Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Proletarian Unity League

“It’s Not the Bus”: Busing and the Democratic Struggle in Boston, 1974-1975

3. Class Forces at the Outset of Phase I

Everyone was “surprised” by Judge Garrity’s decision in June, 1974, “...that the school committee would be permanently enjoined from discrimination on the basis of race in the operation of the Boston schools; and that they would be ordered to formulate and implement plans to secure for the plaintiffs their constitutional rights.” [Garrity Opinion, text, as published by Paperback Booksmith] Not surprised in the sense that no force had made preparations for such an eventuality; as we have seen, all sides had organized themselves to some extent during the history of the struggle. Rather, all parties were surprised that a U.S. court had found that the Constitution of the U.S. applied to Boston.

No one was as surprised by the decision as the liberal bourgeois politicians who run the city of Boston and the state of Massachusetts. The Garrity decision represented an unexpected demand for concession, from an unexpected quarter.

Mayor White, who properly belongs in the right wing of the liberal ranks, is a good example of this surprise. “White,” says the Boston Globe in its Pulitzer Prize-winning “balanced” piece on Phase I, “The First Year,”[1] “was no stranger to the segregation-busing issue. He had been going up to Beacon Hill each year since assuming office in 1968 to propose less demanding alternatives to the Racial Imbalance Law. And, in 1971, he had brokered the short-lived agreement between the school committee and the state board that had at least defused the issue for the balance of his campaign for reelection.” In other words, White is a politician to whom neither a principled nor a pragmatic support for the democratic rights of the oppressed nationalities is important. In this, he is different from Governor Dukakis, for example, or Senator Ted Kennedy, who take a pragmatic stand in favor of democratic rights, but are unable to practice their “fine sentiments.”

The thing that distinguished liberal bourgeois politicians from right-wing and fascist politicians is their attitude toward compromise and toward bourgeois right. Liberals see themselves as brokers of compromises among the various conflicting “interest groups.” Liberals effect a compromise by isolating the most thorough-going forces and drawing the struggle onto the terrain of bourgeois right, the terrain of blue-ribbon committees, and police department internal investigations, of experts, and of legislative “talk-fests.” Right-wing and fascist politicians, to the contrary, recognize the irreconcilability of conflicting “interest groups,” and under the banner of one or another fantastic ideology, push for the maintenance of “correct” relationships (relations of exploitation and oppression) by “whatever means necessary.”

What distinguishes liberals from popular and democratic forces is that they seek in every compromise the means to deny the popular masses a political representation that corresponds to their interests. Lenin’s remarks on the liberal attitude toward the trade-union movement in Tsarist Russia are an example of this:

The radical, or constitutionalist [Russian liberals], if he is at all intelligent (and there are many intelligent men among Russian radicals and constitutionalists), would only smile at such a speech and would say...“Your ’vanguard’ must be made up of simpletons. They do not even understand that it is our task, the task of the progressive representatives of bourgeois democracy to lend the workers’ economic struggle itself a political character. Why we too, like the West European bourgeois, want to draw the workers into politics, but only into trade-unionist, not into Social-Democratic politics. [Lenin, “What Is To Be Done?”, Sec. III E]

For Garrity, the form of the “compromise” was to concede the issue of desegregation to the democratic movement, but to refuse to place the power of the court at the service of the democratic forces. By treating all parties to the case as “reasonable men,” Garrity sanctioned most of the delaying tactics of the anti-busing movement, denying all chances for an early victory to the democratic forces. Again, from the Globe:

Judge Garrity was explicit on this point. In the first place, he specifically ordered the school committee members... and school superintendent Leary to “begin forthwith designing and putting to effect plans to eliminate every form of racial segregation in the public schools of Boston.”

From a man who would be accused within weeks of being weak and indecisive, that was plain tough talk.

However, from the start, the committee in effect tested Judge Garrity and found him surprisingly pliant [the surprise is entirely the Globe’s].

The judge’s decision had been explicit on the question of the committee’s liability. But it was more vague on the matter of what was to happen in September... [“The First Year,” Globe, May 25, 1975]

For White and his CIA-trained and -funded associates Robert Kiley and Robert DiGrazia, the compromise was of a different order: in essence, the busing question for this troika was a police question. Again from the Globe:

Even at that early date, the outlines of the middle ground the mayor was occupying were clear; stress concern for safety, peace, and obedience of the law once the demands of the law have been clarified.

