Tuesday, May 1, 2012



TULSA, OK. – Over the weekend of Friday, April 6, a series of shootings in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood area once again raised concerns over escalating racial tensions across the state. The shooter was described as a white male driving a light-colored pick-up truck; his targets were six African Americans from North Tulsa’s predominantly minority neighborhood which, as it happens, was also the central location of what is now known as ‘The Tulsa Race Riots’ in which racist Tulsa whites massacred blacks with impunity – a massacre that took place almost a century ago, but still remains fresh in the minds of many Tulsans.
Of the six victims, only three have died of their injuries. And while local news media and Tulsa’s Mayor Dewey struggled to down-playing the possibility that the shooting spree was racially motivated, the killers have been charged with a racially-motivated hate crime. 
Over the last year, people in the area have noticed a marked increase in racially motivated criminality and intimidation. As one white Phoenix street resident who asked to remain anonymous stated, “members of the Klan were squatting  in a big run-down house on my street for months.” A local Greenwood business proprietor also reported that members of the Ku Klux Klan had made a show of their presence when an entire KKK family began frequenting his shop wearing Klan t-shirts.
Another young resident, a black man identifying himself as Leonard, has been active in the North Tulsa black community and Tulsa labor movement and told OWM that, a few months ago “a man in a light colored pick up pulled up to my house and started shouting ni***r at me over and over.” Other activists from Occupy Tulsa have consistently reported similar incidents. It appears to be no coincidences that Tulsa’s progressive activists and leftist participants in Occupy began receiving harassing letters signed “United White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.” These incidents began to increase with frequency after so-called R3 activists (supporters of the Ron Paul campaign) with ties to  Oklahoma’s John Birch Society and fringe elements of the Tea Party began stacking meetings of Occupy in Oklahoma with their people. Other left-wing organizations, such as the Tulsa chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World have reported R3 activists and John Birch Society members infiltrating and disrupting their meetings for several months.
                 The racist challenge, seemingly driven by the fringe elements of the Tea Party in Oklahoma under the guidance of John Birch Society and Ku Klux Klan, has been met by an even more powerful show of black-white solidarity, driven primarily by progressive leaders in the labor movement. One of these labor leaders, who has requested to remain anonymous, claims that independent researchers working closely with the labor movement have uncovered ties to the several racist organizations from American Renaissance and KKK, fringe extremists in the Tea Party, and the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee, which is led by key figures of the John Birch Society. One John Birch Society member, Oklahoma State Senator Brogdon, illustrated how thoroughly extremist groups have penetrated Oklahoma’s state government when he advocated the formation of a Tea Party militia calling itself, The Oklahoma Defense Force. The so-called Defense Force is actually comprised of a militia group previously known as the Oklahoma Constitutional Militia with members holding positions in various white nationalists groups and other right-wing extremist organizations.
Across the state, white-supremacist organizations have been making their presence known with increasing audacity. In several small towns, racist groups have been tossing stones wrapped in letters signed by the UWKKK. In Oklahoma City, the American Renaissance neo-Nazi organization has left copies of its newsletter at several businesses owned by non-whites. In other parts of the state, neo-Nazi organizations, such as the National Socialist Movement have been increasingly active after leading out-of-state NSM members took up residence in Oklahoma. In an atmosphere of heightened tensions, the Tulsa police are taking pro-active measures to apprehend the perpetrators of the most recent series of shooting attacks, but many have lost confidence in police efforts due to the consistent presence of ultra-right elements in and around law enforcement circles.
At present, labor leaders, community organizers and civil rights activists are calling for public meetings to address these circumstances and are hopeful that police and community activists can diffuse mounting tensions. Racial issues continue to plague Oklahoma, especially since the intensification of right-wing anti-Obama rhetoric, many are recognizing the need for putting labor at the forefront of the fight. Tulsa’s newly formed Labor Policy Institute has also joined in the effort by publishing a useful book called, Understanding Racism: What it is and How to Fight It.
The confessed shooters, Jake England and Alvin Watts, have been charged with murder as well as hate crimes. But regardless of whether or not the perpetrators have been caught, it is clear that the struggle against hate in America has developed a critical new front in Tulsa, Oklahoma – a struggle in which labor continues to play a critical role in uniting blacks and whites against racism and the senseless violence it perpetuates.



