Fred Hampton: a True Revolutionary

Categories, Revolutionary, THEIRstory

fred hampton

“So we say — we always say in the Black Panther Party that they can do anything they want to us. We might not be back. I might be in jail, I might be anywhere. But when I leave, you’ll remember I said, with the last words on my lips, that I am a revolutionary. And you’re going to have to keep on saying that. You’re going to have to say that I am the proletariat, I am the people.”

-Fred Hampton, former Captain of the Chicago Black Panthers, (1948 – 1969)

Biography:

Here is a short biography I wrote on the 46th Anniversary of Fred Hampton’s assassination.

Rest in Power, Brother Fred, taken too soon but you never will be forgotten. Let his life be a lesson: young Black revolutionaries are the most feared organizers to power in the United States history. His commitment to abolishing the pig-power structure should, if not already, be a wake up call for all those committed to Ferguson organizing.

“It is our duty to fight! It is our duty to win! We have nothing to lose but our chains!” -Assata Shakur

Fred Hampton, captain and early member of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP), highly regarded, as one of the best organizers within the BPP ranks. He was instrumental in first implementing the Free Breakfast program for Chicago children, many medical programs, such as helping to build health centers, door-to-door services to test for “Sickle Cell Anemia”, and organizing blood drives for a local hospital, in the Black community. Even more impressive was how he “negotiated” a peace-pact between local street gangs (Rainbow Coalition/PUSH) to end their fighting and initiate a class war against the racist, capitalist, imperialist US, he, and subsequently, the Chicago chapter, were hugely successful.

Until that is,the fateful day of, December 4th, 1969, FBI agents discovered an apartment harboring BPP members, including Hampton. At 4:00 AM, Chicago police raid the apartment–and inevitably kill Fred Hampton as he slept. He was shot 4 times, at deadly range, and the pigs who killed him also took the lives of 3 other Panthers, he was assassinated at the age of 21.

His death, among many factors, became a major factor in the demise of the BPP and–the worst part was that none of the pigs who did any of the killings faced any jail time, or fear of repercussion. A minor testament to his legacy, and impact, his funeral procession was attended by over 5,000 people–with most of Black Chicagoans in consensus, that he was so well loved for his undying commitment to the Black community. RIP. 

Advertisements

Contextualizing the Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Categories, Politics, Revolutionary Perspectives

Great piece! On employing, the revolutionary work, the Pedagogy of the Oppressed–in our fight for liberation.

Bombard the Headquarters!

The generation of wealth based on exploitation and oppression by one class over another class (i.e. the bourgeoisie exploiting the proletariat) breeds resistance of the latter to overthrow the former. As destructive and as violent as it may seem, this very process is the ultimate catalyst of historical development. This was the intrinsic law of transformation that pushed primitive communal societies to develop into slave societies, further on into feudal societies, and eventually into capitalist societies.

But as Mao Zedong said, revolution or the act of fundamentally changing a social system is not a dinner party. It is a violent and rigorous process. It is violent because it entails bloodshed and sacrifice of life is inevitable. It is essentially a war waged against a minority yet oppressive classes by the oppressed majority. It is rigorous because it entails in-depth social investigation and class analysis in order to come up with…

View original post 983 more words

Quotations on Self-Determination, National Liberation and Imperialism

Categories, Revolutionary Perspectives, THEIRstory

lenin-1

 

“The bourgeoisie, which naturally assumes the leadership at the start of every national movement, says that support for all national aspirations is practical. However, the proletariat’s policy in the national question (as in all others) supports the bourgeoisie only in a certain direction, but it never coincides with the bourgeoisie’s policy. The working class supports the bourgeoisie only in order to secure national peace (which the bourgeoisie cannot bring about completely and which can be achieved only with complete democracy), in order to secure equal rights and to create the best conditions for the class struggle. Therefore, it is in opposition to the practicality of the bourgeoisie that the proletarians advance their principles in the national question; they always give the bourgeoisie only conditional support.”

