Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Black Revolutionary Party, USA

Politically organize armed defense units

Published: The Black Revolutionary, July-August 1971.
Reprinted: People’s Canada Daily News Release, September 30, 1971.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Presently an excellent situation exists in our struggle against racial discrimination and violent repression and for the emancipation of our people “steeled” through long, arduous and heroic struggles. Inside the plantations, ghettos and factories, our brothers and sisters are grasping even more firmly that It is only by use of revolutionary violence that we can defend ourselves against the fascist repression of the U.S. government, i.e., the U.S. monopoly capitalist ruling class. We have learned through many past experiences and have recognized more than ever before that there is no such thing as the U.S. fascist government becoming “sensible”. We recognize more than ever before that the “promises” of “equality”, “justice” and “democracy” to the Afro-American people are a hoax and these promises are made so that we give up struggling while the U. S. fascist government increases its violent repression against us. The resistance of our people especially during the last few years has shown beyond doubt that our people are fearless and determined to persist in fighting till complete emancipation.

The mass upsurge of our people against fascist repression is developing steadily and on a big scale. Every attack of the fascist U. S. government is met with furious retaliation by our people. Militant demonstrations against fascist repression, sniper fire at the fascist police and other racist goons, armed attacks on the fascist police and other racist goons, and close unity between our people to militantly oppose repressive acts is becoming “A WAY OF LIFE!” Such acts are no more isolated. THEY ARE WIDE SPREAD AND EVER INCREASING.

Our “just” struggle has won the warm support of the world’s people, especially the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The People’s Republic of China and Chairman Mao, stand as a powerful force in support of our struggle and the struggle of the working and oppressed peoples of the world. Also the mass anti-imperialist movement within the United States is surging forward. The struggle of the Puerto Rican, Chicano, and Native Indian people against racial discrimination and violent repression is at a very high tide. All this has added to the excellent situation in our struggle for emancipation. The awakening of our people is high and our resistance is great. Today it is not us who are afraid of the U. S. fascist government. It is the U.S. fascist ruling circles who are terror stricken. Battered by the heroic resistance of the Indo-Chinese people, the Palestinian people and other people and nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the mass anti-imperialist upsurge in the imperialist and capitalist countries, the U.S. imperialists and their lackeys stand exposed as paper tigers.

Because U.S. fascist monopoly capitalist ruling class is beset with insolvable economic and political crisis both at home and abroad, and because the struggle of our people has reached a new height, the U. S. fascist government is making a desperate effort to deceive and suppress us. Daily our brothers and sisters are being unjustly persecuted on one pretext or the other; they are murdered and many are jailed on trumped-up charges. Our people are maimed and vicious attempts are made at infiltrating organizations of our people. The imperialist propaganda machinery plays up reformist leaders as real revolutionaries and attempts to implant them as our genuine leaders so as to introduce reformist politics and suppress our struggle. Also the U. S. fascist government has hired its tested agents from the revisionist “Communist Party of U.S.A.” who in the name of assisting us legally and through contributions are attempting to convert militant organizations of our people into “Welfare Groups”. The left adventurists are attempting to use us to fight for their cause to divert us from our own national-class struggle in the name of “Struggle for socialism”. They want us to become appendages of their programme. However, the vigilance of our people is high and our struggle is beyond suppression. The formation of the Black Revolutionary Party at a time when there is a mass upsurge of our people and lack of organization to lead this upsurge reflects the resoluteness of our people to fight for complete emancipation.

From the day of its formation on April 18, 1971, the Black Revolutionary Party has received enthusiastic approval from our people and other progressive sections in the United States. Within weeks of the publication of the BLACK REVOLUTIONARY, the journal of the Black Revolutionary Party, over 48,000 copies were distributed in various parts of the U. S.A. Our brothers and sisters from Africa, Asia and Latin America held an inspiring conference on May 21,22, 1971 in support of the “just” struggle of the Afro-American people and the Black Revolutionary Party.

