Saturday, July 31, 2021

SNCC Veterans Gloria Richardson Dandridge and Bob Moses Made Monumental Contributions to Civil Rights


July 29, 2021

Reprinted from Fighting Words SNCC Veterans Gloria Richardson Dandridge and Bob Moses Made Monumental Contributions to Civil Rights – Fighting Words (

SNCC organizers Gloria Richardson, Stokely Carmichael and Cleve Sellers being arrested in Cambridge, Maryland at the height of the mass demonstrations and urban rebellions.

By Abayomi Azikiwe

During the month of July, two heroic figures in the struggle against Jim Crow and race terror, Gloria Richardson Dandridge and Bob Moses passed away.

Their lives intersected with the upsurge in the African American led struggle for full equality and self-determination centered in the southern United States while having a profound impact nationally and internationally.

Gloria St. Clair Hayes was born on May 6, 1922 in Cambridge, Maryland to a family of hard working independent African Americans. Several members of her family were known as fighters for racial justice.

Richardson’s (her first married name) earliest involvement in the antiracist movement took place in 1938 when she became active in protesting segregation in Washington, D.C. as a student at Howard University. She also protested conditions at the premier Historic Black College and University (HBCU) during her tenure as a student. She would later return to Cambridge where prospects for employment were limited despite her graduation from Howard.

Dandridge worked in a pharmacy owned by a member of her family. She strongly opposed the inferior segregated educational and public facilities made available to African Americans in Maryland.

Years after returning to Cambridge she became involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s. A series of demonstrations in December 1961 in the eastern shore city resulted in the arrests of several high school students including the daughter of Richardson.

By 1962, Richardson had made contact with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) attending their national conference in Atlanta. She would join the executive board of SNCC bringing a different perspective on organizing to Cambridge. The Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee (CNAC) was founded as an affiliate of SNCC in that same year.

SNCC had been formed as a direct result of the outbreak of sit-ins and boycotts demanding an end to segregation beginning in February of 1960. Demonstrations rapidly spread throughout the South in cities such as Greensboro, North Carolina, Nashville, Tennessee, and many others. These actions were led by students and youth from the African American community seeking an immediate solution to the centuries-long system of national oppression and economic exploitation.

SNCC was formed at Shaw University in North Carolina in April 1960. The organization remained independent of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), headed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ella Baker, an organizer with decades of experience, served in 1960 as the executive secretary of SCLC. Baker encouraged the youth to form their own organization which they did. They would become the vanguard force in the broader struggle for Civil Rights and later Black Power.

An entry from the SNCC Digital Project on the contributions of Richardson, says that:

“The Cambridge Movement directed its work towards improving living conditions for the people of the Second Ward. Meanwhile, continuing militant CNAC protests angered not only the Kennedy administration nearby in Washington, D.C., but also national civil rights leaders. When the state of Maryland and federal negotiators, led by Robert Kennedy (then Attorney General under the John F. Kennedy administration), proposed voting for the right of access to public accommodations in 1963–a so-called “Treaty of Cambridge“–CNAC boycotted the vote. At a press conference, Richardson stated, ‘A first-class citizen does not beg for freedom. A first-class citizen does not plead to the white power-structure to give him something that the whites have no power to give or take away. Human rights are human rights, not white rights.’ The civil rights movement establishment was angered at her refusal.”

National Guard troops were deployed to Cambridge in the summers of 1963 and 1964 to quell protests and rebellions. Richardson and SNCC openly defied the occupation and were arrested on numerous occasions. During the protests, an infant and a senior citizen were killed as a direct result of police use of cyanogen (CN2), which is military grade crowd-control gas.

It would take two years of persistent mass activity to break Jim Crow in Cambridge. Richardson would later remarry professional photographer Frank Dandridge and move to New York City.

Bob Moses and the Role of Local Leadership in the Civil Rights Movement

Robert Parris Moses was a leading figure in SNCC joining its staff in the early 1960s. He, like Richardson, was older than the majority of people in the student organization.

Born to a working-class family in New York City on January 23, 1935, Moses witnessed first-hand the impact of segregation and exploitation in an urban setting. He was committed to education and earned a B.A. from Hamilton College in 1956 and later a M.A. in Philosophy from Harvard in 1957.

Moses was teaching at the Horace Mann School in New York when Ella Baker sent him into Mississippi to organize a chapter of SNCC in 1960. He made contact with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) official Amzie Moore. Later Moses joined the staff of SNCC and became a full-time organizer in Mississippi.

He witnessed the violence which was pervasive in Mississippi and other southern states in response to Civil Rights organizers. One leader in the voting rights struggle in Amite County, Mississippi was Herbert Lee, a successful African American cotton and dairy farmer. Lee was a charter member of the Amite County NAACP and was a proponent of defying the segregation laws prohibiting the majority of African Americans from voting in the state.

Moses worked with Lee in building up a campaign to encourage disenfranchised Black people to register and vote. On September 25, 1961, Lee was shot to death in broad daylight outside a cotton gin in Liberty, Mississippi by a white State Representative E.H. Hurst. After a grand jury indictment, Hurst was acquitted after a verdict of justifiable homicide was declared.

Later an eyewitness to Lee’s assassination, Louis Allen, also an agricultural producer and small businessman, informed federal law-enforcement personnel in 1964 that his testimony in the trial of E.H. Hurst was given under duress as armed white men were present in the courtroom. A day prior to Allen leaving the state of Mississippi in 1964, he was shot to death. No one was ever indicted for his murder after several investigations pinpointed the killer.

SNCC formed an alliance with the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Mississippi NAACP under the direction of state Vice President Amzie Moore, initiating the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) in 1961, under whose banner the Summer Project of 1964 was carried out. The project recruited hundreds of students and lawyers from other regions of the U.S. to come to Mississippi and assist with a massive voter registration effort.

On June 21, 1964, three youthful Civil Rights workers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney went missing near the town of Philadelphia, Mississippi in Neshoba County. Many of the students were still going through orientation in Ohio when word of the missing Civil Rights workers became national news. The three young men were found 44 days later, after a federal manhunt led by the FBI uncovered them buried in an earthen dam.

During the Freedom Summer project, scores of volunteers and local people were subjected to beatings and arrests. During that summer, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) recruited residents to attend the Democratic National Convention (DNC) being held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The MFDP delegation demanded they be seated as the genuine representatives of the state since the segregationist Democrats excluded African Americans from voting.

The then President Lyndon B. Johnson was seeking election because he had inherited the position as a result of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963. When Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer of SNCC and the MFDP spoke before the Democratic National Convention credentials committee, Johnson called a press conference to preempt Hamer from gaining a national audience over television. The MFDP delegation was denied the right to replace the segregationists and instead were offered two seats at-large at the DNC. MFDP rejected the offer and returned to Mississippi after exposing the hypocrisy of the Johnson administration in regard to Civil Rights implementation. The 1964 Civil Rights Act had just been signed into law that same summer, yet African Americans could not be seated as the legitimate representatives of the people of Mississippi along with other southern states.

Two years later, Moses would leave the U.S. to live and teach in the East African state of Tanzania for a decade, then a center of the national liberation movements and socialist construction throughout the continent. His most recent formidable contribution was the development of the Algebra Project which focused on the teaching of mathematics to secondary school students in urban areas. Moses would later return to Harvard to earn a Ph.D.

Significance of the Civil Rights Struggle in 21st Century

Individuals such as Gloria Richardson Dandridge and Bob Moses along with other SNCC comrades should be studied by youth organizers in the 21st century. Their selfless sacrifices and fearlessness are two of the required characteristics among those seeking to build movements and organizations aimed at transforming society.

Both of these pioneers utilized their formal education to serve the oppressed and working people in the U.S. and around the world. The work which they embarked upon remains incomplete as the forces of racism, capitalism and imperialism continue to rule the U.S. and many geo-political regions around the globe.

Leaving Afghanistan: Why Not Iraq and Syria?

July 23, 2021

Reprinted from Fighting Words Leaving Afghanistan: Why Not Iraq and Syria? – Fighting Words (

Pentagon troops occupying Afghanistan Pentagon troops occupying Afghanistan. | Photo: Omar Sobhani/REUTERS

By Abayomi Azikiwe

President Joe Biden announced several months ago that the United States would end its two decades-long occupation of the Central Asian state of Afghanistan.

Since the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon outside of Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has been at war with several countries and organizations all of which are within the oppressed regions of Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean.

The U.S. intervention in Afghanistan began clandestinely in the late 1970s when the administration of former President Jimmy Carter authorized efforts to undermine the socialist-oriented government which was aligned with the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). By the early 1980s, the administration of President Ronald Reagan escalated the interference in Afghan affairs by training, funding and providing diplomatic cover for the armed opposition groups in that country.

