Workers Party, USA
The Workers Party is a Marxist–Leninist political party in the United States. Based in Chicago, Illinois, the Workers Party stands on a platform of anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism, and publishes a biweekly newspaper The Worker. The leading party member and editor of The Worker was Michael Thorburn until his death of liver failure on June 12, 2007.
The Workers Party USA had its origin in an organization called the Marxist-Leninist Study Group, based in Chicago. Its leader was Michael Thorburn (late First Secretary of the WPUSA). Its main organ was the Voice Against War and Imperialism. Out of this came the Marxist-Leninist Workers Organization. It was allied with other orthodox Marxist-Leninist political parties in the Americas and Europe, although not officially with the Party of Labor of Albania, with which it allied itself politically and ideologically. Late in 1992, the organizing conference of the Workers Party USA was held in Chicago, attended by 30 to 50 people, some of whom became party members and others of whom were supporters of the party's theory, political agenda and goals.
Youth and Students for a Democratic Foreign Policy
The WP USA supports a student group called Youth and Students for a Democratic Foreign Policy (YSDFP). YSDFP hold public meetings on various college campuses in the Chicago area. Thorburn was often the main speaker in these meetings. The YSDFP call for the formation of a peace party. They recognize the sovereignty of every country and the right of every nation to independence. They call for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops stationed abroad, including an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and the removal of U.S. troops from South Korea. They support North Korea's defense of its sovereignty against U.S. aggression.
The Workers Party USA has a draft program.
Guaranteeing the Economic and Other Inviolable Rights of the People
This includes the right to a secure job or high standard; the right to comprehensive and free medical care; the right to secure pensions and for retired workers to live in dignity; the right to free and equal education at all levels (including child care and university education); the right to housing, shelter and food.
The political system should be reformed such that the decision-making power would be placed in the hands of the people. All political privileges should be abolished; mechanisms which guarantee the masses of the people the right to participate fully and directly in the political process and in governance should be created.
Democratic Foreign Policy
The party calls for withdrawal of all American troops abroad; the U.S. should withdraw from all aggressive military pacts and alliances, including NATO; and end must be put to the militarization of U.S. society and American interference and intervention against other countries in any form, including by economic, diplomatic, political and military means.
Its current organ, The Worker, carries articles concerning contemporary issues. Some of them are editorial pieces signed by "Bill Foster", a name taken from William Z. Foster, the legendary leader of the Communist Party of the USA in the 1930s and 1940s. This was a favored sobriquet of Mr. Thorburn when he wished to make personal comments on the struggle without using his influence as the editor of The Worker or the leader of the WPUSA as a means of influencing the readers. It has since been adopted by the party leader, or by the editor of The Worker for similar purposes.
Other American parties known by the same name
- Workers Party of America, 1921–1929 (known as "Workers (Communist) Party of America" from mid-1925)
- American Workers Party, 1933–1934
- Workers Party of the United States, 1934
- Workers Party, 1940–1949.
- American Communist Party
- Workers Party in America (WPA)