File spoon-archives/marxism-general.archive/marxism-general_1996/96-12-01.070, message 14

Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 13:01:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: M-G: State attacks Brooklyn activists

State attacks Brooklyn political activists

"Police arrested 35 people" in Brooklyn for "weapons possession, endangering the
welfare of a minor and assault."(1) MIM condemns the constant hovering of the state
over the activists allegedly belonging to what the bourgeois media calls the
"Provisional Party of Communists." 

Constitutional right to bear arms

In the United States as so organized by the highest law of the land called the
Constitution, it is not illegal to own weapons. It is written in black and white and
now there are more people than ever able to read it. 

Any so-called government official claiming otherwise, any judge and any legislator
claiming otherwise is acting unlawfully to restrict the rights of the people to bear
arms. On this question, the National Rifle Association is correct. If all these gun
control supporters want to make weapons possession illegal, they are supposed to
amend the Constitution. They cannot just decide to pass their own local laws or
abuse their judicial powers. The Constitution is very clear on that. 

In fact, the original point of making it a right to bear arms was to prevent the
government from imposing tyranny on unarmed citizens. The original defenders of the
Constitution believed the people should be able to overpower the government,
including its whole army.(2) In that way the government would not think of acting in
a oppressive fashion or so the founding fathers thought with some good reason in
MIM's opinion.

The founding fathers were not very good at figuring out that property-owners had
concentrated power to oppress, but they were correct that large professional
government arms of coercion known to them as "standing armies" are a constant threat
to the people. They believed that the coercive power of the government should be
kept to a minimum so that the people could overpower it when they so needed. In the
Cultural Revolution, Mao led the people to put into practice the idea that top
government and party officials have to feel the heat from the people, including
possible physical exposure as a price for having political power.  Those unwilling
to pay that price should just get out of politics and public service -- something
that the cops in St.  Petersburg should consider. Part of the Cultural Revolution
was the setting up of people's militias to replace or balance the role of the
standing armies -- especially in political matters where the role of the army was

For example, the people of St. Petersburg are now rising up against cops and judges
who see it as ordinary to kill Black people on sight. The people in their just
struggle are shooting at the occupier troops and in essence telling them to get
lost. If it had happened to white people, the framers of the Constitution would have
agreed with those revolting against tyranny, even if that tyranny be by the
majority. Today, the country supposedly recognizes that peoples of all colors have
the same Constitutional rights.

For its part, MIM does not care one way or the other about the Constitution. There
is little progressive in arming the population of this imperialist country. 
However, the youth, and the people in militias and the NRA are right to cry out
against the hypocrisy of this government, supposedly based on a Constitution but
making a big stink in the newspapers about communists owning guns.

Mistake of anti-fascist aids bourgeois propaganda

Now an anti-fascist activist named Chip Berlet of the Political Research Associates
( has made a mistake and attacked the Brooklyn
activists and associated them with the two organizations in Massachusetts. The
Boston Globe dutifully exposed their names and set off a red-scare for people
searching for communist front groups in Massachusetts connected to the ones in

As Chip Berlet should know, the government and the far-right in this country are not
inherently good. Keeping secrets from them is necessary and privacy against them is
something that we defend. Some of the same lunatic Moonie organizations and other
militant rightists tail communists, kill them as in Greensboro, send death threats
and send them propaganda mail to their houses and so on.

Hence, Chip Berlet was wrong to start the red scare by telling the Boston Globe that
two organizations in Massachusetts are associated with the weapons cache in
Brooklyn. He called them "dangerous."

Here we see that Berlet's fight against "cults" has reached its logical conclusion:
anyone not within a narrow range of acceptable liberal politics is "dangerous." 
What Berlet has ended up doing is aligning himself with the forces of conformity.

Even Berlet admits that these activists in Brooklyn have never used their weapons.
So why does he draw attention to them as opposed to anyone else with a weapon?
Everyone with a weapon is dangerous. Berlet should consider his personal motivations
for gaining fame by overdoing the cult theme and drop the anti-cult angle.

