Liberation Monthly Issue No. 1 – July, 2022

PSL statement: Supreme Court eviscerates abortion rights, the time to fight back is NOW!

With outrageous disregard for women’s equality and bodily autonomy, the Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 to overturn Roe v. Wade, reversing the lower level court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Nine unelected judges, appointed for lifetime terms, should not have the discretion to eviscerate the rights of hundreds of millions of people in the United States. The consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision are dire — we no longer have constitutional protections for our right to control our own bodies! 

For far too long the Democratic Party has treated women’s rights as a bargaining chip and we will no longer allow that to happen. The failure of the Democratic majority in Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have enshrined abortion rights into law, highlights that the only way we can win the rights we deserve is through mass movements and mobilizations. 

Now more than ever we cannot sit back and despair. We must take to the streets across the country and make it clear that we will not accept this. We won’t go back. We WILL fight back! As iconic Black feminist Florynce Kennedy said, “When you want to get to the suites, start in the streets.”

Read the full statement here

Supreme Court rules in favor of big polluters, bolsters dangerous new legal doctrine

In the West Virginia v. EPA ruling handed down on June 30, the Supreme Court decided that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions in the manner that is desperately needed in the fight against climate change.

Previous regulations put forth by the EPA mandated that coal plants implement technologies to limit the pollution that their plants spew into the air. The type of regulation proposed in this case is of a different kind, but serves the same goal. The regulation would have changed the make-up of total energy produced in the United States by shifting some percentage of energy produced by coal and fossil fuel power plants to sources like natural gas or wind.  

Even a cursory reading of the Clean Air Act shows that the EPA clearly was granted the authority to regulate energy production in this manner. The Clean Air Act gives the EPA power to regulate all energy-producing plants, newly constructed and already existing. It also states that the EPA is to limit air pollution by formulating the “best system of emission reduction which (taking into account the cost of achieving such reduction and any non air quality health and environmental impact and energy requirements) the Administrator determines has been adequately demonstrated.” 

This ruling makes the EPA’s regulatory powers more cumbersome and costly to implement by blocking broad rules that would set state-by-state CO2 reduction targets from power plants and their ability to force shifts to clean energy production. Instead, they will have to set specific rules for each power plant. But the EPA has other strategies that can achieve the same goal of shutting down the dirtiest power plants by regulating other pollutants. Also, the ruling does not hinder state regulatory bodies from passing CO2 limits in their states, which like in the instance of California, can actually be more stringent than EPA federal standards. 

Read the full Liberation News article here

June 18th – Poor People’s Campaign March in Washington, D.C.

Organizers from multiple branches of the Party for Socialism and Liberation participating in the Mass Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington.

Over 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. organized low-income Americans in a march on Washington known as the Poor People’s Campaign. On June 18th, members of the Philly Liberation Center and the Party for Socialism and Liberation joined thousands of people from all over the country, and dozens of partnering organizations, to honor and continue his work fighting against racism, poverty, war, and ecological devastation.

While 140 million Americans live in poverty and low wealth, we must continue to organize and fight back against the systems of injustice that oppress the working class at home and across the world. This massive gathering and show of people power affirms that the people are ready to fight back against the injustices of capitalism. We won’t be silent anymore!

June 24th & July 5th – Philly Fights Back for Abortion Rights!

Organizers from the Party for Socialism and Liberation, coalition members, and protesters gather on July 5th to protest the overturning of Roe V. Wade.

Abortion rights activists, students, working class Philadelphians , and organizers from the Party for Socialism and Liberation gathered Friday, June 24th, and Tuesday, July 5th to protest the undemocratic, misogynistic decision made by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade. 9 unelected millionaires serving life-long terms should not have the power to control our bodies!

Organizers demanded immediate action from the Democratic Party from the local to the federal level, and demanded the abolition of the Supreme Court. The Democrats from City Council to Congress to Joe Biden can take immediate, concrete steps to safeguard the right to abortion. Philadelphia can become a sanctuary city for those fleeing from unjust abortion bans, Congress can abolish the filibuster and codify Roe V. Wade, and President Biden can declare a federal public health emergency effective immediately! The lives of working class people will no longer be used as political bargaining chips and an unelected group of nine millionaires must not be able to control the bodies and destinies of hundreds of millions of working people!

