]

PSL is a democratic centralist party, which means that "all members, including those who disagree, are duty bound to publicly defend and carry out" all PSL decisions.[36] PSL's highest body is its Party Congress, held every 2 to 3 years, which selects its Central Committee leadership.[36] The PSL Central Committee can appoint up to 40% of Congress delegates.[36] PSL allows a one-month "discussion period" before each Congress. However, "the pre-Congress discussion" is "a completely internal discussion".[36]

Russian invasion of Ukraine[edit]

PSL supported the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea.[37][38] While PSL did not support the 2022 Russian invasion, it blamed the war on US-led NATO expansion and the "plight of ethnic Russians" in the Donbas.[39]

Syrian civil war[edit]

PSL opposes US intervention in the Syrian Civil War, and has generally been supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Russian military efforts in Syria.[40][41][42][43] PSL denies the conclusion of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)[44] and other international organizations[45][46] that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, which are banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention.[47][40]

Soviet Union[edit]

PSL describes the Soviet Union positively.[48] However, PSL argued that the New Economic Policy of Vladimir Lenin "led to a re-polarization of social classes, especially in the countryside".[48] PSL blames the reforms initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev for the dissolution of the Soviet Union.[48]


PSL views the Chinese Communist Revolution favorably,[49] argues that the Chinese Communist Party has made important contributions to socialism and anti-imperialism, and argues that, despite its flaws, a "militant political defense of the Chinese government" is necessary to stave off "counterrevolution, imperialist intervention and dismemberment".[50][51] PSL has sometimes criticized the Chinese government, particularly for failing communist ideals like the abolition of private property.[50]

PSL has generally defended China's human rights records, denying, for instance, that the Chinese military massacred student protestors in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and massacre.[52] PSL supports China's policies towards Tibet[53] and opposed the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests, calling them "chauvinist", "separatist", and "anti-China".[54][55]

North Korea[edit]

PSL argues that North Korea is unfairly targeted and advocates the lifting of sanctions, withdrawal of US troops from South Korea, and signing of a peace treaty.[56][57][58] PSL supports North Korea's nuclear weapons program.[59][60] For example, Stephan Gowans argued in 2013 in PSL's official newspaper that a North Korean nuclear arsenal is "to be welcomed by anyone who opposes imperialist military interventions; supports the right of a people to organize its affairs free from foreign domination; and has an interest in the survival of one of the few top-to-bottom, actually-existing, alternatives to the global capitalist system of oppression, exploitation and foreign domination".[61] PSL has also expressed skepticism towards Western claims of North Korea's human rights record,[62][63] arguing that "conditions in North Korea are vastly better than those in other developing countries" and stating that condemnations of North Korea's human rights records are "thinly veiled justification[s] for U.S. aggression toward North Korea".[63]

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict[edit]

PSL supports a free Palestine, ending US aid to Israel, and freeing of all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.[64] On October 8, one day after the Re'im music festival massacre, PSL Central Committee member Eugene Puryear helped organize a rally in support of Palestine in Times Square,[65] in which he stated: "[T]here was some sort of rave or desert party where they were having a great time, until the resistance came in electrified hang gliders and took at least several dozen hipsters, and I'm sure they're doing very fine despite what the New York Post says".[66][67]

Election results[edit]

PSL has fielded electoral candidates for local, state, and federal offices. PSL candidates usually run as independent candidates or as third party candidates, such as with the Peace and Freedom Party or the Green Party.

No PSL candidate has yet won an election.

