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Open Letter to Potential Presidential Candidates and their Supporters from John Reiger, State Chair, Peace and Freedom Party.
We welcome presidential aspirants who are not affiliated to the two parties of the billionaires to participate in the Peace and Freedom Party March 2020 California Primary Election. Our Presidential Preference Primary is a non-binding primary election in which our party registrants will vote for their preferred candidates for President.
Our election systems give a guise of democracy but bipartisan election laws, huge amounts of private money, and the corporate media deny representation for a great many of us. The President is not elected by the people of this country. Instead, the president is selected by a majority of an Electoral College which is tilted to favor states which have much smaller numbers of people where each elector represents fewer people.
America is rightly upset about having a racist President, but all Trump is doing with his racist comments is reminding us of our racist past – and our racist present.
The Peace and Freedom Party was founded five decades ago in response to the racism in America at that time. The word “Freedom” in our name refers to the struggle for freedom from racial inequality throughout the country, and to the brave Freedom Riders who journeyed to the US South to work for racial equality. The word “Peace” refers to the effort to end the Vietnam War, and all wars.
Since our foundation, we have consistently stood for racial equality, consistently running racially and culturally diverse candidates for public office. We are proud of our past association with the Black Panther Party, the Brown Berets, the American Indian Movement and other fighters for equality.
The president claims not to have a racist bone in his body. That may be true because the heart, the brain, and the tongue are not bones.
The Green New Deal, as proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Congress, has a lot to like. There is no doubt that manufacturing and agricultural production must be overhauled in a sustainable manner while meeting the needs of the people. However, in its laundry lists of projects and solutions, the Green New Deal makes a major omission: any mention of the U.S. military.
Here are some of the goals of the Green New Deal:
- to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers;
- to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States;
- to invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States
- to secure for all people of the United States for generations to come—
i. clean air and water;
ii. climate and community resiliency;
iii. healthy food;
iv. access to nature; and
v. a sustainable environment.
- to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, de-industrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.
The document suggests a 10-year national mobilization that will include projects such as:
- repairing and upgrading infrastructure;
- meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources;
- working with farmers and ranchers to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible;
- overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector;
- restoring and protecting threatened, endangered, and fragile ecosystems; and
- cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites.
The document goes on to promise democratic and inclusive decision-making processes, union rights, good wages, higher education, health care, and housing for all. It pledges to honor all treaties and agreements with indigenous peoples and to protect and enforce their sovereignty and land rights.
This sounds a lot like the platform of the Peace and Freedom Party, except … what happened to the “peace” part?
The Peace and Freedom Party has taken positions for or against 18 bills and one proposed constitutional amendment in the 2019-2020 session of the California legislature; we are currently watching the progression of 14 other bills. Below run the PFP’s current positions on this legislation. For the full text and more information on a bill, click on the given bill’s title.
Additionally, the PFP Legislative Committee has drafted and sent several letters to state senators and assemblypersons detailing the party's support of or opposition to each bill. Each position letter may be accessed individually via the links marked [Position letter] below or click here for a list of all PFP position letters. Last update: July 23, 2019.
• AB 32 (Bonta) – State prisons: private, for-profit administration services – SUPPORT
Would end state of California contracts with private prisons. [Position letter]
• AB 33 (Bonta) – State public retirement systems: divestiture from private prison companies – SUPPORT
Would stop CalPERS and CalSTRS investments in private prisons. [Position letter]
• AB 36 (Bonta/Chiu) – Residential tenancies: rent control – SUPPORT
Would modify those provisions of Costa-Hawkins that prevent local rent control measures from applying to new construction. [Position letter]
• AB 392 (Weber) – Peace officers: deadly force – SUPPORT
Would restrict police officers’ use of deadly force to only when necessary to prevent serious bodily injury or death. [Position letter]
Peace & Freedom Party members joined others participating in the United National Anti-War Coalition action entitled "Stop the Deportations, Hands Off Iran and Venezuela" at Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland last weekend.
Some on the left criticize the Peace and Freedom Party for our slogan, “Tax the rich and their corporations.” The goal, they say, should be expropriation of the rich. Socialists can be for both. It is a matter of what the time is ripe for.
Taxing the rich: Socialists and billionaires agree
When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested a top tax rate of 70% during a TV interview, she was derided by many in the capitalist class—but not by the ultra-wealthy investor Warren Buffett. Why would a self-described socialist and an unapologetic billionaire agree? Or do they? The following article investigates the divergent reasons why some capitalists and most socialists (including the Peace and Freedom Party) advocate increased taxes on the wealthy.
Capitalism is in crisis worldwide. The owning classes, particularly in the United States, are pursuing policies that are only making it worse. The arguments carried on by their politicians and media all misrepresent, in different ways, the nature of the crisis and of capitalism itself. In response to this crisis, some capitalists (and their representatives) advocate increased taxes on the wealthy – as do many socialists. Why would this be good for the capitalists? Why are most capitalists refusing to take their medicine? And why do we, as socialists, support calls for taxing the rich and their corporations?
Spread the word about the Peace and Freedom Party. Encourage your friends to register Peace and Freedom, join the supporting membership program, and get involved.
Here are some introductory handouts you can download and print for distribution. For a more extensive archive of our literature, click here.
On June 14, 2019, a judge in London ruled in favor of an extradition hearing for Julian Assange. Assange is set to appear before a British court in February 2020 in a hearing on whether the WikiLeaks founder should be extradited to the U.S. on 18 counts of espionage. He is currently serving a 50-week sentence in Belmarsh Prison in southeast London for bail violations after taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden to face rape allegations in 2012. At that time, Assange claimed that Sweden’s real motivation was to send him to the United States for criminal prosecution in retaliation for his exposure of U.S. government activity.
For more on Julian Asssange’s work, see the section entitled What is Wikileaks? below; for more on the rape allegations against Assange in Sweden, see the section entitled Manipulation of a Serious Offense.
Following the June 14 hearing, officials at Southwark Crown Court, where Assange was jailed for a bail breach, confirmed an appeal had been lodged against the sentence. Assange had spent seven years inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London before being handed over to British authorities. On April 11, 2019, the Ecuadorian government allowed British police to enter its embassy and arrest him. He is now in a hospital inside a British maximum-security prison due to his failing health, the result of seven years under de facto house arrest inside the Ecuadorian embassy. Under direction of the U.S. government, British police denied medical care to properly treat Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy and denied him the freedom to seek medical treatment. As of this week, Assange’s condition has not yet improved.
Meanwhile, a friend of Assange, Swedish programmer and data privacy activist Ola Bini, was arrested in Ecuador, where he currently resides, on April 11, the same day Assange was taken by British authorities from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Bini has been jailed ever since without charges. For more about Bini, click here.