Kurt Stand

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Kurt Stand

Template:TOCnestleft Kurt Alan Stand, then 42, a regional labor union representative along with his wife, Theresa Squillacote (39), a former senior staff lawyer in the office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, and friend James Clark (49), a private investigator, were arrested 4 Oct 1997 on charges of spying for East Germany and Russia.[1] Kurt Stand is now married to Lisa Foley Stand . He was released from prison in 2012. He now works at Busboys and Poets.

Kurt Stand and Theresa Squillacote are the parents of Karl Stand, and Rosa Squillacote.

Portside crew

The entire Portside crew 2021.

Judy Atkins, Mark Brody, Peter Carroll, Barry Cohen, David Cohen, Ira Cohen, Jeannette Ferrary, Marti Garza, Greg Heires, Michael Hirsch, Geoffrey Jacques, Timothy V. Johnson, Will Jones, Maureen LaMar, Stephanie Luce, Ray Markey, Leanna Noble, John P. Pittman, Natalie Reuss, Nan Rubin, Meredith Schafer, Jay Schaffner, Kurt Stand, Ethan Young.[2]

DSA Members Organizing Against Trump

DSA Members Organizing Against Trump was a letter released early October 2010 to shore up Democratic Socialists of America support for Joe Biden.

Signatories included Kurt Stand, Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America.

Portside bio

From a 2018 Portside bio of Kurt Stand.

Kurt Stand was for many years part of the trade union movement as a rank-and-file member, staff worker and officer. This includes service as the elected North American Regional Secretary of the Geneva-based International Union of Food and Allied Workers. During the 1980s he was active in the DC-area local Rainbow labor committee, in labor anti-apartheid campaigns, in El Salvador and Guatemalan labor solidarity committees and in the DSA national labor commission. An active member of socialist organizations, including the YWLL in the 1970s, he joined DSA in 1983 and served in its local and national leadership up through 1997.

From 1997 through 2012, Stand was imprisoned on national security/espionage charges because of his support for the German Democratic Republic. Since his return home he has become active in Progressive Cheverly (in Maryland), and in the Metro DC DSA. He serves on the steering committee of DC Jobs with Justice and is a participant in the National Homecomers Academy (a local DC organization of community activists comprised of people returning home from prison).[3]

Radical youth

Kurt Stand, inspired by his family's beliefs was politically active from his teens-defending Angela Davis and Philip Berrigan and Daniel Berrigan and joining the the Communist Party USA youth wing, the Young Workers Liberation League[4].

Entering high school, I acted on my beliefs—participating in the peace movement and in defense of such imprisoned activists as Angela Davis and Phillip and Daniel Berrigan, joining in local New York City battles for rent control and welfare rights and in support actions for striking postal workers and the United Farm Workers grape boycott. I also took part in events on behalf of movements for social justice abroad, be it for civil rights in Northern Ireland, on behalf of Puerto Rican independence, against the economic and cultural blockade of Cuba, or in opposition to South African apartheid.
During this time I came into contact with a wide variety of left-wing and socialist groups which led me to join, in 1970, the Young Workers League (YWLL), a communist youth organization. I hoped that this would provide a context for my political activities and my studies, a way to understand how all these various events, which at times seemed at cross purposes, were somehow connected. And the best part of YWLL was when we tried to make a connection visible to those who would deny it; as when we handed out anti-war literature at construction sites across the city shortly after workers clashed with street demonstrators.
I did not see the communist movement as an end in itself, capable of answering all questions, but I did feel it provided a way to discuss where all this activity was leading; a way to be not just against, but also for something.

WEB DuBois Clubs of America

In 2013, Kurt Stand was listed a a friend on the DuBois Clubs Facebook page.[5]

Student activism

In 1973, during his freshman year, Kurt Stand was campus chairman of the Young Workers Liberation League, the youth arm of the Communist Party USA. His friend and later espionage colleague James Clark became chairman in 1974[6].

Espionage career

Kurt Stand began his spying activities in 1972 after being recruited by East Germany to cultivate other spies in the Washington, DC, area. He was introduced to East German intelligence officers (the Stasi) through his father, Maxmillian, or Mille Stand, a chemical engineer who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

An FBI affidavit said East Germany's relationship with the Stand family goes back to Stand's father, who recruited his son as a communist agent. In a secretly recorded conversation, Squillacote said the family relationship was even deeper.

``Between my husband and myself we go back in this work to 1918,'' she told an undercover FBI agent, according to the affidavit.

Clark, Squillacote, and Stand attended the University of Wisconsin in the 1970s where they were affiliated with the Progressive Student Forum and the Young Workers Liberation League, the youth arm of the Communist Party USA. Stand recruited Clark in 1976 and Squillacote about the time the couple was married in 1980.

Before obtaining a position at the Pentagon, Theresa Squillacote was employed by the National Labor Relations Board and, later, the House Armed Services Committee. She sent numerous photographs to her German handlers. Squillacote told an undercover FBI agent that she turned to spying to support the progressive anti-imperialist movement. She first came to the attention of the FBI in 1995 when she offered to be a spy in a letter to a South African government Minister who was a leader of the South African Communist Party.

