Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Seize The Times!, #10

Internal Newsletter of the Revolutionary Student Brigade


Issued: Number 10, February 25, 1975
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.


The time is now for the Brigade to start making some real advances toward truly being a national organization. As has been stated a number Of times in previous newsletters, this will not happen spontaneously, without both a real national political leadership body and chapter members themselves CONSCIOUSLY taking it up as a task. If in fact the NO is to provide the kind of national leadership that is becoming more and more a necessity in the fight with the imperialist system, chapter members have got to see the seriousness of the task and the role that the chapters play. To put it bluntly, this is with a few exceptions, not been the case.

In order to start correcting this important weakness, the Brigade, as an organization, must fully utilize this newsletter, the internal bulletin, as a key weapon. In the past, there have been a number of weaknesses with the newsletter–such as it was being only a kind of exchange of information. The NO has been summing up that the newsletter has to much more function as a vehicle to provide leadership to the work of the brigade, and not simply reflect what is going on.

But in order to do this, the attitude towards the newsletter and the NO has to start changing. People must see that building the brigade nationally is their task too, and not simply for the people in the NO what this means for instance, is that the newsletter has to start being read. The NO has never gotten a sumup from anywhere on how people use and see the newsletter, and our impression is that, by and large, people see it as something to quickly skim through, picking out interesting items here and there, or only narrowly looking to what tasks are set out in it. (if that). Many people, it seems, still do not get the newsletter distributed to them.

All of this has to be turned around. The newsletter not only has to be READ, it has to be STUDIED. And it not only has to be studied, it has to be discussed, when and as soon as it comes out in the coordinating committees and in the chapters for what it means for the Brigade’s work.

On this, THE NIC PERSON HAS TO TAKE PARTICULAR RESPONSIBILITY IN TAKING LEADERSHIP AROUND THE NEWSLETTER and making sure that the key points brought out in each newsletter get discussed and understood. There is still a tremendous amount of localism in the brigade, and while everybody has to struggle to understand this and break it down, the NIC has a particular responsibility on this. For instance, the NO should not have to be beating down peoples’ doors to get sum ups, if people were grasping that the struggles and the lessons learned from them by the different chapters could and have to be used in other areas. One of the roles of the newsletter has to be to start summing up different struggles throughout the country and popularizing them, whether work on the Mideast in the Midwest, Police repression on the west coast, or cutbacks in the east. People should start seeing it as a matter of course, that if there have been real lessons learned in a struggle, both positive and negative, that the rest of the country can learn from this and the sumups that are sent in.

If the brigade is to really start making some advances the newsletter – and the NO –(on which there is a separate section elsewhere) simply have to be taken more seriously. If the newsletter and the NO is to serve as a means to move the struggle ahead on the campuses, then the chapters on the campus have to see these not as necessary nuisances, but as essential to building the struggle against the imperialists throughout the country. THE BRIGADE DOES NOT EXIST TO SERVE THE NO OR THE NEWSLETTER – IT IS THE OTHER WAY AROUND. SO FAR WE HAVE NOT TAKEN FULL ADVANTAGE OF THIS WEAPON – AND THINGS HAVE GOT TO START CHANGING.

So – the general theme of this newsletter is on the question of building the brigade as a national organization, strengthening the national leadership in order to better build the revolutionary student movement. This newsletter is should be taken up and discussed throughout the brigade, in chapters and the CC’s, IMMEDIATELY. The NIC people have to make a conscious, effort in taking leadership on this. The question of the national functioning of the brigade can no longer be looked upon by members as something secondary or peripheral to their everyday work, but part and parcel of it.

This newsletter is essentially a continuation of the last one, which summed up the council meeting. People should go back and read the relevant sections in STT#9. Especially the sections on mood on campus and the functioning of the NO and the NIC.


1. Intro
2. National office
3. Newspaper
4. Finances
5. consolidation
6. building multinational unity
7. Mideast and Cambodia
8. March 29 demo
9. shorts


People should refer to STT #9 and look over and study the section on the role of national leadership. The NO/NIC has to play a much stronger role in providing political direction to the Brigade. This means summing up the key struggles that will best move the struggle ahead, rooting out political errors, like reformism, popularizing the lessons we learn, and taking up STT and FB.

It is essential and necessary for us to have a sense of what’s going on on the campuses. With the exception of 2 or 3 places, we have not received a single leaflet or piece of literature from around the country. The NO has literally, no sense of what the brigade is doing in NY city, New Jersey, Ohio, Boston, and a number of other places. THIS HAS GOT TO CHANGE IMMEDIATELY!!! NIC people have got to get on this get leaflets together, brief sumups and send them in–we should be getting leaflets at the end of every week from each city. People have got to see the NO as a weapon that serves them thru being able to sum up and provide national leadership–and the NO can’t do that unless we know what the hell is going on!

