Party for Socialism and Liberation
|Split from||Workers World Party|
The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) is a communist party in the United States, established in 2004. Its members are active in a wide range of movements including the labor, anti-war, immigrants' rights, women's rights, and anti-police brutality movements. It has been closely tied to the ANSWER Coalition throughout its existence; PSL founder Brian Becker is ANSWER's National Coordinator. Other prominent members include Gloria La Riva, Michael Prysner, and Eugene Puryear.
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The PSL was formed when the San Francisco branch and several other members left the Workers World Party in June 2004, announcing that "the Workers World Party leadership is no longer capable of fulfilling [the] mission" of building socialism.
The party's goal is to lead a revolution paving the way towards socialism, under which 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 through lobbying from politics. The party's program states: "Achieving fully developed socialism, a goal that has not yet been achieved anywhere, will open the way to communism and the end of class society."
The Party for Socialism and Liberation believes that the only solution to the deepening crisis of capitalism is the socialist transformation of society. Driven by an insatiable appetite for ever greater profits regardless of social cost, capitalism is on a collision course with the people of the world and the planet itself. Imperialist war; deepening unemployment and poverty; deteriorating health care, housing and education; racism; discrimination and violence based on gender and sexual orientation; environmental destruction—all are inevitable products of the capitalist system itself. The idea that the capitalists’ grip on society and their increasingly repressive state can be abolished through any means other than a revolutionary overturn is an illusion...There are really only two choices for humanity today—an increasingly destructive capitalism, or socialism.
The PSL would, among other measures, prohibit the exploitation of labor for private profit, implement a working week of 30 hours, introduce of a basic income guarantee, ensure paid parental and family leave for up to two years, provide paid sick and disability leave, require a minimum of one month’s paid vacation, institute single payer health insurance, outlaw renting and selling land, provide free college, and eliminate fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
The PSL would grant the right of self-determination to what it considers oppressed nations of the United States, including "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". It would grant independence to Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands and the Mariana Islands, which it considers colonies.
In the Leninist tradition, the PSL supports the right of nations to self-determination. It has been outspoken in condemning Israel and its role in the Middle East. The PSL led demonstrations against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in July 2006 and supports the right of return for Palestinians. The PSL voiced solidarity with Nepal upon the overthrow of the monarchy and the election of Pushpa Kamal Dahal in 2008.
The PSL generally views other self-described socialist countries favorably. It supports Cuba and mourned the death of its former President Fidel Castro; additionally, it has endorsed activities that called for the release of the Cuban Five—deemed political prisoners by supporters—and called for the extradition of anti-Castro terrorist Luis Posada Carriles from the United States. It supports the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. Historically, it has described the Soviet Union positively, saying that the October Revolution was "the single biggest event that shaped global politics in the 20th century". However, it believes 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 dissolution of the Soviet Union. The PSL supports Syria's Bashar al-Assad, who the PSL views as being against U.S. interest.
While the PSL has at times been critical of the Chinese government, particularly for failing to uphold certain communist ideals like the abolition of private property, it views the Chinese Revolution favorably, argues that the Communist Party of China 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". The PSL has generally defended China's human rights records, denying, for instance, the premise that the Chinese military massacred student protestors in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and that China maintains a system of internment camps in Xinjiang. The PSL supports China's policies towards Tibet and opposed the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests, calling them "chauvinist", "separatist", and "anti-China".
The stance of the PSL on North Korea is that the country is often unfairly targeted and that the goal of the United States is regime change. The PSL advocates a significant overhaul of US foreign policy towards North Korea, including the lifting of sanctions on North Korea, the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea, and the signing of a peace treaty. The PSL is supportive of North Korea's nuclear weapons program; in the PSL's official newspaper, for instance, Stephan Gowans argued 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". PSL has also spoken favorably on North Korea's human rights record, which many have considered to be one of the worst in the world, 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".
The PSL opposes the American-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War, arguing that the United States' goal is "the projection of permanent imperial power and domination in a region that contains two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves". It has generally been supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian military efforts in Syria, and denies the conclusion of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and other international organizations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, which are banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention.
