Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Revolutionary Union

They’re In For Us, We’re Out for Them


Published: n.d. [1971]
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

You hear the slogan a lot these days “FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!!” But what does it mean? What is a political prisoner? And if they should all be freed, how can they be?

Well, the history of the United States (not the stuff you read in textbooks) is filled with examples of what a political prisoner is.

Take the cases of Thomas Munley, James Carrol, James Boyle, Thomas Duffy, Mike Doyle and others, 19 in all, who were hanged in Southern Pennsylvania in the late 19th century for their role in organizing the anthracite coal miners in that area. These coal mines were poisonous death traps where hundreds were killed every year in cave-ins and explosions because of the owners refusal to invest in any safety equipment or even extra escape exits from the mines.

When the Irish and German immigrants and. sons of immigrants organized a union and struck for better pay and saftey conditions, the big coal bosses unleashed all the terror they controlled against them. Hired thugs and vigilantes beat and murdered miners and their families. Union leaders were arrested and jailed. Finally the boss who owned most of the mines cooked up a phoney scheme that the leaders of the miners’ struggle all belonged to a secret sect called the Molly Maguires who went around murdering and disrupting and whose plan was to take over the country.

It’s doubtful that there ever was such a group as the Molly Maguires. But they were all convicted of murder, on the basis of the testimony of a hired Pinkerton spy. The guy who owned the mines was the government’s prosecutor at the trial. They were all hung and the strike was smashed. Thousands of miners came from all over Southern Pennsylvania to stand out side the prison gates the day they were executed.

Another example. In 1886 five leaders of the struggle of the nation’s workers for an eight hour day were hanged in Chicago for conspiracy and allegedly throwing a bomb at police. The charges were completely false. But the jury was packed and the judge hand picked by the big business barons of Chicago. One of the defendants laid out the real reason for their persecution: “I saw that the bakers in this city were treated like dogs...I helped organize them. That is a great crime. The men are now working ten hours a day instead of fourteen and sixteen hours...That is a great crime...” Albert Parsons August Spies, Michael Schwab, George Engel and Adolph Fischer swung from the gallows because they fought for the idea that the working man and woman had the right to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

Then there is the story of Eugene Debs, who was jailed several times during his lifetime as he worked to build the American labor movement.

In 1894 Debs was head of the American Railway Union. Men and women who worked for George Pullman making the famous Pullman railroad cars got together and decided that they had had enough. Thirty years after the legal abolishment of slavery, they were forced to work like dogs by one of Chicago’s biggest moneymen. What meager wages they made were taken back by Pullman in the form of rent and food costs. All employees were forced to live in company houses and shop at company stores. No meetings of workers were allowed, except in Pullman Churches. The men and women of the Pullman shops joined Deb’s ARU and went on strike. Their brother railroad workers voted to boycott all trains that had Pullman cars until Pullman agreed to negotiate. The railroad baron saw the chance they wanted to smash the union. They added Pullman cars to every train they could, even mail trains. The railroads were shut down.

The railroad owners ace was that they controlled the government and the courts. The Attorney General of the US was a former attorney for the Railroads. They merely went to court and got an injunction against the workers strike. The government sent out the troops to back up the court order. Hundreds were shot and arrested. Debs and other union leaders were jailed for violating the injunction. The strike was broken and the union was smashed.

What all these people, and thousands more like them, have in common is that they were jailed and often executed for organizing in the interests of poor and working people against the oppression of the moneyed big businessmen.

To answer our first question: A political prisoner is someone whose crime is getting people together to fight the oppressive conditions that the majority of people in America suffer under. The government tries to cover up the fact that it is attacking these people for political reasons, so they are almost always brought to court on so-called criminal charges The coal miners of Pennsylvania were supposedly hung for murder and Eugene Debs jailed for violating an injunction. The real reason for their prosecution was that they were fighting for decent wages and working conditions and threatening the profits of the big bosses.

