Jim Dann and Hari Dillon

The Five Retreats: A History of the Failure of the Progressive Labor Party


There has always been a militant attack against racism by Black people. A red thread of resistance runs from Nat Turner through the Reconstruction period to W.E.B. DuBois’ NAACP of 1906. The first phase of the contemporary Black Liberation Movement (BLM) preceded PL. But PLM came into being during the height of the second phase, the period of non-violent direct action mainly in the South and Border States that began with Martin Luther King’s Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, continued with the CORE-led Freedom rides, the SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee)-led sit-in movement and culminated in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer and 1965 Selma, Alabama marches. PLM took no direct participation in these events. This was a significant error because in 1963-1965 the South was the focus of the U.S. class struggle and true revolutionaries should have participated in the Southern Black Liberation Movement. But PL instead tried from afar to push the BLM into a third phase, violent direct action. Thus PLM from its inception kept up a merciless barrage of criticism against Martin Luther King, the main apostle of non-violence. However toward the younger more-militant forces in the BLM particularly SNCC and certain CORE chapters PL took a friendlier stance. SNCC was critical of the non-violent King leadership, but correctly united with him during the mass campaigns like the 1963 March on Washington, the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer and the 1965 Selma demonstrations. In the heyday of this phase of the movement (1961-1965) PL was far too small to be considered as a useful ally for SNCC, which had at one point 700 full-time cadre, more than 90% Black and 50% working class, and directly led more than 150,000 Black people in SNCC chapters or in allied organizations, like the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. PL, on its part, was turned off by SNCC’s official non-violent policy. (In practice, however, especially in Mississippi SNCC cadre were involved in armed self-defense; the PL leadership was largely ignorant of what was really going on in the South.) PL’s members were tied to New York City and either too ignorant of what was going on or too arrogant towards the Southern struggle to participate in the struggle as rank and file SNCC cadre.

Had PLM organized to participate in the historic SNCC-led battles in Alabama and Mississippi the way they organized for the trips to Cuba, when the BLM entered its third violent phase, SNCC might have played a leading role as an anti-imperialist ally of PLP. Epton and other Black cadre of PL did visit and meet with the huge SNCC chapter in Howard University. John Harris was chairman of that chapter in 1963-64 and there was a growing trend at Howard to study Marxism-Leninism and learn from the example of the Cuban revolution. Most of these forces went to Mississippi in 1964, where they were heavily radicalized by the extremely sharp struggle, but unfortunately PLP forces did not follow them south.[24] Instead, PLP took upon itself the role of highlighting the evidence of growing disenchantment with non-violence among the BLM. A couple of PL correspondents roamed the South, interviewed activists and encouraged the growing manifestations of non-non-violence. Thus when the Robert Williams’ group in Monroe, North Carolina or the Deacons for Defense in Louisiana took action for armed self-defense against the Ku Klux Klan, Challenge reporters were soon on the scene with encouragement and publicity efforts. They also reported on the Birmingham Rebellion in 1963, but that is really all PL did to help the Southern BLM.

In July, 1964 the BLM entered the third phase with the Harlem rebellion, followed by rebellions in Brooklyn, New Jersey, Rochester and elsewhere. PLM jumped into the Harlem insurrection without hesitation and with its full forces, as we saw. Agitation to promote armed Black rebellions and to give full support and encouragement for those underway became a major aspect of PL’s program. PL members, particularly Bill Epton and Bill McAdoo, showed great courage and some serious ability as mass communist leaders in their participation in and leadership of the Harlem rebellion of 1964. Bill Epton was indicted and convicted of “criminal anarchy” for his role in leading the rebellion. His arrest provoked world-wide protests; statements of support came from Bertrand Russell, Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, the South Vietnamese NLF, as well as from persons or organizations in Sweden, Guyana, New Zealand, Canada, Britain, Puerto Rico, China, France and Ghana. Epton gave an inspiring speech to the court upon his conviction, turning prosecutor himself and placing the judge and the whole capitalist system on trial.[25] Reprinted as a pamphlet “We Accuse” his speech had wide circulation in Harlem, Watts and elsewhere.

In 1965 although there were no PL members yet in Los Angeles, PL cadre came down from San Francisco to report on the 5-day bloody Watts rebellion, the biggest so far, and Challenge gave full front page coverage and support. The same was true of the Chicago rebellion of 1966. In the summer of 1966 John Harris, who had joined PLP after leaving Mississippi in 1965 and was now leader of the new PLP club in Los Angeles, boldly passed out leaflets “Wanted for murder, Bova the cop” after this animal had cold bloodedly murdered a Black man, Deadwyler, who was driving his pregnant wife to the hospital. This atrocity had inflamed still smoldering Watts and the hysterical establishment arrested not Bova but Harris for “criminal syndicalism,” the first such use of this California law since 1934. A mass appearance at subsequent court hearings led to the dismissal of these charges a few years later.[26] |n 1966 Harris formed a militant “Black Anti-draft Union” in Watts which combined the militancy of the BLM with that of the anti-war movement. The Watts Anti-Draft Union held a number of militant demonstrations at Army recruiter’s offices and at High Schools. The connection between the national liberation struggle in Vietnam and the BLM was clearly drawn. In one action (Oct. 4, 1967) Harris and four others were arrested for “inciting to riot” by the nervous Los Angeles police. But the Black Anti-Draft Union continued and brought some Black Cadre into the Party in Watts. The Black Anti-Draft Union also brought a number of Black militants, including some Panthers to the Century City Demonstration in June, 1967.[27] (See above.) During the September, 1966 San Francisco rebellion PL organized a courageous 75-person picket line of the National Guard Headquarters in the thick of the battle, as well as rendering other support to the rebels. PL’s record in 1966 could not have been much better.

If PL had political objections to the SNCC-led non-violent direct actions, (These were unjustifiably ultra-left objections to the tactics and petty-bourgeois “revolutionary” nationalist contempt for the democratic demand of integration.) there were none as far as the rebellions were concerned; these were violent in tactics and generally sparked by working class issues such as police brutality and unemployment. If there were geographical reasons for not participating in the Southern movement these did not apply to the rebellions; these took place in PL’s backyard, the Northern cities. Yet without inner-Party discussion, during the summer of 1967 the PL leadership cooled down its previously heated support for the rebellions just as they were reaching their highpoint.

