P.O. Box 29670
Los Angeles, CA
The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League (RAIL) is a mass organization led by the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM). RAIL supports self-determination for all peoples, including the necessity of armed struggle against imperialism. RAIL is against the proliferation of prisons warehousing the oppressed, imperialist militarism, imperialist economic domination of the worlds majority, and white settler chauvinism against Amerikas internal colonies the Black nation and the many Indigenous and Latino nations.
RAIL welcomes participation from individuals seeking to further expose the atrocities of imperialism and build opposition to the current system of injustice. RAIL works in the United Front led by MIM to build independent institutions of the oppressed and Serve the People Programs. Following in the footsteps of the Black Panther Party, MIM and these institutions simultaneously meet the Peoples needs while organizing against imperialism.
RAIL members should not conceal RAILs relationship with MIM when working amongst the masses. RAIL will not accept the leadership of revisionist organizations within RAIL or for campaigns or events which RAIL organizes. RAIL members can be members of other mass organizations. Voting members of RAIL must be anti-imperialist and agree with the necessity of armed struggle. People who disagree with these points are welcome to work with us on common goals.
RAIL accepts responsibility for all articles we print and will respond to
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Imperialism is the global economic system that exists today. First World corporations have expanded to the point where they must invest money overseas to continue to grow so they export their capital to the Third World. These foreign investments in Third World economies, safeguarded by military force, stifle the growth of small national capitalist classes. With no national bourgeoisie, or a weak one at best, a national economy is unable to grow. Imperialist investment then ensures its own predominance -- paying dirt wages to workers who have no options, and enjoying the freedom to escape local taxes and environmental restrictions.
It is a principle of anti-imperialism that every nation has the right to national self-determination and the right to struggle for liberation. Nations must be free to choose their own economic and political destinies and not have these policies dictated by occupying forces. Where imperialism extends itself into the Third World, it stifles all indigenous economic and political activity. Anti-imperialists hold that all nations should be free to choose their own course.
RAIL sees imperialism in the hundred-years U.$. occupations of Puerto Rico and the Philippines. We see imperialism in Amerikan state-terrorist bombings of Arab and African countries that will not happily submit to u.$. political and economic demands. Imperialist economic domination is evident in the thousands of people who attempt to cross militarized borders without legal papers year by year. These undocumented immigrants and workers know they can find better jobs in the u.$. -- grown wealthy at the expense of their own countries -- than they can at home. And we see imperialism in the exploding Amerikan prisons, whose construction and maintenance provide jobs for the white nation while their cells cage huge segments of the Black and Latino nations.
For all these reasons, RAIL addresses U.$. imperialism as a brutal abuser
of the oppressed nations. In the fight against imperialism, we welcome
all people who want to see these forms of injustice destroyed.
See RAIL's account of imperialism's death toll for 2001-2002 for more on the
devastating effects of imperialism.
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MIM's recent 2005 congress passed some votes related to re-organizing the way we carry out organizing work. One significant change from previous practice involves the focus on cell organizing. Recognizing the power of the state to interfere with our work, and the fact that MIM is holding back some people from independent initiative, MIM believes a shift in organizing strategy to focus on cells that are either location based or internet based will expand the reach of Maoist work while also taking a more prudent approach to security.
Outside of existing ministries and local work, MIM will encourage those interested in working with the party and in agreement with the cardinal questions to form cells, either to address particular needs (i.e. mimnotes.info, It's Right To Rebel) or to take up local semi-public organizing. These cells will be granted recognition by MIM as fraternal through a vote of the Central Committee. This status can be revoked at any time should MIM determine that a cell has degenerated. People interested in working with MIM in the capacity related to an existing cell will be pointed in that direction to work with that cell (i.e. writers should work with mimnotes.info). These cells will be responsible for their own democratic-centralism, and will be encouraged to recognize other cells where they have agreement in political line.
Any RAIL comrades not affiliated with a local MIM branch will be delegated to IRTR. RCs involved only in local organizing with an existing branch may choose to remain affiliated only with that MIM cell but will still be encouraged to work with IRTR. Similarly, RCs who are working with an existing MIM ministry (i.e. the prison ministry) are encouraged to continue that work while also looking to work with other appropriate cells. RCs who develop further at a later date will always be encouraged to figure out what cell they can best contribute to or to form a new cell. There are no restrictions on contributing to MIM's work: people unaffiliated with MIM may take up web work, or prisons organizing, or help with MIM Notes distribution among other things.
