Statement on the History of the Tampa Maoist Collective and its Dissolving: If You Don’t Dare to Struggle, You Don’t Deserve to Win.

Recent Edits (April 5th):

The original Title of this document was “The Tampa Maoist Collective Year Summation.” This has been changed to “Statement on the History of the Tampa Maoist Collective and its Dissolving.”  We believe that this new title more accurately reflects the content of the document and the present situation.

At the End of this document, it initially announced the building of TBRC (Tampa Bay Revolutionary Collective).  “We will re-constitute ourselves as the Tampa Bay Revolutionary Collective and will put out a Founding Statement in the weeks to come, which will cover the way we will continue rectifying these liberal errors.”  This was an error as we are not ready to announce a collective. This document was made to bring clarity to TMC’s situation and explain its dissolving.

Currently, there is no maoist collective in Tampa, and arguably there never was. However, there is a group of maoists that are attempting to build a genuine maoist collective in the bay area.  This group of maoists, once properly consituted, will put out a founding statement.  This website is run by these maoists.  The best descriptor for us is Tampa maoists/maoists in Tampa or tentatively the “Suncoast Reds.”

~End of Edits~

Clarifying Our Formation

         In January 2017, Maoists split from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FightBack!) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), rejecting their revisionist and anti-proletarian feminist practice.  We recognized the theoretical and practical limits of Marxism-Leninism and refused to join/stay in a rape-apologist organization with an incorrect political line for the sake of productivity in a “socialist” party.  We wanted to advance as communists, build US MLM, and build a Maoist collective in Tampa. Despite this, we carried over their mechanical methods of investigation and work, and the former organization’s tendency to ignore contradictions, misapply dialectical materialism, and never struggle for unity.  This contributed to our inability to effectively criticize and rectify our mistakes, leading to patterns of unfinished work, and at times no work at all. Why, in a year of our efforts, have we not been able to execute our political tasks? How were we not able to complete simple tasks and move on to bigger ones?

         We find that our main errors have been: lack of collective leadership and democratic centralism, lack of discipline, inability to treat mental illness when it interfered with one’s ability to complete tasks, productivism: doing things for the sake of doing them, and an inability to struggle.  This lead to unprincipled unity, liberal behavior, and festering contradictions that impeded our ability to conduct red-work. We will discuss the way these contradictions manifested in practice.

Lack of Collective Leadership and Democratic Centralism

          Democratic Centralism did not exist within TMC.  It was attempted but not executed. We had an unequal distribution of theory and labor in our organization. We relied too heavily on the few individuals already familiar with Maoism to make decisions for our political direction.  The internal functions of TMC reflected a consensus-based method that was more tacit than active. As stated elsewhere in our summation, many members lacked confidence and did not take an active role in politics. Collective leadership was never established within TMC.  Not every person was motivated to take on the hard work that is necessary to build and sustain a collective or didn’t do so consistently. We all need to be effective leaders and capable of coming to political/theoretical decisions/conclusions ourselves, no one else can do this for us.

           People did not take on appropriate responsibility and execute it.  At one point, a member of the collective voiced their desire to take leadership and control the direction of the collective as a way to fix this.  However, there was a counterproposal, where each comrade would share responsibility through Chair positions. Chair positions were democratically established for everyone.  Yet this solution failed because the collective was not at this stage of development. Subjectively, and on the surface it was, but in content, it was not. People did not take these roles seriously and abdicated their responsibility. This mechanical method of sharing responsibility also operates on a premise of spontaneity, that if we just throw people into positions they’ll get it together at the moment.  Throughout TMC’s existence, members had not even settled the more basic tasks. They were then thrust into positions of large responsibility for various functions of the collective. With no method to enforce discipline and no build up, this effort failed. The De-facto “leading” cadre, in coordination with the chair effort, tried to exercise a tacit policy of “we won’t speak, or do these things, ‘on principle’ so ya’ll can step up and do it.”  This is a mechanical approach to the issue. This is not an effective way to address the issue. Practice has proven this more than anything. Things kept on not getting done until the organization ceased activity.

           Furthermore, Collective decisions were rarely upheld and implemented in practice.  We failed to understand and apply Democratic Centralism. Once a collective decision is made, we must uphold it. We cannot allow individual members to break discipline- to break DC.  Ultimately, DC doesn’t function without democracy and it doesn’t function without everyone following through on an action. These are the two basic elements of DC. We can debate actions but we will follow through.  If we don’t have DC, we aren’t a collective that functions – and that was a contradiction throughout the whole TMC period. Due to a diversity of schedules and living in different places, not everyone was able to attend a given meeting.  However, we made the ultra-democratic error of not holding meetings without everyone present. This was argued for out of necessity due to having so few members still a part of the collective.

          A similar error regarding DC was that we did not understand that we are all leaders of the collective.  We cannot look to one person to fix our problems or think for us. In any future project, we must address the questions of democratic centralism and collective leadership.  Everyone should be debating and leading in turn. There is no room for laziness, or thinking someone else will take care of it. There was no lack of good ideas within TMC but a lack of discipline and organization.  