The Black Revolutionary Party has the historic task of leading the struggle of our people against racial discrimination and violent repression and for emancipation. It is our honor, to fulfill this historic task and build the organization of our people which can last for the entire period of our struggle for emancipation. We have summed up the experience of the struggle of our people and on that basis gave the call to “POLITICALLY ORGANIZE ARMED DEFENSE UNITS!” This is the core of our programme for the entire historical period. This is the leading aspect of our organization and we firmly hold that only by developing our programme around this most important slogan, can we advance along the path of emancipation.

The slogan “POLITICALLY ORGANIZE ARMED DEFENSE UNITS” is a slogan to build our Party and carry out the basic task of a revolutionary party of Black People. It is a programme based on the concrete analysis of the concrete conditions in the U. S. and at once uses theory as a guide to action. The slogan POLITICALLY ORGANIZE ARMED DEFENSE UNITS is distinct from the slogan Politically Organize, which does not include armed defense – as well as distinct from the slogan Organise Armed Defense – without the use of politics.

A political organization of Afro-Americans without armed defense is a sterile organization and is incapable of solving the problem of Black People. Such an organization is meant to create an illusion that the U.S. fascist government is capable of being “sensible” if we plead enough. .This is against our long historical experience. Organizing Armed Defense on the other hand, without subordinating armed defense to politics is incapable of solving the problem of our people on a protracted basis. This is bound to lead to pessimism and such action remains vulnerable to attack by the fascist government.

During the course of our mass work, various brothers and sisters came forward to enthusiastically support the programme of the BLACK REVOLUTIONARY PARTY and wanted us to write our experience about Politically Organizing Armed Defense Units. What does politically organizing mean as opposed to just organizing armed defense? What are the concrete forms of politically organizing armed defense units?

The essence of politically organizing armed defense units is to arm our brothers and sisters with revolutionary politics and thus release their initiative in “solving various problems. To politically organize armed defense is to lead our struggle on a conscious and protracted basis until complete emancipation.

We have a long history or resistance. In recent years this has developed further and our brothers and sisters rejected the idea of winning emancipation by non-violent means. This is because they realized that the fascist U. S, government will always use counter-revolutionary violence and therefore it is necessary for us to use revolutionary violence. While we took up the gun to defend ourselves against violent repression, we moved forward and the U. S, fascist government felt greatly threatened. They made efforts to subvert our struggle, and despite the great enthusiasm of our people, they were temporarily able to weaken our organized force. The main reason why this could have happened is that we did not put revolutionary politics in command in an all-sided manner and at all times, That is why to talk about a protracted resistance against racist and violent repression requires full and conscious participation of our people and not participation without putting politics coupled with action in command.

In considering all of this we firmly think that the essence of politically organizing is to

1) Arrive at a unified position through ideological struggle based on our experience and see the necessity of upholding correct ideas and discarding incorrect ideas. It is not possible to bold incorrect ideas and do correct actions over any period of time. A unified position means that through discussion, we grasp the idea as our own and then only this idea becomes a material force and leads us in our struggle. For example, only through discussion on the nature of our struggle the necessity of armed units and the full meaning of Armed Defense and consciously grasping the necessity of a disciplined attitude can lead to a unified position about the political programme of the Party and only a unified position can direct our members and supporters to lead the programme forward. Without a unified understanding, there cannot be unified action and there is no way of each unit becoming an integral part of the whole. In absence of a unified position, various attempts are made to substitute that arriving at a unified position,, Like bureaucratic coordination, bureaucratic directives, and permission from the headquarters for every decision becomes a substitute for a unified politics on the basis of which each unit takes correct decisions. If all units do not act with a unified position, their experience cannot be summed up as springing from our programme.

2) Only holding high the political line and resolutely defending the interest of Afro-American people in an all-sided manner, can keep large numbers of our brothers and sisters in and the enemy agents out. Enemy agents cannot be discovered on the basis of investigating personal files of someone. They can be isolated only the basis of whether they hold correct politics in practice or not. Those who do not change are as bad as agents regardless of whether they are agents or not. Political organizing is based on testing people on the basis of practice in various forms. Those who move forward to uniting theory with practice in all forms can set the example of a good cadre. Those who want to have one practice and another theory are roadblocks.