...In his public comments, White took a position the public would hear often that fall. It went like this: I am against busing. I had nothing to do with the state plan. It’s the job of the superintendent to implement the plan in the schools. I will provide the police protection...

What ’police protection’ would mean was clear at this time. From a variety of other cities: the police would be ’unable’ to prevent mob attacks on schoolchildren of the oppressed nationalities; would be ’unable’ to disrupt the right-wing organizations; but would be exceptionally ’able’ to disarm the democratic organizations.

Despite these plans, the liberals were basically confused and disunited at the outset of Phase I. While forced by the history of Black struggle to order desegregation of the Boston schools, they were unable to break the determination of the democratic forces, especially of the Black masses, and they were unable to dismantle the anti-busing movement.

Compromise Tactics of the ABM

The anti-busing movement was also disoriented by the Garrity decision. Having- relied for years on the white-supremacist deals of the liberals, splits in the ABM threatened as the time for Phase I actually approached. First of all, these potential splits reflected the class contradictions within the ABM. For many white working-class parents, the main issue was and still is the safety of their children. Defence of white-skin privileges in education and housing was important, but whether or not such parents joined the ABM reflected the extent to which they saw the oppressed nationalities as the main threat to safety. For non-proletarian parents and for the bourgeois leadership of the ABM, preservation of white-skin privileges was the main issue. For these forces, white flight was feasible as an alternative to “white fight,” so that safety was a secondary consideration. For certain members of the labor aristocracy, for lumpen youth, and for openly fascist forces, the main issue was the organization of white-supremacist terror.

These class contradictions found their expression in the contradictions between at least two factions of the leadership of the ABM. On the one hand, the more “moderate” faction of the ABM was against large-scale white violence, and had no intention of broadening the struggle of the ABM to attack other reforms of interest to the working class. These moderates, such as Louise Day Hicks, John Kerrigan, Fran Johnnene, State Representative Raymond Flynn, and State Senator William Bulger, saw the struggle against busing as tied to their own political fortunes, and strove to tie the mass movement to their own advancement. Clearly, there were splits among the “moderates,” but these splits reflected contention on bourgeois political turf (Hicks’ unwillingness to attack White, Flynn’s independent political ambitions) rather than authentic splits on issues of tactics for the ABM. These politicians–especially the more successful ones like Hicks, who merited a Time magazine cover a decade ago and is still going strong–are in the “reactionary populist” tradition and bear some resemblance to George Wallace. Operating within the Democratic Party, they develop popular support among white working people and the petit-bourgeoisie based on demagogic appeals to the effect that the advance of certain economic interests of the masses are being blocked by some curious alliance of the big capitalists behind the Black masses. Populist rhetoric and blunt white chauvinism–such is the stock in trade of the reactionary populist’s political career.

On the other hand, there is the extreme right wing of the ABM, who saw the struggle in more fascist terms. More insidious than self-serving demagogues, leaders like “Pixie” Palladino[2], Agnes Smith, Dick Kropos, and so forth, wanted to develop the movement into an extra-legal arm of the bourgeoisie, to broaden the terror against the oppressed nationalities, to attack all forms of working-class organization and politics, and finally, to build a mass fascist party (the first limited steps toward which may be seen in the American Party). Even within this right wing of the ABM, however, we can distinguish between two trends. First, the fascists proper, who ultimately favor a government of the fascist type. These include groups like the Nazis and the KKK, both active in anti-busing circles. Second, the “traditional reactionaries,” like the John Birch Society. Where the fascists combine their brand of white supremacy with the goal of fascist government, the traditional reactionaries combine white supremacy with all sorts of conspiracy theories and put forward solutions based on right-wing libertarianism and nineteenth-century laissez-faire capitalism. Although no doubt there are some fascist-minded people among the Birchers, this is not yet a fascist group. All reactionaries favor the destruction of legislation and reforms which benefit the working class, but there are differences. For example, where Louise Day Hicks might support speed-up and rationalization in certain branches of production (we might mention her support for reduced train crews), the John Birch Society supports open-shop legislation to undermine the existence of the trade unions entirely, while the fascists favor expansion of state regulation to a total system of social control.

On the issue of busing, while the fascists were basically pessimistic about short-term solutions to “problems” like desegregation, and favor “party-building,” others on the right wing of the anti-busing movement seemed to believe that correct tactics, mass mobilizations, terror, and united front with politicians would defeat the democratic forces. While it is an error to lump together in general the different factions in the right wing of the anti-busing movement, especially to lump them altogether with the moderates as “fascists,” we might say that the extreme right-wingers favored a policy of no compromise with the busing plan.

