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Under Lock & Key

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[Palestine] [National Liberation] [U.S. Imperialism] [Principal Contradiction] [ULK Issue 84]
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The Significance of the Palestinian Liberation Struggle

In the United $tates, prisons mean war against the oppressed nations. In occupied Palestine, war means prison for the Palestinians. Two sides of the same blood-stained coin which built the richest empire in hystory. Imperialism considers war to be a legal method of resolving issues, in deeds if not in words.

The struggle for Palestine is a national liberation struggle. The only consistently revolutionary class that may overthrow the bourgeoisie is the proletariat, but imperial domination can unite a whole nation against their occupiers for the establishment of independence. If independence is a precondition for the dictatorship of the proletariat, then Palestine’s struggle is revolutionary and progressive. If I$rael is an arm of imperialism, then the Palestinian struggle against them is revolutionary and progressive. Leadership of the proletariat in that struggle would intensify its revolutionary character, but it is revolutionary even without the proletariat in the vanguard. When Palestinian communists align themselves with all revolutionary forces against I$rael in a united front, that is a correct policy. We have a clear hystory on this subject, and this practice is what led to the victory of the Chinese people in creating the most advanced socialism yet.

We in the United $tates face the strongest enemy in humyn hystory, and I$rael is an arm of the United $tates in the Middle East. Everything which weakens I$rael weakens the United $tates, which puts us in a stronger position. Our comrades fighting in Gaza today are putting us in a position of advantage for the final victory of the oppressed in Occupied Turtle Island. To oppose the struggle in Palestine is to oppose that which objectively weakens our enemy, to leave behind real friends who are fighting real enemies.

“Leftist” support for I$rael in this war is often concealed by a position against Hamas. This anti-Hamas, but allegedly pro-Palestine, sentiment is often based on the supposedly inhuman crimes that have been committed. On top of this being a complete deflection from the primary question of imperialism, the claims surrounding such crimes as the decapitation of infants have zero evidence behind them. Even bourgeois press has shown that the claims are based on videos which show no beheadings, only IDF soldiers claiming that the events occurred.(1) Media campaigns in support of imperialist interventions can go much further and be many times more difficult to uncover than what we are dealing with here. This is a particularly obvious example of an imperialist lie, and the propaganda will not always be so easy to see through. Therefore, in addition to exposing blatant falsehoods, we also need to be able to separate what makes a movement an ally or enemy and what doesn’t, and be able to understand what line the media is attempting to push when they tell a particular story.

The media will tell us that Hamas is committing heinous crimes, killing babies and civilians. We need to ask why they are deflecting from the principal contradiction in the world today. We need to ask who weakens empire, and critically support those who do. We need to ask who strengthens empire, and make ourselves their enemy. That is what it means to understand what is principal and what is secondary. Contrary to popular belief, the moral position of communists is not to do with concepts like eternal justice and true liberty. Communists have one moral position: we are for those actions which strengthen the international proletariat. We understand that the work of Hamas as a whole strengthens the international proletariat. Therefore we understand that they are the allies of the oppressed and we align ourselves alongside them.

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free

  1. https://www.snopes.com/news/2023/10/12/40-israeli-babies-beheaded-by-hamas/
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[Palestine] [National Liberation] [Aztlan/Chicano] [U.S. Imperialism] [ULK Issue 83]
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Aztlán Stands with Palestinian People

The October 7th attack that was launched by Palestine in the war for national liberation is but a response to their colonization from the hands of the settler colonialist Israel. For decades the Palestinians have maintained a consistent push for freedom to live without the threat of genocide at their doorstep. The Chicano nation overstands the need to struggle under the brute heel of colonization, our occupied territories – like the Palestinians – will not be free until the oppressor nation is overthrown point blank period! For this reason Aztlán stands with the Palestinian people in their freedom struggle.

Palestine and Aztlan Occupied territories

According to the Gaza Health Ministry since 7 October 2023, 2,670 Palestinians have been killed [as we go to press that number has doubled] and Israel has continued to spread its disinformation in regards to the cause of the savagery unleashed by Israel. The truth is the Israeli war on Palestine has the full backing by Chief Colonizer in the World – the United Snakes. The U.$. completely ignores the decades of war crimes Israel has unleashed on Palestine, from white phosphorous cluster bombs to terrorizing generations of Palestinians with death and psychological warfare.

Today the U.$. propaganda “news outlets” snivel about 20 alleged U.$. citizens being supposedly held in Gaza. [By the time this article went live, Hamas had released two elderly prisoners who reported being handled “gently” and seemingly treated better than many prisoners who read Under Lock & Key in the United $tates.] Once again the people here in these occupied territories are being fed snake oil in preparation for U.$. Special Ops to enter Gaza and provide full technical and logistical support for its settler brethren. For this reason we hear a lot about allegations of violence from groups within Palestine. But how about the Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah who was murdered on Friday the 13th of October 2023 after Israel unleashed a brutal shelling on Palestine?

The Chicano nation stands with Palestine and welcomes the wrath of resistance that oppression harvests.

Viva Palestine! Viva Aztlán! Free Palestine! Free Aztlán!

Communist Party of Aztlan logo
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[Racism] [Principal Contradiction] [National Liberation] [ULK Issue 82]
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Affirmative Action Policies Never Addressed the National Question

For all it’s self-proclaimed enlightened ways, U.$. imperialism continues to uphold the myth of race in everything it does. Enter the Supreme Court with their historic decision to end affirmative action in higher education. While the “race-conscious” policy did benefit (some in the) oppressed nations, the framework of race, created by the oppressor, continues to setback the progress of the oppressed.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority position, “Many universities have for too long… concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin… Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.”

