Box 19, Folder 2, Document 68

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Washington, April ll, 1966 WR 66-14


At this moment, while Communist forces throughout the world are engaged in
attempts to overthrow a number of governments, here, in the United States, the Pro-
gressive Labor Party (PLP) and the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) are active-
ly involved in the first-step operations of guerrilla warfare. Both of these groups are
storing arms, training people in sabotage and terrorism and actively preparing a
group of people to institute armed insurrection.

Progressive Labor, acting in its capacity as the American arm of the Chinese
Communist International, has prepared a number of its members for any eventuality.
During the summer of 1964 the PLP initiated a plan dividing various ''trusted'' mem-
bers into secret groups of four and then preparing them to go "underground" if a
police crackdown became imminent. The PLP members were not simply to change
their names and alter their physical appearance but also were to use the weapons pro-
vided to aid and promote a guerrilla operation in those cities where Progressive Labor
had any strength, such as in New York and San Francisco.

The PLP's Role in the 1964 Harlem Riots

When Harlem erupted that same summer the Progressive Labor leader there,
Bill Epton, used his previous training to instigate further rioting. He actually trained
people in the techniques of preparing and using Molotov cocktails. Epton is presently
out on bond, pending the appeal of the one-year prison sentence he received as a result
of his role in the riots.

Once the Harlem riots reached their peak the PL leadership considered spreading
the chaos to other parts of the city. The editor of Challenge, the PL weekly news-
paper, signed an editorial published during the riots which stated: ''The vision of
half-a-million - or a million - angry black men and women, supported by allies in
the Puerto Rican and other working class communities, standing up to their oppressors,

Editor's Note: Guest Editor, Phillip Abbott Luce, one-time leader of the ''New Left''
was associated with the Progressive Labor Movement from April, 1963 until January,
1965. He and his wife, a former copy editor for PLP newspapers, broke with the or-
ganization because of its terror tactics and advocacy of violence. He has since co-
operated with government agencies and has just completed a book for the David McKay
Company entitled The New Left.



is haunting the ruling class. People have already begun to speak of 'guerrilla war-
fare' and 'revolutionaries. '"'

The only reason that PL did not try to spread the riots to New York's Lower
East Side was later explained to us at a secret meeting of the PL National Committee.
Alice Jerome, the head of PL's club on the Lower East Side explained: ''We felt that
we could not carry an action through with any kind of success or value, other than
a blood bath. . .If the opportunity comes again - the big question is how to consoli-
date whatever gains are made."'

Guerrilla Training ''Underground"

By December, 1964 the PL leadership had embarked on yet another "underground"
program which was to include a trip abroad during which the members would receive
further training in guerrilla techniques. Today this program is operative; a number
of PL people have already dropped from sight. Jake Rosen, a former member of the
Communist Party, USA, a traveler to China (1958), and the man responsible for bring-
ing a number of guns to New York from the South, is in charge of this ''underground'!
project. (Rosen casually left a wife behind when he went into hiding nearly a year ago. )

PL's latest contact with the world guerrilla movements came when it sent Rick
Rhoades, in violation of passport regulations, to the Tri-Continental Conference in
Havana in January (see WR 66-2). Rhoades, who previously had been sent to City
College in New York by PL to head up the May Second Movement there, shared the
spotlight with Robert Williams as the only "invited observers" from the United States.
Upon his return to New York Rhoades reported on his various meetings with guerrilla
leaders at two closed meetings of Progressive Labor. Rhoades also admitted to hav-
ing had conferences with the Viet Cong about plans to try to increase agitation in this
country against the war in Vietnam and also made contacts with the Chinese about the
possibility of a trip to that country by a group of young Americans. Such a trip would
violate current State Department travel regulations.

Bin A... Wi.

The other organization in the United States that is preparing to launch a guerrilla
warfare operation is the Revolutionary Action Movement (see WR 65-21), Founded in
Philadelphia in the winter of 1963, RAM is headed by Max Stanford and Robert Franklin
Williams. RAM is active in the large city ghettos and has a hard-core membership
of about 250 people. RAM closely follows Williams who is listed as its ''Chairman-
in-Exile" and as the ''Premier of the African-American-Government-in-Exile."
Williams acknowledged his role while speaking in Hanoi in November, 1964: "As a
representative of the Revolutionary Action Movement, Iam here to give support to
the Vietnamese people in their struggle against U.S. imperialist aggression."

