Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Labor leaders and community groups commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Say “More work to be done.”

OKLA.—Across the state, people are commemorating the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his role in the struggle for civil rights.
In Tulsa, union leaders are paying homage to King’s support for AFSCME workers by forming a standing Civil Rights Committee. Community groups are also organizing a series of events, beginning with a showing of the film At the River I Stand, which documents the historic events of 1968, when Dr. King was gunned down for uniting minority and white workers for common goals.
In Muskogee, union members and the local chapter of the NAACP are working together to highlight the importance of unity between working people of various ethnicities. AFSCME Local 2465 is working to build partnerships with municipal leaders to protect workers’ rights and usher in a new period of transparency and efficiency for the city with the support of the community and labor organizations.
Other events are being hosted around the state to call attention to the legacy of King and the civil rights movement indicating real change in attitudes toward race, class and democracy. And while most are optimistic, it is clear to many that there is still work to be done in the struggle for equality. As Native leader and Communist Party member notes, “Racial equality won’t exist unless we also ad-dress issues of class.” He went on to say, “Of course, when you unite people from different races, like Dr. King did, you will make enemies.”


For Decades Civil Rights Activists Have Been Called Communists; Why?

Ever since the beginning of the Communist movement in the United States, Communist activists have been central to the struggle for racial equality. For this reason, the civil rights movement itself was often accused of being a ”Communist front”, while Communists themselves were targeted by racists and hate groups.
It wasn't just “conservatives” that have smeared and slandered the Communist Party. Many liberal academics have also – in recent years - inaccurately attempted to dismiss the Communist movement as white-driven. But as history indicates, blacks and native Americans were perhaps the earliest driving-force for socialist change in Oklahoma, where non-white organizations, such as the United Socialist Club, were militantly involved in uniting races to fight exploitation by land-lords. Later, shortly after achieving statehood, the Socialist Party of Oklahoma drew massive amounts of support, and made racial inequality a central issue.
The first, American of African descent to run for executive office in the United States was Frederick Douglas, who was nominated by the Marxist -affiliated Equality Party. Later, during the 1930s, after the Socialist Party was dissolved in Oklahoma, the Communist Party carried the struggle for black equality further than any organization ever before. In 1932 and in subsequent campaigns, the members of the CPUSA nominated James W. Ford as their candidate for Vice President of the United States – one of the first black candidates for executive office. This is only one of countless examples of how the Communist Party has played its part in the struggle for civil rights.


MOSCOW -During the Cold War, the capitalist powers promised a world of peace, democracy and prosperity – if only ―freedom-loving‖ people could be rid of those dirty commies. Over twenty years has passed since the collapse of the so-called Soviet Bloc, but the promises of capitalism have fallen flat. Through-out the world there has been an increase in war, poverty, mass exploitation and hunger. In Russia, specifically, the post- Communist era has witnessed a rise in government corruption, less democratic accountability, and mafia lawlessness as opponents to “big government” remove regulatory protections in business. As result, the Russian opposition parties, almost entirely led by communists are making a resurgence and are doing so at the ballot box.
In March, 2012, the communists will put their resurgent electoral power to the test against incumbent Vladimir Putin. In recent elections, the Communist Party‘s support was clear, as it won an additional 35 seats in the Russian legislature. The Communist Party rise, from 57 to 92 seats, clearly indicates that much of what we in the West think we know about Soviet Communism was patently false.
Newly declassified records expose disinformation campaigns showing British, German and – to a lesser extent – US intelligence deliberately fabricating rumors about ―atrocities‖ committed in the former USSR. As noted in several recent studies of Cold War propaganda, several Western intelligence services deliberately produced mistranslations of Marxist writings as well as total fabrications of crimes allegedly committed by Joseph Stalin. One such book, Robert Conquest‘s The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purges of the Thirties, was written by freelance authors in the employ of anti-communist intelligence services. Other ―investigations‖ were later published by front companies controlled by intelligence agencies. Furthermore, based on the resurgence of Communist parties throughout Russia and Europe, it is becoming increasingly clear that the people of the United States have certainly been subjected to erroneous information and outright lies about Marxist socialism.
The recent, democratic resurgence of support for Russian Communism is also exposing the myth that Communism is anti-democratic. In fact, there are rumors of election fraud indicating that the Communists quite possibly had even more support than indicated in the election results. Ironically, the tactics currently being used in the US to manipulate electoral districts in the favor of conservative candidates and implementing discouraging ID practices for voters are amongst the allegations, according to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe‘s International Election Observer Mission.
According to Western observers, the pro-capitalist government of Russia, particularly under Putin, has interfered with and, wherever possible, prevent NGOs from observing their elections. According to the website Golos, considered to be the Wikileaks for voting fraud, Putin‘s United Russia Party has gone so far as to physically intimidate voters in its efforts to suppress Communists.

