How far is the Left going in the United States? We now have American Maoists who are calling for “revolutionary violence.” An Antifa group is calling itself the “Red Guards” and has adopted the ideology and the rhetoric of Chairman Mao and his Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
There are currently cells in Austin, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Charlotte, Houston, and Los Angeles. Then there is the Black Red Guard, based in St. Louis, that–as is typical of revolutionary factions–condemns the other “cadres” for being insufficiently radical. (You wouldn’t think guerilla warriors would have such a presence on the internet!) For more on this group, read this.
Read this May Day speech from a comrade in the Los Angeles chapter, given at a demonstration in Boyle Heights. It’s entitled The masses demand revolution; our task is to give that to them; our fate is sealed in the glory of this condemnation. Samples:
We stand in solidarity with the Red Guards and principally Maoist collectives who are working towards the creation of the Maoist Party. We stand in solidarity with Maoist parties across the world who are committed to building socialism and fighting revisionism through People’s War! . . .
No longer can we squalor this day! No longer can the people continue to receive the short end of the stick from the US. What do we have? Nothing! What do we want! Everything! We shouldn’t speak in the abstract. What needs to be done is the concentric construction of the three weapons of revolution: the Maoist Party, the Maoist People’s Army, and the Maoist United Front. What needs to be done is to militarize the masses and all the pre-Party Maoist formations! . . . .
Through the women’s popular defense units we will soon see proletarian feminism emerging in quantifiable and invincible progress, neutralizing the enemies of the people who prey on proletarian women, especially from the internal colonies, organizing the fury of proletarian women to unleash it as a force of revolution, wiping out all reaction, from the exploitation at the centers of production to the oppression of the residual patriarchy that reproduces itself in the home, in abusive relationships and from the repressive state apparatuses.
We who uphold the universality of Protracted People’s War must begin training and casting off the revisionist gossamer of pushing off armed struggle into a far-off future, until the conditions are so-called right. It is rightism, and hence a betrayal to the people, to hold off on the construction of the People’s Army until U.S. capitalism becomes even more reactionary. The masses do not yearn for the instant gratification of spontaneous leaderless riots. They yearn for revolutionary structure and leadership of proven selfless revolutionaries and a concrete strategy.We must prepare today, yesterday and tomorrow for the prolong confrontation, the protracted war, against the capitalist state. We must carry out military actions against the enemies of the people! We must steel ourselves in the fire of class struggle everywhere it is in its sharpest stages – such as production and housing.
Comrades! Los Angeles! Boyle Heights! On this May Day, we not only hoist the scarlet banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, but make it known that this is a reaffirmation of the escalation of the strategic defensive into equilibrium in the war against gentrification! A war that is part of the larger Protracted People’s War getting ready to be born every day Maoist build links with the masses and carry out the mass line, which contains revolutionary violence, as the vehicle to revolution!
We declare war against all things poisonous to the people and our revolutionary cause. War on gentrifiers! War on parasitic slumlords! War on real estate vultures! War on capitalist developers! War on local government sellouts like the city council! War against local vendidos who put their own interests, lining their pockets with the blood-money of the oppressed and exploited, instead of the benefit of the people. War on the treacherous revisionists who masquerade themselves as radicals or revolutionaries who claim to be “communists,” “Marxists,” “Marxist-Leninists,” even some who falsely claim allegiance to “Maoism.” War on the fascists, while currently in decline, continue to militarize into paramilitary organizations! War on the enemies of the people! . . . .
Our task is clear: only through revolutionary violence can the masses create real political power! . . . .It becomes evident that the masses yearn for blood, for vengeance and liberation! The masses are fighting back and we will guide them toward victory through revolutionary violence and warfare!
I hate to disappoint the speaker, but the proletarian masses actually seem to be yearning for Donald Trump. And the model of proletarian feminism is Roseanne.
I wondered whether these Red Guards are college kids playing at being-more-radical-than-thou, or whether these are Hispanics with a connection to some of the actual Maoist guerillas in South America, such as Peru’s Shining Path. There is some Spanish in the speech and an allusion to Shining Path, but the Black Red Guard agitator said they are mostly white guys from the L.A. punk scene.
So here we are. Maoist guerillas planning a People’s War in the United States. What would Joseph McCarthy say?
Do you think this is a new terrorism threat? Should we take this seriously, or not?
Photo by Jason Hargrove via Flickr, Creative Commons License