The Peace and Freedom Party is committed to socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism and racial equality. We represent the working class, those without capital in a capitalist society. We organize toward a world where cooperation replaces competition, a world where all people are well fed, clothed and housed; where all women and men have equal status; where all individuals may freely endeavor to fulfill their own talents and desires; a world of freedom and peace where every community retains its cultural integrity and lives with all others in harmony.
The Peace and Freedom Party was founded on June 23, 1967, by people who wanted to vote for something they could support. The Democrats were leading the nation in the war against Vietnam. As the military drained the domestic economy, Republicans and Democrats called for "law and order" to repress Americans who wished to improve their own lives. Black militants were rising up angrily in the cities, while Filipino and Latino farmworkers were organizing labor unions in the fields. Women were agitating for full equality with men. These forces of discontent united to create an electoral arm of "The Movement." A massive voter registration drive placed the Peace and Freedom Party on the California ballot in January 1968. On both the state and national level, we have shown a willingness to work with other like minded groups, trying to build a mass based socialist party throughout the country.
On July 7, 2017, a rally was held in Oakland demanding freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal. 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, and this rally was held in solidarity with their call for actions worldwide on July 7th to free Mumia now!
The rally was built partly on the strength of Mumia’s important victory against the prison system’s years-long refusal to properly treat Mumia for his Hepatitis-C infection, in which Mumia came very close to death. Hep-C is a chronic condition faced by many prisoners in the US today.
Support From South African Workers For Mumia
Strong international support, including labor support, has come in for Mumia over many years. The following letter was sent in support of Mumia’s struggle for proper and effective treatment for his Hep-C from NUMSA, the South African Metalworkers Union last year. NUMSA compared the treatment of US prisoners like Mumia today with that suffered by anti-apartheid fighters from the 1950s into the 1990s:
The refusal of health care reminds us of the conditions we were put in (under) apartheid prisons where sick detainees were allowed to die in very deplorable lonely conditions in solitary as part of the punishment for their role in the struggle.
-Letter to PA Governor Wolf from So. African Metalworkers Union. 21 January 2016.
Mumia has now been cured of his Hepatitis-C infection due to an international campaign and support from thousands of people like you, who refused to accept the official excuses, and demanded the full and effective anti-Hep-C treatment: “No Execution By Medical Neglect!”
7,000 other Pennsylvania prisoners with Hep-C, and thousands more across the US, stand to benefit from the precedent set by this important victory. Mumia’s win against his Hep-C infection--which he contracted in a transfusion after being shot and almost killed by police in 1981--depended on this kind of mass support. With a movement like this, we hope to go on to free Mumia!
Rally Demands Truth of Mumia’s Frame-Up!
The rally in Oakland was held to demand: Full Disclosure of Documents relating to Mumia’s innocence and frame-up! and Free Mumia Now! Flyers on this event, explaining the reasons for the rally and Mumia’s case, were distributed to many receptive workers leaving work in downtown Oakland on Friday.
The rally was led by former Black Panther and ex-longshore worker Gerald Sanders, and Ras Ceylan, a member of Chairman Fred Hampton Jr.'s POCC "Panther Cubs" (Prisoners Of Conscience Committee).
The rally was called by the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, and participated in by: Oakland Teachers For Mumia, The Oscar Grant Committee, Workers World Party, ANSWER Coalition, Party of Socialism and Liberation, Haiti Action, Bay Area United Against War, CODEPINK, Freedom Archives, Socialist Viewpoint, Socialist Action, the Mobilization To Free Mumia, the Freedom Socialist Party, the Peace and Freedom Party, the Partisan Defense Committee, Doro Chiba (the Japanese Railway Workers Union), and the Hoshino Defense Committee.
Speakers Demand Mumia’s Freedom!
Most of these supporters had speakers at the rally, covering Mumia’s case and other related issues: Jack Heyman (ILWU Local 10 retired) spoke for the Labor Action Committee; Oakland teacher Bob Mandel for Oakland Teachers for Mumia; Tova Fry, Workers World Party; and Richard Becker of ANSWER.
Marsha Feinland spoke for for Peace and Freedom Party, and gave a clear denunciation of the capitalist two-party system. “I’m glad this demonstration is not just about Trump,” she said. She went on: “Who was it who signed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act?” “Clinton!” roared back the crowd. “And what is his party?” “Democrat” said the crowd. “And who was it who refused to pardon Leonard Peltier on his last day in office?” “Obama!” “And his party?” “Democrat!” ‘Nuff said, and thanks to Marsha for this reminder.
Ricardo Ortiz-Perez of the Oscar López Rivera Defense Committee reported on the recent victory of the liberation of Oscar, a Puerto Rican nationalist militant; Seto-San of the Hoshino Defense Committee and Doro-Chiba reported on Hoshino Fumiaki, a wrongly imprisoned anti-war activist in Japan; Gerald Sanders and Ras Ceylan spoke of the MOVE 9, framed for a crime they had nothing to do with; Pierre Labossiere of the Haiti Action Committee reported on the struggle against US imperialism and its puppet government in Haiti; Carole Seligman of the Kevin Cooper Defense Committee spoke for freedom for Kevin Cooper, a falsely convicted prisoner now on death row in San Quentin; and several speakers called for freedom for Leonard Peltier, the native American leader falsely accused and still imprisoned for the deaths of two FBI agents, a crime he didn’t commit.
