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Socialist Party USA

Socialist Party Q&A: National Co-Chair Billy Wharton

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Socialist Party Q&A: National Co-Chair Billy WhartonThe following is an interview with Socialist Party USA National Co-Chair, Billy Wharton. We discuss the past, present and future of the movement to get a better understanding of the Socialist Party.


Could you give a summary of the history of the Socialist Party, as you understand it?


Billy: In one sense, the history of the Socialist Party USA (SP-USA) is quite old. You can track our origins back to the formation of the old Socialist Party of America (SPA) in 1901. The SPA was the party of Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas and was seriously engaged in the class struggles of the 20th Century, including the labor radicalism of the 1930s, the anti-war movements, and the struggle for Civil Rights. In addition, SPA members served as elected representatives in State and Local governments all across America – with the national Presidential campaign ticket of Eugene Debs and Emil Seidel receiving 897,000 votes.

Our current organization dates itself directly back to the collapse of the old SPA in 1972. The new Socialist Party USA was formed by members of the Debs Caucus in the old SPA. The basis of creating the SP-USA was the belief in electoral action independent of the Democratic Party, a firm opposition to US imperialism abroad and strong commitment to democracy both internally and in the society at large. Leaders of the founding of the SP-USA include longtime anti-war activist David McReynolds, the former SPA Mayor of . ilwaukee Frank Zeidler and Los Angeles based Socialist activist Maggie Phair.


By AJ Segneri


Read more: IVN.us (07/05/2012)

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