Comrade George Jackson
The movement’s inability to overcome its settlerism was decisive in the end. This can be seen, for example, in the development of two different organizations, in opposing wings of the Anti-Imperialist tendency and with different history, program and tactics. Despite the real political contributions of both, they were at first crippled and then led into defeat by their settleristic thinking.
The identification of Babylon and the initial refusal to gloss over the corruption that Euro-Amerikans have internalized, was one of the political contributions of the WUO. In these and other political strengths the WUO was representing a new consciousness by the Anti-Imperialist tendency as a whole. WUO had a large current of sympathy, although the organization itself began small and stayed that way. Their communiques were widely reprinted. Supporters existed in local defense committees, food co-ops, drug abuse programs, “counter-culture” newspapers, rural communes, and throughout the university sub-culture. Other small clandestine collectives, usually involved in bombings against government and corporate buildings, were encouraged to form by WUO’s example and call to action. In particular many were moved by WUO’s argument that Euro-Amerikan revolutionaries could not just lay back and let the Third World do the fighting and dying. As Bernardine Dohrn said in “Communique No. 1”: “Black people have been fighting almost alone for years. We’ve known that our job is to lead white kids into armed revolution.”(7)
|* Those small collectives that did attempt military- political activities beyond the protest level--such as the George Jackson Brigade and Sam Melville-Jonathan Jackson Brigade--found themselves abandoned by the Movement. The WUO itself was none too enthusiastic about embracing Euro-Amerikans who were actually trying to do combat.|
|* These were women--Black, Chicano and Indian respectively--who had been imprisoned for armed self-defense.|
*Leary went into exile in Algeria with the Cleaver wing of the BPP. He and Eidridge Cleaver held many “revolutionary” press conferences together. That was the period of the WUO-Cleaver media alliance.
the one hand, it had been called into being by the New Afrikan Liberation struggle, and its members had always pointed to the leading and heroic role of Black fighters. On the other hand, its would-be social base included the settler majority that supported “escalating terror and blatant murder of Black revolutionaries.” WUO found itself identifying with both sides of the liberation war. They found their solution in the deepest traditions of their people. If President Johnson had tried “using the nigger against the gook,” then WUO could also do the same (only in reverse). Or “All for Vietnam.” Just as today the white Left declares that internationalism means solidarity with Central Amerikan struggles, while paying only lip- service to liberation struggles within the “u.s.a.”
|KENT STATE (OHIO)||JACKSON STATE (MISSISSIPPI)|
|May 4, 1970: National Guard fires on anti-war demonstration, shooting down thirteen settler youth (killing four).||May 14, 1970: State and local police machine-gun a dormitory at Black college, shooting down fourteen Black students (killing two).|
|Major political issue, front-page news. New York Times gave it a 4-column wide headline and 51 inches of copy.||Treated as minor event. New York Times had short, 6-inch story.|
|Settler youth outraged. Storm of protest both spontaneous and organized by Movement. Demonstrations held at 1350 schools. 536 schools closed by student striukes. Violent demonstrations at 73 schools. 169 bombings and arson attacks on government and war-related buildings.||Settler youth indifferent. Movement opposed, but unable to organize protests. Only 53 school demonstrations, most of them at Black colleges.|
|WUO bombs National Guard office in Washington, D.C. to protest both Kent and Jackson State repressions.(28)|
Hard Times Conference. While it initially appeared impressive, the conference rapidly began self-destructing. Activists from autonomous movements began criticizing the lack of content or any visible purpose other than setting up WUO’s hegemony. Women’s movement criticism was particularly sharp. The main blow came when the Black caucus denounced the Hard Times leadership for racism. Irreconcilable differences appeared. even though most revolutionary New Afrikan organizations had been too opposed or indifferent to the conference to attend.
Rage in Chicago. Everyone was angered by the death of Fred Hampton. Because their collective began to define armed struggle as the only legitimate form of revolutionary action, they did not believe that there was any revolutionary motion among white youth. It seemed like Black and Third World people were going up against Amerikan imperialism alone.