Party for Socialism and Liberation
Party for Socialism and Liberation is a "newly formed working class party of leaders and activists from many different struggles, founded to promote the movement for revolutionary change".
PSL was originally created in 2006, as the result of a split in the Stalinist Workers World Party, a once Trotskyite split-off faction from the older Socialist Workers Party, although their "political line" is almost identical. The San Francisco branch as well as several other members left WWP in 2004. The PSL has since established two national branches in Washington DC and in San Francisco as well as more than 20 smaller branches throughout the US.
2008 National Conference on Socialism
The Opening Plenary introduced conference participants to the Party for Socialism and Liberation, highlighting recent struggles and campaigns.
The Opening Plenary was chaired by Peta Lindsay, PSL- Los Angeles.
Speaking on the plenary were;
- Muna Coobtee, PSL- Los Angeles, Executive Board Member of Palestinian American Women’s Association
- Crystal Kim, PSL Candidate for Council of the District of Columbia
- Carlos Alvarez, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles
- Jinnette Caceres, PSL- New York City and United Federation of Teachers member
- Mike Prysner, Iraq war veteran and PSL Candidate for Congress, 22nd District (Florida)
- Stevie Merino, PSL-Los Angeles and student, Cal. State Long Beach.
The Keynote Plenary featured;
- Gloria La Riva, PSL Presidential Candidate
- Eugene Puryear, Vice Presidential Candidate
- Brian Becker, member of the PSL's Political Committee.
The International Solidarity Session was chaired by Ena Valladares (Los Angeles), Kerbie Joseph (New York City), and Javier Lavoe (New York City) and featured a presentation by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Speaking on the plenary were;
- Yousef Abudayyeh, National Coordinator, Free Palestine Alliance
- Christine Araquel, Chair, KmB Pro-People Youth and Secretary General, Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines
- Jollene Levid, Secretary General, GabriPela Network U.S.
- Sarah Sloan, Party for Socialism and Liberation
- Sakoda Hidefumi, International Affairs Department, Japanese Communist League
- Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Attorney and Co-Founder, Partnership for Civil Justice
- Miguel Edgardo Mira Lopez, Director, Center for the Study of Investment and Commerce and leader of the Movement for Peace and Social Justice in El Salvador
- Berny Moto, FMLN - Los Angeles
- Ben Becker, Managing Editor, Liberation Newspaper
- Muna Coobtee, Party for Socialism and Liberation and National Council of Arab Americans
- Jim Lafferty, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild - Los Angeles
- Marcella Daneshinia, Party for Socialism and Liberation
- Proving Ground, a Marxist multimedia performance piece
Many of the key leaders of PSL were members of the Workers World Party but left during an internal split with the Larry Holmes faction in the past few years. These included Gloria La Riva, Brian Becker, Sarah Sloan, Peta Lindsay and others who will be identified and cross-indexed at a later time.
Interestingly, since the PSL is an openly marxist, revolutionary group, the open participation of Jim Lafferty, a longtime SWP-supporting attorney from the NLG; Ramsey Clark; and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, now allows one to call them communists or communist sympathizers, or marxist-sympathizers/supporters. The fact that a former U.S. Attorney General is now openly affiliated with the PSL (after decades of affiliations through the WWP fronts of IAC, ANSWER and the Panama Inquiry) seems to have somehow missed getting the attention of the mass media.
The mainstream media had almost no idea who the WWP was during their reporting of the WWP fronts often very large anti-U.S. demonstrations under the names of the People's Anti-War Mobilization, All Peoples Congress, the Center for United Labor Action, and the American Servicemen's Union, from the late 60's thru the late 80's. Then the WWP formed the International Action Center, reportedly created with the help of Ramsey Clark and the larger Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, both of which are still in existence.
How Ramsey Clark got involved with the WWP after having spent over a decade aiding CPUSA and SWP fronts and overseas terrorist groups (in their trials for terrorist acts including murder) will make a great movie if stories about his possibly introduction to the WWP through one of his female legal employees turns out to be accurate.
For those interested in reading the only real congressional study on the history of the WWP from its creation as a split-off faction of the older Socialist Workers Party, see the House Internal Security Committee study entitled "The Workers World party and Its Front Organizations", A Study, Minority Staff, HISC, April, 1974 (Including Index). The "Index" lists the names of many of the present leaders of both the WWP and the PSL including Brian Becker and Larry Holmes.
Once a person has read this study, they will understand the ideological wanders of the once-Trotskyite oriented SWP split-off that became the WWP. Later the WWP again changed, somewhere in the early 1980's, into a more Stalinist/No. Korean-oriented marxist, revolutionary party, and over the following decades, became the newest Stalinist communist party in the U.S., far eclipsing the old Soviet Union/Russia affiliate, the Communist Party USA in their revolutionary rhetoric and street activities.
2010 National Conference on Socialism
From Nov. 13-14, 2010, the Party for Socialism and Liberation sponsored and hosted the National Conference on Socialism 2010 - "Stand Up & Fight Back" in Los Angeles.
Speakers at the conference included:
- Ramsey Clark, internationally-renowned progressive attorney and human rights activist
- Robert King Wilkerson - Angola 3
- Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, civil rights lawyer and co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund
- Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild
- Mahdi Bray, long time civil and human rights activist currently serving as the Executive Director of Muslim American Society Freedom based in Washington, D.C.
- Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition and a leading member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation
- Jollene Levid, National Chairperson, AF3IRM
- Dr. Henry Clark, Executive Director, West County Toxics Coalition
- Izzy Alvaran, Community Outreach Organizer UNITE HERE! Local 2
- Gloria La Riva, Coordinator, National Committee to Free the Cuban Five
- Jim Lafferty, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles
- Mike Prysner, Iraq war veteran; Co-founder, March Forward!
- Yousef Abudayyeh, National Coordinator, Free Palestine Alliance
- Eugene Puryear, Editorial Board, Liberation newspaper
- Arturo Garcia, Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines
- Muna Coobtee, ANSWER Coalition, Los Angeles
On Nov. 13, 2010 a special session entitled "Fighters for Justice, Champions of Freedom Awards" was held at the conference. Awards were presented by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. The Fighters for Justice Award was "presented to political prisoners for their decades of struggle and perseverance before and during their unjust incarceration." The recipients were:
- Mumia Abu-Jamal
- Leonard Peltier
- The Cuban Five: Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Rene González, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González
- Lynne Stewart
- The Angola 3: Albert Woodfox, Herman Wallace and Robert King Wilkerson
The Champions of Freedom Award was presented to "radical lawyers and longtime leaders in the struggle for justice and equality and against imperialism." The 2010 award recipients were:
- Mara Verheyden-Hilliard and Carl Messineo, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund
- Carol Sobel, National Lawyers Guild
- Muntadhar al-Zaidi
- Mary Harb, Palestinian American Women’s Association
- PSL website: About us (accessed on Dec. 9, 2010)
- PSL National Conference on Socialism, December 6-7, 2008 report, PSL website, accessed November 30, 2010
- RevLeft website: PSL National Conference on Socialism, Nov. 10, 2010 (accessed on Dec. 9, 2010)
- PSL website: Award Ceremony Flyer (accessed on Dec. 9, 2010)