RAY O’ LIGHT NEWSLETTER
Publication of the Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA
by RAY LIGHT
Also included in this issue:
40th Anniversary Greeting to the NDF of the Philippines
“If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention”
“As the citadel of the current world empire, U.S. society, not surprisingly, is much more violent than the other 33 developed nations that make up the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. … No wonder millions of ‘red blooded American boys’ have gotten the message that might makes right and that mayhem and murder is the solution to their problems. There is an epidemic of mass murders in U.S. society. ...And there is every indication that tragic mass murder events in the USA will become not less but more frequent in the foreseeable future.” (“The Brutal and Decaying U.S. Empire and the Newtown School Tragedy,” pp.6 and 7, Ray O’ Light Newsletter #76, Jan-Feb 2013)
I penned these words in response to the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy that occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School last December. At that time, a lone gunman murdered twenty innocent six and seven year old children and six teachers. Barely four months later, on April 15th, during the celebration of Patriot’s Day in Boston, near the finish line of the famed, annual Boston Marathon race, two bombs were detonated killing three people and injuring more than 280, almost all of whom were runners in the Marathon or those watching the sporting event. Many of the latter were at the finish line to welcome and cheer friends and family members who were able to complete the grueling race. Once again, as in Newtown, innocents were slaughtered.
– The Boston Massacre of 1770 and the Celebration of Patriot’s Day –
The terrorist attack targeted a holiday, Patriot’s Day, which celebrates the first military victories achieved by the people of the British colonies in North America against the British army in what became known as the American Revolution and also as the American War of Independence.*
* Patriot’s Day is a public holiday only in Massachusetts and Maine. It should not be confused with the very different Patriot Day now held on September 11th to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the USA in 2001.Paul Revere, a well known silversmith and activist in the Sons of Liberty, became renowned for his role in warning the farmers in the Lexington area that “the British are Coming!” The victories at Concord and Lexington, outside of Boston, on April 19, 1775, were a major step toward the independence of the developing United States from the dominant colonial power in the world, Great Britain. The American Revolution was an historical advance for the world’s peoples as it struck a major blow against both Monarchy and Empire. It helped inspire the French revolutionaries who made an even more thorough revolution a decade or so after the American Revolution. And these revolutions helped inspire other oppressed and colonized peoples to take up arms against monarchies and to drive out foreign occupiers in the years that followed.
On March 5, 1770, a crowd of jeering Bostonians threw snowballs at a small group of British soldiers guarding the Boston Customs House. The enraged soldiers of the British occupation army fired into the crowd, killing five colonists.* The British government had been trying to increase its control over the colonies and raise taxes at the same time. And what began as a minor skirmish became a turning point in the beginnings of the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre helped unite the colonies against Britain and deepened their desire for independence. That 1770 Boston Massacre represented terror inflicted by the occupying power on the people of Boston. But the people of Boston and of the developing United States were able to turn that tragic event into its opposite. For it ultimately became a rallying point for the defeat of the British colonial power and for driving the British out of the new country entirely.
* Crispus Attucks, who had evidently escaped slavery some twenty years earlier and was a working sailor on whaling ships, was the first person shot and killed. This Afro-American working man became the first hero of the American Revolution.
Compounding the tragedy of the 2013 Boston Massacre is that thus far it is leading in the opposite direction.
– The 2013 Boston Massacre and the Strengthening of the U.S. Empire –
In the 1770’s, the United States was born in the crucible of the revolutionary democratic struggle of about a dozen colonies along the Eastern seaboard. Boston was arguably its most advanced revolutionary center of resistance against the British colonial power, led by King George, an arrogant and ignorant monarch. In 2013, in sharp contrast, the United States has spent most of the past six decades as the hegemonic imperialist power in the world. It is the modern equivalent of the British colonial power of two hundred years ago. It has become the home territory of the U.S. Empire. Moreover, for more than a decade, the U.S. imperialist state has been waging a continuous war of terror against the world’s peoples.
By the time that George W. Bush left the presidency, it was clear to the world’s peoples that he was an ignorant as well as an arrogant helmsman for the U.S. state. His stature was low like that of Britain’s King George and some even referred to him as “King George.” Barrack Obama is clearly not an ignorant man. However, he has seamlessly (and shamelessly) carried forward the criminal war of terror against the world’s peoples that he inherited from George W. Bush. And, on virtually every front, the Obama Regime has intensified the authoritarian violence and repression!
Obama has greatly increased the use of unmanned drones to kill folks in Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere. Just one of these lethal incidents in which much “collateral damage” occurs could be compared in its death and destruction to the terrorist bombing attack at the Boston Marathon. And Obama’s drone master, John Brennan, the chief of staff to Bush’s CIA Director and then deputy director of the CIA, has now become Obama’s CIA Director. Even Democratic Party-connected CREDO Action exposed that, “In 2008, when President Obama was rumored to want John Brennan as his CIA director, Brennan’s complicity in Bush-era crimes led to an outcry that forced him to remove his name from consideration. Torture and extra-judicial assassinations are just as outrageous now as they were under the Bush administration.”
