On Saturday March 13, the California State Central Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party voted to oppose the recall against Governor Gavin Newsom. State Chair Kevin Akin issued this statement.

The Peace and Freedom Party opposes the recall of Governor Newsom, not because we support Newsom personally or politically, but because the recall is based on a litany of falsehoods and represents an attempt by the far right to seize power in California. The proponents of the recall accuse Newsom of being more pro-immigrant than he is, of being more pro-worker than he is, of being more of an environmentalist than he is, and use those exaggerations to demand his removal.

The Peace and Freedom Party is genuinely pro-immigrant, pro-worker, pro-environmentalist, and anti-racist. We ran a candidate against Newsom in the 2018 election and will continue to run candidates for governor and other offices in the future. However, we cannot support this attempt from the far right to use a hoped-for low-turnout election to remove the governor for taking even baby steps in our direction. Instead, we will continue to push for California’s elected officials, from top to bottom, to respond to the interests and just demands of working people, the exploited and the oppressed. 


The following is a statement issued by Kevin Akin, California State Chair of the Peace and Freedom Party, at the direction of the State Executive Committee.

President Trump and the other collaborators who planned, instigated and carried out the fascist coup attempt of Wednesday, January 6, 2021, should immediately be removed from their positions and prosecuted under existing laws for their parts in the events.

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.

While America is rightly transfixed by the coronavirus death toll reaching more than 100,000 fatalities, we will probably never know the number of unjustified black deaths at the hands of the police and white vigilantes. In the long history of American racism, it’s easy to imagine that the total must be over 100,000. The suffocation death of Mr. George Floyd by police action is one of the latest.

If this incident were in a murder mystery novel ... well, it couldn’t be because there is no mystery here. The murder was captured on a cell phone camera. The murderous action of the police officer is plain for everyone to see. The victim’s pleas are clear. The only mystery is why hasn’t the police officer been charged with homicide?

Since our beginning more than 50 years ago, the Peace & Freedom Party has denounced racism, has taken action against racism, has worked with other like-minded groups and people to fight against racism in all its forms. While there have been some victories in the fight, it is depressingly clear that we still have a long struggle to bring about a society where there are no racist murders of black people by the police or racist vigilantes.

Will the Covid-19 pandemic change our ability to vote? We have already seen decades of voter suppression in this country by racist and right-wing officials. Will they try to use the current pandemic to make voting harder and further reduce our voting rights? Yes, of course, and we must be ready to stop them. But stopping them is not enough: We can use any discussion of voting and voting rights to put forward our own voting agenda.

The Peace and Freedom Party has long pushed to expand voting rights, to make voting easier, and to make it easier and less expensive for workers and everyone to become candidates to run for public office.

Current, and possible future, social distancing measures make traditional precinct voting impractical. Voting by mail has been used successfully in many places and its use should be expanded. Traditional petition signature-gathering for candidates and ballot measures need to be changed. Perhaps online signature gathering should be allowed – with proper safeguards. Or better yet, let’s do away with fees and petitioning altogether.

It is long past time to remove voting restrictions from people restrained by the criminal justice system. They are still members of our society and should have their say in how we are governed. Non-citizen residents should be allowed to vote in local elections where they pay taxes, send their kids to school, and use city services.

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is disrupting our lives, threatening our lives, and even, in a strange way, reconnecting us with our lives. We are learning new phrases like “social distancing,” relearning old habits like frequent handwashing, and reconnecting with seldom seen friends and family by way of social media and phone calls. But disruption of normal life is the main thing we feel, and it’s not comfortable.

It is also an opportunity –­ an opportunity to reconstruct society on better, more sustainable, more just grounds. As I write this, my city plans to open free daycare centers for the children of first responders and healthcare workers; housing the homeless is finally being considered in many places; the federal government is talking about plans to give citizens supplemental income; factories are being switched over to vitally needed healthcare equipment; and renter evictions are being halted. There is a growing feeling in society that we are all in this together. We need to put profits and personal interests aside and think of what is best for the whole community.

That’s the opportunity that could come from this coronavirus catastrophe. An opportunity to move American society away from greed and excess consumption to a society where, in the words of one old radical, “Everyone does better when everyone does better.” Each of us has a personal interest in seeing that everyone else has good health care, has a well-paying job, is treated fairly, has access to free education, has enough to eat and has a roof over their head.

These are just some of the features of the new American society we should build when this emergency passes. As one of our longtime activists keeps reminding us, “We want everyone to have a nice life.”  Now is the time to push for that better society and create the socialist future that we need.


The current coronavirus pandemic calls attention to the need for many of the changes in our country that the Peace and Freedom Party has been advocating for decades.

Health Care: We need health assurance, not health insurance. The U.S. must join the rest of the modern world in making sure that everyone, rich or poor, citizen or not, has access to free, good quality health care, and the medications needed to combat illnesses and/or stay healthy. Only easy access to health care creates a healthy society.