We are not in the game of integrating oppressed people into the oppressor nation, but affirmative action based on “race” did prove an effective way to do that. Ending it will mean less oppressed nation people in higher education as recent history in California has shown.(1)

However, the racial statistics used to tout the success of affirmative action can be misleading. Because “race” and not income, or zip code, or cultural background are used in many of these statistics, what looks like perfect representation by skin color may be doing nothing to benefit the New Afrikan masses. Extrapolating from some broad statistics, one author estimates that maybe 7 or 8 of 154 “Black” freshman (5%) at Harvard in 2020 were from families defined in the U.$. as impoverished. Whereas, in the general population, 30% of New Afrikan youth are from impoverished households. This article also cites anecdotes saying the vast majority of black faces at Harvard are from bourgeois African families or had one Euro-Amerikan parent. Again, indicating affirmative action was not really benefiting the New Afrikan nation at Harvard anyway.(2)

The passage of the U.$. Civil Rights Act in 1964, which preceded the “affirmative action” practices we know today, was a comprehensive act to outlaw discrimination in what had been a segregated country. This was not just a result of the organizing of the oppressed within U.$. borders, but the pressure from the Soviet Union (though at that time they’d taken up the capitalist road) and China and the broader national liberation movement taking place across Africa, Asia and Latin America. And while progressive changes took place in the United $tates in the 1960s it did not quell the upsurge of national liberation struggles within U.$. borders because it never addressed the national question like the Soviet Union and China did. Rather it continued to institutionalize the concept of race through the new civil rights laws being passed.

By never addressing the national question, things like affirmative action, or Under Lock & Key can be attacked by the imperialist state as “racist.” To the imperialists the oppressed nations don’t exist, so when we talk about New Afrikans or Chican@s or Euro-Amerikans, they censor our literature for “racism.”

We must identify the principal contradiction to keep our eyes on the prize and not get distracted into dead-end politics. The principal contradiction we see under imperialism is nation, as well within the United $tates we say it is nation. This does not mean everyone from an oppressed nation is an ally. We must think in terms of percentages, not in black and white.

In discussing racism in political repression, Triumphant talks about the neo-colonial era. And we echo this sentiment that “skinfolk ain’t necessarily kinfolk.” That Black bourgeoisie are often playing significant enemy roles, in defense of U.$. imperialism.

However, just because neo-colonialism exists, it does not mean that nation is erased and class is all that matters. Neo-colonialism is still national oppression, it’s just a smarter form.

In reality, not seeing race at all is impossible for us in this racist society. Even when speaking of nations, we use phenotypes to classify people; we are still stuck in this model handed down by the European settlers who created “whiteness.” We must develop a political analysis to guide us that is beyond the myth of race and bloodlines, that instead operates in the material reality of nation, which J.V. Stalin defined as " a historically evolved, stable community of language, territory, economic life, and psychological make up manifested in a community of culture."

Comrade USW36 wrote on this topic:

i too, no longer use “Black” and “White” to define people. i’m a “New Afrikan”, Black is “created” by European settlers to enforce their new “white” identity rule. i hope all Rev Nats study Fanon (and Yaki’s “Meditations”), New Afrika, Native Amerika, and New Aztlan can be freed. We can be united and create a true North Amerikan Revolutionary Nationalist United Front to decolonize and delink from this imperialist juggernaut. Black and White identities won’t help us free any of the NA nations (i’d like also to salute New Asian Pacific Islanders).

If Amerika is the “prison house of nations”, if our aim is to weaken it from the inside, if revolutionary nationalism is viable then this isn’t just a path for New Afrikans it’s for us all, even European-settlers if they commit class-suicide. New Afrika isn’t just descendants of Afrika. It’s a scattered and potentially solidified nation with all sorts of “ethnicities”, and too, anyone can be a New Afrikan; shaming people ’cause they’re not “Black” enough or not at all is bourgeois bullshit. Someone like the Euro-Amerikan teacher Rachel Dolezal shouldn’t have been discarded like trash if she lied about her ethnicity; that could be corrected by self-criticism but if she consciously was willing to fight for the liberation of “New Afrika” then she’s a “New Afrikan” it’s that fucken simple. But we all need to wrestle with these contradictions here in the heart of empire.


A better example than Rachel Dolezal is Yuri Kochiyama, who was actually a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA), joining at its founding in 1968 along with a 17 year-old Mutulu Shakur. Kochiyama was a close comrade of el Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X when they met). As a child of Japanese descent she spent years in a U.$. concentration camp during WWII. The RNA continues to serve as a model for how to address oppression from within the empire. Armed with Maoism, revolutionary nationalism within the belly of the beast can lead us to a world with out racism.

Notes:
1. Nina Totenberg, 29 June 2023, Supreme Court guts affirmative action, effectively ending race-conscious admissions, NPR.
2. Bertrand Cooper, 19 June 2023, The Failure of Affirmative Action, The Atlantic.

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[National Liberation] [Racism] [ULK Issue 82]
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Unconsciously Racist

For the past 30 years of my life I thought that I was somewhat assimilated into the urban culture simply because I vibe to rap music and grew up around Black folks.

But reality has hit me. I’m a racist white male. I’ve unconsciously struggled thru life with a white privilege card. And honestly, I’m disgusted with not only myself but also my white racist peers.

There is NO EXCUSE that it took me 30 years to realize the reality that I’m racist. But now that I have become conscious of my racist tendencies within me. I have reached out to multiple prison support groups/organizations (i.e. ATL/ABC,blackbird publishing, MIM, etc.) to educate myself and have been very fortunate to run into a revolutionary prisoner who makes it his duty to edify the ignorant racist white prisoners.

I know that right now a lot of people are scratching their head saying “is this dude serious”? But YES I’m serious and until we can admit our faults we cannot call ourselves revolutionaries. Just because you’re not screaming racist words or in some Aryan cult doesn’t mean you’re not racist. There are different kinds of racism.

  • You have AVERSIVE racism, which means that even though you might not ‘hate’ black folks you still have tendencies to avoid black folks due to your uneasiness, fear, and disgust of them.

  • You also have MODERN racism, that means you ignore that racism is even real. You’re so comfortable with the way the ‘ruling class’ wants to segregate us that you just go with the flow and became ignorant to the fact that humans just like us are being abused and oppressed just because of their skin color. I have to admit, this is what happened to me. Taking the easy way out in life.

Admitting to being racist is a bitter pill to swallow. Everything I thought I stood for stands on a shaky foundation. It’s hard to even look myself in the eye in my mirror now. I’ll break down knowing that I’ve allowed corruption and brainwashing to make me think I’m better than other humans just because of my skin color.