The government formally takes political prisoners But it is clear in whose interest the government works. The American state is controlled by the relatively small class of monopoly capitalists, the men who own the banks and big corporations, and their allies. The state is not a neutral force in the conflict between those few who own the large factories and banks (the Rockefellers, Fords, DuPonts, Morgans, Mellons, etc.) and the great majority of people who give their sweat and blood to make them run.

The monopoly capitalists will try to make political prisoners of anyone who fights against their economic and social imprisonment of the masses of people.

Thinking that the state could be on the side of the working man and woman while it was controlled by the monopoly capitalists was the great error made by many so-called labor leaders in the 1930’s and 40’s when they saw in Roosevelt’s New Deal all that the American working man had hoped for. This was also a fundamental error of the Communist Party of the USA which had played an important and outstanding role in the organization of the American labor movement.

The capitalist controlled state orders the police to evict hungry families from the costly, rundown housing of wealthy landlords, banks and insurance companies.

The state cuts off unemployment disability and welfare checks because of “irregularities” it finds.

The state sends the police and national guard to attack strikers, demonstrations and rebellions of the people.

The state drafts the sons of poor and working people and sends them to other countries to fight the people there in order to protect the interests of the monopoly capitalists.

In short, the state is the instrument of organized violence of the monopoly capitalist class to keep themselves in business and in power by keeping the people in line.

The history of the United States is the history of conflict, class struggle, between the wealthy rulers and the masses of people:
–The struggles of Black slaves in this country were crushed by the armies and police of the slave owners. Leaders of slave revolts, like Nat Turner, were hanged as criminals.
–The struggle of the Indians for their land was crushed by the U.S. army, called out by the large landowners and speculators. Heroes like Geronimo were hunted down and imprisoned or killed.
–The struggle of the American industrial workers, in auto, steel, rubber and mining, were met with armed attacks by the police, national guard and army. Militant labor leaders and revolutionaries like Debs, Bill Haywood, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Joe Hill were imprisoned, exiled or killed.
–The National Hunger march of unemployed workers in the Great Depression of the 1930’s was met with armed police, who threatened the workers with automatic weapons and clubbed and arrested hundreds who were demanding jobs and unemployment insurance. Leaders of this demonstration, like William Z. Foster, a communist, were jailed.

The ruling class has another tool at its disposal, the mass media. Throughout the long history of the struggle of poor and working people of this country against the wealthy, the press has been the main instrument for singling out and opening up the attack on leaders of the people.

When railway workers struck during the depression of 1877, the press called it a conspiracy to destroy and overthrow the government by force and violence. When the ranks of railway workers were swelled by thousands of the unemployed, by coal miners, mill workers and farmers, the New York Herald declared that the “mob is a wild beast and needs to be shot down.” And the New York Sun advocated “a diet of lead for the hungry strikers.”

Should all political prisoners be freed? Should the jailed leaders of the people’s struggles against the monopoly capitalist be freed? Yes!

There are many who do not know their own history. Many who forget or never learned of the long and bloody struggles their fathers and mothers fought for even the partial victories they won: the eight hour day, an end to child labor, minimum wage, the right to unionize. It’s the job of the educational system and press to keep people from learning their own history. The hope is that we will not see the connection between the past and the present, between the fight against oppression by the wealthy then and now. The American people have won battles against the monopoly capitalists. Some people are satisfied with what they have, or say they are. But they don’t see that the monopoly capitalist are always on the move, always ready to cut back on what they have been forced to give to the people, always ready to take more.

Some people might even wonder who the political prisoners are today. It’s clear that no fat cat labor boss is in danger of being thrown into the pen, unless he is too sloppy about his graft. Well, look around.

There are hundreds of political prisoners today. And most of them come from the Black and Brown and Third World communities.

Sure some people have it better today than their parents and grandparents did. But the ruling class has not reformed. It is still out to make as much as possible off the labor and sweat of working people.