It was during these counter-revolutionary policy implementations towards Afghanistan and the Soviet Union that the al-Qaeda grouping was founded. These same forces which today Washington calls “terrorists” were in fact the by-product of imperialism.

Several other NATO countries joined the U.S. in its occupation of Afghanistan beginning in October 2001. Germany, France, Canada, Britain, among others have all had troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of the Pentagon-led military operation. All of these NATO countries took casualties in the war against the Afghans fighting to end the presence of foreign troops.

The Taliban, which is an Islamic-oriented movement, was in control of Afghanistan in 2001 at the time of the U.S. invasion. Even though they were bombed out of the capital during the early onslaught of the intervention, the organization remains intact two decades later after being subjected to the military prowess of NATO.

Official statistics supplied by the U.S. government indicates that approximately 2,300 U.S. troops were killed in action in Afghanistan while there were 30,000 wounded. These figures do not take into consideration the number of people who died later from their wounds or others who perished resulting from mental health issues stemming from serving in an unjust imperialist war.

The number of Afghan fighters and civilians killed since 2001 has been estimated by some sources to be around 71,000 people. This in all likelihood is a conservative estimate considering the massive bombing operations carried out by the Pentagon and its NATO allies.

One study on the impact of the Afghan war says the following:

“As of April 2021, more than 71,000 Afghan and Pakistani civilians are estimated to have died as a direct result of the war.

“The United States military in 2017 relaxed its rules of engagement for airstrikes in Afghanistan, which resulted in a massive increase in civilian casualties. The CIA has armed and funded Afghan militia groups who have been implicated in grave human rights abuses and killings of civilians. Afghan land is contaminated with unexploded ordnance, which kills and injures tens of thousands of Afghans, especially children, as they travel and go about their daily chores. The war has exacerbated the effects of poverty, malnutrition, poor sanitation, lack of access to health care, and environmental degradation on Afghans’ health.”

Despite this announced withdrawal, military and intelligence personnel will remain in Afghanistan to protect the U.S. embassy, the Kabul airport and continue the training of the local security forces installed by Washington. The U.S. should be forced to pay reparations to Afghanistan for the destabilization, occupation and plunder of this country since 1979.

Iraq and Syria: Imperialism Must Withdraw in Line with the Desires of the People

Since 1990 the U.S. government has blockaded Iraq initially citing the seizure of Kuwait by the former leadership of President Saddam Hussein. A full-scale invasion of Kuwait and southern Iraq in early 1991 killed hundreds of thousands of people.

For the next twelve years, the Iraqi people endured enormous suffering due to the draconian sanctions imposed by the United Nations at the aegis of Washington. By 2003, under the pretext of disarming the Baathist government in Baghdad, the administration of President George Bush, Jr. invaded Iraq where U.S. troops still remain, albeit in smaller numbers, up until today.

Although successive administrations have declared the withdrawal of “combat troops” from Iraq, the Pentagon wants to guarantee that the influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the broader “Axis of Resistance”, which encompasses Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and other states, does not gain complete control of the region. After the beginning of destabilization efforts by the U.S. in Libya and Syria, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (or Syria), popularly known as ISIS, was created.

ISIS and its affiliates have been waging war against the civilian governments in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The group has never attacked the State of Israel which is the principal source of instability in the Middle East. Israel is backed by the U.S. through billions of dollars in direct aid, military assistance, preferential trade deals and diplomatic cover.

Official U.S. statistics say that nearly 4,500 Pentagon soldiers have been killed in Iraq. While at the same time up to a million or more Iraqis have died although these figures have never been acknowledged by the Pentagon. Efforts to destabilize Iraq continue on a daily basis. ()

A report from Reuters on July 20 illustrates that:

“A suicide bomber killed at least 35 people and wounded dozens in a crowded market in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday, the eve of the Eid al-Adha festival, security and hospital sources said. More than 60 people were wounded, a police source said. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the group’s Nasheer news agency said on Telegram. It said one of its militants blew up his explosive vest among the crowds. Hospital sources said the death toll could rise as some of the wounded were in critical condition.”

In neighboring Syria, the U.S. backed attempt to stage a “color revolution” starting in 2011 has failed to dislodge the Arab Baath Socialist Party (ABSP) government led by President Bashar al-Assad. Under the administration of President Barack Obama, U.S. troops were sent into Syria while periodic bombing operations were carried out. Millions of Syrians and Iraqis have been dislocated as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.

During the latter period of the administration of President Donald Trump, U.S. troops were moved to areas surrounding the Syrian oil fields. Reports suggest that the resources from the oil fields are being expropriated and that funds are being utilized to finance the so-called Syrian Democratic Front (SADF), a Kurdish militia ostensibly fighting against both Turkey and the government in Damascus.

Under the current Democratic administration of President Joe Biden, the occupation and bombing of Syria and Iraq continues. On June 28, the Wall Street Journal reported:

“The U.S. conducted airstrikes in Syria and Iraq against two Iranian-backed militias that the Pentagon said were mounting drone attacks against U.S. troops. The Pentagon said operational and weapons-storage facilities had been struck near the Syria-Iraq border at three locations that it said had been used by the Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada militia groups.”

The Syrian and Iraqis governments have both asked the U.S. and its allies to withdraw their forces from the region. Why are U. S. troops still in Iraq and Syria? They were not invited by any government in these countries which have served for decades.

Impact of Pentagon Funding and War Policy on the Workers and Oppressed in the U.S.

Conditions for most people in the U.S. have continued to decline since the period after the conclusion of the occupation of Vietnam and Southeast Asia in 1975. Infrastructural decline within the urban and suburban areas have resulted in depopulation of the cities and their later partial gentrification. Municipal financing has been hampered by the obligations to the banks, bonding firms and stock rating agencies. The conditions placed upon municipalities in exchange for credit and bond issuances are inherently designed to further the exploitation and oppression of the working class.

The U.S. has stated repeatedly that their objectives for invading and occupying geo-political regions is to restore social stability and democracy. Nonetheless, within the U.S., millions are victimized by the criminal justice system utilizing the police, prosecutors, judges, jails, prisons and the intensifying militarization of education and law-enforcement. Many of the same crowd control tactical weapons utilized abroad are being deployed against the Black Lives Matter protests which have swept the U.S. since the spring and summer of 2020.

Climate change and its impact cannot be adequately addressed amid a continuing pre-occupation with imperialist conquest and domination by Washington and Wall Street. The capitalist and imperialist system based in the U.S. is the source of most of the turmoil in the world in the 21st century. Therefore, people in the U.S. have a pivotal role to play in improving the social conditions of the majority domestically and on a global scale.

Washington Continues to Destabilize Haiti and Cuba


July 23, 2021

Reprinted from Fighting Words Washington Continues to Destabilize Haiti and Cuba – Fighting Words (

Cuba First Secretary of the Communist Party outgoing and incoming Cuba First Secretary of the Communist Party outgoing and incoming. | Photo: Estudio RevoluciónHaiti where FBI is inside the country Haiti where FBI is inside the country. | Photo: Joseph Odelyn/AP

By Abayomi Azikiwe

Haitian President Jovenal Moise was assassinated in his private residence during the early morning hours of July 7 in Port-au-Prince. The circumstances surrounding his death continue to unfold within various news agencies and investigative efforts inside and outside of Haiti.

Many of the links to those arrested as suspects in the killing of the former president lead right back to the United States through the Pentagon and federal law-enforcement agencies. Although the administration of President Joe Biden has said that it does not have the “deployment of troops on its agenda” in regard to Haiti, they have admitted that a team of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies have been sent to Haiti. These federal agents are now inside the Caribbean country while Marines are being dispatched ostensibly to protect the U.S. embassy.

Moise had enjoyed the monetary and diplomatic support of Washington since he was elected as president under very controversial circumstances in 2016. It would take months for Moise to be seated as president during February 2017. Almost immediately mass demonstrations and strikes erupted in response to his policies which negatively impacted the working class and poor.

Yet despite his close ties with the previous administration of President Donald Trump, it was not enough to stabilize the situation politically. Eruptions of social unrest occurred from 2018 to the present. In recent months, there has been the rise of organized criminal gangs which were in support of Moise and his Tet Kale Party (Bald Headed) as they terrorized and destroyed several communities in the capital of Port-au-Prince.

The majority of the suspected assassins come from the South American state of Colombia, a longtime close ally of the U.S. The Colombian security forces have received enormous assistance from successive administrations in Washington in an effort to stave off revolutionary movements which have broad support among the population.

A number of the Colombian suspects were trained by the Pentagon. The U.S. Defense Department often provides military training to personnel from countries throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia in order to maintain influence and even dominance within the security apparatus of oppressed nations that are aligned with Washington.