Lack of Discipline

           Accountability and discipline were not implemented in TMC the way it should be in a Maoist collective.  Comrades would take up or be assigned tasks and would either not complete them or would take too long to complete them with the quality of the work not reflecting the amount of time taken.  Criticisms or self-criticisms were largely a formality and the rectification process was almost nonexistent. On many accounts, multiple cadre had not completed the readings assigned for study.  A more specific example of this lack of discipline is when a comrade volunteered to create a pamphlet we would use as propaganda, what we now refer to as “the pamphlet incident”. This comrade took well over a month to put this together and ultimately provided an incomplete end result.  While as a collective we recognized this comrade’s errors rooted in lack of discipline, the way we handled situations such as these following was incorrect. In this specific case, the comrade promised to make sure to complete future tasks and there was hardly any collective struggle involving this comrade.   This lead to other, more disciplined comrades to pick up and correct the work. Despite this, the failure to properly struggle with our collective lack of discipline was incorrect.

           As TMC, we attempted to rectify this and build a structure.  In doing this, we created chairs and splitting up labor accordingly.  This ultimately failed, as we had not properly addressed our collective lack of discipline.  In theory, the concept of chairs and the division of labor could have worked, but in practice, it did not because we still had not established the importance of accountability.  We carried over liberal behavior from our previous work in revisionist organizations and did not take our work as Maoists as seriously as we should. In our previous work we found ourselves to be much more “productive”, but upon the foundation of TMC, we realized that real work and struggle is much harder than we had previously understood.  We expected our previous methods and practice to be adequate, but this was a shallow understanding of what we have a much better understanding of now.

Inability to Treat Mental Illness When it Interfered With One’s Ability to Complete Tasks

           Mental illness is something that all of our cadre deal with on a daily basis.  Despite this, as TMC we failed at handling mental illness when it affected our work and ability to complete tasks.  We first realized this after a cadre member left due to their mental health. We accepted this comrade’s split but did not struggle with them, nor did we follow up with how this comrade was doing.  After their departure, we decided collectively that we should make mental health a priority within the collective.

           We learned once again that things were easier said than done.  We took a very mechanical attitude towards our mental health and regularly used it as an excuse when it was convenient.  In many cases, we would use our mental illness(es) as a way to excuse our lack of political activity. While we attempted to prioritize mental health, we didn’t actually take concrete steps to do so.

           Using Dialectical Materialism, we understand ‘mental illness’ is not essential or inherent to anyone’s being.  It can be understood as concepts and descriptors for certain sets of behaviors that occur under specific conditions (biological and not), in certain historical contexts.  We realize behaviors can be changed- by altering the patterns of thinking that guide our behavior through ideological struggle and material change in one’s life. Obviously, this doesn’t happen overnight.

            A common unhealthy behavior is self-isolation.  Comrades cannot leave their room for days, cannot bring themselves to leave their homes, or even send a message to notify the collective of the state of their mental health- we must allow ourselves to support each other and encourage each other to engage in healthy coping mechanisms.  When we self-isolate, we physically and ideologically alienate ourselves from each other. We don’t communicate effectively, don’t complete tasks, and further detach ourselves from the collective with thoughts that are not rooted in reality. This leads to unprincipled unity and degeneration.  And because comrades are not communicating, we cannot struggle for principled unity and contradictions go unsolved. This is detrimental to any cadre organization. Self-isolation leads to alienation among members, disunity, and a failure to complete pressing political tasks.

          As communists struggling with mental illness, we cannot become reclusive and shield ourselves from human contact.  We cannot let ourselves become anti-people. We must remember why we are here and who we are serving: the people. We cannot lose our revolutionary love for humanity.  We must take care of ourselves because we have a world to win.

         Those struggling with mental illness may understand this phenomenon: you have red work you took on the responsibility of completing.  You know the task is easier said than done. When the next day comes, you have a hard time waking up. Getting through the day is difficult, to say the least.  When you get home and your mood spirals, you feel a lot worse than you did an hour ago- and for some inexplicable reason, the task at hand seems impossible to complete.

         When you are in a low and cannot bring yourself to get out of bed, or where ever you feel stuck, there are a few dialectical possibilities of what you can do at that point.  You can: go down the route of doing nothing, sleeping, or anything else that indulges your mental illness other than the red work you have to do- or you can do the red work and initiate some struggle against your mental illness.

         We must realize that in the final instance, we have the agency to physically get up and do what we need to do.  When red work crosses our minds in the situation above, we CAN choose to be productive. This has taken us a long time to realize.  Making the initial leap out of an episode is the hardest step on the path to recovery. Making material change in our lives is difficult but it’s necessary.  We must encourage each other to treat our mental illnesses, and not self-isolate, for the sake of comrades’ lives and our work.

