Click on title to link to a YouTube film clip of some of the events of that day in 1979 when various right-wing paramilitary thugs murdered five communist workers.
This is the 27th Anniversary of the heinous crimes of 1979 against communist workers in Greensboro, North Carolina
This is a repost of last year's commemorative commentary. The struggle remains the same. As does the message- Never Forget!
REMEMBER SLAIN LABOR MILITANTS-CESAR CAUCE, MICHAEL NATHAN, BILL SAMPSON, SANDI SMITH AND JIM WALLER
For those too young to remember or who unfortunately have forgotten the incident commemorated here this is a capsule summary of what occurred on that bloody day:
On November 3, 1979 in Greensboro, North Carolina, five anti-racist activists and union organizers, supporters of the Communist Workers Party (CWP), were fatally gunned down by Ku Klux Klan and Nazi fascists. Nine carloads of Klansmen and Nazis drove up to a black housing project-the gathering place for an anti-Klan march organized by the CWP. In broad daylight, the fascists pulled out their weapons and unleashed an 88-second fusillade that was captured on television cameras. They then drove off, leaving the dead and dying in pools of blood. From the outset, the Klan/Nazi killers were aided and abetted by the government, from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent who helped train the killers and plot the assassination to the "former" FBI informer who rode shotgun in the motorcade of death and the Greensboro cop who brought up the rear. The five militants listed above died as a result. The Greensboro Klan/Nazis literally got away with murder, acquitted twice by all-white juries.
This writer has recently been raked over the coals by some leftists who were appalled that he called for a no free speech platform for Nazis and fascists (see below) and argued that labor should mobilize its forces and run these vermin off the streets whenever they raise their heads. Despite recent efforts to blur the lines of the heinous nature of and political motivation for these murders in Greensboro by some kind of truth and reconciliation process militant leftists should etch in their brains the reality of the Klan/Nazis. There is nothing to debate with this kind. The niceties of parliamentary democracy have no place in a strategy to defeat these bastards. The Greensboro massacre is prime evidence that any other way is suicidal for militants. No more Germany, 1933's. No more Greensboro, 1979's. Never Forget Greensboro.
REPOST FROM SEPTEMBER 15, 2006
In a recent blog (dated, September 4, 2006) this writer mentioned that one of the Klan groups in this country held a demonstration at the Gettysburg National Cemetery over the Labor Day 2006 weekend around a list of demands that included bringing the troops home from Iraq in order to patrol the borders. Symbols mean a lot in politics and the notion that Klansmen were permitted to demonstrate at a key symbol in the fight to end slavery and preserve the union raised my temperature more than a little. As I said then Gettysburg is hallowed ground fought and paid for in great struggle and much blood. At that time the writer posed the question of what, if any, opposition to the demonstration leftists had put together to run these hooded fools out of town. In response, this writer was raked over the coals for calling for an organized fight by labor to nip these elements in the bud. Why? Apparently some people believe that running the fools out of town would have violated the Klan's free speech rights. Something is desperately wrong here about both the nature of free speech and the nature of the Klan/fascist menace.
First, let us be clear, militant leftists defend every democratic right as best we can. I have often argued in this space that to a great extend militant leftists are the only active defenders of such rights- on the streets where it counts. That said, the parameters of such rights, as all democratic rights, cannot trump the needs of the class struggle. In short, militant leftist have no interest in defending or extending the rights of fascists to fill the air with gibberish. Now that may offend some American Civil Liberties Union-types but any self-respecting militant knows that such a position is right is his or her 'gut'.
In the final analysis we will be fighting the Klan-types on the streets and the issue will no be rights of free expression (except maybe in defense of ours) but the survival of our organizations. A short glance at history is to the point.
One of the great tragedies of the Western labor movement was the defeat and destruction of the German labor movement in the wake of the fascist Hitler's rise to power in 1933. In the final analysis that destruction was brought on by the fatally erroneous policies of both the German Social Democratic and Communists parties. Neither party, willfully, saw the danger in time and compounded that error when refused to call for or establish a united front of all labor organizations to confront and destroy Hitler and his storm troopers. We know the result. And it was not necessary. Moreover, Hitler's organization at one time (in the mid-1920's) was small and unimportant like today's Klan/Nazi threat. But that does not mean that under certain circumstances that could not change. And that, my friends, is exactly the point.