How can Red Political Power Exist in Saint Louis in 2017?

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2016 was a radically transformative year for Saint Louis, the State of Missouri, the United States, and the world. Locally, we saw deepening of contradictions across the board. We saw the continued police war on the masses of working class people of this city, particularly Black people. In the depths of winter, the police and the city government continue to attack our houseless comrades, ordering the closing of the last remaining shelter in the Downtown area to satisfy gentrifiers, individuals who make vast sums of money and desire to whiten the area, opening and patronizing businesses that black people are harassed at, using apps like NextDoor to slander and harass the masses of working people, and summoning the police to kill, arrest, fine, and torment. Several times this year, the city Streets Department, under the watchful eye of the police who arrested everybody that attempted to intervene, seized and destroyed property belonging to houseless comrades in the area around the New Life Evangelistic Center which is struggling to remain open in the face of the order to close. The city doesn’t care where these comrades go, they can go to the Mississippi River and jump in for all Slay and the philistines running to take his place care. All that matters to these filthy pigs is that they disappear from the streets, to the white elites with money that control this city. Ferguson and North County remains as it was before 2014, plagued by an almost all white government that lives at the people’s expense, with an occupying police force, fining and taxing and killing like mad. East Saint Louis is still a city in ruins, left to rot by neoliberalism which snatched jobs away to exploit people in foreign countries. Monsanto and other companies that make dangerous chemicals still are located in extremely close vicinity to this area, belching toxic poison into the air that black children breathe. The fire at West Lake still burns, threatening to poison entire communities. The election of the fascist Trump, and the capture of the state government by Eric Greitens and his clique (replacing the Democrat Nixon’s group which filled our streets up with soldiers, ready to kill, in 2014) makes all of these contradictions much more deep, although a Clinton regime wouldn’t have been any better. Fascists roam our streets and our schools, leaving their disgusting propaganda and threatening the lives of our comrades. This makes the work of Progressive Youth Organization, STL, much more important, and means that we must sharpen, deepen, and expand our efforts to further build and protect a revolutionary mass base in Saint Louis and the surrounding area, to serve the people, and to build organized people’s dual power to wage protracted combat and capture terrain against and from organized pig power and reaction.

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They can do all the propaganda and smile all they want, it still doesn’t change their function or their enemy relation to the masses of people. Whoever works with the police or encourages them to come to our communities is an enemy.

The overarching, major issue for the masses of working people in Saint Louis and Missouri, especially Black and Brown people, is the fact that the ruling system and the class it serves is, by design, oppressing and exploiting them. Democrats run this city, what have they done? Contrary to the pathetic and disgusting tailist screeds of our local Socialist Alternative revisionists and reformists, which, during the election season, first supported Bernie Sanders, even going so far as to lead a “March for Bernie”, then the Jill Stein campaign, pathetically and opportunistically tacking themselves on to every pseudo-left social democrat that came around while refusing to actually participate in mass work, because they can’t, or the worthless work of the local Communist Party, USA chapter, which wasted time registering people in working poor neighborhoods to vote, PYOSTL boycotted the elections, because we know that shit won’t change by electing one or another “new” candidate, “Superman” or no Superman. Change comes through our own hands, our own organization, and our own struggle. To engage with this system and its elections in any way, shape or form is to lead the masses down dead ends and channel their hankering for struggle and power into worthless and meaningless acts, a protest every month. Protests are fine, but we see them as shows of force and threats, things that upset the apple cart and make reactionaries feel uncomfortable in their gut, not things that you invite politicians and other representatives of the ruling class to. Whether they be students, workers, or unemployed, people suffer at the hands of the police that shoot and arrest them, the rest of the city and state governing apparatus that peel and pare us for every last dime, exploiting petit-bourgeois business owners that own the only stores in our hoods and charge outrageous prices for expired and inferior food, and slave-driving, parasitic bosses that suck their blood and bones. Particularly, in majority Black, working class areas of North County and North City, there are several areas that have been determined to be food deserts, where the masses of working people have to pay exorbitant prices to get basic foods and other items from small convenience stores. One of our members saw a two day expired loaf of white bread for sale in a Spanish Lake store for $4.

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Stores like the one Mike Brown visited before his murder exploit and cheat the people.

