PYO-STL Supports Nationwide Prisoners’ Strike on 45th Anniversary of Attica Uprising!

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Revolutionary Prisoners at Attica, 1971

The entire prison populace, that means each and every one of us here, have set forth to change forever the ruthless brutalization and disregard for the lives of the prisoners here and throughout the United States. What has happened here is but the sound before the fury of those who are oppressed. We will not compromise on any terms except those terms that are agreeable to us. We’ve called upon all the conscientious citizens of America to assist us in putting an end to this situation that threatens the lives of not only us, but of each and every one of you, as well. We have set forth demands that will bring us closer to the reality of the demise of these prison institutions that serve no useful purpose to the people of America, but to those who would enslave and exploit the people of America. – Attica Prisoners, September 9, 1971

This statement was issued by revolutionary prisoners at Attica Prison in the State of New York in 1971, who dared to attempt to take their destiny into their own hands, and issue democratic and revolutionary demands to the pig system that held them in chains and the masses of the world. They demanded representatives such as Huey P. Newton of the Black Panther Party, progressive Black journalists, and other progressive and revolutionary individuals and organizations for talks and negotiations to help secure these demands. The State of New York eventually decided to simply storm the prison and shoot all, guards who had been seized and prisoners alike, yet these martyred comrades and their brave struggle have lived in the memory of all true revolutionaries across the world, inside and outside prison.

 

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Aftermath of pig action at Attica Prison. The prisoners were brutally suppressed for demanding democratic rights and improved living conditions, and for daring to dream of revolution.

The prison system in the United States is an instrument, like all state institutions, in the hands of those who own this country, the bourgeoisie, the ruling class, the elite, to oppress, suppress, stifle the activity of, and enslave the working class, particularly those of New Afrikan (Black American), Indigenous, and Chicanx/Latinx nationality. The 1980s and 1990s saw the beginning of a wave of mass incarceration under the umbrella of the “War on Drugs”, which can more appropriately be termed “War on Black and Brown People”. All over this country, a prolonged investigation in any working class white, black or brown community will yield several dozen, or several hundred, stories of crushing bitterness, of parents, children, neighbors, friends, and relatives snatched out of their communities and placed in the pig slave machine. In prisons, individuals are forced to work against their will and for near free to produce items from military equipment to clothing. This is slavery, upheld by the United States Constitution, which stipulates that individuals may be forced into involuntary servitude, backed by violence, after being incarcerated. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, that which supposedly “ended slavery”, states:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

More working class, black and brown people in prison, working for literal pennies an hour, means more money for private prisons and the federal government off the backs of these incarcerated comrades, many of whom are in prison for things that get the elite no punishment whatsoever. This is class and race warfare, and genocide. Women that find themselves behind bars are often raped and abused mercilessly, with little to no legal recourse. This system is designed to break down and exploit them, not to uphold their rights and dignity. Inmates with children often go for years without seeing or hearing from them, and individuals exist who have been in solitary confinement since before we were born. In Saint Louis, the city Medium Security Institution, which we call the Workhouse, is a festering, filthy hole, where guards routinely force people to fight, venomous snakes, rats, roaches, and other vermin are present in abundance, and where, interviews with those who have experienced life there and investigations have shown us, conditions are akin to a 19th century slave pen, which is fundamentally the same role that prisons have today. A system such as this can only be overthrown by revolutionary people’s war to destroy it, the seizure of state power, and the construction of a socialist system, a dictatorship of and for the working class. Under said system, those in prison will be those who hold the keys to the prisons today. A state is an instrument of dictatorship of one class over another, backed by force, and in our system the force will be directed against those who make us and our friends and families suffer so much today.

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Holman Prison Rebellion, March, 2016. Warden stabbed and prisoners issued demands.

The prison struggle has reached a new peak in the ebb and flow of struggle in 2016, with an uprising at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility  in Alabama this past March. This prison, run by an abusive warden and featured on the disgusting MSNBC program “Lockup”, was gripped by rebellion after abuse of inmates by an aggressive correctional officer, and demands for food, water, and medicine were issued, along with the release of inmates who had been incarcerated for too long, parole/amnesty for inmates who were deemed by the prisoners to be fit for release to their families, the institution of classes to prepare inmates for “reintegration to society”, money damages for psychological and physical abuse suffered while at prison, and the abolition of racist habitual offender laws that disproportionately incarcerate black and brown inmates for decades. Of course, these were demands for reforms (which obviously won’t be granted by either the reactionary and racist Alabama state government or the federal government), not for revolution, but these demands are those of the masses of people behind bars and should be supported unconditionally by all revolutionary people. As revolutionaries, we demand the unconditional release of all political prisoners such as Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and elders from the era of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. But, we realize, also as revolutionaries, that it is fundamentally against the class interests of the imperialist United States to release these individuals just because we say so, protest, and ask nicely. A fundamental and all around overthrow of this system and the construction of a new, Socialist order is the only way that the masses targeted by incarceration under laws made by criminals will see peace. Until then, our task is to offer support, solidarity, and organize in conjunction with and on behalf of incarcerated family, friends, and comrades. The Black Panther Party offered material and emotional support to both families of prisoners and the prisoners themselves by arranging for mass transport to maintain family and community ties, this was a pioneering example of the putting of the dictum “Serve the People” into practice, and an example that must be resurrected when able by revolutionary organizations.