One person from each chapter should see it as their responsibility to get the NIC person at the end of each week anything the brigade puts out–and if not feasible, then send the stuff straight to the NO!


The first issue of the term is out and so far most of the feedback we have gotten has been positive. People see it as a real advance, in both its content and how it looks. Already in the first week since it has been out, a number of campuses have sold over 100. But if the paper is to continue to improve, if it is to start appearing regularly once a month, if it is to become a real organizing tool and a weapon in the struggle and not another detail for chapters to have to bother with, a number of things have to happen. Not only is the NO taking it on as a key task with the highest priority, but the brigade members, chapters, and the NIC have to make even greater efforts and contributions to their paper. The following are a number of concrete steps that have to be taken up.

The whole brigade has to understand that FB! is not just a newspaper for the most advanced, but that especially at this time, with more and more people looking for answers and ways to fight back, we all have to struggle to make it into A TRULY MASS REVOLUTIONARY NEWSPAPER – something that the masses of students come to see as speaking to the issues on their minds, showing a way to fight against the system that more and more people see, but do not know what can be done to change it. FB! has to be something that students look forward to each month.

This has to be reflected not only on the newspaper staff, but also in how chapter members see it, and take it up as an organizing tool, as a weapon in building the struggle. We must have the confidence that students want a newspaper that is going to put forward a revolutionary view of what’s wrong, and what has to be done to change things. Members of the brigade have to take the paper out, and it has to be done in an ORGANIZED FASHION. It is no coincidence that where the paper sells in the hundreds is exactly the places where people do it in an organized manner. THERE IS NO WAY THAT THE PAPERS ARE REALLY GOING TO GET SOLD JUST BY SITTING ON LIT TABLES. THERE IS NO WAY THE PAPER IS GOING TO GET SOLD 2 or 3 WEEKS AFTER IT COMES OUT. FB is not intended to sit in office shelves. The paper must get out the first 2 weeks people have it. On the basis of past practice, the NO has summed up the following guidelines for selling the paper that all chapters should follow.


2. SELLING HAS TO BE ORGANIZED. It has to be seen as part of the POLITICAL organizing of the brigade and not as a jackshit task. It is an excellent way of making ties and developing contacts with students on the campus–PROVIDED PEOPLE JUST DON’T STAND THERE WITH A COPY OF THE PAPER IN THEIR HAND, BUT ACTIVELY TRY TO GET INTO DISCUSSION WITH PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT IS IN THE PAPER. We want to put out boldly that we want FB to really try to speak to what’s on people’s minds, provide some answers and that we would really like people who buy the paper to come back to the lit table, or wherever and talk to us about what they thought of the paper. Not only will this help us get a better understanding of how to improve the paper it will also provide chapter members with an opportunity to find out just what is on student’s minds, make ties, etc. In selling the paper, people should try to link up some of the articles with the questions people have – for instance, in this issue, the editorial on the war – why all of a sudden does it seem there is all this talk about war? What’s the connection with the state of the economy? What the hell is the Mideast anyway? Why does it seem every time we open up a newspaper there’s another crisis? etc. Or asking people if they’re familiar with Hurricane Carter? Have they heard about his case? how does it tie in with local work around police repression? For instance, four members of the NO took the paper out to a local Chicago campus, and in the course of 3 hours sold 55 copies, really getting into a number of good discussions, with a number of people saying they would come back and let us know what they thought of the paper. (There is a chapter at this campus). Through one discussion which started around the paper, one of the NO members was invited to speak in a class at the school by a student. All this occurred on a Friday – the day when there is the fewest students on that campus.(In four days, this chapter sold 180 papers). We don’t think we got this response because the students on this campus, Northeastern, are some world ahead of other places where 50 copies get sold in 3 weeks, not 3 hours. What we found was a tremendous eagerness to talk, to get some answers, a real openness to what we had to say. And the same goes for the other campuses, – like Kent, Iowa, L.A., Loop (Chicago) – that sell anywhere from 200 un to 350 to 400. The point of all this is that there is no reason why all the other chapters cannot do as well–if it is done in an organized way. This means: ANYWHERE FROM 2 PEOPLE ON UP HAVE AS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY FOR A FEW HOURS A DAY, A COUPLE OF DAYS IN A ROW, SELLING OF THE NEWSRAPER, going out during class breaks, the cafeteria, the hallways, lounges, and selling the paper. The exact way in which chapters organize it is not the essential point – what is is that it be done SYSTEMATICALLY, CONSISTENTLY, BOLDLY AND OPENLY. Selling the paper should be seen as POLITICAL ORGANIZING much in the same way that people go out and leaflet or organize for ah important demo.