Presidential elections[edit]

Year Presidential candidate Vice presidential candidate Popular votes % Electoral votes Result Ballot access Notes Ref
2024 Claudia de la Cruz Karina Garcia T.B.D T.B.D T.B.D T.B.D T.B.D The Peace and Freedom Party also nominated de la Cruz [68]
2020 Gloria La Riva Sunil Freeman[a] 86,239
0 Lost
191 / 538
The Peace and Freedom Party also nominated La Riva.[b] [69][70]
2016 Gloria La Riva Eugene Puryear 74,027
0 Lost
112 / 538
The Peace and Freedom Party also nominated La Riva, with Dennis Banks as her running mate.[c] [71]
2012 Peta Lindsay Yari Osorio 7,791
0 Lost
146 / 538
2008 Gloria La Riva Eugene Puryear 6,818
0 Lost
137 / 538

PSL ran La Riva and Sunil Freeman in the 2020 United States presidential election.[74][75] Originally Leonard Peltier was the vice-presidential nominee, but he withdrew for health reasons.[76][77][78]

Congressional elections[edit]

Year Candidate Chamber State District Votes % Result Notes Ref
2022 José Cortés House California CA-51 3,327
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate; did not advance to top-two general [79]
2020 José Cortés House California CA-50 1,821
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate; did not advance to top-two general [80][81]
2018 Jordan Mills House California CA-49 233
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate; did not advance to top-two general [82][83]
2014 Frank Lara House California CA-12 2,107
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate; did not advance to top-two general [84][85]
2010 Gloria La Riva House California CA-8 5,161
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [86]
2008 Nathalie Hrizi House California CA-12 5,793
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate; did not advance to top-two general [87][88]
2008 Michael Prysner House Florida FL-22 6
Lost ran as write-in candidate [89][90][73]

State elections[edit]

Year Candidate Office State District Votes % Result Notes Ref
2024 Kevin Martinez State Assembly California 6 1,861
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [91]
2022 Noah Leininger State House Indiana 90 259
Lost ran as write-in candidate [92]
2022 Nathalie Hrizi Insurance Commissioner California N/A 189,289
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [93]
2022 Meghann Adams State Treasurer California N/A 242,234
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [94]
2021 Ernesto Huerta State Senate California 30 1,565
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [95]
2018 Gloria La Riva Governor California N/A 19,075
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [96]
2018 Nathalie Hrizi Insurance Commissioner California N/A 309,399
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [97]
2017 John Prysner State Assembly California 51 232
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [98]
2014 Nathalie Hrizi Insurance Commissioner California N/A 212,991
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [99]
2010 Carlos Alvarez Governor California N/A 92,856
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [100]
2010 Corey Ansel State House Ohio 22 716
Lost ran as Green Party candidate [101]
2008 Heather Benno State House Illinois 40 2,276
Lost ran as Green Party candidate [102]
2008 John Beachem State House Illinois 14 4,745
Lost ran as Green Party candidate [102]
2008 Lucilla Esguerra State Assembly California 48 11,173
Lost ran as Peace and Freedom Party candidate [103]

Local elections[edit]

Year Candidate Office City District Votes % Result Notes Ref
2024 Eduardo Vargas City Council Los Angeles 14 1,638
Lost non-partisan election [104]
2023 Ana Santoyo City Council Chicago 45 895
Lost non-partisan election [105]
2021 Colin Dodson City Council Urbana 2 57
Lost ran as Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate [106][107]
2021 Cathy Rojas Mayor New York N/A 27,982
Lost ran as Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate [108][109]
2014 Eugene Puryear City Council Washington D.C. At-Large 12,525
Lost ran as D.C. Statehood Green Party candidate [110]
2010 Stevie Merino Mayor Long Beach N/A 5,057
Lost non-partisan election [111]
2009 Carlos Alvarez Mayor Los Angeles N/A 3,047
Lost non-partisan election [112]
2009 Francisca Villar Mayor New York N/A 3,517
Lost ran as Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate [113]
2008 Stephen Hinze Board of Supervisors Los Angeles 5 29,875
Lost non-partisan election [114]
2008 Marylou Cabral Board of Supervisors Los Angeles 4 23,703
Lost non-partisan election [115]
2008 Amanda Todd City Council Sioux Falls Unknown Unknown
Lost unk [116]
2008 Sergio Farias City Council San Juan Capistrano Unknown 1,133
Lost unk [117][118]

National conventions[edit]

