Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Congress of Afrikan People

ALSC National Meeting Held in New York


First Published: Unity and Struggle, Vol. V, No. 3, March 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The weekend of January 9, 10 and 11, the Afrikan Liberation Support Committee (ALSC) Continuations Committee, as well as the national body, met in New York at the Afrikan Information Service’s office in downtown Manhattan. The weekend included 3 meetings, and a forum and a demonstration on the Superpower contention in Angola.

Even though the forum and rally were important and generated much discussion in and out of the meetings, the primary subject for the weekend was the continuations of the Afrikan Liberation Support Committee, or the disbanding of the committee. These 3 meetings were the summation of several other meetings of the Continuations Committee, where both continuation and disbandment have been discussed.

It was made obvious from the very beginning that the consensus of those at the meetings was to continue ALSC, but then the questions of how, what would be the nature of the organization, who would be the audience, etc. became the primary discussions. After the first day of discussions which were for the Continuations Committee only the general body met, that included representatives from approximately 10 chapters and representatives from at least 6 national organizations, 3 of them Communist organizations.

The discussions, that took place throughout the weekend were for the most part very intense and in many instances the result of sectarian struggles between two of the Communist organizations. CAP and RWL. That is the struggles were often the result of political differences between our two organizations that did not necessarily have anything to do with what was being discussed or any disagreement, on the surface, about what was being discussed.

It is important that the Congress of Afrikan People start this section with some self-criticisms. We first have to criticize ourselves for the general lack of preparation of the CAP comrades who attended the majority of the meetings during that weekend. The comrades had not done sufficient study and analysis of the work that the Committee was doing that weekend and therefore were unable to contribute very much of value. One example was that CAP put forward that ALSC is a united front but it is not and this was pointed out by a Comrade from RWL who using Dimitroff’s works on the United Front explained why ALSC did not scientifically fit the description of the united front. We also put forward other ideas and suggestions that we were unable to back up with more than just our opinions. This incorrect behavior led to more of the unprincipled discussion and we accept the criticism for this and criticize ourselves for this opportunism.

We also criticize those who despite our self-criticism and agreement with their criticism around certain of the issues, they continued as if nothing had been said or as if they were the party. This opportunism, by the RWL, particularly, also added to the sectarian and otherwise unprincipled exchange between our two organizations.

Again we understand that if not for our own unclarity and opportunism (which is the cause of the unclarity) much of the unprincipled discussion would not have taken place, but it is also clear that the opportunism of the RWL and other organized comrades contributed to the sectarianism and opportunism and should also be criticized.

Through these struggles and in some cases despite these struggles some decisions were made about the future of ALSC. Already mentioned is that ALSC will continue, it was also decided that it be a mass organization and also that ALSC now become multi national.

There were also several principles of unity that were agreed on: they were anti-imperialism and anti-soviet social imperialism. Other points were put forward too by CAP (anti-capitalism, anti-racism and anti-sexism) and one by RWL (anti-national oppression) but each of these were supposed to be sent back so that the people putting them forward could write papers that would give more solid reasons why these things should be principles of unity. RWL’s proposal was put forward to replace CAP’s suggestion on anti-racism and so their paper will argue for one as a preference, but ours will simply be putting forward racism as a special form of oppression. As a matter of fact it is for us a form of national oppression (as a result of imperialism) which gives the national oppression of black people in this country a “peculiar trait”, but it is not a part of all national oppression nor is it necessarily a part of national oppression. And at the same time we agree with the RWL that the broader national oppression needs to also be a principle of unity.

There was also a national secretariat and a chairperson elected by consensus of the body. Sister Viola Plummer of the Afrikan Information Service and New York ALSC is the chairperson and the rest of the Secretariat is representative of the broad representation of the ALSC, from all over the country and representing most of the chapters and organizations involved with the ALSC.

The Afrikan Liberation Support Committee is a very important group and we hope that many people will begin to join and work with it on the many projects that it will be involved with in the near future.

What was glossed over in the sectarian often unnecessary aspect of the RWL-CAP clashes, was the fact that RWL had made a principled but as yet not widely disseminated self-criticism for having initially taken the line that the ALSC should be liquidated. As they said, ”The past line of RWL employed a metaphysical method and proceeded from an idealist world outlook.” Specifically it employed the pragmatic method and was rooted in empiricism. It counterposed our own narrow organizational tasks to our strategic proletarian internationalist duty. It failed to grasp the danger and inevitability of world war and the need to unite all who could be united against the two superpowers.

The line on ALSC flowed from the general right opportunist line that has dominated our organization since its inception. While we grasped correctly the task of going to the working class, we failed to link it with the study of MLMTTT and criticizing revisionism and failed to grasp the strategic task of accumulating the revolutionary forces of the BLM as our tasks.

It represents two deviations on the national question 1) it was based on great nation chauvinist ideology which 2) failed to grasp the proletarian kernel that develops spontaneously in the movement against national oppression.

CAP, along with RWC, opposed this incorrect line, as did other locals and individuals at the Washington meeting, during the ensuing continuations committee meetings and at large. Of interest in this self criticism was a note that “Through fierce two line struggle within our organization over the last year, which was the concentrated expression of the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the major features of this line have been exposed and are in the process of being summed up and repudiated. The proponents of this right opportunist line have been isolated and the major proponent the Renegade Abdul Akalimat has long since been expelled and his erroneous line is now being deeply studied criticized and rooted out.”

We wonder if this line that is now being criticized is responsible in part for the production of a draft history of the ALSC in which the black liberation movement is almost totally summed up as “bourgeois nationalist,” except for the panthers, SNCC and sobu-yobu and in which there is no analysis or even mention of Malcolm X!