NEWARK, NJ April 9 — There is nothing better to accompany some good BBQ chicken than with a discussion about the need for revolutionary violence. That is what happened here at our pre-May luncheon with 15 students and workers. The purpose of the luncheon was to encourage some of our friends to become active organizers in the last few weeks leading up to May Day. One comrade spoke about the history of May Day. A student then explained her experiences at last year’s May Day. She described how exciting the rally was and how the dinner was “awesome.”
After reviewing the plans for this year’s May Day, we began to discuss a Neo-Nazi rally in Trenton on April 16th. Everybody agreed that we needed to have a presence at the rally. However, when a comrade raised the use of violence to try and stop the Nazis, one student questioned the usefulness of this strategy. The students believed that by using violence, we might undermine our own ability to organize future workers and students into the Party because the media will be able to cast a negative light on what we are doing.
A comrade responded by saying how non-violence is an idea promoted by the ruling class to keep workers docile. He said Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi are used as examples of how non-violence won freedom and liberation. In actuality, black workers in the U.S. and the working class in India still face dire levels of poverty, racism, and exploitation. In fact, according to author Michelle Alexander in her book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Colorblindness,” there are more black workers in jail, prison, on parole or probation now in the United States than there were black slaves in 1850 (about 10 years before the Civil War).
Another argument was that while the ruling class continues to push the idea of non-violence , they invade and bomb countries from Afghanistan to Libya to maintain control of oil.
Two comrades recalled the events of the 1975 summer project in Boston and the need for violence to smash the racists who were attacking black school children while riding the buses. The mixture of excitement and nervousness was evident as they evoked memories of charging up a hill with their belts ready to attack a group of racists.
Some workers said that they don’t want to use violence, whether it is to defeat Nazis or to take state power, but the working class is left with no other choice. From the revolutions in Russia and China to the “left” movements in South America and Africa to the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam movements in the U.S., the ruling class has shown that they will always use violence to hold onto power.
The last person warned that the media will always put the Progressive Labor Party in a negative light since the media is controlled by the bosses and only supports their ideology.
The youths may not have been convinced at the end of the discussion that revolutionary violence is necessary, but overall it was a very positive experience and some of them will join us in opposing the Nazis on April 16.
We will continue to strengthen the personal and political relationships with our friends and coworkers to help break down the bosses’ myths, one of them being that non-violence is the only tool for the working class.
What seemed like a routine talk about May Day turned into a lively discussion about smashing Nazis and the need for communist revolution, always a great way to end a pre-May Day event