This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.
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THE MAOIST INTERNATIONALIST MOVEMENT
MIM Notes 96 January, 1995
MIM Notes speaks to and from the viewpoint of the
world's oppressed majority, and against the
imperialist-patriarchy. Pick it up and wield it in
the service of the people. support it, struggle
with it and write for it.
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. BHOPAL: TEN YEARS OF INDUSTRIAL GENOCIDE
2. WELFARE, CRIME AND IMMIGRATION: WHITE NATION GOES BONKERS
4. RAIL NEWS: DENNIS BRUTUS DECLINES PRESIDENCY
5. YOUTH DEFEND MIM FROM AMNESTY CREEP
6. PROPERTY OWNERS TO PANHANDLERS: DROP DEAD!
7. NAACP: NEO-COLONIAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF CIA PUPPETS
8. BOSTON GLOBE OFFERS SYMPATHY FOR RACIST
9. SPARTS ASK PIG QUESTIONS
10. SPARTS PRACTICE RIGHT-OPPORTUNISM
11. GATT IS A TRADE FRAMEWORK, NOT A SYSTEM
12. VIDEO OPPOSES CONTROL UNITS TORTURE
13. CRIMINAL JUSTICE IS AN OPPRESSIVE SYSTEM
14. NIGHTLINE PRISON SERIES REVIEW:
AMERIKANS WANT MORE REPRESSION, AND THEY WANT IT NOW
15. "FREE COUNTRIES" HAVE MORE PRISONS
16. PROTEST MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF INDONESIAN OCCUPATION
17. CP-USA HAILS PHONY CHINESE COMMUNISM
18. APPRECIATING THE CULTURE OF THE PEOPLE
19. UNDER LOCK AND KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONS AND PRISONERS
20. WHAT NON-PRISONERS CAN DO TO SUPPORT PRISONERS:
WHAT IS MIM?
The Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) is a
revolutionary communist party that upholds
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, comprising the collection
of existing or emerging Maoist internationalist
parties in the English-speaking imperialist
countries and their English-speaking internal
semi-colonies, as well as the existing or emerging
Spanish-speaking Maoist internationalist parties
of Aztlan, Puerto Rico and other territories of
the U.S. Empire. MIM Notes is the newspaper of
MIM. Notas Rojas is the newspaper of the Spanish-
speaking parties or emerging parties of MIM.
MIM is an internationalist organization that works
from the vantage point of the Third World
proletariat; thus, its members are not Amerikans,
but world citizens.
MIM struggles to end the oppression of all groups
over other groups: classes, genders, nations. MIM
knows this is only possible by building public
opinion to seize power through armed struggle.
Revolution is a reality for North America as the
military becomes over-extended in the government's
attempts to maintain world hegemony.
MIM differs from other communist parties on three
main questions: (1) MIM holds that after the
proletariat seizes power in socialist revolution,
the potential exists for capitalist restoration
under the leadership of a new bourgeoisie within
the communist party itself. In the case of the
USSR, the bourgeoisie seized power after the death
of Stalin in 1953; in China, it was after Mao's
death and the overthrow of the "Gang of Four" in
1976. (2) MIM upholds the Chinese Cultural
Revolution as the farthest advance of communism in
human history. (3) MIM believes the North American
white-working-class is primarily a non-
revolutionary worker-elite at this time; thus, it
is not the principal vehicle to advance Maoism in
MIM accepts people as members who agree on these
basic principles and accept democratic centralism,
the system of majority rule, on other questions of
"The theory of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin is
universally applicable. We should regard it not as
dogma, but as a guide to action. Studying it is
not merely a matter of learning terms and phrases,
but of learning Marxism-Leninism as the science of
-- Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 208
* * *
BHOPAL: TEN YEARS OF INDUSTRIAL GENOCIDE
December 3rd marked the tenth anniversary of one more spectacular
example of industrial genocide: the now legendary Bhopal, India Union
Carbide disaster. In Bhopal, hundreds of women whose husbands died
burned straw effigies of Warren Anderson, former chairman of Union
Carbide Corporation. Thousands of protesters marched through the
streets, continuing a decade of protest.(1) As the people of Bhopal
continue to suffer the effects of the Union Carbide Corporation gas
leak--with a death toll estimated at 16,000 with hundreds of thousands
more affected--they continue to battle the powerful multinational and
the comprador Indian government.(2) Justice is not coming anytime soon.
Bhopal has been recorded as a historical accident. In reality, the
industrial genocide there is neither history nor an accident. The people
exposed are still suffering from acute illnesses, and are dying. The
economic deprivation and social misery the disaster brought to the
people of Bhopal are unlikely to be alleviated. The masses demand
reparations, but multinationals know such lives are cheap. The chemical
industry's Hiroshima has wrought suffering that is very much in the
The pesticide formulation unit in Bhopal, a city in central India, was
just one part of Union Carbide Corporation's (UCC's) global empire. On
December 2, 1984, during routine maintenance operations, a large
quantity of water entered a Menthyl Iso Cyanate (MIC) storage tank
triggering a chain reaction that caused 400 tons of MIC along with
Hydrogen Cyanide to burst past the rupture disc and into the night air
of Bhopal. Safety systems were grossly under-designed and inoperative.
Senior factory officials knew about the lethal build-up in the tank at
least one hour before the leakage; yet, the siren to warn the nearby
communities was not sounded until more than one hour after the leak
started. By then, the poisons had enveloped an area of 40 square
kilometers (with a population of 650 thousand) killing thousands of
people in its immediate wake. The poison clouds hung close to the ground
for more than four hours.(3)
Union Carbide had not told the surrounding community about the dangers
of the chemical plant in their city, and continued to repress the
information after the disaster. When doctors called the plant medical
officer for advice the following morning, he informed them that the
leaked gases were similar to tear gas and that all the exposed people
needed to do was wash their eyes with water.(4)
Actually, of course, the gas was much more threatening. The respiratory
and neurological impact was great at the time and continues. Many of the
findings of the Indian Council of Medical Research are classified, and
many were terminated before completion, but the effects would be hard to
exaggerate: from severe breathlessness to genetic defects among babies,
the toll continues to rise.(5)
Government hospitals are grossly inadequate for the number of patients,
and so these desperately poor go to private doctors who charge them
exorbitantly for the same low quality service. In the absence of
information, the doctors indiscriminately prescribe antibiotics,
steroids and psycho tropic drugs. Cruelly, included among these
unnecessary medicines are products manufactured by Rhone-Poulenc, the
corporation that bought out Union Carbide's facilities so that UCC could
protect its assets.(6)
Hindustan gulaam, carbide salaam
(India salutes carbide as a slave to its master)(7)
Protest groups in India have recognized the nature of their government:
comprador to imperialism.
Union Carbide negotiated with the Indian government to prevent the
victims from filing as individuals, realizing that it might have to pay
each one real compensation. The Indian government obliged and became the
single plaintiff. India was clearly on the side of the defendant. In
1989, it settled for $470 million, less than one seventh the original
claim. The Indian Supreme Court has held that should the settlement
money from UCC prove insufficient, the Indian government should make up
the difference, so India has an interest in denying the financial impact
of the disaster. The Indian government demands stringent medical proof
of injury, which is expensive for victims to obtain, and gives out only
paltry sums as dole to avoid exhausting the settlement money.(8)
Union Carbide has successfully avoided going to trial on criminal
charges. It claims to have no objection to testifying and it has made up
two stories explaining the disaster and neither one says it's UCC's
fault. However, by its own admission it has spent $50 million on legal
fees to avoid such a trial and just reparations.(9) The fact is, all of
the safety problems at the plant--like the inadequacy of the cooling
system that led to the pressure build-up and the scrubber operating at
more than 200% capacity which were listed among 61 hazards in a report
by UCC three months before the disaster--were known to plant engineers.
They opted to do nothing about the safety standards being only half that
of Bhopal's sister plant in West Virginia because they know damage done
in India would not be punished. They were right.
If the Indian government were to prosecute Union Carbide vigorously, it
might scare away other multinationals that want to do business in India
where workers are cheap and expendable. It might also jeopardize money
from the IMF and World Bank which require government impotence in order
to provide their usurious loans. Many companies are taking advantage of
India's ever-liberalizing open door policy. As Union Carbide has sold
its shares to get all its assets out of reach to Indians, other
companies have marched in to replace it.
The companies buy off India's most powerful citizens with lavish gifts
for politicians and consumer goods for that portion of Indian society
rich enough to afford them. Less than 10% of the Indian population can
afford consumer goods, but this market is nearly 100 million people.(10)
More important to these companies is the platform to produce cheap
exports--and a place to make anything too dangerous to make in
Amerikans' back yards. Now standard in any contract with a multinational
is a so-called get-away clause, relieving them of any liability for
The final agreement amounted to Union Carbide trading $470 million for
any responsibility in Bhopal. At the rate the Indian government is
settling the more than six hundred thousand claims, they will not be
completed for another 13 years. Many of the claimants will be dead by
Even those who do get some compensation get little. On average,
claimants are being paid $870 for personal injuries and $3000 for
exposure-related deaths. The government deducts $225 from the
compensation for interim relief paid earlier. Thus, compensation falls
short of the cost of medicines required for the next five years and does
not pay for doctors fees, living expenses or any such extras.(11)
Many are wrongly denied compensation altogether because the victims
cannot provide adequate medical records or pay sufficient bribes.
Appeals are effectively avoided through deliberate delays. Because they
receive no money until their appeal has been judged, this practice
amounts to coercing claimants to accept pitiful sums.(12)
Masses rally for justice
More than 80% of the affected people had earned their living prior to
the disaster through wage labor or petty trade that required hard
physical labor. They can no longer pursue their trades after being
exposed to the gas, so they are in desperate need of economic
In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, thousands of activist
organizations outside Bhopal showed support for the victims. Amerikan
college students demonstrated outside Union Carbide's headquarters in
Connecticut while relief organizations provided some support. But such
spontaneous charity and protest dropped off by the end of December 1984
and the struggle was left to the people of Bhopal.(14)
The people of Bhopal were poor even by Indian standards. No one who can
afford other options chooses to live downwind from a chemical plant.
Having taken out loans at 200% interest from local money-lenders to
provide for immediate necessities, the people demand jobs. There has
been no shortage of government promises.(15)
In 1987 $222,000 of the money for the victims was spent to create "a
special industrial area" that promised to create jobs for 10,000
survivors. Not only has the promise been reneged on and changed to
1,000, the work sheds are being sold off to private industrialists at
one tenth the price of building them.(16) The exploitation of the people
knows no bounds.
Seeing economically empowered men as too large a threat to the power of
the government, the main program employing appreciable numbers was one
offering tailoring jobs to women. Its 2,300 women employees turned a
yearly profit of $3.3 million for the governmental agency in charge. But
the women found these job centers to be great venues to organize
politically, so the government stopped the program. The women again
organized themselves, independently, and this time they brought their
husbands. The group known as Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan
(Bhopal Gas Affected Women's Organization) still functions, its 10,000
members rallying in the face of police brutality with other similar
Police repression has been harsh. The tactics used are reminiscent of
the Indian fight for independence, emphasizing nonviolence in the face
of open brutality. They have been attacked and arrested hundreds of
times. A most celebrated case of repression involved a police raid of a
health clinic in which they confiscated medical records and equipment
and arrested the volunteer doctors, but the instance was not isolated.
Perhaps grandest in its list of oppressive means, the BJP state
government demolished the houses of more than 15,000 Muslim gas-affected
Union Carbide learns its lesson: lives are cheap in the Third World
The protest measures, while admirable, will not end the misery of the
people of Bhopal or prevent future industrial genocide elsewhere. Even
if the people are able to get somewhat more just compensation, the
multinationals have learned a valuable lesson. Fortune 500 companies can
have their way in Third World countries.
