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Workers Solidarity Alliance (WSA) Statement Against Political Police Raids

category north america / mexico | repression / prisoners | press release author Thursday October 07, 2010 14:51author by Workers Solidarity Alliance - WSA Report this post to the editors

The WSA condemns this attack and the arbitrary power which it claims for the repressive agencies of the state. We should also note the hypocrisy of the state agencies who do not shrink from supporting or engaging in mass-scale terrorism abroad, while asserting arbitrary powers at home in the name of "anti-terrorism" and allowing domestic armed extremists to assist in policing the border in Arizona. [Castellano]


Workers Solidarity Alliance (WSA) Statement Against Political Police Raids


On September 26th the FBI raided homes and seized personal belongings (phones, computers, etc.) of anti-war and international solidarity activists -- mostly people associated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) -- in Minneapolis, Chicago and other cities, accusing them of giving "material aid to foreign terrorist organizations" such as FARC in Colombia and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. However, we believe this raid to be a bold threat against all left-wing revolutionary organizations that are involved in mass working-class organizing. The WSA wishes to speak out against this attack on FRSO. We urge all people of good conscience to oppose this state repression.

This attack has many people worried. Some are wondering if this is the beginning of an attack on U.S. social movements. The targeted members of FRSO are active in numerous social movement organizations, but mainly people affiliated to FRSO have been raided. We do not have a crystal ball, but we do not believe these raids signal open season on all activists. We believe the real danger here lies elsewhere. These raids may signal coming attacks on explicitly revolutionary organizations. As a revolutionary organization, this prospect worries us. More likely, however, these raids will encourage revolutionaries to keep their politics to themselves, or worse, drive revolutionaries out of social movements. While we do not agree with all of FRSO's political views, we believe that revolutionaries should be active in social movements and open about their politics. The U.S. government has a long history of targeting small left-wing groups in isolation as a "divide and conquer tactic." Witness the use of red baiting to divide the left and drive radicals out of labor unions in the 1950s, the effects of which are felt in organized labor to this very day. The example is relevant in this case, as a number of FRSO members are active members and leaders in the Twin Cities labor movement.

The WSA condemns this attack and the arbitrary power which it claims for the repressive agencies of the state. We should also note the hypocrisy of the state agencies who do not shrink from supporting or engaging in mass-scale terrorism abroad, while asserting arbitrary powers at home in the name of "anti-terrorism" and allowing domestic armed extremists to assist in policing the border in Arizona. We lastly wish to offer a word of solidarity to the victims of this raid (a few of whom are known individually by our own local members and have shared involvement in local labor organizing), and urge all to raise our voices in protest. As the old saying goes, "an injury to one is an injury to all."

For a World Without Bosses, Bureaucrats or States!

Workers Solidarity Alliance

http://ideasandaction.info/

Related Link: http://www.workersolidarity.org
author by Ilan S.publication date Thu Oct 07, 2010 18:39author address Tel AvivReport this post to the editors

Our enemy, the US state:
"On September 26th the FBI raided homes and seized personal belongings (phones, computers, etc.) of anti-war and international solidarity activists..."

It attacked an old enemy of ours - part of the "red fascist equivalent"
"-- mostly people associated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) -- in Minneapolis, Chicago and other cities, "

Some people are short sighted and do not give due weight to the future behavior of the "authoritarians of the left" towards us when they have the power, the interests, and the opportunity.

Some people do not even see the damage the cooperation with such "activists" have on our reputation when people discover the nature of such "authoritarians of the left" and their connection with the murderous state capitalist regimes of the past and present.

Related Link: http://ilan.shalif.com/anarchy
author by José Antonio Gutiérrez D.publication date Thu Oct 07, 2010 19:01Report this post to the editors

First of all, well done to the WSA for taking a brave stance and for practising solidarity with class struggle victims, no matter they had political differences with us. This is about what is happening with the anti-terror hysteria and it is clear that it is getting worse and we need to take a stand. On Ilan's comments, I just think they are terrible and ultimately immoral, but we have discussed an awful lot on them in the past and I don't want to repeat myself. I rather quote the old revolutionary motto "an injury to one is an injury to all", from where the WSA draws inspiration, and an equally old Haitian proverb that says: "A turkey never laughs when a chicken is plucked". There is so much wisdom in simplicity! Well done comrades!

author by Syndicalist (personal capacity) - WSApublication date Thu Oct 07, 2010 21:50Report this post to the editors

Ilan, comrades,

Let us be very clear, the WSA is not in political solidarity with the aims and goals of the FRSO. While the language of the statement was discussed internally, this is the statement the majority felt they wanted to go with. Throughout our internal discussion everyone was clear about the politics of the FRSO and how they do not coincide with ours.

That said, it seems clear enough that the political State and their agencies are sending a signal, a message.... a message that all radicals need to hear.

In spite of the WSA's tremendous disagreements with FRSO-type politics and new world vision, even those of us who may not have written the statement this way, must condem governmental attempts to deny free speech and freedom of association to even those on the left we politically do not care for. That really is the point.

author by Kevin S. - WSApublication date Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:46Report this post to the editors

Real briefly comrades, speaking personally.... I can vouch for Syndicalist's comment, in that the statement above was the product of a lot of work, a lot of re-edits and even in the last draft, not everyone was comfortable - but from start to finish it was clear, and should be clear in what we say, that we do not support the politics of FRSO, but the message of the raids to other radical left groups cannot be ignored, nor should an expression of basic solidarity with the individuals (workers, union members and anti-war activists) who were targeted be taken as a sign of political agreement with their particular party. Having been in the WSA for over a year now, I'm no old guard but I can say that the WSA (both internally and publicly) has a strong culture and ethic of non-sectarianism and solidarity, a culture and ethic that has before and will always bring with it a certain tension, but that's a tension that you either have to live with or else accept to remain in an isolated political bubble as so many comrades sadly do, in the name of some kind of political "purity." Surely Ilan should understand this from the experience of the Anarchists Against the Wall, who have cooperated with all sorts of actors who we may disagree with on other ideological counts.

One other thing that has to be said, as I've said before, to simplistically label "red fascists" is a ridiculous comparison in this kind of case like this, when you consider that real fascists and neo-Nazis violently harass, attack and murder left-wing activists (including anarchists) and ethnic minorities; while the FRSO folks do not do this, in fact, a number of them participated in the recent struggle against the anti-immigrant laws in Arizona - if they were fascists they would have been beating up immigrants and activists - so to simply fall back on the label "red fascists" is an abstract position that tells nothing about the people in question. Maybe it goes without saying too that local context makes a difference in this case, something we tried to hint at in this statement and that I'd hope international comrades would relate to and respect.

author by Manu Garcíapublication date Wed Oct 13, 2010 03:42Report this post to the editors

Well done, comrades, an excelent statement that I have translated to Spanish: it is important that people in the left, here in Spain and in Latin America can find out that in the US there are people, too, opposing to the criminal policies of its government and they suffer the repression for it.

Sincerelly, I don´t know how one revolucionary can keep silent while the political police is attacking another. Solidarity is essential if we want to create a strong revolutionary movement capable to face up capitalism and build up a new world, socialist and libertarian. There are no excuses.

 
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