The Occupy Together movement attracted a wide array of people, from labor leaders to long-time social justice activists, and peace organizations. In addition, it’s no secret that a variety of radicals representing a broad spectrum of views also turned-out to support Occupy protest camps across the state. Likewise, it’s no surprise that various law enforcement agencies, ranging from local police forces to national counter-terrorism agents also paid close attention to the movement. This has been a long-standing practice of police services the world over. But before we start condemning the plainclothes officers working within the Occupy movement, we should consider that, not all protestors are simply wanting to make their voices heard through peaceful assembly—even if that assembly violated certain ordinances. In addition, not everyone who has appeared at the various Occupy camps across the state has been friends to the movement. With this understanding, at the risk of sounding apologetic for certain modern Big Brother tactics (many of which are inexcusable), we should note that some of the cops out there are really just doing their jobs.
Consider this: in Arizona, members of the National Socialist Movement—the largest and reportedly most violent Neo-Nazi organization in the United States—arrived at various Occupy camps clad in fatigues and body armor, and brazenly carried assault rifles. They were allegedly there to protect the demonstrators from the police. Of course while few of the Occupy demonstrators across the nation have been happy about the police presence, fewer still would prefer the presence of heavily armed neo-Nazis  over a civilian-controlled police service any day. With these considerations, it is understandable that law enforcement would maintain an active presence within the Occupy movement. In Tulsa, for example, certain Occupy supporters—members of the anarchist-driven “Tulsa I.W.W.” have been exposed as infiltrators working for the infamous John Birch Society. In addition, some of these members have indiscreetly listed books on how to build homemade chemical weapons and explosives on their amazon.com “wishlists.” Fortunately, however, most of Oklahoma’s Occupy movement has been without serious incident. In Norman, for example, the police were actually supportive and helpful when ultra-rightwing extremists threatened the lives of the Occupiers and attacked their campsite.
But there is a darker side to the police presence—one that is less concerned with protecting the demonstrators and the public, and one that interferes with protest movements in ways that are of questionable ethics and legality.
The role of state and its informants was once again brought into question when two Occupy activists from Oklahoma claiming to be members of the Central Oklahoma Black and Red Alliance (COBRA) appeared with a traveling Occupy contingent. According to one of the participants, the two COBRA members had been drinking heavily for several hours when they began sobbing, and confessed to a small group of anarchists that they were in fact informants for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. While these allegations have been unconfirmed by state agencies, the two have since withdrawn from the Occupy movement in Oklahoma without further incident.
For some, however, suspicion remains over the so-called COBRA organization. COBRA began in the fall of 2011, when a group of authors and editors from the socialist journal Red State decided to work with anarchists from the region in forming a joint anarchist and socialist “black” and “red” alliance for the purpose of injecting a critique of capitalism into the Occupy movement. Of the three collaborators one calling himself Dr. Zakk Flash took control of the organization and left the remaining collaborators behind. Since the preparation of the initial COBRA leaflet, Zakk Flash has maintained exclusive control of the group and its facebook page. According to Red State’s managing editor, Flash “refused to respond to any correspondence and began running the  facebook page as if it were a real organization—often simply ‘liking’ his own comments to appear to have the support of a real organization. It’s a farce.”
Others in Norman, including worker-owners of the Downtown Sound cooperative business have described Flash as persona non grata after he attempted to portray himself as the  proprietor. These usurpations have been dismissed by some who have worked with Flash in the past, but others remain convinced that Zakk Flash isn’t what he appears to be. Further research has proven that the Dr. Zakk Flash, author of the infamous defense of anarchist violence is a police officer. However, it has also been ascertained that Flash is not acting as a police informant raising further questions as to why this self-described anarchist would publish views defending anti-police violence, or why members of his organization, COBRA, would confess to being OSBI informants. What is certain is that these questions about Occupy OK. “leaders” have severely damaged the local movement. As always, the Communist Party encourages its members and allies to steer clear of these people and anyone calling for violence.