The PSL has been critical of certain intergovernmental organizations, particularly international economic institutions like the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. Its official newspaper published an article stating that the "WTO is one of many institutions, like the G8, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, that undermine the sovereignty of nations by forcing the implementation of disastrous neoliberal economic policies of privatization, liberalization and deregulation". It has further argued that "the IMF works on behalf of multinational corporations, finding natural resources, sweatshop laborers, and consumers for Western capitalism’s surplus production" and has called the G20 an "instrument of capitalist plunder". It has also called the International Criminal Court a "fake court that has been used as a tool by the imperialists against those resisting imperialist aggression".
The PSL co-operates with other organizations across the United States in the anti-war movement and 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, the 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 advocates for the end of the United States military presence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and the closure of all United States foreign military bases.
The PSL advocates "the overthrow, dismantling and complete replacement" of the "police, prisons, military and courts" of the United States. It supports replacing the current legal system of the United States with a "new justice system based on the democratic organization of the working class and its right to defend its class interests on the basis of solidarity and unity" and advocates reorganizing the prison system around "social education and rehabilitation".
Arrest of Denver PSL organizers
Following a wake of protests in the summer of 2020 against the death of Elijah McClain, the Aurora Police Department arrested organizers involved with the Party for Socialism and Liberation and other local groups on charges ranging from inciting a riot to kidnapping. This was in response to a protest on July 3 where the Aurora police precinct was surrounded by protesters calling for the officers responsible for McClain's death to be fired and charged. On September 17, three party members, Joel Northam, Lillian House, Eliza Lucero, and another community activist, Terrance Roberts, were arrested. Northam was arrested with the aid of a SWAT team and armored vehicle, while Roberts was apprehended while on a jog. Others were arrested at home or at work, and for eight days, were held in conditions what attorney Amelia Power termed to be "solitary confinement." They reported being locked in their cells with multiple other inmates at the same time that there was a COVID outbreak in the facility, and were only given one mask each for the duration of their confinement. House, Lucero, and Northam faced up to 48 years in prison. 
Both the party and media have designated their arrests as an act of "retribution." In a livestream, party leadership condemned the arrests, saying
"As we sit here talking about activists who are standing up for justice, being jailed, having massive charges dropped on top of them criminalizing protest – these three officers who MURDERED Elijah McClain, still walk free...It’s easy to see why police directly involved and the police department would try to save themselves and save those cops from jail by keeping charges on those highly visible leaders in the movement. That is a common practice in police departments…It’s intended to intimidate not only our members who were arrested but the national movement which has risen up in the most sustained struggle ever seen in this country."
After their appearance in court on March 26, 2021, an Adams county judge dropped the kidnapping charges, but the organizers were still being perused for numerous other felonies and misdemeanors for over five more months. It wasn't until September 13th, 2021 that all charges were finally dropped. "[On September 1st] the Colorado Attorney General also announced a 32-count indictment against the police and paramedics who murdered Elijah McClain" - realizing the demands that they had been fighting for. 
The party's main publication is the website and monthly paper Liberation News, which replaced a quarterly magazine, Socialism and Liberation. The PSL also publishes Breaking the Chains: A Socialist Perspective on Women's Liberation, a quarterly socialist and feminist magazine, and Reds In Ed, a monthly newsletter initiated by teachers who are members of the PSL. Additionally, the PSL publishes Liberation School, which publishes longer-form analysis, Party documents, interviews, and educational resources including study guides, curricula, and video and audio courses.
The 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 Mazda 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, Liberation Media, is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
|Year||Candidate(s)||Popular votes||Percentage||Electoral votes||Ballot access|
137 / 538
146 / 538
112 / 538
191 / 538
- Eugene Puryear, reporter and candidate for vice president in 2008 en 2016
- Gloria La Riva, political activist and perennial candidate
- Jodi Dean, academic
- Michael Prysner, anti-war activist
- Kristin Richardson Jordan (formerly), poet, activist and member-elect of the New York City Council (9th district)
- Peta Lindsay, presidential candidate
- Micah Wright, writer and socialist activist
- "15 years of building the Party, growing and learning". Liberation. June 21, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
- "Socialism and Liberation magazine is changing". Archived February 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Pslweb.org. Retrieved June 7, 2008.