In July 1967 the biggest Black rebellion yet broke out in Newark, just a short 30 minute ride from PLP national Headquarters in New York. Geographically there was no more problem participating in this deeper more violent and more protracted rebellion than in the Harlem rebellion of 1964; moreover PL had at least twice as many members in New York in 1967 as in 1964. But this time New York PLP did nothing to aid the rebellion or to give political leadership to it. (In 1963 the top PL leadership went to Birmingham during the rebellion there, but in 1967 they stayed clear of Newark.) The small New Jersey club mobilized less than 10 students for a short picket line one day, after the rebellion had peaked, at the National Guard headquarters but no one from PL tried to enter the battle zone.[28] The contrast between the actions of the New York Party during Harlem in 1964 and Newark in 1967 was striking; it was like the difference between day and night. Since the studied inaction during the Newark rebellion was directly led by the national Party leadership the message could not be lost on the Party as a whole. It was the clearest possible sign indicating a general retreat from the Black Liberation Movement, a retreat from the sharpest battles of the BLM.

The Detroit Rebellion, which involved some white workers, was even bigger and more protracted than Newark and was the highpoint of the rebellions. Some 20,000 regular Army troops, diverted from Vietnam, in addition to the police and National Guard were needed to suppress it. The small Detroit club did even less than the New Jersey club a week or so earlier. New York did not even send a Challenge reporter. There were no support actions at army bases, like Ft. Dix where PL had done some military work. Challenge reports on Detroit and Newark were distinctly low key compared with Harlem (1964), Watts (1965) and Chicago (1966). There was no front-page treatment as had been the case with Harlem (1964), Watts (1965) or Chicago (1966). Instead a short one-column story on Newark was buried on page 4, and a short story on Detroit, written by a professor at Wayne State University, was on page 5. The lukewarmness of the Party’s reaction to the rebellions in 1967 was made clear in the type of Challenge reporting. Only two outsiders, white middle class reporters, wrote about the two most momentous rebellions in the U.S. in 90 years. True there was a PL statement giving strong support from afar, although even this verbal support was distinctly lower key than the Challenge statement on Watts two years previous.[29]

Within the Party the “word” was passed down from the top leadership to the members that these rebellions “didn’t amount to much” compared with careful day to day base building on-the-job, that there were “reactionary nationalist” elements involved, that the rebellion played into the hands of Johnson’s Poverty Programs, etc.[30]

By the Spring of 1968, when extremely sharp rebellions broke out in Pittsburgh and Washington and other cities over the assassination of Martin Luther King, not only did the Party send no aid and organize no support, but Challenge spent more time attacking Martin Luther King than hailing the rebellions. This type of editorial policy, however justified given King’s historical role, had the effect of discouraging even the most minimal PLP support for the rebellions and to throw cold water on the heroic efforts of the Black masses. For example the Challenge of April 1968 said:

“In dozens of other cities around the country we see the same mixture: government mourning for King and government mourning for Black people.”

This was as close as Challenge got to even mentioning the rebellions, widespread rebellions in the aftermath of Kings’s assassination. Some 4,000 Army troops were called out in Washington; PLP made no move to protest this but PL by now was not even giving verbal support to the rebels, just brickbats for King.[31]

The Orangeburg, South Carolina police murder of three protesting Black students likewise evoked scant attention from the PL leadership or Challenge. There were SDS demonstrations on various campuses, but PL forces initiated nothing in protest of this atrocity. During 1967 two of the three Black N.Y. Party leaders, David Douglass and Bill McAdoo, quit in disgust when the Party refused to organize support activities while they were in jail for charges rising out of the Harlem rebellion. (They had organized protests among the Black inmates against prison conditions but were left holding an empty bag when the Party outside gave no serious support.)[32] At the PLP Convention of 1968, on the motion of Milt Rosen, the Party’s Black Liberation Commission, which had been headed by Epton, was stripped of all authority and soon went out of existence.[33] In January, 1969 the Party lost its very popular 2-year old Liberation Book Store in Harlem when the manager, Una Mulzac, was expelled from PLP because she refused to buy PL’s retreat from the BLM. Rosen characterized the bookstore as a “nationalist center in Harlem;” he pushed Epton to “struggle” with Mulzac to change the “nationalist character” of it, meaning selling more Challenges and less or no material about the BLM. Mulzac, a well-known Black woman Marxist leader in Harlem was expelled.

She and her co-workers in the bookstore then expelled PLP from the bookstore. PLP had no serious desire to take back the bookstore; the Party lost interest in a Marxist-Leninist Center in Harlem.[34] Meanwhile, within the NC, criticism of Bill Epton, the only remaining Black Party leader in N.Y. sharply mounted. At the convention the post of Vice-president of the Party, which he had held since 1965, was quietly abolished. All this more and more clearly indicated a strong craving of the Milt Rosen leadership to get out of the Black Liberation Movement at all costs. This finally came to a head shortly after the historic San Francisco State Strike in the fall of 1968.

Spurred forward by the militancy of the ghetto rebellions of 1967-1968, and bringing much of that militancy onto the campus, the San Francisco State Strike erupted on November 6, 1968. Progressive Labor Party cadre played a decisive vanguard role in helping to develop and lead the strike to become the biggest, and most militant, and longest struggle in the history of the U.S. student movement. The anti-racist strikers paralyzed the university and kept it from functioning for three months.

The strike was the continuation of the student movement at State which had been developing since the fall of 1966. This movement had been focused on racism and U.S. imperialist aggression in Vietnam. Two major struggles marked the year prior to the strike: During the fall of 1967, the editor of the Administration-controlled campus paper ran a series of racist articles. When nine members of the BSU went to the Editor’s office to protest these racist slurs, a fight broke out which resulted in the nine black students being suspended by President Summerskill. PLP and allied forces in SDS, together with the Black Student Union (BSU), staged a militant demonstration in the Administration building demanding that the racist articles be suspended and the 9 black students reinstated.[35]

During the spring of 1968, PLP and SDS continued the anti-racist struggle and linked it to the war. This effort culminated in late May with a sit-in occupation of the Administration building led by SDS, PLP and the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) demanding preferential admissions of minority students, rehiring of a Chicano professor who was being fired and removal of the AFROTC training program. The sit-in lasted 5 days and involved 1,000 students with 25 arrests. Two of the demands were won and another was partially granted. The mass struggle forced President Summerskill’s resignation at the end of the sit-in.

