Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Hawaii: Mao Tsetung Enrollment Hits Nerve

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First Published: Revolutionary Worker, SF Bay Area-Salinas Valley Edition, Vol. 4, No. 12, March 24, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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(WPS)–Armed with Mao Tsetung enrollment posters calling on revolutionary fighters to step forward and join the ranks of the Revolutionary Communist Party, members and supporters of the RCP prepared to go into the Mayor Wright Housing project in a working class section of Honolulu on February 17.

On the main boulevard at the outskirts of the project, before even one leaflet had been handed out, the cops attacked. One of them grabbed a woman and tried to pull a poster out of her hands. He was immediately surrounded by revolutionaries. Then all hell broke loose. Other cops came to his rescue, clubs in hand. They began swinging wildly. Back-up forces who were waiting in the wings were called in. They brought in video cameras to gather evidence for use in court. The whole thing was clearly a set-up.

More revolutionaries pulled up and piled out of their truck, followed by still more cops. The cops dove into the crowd, beating people, slamming men and women against parked cars and trucks, kicking people to the ground, using the heels of their boots to kick them in the neck. The revolutionaries went at it, fighting back hard in self-defense, as over a thousand residents from the housing project poured out of their homes.

There were 15 arrests on trumped-up charges, ranging from assault on the cops to damaging cop cars. Bail was set at $7,000 for all. The cops continued their attack in the jail. They refused the prisoners food and medical care. They turned up the air conditioners to freezing temperatures. A man was beaten in his cell; another was put in leg irons. The cops set a fire, choking everyone in their cells.

At 5 a.m. the next day, the last of the revolutionaries were released on bail. A meeting was held to decide what course of action to take. Throughout Hawaii, all eyes were on Mayor Wright and the RCP. The Party decided to “seize the time,” and while the controversy was still hot, to march right into the project. At 2 p.m., trucks and cars rolled into Mayor Wright–an army of red shirts, holding proudly a red banner emblazoned with “Dare to Stand with the RCP and Revolution!”

The word went out all over the area: “They’re back!” At each stop in the march, dozens came out to listen. At one point hundreds gathered around the revolutionaries. The Mao Tsetung enrollment poster appeared on every building and leaflets went out by the hundreds. The police tried at one point to foray into the area, but they were met with the stinging denunciations by the Party and the open wrath of the masses–angry glares, clenched fists and youths who had joined in the march bringing their own sticks. Finally the cops were forced to withdraw. Crashing bottles and loud cheers hounded them as they retreated. On this day a victory was won.