That the moderate forces were interested in some form of compromise with the liberal bourgeoisie was indicated by their attempts to bring legislation before the U.S. Senate that would stop busing, although they knew that such legislation, short of a Constitutional amendment, could not stop a Federal court order. Or again, as the Globe says, “They would resist, within the law and peacefully, in the still confident expectation that somehow, some way, some day, they would, representing as they did the overwhelming sentiment of the people in the city, prevail.”

Out of these contradictions arose a tactical compromise and an organization, ROAR, embodying this compromise: the ABM would engage in orderly mass protest; elected officials would adopt the tactic of “passive resistance” to the court order; and the strike force of the ABM would engage in whatever violence the police would permit them, hoping to provoke the Black people and therefore drive uncommitted sections of the white masses into their camp and force the liberals to stop the busing in order to “save Boston.” In addition, they planned a two-week boycott of the schools as a symbolic demonstration of their combativeness. Neither faction was entirely content with these tactics: they threatened the moderate leaders with charges of conspiracy and contempt of court that would ruin their political careers, and they seemed insufficient to the extremists, who felt that only chaos would stop the court order, and who hoped to build the ABM into an independent fascist movement.

Thus the ABM, despite differences, was able to organize itself into a unified leadership for the overtly white-supremacist forces during the fall. The democratic movement, which had similar contradictions, was not so fortunate.

No Leadership to Democratic Masses

The fact is that over the summer of 1974 no unified leadership arose within the democratic movement that could command the energies of all forces supporting the oppressed nationalities. As the Globe says:

For a dozen years Boston’s blacks had maintained remarkable organizational discipline and unity despite external setbacks and profound internal debates over whether integration was, indeed, the right goal at all.

Now that victory was at hand, the black leaders and organizations were in disarray in the spring of 1974, the community was unprepared to cope with the looming reality of desegregation.

In the spring of 1974, the NAACP, like other black groups in the city, lay in organizational shambles. Despite the fact that Boston contains more than one hundred thousand blacks, the local NAACP chapter had only 1600 members, counting whites as well as blacks. Altogether, the NAACP branch had been without effective leadership for nearly a year...

This was not exclusively an organizational matter. The NAACP had waged a courtroom battle for desegregation, an issue on which, even the Globe admits, there were differences in the Black community. The Black masses, as well as the Hispanic and Asian masses, had accumulated a rich experience with the vacillating and inconsequential politics of the liberal bourgeoisie, and were as a result extremely suspicious of the Phase 1 busing plan. The NAACP, identified as it was with the liberals on this issue, was also the object of much suspicion. The NAACP was both unwilling and unable to provide leadership to the popular struggle, although they were one of the few groups in the democratic ranks who could. Their preference for the courtroom struggle was as big a difficulty as their very real organizational difficulties, and created a vacuum that no other group could fill.

Black people in Boston have long struggled for improvement in the schools their children attended as well as an end to segregated education. By the end of the summer before Phase 1, however, the NAACP has not convinced the Black community that their program of partial desegregation through forced busing was the answer. For many Black people as well as other oppressed nationalities, the busing plan just seemed like an excuse to 1) avoid improving the schools in their communities 2) stifle the growth of bilingual programs, Afro-American history classes, and other new programs and 3) prevent increasing Black, Latin, or Asian parent influence on the policies of local schools. Furthermore, they saw no reason to place the burden of desegregation on Black children, and many were justly fearful of sending their children into South Boston. And finally, they rejected the racist premise that rubbing shoulders with white students would guarantee their children a better education.

Thus, the summer before Phase I, Black people found themselves in a difficult situation: disunited before several unattractive options. The long struggle against inequality, segregation, and poor education within the Boston Public Schools had passed through many phases and now emerged into a period of open struggle. Yet the monopoly bourgeoisie, supported by the NAACP, had placed that struggle on the ground of a citywide busing plan. That wide sections of the Black, Latin and Asian communities rejected the posing of the question in these terms was undeniable; but how widely they would participate in such a program remained in doubt.

But as the summer progressed, it became clear that non-monopoly bourgeoisie and petit-bourgeois reactionary forces were prepared to take a militant stand against democratic rights for the oppressed nationalities and to prevent Black people from enrolling in previously white schools. A new organization, ROAR, announced its dedication to preserving all traditional forms of discrimination within the Boston Public Schools.