Productivism: Doing Things for the Sake of Doing them- in the Name of “Productivity”

         We liquidated the class struggle in favor of “doing something productive.”  This liberal conception of productivity in lieu of struggle is harmful. It reflects the 9th error of liberalism “To work half-heartedly without a definite plan or direction; to work perfunctorily and muddle along–’So long as one remains a monk, one goes on tolling the bell’” -Chairman Mao.  Productivism is a toxic rightist trend that has been prevalent in “communist” spaces for a long time. It relies on a subjective and petty-bourgeois understanding. It mistakes the part for the whole, in that it ignores internal contradictions and focuses on the external. This often results in the all too prevalent Red Anarchist or Red Liberal.  We would often perform this or that for the sake of “doing something” or to not become a (red) “book club.” Working off of the idea that the only way to combat this was practice, we put ourselves wherever we would fit, and did “what we thought we should be doing.” Examples of this are demonstrated by the following ideas, “Other collectives are doing STP, why don’t we STP too!” or “Anti-fascist work is important, let’s do some of that!”  Overall, we achieved nothing. We never launched STP outside of a facebook and never conducted social-investigation. We participated in anti-fascist events but never led anything and often weren’t able to achieve anything. We were tailing anarchist anti-fascist work. “Tailism in any type of work is also wrong, because in falling below the level of political consciousness of the masses and violating the principle of leading the masses forward it reflects the disease of dilatoriness.” -Chairman Mao.  As the group degenerated and collapsed, a few of us took up individualist practice with local anarchists for a time.

Unprincipled Unity

            The basis of TMC’s unity was unprincipled because our split from a revisionist organization was the only point of unity between all members.  Despite our common recognition of the need for a split from ML revisionist practice, we still struggled to engage in Maoist methods of work. Half of us did not believe we had the sufficient theoretical understanding to be cadre in a Maoist organization.  (Specifically, understanding Dialectical Materialism, Maoist methods of work, tenants of Maoist theory, and the historical application of such.) In the early days, though this was a constant problem, it was not a lack of good ideas, but a lack of self-confidence that led some members to speak and others not to.  This led to those newer to red meetings remaining quiet, and to prevent silence and be productive, others spoke even when they did not want to. However, we liquidated the struggle for ideological consolidation and principled unity. As a result, we continued to use the methods we had previously known and apply them to our practice as “Maoists.”  Mechanical meetings, mechanical investigation, and liberal do-nothingness ensued. We had unprincipled unity and did/wrote things performatively. Ultimately, we were unable to conduct successful investigation, practice, and failed at organizing our community.

           In addition to this, we tried uniting with other Maoist collectives throughout the US.  This was an error because we were not consolidated nor unified amongst ourselves. At the most basic level, we put the cart before the horse by not taking our time to struggle and consolidate ourselves internally.  Insecurities from being a new collective led to making opposite errors in our practice.

           For example, in the very beginning, as a response to mechanical, bureaucratic and commandist SDS and FRSO meetings, we tried to make our meetings flow more “organically”, with open conversation rather than a strict agenda to follow with. We ended up with little to no structure, making them almost anarchic in character and inefficient.  This opposite error was our attempt at countering anything we had learned from the organizations that we had previously been working with. We did not properly analyze the mistakes within SDS and FRSO before attempting to organize as Maoists.

Losing Numbers

           Two crucial members left, one principled, the other not.  This was because of defeatism and self-isolation. These former comrades did not want to struggle with us over this.  Any issues we had in the collective were simply not struggled with. Essentially, our online posturing, unprincipled unity, lack of practice and discipline led to some comrades realizing we were going nowhere.  Instead of struggling to rectify this, they left. These comrades were incredibly theoretically knowledgeable. This event shows that, when a theory is not material, it is not a real force, it does not inspire, and it does not lead.  Aversion to struggle while knowing so much theory, and achieving so little can only lead to this defeatist behavior.

           The first member to leave did so on the basis of showing very little interest in the work and ultimately believing that was “doomed to fail.”  Their decision on leaving was something that they were very set on and did not wish to be struggled with. They never followed up to ask former comrades how things were going with the collective after they left.  Despite all of this, they were able to come forward and formally announce their decision to leave the organization. Looking back on this comrade’s split, we recognize their defeatist attitude.

           After the initial split of our first comrade, another comrade left. The decision for this member to leave was ultimately not communicated effectively.  This former cadre member announced they would be on a short hiatus from organizing due to their mental health. We all accepted this and wished this comrade the best, as a number of cadre did and still remain struggling with persistent mental illness.  We find it of great importance to recognize that TMC did not properly handle the issue of mental illness as a collective issue. What the remaining cadre thought to be a hiatus turned into self-isolation from this former comrade. During this period of self-isolation, they presented liberal behavior in their online conduct in regards to TMC and the remaining cadre members through “leftbook” chats and groups.  The remaining members were not aware that this former comrade had decided they would not continue organizing within TMC and were left with many questions. While we initially wished this person well, when provided with documentation of the things this comrade said, many of us were left hurt and confused. The extent of their mental illness was not communicated to the collective. Reading that this former comrade wished for many of us to “actually kill [our]selves” created hostility that was not there previously.  Ultimately, the remaining cadre members received no direct criticism or indication that this person would no longer continue with TMC and their reasons for doing so.