Other supporters/speakers included: immigrant rights activist Cristina Gutierrez, who linked the struggle of black and brown workers to the struggle against US imperialism, and activist Alia Sharrief, who recited a spoken word poem of her creation.
Mumia Should Benefit From Williams v. Pennsylvania
Mumia’s case for freedom is many-fold: he is a journalist who exposed the corrupt and racist police regime of Frank Rizzo in Philadelphia for it’s brutal crackdowns on the MOVE organization. As a result of that he was targeted by police and almost killed in 1981 at the scene of a shooting; and he was then framed by cops, prosecutors and politicians as the shooter. One of those prosecutors, Ronald Castille, later sat in judgement over Mumia’s appeals against this frame-up as a member of the PA Supreme Court, despite defense demands that he should recuse himself!
Now, a 2016 US Supreme Court ruling, Williams v. Pennsylvania, gives Mumia an opening: the Court says that a former prosecutor cannot later sit as a judge over the appeals of a case on which he was a prosecutor. Fairness, due procedure, unprejudiced judges, etc.: sounds obvious, doesn’t it?
Not so fast: the courts have often twisted or dropped their precedents in order to uphold the framing of political prisoners and victims of racist frame-ups such as Leonard and Mumia; and in this case, the Philadelphia district Attorney’s office is trying to deny Mumia’s defense the court-ordered discovery of notes, instructions and documents that will show exactly how former DA and prosecutor Ronald Castille involved himself in Mumia’s case. We need to make this happen: that is why we need a mass movement to free Mumia.
Build a Mass Movement To Free Mumia!
At the rally Friday, we had about a hundred more or less, and that was what we could muster on short notice. But we need to work toward a mass turnout to free Mumia. In 1995, thousands turned out to stop a death warrant issued against Mumia just before his appeal hearing of that year; and in 1999 the longshore workers of the ILWU shut down all the ports on the West Coast to free Mumia, and many of them (ILWU Local 10) came out to lead the march in SF to free Mumia on his birthday, April 24th. Also that same year, Oakland teachers mobilized to hold unauthorized teach-ins in the Oakland public schools on Mumia and the death penalty.
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal calls for your help: let’s build this important movement.
Comply with the judge’s order! Release all documents pertaining to Mumia’s frame-up! Free Mumia and all victims of racist frame-ups! Build mass and workers’ actions to free Mumia!
Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal July 2017
For more on Mumia Abu-Jamal, see
Thousands of people assembled in and around Berkeley's MLK Jr. Park (Civic Center Park) on Sunday, August 27, 2017. They came to protest and confront an assemblage of far right wing and neo-fascist individuals and groups who had planned to assemble there that afternoon. The left and the liberals were out in force; the other side was virtually absent. 400 heavily armed members of the Berkeley Police Department and cops from surrounding communities guarded an empty “free speech” zone that they had barricaded in the park and kept counter-demonstrators from moving freely around the area.
At a special meeting on August 18, the City Council had adopted an urgency ordinance to authorize the City Manager to issue rules regarding street events without permits “ to protect public safety.” Members of the community --who spoke at the meeting to protest the special power as a potential violation of civil liberties-- far outnumbered supporters of the Council's action. Only one City Council member voted “No.”
The City Manager responded on August 25 with a list of items banned from Civic Center Park on August 27, “to allow peaceful expression of free speech”.
Mayor Jesse Areguin, who had been elected as the liberal choice, made it clear that anyone violating these rules would be subject to citation and arrest. And they were. Between 12:30pm and 12:45pm, this reporter witnessed the arrest of two people just outside the park near the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Allston Way, presumably for violation of the rules. No action normally considered to be criminal, violent, or aggressive had been committed.
The assemblages in and around MLK Jr. Park were the result of several protests organized by groups and coalitions and by people who just wanted to show up to counter the growth of neo-fascism. That morning there were rallies to be held at different locations on the U.C. Berkeley campus. One that had been planned for the campus lawn near Addison and Oxford Streets got shunted to Oxford Street because of barricades around the lawn put up by the U.C. campus police. Many of those demonstrators joined the protest at MLK Park by the afternoon. A coalition of groups met at Ohlone Park, several blocks north of MLK Park, and marched to the main demonstration. And yet another came from the south up Milvia Street on the other side of the park .
It was difficult to count the number of participants because they were restricted to certain areas in and around the park, and separated by police barricades and lines of armed police. But it looked to this observer like 10,000 people showed up to send a message of “No” to fascism.
At around 1:15pm, the police retreated from their stations blocking access to the park to line up across the street near Berkeley High School. People who had been standing outside the park jumped over the barricades freely. Thinking that the protest was over, this reporter went home.
