First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 25, October 25, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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A draft party program is soon to be issued for widespread discussion and debate among the organizations now participating in the Organizing Committee for a New Marxist-Leninist Party (OC). At a recent meeting, the OC set the goal of holding a Second Unity Conference after an initial period of internal program discussion to consolidate the struggle over the draft program and to bring new forces into the party-building efforts.
The draft program will provide the focus for carrying on and resolving two-line struggle within the OC. The initial stages of this discussion, which will take place in an internal OC bulletin, will mobilize the membership of all participating OC groups to take full part in the debate. Through this process of program writing, the OC will develop its basic principles of unity to a higher level.
The first period of program discussions will culminate with the Second Unity Conference. Soon after this conference, the draft program, along with commentary, amendments and possible alternative programs, will be published openly for wider criticism and discussion.
After the open publication of the program materials, the OC plans to make even greater efforts to struggle for unity with Marxist-Leninist groups and advanced workers outside its ranks. The open publication of the program and the struggle that occurs over its political line will provide the clearest and firmest foundations for principled communist unity in a Marxist-Leninist party.
These plans will push back by several months the tentative date for the party congress that had been set at the May Unity Meeting. Commenting on this, OC Chairman Eileen Klehr pointed out, “While our original time schedule has been set back, our new plans are consistent with the OC’s determination to build the new party on the highest level of political unity.”
Klehr continued: “Our aim, throughout the program discussions, is to raise the theoretical level and create greater Marxist-Leninist unity among all the communists who are taking part in our efforts.” Klehr explained that additional time will also provide an even greater opportunity for “us to “walk the extra mile’ and involve the largest number of Marxist-Leninists in the program discussions and the overall party-building efforts.”
The last several months have witnessed the increased growth of the Organizing Committee. At the recent OC meeting new collectives were represented, including the Marxist-Leninist Fighting Union of San Diego and the Boston Unity Collective. The OC noted that in the course of its work, significant numbers of individual Marxist-Leninists, unaffiliated with organizations, have expressed unity with the party-building efforts.
The OC decided that, while the representative character of the OC does not allow for the participation of individuals as OC members, the OC should continue to develop its work to insure that these comrades can participate in the program struggle and other areas of the OC’s activities.
Many of these new people had come forward during the OC’s recent speaking tour, which covered over 20 major U.S. cities. Representatives of the newly-joined groups made the point that the tours had been particularly successful in building unity with their independent Marxist-Leninist collectives, as well as consolidating a large number of advanced workers.
During the tour, OC representatives spoke to approximately 2,000 people around the country. Speakers from every participating organization called for an end to the present situation in the communist movement where many Marxist-Leninist centers exist. They called for Marxist-Leninist unity on the basis of communist principles and sharply exposed the anti-party opposition within the communist movement.
The speeches drew a clear line of demarcation between the OC’s call to unite and the party-building plans of the anti-party opportunists. While the OC has issued clear principles for communist unity, opportunists like the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee (MLOC) have advanced the call for communists to unite in an abstract “program-writing” effort. They have not put forward principles upon which to base this “program-writing” and have not proposed a plan to give their version of unity an organizational form. OC speakers exposed this plan as a right opportunist effort to divert the Marxist-Leninists from actually forging a new party. The OC agreed that the struggle against the anti-party opportunists should be intensified.
Summing up the two-line struggle in our movement, W. Jean Pierre, speaking on behalf of the OC in a Milwaukee forum, posed the question clearly: “Will we move forward towards one communist party with a correct political line, strong ties with the masses, built on iron unity and discipline? Or will we attempt to hold back history, persevering in the small circle mentality and the sectarian spirit, the petty-bourgeois childishness and liberalism, the primitive organization and isolation from the masses which characterized our movement in its infancy?”
The fact that new communist collectives are joining the OC and participating in the party-building efforts shows that increasing numbers of Marxist-Leninists are responding in favor of the OC’s party-building plan and expressing their unity with the OC’s declaration “Marxist-Leninists, Unite!” This same response was evident throughout the speaking tour in spite of opportunists and police provocateurs in a few cities who attempted to cause disruptions during the speeches.
The OC closed its meeting with a re-affirmation of its high level of unity and a renewal of its call to all Marxist-Leninists to take a clear stand on our party-building plan and join in our efforts!