This is a period in which the George W. Bush Regime and now the Barack Obama Regime, at the height of the arrogance and desperation of U.S. Empire, have tried to exercise imperial prerogative to pick which chiefs of sovereign states can remain in power and which need to leave their own countries, which rebel groups will be brought into power and which will be left out in the cold.
In addition to maintaining the U.S. military and mercenary occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan as long as he could, Obama ordered Libya’s Gadhafi to leave his own country. Obama then provided the logistical and military resources for U.S. imperialism, along with French, British and Italian imperialism (the traditional colonial powers in Africa), to unilaterally bomb and invade Libya, a sovereign African country. Whatever his other weaknesses, Gadhafi was one of the few remaining world leaders who had come to power through a revolutionary overthrow of a monarch, and over his decades in power he had provided some economic, political and military aid to African countries and others. In the aftermath of the chaos in Libya created by the Obama-led war there, Obama-Biden has established a significant and growing U.S. military presence in about thirty African countries, all organized through AFRICOM. Recently, the Obama Regime enabled French imperialism, which did not possess adequate logistical and military resources of its own, to invade and occupy Mali and encroach on its neighbors.
Currently the Obama government is refusing to recognize the new democratically elected Maduro government in Venezuela. On the same day as the Boston Marathon bombing, the U.S.-backed Capriles forces carried out terrorist attacks there, including the firebombing of eight health clinics, that resulted in eight deaths and many injured.
The colossal cynicism of the current Obama-Biden Regime is evident in relation to Syria. In the name of “humanity,” for months, U.S. imperialism has been arming the “rebels” and calling for Assad to leave. Beyond that imperialist arrogance and chauvinism, Obama has now asserted that chemical weapons have been used in Syria’s current civil war and that if the Assad government in Syria has used poison gas, U.S. imperialism will take direct action against the Assad Regime. Yet Obama is exposing himself for the anti-human, imperialist hireling he really is by being silent on what he will do if it turns out that the “rebels” have been the ones who have used poison gas. And no one in the UNO, or other regional and international bodies, no other major powers such as China, Russia, Germany, etc. has called him to account on this blatant imperialist hypocrisy.
Certainly the question of Chechnya’s fate is of little importance to the major powers as they play the twenty-first century version of the “Great Game.” In a period in which Obama now sends unmanned drones to destroy human beings all over the world with impunity, youth who have any respect for their own people will try to fight back. And, especially because the international working class and the oppressed peoples around the world are divided and disorganized at this time, many youth will be vulnerable to the pleadings of agent-provocateurs too. The resort to so-called individual terrorism is a reflection of weakness, not strength.
The monopoly capitalist-controlled media has told us that the alleged bombers were the Tsarnaev brothers who were from Chechen background and were immigrants in the USA. The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had permanent residency status. And the younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is a 19 year old citizen of the USA, raised and, by all accounts, assimilated into U.S. culture and society. The U.S. intelligence agencies had a long history of organizing and funding the terrorist organizations that fought against the Soviet Union for an “independent” Chechnya. Similarly to the U.S. Empire’s relationship to the mujahideen in Afghanistan led by Osama bin Laden, after the fall of the USSR, the U.S. imperialists no longer needed to make a priority of backing these armed terrorist bands in Chechnya. As with bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, the decay of the U.S. Empire had not allowed the terrorist organizations it created to remain permanently on the payroll of U.S. imperialism. It is possible that Tamerlan had connections with one terrorist band or another ― a situation that both the Russian government as well as the U.S. CIA had apparently made the FBI aware of. Yet, supposedly, the FBI had “overlooked” the security risk posed by this Islamic immigrant who had spent months in Dagestan last year and allegedly met there repeatedly with “a known Chechen terrorist” (Dolgatov) in a fundamentalist Salafi Mosque.
In an excellent article, Professor James Petras states: “A more likely explanation is that the FBI was actively engaged with Tsarnaev and deliberately encouraged the conspiracy for self-serving purposes.” (“Boston Bombings: Detonator to Mobilize the Entire US Security Apparatus. ...” Global Research, 4-30-13)
Petras argues that, “The most likely hypothesis is that the FBI facilitated the bombing in order to revive the flagging fortunes of the ‘war on terror’ foisted on a war-weary and economically depressed American public.” (ibid.) Indeed, the week following the Patriot’s Day bombings in Boston seemed to unfold according to a strategic plan to do exactly that.
– Erecting the National Police State –
In the concluding paragraph of my article on Newtown, Connecticut four months earlier, I had linked the “epidemic of mass murders” to “the developing military-fascist state.”