- "'No separate destiny for US workers apart from the workers of the world'". International Communist Press. October 1, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
We are a communist party.
- "Revolution Manifesto". Liberation School.
- "RedsInEd". redsined.org. 2020-03-13. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
- "Thousands Of Protesters 'Disrupting The Status Quo' To Force Change In Fight Against Racial Inequality, Police Brutality". 2020-06-06. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
- Socialism, Party for; Liberation. "A party of action: Building the people's movements in the streets". Liberation School. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
- "About Breaking the Chains – Breaking the Chains". Retrieved 2020-11-01.
- "Brian Becker — Liberation News". Liberation News — The Newspaper of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Party for Socialism and Liberation. 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.
- Winger, Richard (August 2, 2020). "Party for Socialism & Liberation Alters its Vice-Presidential Nominee". Ballot Access News. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
- Admin, About the author Psl. "Leonard Peltier regretfully withdraws as vice-presidential candidate". La Riva 2020.
- "Party for Socialism and Liberation: People's Struggle and the Socialist Revolution". August 1, 2004.
- "Program of the Party for Socialism and Liberation". Liberation School. Party for Socialism and Liberation. July 10, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- "About the Party for Socialism and Liberation". Party for Socialism and Liberation. Archived from the original on 20 November 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- Lenin, V.I. "The Right of Nations to Self-Determination". Marxists.org. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
- "PSL statement: Solidarity with the Palestinian people". Liberation News. November 29, 2018.
- "Ferment in Nepal: A dynamic vortex of revolutionary change". January 3, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- "Miguel Fraga: Until forever, Commander - Liberation News". Liberation News. November 26, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
- Cuba Solidarity Campaign Archived July 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Pslweb.org. Retrieved June 4, 2007.
- Becker, Brian. "Socialism and the legacy of the Soviet Union". Why Socialism?. Party for Socialism and Liberation. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
- Cornish, Megan (February 2013). "A political critique of the Party for Socialism and Liberation". Socialism.org. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
- Becker, Brian (31 May 2007). "What do socialists defend in China today?". Liberation School.
- "For the defense of China against counterrevolution, imperialist intervention and dismemberment". Liberation School. 31 May 2007.
The Chinese Revolution of 1925 to 1949 was one of the greatest events and achievements in the history of the working-class struggle for emancipation.
- "PSL commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution". Liberation News. October 1, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
- Becker, Brian (13 June 2014). "Tiananmen: The Massacre that Wasn't". Liberation School.
What happened in China, what took the lives of government opponents and of soldiers on June 4, was not a massacre of peaceful students but a battle between PLA soldiers and armed detachments from the so-called pro-democracy movement.
- Smolarek, Walter (14 May 2020). "Why China is not the aggressor". Liberation News.
- "China, Tibet and U.S.-sponsored counterrevolution". Liberation School. 1 April 2008.
- Au, Alex (29 July 2019). "Extradition bill is dead, so why are Hong Kong protests continuing?". Liberation News.
- Wood, Preston. "U.S. escalates hostility vs. North Korea: False charges on human rights – Liberation News".
- Staff, Liberation. "Editorial: The U.S., not the DPRK, threatens peace – Liberation News".
- Ford, Derek (19 March 2021). "U.S. Military "War Games" Against North Korea Justified as "Defense Measure" While North Korea Has Never Invaded, Bombed, or Occupied Any Country". Hampton Institute. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
- Liberation Staff (11 October 2006). "Flyer: 'North Korea has the right to possess nuclear weapons'". Liberation News. Archived from the original on 14 July 2019.
- Farine, Jessie (7 March 2016). "North Korea faces harshest UN sanctions yet". Liberation News. Archived from the original on 14 July 2019.
- Gowans, Stephan (23 February 2013). "Why North Korea is developing nuclear weapons". Liberation News. Archived from the original on 18 December 2020.
- Beacham, John (2 February 2015). "West's favorite North Korean defector lied to UN". Liberation News. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020.