The issue of the strike was racism, specifically the racist nature and policies of the university. The main demands were:

1.) Preferential admissions for all minority students who apply to the college. Increased financial aid for these students, including dormitory housing if needed.
2.) Retention of English instructor George Murray for the 1968 69 academic year. Murray was being fired for a campus rally speech in which he called for “armed self-defense against the racist police forces” after the cops had murdered a 17-year-old BPP member in Oakland.
3.) Creation of a School of Ethnic Studies with a Black Studies Department, Chicano Studies Department, Asian Studies, etc. All administrators brought in to deal with these Departments were to be of minority background.
4.) Immediate preferential hiring of 50 full-time minority faculty.
5.) Firing Helen Bedesom, notoriously racist Director of Financial Aid with a history of harassing and insulting minority students.
6.) Giving Nathan Hare, who was in charge of all Black Studies courses, a salary commensurate with other Department chairmen.
7.) Once the strike was on, amnesty for the strikers and removal of the police forces from the campus became an added demand.

The demands for preferential admissions, preferential hiring of minority faculty, blocking the racist firing of Murray, and kicking out the racist Bedesom were important anti-racist reforms which were in conflict with the racist policies of the university. Thus the essence of the strike demands was progressive and anti-racist. The demand for preferential admissions was sparked by the blatantly racist admission policies of the university Administration: Over 70% of the students in San Francisco’s public schools were Black, Latin or Asian; yet less than 4% of the student body at S.F. State was non-white. The same racist policies prevailed in regard to hiring of faculty: vicious racists like Bedesom were protected and anti-racist faculty like Murray and others were fired.

The PLP club at S.F. State pointed out that the job of all administrators including minority administrators is to carry out policies in the interest of the Board of Trustees and the rest of the ruling class. This was borne out in practice as the half dozen minority administrators at State first tried to prevent the strike and then tried to sabotage it in concert with some reactionary forces in the BSU. In contrast to the administrators, most minority faculty joined and supported the strike. PLP also criticized the lack of specific working class content in the demand for Ethnic studies. What kind of education were the students to receive: a sharp anti-racist, pro-working class outlook or a pro-ruling class outlook? The secondary criticisms did not affect PL’s all-out effort to win the strike.

The Strike Committee began calling its first mass meetings two days before the strike started. These meetings were marked by sharp political struggle, the outcome of which was crucial to the development of the strike. Specifically, there were four major right-wing and racist positions advanced by the RYM (Revolutionary Youth Movement) faction of SDS and their Trotskyite supporters:

1.) “The main issue is not really racism but ’due process’ and ’campus autonomy’.” PLP sharply pointed out that “autonomous racism is still racism.”
2.) “We should set up our own ’radical’ counter-institution off-campus instead of a mass action.” When the “counter-institution” position of the RYM had won out at Columbia the previous spring, the struggle quickly collapsed.
3.) “White students can’t relate to racism. We need to add some white (sic!) demands.” PLP exposed this racist position and showed how racism was a key prop of the ruling class and that students must unite against the anti-working class nature of the university in general, and the special oppression of Black and Third World students in particular.
4.) As the logical culmination of these positions the RYM-Trot group also proposed that white strikers should have veto power over the tactics and strategy of the minority students![36]

The PLP Club struggled against these positions and after considerable discussion and some fierce debate, they were defeated. Many students at the strike meetings had participated in the “Gator suspensions” struggle and the Sit-in and thus were better prepared to reject the racism of these forces by the time of the strike.

From the first day of the strike, the mass militancy of minority students led the struggle. Picket lines had been set up early in the morning but the vast majority of students had gone to class, most not yet won to striking and some just unsure of the seriousness of the call to strike. At noon that day 500 minority students met on campus. Certain forces within the BSU leadership had no intention, at that point, of organizing a real strike to shut the school. They opened the meeting with a lot of nationalist rhetoric and then advised all the minority students to go home. One BSU leader had announced to the press that morning that “this strike will not be violent” and the BSU “will not forcefully disrupt the university.”[37] However, the conservative forces in the BSU and TWLF misestimated three factors: (1) the militancy and seriousness of the rank and file minority students; (2) the potential leadership role of the PLP forces in the TWLF in a mass struggle situation; (3) the presence in their own ranks of forces who were wanted to build a real strike. These three factors merged to turn the meeting around when, after one and a half hours, a Black student stood up and spoke out, “The hell with going home! If we’re on strike, then let’s shut it down!” Immediately flying squads of 45 to 60 were organized and began turning out classes. By mid-afternoon most classes had adjourned and at 4 p.m. the Administration closed the school, canceling all classes for the rest of the day. The next day a relatively small number of riot police (25) marched onto campus and took up positions in front of the BSU campus office. About 700 students gathered near them. The cops charged the crowd seeking out minority students to arrest. They arrested four minority students who had participated in the previous day’s action. The cops obviously had planned to get several others but 800-900 students forced them to beat a hasty gun-drawn retreat.

President Smith, a political moderate who had replaced Summerskill, conferred with the Board of Trustees and Mayor Alioto and came up with a tactic they hoped would derail the strike into an endless talkathon: a campus-wide Convocation. “This will let the fever run its course,” bragged Alioto prematurely. The strikers then proceeded to turn the Convo into its opposite: to use the day-long sessions to explain the strike demands and win over the so-called “silent majority,” while at the same time, exposing and isolating the racist Administration. During the “good faith” Convocation, six strike leaders (including three members of PLP, Hari Dillon, Bridges Randle and John Levin) received suspension notices from Smith, two hundred plainclothes cops were deployed on campus, and classes were still in session with the Convo being “optional.” Since many students were not attending the Convo PL organized teams to go to classes and talk about racism and the demands of the strike. After five days of the Convo it was clear the Administration was stalling and trying to doubletalk around dealing with the university’s racist policies. Thousands began to support the strike. Instead of “the fever running its course” the strength of the strike had doubled. The strike leadership had doubled. The strike leadership denounced the “strike-breaking Convocation” and minority AND white students walked out. They marched 2,000 strong through the campus buildings chanting “on Strike – Shut it Down!”

Smith’s liberal tactics had failed to break the strike; he submitted his “resignation.” Within hours the Trustees announced the appointment of S.I. Hayakawa, loud mouth neo-fascist semanticist, as acting President.

With the appointment of Hayakawa the ruling class dropped the facade of liberalism and “democracy” and moved openly to crush the strike by force and terror. Hayakawa declared that he would break the strike “in three days.” Rallies on campus were banned. Picketing was banned. It was declared a misdemeanor to be in the campus quad (scene of the strike’s demonstrations) and not in class. “I will use as many police as are necessary to restore order,” he announced. In addition Hayakawa issued “inciting to riot” warrants for several strike leaders, including the three PLP leaders.

