Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

New York program celebrates merger of RCL (M-L-M) and LRS (M-L)

First Published: Unity, Vol. 3, No. 3, February 1-14, 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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New York – On January 26, an enthusiastic audience greeted the first of a series of nationwide public programs celebrating the recent merger of the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL M-L-M) and the League of Revolutionary Struggle (LRS M-L). Close to 300 people of different nationalities and from various mass movements packed the Adam Clayton Powell Community Center in Harlem and enjoyed a diverse program of speeches, a slide show, and revolutionary cultural performances.

One of the two main speeches by the League stated, that “The League views the merger as a significant step in the direction of achieving our goal of uniting all Marxist-Leninists in one unified communist party .... It is an expression of the development of the revolutionary movement of the peoples in this country ... . Revolutionary unity is an expression of the will of the masses for freedom and justice.”

Another League speaker talked about the history of the Black Liberation Movement. He stated, “Malcolm’s line centered around three key issues: 1) self-determination, land and power; 2) self-respect, black pride, national consciousness, national identity as Black people, as Afro-Americans, as a nation in this country; and 3) self-defense, that Black people struggle for their rights by any means necessary, including the use of force.

“Black struggle must be for self-determination in the South. It must be to control, to have political and economic control of the land.”

Revolutionary culture

Revolutionary music was provided by the Proletarian Ensemble (Infra Red Funk) from St. Louis and a group of musicians from Boston. Poetry was read by Duma Ndlovu, a revolutionary Black poet in exile from Azania (South Africa) and A.P. Matos, a longtime Puerto Rican activist.

The audience frequently gave standing ovations in response to messages delivered by the poets and musicians. The song “Women Hold Up Half the Sky” by the Proletarian Ensemble drew an ecstatic response, as did “Ode to the Third World” by the Boston musicians. The slide show on the history of the Congress of Afrikan Peoples/RCL (M-L-M) presented many historical struggles of the Black Liberation Movement and drew out many memories for a large part of the audience.

Near the conclusion of the program, the audience spontaneously cleared away chairs and formed a large circle, and sang “The Internationale” in English, Chinese and Spanish, with fists upraised.

Sustained cries of “Viva la unidad marxista-leninista!” (“Long live Marxist-Leninist unity!”) and “The people united will never be defeated!” rocked the room and drew a militant close to the program and a happy prelude to the party of over 100 people that followed.

Feedback from the masses

People involved in mass struggles were impressed with the program. A Dominican activist pointed out that “The program was very clarifying, and a step forward in the revolutionary movement in the U.S., and represented a step forward in the forming of a party.”

A Chinese woman told UNITY, “This is the best ’movement’ program that I have been to . . . the music really delivered the message . . . and I learned how the two organizations united together as equals.”

A Puerto Rican activist summed up the program, “Not since the late 1960’s-early 1970’s have I been to a program in the Marxist-Leninist movement that carried as much vitality, revolutionary spirit, and reflected such mass ties in New York City. I am talking about something genuine, not the rah rah frenzy of the ’Revolutionary Wing,’ WVO or RCP (Workers Viewpoint Organization, Revolutionary Communist Party – ed.). The negative impact of the ’Wing’ throughout the movement and the devastating impact it had on the masses and revolutionaries here in New York City in particular cannot be underestimated.

“In the audience tonight, I saw a lot of intense concentration, happy faces, and genuine involvement, openness for unity with a correct line in the communist movement. The damage of the ’Wing’ still must be undone here, and tonight represents a qualitative step forward in this process.”