A better world is possible! From the Women’s Strike of 1970 to recent popular, feminist movements across Latin America one thing is clear: only the struggle can achieve women’s liberation! As long as our society is controlled by the capitalist class and health care is for profit not for people, we will never be able to live in dignity. We need socialism now! Join the struggle – apply to the PSL!

Revolutionary Book Club

In building a revolutionary movement in a small town such as Dover, Delaware comrades in Dover decided to create a revolutionary reading book club to expand our presence. As university students, we know how much influence and power young minds have in our ever-growing political climate. As we searched for left leaning organizations on campus it was difficult to come across any that sparked the revolutionary optimism we hoped to find. So, we decided to create our own.

To start our revolutionary reading group, we decided to collaborate with 1804 Books who at the same time released their own 1804 reading club with the goal to inspire revolutionary spirit. Similarly, we wanted to create a space for university students and people in the Dover area who were interested in socialist ideas but did not have the outlet to communicate with others who shared similar politics. The first book we read and discussed was Selected Speeches by Fidel Castro, a powerful compilation of speeches from one of the most prominent socialist leaders in the 20th century. Other books we studied and discussed were What Is Marxism All About? A street guide for Revolutionaries on a Move and Gender and Neoliberalism: The All India Democratic Women’s Association and its Strategies of Resistance. Every meeting was filled with revolutionary optimism and was met with great enthusiasm by the participants. For many this was the first time they had a space to discuss revolutionary politics to other similar minded people, building comradery is the first step towards radicalization.  

While this book club is still in its infancy, helping others develop a socialist conscience through critical readings and discussions is a powerful endeavor. As socialist organizers living in a semi-rural conservative area, it is necessary to promote and advocate for a socialist alternative than the typical liberal/conservative option. No longer will the word socialism be a dirty term used to scare and control the masses into participating in the status quo!

United South/Southwest Coalition for Healthy Communities

Portion of the flyer for the United South/Southwest coalition for Healthy Communities’s first in-person public meeting.

On June 21, 2019, a faulty pipe at  the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery in South Philadelphia leaked flammable fluid containing propane and other chemicals, causing three explosions on the site. While a fire raged for almost 24 hours, over 5,300 pounds of hazardous chemicals were released into the air. In February 2021, the United South/Southwest Coalition for Healthy Communities formed from community based organizations surrounding the former refinery to advocate for community say on what happens to the site when it is redeveloped. The coalition’s mission is to negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Hilco Redevelopment Partners, the new owners of the refinery site. A CBA is a legal agreement that could include terms that hold Hilco accountable to environmental justice, worker rights and protections, and community reinvestment on and around the refinery site.

Events from June 2022 show that the coalition’s organizing is working. On June 4th, the coalition held a public meeting at Stinger Square Park in Grays Ferry to get residents’ input on the redevelopment and Hilco’s public engagement process. Residents were clear, they deserve a say in the process and a CBA to hold Hilco to any promises it makes. After the coalition’s meeting, Hilco held their first public meeting on the site redevelopment. Only after the Coalition held a public meeting did Hilco do the same. By applying public pressure and continuing to make demands for the people, the United S/SW coalition is leading the way in development struggles.

Join the United S/SW Coalition as they continue to advance their three core demands of Hilco: 1) commit to negotiate a CBA with the Coalition, 2) involve residents in planning for future land use, and 3) follow through on promises of a carbon-free development. The coalition is the most inclusive representative for south and southwest Philadelphia when it comes to the redevelopment. The group is 22 member organizations strong and growing, and covers seven neighborhoods. Stay tuned for upcoming public meetings and events to continue the fight with the coalition!

July 16th – UNITED STATES OF VIOLENCE – A Community Discussion and Study Group

Gun violence plagues our country and the city of Philadelphia. There are many solutions and causes to the gun violence crisis presented to working people but what often isn’t presented is the socialist approach to guns and public safety. Join community members and organizers from the Party for Socialism and Liberation to discuss the epidemic of gun violence in America – where it comes from and what we can do about it. This problem won’t be solved for us. We need to study and get organized!

The event will be located at Stinger Square Park (3200 Dickinson St.) and will take place on Saturday, July 16th at 5:00 P.M.!