This is shameless, brazen, and unacceptable exploitation. To make things worse, the Trump era will herald a wave of cuts to already pathetically funded social services programs such as SNAP, SSI, and other things that many people rely on to survive. Furthermore, gentrification is beginning to sink its claws into several areas, particularly with the development of the imperialist NGA spy site in North Saint Louis (at the expense of several poor Black families). To this end, our primary and most pressing task for the New Year is to launch a weekly “Serve the People” program under the auspices of PYO, which, of course, will gather and distribute food, clothes, and other necessities, but we are not launching a mere charity program, to do so would make us no different than the Baptist churches that see our people suffering and continue to preach pie in the sky, or Food Not Bombs. The ultimate purpose of a Serve the People program is to help in the process of building a revolutionary dual power in a working class area, and put ourselves among the people, where we can easily listen to and gather their correct ideas and hear their stories of bitterness, accept criticism of our work from them, and develop and sharpen struggle in the area in an all around way, while also raising the political level of the people and having our own raised as well. This program will initially be launched in a working class neighborhood, because the working class is the revolutionary class, and we are working class partisans and revolutionaries. Furthermore, the students who are members in PYO must constantly be removed from their stuffy atmosphere of books and petit-bourgeois ideas/theories, and be amongst the people constantly to shake these ideas, tendencies, and traits. A day of social practice and work with the masses is worth more than 20 books. While the program will be carried out in one working class neighborhood initially, as we grow and develop our capabilities and abilities, we will expand and hopefully have a presence in several working class districts by this time next year. It is imperative that we begin collecting resources for this immediately, particularly durable food items, toiletries, and clothing. Please contact us if you are interested in offering space, have items to donate, or would like to volunteer for this weekly program. Our city calls for this important instrument of struggle and people’s power, showing that we do not need to rely on the pig system to feed and clothe our own people, and we intend to deliver. We also plan to launch a “Voice of the People – Saint Louis” YouTube program, a mass propaganda and journalism organ that will enable us to cover news of mass interest, highlight important issues and struggles that are taking place in our city, name and shame reactionary politicians, police, fascists, business owners, and bosses that abuse the people, collect mass perspectives, highlight our work, and present the revolutionary situation in Saint Louis and, especially, the work of PYO-STL for the review and criticism of comrades across the country and world. We encourage other mass organizations to consider beginning a similar program.

The reactionary pig Missouri legislature recently passed legislation which has an extremely ominous impact for Black and Brown youth in the Saint Louis area. Under this legislation, “fights” at school can now bear criminal charges, specifically, Class E felony charges. To quote a Saint Louis Post Dispatch article:

“Starting Jan. 1, third-degree assault and some cases of harassment will become class E felonies. Harassment will be a felony, rather than a misdemeanor, if the victim suffers “emotional distress” from an act committed with that purpose. The state considers harassment to be a form of school bullying, and harassment is among the offenses school districts are technically required to report to local law enforcement.

Also under the new law, a person who “knowingly causes physical injury to another person” will have committed the felony of third-degree assault.

At least two area school districts, Hazelwood and Ferguson-Florissant, have already interpreted that definition to mean that any student, no matter their age, who gets in a fight can be charged with a felony.”

As we all know, the goal of this system is to introduce as many black and brown youth to the criminal justice system as possible, ruining chances for college and employment, and forcing them to become criminals or work exploitative and dangerous jobs to maintain themselves, effectively throwing them into a revolving door. These efforts stepped up after the revolt in Ferguson. Essentially, the government is trying to punish us for daring to rebel. We refuse to go to prison and jail, and we will fight like hell to ensure that this reactionary legislation is fought lock, stock and barrel. To this end, we will begin efforts to expand our organization into high schools and middle schools, building up an apparatus and conducting educational sessions and studies with high school students to teach them about great revolutionaries and revolutionary movements, build solidarity among working class students from different national origins and backgrounds, and, most importantly, build power in the secondary schools, especially in North Saint Louis City and North Saint Louis County, to develop all around and deep struggle among the city’s youth. The schools must be liberated, snatched from under the noses of the reactionaries, and become trenches of combat. With the VICC (voluntary interdistrict busing program, begun in the early 1980s) ending, effectively, in 2024, this is extremely important work, because students that formerly would have been bused will begin to be concentrated in their own, working class neighborhoods and beginning this organizing in the secondary schools now will solidify and ensure a solid apparatus for struggle in these communities by that time. Any student, teacher, or parent that would like to help facilitate a PYO study group and possibly help develop a branch at a local school, please email us or leave us a Facebook message.

