Thursday, November 10, 2011

From The Marxist Archives-On The Anniversary Of Greensboro 1979-From The Pages Of "Young Spartacus" December 1979-"For Mass Labor/Black Action To Smash The KKK!-Avenge Greensboro!"

Click on the headline to link to a Wikipedia entry for the Greensboro 1979 events.

Markin comment:

The events of Greenboro, North Carolina 1979, today more than ever as we gear up our struggles in the aftermath of the spark of the Occupy movement, should be permanently etched in our minds. We had best know how to deal with the fascists and other para-military types that rear their heads when people begin to struggle against the bosses. The article below points the way historically.
Markin comment on this article :

Every year, and rightfully so, we leftist militants, especially those of us who count ourselves among the communist militants, remember the 1979 Greensboro, North Carolina massacre of fellow communists by murderous and police-protected Nazis, fascists and Klansmen. That remembrance, as the article below details, also includes trying to draw the lessons of the experience and an explanation of political differences. For what purpose? Greensboro 1979-never again, never forget-or forgive.

Although right this minute, this 2011 minute, the Nazis/fascists are not publicly raising their hellish ideas, apparently “hiding” just now on the fringes of the tea party movement, this is an eternal question for leftists. The question, in short, of when and how to deal with this crowd of locust. Trotsky, and others, had it right back in the late 1920s and early 1930s-smash this menace in the shell. 1933, when they come to power, as Hitler did in Germany (or earlier, if you like, with Mussolini in Italy) is way too late, as immediately the German working class, including its Social-Democratic and Communist sympathizers found out, and later many parts of the rest of the world. That is the when.

For the how, the substance of this article points the way forward, and the way not forward, as represented by the American Communist Party’s (and at later times other so-called “progressives” as well, including here the Communist Workers Party) attempts to de-rail the street protests and rely, as always, on the good offices of the bourgeois state, and usually, on this issue the Democrats. Sure, grab all the allies you can, from whatever source, to confront the fascists when they raise their heads. But rely on the mobilization of the labor movement on the streets to say what’s what, not rely on the hoary halls of bourgeois government and its hangers-on, ideologues, and lackeys.
From Young Spartacus, December 1979-"For Mass Labor/Black Action To Smash The KKK!-Avenge Greensboro!"

GREENSBORO, North Carolina—On November 3, carloads of Ku Klux Klansmen replaced their hooded robes with shotguns and semi-automatic rifles as they stormed an anti-Klan rally here, murdering five demonstrators and wounding many others. Over 100 onlookers watched in horror while the Klan carried out an unprecedented assassination attack in broad daylight on an integrated crowd of anti-racist demonstrators.

They drove their cars into the middle of the peaceful rally on their mission of death. Dropping their old tactics of midnight cross burnings, hooded intimidations and terroristic night-riding, the Klan in Greensboro opted for murder— cold-blooded murder. The killers methodically pulled their guns from the trunks of their cars, looking very much like -a group of deer hunters on a weekend outing. But then they opened fire, and within minutes, the streets were covered with the blood of the anti-Klan protesters. Killed were five long-time prominent labor and civil rights activists, supporters of Workers Viewpoint Organization (WVO, which recently changed its name to the Communist Workers Party, USA), the sponsor of the rally. The attackers knew what they were doing, were well-organized and made a bloody declaration to their enemies that the K K K is very much alive and deadly.

Two days after the massacre 12 of the murderers were arraigned on multiple counts of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and two others were charged only with conspiracy. Other than two of those charged, who are members of a Nazi paramilitary storm-trooper group, all the assailants are reportedly members of one of North Carolina's five Klan organizations. As they waited for their hearing to begin, the fascist triggermen sang "My Country Tis of Thee" and "Onward Christian Soldiers," obviously feeling that their cold-blooded attack was a victory for their forces. So now the Klan killers are encouraged by the "successful" shooting, just as they were emboldened by the racist mobilizations that defeated bus¬ing in the streets of Boston, Louisville and Chicago. Across the country the fascists' appetite for more violence has been whetted. They succeeded in murdering five militant anti-racists; now they'd love to go after the rest of their enemies—the blacks, the communists, the Jews and the labor movement.

Uphold the Right of Armed Self-Defense!

This fascist campaign of terror and murder has got to be stopped. Socialists and militants in the labor movement must call on organized labor to mobilize its tremendous social power, in alliance with black and other minority organizations and the left, to stop the Klan in its tracks. A step in this direction was taken on November 10 in Detroit where trade-union militants and the Spartacist League/Spartacus Youth League organized a powerful rally of 500 blacks, trade unionists and socialists in a militant protest against Klan and Nazi attacks. Only massive labor/black action to smash the Nazis and the Klan can prevent another Greensboro massacre!