3) Create advanced cadre. These cadre are ideological, political and organizational leaders. They are capable of solving all problems by consultation with the masses. Advance cadre tested on the basis of the unity of theory and practice are a consolidated core and the consolidated core is the basis of expansion. Thus politically organizing will lead to consolidation, consolidation will lead to expansion and expansion will necessitate further consolidation.

4) Fully release the initiative of the masses. Our brothers and sisters have very very rich experiences and they are extremely capable of retaining a revolutionary core in solving various problems in a revolutionary manner. That is all problems of our people can be solved on both a short range basis as well as on a long range basis. Short range programmes will be good only when they are carried in the context of the overall and long range programme. If we do not do this, our organization will also become a “Welfare Group”, which our enemies will most like us to be.

5) Wide scale propaganda of our views on all matters and complete secrecy of our organization is the only tested method.

6) Only by politically organizing armed defense units, can we learn what Chairman Mao teaches us – Politics Must Always Command The Gun, The Gun Must Never Command Politics, Political Power Grows From The Barrel Of A Gun. Politically organizing armed defense units can begin at the level of discussion groups. Discussion is based on concrete experience of the people and the concrete experience of the people must be looked at in the context of the overall. The discussion group will be a disciplined group which gathers to solve various problems of propaganda, agitation and mobilization. It carries out a program and constantly raises the political consciousness of our brothers and sisters. It is through these discussion groups that consolidated groups will emerge and a process will continue throughout the period. Many brothers and sisters may initially not see the importance of political discussion and may consider it “just talking”, but the discussion groups, are directed towards grasping the essence of the problem of our people, increasing unity, combating erroneous lines and further deepening the love among our people for our entire people, each one will see the necessity of these discussions. Furthermore, only such discussions are arming people and not “just talks”.

There is a method of “just talking” and that is when talking is done in abstract and on an intellectual plane without a problem in mind and seeking answers on the basis of intellectual talks rather than actual experience. A consolidated core at any time during the course of these discussion/groups becomes ideological, political, and organizational backbone of not only this group, but also becomes the basis for revolutionary organizing at other places. The advanced sections will begin to form the “Politically Armed Defense Units”.

The “politically Organized Armed Defense Units” emerge as defenders of the democratic rights of the community. They are not defense units for the group nor for themselves. They are units solely dedicated to serving the community and must respond to the need of the community. They are entirely underground as has been the experience of various brothers. They are compact and small. These units begin the formation of the people’s democratic power in the community, but these units by themselves aren’t the commanders. They are under the control of the local unit and it is the political authority of the unit that is in command. In this sense, these units are the armed army of the political unit and the whole unit and the armed unit is the political leadership of the community.

Only this can give rise to a concrete form of People’s Power, Without this the slogan “People’s Power” is an abstract slogan. People’s Power becomes of a concrete meaning only if it is exercised through its organization in the interest of the community, and has “resource” of combating counterrevolutionary violence.

Armed defense units in various areas are thus formed and they are the methods of organising the programme on a large scale. All programmes must begin from the few places where we are strong. Only these serve as models organizing and if we can do this we can-put into practice the slogan of Chairman Mao, “A single spark can set a praire fire”.

Armed defense units under the leadership of the political units of the Black Revolutionary Party will further inspire revolutionary enthusiasm of our people. As bur organization grows, there will be such units all over the*United States united together on the basis of democratic centralism. The principle of democratic centralism is the slogan “Politically Organize Armed Defense Units”. Brothers and sisters it is patient and hard work, but it is noble work – this is the summation of our struggle.

Hold high the revolutionary spirit of carrying out:
1) Our task is of fight against racial discrimination and violent repression and for complete emancipation.
2) Our line of “Politically Organize Armed Defense Units” to fulfill this task.
3) Our method of organizing is constantly summing up our experience.

We can solve all these problems by applying Mao Tsetung Thought in concrete form, i.e., putting theory into practice. Let us resolutely carry forward this task. This is the method of correctly organising and this is different from both “action groups” as well as sterile “political groups.”