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Our city’s response to Trump in March. It will take more than rallies and protests to struggle against the forces that have coalesced around his moment.

Fascists have been emboldened by the victory of Donald Trump, who has courted them, and welcomed them into his White House. Alt-right is an insufficient cover for what they really are, Hitlerites and pogromists who would arrest and kill every single one of us who do not conform to their wicked way of thought, share their ethnic background, or fit into their mold. Already, we have seen a spike in hate crimes since his election. Trump continues to slander and attack our Latinx and Muslim comrades, on top of state level attempts to deny them access to universities (HB2003, see the Partnership for the Advancement of Immigrant Students Facebook Page to gain knowledge on the efforts of comrades in KC on this issue and the threat that immigrant students face). We seek to develop a similar apparatus to help protect immigrant students here in STL, and welcome any organization interested in forming a coalition with us on this to contact us. We ourselves have a fascist problem in our city, several have slithered out of their holes to paper the city with “Identity Evropa” flyers and antagonize a black student at Webster University with hundreds of racist flyers dumped outside of his dorm room. Obviously, there simply is not enough room for both the people and the pigs without badges in this city, and our third major task for 2017 is to expand the struggle against fascism. The fascists feel comfortable around university campuses, most of the flyers we have seen and removed have appeared around these areas. To this end, we will begin an anonymous reporting system for hate crimes and anti-people incidents, businesses, and institutions, and develop a network to ensure rapid response to these incidents, mass mobilization, and material, physical and emotional support for targeted individuals or families. Also, we would like to point out, the state of Missouri has some of the laxest firearms laws in the United States. Lawful owners of firearms can conceal and carry them anywhere in the state, although local jurisdictions can still institute restrictions (no carry without permit), and stand your ground restrictions now do not require people to back away from a threat in public if there is a fear of bodily harm. To quote an article in the Columbia Missourian:

“Missouri became the latest state to allow residents to carry a concealed weapon without a permit when lawmakers supported the change Wednesday.

Starting Jan. 1, gun owners will be able to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. The remaining provisions in the bill, including the expansion of “stand your ground,” will take effect in 30 days.”

Instead of being afraid like liberals, we welcome this change, are taking advantage of it, and encourage other people of non-white origin, from minority religions, queer people, or who otherwise are threatened with death in this Empire to exercise their right to own and train with a firearm, and take steps to secure their meetings, demonstrations, and events from fascist attack. Guns are not primary, and we are not a “gun club”,  but there is no making revolution while dead, and anybody with the capability to do so should arm themselves without hesitation or delay. Anyone who is interested in joining or assisting in our antifascist work and joining a Saint Louis Coalition Against Fascism, please contact us.

2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, when the workers and peasants of what was soon to become the Russian Revolution dared to storm the gates and overthrow the degenerate and bankrupt government, delivering us the first socialist state. In their memory, and in the memory of all who have advanced our course towards a better and more just world, we will build for revolution in a real way in our city in 2017.

DARE TO STRUGGLE, DARE TO WIN!

DEEPEN AND EXPAND PEOPLE’S POWER IN SAINT LOUIS!

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ILPS-USA 2016 Conference – Right to Resist, Right to Exist: Fight Police Terror, Racism, & Political Repression: PYO-STL Report Back

“Movements don’t ask. Movements demand! Justice isn’t something you can beg and borrow. Justice is something you have to TAKE. You don’t negotiate justice.”  -Frank Chapman

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ILPS Conference. Photo Credit: ILPS-USA

 

PYO-STL was honored to have been invited to send a delegate to Chicago, Illinois, to participate in the 2016 Conference of the International League of People’s Struggle, USA, with the slogan “Right to Resist, Right to Exist”. The conference marked the first anniversary of the police murder of LaQuan McDonald by Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot him 16 times as he walked away. Van Dyke was on the scene for only 30 seconds before he opened fire on McDonald. The International League of People’s Struggle is the largest and most widespread formation of anti-imperialist organizations on Earth today, all members striving and struggling to realize the unity, cooperation and coordination of anti-imperialist and democratic struggles around the world. Attending this conference offered us the opportunity to learn directly from comrades with decades of experience and practice in anti-imperialist and democratic struggle, learn about how strong mass organizations function through witnessing the strength and power of organizations led by Filipino comrades who have been making revolution and waging a powerful and millions strong anti-imperialist struggle for decades, and also learn from comrades in Chicago who have been taking an active role in mass movements and conducting powerful mass work for decades. We were also able to link up with, learn from, and enjoy the company of both old and new comrades from across the country, coming from places as diverse as Los Angeles, Chicago, Kansas City, the Bay Area, and New York City, belonging to a variety of organizations, ranging from the Filipino women’s mass organization Gabriela to Anakbayan to Students for Justice in Palestine to our own sister branch, Progressive Youth Organization, Kansas City. All of us were united in our burning desire to learn from and assume our role in building a strong, powerful, and sharp anti-imperialist movement in the United States, the belly of the beast.

