Saturday, June 07, 2008

*Defend the Evergreen State College (Washington ) 6 !

Click on the title to link to the Partisan Defense Committee Web site.

Markin comment:

This information is passed on from the Partisan Defense Committee. I would note that this is an important student struggle for today at a time when many campuses are very, very quiet. Moreover, the question of suspending leftist student political organizations whatever their political shortcomings is a very serious problems that labor militants must add their voices in protest against. I could not link to the site listed but if you Google the Evergreen 6 Legal Defense Fund you can get information and make a donation.

Defend Activists at Evergreen State College

In "Drop Charges Against Evergreen 6! Reinstate Olympia SDS!" (WVNo. 914, 9 May), we reported that six concertgoers face frame-up charges fol¬lowing the cop riot at a February 14 Dead Prez concert at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Outrageously, as part of this ongoing witchhunt, charges of malicious mischief—a felony—and riot have been filed against three more people, Justin Killing,Kelly Primeaux and Christina Shimizu. The Spartacus Youth Club demands: Drop the charges now! Hands off the concertgoers!

Following the February cop riot, the Olympia branch of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was suspended by the Evergreen State College administration in an act of political censorship. Supporters of SDS have been occupying Evergreen's Seminar I building since May 21, demanding SDS's reinstatement and calling to "build a movement for student power." Cops targeting the protesters have arrested one supporter of SDS, Shyam Khanna, who faces charges of assault and riot for allegedly spitting on a cop at the Olympia May Day demonstration. Six others also face charges following the May Day protest. We say: Drop the charges now! The SYC protests SDS's suspension and defends those occupying the building against any reprisals from the administration or police. At the same time, as revolutionary Marxists, we understand that students do not have the power to fundamentally change society. We seek to win the best radical students over to the side of the working class, which uniquely has both the social power and the objective interest to overthrow the capitalist system and organize society according to human need.

Donations to Evergreen 6 Legal Defense should be made through their PayPal account, accessible from the Evergreen 6 Legal Defense Web site at The address advertised in our last article is no longer in use.

1 comment:

  1. A Lesson For The Unwary

    As I have explained before this site is, among others things, committed to trying to learn and to pass on some of the lessons of the international labor movement and other struggles of the oppressed. Sometimes that takes the form a review of someone else’s struggles now or in the past. Sometimes it takes the form of personal comment, many times on some sin of omission or commission from which the writer has ‘learned’ something. This situation with the struggling students out in Evergreen State College in Washington brings up just such a situation. Some of the students there are in deep legal trouble over some incidents that occurred last winter. The details can be found in the article above or by going to their website which I have listed.

    Here is a little nugget about what not to do when writing in to the authorities in defense of fellow militants. I will leave out names of persons, places and organizations on the off-hand chance that the government may still want to make something of it. The cases of the ex-Black Panthers in the San Francisco 8 graphically bring that thought to mind. Many years ago, back in the early 1970’s, I, at the urging of some defense organization (not the Partisan Defense Committee because it was not around then) urged me to write to a midwestern governmental agency of behalf of a well-known defendant. There was a range of charges alleged, some serious, some not. Moreover, I had personally worked on a few occasions with this person. However, here is the sticking point. That defendant’s politics (black nationalism mixed with anarchism) had drifted far from mine (drifting toward Marxism).

    Nevertheless, as I have been committed even in my liberal days to the old labor slogan- ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’ I duly sent off my letter. (I believe that I also made a donation but do not hold me to that.) Of course the letter spoke of the injustice of the charges, the implication of a frame-up and the need to free the defendant immediately. So far, so good. But then I got on my high horse and started to berate the obvious limitations of the defendant’s political perspective and that while not accusing him of being a counter-revolutionary I might as well have. Here is the kicker. At trial the prosecutor, in his own screwy way tried to make something of it to- on the basis of something I wrote – put the defendant outside the realm of rational politics. The defendant eventually got off on all counts-the frame actually was on- but that is not the point.

    The point is though why was I, in essence, telling an agent of the bourgeois state- a state that I, moreover, was in the process of seeing needed to be changed fundamentally- of the disputes within the working class movement. The gap between us (the defendant and I) and that state is a chasm. I latter mentioned this story to an old communist who is the source for this piece of wisdom that I have just imparted. He further stated that the state did not have political defendants put on trial because of their bad politics but because they represented some kind of perceived threat to that state.

    So when you write letters of support to the authorities in Washington, or elsewhere, just state your outrage at the injustice of the charges, your solidarity with the defendants and leave it at that. Then come back here and talk about the political shortcomings of the defendants’ political positions. See my upcoming May 1968, Student Power and the Working Class, for example.