3. If this starts getting taken up throughout the brigade, we will also be in a much better position to really SUM UP THE PAPER in order to further sharpen it as a weapon. Sumup has to become more systematic. But in order to sum it up in the best way, to find out what is good and what is bad, WE HAVE TO GO TO THE MASSES AND FIND OUT WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT THE PAPER. The situation in the past where a few times chapters have either not sold it at all, or just left it lying on the lit table because brigade members didn’t like it, is not the kind of sum up we need. Not that brigade members cannot sumup the paper, but when that becomes a substitute for finding out what students think, it actually winds up being pretty arrogant, thinking there can be a real sumup without taking it out and finding what people think about it.

In terms of systematizing the sumup, every chapter should sum up along the following guidelines, and send it to the NO:

a. What is the line or theme of the paper? What does it tell people the RSB is all about? Is there a consistent line throughout the paper, is the enemy clearly identified, is it a fighting newspaper or just a detached observer, with a “radical point of view?”
b. Balance of the paper – is there a good balance of international, national, and campus news? of student struggles, national liberation, workers, fight against national oppression, etc.? Is the paper enough of a “student” newspaper? Too much? Does it treat students as some separate group apart from society, as a special interest group? Or does it treat students not as a social group and force at all? Does it speak to students?
c. LANGUAGE AND STYLE – Does the paper speak in the language of the masses?(This doesn’t mean liquidating the fact that imperialism, monopoly capitalism, etc. might not yet be the everyday language of the masses – part of our job is for this to happen is the people come to more and more clearly identify the enemy.) Does it pick up on the anger of the people and raise it to a more rational level? Is it too rhetorical (rhetoric usually means empty hollow phrases – not that they are not true, but that either they are not explained and broken down in terms of what these terms mean, rhetoric does not mean using words that try to identify the enemy and build the correct kind of hatred for the pigs who run this country or the kind of oppression they are responsible for)
d. LAYOUT – is the paper easy to read? Does it attract peoples’ attention? Are there too many articles, or not enough? too many long articles, or not enough? too many short articles or not enough? is there enough analysis and analytical articles, reportage, features, cultural?
e. In addition, for each issue there will be specific articles we would like people to sum up in particular. To go out and encourage people to read, get responses, on, and to sum up. For this issue, those key articles are – The War editorial, the economy, IWD, Dog of the Month and the Front Page.

Implied in all these questions (and if people can think of and come up with better guidelines questions, send them in) is a summing up from the masses.. In addition, there should be a general thing about what kind of reception it got on the campus, comments and criticisms people had, any good quotes from the people. Also the question of summing up from the masses does not mean that brigade members are the empty vessels through which people send in their comments. Talking with students about the paper is an opportunity to both LEARN from the people, and also STRUGGLE – on the one hand, people are going to see a lot of things we don’t and on the other, there are also going to be incorrect or onesided ideas. For instance if a comment comes in that people thought using the word “bloodsucker” for capitalists was wrong, the question brigade members should ask is why? Because they are not bloodsuckers? Because the student thinks other students will be turned off if we are so harsh on the enemy? Or because it was used in an article as a substitute for more precisely defining the enemy?

4. We want to get more systematic on just what our circulation is paid, and unpaid. The whole question of getting money back from FB has to improve. In addition, the NO is recommending that we INCREASE THE PRICE OF FB TO 15 cents. We do not think this will stop anybody from buying it, and we often get comments on people being surprised it’s only a dime. The additional 5 cents should really make a big difference.

Every chapter should have one PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR ACCOUNTING FOR FB – How many sold, given away, and responsible for sending FB money to the NO. This accounting will not only hopefully return to us more money, but will also help us get a sense of just what kind of progress we are making, where the weak spots are, etc. People should keep FB money separate; we simply can’t afford the situation where copies get sold and money doesn’t get turned in. Through the NIC, we would like the names of the person from each chapter. In addition, in future STT we will be printing how many copies are sold at each campus, for people to get a sense of how its going, where improvement is needed, and where advances have been made. All in all, the more systematically and scientifically the thing is done, the better we will be able to improve the use of the paper as a weapon in the struggle.

At this point, the NO gets back approximately 400 bucks on about 15,000 papers going out – or a little more than 1/4 of the papers being sold. This has to improve, and there is no reason why the paper cannot pay for itself, which would mean doubling the number sold.

5. ON GETTING ARTICLES, ETC. FROM THE AREAS: For any article on an event, whether a demo, rally, or meeting, etc. a person should be assigned beforehand to write it up – It makes a big difference when someone goes to an action knowing they have to write it up – further, in the articles, we should not only get the political line, numbers, details, etc. but also any chants, good parts of the speeches to quote, sense of the people’s reaction in and outside the demo – also particularly good is to get comments, quotes from new people brought to the demo, who often see things with a fresh eye – what we want is things that will reflect the growing revolutionary consciousness of the masses – also any funny or humorous incidents – people often leave these kind of things out of the articles they write, thinking them unimportant – but it is precisely these slices of real life that help give some life to an article, how the masses see things through their own eyes, etc. It also helps in terms of wanting to improve on the writing of the paper, to speak in the language of the masses.

