Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Memorials Salute Mao’s Legacy and China Today

First Published: The Call, Vol. 7, No. 36, September 18, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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“Listen to the masses–to the people of China foremost and to those who have visited there. Chairman Mao’s line is being carried out today in China. It’s a living example for us in the U.S.”

With these words Michael Klonsky, chairman of the CPML, hailed the advances of China and showed them to be inseparable from the teachings of Mao Tsetung. Klonsky was the main speaker at a memorial meeting Sept. 10 in Chicago, on the second anniversary of Mao’s death.

Speaking with Klonsky were three working class women who have visited China this year–a young CYO activist, a steelworker, and an older member of the National Fight Back Organization. All three testified to the tremendous achievements in China today, thanks to the people’s victory over-the “gang of four” and their adherence to Mao’s teachings.

The CPML chairman stressed that even though Chairman Mao is dead, China is following the course Mao charted. Klonsky condemned the phony supporters of Chairman Mao who “plaster posters of him on buildings while carrying out a vicious campaign against China.”

He was referring to the sham memorial meetings held by the so-called Revolutionary Communist Party in San Francisco and New York. At these meetings the RCP openly denounced China as “counter-revolutionary’” and fiercely attacked Chairman Mao’s comrade-in-arms, Chou En-lai.

The Chicago audience of over 100 people also heard a representative of the Iranian Students Association (CIS), who summed up the lessons of Chairman Mao’s teachings for the liberation struggle of the Iranian people.

Internationalism was a hallmark of the New York memorial meeting Sept. 9, which was sponsored by Linea Roja, Bandera Proletaria, the Third World Peoples’ Anti-Imperialist Coalition (TWPAIC), I Wor Kuen and the CPML. The evening included poems by Terpsicore, a Dominican group, and by a peasant from India.

The main speakers both emphasized Mao’s contributions to all the peoples of the world. “From his half century of struggle in the service of proletarian revolution,” the TWPAIC representative said, “Chairman Mao has left to the people of the world an invaluable treasure of experience and lessons which guide their steps on the road of social and national emancipation.”

CPML spokesman Eileen Klehr cited Chairman Mao’s two statements on the struggle of the Afro-American people in the U.S. as examples of his contributions to the international anti-imperialist struggle.

“In both statements,” she said, “Chairman Mao lent his support and the support of the Chinese people to the struggle of Black people against national oppression and racial discrimination.” Both statements, Klehr continued, “reveal that Chairman Mao deeply understood the class and national struggles in the U.S.”

Another event held in New York’s Chinatown that afternoon, sponsored by the Progressive Chinatown People’s Association, was attended by 75 people of various nationalities.

Despite pouring rain and a flock of anti-China demonstrators from the RCP, more than 300 people in San Francisco turned out to pay tribute to Chairman Mao Tsetung and to China’s current advances.

“For over 50 years Chairman Mao led the Chinese people to victory upon victory,” said Fred Engst, activist in the USCPFA and one of three speakers. “His contributions go beyond building China into a socialist country because he also exposed the development of revisionism in the Soviet Union and the need to continue the class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat.”

Engst, who was born and raised in China, knows first-hand about the damage of the “gang of four.” He pointed out that the present advances are the result of following Mao’s line.

“Chairman Mao and Premier Chou always put forward the policy of walking on two legs, grasping revolution and promoting production,” Engst said. “But the ’gang’ only wanted to jump around on one leg.”

The memorial included a reading of two of Chairman Mao’s poems that were read in English, Spanish and Chinese. Also, two short movies were shown about Chairman Mao’s home in Peking and advances in socialist construction.

The San Francisco meeting was sponsored by a broad range of groups, including among others, the San Francisco Local of the Anti-Bakke Decision Coalition (ABDC); Asian Students Union; August Twenty-Ninth Movement (M-L); Bay Area Communist Union; Committee Against Nihonmachi Evictions (CANE); Chinatown Progressive Association; Iranian Students Association; Communist Party (M-L); I Wor Kuen; La Familia Diaz; New China books; San Francisco Journal; Students for a Better Understanding of China; Seize the Time Collective; U.S.-China People’s Friendship Association; and the Xin Hua Mutual Aid Association.