Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

I Wor Kuen

S.F. Oct. 15 Marxist-Leninist speech

First Published: Getting Together, Vol. VIII, No. 11, November 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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At the San Francisco October 15th rally, the following speech was delivered on behalf of I Wor Kuen, the August Twenty-Ninth Movement, and individual Marxist Leninists participating in the Anti-Bakke Decision Coalition.

Today, thousands of people throughout the U.S. – from New York to Atlanta, from Boston to California – have taken to the streets to demand in a militant and unified voice: OVERTURN THE BAKKE DECISION! – DOWN WITH NATIONAL OPPRESSION!

This is not the first time that the masses of people have come forth in such determined resistance to national oppression. The very things which we are fighting to defend today – such as affirmative action and special admissions – were won as a result of the militant mass struggles against national oppression in the 60’s.

The oppressed nationality peoples in the U.S. have a long and rich history of struggle – struggle against the brutal system of national oppression. For it was the masses of Black slaves who made history when they dared to rise up in rebellion and shed their bleed in the front lines of the Civil War to put an end to chattel slavery. And it was the masses of Chinese railroad workers and Chicano “campesinos” who at every step stood up heroically against their oppression.

There is a fundamental law in history – that wherever there is oppression, there is resistance, and that is the struggle of the masses of people that pushes history forward. Today’s demonstration against the Bakke Decision – and all the work that has gone into preparing and mobilizing the people here today – these demonstrations fully confirm that it is the masses of people who make history.

In the same heroic tradition that the masses of oppressed nationalities, workers and students have shown through centuries of struggle, today we’ve come out in the thousands! We are determined to overturn the Bakke Decision! On every campus, in every workplace, in every community – we will continue to organize and struggle to defeat Bakke, and every single attack!

What is most significant today is that the movement to overturn the Bakke decision is taking root among the struggles of the workers, the oppressed nationalities and students. It is precisely because of this that the anti-Bakke movement has grown so rapidly in the past months.

Building the anti-Bakke movement in this way – in a way that is rooted in the day to day struggles of the people – is what will ensure that our movement will grow even stronger. And grow in a way that builds the initiative and strength of the people. In a way that step by step musters all of our forces to oppose the capitalist system of national oppression.

Building the anti-Bakke movement in this way shows us where the real power to change things lies – in unleashing the revolutionary struggle of the people.

This is where our power lies, not only to win our immediate demands and overturn the Bakke decision, but also the power to challenge and ultimately overthrow the rotten system of imperialism.

In the past, all the concessions that we have forced out of the capitalist class – reforms like affirmative action and special admissions – were all important steps forward, and we must continue to defend and expand them. But winning these reforms has also shown that reforms cannot be the final solution because nothing has fundamentally changed. Because the masses of oppressed nationality people still live in deplorable conditions; still are superexploited; their languages and cultures still are suppressed; their rights are still restricted. And every day the capitalists are stepping up their attacks – through the harassment of “la migra” and forced deportations of immigrants, police attacks on the communities, forced sterilizations and legal lynchings such as the Dawson Five.

Historically U.S. imperialism has grown and thrived upon this system of national oppression. It is imperialism which is responsible for the misery and suffering of the people. This is not only true in the U.S., but also in the other imperialist superpower in the world today, the Soviet Union – where the minority nationalities suffer under similar conditions where their rights are denied and they are subjugated as peoples in every sphere of their lives.

In, the U.S., to win genuine equality for the oppressed nationalities and an end to the suffering of the masses, we must put an end to the source of these problems – the system of imperialism. The system of imperialism must be replaced with a new society, a socialist society, which is no longer based on class exploitation and where national oppression no longer exists. Through forging the unity of oppressed nationality and workers movements under the leadership of the working class and its communist party we can bring about this socialist revolution.

We must build the anti-Bakke struggle as part and parcel of this struggle – towards making revolution and getting rid of national oppression and class exploitation once and for all!

Oppose reformism

But today, as the anti-Bakke movement is growing, there are some forces who want to take the leadership of the struggle to direct it in a way that strengthens the system of imperialism and weakens the revolutionary struggle of the masses. Liberal politicians like Andrew Young and all sorts of congressmen, mayors, city councilmen are trying to focus our attention on pressuring Carter, on channeling the mass struggle into Congress. They say that the main problem is that the Supreme Court is “too conservative”, that it is a “Nixon court”, as if somehow if we had a less conservative court our problems would be solved!

No, the anti-Bakke struggle must be built in a revolutionary way. In a way that brings forth the strength of the people. In a way that targets the capitalist class, and all its agents, including the U.C. regents, the labor bureaucrats and, capitalist politicians, And in a way that exposes the social-reformist’s illusion and myth that imperialism can somehow change through legal and electoral processes to meet the needs of the people. Only through revolution, through the violent overthrow of imperialism will national oppression be eliminated.

Today we are here demonstrating that the anti-Bakke struggle is growing and deepening in a revolutionary way, and that it will grow even more in the future.

And this growing struggle is part and parcel of the development of history which no force can stop. For all throughout the country, the struggles of the workers, oppressed nationalities and students are gaining in strength, and becoming clear as to the true nature of the capitalist system. These struggles will inevitably converge into one mighty force and topple the imperialists in socialist revolution! – the only way that we can achieve genuine liberation and an end to exploitation!