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Unitary Conduct: Building the Inter-communal Solidarity Committee
a summary and synopsis of the Black Riders Liberation Party's launching of the Inter-communal Solidarity Committee with corrections made on first unitary conduct article
Written by: Shango Abiola
Building the Inter-Communal Solidarity Committee
Author’s note: The Black Riders Liberation Party (BRLP) launched the Inter-Communal Solidarity Committee in Los Angeles, CA with a gathering at the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research on Saturday, November 10, 2012. At this event, numerous activist and community members from different races, philosophies and ideological lines came together to form the Inter-Communal Solidarity Committee. The idea to form this committee comes from our study of the Black Panther Party’s (BPP) forming the National Committee to Combat Fascism (NCCF), which would later become the Inter-communal Committee to Combat Fascism (ICCF). This paper is a historical analysis of our theoretical framework for this development.
“Unitary Conduct implies a ‘search’ for those elements in our present situation which can become the basis for joint action. It involves a conscious reaching for the relevant, the entente, and especially, in our case the reconcilable. Throughout the centralizing authoritarian process of Amerikan history, the ruling classes have found it necessary to discourage and punish any genuine opposition to hierarchy. But there have always been individuals and groups who rejected the ideal of two unequal societies, existing one on top of the other.” George Jackson, Blood in My Eye
In analyzing this war we are engaged in today, we can see a lot of political strikes being launched against the most fascist arm of this kkkapitalist government, the Prison Industrial Complex. These are coming mostly from the prisoners themselves, in a series of hunger and labor strikes from Georgia to Ohio, North Carolina, California and more. Many warriors from behind enemy lines have given a much-needed spark of intensity to the Left. Or at least this has happened to the organizations with enough analysis to pay attention.
The ideological swords have been swung! From the belly of the beast we have received marching orders to pick up the pace and be a better reflection of what our comrades are doing in the concentration camps of the enemy! What alternative do we have, when we consider the call put out in September by the Short Corridor Collective in the Pelican Bay SHU?
“Beginning on Oct. 10, 2012, all hostilities between our racial groups in SHU, ad-seg, general population and county jails will officially cease.”
Thanks to the courage of the short corridor collective and all the prisoners who have been unifying and working to dismantle the beast across the country, the stage has been set for unitary conduct for the purpose of creating and sustaining Inter-Communal Solidarity.
We need only look below the corporate media surface to see that ALL working class people are subjected to the treacherous exploitation of the kkkapitalist system. At the same time Black and Brown folks (mostly lumpen) are targeted and super-exploited economically and racially, directly and indirectly. Whether they have been to prison themselves, or if their family or community has been ripped apart by prison, we see the PIC today as not much different from the chattel slavery this country was built on. When we see that every 36 hours a Black person in this country is murdered by law enforcement, we know slavery hasn’t gone anywhere.
When we see there are more Black people in prison today than were held in chattel slavery in 1850, we know slavery hasn’t gone anywhere. When we see the country in a depression (not recession), but continuing wars of imperialism in Afghanistan and other places, we know that slavery hasn’t gone anywhere. The fact is we are all slaves to the system and the different levels of exploitation separated by race mainly serve the purpose of keeping the MASSES of us divided. These contradictions of race and class must be addressed as scientifically as possible for the purpose of building a Revolutionary Inter-Communal Movement, principally to unify the Left into action. Doing this will allow us to more effectively cause indigestion from within the belly of the beast, and defend each other from continuous repression by the fascist state. The Black Riders Liberation Party has faced tanks, raids, gang enhancement charges, imprisonment, harassment, threatening letters from police chiefs and constant arrests. This has made our Party familiar with this part of the revolutionary process. The Black Panther Party knew this when they formed the National Committee to Combat Fascism, which would later become the Inter-communal Committee to Combat Fascism. And so the BRLP, who are students of the Black Panther Party, believe that this tactic must be dialectically applied to the present day. So we launched the Inter-Communal Solidarity Committee as a vehicle for the people to use to defeat our common enemy, the Kkkapitalist Empire.
Real unity and solidarity recognize and overcome real differences. For the revolution to survive and accomplish its goal of destroying a common enemy, unity and solidarity must be based on addressing difference in an egalitarian manner, thereby countering the divide and conquer tactics of the Fascist state. To not do so, while claiming to want unity, is Liberalism. Moreover, to do so in a way that does not redirect the source of any conflict over difference back to the system is unprincipled and counterproductive.
“…We must understand their presence (white racists) as an effect of the system. It is the system that must be crushed, for it continues to manufacture new and deeper contradictions of both class and race. Once it is destroyed, we may address the problems of racism at an even more basic level. But we must also combat racism while we are in the process of destroying the system.” George Jackson, Blood in My Eye
In building an Inter-communal Solidarity Committee it is essential that we develop what George Jackson calls “Unitary Conduct.” This will happen through us collectively focusing on issues common to the Afrikan, Native American, Mexicano/indigenous, Asian and anti-imperialist white masses. The main obstacle preventing this necessary step in Revolutionary development is the inability or unwillingness of the “white Left” to challenge the racial component of class warfare. Basically, not enough white people are working to abolish racism and white supremacy.
