Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Historic Occasion: August 29th Movement (M-L) Holds 2nd Congress


First Published: Revolutionary Cause, Vol. 1, No. 8, August 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Recently the August 29th Movement (Marxist-Leninist) held its Second Congress. We believe that this occured at a crucial juncture for the revolutionary movement. Internationally the danger of war has significantly increased since the time of our 1974 Unity Congress.

This has extremely serious implications for Communists who wish to lead revolutionary struggle against such a war. At the same time, communists must intensify all efforts to develop the work and apparatus necessary to be able to turn such a war into a civil war. While the two superpowers hone their weapons of war, the main trend of revolution continues to advance as the rising class and national struggles throughout the world continue to shatter the very foundations of imperialism (we refer comrades to the article “Revolution Can Prevent War” Revolutionary Cause #6), and particularly those of the U.S. and the USSR.

At home the economic crisis continues despite the clamor of the capitalist economists about “recovery”, and this crisis has sparked off a wave of struggle within the working class and national movements. Meanwhile, within the antirevisionist Communist movement, the chief standard bearer of right opportunism, the October League, is preparing to declare itself a party – trying to cover its tracks with a few “feints to the left” but standing firm on a theoretical and practical program of opportunism.

From the “left” the new Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization and the Revolutionary Workers League have picked up the tattered banner of “left” opportunism and have succeeded in reducing the once proud PRRWO to a raving sect, while destroying in the process the principled and high level of unity which it had with ATM.

It was at precisely this historic juncture in which we convened our 2nd Congress. Our Congress adopted a report by the Central Committee on the current world and national situation and the situation within the Communist movement, as well as studying and approving a review of our past two years of development. The Congress unanimously repudiated the “left” deviation which had developed in ATM, affirmed at a higher level of understanding, party-building as the central task and political line as the key link to party-building.

Significantly, the Congress, on the basis of a careful summation of the history of party-building in the U.S. over the past several years, laid out the correct line that party building, like our revolution itself, will be a protracted process in the U.S. The most important part of this process is the TESTING of the political line in practice.

It is this testing of views, of stated unities, in the crucible of mass struggle which will allow us to develop the solid basis of programmatic unity. This component must be taken into account and made a central part of any real viable plan for party building. Such a component distinguishes us right off the bat from the get-rich-quick schemes of the “left” and right opportunists. In future issues of REVOLUTIONARY CAUSE we will quote from the Congress documents which speak to this question.

But the most outstanding achievement of our Congress was its adoption of the first Marxist-Leninist position on the Chicano National Question. This resolution is of historic importance – both in the struggle for the party and the struggle for revolution.

It represents a precise analysis of the development of the Chicano people’s struggle, their development as an oppressed nation with the right to political secession. The resolution also defines concretely the basic demands of that movement and the tasks of communists. We reprint below some excerpts from that historic document.


There is no force on earth which can conquer a people who are fighting for their freedom from oppression. The Chicano people are just such a people – tempered over the decades in the flames of their revolutionary freedom struggle. In our own time we have seen the courage, strength, determination and will to freedom of the Chicano masses, displayed in the stormy decade of the 60’s and up until the present.

....the Chicano people are again arising like an armed and angry Phoenix from the ashes of the “fire that refused to die” in order to fight until victory for their right to self-determination.

What remains the same (in the current phase of the struggle) is the basis of the revolutionary national movement – the severe national oppression of the Chicano people, the denial of their basic democratic rights. Like the 60’s the movement will again involve every oppressed class and strata of the Chicano people – the workers, the campesinos, the students, the intellectuals, the youth, the women, etc. What will make this movement different will be its even broader scope and depth. In addition the revolutionary Chicano proletariat is more and more fulfilling its historic mission as leader of all the oppressed.

This class, in unity with all American workers, is now in a position assumed in the 60’s by the students. In any case the revolutionary leaders of the Chicano people have learned the bitter lessons of the past decade – particularly the sad result of following the path of reformism. They have learned – in the factories, in the fields, in the mountains of the southwest, on the campuses, and in the jails – that only an armed Chicano people can win liberation from imperialism.

The intensified repression of current years gives this new upsurge the potentiality for national rebellion – for an armed revolt of the people in the southwest. It is the duty, the obligation, of every communist, every Chicano revolutionary, to prepare for this onslaught, to win, in the course of their everyday struggles, the leadership of this movement. The deaths of the Chicano patriots must not have occurred in vain. Their blood must wipe away all illusions of the people that their struggle can occur peacefully, within the confines of the system which robs them and attacks every aspect of their national identity. Let that innocent blood act like a wind upon a fire – fanning the spark of our revolution into a conflagration which engulf the southwest with the mass rebellion of the Chicano people.

...We live in an era of storms and revolutions. The watchwords of the world’s peoples are “independence, liberation and revolution.” Since the end of the 2nd imperialist world war the numerous countries of the Third World have risen up in fury against their former colonial and imperialist masters. The last two years has seen the peoples of Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and other countries win their liberation in the furnace of peoples war. At the same time the fires of revolution are scorching the imperialist empires as the peoples of Zimbabwe, Azania and Namibia stand on the threshold of liberation.

