Workers Vanguard No. 916
6 June 2008
"Mumia's Fight Is the Fight of All the Oppressed"
SYC Speaker at Chicago United-Front Rally
(Young Spartacus pages)
We print below, slightly edited for publication, Chicago Spartacus Youth Club member Tom Allegri’s speech at the April 26 united-front rally in Chicago called under the slogans, “Mumia Abu-Jamal Is Innocent! Free Mumia Now! Abolish the Racist Death Penalty!” Mumia is a former Black Panther, supporter of the MOVE organization and award-winning journalist who has been imprisoned for more than 25 years. He was framed up and sentenced to death solely because of his political beliefs, falsely convicted of the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer. The April 26 rally in Chicago, initiated by the Partisan Defense Committee and the Chicago Labor Black Struggle League, was one of a series of rallies called internationally by the Partisan Defense Committee and its fraternal organizations following the March 27 decision of the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals upholding Mumia’s frame-up conviction (see “Protests Demand: Free Mumia Now!” WV No. 914, 9 May). These protests were a step toward rebuilding a movement to win Mumia’s freedom. For more information on Mumia’s case and to get involved in the fight to free him, visit the PDC’s Web site: www.partisandefense.org.
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The Spartacus Youth Club says: Free Mumia Abu-Jamal now! Abolish the racist death penalty! It’s really an honor to get up here after so many powerful speakers and put forward what the Spartacus Youth Club says. We are the youth auxiliary of the revolutionary Marxist Spartacist League. As the outrageous March 27 decision upholding Mumia’s frame-up conviction shows, there is no justice in the capitalist courts! From the racist Philadelphia cops all the way up through the federal courts and prison system, the capitalist state machine is dead set on killing Mumia or burying him alive for the rest of his life in a jail cell. His case shows exactly what the death penalty is all about: the ultimate weapon in the state arsenal to maintain the racist status quo of capitalist oppression and exploitation. The bourgeois rulers will stop at nothing to silence this eloquent journalist and outspoken critic of racist oppression because he represents the spectre of black revolt against their system. Mumia’s fight is our fight! It is the fight of all the oppressed!
As revolutionary Marxists, the SYC understands that the working class represents the only force in society with the social power and objective historic interest to lead all the oppressed in sweeping away the capitalist order. With its hands directly on the means of production—that’s factories, mines, transport—the working class has the power to withhold its labor and shut this profit system down! Look at the tens of thousands in the multiracial Transport Workers Union who went on strike in 2005, and crippled New York City, the financial capital of the globe.
We have a representative from Chicago State University out here today. We have people from Waukegan down here. We have students from DePaul and the Black Students Union out here fighting for Mumia’s freedom. People from Northeastern. We have people from the University of Chicago, representatives of MEChA that endorsed this rally. The SYC is going around the campuses, and we’re mobilizing students and radical youth behind the power of labor to demand Mumia’s freedom now! It’s shown here today.
The same capitalist state forces that are going after Mumia also carry out brutal colonial occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. We took a side against U.S. imperialism by calling for the defense of Iraq. Today we call for the immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Insofar as the insurgents on the ground aim their fire against the occupiers and their lackeys, we call for their military defense against U.S. imperialism. At the same time, we lend absolutely no political support to communalist forces. The SYC seeks to win students and radical youth to the understanding that only socialist revolution can end war, racist oppression and exploitation.
In contrast—let me make this clear—the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the Revolutionary Communist Party, the Workers World Party and the International Socialist Organization [ISO], to name a few, continue to build class-collaborationist antiwar coalitions to urge the Democrats to put “people over profits.” These fake socialists present an obstacle to our revolutionary Marxist perspective by tying the working class to their bourgeois class enemies and pushing the illusion that the capitalist state can be reformed. The ISO, for instance, enthuses over how the bourgeois politician Obama is “a breath of fresh air.” Or take the Workers World Party. They support the capitalist Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney while they also leave the door wide open to a vote for Obama. Remember that the Workers World Party class traitors called for a vote to the Democrat Jesse Jackson back in 1988. And if you look at the Progressive Labor Party, they even call to “actively participate in Obama’s campaign”!
Barack Obama is running to become the chief administrator of America’s bloody imperialist system and head overseer of the modern-day capitalist plantation. Obama, Hillary Clinton and every other bourgeois politician, Republican, Democrat and Green, seek to maintain capitalism, which is fundamentally, at its core, a racist and sexist society. Likewise with Mumia’s case, the reformists build faith in the capitalist system, as expressed in their calls for a new trial—a new, fair trial. Contrary to these deadly illusions, we have always said that the state is not neutral, and we have to fight even harder today to get this man out of prison!
Capitalism means a life of hell especially for black and Hispanic youth. This is a society where cops occupy the ghettos like open-air prisons and they kill with impunity, as they did with Aaron Harrison right here in Chicago last summer. The Spartacus Youth Club takes the side of the working class and oppressed and fights against all manifestations of racist oppression. We fight for free, quality education for all and take a stand against the racist purges of the universities. We say: Free abortion on demand! Full citizenship rights for all immigrants! The Spartacus Youth Club fights for a Leninist vanguard workers party, the necessary instrumentality for international socialist revolution, the only hope for a society free of imperialist war, women’s oppression and racial oppression. If you agree with that program, join us in this fight! Free Mumia now! Abolish the racist death penalty!