I speak to my fellow racist white peers, it dwells deep within you. It’s there. And embrace that. It’s time to start over and relearn the history you thought you knew, it’s artificial to hide the truth. That you’re not superior to NO ONE. It’s time to embrace the struggle. Because it’s time to truly struggle with ourselves.

Don’t just READ but STUDY revolutionary material and other books that have been written by people of color. Try to visualize the world as they see it and even though it is not humanly possible for a white person to feel the pain and the oppression that black folks have been subjected to for over 400 years. Try to feel their pain. I do it daily now. And one day I will not be racist. But it’s a hard road to travel. Trust me, cuz I’m on it. I won’t stop. I can’t stop. Too much blood has been shed due to this way of thinking. NO MORE EASY WAY OUT!


MIM(Prisons) responds: We welcome this self-criticism from a new subscriber. It is true that we must constantly be examining ourselves and how the oppressive system impacts the way we think and believe. As materialists, we understand we are products of our material conditions. As such, we should refrain from becoming self-flagellating in our examination of self (a religious approach to one’s faults that focuses on the self). It can be a painful and shocking experience as this comrade describes. But the resolution comes through better revolutionary practice in the anti-imperialist movement. We focus inward to better focus and act outward.

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[Racism] [National Liberation] [ULK Issue 82]
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'Power To New Afrika' Ignores Racism?

A USW comrade in New York sent a critique of the claim in Power to New Afrika that Malcolm X was not killed by racism:

“Is it then a coincidence that Blacks who seek Black power are killed/imprisoned by said”corrupt power structure" at a disproportionate rate than any other race… If white people kill/imprison Black people who seek Black power for themselves in order to maintain white power for themselves, what could this pattern be symbolic to other than anything but racism?"

Malcolm X Ballet or the Bullet portrait

Triumphant of United Struggle from Within responds:

No, it is not a coincidence, but neither is “racism” an exact description of the actual social, political, and economic components of Our national oppression. The State/power is going to kill/imprison, disproportionately, any and all threats or perceived threats, or perceived disposable populations. This is to preserve power, self-preservation of the status quote. In the period you’re speaking on when a large amount of Blacks who were imprisoned were politically active or politicized, the Black colony was the most actively radical populace in the empire. Therefore, its numbers in prison reflected such. In more recent times, and without the guidance of mass social-political movements, this would-be active elements have largely succumbed to criminality and gangsterism, a common thread in colonized population groups around the world. So to answer the second half of your above question, the other thing that the pattern could symbolize is common and routine government oppression, the wielding of power. It is what empire does to any historically oppressed and dynamic social force.

History shows that New Afrikans have been the key to opening social, economic, and political doors that have been shut in various times of Amerikan history. By being suppressed at the bottom of the social ladder, Our advancement, in its various forms, has always led to the advancement of the society as a whole, and due to the law of contradictions those advances that we often take for granted these days, have and will always come at a severe price. It will always come at a sacrifice, of mass struggle, and each time we’ve advanced despite it. It is the power structure’s role to maintain as much power and resources in its hands as possible, only conceding when forced or coerced to do so. That is another explanation of the phenomena you’ve mentioned.

Should oppressive exploitative power be evenly distributed against all and not disproportionately to one group? The power, again, represses those who resist, or threaten its power. This is irregardless of color. Case in point, during the high tide of revolutionary struggle, what made it a high tide? The same thing that has made recent years noteworthy, because all colors have been involved in struggle, one way or another. In the 1960s-70s era, there were a more or less proportionate number of PP/POW to the rate of participation by nationality. There were fewer Amerikan comrades, because Amerikans are the oppressor nation and not oppressed. However, all the groups that were active in the ways that most advanced Black revolutionaries were active were attacked and repressed the same. Many of them were co-defendants of each other.

I’m talking about: Marilyn Buck, Susan Rosenberg, Tim Blunk, Barbara and Jaan Laaman, David Gilbert, Richard Williams, Silvia Baraldini, Carol and Tom Manning, Oscar Lopez-Rivera, Alan Berkman, Jaime Delgado, Raymond Levasseur, Linda Evans, Laura Whitehorn, and many others.

We hurt ourselves by not sharing the full stories of those times. The BPP, BLA, RNA, SNCC, RAM, and others were not attacked and repressed because they were Black organizations. It wasn’t because they were Black political organizations. They were attacked because of the type of Black politics they organized around. The proof of this statement lies in the fact of people they worked with (Black, white, brown, male, female, heterosexual, non-heterosexual). These weren’t racial movements in the strict sense, and their actions show that for those who have eyes to see. Take an incident that gets a lot of hype, like Assata Shakur’s escape. The BLA did not liberate alone. In fact, those alleged to have been involved with it were majority non-Black. And they and their organizations were attacked, imprisoned, along with the Black revolutionaries they were in solidarity with.

My point? When people choose the revolutionary path and act it out, they become targets for repression and extinction, irregardless of color.

…Your notion that “white people imprison/kill Black people at disproportionate rates” is flawed and not in accordance with reality. Why? Because it is not white people who imprison/kill. In most cases it is representatives of the system (police, prosecutors, judges, jurors, C.O.s, etc) and in other cases it isn’t system reps at all. In fact, studies show we lose more Black lives to self-destruction than anything else. And since the early 1970s, colonialism has transitioned into neo-colonialism (mass integration into the social, political,economic and cultural apparatus of USA). So now when we talk about the system, or power structure, and other politicians are helping to invest in police forces in places like New York, Chicago, Houston, and elsewhere. Therefore the old notion of a simplistic black/white; white power/Black power worldview is overly simplistic and keeps us missing the mark in our analysis and in our subsequent practice in our organizing.

