Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

October League Merges with ROAAW

Communists Reach Unity

First Published: The Call, Vol. 3, No. 1, October 1974.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the past month, several significant steps towards communist unity have been taken. First, unity has been reached between the October League (M-L) and the Revolutionary Organization of Afro-American Workers (ML) in Boston. In addition, unity has been reached between the October League and communist collectives both in New Orleans, Louisiana and Denver, Colorado – thereby establishing two new OL districts and expanding the communist movement in new areas.

The unity and merger with ROAAW (ML) is a material step in building a new multi-national communist party. It reflects not only the trend towards unity of the working class and Afro-American movements but also the unity of communists of various nationalities on the basis of Marxism-Leninism.

ROAAW (ML) members initiated the publication of the newspaper, STRUGGLE! which is produced in cooperation with many activists from Boston’s Black community. STRUGGLE! has combined the fight around the day-to-day issues in the community – housing, child care, police terror – with education about the final aims of the struggle, socialist revolution. STRUGGLE! has also played an important role in promoting internationalism and taking a firm stand on the struggle of the African colonies for liberation.

On May 1st of this year, the Struggle Collective announced its formation as ROAAW (ML). Their unity statement said:

“We began in the late summer of 1972 as a group engaged in putting out STRUGGLE! Newspaper. Our ideology at that time was Revolutionary Nationalism ... In December 1973, we decided to begin operating as an organizing collective. We also began examining our political perspective and started a study group. Through our practice, we came to see the need for something more scientific to carry through to completion the Afro-American struggle for liberation: we also noticed that all successful liberation struggles that have occurred in our lifetime which have not been co-opted by the vulture of imperialism, have been guided by the revolutionary thinking and scientific principles of Marx and Lenin.”

“Even more than merely explaining our situation, Marxism-Leninism is the best guide to action on the burning questions facing Afro-American people: the role of different classes in our struggle, which class will give the most correct leadership? How do we build a broad anti-racist, anti-imperialist united front? How do we build mass organizations to sustain, intensify and carry to completion our liberation struggle? How do we conduct class struggle against reactionary elements among our own people? What are the necessary tactics and how do we combine them (armed struggle, elections, etc.) What is the role of Black women in our struggle? Who are our real allies and our real enemies?

“This revolutionary theory rejects the outlook that ties us to the liberal wing of the U.S. ruling class (Kennedy, McGovern, etc.) which dooms our movement to kneeling at the altar of the “Gentle Slavemaster”... At the same time Marxism-Leninism rejects the ’hate whitey’ idea that makes all whites our enemies on the basis of their skin color... not making any distinction between the class interests of the Kennedy’s and Rockefeller’s and those of the masses of white working people, who are also oppressed and exploited by the ruling class.”

They also stated that, “The new communist movement is rapidly growing, increasing its ties with the masses of workers and other oppressed people. It is studying and applying Marxism-Leninism in a concrete way, and working to build the broad united front against imperialism, Racism, Fascism and Capitalism. We are a part of that movement. We seek to develop relations with other Marxist-Leninist forces and we are working for the development of a new communist party in the U.S....”

Over the last few months, after more than a year of joint practical work and discussions, the OL and ROAAW (ML) merged. This new organizational unity will not only strengthen our Boston district and the entire OL, but provides a good example for further gains in party building.

Also this month, organizational unity has been reached with independent communist collectives both in New Orleans and Denver. These mergers are particularly significant, indicating the growth of the communist movement in the South and Southwest –battlegrounds for the Afro-American and Chicano people’s struggles as well as militant labor movements.

Comrades in these two collectives began factory organizing over the past 1-2 years, integrating themselves with the working class. Taking up the study of Marxism-Leninism, they began participating in the struggle within the communist movement.

In November of 1973, comrades from Denver and New Orleans attended the OL’s Conference on Communist Work in the Labor Movement in Chicago. This was a very good chance to exchange experiences and sum up work with comrades from many different areas and organizations.

From then on, joint practical work was undertaken and principled ideological struggle brought about closer unity between the OL and these collectives.

As one comrade from Denver put it, “We joined the October League based on a careful study of the current debate within the communist movement. The building of a new communist party is our central task, but it must be done in the closest connection with communist participation in all the most important struggles, particularly of labor and the oppressed nationalities.”

He went on to say that, “Being part of a national communist organization is also very important for us here in Denver. With this, communists can effectively test their line in practice and sum it up. Localism is a great weakness in small collectives.”

The unity of these communist forces in a significant step forward for the entire communist movement and will help strengthen the work to build a new communist party in this country.