Statement from Revolution Books, NY

Resist the Repressive Atmosphere:
Expose and Resist Vigilante Threats

Revolutionary Worker #1130, December 9, 2001, posted at

The following statement was put out by Revolution Books in New York in the beginning of November.

In the midst of an ugly atmosphere of repression in the U.S. today, a right-wing extremist vigilante group, the "Jewish Defense Organization," has publicly issued serious threats against the anti-war movement, and has particularly targeted the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP), the International Action Center (IAC), and people's lawyer Stanley Cohen.

The JDO is a small fanatic right-wing vigilante organization with ties to the reactionary settler movement in Israel.

The RCP is the Maoist revolutionary party in the U.S. The RCP says that the world capitalist system of exploitation and oppression is outmoded and unnecessary...that a radically different world is possible...and that revolution is both necessary and possible in the belly of the beast.

Both the RCP and IAC are well known for uniting with many people in the fight for social justice over many years, including defense of Arab and Muslim targets of repression since the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Both organizations have been prominently involved in anti-war activity. Stanley Cohen is a long- time people's lawyer beloved by many for his uncompromising willingness to provide legal defense for the unpopular, downtrodden and those U.S. imperialism may feel should be "tried" with no defense at all.

Targeting these organizations and individuals is an attempt to send a chilling message broadly to all who would oppose this unjust war, including a new generation who has been standing with the people of the world against great injustice.

A flyer from the JDO makes false and slanderous claims about these organizations and individuals and their positions regarding the events of September 11. It gives addresses for Stanley Cohen; the IAC; and Revolution Books in New York City, which promotes the literature of the RCP,USA. A message (now removed) on JDO's answering machine called for these organizations to be "shut down," and for the RCP to be banned. The message also said, "And let it be known in the Jewish community that anyone who joins in with this anti-war movement, we're going to make their names public and their addresses and their home phone numbers." Adding, "So that one day when they try to get a normal job, people know who they are and what they've done and can't get one."

Revolution Books has received numerous unusual telephone calls, purporting to be from supporters, telling us about this flyer. Some of these callers may, indeed, have been honest. But quite a few tried to press us with questions like, "What are you going to do about this?" This had a clear scent of police provocateurs.

JDO is a small organization, of relatively little significance in this world. Still, these threats should not be taken lightly. Why? Because history is full of examples of the FBI and other government political police utilizing right-wing vigilante groups to attack, infiltrate, and commit other crimes against movements and organizations the government cannot go after legally. The FBI worked with the KKK to attack the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Police organizations on the local and national levels work with, or turn a friendly blind eye on, Christian Fascist thugs who send anthrax-threatening letters to abortion clinics and murder doctors. These kinds of groups and organizations have a long history of deep ties to the ruling authorities.

We have already seen how the current climate has given rise to several murders around the country of Arab and South Asian people by reactionaries who see their crimes as an act of patriotism.

In post-9/11 America, every day brings outrageous new repressive moves. Measures that would have been unthinkable 10 weeks ago are now being implemented by the "Office of Homeland Security" and other authorities, who are calling them "new steps to protect Americans."

Over 1,000 immigrants have disappeared into U.S. jails and prisons, most with no explanation of the accusations against them. New laws have vastly expanded police wiretap and search authority. Rulings now allow authorities to legally eavesdrop on attorney-client discussions. Comic strips are pulled from the papers, and late-night comics are warned by the White House that "people have to watch what they say." And when people do speak up in the tens of thousands at protests against war and repression, these actions are routinely "whited-out" of the news.

In this climate, unsupported allegations can become pretexts for government investigations and wire-tapping of organizations and social movements, for detentions and worse. There is a long history to the FBI creating such pretexts or unleashing others (groups like JDO) to do their dirty work.

The people's movements cannot allow the dirty deeds of police agents or vigilantes to put a chill on our determination to protest great crimes against the people of the world. Such dirty deeds must be brought to the light of day, shared with the people--exposed and opposed, so that, rather than striking fear, they serve to strengthen our determination to fight injustice and an unjust war. We must come to one another's defense and help the people to stand strong against repression--be it legal or extra-legal. In this way, we can strengthen all of our ability to stand with the people of the world against the world's most powerful oppressors.

Here is what the RCP actually has said about Sept. 11 attack and the current situation:

"As the dust clears from our eyes, the people in the most powerful country in the world find ourselves held hostage to the inevitable repercussions of the actions of this U.S. power structure and their bloody military machine...

"And now they call on the people to support their retribution. They speak of war and justice. No. ...

"Through the shock we seek the truth: Global exploiters and mass murderers have no right to retribution and they can only bring more destruction and injustice...

"As people mourn lost loved ones, as we put our arms around each other, all who seriously want justice need to reach out to the people of the world--to stand together against the crimes of the system, to strengthen our resistance against every act of war and repression."

[These quotes are from a statement by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA Sept. 14, 2001. The full statement is available at]

Revolution Books, 9 West 19th Street,
New York, NY 10011 (212) 691-3345

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