…You correctly say, “political power in all societal cases will always be the most efficient first step on a pathway to freedom for any race or people,” and because the power structure knows and agrees with this is why Malcolm and others were killed and/or jailed. And as far as you saying the power structure, despite their intentions “effected racism, by oppressing, exploiting and killing the futures and politics of the predominantly Black supporters he represented.” Now here is why we must really deconstruct “race” as a useful social construct in our spaces, because it confuses us as a people. What we’ve been bred to refer to as races are in actuality nations and nationalities of people who’ve developed organically and historically within the social realities of 400 years in North America. The assassination wasn’t merely to win the war for ideologies as you said, but to win, before it even began in earnest, the full scale actual war (of national liberation). These weren’t acts of racism, but much more! These were acts of national oppression, acts of warfare designed to do as you said, oppress, exploit, and kill the future of our politics. What is that then? Genocide? Colonial suppression/domination? National oppression designed to keep an oppressed and colonized social group in its place. This isn’t racism and calling it that limits our actions in correcting it. This is Warfare, the same war that began Black August 1619. It has always, despite intentions on either side, had the effect of national oppression. They implement the continued political, economic, social, and cultural inability to develop independently, or without being dictated to by the empire. Therefore, national liberation, is to enforce the opposite relationship, to dictate our own affairs. In other words, it isn’t a white/black thing, it’s a power struggle, hence the title, Power to New Afrika.

Re-Build

^Power to New Afrika is available for $3 to prisoners, or work trade through our Free Political Books Program, and free on our website.^

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[Aztlan/Chicano] [Campaigns] [United Front] [Revolutionary History] [National Liberation] [New Afrika] [ULK Issue 81]
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Texas History: Plan de San Diego or Juneteenth?

Biden Juneteenth disatisfaction

Last year prisoners in Texas took the opportunity of the declaration of a federal holiday on Juneteenth to launch the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative (JFI), triggering a repressive response from the state prisoncrats at the TDCJ. The JFI campaign said:

“As you may know, Juneteenth has now been made a federal holiday in amerika. On this day many will sing the praises of Our oppressors or otherwise negate the reality of the lumpen (economically alienated class), that according to amerika’s 13th amendment We are STILL SLAVES. While We do not wish to nullify the intensity of the exploitation and oppression that New Afrikan people held in chattel slavery faced, We must pinpoint to the general public, those upcoming generations of youngsters looking to follow Our footsteps, that to be held in captivity by the state or feds is not only to be frowned upon but is part and parcel with the intentions of this amerikan government, and its capitalist-imperialist rulers. We say NO CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH until the relation of people holding others in captivity is fully abolished!!”

The Juneteenth Freedom Initiative put forth demands and calls for action including:

End Solitary Confinement! End Restrictive Housing Units(RHU)!

End Mass Incarceration!

Transform the prisons to cadre schools! Transform ourselves into NEW PEOPLE!

The history of utilizing Juneteenth to fight the torturous long-term isolation cells in U.$. prisons didn’t start last year with the campaign to shut down the RHU. At the 2011 Juneteenth celebration in Berkeley, CA, MIM(Prisons) did an extensive outreach campaign in support of the first round of historic hunger strikes to protest the SHU in California. These we see as proper ways of honoring the spirit of Juneteenth, which is a holiday that was kept alive for over a century by the New Afrikan nation before the United $tates took it as its own.

In his 2022 book on the history of Texas, historian Gerald Horne points out some holes in the story of Juneteenth being paraded by the bourgeois Liberals of the Biden regime. He points out how the Emancipation Proclamation did not really extend to the territory of Texas that remained beyond the jurisdiction of the Lincoln government. Texas was an independent state of Euro-settlers claiming territory from Mexico in 1836. Texas remained its own country until 1845 when it joined the United $tates. By 1865, Texans were strongly considering rejoining Mexico, which was temporarily under the rule of the French puppet Maximillian in order to maintain the system of slavery. While this did not happen, slavery continued in many parts of Texas for many years after the historic date known as Juneteenth. According to one source, “two-thirds of the freedmen in the section of country which I travelled over have never received one cent of wages since they were declared free…” Horne cites another source saying “the freedmen are in a worse condition than they ever were as slaves.”(Horne, p.457) Texans were determined to hold on to their slaves until the U.$. government came in to compensate them for their “property.”

Some fifty years after so-called emancipation, the war continued to wage between the newly coalesced white oppressor nation and the oppressed nations in the region of Texas.

“However, given the dialectic of repression generating resistance – and vice versa – it was also during this same period that Jack Johnson, the heavyweight champion from Galveston, was forced into exile in order to elude spurious charges and wound up in Mexico City during the revolutionary decade. There he sought to establish a beachhead against Jim Crow. It was also then that the monumental “Plan of San Diego” was crafted, which was said to involve retaking the land seized improperly by the U.S. during the war of aggression of the 1840s and establishing in its stead independent Black and Indigenous polities."(Horne, p.565)

Minister King X honors the legacy and story of Jack Johnson
in this song that addresses the struggle for peace in California
prisons being scorned by some other rappers on the streets.

In 2017, USW comrades launched a campaign to commemorate the Plan de San Diego each August, as the military operations carried out in southern Texas by units of 25 to 100 men against the Euro-settlers reached their high point in August and September of 1915. If you want to commemorate this revolutionary history this August, write in and ask for copies of the Plan de San Diego flier to use for outreach and get more ideas for how to honor that history.

NOTES: Gerald Horne, 2022, The Counter-Revolution of 1836: Texas Slavery & Jim Crow and the Roots of U.S. Fascism, International Publishers, New York.

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[Aztlan/Chicano] [Polemics] [International Communist Movement] [National Liberation] [ULK Issue 81]
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On Indigenismo and the Land Question in Aztlán

VariegatedCrot0n on Reddit: [this was posted on reddit.com in response to the announcement of the founding of the Communist Party of Aztlán] I’ve been researching the debates on Aztlan & Chicano nationalism. It seems to me the line of the League of Revolutionary Workers (ML) and the RCP-USA, and the rest of the NCM (New Communist Movement emerging from the late 1960s) in support of Chicano nationalism was inherited by MIM and now continued by MIM(Prisons). The entire conception of Aztlan and Chicano nationalism has some serious problems, that I hope MIM(Prisons) reckons with sooner, but I think they have been very invested in this idea for quite some time now.