US Army PFC Bradley Manning Faces Life In Whistle Blower Case

by Zac Smith
Oklahomans are paying particular attention to the case of PFC Bradley Manning, an Oklahoma native. Hearings on his case commenced at Fort Meade, Md., last month. Manning, 24, stands accused of leaking classified files to whistle-blowing organization WikiLeaks. For his alleged role in the incident, which the Guardian called "the biggest leak of US state secrets in history," Manning faces probable life imprisonment.
The files, which WikiLeaks released to the public, contained documentation of numerous previously-concealed crimes committed by the Obama ad-ministration. Arguably the most prominent such document was a video of US soldiers shooting Iraqi journalists Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh in an incident Army spokespeople had denied US responsibility for.
Manning‘s military-administrated hearing has been tightly controlled; according to the Nation, observers have been prohibited from bringing cell phones, computers and other recording devices
into the courtroom. The most comprehensive coverage of the hearing has been provided by Bradley Manning Support Network correspondent Rainey Reitman.
According to Reitman, Manning requested that investigating officer Lt.Col. Paul Almanza, whose position in the court is equivalent to that of a judge, remove himself from the case. Manning contended that Almanza‘s work as a prosecuting attorney for the Department of Justice presented a potential conflict of interest. Almanza, however, declined to recuse himself, asserting that no conflict of interest existed. Reitman also reported that, at the conclusion of proceedings December 16, Army veteran Nate Goldschlag called "You‘re a hero!" to Manning from the gallery. Numerous Manning supporters have also expressed solidarity by picketing outside the facility.
A military spokesperson told the Nation that official transcripts of the trial will not be available until March or April 2012.

Reprinted from:


Public Outraged as Developers Close In

TULSA - Monday, January 30, at a "town hall" meeting held at the Rudisill Regional Library, Tulsa‘s Ward 1 City Councilman, Jack Henderson, informed residence of North Tulsa that many of the public community centers that had been paid for by the citizens of Tulsa would be demolished. According to
Councilman Henderson, the buildings had been neglected by the City fathers and were structurally unstable. The message to the people in attendance was "safety", but behind the rhetoric, the real message was clear: profit for developers.
Many of those in attendance at the meeting found the announcement to be disconcerting. Objections were raised to the City‘s failure to consult with the tax-paying voters in the affected community before making such important decisions. Others objected to the patronizing manner in which the meeting was conducted.
According to the itinerary distributed at the so-called "Town Hall Forum", for a "[d]iscussion of plans for possible demolition of Ben Hill, BC Franklin, Springdale recreation Centers." However, as the
meeting continued, it was clear that there was to be no "discussion." In an effort to save the structure, private citizens of the Tulsa area went so far as to make bids on the property. They have supplied the Tulsa City Council with information regarding acquisition by members of the community who hoped to keep the Community Center open. However, according to Lucy Dolman, Director of City Parks for the City of Tulsa, there is already a "master plan" plan in place. Therefore, the property to be demolished is not for sale to the public, nor would any amount of private donations from community members be accepted to preserve the site. The details of the "master plan" mentioned by Dolman have not been made available to the public.
In a city with a deplorable civil rights track record, home to a consistent Ku Klux Klan presence with ties to the Mayors office, the fact that the scheduled demolitions are targeting primarily black neighborhoods, while leaving public parks of South Tulsa‘s wealthier districts intact, has raised additional concerns over the equity of the decisions. The City‘s decisions follow other cuts affecting Tulsa‘s predominantly minority areas, such as last year‘s closing of 19 Tulsa public schools.
This most recent move appears to many as yet another by those in municipal government doling out "sweetheart deals" to a select group of developers who happen to also to make healthy campaign donations to certain elected officials. Following the conclusion of Monday‘s Town Hall Meeting,
many of the attendees spoke of taking action to stop the demolitions. Groups are organizing community-driven initiatives to preserve their facilities and hold their elected officials accountable to the public.

