by Kevin Akin
Posted on January 4, 2012 by the Website Workers Council
For more coverage of the new Peace and Freedom Alliance, click here.
The Peace and Freedom Party of California has twice been part of national electoral formations: First in 1968, as part of the national Peace and Freedom Party that had a convention in Ann Arbor, and next as the largest affiliate of the Peoples Party, that ran presidential tickets in 1972 and 1976. Now, the PFP is again seeking to organize and seek ballot status in states outside California, for 2012 and beyond.
A conference in San Francisco on December 10 and 11, 2011, decided to form the "Peace and Freedom Alliance." Participants from affiliates (and representatives of two not-yet-affiliated organizations) agreed that the National Organizing Committee 2012, a delegated body with representation from each affiliate, will be the governing body of the Alliance for the time being. The NOC2012 will consider united ballot-access projects in specific states. Meanwhile, existing or newly-formed organizations in the various states are invited to affiliate (using either the Peace and Freedom name or whatever name they choose).
Meanwhile, the Peace and Freedom Party California State Central Committee adopted a procedure for groups in other states to be recognized as affliates of the Peace and Freedom Party, entitled to use the party's name and logo. A committee appointed by the SCC (the same people as the PFP-California representatives on the NOC2012) needs to approve applications, which are to include the names and contact information of the founding officers together with a brief organizing plan, and the new state PFP group becomes official. New PFP groups would then be expected to seek affiliation with the Peace and Freedom Alliance through the NOC2012.
What makes Peace and Freedom different from all other groups on the Left? Why are members of many Left groups, along with unaffiliated Leftists, willing to join in this effort? Peace and Freedom is unique in that it is a non-sectarian multi-tendency group that seeks ballot status and electoral action and representation for all on the left, regardless of membership or non-membership in particular groups.
The primary emphasis of Peace and Freedom at this point is mobilizing candidates for Senate, Congress, and state and local office to run as representatives of the broad movements of the day. As an electoral arm of the movement, Peace and Freedom wants to run real working people to represent the working class. (Not to represent various factions of the 1%, as the big-money parties do.) Anyone who is a possible candidate, or knows one, is encouraged to get in touch with the NOC2012. A draft short election platform for Senate and Congress is being developed, and candidates and their supporters are asked to help develop it.
The question of presidential candidacies is a complex one, particularly as two (apparently soon to be three) Left parties with activists involved in the Peace and Freedom Alliance are putting forward their own presidential tickets. While the NOC2012 may later adopt some precess for developing a presidential nomination, this currently seems likelier for 2016 than for 2012. (In 1968, there were two presidential nominees of various Peace and Freedom state parties, Eldridge Cleaver and Dick Gregory, and there were even more vice-presidential nominees in the various states.) As things now stand, there will be a ticket nominated by the California PFP at its August 4/5 state convention to appear on the California ballot, and each state affiliate may have a presidential ticket, whether the same as California's or not. The choice appears right now to be up to the state affiliates. At this point, there is no way to know who will be nominated in California.
There is no doubt that the lack of a clearly-identified national ticket will be confusing, but clarity on the goal of obtaining ballot access for real champions of the working class, and representatives of the building movements against the oppressive rule of the ultra-rich, should help bring people into the national effort.
For more information see the website at noc2012.org, and write to the interim chair of the NOC2012 at kevinakin1950 - at - hotmail.com.
Kevin Akin is a member of the State Executive Committee and interim chair of the National Organizing Committee.