We respond to the call put out by comrades behind bars on April 1st of this year, where they demand “the end of prison slavery”, and go further, declaring that “we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.”, announcing a strike. These are lofty demands from a mercilessly exploited and oppressed group, comprised in large part of super-exploited oppressed nations people who work for pennies an hour to feed the empire and its corporations. They call on us, those who are fortune enough to not be in jail or prison (yet), to have their backs, and on September 9th, we and our comrades intend to answer their call. Of course, slavery and the decadent capitalist-imperialist system will never be abolished solely by the methods mentioned in the call, and certainly will not be brought down by uncoordinated and spontaneous actions. Hunger strikes, work stoppages, demonstrations, and other actions of this nature are to be used and certainly are not to be condemned by revolutionaries, but the ultimate death knell for this rotten system will be sounded only by the ultimate test and method for solving problems, which is revolutionary protracted people’s war, led by a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Communist Party. That being said, we are proud to answer the call of the incarcerated masses and send them a message of firm, unshakeable solidarity and fraternal greetings from outside the iron bars. We support, applaud, endorse, and stand by your September 9th action.

Long Live The Attica Uprising!

Long Live the September 9th Strike!

Free All Political Prisoners!

When the Prison Gates Open, the Real Dragon Flies Out!

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Black Panther Party Field Marshal Cmd. George Jackson (1941-1971)

 

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All out For Mass Demonstration Against The Police and in Solidarity With Milwaukee Uprising and Undocumented Workers and Students on August 20th!

All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality, they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are powerful. – Mao Zedong

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What have the police and the system in Saint Louis learned over the past two years? In the country as a whole? Obviously and blatantly, nothing at all. The masses of Ferguson and the metropolitan area as a whole find themselves still in the fundamental conditions that drove the rebellion that began on August 9, 2014. The masses of black and brown working class youth still find themselves in the same conditions that sparked uprisings in Baltimore, and as we type this statement, in Milwaukee as well. Nothing has changed of importance, the police are fundamentally just as bold, bad, crooked, and bloodthirsty as they have always been, they continue to kill our sisters and our brothers and our people as we go about our day-to-day lives and activities. They won’t stop because we ask nicely. Our protest is not to ask nicely. It is a show of strength and mass anger. From Sandra Bland to Philando Castile to Alton Sterling to Sylville Smith to Vonderrit Myers to Korryn Gaines, shot while holding her weapon and her child, it continues and will continue until we seriously organize to stop it once and for all. The liberal nongovernment agencies and foundations and think-tanks and protest parties and electoral voodoo experiments can not save us, only we can. Electing a different alderman, governor, mayor, or President can not save us, Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein or any of the other “leftists” that are running for offices across the country can get there, and the structure and system and economic foundation that holds us in bondage and sends the police to arrest, maim, ticket, fine, and kill us will still be in place.

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The police do not just exist to oppress black people, although American police forces originated directly out of patrols that had as their first role the capture and punishment of runaway enslaved African people. The police serve to oppress and maintain an order of things that is against the entire working class, documented and undocumented, black, white, and brown. The police harass and brutalize our trans comrades, they have broken strikes with force, they have spied, disrupted, and helped derail and destroy working class and democratic movements all around the world since their beginning as organized bodies, and they grind down and crush in some way, shape or form those who hav. The state, which is controlled by a class, in our case, the rich, have armed forces and bodies that serve to protect the interests of the class for whose benefit the state is set up. These bodies are the police and military. Neither are to our advantage in any fashion, and only serve to oppress. Our undocumented comrades, whose native countries have been looted and destroyed by the United States for the benefit of the rich, come across hundreds of miles of treacherous desert to be exploited mercilessly, have taxes taken out of their pay for benefits such as Social Security, Medicaid, and other things that they are forbidden from using, and here in Missouri, DACA students have been singled out and have seen tuition rises and have been cast into even more precarious situations as a result of the reactionary and anti-people HB2003 law, which charges them out of state tuition rates to attend Missouri schools. This is a shameful and oppressive nightmare that we, along with our comrades PYO-KC and progressive forces in both cities have united against. The police at the state and federal levels oppress comrades by helping employers who take advantage of their immigration status to exploit them, deporting them, throwing them into miserable holes called prisons, or forcing them to live in limbo, never knowing when they’ll be separated from their families by armed force. This is a crime and an affront to all progressive and revolutionary minded people, and we in PYO-STL intend to unite in struggle with our comrades across the state to defend and expand our comrades’ rights to education, carry struggle to higher levels, and generate firmer bonds of solidarity.

