Militants Display Red Aims
Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Ed Montgomery

Militants Display Red Aims

First Published: San Francisco Examiner, May 19, 1969.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The long range objective of Bay Area militants was brought into sharper focus with the recent emergence of the Revolutionary Union and last week’s rioting in Berkeley and Palo Alto.

A forerunner to a proposed nationwide Revolutionary Party, the Revolutionary Union membership is comprised of a select group of Marxist-Maoist leaders from within the underground Red Guard, the Students for a Democratic Society, the Resistance, Progressive Labor Party, and similar Communist dominated groups.

There are chapters in Palo Alto, San Francisco and Berkeley. Classes are conducted regularly in revolutionary tactics, guerilla warfare and sabotage. Training Sessions in the use of rifles, handguns and automatic weapons are held periodically in a canyon behind Half Moon Bay and in the East Bay hills.

Heading up the RU is Prof. H. Bruce Franklin of Stanford, an avowed Marxist-Maoist revolutionary who co-founded the local Red Guard.

Sharing authority with Franklin as an official spokesman for the RU is Robert Avakian, Berkeley revolutionary militant who was active in the Standard Oil strike in Richmond and who recently served a jail term for desecrating the American flag.

Another principal functionary of the RU is Steve Hamilton, a campus agitator who was expelled from UC in 1966. Long identified with the Communist-indoctrinated Progressive Labor Party, Hamilton once headed the Medical Aid for Viet Cong Committees and was one of the Oakland Seven recently acquitted of Conspiracy. He presently is serving a 75-day jail term for his part in a campus disturbance in 1967.


Franklin, whose Red Guard served as the nucleus of the RU, has also been active in the April 3d Movement at Stanford.

At a meeting of some 500 militants in Memorial Church at Palo Alto Wednesday night, Franklin made the motion calling for the demonstration at Stanford Research Institute on Friday.

The attack on SRI, quelled by tear gas, is but one facet of a revolutionary program through which Franklin and his colleagues admittedly hope to reduce Stanford University to an institution run by students and the working class.


In a recent speech in Washington, D.C., Franklin described an example of revolution within the university and added:

“This is not a description of Columbia University in 1968. It’s Lenin’s description of St. Petersburg University in 1908.

“When Lenin describes even earlier events, it sounds like the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley an its aftermath. . . .”


At another point, in lauding the revolutionary takeover of Peking University, Franklin remarked:

“In the Cultural Revolution in China, students began struggling for increased admission of workers . . . different class content in courses, radical changes in testing and grading, and student power as opposed to faculty and administration power.

“The result is that the universities are now run by the workers . . .”


In the course of an interview last March, Franklin, who has taught revolutionary tactics at the far out Mid-Peninsula Free University, told of his direct ties with individuals recently returned from Red China.

He outlined the “need” for an organization which would serve as a cohesive agent for revolutionary leaders and as the forerunner of a revolutionary party with nationwide political power.

The Revolutionary Union, first announced during a demonstration protesting the scheduled induction of Red Guard Chris Milton three weeks ago, represents the first step.


A statement of principles for the RU, with Franklin, Avakian and Hamilton as the official spokesmen, reads in part:

“We recognize the need for organized armed struggle against the power of the state, and assume the responsibilities of revolutionaries in the preparation of that struggle. The people must be armed, organized under the direction of a revolutionary party serving the working class. . . .

“The organized repressive violence of the state (police) must be met with the organized revolutionary violence of the people. Power to the people!”


Franklin was one of the 28 individuals named in a restraining Order issued against Stanford University demonstrators over the weekend. Claude Long, an undergraduate in anthropology, served the order on Franklin at about midnight.

He said a friend of Franklin’s met him at the door and invited him in, but that when he walked inside Franklin was standing there with an M-1 carbine pointed in his direction.

Franklin’s finger was not on the trigger, however, and Long said that after a moment the Franklins relaxed and were hospitable after he had served the Order. Mrs. Franklin, he added, explained that her husband had been threatened.

Several members of the RU, along with unaffiliated leftist militants, have been active behind the scenes at People’s Park, focal point for Thursday’s riot in Berkeley, according to police.