One person from each chapter should be responsible for going through school papers for photos. – some of the best we have gotten have been from school papers. In additions, any articles on the brigade should be sent – it helps us get a better sense of things. WE also need cartoons, drawings, poetry, etc., graphics, for instance a naked emporer with the words “CAPITALIST” emblazoned in neon across his chest.

6. ON GOING TO THE LIBRARY AT YOUR SCHOOL TODAY AND MAKING SURE THEY TAKE OUT AN INSTITUTIONAL SUB. TO FB – 10 times. “Do you carry FB?” asked 10 times by different people, or faculty, who can usually order through the library, etc. So – do it today!

IN SUM THEN, the entire brigade must take up the task of using the paper as a weapon in the struggle, use it to build ties, etc. WE have to get more systematic in selling it and getting sumups back to the NO. In addition, accounting must get better, and the paper must begin to pay for itself. At this time, the NO can see no reason why sales of the paper cannot increase, outside of people not taking it on as a political task and seeing it as part of their work in building the brigade as a nationwide revolutionary student organization. Each area should set up a committee of some type to be responsible – NIC should take leadership on this (in addition to the chapter person).


1. Sum UPS OF THE THREE REGIONAL CONFERENCES – 1000 words a piece, any pictures, good quotes, speeches, numbers, new people, thrust of conference, multinational unity, etc, advances reflected, key points or themes brought out, etc.
2. ANN ARBOR STRIKE –1500 words – on the issues, the brigades’ role, political sparks, multinational unity, etc.
3. Any other cutbacks struggles or sumups from NYC or elsewhere, any new developments or progress on Carter campaign.
4. Sum ups of IWD – send in as soon as done as it will just meet our deadline, ask someone beforehand for photos, quotes, etc.
5. Nominations for “running dog.”
6. Article on the SWP’s conference on racism – either in Boston or New York. We want to take on these slime, in a strong way - unfolding how they leech-off of and suck off people’s real sense of wanting to fight national oppression, and how they simply not only tail, but drags things backward. In other words, through an analysis of their line at the conference, we want to raise what’s behind it, history of these trot scum in the antiwar movement, women’s movement, etc. We have to start taking these creeps head on – 1500 words.
7. Madison tech. school struggle – 700 wds
8. Northeastern takeover – 500 words
9. ROTC actions – all who are involved in some significant struggles, actions.
Also, any other articles, poetry, shorts, reviews, etc. SEND THEM IN!!


4. FINANCES $$$$$$$$

Sparked by the political discussion at the council meeting, real advances have been made in fundraising – not seeing it as some peripheral nuisance to be taken up only in times of emergency, but as part of the everyday work of the brigade. While some areas have really taken on the task, others have been dragging their ass. As the revolutionary movement grows, the bourgeoisie sinks deeper into crises, and there is going to be even more stuff to get out and do, and our costs are going to go up, not down. We know that people in the brigade are amongst the poorest in the land –and that is why fundraising is so important so that people are not always reaching into their own money or bank accounts to bail the brigade out – both locally and nationally. Money is a key question, and it really prevents us from doing a whole number of things, that would objectively push ahead the revolutionary movement, Just one reflection of what a factor money is could be seen in the SWP conference on racism which drew 1500 people. You can bet it wasn’t on the basis of their line, but the fact that they had the resources to publicize and build for something all over that seemed to the masses a way to fight. Many people who were there, from what we understand so far, were honest people who wanted to fight. Not that the brigade would takes on something like this, but it clearly shows we would have a hell of a time if we wanted to. These trot pigs, who ripped off money from thousands of honest people in the antiwar movement, along with other vermin, like the “communist party USA” to a large extent get the field left open to them on the basis of ability to publicize and pay for major things like this.

At this point, the expenses of the national office every month come to about $2500. We get in $1500. We simply have to figure out ways on both the national and local levels to raise more, money. Local fundraising has to be seen as part of the work of the brigade on both local and national levels. While the NO mainly relies on the local chapters for the bulk of its funds, at the same time, that the NO has to come up with ideas for national fundraising, the amounts from the local areas has to increase.