Name Date Location Report Program Constitution
Founding Convention June 18-20, 2004 San Francisco, CA Convention report Founding statement
1st National Convention 2005 Program
2nd National Convention February 18-20, 2006 San Francisco, CA Convention report
3rd National Convention June 2007
1st Party Congress February 13-15, 2010 Los Angeles, CA Convention report Program
2nd Party Congress February 2013 Program
3rd Party Congress April 1-3, 2016 San Francisco, CA Convention report Program
4th Party Congress August 2019 Program
5th Party Congress July 2022 Program Constitution

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Replacing Leonard Peltier, who remained on the ballot in Minnesota and Illinois.
  2. ^ 2020: "Ballot access" above includes all states where La Riva was not a write-in; ie, where they were a listed PSL, PFP, or LUP candidate.
  3. ^ 2016: "Ballot access" above includes all states where La Riva was not a write-in; ie, where they were a listed PSL, PFP, or LUP candidate.


  1. ^ a b c "15 years of building the Party, growing and learning". Liberation News. June 21, 2019. Archived from the original on October 24, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Becker, Brian (October 1, 2018). "'No separate destiny for US workers apart from the workers of the world'". International Communist Press. Archived from the original on August 7, 2023. We are a communist party. We have existed for 14 years with the idea of building a communist party in the United States once again. This is a complicated and long-term project. It is perhaps the most of the difficult of all projects. But it's the imperative need because you cannot have revolutionary change without a revolutionary communist party leading that change. Absent a communist party, victory is impossible.
  3. ^ a b Ford, Derek P. (June 1, 2017). "Making Marxist Pedagogy Magical: From Critique to Imagination, or, How Bookkeepers Set Us Free". Critical Education. 8 (9): 10. I want to turn our attention to the magical thinking of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. As a Marxist-Leninist Party in the United States, the PSL was founded in 2004.
  4. ^ a b c d e Kroitzsh, Aleka A. (August 2, 2019). "Local socialists see the "fog of anti-communism" lifting". Mission Local. The PSL espouses a Marxist-Leninist ideology, one intent on "fighting the war program in the U.S., fighting imperialism, and fighting for Socialism," said Gloria La Riva, a socialist presidential candidate since 1993 and a PSL founder.
  5. ^ a b Harman, Mike (March 19, 2018). "Introduction". Where's the Winter Palace? On the Marxist-Leninist Trend in the United States. The Left Wind. Retrieved 3 January 2024. In the United States today, there exists a political trend which describes itself as Marxist-Leninist. This trend is organized as a loose constellation, orbiting around organizations such as the Workers World Party (WWP) and the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL)....
  6. ^ a b Khan, K.; Trottier, Tom (November 11, 2021). "USA: The end of the Biden honeymoon". Socialist Appeal. Socialist Revolution USA. The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), a small 'Marxist-Leninist' organisation with limited resources, ran a candidate under its own banner for mayor of New York City.
  7. ^ a b c "About the Party for Socialism and Liberation". Party for Socialism and Liberation. Archived from the original on 20 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Who We Are: International Process". International Peoples' Assembly. Archived from the original on October 24, 2023.
  9. ^ "We need your help to build the movement for socialism". Liberation News. Party for Socialism and Liberation. Aug 15, 2022. Retrieved 3 January 2024. We have an organized presence in over 100 cities and towns, and have expanded our presence substantially throughout the South in recent years.
  10. ^ Lipsitz, Raina (Fall 2022). "Where We Are and Where We're Going". Socialist Forum. Archived from the original on December 7, 2022.
  11. ^ Lawrence, Ken. "Roots of the Workers World Party". libcom.org. This stance in turn meant playing down to insignificance polemics against Stalinism, while seeking leadership of the class through exemplary action. The Marcyites remained uneasily as a faction within the SWP until the USSR's military invasion of Hungary in 1956, which they supported and the SWP denounced. Depending on whose version you believe, the Marcy-Copeland faction either left (Marcy) or was expelled (Cannon), and formed Workers World Party in 1957.