Union Carbide and other multinationals are moving their operations
outside U.S. borders.(19) The labor aristocracy raises a cry about this,
but their arguments are a sham. Amerikan workers don't want to be
victims like those in Bhopal. And companies do not want the risks
involved, either. In 1985, 60,000 U.S. claimants filed suit against
Johns Manville Corporation due to harm from asbestos, and they are
compensated with $2.5 billion. Thus victims in Bhopal were worth only
2.27% the price of Amerikan victims.(20)
Bhopal is just one example, albeit the most glaring one, of imperialist
genocide in the Third World. The only thing that will release Third
World peoples from the yoke of imperialist oppression is self-
determination. Experience has shown that India's bourgeois-led
revolution has not liberated the Indian people from the imperialists.
Union Carbide has shown its disregard for their lives, and further
supplications will yield little. UCC has pulled its claws out of India,
but only to make room there for other multinationals and do its own
slaughtering elsewhere. Only socialist revolution can bring justice to
the victims of the multinationals.
1. Washington Post 12/3/94 p. A38. 2. Anniversary Notes, Published by
Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti (BGPSSS) and Bhopal Group for
Information and Action (BGIA) p. 5. 3. Ibid. p. 4. 4. Ibid. p. 21. 5.
Ibid p. 6. 6. Ibid. p. 9. 7. Ibid. p. 24 (From a poster on the walls
of New Delhi after the settlement in 1989.) 8. "Unfinished Business:
Bhopal Ten Years After," by Ward Morehouse, p. 3. 9. Transcript of
Union Carbide Annual Meeting, 4/22/87, p. 38 quoted in Morehouse, p. 2.
10. "Tenth Anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster," by J. Kerliner
(unpublished), 5/11/94, quoted in Morehouse, p. 4. 11. BGPSSS and BGIA,
p. 12. 12. Ibid. p. 13. 13. Ibid. p. 9. 14. Ibid. p. 26. 15. Ibid.
p. 9. 16. Ibid. p. 10. 17. Ibid. p. 10. 18. Ibid. p. 27. 19.
"Lessons of Bhopal," pamphlet of Communities Concerned about
Corporations (an Amerikan labor group). 20. BGPSSS and BGIA, p. 13.
* * *
WELFARE, CRIME AND IMMIGRATION: WHITE NATION GOES BONKERS
According to USA Today, the Republican Party took 63 percent of the
white male vote in the 1994 Congressional elections. The white males had
a visceral attraction to the white male Republican call to blame other
peoples for crime, welfare and immigration.
Now the Republicans are putting forward proposals to win the hearts of
settlers everywhere. First in line is to cut welfare.
MIM does not support welfare either, but MIM supports socialism which
guarantees a job, housing and health care for everyone. There would also
be community child care, so there would be no need for welfare as we
Nonetheless, the white nationalist movement opposes welfare for much
different reasons. It seeks to blame all evils on the various other
nations contained within U.S. borders, plus the immigrants from the
Third World (not the immigrants from Europe or South Africa).
The Republicans have put forward the idea of cutting welfare for the
poor--as opposed to welfare for the rich. They want to remove the so-
called "entitlement" of welfare by fixing the budget for such programs
so that some people will definitely go without, whether they qualify for
welfare or not.
The white nationalist movement has the distorted perception that the
government is welfare for the poor instead of welfare for the rich and
white labor aristocracy. The history of stealing land from the natives
and then farming on it as individuals who "make it on their own" has
ingrained into the white nation that it must be the fault of the poor if
they are poor. Hence, the settler white nationalist movement opposes
welfare programs for the poor while ignoring the plunder by the rich
just as settlers had to ignore their plundering of the native peoples to
get their plot of land in the first place.
The actual costs of the welfare programs for the poor are listed below
*Aid to Families with Dependent Children $14.2 billion
*Food stamps $23 billion
*Nutrition for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) $3.1 billion
*National School Lunch Program $4.5 billion
*Public housing $17.3 billion
*Supplemental Security Income (mostly disabled and elderly) $19.4
total: $81.5 billion
If we also completely eliminate Medicaid, there would be another $91.9
billion saved.(1) Combined with $81.5 billion saved from eliminating
welfare, that would be $173.4 billion. In other words, completely
eliminating welfare would not eliminate the federal deficit, which is
over $200 billion per year. The government would still have to borrow
money if there was no welfare.
Related to welfare cuts is how the Republicans in particular plan to
make immigration an issue in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida in
the upcoming years. The Democrats as always will go along and show some
of their own initiative on how to crack down best.
The Republicans want to cut welfare for immigrants, including legal
aliens who pay taxes. Yet cutting all welfare for aliens in 5 annual
budgets would reportedly save only $22 billion or $4.4 billion a
Many have pointed out that by eliminating the military budget the
imperialists would easily balance the budget. Yet that is welfare for
the white nation, especially the imperialists who do business abroad and
want a big stick to threaten business partners with. Imperialists don't
w4ant to part with Defense Department give-aways because the same
imperialists get the contracts from the "Defense" Department.
If welfare for the poor is cut, the subsidies to the corporate farmers
would have to increase, because those nutrition programs buy their food
from the U.S. corporate farmers. More importantly, cutting welfare might
make some people previously pacified more rebellious. We would see more
crackdowns and an increase in "justice system" employment, which goes
disproportionately to the uneducated cracker.
Unlike the white nation labor aristocracy-oriented "Left" scrambling to
make excuses for the Democrats, MIM does not fear Republican efforts to
cut welfare and hence MIM does not urge votes for Democrats. If the
Republicans cut welfare, the masses will engage in more revolutionary
struggle. Such welfare cuts will only increase the solidarity of the
peoples within U.S. borders with the Third World masses. The
imperialists cannot save their system by cutting welfare.
In 1991, U.S. government(s) at the federal, state and local levels spent
at least $75.5 billion on the "justice system." (2) Thanks to the white
nation media, the settlers think irrationally that that money goes to
locking up murderers and rapists.
The white nationalist movement loves to keep locking up more and more
people, because just over half the inmates so imprisoned are not white.
Counting people with sentences longer than a year, the imprisonment rate
was 96.7 per 100,000 in 1970. It became 139.2 per 100,000 people in 1980
and by 1991 it was 309.6 per 100,000 people.(3)
If the white crackdown continues at that rate of more than tripling the
inmate population in 20 years, then within 80 years, every single man,
woman and child of the peoples of color within U.S. boundaries at this
time will be in prison.
What does the white nation put people in prison for. Let's break it down
for state prisons where over 85 percent of prisoners are with the
remainder in federal prisons. Thanks to the settler media, the image is
people in prison for murder and rape.
The facts are different. 6.5 percent are in state prison for first- time
non-violent offenses. Another 32.0 percent are there for repeat non-
violent offenses and another 12.7 percent are there for non-violent
offenses with a past violent offense where time was served already. In
other words, 51.2 percent of the people in state prisons are there for
non-violent offenses.(4) In 1991 states spent $17.8 billion to imprison
their inmates, most of whom are there for non-violent offenses. (5)
The picture of what cops do is also much different than the public
image. Cops don't spend their time arresting someone every second of the
day, and when they are called into action the most common reason is
domestic violence. This is not what the white nationalist movement has
in mind when it pushes to hire more cops.
In 1992, there were just over 14 million arrests. The biggest source of
arrest is alcohol--drunk driving, liquor laws and drunkenness in public.
That's approximately 3 million arrests right there. (6) Connected are
often so-called vagrancy and disorderly conduct arrests. Again this is
not the white nationalist image of what cops are all about.
Then there are over one million arrests per year for "drug abuse." Two
out of 3 drug-related arrests are for possession, not sale or
manufacture of drugs. (7)
Another 2,146,000 arrests are connected to property crimes. That leaves
only 742,130 arrests in 1992 connected to violent crime out of over 14
million arrests.(6) The white nation right-winger's image of the cops
out there fighting and stopping violent crime is false. They have plenty
of time as evidenced by all the things they arrest people for, but they
cannot stop violent crime. In previous MIM Notes we have already
detailed that in fact there is no relationship between the number of
cops a city has and its crime rate.
Despite white nationalist movement rhetoric, most of what the InJustice
System handles has nothing to do with violent crime. Violent crime is
just the image the white nationalist leaders use to rev up their
followers. Unfortunately, the petty-bourgeoisie and labor aristocracies
of the oppressed peoples within U.S. borders also buy into this rhetoric
because it fits their class position. These peoples must be rallied on a
revolutionary nationalist basis to oppose the oppression of various
nations within U.S. borders.
In conclusion, there is very little of any reality behind the white
nationalist movement sweeping the United States as the 1994 elections
just proved. Distorted myths of crime, welfare and immigration leave
unchallenged the legacy of hundreds of years of settler rule and
slavery. Leaving old myths and property structures intact is what the
white nationalist movement is all about.
1. USA Today, 11/23/94, p. 8a.
2. Statistical Abstract of the United States 1993, p. 202.
3. Statistical Abstract of the United States 1993, p. 210.
4. Statistical Abstract of the United States 1993, p. 211.
5. Statistical Abstract of the United States 1993, p. 293.
6. World Almanac and Book of Facts 1994, p. 966.
7. Statistical Abstract of the United States 1993, p. 200.
* * *
Philippine solidarity group opposes GATT
A message of international solidarity to the Filipino people in their
people's campaign against GATT ratification in the Philippine Senate on
December 8, 1994
We, members of the Coalition for International Economic and
Environmental Justice (CIEEJ), other people's organizations and
concerned individuals throughout Southern California in the USA,
steadfastly support and are united with PUMALAG (Philippine Network of
Citizens Against the GATT), and the broad majority of the Filipino
people in condemning and opposing the planned ratification of the
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in the Philippine Senate
on December 8, 1994.
In North America, big business and their allies in government have
shoved NAFTA down our throats. Now, these monopoly capitalists have
taken it one step further with a global agreement--GATT. Like NAFTA,
GATT increases corporate power while removing ordinary citizens from
decision-making processes. This is essentially a corporate bill of
rights which upholds big profits and corporate prerogative. GATT will
result in greater inequalities between the rich and the poor, while
undermining democracy, worker and environmental protection and autonomy
of Third World peoples. This is especially true for the Philippines.
GATT will be ratified by governments around the world, this process will
create the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO will be an
undemocratic, secretive and unaccountable international trade
bureaucracy, with power to make life and death decisions. The GATT
accord will undermine local, state and national decision making power.
GATT will nullify laws that establish livable wages, health and safety
standards, for workers, protection of the environment and human health.
GATT will cut tariffs on industrial goods by an average of more than one
third and progressively liberalize trade in agricultural products. GATT
will strengthen the dependency and stranglehold of Third World countries
by multinational corporations and the further intensification of rural
poverty and disenfranchisement of underdeveloped and developing
These adverse effects of GATT on the socio-economic lives of the vast
majority of the working people of the world further make our resolve to
enjoin them in their struggle for political, economic and environmental
The Filipino people have had more than enough of imperialist control of
the Philippine economy! We support the Filipino people in their fight
against the World Bank--IMF impositions. It is an inalienable right of
the Filipino people to struggle for national sovereignty and genuine
development. We support the Filipino people's program for genuine
agrarian reform and nationalist industrialization.
Stop U.S. and Japan's imperialist domination of Philippine economy!
No to GATT ratification!
Onward with the struggle for freedom and democracy in the Philippines!"
--Coalition for International Economic and Environmental Justice, Los
MCB52 responds: While we also support the Philippine revolutionaries in
whatever tactics they chose in their struggle against imperialism, we
differ with respect to the role of revolutionaries in Amerika. Most
workers in Amerika are not oppressed, and their interests lie in
supporting the imperialism that pads their paychecks. GATT 8, like all
those that came before it, is a deal between imperialists. To oppose it
alone would be short-sighted and risk supporting the right-wingers'
nationalism. For MIM's analysis of GATT, turn to pages 6 and 7.
In Remembrance of Lewis Gurwitz
Lewis Gurwitz, a well-known activist lawyer, died of a heart attack on
August 28, 1994, while attending an international conference on the
struggle of the Native Lubicon Cree in Alberta, Canada.
