Violence and Street Fighting: Who Says It Alienates the People? (Kasama Project)

[Part of our series on military strategy in imperialist countries.  Originally posted here.]

by Mike Ely

An anarchist wrote in a neighboring thread:

“i find it a little odd the way Marxists in the US always associate militant action with anarchists almost exclusively.”

That is a misunderstanding. I think you are talking to the wrong Marxists. The experience of the Maoist movement in the U.S. (to take just one example) is closely tied with many forms of militancy — starting with the Black Panther policies of armed self defense, and then also with the militant combativity of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). And denoucing militancy is (in my view) associated with very particular currents within the Left — whose strategic errors are closely tied up with those tactical views..

Learning and Practising Street-Fighting in 1968

Zengakuren 1967

While in high school, those of us attracted to SDS took classes at a local “Free University” in radical theory and the street fighting snake dances of the Japanese Zengakuren.

In Washington Square park squads of us practiced — using 5 foot cardboard tubing from the garment district — in how to unhorse “cossacks” sent against us. Over and over we would organize anti-imperialist feeder marches to the growing antiwar parades — and march in ranks through the main streets of Manhattan without permits, defying and confronting the cops. Continue reading “Violence and Street Fighting: Who Says It Alienates the People? (Kasama Project)”

North Africa and the Middle East: Support the revolts and prepare for revolution

A statement from the General Secretary of Revolutionary Initiative (Canada)
February 14, 2011.

When the young Tunisian produce merchat Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze after having his livelihood taken from him by Tunisian authorities, he sparked a rebellion amongst a stratum of youth, students, the urban unemployed, and petty-bourgeois, first in Tunisia and then all across the Arab world. But Bouazizi was himself merely a rallying point, the final trickle of indignation sufficient to allow the fears of Tunisians to be overcome by their yearning for liberation. The Tunisian revolt, followed by the flight of Ben Ali on January 14, 2011, emboldened the Arab masses to emulate Tunisia’s example, igniting all of North Africa and the Middle East in rebellion.

The domestic and international situations that have conditioned these revolts are the depressed economic conditions in most of the Arab world, subordinated as it is to the geopolitical interests and economic dictates of imperialist globalization, which includes the defense of Zionist aggression and expansionism. The protests and rebellions throughout the Middle East – from Tunisia, to Algeria, to Egypt, to Jordan, to Yemen, to Gaza, and beyond – have been triggered by decades of pro-imperialist, feudal, dictatorial, pro-Israel, and bankrupt antipeople policies. As the Arab revolts unfolded, the news outlet al-Jazeera began to release the leaked “Palestine Papers”, thousands of diplomatic documents from the past decade of the Israel-Palestine conflict. A brief glance at only a few of the thousands of documents reveal unequivocally how treachourous and pro-Israeli is the Palestinian leadership of Mahmoud Abbas and the entire Palestinian Authority. These documents have offered the Arab masses and the whole world yet another opportunity to observe how U.S. imperialism, Israel, and comprador ruling classes like Mahmoud Abbas and Co., conspire against the interests of the masses in the geopolitical and economic interests of imperialism. Continue reading “North Africa and the Middle East: Support the revolts and prepare for revolution”

International communist movement led by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism greets with joy and favor the uprisings of the popular masses in Tunisia and Egypt

Party of the Committees to Support Resistance – for Communism (CARC) – Italy
Via Tanaro, 7 – 20128 Milano – Tel/Fax 02.26306454
e-mail: resistenza@carc.it – website: www.carc.it

National Direction – International Relations Department
Tel. +39 0226306454 – e-mail: carc.ri@libero.it
02/02/2011

We release this stance by Communist parties, groups and organizations led by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism about the popular masses who rebel in Tunisia, Egypt and in the other countries where they soon will begin the same great and heroic enterprise, inviting to subscribe it.

CARC Party – Int. Dept.

The international communist movement led by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism greets with joy and favor the uprisings of the popular masses in Tunisia and Egypt that are overthrowing the regimes that oppress their country. They are anti-popular and tyrannical regimes, heirs of the old colonial system that has now worn neocolonial clothes. They are regimes slaves of U.S. imperialism, of the International Community that the U.S. government presides over, of  the Zionist groups in Israel who are the colonial armed wing of the American imperialist bourgeoisie in Palestine and in the Middle East, of the world imperialist system.

Let their revolt be the dawn that heralds a new world!

Continue reading “International communist movement led by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism greets with joy and favor the uprisings of the popular masses in Tunisia and Egypt”

Student Rebellion in London, England

Inside the Millbank Tower riots

Posted by Laurie Penny on The New Statesman– 11 November 2010 11:41

“This is scary but not as scary as what’s happening to our future.”

It’s a bright, cold November afternoon, and inside 30 Millbank, the headquarters of the Conservative Party, a line of riot police with shields and truncheons are facing down a groaning crowd of young people with sticks and smoke bombs.

Screams and the smash of trodden glass cram the foyer as the ceiling-high windows, entirely broken through, fill with some of the 52,000 angry students and schoolchildren who have marched through the heart of London today to voice their dissent to the government’s savage attack on public education and public services. Ministers are cowering on the third floor, and through the smoke and shouting a young man in a college hoodie crouches on top of the rubble that was once the front desk of the building, his red hair tumbling into his flushed, frightened face.

He meets my eyes, just for a second. The boy, clearly not a seasoned anarchist, has allowed rage and the crowd to carry him through the boundaries of what was once considered good behaviour, and found no one there to stop him. The grown-ups didn’t stop him. The police didn’t stop him. Even the walls didn’t stop him. His twisted expression is one I recognise in my own face, reflected in the screen as I type. It’s the terrified exhilaration of a generation that’s finally waking up to its own frantic power.

Continue reading “Student Rebellion in London, England”

Rebellion Against Austerity Measures In France

From Telegraph.co.uk:

Marseille close to standstill as worst strikes in 15 years cause French chaos

By Harriet Alexander, Marseille

The cars abandoned along the stretch of motorway leading to Marseille Airport made it look as if the inhabitants of France’s second city had fled some terrible disaster.

Their owners had in fact parked as neatly as they could and dragged their suitcases to the terminal on foot to catch flights to holiday destinations and business meetings – the only way to get past the barricades that were thrown up by protesters on Thursday morning.

Observant meme is observant

Marseille has been crippled by strikers. A fleet of huge ships cruises offshore, unable to dock, their lights reflecting against the still waters of the port at night. From the air it looks like a giant game of Battleships.

In the city centre, streets are still piled high with rubbish after the refuse collectors joined dock workers, train drivers, students and airport staff who have brought the city almost to a standstill. Continue reading “Rebellion Against Austerity Measures In France”

On Violence: Reactionary vs. Revolutionary

Street fighting in Paris, 1968

A statement of Revolutionary Initiative.

[Note: A Norwegian translation of this article by Serve The People is available here.]

Regardless of what people want, political violence is a factor in social and class struggle. Despite the fear mongering of the monopoly corporate media, almost all political violence is not carried out by black clad demonstrators, but by the state against the people. It is heaped upon proletarians on a daily basis, most especially the racialized, lower strata of the proletariat in the imperialist countries, and even more so upon the people of the colonial and neo-colonial nations living under the boot of imperialism. It should be no surprise then that the people forcefully defend their rights and sometimes engage in open fighting. Violence is a reality. The question is what form must revolutionary violence take?

Continue reading “On Violence: Reactionary vs. Revolutionary”