Each cell can have it's own Congress. The IRTR is one example of how to start conducting one.
If a dual cell membership arises and a comrade meets the requirements of another cell, the MC cell will accept a dual membership of a comrade from a cell with an identical line to MIM's and meeting of a criteria that sums up something peculiar to the MC cell. Other cells may decide whether or not to accept dual membership.
In practice MIM will be changing the way it works with people interested in RAIL and turning over all interested people to IRTR for ideological and organizing discussions. MIM will contribute to IRTR in the form of proposed actions that we encourage participants to take up (i.e. the Ward Churchill campaign is a good example), and will work with IRTR to appropriately channel people interested in organizing work into appropriate projects and cells.
Click here for more information on this resolution and for instructions on forming cells.
The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League (RAIL) is a mass organization founded and led by the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM). RAIL and MIM work with other organizations on a variety of issues. Our work with these organizations is in the spirit of a United Front led by the proletarian line. In such a United Front, groups and individuals work together against a common enemy in spite of disagreements on other issues.
RAIL has a few guidelines for its work in the United Front with other organizations which are relevant to specific educational events, rallies and other activities that we carry out together:
1. RAIL will not give up its ideological or organizational independence in work with other groups. In practice this means that RAIL will not allow other groups to tell us what we can and can not say. And it means that RAIL will not hide its ideology or its identity and affiliation with MIM.
2. RAIL will not demand that other groups give up their ideological or organizational independence in the United Front. Instead we come up with points of unity for specific events and invite other groups to unite around these regardless of other disagreements. Other groups are not restricted from making statements of political line that contradict RAIL line as long as these are not statements that contradict the points of unity.
3. RAIL will not invite any revisionist organizations or their front groups into the United Front. A revisionist organization is one that claims Marxism but in truth upholds an ideology fundamentally counter to Marxism such as Trotskyism. We stand by this a point because, as a mass organization led by a Maoist party, RAIL can not justify legitimizing phony Marxism which deceives the people about what really represents the proletarian line.
Often there are members of parties claiming to be Marxist infiltrating mass organizations, frequently trying to take over these groups. Having one or two members from a revisionist group in an organization does not exclude that organization from participation in a RAIL-led event. We divide along the lines of leadership: a revisionist front group is one that is led by a revisionist group. Examples of such groups include the National Peoples Campaign and the International Action Coalition (led by Workers World Party), and the October 22nd Coalition and Refuse and Resist (led by the RCP).
Last update: Jan 6 1999
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A successful United Front is a proletarian-led broad mobilization of various classes and interests. Such a United Front is a powerful liberation movement and can end oppression in a base area, and eventually an entire nation. A true United Front must be led by the interests of the proletariat the masses of exploited people in the majority internationally because the proletariat is the only class for which revolution is the only path toward liberation.
RAIL is part of the proletarian-led United Front against imperialism. As such, we work with other organizations on campaigns or event that serve the interests of the proletariat. Why does our organization work within a United Front? Because historically, only United Fronts led by the proletariat are successful in reacting to the strategies of the enemy, imperialism. Only a genuine United Front can be successful in pursuing the interests of the oppressed. RAIL and other mass organizations within the MIM-led United Front against imperialism work with other groups and classes that are not revolutionary or proletarian. But we follow the leadership of the proletariat because this is the only sure method of keeping multi-class social movements on the revolutionary path.
Many of the privileged classes claim that proletarian dictatorship eventually and proletarian leadership in the here and now is oppressive in itself. The reality is that many of these same critics direct the bulk of their organizing efforts to coalition building, and that in every coalition or movement there is leadership. While the politics leading a coalition may be vague or unstated, historically in the united snakes coalitions do not represent the goals of the proletariat. So the only remaining question regarding leadership is whether we build a movement that is strong, headed in the correct direction, and fiercely opposed to imperialism? Or should RAIL water down its goals of educating about and fighting against imperialism for the sake of organizing more people into less correct work?
RAIL invites all organizations and individuals who are not communist,
revolutionary or otherwise affiliated to work with us on campaigns against
imperialism, settler nation domination of internal semi-colonies,
oppression through the prison system, gender oppression, environmental
destruction and all evils created by imperialism. We will insist that our
resources go to the development of genuinely progressive struggles, but we
are quite open to various methods of organizing and educating. We are
confident in our goals as we draw strength from the struggles of the
worlds majority, and we urge all activists and potential activists to
build their understanding of and opposition to imperialism with us and
through political practice.
