First Published: The Call, Vol. 6, No. 21, May 30, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Dorchester, Mass.– Early in the evening of May 18, a fascist paramilitary squad fire-bombed Liberator Bookstore and Workers’ Center here, causing over $2,000 damage.
Twenty-four hours after the bombing, the right-wing South Boston Defense League (SBDL) claimed credit for the cowardly attack. This same segregationist groups was responsible for firebombing the headquarters of the NAACP in 1975.
Liberator Bookstore was opened by the October League and the Boston Unity Collective less than a month ago. Even in that short time, the store became recognized as a center for the class struggle in Boston. Both the Boston Workers United to Fight Back (BWUFB) and the Communist Youth Organization have office space in the center. The store has actively begun wide-spread distribution of revolutionary literature.
In a statement to radio station WBCN, the SBDL fascists boasted. “We are responsible for the firebombing of Liberator Bookstore. You must destroy cancerous scum before it spreads. If they reopen, we will re-firebomb. We are for a white anti-communist South Boston and will go to any extreme of violence...”
As soon as word of the attack on the bookstore reached the community, a meeting was quickly convened. At this meeting, more than 50 people affirmed their determination to keep the bookstore open and to meet this new attack head-on.
At the meeting, several activists drew attention to the general climate of ruling class violence that pervades the Boston area. The violence is directed against workers and especially Blacks and other minorities. A worker from the General Motors plant in Framingham told of how the local bureaucrats had recently organized more than 40 thugs to attack October League members and other workers distributing literature about the UAW demonstration in Los Angeles.
People also exposed the police efforts to cover up the bombing. Even though it was apparent that the damage to the store could only have been caused by a firebomb, the initial police report to the press blamed the fire on a “careless smoker.” The South Boston Defense League’s admission of responsibility quickly put an end to such fantasies, however.
The day following the meeting, 75 people picketed the police station and demanded a full investigation of the bombing. The demonstrators proclaimed their intent to smash the segregationist movement and further expose the politicians and capitalists be-hind groups like the SBDL.
Previous exposures have shown that these groups are not a bunch of “fanatics” acting on their own, as the media portrays them. In fact, one such vigilante group, the South Boston Marshall, receives funds from the state government.
All these gangs are closely associated with the ROAR organization, which the capitalists first promoted to attack school integration in the early 1970s. ROAR, in turn, is tied by many threads to Boston’s top banking and real estate interests.
The capitalists have systematically used gang violence as the economic crisis has deepened. They have done this in the hopes of keeping Black and white workers fighting each other instead of the bosses and the system itself.
The bombing of Liberator Bookstore also comes amidst a number of victories against the segregationist movement. The BWUFB has consistently rallied large numbers of people in support of the Afro-American people’s struggle and even succeeded in forcing ROAR to close its Dorchester office.
It is obvious that this latest attack is part of an organized effort by Boston’s ruling elite to attack the growing revolutionary leadership of the working class struggle in Boston. An April 15 article in the North End Post Gazette left no doubt as to the segregationists’ intentions.
The article predicted, “A street confrontation of major proportions seems inevitable between members of the elite South Boston Defense League and the street-wise ’lefties’ who call themselves the Boston Workers United to Fight Back.” This article was nothing more than a “call to arms” to step up the attacks on workers, minorities and communists.
But the staff of Liberator Bookstore issued its own “call to arms.” A leaflet distributed at the police station protest stated: “These attacks will never succeed in keeping Marxism-Leninism from the working class. The more these fascists attack, the more the people will see their true colors and be drawn into revolutionary struggle against this system.”