Sick Leave: Every working adult must have adequate paid sick leave options when they are ill. Such a policy can assure us all that sick workers do not spread their illnesses to co-workers and the general public, and paid sick leave allows ill people to seek medical treatment without jeopardizing their employment or their family finances.

Child Care: Our society needs to provide free childcare for all working parents. Too often parents must choose between job or school opportunities and the need to care for their children. A national childcare system would also provide thousands of jobs for trained child care workers.

Guaranteed Income: We all need the assurance that we will not end up on the street when job loss or other disasters strike. Only a guaranteed income can provide the financial stability for people to weather personal or national tough times. It can also allow us the freedom to pursue our dreams without worrying about that next meal or a roof over our heads.

Medical Research: The inadequate response of the federal government to the coronavirus pandemic shows the need to dramatically increase the government’s spending on basic, and applied, medical and pharmaceutical research. This research must be publically funded and not a source of profit for private companies.

As long as doctors’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies, and the pharmaceutical industry are private operations that demand private profits, working class people will face inadequate care when they need it the most. We need a transformation from capitalism to a socialist system which is owned and operated by the people for the good of all, not by private companies for their own profits.

The Peace and Freedom Party has been calling for these programs for years. It is not too late to implement these changes. Please join your voice and your vote to our call for progressive public health changes.

Yesterday, we here in the US were understandably focused on the Twin Towers event of September 11, 2001, but the date has other significance as well: 9/11/1973 was the date that the Chilean military ousted and murdered President Salvador Allende.

But there is also a positive reason to remember the date 9/11, for it not only marks the anniversary of the attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., it also marks the day that Mahatma Gandhi launched the modern nonviolent resistance movement. He called this “Satyagraha.”

The date was September 11, 1906. Speaking before 3,000 Indians gathered at a theater in Johannesburg, Gandhi organized a strategy of nonviolent resistance to oppose racist policies in South Africa. Satyagraha was born and since then, it has been adopted by many around the world to resist social injustice and oppression.

Gandhi used satyagraha in India to win independence from the British. The Reverend Martin Luther King used it in the United States to oppose segregation, and Nelson Mandela used it in South Africa to end apartheid.

Satyagraha is a synthesis of the Sanskrit words Satya (meaning “truth”) and Agraha (“insistence,” or “holding firmly to”). For Gandhi, Satyagraha went far beyond mere “passive resistance” and became strength in practicing non-violent methods.

A recent editorial in a Sacramento alternative newspaper lamenting Sacramento’s lack of a super-rich, one-percenter to fund big projects has it exactly backwards. Sacramento does not need a super-rich sugar daddy to buy our good will with a patronizing donation of some small part of his or her ill-gotten riches. Our state, our country, and our world do not need more super-rich people: We have way too many already.

In a country where three people have more wealth than the bottom half – and in a world where eight people have more wealth than the bottom half – what’s really needed are fewer super-rich people and more working folks receiving their just pay for the work they do. No one person can work hard enough to honestly earn billions of dollars. That wealth is pirated from the workers who do the actual work. We need to restructure our whole society to support a healthy, wealthy, and vibrant working class. We need a socialist economic system in which there would be public financing of public projects, projects that we could take pride in and not have to name after some egotistical rich pirate.

There is an old saying that money is like manure: Pile it up and it stinks, spread it around and it does a lot of good. We need fewer stinking piles and more spreading good.

– John Reiger
State Chair, Peace and Freedom Party

America is rightly upset about having a racist President, but all Trump is doing with his racist comments is reminding us of our racist past ­– and our racist present.

The Peace and Freedom Party was founded five decades ago in response to the racism in America at that time. The word “Freedom” in our name refers to the struggle for freedom from racial inequality throughout the country, and to the brave Freedom Riders who journeyed to the US South to work for racial equality. The word “Peace” refers to the effort to end the Vietnam War, and all wars.

Since our foundation, we have consistently stood for racial equality, consistently running racially and culturally diverse candidates for public office. We are proud of our past association with the Black Panther Party, the Brown Berets, the American Indian Movement and other fighters for equality.

The president claims not to have a racist bone in his body. That may be true because the heart, the brain, and the tongue are not bones.

Peace and Freedom Party is a feminist party and strongly supports a woman’s right to choose. It is her choice regardless of the opinion of the state, the church, or other people.

We need clear national laws protecting a woman’s right to make her own decision about how she will deal with her pregnancy. The decision to end a pregnancy is not a casual one, but it is hers alone, and should be. Yes, her partner should be encouraged to be involved, if possible, but the pregnant woman must have the final say.

Our society must support women with information and options. Abortions must be part of a free national medical system, with no restrictions on the medical practice of abortion. The only safe abortion is a legal one. Family planning information and support must be freely available to everyone.

We advocate for real choice, for all women to be able to choose to have a child and have a good life, too, with economic security, childcare for all, medical care and education for them and for their children – and the freedom for all to have good meaningful lives. Without these things no woman is truly free to choose.

The Peace and Freedom Party defends a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own body! Those citizens who oppose abortion have the right to their opinion, but they have no right to impose their personal belief on others.

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