His life journey was a commitment in struggling for social justice. He
was an excellent lawyer who shunned careerism and was committed to
defending and struggling with oppressed people, not in an office, but on
the road, from struggle to struggle--Attica, Wounded Knee, many cases of
political prisoners and campaigns to free them, international
conferences on social justice issues, Native land rights struggles
across the country on which he spent much of his time and energy on up
until his last day with his Native sisters and brothers in Alberta,
His life-long struggle for social justice and spirit of love, compassion
and hope through struggle is an inspiration.
--a Maine prisoner
The price of "freedom"
To whom it may concern:
I just finished browsing through a copy of MIM Notes. I do not agree
with your way of viewing the world.
Socialist or Maoist governments, I believe, deny people's individual
freedoms. I know you perceive this as selfishness but the essence of
freedom is that people have the choice to decide what they want to do.
People have the right to rise as far as talent can take them. It is
morality that should determine whether or not people will act in a civil
way. Socialism does have good common sense ideas when it comes to civic
responsibilities, but [socialism] can lead to paranoia.
Anyway, it is good and well that you print your magazine. I wish you the
best of luck. This is America and free speech is a sacred thing with
--Anonymous student in the East
MCB52 responds: Thanks for writing, although it would have been better
if you provided a return address so we could be sure that you will see
The big question when we discuss freedom is freedom ITAL for whom END
and freedom ITAL for what END? The freedoms you describe in your letter
are not extended to a majority of the world's people. In fact, they are
at their expense. Your "right to rise as far as [your] talents can take"
is your privilege to oppress other people. Do you really believe that
"talent" is what allows you to reap the benefits of super-exploitation
throughout the Third World? Third World peoples who starve to death
growing coffee instead of food are not in that position out of lack of
Morality is not what determines whether people act in a civil way. That
would make Third World peoples who rise against imperialism "immoral."
By most any honest standard, Amerika's ruthless world domination is
profoundly immoral. But Maoism is not about Judeo-Christian ethics. MIM
does not oppose Amerikan militarism because we want them to "do the
right thing." The majority of the world's population's survival and
self-determination--call it "freedom to survive" of you like that lingo-
-depends on overthrowing Amerika.
The main thing that you fail to see is that not everyone wins in
imperialism. Most people lose. And most of the losers are safely out of
view of Amerikans, tucked away in the Third World or in the ghetto. If
you pull the blinders of idealism from your eyes, you can see the
suffering your "freedom" inflicts.
We appreciate your support of our "right" to distribute, and we hope you
will step forward if and when the cops on your campus try to give us the
boot. Right now, government repression is fairly light, but you can be
sure that as our revolutionary movement grows, repression will increase.
We hope that you will remember how important you think that "right" is
when the price of supporting it rises.
MIM defames Turkish state?
ITAL In November, a college newspaper printed MIM's story "Turkish army
burns Kurdish villages" and long excerpts from the Communist Party of
Turkey (Marxist-Leninist) statement against the Turkish genocide in
occupied Kurdistan. The full versions of both articles appeared in MIM
Notes 95, 12/94, p. 7. END
The above mentioned article in your Newspaper is unjustly accusing
Turkey by attacking Kurdish villages. Since it is only fair to hear both
sides of a story, please print our response to MIM in the [college
Kurds live in five countries in the Middle East, namely Syria, Iran,
Iraq, Turkey and Armenia. The Kurds in Turkey speak many different
languages such as Kirmanchi, Zazaki, Sorani, Gorani and Luri. It is not
clear if they all belong to the same ethnic group. According to
historians there never ever was an independent Kurdish state. Until the
Selchuk Turks arrived, many ethnic groups lived in Anatolia, such as
Urartus, Assyrians, Phynicians, Hitites, Armenians, Greeks, Romans, Laz,
Kurds, etc. Since the year 1071, Turks established themselves in South
East Anatolia and to this day these lands are Turkish Lands without any
interruption or interval. During the second millennium, many people
moved from one land to the other. These migrations took place much later
than Turks arriving Anatolia. These lands have been Turkish lands since
Kurds like all other ethnic groups are citizens of Turkey and all
citizens of Turkey have equal rights. Many Kurds have occupied very
important positions in the government. Our late president Mr. Ozal
openly announced that he was a Kurd. Our Ex-Secretary of State Mr.
Hikmet Cetin is also of Kurdish descent.
A group of leftist Kurds are fighting for independence and burning down
the houses of those Kurds who do not join them. They are shooting
teachers, doctors, nurses and are raiding the highways. They are bombing
official buildings. Turkish army is fighting those guerrillas to save
the lives of its citizens may they be Turkish or Kurdish. Does it ever
occur to you why those guerrillas are only fighting Turkey and not in
the other four countries where there is a Kurdish population?
Turkish Anti-Defamation League
PO Box 4 Bebek 80810
MIM did not ITAL unjustly END accuse the Turkish state of burning
villages in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. Members of the Turkish
government--including Turkey's Minister for Human Rights, Azimet
Koyluoglu, and MP Cindoruk--have openly admitted that the army is
destroying villages and called for investigations.(1)
Kurds do not enjoy the same legal rights as other citizens of Turkey.
There is a ban on the Kurdish language; Kurds are regularly imprisoned
for owning cassettes of Kurdish pop music.(2) The Turkish police have
seized copies of the nationalist newspaper Ozgur Ulke (Free Country) and
banned the paper Ozgur Gundem (Free Agenda) (neither is affiliated with
The LA Times reported on December 4 that "three coordinated explosions
ripped through separate offices of Turkey's leading pro-Kurdish daily
early Saturday, killing one person and injuring 22. The biggest blast
occurred at Ozgur Ulke's main offices in Istanbul.... Scores of Ozgur
Ulke employees have been jailed for supporting the Kurdish rebels, and
10 reporters have been killed. Human rights groups accuse the security
forces of involvement in their murders; the government denies their
The policies of the Turkish state are even too harsh for their
imperialist friends: the United States has encouraged Turkey to ease its
ban on the Kurdish language.(4)
The revolutionaries fighting in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan do not need
to impress the people's support. A Kurdish man interviewed in 1993 said
of the Kurdistan Workers' Party: "Everyone supports the PKK. This is a
people's movement, and no-one would turn against it."(5)
Throughout this century the Kurds have struggled against those states
which militarily occupy Kurdish territory and suppress Kurdish culture.
During the Gulf War the Iraqi Kurdistan Front went on a military
offensive which liberated up to 95% of Iraqi-occupied Kurdistan. The
United States half-heartedly supported the struggle of the Kurds in Iraq
while ignoring the increased repression of Kurds in Turkey.(6)
And for the record, there was a Kurdish state in the early 1900's. It
was located in present-day Iraq and Iran.(2)
1. Infoladen Omega 10/14.94.
2. Aliza Marcus, Turkey's Kurds after the Gulf war, in: Gerard Chaliand,
ed., A People Without a Country: The Kurds & Kurdistan, London: Zed
3. Inter Press Service 10/20/94.
4. AP 10/22/94.
5. The Ottawa Citizen 7/9/93, MIM Notes 79, 8/93.
6. MIM Notes 51 5/91.
7. LA Times 12/4/94.
MIM queries Refuse & Resist
ITAL MIM saw the following comment from a representative of Refuse &
Resist on the Internet: "I sure hope others face the fact that voting
and the electoral system in general have END never ITAL been the
conduits of change in this country. Creating new parties won't help,
either. Their issues either get co-opted by the Republicrats or they
don't have a prayer anyway, since the electoral system is set up to
ensure the Republicrat rule." MIM's response, and the reply from Refuse
& Resist, are below: END
MIM Responds: What you say above is absolutely correct. We would add
that the reason is that the white nation on the whole is bought-off,
including its working class. Hence, organizations that appeal to the
same social base can only end up dividing the social base and losing
elections. Majority rule within U.S. borders doesn't work, because the
majority is oppressors.
We wouldn't talk about "rights" ("Defend Abortion Rights By Any Means
Necessary"), because as you show above, the issue is power struggle.
Even "rights" against a government plays into individualist hands. We
don't want private property rights extended against the government. We
want collective power on reproduction issues.
Anyway, why do you work with the RCP [Revolutionary Communist Party-USA]
at Refuse & Resist, and spend so much time on sexuality issues, when the
RCP program says that homosexuality will be reformed away, as if
heterosexuality were not a "sickness" of capitalism?
What are your differences with us?
R&R responded: Refuse and Resist is an organization made up of a diverse
group of people, including members of the RCP, anarchists, revolutionary
feminists, NOW folks, and many others who don't have a specific
ideology, but are fed up with the system's attacks on the people. Our
point of unity is that we see attacks coming down on women, people of
color, immigrants, gays and lesbians, or any other group targeted by the
reactionary state, as originating from the same place--hence our slogan:
it's all one attack.
Refuse and Resist, then, focuses on fighting ITAL against END attacks--
we have no unifying statement as to the solution of these problems. This
would certainly be impossible, given the range of opinions on this
within the group. This in no way impedes our ability to work together
effectively--when the system threatens anyone, ITAL lots END of groups
can work together to beat back attacks. A good example [is] abortion
rights; when anti-abortion fascists come to town, many groups get
together to shut them down, including Refuse & Resist, NOW [National
Organization for Women], NARAL [National Abortion Rights Action League],
the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] and others. Certainly, these
groups have serious disagreements as to the solution to stopping anti-
This being the case, the RCP's specific program is not part of Refuse
and Resist's agenda--just as the solution to various "problems" given by
anarchists or NOW folks is also not a unifying point for us. We ITAL do
END work with the RCP, just as we work with many other groups.
Therefore, the RCP's "solution" to homosexuality is not relevant to R&R.
I can't say much about the RCP's position on homosexuality, since I'm
not a member of that group. I do, however, disagree with their
assumptions on the issue, as well as many others. Anyone who wants to
debate the RCP stance on anything needs to talk to someone from the RCP.
Refuse & Resist spends a ITAL lot END of time working on "sexuality"
issues because they are under serious attack! Abortion ITAL has END to
be a major focus of any group hoping to smash the fascist storm troopers
and their backers.
As far as our differences with MIM, I can't really answer since I don't
know that much about them. In any case, I would hope that MIM would join
R&R in fighting ITAL any END reactionary attacks, whether they agree or
disagree with the ideology of specific group members. Certainly as
Maoists, MIM would also have disagreements with others in R&R. Let's not
let this stop us from fighting a common enemy--the reactionary system.
MIM Concludes: To clarify, MIM doesn't think anyone needs to justify
working on sexuality issues; the question was: why would people who ITAL
do END care so much about these issues work with the RCP, which has a
reactionary patriarchal line on homosexuality. R&R's answer is honest
and typical of this sort of activism. R&R and others do good activist
work which MIM supports on the pages of MIM Notes and elsewhere.
In one sense, then, MIM does "join R&R in fighting ITAL any END
reactionary attacks," but we don't stop at those attacks that come
directly from the state or imperialists. We also fight the reactionary
attacks that come from the RCP against homosexuals, for example. MIM
will join in many tactical and strategic alliances as they are
necessary, but we won't ally with anyone just because they are on the
same side of one issue. Many in Congress also support abortion rights,
but we don't "join" them in that effort. We oppose them as leaders of
the imperialist patriarchy.
* * *
DENNIS BRUTUS DECLINES PRESIDENCY
On November 22, Dennis Brutus declined to enter into consideration for
the presidency of MIM's new non-party organization the Revolutionary
Anti-Imperialist League (RAIL) for the time being. He bowed out pointing
to his own tentative situation in terms of political organizing and
another recent offer to return to Azania (South Africa).
Dennis Brutus has now spent over 25 years abroad, but the issue of
returning to a semi-liberated southern Africa still remains for Brutus.
He said MIM's consideration of Brutus for presidency was "an honor" and
shows that "you believe I have retained my political integrity."
