California's socialist and feminist political party urges you to:
The following is a reprint of a timely piece by Raymond Nat Turner first run on the Oakland Socialist website in May of this year. Formerly of the Bay Area, now living in New York City, Raymond is calling himself “The Town Crier,” a.k.a. the Black Agenda Report’s “Poet in Residence.”
by Raymond Nat Turner
We’ll always need Race car drivers roaring
down streets where children chase balls; like
We’ll always need peaceful protesters pepper
sprayed like cockroaches; And
We’ll always need sleeping seven year-olds shot
while dreaming of dolls, sleepovers, tooth fairies;
We’ll always need children playing with toy guns
in parks executed before becoming “Hulk Hogans”
We’ll always need doors kicked in and our daughters
and sons slaughtered in wee hours—even if it is the
We’ll always need elderly parents whacked for
Accidentally pressing emergency alerts; like
We’ll always need mentally ill loved ones massacred
in our homes…
We’ll always need men rushing pregnant wives to
Hospitals shot for speeding; And fathers of six
Hustling too hard chokehold lynched;
We’ll always need young women who drive and
smoke, stopped and suicided; And mothers wearing
masks wrong wrestled down in subway stations—as
their 4 year-olds watch…
We’ll always need wallets mistaken for guns—Glocks
for Tasers; fleeing Black men shot in their backs; And
bridegrooms butchered, night before their weddings…
We’ll always need Tasered hearts skanking
in Reggae rhythms; And broken broomsticks
rammed up mens’ rectums for fun…
We’ll always need bruised, bloodied, disfigured
Faces—eyeballs dangling from sockets;
We’ll always need drugs and guns planted—
Growing into cases, concertina wire, COVID-19…
We’ll always need right hooves raised Testi-lying
To judges and juries of peers on the need for knees
on necks—56 licks or 41 shots—Served to Protect
The Peace and Freedom Party stands with the slogan "Tax the rich and their corporations." As socialists we want society as a whole to cooperatively own and manage industry, resources, and financial institutions. But as we point out in our article "Why Socialists Say 'Tax the Rich...'", we support efforts to increase taxes on the corporations and the wealthy to provide the services that people need now.
The California Budget and Policy Center has a new article on how the State of California has given corporations increasing tax breaks over the last few years entitled “Corporations Pay Far Less of Their California Income in State Taxes Than a Generation Ago – Even Amid COVID-19”, which is reprinted below.
Recently White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said, “We’re paying people not to work.” And now congressional Republicans want to end the extra $600 unemployment benefits that have been helping so many people manage to survive during this unprecedented time of job loss and economic collapse. They are concerned that the extra money is just encouraging people to stay unemployed.
And you know what? They may be right. Why go back to a crummy job – if you can even find one – that doesn’t pay enough to keep you out of poverty, that doesn’t provide decent job benefits, that doesn’t have good workplace protections?
Kudlow and the Republicans are looking at this issue through the wrong end of the telescope. If they, and the rest of us, want to get folks back to work, then providing jobs with decent pay, good benefits, and safe working conditions is what is really needed.
Double the minimum wage, enact universal healthcare (not universal health insurance), strengthen worker safely requirements, shift to a 30-hour work week for the same pay, create meaningful jobs that deal with critical social and environmental issues and watch workers flood back to real work.
On Wednesday, July 1, Peace & Freedom members put in some good work communicating the party’s message on crucial issues of our day, including the continuing pandemic, police brutality and prison reform. After all, these times call for solidarity and action.
C.T. Weber of PFP Sacramento participated in the All of Us or None rally and remembrance held on Wednesday. Speakers included family and friends of police killing who called upon the crowd to call out the names of their family members and friends. In the below picture, C.T. stands in front of pictures of the nearly 600 people of color who have been killed by the police in California in the last five years. (Photo by Steven Payan of PFP Sacramento)
Do you want to become an active member of the Peace and Freedom Party? Did you miss the chance to run for PFP Central Committee in the March 3, 2020 primary? You can still join or start an affiliated organization in your area.
We have active central committees in about 15 counties, including the major metropolitan centers and a few rural counties. In each of these counties, the local central committees welcome people who want to work to promote the issues and candidates of our party.
Anyone who is legally permitted to vote must be registered in the Peace and Freedom Party to become a central committee member. We can also appoint people to central committees who are unable to vote due to age, citizenship, or parole status.
Please get in touch with us. Let us know if you want to work with us to promote socialist solutions to problems at the local, state, and national level!
In 1998, Rodney Reed was wrongly convicted of murder and since then has been on Death Row in Texas. Five days before his scheduled execution on November 20, 2019, Rodney received a 120-day commutation of execution as attempts to gain a retrial continue.
Peace and Freedom Party recently passed the following resolution regarding Rodney Reed’s sentence and incarceration; PFP encourages everyone to sign The Action Network’s online petition on the matter. Full text of the resolution runs directly below.
Whereas there is strong evidence that Rodney Reed is innocent of the crime of which he was convicted in Texas, we support Rodney Reed speedily being given a new trial where his defense lawyers will have an opportunity to present evidence on his behalf that the lawyers at his trial did not present. The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees Americans due process, and the Sixth Amendment guarantees a speedy and fair trial.
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.
Former members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the leading Vietnam War era peace organization in the US, recently circulated an open letter warning today’s young activists to – as the adage goes – do as I say and not as I did. Back in the 1960s and 70s, these former leaders led the way in opposing the ravages of US imperialism and exposing what they called the “death culture.” Today, they are admonishing the new generation not to follow in their footsteps, but to go all out for what they call the “capitalist democrat” Joe Biden.
The big chill
When I was first becoming politically aware, these SDS folks were my heroes and mentors. They helped me break from the illusion that the USA was fighting for democracy and freedom, rather than imposing an empire where the U.S. controls 50% of the world’s wealth for only 6.3% of its population.
They were the ones – chanting “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” – who pulled no punches, criticizing Democratic President Johnson and Republican President Nixon alike for genocidal injustices. And they especially warned about “selling out to the establishment.” That was then.
Today, they are variously tenured professors, attorneys, or working at comfortable NGOs. Who would have known that they would become fundraisers for multi-billion dollar Democratic Party PACs? While I don’t for a moment begrudge them financial or social achievement, the shift from independent direct action to boosterism within the Democratic Party is unfortunate.
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.