Hayakawa’s first day in office was Monday, Dec. 2. The strike steering committee had met and made plans to meet Hayakawa’s reign of terror with an escalation of the strike. There was a rally 4,000 strong in the quad. The ruling class must have begun to believe their own press reports to the effect that “it’s only a small minority” because they had “only” 200 riot police on hand and these were unable to break up the rally of 4,000. The strikers then marched through the campus and shut it down. There were numerous scuffles with the cops but the latter made no full-scale charge that day because of the tremendous militancy and numbers of the strikers and their won relatively small number.[38]

The next day, Dec. 3, was to become known as “Bloody Tuesday” throughout the Bay Area. After Monday’s victory for the strikers, Hayakawa had over 1,000 cops and state troopers called in from all over Northern California. The strikers, 5,000 strong, again held a mass rally and demonstration at noon in the center of the campus. The cops attacked from several sides and a pitched battle ensued in which thousands of strikers fought the police forces for over three hours!

Similar rallies and demonstrations resulting in confrontations with the police continued through December and the university was effectively stopped from functioning. Only 15-20% of the student body were still attending classes. The daily rallies and confrontations with the cops involved 4-6,000 (of 6-8,000 who were in school at any one time). The repressive tactics of the Administration not only failed to crush the strike; in fact the strike grew in numbers and in the fighting determination of its participants.

In January the strikers switched tactics to mass picketing around the entrance to the school. By now the majority of students honored the lines and supported the strike. Seven hundred to 1,500 picketed every day starting at 7 a.m. There was great unity and militancy on the lines, which made the frequent police charges unable to break the picket lines.

In addition, on January 6, the AFT, representing 300 out of 1,300 faculty, struck over wages, workload, and the right to collective bargaining. The AFT also supported the students’ demands. A serious weakness of the AFT leadership was its attempt to impose pacifism on the strike. However, after the December days it was clearer to the strikers that militancy and self-defense in the face of police brutality were essential to win the strike. In balance, when the AFT struck, it was a big shot in the arm for the strike, making it easier for even more students to stay out. January also saw large-scale support contingents come to State from colleges all over Northern California. Black students at S.F. City College organized a support march over 150 strong from that campus to S.F. State. Scores came from Sonoma State, San Jose State, Sacramento State, U.C. Berkeley, etc. Carloads came from as far away as U.C. Santa Barbara and Fresno State. These contingents brought huge banners displaying slogans of solidarity and support. Many had held support rallies on their campuses and helped raise bail funds. This great outpouring of solidarity and support from other campuses was a big boost to the S.F. State strikers and marked a new level of unity and solidarity for the student movement.

From the earliest mass meeting of the strike PLP had advanced a two-pronged strategy for victory: (1) to organize masses of students at State to fight militantly to really shut down the school around the general line of fighting racism; (2) to develop an anti-racist worker-student alliance (WSA) in support of the strike. An Outside Strike Support Committee was formed to carry this out and the PLP led this committee’s work.

While the majority of students supported the proposal for a WSA as part of the strike’s strategy, few really believed it would develop on the scale that it did and make a vital difference in the strength of the strike. By early December, the one-month old strike had become the main social-political issue in Northern California and was dominating the front pages of the press, T.V., etc. Dillon, Randle and Levin and other strike leaders were the most notorious “criminals” of the hour in the pages of the Chronicle. The strike and its focus against racism were being discussed and debated by tens of thousands of workers in S.F. alone. Serious support began to develop in the working class for the strike, and PLP played a vanguard role in organizing this support. This was particularly true among minority workers in the Black and Latin communities where anti-racist consciousness was qualitatively higher. But the strikers made a very serious effort to reach white workers as well around the issue of racism. During November and December, every day after the massive rallies and confrontations were over, the Outside Strike Support Committee organized squads of students to give out a total of 100,000 leaflets to workers as they got off work. In addition, the students went on T.V. and radio talk shows to explain the issues of the strike, held forums in the communities, organized community rallies, etc. When the AFT received official strike sanction (which Alioto had tried desperately to prevent), this opened up even wider opportunities for the strikers to approach union general membership meetings for support.

Some of the highlights of the WSA as it actually developed during the Strike included:

(1) Third World Community Day: As support for the strike mushroomed among Black and Latin workers and their families, large contingents were organized to come out to the campus. On Thursday, Dec. 5, nearly 150 black working-class strike supporters arrived in three busses and joined the noon rally. Many of these were parents of student strikers. The ruling class was clearly upset over this anti-racist worker-student alliance. Hayakawa went on TV and read a state law prohibiting non-students, i.e. workers, from being present on campus. He pledged to arrest any working class supporters of the strike who came on campus again. In response to this threat a Third World Community Day was planned for Monday, Dec. 16. Hundreds from the Black and Latin working class communities were planning to defy the ruling class threats and come to State to help shut it down. Additionally, the high schools were to let out for the holidays on Dec. 13 and hundreds promised to join the Strike. Now Hayakawa had promised to keep the campus open for business at all costs. But the threat of several hundred and possibly thousands of minority workers and working-class youth joining the several thousand strikers forced him and his masters to eat their words. At noon on Friday, Dec. 13, Hayakawa announced that he was closing the school a week early. The solid strength of the strikers pins tremendous working class support proved to be more than the stale apparatus could handle.
(2) Several community support rallies were held at City Hall, the first on Dec. 16. Over 1,500 people, about half workers, came out to express solidarity. Similar rallies were held throughout the strike.
(3) A Community Coalition of over 100 neighborhood groups was formed to support the strike, which gave out leaflets in their neighborhoods and helped to raise bail money for the hundreds who were arrested.
(4) The AFT and the various other union locals supporting them called a mass indoor labor rally at the Labor Temple to support the strike. Twelve hundred union workers turned out for this rally on a Sunday afternoon. Besides the AFT and other union spokesmen, two strike leaders from the TWLF addressed the rally, one of whom Dillon, attacked racism sharply and called for a worker-student alliance against it. This call received outstanding applause from the assembled workers.
(5) Community Mobilization Day, Jan. 6: With the tactical shift to mass picketing to close the school, hundreds who had planned to come Dec. 16 arrived on Jan. 6 to join the mass picket lines. The mass picketing usually numbered 2,000 at its peak but that day the many supporters swelled the line to over 3,000. A similar Community Mobilization Day took place again on Jan. 30.
(6) Significant segments of white workers began to support the strike. Several locals endorsed the strike after the AFT went out: Painters local, ILWU No. 6, Richmond Oil Workers local, and several AFT locals Moreover, many rank and filers organized carloads to come out to State on January 6.
(7) The overwhelming majority of campus workers supported the strike. When the AFT put tip its sanctioned pickets the cafeteria workers walked out, shutting down the main student cafeteria. The dormitory dining hall workers honored the picket lines, thereby closing down the two dorms. Clerical workers and TA’s in Local 1928 walked out in support of the student demands before the AFT struck. The students had made “No reprisals against campus employees who walked out,” part of the amnesty demand from the beginning of the strike.

