Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

August Twenty-Ninth Movement

ABDC Plans Nationwide Conference

First Published: Revolutionary Cause, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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“BAKKE’S ATTACKS REACH FAR AND WlDE–BUILD THE STRUGGLE NATIONWIDE!” It This chant has been shouted hundreds of times in the various anti-Bakke Decision Coalition (ABDC) , demonstrations, meetings and conferences. On February 19, hundreds of people representing many organizations across the nation will come together in Los Angeles to unite around a major Spring campaign. ABDC is calling for all anti-Bakke forces to come together and jointly determine a date, location and targets for nationwide Spring demonstrations. The ABDC invites all groups to affiliate with the ABDC in this unified action.

The uniting of anti-Bakke forces throughout the nation has major significance in the struggle against national oppression. As US imperialism prepares for another war, it will intensify its attacks on the US multi-national working class and oppressed nationalities. The Bakke decision is part of the overall attempt by the capitalists to intensify national oppression. Up to this time, the resistance to national oppression has occurred sporadically–a campus protest here, jacking up a City Council there. The Bakke struggle erupted in much the same manner at first. The founding of the ABDC on a California statewide basis marked a qualitative leap in linking up campus, workplace and community struggles, taking place in California with a coordinated effort to defeat the Bakke decision. As imperialism intensifies its attacks upon the masses, so they must intensify their resistance.

In recent months the ABDC has linked the anti-Bakke struggle to other attacks on minorities. For example, the Los Angeles local held a rally and demonstration on December 10 to protest the KKK “border patrol.” San Francisco ABDC along with S.F. State College Raza Students Organization and Asian Students Union staged a rally on December 1 to protest the campus newspaper’s editorial entitled “Ilegal Aliens: Taxing Our Patience and Budgets.” On January 22 the S.F. ABDC put on a program showing how the Bakke decision will intensify women’s oppression.


This past year of struggle has seen many twists and turns for the anti-Bakke movement When the ABDC formed, there were clearly two tendencies existing in this movement (see RC, II, 1, January 1978) The principles of unity adopted by the ABDC have been instrumental in helping define the two trends, and in building a mass movement against the Bakke decision.

1. RELY ON THE MASSES OF OPPRESSED PEOPLE TO DEFEAT THE BAKKE DECISION. Since its beginning, the ABDC has relied mainly on mass demonstrations, rallies and other mass mobilizations to defeat the Bakke decision. The leadership of the NCOBD (National Committee to Overturn the Bakke Decision) want people, to believe that the politicians, Lawyers and good guys on the University of California Regents will wage the struggle for us.

2. OPPOSE BOTH THE US SUPREME COURT AND UC REGENTS AS EQUAL TARGETS. The ABDC saw that both the Supreme Court and the Regents were part of the same system of oppression. This was in contrast to groups like the Communist Party USA who say “the initiative of the University of California at Davis in pressing the fight against the Bakke decision is an integral part of this (anti-Bakke) fight.” (Daily World, 12/16/77) In fact, it was the UC Davis administration which helped Bakke file his suit in the first place. The UC Regents are representatives of the major corporations (IBM, AT&T, etc.) and of the capitalist government. The CPUSA would ask us to ally with these capitalists, rather than wage a revolutionary struggle ’to overturn Bakke.

3. OPPOSE THE SYSTEMATIC OPPRESSION OF THIRD WORLD PEOPLE. The oppressed nationalities in the US face oppression in all spheres of life: employment , education, housing, medical care and more. The ruling class uses the ideology of racism to maintain this oppression. But the leaders of the NCOBD focus only on racism. According to these groups, putting non-racists in the Supreme Court or UC Regents will help cure the system. They ignore the economic basis for racism--the system of imperialism.