Even the Voice of America, the media outlet for the State Department, wrote on July 16 that:

“Some of the Colombian nationals detained by the Haitian National police in connection with the assassination of President Jovenel Moise took part in ‘U.S. military training and education programs,’ a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed in a statement emailed to VOA.  The information came to light during a review of training databases, Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman said, without specifying when or where the training took place.  ‘Our review is ongoing, so we do not have additional details at this time,’ Hoffman said. The development was first reported by The Washington Post. The U.S. Defense Department says it trains thousands of military people from South America, Central America and the Caribbean each year.”

Three of the Haitians who have been apprehended all have U.S. citizenship. Two of them were captured alongside the operatives from Colombia. They reportedly worked for a military services firm which does security for governments, wealthy individuals and corporations.

Compounding these ties to the U.S are reports that the armed individuals who arrived at President Moise’s private home identified themselves as agents of the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Some of the suspects have been quoted as saying they were at the location to serve a search and arrest warrant for Moise.

At least one person linked to the assassination has been identified as a “source”, meaning an informant or operative, with the DEA. Haiti for a number of years has been accused of being a conduit for drug trafficking into the U.S.

Cuba and the Ongoing Blockade Prompts Subversive Attempts by Washington

In the aftermath of the assassination of President Moise, on July 11, reports emanating from the corporate media in the U.S. claimed that thousands of people had taken to the streets in several Cuban cities to protest the lack of food, medicines and civil liberties. The focus of the demonstrations was said to have been directed against the ruling Cuban Communist Party.

Nonetheless, there was no mention of the economic crisis engendered by the six decades-long blockade of Cuba by the U.S. which extends itself internationally. Over the last two decades, Cuba has relied on the growth in tourism and the opening up of the national economy to U.S. currency and forms of small and medium business enterprises.

Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic the entire world economic system has suffered mass unemployment, impoverishment and dislocation. Healthcare systems in the most advanced capitalist countries of the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Japan, have been overburdened with coronavirus patients.

Cuba had done well in containing the spread of the pandemic until recent months when the country began to reopen in the tourism sector. Over the last several weeks there has been an escalation in coronavirus infections just as the government is rolling out its own domestically produced vaccines. The rise in cases is not limited to Cuba. Inside the U.S., the emergence of the Delta variant and other mutations are fueling hospitalizations particularly in the southern region of the country.

Cuban solidarity groups and anti-imperialists are echoing the position of the President Miguel Diaz-Canel in saying that if the administration of President Joe Biden is so concerned about the humanitarian situation inside the socialist Caribbean state, then he should through executive order lift the restrictions placed on U.S.-Cuban relations enacted by his predecessor Donald J. Trump.

The measures imposed by Trump limited the ability to provide remittances from Cubans living in the U.S. to their homeland. Other draconian executive orders by Trump were an attempt to undermine the path towards normalization begun by former President Barack Obama. Although Obama re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba, the blockade and sanctions will have to be eliminated by the U.S. Congress.

An article published by the Venezuelan-based Telesur news agency notes:

“On Friday (July 16), Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel questioned U.S. President Joe Biden’s concern about the crisis on the Island and argued that Washington has failed to destroy the Revolution despite wasting billions of dollars in its attempts to do so. ‘If Biden had sincere humanitarian concern for the Cuban people, he could eliminate the 243 crippling sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump as a first step towards ending the economic blockade,’ Diaz-Canel stated. The coercive measures, which have contributed to Cuba’s worst economic crisis in decades, limit the travel of U.S. citizens to the Island, restrict the sending of remittances, and sanction foreign companies doing business with Cuba. Cuban officials and many analysts charge the reactionary Cuban-American community, which has a strong political influence on Florida State, for driving the U.S. policy on Cuba.”

The Biden administration immediately spoke out in support of the July 11 anti-government protests in Cuba. Such an approach merely reinforces the economic plight of the Cuban people while stoking animosity between the revolutionary government and Washington.

Role of Anti-imperialists in the U.S.

Of course, the task of those committed to liberation and world peace within the imperialist countries in the face of attacks against the oppressed nations and socialist states, is to support the Cuban Revolution. The gains of their socialist revolution domestically and internationally deserve the maximum solidarity of the progressive forces in the industrialized states.

In the case of Haiti, which was founded in 1804 after a revolutionary war waged by enslaved Africans which lasted for twelve years against France, England and Spain with the backing of the U.S., Washington from its inception has strangled the capacity of Haiti to develop as an independent nation. There have been numerous blockades and direct military interventions in Haiti along with neighboring Dominican Republic which shares the island of Hispaniola. France, in exchange for the diplomatic recognition of Haiti, forced the Caribbean state to pay “indemnity” for the destruction of the sugar plantations and other properties owned by the French colonial enslavers.

Irrespective of the political character of recent Haitian administrations, anti-imperialists must defend the sovereign rights of the masses of workers, farmers, youth and all democratic forces to the right of self-determination. Haiti cannot develop in its own interests as long as the U.S. continues to interfere in its internal affairs.

Cuba cast off the yoke of U.S domination which was consolidated after the so-called Spanish-American War which took place at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The revolution of 1959 became radicalized through the necessity of safeguarding the genuine independence of the island-nation. The attempted U.S. sponsored invasion at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961, decades of CIA sponsored attacks and subversion and a never-ending blockade has defined relations between Washington and Havana for 62 years.

The Haitians and Cubans are not the enemies of the people within the U.S. Imperialism must not be allowed to divide the working class and oppressed of the industrialized states from their counterparts in the oppressed and socialist nations. Only the unity of the proletariat and oppressed globally can create the conditions for the building of equal relations between the peoples of the world.

July 28th Protests Across the SF Bay Area Demand that Biden Stop Supporting Dictatorship in Haiti


July 30, 2021

Reprinted from Fighting Words July 28th Protests Across the SF Bay Area Demand that Biden Stop Supporting Dictatorship in Haiti – Fighting Words (

Freeway banner drop on July 28th, 2021 in Oakland, California over highway. | Photo: Haiti Action Committee

By Haiti Action Committee

The freeway banner drops were done in conjunction with protests on the east coast, along with those in Haiti, making the following demands on the Biden Administration:

Cut off all US aid for the Haitian police once and for all.

Stop supporting the PHTK regime regardless of who the new figurehead becomes.

End US support for sham elections and the Constitutional referendum organized by the PHTK regime this September.

Support the right of the Haitian people to form, through their own popular movement, their own Sali Piblik transition government free from US interference. No US military intervention in Haiti.

Throughout its reign, the Haitian people have taken to the streets by the hundreds of thousands, again and again, to oppose the PHTK dictatorship, facing live ammunition, tear gas, arbitrary arrest, torture, rape, and extrajudicial killings by the Haitian National Police (HNP)– trained by UN occupation officials in Haiti and by the US police, including the NYPD. The HNP has likewise been funded by the US government to the tune of millions of dollars per year, with US funding increasing under the Trump Administration, a move correlating with increasing human rights violations by the HNP. The Biden Administration has likewise continued this support for a police force clearly implicated in massacres in poor neighborhoods, such as Lasalin and Bel Air. Police and regime-backed paralimitlary violence have displaced thousands of people who have been forced from their neighborhoods after their homes have been burned down and their relatives and neighbors have been massacred.

Since the assassination of Jovenel Moise, the Biden Administration has continued to support the PHTK regime to maintain its grip in power, calling for increased funding for the regime’s police. Additionally, the Biden Administration continues to back the regime’s plans to hold elections this September, against the wishes of the Haitian majority who recognize clearly that no fair and free elections are possible under the PHTK dictatorship.

According to Pierre Labossiere, co-founder of the SF Bay-Area based Haiti Action Committee:

“The Haitian people are in the streets, demanding their basic human rights, genuine democracy, and the right to true independence from foreign domination. We cannot allow tax dollars to perpetuate misery and massacres in Haiti. Black Lives Matter! From Haiti to the Bay!”

The function of the PHTK dictatorship is to favor upper class and corporate interests at the expense of the poor majority. The regime is notorious for the massive looting of public funds, for facilitating land grabs  and the dispossession of Haitian farmers, as well as for further enabling the plunder of Haiti’s vast natural resources (gold, petroleum, bauxite and more) by domestic oligarchs and foreign corporations. The “open” investment climate supported by the PHTK regime is noted in this 2018 US State Department Report on “doing business in Haiti”.

US support for the PHTK dictatorship is consistent with the long track record of US intervention in Haiti, from opposing the Haitian revolution in 1804 to invading and occupying Haiti in the early 20th century, from propping up the Duvalier dictatorship between the 1950s and 1980s to backing two violent coup d’etats against the democratically elected, popular President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1991 and again in 2004. The PHTK dictatorship is the institutionalization of this last coup, waging a one-sided war of repression–  funded by  US tax dollars– against the popular movement led by Fanmi Lavalas, the political party based on speaking to the needs of the poor majority.