In a column on the front page of a pull-out section of the Boston Globe on Saturday, April 20th, five days after the Patriot’s Day terror attack, staff writer Andrew Ryan wrote that, “An unprecedented manhunt held metropolitan Boston hostage as police searched house by house for a suspect in the Marathon bombings, leaving almost one million people under siege. The region felt gripped by martial law.” (page A13) And this stark reportage was under the control of the editors who editorialized on the same day, as follows: “The odds of more terror attacks are greater than the odds of losing our essential freedoms. This week has shown that we should tighten our security and loosen our concerns about minor limitations on our freedom of movement.”
Somehow Ryan’s reportage of “metropolitan Boston held hostage,” “one million people under siege,” and a “region gripped by martial law” does not equate to concerns about “minor limitations on freedom of movement.”How quickly the Boston Globe editors, representing U.S. finance capital, are ready to advocate that, in the name of national security, we risk losing “our essential freedoms!”
To its credit, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), Massachusetts Chapter, protested the police-state actions during the week following the Boston Marathon bombings. In its 4-26-13 Press Release, the NLG cited the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (as well as a similar passage in the Declaration of the Rights of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) asserting that, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The Lawyers Guild chapter declared that, “This lock down and the widespread use of warrantless searches and seizures imposed by law enforcement on Friday, April 19, 2013 were unprecedented in our nation’s history.” (My emphasis)
This NLG lawyers group continued: “These widespread searches and seizures, executed by heavily armed officers who more closely resembled special forces military units than they did law enforcement officers, occurred over a 20-block area of Watertown and in the context of a total lockdown of that area, and a more voluntary lockdown of the entire City of Boston, among other places.” The NLG reported that the Boston Police were “already seeking more cameras and drones to saturate the area with surveillance ability ‘to prevent a similar attack in the future.’” Finally, the NLG, Massachusetts Chapter, raises the question: “If the police can shut down an entire city in pursuit of one suspect, albeit a dangerous one, what use of force will they consider to be justified when faced with a similar or greater threat?”
On Friday, when at least several thousand armed police from various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, launched their massive manhunt for 19 year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick warned the people of Boston and nearby communities of Watertown, Waltham, Newton, Belmont and Cambridge to “shelter in place”—“stay inside, lock the door and don’t open it for anyone except police in uniform.”
Certainly, one intended result was reflected in an AP statement (4-22-13) that reported that “nearly 42 million people watched the last hour of Friday’s manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect on television”… roughly double the amount of people usually watching at that time of the week! What a way to engender mass hysteria. And it worked. Following the capture of the wounded and hiding 19 year old, some Watertown folks waved U.S. flags, chanted “USA! USA!” cheered the police and sang “God Bless America.” Elsewhere, college students celebrated in Boston Common, cheering “Boston Strong” and “USA.” As they did this, their Miranda Rights, along with those of U.S. citizen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, were being violated and taken away.
As Professor Petras points out, “The ‘Boston Bombings’ served as a detonator to mobilize the entire US security apparatus; it has led to the suspension of constitutional guaranties. It has been accompanied by an intense mass media campaign glorifying police state operations and the imposition of virtual martial law in the Boston area of over 4.5 million inhabitants. The military police operation and media campaign aroused fear and terror among the public. Instant psychodrama produced mass worship of the ‘heroic’ police: they were portrayed as having saved the public from unknown numbers of armed terrorists lurking in their neighborhoods. … The police, the FBI and the entire Security Apparatus ― were repeatedly ‘honored’ at public spectacles, sports and civic events, lauded as ‘guardians’ and ‘saviors.’” (ibid.)
Professor Petras notes that, “The ‘Boston Bombings’ coincided with the White house dictating a new round of domestic police state measures and launching a series of aggressive military moves in Asia, The Middle East and Latin America.”
SOME CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
In the spirit of Patriot’s Day, but not Patriot Day, we, like Paul Revere, are warning that “the British are coming.” The U.S. imperialist ruling class is fanning the flames of anti-Islamic hysteria and anti-immigrant feeling and wants us to fight against our best friends, the international working class and the oppressed peoples, as well as the rest of the 99%. And the worst thing we can do in response to the 2013 Boston Massacre is to unite with Boston Mayor Menino, Massachusetts Governor Patrick and especially U.S. President Obama and the armed police forces that make up the most important part of the U.S. imperialist state apparatus at every level. Remember Obama has just launched his budget attack on our Social Security (“chained CPI”) while guaranteeing the profitability of the Wall Street banks that are “too big to fail.”
For the tyranny of the U.S. Empire today has much in common with the tyranny of the British Colonial Empire in the 1770’s. At an increasingly rapid pace, the U.S. imperialist oppression of the peoples in other lands is being introduced into the daily life of those of us living here in the belly of the beast. And the U.S. Empire is accomplishing this and making us more and more subordinate to the Wall Street imperialist ruling class in the name of protecting us from those other countries and peoples.
