First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 18, September 6, 1976.
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.
Speakers from the Organizing Committee for a Marxist-Leninist Party (OC) toured nine cities in the last two weeks, addressing the tasks ahead in building the party. Well over 1,200 people attended these forums.
Speaking in Boston to a crowd of 250 people made up largely of workers, OL Vice-Chairman Eileen Klehr pointed out the continuing role of ideological struggle in the organizational work of party building.
“How can communist unity be achieved without unity on organization?” asked Klehr. “The struggle between Marxism and revisionism must be consolidated and raised to a higher level with a correspondingly higher form of organization–the party.”
The Boston forum heard Shakur Aljuwani of the Buffalo Unity Collective and a representative of the recently-formed Boston Unity Collective, as well as a cultural presentation that based itself on the struggle of communists to organize inside the St. Regis plant.
The theme of consolidating the political struggle with organizational unity was also addressed by Barry Litt of the League for Marxist-Leninist Unity, speaking in San Diego as a representative of the OC. Litt said Marxist-Leninists who support the “Call to Unite” should “enter the OC and struggle for a correct political line to be reflected in the Party program. We recognize the differences in our movement, but we also know that a high degree of unity now exists.”
Over 150 people in Birmingham and Atlanta heard speeches by Susan Klonsky of the October League and Ernie McMillan of the Dallas Collective. In his remarks, McMillan summed up the civil rights movement which he participated in as a leader of SNCC. He pointed out the militancy of the masses in the ’60s, but noted that it was the absence of a vanguard party which allowed the movement to be co-opted by reformism. He attacked the revisionist CPUSA for its abandonment of the struggle for self-determination and called for the new party to take a revolutionary stand on the national question.
Susan Klonsky pointed out that the Marxist-Leninist movement has developed from a “handful of anti-revisionist propaganda circles only a few years ago to a sizeable force which had deepened its theory, developed its organizational forms and its press, and integrated itself actively with the masses.”
The tour itself has clearly shown the strength of the unity trend. At the same time, it has also reflected the continued anti-party activities of the handful of opportunists whose organizations have developed for the sole purpose of keeping the party from being built. Acting like police agents, Workers Viewpoint leaders attempted unsuccessfully to rush the stage at the New York forum.
Sherman Miller, the OL speaker in Chicago, responded to the Workers Viewpoint attacks, saying, “WVO was the founder and ideological mentor of the ’Revolutionary Wing’ – a wing of wreckers and splitters. Even though WVO has had a falling out with the rest of this wing, they have only become more frenzied in their Trotskyite-type wrecking activities.”
In Detroit, several WVO provocateurs had to be removed from the meeting because of their consistent disruption. Dan Burstein, speaking for the OL, said “These people have a political line which opposes everything revolutionary in the world. They oppose the fight against segregation; the fight for women’s equality; they attack the right of oppressed nations to self-determination and oppose the struggles of the third world countries against imperialism. It’s no wonder they oppose the building of the party.”
WVO and the others in the “Wing” are resorting to desperate acts because even with their warped view of reality, they recognize that unity is the developing trend and that the party will soon be forged.
In September, the party-building tour continues to a dozen more cities.