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ILPS Conference, 2016. Photo Credit: Anakbayan Chicago.

 

The conference opened with a song performance from two Black women comrades, KOStar, expressing the anger and rage of the masses at the continued genocide against the Black oppressed nation in the United States, a message from Palestinian national liberation hero Leila Khaled, and a reading of an address from ILPS Coordinating Committee Chairperson Professor Jose Maria Sison, titled “The People Have the Right to Resist Monopoly Capitalist Exploitation, State Repression and Racism”. Professor Sison expressed solidarity with the masses of the United States who suffer under state repression and set the tone of the conference as one where we, serious revolutionaries and mass organizers, would exchange strategies and advice regarding, as we say, “how to get free”. There were then addresses from Frank Chapman, a veteran Black mass organizer who was railroaded into prison at the age of 19 for robbery and first degree murder, beaten and tortured by the police until he was forced to issue a false confession. He now organizes as educational director and field organizer with the Chicago Alliance against Racist and Political Repression. His address was extremely well received. He linked up the oppression that the masses across the world face and the ramifications both at home and abroad, and taught about the struggle of the masses of Chicago, led by the Chicago Alliance against Racist and Political Repression, for CPAC, or Civilian Police Accountability Council, which is a democratic, popular, and mass demand that would place handcuffs on police in the City of Chicago, and curb the notoriously crooked city executive’s control over the police, placing more power over the police in the hands of the community. The experience of the CAARPR and the CPAC struggle against the police is a good example of effective organization of the masses. Organizers that are integrated into and residing in neighborhoods impacted by police brutality go among the people, investigate their concerns, and organize, mobilize, and struggle around these demands. This struggle is of the masses of Chicago, for the masses of Chicago, by the masses of Chicago. Chapman also expressed gratitude for the Filipino mass organizations taking part in the National Democratic Movement for joining the struggle in the United States against racist police oppression in a big, systematic, wilful, and organized way. This shows the power of internationalism and the ultimate necessity of seeing the struggles of our worker, student, national minority and peasant comrades overseas or from different groups at home as our own, and joining with them in their victories, standing beside them in their struggles, and mourning their martyrs alongside them.

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Frank Chapman. Photo Credit: Anakbayan Chicago

The spirit of internationalism was present all throughout our time in Chicago, with Palestinian, African-American, Indian, Latin American, and comrades from all across the world joining together in the spirit of righteous outrage and anger at our common enemy and determination to struggle against and build a firm and solid movement against the continued oppression and exploitation of our peoples at home and abroad. We also heard from a representative speaking on behalf of Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian freedom fighter and victim of political repression who was kidnapped, incarcerated, and subjected to merciless torture by agents of the fascist state that calls itself Israel. She came to the United States, only to face political repression and be threatened with revocation of her citizenship, prison time, and deportation to Jordan for supposedly lying on immigration documents. Odeh’s case is still being struggled out in court, and it is essential that we mobilize to not only defend the democratic rights of this veteran people’s fighter and hero, but also continue to participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that the Palestinian masses have demanded of us in the West and also continue the struggle against American support of Israel and oppression of those who organize in solidarity with the Palestinian people, on and off college campuses. We also received an address from Sarah Chambers of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, one of the most advanced, militant, integrated with the masses, and powerful unions in the country, and learned of their vicious and long struggle against the crooked Chicago mayor (and former Obama Chief of Staff) and “schoolyard bully” Rahm Emanuel and his administration. The CTU and others brought not only teachers, but black and brown parents and students into the struggle against the racist, neoliberal school system, organizing mobilizations against racist standardized tests and school closures. The struggle for CPAC, the struggle for Justice for Rasmea Odeh, and the struggle in the Chicago schools all have one thing in common: they are mass struggles, they are struggles not only for a petty interest of a certain few, or for trifling demands, these are direct confrontations and class struggles that involve thousands of people. In Saint Louis, the oppression is just as sharp, the struggle against racist administrators, cops, gentrifiers, and all that which would seek to destroy us requires just as much mass organization and leadership. We have a duty as revolutionary youth. Our duty, as laid out by our comrades at home and abroad, is to build the organized, militant and powerful movement against capital-imperialism, against police terror, against all that causes hunger, war, and want, right here in this city. These addresses were followed by a panel session in which all were welcome to ask questions directly to these veteran organizers, and the responses had the same tune: build struggle, oppose imperialism, always remain linked to the masses and orient to them to grow the anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, popular revolutionary mass movement in your city. Do not just mobilize, organize and build the mass movement, the mass organization, and raise political consciousness to prepare for higher forms of struggle. Do not just organize for reforms in a sporadic fashion, take every opportunity to point out and tie in these problems to the greater system of capitalism-imperialism that loots, kills and robs our comrades in the Philippines, Mexico, India, Nepal, and all over the world, and constantly struggle to practice working class internationalism of the oppressed and exploited. Following this, there was a second panel and addresses from Abayomi Azikiwe of the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice, Lyn Meza of the ILPS International Coordinating Group, and Paul Quintos, ILPS Research Director, on the importance and methods of building a strong anti-imperialist solidarity movement in the United States.

