Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Party

Turn the Country Upside Down to Avenge the CWP 5!

Victory for Right to Armed Self-Defense

First Published: Workers Viewpoint, Vol. 5, No. 2, January 21, 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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On Jan. 4, charges against nine people arrested for transporting weapons to the Nov. 11th Communist Workers Party 5 funeral march in Greensboro, North Carolina were dismissed either for insufficient cause to stop them or because they were passengers in the cars. Another 14 people received convictions but were given suspended sentences of one year. This represents a victory for the Communist Workers Party and the masses in the struggle for right to armed self-defense. Despite the suspended sentences, Judge Joe Williams, a “liberal,” ordered all confiscated weapons to be destroyed and gave a condition that no one be arrested for the same charge within 5 years or the one year suspended sentence could be imposed.

These acts of selective repression such as declaring a state of emergency and obtaining a blanket search warrant were Greensboro officials attempts to stop CWP friends and supporters from attending the funeral march. These same officials allowed the Klan to come to the Nov. 3 demonstration knowing they would be armed and gave them the Nov. 3 parade permission with the provision that no one be armed. They also exposed the hollowness of our constitutional rights to bear arms.

Clearly with the Nov. 3 assassinations and the 1,000 troops pointing their guns at the funeral marchers–we would defend our right to armed self-defense at any cost. This is our political offensive. That’s why the judge could not give out harsh sentences to the marchers. One of the defendants, Tom Clark said to the judge, “My friends and comrades had gotten killed and I got wounded on Nov. 3 at the anti-Klan march which was supposed to be under police protection. On Nov. 11, I was going to make sure that 1 was ready to defend myself and I also know I have the constitutional right to bear arms.” We will appeal the conviction and defend our right to armed self-defense through to the end.

History of Armed Self-Defense Against the Klan

Police protecting the interest of the bourgeoisie and collaborating with the Klan is well known not only in the case of the Communist Workers Party 5, but also in the past. In Monroe, North Carolina during the 50’s the KKK was accompanied by two police cars when they came to attack Dr. Albert E. Perry, Vice President of the Monroe chapter of the NAACP.

Robert Williams, a staunch advocate of the people’s right to bear arms, in the 60’s, clearly sums up the experience of Afro-Americans in taking up self-defense against the Klan in Monroe, N.C. He said, “When an oppressed people show a willingness to defend themselves, the enemy, who is a moral weakling and a coward is more willing to grant concessions and work for a respectable compromise. They are most vicious and violent when they can practice violence with impunity. This we have shown in Monroe.”

Williams also elaborated on the role of the state in Monroe. “The lawful authorities of Monroe and North Carolina acted to enforce order only after, and as a direct result of our being armed. Previously they had connived with the KKK in the racist violence against our people. Self-defense prevented bloodshed and forced the law to establish order.”

Upside Down Justice

Though the funeral marchers could not be sentenced harshly, their convictions alone stand as a stark example of the upside down justice of the bourgeoisie. On Dec. 13, 1979 Rayford Caudle, one of the Nazi leaders on the day of the assassinations was not only released but all charges against him were dropped by the grand jury under the direction of the district attorney. This Nazi was not only present on the day of Nov. 3 but he owned many of the weapons taken after the shooting. The weapons were in a car owned by Caudle. This is the same Rayford Caudle who had told Joe Grady of Winston-Salem, Grand Dragon of the White Knights of liberty, that “one person, not a Klansman, brought most of the weapons to Greensboro, . . . The man was not supposed to go to the rally point but knew who was to be shot.” (Nov. 6, Winston-Salem Journal) The district attorney has claimed that Caudle was in a car which had already passed through the crime scene before the shooting started. But the real reason for these actions is that the state wants to drop all conspiracy to commit murder charges and keep the people from knowing how the police and FBI helped the Klan/Nazis set up the assassinations. By just focusing on the “shoot out” as the bourgeoisie puts it, it can escape answering many of the questions people are asking like “where were the police?” This is all part of their continuing coverup and attempt to blame the CWP for provoking the “shoot out” rather than admitting the calculated assassinations.