The Revolutionary Youth Organization (RYO) and Student Organizing

           RYO was a failure.  We experienced the limits of “student organizing,” the student movement and movementism.  We ended up leaving a student organization, just to build another one riddled with the same errors we made before.  We never put in enough effort to build a correct student movement as it took too much time. In practice, it meant focussing on the petty bourgeois intellectuals instead of the proletariat.  Through our cadre’s experience in the student movement in various student groups over the past few years, we have decided to stop engaging in these futile distractions. In the absence of the political work among the masses, it cannot be executed properly.

TMC Falls Apart

           Throughout the month of August new internal contradictions began to manifest and old contradictions could no longer be ignored.  The liberal attitude the collective took toward handling contradictions led to the further decay of unity among members. There was also very liberal organization internally.  Due to a diversity of schedules and living in different places, not everyone was able to attend a given meeting. However, we made the ultra-democratic error of not holding meetings without everyone present.  This was argued for out of necessity due to having so few members still a part of the collective.

           In practice, due to the lack of unity, lack of cadre development, and inability to meet regularly the organization fell apart.  Eventually, all meetings ceased but a few of us continued to get together at community events. This later became tailing Anarchist Anti-Fascist work in the area.  We never took up any mass work outside of supporting efforts in the community on an individual basis.

          After a month of not speaking, a few members called for a final meeting to decide the fate of TMC.  After this was unable to happen we decided to vote to end the project. However, we felt this would necessitate a final meeting to discuss the liberal behavior, reflect, summate, and close out the project.  This occurred after a few weeks of scheduling and without everyone previously involved. This meeting was cut-short and the members that had shown up were not able to meet again for a long time.

The Present Situation

         The few remaining members that wanted to close out the project recognized their liberal errors and began struggling to rectify them.  After about two months of struggling and consolidating our politics and political line, we concluded that we could begin organizing again.  (Although we had not gotten to the point at which we could summate and publish our experience and errors.)

         We got together and decided to create the STP Facebook page instead of seizing the old one.  Mainly, because we were not the old STP. (This resulted in unprincipled criticism from comrades online and the direct association of the TBRC and the Brooklyn Revolutionary Collective.  We are not under the direction of BRC, have no formal relations, and operate autonomously. We have based the STP logo off of theirs because we agree with the design concept. The publication of the Serve The People did inspire a former member to reach out to us and express their interest to organize again.  We have since met with this comrade and brought them into the organization. We have hidden the facebook page and will re-publish once we are ready to formally begin our mass work.

         We want to note that for a long while, we did not have access to former Tampa Maoist Collective emails, websites, and web pages, apart from the TMC Gmail account and TMC facebook page.  Any and all attempts to contact the authors of this document were not received. At the end of January RGA reached out to us, and we did not receive this until March 3rd. We are now in possession of all of TMC’s former accounts and will begin updating them ASAP.  We felt this summation was more pressing and have put our recent focus toward publishing it and forming our political direction.

         In light of the errors of TMC and the collective decision to end the Tampa Maoist Collective, a few former cadre and non-TMC Maoists have decided to build a genuine Maoist project in Tampa Bay.  Learning from our previous errors, we do not intend to rush our documents, no matter how popular the request is (on social media). We will also begin updating the Facebook pages and Web sites. We will organize patiently and strategically and will continue to struggle through liberal errors.  We welcome principled criticism and feedback on our summation. We seek to build unity with the existing Maoist collectives and will make efforts to reach out.

Summate and Rectify Errors!

Build the Collectives, Struggle for Unity, and Build the Party!

Long Live Marxism- Leninism- Maoism!

 

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Comrade Pierre, Red Salute!

Comrade Pierre.png

When we think about the forces that inspired the creation of our collective, we immediately think of our comrades in Parti Communiste Maoïste. The PCM shows us that even in the centers of imperialism, it is right to rebel. Because of our tremendous respect and international solidarity with the PCM, it was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Comrade Pierre. At the age of 81, this comrade never ceased to serve as a shining example of what it means to be a communist. Comrade Pierre took up the mantle of Maoism at the precise moment when the left in imperialist states was defecting in droves to post-modernism, he never apologized for his support of revolution and taught new generations of revolutionaries what it means to serve the people.

Much has been said about the life of Comrade Pierre by our comrades across the world and within the US, to this symphony of honor and respect our collective can only add very little. None of us knew or had met Comrade Pierre, but his example still reached us though a great distance stood between our two organizations. To us, Comrade Pierre is immortal and lives on in the actions of his comrades in France and across the world. With each advance we take, in Fance, the US, India, or Turkey, the memory of Comrade Pierre and all our martyrs marches with us.

To the Parti Communiste Maoïste, we offer your party, its mass organizations, and supporters our condolences on a loss that has affected you all so profoundly. The outcry of working people at the death of Comrade Pierre from one continent to another is a tribute to the work not only of that comrade, but of your entire party. The Tampa Maoist Collective sends you all red internationalist solidarity as you carry on the outstanding legacy of your comrade and friend Pierre.

 

Long live the revolutionary memory of Comrade Pierre!

Long Live the World Proletarian Revolution!