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Mass organizations from across the country representing at CPAC mobilization. Photo credit: Bob Simpson

We then separated into breakout groups, where we struggled with the questions: “How can we link and raise our issues towards building anti-imperialist solidarity in the US?” and “What suggestions do you have for the ILPS CC in strengthening ILPS US?” On the first, our group agreed that we must develop forums and educational activities that are lively and mass based, build coalitions of mass based groups and organizations are necessary to involve the broadest segments of the masses in our campaigns at all levels, link our individual and local struggles to capitalism-imperialism in a palatable and tangible way, struggle to bridge the “generation gap”, and avoid heavy-handed, dogmatic, and inaccessible language in our dealings with the masses of our people. All of these must be used to truly organize the masses, not just appeal to those who are already activists, because we know that a small clique of activists can never hope to accomplish much. It is the masses that make history. The coalitions and campaigns in Chicago involve churches, community groups, student organizations, and other groups that are integral parts of the lives of the masses of people. On the second question, we agreed that ILPS must have materials in different languages and ensure that the materials are digestible by the broad masses of people. ILPS organizations must also work among and build struggle the masses of youth, not just students but all youth. Our group’s findings were then summed up and presented before the conference.

Our delegate volunteered for security duty at the 600 person strong community mobilization for CPAC later that evening. This provided more practical experience in our arsenal in regards to effectively planning and handling large demonstrations, mobilizations and protests, and preventing our comrades from being injured or arrested because of negligence or slipshod organizing/poor planning. We had what we had already known regarding the necessity of maintaining open lines of communication, maintaining contact, knowing the location of the nearest hospitals to the protest route, the location of police precincts, and assigning roles and duties to ensure the mobilization goes well to comrades who have experience or skills that would ensure that situations do not get out of hand and comrades have a strong as steel support network in place should anything happen. We also learned the importance of developing a strict protocol of discipline for organizers and security detail in regards to avoiding or de-escalating potentially dangerous situations.

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Mobilization for the anniversary of the murder of LaQuan McDonald. Photo Credit: Bob Simpson.

Chicago is a city of struggle, as is Saint Louis. Both cities have long and proud histories of liberation struggle, both cities have masses of disenfranchised, nationally oppressed, poor people who are, daily, driven deeper and deeper into poverty and new forms of hellish exploitation. Our involvement in the ILPS conference and our linking up with our comrades from across the country gifted us with several valuable practical experiences, lessons, and stories that have sharpened our ability to do our duty to the masses of the whole world, which is to build an organized, disciplined, and anti-imperialist mass movement here in the Saint Louis Metropolitan Area.

Long Live International Solidarity!

We Are Not Amused by Your Phony Debate, We Are Not Registered to Vote, We Will Not Participate in Your Murderous Spectacle!