The bombing at the Boston Marathon, the 2013 Boston Massacre, is clearly one more tragic event in which innocents are being slaughtered in “the growing epidemic of mass murders” in the USA. In fact, a central theme of this year’s Marathon was “26 Miles for 26 Victims.” And relatives of those killed in the Sandy Hook school shootings were guests at the Finish Line tent near where the bombings occurred.
I concluded the article on Newtown with the following: “Given the current political and economic developments in the USA, the only remedy to this sick situation, the only way to avoid an out-of-control epidemic of mass murders such as have occurred so recently in Aurora, Colorado and now Newtown, Connecticut and the developing military-fascist state is to defeat, dismantle and destroy the U.S. Empire. We need to replace the capitalist system, characterized by ruthless exploitation of the many by the privileged few with the socialist system where those who labor have the deciding voice and vote. For the world’s workers want a peaceful world in which to produce an abundant life for themselves, their families and their neighbors everywhere.” (“The Brutal and Decaying U.S. Empire and the Newtown School Tragedy,” p.10, Ray O’ Light Newsletter #76, Jan-Feb 2013)
Whereas the most positive response to the Boston
Massacre of 1770 was to unite the colonists against the British
Monarchy and its government, military, etc., the most positive response
to the Boston Massacre of 2013 is to reject unity with the U.S.
imperialist ruling class and state apparatus and to forge unity with
the workers and oppressed peoples around the world fighting against our
common enemy, imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism.
April 25, 2013
Dear Comrades and Friends of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines,
Warm revolutionary greetings of international solidarity on the occasion of the celebration of the 40th Founding Anniversary of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on behalf of the Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA! Congratulations on forty years of dedicated work which has advanced the struggle for national liberation of the Filipino masses leading to socialism and has contributed significantly to the struggle of the workers and oppressed people of the world against our common enemy, imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism.
In this period of global economic depression, driven by U.S. imperialism’s drive to control economic resources, increase profits and maintain political, economic and military domination in the world, the U.S. imperialist Democratic Obama-Biden Regime has continued the brutal policies of the Republican Bush Regime before it. U.S. imperialism has continued to spread terror around the world, from Afghanistan, Iraq and the Philippines to Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, Libya, Iran and North Korea, as well as within the USA itself.
In this situation, we believe, as our General Secretary Ray Light pointed out on the occasion of your 30th anniversary, “the struggle which you have waged in conjunction with the New Peoples Army and under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines has been a beacon of hope and a ray of sunshine for the oppressed and exploited of the entire world. The skillful education and mobilization of the Filipino masses under the NDFP banner in waging the national democratic revolution has been exemplary...
“Guided by proletarian internationalism, our small group is fully committed to supporting the national liberation struggle of the Filipino people, organized and mobilized by the NDFP, against ‘our own’ imperialists. Karl Marx taught that the English worker could never be free while Ireland was oppressed and that white labor in the USA could never be free while Black labor was branded. Lenin taught that, ‘A proletariat that tolerates the slightest coercion of other nations by its “own” nation cannot be a socialist proletariat.’”
We understand that your victories are our victories. We send our best wishes for great new successes for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the Filipino working class and toiling masses under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines on the road to national liberation and socialism.
Workers of the World and Oppressed Peoples Unite!
With comradely respect,
Rose (for the)
Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Hint: Very appropriate quote and author in light of the 2013 Boston Massacre and its aftermath.
–Still stumped? See below.
| *A good bumper sticker reads, “If
you’re not paying attention.” If you are paying
attention, please send me the items that are enraging you. Thanks.
- the Editor
A prime example, the modern day robber barons of private equity
firms specializing in corporate takeovers, including Blackstone, KKR
and Carlyle, topped Wall Street compensation for last year. According
to the Wall Street Journal (March 2, 2013), nine executives at private-equity firms together will take home over $1 billion in dividends and compensation for last year, averaging over $100 million each. This is nearly 7000 times the yearly pay of a full-time minimum wage worker!
| “The great appear great to us
Only because we are on our knees:
Let us rise.”
— Camille Desmoulins
Revolutionary Organization of Labor (ROL), USAis a revolutionary working class organization that fights for working class power and the elimination of all human exploitation. Ray O’ Light Newsletter is the regular publication of ROL, USA. We believe, with comrade Lenin, that the working class “… needs the truth and there is nothing so harmful to its cause as plausible, respectable petty bourgeois lies.” In the spirit of Karl Marx who taught that “our theory is not a dogma but a guide to action,” we welcome your comments.
Ray Light — Editor
607 Boylston St.
Lower Level Box 464
Boston, MA 02116