Because of the vital leadership role that the PLP was playing in the State strike, several major red-baiting efforts were unleashed at the height of the strike. President Smith began the anti-communist campaign in November with vague references to the “forces of darkness who are bent on confrontation for their own ends.” Hayakawa openly declared that “outside agitators, SDS types are converging on the S.F. State campus from all parts of the country.” Governor Reagan, in his half hour TV talk, said, “These violent demonstrations are attacks against the people of California and are instigated by SDS, PL and the BSU.” Mayor Alioto announced at a special news conference that “everything could be settled at S.F. State if the small group of Maoists (PLP) could be isolated.”

During the strike the Party put out numerous independent leaflets, held forums, etc. to reach masses of students with a Marxist-Leninist line. Moreover, the PLP State club did not just verbalize these positions, but the PLP cadre had been instrumental in leading the strike along these lines. The Party membership more than doubled.

In New York City, however, some members of the NSC began to view PL’s leadership of the strike with growing alarm. Rosen was quoted by the N.Y. functionary, Bob Leonhardt, when Leonhardt told Dillon that the strike was too militant and “too many PL leaders were arrested.”[39] Clearly the S.F. State club had not caught the drift of the Party’s retreat from the Black Liberation Movement. The January, 1969, Challenge carried, beside the article written by Dillon and Levin, an article written by the NSC entitled “A Working-Class Analysis of the San Francisco Strike Demands” which gently chided the S.F. State club for supporting the “relatively mild” strike demands. “Perhaps some of the rulers wish they had given in on the demands in the beginning.” The demands for a Black Studies Department were sharply criticized as nothing more than demands for “changing the color of the brain-washer’s face.”[40] The April Challenge spelled out in print that the PL club’s support of this demand was a “mistake.” “But militancy and good intentions, when in support of bad demands, passed down to the cadre on the front lines – “Don’t support Black Studies!”[41]

This left the demand for preferential admissions of minority students. This had always been part of PL’s program. But after the strike was over and the movement around the trials of the arrested students was just beginning, a PL magazine arrived from New York, attacking this demand too. The Party leadership did a complete flip-flop. Now preferential admissions of minority students to college was attacked as a reactionary demand. Rosen, who authored this attack on the mass movement, the strike and the S.F. State PL Club, incredibly reasoned that Black people would be better off not going to college where they could be “brainwashed.”

The PL magazine was dutifully, but reluctantly, handed out by the PL cadre on the scene after 2 days of round-the-clock intensive “struggle” sessions with them led by the NSC representative in San Francisco.[42] The result was devastating; the racist attacks on preferential admissions and on the strike in general proved to be just the weapon the anti-PL forces in the BSU needed to isolate PL in the TWLF. PL rapidly lost all its footing among minority students.[43] Among the white students as well, most militants were turned off by PL’s openly scab position and PL leadership of the strike, fought for so hard, was lost.

The history and manner in which the PL magazine article (see below for its content) came to be written shows the depths to which the NSC sank in order to get PLP totally out of the BLM on the campus. In early 1969 Epton was sent to San Francisco to co-chair with Dillon a conference of 15 or so PLP minority students. The purpose of the conference was undoubtedly to quell the “nationalism” of the West Coast students. But Epton, who opposed the retreat from the BLM, and Dillon, who opposed the NSC-inspired retreat at S.F. State, did not push the official Party line and the conference backfired on the NSC. There were three proposals. One was an internal report by Dillon which urged participation and Marxist-Leninist leadership of the anti-racist struggle for preferential admissions. The second was an article by Don King analyzing the Black student movement in a positive way, while offering Marxist critiques in the context of building the anti-racist struggle. The third was a proposal by Bill Epton for a large national conference of Black and Latin and Asian students led by PLP and other progressive forces in the BLM.[44]

The NSC, of course, had no use for these proposals, and the process of Epton’s ouster as Party leader dates from his “failure” in San Francisco. The proposal for a large national conference was dismissed as a CIA plot. “Just as the CIA controlled the National Student Associations, the ruling class will try the same with a national Black Student organization...” (PL, May 1969), Rosen wrote shortly afterwards. Dillon’s internal report was changed by Rosen: he dropped Dillon’s arguments for joining the battle for preferential admissions and for hiring of minority faculty. Rosen then gave this report the title, “One World Imperialists Run ’Third World’ Student Movement” and published it in PL magazine (May 1969).[45]

But the most significant indication of Rosen’s displeasure with the conference and its position of participating in the BLM was what he did to Don King’s article. King, a Black student in Boston, later sarcastically remarked “I have to pick up a PL mag to see what I’m writing these days.” Rosen completely rewrote King’s article, and used it as a vehicle to launch his attack on preferential admissions; then signed King’s name with the footnote that the author was an Afro-American student in Boston.[46] This way it would seem that a Black student was denouncing the Black student movement, something Rosen was unprepared to step up front and do in his own name.

The article with the shamefully racist title “Black and Brown Students Used” (PL, May 1969) characterized the demands of the BLM on campus as “mainly bourgeois.” “These demands... perpetuate imperialism.” Rosen called instead for a worker-student alliance, not a militant WSA forged in struggle as had been the case at S.F. State only another summer work-experience in factories for Black students based on the need for them “to develop in themselves an attitude of serving Black working people.” Rosen then went on to slander Black students in general and the nationalism of the period in particular:

“In the immediate future, and in most cases (given the weakness of conscious Left forces in the Black Liberation Movement), we will have to make some concessions to the nationalism widespread among Black students. Thus, Black student groups will prevail.

“In response to the racism they have suffered from white students and white workers, many Black students have developed a bad outlook. Most Black students assert that racial divisions, rather than class divisions, are primary. Many Black students see all whites as the enemy of the Black people. Black nationalism denies any fundamental class divisions among either whites or Blacks. No distinction is made between those whites who benefit from racism and perpetuate it, namely the ruling class, and those who pick up racism from the ruling class and are hurt by it – the white working class. Nationalism denies that class exploitation is the basis of racism. Instead, nationalists assert that Black millionaires, cops, generals, steelworkers, teachers and domestics are all oppressed in basically the same way. Supposedly they all have the same interests with regard to all whites. Thus nationalism diverts minority working people from struggle on a class basis and from making alliances with white students and workers. Nationalism even prevents Black people from uniting – workers and middle’ class – to fight imperialism successfully.

