Never cross a picket line: confronting chauvinism and revisionism

Never cross a picket line: confronting chauvinism and revisionism

Never cross a picket line: confronting chauvinism and revisionism

Recently we were made aware of some organizations crossing a community picket line drawn against all the new gentrifying art galleries, breweries and the arch-comprador bourgeois nonprofit Self-Help Graphics & Art (SHG) in Boyle Heights. While many people and organizations out of ignorance have not honored the boycott since it was initiated by Defend Boyle Heights (DBH) in 2016, local or formerly-associated organizations cannot hide behind the same ignorance.

All individuals and organizations, regardless of their political stripe, which break a community-led picket line materially side with capitalism and the poverty pimps of the comprador bourgeois nonprofits who dupe the masses.

All individuals and organizations who are not genuinely informed about the fight against gentrification in Boyle Heights – although the movement’s echoes have reached the ears of comrades overseas – must quickly be brought up to speed on the matter: honor the boycott called by DBH!

All individuals and organizations, while knowing exactly what they do, stand against the precarious proletariat and the allied classes and sectors of Boyle Heights. They choose to stand with all these anti-proletarian institutions.

We find it particularly worrisome that self-proclaimed Marxists and anti-imperialist organizations would be included in the list of scabs. But such is the dark marsh where revisionism and national chauvinism leads you.

Presently, these groups are the Filipino solidarity countrywide organization Bayan USA, the reformist Boyle Heights-based community service organization Centro CSO and the local chapter of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization – Fight Back, all who will be present at the “48th Annual Chicano Moratorium Commemoration” at SHG. Centro CSO is the lead organization putting on the commemoration, soiling the militant principals of the original anti-imperialist Chicano Moratorium and the moratorium’s three Chicano martyrs, Ruben Salazar, Lyn Ward and Angel Gilberto Diaz.

The revisionist Avakianite Revolutionary “Communist” Party USA is also guilty of betraying the masses of Boyle Heights. Their Party-generated coalition, Refuse Fascism, disregarded the boycott against SHG and held their Los Angeles chapter public meeting there in January of this year. Several (several!) supporters of RGLA informed us that they were in communication with Refuse Fascism – Los Angeles and advised them to honor the boycott. But it all fell on deaf, Avakianite ears.

They, too, would benefit by reading our open letter. They, too, should keep their poisonous revisionism out of Boyle Heights. We are already up to our ears in it.

But revisionism is a poison whose only antidote is the fury of the revinidicating militarized masses initiated by Communists. Revisionism does not yield to pleas or open letters; it only moves when we move it; it only falls when we push it; it only dies when we kill it.

Internationalists must align with the oppressed masses of Boyle Heights

Internationalism is a core tenant of Maoism – having always existed deep inside Marxism and Marxism-Leninism. It is our very slogan, taken from the pages of the Communist Manifesto – “Workers of the world, unite!” Not only workers of the Philippines. Not only workers of the Chicano Nation. Not only workers of the Black Nation. All Communists fight, not exclusively for their nation, but for the world’s proletariat. No one nation can have Communism until all nations have Communism, and that nations cease to exist.

The Communist Party of Peru (PCP in Spanish) was exemplary in its internationalism, by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the international proletariat in attacking the embassies of the capitalist-imperialist U.S., reactionary capitalist-ascending India, the social-imperialist Soviet Union and their lapdog Cuba in Peru. Additionally, the PCP regularly directed their public messages to the masses of the U.S., of Spain, of the world. This is true proletarian internationalism. But unfortunately these lessons are lost on many organizations and even Parties within the International Communist Movement.

As made public through Centro CSO’s social media, Bayan USA was invited by Centro CSO to tonight’s commemoration of the Chicano Moratorium held at SHG. This was recently made public only a few days prior to the event, but boasted by Centro CSO. Instead of aligning with the masses and revolutionary organizations in Boyle Heights, most notably DBH, Bayan USA ventures into national chauvinism. Seemingly, they would rather use the opportunity at tonight’s commemoration to propagate their message of Filipino solidarity at the expense of honoring the boycott against SHG and aligning with the masses of Boyle Heights.

What does the boycott mean? Why is it important? Did Bayan USA know about it before hand?

Let us start with an answer to the last question if Bayan USA knew about the boycott. We received word that Bayan USA was contacted immediately and asked that very question. In addition they were requested not to cross the picket line like scabs, pull out from the event and issue a public self-criticism so that other organizations and individuals, but principally the former, would not commit the same egregious mistakes. As of yet, they have not responded. We also received word that a member of a Canadian chapter of Anakbayan, the youth-and-student wing of the Filipino National Democratic solidarity movement, also knew about Bayan USA disregarding the boycott as well.

Nonetheless we are hopeful that Bayan USA will issue a public statement and fully unite with the boycott called by DBH and the masses of Boyle Heights, in particular the Chicano, indigenous and Black masses whose nations are occupied by the settler-colonialist U.S.

However, it is troubling to believe Bayan USA knew about the boycott against SHG prior to agreeing to be present at tonight’s event. In the past, RGLA has either worked closely or has been fraternal with Bayan USA as well as different local chapters of Anakbayan. We have co-hosted events together. We have broken bread together. We have discussed politics together. And, yes, over the years our relationship(s) have deteriorated. But through close acquaintances plugged into the Filipino National Democratic solidarity movement as well as different social struggles in Los Angeles, as well as the near-viral presence of DBH on social media, it is highly improbable that Bayan USA did not know about the boycott against SHG. Nonetheless, we are hopeful the organization will respond.

As for why this is important? Gentrification, as an acute and hyper-localized manifestation of capitalism, is driving out scores of the proletariat and the oppressed masses from our communities, such as Boyle Heights. Militant organizations have formed over the recent years, some guided or inspired by revolutionaries, to fight back against the bourgeois’ attacks on the proletariat. In the Chicano Nation, the Southwest, the masses and their organizations are predominately immigrant, Black, Chicano (native) and indigenous.

Particularly in Boyle Heights the resistance to gentrification has an anti-capitalist mass character with countrywide and international support. All revolutionary Marxist and anti-imperialist organizations in the country should stand shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with the militant resistance of the masses of Boyle Heights.

The boycott is well-publicized. The boycott is a basic point of unity that all revolutionary organizations, especially in Los Angeles, should observe. What is an organization without active solidarity? It is concerning that Bayan USA would agree to appear at an event honoring the Chicano Moratorium in solidarity with the Chicano Nation while they step foot into a disgraceful institution plagued by real estate agent/lawyers on the board of directors (Alfred Fraijo, Jr.) who actively with big landlords like Vera Campbell are co-parceling sections of Boyle Heights to the highest bidder.

SHG is a comprador-bourgeois institution directly benefiting off of the misery and oppression of the proletariat. And SHG dares to talk, with fork tongue, of social justice and “decolonization.” They uphold capitalism. They act as ideological as well as material instrument of capitalism. They posture as part of an anti-capitalist, indigenous-based movement. But they more accurately represent brown or native capitalism.

As anti-imperialist mass organizations in solidarity with the Filipino National Democratic Revolutionary movement, Bayan USA must stand in solidarity with the masses of Boyle Heights and the Chicano Nation.

We encourage Bayan USA to reflect on their erroneous and egregious crossing of DBH’s picket line, a boycott supported by the masses of Boyle Heights, against SHG. We encourage Bayan USA to write a public statement of support of the boycott against SHG and other gentrifiers, as well as a public self-criticism explaining what led them to cross the picket line tonight.

FRSO-FB and Centro CSO: traitors to the masses of Boyle Heights

We now turn our attention to FRSO-FB. They have had a close fraternal history with the Filipino National Democratic Revolutionary movement for a long time. They, too, are careless with their supposed anti-imperialist solidarity manifestations. They posture as being revolutionary but would, with a clear conscious, cross the picket line to appear at Centro CSO’s Chicano Moratorium commemoration. But FRSO-FB is far more vicious because they organize in Boyle Heights and are direct supporters of Centro CSO. There is no room for doubt that FRSO-FB, like Centro CSO, crossed the picket line knowingly. They merit a merciless response.