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There can never be any change, at least not the type of change that we must have and that we shall have, unless we unite, organize, and struggle with the guiding and overarching knowledge that it is we, the masses of youth, workers, students, and other segments of people who simply can not continue to live in this way and demand a better future, that make history, and that history can only come about with the ultimate destruction of this system of capital imperialism that leaves so many of us dead in the streets and incarcerated and scarred for life. Our struggle is not for reform, it is not for the mayor’s office, it is not for a council seat or a presidency. It is not for simple lower tuition rates, better pay, or free printing. It is not to disarm the police or to put body cameras on them. It is not for more money for this and that program, or for more black and brown and non-male faces in high places. It is a struggle of one class against another, oppressed against oppressor, exploited against exploiter, in which one class or the other will ultimately be defeated. This mass demonstration against the police is not a mere exercise in walking and pithy sign holding, our demonstrations are not jointly planned with pigs and those that do this for pay. We do not protest for protest’s sake.  Our demonstrations are shows of strength and force and anger, and have meaning and purpose. The purpose of this demonstration is to continue to expose the contradictions between the police, the system that directs them, and the people. We will continue to organize against the pigs and the pig system, whether the head be Trump or Clinton. We are not scared, we dare to scale the heights, build for revolution and march forward knowing that our class will ultimately be victorious. Join PYO-STL and our comrades in the Greater Saint Louis Anti-Fascist Action Network and others as we dare to take the streets with the full knowledge that we will win!

 

Long Live the Memory of Philando Castile, Sandra Bland Korryn Gaines, Sylville Smith, Kajieme Powell, Mike Brown, Vonderrit Myers and countless other victims of police murder!

 

Solidarity with the Milwaukee Uprising!

 

Hands off our DACA and undocumented worker comrades!

 

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!
Progressive Youth Organization – Saint Louis

Remember Mike Brown on his Birthday and Continue the Struggle!

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On August 9, 2014, the precious life of Michael Brown, Jr. was stolen by bullets fired from the pistol of racist pig, Darren Wilson, in an unjust, unwarranted, and essentially racist murder, a scenario that is all too well known to members of the Black and Brown oppressed nations in this prisonhouse of nations called the United States of America. Equally as well known are the lies that came out of pig Wilson’s mouth after he did his deed, portraying Brown as a “thug” and a “demon”, and claiming self-defense. The broad masses of Ferguson, a working class suburb in the Northern area of Saint Louis County, didn’t go for this story, nor did we anywhere else. Mike Brown did nothing wrong. Trayvon Martin did nothing wrong. Vonderrit Myers did nothing wrong. Kajieme Powell did nothing wrong. Sandra Bland did nothing wrong. The wrong lies, 150%, with the system that continues to snatch the lives of our brothers and sisters for simply being black. The masses of black people in the United States constitute an oppressed nation, as do the people commonly called Chicano/Latino. This was a racist police murder committed by a racist pig, nothing less. That day marked the beginning of a militant and mass struggle and movement that radically changed the face of Ferguson, the metropolitan Saint Louis area, and the United States as a whole, as the masses of people in Ferguson and Saint Louis rose up in rebellion against not just this murder, but against the pig system as a whole.

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The masses rise up in struggle and voice antagonism against the police and the police state.

The history of Ferguson is that of a sundown town, a whites only area where black youth such as Brown were not allowed to be after dark lest they be beaten, shot, or arrested. Demographics and census reports show that the city had a demographic shift in the past few decades, and is now a majority black city, with the 2010 census showing that the city is 67% black and 30% white, with other ethnic groupings rounding out the rest of the population. Despite members of the oppressed black nation making up a majority of the population, the police department and the city government are solidly in the hands of white people, many of whom do not even reside in Ferguson. This apartheid style setup is reproduced across the North Saint Louis County region, with cities such as Jennings, Pine Lawn, Country Club Hills, Florissant, Hazelwood, Spanish Lake, and Cool Valley having the same makeup and order of things. These municipalities are funded by a system of crushing fines that bleed residents dry, assigning $500 to $1,000 fines for such as “littering” and “manner of walking along roadway”. This crooked and exploitative system is enforced by the police. Judges and prosecutors in these municipalities have no ties to the broad masses and behave towards them as enemies, residing in wealthy suburbs and commuting in to wreak their havoc and commuting out to spend the people’s money. Exemplary of this trend was hypocrite pig judge Ronald Brockmeyer, who bled the people while owning three properties and taking vacations to Walt Disney World while the people sit in jail at his hands. The predatory night court system and other such things abused and drove the masses into poverty, jail, and unemployment. Essentially, the people of Ferguson and other areas of North Saint Louis County are parasitized, exploited and ground down to feed the well watered lawns and boutique shops of Western suburbs such as Saint Charles and Chesterfield. Darren Wilson, Ronald Brockmeyer, and other functionaries in the police and civic governments are leeches. Such was the way of life for the masses of people in Ferguson at the afternoon of August 9, 2014. The people had enough, and brother Brown’s murder was the spark that lit the prairie fire. Reactionaries and pigs in Ferguson, Saint Louis, and the country did not sleep well after that night, nor should they! Nobody should sleep well after washing their hands in the blood of the people. After August 9th, masses of people organized, forged links with each other, and united to struggle against the police, the pig system, and the reactionaries that defended them. This struggle was sharpened by the police assassinations of Kajieme Powell in North Saint Louis City on August 19, and Vonderrit Meyers on October 8th. This struggle continued in militant form all throughout 2014 and into 2015, all over the country. It still continues. The subsequent clearing of these officers on all charges, failures to indict, and general confirmation and expression of the fact that, as far as Amerikkka is concerned, Black lives don’t matter (and they never have mattered to the enemy) deepened the contradictions and sharpened the rage felt by the masses of the people, and militant struggle was continued, with several mass leaders, particularly working class women and non-men, coming to the forefront and organizing resistance in the name of those who were stolen from us. The first year anniversary of Michael Brown’s murder was commemorated by mass highway shutdowns and other militant demonstrations and actions across the Saint Louis metropolitan area, and subsequent Gestapo style police retaliation and arrest. On his 20th birthday, we see how the struggle continues to change, new developments continue to occur, and the consciousness/militancy of the masses of people on whom development of history rests continues to develop and rise.