  12. ^ a b c d Bredderman, William (May 29, 2023). "U.S Tech Mogul Bankrolls Pro-Russia, Pro-China News Network". The Daily Beast. Sitting on the People's Forum's board is Claudia De La Cruz, who pulls triple duty as BreakThrough's secretary and as a "co-coordinator/educator" for the Justice and Education Fund. An auditor's report filed in New York shows that more of Singham's money trickled down to BreakThrough from the Forum in the form of $80,575 in donated rent in 2021, the most recent year for which filings are available. But when The Daily Beast visited the People's Forum address, it found a bookstore hawking tomes by Prashad and titles from his Leftword imprint, as well as a coffee shop and an event space—but no evidence of a studio. What's more, none of BreakThrough's hosts appear among the staff listed in the outlet's filings. Rather, the underlying nonprofit's leadership consists of figures like De La Cruz who donate an hour a week to the organization, and who like De La Cruz are affiliated with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, a small far-left sect that does not appear to receive substantial donations from Singham or from anybody else. The PSL does, however, appear as an allied group to the International People's Media Network on its webpage. Puryear and Becker, two of the BreakThrough anchors, are co-founders of the party.
  13. ^ "Protesters, demonstration leaders arrested in connection to rallies in Aurora". Denver Post. MediaNews Group, Inc. September 17, 2020.
  14. ^ Kaplan, Noah (10 November 2020). "The Election May Be Over, but Their Fight Has Just Begun". westword.com. Denver Westword.
  15. ^ "American socialists' ANSWER to Trump". International Communist Press. January 23, 2017.
  16. ^ Durr, Lillian (November 8, 2023). "Party for Socialism and Liberation holds demonstrations for Free Palestine movement". Missouri State University Standard. Alongside the action in Washington D.C., the Party for Socialism and Liberation — a member of the ANSWER Coalition — has been holding demonstrations in support of the Free Palestine movement in Springfield.
  17. ^ "Brian Becker — Liberation News". Liberation News. Party for Socialism and Liberation. Archived from the original on October 2, 2023. Retrieved 8 October 2020. Brian Becker is the National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition. He is a founder of and a central organizer for the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
  18. ^ Corn, David (September 28, 2023). "As a Presidential Candidate, Cornel West Aligns Himself With Far-Left Radicals". Mother Jones. The PSL has supported the North Korean regime and its pursuit of nuclear weapons and also hailed the Chinese Communist Party, defending it against various charges of human rights violations. Brian Becker, a co-founder of the PSL, used to co-host a show on Radio Sputnik, a Moscow-created propaganda network.
  19. ^ Kiriakou, John (March 11, 2022). "Yes, I Work for Sputnik News". LA Progressive.
  20. ^ Battling for Plan B May 19, 2013 Leave a Comment (2013-05-19). "Battling for Plan B | The Fine Print | Gainesville, FL". The Fine Print. Archived from the original on August 4, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ Webmaster, PSL. "Liberation News: reporting from the front-line of struggle". Liberation News. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  22. ^ "Socialism and Liberation magazine is changing". June 5, 2007. Archived from the original on February 22, 2008.
  23. ^ "Our Mission | Liberation School". 25 March 2014. Retrieved 2021-05-30.
  24. ^ "About Breaking the Chains – Breaking the Chains". Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  25. ^ "RedsInEd". redsined.org. 2020-03-13. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  26. ^ Becker, Brian (November 17, 2016). "The Leninist party in history and present". Liberation News. Archived from the original on September 26, 2023. The Party for Socialism and Liberation was formed in 2004 by a small group of cadres who adhered to the organizational principles of the Bolsheviks that were codified in the original documents of the Third International. We explicitly recognized that the construction of a Leninist-type party was taking shape on a political and social landscape that could not have been more unlike that which existed in Russia but also in the other countries during the 1917-1923 period during which the Third International took shape.
