The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) was founded in 2004, following an organizational fissure within the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP) that resulted in three WWP member branches — based respectively in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C — breaking away to form their own group. Openly allied with the International ANSWER Coalition (which is intimately tied to Ramsey Clark‘s International Action Center), PSL has also established branches in New York City (in Harlem), (and 24 other locations listed here).
A proponent of “revolutionary Marxism,” PSL’s general raison d’etre is opposition to capitalism, which it defines as “the system in which all wealth and power is held by a tiny group of billionaires and their state,” and the promotion of “socialism.” The organization regards “U.S. capitalism” as the underlying cause of the war in Iraq (and all other wars) and regards “revolution” as the only viable alternative. PSL summarizes its thoughts about the power of the “big business media,” the “Military-Industrial Complex,” and “the [American] corporations and the banks” in a 64-page pamphlet titled _The Party for Socialism and Liberation: Who We Are, What We Stand For. _This publication articulates the group’s belief in the “validity of Marxism and Leninism,” expresses its support for “revolutionary Cuba,” and attacks “U.S. imperialism” and America’s “drive for global domination.”
PSL stands for the “defense of the existing workers states, the national liberation movements, and for workers and oppressed people around the world in the crosshairs of U.S. imperialism.” It opposes Israel and considers the Marxist terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine a “resistance” organization. PSL also supports the terrorist insurgency in Iraq as “the inevitable response by those who seek to reject the neocolonial takeover of their country.” PSL has denounced the Iraqi Communist Party and the Workers Communist Party of Iraq for working with the elected Iraqi government, calling both parties “collaborators” who “discredit Marxism in the eyes of millions of Iraqis.”
PSL publishes a monthly magazine called Socialism and Liberation. One recent article therein denounced Congressional legislation aimed at enforcing American immigration laws as “racist,” and argued that “[d]efeating the racist legislation would be the first step in turning back the divide-and-conquer, anti-immigrant wave that is threatening the whole working class.” PSL also publishes a Spanish-language edition of the magazine, Socialismo y Liberación, with a special focus on Latin America.
Though nominally an independent group, PSL mostly acts in concert with International ANSWER. A list of campaigns and events on PSL’s website provides a summary of demonstrations and protests organized by ANSWER. PSL is staffed largely by ANSWER activists, among whom is PSL’s “leader,” Brian Becker. Other PSL members include ANSWER activist Gloria La Riva, a former gubernatorial candidate in California and a longtime apologist for communist Cuba, as well as several ANSWER coordinators and organizers, among them Muna Coobtee, Saul Kanowitz, and Caneisha Mills.
PSL is a strong supporter of Fidel Castro‘s Cuban government and the socialist “Bolivarian Revolution” led by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. It also holds a favorable view of Mao Zedong‘s Cultural Revolution in 1960s China.
In 2006 PSL hailed what it termed the recent “beginning of a new and powerful civil and workers’ rights movement” on behalf of illegal aliens. Said PSL, “Undocumented immigrants are one of the most oppressed and vulnerable sectors of the U.S. working class. … [They] are huge contributors to the labor force in this country. … [T]he ruling class … tries to marginalize them but can’t live without them. The capitalists use racism to fan the flames of fear among U.S.-born workers, calling for sealing the borders and dealing harshly with the undocumented. Yet they know that capitalism and the almighty profit motive could not exist without this permanent super-oppressed sector of cheap labor that can be easily exploited. … A primary goal of our collective struggle is to build unity and [to] fight back against capitalist exploitation. … Socialists and revolutionaries are working hard with immigrant rights and progressive organizations to forward this goal.”