Like others abroad in the United States, Canada, England and other
imperialist countries, Dennis Brutus is an example of a sojourner--
someone who did not arrive in the United States with the expectation of
staying forever. MIM seeks to work with sojourners to build the Maoist
movement in the societies where the sojourners are staying. How to do
this is an area of concern between MIM and all Third World sojourners.
* * *
YOUTH DEFEND MIM FROM AMNESTY CREEP
After a recent Amnesty International-sponsored speech in Boston, MIM was
distributing newspapers to the mostly high school-aged people in
attendance. Responding to questions about what differentiates MIM's
approach to combating imperialism's horrors to Amnesty's approach, the
MIM representative captured the interest of many of the young people who
were truly interested in finding the best way to free oppressed people.
This made one of the event's organizers extremely angry and he proceeded
to shout nasty diatribes at MIM, saying "Why don't you guys stay away
from ITAL our END things? Nobody cares about you guys!" Masses of
students surrounded the MIM distributor, who did not even have a chance
to respond before they started protesting the Amnesty crony saying "But
we want to hear what s/he has to say. Don't you want to learn about
other points of view? S/he is talking about imperialism, too, and what
s/he says makes sense." The Amnesty organizer shouted "You're scum!"
before leaving the MIM distributor to the attention of the people. He
had done more to reveal the hypocrisy and anti-revolutionary nature of
Amnesty International than the MIM had.
Youth are the only potentially revolutionary vehicle within the white
Amerikan oppressor nation. Those who truly want to side with the
oppressed against their material interests will find Amnesty, so often
used as a tool by the Amerikan government against Third World peoples, a
dead end. They are receptive to MIM's line because it does not sell out
to imperialism. MIM encourages them to join the revolutionary struggle--
and they are listening.
* * *
PROPERTY OWNERS TO PANHANDLERS: DROP DEAD!
Terry Jenkins is the "executive director of EVmark, which manages
Evanston, Illinois' business district with $250,000 a year in special-
assessment money collected by the city from property owners." He claims
that police "investigated about 30 panhandlers and found that nearly all
had homes, arrest records and substance-abuse problems." So is he using
his $250,000 budget to make drug rehabilitation available? Do pigs fly?
Jenkins hired Melvin Smith and another "intervener" to patrol the
business district to tell shoppers that the panhandlers are
"professional con artists.... We encourage you not to give to
panhandlers. You know the government gives them help. They live in
better homes than I've got."
It's said that beggars can't be choosers, but a homeless panhandler says
that Smith's job is the only work he would reject. "I would try to help,
not turn against anybody out here that's trying to survive."
Note: Los Angeles Times 11/24/94, p. A5.
* * *
NAACP: NEO-COLONIAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF CIA PUPPETS
The Ford Foundation is one of the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)'s major contributors. The Ford
Foundation recently released $250,000 to the NAACP after the NAACP
"presented a plan to repair its financial management systems and restore
its credibility with donors."(1)
"The CIA had previously arranged for the prestigious Ford Foundation to
be their main instrument for penetrating and subverting Afrikan
liberation movements. There have always been both public and secret
links between the CIA and the Ford Foundation. Richard Bissell was a
public staff member of the foundation and less publicly CIA Deputy
Director of Plans, for instance. Ford Foundation grants were used to
fund 'social science research' (i.e., intelligence operations), buy off
opportunistic Afrikans, and cover up for subversion of popular
movements. As The Black Panther said, this operation was simply expanded
in 1966 to include the domestic New Afrikan communities. This new effort
was overseen by none other than Ford Foundation President McGeorge
Bundy, who as former National Security Advisor to Presidents Kennedy and
Johnson had run the National Security Council and had helped plan the
U.S. invasion of Vietnam."(2)
1. UCLA Daily Bruin, 11/22/94, p. 4.
2. E. Tani and K. Sera, False Nationalism, False Internationalism, p.
* * *
BOSTON GLOBE OFFERS SYMPATHY FOR RACIST
WBZ radio talk-show host David Brudnoy is gay and has AIDS. Lengthy
coverage in the Boston Globe and Boston Herald on November 17 assured
him great sympathy throughout the state.
It now turns out that Brudnoy even had veto power over the story put in
the Globe and he went over the stories in advance before they were
published. Not surprisingly, there is no mention in any story of
Brudnoy's many vile comments about Black people. In this writer's
experience, no one has made as many vicious anti-Black comments as
When informed of the comments made by Brudnoy, the Boston Globe said it
had no transcript of the comments and couldn't do anything about it. In
contrast, Governor Whitman of New Jersey recently tracked down a radio
show host that supported her and confronted him with his racist comments
when Black groups went to her with a complaint.
The lack of coverage given by the Boston Globe to outrageous anti-Black
remarks in contrast to the ample space devoted to how Brudnoy is dying,
is proof of why there has to be an independent media for the oppressed
people. Brudnoy has apparently set about to prove that gay men can be as
reactionary and aggressively chauvinist as other men and the mainstream
media offers nothing but sympathy.
Note: Boston Globe 11/28/94, p. 11.
* * *
SPARTS ASK PIG QUESTIONS
On two recent occasions, Trotskyists affiliated with the Spartacist
League asked a MIM activist in Los Angeles, "What's your MC number?" The
activist's reply on both occasions was, "That's a pig question and you
know it's a pig question."
A pig question is a question about the internal workings--as opposed to
the political line--of an anti-imperialist organization.(1) Such
questions are of more use to the imperialist state than to the genuinely
curious progressive person. MIM uses MC and MA numbers instead of the
names of its comrades and associates in order to avoid state
surveillance and repression that has been historically directed at
communist parties and anti-imperialist movements.(2)
In addition to asking questions about MIM's internal workings, the
Spartacist League has a practice of attempting to spread similar gossipy
information about people whom the Spartacist League believes to be in
MIM circles. This is one of many reasons why we have been saying for ten
years that the Spartacist League is objectively an agent of the
imperialist U.S. bourgeoisie.(3)
1. For more on this question, see "What is a pig question?" in MIM's
"What is MIM?" pamphlet, available from MIM for $2.
2. For documentation of this point, read Agents of Repression, by Ward
Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, available from MIM for $16.
3. See MIM's "The Spartacist League: Working for Two Bourgeoisies,"
available from MIM for $1.
* * *
SPARTS PRACTICE RIGHT-OPPORTUNISM
On two recent occasions, Trotskyists affiliated with the Spartacist
League asked a MIM activist in Los Angeles why s/he, and MIM generally,
are in the U.S., since MIM believes that the majority of the U.S.
working-class is not a revolutionary vehicle. The answer is that MIM
believes that there is a proletariat--a revolutionary vehicle--in
Amerika's internal colonies. Furthermore, MIM believes that bringing
non-proletarian people to the side of the international proletariat is a
But more important is what these Trotskyists were really saying when
they asked. Their point is that MIM's honest, realistic, accurate,
materialist and controversial analysis of the political economy of the
U.S. poses some difficult strategic questions.(1)
Rather than face the difficulties posed by the bribery of the
imperialist-country working-classes by imperialist superprofits
(extracted from the super-exploitation of the Third World proletariat),
these critics choose to deny reality. MIM recognizes that correct
strategy must flow from correct political line.(2) To tailor one's line
to meet one's strategy, as MIM's Trotskyist and crypto-Trotskyist
critics do, is the essence of right-opportunism.
1. MIM's analysis of the political economy of the U.S. is best laid out
in MIM Theory 1, available from MIM for $4.
2. On the relationship between line, strategy and tactics, see MIM
Theory 5, available from MIM for $6.
* * *
GATT IS A TRADE FRAMEWORK, NOT A SYSTEM
by MC5 and MC307
GATT: What it is
On December 1, the U.S. Senate approved U.S. participation in an
international trade agreement commonly referred to as GATT--the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The House approved it two days before
and President Clinton will sign the bill into law.
The next step for the free traders will be to get the major European and
Asian economies on board with ratification of the agreement. There is a
snowball effect in that the more and larger the economies that join in,
the more attractive joining becomes.
Technically, GATT is a framework for discussion of international trade,
not a particular agreement. The agreement just approved by the United
States is the eighth one under the GATT framework since 1948.(1) As we
shall see, opportunist reformists often speak of the current agreement
as if there were no GATT agreement in place already. Attacking just this
eighth GATT agreement is like opposing the Republicans, but not
mentioning the Democrats as a party of imperialism.
The GATT includes reduction of tariffs affecting the vast majority of
the world's economy. The average taxes on imports will decline 38
percent under the GATT. 40 percent of the products entering the United
States will have no import taxes on them, up from 10 percent. The
worldwide average will rise from 20 percent to 44 percent of products
imported with no tariffs. Disputes on the enforcement of GATT between
countries will go before the newly created World Trade Organization. As
Dole pointed out, of course, any country can withdraw from GATT at any
time, though the agreement just passed asks for six months notice.(2)
As of now, the GATT has no military authority to enforce WTO decisions,
but organizations like the United Nations, NATO and the European Union
are all headed toward greater use of multinational armed forces. Some
day, GATT may have such backing as well in the fantasies of some who
want one world capitalist government.
Two other aspects of GATT often mentioned include a provision to respect
so-called "intellectual property rights," such as patents and
copyrights. The other item we should mention is that the GATT requires
elimination of import quotas. Such quotas are restrictions on the number
of a certain good that are legal for importing. The United States has
quotas in peanuts, sugar, textiles and apparel that will end.(3)
For its part, MIM does not get involved in opposing individual trade
treaties between the capitalist classes of different countries, because
MIM seeks to overthrow the whole capitalist system, not just particular
treaties. Nor does MIM see any progressive use at this time for an
Amerikan-first nationalist movement, often referred to as protectionism
when it comes to free trade matters. MIM is internationalist and does
not base itself in bought-off Amerikan workers and their nationalist
class collaboration with the imperialists; hence, MIM does not care
where the imperialists hire their workers.
This is a major issue for the people within U.S. borders. Our job in
creating public opinion to create institutions for the independent power
of the oppressed is to show the connection between the bought-off white
nation working-class and other labor aristocracies and most of the
opposition to the new GATT agreement here.
In other words, we don't oppose the GATT 8 while not opposing GATT 7. We
oppose all imperialist dominated trade. It's only the reformists who
seek a front against only this one trade agreement. Some capitalists
benefit more from GATT 7 and others benefit more from GATT 8.
In GATT 8 some things for the world's people could get better and some
will get worse. What actually determines what happens under GATT 8 is
not the law, but the class and national struggles of the peoples against
GATT reveals some fissures
The world trade agreement that reduces tariffs for 123 nations is
causing some fissures to show in the U.S. political establishment. Prior
to the November elections which brought a Republican majority to the
Congress, Democrat and senior Senator Strom Thurmond moved to block GATT
from passing in the U.S. Senate before the November elections. Next Sen.
Jesse Helms of North Carolina--a Republican otherwise identical to
Thurmond--was trying to block the GATT with equal desperation.
In all likelihood, both Thurmond and Helms were acting to please the
textile capitalists in their states which somehow came to rely on the
U.S. market and did not wish the expense and delays of moving operations
abroad. Some such capitalists believe they cannot afford to be far-
removed from the U.S. market and so they have not all flocked to East
Asia, South Asia or Mexico for cheap labor.
Jesse Helms will chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee starting
in 1995, and this is a big problem for the internationalist-minded
bourgeoisie unless it can buy off Helms somehow. Like Thurmond and
Perot, Helms poses as a member of the Amerika-first bourgeoisie.