As I understand it, Chicano nationalism draws heavily from Indigenismo – an ideology of the settler colonial Mexican state that says that all the inhabitants of Mexico are indigenous, all are Mestizos, and so on. Such an ideology is fundamentally anti-indigenous as it seeks to indigenize Mexican settlers. The conception of Aztlan is similar – it is a land claim based on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo – land taken from Mexico during the Mexico-American war. It’s worth noting that the treaty itself distinguishes between Mexican settlers in this territory and Indigenous “savages”.

While it is true that a section of the colonized proletariat of the America is from Mexico, I am convinced that they are not members of an oppressed Chicano nation. They are more often members of Indigenous nations in Mexico displaced from their homelands.

Chicano nationalism is ultimately a form of settler nationalism. It expresses the class interests of mainly Euro-Mexican settlers against Euro-American settlers. It disguises the legitimate claims for decolonization by oppressed indigenous and African nations in Mexico and the American Southwest, by pretending that all Chicanos are descendants of ancient Aztecs. It is extremely unfortunate that this ideology has taken hold in America’s prisons by people who are not connected to Aztec/Nahua people, culture or elders.

I’m not an expert in this, I’m still learning much about it. But I’m just letting you know that the issue is a lot more complicated than it seems from the outset. There’s lots of liberal carry-over on reddit where I see people lumping all POC together and assuming they are revolutionary. Which is just not the case.


Xipe of the Communist Party of Aztlán responds:

On Indigenismo

Chican@ revolutionary nationalism has often been misunderstood. Our belief is that this is due to the Chican@ Nation not meeting its responsibility in addressing a correct political line to the ICM (International Communist Movement) on the one hand and in the ICM’s mostly incorrect analysis of the social forces within these false U.S. borders.

To be clear the CPA does not draw heavily on indigenismo – which is steeped in metaphysical trappings. We draw heavily on materialism. As materialists we recognize that not all inhabitants of Mexico are indigenous – although according to Jack Forbes most are! What’s more We disagree with your understanding that Chicano nationalism believes all are “mestizos” in Mexico, the CPA(MLM) believes that the term Mestizo is actually a label deriving from the colonizers agit/prop that strips Chican@s of many features of nationhood. “Mestizo” is anti-materialist, that as Jack Forbes suggests, is better suited to describe many of the European nations such as Italy, Sicily, etc.

Our analysis overstands that the inhabitants of current day Mexico are a combination of bloodlines that include indigenous, Spanish colonizer, African and others. And yet blood quantum don’t define a nation. We draw from Stalin on the national question for what defines a nation and we thoroughly address this in the book Chican@ Power and the Struggle for Aztlán.

On Land

It seems to many that the political line of some Chican@ cultural nationalists is interpreted as the political line of the entire nation, this is incorrect. Our stance on land does not simply derive from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, although we certainly cite this treaty in much of our agit/prop surrounding our struggle for national liberation. To rely simply on the colonizers treaty to validate our struggle for national liberation is akin to anti-imperialists within these false U.S. borders simply relying on the U.S. Constitution to validate its anti-imperialism. Although one can use the imperialists’ words and articles against them, we are not reformists who simply want our class enemies to re-word a document or follow its own law. We want a complete transformation of society and to free the tierra! Our lucha for land is for a Chicano Socialist Government not for permission from the colonizer to own acres of land under an imperialist rule.

Those who confuse Chican@ revolutionary nationalism with the settler need to study the development of nations, specifically the book Chican@ Power and the Struggle for Aztlán, which includes the political line of the CPA when it comes to a nation. We ask those who are curious on our line to read the Chican@ Red Book (Chican@ Power and the Struggle for Aztlán).

Even if the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was never written our national liberation movement would be just. Chican@s developed in what is now the “U.$. Southwest” as surely as Africans developed in what is now Haiti to become Haitians. Our line is not anchored in us believing we are descendants of ancient “Aztecs” – although some actually are! We overstand that the term “Aztlán” was used 50+ years ago within the Chican@ movement as a rallying cry and point of unity for Chican@s of the time and we see the relevance of using it in our struggle today.

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[New Afrika] [Aztlan/Chicano] [National Liberation] [Principal Contradiction] [ULK Issue 81]
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Book Review: “Power to New Afrika - Essays by Comrade Triumphant”

Power to New Afrika book cover

This zine offered a breath of fresh air in terms of political line coming out of the concentration kamps. Imprisoned New Afrika (like Aztlán and other oppressed nations) has plenty of rebels, those rising up or conscious that we stand on the side of the people against the pig. The anger and defiance is strong, but ideology that is strong and stuffed with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is what is often lacking from the prison writings of today. Power to New Afrika is another gem that contributes to filling this void.

Looking at this zine through a Chican@ lenses, I agreed with the assessment that it was after the assassination of Martin Luther King that the Black vanguard attempted to steer the Black movement onto the next stage of resistance. We of the Republic of Aztlán have also made a similar assessment recently from the data/chatter that tells us the state is planning to assassinate a key figure of the Chicano movement, and our assessment was the same where we feel that the Chican@ vanguard should use this to take Aztlán to the next level of resistance.

On page 10 in the zine, the writer discusses the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (PG-RNA) and how since 1968 at their birth they have been attempting to obtain land “legally,” but a report is cited from a memorandum sent to the FBI director at the time in 1970 J. Edgar Hoover from Special Agent in Charge in Jackson, Mississippi which is titled “Counter Intelligence Operations Being Effected, tangible results (Republic of New Afrika)”:

“Since March 1968… the RNA has been trying to buy and lease land in Mississippi… Counter intelligence measures have been able to abort all RNA efforts to obtain land in Mississippi.”

COINTELPRO is real. When I read this I thought of every doofus who has ever asked me the absurd question: “do you REALLY think COINTELPRO is fucking with us?” I’ve found that the more liberal on the spectrum the less they believe in a COINTELPRO, the more radical you are the more you know how real it is. The fact that the Feds in their own words admit to sabotaging RNA efforts like legally purchasing land tells us that even “legal” efforts are not safe if the state feels that you are a threat.