FRSO-FB traces their lineage to the New Communist Movement, and specifically the anti-revisionist Chicano organizations like the August 29th Movement and the League of Revolutionary Struggle (Marxist-Leninist). They, in theory, should know better than to betray the very Chicano Nation they are supposed to be in full support of. They, in theory, should have observed the boycott as a supposed pro-immigrant organization. But how can you say you’re pro-immigrant when the vast majority of the masses in Boyle Heights are proletarian immigrant renters who face almost-daily displacement? How can you do that while you cross the threshold into the gentrification-obscuring arts nonprofit machine of SHG?

The answer is simple: treacherous revisionism and ignorance or national chauvinism are the reasons these organizations would disregard the local revolutionary struggle.

Imagine if the Red Guards Movement were to hold a conference at a building in the Philippines whose workers were on strike or on Lumad land where local indigenous organizations have prohibited entry. Even if we were unaware, we would be deserving of serious criticism.

But revisionism is red capitalism. It is Marxist only in name. At its core it perhaps is even more dangerous than raw and exposed capitalism because it sells the masses, and some revolutionaries, promises of socialism subtracting the inconveniences of revolutionary Marxism.

To the “left” organizations: your capitalist poison is not welcomed in Boyle Heights                

Stay out.

If you cannot conduct yourselves as careful visiting guests, cautious not to cross community picket lines, or if you antagonize our revolutionary organizations and initiatives, you are best advised to stay out of Boyle Heights. No one wants your brand of “leftist” capitalism. The masses do not clamor for the modified capitalism-sold-as-“socialism” peddled by the Democratic Socialists of America, or the New Synthesis of the RCPUSA, or the standard revisionism of FRSO-FB, or any rat-political poison from any of the hundreds of irrelevant “left” organizations.

Revisionism has to be combated. At the current juncture of the Party building movement we see two types of revisionists: 1. the lower level – those who are novice Marxists finding themselves in a confused state of grasping onto whatever group claiming the ideology of Marxism, and 2. the firm and belligerent leadership of revisionist formations. The former must be struggled against and they must be won over to Maoism. The latter must be attacked by any means necessary in accordance with the specific circumstances and conditions. If the objective conditions do not give mass support on attacks on revisionists, then the subjective conditions must be built for this end. Without mass support and participation anti-revisionism is incomplete. In the future when the People’s War is launched by the Maoist Communist Party the remaining consolidated and staunch revisionists must be seen a s firmly in the camp of reaction. What does an enemy deserve in warfare? With an escalation of class struggle so too will measures be taken to preserve revolutionary forces and annihilate the enemies forces.

For those in attendance tonight who may not be aware of the boycott, stop patronizing SHG. Reach out to DBH or any of its member-organizations for clarification or ways you can support or get directly involved in the militant fight against gentrification.

And to the “left” organizations: you are not welcomed in Boyle Heights. As our comrades in DBH say to the gentrifiers and sellouts, get the fuck out!

Long live Defend Boyle Heights!

Long live the militant masses of Boyle Heights! 

Long live the Red Guards!

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The masses demand revolution; our task is to give that to them; our fate is sealed in the glory of this condemnation

The masses demand revolution; our task is to give that to them; our fate is sealed in the glory of this condemnation

The following is a speech given by supporters of Red Guards – Los Angeles earlier today, May Day 2018, in Boyle Heights. The rally and march was one of the only independent and militant attempts at rescuing May Day from the claws of the bourgeoisie and its revisionist lackeys.

Police presence was astonishing with dozens of cruisers on the streets surrounding the march-bloc, helicopters overhead and California Highway Patrol blocking freeway offramps. Pigs in riot gear and in formation were salivating for a confrontation, but remained still and confused like stupid dogs.

They were expecting an all-out war but we only, merely reaffirmed the war already in existence. Nonetheless, we out maneuvered the pigs, blockaded several streets as the march-bloc continued onward, regrouped to go over strategy.

Lessons to draw from today are plenty. But the main one is that all actions must be seen as militarized operations in preparation for revolution. Capitalism is death. Revolution is life. We aim to live!

The Haymarket massacre and its martyrs: remember this day that enshrined May Day into its historic place back in 1886 when thousands of workers organized and organized strikes for an eight-hour workday and revolution. On that same day pigs killed four workers and charged anarchists with conspiracy and sentenced six to death. Since then it has been 132 years, and what has become of this day?

Maoism teaches us that sometimes things turn into their opposites.

May Day has become a state sanctioned parade with pig escorts, with the labor aristocracy at the forefront holding hands with the treacherous comprador nonprofit poverty pimps who poison our people and the working class everyday with their sugar-coated bullets. A day that is supposed to commemorate the international proletariat! A day that is supposed to commemorate the working classes of the oppressed nations and internal colonies, those who face white national oppression and capitalist-imperialist exploitation! A day where we are supposed to show our power, has become another day for sloganeering; it has become another day for revisionist to posture, bark empty demands, and show their oppressors that they have no teeth with which to bite.

We stand in solidarity with the Red Guards and principally Maoist collectives who are working towards the creation of the Maoist Party. We stand in solidarity with Maoist parties across the world who are committed to building socialism and fighting revisionism through People’s War!

The white chauvinist left has been absent from national liberation struggles of the colonized indigenous nations, forced into the ghettos, the barrios, the reservations, the prisons or the grave. The proletariat and its allied sectors and classes continue to suffer from hunger, unemployment, homelessness, patriarchal violence and overall viciousness accelerated by the continuing and sharpening capitalist crises such as overproduction, under-consumption, drop in capitalist profits, stagnation of wages, while the US leeches off the laboring masses of the proletariat of the oppressed nations of the Global South.

No longer can we squalor this day! No longer can the people continue to receive the short end of the stick from the US. What do we have? Nothing! What do we want! Everything! We shouldn’t speak in the abstract. What needs to be done is the concentric construction of the three weapons of revolution: the Maoist Party, the Maoist People’s Army, and the Maoist United Front. What needs to be done is to militarize the masses and all the pre-Party Maoist formations!

Through Serve the People – Los Angeles and its course in mobilizing the masses for revolution through its People’s Committees and its anti-ICE defense units, we are unshakable with optimism that the seeds of the People’s Army have already been planted and that each day, each new step in the class struggle led by Serve the People – Los Angeles, shall we see those seeds germinate into an unstoppable armed, disciplined and centralized army!

Through the women’s popular defense units we will soon see proletarian feminism emerging in quantifiable and invincible progress, neutralizing the enemies of the people who prey on proletarian women, especially from the internal colonies, organizing the fury of proletarian women to unleash it as a force of revolution, wiping out all reaction, from the exploitation at the centers of production to the oppression of the residual patriarchy that reproduces itself in the home, in abusive relationships and from the repressive state apparatuses.

We who uphold the universality of Protracted People’s War must begin training and casting off the revisionist gossamer of pushing off armed struggle into a far-off future, until the conditions are so-called right. It is rightism, and hence a betrayal to the people, to hold off on the construction of the People’s Army until U.S. capitalism becomes even more reactionary. The masses do not yearn for the instant gratification of spontaneous leaderless riots. They yearn for revolutionary structure and leadership of proven selfless revolutionaries and a concrete strategy.

We must prepare today, yesterday and tomorrow for the prolong confrontation, the protracted war, against the capitalist state. We must carry out military actions against the enemies of the people! We must steel ourselves in the fire of class struggle everywhere it is in its sharpest stages – such as production and housing.

Comrades! Los Angeles! Boyle Heights! On this May Day, we not only hoist the scarlet banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, but make it known that this is a reaffirmation of the escalation of the strategic defensive into equilibrium in the war against gentrification! A war that is part of the larger Protracted People’s War getting ready to be born every day Maoist build links with the masses and carry out the mass line, which contains revolutionary violence, as the vehicle to revolution!

We declare war against all things poisonous to the people and our revolutionary cause. War on gentrifiers! War on parasitic slumlords! War on real estate vultures! War on capitalist developers! War on local government sellouts like the city council! War against local vendidos who put their own interests, lining their pockets with the blood-money of the oppressed and exploited, instead of the benefit of the people. War on the treacherous revisionists who masquerade themselves as radicals or revolutionaries who claim to be “communists,” “Marxists,” “Marxist-Leninists,” even some who falsely claim allegiance to “Maoism.” War on the fascists, while currently in decline, continue to militarize into paramilitary organizations! War on the enemies of the people!

