September 25, 2010
The attack on Freedom Road Socialist Organization: An injury to one is an injury to all, written by Lou Paulsen, member, Workers World Party, Chicago
This was posted to Louis Proyect’s “Marxism” discussion list.
I hope people are paying the proper amount of attention to this.
You have to think back a long time - maybe to the Smith Act or the SWP trials in WWII? - to come up with an attack by the US government on a mainstream socialist tendency like this outside the oppressed community.
Of course there has never been any restraint on the feds when they went after groups like the Panthers, the Young Lords, the MLN, etc., or even charitable Arab and Islamic organizations. But that isn’t who the FRSO is. And they aren’t the Weather Underground or the black bloc. Not that anyone deserves to be attacked by the feds.
But the feds are expanding the range of groups that they think they can destroy with impunity. The time was - for quite a while - that you could be an organization of Marxists, internationalists, who could do educational events, hand out leaflets, do union organizing, hold peaceful demonstrations, publish a newspaper, give talks and public meetings, and so on, sometimes about liberation struggles, and the feds would not just flat-out try to destroy you for that. If the rules are changing now, which of you is safe?
The FRSO aren’t the teensiest bit ultraleftist. I know there are people on the list who don’t trust my or my party’s judgment, but just about everybody on the left in the Midwest respects the FRSO and their activists. They are principled, they have a solid working-class orientation, they are hard-working, and they are internationalistic. Individually and collectively, they are pretty exemplary.
The federal government is trying to do to the FRSO what the Nixon
administration never went so far as to try to do to the SWP or the CP or us, what the G. W. Bush administration didn’t try to do to us even when we organized an anti-war demonstration on 9/29/01. They didn’t just hand out subpoenas today. They are trying to stop FRSO and its solidarity activities in their tracks.
They are saying to the peoples of Palestine and Colombia and really the whole oppressed world that “You had better surrender now, because we will cut down everyone who stands up for you, everyone who speaks well of you, everyone who says that you are not the terrorists we say you are.” And they are saying that everyone who conducts socialist activities and tries to “indoctrinate” anyone in socialism or internationalism is the proper target of the next attack.
Everyone on this list who did not have 30 boxes of papers and personal possessions hauled out of their house today, who still has an unconfiscated computer and cell phone - the ball is in our court.
We had better be ready to come up with material support and political support in the old “an injury to one is an injury to all” spirit.
CHICAGO — Social justice and anti-war activists will gather at 3pm at the West Town Law Community Office, 2502 W. Division St. to speak out against a series of FBI raids that took place on Friday, September 24 in Chicago and around the US.
The FRSO’s website is www.fightbacknews.org .
member, Workers World Party, Chicago
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