On page 11 the author correctly identifies the principal contradiction within the New Afrikan nation being between the political-economic force of independence versus political-economic forces of integration. This is also true for the Chican@ nation. Internally, we struggle with getting free and the Ti@ Tomas’ struggles to keep serving massa on the plantation. We see these TI@ Tacos trying to run for a colonizer position in Washington DC or as state governor, while claiming to be revolutionary. The Tom compradors have suckers believing in their foolishness, but the truth is simple – one cannot be considered a revolutionary while aspiring to be, or supporting a U.$. President or governor. U.$. imperialism is the enemy of the world’s majority and in this case, the Trojan Horse tactic will not work.

This zine addresses the battle of ideas that I feel apply to the Chican@ Nation as well. In this writing, the author writes of the “war for the New Afrikan mind” which goes on to describe “independence vs integration” really being a historically dialectical materialist process versus the post-modernist philosophical analysis. This truth needs to also be embraced and thought by all Chican@ cadre today as well. This political line really amounts to life or death to Aztlán. One nourishes and builds the nation, the other poisons and destroys it. One political line wants to burn the plantation down and the other wants to defend it.

It is a misnomer to entertain the notion of Brown, Black, Red, or Yellow “Amerikans,” for the word Amerika is but the name of the white-nation. This zine really unpacks this for the reader particularly, for the Black Nation; but it is mostly applicable to the Chican@ Nation as well.

The slave system is addressed in this zine as well and rightfully so. One cannot give an analysis of colonialism in the U.$. without understanding how the slave system and subsequent “paper” abolishment of slavery play into the role of semi-colonialism today.

What we should understand is that by using the so-called abolition of slavery as a bargaining chip, Amerika was able to at once overthrow the Confederacy while continuing white supremacy by other means. Today we see the same internal struggle within the white nation being carried out by other means via Republican vs Democrat squabbles using the oppressed nations’ wants and aspirations and rights as bargaining chips while at the same time keeping white supremacy intact.

It was refreshing to read how the author describes how a revolutionary nationalist must be a socialist. For the Chican@ Nation this is also true. A revolutionary nationalist is a socialist or a communist in many cases. We overstand that capitalism and imperialism specifically is the source of our despair.

Another great point raised in this zine was on page 37-38 where the author discusses the contradictions among the people, and specifically discusses the most influential orgs for New Afrika of the time (1907-1925) being the NAACP, Garvey’s UNIA, and the African Blood Brotherhood (ABB). According to the author, the ABB was founded by “proletarians,” and thus had the leading line being led by Black Marxists. Ey goes onto say:

“ABB and the UNIA were both highly successful in organizing the broadest masses of our nation as well as linking our struggle concretely with the international anti-imperialist struggle. For this reason we say that they advanced our people further than the NAACP, but they didn’t enjoy the same fame or support on the popular front. This of course is due to their class make up and the fact that the integrationist aspect as always, is aligned with the empire’s agenda. Thus, the colonizer controlled popular front has and will always lend credence to those people and groups, and ideas that in the final analysis, run counter to the interest of our nation.”

This is deep. Big lessons to be gleamed here. For one, the NAACP was and continues to be a group of Black compradors who have worked on reforms, although good deeds do help people on a small scale, the work of liberal orgs like the NAACP also corral people into having faith in Amerikkka and promoting the idea of working within a capitalist system will free people from oppression. This accounts to creating more supporters of empire. For this reason orgs like NAACP for Black folks, or National Council for la Raza (NCLR) and their kind for Brown folks, are simply the labor bureaucracy for bourgeois politics and thus are promoted widely by the U.$. government and its propaganda media arm. Meanwhile, real revolutionary orgs like the Republic of New Afrika, the Republic of Aztlán, the Communist Party of Aztlán (Maoist) or MIM(Prisons) will not be given Hollywood style commercials nor be invited to the White people House in Washington, D.C. anytime soon to sing x-mas carols around the tree (not that anyone wants to). The point is that Tomism is rewarded and the Uncle Tom orgs of all stripes are given resources to become popular and the real ones are smothered like a baby in the crib to use Lenin’s quote.

The mostly unconscious masses (and oftentimes self-proclaimed “communists”) often erroneously connect popular with correctness, or numbers in an org as correct political line. This is very wrong. The colonizers work hard to make this so. When we hear on the news about Amerikkka pouring billions into its war machine, understand that a part of this is promoting these Chican@ or New Afrikan Uncle Tom orgs that tell its members to vote for an enemy political candidate.

This zine is now required reading for members of our organization. Free New Afrika! Free Aztlán! Free the land!

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[Communist Party of Aztlán] [Republic of Aztlán] [Aztlan/Chicano] [National Liberation] [ULK Issue 81]
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The State of Aztlán 2023

Introduction

Revolutionary greetings Raza! The future of our nation relies on us all knowing the political standing of our people and for Chican@ groups and orgs. It's essential that we keep our finger on the pulse of the people to closely follow our strengths/weaknesses in order to push our movement forward. A national liberation struggle exists in stages. Without knowing what stage we are in, we cannot respond or struggle to meet the demands of a given stage. For those reasons the Communist Party of Aztlán (CPA) has conducted this study and is releasing this Report of the State of Aztlán 2023.

Many years have transpired since a true materialist analysis has been given on the nation. There has been "statements" given by various Chican@ groups but none with political lenses. Political line is key for all that we do as revolutionaries, from our organizing food drives to giving a political analysis. Our political line is our foundation, without a correct line all of our work remains "in progress." Every project or scientific study done amongst the Chican@ masses becomes efforts in perpetual transition or revision. Although we can expect all matter to remain in motion and in need of adaptation to given responses, we can also limit the need of playing Whack-A-Mole because of an incorrect line. For this reason Maoism plays a key role not just within the national liberation movement of Aztlán, but within the International Communist Movement (ICM) as well.

Our Moral Compass

The Chican@ nation today is engaged in a War for Independence. Make no mistake that within the folds of all the vicarious trappings that a capitalist society can muster there exists a war, a low intensity war but a war nonetheless between Amerikkka (aka the White nation) vs. Aztlán. This war is for the national liberation of our nation. We want land, we want freedom, we want to form our own government that is socialist in nature. But don't get it twisted, as we used to say in the Barrio, We are communist revolutionaries who overstand that the innate contradictions within capitalism and thus imperialism demands that we strive for a communist future if we are truly for equality of all humyn beings.