Haiti Action Committee

PO Box 2040

Berkeley,CA 94702

Was Moise Killed to Stop China’s Belt and Silk Road in the Caribbean?

July 28, 2021

Reprinted from Fighting Words Was Moise killed to stop China’s Belt and Silk Road in the Caribbean? – Fighting Words (

Billions in international aid to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake went to enrich Haiti’s oligarchs. | Photo: Jon Warren

By Chris Fry

Did the Biden Administration violate Executive Order 12333 and Article 4 of the UN Charter by arranging the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse on July 17? If so, President Biden could legally be found guilty of an impeachable offense by assassinating a foreign leader. Was this murder done to prevent Moise from switching recognition from U.S.-backed Taiwan to socialist China?

Evidence is mounting of U.S. directing the murder plot against Moise. At least four of the Colombian mercenary ex-soldiers that burst into the Moise residence and shot him after gouging his eyes out and also shot his wife in their bedroom were trained at Fort Benning at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Formerly known as the School of the Americas, it has been often referred to by peace activists as the “School of the Assassins.”

The U.S. government admits that some of these mercenaries were paid informants of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The Haitian security forces allowed the mercenaries to enter without resistance. As the Washington Post reported on July 19th:

Though police teams eventually made it to the house, there are lingering questions about why the president’s regular guard units were not able to protect him and whether roadblocks set up near the house were circumvented. Presidential security chief Dimitri Hérard was removed from his position and placed under detention, police announced July 15.

Two American mercenaries, James Solages and Joseph Vincent, were arrested with several others at a house owned by Magalie Habitant, a major figure in Moïse’s right-wing Tet Kale party.  Eleven mercenaries were arrested at Taiwan’s embassy, a mile from Moise’s residence. In total, Haiti National Police said there were 28 presumed conspirators responsible for Wednesday’s raid, with 17 arrested, three dead and eight still at large.

A July 15th Post article  describes a planning meeting in May in Florida, where fantastic plans, certainly based on U.S. promises, were discussed of Haiti’s development once Moise was removed:

In a spacious meeting room overlooking the courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a vision to “save Haiti” took shape. The $83 billion effort would reinvent the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation, lavishing it with roadways, electricity grids, seaports and airports.

Haiti’s new dawn, attendees at the May 12 meeting were told, would be led by Christian Emmanuel Sanon — a 63-year-old Haitian American and self-described pastor and physician now detained in Haiti in connection with the investigation into the audacious assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.

Sanon’s stated mission during that gathering: Turn “Haiti into a free and open society,” said Parnell Duverger, 70, a retired professor who attended the Fort Lauderdale presentation and had drafted the redevelopment plan pitched by Sanon.

Those arrayed around Sanon included Walter Veintemilla, a Florida financier who invests in infrastructure projects, and Antonio “Tony” Intriago, the owner of a local security firm also in Florida, according to Duverger and another person familiar with the meeting. The gathering became a precursor to an ambitious written proposal shared among Sanon and the two business owners the following month and obtained by The Washington Post.

A company owned by Veintemilla, Worldwide Investment Development Group, and Intriago’s CTU Security would recruit and assemble a private security force to protect Sanon until he became Haiti’s president, according to the details in an unsigned draft consulting agreement obtained by The Post. Sanon ultimately would repay them for their services using the country’s assets, according to the draft contract circulated on June 22.

Apparently, most of the mercenaries were told that the plans for Moise’s removal would be the same as the 2004 coup against popular and progressive President Aristide, who was kidnapped and hustled out of the country by the CIA. Some thought they were there to serve an “arrest warrant”.  But for Moise there were other plans:

Colombian President Iván Duque said some of the former soldiers from his country who had been arrested appeared genuinely to believe that they were in Haiti to serve as bodyguards.

But among the soldiers was a “smaller group” that “apparently had detailed knowledge of what was to be a criminal operation,” Duque said during a radio interview.

Diem Assassination – 1963

U.S. imperialism has no compunction about removing its hired henchmen if they prove unable to carry out its wishes. On November 2, 1963, President Kennedy discussed how he gave the ok to the Saigon generals that assassinated Ngo Dinh Diem that same day. Diem had been installed by the U.S. to be president of the illegitimate “South Vietnam” regime. Like Moïse, Diem was more and more using brutal repression against the people of Vietnam that inflamed so much opposition to the U.S. occupation that the White House decided he must go. The coup leaders shot Diem and his brother dead.

Little did Kennedy know that three weeks later he would meet the same fate in Dallas. As Malcolm X said at the time: “The chickens have come home to roost.”

Haitian and other activists around the world clearly see the hand of the U.S. in the Moise assassination. But the motive seems murky. After all, Biden could have forced him to flee the country, which most of these conspirators apparently thought would happen. Or they could have agreed with the legal scholars of the Haitian constitution that his term expired in February and simply no longer recognized him. Certainly, Moise’s corruption and brutal repression had already created massive popular opposition to his regime, with huge frequent militant protests in the streets. There must be some other reason why Moise had to die, his voice silenced.

China’s Belt and Silk Road in the Caribbean  

On July 15th, a week after Moise’s assassination, a Taiwan newspaper noted  the concern of imperialist politicians:

Two United States congressmen on Wednesday wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the State Department to be wary of Chinese meddling in Haiti following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse last week, while also highlighting the importance of the Caribbean nation’s ties to Taiwan.

“We are concerned about the potential ripple effects this assassination may have on stability, both within Haiti and across the wider region — as well as the doors it may open to political interference by the People’s Republic of China,” House representatives Scott Perry and Tom Tiffany wrote in their letter.

Haiti is one of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies [out of 195 countries – CF].

China had refrained from trying to woo away Taiwan’s diplomatic allies when relations between the two sides were good from 2008 to 2016.

However, Beijing sees the current Taiwanese administration as being pro-independence. Amid poor relations between Beijing and Taipei in the past five years, China has been increasingly active in its attempts to poach nations that have formal ties with Taiwan.

According to the U.S. congressmen’s interpretation: “China is constantly seeking opportunities to pressure these nations to switch their diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing in an effort to exert more political and economic influence on the developing world.”

Citing as examples, they said countries such as Burkina Faso, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic have all in recent years given in to Chinese pressure and abandoned ties with Taiwan.

A May 17, 2018, Miami Herald article titled: “The Dominican Republic ditched Taiwan for China. Is Haiti next to cut diplomatic ties?”, states:

Anyone who has been to Haiti’s capital knows that crumbling infrastructure, terrible gridlock and blackouts are the norm.

Youri Chevry, the mayor of Port-au-Prince, says foreign aid can help him change all that — but not from Haiti’s traditional partners. From mainland China.

“We don’t have a city,” said Chevry, who campaigned on reviving the destitute capital city, which was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. “It’s not about China, or anybody else. It’s about rebuilding Port-au-Prince. China is offering me something that I like and I want to go for it.”

“If these things happen, it’s going to be a real start for Haiti, not just Port-au-Prince,” said Chevry, who initially just wanted to rebuild City Hall and the famous Croix-des-Bossales market where slaves were once sold, before the Chinese offered much more.

But there is a problem. Haiti remains loyal to Taiwan, which has been scrambling to hold on to its diplomatic allies as China steps up its campaign to force formal recognition of its “One China” policy by luring countries away from Taiwan with economic incentives. Because Beijing considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province that will one day be reunified with China, it won’t extend diplomatic relations to countries that recognize Taiwan. The Dominican Republic became the second country in the region, after Panama last year, to make the switch to Beijing, reducing Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to just 19. [El Salvador also switched, and Taiwan is now down to just 14 countries that recognize it, plus the Vatican – CF]

Moïse, who has been in office 15 months, is facing a $155 million budget deficit, dwindling foreign aid and mounting discontent over expected increases in fuel prices. He is under considerable pressure to find external financing to improve Haiti’s poor economic outlook and fulfill a slew of campaign promises, including bringing 24-hour electricity to all of Haiti within the next 13 months.

An article from the East Asia Forum (EAF), written on July 23, 2019, discusses China’s strategy during the Trump regime:

China’s ability to connect Caribbean nations to the Maritime Silk Road is an important barometer of the Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) global applicability. In recent years, the United States has become an absent steward over the Caribbean. Aid is dwindling, ambassador posts remain empty, and a chorus of Caribbean leaders are showing a willingness to accept BRI funding as a way to meet badly needed infrastructure improvements.

Beijing is throwing a lifeboat to many small Caribbean nations, attempting to sell its model of development to a region saturated with US influence. The increasingly prominent Chinese presence — coupled with generous and sometimes exorbitant loan terms — is promulgating fears that Beijing is laying a ‘debt trap’ to secure assets such as land in the United States’ backyard.