• • •

“There is no such thing as revolutionary nationalism... national consciousness is still a long way from class consciousness.”

Then Rosen came right out and said it in print. PLP would not support the demands for preferential admission of Blacks to the colleges.(A recurring theme in PL was missionarism that students, particularly Black students should feel guilty about going to the university; “class privilege” was the term used.) In fact, in the of view of PLP, Black people would be better off not in school so they could learn about class struggle:

“We cannot support the movement for more Black working-class – or white working-class students. The movement implies that the university is going to teach working-class youth how to change society for the better – perhaps even how to make a revolution. It is a slap in the face of Black people, because it gives the ruling class another way to co-opt some of the most disciplined forces from the ongoing Black struggle.”

Why should PL help “behead” the people’s movement by putting working-class kids in schools and tying them up in administering Black Studies Schemes?

“... And the ruling class gets an extra bonus by combing through thousands of working class youths to come up with a little more brain power to perpetuate the bosses’ system.

“Why should we help the ruling class denude the working-class movement? The movement for preferential admission helps create the illusion that the way to solve workers’ problems is to send their children to the university.”[47]

In a follow up article (by “Don King”) in August PL (V. 7, No. 2) PLP stated that “although masses of Black students are obviously willing to fight racism and imperialism the basic character of the Black student movement is reactionary. Black student groups are by and large led by nationalists and liberals who are generally very anti-communist, oppose sharp on-campus struggle in the interests of Black workers and are sometimes agents of the ruling class.”

This arrogant, racist garbage by Rosen served to thoroughly isolate PLP from the BLM on and off campus. After all, how could PL cadre approach a Black worker and tell him his kids would be better off not going to college so they could learn about class struggle in the streets? Thus we can see the PLP retreat from the BLM in stages: First a deliberate shying away from the Black rebellions of 1967 and 1968, second the loss of the Harlem club in late 1968, third the attack on the Black Student Movement in early 1969. And at every step there was the expulsion of Black PL leaders who didn’t go along. The last act of this shameful drama was the attack on the Black Panther Party (BPP).

In the period 1967-68 with the BLM surging ahead to unheard of heights a left leadership vacuum developed. The experiences of Newark, Detroit, Washington, Pittsburgh, Columbia, Orangeburg and San Francisco State had radicalized literally tens of thousands of Black workers and working class students. These tens of thousands were no longer willing to follow the non-violent successors to Martin Luther King or reactionary nationalists like Karenga, Carmichael or Foreman. These tens of thousands admired Mao-Tse-Tung and Ho Chi Minh and were ready for Marxist-Leninist leadership. But this was precisely the period that PLP was beating a hasty retreat from struggle around the BLM and was developing an ideology to denounce the mass demands as nationalist or bourgeois. The CP nor any other Marxist or psuedo-Marxist group had a base or program to appeal to these potential Black Marxist-Leninists. The BPP organized around a ten-point program of militant reforms most necessary to Black workers, jobs, housing, schools, end to police brutality. The BPP called for armed self-defense of the Black community in fighting for these goals.

By the end of 1968 the BPP had a huge base of support in Oakland as well as chapters with several hundreds of young Black militants in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, New York and elsewhere. At first PLP hailed the Panthers, and in the aftermath of the murder of Bobby Hutton the May, 1968 Challenge urged support rallies and that money be sent to the BPP, “Let us unite in and with the Black Panther Party and strengthen the movement.”[48] But the FBI developed a national plan to destroy the BPP and vicious murders and police ambushes of BPP members became widespread. As the FBI organized the local police to pour a shower of bullets upon the BPP, PLP began to pour a shower of verbal abuse on the BPP. PL step-by-step backed away from its original wholehearted support. First there was critical support then just plain criticism then an out-and-out slanderous attack, and finally a fist-fight.

• The September, 1968 Challenge contained news of PL support for the BPP in the wake of the murder of three of their members in Los Angeles and the news of a PL-organized picket to oppose police suppressions of the newly formed Brooklyn chapter of the BPP. But missing was the earlier editorial encouragement for the BPP.

• The October, 1968 Challenge had the first criticisms and warnings. PLP warned the BPP about falling for “liberal rhetoric” and criticized them for appealing to the federal court for protection against police assault. They were told they “must be strong” and “refuse to play games with the ’man.’ They must continue to give Black people this image though the crackdown continues.”

• Then nothing in Challenge for 6 months, until the story entitled “Panthers shot – Nationalism Guilty” (March, 1969). At an April 19 conference in Oakland for Blade workers a PL spokesman attacked the BPP for supporting the idea that revolutionaries could hold union positions. The BPP responded with the first public attack on PL.[49] In January 1969, PLP issued a statement on the BPP accusing them of sectarianism (This from PLP!!); “tendencies toward Yippieism;” allying with “weird” and “degenerate” white groups, but no Black groups; having a “low regard for Marxism-Leninism;” “no class outlook,” for believing “they are out to fight a war against white people in general;” and of shifting “all their activity to their own defense.” “They have generally ignored other areas of struggle in the Black community.” (PL, V. 6 No. 6). This unprovoked one-sided attack was untrue in essence and totally ignored all the positive features of the BPP.

• In June the PL (V. 7 No. 2) came out with a second article entitled “FBI – CP – SWP Combo Tries Baiting Panther Trap.” In this article the picture is painted of the BPP as little more than a CP front group. The BPP was accused of being in league with the AFL-CIO bureaucracy, of retreating from armed self-defense; the Breakfast for Children was mere “charity.” Then the article tried to divide the members from the leaders by saying the former were being used. The BPP was said to be only out for a “piece of the profit pie for a small number of Black leaders.”

• Finally came the July 18-20 BPP “United Front Against Fascism” Conference. PLP organized 150 to “attend” and leaflet the conference with a sharp attack on the BPP that included most of the above slanders in addition to characterizing the conference as “a clumsy ploy... to stop the growth of militant action by the people.”[50] PLP, in a September editorial (PL V. 7 No. 3), later consoled itself that this gathering of 3,000 activists (PL’s figures), two-thirds Black, was a “circus of clowns and crackpots... dope addicts, hippies, Yippies, freaks and potheads... true opportunists, racists and anti-communists... a sorry bag of accumulated scum...” organized and controlled by “CP hacks.” “In fact an important feature of the conference was the nauseating air of racism that enveloped it: good old American-ruling class-liberal racism, paternalistic and sniveling by turns, but always oppressive...” Naturally with PL “attending” with this attitude a series of fist-fights developed and PL ended up thoroughly defeated.[51] The physical isolation of PLP from this conference completed the picture of thorough political isolation from the BLM.