If we are not concentrically constructing the Maoist Party, the Maoist People’s Army and the Maoist United Front, while militarizing the masses and our pre-Party formations, then there is no defense against gentrification, against ICE, against those that have been brutalized and exploited for centuries. The only salvation to the proletariat, in this country, in its oppressed nations like in our Chicano Nation, and outside of this country, is the militarized masses and the firestorm of Maoism!

To quote El Partido Comunista del Peru who held the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, high on this day:

We asked ourselves, how will we develop the Party? A plain and simple response is: Through armed struggle.

The masses dream of revolution, of revindication. Our country’s working class knows only two roads: barbarism or socialism. And both require violence but only in the latter is that violence revolutionary and mastered by the proletariat, its Party and the masses.

On May 17, 1980, after the Party’s First Military School held on April 19, El Partido Comunista del Peru initiated the armed struggle, the People’s War, and released a document to forever-commemorate that glorious day in history, In it, they said and we repeat:

The masses tremble, the flood tide rises, and the storm approaches. Reaction in this country as well as in the world, also dreams of soaking the revolution with blood and fire, of drowning it in blood. These are old, dark, and violent dreams. They are not facing the same situation as yesterday.

Our task is clear: only through revolutionary violence can the masses create real political power! As we continue to fulfill this task the lines of demarcation between us and our enemies of every stripe begin to take form. As we, genuine communists, Maoists, prove ourselves to the masses and fully immerse ourselves in their lives and struggles which is part of the larger class struggle, these self-proclaimed but fake “revolutionaries,” these revisionists and all other enemies, begin to be thrown away like the rotting waste that they are.

Nada es imposible!

Comrades, we have seen and been heavily involved in the developments within Boyle Heights. From the victories on the anti-gentrification front, it becomes evident that the path we are traveling is the correct one. With the working class tenant front in Boyle Heights, it becomes evident that the masses yearn for blood, for vengeance and liberation! The masses are fighting back and we will guide them toward victory through revolutionary violence and warfare!

Que viva Los Guardias Rojos!

Que viva El Marxismo-Leninismo-Maoismo, principalmente Maoismo!

Que viva las masas!

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Long live International Working Women’s Day: Build the Women’s Guerrilla Defense Unit!

FeaturedLong live International Working Women’s Day: Build the Women’s Guerrilla Defense Unit!

As sure as light exists in relation to darkness, so to does life come from death.

Today on International Working Women’s Day we must honor the fallen women revolutionaries as well as the proletarian and nationally-oppressed women whose lives were taken by the brutal patriarchal dictatorship of the bourgeoisie – in the U.S. but also abroad.

Today on International Working Women’s Day we must honor the memory of working women everywhere who fight for communism and who give their lives for the people. We ought to riot in celebration of proletarian women, especially those currently engaging in Protracted People’s Wars: the women of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, the women of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, the women of the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist and the Liberation Army of the Workers and Peasants of Turkey. As well as all the past revolutionary Maoist women of the Movimiento Feminino Popular and the women leaders of the Communist Party of Peru and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the People’s Liberation Army.

Here in the U.S. prison house of internal colonies, working women of the Chicano, Black and native nations are triply oppressed: exploited by imperialism, nationally oppressed by settler-colonialism capitalism, and oppressed by murderous patriarchy.

Here in Boyle Heights, working Chicano, New Afrikan, Central American and immigrant women are reminded daily of their oppression and mortality. The reality of the stratified and oppressor capitalist country is that many times the murders of working women are committed by their male counterparts. In Los Angeles – in Boyle Heights and other areas in the county – young proletarian women have been brutally abused then killed by the hands of their own lovers, family or friends, some of which are high class traitors of the lumpen-proletariat – middle-to-big drug dealers, repeat women abusers, extortionist parasites on the immigrant working class of their very own neighborhoods.

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Some of the names of the fallen women of Los Angeles over the past years are: Michelle Lozano, Lorenza Arellano, Bree’ Ana Guzman, Kasandra Ochoa, Cindi Santana, Mabel Castillo, Briana Gallegos, Gabriela Calzada, Karina Luna, and all the countless other young working women relegated to Jane Does in the county morgue.  

This year, only three months in, there has been at least two reported homicides in Los Angeles – the first one was a woman killed, chopped up and her remains burned under the 5 Freeway in Northeast LA. The other was found stabbed with her throat sliced open in a park in Sylmar. Both in February.

It is a horrific reminder of the life-or-death precarious and oppressed position women hold under patriarchal capitalism-imperialism. Women, especially proletarian oppressed-nationality women, are literally being disposed of, like used-up parts of a machine.

This is why supporters and attendees of Red Guards – Los Angeles’ “Unlearning Patriarchy” series based out of La Conxa have decided on taking our collective proletarian feminist political development over the past several months, closing in on a year, and applying it to our reality in Boyle Heights.

With the participation of the Ovarian Psyco-Cycles we will be starting a Boyle Heights proletarian Women’s Guerrilla Defense Unit open to all genders but with a principal focus on proletarian oppressed nationality women.

The unit will be one part internal self-defense training for women, one part external (public) self-defense training for women, one part political development – all united principally under the philosophy that only through revolutionary vengeance/violence is it possible for proletarian women and their allies to be transformed and emancipated from patriarchal capitalism-imperialism.

Patriarchy cannot be simply unlearned. We must literally arm ourselves and go to war with U.S. capitalism.

So we have to be clear: Patriarchy, like capitalism and colonization, is inescapable. It lives with capitalism like a permanent marriage. To talk of “unlearning” or “deconstructing” patriarchy is pointless postmodernist babble and we self-criticize for not making our monthly series more revolutionary and free from the treachery of capitalist postmodernism. The individual does not exist as something separate from capitalism. It is only through the destruction of the old system, the creation of a new one with a different mode of production, one not exclusively based on the production of commodities, that we can really exercise a more equal gender practice.

We want, and need, a feminism based exclusively on working-class women. Not left to die in the cold hallways of academia. Because everything else flattens the contradictions among women from different classes, which liquidates revolution and builds false reform and treacherous peace with the multi-gendered enemy. In other words, any feminism that doesn’t prioritize working-class women – and we would argue furthermore on indigenous, Chicano and Black working-class women – participating in revolution, supports capitalism. If attacked, we must attack.

We have to initiate offensive attacks, as part of a larger defensive stage in our preparatory sub-stage of war. We have to hit. We have to hit hard. Women have to hit. Women have to hit hard. It is through severe punishment – but a revolutionary kind which we call revolutionary violence – that the enemy is subdued, even momentarily, or completely neutralized.

Revolutionary martyrdom is unavoidable because going to war against capitalism, imperialism and settler-colonialism is the condemned duty of all exploited and oppressed people. So we say glory to those who gave and give their lives to the masses and the revolution. Glory to the immortal women martyrs who shall be honored by their international comrades taking up arms and taking up their positions in their military units and Party positions.

A proletarian Women’s Guerrilla Defense Unit is not enough in and of itself. This unit must be thought of as the seed planted for the growing all-gender working-class revolutionary army to carry out the highest point we can aspire to: a revolutionary soldier in the coming Protracted People’s War.

The time for activism is over. Now is the time of war.

Long live International Working Women’s Day!

Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism!

Long live the Women’s Guerrilla Defense Unit!

 

 

 

 

 

From rebellion to war: escalate the anti-gentrification strategic defensive to equilibrium!

FeaturedFrom rebellion to war: escalate the anti-gentrification strategic defensive to equilibrium!

From rebellion to war: escalate the anti-gentrification strategic defensive to equilibrium!

At the meeting and march called for by the Defend Boyle Heights coalition approximately three weeks ago titled “For the Love of the Hood,” on Feb. 7, advances were made but setbacks were also experienced. The following is a summation of the night by the leaders of the militant march-bloc, Red Guards – Los Angeles (RGLA).

The growing presence of pigs in the war against gentrification

By approximately 5 p.m. LAPD Hollenbeck Division pigs were already closely monitoring the meeting as DBH supporters were setting up chairs, tables and other materials for the evening at Mariachi Plaza. A white Dodge Charger with uniformed pigs was parked nearby. Pigs walked up to DBH supporters to suggest that the march be contained to the sidewalk and that the meeting’s organizers communicate with the pigs. Most people refused communication with the pigs except for a guest speaker who, not knowing any of the evening’s plans, answered as vaguely as possible. Toward the end of the DBH-led public meeting, the facilitators announced a plan to march in Boyle Heights without disclosing the route, its destination or leadership.

