Workers World Party

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Workers World Party
First SecretaryLarry Holmes
Founded1959; 65 years ago (1959)
Split fromSocialist Workers Party
Headquarters121 W. 27th St. Suite 404.
New York City, New York 10001
NewspaperWorkers World
Political positionFar-left
Colors  Red
WWP and FRSO protesters at Disrupt J20

The Workers World Party (WWP) is a Marxist–Leninist communist party founded in 1959 by a group led by Sam Marcy.[3][better source needed] WWP members are sometimes called Marcyites. Marcy and his followers split from the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in 1958 over a series of long-standing differences, among them their support for Henry A. Wallace's Progressive Party in 1948, their view of People's Republic of China as a workers' state, and their defense of the 1956 Soviet intervention in Hungary, some of which the SWP opposed.[4][5][6]


Members staffing a WWP information booth at Occupy Wall Street, October 2011

The WWP had its origins in the Global Class War Tendency, led by Sam Marcy and Vincent Copeland, within the SWP. This group crystallized during the 1948 presidential election when they urged the SWP to back Henry Wallace's Progressive Party campaign, rather than field their own candidates. Throughout the 1950s, the Global Class War Tendency expressed positions at odds with official SWP policy, categorizing the Korean War as a class, rather than imperialist, conflict; support of the People's Republic of China as a workers' state, if not necessarily supporting the Mao Zedong leadership; and supporting the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution by the Soviet Union in 1956.[7]

The Global Class War Tendency left the SWP in early 1959. Although they would later abandon Trotskyism,[citation needed] in their International Workers Day issue (no. 3) of their new periodical the group proclaimed: "We are THE Trotskyists. We stand 100% with all the principled positions of Leon Trotsky, the most revolutionary communist since Lenin". The nascent group appears to have organized as the Workers World Party by February 1960.[8] At its inception, the WWP was concentrated among the working class in Buffalo, Youngstown, Seattle and New York. A youth organization, first known as the Anti-Fascist Youth Committee and later as Youth Against War and Fascism (YAWF), was created in April 1962.[9]

The WWP began publishing Workers World in 1959. The newspaper has been a weekly since 1974.

From the beginning, the WWP and YAWF concentrated their energies on street demonstrations. Early campaigns focused on support of Patrice Lumumba, opposition to the House Un-American Activities Committee and against racial discrimination in housing. They conducted the first protest against American involvement in Vietnam on August 2, 1962.[10] Their opposition to the war also included the tactics of "draft resistance" and "GI resistance". After organizing demonstrations at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in support of a soldier being tried for possessing anti-war literature, they founded the American Servicemen's Union, intended to be a mass organization of American soldiers. However, the group was completely dominated by the WWP and YAWF.[11]

During the late 1960s and 1970s, the party was involved in protests other causes, including "defen[se] of the heroic black uprisings in Watts, Newark, Detroit, Harlem" and women's liberation. During the Attica Prison riot, the rioters requested YAWF member Tom Soto to present their grievances for them. The WWP was most successful in organizing demonstrations in support of desegregation "busing" in the Boston schools in 1975. Nearly 30,000 people attended the Boston March Against Racism which they had organized. During the 1970s, they also attempted to begin work inside organized labor, but apparently were not very successful.[12]

In 1980, the WWP began to participate in electoral politics, naming a presidential ticket as well as candidates for New York Senate, congressional and state legislature seats. In California, they ran their candidate Deirdre Griswold in the primary for the Peace and Freedom Party nomination. They came in last with 1,232 votes out of 9,092. In 1984, the WWP supported Jesse Jackson's bid for the Democratic nomination, but when he lost in the primaries they nominated their own presidential ticket, along with a handful of congressional and legislative nominees.[13]


In 1968, the WWP absorbed a small faction of the Spartacist League that had worked with it in the Coalition for an Anti-Imperialist Movement called the Revolutionary Communist League (Internationalist). This group left the WWP in 1971 as the New York Revolutionary Committee. The NYRC's newspaper provided rare details about the internal functioning of the group that have subsequently been used by scholars as a primary source. The NYRC later reconstituted as the Revolutionary Communist League (Internationalist).[14]

In 2004, the WWP suffered its most serious split when the San Francisco branch and some other members left to form the Party for Socialism and Liberation.[15][16]

In July 2018, the WWP experienced another schism in which one of its oldest branches, the Detroit branch, resigned from the organization along with several other branches to form the Communist Workers League.[17][better source needed]

Associated organizations[edit]

The WWP has organized, directed or participated in many coalition organizations for various causes, typically anti-imperialist in nature.