In 1969 at the United Front Against Fascism Conference in Berkeley, CA, the Black Panther Party and many allied communities and organizations helped form the National Committee to Combat Fascism, which would later become the Inter-Communal Committee to Combat Fascism. This initiative developed partly out of Cec and Saul Levinson, a married white couple from Berkeley who worked with and supported the Berkeley branch of the Black Panther Party as well as organize the “honkies for huey” campaign. This was done to build support from the white Left for the BPP, suffering under COINTELPRO’s Fascist repression. The ICCF also served as a screening mechanism for the BPP itself and its allied organizations of other races. This helped the BPP weed out the reactionary elements. The ICCF’s history ranges from shoot-outs in Detroit and New Orleans, the framing of the Omaha 2 (Ed Poindexter and Mondo We Langa fka Bryan Rice), free medical treatment for Walla Walla penitentiary inmates by the Seattle, WA chapter, and more. It gives many examples of and reasons for needing “Unitary Conduct” in fighting against fascism.
When analyzing this historical development in hindsight we can infer that, if the Black Panther Party had implemented the ICCF as a screening organization earlier, prior to the rapid growth that followed the state capitol Mulford Bill action, the BPP might have prevented some of the heavy infiltration and reactionary elements that helped crush the Party. Assata Shakur talks in her book of how easily after joining the BPP she had access to records and many other important files relatively quickly. The widespread interest was spreading beyond the original Panthers’ control. Everyone wanted to be a Panther, some people without permission from the BPP. For example in 1967 in Washington, DC when a group called the “Black Defenders” led by Robert Rippey had been calling themselves Panthers, they were told by the BPP headquarters that there were certain qualifications you had to meet to be an officially recognized BPP chapter. They were later refused recognition by the BPP for refusing to work with white people and lacking serious political education. Had the ICCF already been set up, the BPP might not have had to wait until 1970 to have an official chapter in Washington DC (Chocolate City).
Today’s climate for the radical Left has some similarities to that of the 60’s and 70’s when the BPP and its allies under repressive attack from the Fascist state came together to form an inter-communal front against the state. The BRLP and many other community organizations and antikkkapitalist movements have been feeling the legal and military arm of the State because of our efforts to destroy it. There have been systemic attacks on our party including Pig Chief Beck’s slanderous letter attempting to keep our General under a GPS tracking device (on parole). We’ve seen numerous raids and infiltration attempts launched against the Occupy movement, and many other covert and overt attacks against anti-kkkapitalist forces in this country and around the world (South Africa, Afghanistan, Palestine, etc.). We have been under attack not only by local occupying armed forces (police) but also by the much more dangerous Homeland Security, the NDAA, etc. which is legalized COINTELPRO. With this understanding, we should see the need not only to intensify our propaganda campaign to expose the repression, but also to build “Unitary Conduct” across ideological lines.
One priority is amnesty for Political Prisoners/Prisoners of War (PP/POW) and defending freedom fighters against the legal and military arm of the state. It is far too easy in these times of division for organizations to justify elitist sectarian behavior under the subjective belief that only they have the correct ideology. Of course one should only practice a theory if one believes it to be true. But we see the marriage of theory and practice not only in the context of when the theory was created but also the present day conditions and purposes to which it can or can’t be applied. In other words, a theory should be specific in its ideals but flexible in its adaptability to an environment (conditions). This way it can evolve into the best form of serving the people.
The BRLP, though very critical of the inability or unwillingness of the “white Left” to effectively hold their weight in abolishing racism in the class struggle, we have always pushed for Unitary Conduct. The corporate media, as well as people’s assumptions, have allowed for an incorrect understanding of the BRLP’s ideology, “Revolutionary African Inter-Communalism.” A conflict has arisen with some people’s lack of understanding of the “African” component, which is one of the primary dialectical updates from Huey Newton’s theory of “Revolutionary Intercommunalism.” It is NOT an excuse to hate white people. You can find a more in-depth analysis in “African Intercommunalism I”, but in short this development grew out of studying the BPP’s COINTELPRO-created beef with Ron Karenga’s US organization and other reactionary Cultural Nationalists. By the end of it, the BPP went from drawing a line of demarcation between philosophies to having a bad taste in its mouth for anything that even sounded cultural nationalist. This eventually led to tribalism and Black Panther on Black Panther violence that would factionalize and destroy the ranks.
We agree that “pork-chop cultural nationalism” is counterproductive to revolutionary theory, but such nationalism doesn’t have a monopoly on applying Afrikan culture (philosophies and actions) to their theory. Of course if not properly applied, this method can do as much harm as good. If it’s not framed into the proper class-war context, it can lead to the belief that eliminating Europeans is all that’s necessary for Black people and people of color to be liberated. Or that going “back to Africa” and simply leaving the U.S. prior to dismantling the fascist nervous center here is the answer to ending Black people’s problems. This is a reactionary and under-developed analysis. What is true is that for Black people a practical and healthy study of Afrikan culture helps reverse the psychosis of racism and white supremacy which is the main conductor of Black people’s self-hatred and inferiority complex. It dispels the myth of white superiority little by little with every new fact learned and brings the Black person coming into consciousness that much more confident in our ability to WIN!