Comrade Pierre, Lal Salaam!

Forward to Communism!

A Report-back from the Streets of Tampa

tmc

We Walk on the Path of our Martyrs

The fascist’s cowardly terrorist attack in Charlottesville has not and will not go unanswered. Our antifascist martyr – Heather Heyer – is immortal! She lives on in the battle against fascism, a battle we will wage to its end. This city will be made a tomb for fascism.

As soon as the news of the attack reached us from one of our comrades on the ground in Cville, the people hit the streets. Overnight anti fascist messages rose all over the city. One such antifa target was the infamous confederate monument that holds the worlds largest confederate flag as it flies over our highways. Revolutionaries defaced the monument with hammers & sickles, antifascist slogans, and red paint.  Other neighborhoods were marked as antifa territory, warning fascists to get the fuck out of our city.

Confed

The next day – TMC, the mass organization Suncoast Antifa, and other revolutionaries in our united front made rapid plans to take over the streets. A liberal vigil event had been planned downtown, lacking any focus on our martyr or the political content of her death. Breaking up into cells, we assumed leadership of the event, gave speeches, and shut the streets down as we led hundreds of people on a march across the city to another confederate monument located at the old courthouse. At different points we halted the march to shut down roads and block the pigs from controlling our route. Fascists, including members of American Vanguard (the group responsible for the terror attack in Cville), attempted to follow our march and film some of our comrades. If not for the presence of pigs, this group of cowards would have been ripped apart by the people. Even with their protection present and surrounding our forces on all sides, comrades managed to beat several of the fascist’s phones out of their hands and break them to stop their filming. Chants of “Cops and Klan go hand in hand,” and “1-2-3-4 this is fucking class war, 5-6-7-8 organize and smash the state” filled downtown Tampa. A candle holding event had been turned into an antifascist march.

At various points the bloc outmaneuvered the pigs, forming into wedges to break attempted encirclement, and laying themselves in front of pig cars to stop them from entering our route. Street occupations where the bloc stopped to hold key roads occurred throughout the march, allowing everyone involved to keep pace with the march as water was passed out, and speeches were given on the occupied intersections. As the bloc came within sight of the confederate monument, we ran ahead of the pigs to occupy the territory and cover the monument in our flags and posters. At the occupation the people voiced their outrage at fascist terror and white supremacy. Backwards ideas were struggled against, those carrying american flags and decrying our cries of “fuck the police” were greeted with the anger of our nonwhite comrades as they explained the need for revolution.  Speakers explained to the crowd that this is only the beginning, our struggle against fascism will continue to grow so long as the people support us. We consider this action a small victory and an important step forward.

With our victory, fascist trolls have taken notice of our actions and have launched a pathetic intimidation campaign against us. A swastika has been drawn outside the house of one of our supporters, other supporters have received phone calls describing acts of fascist violence – including glorifying the death of Heather Heyer. Pigs and private security have stationed 24/7 guards on the monument, trying to stop any further action by us. Liberals have also raised 140k for the statue to be respectably and peacefully removed to private property. The neighboring city of St. Pete has preemptively removed its own confederate monument, attempting to avoid a similar incident in its streets. These actions will not be enough to stop the people of Tampa. The struggle will carry on and intensify, fascists and anti-fascists are mutually exclusive opposites and cannot coexist peacefully in this city.

 

kj

Antifascists in Tampa first announced themselves during pride month, leading an insurgent anti-capitalist bloc through the pride march to the cheers of working class queers in the crowd. Since then we have grown quickly in strength and unity, taking various smaller actions. Before the arrival of TMC and Suncoast Antifa, such actions were completely unthinkable in this area. We are progressing, but much work remains to be done. Our collective is working diligently towards concentric construction – building the basic forms of the party, army, and united front in our work. We have created rules of fitness, diet, and weapons training for all members of our collective. We will become a combat organization of the working class, we firmly reject the revisionist model of “book club communism.” We reject the revisionist denial of the necessity of anti-fascist work. We reject the revisionist model of an “activist” organization. Maoist organizations are partisan war machines created for the destruction of the state and creation of red power. We uphold that the mass line can be applied in anti-fascist work, and we are proving this in practice. Fake communists refuse antifa work, they rub their noses at the people’s struggles and speak of the “mass line” and the “workers” (what they really mean is an idealized version of the old white working class). They see “ultra-leftism” in every militant action. These people are nothing but academics with an activist hobby, they are not communists.

CHnThe fascists exposed themselves at Charlottsville, they can no longer hide in the shadows or play innocent as the ‘alt-right.’ We are now in a post Charlottsville period, and it demands of us all uncompromising struggle against fascism. We believe our rapid response to Cville is an appropriate model to build off for the future, and through its summation we are better prepared for street demonstrations and other clandestine work. Maoism in the US must define itself now, at this historical period, birthed in the struggle against fascism. This is a struggle in our streets, in our workplaces, in our neighborhoods. We understand that to combat fascism in all its forms we must establish Serve the People Programs, anti-gentrification programs, and armed functional paritsan units distinct from our collectives. We are the initiators, and these are the first steps.