The plan, as it was revealed, was to march to the art galleries in the so-called “arts district” of Boyle Heights and focus on the main target, the new breweries. A polemic against the breweries and gentrification in general issued by DBH had been released the day prior and a Facebook event page for the public meeting at Mariachi Plaza had been made public for close to a month. While it acted as a rallying call for militants and defenders of the community and masses to come out, it, in the end, hindered the militancy of the march. Hollenbeck Division pigs were adequately prepared as they have a seemingly good, but incomplete, understanding of the high level of militancy of the Boyle Heights anti-gentrification movement. We say they have a good understanding of the all-around growing militancy of the movement, but it is incomplete because they do not grasp its essence. They do not fully understand the high-level of discipline and naked revolutionary selflessness of the movement’s soldiers, who have shed the dead skin of their activism.

The time for activism is over. Now is the time of war. 

Hollenbeck Division pigs ended up attempting to escort the RGLA led march-bloc with police cruisers, undercover Ford Crown Victorias and Dodge Chargers following closely behind, in the front and waiting on most corners – with one or two exceptions. Although the route had not been announced, it was fairly evident the marchers were going toward most of the big-name art galleries.

The first stop was at Chicano comprador bourgeois institution Self-Help Graphics & Art. RGLA gave a brief overview and analysis of the institution’s class and Chicano Nation traitors, specifically naming Alfred Fraijo, Jr. as one of the principal enemies of the people for his carrying out evictions against proletarian immigrants and Chicanos in the community, as well as his loyal lapdog (comprador) servitude to arch-gentrifier Vera Campbell – one of the richest capitalist-gentrifiers in Boyle Heights.

The militants, then, carried on with the rest of the route. But the pig presence continued, if not increased. RGLA operation leaders created scenarios in the event of the pigs showing up at the start of the march. One scenario, as some militants had addressed the marchers during a brief strategic retreat midway in the march, was to end the march early and scatter. But it had been decided to carry on with the march for two reasons: 1.) because the goal was still within reach – all-out intimidation of the gentrifiers residing in the arts district and confronting the breweries at the end of the arts district’s gallery row near 7th and Anderson, and 2.) earlier in the evening, at the end of the DBH meeting, there was a collective oath taken by the vast majority of the attendees at the meeting to defend Boyle Heights – the vast majority made up by the advanced and intermediary sections of the masses of Boyle Heights and Los Angeles would fight by any means necessary, up to and including laying down their lives and risking imprisonment – against the strategic offensive of the collaborationist state-and-non-state gentrifiers and their pig army.

This was not a civic expression of exercising freedom of speech and assembly as the bourgeois activist would say. The two above-mentioned reasons were the guiding philosophy of the military operation.

In the end, it was evident and proven correct to not abandon the operation. The goal was enthusiastically fulfilled.

Necessary risks for a necessary outcome

As mentioned earlier there was a steady presence of pigs in the rear and front of the march-bloc. Therefore, the operation leaders reverted to an auxiliary plan with a near-immediate adjustment. While the plan succeeded in fulfilling the objective and fulfilling the goal of the operation, its errors were dangerous because it did not take into account certain scenarios. For that very reason it put comrades more at risk. Nonetheless, in adherence to the march-bloc’s collective oath, it was decided that the risk was necessary, come what may, pig baton, arrest or worse.

It was evident that attempts were made to evade and obstruct police presence, which included a breaking off and sprinting en masse from the pigs and quickly changing route to the front of 356 Mission. This on-the-spot sprint worked momentarily. In a hurried speech, hurried because pig cruisers could be seen surrounding the march-bloc, another analysis was offered by RGLA and a DBH supporter as to why 356 Mission remains another principal enemy of the people, specifically naming capitalist-gentrifier Gavin Brown and petite-bourgeois artist Laura Owens.

But overall, the march-bloc’s speed was no match for the speed of the police cruisers. Many militants were out of breath. Militants and allies shared concerns over their state of health and physical fitness. Some were overheard to have said that they would here on out smoke less, exercise more, etc., to essentially militarize.

Another stop was at artist live-in lofts where militants launched heavy trash on top of cars over a tall wrought-iron fence. Other militants shook the fence, repeatedly slammed a dumpster with heavy debris. The goal was to ensure the lofts residents were awake and aware of the march-bloc and its thirst for revolutionary violence.

Gentrifier-hipsters were terrified. The pigs were seen shining lights on hipsters walking out of or around the art galleries and breweries, being told to go inside, to probably lock the doors, and stay away from the windows. This was emergency code red for gentrifiers.

If it wasn’t clear to any of the masses in attendance in the march-bloc, this example made it evident that the pigs only exist in capitalist society for the protection of private property and the oppressor sectors and classes.

During the march and operation, rear and mid-section militants moved tires, street sandwich boards, traffic cones, and rolled dumpsters into the street to momentarily delay and block following police cruisers.

Final confrontation at breweries

The march-bloc eventually reached its last stop, the newly-named enemies of the people, the breweries. This is where pig confrontation increased but still remained overall tame. Due precisely to the close proximity of pig presence there was minimal disruption and damage against the enemy.

This is where perhaps the most bold and daring actions were taken by the RGLA-led march-bloc as part of the operation. It is unclear exactly what damages had taken place, but many public posts on social media or in-person reports claimed militants launched heavy items into a brewery, walls, windows and other property, and vandalized vehicles, – including “Fuck hipsters” spray-painted on a nearby car. However, the enemy has yet to furnish any proof. Without proof, we cannot say it actually occurred. Nonetheless, confrontation ensued but ultimately nothing major came out of it other than a few angry and traumatized gentrifier-hipsters. One was seen praying or meditating with his palms pressed together in the face of the protesters, seemingly as a bourgeois symbol of meaningless protest. This is not a joke. It is a sign of desperate times for the enemies of the people.

While the last action of the overall operation was fine, it was not satisfactory. The people wanted more, but the pigs were too close to truly unleash the full fury of the masses and militants. Even so, we applaud the actions of the march-bloc.

While the enemy, the gentrifier-hipsters, did not flee en masse, one jeep did quickly load up its passengers, busted a U-turn and sped down Anderson and 7th.

The spark of the anti-gentrification war will ignite the prairie fire of Protracted People’s War

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In the end, the march-bloc disengaged and walked toward 7th Street. It was reflected and agreed upon in a quick debrief that the fighting had been too fair. The RGLA operation leaders addressed the two different types of violence, revolutionary violence and reactionary violence. We said the only way to resist gentrification and capitalism is through the mastery and popularization of revolutionary violence. The march-bloc enthusiastically agreed.

An analysis was laid out on the state of the gentrification war in Boyle Heights. The militants are small. The enemy is not. The militants strength, while commendable, is comparatively weak. The enemy’s is not. The militant’s are poorly armed. The enemy is not. This is the less concerning, for as Maoists we know armament comes when politics are kept in command in building up the masses. But, in the final analysis, both camps powers are dialectically related and changing. As one grows strong, the other is beaten down to a weaker level.

Currently, the method of warfare is mobile guerrilla tactics, correlating appropriately with the anti-gentrification war’s stage of strategic defensive.

In our analysis, the militants will not fight fair and for that we all will win.

We, however, have to offer a self-criticism for ignoring the original plans without having fully developed auxiliary plans. Because of that, their was great potential for one or more comrades being arrested, hurt or worse, during that action. While in war loses are unavoidable, we as operation leaders will do a better job of gaining mastery in military operational planning and reducing the risks of loses as much as possible.

RGLA, the militants and the masses are invincible because we have proven our character as militants of a growing army, forged in the fire of struggle. We are subordinate to highly-centralized and disciplined organizational body, RGLA, guided by the invincible ideology of Maoism. We are popularly supported by the advanced and intermediary sections of the masses.

These military operations are part of a larger preparation in the coming Protracted People’s War (PPW). The militants and certain sectors of the masses appear to be transforming into soldiers, into the future soldiers of the People’s Army.