Since this analysis provided here is about winning a WAR for liberation and not about being RIGHT OR WRONG, we must see this (Afrikan Culture) as a natural part of the development for the Black revolutionary. This must happen, not to gloat or to put down others, but to constantly counter the psychosis of post traumatic slave disorder with empirical research and evidence about the culture(s) that were STOLEN from us.
Our commitment to practically studying and applying Afrikan culture has put us in the line of fire with people who have yet to analyze and address these contradictions.
“I deny the existence of Black racism outright, by fiat, I deny it. Too much Black blood has flowed between the chasm that separates the races. It’s fundamentally unfair to expect the Black man to differentiate at a glance between the various kinds of white racists. What apologists term Black racism is either a healthy defense reflex on the part of the sincere Black partisan who is attempting to deal with the realistic problems of survival and elevation, or the racism of the government stooge goons.” George Jackson, Blood in My Eye
The class struggle within the belly of the beast here will never show enough “Unitary Conduct” to ACTUALLY take state power until the issue of race is addressed scientifically by both People of Color and European descendants from their respective experience with it. This means white people taking responsibility for not only supporting the autonomous efforts by people of color to destroy racism, but also working to destroy racism within themselves and the ENTIRE white community. This also means people of color not only pointing out racist behavior but providing the best alternatives to support our self-determined struggle without co-opting it. This is one of the things we plan to do with the Inter-Communal Solidarity Committee.
Another issue that is pivotal in building “unitary conduct” and advancing the Left is the Inter-Communal working relationship between people of color. The divide and conquer tactic of kkkapitalism has kept 4/5th’s of the world’s population disconnected from one of its main POWER sources, unity. Like crabs in a barrel we have been led to believe that our differences could not be addressed in an egalitarian and anti-authoritarian manner. In the 1960s and ’70s the Imperialist war in Vietnam was a rallying point for Unitary Conduct. Today because of our neo-colonial white power in Black face, many socalled progressives have not pushed a hard enough line to unify against the imperialist wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc. More specifically we have not drawn enough connections between the proxy wars overseas and the proxy war created by the U.S. here between the Black and Brown communities (especially in California). Only when this happens will a larger portion of the white Left have to take notice and fall in line. When the Black, Brown, Red and Yellow communities build stronger ties, the WHOLE LEFT (“white Left” included) will be advancing the struggle. Only when the victims of ALL the kkkapitalist dirty tricks (class AND race) unify, will the example for ALL victims of ruling class exploitation have a pace to march to, that can bring about the results we all need — VICTORY!
The Inter-Communal Solidarity Committee will provide a mechanism to bridge the gap between ideological and cultural differences to build a united Left capable of defending against and smashing on Fascism. The Committee invites revolutionary-minded people from all communities, seriously committed to revolutionary change, to be a part of the Inter-Communal Solidarity Committee. We are launching initiatives to put such unitary action into practice. These are not service or charitable efforts but campaigns aimed at organizing and empowering the Commune. The Hood Health campaign will focus on healthy food, medical services including free HIV and AIDS testing and more. The Break the Lock prisoner solidarity campaign will provide revolutionary educational literature and access to publication to prisoners and transportation for people whose loved ones are in prison. The George Jackson Freedom School will provide mental, physical and cultural education to school-age youth. We are fighting for amnesty for political prisoners and prisoners of war (PP/POWs); and many other campaigns as well.
The BRLP calls on all organizations and community members dedicated to building a united front to destroy kkkapitalism to join us in building the Inter-Communal Solidarity Committee.
“There must be a collective redirection of the old guard the factory and union agitator-with the campus activist who can counter the ill-effects of fascism at its training site, and the lumpenproletariat intellectuals who possess revolutionary scientific socialist attitudes to deal with the masses of street people living outside the system. They must work toward developing the unity of the pamphlet and the silenced pistol. Black, brown and white are all victims together. At the end of this massive collective struggle, we will uncover our new man, the unpredictable culmination of the revolutionary process. He will be better equipped to wage the real struggle, the permanent struggle after the revolution- the one for new relationships between men.” George Jackson, Blood In My Eye
Black Power to Black people, Brown power to Brown people, Red power to Red people, Yellow power to Yellow people and ALL POWER TO ALL PEOPLE WHO DON’T FEAR FREEDOM!
FREE ED POINDEXTER, MONDO WE LANGA, LEONARD PELTIER, AND ALL PP/POWs!
B.R.L.P. MTUMISHI WA WATU (SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE)
The Black Panthers Speak – Philip S. Foner
Blood in My Eye-George Jackson
Press release from the Detroit, MI N.C.C.F. October 25, 1970 - N.C.C.F. Ministry of Information Detroit, MI
Unflinching Antagonisms “The Incomprehensible Black Anarchist Position” - Hanibal Balagoon Shakur