Inside the U.S., Black and Brown people are not only oppressed as workers, but as members of colonized nations, dispersed throughout the country. Victims of the ruling class’ racial division of the people, Black and Brown communities have never seen the end of economic depression, police and military occupation and the arrest and murder of their leaders. The front line of the struggle against the monopoly capitalists today is the fight of Black and Brown people for national liberation.

Black and Third World people are the last hired and the first fired. The income of the average Black family in the US is a half to a third lower than that of white families. The infant mortality for Black children is often twice as high as for white. Dozens of Black people are killed every year by racist cops rampaging through Black communities. But the people are fighting back again. They have said enough.

The conflict with the monopoly capitalists increases as these rich criminals launch more attacks on people’s living standards, human rights and very lives.

In the past few years these attacks have been most vicious against the Black Panther Party, which has played a leading role in the struggle against oppression. The Panthers established Serve the People programs like the Free Breakfast for Children program and the liberation school program in cities across the country. They taught by work and word that poor and working people have a right to defend themselves against police harassment and murder.

In October, 1967, less than a year after the Panthers were founded, police in Oakland, California laid an ambush for Huey P. Newton, leader of the Panther Party. When this assassination attempt backfired, and one cop was killed, they tried to legally assassinate Huey by charging him with murder. But the active and militant support of thousands of people forced them to give Huey a new trial and release him.

During the two years that Huey Newton was held in jail, FBI special agents, state and local police and assorted other government agents, using machine guns and other weapons of war, launched raids on all the major Panther headquarters. At least 28 Panthers were murdered, including Fred Hampton, head of the Illinois Panthers, who was shot in the head by Chicago police while he was sleeping. Hundreds more have been arrested on phoney charges, usually for defending themselves against police assault.

Today the focus of the government’s attacks on the Black Panther Party is the Bobby Seale-Ericka Huggins case in New Haven, Connecticut.

Bobby Seale is Chairman and co-founder of the Black Panther Party. While Huey Newton was in jail he took up the main burden of building the Panthers into a fighting force to lead the liberation struggle of the Black and other oppressed people in this country. For this he has been the object of continual efforts by the government to get rid of him.

First he was indicted for inciting to riot and conspiracy to incite riot at the Democratic Convention in 1968. In fact, he only spoke at one rally. During his trial for this frame up, he was denied the right to have own attorney and to defend himself in the absence of his attorney. When he refused to go along with this nonsense and continued to insist on his right in the courtroom, he was chained, gagged and assaulted by Federal Marshals. Finally the Federal Judge sentenced him to four years in jail for contempt of court. In the end, all the charges against him were dropped, but he still has to serve the four years!!

Even that outrage is not enough for the state. So they charged him with the murder of fellow Panther Alex Rackley in New Haven.

The government’s only evidence is the testimony of a government agent, George Sams, who has already admitted firing the shots that killed Alex Rackley. The state agencies and their capitalist bosses don’t use Pinkerton agents any more, as they did in legally lynching the so called Molly Maguires. Now they are using a medically determined psychopath.

Ericka Huggins moved to New Haven shortly before the Rackley murder to be with her family, after her husband, John Huggins, was murdered by members of the government sponsored and protected US organization in Los Angeles. She continued to work actively in the New Haven branch of the Panthers and assumed a leadership role.

After she was arrested, she was tortured for months, as the pigs tried to get her to confess to the killing of Rackley. But Ericka stood strong and refused to break. They tortured her because they have no real evidence against her. Their only witness is the same George Sams, who says that Bobby Seale’s order to kill Rackley was passed on by Ericka Huggins.

The monopoly capitalists and their government agent want the people to believe that Bobby and Ericka are just criminals and that their trial has nothing to do with the lives of all of us. But we have seen how often they have tried to use this strategy. A couple generations ago it was used against the Irish, German and Italian leaders of the American labor struggles. Today that same murderous plan is being used against the leaders of the Black and Brown people in their struggles.

