California's socialist and feminist political party urges you to:
The Peace and Freedom Party, born from the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, is committed to socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism, racial equality, and internationalism.
The opening sentence of the Party platform has provoked questions such as, “Why are you for so-cialism?” or “What is socialism?” The answer is not simple, because the Peace and Freedom Party is a ‘multi-tendency’ party.” People from different organizations, as well as those without other affiliation, can be members of the Peace and Freedom Party.
We asked members of the PFP to provide their definition of socialism, both to answer the question and to illustrate the range of opinions within the party and the Socialist movement in general. Below runs the sixth and final (for now) short essay in our series, “What is Socialism?”
Socialism is an economic system in which the whole society owns all of the major industries, natural resources, and financial institutions. A socialist economy is run democratically, unlike a capitalist system in which a few rich owners make the decisions. In a socialist society everyone is an equal member and takes part in making the decisions that any society needs to make. The goal of a socialist society is for the workers to receive the full payment for their work, and for everyone to have a decent, rewarding life.
We are socialists because we see the problems that capitalism creates, and we believe they cannot be fixed without replacing capitalism with a better system that is not guided by greed and is not founded on exploitation. Socialism, with its emphasis on cooperation and equality, is that system.
Join the Peace and Freedom Party’s Alameda County chapter for the monthly Suds, Snacks and Socialism forum at the Starry Plough Pub in Berkeley (3101 Shattuck Avenue; click here for map) on Saturday, March 2. All are welcome to discuss the topic Women and the Class Struggle.
Women have always played a vital role in organizing themselves and organizing together with their male comrades. This forum will give examples of women organizing for their rights and participating in liberation struggles in the past and in the present, at home and in other countries. Several of our knowledgeable comrades will be presenting on topics related to women’s rights and roles in history and today
• Marsha Feinland will tell the real history of International Women's Day, beginning with strikes by women workers in various places in the 19th and early 20th centuries and culminating in the Russian Revolution;
• Mary McIlroy will speak about the role of women in the Irish rising;
• Berta Hernandez will speak about the fight for abortion rights in Latin America; and
• Carroll Fife will talk about organizing women workers in the Bay Area today.
On February 16, Debra Reiger and C.T. Weber represented Peace and Freedom Party and tabled at the local Poor People’s Campaign gathering in Sacramento. There were numerous local party members among the attendees and organizers. PFP state chair John Reiger represented Veterans for Peace; he spoke to the audience about the impact of the country’s war economy on community needs, education, housing and more.
An initiative to amend Proposition 13, a taxation measure passed by voters in 1978, has reportedly collected enough signatures to guarantee its inclusion on the November 2020 ballot.
The proposed amendment was put forth by proponents Anthony Thigpenn, Helen Hutchison and Benjamin McBride, has already garnered the required minimum of 585,407 signatures needed to get the initiative in front of California voters in 2020.
In the legislation’s official summary, the proposed amendment “Requires Certain Commercial and Industrial Real Property to be Taxed Based on Fair-Market Value. Dedicates Portion of Any Increased Revenue to Education and Local Services” promises a “Net increase in annual property tax revenues of $6.5 billion to $10.5 billion in most years, depending on the strength of real estate markets. After paying for county administrative costs and backfilling state income tax losses related to the measure, the remaining $6 billion to $10 billion would be allocated to schools (40 percent) and other local governments (60 percent).”
Growing numbers of Americans are rallying around the “Hands Off Venezuela” cause, and naturally Peace and Freedom Party members have been taking part in demonstrations on the matter. A few words on and images from a pair of recent actions.
On Thursday, February 8, a dozen and a half activists stood in the rain in south Sacramento to protest the aggressive actions of the United States against the beleaguered government of Venezuela. Even in the dark, several people honked their horns in support as they drove by.
On Sunday, February 10, Peace and Freedom Party members joined dozens of anti-war and anti-imperialist activists from several organizations in lining a street near Oakland's Lake Merritt to protest the U.S. government’s intervention in Venezuela. Speakers pointed out that Nicolas Maduro is the legitimately elected president of Venezuela; that the U.S. has a history of supporting coups in Latin America and throughout the world; and that both the Democratic and Republican parties have been complicit in this policy.
Donald Trump has just taken one giant step away from peace and toward reviving the arms race with the Russians. He is blaming the Russians for his decision to pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that was signed by President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. But even if the Russians haven’t abided by the terms of the treaty, as he claims, there is no good reason for the U.S. to end the treaty. We should stick by our desire for peace and not engage in an arms race, an arms race that will be costly and add nothing to our military defense.
The Peace and Freedom Party has taken positions for or against a number of bills in the 2017-2018 session of the California legislature. This article lists our current positions with links to relevant documents.
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.