But it is crystal clear that no union, black or leftist organization can defend itself against a repeat of this outrageous and shocking event without the right to armed self-defense. The capitalist state demands a monopoly on the means of violence. It has been busy passing gun control laws, which leave racist murderers unhindered while citizens are deprived of the democratic right to defend themselves. Uphold the right to armed self-defense! No to gun control!

The Klan's Escorts—Racists in Blue

The press has portrayed the vicious massacre by the KKK assassins as a "shootout" between two "fringe" extremist groups. So anxious to ensure the right of "free speech" for the racist terrorists, much of the bourgeois press is now apologizing sympathetically for the Klan, implying that the Klansmen were simply standing up to the communists' insults, and that the demonstrators "got what they deserved." The attitude of the bourgeois press makes it even more urgent that the labor movement protest the Greensboro cold-blooded massacre and uphold the right of armed self-defense.

It clearly was murder, and the cops are apparently complicit. At the time of the attack the Greensboro police more than a block away from the demonstration rallying point. It was only alter the killings that they finally arrived at the rally site which by then was bathed in blood—and arrested three of the survivors! The cops have blood on their hands: Greensboro police chief William Swing admitted at a November 4 press conference that there was police surveillance of the Klan on their way to the demonstration area "where by law they had every right to be." Actually, the cops' "surveillance" amounted to an escort service for the armed convoy as they drove through the black community into the rally site! The State Secretary of Crime Control defended the cops by stating,

"They had no authority to stop the cars... until some law was violated. Very tragically, in this case, the first law that had been violated involved the murder."

—UP dispatch, 4 November

One can assume that the Greensboro racists in blue would have responded very differently had they "carefully watched" carloads of blacks load automatic weapons into car trunks and drive into a demonstration of Klansmen! The cops have proven time and again that they will side with the Klan and the Nazis. On the very day of the Klan massacre in Greensboro, hundreds of cops played the role of defense guards for a march of 50 Klansmen through the streets of Dallas. The police are paid to defend the racist capitalist state—from gunning down the Black Panthers and Jackson State students to arresting the victims of Klan terror in Greensboro.

The role of the state in defending and protecting fascist scum shows the dangerous stupidity of the demand to "ban the Klan" put forward by liberals and the reformist Communist Party. Any anti-"extremist" law will be used to attack the left. Even now, the FBI and North Carolina undercover police are investigating the "possibility" that the demonstrators' civil rights were violated—investigations which are undoubtedly aimed at increasing the harassment of left organisations. And when Workers Viewpoint announced that they would hold a funeral march through Greensboro on November 11, the mayor immediately declared a state of emergency in the town, calling in 250 state troopers and 500 National Guard riot troops. The troops frisked every one of the 500 protesters at the funeral march. They arrested at least 25, mostly on charges of transporting weapons, and would allow WVO's armed "honor guard" into the procession only if their weapons were unloaded!

Labor Must Smash the Klan

Besides the danger of illusions in cop protection, the other lesson made clear by the Greensboro massacre is that a handful of people cannot successfully take on the Klan by holding small adventurist demonstrations. WVO is a crazed and hysterically disoriented Stalinist/Maoist outfit. They may have held "Death to the Klan" rallies, but they are equally capable of holding a "Death to the Trots and Down with the USSR" rally. They hate the Soviet Union, Trotskyists and the Klan—in that order. In their politics and social attitudes WVO resembles nothing so much as "left-wing" boat people. A recent Workers Viewpoint centerfold went so far as to demand the execution of Trotskyists in Iran! As one of the most viciously sectarian and wildly adventurist groups on the left, they specialize in virulent thug violence, often directed against Trotskyists. And now, even after five of their comrades lie dead they have taken to attacking the SYL campus rallies protesting the massacre of their comrades!

But the Klan in Greensboro was not out to attack only this particular Maoist splinter group. Because of the weakness of the left in this country, WVO happened to be the "reds" in Greensboro. These racists were gunning for all the "commies," "n----r lovers" and "labor agitators." Their guns are still aimed at all blacks and minorities, at every trade unionist and socialist, at everyone they consider to be a social "deviant" in this country.

The Klan and Nazis cannot be defeated by reliance on the state to ban them, reliance on the cops to protect anti-racist demonstrators or by small adventurist rallies. The massive social power of the labor movement must be mobilized in alliance with black organizations to smash these fascist scum and demand: Drop the charges against the anti-Klan protesters and jail the killer Klansmen! No to gun control! Uphold the right of armed self-defense! Avenge Greensboro—for massive labor/black mobilizations across America to smash the Nazis and the Klan!

anti-fascism, anti-fascist struggle, ANTI-IMPERIALISM, anti-capitalism, lumpenproletariat, an injury to one is an injury to all,

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