San Francisco provides a good example of the mounting conflict between the people of the Black and Brown communities and the capitalists and then state agents.

A very large percentage of the city is third world people. The capitalist plan is to further develop SF into the major West Toast financial center: Banks, investment houses, corporation headquarters and shopping areas, and new homes for the middle class and upper class people that will work here. There are no plans for keeping the poor Latinos, Chinese and Blacks that now live there. So all means are taken to force them out: hight taxes, high rents, lousy education, and constant police harassment.

On May 1, 1969 while a May Day rally of thousands of people “was being held in San Francisco to demand Huey’s freedom, two San Francisco cops were harassing a group of brown brothers in the Mission District. The brothers fought back. When one cop pulled his gun to t shoot them, the other cop was killed instead. The brothers–Los Siete–ran for their lives. They knew six Latinos on the scene with a dead cop didn’t have a chance, no matter what really happened. The police set up the biggest manhunt in the history of the city, and a few days later, 6 brothers were arrested for the crime of defending themselves. (A seventh escaped to Cuba). The six were held without bail for 18 month on murder charges. Finally, because of massive support from the people of their community and the city, they were found not guilty.

The cops were out to get these men in the first place because they were organizing themselves and their friends to get education and to fight back. The capitalists who control the city and their flunky cops don’t like it when the people fight back.

Los Siete are still not free from the clutches of the state. Besides the constant harassment while they are on the streets, they still have to face a trial in Redwood City that is supposed to begin May 10, 1971. They are charged with stealing a car and a bag lunch while they were trying to keep free.

This is a perfect example of how justice in America works. These brothers were running for their lives, while they were being tracked down like animals. Now even though they have been found innocent, they have to stand trial for trying to escape. It is clear that as long as the brothers are around, the pigs won’t be satisfied until they are in jail or dead.

The courts and prisons are not fair. They are not meant to be. Along with the police, the army, the schools and the rest of the government institutions, they are the machinery of the wealthy few to oppress the poor and working people. It’s an old story that runs from the coal mines of Pennsylvania in the 1800’s right up to the high rent slum housing of the barrios and ghettoes today.

At the same time that the government has launched a vicious attack on the Black Panther Party, it has grown even more vicious in its attacks on the men and women already in prison, especially Black prisoners. Why? Because these people have begun to take inspiration from organizations like the Black Panther Party and have started to organize themselves politically to fight their inhumane treatment and the system that forced them into jail in the first place.

Half of the prisoners in California are Black and Brown. Over 90% are from the poorest section of the working class, those who can’t find steady jobs and see no way to live except by “crime.” In San Francisco’s Mission District, where Los Siete were framed, there is said to be a high crime rate. But 3/4 of the people with Spanish surnames make less than $3,500 a year. And the unemployment rate is over 20% for young adults. The capitalists deprive people out of jobs and then throw them in the slam when they try to live.

A lot of articles have been written lately about how the prison system is not “rehabilitating” inmates. But when the prisoners themselves recognize that the prison system is only part of a larger system that is completely unjust, when they realize that individual acts of “crime” will not solve their problem, when they start to organize themselves politically to join the fight for freedom, the state comes down on them full force.

One of the clearest examples is the case of George Jackson, a 28 year old Black man, and 10 year inmate of California prisons. At age 18, Jackson was sentenced for one year to life on a charge of holding up a gas station for $70. The guy who actually did the robbery and was sentenced with Jackson was released years ago. Why is George Jackson still in? Because prison showed him a concentrated form of the capitalist system and George Jackson refused to go along with it: prison guards deliberately creating racial disputes and the whole prison system run on the old method of divide and conquer.

He became a leader of the Black prisoners and built alliances between the Black, Chicano and white inmates. If he had “gone along with the program,” pretended to accept what the prison officials were doing to prisoners, he could have been back in the streets. But because he had too much dignity and too much concern for the rest of the men to go along, he has spent seven of his last 10 years in solitary confinement in California’s maximum security prisons.