One of the challenges that Aztlán faces today is in not enough groups or orgs raising the Communist banner. Today the Communist Party of Aztlán, Republic of Aztlán and ROA Brown Berets are the only unapologetically Chican@ Communist orgs repping communism proudly and openly.

Of course we believe that a communist world will not arrive today or in our current lifetime. Today we struggle for a socialist government, where state power is in the hands of the have-nots and led by a proletarian political line. This proletarian political line, the goal of which is a communist future, remains our moral compass.

Historical Materialism of Aztlán: Energy with incorrect line

In order to understand the development of the Chican@ Movement we must first describe a brief political overview of the movimiento. Marx taught us that historical materialism can help us gauge a phenomenon to then respond to it in a way which pushes a given struggle forward. We can learn from history in order to transform the future. For a true materialist analysis of the Chican@ Movement, let us look to the last wave of Chican@ resistance of the 1970's.

Although there were groups that developed, such as the August 29th Movement, which were essentially communist, the Chican@ movement of the 1970s was for the most part a cultural nationalist formation. A collection of Chican@ groups and orgs that mostly sought better schools, jobs, and housing while fighting discrimination, police brutality and an end to Chican@s in Vietnam. Despite the great energy behind these movements, a push for a socialist government was not yet a topic on the Chican@ "kitchen table" for most groups. Reforms were at the helm.

Besides the student group MEChA, the largest formation was the Brown Berets. The Brown Berets has chapters across these false U.$. borders, it was militant as far as mobilizing against the state, particularly against the pigs and instilling a Chican@ nationalism throughout the Barrios. And yet the Brown Berets of the 1970's had a political line that could not lead to Aztlán's liberation and were actually not a socialist organization. They fought to reform the system not replace it with socialism. In fact the Brown Berets of the 1970's had not one chapter that was openly communist, not a single one openly striving for a socialist government and not a single chapter studying Maoism. This should not surprise us because the inherent flaw in cultural nationalism is that it is reformist in nature and its "Lucha" leaves the settler colonialist economic superstructure intact and merely swaps culture. Brown Capitalism is fine to the cultural nationalist so long as a Brown Massa replaces White Massa on the plantation.

The essence of our oppression lies not simply in a greedy settler who don't like our skin tone but loves our land, but in an economic system that enriches a minority at the expense of the global majority. A system that strips every drop of humynity from the conscience of a people in order to enrich a few. Capitalism teaches that profit is more important than humyn life.

The 1970's taught the movement great examples of how to organize in the barrios, how to create a Chican@ student movement and resist the U.$. colonizer military. Many lessons are gleaned but it also taught us that resistance without targeting Capitalism is like having a new sports car without gas, it looks great, and has lots of potential but it cannot drive us to the liberation highway, or out of the driveway for that matter.

The 1970's Chican@ Movement had the energy but it lacked communist ideology at the helm. Had the Brown Berets, MEChA and other Chican@ groups of the 1970's been Communist-led, Aztlán may have launched a strong Socialist revolution given the other struggles of the times with the Panthers and others within these false U.S. borders and internationally.

Some correct line; not enough energy

Today's Chican@ Movement exists and has slightly recovered from the U.$. government's efforts to neutralize all resistance to colonization. The vanguard of the contemporary Chican@ Movement has identified Maoism as the leading line in the world today. No other ideology has advanced Communist thought as far as Maoism.

We see Maoism leading the struggles today in India, the Philippines, and sprouting in barrios within the U.$. Empire itself. Maoism has blossomed in Chican@ hearts like no other time in our nation's hystory.

Maoism taught us that a new bourgeoisie develops within the Party itself. This is a great lesson for today's Chican@ Movement as it would have been for the 1970's. It reminds us that despite a leadership of any type the possibility exists of a leadership to become corrupt even after a socialist revolution. Many can see this truth play out today in the leadership of their own groups. In the case of both the Soviet Union after the death of Stalin and in China after Mao's death this proved true.

The publishing of the book Chican@ Power and the Struggle for Aztlán in 2015 was akin to a nuclear missile being launched on the United Snakes. If we look at the political landscape of Aztlán pre-2015 and post-2015 we see a dramatic shift take place within the Chican@ nation. Pre-2015 Chican@ groups, especially the Brown Beret formation were still simply service groups working on reforms, toy drives, free lunches and coat drives. The language was of "Viva la Raza," "Stop Police Brutality" and "Stop School to Prison Pipeline" which are all good campaigns. Post-2015 1,000 of the Chican@ Power books had been sold and distributed to people inside and outside prison. Revolutionary nationalism became a term that Chican@s re-popularized. Many Brown Beret groups began studying the Chican@ Power book with some making it required reading for new recruits. Many Brown Berets began to identify openly as socialist and communist. Slogans such as "Free Aztlán" became popularized in Aztlán. The idea of secession and independence was revived in Aztlán. The Chican@ Power book was republished by Republic of Aztlán in 2021. Chican@ press, radio and other media was developed promoting Maoism and independence. Online Maoist groups were created for the Chican@ nation. Online Maoist study groups were developed for specific Brown Beret formations in various states. In 2022, the first Communist Party of Aztlán was founded and announced live on the FM dial on an East Oakland Chican@ Maoist Radio program/ YouTube channel called Free Aztlán.

As Materialists we cannot make an analysis subjectively. We can only come to a conclusion after reviewing the data from tests in the field. A review of the above developments helps lead us to our conclusion.

The Chican@ Power book is political ideology created for Aztlán. Chican@ Maoism, it's what was the missing link, the igniter. The political line that the Chican@ Movement never had in a book written by and for Chican@s.

The Chican@ nation has made a leap in consciousness, a development has taken place and the state is responding. It is responding by sending in its agents to employ COINTELPRO tactics to leaders of today's movement. But it is also inserting agents amongst us to bourgeoisify our revolutionary momentum. These agents will have a group that claims to be revolutionary encouraging its members to vote in the imperialist elections for a U.$. President. That is no longer a revolutionary group, it is a branch of the Democratic Party.