An Open Letter to the Norman Transcript


THERE has been much speculation on the role of socialists, Marxists and Communists in the Occupy movement. Therefore it seems appropriate that we, Communist Party members of Oklahoma, offer a clear and definitive account of our position on Occupy Wall Street and its solidarity demonstrations here in Oklahoma.
First and foremost, the Communist Party of Oklahoma is wholeheartedly and unapologetically devoted to improving the conditions of Oklahoma‘s working people – and working people everywhere. We also are unequivocal defenders of our constitutional guarantee to free speech, free association and peaceable assembly. Furthermore, we are in agreement with the majority of Americans who can see that the real threat to American democracy does not come from Communists – but from Wall Street.
Let‘s be clear: it was not Communists that took tax-payer money for bailouts – it was capitalists. It was not Communists that enacted the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act which curtailed our rights – it was capitalists. Communists are not confiscating peoples‘ homes and property in America today, nor are Communists driving our local small business people into bankruptcy while multinational corporations declare record profits. Communists did not give Norman tax-dollars to multinationals while businesses on Main Street struggle. No. Those responsible for today‘s economic crisis from Wall Street to Main Street are 100% pro-capitalism. The creation of a monopolistic economy, the lack of rewarding job opportunities in our country, the instigation of wars of aggression between Arab capitalists and American capitalists are all the product of post-Cold War global capitalism. Communism has played no part in creating these crises.
With all of this said, both the Occupy Together movement and the Tea Party movement before them echo many of the same criticisms of capitalism that we Communists have put forward for over one-hundred and fifty years. If anything, these facts prove the relevance of the Communist analysis. But do these facts mean that Communists control the Tea Party or the Occupy movement? No. Granted, there are members of the Communist Party in the Tea Party (believe it or not) and there are members of the Communist Party supporting the Occupy together movement. (In fact, in Norman, some Communist Party members have participated in supporting local Tea Party candidates for election.) But the Communist Party of Oklahoma did not create the Tea Party nor did it call for the Occupy movement and has not orchestrated any of its camps in Oklahoma. The people of Occupy are speaking truth - the interlocking powers of global capitalism have taken control of our national government and the people of the United States have had enough. They want their government back. If the small group of capitalists controlling Oklahoma are looking for scapegoats to blame for these problems, they have only to look in the mirror.
On the accusation that Communists are inciting violence at the occupy movement – we would challenge any person in this state to provide evidence for this spurious and slanderous claim. The Communist Party of Oklahoma is a legal and lawful political organization and does not encourage violence of any kind. In Norman, ironically, the only persons to commit any act of violence have been "conservative." Have conservatives become so senile that they believe it acceptable to use violence against young Americans – their fellow citizens – voicing concerns in a way that is in total accord with the principles of the Bill of Rights? Fortunately, the people of the Occupy camp in Norman - in spite of threats - recognize that violence is in contradiction with the Jeffersonian spirit of political freedom that drives most of Oklahoma's conservatives.
We Communists have been delighted to see the level of discipline exerted by those participating at the various occupy camps when they have been harassed and attacked. They have resisted the urge to defend themselves. They have put faith and trust in their local law enforcement and have been grateful that Norman police have demonstrated an exceptional level of professionalism and foresight. As for the occupiers themselves, they have proven that standing firm on principle is far more effective than violence. They have shown a level of courage and patriotic integrity that their political opponents lack.
Those who would dare to use violence on peaceful demonstrators in the United States are proving their patriotism to be nothing but manipulative rhetoric – a political tactic used by only the most cynical hypocrites. A patriot is devoted to the people and works diligently to improve their lives. Therefore, if the Communist Party is the only party to vocally demonstrate its support for the rights of the Occupy camps in Oklahoma, then perhaps the Communist Party is the only "patriotic" party left in this state. Time will tell.
We of course would love to claim that everyone in the Occupy Together movement has suddenly become convinced that a unique form of communism – democratic, worker-driven, American communism – is a better way to organize our lives. But the Occupy movement is much bigger than any one organization or ideology. It represents every exploited, marginalized, and disenfranchised person in this country. If the people opposing the Occupy movement would take the time to visit the camps, to discuss things with the demonstrators, and to get over their fear of new ideas, they would see that the Communist Party is only a tiny voice in the crowd. Yes, we are supportive of the rights of the Occupy movement. And we stand side beside Democrats, Republicans, Green Party, Libertarians, Independents and others that have come together to peacefully demonstrate. We are supportive of every American who is brave enough to stand up in defiance of corruption. This has been the historic role of the Communist Party, USA and the Communist Party of Oklahoma since its inception – which explains why the corrupt use every opportunity to denigrate and demonize Communists.
America is a free country, and as long as America remains a free country, there will be a Communist Party committed to peace, justice and a better life for all working people. It is our hope that the people of Norman will take the time to engage with their local activists, regardless of ideological bias, and learn more before letting fear or corporate propaganda pit the people of our community against one another.

Norman Chapter, Communist Party, USA
On Behalf of the Provisional Coordinating Committee of the Communist Party of Oklahoma

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