At around 2:15pm, a live news feed showed black-clad demonstrators pursuing and tackling and hitting an individual. The police intervened and led the individual away. In later reports the media highlighted this incident as evidence of violence on the part of counter-protesters. But Shane Bauer, who was on the scene reporting for Mother Jones, documented that the “anti-fa” group was responding because the individual was pepper spraying random counter-protesters (and others) in the park.
by Roger Harris
It’s over a year since the presidential elections. Yet some folks seem ever more obsessed about possible Russian influence; what with revelations of Moscow gold spent on Facebook ads for clickbait showing adorable puppies and the outing of alleged Kremlin operative Jill Stein. With the hindsight of history, we can now look back at what some Democrats have called the crime of the century and see how it could have been averted.
What a crime it was! After all, the US is the one that is supposed to have a monopoly on “democracy promotion” in other countries. Our government most recently endorsed the fraudulent re-election of the incumbent in Honduras, who was a product of a coup backed by the Obama administration. And let us not forget Bill Clinton’s well timed loan to good ole Boris Yeltsin in Russia. The WTO should fine Russia for unfair practices and infringement on the US concession.
The Peace and Freedom Party endorses Gayle McLaughlin for the position of Lieutenant Governor in California’s 2018 statewide election.
A former mayor of Richmond, Gayle was a leader of a progressive coalition that took on the Chevron Corporation and passed a new rent control law in her town. She is running as an independent.
The following is her official statement upon receiving PFP endorsement.
I am the former two-term mayor of Richmond (2007-2014) and a founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance.
I led Richmond’s remarkable transformation, reducing homicides 75%, increasing the minimum wage to $15, controlling pollution, promoting sustainable development, solarizing the city, promoting rent control, defending immigrant rights, forcing Chevron to pay $114 million in additional city taxes, helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, bringing greener and less expensive electricity, defending public schools and opposing the expansion of charter schools.
I am corporate-free and running for Lieutenant Governor to organize anti-corporate forces in every city throughout the state and to stand in Sacramento against corporate corruption and backroom deals, and to promote an agenda based on one concept: People First!
The Sacramento-Yolo Chapter of the Peace & Freedom Party marched with Black Lives Matter and other local activists in the annual Reclaim MLK March on January 15. This march is Sacramento’s progressive alternative to the city’s highly publicized but corporate-sponsored extravaganza.
The Peace and Freedom Party candidate for US Senator from California in the June 5th 2018 election is John Thompson Parker of Los Angeles.
John Thompson Parker was the Peace and Freedom Party candidate for US Senate in 2016. Since then, there have been some changes in the political situation. John says, “In these days when the Trump administration is trying to divide and weaken the working class, solidarity with each other’s struggles is our most important weapon.” Donald Trump is certainly a terrible president, but we need to keep in mind that “the road to Trump was paved by the record deportations and wars of the previous administration.”
John is a coordinator of the International Action Center, an elected member of the Peace and Freedom Party State Central Committee, and an activist with the Workers World Party. He is a socialist who seeks to represent the working class rather than the billionaires. He has worked as a machine operator at a metal fabrication plant, a dishwasher in restaurants, a typesetter at a printing plant, a copy editor, and a teacher. His working-class background has been of basic importance in forming his political opinions.
John has been involved in union organizing campaigns at work and knows that workers must organize to fight for their rights if they are to have any rights at all.
Cindy Sheehan is a member of the Peace and Freedom Party State Central Committee. She was the Peace and Freedom Party candidate for Vice President in the 2012 general election and for Governor of California in 2014.
Cindy’s son, US Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed during the Iraq War. Cindy thereafter attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended anti-war protest at a makeshift camp outside President George W. Bush’s Texas ranch – a stand that drew both passionate support and criticism. Her memoir, Peace Mom: A Mother’s Journey Through Heartache to Activism, was published in 2006.
Last week, Cindy was interviewed by the Tasnim News Agency on the subject of the ongoing US-backed Saudi-perpetuated genocide in Yemen. The full text of the interview runs below; material from Tasnim is reprinted here under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Tasnim: The UN children’s agency has recently said the ongoing Saudi aggression against Yemen has killed or injured more than 5,000 children and left another 400,000 severely malnourished and fighting for their lives. UNICEF said nearly 2 million Yemeni children were out of school, a quarter of them since the start of the war. In the meantime, the Saudi-led war on Yemen has led to a cholera epidemic in Yemen, which is one of the worst ever recorded in the world. The epidemic is likely to surge again around March, according to media reports. What do you think about the Saudi crimes in the Arabian Peninsula country? Why doesn’t the UN take a practical measure, like imposing sanctions against Riyadh, in the face of its crimes?
Sheehan: Saudi Arabia is a noted abuser of human rights in its own country and has consistently exhibited inhumane behavior to its own citizens, so, while I am deeply disturbed by the continuing human rights violations and seeming program of genocide in Yemen, I am not surprised. As I have discussed before in this publication, Saudi Arabia could not be committing these atrocities in Yemen without the support and encouragement by the United States and the colonial settler apartheid state of Israel. If the United Nations does not place sanctions on Riyadh, it is because it has always, and mostly, functioned as a foreign policy rubber-stamp of approval for the crimes that are made by the United States and its allies.