Last year, while George Jackson was in Soledad prison, the men were starting to get together. So the guards tried to divide them by spreading rumors about racial trouble and racial insults. Then they pushed a white man into the exercise yard with three Black inmates. When a fight broke out, the guard in the tower opened fire, killing all three Black prisoners. A few days later a white guard was killed in retaliation. George Jackson and two other Black prisoners, Fleeta Drumgo and John Cluchett, were singled our and charged with murder, because they were leaders of the Blacks in the prison.

The state has no case against the Soledad Brothers, so they have used the tried and true method of intimidating other prisoners into testifying. They have moved actual witnesses to other prisons so defense attorney can’t talk with them, and they have completely changed the physical layout of the wing where the guard died.

Despite all the government and press efforts to play down the case and make it seem like just another “prison killing,” support for the Soledad Brothers is growing and they are getting national attention. The trial was moved from Monterrey to San Francisco last summer, but the prosecution wanted to move it to San Diego, hoping to get to a more conservative area where there was little support. What the state functionaries and the people who control them fail to realize is that there will be fewer and fewer places where they will be able to safely carry out the sentencing and execution of America’s political prisoners.

Shortly after the case of the Soledad Brothers was moved to San Francisco, an event took place in a near by Marin County courthouse that put the state even more uptight.

On August 7, 1970, Jonathan Jackson, 17 year old brother of George Jackson walked into the Marin courthouse carrying four guns. “Freeze, gentlemen, I’m taking over now,” he told the judge and the other officers of the court. He handed three guns to the three San Quentin inmates on trial in the courtroom. Together they took the judge, an assistant D.A. and two jurors as hostages. The plan was to demand the release of the Soledad Brothers in return for the release of the hostages.

Jonathan Jackson had seen, through his brother’s 10 years in prison and the frame-up that he now faces that it is impossible for a poor person, especially a Black, to get justice in the courts of the ruling class. And the state’s response to his attempt to free his brother shows how little concern the ruling class has for human life, even the lives of their flunkies, when it comes into conflict with their power.

When Jonathan Jackson and the others started to drive the hostages out of the courthouse parking lot, scores of police opened fire on their van. Jackson and two of the San Quentin brothers were killed, along with the judge. The assistant D.A. was seriously wounded.

Ruchel Magee is the only prisoner who was not killed in the police attack. Now he is on trial for the murder of the judge.

Magee is a 31 year old black man, already sentenced to life imprisonment since 1963. Born in Franklin, Louisiana, into a typically poor Black family, Ruchel was first arrested at age 13 for stealing $5.00. At age 16 he fell victim of the ruling class inspired racial fanaticism of the south. He was sent to the Louisiana state prison for 7 years for supposedly attempting to rape a white woman. (He may have looked at her too long, or maybe even whistled at her!)

When he moved to the north after his release, things weren’t much better. Six months later he was riding in a car near Los Angeles with a dope dealer. They started to argue. The cops pulled them over and beat both of them so badly that they each spent several days in the hospital. To cover this up, the cops charged Magee with kidnapping the dope dealer.

Ruchel’s court appointed lawyer talked him into pleading insanity. He was railroaded into prison for life. He fought his own appeal and the case was overturned, but on a retrial the D.A. really went out to jet him and he was again sentenced to life. After all, he was “just another nigger” so what difference did it make if he wasted away his life in prison.

In fact, Ruchel Magee’s life is like thousands of other Black, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Indian, Asian-American and poor white people in this country. And like many he has realized that things can be changed, but to do it you have to stop trying to make it for yourself, stop trying to beat the man at his own game, and get together with all the other oppressed people to fight the common oppressor. That is why Ruchel Magee is now on trial for his life. Not because he tried to make it for himself, but because he risked his life to try to free the Soledad Brothers and to strike a blow for the freedom of us all.