As Maoists, we see the initiation of the PPW not as a far-removed date in time, but rather as a life-or-death test we are in constant conditioning for. Military operations, like the one mentioned in this summation, should be seen as an application of one of the most important aspects of Maoism, the universality of PPW. As a universality, it exists everywhere, all the time, with or without anyone’s acknowledgement, just like gravity or the air with breathe. In order to fully carry out PPW successfully, it must be weilded by a genuine principally Maoist Communist Party, with the anti-revisionist United Front combining the militarized masses with the militarized Party, and the People’s Army also made up of soldiers who are Party militants and mass militants.  

It is evident that the line of demarcation has been drawn. The question was asked, the oath posed, at the DBH event by the meeting’s facilitator, “How many of you will do whatever is necessary to defend the masses of Boyle Heights?” Almost unanimously those 40-to-50 in attendance thrusted their hands up to the night sky. The line is being drawn by the militants and masses – and this action acted as one solidification. There can be no middle-of-the-roaders in the war against gentrification. There only exist two lines, that of fighting against gentrification wielding the invincibility of revolutionary violence or supporting the reactionary violence of the state-and-non-state gentrifiers.

We as Maoists will not wait for the war to become soldiers. We are becoming soldiers every day, in and outside of small and big operations, and in serving the people. These anonymous masked militants and the masses embolden our efforts, our guiding ideology and our conviction. Militarize all the pre-Party Maoist formations in the country! Militarize the masses of the country! Grasp Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism!

Long live the anonymous masked militants and the masses who risk their freedom and lives for the defense of Boyle Heights!

Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism!

Long live the building of the Communist Party, the United Front and the People’s Army!

Avenge the Kalief Browders and Jesse Romeros of the U.S.: toward revolt, away from reform

Avenge the Kalief Browders and Jesse Romeros of the U.S.: toward revolt, away from reform

What does the tragic story of Kalief Browder and his family say about white supremacy and U.S. national oppression? What does the tragic story of 14-year-old Jesse Romero say about U.S. capitalism?

Because it is white supremacy that incarcerated 2.4 million New Afrikans in 2014, making up 34 percent of the inmate population. New Afrikans, although a minority making up 12 percent of the country’s population, are the most over-represented ethnicity/nationality in jails or prisons. One in 15 New Afrikans are currently behind bars.

Because it is U.S. capitalism that commodifies all things and dehumanizes all people. It is mobile and virus-like, growing wherever it detects a vulnerability. Here, in Boyle Heights, U.S. capitalism’s most local and honed manifestation in the eastside of Los Angeles is gentrification. It is gentrification that materially displaces proletarians, mainly oppressed nationality proletarians, and other oppressed groups, and ideologically reinforces that violence through its cultural hegemony. It was U.S. capitalism, specifically gentrification, that murdered 14-year-old Chicanx youth Jesse Romero in cold blood in 2016. Fifteen people have been killed in Boyle Heights since 2016, all Chicanxs or more recent immigrants.

Gentrification needs to literally displace and dispose of bodies, of undesirables, of used-up proletarians and the oppressed. First, the gentrifiers will buy the original petite-bourgeoisie out of the working class neighborhood and prepare the area for the new petite-bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie, often majority Euro-Americans, and as this transitioning is happening, agents of the state commit colonial-style cleansing by literally eradicating Chicanx bodies from the barrio, from the hood. Gentrification killed Jesse Romero to have one less brown body for a new white re-imagining of Boyle Heights.

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In 2010, when 16-year-old New Afrikan Kalief Browder was thrown in jail, into one of the country’s most corrupt and abusive jails, Rikers Island, nothing fundamentally unique or historic had occurred. It was and is normal.

Kalief would go on to spend three years incarcerated, without being found guilty, without trial and constantly awaiting trial, waiting on the spineless public defenders, the sadistic prosecutors of the Bronx District Attorney, the omnipotent and arrogant judges (one of which would go on to become the Bronx District Attorney, enemy-of-the-people Darcel Clark) – without being found guilty, behind bars – spending most of those three years (approximately 800 days) in solitary confinement. Again, still, nothing fundamentally unique or historic had occurred.

When Kalief kept refusing countless plea bargains, contrary to the advice of his public defenders, the presiding judge and the Bronx District Attorney, when he went to bed starving in solitary confinement, his mind slipping further and further away, reliving the ultimate trauma of his constant abuse and the chaos of the uncertainty of his release from solitary confinement, of the supposed coming trial date, of his release from Rikers Island, of freedom, of peace – even then it was nothing fundamentally unique or historic. It was and is normal.

And when Kalief, two years free from Rikers Island, was driven to take his own life by hanging himself in his Bronx home – a home which his family would later lose after the abrupt death of his mother, Venida Browder, from a heart attack – that, too, was nothing fundamentally unique or historic. It was normal.

Normal for the entirety of the Black Nation of the U.S. – where most will see the inside of a jail or prison cell at least one time in their life, and where all have been or will be affected because of the reality of mass incarceration: the legal, repressive state apparatus of national oppression.

But Kalief’s death was not a suicide.

He was murdered by the normality of anti-New Afrikan violence of U.S. white supremacy. The only reason Kalief’s story is news, the only reason he has become recognized as the martyr that he is, is because of his refusal to surrender to that normality, his unshakable commitment to his innocence. He refused to enter a plea of guilty, and he refused all plea bargains. That isn’t normal.

And when the U.S. capitalist state detects an abnormality, an interruption in the hegemony of its omnipotent legality, of the judiciary, of law enforcement, it quickly attacks that abnormality to neutralize it or to kill it. It needs to. U.S. capitalism needs to literally neutralize or kill anything that authentically challenges its hegemony. In the case of Kalief Browder, the judiciary, the legal arm of U.S. white supremacy, punished him. It attempted to neutralize Kalief by keeping him in jail for a.) asserting his innocence defiantly in the court room and not accepting plea bargains, and it attempted to kill him by b.) punishing him for not accepting the normality of Rikers Island “program,” the highly-calculated guard-and-inmate extortion agreement.

It is one thing to protest, it is quite another to revolt.

Kalief and his family attempted to sue the City of New York, the District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Corrections. Kalief and his family saw the grave injustices and initially said, this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. Venida, in the beginning of the 2017 documentary, “Time: the Kalief Browder Story,” expressed astonishment that this could happen to her son, in 2010, in the New York City, in the U.S. But toward the end of the documentary, after Kalief is martyred, after the birth of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, she quickly sees that, no, it is not an anomaly; it is systemic.

Other people in the documentary, such as Van Jones, Michelle Alexander (author of “The New Jim Crow”), ACLU officials, law experts, even former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, all agree that it is systemic. But what is interesting here is the interpretation of what “systemic” means. For most, if not all, in the documentary, systemic merely means a largely legislative reform or fix – i.e. raising the age youth can be tried as adults from 16 to 18, banning solitary confinement for youth (but permissible for adults?), expediting the time to a fair trail, reforming certain prisons or jails, promising to review protocol for correctional facility workers and guards. For the bourgeoisie, this is an acceptable interpretation of “systemic.” For the proletariat and oppressed masses, this is, while obviously alleviatory, a dead-end in and of itself. What good is a reform if our society is still, when not brutalizing, displacing and murdering New Afrikans and Chicanxs, funneling them and us through jails and prisons? This is a focus on the judiciary, on merely one aspect of white supremacy. White supremacy, as a part of capitalism, is composed of a multitude of intricate machines and institutions but it ultimately can be divided into two parts: ideological and base (or material). Legislative reform, although appearing to affect material change, actually only reinforces the ideological legitimacy and its reproduction. It is largely ideological and does little-to-nothing to deeply affect the base of capitalism.

Without an armed, highly organized and disciplined revolutionary organization capable of destroying capitalism, capable of establishing and defending the dictatorship of the proletariat and capable of aiding the liberation of all the oppressed nations in the U.S. prison house, all reforms, however necessary, are destined to be used against actual revolutionary organizations and movements as evidence of functioning bourgeois freedom.

Maoists call this entity, this necessity, a Communist Party, and while the U.S. has a exhaustive list of so-called “communist” or “socialist” parties, in reality none are capable, so none currently exist.

Akeem Browder, now the main head of Kalief’s case, is seen in the documentary leading a BLM rally on the streets of New York. Akeem, like Venida, like Kalief, had always known in their heart, in their bones, in their blood, that the U.S. was never built for them, although it was built by them. The whole system – U.S. capitalism and white supremacy – is culpable for the deaths of Kalief and Venida Browder.