1. There is a five dollar membership fee to the brigade. Everyone should pay, and in the future we will be printing how many paid memberships there are, and we hope it doesn’t demoralize too many people. There are some chapters with well over 10-15 people with only 1 or 2 paid members. Joining the brigade means wanting and understanding the necessity to fight – and should also mean people can understand the necessity of paying their membership dues. Printing paid membership will allow us to sum up where advances have been made, where weak spots are, what kind of progress we are making. Paid membership is also a criteria for voting at the national conference.
2. Chapters have to step up fundraising – both for their local needs and for the NO. EVERY PARTY A FUNDRAISER!!! There is no reason why some chapters cannot sponsor parties every two weeks, a buck a head, dancing parties, etc. These kinds of parties go on almost every week at some schools and the brigade should start taking it up. It would not require any elaborate preparations, just records, beer, whatever. Also book sales, cake sales, flea markets, whatever.
3. Get library to subscribe to FB.
4. For national fundraising, the NO has come up with something that we don’t see how can miss and if it does, we should find out why. Basically we are setting up a goal for each chapter to get at least 2 faculty members from their college to contribute at least $20 A MONTH TO THE BRIGADE NO. The brigade should approach teachers on their campuses who have shown some support or sympathy for work the brigade has done, even if passively, or just teachers who are known to be generally progressive and discuss with them PERSONALLY, not through a letter, that we know they are a person who has shown an interest in social change, in fighting or doing something about the injustice in this society, the system that is falling apart, and that as someone who knows and see these things, we do not consider it a hand-out or a favor we are asking for, but as something the person can do to help build a student movement in this country to fight for these things. The brigade is the largest student organization on campus, the only national newspaper, we have tremendous expenses, we are asking faculty around the country to do the same thing, etc. $20 a month is not a whole lot for a teacher who makes upwards of 3-10 grand, particularly if younger faculty. This should not be seen as a big sucker play, as it is also a way of building ties with progressive faculty, or others who might be a latent base of support, giving them a sense of contributing if not active otherwise etc. People should not think they have to already know the faculty person. If people take this task seriously, made an appointment to meet with the person, sat DOWN WITH THEM AND REALLY TRIED TO LAY THINGS OUT IN AN HONEST WAY WHY THE MONEY IS NEEDED, how they would in fast be making a contribution to trying to change things, the NO doesn’t see how we cannot be successful with this approach. To a large extent it is a question of line, of taking it to a faculty member and really trying to get down and rap about why it’s so important. We would like people to get on this immediately. We all know of people on the campus who at some level dig the brigade, might even disagree here and there, but basically can be called upon for something like this. Again, it doesn’t have to be somebody the brigade knows, could be faculty with progressive reputations. This same thing also applies to relatives, parents, etc.

If this proves even half successful – and it should do more than that, it would start to make a big difference in what we can do. Go to the person, rap, get down. $40 per month per chapter equals $2000 a month off 50 chapters. DO IT TODAY!!

To sum up–fundraising, getting money back on FB, parties, faculty, library subs, any other ideas (IWD is coming up, good money maker through posters, T-shirts, etc.) all have to become more systematic, more scientific. It must become part of the everyday work of the brigade, putting out boldly to people why without bread we can’t do what we have to do – send the beast to the bottom of the sea.



A key question taken up at the council meeting was that of the hundreds of students who are on the “fringe” of the brigade, and how we can go about bringing them into the brigade and becoming consistent fighters against imperialism. While the brigade has grown since the beginning of the year, it is not enough. The time is now for the brigade to be broadly and boldly expanding and growing. The brigade should be much larger than it is, and we have to figure out how this is going to happen.

There is no question that thousands of students have taken part in struggle that thousands more are more open than ever to getting some answers and fighting back. We have got to start taking better advantage of this situation and make so some real advances.

It is basically through the course of struggle that people join the Brigade. At the recent council meeting, it was summed up that the main thing holding back people from getting actively involved in the revolutionary struggles were questions and cynicism over whether people can make social change. “Yes, this system is rotten but there’s nothing you can do about it.”

We only add to these ideas when we build struggles in a reformist way – showing people what is wrong with the way this system functions but not boldly drawing the links around issues showing how they are part of the capitalist system, and how there is a way out–revolution. By continuing not to do this, and making reformist errors we are going to find ourselves unable to mobilize people (and draw students into the Brigade). People have simply seen and learned too much to get caught up and sweat over pie in the sky schemes that are supposed to make this dinosaur work.

Our hippity-hop approach to things also breeds cynicism. A number of chapters summed up from last term that the Brigade was seen as more of an issue-oriented group that takes on one cause after another, than as a revolutionary group that takes these all on in the context of the fight against the system. Another aspect of this is that when people see the Brigade raise some issue and don’t see it go anywhere but disappear, we just feed upon the real questions students have about people forcing social change. Week after week, we show them around one issue or another that this system is rotten – but we’re not showing them how we can change it. Anytime the Brigade has grown to any degree, it has usually been around taking up an issue in a consistent, systematic way – taking up the questions that students have in the course of building struggle. Find out what are the things holding people back from getting involved and speak to them as we take a particular struggle up. And through the course of building these struggles we must develop the means and methods of developing the initiative of the new people – People’s commitment will grow as they see politically the significance of what they’re doing and where it’s going.