We extend our revolutionary greetings to all anti-fascist fighters across the world fighting against a renewed global fascist offensive, especially those in India, Turkey, the Philippines, and Kurdistan. We salute our comrades within the United States: Red Guards Austin, Red Guards Los Angeles, Kansas City Revolutionary Collective, Revolutionary Association of Houston, Three River Reds, and Queen City Maoist Collective. Our solidarity is powerful. The people in the occupied US have risen up in outrage against fascism, it is our duty to fight and win with them. We urge all Maoists to become active anti-fascists and build Maoist guided antifa mass organizations – this is an absolute necessity at this stage of struggle. We will turn the entire south into an anti-fascist zone -seize the times!

Heather Heyer is Immortal!

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!

 

 

Long Live 50 Years of Naxalbari

50 years of naxalbari
“In India, the Naxalbari Peasant Revolutionary Armed Uprising, which will complete its 50th anniversary – was influenced and inspired by the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution of China. Naxalbari was a path breaking event under the leadership of Comrade Charu Majumdar – one of the two great leaders, teachers and founders of the CPI (Maoist) (alongside Kanhai Chatterjee) – which marked a new beginning in the history of the country’s democratic revolution.”
These are the observations made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) while giving a call to celebrate the four great events in the history to achieve socialism in the world, including the fiftieth anniversary of Naxalbari.
It’s obvious that the Maoists – definitively in the CPI (Maoist) – are the real inheritors of the Naxalbari Movement in India, alongside certain revolutionary groups and individuals all over the country. Unless a Bolshevik party is built with Bolshevik spirit to achieve the Indian revolution uniting all such revolutionary forces, New Democratic Revolution in India, a precursor to socialism cannot be achieved.
Naxalbari stands as a dividing line in all aspects of the semi-feudal, semi-colonial Indian polity, society, and culture between the exploiting and the exploited classes, the rulers and the ruled, the comprador bourgeoisie and the broad masses of peasantry and working classes, the parliamentary politics and the alternative revolutionary people’s path. In one word, the class struggle under the leadership of the working class as vanguard to seize state power for the people, and the productive forces to change the relations of production.
The Naxalbari movement for the first time defined the character of the Indian state as a semi-feudal and semi- colonial, comprador bourgeois dictatorship. It had taken Maoism, Marxism-Leninism of this epoch as its world outlook. It had rejected parliamentary politics. It had chosen the path of New Democratic Revolution and waged a protracted war against the state, with armed struggle as the main form of struggle. Its economic programme of land struggle was started in Naxalbari on 23rd May 1967 with the Santals of Naxalbari and Kheribari villages occupying land and declaring their right over the land till 25th May and laying down their lives to protect it against state armed forces intervention.
CPI Maoist
Its military programme is guerrilla war till it has liberated villages and ultimately entered face to face war in capturing the Centre. Today it has reached its mobile warfare stage in Dandakaranya, Bastar in Chhattisgarh and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra put together.
Its political programme is ‘all power to the people’ like that of Soviets in Soviet Russia, and Communes in People’s Republic of China. This political programme was in effect in its embryonic form in Naxalbari, Srikakulam, Wynad and other Adivasi peasant struggles, for that matter even during Telangana Peasant Armed struggle (1946-51).
The programme has taken a firm, vivid and crystal clear form in adopting the resolution to form the Grama Rajya Committees in the 1995 Special Plenum of CPI (ML) Peoples War. Though it was crushed in hundreds of villages in North Telangana during 1995-2003, with encounter killings and such other extra constitutional forms in bloodshed to implement imperialist globalisation policies, it could sustain itself in Dandakaranya and for the last twelve years it has risen to the stage of Janatana Sarkar, where a self-reliant, self-sufficient, united front rule under the landless, the small peasantry, the middle peasantry and the rich peasantry exists. Adivasi, Dalit and oppressed classes are ruling themselves under the leadership of the Party, with the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army protecting the alternative people’s power. And that is why we see today the war on the people particularly in Eastern and Central India, in the Adivasi areas of Jangalmahal in Bengal, Saranda in Jharkhand, Dandakaranya, Andhra-Orissa Border and the Western Ghats.
The Naxalbari spirit of broad revolt was in fact continued by the CPI (ML) of Andhra Pradesh taking the experience of Telangana Peasant Armed Struggle in implementing the mass line and forming mass organisations, particularly after the set back of the Srikakulam movement. After the set back and the martyrdom of Charu Mazumdar in 1972, a Self Critical Report was written and efforts were made to form a Central Organizing Committee which finally resulted during the Emergency to lay down the ‘Road to Revolution’ in the meeting of the Telangana Regional Committee in 1976. Because of the inheritance of Telangana Armed Struggle Virasam – Revolutionary Writers’ Association was formed in 1970, Jana Natya Mandali a great upsurge in the people’s cultural movement has come in 1972, Pilupu – a magazine for the oppressed masses was started in 1973 and by 1974 Radical Students Union – RSU- was also formed.
During the Emergency the radical students had to go underground and conducted studies on the land relations in the villages which can be compared to Hunan Studies under the leadership of Mao Tse Tung, resulting in the great mass upsurge for occupation of land by the landless and poor agricultural laborers particularly Dalits and oppressed classes. The Second conference of RSU in Warangal had given a call to students and youth to ‘go to villages’ to propagate the politics of New Democratic Revolution and to help landless people occupy land and wage struggle to protect it.
A meeting organised in Jagityal, which was later known as ‘Jagityal Jaitra Yatra’ in September 1978 occupied land in 150 villages and declared the right of the people over it. From then onwards a history of class struggle with the mass line continued. The CPI (ML) People’s War was formed in 1980 and with Dandakaranya Perspective had sent squads into Sironcha of Maharashtra and Bastar of Madhya Pradesh.
Dandakaranya Perspective envisaged that unlike a liberated base area in Yenan of China,  the Indian Revolution may need more base areas to usher in New Democratic Revolution, since it also will be a path- breaking revolution to achieve socialism in the world.
In 1999 CPI (ML) Party unity which was active in Bengal, Bihar, Delhi and Punjab merged with Peoples War taking the name of CPI (ML) Peoples War.
On 21st September 2004 CPI (ML) Peoples War and Maoist Communist Centre with a long history of class struggle in Bihar and Bengal under the leadership of Dakshinadesh came together and united as CPI (Maoist).
The united congress of CPI (Maoist) took place in 2007 after the first congress of CPI (ML) in 1970. For the last ten years the peoples war in this country in continuing under this leadership of CPI (Maoist). There is again a line of demarcation between the various CPI (Marxist-Leninist) parties participating in parliamentary elections while talking about the armed struggle, and the CPI (Maoist) adhering to boycotting elections and armed struggle as the main form of class struggle.
In spite of ups and downs, advances and setbacks, once mass line was adopted in 1976, there has been a consistent journey. Today we see the movement in more than one state, even according to the Central government in 16 states there is CPI (Maoist) organisation and in many states particularly in DK, AOB, Jharkhand and Bihar, Western Ghats there are armed struggles supported by mass organisations. In DK there is the Bhoomkal Militia that is the People’s Guerrilla Army safeguarding the people’s power.
Though it looked like a struggle for land whether in Naxalbari, Srikakulam or Telangana in the 1970s, it is a genuine anti-feudal, anti-imperialist struggle with the slogan of ‘land to the tiller’, aiming at seizure of state power by the people. That is why the comprador rulers at the Centre and states look at it with fear and brand it as the “greatest internal threat” to the system and the state.
The imperialist globalisation policy adopted by the Indian government in 1991 as the new economic policy proved the vision of Naxalbari in characterising the state as a collusion of comprador, feudal and imperialist forces.
Naxalbari path being implemented in Dandakaranya, Bihar and Jharkhand, AOB, Western Ghats and Jangalmahal is adopting an alternative people’s development programme to protect the natural wealth and human labor which are plundered by the multinational companies and the big companies in Eastern and Central India.
Whatever may be the political party in power in parliamentary politics – whether an all India party or a regional party – it is adopting the globalisation policy and hence the patriots, the democrats, environmentalists and all those who genuinely feel to uphold the sovereignty of the people have to stand in solidarity with the struggles of the broad masses of this country, particularly Adivasis, Dalits, peasants, workers, women, muslims, students and unemployed youth in different unorganised sectors under the leadership of CPI (Maoist) and other revolutionary forces for alternative politics – self-reliant and self-sufficient, self rule which will usher in New Democratic Revolution. That is the dream of thousands of martyrs who have laid down their lives in fighting against this exploitative system and the state.
One need not go into the details of the degeneration of the parliamentary politics, particularly in the light of 72 votes to Irom Sharmila in Manipur and the UP elections where the BJP could get absolute majority without giving a single seat to Muslims.
So the only hope left to the democratic forces in this country is New Democratic Revolution, the unfulfilled democratic task given to us 50 years ago by Naxalbari movement.
The Tampa Maoist Collective is sharing this statement on behalf of the International Committee to Support the People’s War in India

