Which Side Are You On?

September 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Over the past month, people have risen up—most notably in Ferguson, Missouri—against police murder, but elsewhere as well, against other outrages and abuses. The lines should be very clear: those who stand with justice and the oppressed against those who stand with the oppressors and their enforcers.

But in the course of these uprisings, some people who claim to be on the side of the people have carried out actions that put them with the oppressors. This is not a matter of having political disagreements, even sharp disagreements, about the best ways to resist and seek justice; those kinds of disagreements will, and should, happen in any political struggle or movement. No, this is a matter of actually going over to the other camp, to the oppressors, while claiming to be the biggest fighters FOR the people.

So, let's suggest some simple standards, all drawn from actual events of this past month, that everyone should be able to agree on:

If you go around helping the pigs arrest people, pointing them out and even tackling them for these pigs, then you are working with the pigs and in the camp of the oppressors.

If you go around quoting outright fascist and racist blogs as factual when they attack revolutionaries, then you are lending credibility to the fascists and in the camp of the oppressors.

If you have a journalistic platform and use it to make false accusations against revolutionaries and others who are standing up to resist, either accusing them of crimes or lightly branding them as agent provocateurs, then you are setting people up for prosecution and in the camp of the oppressors.

If you initiate or threaten violence against someone in the movement for justice over political differences, then you are aiding the enemy and in the camp of the oppressors.

If, instead of engaging in principled debate over political differences, you actively refuse and try to suppress such debate and actually spread slander and gutter-level attacks, then you are setting people up for attack by the enemy and in the camp of the oppressors.

If you stalk, pry into and seek to reveal private information about the identities, whereabouts and lives of people who are resisting in dangerous situations, especially situations in which other people have previously been attacked and even killed by counter-revolutionaries and/or the state, then you are aiding and abetting that reactionary violence and in the camp of the oppressors.

If you attack revolutionary leaders with slander or threats, never engaging or speaking to their actual deeds, work or ideas, then you are making it easier for the state and fascists to go after such leaders and aiding the oppressors.

The kinds of outrageous activities pointed to above have all happened—and they must have no place in any serious movement. People should not only abstain from these, but struggle against them when they arise. There are too many bitter experiences, paid for in blood, when this has NOT happened. We should, all of us, struggle to build a movement that is based on courageously confronting and giving no quarter to the enemy AND that is infused with vigorous debate on a foundation of largeness of mind and generosity of spirit on the side of the people.


For background see: "A Reflection on Piggery—Then and Now."


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