–Vladimir Lenin, “The Right of Nations to Self-Determination” (1914)

mn roy

MN Roy, 1929

“Evidently imperialism has not failed to notice the radicalisation of the Nationalist Movement, and to focus its attention on the force causing this radicalisation. Imperialism recognises its most dangerous and determined enemy in the working class. Its tactics in the present situation, as hinted by the Viceroy, are to point out to the Nationalist bourgeoisie the dangerousness of the situation, and ask their co-operation in meeting the common danger.”

-MN Roy, “The Indian Bourgeoisie and the National Revolution” (1929)

MaoReit

“I call upon the workers, peasants, revolutionary intellectuals, enlightened elements of the bourgeoisie, and other enlightened personages of all colours in the world, white, black, yellow, brown, etc., to unite to oppose the racial discrimination enacted  by U.S. imperialism and to support the American Negroes in their struggle against racial discrimination. In the final analysis, a national struggle is a question of class struggle…at present, it is the handful of imperialists, headed by the United States, and their supporters, the reactionaries in different countries, who are carrying out oppression, aggression and intimidation against the overwhelming majority of the nations and peoples of the world. They are the minority, and we are the majority. “

–Mao Tse-Tung, “Oppose Racial Discrimination by U.S Imperialism” (1963)

Kwame-Nkrumah

“The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside…Neo-colonialism is also the worst form of imperialism. For those who practise it, it means power without responsibility and for those who suffer from it, it means exploitation without redress…Neo-colonialism, like colonialism, is an attempt to export the social conflicts of the capitalist countries. The temporary success of this policy can be seen in the ever widening gap between the richer and the poorer nations of the world.”

–Kwame Nkrumah, “Neo-Colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism” (1965)

I want to sincerely apologize for the lack of gender diversity, I did this post a bit rushed and I went straight off the top of my head and I am a guy–so that patriarchy came out swinging. Once again, I will be sure not to make another post that is so hyper-masculine, again. 

On Police Murder, Violence and Revolution

Categories, Revolutionary Perspectives

riot-african19

Two officers, murdered in cold blood, the assailant takes his own life and shot his ex-partner–as well. According to these sources, Ismaaiyl Brinsely, was seeking revenge for the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. His Instagram was loaded with violent, anti-cop rhetoric. It is a tragedy to see these two cops killed but more light needs to be shed on the murder of this man’s girlfriend, she was innocent–the police are not.

Let me clarify, these two police officers, may have been innocent–individually–but as a force, system and organization, they are far from it. Police historically have been utilized as slave catchers, strike breakers and “status quo” defenders. Since slavery was a system that built the United States, today, those who enforce its continuation are inherently protecting a system created for profit and racism. Passing down this lineage to today, the police protect contemporaneous white supremacy and ruling-class power. As revolutionaries, we have two lines we can follow, one that sees cops as an enemy to oppressed nations and the working class or as belonging to those classes in turn must be organized. It is the latter, donning a badge and the blue uniform, civilians go from people with working class tendencies–to becoming servants for oppression and protecting the Empire–from within.

A revolutionary stance on the pig-power structure has to call for complete abolition, not for reforms or accountability.

Before continuing, going back to the police that were murdered in New York, how should these murders be viewed? As tragic midst the pinnacle of a burgeoning movement, it is horrible these men lost their lives and we should grieve for them and their family but their lives are not more important than the hundreds of Black/Latin@ people murdered by the police every year. That is not negotiable. This individual violence is abhorrent and needs to be checked, but do not associate this with any movements against police violence.

naxalites4

Violence is erroneous–when done individually and unstrategically–but it is even more erroneous to believe that revolution is going to occur without a struggle, a people’s war. Nonviolence is a tactic, much like rallies, protests, speak-outs, etc, but they cannot be expected to bring an end to our current system. This requires seizing all means of production (a post for another day), that will effectively bring an end to the rule of the white-supremacist, sexist, homo/Trans*phobic capitalist class.