By Lupus

Something is dreadfully wrong with “Occupy Oklahoma.” Far from being the left-leaning anti-capitalist peoples’ movement so many are hoping for, the local movement is a disparate collection of Ron Paul Libertarians, Ostromite Anarchists (ie Anarcho-Capitalists), Libertarian “Socialists,” and petite bourgeois Social-Democrats (i.e. liberal Democrats). Their idea of radical activity consists primarily of “mic checking” third-rate Republican primary candidates, attempting to co-opt events held by women’s rights and labor activists, and trotting off to various cities around the Midwest to chant and hold signs while being notably absent when actual problems like white supremacist violence, city corruption and repression of the working class is at its worst.
But this is not all. Oh no, it goes much deeper. The local Ron Paul Libertarians (R3’s) are one and the same as the local John Birch Society Chapter since 2009. One of the R3 organizers, F. G., is a facilitator in Occupy Tulsa, and a number of other R3’s are also in the group. For those unfamiliar with the John Birch Society, it was founded in 1958 as an organization dedicated to McCarthyist-style “Red” hunting. An interesting note is that the notorious Koch Industry’s founder, Fred C. Koch, was one of its founding members, and his sons maintain a close relationship with the organization today. JBS, as it is often called, has numerous ties with other ultra-right and White supremacist organizations.
Here in Oklahoma, several leading Republican politicians openly flaunt their John Birch affiliations—some even clandestinely meet with skinheads and the White Knights of the KKK to carry out their dirty work. Another branch of this twisted tale is an R3 (JBS) member with close ties to the JBS section leader Bob Donohoo – J. T. - who is a self-proclaimed “Left Libertarian” that set up the local IWW chapter in Tulsa in 2009, who is also involved in Occupy Oklahoma. It seems there has been a coordinated effort to draw off left-leaning individuals into front groups to either turn them against the Left or discourage their efforts.
The last edition of the Workers Monthly had featured a picture self-proclaimed anarchist (and ironically, a police officer) “Dr. Zakk Flash” Luttrell, who had infiltrated Occupy Norman and, with his girlfriend, Soley Thrastordottir, assumed unofficial leadership. The couple has since been working closely with Occupy Oklahoma, posing as a representative of AdBusters. Close associates of his, E. S. and S. M., both from Occupy Tulsa, have also been prominently involved in Occupy Oklahoma. S. and M., both former Oral Roberts University students and self-declared “Libertarian Socialists” attempted to join the Communist Party in February, but since that time have engaged in inflammatory attacks and drunken online rants against party members and openly engaging in red-baiting on the Occupy Oklahoma Facebook group, calling communism “inherently violent, patriarchal and asinine.”  Odd behavior from people who at times claim to be “card-carrying communists.”
This is barely scratching the surface of the often bizarre, nonsensical, and sometimes outright violent behavior and beliefs of the imposter Occupy Oklahoma group. In this writer’s opinion, individuals interested in bringing about equality need not waste their time there. Now, more than ever, we need to be supporting organized labor, fight against racism and sexism. “Occupy Oklahoma” is dead! Long live the Occupy movement!


OKLAHOMA CITY - The dreary commute to the Oklahoma City metro area was once again interrupted several times this week by the “freeway bloggers” (as they are locally known). The “bloggers” broadcast a statement from the ad hoc “Scott Walker Welcoming Committee,” a radical group reportedly operating within the larger labor movement to revive Oklahoma’s historic Working Class Union.  The WCU’s Welcoming Committee message was clear – that Oklahomans stand in solidarity with the workers of Wisconsin – and across the nation. The banners, which appeared in three cities across the state along with a colorful poster depicting Walker. The banners were a clear reference to the latest insult from Republican and Democrat legislators in the “Sooner State” to Oklahoma’s union workers. The slight came from the State House where lawmakers abolished the previous Oklahoma State motto, “Labor Omnia Vincit” (Labor Conquers All) and replaced it with the neo-Theocrats “In God We Trust.”
Oklahoma’s organized labor community, which has endured a steady onslaught of neo-Conservative anti-union legislation from state law makers on the corporate “take” geared-up for Walker’s arrival weeks in advance. According to representatives from the Oklahoma Central Labor Council, hundreds of hotels rooms were booked, and thousands of labor supporters committed to participating in a protest of Walker’s presence.
Members of the regional “Occupy” groups, which had lost considerable popular support due to infighting between extreme anarchist and libertarian factions, also appeared to have gained a second wind through uniting with the labor activists at the rally. As organizers and supporters of the protest, both union members and non-union members alike have indicated to OWM that the demonstration against Walker was intended as a signal of a new spirit of solidarity in defense of Oklahoma’s struggling work force and a more forceful sense of focus intent on encouraging everyone concerned with issues of democratic accountability, dignity for workers and rights for the largely impoverished Oklahoma population.


District of Oklahoma

To: All members of the CPUSA and YCLUSA                           
      in the District of Oklahoma                                                                  
From: J. Shepherd,
          CPUSA Organizer for the District of Oklahoma

Date: May 1, 2012

Subject: Creation of Public Relations Coordinator (PRC) Staff Position

Position Description: The PRC is responsible for ensuring the timely preparation of materials requested by the District Coordinating Committee’s Strategic Communications Director (SCD) for the achievement of the organization’s quarterly objectives. In addition, the PRC is encouraged to take personal initiative in cultivating new materials, recruiting any additional assistance or personal staff that may be required.