The tactic of Helms to defeat GATT was to tie GATT to President Clinton
who is very unpopular with the white nation right now for not cracking
down hard enough on "crime," "welfare" and immigration. Helms went so
far as to get in trouble with the federal cops called the Secret Service
by saying Clinton would need a body-guard to speak in North Carolina.(4)
Meanwhile other Senators were under more direct pressure from the labor
aristocracy to ditch the GATT, because a vocal part of the labor
aristocracy within U.S. borders fears the competition with foreign
workers that the latest GATT agreement will mean. It is very clear that
organized labor saved Ted Kennedy in the 1994 election from likely
defeat by the Republican candidate Mitt Romney who had a labor dispute
at one of his companies in Illinois that cost him public opinion support
Kennedy voted for GATT, but he organized a public hearing on it at the
State House as he promised so-called labor. The International Union of
Electrical Workers was one force pushing Kennedy to oppose GATT.(5)
The hateful white chauvinist agenda on crime, welfare and immigration
favors the Amerika-first bourgeoisie and left the internationalist
bourgeoisie scrambling to buy off supporters for GATT. Presidents
Carter, Ford, Bush and Clinton all belonged to the same internationalist
bourgeoisie, so well represented by their membership in the Trilateral
Commission, a kind of bourgeois internationalist think tank and club.
While things looked rocky for GATT for a while, the internationalist
bourgeoisie did not allow its program to be disrupted by the minor chaos
caused by the 1994 elections.
Even the very partisan Newt Gingrich of the Republican majority and the
new Speaker of the House did not oppose the GATT. He and Senator Dole
are on the winning side with Clinton. People like Helms, Thurmond and
Hollings can't compete yet. Dole and Gingrich ensured that the
multinational corporate coffers will remain open to their politics. The
awesome ability of the internationalist bourgeoisie to produce
presidents and buy off Congress is not up for challenge yet.
Playing for the yahoo and internationalist bourgeoisie
Phil Gramm ended up voting for the new GATT agreement after making loud
noises in opposition. Gramm is reported by the bourgeois media as a
front-runner for the Republican Party nomination for president in 1996.
He has several advantages in his campaign, which include the ability to
say both that he stood up for the yahoo kooks against GATT and that he
followed Republican Party discipline for the benefit of the
internationalist bourgeoisie by voting for GATT.
Senator Gramm had already raised money for his campaign and many in the
Senate owe him from 1994 campaigns. He also comes from Texas and poses
to the right of the Republican Party Senate majority leader Bob Dole.
These are advantages in the Republican party primary process. Gramm used
the power to play "hard to get" for the internationalist bourgeoisie. It
appears he must have received handsome rewards for selling out the
Gramm originally opposed GATT and his "economic nationalism" as even the
Washington pundits call it,(2) did not sell with the multinational
corporation leaders who have managed to make or break the president to
such an extent that neither Bush nor Clinton dared to oppose NAFTA or
GATT when they ran for president in 1992. Gramm's political line did
well with the settlers and the faction of the Amerikan ruling class that
is heavily based in U.S. sales and can't afford foreign competition.
Thus far, such a coalition hasn't had the bucks to win presidential
elections. The real coalition is still the redneck settlers and the
internationalist bourgeoisie. By itself, the internationalist
bourgeoisie is an insignificant political force. It's money and ability
to co-exist with settlers while it gets what it wants is a source of its
Meanwhile, billionaire Ross Perot had said he would form a third party
for sure as threatened if GATT passes. Hence, Perot and Patrick
Buchanan, who ran television commercials opposing GATT--these two are
fighting for a ruling class realignment in which a settler/Amerika-first
bourgeoisie is the pivot and the internationalist bourgeoisie gets left
as the junior partner.
As U.S. imperialism declines, the appeal of white nationalism will
increase because the white nation working class is bought-off. While the
internationalist bourgeoisie like Bush and Clinton lead toward
international reductions of tariffs and more and more world government
agencies, the Amerika-first faction of the bourgeoisie will stoke the
fires of nationalism the more it is squeezed in the world's dog-eat-dog
capitalist competition. In the long run, the settlers will go with
whichever faction spends more campaigning and whichever faction puts
more gravy on the settler plate. Ultimately, neither faction of
capitalists can ever deliver world peace and an environmentally
sustainable economy, just permanent economic strife and national
The fact of settler nationalism does not mean permanent political
stability. Quite the contrary, the more nationalist the settler gets,
the more contradictions there will be. Ultimately the world's European-
descended minority will not decide the world's fate, unless it is to
vaporize the whole human race.
MIM's first draft of this article read: "If Gramm retains his position
on GATT and is not bought-off by the multinational corporations, he will
lose in 1996, but the long-term prognosis for the nationalist movement
that he leads is good." It didn't take long for Gramm to go along with
the internationalist bourgeoisie. He realized he wouldn't get a second
chance, so three days before the vote, he changed positions, while
complaining about "extraneous" and "dangerous" provisions of the
agreement.(6) This is an example of the power of the multinational
We must understand these maneuverings to understand why many "labor"
activists and supposed communists and social-democrats are only paving
the road to fascism by stoking up economic nationalism.
Minor realignment of ruling class in U.S.
The Amerika-first faction of the Republican party is flexing some muscle
now that the Republican party is the majority and the redneck settler
vote appears to have been the reason. In the past, the labor unions
opposed to global trade had the loudest voice opposing the bourgeois
internationalists. They allied with other nationalists in the
environmentalist movement who always boast how great the environmental
laws are here compared with in other countries. As MIM showed in the
past, the white labor movement also tried to ally with white
nationalists in the movement against sexual harassment by arguing that
NAFTA would increase sexual harassment in Mexico, as if such things
didn't happen to workers here.
Now the far-right element of the Republican Party is lining up with
Perot, Ralph Nader and old-line organized industrial labor and
nationalist environmentalists to oppose GATT. These new right-wing nuts
are gaining a greater weight in the nationalist alliance.
Across the United States, right-wing conspiracy organizations are
training militias with tens of thousands of white people to prepare for
a U.N. takeover of the U.S. government. Like the kooks in the John Birch
Society, these groups believe that the U.S. government is already run by
an international conspiracy that has included the likes of Henry
Kissinger and George Bush.
The grain of truth in the right-wing conspiracy theories is that the
U.S. multinational corporations that push for "free trade" make their
decisions in closed boardrooms, and the settlers are often left in the
dark. To that extent, believing the government is not chauvinist enough,
some settlers have a conflict with the U.S. government, while the
majority settles for the deal it gets from the internationalist
bourgeoisie leading the U.S. government.
The New York Times accurately described these fringe elements as seen in
their Republican Party expression: "The right wing of the Republican
party, whose support Mr. Dole must also seek in any presidential bid, is
also urging against GATT, no matter what assurances are provided by the
Administration. Patrick J. Buchanan, who led the 'America First' trade
campaigns, calls the agreement 'a wholesale surrender of American
sovereignty and states rights.'
If the labor aristocracy is going to break away for an alternative soon,
it will be to break away to these ultra-nationalist groups to try to
restore the empire to its appropriate glory. We must organize to oppose
the economic demands of the settlers including the organized labor
demands with such white nationalist overtones.
Theoreticians of Euro-Amerikan nationalism
On November 17, 1994, the Institute for Policy Studies released a report
on NAFTA in which IPS demonstrates its typical social-democratic
Amerika-first profile. Echoing Ross Perot, Jesse Helms and the
ultraright white militias training in forests across the country to
prepare to stop a GATT world government takeover of the United States,
the IPS and the Communist Party, USA (CPUSA) oppose GATT. The entire
white nationalist movement sees GATT as a bigger NAFTA and a threat to
white nation interests. To some extent, the middle classes in the
oppressed nations of the "United States" that have been bought-off for
"integration" also see GATT as a threat to their position
With all their noise about NAFTA and GATT, at best the social-democrats
and CPUSA revisionists will serve as an unwitting tail to an ultraright
white nationalist movement by providing the intellectual weapons on the
economics behind the Amerikan nationalism of the labor aristocracy. They
are not more powerful than Perot, Helms, Thurmond, Buchanan and their
settler allies, so the CPUSA-types are playing a role as sidekicks to
the Amerika-first bourgeoisie.
According to the CPUSA: "The report rebuts claims by NAFTA supporters
that growth in U.S. exports means more jobs for Americans. In the
automobile industry, for example, there was an increase of 12,000
vehicle exports compared with the same period in 1993. However, U.S.
vehicle imports from Mexico increased by 28,000--more than twice as much
as the export gain."(8)
The CPUSA does not explain how the above quote means anything other than
that the Amerikan nation lives off the cheaper labor of the Third World.
For some 15 or 20 years, the trend is for a trade deficit like the one
above in which Amerikans trade paper-shuffling for real manufacturing
work by Third World workers. The CPUSA's concern about evening the
number of cars traded harkens back to a pre-capitalist era ideology
known as mercantilism. It has nothing to do with progressive politics.
The CPUSA goes on: "GATT would eliminate many international tariffs
which protest [sic] Americans workers from low wage foreign
competition."(8) For these clear statements of Amerikan chauvinism, we
want to thank the CPUSA for its honesty.
Previous articles in the People's Weekly World attempted to argue that
the Mexican workers would also benefit from defeating NAFTA. That
pretense is now gone. There is no mention in the article of any negative
outcome for Mexican workers, probably because the same sources the CPUSA
pointed to show that Mexican workers gained over 10,000 jobs certified
lost from the U.S. economy thanks to NAFTA. The article simply says 30
jobs in the United States have disappeared for every job created by
NAFTA (less than 600 so far according to CPUSA). This kind of stand is
little different than the stand for creating an ever-larger Berlin Wall
on the Mexican-U.S. border and for supporting Proposition 187 in
California. As far as the U.S. settlers are concerned, they are all
necessary attacks aimed at the Mexican workers.
Third World interests
If the internationalist bourgeoisie has its way, much of the
agricultural production of foodstuffs in the Third World may cease
because of competition from the United States. Instead, the imperialists
always want the Third World countries to focus on exotic cash-crops for
export instead of food for their people. The imperialists would like the
masses to forget that the money made from exports goes into the pockets
of the rich and does not go to buying grain to stop starvation.
The removal of tariffs against U.S. grain and fodder crops will allow
for an increasing ability of the United States to destroy national and
local food systems within Third World countries and to replace them with
an economy of dependence on U.S. grain, and post-harvest "value-added"
food. This would not be possible if the economies were run by the
dictatorship of the proletariat in alliance with the peasantry. Instead,
these governments are run by imperialist puppets who benefit from
selling out their countries. With few exceptions, comprador governments
allow as much U.S. and other imperialist domination as they can impose.
As a result this GATT will create additional incentives for Third World
countries to direct their agriculture towards forms of agriculture that
do not compete in U.S. dominated grain/fodder markets. Thus as has
happened in the past, Brazil will grow soybeans for Japanese cattle
production but not black beans; Mexico will grow broccoli for the United
States, but not corn and beans for their own people. In essence
domestic/national food economies will be replaced by export-oriented
ones at the expense of autonomy.
Communist Party of the Philippines stand
Our dear Maoist comrades in the Philippines apparently oppose the new
GATT agreement and have worked with labor and environment related
organizations in the United States to oppose GATT. MIM believes the
situations in the Philippines and here are different.
The Philippines is one of the world's majority of countries oppressed by
imperialism. Economic nationalism there is an objectively revolutionary
force aimed at comprador government and imperialism.
We Maoists don't all have to say the same thing. Their job is
principally related to the Philippines and ours is principally North
America and the imperialist countries. They have a national bourgeoisie
to lead that is threatened by GATT and in the Philippines our Filipino
comrades are closer to seizing state power than we are. There, GATT is
part of the life of a U.S. puppet regime and explaining what GATT is
helps the masses see through it.
In the imperialist countries, the opposite is the case. Fanning the
flames of economic nationalism only paves the road to fascism.
Nationalism plays no progressive role at this time in the imperialist
countries so we spend considerable effort rebutting the opponents of
NAFTA and GATT who support the labor aristocracy.