A revolution, accompanied by revolutionary warfare, is struggling against a system not individuals. There are people who are complicit, intertwined and protecting said system, but individually seeking them out is harmful to revolutionary movements. It prepares, the military, the police and all those invested in maintaining the posterity of the United States for war–that we are not ready for, yet. It takes time, building, education and training before we can holistically fight the system.

tumblr_nd6yegcusT1ttymzbo3_500

We lost two cops, it is not anymore sad than any one else who lost their lives to violence, they serve a system and died, we fight a system and die as well. It is the parallelism embedded in all movement for liberation. A call for violent revolution must be critically analyzed but understood that there is no mourning the loss of one of our soldiers by a system that cares so little for us, therefore–deserves no respect.

It is our duty to not let this movement die, we must radicalize more people, encourage militancy and begin preparation for the revolution because that is our only hope for a new system–for the people, it will take just as much love, compassion and empathy as it will building for the organized, militant revolutionary overhaul of this system.

Understanding Sectarianism

Categories, Revolutionary Perspectives

Today as I was helping my sister paint our house, it became clear that I am obsessed with Socialist ‘sectarianism.’ It is just fascinating to me to understand why certain people identify with certain aspects of the Left (calling it “socialist sectarianism” is wrong but easier for this post). I focus a lot of energy on perception and how I, and others I cherish deeply, are perceived, so I think about out ideologies quite a bit. It is very exciting for me to think about the differences between, for example, Workers World Party (WWP) and the International Socialist Organization (ISO). Past that I think the reason I am so fascinated with these ideas is because I love labels, I give them to everyone but in terms of leftists I need to know who is what and why they chose that path to travel. Yet the reason I even am writing about this is because I understand that this developed characteristic is inherently flawed and sectarian, like previously mentioned.

Most of us make initial judgements based on many factors and there is nothing wrong with that, but a problem arises when you act on these judgements. Which I seem to do a lot. To go back to our previous example, WWP is a Marxist-Leninist off-shoot of the original Socialist Workers Party (SWP) formed in 1959 by Sam Marcy and the ISO formed from a group in the 1970’s called the International Socialists (IS) but they grew weary of the leadership and eventually were kicked out over some ideological differences then formed the ISO which relied heavily on the SWP for political guidance. Both of these groups have something to do with the SWP but if you look at their politics they are seemingly polar opposites.

That is so intriguing to me. But without getting to deep into this, the differences lie on a few key areas of ideology, the ISO advocates for “socialism-from-below” which means that workers will be the revolutionists not a a small group of folks ruling from the top down. Whereas WWP, does not outright say they support “top down bureaucrats” but they have (controversially) been known to support countries like Russia, Cuba and North Korea; exalting them as “workers states.” Furthermore, WWP are ardent Anti-US Imperialist, being some of the strongest advocates for ending all US wars, whereas the ISO is also very Anti-Imperialist they choose not support any form of imperialism, i.e. the ISO opposed the US invading Iraq but that did not support the Iraqi ruling class as they were pawns of  Saddam Hussein. Just these little tidbits of why these groups are so different make me jump with joy but it comes at a price though.

Even discussion these discrepancies in ideology become harmful because it is endangering the health of the movement. If we, in the US, were at the stage where Russia was in 1917 than these beliefs may matter but at this point we are losing, badly. So right now anything we do needs to be focused on making our communities lives better, fighting capitalism and saving our earth, we can focus on what countries to support later because with the left being so small and capitalism growing even more everyday we got other issues to worry about. Simply put our material conditions are not where arguments of ‘how to do revolution’  matter because we may be in the belly of the beast but that beast is only 2 months pregnant and we all know the next 7 will be the hardest. 

Image

What do we mean by power?