A Self-Criticism Concerning FRSO

For over a year now, Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FightBack!) (FRSO) has refused to address allegations of sexual assault and rape cover-up. As former members of the organization, we recognize the need to publicly self-criticize for upholding FRSO’s line on these allegations.

We self-criticize for: upholding an anti-people political line, distorting democratic centralism, and expressing misogyny. At the heart of FRSO’s mishandling of sexual assault allegations lies an anti-people political line, which we upheld. This line views the organization as something which stands over and above the masses, and is not held accountable to them. By equating FRSO with the revolution and party building in the US, we failed to view the people as the makers of history and ignored their concerns. As former members, we viewed Democratic Centralism incorrectly, emphasizing the centralism of the organization itself over democracy and connecting with the masses. This bureaucratic distortion caused us to submit to the decisions of higher bodies regarding the allegations, even when they were clearly incorrect, divorced from the reality of the situation, and misogynist. We viewed the organization as the most important thing, and all other concerns as secondary. Misogyny is a major factor in this position, which specifically ignores the concerns of women and queer people. It is inherently misogynist to not address allegations of sexual assault because they “derail the work of an organization.” So-called revolutionary groups and revolutionaries are not exempt from misogyny. We assumed that because our organization was paying lip service to women’s and queer liberation we could not be misogynist. This is a form of identity politics and liberalism which is absolutely incorrect.