ITAL MC49 assisted in research on this article. This article was written
on December 2.END
1. New York Times 11/30/94, p. 1.
2. Boston Globe 11/28/94, pp. 1, 3, 8.
3. New York Times 12/2/94, p. a22.
4. USA Today 11/23-4/94, p. 1, 8a.
5. Boston Globe 11/23/94, p. 63.
6. Los Angeles Times 11/29/94, p. 1.
7. New York Times 11/23/94, p. a18.
8. People's Weekly World (Communist Party, USA), 11/26/94.
* * *
VIDEO OPPOSES CONTROL UNITS TORTURE
On Monday November 14 as part of Prison Awareness Week at UMass Amherst,
MIM showed the video ITAL Through the Wire END about the women's control
unit at Lexington KY. The first control unit for women, the video makes
it clear that this unit was constructed for the sole purpose of trying
to break these political women. ITAL Through the Wire END is powerful in
that it traces the lives of these three women--Alejandrina Torres,
Silvia Baraldini, and Susan Rosenberg--and includes interviews with the
women; including testimonials as to the debilitating effects of sensory
MIM's only real disagreement with this excellent video was brought out
quickly by members of the audience before MIM could: the focoist
politics of these women. Imprisoned by the state for alleged membership
or participation in the FALN ([Puerto Rican] Armed Forces of National
Liberation) or the Black Liberation Army, these women uphold armed
struggle now as a valid strategy towards liberation. MIM can not comment
on the specific charges against these women, but if they did do what
they are accused of, then they are heroes of the people and should be
let free. MIM however sees the strategy of armed struggle to be
incorrect now--it will merely send more good revolutionaries to the
graveyard or the prisons. We encourage focoists to change their line and
work with MIM for the day when we can pick up the gun--and win.(1)
MIM also discussed with the audience the increases in the number of
control units. When ITAL Through the Wire END was made in 1990, 4 states
had control units. Now over 36 states have them. We also discussed the
"improvements" in the technology of torture such as new prison designs
that keep the lights on all day, or keep the prisoners from even seeing
the pig who brings them food.
One independent pro-prisoner activist reported on the new Super-maximum
facility in Connecticut. She said that it is designed so that instead of
prisoners being brought to the showers, the showers come to the
prisoner's cells on tracks. The prisoners are forced into the showers,
and at least one prisoner has been badly burned because the water was
MIM was encouraged by the presence of this activist and the others who
introduced themselves at these events. MIM hopes to organize these
activists into doing more pro-prisoner work with MIM in the future.
ITAL MIM Associates contributed to this report. END
1. See MIM Theory 5, "Line, Strategy and Tactics" for a discussion of
ultraleftism and the armed struggle now line. $6.
* * *
CRIMINAL JUSTICE IS AN OPPRESSIVE SYSTEM
On the Tuesday of Prison Awareness Week, representatives of MIM and the
Alliance for Student Power and a man who had a pen-pal on death row, sat
on a panel entitled "Racism and the Criminal Justice System". The three
panelists spoke for a few minutes each, and then led a group discussion.
One interesting discussion was sparked immediately by a revolutionary-
minded Nigerian man and a more reformist Black man over how to view the
prison system's relationship to the Black Nation.
The revolutionary Nigerian viewed the disproportionate imprisonment of
Black men in U.S. prisons as part of a conspiracy to oppress Black
people. The reformist took the position that since Clinton, Congress and
big business don't subjectively aim to oppress Black people, it can't be
a conspiracy. The reformist argued that the definition of crime and the
way the criminal justic system works just happens to send more Black men
to prison for longer sentences. The solution, for reformists anyway, is
to get the ruling class to realize that their policies are oppressive to
a certain group.
The revolutionary Nigerian and MIM took the position that the subjective
intentions of policy makers doesn't matter. It's unlikely that Clinton
or Lee Iacocca get up in the morning and think about how to send more
Black men, as Blacks, to prison. It's possible, but it's also
irrelevant. Revolutionaries should look more at objective actions and
realities rather than subjective intentions.
It's more likely that Clinton or Iacocca, as they brush their teeth,
think about stopping crime in general. But the definition of crime they
develop is aimed at young Black men in particular, and when their
policies start sending more Black men to prison these politicians or
capitalists say "Good!"
The Nigerian wanted to term this a conspiracy, MIM preferred the
language of national oppression: but we agreed that the criminal justice
system is an oppressive system, and we agreed on who to blame.
Objectively speaking, the white nation political and economic leaders
are an enemy. Although all concerned (reformists and revolutionaries)
agreed that the courts and the pigs are racist, MIM and some of the
audience held that this can not be changed by simply exposing it or
reforming the system. Only revolution can change this.
Thanks to the large number of Trotskyists in the audience MIM was able
to forge some unity with the reformist Black man, however. The
Trotskyists wanted to argue that the question was not of "race" but of
class. The reformist Black man quickly switched sides to argue alongside
MIM about how white people benefited from racism (national oppression in
MIM's language) and about the oppressive ITAL system END that maintained
the oppression of the Black Nation.
ITAL MIM Associates contributed to this report. END
* * *
NIGHTLINE PRISON SERIES REVIEW:
AMERIKANS WANT MORE REPRESSION, AND THEY WANT IT NOW
This writer saw two of the five part Nightline series on prisons. One
was a tour of Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the other a
"Town Hall meeting" in the yard of Central Prison. The tone of the
program was liberal at best.
TV cameras traveled through the lockdown unit, the sounds of prisoners
voices echoing thru the halls. The Orwellian oppression was apparent.
Viewers were informed that the prisoners are confined to their cells 24-
hours a day, with only 45 minutes a week outside in a chained area, and
out for 15 minutes twice a week to shower. Prisoners were portrayed as
dangerous pathological killers. Only one prisoner, who had been
threatening suicide and was taken to a psychiatric unit, was interviewed
in the whole program. But the warden, pigs and prison psychiatrists were
given plenty of time to speak.
Ted Koppel said to a prison psychiatrist that living under such
conditions would make a man crack, but then added that most of the
inmates were probably cracked before they came to prison. He made the
tacit admission that prisons are oppressive, although that word was
The liberal aspect to the show was the segment on "rehabilitative"
programs. Some prisoners were shown working in a license plate factory
for 20 cents an hour. Other prisoners were shown doing road work, and
some prisoners did farm work. Farm manager James Collier said the farm
program helps deal with the "management problem" of having so many
prisoners locked up.
The point of this segment was that although prisoners have committed
crimes, rehabilitating them with this slave labor helps them prepare to
return to society. (That the state of North Carolina profits from the
exploitation of this labor was not considered.) While waxing liberal on
this point, Koppel repeated over and over that the Amerikan public
resents this kind of "pampering" of prisoners. "The public doesn't want
to make them better. The public wants to punish them." Nightline and the
rest of the bourgeois media contributes to and helps create this public
perception, portraying the prison population as faceless and nameless
Town hall meeting
The "town hall" discussion involved about 15 prisoners and 30
"respectable" citizens, judges, senators, wardens, crime victims, prison
managers and one prisoner advocacy activist. In the course of the
discussion, the reality of prison oppression became visible from time to
One prisoner, Mack Nichols, said, "If I had money, I wouldn't be here."
No one denied this, or as another prisoner pointed out, the judicial
system is just warehousing young people, giving them no education or
Jerome Miller, of a prisoner advocacy group, pointed out that 67% of
Amerika's prison population was Black and Hispanic. That was the only
time Miller spoke. When James French, the Black manager of Central
Prison, was asked to comment on this, he was tongue-tied. Senator
McCullen quickly stepped in to cover and said "If I were Black, I would
want these people in prison."
Not surprisingly, individualism and liberalism ran rampant. One woman
who works for a Victim Assistance Network explicitly rejected any
"socio-economic" analysis. "It's within you," she said straight to the
When confronted with the oppressiveness of the criminal justice system,
a number of the senators put forth reformist solutions. One judge
admitted that people with money can buy their way out of going to
The murder and torture of prisoners by prison guards was never mentioned
or discussed at any point. This would be going a step too far, because
it would be very hard to escape MIM's conclusion that prisons are a
system of oppression, not rehabilitation.
To conclude the show, Ted Koppel sermonized that "we are
disproportionately hard on the poor and uneducated in this country." The
symptoms can be pointed out by even Ted Koppel, but not the causes. This
isn't a matter of mistakenly dealing with a problem in the wrong way. It
is a matter of political oppression of the poor, most of whom are from
the internal colonies. But for those pangs of guilt in the middle-class,
Nightline is there to discuss the problem within the parameters of
* * *
"FREE COUNTRIES" HAVE MORE PRISONS
There is a difference between state-capitalism and Western style free
market capitalism. Now that Russia has our kind of capitalism, it has a
murder rate similar to ours.
In 1986, there were 9,437 murders in the old Soviet Union. In 1993 it
was 29,213. Police estimate 250 by contract at $1,000 to $2,000 per
MIM is not surprised that the more individualist capitalist economies
produce more crime ITAL and END higher imprisonment rates. Currently the
United States and Russia are #1 and #2 in the world in imprisonment
rates. Russia has moved up dramatically since copying the United States
so brazenly with the rise to power of Yeltsin.
According to mainstream journalist Nicholas Daniloff, 4,000 crime gangs
own 80 percent of the Russian economy.
What is the difference between a crime organization and a corporation?
As far as most things go, not much.
Note: Boston Globe 11/28/94, p. 11.
* * *
PROTEST MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF INDONESIAN OCCUPATION
On December 7, a small group of protesters led by the East Timor Action
Network (ETAN) demonstrated in front of the Indonesian embassy in
Washington, D.C., commemorating the 19th anniversary of the continued
occupation of East Timor by Indonesia. Trained and armed by the United
States, the Indonesian army invaded neighboring East Timor in 1975 and
annexed it as its so-called 27th province.
Demonstrators carried signs which read "Indonesia out of East Timor,"
"End U.S. support for Indonesian genocide in East Timor," and "Remember
the victims of the Santa Cruz massacre, November 12, 1991" in which
"Indonesian troops armed with American M-16s gunned down more than 200
Timorese civilians" attending a funeral for resistance fighters killed
by the Indonesian government.(1)
According to the ETAN, the State Department "has licensed more than 250
military sales to Indonesia" since the 1991 massacre, and continues to
arm the Indonesian army in defiance the United Nations which does not
recognize the country's claim to East Timor. In 1993 alone, Indonesia
received $5.1 billion in aid.(2)
At the urging of the United Nations, Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali
Alatas met publicly for the first time since the occupation began with
"exiled leaders of Fretilin,"--a revolutionary nationalist organization
fighting for the independence of East Timor--in October of this year.(3)
The talks, in which self-determination for the occupied nation was not
up for debate, came weeks before 29 Timorese protested the continued
occupation by climbing "the fence into the grounds of the American
embassy" in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, the weekend before the
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit which was held in that
"Their 12-day protest and several weeks of unprecedented uprising in
East Timor itself reminded the world of the more than 200,000 East
Timorese who have been killed during nearly two decades of Indonesian
Maoists recognize that the principal contradiction in the world today is
between imperialism and oppressed nations. MIM supports the self-
determination of East Timor against Indonesian colonialism and Amerikan
MIM Notes spoke with several of the demonstrators at the December 7
demonstration, one of whom questioned our identification as communists.
When this reporter explained that as a communist party, we build support
for (among other things) Amerika's prisoners and national liberation
struggles like that in East Timor, the protester answered that s/he
agreed with MIM on those points but wondered why we would want to
organize under the banner of communism.
Supporting the national liberation of East Timor means supporting a
viable strategy for achieving that liberation. ETAN promotion of "a
bipartisan movement in Congress and at the U.S. grassroots ... to
reverse our government's mistaken course"(1) is not a viable strategy.
Imperialism does not withdraw from profitable labor and resource markets
out of humanitarian sentiment. MIM calls on people of North America who
support genuine national liberation in East Timor and throughout the
world to support Maoism--a proven force against colonial and imperial
1. "Background on East Timor and US Policy," East Timor Action Network.
P.O. Box 1182, White Plains, NY 10602.; MIM Notes 73.