Categories
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” -Frederick Douglass
Today most of us will look around and may think about our current society while wondering why it is so messed up or why we are so blessed to be living in this country. Most folks who look at society from the first perspective usually put blame on the government. This is an accurate but an incomplete analysis of said malfunction because we forget about the concept known as power.  Power to me is defined as the ability to create/enforce change, usually through violence. It comes to fruition in many forms institutionalized, community, economic, legal and endowed just to name a few. When we think about our government, that is institutionalized power and it is then comprised of economic and legal power. So what then is Student Power with that being said?
Education is a right

Education is a right

“Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves – and be free.” – Cesar Chavez
Students around the state, country and world are one big community, we are the future. Therefore we have  that one commonality.  Students everywhere make up the University through “body counts” but also financially (for the most part). Yet almost all academic decisions are made without the input of the students.  So when we say “Student Power”  it is a generalized term for where we are and where we hope to be. Now we hope that eventually that all students are unionized in order to become apart of the governing processes of how our universities are run. However, student power to me means shifting the paradigm of education as a privilege to a RIGHT therefore we take our universities back and make education free, like it is meant to be.

“Power never changed on its own you gotta’ make it” -Brother Ali.

Now what do we have to do to make education free? We the students must build community, because it is activating, rejuvenating and most importantly it is emPOWERing.  Community, is the pillar for building power, because it is power in and of itself, but we also need collective love. Love is a stupid, selfish yet a beautiful and dreamy word.  When people say “I love you” it is a big deal especially in intimate relationships but to me it is an even bigger deal when I can look into my comrades eye, without any fear, with all the trust and just say those three magic words. It freakin’ rocks. No kind of love has ever been built as well as maintained without trust, so trust and love are inextricable because without one another they cannot exist. And that is what community is built upon, love and trust, collectively. If we can’t trust each other than we can’t love each other, if we can’t love each other than we can’t build communities together and when there are no communities, we are rendered powerless and are left getting “F’ed in the A.”

“Hasta la Victoria Siempre” -Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Move over Huey and Stokely because there is a new power in town and it is here to stay.

 

Problems with Privilege

Categories, Revolutionary Perspectives

Today, I sat in my Women and Gender studies class and we discussed the “first wave” of feminism led by figures such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.  After our lecture we had a discussion around “how do we relate to these struggles?” The conversation was energized yet ordinary. Until one of my class mates said “We are all hyper inflicted by the institutionalized ‘isms’ of today and I fight to dismantle these but along the way I make sure I keep checking my privilege.” At first a pretty powerful statement. After reflecting I disagreed with her, she is a self-described white woman.  Privilege is one of the most misconstrued and problematic buzz words of our movement.

            Our “activiPrivilege Sucks sm” is much different than days of the Eyes on the Prize movement. We are a new animal, a rambunctious bulldog with a bark that disparages the “man.” We like capital A’s with circle around them, Karl Marx is our homie and we don’t take kindly to saying “you guys.”  That being said what actually is the problem with privilege? Privilege is the concept that capitalism especially US capitalism “privileges” a select few, based on unearned qualities. You know the white hetero-normative men.  Do I believe privilege is real, yes. So, what is the problem then? Simple, today folks like to play privilege Olympics while feeling a sense of entitlement to the movement while making the truly committed, white activists feel bad.  I have also heard playing the privilege card as an excuse to further enrich culturally, socially or academically. But the biggest issue with privilege actually is that it is too personal. When privileged folks have that “ah ha” moment of realization it becomes a race to become a part of the oppressed group. Humans in order to engender a sense of belonging, we must fit in with the status quo of the day. So when we sit in our conscious circles and disparage the privileged, who wants to be a part of that?

In our movement we do not realize that privilege needs to be evaluated on an individual basis. We do not allow privileged people to be entrenched but instead we oppress them to uplift marginalized groups. All without thinking of what consequences alienation can bring to certain intrinsic pieces of our “world changing” team!

