Carl Dix, National Spokesperson of the RCP
Message to JERICHO '98
Tear Down the Walls
It's Right to Fight Back Against Oppression
Revolutionary Worker #950, March 29, 1998
Joshua fought the battle of Jericho
and the walls came tumbling down.
Only heroes can quell tigers and leopards
And wild bears never daunt the brave.
The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA salutes JERICHO '98. Spearheaded by the New Afrikan Liberation Front, a formation made up of revolutionary nationalist groups, JERICHO '98 aims to hip people to the existence of political prisoners and prisoners of war in the U.S., to build support for these prisoners, to force the U.S. government to acknowledge that it imprisons people for political activity and revolutionary resistance, and to win freedom for these prisoners.
As we rally and march on the White House, March 27, 1998, for the climax of JERICHO '98, the RCP stands shoulder-to-shoulder with these heroic political prisoners and all who are demanding their freedom.
The U.S. imperialists have set the world record for hypocrisy. They masquerade as the world headquarters of freedom and justice, while exploiting, oppressing, and subjugating countless millions around the world and at home. Throughout the history of the U.S., the ruling class has used naked force, its legal system, and the hangman's rope to put down the people's resistance--from the slave revolts to the fight for the 8-hour working day in the 1880's to anti-war and anti-government struggles during World War I to the union drives of the 1930s to the urban rebellions of the 1960s.
Among the many and varied crimes of U.S. capitalism is the oppression of nations and national minorities within the borders of the U.S. The capitalists founded the country on the genocide of the native population, and they dragged African people to these shores in slave chains. Later they stole a large part of Mexico, dispossessing and subjugating the people who lived on that land. In 1898, they seized Puerto Rico as a colony, plundering the island. This kind of oppression continues down to today in new, and not so new, forms.
Many have stood up and rallied people to resist all this. And our oppressors have responded to this resistance with vicious brutality. They've labelled as "criminals" and "terrorists" those who have fought back. They've assassinated some and locked down many others in their dungeons, hoping the rest of us would forget about them.
These are the political prisoners and prisoners of war who are the focal point of JERICHO '98. Most of them are Black and Latino. Some are white. All of them stood up and fought the hell this government brought down on the people in this country and worldwide. Many were down with the Black Panther Party and other revolutionary groups in the 1960s. Some took up arms to liberate their people. The cause they fought for is as just as what Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, John Brown, and Pedro Albizu Campos fought for many years ago.
This situation presents us with a serious challenge. We have to raise public awareness of the situation of these political prisoners to a whole new level. We have to let our oppressors know that they can't get away with criminalizing and isolating these fighters against the system. JERICHO '98 aims to do just that. Marching on the White House on March 27, 1998, we will show the determination of growing numbers of people to have the backs of those who dedicate their lives to fighting to free the people.
JERICHO '98 can help capture the imagination of many of the youth who are increasingly being warehoused in prisons--forced to live their lives under the gun and targetted for vicious attacks by the system. It can inspire many of them to respond with militant resistance to the desperate conditions being forced on them. These staunch, veteran fighters can serve as a bridge to revolutionary activity for the new generation that's being driven to rise up today against the hell this system is bringing down.
The U.S. government claims there are no political prisoners in their jails. They say people who have led militant resistance to their crimes against the people are criminals who deserve to be locked down. Well, they're lying, big time. I say the U.S. imperialists have no right to imprison those who have fought their system by any means necessary. These political prisoners deserve our support.
Sisters and brothers, it's gonna take a revolution to end the oppression of Black people and other oppressed nationalities and everything else foul this system perpetrates on the people. I'm talking about millions of people rising up in armed struggle when the conditions are ripe to overthrow this system and going on to build a whole new world on the ashes of the old one. A powerful outpouring in Washington, D.C. on March 27th would be an important step in building the kind of movement that can get into position to bring about that sorely needed revolutionary solution.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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