The International Action Center, which counts many WWP members as leading activists, founded the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) coalition shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and has run the All People's Congress (APC). The APC and the IAC in particular share a large degree of overlap in their memberships with cadre in the WWP.

In 2004, a youth group close to the WWP called Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST) was founded.[citation needed] In 2017, the FIST website shut down.[18]


The WWP describes itself as a party that has since its founding "supported the struggles of all oppressed peoples". It has recognized the right of nations to self-determination, including the nationally oppressed peoples inside the United States. It supports affirmative action as necessary in the fight for equality and it opposes all forms of racism and religious bigotry.[citation needed]

The WWP and its affiliate Youth Against War and Fascism (YAWF) were known for their consistent defense of the Black Panthers, the Weather Underground, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the Puerto Rican Independence movement.[citation needed]

North Korea[edit]

The WWP has maintained a position of supporting the government of North Korea. Through its Vietnam-era front organization, the American Servicemen's Union (ASU), the party endorsed a 1971 statement of support for that government. The statement was read on North Korea's international radio station by visiting ASU delegate Andy Stapp.[19][better source needed] In 1994, Sam Marcy sent a letter to Kim Jong Il expressing his condolences on behalf of the WWP on the death of his father Kim Il Sung, calling him a great leader and comrade in the international communist movement.[20] Its later front groups, IAC and formerly International A.N.S.W.E.R., have also demonstrated in support of North Korea.[21]


When the WWP was playing a role in organizing anti-war protests before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, many newspapers and TV shows attacked the WWP for supporting Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.[22][23][24]


The WWP signalized support of Alexander Lukashenko during the Belarusian protests in 2020. They accused the protest movement of being "counterrevolutionary" and supported by the "fascist Maidan movement and the U.S. imperialism", while praising President Lukashenko for maintaining some socialist-oriented politics, rejection of privatization and keeping the Soviet state symbols.[25][26][better source needed]

Election results[edit]

The WWP has participated in presidential election campaigns since the 1980 election, though its effectiveness in this area is limited as it has not been able to get on the ballots of many states. The party also has run some campaigns for other offices. One of the most successful was in 1990, when Susan Farquhar got on the ballot as a Senate candidate in Michigan and received 1.3% of the vote. However, the party's best result was in the 1992 Ohio Senate election, when the WWP candidate received 6.7% of the vote, running against a Democrat and a Republican.[27][better source needed]

Presidential elections[edit]

Year Presidential candidate Vice presidential candidate Popular votes % Electoral votes Result Ballot access Notes Ref
2016 Monica Moorehead Lamont Lilly 4,173
0 Lost
142 / 538
2004 John Parker Teresa Gutierrez 1,646
0 Lost
93 / 538
[a] [29]
2000 Monica Moorehead Gloria La Riva 4,795
0 Lost
51 / 538
1996 Monica Moorehead Gloria La Riva 29,083
0 Lost
153 / 538
1992 Gloria La Riva Larry Holmes 181
0 Lost
5 / 538
1988 Larry Holmes Gloria La Riva 7,846
0 Lost
157 / 538
1984 Larry Holmes[b] Gloria La Riva 17,983
0 Lost
130 / 538
1980 Deirdre Griswold Gavrielle Holmes 13,213
0 Lost
117 / 538

In 2008, the WWP endorsed Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party of the United States.[36]

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2004: Vote total includes 265 votes on the Liberty Union Party line in Vermont.
  2. ^ In 1984, Gavrielle Holmes ran in place of Larry Holmes in some states.