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The environment post August 9, 2014 was ripe for the the rebirth of revolutionary organizations already present, and the creation of organizations of a new type for our city, such as PYOSTL, a revolutionary mass organization with the purpose of uniting revolutionary youth in Ferguson and the entire Saint Louis Metropolitan area for militant struggle and organization against our oppression. Since the theft of the life of Michael Brown, more and more people demand revolutionary systemic change, have grown to view the presence of the police in our communities with just scorn and antagonism, and have realized that the masses are the motive force in the making of history. Many have come to realize the indisputable fact that the police and other enemies that seek to wash their hands in our blood, exploit us, incarcerate us en masse, or otherwise stand in the way of our development and struggle to victory as a class and as a people will not vanish or cease killing of their own accord. They must be made and hounded to doom, by any means necessary. In the name of Mike Brown, in the name of Kajieme Powell, in the name of Emmett Till, in the name of Vonderrit Myers, in the name of Freddy Grey, in the name of Eric Garner, in the name of Sandra Bland, in the name of countless black transfolks, in the name of Trayvon Martin, unite all that can be united and struggle for revolution! Organize and build struggle! Remember and fight for Mike Brown! It won’t stop until we stop it!

PSO-STL is now Progressive Youth Organization – STL.

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Youth will make the Revolution!

 

The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigor and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you. The world belongs to you. – Mao Tse-Tung

We are a revolutionary youth organization with the express intent and purpose of struggling for fundamental change in our society in a socialist direction. We seek to struggle against and ultimately help to overthrow oppression and exploitation of the masses of people in all forms, and play our part and fulfill our duty to the masses of people as revolutionary minded youth in building people’s power and strengthening people’s forces. Throughout the three months of our existence, we have struggled against Donald Trump when he dared to show his face in our city, established links of solidarity with comrades around the country, took a trip to Stone Mountain, Georgia to stand against the Ku Klux Klan, and generally begun laying the foundations of a revolutionary mass organization of a new type for Saint Louis. We aren’t a NGO, we aren’t activists seeking a rapprochement with or a softer version of capitalism, we aren’t liberals that let misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, racism, or any other oppression against the masses fly in our city in the name of free speech, we aren’t running for alderperson, mayor, congressperson, or governor to “bring issues to the forefront”, we aren’t telling anybody to sit down and shut up, we aren’t getting money from George Soros, we didn’t fly in from out of town after Ferguson popped off to tell people how to make struggle because we have pretty ideas in our head and in our paper, and we know what’s best for the masses. Only the masses know what is right for the masses. What we are, however, are revolutionaries, from Saint Louis, united and dedicated to organizing, waging struggle, and uniting the masses of youth in Saint Louis for revolution. We are revolutionaries from and for the people. Some of us attend universities, some of us attend trade schools, some of us work full time. We are not exclusively a student organization. We are, however, an exclusively revolutionary organization comprised of revolutionary youth. It’s time we had a name that fit, and none fits better than that shared with revolutionary comrades a few hours to the West in Kansas City who founded the original PYO, PYO-KC. Between the two of us, and the comrade organizations yet to form, we’ll paint Missouri, the Midwest, the United States, and the world the people’s color. Red!

In Struggle,

Progressive Youth Organization – Saint Louis (Formerly Progressive Students Organization – Saint Louis)

Saint Louis, Chicago, and KC: The Masses Unite Against Trump!

“The masses are the real heroes, while we ourselves are often childish and ignorant, and without this understanding, it is impossible to acquire even the most rudimentary knowledge.” – Mao Zedong

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All people are welcome in Saint Louis, except fascists and racists.

March 11th and 12th were days of immense, sharp struggle in three important Midwest cities. The fascist around whom reactionary forces ranging from Ku Klux Klan leaders to Neo-Nazis on Stormfront to black “conservative” compradors such as Charles Evers and Ben Carson have united, Donald Trump, scheduled rallies in our cities. Saint Louis and Chicago were scheduled for the 11th, Kansas City was scheduled for the 12th. In response, the masses immediately began organizing to combat this reactionary, racist, sexist, Islamophobic, fascistic demagogue and financier parasite. These three cities are heavily populated by working class people, people of Islamic faith (Saint Louis is home to the largest Bosnian Muslim community in the world, outside of Bosnia), Latin@ people, LGBTQI* and Black people, all of whom have a history of struggle against people like Trump and the ideas/practices that he represents and seeks to implement in our communities. All who are enemies of Trump and the forces united around him. Trump should not have expected a warm welcome in any of our cities, especially Saint Louis. Progressive Students Organization – Saint Louis (PSOSTL) started a Facebook page titled “Trump Out of STL” to help organize and unite forces that wished to come out in opposition to Trump. There were also other organizing pages that sprang up, and conversations/plan-making that took place in schools and homes to combat this plague in various forms. The levels of support for anti-Trump action on this page and others ensured that there would be no warm welcome for this unwelcome movement and man. Comrades from Progressive Youth Organization and other groups in Kansas City also prepared an unwarm welcome, with PYOKC organizing a Facebook page which drew massive levels of engagement.