The whole system is culpable. The whole system has blood on its hands for all the millions of New Afrikan comrades rotting in jail, hanging by the noose, being shot to death on the streets, pushed through the violence of necessity into the arms of reactionary camaraderie in the streets, pushed to self-destruction through alcohol and drug abuse.

This is not an isolated incident. This is not a story about how the highly sophisticated U.S. judiciary dealt with an anomaly of wrongfully incarcerating a poor, working-class New Afrikan youth. This is not a story about how all the pressure and heartbreak of losing her child, twice (first to Rikers Island, and ultimately to his own hand), caused her health to deteriorate and ultimately kill her. This is not the story of how a 14-year-old Chicanx youth was shot to death by pigs, then handcuffed for show, left to die without any medical care, as a symbol of what happens to a Chicanx or an immigrant if they dare to  get out of line, if they dare to refuse normality.

This is a story of New African genocide and settler-colonialism on U.S. soil. It is not new. For the Black Nation, it started when the first African was stolen and brought to the U.S. in 1619, and the descendants of those slave catchers are now largely still running this settler-colonialist project we call the U.S. For the Chicanx Nation and other indigenous nations in the southwest, it accelerated after 1848, with the U.S. aggressively absorbing more than half of Mexico, ripping Mexicans from underneath Mexico and imposing a settler-colonial state, equipped with courts, armies and vigilantes, upon them.

But it has developed in its sophistication, in its cruelty and in its violence so much so that we now call it normal. But the capitalist state is afraid. It has seen more and more cases of Kalief Browder and Jesse Romero; it has seen rebellious movements spring up, taking their rage into the street in broad daylight; it has seen the communities of Boyle Heights and the Bronx rise up, although briefly, with the glimmering spark of revolt.

It is the task of communists to be among the masses, especially the most oppressed, side to side with those surviving every day under U.S. capitalism and national oppression. It is the task of the communists to take that rage, anger and refusal to surrender to normality and to turn it into something massive, into something highly organized, into something capable of once and for all destroying U.S. capitalism and white supremacy. Imagine if there were actual communist – Maoist – collectives and mass projects or organizations in every city in the country with strong mass bases not only to react when there’s an injustice or brutality, but to strategically launch community-defense offensives. And imagine a national network of that. It is the task of the communists to have an imagination, and to more importantly transform that imagination into a material force, into a weapon for the people.

It is the task of the communists to take that spark of rage and turn it into the fire of revolt. Avenge the Kalief Browders and Jesse Romeros of the U.S. and lead the people away from reform and to revolution!

Be with the people, stand against Carlos Montes

Be with the people, stand against Carlos Montes

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Be with the people, stand against Carlos Montes!

Confrontation and rupture are unavoidable and necessary steps in the long road of political and revolutionary struggle. Nowhere is this more apparent than here in the eastside, in Boyle Heights. Long-time Chicano activist, former Brown Beret, current member of Centro Community Service Organization and supporter or member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back) (FRSO-FB), Carlos Montes has repeatedly attacked members and supporters of Red Guards – Los Angeles (RGLA) through slander, libel, consistent snitch-jacketing (which appears to be standard protocol within FRSO-FB) and even sending his supporters to physically intimidate our supporters and wreck RGLA-affiliated events or actions.

Why is Montes attacking us, you ask?

Two reasons: 1.) his fearing of a growing feeling of irrelevancy around his reformist, collaborationist influence, and 2.) RGLA’s Sept. 20, 2016 summation on the Sept. 17 action led by Boyle Heights Alliance Against Artwashing and Displacement and Defend Boyle Heights which called out the old ineffective way of dealing with the contradictions of capitalism in Boyle Heights, in which we specifically named him and other “socialists” doing a great disservice to the community by quelling rebelling instead of encouraging it.

In the summation, we stated:

We see this clearly in figures like Carlos Montes, neighborhood council member and leader of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) and their community front group Centro-CSO, who uses every instance of community outrage to position himself in front of news cameras, squeeze himself between grieving mothers after their children are murdered by the police, to give another tired and bland speech recycling rhetoric that hasn’t inspired anyone in 40 years. He uses his space at these events to sell the community watered-down, reformist solutions to problems that require genuine revolutionary analysis under the pretense that the community is not ready to hear the truth about the need for armed struggle and revolution, that they are not ready to rebel and engage in direct confrontation with the forces of capitalism that threaten their existence. When the storm of revolution arrives these vendidxs will be washed away in the tide, their newspapers and badges of honor from the “glory days” washed away with them.

Shortly after our summation, Montes and his followers, including Sol Mar, took to social media to immediately call us COINTELPRO/FBI agents, cops and/or violent outsider anarchists controlled by one white man within our organization. An impressive barrage fueled by desperation and political panic.

But let’s unpack this.

Snitch-jacketing  

RGLA members, as well as members of our mass organization, Serve the People – Los Angeles (STPLA), unfortunately are accustomed to being called cops by bruised and fragile activists. Anytime we attempt to sharpen the contradictions of capitalism, to advance the revolutionary struggle, to expose revisionists, sell-outs, enemies of the people and failed past strategies, we strike a nerve. And like any politically weak individual or organization, they attack desperately, up to and including flailing insults and accusations of their critics being cops.

As STPLA wrote back in April 21, 2016 when editor and publisher of the eastside-based community newspaper Brooklyn & Boyle, Abel Salas, called STPLA cops, snitch-jacketing should be met with zero tolerance because it is a capitalist state tool to undermine, destroy and divide the revolutionary movement. Criticize a group’s tactics or politics, insult them, hate them, paint them in whatever horrible colors you so desire. But don’t call them cops without proof. Snitch-jacketing is an act of vicious laziness. It shows the perpetrator of the snitch-jacketing to be unprincipled, wilfully ignorant and really a danger to the revolutionary struggle. Abel Salas, to his credit, has since apologized publically, both on Facebook and in his newspaper. Carlos Montes, Sol Mar and others – especially of FRSO-FB, have not. They are lazy, desperate vicious wreckers. If they are unwilling or incapable of offering a public self-criticism, they should be isolated for exhibiting dangerous security-risk behaviors.

Violent anarchists? You mean actual communists!  

When Montes and company aren’t calling us cops, they’re usually calling us violent or anarchists or violent anarchists! Well, firstly, what does it mean to be violent? What have we done to merit this description? Because most of our members are anonymous? Because most of our members cover their faces? Because we support direct and militant action and confrontation? Because we oppose city-permitted marches and rallies (liberal parades)? Who have we been violent toward?

Violence is not homogenous; it is hierarchical – and at the very top of that hierarchy is the capitalist state, the sharpest and deadliest violence. Capitalism normalizes its own violence so that it goes unnoticeable. Like rising rent, evictions, foreclosures, hunger, the pigs throwing out street vendor food because they lack a permit, killer cops on paid administrative leave. All that is violence. How we react to it is through revolutionary rage. We have kicked out gentrifiers from Boyle Heights, from Hollenbeck Park and the 1st Street Bridge, and we will continue to do so. You can call that violent. But the community here calls that necessary.  

To the centrist, to the revisionist, to the rightist, everything appears far to the left. This is why Montes calls us Maoists anarchists. Montes doesn’t understand that fundamentally it is right to rebel. That is one of the most fundamental principles of Marxism. Montes doesn’t understand that genuine communists, Maoists, instead of talking down to the people and hocking their unread “Party” newspapers at them, should be shoulder-to-shoulder organizing, getting arrested, serving the people, defending the hood.

We are communists. We are Maoists. All of our actions are guided by the need to prepare for the upcoming Protracted People’s War with the capitalist state. And for that, we’re planting the seeds to grow Dual Power, where autonomous proletarian institutions function parallel to the capitalist state. Slowly but surely, we’re building the Party.