The mobilization of the ABM focussed the terms of the conflict for the democratic masses. What at first appeared to many as a question of education and the relative merits of integration versus community control now stood revealed in its true light: the emancipation of the oppressed nationalities and working class democracy. As the reformist Jesse Jackson said, “It’s not the bus–it’s us.” The issue became the democratic right to attend school in any part of the city versus the “white right” to segregated education.

Against the wave of publicity given to ROAR demagoguery, this question of right became as real as any other such right – the right to work in factories and other jobs in white neighborhoods, the right to live, travel and socialize in any part of the city. Black people did not choose that their struggle for equal rights in education be fought out around a plan for “forced busing” to achieve partial desegregation, but as the beginning of the school year drew closer, they began to prepare to meet this new challenge by the segregationist forces. Yet, while the Black masses were spontaneously moving in this direction, the vacuum of leadership left by the policy and politics of the NAACP increasingly contrasted with the organizational moves of ROAR.

The politicians, activists, and Marxists grouped around Freedom House tried to fill this vacuum. By conducting community discussions open to all, and by organizing task forces around principal areas of concern in the Black community–safety, communications with teachers and administrators, information, organization of the youth to resist provocation, and so forth – this center sought to prepare the Black community to carry out a policy of disciplined and peaceful cooperation with the court order. This in spite of the fact that many people around Freedom House during the summer disagreed with the idea that desegregation would improve the quality of Black education. They recognized several things that the NAACP did not: that the preparations made by the liberal bourgeoisie were insufficient and likely to go against the interests of the Black people; that the issue of safety was not a “police question” but rather a question of educating the masses and winning them to some definite program; that busing, in and of itself, was no guarantee of rights in education for the community; that the ABM was determined to defeat even the reform represented by busing; that the Black community as a whole must adopt definite tactics in order to defeat the ABM.

They were unable, however, to develop more than a defensive program for the fall: avoid provocation; uphold the law; keep the schools open and desegregated. By virtue of their class position and class stand, they did not take the position that the elimination of forced segregation opened up the struggle for popular rights in education, and were unable to “project” a compelling program for just what these rights would be, and what course the Black people should adopt to gain them. They made a “united front” with the liberals, but surrendered all of the leadership of the united front to the liberals.

In fact, a part of this contradiction was a class contradiction between the Freedom House Coalition and the Black masses. Freedom House was isolated from the Black masses, and interpreted the suspicions of the Black masses about support for busing as apathy.

Leftists Disunited, Will Always Be Isolated

The Left in Boston, including the communists, were also greatly disorganized. Few organizations had paid much attention to the issue of working-class education, and most had sidestepped the issue of what the Globe calls “racial polarization,” so that the prospect of a struggle in the realm of education in which large sections of the white masses were actively in the camp of the bourgeois reactionaries made them uneasy and unsure.

Of the various tasks that faced the Left, the one that was seized on most concretely was the task of criticizing the bourgeoisie through agitation and propaganda. The fact that few groups paid any attention to a thorough investigation and a strictly objective appraisal of the class forces in the busing situation gave the resulting agitation and propaganda a stilted and abstract character. Moreover, the fact that no groups paid attention to the task of unifying the Left divided these stilted appeals into three broad camps.

The first camp – we might call them the conciliators of liberalism–generally ignored, downplayed, or liquidated the necessity to expose the role of the liberal bourgeoisie and the assimilationist forces within the democratic movement. The RA article, as we have indicated, errs in this direction. This camp also included the CULA, many elements within the white tenants’ movement, the anti-racists within the Socialist Feminist Organization, the Prairie Fire Distribution Committee, and so forth. Obviously, this camp also includes the revisionists of the CPUSA and the Trotskyites of the SWP. But it is essential to stress that most of these forces were not consciously revisionist, and should not be drummed out of the camp of revolution. Unlike the CPUSA and SWP, many of the conciliators of liberalism developed tactics which met the needs of the masses–such as defense of homeowners threatened with racist attacks, courageous attempts to conduct agitation in the ABM base areas. Conciliation with the liberals meant more a silence on the errors of the liberals and the flaws of the busing plan than a conscious attempt, as with the CPUSA and SWP, to bring the struggle firmly under the wing of the liberals and assimilationists.

