Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Party

Assassin Butkovitch on Notice

CWP Seizes Fed Bureau


First Published: Workers Viewpoint, Vol. 5, No. 28, August 4-10,1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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NEW YORK, N.Y.–At 7:45 a.m. on June 23, 1980, seven members and supporters of the Communist Workers Party took over and occupied the North Atlantic Regional Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. At first, the office receptionist refused to understand what was going on. Then, putting on a fainting spell and trying to delay the CWP, she circled around the office like she was gonna fall, while CWP supporters tried to let her to sit down in a chair. Another worker tried a John Wayne in Viet Nam stand. “Are we gonna let these communists take over?” She backed down when she was firmly told that she must go. Finally every worker was out of the office. The seven barricaded the doors.

* * *

Outside the office building, a handful more had set up a CWP picket line on the World Trade Center Plaza in support of the takeover inside. Normally the plaza at the World Trade Center is bustling with international trade companies, the Commodities Exchange and as a major transportation center even in the financial Wall Street district. Today, the SWAT teams, security and pigs had blockaded and cordoned off every entrance to the plaza. From the picket line, plainclothes cops could be seen in the distance flapping their arms, trying to shoo away two Indian women tourists in saris with cameras dangling around their necks from the handful of picketers. Because the World Trade Center towers are the tallest buildings in New York City, later the woman said. “We only wanted to see the view.”

* * *

Inside the office later that day, “negotiations” were going on between the CWP and the Secret Service. A young CWP supporter firmly set her jaw. No matter what jail sentence or torture, she said. “My sacrifice is small compared to the sacrifices of the CWP 5 who were killed fighting the Klan/Nazis and FBI.” The Secret Service agent’s face just caved in. For the first time in his life, he understood the limits of the government. He had been trained to deal with kooks, or campus rioters. He had just threatened to throw the book at this woman. Nothing had prepared him to deal with people like this. Who were these communists anyway?

Avenge the 5–The Only Solution Is Socialist Revolution

For the Klan/Nazi murders of the Communist Workers Party 5 on Nov. 3, 1979 in Greensboro. North Carolina, the CWP pins the blame directly on the U.S. government and the system of capitalism. The government was responsible not just because the Greensboro cops just sat back and watched the entire massacre but because CWP leadership had been singled out for assassination.

It isn’t enough to chase after each and every Klansman and Nazi. It’s the real fascists behind them–the U.S. government and the capitalists that cause the suffering of every single person in this country–from loss of their jobs, to their children to their marriages. The only real justice is the total end of the capitalist system and the building of a new socialist society where workers rule instead of the capitalists. On July 14, 1980, members of the National Socialist Party, U.S.A. (Nazi party) spilled their guts to a newspaper reporter. They revealed how Bernard Butkovich, an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol. Tobacco and Firearms of the U.S. Treasury Department, had infiltrated their Nazi sect before the assassination of the CWP 5. They told how the U.S. agent had sat in on the planning of the assassination and how he taught the Nazis to turn semi-automatic weapons into automatics, and how to get hand grenades. Bernard Butkovich even offered to hide the killers after the murder had been carried out.

Because the Klan/Nazi trials for the murders of the CWP 5 are going on now, the Nazis had exposed this government infiltrator in order to build up their fascist group. They hoped, by showing government infiltration, to prove that the Nazi’s are a real threat to the U.S. government. But this scum only proved that the Klan/ Nazis are only toys in the hands of the real fascists – the U.S. government. They only confirmed what the CWP had been saying all along, that the ruling class is using the Klan/Nazis as surrogates to spearhead fascism and that the government-instigated murders of the CWP 5 was only the first of stepped-up fascist attacks on the American people.

The Nazi’s only pinpointed a little more directly one government agent and agency responsible for the murders of the Five.

Bureau of Murderers

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that Bernard Butkovich got his orders from is just like the FBI and CIA that has spied on and killed American people. It’s another Bureau of Murderers and Assassins.