Controlled by one white man? Erasing RGLA’s overwhelmingly brown leadership

Montes, for whatever reason, also resorts to lazy investigation and concludes, due to one or two pictures of one of our white members on Facebook, that we – the vast majority of Chicanx, Mexican and Central American – aren’t intelligent enough to lead ourselves, that we must be under the control of a great white puppeteer. Montes, as a person who claims to be a Marxist-Leninist (a revisionist), doesn’t appear to understand the communist concept of leadership. If our leader was indeed one white man, it would be acceptable because the larger cadre body would have democratically elected that person to their position – based on their leadership skills and political development, not identity. Montes exercising a knee-jerk and classic identity-politics reaction to this while conveniently hiding that his very own organization, or at least one he intimately follows and supports, FRSO-FB, practices a similar line of electing white people to positions of leadership. However, we differ with FRSO-FB (in oh so many ways) because men, especially white men, will always be a minority. Oppressed nationalities, especially womxn and non-men of said nationalities, will always be given priority for leadership development. You can’t make revolution without oppressed nationality womxn and non-men at the forefront.

Furthermore, leadership is not interchangeable with control. The correct method of leadership is political unity, adherence to democratic centralism and practicing the mass line, “from the masses, to the masses,” because we are not leaders without the understanding that the masses are the real makers of history. Not leaders. Not even communist ones.

Lastly, Montes and his supporters have criticized us for being outsiders, that we’re not originally from Boyle Heights or the eastside. Another desperate and weak argument very similar to the Maoist concept of class origin versus class stand. Yes, many of us are not originally from Boyle Heights. Some of us only have three years here. Some of us don’t even live here. But we all organize here almost daily. All of us are involved with STPLA’s weekly food and clothing distribution. Some of us are involved with Defend Boyle Heights. Some of us are involved with Smash Fascism – Los Angeles.

What is more important? Where someone comes from, their origin, or what they are actually and materially doing in the here and now?

Like the communist understanding of class origin (your family’s class background) versus class stand (the political conviction to chose a side, even if it is not part of your class background), primacy is given to the class stand because it is the conscious choosing of who you will stand and fight with, not merely something you are born into.

It would be interesting to ask what Montes felt about antifascists from all over the world going to Spain to fight the fascists in the 1930s or today in Rojava? Should they just stay at home and know their place? Should they stop imposing their outsider solidarity? Chale. Your politics are weak, liberal and opportunist.

A supporter of Montes came out to a Smash Fascism – Los Angeles public meeting on Feb. 1, 2017 to confront an RGLA supporter at La Conxa after they had confronted Montes earlier in the week for his snitch-jacketing. (Montes  incorrectly assumed this person was an RGLA cadre). The women at the event kept saying she was a gang member and that she had control of the block. Furthermore, she said she would send in gang members to “deal with us.” We can only assume this means physical harm to us and our supporters. RGLA supporters and members de-escalated the confrontation. There was no physical altercation, as the need never presented itself. Most, and now all, of our events will always have a presence of internal security to deal with provocateurs and reactionaries. A sad but necessary precaution, especially with people like Montes and his supporters.

We, RGLA, caution the community of Boyle Heights to isolate Carlos Montes. Don’t let Montes or anyone else tell you your rage isn’t appropriate. Rebel, rebel always! Don’t let Montes call revolutionary communists cops for simply calling out revisionists and reformists! Isolate Montes, isolate FRSO-FB, isolate Centro CSO! If you see Montes, tell him to stop his slander and attacks on RGLA, STPLA and our supporters!

REBELLION IN BOYLE HEIGHTS

ANTI GENTRIFICATION, CAPITALISM, AND THE NEED FOR A REVOLUTIONARY PARTY

On Saturday evening, the community of Boyle Heights came together to give a simple and direct message to the art galleries, their owners, and their patrons who are currently invading the community with their hideous bourgeois art: GET THE FUCK OUT. You are not welcome here.

This confrontation has been a long-time coming and will be only the first in a long line of such confrontations if these galleries do not heed the demands being made by the community. Red Guards- Los Angeles have been proud supporters of Defend Boyle Heights coalition that was formed earlier this year in order to confront the rapidly approaching gentrification of the community of Boyle Heights. We have been inspired by this community’s willingness to stand together in the face of bourgeois developers, speculators, and gallery owners with far greater access to capital and the repressive machinery of the State than this working class, largely immigrant community will ever have while this land remains the dominion of capitalists and their pig footsoldiers. And despite the glaring imbalance of power, this community remains defiant and steadfast in its goals.

The anti-gentrification struggle in Boyle Heights makes abundantly clear to us the Maoist principle that has been instrumental in guiding our work: the masses of people, and the masses of people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history. The unified resistance of this community is powerful enough to move mountains, and will prove itself powerful enough to push back the forces of gentrification that have begun to show their faces as art galleries and other businesses which cater to the wealthy, with callous disregard for the destruction of community and culture which they leave in their wake.

The recent tactics of direct and hostile confrontation with these forces of gentrification demonstrate that the community itself—the palateras and palateros, the immigrant families, the senoras who overcame the scourge of gang violence within their communities, the muralists who have enriched their community with the colorful paintings and street art that adorn every wall and building in the neighborhood, the youth, the punks with their backyard-show scene—this community understands very well that the only reliable factor in this struggle is themselves and their ability, when unified, to resist even the most well funded galleriests, landlords, and investors seeking to rip the community apart.

This Saturday’s action was not a pleasant experience for those on the receiving end of it. There was no pretense of openness to dialogue or conversation with the gallery owners and their patrons. There was no coddling of the white liberal sentiment of “support” for the “message” but “disapproval” of the “tactics”. There was no willingness to dilute or defuse the righteous anger that was directed at the galleries like a shotgun blast. Standing side-by-side were older senoras who boldly denounced the presence of the galleries and detailed the material effect these galleries have on rent prices, with young, masked militants who made abundantly clear just how unwelcome the community at large feels the presence of high-priced art galleries, funded by west-siders and outsiders, to be.

From what we are told, gallery attendees were harassed and harangued, pelted with water and bottles and an endless barrage of verbal assault. They were stopped in their tracks, surrounded, chased back to their vehicles and out of the around Anderson Street and Mission Road where the majority of these galleries have begun opening up. The galleries themselves were surrounded while members of the community banged on their windows, entered their galleries to smash bottles, and continued the barrage of verbal assault. The initial expressions of smug amusement turned into palpable fear from the gallery attendees as the confrontation continued to escalate with no signs of winding down. The gallery owners rushed to their doors to lock them and pull down the metal barricades over their windows. The community succeeded in shutting down several openings that night, ran many dozens of yuppies and rich hipsters out of the neighborhood, and undeniably birthed in many more an unwillingness to ever step foot in Boyle Heights for a gallery opening again.

So what does this confrontation teach? We have learned that this community recognizes the importance of taking matter into its own hands. This community knows instinctively and through experience that politicians, city councils, and electoral politics will do nothing to come to its aid, and will in fact stand behind the very forces of gentrification that want to break the community up and sell each piece of it to the highest bidder. There is an awareness, sometimes spoken and sometimes unspoken, of the shared class interests among these politicians and the investors, speculators, and gallery owners currently driving much of the gentrification in Boyle Heights.

There is the knowledge, firsthand, that the police forces they are told to rely on to “protect” and “serve” them will likewise stand in defense of the forces of the bourgeoisie and will do nothing to protect the livelihoods of the working class residents that characterize the community—they will enter with guns drawn and chains ready to shoot them dead and drag the ones that remain to prison under pretenses of gang-injuctions, or, in the case of 14 year-old boys like the recently murdered Jesse Romero, petty vandalism. They know the pigs stand ready to do the brutal grunt work that the delicate hands and sensibilities of the bourgeois galleriests are unwilling to do themselves.

With this near complete inaccessibility to institutional power, our community is recognizing the importance of building its own power, outside of the system, as the only effective method for serving its people and protecting its livelihood and culture. While we wholeheartedly support and endorse the actions taken by the community on Saturday evening, we know that the only long-term solution to the problem of gentrification is the formation of working class institutions of power that are dedicated to serving the interests of the people. Concessions from city and state government, deals and collusion with galleries and landlords, temporary acquiescence to the demands of the community—these things are not enough. They amount to bones tossed to us by the representatives of the ruling class for the express purpose of derailing our anger and stunting our ability to build organizations that will claim all political power for ourselves and our community. They are carrots dangled before our heads which these ruling class elites hope will distract us long enough to forget that they still retain the power to dictate the terms of our engagement with them.