After the PLP was thoroughly isolated from the mass Black movement, the BLM within the PLP was attacked in the person of Bill Epton. The all-out attack on Epton had begun at an NSC discussion on leadership on Sept. 16, 1969, which led to his being dropped from the NC on November 1, 1969. On June 9, 1970 he was expelled by the New York City organization, represented by 40 second level leaders who, according to the NSC, “cheered the call for Epton’s expullsion.”[52] At the September meeting Epton raised many of his disagreements with the NSC in the form of a letter which more than hinted that PL was bourgeois and sectarian.[53] After being dropped from national leadership Epton devoted much of his efforts to building an intermediate organization in Harlem, the Black Workers Congress. The Congress could have been a vehicle to rebuild PL’s influence in Harlem, but the NSC was suspicious. After two construction workers, who had quit PL when assigned to a garment center sellers group, joined the Black Workers Congress, hints were spread within the Party to the effect that the Congress was “anti-Party” or “nationalist;” any way, the NSC reasoning was that black workers didn’t need an intermediate organization but could be won to the Party directly.[54] When the NSC made more obvious moves to dissolve the Black Workers Congress, Epton drew the line. He refused to knuckle under and wrote up a comprehensive critique of PL for the membership at large. The result was his expulsion. In an atmosphere of racist tension other minority members of PL, who were known to disagree with PL’s retreat from the BLM, were one-by-one approached by the NSC and pointedly asked to choose between PL and Epton.[55]

In this period PLP had begun correcting some of its previous erroneous views about “revolutionary nationalism.” In the early days the Party trailed after all kinds of bourgeois nationalist in the Black community, calling them “revolutionary nationalists.” PL’s Black and white cadre worked and lived separately and PL at its founding convention toyed with the idea of separate Black and white parties for the two “separate nations.” PLP in 1967-69 moved to correct these errors, but as the pendulum swung the Party over-corrected; saw all nationalists as reactionary, and ended up equating the nationalism of the oppressor with the nationalism of the oppressed. This was a gross distortion of Marxism-Leninism.

Marxists hold that nations and nationalism arose with capitalism and the ideology of nationalism, as a general rule, serves to build up the capitalist nation-state. Marxists counterpose internationalism to nationalism, saying “Workers of the World, Unite.” But this does not mean that national struggles are always and at every point reactionary, and should be always opposed by internationalists as PL’s dictum would have it.(The point is that nationalism is the political rationale presented to workers by one group of capitalists to fight outside capitalists for profits. And this fight is never in the basic interests of workers.[56]) A national movement against imperialism is a very progressive force; it can greatly weaken imperialism. As the workers are drawn into the national liberation struggle they put forward their own demands, and success in the national liberation struggle they put forward their own demands, and success in the national liberation struggle means qualitative gains for the working class of the oppressed nation at the expense of imperialism. A weakened imperialism is to the benefit of all the world’s workers, especially the workers in the metropolitan country. Even before imperialism was developed as a world-wide system Marx unstintingly supported national struggles, in particular those of the Polish people, even though they were led entirely by the bourgeoisie and there was little working class participation; Marx correctly saw the national struggle of Poland as weakening the Holy Alliance of Russia, Prussia, and Austria, which was the bulwark of reaction in Europe. Lenin in an even more complex situation in Turkey insisted that the Soviet power had to ally with the bourgeois Turkish nationalists of Attaturk, as well as with nationalists in Iran, Afghanistan and India in order to weaken British imperialism, the main bulwark of reaction in Asia. During World War II the communist movement, led by Stalin, united with anti-fascist nationalists like Charles DeGaulle in order to weaken the Nazi main enemy. Today national movements that attack the main bulwark of reaction in the world, U.S. imperialism, must be supported by all Marxist-Leninists. Moreover, this is easier for communists to do because much more so than in Lenin and Marx’s day the workers of the oppressed nation are often deeply involved in the national liberation struggle and can win huge moral and material gains with the expulsion of imperialism. Striking examples are Vietnam, Cuba, and Angola.

All this was doubly true for the BLM in the late sixties. The rebellions and other actions of the BLM weakened imperialism vastly; the central cities were in open revolt; the Army and Navy became unreliable if not downright hostile because of the mutinous actions of Black soldiers and sailors; the schools became cauldrons of anti-racist revolt and some of this militancy deeply affected the trade unions. All of this was in large measure due to the effects of the national movement of Black people. Moreover never in history had a national struggle so involved the working class and Black workers won some serious reforms as a result of the BLM, these included jobs, housing, democratic rights and improvements in ghetto food and services. Racism among white workers significantly declined due to the BLM. The BLM was national in form and guided by nationalist ideology. The nationalism played a progressive role. Naturally, nationalism is limited and the limits of some of the reforms could not be transcended without multi-national united working class struggle, therefore communists try to convert the nationalism of the oppressed into internationalism, but do not attack the nationalism of the oppressed as hopelessly reactionary. This kind of attack is reserved only for the nationalism of the oppressor (racism).

But PLP equated the two and in practice devoted much more time and energy combating the nationalism of the oppressed, Black nationalism, than white racism. This was a reactionary distortion of internationalism. As this reactionary line developed PL accused its departing Black members of leaving because they wanted to support “revolutionary nationalism.” Undoubtedly McAdoo, Douglass, and Mulzac and a great deal of the Harlem Club had been won to the Party partially because the Party had at the outset supported Black “revolutionary nationalism.” But those party forces were Marxist-Leninists. Their estrangement from PLP was not primarily because of their nationalism but mainly because PLP no longer participated in the struggles of the Black masses. They correctly viewed this as a retreat. If they turned to nationalism they suffered at the hands of Rosen and company. At any rate what was the justification for the NSC attacks on Epton, who in 1968-9, wrote a series of very good articles for Challenge on the BLM which attacked nationalism from a Marxist-Leninist perspective? He had always fought to implant the internationalist perspective of Marx, Lenin and Stalin into PL’s theory. Epton was anything but a nationalist; he suffered for his opposition to PL’s abandonment of the BLM, a movement with which he had always been so closely associated.