2. The Economist 10/1/94, p. 41.
3. New York Times 10/9/94, p. 6.
4. The Economist 11/19/94, p. 36.
5. "Dec 7 East Timor Protests" Press Advisory, East Timor Action
* * *
CP-USA HAILS PHONY CHINESE COMMUNISM
The Communist Party-USA has recently confirmed its revisionist line on
China. The September 10, 1994 issue of the People's Weekly World (their
official newspaper) ran a two-page article about socialism in China. The
article focused on the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), and
summed up socialism as defense of industrial worker's needs and
industrialization of the economy. Multinational investment was
celebrated as helping achieve this goal. Not to worry, the Chinese
government retains 51% ownership in joint ventures with these private
Never mind that 20 million peasants are wandering around the countryside
looking for work, or that 60,000 workers were killed in industrial
accidents last year.(2) China has opened its doors to foreign consumer
products from fast food restaurants like McDonald's and Pizza Hut, to
Toyota cars and Sony TVs. Foreign debt was $806 billion for 1991.
A lot of the sons and daughters of many Chinese leaders now hold
positions in European and American corporations, representing them in
China. This is a new comprador class which China hasn't seen since 1949.
There is widespread corruption in the CCP. Officials are using their
positions to cash in on huge profiteering schemes. Rong Yiren, vice-
president of China and head of China International Trust and Investment
Corporation, is involved in the importation of Japanese vans to Hainan
Island, re-selling them at huge profits. These sorts of schemes go
unpunished even when they are publicly exposed.
Culturally, China's youth is being drowned in Amerikan soap operas, sit-
coms, Amerikan films, and Amerikan music. Imported pornography is
rampant, even though officially banned.(3) None of this merits the
attention of the CP-USA, which has reduced socialism to trade-union
Fu Xushan, deputy director of ACFTU, refers to the Cultural Revolution
as "our most horrible mistake."
--by a MIM Associate
* * *
APPRECIATING THE CULTURE OF THE PEOPLE
Despite repeated conquests that span centuries, the Andean culture is
very much alive. On Monday, November 14, an Andean group called Peru
Andes played for an overflowing crowd at the University of Massachusetts
at Amherst. Playing panpipes, charango, guitar and percussion, the
musicians gave listeners a glimpse of the culture of the First Nations
of Latin America. Of course, most attendees were not interested in the
implications of the music, but a MIM distributor was there looking at
what we can learn about the people from their music and telling people
about the dangers the Andean culture faces if imperialism is not
MIM challenges those who appreciate Andean culture to act on that and
support the people in their struggles against oppression beyond buying
pretty sweaters as many in the audience at UMass have been doing. Only
people's war can save the Andean people and their rich culture.
Where does Andean music come from? The performers introduced their music
as "spirit alive almost two thousand years." The panpipes they played
resembled ones made in the region ten thousand years ago of stone. The
instrument has evolved over the millennia into a sophisticated set of
two panpipes. Each of the pair has every other note of the scale so that
when two people play together the pipes can be divided. This way, each
player has a chance to breathe. A crucial feature, as one musician
pointed out, since the Andean people dance at their festivals for hours
on end and providing that music would be impossible for a single player.
Just as the panpipes have evolved, so have the stringed instruments of
the Andes. Stringed instruments were not present until the Spaniards
began to colonize. The Europeans would not allow the First Nation
peoples to play the guitar or mandolin, so the people developed a
smaller version that would be easier to hide. This instrument, the
charango, is now played in combination with guitar and mandolin as well
as indigenous panpipes and percussion. This combination is an example of
the creation of a new Andean culture ever evolving--innovative but never
Like Blacks in the United States who sing songs in the language of their
oppressor but tell their own message to make it their own, Peru Andes
sings in Spanish. They sing songs from different parts the Andes, and
dedicate them to "the Andean peoples of Bolivia" or whichever country,
showing their solidarity with First Nations people throughout the
As people gathered to listen to the music of the Andean people, it is
unclear whether they even began to understand the danger that that
people is in. It is all well and good to buy pretty sweaters and listen
to concerts on an evening. In fact, these are good practices if they
lead to a fuller understanding of the culture. The people's culture
should be understood and not looked down upon as inferior to bourgeois
style. But a MIM distributor's discussion with attendees before the show
revealed that some audience members did not know anything about the
struggles that produced these artists.
Some had no idea that there is a Maoist revolution in Peru that seeks to
end Amerika's domination and the oppressive rule of a comprador
government. The Communist Party of Peru has been fighting for justice
for these people for over a decade and continues to combat the Fujimori
regime. If people really want to show their respect for indigenous
cultures, then they must do more than wear the costume. They must defend
the people whose lives are in jeopardy because of imperialism.
* * *
UNDER LOCK AND KEY: NEWS FROM PRISONS AND PRISONERS
Guards get a taste of their own medicine
There is an officer Steve White who has been calling me all kinds of
bitches and punks and shoving my food in my cell so that it falls on the
floor. I wrote this to my mother and the administration showed him the
letter that my mother wrote to the superintendent. So he came in 10/6/94
and started calling me a snitch and punk and son of a bitch, talking
about my mother, and Officers Steve White and Matthew Whitehead started
harassing me all that day and pointing the gas gun at me, threatening to
I got loud and was taken to see Lt. Harold Smith and Sgt. Jerry Holcomb,
but they just acted like I was lying on these two officers. I told them
that the officers were very unprofessional playing games, calling me and
my mother names and pointing the gas gun on me, all on 10/6/94 and
10/7/94. These same two officers were harassing and threatening me and
calling my mother names.
I stopped Sgt. Holcomb on the range and told him that the situation was
critical and he told me there was nothing he could or would do to stop
the terror these two officers were putting on me with the gas gun and
threats. So a little later on 10/7/94, I stopped the Lt. Harold Smith
and told him I could not take it anymore and that it was not going to
stop. I told him I had already filed a grievance report and asked if I
should file another. Lt. Smith said I should as his hands were tied. So
with this done, officer Steve White came back to serve food and called
me a snitch while standing in front of my cell trying to get me to throw
something on him like most guys do. I did not do anything.
Today, only Officer Steve White was working out of the two, and he
started early calling me names like bitch, punk, snitch and fag. I did
not say anything as I was filling out a civil complaint at that time.
About 12:45 PM I heard Officer Steve White say, "Hey, punk bitch" in my
cell. I looked out of my cell and he was pointing the gas gun at me. I
sat back down and then my cell door came open. It was officer Steve
White letting me out. He pointed up. I looked up and saw the gas gun in
the bars. I climbed up the bars and I got the gas gun. Officer Steve
White ran out of sight so that I could not shoot him with the gas gun
that they had used as a terror tactic on me. And I would have shot him.
I had the gas gun on the Disciplinary Segregation (D.S.) unit for
approximately ten minutes, walking up and down the range. Both officers
and prisoners were in serious danger. One officer, Greg Lentz, asked me
for the gas out of the gun so he could put in the report that the gun
was not loaded, thus no one in danger. Knowing the play he was trying to
put on me, I walked to the back of the range and shot the gas gun up to
the big cage so that they could enjoy what they had been shooting us
I destroyed the gas gun and have been told that there will no longer be
a gas gun on this D.S. unit. And the pig Steve White will more than
likely be fired for giving me the gun. I could hear the pig Steve White
say, "You got it now, punk. I bet you won't shoot." I said, "Sure ain't
fun when the rabbit got the gun" and gave the fucking stinking KKK pigs
all five pellets of that gas.
I only had four months left on D.S. lockup and now I've got about ten
years and a transfer and to pay for the gun that I destroyed. But hey,
all in the life of the struggle. And I would do it again tomorrow as it
got two KKK pigs off the unit and the gun will no longer be on the unit
to threaten us prisoners with.
This problem has been building and going on for over two months and my
mother wrote to Jack Duckworth and others and I wrote to Mr. Duckworth
and his Assistant Superintendent Ed Broyles and Lt. H. Smith and filed
grievance and told the Unit Sgt. J. Holcomb and the counselor Mr. Steve
Wilson, but I have civil complaints on Duckworth, Broyles, Holcomb and
Wilson already, so they let these two officers do this to me. And
Officer Matthew Whitehead was the officer I mentioned in my complaint
for asking me to assault another prisoner. I would not, so this is the
thing: I was being set up and it backfired. Fuck them. Fuck all the
So as I end, I hope you'll write me right back and let me know what you
think. All the officers will no doubt be out to get me. I may even be
killed--that's how serious this was. There will be a lot of civil
complaints going in the next couple weeks and it will cost them, so they
will lie on me or something to get me killed. But I'm cool with that;
I'm a small sacrifice, and I will act in this way if ever given the
Get back with me on what you think I should do. If you don't hear from
me again soon after you write me, then you know I've been quieted or
transferred and my property taken. So send a letter to [my home address
Well, I'm out.
Peace and struggle,
--an Indiana prisoner, 10/8/94
MC49 replies: It's always righteous to see the oppressors get a small
taste of what they deserve, and even better when righteous rebellion
provokes a few token progressive reforms, as in your case and the case
of the Los Angeles rebellion. But as for strategy, we do not advocate
armed struggle now within U.S. borders.
Chicago Chairperson Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party did a good
job of explaining why we do not advocate armed struggle now: "A lot of
these people will go up to you in a minute and say, 'Why all these
people being taken, why haven't they shot it out with some pigs.' Well,
what do we say? If you kill a few, you get a little satisfaction. But
when you can kill them ALL you can get complete satisfaction. That's why
we haven't moved. We have to organize the people. We have to arm the
people. We have to teach them about revolutionary political power. And
when they understand all that we won't be killing no few and getting no
little satisfaction, we'll be killing 'em all and getting complete
(MIM actually supports Mao's line of avoiding the killing of class
enemies in cases where it is possible to reform them or make them
productive, but MIM stands by Fred Hampton's basic point here.)
On the other hand, it is also true that: "There are some situations when
no matter what you do, you will lose your battle. The Attica prison
rebellion is a case in point. You can't go on increasingly repressed by
fascism forever. You can also get killed for a non-violent prison
takeover.... So what to do in these situations? Well, although Attica
was repressed and the place is still a hell-hole, that losing struggle
did have an incredible impact....
"Prison conditions and the situation of genocide are difficult to work
into a strategy of winning battles--there are complications to the
Maoist strategy of digging imperialism's grave. Strategic confidence
means different things in different places."(2)
1. The Black Panthers Speak, Philip S. Foner, editor, p. 142. Available
from MIM for $10.
2. "Losing Battles," MIM Theory #5, p. 51. Available from MIM for $6.
Guards beat, kill and domesticate prisoners
On 10/21/94 at 8:00 am, my company was going to the mess hall for
breakfast. The brother leading the line asked the pig "What side do we
sit on?" The pig said, "Whatever side I tell you, asshole." The brother
responded by stating, "My name ain't asshole, it's X." The pig told X to
sit his tray on the table and step outside in the hallway. X went to the
hallway and the pigs started to search and harass him. The pigs closed
the mess hall gate and started to attack X.
One pig pulled out his baton and struck X in the head twice, busting his
head in two places so badly that X needed stitches. X knocked a sergeant
pig out and was rumbling tough with the others, when 50 pigs jumped him
and were beating him. No one could do anything, because they had the
mess hall gates locked, and they had a pig with an AR-15, M-16 and
shotgun in the mess hall tower. After 15 to 20 minutes, they dragged X
to the box and opened the mess hall gates to proceed with program.
When my company came out, the mess hall brothers started inquiring about
what the pigs did to X. As we lined up in the hallway, one brother, X's
main man, started arguing with the pigs about what happened to X. The
pig told X's friend to get on the wall and told the rest of the company
to take it down to our block. A brother in my company said to the pigs,
"We ain't moving until [X's friend] joins the line."
When the brother started this, you could see how fearful the pigs were,
because the entire company refused to move. They searched the brother on
the wall with a light pat frisk and he joined the line. Only then did
our company start to move toward our block.
After we got on the block, they locked the entire company down for
investigation and keeplock. The pigs then started to harass us by
searching our cells one by one with ten pigs standing around us with
their batons in hand. This harassment went on for a couple of days until
we went to our so-called disciplinary hearing and they gave everybody
that was allegedly involved 75 days keeplock (solitary confinement) and
then suspended 60 of the 75.