Note: This is a voluntary non-paid position.

Primary Responsibilities will include:

· Preparation of Press Releases;
· Preparation of the Oklahoma Workers' Monthly and other publications;
· Arrangement of the production of the Oklahoma Workers’ Monthly and other publications;
· Planning for and execution of circulation of the Oklahoma Workers’ Monthly and other publications;
· The development of staff writers and columnists;
· The solicitation of subscriptions and advertisers;
· The collection of all monies received from subscriptions and advertisements;
· The secure delivery of all monies received from subscriptions and advertisements to the SCD;
· Providing quarterly reports on the circulation of publications, subscriptions, feedback from member and non-member readership, and other information relevant to the improvement of quality and efficiency of the Party’s District publications.

Secondary and Supplementary Responsibilities may include:
· Cultivation of writers, graphic artists, painters, musicians, designers, film-makers, poets, performers and other culture workers, both members and fellow-travelers, for media and publications, and;
· organization of public events and educational forums.

For more information, or to submit applications or questions to the Coordinating Committee at the –email address below. Please title the subject of e-mail inquiries, “RE: PRC Staff Position.”

Thanks and comradely regards,
J. Shepherd
Communist Party, USA
District of Oklahoma

L. Black
Digital Media Coordinator
Coordinating Committee
Communist Party, USA
District of Oklahoma


By Daniel Lee
OKLA. CITY - On Wednesday, April 11, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came to Oklahoma on his nationwide speaking tour sharing his unique perspective as a union-buster, corporate lackey, and anti-woman ultra-right extremist. He was predictably welcomed by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallon and a gathering of Oklahoma City elites at the black tie event held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, but was also thrown a much more energetic welcoming party outside the gates by people who did not pay the $1500 per plate fee. The “Scott Walker Welcoming Committee” – organized by members and officers from various union locals, dropped a banner from a nearby interstate overpass, with a giant “Labor Omina Vincit” (Labor Conquers All) emblazoned on it to kick off the festivities. The group began staging at the former Howard Johnson motel up the street from the museum.
By 5pm, over 300 demonstrators had gathered, coming from across central and eastern Oklahoma, making it one of the largest labor rallies in the state in over 20 years. Beans and cornbread - classic picket line fare - were provided, and the rally had a festive atmosphere with Billy Bragg playing over the PA system in the background. Union members, supporters, and their families passed out signs and stickers, and waited for the kickoff to begin. The march permit allowed us to demonstrate on either side of the road in front of the facility from 6pm to 7pm. An unmarked car, obvious with its bristling roof antenna and mirror shaded occupant sat watching us from the other side of the road. When a few of us started walking down towards the building at 5:30, we were immediately stopped. After working through a strange encounter with the police, we returned to the staging area to ready to the rally to march.
We moved down the road, carrying signs and banners, talking, laughing, and chanting as we marched. I joined a group setting up across the street facing the building while the bulk of marchers divided itself on either side of the Museum’s entrance. As cars filled with attendees began turning into the parking lot, we chanted “Recall Walker! Recall Fallon!” and “Shame!” as they drove past our assembly. Escalades and BMWs trickled in as our chants reverberated through the streets. Nervous security guards and our plainclothes observer paced the parameter of the compound, waiting and eager for a protester to break ranks and rush the building. We maintained the line however, and channeled our anger and energy into shouts and chants which could reportedly be heard from within the building. A local news crew and freelance journalists arrived, shooting footage and taking a few statements. Scanning for coverage later on revealed however, that none of the footage ever aired, and the one AP article that ran in only a handful of small town newspapers contained a brief reference to the protest and a quote amidst fawning coverage for the “courageous” Gov. Walker. Go figure.
With throats hoarse and spirits high, we marched back to the rally point and enjoyed food which we all agreed was far better fare than the Buick-priced steak dinners Walker and his cronies were having down the road. None of us will forget the comradeship and unity on that day, where workers gathered together to make our voices heard, shaking the walls of the elite. This is just the beginning. We have a long fight ahead of us to retake our rights as workers and citizens, but if what I saw at the rally was any indication of things to come, labor will prevail.


