[Marxism] RE: CISPES, FMLN and sectarianism

dave.walters at comcast.net dave.walters at comcast.net
Fri Feb 23 10:27:30 MST 2007

Greg, my criteria was having been a member of CISPES from the beginning. Working with BPR groups in NY about bringing together the various factions both in the US solidarity movement then under way, spinning off as it were, from the Nicaraguan solidarity movement (at the time the SWP only bounced off this movement, it seemed until the big Detroit conference) and talking with CISPES members in NY and San Francisco as a part of CISPES. I saw  Mr. Zamora from the FDR come to SF CISPES and *squash* opposition to CISPES members getting involved in the Rainbow Coalition in 1984. To quote him "It's in the interest of the movement in El Salvador that Jesse Jackson win the Democratic nomination for President". I can remember clearly all the CISPES members shaking their heads in positive reaction and the "there you heard it...we're supporint Jesse...". He set the line and everyone fell into place. Those that opposed it were out. 

Members talked openly about 'waiting for the FMLN' on how to decided on tactics and strategy. If you were in CISPES then you heard it too Greg, you know it. There was clearly, in NY and San Francisco, the voluntary subordination of political independence *to* the FMLN/FDR. Clearly the FBI was looking for a smoking gun of some sort by *decisions* of CISPES's leadership to be part of or otherwise see themselves as the American branch of the FMLN, something they would never find, fortunately.

It is very typical of solidarity activists to gravitate toward the leadership of foreign revolutionary movements. We saw this in Vietnam, South Africa and El Salvador...hell, the best example is the founding of the CP in the US in 1919.

The problem was that CISPES was in solidarity with "the revolution". As such, they followed every twist and turn of the FMLN instead of concentrating on building support for a movement that would end aid to the death squad democracy there. Of course they did this too but it was subordinated to events there with little thought of an orientation here. 


More information about the Marxism mailing list