But seeing the BRI as a real-estate grab is short sighted and rehashes Cold War warnings that Chinese money comes with uniquely sinister strings attached. As a study from the Rhodium Group shows, China re-negotiates loan terms far more often than it seizes assets, as in the oft-cited Sri Lankan Hambantota Port.

Western fears about Caribbean nations being saddled with Chinese debt are selective. As recently as 2012, Jamaica’s debt was 147 percent of its GDP, but most is owed to Western lending institutions like the IMF, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Money from Beijing’s EXIM Bank only accounts for 3.9 percent of Jamaica’s overall debt, even though the country is China’s largest trading partner in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Development Bank estimates that the region still needs a further US$30 billion in infrastructure. China is attempting to show it is best suited to meeting these needs through low interest rates and a steady flow of cash.

Up until his murder, Moise had not announced a severance with Taiwan. But as the EAF article notes:

China has pledged billions to revamp infrastructure in the capital of Haiti, one of Taiwan’s oldest allies. Haitian President Jovenel Moise’s regime has signaled that its friendship with Taipei should not be taken for granted: ‘Taiwan is a long-time friend … [but] Haiti is looking for where its interests lie’.

To shore up some popularity among the Haitian people, Moise may have threatened to make this switch of recognition. Coupled with the current rising tide of threats against People’s China by the White House, this is more than a sufficient motive for Moise’s murder, sending a deadly message to all the countries of the region by the Biden Administration.

The Assassination of Jovenel Moise: What Next for Haiti?


July 28, 2021 

Photo: U.S. control of Haiti began with U.S. Marines occupying in 1915.

By Seth Donnelly

Today, the people of Haiti are facing down the US-backed dictatorship of the ruling Haitian Tet Kale Party (PHTK) that came to power through the fraudulent election of Michel Martelly in 2010 and maintained its grip on power through the fraudulent election of Jovenel Moise in 2016, what Haitian activists refer to as electoral coup d’etats. Both elections were held under UN occupation and sponsored by the US government. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton detoured from her trip to the Middle East at the height of the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt and personally intervened to put Martelly into power. Similarly, the US State Department immediately heralded the 2016 elections as legitimate and subsequent US administrations, first Trump then Biden, continued to prop up the Moise regime diplomatically and financially.

The July 7 assassination of Jovenel Moise by a professional kill squad does not alter US support for the PHTK regime. Unless there is massive opposition by the US public and members of Congress, expect the Biden Administration to continue to support the current PHTK regime led by Prime Minister Claude Joseph or whoever else emerges within this regime to assume power during this transition. Expect the Biden Administration to provide ongoing funding for its brutal security forces. These central points should not be obscured by escalating media speculation regarding “who did it”, particularly in the aftermath of arrests of ex-Colombian soldiers and several Haitians with US ties such as Christian Emmanuel Sanon.

What Are the Characteristics that Define the PHTK Regime Under Both Martelly And Moise?

The PHTK regime is a puppet dictatorship installed and maintained by the US government and UN occupation forces, in coordination with members of the Haitian upper class, operating against the interests of the impoverished majority of the Haitian people. The following are central characteristics of the regime:

Engaging in pervasive corruption and the massive looting of public funds.

Facilitating land grabs and the dispossession of Haitian farmers, including by Moise himself to enlarge his personal banana republic, as well as the plunder of Haiti’s vast natural resources (gold, petroleum, bauxite and more) by domestic oligarchs and foreign corporations. The “open” investment climate supported by the PHTK regime is noted in this 2018 US State Department Report on “doing business in Haiti”.

Waging a war on the poor majority and the popular, grassroots Lavalas movement through horrific massacres in poor neighborhoods such as Lasalin and Bel Air, violent gentrification, and targeted assassinations and rapes of human rights activists. These gross human rights violations perpetrated by the regime are also documented by the International Human Rights Clinic of the Harvard Law School in its April 2021 report Killing with Impunity: State-Sanctioned Massacres in Haiti.

What Were the Limits of Moise’s Effectiveness as a Puppet Ruler?

Moise proved incapable of containing the massive, grassroots uprising to establish a truly popular, democratic government. Since Moise took power, the Haitian people have taken to the streets by the hundreds of thousands, again and again, facing live ammunition, tear gas, arbitrary arrest, torture, rape, and extrajudicial killings by the Haitian National Police (HNP)– trained by UN occupation officials in Haiti and by the US police, including the NYPD. The HNP have likewise been funded by the US government to the tune of millions of dollars per year, with US funding increasing under the Trump Administration, a move correlating with increasing human rights violations by the HNP. The Biden Administration has likewise continued this support for the police force clearly implicated in massacres and gross human rights violations. Despite such US training and funding of the HNP, Moise has been unable to keep “law and order”. Huge protests continue to erupt. At the same time, regime-backed paramilitaries (“gangs”) like the G9 death squad, led by former policeman Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, continue to terrorize the poor people of all ages in Port-au-Prince through a reign of kidnappings, torture, rape, and killings. G9 and paramilitary violence have displaced thousands of people who have been forced from their neighborhoods after their homes have been burned down and their relatives and neighbors have been massacred.

Moise recently clashed with members of the small, powerful Haitain upper class, such as Reginald Boulos and other oligarchs. This clash reflected intra-elite squabbles, as Moise was using his political power to consolidate his hold in ways reminiscent of the Duvalier dictatorships.

There was growing opposition inside of the US Congress to the Biden Administration’s ongoing support of the Moise regime, as reflected by this April 26th letter from 68 members of the US House of Representatives to the Biden Administration, noting that the Moise regime “lacks the credibility and legitimacy to oversee a constitutional referendum… or to administer elections that are free and fair.” In the aftermath of this letter, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced, as reported on June 9, that the US would no longer support the plan by the Moise regime to augment its power through holding a bogus “referendum” this summer to weaken the Haitian Constitution. Despite this policy reversal, the Biden Administration nonetheless continued to support the regime to illegally stay in power and manipulate elections scheduled for this next September. The US has allocated extensive funding for these sham elections which will include the referendum, in violation of the wishes of the Haitian majority. Moreover, the Biden Administration called for more US funding for the Haitian police, despite the clear record of gross human rights violations linked to the police. Yet this support by the Biden Administration for Moise was facing mounting political opposition in Congress.

What Drives US Foreign Policy Towards Haiti?

In his speech “Beyond Vietnam: a Time to Break the Silence” given in the Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated:

“All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before.”

He protested the fact that the US government stood on the wrong side of this revolution, in Vietnam and elsewhere. Nowhere is this more graphically illustrated than in Haiti.

US policy towards Haiti, as elsewhere through the “Third World”, has been remarkably consistent over the 19th, 20th, now 21st centuries, based on three pillars:

1. A white supremacist opposition to genuine decolonization and national liberation by Black and colonized peoples;

2. The Monroe-doctrine mindset of the US as the police officer of the western hemisphere in particular and the world in general;

3. The elevation of US business and local upper class interests above the basic human rights of the poor majority, along with the elevation of capitalist exploitation over popular democracy.

In 1804, Haitians waged a successful revolution against one of the most powerful European empires of the time, emancipating themselves from slavery and colonialism, becoming the world’s first Black republic and the first nation to permanently ban slavery. It can be said that the Haitian Revolution was the most radical assertion of the right to have rights in human history. Fueling hope, resistance and rebellion among enslaved people throughout the Caribbean and the United States, the newly independent Haitian government offered asylum and citizenship to any African who escaped slavery. The independent Haitian government invited people of African and Indigenous origins who were fleeing oppression to come and live in Haiti. Freedom fighters such as Simon Bolívar and liberation movements throughout the Americas were given material support by the Haitian government on the condition that they abolish slavery if they came to power. Haiti stands at the very center of the world struggle to end slavery.

Haiti’s freedom posed a great threat to the system of slavery in the US and the Americas. The white supremacist leaders of the United States attempted to strangle the new nation at its birth by instituting a worldwide boycott against Haiti. France took similar action, forcing Haiti to pay reparations to French slave owners for the property they lost when slavery ended. This “property” was the human beings who had been enslaved. The debt was not paid off until the 1940s, by which time banks in the United States had taken over the collection process. Over time Haiti paid France $21.7 billion, an extortion that has been aptly called the greatest heist in history.

In the 20th century, Haiti became a virtual colony of the United States, beginning in 1915, when the U.S. Marines were sent by President Woodrow Wilson to occupy the country. More than 20,000 people were killed by the marines. During 19 years of occupation Haitians put up fierce and protracted resistance, and Black activists in the United States were in the forefront of solidarity with the Haitian struggle. The NAACP denounced the invasion, as did the Garvey Movement. NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson detailed the crimes committed by US occupying forces in “The Truth About Haiti: An NAACP Report” (1920) published in The Crisis. The marines finally left Haiti in 1934, leaving in their place the notorious Haitian Armed Forces to violently protect foreign corporations and the Haitian elite by smashing all opposition.