            I think educating about privilege is very important and in the movement necessary to say the least but incredibly hazardous. So the least we can do is not oppress the privileged but instead co-opt them to make the movement stronger. We can change the world but when we suppress one group we render ourselves to a disadvantage.  So yes check privilege, teach about systems of oppression but do not ever make anyone feel the need to become oppressed, cuz’ why in the world would anyone want that? 

5 Tenets of a real democracy and the solution for NC

Categories, Revolutionary Perspectives

Hope, think about it for a second. What actually is hope? Why do the folks in power tell us we have none? I find it very problematic when the generation that is on their way out makes it harder for the generation on its way in. We are the “Millennials” a lost generation, caught up in the world of social media and technology, a vulgar, uncouth group of rabble rousers up to no good. Well you know what I kind of like how that sounds. For us common misconceptions are innumerable like these 5 things Millenials don’t know the meaning of, shockingly it is older folks with more conservative tendencies who write/think this. If you were to ask me as a member of Generation Y, we have just as good if not better of a chance to make this world a better place to live. All we really have to do is think beyond the confines that we are stuck in and think big.

Thinking big for my generation is not hard, we have never been ones to be confined by “realistic goals” but we still understand the importance of real solutions. Visionaries some would call us, others might call us reckless; regardless of the moniker just imagine a world void of inequalities be it racially, by gender or due to class, is that hard to imagine? Not for me and many others around the same age as me. It is not impossible to think that we could eventually live without Racist Mass Incarceration or Sexist Unequal Pay for Women or Violence against LGBTQ members. None of these have to be a stark reality any longer unless we choose to. What if instead of intolerance we chose acceptance. What if we no longer acquiesced to the status quo? What if we defined a new and healthy democracy where no voice is marginalized and no one is forgotten.

          In order to create a healthy representative democracy we must first change the consciousness of the youth and other marginalized groups to stop believing in the status quo. It no longer has to be that the ruling class in this country have to be rich old white men but that starts with us. To add to that I believe these five tenets of democracy are very important for progress:

1.)  Love:Where would we be if we all just loved each other? Love works because last time I checked love never killed anyone, put anyone in jail or shut anyone up: hate did. Once we figure out that no matter where we come from, how we were raised or what side of the political spectrum we vote on we are all very similar. And when that day comes real democracy will reign supreme.

2.)  Education: One of the most important aspects of a real democracy is a quality education. An education that preps you beyond basic math and reading although both are important but more is required. An education that will prepare everyone for but not limited to civic engagement, fiscal responsibility and helping to debunk the myth that politics is only relevant during elections. Those were just a few of what we need to add but it is important because it will create critically thinking people who will truly engage in society.

3.)  Economic Justice: “Equal Opportunity does not mean Equal Outcome” yes this true in a fair economy. Our current economy is not fair to the poor, people of color, ex-prisoners and other marginalized groups.  Sadly most of the poor people in our economic system will remain poor and so will their kids, prisoners who may have been wrongly incarcerated will never be hired and for identifying as LGBTQ you run the risk of being fired or not even getting the job. To end this injustice we must demand an end to a system that makes the rich, richer and the poor, poorer. Only way to do that is by no longer accepting denial to human needs such as housing, food, water and stop accepting bread crumbs as liberation. That means no longer looking at one shining example of success or the exception to the system but understanding that the ruling elite only want you to know about success in order to forget the incredible injustice done to the rest of society.

4.)  Food and Water: This is the most vital for any real democracy because in no true “free world” does death via hunger or dehydration exist.  We have to reevaluate our priorities when an Abundance of Food Exists in the US but over 40% food in the US gets thrown out which could feed 25 million people. On top of that in “developed countries” over 10 million people lack an access to water. That being said healthy has been used in abundance throughout this piece but it goes way beyond the abstract concept of “healthy” but instead it should come to mean that a “healthy” democracy intentionally aids its constituency to be healthy physically. By providing food that isn’t junk and making food deserts an issue of the past then by also securing water for everyone regardless of financial standing. 