Elsewhere the masses of East Timor, the Philippines, Thailand, and in Latin America are engulfing their imperialist masters in the smothering embrace of revolutionary struggle.

Standing against this mighty current are the two corrupt watchdogs of capitalist reaction – the imperialist U.S. and the social-imperialist Soviet Union. These two bulwarks of oppression, while girding themselves for a world war with the winner becoming the supreme master of national plunder, are rushing about the world in a frenzy, attempting by hook or by crook to douse the flames of the national liberation movements.

Set against this violent panorama of wars and revolutions is the national movement of the Chicano people. This movement is a component part of the world revolutionary movement. It derives its significance both from its century-long history of armed struggle and mass upsurge, and from the fact that it is directed squarely against U.S. imperialism from within the very heart of that monster. ....As Communists we stand for the interests of the revolutionary working class. This class supports any and every movement which tends to weaken imperialism. The Chicano movement does more than “tend” to weaken imperialism, it stands ready to drive a stake through the heart of U.S. imperialism. A movement with such a history of struggle, with a rapidly growing working class, with a campesino movement with such revolutionary traditions, stands as the direct ally of the U.S. working class in its struggle for proletarian revolution. It is clear that the national movement and the working class movement are already “linked” – they are linked in the sense that every blow by the Chicano people against imperialism brings the proletariat a step closer to its goal of socialist revolution. Therefore, we must FAN THE FLAMES of the Chicano revolution, support it, and strive to give it the consistent and determined revolutionary leadership that it demands from us.


....The root cause of the oppression of the Chicano people is the loss of land, its control by the Anglo-American imperialists. Control of the land gives them also control over the timber, the agriculture and the mineral wealth of the southwest. Economic control and political control go hand in hand. Utilizing their political power they have been able to systematically wrest more and more land from the Chicano campesino through an oppressive system of taxes, their power of eminent domain, etc., (this in addition to outright violence and robbery of the lands, as well as squeezing many small farmers out through control of water, timber and grazing rights.) In turn, with the wealth gained from the land, the oppressors can expand and strengthen their political rule which finds its expression in the denial of democratic rights to the Chicano people. To end this vicious system we must raise the following demands in the Southwest:

(1) Expropriation of the land and all natural resources of the Anglo-American capitalists as well as all those belonging to the federal and state governments.

(2) State unity of the Southwest.

To maintain their rule, the capitalists have systematically gerrymandered the areas of Chicano majority (roughly from S. Colorado to New Mexico through to south Texas and S. Arizona and possibly the southeastern part of Southern California), combining into counties huge areas of territory, much of it sparsely inhabited by Chicanos and Native Americans, with the metropolitan centers which have large Anglo majorities. To make effective the possibility of the Chicano people putting their right to political secession into force it is required to unite into one governmental unit all areas of the Southwest where Chicanos constitute a majority of the population. This is to ensure the effective democratic exercise of their right to self-determination.

(3) Right to Political Secession (self-determination). This is our central demand in the Chicano liberation struggle in the Southwest. In order to guarantee a revolutionary direction for this movement and in order to harness the vast revolutionary potential of the Chicano masses we must raise this demand in opposition to all bourgeois integrationist schemes which preach that “hard work”. or bourgeois “education” can win Chicanos equality.

....We must also struggle against calls for “Chicano Socialism”. This cover for narrow, cultural nationalism tries to accommodate the striving of the Chicano people towards socialism with reformism and cultural nationalism.

No, against all this, as well as against those chauvinists who would deny freedom to the Chicano people because it would “split the working class” (!), we must call for the complete and unequivocal right of the Chicano people in the southwest to exercise political control of their territory, as well as to decide upon the relation between their territory and other nations, including the U.S. The right to self-determination means that the Chicano majority in its united territory exercises the right of administering executive, legislative and judicial authority. It is presently the U.S. imperialists who control this power, the Anglo-American capitalists and land-owners. ... ONLY if the Chicano people lift the burden of imperialism off their back, to the point of determining for themselves their national relationship with all other governments will it win real self-determination. Being that the U.S. imperialists rely, ultimately, on military force to preserve its rule we must demand that all U.S. imperialist armed forces be removed from the Southwest.

(4) The full democratic rights of all native Americans in the southwest must be upheld and fought for, including the right to self-determination where it is applicable. They must be guaranteed the complete right to all their lands and full water rights for them.

(5) Full democratic rights for all Chicanos. This is our main demand in areas of Chicano concentration (or wherever Chicanos reside and are denied their rights) outside the Southwest.

....Comrades, this resolution is our battle cry, our declaration of WAR against the U.S. imperialists! It is up to us to make it a living reality – to give it life by integrating its truth and direction with the historic revolutionary struggle of the Chicano people.