Stand and Squillacote frequently traveled to Mexico, Germany, and Canada during which time Stand would meet with their East German handlers. When the two Germanys united in 1990, Stand’s controllers tried to recruit him to spy for the Soviet Union and then for the Russian Federation. Although he never gained access to classified material, his role in the operation was to recruit agents and to provide information about the non-governmental groups with which he worked. Stand allegedly received $24,650 for his recruiting and coordinating efforts. On 23 Oct 1998, he and Squillacote were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, attempted espionage, and illegally obtaining national defense documents. On 22 Jan 1999, a U.S. District Judge sentenced Squillacote to 21 years and 10 months in prison and Stand to a sentence of 17 years and six months[7].

Joining DSA

Stand joined Democratic Socialists of America shortly after the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee-New American Movement merger in 1982.

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 Kurt Stand was a District of Columbia, Maryland delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983.[8]


Spring 1988, page 2

Those helping prepare the Spring 1988 edition of The Rainbow Organizer included Jack O'Dell, Dorma Lippincott, Patricia McGurk, Frances Williams, Jorge Belgave, Ileana Matamoros, Mary Parks, Sabrina Clay.

Special thanks for helping with this issue were extended to Dennis Desmond, Clarence Lusane and Kurt Stand.

Photos Patrick Dreason and Greg Smith.

Socialist Scholars Conference

Towards a new party - kurt stand.jpg

Elaine Bernard; Arthur Lipow, Michael Harrington Center; Kurt Stand, Democratic Socialists of America and Judy Page, New Party were speakers on the Towards a New Party panel sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America at the Tenth Annual Socialist Scholars Conference. The conference was held April 24-26, 1992 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York City.[9]

DSA Racial Diversity Task Force

In 1992 Kurt Stand was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America Racial Diversity Task Force - charged with finding ways of recruiting (and retaining) more "people of color" into the organization[10].

"Global Labor"


In 1993 Kurt Stand was a co-editor of Global Labor and a member of the DSA National Political Committee.

In 1989 a group of ITS's held a meeting on strategies for international labor action. A number of suggestions were raised at that meeting on the need for better information exchange within international labor and between labor and differing social movements. Coming out of this conference, and joining with other initiatives, the journal Global Labor was launched in May 1993. Global Labor, was produced jointly in London and Washington, D.C., and analyzed corporate strategies; provided information on the differing perspectives of unionists around the world; built labor solidarity and served as abridge between international labor and the peace and justice, women's human rights and environmental movements. [11]

DSA Steering Committee

In 1994 Kurt Stand of Washington, D.C. was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America Steering Committee.[12]

1995 DSA leadership

Democratic Left March/April 1995

In 1995 the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee consisted of ;[13]

"Hang Together—Or Hang Separately"

In 1995 Kurt Stand wrote an article for Democratic Socialists of America's Democratic Left, March/April edition, "Hang Together—Or Hang Separately, Democracy's Future in a Global Economy", taking a strong anti free trade line.

The American, French, and Haitian revolutions two hundred years ago limited the first wave of world expansion and established an international concept of citizenship as a challenge to rulers who saw the world as their personal domain. Today, the internationalism of those who see the world as their plaything must again be challenged by an internationalism rooted in our common rights as human beings.

At the time he was a member of the DSA National Political Committee, and North American Regional Director of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association.[14]



Kurt Stand ran again for NPC in 1995.

Socialist connections

All three co-conspirators in the Stand case were former members of the Young Workers Liberation League. Kurt Stand's father Mille Stand was a long standing member of the Communist Party USA. Kurt Stand was a leader of Democratic Socialists of America at the time of his arrest. Kurt Stand, Theresa Squillacote and Mille Stand were all members of the Communist Party USA splinter group, Committees of Correspondence.[15]

Supporting Obama

In June 2008 Kurt stand wrote an essay in prison entitled Supporting "Barack Obama: A Prison-Eye View of the Presidential Campaign "[16]

