First Published: New Worker, Vol. I, No. 2, July 1969
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Los Angeles, July 7 – The call is out from one end of the country to the other. There will be an Anti-Fascist Conference called for in Oakland the weekend of July 18. The cat is out of the bag, or more appropriately, the cat is in the bag now. What cat? The Black Panther, what else! And what bag is it in?
The right-wing Communists headed by Gus Hall! All jesting aside, the question of the Anti-Fascist Conference is a serious matter, and even more serious are the projections that will come from this conference which is called to form an Anti-Fascist United Front. We firmly support any genuine struggle against the rise of Fascism, but we will not be so easily misled. For who are the Anti-Fascists that have arisen suddenly? Let us take a closer look at this conference.
According to Masai, Black Panther Party Central Committee member, in statements made July 3 at an open meeting in L.A., the conference was jointly organized by members of the central committee of the right-wing revisionist Gus Hall clique and the central committee of the Black Panther Party. Two representative bodies of both central committees laid all initial plans in preparation for the conference. The organizing committee was selected by their unanimous agreement. It included members of the SDS, ILWU, and a variety of revisionist front groups including a sprinkling of Trotskyites from the Socialist Workers Party. The agenda for the conference is fixed. The speaker’s lists are formalized. No speaker will be heard from the floor. No unauthorized points will be made. No vote will be taken. This conference and its outcome have been determined weeks before its convening.
The revisionist Communist Party has bought and paid for this conference, and they will exact nothing less than complete cow-towing from all present. The conclusion of the conference may already be read in the Daily World and the People’s World and the Black Panther Party’s publication. The need to overthrow the Capitalist system, the need to build an anti-imperialist united front, the necessity of coupling revolution with reform will all be thrown out the window. In its place, class collaboration without principle, reform without revolution, and a cowering fear of the so-called Fascist monster will be sold to the victims of this anti-fascist fraud. Let us make it clear we are not opposed to police review boards or the need to struggle for them. Nor are we opposed to more working class influence in community matters. We will fight squarely for these things, but we will never look upon these things as ends in themselves nor as a replacement for revolutionary struggle and the overthrow of the capitalist system. The Black Panther leadership sold itself and its followers. The revolutionary peoples of the United States and the world will come to understand the nature of this sellout soon enough.
The revisionist Communist Party has as its primary objective a sharing of power with the imperialists. This political objective revealed itself in the wild support for Johnson when he opposed Goldwater, and in its endorsement of the McCarthy candidacy, and its unlimited support of “left liberal” candidates. The revisionist Party has come to understand that conditions are changing and have very care fully laid plans to take the revolutionary nature of the change into account. The revisionists must capture or intimidate the new revolutionary forces in our country, especially those emerging in the trade union ranks and the industrial proletariat. The vehicle will be the Black Panther Party, and it will be ridden to its death to accomplish the formation of a third party, a “People's Party” which will embody the liberal formulations which are to be revealed at this “Anti-Fascist Conference.”
There is no need under the circumstances of this conference for Marxist-Leninists to support it. In fact, it would be an error for them to attend. They would be barred from projecting a line of true revolutionary struggle.