Party for Socialism and Liberation

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Party for Socialism and Liberation
LeaderCentral Committee[1]
FoundedJune 2004; 16 years ago (2004-06)[2]
Split fromWorkers World Party
Political positionFar-left
Colors  Red

The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) is a communist party[3] 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.[5][6][7][8] It has been closely tied to the ANSWER Coalition throughout its existence; PSL founder Brian Becker is ANSWER's National Coordinator.[9] Other prominent members include Gloria La Riva, Michael Prysner, and Eugene Puryear.

The PSL ran Gloria La Riva and Sunil Freeman in the 2020 United States presidential election.[10] Originally, Leonard Peltier was the vice-presidential nominee, but he was forced to withdraw for health reasons.[11]


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.[12]


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 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".[13]

Concerning economics, the PSL would among other measures prohibit the exploitation of labor for private profit, implement a working week of 30 hours and eradicate poverty through the introduction of a basic income guarantee. 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.

The PSL co-operates with other organizations across the United States in the anti-war movement[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

World views[edit]

In the Leninist tradition,[17] 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.[18]

Historically, the PSL has a generally positive view of the 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 dissolution of the Soviet Union.[19]

The PSL supports Cuba and mourned the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.[20] While it has been critical of the Chinese government, the PSL acknowledges China's contributions to socialism and anti-imperialist struggle and it views the Chinese Revolution favorably.[21] The PSL also supports the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. It has endorsed activities that called for the release of the Cuban Five—deemed political prisoners by supporters—and called for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles from the United States.[22]

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 to have a regime change occur. The PSL also thinks that the United States targets the DPRK and that US foreign policy needs to be changed, sanctions removed off of North Korea and the withdrawal of US Troops from South Korea in addition to a peace treaty being signed.[23][24]

The PSL voiced solidarity with Nepal upon the overthrow of the monarchy and the election of Pushpa Kamal Dahal in 2008.[25]


The party's main publication is the monthly newspaper, Liberation News,[26] which replaced a quarterly magazine, Socialism and Liberation.[27] The PSL also publishes Breaking the Chains: A Socialist Perspective on Women's Liberation, a quarterly socialist and feminist magazine,[28] and Reds In Ed, a monthly newsletter initiated by teachers who are members of the PSL.[29]

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.[30] 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[31] 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.[32] The PSL's publication company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Presidential candidate performance[edit]

Year Candidate(s) Popular votes Percentage Electoral votes Ballot access
2008 6,818[33] 0.01% 0
137 / 538
9,399[34] 0.01% 0
146 / 538
2016 74,027[35] 0.05% 0
112 / 538
84,463[36][37] 0,05% 0
191 / 538

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Replacing Leonard Peltier, who remained on the ballot in Minnesota and Illinois


  1. ^ "15 years of building the Party, growing and learning". Liberation. June 21, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  2. ^ "Socialism and Liberation magazine is changing". Archived February 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved June 7, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "'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.
  4. ^ "Revolution Manifesto". Liberation School.
  5. ^ "RedsInEd". 2020-03-13. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  6. ^ "Thousands Of Protesters 'Disrupting The Status Quo' To Force Change In Fight Against Racial Inequality, Police Brutality". 2020-06-06. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  7. ^ Socialism, Party for; Liberation. "A party of action: Building the people's movements in the streets". Liberation School. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  8. ^ "About Breaking the Chains – Breaking the Chains". Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ Winger, Richard (August 2, 2020). "Party for Socialism & Liberation Alters its Vice-Presidential Nominee". Ballot Access News. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  11. ^ PSL Admin (August 2020). "Leonard Peltier regretfully withdraws as vice-presidential candidate". Party for Socialism and Liberation. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  12. ^ "Party for Socialism and Liberation: People's Struggle and the Socialist Revolution". August 1, 2004.
  13. ^ "Program of the Party for Socialism and Liberation". Liberation School. Party for Socialism and Liberation. July 10, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  14. ^ "Paul Le Blanc: Revolutionary organisation and the 'Occupy moment'". February 16, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  15. ^ Kanowitz, Saul (July 25, 2006). "Al-Awda convention shows solidarity with Palestine and Lebanon". Liberation News. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ Lenin, V.I. "The Right of Nations to Self-Determination". Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  18. ^ "PSL statement: Solidarity with the Palestinian people". Liberation News. November 29, 2018.
  19. ^ Becker, Brian. "Socialism and the legacy of the Soviet Uni". Why Socialism?. Party for Socialism and Liberation. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  20. ^ "Miguel Fraga: Until forever, Commander - Liberation News". Liberation News. November 26, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  21. ^ "PSL commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution". Liberation News. October 1, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  22. ^ Cuba Solidarity Campaign Archived July 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved June 4, 2007.
  23. ^ Wood, Preston. "U.S. escalates hostility vs. North Korea: False charges on human rights – Liberation News".
  24. ^ Staff, Liberation. "Editorial: The U.S., not the DPRK, threatens peace – Liberation News".
  25. ^ "Ferment in Nepal: A dynamic vortex of revolutionary change". January 3, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  26. ^ Webmaster, PSL. "Liberation News: reporting from the front-line of struggle". Liberation News. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  27. ^ "Socialism and Liberation magazine is changing". June 5, 2007. January 7, 2018.
  28. ^ "About Breaking the Chains – Breaking the Chains". Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  29. ^ "RedsInEd". 2020-03-13. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  30. ^ "Who We Are, What We Stand For". Archived from the original on February 6, 2006. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  31. ^ "Socialists and war: two opposing trends".
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ "Federal Elections 2018" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. July 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  34. ^ Weintraub, Ellen (July 2013). "Federal Elections 2012" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  35. ^ "Official 2016 Presidential General Election Results" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. January 30, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  36. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  37. ^ "La Riva for president campaign makes major strides for socialist movement". Liberation News. November 20, 2020. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  38. ^ Meet Eugene Puryear Archived 2008-05-01 at the Wayback Machine at, accessed 24 June 2020,
  39. ^ "Jodi Dean – Crowds and Party – Rock Salted". Retrieved 2020-06-25.

External links[edit]