Whenever people or organizations publicly disagree with FRSO’s handling of the allegations, the internal response is almost always to snitchjacket, denouncing them as either cops or wreckers. Additionally, the organization extends its policy of snitchjacketing into its mass organizations. Not only do FRSO cadre participate, they also dominate the discussion with mass activists by insisting that you either side with FRSO or are a cop. This is another expression of anti-people politics which views FRSO as the only thing that matters in the United States. As FRSO cadre organizing in the mass organization Students for a Democratic Society, we applied this reactionary political line. Whenever the accusations were mentioned, we insisted that they were designed to destroy the organization and were part of a plot against the FRSO. Snitchjacketing is unacceptable in any groups which claim to be revolutionary, and as cadre of the Tampa Maoist Collective, we will actively oppose snitchjacketing in all its forms.

We — the former members of FRSO — were not exempt from the organization’s absolutely reactionary, vile behavior. It is therefore our duty to publicly expose and denounce our own involvement in this deplorable trend of opportunism, victim blaming, and misogyny for which we are self-criticizing. By going along with the actions of Freedom Road, we helped to legitimize this policy. Our behavior funneled people into the circles of the organization who otherwise would have avoided it due to the allegations. Internally, we failed to challenge the official line that the allegations were handled correctly and were meant only to destroy the organization. We also failed to investigate the allegations independently of FRSO, and took their word as truth. This caused our membership with FRSO to act as a barrier between ourselves and the masses. Our willingness to accept the words of friends for the sake of peace was an expression of liberalism which actively endangered the well-being of the people. These errors are expressions of our primary one, which was to ignore the concerns of the people and focus only on the organization.

FRSO’s failure to address the allegations is counter-revolutionary. Communist organizations must be actively proletarian feminist, and are obligated to hold themselves accountable to the masses, and take issues of sexual assault as a matter of life-and-death for the organization. The Marxist-Leninist movement has a long history of failure in addressing the struggles of women and queer people. The Maoist movement must rectify these errors in practice, and engage in organizing for the liberation of women and queer people. We the former members of FRSO intend to rectify these errors in practice by upholding proletarian feminism and recognizing that we are ultimately responsible to the people alone. This will be done by using the mass line and proletarian feminism as key links in our organizing. Any and all instances of misogyny, anti-people behavior, or bureaucracy will be ruthlessly criticized and rectified by our collective. We will work to internalize democracy within our organization and put it in service to the people. We will recognize that our organization is not one which has fallen from the heavens, but which is growing out of the people themselves. Any individuals or organizations which fail to uphold the principles of proletarian feminism and the mass line must necessarily be swept away in a tide of revolutionary justice.   

Founding Statement of the Tampa Maoist Collective

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On January 25th 2017- We are excited to announce the founding of the Tampa Maoist Collective, a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist-Maoist cadre organization.  As revolutionaries in the United States we recognize that only the science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism can build for the overthrow of capitalism, imperialism, and fascism.  The current US left is dominated by revisionism and reformism and has proven incapable of leading any meaningful resistance to capitalism. The archaic dogmas of Marxism-Leninism have outlived their usefulness to the masses and cannot grapple with the pressing political questions concerning class struggle.  In practice, Marxism-Leninism has lead to small sects riddled with revisionism, bureaucratism, and social democracy.  In the United States, Marxism-Leninism has remained stagnant for decades at best and counterrevolutionary at worst.  Marxism-Leninism reached its limit in the 1960’s, creating the basis for a new and higher stage of revolutionary science, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

Several of our members have direct experience within the revisionist left, namely the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FightBack!).  We have separated entirely from this organization and view them as obstacles to revolution.  They actively practice reformism and tailism while masking their politics to the masses.  As the communist movement learned during the cultural revolution, the opponents of socialism wave the red flag to oppose the red flag.  FRSO(FB) refuses to orient itself towards the masses and has ignored allegations of sexual assault and rape apology.  Members of FRSO(FB) have repeatedly snitch-jacketed and harassed anyone who speaks out against their organization.  Any organization which cannot handle accusations of sexual assault most certainly cannot build a vanguard party.

The basis for a new communist party in the United States can only come about through the hegemony of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.  As such, we will work towards building a new communist party alongside other Maoist collectives throughout the United States.  We see this as our ultimate goal, and the ultimate goal of the entire communist movement at this time.  As we create the basis for a new communist party, we will simultaneously work to build a people’s army and united front of all those who can be united against capitalism. This will necessarily take a protracted struggle as we gather forces around a revolutionary line.  We understand that the mass line is our principle method of organization and the goal of our work is to serve the people.  In the spirit of Comrade Mao Zedong, “all our cadre are servants of the people, and whatever we do is to serve the people.”

Build the Collectives, Build the Party!

Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!