I liked John Edwards’ focus on poverty and economic injustice, but also believed that without tapping into deeper social concerns, he would be no more successful than Richard Gephart, Tom Harkin or others who had run on similar themes. Hilary Clinton I opposed because, of the leading Democratic candidates, she was most hawkish on the war and overall foreign policy; as well as because her campaign approach was antagonistic to efforts by Howard Dean, by local activists to ground Democratic Party work in local communities. As to Obama, I vacillated, knowing of his past activism, but not seeing enough in his Senate record or campaign approach to sufficiently differentiate himself from Edwards or Clinton...
Which brings us back to Obama’s popularity and its importance simply as a step—and even if a small step, a needed one before others can be taken. The conversations I’ve listened too and taken part in over these past months have made me a stronger supporter of Obama than I otherwise would have been; have strengthened my perception that his election could be a critical part of building a movement of resistance to our country’s current direction, could help provide the space or framework in which more radical alternatives are again spoken and heard. Could is the operative word, we don’t know if Obama will be elected, if he is no one can say for certain what his Administration would do. An answer to that won’t be found by balancing his progressive past with his highly ambiguous Senate record, nor by reading tea leaves into the vagueness of some of his policy statements against the definite strengths he has shown in his campaign...
To go back to Obama, nobody knows what he will do, but if he is able to overcome our country’s racism and actually win election we can expect some initial efforts to rein in the excesses of the Bush Administration, some measures to ameliorate the worst conditions which people are experiencing in terms of rights, in terms of insecurity. For his corporate supporters that will be enough, for most of those voting for him it will be sufficient only as a first step. It will be up to those who want genuine social justice to build movements that give him the possibility of pushing further; finding out then whether he will or won’t remembering that the key will not be him but us (us defined as those who worked for his election, for social justice activists, the left) and what we do, how we organize. How we use the social solidarity the campaign is developing as the basis of a renewed social solidarity. Will that be enough—no, the structural roots of the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan, of neo-liberal economics, of the authoritarian aspects of our political culture won’t go gently in the night. Only, however, by working in good faith with attempts to improve what is, is it even possible to imagine the building of the necessary, broad-based, independent, radical formations able to press for deeper changes.
In sum, radicals and progressives ought to join those—including those in prison—who have already decided to back Obama, see where the campaign can take us, see what can then be accomplished.

Foley and Stand

Lisa Foley, Kurt Stand

Kurt stand is now the partner of fellow activist Lisa Foley.

Returning to DSA


By 2013, Kurt Stand was an active member of the Metro Washington DC Democratic Socialists of America.

Metro-DC DSA steering committee

Metro-DC DSA elected a new steering committee at its May 2015 membership meeting, a roughly annual turnover with continuity. Returning were committee members Jose Gutierrez (co-chair), Andy Feeney, Ingrid Goldstrom, Bryan Kovalick and Kurt Stand. Returning also is former SC member Dr. Carolyn Byerly. New to the SC was Jonathan Phipps, a national member and activist living in suburban Baltimore who said he will spend considerable time getting a covalent Baltimore-area local under way with support from both national DSA and the Metro-DC local.[17]

Backing Bernie Sanders

Washington DC DSA newsletter September 15, 2015

Democratic Socialists of America members were at Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, 2015, canvassing for DSA and Bernie Sanders. They were Woody Woodruff, Lisa Foley Stand, Kurt Stand and Lucy Duff.[18]

Stand with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

We Stand with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a 2018 letter signed by several Democratic Socialists of America members mainly from the DSA North Star in response to attacks on Ocasio-Cortez over remarks she made on Palestine.

A recent petition circulated by some DSA members criticizes Ocasio-Cortez for supporting a two state solution to the Palestine-Israel question and not aligning with a long list of demands regarding Palestine and Israel. Should Ocasio-Cortez fail to agree with this list of demands, the petitioners are calling for DSA to revoke her endorsement. These attacks on Ocasio-Cortez have come despite the fact that she has staked out positions which will make her one of the strongest advocates of Palestinian rights and self-determination in Congress.
We stand with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The position she has taken on Israel and Palestine are principled stances, worthy of a democratic socialist, in its recognition of both Palestinian humanity and rights and Israeli humanity and rights. On this issue, as many, she will be a voice for the voiceless in Congress.

Signatures included Kurt Stand.[19]

Toward Radical Democracy

Toward Radical Democracy was a 2018 "Proposal for Internal Voting Reform in Boston DSA".

If you would like to sign on in support of this proposal, please click here. To date, over 100 members of Boston DSA have endorsed it. We also welcome support from DSA comrades in other chapters.

Signatories also included non Boston comrades such as Kurt Stand.



  1. http://www.dhra.mil/perserec/EspionageCases1975-2004/1997-99.htm
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. http://www.klstand.net/KurtStatementRev06.pdf
  5. FB friends page
  6. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/3+FACE+SPYING+CHARGES%3B+FBI+SAYS+SUSPECTS+ACTIVE+SINCE+1970S.-a083887464
  7. http://www.dhra.mil/perserec/EspionageCases1975-2004/1997-99.htm
  8. DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update
  9. SSE Tenth Annual Conference Program, 1992
  10. Memorandum, Steve Tarzynski-May 26, 1992
  11. Dem. Left, Sept./Oct. 1993, page 30
  12. email from C Riddiough to S Tarzynski Dec 9 1994
  13. Dem. Left Jan/Feb 1996
  14. Dem. Left, March/April 1995, page 2
  15. Counterintelligence: Reform for a Critical National Capability page 92
  16. http://www.klstand.net/2008Election.htm
  17. to the June issue of the Washington Socialist
  18. Metro DC DSA, WE NEED BERNIE: DSAers work the crowds for socialist values September 8th, 2015 / Author: woodlanham
  19. [3]