5.)  Liberation of thought: We must free ourselves from the thoughts of the ruling class and this is paramount to the creation of a healthy democracy. We must become conscious beings and see the world not through the rose colored lenses of those in power but through our own liberated eyes. This concept is the bread and butter of the world we want. When we are liberated we find it no longer secondary to love, settle for economic injustice, struggle for food or for education it becomes the reality of everyday life.

Now comes the part for solutions, specifically for North Carolina (here comes the myriad of hyperlinks). North Carolina is in a wonderfully horrid place we know this because of articles like this. This mess did not just fly under the radar it was met with some real opposition from various groups. Groups fighting for Love, Education, Economic Justice, Food/Water and all of these groups are working to liberate people of their chains. North Carolina’s resistance started with NAACP on April 30th which would later become “Moral Monday” and NCSPU on May 1st these events sparked a massive fight back against the awful legislation coming out of Raleigh.  The NAACP continues its tour of NC to this day to ensure that the movement doesn’t die because the end of the legislative session. Though this is not an exhaustive list groups doing great work here in NC they include: NC Vote Defenders, Democracy NC, Planned Parenthood and the Latin American Coalition. You should look into all of them as they are all very amazing and powerful people to work with.

           These groups are doing amazing work and have been instrumental in the awesome resistance that happened this summer but they all are filled with grown-ups with grown up interests. Where is the group of students and young people who can tackle these issues? Well, none other than your friendly neighborhood North Carolina Student Power Union. We are an intersectional group that in recent years has been fighting for tuition equity and student representation in decision making processes in Universities. We had an amazing campaign around the budget cuts to higher education but we also stood against the racist voter ID laws, Anti-choice abortion bills, environmental degradation and supported the labor struggle. I can definitively say we are the only grassroots youth organization that is doing powerful intersectional work. With that being said we still need support from as many folks as possible to start up a campaign to put an end to the waterfall of evil bile spewing out of Raleigh.

Now, are you ready to join?  

No time for an Introduction…time for the Revolution

Categories, Revolutionary Perspectives

Revolution, what an awful word. What a fully loaded word, filled with bloodshed, violence and just sheer negativity. WRONG wrong wrong. Every revolution we have ever been taught in our inadequate schools have not actually been revolutions. They all have been framed by “revolutionaries” inasmuch but they for the most part have been ill minded reforms which pits two sides against each other and the side that is disgruntled is the side that rises up. In reality this is exactly how revolutions have to come about and if any of those in the past had been done properly we would have actually had a real revolution. Enough of that, the point of my first post is the need for a revolutionary conscious.

A revolutionary consciousness is the belief that there is something better than what we have currently whether it is a mindset or a system of governance. Along with that it is also the belief that change cannot come with reforms/working within the system but an overthrow of the entire corrupt system. Antithetically, stagnation is analogous with conservatism not only is it regressive but it also keeps the voice of marginalized peoples, beliefs and systems. For most of history the reasons these various ideas or people have been oppressed was because of fear, a revolutionary conscious alleviates that phobia. A new idea with a revolutionary consciousness is not feared for being different but it exalted because of the creativity of the new idea. The truest form of acceptance lies in the consciousness of the revolution because tolerance comes with conservatism and liberalism/neoliberalism but that is not enough in a world with so many marginalized concepts and people. We owe it to the “oppressed everything” of the world, a revolution with the mind firstly than systematic end to corruption by dismantling systems of racism, sexism, white supremacy and capitalism among many others.

This blog will act as an voice of voiceless. Especially those who are socioeconomically poorer, colored, women and any other oppressed group. Hopefully instilling a left perspective but more importantly a consciousness of the revolution to truly give the voice that every human deserves.

Solidarity. Peace and Much Love.