California's socialist and feminist political party urges you to:
The buzz is that “we” have to “take back” the House and Senate in the November midterm elections. Legendary bluesman Muddy Waters said it best: “you can’t lose what you ain’t never had.” What the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is really telling us to do is to give them Congress, which is a whole other story.
“We” Never Had Congress
Trump has an abysmal 38% approval rating. The Democratic Party in the same independent national poll is even deeper in the abyss with only a 31% approval rating … for at least a dozen reasons:
1.The Democratic Party is consistently far to the right of its constituents. While nearly 75% of Democrats support single-payer health care, President Obama and the Democratic Congressional members didn’t even allow single-payer to get before Congress. Single-payer was rendered “off the table.”
2. The upwelling of resistance to Trump among the American electorate is genuine and deserved. But the official Resistance, mediated by its Democratic Party handlers, is focused on Trump the man and not his politics. Democrats in Congress voted nearly two to one in favor of Trump’s unconscionable $716 billion war budget. “The Resistance,” in the words of Bruce Dixon of the Black Agenda Report, “is really the Assistance.”
3. Despite all the divisive pyrotechnics on the surface, the two corporate parties tacitly collaborate with each other. When the smoke clears, the class unity of the duopoly on bedrock issues is revealed. Both parties support US militarism and empire abroad, while both look for opportunities to betray the electorate on social “entitlements” such as social security. Both are bullish about the ever-encroaching surveillance state, which is eroding civil liberties.
On April 15, a deadly atrocity took place at Lee Correctional Institution, a South Carolina maximum security prison. The jailers intentionally set up what was essentially a gladiator fight, housing rival groups of prisoners together in densely overcrowded cell blocks, locking the gates with no means of escape and turning their backs for hours. It was a setup which led to the death of seven prisoners.
In response to this, a core group of organized prisoners, including a prisoner collective called “Jailhouse Lawyers Speak” which convened the core group, has put out a call for a national prison strike from August 21 to September 19. August 21 is the anniversary of Black Panther Party Field Marshall and prison activist George Jackson’s assassination in 1971. September 9 is the anniversary of the Attica Prison Rebellion, which broke out two weeks after Jackson’s assassination in 1971.
Incarcerated people from at least 17 states have already confirmed their participation. They have asked for solidarity and support from people outside the walls in a number of ways (see more detail below their demands). #Prisonstrike and #August21 are the hashtags being promoted for all solidarity messages and actions on social media outlets.
From the April 24, 2018, press release by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, posted at the strike’s official website:
“Men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declare a nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in South Carolina. Seven comrades lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology. These men and women are demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern-day slavery.
During Peace and Freedom Party’s recent State Central Committee convention in San Diego, the below resolution on the Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice March and Rally was adopted by the Peace and Freedom Party. The resolution was written by PFP San Francisco chair Tom Lacey.
Whereas, ravages of pollution and rapidly worsening climate change, as evidenced by extreme weather, unprecedented wildfires in urban areas and wilderness, continuing drought, rising temperatures, record hurricanes and floods, and rising sea level currently threaten lives of millions of the planets poorest people and ultimately our nation, state and local communities; and
Whereas, we are now at a crossroads and must use this critical opportunity to shape which path we're going to take: letting the current Administration and Congress representing immoral corporate greed take us backwards undoing modest gains of the previous Administration, assuring ever greater dislocation and suffering, or rather, demanding and fighting for transition to a 100% sustainable, renewable energy economy; and
WHEREAS, politicians from California and around the world will meet in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit September 12th through 14th; and
Whereas, Social, racial, economic and environmental justice organizations are planning to march and rally across the nation to Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice; and
As in previous years, the Peace and Freedom Party has endorsed the Rally to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal in 2018. We invite all to participate in the Rally To Free Mumia, at 4 pm on Tuesday, August 28th, at 14th & Broadway in Oakland.
This action has been organized by the By Area chapter of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition.
Mumia Abu-Jamal is a journalist, MOVE supporter, former Black Panther Party member and political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal was framed in 1981 for a crime he did not commit. His supporters have fought for his release since then.
As a journalist, Abu-Jamal exposed the brutal crackdowns on the MOVE organization in the Philadelphia area perpetuated by the corrupt and racist police regime of Frank Rizzo. As a result of this activity, Abu-Jamal was targeted by police and nearly killed in 1981 at the scene of a shooting. He was subssequently framed by cops, prosecutors and politicians as the shooter in the crime. One of those prosecutors, Ronald Castille, later sat in judgement over Mumia’s appeals against this frame-up as a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
In a court hearing scheduled for August 30, hope for Mumia's freedom is at stake.