The S.F. State Strike was likewise anything but nationalist. It was a solid, united multi-racial effort. The minor aspect of the demands that was nationalist was criticized and struggled with from the outset by the PL club, without any prodding from New York being necessary. Yet the NSC purposely and cavalierly sabotaged their anti-racist, internationalist leadership by publishing racist material that separated them from their base, and forced the PL club to become antagonistic to the main demands of the strike.

The demand for Black Studies could be nationalist or internationalist depending on the concrete character given to the demand in the course of struggle. Nationalists would want to study the ancient African Kingdoms, George Washington Carver, Black Capitalism and contemporary African Governments. Internationalists would want to study the slave rebellions, the Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass, Nat Turner, W.E.B. DuBois, the Black Caucus movement in industrial unions and the African Liberation Movement. In practice there is a mixture of both types of content and the quantities in the mixture are determined by struggle. If internationalists refuse to participate in the struggle for Black Studies Departments, they will strengthen the nationalist character of these because the movement will be default be totally in the hands of the nationalists. The battle for education in the U.S. has a very long history; culture and the demand for working class culture always follows on heels of workers militancy (i.e. the cultural work done in the 30s by the CP flowed from the drive for CIO) and similarly the demand for Black Studies flowed from the ghetto rebellions and the civil rights movements which produced a great militancy and an increase in anti-racism. Then when minority students continually found racist slanders in the classroom the obliteration of anti-racist struggles, history and the non-existence of the great cultural contributions made by Black and other minority artists — that is when the demand arose for Black and Ethnic studies: one reason or one of the reasons PL never understood this is because most PL student cadre never went to class. Few were serious students. More importantly, PL has always downplayed the role of ideology and ideological struggle in relationship to the campuses (as well as in general) and especially in terms of serious study or work among intellectuals.

The demand for preferential admissions of Black people to college is never a nationalist demand. To say Black workers should stay out of college, lest they be brainwashed, is not internationalist; it is racist, viciously racist, and in essence is exactly what the ruling class of the U.S. has always practiced and is practicing today. Rosen’s prediction that the CIA would form a national Black Student Union and that the ruling class would support preferential admissions were as false as the racist reasoning they were based on. It is solidly in the interests of the working class to support preferential admissions under all conditions; it is vitally important for genuine Marxist-Leninists to reject the racist lie that Black people are more prone to be brainwashed in college.

The BPP had many weaknesses due to lack of Marxist-Leninist training (no more than PLP); the leadership was sometimes anarchist in outlook. The principal spokesman for this trend was Eldridge Cleaver. But the BPP was never nationalist in character. In fact the BPP was the number one target of Black nationalists like Ron Karenga. (Two BPP members were in fact murdered in 1968 by agents of Karenga.) The defense of the BPP was, as Harris wrote earlier in Challenge, a defense of the BLM, a defense of Black workers against police murder. When PLP moved from defending the BPP to attacking the BPP at the very time FBI and the police were engaged in a nationwide slaughter of the BPP cadre that took the lives of 29 Panthers, PL unwittingly played right into the hands of the police.

It is true that the Black Panther leadership in early 1969 moved temporarily into alliance with the CP, accepted CP money and lawyers and retreated under extremely sharp attack from some of their earlier emphasis on armed self-defense. (They abandoned a number of adventurist tactics, a development genuine Marxists would cheer.) It is also true, however, that a Marxist-Leninist outlook within the BPP was growing; the bitter PLP attacks on the BPP retarded the development of Marxism-Leninism within the organization. Because the PLP attacks were correctly seen as uncomradely at the least, it became utterly impossible for genuine Marxists within the BPP to ally with PLP, and definitely reinforcing the BPP alliance with the CP and RYM forces. Since the BPP, never nationalist, wanted an alliance with white radicals and PLP was self-isolated from the BPP and the BLM, the CP and RYM forces appeared as the best available white allies. PL retreated from the support of the BPP because of the most narrow organizational sectarianism.

The following quote by Stalin shows how diametrically opposed PLP’s line on nationalism and preferential admissions was to Marxism-Leninism:

“Restriction of freedom of movement, disfranchisement, repression of language, closing of schools, and other forms of persecution affect the workers no less, if not more, than the bourgeoisie. Such a state of affairs can only serve to retard the free development of the intellectual forces of the proletariat of subject nations. One cannot speak seriously of a full development of the intellectual faculties of the Tatar or Jewish worker if he is not allowed to use his native language at meetings and lectures, and if his schools are closed down.” J. V. Stalin, Marxism and the National Question

It is obvious that the Bolsheviks would have warmly supported a movement for Tartar or Jewish studies and departments and preferential admissions of minority students. In fact they set up this type of thing after the revolution on a huge scale.


Abbreviations Used in Endnotes

EA: Eyewitness Account: Some 30 former members of PLP contributed to these accounts, including seven former NC members, at least one of whom was present at all NC meetings between April, 1965 and March, 1977. Whenever this citation is used the account has been carefully crosschecked with other witnesses.

CD: Challenge-Desafio, PL’s national newspaper.

PL: PL magazine, PL’s national theoretical magazine.

IB: PL internal bulletin.

CW: Collected works.

• • •

[24] EA

[25] “We Accuse,” PLP pamphlet.

[26] EA

[27] Spark, October, 1967; EA.

[28] C-D, V. 4, No. 5, August, 1967, p. 4-5.

[29] Ibid.

[30] EA

[31] EA, CD, V. 5, No. 1, April, 1968.

[32] EA

[33] EA

[34] EA, letter of Bill Epton to Jocelyn Jerome, January 28, 1969, reprinted in Bay Area Internal Bulletin (February-March, 1969).

[35] EA

[36] EA

[37] EA

[38] EA

[39] EA

[40] CD, V. 5, No. 10, January, 1969, p. 18.

[41] CD, V. 6, No. 1, April, 1969, p. 18.

[42] EA

[43] EA

[44] EA

[45] EA, PL, V. 7, No. 1, May, 1969, p. 22.

[46] EA, PL, V. 7, No. 1, May, 1969, p. 13.

[47] PL, V. 7, No. 2, August, 1969, p. 13-22.

[48] CD, V. 5, No. 5, August, 1968, p. 3.

[49] PL, V. 7, No. 2, August, 1969, p. 18-19.

[50] PLP leaflet “Build A United Working Class Movement To Smash Fascism Racism, and U.S./Soviet Imperialism!”

[51] EA

[52] NSC letter to Party, June 11, 1970.

[53] Bill Epton, letter to the Party and Friends, June, 1970.

[54] NSC Report to the Party.

[55] EA

[56] “Revolutionaries Must Fight Nationalism” PL, V. 7, No. 2.