First Published: The Call, Vol. 3, No. 8, May 1975.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
A sign of the growing advances and work of the October League as well as of the young communist movement as a whole, are the attacks coming at us from a small handful of opportunists and phony revolutionaries who have long parasited off the movement, and have finally been forced to show their reactionary hand fully.
The latest such attack was found in the pages of “Burning Spear,” which is the newspaper of the so-called African People’s Socialist Party (APSP). Led by Joseph Waller, who has long been known for his anti-communism and reactionary nationalism, the APSP has a history of splitting and wrecking and has always looked with disdain upon the working class and its fighting organizations.
The latest report from these opportunists comes in the April issue of their paper in an article called “O.L. Reactionaries Evicted.” The article purported to describe an APSP-inspired split in the all-Florida meeting called to build an anti-imperialist coalition. Teaming up with the Revolutionary Union (RU) and the local chapter of the Iranian Students Assoc., (ISA), these sectarian wreckers tried to destroy the coalition through the use of redbaiting and unprincipled attacks, not only on the October League, but on the majority of groups in the coalition who opposed them. The result was a split, just as Waller and his followers had hoped for, except that the majority of the forces united against the line of the APSP.
According to the “Burning Spear,” the OL is “ideological imperialist.” This term has been used by Waller and his gang to attack any attempt to bring a revolutionary scientific analysis to the Afro-American question. Chairman Waller says that the OL should work only among whites and leave the Black people to his own opportunist leadership. He has opposed the OL’s stand in support of Afro-American self-determination putting forth the line that the homeland of Black people is in Africa. Within the Black liberation struggle, Waller has used every type of demagogy to attack Marxist-Leninists and the Burning Spear has been one of the most vocal right-wing forces within the African Liberation Support Committee and other sections of the Black united front.
In an article appearing in the same issue of the Burning Spear, with Waller’s picture at the top of the page, this so-called “socialist” denounces the growing trend of Marxism-Leninism within the Afro-American people’s struggle. The article entitled “We Are An African People” attacks the statement by Amiri Baraka, chairman of the Congress of African People (CAP) who said: “The struggle for Black Liberation is a Struggle for Socialism,” as “one of the best examples of muddled thinking in this current ideological debate.”
There can be no doubt what is really behind Waller’s charges of an “OL takeover,” in the Black liberation struggle or the Florida Coalition. Waller is a professional anti-communist and fears communism like the plague. It is for these reasons that he fomented a split in the anti-imperialist coalition.
What was surprising to some was that the Revolutionary Union, which claims to be a Marxist-Leninist group and the local branch of the Iranian Students Association, an anti-imperialist group, formed a totally unprincipled block with Waller and his group, based solely upon anti-OL politics. They formed this block on the basis of their opposition to the struggles of the Third World peoples and countries in whose support the coalition should have been built. The line of all three groups was that rather than directing itself at imperialism, the anti-imperialist coalition should direct itself against the governments of the “reactionaries” in the Middle East who today are increasingly standing up to the bullying and domination of the two biggest imperialist superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
This line, intended to split the U.S. working class from its allies in the Third World, succeeded in splitting the coalition. It is this rotten stand of the RU and the local ISA group which led them into an anti-communist block with Waller and Co. But try as they might, they could not win anyone over to this line. Siding with the OL were the rest of the honest forces in the coalition including Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF), Black Revolutionary Socialist Liberation Front (formerly Malcolm X United Liberation Front) and the Student Anti-Imperialist League (SAIL).
Following the split, the honest forces formed a genuine Florida Anti-Imperialist Coalition which is currently building for an Equal Rights Amendment March in Tallahassee; building towards African Liberation Day and working in the Southwide Coalition to Stop South African Coal.
All the splitting and wrecking activities of the APSP and their followers and all the anti-communist attacks on the OL cannot hold back the surge of the anti-imperialist struggle. Their unprincipled blocks built on opportunist politics will crumble under the weight of the movement of the masses.