Angela Davis is also being charged with murder in the killing of the Marin County judge, because the guns Jonathan Jackson carried into the courtroom were purchased in her name.

Angela is probably the best known political prisoner in America today. The events of her life and the government’s attempts to get rid of her, detailed in the press of the past couple years, show clearly what makes a person a political prisoner.

Her life is not exactly like that of the majority of Black people. She is very much the exception. Although she is from a poor southern family, she managed to get through college. In 1969 she became a Professor of Philosophy at UCLA. But unlike most professors, she did not try to seal herself off from the struggles of the people. She worked with the Black Panther Party. She taught that the system of monopoly capitalism is rotten to the core, that the ruling class lives like a parasite, feeding on the labor of the working people in this country and most of the world.

Because of this, and because she called herself a communist. Governor Ronnie Reagan and J. Edgar Hoover tried to remove her from the scene. First they tried to fire her from her job at UCLA. When that failed and only gave her a larger platform to speak from and made her actions more influential, they set about other plans. Angela joined the Soledad Brothers defense and worked closely with Jonathan Jackson.

Now the ruling class is claiming that she worked with Jonathan to set up the Marin Courthouse liberation attempt. If she did, she wouldn’t be guilty of any crime except, like Ruchel and Jonathan, of trying to get justice in an unjust society. But the fact is that the state has no evidence on her other than that she may have bought the guns Jonathan used. It must be pretty clear by now that the American ruling class and their government don’t need any evidence when they want to get somebody.

Even the press doesn’t seem to take the criminal charges against her very seriously. But they continue to gloss over the real issue involved: Angela Davis is a revolutionary and a political prisoner. That’s why she is in that prison in Marin County. Instead they focus on her as a beautiful Black woman. They emphasize her education and they try to portray her as some sort of strange romantic figure.

But Angela says clearly what she is: “Focusing the bulk of its articles on my personality and background, the press has attempted to camouflage the political issues involved in my case. While newspapers and magazines wasted pages upon pages, attempting to resurrect my past, they should have been aware of hundreds upon hundreds of American revolutionaries who have been confronted with a fate no different than mine.

It should not be surprising that the word “revolutionary” is used so often in connection with people described as political prisoners. Sometimes people really are revolutionary and sometimes they only give the appearance of being so. But the fact is that the monopoly capitalist view any attack on their power by the people as revolutionary.

The monopoly capitalists are right to be afraid. The only thing that is going to put an end to their exploitation and oppression of the people is going to be a revolutionary change that will sweep them out of power altogether. And that is the lesson that the people have learned and are, learning in their fight with the monopoly capitalists down through the years.

Often times the men and women the capitalist press called communistic and revolutionaries, those who fought for the right to unionize, for the eight hour day and decent wages, were not really communists at all, because they did not see the need to get rid of the monopoly capitalists altogether. They thought enough reforms would make everything O.K. But very frequently the big business interests were correct in identifying their leading enemies as communists. Communist revolutionaries played leading roles in the struggles of working people in this country.

This leaves us at our final question. How can we free all political prisoners? The ruling class will try to put the leaders of the people’s struggles in jail until the people themselves seize control of the state. Ultimately the slogan FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS is a call for the poor and working people of this country to defeat the monopoly capitalist ruling class and seize state power.

Short of that, victories can be won, as the liberation of Huey P. Newton showed. But people should not be fooled that all political prisoners can be freed while the monopoly capitalists still control the state. Nor should we be deceived into thinking that the monopoly capitalists can be driven out piecemeal, election by election. Angela and Ruchel will not be freed by petitions, or pleas by well known legislators. The issue of political prisoners is a revolutionary issue. It is not, as the American press portrays it, the question of a beautiful, Black professor persecuted by a reactionary governor and senile FBI director.