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The masses of Saint Louis won’t stand for fascism.

The morning of the 11th saw lines stretching almost a mile outside of the Peabody Opera House, where the event was scheduled to be held. Individuals from the crowd of Trump supporters waiting for admission were seen on the local news giving interviews regarding how they believe Trump will “bring back America” and how he says what is “on his mind”. They also dared to criticize the struggle waged in Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement, as if they had any right to speak on such issues at all from their position. There were also people selling various pins, hats, and other things, many of which contained various messages of hatred. Anti-Trump forces that had mobilized also arrived early in the morning, protesting outside or standing in line to conduct action inside. Members of PSOSTL and other groups who were in line for admission to the rally to disrupt heard firsthand all sorts of racist epithets, xenophobic comments, and all sorts of ignorant rhetoric from the crowd of actual supporters.  There was struggle outside even before the rally began, as a comrade was righteously stepping on the American flag. Trumpites in line saw this, and immediately began demanding he pick up the flag, and berating him. This didn’t faze him in the slightest. Members of Latinos en Axión and progressive Islamic groups were out in force, along with seasoned veterans of Ferguson and regular people, out to declare their opposition to fascism in their city.

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Fuck a flag.

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Junior exploiters and parasites.

The rally began and doors were closed shortly before 12:30 PM. The PSO group, along with comrades from the local Socialist Party chapter, were turned away at the very front of the line, with the police saying that there was a capacity crowd and there was no standing room. To that end, we began chanting anti-fascist, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist slogans, proclaiming the right to rebel, and joined the masses who had assembled directly in front of the opera house. The speech was allowed to be heard outside through the sound system, which sharpened the struggle immensely. The pig, Trump, said his usual demagogic spiel, speaking about “building a wall”,”taking back America”, attacking other candidates, boasting about his imaginary successes, and generally showing how totally devoid of any actual substance or virtue he is. Outside, the masses loudly booed at almost every foolish “point” that he thought he was making, while cheering comrades who had disrupted inside and were being escorted out by the police. This enraged Trump supporters who were also outside, denied entry and intermingled with the masses outside. The excessive numbers of police who were also outside were obviously biased against anti-Trump protesters, which is keeping in their role as anti-people servants of capitalism and racism. We saw several members of oppressed nationalities, women, and progressive segments getting pushed, shoved, verbally abused, and physically attacked by the reactionaries, yet the police did nothing. We didn’t expect them to.

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Anti-Trump comrade tackled by the police.

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Protester tackled and handcuffed by the police despite being the one attacked.

The struggle inside was escalating as well, and came to a head when comrades from the Artivists and Anti-Racist Collective conducted the major planned demonstration, dropping two banners reading “Caution: Racism Lives Here” and “Stop the Hate” from the balcony, while others below tore off their overshirts showing their real attire, which was covered with anti-Trump and anti-fascist slogans. They chanted the quote from black revolutionary Assata Shakur: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom, it is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” These actions shut down the rally for ten minutes.

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Amerikkka has fallen.

32 comrades were placed under arrest and abused roughly by the police for this action, pulled apart after they had linked arms and gone limp, and charged with general peace offenses, despite the real disturbers of the people’s peace, Trump and his supporters, being allowed to do whatever they so pleased. Only one Trump supporter was arrested for throwing a glass bottle, and wasn’t put in the same vehicle as the protesters. The white Trump supporter that we saw push a working class black woman was not arrested. The white Trump supporter that hit our comrade outside, bloodying his face, was not arrested. The Trump supporters who made all sorts of obscene gestures and shouted racist slurs at us as they left the auditorium were not arrested. This is par for the course, the police serve the class and the system that produced and elevated people like Donald Trump. As the Trump supporters left the auditorium, the masses berated them, chanting “Daddy’s Money”, “It is Right to Rebel”, and “Fuck Trump”, along with criticizing and denouncing with one voice individual Trump supporters who dared to approach. They all ran away, climbing into their SUVs and riding back to the suburbs from which they came.

Trump dragged himself to Chicago the night of the 11th, where he also met firm, organized, and resolute struggle from thousands of people. Organized anti-Trump forces took over the auditorium where he was scheduled to speak, leading to the rally being “indefinitely postponed” and leading to a celebratory atmosphere outside and inside. People hugged each other and began singing Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” in beautiful scenes that come only from the people daring to struggle and daring to win. On the 12th, the masses of Kansas City took and held the streets in the hundreds, approaching the thousands, to show that they also will not allow fascism to come and spread unchecked in their city. The repressive police of that city used giant cans of pepper spray (indiscriminately) and horses as weapons, spraying comrades en masse on several occasions. This did not dismay or detract from the determination of the masses of Kansas City to combat fascism and racism. They took and held the streets, tore down barricades, struggled with Trump supporters and reactionaries such as the Westboro Baptist Church.