The police reference to endangering children and assault has to do with whispered
rumors of child abuse by the activists in Brooklyn. The social workers played their
usual reactionary role for the state by looking into this, endangering the people
there by calling in the cops and then by partaking in the red scare in the national
media. It turns out that medical authorities could find no evidence of abuse and
that the supposedly abused child said she was OK. In any organization of 150 people
there are going to be some parents punishing their children. It is hardly a matter
worthy of a media red scare campaign.

Now thanks to this whole setup the people in Brooklyn will be harassed by all kinds
of kooks for being communists. Thanks to Berlet, some of that harassment extends
into Massachusetts where the Boston Globe called some people about their alleged
indirect ties to the Brooklyn activists.

The bottom line is that the bourgeois media and politicians call anyone with strong
or independent opinions a "cult." We agree that there should be ideological
information made available about the Moonies etc. so people know what they are
really joining. That's as far as it goes though -- ideological battle. We have
strong opinions ourselves and we make sure that people are aware of other similar
strong opinions before they join us, because we don't want any would-be Trotskyists
or Moonies in our organization. A vanguard party is supposed to be an organization
of leaders, not a mutual hand-holding session of weaklings.

If someone is physically prevented from leaving an organization -- that is a crime
like any other physical crime. It should be covered as a crime and not
sensationalized as an action by a "cult." If everyone who employed corporal
punishment on their kids were called "cult"  members in this way, we would have a
large fraction of the population arrested.

This brings up an additional problem of "equal protection" under the law. The Boston
Globe makes it clear that the cops basically hover over these Brooklyn activists and
in the past have failed in their raids to find anything at all. Laws are not
supposed to be enforced only against communists or alleged "cult"  members.

The Provisional Research Associates continually complain about "harangues" and
"political tirades." This reveals their middle-class conformity yet again. Having
strong opinions is not a crime and weak-minded people and infiltrator cops who go to
such organizations are not oppressed when they are being harangued.

The cops infiltrating these organizations have carte blanche, because of the furor
whipped up by people like Berlet. How many of the complainers leaving the Brooklyn
activist group were really just cops who made up their stories or actually started
violent fights so that they could claim they were beaten?

These liberals don't understand that for the truly oppressed politics is a matter of
life and death. It's typical of the whining nature of this culture that now it's
considered oppressive "coercion" to be harangued. These wannabe middle-class
activists need to starve, go without a roof and clothing, get shot with u.s. 
weapons given to puppet allies and do without minimal drugs to fight basic
infections and then they can know what oppression is. 

Biased media coverage

About the only time that the bourgeois media covers the independent organizations of
the people such as what they are calling the Provisional Party of Communists occurs
when the cops tell them to do so. Two organizations allegedly tied to that
organization have worked hard in Massachusetts for more than ten years, but the
Boston Globe has not written any story about them. (See their web site
with search index.)

Now in passing the Boston Globe says that these organizations provide "small" and
"incompetent" public services. Well--there is a story that should have been written
10 years ago. From MIM's knowledge, these people in fact work very hard and
sometimes we wonder if the people they serve are worth the effort. 

The story run by the Boston Globe does not contain a single quote from anyone
arrested. It's all cops and mainstream liberals in the story. We urge our readers to
write to the ombudsman at to complain about these ridiculous smears
and the lack of fairness in not even quoting the people arrested anywhere in the
story while attempting to interview people allegedly belonging to front-group
organizations that Berlet told the Globe to look into. Copies can also go to

We also call on the activists arrested to contact MIM Notes. Our pages are open to
their side of the story, no matter our other differences. We will turn this attack
by the state into a good thing.

Notes:  1. "Raid said to expose leftist cult in NYC," Boston Globe 14Nov96, p. a3. 
2. Alexander Hamilton, "The Federalist Papers," (NY: New American Library, 1961), p.
67, 69, 70, 115, 257.

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