The Hunger Games, the bestselling series of novels, unsurprisingly made it to theaters amidst an overwhelming marketing push. For months, booksellers and retail outlets across the nation from Barnes and Nobles to Wal-Mart have been pulling-out all the stops to make way for the “Hunger Games”.  Of course anything met with so much retail fanfare is met by this critic with suspicion to say the least after so many such releases have delivered less than promised by the hype. But, to my surprise, The Hunger Games has been a pleasant change from the standard mass-market drivel—the book series that is.
The plot of the story is intriguing. A society driven into rebellion by the decadence of the ruling class is punished by being divided into several different Districts, each of which is required to offer-up a “tribute” - a person selected by lottery to fight in a battle to the death against all the other tributes selected from the various Districts. The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, volunteers to fight in the Hunger Games in the stead of her younger sister who was selected in the lottery. The Everdeen sisters come from one of the poorest Districts—an area reminiscent of Harlan County, USA and likewise home to impoverished mine workers—highlighting the stories primary theme: class inequality and the disaffected decadence of the rulers who laugh and feast while their “tributes” are forced to brawl for their amusement.
The movie, on the other hand, was something altogether different. Granted, even the books are unlikely to go down in the history of great literature, but the message was a relief from the Neoconservative apocalyptic drumbeat that typifies the book-section at Wal-Mart. (Yes, Wal-Mart does have a modest selection of books, and, yes, I know because I’m forced to shop there as are many people from small town Oklahoma. But that’s a different conversation for a different time.) While the general plot of the story was left in tact, ideologically speaking, the movie was a cinematic disappointment. Visually, it was a bore— colorful, but unexciting to say the least. In fact, much of the camera work had the same nauseating effect of a COPS episode. The “reality” style camera work was an obvious attempt to compensate for the utterly bland acting of the cast, (with the exception of dynamic Woody Harrelson). The cookie-cutter good-looks of the sophomoric actors received no help from the utter lack of imagination of the cinematographer. The verdict: worth a look when it hits Netflix.



TULSA - The unionized Tulsa municipal workers of AFSCME Local 1180 chose to fight back against privatization by taking over their department in a very unusual way.
                 In June 2011, city operations and maintenance workers were threatened with privatization. These workers handle electrical, mechanical, plumbing and carpentry duties for the municipality. Not only could privatization of these jobs reduce quality of services and workplace safety, but also private contractors often cut jobs to lower costs, giving the appearance of greater efficiency. In reality, such cuts only intensify the exploitation of workers, making the work more taxing, dangerous and lower quality.
Union organizers and workers were confident that the employees themselves knew more about how best to run their department than their bosses, so they prepared a plan of their own outlining ways to improve services, reduce costs and save the taxpayers money.
     They went directly to the city government and presented their findings and proposals. They would eliminate unnecessary expenses, relinquish two vehicles that were not regularly used, and upgrade their technology to use more efficient software and web-based solutions wherever possible. Not only did their plan save the people of Tulsa money while maintaining quality services, they included a "gain sharing" program in which unionized operations and maintenance workers would be rewarded for their extra effort.
Tulsa's Mayor Dewey Bartlett met with the president of AFSCME Local 1180 and the operations and maintenance workers to recognize their efforts. The mayor announced that the workers' extra initiative not only saved their jobs from privatization, but saved the city $224,000 since July 2011. In a statement, Bartlett, who is generally anti-union, said: "Our own employees beat out local and national firms to do the job, and for the first time ever, were able to participate in the savings."
      As part of the "gain sharing program" each worker in the building and maintenance department received a check for $3,863.53. The additional savings will be retained in public funds for the benefit of the people of Tulsa, instead of going into the pockets of CEOs from the private sector. AFSCME Local 1180 President Michael Rider summarized the magnitude of this achievement in a statement to the local press:

"AFSCME Local 1180 members wish to congratulate gain-sharing award recipients on the building maintenance team. In many cities and states across the country, privatization has been seen as a quick-fix solution to inefficient, government-run systems. But in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we have learned that by simply involving front-line employees in the management process, outdated and inefficient systems can be improved in a way where everyone wins: dedicated employees are rewarded for their hard work and innovative thinking ... and citizens win because profits go back to the public, not big business, keeping the local economy strong."

The seven city workers to receive the first-ever "gain sharing" award are Andre Hughes, Robert McGuire, Terry Hope, Todd Mashburn, Latysha Jackson, John Comer, and Larry Barnett.
In what appeared to be just a single elegant stroke of a worker-led initiative, the operations and maintenance workers of Tulsa disproved several anti-union myths. Rank-and-file driven unions are not a drain on municipalities. When given a greater voice in managerial decisions they can actually enhance efficiency and save taxpayers money. And unions don't simply take money from workers. In fact, union workers in Tulsa got organized and asserted their dignity, expertise and creativity in their workplace. As a result, workers found themselves with an unprecedented pay increase and the thanks of the public, management and local elected officials.