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Kansas City comrades form a human chain against the police.

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Latin@ comrades out against Trump in KC.

The masses of Chicago, Kansas City, and Saint Louis showed that there is no free platform for fascism in our cities, that we are strong, we are powerful, that we struggle, and we are makers of history. When we unite all that can be united to combat and beat back our real enemies, those who would see us all in internment camps, deported, dead, or in prison, we can win. We can shut it down, and we will hold it down until we win. To do so, protesting Trump when he physically comes to town isn’t enough. The forces that have gathered around him remain after he is long gone, and go back to being judges, police, landlords, and bosses. To beat these, we must have mass organizations to unite workers, students, women, queers, residents and tenants, and we must use living revolutionary science and practice derived from the struggles of the past and incorporating lessons learned in the present to actively secure a better future, beat back and overthrow the system that produces Trumps. We call for revolutionary minded students and youth in Saint Louis to unite with Progressive Student Organization – Saint Louis and for the foundation of similar mass organizations all across the country to wage struggle and win!

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Rejoicing after the rally was cancelled in Chicago

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE MASSES OF SAINT LOUIS, CHICAGO, AND KANSAS CITY!

DOWN WITH FASCISM AND ISLAMOPHOBIA!

IT IS RIGHT TO REBEL!

SHUT IT DOWN!

 

 

Comprador “Leadership” or Black Liberation?

“The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history.”

 

“The masses are the real heroes, while we ourselves are often childish and ignorant, and without this understanding, it is impossible to acquire even the most rudimentary knowledge.”

 

“If we tried to go on the offensive when the masses are not yet awakened, that would be adventurism. If we insisted on leading the masses to do anything against their will, we would certainly fail. If we did not advance when the masses demand advance, that would be Right opportunism.”

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Where are the people?

 

Mao Zedong’s teachings on the masses are eternal and scientific. The masses of revolutionary people are the only motive force capable of transitioning society into the higher stage of organization of producing our material needs, which is socialism. The masses are the only force capable of eradicating racism, misogyny, trans-phobic violence and abuse, and, ultimately, capitalism-imperialism. The job of the revolutionary is not to sit with other so-called revolutionaries and try to “hash out” solutions for the masses, to be imposed upon them without their consent. Nor is it the job of the revolutionary to not advance when the masses are ready for struggle. In Saint Louis, we have seen much of the elitist, petit-bourgeois style, imposing lines and tactics which serve to pull the masses backwards, instead of moving them forwards.  A revolutionary knows that the masses are everything, the masses are the only people that have the capability to move society forward, and all power comes from the masses. Any struggle led without this first and foremost in one’s mind will lead to disaster. Any struggle that does not thoroughly involve the broad masses of people will lead to all kinds of dead ends and problems. Any revolutionary that does not recognize that correct ideas don’t come out of the heads of a few well-educated petit-bourgeois “activists” is not a revolutionary. We are at war. We can’t struggle simply by putting our hands up. They’ll shoot. Black Lives Matter? Not under capitalism, and not while we’re begging.

What is a comprador? A comprador is defined, simply, as a colonial subject who derives their power, prestige, and wealth from association/business ties with imperialists and who helps them exploit and take advantage of the colonized masses. Without the imperialists, the comprador class has nothing, and thus will fight tooth and nail to defend the interests of the imperialists, and work actively against struggle led by the masses that hurt the interests of their imperialist masters. In the modern-day liberation struggle, the comprador serves a role that was discussed previously, working actively to impose forms of so-called struggle on the masses that pull us backwards, instead of moving us forwards to liberation. An example would be the meeting of several “high-profile” protesters and activists with Democratic presidential candidates in the fall of 2015. This was a comprador move for many reasons. First, these meetings were arranged between the Democratic candidates and the protesters/activists. The masses played no role in the process. No representative of the working class/unemployed masses of Saint Louis City or County was allowed to come to these meetings. The Campaign Zero program that was discussed was developed with little to no input from the masses. The leaders/developers are representatives of the well-educated, petit-bourgeois segments of the black nation, and thus, their program has a petit-bourgeois, comprador character and nature. Their program is designed to recuperate the revolutionary black and brown masses into capitalism-imperialism and the Democratic Party, which is majorly responsible for the mass incarceration of black and brown people, water down or snatch the teeth from struggle, and generally usurp and impose things from on high to the masses. Why weren’t Michael Brown’s mother and stepfather at these meetings? Where was Vonderrit Myers’ family? Where were the homeless? Where were the residents of Canfield Drive, or North Saint Louis? Where were the hounded, hungry, and hunted youth who dared to think and act, struggling physically against the police and the entire system two years ago? Nowhere to be seen, because their demands would be in fundamental contradiction with the demands of these comprador elitists who claim to lead the liberation movement. See the list of demands from Campaign Zero, where they claim:

 

“We can live in an America where the police do not kill people. Police in England, Germany, Australia, Japan, and even cities like Newark, NJ, and Richmond, CA, demonstrate that public safety can be ensured without killing civilians. By implementing the right policy changes, we can end police killings and other forms of police violence in the United States.”