The Chican@ Movement is at a crossroads. There is a revival with some energy. The political ideology exists and cadre have been trained that can push the momentum forward. At the same time we see the state employing a counter intelligence offensive on Aztlán to push it back. Security is needed now more than ever as the state begins to neutralize certain figures. We suspect imprisonment but they will also want to go past that to curtail any bigger leaps in our movement. We suspect the state will assassinate a key figure in the Chican@ Movement. What the state doesn't know is our leaders realize and walk toward this possibility willingly from the first act of resistance against colonization. If leading the raza onto a real push of liberation means risking one's life, it is an easy choice. In the spirit of Mao, I would say to die for the raza is heavier than Mt. Popocatépetl.

Conclusion

Chican@ Maoists need to separate the wheat from the chaff, as Mao said. It is apparent what groups are infiltrated by state agents. It's important that these revisionists not influence the movement.

More study groups need to be launched pushing the correct line. Develop prison outreach because as the lucha heats up, members of your groups will be imprisoned.

Highlight that revolutionaries do not vote for imperialists. The Democrats have long infiltrated "grass roots" orgs to bring them into the fold and they continue today.

We need to continue teaching the next generation in order to keep that drum of resistance beating in the hearts and minds of our youth. Each one, teach one.

Our beautiful movement continues to develop. Do not let the many lives that have been sacrificed be made in vain. When they assassinate one of our leaders use it to push the struggle forward. When they imprison one of our leaders highlight this injustice and use it as a teaching tool for all freedom fighters. When they target and harass, agitate and propagate.

The Road to revolution is painted Brown. Dare to struggle, dare to win!

Viva Aztlán libre y socialista!

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[Palestine] [National Oppression] [National Liberation] [International Connections] [Boycott] [Militarism] [ULK Issue 79]
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Free Palestine - Join the BDS Movement

In yet another act of terrorism, Shareen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-amerikan journalist, was targeted and killed by the illegitimate state of I$rael and its military. The I$raeli state, its occupation of Palestine, and its armed forces are and have been backed by the united state’s ruling class since 1932. On 11 May 2022, while on the job, covering an I$raeli military raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, she was maliciously assassinated.

Shareen Abu Akleh became a thorn in the side of the I$raeli state as a result of her continuous on the spot coverage of daily state repression, human rights violations, and Palestinian genocide. She covered many detentions, home demolitions (which Palestinian homes were targeted in, and demolished to force them to relocate for I$raelis) military raids of schools and universities, and Masjids, and killings of Palestinians. This brave frontline work placed her on I$raeli hit lists.

Shareen Abu Akleh was a journalist for decades and a Palestinian revolutionary-nationalist, who being a trailblazer in her field, inspired many Palestinian and Arab wimmin to serve their people through the work of liberation journalism.

Her funeral brought out tens of thousands of supporters, mostly Palestinian, in Jerusalem. As pallbearers carried sister Shareen, the I$raeli military attacked them, and further disrupted the occasion with malicious zionist violence against Palestinian nationals.

Sadly, the colonization of Palestine, the Apartheid regime of I$rael, and violent and fatal repression of native inhabitants is all apart of the imperialist system. What does imperialism look like? It looks like land theft, it looks like millions of people living without power or plumbing, it looks like bombing and shelling of homes, schools, hospitals and finishing the job by attacking refugee camps. It looks like storming universities, confiscating study materials, it looks like the process of erasing an entire human group, and that’s exactly what’s taking place in Palestine. There will be many who call for justice for Shareen Abu Akleh, but the sad truth is that justice for her and justice for the Palestinian nation can only be achieved with the end of the I$raeli occupation.

FREE THE LAND!!! FREE PALESTINE!!!

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is a grassroots initiative that began in the early 2000’s to gain international support for the occupied Palestinian nation against I$rael’s continued military suppression, genocide and land theft.

In recent years the BDS movement has indeed gained international support, even in the face of reactionary pro-imperialist backlash from the states who support genocide, land theft and military crimes.

The goal of BDS is to isolate I$rael on the international field by upholding the “simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity”.

Students around the world have been pressuring their schools and universities to join the ‘Academic Boycott’, initiated in 2004 by the Palestinian campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of I$rael (PACBI). As student activism again comes to life here in the United $tates, it is important that students engage in internationalist frameworks. Amerikan student activists should support the academic boycott of I$rael, which is part of the overall BDS movement. Students should do this not as a mere moral cause, but the understanding that over 50% of the U.$. states strongly support the I$raeli military-apartheid-colonization, so much so that 35 states have Anti-BDS laws. They support the frequent military raids of Palestinian universities under the pretext of ‘countering terrorist activities’, the imprisonment and murder of student activists peacefully protesting, closure of schools and the recent I$raeli military move to arbitrarily control what is and isn’t taught in universities. A new government procedure allows the military to restrict visiting professors who teach subjects supposedly ‘not relevant to Palestinians’.

In the United $tates, the free flow of ideas has begun to be brought to an end. Book bans, Don’t Say Gay laws, the backlash against Critical Race Theory, what’s next? Will the same reactionaries rally police/ military force to suppress your student demonstration? The book Chican@ Power and the Struggle for Aztlán has been banned in prisons in many parts of occupied Aztlán. Will the reactionaries prevent your free thought? NEWSFLASH THEY ALREADY ARE! Students in North America should pressure their institutions to join the Academic boycott and the wider BDS movement. END ALL COLLABORATION WITH THE ILLEGITIMATE STATE, until Palestine is free.


MIM(Prisons) adds: One of the first essays many students of MIM study is On Contradiction by Mao Zedong. In it Mao explains how change must come from within. The liberation of Palestine depends on an effective national liberation struggle from within Palestine, but it can be assisted by resistance to the funding and arming of the I$raeli state by Amerikans whose government is the primary prop of I$rael. A strong anti-imperialist movement in this country would be able to limit the sale of military goods to I$rael, Ukraine and anywhere else where the empire wants to fight wars against its enemies without sending its own troops.

Notes:
(1) ‘Palestinian-american journalist assassinated,’ Monical Hill, FreedomSocialist,vol.43,no.3
(2) ‘Academic fortify boycott of Israel’, Raya Fidel, FreedomSocialist,vol.43,no.3

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