  1. ^ "Workers World Party: Who We Are". Workers World Party. Archived from the original on October 15, 2023. Workers World Party is a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party dedicated to organizing and fighting for a socialist revolution in the United States and around the world. With branches around the U.S., WWP develops militant organizers in every struggle, from anti-racist and immigrant rights to labor, anti-war and anti-imperialist struggles.
  2. ^ Lawrence, Ken. "Roots of the Workers World Party".
  3. ^ "Selected Works of Sam Marcy". Workers World. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
  4. ^ "China – A setback for Imprerialism" (PDF). The Militant. October 3, 1949.
  5. ^ "The SWP Position on China" (PDF). SWP Discussion Bulletin. June 1963.
  6. ^ "The SWP Position on China". The Militant. 2001.
  7. ^ Alexander 1991, p. 911.
  8. ^ Alexander 1973, p. 554.
  9. ^ Alexander 1991, p. 912.
  10. ^ Klehr, Harvey (1988). Far Left of Center.
  11. ^ Alexander 1991, pp. 912–913.
  12. ^ Alexander 1991, p. 913.
  13. ^ Alexander 1991, p. 914.
  14. ^ Alexander 1991, pp. 913, 941–943, 1049.
  15. ^ "Founding statement of the Party for Socialism and Liberation". Liberation School. 1 August 2004. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  16. ^ Freedlander, David (13 October 2015). "Bernie Sanders Isn't Socialist Enough for Many Socialists". Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Detroit branch resignation from WWP". The Former Workers World Party. 15 July 2018. Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  18. ^ " recently expired! Oh no!". November 3, 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-11-03.
  19. ^ "Workers World Party and Its Front Organizations" (April 1974) US House Committee on Internal Security
  20. ^ Marcy, Sam (21 July 1994). "Kim Il Sung – Anti-imperialist fighter, socialist hero".
  21. ^ Carlson, Peter (15 December 2002). "The Crusader: Ramsey Clark Was LBJ's Attorney General. Now He's Busy Denouncing U.S. 'War Crimes' in Places Like Iraq, N. Korea. How Did That Happen?". The Washington Post.
  22. ^ Cooper, Marc (29 September 2002). "A Smart Peace Movement is MIA". Los Angeles Times.
  23. ^ Gitlin, Todd (14 October 2002). "Who Will Lead?". Mother Jones.
  24. ^ Corn, David (1 November 2002). "Behind the Placards: The odd and troubling origins of today's antiwar movement". LA Weekly.
  25. ^ Grotewohl, Otis (29 August 2020). "Workers and communists in Belarus unite behind Lukashenko". Workers World. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  26. ^ Grotewohl, Otis (17 August 2020). "U.S., fascists set scopes on socialist-leaning Belarus". Workers World. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  27. ^ "Vote for U.S. Senate". Ballot Access News. 1 January 2003. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
  28. ^ "Federal Elections 2016" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. December 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2019.
  29. ^ "Federal Elections 2004" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. July 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2019.
  30. ^ "Federal Elections 00" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. July 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2019.
  31. ^ "Federal Elections 96" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. July 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2019.
  32. ^ "Federal Elections 92" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. July 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2019.
  33. ^ "Federal Elections 88" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. July 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2019.
  34. ^ "Federal Elections 84" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. July 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2019.
  35. ^ "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 4, 1980" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. April 15, 1981. p. 73. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 28, 2008.
  36. ^ "Cynthia McKinney for president". Workers World Party. Jul 17, 2008. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008.
  37. ^ Swenson, Kyle (July 28, 2010). "The Commies Next Door". Cleveland Scene. By 19, he was a member of the Workers World Party, one of the largest communist groups in America.
  38. ^ Butters, Chris (December 17, 2021). "Signaling left, turning right: The "radicals" rebranding populism". Communist Party USA. During the 2000s and early 2010s, Maupin was a figure in the Workers World Party and a regular fixture at anti-imperialist conferences and events.
  39. ^ Bowens, Tyneisha (March 16, 2008). "FIST member defends socialism". Workers World. Workers World Party. On the side of socialism was Caleb Maupin, a member of Fight Imperialism-Stand Together (FIST).


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]