In the 60’s, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms conspired with the FBI, CIA and state and local police to crush the Black Panther Party through murder, arrests and infiltration. In the past, the Secret Service which is also under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, infiltrated the Klan just like the FBI informer Gary Rowe did when he shot civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo.

And this Bureau is not the only Bureau under the Treasury Department which deserves the name “dirty assassin.” From the Border Patrol hated by Mexicanos to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), all have a license from the U.S. government to harass, spy and shoot to kill. The Treasury Department controls the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center which trains federal agents from 26 agencies and 10 executive departments on how to get over on the American people through raids, arrests, search and seizure, crowd control and weapons.

The Treasury Department is one of the largest and most powerful of all the Cabinet Departments. It also has one of the largest intelligence departments of all, with a budget of $900 million, topped only by the National Security Agency. Gordon Liddy, White House assassin for Nixon, wrote that when he was a member of the Treasury Department, the “treasury agent” was the favorite and frequent cover for CIA agents operating in the U.S. and that the Department routinely issued Treasury badges and credentials to the CIA.

We took over the Bureau’s office so that the American people would know what was going on right under their noses. This Bureau just doesn’t stamp liquor bottles and packs of cigarettes. They are guilty of murdering the CWP 5 from Bernard Butkovich to William Miller, Treasury Secretary to Carter, his boss.

When we took over their office, the Secret Service admitted it. One Secret Service agent named Hank pointed his piece at a comrade standing at his post and said. “I could shoot you through this window just like we shot you in Greensboro.”

More Keystone Cops

In the face of the CWP’s offensive, the Secret Service, the Customs agents and the SWAT teams were thrown into total disarray, bureaucratic confusion and in-house squabbling.

They tried several approaches in dealing with the CWP. First, Secret Service agents tried what they call the “reasonable” approach. While they filled 6 World Trade Center with dozens of SWAT teams and police, they said, “we’re going to hit you with everything we’ve got, we’re going to come through the walls anyway, so let’s negotiate.” Next their approach was “coffee, tea or me.” offering comrades coffee. A woman agent came over and looked one young CWP supporter up and down and said. “Why don’t we go out together later?”

After all that failed, the agents got really frustrated. They turned off the air conditioning and the phones. Then they started hammering on the walls and ceilings for thirty seconds.

All these tactics were merely stalling for time. Between the three departments, Customs, Secret Service, and SWAT, none had any authority to deal with the CWP. They stalled for three hours so they could get their orders from the top in Washington, D.C. on how to proceed, while they flew in a man from Philadelphia to specially negotiate with the seven.

The ruling class is really desperate. Because the depths of their political and economic crisis is increasing fast, their total chaos and confusion is growing faster. That they must move towards fascism and centralize their repressive apparatus is inevitable. It’s also a sign of their absolute desperation.

On to the Garden Party!

The news of the CWP assault on the U.S. government spread quickly through the country.

An hour later, Chicago time, the news of the New York CWP action sent agents scurrying throughout the Federal Building locking doors and sending for reinforcements. As the CWP supporters and members stepped off the elevator, the cops and agents charged at them, swinging their billy clubs. When the press cameras started clicking away at the pigs and agents running amuck, they then charged the photographers and mauled one Chicago Sun Times reporter. Two CWP supporters were arrested when they got down to the ground floor. Another three were arrested later at a rally and press conference for raising posters of the CWP 5.

Several hours later in San Francisco, as CWP comrades marched up to the branch office, they were met at the door by a man who introduced himself as their “negotiator.” “What for?” the comrades asked, “We only came here to picket!” The CWP supporters and members set up a picket line right on the Bureau’s home turf in Washington, D.C.

The CWP struck fear into the hearts of every Bureau office across the country. When TV reporters asked the chief of the New York Bureau why the CWP left at just before 2:00, before men armed with every conceivable weapon, carrying ropes, pulleys, and power drills could storm the office, he stuttered, “Gee, I guess it was cause we turned the heat off!”

We will not let Carter, Kennedy or any of the politicians off the hook. The CWP and the American people will meet them face to face at the Democratic Convention this August in New York City!