4 DEFEND AND EXPAND ALL, THIRD WORLD PROGRAMS AND ALL SPECIAL PROGRAMS FOR WOMEN AND WORKING PEOPLE. The NCOBD leaders saw Bakke as only an attack on students. In contrast, the ABDC recognized that Bakke is first and foremost an attack on all oppressed nationalities. It also attacks the rights of women and all workers. The Bakke decision has already been used to deny special promotions to women workers. By spreading the myth that whites are “discriminated against” by affirmative action programs, the Bakke decision divides white and oppressed nationality workers in their common fight against exploitation.

Veterans of the anti-Bakke struggle have learned many valuable lessons in the last year! The anti-Bakke movement began spontaneously among Chicano students and educators and quickly spread to students of other nationalities. New ABDC chapters should focus on developing ties with students. ABDC must not only mobilize them around the Bakke decision, but fight for the day-to-day demands of students: defend ethnic studies programs, maintain progressive student controlled programs, review boards and others. In particular ABDC must link the struggle to the fight against cutbacks in Educational Opportunities Programs and financial aid to students. ABDC must work closely with progressive student organizations including the national forms of organization such as the Asian Students Union, Black Student Unions, Chicano and Native American student groups. ABDC must help strengthen the unity between oppressed nationality students and Anglo students. ABDC must link up with Iranian, Ethiopian, Eritrean and other foreign student groups by educating them to the danger of the Bakke decision. In the spirit of international unity, we must support the struggles’ of these students and people of their homelands against the two superpowers.

After developing ties with students, a number of ABDC chapters then began outreach to workers and community groups. The Bakke decision has already effected programs for promoting and hiring national minority workers. Communists, progressive workers and members of ABDC can help develop multi-national, unity by educating the working class about the Bakke case. ABDC must pay particular attention to the basic industries like auto, steel, mining, rubber, etc. In these industries the political and economic struggle against exploitation has been the most intense; and from these industries ABDC can draw progressive workers into the anti-Bakke struggle. ABDC must also do outreach to industries with large numbers of oppressed nationalities and women. These workers have an immediate interest in the defeat of the Bakke decision. White workers, too, have an immediate interest in the defeat of Bakke. By supporting the rights of national minorities , multi-national unity is also strengthened. This unity is needed in the fights for unionization, against cutbacks in medical services, childcare facilities, etc. But the main political focus must be to educate the working class that a defeat of Bakke is a blow to our common enemy: imperialism. Only when the working class as a whole supports the legitimate rights of all oppressed people can this unity be achieved.


In the RC II #7, ATM (M-L) incorrectly stated that “only the working class… can defeat the Bakke decision.” In practice this view led some of our cadre and friends to counterpose outreach among students and among workers. For example, we told some students that they weren’t really building the anti-Bakke movement unless they were leafleting plants. We told them they had to go to work in factories. This was usually accompanied with phrase mongering about the “leading role of the working class.” In practice, this led to de-emphasizing the struggles on the campus and, in some cases, to students dropping out of the anti-Bakke struggle; Historically and today, students have played an important role as allies of the proletariat. Communists must continue supporting and helping organize the struggles of students. We cannot counterpose work among students to work within the proletariat.

The historic role of the working class is to give leadership ideologically, politically, and organizationally to the revolutionary movement for socialism. The working class may not lead all struggles for democratic reforms, however. Many partial reforms of the Civil Rights movement were won in the 1960’s, for example, under the leadership of the intelligensia and petty bourgeoisie. The task of communists is to link together the working class and national movements; and to lead the struggles for partial reforms in a revolutionary way. Only in this manner will all popular classes and strata come to see the necessity of socialist revolution. ATM (M-L) will continue to organize around the Bakke issue in the factories and trade unions. We will continue to encourage workers to be active in the anti-Bakke movement. But we will not carry out this work at the expense of organizing students.


The February 19 conference will be a sign of the growing momentum of the anti-Bakke movement on a nationwide scale. Functioning committees against the Bakke decision exist in Atlanta, New York, Boston and some East Coast colleges. In addition, other midwestern and southwestern areas have shown interest in organizing. ATM encourages all anti-Bakke groups to join with ABDC in planning the Spring demonstrations. The work is heavy, but through a united effort we are confident that the strength of the people will bring more victories in 1978.