The second camp – we might call them the “proletarian struggle” camp – generally opposed the busing plan, directing their main fire at the liberals and assimilationists. They failed to see the task of uniting with the liberals and assimilationists within the democratic movement in order to isolate them; rather they saw the task as constructing a wholly new, wholly pure “proletarian” camp, free from the influence of the liberals and assimilationists. Under these circumstances, some of the groups ended up conciliating with the ABM. Among the mostly white groups, RU has provided the most notorious example of these views, although the Progressive Labor Party, the Party for Workers’ Power, and the thoroughly racist East Boston Workers Group (“The Compass”) also shared opposition. Among the oppressed nationalities, the Workers Viewpoint journal has taken the most developed form of this position, although PSP and ALSC are close to this view. Within this camp, we must sharply distinguish between those who view any advance of the oppressed nationalities as “divisive” (the position of the East Boston Workers Group, who have opposed self-defense of Black and Hispanic tenants against racist attacks, is the most rancid of these), and those who simply “go overboard” in the struggle against liberalism, revisionism, and assimilationism. For this second group, the main errors were of subjectivism (“we understand fully the duplicity of the liberals and assimilationists, therefore the masses understand it as well), abstentionism (as with the May 17 NAACP rally), and sometimes sectarianism.

The third camp was composed of forces who, at times, were able to strike a correct balance between the tasks of opposing the ABM and struggling with the misleaders within the democratic movement. We include in this trend the OL (M-L), CAP, Struggle, the BWC (before its split; now the RWC and WC [M-L]), some of the white tenants groups, the tenants organizations among the oppressed nationalities, the CLPUSNA, and ourselves. We stress “at times” because the lines of these different groups were neither consistent nor unified. The OL, for example, committed alternately right and “left” errors during the course of the struggle. None of these groups was able to unite the Left during the course of the struggle, even for individual actions. None of us was able to grasp the various turns of the struggle, but rather were “struggling to keep up.” Some groups in this camp were unable to keep up any special work around the busing situation and, as the year progressed, gradually liquidated the work that had been started.

“Oppose Racist Attacks!”

If the three camps shared any unity at all, it might be summed up in the slogan, “Oppose Racist Attacks!” Most of the groups put this slogan forward, and the groups that did not, “supported” it (although, as we have shown, some groups had peculiar conceptions of what “opposition” was, and of what constituted a racist attack!). The line of demarcation on this question, between revolutionary and non-revolutionary forces, turned out to be the defence of the right of the oppressed nationalities in Boston to self-defence by any means necessary, including armed self-defence. Rightists “shied away” from popular self-defence, including armed self-defence, and urged the popular masses to rely on the forces of the state. “Leftists” “shied away” from use of the forces of the state, and urged the popular masses to use only their own means to defend themselves.

If defence against racist attacks was the issue on which there was the most unity on the Left, it was also one of the issues around which very little work was done during the summer of 1974. This stands out in a really glaring way when the preparations of the revolutionaries within the democratic movement are contrasted with the preparations of the fascists within the ABM.

The fascists, having come to agreements with more moderate elements within the ABM (as we have seen), made detailed preparations among the white masses to carry out these tactics. They were the most tireless organizers of the mass mobilizations carried on during the course of the spring and summer. They insinuated themselves in the “block-by-block” organizing of anti-busing meetings and phone chains, and they came to occupy important positions within the various Information Centers that were set up around the city. They had (or borrowed from the police) the technical expertise to set up communications between themselves and various gangs of criminal and lumpen elements. And yet they did not surrender all independence and initiative within the united front with the moderates, but continued, in a variety of anti-busing meetings, to advocate their particular point of view (the need for a “popular” resistance to busing, not relying on the “politicians,” and so forth).

The leftists, in contrast, were irresolute and had no precise ideas about how to proceed. They came to no agreements with the liberals or the assimilationists, not even the form of principles to govern their participation in “rumor control centers,” and so forth. The tenants’ movement, which had had the most experience with racist attacks, made half-hearted efforts to build phone chains and self-defence “brigades,” but these were not really successful until this past summer, a “lag time” of almost a year. Some Marxist-Leninists worked with the Freedom House group, but their main effort was to build sentiment among the masses for “community control” and a boycott of Phase 1, and they devoted little attention to organizational and ideological preparations of the masses for the ABM resistance to the court order. There was little systematic attempt by leftists to become bus monitors and desegregation aides. Few community groups set up meetings with the police to insure that the safety plans were adequate (and to expose the police before the masses). Groups failed to share plans for the opening weeks of school with other groups. No efforts were made to use the bourgeois media, who were paying a great deal of attention to the ABM. The preparations in the Hispanic community, where a parents’ committee formed and began to organize and educate the masses of Hispanic parents to the issues and tactics of the Phase 1 situation, are an exception to this generally dismal picture.