From the 1950s through the 1980s, the US government supported the brutal dictatorships of “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who tortured and killed thousands of Haitians. The popular mass movement that came to be known as Lavalas (The “flash flood” of the people), succeeded in toppling the Duvalier dictatorship and electing Jean-Bertrand Aristide as President of Haiti. Twice, the United States supported coups to overthrow the elected government, in 1991 and 2004. Ever since this last coup, Haiti has been occupied by the United Nations, as authorized by the UN Security Council, at the behest primarily of the US, France, and Canada. Under this occupation, the people of Haiti have been engaged in a fierce struggle against a series of puppet dictatorships installed by the US. What is important to recognize now is that the current PHTK regime is the institutional manifestation of the 2004 coup, an attempt to make the coup permanent, with or without Jovenel Moise.

Solidarity Is Needed Now More Than Ever

Today, the people of Haiti are struggling courageously to establish their own transition government of Sali Piblik (public safety) drawing on dedicated professionals and activists from all sectors of Haitian society, a government capable of stabilizing society and attending to people’s most pressing needs, while organizing truly fair and free elections. In this struggle, Fanmi Lavalas, the party of the Lavalas movement, remains a vital force, based on speaking to the needs of the poor majority. The Haitian people have not forgotten what Lavalas could accomplish during the brief period of real democracy before the US coup of 2004 hurled the country back into misery. During this brief period of real democracy, more schools were built than in the previous 150 years of Haitian history, healthcare was expanded, affordable housing was constructed, cooperatives were formed, the dreaded army was disbanded, women’s rights were expanded, along with so many more achievements. And all of this was done with a tiny national budget while the US attempted to economically strangle Haiti by cutting off aid and loans. In contrast, the PHTK regime has been fully backed by the US and had a budget 14 times greater, yet it can only show deepening poverty and misery for the masses of people, including a doubling of acute severe childhood malnutrition, along with widespread massacres and gross human rights violations– all made possible by the USA. As Fanmi Lavalas put it in a statement on March 2nd, 2021:

“Indeed, today’s reality clearly lays bare the truth. If there had not been a February 29, 2004 kidnapping coup d’etat, today we would not have a government of kidnappers that causes each and every Haitian citizen to go about with his or her own coffin. Yes, ever since the 2004 coup d’etat, the masses have never ceased to experience more and more suffering. Massacres, repression, misery, starvation, unemployment, bullets, tear gas, kidnapping… and more. The criminals have not stopped stealing the lands of the peasants. If we can’t go to school, can’t eat, can’t have decent housing, if we don’t have potable water to drink, if we don’t have security, if they are kidnapping us, it is a direct consequence of the 2004 kidnapping coup d’etat.”

All progressive-minded people in the US need to make the struggle of the Haitian people central to our own struggles. We need to organize solidarity protests everywhere we can and pressure our members of Congress to do the following:

Cut off all US aid for the Haitian police once and for all.

Stop the Biden Administration’s support for the PHTK regime regardless of who the new figurehead becomes.

End US support for sham elections and the Constitutional referendum organized by the PHTK regime.

Support the right of the Haitian people to form, through their own popular movement, their own transition government free from US interference. No US military intervention in Haiti.

Why Did Trump’s Coup Fail?

July 23, 2021 

By David Sole

Reprinted from Fighting Words Why Did Trump’s Coup Fail? – Fighting Words (

The very real danger that former President Donald Trump would attempt a violent coup to stay in power following his electoral defeat has been confirmed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley.

Milley is quoted extensively by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker in their new book “I Alone Can Fix It.” Milley was appointed to the nation’s highest military position by Trump and sworn in on September 30, 2019. reviewed an advance copy of the book on July 14. Some of the revelations follow:

“Milley was so shaken that … Trump and his allies might attempt a coup or take other dangerous or illegal measures after the November election that Milley and other top officials informally planned for different ways to stop Trump…

“Milley and the other Joint Chiefs discussed a plan to resign, one-by-one rather than carry out orders from Trump that they considered to be illegal, dangerous or ill-advised.

“Milley viewed Trump as ‘the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose,’ the authors write, and he saw parallels between Adolph Hitler’s rhetoric … and Trump’s false claims of election fraud.

“’This is a Reichstag moment,’ Milley told aides …. ‘ The gospel of the Fuhrer.’

“Ahead of a November pro-Trump ‘Million MAGA March’ to protest the election results, Milley told aides he feared it ‘could be the modern American equivalent of ‘brownshirts in the streets,’ referring to the pro-Nazi militia that fueled Hitler’s rise to power.

It was clear that Trump was building up momentum for months prior to the November election to challenge what was becoming clear – that he would lose to Democratic candidate Joe Biden. General Milley only confirms what many feared, and some progressives tried to prepare for, the possibility of a violent overthrow of the capitalist “democratic” government.

As early as September 30, 2020 the online newsletter printed “A Call to Create People’s Committees to Defend Democratic Rights” in the spirit of a united front against fascism. The proposal specifically called for labor unions to start popularizing the idea of a General Strike and the formation of units prepared to confront fascist bands in the streets.

In the following weeks several central labor bodies (Rochester, NY, Seattle, WA among others) did call for a general strike if Trump tried to seize power. This did get some notice in the national media. However the highest levels of the American Federation of Labor/Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) refused to support the local calls. In Michigan a leading member of the state AFL—CIO told this writer “we don’t want to anger the Republicans in Lansing with that kind of talk.”

And where was the leadership of the Democratic Party during all of this? They certainly were aware of Trump’s threats to overturn the election by force, but prepared no mass action in case Trump carried out his threat, which he did on January 6th. They then responded with the Constitutional impeachment framework, which they knew was futile.

Congressmen Eric Swalwell and Benny Thompson then launched legal suits against Trump using the “Ku Klux Klan Act”, enabled by Section 3 of the Reconstruction era 14th Amendment.. These lawsuits would prevent Trump  and other “insurrectionist” politicians from continuing in office and ever holding office again. But Pelosi and Schumer have offered no support at all to their efforts.

A grass-roots community organization based in Detroit, the Moratorium Now Coalition, picked up the idea and mass distributed a “Call to Organize People’s Committees … to Defeat Trump’s Plan to Steal the Election.” Even in this group a struggle broke out with ultra-left forces who thought it didn’t matter what happened between Trump and Biden as it was “just a squabble among the ruling class.” The majority of the organization, while not giving support to Biden, did believe that confronting a fascist threat did matter, that Trump’s campaign to disregard the votes of millions of oppressed and working people would lead to the destruction of all the hard-won gains of the union and Civil Rights struggles.

Moratorium Now later issued a “Call to U.S. Military Personnel to Refuse Illegal Orders.” This leaflet was ready to distribute in case Trump sent troops into cities to back a coup.

Progressive forces in Michigan did unite in the formation of Michigan Action Councils that met through October online (the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing). Eighteen Action Councils were established around the state which discussed opposing Trump’s threat to not abide by the election if he were defeated.

The Detroit Action Council had many meetings of over 100 progressives from many organizations, including several unions. Rallies and marches were held. These demonstrations, however, were always scheduled far from the site of ballot counting in downtown Detroit where ultra-rightwing Trump supporters gathered and threatened to disrupt the official count in the days following November 3.

A demonstration was held on November 7 when it was clear that Biden won the national election, as well as Michigan. The Detroit Action Council didn’t meet again or prepare further mass actions after this, revealing that the top leadership did not really grasp the threat. It was precisely in the months following November 3 that Trump and his minions amplified their false claims and presented the greatest fascist danger. This peaked in the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

So what did prevent Trump’s coup from succeeding? This question is important. For no one should believe that the racist, fascist, anti-union forces have been decisively defeated in the United States. It isn’t just a matter of Trump, the individual, but broad sections of the populace as well as military and police forces and ruling class elements who have no hesitancy to impose a fascist-style regime.

Perhaps General Milley and others in the top ranks of the armed services did plan some forms of resistance. But the snail pace response of the National Guard and other Pentagon brass to the seizure of the Capitol on January 6 shows that many at the top would just as well go along with Trump and a coup.

During the Vietnam War there were organizations inside the military and veterans organizations that had mass support of the rank and file soldiers who opposed the war. This ultimately made it impossible for the military machine to continue the imperialist aggression. This does not exist today.

The trade union leadership has deteriorated to the point where it can barely protect the living standards of its own membership. With notable and laudable exceptions, the union movement did not step forward to utilize its still considerable strength to stop Trump and his forces.