July 18th – Marcus Hook Area Neighbors for Public Health Public Meeting

Marcus Hook Area Neighbors is a group of residents from in and around Marcus Hook, PA who are concerned about the public health impacts of pollution from local refineries, petrochemical plants, and other industrial infrastructure. Join their upcoming meeting to learn more about this struggle and how you can get involved and support this work. The meeting will take place on Zoom on Monday, July 18th at 7:00 P.M.

Register for the meeting here

July 21st – Climate Solutions Beyond Capitalism – National Speaking Tour

Event flyer for the Climate Solutions Beyond Capitalism National Speaking Tour stop at Philadelphia, featuring author Tina Landis.

Despite unprecedented extreme weather, droughts, floods, and fires increasing each year, we see little to no action from capitalist leaders that match the urgency of the crisis. Actions must be taken immediately to end fossil fuel use, restore ecosystems, and transform our relationship with the planet to ensure humanity‘s future. We collectively have the tools to reverse the crisis in one generation if we act now, but capitalism — the very system that created the crisis — stands in the way of the transformations needed.
Join us as we host Tina Landis, activist and author of Climate Solutions Beyond Capitalism, on the Philly stop of her national speaking tour. She will speak on the real solutions to the crisis, how capitalism acts as a barrier to the change that is needed, and how under socialism humanity can implement the transformations needed for our survival. A vegan friendly dinner will be provided at no cost to attendees.

RSVP here!

July 21st – Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL) Meeting

Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (aka: CRCQL, pronounced “circle”) meets every other Thursday. CRCQL is a grassroots, community-led organization that has been leading the environmental justice movement for clean air in Chester City and Delaware County since 1992.

Register for the meeting here

July 23rd – DE: Save the Bay, Biden: Stop LNG Exports!

Joe Biden’s election platform was based on lofty climate promises, but rather than leading the needed shift to clean renewable energy, he’s been a friend to the fossil fuel industry, authorizing more exports of volatile Liquified Natural Gas. Two massive new fracked gas export facilities have been proposed for right here on the Delaware—the Gibbstown LNG Terminal in Greenwich Township, NJ and the Penn America LNG facility in Chester, PA. We cannot allow Biden to use the war in Ukraine as cover for increased LNG projects, miring us in fracked gas infrastructure for years to come.

That’s why on Saturday July 23rd, we’ll be rallying at Biden’s vacation house in Rehoboth Beach, DE, and calling on him to: 1) ban the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) 2) reject the dangerous and harmful transport of LNG by railcar 3) protect the health and safety of our communities and wildlife on the Delaware Bay 4) declare a climate emergency

Learn more and register for this action here!

What is Mistica? Mistica is a revolutionary tradition that was first spread in Latin America before being adopted by the Party for Socialism and Liberation in the United States as well. Revolutionaries must not only discuss current events or strategy and action, they must also uphold and promote the arts and culture of the working class. Mistica is a piece of art or culture created by and for working class people. It can be a poem, a song, a speech, a video, etc. it must only reflect the revolutionary spirit of the working class!

This Month’s Mistica: A poem by Alice Walker and a reflection on the Cuban Revolution.

Alice Walker, a novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist. Walker wrote the novel The Color Purple, for which she became the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize.
Source: The Encyclopedia Britannica

“We Are Never Without Help.”

March 27, 2013.

A poem for Celia Sanchez, leader of the underground wing of the July 26th movement in Cuba.

We are never without help.
Look for it always
To surprise you.
There is no end to the joy
of discovery
just as there is no end
to amazement.

Those who give their lives
for truth and bread
for the triumphant
flash of a vivid
even as they
in unspeakable

ways or
whose last notice
is of a simple daisy
still striving
in a corner
a drying lawn
have never taken
their arms
never taken
them away
from being
around us.

Once the Cuban Revolution triumphed in 1959, a revolution within the revolution took place to liberate the women of Cuba. This included the right of autonomy over their bodies. Prior to the revolution Cuba had the second highest rural infant and maternal mortality rates in Latin America and healthcare was inaccessible to most. The revolution pushed the expansion of free healthcare across all of Cuba. Life expectancy rose and maternal mortality rates declined to numbers superior to those in the US. Complete access to abortion was granted in 1965, always for free! The only way to have full access to abortion and true body autonomy is through struggle and revolution. True reproductive rights and women’s liberation can only be won through the triumph of Socialism! When we fight, we win!