The brother X got two years in the box, his friend got six months in the
box and the other brother in front got six months box. Keep in mind this
incident happened on 10/21. On 10/28, these savage pigs killed a
prisoner and they closed the entire jail down for three days. Today no
one fully knows the entire story behind the pigs' brutal murder of a
prisoner, but talk is saying that the jail is going to be locked down
for an additional four days.
Today these pigs are searching the entire jail, going in each cell and
harassing us to cover up for their corruption. This is an ongoing
process at the Great Meadow Corruption Facility in Comstock, NY. They
got the audacity to call this Max. Kamp "Great Meadow!" This shit gets
me furious. Because I know that the only thing these pigs respect is
fire, and I'm determined to burn them to hell where the devil belongs.
The sad part about this whole scenario is that these pigs implanted fear
in a lot of these prisoners, and they are also domesticating these
prisoners by giving the TVs and frivolous shit like that.
In the words of Frances Cress Welsing, "Anybody who submits or
cooperates with being victimized and oppressed must be mentally ill or
Power to all people who don't fear true liberation through armed
MIM comrades, please continue forwarding me MIM Notes and I'll continue
--a New York prisoner, 10/30/94
Guards restrain, beat and threaten to kill Indiana prisoner
Uhuru, my comrades at MIM Notes,
I was assaulted on 10/1/94 by racist Special Housing Unit prison guards.
They handcuffed me and shackled my feet, then continued to beat on me
even when they had the restraints on me.
And when the 12 midnight to 8 a.m. guards came onto work, they came into
a room that they use for indoor recreation and checked on my restraints.
Two guards and a lieutenant did this every hour or two hours. But every
time they came and checked on me, the lieutenant told me to back up to
the wall. He had a nightstick in his hand. He would say to me, "If you
move or try anything or look back at me, I am going to beat your nigger
ass until I kill you."
So, comrades, I would like for you to please stay in touch of my
whereabouts to make sure I am OK. Because my life is in danger, because
of my revolutionary spirit.
The struggle continues by any means necessary.
--an Indiana prisoner, 10/5/94
Prisoner to students: Support MIM's free-literature-for- prisoners
I'm a 20 year-old prisoner confined in a New York state prison. This
prison is classified as a Special Housing Unit (SHU). For those of you
who are unfamiliar with the prison system jargon, SHU is simply an
extremely isolated and segregated solitary confinement unit. Prisoners
are put here for many reasons, but the main one is for speaking out
against injustice in the prison system. Freedom of speech is only
effective for people who really do not have much to say. My main concern
in writing to you all is because my revolutionary brothers and sisters
at MIM advised me that they are attempting to get books from you to send
to us prisoners.
There are many prisoners who are struggling to educate themselves and
sharpen their minds. The state prison system provides very limited
educational courses. A lot of prisoners do not have anyone on the
outside who can assist them in enhancing their intellect. In short, we
are denied the right to pursue a fruitful education of our choice.
Case in point: Amerikkka has misrepresented prisoners as cold-blooded
animals. Many people fall for this and believe we are such. Many people
say "them prisoners need to be locked up and how dare they complain
about education, they forfeited that when they made their mistake or
misbehaved in society." What they don't realize is:
1. We didn't make the mistakes; we are the mistakes! The mistakes of
Amerikkka, we are the results of injustice, economic disparity, greed,
capitalism and some of us even racism.
2. We are not the cold-blooded animals that Amerikkka would have you
believe, with the exception of rapists, child molesters and cannibals,
and even they don't need prison, they need help. We are not the ones
who, like prison guards, boil prisoners or scrub prisoners with wire
brushes until their skin hangs around their ankles in bunches. We are
not the ones who hang prisoners by the thumbs from the shower nozzles
and run freezing cold water on them until they turn colors and faint.
No, we are not the ones who urinate, spit and ejaculate in prisoners'
We are not the government officials, politicians and millionaires that
sit back and never mention the old ladies, men and young infants that
freeze to death in inadequately- heated apartment buildings or children
that starve to death in their cribs. I know first hand. I've seen
children eating out of garbage cans whom I had to take home and feed.
Their parents told them not to beg and not to steal, so they resorted to
eating what they could find.
I could go on about the things that I personally saw and experienced in
the richest country in the world--Amerikkka. All Amerikkka tells you is
that we are the problem: the criminals, the single-parent family, the
poor. What they never tell you is what is the cause for such things and
occurrences. I'm from New York City, the Bronx, and I know people that
starved to death and froze to death. I know a woman that filled out 150
applications for various jobs and never got called out for any of them.
Her baby died of starvation, and she had a nervous breakdown and jumped
out the window. I know an old man about 75 who died in his sleep.
Reason? He froze to death. And this was inside his apartment. Amerikkka
doesn't show you this side. It just shows you the effects and not the
cause. It shows you the symptoms and not the disease. So always call
into question what causes the poverty of approximately 40 million people
in Amerikkka and then you will see who the cold-blooded animals really
are and that their system, capitalism, is the real problem of not only
Amerikkka, but the world.
I'm sure I speak on behalf of the majority of prisoners, and we are
people just like you, just in a different social class. We seek
education and enlightenment in order to sharpen our minds. We are not
anti-social or anti-people, we just didn't get a chance to grasp the
opportunity you did. We were too busy under the table scrambling for the
crumbs of the Amerikkkan apple pie.
I'm most sure you all can assist us in some way to expand our minds.
Whichever way you can will be most appreciated by all of us in here.
Thank you very much. I'm sure one of our good comrades will inform you
on how you can go about helping us out.
I send my love to all.
--a New York prisoner, 10/13/94
All I wanted was a sandwich...
In good faith I am writing because I have not been keeping in touch
because I have been under attack by these pigs in this here supermax
prison. These pigs have been moving me from cell to cell so I have not
been doing too much writing. Comrades, I have just received the August
copy of MIM Notes. Basically, there is nothing new happening in this
here supermax; the oppression continues. Two weeks ago during feed-up on
the tier I was housed on, these pigs brought me and about 11 other
brothers some spoiled egg salad. So I told the pigs the egg salad was
not any good and asked if he could get me something better. After I said
this, the other brother started saying something.
Well, the pigs said they were not going to give us nothing.
We said that if they didn't get us any food, we were going to hold our
trays until they did. We held our trays until we saw a captain. The
captain got all of us some peanut butter and jelly, but afterwards, I
was taken and put in the hole, which is a cell with nothing in it. I was
put in the cell with nothing but my underwear. I was shackled down to my
legs for four days.
Comrades, this is small compared to a lot of things that is happening in
I remain in the struggle,
--a Maryland prisoner, 9/18/94
P.S. Can you send me any books you have on the brother George Jackson?
Calling all conscious New Afrikan and Third World men interned in bowels
Sister Antonia A. Drew, Director, Asha Women of Color Project, P.O. Box
12513, Milwaukee, WI 53212, needs your help and support very badly.
Sister Antonia is a conscious New Afrikan activist in the Milwaukee New
Afrikan community, who is in the process of developing a program for the
New Afrikan and Third World men being released from the bowels in the
Milwaukee, WI area called "Ujima: Men's Education Program." The
aforementioned program will provide a gamut of services and assistance
to New Afrikan and Third World men being released from the bowels in the
Milwaukee, WI area.
The courageous sister has submitted a list of queries. She desires to
have New Afrikan and Third World men interned in the bowels throughout
Amerikkka to respond, too. So on behalf of the New Afrikan sister
Antonia, I call upon all conscious New Afrikan and Third World rades and
brothas interned in bowels throughout Amerikkka to join with the sister
in her struggle to develop the Ujima: Men's Education Program by
responding to the following list of queries and sending your responses
to the address above.
If you could create a support system for yourself and others like you:
1. What would it look like?
2. What would it do?
3. What would it not do?
4. Who could participate and who could not?
5. What would sanctions be for non-participation (if any) and what would
rewards be for same (if any)?
6. What were the incidentals that triggered bigger incidents that led to
In a recent communique this writer received from the New Afrikan sister
Antonia, she emphatically conveyed to me that:
"It is my contention that the only people on the planet who can stop
Black males from misusing and abusing Black women and children is Black
men. I don't care how many laws are made and prisons are built. You all
(Black males) must govern each other's behaviors. Black men must teach
Black boys to become men. Many brothers forget they used to control
their communities. Black boys did not beat and rape their mothers and
sisters. It is by design that they not know who they are and what their
legacy truly is. I want to be part of the catalysis that affects and
effects a change in my brothers' thinking and behavior."
This writer concurs wholeheartedly with the New Afrikan sister Antonia.
I, too, want to be part of the catalysis that affects and effects a
change in my brothers' thinking and behavior. And as conscious New
Afrikan and Third World brothers, you should want to be part of this,
As you comrades and brothers peruse this communique, I admonish you to
keep in the uppermost part of your mind that we are all members of an
oppressed nation who simply "happen to be interned in the bowels of
Amerikkka" The struggle that we carry on behind the walls is informed by
the National Liberation struggle of New Afrikan and Third World people
on the outside of the walls. It is paramount at this point in time that
we commence to make even more clear in our minds and in the minds of New
Afrikan and Third World people, that we are not engaged in simple prison
struggle, but are engaged in National Liberation struggle.
Our organized activity must be carried on as, and understood to be, the
organized activity of conscious New Afrikan and Third World men--not
just prisoners. We are not just New Afrikan and Third World prisoners
who have organized ourselves for simple prison activities--we are
conscious New Afrikan and Third World men who organized ourselves for
National Liberation struggle, and who at the present time just happen to
be interned in the bowels of Amerikkka. And as conscious New Afrikan and
Third World brothers, we have come to learn as a direct result of our
persistent study of correct knowledge and information, that it is our
collective responsibility to help one another put the pieces of our
miserable and pathetic lives back together. As New Afrikan and Third
World brothers, we should understand that one day we will have a role to
play in the resurrection of our New Afrikan and Third World communities
in the icon of their past glory. And as New Afrikan and Third World
brothers, we should recognize and accept wholeheartedly our historical
and obligatory duty and responsibility to work to reassemble the New
Afrikan and Third World men of our order, for the redemption of our New
Afrikan and Third World people. As conscious New Afrikan and Third World
brothers, it is incumbent upon us to join with the New Afrikan sister
Antonia in her earnest struggle to make a contribution--to help New
Afrikan and Third World men transcend those values that make us hate
ourselves and our kind. Therefore, I call upon all conscious New Afrikan
and Third World brothers interned in the bowels throughout Amerikkka to
join with the New Afrikan sister Antonia in her struggle to develop the
Ujima: Men's Education Program by sending her your responses to the
above six queries.
I greet you brothers with the heart and soul of a New Afrikan Freedom
Fighter! I salute each of you with a mailed clenched fist!
Build to Win!
--an Illinois prisoner, 9/14/94
* * *
WHAT NON-PRISONERS CAN DO TO SUPPORT PRISONERS:
1. Struggle with, work with, finance and join MIM. The best way to
support prisoners is to overthrow the system under which capitalists
profit from the exploitation of prisoners. History shows that the best
way to do this is to build a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist party. The
oppressors will not give up their power without a fight.
2. Finance MIM's prison work. Our biggest bill each month is postage.
Most of the prison comrades who read MIM Notes have no way of paying for
it. So if you have money, send what you can afford. Every cent helps,
and stamps are as good as cash to us.
3. Distribute MIM Notes and Notas Rojas. Bring the voices of prisoners
and their supporters to as large and wide an audience of people as
possible. Contact MIM for bulk rates and distribution tips.
4. Start or join a prison support group. MIM can provide advice and
resources to help you build public opinion for prisoners and their
5. Fight censorship, beatings, torture and other fascist outrages. Under
Lock and Key often features the addresses of prisoners' friends and
enemies. Work with the friends and let the enemies know you're watching.
(Don't expect to win the fascists to the side of humanity, however. See
#1 in this list).
6. Stay in touch. Keep us informed of pro-prisoner work you do. Our
readers might find it educational or inspirational.