Sunday, November 2, 2008

Community Organizing: Seizing Power, Creating Socialism

Cross-posted by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

[transcription of above] Our final goal is the destruction of imperialism, the seizure of power, and the creation of socialism. Our strategy for this stage of the struggle is to organize the oppressed people of the imperial nation itself to join the colonies in the attack on imperialism. The process of attacking and weakening imperialism involves defeat of all kinds of national chauvinism and arrogance; this precondition to our fight for socialism.
The above from Prairie Fire - written by William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn

Zomblog has copies of a rare Weather Underground newspaper known as Osawatomie. Published in 1975 as William Ayers and Bernardine Dohn were hiding from authorities, and as Zomblog put it:
"transitioning from terrorism..."
to inside work for the revolution...what we now know was a plan to overthrow the government of the United States, tells us what community organizing is all about, and it's all about the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis.

If you are beyond weary of hearing about William Ayers' connection to Barack Obama, Zomblog makes THE point, and I'll use it here, because it cannot be said better:
Ayers was not simply protesting "against" the Vietnam War. Firstly, he wasn't against war in principle, he was agitating for the victory of the communist forces in Vietnam. In other words: He wasn't against the war, he was against our side in the war. This is spelled out in great detail in Prairie Fire. Secondly, and more significantly, the Vietnam War was only one of many issues cited by the Weather Undergound as the justifications for their violent acts. As you will see below, in various quotes from Prairie Fire and in their own list of their violent actions (and in additional impartial documentary links), Ayers and the Weather Underground enumerated dozens of different grievances as the rationales for their bombings -- their overarching goal being to inspire a violent mass uprising against the United States government in order to establish a communist "dictatorship of the proletariat," in Ayers' own words.
The plan was to overturn the government by "creativity and AUDACITY."
The following from Osawatomie:

[transcript]… the system itself is inhuman, and socialism is a real alternative; the energy crisis is the fault of Rockefeller and the oil companies, not the Arab people; unemployment is caused by capitalism not “illegal aliens” stealing jobs; war in Indochina or the Mideast is part of the problem, not the solution; political and social action can change things.

[transcript of above] Organizers must be intimately aware of every problem and each injustice, and they must show that underneath each particular problem lies another problem, and another and another until you reach the system of imperialism itself. The system is designed to create problems for poor, Third World and working-class people. Organizers need to find small solutions to small problems and great solutions to great problems. Our solutions should be drastic.

We need to build a successful struggle, strong organization and a winning revolutionary party. This is a process, which will not emerge full-blown from our minds. It will emerge and change and grow from practice. We know where to begin.

It is with all this in mind that we have created OSAWATOMIE, the revolutionary voice of the Weather Underground Organization.
The following from Ayers and Dohrn's book, Prairie Fire (more at Zomblog):

William Ayers is a communist. But don't take my word for it. He said so himself:
[transcript of above] We are a guerrilla organization. We are communist women and men, underground in the United States for more than four years.
[Zomblog] And not some nicey-nice peace-and-love kind of communist. Through his group the Weather Underground, Ayers was planning to "seize power" in a violent communist takeover of the United States:
[transcript of above] We need a revolutionary communist praty in order to lead the struggle, give coherence and direction to the fight, seize power and build the new society.

Manufactured Crisis:
[transcript of above] Our job is to tap the discontent seething in many sectors of the population, to find allies everywhere people are hungry or angry, to mobilize poor and working people against imperialism.
You've heard by now that Prarie Fire was dedicated to U.S. "political prisoners," of those deemed a "political prisoner" is Sirhan Sirhan - the murderer of Robert F. Kennedy. Here it is, scanned directly from the book:

Visit for more.


  1. Hey Roger, a commenter at my blog asked me to pass this on, thought you would be interested.

  2. Thanks MK, but for some reason I'm a little wary of that one.