Nearly a year ago a group of RAM followers attempted to destroy a number of
national shrines and had planned a bombing raid on the nation's capital before they
were rounded up by the New York police. The three Americans involved in this bizarre
plot were all members of the Black Liberation Front which was formed in Cuba during


the summer of 1964. This Black Liberation Front was merely a ''front'' operation
for RAM. Even the extreme left-wing has now admitted this fact. Robert Taber,
one of the founders of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and still an apologist for
Fidel Castro, documents this relationship in his book on guerrilla warfare, The
War of the Flea. am

Max Stanford has made it perfectly clear that RAM favors any means to wrest
control of the government from "white" people. Writing in the Detroit, Michigan
monthly, Correspondence, he relates that RAM was formed by "Afro-Americans
who favored Robert F. Williams and the concept of organized violence."' He stated
that the philosophy of RAM was "revolutionary nationalism and just plain blackism."'

One Detroit group which amalgamated with RAM is UHURU which means ''free-
dom'' in Swahili. The program of UHURU was described by one of its leaders, who
also traveled to Cuba in 1964, as ''Mau Mau Maoist. We are strong supporters of
the Chinese, If you're in doubt of any position we have, look it up in Peking Review."

RAM and the Red Chinese

Although the RAMers advocate strong support for the Chinese revolutionary
philosophy they cannot be considered a part of the official Chinese Communist Inter-
national. While Progressive Labor has a number of direct contacts (including finan-
cial ones) with the Chinese Communist government, the Revolutionary Action Move-
ment is not considered by the Chinese as their American agent. RAM utilizes a
philosophy that is a strange mixture of black nationalism, white hatred, misread
Marxism and kamikaze radicalism. They idolize the Chinese because of the rhetoric
they use and because the Chinese are a part of the ''colored'' world.

Terror in the Cities

RAM has been explicit in its outline of how it will take power in this country.
Advocating a guerrilla war different in nature from that described in the writings
of Mao and the Chinese, RAM envisions using the urban areas as the base of opera-
tions, The revolutionaries in RAM believe that the black ghetto areas of our major
cities hold the key to a successful guerrilla war. They specifically propose that
black people be organized into small guerrilla units which will use the night to spread
terror through a city. According to the plans of RAM, terror will be the major weap-
on--terror which will, in turn, lead to a demoralization of the will of the government.
Bombs will be placed in New York's Grand Central Station or other public places; key
personalities will be assassinated; snipers will indiscriminately murder innocent
citizens; theatres will be fired.

Max Stanford puts it this way in a recent issue of ''Black America, '' RAM's
official publication: ''When war breaks out in the country, if the action is directed
toward taking over institutions of power and 'complete annihilation of the racist
capitalist oligarchy' then the black revolution will be successful. . .The revolution
will 'strike by night and spare none.' Mass riots will occur in the day with the Afro-
Americans blocking traffic, burning buildings, etc. Thousands of Afro-Americans

a ee

will be in the street fighting: for they will know that this is it."

RAM's Guerrilla War: A Racial Civil War

This type of guerrilla warfare might be destructive in terms of men and money
but it could not possibly succeed. One of the major ingredients of such guerrilla
action is to confuse and isolate your opponent(in this case, the government) by keep-
ing it from ''knowing"' the enemy. RAM, however, is proposing a racial civil war
that would be a battle of black versus white. Under these conditions they would hope
that the ''enemy'' would be mis-identified and that some whites would react violently
against the innocent Negro majority, thereby intensifying the struggle. Immediate
terror tactics might be effectively utilized by the black revolutionaries but in the
long run they would be involved in a kamikaze action,

Fortunately, it should be stressed that RAM has not made any significant inroads
into the Negro community but rather, has been disavowed by most Negro leaders.

While neither RAM nor the PLP is in any position to topple the American govern-
ment in the near future, the very fact that they are preparing for some type of insur-
rectional action places them well outside the pale of democratic politics. And while
our security agencies can control both groups, it is important to note that the Com-
munist "plan" of guerrilla wars includes the United States itself,

Crain Alte



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