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Today is October 9, 2016. Tomorrow marks the commemorative holiday of the pig Columbus’s expedition to the Americas, a voyage that spelled genocide or slavery for millions of the indigenous people of these lands, the eventual kidnap and forced slavery of millions of Black people from Africa, and the eventual setting up of the settler nightmare, the plague that calls itself “America”. Tonight, two of the phoniest, blood-soaked, criminal, hypocritical pieces of garbage in the country, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, will descend upon our city for yet another phony song and dance that calls itself a debate. Not just descend on our city, but visit the richest institution of higher learning in the city, Washington University, one that is for all intents and purposes closed to the masses of people. They will yell at each other, run their mouths, act like they hate each other, and then call each other up when they get on the plane to go to their next campaign stops and laugh and pat each other on the back. Trump and Clinton are class comrades, they attend each others weddings, their kids go to the same schools, they move in the same social circles. Trump is a loudmouthed, boastful, racist, fascist braggart, while Clinton is a sneaky war criminal and racist that represents a party that has governed this city for years and has done absolutely nothing whatsoever for the masses of poor black people here. Chief Sam Dotson is a Democrat, yet under him we find it against the law to provide material aid and assistance to the houseless, police brutality run amok, and his department playing a role in aiding and abetting gentrification. Now, it seems, he appears to be ready to run for mayor. He’ll fit right in with people like Slay and others. We don’t have time for it. We’re dying out here. No time to vote. No reason to do so. Whoever wins, there will be struggle. Remember, Ferguson, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and countless other cities went up in flames under the watch of our dear President Obama, who was seen by many in 2008 as the ultimate realization of all black people’s hopes and dreams and the end of racism. See what we have now? Where is our power? Where can we make a difference? In the streets, in the communities, not at the polls.

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Mexican comrades show what to do with ballots.

Voting has nothing to offer us. This is not our system, it never has been, it never will be until we hold power. The rich make the decisions, the working class takes them. Without power, all is illusion. Liberal activist groups posing as revolutionaries, groups such as Socialist Alternative and the so-called “Communist Party, USA”, by discarding and refusing a firm rooting in political theory and the lessons of the past, by refusing to orient towards the lowest and deepest groups of people, by abandoning class struggle and choosing instead to take an approach where they hop from demonstration to demonstration, hawking one meaningless third party candidate or “outsider” like Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders (who gave up the ghost to Clinton without the slightest struggle or delay) after another, registering people to vote, and bending over backwards, chasing meaningless reform after meaningless reform, are rightfully rejected by the masses of people who long for and desire revolution. They talk about Fred Hampton, they talk about the Black Panther Party, and then go right on and channel the righteous anger of the people right back into the system. They holler about a “party of the 99%”, while acting like the left wing of the Democrats. Is this the act of a comrade, or is this the act of an enemy? Who waters down their language, acting as if capitalism is not something that is literally killing us every single day? Call a spade a spade, call a duck a duck. It’s not “the billionaire class”, it’s the capitalists and the imperialists, not all of whom are billionaires. We don’t need a “political revolution” at the polls, where some savior comes down from heaven and delivers us to the Promised Land, we need a revolution like that which the Black Panther Party called for. The power is in our hands, we can solve our own problems, we can deliver ourselves, if we dare to organize, dare to  struggle and dare to win. It is the height of arrogance to call yourself a revolutionary and act as if the polls in an American election are a revolutionary center, and push people there to vote for your worthless candidate.

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Flyers from comrades in Austin. Expect these to be going up on a telephone pole or streetlight near you very soon.

What is PYO-STL’s line on the elections? What is the revolutionary line on elections in general? Which candidate do we endorse? Jill Stein? Bernie or Bust? Mimi Soltysik? No. We have no rationale or reason to continue to feed and legitimize this election and this fake democracy for the rich and the exceptional. We are revolutionary working class youth, we are revolutionary students. We see the power in our hands, and in the hands of the masses. We don’t vote. Anyone that asks us to register will get an earful, especially if they call themselves a revolutionary. We boycott elections, and prepare to build something new, in the streets, in the hoods, among the people. This is a spectacle that we have no part of, we do not endorse the harassment of our Latino and Muslim comrades, we do not endorse the drone bombing of our comrades overseas, we do not support the system that incarcerates hundreds of thousands of our friends, neighbors, brothers and sisters every year. Fuck Clinton. Fuck Trump. Don’t vote. Don’t let yourself be shamed into voting. Do we want Trump to win? Black and brown working class people might as well have lived under Trump for 400 years, if we study history. We struggle regardless. We show out regardless. We make revolution regardless. DON’T VOTE! REVOLT!

 

 

 

 

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)

 

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.

PHOTO BY DANIEL HILL

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.

A fallen sign on the opera house floor. - PHOTO BY DANNY WICENTOWSKI

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!