 

What is the role of the police? The police in a state run by and to manage the interests of multi-billionaire imperialist shareholders, investment bankers, and dealers of death and destruction of all kinds are agents of oppression, designed to protect the domestic interests of the ruling bourgeois class that holds dictatorship over the working class. A proletarian program to combat police brutality and mass incarceration approaches this problem from a proletarian perspective. There is no “right policy change” or “secret ingredient” that will resolve the fundamental contradiction between the police and the people. The police can never be made to serve the people as long as the current organization and way of doing things remains intact. The revolutionary ultimately struggles for system change, to a system where the people are truly in control. The revolutionary struggles to destroy capitalism. The comprador struggles for crumbs to fool and placate the people, and preserve their lucrative position as colonial intermediaries between the colonized and the exploiter. The comprador struggles for capitalism and imperialism. By working with and meeting with Democratic candidates who will uphold a system that exploits, incarcerates, enslaves and kills the black and brown masses daily, in several different ways, McKesson and clique are directly in contradiction to the interests of the people.

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McKesson meets with capitalist Elizabeth Warren on behalf of “the people”.

A further example of the anti-people and counterrevolutionary nature of the comprador class is the fact that they receive material benefits from their activities. DeeRay McKesson gets to teach at Yale, while the people who really struggled in Ferguson and continue to do so get nothing. They get to meet imperialists and bootlickers at the White House, people responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands around the world, calling them “honest and action oriented”, while children burn to death in North Saint Louis City because the capitalists have disconnected their gas service, causing them to use space heaters. Where was McKesson and Co. then? Capitalism is killing the working, poor people of Flint, Michigan, and the black celebrities and activists complain about the Oscars, gladhand with imperialists, and engage in meaningless Twitter polemics with each other. They don’t see the masses, they don’t talk to them, they don’t visit their homes, they don’t listen to their scattered concerns, analyze and unite them, and build struggle on the basis of the masses’ demands. We obviously don’t expect them to do so. They aren’t revolutionaries, their work is to control and impose imperialist solutions on the people. When they do mention the masses’ struggles, it’s always light criticism and glossing over the primary problem, acting as if this is an issue that can be resolved through capitalist methods and capitalist politicians and capitalist systems, and it’s never sincere, it’s only to build their own prestige and get money/jobs/recognition from the imperial capitalists. The role of the comprador in the Black Liberation Struggle is to recuperate that struggle, take the revolutionary teeth from it, and mislead the masses into the arms of the imperialist Democratic Party. To win our struggles and liberate ourselves and advance to a socialist order of things, where people don’t burn to death for lack of gas, don’t freeze to death for lack of electricity, get to attend universities that are free, open to all, and teach liberation instead of destruction, and don’t drink water poisoned with lead and other noxious chemicals, the role of the comprador must be made clear, and the comprador organizations and individuals themselves must be struggled against. We must recognize that not everyone with a black face talking liberation is a friend and comrade, that we must unite on a class basis, think and analyze from that class and radical liberatory basis, and thoroughly and heartily reject any attempts to drag our struggles backwards, to recuperate us with the bourgeois political parties, to go against our class interests, to disrupt attempts to unify with progressive elements of different nationalities, and to generally stymie the process of true liberation for the class of Mike Brown, Vonderrit Myers, and so many other working class members of the New Afrikan people victimized by imperialism and class oppression. Let’s build our base areas and build our power!

 

THE PEOPLE OF FLINT: POISONED BY THE WHITE SUPREMACIST, CAPITALIST STATE!

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The people of the heavily black and working class city of Flint, Michigan, are in deep crisis. Why? Studies have shown that the city’s water supply is heavily contaminated with lead. Why is there lead in the water? In 2014, the City of Flint, under emergency management imposed by the state of Michigan, began obtaining its water supply from the nearby Flint River instead of where it had been getting water before, the also beleaguered City of Detroit. This was done as a cost cutting austerity measure. In racist, imperialist America, austerity measures always target and impact oppressed nationality populations and working class first, as a rule. We also suffer harshly the effects of capitalist disregard for the environment. This is shown here in Saint Louis by the Bridgeton landfill fire, which threatens to burn nuclear waste. The working class community residing around the landfill are expected to just suffer from capitalist, imperialist caused cancer and recklessness, and be ready to leave their homes at a moment’s notice when the waste catches fire, releasing noxious radioactivity and ruining entire segments of North County. This austerity water measure wouldn’t have been applied to the places where people like Rick Snyder live, nor would a toxic waste dump be on his doorstep or in his backyard. Almost immediately, the people of Flint began voicing deep concern about the quality of the water after the change. People reported having odd rashes and took note of the water’s color, metallic taste and strong odor. Flint residents began showing up to meetings with jugs of this nasty, brown water that appeared to come from a latrine, as opposed to a tap.