  27. ^ "Social Media and Democratic Centralism: Opportunities and Challenges". Liberation News. November 7, 2018. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. The following is an edited version of an internal document initially written in late 2015 and formed part of the basis for party-wide discussions in the Party for Socialism and Liberation in early 2016. The document examines the new possibilities and difficulties posed by the proliferation of social media from the perspective of the Leninist party.
  28. ^ "Revolution Manifesto". Liberation School. August 28, 2016. Archived from the original on September 5, 2016. Moreover, the course is designed to facilitate new ways of understanding how the Marxist-Leninist theory of the state relates to the struggles of our contemporary moment.
  29. ^ Powell, Nicholas (April 19, 2010). "Why I joined the PSL". Archived from the original on July 14, 2019. This Marxism Class is held in seminar-style, and it is great opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the Marxist-Leninist view of socialism.
  30. ^ "Community celebrates 14th annual Enero Zapatista event". Liberation News. Party for Socialism and Liberation. February 4, 2018. The Party for Socialism and Liberation has been involved in the planning of Enero Zapatista for the past several years and looks forward to continued involvement. As a Marxist-Leninist party we strive to uphold the tradition of the right to self-determination for oppressed nations.
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  33. ^ Sculos, Bryant William (Summer 2020). ""Campism" and the "New" (Anti-) Imperialisms". New Politics. XVIII (1).
  34. ^ Afinogenov, Greg (Spring 2022). "Breaking Camp: The US Left and Foreign Policy after the War in Ukraine". Socialist Forum.
  35. ^ "Program of the Party for Socialism and Liberation". Liberation School. Party for Socialism and Liberation. July 10, 2015.
  36. ^ a b c d "Party For Socialism And Liberation PSL Constitution 2022". Internet Archive. November 29, 2023. 4. Decision-making procedures 4.1 After a thorough discussion in any branch or Party body, at the Party Congress, or at a national internal conference, decisions are arrived at by majority vote of all full members present, except when otherwise noted herein. All members, including those who disagree, are duty bound to publicly defend and carry out these decisions. [....] The Party Congress may also have voting delegates nominated directly by the Central Committee, the maximum number of which shall not exceed 40 percent of the total elected delegates. Such delegates shall be elected by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the Central Committee (for two-thirds votes, round up when the outcome is a fraction). [....] During this discussion, all Party members have the right to express their views and propose changes, including amendments to the Constitution, to propose resolutions on all questions of policy and tactics, and on the work of leading bodies for consideration by the Congress. All existing policies and decisions remain in full force during the pre-Congress discussion, which is a completely internal discussion.
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  38. ^ Becker, Brian (March 17, 2014). "Crimea Referendum: the hidden truth behind the U.S.-Russia rivalry". Liberation News. Party for Socialism and Liberation.
  39. ^ "PSL Statement on Russia's military intervention in Ukraine". Liberation News. Party for Socialism and Liberation. February 24, 2022.
  40. ^ a b "Confronting the impending war danger against Syria [PSL Statement]". Liberation News. 10 April 2018.
  41. ^ Syrian Communist Party (14 December 2016). "Syrian Communist Party (Unified): Syria facing "barbarous imperialist aggression"". Liberation News.
  42. ^ Majidi, Mazda (28 March 2016). "Will the U.S. abandon 'Assad must go'?". Liberation News.
  43. ^ Cornish, Megan (February 2013). "A political critique of the Party for Socialism and Liberation". Socialism.org. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  44. ^ Hansler, Jennifer (8 April 2020). "Report finds Syrian government forces responsible for 2017 chemical attacks". CNN.
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  47. ^ Majidi, Mazda (6 September 2013). "12 myths and facts about Syria". Liberation News. Archived from the original on 14 July 2019. Myth: There is evidence that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. Fact: Despite vague claims of having proof, not only does the U.S. government have no evidence, it has worked hard to suppress any real investigation into what actually happened in suburban Damascus on Aug. 21...The Syrian government had no incentive to use chemical weapons and every reason not to.
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