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The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League follows the leadership of the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) and the examples of the Black Panther Party, Young Lords Party and American Indian Movement in implementing mass practice as part of the structure of our work.
Mass practice is understanding the conditions of the people, understanding which tactical battles are most important at a given time, and taking action to oppose the most accessible aspects of imperialism. Mass practice is taking what we learn from the people, putting it into practice and then changing our practice based on the peoples criticism. Without mass practice, RAIL would not remain focused against the primary means of oppression. We rely on mass practice not only to determine our campaigns and individual efforts, but to keep us on track as an organization.
Mass practice is thoroughly engaging in political struggle, research, observation and participation with people who are oppressed under the current system. Having contact and consistent communication with our brothers and sisters under lock and key is a way for us to learn about the material conditions and the general level of repression in prisons. Having contact with the revolutionaries in the Philippines and in the Mohawk Nation and Puerto Rico is an important way both for us to learn about the conditions in nations under imperialism and to direct our educational efforts within u.s. borders. Learning from the masses as well as from history is essential to conducting the most effective agitation against oppression.
Our correspondence and direct work with prisoners and the oppressed instructs RAIL on the issues that desperately need our attention. This gives us a better and more direct source of information than the bourgeois media, and an avenue for receiving criticism and correcting our errors. In our work with prisoners, RAIL publicizes prisoners accounts of their conditions and builds campaigns that directly address their needs. Part of mass practice is then also getting criticism from masses we are organizing with on the results of the campaigns and programs.
Many organizations or groups do work similar to RAILs, conducting research and exposure of U.$. militarism for example. But it is important to us that we not only talk about the ways militarism abuses Third World peoples; we must use that information and work directly with those most oppressed. Many organizations are more interested in rallies or publicity on campuses. With RAIL, youll see us encouraging people to write to prisoners and work with them directly to oppose oppressive conditions rather than focusing on more frequent rallies.
Not everyone is going to agree with RAIL on many issues, we appreciate that. We seek activists who are enraged by brutality in prisons, by denial of prisoners mail, by strip mining in the Philippines, mass sterilization of Third World wimmin or by the hundred-years U.$. occupation of Puerto Rico and the 500+ years u.s. occupation of a large stretch of North America. You should devote your efforts to that political work that most compels you.
As you investigate RAIL alongside other organizations and decide where to
devote your time, we encourage you to work with us on tasks that directly
address the needs of the oppressed. Listen to what prisoners and their
families say about their living conditions and to what Filipino peasants
say about the U$ military. Use this information along with the information
you read in the mainstream papers to develop your opinions about the
current system. Then use your own time in the organization that most
steadfastly works in the interests of the oppressed.
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Many of RAIL's articles take a harsh approach to prisons. We refer to AmeriKan gulags, to the united $nakes, to prisons as koncentration kamps and more. We use this language because we believe in calling a duck a duck, and a pig a pig.
We write about prisons and about imperialism generally to give voice to prisoners and the oppressed, and to educate people living within u.$. borders to the crimes this country commits daily. As an organization RAIL exposes the brutality of Amerikan imperialism and organizes people to fight oppression. We refer to this country in terms that reflect our beliefs about this country's politics. You may disagree with our assessment of this country. But we hope you'll understand that we are only using language to reflect the meaning of our arguments.
People who work with RAIL and contribute to RAIL publications are not required to use this language -- some agree with it and some don't. Those of us who do use this language take much of it directly from the prisoners we organize with.
Prisoners living daily under lock and key do not hold illusions about this country's inherent nature. The prisons systems dehumanize prisoners daily -- calling them by number instead of by their given names, and on a more personal level by condoning guards referring to prisoners as "assholes," "predators," and more. Why should prisoners in this countext refer to this country by its chosen name? What is sacred about prisoners' allies respecting the name this country calls itself?
While not everyone in RAIL will call this country Amerika, as an
organization we would not pretend that there is anything wrong in doing
so. We encourage all activists and potential activists to dig beneath what
you may see as a harsh tone long enough to comprehend the reason for using
it. If you disagree with us, we're open to challenges. But we urge you not
to dismiss our criticisms of this country just because we display them
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