- Wang, Mike (26 March 2014). "UN hypocrisy and human rights in North Korea". Liberation News. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020.
- World Report 2014: North Korea. Human Rights Watch. 21 January 2014. Archived from the original on July 7, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- "VII. Conclusions and Recommendations". Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. February 17, 2014. p. 365. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- "Issues North Korea". Amnesty International UK. Archived from the original on July 2, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- "ANSWER statement against the U.S. bombing of Syria". Liberation News. 23 September 2014.
- Majidi, Mazda (28 March 2016). "Will the U.S. abandon 'Assad must go'?". Liberation News.
- "Confronting the impending war danger against Syria [PSL Statement]". Liberation News. 10 April 2018.
- Syrian Communist Party (14 December 2016). "Syrian Communist Party (Unified): Syria facing "barbarous imperialist aggression"". Liberation News.
- Hansler, Jennifer (8 April 2020). "Report finds Syrian government forces responsible for 2017 chemical attacks". CNN.
- "Timeline of Syrian Chemical Weapons Activity, 2012-2018 | Arms Control Association". United Nations Arms Control Association. Archived from the original on 19 October 2019.
- "Third report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism". United Nations Security Council. 24 August 2016.
- 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.
- Hrizi, Nathalie (1 February 2006). "Protests greet WTO meetings in Hong Kong". Liberation News. Archived from the original on 14 July 2019.
- Becker, Ben (1 September 2004). "The politics of globalization". Liberation News. Archived from the original on 14 July 2019.
- Brown, Ryan (5 September 2009). "G-20: instrument of capitalist plunder". Liberation News. Archived from the original on 14 July 2019.
- "Paul Le Blanc: Revolutionary organisation and the 'Occupy moment'". February 16, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- Kanowitz, Saul (July 25, 2006). "Al-Awda convention shows solidarity with Palestine and Lebanon". Liberation News. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
- "Part 2: The U.S. drive for global domination". Party for Socialism and Liberation. Archived from the original on August 20, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
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- "Protesters, demonstration leaders arrested in connection to rallies in Aurora". denverpost.com. MediaNews Group, Inc. 17 September 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
- Kaplan, Noah (10 November 2020). "The Election May Be Over, but Their Fight Has Just Begun". westword.com. Denver Westword. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
- Lizarrega, Lori (3 January 2021). "Preliminary hearing approaching for PSL protestors facing dozens of felony charges". 9news.com. KUSA-TV. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
- Ricciardi, Tiney (25 March 2021). "Judge throws out attempted-kidnapping charges against Aurora protest leaders". denverpost.com. The Denver Post. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
- "Denver BLM Activists and PSL Members Arrested, Charged with Multiple Felonies". leftvoice.org. Left Voice. 18 September 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
- "Party for Socialism and Liberation denounces arrests of anti-racist organizers in Denver". peoplesdispatch.org. People's Dispatch. 18 September 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
- "ALL charges dropped: Total victory over Aurora political prosecution".
- Webmaster, PSL. "Liberation News: reporting from the front-line of struggle". Liberation News. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- "Socialism and Liberation magazine is changing". June 5, 2007. January 7, 2018.
- "About Breaking the Chains – Breaking the Chains". Retrieved 2020-11-01.
- "RedsInEd". redsined.org. 2020-03-13. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
- "Our Mission | Liberation School". Retrieved 2021-05-30.
- "Program of the Party for Socialism and Liberation: What We're Fighting For". Archived from the original on February 6, 2006. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- "Socialists and war: two opposing trends".
- Ramirez, Ana Maria; Gamboni, Anne; Riva, Gloria La; Lowengard, Liz; Lindsay, Peta (March 4, 2013). "A Woman's Place Is in the Struggle". PSL Publications. Retrieved August 15, 2017 – via Amazon.
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- "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
- Meet Eugene Puryear Archived 2008-05-01 at the Wayback Machine at pslweb.org, accessed 24 June 2020,
- "Jodi Dean – Crowds and Party – Rock Salted". Retrieved 2020-06-25.
- Medina, Justine (July 9, 2021). "Black queer socialist makes history, winning Democratic primary in Harlem". Peoples' World. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
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