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The Peace and Freedom Party (P&F) is a California political party that was formed in 1967. This party was created in opposition to the Vietnam War. Its platform continues to promote socialism, feminism, organized labor, and equal rights. Today, bringing deployed military troops home, having free health care for all and doubling the minimum wage are among the P&F's top priorities.
P&F formed out of dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party's stand of the War in Vietnam even though the Democrats were leading the opposition to the war at the time. In addition, the Peace and Freedom Party was concerned about both the Democratic and Republican parties' emphasis on "law and order," which P&F members considered to be an excuse to prevent blacks, farm laborers, and women from bettering their lives. Political activist and beatnik poet John Haag (1930-2006), who ran for California lieutenant governor in 1970 and California state controller in 1986, was a founder of the Peace and Freedom Party.
The Peace and Freedom Party ran Eldrigde Cleaver (1935-1998) for president and Douglas Fitzgerald Dowd for vice president on its ticket for the 1968 election. In 1968, Cleaver was a convicted felon, was the Black Panther's minister of information and was not old enough legally to be President of the United States. Dowd (b. 1919) is a radical activist, historian and economist.
Among the presidential candidates that the Peace and Freedom Party has offered are activist and pediatrician Benjamin Spock (1903-1998) in 1972, feminist activist Sonia Johnson (b. 1936) in 1984, and Native American activist and convicted murderer Leonard Peltier (b. 1944) in 2004. Vice-presidential candidates included Benjamin Spock in 1976, Matinecoc Nation Native American activist Asiba Tupahache in 1992, and lawyer and politician Matthew Edward Gonzalez (b. 1965) in 2008. California candidates for governor have included Chicana feminist and activist Elizabeth Martínez (b. 1925), Chicana activist Maria Elizabeth Muñoz in 1986, and again in 1990, and activist Janice Jordan (b. 1964) in 2006.
In addition to the Peace and Freedom Party's top priorities, P&F supports abolishing the death penalty, changing the economy from war-oriented to peace- oriented and ending homelessness. P&F would like the United States government to abolish any governmental organizations such as the CIA that interfere in other countries' internal affairs, to tax the rich to meet others' needs, and to reduce the work week to 30 hours without reducing pay. The Peace and Freedom Party proposes indexing wages to cost of living rates, providing free education through the university level, and restoring Affirmative Action.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Peace and Freedom Party?
The Peace and Freedom Party is a political party in the United States that was founded in 1967 during the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. It advocates for socialist and progressive policies, such as social and economic justice, racial equality, and the end of militarism. The party is committed to democracy, feminism, and environmentalism, and it often nominates candidates for public office who share these values.
What are the core beliefs of the Peace and Freedom Party?
The Peace and Freedom Party holds a set of core beliefs centered around socialism and democracy. Key tenets include a living wage, free education from preschool through university, universal healthcare, affordable housing, and the protection of civil liberties. The party also emphasizes the importance of ending war and militarism, advocating for a foreign policy based on international solidarity and peaceful coexistence rather than military intervention.
How does the Peace and Freedom Party differ from other major political parties in the U.S.?
Unlike the Democratic and Republican parties, the Peace and Freedom Party explicitly endorses socialism, seeking to replace the capitalist system with one that prioritizes people over profit. It is also more radical in its opposition to war and militarism, and it places a stronger emphasis on direct democracy and grassroots activism. The party's platform is more consistently progressive, especially on issues like prison reform, labor rights, and environmental sustainability.
Has the Peace and Freedom Party ever won any significant elections?
While the Peace and Freedom Party has not won major national elections, it has had an impact on local and state levels. The party has occasionally succeeded in electing candidates to local offices and has influenced public discourse through its advocacy and campaigns. Its role is often to push the political conversation to the left and to offer an alternative for voters dissatisfied with the two-party system.
How can someone join or support the Peace and Freedom Party?
Individuals interested in joining or supporting the Peace and Freedom Party can start by visiting their official website to learn more about their platform and activities. To join, one can register as a member of the party in states where it is an option, volunteer for campaigns, participate in local party meetings, or contribute financially. Supporting the party's causes through activism and spreading awareness about their policies are also ways to contribute to their mission.