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Why become a PFP County Central Committee Member?
There are at least two great reasons why you should become a member of your Peace and Freedom Party (PFP) County Central Committee. As an elected member of your county’s Central Committee you will have a vote in deciding who will be our Presidential candidate for the 2020 Presidential Election. Every elected County Central Committee member is automatically a member of the State Central Committee and becomes an official delegate to our Presidential Nominating Convention in August 2020.
Also, as an elected member of your County Central Committee you can be a Peace and Freedom Party activist in your area, help decide on local PFP events and issues, participate in local actions, and help your county become a better place for everyone. And as a member of the State Central Committee you can help shape the actions and direction of the Peace and Freedom Party.
Join your friends and comrades - become a candidate for your county PFP Central Committee.
How to become a candidate
How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States
by Daniel Immerwahr
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019
Picture in your mind a map of the U.S. It probably shows the continental states, with Hawaii and Alaska somewhere off to the side. Does it have Puerto Rico? How about Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, etc.?
In How to Hide an Empire, the author attempts, and succeeds I believe, in introducing us to the United States Empire.
A great deal more of this empire existed in the past, but there are bits, big and small, still out there that we give very little thought to. Puerto Rico is the big bit. Its “Commonwealth” status obscures the fact that it really is a colonial possession. There are other little bits left over from the time that the U.S. had a much larger empire.
The United States Empire has a long history and Immerwahr takes us along for the ride as the U.S. expands through the designated “Indian Territory” that eventually results in many new states, states that were originally colonial possessions. The last continental state to lose its colonial status was Arizona in 1912. Hawaii and Alaska only ended their colonial status in 1959.
Prior to World War II, empires needed overseas possessions in order to supply and resupply their far-flung military. The U.S., like the other colonial powers, held many overseas places in its colonial/military grip. But post-war air power changed that: No longer were ships the major military and transportation mode. No longer were ports-of-call of supreme militarily importance. What matters now are airbases, and we don’t need whole territories for that, just compliant governments to grant long-term leases. The U.S. empire is now one of “points,” in the author’s wording.
This is an important book, a fitting companion to A People’s History of the United States.
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?
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.
A recent editorial in a Sacramento alternative newspaper lamenting Sacramento’s lack of a super-rich, one-percenter to fund big projects has it exactly backwards. Sacramento does not need a super-rich sugar daddy to buy our good will with a patronizing donation of some small part of his or her ill-gotten riches. Our state, our country, and our world do not need more super-rich people: We have way too many already.
In a country where three people have more wealth than the bottom half – and in a world where eight people have more wealth than the bottom half – what’s really needed are fewer super-rich people and more working folks receiving their just pay for the work they do. No one person can work hard enough to honestly earn billions of dollars. That wealth is pirated from the workers who do the actual work. We need to restructure our whole society to support a healthy, wealthy, and vibrant working class. We need a socialist economic system in which there would be public financing of public projects, projects that we could take pride in and not have to name after some egotistical rich pirate.
There is an old saying that money is like manure: Pile it up and it stinks, spread it around and it does a lot of good. We need fewer stinking piles and more spreading good.
– John Reiger
State Chair, Peace and Freedom Party
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?
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 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]