Agitation Against the ABM

Curiously, what received a lot of attention was agitation against the ABM. We say “curiously” because this was a question on which there was very little unity on the left, and very little precision. Several mistaken points of view emerged during the course of the agitation.

It would be beyond the scope of this pamphlet to review all of the errors in detail, so we will go over two of them, and indicate some general errors made by the Left in the analysis of the ABM.

The most common error was the “racism – tool of the bosses” line, which assumed a place in the agitation of almost all of the groups. This line says that division of the class along national lines is something the capitalist class promotes when the “going gets rough” for them. Entirely complementary to this, the working class ”is beginning to unite” as “the crisis intensifies.” This line introduces two central distortions into an objective appraisal of the situation in the U.S.: 1) it “pretends” that the national division of the working class is not a serious and permanent problem, a problem that distorts every struggle of the working class and is at the root of adherence by workers to opportunist political leadership. By using vague and inexact phrases like, “...but more and more, working people are beginning to see their common interests,” this line underestimates the need for conscious political leadership in the attack on national oppression and national privilege. 2) it “pretends” that fostering and nurturing white supremacy, white opportunism, and white-skin privileges is an “occasional” or “extraordinary” bourgeois device, rather than the basic form of rule of the U.S. bourgeoisie. The comrades from CAP recognize this error and speak out against it:

...Racism is not only a bad idea, but a bad reality. And it has caused real differences and real division within the whole working class. The material conditions of white life in the U.S. white workers lives, includes the ideology of racism, it is a material force, that has gripped many whites and blacks as well... This is not a random accidental occurence, and as such it has a continuity and force that is not easily shaken... [Crisis in Boston!!!!, p. 2]

Another common error was to throw around the term “fascist” in reference to the ABM. To call the ABM a “fascist movement,” or “part of a growing fascist trend,” or even “part of the fascist tide,” is to commit several errors: 1) it is false theoretically. There is a fascist movement in the U.S., and it is a danger to the workers’ movement. It consists of fascist “pre-party formations,” groups like the KKK and the Nazis, but it is not yet a fascist party, and it certainly is not yet a mass movement. The ABM is a mass movement, led by bourgeois politicians. Fascists work within this movement and try, throughout the course of the struggle, to gain hegemony. 2) calling the ABM a fascist movement attacks the white workers who are part of this movement. Groups like the OL, which persistently described the ABM as a fascist movement, are quick to speak of “driving a wedge between the fascists and the masses.” Calling the ABM a fascist movement in agitation accomplishes the very opposite. 3) calling the ABM a fascist movement is a failure to expose the bourgeois leadership of the ABM before the masses of white workers. It is nothing but subjectivism to think that calling a movement names is the same thing as showing the masses how this movement opposes their proletarian class interest, which can only be accomplished through exposures of the inner workings of the movement. Name-calling is two steps in the wrong direction. 4) calling the ABM fascist hides the workings of the white-skin privilege system of bourgeois rule. Fascism is naked terroristic attacks on the entire working class and the broad masses. National oppression is naked attacks on certain sections of the working class and the broad masses. The ABM is not an open and terroristic attack on the entire working class and the broad masses; failing to point this out in agitation is a deviation in the direction of opposing the consistent struggle for democratic rights and self-determination of the oppressed nationalities.

If the Left had made a strictly objective appraisal of the class forces, and had organized itself within the democratic movement during the summer of 1974...If attention had been paid to organizing timely and popular exposures of the ABM and the liberals, alerting the democratic masses and educating the many “neutral” forces to the class nature of the tactics unfolding for Phase I...If non-sectarian, concrete, and secret discussions had taken place among the Marxist-Leninist and revolutionary groups prior to the fall...the course of the struggle might have been very different than it actually was.


[1] The Globe, as the mouthpiece of liberal bourgeois views on the struggle in Boston, is an invaluable source m the forms of compromise sought by various representatives of the liberals in politics. As a source of facts, it is somewhat less useful.

[2] “Pixie” is still something of an amateur in fascist circles of the ABM, but she announces herself now as a “conservative,” something that politicians like Flynn and Bulger would never do. The picture of Mussolini that hangs on her wall represents an ambition.