The Black Lives Matter movement, which rocked the country for over a year after the brutal police murder of George Floyd has mainly focused on local issues of police misconduct. It has not, as of yet, come together as a nationwide political force.

The socialist and revolutionary parties did not play much of a role to mobilize resistance to a fascist Trump threat. In the past even small militant revolutionary groups have played a role much greater than their number would suggest possible.

Trump’s success before, on and after January 6 broke on several fronts. First, Donald Trump himself was a coward. He had been slinging bombastic lies to his followers for months. They gathered around him in Washington, D.C. on January 6. He whipped them up and called on them to march on the Capitol with him. Then he ran and hid inside the White House, leaving them to their fate.

This might not have been fatal to the coup. But Trump’s supporters were and are a diverse crew. They have no unified program or organization. Even the most military minded of them are in different organizations. They were not able to coordinate decisively on the ground, even though they did come close to seizing the Senators and Representatives.

Most of all, an overthrow of the government was not welcomed by the largest sections of the ruling class. Wall Street bankers and corporate heads have been getting much of what they want in the way of tax breaks, relief from environmental and safety regulations and military support for their imperialist interests overseas. They were not facing a crisis in class relations where their class interests could only be saved by brutal military means. The political system has been working quite well for the rich and powerful. Trump’s adventure was not attractive to them, at this time.

The CNN book review did, however, make one mistake. They wrote “… for the first time in modern US history the nation’s top military officer … was preparing for a showdown with the commander in chief because he feared a coup attempt …” This statement is inaccurate.

In the political crisis of the U.S. Civil War, General George McClellan who served as head of the Army secretly plotted with others to oust President Lincoln in a coup. This did not take place, and McClellan was replaced.

In 1933 retired Marine Corp General Smedley Butler testified before a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives that Wall Street businessmen had approached him to lead a coup to oust President Franklin Roosevelt. The mass media dismissed this and no one was ever prosecuted.

More recently there was a fear that President Richard Nixon would try to use the military to stop his impeachment. It was later revealed that the Secretary of Defense notified all military commanders to refuse orders from their Commander in Chief if those orders were not co-signed by the Secretary. This was not legal, but the ruling class was making sure that Nixon would not be able to stay in office via a coup.

This “democratic” government (what Marxists call “bourgeois democratic” because it is run by and for the capitalist class with only the thin trappings of rights for the masses) is based on exploitation and oppression of hundreds of millions of people in this country and billions more abroad.

Defending the few “democratic rights” granted to the masses is necessary but only insofar as it gives us some room to build a revolutionary movement that can and will overturn the capitalist economic system, end exploitation and institute a socialist system. Then the vast wealth of this country and the world will be used for the benefit of the many instead of enriching the few.

Guyana Finally Admits Walter Rodney Was Assassinated


July 11, 2021 

By Abayomi Azikiwe

Reprinted from Fighting Words Guyana Finally Admits Walter Rodney Was Assassinated – Fighting Words (

Dr. Walter Rodney (1942-1980) was an acclaimed Pan-African historian and Marxist theoretician from the time he graduated from the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 1966.

Rodney soon took a faculty position at the University of Dar es Salaam in the East African state of Tanzania, which was a center during the 1960s and 1970s for the national liberation movements fighting across the continent against western imperialism.

The historian and political activist was assassinated on June 13, 1980 in the capital, Georgetown, of his home country of Guyana, located in South America. Rodney had returned to Guyana in 1974 after being offered a faculty position at the university. Viewing his appointment as a potential threat to the People’s National Congress (PNC) government of then President Forbes Burnham, his job offer was revoked.

Rather than return to Tanzania, another African country or a university in North America, Rodney chose to stay in Guyana and delve into the internal politics of the country. By 1979, Rodney had transformed along with other veteran activists, the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) as a political party in an effort to build unity among the working people of Guyana, who had been largely divided along ethnic lines between the slightly majority East Indian, Asian population pitted against the African descendants.

After the assassination of Rodney, the administration of Burnham claimed that the historian was attempting to plant a bomb outside a government building. His brother, Donald Rodney, was charged with being an accomplice in the alleged crime and sentenced to a term in prison.

Many people within the Left, Pan-African and progressive academic communities were in disbelief of the Guyana government’s explanation related to Rodney’s death. Blame was placed on the Burnham administration which continued to deny involvement.

Over four decades later, with the prodding of his widow, children and comrades within the WPA which remains active in Guyana politics, the government shifted its position recognizing Rodney as an historian while changing his death certificate to indicate he was murdered. The original death certificate stated that Rodney was “unemployed” although he was still working on academic projects by writing a History of the Guyanese Working People, which was published posthumously.

An article published on the recent developments in Guyana says:

“In April this year, the Court of Appeal, set aside the conviction that linked the 69-year-old Donald Rodney to the assassination of his brother. The Court of Appeal also set aside the 18-month sentence for possession of explosives against Rodney, said to have been the only eyewitness to the assassination of his brother, who was the co-leader of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA). In 2014, a Commission of Inquiry declared that Rodney’s death was not a misadventure but rather an assassination and Attorney General Nandalal also told legislators in parliament Thursday (June 10) that the death certificate will be amended to delete the words ‘misadventure’ as the cause of death.” 

The person identified during the 2014 tribunal as the individual who lured the Rodney brothers to the location, Gregory Smith, was a security operative of the Burnham administration. This individual was later sent to another Caribbean territory, French Guiana, and never held accountable for the killing. He is reported to have died in 2002.

Since 1980, the writings and lectures of Walter Rodney are still in circulation. Although the situation in Africa, the Caribbean and South America has changed in regard to the level of mass mobilization and political debate, the underlying conclusions of Rodney’s approach to analyzing the historical development and social conditions of the peoples of Africa and the world remains fundamentally sound.

Imperialism is continuing to exploit and dominate the majority of the peoples of the globe while the struggles of working people, the peasantry, youth and revolutionary intellectuals are ongoing. The current battle against the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates clearly once again the marginalization of the peoples of the Southern Hemisphere through the denial of pharmaceutical products including the billions of doses of vaccines needed to aim at protecting population groups from infection, serious illness and death.

The Significance of Walter Rodney in the 21st Century

Rodney’s academic and political work was done during the period of 1966-1980 amid an upsurge in the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Africa and other geo-political regions. Tanzanian President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, the leader and co-founder of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), oversaw not only the independence of his country in 1961 he was a committed force within the efforts to build socialism inside the country and the continent.

In 1967, TANU issued the Arusha Declaration which called for socialist construction in the post-colonial state attempting to overcome the legacy of imperialism and its concomitant results which are impoverishment and general underdevelopment. Rodney had researched the Atlantic Slave Trade and its impact in the Upper Guinea Coast of West Africa for his dissertation at the SOAS. Therefore, he was well acquainted with the challenges facing the continent even after national independence.

By 1968, Rodney had accepted an offer as a visiting scholar at the University of West Indies in Jamaica. During his stay in Jamaica, he held lectures for people within the community attracting broad interest. In October of that same year, Rodney traveled to Montreal, Quebec (Canada) to speak at the Black Writers Conference that was attended by numerous luminaries of the time including Stokely Carmichael, CLR James and James R. Forman.

In attempting to return to Jamaica, he was denied admission back into the Caribbean-island nation. Youth and workers rose up in rebellion leading to him being banned inside the country for many years afterwards. A series of his lectures in Jamaica was later published under the title: “The Groundings with My Brothers.”

Rodney then returned to the University of Dar es Salaam where he continued historical research resulting in the publication of his most famous work: “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”, a book issued by the Tanzanian government in 1972. Two years later the book was reprinted by Howard University.

His return to Guyana in 1974 led to his involvement in opposition politics inside the country during the mid-to-late 1970s. Due to his WPA activities, Rodney and several of his comrades were indicted for arson by the Burnham administration in 1979. The impending threat by the government made many of his comrades and colleagues fear that his life would be taken.

Prof. Issa Shivji, who had been a student in Tanzania at the time of Rodney’s arrival in 1966, would later become a faculty member at the University of Dar es Salaam during the early 1970s in the field of law. Shivji recalled in a tribute paid to Rodney in 2012 that at the time of Zimbabwean independence in April 1980:

“On his way to Zimbabwe, and this was a time when the movement was in trouble, he passed through and stayed with one of our comrades here. This comrade told him, ‘Walter stay, don’t go back. Guyana is dangerous.’ There was a case against him in court. Walter said, ‘No, I cannot just run away. I have to go back.’… It’s more believable that he was pulled because he felt he could make his contribution there, in Guyana. And he did, in my view. One can make critical assessments in hindsight, but one of the things we appreciated, and came to learn from, the Party, the WPA, was how it managed to bring together Indian and African youth.”