Without doing this, we are going to continue to skim the surface of issues, giving people the sense, as one student summed up last year, that the Brigade seemed to trivialize whatever it touched, because he never got a sense that anything was being taken up seriously. And whether it was Through the Bum Out or cutbacks or whatever, with all the weaknesses and errors, people came to look to the Brigade. It means that people get an opportunity to get involved around a struggle, and learn through their own experiences. While the time is certainly ripe for fighters for one to become fighters for all, we don’t think a new leaflet for a different demo each week has shown itself the way to bring people that there is a system to be fought.

What this means is a couple of things: on the one hand to go out and build struggle in a revolutionary way, around the particulars, showing how only a revolutionary way can provide answers; the other side is to go out and build struggle, and that means developing work in an ongoing systematic way. People simply have to focus their work; this does not mean doing no other. What it does mean is taking one issue up and going into it deeply, educating people through struggle around it.

At the same time that all the regions should have a main area, the NO is also trying to sum up what could be a struggle around which to build for a national action in the spring. People should be getting into us their ideas, but right now the question of war, and capitalism means war, tied up with the Mideast, looks better than others.


Thousands of people will soon be hearing Prairie fire at campus concerts, strike lines, demonstrations, as the tour gets underway. Prairie fire just got back from a successful 8 city tour in the Northwest where they sang to hundreds of workers, students and community people – many of them new. The discussions with cultural groups were exciting sparks in building revolutionary culture. We should learn from this and see the tour’s potential for building and consolidating ties with people who come forward wanting to get involved in revolutionary politics.

So far, most brigades have begun to enthusiastically build for the tour. One school in Chicago got $300 from their student body government. Madison got an interview for PF on the city radio station and printed “PF stickers”. National posters and leaflets will be out this week. The NO will be sending tapes to NIC reps who will be responsible for making copies for chapters.

Fundraising should be getting started – with parties, benefits, and going to the school governments. The total costs for the tour will be $2000, of which 900 or so will be for air flights for the 2 of them. Charging a donation at the door at the programs will be necessary in most cases to help pay for expenses. Prairie Fire has just enough money to get them to Oklahoma – the first stop. After that, they’ll be depending on the money raised at concerts for their expense s and to continue the rest of the tour.

A good suggestion for developing the programs was to have a speaker on revolutionary culture. This was suggested in the Northwest tour sumup – that someone speak on “what is revolutionary culture” and “how is it an important part of building the overall movement:”. Chapters should discuss this and see what can be arranged. On the northwest tour, the speaker was from the Revolutionary Union.

Their concerts were planned as a “complete cultural package” – with Rising Storm, a revolutionary band, Dan and Larry – a ventriloquist and his dummy, the RU speaker, and Prairie Fire.

Some of the brigades have already planned for PF to sing with other cultural groups. For example, upstate New York is having them sing at a Cultural weekend and participate in leading a workshop on revolutionary culture.

There’s been some changes in the schedule: PF won’t play in Texas until after May and will not play in Gainesville at all because of a conflict in the schedule where Gainesville will be on spring break. The complete schedule will be printed in the next Fight Back and will also be in the March issue of Revolution.

Also, if school governments ask if PF will sign a contract, let the NO know, and we can take care of it. People should also be on top of arranging the sound system – they usually use 2 mikes – one for the guitar and one for their singing.

This tour is really going to be great!!! People all over the country are anxious to hear and talk with them about culture that serves the revolutionary movement. We’ve got to take on this task, boldly and broadly and really help to make it an overwhelming success!


The last council meeting summed up that since June, some real advances have been made in uniting students of all nationalities into the brigade in the fight against imperialism. BUT IT HASN’T BEEN ENOUGH. We have got to understand that unless it is taken up as a CONSCIOUS TASK, the kind of advances that are possible in forging multinational unity will just not happen. While by and large most brigade members have an understanding of how through the struggle we have to unite students of all nationalities, taking up the key issue of national oppression as part of the overall struggle against a common enemy, the system of imperialism, there are still weaknesses and errors that people fall into on this question.

The potential for building a strong multinational revolutionary student movement is greater than ever before. It must be built if we are going to fight and defeat the capitalists and their whole system (not just amongst students, of course). We have to go out and boldly and broadly build struggles in a revolutionary way.

There’s also real condition in society like national oppression which have been created to cause divisions among people of different nationalities. In the past, student movement, there was a lot of mistrust between white and third world students. The student organizations that did exist were either predominantly white or were third world. There were also divisions among third world students, but many of those divisions were beginning to get broken down as people saw there was a common oppression that all minorities experienced. Up until the development of the RSB there hasn’t been a nationwide student organization that is consciously trying to develop and build multinational unity.