The Angela Davis case is complicated by the fact that the American Communist Party, of which she is a member, presents her case in the same way as the newspaper of the monopoly capitalists. The CP. continues to emphasize her role as “Professor” Davis. They present her case as a question of freedom of speech for her. The fact is that there is no freedom of speech for working people in this country, particularly black people, except what they are able to gain through struggle.

The Communist Party has tried to make people ignore the fact that the issue of political prisoners is a revolutionary issue. They themselves have almost completely ignored Ruchel Magee in pushing Angela’s defense. Many Communist Party spokesmen have come right out and said that such a beautiful, intelligent woman would have nothing to do with something like the Marin courthouse liberation attempt. Terrence Hallinan, a lawyer for the Party, even went so far as to say, on national T.V., that Angela didn’t have anything to do with the actions of that “insane boy” (Jonathan Jackson)!

Angela herself has said, “long live the spirit of Jonathan Jackson” and she continues to make it clear that her case is important because it is not basically different from the other political prisoners.

We cannot say why Angela chose to join the Communist Party. We hope that she does not go along with their counter-revolutionary positions.

The Communist Party claims to be fighting for socialism. And there was a time, in the first part of this century, that the communist Party really did fight for working class revolution.

But since that time, the Communist Party has been corrupted by the monopoly capitalists. It has adopted the outlook and the aims of the middle class: the professionals, small businessmen, entertainers, etc. Their main interest is reforms which might make life a little easier for these middle classes, but cannot solve the basic problems of the system, or end the suffering of the masses of people. At best they put forward the notion of some sort of peaceful transition from monopoly capitalism. They are constantly putting forward the idea of elections as the way for people to gain power.

So the CP. emphasizes the “respectable,” middle class, image of Angela Davis, to try to build itself among this group.

But the problem with the CP. goes deeper than that. The leaders of the Party, like the big-time leaders of the trade unions, also try to hold back the revolutionary struggles of the working class and oppressed peoples. The Communist Party sells out directly to the monopoly capitalists and works with them to keep the system going. They teach the people to rely on liberal members of the ruling class and sell-out trade union leaders.

The CP. preaches “peace” and “non-violence” to the masses of people, at the same time we are coming under increasingly violent attacks from the state.

The CP. says that they are for socialism, but that socialism can be voted in, that the monopoly capitalist class will step down from power peacefully and let working people take over. The whole history of this country, right up to today, with the war in Southeast Asia and the attacks on the people at home, make a mockery of the Communist Party line.

As the working class, led by Black and Brown workers, and its strongest allies, the Black and Brown people as a whole, build the understanding, unity and strength to challenge the capitalist system, it would be suicide to try to do it without meeting the violence of the state with the organized violence of the people. But this suicidal policy is exactly what the so-called Communist Party is trying to sell to the people. And they are trying to use Angela Davis to do it. In fact, the CP. is not really interested in building a working class movement that can successfully challenge the monopoly capitalist state. Just look at the people they promote as spokesmen of the people: liberal, sell out trade union bosses, liberal congressmen and legislators, men like Julian Bond and Ralph Abernathy.

This is a betrayal of Angela Davis and everything she has fought for. And if the Communist Party succeeds in using her this way, it will be a betrayal of all the other political prisoners– Bobby, Ericka, Ruchel, Los Siete and the Soledad Brothers.

To say that the matter of freeing all political prisoners is a revolutionary matter is not to say that we do nothing until the final victory over the capitalists. To allow the state to take the life of one political prisoner is a setback for our struggle. The freeing of Huey and Los Siete shows that the organized power of the people can get results now. We must organize, demonstrate and educate around the freeing of political prisoners. People must be helped to understand their history and the long history of political prisoners in the US.

Through the struggles of the oppressed people, with the working class taking the lead, we will turn back the attacks of the monopoly capitalists and gain the strength to overturn their whole system. In these struggles the capitalists’ state will continue trying to jail, execute and exile our leaders. The list of political prisoners will grow. Our determination and active struggle to set them free must meet this challenge.