[Marxism] Guns, Greensboro, and the CWP

sobuadhaigh at hushmail.com sobuadhaigh at hushmail.com
Thu Apr 2 20:55:35 MDT 2009


Nada wrote:

> After the CWP calmed down, we were able to build
>a mass march in solidarity with them after
>the incident, or don't you remember that? I was there,
>as were about 10,000 others or more. The problem was
> that the CWP actually wanted to bring guns to the rally
>as if they hadn't already demonstrated their incompetence
>with fire arms already, it would only be a huge
>provocation. The CWP, finally, was talked out of it
>and I think them for this.

Our memories differ comrade, and I take exception
to the way you portray the militants of the CWP.
I was never a member but I had very close friends who
were and when I heard the news of the Klan ambush
I had a few sick hours wondering if I had lost some
 of them. It was an ambush that was criminally 
facilitated by the Greensboro PD and there is really 
nothing they could have done about it once the Klan 
opened up on them. You crack about "incompetence 
with firearms" is distasteful and totally uncalled for.
 Some of the very best that group had to offer died 
that day. Whatever mistakes of rhetoric or ultra left 
posturing they made did not kill them. They
died for the crime of being communists who had
 joined their lives with the most oppressed sectors
of  the working class in the most Klan infested state 
in the union.

After the murders the funeral march was armed, 
complete with an honor guard carrying shotguns.
 It really didn't make any difference that the shotguns
 were unloaded (via their negotiations with the state police)
 because a large percentage of the marchers that made 
it past the road blocks were carrying and I do not blame 
them one bit. I did not get to the funeral march but 
if I would have I would have been carrying a weapon
 too.

I was also at the large solidarity march and I
can tell you exactly what the CWP position on the
weapons was and how it was expressed to their
members. I know because I traveled with a van load
of CWP members from Texas. Just before we left
a communiqué was read to everyone stating that
the CWP had been expelled form the organizing
committee because of the CWP position on arms.
They did not call for their members to bring weapons
nor for anyone else to either. What they refused to
do is prohibit their members from arming themselves
and they held the position that it was wrong to
publicly announce that they would be disarmed.
At that point the organizer said that they were
going to march anyway and offered anybody who
didn't want to go a chance to back out given
the chance that CWP contingents might then
be targeted by the police.

At the rally before hand Rev. Joseph Lowry spoke
and just before it was time to march he asked
those in the crowd to turn in any weapons to a
parade marshal where they would be secured
and given back at the end of the event. It was the
weirdest thing I have ever heard at a rally.

During the march the CWP split up their
contingents into small groups and had
them scattered throughout the length
of the march. There were no incidents
I saw although there were plenty of cops
in riot gear marching around and trying
to look intimidating. That night I stayed in
a public housing project with a black family
that shared their home with communists that
had driven half way across the country to
be there. On the wall were newspaper 
articles of the massacre next to a faded old
newspaper photo of JFK and Martin Luther King.

As fractured and undeniably incompetent
as much of the left is in this country, let us
remember the sacrifice of gallant comrades
for what it is  and give them the respect they 
deserve. In case you've forgotten their names, 
I have not.

Cesar Cauce
Bill Sampson 
Sandi Smith 
Dr. James Waller  
Dr. Michael Nathan

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