In the work of the brigade we’re seeing how the unity between different nationalities is beginning to be strengthened as Students of all nationalities are coming forward to fight the capitalists side by side on all fronts. Many are seeing that the capitalists are the cause of national oppression, which benefits no one but the enemy. However, there’s still many problems and obstacles to overcome. And to help do this, we’d like to spark off discussion on the progress as well as the problems we’ve had. If we have made advances, why? What have been the problems and ho have they been dealt with.

For instance on various campuses, brigades are taking up the fight against police repression. How has the brigade approached white students on this issue. How has the brigade approached third world students?

On many campuses, there are also national forms of organizations. What kinds of ties does the Brigade have with them? Do Brigade members have contact with the leadership as well as the members of those groups? Do Brigade members try to actively involve those students in struggles on campus? How does the Brigade relate to those third world students who aren’t in those national forms? In the past, there was sometimes the tendency to see “building multinational unity” to mean having contact with those third world organizations, but brigade members didn’t actively try to draw those third world students into struggle or to try to organize them to join the brigade.

We think there’s still some errors in the brigade which comes out by members unconsciously making a distinction between so-called “white” issues and “third world” issues. For example, in Police repression work, some white members have been reluctant to take up the issue with other white students, thinking that white students won’t relate to the issue because “they’re not as directly affected as third world students”. Another tendency is to bring the issue of police repression to Black and Chicano students, but not to actively encourage those third world students to become active fighters against all oppression. Another example is in Third world members being reluctant in approaching other third world students to join the brigade, thinking they may be “turned off” to the Brigade’s politics, or may think the brigade is “mainly white” and won’t want to join it. These attitudes draw a barrier between third world and white students. On the one hand, it assumes that third world students will only fight against national oppression and on the other hand thinking that white students won’t take up this struggle. Another error that has been made is in white students not struggling politically with third world students who may think whites are the enemy. All of these attitudes reflect real liberal tendencies of people not struggling to win people over to the correct political line.

Another tendency is to agree on the necessity of building MN unity, but in practice, basically saying it sounds good, but not really believing people can be won to it now – “you’re the only one who understands the necessity of it, other white or third world students don’t.” Also, not only is the RSB the only nationwide student organization building mn unity, but what we are putting out to people is something new – not whites in support of black and third world students, nor black and third world students solely fighting against national oppression. Many people still have questions and doubts – can it happen? how do I know you’re sincere? etc. Only through struggle and actual practice will multinational unity be built. We’ve got to boldly take up the struggle against all oppression among students of all nationalities. Students third world and white will come forward and join the brigade when they see it’s a group that fights in their interests and actually hurts and weakens the capitalists.


The question of the mideast continues to get sharper. A number of areas have taken up the issue with good results. There is a sumup from Madison’s Palestine Week that will hopefully be attached with this newsletter; if not this one with the next. While the brigade must continue to take the question of Palestine to the masses, and in areas where there is little done (East coast – people should get on this), people have to understand that the question of the mideast is broader than the question of the struggle of the Palestinian people. In particular, the NO has been summing up that we have to broaden our work, taking on the question of the role of the two superpowers throughout the region, and in particular the possibility of their contention leading to war.

We have to start bringing out in our work that capitalism means war and that “We won’t fight in imperialist wars” – such as the one being set up as a result of the contention of the two superpowers in the mideast. And while the mideast at this time appears to be where the contention has the greatest potential for kicking off a war, it is not the only one.


We are sure everybody in the Brigade is aware of the excellent situation in Cambodia. There is a good possibility the puppet government of Lon Nol will fall in the very near future. What will this mean? For one it will be a tremendous victory for the cause of freedom and national liberation and another staggering defeat of the U.S. Therefore the NO is calling upon all chapters to prepare a victory celebration on their campuses, celebrating the liberation of Cambodia and the defeat of the U.S. But at the same time, the brigade should celebrate this victory, pointing out in fact how this was a concrete example of the role of the antiwar movement played here in really tying the hands of the imperialists in terms of what they could do, it also seems highly unlikely that the U.S. would just let the capital fall with no response. So, at the same time the brigade should organize celebrations, we should also be getting ready to organize demonstrations and militant actions making sure and demanding the U.S. keep its hand s off Cambodia, no bombing, etc. The brigade should not let this issue fall into the hands of liberals and reformists on the campuses, or people who are going to direct their main efforts at congress. The difficulty the imperialists are having in reaching unity for instance, on whether or not to fund the Lon Nol military effort, is just a sign of how in fact the movement in this country has been able to provide powerful support for the liberation forces in Cambodia – and this does not come out of any fear of letters being written to congress, but of the very real possibility of masses of people demanding with militant actions, that the U.S imperialists keep out of Cambodia. People should also be linking this up with the overall crises, which is just cither instance of the declining power of the U.S. which is reeling from one setback after another.

