California's socialist and feminist political party urges you to:
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.
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?
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.
Note from the editors: Amnesty International (AI) has a good reputation among liberals and some leftists in the United States and internationally. The organization opposes capital punishment, defends prisoners at Guantanamo and other infamous torture camps, condemns police use of force and champions abortion rights. But when it comes to the United States’ imperialist designs on governments which exhibit independence from the capitalist program, AI has been willing to ignore the bully and blame the victim; this was recently demonstrated in AI’s tacit approval of U.S. imperialist activity in Venezuela.
Roger Harris, member of the PFP, Task Force of the Americas and the Campaign to End US and Canadian Sanctions Against Venezuela, writes about how AI did Venezuelans a disservice by its one-sided attack on their legitimate government.
Uncle Sam has a problem in his South American “backyard” with those uppity Venezuelans who insisted on democratically electing Nicolás Maduro as their president instead of by-passing the electoral process and installing the unelected US asset Juan Guaidó. No matter, Amnesty International has come to the rescue with a full-throated defense of US imperialism.
Amnesty International fails in its broadside to put its claims against the Maduro government in the context of a concerted regime-change campaign, which amounts to war, by the bully from the north. The US is waging an illegal war against Venezuela and Amnesty International’s broadside leaves out this inconvenient fact, egregiously even omitting any mention of sanctions.
As human rights activist Chuck Kaufman of the Alliance for Global Justice noted about Amnesty International (AI): “They don’t seem to even care about their credibility anymore.” A more credible and honest account of what is unfolding in Venezuela, than the hatchet job presented in AI’s May 14thVenezuela: Crimes against humanity require a vigorous response from the international justice system, would have also noted along with the alleged transgressions of the Maduro government:
“The Originals” are indigenous farm workers from Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Chiapas, Mexico, who were forced to migrate north where they worked as campesinos and grew maize, the “original” corn. Because of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the inability to compete with corporate agricultural corn growers, who were dumping millions of tons of U.S.-subsidized corn into the Mexican economy, millions of campesinos were forced off the land.
By 1994, Monsanto developed its own chemicals and seeds to ward off pests and introduced them into the Mexican economy. Today, U.S. corn controls the Mexican processing of corn production in Mexico, forcing migration of more than 18 million Mexicans and Central Americans to the U.S. Since the massive deportations began, hundreds of thousands of campesinos deported from the U.S. chose to work in San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico, just five hours from the California-Mexican Border.
Now working with numerous U.S. corporate growers in Baja, Driscoll and Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce are taking advantage of the hundreds of thousands of deported farm workers in San Quintin, paying wages of less than $5 for each 13-hour workday. Although there are federal wage laws regarding overtime, Social Security, medical coverage, vacation pay and sexual abuse, the Mexican federal government refuses to enforce its mandated labor laws.
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?
The Peace and Freedom Party has taken positions for or against 17 bills and one proposed constitutional amendment in the 2019-2020 session of the California legislature; we are currently watching the progression of 12 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: June 14, 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]
California’s primary in Election 2020 has been moved well up in the calendar from its more traditional June slot, and this has concomitantly moved up most other key dates and deadlines for candidate filing on the electoral calendar.
Peace and Freedom Party provides below a list of dates that prospective candidates will need to mark on their calendars; stay vigilant because election season is much closer than you may think...
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.