These confrontations teach us the truth that all correct ideas emerge from the masses of people, and it is only through the process of engaging with our community, learning from their history of struggle and standing shoulder to shoulder with them in their current struggle, that necessary revolutionary leadership can be developed to guide them into confrontation not only with the forces of gentrification but all the forces of capitalism that exploit and oppress our people. The history of struggle within our community, the experience of struggle in the communities surrounding us which have fallen to gentrification, and our daily struggles to survive, are a breeding ground for the revolutionary ideas that are currently taking root in Boyle Heights and finding their outlet in these direct confrontations.

Just as we understand that the history of struggle within our community is the basis for their correct ideas, we must also recognize that capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy, and the ideological divisions they create along class, gender, and racial lines also foster the creation of incorrect and backwards ideas within our community. Revolutionary leadership entails that we encourage and develop the correct ideas within our community and that we use our understanding of revolutionary theory to combat the manifestations of the backwards ideas that likewise exist.

We must be wary of those who continue to advocate for dialogue with the forces of gentrification. We must be wary of those who continue to push the idealistic line that if we simply convince the gentrifiers of our humanity and essential goodness as human beings perhaps they will abandon their plans to seize our community—that being “too confrontational” somehow reaffirms the gentrifiers conception of us as thugs and hoodlums who don’t deserve the space to live.

These positions fundamentally misunderstand the mechanics of capitalism and its auxiliary force of white supremacy that are at play in the urban removal currently being experienced in our community. Let us be clear: the gentrification of our community is and will continue to be driven by the opportunity to profit that exists in purchasing the relatively cheap land in our neighborhood, repurposing it in a way desirable as a playground for the wealthy, and then selling it back at much higher prices to the community of wealthy people who would now desire to live here. This process is independent of ethics and morality, for the only “morality” under capitalism is profit. The racialized justifications for this process are nothing more than ideological rationalizations for the profit-driven conquest of our communities. If we were somehow able to combat the racist caricatures of our community that are utilized by those who advocate for its gentrification, the opportunity to profit from low-priced real estate would still exist and thus the motivation for gentrifying it would still exist.

We cannot fall into a trap of respectability politics or give weight to the idea that only opposing urban removal in “legitimate” and “respectable” ways will be successful: not only does this argument replicate the racist narrative of the white supremacists, but it is also entirely unsuccessful. Silverlake, Echo Park, Highland Park, and countless other communities did not succumb to gentrification because their residents failed to protest in a respectable enough manner. These communities made spectacular pleas to city and state government officials for affordable housing measures and rent control measures. They protested and lobbied city council officials, put out calls to vote for or against city council representatives based on their stance re: gentrification. They made cultural and artistic displays the demonstrated the vibrancy and artistic spirit of the community in hopes that the investors, speculators and landlords would be so moved they would be unwilling to displace the community: this did not work. These communities are currently crawling with the same yuppies and hipsters that are thankfully, mostly confined to the area around “Gallery Row” in Boyle Heights.

We must also be wary of and combat the notions that gentrification makes the community “safer”, more “beautiful”, or that “gente-fication” (the gentrification of the community by petty-bourgeois, brown gentrifiers) is an acceptable alternative to “gentrification”.

1. There is nothing “safe” about the forced, often violent removal of families from their homes and businesses. There is nothing “safe” about the threat of homelessness. Eviction is not “safe”. Increased police patrols and the violence and criminalization that accompany them are not “safe” for a community preyed upon by the pigs daily. This illusion of “safety” can only be enjoyed and its benefits touted by those with the economic resources to remain in the community after rents have doubled or tripled and the original community, with all of its contradictions and socially rooted problems, are displaced violently.

2. The “beautification” of the community is not for the working class residents who currently live there. Developers and the city only make efforts to “beautify” when they are preparing the area to be sold to a new class of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois residents, so we hardly care whether or not the neighborhood is going to be made more “beautiful” when that beautification necessarily comes at the expense of the community currently living there.

3. “Gente-fication” is no different from “gentrification” and results in the exact same large-scale displacement of working class communities. The fact that some number of brown and black oppressed nationalities have been able to gain access to wealth and capital, and can thus afford to live in a “redeveloped” neighborhood, is no excuse for the fact that the majority of our people have been systematically denied this access to wealth and capital due to the collusion of capitalism and white supremacy, and will therefore experience the process of “gente-fication” exactly the same as they would experience the process of “gentrification”–evicted, displaced, removed, uprooted and erased from the community.

Lastly, we must be wary of the sell-outs and opportunists, the “radicals” of yesteryear who have long since abandoned whatever genuine revolutionary spirit may have at one time flowed through their bones. These people come to us with a facade radicalism, but when the community finds an outlet for their outrage these will be the first people to hold them back, selling out the trust they have established in the community to carve out a niche of power for themselves on neighborhood councils, city councils, or non-profit organizations.

We see this clearly in figures like Carlos Montes, neighborhood council member and leader of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) and their community front group Centro-CSO, who uses every instance of community outrage to position himself in front of news cameras, squeeze himself between grieving mothers after their children are murdered by the police, to give another tired and bland speech recycling rhetoric that hasn’t inspired anyone in 40 years. He uses his space at these events to sell the community watered-down, reformist solutions to problems that require genuine revolutionary analysis under the pretense that the community is not ready to hear the truth about the need for armed struggle and revolution, that they are not ready to rebel and engage in direct confrontation with the forces of capitalism that threaten their existence. When the storm of revolution arrives these vendidxs will be washed away in the tide, their newspapers and badges of honor from the “glory days” washed away with them.

Members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) present themselves to our community in a similar manner, wagging their fingers and critiquing our actions from afar. When our community accurately identifies the influx of galleries and their wealthy patrons as a gear turning the wheels in the process of gentrification, they come to us with condescending declarations that we are too stupid to understand these galleries are just a “symptom”, our anger is misguided and misdirected, and we should be directing our activities towards the “real culprits” who, in their class-reductionists analysis, are always banks which they provide no indication of how to meaningfully target at our current level of organization. Maybe if we subscribe to their newspaper they will teach the community how to achieve this. Regardless, the positions taken by these so-called radicals serve only to defuse the anger of the community, condescendingly “correct” their mistaken ideas from a position that is removed from their concrete struggle, and offer go-nowhere alternatives to a community that is achieving far more by engaging in direct confrontation, occasionally making mistakes, learning from and correcting those mistakes as the struggle advances.

Revolutionary leadership does not come from afar, in the form of condescension and finger wagging, and it does not lord itself over the community in the form of paternalistic advice from washed up old radicals who sell the community short at every turn. Revolutionary leadership emerges from within the concrete struggles of our community, by combining the community’s most forward and progressive ideas with revolutionary theory that encourages them in their rebellion rather than holds them back or leads them into the dead-ends of reformism and electoral politics.

Because gentrification, in the final analysis, is intimately tied to the mechanics of capitalism, we understand that only an end to capitalism will do away with the process of gentrification entirely. Only a recognition of the necessity for a revolutionary Party, institutions controlled by and in service of the working class and oppressed nations as a whole, and a revolution in the heart of the imperialist beast of America, will be sufficient to defend the livelihoods of working class people.

Our only hope in these conditions is to unite the various struggles of all working class and oppressed nationalities people under the banner of a revolutionary Party that will be capable of providing leadership and structure in a fight with the highly organized forces of capitalism, the bourgeoisie, and gentrification. Only the unity of these working class institutions, under the banner of a revolutionary Party, defended and reinforced by a People’s Army, will be capable of waging the struggle for national liberation for the oppressed Chicano Nation (and all other oppressed nations) and revolution that will deal the death blow to the forces of capitalism that destroy our families and our communities. We understand that all political power grows from the barrel of a gun, the traitors who say otherwise—be damned! Only a willingness to struggle on these same terms will lead us to victory.

In Boyle Heights we must stand in solidarity with the vigorous efforts being made to combat gentrification and to wrest control over our communities and our lives from the vulture capitalists who currently dictate where, how, and whether or not we live. The direct actions undertaken by this community on Saturday represent the initial steps towards creating that political power that in the long term will be necessary to establish control over our own communities and our own lives. We support and stand beside them in their rebellion. We respect and are humbled by their spirit of resistance. We know that it is right to rebel.

Down with the art galleries!

Down with landlords, speculators, and investors!

Down with vendidos and false radicals!

Up with the rebellion! Up with revolution!

Defend Boyle Heights!