What is People’s Defense League?
People’s Defense League (PDL) is a leftist community defense organization that serves primarily to protect members of the working class, especially marginalized groups, from fascist and bigoted violence.
The organization was founded on July 12, 2017 originally as “New Orleans John Brown Gun Club” part of the Redneck Revolt network but disaffiliated from Redneck Revolt on March 4, 2019 and reformed as People’s Defense League – South Louisiana. Currently we now have members across the gulf coast, from Hattiesburg to Lafayette.
We work to empower working class people and marginalized communities to defend themselves and their communities by offering firearms, medical and other tactical training given by our instructor cadre who consists of several military veterans and (non-police) first responders in a learning environment that is a safe space and inclusive to all people and identities.
We are a democratic pan-leftist organization who focus on the leftist concepts of base-building and dual power, doing what is in our power to organize worker controlled alternatives to capitalist institutions like the police, private banks and corporations in the form of neighborhood councils, community defense groups and co-operatives.
When we are not doing defense work or training, we work on other programs that directly serve the working class in our communities such as supply drives and distributions for the homeless, community cook-outs, disaster preparedness and relief.
What is our political analysis?
We believe that the rising tide of fascism in North America along with the increasingly volatile climate crisis which is caused by capitalism’s exploitation of the planet is culminating into a situation that can not merely be voted away or by changed by electing a progressive president. We believe these crises are inherent to the Capitalist system and that no amount of reform can change that. We believe the only solution to these crises is uniting the working class in struggle against the forces of capitalism and fascism and preparing our communities to bear the brunt of climate crisis and civil unrest while we also work to build a new world where people and the planet are not exploited for profit.
Points of Unity
1) We want true Liberty for all people. We believe all workers and poor people should have the opportunities to determine our own destinies, locally and globally. The forces of Capitalism work to ensure we remain subservient to its system by privatizing every facet of our life while we the workers continue to create profits for the rich to enjoy. We believe in a society where there is no wealthy ruling class and that we the workers have true democratic control over our workplaces, our community and the economy.
2) We oppose Capitalism. Capitalism systematically oppresses the majority of humankind. We believe no person should stay poor so another person can become rich. We reject capitalism as a system which has reduced people into commodities, forcing the working class to labor for the benefit of the capitalist class in order to survive, rapidly leading to the mass extinction of life as we know it on planet earth. As a coastal people, we as South Louisianians have a particular stake in this fight. Louisiana has vast natural and material resources, yet it is one of the poorest states in the Empire because of capitalist robbery of our resources to make themselves obscenely rich.
3) We oppose all forms of imperialist war. Nearly all wars in human history have consisted of the working class people of one country being sent by the ruling class to kill the working class people of another country for resources and profit. The only conflict we support is the necessary and inevitable struggle for liberation of the working people of the world as a unified class, against the global capitalist class and their lackeys.
4) We oppose mass incarceration and the police state. Slavery did not end in 1865, and political equality did not come in 1968. Instead, racial divisions and oppressions have become entrenched, creating a new state of Jim Crow in the United States. Furthermore, the xenophobic oppression of migrant, Latinx, and indigenous Americans is utterly reprehensible and must be dismantled as a system of settler colonial oppression.
5) We believe in armed self-defense. We believe that we have the right to protect our own communities and do not need to rely on the police, whose main purpose is to protect the capitalist class and their wealth, to suppress radical working class movements and reinforcing privatized slavery via the prison industrial complex. We are not pacifists. Therefore, we understand that the forces of the bourgeois state, which protect the capitalists, will fiercely oppose our efforts to project working class power. We must meet the capitalists with an equal force of resistance.
6) We believe in a socialist workers’ democracy. We will build councils and organizations that are truly representative of the working class in our communities, that will serve the people and be accountable to them, not rob and deceive them. The structures we build now will build socialism in the future.
7) We believe in the right to education for all. We want education that teaches us our true history, self-sufficiency from the exploitative capitalist state and economy, self-defense against capitalist lackeys, and our role in present day society. We believe all people should have access to the highest levels of education and be allowed to reach their full intellectual potential which is a privilege that usually only the wealthy can enjoy.
8) We believe in building a program of revolutionary unity. We believe in a united front of leftists and progressives, as well as unity of all working class people regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity, or religion.
9) We believe in ecological justice. Capitalism intends to exhaust and exploit the resources of Earth, while the elites hide away in comfort, leaving us, the working people of Earth, behind on a toxic and exploited planet, devoid of life or hope. We believe a not-profit-driven socialist world can use technology and human intellect to cohabitate with nature and the planet rather than destroy it.
10) We oppose all forms of bigotry. We are only as strong as our love and solidarity with each other, as working class people of the world. We oppose all racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. Bigotry only serves to divide the working class against itself to the enjoyment of the ruling class who laugh at us from the pent houses of wallstreet while we fight among ourselves.
11) We support struggles for self-determination. against US Imperialism and neo-colonialism abroad, and are in solidarity with the struggles for freedom of colonized people at home.
12) We believe in the need for revolution. The ruling class will never willingly grant us our liberation we must fight for it! The bourgeois democracy of the United States government and its elections are an illusion of choice for the workers, merely fooling the working class people whom it does not represent and only being real democracy for the capitalist class its designed to serve.
We want land for all, food security for all, housing for all, education for all, medical care for all, true liberation for all, to end war and cohabitate with nature!
All Power to the People!