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Freedom Socialist Party
Chairperson Henry Noble
Founded 1966 (1966)
Headquarters Seattle, Washington
Ideology Socialist feminism, Trotskyism
Political position Fiscal: Left-wing
Social: Left-wing
Website
socialism.com
Politics of the United States
Political parties
Elections
New Freeway Hall, Columbia City, Seattle, Washington, party headquarters.

The Freedom Socialist Party is a socialist political party with a unique program of revolutionary feminism that emerged from a split in the United States Socialist Workers Party in 1966. The SWP's Seattle branch, with support from individuals in other cities, split off from the SWP over what it described as the SWP’s entrenched opportunism and undemocratic methods. The current National Secretary of the FSP is Doug Barnes.

Contents

History

The immediate forerunner of the FSP being the Kirk-Kaye tendency within the SWP was led by Dick Fraser (Kirk) and Clara Fraser (Kaye) who were at the time husband and wife. At the time Fraser was seen as the central leader of the tendency due to his development of the theory of revolutionary integrationism. In addition to their distinctive position on civil rights, derived from the theory of revolutionary integrationism, the tendency also took a position that was more sympathetic to China than was the norm in the SWP, in part this being due to the alliance between the Kirk-Kaye tendency and the loose tendency around Arne Swabeck and Frank Glass.

Political differences, as articulated by the soon-to-become FSP, included what was characterized as the SWP’s uncritical support of the black nationalist views of Malcolm X, SWP’s orientation toward the labor aristocracy, its opportunism in the anti-Vietnam War movement, and its dismissive attitude toward the emerging feminist movement. The nascent FSP advocated the class solidarity of black and white workers, called for a greatly-expanded understanding of and attention to women’s emancipation, and urged the anti-war movement to support the socialist, anti-colonial aims of the Vietnamese Revolution.

Ideology

The FSP is politically Trotskyist. FSP leaders Clara Fraser (1923–1998) and Gloria Martin (1916-1995) built on the socialist analysis of women’s oppression to create a Leninist party that is "socialist-feminist" in ideology and practice. The party views the liberation struggles of women, people of color and sexual minorities (such as homosexuals) as intrinsic to working class revolt, and it looks to these specially-oppressed sectors of society to provide revolutionary leadership. Women comprise a predominant part of the party leadership. The party characterizes its National Comrades of Color Caucus as offering the party’s diverse ranks of people of color an opportunity to work together as a team to grow as leaders and provide direction for the party’s work in people of color movements.

Strategy

The party has frequently supported united front efforts around a number of issues and often helps other socialist groups get on the ballot, while simultaneously running its own candidates for office. The United Front Against Fascism (UFAF)—founded by the FSP, but also including a broad coalition of the Left, the queer community, labor unionists, feminists, people of color, Jews, and civil libertarians—took the lead in mobilizing against neo-Nazis in the Pacific Northwest.[1]

Freeway Hall in Seattle's Northlake neighborhood was for many years the FSP headquarters.

The party has branches in a number of U.S. cities and a sympathizing section in Australia. The Freedom Socialist is produced six times a year. Red Letter Press publishes books and pamphlets for the party. The FSP is affiliated with Radical Women, which is an autonomous socialist feminist organization. In 2003, Red Letter Press and its managing editor, Helen Gilbert, were the target of a complaint to the Federal Election Commission by the campaign committee of perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche. LaRouche alleged that Gilbert and the FSP publishing house, which had issued a pamphlet by Gilbert critical of LaRouche's ideology and political history[2] were in violation of campaign finance laws. The FEC found LaRouche's complaint to be without merit and dismissed it.[3]

In 2004, Jordana Sardo, a member of the Oregon Freedom Socialist Party, ran for the Oregon House of Representatives in Oregon's 45th congressional district, earning 8.74% of the vote (results).

References

  1. ^ See the following articles and others from the Seattle Times, available by searching for United Front Against Fascism in paper’s on-line archives http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/web/Amy Kuebelbeck, “Groups Of Gays Protest Picnic,” August 4, 1990. Erik Lacitis, “An Ax To Grind -- When It Comes To Skinheads And Nazis, Loggers, Gays Unite,” July 16, 1991. Constantine Angelos, “Rice, Citizens Groups Join To Declare Seattle Won't Tolerate Hate Crimes,” May 19, 1990. William Gough, “A Gathering Of Neo-Nazis -- Encampment Draws Protest,” December 8, 1991. Lily Eng, “`I'm Doing What My Son Would Have Done' -- In Son's Stead, Father's Voice Fights Hate -- Hundreds Beckoned To Rally Against Racism,” December 6, 1992. Putsata Reang, “Supremacist Guilty In Klan Scuffle -- Federal Way Man Broke Free-Lancer's Camera,” October 2, 1996.
  2. ^ Pamphlets on Leon Trotsky, Permanent Revolution, capitalism vs socialism in China, an expose of LaRouche
  3. ^ "COMPLIANCE CASE MADE PUBLIC". Federal Election Commission. November 4, 2004. http://www.fec.gov/press/press2004/20041104mur.html. Retrieved August 24, 2009.  

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