March 29th is “Vietnam Veteran’s Day” as called by the bourgeoisie of the U.S. – a day when the capitalists will glorify those who fought and died for “democracy” and “freedom”. The Vietnam Veterans Against the WAR-Winter soldier organization is calling demonstrations in various cities throughout the country to counter these attacks by the ruling class and to bring out the true nature of the Indochina War and the ever-increasing attacks on veterans. (For all the details of what these attacks are, people should check out the interview with the VVAW/WSO in November’s FB!

These demonstrations were originally planned by WAW/WSO at its National Steering committee in St. Louis. The demands originally formulated were “Implement the Treaty-No aid to Thieu and Lon Nol” and “Decent Benefits for all Vets”. These demos are being built as part of the War on the Veteran’s Administration that WAW/WSO has called.

Recently the NO’s of the WAW/WSO and the Brigade met over a fine spaghetti dinner to discuss the brigade’s participation in the demos. At the meeting we talked of broadening the demands of the rally to raise how war is an integral part of capitalism and how the Mideast is increasingly becoming the hotspot of superpower contention and possible world war. We also talked about the date which is the day before Easter Sunday.

The discussion was only preliminary and we are going to fo1low it up further in the next few days. However, we feel safe to say that basically the following approach to the rally by the brigade sums up the feelings of both National Office’s.

The NO feels that the Brigade should endorse this rally and build for it in the cities where it is occurring. We should contact the local WAW/WSO and see the possibilities of raising additional demands around capitalist wars and the Mideast – such as “We won’t fight in your wars” and “U.S. Hands off the Middle East”. In many places the VVAW/WSO will already be raising these additional demands and in those places where they aren’t, the brigades who are going to put work into the rally should struggle it out with the vets.

The day before Easter is certainly not the greatest date for bringing out a large # of people at a rally – especially when most students will be in the middle of a 10 day vacation. But it is an important day to combat the bourgeoisie (as well as reformist and revisionist forces in the mass movement) lets fly on that day, so that the NO feels we should unite and support the rally as it stands on the 29th.

However the day being when it is – the N.O. does not feel the brigade can throw itself entirely initio the rally. Therefore, the brigade should not see this rally as the key action of the spring. There will be other actions and struggles that will have greater potential for bringing more people into struggle against the capitalist system.

This then brings to the fore the question of some sort of area or regional actions in April, something which must be straightened out at the NIC meeting in 2 weeks. Already the west coast is planning for April 10th and 11th rallies(when Dayan will be in bay area and L.A.) around the themes of the capitalists launching wars to get out of the crises and the issue of the mideast. The midwest regional is in a few days and hopefully they will unite around some sort of regional activity. The east coast has not as yet united around an action or campaign – this question of a regional campaign or action should immediately be taken up by chapters, areas, NIC members while keeping in touch with the N.O. It will all get summed up at the upcoming NIC meeting in mid-march.


We know that people are always eager to hear about actions and struggles that are taking place across the country. We are therefore listing here actions that either – couldn’t make it into FB or will be more fully covered in the next issue.

The Ann Arbor strike reported in the last issue is now in its 3rd week. A rally on Feb. 14th drew over 2500 people, and students and workers continue to honor picket lines. The brigade is deeply involved in the strike.

A demo around Ruche11 Magee and Gary Lawton was held on Feb. 8th in Wash. D.C.– it was spirited,35 people, laid basis for future actions.

A Gainsville Florida demo against torture and imprisonment of Iranian political prisoners drew fifty people. Action was called by Iranian Student Assoc., supported by brigade.

On the first day of school, students at Northeastern college in Chicago took over an administration office over firing of progressive faculty in the Puerto Rican studies department. 150 students were involved in the action which the brigade was involved in.

Several demos against ROTC have taken place on various campuses(hopefully more on this in next issue if people send it in)attracting good numbers of people, some ending in takeovers.

Brigade members got into a battle with marine recruiters at Ramapo – a number of marines got the shit kicked out of them, several brigade members were a arrested, 2 threatened with suspension. Reactionary students started a petition to throw the brigade off campus. However, a number of students including many Black and third world students spontaneously initiated a defense of the brigade.

A rally called a couple of days after the incident was held, with 200 students showing up. Further the rally linked the defense of the brigade to the whole question of war, that capitalism means war. Again, more on this in next FB.

At Madison technical school, 500 people held a demo against tuition rise, with the brigade involved.


1. Discussion of this newsletter in chapter and c.c. as a priority; NIC take responsibility on this.
2. On the paper: a. organize selling of paper b. chapter sumup of paper c. one per son from each chapter responsible for accounting, sending in money d. Get in assigned articles, deadline March 5 e. Get library subs.
3. Finances: a. membership dues b. faculty project – 2 per chapter c. other fundraising – IWD, parties, book sales, etc. (start getting FB sales money to N.O.)
4. On the N.O. Get leaflets. reports, etc, to NIC, which should take responsibility on this – one person from each chapter responsible to get to NIC or send direct.