Just three years ago in 2018, a series of lectures for a course Rodney developed at the University of Dar es Saleem on the History of Russia, the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and later efforts to build socialism, was finally published after nearly five decades. The book is perhaps the most comprehensive view of the Russian Revolution, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), socialist construction and its relevance to the African independence movements in the struggle for socialism and continental unity.

The announcement by the Guyana government earlier in the year was a welcome development for many people. It was also revealed that a Walter Rodney Chair in the History Department at the University in Guyana will be established. These events illustrate the importance of Rodney’s work and the necessity of the continuation of the study and application of his writings, lectures and political activity.

Pentagon Official Warns of War with China


July 6, 2021

Image: Liu Rui/Global Times

This  editorial  was one of two open letters to President Biden by retired Marine Colonel Franz Gayl, now a civilian working at the Pentagon. Although he is certainly not anti-military, his letter is so staunchly anti-racist and antiwar that all the U.S. corporate media refused to print it. The Chinese media outlet Global Times did.  Gayl has had his security credential revoked and is threatened with punishment.

By Franz Gayl

Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word “othering” as an act wherein a race or culture is made to appear as “a large, uniform mass, rather than a diverse group of individuals… treating people from another group as less human than one’s own group.” Historically, “othering” has served as a conditioning mechanism to dehumanize US adversaries, preparing normally empathetic men and women to act with less discrimination and greater brutality in war.

During WWII, US othering of the Japanese involved weaponizing disinformation and propagating racist stereotypes. It was considered as effective at setting the necessary psychological conditions for the controversial internment of Japanese Americans, firebombing of Tokyo, and dropping of atomic bombs on Japanese cities merely to deter the Soviet Union. Conceivably, left unmodified, a soldier’s empathy for non-combatant human beings otherwise could have placed those ruthless American operations and their objectives at risk.

Othering of the Chinese people is evident in recent US news media in the form of a mix of unverified rumors, disinformation, and selective exclusion of contradictory facts. It has been reported that China-averse special interests have even paid US journalists to publish stories biased against China’s policies, to include encouraging a US-China confrontation. Meanwhile, the island of Taiwan’s secession champions in the US Congress have nurtured the absurd public perception that the US-emulating people aboard the island of Taiwan are “non-Chinese” in ethnic identity.

The apparent sophistication and coordination of Chinese othering are indications that some in the US are working to desensitize Americans to the certain horrors of a war with China over Taiwan. Its effects are already being witnessed in American society. Despite a presidential-level denouncement, racially motivated assaults on Chinese and Asians generally are sharply increasing. The dehumanization of our future foe is in full swing to the delight of China-averse special interests.

Some argue that a US war with China over Taiwan would be a just war, claiming the “non-Chinese” island citizenry deserves our protection, not just ideological support. Others will go further and assert that the US nuclear umbrella needs to be extended to encompass the island. They try to make the desperate case that the island of Taiwan is the last bastion of American values in Southeast Asia, and the final barricade that contains China.

The nuclear weapons theme deserves a closer look. Senior US military leaders at different times in the 20th century glibly suggested the employment of nuclear weapons to regain initiative in conventional conflicts with non-nuclear Asian nations. In addition to the island of Taiwan, these included conflicts in and with Vietnam, Korea, and China. Similarly, the employment of firebombing and nuclear weapons against a densely populated Japan was rationalized without significant opposition.

This was not so in the European theater. The firebombings of Dresden, Hamburg and elsewhere were emotionally contested even at the time of their planning, although the fanaticism and atrocious behavior of Imperial Japan was on a par with that of Nazi Germany. In fact, Winston Churchill went so far as to write: “the destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing.” Tokyo, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima did not benefit from such a distinguished Western advocate, and evidently neither does China.

Today hawkish members of Congress, most of whom have not served their country in uniform, casually resurrect such options as it pertains to supporting the island of Taiwan’s split from China. It is easy for them to talk tough on the matter as most don’t know the sacrifices of Service, and perhaps because of lacking ethnic identification with Chinese and other Asian races and cultures. This thoughtless devaluation of Asian casualties to mere nuclear attrition statistics results from the same sort of American othering seen in the 20th century.

In a war, the small island of Taiwan would erupt into a battleground with an intensity unknown since the world wars. All parties have known that the island’s citizenry would be devastated far beyond the value of attempting to secede from China. Since this is known by the US Congress in advance, it illuminates the reality that the Chinese aboard the island of Taiwan are expendable. The issue of the island province is not and never was about protecting its people. Instead, it is all about the US striving to maintain its hegemonic reach during a period of decline in global influence.

This difference in the US perspectives on Asian and European lives is nothing new to any overseas or indigenous Asian citizen. To contort the present American devaluation and othering into a dubious justification for violating China’s internal affairs and sovereignty is futile and transparent. It also portends that a fight over the island of Taiwan will rapidly devolve into a primitive, brutal, unrestricted war that has every appearance of, and is at its core, an imperial US expedition.

As an American, my priority is US national interest. Attempting to support the renegade island of Taiwan’s secession is directly contrary to the US national interest as we know in advance we will lose. Even in defeat many politicians, conservative ideologues, financially incentivized journalists, and special interests such as the US defense industry would benefit, just as a similar cabal did after Vietnam. But Taiwan secession is a transparently shallow cause with no path to victory. In fact, historical precedent shows that the US will lose primarily because the American public will see through the fraudulent deadly farce, but only after the unspeakable tragedy unfolds.

In the end, China’s Province of Taiwan will always mean more to the physically proximate, ethnically identical, and nationalistically fueled China of over 1.4 billion, than it will to the distant, over-extended, and above all falsely incentivized US of 350 million. The heaviest burden of the tragedy of war will fall on the young, patriotic men and women who volunteered to serve in the US military in the faith that an assigned cause is legitimate and worthy of their sacrifice. Unfortunately, a war between the US and China over the island of Taiwan would be a complete betrayal of their good faith.

Wisconsin People’s Power Summit

June 29, 2021

By Bryan Pfeifer

Reprinted from Fighting Words Wisconsin People’s Power Summit – Fighting Words (

In a tremendous display of unity and solidarity, participants from across North America joined the People’s Power Summit June 11-12 in Maribel, Wisconsin.

“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. We do not have time for despair. There’s no place for self pity. There’s no need to stay silent. And there is no room for fear. We speak. We write. We sing and we do language. And that is how we move forward to heal where we are in the current climate,” said Summit Cultural Arts Chair Bernadette B.J. Lark in a promotional video prior to the event.

Lark continued:

“Those words were spoken by another beautiful artist Ms. Toni Morrison. She said: “‘I know the world is bruised and bleeding and though it is important not to ignore the pain, it’s also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge even with wisdom, like art.'” So as an Artivist, I’m excited to come share what it is that we’ve been preparing. We’re so thankful that the community there in Wisconsin have opened their arms to welcome us in. And, there is no stopping us now. A better way to say it: Ain’t no stopping us now!. We are on the move. I love you all. I’m so excited I want to see you there.”

Those attending the Summit came from seven states, from over 35 towns, villages and cities and from over 15 counties in Wisconsin. Every sector of the working class, many political tendencies and numerous mass organizations were represented at the Summit. These included leaders and members of the Family Farm Defenders, the Wisconsin Farmers Union, Black Lives Matter, Veterans For Peace, unions, disability rights, women, faith-based, the unemployed, legal aid, migrant, environmental, youth/student and LGBTQ organizations. Members of three Indigenous Nations – the Menominee, the Oneida and the Chickasaw – presented. A delegation of a dozen traveled from Virginia to participate. Presenters also traveled to the Summit from Denver, Detroit, Boston, New Jersey and New York City. (A full schedule, videos, photos and more here:

Completely independent politically and organizationally, the Summit was organized in about three months by the volunteer labor and other resources of poor and working people. Goals included: Consolidate progressive networks and individuals to enable more effective organizing; to develop working class infrastructure to build our people’s power in rural, semi-rural and urban areas.

Held on a farmer’s space in Maribel just south of Green Bay, the over 200 participants remarked on the accomplishment of having the Summit in a state such as Wisconsin which has become a right-wing model nationally but which has a rich progressive history of people’s struggles. From set up to take down, the Summit was infused with a progressive people’s culture, program and organization. All work before, during and after the Summit was done by volunteers including food production and serving, sound and much more. Participants of all ages, orientations and backgrounds appreciated the opportunities to develop relationships and learn about a variety of people’s struggles currently taking place. Many participants agreed that the Summit is a general model for the coming period and could take a variety of forms such as people’s or worker’s assemblies.

Summit participants agreed to convene again June 27 for an MLK Day Manitowoc organizing meeting to discuss a 2022 MLK Day rally and march in Manitowoc, WI.