As the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition notes: "According to the US Supreme Court in the Williams ruling, [Castille's] corrupt behavior was illegal! But will the court rule to overturn all of Mumia’s negative appeals rulings by the PA Supreme Court? If it does, Mumia would be free to appeal once again against his unfair conviction. If it does not, Mumia could remain imprisoned for life, without the possibility for parole, for a crime he did not commit."
The 2018 Rally to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal has been endorsed by the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal; Workers World Party - Bay Area; Love Not Blood Campaign; Answer Coalition - Bay Area; Oakland Teachers for Mumia; the Oscar Grant Committee, Justice for Palestinians - San Jose; and the Freedom Socialist Party ind addition to the Alameda County Peace and Freedom Party and PFP statewide.
For more information and details on the Rally to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, please visit the official Facebook event page.
The signatures have been verified. An initiative whose working title is “The Affordable Housing Act” will be on the November 5, 2018, ballot in California. This measure would repeal the 1995 state legislation which limits local governments’ power to enact and exercise strong rent control.
(image courtesy TenantsTogether.org)
On October 20-21, thousands will gather in Washington D.C. to participate in the Women’s March on the Pentagon. At the request of the event’s organizers, we are pleased to state that the Peace and Freedom Party officially endorses the Women’s March on the Pentagon.
The PFP is proud to note that the Women’s March steering committee is chaired by our own State Central Committee member Cindy Sheehan; our 2016 presidential nominee and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Gloria La Riva is on the board of organizers as well.
The dates for the demonstration were chosen to commemorate the original Women’s March on the Pentagon, which in 1967 drew some 50,000 participants. In 2018, the event is designed explicitly to “Confront the Bipartisan War Machine” of America in peaceful resistance to “the continuing march of military aggression by the USA.” Event organizers also seek to revive the concept of an antiwar agenda for activists in this country going forward.
On Monday, June 11, the below resolution on the continued unlawful incarceration of Kevin Cooper, on death row since 1985 was adopted by the Peace and Freedom Party. The resolution was written by Peace and Freedom Party member Carole Seligman and was submitted by PFP member/OPEIU Local 29 union member Alan Benjamin.
Whereas, Kevin Cooper, a Black man, has been on California’s death row since 1985 despite compelling evidence of innocence in the brutal murder of Peggy and Doug Ryen, their daughter Jessica (10), and Christopher Hughes (11), and the throat slitting of Joshua Ryen (8), who survived and communicated with a social worker in the hospital that the assailants were multiple white men; and
Whereas, DNA and other forensic testing could remove grave doubts surrounding Mr. Cooper’s conviction and death sentence, but, the State has refused to permit it, despite a defense offer to pay for this testing; and
Whereas, On February 17, 2016, having exhausted all of his appeals, Mr. Cooper submitted a petition for clemency to Governor Brown asking him to initiate a full investigation of his case for innocence, including DNA testing; and
Whereas, the Governor has the power to order a full investigation and should do so because the State must do everything in its power to avoid executing an innocent person; and
The July 5th deadline for the Secretary of State’s office to have finished ballot counting for the 2018 California primary election has passed, and the Peace and Freedom Party is thrilled to see the excellent performances turned in by our statewide candidates.
Most importantly, they received more than enough votes for the party to stay on the ballot through 2022: State law requires only that a single candidate from a given party reach the 2% threshold to maintain that party’s ballot status, and PFP’s three successful candidacies – those of Nathalie Hrizi, Mary Lou Finley and Kevin Akin – shows a solid base of support for the country’s only mass-based socialist party, with over 74,000 registered voter members statewide on election day.
In the primary, PFP candidates did particularly well in the San Francisco area, traditionally a stronghold of the Peace and Freedom Party.
Note that the below-listed figures are not quite the *final* results, but virtually represent the grand totals. These totals will be certified by the Secretary of State next week, and there is a possibility that a tiny number of votes may be added during this process, but this is not likely.
Another weekend, another demonstartion in the name of Keep Families Together: On June 30 throughout California, the Southwest and America were rallies held in support of those immigrants suffering due to the current sadistic practices of the borderland security unit ICE.
Peace and Freedom Party members naturally participated in events throughout the state, among the tens of thousands who turned out. The following are but a few images from on the scene.