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Despite this concern from the people and the noted, visible change in quality, officials continued to insist that this poisonous water was safe to drink. Safe to drink, yet in October of 2014, a GM plant in the city stopped using the new municipal water in production, because it was corroding car parts. Water from the Flint River is corrosive. When it travels through the old lead pipes that are used in many places in Flint, the lead in the pipes leaches into the water, thus poisoning it. This water is corrosive because for decades, capitalist heavy industry that drew black workers to Flint in the first place dumped caustic, acidic, corrosive substances into this river, thereby polluting it and boosting their profit margins. Now, the white supremacist state of Michigan decided that it was time for Flint to drink the poison.

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In February of 2015, the EPA noted extremely high levels of lead in a Flint resident’s water sample. The next month, a private consultant group hired by the city stated that the water was fine. Why was the water judged as fine? Would Veolia executives or Governor Snyder’s family drink, cook with, or bathe in this? Of course not. What was meant was that this water is fine for the working class majority black population of Flint. This water wouldn’t be delivered to the wealthy areas of Grosse Pointe or Ladue or Beverly Hills or Chesterfield. This water is for East Saint Louis, Gary, Allentown, Bethlehem, and Saint Louis north of Delmar. It’s for us. What happened when the masses continued to complain and voice outrage against the poisoning of their water all throughout the year 2015? The state ignored them.

A top aide to Michigan’s governor referred to people raising questions about the quality of Flint’s water as an “anti-everything group.” Other critics were accused of turning complaints about water into a “political football.” And worrisome findings about lead by a concerned pediatrician were dismissed as “data,” in quotes.

That view of how the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder initially dealt with the water crisis in the poverty-stricken, black-majority city of Flint emerged from 274 pages of emails, made public by the governor on Wednesday.

The correspondence records mounting complaints by the public and elected officials, as well as growing irritation by state officials over the reluctance to accept their assurances.

It was not until late in 2015, after months of complaints, that state officials finally conceded what critics had been contending: that Flint was in the midst of a major public health emergency, as tap water pouring into families’ homes contained enough lead to show up in the blood of dozens of people in the city. Even small amounts of lead could cause lasting health and developmental problems in children.

Irritation by state officials over the reluctance to accept their assurances? This is almost tantamount to telling a slave that they should be content with their lot and not struggle for freedom, or telling a minimum wage worker that they should be happy that they have a job in the first place. Lead is a poisonous substance. Even small, trace amounts of it can have detrimental effects on small children, ranging from seizures to cognitive difficulties. Why should the people of Flint not be only reluctant to accept these bogus assurances, but directly and militantly challenge these ridiculous lies? Should the people sit back and watch as they’re poisoned to death to save a few dollars? Despite repeated tests from a variety of agencies and medical and environmental professionals showing how badly the city’s water is contaminated and how detrimental this is to the health of the people of the city of Flint, and continued complaints and internet posts from the people of the city detailing their suffering, the state still continued to insist that this water was fit for the consumption of human beings until the closing months of 2015. Now, the area is under a state of federal emergency, and the progressive people of other areas are buying and bringing bottled water in solidarity with the poisoned people of Flint. This is what capitalism and imperialism delivers to the working people of Flint, Michigan, the working people of the United States, and the working people of the whole world. Poison, pain, death, and suffering, all while the capitalists insist that everything is fine.

The crisis in Flint is the direct result of environmental racism and attempted genocide against the population of this majority black city. Environmental racism is nothing new. Indigenous people in the Southwest are poisoned by nuclear waste and uranium mining, and in our own backyard, East Saint Louis, the environmental situation is marked by:

one of the highest rates of child asthma in the country…lead poisoning, educational disparities, unemployment, and toxic exposure…a deteriorating infrastructure and financial vulnerability further weakens the fight against chemical industries within East St. Louis.

Governor Rick Snyder and his administration bear blame for the situation of Flint. The release of e-mails shows that he and his clique bore no genuine concern for the city or its residents, but was simply irritated and concerned about the political. The order of things that produces and props up people like Snyder, white-supremacist capitalism-imperialism, is responsible. It poisoned the Flint River for years, it buries nuclear waste under our soil, sprays experimental substances over our neighborhoods, and then decide to kill us further than they do by compelling us to work for them, to save their state budgets. Under capitalism, poisoned water, air and soil is normal, and to the capitalists, fine. They don’t have to live where it is. To defeat poisoned water, air and soil, and protect the natural resources that are necessary for our survival on this planet, we have to defeat capital-imperialism. To kill a poisonous weed or unwanted plant, the gardener must remove it and any trace of it from the soil. Governor Snyder and others who sold poisonous lies to the people of Flint should be hounded from office and spend every last moment of the rest of their lives in shame and scorn. The people of Flint should receive the recompense that they have demanded for the pain and suffering that they’ve suffered at the hands of Snyder and his system. Victims of environmental racism and attempted genocide at the hands of racist government officials and their capitalist system must unite and together work for the demise of the system that is literally driving the entire world to crisis. All progressive-minded and revolutionary working class people and students must unite to combat environmental racism, through more than just marches, meetings, and rallies. We have to seriously study revolutionary theory and engage with the masses in practice to produce truly revolutionary politics

COMPENSATION AND JUSTICE FOR THE PEOPLE OF FLINT!

DOWN WITH POISONOUS CAPITALISM-IMPERIALISM!

UNITE AND FIGHT! BUILD A REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT!